Links 8/2/2022

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.

–Yves

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.

* * *

Earth Is Spinning Faster Than Usual, Leading to the Shortest Day Ever Recorded Popular Mechanics

Giant tortoise on track halts trains in England Agence France Presse

Dollar-Store Dinners and Vats of Shampoo Help Families Cope With Inflation WSJ

The pandemic impulse purchases we grew to hate Vox (Re Silc).

Climate

The Mediterranean as We Know It Is Vanishing Foreign Policy

Why famine in Madagascar is an alarm bell for the planet FT

Google: We had to shut down a datacenter to save it during London’s heatwave The Register

Incorporating climate-related risks into international reserve management frameworks (PDF) Bank of International Settlements:

A significant methodological challenge is the difficulty in modelling climate factors and their connection to portfolio risk and return characteristics. The lack of comprehensive, timely and accurate climate risk data is another key challenge for reserve managers. Additionally, incorporating environmental social, and governance (ESG) considerations into international reserve management frameworks would need to be aligned with the pillars of safety, liquidity and profitability and also be consistent with central banks’ legal mandates. Despite these challenges, some reserve managers are gradually adding climate-related risk metrics into their risk management frameworks and are improving the disclosure.

#COVID19

Temporal dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 genome and detection of variants of concern in wastewater influent from two metropolitan areas in Arkansas Science of the Total Environment. From the Abstract: “A significant association was observed between viral titers in wastewater and recorded number of COVID-19 cases in the areas studied, except when assays failed to detect targets due to the presence of particular variants. These findings support the use of wastewater surveillance as a reliable complementary tool for monitoring SARS-CoV-2 and its genetic variants at the community level.” Note that in a university, a “community” can be as small as dorm. It all depends where you place the meter.

Monkeypox

California and Illinois declare monkeypox emergencies NBC

Sewage reveals spread of monkeypox virus E&E News

How the U.S. Let 20 Million Doses of Monkeypox Vaccine Expire NYT. Haven’t we seen this movie before?

The campaign to rename monkeypox gets complicated STAT

China?

Nancy Pelosi to meet Taiwan’s president on Wednesday FT. Three sources. I say it will happen because this is the stupidest timeline. Meanwhile:

President Joe Biden dispatched senior officials, including national security adviser Jake Sullivan, to lay out the risks to Pelosi, but people familiar with the situation said she had decided to press ahead with the landmark trip.

Lambert here: Pelosi stands to win with donors in her district* — some of whose largesse will be redistributed to other Democrats, consolidating Pelosi’s leadership position — and no doubt her husband is shorting the appropriate stonks. For Pelosi, that’s what’s going on, and that’s all that’s going on. Biden surely knows this, and so he’s either complicit or weak. “That’s quite an act. What do you call it?” “The Democrats!” NOTE * CA-12, 31.9% “Asian,” median household income $120,290, ka-ching.

Nancy Pelosi to Visit Taiwan Despite Warnings From China WSJ. Single-sourced to “a person.” Meanwhile:

Why Pelosi’s Visit to Taiwan Is Utterly Reckless Thomas Friedman, NYT. Shaking my head in agreement with The Moustache of Understanding; it’s a funny old world. (Worth a read for the Ukraine material as well; sounds like the Administration has been sharing concerns with him.)

Xi Jinping misses his chance to dismiss Nancy Pelosi’s trip as feeble grandstanding FT

China suspends imports of multiple Taiwanese food brands Focus Taiwan. Pretty mild?

* * *

China’s 7nm chip surprise reveals more than Beijing might like The Register. “The 7nm process is a copy of the N7 node TSMC put into mass production four years ago. China has had access to any number of ex-TSMC engineers and is spending infinite money to play chip catch-up, so the existence of a cloned fab still two cycles behind earns a ‘well done, I guess’ by itself.”

US, Japan reaching for a 2-nm chip breakthrough Asia Times

Myanmar

Funding Myanmar’s Spring Revolution The Diplomat

Myanmar military still trying to boost international tourism Pattaya Mail (Furzy Mouse). Hotel workers learning Russian and Chinese.

Why Vietnam doesn’t squeeze its super-rich tycoons Asia Times

Inside Southeast Asia’s Casino Scam Archipelago The Diplomat

India

Expectations for India’s Used International Bandwidth (report) Telegeography

Syraqistan

Ayman al-Zawahiri: US kills top al-Qaeda leader in drone strike in Afghanistan Middle East Eye

How the CIA identified and killed Al-Qaeda leader Zawahiri Reuters

UK/EU

Spain Short on Takers for $12 Billion in Semiconductor Subsidies Bloomberg

Liz Truss to ‘ignore’ Nicola Sturgeon on referendum demands Holyrood

British Airways halts Heathrow short-haul ticket sales for seven days FT

New Not-So-Cold War

Russia Is Building ‘Ghost Bridges’ With Radar Reflectors In Ukraine The Drive

Blast Hits Ammunition Depot of Bulgarian Arms Dealer Involved in Ukraine Weapons Trade WSJ

Ukraine Ships Grain at Last. It Will Take Far More to Slow Global Hunger.NYT. Now they tell us!

Three Britons to stand trial as ‘mercenaries’ in Russia-backed court Independent

“America First” Hawks Admit US Weapons in Ukraine are Plunging Down a “Black Hole” Michael Tracey. To emerge somewhere. But where?

Beware of war predictions: Ukraine’s outcome is not yet written The Hill. The view from KaganWelt.

In Kosovo as in Ukraine, the Same Western ‘Invisible Hand’ Foments Conflict Internationalist 360°

Supply Chain

Ocean spot rates whipsaw on key trade routes as consumer demand slows into peak shipping season Hellenic Shipping News

James Webb Space Telescope’s 1st stunning photo is now a dress Space.com. Pretty slow for fast fashion. What was the holdup?

The Bezzle

SEC charges 11 people in alleged $300 million crypto Ponzi scheme NBC. “Crypto Ponzi Scheme” is redundant, no?

Crypto Crash Leaves NWSL Players Empty Handed as League Mulls Cash Payout Sportico. NWSL = National Women’s Soccer League.

Basically, web3 developers gave user “root” (password “password”) admin privileges. Hilarity ensued:

One might wonder whether the developer/insiders got a(n untraceable) cut of the bounty, and whether this is the usual practice….

6-month remittances total up 16% over last year Mexico News Daily

For Asia’s migrant workers, extreme heat is ‘a matter of life and death’ CNN

Class Warfare

Social capital II: determinants of economic connectedness Nature and commentary, The power of friendships between poor kids and rich kids Axios. Why not invite Maria’s kids over while she’s cleaning the granite countertops?

How Toxic Is Masculinity? The New Yorker

The Aging Student Debtors of America The New Yorker

The Elusive Origin of Zero Scientific American

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

214 comments

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Those must be the nictitating membranes, just crossing each eye. Dogs have nictitating membranes on their eyes, too.

      Reply
      1. russell1200

        Humans have vestigial ones. Given that amphibians, reptiles, fish also have them, it is a very early developed feature.

        Reply
    2. digi_owl

      It is beautiful, but also deeply unsettling.

      I keep forgetting that owls are predators. Akin to house cats with wings.

      Reply
  1. chris

    I’m confused by the articles telling us that Biden administration officials have spoken with Pelosi about the dangers of what she’s doing. Isn’t the executive in charge of foreign policy? Why not take her passport away and actual lead on this front? I find it difficult to believe that Madame Speaker isn’t being supported in her recklessness by people inside the administration.

    I thought Joe Biden ran for President and was elected to be not Trump. Instead we have Sinema and Manchin in charge of all domestic priorities and Pelosi defining our foreign policy. And we’re keeping most of Trump’s policies. What is it that a President is supposed to do again?

    Reply
    1. Eureka Springs

      Considering Biden, his entire career, what Pelosi is doing is right up Bidens bully grifting alley. Odds are Biden loves what Nancy is doing. How can anyone with several hours of looking into Biden s actions and words not know this?

      Stop pretending these people, their corporate parties, and the entire system is in any way sane.

      Reply
      1. Lex

        This. The “don’t do it, Nancy” is just plausible deniability. Maybe DoD meant it. The admin doesn’t know what to do anymore except stir up more instability. I mean yesterday we have the SOS saying we’ll use nukes over our “interests” while Pelosi is en route to a very nuclear war possible situation. It also needs cover for what looks like exploratory attempts to back down on Ukraine. Now they want to get back to arms control talks with Russia?

        Reply
      2. rob

        maybe biden is OK with pelosi creating drama…. after all.. who cares about what hunter is getting into, when the press will be covering the disaster pelosi makes… it takes the spotlight off his family…
        and now that the facade of ukraine is crumbling…. what else is a con man to do?

        Reply
        1. Carla

          Your family and everyone you know being vaporized, if they are lucky, would certainly distract from the midterms and Hunter’s Laptop and the twentieth year of trillion dollar losing wars. Now Taiwan.

          Old people, the human wrecks running our country, like Biden, Pelosi, Feinstein, McConnell, don’t care if the world ends with them.

          This country needs to go on a general strike before we face nuclear annihilation. The easiest way to protest is to stop spending money on anything non-essential before the mid terms, to only spend in the little store down the block, to force the focus back inside the country.

          Reply
          1. notabanker

            Enough is enough. They’ve been trying to pick a fight with Russia since Clinton’s no fly zone proposal over Syria and she lost an election to Trump because of it. Now they are picking a fight with China for no reason other than they can.

            These baby boomers have to go from power, it is that simple. I am livid right now and need to calm down.

            Reply
            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Which of the gerontocrats in office are baby boomers? And which are silents? As in . . . pre boom not-boomers?

              Reply
                1. drumlin woodchuckles

                  I have read suggestions that ” 1946-1964″ is a long enough time span to bracket two different cultural cohort-generations. ” Old” boomers and “young” boomers, and others have suggested that “young” boomers should be re-named “generation Jones”.
                  https://marketbusinessnews.com/financial-glossary/generation-jones/

                  Perhaps one could name the two subsets of “boomers” after the TV shows emblematic of the two different periods . . . ie, the “Beaver Cleavers” and the “Brady Bunchers”.

                  Reply
                  1. nippersdad

                    .I think this is very true. As a general proposition, I really do not recognize most older Boomers as having much in common with myself.

                    My Grandparents bought a house in the neighborhood I grew up in in the fifties for fifteen thousand dollars. Twenty years later my parents bought a house a block away for thirty. Twenty years later, when my Grandmother and I went out looking for a house in the neighborhood, we could not find one for under a million.

                    I can totally relate to the millennials far moreso than to my own, Boomer adjacent, parents.

                    Reply
            2. digi_owl

              Because for them two more years in office is more important than the stability of the rest of the world.

              USA is disconnected from the world by two massive moats, except for a small border that is causing a stupid amount of anguish.

              Trump didn’t win because of some foreign policy, he won because the talked about jobs while the opposition talked about gender. For most of the population, a steady paycheck is far more important than anything.

              The only way foreign policy will become important in a US election will be if Pentagon declares a draft. And they will do their outmost to avoid doing so, after all the trouble they got over it during the Vietnam war.

              So instead you see steadily dropping recruitment requirements, and a steady rise in that other kind of PMC.

              Reply
              1. nippersdad

                The youth vote put Biden over the top, but he would not have been there to vote for had it not been for Boomers like Obama and Clyburn. Biden was practically out of the running before SC, and Sanders was their preferred choice. Sanders would have won the presidency had it not been for interference by the Democratic party, so the Boomer point sounds valid to this particular Boomer.

                Reply
          2. greg s

            Oh great – another “nothing like crushing the economy/communities/livelihoods of millions to send a message/make a point” disciple…

            Yep, lets just destroy lives, careers and communities just because the better of two choices in 2020 isn’t going far enough down your reform path to “force the focus back inside the country”.

            Serious question – do you know how little such actions would hurt the politicos and corporate leadership you claim need to be taught a lesson? Do you understand how much irreparable damage would be caused by just 3 months of not spending money on “anything non-essential”?

            Reply
            1. jonboinAR

              You’re underestimating the danger we’re in. Jobs won’t matter if they drop the big one. Our leaders are speaking more recklessly and much more stupidly about nuclear war than I can ever remember. It’s frankly terrifying. They talk as though they don’t understand that the nuclear option means nuclear annihilation which means the end of everything. Carla’s prescription would seem out of line if we had other options to get their attention, but we seem to have very few.

              Reply
              1. Carla

                Hi, Jon — The above comment is not from me, the Carla you know. Although I don’t disagree with much of the comment, another person is using “Carla” as a handle, and I do wish he or she would stop since I’ve been commenting here as Carla since at least 2010.

                Anyhow, I’m always glad to see you pop up in NC comments. Hope all is going well with you and yours down in Arkansas.

                Reply
                1. jonboinAR

                  We’re pretty fine here, Carla. How are you and yours? I hope you are staying healthy. Great to hear from you! I think I can distinguish you in the future from the interloping Carla by your eminently civil and graceful style, if I pay closer attention, that is. Cheers!

                  Reply
        2. Aumua

          Honestly I couldn’t care less what Hunter is getting into. But the point is taken. I suppose it’s as important as anything else these days.

          Reply
      3. darren price

        Stop pretending these people, their corporate parties, and the entire system is in any way sane.

        They are sane (i.e. calculating), but very devious and often painfully reckless and foolish. Don’t always take what they say at face value and assume because a statement sounds contradictory or inconsistent that it’s a “mistake” or unintended idiocy on their part. Sure, sometimes it is but don’t underestimate the mindfuggery factor. Heavy doses of psychological trickery are part and parcel of PR-driven politics in the era of clickbait media and Twitter soundbites.

        Reply
          1. hunkerdown

            It’s sane, in the sense of being internally consistent, iff one believes that a Great Chain of Being is more important than, or can exist without, humans being around to bear witness to it.

            Which is insane, but partial perspectives are sacred under liberalism, and just about any value system takes an insane turn after a dozen or so generations, so good luck telling any of them that.

            Reply
        1. digi_owl

          They think they can be whisked away to their flyover “cottage” by the secret service at any sign of real trouble, while the nukes will be clearing the coast lines of the unfaithful. and the almighty USN keeps the barbarians from stepping on holy soil.

          The only thing that will maybe get them pondering their own humanity would be a combined Russian and Chinese force landing in Mexico.

          Reply
        2. HotFlash

          It seems we are in Ahab territory:

          “All my means are sane, my motive and my object mad.”

          ― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, the Whale

          Reply
          1. fringe element

            Just what I was thinking. Almost sounds like being subject to murderous derangement has been a problem with our leaders longer than the histories we were taught in high school led us to believe.

            Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Biden is a wimp and a bully. He attacks bleeding hearts because he perceives them as weak, but Biden won’t stand up to anyone he perceives as strong. Pelosi isn’t a bleeding heart, so all he will do is go “c’mon man” and sigh. Besides Pelosi wants to distract from the insider trading.

      Reply
    3. JAC

      I take a break from the internet and reading news for five days and I come back to see the world is about to end.

      I get the image of Biden being the senile rich great grandparent about to die and all the children and grand children are running around causing mayhem trying to figure out how to take control of some fortune they are about to inherit.

      Biden is a puppet. He never had power, he was not even going to win the nomination. I try not to think in conspiracy theories but unless someone else can tell me what to think I am saying there is some weird christian death cult running America.

      Reply
    4. John Zelnicker

      chris – “I find it difficult to believe that Madame Speaker isn’t being supported in her recklessness by people inside the administration.”

      Exactly right. See this from Moon of Alabama:

      “There is also this thought, by Cynthia Chung, which might become relevant:

      In October 2019, Jake Sullivan, who became U.S. National Security Advisor in 2021, stated in an interview that the U.S. needed a clear threat to rally the world and play the role of saviour of mankind and that China could be that organizing principle for U.S. foreign policy. In the 2019 interview, he acknowledges that the problem was that people were not going to believe that China is a global threat, that their view of China is too positive and that the United States would need a “Pearl Harbour moment,” a real focusing event to change their minds, something he calmly stated that “would scare the hell out of the American people.”
      She correctly traces such ‘Pearl Harbour moment’ thinking back to neo-conservative movement. Chung closes with this:

      Thus, when Jake Sullivan observes that there is not enough anti-China sentiment to bolster an image of the United States as a “saviour of mankind” against China and that America is in need of a “Pearl Harbour moment” I would be very wary.

      The circus around Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan in the coming days, and evident glee that is coming forth from many of these neocons frothing at the mouth over this prospect is a clear sign that something incredibly reckless and stupid is about to happen.

      Pelosi’s airplane might indeed be shot down on her completely irrelevant and unnecessary trip to Taiwan, and if it is, don’t be surprised if it was the Americans themselves who are behind it, who have shown they are willing to do anything for that “Pearl Harbour moment.”

      One way to slow global warming is nuclear winter. One problem solved!

      Reply
      1. lambert strether

        Sullivan’s “Pearl Harbor” quote is in a podcast with no transcript and no time code at the link. Sadly, I didn’t have 45 minutes to verify it. I will note, however, that the PNAC crowd of neocons used the same logic when planning for the war that became the Iraq War under Bush the Younger.

        Reply
      2. HotFlash

        Now there’s a thought, Nancy taking one for the team. Perhaps she has been diagnosed with something terminal and wants a legacy? Cue Vera Lynn.

        Reply
      3. digi_owl

        Not a new notion. USA has long seemed like it needed foreign adventures in order to distract the public from whatever malaise the nation is suffering.

        And a similar idea has cropped up again and again from the cynical sort, thinking that we would need a extra-terrestrial threat to focus on if we ever wanted our planet to stop bickering and unite behind a world government.

        And one may well say the Romans had the same problem. As the second their emperors stopped expanding the borders, with more legions and adventures, it all started to disintegrate from infighting.

        Reply
    5. Katniss Everdeen

      Video summary of the issue by Douglas Macgregor on Tucker last night in just under 3 minutes:

      https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2022/08/01/macgregor_america_doesnt_have_anyone_that_qualifies_as_a_stateman_we_are_dealing_with_a_group_of_posers.html

      Paraphrasing:

      Every major invasion of China has been launched from Taiwan. During WW2 Taiwan was the “unsinkable aircraft carrier for the Japanese Imperial Army.” China will never allow Taiwan to become a garrison state of a foreign power.

      China must be fought from the sea. China can absorb anything we throw at them. They are perfectly happy to see our ships travel thousands of miles and then sink us. “A ship’s a fool to fight a fort.”

      For 15 years this administration and its predecessors treated everything Russia said about Ukraine with contempt. Russia was serious, and we see how well that’s turned out. China is every bit as serious with respect to Taiwan.

      “We are grossly overstretched,” Macgregor said. “We don’t have the logistical infrastructure…”

      My two cents: Luckily for the demented old hag, pelosi, the biden administration, and the american people, the Chinese are familiar with the words “patience” and “restraint,” and have no need for posturing and showboating.

      Reply
      1. digi_owl

        There is a limit to patience, and China may well be running out.

        And frankly i find the dismissal up in the article of China now having a 7NM chip fab a bit glib. Yes, it is some years and node sizes behind Taiwan. But it is more than enough for them to build coms, sensors and smart weapons on their own.

        It is yet another indicator that we need China more than they need us. Or are we forgetting how we scrambled to bootstrap medical kit production when China stopped exporting?

        Reply
    6. Tet Vet

      Here’s what I believe to be true:
      1. Pelosi is traveling on a military aircraft flown by military pilots.
      2. Military aircraft flown by military pilots only fly with military orders.
      3, Military orders are signed by military officials in the chain of command.
      4. The Commander in Chief of the Military is Joe Biden and, without the need to revoke her passport, Old Joe could simply issue an order and send it down the chain of command. One phone call and done!
      5. Notwithstanding the false claims that the administration has done what they can to stop her but can’t, the Chinese know all the above and see this is another pack off lies from the US. As such it is evidence that this is a provocation sanctioned the President (Commander in Chief).
      6.Since this is in reality a US Military sanctioned trip the Chinese believe that it is an unreasonable and unnecessary provocation not to mention an insult to their intelligence.
      7. If Pelosi were sincere in her desire to merely visit and meet with people in her civilian capacity, and flew on an airplane flown by any of the various airlines, nothing would made of it.
      8. Because the Chinese (and the Russians) are certain that the US administration is incapable of telling the truth and always and everywhere has ulterior motives, they will not just sit idly by as the incident unfolds. In short, they are acting just like we would with the tables turned.

      Reply
      1. Louis Fyne

        i have no problem if this person was made dictator like in the Roman Republic days.

        definitely would be better than 4 Horsemen: Biden, Pelosi, Blinken, McConnell

        Reply
  2. timbers

    Three Britons to stand trial as ‘mercenaries’ in Russia-backed court Independent

    Russia has Russian-backed courts? Is that even legal? Aren’t there any American-backed courts in Russia? The Russians sure are cleaver and devious, aren’t they, for creating Russian-backed courts? So un-American. They should have billionaire backed courts like we do. If they did, those mercs could probably get the courts to rule that the Russians lack standing or something like that. That would go down well with the locals, I’m sure. Because after all, instead of doing a messy Russian-back court thingy, they could just wait for the Ukrainians to finish their mercs off by bombing them like they did the Azov prisoners.

    Reply
      1. Polar Socialist

        It’s not the Russians, but Donetsk People’s Republic. DNR militia (who captured this dudes) is considered by Ukraine to be terrorist, so this is basically a tit for tat, since these merry gentlemen bothered personally travel into eastern Ukraine with the purpose to use violence to suppress and undermine the will of the Donetsk population.
        As far as I’ve understood, that’s the main charge, even if it’s called “mercenarism” and other stuff is cooked in. Maybe it just simple revenge, maybe they are trying to exhort some kind of diplomatic recognition or maybe they just want Ukraine to grant POW status to captured Donetsk Militia personnel. Who knows?

        Reply
        1. David

          Since the alleged crimes didn’t take place on Russian territory, they have no jurisdiction over them. However, I assume the DNR is claiming not only geographical but also temporal jurisdiction on the basis of the independence proclamation of 2014 (even though nobody much recognised them). This has the intriguing result that all Ukrainian prisoners are, in theory, potentially liable to be investigated if they served on the territories of the DNR and the LNR after 2014.
          Until we know more about the charges made against the “mercenaries”, it’s hard to be sure, but I’ve thought from the beginning that this is basically a political exercise.

          Reply
          1. HotFlash

            ISTR that when the Russians (real Russians, not DNR) captured Ukranians they took them off to Russia as bona fide POW’s, but left the mercenaries, which are not considered legal combatants, to the DNR for trial as war criminals. Someone observed at the time that Russia does not have a death penalty, but DNR does.

            Reply
          2. JTMcPhee

            How many US war crimes took place on US territory? Not that the US would ever procedure itself for its offenses against humanity and violation of treaties and “law of war.” And of course the US has made it very clear, by statute no less, that any effort to bring say the Bush League before the International Criminal Court would result in US forces attacking said tribunal. https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/15/us-threatens-international-criminal-court

            Great states have no need of law — their power is their fiat. Until they go all ozymandias.

            Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      That court would be under the jurisdiction of the Donetsk People’s Republic but Washington absolutely hates that name and refuses to recognize them which is why on the news you will only ever hear of ‘Russian-backed separatists’ in relation to the Donbass forces. I suppose if fighting ever broke out between Russia and NATO, that on the Russian news whenever you heard of fighting against British, French, Spanish, Polish, etc. troops, that they would refer to them as ‘American-backed forces.’ :)

      Reply
      1. Old Sovietologist

        Oleksandr Kravtsov, commander of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi group SS Bears and some others went on trial on the 22nd July charged with the massacre of over 100 people.

        By the way, the DRG Bears were very proud of the fact that they were not part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and had independence to carry out such actions.

        The Bears were not alone there are other units who have been effectively acting independently of the Ukrainian Army

        If the British & American mercenaries have got themselves involved with such groups then maybe we should see them as terrorists rather than POW’s

        Reply
    1. HotFlash

      Americans live in a country where some states have the death penalty and others do not. If state laws are broken, trials are held in state courts.

      Reply
  3. Larry

    Re: Pandemic purchase regret

    To get into the great outdoors, I bought two tandem kayaks. All the gears to put them on the car as well. Because supplies were extremely limited I grabbed what I could, which is an injection molded plastic model. Rides really nicely, but comes in at 85 pounds. It presents a bit of a challenge getting them on the car as I can’t lift them myself and even with my wife it’s a bit of a challenge. So they’re still sitting in the garage this season going unused. Probably have been used a total of 6 times. They certainly don’t go bad, but I can see a future where I sell them for a big discount or just give them away as I’m envision a glut of similar purchases out there.

    Reply
    1. Lexx

      On the other hand, Larry, if you have a few old bikes hanging about (when you bought ‘low’), the resale on bikes right now is fantastic. The school year is just around the corner. My bike sold last week for what I paid for it 8 years ago… and that might offset the cost of the kayaks.

      Considering what to do with the patio set next. The table and chairs are aluminum. Resell or recycle?

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Scrap metal prices are low compared to last year. Sell as is. When the rolling blackouts begin, those patio sets will get quite a workout as people shift some daytime activities outside to get the natural light and air.

        Reply
    2. Synoia

      Pulleys on garage ceiling, and some rope might assist you at home.

      And having a Pickup or trailer at the water.

      If you get a natural gas pickup, the cost of fuel is equivalent to Petrol at about $ per gallon.

      Reply
    3. BeliTsari

      I’d a few inquiries from affluent neighbors, skedaddled to my former Poconos haunts, as to Tavor X95 or other conceable bull-pup rifles. I’m curious, with CCW Reciprocity, for rich folks, looming: how many NYC COVID diaspora bought VERY expensive, brand new guns? God knows, there were LOTS of crappy Bushmasters @ gun shows (garage sales!)

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Rule #1 of the ‘survivalist’ gun nut ethos is: Shoot them in the back. “It’s the Law of the West ma’am!”
        And, ammo is still in short supply. The domestic ammo plants are running near capacity. How much is the military buying, and what for? Stocking up for the ‘Christmas Rush?’

        Reply
    4. lyman alpha blob

      When we looked into a tandem kayak several years ago, the guy at the store asked what we wanted one for and if we were looking to get divorced. We explained that the tandem was for one of us to use with our kid who was too small to paddle much at the time, and we got another single to go with it.

      Now that the kid is grown and doesn’t need to ride in the tandem, we can’t get rid of the thing. Good luck giving yours away – we tried and no takers. Now that I think about it for a minute though, maybe I could unload it on some of the rich New Yorkers invading our neck of the woods. They have way more money than good sense and seem willing to grossly overpay for everything else around here.

      Reply
  4. The Rev Kev

    “To Slow World Hunger, It Will Take More Than Ukrainian Grain Exports”

    Actually this is a pretty bad story this about the Ukraine being able to ship out grain. The past week or more I have been reading about food shortages in that country with empty supermarkets now to be seen. So I have been concerned for a while that the Ukraine will ship out ALL their grain, including the several million tons that they need to feed their own country, under pressure from the west. It would be pretty bad if the Ukraine is exporting the grain that they need to feed their own people. And it was the exact same thing that caused the Irish famine of the 1840s to be so catastrophic.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      Show of hands: Whose ancestors emigrated to the USA — and other countries — because of the Irish famine of the 1840s?

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Not just Ireland here. There was a Panic in 1837 that caused a world-wide Depression and which had all sorts of knock on effects in countries everywhere. That is why in England this time period was called by them the ‘hungry forties.’ So this depression made things worse for the Irish which may have lead the British to insist that those crops in Ireland be exported as they were needed. Point is, if you had ancestors come out from England in this time period, it too may have been cause by hunger.

        Reply
        1. petal

          Rev Kev, my 5th great grandparents left the Isle of Man with their very young children in 1837, and the Scottish ones left the Edinburgh area ~1850. They all ended up settling in Rochester, NY. I didn’t know about the panic in 1837, this is great background information, thank you.

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            Thanks, petal. I should have left a link. I only found out about it through family history studies. The economy of the local Colonies went down the toilet in this Depression and a lot of people were bankrupted. New South Wales was so broke that they had to halt all assisted emmigration for about four year but some of my ancestors managed to slip in before the door was shut. :)

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_of_1837

            Reply
        2. Mark Gisleson

          I have no clue if that famine extended to Norway, but I do know my dad’s side of the family showed up in the US about 1840 and had an anchor baby a year later. That baby eventually had a baby who had a baby who was me (Norwegians are not fast reproducers which makes sense if you’re short on food).

          Reply
          1. Eclair

            Mark, there was famine in Sweden in the 1860’s, plus the potato blight, I believe, which exacerbated the situation. Plus a huge population surge, due to better hygiene, inoculations, etc., reduced the amount of already scarce farmland per family. (One historian I heard lecture opined that Swedes started wearing underpants and that reduced mortality. Think about it. Probably the same in Norway!) The husband of my spouse’s great-grand aunt, an agricultural worker whose housing went with the job, lost his job and jumped in front of a train, one February night, leaving his widow and three toddlers, basically homeless.

            One set of my great-grandparents emigrated from Ireland to the booming mill city of Lawrence, Massachusetts during the Civil War. My grandmother’s favorite admonition to me for leaving food on my plate: If you were there the day the dog fell in the ditch from The Hunger, you would eat that.

            Reply
          2. Milton

            family showed up in the US about 1840 and had an anchor baby a year later (1841). That baby eventually had a baby (about 1880?) who had a baby (1920?) who was me
            I think you omitted a few babies or you’re the most with it 90+ on the planet. ;)

            Reply
            1. Anonymous 2

              Unless it s like my family – baby !840 had a baby !890 who had a baby 1950?

              Males, if you are in any doubt.

              Reply
        3. Harold

          My Irish Catholic great grandfather (b. Derry) arrived at Ellis Island on March 10, 1837, with his parents and three siblings. I had thought it was before the famine. Didn’t know about the world-wide Depression, though not surprised.

          His father, Patrick (my gg-grandfather), listed on immigration records as a “sawyer” (carpenter), in fact worked as metalworker, for he died of metal poisoning within a few years after arrival. Sons both worked as metalworkers in New Jersey.

          Though my g-grandfather served as a drummer boy in Mexican War at age 12 and later stationed at Ft. Smith, Arkansas. His later adventures included sailing on a whaling ship to Bombay, India, and working on railroad building (metalwork?) in Peru. I always think that “he was an Hibernian, a man of infinite resource and sagacity.”

          Reply
            1. Harold

              Thank you! The boys were sent to military school on Governor‘s Island to learn music after their father died, c. 1842. otherwise they might have ended up in an orphanage, probably. They had been living in in State Street in Brooklyn near the big Catholic Church there. Whole family loved music.

              Reply
      2. Art_DogCT

        According to family legend my mother’s family left Ireland during one of the latter famines, I believe in the 1870’s. I don’t know if anyone has tried to document the story in historical records.

        Reply
      3. Jessica

        Mine came from County Sligo, but in 1920.
        I have read that Lord Sligo was one of the few decent landowners and distributed food and that may be why my folks made it through the famine.

        Reply
        1. Michael Ismoe

          My grandfather had no intention of leaving Ireland – he was an IRA gun-runner during the Revolution — but he was Michael Collins’ aide. He was on the next boat with my grandmother the day after Collins “died”.

          Reply
        2. PlutoniumKun

          Lord Sligo had no direct connection with County Sligo – he is still considered something of a hero in Jamaica, where he championed the freedom of the slaves – there is even a town there called Sligoville. He was less popular in Greece. I don’t think the title was connected with a landholding – the current Marquis of Sligo is an estate agent in Australia, which I find curiously ironic.

          The biggest landlords in Sligo were the Gore-Booths (famously of Lissadell, and its Yeats connections) and the Palmerstons. They were both loathed and considered to be generally very bad landlords, although I think the later Gore-Booths somewhat recovered their reputation by being converts to Irish independence. There were other smaller landlords around the county, at least one of whom was later assassinated when walking through a crowd of his tenants. Most of the traditional landlords were in dire financial trouble by the later 19th century and sold much of their land to English investors. Many of these were then seized by the Irish government in the early 1930’s – my grandfather got the chunk of one of those (taken from a Jewish absentee landlord) – the farmhouse is still owned by my uncle.

          In Sligo, the poor catholics were generally confined to the uplands – most lands along the coast were protestant owned, and more commercially viable. The clachan villages where the poor lived were often clustered in very inhospitable and exposed mountainsides – one is visible on north side of the very beautiful Knocknarae mountain and I’ve found a few long abandoned villages when clambering among the forest plantations on the Ox Mountains.

          Reply
      4. eg

        Mine out of Kerry, but a decade or more before the famine — I’ve often wondered how grim it must have been there on the ground even then to have chosen to endure such a voyage.

        Reply
        1. Conor O'Brien

          It was grim in Irelands famine.
          Up in the mountains (Galtees) here you will come across potato beds from that period. They are visible because the beds were not ‘thrown out’ to be picked. Because the crop was rotten. That was the food for the coming year.
          Their life was subsistence, but it was independent. They now knew that they and their children were going to die.
          This is what millions of people will be facing as the climate destroys their food.
          Pray that this will pass you by.

          Reply
      5. Stephen

        My fathers side of the family did. Irish Catholics who moved from Limerick to Plaistow in London in the late 1840s. Weirdly we have an Anglo Saxon last name so no Irish person ever believes me but the Australian side of the family researched it very diligently through the census returns / parish records and my grandfather was Catholic for sure and the man who came was called “Patrick Joseph” and his wife was “Mary”…..

        Reply
      6. nippersdad

        And then there were the Highland Clearances, starting about a hundred years earlier.

        On of my favorite ideas coming out of this commentariat was that the propensity for Scots/Irish in the Appalachians being virtually ungovernable was correlative to their genetic predisposition to shoot each other and steal each others’ cattle. It is funny because it is probably true. Hunger has a long history in Great Britain.

        Reply
      7. HotFlash

        Me! The Irish 3/4 all came from the potato famine, homesteaded in MI in an are still known as the Irish Hills. Family claims they settled there b/c the rich, rolling land reminded them of home, except there were TREES! “Bridie, we’ll never be cold again!”

        The German 1/4 came as Prussian mercenaries to help that nice terrorist, G. Washington. Payment was in land in PA.

        Reply
      8. ambrit

        One of my Dad’s great grands emigrated from Ireland to England around 1848-49. Changed the name to something Teutonic and claimed to be a refugee of the failed Revolutions of 1848. It worked. The other brothers emigrated to Boston and ended up in Detroit. They kept the original family name. Years ago, after we moved to America, Dad tried to contact that branch of the family. They refused to speak to us because great granddad was a “traitor to his people.” That’s when I got a bit of understanding into how bloody awful family feuds can be.
        Unfortunately, “The Stupid” burns both guilty and innocent alike.

        Reply
    2. Paul Jurczak

      Ukrainian grain exports have been finding their way to the markets through Poland for months now. Instead of transiting the country, though, they are being stored and sold in Poland, destroying local farmers with rock bottom prices and exemption from EU agricultural standards. So much for Ukraine as a savior of starving Africa.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Seriously? That is pretty bad that. I wonder if Poland is not the only country where those wheat stores are being used to undermine local farmers. Destroying the livelihood of people that actually feed your nation is incredibly short-sighted, especially in light of the looming food shortages in the EU. I can only think that it is is deliberate policy so that big corporations can come in and buy those farms on the cheap and consolidate them into the new latifundias. Or maybe some local bankers just want that land to financially exploit.

        Reply
        1. Judith

          Interesting word. From Wikipedia:

          “A latifundium (Latin: latus, “spacious” and fundus, “farm, estate”)[1] is a very extensive parcel of privately owned land. The latifundia of Roman history were great landed estates specializing in agriculture destined for export: grain, olive oil, or wine. They were characteristic of Magna Graecia and Sicily, Egypt, Northwest Africa and Hispania Baetica. The latifundia were the closest approximation to industrialized agriculture in Antiquity, and their economics depended upon slavery.

          During the modern colonial period, the European monarchies often rewarded services with extensive land grants in their empires. The forced recruitment of local labourers allowed by colonial law made these land grants particularly lucrative for their owners. These grants, fazendas (in Portuguese) or haciendas (in Spanish), were also borrowed as loanwords, Portuguese latifúndios and Spanish latifundios or simply fundos.

          Agrarian reforms aimed at ending the dominance of the latifundia system are still a popular goal of several national governments around the world. “

          Reply
          1. JBird4049

            Those latifundia were a cause of the collapse of both the Roman Republic and the Western Roman Empire. The independent small farmers that were essential to the legions lost their farms because of not being able to pay their taxes or by the illegal seizure of land by the Roman elites. Having some form of wealth including supplying your own equipment and not being a poor laborer was required to become a legionary. No small farms, no independent farmers, no legions.

            Marius’ reforms made the legions loyal to a Roman commander and not to the Republic as it was the commander who paid and equipment them. Add the unrest due to the corruption and refusal of the Senate to do the reforms needed causing those repeated wars that destroyed the Republic.

            With the barbarian invasions of the fifth century, the locals often had no reason to remain loyal to the empire as they were often poor laborers working for the local latifunda. Unlike earlier they did not really help the local government when the warlord came through. Why would they? Sometimes joining the invaders was an improvement.

            In both examples, the corruption and concentration of wealth led to the fall of the then political order.

            Reply
            1. John

              The latifundia were integral to the foundations of feudalism after the Roman Empire collapsed. They were a place of safety, food and protection for the eventual price of becoming a serf.
              Why do you think buying farmland is the latest oligarch fad? Bill Gates, here’s looking at you. Synchs nicely with the basic neofeudal impulses of neoliberalism. What’s old is new again!

              Reply
              1. amechania

                These independent lesser gentry could field small units, but often failed to meet draft requirements, and didnt send their best when pressured.

                Reply
                1. JBird4049

                  Draft requirements is the key. Earlier men volunteered for the legions and Romans had a personal loyalty to the Roman Empire for centuries. But when the Visigoths and the others after that loyalty was mostly gone. Not disappeared as much as very faded. IIRC, the barbarians tried to keep the Western Empire going and more people wanted it to continue, but what remained of the loyalty or patriotism, institutional and technical knowledge needed was not enough.

                  And yes, the elites and the central institutions had become a drain that provided not enough. The wealthy took all the money and other resources for themselves and starved the rest of the society of the resources that they needed. To be fair, the Crisis of the Third Century destroyed much of the empire’s economy especially its internal trade routes and local specialized manufacturing. Before the Third Century, Roman Gaul and Britain got their jars or vases from factories in Egypt. Then the crisis forced them to make their own more expensive, lower quality one locally. Archeologists use the quality of the items found in a dig to get an idea of the when of a dig. The later the empire, the worst was the quality of everything.

                  However, greed and corruption pushed it along. The Barracks Emperors with their personal armies fighting for the emperorship could be considered greed. The civilization went from the advanced knowledge of the Antikythera Mechanism (and all the many associated businesses and knowledge needed to make it) which was created around 2,200 years ago, during the Roman Republic to making increasingly poor quality weapons and being unable to repair the aqueducts that the Visigoths damage to cut off the city of Rome’s water supply in IIRC 410 CE. That’s roughly six centuries of decay.

                  This did not happen overnight, and the Eastern Roman Empire did not fall for another thousand years, but it happened. This is what worries me about our civilization and our country. Like with the Romans, much of the knowledge was still available, but the resources needed to use them is going away. Their were still well educated people with access to the then extant and vast libraries, but without the money, tools, and resources like metal or cement to use the knowledge what good did it do? We, ourselves, still have the knowledge, some of people who actually worked in the industries before it was sent to China, Korea, and Japan over the past five decades, and we have some of the tools and machines still floating around.

                  Are we going to be like the Romans (and the Spanish Empire, the Dutch Republic, British Empire, and others) who financialized their economy, wrecked their economies for short term economic high, and then collapse? People say that the United States has fallen too far behind technologically or that the vampire squids draining us dead cannot be removed. Maybe, but the American Plan was implemented almost two centuries ago when the country was an economic backwater excepting the food, wood and other resources that we exported, much like the Banana Republics; the corruption and inequality of today is roughly the same as before the Progressive Movement. Say what you will about some of flaws of it and the Progressive Party, they still saved the nation’s posterior with the New Deal using it as the base for the next reforms.

                  Reply
        2. Paul Jurczak

          Sorry for late response. Yes, seriously: https://www.dw.com/en/grains-of-truth-polish-farmers-irate-over-ukrainian-imports/a-62629948. The west doesn’t really cover this issue, but it creates a lot of tension in provincial Poland. Unfortunately, Poland is heavily propagandized and very emotionally pro Ukraine. It will end with a serious damage to my old country.

          BTW, is there a way to get a notification when someone posts a response to my comment?

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            ‘BTW, is there a way to get a notification when someone posts a response to my comment?’

            Not really. Easiest way is to later use the search function on your browser for your name and see if there are any replies to your comment.

            Reply
  5. ChrisRUEcon

    #IceCreamNancy

    Lambert > I say it will happen because this is the stupidest timeline.

    Of course it will.

    This line is mind bending: “President Joe Biden dispatched senior officials, including national security adviser Jake Sullivan, to lay out the risks to Pelosi … “

    … which leads me to wonder: is Pelosi now our fourth President? (via NC)

    Reply
    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      ChrisRUEcon

      I’m not as fancy with the hashtags as you. I’ll just mention that we are in the Marie Antoinette phase of the collapse of the ancien régime. hashtag: What angry populace?

      And these sentences also boggle one’s mind: “For Pelosi, that’s what’s going on, and that’s all that’s going on. Biden surely knows this, and so he’s either complicit or weak.” [Lambert Strether’s insight.]

      Weak: Let me see if I get this. Joe Biden, nominal head of the Democratic Party, can’t control Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, or Nancy “Let them eat brioches” Pelosi? That’s the “weak” analysis. It’s the usual business about not being able to manage Democrats, who are too individualistic, especially when it comes to grandstanding, grift, and getting reelected. As if anyone believes that anymore.

      Complicit: War is the health of the state, according to Randolph Bourne. Wars give governments more powers. We’re seeing the events of Kosovo (convenient), the drone attacks of Afghanistan, and the proxy war in Ukraine. The Democrats have decided to show everyone exactly who they are, the Nice War Criminals, as opposed to the Republicans, who are the War Criminals of the Book of Revelations. At least Pelosi isn’t taking feminist heroes and war criminals Hillary Clinton and Victoria Nuland with her–or would that be too obvious? The current wars have no purpose other than to let the U.S. government accrue powers–because these wars lack strategies and will devolve into swamps of despair with no “victory” in sight. And that’s the point.

      Reply
      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Wait, there’s still a question in anybody’s mind whether joe biden is “weak?”

        The guy can’t read a simple sentence off the teleprompter, and his dementia is advancing before our very eyes. Evidence of his low-life family’s joey-enabled grift are inexhaustible.

        “We’d” have dodged a speeding bullet if “weak” was all he was, but, alas, no joy.

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          It’s not just Biden. Where are the other Dem voices condemning Pelosi’s antics? And those antics arguably include the multiple impeachments and 1/6 hearings not to mention–as all readers of this blog know–the 2008 bailout of the banks that even many of the Republicans opposed. The Dems are the Good Germans who pretend obliviousness to how corrupt their leadership really is. There’s really no excuse for someone like Pelosi to have any power at all except that rich donors paid lots of money to make it happen.

          Reply
          1. Katniss Everdeen

            madame arrived in Taiwan in a pink suit and white high heels. My husband commented that “she’s startin’ to walk like biden.” Apparently her descent down the stairs of her military transport plane was painful to watch.

            Karma is a bitch. Maybe a broken hip will do what covid couldn’t and bernie and the squad wouldn’t.

            Reply
        1. Ignacio

          Particularly this (with the core in bold) got me:

          “The current wars have no purpose other than to let the U.S. government accrue powers–because these wars lack strategies and will devolve into swamps of despair with no “victory” in sight”

          Because power, because i can…

          Reply
      2. ChrisRUEcon

        DJG, Reality Czar,

        Good day sir! :)

        > hashtag: What angry populace?

        Or to use another Lambert construct: clueless in Versailles.

        RE: Weakness
        You’re raising the right question: who’s in charge here?
        The answer seems to be: anyone confident enough that their seat is safe enough to withstand acts of betrayal or intransigence (or even the optics, thereof). Lambert is circumspect in drawing attention to Pelosi’s district. She’s not going anywhere, and no one is going to bring her to heel, as it were. There’s also an odd sense of urgency in her actions – almost as if she’s got to “git ‘r done” before she gets ousted in the impending midterms bloodbath.

        RE: Complicity
        In deference to R. Bourne, I still prefer M. Hudson’s. War is part of oligarchy. We have wars because they are profitable, and the oligarchy responsible for the weapons needs wars to maintain the growth of their business. Both sides of the aisle promote and benefit – see “we don’t have any more money for COVID, but here’s almost a trillion for the defense budget”.

        > The current wars have no purpose other than to let the U.S. government accrue powers–because these wars lack strategies and will devolve into swamps of despair with no “victory” in sight

        This may have still been true immediately post-911, but it is not so true now. The US is actually losing power internationally, which I take to mean the ability to enforce obedience and spread influence through a combination of military and economic measures. Domestically, as you showed above, it’s a mess – the lunatics are running the asylum.

        Reply
    2. ChrisRUEcon

      Getting serious here …

      FlightRadar24, a website for tracking flights, is now crashing due to the number of users trying to track SPAR19, which is supposedly Pelosi’s flight. See also:

      #CHINA CLOSES AIRSPACE ABOVE #TAIWAN STRAIGHT TO ALL CIVILIAN AIRCRAFT – RTRS (via Twitter)

      … which is odd, given that the last screenshot a friend posted from FlightRaar24 showed the flight approaching from the south, as in it did not approach via the Taiwan Strait.

      [UPDATE!]

      Now descending over Taiwan (via Twitter)

      Reply
    3. digi_owl

      Frankly it is high time both USA and the world get over this fetishization of the office of president.

      Outside of maybe the post-Vietnam legislation that allows said office to send US forces to places without congressional approval, the real power resides with congress.

      Just look at the number of international agreements that some president or other has signed, but that has never become formal US law because congress has effectively stuffed the piece of paper into some drawer.

      Reply
  6. Louis Fyne

    you can’t get more ‘this is not a joke’ than this.

    tweet from Politboro-connected Hu Xijin:

    Based on what I know, in response to Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan, Beijing has formulated a series of countermeasures, including military actions.

    https://twitter.com/HuXijin_GT/status/1554335449539174400

    doesn’t hurt to restock supply of multivitamins and prescription drugs—two things in your house that may be harder to come by if exports from PRC sanctioned

    Reply
    1. JAC

      My guess is that China will first cut Taiwan off from the world economy. I think this is why Apple sold all those bonds to get ready to juice up their stock.

      Reply
      1. Old Sovietologist

        I think we’re likely to see a massive cyber attack Taiwan Govt websites if its not already happening

        I had hoped that calmer heads (led by the Pentagon) would prevail and Pelosi wouldn’t land in Taiwan. Now we can only wait to see how this develops over the coming days. These are really dangerous times for the world.

        Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          It would be interesting to see Chinese firms required “to forbid fire and water” to the neocon cabal. Sanctions on John “Egg Man” Bolton are one thing, but imagine their home theater systems, their laptops, their phones, every IoT toy including their physical access control systems, all bricked.

          Reply
            1. ambrit

              Hmmm… Madame Pelosi getting off of the airplane followed by her liveried Flying Monkeys. Maybe the idea is to get the high ups in the CCP to die laughing.

              Reply
    1. lambert strether

      I saw these videos. Absent a means of transporting the vehicles across the straits, I cn only think they are soley for domestic consumption.

      Reply
      1. PlutoniumKun

        There are a lot of Type 05 vehicles in those photos – those are amphibious IFVs with artillery subtypes. There also appear to be Type 08 amphibious vehicles too, they are less capable in water, but may also be able to make the crossing without ship support.

        They are not capable of crossing the Strait, but they are probably capable of crossing the 10km wide Xiamen waterway to Kinmen County, which is part of Taiwan.

        It would make sense that China will want to take an action that acts as a ratchet – i.e. something irreversible. Taking Yanyu or Kinmen would certainly have that effect.

        Reply
      2. Polar Socialist

        Last year Lonnie Henley testified to U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission that China most likely reached sea-lift capability to invade Taiwan in 2020 – as it seemed to be a set goal.
        Also, China has for years required that ro-ro ferries are build for dual purpose, and there are currently over 60 ferries in Chinese companies that can be mobilized for military transport when needed. PLA has trained the use of civilian ferries at least since 2016, and they even have build containers to offer some amenities (toilets, showers) for troops during the transport. Just half the ferries can easily sea-lift 2-3 divisions over the strait every 16 hours or so.

        Reply
  7. The Rev Kev

    “Ayman al-Zawahiri: US kills top al-Qaeda leader in drone strike in Afghanistan”

    Does anybody care anymore? Twenty years ago this would have been good news but that was then and this is now. I mean, al-Qaeda isn’t even a side-show anymore. Look at Osama bin Laden. By the time that they punched his ticket over ten years ago, the guy was just a figurehead to his organization and you could say that he was in more or less retirement. The Biden regime may have been hoping for a win and a distraction from Taiwan with giving al-Zawahiri the chop but I predict his announced death will be just a speed-bump in the news cycle to be replaced by yet more news of Nancy looking to do some duty-free shopping at Taiwan’s airport.

    Reply
    1. Stephen

      I agree. Although I also question the wisdom of simply killing people that are deemed as criminals without benefit of law.

      To do this, and then to question whether Donetsk courts have the jurisdiction to try British mercenaries / volunteers / freedom fighters as the west does then seems a touch hypocritical. Afghan sovereignty clearly does not matter either.

      Sauce for the goose can always become sauce for the gander. The recent sanctioning by the UK of Graham Phillips (a British Subject) has led me to recall the classic quote by the Sir Thomas More character in A Man For All Seasons: “Yes. I’d give the Devil the benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake”.

      Reply
    2. The Historian

      Are we sure this time? I seem to remember that the US has taken credit for killing al-Zawahiri in the past, although I can’t find a link.

      But anyway, Biden gets his ‘Obama moment’ which is all he really wanted.

      Reply
      1. Katniss Everdeen

        With covid’s panic potential waning and monkeypox’s failure to take up the gauntlet, I suppose a return to the al-qaeda well was inevitable. Any port in a storm.

        At least we were spared the sleeping-with-the-fishes spectacle of burial at sea, as sacred to the desert-dwelling mafia as it is to their brothers in Sicily and new jersey.

        Of course, with no corpse, no human collateral damage and no damage to the structure, the possibility of mistaken identity or a body double or pure steele-dossier-level fabrication remains, and the evil lord al-Zawahiri may yet live to die another day.

        I might even put a few increasingly worthless federal reserve notes on it.

        Reply
      2. Michael Ismoe

        Gee, that’s impressive timing three months before the mid-terms. Why do I have the feeling, that if this year ended in an odd number, the dude would still be issuing fatwahs at random? Show Business 101.

        Reply
      3. lyman alpha blob

        I was thinking the same thing – how many times has the US killed this particular “terrorist” now?

        And is he one of the bad Al Qaedas like bin Laden, or is he one of the good Al Qaedas who helps the US fight the Russkies. Like bin Laden.

        Reply
    3. fresno dan

      RK
      The Reuters article says that al-Zawahiri was living right outside of the “green zone” in Kabul. Is that odd, genius, or irrelevant? I wonder how long Zawahiri lived there, which also makes me wonder about how allied our allies are…

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        I wonder if they knew about where he was for a long time. And they were waiting for a political opportune moment to take him down – such as now.

        Reply
        1. doug

          I think you are correct. He was held in abeyance, for when JB needed a bump in the polls, or when a suitable distraction from some something else was needed.
          The timing is just too damn perfect.

          Reply
  8. LY

    Speaking of Pelosi and business (Silicon Valley), wonder if she is going to meet with Terry Guo (Foxconn, ran for President, but came in second in the KMT primary) and Morris Chang (TSMC).

    Might offer a way of calming things down, especially if she meets the current government strictly behind closed doors.

    Reply
    1. SocalJimObjects

      Rather than calming things down, I bet you Pelosi will use the meeting to shake down those two for inside information.
      1. Terry, how’s the pipeline looking like for Apple, etc?
      2. Morris, how’s the pipeline looking like for AMD, Nvidia, etc?

      Pelosi cares about Pelosi Capital, first, second, and third. Taiwan might be on her list somewhere like say no 1 million.

      Reply
      1. John Wright

        I remember some years ago (2015) when the Golden Gate Bridge was closed to install (and train workers for) a movable center barrier.

        It was a great time to walk across the bridge as only a few vehicles were allowed to cross.

        I spoke with one worker and he said that only emergency vehicles, public transit vehicles, bridge worker vehicles AND Nancy Pelosi’s limousine were allowed to cross the GG Bridge that day.

        One can surmise Nancy did not want to take the long way to Marin/Sonoma County via the Bay Bridge/Richmond Bridge..

        Nancy is special….

        Reply
        1. digi_owl

          She sure am. Some quick reading on how she came to power, and it reads like something out of the Roman empire. She was basically appointed as the chosen successor of the wife of the former house rep of SF. More and more USA looks like a aristocracy in all but titles.

          Reply
  9. paul

    RE: Liz Truss says she will ignore ‘attention-seeking’ Nicola Sturgeon.

    While ‘attention seeking’ is rather rich coming from someone with a full time portrait photographer, she should given the first minister her due as she has been ignoring referendum calls (none from inside the SNP) since the great british brexit vote.

    Reply
  10. Tom Stone

    An odd thing happened yesterday, I went on line to do a little research on a Chaffee-Reece trials rifle (1882 trials) a friend recently inherited and among other sources went to an article at “American Rifleman” magazine.
    A warning notice popped stating that due to recent changes in California Law persons under the age of 18 residing in California can no longer access their site.
    It is now illegal to discuss some aspects of firearms with persons who are not 18 years old.
    I feel so much safer knowing that California is doing everything it can to protect its youth from bad thoughts.

    Reply
    1. Charger01

      Interesting. From Wikipedia: Under the United States Gun Control Act of 1968, any cartridge firearm made in or before 1898 (“pre-1899”) is classified as an “antique”, and is generally outside of Federal jurisdiction, as administered and enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

      An antique requires no background check or age restrictions. California would like to disagree. For the children.

      Reply
  11. Larry Goldsmith

    A whole article in Scientific American on the history of the zero that never once mentions the Maya, who used it long before anyone else.

    Reply
  12. LawnDart

    China ADRs puking, as expected. If Paul makes one penny off of this…

    US Politicians have often acted against USA interests and have been allowed to personally profit from these actions, but these actions by Pelosi take things to a whole different level– how is this not treason?

    USA: where stupidity, selfishness, cowardice, lies and bullshit reign supreme. US pols through their actions have killed and caused harm to come to millions in USA alone– they are not ever held to account. “Democracy,” my ass.

    Reply
  13. The Rev Kev

    “Beware of war predictions: Ukraine’s outcome is not yet written”

    Sounds like a call to rally the troops though it is more akin to whistling past a graveyard. The author – James M. Dubik, a retired lieutenant general of the U.S. Army – talks about ‘preventing the kind of world in which force plays an increasing role’ but as he has served in places like Bosnia, Haiti, Afghanistan & Iraq that he would know all about that. But there are other propaganda pushers out there and some are quite remarkable. Like a certain Ryan McBeth.

    The YouTube algorithm constantly pushes his videos and I mean constantly and some of his videos views number in the millions which I find unlikely. He seems to live in Virginia, is ex-Army and the Ukrainians like him so much that their Air Force sent him an official jacket. As Gonzalo Lira would say, this guy “glows”-

    https://www.youtube.com/c/RyanMcBethProgramming/videos

    Reply
    1. Mr. Magoo

      Ryan ‘glows’ maybe because if he draws a conclusion, it is supported by evidence. Might not be all the evidence, some might be weighted one way or another, but overall he doesn’t seem to start from a conclusion.

      Not sure the basis of calling into question his viewership. The YouTube algorithm is driven primarily by profit motives, and if it is constantly being pushed on you, it must be because it was ‘pushed on others’ and they actually watched the whole video and engaged with it via comments or likes (maybe even dislikes).

      Reply
      1. Michael Ismoe

        No, not really. His video about the bombing of the Ukrainian POW camp concluded that “it had to be the Russians bombing the camp because Americans would never agree to something like that” made me want to laugh and throw up at the same time. He’s a useless hack. I have no idea if he actually works at Langley but he lives close by.

        Reply
      2. The Rev Kev

        I have listened to a few of his videos and I know that he is lying his face off with some of his “facts”. You listen to what he says and it is like listening to the Ukrainian Ministry of Information. The big Ukrainian flag that he usually has displayed on a monitor above his head tells the story. You go on YouTube and there are a few parody videos of this guy because he is so bad. Try this sample video of his videos-

        https://www.youtube.com/shorts/liJoFWZ4MEU

        As for YouTube numbers, I have personally seen them deliberately distorted and changed so have no trust in them. Jimmy Dore reports that YouTube unsubscribes his listeners and subscribes them to CNN or MSNBC which pushes their numbers up.

        Reply
        1. Mr. Magoo

          Accepting a t-shirt is representative example of Ryan’s videos? Not.

          WRT the analysis of the deaths at the POW camp, I would be interested to see alternate explanations. Absent that, there sure doesn’t seem to be anything that supports a missile
          attack but that an incendiary device was used. You can draw your own conclusions.

          The China Uncensored channel reports that subscribers are ‘unsubscribed’ (never personally happed to me), but that might occur. Any subscription increases to CNN or MSNBC would be suspicious.

          Reply
          1. Lex

            The single hole in the roof of one barracks and the bodies burned in their bunks isn’t enough for you but the bulk of the building standing and the one next to it standing? If the Russians did it, why wouldn’t they have just bombed Avostal into a fine red mist? More importantly, why would they take the wounded POWs to the hospital?

            And this is the second time Ukraine has shelled the camp. The Russians have much better ways to disappear those POWs if they want them gone.

            Reply
          2. nippersdad

            Drawing my own conclusion:

            Had a thermobaric bomb been used the entirety of that camp would be gone. Those things are used to take down office buildings, not punch holes in roofs.

            Reply
      3. hunkerdown

        Bourgeois mythology is not evidence.

        Not sure the basis of proposing neoliberal market cosmology as a legitimate explanation on a heterodox finance site, because we understand that algorithms are revised frequently for commercial and strategic purposes, and that the world in which money buys labor (or anything else) is constructed from moment to moment by distributed, deliberate action according to an ideology; your imaginary friends do not really exist.

        It’s not the first time this week I have seen someone trying to reify capitalist values on a non-aligned comment section.

        Reply
  14. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The power of friendships between poor kids and rich kids Axios

    Consummate bullshit alert!

    The big picture: The study authors did a first-of-its-kind analysis of 72 million Facebook friendships between U.S. adults.

    What they found: If poor children grew up in neighborhoods in which 70% of their friends were rich, their future incomes would be 20% higher than their counterparts who grew up without these bonds across class lines.

    This was a stronger indicator of future income than factors like family structure and school quality, as well as the racial makeup and job availability in the child’s community.

    Facebook “friends”??? jeezus h. christ, half of them aren’t even real people.

    70% of their friends were “rich”??? As if “rich” people see “poor” people as anything more than rescue pets or opportunities to dress up for a formal charity bash.

    Back in the day, quality community public schools mixed the “classes” without contrivance, which is why those cesspools of early egalitarianism needed to be destroyed. Judging from the stories of poverty, tenements and single, working mothers told by many of today’s “bootstrapped” titans, the system was pretty effective in selecting and lifting up the “worthy,” and “we’ve” met our quota of “worthy.”

    Equating that lived experience to facebook “friendships” is, like I said consummate, “metaverse”-level bullshit.

    Reply
    1. fresno dan

      KE
      C’mon – Facebook friends are just as real, caring, and authentic as all my internet girlfriends, who always tell me how much they love me…and I don’t have to send them much money at all for more screentime…

      Reply
      1. Michael Ismoe

        The only real friend I have on the internet is a Nigerian prince who is temporarily down on his luck but is the heir to a giant oil drilling fortune. Oh, I also know this guy up in Vermont who wants $27 every time he contacts me. The Nigerian prince says the guy in Vermont is scamming me.

        Reply
        1. Randall Flagg

          No I’m not scamming you Michael Ismoe.
          Really! I’m banking that $27. for the increased cost of heating oil this winter. The Nigerian prince is the scammer. LOL.
          I could use another check by the way…
          Hot day, need cold beer.

          Reply
      2. ambrit

        I hope the new Mz Fresno Dan is cool with the online action.
        Do you really have matching pink and blue bunny slippers? Does hers also have the radio?

        Reply
        1. fresno dan

          ambrit
          shhhh!!! Mz Fresno, being Mexican, I could lose my cajones if she were to find out about my extracurricular internet lovers…
          and if the FBI is listening, she has no idea that I am the third part of the Trump Putin triad.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            No preocupe Fresno. Como eses novias suyos son del internet, eses c—–s son c—–s virtuales.
            Esta casada! Exelente! Felicidades eternales!

            Reply
    2. Mikel

      This bumbled mumbo jumbo of a study isn’t going to be any better with this clarification, but:

      It sounds like they went through 72 million Facebook pages and got into people’s business deep enough to figure out:
      1) how much money they had (in the past and currently)
      2) which of them grew up in the same neighborhoods and were still in contact with each other
      3) no telling what else for future “studies”

      That’s frightening enough to stay off of Facebook.

      Reply
    3. jr

      $hit-libbery taken to level 10. I nearly choked on this bit:

      “But we can all make a greater effort to diversify our friend circles.”

      Right, because friendships are about social mobility. Transactional at heart. And the author simultaneously makes it a question of personal responsibility. What are you doing to befriend your local aristocrats?

      I’ve known some millionaires personally and I’ve been on the outer fringes of some rich kids party circles. They weren’t all bad individuals but it *always* comes back to the money and the power. The poors want it; the rich are suspicious if not presumptuous and entitled.

      Reply
    4. wilroncanada

      Katniss
      To add: How many poor kids are living in neighbourhoods where 70% of their neighbours are rich? Boy! That statement is rich! A tenement among the mansions.

      Reply
  15. antidlc

    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/how-nasal-vaccines-could-transform-the-pandemic-with/id1504128553?i=1000574613813

    How Nasal Vaccines Could Transform the Pandemic (with Eric Topol) In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt

    COVID-19 vaccines are no longer blocking infections like they used to. Nasal vaccines could help patch up the holes where the new variants like BA.5 are getting in. Andy talks to physician and scientist Eric Topol about the promising trials underway, when we could see a nasal vaccine hit the market, and why it could transform our pandemic response by providing mucosal immunity.

    Slavitt mentions he came down with COVID.

    He and Topol have been in touch with the Biden administration, trying to get them on board with a push for nasal vaccines. I listened to this late last night, so my memory may be faulty , but they said not all are in favor or pursuing nasal vaccines. I think they said Jha and Fauci were on board, but there were others who were not.

    Reply
    1. Mikel

      “COVID-19 vaccines are no longer blocking infections like they used to…”

      Are these f’ers retarded?
      The shots NEVER blocked infections.
      The shots NEVER had to meet that criteria to get emergency approval either.

      People aren’t trying to learn and would rather stay ignorant.
      People were lied to. They have to come to terms with the lies instead of perpetuating them.

      The non-sterilizing shots NEVER blocked infection. The shots were ALWAYS non-sterilizing. They NEVER blocked infection from ANY of the variants.

      Reply
      1. antidlc

        True.

        I posted this because Eric Topol seems to be quite vocal about the need for nasal vaccines and there doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency by the Biden administration.

        The pandemic response has been a cluster—-.

        I sure would like to know what the pandemic response team does all day. I guess they just yuck it up with the pharma lobbyists.

        Many thanks to Lambert for the coverage on nasal vaccines.

        Reply
        1. will rodgers horse

          Hate to be a downer but there is close to ZERO solid information to suggest the nasal route will work well. It is not as if it has not been tried before. Not to say we should not continue to pursue this…but don’t hold your breath …errr, DO hold your breath

          Reply
  16. JohnA

    I have just tried to access the Flightradar24 app to check a flight a friend is on. It says too busy, waiting time to access 22 minutes. The whole world must be glued to the Pelosi plane.

    Reply
  17. pjay

    Forgive me if this has already been noted, but Aaron Mate has responded in writing to the latest smear by Mark Townsend in the Guardian. It is as thorough, informative, and potent as you might expect from Aaron:

    https://thegrayzone.com/2022/08/01/nato-backed-network-of-syria-dirty-war-propagandists-identified/

    In my opinion, at this point in time Aaron Mate is the most important investigative journalist writing in English. Period. Please keep them coming Aaron. And watch your back!

    Reply
  18. Verifyfirst

    So is it NOW ok (socially acceptable I mean) to call Nancy a rogue actor, a loose cannon and such? Or is that still too much for the MSM to bear?

    Reply
  19. jr

    An apology: Yesterday I posted a comment claiming Paul Krugman had been an Enron executive. Thankfully, I checked back this morning and saw from from the responding comments that this was incorrect. I dug around and I’m pretty sure I had read this in a, God forgive me, Youtube comments section and passed it on as a lazy afterthought. I’m mortified. Sorry for the bad info!

    Reply
  20. Mikel

    “California and Illinois declare monkeypox emergencies” NBC

    The CDC or somebody needs to emphasize the problems that a case of monkeypox causes.

    People want to minimize this so bad. They are repeating absolute ignorance like:
    1) Only gay men that have a lot sex get it – proven wrong.
    2) Not dangerous – wrong. The CDS really needs to explain what it would mean to get this pox on your eyes or lesions on the throat. People really are not thinking. It’s like fools are being paid not to think.

    And here is the most outrageous part: They always scream fear mongering, but that’s hardly what EVER happens. It didn’t happen with Covid either.
    Everybody seems to forget how many dead bodies over how many weeks that people had to look at before people started trying to do ANYTHING on a global basis.

    With everything that comes along that challenges this land full of magical thinking, there is actually a rush to minimize and deny.

    Reply
    1. Lexx

      Apologies. I type slowly while fending off a host of morning distractions. I didn’t see your post before adding my own… and I prefer yours. Well said.

      Reply
      1. Mikel

        I’ll also add that I’ve encountered comments about monkeypox on other sites with people saying:
        “It doesn’t mutate like Covid.”

        This is monkeypox’s first really big breakout outside of Africa.
        And the scientists are still trying to figure out (or figure out how to break the bad news) about what is happening with the transmission.
        But here’s the rub: Since this is the biggest breakout in the human population, the pox has the potential to learn so many new things about its host. The longer it festers, the longer it will have to do more mutations.
        And just like with the Covid mess they are putting out some good info and some half-assed info for the magical thinkers living in a world of denial to latch onto.

        They refuse to simply say: “It’s mutating. We don’t know what this means for transmission. It’s still being studied because there has never been an outbreak so global and large with multiple strains. The longer it festers in the human population the more chances it has to mutate.”

        Here’s a sampler about studies on mutations. You guess which one the dreamers are going to latch onto:

        https://www.statnews.com/2022/06/02/mutations-in-monkeypox-virus-explainer/

        https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/monkeypox-virus-mutations-challenging-what-we-know/ar-AAZbyNe/

        https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/discovery-of-separate-monkeypox-strain-suggests-two-outbreaks-are-happening/ar-AA10eDnJ/

        https://www.thehealthsite.com/news/monkeypox-likely-to-have-more-mutations-than-expected-scientists-889728/

        https://www.livescience.com/monkeypox-mutating-fast/

        https://www.newsweek.com/monkeypox-study-virus-mutated-more-expected-transmission-1718522/

        https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/monkeypox-virus-mutates-at-a-higher-rate/article65491161.ece/

        Reply
  21. Sub-Boreal

    Your doom fix for today (open-access in PNAS):

    Abstract
    Prudent risk management requires consideration of bad-to-worst-case scenarios. Yet, for climate change, such potential futures are poorly understood. Could anthropogenic climate change result in worldwide societal collapse or even eventual human extinction? At present, this is a dangerously underexplored topic. Yet there are ampler reasons to suspect that climate change could result in a global catastrophe. Analyzing the mechanisms for these extreme consequences could help galvanize action, improve resilience, and inform policy, including emergency responses. We outline current knowledge about the likelihood of extreme climate change, discuss why understanding bad-to-worst cases is vital, articulate reasons for concern about catastrophic outcomes, define key terms, and put forward a research agenda. The proposed agenda covers four main questions: 1) What is the potential for climate change to drive mass extinction events? 2) What are the mechanisms that could result in human mass mortality and morbidity? 3)What are human societies’ vulnerabilities to climate-triggered risk cascades, such as from conflict, political insta-bility, and systemic financial risk? 4) How can these multiple strands of evidence—together with other global dangers—be usefully synthesized into an“integrated catastrophe assessment”? It is time for thescientific community to grapple with the challenge of better understanding catastrophic climate change.

    Climate Endgame: Exploring catastrophic climate change scenarios

    Reply
    1. Jonathan King

      Thanks for the PNAS link, a bracing and necessary read, however scary-ass. I noted among the threats identified one that resonates with a link higher up in this page, from CNN via Lambert..

      From the PNAS text: “Extreme temperatures combined with high humidity can negatively affect outdoor worker productivity and yields of major cereal crops. These deadly heat conditions could significantly affect populated areas in South and Southwest Asia.”

      From CNN: https://edition.cnn.com/2022/08/02/asia/extreme-heat-migrant-workers-climate-intl-hnk-dst/index.html

      Reply
    2. nippersdad

      I have seen several of these articles lately, hopefully they are getting some traction.

      I can now see that just about the time those in the equatorial and sub-tropical areas move to the upper latitudes, the Atlantic current will stall and everyone from there down to the mid-latitudes will discover what it is like to be a popsicle.

      Moving to Michigan or Vermont may be a good idea in the short term, but keeping your property in Georgia might not be a bad idea. I think I may just skip the whole effort and stay here in bed. Interestingly, even as we are seeing climate disasters everywhere, we are having one of the nicest summers I can remember. Mediterranean climates are not supposed to be this cool and damp this time of year.

      Reply
    3. Ignacio

      The PNAS does good coverage of scientific research on CC. Note the team of authors is composed by researchers from the UK, US, China, Germany, Netherlands and Australia. What they say about societal collapse danger is what lots of scientists and not scientists believe can occur any time. Only that US Government looks determined to get ahead of climate change as a cause for collapse.

      Reply
  22. Lexx

    ‘The campaign to rename monkeypox gets complicated’

    ‘Clade’ plus some number will work, just not ‘monkeypox’. It sounds like a cute Elizabethan curse; it’s hard to take seriously when you expect to read in the program: ‘In tonight’s performance of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ the role of ‘Mercutio’ will be played by the understudy, ‘Muffin’ (a capuchin).’ Aww.

    This, in addition to Covid, and you know where people are going to rate the threat on their list of priorities. I wanted to give the pox it’s due by googling it, and the first article to pop up relegated it to being a gay male problem. Great.

    Reply
  23. Jason Boxman

    The pandemic impulse purchases we grew to hate

    Crilly is hardly alone. Plenty of people are sitting around their houses and apartments, weighing their pandemic purchases — sometimes the house or apartment itself — and wondering, “Huh, what was I thinking?” Consider it a Covid-specific flavor of buyer’s remorse.

    Weird; I don’t have any pandemic purchases I regret. I’m having trouble remember what they even were. Too much vodka? My baking steel is great, but useless in the electric stove I have now. It’s heavy but compact, so not an issue. I do kind of regret owning too many shoes. Now that I never go out, having dress shoes is kind of silly. Oh well. But that’s a pre-Pandemic purchase. Mass Effect series is great, don’t regret buying that game. Yeah, I’m drawing a blank here.

    Reply
    1. wol

      For me, dressing a half-step up on the rare occasions I go out in this ultra casual college town is fun. * ’em. Dress shoes wear longer and don’t contribute to the landfill. Considering the occasional once-over, some women might momentarily forget I’m a congenital oppressor.

      Reply
  24. Samuel Conner

    Just thinking out loud, and kind of hoping out loud that the response to NP’s Taiwan visit is not the kind of thing that will terminate my participation in the excellent NC commentariat community.

    The thought occurs that an upward revaluation of China’s currency with respect to US and other currencies would have some interesting consequences. IIRC, US has long complained that RMB is undervalued and this constitutes unfair policy in international trade.

    A rise in the RMB would, I think, exacerbate inflationary pressures in US.

    There would be significant internal consequences, of course. I don’t know how difficult it is for China to shift from export-led to internal consumption-led growth policy; it’s evidently very difficult.

    Trade policy/sanctions is used by US as a method of soft warfare against RF; it’s a kind of precedent. Perhaps a revaluing of RMB toward what US claims is its true level could be an appropriate and suitably damaging response on China’s part. Make the recession indicators a little more unambiguous.

    Reply
  25. spud

    the world is in complete turmoil as seen in the Ukraine, Kosovo and now even Mexico. as the world breaks free of bill clintons world wide reign of terror.

    old Joe is just adhering to Bill Clintons well established policies of making sure the world is safe for free trade.

    https://thediplomat.com/2014/12/aircraft-carriers-in-the-taiwan-strait/

    “Memories from 1996 – when Chinese missile tests in the strait prompted U.S. President Bill Clinton to order two fully armed carrier battle groups to pass through the Taiwan Strait – have shaped the strategic operational codes of the Chinese military and the Central Politburo.”

    https://jacobin.com/2022/07/free-market-neoliberalism-state-intervention-socialism

    “Neoliberal politicians like Bill Clinton presented globalization as “the economic equivalent of a force of nature, like wind or water” that it would be stupid to try to reverse.”

    “Barack Obama in 2016 framed it in similar terms as “a fact of nature.” Politics was presented as the management of the necessity of globalization, with economic decisions limited to those acceptable to international investors, with some sections of the moderate and soft left broadly accepting these ideological premises.”

    there is no confusion about this period. the people who came to power in 1993 are not imperialists, imperialism through out history there has always been some give and take, many losers, but not always blowouts of other countries.

    the people who came to power in 1993 are not imperialists, they are fascists. under fascism whats mine is mine, whats yours is mine, and there will be no discussions period.

    they are the hammer, everything else is a nail. when you understand this, then you can see why there was NAFTA and letting china into the W.T.O.and above all, white supremacy.

    that is why they thought it was safe to let china in, but they are to stupid to understand what they did, it ended their reign of terror.

    china and russia are not sub human as the free traders thought they were.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-bill-clinton-legacy_b_106089

    “Free trade, democracy promotion, and the use of force to uphold global norms comprised the core of Bill Clinton’s foreign policy – and they remain the central ideas of today’s Democratic foreign policy establishment.”when bill clinton signed nafta, destroyed GATT and replaced it with the W.T.O., then let china in, was the equivalent of hitlers operation Barbarossa.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Barbarossa

    hitler never attempted peace with the soviet union when it became apparent he would lose, because he viewed them as sub humans, and what was theirs, was really his. once you understand this, then you can understand what appears to be irrational.

    i cannot think of one thing the bill clinton democrats have done since 1993, that is not blowing back on us.

    Reply
    1. Ignacio

      Yes, and she added the reason is that those tanks are really in very bad condition: more a liability than an asset for Ukraine. Stands to reason then.

      Reply
  26. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Blast Hits Ammunition Depot of Bulgarian Arms Dealer Involved in Ukraine Weapons Trade

    “The complex is owned by Emilian Gebrev, who survived a near-fatal 2015 poisoning, for which Bulgarian prosecutors have later charged three Russian citizens.”

    Once again, those Russkies are just completely incapable of poisoning people properly. Maybe it’s the novichok? Back in the day when we were told they used polonium, people actually died.

    Reply
  27. spud

    the direct results of Bill Clintons free trade,

    https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/americas-biggest-warehouse-running-room-100525110.html

    “SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (Reuters) – America’s largest warehouse market is full as major U.S. retailers warn of slowing sales of the clothing, electronics, furniture and other goods that have packed the distribution centers east of Los Angeles.

    The merchandise keeps flooding in from across the Pacific, and for one of the busiest U.S. warehouse complexes, things are about to get worse.

    Experts have warned the U.S. supply chain would get hit by the “bullwhip effect” if companies panic-ordered goods to keep shelves full and got caught out by a downturn in demand while shipments were still arriving from Asia.”

    Reply
  28. spud

    https://aliveness.com/kangaroo/Timeline.htm

    1928

    The construction boom is over.

    Farmers’ share of the national income has dropped from 15 to 9 percent since 1920.

    Between May 1928 and September 1929, the average prices of stocks will rise 40 percent. Trading will mushroom from 2-3 million shares per day to over 5 million. The boom is largely artificial.

    1929

    Herbert Hoover becomes President. Hoover is a staunch individualist but not as committed to laissez-faire ideology as Coolidge.

    More than half of all Americans are living below a minimum subsistence level.

    Annual per-capita income is $750; for farm people, it is only $273.

    Backlog of business inventories grows three times larger than the year before. Public consumption markedly down.

    Freight carloads and manufacturing fall.

    Automobile sales decline by a third in the nine months before the crash.

    Construction down $2 billion since 1926.

    Recession begins in August, two months before the stock market crash. During this two month period, production will decline at an annual rate of 20 percent, wholesale prices at 7.5 percent, and personal income at 5 percent.

    Stock market crash begins October 24. Investors call October 29 “Black Tuesday.” Losses for the month will total $16 billion, an astronomical sum in those days.

    Reply
  29. Ignacio

    RE: The Mediterranean as We Know It Is Vanishing

    There are more risks in the Western Mediterranean than those mentioned in the article. One is tourism, a major water consumer. Benidorm has twice the population of Valencia during summer. –and still building here and there when will we realise?– Agriculture, at least in Spain has been adapting by using more efficient irrigation which is mandatory but that doesn’t reduce drought risks since the water no longer used for irrigation has gone for other uses (tourism!) and several Med rivers no longer reach the sea at least in the Comunidad Valenciana. A couple of them are artificially kept flowing with water from central Spain which in turn is on severe drought this year.
    The sea is salty, and getting more salty and warm by the year and that is not good sign for marine creatures (many still overfished despite restrictions in place) that will have trouble adapting. If water temperatures remain too high until September-October then there is high risk for very severe storms and floods.
    We know it and do nothing.

    Reply
  30. ewmayer

    “Earth Is Spinning Faster Than Usual, Leading to the Shortest Day Ever Recorded | Popular Mechanics” — Briefly mentions climate change as a possible culprit, but with nothing further. Melting icecaps at elevations above sea level like those in Greenland, various mountain ranges and Antarctica leads to sea level rise which results in Earth having a lower rotational moment of inertia (roughly, mass concentrated closer to the axis of rotation) and thus would tend to increase the rotation rate, like a skater pulling her arms in toward her body during a spin.

    Reply
  31. Carolinian

    Just got around to reading the as usual droll Michael Tracey. His final interview is with the our Lindsey

    MT: When you say that Donald Trump is a vehicle for your preferred vision, does that include foreign policy? Because a lot of people don’t associate you with the “America First” agenda, which they view as a little bit more isolationist or non-interventionist. Is Trump still a vehicle for you in that regard?

    Graham: I just don’t think America First is isolationism.

    MT: How about non-interventionist?

    Graham: Yeah, but it believes in alliances, but you got to pay your fair share. It’s not looking for a fight, but it wants folks—

    MT: Because a lot of “America First” Republicans I talk to don’t regard the Ukraine issue as within the American national interest.

    Graham: Well I do. Big time… If you want to make sure Taiwan goes, lose in Ukraine.

    MT: Do you think most Republican voters agree with you?

    Graham: Yes. In my state they do, overwhelmingly.

    I’d love to see the detailed polling data that shows Republicans in South Carolina are in overwhelming agreement with Lindsey Graham on the issue of Ukraine, but that’s neither here nor there.

    I’d like to see that poll as well–particularly now that gas prices have shot up thanks to Biden’s, er, Putin’s inflation. The truth is that Lindsey keeps improbably being elected because the Dems have no serious political talent to oppose him (although they did spend a ton of money on his last race).

    The rest of the article simply shows that there is no alternative to warmaking in Washington and that Trump himself is a traitor to the America centered politics that his voters do indeed want. Trump claims he’s really going to clean out the swamp this time but that surely includes all the people cheering him at the “America first” meeting. Especially Lindsey.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      What Trump ( and Bannon) mean by “the Swamp” is Park Rangers, Dept. of Agriculture Soil Scientists, Meat Inspectors, etc.

      That’s the “Administrative State” that the Business Community wants abolished so that the Business Community can beCOME the government. When the Administrative State is deconstructed ( “withers away”), then it will finally be de facto legal for the Purdue Pharmacies of tomorrow to sell as many trillions of oxycontin tablets as they want, because there won’t be any more law and any more enforcers to enforce the law which there won’t be any more of.

      Reply
      1. spud

        they sure can. but will we little people get taxed also? because that is what bill clinton did. his tax hike really did not touch the real wealth, however, we little people paid more.

        Reply

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