Links 8/25/2022

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

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


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

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

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Sharks are ‘walking’ on land to survive the climate crisis: Species of carpet shark can spend up to 2 HOURS out of waters using its paddle shaped fins to escape warming in Pacific Ocean Daily Mail

Alaska’s snow crabs have disappeared. Where they went is a mystery. WaPo


Methane hunters: what explains the surge in the potent greenhouse gas? FT. Important.

Americans experience a false social reality by underestimating popular climate policy support by nearly half Nature

Climate Change Is Making Pathogens Worse MedPage Today

Estimating the environmental impacts of 57,000 food products PNAS. Not just food; food-like substances.

Why keeping girls in school is a good strategy to cope with climate change NPR

Spare a thought for air-conditioning repair people. As the planet warms, they’re really up against it The Conversation


The imminent BA.5 vaccine booster Eric Topol, Ground Truths. Just in time for BA2.75. The table at the beginning of the article is a real dash of cold water on any triumphalism.

A new paper shows spike toxicity in Zebrafish Unacceptable Jessica. Here is the original (Elsevier; peer-reviewed). Big if true. Readers?

Incubation Period of COVID-19 Caused by Unique SARS-CoV-2 Strains JAMA. Systematic review and meta-analysis. “The incubation periods of COVID-19 caused by the Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants were 5.00, 4.50, 4.41, and 3.42 days, respectively.”

Could tiny blood clots cause long COVID’s puzzling symptoms? Nature

Tracking viruses can be tricky. NYT. The deck: “Here’s how a scrappy team of scientists, public health experts and plumbers is embracing wastewater surveillance as the future of disease tracking.” A “scrappy team” is another way of saying there has been no OWS-style public investment in a key data gathering system to prevent transmission, because preventing transmission is not a priority.

The Hidden Crisis in the Times of COVID-19: Critical Shortages of Medical Laboratory Professionals in Clinical Microbiology Journal of Clinical Microbiology. “80% of microbiology laboratories have vacant positions and that filling these positions is challenging for a number of reasons, including a lack of qualified applicants.” Given the givens, it would be nice if the American Society for Microbiology didn’t follow the lead of The International Society for Microbial Ecology, and turn its conferences into superspreader events.

Polio Is Back in the US and UK. Here’s How That Happened Wired (Re Silc).

Treating Monkeypox: Q&A with the CDC’s John T. Brooks, MD (interview) MedPage

FluTracking Australia Winter Update (charts) FluTracking Australia (Vandemonian).


Heatwave in China is the most severe ever recorded in the world New Scientist

Xi Jinping looks to take China beyond Deng Xiaoping’s ‘get rich’ era with historic third term South China Morning Post

China Stayed 24 Nautical Miles From Taiwan During Drills Bloomberg

I’m not over the moon about mooncakes – in my reality, everybody hates them. So why are we still eating these Mid-Autumn Festival gifts? South China Morning Post. Useful for paperweights!


Myanmar Mid-Year Update ACLED

Rohingya refugees still desperate, five years after a genocide Globe_. The world as NGOs see it.

The Koreas

US media ignored major anti-US military protest in South Korea Responsible Statecraft

Australia to hold wide-ranging inquiry into automated debt recovery scheme Reuters. As opposed to….


Macron warns ‘sacrifices’ ahead after ‘end of abundance’ France24. But Ukraine is worth it, totally. (To be fair, Europe has been the sick man of Europe since the Great Financial Crash, but how in the name of all that is holy did it produce such an unimpressive political class? Scholz, Macron, BoJo (Truss), Draghi [insert Italian word here for whoever 🤷]…. James Buchanan would be head boy, here. Ditto Vichy.)

Hedge funds build biggest bet against Italian debt since 2008 FT

Fast, cheap, deadly: the budget drone changing global warfare FT

New Not-So-Cold Cold War

Turkey’s Erdogan says return of Crimea to Ukraine is a requirement of international law CNN.

Why is Pink Floyd’s bassist on a Ukrainian website’s ‘kill list’? Daily Dot. Myrotvorets. Interestingly, recently whacked Darya Dugina was on the Myrotvorets list:

(Along with Waters, John Mearshimer, Tulsi Gabbard, and other luminaries). On its site, Myrotvorets claims an address in Langley, VA. I don’t know what that might mean, but what is clear is that Myrotvorets’ logo is served by NATO:

( is owned by NATO; see also here.) It’s not clear to me why NATO would put its infrastructure at the service of a hit list including American academics. Perhaps somebody could ask the State Department about this.

Media Once Called Azov Neo-Nazis. Now They Hide That Fact Passage

Five predictions for the next six months in the war in Ukraine Guardian. The conventional wisdom seems to be congealing around the twin ideas that the front is in stalemate and winter will not be a fighting season; including, interestingly, certainly not Russia-unfriendly Military Summary. If I were counter-suggestible, I’d turn conventional wisdom 180° on both counts.

Mexico’s president sounds increasingly radical. Is a clash with Washington imminent? Miami Herald

Biden Administration

Biden administration moves to formalize DACA and shield it from legal challenges CBS

A ‘Drop in the Bucket’ for Many: Let’s Put Biden’s Student Loan Relief in Perspective Jezebel. Various commentary. Biden callls it “breathing room”:

“Breathing room,” like when somebody’s got their boot on my windpipe and eases off a little?

Thanks, Obama:

Unfoamed runway:

“The first thing we do….”

Clinton Legacy

The Hillary and Chelsea Clinton docu-series of your wildest dreams The Spectator. I can’t even.

Groves of Academe

University can’t scan students’ rooms during remote tests, judge rules The Verge

University Title Generator FiatFlux (github). “Deputy Coordinator of the Committee on Strategic Community Planning.” $86,096 seems low.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Is America Overextending Itself? Foreign Policy. Author is editor of FP.

Ailing Empire Blues The Baffler

Class Warfare

“To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.” —Starbucks Mission Statement

Starbucks illegally withheld raises from union workers, labor board says WaPo

Starbucks union claims company closed two cafes in retaliation Reuters

Starbucks asks labor board to halt mail-in union ballots CNN

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Biggest Influx of Union Workers Isn’t From Starbucks Bloomberg

Real Estate Ceo: Recession Could Be “Good” If “Unemployment … Puts Employers Back in the Driver Seat” The Intercept

Barriers to Multi-Generational Organizing Payday Report. Third of a series. Parts one and two.

What is the Relationship between Class and the Left? Class Unity (AL). Well worth a read.

How a Hacked Tractor Added Fuel to the Right-to-Repair Movement (transcript) Wired. Interesting!

Antidote du jour (via):

Donkey nannies are donkeys used to carry newborn lambs down the mountains for seasonal grazing.

Bonus antidote:

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.


  1. Antifa

    Not. Quite. Watertight.

    RAND made a plan back in 2019
    About taking down Russia with a sanctions regime
    Plus a proxy war to bleed them weak
    So we can waltz in and seize what we seek
    Just slither in there like a snake in the grass
    And steal all their oil and natural gas
    Uranium, aluminum, phosphates, wheat
    Just move all their assets onto our spreadsheet

    The RAND plan was Not. Quite. Watertight.
    Russia isn’t Syria. Russians can fight.
    Not a page of the plan got a damn thing right
    It was Not. Quite. Watertight.

    The UK is faltering, dead on their feet
    Heading into winter without any heat
    The EU economies are all in the ditch
    Everyone finding out that blowback’s a bitch
    The US is printing fresh cash, full tilt
    In it to win it, up to the hilt
    While the ruble is now backed by solid gold
    And none of this is how it was s’posed to unfold

    The RAND plan was Not. Quite. Watertight.
    Yet no one wants to mention that it didn’t go right
    No Presidents or Senators are feeling contrite
    It was Not. Quite. Watertight.

    You can’t back out when you’re in this deep
    This whole mess is landing on the old scrap heap
    Sure, the armaments monopolies are raking it in
    But the media narrative is getting real thin
    This is no milk run, this is no cakewalk
    How long can we lie to the public flock?
    This can’t be fixed by some PR flack
    We bit the Bear, and the Bear bit us back!

    The RAND plan was Not. Quite. Watertight.
    Our society is headed for a long, dark night
    There’ll be no savior, no shining knight
    It was Not. Quite. Watertight.

    Victoria Nuland and the Clinton gang
    Can’t accept that their plan did a boomerang
    The battle reports are just horrible
    But what are deaths among the deplorable?
    Cost of doing business if you’re on the A-list
    A liberal interventionist
    Who cares about consequences, injuries, or laws?
    Failure is success if you say it was!

    The RAND plan was Not. Quite. Watertight.
    The neocons who wrote it are all hiding from the light
    Like folks who change their address in the middle of the night
    It was Not. Quite. Watertight.

    1. Sardonia

      I don’t know this song but when I google your title I get a song called Ice Nine Kills – so in the spirit of Vonnegut, I say “Nice, nice, very nice!” (So many different people in the same device) – that’s one of the calypso lyrics from The Book of Bokanon – the Vonnegut made-up religion in Cat’s Cradle, where Ice Nine does indeed kill.

      Definitely tight new lyrics.

  2. Steve H.

    A link and a question:

    : This from Ian Welsh is sticking to my wall:

    … the New Deal which worked to strengthen people, regulate companies and build vast human and inanimate infrastructure.

    Neoliberalism was, fundamentally, the realization that all that build-up led to a huge looting opportunity. Get rid of the regulations, stop enforcing anti-oligopoly laws, force massive asset bubbles and those on the inside could get stinking rich.

    : If the TPP was slapped on the table now, how many countries that would’ve signed Then would sign it Now?

      1. flora

        “Macron warns ‘sacrifices’ ahead after ‘end of abundance’ – France24.
        But Ukraine is worth it, totally. (To be fair, Europe has been the sick man of Europe since the Great Financial Crash, but how in the name of all that is holy did it produce such an unimpressive political class? Scholz, Macron, BoJo (Truss), Draghi [insert Italian word here for whoever 🤷]…. James Buchanan would be head boy, here. Ditto Vichy.)”

        Perfect summation, Lambert. Thanks.

        1. The Rev Kev

          It’s like a poster the British put up at the very beginning of WW2 that said ‘Your Sacrifice Will Give Us Victory’ but had to take it down when it was pointed out to them the second way that those words could be taken.

          1. Bert

            “Living in your car, if you still can afford one, your teeth rotting, tumors unchecked, loss of your culture, privacy and constitutional rights helps support freedom in Ukraine.”

            It’s a lot easier to just write “Biden’s Fault” on the gas pump.

          1. flora

            adding: trust me that I’m as moved by pomp and circumstance as anyone, so long as most are doing reasonably well and/or have hope of doing reasonably well.


            However, if said pomp comes, as in 19th century Victorian/Dickensian England, with unspeakable poverty, squalor, and suffering, then no, the pomp is no acceptable cover for so many in poverty. In the mid-20th century the earlier 19th century poverty had been largely eliminated. (In the 21st century of neoliberal build back better it is returning.)

            1. flora

              adding: our new, neoliberal age has devised extraordinary new technical strengths combined, unfortunately, with men and women in leadership of only a second or third rate internal character. (I’ll stop now.)

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Read this post from Chris Hedges from a couple of days before Ian Welsh’s post.
      “Chris Hedges: We Are Not the First Civilization to Collapse, but We Will Probably Be the Last”

      As to TPP — what has changed in the composition and intent of the World Elite, who are those promoting and benefiting from agreements like the TPP?

    1. lambert strether

      Presumably you looked at the About page for the board and the funding sources before dumping this link here? I’m getting a bit tired of this “I’m not sure it’s real” trope.

    2. SocalJimObjects

      I did use Google Chrome to translate the Hebrew parts. Says here that “Real Time Magazine is continuously supported by a community of committed readers who financially support its mission and goals” (English translation).

      I also did a Google search of “rtmag israel” and I wasn’t able to find any information on its source of funding beyond what’s written on the website.

      I wasn’t trying to give anyone homework and would like to apologize if this turned out to be fake or/and created extra work. I did read the article from beginning to end and unfortunately there are some screenshots in Hebrew that Google Chrome couldn’t translate because they are embedded in Gifs?

      1. LawnDart

        Yandex translator has an icon that will allow you to translate text which is embeded in images. Sometimes it works. And some languages need some translation-improvement (mostly Asian ones).

    1. Pat

      Gotta disagree, THE problem is that a minuscule portion of the population has profited and continues to profit greatly from our healthcare system, and those profiteers gain those profits from different segments of the system. They have actively worked to undermine regulation, controls and even non profit healthcare organizations that sought to improve healthcare options for Americans. Something’s as a coordinated action, sometimes just a one front attack. Nothing can interfere with the profits. Fragmentation helps this as it allows for rotating enemies.

      Our healthcare system problem is the same as our housing system problem, our hunger problem, our job problem, our retirement problem, our immigration problem, our infrastructure problem, our out of control MIC problem, etc. Those problems either directly benefit, or the solutions to the problem would interfere with the profits of a small group of people, who have bought our government representatives (elected officials and bureaucrats) to make sure those solutions never see the light of day.

      1. jsn

        Yes! This is what a political market looks like.

        Oligarchs bid for policy and policy makers compete to deliver policy for Oligarchs.

        So, anything that looks to you or me like a “problem” looks to some Oligarch somewhere like a “profit stream” and that Oligarch will pay however much that profit stream will afford to preserve that flow. The result is ever more complex legislation to carve out and preserve profit flows while paying lip service to the “problems” of little people. The pandemic has made this so apparent the Oligarch Press is increasingly stressed to distract from this obvious, deadly reality. Just look at the policy recommendations at the end of this Brookings paper and imagine all the rice bowels they would crack.

        1. Bert

          Here’s a widespread example of that in action. Billions at stake, millions of lives affected by decrees coming out of a co-opted legislature.
          Here’s local version: Every one of the bullet points is a feeding opportunity for the non-profits which serve as ideological fronts for the oligarchs.

          “The Housing Element policies ensure we have enough capacity to produce the number of housing units by income level described in our RHNA. San Francisco’s RHNA allocation for the 2023-2030 cycle is 82,069 housing units, which will be addressed by this Housing Element update. State Law requires that the Housing Element addresses, removes, or mitigates governmental and non-governmental constraints to housing production.

          In addition, the Housing Element is required to include policies that serve to:

          affirmitively further fair housing by addressing exclusion, segregation, and access to opportunity
          address environmental justice issues
          provide equal housing opportunities for San Francisco residents
          assist in the development of housing
          improve and conserve existing housing stock
          preserve units at-risk of conversion from affordable to market rate”

      2. marku52

        Yes. There is no problem in the US so small that it is insoluble because some lobbyist/corporo symbiote is profiting from it.

      3. Karl

        But the problem is greater than the profits of this “miniscule portion of the population”. There is the vast horde of professionals who derive very good incomes from peopling the bureaucracies of these organizations. As this site has frequently pointed out, the PMC loves complexity in the systems they create, and this includes their multi-tiered organizational and contractual webs. All of this creates costs which must be monitored with elaborate controls, begetting even more cost. Making these systems simpler and more efficient will require a willingness to tackle the political power and inertia of the PMC itself.

        It used to be that competition drove efficiency. This has largely driven the offshoring of sectors that are somewhat portable, like manufacturing. Less portable sectors with market power, e.g. finance, health care, military manufacture, and education, have built bureaucratic inefficiency into their “business model”. It helps justify raising premiums, tuition, congressional appropriations, etc. Less portable sectors without market power have become hyper competitive. These are mainly the small businesses you see in local retail, tourism, etc.The people who work for them barely eke out a living.

        This economic divergence has become a real class divergence and is now driving the political division in the U.S.–the prosperous well educated PMC vs. the struggling white working class (with other struggling racial groups re-aligning). The latter class needs more efficiency in healthcare, lower tuition, fewer wars, etc. Such efficiencies can readily be achieved, but they would gut the job base of the former class.

    2. Lexx

      ‘Medicine doesn’t like what it can’t understand, so it often ignores it,” Ravindra Ganesh, a physician scientist who directs the post-Covid care clinic at Mayo Clinic, told me.’

      I would amend that statement to ‘Medicine doesn’t like what it can’t understand, and doesn’t have a profitable answer/treatment for, so it often ignores it.’ An increasing preference for clearly defined diagnoses and treatments that they will have to spend the least amount of time on the phone arguing with the insurance companies about. The path of least resistance to getting paid for seeing insured patients. What gets declined and kicked back to the patients affects the doctors’ bottom lines. They’ve got big mortgaged houses and high expectation lifestyles/families. No one likes the anxiety of cash flow problems.

      Welcome to the gray lands of the sub-clinical, where most of us live but even more so with long COVID. What worries me is that this will (or is) defining access to medical care. Any medical care, never mind quality medical care.

      I could paste in several links but an interesting read is available by searching ‘long Covid and serotonin levels’. The symptoms sound like sleep deprivation psychosis. Covid interferes with tryptophan absorption. I still think the answers to recovery are in the gut.

  3. K.k

    Many thanks to NC for all the links today.

    China violating human rights of children young as 10 in concentration camps. Oh wait did I say China…..

    They also mention how a single covid positive test leads to
    to locking all the kids in isolation for additional 72 hours. Yet outside those walls schools in session , no need for covid tests, masks, or quarantines.

  4. LawnDart

    This might be of interest:

    Safety systems activated at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after power outage RIA News Agency, 10-minutes ago.


    APU carried out 17 strikes on Zaporizhia NPP in 24 hours
    August 25, 2022

    Over the past day, Ukrainian troops have shelled the Energodar area almost 30 times, and 17 strikes have directly hit the Zaporizhia NPP, head of the regional administration Yevgeny Balitsky said on the Rossiya 24 TV channel.

    Source: RIA, again– can’t link, Skynet.

    Europe doesn’t need lights this Winter if it has a strong-enough glow! I wonder if USA is providing the.weapons and ammo for this?

    1. Yves Smith

      This is trolling by Ukraine and I’m not sure why Russia is enabling it by playing up rather than down the actual danger. Plenty of experts have said the reactor and the used fuel storage areas are so heavily fortified that they can’t be damaged by shelling or even a direct hit by a B-52 full of explosives. What can be damaged are the refrigerator units. If they are hit, then the reactor gets turned off.

      Although I believe Russia did eventually turn the power off, which starves a lot of Ukraine. So maybe there was a plan. And I would imagine that they can keep working on diverting the output to Russian controlled areas, since I assume that is largely grid work.

      Everyone forgets that Chernobyl was bad design + operator incompetence. IIRC the staff was fooling with the reactor (!!!) then got an emergency reading, including IIRC one faulty signal, and did absolutely the worst thing they could have done given the givens.

      1. Polar Socialist

        I’ve seen comments by “liberated” Ukrainians that the shelling of ZNPP has much to do with the coming referendum about status of Zaporozhe oblast. Ukrainians want to create as much uncertainty and fear as possible to either prevent the referendum or at least make people to leave to keep the voting percentage as low as possible.

        The current administration in Zaporozhe on the other hand is trying to show current Ukrainian regime in as bad light as possible to ensure good participation and correct result.

        Then again, Russia believes that Kiev is not making these decisions anymore, so maybe they are trying to scare Western powers to tell Ukraine to stop the shelling.

      2. Lex

        Last I checked, 2 of 4 reactors were still operational. Shutting them down wouldn’t solve any problems related to shelling the facility as they’d still need cooling, as does the water cooled spent fuel storage area. It would/could cause at least some problems with wider grid stability. IMO, the biggest real risk is the dry storage casks.

        As to why Russia is playing it up rather than down relates to designating Ukraine a terrorist state / state supporter of terrorism. Or at least that’s my guess.

        1. The Rev Kev

          If the Russians shut down that rector, the loss of electricity for the Ukraine would be disastrous. More so as they have been selling some of that electricity off to the EU so the EU will take a big hit as well.

      3. LawnDart

        Per News Front, re-connection has been made, power to the plant restored.

        What can be damaged are the refrigerator units. If they are hit, then the reactor gets turned off.

        The/a weak-link: when cooling gets cut, the reactors must be shut down but will still need to cool– and with no cooling-systems, they’ll meltdown on their own, as seen in Fukushima– although results of this may vary, depending on the design of the plant. In Fukushima, the loss of cooling water caused the reactor cores to melt, which created steam, and lotsa hydrogen, hydrogen which then went “boom” and left a bit of a mess. It’s worthwhile to note that these reactors had not suffered serious damage from the earthquake itself– it was the loss of power to the cooling systems and control instrumentation that caused the problems.

        A lot of details can be found here:

        So is Ukraine deliberately targeting the cooling systems or is Ukraine simply trying to remove power from the vast grid/regions that the plant serves?

        How well-protected are backup power supplies that will allow the operators to maintain control over the plant? [It was noted in a previous article that Ukraine appeared to be targeting these workers, bombing at shift-changes, at the least, creating a “hostile work environment”]

        I agree that the reactors themselves are fairly well-protected from external harm such as most bombs and missiles, and even suicidal aircraft pilots. And their specific design quite possibly could contain meltdowns and internal explosions, unlike Fukushima’s 1-3, although this would still scare the crap out of the public as well as render the melted reactors useless for tens of thousands of years.

        So yeah, maybe it’s “safe” bombing, and no one gets hurt. But I’m sure that the Russians want to keep the plants as intact as possible, so why not “play-up the danger” and hope that public opinion forces Ukraine to knock-it-off?

        Even if experts say that bombing the plant should cause no harm, are we really feeling that lucky these days?

        Here’s a (Russian) article that is directly related to the subject, one that might offer a dissenting view when it comes to the safety of these bombings (fun read):

        Профессор Кузнецов описал худший сценарий на Запорожской АЭС – МК › 2022-zaporozhskoy-aes

        In English: Professor Kuznetsov described the worst-case scenario at Zaporizhia NPP-MK › 2022-zaporozhskoy-aes

        [Vladimir Kuznetsov, former head of the Inspectorate for Supervision of Nuclear and Radiation safety of nuclear power facilities of the Gosatomnadzor of the USSR, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor.]

        But here’s a more optimistic scenario, one that almost argues, “bomb-away– no worries!” [“There will be no second Fukushima”]

        Создатель Запорожской АЭС взвесил возможность катастрофы – МК › aes-vzvesil-katastrofy

        Pick your poison.

        1. LawnDart

          [Yves, I realize you are taxed for time. As such, I should have summarized the main points of the articles that I provided directions to. And I didn’t, and I apologize for this.

          That said, the first of which may make you reconsider the safety of the plant. At risk of hypocrisy, I can’t provide the gist of the article right now, but the Ukies will give surely provide us with another opportunity to engage in a heathy and productive debate on this particular subject]

      4. Vandemonian

        FWIW – Read on a Telegram channel that Ukrainian shelling had started fires in the ash dumps of the adjacent thermal power plant, which damaged the power lines from the nuclear plant, necessitating the disconnection

      5. Jason Boxman

        For more on Chernobyl, I recommend the HBO mini-series that someone recommended here about six months ago. It covers what happened and why in great detail. Quite horrific to watch, though, so be warned.

  5. Samuel Conner

    > If I were counter-suggestible, I’d turn conventional wisdom 180° on both counts.

    The great encirclement and destruction of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad was entirely a Winter affair (well, “cold season” — started in November and finished up at the beginning of February), and at the same latitude as the current “siege” warfare in Donbas.

    I imagine that the Rs will continue without pause through the coming late-in-year mud season (if there is one; are they having drought too?) and into the Winter.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Almost all conflicts Russia has participated in since 1990 have been either autumn or winter affairs, if not lasting several years, so one must wonder where this ‘conventional wisdom’ is coming from. Is it a NATO thing not to fight during a winter season?

      Russia has a large areas where the winter lasts 5-6 months, so they certainly have troops, training and equipment to keep on keeping on even if temperatures are below freezing.

      I’ve a few commentators already stating that autumn benefits Russia, since it will do every year what Agent Orange didn’t manage to do – get rid of the leaves and foliage. So the side with the command of the air and superior firepower will basically be shooting fish in a barrel.

      1. digi_owl

        NATO/USA is used to fighting enemies they can trample in a month or two via shock and awe, and then spend years doing “low” intensity insurgency mop up.

        1. Wukchumni

          NATO reminds me of the fire dept in Sequoia NP.

          They’re used to setting up & monitoring prescribed burns, rather than putting out conflagrations on the double.

          We had 4 lightning strike caused blazes about this time last year and it was put out in a jiffy by Tulare Fire Dept & Cal Fire, and it was in a cliffy spot and the burn scar looks to be about 1/4 to 1/2 mile wide. The other ignitions were all in Sequoia NP

          NPS couldn’t put out the other 3 fires which coalesced into the KNP Fire with a scorched earth policy often fanned by an old flame which the surroundings hadn’t seen in a century of Sundays.

    2. voteforno6

      The German armies had reached within visual distance of Moscow, when the Soviet counteroffensive began on December 6th, 1941. If there’s a rainy season in the fall, I would think that would be more of a problem then fighting in the winter.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I heard that the Russians have been advancing in the Kherson area in the east and can now see Mykolaiv with their binoculars which means that that city is now within range of Russian artillery as well.

        As for the autumn, I seem to recall at the beginning of the war all these stories of how the mud will stop any Russian advances because apparently they don’t have mud in Russia.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I heard that Russia is going to send two famous generals to the front in the next coupla months – General Winter & General Frost. Their specialty is taking out tens of thousands of troops over a short time – especially those that do not have winter clothing which I suspect the Ukrainians won’t.

              1. Anthony G Stegman

                Most wars end when one side or the other becomes too exhausted to continue. Russia v Ukraine will be no different. The war is in its early rounds, so it is not yet obvious who will become exhausted first, but surely that day will come.

    3. voislav

      This is all based on WWII seasonality, where spring and autumn were not conducive to operations due to road conditions (famous rasputitsa). But back then most roads were dirt roads, now most are not, and road network is far more extensive today.

      If anything cloud cover provides favorable conditions as it conceals troop movement from drones and satellites.

      1. hk

        Yes. Lack of modern understanding forces invocations of long outdated “historical truisms.” I’m reminded of how the Chinese in 18th century had to resort to studying maps and records of the (successful) 13th century Mongol invasion of Burma due to lack of up to date intelligence. (Oh, and the 18th century Chinese invasions of Burma ended in multiple disasters, although the leading Burmese general was wise enough to give the Chinese a face saving conclusion.)

    4. praxis

      The winter pause hypothesis is bizarrely ahistoric of Russia’s long history of winter offensive/counteroffensive (probably Russia/finland is the one exception).

      Definitely indicates to me that Military Summary isn’t a serious perspective.

    5. Lex

      Mud season still exists of course, but I find it humorous that western, professional analysts fail to account for the fact that in 1941 barely any roads in Russia/Ukraine were paved and then appear to assume that that is still the case. Not that mud won’t create issues for modern armies, only that tracked vehicle technology has improved since 1941, neither side is using horse/donkey drawn carts heavily, and wheeled vehicle technology has improved dramatically. In WWII the trucks were still running on tires no more than 3″ wide with tall, spoke wheels. (Granted, the heavy mine resistant trucks the west has sent have already been seen sunk in mud in Ukraine in the last few weeks.)

    6. nippersdad

      I agree. The timeline looks right for mud season to be spent mopping up Ukraine’s Maginot Line in Donbass and then using the frozen steppe fields as race tracks to the Dneiper. Down along the Black Sea there are all kinds of good roads, so even mud season should not be a problem moving men and materiel.

      The fighting started in February, something that those saying Fall and Winter will be a problem for Russia are hoping no one will remember. This sounds like wishful thinking or a PR exercise that will end up damaging their credibility even worse than it already is when it proves to be groundless.

    7. Mikel

      I was thinking the same thing: the Russians have a history of wintertime counter tactics.

      But you can’t stop the Magical Thinking Train. It left the station.

  6. griffen

    Title Generator includes a button to continue searching. Simple and fun for anyone! Those in middle administration and comparable roles in “town and gown” cities like Ann Arbor or Chapel Hill, well YMMV.

    Hearkens back to previous discussion about corporate speak and general bull$hitting for advancing one’s career and agenda. Watching the movie and reminding or suggesting to readers of the real life experiences to be learned from Office Space is and shall remain relevant.

    1. Mildred Montana

      >”Title Generator includes a button to continue searching. Simple and fun for anyone!”

      I’ll say! Here’s one of my favorites:

      Assistant Associate Coordinator of Interdepartmental Relations to the Subcommittee for Donor Communications

      Only $36K a year for this “job”??!! I thought academics were paid by the number of words and letters in their titles. The position must be a sinecure, with a fancy title but no actual work.

      Mildred Montana, Accounting Clerk 𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘴

      1. griffen

        In a previous job iteration, I was instructed to be a packaging and organizational “engineer” and also did some light retail presentation improvements (shelf rotations, etc…)

        I dunno, grocery store clerk at the Winn Dixie just sums up the description so much better.

        1. Mildred Montana

          Funny you should mention that. After my accounting clerk gig I spent a few years as a “presentation engineer” in a grocery store, although I certainly wasn’t given such a title. In fact I was given no title whatsoever. Instead I was given a lavish wage of $17 per hour (in 1980!).

          Your reply, however, has forced me to amend my sign-off thus:

          Mildred Montana, Grocery Store Clerk, Emeritus*

          *If it’s not already obvious, I 𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘦 that pompous and pretentious word.

  7. Steve H.

    : What is the Relationship between Class and the Left? Class Unity (AL).

    >> Historically, “the left” was the revolutionary or progressive wing of the bourgeoisie or ascendant capitalist class that acted politically against the class of feudal landlords and monarchists in the great revolutions that defined the modern age of republics. The “right”, meanwhile, was the conservative or reactionary portion of the bourgeoisie, which wanted to preserve parts of the older institutions of the ancien régime and its privileges.

    >> The second answer is an idealist one. Regarded as an idea or ideal, “the left” is whatever “good” or “progressive” policy one might like to advance at any given moment, which is contrasted to conservative or reactionary efforts to impede or reverse “progress”. This perspective concerns civil rights and is moral, rather than political, economic, or material.

    The nearest I can find of Lambert’s definition is a platform:

    > Universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class.

    Dropping in a Taleb distinction to clarify the consommé:

    > Never use terms such as progressive or conservative without reference to a rate of change Progressive and conservative are ill defined terms, verbalistic labels. It is required to specify a rate of change for every specific domain. Rationally progressive means embracing progress by accepting a certain rate of change deemed optimal. Too high a rate of change cancels the gains from previous mutations; while too slow a change leads to misfitness.

    And as a garnish:

    > Marxism is a scheme floated by middle class intellectuals to get themselves promoted to the ruling class by hoodwinking the working classes.

    1. KD

      “Marxist analysis” often seems more like a thumb sketch of an analysis rather than an actual analysis.

      Marx was mostly concerned with industrial capitalism taking place in his time, and any modern analysis is at best “Marxist” inspired as you are dealing with a different economic system.

      Looking at the article, we discover “unproductive” commercial workers and managers, as if production of commodities were it. Taking commodities and getting them to end users is an enormous logistics task (and you can’t have re-distribution if you have no means of distribution in the first instance), and good managers increase productivity and constitute value added (and bad managers destroy value).

      Further, the ginormous hole is that you can’t have production unless you have territory from which to extract resources and/or produce goods. Further, you can’t hold on to your territory that you have appropriated (generally by force) without a standing army/navy, which seems to get left out of the whole analysis. . . as well relations with other, surrounding, appropriating powers. . . which gets back to the State, which ultimately exists to wage war in security competition with other states. And no evidence that workers “unite” over and against ties of national or racial or tribal affinities, so the international workers state is unrealistic.

      Granted, the conclusion: the PMC are useless as far promotion of the working class interests is indisputable. The question is how to shape a constructive path forwards toward building a political movement that actually represents working class interests.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        “And no evidence that workers “unite” over and against ties of national or racial or tribal affinities, so the international workers state is unrealistic.”

        The Ballad on the Dogmatist

        “The German proletarian ought not!”
        Major Petrov, beaten by German forces,
        Is baffled, is confudled, and is shocked
        By the incorrect course of the events.

        Chased across the homeland like a yellow leaf
        Chased past Autumn under the machine gun bullets’ whistle
        The Major shouted that the Ruhr metalworker
        Is friend, not foe, to the Urals metalworker.

        But the Ruhr proletarian ate ham
        And eggs, and milk, and butter
        And something, it would seem, went out in him.
        He did not care to know about classes or Urals.

        “That’s not how it’s supposed to go per Lenin!”
        And yet the forces still fell back before the German
        The horrifying motion picture played
        And it had not yet gone per Lenin.

        Per Lenin, and per all his works
        Per all the thirty volumes in collection.
        Though Lenin is the mind and example to all minds
        And comprehended all that had gone on before.

        And when the times changed
        And we pushed forward joyfully and ably
        Major Petrov decided: now the war
        Will go per Lenin and also per the Major.

        That was in March, and the snow
        Could freely bear the passing of a sleigh
        Thus Major Petrov, like Ivan Susanin,
        Carried out a dialectical leap.

        All by himself he chased down on the sleigh
        A troop of retreating Bavarian soldiers
        He wanted to explain to them – to signal
        He wished to persuade them to surrender.

        Major Petrov did not know the enemy’s language at all
        Although he often tried to grasp it.
        But the word “class” is understood by all
        Also the word “Marx” and the word “proletarian”.

        When they took off his boots
        Without asking for his social descent
        When without haste or condescension
        They battered out his brains with rifle butts

        Within the fading consciousness
        Of the poor dogmatist Petrov
        That had no impact.
        And if he had risen – he would have tried again.

        (Boris Slutsky; rushed and shoddy translation mine. Please pardon my self-indulgence, but this poem always springs to mind when I hear about working class solidarity across the borders and frontlines.)

      2. LifelongLib

        I think that a more expansive definition of “working class” would include many people we now call “professionals”. Living off paychecks, not in authority etc. Today’s distinctions have as much to do with historical origins as they do with economic status.

        Whatever definitions you accept, presumably a working class that “controlled the means of production” would still need some of the things we now term professional, management, or even financial. So there would be people doing those sorts of things even if they were no longer a separate class. Maybe class itself would be obsolete.

    2. Gil Schaeffer

      The quotation from Mills that starts off this article ends too soon. After dismissing the “labor metaphysic” of Victorian Marxism, Mills ends his essay with the advice to ‘read Lenin again (be careful) –Rosa Luxemburg, too.” Mills didn’t suggest that a new intellectual left was a class that could take the place that the working class held in Marxist theory. He was arguing that intellectuals shouldn’t wait for the resurgence of a working-class movement before tackling the political problems of race, nuclear weapons, and neo-colonialism. For a better explanation of the content of Mills’ political ideas and their use by the New Left, check out my essay on the unfinished history of the New Left at

      1. KD

        Its also important to consider in Mills’ time (1956 Power Elite) that the USSR was post-Stalinist and undergoing a Stalinist critique, Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution was about to commence, and the West was actually striving to maintain full employment and had powerful unions with deep penetration in the workforce, so it was hard to see a lot of desire to move in the direction of the Communist states, and a lot of the labor agitation of the late 19th century and early 20th century had been fulfilled, and the working class had become a lot more bourgie. . . with the 60’s you see the hard hats supporting the Vietnam war, it was pretty much over between the intelligentsia and non-elites who produced things through their labor. Much better to become the Lorax to speak for the trees, or the disabled, or criminals and drug addicts or the downtrodden minorities, or anyone you could find that didn’t have enough agency to push back against their PMC “advocates”.

  8. Wukchumni

    Sharks are ‘walking’ on land to survive the climate crisis: Species of carpet shark can spend up to 2 HOURS out of waters using its paddle shaped fins to escape warming in Pacific Ocean Daily Mail
    I heard about a shaggy shark who slithered on shore and tried to rob a 7-11, entering the store under the guise of the electric eye-but having no opposable digits, the AR-15 slung around it’s neck was all show and no go.

    Disgusted at its inability, the would-be thief made a beeline for the slurpee machine and utilizing the dorsal fin was able to push the lever for the frozen cherry concoction and it stood propped up against the machine drinking it’s fill until brain freeze kicked in, allowing authorities to arrest said sea creature and slip cuffs over it’s pectoral fins.

  9. griffen

    Appended to the above mission statement from the Starbucks corporate information. We take our employee morale seriously, along with the customer satisfaction and approval we seek daily.

    “All local retail managers may administer beatings in the public square until morale improves. Of course we will uphold our highest values, and these will be performed to the highest standards.”

        1. Wukchumni

          I always wondered what sort of mission statement was on the walls of the various California missions back in the day?

          When I was a kid, they practically lionized Junipero Serra, but he’s fallen out of favor over the treatment of the newly baptized tribes in terms of ‘enforced labor’ and the like.

    1. jr

      In line with this, a friend’s friend worked at a Facebook/Meta in NYC, if memory serves, and relayed that in the morning they were greeted by inspirational quotes from Zuck coming from a speaker in the lobby. This, of course, had the opposite effect. People were understandably weirded out by it all.

      The level of elite disconnect we see is always shocking to me. The Clinton’s new show is an example of this. The fact they even think this is legitimate is kind of scary, as it speaks to a total disregard for historical facts and the notion that everything and anything can be “talked away”. Hillary’s fantasy novel about haven’t never met Bill is the pinnacle of all this.

      As usual, I trace this back to post-structuralism’s imbe(ilic notion that human reality is primarily linguistic. But it occurs to me that there are two “wings” to this notion. On one hand, you have people who literally believe that. On the other, you have people who could care less about it’s philosophical moorings. Both groups use it to their advantage, in that they are conjoined.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Turkey’s Erdogan says return of Crimea to Ukraine is a requirement of international law’

    In all fairness to Erdogon, he was saying this to the Second Crimea Platform Summit in Kiev so he was just telling them what they wanted to hear. It gets him free brownie points with the Ukrainians that costs him nothing. It’s like an American President saying that they believe in economic justice – and then go on to do the total opposite. Erdogan, though untrustworthy, has sharp political senses and knows that the Crimea will never go back to the Ukraine. And especially now that the Ukraine wants to use them for target practice but more to the point, the Crimeans know what would be their fate if they came under Ukrainian control. And Russia knows why Erdogan would be saying this. At this point, the Turkish economy has far too much at stake to alienate the Russians, especially as they are making money hand over fist in not only trade with Russia but also as middlemen for trade between Russia and the west.

    1. Lex

      There’s a trick to it too. IIRC there’s an old treaty that says if Russia doesn’t control Crimea then Turkiye has a claim. I think it was part of the deal when Catherine conquered the peninsula to appease the Ottoman Empire.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I read a story back in 2014 – unconfirmed – that when the Russians made their move in 2014, one of the first things that they did was to shut down the airport. And a reason for that was that the Turks were ready to fly in two airliners full of Jihadists from the Syrian war who would help their Tatar brothers and the Ukrainians take over the Crimean peninsular. If true, I would imagine the payback may have been for Turkey to help develop the off-shore gas/oil fields south of the Crimea.

        1. Lex

          The Russian-Turkish relationship is fascinating study in Realist foreign policy. That story (hadn’t heard it before, thanks) fits right into the larger picture. Here we have two countries with a history of open and/or proxy war going back centuries; they are essentially faced off militarily in Syria; military planes have been shot down with loss of life; ambassadors murdered in public; proxies on opposite sides of the Libyan civil wars; and more. Yet they still manage to not just communicate but work together when the opportunities present themselves.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Sounds like the behavior of corporations as illuminated in a series of articles here at NC titled “journey into a libertarian future”.

            Also as presaged in a lot of “science” (speculative) fiction. “Alien,” anyone? “Soylent Green?”

      1. ambrit

        And Guantanamo, Cuba.
        As for Cyprus, the Turks would say that they had a claim to the entire island going back to the days of the Sublime Porte.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      We’ll see if that pans out Rev. Erdogan doesn’t seem like the most trustworthy character and has a history of playing both sides to get a better deal for Turkey and by extension, himself. We had a few days in a row of articles mentioning how Turkey was becoming closer to Russia, and then this about face today saying Crimea should be part of Ukraine.

      If this wasn’t said with a wink and a nod towards Putin, Erdogan may be getting a little too clever by half, and may find himself cut that way if he takes it too far.

  11. JohnA

    Re the Guardian predictions about Ukraine.
    As The Guardian sticks to the premise that the Russian operation was entirely unprovoked by butter wouldnt melt in its mouth Ukraine, and accordingly, that the war is about Putin’s need/desire/meglomania to recreate some kind of Russian/Soviet empire, they view the war as a rerun of the Vietnam domino theory.
    The population of Donbass and Crimea clearly want to be part of Russia, not Ukraine, and for Ukraine to retake the territory they would have to genocide the Russian speaking population, as they have been attempting to since 2014. The Ukraine army has suffered overwhelming losses and the only way to prevent a total collapse, is NATO boots on the ground, which would mean WW3. There is no stalemate, no deadline pre-winter. That is all wishful thinking by the west. And having skimmed through the piece, I got to MI6 asset Luke Harding begging for financial support from readers. I would happily support objective reporting, never establishment propaganda.

  12. zagonostra

    >Why is Pink Floyd’s bassist on a Ukrainian website’s ‘kill list’?

    “Another apparently baseless claim is that NATO is directly involved with Myrotvorets” What is that supposed to mean “apparently?”.

    The article studiously avoids the fact that Roger Waters shredded CNN in the interview referenced. It was also widely reported in the alt-media universe that CNN edited out portions of the interview where Water’s gives factual historical context to the war that supported his views.

    Not familiar with “Daily Dot,” I’ll have to rummage around a bit on the site, but the article was disappointing, it carefully avoided taking a position, it was a view from nowhere land…

  13. Will

    We should commend microbiologists for holding superspreader events. It demonstrates their commitment to science. Or at least Planck’s description of scientific advancement as occurring one funeral at a time.

    1. LawnDart

      Planck’s description of scientific advancement…

      Would seem apt to describe political advancement too, at least as commonly practiced in the West.

  14. digi_owl

    “Sharks are ‘walking’ on land to survive the climate crisis: Species of carpet shark can spend up to 2 HOURS out of waters using its paddle shaped fins to escape warming in Pacific Ocean Daily Mail”

    Makes one ponder evolution, as maybe something similar produced the first reptiles.

    “Alaska’s snow crabs have disappeared. Where they went is a mystery. WaPo”

    Norway apparently. Blasted things are all along the north coast apparently, killing everything else in their advance.

    That said, it seems to have somewhat revitalized the coastal economies. One such is marketing itself by taking a Discovery show and flipping it on its head.

    “Hedge funds build biggest bet against Italian debt since 2008 FT”

    I do wonder how much this kind of behavior is a large contributor to the fucked up nature of the world economy. When one can make a profit on the misfortunes of others, why bother trying to improve the world?

    “Is America Overextending Itself? Foreign Policy. Author is editor of FP.”

    That is one rethorical question…

    1. Wukchumni

      Things that can’t get up and do a sub crawl off to Norway on account of climate change are reacting in ways suggestive that they are on survival mode, do what it takes to keep on keeping on.

      Some oak trees have had their leaves turn yellow in July, and i’ve seen Sequoia cones about 1/3 to 1/2 the normal size. I’ve never glimpsed them that diminutive and i’ve been an ardent follower with a very long baseline of observation.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Five predictions for the next six months in the war in Ukraine”

    My own predictions for the next six months

    1) The Russians will link up with Transnistria leaving Odessa isolated as Mariupol was.

    2) The Ukrainian military will be depleted of experienced officers and NCOs as well as even basic equipment much less heavy equipment.

    3) Kharkiv will be surrounded by Russian and Allied forces after the Donbass has been cleared out.

    4) The Donbass, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia & Kherson at a minimum vote to join the Russian Federation. More will follow. The west objects but nobody else cars.

    5) The west will move on to the next thing – as we huddle around candles to keep warm in the dark.

  16. Stillfeelinthebern

    On the JAMA paper, Michael Mina did a critical twitter thread. I think he had good arguments. Would love to hear what others think.
    Here is the content of the first 3 three tweets.



    This is one of the Biggest OVERSIGHTS of the pandemic w MAJOR consequence

    This new Paper is a good example of this:

    We MUST consider that Incubation period Depends on Immune Status!

    Incubation Period (often defined as “Time from Exposure to Start of Symptoms”

    is critical bc it helps:

    Dictate quarantine & testing practices
    Estimates outbreak trajectory
    Allocate Resources, etc

    But Symptoms START for 2 totally different & OPPOSING reasons…

    2/Symptoms Can Start from

    1) Virus Damaging the Body (Difficulty breathing, loss of smell,..)


    2) Immune System Recognizing Virus & Defending Body (fever, congestion,…)

    Whether Infection is a Breakthrough (ie: w Pre-Existing Immunity) defines Why/When Symptoms start


  17. digi_owl

    That hit list looks like story worthy of its own article, and one that is hard to swallow.

    Langley address, use of NATO’s CDN, listing everything from intellectuals to musicians.

    That is the kind of behavior that one saw during the 1930s. And it is apparently being aided and abided by elements of the MIC.

    Dark dark tidings.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Just check the Wikipedia page on Myrotvorets – which doesn’t mention the NATO connection. The site has been condemned by UN, EU and others. While claiming to being about restoring peace and harmony in Ukraine, it openly roots for ISIS to kill as many Russians as possible.

    2. The Rev Kev

      The knowledge that the Myrotvorets List is hosted on NATO servers has been known for years. The only difference is that they are putting westerners on this kill list now but NATO does not see a problem with this. That is, until one of them is killed by a car bomb because some Azov nutjob thought that it would be a great propaganda victory.

  18. digi_owl

    That elephant reminded me of one of he Police Academy movies, where they are out partying on a beach and each of them has a go at the limbo game. Except for the obese one, who simply rolls under it.

  19. Carolinian

    Myrotvorets of Langley, Va–so does this make us a state sponsor of terrorism? Do we need to sanction ourselves?

    Next you’ll be telling us that the US had biowarfare labs in Ukraine. Oh wait.

  20. Lex

    WWII is always an inapt comparison at depth, but I would point out that the Soviets were willing to do winter offensives. In this case, fall/winter warfare favors the side with logistics. It won’t be pleasant for Russian forces, but it will be horrid for underequipped Ukrainians in trenches. Even before that, when the leaves fall, a lot of Ukrainian positions will be fully exposed. The same goes for Russian positions but we’re reaching a point where Ukrainian forces can’t hit those Russian positions with regularity. There have been TG rumors already that winter supplies are being sent from Russia.

  21. jsn

    “Mexico’s president sounds increasingly radical. Is a clash with Washington imminent?”

    Mexico’s president sounds increasingly radical. Clash with Miami Flight Capitalists ongoing.

    1. ambrit

      News Flash! Mexican President cares more about his country than Transnational Financial Elites! Davos Enforcement Group ponders options.
      The world global agenda is being challenged.

      1. digi_owl

        “Predator drone on drug enforcement detail accidentally fires razor blade missile at presidential residence in Mexico”.

        1. The Rev Kev

          The US State Department regrets to announce the death of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President of Mexico, about next Tuesday.

        2. jsn

          Yeah, IIRC this all started when DEA arrested one of AMLOs top general on drug charges only to have them dismissed first by a Brooklyn court, then in Mexico.

          AMLO went to bat for the Army rather than kowtowing to DEA or DC and got a second lease on populist life, not what The Jacobin had in mind, but in the same real-politic space Orban and Ertogan have opened up for themselves.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “I’m not over the moon about mooncakes – in my reality, everybody hates them. So why are we still eating these Mid-Autumn Festival gifts?”

    So the Chinese are faced with an inedible food that often gets chucked because tradition? In reading this, I was reminded of how Red Delicious apples came to dominate the US the past several decades in spit of the fact that-

    ‘alluring yet undesirable, the most produced and arguably the least popular apple in the United States. It lurks in desolation. Bumped around the bottom of lunch bags as schoolchildren rummage for chips or shrink-wrapped Rice Krispies treats. Waiting by the last bruised banana in a roadside gas station, the only produce for miles. Left untouched on hospital trays, forlorn in the fruit bowl at hotel breakfast buffets, bereft in nests of gift-basket raffia.’

    The parallels are there. So with the Chinese, it is tradition that keeps that mooncake junk around. With the US, it was because markets took away other choices.

    1. Wukchumni

      Supposedly everybody going camping loves S’mores, which includes Hershey’s milk chocolate- with a waxy sugary consistency that resembles fresh mud, marshmallows and graham cracker top and bottom, heated over an open flame so that in theory the marshmallow will melt into the milk chocolate and when ready to consume, will be a gooey mess.

      I’d almost never eat any of the 3 ingredients on their own, why would combining them make it any better?

      1. digi_owl

        I guess that if you have spent a day walking, anything become appetizing.

        In particular if it is high on easily digestible sugars.

    2. digi_owl

      Hmm, mooncake.

      The nerd in me have a vague memory of some game backstory joke where such a cake or similar had been passed between two semi-divine entities for eons.

      1. Pat

        An acquaintance once brought a group of us a tin of what he said were his favorite mooncakes, I liked them, unfortunately I don’t remember who made them.
        But I am a terrible representative of this, as my mother had a date nut fruit cake recipe that was pretty good. And sadly that was one of three recipes that I wanted that were no where to be found in her recipe file when she passed.

        1. Nikkikat

          Proving that people who claim to hate fruit cake, have never had a good fruit cake. They do exist and are generally not in a Christmas themed tin box. My grandmother made several types. One with coconut.

        1. Eclair

          Ahh, Lambert. We use our fruitcakes to wedge under the wheels of the tractor, to keep it from rolling downhill.

    3. Socal Rhino

      I like moon cakes. Depends on the filling really, the ones I’ve had are similar to bean paste cookies.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      WSJ! Do you think it’s beginning to dawn on them that “let ‘er rip” is destroying rather than saving The Economy?

    2. jsn

      The Brookings paper says 2-4M, WSJ leads with 2.

      The “story” is $200B loss of income / demand and 15% of the “labor shortage”, not over a million dead.

  23. Henry Moon Pie

    Chinese heat and Xi’s plans for the future–

    I hope the Chinese soon realize that doubling their GDP will put such an extraordinary amount of carbon in the air that their little summer heatwave and drought will seem like an Alaskan vacation. GDP needs to be dumped as a concept. It’s misleading. Instead, we need to be measuring everything in terms of energy from fossil fuels will the goal of quickly decreasing it.

    I have at least a little hope that the Chinese will get realistic considering their dedication to zero-Covid, but is the pull of American consumerism, even as it crashes and burns (often literally), too powerful?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Michael Pettis argues that China’s GDP is not a particularly accurate measure of real output. It is unfortunate though that Beijing seems hung up on GDP figures over and above measurements that might mean a little more in terms of human development.

      Its difficult to assess in detail, but I suspect that China could significantly increase welfare without increasing carbon outputs, simply by switching away from an intense focus on physical investment (i.e. pouring concrete and steel everywhere) to more useful means of making life better. Although like a most developing countries, they have achieved some aims by simply decanting the really dirty stuff to the next upcoming economy. That said, the recent improvements in air quality are very impressive, and China can achieve a lot by simply closing down a lot of older, unproductive industry.

    2. Ignacio

      The “Heatwave in China is the most severe ever recorded in the world. New Scientist” link is a must for us to make our minds up for what is coming soon to many cities. I am horrified with the experience we have had this year in Spain this summer (still having so far, with summer starting in May) but I read that link and scream whoah! Particularly this bit that Chongqing city in Sichuan hit one day a minimum temperature of 34,9ºC. Minimum! We should have more fear with high minimum temperatures than with record highs. I just cannot imagine that. Sleepless night of course.

  24. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: A ‘Drop in the Bucket’ for Many: Let’s Put Biden’s Student Loan Relief in Perspective Jezebel. Various commentary.

    The comments on the article seemed pretty much universally approving of the biden program and critical of Jezebel’s take. Most felt the reductions would significantly improve their positions, and the positions of millions of borrowers.

    Commenters seemed to be particularly critical of the “drop in the bucket” phrasing of newly minted orthopedic surgeon, Jordan Handcox, used in the headline. So much so, that Jordan herself commented:

    Hey there, I am the orthopedic surgeon mentioned and I just want to say a lot of what is written here was oversimplified. I come from a poor background (food stamps, free school lunches) and JUST graduated (so haven’t made any money yet). I wrote many times in my response to Kylie that I know I am so lucky (many classmates have double the debt I do, and I know my job will pay well soon), and as I said it’s the price I paid for where I’m at today and I would GLADLY pay it again. I never complained about the amount of forgiveness, rather I said any amount is great because it means the government is finally paying attention to the problem of student loans. I also talked a lot about the impact of interest rates because to me, that’s the greater problem and I am ecstatic that the 0% interest rate was extended one more time. So please, know that I know I’m lucky, and what’s been said here is not the whole story.

    For all the borrowers for whom this will make a significant difference, I can only hope that this is not another one of biden’s head fakes, to be reneged on after November. And while biden’s “breathing room” comment suggests otherwise, I hope this is the beginning of broader reform of this sorry, predatory student loan program.

    PS. To all my fellow boomers, stop talking about how your own parents paid for your college or you worked your way through, so these borrowers should suck it up and pay their way. It’s not remotely the same situation and pretending you don’t know that just makes you look cranky, selfish, and deliberately obtuse.

    1. Larry Carlson

      Laurence Tribe: “Good news for thousands of my former students.”

      If thousands of your former students were struggling to repay their loans, perhaps you should think about the value your teaching provides and whether it is commensurate with what you charge for it?

    2. Fiery Hunt

      Gen X here.
      Would someone explain to me, who got yoked to student loans for 20 years for a degree I didn’t get, (even through bankruptcy …Thanks, Brandon!…) why I should be pleased that kids younger than me have been given a $10-20,000 advantage in the fight to buy a house?

      Why should I cheer that?

      1. MT_Wild

        Another Gen X here. Presumably because they won’t have to go through the same bullshit we did.

        It’s sorta like someone saying the polio vaccine is unfair because they had to go without when they were kids. And yes it does sound that stoopid.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Or like a crab in the proverbial bucket of crabs pulling down another crab trying to climb out.

      2. Betty

        Not everyone is in the “fight to buy a house.”
        This “drop in the bucket” will provide a relief for many friends, who have been paying back, and are still paying back in their retirement. They are chains on the soul, even if it’s in the fading background of background of consciousness.

      3. LawnDart

        Millennials have no advantage if you take into account the difference in costs between 2000 and now:

        1999 – 2000 academic year
        Private college tuition, fees, room and board: $32,470
        Public college in-state tuition, fees, room and board: $12,210

        2018 – 2019 academic year
        Private college tuition, fees, room and board: $48,510
        Public college in-state tuition, fees, room and board: $21,370

        [Sources may quibble on the exact amounts, but they’re all in the same ballpark]

        You should be cheered by the fact that they are still more-screwed than you are, an object-lesson in the fact that you could be doing much worse, with plenty of examples to look to.

        Personally, I’m all in favor of restoring bankruptcy provisions as the final safety-net (along with a debt-jubilee for student loans in general with the full-funding of state schools restored). I went into an unplanned, unavoidable financial free-fall in 2005 (alternative was a premature introduction to my maker– I know, I know, I lacked the personal responsibility to just go die), the very year that these bankruptcy protections went away, and I will never recover from that hit or own a home because of this.

        If someone deserving actually benefits from this “forgiveness” [gag-puke-spit] who am I to begrudge them?

        1. Fiery Hunt

          Sorry to hear you’re rowing the same boat I am…up the same creek.

          Unfortunately, college costs here in CA for private school (one of 2 that offered Architecture degree) was $48,000 a yr in 2003. Quit after one year due to costs. Add in smaller loans from my early 20’s and yeah, I was just as (family-blogged) as the last 2 (Millennium and Z) generations. And my bankruptcy actually prevented me from paying on the student loans while I was in bankruptcy so for 7 years I couldn’t pay on those loans even though I tried. They disappeared (creditors were paid but the government held them because the creditors were government guaranteed…) and re-appeared once bankruptcy cleared. I had credit destroyed for 20 some-odd years.
          So I actually win the victim Olympics. :)
          Paid ’em off last year.

          And yeah, if bankruptcy and fully funded state schools was part of this plan, I’d absolutely applaud.

          But as it is, it’s just a pandering, Election-year sop to a bribable, select demographic and I hate it.

  25. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The Hillary and Chelsea Clinton docu-series of your wildest dreams The Spectator. I can’t even.

    Speaking of gutsy gal kim kardashian:

    Celebrities including Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Kevin Hart and Sylvester Stallone have been served with notices for exceeding their monthly water budgets at least four times, according to officials in California.

    Driving the news: They’re among more than 1,600 people who have exceeded their water budgets by 150% as the state faces a water and drought crisis exacerbated by climate change, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District spokesperson Mike McNutt told Axios on Tuesday evening.

    1. Lemmy Caution

      Oh my…

      Kardashian defeated Clinton by a score of 11-4 in a legal quiz that was filmed for an episode of ‘Gutsy’, a new documentary series hosted by the former first lady and her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

  26. Lex

    South Korean protests and whether the US is overextending itself are related. For one, putting the question of overextension in the present tense is incorrect. The US is grossly overextended and has been for a long time. It wasn’t noticeable because fear kept the planet in line. What’s changed is the world seeing that the US is not as strong as it believes itself so now the overextension is obvious and quickly becoming intractable.

    I spent almost two years in Gimpo-Si (between Incheon and Seoul) which is right in the heart of where a resumption of the Korean War would be fought. At least twice I started getting panicked messages from friends and family in the US about imminent war, when no such real threat existed. I always got mixed feelings about the basing of US troops, but then they were still at Yongsan; removing the bulk of them from Seoul proper has likely helped US-Korean citizen relations somewhat. (The Yongsan neighborhood was a wretched hive of scum and villainy.) But at least then the biggest fear of Koreans seemed to be that the US would provoke a war or the collapse of the DPRK regime. All the Korean men I knew, many still in the reserves, assumed that they’d lose badly to the DPRK while everyone else was terrified that a DPRK collapse would mean that filial piety requirements would have them financially supporting long lost relatives from the north. I don’t recall anyone being afraid of DPRK missiles or nukes, since everyone knows those are for Japan, not S. Korea and most S. Koreans wouldn’t be at all sad to see Japan get hammered by Korean missiles.

    1. digi_owl

      “The Yongsan neighborhood was a wretched hive of scum and villainy.”

      If you can’t party at some campus, get stationed abroad and party even harder?

  27. Mike the Mad Biologist

    Given the givens, it would be nice if the American Society for Microbiology didn’t follow the lead of The International Society for Microbial Ecology, and turn its conferences into superspreader events.

    The June national meeting for ASM, ASMMicrobe, had a mandatory mask policy, and an ASM meeting I’ll be attending in part in October also has a mandatory mask policy. So they (we) are doing ok for now.

  28. russell1200

    Zebra Fish and Covid

    I am not sure what your question is. Probably because I am not an expert. But it does remind me of something I read recently at “Plagues upon the Earth: Disease and the Course of Human History” by the brilliant Kyle Harper.

    The big, wide spread biomass on the planet is humans. We are the big source of energy on which to feed. So all sorts of stuff loves to feed on us and does. So we are the species that is most often giving other species diseases. And since we gave them the diseases in the first place, they can easily give them back.

    The interesting example he use was Seals as being the source of the New Worlds strain of pre-Columbian Tuberculosis. It was once thought that Tuberculosis was an agent disease because it was found in both the New and Old World. But genetic research shows that what seems to have happened is that Tuberculosis in Africa jumped from Humans to Seals. Than the Seals crossed over to South America and gave it to the people there.

    The author was a little nervous about stating this categorically, but the finding is referenced here in an article about the Black Death.

  29. Mikel

    “Why is Pink Floyd’s bassist on a Ukrainian website’s ‘kill list’?” Daily Do

    Why are we putting up with this trash that is begging for money and putting citizens of other countries on “kill lists”? How deep was the energy corruption and collusion in the Ukraine? It’s not worth it to any of the people in the world but the criminals involved.

    It’s going to be some sacrifices for the Ukraine, but not what the elite expected.

  30. Mikel

    Starbucks: guarantee their fight against workers is going to cost them closing stores they didn’t intend to close.
    They act like once the workers don’t have a store to work in or a job, they won’t have friends, family, or other influence.
    Stick a spoon in Starbucks.

  31. Lex

    It appears that the ZNPP has just been fully disconnected from the Ukrainian electric grid. Looks like official announcement publications from Energoatom. And a bill to designate Ukraine as a terrorist state was submitted in the Duma today.

  32. Wukchumni

    Its nice there’s not any overlap between the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium and Burning Man, the substance of both events being the same-the gift economy and how to keep things going-with the former throwing money at the problem and so far so good.

  33. Terry Flynn

    The climate change articles got more than usual interest from me after reading this – being half Aussie.

    OK my pommieness is stronger (just 6 years in which I was living F/T in Oz; shorter stays in other years) but I saw incredible change beyond la nina/el nino variation just in that time period in Sydney and am flabbergasted by obvious heating and humidity change. You don’t have to go far north to experience excessive “wet bulb” heat (which effectively makes outdoor work fatal for anything but very short periods) – Sydney had days like that increasingly (so much so that I bought a portable A/C unit despite living in possibly one of the best ventilated harbourside units that existed). Friends in Northern NSW and QLD simply can’t live with higher temps/humidity. Something has to give.

    The south seems less bothersome – sadly I never made it to Perth but did Adelaide in high summer. Think Arizona – oven but dry heat. Plus frequent cold blasts from Antarctica. But the East and North? I just don’t see it being habitable in 2100.

  34. Rod

    Thank You Lambert for finding me a reason to not believe I am a Lone Ranger–or for the many here who might feel the same.
    Or at least frustrated by something sooooooo IMPORTANT lacking the traction it rightfully should have:

    It is thick, and the Authors want you to know by their Methodology that “This IS NOT BULLSHIT”

    Pity the commentariot braintrusts that by passed something so significant and worth relentlessly parsing.
    I would re-post it with your words–smithing.(This is NOT homework-but a pleading).
    It is deserving.

    Makes the 3% Conversion concept embodied by Extiction Rebellion shine with a new light.
    A Teaser that stuck:

    . In other words, supporters of major climate policies outnumber opponents 2 to 1, but Americans falsely perceive nearly the opposite to be true.

  35. Karl

    RE: Climate change is making pathogens worse

    Most of the examples in this article seem to be of second order importance compared to other factors. Other influences besides climate change seem much more important. For example, increased encroachment by humans of habitats and ecosystems, and predation for food, promotes zoonotic (species cross-over) infections. Such activities are especially pronounced in China. China has been the source of many of the worst recent epidemics (Covid, Swine flu, Avian flu). China is also the poster child for two root causes of climate change: population growth and technological change. So, I would suggest that Population growth and habitat disruption are the primary causes of the rise of new dangerous pathogens of late. And population growth (along with technology and the fossil energy consumed to produce it) is the primary driver of climate change.

    How climate change affects the evolution of pathogens (making them more virulent) seems less important relative to other direct impacts of humans on pathogens, but probably also plays some role.

    I would re-word the title: Humans are making pathogens worse for humans. This could be the doom loop that solves the climate problem, by radically reducing our numbers to a more sustainable level. It would be an example of planetary self-regulation as suggested by Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis. In this case, pathogens are serving as the planetary immune system fighting rampant infection by humans.

  36. ArvidMartensen

    Ian Welsh also has a piece on the mega droughts and heatwaves in China and Europe. . The stable goldilocks climate has gone. Rail lines are buckling, roads are melting, hydropower is failing due to lack of water. Agriculture is failing due to droughts one year and floods the next, extreme temperatures. His advice, do whatever you can to prepare for chaos, become as self-sufficient as you can.

    We need to stop listening to the IPCC. It’s political. It represents big business. Big business wants to keep looting the earth’s resources uninterrupted. IPCC ‘s real remit is hiding the scale of the coming destruction. Communiques are managed and massaged. Focus has been on a global rise of 1 degree C. Great for the garden in winter, and in summer who cares if the temperature is 35 or 36 C?
    The IPCC are not solving global warming. They are solving the problem of stopping ordinary people waking up and acting without permission. Becoming “uncontrollable”. Interfering with looting.

    But it’s becoming harder to hide the floods, cyclones, droughts and extreme temperatures from people. As their homes float away, their livestock die, their crops die of thirst and heat. Gas prices soaring.
    Watch the media because psychologists are working on it right now, how to rebrand climate activists as “information terrorists” and deluded preppers lol.
    Maybe even russian sympathisers. That works for most things.

  37. ArvidMartensen

    Ailing empire blues.
    Was talking to an old UK expat gone home to live after 30 years working in a newly rich Asian country. He bemoaned the fact that his country has turned into a giant museum. Tourists and devonshire teas and cathedrals and English science of the 19th century etc. No manufacturing anymore.
    Do the English who have lived in the homeland all their lives notice this? Or is the decline imperceptible when you see it every day?


      The changes that I have seen have come slowly enough not to be easily noticed or at least the extent of it. However, when I make a conscious choice of sitting down and looking through my memories or the experiences of my parents’ generation, or see a place like a school or a courthouse after some years, then it is very, very noticeable. Otherwise, I miss it.

      But I am in my fifties, which means that I can compare different decades. When I do, the changes are really clear and terrifying and even more so, if I push back just a decade in my family or acquaintances memories, or even just some reading. The collapse has been ongoing for at least forty years and yet it can be ignored by those older who make even a slight effort or missed by people younger than me who don’t have the memories. The collapse was slow at first, and only now is it obvious as it speeds up, if you make an effort. Just look at the CDC.

      We have truly made ourselves into a fearful, sick, slightly insane, exhausted mess and have allowed all the organizations (political, social, and religious), infrastructure, government, economy to be wrecked while building a police state.

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