Links 8/27/2022

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

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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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In honor of National Dog Day, please enjoy these adorable pups NPR (David L)

This video of two cats ‘paw-xing’ has left netizens laughing. Watch Hindustan Times (David L)

100-Year-Old 360-Degree Film Camera That Uses 98-Feet Long Film PetaPixel (David L)

The Latest Webb Observations Don’t Disprove The Big Bang, But They Are Interesting Universe Today. Furzy: “Check out the images too….”

Chinese scientists create first mammal with fully reprogrammed genes South China Morning Post

Researcher studying life’s complexities to improve chronic disease care STAT (Dr. Kevin)

Everyone’s a Critic John Merrick The Baffler (Anthony L)



BioNTech Founder Uğur Şahin: “The Virus Continues To Mutate at a High Speed” Der Speigel (resilc)

Post-Covid brain fog in Chess rating.reddit (Paul R)


Chinese outcry after volleyballers wear N95 masks during match BBC (resilc). But note this shows wide acceptance of an urban legend. Do N95 Masks Deprive Us of Oxygen? Smart Filter. Even when exercising, blood ox leaves were the same. I weight train (hard) in an N95. Only issue is it can get pretty moist inside the mask.


Moderna sues Pfizer and BioNTech over Covid-19 vaccine STAT


‘I Do Not Know If My People Will Survive’: A Fifth Year of Drought Is Coming to East Africa Byline Times (guurst)

Its largest lake is so dry, China digs deep to water crops Associated Press (resilc)

Climate change: Russia burns off gas as Europe’s energy bills rocket BBC (resilc)

Drought and Doubt on the Rio Grande: A Q&A with Watershed Scientist Martin Castro The Border Chronicle (resilc)

Climate change threatens the survival of iconic saguaro cactus in the Southwest PBS (David L)

Herschel Walker on climate bill: ‘Don’t we have enough trees around here?’ Washington Post (resilc)


After Pelosi’s Visit, Most of the Indo-Pacific Sides With Beijing Foreign Policy. Oops.

Huawei’s profits collapse as US sanctions bite Asia Times

US ship unable to get Solomon Islands’ permission to dock, says Washington Guardian (Kevin W)

Old Blighty

UK Students Seek Second Jobs and Food Banks After Inflation Jump Bloomberg

The narcissism, it burns:

New Not-So-Cold War

US won’t be able to replace Russian uranium – official RT (Kevin W)

Belgian industry also groans under unprecedented energy crisis: factories are at a standstill, invoices are up to 15 times more expensive. Original:
Ook Belgische industrie kreunt onder ongeziene energiecrisis: fabrieken liggen stil, facturen zijn tot 15 keer duurder NWS (guurst)

* * *

International Military Tribunals to be Held in Mariupol, Ukraine! Clandestine’s Newsletter (GF)


It is in the best interests of Ukraine, and the west, to end this war as soon as possible Guardian (Kevin W)

Book review: Alexander Zhuchkovsky, “85 Days in Slavyansk” Gilbert Doctorow (guurst)

U.S. Rewards Darya Dugina Assassination with $3 Billion for Weapons Dan Cohen, YouTube (Dr. William Wedin). Important. Mark Sleboda knew the Dugins personally and points out the Darya was targeted. Both she and her father were on the Ukraine intelligence service’s “Peacemaker” hit list. This is the notorious list that includes John Mearsheimer, Jeffrey Sachs, Tulsi Gabbard, and Rand Paul. Per Newsweek: “The list was compiled by the Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, part of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council.”

* * *

Zelensky Steamrolls Workers To Pave Way For Mass Privatization Jimmy Dore, YouTube

US embassy tweet sparks outrage in Lebanon The Cradle (guurst). You’ll see why it is in this category…


Imperial Collapse Watch

World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers Department of State (guurst). “WMEAT Will No Longer be Published”

Trump Raid

Over 180 classified docs removed by National Archives from Mar-a-Lago, affidavit says NPR

Biden Mocks Trump’s Claim He Declassified Mar-a-Lago Documents v. Trump Says Redacted Affidavit Reinforces Need for Special Master Bloomberg

Five takeaways from the Mar-a-Lago search affidavit The Hill

This appears to be the best, erm, authority Fox is able to find who can speak to the Trump claim of his declassification authority (although the folks at Judicial Watch share that view) . Admittedly, he does cite two Supreme Court decisions:

GOP Clown Car

Resilc: “He will be far, far worse than Trump.”

A Rare Peek Inside the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy New Republic


Louisiana woman denied abortion despite fetus’s fatal abnormality to travel to North Carolina Guardian (Kevin W)

What the Kansas abortion vote could mean for Missouri: ‘People are paying attention’ KCUR (furzy)

Our No Longer Free Press

Only Lone Nuts Need Apply: The Media’s Antipathy to Deeper Digs and Notes From the Memory Hole: When the Establishment Buries You Russ Baker (Chuck L)

Americans Don’t Want Books Banned, But They’re Divided Over What Schools Teach FiveThirtyEight. Resilc: “Never enough worthless polls. Merikins want: Cheap gas, cheap food, healthcare and a school where their kids come home after they’re done with their third p/t job.”

Book banned at a school named after its author Boing Boing (furzy)

New York Fuel Supply Is So Low It Triggered White House Warning Bloomberg

CalPERS executives urge industry to follow their lead on DEI Pension & Investments (Kevin W)

Will El Salvador be the first country bankrupted by crypto? Rolling Stone (Paul R)

Powell comments fuel 1,000-point market rout Friday as stocks slide for a second week CNBC

US stocks tumble more than 3% after Powell stands firm on rate rises Financial Times

Class Warfare

The Origin of Student Debt: The Danger of Educated Proles Intercept (resilc)

Starbucks Illegally Denied Raises to Union Members, Labor Board Says New York Times (Kevin W)

Ohio School Hires Strikebreaking Company – 1st Chipotle Unionizes in Michigan – Omaha Workers Forced to Endure “Surprise Active Shooter Drill” Mike Elk

Bernie Sanders Is Rallying to Build Working-Class Power Jacobin (furzy)

How Nonprofits Use a Legal Loophole to Flip California Homes — for a Profit KQED (resilc)

Antidote du jour (Cliff V):

And a bonus:

News you can use, shark edition:

A second bonus (Chuck L). Some are critical of the man, arguing that he was the trapper. While probably true, my father was a trapper. He took it up to help a friend whose baby lambs were being eaten by coyotes. My father used humane traps, as it appears this man did. My father carried a pistol to shoot the coyotes. I assume this man was armed. If so, he could just as easily shot the wolf as freed it, at much less risk to him. Or he could have left the wolf to die.

My father once caught a Rottweiler by its hind leg, and was not so clever about pinning the dog to make sure he wouldn’t get mauled. But the dog quickly worked out that my father was there to help.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. jr

      I was attacked by a flock of “standard” barnyard geese as a child. I had been feeding them bread and when I ran out they swarmed me. They pecked me repeatedly, including the Area You Never Want to get Pecked by a Goose. My father waded into the fray to rescue me, kicking them aside as he went.

    2. Lee

      While I was bicycling through our local park, which is infested with highly territorial and aggressive Canada Geese that are known to go after kids playing the park, I was attacked by one that managed to deliver a painful peck on leg. One question: are they good eating?

      1. griffen

        They can also ravage many a tee box on golf courses, their green droppings basically spread wherever they choose to leave a deuce. In an office park I worked at ’97 to ’05, they covered the lawn and a small pond. I do not imagine they make for good vittles, but as always others mileage might vary.

        1. jonboinAR

          So, speaking of canada geese on golf courses, years ago I was making my way up a fairway. I had to pass through a group of them. They were resting, sitting still. I was proceeding cautiously as I had heard they could be aggressive. They didn’t bother me, but as I passed one that was eyeing me with probably the same mild suspicion that I was eyeing it, I said “quack quack.” It tilted its head slightly in my direction and said “quack quack” right back at me.

      2. Wukchumni

        Relatives from up over made Gee-beav-bou-tine, which I think is an up over version of Turduckhen, albeit with cheese curds… and you don’t have any idea how difficult it is to catch a caribou, they related.

        I took a few bites, threw up a little in my mouth as i’m no good with dairy.

        1. The Heretic

          What has happened to humanity? In the days old, men with but spears and fire hunted any predator out of existence that dared hunt us. The short face bear, the cave bear, the sabre-tooth cat, And many unknown others, they are but but bones in the earth or notes in the biology book. What has happened to us, that we run away from Geese?

          1. JBird4049

            Well, actually us eating all their food and climate change instead of hunting them was probably why they became extinct. The switches from to an ice age and back are extremely disruptive to the ecology especially to North America, which is far more vulnerable than Africa to ecological catastrophes even without humans.

            Adding people who are also suffering from the changes, likely starving, and willing to eat anything. It is just disastrous. Over the millions of years of hominids’ existence starvation was the big killer especially for the small bands or tribes. Not that disease and conflict didn’t hurt, but starvation was often worse.

            1. ambrit

              The ‘recent’ discoveries of what is now the “Holocine Impact Working Group” suggests that the megafauna became extinct due to a major cometary impact or perhaps a major Coronal Mass Ejector event hitting earth back at the beginning and or end of the Younger Dryas period, roughly 12,900 to 11,700 years before present (YBP.)
              HIWG (Up to 2010):
              Younger Dryas:
              Interestingly, hominids also almost went extinct in North America at the same time, suggesting that some catastrophe did in the magafauna as well as trying to do the same to the Terran humans there. Archaeologically, there is an as yet “officially” unexplained gap of a thousand years between the last clovis culture evidence just under the “black mat” deposits and subsequent archeological evidence for Terran human occupation in North America. The abrupt ‘end’ of clovis deposits happens at the 12,900 YBP point. The abrupt end of the megafauna deposits happens at the same time. The Black Mat itself, a widespread phenomenon in North American archaeological digs, coincides with both cited events, back at the 12,900 BYP time point.
              Black mat:
              As the reporter at the end of Christian Nyby’s “The Thing From Another World” exhorts his listeners; “Keep watching the skies…”

              1. JBird4049

                It took decades for the evidence that the Clovis was not the earliest American culture, which means that it is not a surprise that this black mat would be ignored or at least poorly studied.

                I have no problem believing that humans would be responsible for some or even most of the die offs in the Americas; however believing that the American equivalent of Sub-Saharan Africa would be exterminated just by people with stone age technology, while Africa remained (mostly) intact seems unlikely to me. Granted, the Africa is the home continent of humans, which means that until modern guns came along, it was quite adapted to humans.

                I will even say that the now discredited theory of “Man the Mighty Hunter” standing up in the African Savannah and slaughtering animals at will was never very convincing to me. Consider that all the major predators there consider people as good eating and that there were many diseases that kept the human population down until modern medicine until the early 20th century all makes this less likely. The further back you go in time, the more this is true.

      3. Randy

        I tried roasting a Canada goose once, never again. The whole thing was like eating tough liver. It was all dark meat, tough and dry. It was a big bird but it was mostly bone which was a blessing in disguise (less meat). Maybe I should have eaten the bones and thrown the meat away.

        A friend filleted his ducks and geese and prepared them in a Crock pot with a gravy. Eight hours in a Crock pot made them chewable but IMO not edible.

      4. Ignacio

        Try leaving cans filled with brandy and after a while you might prepare decent foie grass. This has the advantage that drunk geese wouldn’t be able to peck you again.

        1. JP

          Yea, foie gras. In California they outlawed foie gras because the poor goose. But those PC legislators obviously never been goosed. Anyone who has kept a goose knows, like the red queen, what that long neck is good for.

      5. Xihuitl

        Wild geese are delicious. But they are a red meat bird (like duck) and should be cooked like red meat — hot and fast, like steak. Put it under the broiler to crisp up the skin and then turn the oven off and let it sit for a bit. The meat should still be red/pink. People make the mistake of thinking because it’s fowl you have to cook the hell out of it. Then they complain about how tough and dry it is. And people who don’t like the taste of game shouldn’t be eating game.

        Ducks and geese naturally fatten up for long migration. So foie gras can happen in the wild. Lucky be the person who gets to taste it.

      6. jrkrideau

        Never tried one myself but my sister reports that they are a bit dry and tough. I suspect that something like a pressure cooker or a long time in a croak-pot would help.

      7. Yves Smith Post author

        Geese are excellent. My mother preferred goose and duck to turkey for holidays.

        Remember Scrooge bought Tiny Tim’s family a huge goose for Christmas.

        Wild geese would be leaner than farmed, though….

        1. jonboinAR

          Wild geese and other wild fowl are fairly gamey. I enjoy eating domesticated fowl a lot more. Some prefer that gamey flavor. I’ve tolerated it a few times.

          1. Petter

            Thinking back to my waiting on table days, being asked about a fish dish, “Does it taste fishy?”

    3. lyman alpha blob

      There’s a park with a pond frequented by mallards and Canada geese in the middle of a commercial section of our town and sometimes the birds cross the road. I’ve noticed the ducks will pick up the pace a bit when faced with oncoming traffic while the geese will take their time slowly meandering across the street, daring cars to hit them.

      I really would like to know what gives these birds their completely unfounded, in my opinion, sense of superiority.

    4. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

      To be fair those looked liked pretty young cows, which can be quite silly and playful. I seen that exact behavior with my steers, although admittedly never with a goose.

  1. LawnDart

    re; new cold war.. …a duet.

    The sanctions are working:

    Spiralling energy costs force Belgian companies to shut down

    Several companies in Belgium have been forced to shut down their production facilities due to high energy prices, meaning thousands of employees are currently temporarily out of a job.

    Peter Claes, director of Febeliec (the umbrella organisation of energy-intensive companies), fears that Aperam and Yara will not be the only companies that will have to halt production because they can no longer compete in international markets. The gas price in Belgium is now ten times higher than in the US.

    Now if we can only get workers in the USA…

    1. The Rev Kev

      Things aren’t going so well in Poland either-

      ‘Petr Wozniak, the former head of the country’s state oil and gas company PGNIG…said the problem stems from the fact that energy companies buy gas on the European spot market, where prices have been on the rise for months.

      “Thus, the prices that companies will have to pay on the spot market to buy gas will grow higher and higher… There is a serious threat here that companies will not have enough money to pay collateral. Then such a company will be forced to drop out of the bidding… If it has nowhere to buy gas, it cannot sell it to the end customer. Individual companies can go bankrupt,” Wozniak warned in an interview with RMF FM radio station, adding that “at the turn of the year, we can expect very serious price increases.” ‘

      1. John

        Perhaps. I do not think European solidarity with “the narrative” will extend so far as to destroy not only the economy but lives. The ‘leaders’ will need a regiment to protect them if they carry on as they are. I am only surprised that there has not been a backlash from the people before now. Governments are going to fall. The EU is going to de facto if not de jure fracture. Borrell and Van der Leyen may find that an extended vacation elsewhere is a splendid reward for a job well done.

        The world outside the “combined west” is assembling the future and there is little that can obstruct that beyond even more self-destructive measures. So far it has been false assumption followed by misstep in such a deliberate fashion that it might be a minuet.

        I have lived a long time and never ever have I seen such a abysmal display purporting to be leadership and political acumen. You have to give them that. They are plumbing the depths.

        1. OIFVet

          Some governments have fallen already, for example the BG government.
          We are headed for a 4th election in 18 months, and the interim gov’t seems to be marching to a Russian drum and about to start negotiations with Gazprom to get gas for rubles. However, don’t hold your breath waiting for widespread backlash in the EU. The amount of propaganda in the Euro press is breathtaking, and some countries, like Poland and the Baltics, are so invested in russophobia that they would rather freeze out of spite.

        2. tindrum

          There is certainly an east-west split in Germany so that should be fun. Most Germans though are still drinking the kool-aid. It remains to be seen whether they can put zwei und zwei together and figure out that their govt. has been lying to them. The media is 100% behind the war effort, so it will be difficult to change direction.

        3. Mikel

          “The world outside the “combined west” is assembling the future and there is little that can obstruct that beyond even more self-destructive measure…”

          I’d say there are reports of attempts at such a thing, but that all boils down to how much bizarro world financialization they also have adopted and learned.

        4. jonboinAR

          I’ve been trying to figure out these several months what the H they’re even thinking. They’re looking to have parts of their population freezing this winter, but they have to save Ukraine from Russia? How on earth did neo-cons come to rule the entire western world?

  2. LawnDart

    Oh! Let’s build a choir!

    Raise you, Rev:

    UK industry faces energy SHUTDOWN – leaked memo exposes horror scenario for next PM

    ENERGY-INTENSIVE industries face having to slow or shut down entirely due to soaring energy costs and the Government was warned even prior to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Russia, sources claim.

    See? We even put the screws to our own, the original 51st state.

    1. Sardonia

      “Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Russia”

      Good to see that they acknowledge that Donbas is Russia.

      1. LawnDart

        That is a gem, isn’t it? Might they be insinuating that VVP rose from the underworld? Even when autistic and cancer-ridden, these devils sure put up a fight.

        Slava Ukraini

      2. JohnA

        Well, the Express is incredibly Brexit and zenophobic in the insert suitably insulting word for foreigners begin at Calais mindset. And as Russia is a long way from Calais, an easy mistake for them to make.

    2. Carolinian

      even prior to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Russia

      I’m an American sitting here in flyover and even I knew that. Don’t these people have internet?

      But in defense of the Europeans this dispute is between Russia and the USA and it’s likely only the USA could get Zelensky to make peace just as it was Biden’s stupidity that created the crisis. If the long term result is the demise of NATO then in that respect at least Europe may be a beneficiary. It’s been a long time since the Red Army posed any notional threat to them and WW2 is decades gone. Give peace a chance….

      1. spud

        we have to give credit, where credit is due. biden is only doing what was set in motion in 1993.

        “Ever since Bush’s successor, President Bill Clinton, began the still ongoing process of NATO expansion, its promoters and apologists have repeatedly insisted there was no such promise, that it had all been “myth” or “misunderstanding,” and moreover that NATO’s vast expansion had been necessary and has been a great success, actual myths that Cohen also discusses.”

        “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.”
        Bill Clinton Did More to Sell Neoliberalism than Milton Friedman
        A brief history of how the Democratic Party’s turn to market capitalism wrecked everything.

        Lily Geismer June 14, 2022

        “Yet, it came into popular usage in the 1990s largely through the help of Bill Clinton, who readily adopted it. Clinton used it to describe both his administration’s approach of enlisting the private sector to address poverty domestically and using free trade and globalization to promote freedom, democracy and human rights around the world. The phrase encapsulates the aspirational belief that it is possible for the market to do good and to achieve traditional liberal goals of equality and providing for those in need.”

        1. K.k

          And it was during Trumps admin the US walked away from the INF treaty increasing the odds of war in a spectacular way. How could the russians possibly tolerate intermediate range missiles potentially bing deployed in Ukraine. leading to Zelensky talking about acquiring nukes and promising to move on Crimea during Bidens admin. Permanent war party with two wings typically working hand in hand.

      2. Revenant

        The internet is censored. No Russia Today for the UK….

        In other news, yesterday our portfolio company put itself into liquidation at the holding company level and sold the operating company to its loan note holders because the presence of a sanctioned Russian coinvestor had made it uninvestable in the market. The legal rigmarole (two sanctions qc’s and a company law QC, £200k in costs) has pinned the company to the spot since March and burnt through 1.5m bridge funding (so we need the investors to come back to the table with their previous term sheets ASAP). What a mess! I don’t think Vlad so much as blinked at our sacrifice for Ukraine….

      1. The Rev Kev

        Germany is warning that they will be short of toilet paper as Russian gas is needed to manufacture that tissue paper.

  3. Carla

    Re: cell damage and brain shrinkage from long covid — looks like we need this technology ramped up ASAP. The following was posted in NC links several days ago:


    Question for the medical brain trust: is it possible that the electrical stimulation used in the study linked above ultimately would slow down or stop brain shrinkage?

    1. flora

      I’ve read many articles that associate long covid with ongoing inflammation in the body. It’s suggested the spike proteins are responsible for the ongoing inflammation. I’m not a medico, so just passing this idea along for anyone who can evaluate it properly.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I still find it amazing that we have been dealing with this virus for nearly three years now and over 600 million people have been infected by it who could be studied and yet we are still trying to work out how it does what it does.

        1. flora

          “…for nearly 3 years now…and yet we are still trying to work out how it [works].”

          I used to think Lambert’s formulaton “1. Because Markets, 2. Go Die” was just a dark joke showing how neoliberalism, taken to its ultimate conclusion, is both absurd and deadly.

          Now I’m not so sure it is a joke. It looks every day more like a serious ‘operations manual’ by the neoliberal estab in big business and both major parties. e.g. Pfizer and Moderna both made more money in the last year and a half than can be imagined – in the multiple billions of dollars. For products that don’t work as they were advertised. / double oy

          1. jsn

            It works quite well for those it works for.

            Death and disease is ramping up along with profits with the former actually driving the latter.

            There psychopaths and sociopaths, prerequisites for climbing the neoliberal ladder, so they won’t even consider a minor change of course until someone or something threatens them immediately, directly and personally. It was nice seeing Barre Seid flushed into the open the other day, we need names and addresses.

          2. John Zelnicker

            And now Moderna is suing Pfizer over the mRNA patents.

            They both made tons of money, yet Moderna wants even more.

            There really is no end to the greed of these companies.

      2. Ignacio

        Inflammatory responses account for much of the damage that Covid does indeed. This is clear from the beginning when lung infection and weird inflammatory responses were shown to “cement” lung tissues in many cases causing death. Later on, more inflammatory syndromes have been described elsewhere in many cases involving endothelial tissues in many organs (causing clots for instance) but other tissues as well. It is not solely the spike protein acting like a ‘superantigen‘ causing excessive and self-damaging immune cellular responses (T-Cells) and T-Cell exhaustion in extreme cases, but also a battery of SARS CoV2 encoded genes that meddle/interfere with the immune system.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “International Military Tribunals to be Held in Mariupol, Ukraine!”

    It is not just the US State Department that is upset with the idea of Nuremberg Trials 2.0 but Amnesty International as well. They came out with a statement saying ‘Any attempts by Russian authorities to try Ukrainian prisoners of war in so-called ‘international tribunals’ set up by armed groups under Russia’s effective control in Mariupol are illegal and unacceptable.’ Also-

    ‘Describing the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as “Russian-backed armed groups,” the organization called the upcoming tribunals “illegal and abusive.” The organization also blasted the decision to set up the trials in the city of Mariupol, captured by Russian and Donbass forces during the ongoing conflict, saying it was “a further act of cruelty against a city.” ‘

    I suppose that the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics could always ask the International Criminal Court to try them though normally they try only Africans and people from the Balkans. Still, if it was tried in The Hague that might turn out well. That city is asking the EU to grant it a temporary exemption from anti-Russia sanctions so that it can keep on buying Russian energy for its own use. So if they try those cases there, at least they will be warm so there is that.

    1. Stephen

      Not sure how independent Amnesty International is these days. I know that it published a report that pointed out facts that Zelensky did not like but most of its output seems to have been much more in line with the western agenda.

      This seems to follow its funding which even includes the UK Department for International Development. References below are super old but the only non Amnesty ones I could find quickly. This may not be news to others but it has been to me these past months: I always thought of Amnesty as vaguely anti west and left wing from when I first came across their Oxford chapter in the 80s. Quite an eye opener for me that they are not.

      Interesting that RT does not make anything of this point.

      Would be interested if anyone else has a much healthier perspective of this organisation.

      I guess too that “funding” may be distinct from commercial revenue earned through selling research or consulting type “services”. Have not dug into that but it would not greatly surprise me.

      1. David

        Amnesty has a point (or two) however, inasmuch as there are some basic standards to which courts should adhere to avoid accusations of show-trials, or if you prefer Guantanamism.

        One is the nature of the charges. I’ve yet to see any details of these, and its striking that the charges against the foreign volunteers appeared to based on the fact that they were fighting against the secessionist governments, as much as anything else. If the envisaged charges relate to offences under the Geneva Convention or the Rome Statute, then that’s one thing. If they amount in practice to being on the wrong side, then we’re really in victor’s justice territory, which isn’t healthy for the precedent it would set. And you’d need to be sure that the standard provisions and safeguards for the defence and for a fair trial are observed.

        The other problem is jurisdiction. If the two breakaway Republics claim jurisdiction over the whole of the territory they say is theirs (some of which is still controlled by the government) and over events that happened many years ago, this opens the door to any group with a territorial claim doing the same thing. It’s the flip side of the argument that because the West had “effective control” of parts, at leat, of Iraq, they were at fault in not preventing various bad things from happening there. It looks as though the Ukrainian government had “effective control” of the territory at the time when the alleged atrocities were committed. In theory, the rebels in Tigray could set up a court and try captured Ethiopian soldiers on the same basis.

        And you can’t invoke the Hague either. Neither Ukraine nor (obviously) the breakaway Republics are signatories,and the Court could only come involved if the Security Council agreed, or if the participants agreed among themselves. neither seems very likely to me, and neither would amount to more than the Prosecutor agreeing to open an investigation.

          1. David

            No such animals. This was a term coined by the Bush/Cheney gang to justify holding people at Guantanamo without trial. As far as we know, all the prisoners taken by the Russians/Republics are regular soldiers of the UA or have been incorporated into it. (It’s clear they’ve had some good legal advice on such points.) The Russians are obliged to treat them as combatants with PoW status under the GC, and if there are any that don’t qualify for that status they still have to be treated well. In neither case can they be put on trial. So either the Russians have good criminal evidence that some individuals have in fact committed crimes, or the whole thing is just theatre. We won’t know until we see the charges, if we ever do.

            1. Daniil Adamov

              I thought that mercenaries were considered illegal quite independently of Bush/Cheney? Still, if they are UA soldiers, that would of course be different.

              (I have trouble seeing how it could be anything other than theatre in any case.)

              1. David

                Under the the 1984 Convention, signatories agree not to practice “the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries” ie it’s an agreement which binds governments, not individuals. Anyone who tries to recruit etc. mercenaries commits an offence, and should be prosecuted by signatory states. But being a mercenary is not itself criminalised, at least under this Convention. The Treaty contains a definition of mercenaries which, as we’ve discussed, doesn’t cover what’s going on in Ukraine. All of the foreign fighters interviewed have claimed to be regular soldiers with the UA. That would make them combatants, and give them PoW privileges. But even if they are not combatants they are still entitled to humane treatment under the GC.

                1. Michael Fiorillo

                  While I want all those Nazi bastards to die a thousand deaths, is it really accurate to call them mercenaries, which implies being a warrior for money, which these people are not? From what I can tell, most of them are ideologically, not financially, motivated. News reports suggest they’re being treated little or no better than the average Ukrainian conscript, and are not the ones cashing in. The Russians have their reasons for using that terminology, but that doesn’t mean we should. Obviously, they’re dupes, just like the #McResistance idiots putting the Ukrainian colors on their front lawns, if more dangerous.

                  Aside from their ideologies and whatever crimes the foreign fascists may have committed while in Ukraine, how is their presence different from those of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War? No one would accept a description of the Lincoln Brigade in Spain as mercenaries. The foreign fascist fighters in Ukraine are a lot of nasty things, but it’s false to call them mercenaries.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Coupla points David. The Ukraine and the Donbass Republics are neither of them signatories of the International Criminal Court. And yet that Court invited themselves into the Ukraine to investigate Russian war crimes. So who authorized them? The rules-based order? Certainly the UN Security Council didn’t or the Russians would have questioned the legality of that.

          As for jurisdiction of those Republics, if you do not accept that they are actual republics, when where does that leave Kosovo? Those Republics have paid for their independence in blood and will take back all their territory – while ignoring what the west aka NATO says. Did the US have cause for justice in territory that the British occupied in the American Revolution? Same thing here.

          And it is not just mercs that the Donbass Republics are trying by people like the guys and gals of units like Azov. They got one guy who drove through Mariupol before it was freed and machine-gunned people that he saw on the streets. And they got his videos of what he did (I saw one). You are talking about a Nazi occupation David. What do you imagine Nazis do in a hostile territory that they occupy? And the Russians and Donbass republics have had legal files on some of these people going back eight years. And the mercs? You fight in somebody else’s war for thrills and money and you take your chances.

          1. Tom Bradford

            And the mercs? You fight in somebody else’s war for thrills and money and you take your chances.

            But… But… A New Zealander (on unpaid leave from the Army!) “died in action courageously defending the precious values of freedom, human rights and democracy in Europe.” I’m sure thrills and money had nothing to do with it.


          2. David

            The ICC was in Ukraine as a PR exercise. The only way they could play an official role is if it was somehow agreed they could conduct investigations across the whole territory, which is obviously not going to happen because of the impact on the Ukrainians. You can’t investigate only one side.

            Kosovo would pose a similar problem if it tried to put Serbs on trial for alleged crimes before 2008. It’s position is politically stronger, since its independence is recognised by quite a few states now, but, yes, the same basic problem would apply if they tried to do anything similar.

            As we’ve discussed, foreign fighters don’t correspond to the definition of mercenaries in the Convention. What seems to have happened so far is that the Republics have introduced a law which says it’s a crime for somebody not born in Ukraine to fight in the UA against the Republics. That’s the basis, so far as I can see, of the trials already held. The Republics can introduce whatever laws they like, of course, but I’m not sure that what they are doing is wise politically, especially in the eyes of the Global South, and may harm their cause and provide cheap shots to their enemies.

            On Amnesty, I’ve been disappointed with them for a while. I remember them starting in the 1960s, doing quiet and often successful work to free non-violent political prisoners all over the world (including in one spectacular case an anti-nuclear campaigner in the UK). But after the 90s they lost their way in the new NGO Industrial Complex and started getting involved in silly campaigns whipped up by the media and NGOs. They could usually be counted on to be on the politically correct side of any argument.

            1. The Rev Kev

              You bring up lots of good points here worth thinking about. But about those foreign fighters. I am going to guess that those foreign fighters are putting on trial to close a loophole. Imagine a bunch of mercs with a coupla wars under their belts who turn up at a war in another country. By being given an “official” position in the army of that country, does that mean that they are no longer mercs? That if captured, that they can claim to be a fighter for that country on those books and entitled to treatment as a regular POW? Which would over time include a ticket out of that country to home? So maybe those third party trials are a way of giving a message. That such “official” positions will not stop you being treated as a merc. Might have to wait until after the war to get a true position on what is happening ere.

        2. Stephen

          Not saying I think the trials are a good thing. It is always victor’s justice if we are honest with ourselves. It was the courageous Nimitz who needed to persuade the Nuremberg Tribunal not to indict Donitz for his U boat campaign because the US had done the same. So other ways to try him were sought. A German victory would have seen Sir Arthur Harris treated as a war criminal but we have a statue of him instead.

          Just not sure how even handed Amnesty are. Have they condemned Ukrainian trials of Russians, for example?

      2. Old Sovietologist

        No time for them. They were set up and funded by the US/UK Govt to attack the Soviet Union and I can remember their campaign urging a boycott of the Olympic Games in Moscow.

        A perfect NGO organisation for gullible liberals.

        1. Stephen

          Thanks. I really did not know any of this until recently. Propaganda in the west is just so effective. And I do not see myself as poorly informed (who does, of course!).

  5. dftbs

    Christopher Chivvis Ukraine piece in the Guardian is full of purposeful misunderstandings but the biggest misunderstanding is tied to his seeming pragmatism. I don’t mean his hope that the Ukrainian regime, brimming with criminals and Nazis, needs peace and wins in the long run by: “seizing the opportunity, while its still can, to immediately begin a massive, western-funded reconstruction effort that turbo-charges its political and economic integration into Europe, strengthens its security, and speeds it down the path toward a democratic future.”

    Of course it’s outright self deception to think the Kiev regime will all the sudden find a capacity for good governance and humane conduct that has escaped its grasp for the better part of a decade. But the biggest lie here is the notion that the West could fund a reconstruction effort as its own economies, and the well being of its citizens, collapse. From Tokyo bay to Stettin, El Paso to Anchorage, there is nothing left. A curtain of inflation and debt has been lowered on the West. No two hundred dollars when you pass go. No capacity. You’re going cold this winter, not days “they need it more,” but because we don’t have it.

    1. Skip Intro

      And if Kiev did somehow embrace ‘good governance’ it would no longer really be interesting to western investors.

    2. OIFVet

      What gives away the game is that whole thing about having Russia on Ukraine’s border short of a coup or wider war. It’s like this guy hasn’t seen a map and Russia magically materialized on Ukraine’s border. Behind the “noble” call for ending the war now is the realization that the future of Ukraine is that of a rump statelet that will be no good for future platzdarm against Russia. If I were to guess, the call is to buy time for another try, like Minsk II was used for time, only this time with a Ukraine as a NATO and EU member.

      Cute try :)

    3. Ignacio

      But there is always MMT money there for any “good” use like pouring billions in a reborn, though corrupt, democracy or limitless military spending instead of wasting it on idiotic stuff like pensions or health care.

        1. eg

          I think Ignacio’s point is that regardless of inflation there is always more money for nefarious purposes, but magically never any for public welfare.

          1. Ignacio

            Exactly! High inflation wouldn’t be a deterrent to spend as much as possible. Besides, pouring money on Ukraine, for instance, shouldn’t result in much inflation in the US.

    4. hk

      Why should anyone assume that the West would necessarily fund this reconstruction or, even if there is the funding, any of it would go towards actual reconstruction, assuming, that is, if there is a “Ukrainian” govt left in a few months?

  6. flora

    re: EU and UK energy prices. A self-inflicted wound. How long will western European govts let their people bleed out as a “punishment” to Ru (which is doing better and better economically) ? How long will western European govts persist in driving Ru and Ch closer together, drawing into their orbit smaller countries once unquestionably aligned with the West? The western govts are seeming mighty nihilistic these days: ‘we have to destroy our own country in order to save it’? / oy

    1. digi_owl

      As long as it takes, or someone with media pull steps up and declare the sanctions worthless. The whole situation is very reminiscent of Emperors New Clothes.

    2. Mikel

      Some of the same is going on there as here. This austerity, which I suspected would follow the Covid economic lifelines, will drive the companies out of business that don’t have enough assets or money stashed. These are the ones that weren’t the big winners of the bubbles now being deflated.
      Then after the fire sale is prepped (and competition removed in other instances), the Central Banks cut interest rates again for the big connected players to have some extra cheap money for their picks from the pile.

  7. Lexx

    ‘National Dog Day’

    Everyday is a Dog Day; the whole ‘national’ part is just politics. Naturally it is set during the dog days of summer.

    I see NPR opened with a photo of a dachshund. Well played. It’s just my opinion of course, but… there are no more devastatingly cute puppies on the planet than a dachshund puppy. All puppies are cute but a dachshund puppy slaaaays. (I’m so verklempt I can hardly type just thinking about it. Slaaaays!)
    Maple will spend her whole life unaware her kind (minis) were originally bred to drag rabbits out of their burrows. I grew up with a mini… oy, the cuteness burned.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Hunter Biden might want to try some Finnish language courses on Babbel. Sanna could be laying the groundwork for his eventual promotion to PM.

      1. Heretic

        I did read some articles on this Sanna Marin issue. (She is a very beautiful woman; how could I not?) multiple articles did seem to say that she did not take any drugs and that she did not engage in any depraved activity. Indeed the the whole scandal was precipitated by some of her female friends who kissed while partially covering their breast with a sign that said Finland, which was published on some website.. Tim Tom or YouTube or whatever…. Not appropriate to do at the prime minister house…. Although as Hetero man, I can find nothing to complain about. Indeed, I would encourage all young women to do this..😂. So I really can’t see a problem with what she is doing.

        Compared to corrupted and degenerate elites… (here looking at you Boris Johnson, you who put ‘Mr Willy’ into the mouth of a pig), or Trump who bankrupted hundreds of contractors who built his casinos, this is positively benign… even if she was taking crack….

        The mention Finland and nato is Unfortunatley some unnecessary nonsense

        1. Revenant

          David Cameron was the one getting his pork scratchings. The story is considered almost certainly fictional.

          Whereas Boris is the proverbial greased piglet himself.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Let’s get Finland into nato asap!

      I know that somewhere in america there is a toddler who just can’t wait to grow up and join the army so s/he can get a leg blown off defending this twit’s longing “for joy, light and fun amidst the dark clouds,” so callously and existentially threatened by dastardly dictators like Vladimir Putin.

      And to think Donald Trump wanted to disband nato.

    3. Bugs

      The background conversation sounds like they were hitting a ketamine nasal inhaler, which are sort of in the grey market in Europe because the PMC includes shrinks who can prescribe them, and stuff like that can get lost in the um, prescription process.

      I don’t care what 30-something EU PMs do so long as they keep the union stable and at peace, which does not seem to be happening anywhere. Not one single “leader” in the bunch. Maybe she should (family blogging) just resign.

  8. digi_owl


    Low and slow are perfect for those planes anyways, as they are SU-25 (NATO: Frogfoot). Meant for much the same task as the A-10.

  9. The Rev Kev

    Currently, none of the turbines of the Portovaya CS are undergoing repairs in Canada.’

    According to a recent Alex Christoforou video, there are five of them sitting in Canada. This saga has been going on now for over three months and yet it still keeps on throwing up new surprises. Like where the hell did the five turbines come from? When did they get delivered to Canada? How many are left in Russia exactly. Why is info on this so secretive?

  10. chris

    I’m still mulling over Biden’s less than half a loaf decision on student debt and the many articles discussing that decision. But I’m fascinated by one article that ran in the Guardian recently.

    This lady has 300k$ in debt from an original 80k$ she borrowed to get a PhD in Human Resources… I won’t argue about the necessity of a graduate program in Human Resources but I will argue that very, very, very, few people need a PhD. From her description of the decision it seems like she wanted the degree to be an example to her sons and to give herself the credentials to talk about a problem she considered important. Which is the equivalent of buying a vanity plate for the sports car you can’t afford.

    Given that her case is such an outlier among students with debt I have to wonder why the Guardian chose to run with that story at all? She is the kind of poster child people will use to say that we should not help students with debt.

    1. griffen

      The lady enters the program at age ~ 52 or 53, so number one you have time (one hopes) to research the best program that offers the best benefit / cost balance. After the first few paragraphs, the article proceeds to lose me. This is not a bright eyed 19 year old who may really not know what is covered within the small print.

      That’s a baffling anecdote. While I am sorry for her plight pursuing such a degree in human resources just does not sound like the only choice available. Fine by me if she chooses to boycott the repayment, but don’t ask or suggest that another taxpayer offer monetary assistance on the matter.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        Every human resources department is always piled high and deep with sh*t, so why would anyone need a Ph.D (again, Piled Higher and Deeper) in Human Resources. It is completely absurd.

    2. Objective Ace

      I have to wonder why the Guardian chose to run with that story at all?

      The example shows the futility of this program. What’s 10k relative to 300k?

      The argument against forgiveness is based on fairness and this person has been barely helped at all. Compare to a graduate with a measly 20k in debt (or an HVAC technician 20k in debt who isn’t being helped). This example actually is much more “fair”.. show me a blue collar worker who managed to owe 300k for trade schools or equipment

    3. HotFlash

      Perhaps we should do a GoFundMe to get the lady a course in The Miracle of Compound Interest — pro’ly not included in her course work.

      1. John

        But then again, a decent society protects against loansharking and usury.
        And the whining about my taxes paying off student debt. I suppose military spending is just ok. And SWAT toys for your local cop shop. But not one cent for education or righting one of the biggest government gimme programs/runoffs.

        1. griffen

          It’s not whining it’s a legitimate gripe. Much like the GFC and bailout of AIG prevented what should have been an extraordinary, completely self-inflicted wound. AIG deserved to die a quick death in the bankruptcy courts. Substitute Citigroup, if you prefer.

          I had to be serious in my teens and early twenties about managing my pay from part time work, and meeting my expenses (tuition, expensive textbooks for programs like COBOL and C+) for what at the time was affordable for me. That does not prevent me from seeing what takes places today, and having an empathetic human emotion, which is mostly regret for the generations following me.

          I find the above comparisons to be a false equivalency. I don’t want excess and profligate military spending to become second hand surplus to many localities police and special situations units. But no one is asking for my input.

          1. chris

            We should absolutely discuss the issue with companies getting wholesale bailouts and the protection of Chapter 11/13 bankruptcy while citizens who have student debt are denied both. But in the particular case of the person in the Guardian article, the question to me isn’t how did she get 300k$ in debt, it’s why did she think that the initial 80k$ investment in a PhD in that topic was a good idea? That’s what I’m most concerned about. If there was an advisor or a sales person who told her to do this, and she does say she earned her degree at a for-profit institution, that behavior needs to be made illegal. Beyond that, she seems like she has no regrets for earning her advanced degree. She gives no justification for pursuing it besides personal accomplishment. If that’s the case, then she is the prime example of someone who is suffering because of decisions they made. Giving someone like that an opportunity to plead their case is only going to hurt the overall goal of debt relief. Because balanced against bailing out a company that employs thousands of people the problems of one entitled PhD mean nothing.

    4. GF

      Please correct me if I’m wrong. The government says they will make the payments on eligible borrowers until $10,000 is paid. The payments originally were income based – will they still be? If one is eligible for $10,000 but owes $50,000 and is currently making interest only payments, will the government continue to do the same until the $10,000 is spent?

      Also, if the borrower is making regular payments, based on income, of $200 a month, which will take 50 months to pay off, will interest keep accruing on the $40,000+ still owed while making the $200 a month payments? It appears that the only borrowers that will be truly helped will be those that owe less that $10,000/$20,000 and get their loans completely paid.

      1. chris

        Average student debt in the US is about 28k$. The federal government owns 92% of those loans. 10 to 20k$ is a big help to most people.

  11. Lex

    N95 masks do not deprive the wearer of oxygen, nor do they significantly raise CO2 concentrations inside the mask (certainly not to dangerous or even symptomatic levels). They will require more lung exertion to breathe, but that’s a physical, not biochemical, matter. And it’s why when you’re required to wear a respirator (even an N95) you must get medical clearance. The bar of that clearance is really low; it’s hard to fail it without pretty significant respiratory issues.

    The filter doesn’t stop gasses (or even vapors), it stops particulates. Neither O nor CO2 qualify as particulates. Exertion in a respirator sucks though. It’s slimy and extra hot. I’ve poured water out of my full face, but I’m always wearing some sort of plastic suit when I have a respirator on and that doesn’t help.

    1. Joe Renter

      I had to use N95 in my occupation for hours on end. Not a pleasant experience. But they do the job. I can’t see myself using one in a gym or for exercising. I would be creative and do my own thing without people around if possible.

      1. Jason Boxman

        I never got into the whole gym thing; The extra effort to go and deal with it is too much hassle; I have a bench at home instead, a set of Power Block Elites, and I can lift whenever it makes sense to do so depending on current workout program. Mostly just BodyBeast.

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          I take long hikes carrying 5 pound hand weights. You will be amazed at the toning of arms, shoulders, and pecs that can be achieved with small weights. Aside from serious body builders who require a fully equipped gym, most people can get sufficient exercise, including muscle strengthening, by outdoor exercise. No need for a N95 outdoors.

          1. ambrit

            “…5 pound hand weights.” Would that consist of two M1911 automatics? 2.5 pounds each when loaded makes 5 pounds. Useful items to have ‘at hand’ in today’s fractious social conditions.

    2. Lexx

      ‘pretty significant respiratory issues’

      I “feel” like I’m suffocating wearing an N95. The issue is nasal, not biochemical or lung capacity. My nose was badly broken, surgically fixed after many decades but not very well. Most of the time I’m breathing through just one nostril and it’s partly obstructed. Occasionally, the heavens open and the seas part and other events that portend a coming miracle and both sinuses open at the same time for about 15 minutes, then one of them shuts down again and I get on with my day, wiping away tear once again for what might have been.

      I’ve seen specialists, where I traded insurance dollars for some expansive and expensive shrugs, and words like ‘you don’t me messing around up in there, best to leave it alone’…. ???

      Not all respiratory issues are COPD, although equally without remedy, just management. Settled for KN95’s and avoiding people. A happy arrangement all around. Sympathies for those who don’t have a choice.

  12. The Rev Kev

    ‘Genius idea! A turkish startup invented a technology which generates electricity from oncoming traffic’

    It absolutely was a genius idea that. I hope that it is copied elsewhere. Had an idea myself earlier today. If you installed a sunlamp to power a solar-power panel and the power for the sunlamp came from the solar-panel, would there be enough left over energy to power your house? Advantage is that you always could run it, even when the sun had set.

    1. juno mas

      You’re Kidding!?

      The power generated by the roadside wind generators was stated as 1kW per hour (1 kWh). That is not much. What would be the cost to manufacture and maintain these generators? They don’t appear to be cost effective.

    2. Anthony G Stegman

      The entire idea is ridiculous. We need to reduce traffic in all directions, not look for ways to generate energy from it. Insanity!

    1. pjay

      Thanks. These Russ Baker articles are important, especially this one. I hope everyone reads them. But I fear they won’t, for the reasons Baker lays out.

      1. A retired carpenter

        If you scroll down in the comments, you might note that Baker wrote the following in response to a comment for this article:
        “author:Russ Aug 26

        Glad you liked my book but saddened to see you susceptible to disinformation from Putin, who surely understands how to manipulate people. The situation in Ukraine is pretty easy for anyone to see who has their eyes open. To blame Ukraine for an invasion by another country is most unfortunate. ”


        1. pjay

          Yes. Baker suffers from Trump derangement, and his views on Ukraine are abysmal. It seems that everyone – *all* of us – suffer from our particular blinders, biases, and cognitive boundaries. That Baker can’t see the operation of the “deep state” behind Russiagate given his own work is pretty amazing.

          As I comment below, I think there are some problems with his book as well. Nevertheless, the points he makes in these two articles are important.

  13. Solarjay

    Wind turbines.
    That type is called a savonius.

    What people see if the machine turning and think that it’s putting out lots of power/energy, but it’s a function of wind speed. It’s a cube relationship, ie the power goes up cube vs wind speed.

    Does this type of install work? In some minor way but not much. Notice that the one turning with bicycles going by.

    I wonder about that solar panel actually driving a motor to make it seem lines it working. Yea I’ve seen it before.

    Its an idea but not practical or cost effective.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Didn’t they use the same principle in the early 19th century to ventilate emigrant ships? The design looks vaguely familiar.

  14. Mark Gisleson

    Russ Baker’s “Family of Secrets” had a huge impact on me and for years I wondered why no one was talking about the allegations in his book.

    As to why the news establishment ignored his book:

    I had uncovered and substantially documented that George H.W. “Poppy” Bush — who was in Dallas the night before the Kennedy assassination (and, seemingly, the next morning before Kennedy was shot) — had phoned in a spurious tip to the FBI after hearing that Kennedy was shot, that he had strong connections to the CIA through a damning memo and a series of shell companies that stank of intelligence-operation fronts, and that he had met with a CIA specialist in overthrowing leaders that very week.

    Furthermore, I had gradually pieced together alarming evidence that the official, “Woodward and Bernstein” story of Watergate omitted powerful evidence of a plot to frame and remove the increasingly unpopular Richard M. Nixon by creating a scandal he could not survive. Playing roles were Bob Woodward himself — who had worked in military intelligence before his journalism career — and Nixon’s supposed hatchet man John Dean, who arrived with undisclosed CIA connections when he began besieging the Nixon White House, in a desperate and urgent quest for a job.

    1. Bruno

      Just as the real mass of an iceberg is invisible, with only a small portion of it on the surface, so the “deep state” (whose power, like that of “the devil” depends on the fact that everyone from Chomsky to Trump talks about it while denying its real existence) has permitted only a small portion of its top level to be seen. That gilded pyramidion, for at least most of the past century, has been identified with the family name BUSH. As was (momentarily) noticeable when Reagan was shot and a Bush, with no overt legal authority over anything outside the presidium of the Senate Chamber, took control over the entire government of the USA, humiliating Haig who had imagined himself in charge merely because (according at the time to the nominal constitution) he was the ranking figure in the “Executive Branch.”

    2. pjay

      I made a comment above that the Baker articles were important and everyone should read them. One of the main reasons is Baker’s quote from LA Times critic Tim Rutten, which starts out this way:

      “I regard the belief that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone as an important indicium of mental health…”

      Now in my opinion, such a belief is actually an important “indicium” that one is either ignorant or has chosen to ignore the considerable contrary evidence and debate that has built up over the decades on this topic. This is due either to naivete (about how far elements of our security state might go), apathy (the Chomsky position: who cares; Kennedy was just another war-mongering imperialist anyway), or fear (they’ll kick me out of the Club if I ask such questions). Baker’s journey from mainstream journalist to fringe outcast and his experience of being officially ghosted are good illustrations of how the last process works. We can substitute a variety of subjects into the above quote as “indicia” of mainstream mental health, for example: “I regard the belief that Putin is an evil imperialist,” “Trump is the most dangerous leader in US history,” etc.

      That said, there are problems with Baker’s book. There is a lot of useful information, but he also draws conclusions that go beyond his evidence. Everything you cite in the quote is true, but what Baker does with some of these facts is a stretch. There are much better sources on the repressed anomalies of both the JFK assassination and Watergate. This is also important, because when mainstream gatekeepers catch you in a mistake or overreach they can write off everything you say. Or, as the rest of Baker’s quote illustrates, they can just lump you with the moon landing deniers and ignore you. Then you can choose: do I allow all my hard work to disappear, or do I appear on Alex Jones (or Tucker Carlson)? It doesn’t matter that many acceptable mainstream “scholarly” works are much more biased or unsupported by evidence.

      1. John Wright

        I found it ironic that Baker makes a reply to a commenter to assert “see you susceptible to disinformation from Putin” to dismiss the reader’s suggestion that Ukraine bears blame for its invasion.

        Reader comment: Charles Dunaway Aug 26
        “I bought Family of Secrets shortly after it was published and it has had a place of honor in my home library ever since. The current Ukraine crisis sent me back to FofS to review the links between the Nazis and the oligarchic elites here in the Land of Liberty. Between Russ Baker’s work and that of David Talbot, we can begin to piece together a continuing link between the post-WWII rescue of Nazi leaders and the Empire of Chaos and Lies and the war crimes being perpetrated by the Kiev regime.”

        Russ Baker reply author Russ Aug 26 Author
        “Glad you liked my book but saddened to see you susceptible to disinformation from Putin, who surely understands how to manipulate people. The situation in Ukraine is pretty easy for anyone to see who has their eyes open. To blame Ukraine for an invasion by another country is most unfortunate.”

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Combined Arms–A Look At Russian Air Ops in the Donbas”

    ‘More recently, however, the momentum has started to swing back to the Ukrainian side. Western military aid — most notably an American rocket artillery system called HIMARS — has helped level the artillery playing field and wreaked havoc on Russian supply lines.’

    Say, does anybody remember that time in WW2 when the Germans deployed jet fighters like the Me 262 & Me 163 as well as the V2 ballistic missile and the momentum swung back to their side? No, me neither. The Ukrainians have just launched a whole series of attacks on Russian lines and one attack did gain a village. Every other attack was crushed as they advanced by the superior Russian firepower and several formations have been rendered combat incapable.

    Right now I doubt that the Ukrainians are capable of launching an combined arms operation. Just the other day they launched an attack against Russian lines using only infantry which was as pointless as it was costly. Heard today a reason why the Russians are not worried by advancing much. They seem to have a new tactic. They wait until the Ukrainians have deployed a brigade to the lines whereupon they hunt it down and hammer it. Then, when the Ukrainians have to pull that force back and replace it with another brigade, the Russians do the same to that one. It’s brutal but will shorten the war.

    1. John Zelnicker

      Rev – It’s becoming more obvious by the day that the Western claims that the Russian advances have been halted by the Ukrainians are just so much BS. The Russians have said from the beginning that de-militarizing Ukraine was one of the main purposes of the SMO.

      This new tactic fits perfectly within that goal.

      Except for the Donbass and possibly Odessa, the Russians seem to be uninterested in occupying more territory, they just want to remove the military.

      1. Stephen

        Think you are right.

        There are pictures on Telegram of a very large group of Russian tanks which are said to be the 4th Guards Tank Division. Reminded me of “that” column back in March. They are sitting somewhere in southern Ukraine, it is said; and they seem not to have any concerns that HIMARS, The Ghost of Kiev, M777s, Javelins or other wunderwaffen will get them.

        This seems linked to other stories that the Russian offensive is very much under way in the south and possibly in the north too, that the Russian regular army is now “back” (guess they had European August vacations and let the DPR / LPR guys hold the fort) and getting on with things.

        Suspect that the tactics will not change so much. No need for blitzkriegs but advancing towards Nikolaev and Kharkov might well be the intent. I guess we will know over the next days.

        1. Revenant

          I keep forgetting to post this.

          I was finishing one of my rare forays into town this month and the cabbie taking me to Paddington was a charming Moroccan. We were talking about emigrants and discussed the complete lack of Ukrainian flags anywhere and he then mentioned that a regular fare is a Russian lady who no longer takes her child to school but sends her in a cab, to avoid the iciness at the school gates. The Russian lady has a Ukrainian friend and they are still on good terms but the Ukrainian’s teenage sons are now called up and the Russian’s husband, age 35, has received ready-to-mobilise papers. The next letter he receives will be report-to-base. The Russian and Ukrainian are aghast that they may be sending their men off to kill each other….

          It was not reported if the husband was military or ex-military or merely getting drafted (I suspect the first two). Any way, if true, it is a sign that Russia is stepping up its campaign.

  16. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Gorsuch ex-clerk Mike Davis on Fox News

    This appears to be the best, erm, authority Fox is able to find who can speak to the Trump claim of his declassification authority (although the folks at Judicial Watch share that view) . Admittedly, he does cite two Supreme Court decisions…

    Ya gotta admit that while words like “classified,” “espionage” and “obstruction” are being thrown around with gleefully “knowledgeable” authority, precious little–as in basically zero–attention has been paid to how information is classified, declassified, and who actually has the power to do it. Seriously, the national archives?

    And when somebody does try to address the issue, it’s greeted with “erms” and parentheticals.

    Meanwhile, the public is being propagandized into thinking they’re living through a real-life, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it James Bond movie. A few days ago there was “speculation” that Trump had the “nuclear codes” hidden in his Florida basement fer chrissakes.

    Hasn’t everyone had enough of being jerked around by the fbi, arch super hero crime fighters like merrick garland, and if-I-told-you-I’d-have-to-kill-you “redacted” justifications yet?

    jeezus h. christ.

    1. Screwball

      Picking on my PMC friends again; No! They love this stuff, and the more crazy the better. The latest angle from them is about all the money Trump is making from selling this stuff to Russia. He should be executed for treason. The out of control 3 letter agencies are great.

      The Hunter laptop thing is “nothing to see here” and “why should we care” and Hunter did nothing, NOTHING, like Jared did, not even close.

      And the best one yet; the stolen diary. They are mad at the people who would do such a thing. They of course should be sent to prison for life, if not longer, along with whoever they sold it to. How dare you do such a thing the the best and most progressive president since Johnson. Oh, and the people who stole it had help from Trumps kids/aids. Really, for sure.

      Everything is, as always, about Trump, and only Trump. Trump is Hitler. Only the democrats can save our democracy, and the most important election in our lifetimes is just around the corner. Vote blue or you are a MAGAdupe slimeball POS who hates America.

      What a world we live in.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Yep. These people have been completely unhinged since Trump got elected in 2016, and they haven’t aged well.

        The “adults in the room” are quite terrifying. These people literally lost their minds when Trump got elected and as members of the “reality-based community”, seem willing to believe anything about Trump, anything!

    2. voteforno6

      precious little–as in basically zero–attention has been paid to how information is classified, declassified, and who actually has the power to do it

      This is spelled out in the relevant laws and regulations regarding classification. It’s a matter of public record, so you should be able to look it up. A warning, though – it’s rather dry reading.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Then let’s hear about it.

        Let’s also hear about the declassification memo Trump signed before he left office. Sundance at Conservative Treehouse has it posted with discussion. I won’t link since the mods don’t like that site.

        Point is, this is the same establishment of narrative playbook that’s been being run on the public for literally years when it comes to Trump. Enough already.

        1. voteforno6

          @Katniss Everdeen

          There’s no evidence that Trump signed any general declassification memo, or that the memo applied to any of the documents recovered from his “home” in Florida. The only memo that I’ve seen pertains to the Trump-Russia investigation. DoJ hasn’t been too forthcoming with details on the contents of those documents. Instead, rumors have been swirling around about them, most of them probably untrue. The only hints they seem to have dropped are that these are highly classified. One could guess at what that means. Regardless of that, one of the other issues is that these documents are not Trump’s personal property, and he should’ve returned them when he had the chance. One could also speculate as to why he’s been so obstinate. I tend to lean towards the simplest explanation, but who knows.

          Just because you don’t like how Trump has been treated in the past, doesn’t mean that he’s in the right here. My guess is that, had he turned everything over when asked to do so, and even after that, there wouldn’t have been any of this drama. But, that’s not who Donald Trump is.

        2. fresno dan

          just to bolster your arguments, all the arguments used against Trump are the same arguments used against Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers with the same arguments about how important classified material is. Have people forgotten that the overwhelming number of classified documents released to the public show government malfeasance? These people don’t keep things secret to protect the country as much as they keep things secret to protect themselves.
          And an aside: Obama prosecuted more reporters under the espionage act than any other president.

      2. hk

        Very few people really know what’s available publicly, though. The manner in which the public records are written is designed to keep things that way

      3. Bruno

        “relevant laws and regulations” enforcing any form of secrecy (except, perhaps, for operational details of military operations pursuant to Declaration of War) are openly and shamelessly (and, in the USA, unconstitutionally) violations of the human right of free speech. A state that hides itself from its subjects is no more than a tyranny.

      4. cfraenkel

        Well yes, the rules are written down and might be available to the average citizen. Unfortunately, at least in my fortunately brief exposure to the festering mess – the rules seem to be mostly used when convenient. Anyone with a “SECRET” stamp can mark a document just about at will (I certainly did – as an O-1), and then anyone who writes follow-up documents has to classify that as well. The originating party is supposed to know why it’s classified (I did), but very few of the downstream memo-authors do, or more importantly, the conditions where it would no longer be classified. And in a CYA atmosphere where the penalties for mishandling classified are very severe (for us peons, anyway) and the downside for over-classifying documents doesn’t exist, the classified documents breed and proliferate.

        The knee-jerk bias to classifying anything is so strong the I once needed an extensive argument with a security office who was insisting that a new comm link absolutely needed expensive military crypto gear to protect unclassified data. This would have made a simple, cheap project cost 10x as much (because then the contractor then would have had to protect the crypto gear – and people wonder why DOD projects cost so much….). The only reason I won was pointing out that the data was already being broadcast in the clear from the satellite, and anyone who wanted the data just had to point an antenna at it. (and it wasn’t the complete uselessness of the requirement that won the argument, it was that encrypting data that was easily available in the clear made the crypto easier to attack, in theory. But that was the magic talisman that won the argument.)

    3. fresno dan

      I used to have a tough time understanding the salem witch trials, the inquisition, and McCarthy and the red scare. I just didn’t appreciate how many witches, heretics, and commies there were out there. The Russkies are back to trying to git us!!! They failed in the fifties. Now, instead of all those commie dupes in Hollywood and the army, now they have a former POTUS!!!
      The nerfariousness!!! Only a country as nefarious as Russia, and a POTUS as nefarious as Trump could possibly have pulled off such an dastardly plan – thwarted only by the brave and true blue men and women of the national archives.
      I suspect the Russikes ALREADY have our nuclear codes!

    4. Stephen

      Interesting video up from Judge Napolitana.

      I do not understand the legal points but he seems to be saying that Trump cannot possess certain defence related documents legally. This seems to be the case even if Trump did declassify them if I understood him correctly. It seems a different view to other commentary.

      Perhaps somebody else understands his point. But he goes onto say that Trump needs to get his legal defence in shape and that so far they are not doing a good job. Fighting a PR campaign but they need to fight a legal one.

    5. marym

      Whether or not he declassified documents In the forest and anyone heard, other than claims to documents with possible attorney-client privilege, presidential records are government property whether or not they’re classified. Whether or not he’s put the country into an “end-of-the-world” crisis, there are still laws that supposedly govern the handling of government documents.

      Has he provided any justification for declassifying documents other than deciding that makes it ok to take them to his residence; or any justification for taking them to his residence other than his own sense of personal entitlement?

    6. Boomheist

      What I still don’t understand, or “get,” is the entire, total, and I mean TOTAL, lack of discussion, articles, or stories about the actual and real mechanics of how a secret document is taken from storage and brought somewhere, then returned. All those documents in those boxes so marked at Mara Lago had to be signed out by someone, taken somewhere, and then either signed back in to a secret place or…..what? What was and is the actual process that explains how a top secret document can end up in a box and trucked to Florida?

      I suspect the answer to this is simple and obvious – probably that whenever a President, or his designee, takes or asks for such a document the document is provided because a President has all clearances, and so long as the document is with the President nobody worries about its return.

      But I don’t know. I wonder if anyone knows. How is it that documents of such importance and secrecy can be taken somewhere and left for months and years without someone howling? How can they be placed in a truck and driven to Florida without raising all sorts of alarms? My guess is that anything going to the White House is considered somehow under am umbrella of protection, a convenience to make life easier for all the lackeys following thew documents, such that moving same to the president’s home away from the White House becomes normal and routine during the years of an administration……

      The utter absence of discussion about how this all actually happened is astonishing and leads me to think the entire supposedly super secret system has been flawed for years and years, chaotic and sloppy, and people are just now realizing it.

      I bet you – bet you – Trump will be able to show that previous Presidents also took such documents to their other residences, often, with nary a peep. Bet you.

  17. Michael Ismoe

    FYI – To maximize yields, winter wheat needs to be sown by September 1st. If planting is delayed until October 15th, yield per acre falls by as much as 20%. If sown after 10/15, the entire crop will probably fail.

    Might be time to do some negotiating to harvest the bombs and plant some wheat.

  18. Solarjay

    It’s a crude easy to make design. Very much like those spinning vents on roofs.
    I would guess could easily have be done on boats in the old days.

    Notice in the videos that they don’t change speed when the vehicles go by.
    If the rotors are really heavy they won’t respond well to the intermittent energy pulses. If they are light then they should respond quite quickly.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Saw a video of this guy in Wisconsin freeing a trapped wolf. He was behind this big plate which had a notch at the bottom. He would maneuver that plate until the trapped foot was in that notch where he could then free the trapped paw. When it was free, he backed away behind that plate still. Seemed like a good idea to me.

  19. Carolinian


    But surely they can agree on something?

    if you’re one of the vanishingly few Americans who’d like to think that your vote this year could meaningfully alter the course of US foreign policy, you’re bound for disappointment. Because even as both parties tried to make it seem like the “Inflation Reduction Act” vividly demonstrated the intractable differences between them, they were simultaneously demonstrating the exact opposite: that at least in regards to another set of issues which genuinely are “existential,” in that they impinge on such matters as whether you’re likely to get incinerated in a large radiation blast anytime soon, there is almost no meaningful distance at all between Democrats and the GOP.

    1. fresno dan

      I don’t have any problem with listening to my repub or demo friends regarding Bush, Obama, Trump, or Biden (THEY ARE ALL CORRECT). Most of what they say about the opposite party is true enough (it is amazing how disinterested they are in what they’re own representative IN FACT believes – it seems being opposite of the other guy is first and always the best policy – no thinking required). The FACT that most of the time the polcies are very, very similar is of no concern to these people. The important thing is that the other team wears red and we wear blue, or vice versa…
      Sure, one can find differences in Obama in Afghanistan or in the war on terrorism, but an objective and truthful person would find very little truly different, and plenty of instances where Obama was worse on civil liberties than Bush. But that would never fit the “narrative.” How would fund raisers get money???
      Yet our rah rah go USA demands that besides being the greatest country in the world, it means we also have the greatest political system, and the greatest electorate in the world. The question of how such a great country and great political system generates about half of the representatives that are truly evil is never up for discussion.
      it seems to me that as the “news” media has taken to preaching to the choir, the simple truth that there is very little difference in the parties. Ukraine?
      Abortion? (honestly, all those democratic senators over the years really believed the repub Supreme court nominees would continue Roe vs Wade???). They can’t possibly be that stupid…
      So I just feel sorry for these people who believe in who they are voting for.

    2. curlydan

      Ha! When I was a college freshman, I was an ardent Democrat (hey, I was young), and I was kind of shocked to find myself paired with an ardent Republican for a roommate. I thought all these kids at this elite university were going to be exactly like me. Wrong!

      The weird thing was that we were similar in many ways (e.g. socially backwards, did not like to party in high school). He was a very amiable guy although we never spoke again after graduation.

      It would actually be interesting to be roommates with him again–“I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now”. But back in those days, my ideological purity was a hindrance. I expect a lot of 18-year-olds these days have my old attitudes as well–maybe even more so with the emphasis on “wokeness”.

      1. Carolinian

        Re my first link–in fairness it should be said that Repubs of the Gingrich era did spend a lot of time demonizing Democrats and calling them baby killers etc. Having then gotten their way for the most part on economics and even, now, on abortion they’ve mellowed out a bit while Dems take up the ad hominem cudgel. And so now I have arguments with Democrats who take all this shadow boxing seriously. I think any fair analysis would conclude that it is the system itself that is rotten and not just the parties. To think outside the box you have to be outside the box. But there’s no way to get inside the box.

  20. Ignacio

    The tweet by Anas Alhajji puts him in the TINA crowd regarding energy and climate change. Their objective to demonstrate that regarding energy… well…. TINA.

    Wouldn’t we need to compare the amounts poured in fossil fuels and their yields with the amounts poured in renewable sources and their yields? Is he claiming that no more money should be spent in renewable sources and accept our fate?

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      A major problem with so-called renewables is their relatively low energy density. Modern society requires high density energy in order to function. This is why carbon based fuels will remain predominant for the foreseeable future. Solar will remain a niche energy source, regardless of what the state of California thinks.

      1. ambrit

        “Modern society requires…”
        We are entering the Post Modern Society. It will revert to ‘Traditional’ social arrangements. The wealthy will utilize the high density energy supplies while the mass of the “deplorables” will subsist at Neo-peasant levels of existence.
        “Forward! Into the Past!”

  21. griffen

    Shark safety tips, well that is helpful and new to use. Frankly, wearing a diving suit and flippers seems like a good method to attract them. They wouldn’t know for sure you are not a baby seal.

    And then again, if the shark wants to eat they will eat. Especially if your science is or has messed with their DNA, like in this fictional video clip.

    1. tegnost

      sorry, but you only get one increment…if you get two , well then thats not an increment anymore, is it?

      1. Milton

        Yeah, sort of like how Obamacare was just the beginning and a launch point for universal care.

  22. antidlc

    Slavitt interviews Fauci
    Ten Questions for Dr. Fauci, from Boosters and Polio to Retirement

    On the heels of his retirement announcement, Dr. Anthony Fauci answers crowdsourced questions on fall boosters, the CDC’s changing mask and isolation guidelines, polio, and monkeypox. He also talks candidly about the problems within the CDC and tells Andy what he plans to do with his free time once he steps down from federal service.

    Around the 26:15 mark:

    Slavitt: When you’re the CDC, is your obligation to normalcy or is your obligation to protect those people who are most at risk?

    Fauci: It’s a tough call and as your said so appropriately, you can argue either side of it cogently, you know, you can.

    1. Mikel

      “Normalcy” is a BS concept in a country constantly disrupting the lives of people for the benefit of corporations. On the one hand they say they prize “normalcy,” but everything they do is to knock your feet from under you.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        What “normalcy” really means is that the hamster wheels are all spinning at peak efficiency. Funny thing happened on the way back to normalcy from Covid. A lot of wheels aren’t spinning at all because too many are sick. For that matter, the shelves aren’t being replenished, and sometimes, the doors are closing.

        Short term thinking by our fine elites. We die, and they don’t even get what they want.

    2. Jess K

      More revealing is that he admits to catching Covid after demasking at a crowded indoor college reunion (with hugs!) due to… peer pressure. The man is a bloviating idiot.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Just woke up this morning to a newsreader talking the pandemic here in Oz. She was saying that as it spreads, we can learn to live with it by relaxing with it .

        1. ambrit

          That sounds a bit too much like the “advice” to women attributed to Queen Victoria.
          “Lie back and think of England.”
          I have my doubts about that saying. From the evidence, Vikky was a randy one. After all, nine children! One every two years of her married life. (Prince Albert died “young.”)
          The sheer effrontery shown by our Elite propagandists is telling.
          [A good 4chan jape would be to “discover” a “Satan Memo” in the archives of the Bilderberg Group, or perhaps the Trilateral Commission.]

    1. LifelongLib

      I had an in-law who came from a family with alcoholism. He (and his dad) never drank and so were spared the direct effects, but still had to deal with a lot of issues from other family members who were not so prudent/lucky. Whatever problems the Bidens had alcohol didn’t help, and having a lot of money if anything probably made it worse.

  23. Mikel

    “Powell comments fuel 1,000-point market rout Friday as stocks slide for a second week” CNBC

    The drop was broadbased across asset classes. To me, that suggests broadbased concerns.
    But the “what did Powell mean” clown show of the past few months should be an education about narrative economics.
    The Fed has been clear about its focus on inflation for months. Now there is a reluctance to call out pundits, etc who have been the actual cause of any uncertainty. Appears that realizing the gains from a years long bubble is tricky and time consuming. I think that many things being said are to keep people from waiting to buy.

  24. Jeremy Grimm

    Climate is changing at a rate that I believe many plants and animals may not be able to adapt to through the slow processes of evolution. I also believe there are kinds of parasite and disease that adapt more rapidly than their hosts further complicating matters. Though difficult to assess the nature and import of the manipulations the Chinese scientists realized in their mouse “Little Bamboo” from the short clipping of details [a name recalling to me the Japanese fairy tale about Little Bamboo] , the application of genetic engineering to adapt the life we know to the coming future may gain an impetus similar to that leading to considerations of geoengineering to modify the climate. The mechanations of genetic engineering as practiced by Big AG have earned a reputation almost as tarnished as that of nuclear energy as handled by the u.s. government. Even so, I have much more mixed feelings about genetic engineering to enable adaptations to climate change — plant adaptations like drought resistance, a greater tolerance of conditions of hot and cold, shorter seasons — and yet I cannot imagine the Market’s ability to work any helpful wonders, and can easily imagine the Market ‘innovating’ some horrific “mistakes”.

  25. Alex

    Re the effect of Covid on the chess rating, it would be truly scary if this guy managed to achieve his pre-Covid ranking because everyone else also got Covid and it affected *their* performance.

  26. jr

    A tale of two COVIDs:

    I just had lunch with a friend, outdoors to be sure. We share a mutual friend, a lovely young lady, smart and witty, who just recently recovered (?) from her second bout of COVID. A number of our mutual friends are on their second round.

    I delicately brought up the topic with an eye towards helping inform the lady about steps she can take to ward off a third infection. I was thinking the IMASK protocol, CBD oil, mouthwashes, nose sprays, and of course masking. I gently mentioned that COVID can lead to brain damage and that it’s cumulative.

    The response I got was “I’ll let her live her own life.”

    I just gave up. Usually I would press the point but no more. I had pretty much given up sharing COVID information with others anyway because everyone either nods and ignores you, offers a platitude implying that some bonkers notion of personal freedom is being breeched and ignores you, or exhibits genuine interest and concern and then ignores you. Not everyone, to be sure, but I would say 99% of the people I’ve approached. The rugged individualism, the magical “positive” thinking mind-virus, all conjoined with the tsunami of dis/mis/sive-information flying around is too much.

    I’ve been getting more and more odd looks when I mask up. More and more people are going maskless. I was hoping monkeypox would have jolted people but, hey it’s just an STI that gay guys who aren’t careful get.

    So I will continue to live with the COVID that can maim and kill you or make life so miserable that you have to really weigh the value of continuing it. The one that ruins your life and exerts a tyranny over you that no masking regulation in the world could ever approach. I will view everyone around me as a threat, potential COVID zombies off-gassing a toxic mixture of viruses, $tupidity, and ignorance where ever they go. I will retreat, as best I can, from a world that seems more than ever intent on killing me.

    They will continue to live with this COVID as well, or barely live, or die. But they have a different COVID in mind. The fear of it doesn’t press up against them, they are able to ignore it or talk it away or whatever it is they do. You can see this in action when it comes up and they look momentarily concerned, then their faces relax and they go back to whatever they were thinking prior. They will continue to value their bat-$hit notions of freedom over physical disability, death, and the fact that you can kill your family and friends with a breath.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      Masking is something everyone should be able to do. It is simple and easy. The other stuff you mention – CBD oil, mouth washes, nasal sprays, and the like are unreasonable and ought not be talked about seriously. There is plenty of data available to support the effectiveness of masking. For the other things the data is very limited.

      1. jr

        The point is to take every possible precaution. Is gargling, taking an edible oil, and flushing one’s nasal passage harmful? No. Is there some evidence that they help? Yes. I do those things just in case they help. That’s being reasonable.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      It sounds like the “friend” and the “lovely young lady” are two different people.

      The “friend” is clearly a Typhoid Mary covid zombie.

      But the “lovely young lady” might well want to be a covid-cautious realist if she only knew it was possible to be one. Perhaps you could get this information to the “lovely young lady” herself to see if she is interested without having to ask permission from the Typhoid Mary covid zombie “friend”?

      1. jr

        They are different people. It’s not that I was seeking permission, I would have just gone ahead and done it. It’s that he sees her a lot more often than I do.

    3. Lexx

      Wait for it… yes, there it is, there’s September just around the corner and as the weather cools you’ll see more and more masks back on the faces of people who have concluded, that until there is a sterilizing vaccine, Covid is here to stay and every winter they’ll be masking up. And even then should there be an effective vaccine, maybe just to avoid getting that season’s flu. This is the new normal; the old normal is gone. Those who can’t or won’t adjust to this new normal will be fine/sicken/die.

      I think all we can do, jr., is offer them our compassion (FWIW) and make new friends, which admittedly as we get older gets more difficult. Sigh.

      1. jr

        Thank the heavens the cold weather is coming, albeit with heightened COVID risks. I will offer them compassion and then avoid them as much as possible. I’m fine with fewer friends.

    4. adrena

      I’m always the only one masked in the supermarket – this is in the Netherlands.

      Stubborn people.

  27. Mikel

    “Zelensky Steamrolls Workers To Pave Way For Mass Privatization” Jimmy Dore, YouTube

    Yep. Get the feeling that Ukraine is one of neoliberalism’s social engineering labs like Chile in the 1970s (for one example).

    1. tegnost

      It’s a twofer as germany’s economy is almost certainly toast…no more of this nordic socialism.
      Move fast and break things.

  28. Mikel

    “Louisiana woman denied abortion despite fetus’s fatal abnormality to travel to North Carolina” Guardian

    One thing I’ve noticed with the recent focus on abortion: people are reminded it’s really kind of like a genetic (and environmental) lotto to carry a healthy baby to term. We here so much, so often from the winners of the genetic lottery that this can be forgotten.

  29. heresy101

    Next year I plan to put 5 or 10 vertical wind turbines on the 1/2 acre hill behind us with a 50 degree slope. Each turbine is 5kW in a 22 mph wind and they operate from 1 mph to 40 mph at a 30 decibel noise level. Given the amount of wind we receive, they should operate between a 20% and 30% capacity level. The large wind turbines 20 miles away on the Sacramento River operate in that capacity range.

    The turbines that I am looking at are 5kW spiral vertical turbines about 4’D x 9’H that sell for about $2-3K. In China, one of their uses in combination with solar is to power street lights. I plan to put mine on the ground just below the ridge and paint them light green to match the ice plant. Here is one of the many manufacturers of the turbines:

    The turbines on the highway probably only generate 1kW because while the cars are going 50-60 mph, the wind going through the turbines may only be 5-10 mph.

    Comment was reply to Solaryjay and Rev Kev.

    1. Solarjay

      Capacity level or more commonly called capacity factor is not efficiency.
      It is the amount of energy production over time vs it’s rated capacity.
      One location might have short duration high winds vs another have low speed long duration winds and could equal the same factor.
      The 20% you mention could be true, if it was a 3 mw machine that means it would produce 14.4 mWh per day.

      There is a reason that these type of wind machines are not common, they don’t really work well. And the exact reason that horizontal wind machines ( all the 3 blades ones you see everywhere) are common because they work really well, because they use an airfoil vs the barn door type idea.

      And they are on tall towers to get them out of ground drag friction loss, ie into higher wind speeds and less turbulent air. The rule of thumb is to be at least 50’ above the tallest object within 300’ of your turbine location.
      Mounting a any type turbine at ground level or on your roof etc means lots of turbulence drastically reducing performance.
      Watch a flag at 10’ vs 100’ let alone 600’

      I would recommend finding independent actual testing data before buying, same recommendation goes true with all wind machines.

      1. heresy101

        Capacity level was used because most people don’t understand capacity factor. Capacity factor is only the amount of energy generated over time (a year) and doesn’t relate to efficiency. The 10MW of wind we contracted for 20 years ago on the Sacramento River (1.2 MW turbines) was projected to have a 33% capacity factor but after 10 years, or so, it was 28%. This has nothing to do with the efficiency of the turbines but is more likely due to temperature and wind changes between the Central Valley and the Ocean.

        The vertical turbines provide the 5kW at 22 mph and the wind blows about that fast about 10% of the time, a little faster sometimes, but there is a small wind probably 80% of the time. These turbines start generating a few watts at 1.5 mph. The wind blows from the West (ocean direction) and blows up the hill (like a fire goes UP the hill). I don’t want to put them on the top of the ridge because that would be ugly. A downside may be the noise (rated at 30db) if they turn out to be noisy they may have to go. The neighbor said that a vertical wind turbine was forced to be taken down by neighbors because it was too noisy.

        After the turbines are installed, I will let people know how they work out next year with detailed statistics. My goal is to used the vertical turbines, solar, and batteries to become part of a VPP (Virtual Power Plant) that connects many of these sources of energy. Tesla has a VPP with PG&E but you can be sure that only PG&E and Tesla benefit, not customers.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      One wonders whether lines of air-blocking windbreak trees could be planted in such a way as to channel some of the wind they “block” over to the turbines instead? So that they are “guiding” the wind rather than merely blocking it? Guiding it right into the waiting blades of the turbines? Something like skyscrapers channel wind between themselves to make very windy “urban canyons”?

  30. drumlin woodchuckles

    That Turkish car-wind-driven turbine is a kind of after-the-fact wasted energy partial recapture kind of genius. But how much energy did the cars have to waste to begin with to create so much air-resistance wind that it could reach and spin the turbine?

    How much energy would be saved and not even wasted to begin with if the cars were so aerodynamic that they didn’t even create enough air-resistance wind to spin the turbine to begin with? More energy would be saved by making all the cars super-aerodynamic than is partially recaptured by harvesting the wasted-energy-wind the cars are forcing into existence to begin with.

    Better to capture it than not, to be sure. But even better to have not wasted the energy creating car-passage wind to begin with.

    Low Tech Magazine has a good article about that for layfolk like myself, written so clearly that even I could understand it. The article is titled: The age of speed: how to reduce global fuel consumption by 75 per cent. Here is the link.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      Most people focus on the fuel used to power automobiles – carbon based versus electric. As if that is the only problem. The vehicles themselves are a problem, regardless of how they are powered. Building them requires large amounts of physical resources. They are extremely inefficient as a means to transport people from one place to another. They requires countless miles of paved roads which ruins landscapes and destroys habitat. And they enable the very wasteful suburban lifestyle. One of the very worst inventions is the automobile. We should get rid them entirely, not look for ways to operate them more “gently”. This may seem to be an extreme position in this day and age, but in fact it will prove to be very necessary.

    2. jr

      You could also ask how many resources and how much energy went into making, delivering, installing, and maintaining the turbine to capture a smidgen of waste energy….

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        One wonders what C. Wright Mills might have called it . . . ” crackpot genius”, perhaps?

        Genius to have designed it, crackpot to have not even asked ” why are we wasting all this energy causing air-resistance wind to reach a center-median air turbine to begin with?”

    3. Carolinian

      Thanks so much for the link. I believe every bicyclist understands the principle intuitively although in the summer all that air resistance does have the beneficial side effect of keeping the engine (me) cool. Nixon did try to reduce the speed limit to 55 mph. The public didn’t like it. They are your problem.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I remember that time. The “double nickel”. Keeping cars below the speed of “hitting the air wall” was the reason for the speed limit. But I don’t remember it ever being explained very well or at all to the big public. Cars were either fat and bulbous-shaped or square-front-end shaped in those days.
        They were very aerostatic, if that is a word.

        Since then, cars have been re body-styled to be more streamlined and aerodynamic. I still think the GM EV1 was one of the most aerodynamically efficient cars there was and maybe still is and still looked tolerably stylish. Here is a bunch of images.;_ylt=AwrFFwKV0wtjFVMcAJtXNyoA;_ylu=Y29sbwNiZjEEcG9zAzEEdnRpZAMEc2VjA3Nj?p=gm+ev1+image&fr=sfp
        Just imagine how smooth the airflow would be around that car.

        I was pretty young then, but I think that resentment against that speed limit led to the extreme speeding one saw since that time. 80 mph or so is the average actual speed on Interstate Highways in Michigan, for example; whatever the law might say. And I think before the age of 55mph speed limit, people in Michigan were satisfied with 65mph on the Interstates.

        If gas went to $10 a gallon and never did come down again . . . Never Ever . . . and then people were provide with a serious explanation of aerodynamically efficient driving and staying just below the speed of “hitting the air wall”, people might be in a better mood to receive the information.
        But gas has to reach $10 per gallon and stay there for several years first, before just going up again after that, before “the public” will be ready to listen.

  31. spud

    by ignoring and not taking to task the people who came to power in 1993, we will never get back what was taken from us. mexico understands this.

    Mexico’s New Truth Commission Will Shine a Light on the Crimes of Its “Dirty War”

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

    “We Forget What It Was Really Like Under the Clintons”

  32. Milly

    How Nonprofits Use a Legal Loophole to Flip California Homes — for a Profit

    The California legislature and Newsom are in the pockets of the builders and, as the article demonstrates, the financial parasites profiting off forced housing. Performatively fronting for social activists who claim that this will solve the “housing crisis” is a convenient excuse for their hundreds of bills promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and other social activism profit generating scams.

    This assures the peons and recent arrivals from places they screwed up with their politics and had to flee, that they might possibly get a piece of the California Dream.

    Notice Mr. Riggins defaulted on his mortgage. Must have been a second or a third, because the property could have been paid off decades earlier.

    1. Carlton

      “And when I can never access homeownership, it then limits so many things, let alone generational wealth transfers. So, that’s the mission that we really have.”

      Right. And the same so called progressives in the legislature that rant about the inability of black people to profit from redlined properties they couldn’t buy in 1945 or so, and intergenerational wealth transfers also promoted Proposition 19 which passed by half a percentage point.
      It limits the ability of children to inherit their parent’s Proposition 13 tax deferral, after they’ve paid decades of property taxes, thus forcing the sale of the property, or the boosting of low rents to pay the taxman.

    2. griffen

      That was an interesting read, and it speaks to a practice I thought would be tightened up by now. How are foreclosure proceedings initiated during a loan modification, is one of a few unanswered questions I have. Probably much to be explained by shoddy paper work and lousy existing audit / mortgage loan documentation.

      And this proves my general trope. Lawmakers due to vast degree can be useful idiots, and in this case only useful to help give those nonprofits a decided advantage in pursuing these profitable opportunities. Rising asset / home values bring out the vultures, and it’s been ever thus since the financial crisis in ’07-’09 and the ensuing foreclosure debacle which followed it.

  33. Karl

    RE: World Military and arms Transfers (Dept. of State) “WMEAT will no longer be published….”

    The latest DOD Authorization Act of 2022 ended funding for these reports….Per the detailed excel table in the last (2021) report, the U.S. accounts for about 80% of global arms export deliveries in 2021, and this level has been pretty constant over the last 10 years. More specifically, according to the executive summary,

    During the eleven-year period covered in WMEAT 2021, about 79 percent of world arms
    trade by value appears to have been supplied by the United States, about 10 percent by the
    European Union, about 5 percent by Russia, and less than 2 percent by China. There was no
    clear trend in U.S., EU or Russian market share during the period, but China’s market share

    As we all know, the U.S. is by far the biggest arms merchant of the world. 49% of these exports go to countries whose ranking in terms of democratic governance are in the bottom 4 quintiles. Also:

    Over the period, the arms trade surplus of the United States may have offset as much as 28 percent of its total trade deficit.

  34. griffen

    CalPers executives urge industry to follow their lead. Hilarity ensues. How on earth does that management team and board believe they alone are leading the industry from the wilderness into the land of milk and honey. CalPers pensioners have my sympathies.

    Hey folks, watch what we do but ignore what we say. Oh, we hired a CEO with a much discussed experience and qualification gap but never mind that. Good grief. While I am sympathetic perhaps to the notion that women get more excluded from opportunities, someone such as Frost would not be in her position without a little glossing over what she appears to lack in substance.

  35. VietnamVet

    The current exponential increase in the cost of in Europe’s spot market is an intrinsic effect of shortages in a deregulated market. Enron use blackouts to game California’s electricity spot market in 2000 and 2001. Likewise, in last year’s Texas Freeze, energy bills skyrocketed before the electrical grid collapsed. This will repeat, once again, across Europe this winter. Only government action can avoid the unaffordable energy bills and the outages that will freeze, kill, maim and destroy infrastructure. But the whole point of neoliberalism is to keep markets free from government regulation.

    The FED is increasing interest rates to fight inflation caused by shortages of energy, goods and people (Long COVID is keeping 2-4 million Americans out of workforce) not an overheated economy. This shows the detachment from reality of western leadership.

    Lambert’s: “1. Because Markets, 2. Go Die” is apt. This hell of a summer and a horrible winter are inevitable. Europe is at war but doesn’t have any national governments that serve their people except perhaps for Hungary to fight it. The EU (the corporate/state) is incapable of fighting the proxy world war. The stupidity, hubris and incompetence may turn the second Cold War into a hot one that will inevitably escalate into a global nuclear holocaust.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      This is not at all the same as Enron. There is an underlying shortage of generation capacity relative to demand. Government “action” can’t create more power absent opening up Nord Stream 2. Putin said that offer would remain open only so long, Russia would use the portion it had kept open. It may already be too late. Even so, EU principals have discussed only bad faith actions, like opening up NS2 only long enough to fill up storage and then turn off NS2 (which actually won’t solve their problem, it just gets them through winter to face a new crisis in 2023). Why should Russia play along with the EU being customers from hell? They first said they wanted to unilaterally cancel supply, then they wanted to extend it only so long for their convenience (not in any contract), then they let Ukraine cut off one leg of Gazprom’s supply routes, with not a peep, let alone any pressure, on Ukraine for reducing EU gas supply, but lots of whinging about Gazprom when that turbine really was stuck in Canada for nearly two months?

      1. VietnamVet

        Enron manipulated California power market by creating artificial shortages to make higher profits by closing a power plant for maintenance at peak hours, routing power from California which was price capped to unregulated states and back again at a higher price, and overscheduling power line transmission. They caused the rolling blackouts. Enron traders were recorded boasting that “Grandma Millie (was) charged for (family blog) $250 a megawatt hour”.

        Currently it is Germany and the EU who are creating the energy shortages by imposing sanctions on Russia and not opening NS 2. One might say they shot themselves in the foot. Others will say that USA fired the shot. But, the energy shortages, rising prices – inflation, and any winter freezes are the direct result of the proxy world war for which there are no peace negotiations underway. It is EU’s Grandmother Millie who will be adversely affected by high energy prices and blackouts as long as the war continues.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          You are still conflating two cases that are very different.

          Enron manipulated the energy market, including actual plants, for profit.

          The EU is the one that cut itself off from Russian gas. It is suffering, not profiting.

          1. VietnamVet

            Perhaps we can agree to disagree?

            The California rolling blackouts were the first flowering of neoliberalism in America. Poor Governor Gray Davis was completely unable to deal with Enron’s lawless manipulation of deregulation to make a profit.

            The current European War, too, is the bitter fruit of neoliberalism. The forever wars are to make a profit for the connected. If the West was still an alliance of democratic nations who served the best interests of their people, the Minsk II agreements would have been observed by all sides. There would be no war, no spike in energy prices, no death and destruction, no threat of nuclear annihilation. If there was peace, the existential threats from climate change, resource depletion, and pandemics could be addressed.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              The economic sanctions were not neoliberal. They were effectively a blockade and blockades long predate neoliberalism.. But Western leaders have too much ego at stake tp admit they failed. This is about credibility, the same concern the Pentagon Papers revealed as why the US refused to leave Vietnam even though it was clear we could not win. The West is unable to admit its era of hegemony (an extension of colonialism, as Putin has taken to pointing out) is over.

  36. JBird4049

    I just have to comment on that Texas school effectively banning the book whose author is the name of the school. It looks like the man describing his friend getting lynched was the reason for the ban (cancellation?) although that’s from inferred from reading between the lines. This reminds me of having Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a book whose main point was anti-racism because of the accurate, but accurate colloquial, racist language of the book as spoken in the Antebellum South. Or maybe because its point was about life in a slave owning society and the dehumanization it caused?

    I mean really. The truth is often uncomfortable with fiction, comedy, the arts all being very good at exposing those uncomfortable truths. But having stuff making you think like a good joke or poetry is too controversial to have, maybe? Or have the educational system been crapified for so long that the ignorant are in charge? It is depressing to realize that that a show like All in the Family could never be produced today. But I can see/read/hear well produced emptiness that meets all the approved cultural positions of the Elites. It is so entertaining to see much of our culture become vapid propaganda.

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