Links 8/8/2022

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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The Secret Life of Leftovers The New Atlantis (AL)

Line in the Sand, Head in the Clouds Slate (furzy)

India’s rocket fails to put satellites in right orbit in debut launch

South Korean spacecraft launched to the moon, country’s 1st

‘Simple yet powerful’: Seeing cell secretion like never before (KW)

VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence MIT Technology Review (DL)


Post–COVID-19 Symptoms and Conditions Among Children and Adolescents — United States, March 1, 2020–January 31, 2022 CDC (guurst)

The type and frequency of animals coming down with COVID is trying to tell us something about the future of the pandemic. Scientists are on the case Fortune (furzy)


The Controversial Plan to Unleash the Mississippi Hakai (resilc)

Montana’s devastating wildfires are starting underground Popular Science (DL)

How Lyme Disease Became Unstoppable The Nation (KF)


BeiDou fully armed to guide China’s phones and missiles Asia Times (KW)

Corruption is sending shock waves through China’s chipmaking industry MIT Technology Review (resilc)

PETER HITCHENS: If the West is truly to resist China, we’ll need subtler weapons than the bluster and bombast deployed over Taiwan Daily Mail (resilc)

* * *

China Seeks Urgent Meeting With Lankan Authorities After Request to Defer Research Vessel Docking The Wire

China builds watchtowers inside India-claimed lines The Telegraph (India)

Pelosi Aftermath

Taiwan Says Economic Ties to China Make More Sanctions Unlikely Bloomberg

China’s Reaction To Pelosi’s Visit Reveals Its Taiwan Conflict Plans Moon of Alabama (KW)

‘China is watching’: Senators push for more support for Ukraine, Taiwan Politico

China announces additional military drills near Taiwan Axios


Bangladesh Plans Staggered Factory Holidays to Ease Power Crunch Bloomberg

Protest erupts in Bangladesh over record hike in fuel prices ANI

Bangladesh seeks China help to repatriate Rohingya refugees AP

ECB injects billions of euros into weaker eurozone debt markets FT

Old Blighty

‘Zombie government’: more than half of departments delay key decisions The Guardian (resilc)

Rishi Sunak vows to end low-earning degrees in post-16 education shake-up The Guardian (KW)

Cost of living: People turning back to cash as prices rise BBC

New Not-So-Cold War

Attacks on Ukraine power plant stir concern over nuclear accident (KW)

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy rules out talks if Russia holds referendums Reuters

‘You are not a refugee.’ Roma refugees fleeing war in Ukraine say they are suffering discrimination and prejudice CNN

“Russian Propaganda” Just Means Disobedience Caitlin Johnstone (KW)

Western Propaganda Continues to promote the Meme that Russia Is Toast Larry Johnson

Ukraine’s Missing Tanks, Delayed Offensive New Atlas, YouTube

Yves here. The tweet below is in the “handle with suspicion” category. However, current reports on Military Summary, like the one on August 7 (starting at 2:30), indicate that the Ukraine army is in desperate shape. For instance, in one area near Bahmut, completely green men are being pressed into service to fight, as in die. However, if it is not from Ukraine official forces, it is either from Ukrainians opposed to the war (and there are some in addition to Russia-friendlies; there was a protest by mothers of dead and wounded soldiers a way back) or Russian propaganda. If Russian propaganda, the trick for a document like this to be taken as credible is for it to only somewhat exaggerate reality. It needs to be seen as at least dimly plausible to bite:

Brazil’s Lula advised to buy back Petrobras refineries, study author says Reuters

Karabakh is in Azerbaijan’s legally recognized borders: Erdoğan Daily Sabah


Gaza: truce takes effect between Israel and Islamic Jihad after days of fighting The Guardian

The gold rush for Morocco’s phosphate in the Ukraine war aftermath Middle East Eye

Afghanistan: assassination of al-Qaida chief reveals tensions at the top of the Taliban The Conversation (J-LS)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

These Companies Know When You’re Pregnant—And They’re Not Keeping It Secret Gizmodo (guurst)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Secret spending by the weapons industry is making us less safe The Hill

Hong Kong’s 1922 general strike: when the British empire struck back The Conversation (J-LS)

Biden Administration

Senate passes sweeping tax, climate package after marathon vote; Harris breaks tie The Hill

The Inflation Reduction Act is Not Designed to Reduce Inflation Benjamin Studebaker (RK)

“Bad Days Ahead,” Warns Pakistan’s Finance Minister NDTV

Stock trading ban becomes hot-button campaign issue The Hill

Health Care

Nursing home chain’s tangled corporate structure and bankruptcy threats stymied litigation Stat

A Very Dangerous Place to Be Pregnant Is Getting Even Scarier Bloomberg (guurst)

The Bezzle

Tales from the Thrifts The Baffler (resilc)

One of the biggest textbook publishers is tired of not making any money when you buy a used textbook — and wants to explore using NFTs to get a cut Insider (KF)

EV tax credits could stall out on lack of US battery supply MIT Technology Review (resilc)

The end of the warehouse bubble Financial Times

Class Warfare

In Colorado mountain towns, where affordable housing is scarce, ‘even living out of your car is gentrified’ The Denver Post (KW)

Colombia’s first leftist president says ‘the war on drugs has failed’ Irish Independent

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Sardonia

    With CBS News reporting that up to 70% of the (often outdated) weapons being shipped to Ukraine being unaccounted for – likely sold by corrupt officials through a black market to extremist groups, shady militias, Eastern European mafias, etc. – I’m imagining this re-worded Beatle’s tune (Back in the USSR) being sung by an Arms Deliveryman:

    Flew into Kiev (this ain’t B.O.A.C.)
    Didn’t get to sleep last night
    Loaded up with tons of faulty weaponry
    And no one doing Oversight

    I’m back with the Ukrainians
    You’re gettin’ lots of old guns, boys
    Back with the Ukrainians

    They treat me right if I pretend I do not see
    They sell to anyone they want
    Penthouse suite, cocaine, such hospitality
    The Bander Liberation Front??

    I’m back with the Ukrainians
    You’re gettin’ lots of old guns, boys
    Back with the Ukies,
    Back with the Ukies,
    Back with the Ukrainians

    The Ukraine girls really knock me out
    I leave the Wife behind
    Galician girls make me scream and shout
    Oksana’s always on my my my
    My my my my my my mind

    I’m sad your boyfriend’s sent into our proxy fights
    It’s just part of my country’s form
    We sucker hapless nations into hopeless plights
    Now come make Uncle Sammie warm

    I’m back with the Ukrainians
    You’re gettin’ lots of old guns, boys
    Back with the Ukrainians

    1. Mike

      I see lots of reports that says “CBS reports” but I don’t see the CBS report itself. Makes me a bit suspicious. Anybody have a real link?

        1. Objective Ace

          “Since that time Ohman says delivery improved”

          Improved to what? Even if its 50 percent–a remarkable improvement–it begs a lot of questions

          1. Dean

            From the Insider:

            “CBS partially retracts documentary that outraged Ukraine by claiming that US weapon shipments were going missing”

      1. Franco

        CBS was bullied by the MIC and Ukrainian info warriors to delete the video, article, and tweet, just like Amnesty International was bullied to apologize for documenting Ukrainian war crimes. You can find copies of the (now deleted) CBS documentary and corresponding article on third-party sites if you just search for it.

  2. digi_owl

    “VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence MIT Technology Review (DL)”

    I recall having a discussion about that with a local 420 enthusiast ages ago, and he was adamant that tech would never be able to replicate chemicals. That said, i was arguing from the point of view of direct brain stimulation rather than VR.

    1. Sardonia

      “VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence MIT Technology Review (DL)”

      Oh, the LSD of my teenaged years insists upon retorting….

      It’s also unaware of any direct brain stimulations that can replica its chemical shenanigans. Got any good links that describe those stimulations?

      1. digi_owl

        Sorry, i was to a large extent arguing the hypothetical back then.

        That said, there was a mouse experiment from ages ago where they wired a pedal to an electrode in the mouse brain and the mouse would stimulate itself into unconsciousness.

        A the time it was thought to have stimulated the pleasure center, but i seem to recall reading a recent claim that it was instead hitting whatever is driving foraging or some sort.

        1. Sardonia

          I’d need to Google around, and it’s bedtime for now, but the study I read, IIRC, was a rat study with 2 pedals – one that produced a food pellet, and another that stimulated an electrode implanted into its pleasure center. Once the rats figured out which did what, they’d just lay on that pleasure pedal all…day…long… Until they just dropped dead.

          Adapted for humans, this could revolutionize Hospice Care.

    2. rob

      there is no “ego” in the mind of all the people who WISH VR could do anything like that.. snarc..

      There is no VR that will ever be “like” psychedelics. Now , if they were saying we put electrical contacts in your brain, to stimulate the region stimulated by drugs…. MAYBE… we could be talking.. but this mumbo jumbo from people (with their ego standing in front).. pretending to experience what psychedelics have to offer… obviously never did.

    3. Yves Smith

      Those of us with no depth perception (like moi) can’t use VR, so we can resort only to the real deal.

      I agree your idea of direct brain stimulation should work. But if they start there, they’ll use stimulation of the pleasure centers to turn everyone into slaves. It would have to be a more powerful motivator than any drug.

      1. Sardonia

        “they’ll use stimulation of the pleasure centers to turn everyone into slaves.”

        Definitely. But very very hard to control, as it would most likely become an underground, illegal practice. A character in one of my novels (one of the unfinished ones), has such an implanted electrode for that, as do many others. Not a difficult implantation, and workable with any electrical outlet. But most likely, tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal would be a big problem. It would take increasing amounts of stimulation to keep achieving the desired effect. But it wouldn’t require much electricity at all.

        Rather than slaves, I could foresee a goodly number of addicts who would be incapable of doing anything after a little jolt, or when that wears off, doing anything other than looking for another electrical outlet. They wouldn’t be very good workers.

        1. fringe element

          Here’s a film from the 90s on the topic.

          “the film follows the story of a black marketeer of recordings that allow a user to experience the recorder’s memories and physical sensations”

          Wiki says it bombed at the box office but I liked it and used to have my own copy. Kathryn Bigelow directed and Ralph Fiennes and Angela Bassett were the featured talent.

    4. johnh

      Yeah, I don’t buy that at all. Psychedelics doing a lot more than fooling one’s sensory inputs as VR does.

      Seems a marketing claim more than a scientific conclusion – legit study of psychedelics is itself a relatively recent phenomenon.

      1. Pelham

        The recent Netflix documentary on psychedelics was instructive and, I think, lends some support to what you say.

        I’ve been skeptical about the supposed life-changing nature of these trips. So you take LSD or psilocybin and experience grand and glorious things. Then the images go away. Why would this be life changing? You know you’ve been on a drug that produced a bunch of nonsensical sensations, but so what? How can it have any meaning?

        The documentary, at least in part, answered those questions for me. It seems that each experience that was explored contained an intimate element very specific to the experiencer that addressed a core difficulty unique to him. The takeaway for me was that the experience at least left a powerful impression there was a wider world trying to deliver a benign message, and the drug opened the door.

        I still have my doubts, but now I’m curious.

    5. MT_Wild

      $60 in supplies, a pressure canner, and patience and you can have your own supply of psychedelics.

      Why do I assume the VR version is way more expensive, requires upgrades, and cost even more to get the experience ad free?

      1. Beyond the rubicoN

        Yea I also think the social aspect of psychedelics is important. Usually they are done with close friends or during quasi-religious events. Lots of times out in nature.

        VR seems to be an attempt to replicate the more tangible while forgetting about the more intangible aspects of psychedelics.

        1. MT_Wild

          Won’t post direct links but a basic search on “shroomery, PF Tech, easy AF” should get you were you need to go if you follow it down the reddit rabbit hole.

          Price point assumes you have some basic supplies to go along with your pressure canner. Good luck.

    6. Questa Nota

      Coincidentally, yesterday I happened to hear the following outside a storefront VR business. You can see the scene by imagining young people sitting passively in lounge chairs.

      Here is the observation: That looks like Idiocracy.

    7. homeroid

      Even direct stimulation could not match an ounce of pure mescalin sulfate,a handful of good friends,a house in the country, a weeks worth of food and good wine. Nope VR can never replicate the spirit.

    8. Booze

      VR at this point is amazing. I use my headset daily.

      Psychedelics are amazing. I hope I live to see the day when everyone who wants to try them can do so affordably and safely.

      VR and psychedelics together can be life changing. I only have anecdata. So believe or don’t. Better yet, try.

      But VR, by itself, is nowhere near the experience of psychedelics, and despite the headlines, that’s not what the person who did their own study and is looking for investors is really claiming. My read of it is that on 4 of 30 measures of a mystical experience, his VR experience elicits similar self reported scores to what people self report about tripping. And that’s kind of neat, and I’d guess the people in his study don’t have much experience with VR. But it’s very much cherry picking some numbers to get a sensational headline

  3. Sardonia

    On the Gonzalo Lira documents –

    “If Russian propaganda, the trick for a document like this to be taken as credible is for it to only somewhat exaggerate reality. It needs to be seen as at least dimly plausible to bite”

    Oh, it’s definitely at least dimly plausible. Enough so that it might not be Russian propaganda, but actual reality. The fighting has been relentless, and the Ukrainian soldiers seem to have been managed as nothing more than cannon fodder, used to “at least slow advances down” – but to what endgame?

    If and when the UAF collapses and Russian advances become unstoppable, what moves does The West then have? Full retreat back to the Dneiper and somehow proclaiming “Victory”?


    1. timbers


      Just a wild guess…Long range super powerful missiles that can strike most anywhere in Russia, located in Galacia/Banderastan, Lviv or thereabouts. Maybe some sense will grip what is in charge of Ukraine at that point and they will choose not to do that simply by being witness to what following US has already reduced them to nothing left but Galacia, but I am guessing US puppets will still be running the show even then of what’s left of Ukraine.

      Remember as others have often noted…”the neocons have no reverse gear.”

      1. Will

        They may not get the chance to show off such wonder weapons. A few days ago from Gilbert Doctorow:

        the ongoing deliveries of long range artillery-missile systems (HIMARS) by the United States and its allies represent a serious escalation in the war that imposes on Russia the need to push back the borders with Ukraine to the point where the new weapons no longer threaten the Donbas, not to mention civilian populations in adjacent territories of the Russian Federation. Continued Western military assistance to Ukraine, which now clearly includes dispatch of military technicians to man and direct the advanced materiel, will result in the full conquest of Ukraine by Russian forces and a dictated peace with whatever regime replaces the Zelensky junta.

        He bases the above on statements by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.

      2. fringe element

        Don’t want to try and post the link, but at New Atlas, Brian Berletic’s site, there is a video up called “China’s Taiwan Military Option – How and Why?” I listened to it this afternoon. It is a bit long, about an hour. Somewhere in the talk Berletic points out that China has missiles with much much longer ranges than we have because some treaty kept us from doing that until 2019. We are catching up, but China has a huge lead. Not sure how that would play out in Ukraine, if China would share these missiles with Russia or not, but it seems worth noticing.

        Also just want to add that I discovered Berletic on the video he and Yves did with Gonzalo Lira. I have been catching up on his work and am just blown away by it. So thanks to Yves for this.

    2. Lex

      I was going to submit this for a link, but here it is. The description (some known well, some less so) of the internal situation suggests a reason for such a leak. Things are dicey in Kiev power circles, very dicey. And as such we have the classic maneuvering for position. The report isn’t saying anything Ukrainians don’t know or anything careful watchers of the whole conflict don’t know. It certainly could be Russian disinfo, but if it is, it’s likely very close to the verifiable information Russia has.

      1. hemeantwell

        That’s my sense as well. The cry for help from last week from a guy on the Donetsk front seems to have been allowed to float around the net without much ridicule. Speculation: there’s a significant Kyiv faction that doesn’t want to lose Odessa and Kharkov, along with another 100,000 troops. As many people have noted, the problem is that the ultras have threatened to veto agreements by assassination.

        1. John k

          Imo if it wasn’t too late in march, it’s too late now for ukr to retain any majority Russian-speaking oblasts such as Odessa and Kharkov. What could ukr offer? Or the west?
          Russia is turning east and south away from the west, no longer seeing an advantage with dealing with unfriendlies. Imo they will liberate the 9 Russian leaning oblasts in the south and east, and at least de-militarize and hold referendums in all other areas east of the river.

    3. Neal Roche

      The numbers of casualties are shocking even if reports are exaggerated. Each of them is a son or a brother, husband or father who is injured, mutilated or dead. War is hell on earth. If my son was conscripted I would risk my life to get him as far away as possible from that hell.

      1. ambrit

        Remember when the middle class in America arranged for their draft age sons to “take a vacation” to Canada at the height of the Vietnam War? This was a thing. I remember hearing anecdotes form friends in High School about the hushed conversations in some homes concerning this.
        What is interesting to note is that this “take a vacation from the draft” movement was, and probably still is generally limited to families with the means to effect such an outcome. The poor are stuck and prime game for the press ganging efforts. If it already hasn’t done so, I would expect to see increasing civil unrest aimed at defying the dictates of the central government in the Ukraine.

        1. Spashoil

          Yes I remember well! Had a full time student deferment. Lost a good friend who could not keep a full load of classes and be the sole support for his mother. Drafted and sent off to end up on the wall in DC.
          Wrote letters to my hometown paper against the War. Was drafted, refused to go. Under indictment: 5 years and/or $10,000 fine. Was drafted because General Hershey told local Draft Boards to target War objectors. Won acquittal when judge threw case out because Congress did not authorize exemptions from deferment for War opponents.
          Re-drafted but the new lottery was in effect. My birthday was number 331! Your mileage may vary…. Good times!

          1. Lee

            As a working class kid who got into college and then into the anti-war movement, which gave me less time for carrying the requisite number of units, I went through a similar song and dance. I did manage during my draft exam to convince them that I was crazy enough to shoot the wrong way, as I was more inclined to shoot someone who gave me an order to shoot someone whom I had no reason to shoot in the first place. There were fraggings going on at the time, and they seemed to believe me. Hell, even I believed me at the time.

        2. John Zelnicker

          Good morning, ambrit.

          I was in the first draft lottery in 1969. The lottery was an attempt by the Selective Service to randomize the chances of being drafted and overcome the favoritism of the local draft boards. These boards were made up of prominent local businessmen so the sons of the elite were never among those chosen to go.

          My birthday was number 29. I was a student at the time and deeply involved in the antiwar and anti-draft movement. Once my student deferment ran out, I would almost certainly be drafted.

          If that had happened, I would have been living in Canada until Carter “pardoned” all the ex-pats who had fled the draft.

          Fortunately, I was able to take advantage of a pause in the draft during the first 3 months of 1972. When the pause was announced I renounced my student deferment and was classified as 1A, eligible for the draft. The rules said I had to be at the front of the line for only the first 90 days of the new year and would then drop into the second year pool of draft eligible men.

          With no draft for those 3 months, I was eligible, but not called, and didn’t have to emigrate to Canada. Thankfully.

          1. Wukchumni

            A friend was born in 1944 and had blown through his college deferments and was in dire danger of being drafted to go to Vietnam in 1967 and was nursing his sorrows in a bar in Van Nuys and got talking to the guy sitting on the next bar stool who happened to be in the California Air National Guard, and after a number of cold barley sodas informed my friend that they were recruiting tomorrow and he’d get him in!

            So the next day @ the Cal Air National Guard in Van Nuys, my buddy estimated that there were in excess of 500 desperate young men looking for a way out-including him.

            People look way different when dressed in a military uniform and my friend didn’t recognize the guy sitting next to him at the bar the night before, but the enlisted man did and Art was 1 of just 12 men picked that day, the other 488 men still in a state of desperation, i’d guess.

            1. Susan the Other

              I was reminiscing how it was in the late 60s. Every guy I met was uneasy. They had a way of grasping onto you emotionally – but none of them verbalized they were frightened of going to Vietnam. The tell was that some of them went out and bought engagement rings (2) and showed up unannounced on my parents’ doorstep asking to marry me. I kid you not. It was happening everywhere because if you were married and had a kid you could get a deferment – at least at first. I kept thinking whadatheywannamarrymefor?

              1. ChrisPacific

                And even those stories fall well short of the horror that is the current situation in Ukraine, viz. the prospect of being sent into a meat grinder and almost certain death because leadership and the global West are unwilling to be realistic about how the war is going.

                I suspect this kind of thing is not uncommon in war (I recall some stories from WW1 about incompetent officers sending troops to almost certain death because they didn’t know what else to do) but it’s unusual to see it on this kind of scale.

        3. jrkrideau

          Remember when the middle class in America arranged for their draft age sons to “take a vacation” to Canada at the height of the Vietnam War?

          I do remember begging a US friend to move up and stay with us. My family would have been happy to have him.

          1. ThePodBayDoorsAreClosed

            And I remember when The Democratic Party led the charge to oppose the war, where today they lead the charge to fund it and to start new ones. When they are not battling freedom of speech and signing bills designed to accelerate the impoverishment of the bottom 90% that is.

      2. Tom Stone

        All that is old is new again,I’m old enough to remember “Tail Gunner Joe” and the blacklists and censorship of the 50’s and early 60’s.
        The first crack in that wall was Fred Smith’s “The FBI Nobody Knows”, very few bookstores were willing to carry it, my Dad got his copy from Bob Treuhaft (Jessica Mitford’s husband) and he was careful not to leave it out where anyone could see it.
        It was actually not easy to even learn about the book until Rex Stout published “The Doorbell Rang” in 1962 (?).
        You did not criticize Hoover or the fibbies without serious consequences, IRS audits,agents talking to your neighbors, your employer or your clients, your banker…if you were white and respectable.
        If you weren’t white and respectable it got rough, fast.
        Ask Fred Hampton if you don’t believe me.

        It’s Deja Vu all over again, more sophisticated and brutal than the old days but still the same game.

        1. amechania

          I was ruminating and the other problem with making the truth illegal is you have to publicize it.

          1. ambrit

            Alas, one way out of that problem is to claim “National Security” and hide the “Truth” deep down in some giant Federal database out in a desert somewhere.
            “Well, yes, it is available, but you need a ‘Triple Cappuccino Five Toppings Security Kabuki Pass’ to gain access to it. Look into the iris scanner please.”

        2. Wukchumni

          The one time I had interaction with the FBI was when somebody tried to pass some counterfeit German 1,000 DM banknotes in the late 1980’s when I was doing physical forex* in the City of Angles, and this particular agent seemed so dense to me, he didn’t seem to get it when I pointed out that the banknotes in question all had the same serial #, a dead giveaway’s dead giveaway, hello!

          * My favorite transaction was a weird one, a voice on the phone wanted to know my rates on Irish Punts & Japanese Yen in large $ amounts in both currencies, how weird was that?

          About an hour later a Rolls Royce parks in front of our establishment and an original Star Trek crew member from the 60’s tv show walks out and we do a deal. It was their take from Star Trek conventions in Dublin and Tokyo.

          Another interesting transaction that happened half a dozen times was absolutely gorgeous women in their 20’s who had Brunei $10,000 banknotes they wanted to exchange, with each transaction’s owner being increasingly more beautiful, and curious, I inquired as to where these $6,000 U.S. big bickies were coming from?

          The Sultan’s minions would hang around L.A. hotspot nightclubs and if you were hawt enough, why you’d get a little something for the effort.

          7 Women File Lawsuit Against Sultan

    4. PlutoniumKun

      The problem with looking at raw figures in terms of military capacity, is that casualties are not equal. One well trained and experienced soldier is worth multiples of raw recruits or paramilitaries, especially when it comes to specialized areas like artillery.

      Ukraine can withstand hundreds of thousands of dead cannon fodder, its a big poor country with lots of unemployed men. What really matters in terms of military capacity is how well they’ve kept their core army and technical support people. There is evidence I think that they are deliberately using new recruits as a sort of air bag protection to minimize the loss of experienced soldiers.

      So what really matters is how many of the original professional army are still alive and active. I suspect that its had a lot of casualties, but not unsustainable yet. The big problem may be that now we are well past 150 days of combat, even the best Ukrainian soldiers may be beginning to crack under the strain. The Russians have had the luxury of being able to manage their soldiers exposure to combat, so they can withstand a long term hot conflict for much longer than Ukraine – in fact, they may be getting stronger (i.e. more hardened and experienced) as we go on. The same may not apply to the local militias, they seem to be used quite intensively.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Been wondering myself if the Ukrainians have been holding back some professional formation in Kiev or Liviv. But even if they have, the logistics are simply not there. Not to defend the rest of the Ukraine that is. The fortifications are falling in the Donbass and after that it is all cow country. The present Ukrainian formations stretched all along the contact line with the Russians are being hunted down and hammered when found. The worse of it is that so many Ukrainians formations have been wiped out merely to fulfill political objectives and I can’t work out how much of that is on Zelensky and how much it is NATO giving the orders here.

        1. Will

          This twitter account was flagged, with a few others, in comments by someone a months ago as providing useful information on the war. (Apologies for not remembering who.) Seems to be run by an amateur military historian. In this thread, discusses what seems to be a coming offensive in the south by the Ukrainian’s to retake Kherson and what that means for the Donbas.

          Other, more “official” sources seem to agree there’s a Kherson offensive brewing.

          So, to tie in the above with comments by PK and Lex, is there an internally controversial plan to sacrifice untrained men in the Donbas to hold Russian forces there while Ukraine concentrates available resources and trained troops on retaking Kherson?

          1. ambrit

            It’s an interesting question concerning the logistics of this. Neither side has the advantage of “interior lines of communication.” Both look to have to transport troops and equipment a similar distance to the Southern Front. The Russian advantage is in their superior abilities in the realm of stand off missile and artillery attack capabilities. Those Ukrainian troop and equipment trains will be very vulnerable to attack from the sky.
            Here is where the real danger lies. Will NATO intervene directly to counter the Russian Aerospace forces over the Ukraine? That is the Sixty-four Mushroom Cloud Question.

          2. smashsc

            On the Military Summary channel yesterday (Youtube or Rumble), Dima said his information was that the offensive had been cancelled. I don’t remember whether it was because the Russians had reinforced their units, or that the missile/artillery barrage they had been throwing at the Ukrainian units had made them ineffective. He also showed/stated that the Russians were actually attacking on a salient aimed directly at Mykolaiv (on the way to Odessa).

          3. Lex

            There’s enough chatter that the military and political sides of the Ukrainian government don’t agree on where to put the forces, mostly material and the sort of troops that PlutoniumKun describes. That in and of itself suggests that Ukraine doesn’t have enough for both fronts simultaneously. Russian on the ground sources have contradicted the generally accepted fact that artillery was removed from Donetsk for the south (but it’s not possible to verify that).

            I think that your idea may have some merit, in that the Ukr general staff knows it can never get back what it losses in Donbas now. But judging by the rate of missile strikes in the south these days, concentrating forces that way is probably deeply damaging to Ukr in the medium term, not to mention that advancing over that terrain with Russia’s advantage in long range weaponry is nearly suicidal. The report mini-offensives all seem to be without significant armor or even artillery support.

            One other piece of this puzzle that may be worth considering is rumor of lots of government functions in Nikolaev being abandoned by the Ukrainians. I’m still partially of the opinion that there never was southern counter offensive but a defensive buildup based on the well-documented buildup of Russian forces to the south. But depending on the source you read the answer varies, leaving us with a chicken or the egg.

      2. Yves Smith

        You have it backwards. Ukraine is resorting to cannon fodder now because it has lost nearly all of its trained soldiers. Zelensky repeatedly refused to allow tactical retreats and had the best soldiers committed to trying to hold Donbass. Russia has also repeatedly targeted command centers from the very outset of the war.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I’m not denying this at all, although there is anecdotal evidence that even in the Donbass experienced commanders were doing all they could to get their best men out first in the retreats, even at the expense of conscripts lives. This sounds ruthless and inhumane, but commanders have been doing this throughout history for a very good reason. If you are defeated in battle, the most important action any commander can make is to protect the core of another army to fight on, otherwise a tactical defeat becomes strategic. The Russians are of course well aware of this and seem to be doing their best to focus on the most important targets when they can.

          My wider point is simply that raw casualty figures are not a particularly good way of assessing military outcomes. Soviet vs German casualties in 1943-1944 were heavily biased in favour of Germany, that didn’t mean Germany was winning. The US managed something like 10:1 in Vietnam (the figures are heavily disputed), and that ended up not meaning much. This is why Dunkirk was important in WWII – Britain managed to get a core of battle hardened troops back home – in the long term, this mattered despite the crushing defeat.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Soviet vs German casualties in 1943-1944 were heavily biased in favour of Germany

            According to David Glantz & Jonathan House (When Titan’s Clashed) 1943-44 the casualty rate was already 2:3 for the Red Army vs Germany and her allies.
            Even if the stats are confusing and often erroneous, and we may never know the actual truth (if such a thing exists), it’s quite well established that after Stalingrad it was the Germans who were getting pounded.
            IIRC when John Erickson passed away, he was about to publish a study proving that by late 1944 it was safer to fight in Red Army than in US Army.

  4. timbers

    Western Propaganda Continues to promote the Meme that Russia Is Toast Larry Johnson

    It’s ugly out there. I’ve read Western articles that Russia is bombing the nuclear power plant it occupies in Zaporizhzhia, as well as POW prisons they control…killing fellow Russians while doing so. No one familiar with facts can take that seriously for a second because it’s so counter sensical. On the other side, on Military Summary 2 days ago, the guy mentioned I think the Russian Ministry claims to have proof the US caused Covid and Monkey Pox (have not seen any follow up). In defence of Military Summary, he simply reported what they said.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Been thinking what happens when the Ukrainians finally collapse and the Russians start sweeping through much of the rest of the Ukraine. So here is the thing. The whole propaganda meme in that article is this effort to convince people that the Russians are about to fail, the Russian economy about to collapse, etc. So what happens when in fact the Russians win? Especially with the sort of people that put Ukrainian flags on their homes and Ukrainian flag emojis on their social media accounts? Can you imagine the shock? The personal devastation? Been trying to think of an analogue of how it might be and I think I have one. Remember how things were back in November of 2016 when against all expectations and announcements, that Trump beat Hillary? I think that it will be on that scale but not only in the US but the rest of western countries. And we all remember what followed that particular event.

      1. Sardonia

        That WOULD be an excellent analogue.

        The difference would be – this time it really WAS the Russians who did it.

        But one possible failure of the analogue – US media was live-reporting the actual electoral count in real time, so when the numbers came in that showed he won, the “fact” was establish. The media reporting on the foggish war can be entirely made up, complete fabrications. Referendums in Donbas and elsewhere showing that most wish to align with (or join) Russia can be dismissed as “Saddam Hussein-like fake elections”. Russia controlling half of Ukraine can be shown as “the temporary occupiers under siege from the plucky Ukrainian Army” for years. And with the average American having the attention span of a Ritalin-addicted hummingbird, everyone will just stop paying attention – especially as the media just stops reporting eventually.

        That shock may never hit.

        Seen any hand-wringing over the US losing the war in Afghanistan lately? “What, there was a war there? When? Nah, you’re making things up….”

        1. timbers

          I work with someone from Iraq, says he was in the Iraq military even. I off handedly mentioned “It would be nice if we could finally get US troops out of Iraq.”

          “I didn’t know there were any.” he replied.

          So your point is well taken.

        2. marym

          Minor note: Election canvass and certification procedures, not media real-time reports and projections, establish the facts.

      2. digi_owl

        My main worry would be a massive cry for direct NATO intervention, come hell or nuclear devastation.

        That is unless Russia stops on the spot once Ukrainian forces enters a full on rout, to avoid any scenario akin to when MacArthur pushed too close to the Chinese border in Korea.

        1. The Rev Kev

          One guy was saying that before the war, you could have pointed the Ukrainian army west and it would have been capable of steamrolling all the NATO nations combined. And it is this army that the Russians are in the process of dismantling. Gonzalo Lira had it right. NATO took one look at how the Russians were waging war and do not want any piece of it. In logistics alone, NATO would run out of equipment and supplies after only 2-3 weeks fighting. There is no chance in the world that any NATO force would enter the Ukraine unless it was negotiated with the Russians first.

          1. Sardonia

            That would be an interesting negotiation. What’s Putin’s offer?

            “For every severed Banderite head you bring me, I turn on Nordstream 1 for 20 seconds. 30 seconds for every Azov head.”

            1. The Rev Kev

              Putin could always tell the Poles that they are welcome to take back Banderastan again as it use to be Polish not that long ago. Certainly the Poles would be interested as there was that law passed recently where Polish citizens can take up positions in the Ukraine and even run for office.

          2. Lex

            I saw some info over the weekend that the US has ~2.7M artillery shells total (and can make 250K/year). It has already given Ukraine 500K of its stocks. I think the 2-3 weeks that NATO could manage a conflict with Russia is correct. I’ve also read that France has no more available Caesar artillery units. If nothing else, the Ukrainian conflict has exposed NATO as a paper tiger and I don’t believe that rearmament is realistic on any timeline that makes a difference.

      3. fresno dan

        Remember how things were back in November of 2016 when against all expectations and announcements, that Trump beat Hillary? I think that it will be on that scale but not only in the US but the rest of western countries.
        Seems to me that the people who believe Hillary would beat Trump sill believe Hillary would beat Trump, save for the “fact” of Russian interference in our presidential election (as I have mentioned before, Trump disparagement of the validity of the 2020 election is a crime, while the massive conspricy to overture the valid 2016 election is of no interest to these same people)
        So what happens when in fact the Russians win?
        I would suggest nothing much. So for all the reporting of the bromance between Putin and Trump, in fact the Trump administration was as anti Russia, if not more so, than the Obama and all previous administrations. Despite all the objective evidence that the Trump administration was not particularly pro Russia. Facts often don’t matter…
        People believe what they want to believe – and it seems to me that the number of people who change their minds based on dispassionate assessment of the facts are few and far between.
        People will choose to believe Russia is losing, just like the parrot saleman believes the parrot is not dead…

        1. Sibiryak

          People will choose to believe Russia is losing, just like the parrot saleman believes the parrot is not dead…

          The salesman knows full well the beautiful blue and yellow parrot is dead.

      1. Yves Smith

        I think that allegation is crazy. Best guess is it reflects Russian frustration and upset with their Ukraine biolabs findings being ignored.

        1. liam

          A tweet I saw a while back. May or may not be relevant:

          Wow😯Prof. Jeffrey Sachs:

          “I chaired the commission for the Lancet for 2 years on Covid. I’m pretty convinced it came out of a US lab of biotechnology […] We don’t know for sure but there is enough evidence. [However] it’s not being investigated, not in the US, not anywhere.”

        2. JTMcPhee

          Good thing, if the information is true, that the people running those plausibly deniable ‘biolabs’ appear to have scrambled to clear them out when Rooskies started up that SMO. Let’s remember that Nuland let the cat out of the bag in Senate hearings, confirming to Rubio that the US operates biolabs in Ukraine,

          For me, the bad news is that demolition of trustworthiness of pretty much every institution of government and business is so complete, and the examples of proven bad conduct by those institutions are so manifest, that such information is immediately Pooh-pooped as “dis.” Seems to me it’s all part of the bit about “We will know our program of disinformation is complete when nothing the American public believes is true.”

          The US government has variously performed a whole host of horribles on US citizens, and of course lesser breeds from elsewhere. Of course this article is all just disinformation, right? And Wiki is of course an unreliable source, so this article can be discounted: I didn’t look to see if Philip Cross injected any editorial changes to the article…

          Are the Russian biolab findings false?

          Will 9or could) there ever be a definitive answer?

          Would US citizens, essentially powerless and drowning in propaganda, ever give credence or demand that mythical “accountability” from the people who might have done the alleged stuff?

          On another matter, regarding government credibility and the FBI raid on the 80 year olds and the Black lefty organizations: when will people get that the so-called “Department of Justice” and its FBI appendage have been instruments of repression and protection of the monied classes since they were conjured up out of “necessity” with no imprimatur in the Constitution (that faded bit of parchment)?

        3. Lex

          During the early days of Covid when “lab leak” was the conspiracy of choice, I figured that if Covid leaked from any lab it was a US biowarfare lab. I didn’t have any evidence, just that US DoD labs seem to leak a lot and if anyone in the world was playing with pandemic potential diseases it would be DoD.

          1. Greg

            The labs don’t even have to leak more – the US has so many more labs than anyone else around the world, the balance of probability is on a US leak.

            Similarly, given the amount of funding from US NGO’s and government agencies, the balance of probability is on at least some US funding being involved in any study on coronaviruses.

            Note: not arguing cause or saying there is evidence.

    2. Martin Oline

      Regarding “claims to have proof the US caused Covid and Monkey Pox” I hope Seymour Hersh and I both live long enough to read a book tentatively titled Pandora’s Box – The Secret U.S. Government Research Papers Found in Ukraine. He has a history and a way with classified papers, such as Chemical and Biological Warfare: America’s Hidden Arsenal. I hope he is up to it.

    3. fringe element

      I heard that all of the targeting of strikes by Ukraine have to be approved by Washington. As to the targeting of the POWs, I heard that it was done because they were starting to talk. However it now turns out that Russian medics have learned that 20% of the POWs have West Nile, so it looks like they have been used as guinea pigs for biological warfare experiments. They also have the kind of amphetamines in their systems that were used on soldiers in Vietnam. So I’m thinking Washington wanted those men killed not just because they were talking, but especially because of what the Russian medics have been finding out about what was done to them.

  5. Lex

    Re university textbooks with old, but probably still valid info from when my mother worked in printing (many, many textbooks). The fundamental battle is between the publishers and the university book stores. Note that publishers never go after other forms of used book sales, but the university book stores have traditionally made a killing by underpaying for used books and overcharging when reselling them. So the publisher puts out a new edition at least every year to limit the value of the old editions. Only the students get the shaft. I don’t know how universities selling off their book store operations to companies like Barnes and Noble, the addition of digital facets, etc have impacted this. But going NFT looks like an escalation of the fight based on past behavior.

    1. CanCyn

      The textbook publishers truly are evil. Most textbooks are updated annually whether any content has changed or not in order to ensure annuals sales. They change a few images, re-arrange slightly by switching chapters around and thus changing page numbers. So a student who wants uses an older textbook has to figure out the changes in order to do reading assignments. This may sound like a small thing but many students buy used textbooks because they’re struggling financially, they’re holding down part-time jobs, struggling to keep up with class work and when they realize they have to spend time sifting through their book to figure out what to read. Many just give up and get even further behind. The publishers also put related content online and provide ‘keys’ to the content that are only accessible when a new textbook is published. The online content is not accessible to anyone buying the book second hand. I am not surprised that are dabbling with NFTs – scammers drawn to scamming.

      1. Jfreon

        My son downloaded most of his textbooks saving thousands. One exception was when the teacher was the author, he bought that one thinking the teacher would get money. I suggested he give him a twenty dollar bill instead, since the author doesn’t get that much per copy, but he insisted.

      2. Lex

        Yes. But to be fair the university owned bookstores are just as evil. They’ll buy a $200 textbook with one semester’s use for maybe $20 and sell it a few weeks later for $180. All of this is a rotten escalation between the two with students losing either way. My solution (past the statute of limitations!) was to buy the books I wanted forever, check out what I could from the university library and steal what I had to from the university bookstore. Never bothered my conscience because the bookstore and the publishers were evil.

      3. C.O.

        Students under financial stress find ways to spend less on textbooks, that’s for sure. I have noticed two trends in my perambulations around academia a student and an instructor here in Canada. One, that it is no longer common for the instructor to put a copy of the textbook on reserve, which is especially vicious in its effects on undergrads (alomgside the fascinating collapse in maintenance of the photocopiers on campus). Two, that in many subjects instructors are giving up on mainstream textbooks, and if not literally writing their own, selecting collections of papers for students to read instead because they are more up to date and relatively more accessible. The latter approach is a lot of work though, which must make it all the more alluring to stick to the big publisher textbook route for instructors with an overload of courses or who are sessionals.

        1. JBird4049

          In California, the state legislature passed a law saying that no edition of a textbook used can be IIRC more than five years old. It is a great gift for the publisher as that means that there is not a build up of used textbooks even for subjects like Latin that don’t change much. They just have to rearrange the paragraphs, perhaps add a few, and presto another “updated” $200 textbook even if the information is still the same.

          I am one of those weirdos that likes reading textbooks, but really it has become a grift especially when the cost for them is more than every other college expense. And used books are getting less accessible still.

          Fortunately, my college is trying to find ways for students not to pay for textbooks especially on all the introductory courses that everyone takes.

  6. Eureka Springs

    I’ve been wondering if private equity has moved into the ice business over the last few years. Block ice is no longer sold at all. Ice is no longer cubes, but pieces and shards which melt so fast an ice chest barely lasts for an afternoon, much less an overnight camp. And drinks are diluted in minutes. Bags are smaller and much more expensive. In Spring I went to one of those machines which bags it up as you stand there. As if filming a perfect comedy scene, it shot out a bags worth of water and then shot out half a bags worth of ice into the water. Half soaked up above my knees, scrambling to drain what I could I got back to the house with about three old school trays worth of ice for 5 bucks.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      I grew up living in a lake shore home in a small town in southern Minnesota, and until I was 10-12 every year a crew would harvest ice off the lake. They’d then store their product in an ice house directly across the lake from us, separating the blocks with sawdust so the blocks wouldn’t blocks wouldn’t congeal into huge mass. As the town expanded after The War and the market for block ice diminished the land on which the ice house had stood became a city park.

      1. Yves Smith

        On the way to Bailey Island, Maine, there’s a pond that was used for ice, I think for Boston or NYC.

        I doubt many people now even know that history.

        1. Raymond Sim

          I doubt many people now even know that history.

          Of what evolved into a globe-spanning industry no less.

        2. Michael Fiorillo

          The Hudson River, from the Mid-Valley around Catskill to the southern edge of the Adirondacks, used to be lined with ice houses.

      2. DJ

        Our guest camp at the lake in northern Maine is a former ice house. At least one commercial sporting camp in the area still harvests and stores ice from the lake annually.

      3. Bart Hansen

        My mother’s mother had an ice box in her kitchen in East Side St. Paul during WWII. The large blocks of ice were stored in a cellar and yes, they were covered in sawdust. Smaller blocks of ice were lugged upstairs with a large pair of tongs. Later she got a kind of electric cooler that had the motor standing atop the unit itself.

    2. MT_Wild

      Here in Central MT, you can still get block ice if you know which store to go to. There is also “block ice” which is actually ice cubes pressed into a block, not the same at all. We do a lot of multi-day car camping trips, and you quickly realize not all ice is created equal. If you have not used them, look up cooler shocks. Updated and vastly superior version of the old blue igloo ice packs for your freezer. I add these to the cooler with the ice and get and extra two days or so each time.

      We have an ice house in town. It’s now a bar on the river, but used to be where they’d store ice cut from the river.

  7. The Rev Kev

    ” ‘You are not a refugee.’ Roma refugees fleeing war in Ukraine say they are suffering discrimination and prejudice””

    CNN is polishing the turd here. Are Roma refugees discriminated against? I have no doubt that they are. Just as they are during peace times. But CNN forgets to mention the position of the Roma in the Ukraine and it is not good. The ultra-nationalists in the Ukraine not only hate Russian speakers but other non-pure Ukrainians as well – particularly the Roma. Even since the Maiden there have been a series of attacks on the Roma by them and groups will go into the Roma camps to terrorize them. And the authorities have no interest in bringing any charges against those groups.-

    1. JohnA

      Many of the people wrapped round lamp posts with clingfilm in Ukraine were supposedly Roma.

  8. Tom Stone

    I see the FBI raided the home of an 80 year old African American in the predawn dark, battering rams, concussion grenades and a great photo op of this dangerous RUSSIAN!! agent handcuffed in his front yard.
    Hoover would be proud!
    By golly just like the 60’s RUSSIA!!! is stirring up the darkies and trying to incite a slave rebellion…
    This horrible, evil man attended a conference in RUSSIA!!!! in 2015 and has been critical of America’s foreign and domestic policies, it’s obvious that he must be in the pay of FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES.
    Just like MLK was, you betcha.
    Yup, REAL AMERICANS must be constantly on the lookout for Comm,err, RUSSIAN AGENTS!, fellow travelers and their unwitting dupes.
    It’s the only way we can preserve our precious Bod…Freedoms.

    1. britzklieg

      Omali Yeshitela (Joe Waller) was quite a presence for this young radical growing up in St. Petersburg, FL during the 60’s and TPTB have been hounding him ever since. The recent FBI intimidation in St. Louis was coupled to an FBI action in St. Pete against his original African People’s Socialist Party headquarters and its current activists. Unnervingly pathetic abuse of power and continuation of Hoover’s blatantly racist and loathsome criminality.

        1. hemeantwell

          Re shitlist, this looks like a fine example of a steadfast set of apparatchiks in an overfunded bureaucracy being able to keep the flame alive decades after their nightmare years of the mid-20th c. Black and White, Unite and Fight must shake a lot of bucks loose in the FBI.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “China builds watchtowers inside India-claimed lines”

    Strange that the Chinese are being so provocative building all these watch towers on India’s side of the border. The region has been so quiet for quite a while. I can’t really explain why the Chinese would seek to push India here and do such a d*** move. Unless of course it has something to do with this-

    ‘The American and Indian militaries will hold joint exercises in the Himalayan mountains in October, less than 100km from India’s disputed border with China, CNN reported. The location was announced amid heightened tensions between the US and China over Taiwan, while India and China have been clashing along their mountain border.

    The drills will be held in mid-October near the town of Auli in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, an Indian army officer told CNN on Saturday. Auli sits on the southern slopes of the Himalayas, and the exercises will focus on warfare at an altitude of 10,000 feet (3,000 meters).’

      1. JTMcPhee

        Interesting that India-China border skirmishing recently has been limited to the use of rocks and clubs. Maybe practicing for the kind of fighting that will.obtain after a “nuclear exchange?” Both sides get to give their over-testosteroned troops a chance to burn off some of that biochemical energy short of nuclear war…

        Stupid effing humans.

      2. Anthony G Stegman

        Indian sends tens of thousands of people each year to work in the US under H1-B visas. How many does it send to China? How many Chinese companies have outsourced work to India. How many American companies have done the same? India definitely tilts towards the US as China must know. The happy talk between China and India has little basis in reality.

        1. Darthbobber

          Before the COVID lockdowns there were about 23000 indian students in China, and it looks like there a couple dozen Chinese firms with manufacturing facilities in India.

          India’s dance is complicated because while it might tilt US in a 2 way dance with China it also greatly values the relationship with Russia.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The Yudh Abhyas joint exercises between India and the US have been going on for a quarter of a century – its an annual thing and seems to have little real significance normally. Its part of the ongoing game India plays of not allowing one side or the other take them for granted. I would guess that having them near the border this time was at India’s request, a show that they will not give up that region without a fight (in reality, there is little chance of India winning a conflict up there, its too logistically difficult for them to supply an army at 4,000 metres).

      The little border games between India and China (with Bhutan as a not disinterested bystander) are pretty much a perpetual feature of life on the Tibetan plateau, there are little flare ups all the time that rarely catch the news. Back around 2005 when I was travelling around Ladakh the locals were very upset by very damaging flash floods that seem to have been caused by the Chinese arbitrarily flushing out dams within their territory. The locals thought it was the Chinese way of showing who was in charge of the water. It barely got reported in Delhi, let alone international newspapers.

      Just to add, India and China did have a similar agreement for annual joint exercises, I think it may have been suspended a few years ago after one of the flare-ups.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I am thinking that if a future Indian leadership decided to integrate with the rising China-Russia-Everybody Else block, that the border regions could be successfully negotiated in the same way that the Russians did with China. The trade opportunities that would open up for India would be massive.

        Meanwhile I understand that there has been Chinese military movements spotted at 5,200 meters-

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Plenty of wild cards in that, most obviously Pakistan. China has a long term alliance with Pakistan and sees that as strategically important (access to the Indian Ocean). Plus of course Bangladesh and all of SE Asia is concerned with Himalayan waters, and China has refused to consult with those countries over dams.

          It would be a historic level of diplomatic agreement to sort out all those problems. But ultimately, as China is now Himalayan top dog, it has little reason to compromise – it has possession of most of the headwaters and has no intention of giving that up to anyone. The constant tweaking of India’s nose has probably more to do with Pakistan than anything else.

          1. digi_owl

            To add to the wildcards, Iran has been trying to lay a pipeline for natgas to them nations for ages.

  10. Regis II

    I’m glad Yves has a note of caution regarding Gonzalo Lira’s tweet.

    While this particular report may be accurate, Lira is not a very reliable source, IMO.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        That is very nicely put [as in ‘nicely’ == ‘WELL’ put — NO SARCASM] description of Lira’s palette of language paints]. It is economical and very beautiful to my sense of language aesthetics. A true “keeper” of expression and the characterization of the expressions of others!

        Naked Capitalism is and remains my long time goto for building a powerful vocabulary of expression.

    1. Louis Fyne

      50,000 dead is entirely plausible. yours truly predicted in the comments no less than 25,000 Ukrainian dead months ago.

      Of course “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”.

    2. Polar Socialist

      Bernhard of Moon of Alabama referenced these documents already on Aug 5th, giving this tweet as a source. So Lira is not the original source, but allegedly it’s from the “Ukrainian channels”, what ever that may mean. Likely Telegram.

      What actually lends some credence here is that Lira published it three whole days later, i.e. only after possibly taking some time to verify or at least do some crude estimation of the validity. Still salt on the side is advised.

      Martyanov seems to think it is understating the casualties and that Ukrainian casualties are closer to 300,000 (if one includes KIA, WIA, MIA and POW).

      1. Greg

        I recall reading in Martyanov that Ukraine plays the same games with counting that go on in western estimates of “Russian” losses. Ie, territorials don’t necessarily get included, some formations are not “really” part of the army so don’t need to be counted, etc. Very similar to the inclusion or not of DPR/LHR, Chechens, Wagner, etc.

      2. Yves Smith

        It’s been all over. I heard both Alexander Mercouris and Alex Christaforu discussing it days ago. Both read Russian, particularly Mercouris. Military Summary also mentioned it.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine’s Zelenskiy rules out talks if Russia holds referendums”

    I wonder who his audience is supposed to be here. The Europeans? His fellow Ukrainians? Because at this point, how many people are taking him seriously anymore? Certainly very few in non-western countries. He was giving a speech to students at the Australian National University the other day and they seemed to take him seriously there. One little suck-up even asked him what Australians could do to help the Ukraine but at least he did not answer to fund more weapons to the Ukraine.

    I had heard about the upcoming referendum in the Kherson Oblast which the Ukrainians want to disrupt but it looks like the Zaporozhye will be holding their own referendum. The process of the Russian-speaking regions breaking away from the Ukraine and going to the Russian Federation seems to be inevitable and I am sure that the people in those Oblasts know what would be in store for them if the Ukrainians ever returned-

    1. Sardonia

      “One little suck-up even asked him what Australians could do to help the Ukraine”

      If that little suck-up has any ancestors who happen to ex-British convicts, they’re spinning in their graves. What a little disappointment he is.

        1. flora

          neoliberal world order? NWO ? I remember Zel was the belle of the ball at Davos this year. And those Vogue photos! / ;)

    2. Darthbobber

      He already ruled out talks unless the Russians vacated the Donbass and possibly Crimea, so this additional ruling out seems pretty redundant.

  12. russell1200

    Karabakh is probably located within the internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan. But the borders were a bit of Soviet wiffle-waffling back in the 1920s when they were reconquering the breakaway areas. It is a similar problem to the Crimea being part of Ukraine.

    Turkey and Azerbaijan are very tight allies. There is a lot of tension between Iran and Azerbaijan, which possibly explains why Shiites are storming the Azerbaijan embassy in London. Armenia is Russia’s inconvenient ally in all this.

  13. Wukchumni

    I can’t remember the last time a monsoonal weather system lasted a few weeks in the Sierra Nevada and points east, but that’s the new normal for you.

    Say, here’s an idea for Pavlovegas…

    In addition to sports bets, why not have odds on extreme weather events hitting a given area?

    Officials say that Death Valley saw almost a year’s worth of rainfall within three hours last weekend

    They say that the rain caused widespread damage, and closure of all park roads.

    “The heavy rain that caused the devastating flooding at Death Valley was an extremely rare, 1000-year event,” says Daniel Berc, meteorologist with the National Weather Service Las Vegas. “A 1000-year event doesn’t mean it happens once per 1000 years, rather that there is a 0.1% chance of occurring in any given year.”

  14. Louis Fyne

    —The Inflation Reduction Act is Not Designed to Reduce Inflation Benjamin Studebaker (RK)—

    Irony alert: for all the vitriol against fission by environmentalists, Dems. bail out the entire fission sector and nothing but crickets from the all the environmental organizations and Greta.

    I am pro-fission (live downwind from 3 reactors, lol) but the this bill is insane as it bails out legacy fission versus moving forward w/the next generation of fission

    1. Sardonia

      “nothing but crickets from the all the environmental organizations and Greta.”

      Sadly, one of the long term effects of TDS is cognitive impairment. Followed by complete paralysis.

      The most common treatment currently in use is an Occasional Democrat “Victory”. But the effect is mild, very transitory, and quite possibly only a Placebo effect.

    2. anon in so cal

      The Inflation Reduction Act also mandates oil leasing on public lands in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska and opens up 620 million acres of land to oil and gas leases and drilling permits.

      1. Wukchumni

        “The Inflation Reduction Act” is so Orwellian in that it’s 2x+ good for it sounds like it’s an IRA, you know: ‘retirement savings’.

        1. Susan the Other

          So am I ditzy or is “inflation reduction” a euphemism for inflation dilution which is another way for saying we are going to spend our way out of it; and also a way of avoiding saying that the dollar will take a hit – but not to worry all you rich guys because you will will wind up with twice as many in your bank account. Whatever it is, or is avoiding saying, I’m all for this spending bill – it couldn’t come at a better time. I thought it would never come at all.

      2. tegnost

        At 720 odd pages I’m wondering about the things no one is talking about yet…I’d bet the worst aspects of this bill are still not being reported on. Maybe we need a 10 page limit for these bills.
        As I mentioned the other day, who is going to buy back stocks when rates are 6-8%? Maybe I don’t understand the real dynamic. Carried interest was a huge right wing win in either case.

        1. flora

          At 720 pages I think it was written by corporations and their lobbyists, not by Congress. Isn’t that how it’s done these days? See the Affordable Care Act and other significant legislation passed in the past 20-30 years. / ;)

          A 2009 ProPublica article about the passage of Medicare, Part D — a give away to pharma, imo. Drug prices started going up and up after its passage. The ACA continues that trend.

          1. fringe element

            There are good summary comments on the bill at Sardonicky, Karen Garcia’s website. I linked to her site once before and my comment got deleted, so I won’t do that again. Still, as far as I can tell, the site is legit, because I checked it as best I knew how after it failed to be accepted here. So, check the site if you want to. I still find it to be sharp and useful so ymmv.

            1. tegnost

              NC is in her blogroll…maybe it’s best to send links to her posts to the site and let them use it rather than posting in comments which is riskier. Yes, a good summary…

        2. Louis Fyne

          for the little progress on prescription drugs and the laughable 1% tax of stock buybacks, the price is 700 pages of pork.

          Go thank Krysten Sinema, proving that a LBTQ+IA senator can be just as corrupt as any cis white old millionaire male.

      3. nippersdad

        Not only that, but it also holds new tech expenditures hostage to those leases. From what I read, it looks like they will have to sell the leases before any new green spending can take place.

        “A proposed climate and energy package would require massive oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, reinstate an illegal 2021 Gulf lease sale and mandate that millions more acres of public lands be offered for leasing before any new solar or wind energy projects could be built on public lands or waters.”

    3. Mikel

      “The American government only pretends to be interested in solving problems. In point of fact, the prevailing attitude these days is that only the private sector can do anything about supply chain issues. We are supposed to be polite and patiently let the rich fleece us until the profit motive compels them to make these investments of their own accord.The American government only pretends to be interested in solving problems. In point of fact, the prevailing attitude these days is that only the private sector can do anything about supply chain issues. We are supposed to be polite and patiently let the rich fleece us until the profit motive compels them to make these investments of their own accord….”

      That’s Studebaker’s more diplomatic way of saying legislators are caught up in the same old extremist ideology.

    4. Screwball

      I’m shocked, shocked I tell you!

      Funny, one of my PMC friends just told me Joe Biden has accomplished more at this point in his term than any president since Lyndon Johnson.

      OK, but I guess that depends on what accomplished means.

      In other news, quite a few reports on Twitter saying they will give Ukraine another 4.5 billion for reasons.

      Way to go Brandon.

      1. hunkerdown

        In a value system based on subordination (management), the creation and production of subordination (management) is valuable labor, rewarded by access to property. From there you can derive the ideology of “accomplishment” = PMCs enunciating well-formed opinions.

    5. Samuel Conner

      > bails out legacy fission

      just speculating here, but it might be that the actual purpose is to bail out the bondholders who funded the legacy fission energy generation system. Perhaps the real purpose is to prevent a meltdown … of the financial system.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “The Secret Life of Leftovers”

    Lots of interesting information and ideas here but there is one that I suspect that will make a return not mentioned here. And it would certainly solve the waste problem. Anybody ever heard of WW2-style rationing? In a world of climate change and the effect that it will have on growing crops, it may make a comeback. In such a scenario, we certainly would not be able to amuse ourselves with such concepts as growing crops for vehicle fuel or growing other crops to ship overseas for animal feed. Here is an article talking about how it was done back in the day. Anybody care to say that this will never happen again?

    1. ambrit

      My Mom was a pre-teen during WW-2. She remembers the back garden being a vegetable patch during and for years after ‘The War.’ They were upper working class, so they had their own bomb shelter in the back garden as well. This because their rear property line adjoined a railroad marshalling yard. Lots of bomb drenched nights for them. [Mom mentions that they were ‘not typical’ in that they owned their home. Just about everyone else she knew as a girl did not. The mantra of “You will own nothing and be happy” has form and historical precedent.] She particularly remembers the weekly orange she would get from the rationing board.
      Who says that “Happy Days are here again” won’t make a comeback?

      1. flora

        Yep. I still remember my grandparents on both sides, both small town families with gardens, saying in passing every so often talking to my parents, “During the Depression at least we could eat, we had food. We had it better than city people. The city people were nearly starving.” Was that small town and rural bravado in desperate economic times? Maybe. Or maybe it was true.

  16. Bruno

    “Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Yale School of Management professor and senior associate dean for leadership studies”

    Can anybody devise a “job description” for this “job” that would not be even more ridiculous than its title?

    1. ambrit

      Make it “…junior adjunct associate dean..” for the win.
      I like the idea of a “Precarity Networking Specialist Adjunct.”

    2. Late Introvert

      Jeffrey still goes by his kindergarten name, still has the same haircut that his mom combed every day, and maybe someday will have learned enough about “leadership studies” that a dog might follow him if there is a treat in his pocket.

  17. Wukchumni

    Crisis = opportunity dept

    One thing that separates the Sierra Nevada from most other mountain ranges in the summer months is the idea that it probably isn’t going to rain on your parade as the gentle range lies squarely in the land of little rain, not gonna happen.

    Usually the days in the higher climes are sun drenched and even clouds dare not show up as it isn’t their deal unless it’s 110 or something torrid down in Godzone. This is crummy for contrast in general-but Sierra hikers & backpackers are ok with the arrangement as it means you’re dry aside from sweat.

    This past fortnight was quite something with the days starting out a little cloudy and then the slow buildup of mamby pamby clouds leading to mushroom shaped beauties that could be easily mistaken as being the result of Nancy going to Taiwan for duty free shopping, but without the radiation hangover.

    You never know what’s gonna happen in terms of precip as these monsoonal systems run backwards with the same rain shadow effect going on as in the winter months when regular storm systems emanate from the east albeit in reverse, which is why Death Valley got hammered in a quite rare event. Often the clouds will coalesce and look ominous, only to produce a few helpful translucent drops which are delightful in cooling you down before blue skies are predominate once again after a slight showing, say 15 minutes of sprinkles.

    We got rained on for an hour @ Iva Bell hot springs one fine day in our 2 backpack trips, and clouds kept the heat down, which was nice.

    The real weather show though was in Yosemite NP on our second backpack trip where @ times there were half a dozen mushroom clouds in our midst, with the effect being overkill, like dressing a supermodel in a diamond laced bikini-not really necessary but oh so sparkly with lightning filling in for expensive carbon glass trinkets and 10 second thunder stanzas were a Dime a dozen if not cheaper.

    We had a full day of rain on Friday which is so rare in the summer, I can’t remember the last time it happened and I had a small lake taking shape below my hammock but otherwise kept dry, reading The Heart of California: Exploring the San Joaquin Valley by Aaron Gilbreath, which I really enjoyed.

    1. Lee

      I quite like depictions of weather, since here in my corner of the SF bay area we really don’t have much: high fog in the morning that burns off around midday, daytime temp 68 to 72 degrees and so on as far as the eye can see. In late summer to early fall the prevailing breezes shift from westerly to easterly. Then we receive the airborne dreck and heat from the central valley for a couple of weeks and start praying for rain. Rain is weather. I do hope we get some this year.

      1. Wukchumni

        I was camped only a few hundred feet from your water source which flows into Hetch Hetchy on the beautiful Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River, where often the lay of the land consisted of 98% granite and 2% dirt.

      2. Late Introvert

        As a Midwesterner who lived in SF for 12 years, I was mighty amused that a few bolts of lightnight made the front page of the paper.

  18. Big River Bandido

    Senate passes sweeping tax, climate package after marathon vote

    Quite a chuckle, that turd-polishing headline. Apparently, The Hill desperately wants to make Democrats look good; why even the evil President Sinema received “hugs” from her “colleagues”.

    The amount of money in the bill is completely pathetic and telegraphs that the intent of those passing it is purely “optical”. They took 3 days to raise a larger annualized appropriation for Ukraine. How long did Democrats need to “negotiate” with themselves before they could pass this POS? Are any voters at all going to believe this?

    1. Screwball

      Absolutely they will. It took me quite some time trying to figure out how people can actually like and vote for these pukes knowing they are liars, con artists, and out and out criminals. But I finally figured it out – they actually believe the bullshit they are fed. They suck it up like a vacuum cleaner. The rest of us are the dumb asses.

    2. Bart Hansen

      Don’t forget the ‘negotiations’ for drug prices: 10 drugs from 2026 and another 10 from 2029. As Trump famously said, “We’ll see what happens”.

  19. Wukchumni

    When water is plentiful in Cali an acre foot is worth a few hundred bucks, but during the 2012-16 drought I saw acre feet bringing as much as $1800 for Ag interests to keep on keeping on in areas with crummy groundwater assets, but lookie here @ the new normal @ almost 5x that amount!

    The Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority in eastern Kern County has signed a “letter of intent” to buy the rights to 750 acre-feet of state water for $6,396,000 from a State Water Project contractor in Kings County.

    The purchase is part of the authority’s plan to bring that overdrafted groundwater basin into balance.

    The seller is Utica J.L.J. LLC, which purchased the Jackson Ranch and is developing a truck stop and industrial center on 400 acres at Utica Avenue and Interstate 5, just south of Kettleman City.

    If approved by the groundwater authority, Dudley Ridge Water District and the Department of Water Resources, this would be a permanent water sale — not a one-time purchase.

    Cost per acre foot would be $8,528.

  20. spud

    Larry Johnson just pointed out the power of central planning. again, a country like america that used to make aspirins, but cannot today because of crank policies from 1993 on wards. is heading into the dust bin of history like the roman and ottoman empires.

  21. The Rev Kev

    ” ‘China is watching’: Senators push for more support for Ukraine, Taiwan ”

    I’m thinking that there is one solution to this whole situation. So we have Taiwan, a large island just off the coast of China, and a country on the other side of the Pacific is insisting that they have a say in their status. So how about this. China allows Taiwan to be whatever it wants to be and in return, the US allows China to build military installations and station troops in Cuba, another island off their own coastline. Seems to be a fair swap for me. And I am sure that the Chinese would promise to have only defensive missiles there to protect against Iranian & North Korean missiles. And if Senators. Lindsey Graham & Richard Blumenthal don’t like it, they should immediately fly to Beijing and tell them so. Preferably aboard a small airplane.

    1. Mel

      Ennh … I don’t know. This tit-for-tat military installation thing is actually painting targets on your friends’ backs. That’s more an American thing. It’s all a funny joke as long as you think that nobody’s going to shoot at those targets. Once that starts to happen …

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Of course, another solution would be for both countries to respect the sovereign rights of self governing people to self determination.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I don’t think that that is possible with Taiwan for the Chinese. They full remember how that the Japanese used Taiwan as a launching platform for their invasions back in the 30s. Certainly the Chinese would never accept Taiwan with tactical nukes stationed there. There is a parallel with how England could never accept an independent Ireland over the centuries as it would be a strategic threat to them. And that is why they not only invaded Ireland but tried to introduce their own people to Ireland to rule it for them. And we are still living with the ramifications of those decisions from centuries ago.

  22. anon in so cal

    Monkeypox (from a Medpage Today email):

    “A person working at an Illinois daycare center tested positive for monkeypox, setting off concerns about potential transmission to children who may be more vulnerable to the virus. (Washington Post)”

    1. nippersdad

      Last night, standing in line waiting for a cashier, I overheard one of the people say that we had our first case of monkeypox in town. Virtually no one here is masking. Today is the first day of school.

      So, this: “children…may be more vulnerable to the virus” is not welcome news. This is going to be another long year.

    2. Lee

      From the WHO

      “Monkeypox is usually a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks. Severe cases occur more commonly among children and are related to the extent of virus exposure, patient health status and nature of complications. Underlying immune deficiencies may lead to worse outcomes. Although vaccination against smallpox was protective in the past, today persons younger than 40 to 50 years of age (depending on the country) may be more susceptible to monkeypox due to cessation of smallpox vaccination campaigns globally after eradication of the disease. Complications of monkeypox can include secondary infections, bronchopneumonia, sepsis, encephalitis, and infection of the cornea with ensuing loss of vision. The extent to which asymptomatic infection may occur is unknown.

      The case fatality ratio of monkeypox has historically ranged from 0 to 11 % in the general population and has been higher among young children. In recent times, the case fatality ratio has been around 3–6%.”

    3. CanCyn

      CBC Radio program here in Ontario featured an infectious disease doc answering phone in questions. Apparently most cases he’s seeing are in gay men after having sex with infected gay men. We’re sending folks to sexual health clinics for vaccinations. Claimed it is unlikely to be transmitted by aerosol. Sigh. Link to program page, scroll to the second show on August 8th programs.

  23. Mildred Montana

    >”Can anybody devise a “job description” for this “job” that would not be even more ridiculous than its title?”

    No, but I can make the title even more ridiculous than it already is, and given academic job bloat not an impossible one:

    “Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Yale School of Management professor and senior 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘶𝘵𝘺, 𝘷𝘪𝘤𝘦-associate dean for leadership studies”.

    And when the estimable Mr. Sonnenfeld retires and repairs permanently to the faculty club, he can tack on 𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘴 to that impressively windy title.

  24. Carolinian

    Re Colorado and the car campers–I’ve spent some time there and it’s hard to feel too sorry for these snobby enclaves that recoil from the poors even as taxpayer supplied roads and airports and favorable economic system make their communities, and indeed their wealth itself, possible. They see the homeless as useless eaters (unless they are cleaning their toilets) but it’s possible to flip the script around as Michael Hudson did in Killing the Host or as once was commonly done with the phrases “the idle rich” and “the leisure class.” The rise of credentialism was perhaps intended to at least in part squelch all that former talk about the parasitic wealthy.

    When it comes to homeless people finiding a place to camp or park here’s suggesting that Breckinridge or Aspen are exactly where they should be. This is America, not Switzerland.

    1. playon

      In the late 70s I had occasion to visit Aspen a couple of times for work. Even back then I wondered how the employees of the restaurants and resorts could afford to live in the area. Turns out a lot of them had to commute for many miles in the winter to get to work. I don’t know how they do it nowadays.

  25. tegnost

    From the MoA comment section to the link provided above…

    “Wow, for a site called Naked Capitalism they sure go out of their way to spy on you and sell the data to third parties. They even try to make mandatory European opt outs as difficult as possible.”

    Actually that seems odd as NC is the fastest loading website I ever visit implying to my non techie, low bandwidth self that NC is siphoning less data? That’s what I always thought anyway…

    1. hunkerdown

      The ultraright which has established a presence on MoA hates that a woman isn’t susceptible to their manly will or their childish memes, as we also saw in Gonzalo’s chat. Or, the think tankies have decided very recently to generate schisms among alt-media.

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Yes, I also read that comment a few days and was a little flummoxed by it. AFAIK Nakedcapitalism is the LEAST 3rd party site, but maybe the MoA commentariat are spooked by the ads. I dont think MoA has ads when u scroll down. For the most part, i feel like MoA has been welcoming to Yves and Lambert.

      Since the Russian SMO began in February, I’ve been checking Moon of Alabama and a few channels on YouTube like the Duran or Lira’s stuff. Oh and Scott Ritter/Mearsheimer/MacGregor. It’s been crazy watching this battle in real time for the past 5 months. MoA has been putting out some good articles and the commentariat would link to some goodies as well. I haven’t really seen any good comments as of late. Karlof1 seems cool. And a few others. Now I do notice the just fn random comments about Jews over there. And how they’re running the world. Is that what you mean by Ultranationalists? B rips out the threads if they get too off topic.

    3. Darthbobber

      Some of the commenters on MoA are positively unhinged. And peurile backbiting is depressingly common a good many places.

  26. Wukchumni

    Attention outdoorsy homeless types sick of being stuck outside in a big city situation…

    You really want to be @ Red’s Meadow on the backside of Mammoth during the summer, it’s a food drop location for walkers on the JMT & PCT to resupply, and there’s this big red plastic bucket of food out on one of the picnic tables at all times where backpackers leave copious quantities that they decided they couldn’t take. There were numerous jars of peanut butter, trail mix, etc.

    You could’ve eaten for a week from the proceeds and that’s being picky and only taking what you wanted. There was easily a fortnight worth of food if you ate it all. I could imagine going daily to see what to eat, with a good variety to choose from.

    You’d have to find a hidden away place to pitch your garage mahal, er Coleman.

    Lotsa fresh water nearby and a hot springs over by the car campground.

    Get the hell outta Frisco, man.

    1. tegnost

      6 hour drive and 270 miles might be a bit of a barrier.
      I view the homeless living in their car as clinging to a memory of a better time.
      Gas is not free, and having a car filled with the contents of your former apartment is kind of stigmatic.
      Biue cities overrun with the homeless shows yet another gigantic fail for the dems.
      Seattle, a very blue city, did nothing and now my very blue friends are all “done with the homeless” (I’m like, you weren’t done with them before?)
      The rents too high.
      The rents are too high.
      The rents are ridiculous.
      It’s been let go far too long, can’t even raise the minimum wage above 7.25/hr.
      Sure in seattle it’s 15 but I linked to a seattle times article (paywalled for me so I won’t repeat link)
      that a min wage worker in seattle has to work 90 hours a week to afford a 1 bedroom so don’t give me any of that “get a job” routine. A not insignificant portion of the homeless have job, it just doesn’t pay enough to cover the rent, which is, as I may have mentioned, too high.
      But yeah lets send them off in the woods to live on free peanut butter.
      Of course on the bright side if a bunch of homeless camps sprouted up there a remarkable sum of money would suddenly appear to “law and order” those decrepits out of there.
      “Carried Interest” is not actually referring to the homeless who have to throw away anything they can’t carry. It’s doubling down on making things worse.

      1. Wukchumni

        A few rides by stopping a 4,000 pound wheeled chariot in it’s tracks with an extended thumb might be all it takes to get you from SF to Mammoth and then take the shuttle bus to Red’s Meadow for $15 and you’re there.

        A temporary fix to be sure, but it beats the feces splattered streets of SF if only for a summer. Best of all-you’d be just another camper in a tent, you’d fit right in.

          1. Wukchumni

            I always pick up backpackers on Hwy 395 if I have the space, SF might be a trickier ride situation and you’d want to be squeaky clean with all your belongings in a backpack looking the part of an intrepid traveler on foot in the future.

            Practice makes perfect and stare into the mirror before venturing forth on the very edge of asphalt and learn to look forlorn but hopeful, and how to do subliminal thumb gestures with aplomb that are the bomb which get results.

            1. fringe element

              Or just be female. Risky of course for the female doing the hitchhiking, but easy to get rides because I guess we are not seen as menacing.

              Which reminds me of a line from one of the Airplane movies, to paraphrase ‘Women make better hostages because they eat less and they smell nice.’

      2. playon

        I’ve had liberal friends in Seattle (where I lived for many years) disparage the homeless writing them off as drug addicts. Well, according to a recent study it turns out the homelessness comes first, then the drugs.

        You no doubt need the drugs to mentally handle living on the streets… meth to stay alert and cope, downers or opiods to help you sleep.

    2. Carolinian

      Nomadland does like to pitch their RVs on the flanks of your Sierras and other remote spots but the truly houseless seem to prefer being closer to a handy McDonald’s. When walking our “urban/wildland interface” I keep expecting to see tents but with a couple of exceptions I never do. Perhaps those hikers should plan better and drop the spares at a food bank before taking off.

      1. Wukchumni

        There’s a gajillion places to boondock on the flanks of the eastern Sierra, we were camped for free @ Fossil Falls* on Hwy 395 Saturday night, but it isn’t really a homeless gig or even a homeless-but not carless gig, gas being so expensive.

        Most of the grub left @ Red’s Meadow gets eaten by other thru hikers, and you never know what sort of best laid food plans aren’t going to pan out. A friend found out just how much she hated peanut butter powder for instance after 10 days of it and the thought of the next 10 days eating it was just too much, into the bin it went and she replaced it with something else, a different kind of food bank.

        I’ve only ever seen homeless in the wilderness @ Deep Creek hot springs near Hesperia, which is an easy anybody can do it, all downhill walk to agua caliente.

        In a similar fashion, the homeless there were counting on handouts from hikers who almost always bring too much food with them and face an uphill battle getting back to their cars.

        * a cinder cone blew up real good about 20,000 years ago ejecting lava boulders here there and everywhere. We would have been in deep kimchi were the same to occur, but i’m glad to relate everything was calm.

  27. Ana Claybourne

    Not about Covid but I am not sure where else to put these new scary diseases links. I am not a doctor but do follow medical research. I found two links that may be helpful. I guess helpful is not the right word unless one needs help in adding to one’s stress level. One is regarding Monkeypox in day care and predicts it will show up in “congregate housing” aka nursing homes. The other indicates that hundreds of people in NY may have active cases of polio and are shedding live virus per wastewater testing. Scary stuff.

    Ana in Sacramento

    1. Lee

      I welcome correction on these points but as it stands my layperson’s understanding is that it is highly likely that the polio virus is always circulating in the population and that there are few or no cases because the vaccinations are both highly protective and at the same time non-sterilizing. There is a particular problem with the oral polio vaccination, currently still in use outside the U.S., as it uses a live attenuated virus that can revert to type and cause disease when transmitted to unvaccinated persons. For this reason only the inactivated poliovirus vaccine, delivered by injection, is now used in the U.S.

  28. Wukchumni

    Had a healthy 225 pound brown colored Black Bear traipse around the house in Tiny Town yesterday, and it’s the same one I saw a month ago who was making a living raiding pick-a-nick baskets about 5 miles away in a bin there-done that fashion, taking advantage of Bob & Betty Bitchin’ from Burbank and their delightful offspring: Trevor & Truly, who were there on a 3 day tour-a 3 day tour of an AirBnB, and know nothing about bruins aside from the basketball team being decidedly subpar since John Wooden retired. Both owners of the would be Hiltons have finally put in bear-proof trash bins, but the damage is done in that a fed bear is a dead bear, Yogi ain’t going back to grubs and such after living la vida leftover burrito.

    Our neighbors have 8x 1 gallon hummingbird feeders around the periphery of their house and for over 15 years the wild flappers have never had to seek out natural food sources when there’s all that red sugar water coming from the gods surely!

    I’d never do that, but admit it is one hellova sight seeing as many as say 25 hummingbirds @ once including 5 or 6 different types with the sound almost approximating that of a Theremin, otherworldly!

    They told me said bruin raided them the day before and made a mess of things.

    Knock on effects and all that…

    1. playon

      My wife likes to put out a small hummingbird feeder. I have to admit it’s a thrill to have one of them hovering around your head.

  29. Lexx

    I’m in need of a better killing device. A plastic flyswatter bent back hard and released will stun an inch-and-a-half grasshopper momentarily but not break through the carapace. That requires several immediate savage on-target smackings.

    I’ve whacked five in a row out on the patio, only to see then hop again and escape down the crack between the patio and the fence. I’m probably repeatedly bopping the same ones; I think I’m just toughening them up for further combat. I need a one-whack tool!

    Any good tools in your arsenal, o’ commentariat?

    1. MaryLand

      Maybe a metal spatula with no holes in it (for fewer cleaning problems). One made for outdoor grilling would come with a longer handle.

      1. Samuel Conner

        These can also be had for small $ at Harbor Freight Tools

        The model I have (probably not identical to the linked current model, though it looks just like it) uses two “D” cells (I use AA NimH in AA/D adapter sleeves).

        I suspect that it would stun a ‘hopper; it effectively kills flies. Don’t swat with it against bugs on surfaces– it may break; inch up until the bug’s escape route leads it into the electrified mesh then rotate it into contact with the bug. Have a suitable implement handy to crush the stunned bug.

        I wonder how well this would work with potato beetles.

      2. Carolinian

        I have one of these and it works great on mosquitoes if somewhat forlornly given their vast numbers in my yard. Harbor Freight used to give the swatters away as promos and the original D cell version worked better than the AA type.

        1. Lexx

          Thanks, folks! I’ve placed a D cell powered swatter on my Amazon order due on Friday. My sense is these hoppers are too wily now to be zapped with a taser, but I’m willing to spend $20 to find out if it will work. Zapper in one hand, swatter in the other… fun!

      3. compUTerGuy

        I’ve had one for a few years. On large insects it won’t kill them, just stuns them. That’s all I need though as it makes getting rid of them a lot easier.

  30. Wukchumni

    In Colorado mountain towns, where affordable housing is scarce, ‘even living out of your car is gentrified’ The Denver Post (KW)

    Walking the mean streets of Banff a few months ago, nearly every help wanted sign in the many windows of stores we passed, included ‘Accommodation Provided’.

    1. Lexx

      My husband has long phone calls with his mom (age 86) and over the last year she kept mentioning ‘the road with all the homeless’. He drew on his now 20 year old memories of his hometown trying to figure out what she was talking about and where, but came up as confused as she.

      Then he came across some video on redditt… Lilly Road was also referred to as Doctor’s Row, since it’s where the hospital is located and the specialists that surround it. That’s some pricey real estate. The video is heading northwest toward some even pricier properties out on Puget Sound. Weird to read the word ‘Hoovervilles’ when applied to that area. The piece says there are 5 such ”Villes’ in Olympia now.

  31. Lexx

    ‘The Secret Life of Leftovers’

    ~ Went to the farmer’s market yesterday morning for the first time this season. It was time to start stocking up on local honey for the year. The venue (a parking lot) was packed with people like they’d all just collectively discovered eating fresh and putting by. The prices had gone up considerably since last year and the locals seem to have been virtue shopping… but then the neighborhood churches at just ended their services and the faithful were headed home after a quick stop. The organic section at Kroger’s was cheaper by a mile.

    ~ Also cheaper was the bratwurst. I like to swing by the cooler at the end of the meat section to see what was pulled and placed on sale. There I found 15 packages (@ 12 per package) for $5.00. I bought four and broke them down into packages of 5 and froze them for winter breakfasts. Fried up one package on Saturday morning… delicious with sweet Bavarian mustard, and buttered toast.

    ~ Husband was with me at the market, so I bought two cups of the local kombucha – grape with lavender. I’ve begun to appreciate what added florals can do, like jasmine in my toothpaste and rose in making yogurt. It’s something my Iranian/American hairdresser could chat on about. We often talk about cooking while she cuts my hair, always cooking from scratch. I had almost talked her into trying to make her own kombucha, but it’s really her husband that drinks the kombucha and he said it was too much work, and she drew a line on making one more thing from scratch… it’s time consuming. The microbes and yeast do most of the heavy lifting, but they both have full-time careers and little spare leisure time. She’d rather not spend it in the kitchen.

    Time has a lot to do with waste. When it’s a matter of survival, more time will be devoted to food and there will be little waste.

    The grape-lavender kombucha was disappointing, but brewers make it to their own tastes and market. I thought it was a bit thin and flat, neither sweet or tart, and so overwhelmed by the lavender, which will probably turn some customers off and that would be a shame. I’ve learned not to drop the pH to 2.5 (too vinegary) but only to 3.0. The balance of sweet/tart is better after the second fermentation.

    ~ I love cookbooks, but I’ve grown picky this last decade and want more pantry for my dollars. I judge the worth of the book by how well I think the author/chef layers flavors, and are themselves so particular they make their own condiments. Their sense of spicing tends to be international, much like my own. So much to learn from food cultures far older than here in the U.S..

    ~ Last year we had five happy tomato plants. I dehydrated the excess, after turning them into everything I could think of and more. Tomato powder added to soups and stews made them taste like I’d added summer sunshine, much brighter than tomato paste ever could. Also green pepper and spinach powders, very tasty in vegetable dips.


      1. Lexx

        Put them through the dehydrator till crispy dry, then a high-speed blender like the NutriBullet… but a spice grinder might work just as well.

  32. Anthony G Stegman

    Who could have predicted that Joseph R Biden would be one of the most dangerous presidents this nation has ever elected. In less than two years in office Biden already has done irreparable harm domestically and internationally. Can this nation (and the world) afford even two more years of Biden?

      1. Late Introvert

        NPR listeners and the brunch crowd are so relieved that Trump is gone. They went back to not paying attention.

  33. Raymond Sim

    So, my town of Davis seems to be the only municipality in the SCAN Bay Area wastewater surveillance project not to have shown any monkeypox signal yet. Sacramento, which we’re basically a suburb of, has had signal for weeks now.

    Here’s the Our World in Data page for monkeypox:

    If you look at the log-plot of daily new confirmed cases for the U.S., it’s striking how readily new cases since the beginning of June can be approximated with a straight line. No sign of any effect due to people taking precautions, and no sign of the advent of household transmission changing the overall rate of transmission. I believe that most of these cases would receive an ‘MSM’ or ‘Contact of MSM’ tag, and I’m led to question whether sexual contact has actually been the principal mode of ‘gay’ transmission.

    Have any of the supposed sexual super-spreading events not featured massive dance parties? If monkeypox was ever going to have its moment as an airborne pathogen that would be the environment for it to happen in. And as far as I’m aware, there’s been little or nothing in public health guidance directed to the gay community which would encourage people to stop clubbing.

    Lesions in the nether regions are not the slam-dunk (pardon the expression) proof of sexual transmission they might seem. It’s a complicated subject, with a lot of scope for confirmation bias. It’s even possible that severely symptomatic disease arising from sexual contact could be indicative of prior, ongoing, previously asymptomatic infection via some other route.

  34. Susan the Other

    “The Controversial Plan to Unleash the Mississippi River” – maybe not Gandalf. Is it really advisable to let the water run free and wipe out the delta ecosystem with too-fresh water? Maybe submerge some communities. And add to that the rising ocean already encroaching on the gulf communities? I’d just submit that we should divert the Mississippi above Louisiana, come down through Missouri maybe and Texas and on to the southwest however we can manage to do it. We could divert half the water of the Mississippi and leave the other half to go to the Gulf. But the half we take could help both the Gulf and the Southwest.

    1. playon

      The army corps of engineers were the ones who screwed up the Mississippi in the first place, in reaction to the disastrous flood of 1927. That flood was mentioned in many blues and folk songs from the period as black sharecroppers and small landholders had the worst of it.

      Randy Newman’s take —

      Good documentary on the flood:

      I think the engineers are now trying to reverse some of what they did back then.

  35. spud

    Studebakers article is great. he wrote before the election pointing out that another bill clinton democrat will fail and send even more over to the republican party.

    he understands trying to fix the so called supply chains is something that the dupes would do. better to re-industrialize, he knows the bill clinton democrats are not up to it at all.

    1. neo-realist

      So the republicans will help us re-industrialize? More likely from them, more tax cuts to the 1%, privatization and destruction of the public sector on steroids, more restrictions, if not a total ban on abortion, more restrictions on non-violent protest (by lefties), and more military spending and confrontational foreign policy.

      1. spud

        Studebaker predicted what the results of voting for another Bill Clinton democrat would do.

        his recent article in todays links, just verifies his predictions were spot on.

        Trump for all his faults poses no existential threat to the republic. What’s more Sanders and Robinson are deeply underestimating the damage a Biden presidency will cause.

        The Left Case Against Supporting Joe Biden in the General Election
        A Biden Administration Will Create a Whole New Generation of Bad Democrats

        by Benjamin Studebaker

  36. Why the nasty poorly hidden contempt

    Re: this response to a comment by someone

    August 8, 2022 at 2:38 pm

    6 hour drive and 270 miles might be a bit of a barrier.
    I view the homeless living in their car as clinging to a memory of a better time.
    Gas is not free, and having a car filled with the contents of your former apartment is kind of stigmatic.
    Biue cities overrun with the homeless shows yet another gigantic fail for the dems.
    Seattle, a very blue city, did nothing and now my very blue friends are all “done with the homeless” (I’m like, you weren’t done with them before?)
    The rents too high.
    The rents are too high.
    The rents are ridiculous.
    It’s been let go far too long, can’t even raise the minimum wage above 7.25/hr.
    Sure in seattle it’s 15 but I linked to a seattle times article (paywalled for me so I won’t repeat link)
    that a min wage worker in seattle has to work 90 hours a week to afford a 1 bedroom so don’t give me any of that “get a job” routine. A not insignificant portion of the homeless have job, it just doesn’t pay enough to cover the rent, which is, as I may have mentioned, too high.
    But yeah lets send them off in the woods to live on free peanut butter.
    Of course on the bright side if a bunch of homeless camps sprouted up there a remarkable sum of money would suddenly appear to “law and order” those decrepits out of there.
    “Carried Interest” is not actually referring to the homeless who have to throw away anything they can’t carry. It’s doubling down on making things worse.

    Yes tegnost, that person’s glib commentary about people living in horror, many of them who had jobs and were well liked and respected, took care of their loved ones sacrificing their income they actually needed, has been going on unmuzzled for quite a few years (since 2017?).

    I’ve been considering (seriously) immolating myself before I become homeless because I’m older disabled , not violent and have forfeited much income to insure my family is safe. to read his commentary homeless people usually makes me nauseous beyond belief, and has for quite some time. I’ve managed to wean myself quite a bit from this site. Way too much heartless commentary and mocking, and barely anything about exploding homelessness..

    Thank you for pushing back tegnost, but clearly this website, at the end of the day, holds renters, (outside of penthouses and such), ultimately in contempt. Way too many commenters get away with saying things that are toxic beyond belief. If I do Immolate myself I’ll try to make sure I’ve left some evidence of the brutal things I’ve read here, more than sick of it.

  37. The Rev Kev

    Unverified as of yet but there is a report that-

    ‘Ukraine’s state oil pipeline operator Ukrtransnafta has stopped pumping Russian crude through the southern branch of the Druzhba system to the EU, RIA Novosti news agency reported on Monday, citing Russia’s Transneft.

    According to the report, transit supplies have been stopped to Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.’

    1. Polar Socialist

      Russian company Transneft has told Russian media that this is indeed true. The reason is that Transneft can’t pay the Ukrainian party the transfers fees – because of the EU sanctions!

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