Links 8/9/2022

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

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


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

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

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Pups get wet and wild at California’s World Dog Surfing championships (furzy)

Do Spiders Dream? A New Study Suggests They Just Might Wall Street Journal

‘She is a legend’: Calif. fire lookout, 73, dies in McKinney Fire SFGate (Kevin W)

As Satellites and Space Junk Proliferate, US to Revise Rules Reuters

The Disappearing Modernists American Scholar (Anthony L)

20 Best Jewish Delis In The US Tasting Table (David L). News you can use!


The WTO and Vaccinations: Greed and Profits Win CADTM (Micael T)


The Anti-Vaccine Movement’s New Frontier New York Times (resilc)

From this study, via Barry Ritholtz (and resilc)



The US-China Rift Moves Climate Politics Into an Era of Competition Bloomberg

Iraq broils in dangerous 120-degree heat as power grid shuts down Seattle Times

Torrents drench Denver as Death Valley recovers from 1,000-year deluge Washington Post (David L)


How China and the US Threaten Each Other Kevin W: “I have read articles by Charles Freeman before and he is nobody’s fool.”

Taiwan Says China Economic Ties Make More Sanctions Unlikely Bloomberg. Erm, not if Taiwan keeps going along with US provocations. This “they aren’t serious about their red lines” thinking is what got us Ukraine.

The Real Estate and Banking Crisis in China Is Spreading to Other Aspects of the Chinese Economy Modern Diplomacy


India’s Rocket Fails To Put Satellites In Right Orbit In Debut Launch Space

Old Blighty

UK is facing Dickens-style poverty, ex-PM warns RT

Italy’s Right-Wing Coalition Gains Ground After Center-Left Spat Bloomberg

New Not-So-Cold War

Nuclear plant in Ukraine is shelled, with Russia warning of ‘catastrophic’ consequences 9News (Kevin W)

Russia Suspends Bilateral Inspections in Nuclear Weapons Treaty BioClandestine (Chuck L)

Russia launches Iranian satellite amid Ukraine war spying concerns Middle East Eye

* * *

First North Korean builders will come to DPR in the near future RIA Novosti. Resilc noted earlier that he’d seen, as he put it, NoKo construction workers in Moscow.

* * *

CBS CAUGHT Editing Report On Arms Proliferation In Ukraine Krystal and Saagar

Why military aid in Ukraine may not always get to the front lines CBS

The “Editor’s note” up top:

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect changes since the CBS Reports documentary “Arming Ukraine” was filmed, and the documentary is also being updated. Jonas Ohman says the delivery has significantly improved since filming with CBS in late April. The government of Ukraine notes that U.S. defense attaché Brigadier General Garrick M. Harmon arrived in Kyiv in August 2022 for arms control and monitoring.

Lambert adds: “‘Arrived’ is past tense, but this is August 8, so WTF?”

Ukraine Grain Onboard Razoni Cargo Ship Rejected by Lebanon Buyer Bloomberg (furzy)

Will Pope Francis visit Ukraine? A September trip is possible. America Magazine (Bob K)

* * *

Germany braces for social unrest over energy prices DW

Western sanctions are good for Moscow – US economist RT. Michael Hudson!


Israeli general, a Harvard fellow, extols Gaza onslaught as ‘really clean’ and ‘very nice’ Mondoweiss. Um, you can’t even say that of Temple Grandin human cattle slaughter methods.

Gaza slaughter: Israel’s war crimes and US hypocrisy WSWS

Imperial Collapse Watch

When Will Foreign Leaders Start Asking To Speak To America’s REAL Government? Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W). Nice shout out to NC!

US Military Has a Recruitment and Retention Problem. Here’s How to Fix It Bloomberg

Global War On Terrorism Service Medal Full Size (GWOT): Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry Amazon (resilc)


FBI executes search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago CNN

Live: Agents broke into safe during Mar-a-Lago search – Trump BBC. Live blog is very unusual for BBC. Lambert says this smacks of coordination, yet the subheads don’t sound very good for the officialdom: “FBI ‘left with very little’ – anonymous Trump source tells CBS” and “No FBI search like this in US history – state attorney”

Horde of Trump supporters descends on Mar-a-Lago in the hours following shock FBI raid Daily Mail (resilc). I don’t know how common this reaction will be, since NC readers are very independent-minded. But one I know personally, who was a Sandernista, called to sputter abut the Trump raid. While she underscored her strong dislike of Trump, she said this was so outrageous that it could lead her to rethink her position.

Republicans rail against the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, calling for the FBI to be destroyed and defunded Business Insider. So much for trying to make Trump toxic among the Rs. All that good work of the 1/6 committee goes poof.

Inside the War Between Trump and His Generals New Yorker (furzy)


The Left Case Against Supporting Joe Biden in the General Election: A Biden Administration Will Create a Whole New Generation of Bad Democrats Benjamin Studebaker (spud)

GOP Clown Car

In Wisconsin Primary, G.O.P. Voters Call for Decertifying 2020 Election New York Times

Democrats en déshabillé

What the Hell is Wrong With Them’: GOP Senators Kill $35 Cap on Insulin Common Dreams (furzy)


Abortion bans complicate access to drugs for cancer, arthritis, even ulcers Washington Post

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Seattle ‘Karen’ Calls Cops on Black Man for Standing on His Own Property The Root (furzy)

Viral Video Of Black Man’s Violent Arrest In Mississippi Sparks Investigation Associated Press

Our No Longer Free Press

“We Can’t Let Them Do This”: Interview With Russell Brand Matt Taibbi. Brand is terrific.

Woke Watch

How Tavistock Came Tumbling Down Common Sense (furzy)

Keira Bell: My Story Persuasion (furzy)

Researchers warn bachelorette parties in Provincetown are destroying LGBTQ+ safe spaces (Paul R)

Supply Chain/Inflation

Germany: Meat production in the first half of 2022 fell by 7.9% compared to the previous year Tridge

Home Inventory Soars at Record Rate With US Buyers Pulling Back Bloomberg. That was fast.

The ‘Best Time to Buy a New Car’ No Longer Exists Jalopnik (resilc)

Class Warfare

Why some nurses are becoming cosmetic injectors. Slate (resilc). Old trend becoming more acute. Most derms are in the business of vanity, which pays better than treating acne, burns, and skin cancer. And even better, no insurance hassle for cosmetic procedures.

Antidote du jour. EKV:

This little beauty was stalking my breakfast last week in downtown Istanbul. It was quite obviously aware of its star power and was almost impossible to resist. And if I hadn’t complied on my own by giving it a nice chunk of cheese, it would have just raided my table anyway.

And a bonus (dk):

Another bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Sardonia

      Tesla stock up about 7% pre-market on the news.

      Life is good for Elon – got his own little gaggle of pimps out hustlin’ for him!

      Price of EV’s about to rise $7,500 each in 3…2…1…

      1. Field in Texas

        Well, Tesla doesn’t have any cars that qualify according to this;

        Here’s the relevant passage;
        Congress is poised to approve newly expanded tax credits for electric vehicles, but the rules are written in such a way as to effectively disqualify every EV that’s currently on the market today.
        That’s because most EVs run on lithium-ion batteries that are mostly made in China. China has a lock on some 76 percent of the battery market today (the US only represents 8 percent). And to get a deal passed in a deadlocked Senate, Democrats agreed to provisions that would require eligible vehicles to use batteries that are made in North America.

    2. Louis Fyne

      don’t forget leaving the carried interest tax break open. That saved civilization too.

      Elon, BMW-Mercedes-Volkswagen/Audi and private equity were the biggest winners of the IRA.

    3. Ranger Rick

      The thing I’m most interested in is whether or not this tax credit is refundable or not. If it is, it would be the first smart thing they’ve done in years. If not, people making less than $50k or so a year or couples filing jointly making less than seventy-something thousand don’t get the full benefit.

      1. notabanker

        If the tax credit is $7500, they will jack up the cost of the car by $8000 and give you a $500 “cash rebate” and make it sound like you’re actually getting something.

        This is a giveaway to the car manufacturers.

        1. tegnost

          rhymes with “cash for clunkers”…a nudge to get the rich to buy a new car…or a golf cart…

    1. Smith, M.J.

      Douglas Adams’ description of Zaphod Beeblebrox, the figure-head President of the Imperial Galactic Government, seems a pretty apt job description of our recent presidents: “Only six people in the Galaxy knew that the job of Galactic President was not to wield power but to attract attention away from it.” (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).

  1. Sardonia

    It’s too soon to see how this FBI raid at Trump’s will turn out – but to be honest, if I was Trump, I might be less concerned about what the FBI found, and much more concerned about what they might have planted for next week’s surprise search!

    1. flora

      Live: Agents broke into safe during Mar-a-Lago search – Trump BBC. Live blog is very unusual for BBC. Lambert says this smacks of coordination, …

      Didn’t they take Geraldo to film the “exciting event – What’s in Donald Trump’s Safe”? Where’s Geraldo? / ;)

      This kind of FBI stunt/overreach might make me vote for the guy. Taibbi was right in his column saying the more the press tries to tear T down the higher his ratings go — they’ll end up getting him elected… again. (Of course, if he’s elected the press will have boffo profits again.)

      1. jefemt

        Gotta insert a, “whoa there”.

        NOTHING will make me vote for T Rump. Ever.

        I can certainly see the bazillions of issues that exist in and out of the US society and local, state, and federal governmnet.

        But T Rump was not and will not be a viable, serious answer.

        Obviously, just one more opinion… your mileage may vary, but there’s no BTU’s in the
        T Rump elixir.

        1. flora

          Asked seriously here: why not? He stopped TPP, didn’t start any new wars, tried to get out of Afgha before the MIC went nuts against the idea, tried to get prices posted in hospitals, and he isn’t a neocon as far as I can tell, and he didn’t try pushing a new domestic terrior bill in Congress.
          Yeah, he did a lot of dumbshite, obnoxious stuff. He’s got a certain Silvio Berlusconi buffoonishness, he lies (don’t they all).

          Then again, the Dems still owe me $600, inflation is bad, and we have a new new war, and maybe even another new war on the horizon (RU) and maybe a new one after that (China/Taiwan). The neocons hate him, if Cheney is any guide. Sometimes you can judge someone not only by their friends but by their enemies as well. On the other hand, Bannon likes him and I can’t stand Bannon. My 2 cents.

          Not saying you’re wrong. Not at all. Just saying, for me, trying to compare things apples to applesis a valid way to assess politicians outside of a partisan party lens, imo.

          1. flora

            And in the “same as” column: Both T and B bollixed the C19 response, never saw a tax break for billionaires they wouldn’t pass, never saw endless bailouts to Wall St they wouldn’t pass, and never saw a big increase in the Mil budget over the prior budget limit that they didn’t love.

            1. ambrit

              So, you are advocating that I buy Guillotine(TM) futures ASAP. I’m down with that.
              We are firmly into the end stages of an empire. The pitchforks and public hangings are now baked into the Antoinette Cake.
              I know that making analogies between now and the Late Roman Empire are puerile exercises, but today’s full on dysfunctional American Politics does look a lot like the period of the Roman Empire where a series of degenerates and dilettantes were foisted upon the people by the Oligarchs who ran the show from behind the scenes. The results were not optimal then, and will not be optimal now.

          2. Katniss Everdeen

            Plus, Trump was also the only one willing to say the word “hydroxychloroquine.”

            My guess is that people wouldn’t have had to buy their Ivermectin at Tractor Supply if he’d been re-elected.

            If people really want “change,” they have to be able to recognize it when it comes along, and they have to be able to resist the furious, corrupt-status-quo backlash that’s gonna come along with it.

          3. neo-realist

            Hard right supreme court justices that threw out Roe v. Wade. District court justice appointments that throw out judges in favor of voting rights every chance they get. Using federal officers to pick up off the street and detain suspected non-violent protesters during the George Floyd uprisings–Banana Republic shite. Something along the lines of a domestic terror bill-Planning to use the RICO statutes against left activists in a second term.

            Such stuff will potentially go into steroid overdrive in a second term for 45.

            1. Dr. John Carpenter

              As opposed to the warp speed it’s at now? Whom in the Democrat party has actively worked against those things? Wasn’t anyone in the Obama administration. Hasn’t been anyone in Biden’s. These are just the same “hold your nose and vote blue” arguments we always get and it should be painfully clear to anyone that they are completely devoid of merit.

            2. pjay

              I think you might have missed the point behind a lot of the reaction here. Most, if not all of us, would agree with everything you say. But here’s the maddening thing:

              (1) Everything the Establishment (not just Dems – it’s bipartisan) is trying to do to Trump is actually making him *stronger* with his base – and even forcing a few of us lifetime Trump haters to defend him. This is not because he is praiseworthy, but because the forces arrayed against him are so utterly dangerous. On that topic,

              (2) as Dr. John Carpenter says, the Democrats have done nothing to address any of the issues you mention. I’m not convinced those with power care much about them. But further, the neoliberal destruction of the economy and the continued expansion of the National Security/Surveillance State accelerated under Obama and Biden. Obama took up where Bush II left off to gut the Smith-Mundt Act and other protections, however feeble they were, against the use of the intelligence apparatus and blatant propaganda domestically. The effects have been obvious. Abroad, they continued the Bush-Cheney neocon plan to subvert, conquer, Balkanize, or destroy any country that dared to question our economic or geopolitical will.

              Trump is a reckless narcissistic demagogic con-man. But he is *not* the greatest source of potential fascism in this country. Not by a long shot. That would be the increasingly unhinged Establishment that have been trying everything to get rid of Trump for four years. And they’ve been very bad at it. They are either very dumb or very smart – I haven’t quite figured that out yet.

              1. Rolf

                Great comment. And as to the last, I wouldn’t say, ‘dumb’, just recklessly arrogant, mediocre.

            3. anon in so cal

              Pales in comparison to the Biden DHS’ memorandum released shortly after Biden took office that outlines the criteria for “violent domestic extremist.”

              Glenn Greenwald:

              “Last March we reported on how vague and broad is the Homeland Security definition of “domestic extremist.” It encompasses almost every meaningful anti-establishment political movement on the right, left and otherwise. See for yourself:”

            1. Anthony G Stegman

              If the 2024 election comes down to Trump vs Biden, Harris, Newsom, H. Clinton, Mayor Pete, or any other of the Democrat Deplorables Trump will get my vote. Or perhaps I will abstain from voting.

          4. skippy

            I think – ***the thing is*** – the idea people would be debating Trump vs rusted on democrats or republicans is the contention.

            Its like discussing if one would rather have weevils or maggots in their breakfast gruel, when the story is how and why its served up in the first place.

            As far as Trump goes he hired a bunch of CEO et al to run the country so he could have more time to Tweet and as a C/RE sort never understood how the global economy functioned, made young MBA’s look good considering the sanction/s policies. Yet these same underlining forces are still there and still hungry to control more of the world resources – see Ukraine et al.

              1. skippy

                Careful or some MBA will cut the gruel out all together and its just a choice of weevils or maggots with the end plan a blended mix.

                Only real issue is timing the Market for each step which translates into higher stock price and bonuses ….

          5. spud

            and Flora he also gave mexicans the right to have independent unions, he raised their wages, he got rid of the right for corporations to sue us if our civil society laws dented their outrageous profits.

            he tried to make peace with north Korea.

            can anyone please tell me one universal concrete material benefit amercians ever got from Bill Clinton, Obama, and now Joe Biden.

            so far no one has ever provided me one. so trump was a giant compared to the last bunch of fleas the democrats have provided us with.

            of course it was not hard at all to be a giant compared to what passes for the democratic party since 1993.

          6. Tom Bradford

            OK. Genuine question here from a non-American who lives far from your madding crowd and enjoys watching your alarums and excursions from a safe seat in the rear-stalls (until even they’re no longer safe from blow-back). How do you think Trump would have handled Ukraine?

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              Trump viscerally does not like war. Somehow the images of destroyed buildings gives him a sense of human and monetary cost that other pols never seem to feel.

              Biden escalated with Russia as soon as he got into office. That’s why Russia made a show of force by moving troops to the border in March-April.

              Biden also at the end of December reneged on prior (admittedly verbal) commitments he’d made not to put more missiles in Ukraine. Most observers think that put Russia on red alert, that it would not take much in the way of additional provocations to push Russia to act.

              I don’t think Trump would have done either of those things. Hence I doubt there would have been a war.

      2. Jesper

        Possibly that is what they’re trying to do? Trying to get Trump re-elected?

        The only alternative that I can think of is that they are similar to Don Quixote – trying to emulate some heroes from fictional stories but due to not seeing the reality nor thinking more than one step ahead then ending up causing chaos and making situations worse.

      3. pjay

        I really don’t know how many times I can keep saying “Just when I think I’ve seen everything…”

        This is really serious – and insane – at many levels. As if they hadn’t made Trump enough of a martyr yet, well, the only thing left is to drag him away in chains. As Yves’ comment suggests, this is so crazy and counter-productive if the goal is getting rid of Trump that I’m beginning to think maybe it’s not the liberal Establishment behind this. Maybe it’s some sort of a “conspiracy” to get Trump reelected. Or maybe start a civil war. The Establishment really can’t be this dumb, can it? Maybe Q-Anon will weigh in.

        1. YankeeFrank

          Giving them too much credit. The establishment has blown up Ukraine for their fantasy about dismantling Russia. Pelosi went to Taiwan and accelerated its reintegration with China. I could go on all day with the list of failures and zero concern or awareness for results these people constantly display. They only know how to flail and fly at things and wind up creating exactly what they are trying to stop. Dying empire vibes all around.

        2. anon in so cal

          I think the Establishment is nervous. Makes them more dangerous and erratic. Nothing can be allowed to interfere with the war. In addition to an eclectic mix of individuals and groups from various political camps (which seems to be growing), I think a lot of US anti-war sentiment emanates from Trump supporters. I could be wrong.

        3. will rodgers horse

          Seems to me the strategy was and is obvious and has been for thousands of years.

      4. Ned

        This might be a move by the Democrats
        to convince more people to vote for Trump, so as to

        derail DeSantis, who they really fear.

        To effortlessly protest this Stasi-like move by Biden, we are canceling all spending on luxuries, replacement of old items and even canceling oil changes until after the midterms. Anything we spend will be in cash at small businesses, even if it takes more time and effort and costs a little more.

        Let’s make it all about the economy before then.

      5. HotFlash

        The REAL bosses, The Owners, don’t want Trump for the same reason they don’t want Sanders; those two guys have ideas of their own. What The Owners want are reliably biddable candidates provided and guaranteed by the Rep and Dem establishments — doesn’t matter which one, they have the same function. All the business with candidates, elections and administrations are merely to keep up Constitutional, free-and-fair appearances and make Americans feel that they are exercising democracy. As Joe Biden promised, and all of the other Presidents in living memory have delivered, nothing will fundamentally change EVER because the duopoly’s function is to provide a figurehead every four years, a grand show for the masses, and see that the owners’ agendas are carried out. The Owners will continue to govern for their own benefit, as they have for over a century — well, except for that FDR guy. The establishment parties’ utility and (lavish) compensation depends on keeping anybody who might actually govern, in ANY way, out of government. The Dems succeeded in sidelining Bernie twice, but the Reps did not manage to keep Trump out — big oopsie! Neither establishment party wants Trump back in, but the Reps especially cannot fail again or The Owners will be very, very angry.

    2. Petter

      Was the FBI raid full gonzo – armored vehicles, battering rams, shock grenades, etc -like the raid on the old black socialist in St. Louis a week ago? I kind of doubt it but haven’t seen the details.

        1. ambrit

          ‘They’ must have watched the series version of “The Man in the High Castle” and freaked out at the ‘success’ of the BCR in the show.

    3. Mikel

      As if the FBI didn’t know Trump very well even before he was elected.
      Casinos, NY contstruction…

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        Not to mention La Cosa Nostra which figures prominently in NY real estate development.

      2. ThePodBayDoorsAreClosed

        As one commenter said, Trump is already the most investigated person in world history by a large margin, it must drive Marc Elias and Susan Rice and Hilary and Klain absolutely insane that he still walks free, talking openly and shamelessly about only doing things that are good for America and Americans. Obama is so stupid and so arrogant though that he *always* overplays his hand and this raid is no exception. People are learning the hard way who the “I’m Not Him!” 2020 candidate actually is, by his actions. Fascism however doesn’t have any responsibility/accountability/electoral legitimacy niceties, so it was time to send in the jackboots to see if there was something, *anything!* they could find to stop their biggest political opponent. And in a delicious fillip even J. Stalin couldn’t dream up, the judge who signed off on the raid apparently also represented the first man in history who was able to traffic children for sex with *nobody*…one J. Epstein. Perfection!

        1. flora

          Taibbi’s latest, public excerpt:

          Welcome to the Third World

          The FBI really better have something “pulverizing” on Trump, because otherwise we’ve just witnessed one of the dumbest moves in the history of politics


          As of now, it’s impossible to say if Trump’s alleged offense was great, small, or in between. But this for sure is a huge story, and its hugeness extends in multiple directions, including the extraordinary political risk inherent in the decision to execute the raid. If it backfires, if underlying this action there isn’t a very substantial there there, the Biden administration just took the world’s most reputable police force and turned it into the American version of the Tonton Macoute on national television. We may be looking at simultaneously the dumbest and most inadvertently destructive political gambit in the recent history of this country. …

          my aside: This raid on T’s home following close on the heels of the Alex Jones trial and the Steve Bannon trial does look like 3rd World politics, imo. Taibbi’s reference to Haiti’s Tonton Macoute is pretty interesting.

          1. ambrit

            My Dad worked on a job in the Dominican Republic during the 1960s. He said that the locals were very afraid of the Tontons, even though the Tontons were in the country next door. The local organs of State Security had a method of handing over local malcontents to the Tontons at the border. Said malcontents were never seen alive again. My take on Tabbi’s comment is that America’s FBI is now capable of anything against the American people, including murder. Nothing says Police State like Desaparecido.
            We still have not seen the warrant used to “legitimate” the search and seizure of Trump’s effects. That document will set the tone of American jurisprudence for years to come.

  2. griffen

    Whether a raid or investigation, depending on your chosen news source one will view exactly how they prefer to do so. Flipped between Fox and CNN after 8pm last night, and between a David Axelrod and whomever was on Fox I was unwilling to lose my recent meal. Flipped over to something silly and mindless, by comparison.

    It’s a raid or the Secret Service (whom we pay to guard the former 45th POTUS) was provided notice of the search. Can’t be both, can it ? So much about the Trump administration and what has followed since the 2020 elections is unprecedented. As for the people who gathered, well they must really adore the fearless leader. As they say in Hunger Games, Panem forever.

    1. fresno dan

      Isn’t it something?
      In May 2021, House Republicans introduced a “Back the Blue Act” to fend off progressives’ push to defund the police. I imagine all the “progressive” dems for defunding the police will respond by having FBI agents wear only blue suits and extra FBI funding…irony, at least its entertaining.
      He also had to perform community service – I could never find what he actually had to do. What would be good community service for Trump???

      1. ambrit

        In all seriousness, good ‘Community Service’ for Trump will be a second Trump Administration.
        It is a measure of how low the Republic has sunk that merely keeping America from committing suicide is sufficient reason to re-elect the man.
        The Pink Bunny Slippers should start sending new instructions about now. Vlad Vladimirovitch has to have a “cunning plan” ready to capitalize on the upcoming Republican national government.
        I await orders Fearless Leader.

      2. griffen

        I dunno, there are frequent interviews from the white house with a loud mower roaming about behind the person talking (someone usually from the econ team or such). Which is kinda funny. Trump working the grounds of wherever would be funny. Wait, why do they call this thing a rake and how do I use it in the sand bunkers at my golf course?

        We are moving into uncharted territory, and not in a good way. Feels like we’re following along while Gollum leads us into Mordor and eventually our demise.

    2. Skip Intro

      MoA thinks the raid stepped on the Dem’s congressional ‘triumph’ headlines. I guess some believe the democrats are non beyond resuscitation.

  3. JohnA

    The western mainstream media knives are now out for Roger Waters after he recently called Biden a war criminal and gave an alternative account about Ukraine and China/Taiwan. Cannot be having that, clearly.
    Headline: ‘Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters has some seriously worrying views on Ukraine, Russia and China’

    The Independent was launched in the late 1980s, supposedly as an independent voice, including a promise not to cover royal family stories. After various changes of ownership, it is now in the hands of a Russian ‘oligarch’ Lebedev, who hosts lavish social parties in London for celebrities, and whose son is close to Boris Johnson. Naturally, all royal family gossip is also splashed on the front page these days.

    1. Sardonia

      Kind of amazing that a left-wing Rocker is as rare today as a polka dotted zebra.

      Pretty hilarious to see story after story about other “courageous musicians” “taking a stand” by “speaking out” with a lame opinion that 99% of their stupid little fans already agree with.

      1. Louis Fyne

        new songs with a good guitar riff are rare as a dotted zebra too.

        take a mental note of good guitar riffs (or look up a list of people’s top riffs of all time), drought started around 2005, accelerated in the 2010s – present

        1. Thistlebreath

          Not that I like the Atlantic (‘North, ‘treaty’ and ‘organization are not pronounced’) at all– but as Billy Carter famously said, “…even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while.”

          Audiences are voting w/their money:

          70%. WTF.

          The new stuff is thin to the point of disappearing. A Swedish song writer churns out some huge amount of pop ‘hits.’ Music as a utility.

        2. griffen

          I like some of my music, but not all, pretty loud. Avenged Sevenfold* has a few loud tracks where the guitar work is actually pretty strong. Disturbed* is another band, they have fairly unusual lyrics and are not just a knock off of whomever 20 years ago.

          *Afterlife, Nightmare, Buried Alive, among quite a few actually. Disturbed has some excellent covers available, Land Of Confusion seems topical even.

          1. Thistlebreath

            The best gateway mix I’ve found is Radio Paradise, an online streamer. The two folks who curate and program it have a phenomenal sense of how to artfully interweave new stuff w/old.

            Bill and Rebecca will stitch together “new” (to me, at least) acts like Guster, Iron & Wine, Arcade Fire, etc. with stalwarts like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Winter, et al.

            Their ‘rock mix’ stream is the permanent track for weight lifting here. We love the lineup of AC/DC, Cheap Trick, Metallica, Pearl Jam, yada yada that helps power the sessions.

            They’re listener supported. Their name comes from where they used to be located in Paradise, CA, that burned after they left.

        1. jr

          And then regurgitate it. I overheard a car stereo recently blasting some vaguely recognizable dreck. I was confused as it sounded familiar, but different. It dawned on me that it was a now dated pop “hit” that had been slowed down so that the formerly high pitched lyrics were now bass-y. Some dub-step noises had been added as well. Literally the same (rap reheated and freshly garnished.

          1. digi_owl

            I read a claim that some historic rap albums or similar could not be made today, because it made such rampant use of sampling.

            This thanks to the record labels being far more hawkish about such things these days, and would sue the life out of any artist that didn’t get every sample cleared beforehand.

      2. Mark Gisleson

        Actually, it is important for icons like Waters to speak out. For starters, it helps balance out the Neil Youngs and Elton Johns. You might think Waters speaks to a radical audience but that audience hasn’t been able to fit into their concert jeans for decades now. They’ve gotten old and the fact they had enough money and intelligence to go to a Pink Floyd concert back in the day suggests that many are now PMCs. Exactly the people who need to be reached.

        I used to think the piracy scene was pretty hard left. Then this war started and suddenly I was seeing blue and yellow flags as user avatars at movie and piracy sites. A legendary vintage movie site recently had a member upload four pro-Ukrainian documentaries. On a smaller rock site I got into a vicious argument with folks I later realized were Canadian and Finnish. We did not agree on much.

        If there is a 21st Century hipster political vibe, it’s “why are you talking to me about politics, who cares?” The cultural Left has checked out but someone from the fake Left will be by soon to explain it to you (I really liked that American Scholar link above on modernism!).

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          Radicals can’t afford to go to big concerts. PMC can.

          After the interview, I heard the inevitable “I wish he’d keep politics out of his music” whines. Funny, I thought Pink Floyd always was political. Sure, we’re not talking Crass here, but it’s pretty easy to get where they stand on things from their music going way back.

          1. nippersmom

            Reminds me of the blow back Tom Morello got from a fan for “making his music political”. Morello replied by asking him what Machine he (fan) thought they were raging against.

          2. orlbucfan

            Well, I was an acid queen a few decades ago, and Pink Floyd was/is one of my faves. Going to see Roger Waters at the end of this month. I saw a great documentary on the making of Dark Side of the Moon last night. Glad Waters continues to be himself. Still can not find a decent copy of their first record, Piper at The Gates of Dawn. It’s been OOP for years.

            1. c_heale

              If a repress is okay, the prices seem low on discogs. You’d have to pay a lot more for a sufficiently good original. But you could find one on there I imagine, if you looked regularly.

            2. ambrit

              Yet who among us remembers “Obscured By Clouds?”
              “Le Vallee”
              Pink Floyd did a number of soundtracks in their early days.

                1. ambrit

                  True about the variability of Pink Floyd’s output, but never boring.
                  One of the female lead characters in the French film is played by Miquette Giraudy who later became the “life partner” and musical partner of English guitarist Steve Hillage.
                  That whole European psychedelic scene is a classic ‘rabbit hole’ down which one can slide without warning.
                  Interestingly, the twenty-something neighbour who does SCA tournaments has been known to play early Pink Floyd albums, loud. None of the locals complains since, as in the Dire Straits song, he turns it down after dusk.
                  Stay safe and keep your rat line to Fredrickton open and functional.

                2. Mark Gisleson

                  Rarely listen to them these days (why put on records that live in your head?) but I love tribute and remix albums. Pink Floyd seems to resist such efforts. Most artists just cover them as closely as possible, few dare to try to reinterpret them.

                  Despite this, there is a Piano Tribute to Pink Floyd that pulls it off. Not a lounge thing, more of a literate EZ listening romp that Floyd fans will enjoy.

    2. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, John.

      I watched the Waters interview live on CNN’s Smerconish on Saturday afternoon, and was pleasantly surprised, and yesterday’s interview of Smerconish on CNN’s New Day.

      Anchors Brianna Keillar and John Berman were stunned that Waters was given air time to spout such heresy and wondered what Waters read to arrive at such views (after a clip of Waters urging Smerconish to read more was shown). To be fair to Smerconish, who interviewed Thomas Frank a fortnight before, he defended Waters’ right to speak his mind and be allowed on air.

      The Independent was supposed to take business from the Telegraph when founded, but ended up competing with the Guardian and Observer, yet to merge for another decade. It was good at first and is now like the curate’s egg.

      Lebedev fils courts the establishment, holds summer and Christmas receptions for the great and the good, and hosts some at family compounds around the Mediterranean. Some will be commissioned to write in the Independent and Evening Standard from time to time. Former charges like the BBC’s Amol Rajan protect their paymaster.

      1. JohnA

        Thanks Colonel. The Swedish media are currently going all in to bash Amnesty to bits for having the temerity to suggest Ukraine was not pure as the driven snow. Alternative voices are very definitely not allowed anywhere there.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, John.

          It’s the same here with Amnesty.

          Some of the projection is so outlandish, especially from the BBC, that one wonders how presenters can say that on air with a straight face.

          1. ambrit

            Re. “…one wonders how presenters can say that on air with a straight face.”
            One word Colonel: botox.

        2. skippy

          Wellie for every one or two people that they can present as having a different perspective they can then dog pile them and twist their perspective just like with Corbyn = it works. So whilst some might say good on them for getting some air time to present “something completely different” the sad part is its a set up e.g. just need to get a few nodding heads and the rest will follow … and if push comes to shove there are other options …

      2. Stephen

        There was some discussion about this on Links at the weekend too.

        It appears from various comments and videos on Twitter (maybe not the greatest source) that the version of the video that CNN posted on You Tube was edited to exclude elements of Roger Water’s rationale.

        I guess that Michael Smerconish is smart as well as being a fan of free speech: He wants to encourage celebrities to agree to interviews and criticizing one’s guests for expressing their views might not be the best way to do that! CNN Anchors might not be that smart though.

        Agree about The Independent. When Andreas Whittam Smith founded it his intention seemed to be precisely as you describe. Not quite sure what public service role it serves today.

      3. Carolinian

        Thanks Colonel. Here in the US oligarch Bezos props up our Washington Post. Seems to be a trend.

        1. ambrit

          It’s a long standing item.
          William Randolph Hearst and his newspaper empire.
          Lord Beaverbrook and his news empire.
          “Digger” Murdoch and his news empires.
          Make the oligarchs a part of the ruling establishment and they will do the ‘dirty work’ of propaganda and often outright bullying gratis.

    3. BeliTsari

      “…some seriously worrying views on Ukraine, Russia and China!” Is that the acceptable euphemistic neologism for, TRUTH?

      Wild to watch Amy’s permutations, twists & turns about EVIL Rooskis blowing themselves up to irradiate, well… EVERYSOMEBODY’s crops, east of the plant THEY’RE defending, against arms we’ve supplied?

      1. Stephen

        Exactly. The debate from the mainstream is 100% ideological. Nothing about the actual facts, other than selective ones.

      2. Sibiryak

        “…Roger Waters has some seriously worrying views on Ukraine, Russia and China!

        Not to mention Israel and Palestine.

      3. Deak

        I find the use of the words ‘worrying’ or ‘problematic’ to describe others views to be quite worrying, and not a little problematic. It does seem to imply there is some unassailable right thinking position so universally obvious that to disagree is to be akin to having mental health issues for which others should be worried for your well-being. Though I suppose that is consistent with mainstream western views becoming so rigid that going against the prevailing narrative amounts to heresy or madness

      1. skk

        I follow my East Sussex childhood area – Rye and Hastings – via FB regularly. Haven’t seen anything at all about Ukrainians over the last few months. Separately, I notice the “Hastings and Rye Palestine Solidarity Campaign” has a very active presence physically and via FB and post regularly seemingly without any harassment from the AIPAC style groups.

  4. Larry

    A potential positive is that a well executed warrant against a former president or any politician is a sign that no person is above the law. The outrage seems to be that this never happens. Perhaps this sets the precedent that this will change.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Unfortunately, this has all the earmarks of the reverse, of being politically motivated. Trump is a hated politician, the barbarian that stormed the temple, so going after him, whether legit or not, is in no way or form a precedent for establishment figures. Look at how Hunter Biden is likely to get off with charges of mere tax abuses…and he never ran for office or held a post save as of bribe recipient.

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        Yves Smith: According to the Business Insider article, GOP Wants the FBI to Be Defunded, there’s this intriguing detail:

        It is unclear what investigation the search warrant for Mar-a-Lago was related to, though three sources told CNN it was related to whether or not Trump mishandled classified government documents.

        Well, that would put Trump in there with Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Glenn Greenwald, and Julien Assange.

        Donald Trump, Fighter for the First Amendment!

        This is going to get interesting, in particular, if the Democrats have used the FBI as their enforcer once again. The Democrats seem to think that the Flynn case was some kind of masterstroke.

        Either (1) this all blows up and someone calls for serious investigation of the “intelligence community” or (2) it’s just another Banana-Republic Moment, with a whiff of The Onion, as the rule of law swirls into the sewers.

        My money’s on (2).

        1. Glen

          I’m starting to feel like we’re besmirching Banana Republics. We need a new category.

          After all, just last week we had one of our ruling elites make what amounted to a vanity day trip to Taiwan, and alter that island’s future.

          We’re starting to look like the end of British Empire with multiple Suez Crisis abroad, and never ending ‘gates’ at home.

          1. Sardonia

            “I’m starting to feel like we’re besmirching Banana Republics. We need a new category.”

            Avocado Toast Republics?

        2. Eric F

          “mishandled classified government documents”

          Wasn’t that a crime he had in common with Hillary & her basement server?

          1. ThePodBayDoorsAreClosed

            FWIW Dershowitz is saying any evidence from the raid will be inadmissable. Raid conduct: just take any boxes of papers you see, versus a legal search which would only remove any relevant documents. I doubt this was just a “classified National Archives documents” search, more likely it is related to the J6 kangaroo show trials. If it *was* just an Archives deal, then the “proof that no one is above the law” argument goes flying straight out the window at high speed:

            1. orlbucfan

              I respect and donate to this site, but are you all trying to tell me tRump is lily-white and pure? I hate the American Far-Right Craporate Oligarchs as outlined in the Powell Memo blueprint. But the slant on some of these comments has me scratching my head.

              1. ThePodBayDoorsAreClosed

                I commented above that Trump is probably already the most investigated person in world history. That he is still, somehow, not wearing an orange jumpsuit, versus someone like H. Biden, for example, is definitely a curiosity

                1. wilroncanada

                  I read your comment above, as well as this one. And as to both: you’ve got to be kidding! How about M L King, or Malcolm X, or even a (prehistoric) singer named Paul Robeson. Warehouses full.

      2. neo-realist

        Garland is very much the Federalist Society institutionalist. For him and a Trump appointed FBI director to go as far as to take the measure of obtaining a warrant to search his home says that there was a belief of very strong evidence of some sort of crime on the premises.

        1. voteforno6

          It’s unclear (at least to me) who instigated this. Was it the FBI doing some freelance work? Is there a full-blown investigation out of DOJ? Garland seems to have the reputation of running a very tight ship, so there has to be something more that we haven’t been told.

        2. ThePodBayDoorsAreClosed

          Yes, I’m sure “the walls are closing in”. Oh, wait, that was RussiaGate

      3. Kenisha

        “Get off with charges of mere tax abuse”…And they will seal all the records, including everything on the laptop.

        How stupid do they think the American public is?

        1. Jim

          Supposedly, several copies of the laptop’s contents exist. Hard to imagine one of those won’t get leaked, even if a court declares them sealed.

      4. Aumua

        Yes I would love to see all living ex presidents get raided, and/or get held accountable for their crimes. But somehow the fact that it was Trump just cheapens and invalidates any positive side of it. It all ends up getting filed under “establishment persecution of Trump.” Whether it’s true or not. Even in the minds of people who aren’t particularly supportive of him.

        And as an aside, boo hoo hoo, poor Donald Trump you know… One thing you will never see Trump do is take any responsibility for anything he ever says or does, or ever admit that his actions might have anything to do with what happens to him. And you’ll never hear any right wing media personality criticize Trump in any way whatsoever these days. They will never have anything bad or even less than glowing praise to say about anything he ever says or does.

        It’s all so hypocritical, on all sides. I despair of the actual truth ever coming to light in such an environment.

    2. Sardonia

      A good “precedent” would be GWB, Cheney, and the dug-up corpse of Rumsfeld shackled together for a trial in The Hague.

      There’s your start….

      1. Fight Fire with Fire

        How about adding the war criminals and paedophiles Clintons and Blair as well as Albright to that gang of luminariries.
        They could also attend the court in a hung, drawn and quartered way. Then there would be some hope for justice.
        Otherwise it is all about protecting the temple.

    3. Louis Fyne

      if you thought politics were polarizing up to now, we have reached nuclear weapons level of no-holds-barred.

      2022-2024 will be a train wreck of political vitriol.

    4. Fraibert

      The ship has sailed on that kind of framing.

      When the FBI described Secretary Clinton’s handling of classified material as “extremely careless” when assessing her conduct against a statute where a mens rea of “gross negligence” was sufficient for criminal liability, the little remaining viability for the claim that the elite are not above the law was ruthlessly eliminated, especially with regard to federal law enforcement. Linguistic games of that kind simply show that the state legal apparatus will turn itself upside down for the right people.

      1. Pat

        Can you imagine any scenario where an FBI interview of Donald Trump would be done under an agreement that it would not be recorded and no notes taken, essentially making it off the record? Well that was how Mrs Clinton’s interview was handled before they whitewashed her actions (too much was known to entirely wipe it away, but ignore not only the gross negligence but that the whole purpose of her actions were illegal, that they could do).

        I almost always have a thing for the wrong people…looking at our gubernatorial slate here in NY, I long to have Spitzer back. Don’t even get me started on the congressional choices in the primary…

      2. fresno dan

        apologies for the 100th time I’ve quoted Humpty Dumpty, but ?he? offers the best description of American legal jurisprudence
        “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

        1. Fraibert

          It’s still a good quote to reference, but I think you should include the next few lines of that exchange. These are:

          “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

          “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

      3. Kenisha

        Mr.? Fraibert,

        I have noticed that most of the linguistic games arguments of the petty globalists in the media, working to dismantle society, are based on semantics, nothing more. “Racism” – “Privilege” – “Equity” etc.

        The Big Globalists, now they have more sophisticated arguments.

  5. You're soaking in it!

    Best Jewish delis? Heh, talk about a troll article, alright, I’ll bite!

    I’ll throw down for Katzinger’s in Columbus, OH. I never lived there, but right off of I-70, and I swear better knishes than I ever found in Brooklyn.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      only actually Jewish Deli i ever went to was Katz’s in Austin, there on west 6th.
      usually got a rueben and a Knish(like a mashed tater pancake/hashbrown thing), with that spicy mustard.
      “Katz’s never closes”…until they did, some years ago.

      there’s a sort of Jewish Quarter in San Antonio…and there used to be a deli and a few other eateries down there…but it’s been decades, and i don’t remember names.

      1. EGrise

        I miss Katz’s – my wife and I would go there every Christmas Eve to have dinner and see Mr. Katz dressed up as Santa Claus. His son opened a Katz’s in Houston, haven’t been there but heard it’s pretty good.

    2. petal

      I frequented S&S when I lived in Cambridge. Had to take the bus or hoof it a ways from the subway to get there, but it was worth it.

    3. .human

      There’s a Katz’s (any relation?) in Woodbridge, CT ( just north of New Haven) that is very good, but for the best pumpernickel or rye bread sandwiches in Connecticut Mrs Human and I would like to shout out Rein’s Deli in Vernon! (the bread is baked by a Latino in Deep River)

    4. Wukchumni

      We had Langer’s in LA and it was in a really shitty area around MacArthur Park, but you’d make the schlep for pastrami’s sake.

      My favorite Jewish delis were in the bottom right hand corner pocket on the pool table, they had this vibe about them that almost made up for them being stuck in Florida, but not quite.

    5. BeliTsari

      We’d done Russ & Daughter’s/cafe, Yonah Schimmel Kinishes & Murray’s) Zabar’s right around the corner (pastrami-cured salmon!) If you wear a P-100, side-shields & dress like you’re a psychotic Mafia Don in PJs & metatarsal-guard boots, the CRAZY ladies kvetching @98dB AT iPhones, sneezing, coughing, maskless don’t crowd you so much. But take-out & NO bathroom remains a bummer & we MISS Eisenberg’s & Azuri Cafe!

  6. bwilli123

    A view from India. Ex Ambassador MK Bhadrakumar

    An epochal transition.

    …”President Biden’s initiative in Jeddah to form a military alliance with the US’ closest West Asian allies to roll back Russian and Chinese influence not only had no takers but Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar have, instead, sought membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a regional security platform that Beijing and Moscow created! (SCO has already approved Iran’s accession.) Again, Saudi Arabia spurned Biden’s entreaties to abandon its OPEC+ alliance with Russia on oil production.

    The US’ narrative about ‘values’ of democracy, human rights and rule of law lack credibility in the non-western world where 86% of world’s population lives. Biden drew ridicule upon himself by once condemning Saudi Arabia as a ‘pariah’ state, only to embrace it 18 months later. US sponsorship of colour revolutions — latest being Sri Lanka — adds to the sense of insecurity of the global South, which has lost faith in the fairness of the US-led international system….”

  7. Toshiro_Mifune

    The Real Estate and Banking Crisis in China Is Spreading to Other Aspects of the Chinese Economy

    It is very hard to get any sort of a read on what is actually going on in the Chinese economy. I’ve been “kind of” paying attention to it for while now and still haven’t found any really good sources that I’d trust.
    For most of the later 00’s it certainly looked like it was, at first, over heated and then very very over heated and due for a correction but it just kind of kept chugging along with various stimuli packages/etc.
    There’s been various “ominous rumblings” about the precarious state of things for 10+ years now, especially since Evergrande. I just don’t know if its a bump in the road or much more serious. I’m leaning towards the later.
    The number of times I’ve heard or read that China was 6 months away from collapse in the past 15 years is very very large. Obviously that hasn’t happened. With the exception of a few, like Patrick Doyle, the coverage you get is either completely hyperbolic “OMG! Doom!!!” or “Nothing to see here”.
    Given some of the stats that have been thrown around (median salary to median home price being at a 76x multiple in some cities) it certainly looks bad. I just cant tell if this is the beginning to a real deal downturn or not.

    1. Polar Socialist

      What kind of economical sign is homes for garlic and watermelons?
      I’m not sure, but I assume that Indian business media does have a propensity of being relatively accurate in it’s reporting of China – at least compared to Western or Chinese media.

      I wonder if China is big enough to have the regional economies somewhat independent of each other, so that overheating and/or slumps can to some extent be contained within a region or two?

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Its an interesting question as to whether it could be handled region by region. China’s banks are most interlinked with government at the local, not national level.

        The problem is that to deflate one side of the economy (a gigantic one, housebuilding), you must balance that somewhere else to stop a local economic collapse. Its very difficult to do that at a regional level. At a national level in theory its quite simple – you just give everyone a pay rise and encourage them to spend a bit. The Chinese have experimented with things like local tokens to spend in restaurants (as part of the Covid response), which is IMO the right way to go, but for some reason they haven’t really expanded programmes like that.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      It is extremely hard to get a handle on what is going on. Even the term ‘overheated’ is probably inappropriate in the Chinese context, as it implies a sort of constant Keynesian over-stimulus, which is not what is happening. The core problem within China (one not denied by Beijing) is an imbalanced economy, one more and more dependent on internal investment to maintain sometimes fictional ‘growth’ figures. To a certain degree the Chinese economy is in a sort of internal race, between ‘real’ (i.e. productivity) growth represented by its huge advances in high tech and ‘fake’ (i.e. pouring concrete randomly over the countryside) growth. The obvious hope for Beijing is that the real productivity growth will eventually prove enough to cover over all the loss in value represented by overbuilding. For this to work, luck is as necessary as good judgement (the ROK is an example, where often incompetent leaders got bailed out by events outside their control).

      I’ve a background in economic geography and economic history, and as such I tend to groan when people write as if China is somehow a unique case in economic history. The only thing unusual about China is that China is very, very big, and so has a different overall impact on world output in comparison to, say, the ROK’s phenomenal growth from the late 1960’s onward. Countries like Brazil and Argentina have had periods of extraordinary growth lasting decades, but never achieved a breakthrough – but of course there are plenty of countries which have done so. The only real question is which path China will follow, and really thats anyones guess. You can make a convincing argument either way depending on which data sets and assumptions you use. I’ve tended to fall on the pessimists side of things, which has made me consistently wrong on China. So far.

      Maybe the first book on China’s modern economy I read was Gordon Changs much maligned (correctly so) work which predicted an imminent deflationary crash – this was back in the late 1990’s. But his fundamental argument wasn’t actually incorrect – plenty of Chinese academics at the time had warned that a focus on export led growth, domestic income suppression, and using infrastructure heavy expenditure was inherently risky and that there were other models that China could have followed. Given the immense range of tools the CCP has to hand, they are perfectly capable of keeping a constant level of growth going for many years. But eventually, years of investment in low productivity infrastructure will enact a deep cost on the economy. There are rumours, for example, that some of the latest HSR routes don’t even generate enough income to cover the electricity cost. And the rate of overbuilt homes is truly staggering.

      I very much doubt that the current property problems will bring China to its knees, although so far there are worrying signs that either local governments are mishandling it, or the problems within numerous banks are much worse than we think. But just this week Beijing has handed out yet more GDP targets to provincial leaders, which strongly suggests that they think the radical change needed (which they’ve been talking about for decades) can be postponed for another year.

      I’m inclined to agree with Michael Pettis that the most likely scenario is that China will avoid an all out crash, but a combination of malinvestment and bad demographics will lead to years of fairly stable stagnation. I think that its anyones guess as to which side of the middle income trap this ‘stagnation’ period will find an equilibrium. If it follows Japan, this may not necessarily be a bad thing for most Chinese people. But if you take the ‘big picture’ of Chinese history, it is full of periods of immense expansion, followed by near catastrophic collapses inward.

      1. Fraibert

        But isn’t the implied social contract between the Communist Party and the general populace that the former will deliver rising standards of living (not mere status quo) in exchange for generally preserving social harmony? I wonder if rising expectations make an equilibrium period more unstable that it might otherwise appear to be in this cultural/social context.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I think thats the crux of the matter. You would think that a strong autocratic government would be able to take a few hard decisions, but the CCP seem very risk averse. The social contract is real – very few Chinese seem to like the CCP, but they do respect and admire it. But at multiple levels Beijing has to balance up competing interest groups, and the more it grows the more powerful groups like the building industry or the export manufacturing industry becomes. My assumption has always been that they’ve been looking for the right moment (i.e. a crisis) to make the changes everyone seems to agree needs to be made. But they seem to miss every opportunity. It could be, as some suggest, that some sectors have simply become untouchable.

          1. Fraibert

            I do think a large part is that some sectors are now untouchable.

            Though, I also wonder to what extent the Communist Party’s caution is due to its specific cultural context.

            Particularly, I’ve come to wonder if “mandate of heaven” concept still applies in the background to constrain the Party. The Party has to be aware that failure to deliver (or simply too much unjust oppression) can be reframed (without much challenge, given the Chinese concept) as losing the mandate.

            Furthermore, with Premier Xi seeming to want to style himself as a kind of heir to imperial China (and having mostly, I understand, defeated former Premier Zemin’s allies), he (and his allies) are now the ones most directly subject to legitimate attack as having lost the mandate and therefore subject to removal.

            It’s just something I’ve wondered about though. I don’t have enough knowledge to do a real assessment, but I have a suspicion it in part explains the Party’s (and Xi’s) general caution. Chinese dynasties have come and gone, but the legitimacy bestown (and subsequently removed) by the “mandate of heaven” endured through many of them.

            1. Colonel Smithers

              Thank you, both.

              I often wonder / echo what PK asks.

              From spring 2008 – autumn 2012, I worked at the banking trade body in the City. Along with our big bank members, we frequently hosted young Chinese, Russian and Japanese officials on secondment, especially from the time the G20 got going in early 2009.

              We / I thought the Chinese and Russians would be keen to avoid the mistakes made in the west and learn when and how to act decisively, but one is still waiting.

              1. PlutoniumKun

                Many years ago I did some parachute jumps and I always remember the instructor telling me that they didn’t like to tell newbies to avoid particular hazards, as there was a known problem whereby the newbie would then fixate on that hazard and subconsciously steer towards it, rather than away. For some reason that has always stuck in my mind when observing Chinese policy. From the very beginning, the Chinese have intensively studied other models, in particular Japan, so they know all about the dangers of overinvestment and deflation and yet…. somehow they seem so fixated on it that they’ve forgotten to steer away. I’ve wondered if its a form of cognitive dissonance -a little like the covid doctors we’ve seen who behave as if knowing all about the virus somehow gives them a pass when it comes to taking precautions.

                I think there is a generational problem too. A few years back I dated a Chinese investment analyst. This is a one person anecdote, but it struck me when we’d argue over economics (a very frequent occurrence as she was very much a free market true believer) that she was of a generation (essentially, anyone in China under 45) who had known nothing but constant growth. She literally could not get her head around the idea that economies have anything but temporary blips, despite having a wall full of finance and business degrees. My feeling is that she wasn’t unique. The older generation of Chinese are super tough and resilient, but I do wonder about the younger ones.

                I know Prof. Hudson, who has studied this in detail, seems convinced that the Chinese know what they are doing and have the tools to deal with it. Maybe so, but the number of Chinese people I know who talk about rampant off-the-books lending and investing and nakedly obvious pyramid schemes makes me wonder if even insiders really know what is on the books in Chinese banks. The failure of the government to honor savings account guarantees recently makes me believe that they found a lot of sludge that nobody was expecting (the rumors are that people were sold deposit accounts that were actually investment vehicles, and so not covered by central bank guarantees).

                Anyway, time will tell.

            2. Joe Renter

              The mandate term was abandoned after the revolution, was it not? I happen to currently be reading, Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911- 1945. Great read. Westerns don’t really get China overall.

          2. Jessica

            I was only in China for a few weeks, only in Beijing and Shanghai*, and my Mandarin was intermediate level at best, but I definitely got the feeling that a lot of people put up with things only out of the hope that their turn to get the goodies would come. If that hope disappeared, I thought that the majority of folks who don’t have the China Dream would get pretty ornery pretty fast.
            The Chinese people have an unmatched centuries-long track record for rebelling when they think that the mandate of heaven has been lost.
            *Folks I have met who have travelled more widely in China assure me that the rest of the country is far more chill than Beijing and Shanghai.

      2. Left in Wisconsin

        I’m inclined to agree with Michael Pettis

        I would say Pettis disagrees with at least a part of your analysis. His argument, in my understanding, would be that the last thing China needs is more investment in its super-productive export industries, that the only way out of the trap China is now in (a trap that most of the western world would gladly embrace) is to substantially raise domestic purchasing power. Otherwise, as the export sector continues to generate enormous dollar surpluses (I guess trade surplus in recent months continues to set new all-time records – this year is up 57% from last year’s record surplus), they must be recycled in global capital markets, which among other nasty feedback effects only reinforces global wage suppression including in China. The focus on real estate is in effect a function of the unwillingness to support more domestic consumption.

        Here is a recent sample Tweeter thread:

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I never stated that China needs more investment in its productive export industries – I was referring to the ongoing very rapid increase in productivity in a range of industries which, it is assumed, is what will propel China to fully developed status. The Chinese strategy – often described quite explicitly – is to reach ‘developed’ status as fast as possible (which presumably means being a technology leader in a wide variety of industries), and then use the wealth to deal with the various problems created on the way up, whether they are economic, social or environmental. The speed with which China has caught up on a range of technologies is very impressive, the question is whether the productivity gains are sufficient to create the wealth needed to support the population at the required level, without using constant investment to paper up the cracks.

          1. Left in Wisconsin

            Sorry, I was taking issue with the link between productivity and growth/development, which is taken as a given by most economists due to circular reasoning but which Pettis to his credit recognizes is a more complicated story. Unless the fruits of that high productivity are widely shared and lead to (dramatically) greater consumer spending (which I believe is still less that 50% of GDP in China compared to more like 70% in the wealthier countries), Pettis would argue there is no way for China to “grow” into fully developed status. But every time there is a glitch in meeting growth targets (or worse), the gov’t doubles down on export promotion, which only maintains or reinforces the imbalanced growth (too much investment, not enough consumption).

            Export promotion is a zero-sum game globally. It can work as a development strategy for some smaller countries (as long as the US plays along), though Pettis would argue that even places like Germany and South Korea are suffering from depressed domestic demand. But China is too big… not only does export promotion put downward pressure on domestic wages (limiting domestic consumption) but also on global wages (limiting global consumption).

            Reading your initial comment over again, I see that you touched on this.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              Sorry, yes, I wasn’t very clear.

              One very important distinction Pettis makes is that while an export surplus over the long term is not a sign of strength – its a sign of an imbalanced economy, that doesn’t mean that exporting lots of high value goods isn’t a good thing – clearly, if you are making lots of high value goods that everyone else wants to buy, thats the way to be a rich country.

              1. spud

                this article was written before Bill Clinton came along, and much of the article is spot on.


                “Under either free immigration or free trade, however, the lower-wage nation enjoys only a short-term benefit. Rapid economic advance based on taking over the markets, the industries, and the jobs of high-income nations is likely to be a blind alley. Gradually, the higher-wage nation, deprived of its economic base, becomes poorer and its market shrinks—or it belatedly begins protecting itself from one-sided imports. The low-wage nation then may wish it had followed a pattern of economic growth that was sustainable and not parasitic.”

                “America’s rise to economic preeminence was based on the interaction between the market’s demand and the pace-setting industries that developed to meet that demand. The process was self-feeding. Favorable circumstances—the size of the U.S. market, extraordinary resources, freedom from overpopulation, a favorable position in the two world wars—gave the U.S. market a unique richness and diversity. This market was the magnet that drew forth the new industries that, in turn, created even more wealth. In the interaction of demand and supply, the U.S. economy became the pathbreaker for the world.”

                “Unlike the historical demand-and-supply relationship between market and industry, the new relationship that substitutes foreign industry for American industry represents an economic blind alley. The domestic markets of these foreign producers have neither the size nor the wealth to support their own industries. As they undercut U.S. production, however, they will gradually weaken the American economic base that they have come to depend on. Rather than a self-sustaining, self-reinforcing process, this new relationship becomes self-liquidating.”

    3. c_heale

      Well many countries have gone to war when things went badly wrong at home. Biden seems to be following this pattern. So if China’s economy collapses, then the US could well be involved in a hot war with China over Taiwan.

  8. fresno dan

    Global War On Terrorism Service Medal Full Size (GWOT): Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry Amazon (resilc)
    I clicked on the Amazon site – Wow, I didn’t know I could get a medal just just for being honorably discharged.
    A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.
    Napoleon Bonaparte

    1. Wukchumni

      Most medals awarded by the US military to GI Joes & Janes are of scant value largely because the recipient isn’t named and everybody gets a medal, cheapening the value to almost nothing.

      A standard WW2 medal awarded for the Pacific or European campaigns is worth a few bucks, ho hum.

      The most valuable medal-a Congressional Medal of Honor, can’t be sold, unlike a Victoria Cross in the UK or commonwealth.

      When I was pushing old medal in the UK in the 1980’s, it dawned on me that there were more collectors of British military medals, than coin collectors.

      The big difference being that every British war medal from around 1800 onwards was embossed on the edge with the name of the soldier & which regiment he was from. Combined with military records it was pretty easy to tell what ensign Joe Bloggs did to be awarded such an honor, and the more heroic-the higher the collector value.

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘and everybody gets a medal’

        Got that right. After the 1983 invasion of Granada was over, it was noted that more medals were awarded for that invasion than the actual number of US military personnel on Granada itself.

        1. Wukchumni

          I was in a friend’s coin store circa 1993 and a Desert Storm vet comes in with a chintzy bronze medal the Saudi’s gave to everybody involved in the conflict and worth precisely nothing or close to it, and my buddy let him down easily by neglecting to make an offer, and said vet asked if he’d be interested in photos he’d taken of the highway of death?

          My friend wasn’t gonna say no, and said vet goes out to his car and brings in around 50 photos of such carnage asada like you wouldn’t believe, Iraqi tankers who managed to get halfway out of their tanks before being burned to a crisp, or trucks with the driver and passenger seared into their seats, it was something I probably shouldn’t have looked at, as the images still linger in my mind, 30 years later.

          1. ambrit

            The Iraki “Highway of Death” was a case of a gung ho general defying orders to shoot that column up. Nothing meaningful happened to the officer. The Irakis “had a deal” to run on up to Baghdad unmolested if they stopped fighting. The Irakis kept their end of the bargain. The Americans did not. This is considered a foundational issue in the creation of the Iraki insurgency against the American occupation of Irak later. That and the disbanding of the Iraki military units right after the war. This was a perfect set up for an insurgency; betrayal of agreements by the ‘victors,’ and thousands of trained soldiers put out onto the streets. It’s no wonder the “Occupation” of Irak was so bloody, we set it up that way.

            1. John

              America…agreement incapable…as someone has frequently said. Perfidious Amerika replaces Perfidious Albion. Must be something that goes with empire.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Russia Suspends Bilateral Inspections in Nuclear Weapons Treaty”

    That START treaty is the only one left that the US has not exited and I would not be surprised to see Biden abandon it using the NATO-Russia war as an excuse. And that idiotic AUKUS submarine deal just put a torpedo in the side of nuclear non-proliferation. All the guard rails that had been put in place over the past forty years are being removed and the absence of trust between the big powers is worse than what it was during the the First Cold War. This is definitely not the future that I ordered!

    1. Irrational

      Yeah, and all the Western media coverage I see is how Russia will not allow inspections there, when they supposedly suspended because they cannot inspect the US due to sanctions. Propaganda full blast.

  10. Tom Stone

    The Feebs have a little problem with credibility these days, if they don’t have a rock solid basis for that search warrant the blow back is going to be epic.
    And it should be.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      remember when there was a liberal universalist insistence that even the most hated man deserves Due Process?
      good times

      ….and yes, i know it was more affirmation than actual reality, but still.
      “just take him out and shoot him” used to be a Right Wing/Fascist thing.
      Bipartisanship, at last.

  11. Lex

    What a stupid move by Biden. And I do not buy that the WH didn’t know the FBI was going to raid a former president’s residence. I’m pretty sure that’s the sort of thing you make sure everyone’s ok with before setting such a precedent. Oh the wailing we’ll be treated to if/when Biden is president with a GOP congress and the political impeachment we’ll be treated to. Not sure how we can avoid presidential politics descending into impeachments and police raids and such as the new normal.

    In combination with the mortality piece this morning it becomes impossible to argue that we are not a “third world” nation in an expensive suit.

    1. smashsc

      I’ll put “FBI seizes Joe Biden’s Congressional records from the University of Delaware” on my 2025 bingo card (if a Republican is elected as President).

    2. Louis Fyne

      perhaps more like stupid move by Jill Biden. I wonder if she’s is the Mrs. Wilson of our day.

      I doubt the real story will ever come out. maybe in 25 years when Jake Sullivan finds Jesus and wants to confess his sins like Bob MacNamara

    3. fresno dan

      What I think is more interesting is: Did McConnell know about (and condone/accept it?) And did McCarthy know about it (and condone/accept it?). What will be interesting is if there is a repub retaking of the senate and/or house, will any of the “investigations” be meaninful, i.e., actual legislation that restrains the FBI – I think not. (there is plenty of FBI malfeasance, but can anyone seriously believe that anyone in congress will do anything to effectively restrain the FBI?)
      I’ve said it many times – the differences between dems and repubs is all kabuki. I have no doubt that many Trump political supporters are anything but.
      Example: In the midst of GOP lawmakers’ allegations of the investigation being politically motivated, it is worth noting that Wray, the FBI chief, was a Trump appointee nominated in June 2017. At the time, Trump described him as “a man of impeccable credentials.
      Who said if you want loyality in Washington, get a dog?

      1. Lex

        Oh now that would really stir up the pot. I could see McConnell being in on it but McCarthy would surprise me. I’m not sure they would need to be informed the way the WH would necessarily need to be informed, but I could see either or both being informed. The timing is suspiciously right on the heels of Trump announcing he’d run, Trump killing DeSantis in the CPAC straw poll and the liberal twitterati being ready to point out that if guilty Trump would be barred from standing for election.

        I think the great problem with presidential politics taking this track is that the investigations won’t be meaningful but just an escalation of the attack ad politics, which will further degrade any chance we have that politicians will stand for doing something rather than against their mortal enemy political party.

        1. jsn

          This looks like entering the realm of chaos.

          If you figure, as paranoid little me does, that Epstein Studios was just the Upper East Side site of the vast international intelligence agency Blackmail Productions, whoever is behind all of that is who Xi and Putin, in Caitlin Johnstone’s formulation, want to talk to.

          Sadly, possibly for the world, definitely for the US, no one is: it’s degenerated into an impenetrable, semi-siloed bureaucracy where competing Oligarchs buy and sell opportunists to slide some text into a 1000 page bill, grease a vote, tilt the balance on securing a contract etc.. And what once was The Security State has degenerated into just another venue for buying and selling the opportunists. Theres’ no there there except for the giant, self-consuming Ouroboros of a failed empire seeking to become it’s constituent parts at some workable scale where someone actually has final control over something.

          1. Carolinian

            Re the Caitlin–of course in our system it is the press that is supposed to be pulling back the curtain on the little man–US bureacracy–who is pulling the levers. Therefore gaining control of the media was always job one for any prospective Deep State and the fact that they have mostly succeeded suggests that such a creature does in fact exist. I’ve always thought that one of the main jobs of the web was to keep the press honest since suckuppery is more their tendency. Of course this is where the “fake news” attack comes from. Our would be Woodward and Bernsteins can dish it out but not take it.

        2. fresno dan

          which will further degrade any chance we have that politicians will stand for doing something rather than against their mortal enemy political party.
          I think that is the real plan…

    4. voteforno6

      The White House may have been notified beforehand, but I would be a little surprised if they had any more involvement than that. It would be too politically treacherous for them to interfere in something like this one way or the other. I don’t think we know nearly all that’s going on.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “First North Korean builders will come to DPR in the near future”

    Part of a larger trend. The Ruble is strong right now and is drawing in millions of people to live and work in Russia. In fact-

    ‘In the second quarter of 2022 there were 4.16 million foreigners on migration registration… while 3.12 million people (75%) indicated work as the purpose of arrival. This is a record high quarterly value for the entire period of available statistics since 2017’

    I suppose that there will be a boat load of work that needs to be done to rebuild places like the Donbass and there is all sorts of construction going on in Mariupol right now. It would only be natural to recruit workers from North Korea as I believe that they have a good reputation as workers and really, what is the west going to do if this happens threatening their embargo of anything North Korean? Will they threaten to sanction Russia?

    1. Louis Fyne

      can’t sanction a nation-state (DPR-LNR) that doesn’t exist. that is some 4-D chess.

    2. digi_owl

      Given that Polish shipyards has used NK workers in the past, to the Danish coastguard’s chagrin, not much i suspect.

  13. Jason Boxman

    Billionaire Bloomberg writes:

    From the Suwalki Gap to the Taiwan Strait, the US military faces no shortage of potential crises. But perhaps its biggest challenge lies close to home: A dwindling number of Americans are able and willing to serve in uniform. To maintain the military’s edge, the Pentagon needs to rethink how it recruits and retains troops — while also preparing to fight future wars with a leaner active-duty force.

    (bold mine)

    It seems like, based on what we’ve seen in Ukraine, we really don’t need a “leaner” force. If we want to really mix it up with Russia or China, we need more soldiers, not less.

    Despite such efforts, the US may well have to do more with less in the years ahead. Investments in unmanned weapons systems, artificial intelligence and higher-precision munitions have the potential to reduce manpower requirements. Greater collaboration with the private sector and smarter use of commercial technologies would allow the Pentagon to turn over more technical tasks, such as IT services, to civilian employees and contractors. The US should also press regional allies, particularly its NATO partners in Europe, to contribute more to collective defense.

    Well, technology, of course! And privatization. Although I can’t disagree with NATO members providing for their own defense, but then we’d need to recognize that Europe and Russian are better off on friendly terms, than antagonists at the US’ behest.

    Anyway, with genius like this, Bloomberg would’ve made such a great president! He can write a column as long as he wants in his own publication, and barely manages 10 paragraphs that say little to nothing of value.

    Well done!

    (No paywall, though!)

    1. Louis Fyne

      the answer is simple—-stop the expeditionary posture of the US military, disband NATO. Move to a 1938 posture for the US military.

      Will never happen as every adversary is the next 1939 German while too much money, civilian jobs and Pentagon brass would be on the chopping block.

      1. digi_owl

        I think you need to go back to before the Monroe doctrine to find a US military without a expeditionary posture.

        After all, Butler published his War Is a Racket after having served in the Marines from 1898 to 1931.

        1. Wukchumni

          Except from the period of the fall of Saigon until Operation Urgent Fury in 1983, we’ve been on constant war footing.

          When I was in high school during that period, only losers enlisted in the military was the feeling one got, and Stripes was indicative of that concept, a place for misfits.

          1. Anthony G Stegman

            Between 1975 and 1983 the United States constantly probed Soviet defenses. B52 bombers armed with thermonuclear weapons routinely flew right up to Soviet airspace in order to test/measure the Soviet air defense responses. Those days were most certainly not “peacetime”. In many ways, they were very dangerous times where the slightest miscalculation could have led to global nuclear war.

            Read this article from Counterpunch:

    2. The Rev Kev

      There is one factor that Bloomberg failed to mention and it was the effects of the ongoing Pandemic. About a year or so ago the Pentagon put out a mandate that they would accept no recruit that had been hospitalized by this virus as the long-term health effects were getting dodgy. And as now people can potentially get reinfected on a monthly basis and a one-in-three chance of getting permanent damage each time, what will that do to the pool of potential recruits long-term? I am not kidding when I say that eventually it may lead to the US forming their own Foreign Legions from still healthy recruits from overseas. Maybe this explains too the present experiments with pilot-less aircraft and crew-less ships-

      1. Louis Fyne

        An empire hires non-citizens to fill gaps left by a nihilistic citizenry.

        where have I heard this before, lol?

        Just cut out the middle-man and build AI-powered, networked robots to defend the US. what can go wrong?

        1. hk

          An empire with non-citizen soldiers might feel emboldened to sic them in its own citizens. The catch is that that did not go well for Louis XVI and the Swiss Guards.

        2. c_heale

          The US has been doing this for a long time. Remember all the mercenary groups in Iraq. There are various mercenary groups in Ukraine on both sides now, aren’t there?

      2. fresno dan

        Even with an all volunteer force, I think American foreign policy is constrained by the number of casualties it can withstand. The number of casualties tolerated in Iraq and Afghanistan was probably higher because one could make the argument of defending the country (not that I buy it). Hard to see, even with 24/7 propaganda, that the same level of killed and woulded would be accepted for Ukraine. On the other hand, I am always disappointed with the passivity and gullibility of the electorite at accepting US adventurism.

        1. Louis Fyne

          iraq and afghanistan also had a atypical distortion in which most wounded found themselves in rear area hospitals within 60 mins. of injury.

          that will not happen in Ukraine, too much artillery and air defense will make extraction too dangerous

    3. Maxwell Johnston

      Bloomberg should stick to his area of expertise and avoid pontificating on matters military.

      Not everyone in the USA’s MIC is oblivious to the military lessons of the Ukraine conflict. Here is a good summary (even the monkeys at War on the Rocks type the occasional bestseller) of some unfortunate realities that the Pentagon et al might be reluctant to digest:

      The times they are a changin’.

      1. BillS

        Thanks for the link Maxwell. I think one big question for the USA would be, would a new generation of soldiers from flyover country be willing to fight for their oligarch overlords and coastal elites (who would obviously be exempt from any military service). The feeling I get from many veterans of the GWOT is a sense of betrayal by the State – the lies, grifting and abandonment. Many would counsel the new generation to avoid the Army of Empire.

        Napoleon’s soldiers, on the other hand, were VERY motivated by republican ideas (even if Napoleon eventually betrayed those ideas, crowning himself emperor). Frederick the Great’s were also motivated by their Pan-germanism. Is anyone motivated by anything in the USA anymore that isn’t the almighty dollar..or just trying to survive? Is that even worth fighting for?

        It’s not just USians, Europeans are also starting to display similar sullen apathy.

        1. Maxwell Johnston

          Don’t live in the USA (…whew…) so cannot say with certainty, but my best guess is that young folks in flyover country aren’t going to eat the dog food anymore (look at the Pentagon’s ongoing difficulties meeting its recruiting targets). It’s one thing to sign up for college tuition and a low risk of being wounded in a third world backwater, but it’s quite something else to sign up to be killed or maimed by the Russians or Chinese or Persians.

          As for European youth lining up voluntarily to serve in their underequipped militaries……LOL.

        2. Fraibert

          The elite openly mock the values and beliefs that most of the enlisted hold, and they’ve made it no secret that they think that residents of flyover country (more likely to consider enlistment) are dumb. Then, in the military, the leaders mandate DEI training of the usual type, so the majority of enlistees (still white) can be told that they are fundamentally, irrevocably evil people. I don’t see how the elite expect this to work out for military recruitment or retention.

          1. orlbucfan

            You want to stir up a real riot against the MICC? Reinstate the draft, no exceptions even for oligarchic offspring. Make sure the no exceptions are enforced with real fangs. I, for one, would love to see the results.

      2. Polar Socialist

        I wonder where the idea or concept of a short war has come, since a quick back-of-the-envelope calculations says the last 10 US wars* lasted on average 7 years, which is approximately 2.3 Korean Wars.

        * according to Wikipedia, so it’s likely missing some “special military operations”.

      3. fresno dan

        It may call into question some deeply held U.S. military axioms. Two of these are particularly important. First, is the belief that future wars will be short, decisive affairs. Second, the complexities of modern warfare demand professional forces in being. The second point is a corollary of the first: If wars are short, then only the forces available at, or shortly after, their inception have utility.

        As we shall see, this has become a self-fulfilling prophecy that, if proven false, has potentially disastrous consequences for the United States. Specifically, if future wars with peers are protracted and involve significant attrition, can countries with relatively small, all-volunteer armies and no ready and robust personnel replacement systems prevail?
        The US military has an axiom that wars (in the future) will be short? Uh, Afghanistan?
        Really, how could the US military think that? Other than nuclear war, although short wars are possible, it seems that is quite a bit of hubris…

        1. Maxwell Johnston

          I fully agree that most recent USA wars (A-stan, Iraq, Syria ongoing) have been long drawn-out affairs. Even Korea and ‘Nam dragged on. I’m just relating a viewpoint from the heart of the blob (one of its more intelligent members, actually). It’s a very low bar, but we gotta start somewhere.

          1. Anthony G Stegman

            Wars against developed nations may be relatively short due to the resulting heavy damage to infrastructure. Afghanistan has little infrastructure, so the locals didn’t have much to lose by prolonging the fighting using guerilla tactics. Besides, from the US perspective that was never a full fledged war. The war in Ukraine is not a full fledged war. Had it been it may well be over by now since there would nothing much left to fight for (I’m assuming the full fledged war remained non-nuclear). If Russia and NATO were to fight a full fledged war (assuming it non-nuclear) it may well be relatively short as well. Either Russian forces and infrastructure will be decimated with Russia suing for peace, or NATO nation capitals will be hard hit with various NATO members suing for peace. The war would not go on for years.

      4. Keith Howard

        Thank you for pointing out this illuminating essay. I was especially struck by this:

        “It is worth recalling that the August 1941 bill to extend selective service to begin preparing the U.S. Armed Forces for World War II passed by only one vote in the House of Representatives. This was after Germany had conquered most of continental Europe and was driving deep into the Soviet Union.”

        The Congress of 1941 had nothing on our present Congress in terms of pusillanimity.

        1. Joe Renter

          You have to take into account how large of a pacifist movement there was at that time. The war to end all wars was still in the minds of the population.

    4. digi_owl

      Watch Pentagon try to bolster unit count by heavy use of armed robodogs and other toys. DARPA will have a lot more to do going forward.

  14. Jason Boxman

    The Anti-Vaccine Movement’s New Frontier

    Froehlke estimates that he has faced around 20 such parents, maybe more: a father who said he had done his own research and sent Froehlke a ream of printouts from right-wing and anti-vaccine websites to prove it; a mother (who is a nurse) who adamantly refused routine boosters for a kindergarten-age daughter — and then later, when the child got sick with Covid-19, asked Froehlke without success to give the deworming drug ivermectin to her. The overall number of these new doubters in his practice hasn’t been large, he says, but considering it was almost zero before the pandemic, the trend is both notable and worrisome.

    When public health entirely discredits itself — thanks Biden! — what would you expect? You kind of have to “do your own research” because you have to assume the Establishment is lying to you. See for example, masks, and theory of transmission. Or the seemingly questionable data Pfizer released in the beginning, with the FDA offering an assist in preventing further disclosures of data on a vaccination now in widespread use. Trust much?

    And of course the propagandists gotta propaganda, so “dewormer” is slipped in there.

    And it isn’t clear there’s any reason to be vaccinating children anyway. When do we start hearing about “booster” schedules for children for COVID shots?

    Why not eliminate the virus, or invest in ventilation? It seems outbreaks of preventable disease might become commonplace in the US, again, for viruses that require a high level of vaccination to be kept under control.

    Fun times!

  15. smashsc

    My solidly Democrat wife and daughter, when seeing the “papers in the toilet” story on CNN said “no. That looks staged. I don’t believe that’s real”

  16. JIG

    Re Military recruitment:

    What ever happened to meaningful physical education for high school students? If TPTB were to reinstitute programs like that in the link below, the obesity epidemic would disappear.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I think that the featured programs were in California going by the names. Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, who helped pioneer aerobics, said in one of his books that new recruits from California were – sight unseen – physically fit already upon arrival. But then California shut down that program and not that long after, he said that the recruits from California were just like those from all the other States in terms of fitness-

    1. John Beech

      64 years old, 5’8″ tall, bike every day for 45-minutes, and consuming an average calorie ‘diet’ of 1138/day for going on 19-weeks. Pounds lost? 20, but holding steady for 17-days, and counting (284 to 264) but nothing for a tad over two weeks. Nothing, not one pound shed!

      Major point being, everything going down the pie hole is input into the app, using scales in grams, scanning the packaging bar codes when possible, using cup measures when not (and always in combination with the gram-scale).

      1138 kcals/day is not an error. Something is wrong with the math. I persist because if nothing else, I’m stubborn but believe me, <1200/day is not especially fun. Anyway, we shall see where this ends.

      1. CanCyn

        You have slowed down your metabolism by eating so little, body doesn’t want to burn calories anymore. Add some weight training to your exercise regime, that might help.

      2. Anthony G Stegman

        Try drinking 5-8 cups of green tea daily. Do not add any sweeteners to the tea. You may be surprised how much weight you will lose.

      3. Jason Boxman

        Sounds like The Hacker’s Diet I’ve used successfully myself.

        Today I use a system based on lean body mass, which you want to keep. It focuses exclusively on lean proteins only. No carbs. No fats. Vegetables, but not starchy.

        You get one free meal and one refeed a week. The later is about 5 hours during which carbs and fats are okay within reason. The former is an hour with again everything on the table, in moderation.

        Also fish oil and multivitamin.

        A few ways to guess lean body mass. Internet search is a friend here.

        In any case, you’re looking at maybe a pound a week give or take. The free meal and refeed are too prevent getting stuck, as it seems you might be.

        Bravo for sticking with it. It’s definitely not pleasant. Chicken and Turkey breast are a good bet. Sugar free beef jerky. Protein powder without flavor. Non fat Greek yogurt plain. Lean Turkey bacon. I’ve found some very lean cooked ham, only a carb a serving tastes great. Other choices abound as well.

        Good luck!

      4. Yves Smith Post author

        Human bodies are not machines. They are adaptation devices for survival.

        Calorie restriction for more than a week or two resets your metabolism lower.

        You need to trick your body and either:

        1. 1 week somewhat restricted intake

        2. 1 week very restricted intake

        3. 1 week normal w/o going crazy.



        5 days restricted calorie eating, 2 days normal (not going nuts, not Ben & Jerry’s binges) and repeat.

        Also weight training much more productive for weight loss. Yours truly would do marathons on the stair machine (2-4 hours at level 8 out of 10). No effect on my weight.

        You weight train 3x a week max, 60 minutes a session max.

        Weight training properly done generates lactic acid, which increase HGH, which increases your metabolism. Cardio does not save when you are working out.

        Also increasing muscle mass will increase your base metabolism. It takes more calories to maintain more muscle.

        And weight training is the single best thing you can do in the anti aging category. Unlike cardio, increases grey matter in the balance and coordination centers in the brain. Strength is the single health metric that correlates best with biological (as opposed to calendar) age. Muscle mass is the #2 metric. Also increases bone density.

  17. Lexx

    ‘Seattle ‘Karen’ Calls Cops On Black Man For Standing On His Own Property’

    Two items of note… those Seattle lawns behind her look dead… and a gay couple moved from Texas to Seattle to avoid such an interaction with a bigot.

    My mother had to put in a sprinkler system twenty years ago to keep her lawn from dying due to insect infestation from the grass being stressed out with the increasing heat. That would be in Chehalis, south of the capital, Olympia. Growing up there, it would have sounded insane for anyone to put in sprinklers, it rained so often even in summer that lawns were perpetually green. This was true of most of western Washington state. Not the wettest part of the U.S.* but probably the most overcast with fewest days of annual sunshine.

    Seattle is a big city on the ‘liberal’ west coast, but it has its share of home-grown small minds. Bigots are also allowed to freely move about the U.S. willy-nilly, settling down just any ol’ place within their budget. They like convenient shopping, solid infrastructure, affordable housing, and good schools. Some of them are from Texas, and they vote Republican! We make assumptions and project our world views, including gay couples from Texas.

    Was ‘Karen’ a native? Washingtonians have strong ideas about length of residency before one can call themselves ‘ a local’. Sometimes that length is a lifetime.

    The whole notion of being “from” some place, when you’ve been from a lot of places gets problematic when displaying a sense of proprietorship, and then intervening on behalf of your sense of property or territory.

    Are there any blue liberal oases left, where one is free to just ‘be’, without having to fight for that freedom? Hasn’t it ever been so?

    *Maybe in the top 10 for number of inches of rain annually, but there are wetter parts of the U.S… memory of old stats though.

    1. Jessica

      In terms of inches per year, Seattle doesn’t actually get an exceptionally large amount of precipitation. Almost the same as NYC. But having lived in the area for a few years, it has to be near the top in the nation for the percentage of time that it is raining.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I lived for 3 years in western Oregon, so presumably similar amounts of rain. The saying was if you didn’t like the weather, wait 20 minutes. Lots of light drizzles. I never minded it because the temperature was pretty much always mild, unless one of the rare thunderstorms, not much wind, and the ambient light level was alway pretty high (as in the rain would usually come with only light/partial cloud cover).

        The subjective experience is likely different in Seattle by virtue of being colder and less bright sun due to higher latitude.

        1. Questa Nota

          Seattle residents have a saying: If you are lucky, summer falls on a weekend.

          They even take sun breaks when the clouds part enough.

          On those sunny days, the area is glorious with mountains on both sides of Puget Sound in view, maybe even billowing sails on the water.

    2. Eclair

      We live in Seattle in the winter and our son is a long-time resident. Although I can attest to the constant rain in the winter months, June, July, August and September are ‘brown lawn’ months. There is minimal rain, and July is historically the driest month.Usually, less than an inch of rain falls.

      Seattle city residents, if they have not planted their yards with veggies or rosemary, proudly sport their brown lawns. It is considered unethical to water, unless you are a newly rich tech-lord who flaunts it.

    3. hunkerdown

      Do people who arrogantly deprive others of that right to “be” on account of the liberal ideology of property and the supposed moral right to “improve” others deserve a moment’s peace?

      What is this childish revanchism about “ever were”, anyway? The point of a myth is to never have happened.

    4. Copeland

      15 year resident of Seattle, now west Willamette Valley Oregon. Summer Brown is embraced both places. Weeds welcome too, proves you don’t spray. Rain is scarce to non-existent in summer, both places, always has been. The most binary climate I’ve ever experienced, either way too wet or way too dry…but becoming much drier here in Oregon.

    5. LifelongLib

      Buried in the article is the fact that the “Karen” knew the people who had previously been living in the house but wasn’t aware that they’d moved. So calling the cops seems reasonable. Asking to see the lease sounds out of line though.

  18. The Historian

    Frankly, I’m not going to waste any concern on the FBI raiding Trump’s residence. Of course it is politically motivated. Trump is a political creature. But none of this kabuki theater gets at the real reasons Trump was so bad, does it? And it doesn’t do anything about all of the rest of the politicians, equally as bad, either. I heard some squawking head on TV last night comparing this raid to the IRS’s raid on Capone – yea. Did that really get rid of the Mafia?

    Anyway, by the time we get to this point, there is no Republic left, only it’s shadow. As Rome goes……just more Marius/Sulla. If we are the ‘chosen people’ we think we are, we’d better start looking for a new John the Baptist or Jesus. And no, it’s not going to come from the Evangelicals – they are the new age Sadducees – in bed with the captors.

    1. B flat

      A better comparison than the IRS raid on Capone’s safe would be Geraldo’s opening Al Capone’s safe – sad trombone, Dems.

    2. Mildred Montana

      >”Of course it [the search of Trump’s residence] is politically motivated.”

      I’m getting a little tired of talking heads spouting the thoughtless and facile phrase, “It’s politically motivated.” So? What in Washington is not politically motivated to one degree or another? But by their reasoning (sic) any alleged wrong-doing on the part of presidents or congresspersons should NEVER be investigated because the inquiry could be politically motivated.

      Taken to the logical extreme, this would mean no investigations of any politicians in Washington, anytime or for anything. Ergo, no Watergate. By the idiotic thinking (sic) of so many of the commentators today, Nixon and friends should have been allowed to authorize a break-in, pay the burglars, and obstruct justice because any accusations against them would have been, to use again that detestable phrase, “politically motivated”.

      I ask the so-called pundits to look into themselves and admit that sometimes wrong is wrong and black is black, regardless of location.

  19. zagonostra


    I don’t think that most people understand the implication/import of what just happened in American Politics after yesterday’s raid at Trump’s residence in WPB. This is a big story that will only get bigger as the day goes by…sadly a flawed and defective person has, with this foolish overreach, become the focal point of a huge political realignment.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Seemingly the Democrats are the ones who fall into the “Streisand Effect” trap more often than the GOP.

    2. pjay

      Exactly. This raid, the blatant public self-censorship by MSM bastion CBS, and numerous other daily incidents that once would have been shocking are telling me that Zappa’s “brick wall at the back of the theater” is within sight. We’re not even trying to pretend anymore.

    3. voteforno6

      How so? I doubt many people, except the extremely online, will really care all that much. They have their own lives to live, and the outcome of a pissing contest between various factions of the ruling elite probably isn’t too high on their list of priorities.

      1. pjay

        I guarantee you that half the country will care a whole lot, and not in a good way. And the other half should.

        1. voteforno6

          Once again, why? Will they care about this more than, say, how much it costs to go to the grocery store? Or, will they care about this more than Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars?

          1. zagonostra

            “I doubt many people…will really care all that much.” Undoubtedly you are correct, but many will, and I would venture that most readers who come here to NC, where political news is covered, rather than sites that feature stories like Will Smith slapping Chris Rock and are part of the mass distraction machine, will.

        2. hunkerdown

          Caring about capitalist theories of property is a luxury only available to those to whom such property is available. The rest of us would do better to spoil the entire game.

        3. John Beech

          pjay writes . . . I guarantee you that half the country will care a whole lot, and not in a good way. And the other half should.

          Oh brother is he right! Dumb Dems kicked over the ant hill for no good reason. And because they have also offended a fair number of Democrats within that hill (from the other half that should), then this story lasts more than the 100 days to November.

          Me? I’m thinking it lasts another 730 days beyond elections this fall and into 2024. Wonder if the line just changed substantially on Trump being sworn in again? Punters always know.

          So let me add an AMEN to what pjay just said.

  20. simjam

    Basic question: Who or what is behind the virtual media unanimity regarding Ukraine and most other foreign policy positions. No guesses, only if you know.

    1. Louis Fyne

      no one knows unless Sulzberger the III (editor of the NY Times), Jake Sullivan, and Victoria Nuland host a coffee meet-up at the local VFW.

    2. hunkerdown

      The entire state apparatus exists to ensure its own reproduction at all costs. “Who” doesn’t really matter, but the middle class as a whole is highly implicated, even more so the “political” class who talks like canvassers.

    3. nippersdad

      This might have something to do with it, just connect the dots:

      Our MSM is owned by six multi-national conglomerates,* most of whom have tentacles within the MIC, so you are essentially talking about the PR arms of companies like General Dynamics and Raytheon.**



      And then there are the ties between think tanks/foreign governments and non-profits:

      So it is a mutual admiration society bound together by money. The Clintons are the most obvious, but the MIC works in pretty predictable ways with most of our pols. Money does, indeed, make the world go ’round.

      1. hunkerdown

        It’s bound together by a vision of society that believes in “commitments”. Not all debts are monetary. Makes you wonder what Lynn Forester de Rothschild took out of Hillary’s hide after that one email.

    4. Pat

      Please do not forget media consolidation. When probably 90% of the media you see the most is owned by 4 or 5 corporations, whose major interest is profits not journalism, it is far easier to have them coordinate.
      Why and who is directing them is harder to suss out, but remembering that a century ago there really was more independent and local media and that the main outlets were more diverse is clarifying in some respects.

      1. .human

        There was a report read into the Congressional Record in the early part of the 20th century decrying the fact of media consolidation during the late 19th century. I have been unable to find it for while, but, point out that this is nothing new.

  21. Larry

    I’m likely missing the earmarks, but the story is so new I haven’t seen many details. Perhaps Trump was given a chance to cooperate and failed and a search warrant was approved for a narrow case. Perhaps he won’t be prosecuted at the end of this.

    Hillary was also investigated for mishandling of public records, though ultimately not prosecuted. Her case strikes me as being quite similar to this early breaking case.

    Eveything with these two is so polarizing that anything bad that happens to them through their own malfeasance is deemed as political. It’s hard to escape that, but what is the alternative? Never investigate wrongdoing by the most powerful people?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      My right wing buddy (who is a lawyer) said Trump has put the records at issue in a separate room and the FBI had access. Also claimed the FBI broke into a safe that was outside the parameters of the warrant and the safe was empty. Given the state of search, I can’t find any corroboration. If true or at least colorable, Tucker will be all over it this evening, so I can wait for facts and rumors to shake out a bit more. Then we can assess the caliber of the efforts to debunk any Tucker/Fox defenses.

      If something along these lines is true, the raid would be a massive and very improper fishing expedition. I am sure given Trump hatred not hard to find a judge that would sign anything v. him.

      1. Tom Stone

        At least we can count on the FBI (As an institution) being as truthy as it can be given the circumstances.

      2. Goober Snacked

        Would an empty safe be locked? Nevertheless, warrants describe the evidentiary items sought and the perimeter of the premises within the search will be conducted, not the containers in which property is kept. The US Constitution prohibits looking in things smaller in dimensions than the items sought re: Tv’s in sugar bowls. And prohibits speculation. There must be an affidavit by someone with first hand knowledge of something in DT’s possession. That’s the whole unambiguous case law enchilada. Classified documents for sale can be searched for anywhere a 8.5×11 sheet could be placed. Because what isn’t for sale with this guy. The FBI found whatever for which they were looking.

        For better or worse, elections are ran at the state level where a name can be prohibited by state law from being placed on a ballot, even at the top, if not by all the state’s, then by enough states.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Western sanctions are good for Moscow – US economist”

    This article finishes with the following line-

    ‘Basically, Washington doesn’t care if Russia wins the war [in Ukraine], because the US has succeeded in eliminating its competition in Europe, especially Germany.’

    I can well and truly believe that but here is the thing. How are the NATO nations suppose to get the money to fund all the weapons that the US wants to sell it? Having each nation spend 2% of their GDP is sounding like it may now be unrealistic. Of course the idea may be to savagely cut back on social spending and services but if the people in the different nations don’t outright revolt, they will replace their governments as fast as they can. Are they going to try to put down revolts in all 30 NATO member nations?

    1. Polar Socialist

      NATO and MIC will probably soon introduce long term leasing of weapon systems. No huge one-time purchases but annual rent and license fees. And if you get the Platinum Pro Package for Night Fighting, that thermal sight in your new tank will be enabled, too!

    2. Lex

      I know Dr. Hudson says that destroying Europe was the actual plan all along and I know that I don’t have the economic chops or connections to argue against him, but it seems too extreme. I can very easily see one of the “goals” being increasing EU dependency on the US but I simply cannot imagine that the plan was what we’re seeing now. Collapsing the EU economy and likely destabilizing its individual and collective politics doesn’t actually help the US. Can the US economy escape the contagion of serious EU economic problems? I still maintain that all the contracts in the world can be signed but the US MIC is not going to be able to rearm Europe on a reasonable timeline nor will Europe be able to afford the rearmament.

      What I can see in the conspiracy theory corner of my brain was a plan to grab eastern Ukraine and switch Europe’s dependence on Russian gas for a dependence on fracked gas from Ukraine (which really means US companies) which would accomplish the goal of severing EU/Russia relations and making the EU more dependent on the US (via Ukraine). In my mind it explains why the sanctions were/are a mile wide and an inch deep. If Ukraine had managed to grab the Donbas in 4-6 weeks, fracked fields could have been pushing gas into established pipeline networks in 8-10 weeks (only takes about a week to frack a deposit). In this case, the fallout from the sanctions don’t really matter much because the worst fallout doesn’t come into play. And since the Biden administration basically bragged about having the sanctions developed well before 2/24, there’s no excuse for how badly planned they are except that the actual plan went horribly wrong. (of course rank incompetence also explains all this)

      1. The Rev Kev

        As to your first paragraph, I think that Washington is channeling their inner Highlander in-

        “There can be only one!”

        That is what a hegemony is all about. And a hegemony doesn’t have allies. They will only tolerate vassals – whom they will sacrifice whenever expedient.

      2. hunkerdown

        Would you agree that the goal is the destruction of Europe as a theory of society we could afford? That has always been a neoliberal epic quest.

        1. Lex

          Yes. But they’ve already neo-liberalized Europe to a significant extent and the trajectory suggests it would accelerate. My question would be to what extent can the US afford a nearly (or fully) collapsed Europe? Granted, US policy makers have a long history of not thinking more than 1 step down the road and them not really seeing the negative possibilities. My questions – which I’m not qualified to answer for myself – mostly revolve around whether the US financial system could withstand significant shocks to the European financial system. I see how US corps could scoop up EU companies for pennies, but does that do them any good if those companies are only worth pennies?

          1. michael hudson

            The RT summary (which I only discovered on NC today) was based on a German-language report from the Linke (East German) party’s newspaper. So naturally I was rubbing it in about Germany, especially the Green party’s making Polish coal and German forest-wood the fuels of the future. The interviewer (a long-time acquaintance) then took our one-hour phone interview and made his own selection of what his newspaper space would allow.
            I have a full one-hour discussion transcribed at

      3. nippersdad

        Just my opinion, but I don’t think that those at the heart of the American exceptionalist cabal are terribly imaginative. In the Nineties the plan was to break up Russia and take all of their resources, reducing Europe to economic vassaldom was just a side benefit. As they say: “Keep America in, Russia out and Germany down.”

        When the plan failed upon the election of Putin and his take down of the oligarchs who were looting Russia, they started a campaign of fomenting revolution on all of Russia’s borders; Ukraine was just one of their efforts; they have tried it in Georgia, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan as well.

        The 2004 color revolution and 2014 Maidan coups were preparatory measures for what we see today. Had Hillary won in ’16 she would have just implemented the plan to get Russia into a war while the Russian economy was still comparatively weak, but Trump won instead. That is one of the reasons they hate him; he gave Russia a chance to reduce their exposure to further sanctions regimes and military aggressions. I don’t think anyone was as surprised at how well they had spent their time as the Russians, other than our own American Exceptionalists, of course.

        So, instead, we got a McCarthyism redux that smacks of Hillary’s Goldwater Girl roots. As I say, no imagination. Everything is derivative and nothing can conform to new realities on the ground. When Europe goes willingly into the arms of Russia in search of relief, starting with Germany opening NS II (in September), no one will be as surprised and outraged as those who initiated the process.

        They cannot fail, they can only be failed.

        I think what they ultimately wanted out of Ukraine was the ability to plant GMO crops in the Breadbasket of Europe and fleece Europeans for the foreseeable future as they did in India. You can’t reliably plant on land you do not own, and you cannot break into the EU and Russian markets if GMO’s are banned.

        1. Old Sovietologist

          On the subject of colour revolutions:

          It’s two years this week since it was tried in Belarus. Thankfully it never succeeded or Russia would not be in such a good situation now.

          The old collective farmer and Europe’s last Stalinist remains in power.

      4. Raymond Sim

        The people concocting this policy are mostly dimwitted Israel-firsters (Not that it’s in Israel’s interests either.). Their situation bears comparison with Germany’s in the summer of 1942: Their plans have failed, but there’s no longer any real hope of disengaging and adopting realistic goals, even if they were emotionally capable of it.

      5. David

        This kind of theory is best understood as an attempt to impose a coherent story line on a chaotic and anarchic reality. It’s a well-known human quirk (there’s even a name for it, apophenia, or the tendency to see patterns where none exist.) It’s a particular temptation for those who work with quantitative data, like economists, statisticians and scientists, who are always trying to fit theories around data. But sometimes, as here, data is just data, because Washington is simply incapable of hatching, let alone implementing, such a long-terms scheme. (Close your eyes and repeat the word “Covid” three times. Do you feel better, now?) In any case Europe has always made most of its defence equipment.
        In the end, I expect that Europe will come to an agreement with Russia relatively easily. The US are already the big losers.

    3. rob

      Maybe the US can export its “cost savings measures” by privatizing healthcare all over europe, and “help” those europeans to find money to give inputs to the US merchants of death… I mean… venerable purveyors of “freedom saving devices.”

    4. digi_owl

      The IMF, where else?

      And don’t the US have a long history of providing nations money, as long as they turn right round and buy US made weaponry?

      In the end the idea may well be to break the EU in some way. After all, they were getting very uppity about regulating the activity of US companies in Europe.

  23. Wukchumni

    RIO VISTA, Calif. — Charlie Hamilton hasn’t irrigated his vineyards with water from the Sacramento River since early May, even though it flows just yards from his crop.

    Nearby to the south, the industrial Bay Area city of Antioch has supplied its people with water from the San Joaquin River for just 32 days this year, compared to roughly 128 days by this time in a wet year.

    They may be close by, but these two rivers, central arms of California’s water system, have become too salty to use in some places as the state’s punishing drought drags on.

    In dry winters like the one California just had, less fresh water flows down from the mountains into the Sacramento River, the state’s largest. That allows saltier water from Pacific Ocean tides to push farther into the state’s main water hub, known as the Delta. It helps supply water to two-thirds of the state’s 39 million people and to farms that grow fruits and vegetables for the whole nation, playing a key but sometimes underappreciated role in the state’s economy.

    A drought that scientists say is part of the U.S. West’s driest period in 1,200 years plus sea level rise are exposing the fragility of that system, forcing state water managers, cities, and farmers to look for new ways to stabilize their supply of fresh water. The Delta’s challenges offer a harbinger of the risks to come for critical water supplies elsewhere in the nation amid a changing climate.

    Planners and farmers are coming at the problem of saltwater intrusion with a desalination plant, an artificial rock barrier and groundwater pumps. Those who can’t engineer their way out of the problem are left with a fervent hope that things will change.

    “We just try to hang on and hope the water quality gets better,” said Bobby Costa, a farmer who has seen his cucumber yields go down by 25% this year compared to wetter years.

    One of the signs you’ll see dozens of in your drive uo and down Hwy 99 says something like:

    ‘Stop Newsom from dumping our farm water into the ocean!’

    This of course is aimed directly @ the residents of Godzone, who after seeing it for the 84th time, begin to acquire some umbrage-which is good because signs are important and the idea that somebody erected the very same one every 6 miles or so is significant!

    Of course, if we followed through and stopped flushing out salt water from the Delta with freshwater and allowed Ag to grow more almonds they can’t sell, we’d be in one hell of a pickle. but somewhere in China, a family will be able to indulge in almond cookies if the growers can afford to ship them to the far east despite exorbitant rates, and who can put price on that?

    Widespread salt water intrusion would likely mean the end of life as we know it in the SoCalist movement, imagine a bitchin’ house near the beach going for $50k and the listing has been up 5 months w/o an offer?

      1. Wukchumni

        I drove by Ridgecrest on Highway 395 last week, and 1 farmer is doing his best to use all of the groundwater in the area in growing pistachios* for export.

        But the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority—covering 11,000 square miles in the western Mojave, including parts of Kern, Inyo, and San Bernardino counties, which sit above a very large pool of groundwater—has disdained conciliation with an alarming ferocity. Last year, it approved a groundwater plan so politically incendiary that it might have shocked Thomas Hobbes, the philosopher who saw human life as a war of all against all.

        If the plan survives multiple legal challenges, it could bring a swift end to agricultural production in an important region for pistachios, force the closure of the valley’s oldest business, and cut off water to the unincorporated rural community of Trona (pop. 1,900). The plan’s aggressive provisions also might extend this water war into the San Joaquin Valley, Los Angeles, and the nation’s capital.

        Local officials, led by former China Lake commander and Kern County supervisor Mick Gleason, have fought for decades to grow and protect the Navy base. To make sure that SGMA wouldn’t affect Navy water, they moved quickly to set up an authority in the Ridgecrest city hall that they controlled, and that largely excluded major water pumpers in industry and agriculture. In the process, the authority produced a plan for valley groundwater that is bizarrely one-sided, even for the crazy world of California water.

        Rather than phasing in changes over the next two decades, as the law anticipates, the authority plan immediately imposes enormous pain through fees greater than $2,100 per acre foot of water—so high that they represent an effective ban on agriculture or water-needy industry in the valley. Mojave Pistachios, a major nut producer, says the fees would force it to abandon a $35 million investment in trees made in 2011, before SGMA. Searles Valley Minerals, a going concern since 1873, says its water bills would increase by 7,000 percent, forcing immediate closure and the loss of hundreds of jobs.

        Even stranger is the plan’s justification for such high fees, which could take this water war statewide: a need to pay for major infrastructure to import new water into the Mojave. Such a project is—quite literally—a pipe dream, since it would mean taking water that now goes to the Central Valley or Los Angeles, regions with more power than the Indian Wells Valley. In addition, proposing the expensive moving of water into the desert is sure to draw the ire of environmentalists.

        * Why was it deemed necessary to dye in the shell pistachios red, in order to sell them in the 60’s and 70’s when I was a youth?

    1. c_heale

      Yep. This is the underlying problem.

      Would it be possible to switch to salt tolerant crops? Or to extract and sell the salt. Or is the salt water too polluted.

      The value of the saline land would be very low or 0. So the land would also be unsellable. It could provide a nice habitat for many wild species.

  24. Lexx

    ’20 Best Jewish Delis In The U.S.’

    Had a pastrami on rye at Katz’ in the East Village about ten years ago… because it was in the guide book,was a ‘must see’, and ‘When Harry Met Sally’… and the line ‘I’ll have what she’s having’. We split the sandwich; it arrived so loaded with pastrami the top slice of bread was just leaning up one side. I’m talking inches of corned beef. I had to remove half of it if we were to have any hope of getting our lips and teeth up over the layers without having to unhinge our jaws first.

    There is a deli here (probably not Jewish) about a half mile up from our house where we always order the rueben…. their #1 seller. They bake their own bread there, slice their own meats, and when the sandwich arrives it’s doable, with extra pickles and 1000 Island. A hot rueben is a wonderful sandwich for lunch on a cold Colorado afternoon.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The old Carnegie Deli on 7th Avenue was my mother’s fave. But it closed a few years back. Always mobbed, great reubens and pastrami sandwiches.

      1. notabanker

        Sandwich is a rather understated description, although it did involve two pieces of bread and at least a pound of meat. Always fun watching the newbies order a triple decker that comes out held together by chopsticks.

  25. The Rev Kev

    “Russia launches Iranian satellite amid Ukraine war spying concerns”

    ‘Tehran has denied claims by US officials that the satellite could help Russian surveillance in Ukraine’

    The Iranian Space Agency (ISA) has sought to assure US officials that the satellite will be in a different orbit and will not relay any information to the Russians about the ground situation in the Ukraine. A spokesmen from the ISA stated-

    ‘There is no possibility of this satellite being used to spy on the Ukraine to help the Russians. No, we are going to park it over Israel instead.’

    1. tegnost

      Thanks Rev,
      The article on space junk makes me think the US is worried about killer satellites hiding in the space rubble. Sooner or later satellites will be getting shot down. If I were china I would not want US satellites spying on me all the time (of course as a usian the spooks can read his comment before you do…one nation, under surveillance)

  26. Wukchumni

    I’m a big fan of Topo Chico mineral water-the standard by which all sparkly waters should be judged, and have been without for about a month now, as it comes from natural springs in Monterrey Mexico, which is going through one hell of a drought, and Coca Cola is giving the water away to residents, the situation is so dire in what is one of Mexico’s richest cities.

    The water truck parks on a block, a 10-minute walk uphill from Rocio Vega Morales’ house, for 15 minutes at most. She has no clue what time the pipa will arrive in her neighbourhood, delivering the water she and her four children need to bathe, wash dishes and flush the toilet. It could be while she is at work, or in the middle of the night.

    The drought in North Mexico means taps are dry in the city of Monterrey so pipas, primarily run by the city authority, are the only way to deliver water to homes and businesses. As people who cannot afford bottled water are drinking the brackish water from the trucks, anger is growing here that beverage companies with bottling plants here, including Coca Cola and Heineken, are extracting billions of litres of water from public reservoirs.

    Several brewers and soft drinks companies have factories in the city, and these use nearly 90bn litres a year in total, and over half of that – nearly 50bn litres a year (or 50m cubic metres) – is water from public reservoirs.

    On 18 July, the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, asked the drinks companies to stop production and give their water to the public. Heineken said it would allocate 20% of its supply for public use; Coca-Cola invited the public to collect free water from its Topo-Chico mineral water factory, but it is too far away for most residents.

    The water crisis has sparked protests and violence along class lines, as wealthier areas are given higher water quotas than poorer areas, and still have tap water for up to 12 hours a day. On 16 July, residents of two impoverished Monterrey suburbs learned that a portion of the remaining water from a nearby reservoir would be diverted to the city. In response, they blocked a highway with a barricade of cars, tyres, rocks and tree branches, stalling traffic for two days. Then they burned the water pipes.

    “I won’t be surprised if people get together and start hijacking the pipas,” Noyola says. And Vega Morales concludes: “If it gets any worse, I don’t know how we’ll live like this till September.”

    1. IECG

      Cocacola and other companies are not giving away “its water”, we Mexicans hate when people say that. Mexico’s constitution establishes that water is property of the nation (not private property), Coca-Cola is only returning to us some of the water that we let it use in its operations.

  27. Tom Stone

    If you think saltwater intrusion in the Delta is a problem now just wait until the Hayward/Rogers Creek fault decides to dance.
    The levee’s protecting hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland have not been maintained for many decades and they have been seriously weakened by Chinese snow crabs.
    Do take a look at where water is diverted from the Sacto/San Joaquin river to the southern parts of the central valley and the LA Basin…
    Post quake that diversion will need to be relocated further up stream which will be neither cheap or quick.
    Big Ag and all those votes in SoCal mean it will have a very high priority but we’re still talking Years and not Months.
    That fault pops every 140 years on average and the last time it let go was 1868 with a 6.8.

    1. MT_Wild

      I believe you meant Chinese mitten crab.

      If it isn’t the nutria in the east and southeast, it’s the crabs in the west.

      “When the levee breaks, I’ll have no place to stay.”

    1. Skip Intro

      Nothing like a little fuel pool fire to contaminate the richest farmland in … for a handful of generations. The I guess this could be the fallback plan for EU dependency on the US: if Monsanto can’t have it no one can. They’ve switched from scorched earth to salting the earth.

      1. Polar Socialist

        According to the Russian media the idea is to cause enough panic in the population of Zaporozhye to make them self-evacuate and thus deny any legality of the upcoming referendum.
        The reactor buildings can take the Ukrainian shelling easily, but now the Ukrainians are allegedly aiming at the power stations and/or transformers that keep the secondary cooling system running. So the plant has had to limit the power generation for now to avoid any cooling issues, which the Ukrainians (on the left side of Dniepr) probably consider a bonus.

  28. The Rev Kev

    “Will Pope Francis visit Ukraine? A September trip is possible.”

    That is just nuts that. In the past ten days the Ukrainians have sprayed thousands of ant-personnel mines into a major city and have made repeated attacks on a nuclear power plant. If the Pope went there, what are the chances that his plane will be shot down by a Stinger missile so that the blame could be put on the Russians. Remember, he is a Catholic Pope and would be in a Ukrainian Orthodox country so they are probably not fans of him anyway. And it is not like Zelensky can ask him for any weapons.

    1. hk

      Western Ukraine (the nationalist part) is Uniate Catholic. In fact, Uniate Catholicism has always been aligned with Ukrainian nationalism. The religious divide in Ukraine matches up the nationalist allegiances:. About a quarter of the country are Moscow-aligned Orthodox. About half are autocephalic, ie independent, Orthodox. About a quarter are Uniate Catholics, meaning they have same liturgy as Orthodox, but are aligned with Rome. The last group have hated, and have been hated by, Moscow for centuries. The Pope in Ukraine will be deeply destabilizing.

      1. Raymond Sim

        The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is an historically important institution, a recounting of whose history is almost a play-by-play of how we got where we are. I find my fellow Americans to be almost universally disinterested in knowing more about it.

      2. juliania

        “…The last group have hated, and have been hated by, Moscow for centuries….” Not quite true, at least on the Russian side, as many Russian artists had ancestry derived from uniate connections. Sort of like sunni and shia; Western Ukraine is an ancient homeland for many who ended up heading both to Moscow and further north. They can and do even claim Pushkin’s ancestors.

        1. hk

          Well, what I mean was that the idea of “Uniate” Catholicism, of sharing the appearance of Orthodoxy but being aligned with Rome, was not tolerated by Moscow, even in the imperial days. The Roman Catholic Church in Poland and Lithuania was not really persecuted, but those who held on to Uniate Catholicism were treated as traitor to Orthodoxy and persecuted, sometimes very viciously, and this continued into the Communist era as well (actually, I think the persecution of the Uniates was even more vicious under the Soviets, possibly due to linkage between them and Ukrainian nationalism.). All these remind us that it certainly would not be wise for the head of the Catholic Church to show up in Ukraine any time soon.

          1. hk

            I don’t think Russian Empire cared much for people’s ancestries much (heck, prominent Russian families have Polish, Lithuanian, and Mongol ancestries, and many “Russians” today have obvious Ukrainian surnames):. What they believed and whom they associated with, however, was a big deal. A noted Catholic martyr in Russia was a member of prominent family (he was a Tolstoy) who began as an Orthodox priest but was heavily involved in the creation of the Russian Uniate Church…

    2. JTMcPhee

      Could ask him for a few billion bucks from the Church’s hoard, though, and a blessing or two in the ecumenical spirit…

  29. John Beech

    The Studebaker article repeats the canard Trump tried stopping an election that was free and fair and thus, totally neglects the view of some that it was not fair.

    It’s the same as the news reader always prefacing Trump’s claim with, Trump ‘FALSELY’ claims . . . in effect telling you what to think. This, versus leaving the facts to speak for themselves. Trump claims . .. whatever. But please leave it to my (or your) brain to decide whether it was false, or not.

    Fact of the matter is we don’t know if what Trump claims is true, or not. Why not? Well, it’s because we have not investigated. Worse, the very arm of government we’d use to investigate is now compromised, apparently corrupted, and cannot be trusted. This is a problem.

    Why don’t we know whether Trump’s claim is real, or not? I’m certain it’s not due to miscounting votes. Reason is because Democrats possibly introduced fraudulent votes to be counted. Possibly introduced. Yes, I’ll grant you the possibly, but never before have we seen votes ‘possibly’ introduced and zero effort made to find out.

    It’s my view all the mail in ballots sent to those who didn’t request them, 100% were fraudulent. Why? Because the rules state ballots may not be sent unsolicited. Period. Exigent circumstances due to COVID-19? Nope, I don’t accept that. Why not? Simple . . .

    When I cast my ballot, in person and at great personal peril because of COVID-19, the person to whom I reported my presence and requested a ballot made me sign three times – despite PHOTO ID OF MY IDENTITY – because my signature over the years had evolved. Quite simply, it didn’t resemble closely enough for her satisfaction, that signature which was ten years old. So I signed again and again until I satisfied her. Then I cast my ballot.

    So riddle me this . . . who satisfied the presumption ballots sent unsolicited by Democrats, to Democrats, and returned (presumably) by the actual voters, were actually true ballots? Does this not bother you because you hate Trump so much you are OK with this? If so, then there’s no hope for our Republic.

    Major point being, unless and until we know the answer to this, then I have to lend credence to Trump’s claim. To do otherwise is to ignore the elephant in the room and thus, in the words of the bard, I remain one of those who is true to myself.

    Bottom line? I fear fraudulent votes were counted and just as the Trump and the whole Russia collusion story turned out to be false, despite thousands upon thousands of repetitions, the validity of the unsolicited ballots remain suspect. Why?

    Simplicity itself . . . it’s because nobody controls what I think for myself. And most certainly not some editor writing for the news reader who always prefaces Mr. Trump’s words with ‘falsely’ untold thousands of times. Why not? Because I don’t lie to myself. Do you?

    1. marym

      In 2020 9 states and DC sent ballots to registered voters. 5 of those states were already doing so before 2020 (Link)

      CO HI OR UT WA – already
      CA NJ NV VT and DC MT by county – new

      I did a quick search for one of the states – California – and found links to news articles saying the legislature passed a law and the governor signed it. I’m assuming similar for other states.

      NV was the only one of the 9 where election was contested – 7 cases

      Most states require an application for an absentee ballot. When the ballot is received, the signature on the envelope, and in some cases other information, is verified.

      Election officials have procedures to track the number of absentee ballots requested, sent, received, and counted. States also have signature curing procedures (Link).

      Anyone claiming that fake ballots were inserted into the process should be able to specify the vulnerable points in those procedures, compensating controls (cameras, chain of custody procedures), how those procedures and controls would have been breeched, and what would constitute evidence of the breech.

      There have been court cases, audits, and investigations, all documented on publicly available websites. Here’s a link to a study by prominent Republicans of the court cases and information about other reviews.

      1. Elsie

        to marym: Thank you for your detailed/factual reply.

        To others who are concerned about the integrity of the election / voting process: I have been working as an election assistant since I retired in 2008. I have worked in two different states both with early voting programs and on election day. I have seen hard state electoral boards, city/county boards of elections and poll workers (your neighbors!) strive to insure the safety, confidentiality and integrity of our voting process. Do errors/mistakes occur? Of course. But I doubt they occur to the level of significant impact on election outcomes. (We can rarely get 50% of the voting population to show up at the polls.) PLEASE if you have doubts about the system, contact your local board of elections and submit an application to work as an election assistant. We need the help and you will be able to learn first hand about and contribute to the integrity of the process.

        1. marym

          One of the things I find so shameful about this endless campaign about 2020 election results by Trump/Republican elites and the followers they influence is that it’s anti-working class – ignorant of the detailed work of election administration; and insulting and in some cases harassing toward the people (as you say: our neighbors!) who administer elections as their profession, and who volunteer at voting and tabulation sites.

          1. orlbucfan

            I live in Florida and voted in person today, masked for Covid. I requested a mail-in ballot earlier, and used it as my list of who to vote for. The reason I made the earlier request for the mail-in one was concern about Covid precautions which are necessary in my joke of a state. When I entered the precinct, the workers were very pleasant and totally professional. They made sure I had a sample ballot so I could transfer my choices to it. I had to surrender my mail-in ballot so I wouldn’t end up with 2 actual ballots invalidating my vote. I filled out my in-person ballot and watched it be tabulated and counted. The experience was a pleasant one with no evidence of fraud. Let tRump and his idiotic groupies raise cain. The 2020 election was fair even though I voted for neither party’s POTUS joke. If the choices are garbage in 2024, I will skip them. However, I will vote.

  30. Carolinian

    That Benjamin Studebaker column nails it–the history of a boiling frog.

    McCarthyism broke the domination of Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition, and with it, the ability of the Democratic Party to set the agenda. From that point forward, the Democrats have adjusted to the Republican Party, and in the process they have normalized its excesses and encouraged it to go further. Nixon was comfortable secretly bombing Cambodia because Kennedy and Johnson lied about their wars. Reagan was comfortable driving unemployment through the roof in the early 80s because Carter had already begun the experiment. Bush was comfortable cutting taxes for the rich because Clinton had given him the surplus he could use to fund it. Trump has been able to prioritise the stock market portfolios of the rich because under Obama a skewed recovery had become our new normal.[…]

    The Democrats are a big part of how we got to where we are. And if we think that the Republicans are authoritarian nationalists, it is the Democrats who have encouraged them to become that way. The ordinary American cannot look to the Democrats to resist the ravenous elite. They look to the nationalist firebrands of the right because there is nothing else on the menu. The Democratic Party is the party of the Ivy League technocrats who scorn them and tell them to “learn to code”.

    Of course people around here know all this but younger people with their Team Dem t shirts and potted MSNBC version of history likely do not. Call the Dems the Low Attention Span Party since they seem to think we are all preoccupied with our iPhones. In many cases they may be right.

    1. ambrit

      Consider the fact that cattle yards kill and butcher the fittest animals as policy. Weak and sick animals are considered as potentially dangerous to the end consumers. There are rules and all concerning this.
      Apply this the the “new white meat” and you get the very chilling idea that ambulatory Soylent Green source animals will be fed and treated like pets, before they go to their final function.
      The infamous Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man” makes just this point.

      1. Wukchumni

        Alfred Griner Packer (January 21, 1842 – April 23, 1907), also known as “The Colorado Cannibal”, was an American prospector and self-proclaimed professional wilderness guide who confessed to cannibalism during the winter of 1874.

        In 1968, students at the University of Colorado Boulder named their new cafeteria grill the “Alferd G. Packer Memorial Grill”, with the slogan, “Have a friend for lunch!” Students can order an “El Canibal” beefburger, and on the wall is a giant map outlining Packer’s travels through Colorado. It has since been renamed the Alferd Packer Restaurant & Grill.

  31. jr

    re: Invasion of the Beckys

    It’s good to see that someone is finally speaking up about entitled groups of people invading the safe spaces of marginalized groups and assuming their pretensions and assumptions will be unquestioningly accepted. No doubt there is much righteous indignation when they aren’t made welcome with open arms. It’s crazy what people try to foist on others! Hopefully these bachelorette mobs aren’t seeking to join the local queer-folk softball teams.

  32. LawnDart

    Re; US Military Has a Recruitment and Retention Problem. Here’s How to Fix It

    PLA launches recruitment with priority on students in science, tech majors, with skills for actual combat

    Youngsters show soaring enthusiasm amid tensions across Taiwan Straits

    The favorable conditions for this year’s recruitment include relaxing the age limit for postgraduate students from 24 to 26 years old, and priority would be given to college students in science and technology schools and to those with skills that are necessary for fighting in a war, according to a report of the China Central Television on Sunday.

    People with skills that are necessary for fighting in a war include those talented in the internet, communication and engineering, and surveying and drone operation, observers said, noting that the requirements aim to enhance the PLA soldiers’ capacity in real combat.

    So PLA targets university graduates and post-grads, while USA looks for high school grads, GED holders, and to outsource technical services and support?

  33. fresno dan
    so I am reading a right wing site, and they link to this Miami Herald archive, about the magistrate who signed the search warrant against Trump
    Epstein also hired Bruce Reinhart, then an assistant U.S. attorney in South Florida, now a U.S. magistrate. He left the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Jan. 1, 2008, and went to work representing Epstein’s employees on Jan. 2, 2008, court records show. In 2011, Reinhart was named in the Crime Victims’ Rights Act lawsuit, which accused him of violating Justice Department policies by switching sides, implying that he leveraged inside information about Epstein’s investigation to curry favor with Epstein.
    Reinhart, in a sworn declaration attached to the CVRA case, denied the allegation, saying he did not participate in Epstein’s criminal case and “never learned any confidential, non-public information about the Epstein matter.’’
    Now, I think someone higher than a magistrate should sign a search warrant for Trump. But what I am gobsmacked about is that after resigning as a prosecutor, and then working for Epstein, that he was appointed as a magistrate. Isn’t that screwy??? Sure, a defense attorney USUALLY shouldn’t be precluded from judicial appointment because of who he defended…but C’mon man! Doesn’t that show some poor judgement???

    1. Tom Stone

      I think it shows excellent judgement.
      You simply misunderstand what the qualifications are for becoming a Magistrate, Reinhart is very well qualified for this position.
      Good hair and a reasonable price,what more do you need?

    2. hunkerdown

      Do not use or other sites. They are COIN honeypots. Unfortunately, my only evidence is the throbber gif from the National University COIN school that happened to fail to load for me about six years ago. Please post direct links.

  34. Mikel

    “Taiwan Says China Economic Ties Make More Sanctions Unlikely” Bloomberg

    It’s also the kind of viewpoint that was popular just before the outbreak of WW1.

    And this:
    “Momentum in Taiwan’s tech sector demand will likely moderate in the second half of the year as work-from-home tech demand eases, said Grace Ng, an economist at JP Morgan Chase Bank NA….”

    Monkeypox: “Hold my beer….”

  35. Tom Stone

    I’m trying to understand the rationale for the raid on Mar a Lago,it was clearly a Political decision and ostensibly an attempt to kill Trump’s campaign before it had a chance to gain momentum.
    However when I look at how polarizing this raid is I wonder if the real purpose is to provoke a response that justifies the imposition of Martial Law.

    1. Wukchumni

      Trump is analogous to a thousand year flood…

      Surely there couldn’t be another similar deluge coming, and if the Donkey Show sandbags him-damage will be minimal, must be the thinking or what passes for thinking in Humordor.

    2. hunkerdown

      The 2022 campaign is still in full swing. The two great gods have to fight to determine which theory of property shall govern the next turn of the cosmos. Infantile symbolic performances of power are going to be all you hear from now to November, Trump or no.

  36. ultrapope

    Researchers warn bachelorette parties in Provincetown are destroying LGBTQ+ safe spaces

    Check out the comments and the comments on the Boston Globe version. This article seems to have divide so many different people along so many different dimensions… its truly incredible!

    1. MT_Wild

      Seems like monkey pox will put a quick end to this trend unless Becky wants a breakout in her wedding photos.

      Like I like to say about the tropics, dengue and malaria go a long way in keeping the tourists out and the fishing good.

  37. ambrit

    I thought of a motto for the upcoming American digital currency; “One Nation Under Gog.”

  38. Wukchumni

    DC 2003: ‘They’ll welcome us with garlands…’

    DC 2023: ‘They’ll welcome us with revenge for Garland…’

  39. Gulag

    Down at the grass roots level a key zone of political action will now, more than ever, be among the populist right.

    Fifty some years ago the political initiative, for a short period of time, was with the far left (i.e. SDS type organizations) built around a notion of class originating in socialist, Marxist and anarchist tendencies. But in 2022, primarily among those on the populist right (see Joel Kotkin and Michael Lind) is the development of a class concept that attacks the managerial class/elites (in both the public and private spheres) as responsible for the latest Dept. of Justice Moves against Trump– also see for example Michael Anton’s recent argument that “The people who really run the United States of America have made it clear that they can’t and won’t, if they can help it, allow Donald Trump to be president again.”

    Are there any potential positive political possibilities which might emerge from an in-depth discussion about class (the way it is now being defined by both populist right and left tendencies) –or is the only option a steady march toward some type of civil war?

  40. spud

    Caitlin Johnstone is correct. you can see it in the jan. 6th investigation, the free tradin democrats trying to see who supported trump.

    its what war crime trials were about, its what the Percora commission was about.

    the Truman committee

    all tried or trying to unearth the financial parasites supporting the policies.

    if the enablers get away scott free such as bill clinton and obama, its going to be very hard to free ourselves from these financial parasites hiding behind the curtains.

  41. spud

    we simply cannot extract ourselves from this mess till this is addressed, and the crimes exposed. expect more fbi raids to intensify as free trade implodes.

    “The American colonists understood this in a very visceral way. For example, Benjamin Franklin once remarked that there are only three ways a nation can become wealthy. (1) It can engage in war and war profiteering. (2) It can reap unearned profits through exploitation of wage and price differentials, under cover of “free” trade. OR (3) It can create new, earned wealth through a balanced domestic exchange economy.”

    “It’s no secret that war is very good for business, but war is also good for “free” trade advocates – who always include the multinational corporations and by extension the investment class and most importantly the banks – who in point of fact make it all happen. Smedley Butler may have said it best in his 1935 book appropriately titled War Is a Racket:”

    “Popular New York columnist Thomas Friedman somewhat inadvertently characterized the strategic relationship that has developed between corporations and militaries when he famously remarked that “the hidden hand of the [“free”] market cannot flourish without a hidden fist.” Predictably, the reach along with the strategies and techniques employed by that hidden fist have been greatly refined and extended since the days of the East India Company.”

  42. Sibiryak

    Researchers warn bachelorette parties in Provincetown are destroying LGBTQ+ safe spaces

    Revelatory. Must read!

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Weirdly I tried once on that link and it asked I subscribe, a second time it didn’t. Try running the headline through Google and accessing it that way.

  43. Wukchumni

    Paging Darwin, you have a call waiting for you on the white courtesy phone…

    (ABC News) —QUILCENE, Wash. — A woman who accidentally dropped her cellphone into the hole of an outhouse in a national forest and fell in while trying to retrieve it had to be rescued by firefighters in Washington state.

    Brinnon Fire Department Chief Tim Manly said the woman, who was at the top of Mount Walker in the Olympic National Forest northwest of Seattle, had been using her phone when it fell into the toilet on Tuesday, The Kitsap Sun reported.

    Manly said she disassembled the toilet seat and used dog leashes to try and get the phone and eventually used the leashes to tie herself off as she reached for it. That effort failed and she fell into the toilet headfirst.

    “They didn’t work very well and in she went,” Manly said.

    The woman was alone and tried to get out for 10 to 15 minutes. Reunited with her phone, she called 911, Manly said.


    A 32-year-old San Diego man drowned in Newport Harbor over the weekend after he tried to retrieve a cell phone that had tumbled into the water, authorities said.

    Mathew Morrow was with friends and family on Lido Isle, a manmade island in the middle of the harbor, Sunday afternoon, Aug. 7, when someone in the group dropped the phone, Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Scott Steinle said.

    Morrow jumped into the water to grab the phone but never came back up, Steinle said.

    Sheriff’s deputies were called to the area about 4:40 p.m., he said. Newport Beach lifeguards recovered Morrow’s body from the water just before 5:15 p.m.

    Newport Beach Fire Department paramedics attempted to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead on the dock, Steinle said.

  44. CaliDan

    >The Disappearing Modernists, American Scholar (Anthony L)

    Another jumble of juxtapositions wrapped in an anti-modernist book report buried deep within a mountain of name dropping. My word, the name dropping.

    Normally I’d go on and on about the particularly vacuous tropes of moderism critique and Taruskinwasms found herein, but I don’t want to do that. I just want to point out how little time the author of the article and, it seems, the author of the book cited spend actually addressing the context and issues concerning modernism. Which is no time. Zero of the time. Modernism bad. Period. Also Hitler. Stalin. Concentration camps. Racism. Misogyny. Cancel culture. Again modernism bad.

    American Scholar indeed. If I didn’t know better, this could have been written by a laureate member of the Neo-Congress for Cultural Freedom or one of those Future Symphony Institute goobers.

    1. Basil Pesto

      halfway through I thought “Christ, what a bore” and put on Berio’s piano sonata out of spite.

      my fave was when at some point he’s carrying on about the book author “disproving” atonal music – as though art can be disproven! – and he has the gall to carry on about artlessness.

      Another *chef’s kiss* moment – besides the desperate anachronistic clutching at the ‘cancellation’ meme – was his pretense of railing against snobbery before later looking down his nose at *shudder* videogame music. Now, most videogame music is indeed quite bland (as, indeed, is most film music, among which I would include Korngold) and videogame music concerts are cynical cashgrabs which capitalise on nostalgia (much like film music concerts). But, of course, there is nothing about the medium per se which precludes the emergence of a capable composer (in either a “modern”, or pre-modern, or popular – or folk! – idiom). How could there be? It’s a moronic nugget of vacuous snobbery.

      the dullards can seemingly never stop rationalising the limits of their own imagination.

  45. Jonathan Holland Becnel

    Errr…ummm…maybe those Bachelorette Parties should just come on down to the French Quarter then! Either that or have those LGBTQIA+ researchers learn how New Orleans does it!

    Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler!

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