Links 9/1/2022

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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How a Self-Trained Italian Blacksmith Built Himself an Amusement Park Atlas Obscura

Bank of America announces zero down payment, zero closing cost mortgages for Black and Hispanic first-time homebuyers NBC (Re I). Re Silc writes: “Thus you know the end is near….”


Why clean air might be for the 21st century what clean drinking water was for the 19th TVO Today

2021 saw record-high greenhouse gases, sea levels and ocean heat, new report shows ABC

What’s going on with the Greenland ice sheet? It’s losing ice faster than forecast and now irreversibly committed to at least 10 inches of sea level rise The Conversation

Where We’ll End Up Living as the Planet Burns Time (Re Silc). “Our best hope lies in cooperating as never before: decoupling the political map from geography.” True. Real estate speculators may move faster, however.

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How does low-impact development help manage stormwater? Soils Matter, Get the Scoop. Permeable pavement is good!

As Wildfires Worsen, Native Seed Companies Look Towards New Technology SeedWorld

California to try tackling drought with canal-top solar panels The Register

* * *
California asks residents not to charge electric vehicles, days after announcing gas car ban WFLA (ctlieee),

Dealership Quotes $30,000 to Replace Battery in a $10,000 Chevrolet Volt The Drive


FDA authorizes updated COVID boosters from Moderna and Pfizer Center for Infectious Disease Reseach and Policy. Commentary:


The Biden administration is pushing another round of Covid boosters. Who’s listening? STAT

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What you need to know about the next generation of COVID vaccines Boston Globe

Exclusive: Covaxin’s Manufacturing Practices Remain ‘Unacceptable’ Says WHO The Wire. This is bad, since Covaxin is manufactured by Bharat, who also manufacture BBV154, a nasal vaccine said to have passed its phase three trial, but with its regulatory approval mysteriously prolonged.

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Covid-19 Vaccines — Immunity, Variants, Boosters NEJM. From the text: “The expectation that Covid-19 vaccines would prevent acquisition of infection and block onward transmission was based on initial data in 2020 (before the emergence of viral variants) that showed high neutralizing antibody titers and robust protective efficacy at peak immunity after mRNA vaccination. However, given the substantial waning of serum neutralizing antibody titers and the emergence of variants with increased transmissibility and antibody escape, it would be reasonable now to recalibrate goals for Covid-19 vaccines.” I like “recalibrate.” As for the emergence of variants, nobody could have predicted that!

Clinical severity of Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant relative to Delta in British Columbia, Canada: A retrospective analysis of whole genome sequenced cases Clinical Infectious Diseases (IM). n = 13,128. From the Abstract: ” In late 2021, the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant emerged and rapidly replaced Delta as the dominant variant globally. The increased transmissibility of the variant led to surges in case rates as well as increases in hospitalizations, however, the true severity of the variant remained unclear. We aimed to provide robust estimates of Omicron severity relative to Delta…. Our analysis supports findings from other studies demonstrating lower risk of severe outcomes in Omicron-infected individuals relative to Delta.”


Taiwanese forces shot down drone over tiny island near Chinese mainland South China Morning Post

Taiwan president says she looks forward to producing ‘democracy chips’ with U.S. Reuters. So, Taiwan moving capital off-island? Why?

US has ‘no good options’ on Taiwan as China resets status quo FT

* * *
China Locks Down Megacity Chengdu as Covid Zero Intensifies Bloomberg

Human Rights Violations In Xinjiang: Much-awaited UN Report Exposes China; Key Points Here Republic World


Funding Myanmar’s Spring Revolution The Diplomat

At least six killed after factory owner calls in military in Hlaing Tharyar Myanmar Now


If India Is To Fight Corruption, the Focus Must Be on Dam Projects The Wire


What do US forces want to achieve in Syria? Deutsche Welle


Bars, cinemas, gyms: Belgium agrees on ‘ventilation plan’ for public places Brussels Times

Germany tightens COVID rules for travel during fall, winter AP

Ex-PM Karamanlis calls for full disclosure in wiretap probe Ekathimerini

New Not-So-Cold Cold War

The Heisenberg Offensive:


No air cover, little fuel, ~ten-to-one inferiority in shellfire. So the Russians pull back the meat-grinder back a few kilometers, and let the Ukrainians throw themselves into it there?

Ukraine – A Frontline Report – Vanishing Foreign Weapons Moon of Alabama

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German companies halt production to cope with rising energy prices FT. Commentary:


Escalating Blowback From Russian Sanctions Larry Johnson, A Son of the New American Revolution

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EU Toughens Travel Rules For Russia; Agree To Suspend Visa Travel Deal Amid Ukraine War Republic World

Russian oil chief Maganov dies in ‘fall from hospital window’ BBC (Re Silc).

Remembering Gorbachev Glibert Doctorow (ctlieee). “The [Soviet] economy was hopelessly mismanaged and the entire legacy of Soviet legislation rendered it virtually impossible to escape from violence or the threat of violence to make things work.” Totally unlike the Unied States….

Biden Administration

The Real Student Debt Debate In The Long Run

Biden’s Student Loan Scam Black Agenda Report

Exclusive: Biden administration moves to streamline Medicaid, CHIP enrollment USA Today. New rule. But see at subhead: “Pandemic’s formal end complicates coverage” (nice spin with “formal,” BTW). “[B]etween 5 million and 14 million, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation estimate, could lose Medicaid as states start to unwind coverage when the Biden administration declares the COVID-19 public health emergency to be over… it’s unlikely the proposed rule would go into effect before the unwinding process begins, [Allison Orris, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities] said.”


Why Yesterday’s DOJ Filing Suggests a Trump Indictment Is Coming Andrew McCarthy, National Review

DOJ details path of obstruction culminating in search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago The Hill

Dissecting 7 key pieces of the Mar-a-Lago photo CNN. Digital evidence….

Obama Legacy

Democrats can’t win until they recognize how bad Obama’s financial policies were (no paywall) Matt Stoller, WaPo. From 2017, and more true than ever. A must-read.

Groves of Academe

New Acquisitions: On the Wisdom of Noah Smith A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry (LL).

The Screening Room

What Are You Doing on Saturday Night? Staying Home to Watch ‘Svengoolie’ WSJ. The deck: “Cord-cutters get antennas to watch campy horror-movie anthology show on MeTV, led by a comedian in a top hat offering corny jokes from an upright coffin.” Yves writes: “Svengoolie dude Rich Koz is a commercial genius. Who has a cable franchise that is not just still operating after 40 years old but actually growing, and costs nothing to produce?” Koz often runs old B-movies with dinosaurs and monsters, many of them created by special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen, the subject of my brother Roy Webber’s book, The Dinosaur Films of Ray Harryhausen. (Roy was the first in our family to have a book published.) Whenever Koz runs a Harryhausen movie, he gives Roy a shout-out, and sometimes an interview!

Zeitgeist Watch



So I’m in a meeting with my wife, and Jeffrey Epstein texts me….

Guillotine Watch

Lakewood cut down Town Square trees to deter homeless Asbury Park Press

Class Warfare

For job searchers, $20 per hour is the new $15 Axios

Medieval friars were riddled with parasites Science

Genomes from a medieval mass burial show Ashkenazi-associated hereditary diseases pre-date the 12th century Current Biology. Commentary:


Commenters argue the case that medieval Norwich, England, was the epicenter for European anti-semitism.

Philip K. Dick’s fiction is our nonfiction Evgenia, Yasha Levine. Today’s second must-read.

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Little Boxes by Pete Seeger)

    On the front line here in Ukraine
    We are dentists, cooks, and grocery clerks,
    Paralegals, cosmeticians,
    And some guys who build roofs

    Build roofs to shield our foxholes
    Using logs, dirt, and ratty tarpaulins
    And we sit here in them waiting
    With our thoughts far away

    Far away up in the blue sky
    There are drones calling down artillery
    Then the frags and high explosives
    Come to kill us where we stand

    We stand out here on the plowed fields
    In the open on the empty steppe
    Not a tree or bush or haystack
    Here to offer a defense

    A defense is now impossible
    Our tanks and trucks have been obliterated
    Plus this ammunition diet —
    No one sends us what we need

    We need shelter from the cannons
    There are dozens for each kilometer
    It’s the Russian way of fighting
    They’ll roll in when we’re gone

    When we’re gone to Hell or Heaven
    When we’ve fought to the last Ukrainian
    And we’ll never know who profits
    From the murder going on

  2. Sardonia

    Sung to the tune of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”


    Once upon a time we felt so fine
    Going out to dine, sipping wine,
    Didn’t we?
    Someone said beware, there’s a bug out there
    I thought that they were…
    Kidding me.

    We used to…laugh about
    How fun it was…hanging out
    Suddenly we all had some doubt
    Sitting next to some screaming lout
    Not wanting to get sick…from our next meal.

    How does it feel?
    How does it feel?
    To be on your own
    In a complete unknown
    In a Covid Zone.

    Then we heard from Public Fools
    And credentialed ghouls
    They had shiny new tools
    That worked if we…
    Boosted it.
    But people got sick, we’d been gas-lit
    Got an advisory bit:
    “You’re gonna have to get…used to it.”

    Some said, “This doesn’t…seem too wise.
    “A novel virus never…justifies
    “test data hidden from our eyes.
    “We’re four jabs in and still the virus flies.”
    And they said, “Sorry…that’s just the deal.”

    How does it feel?
    How does it feel?
    To be on your own
    In a complete unknown
    Misinformation sown
    In a Covid Zone.

    Ah, they never took the time
    Never spent a dime
    Wouldn’t even mime
    Or tell a cutesy rhyme
    That there were…other ways
    To keep the bug from goin’ ‘round
    Spread from town to town
    Cuz their puppet-masters found
    And began to hound:
    “We got one that pays!”

    We used ride on a…Science meme
    One that used an…empirical theme
    So long ago it only seems a dream
    Now all we get is a Pharma scheme
    And it wants every last dollar…it can peel.

    How does it feel?
    How does it feel?
    To be on your own
    In a complete unknown
    Misinformation sown
    In a Covid Zone.

    Ahhh, Big Business got their way
    Got the media to say
    “Have a lovely day.
    “We’re back to…normal now!
    “All the restaurants are full
    “Packed concerts are so cool
    “Wear a mask and you’re a fool.
    “Spend all your…Visa’s allow!”

    “Don’t fret about…long disease
    “It will mostly pass like a…summer breeze
    “Get vaxxed every month if you please
    “No harm to your immune system’s T’s
    “You’re invincible now!
    “Tear your mask off…with a zeal!”

    How does it feel?
    How does it feel?
    To be on your own
    In a complete unknown
    Misinformation sown
    In a Covid Zone.

    1. Martin Oline

      Best thing today to make me laugh but then everything else is so bad in the news. People accuse me of being a cynic but I’m never disappointed and it keeps me laughing all the way to the hospital. I have a check up next month and need to get a T shirt with the slogan:
      We can’t cure stupid but we can sedate it. – The Sakler family.

  3. The Rev Kev

    Breaking story on the Ukraine front. The Ukrainians have launched commando raids against the Zaporozhye nuclear plant and there is apparently still fighting going on. Two separate “sabotage groups” with about 60 commandos used 7 speedboats to cross the river and land about 3 kilometers from the nuclear plant in the morning. It has been surmised by the guy at the Military Summary channel that the purpose was to kidnap those IAEA inspectors after they arrived so that as hostages, the Russians couldn’t counter attack but these groups were discovered first- (4:11 mins)

    Meanwhile, a Ukrainian sabotage group was taken in the nearby city Enerhodar and who had British NLAW anti-tank missiles plus a US Starlink satellite internet terminal. Don’t know if they were supposed to coordinate with those command groups. So, what was that again about how they want the Russians to leave that plant altogether?

    1. Old Sovietologist

      Something you won’t see on the BBC.

      The Ukrainian govt should be seen not as a state actor but a criminal regime.

      1. Old Sovietologist

        Look like more of a Bay of Pigs style fiasco from the Ukrainian’s. They can’t even do sabotage operation properly.

        Unverified reports on Telegram that some Ukraine Officers have been captured and there are British deaths. I suspect the latter is bs.

        It’s all very sketchy but it does have the hallmark of a British Special Forces operation gone wrong. It wouldn’t be the first. However, even if they are British casualties they won’t be SAS they will be PMC’s.

        1. Polar Socialist

          A member of the Zaporozhye administration has said to TASS that the Ukrainian commandos were trained in UK by MI6. He does not tell how he knows this, though.

          1. Old Sovietologist

            I would be amazed if the UK had boots on the ground on such an operation.

            As for the training aspect its too early to say for certain but I suspect the UK was involved.

              1. LifelongLib

                I’ve heard various countries have different dental practices, so you can sometimes determine a person’s nationality from their dental work.

            1. digi_owl

              Officially, not a chance. But watch them being “retired” or “off duty” that happened to be there in an unofficial capacity…

            1. The Rev Kev

              Interesting article though the following in it gave me pause-

              ‘As a result of the shelling of units of the 14th Mechanized Brigade near the Russkie Tishki settlement, an attempted offensive by the AFU in the Kharkiv direction was thwarted. The losses of the enemy amounted to more than fifty people. The remaining 56 servicemen of the brigade attempted to retreat in the direction of Kharkiv. On reaching the northwestern outskirts of Saltovka, servicemen of the 14th AFU brigade came under fire from positions of the Kraken nationalist formation, by which most of them were destroyed.’

              1. Rui

                Of all the nastiness out of the Ukraine governament, it is hard to beat the deployment of the Kraken units to kill retreating ukranian troops. Sickens me to my stomach.

        2. Kouros

          Looking through history, it seems to me that the Brits, unless they fight against spears and bows and arrows and shields with guns and cannons, cannot but revert to Special forces trying diversionary tactics, because they are so overwhelmed by conventional forces on par with them.

          The best special operation they put out was corralling the Boers wives and children in concentration camps, starve them to death, in order to break the farmers’ resistance…

          1. digi_owl

            Because they rely on a volunteer army.

            The only times they have implemented conscription, thus far, was during the world wars.

    2. Polar Socialist

      Ukrainians were delaying the IAEA delegation on their side for three hours while all this was going so they were probably not looking for hostages.

      Russian media says that at 6:20 the speedboats landed 3 km from the ZNPP and at 7:00 two barges landed at the other side of the ZNPP. Both attacks were stopped and most attackers have been ‘neutralized’. The two barges were sunk.

      Simultaneously three suicide drones attacked the ZNPP, but all were captured by an EW unit in the area.

      At 14:00 the IAEA delegation arrived at the ZNPP.

      1. Yves Smith

        Wellie I am not on top of the timeline but are you sure they might not have been delayed because the op was going sour and so the Ukraine minders were told to hold off in the dim hope there might be a Plan B?

        1. Old Sovietologist

          The Russian knew about the operation and effectively ambushed the attackers.

          So who leaked information that only the Ukrainian General Staff and the President’s Office knew about?

          I feel a purge coming on.

            1. ChrisRUEcon

              Yves > Lambert loves to blame it on the cleaning women.


              Love it!

              Old Sovietologist > I feel a purge coming on.

              We’ve already had one purge … are we going to get another, then? Who’s left to purge? I mean if you purge one group, and then the group that replaces those 1st-purged is still selling you out, what is that telling you? The first purge included people who knew 3rd President Zelensky personally and for a long time, not so? Does Zelensky really feel like he is going to find more trustworthy people as he purges outward from his closest circles of trust? I reminded of this wonderful line from MacBeth:

              Now does he feel his title
              Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe
              Upon a dwarfish thief.

              I don’t think the odds are good that Z makes it to the other side here … exile in Florida Poland will be as good as it gets. All downhill from that possibility.

              1. aletheia33

                shakespeare, and bob dylan ((see sardonia above)

                how does it feel
                to be on your own
                in a complete unknown?

                “like a rolling stone”

        2. Polar Socialist

          Nope. I’m not sure. Really hard to establish the timeline at the moment. It could be they were delayed because Ukrainian artillery was covering the landing with heavy fire.
          In any case I doubt the Russian would have allowed them to the plant if Ukrainian were in control of it, or even if there was a firefight going on.

          From the news footage it’s visible that the IAEA column was guarded by armored cars and helicopters on the Russian side, so it would have been hard to hit or capture.

        3. The Rev Kev

          An update from RT-

          ‘Three Ukrainian soldiers, who participated in a botched attempt to capture the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant on Thursday morning, have been taken alive, Vladimir Rogov, a council member in the Moscow-allied administration of Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Region, has claimed.

          Of the three, two have been injured and are in serious condition, the official said in an interview with Russian television. Doctors are fighting to save them, he added. An estimated 12 Ukrainian troops are still fighting against Russian forces, he claimed.’

          A quick Google news search is showing nothing about any commando raid so far.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Thanks for that report. Details seem to be still emerging but it sounds uttelry reckless. You think that the IAEA delegation might be forced to notice that something is amiss in their report – as they step over M777 howitzer shell fragments in their inspections?

        1. lambert strether

          A cursory search of the Twitter gives no indication Ukraine captured the plant. No doubt more informative will emerge.

          Adding, Ukraine? Reckless? Come come now.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Here it is the next day and a Google news search for the term ‘Zaporozhye commando attack’ has zip from the main stream media and only articles from lesser know sources. In other words, it never happened. Commando attack? What commando attack? That sort of granular control is pretty impressive when you think about it.

      3. anon in so cal

        “Forwarded from
        MoD Russia

        ⚡️ Hostilities unleashed by Ukrainian sabotage groups on the day of IAEA experts’ visit with artillery shelling of Zaporozhye NPP by AFU leave no doubt that Zelensky regime had prepared this military provocation well in advance.

        ▫️It was the completion of preparations for the seizure of Zaporozhye NPP by Ukrainian subversives on the day of IAEA experts’ visit that was the reason for the cancellation of Mr. Grossi’s visit to the plant on August 31 which was replaced by his “unscheduled” meeting with Mr. Zelensky.

        ▫️It is obvious that if the Kiev regime’s operation to seize the plant were to succeed, IAEA head Rafael Grossi and the mission experts would become a “human shield” for the Ukrainian saboteurs to prevent any action by units of the Russian Armed Forces to destroy them.

        ▫️The role of IAEA mission would then be limited to fixing the new status quo – “Zaporozhye NPP has been taken over by Kiev”, with a new wave of loud statements from Washington and European capitals calling on Russia to ensure a “demilitarised zone” around the NPP, where IAEA monitors would remain under the protection of the Ukrainian military.

        ▫️This provocation was thwarted by the effective actions of units of the Russian Armed Forces and National Guard. At present IAEA mission led by Rafael Grossi has arrived at the nuclear power plant and started its planned work with full security ensured by the Russian side. The position of Mr. Grossi and his team, who went to the plant despite Kiev’s provocations and shelling by AFU, is worthy of respect.

        ▫️In this regard, we understand perfectly the undertaking of silence of all western sponsors of Zelensky’s regime, which actually confirms their secret participation in the preparation of today’s provocation at Zaporozhye NPP. At the same time, the absence of a public response from UN Secretary General António Guterres in Vienna to Kiev’s actions near Zaporozhye NPP causes justified bewilderment.

        ▫️Such silence not only casts a shadow and questions the objectivity of the UN approaches to the situation around Zaporozhye NPP, but also leads to further escalation of the situation there with full impunity for the Kiev regime.”

    3. Stephen

      Won’t they claim that the Russians were launching these raids against themselves? Just like how they shell themselves too.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Russian media pundits are saying that the idea behind this attack was to get Ukrainian boots on the ZNPP area at least for the duration of the visit of IAEA delegation.
        That would have had made it possible to claim that:

        a) Ukraine has had troops there the whole time so
        b) Russia, not Ukraine, has been shelling them there and
        c) international pressure is needed to make ZNPP “neutral”.

        1. digi_owl

          “c) international pressure is needed to make ZNPP “neutral”.”

          Aka, find any pretense for putting NATO troops in harms way and thus escalate the war.

          What worries me is the number of people in DC, London, Paris and Berlin that seems to be ok with these ruses. It is like they either know they are on their deathbed anyways, or think they will make it to their rural hideaway in time for the bombs. Or perhaps most worryingly, they have swallowed the Raytheon sales pitch that the “shield” will hold.

          1. hunkerdown

            The state subsumes all it commands as unto its own body, its limbs. Big people, those who play the game of state, believe the little people are for spending. Combine with Vanderbilt(?) who would spend half his fortune to defend the other half, fold in the Iron Law of Institutions, bake at 350°F for 35 minutes, and you get crusades.

        2. Ignacio

          I see there a logic, or some logic. A necessity to keep the narrative alive. When military operations are commanded by PR strategists… does this suggest some desperation? After thinking twice, operations like this may not have been that rare in the past. Particularly among those involving commandos.

            1. pjay

              I had a great uncle who was serving in the Philippines at the time of MacArthur’s “return.” He used to tell the story of his unit having to stand in the hot sun for hours waiting for them to stage his famous entry and then re-entry when MacArthur wasn’t satisfied with the first one. According to my great uncle, you are right about the “not well loved” part.

            2. Anthony G Stegman

              Most generals are politicians first and foremost. In fact, having well developed political skills is necessary in advancing to general. The late Colin Powell is a prime example of this at work.

    4. JTMcPhee

      Not sure why the Collective West should be seemingly so worried about the observations and conclusions of the IAEA inspection group that they would okay the flubbed Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight assault on Zaporozizhe.

      There was no problem with inserting vast quantities of fear, uncertainty and doubt into the findings and conclusions of the OPCW, another tame arm of the captive UN, when it came to claims that Syrian government was killing its own people with nerve gas and chlorine and mustard gas. No problem generating and injecting pretty obvious lies and distortions into the mainstream discourse about the supposed events. No problem “proving” that violations of the chemical weapons treaty occurred and making “strongly supported findings” that it was the Syrian government who done it. No problem accepting fake “evidence” and quashing the dissenting findings of actual on-scene investigators.

      What’s the matter, guys? Losing control of the Narrative? Looks like the spooks and oligarchy have pretty much lost control of actual events.

      It’s amazing to me that Russia wants to bring the UN around to actuating its founding notions, of being a place for “agreement-capable” nations pursuing honest interests to resolve differences under a true rule of law.

      In the meantime, civilization teeters on a bayonet blade’s edge, and the Fokkers and Fuggers who own so much seem willing to drag us all down into post-apocalyptic darkness to “prove some point or other,” and to make sure that if THEY can’t have EVERYTHING, nobody else can have ANYTHING.

      Check the video bits in the first 8 minutes or so of Alex Christoforu’s Duran piece this morning — democracy is pretty much dead, the enemy is within (MAGA and America First), and politicians have no duty to their own citizens but must keep their promises to “support Ukraine, as long as necessary,” while furthering policies that make that commitment open-endedly “necessary.” Speaking of self-licking ice cream cones… I guess since ambient temperatures are so high, they have to lick faster and faster…

      1. Polar Socialist

        Whether or not it gets published in the West (even with all the reporters present in ZNPP) the residents of Energodar and the surroundings gave the head of the IAEA delegation an appeal to make the Ukrainian army stop the shelling, signed by 20,000 people.

        It may against all hope, but if one Ukrainian narrative after other is ripped to parts, maybe, just maybe, at some point people of West stop believing them. And start asking the important questions.

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Breaking story on the Ukraine front.

      UN inspectors arrive at Ukraine nuclear plant amid fighting AP. Roughly 1:30PM EDT.

      Ahead of the visit, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported that Ukrainian forces unleashed an artillery barrage on the area and sent a group of up to 60 scouts to try to seize the plant on the Dnieper River. It said that the Ukrainian troops arrived in seven speedboats but that Russian forces “took steps to destroy the enemy,” using warplanes.

      Some of the Ukrainian shells landed 400 meters (yards) from the plant’s No. 1 reactor, Russian authorities said.

      The Russian-installed administration in the city where the plant is situated, Enerhodar, reported that at least three residents were killed early Thursday by Ukrainian shelling.

      Ukrainian officials, meanwhile, accused Russian forces of shelling Enerhodar and a corridor that the IAEA team was set to go through.

      Neither side’s version of events could immediately be independently verified.

      “Scout”? What the heck is a scout? A Boy Scout? (Meanwhile, the press treating the Ukrainian talking point that the Russians are shelling a plant they have captured and hope to hook up to their own grid as plausible just boggles the mind.)

      Meanwhile, I can’t find a thing on the Twitter because it’s too polluted with Ukrainian propaganda. Many dupes, good work, guys.

      1. CarlH

        I was a Cavalry Scout in the US Army. Their value used to be enormous, but with drones, etc., their value is not what they were when I was in uniform. They are the eyes and ears of command and often do work behind or between lines. They look for appropriate avenues of assault for infantry and mechanized forces, report on enemy position, strength, etc., and analyze existing infrastructure (for example, determining whether a bridge can hold the weight of tanks, etc.), and do sabotage/demolition and other duties when called upon. Basically, Recon. We were most definitely not boy scouts.

      2. pjay

        I just checked the mainstream news coverage online (Wash post, NBC, USA Today, etc.). It’s not good. Mostly either “both sides accuse the other” type crap or quotes from Ukrainian officials about *Russian* shelling. Hopefully there are a few IAEA inspectors that are not completely corrupted. But I’m not holding my breath.

  4. zagonostra

    >Philip K. Dick’s fiction is our nonfiction Evgenia – Yasha Levine.

    “…Bladerunner — an ok movie”

    Levine is off way off on that statement, it was/is one of the very best sci-fi movies of all times, Ridley Scott’s masterpiece.

    I just read PKD’s Valis a month or so ago, and his abbreviated “exegesis” is included in the appendix. Levine is right that much of it has come to pass. I especially like PKD’s phrase “The Empire Never Ended.” Sometimes I think that the British Empire just moved silently to D.C., and when it ends, it will move on again to some other spot on the globe.

    1. Yves Smith

      Valis is a great book. I read it over 15 years ago and can still come close to reciting the first line: “Horselover Fat’s nervous breakdown began the day he got the phonecall from Gloria asking if he had any Nembutals.”

      However, Minority Report was one of those rare cases where the movie was better than the book (here short story).

      1. Tom Stone

        I found a copy of Valis for sale at the library yesterday for 50 cents, I’ll be giving it to my daughter…

    2. fresno dan

      In the book the surviving humans still pursue advance technology, despite what it lead them to. And they are rather successful at it, which is very similar to our present day technological death cult. PKD just takes it to the max and reveals its dystopian nature, something that many people can’t see even today — since technology is only presented as a great tool of progress and a bright future.

      PKD never showed technological future as glorious, in most of his books — it’s depressing, scary, mundane, limiting. The comfort it gives people is questionable — gadgets that are supposed to improve daily life are petty and vindictive and very strict with you. The talking door that refuses to open because you don’t have enough coins to pay it, and won’t extend you a loan because your credit score is bad. Or there’s the really advanced VR game that allows you to inhabit the fun world and beautiful bodies of a Malibu dwelling couple — but it requires a potent hallucinogenic drug to work and is never really fun because most of the time you’re just bickering and arguing with the co-players you’re having the shared VR hallucination with.

    3. digi_owl

      What is interesting about Blade runner is that it is more a Noir film than a scifi.

      If one were to angle the story just right, the testing done could just as well be about eugenics.

      But then the best scifi is perhaps not about the tech, but about the human use and abuse of same once introduced to the public.

      See for example Gattaca, that is all about DNA screening and editing as a technology. But the tech itself is just there, while the story is about someone dodging the system that has sprung up around its use (and casual abuse).

        1. Polar Socialist

          Blade Runner is also one of the films with most versions released. 5 public and 2 more or less private. I recall also that to this day the actors, the writer and the director disagree on whether Deckard is a replicant or not.

          I love the film. Seen it a dozen of times and still happy to watch it again.

          1. digi_owl

            Much of it comes down to the studio wanting a Hollywood ending, and insisting on Ford provide a voiceover because pre-screenings lead to complaints about confusion.

            This echoing the issues Disney/Hollywood had with Princess Mononoke that was posted here recently.

            Effectively it seems like USA is stuck in an infantilizing spiral, again and again “underestimating” the mental capabilities of the public. And thus thinking said public has to be lead by the nose by a patrician elite.

            Makes one wonder if USA is reaching the peak of its own “victorian era”.

    4. Fiery Hunt

      To my mind, it’s tough to call “Blade Runner” Ridley Scott’s masterpiece…although it would certainly be almost any other director’s masterpiece.

      I still think “Alien” is his best.

      (“Gladiator” is up there too.)

      1. zagonostra

        Your right, It is a tough call, but, I think Vangelis’ soundtrack, the real life tension between Mary Sean Young and Harrison Ford during the filming, Rutger Hauer presence/acting and his ad lib “like tears in the rain” in final monologue, a young Daryl Hannah, excellent acting by Edward James Olmos and other cast members, puts Blade Runner on top.

        1. digi_owl

          Yeah i think it was a movie with a lot of input from the actors.

          Not only did Hauer ad lib the monologue, but Olmos came up with the street speak slang on his own.

          And Ford tried to resist the addition of the voiceovers for the original theatrical release, that he studio imposed.

    5. Alex Cox

      Levine’s point is that the Hollywood producers of Scott’s film cut out everything that made the book interesting. This is true. Whether you like Bladerunner is another matter.

      Regarding Levine’s remark that rereading Androids made them worry all of a sudden about nuclear war… What planet do these bloggers live on? Where the xxxx have they been?

    6. Michael McK

      I think you are both right.
      The movie is great but it does leave out most (and the most important) of the issues in the book.
      It has been at least 20 years since I read more than a smidgen of PKD so my memory is hazy but I believe there is one tiny twist at the end of the movie which is not in the book which does give the robots a sliver of humanity (more than many humans in Dick’s worlds). The Ruger Hauer droid exhibits empathy for and saves Decker.
      While I am on the topic of Hollywood butchering PKD I must fume about ‘A Scanner Darkly’. Everyone should read it so I won’t give a spoiler but suffice to say, the movie does not cover the last pages of the book where you learn just how psycho, systemic and deep the rot goes. Moviegoers still get taken pretty far and it is worth watching (if you like such things) but Hollywood shied away from the deepest indictment. Maddening.
      Arnold Swartzenegger and his team used oodles of Dick material (credited and not) to further his career. I posit that Arnold’s success is the result of PKD’s art which is the sort of twist that one might find in one of his stories.

      1. digi_owl

        As i recall the script was written before the similarities to the book was discovered, and thus a license secured.

    7. Kouros

      De gustibus non est disputandum.

      This is why I don’t think Bladerunner is one of the best scifi movies evah… I found the sequel incomparably better…

      1. zagonostra

        Thanks for links, especially the one on fracking chemicals in drinking found in PA. I own a home in central PA with city water that is superior to anywhere I’ve lived. I fear eventually it will get contaminated if there is a leak in the Mariner East 2 pipeline that was approved a while back, and of course the ever extending range of fracking…interestingly just north, in NY, it’s outlawed.

        1. BeliTsari

          I’m about to go rescue my abandoned car, a mile from where Mariner East 2 passes ~300′ from four big schools (where TMI’s being decommissioned). 4-5 3rd party inspectors were trying to whistle-blow SERIOUS shortcomings in several of the infamous 19 “bridge too far” Marcellus pipelines. Ethane’s heavier than air, so though it’s the smallest diameter, everybody fought (since this line had 3 pretty gnarly explosions) and one 63yr old teacher in solitary for protecting her own farm. ACP, Constitution, Mountain Valley; Spectra & Williams lines running Pgh area gas South or to NYC were temporarily in limbo, or cancelled right through Trump, only to awaken like zombies after Biden picked a war with Russia over fracked LNG/ oil export. Now, John Fetterman & several other BernieBros magically support scores-of-thousands of leaky, quick to kick, impossible to plug fracked methane/ ethane wells, so check Frack-Tracker. I’d lived 9 years in NEPA anthracite country. It’s never going to be fracked, but the plentiful (delicious) water can be tainted without warning, so prepare. I’m guessing 99/220, on east might be safer, but we’d figured State College was PACKED with NOAA retirees for some reason?

    1. digi_owl

      Because the billions going to Ukraine is pork for the MIC.

      No different from the plane loads of USDs sent to Iraq etc.

  5. Mikel

    “California asks residents not to charge electric vehicles, days after announcing gas car ban” WFLA

    You know the worst part of this coming nightmare, especially in sprawling cities?
    I’ve completely lost belief in public transportation as a viable option after seeing how this death cult economy has reacted to the pandemic.
    I used to talk about railways this and railways that, but I don’t think the public health crises are going to slow.

    1. The Rev Kev

      So this happened because California’s power grid is strain due to extreme heat & high demand. The exact same thing is happening in China too. So what is the plan when most cars are electric and there is the realization that the extreme heat of this year is going to be standard from now on? And remember what happened to those electric cars in the eastern States stuck on that highway last winter? Will there be an app that controls how much electricity you can charge your car up with on a weekly basis? Effectively a ration but one that can be varied with quick update? Maybe as a backup they can install a wind-up rubber band in the engine bay.

      1. Tom Stone

        California’s PUC is a good deal more corrupt and worse managed than CalPers and PG&E is overtly homicidal.

        1. Solarjay

          The timing is just made for Fox News and the republicans.

          They will hammer this for years.

          But this goes to what many have been asking: if you get rid of NG and convert to all electric, does the full grid have the capability to power it? That’s production, transmission and distribution.

          Converting to electric and then telling people you can’t use your oven to cook dinner after a day at work or take a shower or fill up your car is not going to go over well at all.

          I have never seen a study that lists the cost benefit analysis of converting different things to electric. And the environmental cost/benefit as well.
          Are cars better than installing heat pump water/space heating or worse? Etc.

          Crazy times.

          1. Marla

            Well, at least there are lots of new bike paths! Get out there with the kids, the groceries and the mother in law on your cargo bike. Built in umbrulla. Everyone pedals, therefore who needs an ICE or electric car?

            Newsom returnith to his folly like a dog to his PUC…


            “plenty of reason for Californians to despise the state’s Public Utilities Commission, the five-person [Newsom appointed] body that sets electric, natural gas and some water prices, while controlling other practices of big utility companies like Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric.”

            “Here’s just one example: After CalFire investigators found PG&E negligence in 2017, 2018 and 2019 caused several of the largest and deadliest wildfires in California history, the PUC rubber-stamped Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to dun consumers more than $13 billion for costs of future fires PG&E and its brethren are likely to cause.”

            “Why did this happen? Quite possibly because PG&E has been a major donor to Newsom’s political campaigns almost from the time former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown started him in big-time politics with an appointment to his city’s board of supervisors.”

            1. Anthony G Stegman

              During the Jerry Brown administration his chief fundraiser was sleeping with a senior PG&E executive. The corruption is rampant and widespread. Newsom is just the latest to be thoroughly corrupted. Still, he is considered a viable presidential candidate.

        2. Questa Nota

          The PUC has a lot of help in Sacramento.
          Their State Assembly fans and co-conspirators come up with hair-brained schemes that have zero forethought, but make good clickbait and soundbites. Long-term consequences are not part of the process, as what occurs beyond next week is irrelevant to them.

          We should do X.
          Yeah, X is popular with my brunch and wine set.
          Can we get more campaign donations with X?
          Assume we can.
          It works in theory but does it in practice?
          Not my problem.
          X it is.

      2. YankeeFrank

        The plan is the plebs will use electric cars that can’t be charged, eat bugs and seed oil sludge and live under climate lockdowns while the “elites” use oil powered everything and fly over our heads eating steak and seafood. Soylent Green may yet be people too.

        If you read the hilarious plans of the elites, via WEF and similar silliness, they will continue to rule over us from beyond the grave via “consciousness downloads” into “computers”. Gawd, even assuming they could pull off the electric lockdowns and bug eating, which they can’t, and then the isolation of consciousness from biology, which is so stupid I have to ask what moron writes this fanfic, who do they think would continue listening to their “consciousness” barking orders from a computer screen. Even their own children would turn them off (especially their own children).

        “Geniuses” like Bezos just spent $1billion on Game of Thrones fanfic wrapped in a thin gauze of Tolkien’s already gossamer Silmarillion that has failed before being released. As a lifelong Tolkien fan I find it all deeply insulting. But no more insulting than having to listen to Klaus Schwab in a silly sci-fi tunic and his icky imp Yuval Harari tell me how its gonna be IN THE FUTURE.

        1. kson onair

          The general sentiment I’ve been seeing regarding Bezos’ Rings schlock is that everyone hopes it gets Morbed.

          1. jr

            The fans are royally pi$$ed and for good reason. The producers seem intent on enflaming things further. I pray it flops hard…

        2. flora

          Ah, the WEF: Kissenger’s ideological progeny project. What could go wrong? From Unlimited Hangout:

          The Kissinger Continuum: The Unauthorized History of the WEF’s Young Global Leaders Program

          (So that’s why he’s always invited to Davos, even tho he supposedly has no large corporate or govt role now ? / ;)

      3. Katniss Everdeen

        Didn’t biden pass a “law” that all EVs must have a kill switch? If the grid goes down in an area, they’ll just brick all the cars registered there so no one drives.

        According to an article written by former U.S. Representative Bob Barr, hidden away in the recently passed infrastructure bill, the very one I warned before would negatively impact drivers across the country if it were to pass, is a measure to install vehicle kill switches into every new car, truck, and SUV sold in this country. The regulation likely won’t be enforced for five years, so maybe there’s time to do something about this.

        It’s to keep you “safe” from “wanted criminals.”

        To many, that might sound like a wonderful idea. After all, we’ve seen wanted criminals who have fled from police only to crash into a car with a family inside, killing innocents as they try to avoid capture. Being able to stop the pursuit early and almost instantaneously seems like a wonderful thing, a potential lifesaver any law-abiding citizen would enthusiastically embrace.

        And remember those smart meters that were going to save everyone money by eliminating expensive meter readers? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what else they do–do you want a working refrigerator or a charged car? Who cares what the grid can handle. You’ll get what we give you and STFU about it.

        Your Alexa will probably have power though since they’re gonna wanna know who’s thinking of going postal. But damn, Teslas are just so cool.

        1. jr

          A while back I proposed that an entire city could be “bricked” were some plucky hackers able to slip into the systems that control the kill switches. Imagine Manhattan filled with dead vehicles…it’s easy as traffic there is often nightmarish when it’s moving. You wouldn’t have to brick them all, either, just identify some key chokepoints, to make life a living he!!…same for the interstates etc.

      4. Mikel

        I’m listening to all the talk in Cali about doing away with gasoline powered cars. And California alone has hundreds of millions. Try to picture any place on the planet where these unused cars and scraps of cars are supposed to be dumped.
        Not a peep about how California is going to handle disposal. Just thinking of cars on the road in Cali is daunting. Now think of all the gasoline powered cars in the world.

        1. Hickory

          They’ll need disposal regardless, whenever their end of life happens. Amazing to think about eh?

          George Carlin was way too kind about how Americans treat their coast to coast shopping mall.

      5. Eclair

        Make sure your bicycles are in working order. Be sure to stock up on tires and tubes (and patches!) Check out the horse sales in your area. Find a reliable second hand buggy sales and maintenance place.
        Me, I’m busy establishing barter networks with our Amish neighbors.

        Only partially kidding.

    2. heresy101

      It sounds like commmenters here have been listening to too much fossil fuel propaganda on Fox. While the California CPUC is nothing but a lackey of Newsome who is working for PG&E and SCE. CalPERS should loan the money to buy out PG&E and SCE at 7% interest. In that case, we would have a more secure retirement and lower electric costs. This writer knows because he took a small municipal utility to 100% GHG neutral at 15% below PG&E. Rather than a diatribe against electric cars, we need to get rid of the investor owned utilities and get more renewable and have a greater energy efficiency program. That pyschopath Trump tried to get rid of all the energy efficiency measures and am not sure they have been reinstituted by Biden. Energy measures for appliances and the addition of LEDs dropped our municipal usage from 450 GWh to 350 GWh per year over 10 years!

      There are many solar and battery and wind projects being added that will fill any shortages. Recently several CCA’s (Commnunity Choice Aggregator energy purchasers) signed a contract for solar with batteries around $38/MWh (half the price of coal). When the floating offshore 14MW wind turbines come on line in a few years, they will make the reserve margin greater and cover any additional load from the transition to EVs and the conversion from gas to new more efficient electric appliances. Even if the edict wasn’t made for no more gas cars in 2035, it is very likely that about 100% of new cars sold in 2030 will be electric in California. Norway has 90% electric now and China is about 40% electric currently.

      The main reason for the restrictions on EV charging is so EV drivers won’t come home and just plug their car. If we look at CAISO’s (transmission operator) predictions for today (predicted 107 degrees) there is not a lot of reserve margin (see under net resources) but the net peak is projected to be 19:30 when people come home from work:

      There isn’t a conspiracy but just low reserves. This is a big opportunity for solar owners to get a battery to shift their afternoon solar to the extreme energy peaks where they get paid $2/kWh, which is an incentive to add more batteries.

      EVs are the present and future and costs will come down to be equal to ICE cars. They will be made out of all the metal scrap from junked ICE cars. Sodium batteries will drop the costs significantly and CATL will start manufacturing them next year.

      1. Karl

        One of these days all the EV battery storage connected to the grid will be integrated into the CALISO EIM (energy imbalance market) so some of this storage can be used when needed in realtime. EV owners will then be able to make money on their storage (e.g. credits on future charging). As more EVs populate California, that’s a tremendous amount of valuable storage.

        The future is smart chargers, smart water heaters and even smart air conditioners, where the utility can modulate demand when it needs to, either to deal with capacity shortfalls or transmission bottlenecks. Increasingly, large industrial users are entering into contracts with the EIM to let their electricity be interrupted (for a price) when needed.

        1. JBird4049

          I’m a resident of the Banana Republic of California and I will probably live in an apartment until I am carried out feet first; I already have a hybrid and I cannot use my apartment to recharge an electric car unless it is by using a hundred foot cord. I will also probably be using the car for the next two decades or until a wheel falls off, which ever comes first. I will be unable to afford a replacement for decades.

          I also plan on once again, health permitting, going to the outdoors, which means going a hundred miles or more from nowhere. And many people live, not visit, in such isolated areas.

          It good to see these possible solutions, but pushing radical changes like Governor Newsom is foolish unless all the various uses of vehicles including pickups and cars for business and transportation are covered. I know that if the current, incompetent, extremely corrupt California Oligarchy remains in place, those various uses will not be adequately dealt with. Dealing with a pandemic is much more straightforward. The state government has not done a good job with Covid.

          So, while talking about the solutions is important it feels like putting the horse before the cart. Honestly, corruption in the CPUC and its antecedents has been ongoing since before 1900 with corruption in the state in general increasing for at least thirty years.

    3. RockHard

      Crap headline. They asked residents not to charge EVs between 4PM and 9PM.

      Today, most people charge their electric cars when they come home in the evening — when electricity demand is typically at its peak

      Xcel has tiered pricing system and they advise us to do things like pre-cool the house before the surge pricing hits from 1PM – 7PM, and also not use major appliances during that time. I don’t recall a mention of EVs although I don’t own one so I might have ignored that part. It’s an inconvenience, but my electric bill has remained manageable, slightly more expensive (and the house does get hot in the early evening) although it shows my kWh usage is down over last year.

      If there’s one thing that’s going to screw this country, it’s the public’s conviction that they can’t bear the slightest inconvenience in trying to solve any large-scale problem.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        Until electric vehicles can effectively deal with “range anxiety” they will not displace ICE vehicles in the majority. The least affordable EV has a maximum range of approximately 350 miles. More less affordable EVs have a range of approximately 250 miles. Drivers from SF to LA will need to dart off the freeway twice and recharge in order to reach their destination. Drivers of ICE vehicles can make the trip on a single tankful of gas (or diesel). Adventurous types enjoy driving off the beaten path. Will they find a charging station in remote areas? How about spare fuel? Those who drive ICE vehicles can carry an extra five gallons of gas when traveling to remote places. How will AAA deal with dead EV batteries? Lots to think about before EVs can be more than 10%-15% of the automobile mix.

        1. JBird4049

          Between those kill-switches and restrictions on recharging, I start to wonder about mass die offs. Or even random ones.

          “Procedures were followed when the engine of the car the suspect was allegedly driving was turned off. Unfortunately, the descendent, the owner of the car, and not the suspect was driving. Said owner was found deceased in Death Valley/Great Basin/after hurricane surge/blizzard a week later. At this time, no charges are expected to be filed.”

    4. WombatPM

      So now you just need to purchase a Tesla Powerwall for personal storage energy and solar panels for personal energy generation.

  6. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert.

    Some tidbits from Buckinghamshire that bring together climate change, Syraqistan, the new or not so new cold war and the UK.

    Readers may not be aware that some parts of the UK practice selective education at secondary / high school level, so children sit exams at 11 / 12. Schools that admit children who passed are called grammar schools. The performance of UK schools is also recorded in league tables, so schools, especially grammar and private schools, game the system by weeding out children every year and admitting strong performers for the last two years of secondary schooling.

    With a week to go before school resumes, some grammar schools have moved the goal posts by changing entrance exam criteria, two months after the exams were taken and a week after results were published. Therefore, some children hoping to change schools for their last two years, when pupils study for a(dvanced) levels, are no longer getting the school they want.

    The reasons given are the number of children moving out of London and the need to prioritise Ukrainian children. It’s the same at primary / middle school / junior high level, Ukrainian children given priority over neighbourhood children. An employee of the local authority was censured after blurting out and excusing herself to a parent that the local councillors make the rules, not local authority staff, and have decided to prioritise Ukrainian children and the outraged parent confronted some local politicians.

    Resentment is beginning to build, but it’s patchy and not publicised. The local BBC still churns out propaganda.

    There are Pakistani communities in Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Chesham (which should be pronounced Chezzum). Some have approached the local authorities and the Home Office in London about bringing relatives in distress from Pakistan for some time / respite. They have been refused. When the parallel with Ukraine was pointed out, it was made clear what the differences are.

    One wonders what will happen when mass migration begins thanks to climate change.

    1. Yves Smith

      I haven’t listened but based on what I heard from Robert Barnes at The Duran today (and a quick look at the DoJ filing re the affidavit seems to support Barnes), all reporting on the raid is crap. Unless the commentary addresses the issue below in its analysis, it’s superficial and not reliable. This BTW afflicts Trump-inclined analysts like Turley too.

      Barnes has done criminal cases (he defended Kyle Rittenhouse) and knows the fine points of criminal procedure, while it seems many legal commentators don’t or are skipping over them for the purposes of weighing in.

      The affidavit was not made out in the name of Donald Trump. It was made out in the name of the Office of Donald Trump. All former presidents have offices to handle their affairs.

      So the Trump lawyer could have been 100% truthful in saying he had turned over all classified docs

      – since he was operating in the name of the office. Trump could have held other docs personally which would be outside the affidavit
      – docs could be declassified and still have classification marks. Those are NOT removed even when a doc has been declassified

      Also hard to see how Melania’s closet would be within the ambit of a search in the name of the Office.

      The filing disingenuously uses office with lower case to make it seem like Trump personally was the target of the affidavit when he wasn’t.

  7. Sutter Cane

    AJ Leonardi has said he’s getting the bivalent vaccine when it is available. Given his track record of being right about how bad covid is while being savagely criticized by people who don’t want to hear it, that’s good enough for me.

  8. Michael Ismoe

    Russian oil chief Maganov dies in ‘fall from hospital window’

    It’s so much more believable when the suspect “hangs himself” in full view of a closed-circuit TV camera.

        1. ambrit

          And then I segued into “Operation High Jump.”
          And here I was thinking that MJ-12 referred to a Spiderman alternate universe.

    1. Skip Intro

      It is good to see traditionalists getting back into the defenestration game! Metaphor is great and all, but sometimes you have to get literal.

      1. Late Introvert

        I was going to go there but your comment is better than mine would have been. I love that word, defenestrate. Have to work it into a song somehow.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “What do US forces want to achieve in Syria?”

    Not hard to work out by what they are doing and what US officials have said on record-

    -Steal Syria’s oil to deny that country the funds to rebuild itself – and have some people pocket the money.

    -Steal the wheat from their breadbasket to have the Syrians on a semi-starvation diet – including their kids.

    -Train sabotage & assassination teams from ex-jihadists to send into Syria to wreck that country.

    -Stop the Syrians from occupying the rest of their country so they can’t back to a peacetime setting.

    -Deny Syria and Iraq having a direct road connection by maintaining the base at Al-Tanf.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Well, US is also supporting the separatist Kurdish administration there, too. Even if such a thing is frowned upon today’s international scene. So, kudos for the courage are in order.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Any separate Kurdish entity would always be an artificial construct as every one of their neighbouring countries is absolutely hostile to the idea. That is why the separatist Kurds collapsed so rapidly in Iraq when the ISIS threat receded. And the Kurds are occupying Syrian Arab territory – as well as their own Kurdish territory – and whose people are not happy about that at all, especially when the Kurds press the Syrian men into their military. The only way to have a separate Kurdish State is to have a permanent US force stationed there for decades at least.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Sounds just like the “strategy” the Israel-ites are imposing on Palestine. Got to love “Democracy”(tm).

      How does any of this ever change for the better?

  10. Stephen

    Remembering Gorbachev: Gilbert Doctorow

    His pieces are always thoughtful. Seems a fair geo political assessment: Gorbachev did give up a lot of foreign policy power in return for very little. His naivety towards the west sounds a little like the European elites of today with respect to the US. I suspect that future US histories will sanctify Johnson, Scholz et al but their own countries will have a very different narrative too. Assuming we come out of the current crisis in one piece.

    I studied Soviet politics a little in the mid 80s as part of my first degree under a Sovietologist who is still very much active as a Think Tank leader and seemingly very much a hawk on Russia. That seems to be the prime way to make such a career in the west, of course.

    Books by the Roy and Zhores Medvedev twins were very much part of the readings including the 1986 Gorbachev biography. Of course, they all had a certain perspective as well.

    My recollection is that none of the academics we studied from predicted anything like what happened. Indeed, one of our professors argued that the USSR had total control (a true totalitarian state) and contrasted that with 1930s/40s Germany which he argued was far less under full control of the regime. He may have been right (eg Nazi Germany had a private sector etc.) but it highlights the total unforeseen nature of the dissolution of the USSR.

    Just reviewed a short video by various such characters from a year ago where they argue that Russian exceptionalism means that she has goals that the west cannot accept and that their goal is not to get along with us. All anchored in academic speak but talks about Russian “disinformation” and a cultural / historic willingness to lie brazenly and so forth. Never happens in the west, of course. Verges on the type of comment that one could never state about some other cultures or races. One of the commenters even says that it is fine not to have good relations with Russia. Can see why we are in the mess we are in if this is what “experts” who never seem to predict anything accurately say as part of feeding their families.

    Perhaps I am too easily shocked. Comments for the video are turned off too. These guys always love healthy debate (not!).

    1. digi_owl

      Complete tangent, but i suspect that said private sector owners in nazi Germany would find themselves marched out of office by SS if they didn’t abide dictates.

      Then again, not that different from wartime USA from what i have read.

      1. vao

        Like all fascist states, Nazi Germany followed corporatist principles. Private firms were encouraged to make profit, and workers were held on a tight leash (no such thing as class struggle, everybody cooperates in a national effort), but when the State decided that some economic endeavour was of national importance, then those firms had to deliver. No was not an answer.

        The Führer wants a People’s Car? You better come up with a prototype pronto. When the steel industry was not willing to process ore with a low rate of iron, the State expropriated the iron mines, and took over the production of steel. Firms were forced to become part of “Zwangskartellen” (compulsory cartels) which enabled the Nazi State to regulate markets. For instance, with the Zwangskartell for the cement industry the Nazi government imposed uniform conditions regarding prices and delivery conditions. There were 120 such cartels on every possible economic sector (from soap to tobacco, from inland waterways to machines for the glas industry). Later, the Nazi government transformed many of those Zwangskartelle into Lenkungsverbände (steering federations) — where the State purely and simply instructed firms about their objectives. The most important ones were for coal, steel and textile. Of course, finance, and especially money transfer and currency exchange were extremely tightly regulated.

        That kind of dirigism (private firms are great, they are allowed to make as much profit as possible, labour must keep quiet and work while capitalists amass money, but when the State decides some sector is strategic, then no discussion is allowed — the capitalists must comply and deliver) was typical of all fascist countries.

        1. digi_owl

          Now i am tempted to say that such dirigism was part of the post-war nordic model, except that it incorporated strong worker unions rather than suppressing labour.

      2. Kouros

        Germany was run by various Gauleiters. After June1941, Hitler was too caught up with the Eastern front that even moved east his HQ. NSDP gauleiters were running the state. Probably a bit like US governors nowadays in states where due to gerrymandering, only one party will ever win…

    2. OIFVet

      I am not sure I agree about the Euro elites’ naivety. I can buy it about Gorby but the Euros are true believers. True believers are always dangerous from my experience.

            1. Polar Socialist

              It’s a service to us lesser people. When we finally have nothing, when they’ve released us from our degrading materialism, only then we can be truly free. \s

              1. Anthony G Stegman

                In a sense that is true. Remember the old adage – the more you own, the more it owns you. Perhaps owning nothing will prove to be quite liberating.

                1. LifelongLib

                  In my younger days I rented apartments, took the bus, used laundromats etc. It wasn’t bad but I had to organize my life around it. The worst part was having to move every couple years because the landlord was going to sell or renovate.

                2. Harry Haller

                  By “you’ll own nothing” they mean that you’ll rent everything you need to live from corporate behemoths and pay them weekly/monthly/yearly fees until the day you die. It’s the app store or pay to play model of capitalism.

                  What gets me is that they actually thought people would react positively to this concept and even created a little propaganda video to sell it. It has since been quietly removed from the WEF website.

                  1. Aumua

                    I don’t think that’s the truth. I think it was just a slide from some minor side speaker’s presentation at the WEF that was seized upon and repeated ad nauseum by a certain faction to indicate being in on some big secret.

                    But I could be wrong.

        1. OIFVet

          I think they hold a host of beliefs: Euro-Atlanticism, neoliberalism, anti-Russianism (and perhaps more broadly, belief in Slavs’ inferiority), etc. Scholz and the German ruling coalition as a whole strike me as the true-believer type. Take Baerbock:”If I promised the people of Ukraine that we will be with you as long as you need, I want to keep this promise. No matter what my German voters think, I want to keep my promise to the people of Ukraine.”

          That’s true believer sh!t right there.

          1. digi_owl

            So “globalism”. Meaning a worldwide “free market” with run by a “democratically elected” elite.

            A church of Mammon if there ever was one.

          2. Kouros

            She also promised to her German voters that nuclear plants will come off line. Her green colleague seems to be backtracking on that promise….

      1. spud

        CORRECT! true believers are far more dangerous than a typical TRUMP type. here are true believers in action.

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

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

    3. hk

      The bit about “cultural/historic willingness to lie brazenly” is peculiar since a common refrain in European diplomatic history, going at least as far back as Bismarck’s times, was that Russian never “lie,” at least not brazenly–they always assemble a set of legalistic arguments on the basis of accepted legal conventions to justify themselves. These justifications may be “forced” and not “honest in the spirit of the principles,” but never outright deceit the way Western moralizers who seem to justify their not-terribly-moral actions on the basis that their intent is moral.

    4. deplorado

      >> none of the academics we studied from predicted anything like what happened.

      I am certain that I have the correct and very simple explanation for that. None could predict it because none could believe how s t u p i d l y and against the interests he represented Gorbachev would act for the inarguably dubious goal of gaining approval from the West. As simple as that. Go read the national archives site about how he begged Bush Sr for a few billion, “you gave the Saudi’s billions, what is 5 billion to you to give to us” – this is close to verbatim. This from the leader of a country with 293 million educated healthy people and the most resources on earth.

      You can also verify my theory by asking/ watching interviews with his contemporaries who dealt with him from various countries ( China, former Sov bloc). Inevitably, they will eventually reveal a dim view of his understanding the consequences of his actions. He was in a big way over his head — and, the extent of that, no one could predict.

  11. Big River Bandido

    I love the Lichtensteinesque cartoon, although in my mind the woman on the left just represents every American draped in Ukraine flag and waving pom-poms for the Blob.

  12. Lexx

    ‘Medieval friars were riddled with parasites’

    Worms are easy enough to kill in compost but their eggs require much higher temperatures to kill off. And even if the friars had known this could they have achieved those temperatures? Didn’t Britain during the Medieval period go through some really cold wet summers when crops failed due to fungus? In the article they seem to be iffy on the exact time of deaths for those friars. What if they knew they needed higher temperatures, but just couldn’t achieve them and the alternative was starvation in winter?

    I was a fan of the ‘Cadfael’ series. Maybe he could have figured out how to use herbs to rid his brothers of parasites between solving murder mysteries. Just rewatched ‘The Name of Rose’ (1986) too. Non-inheriting sons didn’t mean retarded or mentally ill (Ron Perlman); it was an alternate path of ambition for the smartest boys (Sean Connery/Christian Slater).

    1. nippersdad

      I was under the impression that all farmers used nightsoil in the medieval period, which is not clear from this article. I think the real difference between the gardens that friars tended and the strip farming going on elsewhere is the crop rotation period. Unlike with gardening veggies or fruits, high value things that the friars would have dealt with, if you were to put down nightsoil on a strip farm then you would have a year of fallow to allow the eggs to die off interspersed with crops that would be more resistant to the problem of eggs in the soil.

      You don’t graze gardens, and that may be the big difference.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “German companies halt production to cope with rising energy prices”

    ‘Economy minister Robert Habeck describes trend as ‘alarming’ for country’s Mittelstand’

    Robert Habeck may say that it is alarming but it is still full speed ahead. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was just saying at the Forum 2000 conference in Prague ‘I will put Ukraine first “no matter what my German voters think” or how hard their life gets.’ (54 second video)

    Some of the replies are funny too.

    1. hk

      So much for “democracy,” or should I say, “totalitarianism for democracy!” (to match “bombs for peace”–the nonsense slogan that this madness began with….)

    2. Skip Intro

      I wonder if she thought a translation wouldn’t get back to Germans. Or maybe she knows the it’s all over with the voters anyway.

  14. Alice X

    The Biden administration is pushing another round of Covid boosters. Who’s listening?

    Who’s listening? My doc I guess. I had a health check up last week and he was promoting them from behind his procedure mask. I listened and yawned from behind my N95.


  15. digi_owl

    “Taiwan president says she looks forward to producing ‘democracy chips’ with U.S. Reuters.”

    Do they go well with Freedom Fries?

    “What Are You Doing on Saturday Night? Staying Home to Watch ‘Svengoolie’ WSJ.”

    Again and again i find myself suspecting that if the combined archives of Hollywood was opened to the world, there would be little market for their new productions. And that is why they are so heavy on the copyright, to restrict consumer access to old stock.

    1. Mildred Montana

      >”Again and again i find myself suspecting that if the combined archives of Hollywood was opened to the world, there would be little market for their new productions.”

      Being curious, I checked out the copyright duration for Hollywood films. If I’ve read the website correctly, it is 70 years. Darn. That means my favorite movie of all time, 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘸𝘯 (1974), won’t be out of copyright until 2044, by which time I most likely won’t be eating the daisies (𝘗𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘋𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘌𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘢𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘦𝘴, 1960), I’ll be fertilizing them.,an%20agreement%20to%20the%20contrary.

      “…there would be little market for their new productions.”

      Occasionally I wonder if the times have passed me by. Why do I find so many current Hollywood productions unsatisfying? I have spoken with other people (admittedly my approximate age-group) and the consensus seems to be that contemporary films are more like cartoons, a never-ending stream of sequels, action-heroes, super-heroes, special effects, CGI, etc. with little dialogue, plastic characters, and no psychological tension.

      I could be wrong and I hope I am. Perhaps it’s only an old person’s common inability to appreciate the new in the arts and a younger person (or an older person for that matter) would heartily disagree with me. Please do.

      1. Expat2Uruguay

        Actually I don’t think younger people disagree. For me most of the modern stuff pushes woke ideology hard there really is no other storyline. And I totally agree with this analysis:

        a never-ending stream of sequels, action-heroes, super-heroes, special effects, CGI, etc. with little dialogue, plastic characters, and no psychological tension.

      2. digi_owl

        That seems to echo my thinking that society is infantilizing the masses.

        Norway used to have this idea that you had this big, final, party time before entering university, as now you were heading into somber adulthood. But lately it feels like university has become and even larger party time, with stories about introductory arrangements that are week long binge sessions etc.

        And speaking of superheroes, years back there was this row at Marvel, leading to JMS (of Babylon 5 fame), who was writing Spider-Man at the time and introducing all kinds of whacky stuff in the process, walking out mid-story.

        This because a new editor had taken over, and wanted to roll the character back to his college years, because those were what said editor grew up reading and remembered fondly.

        Keep in mind that this erased decades of character development, like him marrying Mary Jane and revealing his identity to the world.

        All in all it seems we have entered a period where many of us flee into our childhoods. Maybe because we can, as there is so much recorded material from those years. Maybe because we recoil in horror from the prospects of the future, where as previous generations could assume the future would be better than the past.

    2. hunkerdown

      Correct, and also in preventing the survival of copies of works they can no longer exploit due to copyright expiration. The Universal warehouse fire probably prompted the explosive egress of no few champagne corks on Wilshire Blvd.

      Not only would there be no market for their new productions, there would be no vehicle for the novel social fashions and rainbow retcon that certain rich people think we should want to see.

  16. vao

    I remember to have watched the bonus antidote years ago.

    It is actually quite old (in Internet time), and the complete version has been available on YouTube for almost 13 years (the sound effects are annoying, though).

    It is not the first time I notice old YouTube videos being recycled on Twitter. Is Twitter so lacking in original “content”?

    1. digi_owl

      Twitter from the outset was about “recycling”.

      After all, it started as an SMS “broadcaster”. The web side of things was more of an afterthought.

  17. flora

    re: Bank of America announces zero down payment, zero closing cost mortgages for Black and Hispanic first-time homebuyers – NBC

    “Son of Subprime” ? “Subprime II” ? What could go wrong? / ;)

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Isn’t it just so heartwarming that b of a is going all philanthropic at a time when house prices and mortgage interest rates are going through the roof, and more experienced, better prepared potential buyers are balking.

      I’d like to know what the interest rate setup here is. Interest only? Negative amortization? No one should ever forget that, for the first 10 or so years of a 30-year mortgage, the “P & I” payment is pretty much all interest. As in zero equity being built up for the “owner” except from rising “valuations” that have probably already gone as far as they’re gonna go.

      I wonder if those first time buyers will be told that in the ” homebuyer certification course provided by Bank of America and federally approved housing counseling partners” that they’re required to take before applying for the loan. For ten years you’re just a renter, responsible for taxes and all maintenance, and your landlord is b of a.

      And the “no down payment” is a particular pet peeve of mine. Not only does a down payment give the “owner” instant equity, it lowers the amount of interest that’s charged. And, “saving” a down payment demonstrates that you can live on less than you bring in, so you don’t default because you need a new water heater. That the concept of “saving” at compounding interest is a relic of american economic history doesn’t change that fact.

      So, a little variation on the neolib owning nothing and being happy–“You’ll own nothing but be happy because they’ll call you an “owner” and let you pretend that you are.”

      1. AndrewJ

        On the plus side, you won’t be turfed out just because your landlord wants to paint the house, replace the counter in the kitchen and double the rent. Or sell the property so it can be developed into condos. As a renter, very likely for life due to American debt peonage and [lack of] healthcare, I have no illusions that I have any stability.

  18. SocalJimObjects

    So China will be trialing a new way for non residents to visit the Mainland. People will first have to fly to Hong Kong and quarantine there. Afterwards they’ll be allowed to cross the border to Shenzhen. Right now, residents are allowed to fly to Chinese cities directly where they’ll have to spend 7 days in a quarantine hotel followed by another 3 days of home quarantine. This seems more like an attempt to help Hong Kong’s economy than anything else.

    1. Questa Nota

      The rule of law, another casualty from the intersectionality of the PMC and the neo-liberal order.
      Constitution, Shmonstitution they say.

    2. Asterion the Underbussed

      Did anyone notice the Roger Stone pardon and the President of France info was itemized as a single document found in a desk drawer!? Pardons are usually filed with the DOJ, rarely cite foreign heads of state, and are never secreted away in a bridal suite. You don’t think Trump preemptively pardoned Roger Stone for participating in and amplifying the hack and dump attack on President Macron, thereby necessitating the head US spy hunter, Jay Bratt, to sign the warrant, the only apparent warrant to bear his signature in his capacity as head of counterintelligence because the investigation involves an allied foreign agency’s investigation. DGSI has the capability to eavesdrop on Roger Stone and citizen Trump without prior US knowledge. And the DGSI did just roll up a Russian spy network in April.

      It would explain the belated effort to bounce evidence re: attorney-client privie over a pardon drafted by counsel, the one item that is not gov’t property, and perhaps the actual target of the search eventually dawning on Team Trump.

      1. hunkerdown

        “Hack and dump” Nice neoliberal-authoritarian dog whistle there. Elites have no right to privacy. Every single one of them should be hacked and dumped, right down to their in flagrante delicto pics.

  19. Questa Nota

    Job Seekers:

    In a recent survey of locals in low-paying retail jobs, 100% of those who opined said that they were actively seeking a different job.
    A selection bias.
    Moving on.

    And an indicator of a deeper problem, where everything possible is pushed down to employees when not offloaded to customers.

    The wages offered did not match up with the skills required.
    Those required skills used to be applied by someone in the finance or accounting area or in marketing.
    Daily reconciliations, bank transactions, many other seemingly banal items on top of social media presence and updating, all while interacting with customers and attempting to represent the company well.

    Then they got the privilege of cleaning the store to exercise those in-demand vacuuming and other skills.
    The management, when even available, was not much help in assistance, scheduling, trouble-shooting or much else.

    Class issues pop up in the darnedest places.
    When the peons, proles, serfs and BS Studies graduates all notice that the parent company paid itself a handsome dividend, they tend to get miffed.

  20. BondsOfSteel

    RE: Chevy Volt

    I have a Chevy Volt. It’s great.

    I’m guessing the problem isn’t that the replacement battery pack cost $30,000. It’s that the dealership doesn’t want the job. Since the Volt still has a gas engine, it still requires regular maintenance… so I end up taking it to the dealer.

    My Chevy dealership, which was one of the highest selling Volt dealers in the country, is full of mostly muscle car loving broad chested dudes. When I show up with my Volt, I can see disappointment in their faces. When I explain the problem… they sigh and say that I needed to tell them I was bringing in a Volt so they could have their special Volt guy look at it. I explain I did and how it’s not really a Volt specific issue anyway. They then mansplain to me for 10 mins about how they’re not going to fix it. I’ve finally decided my boyfriend needs to take the car in for service :(

    The weakest point in the transition to electric cars isn’t the car or the battery. It’s the dealerships. It’s why Tesla, Ford, and now VW are all trying to avoid them.

    1. Late Introvert

      As a man who hates and has been punished by jocks my whole life, BondsOfSteel, feel my solidarity.

      My suggestion is ask around to your co-workers and friends for a reliable mechanic. They do exist. Dealerships are not the best places for car services, to make an understatement.

  21. Mikel

    “I’m uncomfortable that we would move forward — that we would give millions or tens of millions of doses to people — based on mouse data,” he wrote.

    He didn’t get the memo that people are the new mice.

    1. nippersdad

      We are all Tuskegee airmen now.

      Tuskegee Syphilis Study
      Dates 1932–1972
      Locations Tuskegee, Alabama
      Funding U.S. Public Health Service (PHS)
      The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male[1][2][3] (informally referred to as the Tuskegee Experiment or Tuskegee Syphilis Study) was a study conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the United States Public Health Service (PHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on a group of nearly 400 African Americans with syphilis.[4][5] The purpose of the study was to observe the effects of the disease when untreated, though by the end of the study medical advancements meant it was entirely treatable. The men were not informed of the nature of the experiment, and more than 100 died as a result.

      This is just a return to form for the CDC.

      1. Mikel

        They are just trying to up their test subjects to 400,000,000 over 40 years instead of 400.
        40 years. That’s a good indicator about how long they plan to dig their heals in with this current experiment.
        The effects have the potential to be more sinister if this kind of faux “emergency approval” and “mandates” of drugs become more ingrained in society because they aren’t trying to leave any room for control groups that could help pinpoint where the accountability lies for any developments over the long term.

  22. lb

    Regarding Svengoolie, it’s actually an _over the air_ franchise in much of North America. MeTV is one of a few channels run by Weigel Broadcasting out of Chicago, focused on syndicated content or similar older stuff. Cable carries it, but you can pick it up over the air. Between MeTV, Decades, Cozi and H&I TV over the air and “Pop”(?) on Cable, my background TV consumption is almost entirely syndicated shows — it’s about all that feels particularly watchable these days, and the more obscure shows are new to me.

    Koz was actually part of Chicago TV when I was growing up in the 80s and 90s, hosting the cartoons et al for kids in the afternoon, too. MeTV carries Svengoolie, and its intermediate announcer (commercials et al) is the same voice I remember from Channel 50 in the 90s in Chicago — somehow she sounds the same three decades later. It (MeTV’s content, sound, et al) is a nice familiar thing that somehow still survives, and thrives, nationally. I’m glad new audiences are enjoying this too.

    1. spud

      all i watch is free t.v. i get up to 74 channels in the twin cities. some crummy full time informercial selling junk, a few religous ones, a couple of latin ones, etc, but lots of rerun entertainment when entertainment, was entertaining. even lots of ghost stuff, and the new stories network can be awesome.

      although i miss wolfman macs chiller drive in theater, and offbeat cinema.'s_Chiller_Drive-In

      but sven and the saturday night METV programming is a delight, i never miss till i can no longer stay awake!

      city on the edge of forever this weekend.

  23. nippersdad

    It sounds like they are having a mental breakdown over at the Telegraph.

    “Britain is now in grave danger of falling into Vladimir Putin’s trap. His kamikaze economic war on the West will eventually take down his disgusting coterie of war criminals, but in the meantime it is beginning to inflict immense, permanent damage on the Western way of life, to the great delight of Moscow’s siloviki hard men….”

    iEarlGrey hits the high spots:

      1. nippersdad

        That seems largely accurate, but isn’t it strange that even he still feels compelled to say things like this?

        “It’s incredible that seemingly intelligent people in the West live under the illusion that because Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is illegal and immoral, that Russia should sit back and allow the West to destroy its economy without retaliating.”

        At what point will it become necessary to notice that Ukraine had been at war with the Donbass for eight years prior to Russia’s SMO? That Russia entered the conflict on their behalf? If he couldn’t do it here then where can one do it? Seems like it is even more “illegal and immoral” to be arming straight up Nazis who have been documented by the OSCE* as having been guilty of war crimes for nearly a decade before Russia stepped in after all of its’ efforts to get Minsk implemented fell through.


        1. ThirtyOne

          Stating that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is illegal and immoral is a common theme among the “realist” journos and opinionators. Gotta stay inside that Overton window, or the shekels won’t flow.

          1. nippersdad

            This is true, but when it all goes South and people start to need a scapegoat it is their credibility that will suffer. That talk about “seemingly intelligent people in the West” missing the point of the exercise may bite him in the butt pretty soon.

            1. Stephen


              I saw data quoted by Responsible Statecraft that the US has carried out 100 military interventions overseas since 1990. It may not be totally accurate but is probably directionally ok. Guess all of those interventions were totally unprovoked, legal and moral plus led to zero civilian casualties.

              Allister Heath used to be a journalist I thought was sensible. I even used to have a Telegraph subscription. Never again.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      The Obamacrats will never recognize any such thing. If some antiBamacrats who always recognized it can somehow purge and burn the Obamacrats out of the Party, then they can say ” the Party now belongs to people who recognize the Obama Financial policies were a bad thing.”

      If they could get other New Deal Revivalists to carry the Purges deeper and burn out every DemParty member and supporter who supports the DLC/Clinton spectrum of anti-New Deal policy reversals and rollbacks, then such a purged, purified and declintaminated Party might receive a new measure of welcome among people.

  24. spud

    actually all obama did was bail out, and then double down on bill clintons bad policies.

    Escalating Blowback from Russian Sanctions

    31 August 2022 by Larry Johnson 62 Comments

    “The U.S. economy faces significant headwinds moving into the fall. Biden and his team will continue to use the lipstick on a pig to paint the situation in the most positive light possible, but that will not solve the supply chain shortages and the continue growth of inflation.”

    those supply chain problems and the related inflation, are due to bill clintons free trade and deregulation policies.

    when we look at history, they will say biden never tackled those problems. the reality will be just like obamas reality was, he never reversed bill clintons polices.

    Bill Clinton Did More to Sell Neoliberalism than Milton Friedman
    A brief history of how the Democratic Party’s turn to market capitalism wrecked everything.
    Lily Geismer June 14, 2022

          1. Polar Socialist

            60+ commandos supported by artillery were stopped by Rosgvardiya platoon, basically border guards and riot police? Maybe UK should revise it’s training and assume the other side actually fights back in the future.

            Of course, the Rosgvardiya pretty fast got backup from helicopters and motorized infantry units. But any plan should feature in that the opponent may react correctly and quickly.

            1. Stephen

              The UK military has always had a fixation with Special Forces and ad hoc formations.

              It may be a yearning back to the Corps of Guides, auxiliary forces in the days of Empire and Lawrence of Arabia. In WW2 the proportion of special forces of various forms was also much higher than in any other army.

              This operation has all the hallmarks of the UK and of Johnson. His hero Churchill envisioned Gallipoli, of course. Perhaps he was trying to outdo him and exit with a victory.

    1. Polar Socialist

      According to Donbass/Crimean Telegram channels, the Russian success in defense was (partly) made possible by several hundred Crimean Tatar volunteers holding Aleksandrivka at the westernmost point of line so stubbornly that Russians were able to move the regular army troops to counterattack in the Andrevka- Sukhyi Stavok area and contain the initial breach.

      Go figure. Zelensky certainly has his work cut out if he still wants Crimea back.

  25. Pelham

    Re where we’ll end up living amid climate change: Perhaps if we could frame climate change as a direct threat to the contiguous 48 while the hated and despised Russia, Scandinavia and Canada stand to benefit we could make more progress convincing the skeptics that urgent action needs to be taken.

    1. nippersdad

      “US efforts to subdue Denmark in Greenland fail disastrously as walruses puncture tires on new military transport vehicles”……”Polar bears eat troops when new rifles fail”…..”Who knew the Inuit were so dangerous?”….And, my favorite: “Nancy Pelosi rallies the troops with ice cream socials in Qaportoq”

      Your headlines fifty years early.

        1. nippersdad

          Vladimir Putin weaponizes walruses! Wouldn’t that just be typical of him?

          He is an evil genius against whom we have no defence.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Ah, but if we ban Russian musicians from Covent Garden they will regime change him immediately! Any day! Soon. Just give it some time…

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Really? Now? I can well imaging the GermanyGov saying: ” Sure. Give us back all of Silesia with all your citizens removed from it, and then we will give you 1.3 trillion dollars.”

      1. Daniil Adamov

        The timing is curious. It looks to me as if Poland is trying to shake down the Germans ahead of the hard years that everyone now agrees are on the way. I wonder if the Poles have any leverage to back that up, though. Erdogan-style weaponisation of refugees?

  26. drumlin woodchuckles

    . . . ” Remembering Gorbachev Glibert Doctorow (ctlieee). “The [Soviet] economy was hopelessly mismanaged and the entire legacy of Soviet legislation rendered it virtually impossible to escape from violence or the threat of violence to make things work.” Totally unlike the Unied States….”

    I see the second-to-last word in that quote has literally been spelled as . . . ” Unied” States. Was the “t” left out on purpose to see if we could spot it? And to see if we decided to put it back in such a way as to spell either “United” or “Untied” depending on what we think the situation is?

    1. Yves Smith

      This was from the first day in an interview with Judge Napolitano on 8/31. This doesn’t prove how it turned out (according to the MoD even worse but some corroboration would be nice).

        1. Yves Smith

          When that happens, with a still and a voiceover, the original clip is somewhere else.

          It’s poor for Macgregor do this but maybe he is technically unskilled.

          Timing matters a ton in reporting on battles. Today Alexander Mercouris politely chewed out Dima at Military Summary for sounding conclusive about a Ukraine advance that the Russians reversed within hours:

          It is true that on the first day, “Ukraine was driven back with heavy loss”. It is conceivable that they could have reversed the situation. They didn’t. But the point is the Macgregor report was only on one day, and you can’t extend conclusions beyond that.

          You need to find the original since these recycles can be posted on YT well after the date of the original broadcast/interview.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            Indeed, people are far too quick to come to conclusions on the basis of sketchy reports. There are major battles and offensives from WWII where military experts still argue about what happened and who won. In any offensive there will be feints and counter and counter-counter moves, and you can’t really say if an offensive is successful or not if you don’t know the objectives. Most offensives don’t end up with clear, unambiguous outcomes. It always takes time to work out what happened and whether the tactical and strategic objectives have been achieved.

            I’d also be very wary of any youtube clips, even from reliable sources. As the YT armored warfare expert Nicholas Moran warned at the very beginning, its perfectly possible to come up with three or four entirely contradictory narratives of a battle on the basis of even very clear drone shots. I’ve given up paying much attention to these, even from the best sources as they are invariably edited, and you can’t trust any footage with an edit. Unfortunately, I think even the most reliable of commentators have often fallen into the trap of feeling they have to give some conclusions to their subscribers at the end of each day. Confirmation bias is particularly rife among so many of them.

            1. spud

              that is if the ukraine has enough fire power to reverse the losses, and i think not.

              as this was in its early stages declared a win,


              but they did not have the fire power any longer to pull off the goals, same at the battle of the bulge.

              so can the ukraine build on their minor, minor bridge head?

              or in reality, it was doomed from the start, and will only add to the downward pressure of the ukrainian positions.

              if you want to argue about who won, or who lost, you have to look at the early parts of any war.

              individual engagements about who won or who lost can be important, but once the tide has turned, its awfuly hard to rebound, ask lee after gettysburg, or paulis after staningrad, of hitler after operation bagation


              it mattered little after that how many engagements the axis won, it was over with for them when they lost that one.

              same in the ukraine. they can only be saved by nukes, and the free traders are insane enough to use them.

              what i really think the coverage is about now, and its not perfect coverage, is even if the ukraine has some small wins, or even a big one, it matters not, its all over for them, and to carry this out further will only make things worse for them, and i think that is what todays coverage is all about.

          2. Stephen

            To be fair, I am not sure that the channel is “his”. Colonel Macgregor did say once that there is a channel out there that posts clips. He does not seem to link to it from his blog either, supporting that view. He does link to other videos from the blog.


            Clear that the interview with Judge Napolitano was based on a lot of professional inference, which sounds fair enough and accurate. I agree though: facts are the only way to confirm what has happened, or not happened!

  27. Adam Eran

    Bank of America announces zero down payment, zero closing cost mortgages for Black and Hispanic first-time homebuyers NBC (Re I). Re Silc writes: “Thus you know the end is near….”

    …the end in question is peak real estate values. Weren’t we here in 2007-8? Ninja loans, liars loans, etc?

  28. JBird4049

    Lakewood cut down Town Square trees to deter homeless Asbury Park Press

    Is burning down the whole town next? To get rid of those pesky homeless? It sounds like something they would do. Flame the entire public space to get rid of Them!

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