Links 9/2/2022

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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The Contentious History of Official State Foods Smithsonian Magazine

Super Long-Distance NASA Fix Restores Voyager 1, Roughly 15 Billion Miles Away Science Alert (Furzy)

Researchers help reveal a ‘blueprint’ for photosynthesis

Floating Artificial Leaf Turns CO2 Into Fuel IEEE (ctlee)

This Homebuilt Wood-Powered Turbojet is Real and Incredibly Dangerous The Drive


Anthony Fauci Should Have Resigned a Long Time Ago Jacobin

No need to isolate for 5 days if COVID-positive as long as symptoms improve: Ontario top doc Global News. Lambert will claw his eyeballs out if he sees this.

Chengdu locks down 21.2 million people as Chinese cities battle Covid-19 CNBC



First came the heatwaves, then the floods: Why Pakistan is on the frontline of the climate crisis France24

Oil industry condemns first US fee on greenhouse gases FT

Wildfires erupt across California as sweltering heatwave engulfs state Guardian

Mississippi Crisis Highlights Climate Threat to Drinking Water Nationwide The New York Times.  Resilc: “More troops in Syria and Somalia can help, along with another war with Iran and China…”

America’s Water Supply: The Corrosion of a Proud Tradition Scientific American

California to fight drought with canal-top solar panels The Register (Chuck L)

Texas’ cotton industry is facing its worst harvest in years — costing the state more than $2 billion Texas Tribune


China’s life expectancy is now higher than that of the US Quartz

Nvidia and AMD Stock Tumble as U.S. Limits Exports to China Barron’s

The China-ASEAN rail map takes shape Asia Media Centre. In contrast: After a decade of hype, Dallas-Houston bullet train developer faces a leadership exodus as land acquisition slows. Texas Tribune


100 years of Russian gas for India Indian Punchline (Jerri-Lynn)


UN raises alarm on Red Sea oil tanker ‘time-bomb’ Al Arabiya

Coast Guard cutter seizes $20 million in illicit drugs in Gulf of Oman Military Times

Half of Americans Say Sending Troops to Afghanistan Was ‘A Mistake’  Defense One

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

Iraqi Kurdistan says economy at risk of collapse, asks for US help The Cradle

Libyans have lost faith in political class, US diplomat says after Tripoli clashes. Guardian (Resilc)

Old Blighty

Liz Truss may trigger article 16 days after becoming PM, amid Brexit row The Guardian

Liz Truss planning ‘charm offensive’ with US administration to ease concerns over Northern Ireland Protocol Belfast Telegraph

NHS vacancies in England at ‘staggering’ new high as almost 10% of posts empty Guardian

Croydon cemetery: People seen taking water meant for graveside flowers BBC

New Not-So-Cold Cold War


No tweets on the commando raid in English that I saw. So I include (a) that it did in fact happen and (b) it was a debacle. a debacle so bad that spin has yet to emerge. (See Johnson on the setup frpm Ignatius.)

If True… Andrei Martyanov

Putin has pulled off a shock win that could destroy the free world Telegraph

Putin Brings China and India to Russia for War Games Defying US Bloomberg

Head of Russian oil giant that criticized Ukraine war dies after reportedly falling from hospital window NBC News. (Furzy) With a list of oil execs who met the same fate.

Zelensky Lets Out His Italian Luxury Villa to Russians For 50,000 Euros While Urging EU to Curb Visas for Russians IBT. Not confirmed but Captain Renault would be shocked


Some 120,000 service enterprises, 370,000 jobs in peril. ANSA. Italy because of soaring energy prices.

Poland puts its World War II losses at $1.3 trillion, demands German reparations CNN. Yves: “After everyone wrote off Germany’s WWII debt, this is pretty cheeky. And how about Polish reparations to all the Jews they killed?”

Brussels prepares diplomatic offensive to stop the advance of China and Russia in Latin America El Pais

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U.S. gets warrant to seize $45 mln airplane owned by Russian energy firm Lukoil  Reuters

>Can the Quincy Institute Survive Putin’s War? New Republic. (Rewilc)

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MIKHAIL GORBACHEV Patrick Armstrong (guurst)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Reported sexual assaults across US military increase by 13% Military Times

Restored Venezuela-Colombia Ties a Blow to US TeleSur

Video Of Mysterious Drone Swarm Over Navy’s Most Advanced Destroyer Released The Drive

Biden Administration


New Mexico to build $10 mln clinic to meet expected abortion demand Reuters

Volunteer networks in Mexico aid at-home abortions without involving doctors or clinics. They’re coming to Texas. Texas Tribune


Judge withholds ruling on special master in Trump, DOJ battle The Hill

Jan. 6 panel alleges Gingrich involvement with Trump, seeks interview The Hill

Democrats en déshabillé

Don’t Mention The Fiscal Stagflation Paper  Heisenberg Report (Resilc)

Sports Desk

MLBPA: Minor league players returning union cards in volume Sports Business Journal

Guillotine Watch

Class Warfare

Starbucks and Amazon accused of dragging their feet on union contracts Guardian

US labor dispute: Dock workers say ‘no’ to port automation Deutsch Welle

America’s Affordable Housing Problem: How America got to be so unaffordable, and what we can do to make it more affordable; an analysis of good-in-theory v. outcome based policies Our Built Environment


LA plans to end COVID-19 protections against evictions,  rent hikes LA Times

Gov. Newsom’s court-ordered treatment plan for homeless Californians passes final test Union-Bulletin

Join Us In Celebrating 25 Years Of Techdirt! Techdirt

An Anti-Aging Supplement Might Actually Work Buzz About Medicine

Twitter made an edit button, but you’ll have to pay to use it engadget

Antidote du jour. Tracie H:

I sent a photo of this rabbit that’s been frolicking around our neighborhood before. I had never been able to get this close to it. Hubby had tossed a carrot into the neighbor’s yard where it was munching weeds, and I decided the neighbors mightn’t like us encouraging it to stay in their yard.
I circumnavigated the rabbit to avoid frightening it, and as I bent down to retrieve the carrot, two things became apparent.
1st, judging by the many pellets, it was probably silly to worry about encouraging the rabbit to be in this yard. Clearly he’s spent a lot of time here.
2nd, the rabbit seemed to have followed me to the carrot, being just a couple of feet away as I picked it up.
I extended the carrot and was pleased that he took me up on the offer.
So, now, I MUST get a picture, thinks I.
My cellphone was in my left hand as I’d taken a couple from a distance, so the camera app was still active. I learned, then, that Apple IPhones don’t require a finger to touch the little white circle that activates the shutter. When desperate, a tongue will suffice.

And a bonus :(via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa


    The EU intends Russian sanctions for years
    So Russia’s looming problem appears
    To be how to live next to destitute Europe
    Where living standards only last year were up

    Higher than just about anywhere
    But now these sanctions spell chronic despair
    A region deprived of essential fuels
    And essential supplies by political fools

    Entire industries cannot produce
    So profits vanish and jobs reduce
    All so that NATO can threaten the Kremlin
    With the unthinkable nuclear gremlin

    The true goal of sanctions is not to defend
    But to bring the Russian state to an end
    It’s a Lebensraum effort to take Russia out
    Go read the Rand plan if you have any doubt

    As Europe becomes an absolute mess
    A calamity zone Russia must address
    By closing their border to keep them at bay
    Russia is quietly turning away

    From these fickle, false, fatuous EU folk
    Not agreement-capable, Postmodern, Woke
    A population whose elected masters
    Lead them repeatedly into disasters

    Abroad and back home, running up debts
    Till they have to come after the people’s assets
    Just to pay the interest on what is owed
    Meaning social supports shrink and implode

    Families abandoned, evicted, ignored
    Tossed in the street by some corporate landlord
    This is Europe’s future as sanctions persist
    Beginning this fall if their leaders insist

    On wading yet further into the mire
    Of sanctions that fail, that only backfire
    And it won’t do to wait, thinking Russia can’t hold
    These sanctions already turned rubles to gold

    And Russia has found better export clients
    The Chinese keep contracts in perfect compliance
    Now Europe will never get goods they declined
    When ruining Russia was foremost in mind

    Among Europe’s neoliberal clique
    Sp obsessed with the havoc they want to wreak
    If they could just grab Russia’s natural wealth
    By strategems, spycraft, sneaking, and stealth

    They tried, and they failed, and they always will
    And now Europe hasn’t much time until
    Winter arrives and the Frost Giants win
    When it’s cold, no matter how much liars spin

    These sanctions will prove determinative
    Europe won’t be a place you’d want to live
    No jobs, food, or heat, and no sanctions reprieve
    Anybody with sense will line up to leave

    As the EU and NATO stick to their course
    What else can Russia do but divorce
    Their economy from European trade
    A final and full economic blockade

    It’s too late for Europe to make amends
    Russia sells Europe’s fuel to their Asian friends
    So farewell to Europe’s ancient regimes
    Your path is austerity to the extremes

    Your lack of fuels is not Russia’s fault
    The EU opened Pandora’s vault
    The EU and NATO want a Cold War
    So Russia is simply closing the door

    1. Sardonia

      Nice. Tight lyrics. Is this adapted from a song? If so, it’s cool to know the melody and beat, to sing along in my head.

    2. juno mas

      Wonderful effort! If that was composed over the morning coffee/tea, then surely you have talent for all to see.

    1. tgs

      Thanks for the link to the very informative interview. Baud’s claim about ‘mirror image’ propaganda explains most if not all the claims about the war in the Western press. Indeed, there is a piece on ZH today in which US intelligence officials claim that, having lost 70000-80,000 troops, the Russians, desperate for warm bodies, are letting criminals out of prison to plug the holes in the forces holding on for dear life in the Dombass.

      1. JohnA

        Such a good interview. A typical example of western media propaganda was in the Daily Mail today that alleges for example:
        Putin is in seriously bad health
        Putin is brainwashing Russian children about Ukraine
        Putin’s claim that the SMO/invasion was to protect Russian speakers in Donbass is a ‘demented lie’
        etc., etc.
        As Baud explains, until the western media/politicians acknowledge what has really happened there in the last few years, they will continue to fail and cause further misery.

        1. Stephen

          It is.

          The actual factual quotes by Putin in the Daily Mail article all seem reasonable statements to me! But the Daily Mail’s added spin is designed to create a far less reasonable image, of course. With selected quotes from unknown people with Russian sounding names to criticize him.

          President Putin has become the new Trump for much of the western world.

          The comments are the most depressing element. The UK population is 90% brain washed and has no idea it has been propagandized. People with zero facts just jumping onto the bandwagon of Putin and Russia bashing. Some do not even seem to realize that the Soviet Union no longer exists.

          The Ukraine episode has reminded me how evil can take hold in a society.

          How can journalists who create this garbage sleep at night? Guess they are themselves as unknowingly propagandized as the masses they cater to.

          1. hunkerdown

            Class interest. “Journalists” are self-righteous soldiers “fighting for” the conditions that realize regime values and celebrate regime gods, which is the acknowledged social role of a gentry. The commercial middle class, like any other Puritan sect, defines themselves by their piety. I’ll lift a paragraph from a MoA coment:

            People who pursue a career in mass media do so with the understanding that they have tremendous influence over what people think. They are fully aware that how they influence people’s opinions during a time of war will influence the course of that war, so their patriotic duty to their country and its troops on the ground is to aggressively and proactively generate and reinforce war propaganda from “their side”.

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            Orientalism is a helluva drug. Part of me thinks especially with Euro types is they believe much of the third world would cut them out if they believed they could. They can’t conceive clipper ships let them wreck much of the world and get away. These two forces are running into a wall.

            Slavs and non-NATO weapons are winning against a “whiter” class and NATO wonder weapons. Rationally, the Russians don’t have any ability to threaten most EU states, and if they did, that would be a different ball game. This is really a distant conflict when you consider the size of Ukraine, but not being able to enforce their will among the little peoples is driving people crazy. Now the have this deranged price cap scheme. Now that the world is moving on despite control of micro states, they are fighting reality.

            Not that I don’t think the EU is the most important and ambitious polity in the world, I do, but they really haven’t left their colonial past. The English are the foremost sufferers of this problem, being too good for the EU, but the central and eastern Europeans who embraced “euro” values and the in the club Japanese are all kind of in the same boat. The US has similar problems, but I tend to think it’s a bit different at a lower level.

            1. Kouros

              There are significant portions of Europe that have never been engaged in colonialism / imperialism, instead being subject of it. Their musings are never heard though.

    2. Stephen

      It’s really good.

      The attached is not – yet another delusional piece by a western “journalist”.

      Maybe someone somewhere might like to run a competition for the most delusional Ukraine article. It is a crowded field but I am sure we can all come up with some judging criteria.

      Back to the idea now that Shoigu promised a Blitzkrieg, the Russian military is bogged down and Putin does not listen. Clearly these articles project the west’s own delusions onto Putin. It would be entertaining if the consequences were not so tragic.

      What happened to the Kherson offensive?

      1. Polar Socialist

        The first rule of the Kherson offensive is that we do not talk about Kherson offensive!

        And that’s the actual degree of the Ukrainian ministry of defense: if they told which villages they have taken, Russians would then barrage those villages. Because apparently Russians wouldn’t know which villages they have lost without Ukrainian media telling them…

        Anyhow, according to Telegram channels, Ukrainian media has been now banned from analyzing, criticizing or predicting actions of Ukrainian armed forces. They are only allowed to relay information provided by MoD. All war correspondents have been removed from the front line.

        1. Old Sovietologist

          It looks like the Kherson offensive was bad for the Ukrainians’ that the wounded are having to be treated in Poland.

          Mourning has been declared in Transcarpathia because of those killed during the attack on Kherson. It looks like Zelensky was happy to send hundreds of Transcarpathian’s to their deaths.

          Meanwhile in Moldova the opposition are being arrested. Maia Sandu may find she’s the first domino to fall.

          1. Polar Socialist

            What I’m reading from several (Telegram) sources is that yes, hospitals in Nikolaev, Odessa, Nikopol and Krivyi Rog are more than full.

            Today the Russian aviation knocked out the tree pontoon bridges in Ingulets the Ukrainians had been using to expand their bridgehead on the south bank (to a respectable depth of 5 miles). So the Ukrainians are now trapped on an open field 3 miles by 4 miles, and the Russians are mercilessly pounding them with thermobaric missiles and 1100 lb bombs.

            In several places Russians are already starting to push into villages that were under Ukrainian control to begin with. There are rumors of a strong Russian formation preparing to strike trough Posad-Pokrovske towards Nikolaev.

            And yet the Ukrainians are still sending more men into the battle. The latest reports say that Ukrainians are rushing more men and equipment from Odessa to try to save the trapped men during the night.

            Also apparently a pro-Poroshenko general major, deputy commander of special forces, publicly claimed that Ukraine has suffered several hundred thousand dead in the war by now. Maybe the complete waste of the men at ZNPP pissed him off enough to take a stand.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        The Telegraph article in today’s links is a prime contender for most delusional – chock full of white hot stupid.

    3. Mikel

      “Since the beginning of the Russian offensive, we can distinguish two ways of conducting the war. On the Ukrainian side, the war is waged in the political and informational spaces, while on the Russian side the war is waged in the physical and operational space…”

      Indeed. The other day, I described it as looking like a battle between strategy and propaganda.

    4. Mikel

      “Because Russia’s economy was thought to be comparable to Italy’s, it was assumed that it would be equally vulnerable. Thus, the West—and the Ukrainians—thought that economic sanctions and political isolation of Russia would quickly cause its collapse, without passing through a military defeat….”

      I remember Obummer’s derogatory comments about the Russian economy. And comments made by others.
      Here is where I’m baffled:

      The USA is forever and a day talking about its satellite surveillance and spies.
      Nobody saw all the mines, types of industry, and raw materials in Russia? What were they looking for and at? What can they REALLY see?

  2. timbers


    I know how to greatly reduce the cost of housing in the US, maybe rents too:

    1). Require the Federal Reserve to cash out (sell) it’s $9 trillion balance sheet, and send a check to every US citizen of equal amount (about $25,000 to each citizen = about $9 trillion). As the Fed’s balance sheet was not purchase with tax dollars, if you believe citizens are entitled to these government assets, it appears citizenship may be the easiest way to allocate entitlement.

    This will probably greatly reduce values in many/all assets including home prices. Stock markets will also plunge (as well they should having been bubbled up by these Fed asset purchases over many decades).

    However it’s hard to see how a recession can happen as people will instantly have an additional $9 trillion to spend. But the $9 trillion the people have to spend as they wish will – unlike the $9 trillion the Fed used to buy assets – NOT be spent mostly/entirely on purchasing assets as has the Fed’s asset purchases via QE. Some of it will, but it will be just one of a great many items the $9 in the hands of the people that will get spent on.

    And note: normalized asset values that replace bubbled Fed subsidized asset prices like stocks IMO will enormously help to increase US growth and productivity as it will help restore “capital markets” as they were are supposed to function.

    It will also be – maybe – just a little bit harder for folks like the Pelosi’s to profitably do insider stock trading if only because the march ever upward in stock and asset prices will no longer to vigorously subsidized by the endless well of free money digitally created by the Fed out of thin air to subsidize itself and it’s rich friends by driving asset prices far far above their actual economic value.

    1. Objective Ace

      > Require the Federal Reserve to cash out (sell) it’s $9 trillion balance sheet

      I’m not really sure how this would work. The only way to cash out this balance is to sell at a discount to wall street. I’m having a hard time seeing how giving another handout to wallstreet would benefit everyone else.. though it is an interesting thought experiment.

      Assuming the Fed ends up getting 6 trillion (because they must sell at a significant discount to move that many assets) that is 20,000 extra for every individual in the country. That’s definetly helpful — especially short term. But its not enough for any individual to actually build a new house. They probably just have some extra income to rent in a slightly nicer location for awhile or buy a new car. If they are already decently well off they may be able to buy an already existing house — but the key is few new houses will actually be built. Looking at longterm affordability: Everyone gets 20k — prices will just go up accordingly over the next couple years until everyone’s spent their 20k.. and then what?.. Wallstreet has some nice yielding assets they got for cheap, but the building/housing stock is largely left unchanged.

      If you really wanted to do something take some of those trillions and actually build housing stock where its desired or incentivize people to go where there already is an excess of housing — think the rust belt, cities like cleveland. Also do something about zoning laws in NIMBY areas that prevent housing density to be built

      1. timbers

        Why would the Fed “have” sell to Wall Street and why at a discount beyond the usual and how then is that a give to Wall Street? The Fed is we write selling its balance sheet. In small amounts. So, THAT is how it would work but bigger.

        1. Objective Ace

          9 trillion is 1/3 of the entire yearly economy. That’s massive – who is capable of buying that much?.. wallstreet.. maybe. But only at a significant discount. They aren’t going to be able to raise that much money unless the yield is eye catching.

          The 30 year mortgages Fannie and Freddie made at 3 percent are going to have to take a significant haircut. The private sector would never have made those loans.. there is no “usual” on these products. The US is the only major country making these types of loans because no other country is willing to pour that much money into subsidizing home buyers

    2. Cat Burglar

      An alternative might be for the Fed to identify everyone making payments into Fed held mortgage-backed securities, and then to just give them their houses and condos for free. A direct stimulus that would cut out any intermediary! As owner, the Fed could do it, and could simply make the losses disappear as easily as they made the money come into existence.

      That was on my mind as I read the Heisenberg commentary on Bianchi and Meloni’s paper on fiscal stagflation presented at the Jackson Hole meeting. What I got from it was their contention that the Fed may be unable to control inflation by interest rates alone unless fiscal discipline (read: reduced benefits and services for the working public) can create a perception that pay will be poor and prices will not rise. I give points to Heisenberg for recognizing MMT gives an accurate account of how government finance actually works, and am amused that he thought that public knowledge of the factual state of government financing posed a risk of unanchoring (what was it anchored to?) inflation expectations — if you want a frank anti-Enlightenment statement, there it is.

      Not many people know what MMT is, but everybody remembers the biggest single social benefit program of our lifetimes — the bank bailout. That, and not MMT, was what showed everyone that money is just created out of thin air.

      Bianchi and Meloni do not seem to have a category for the bailout in their case, if the excerpt Heisenberg shows is representative. The reader finds considerations of interest rate tightening, and on-the-books government spending and debt, but I see no consideration of the huge and continuing Fed funding of asset price inflation — which is basically an analog to a giant farm price-support program, only funded by electronic symbol entries. It was, and is, inflationary by design. Would they argue that asset markets are somehow separate from all other markets, so the idea of inflation does not apply? Is QE really a fiscal program? (It certainly relates to government revenues, so it meets the basic definition.) Bianchi and Meloni are concerned that someone (they do not say whom) might not believe the constitutional language about the full faith and credit of the US, but they are not concerned about the Bernanke Put.

      1. timbers

        “An alternative might be for the Fed to identify everyone making payments into Fed held mortgage-backed securities, and then to just give them their houses and condos for free.”

        That is an option but it does not have to be an alternative because it can be in addition to.

        My idea is and will REDUCE OVERALL HOME PRICES. Period. Good or bad, that is what it absolutely will do. Everyone accepts QE has increased home prices. Therefore unwinding QE will absolutely, indisputably REDUCE home prices.

        What you suggest is totally OK and can be good on top of reducing overall home prices.

        The main point is: Unwinding Fed assets purchase absolutely and indisputably will REDUCE HOME PRICES.

      2. Objective Ace

        Yikes – as an investor who owns 10+ fannie and freddie backed loans between my wife and I that sounds like an extremely unfair proposition. It was unfair to begin with to be given such accommodating terms, but that takes it to the next level.

        There really needs to be better targeting if you want to give out trillions of dollars. The people renting from us could use the money much more then we could

    3. spud

      you think the supply chain(free trade)debacles are bad now. much of that money will flow offshore buying what we used to make. the supply chain bottles necks and inflation we have today, would be considered tiny compared to if that much money was let loose without massive across the board tariffs.

  3. RookieEMT

    Jacobin isn’t acting in bad faith, but it’s just way way too late to write like this. That ship sailed over a year ago. The Republicans now own this narrative, somewhat correct in that criminal shenanigans happened.

    Democrats? Praise the criminal.

  4. jackiebass63

    Ontarios top doc says no need to isolate for 5 days after testing positive for Covid if they don’t have symptoms. In reading many articles about things doctors say, it makes me wonder how they got through medical school and acquired a license to practice medicine. I hear so much conflicting information about Covid that I will continue to act with caution.It seems to change faster than the weather.

    1. notabanker

      Let it rip is no exaggeration. I just had it in July and tested positive 11 days after first symptoms. First 4 days were the worst, but it still kept lingering around. When I finally felt good enough to test, it still came up positive.

      And I cannot imagine wanting to go out in the world and spread it. Covid is definitely not a common cold or flu, it was horrible and I don’t wish it on anyone. Well, except maybe the loons that are pushing this agenda.

    2. CanCyn

      It is as though Canada can’t help being like the rest of the world. Let’er rip is working, right?
      That article certainly had me banging my head. What are these people being told? The wastewater trend in my area of the province has been on an upward trend for weeks. More people have died of COVID in my region since Omicron hit than died in the entire first 2 years. Back to school with no masks. I have no doubt that *history will look back on our handling of COVID in bewilderment tinged with horror.
      *Assuming there are people to look back.

      1. LifelongLib

        They’ll probably have their own epidemics to (mis)handle.

        Measures to contain COVID successfully would have required wartime levels of public spending and martial law types of enforcement, something I suspect the U.S. (where I live) and Canada don’t have the political will for and may no longer be capable of. Just the logistics of (say) providing for people who couldn’t go out of their homes and the massive retrofit of buildings for better ventilation would have been overwhelming. In the U.S. at least even the half-measures we did take caused a lot of pushback. I certainly hope things are better in the future but if anything suspect they’ll be worse.

        1. CanCyn

          I’m not ready to let them off the hook like that. Lambert has pointed out many ways government could have done much more without China style lockdowns. Provision of N95 masks and more info about ventilation for example. I am still meeting people who think washing their hands is the first line of defence ffs.

        2. Bill

          Just the logistics of (say) providing for people who couldn’t go out of their homes and the massive retrofit of buildings for better ventilation would have been overwhelming.

          Exhibit A: Chicago, 1855

          Now tell me we can’t handle ventilation retrofits.

    3. cfraenkel

      This is Doug Ford’s minion, after all. On top of all the rest of what appears to be intentional neglect of Ontario’s health system, it’s hard to not conclude that their privatization push isn’t going fast enough, and someone felt the need to throw gasoline on the fire.

    4. jrkrideau

      It is rather weird. In his press conference he also made passing reference to other respiratory diseases. I think we would need to see a briefing document outlining the reasons behind this decision.

      He did a good job earlier in the pandemic as head of the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health Unit so I doubt that this is just a result of political pressure though there is no doubt that our idiot premier wants to forget that Covid exists.

      1. CanCyn

        I live in his former public health area and indeed our area was low infection and extremely low death rate for the first part of the pandemic. I was thrilled when Moore got the top gig, I assumed he’d take his common sense approach with him. But no, he put politics and the economy over science very shortly after his move to TO. I think as Delta was coming on he said something about our situation following the UK by 2-3 weeks as though it were inevitable and there was nothing we could do about it. I stopped paying attention to him after that.
        By the by – was in the car today listening to a radio phone in show and somebody said, in talking about getting out and doing more, “as we enter the end of pandemic restrictions….” so the pandemic ain’t over but the restrictions are so its all good. Sigh

        1. wilroncanada

          I empathize, CanCyn, because I felt the same sense of optimism at the early work of Dr Henry, the British Columbia Chief Medical Health Officer, but became disillusioned fairly early in the game when she clung to the “droplet theory” long after research showed that it was airborne. I did a little bit of checking to discover she had worked with Dr Fauci on the AIDS crisis, and seemed to be a Fauci acolyte.
          In fact, I suspect that many top medical bureaucrats are followers, not leaders, parroting whatever they learned at the feet of the masters, like Fauci. Not only that, but they are stuck with two competing goals, the peoples’ health. and the economic health of their territories, pressed by politicians and business.

  5. Samuel Conner

    Perhaps the reassertion of war reparations claims against Germany is an effort by that part of the Polish political spectrum to pressure US — as a way of tamping down tensions within NATO — to subsidize Polish military modernization plans in response to the Russian SMO in Ukraine. It’s hard to believe, given what is happening to the German economy, that they imagine there is any chance that Germany would volunteer funds.

    1. David

      There’s a well-known political gambit involving making demands you know can’t be met, in order to score political points over another party. Here, since there’s no real argument about the horrors the Germans inflicted on the Poles, the claim can be milked for years to provide political and probably financial benefits. It will have the effect among other things of strengthening the Polish hand within the EU against the Germans.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Considering that this issue has been brewing more or less since 1953, isn’t Poland risking opening up a lot of cans with worms in them? It’s almost as if Poland is taking the risk of weakening EU from inside now that EU is facing multiple crisis already.
        Or maybe this is all about the money EU is withholding due to the judicial reform. Or maybe Poland and Baltics have lately been crazy enough to think Sholz is planning to take their veto away.

        1. David

          It’s a risk, I agree, but the test will be how it plays in domestic Polish politics. I think it’s certainly a shot across the EU’s bows: stop bothering us or we’ll make more trouble than you can cope with. It’s not obvious that other EU states would automatically side with Germany either: several of them might rather enjoy German discomfort. And it goes to show, I suppose, that in politics nothing is ever “settled” if people think there’s political capital to be made by digging it up again.

          1. jsn

            Or an outline of soon to be post NATO, post EU Polish policy.

            Which will play well at home.

            Things break a lot faster than they can be put together.

        2. Ignacio

          IMNSHO time has come to open lot’s of such cans. It should have been done earlier. And now that Scholz has unveiled his plan for EU expansion with more reason. As a matter of fact i would rather see Spain out of the EU before such plans are followed as these would turn the EU into a nastier institution if Scholz’s objectives are achieved.

          I am turning anti-EU by the day, I regret to say.

          1. Kouros

            “expansion with more reason”. I think you meant arguments, because I don’t see any evidence of reason there…

          2. spud

            you should have no regrets at all.


            “The nation-state is reasserting itself as the primary vehicle of political life. Multinational institutions like the European Union and multilateral trade treaties are being challenged because they are seen by some as not being in the national interest.”

            “Nationalism is the core of the Enlightenment’s notion of liberal democracy. It asserts that the multinational dynasties that ruled autocratically denied basic human rights. Among these was the right to national self-determination and the right of citizens to decide what was in the national interest.”

            “The Enlightenment feared tyranny and saw the multinational empires dominating Europe as the essence of tyranny. Destroying them meant replacing them with nation-states. The American and French revolutions were both nationalist risings, as were the risings that swept Europe in 1848. Liberal revolutions were by definition nationalist because they were risings against multinational empires. ”

            “In a very real sense, Hitler and Mussolini believed in multinationalism, albeit with other nations submitting to their will. Fascism was an assault on the right of nations to pursue their self-interest”

            “Arguing that being part of the European Union is not in the British interest, that NATO has outlived its usefulness, that protectionist policies or anti-immigration policies are desirable is not fascist. ”

            “What we are seeing is the rise of the nation-state against the will of multinational organizations and agreements. There are serious questions about membership in the EU, NATO and trade agreements, and equally about the right to control borders.”

    2. .Tom

      Presumably Poland has some realistic military experts that can see where UA/RF conflict is going. And I imagine they are thinking about what happens when current government in Kiev has to go. Do hard-line nationalists take over without puppet politicians acceptable to western Europols? Or are the nationalists marginalized in something like a coup from the regular army? Or do populist socialists take over in something like a general strike? Nobody knows but all possibilities when Kiev and the western story collapses are frightening to Europols. Perhaps Poland can help.

      So I thought perhaps the reparations claim is an opening bid in a negotiation going somewhere else entirely.

      1. Skip Intro

        My thoughts as well. The likelihood that Poland ends up with a chunk of Ukraine has always seemed high to me. This is a nice bargaining chip to put on the table.

    3. Stephen T Johnson

      I think it has a lot to do with Germany being clearly flagged by the US as freely attackable. (The “Kick me” note apparently attached to Herr Schroeder being a strong hint). Maybe he’s going to be picked as the scapegoat of the moment once things start getting a bit more tense. What’s in next week’s installment? Stay tuned.

    4. Darthbobber

      Such diplomatic geniuses the Poles are. Maybe the Czechs should remind them of how they gleefully participated in the post-Munich dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. Not that they got to keep their piece of the spoils long, as their turn came rather soon.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Czechs would probably hold more grudge about the 24,000 Polish troops and 650 tanks that participated in the crushing of Prague Spring. Poland would of course blame Russia Soviet Union, since it’s the goto explanation for everything bad that ever happened east of Oder.
        From 1939 to 1991 nobody in Eastern Europe had any agenda whatsoever. It was all them damn Russkies Soviets.

  6. griffen

    Snippet from the Biden speech I find most informative., ie, in his depiction of MAGA Republicans “They live not in the light of truth but in the shadow of lies.” Are they following a sneaky creature, orange tinged, perhaps, and following that creature into Mordor. \sarc

    I want to know where everyone else that is not a “MAGA” follower lives in the light of the truth. Would be nice to visit. I’m sure it’s sunny and warm in late August.

    1. hunkerdown

      The Democrat Party is a Puritan sect. Transcendental bombast is their argot. Faith in their own potency is their potency.

        1. Harold

          Unesco’s mission from the horse’s mouth: “UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to the building of a culture of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.”

          It is the cultural branch of the United Nations. .I don’t see what is so wrong with that. What would you expect them to say, “First feed the face and then talk right and wrong” (Weil/ Brecht, Three Penny Opera)? There is the Food and Agriculture Department for that. It would be a better world, IMO, if the United States adhered to the precepts of the United Nation and abstained from wars of aggression, joined in condemning glorification of Nazis and Nazi symbolism, and so on.

        2. Rainlover

          Thank you Colonel. Excellent link. I will continue to promote Ivan Illich here because he asserted that Christianity as practiced in the West was truly evil and had corrupted all institutions — political, social, educational, etc.. Which perfectly aligns with David’s piece. Liberalism looks for the “pure in heart” while in action being far from pure itself. Sigh.

      1. .Tom

        It goes beyond the party. In the culture that dominates media and, I am told, liberal institutions (education, medicine, science, tech corps etc.) there is a preoccupation with people’s thoughts and intent over actions and their consequences. At root is an obsession with sinful vs. virtuous thought.

        Diogenes the Cynic would have hated it.

        1. Kouros

          A Sudanese Muslim friend related to me an apocryphal story from golden days of Baghdad and its blessed Khalif. The conclusion was that Allah allows the thoughts in people’s minds be their own. Even Christian doctrine speaks of the free will…

          1. LifelongLib

            Well, there’s also what Jesus said about looking at a woman with lust in your heart etc. When Jimmy Carter used that phrase in an interview a lot of people didn’t know he was quoting the Bible. Most biblical texts probably had multiple writers (often with differing opinions) so not surprising there are a fair number of contradictions in them…

    2. Mel

      In the West, politics — in the sense of people getting together to decide what we will mutually do in the groups we live in — is dead. It’s been pushed out of the way by Team Sports.

      1. hunkerdown

        The purpose of the state has always been to administer property, broadly defined. The landed had to weaken the franchise when they expanded it to the unlanded, to protect the sacred bullshxt of capitalist culture and capitalist relations from compromise.

    3. zagonostra

      I haven’t read the speech but the optics of the stage/setting are noteworthy. Interestingly the BBC refers to it as “Biden’s picturesque setting with a dark twist”

      I can’t wait for Archbishop Carlos Maria Vigano to comment on it.

      This from the BBC:

      From a political stagecraft standpoint, the scenery for Mr Biden on Thursday night couldn’t have been more picturesque in person. It was a mild September evening in Philadelphia. The president’s lectern was set in a tree-dotted park, with a fully lit Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, as the backdrop. A Marine band playing patriotic tunes off to one side.

      At precisely 20:00 local time, the bell at the top of the hall rang. On its final stroke, the band struck up Hail to the Chief, and Joe and Jill Biden emerged from the building, now illuminated in red-and blue, and walked down a spotlight strewn red carpet to the stage.

      On television, however, the mood came across a bit differently. The close focus of the camera meant the president was only framed in the dark red portions of the building. It made it look as though he were delivering his speech from the gates of hell – a mood only accentuated by the darker moments of his text.

      1. Louis Fyne

        LMAO. ever since the 2020 campaign, whoever is/are in charge of Biden’s visuals for Biden events has a hall of fame of clusterf****. Poor lighting, poor visuals, bad cinematography, etc. Totally out of touch, totally incompetent, a talented youtuber could do better.

        I believe that it’s called Lucifer’s Razor—incompetence looks no different from demon worship, lol.

        1. Thistlebreath

          Um Gottes Willen.

          Can’t anyone in that clown cabal manage to watch a Leni Riefenstahl movie?

          Triumph of the Will may be chilling to watch but is beautiful

          1. Stephen T Johnson

            Too true. “Triumph of the will” is as beautiful as it is creepy.
            Sleepy Joe was just sinister, but who do these characters think they’re fooling. Sleepy Joe doesn’t work as a Sith Lord.

      2. Pat

        Interesting. I wonder if the control room has the same respect for Biden that I do. /s Either way, the logical choice was to do the walk down the carpet with the dramatic colored lighting but to make sure the background visual for the speech was a white lit Independence Hall by switching off the red and blue lights just before Joe opened his mouth.
        Truth is that despite my joke that advance team should have known that only the establishing shot would give them the effect they wanted from the red, white and blue lighting. And that the majority of the event would be medium or tight close ups of Biden speaking and planned accordingly. Not checking and adjusting that visual is either a massive fail by incompetents, or they really do think that fear is what is driving their voters and they want a totalitarian style strongman for the President.

        1. flora

          They read Bernays…with no understanding of “audience”. Either that, or, imo, somewhere behind the scenes they (whoever “they” may be) are getting ready to gently sideline B after the seating of Congress in 2023. Yes, said speech was that bad, including the photo setups. I can’t imagine anyone with a functioning awareness of optics not realizing how bad the optics were with the hard, close shot, black and red and shadow stuff. My 2 cents. ( Calling it here, I expect B to be gently sidelined after April 2023. (Prepare now your rotten tomatoes to throw my way then if I’m wrong. / ;) )

          1. Louis Fyne

            they don’t read Bernays….they read executive summary talking points about Bernays and/or are woefully incompetent with a healthy does of self-congratulatory pats on each others’ backs.

    4. Bart Hansen

      However, it is a truth universally acknowledged that Trump set a world record for lies uttered by a president.

      1. Louis Fyne

        ah yes. their side is a baby’s nappie full of diarrhea, but my side is a nappie full of hard poo.

        The People Win!

      2. griffen

        Well politicians are liars so he is in good company, no question there. With that broad of a brushstroke, I will caveat that a few good apples may exist.

        Someone other than Trump still owes a few Americans $600.

      3. anon in so cal

        One criterion to use to assess a presidency is body count: how many innocents perished as a result of their policies. During their eight years in office, Biden and Obama started five new regime change wars. According to CN, the body count for Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia is about 1 million. Separately, is there even one statement Biden has made that is not mendacious?

      4. Anthony G Stegman

        Do you have any data to back your assertion that Trump lied more than any other president? All presidents lie most of the time when they speak. For Trump to be #1 in lying he would also have to be #1 in speaking and writing. Has he given given the most speeches and sat down for the most interviews? Certainly Trump has tweeted more than any other president, but in totality has Trump written and uttered more words than other presidents? That is doubtful. It is also doubtful that Trump has lied more than other presidents.

      1. ambrit

        I use the term Zeta Reticulans to refer to the same x-tee demographic.
        Even Dread Cthulhu fears the snake people.
        The Crypto-historian Robert E Howard mentions them in his Chronicles of the Hyborian Age.

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        flora: Who knew that Hitler had a talent for rhythm and blues? Maybe if someone from Motown Records had gotten to him and linked him with a backup group of blondes. Maybe if the record producer had called them The Supremes (Hitler would have liked that).

        1. flora

          ha! I know. Instead, there he is singing a sales pitch jingle for NYC Upper East Side real estate. Man o man…the beginning of tyranny for sure. (heh) / ;)

  7. The Rev Kev


    A few points about this story. Google news search is hardly showing any results at all to this raid which is one helluva censorship job. On the TV news here in Oz, not only did they make no mention of that raid but they also referred to that plant as being in Ukrainian territory which is just total bs on their part. Second point was the Russian troops that repelled the initial commando raid being Russian Guard troops. If the Russians knew that that raid was coming, what is the bet that they may have actually been Spetsnaz troops wearing Border Guard uniforms. Big surprise for the Ukrainians! The third point was what would have happened if that raid had succeeded. To keep Russians troops from trying to recapture that plant, I am betting that the Ukrainians would have killed one or two of those IAEA inspectors and claimed that the Russians did it with their fire which western media would have run with. I wonder if any of those IAEA inspectors worked that out too?

    1. Polar Socialist

      From what I can gather, the first wave of Ukrainians landed just after 6 o’clock in the morning, the other around 7, while the IAEA convoy was originally planned to cross the line of contact at 11. I doubt very much Russians would have allowed the convoy to proceed to the plant if there was a firefight and/or Ukrainians controlled any part of the plant. No matter how much Grossi protested.

      Hmm… come to think of it, maybe that was one of the aims of this operation: to prevent the IAEA delegation’s visit. Ukrainian minister already admitted that the worst outcome would be that the delegation approves that ZNPP is run professionally under the Russian administration.

    2. Old Sovietologist

      Grossi has said that the physical integrity of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant was violated several times, but so far he cannot assess whether it was accidental or intentional.

      Reminds me of the OSCE mission, which couldn’t determine who was shelling the Donetsk?

      In other news Russia and Belarus are preparing exercises near the Ukrainian border.

      1. pjay

        Yes. As Johnson says: “I would not be surprised to learn that the head of the IAEA team was briefed on the upcoming operation and was prepared to play the role assigned to him. Whoops.”

        But that’s crazy conspiracy theory, right? Just like the OPCW in Syria. Whoops.

        That clip by the UN spokesman “thanking Russia” wasn’t that great either. He danced around answering the actual question like Fred Astaire and basically said Russia had an obligation to protect them since it controlled the territory.

  8. Stephen V

    U.S. first SecDef deserves an honorable mention (without mentioning a certain Middle Eastern theocracy). From Wikipedia:
    While a patient at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Forrestal died from fatal injuries sustained after falling out a sixteenth floor window.

  9. Carla

    I was stunned at this headline:

    “Libyans have lost faith in political class, US diplomat says after Tripoli clashes.”

    Gee, join the club.

    Did the US diplomat think they were stating something noteworthy about Libyans? Seems to me it would be easier and take much less time to list the nationalities that RETAIN faith in their political classes than to point out those that have lost it.

    1. hunkerdown

      They, or at least the headline editor, are trying to arouse faith in political classes generally and in the mystical religion of elective aristocracy.

      Q: What starts with D, ends with Y, and has a mock race in the middle?

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The “good guys” during the Libyan intervention weren’t an oppressed class. They were the elites of the second city with connections abroad. They were Gaddafi bootlickers worried about their place in a future power struggle, a reasonable fear given the power base and different nature’s of the Gaddafi boys and the colonel’s age. They then proceeded to spend the sovereign wealth fun on effing malls destroying their economy over night.

      Being in the shadow of the EU, it’s going to be forever before Libya functions again.

    3. Questa Nota

      Surprised they lasted this long.

      Qaddafi was cooperating in the aftermath of Lockerbie.
      He had the audacity to push that gold initiative, then look out for his own people by the desert water project, and provide a buffer for the various migrations to Europe.
      Would be interesting to find out what locals thought about Benghazi, too.

  10. Old Sovietologist

    There was a time when the likes of Tito and Ho Chi Minh called the Trotskyists the running dogs of international fascism.

    Looking at the German FM’s comments. I think we can say the mantle has been passed to the German Greens.

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      The Greens may be gaining on the Trots and in the end may surpass them for betraying their one-time ideals, but based on their Rightward devolution over time, Trotskyists – James Cannon, Max Schactman, Irving Kristol, et. al. – still Hold High the Banner of selling out.

  11. zagonostra

    >Poll: Half of Americans Say Sending Troops to Afghanistan Was ‘A Mistake’

    I would be very interested in hearing the half who said that it was NOT a mistake questioned/interviewed. It could serve as a excellent data source for an update to Leon Festinger’s study of cognitive dissonance.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Maybe the other half is divided between: “I don’t know”, “I don’t care”, “We had troops in Afghanistan?” and “Not a mistake”.

      1. Craig H.

        In my zip code when Bush sent troops went to Afghanistan any dissent was treated as being indifferent to the troops coming back in body bags or without arms and legs. Nobody was allowed to question it in public polite society. Not one single person I observed.

        I support the troops [getting their lives wasted for nothing].

    2. Stephen

      I wonder if they are the same people who do not now fly Ukraine flags? Or is there an interesting mixture of combined views?

    3. The Rev Kev

      It’s all a matter of timing. I mean, Afghanistan lasted for two decades and only now do they come out with an article like that. I grew up with the Vietnamese war daily on the telly and a few years after the US pulled out, some US judge came out who said that he looked at the laws and decided the US presence there was quite illegal and shouldn’t have been allowed. They never ask such questions when it still matters.

    4. Andrew Watts

      A mistake isn’t when you invade and occupy a country for two decades. Only to watch it all collapse in the weeks after American manpower, logistics, and airpower is withdrawn. That’s called a debacle and South Vietnam was a good historical example of this that apparently wasn’t learned from. Otherwise it would’ve been obvious what was going to happen and maybe the Americans wouldn’t have mired themselves in another quagmire.

      The real danger is that the people who brought you these fine examples of hubris followed by nemesis will have learned all the wrong lessons from this experience. That’s why I expect they’ll drag out the war in Ukraine as long as they can and think themselves oh-so clever for doing so.

    5. Oh

      It shows that at least half of the Americans are morons who love to drink Kool Aid. These are the same fools who vote for the same crooked politicians over and over again.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. gets warrant to seize $45 mln airplane owned by Russian energy firm Lukoil”

    Seriously, what is the point? That bird is back in Russia and any legal paperwork served by that Texas court would just get laughed at by the Rooskies on its way to the nearest shredder. I know! This is a job for – “Airplane Repo”!

  13. dougie

    Always been fascinated with bulldozers and dirt, if not all of the projects that they engage in. I watched that excavator operator vid three times. Blue collar artistry at its best!

    1. ambrit

      I’ve run small excavators on small jobs before. The level of skill shown is high. Those machines are exactly that, high powered machines. They have no forgiveness, (to try a Diggy McDigface allusion,) and punish hubris like Nemesis incarnate.
      I once worked on a job with an older machine operator who could dig and smooth out a trench to within an inch of grade, by eye. As he replied once to the question as to how he got that good; “Oh. I’ve done this a time or two.”

      1. Randy

        Anybody can dig a hole. The real skill shows up when it gets filled, leveled out and the site returned to its previous condition. This is especially true when using the loader bucket or front blade.

      2. ex-PFC Chuck

        One college summer I worked on a road building crew. This was decades before GPS et al technology. The blade (i.e. road grader) operator was the key guy of the crew if he was good. A good one would have the sub-base meeting spec in no more than 3-4 passes, but a not-so-good one would still be rolling after a dozen or more passes. One day I asked Roy, the foreman, what made a good blade operator and told me “You’ve got to have a level in your *ss”

      1. Thistlebreath

        Totally under rated band. Their tunes are enshrined in my workout mix. Fried Chicken and Gasoline is a classic.

  14. GramSci

    re: Coast Guard cutter seizes $20 million in illicit drugs in Gulf of Oman

    I found interesting the banner the Military Times flies above this article: “Your Military”. Who is the you?

    1. cfraenkel

      The Military Times (and it’s siblings Navy Times, Army Times etc) are semi-independent newspapers catering to DOD members. Back in the day, there was always an Air Force Times circulating around the squadron, and a pile of back issues next to the coffee maker. “You” refers to anyone in the military services – active duty, reserves, retired…

      1. Paradan

        Just so happens that Oman has almost 2,000 miles of coastline. The CG in USCG stands for coast guard, so sounds like they were just doing their job. :P

  15. Alice X

    German FM: I will put Ukraine first “no matter what my German voters think” or how hard their life gets.

    Did guillotine futures just hit the roof?

      1. Alice X

        Hardly, but isn’t that a given? Certainly around here.

        But the German FM said it out loud, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

  16. The Rev Kev

    ‘”It is a lunatic conspiracy theory to believe we are controlled by a secret cabal of child snuffing globalist snake human hybrids bent on microchipping all of us into slavery and then liquifying us into a tasty stew” ‘

    It’s worse than that. It is DNC Democrats! Did anybody note old Joe’s presentation? Caught it on the news tonight and having that blood red background just seemed so dystopian. Maybe more so by having US Marines in their dress blues behind him to suggest what? The Iron Fist in the Velvet Glove?

      1. digi_owl

        When the F did MSM start to take memes seriously?!

        What is this, a nation of overgrown children and geriatrics?!

  17. jr

    re: droning on and on

    Thanks for that article. The comments below it have some interesting things to say. Why are these things such a mystery to the Navy? Why can’t we just shoot one down or fling a giant net at it or something:

    How hard would it be to identify the ship launching them? Are our ships incapable of capturing the “fishing trawler” or whatever is being used as a drone platform? According to this site:

    the longest range of a commercial drone is eight kilometers. That’s four and half miles in ‘murican. Obviously, military drones very likely have a greater range, so let’s quadruple that for the sake of argument. That’s 32K/18M. You mean to tell me the Navy cannot find a vessel around 20 miles away? It’s obvious that the Navy isn’t telling us everything. You would think they would be eager to comfort us by saying that they have the problem solved, that they aren’t totally at the mercy of simple drones. Swarms of them, in fact, all over our technology and our training ops. Lie to us, at least. C’mon man.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      They could have gotten the same information just by booking a room at Mar-a-Lago and visiting the Top Secret Reading Room and Lending Library on the mezzanine level.

      1. ambrit

        Back during the ‘Bubba’ Clinton days, you could do that by booking a night in the White House Lincoln Bedroom. You would be amazed at what was printed on the back of the White House ‘Breakfast in Bed’ service menu.
        And Madfame President messed up the rolling out of a National Health program, thus putting it off for a generation. We used to give her the benefit of the doubt and say that it was due to errors etc. Nowadays we believe that it was all planned out to work that way.
        “High level corruption means never having to say you’re sorry. All the way to the bank.”

    2. LifelongLib

      IIRC there was an earlier incident where a mysterious object with a flashing red light was caught on a navy ship camera, and the light just happened to be blinking at the same rate as the anti-collision light on a commercial airliner. So I have to wonder if this whole thing isn’t a big case of mistaken identity.

  18. Lex

    The iconography of the Biden speech was deeply fascist. Generally when presidents have the most important things to say to the American people they do so from their desk in the Oval Office. But not this time. This time we got marine color guards standing behind the president and the vertical flag hanging behind him. At one point there was nothing but red light and black shadows backing POTUS ominously. And then he used this setting to declare an amorphous group “enemies of the people”. I’m not sure what he hoped to achieve with this. I suppose the myth-based callbacks to the 18th century were meant to appeal to “independents” and “good republicans”, but come campaign add season when the GOP wants to call Biden a fascist, old Joe has provided the photo stocks that won’t even need an edit.

    And in true, fascist fashion the speech really wasn’t about addressing the problems the nation faces but about placing all the blame for those problems on a government selected group. I’m no trump voter. And I have zero respect for him as a human being, but I’m not at all down with a fascist response to his political “movement”.

  19. jr

    I have to admit that for years I fell for the common American perception that because Brits often have such a well-honed accent, they are smarter than we are on average. Rich, modulated, and polished. Think of all those Jaguar commercials.

    Then along comes The Telegraph to shatter that presumption. Are we to believe that Putin was playing hyper-dimensional chess when he invaded Ukraine? In order to draw the West into a war it could not win? To set a “trap”? Did he really think our leadership so stupid, so short-sighted?

    Ok, don’t answer that last question. But still, it’s a stretch, from here to the orbit of Venus, to think that Putin was setting some sort of a trap. He couldn’t have really known how the West would react, could he? Or that they wouldn’t be able to adapt to the new realities by making wise, informed policy choices that put the welfare of Western societies first. Policies like the one’s the author proposes:

    “Whenever possible, Truss must cut tax; whenever possible, she should target help on families and companies that need it and avoid bailing out the well off…”

    Wouldn’t cutting taxes “whenever possible” involve a kind of “bailing out” of the well off? Allowing the wealthy to accumulate even more wealth unto themselves seems like the mother of all handouts. Furthering the list of problems that Heath provides. Am I missing something?

    Maybe Putin did set a trap. If so, it was one of those traps from a Bugs Bunny cartoon. The one’s you can see from miles away. But then maybe that was the goal. Maybe Western elites used the war to degrade Western society so as to clamp down further, to gather more power unto themselves as the powerful do whenever there is a disaster of one kind or another. Pandemics, war, famine, and death.

    If any aliens are reading this, PLEASE take over. Stop fu(king around playing games with our naval vessels. According to that former Israeli space program director, they are waiting for us to grow up:

    “Trump was on the verge of revealing [aliens existence], but the aliens in the Galactic Federation are saying, ‘Wait, let people calm down first,’” Eshed, who helmed Israel’s space security program from 1981 to 2010, reportedly said. “They don’t want to start mass hysteria. They want to first make us sane and understanding.”

    I ain’t holding my breath for “sane and understanding”.

    1. nippersdad

      That Telegraph article was pretty mind blowing; he was all over the place. If that is an example of a “thought leader” then it really is no surprise that we find ourselves in such a hole right now. That column should be entitled “Notes from Bedlam”.

      My overall take-away was that he wanted to protect the status quo by blaming everyone except the people who got us into this, but he did it in such a way as to present them as blithering idiots living in an alternate universe. I have met people like that, but they are usually holding signs on the freeway about Jesus coming soon. On the individual level, they are best dealt with by giving them a shirt and some money to get something to eat, but who knew that on the societal level they were given jobs drooling out nonsense to the polity?

      1. semper loquitur

        “My overall take-away was that he wanted to protect the status quo by blaming everyone except the people who got us into this, but he did it in such a way as to present them as blithering idiots living in an alternate universe”

        Yeah, it seems to be a trend. In my (un)official capacity as a Youtube monitor, I see a lot of commentators and commenters on the Right making these kind of populist comments that are then couched in terms that are decidedly elite-friendly. Stuff like “Our rulers are driving us into the ground!” and “Our rights are being abridged!” Sadly, the solution is usually Musk or Musk-adjacent.

        While I’m here, let me take this opportunity to make an announcement. I’m retiring “jr” as my screen name. I’m changing it to something that reflects who I really am and what I do: semper loquitur. Please adjust your Christmas card list accordingly.

        1. nippersdad

          Name change noted and Christmas card list changed.

          Re: “I see a lot of commentators and commenters on the Right making these kind of populist comments that are then couched in terms that are decidedly elite-friendly. Stuff like “Our rulers are driving us into the ground!” and “Our rights are being abridged!””

          Before the CIA bumped me from Facebook I spent a lot of time on my Congressman’s page. When I first got there the comments section was essentially a right wing orgy of inferiority complexes expressing themselves as righteous defenders of the faith. I cannot even begin to imagine how many times I had to point out that all of the things they were most exercised about WERE THEIR OWN IDEAS.

          They spend all of this time whingeing about getting everything that they ever wanted and vying with each other on new and exciting ways to blame “communists” for all of their problems.

          I did, after a few years of intensive trolling, manage to create a safe space for such as myself there and come to the view that the natives were ultimately capable of rational thought when faced with some degree of pushback, but after an eight month absence I would hate to see what it looks like now. The amount of psychic energy it took to get there was grueling. I would not want to do that again.

          Which is a long way of saying that I could not monitor right wing sites on anything like the long term basis that you are. For me that way madness lies, but I am really impressed that you can do it.

          1. semper loquitur

            One reason I do monitor those sites, and watch Tucker! on occasion, is not only to see what the Right is up “intellectually” but also because they are often correct in their criticisms of the Red Menace represented by committed comrades like Hillary, Biden, and various ride-sharing services. It’s not as if I can turn to the MSM for that information. Of course there is NC and some other sites as well but not a ton of them.

            They are also correct about a lot of what’s going on in society at large. The Right has been talking about being chipped and eating bugs, more or less, for a long time and now it is coming to pass. Our cities are in decay and the Democrats aren’t doing jack-$hit about it other than crying “Racism!” while expanding the police state. Trump is getting hammered for supposedly keeping sensitive documents (which may be true) while Hunter’s dealings with foreign governments and Nancy’s various votes conducive to her personal wealth are largely ignored.

            1. nippersdad

              “….but also because they are often correct in their criticisms of the Red Menace represented by committed comrades like Hillary, Biden, and various ride-sharing services.” Etc., etc.

              But that was my point! “Former” Goldwater Girl, Hillary Clinton and her various clones created in the labs of the DLC, are only doing what conservatives were asking for in the Sixties. You can talk about Democrats not doing jack shit in the cities other than cry racism, but wasn’t that predicted by Ross Perot when the “giant sucking sound” of NAFTA was in the process of being passed by the Clinton Administration? Wasn’t militarization of inner cities the policy response that such as Biden pushed in his crime bill?

              These are all the results of policies that were initially designed by Republicans and then implemented by Democrats using…something or other…as a shield. There was no “vast right wing conspiracy” against them when they were actively implementing all of the deregulation, tax cuts and offshoring that any right winger could have desired. And, most notably, still desire.

              The phrase “Look! A squirrel” was based upon how the Democratic and Republican parties routinely change the subject whenever the results of their policies do not match the rhetoric that passed them. That these people in comments sections find nothing but squirrels to talk about when what they are really pissed off at is the results of the policies they wanted is what always annoys me. One should not have to point out that ObamaCare WAS the market solution that they were screaming for for twenty years, not a communist plot foisted off on them.

              It is not that these people are right so much as they are hypocritical. The Washington Consensus doesn’t like Trump, he is not a member of the inner circle, and there really is nothing much more that is necessary to explain the bi-partisan establishments’ treatment of him. If they want to have a modicum of consistency then they will need to acknowledge that the establishment has been “othering” any number of people for a very long time with their full throated consent.

              Just ask the “former” Goldwater Girl.

                1. nippersdad

                  I’m sorry. I have spent so much time pointing out that things like the WEF were their creation that I am just kind of triggered whenever any right winger mentions bug eating to me. I all, like, “Dude!, If you didn’t have a penchant for bug eating then you shouldn’t have empowered those who want to make you eat bugs by helping them shrink the government to a size that could be drowned in a bathtub”.

                  Their pathological need for a mean Daddy figure is what got them here, and they need to own it.

            2. marku52

              There was an amazing article over at the AmCon,
              “My vision is even more radical: a society in which every man can support a family by performing a useful task or making a useful thing. That’s opposed to the current system, where 99 percent of wealth is owned by men who perform evil tasks (like investment banking) and create evil things (like Facebook). ”

              I was stunned to say the least.

  20. Julian

    Yves, Poland, as a state, did not participate in killing Jews. It was all done by the Third Reich (that is Germans), led by a certain unfulfilled Austrian painter. While individuals did what they did (and both to rescue the Jews and to make profit of the Jews), the Polish state has clean hands on this matter, it simply did not exist in that area during the German occupation and had no say on the matter.

    1. Yves Smith

      This is a matter of dispute since the Polish government has harassed academics that have tried to present evidence of government culpability. For instance:

      The two historians’ legal troubles stem from the Polish government’s ongoing effort to exonerate Poland of any role in the deaths of three million Jews in Poland during the Nazi occupation. When facts get in the way of this revisionist effort, historians pay the price. In 2016, Polish authorities began investigating the Polish-American historian Jan Tomasz Gross, the author of the groundbreaking book “Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland.” He was accused of insulting the Polish people for his observation that Poles killed more Jews than Germans during the Second World War. The case dragged on for three years, with Gross subjected to hours of police interrogations; the government also threatened to strip Gross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, a state honor he had received in 1996. (The state dropped the investigation after Gross retired from his job at Princeton.) Over 2019 and 2020, Dariusz Stola, the head of Warsaw’s acclaimed museum of Polish Jewry, found himself slowly squeezed out of his job, again by the Polish government.

      Bulgaria, a Nazi state, as you surely know refused to turn over its Jews for execution by Germany. Italy, an occupied state, managed to protect most of its (admittedly not many) Jews by feigning incompetence, such as having difficulty finding Jews, not getting the paperwork, not getting them to the required pickup spot at the right day/time, etc.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Also Finland, fighting along the Nazi Germany (not going deeper into that relationship now), refused to even discuss about Judenfragen. With the blessing of Interior Ministry the secret police of Finland did extradite 8 Jewish refugees to Gestapo in Tallinn, which led to a parliamentary crisis as other members of the cabinet were outraged.

        For those interested in WW2 trivia: four Finnish Jews were awarded Iron Cross by Germany during the war, and all of them declined – some by using expressions not suitable to repeat in a family blog.

      2. Daniil Adamov

        The article talks about the culpability of 1) a mayor and 2) the police. Could that really be said to have anything to do with the Polish government if that municipality and that police force had been placed under German control by then?

      3. Julian

        Poland also did not hand over its Jews, it was conquered and Germans did whatever they wanted. They kidnapped Aryan looking girls for breeding, kidnapped young children for infertile German pairs, forced men into labor, killed people at random as a form of revenge for Polish resistance military actions. They also murdered people for helping Jews. And sent quite a lot of ethnic Poles to concentration camps for extermination. After all, we were on the same list, just a few lines below Jews and Gypsies, you know, subhumans to exploit and exterminate afterwards.

        Here you can read more on a more prominent (in our collective memory) case of people getting killed for hiding Jews

        The facts on the ground will remain unchanged. Poland was not involved, because Poland was occupied territory and was not cooperating with the occupiers. Any attempts to try and extrapolate behavior of people terrorized by occupiers, to entirety of Polish people is insulting to us. Also, the occupiers were actively encouraging such behavior with violent punishment and monetary rewards.

        Which is why Gross has gotten himself in trouble. His tone is insulting. Even if he is basing his opinion on facts.

        1. Yves Smith

          I have a good Polish friend whose family harbored Jews, at the obvious and considerable personal risk. Her commentary indicates that at least in her part of Poland (Poznan), that sort of defiance of the Nazis was rare.

          Your position is very similar to that of the Polish government, to attempt to deny culpability. In fact, the Galacians were the most brutal and enthusiastic Jew-killers, to the degree that the Nazis recognized that and put them in roles where their predilections were put to good use. And more generally, Poles in official capacities did participate in the exterminations. For instance:

          On the eve of the Holocaust, Polish Jews made up some 10 percent of the young country’s population and approximately one-third of the residents of the capital city, Warsaw. Disturbed by what they saw as outsized Jewish influence, some Polish politicians even pressed for the mass emigration of Poland’s Jewish population. It was against this fractious backdrop that the country found itself in a devastating war. Following the German and Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, the country was divided between those two occupiers. Then in June 1941, after the German attack on the USSR, all of Poland came under German domination….

          As German authorities implemented killing on an industrial scale, they drew upon Polish police forces and railroad personnel for logistical support, notably to guard ghettos where hundreds of thousands of Jewish men, women, and children were held before deportation to killing centers. The so-called Blue Police was a force some 20,000 strong. These collaborators enforced German anti-Jewish policies such as restrictions on the use of public transportation and curfews, as well as the devastating and bloody liquidation of ghettos in occupied Poland from 1942-1943. Paradoxically, many Polish policemen who actively assisted the Germans in hunting Jews were also part of the underground resistance against the occupation in other arenas. Individual Poles also often helped in the identification, denunciation, and exposure of Jews in hiding, sometimes motivated by greed and the opportunities presented by blackmail and the plunder of Jewish-owned property….

          As inspiring as they are, though, these cases of rescue and resistance represent only a tiny fraction of the Polish population. By the end of the war, 3 million Polish Jews—90 percent of the prewar population—had been murdered by the Germans and their collaborators of various nationalities, one of the highest percentages in Europe.

          Murder on this scale could not have been achieved with the German occupation forces alone.

          1. KD

            If you compare the fate of native Jews in Poland to that of Italian Jews in Fascist Italy or French Jews in Vichy France, there is nothing comparable to the numbers from Poland even in fascist dictatorships and puppet states allied with the Third Reich. Most of the people handed over the S.S. in Italy or France were refugees, not citizens, which clearly demonstrates that it was possible to protect your own people, within bounds, if you wanted to. [On the other hand, the Red Army did a nasty bit of work of their own in Poland after they pushed the Nazi’s out.]

          2. Julian

            Correct me, if I am wrong, but do you believe, that it is ok, to hold an entire nation responsible, for acts of a part of it, which were influenced by occupiers of their territory, simply because, they were still a part of that nation?

            By Galician Jew killers, you mean people who joined SS-Galizien?

            1. Yves Smith

              You now shifted the grounds of the argument. You are no longer trying to deny that the slaughter of Jews in Poland has substantial tacit and (in the case of police) explicit support. As other readers point out, other occupied nations generally went to much greater lengths to protect native Jews.

              And I raised the issue in context of Poland’s demand for $1.3 trillion from Germany. You have yet to explain how the one demand, the $1.3 trillion v. reparations for Polish Jews, is fundamentally different than the other. You’ve instead attempted to depict Poland as a passive victim of Nazi brutality and in no way a participant. The Galacia example shows that to be false.

              1. Julian

                When did I try to deny the slaughter of Jews in occupied Poland? I am only pointing out, that democratically elected Polish government (and such government is akin to the expression of the will of the nation) did not exist on those territories and had no way to influence the outcome. Besides, many of the occupied nations had no death penalty for harboring Jews.

                On the note of Polish Police, it was a force, that was completely under German control, ethnically Polish officials in small towns all were under German control. And both were often targets for the executors of resistance justice for their choices.

                Would you please point me to a material about Galicia, on which you base your opinion?

                As for the claim, I don’t care about it. I am not interested in playing Don Quichotte. The matter has been resolved ages ago, we got played by the winners, conflicts over matters such as this lead nowhere, but people like Kaczyński lead nowhere. Hopefully this will be the last winter with him and his people in power.

                1. Yves Smith

                  Are you not capable of arguing in good faith? You keep repeatedly misrepresenting what I said. I started with attacking the ridiculous Polish demand for $1.3 trillion. It’s no less a case of collective guilt than having Poland compensate surviving family members of Jews slaughetered in Poland. You have yet to deal with the foundational argument.

                  You are big time straw manning me in your opening remark. I’m not dignifying it by repeating it.

                  And as for Galacia, I can’t believe you are saying that with a straight face. Stephen Bandera and the OUN came out of Galacia, fer Chrissakes. They killed both ethnic Poles and Jews with great enthusiasm. And at least some commentators think that Poland would like to again have Galacia as part of Poland despite Galacia’s record….

  21. Craig H.

    Super Long-Distance NASA Fix Restores Voyager 1, Roughly 15 Billion Miles Away

    I really hope the engineer who designed the remote

    turn it off
    turn it back on

    got fair compensation.

    1. hunkerdown

      You can do it next time if you want, but if you screw up, you get to walk to the machine to flip the switch manually. :)

  22. Solarjay

    The “grid”‘in the us is in 3 separate parts. Western, eastern snd Texas.
    They have limited interconnection via DC lines near the triple junction by Texas border. Yes that could be greatly increased for relatively cheap.

    The whole smart grid is based around the idea that we can tech our way out of not having to upgrade the infrastructure. There is certainly is some truth to that. How does it work? In the simplest terms your bigger house loads would be controlled by the utilities. Turning the ac down or off, dryer off, etc. would that also apply to cooking?
    This is done by IOT appliances or smart load controls in your house.

    Another option is a different kind of stick. It’s called demand charges. This is already done in places like Phoenix and is planned for California. At certain times of day and months your electricity rates are based on your 15 minute block usage. Say from 4-8pm m-f from may to October. During that time the highest kWh use during any 15 minute period during a billing cycle is used for a surcharge. I cannot remember the numbers exactly but in APS they had 3’or 4 levels. 0-4, 5-9, 10-20. You get the idea. And the costs might be $10,25,75,100. For real. That $ amount is added to your bill. This is to of course encourage you to use less.

    People and companies then try to sell you battery back up to prevent these charges. The problem is that with limited battery storage, which 15 minute period do you use it in?

    So we have load side changes ( smart grid) and production side changes.

    The direction that everyone is pushing is a full electric economy, no NG.
    This will work increase the loads on the grid dramatically, putting further strain on the infrastructure.
    The responses are we need home batteries or use your cars which is being billed as a complete solution to the problem. Maybe it will but are millions of different loads, small battery storage actually going to be controllable?

    Why are small home battery storage being pushed when it’s 5-7 times as expensive as grid scale? Tax breaks for the rich.

    Micro grids is another greatly pushed idea that doesn’t work. Sure you can have an area such as a community or subdivision which can isolate from
    The grid. It’s really just been a marketing ploy, they don’t add to the grid stability.
    The idea being smaller is better, when the reverse is true. The big advantage of the grid is its ability to move power around. Texas wasn’t big enough during its big storm, had it been connected to the larger grid it would have been fine. But it was too small.

    The fix is lots of money no matter which grid design you think is best, decentralized power production, more transmission lines, more storage smarter loads to a point, conservation, insulated buildings etc.

    But the “smart grid” is just a part and not the fix.

  23. digi_owl

    “Floating Artificial Leaf Turns CO2 Into Fuel IEEE (ctlee)”

    So, how fast and how far can it scale?

    “This Homebuilt Wood-Powered Turbojet is Real and Incredibly Dangerous The Drive”

    Looks like a car turbo bolted onto a minimal “stove”. The thing about these turbos is that they take the speed of the exhaust gasses and use that to drive a air compressor. So once this gets going, it will push more and more air into the stove, amping up the intenstiy of the fire. And in turn the exhaust velocity and compression. And it will keep on going until it runs out of fuel.

    “Oil industry condemns first US fee on greenhouse gases FT”

    All about going green, until it impacts their dividends.

    1. semper loquitur

      re: artificial leaf

      I pulled this comment from below the article:

      “From an engineering perspective, I want to know how much cheaper to manufacture (it’s hard to beat self-reproducing) and more efficient (in terms of fuel produced per hour per square meter of sunlight) they are than invasive species like giant salvinia or bioengineered algae. Articles like this seem always to omit this part of the discussion.”

      Great questions and I have a related one: how much petroleum would we need to make the plastics? To make enough of these “leafs” to replace fossil fuels? And bioplastics don’t seem to be the answer:

      “An estimated 99% of all plastic is made from fossil fuels such as oil and gas. The remaining 1% is made from natural raw materials such as corn, cane sugar, or potatoes. These bio-based plastics, or bioplastics, are used for bags, food packaging, disposable cups, etc. Even though they may eventually biodegrade if disposed of properly, bioplastic behaves like ordinary plastic in the environment and therefore, cannot be a long-term solution for the plastic soup.”

    2. Revenant

      The turbo barrel: it will keep going until it runs out of fuel or oil lubricating the turbo or until it pops a rivet. The early videos have a cover plate over the turbo fresh air intake, to damp that positive feedback loop and act as a primitive throttle.

      That site was very entertaining. They upgrade the turbo further (to something off a Caterpillar rig) and deliberately let it run away. The barrel gets so hot that it glows a translucent purple, like Ted Hughes’s Iron Man, and some parts near and in the turbo glow white hot. The waste gas port ejects hot exhaust gases so violently, it generates jet thrust and the thing pushes itself over.

      The next video is about bolting it to the hull of a small skiff and watching it jet down a lake. Can’t wait!

      I lost an hour or two last night down the rabbit hole of turbo barrel videos. Clearly a big thing (intersection of fire, car tuning, build- shit and blow-shit-up cultures) but none of the other videos were as entertaining as an Aussie with blonde dreads and a messy rural workshop yard bodging a monstrous thing together any old how.

      Some of the other efforts were so *serious* – one of them was beautifully engineered and welded and they ran it with compressed air lines to start the turbo, not with a leaf blower, and nothing caught fire, the exhaust was deflected upwards to give down thrust, the workshop was vast and cement floored and immaculate and they actually got the turbo to violently shed its exhaust spool, they ran it so hard. But it had no atmosphere! (Although at one point even these pocket protector types appeared to let a toddler run around in the background!).

  24. The Rev Kev


    No matter how he is lionized in the west and how people say that he was a great guy, the perception seems to be different in Russia. Putin paid his respects which you would expect but there will be no State funeral for him which is a first for an ex-leader of Russia. And I suspect that the reason for that is because there would be a revolt by ordinary Russians if Putin tried to give him one.

    1. Andrew Watts

      Gorbachev was either a fool, or a traitor, and perhaps both at the same time. The fall of the Soviet Union was a far from bloodless affair that killed off people through the unnatural means of a social collapse. I imagine that most Russians just want to forget that period of instability.

      1. Polar Socialist

        I imagine that most Russians just want to forget that period of instability.

        I don’t think they will. I’ve seen it mentioned often that the liberals in Russia won’t ever have more than 5% support due to the 90’s. And here in NC Daniil Adamov made the point that many people in Russia are vary of “democracy” and “freedom of speech” since in their experience those only bring violence, misery, corruption and looting (Yes, I’m slightly exaggerating to make a point).

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          It’s apparently a truism in Russia that, “Everything the Soviets said about communism was a lie; unfortunately, everyting they said about capitalism was true.”

          1. digi_owl

            In the end we all are risk adverse by nature.

            The current situation has to be depressingly bad for us to taking a chance at some unknown potential improvement.

            Thing is though that bad situations are not evenly distributed. And from there rises politics, and potentially war.

            1. Daniil Adamov

              The situation was bad enough for a large amount of people to support a leap of faith into liberal fantasyland. I think a major factor was isolation from the West. It seemed like a forbidden paradise. Warnings about the ills of capitalism, true or false, were all easily dismissed as communist propaganda against which our people have acquired a strong immunity. All present social ills were associated exclusively with socialism (so that when some Soviet tourists went to France during the late 80s, they were appalled to discover that France was a “socialist” country – that is to say, it had corruption, propaganda, poverty and police brutality).

              Of course, that leap of faith went very badly for the majority – often for the true believers as well. Not all alternatives to an existing bad state of affairs are automatically improvements. There is a great deal of sense in being risk averse (which is not to say that risks are always to be avoided, of course – sometimes that is simply impossible and one must choose between different risks).

        2. Daniil Adamov

          I think their support is slightly bigger (maybe 10%). But it is true that the liberals and the ideas they espoused have been widely discredited throughout the 90s. The younger generations (those who grew up under Putin) may be somewhat more receptive towards them, but it will be a while before that matters.

          Incidentally, I am not entirely crowing about the discrediting of liberal ideas. I am sceptical towards democracy-as-panacea. I think poorly of most of our liberals, who seem to combine many of the least attractive characteristics of America’s Republicans and Democrats (politically correct elitists who more or less openly despise the poor and the social state and worship the free market; at least in classical form, people like Navalny are more subtle and eclectic). I certainly do not think that the West is our friend.

          On the other hand, the baby has been thrown out with the bathwater. I do not think we would be seriously harmed by a return to Gorbachev-era levels of free speech, but people associate it with societal harm, so all manner of repression is supported. I do not like us copying Cold War-era Western anti-sexual minorities agendas for the sake of “standing up to the West”… but the West has become so toxic that a lot of people bundle gay rights together with US appeasement and give it no further thought. The 90s may have sobered people up in some respects, but they have done lasting societal harm as well. My hope is that this will recede in time without the actually important lessons (such as not placing blind faith in Western ideas or Western benevolence) being lost.

          1. digi_owl

            The idea of democracy rests on the public being informed and rational.

            Sadly since WW2, and the introduction of psychology and its cousin marketing, politicians etc seem to regard the public as a barely coherent blob of emotion.

            Thus “we” are to be lead by the nose via appeals to emotion rather than be given the facts and allow us to agree or disagree with the suggested path forward.

    2. KD

      He was the ex-leader of the U.S.S.R., not Russia. Let the U.S.S.R. give him a state funeral, and praise him for preserving the ship of state in troubled times.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        Fortunately, there is at least one group in Russia claiming to be the Soviet government. The Soviet Citizen movement is our version of the sovereign citizen movement in the US. Those people claim the Soviet Union never ended, and therefore all post-Soviet authorities are illegitimate and all their laws can be safely ignored. Soviet documents, on the other hand, are very important, and in case you have lost yours, there are “government offices” that are happy to restore them for a fee. Perhaps Gorbachev should have been handed over to them.

  25. Andrew Watts

    RE: Can the Quincy Institute Survive Putin’s War?

    Probably not. The internal contradictions are too great to overcome. The liberal imperialists in favor of arming Ukraine wouldn’t ever argue that countries should’ve armed Iraqi insurgents against American aggression. It’s just that their hypocritical self-righteousness gets them riled up when it’s some other country doing the same things their country has already done.

    Some consistency from that crowd would be nice. Otherwise the world would be a better place if Americans minded their own business and stuck to their cults, ponzi schemes, and other flimflammery.

    1. anon in so cal

      Responsible Statecraft, which is the Quincy Institute’s online magazine, increasingly presents pro-US empire content. Turns out that Soros and Koch fund the QI.

      “The Quincy Institute was co-founded by Andrew Bacevich, a former US Army colonel in Vietnam and retired professor of history at Boston University. Initial funding for the group, launched in November 2019, included half a million dollars each from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and Charles Koch’s Koch Foundation.”

      1. KD

        Trump’s victory was a repudiation of the foreign policy establishment, and when Quincy was founded (2019), it was clear that there were a lot of dissenters to US foreign policy. Koch and Soros are clearly invested in free trade and globalization, and if there is going to be a widespread opposition to the establishment, why not get in there, fund it, control it, let a thousand flowers bloom, and prevent it from making political links to issues like the need to modify trade policy and fundamentally change social infrastructure to permit a reindustrialization of the United States along the lines of an industrial policy.

    2. Kouros

      Everyone in that debate, as presented in the article, was putting forward half arguments. What has not been said is far more revealing than what was said, in respect to the present Russian operation in Ukraine. Like:
      1. US promise not to extend NATO eastwards
      2. US backed coup in Ukraine in 2014
      3. Crimean and Donbas population long held allegiance to the Russian culture and Russian Federation.
      4. “Failure” of Ukraine, Germany, France to implement the Minsk II agreement
      5. Ever strengthening the Ukrainian military, who became the strongest in Europe, after Russia, prior to 2022.
      6. The legal mandate voted in 2021 for Ukraine military to retake control over Donbas and Crimea by all means
      7. Intensification of Ukrainian shelling of Donbas in February 2022, as a preparatory moved for an attack.
      8. Half of Ukrainian army concentrated in Donbas, while only Russia being accused of being aggressive.

      1. digi_owl

        Wonder if that first point is why Russia wanted the pump guarantee from Germany in writing before accepting delivery…

    3. Susan the Other

      Yes, it sounded blatantly hypocritical to me. Did the Q Institute just shoot itself in the foot by being too anti-war? Well if you consider that war was the only thing that kept American neoliberal financialized capitalism alive this long, then yes. Because Koch industries, for one (Trump as well), were anti-war because war interfered in good business. “Good” being excessively extortionate and backing an absurdly strong dollar, etc. I believe the fact is that the world changed and we didn’t. But we allow Quincy to say things that somehow absolve us all or make us feel better about losing our edge. “We Americans aren’t so bad… look here, we have the almost-pacifist Quincy Institute saying very reasonable things.” So it always looks staged to me. The one good thing is that, if it has been just a lot of drama, at least there has been no nuclear confrontation. Another good thing is, in fact, that the rest of the world did change. It almost feels like we are watching a new world fledge.

  26. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: biden’s “soul of the nation” speech

    Didn’t watch, but I’ve not heard a lot of ringing endorsements of inspiring rhetoric. I went looking in the places that can usually be counted on to make lemonade when presented with lemons. From msdnc:

    Nonetheless, when it comes to laying out the threat posed by the MAGA movement, Biden’s speech on Thursday can be boiled down to a few words: “I said what I said.”

    The “optics,” on the other hand, have inspired quite a bit of discussion, none of it “complimentary.” Most goes something like this from The Conservative Treehouse:

    Every national address by a president has a massive advance team checking every detail of a venue before broadcast. The optics they put together for Biden’s “battle for the soul of a nation” speech tonight, was just plain creepy and weird. I mean think about it, what does this imagery present when discussing the theme of battling for the soul of a nation?

    These are not modified images or changes in presentation; they are exactly what was broadcast to the nation. It looks straight up evil. Like something out of a hellscape theatrical production intended to showcase Baal as the “soul of the nation.”

    Can’t say I disgree. This stuff is getting very strange.

    1. BrianH

      I think the advance team put these visuals together purposefully. They think it’s an uber sophisticated way of further leaning into the Evil Brandon character. And I bet these idiots are overjoyed with how it presented. We’ll soon see them taking credit and claiming that the critics just didn’t understand.

      1. Screwball

        FWIW, my PMC friends thought it was great, and we need more of it. As mentioned up above, is the the D party running on fear? IOW, using fear as the motivation instead of policy? I think so.

        I did a word cloud of the speech. The largest to smallest (not all) words in order are; America, democracy, nation, people, believe, MAGA. Then they get smaller, and the biggest one was “violence.” What you didn’t see were words like jobs, inflation, war, or COVID. I admit I don’t know what the speech was suppose to be about.

        Fear seems to be the agenda, and I see it in my PMC friends. They are scared out of their socks if they don’t elect democrats, the world will come to and end. One even said if the Rs win, fascism will take over and in 3 years there will not be a country. Another said it’s time to get mean and nasty. They are truly scared shitless.

        Trump is Hitler, along with Putin, every republican in congress, as well as every MAGA voter (also known as a Trumper) in the US of A. They must be defeated, punished (some by death – see Trump for treason), mocked, ridiculed, shamed, and disappeared. Pure evil to these people. The hate and blood lust is off the charts.

        Funny, just before the speech that I had no intent of watching, a couple of blueMAGA’s stopped by for a beer. They are the PMC class that I speak of above. Hard to talk to them but I’ve known them my entire life. I tread carefully. Just before they left – had to go watch that speech – the wife started going off on all those dirty rotten scoundrels who “wouldn’t take the shots last year.”

        Yea, those people… She also has just spent almost 30 days in and out of a hospital with some medical condition none of the doctors can explain or figure out. Can’t imagine the costs. I can’t help but wonder if it might have had something to do with the 3 or 4 shots she took?

        Na, it could never be anything like that.

        What a world. I’m glad I’m old.

  27. KD

    Wow, it looks like India is going to cash in on the Ukraine insanity. It has a low cost labor wage structure, you have cheap energy from Russia, decent relations with the Chinese keeping their markets accessible, and friendly enough with the US to avoid regime-change invasion (but probably having to tolerate Western NGO’s promoting “democracy”). With over a billion people, you have plenty of geniuses, and if you have real opportunities, you can keep them from brain draining to the West (which is obviously on the suicide fast track anyways from any objective point of view). If they can keep the red tape down, improve productivity and make sure the profits are reasonably well-distributed to minimize instability, they could become a real powerhouse.

    1. digi_owl

      Question is if they can keep this balancing act going long term.

      And the relationship to china is downright schizophrenic…

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        The Indians seem to think that they are clever enough to dance with two elephants and yet not get trampled.

    2. Kouros

      I would really like to see the US invading India. Haven’t they came by the idea of juggernaut, and especially its origins?

      1. KD

        Very interesting. . .

        “an idea, custom, fashion, etc., that demands either blind devotion or merciless sacrifice,” 1854, a figurative use of Juggernaut, 1630s (Iaggernat), “huge wagon bearing an image of the god Krishna,” especially that at the town of Puri, drawn annually in procession during which (apocryphally) devotees allowed themselves to be crushed under its wheels in sacrifice.

        . . . a pretty good metaphor for being an ally of the US.

  28. Louis Fyne (no paywall for this Doomberg post, old news for the commentariat)

    “….As longtime readers of Doomberg will know, we’ve been fascinated by the European energy situation for the better part of the past year, long before the true potential for a crisis was considered acceptable mainstream thought. In re-reading a piece we wrote last October called “Putin’s Fools Rush In,” we correctly predicted who held the real power in the developing conflict. We also badly overestimated the willingness of Western political leaders to recognize reality. Here are two quotes revealing the miscalculation:….”

  29. The Rev Kev

    “Brussels prepares diplomatic offensive to stop the advance of China and Russia in Latin America”

    What could Brussels possibly offer Latin America that they would be interested in? The economic problems that they are having to deal with were caused to a large part by decisions made in Brussels. And watching the EU commit economic seppeku the past few months while trying to de-industrialize themselves, will Latin America be interested in what the EU may say? Can Latin America trust any agreement made with the EU long term? Will the EU actually offer the building of infrastructure like the Chinese offer rather than just resource extraction?

    1. Polar Socialist

      Brussels can offer a never ending stream of lectures on the rules based international order, austerity, diversity, how only The West can define democracy and of course the pure evilness of Mr. Putin.
      And after that ask Latin America to join in the seppuku.

      1. nippersdad

        To which Latin America should offer them a tour of their extensive collection of trenches full of skeletons and them promptly flip them off.

        This reckoning has been far too long in coming.

      2. Milton

        They can take a Brussels delegation on a short flight to the Rio de la Plata–where at 4000′ they would be kindly asked to step off.

      3. wilroncanada

        Thanks, The Rev Kev, and Polar Socialist.
        Unfortunately, most of the diplomatic offensives from the EU, and the rest of the “west” are just…um…offensive

    2. Larry Carlson

      We can also offer them the chance to halt their economic development and slow their ascent out of poverty by switching to costlier energy and industrial processes that have a smaller carbon footprint, rather than the ones we used to become wealthy. ¡Teslas para todos!

  30. jefemt

    Here is Biden’s 24-minute speech. I was driving and heard the first few minutes until I got back home.
    I must be programmed deeply… the segment I heard, I must say… he made no Octegenarian bobbles, and it made sense and I concurred.

    I am going to listen to the entire thing, and NOT watch the visuals.

    The commentary here and otherwhere alarmed me about my own perceptions….
    (I mean I realized almost immediately that 73 Million magas (pronounced maggots with a soft T) believe the diametric opposite- one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist…)
    I also realize they were NOT tuned in. Yaaaaas, I heard it on NPR. Sheezus .

    As my dearest old friend often says,
    “Be careful what you think!”

    1. KD

      You really have to see it–Darth Brandon in a nimbus of red light channeling Senator Palpatine with Imperial Storm Troopers at his sides. He really needs to wear some epaulettes for his next anti-fascism speech, wink-wink. Jill must have slipped him two go-pills last night.

    2. Louis Fyne

      you should watch the first few minutes of speech after listening to it, the full cut of the video including the walk-in by POTUS and FLOTUS.

      the setting started fine but the transition from milquetoast campaign stump speech to “cue Carmina Burana” was so bizarre.

      the visuals just overtook whatever message Biden had, in my opinion.

      1. digi_owl

        Well after seeing that, i am deeply worried.

        It seems like both sides of the north Atlantic has now completely lost it…

  31. IMOR

    Re: Consideration of special master in Trump case.
    “It also noted that securing a special master in this case would be especially complicated, in part because a special master would likely need to obtain a security clearance to review the records and special authorization from intelligence agencies.”
    I would guess that at least a couple of the 4.3 million American adults CURRENTLY holding Classified or higher
    – aboit 1.6% of the current population over 18- including the more than a million not currently using active clearances – could be recruited, re-interviewed, and bumped up to do the job.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      It always confers legitimacy when people who “have done nothing wrong” and “have nothing to hide” twist themselves into pretzels coming up with crazy reasons to hide everything.

      It’s as if the last seven years of making all kinds of shit up; lying about it to every “judge” they got in front of; and censoring, cancelling and prosecuting anyone who called them out on it, never even happened.

      Call me crazy, but I think tens of millions of 2020 Trump voters, 7 million more than voted for him in 2016 after 5 years of such crap, will beg to differ.

    2. hunkerdown

      Sensitive Compartmented Information doesn’t work like that.

      To access SCI or be “read in,” a candidate requires a formal “need-to-know” and be at the appropriate classification level. If those are established, there are other basic SCI criteria a candidate requires for eligibility: US citizenship; characteristics of sound judgement, reliability, and US loyalty; incorruptible character and not prone to external leverage and/or conspiring to overthrow the US Government (ICD 704 E).

      Good luck finding loyalty in the midst of the system of continuous, cold civil war called “Our Democracy”.

      1. The Historian

        In addition, each side will provide candidates for this position, and you just know Judge Cannon will pick the candidate that is most favorable to Trump. So there will be motions and counter-motions ad nauseum, and this saga will go on for longer than Days of Our Lives.

        But if there are any legal nerds out there, perhaps you should go to the source and read 32 CFR. It is the Code of Federal Regulations concerning national defense information.

        You really can’t just cherry-pick in CFRs because there are always exemptions you need to watch out for, but 32 CFR Part 2001, Subparts C, D, and E seem awfully important to be familiar with if you want to understand some of the issues. Being familiar with this information just might allow you to get rid of the hip-waders and go down to wellies when wading through all the BS that is out there.

        1. pjay

          I get why the official Rules and Regs might be useful here, since their violation is the pretext for this particular effort against Trump and will likely be the mind-numbing focus of legal arguments. But I hope we aren’t pretending that this case is actually about diligent public officials just trying to uphold the law as written. These rules and regs are simply the latest tools being used to get Trump, given the failure of a number of other such legalistic tools to do the job. I’m sure Trump violated the law at some level, but that’s not what this is about.

          1. The Historian

            Oh, I agree – the rules and regs are not what this is about. As far as I am concerned, this is just another circus to distract us. But both sides are completely cherry-picking and distorting the regulations to make their ‘points’ so I think it is important to know what the regs really are. Might help us understand who knows what they are talking about and who doesn’t. I’ve never seen so many legal ‘experts’ as I have these past few weeks.

  32. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Reported sexual assaults across US military increase by 13% Military Times

    A couple of “interesting” takes on this slimy subject in this article.

    …Army leaders have acknowledged that it is important for parents and others who influence recruits to feel comfortable that their son or daughter is safe and will be taken care of in the service.

    So this is what gives parents and others “comfort” as opposed to, say, worrying about their offspring being killed or maimed or poisoned or burned in numerous undeclared “wars” of hegemonic aggression? OK.

    Defense officials have argued that an increase in reported assaults is a positive trend because so many people are reluctant to report it, both in the military and in society as a whole. Greater reporting, they say, shows there is more confidence in the reporting system and greater comfort with the support for victims.

    So, the typical bad news is “good news” spin that has become so ubiquitous these days, that nobody even blinks at how stupid and nakedly manipulative it is.

    Is kirsten gillibrand still around? I thought this was her thing.

    1. Rainlover

      If I knew any young women looking to enlist, I would try to discourage them with every fiber of my being. I facilitated a group therapy session for women vets at a VA hospital and the stories I heard would curl your hair. I would have to see a lot of evidence to believe anything the US military says about this issue, although at least they acknowledge the problem now. More “bad news is good news.”

  33. Tom Stone

    The opposition of the DOJ to appointing a special master in the Mar A Lago case is clarifying.
    If the FBI and the DOJ were serious about nailing Trump for a crime the Warrant would almost certainly been narrow ( It’s REALLY broad), NO ONE implicated with the crossfire/Hurricane scandal would have been involved ( Auten and others are still under investigation by OPR and Justice for their roles in the Carter Page scandal) and the DOJ would have had a Special Master involved from the gitgo.
    It’s a raw exhibition of power.
    2016 was bad enough, in 2020 the FBI funded and organized “Whitmer Kidnap Plot” and sitting on Hunter’s were in your face and now the Mar A Lago raid performed in a way that makes it clear who the Boss is.
    And it is nothing to do with Trump’s crimes.
    If the DOJ wanted Trump sentenced to 20 years in the pen they could prosecute him for giving the order to murder General Soleimani, a crime he has bragged about.
    Of course that might lead to awkward questions about the Death of 16 Year old AbdulRahman Al-Awlaki…
    It will be interesting to See whether the Fibbies and the DOJ have become too big for their britches.
    Keep a wary eye,the elephants have begun to fight.

  34. hk

    WRT Poland,

    I suppose Czechs should demand reparations from them for their invasion in 1938-39 alongside the Nazis? (/S). Seriously, though, what Faulkner said about the South applies to Eastern Europe also, complete with zombie histories and klansmen in positions of power and influence.

  35. Mikel

    “The CDC added 476 new confirmed monkeypox cases in the USA 🇺🇸 in the last 24 hours increasing its total case count to 19,465.”

    Must be back to school time.

    And folks…we’re in trouble.
    Too many people thinking it’s only a sexually transmitted disease.

    And alot of people not understanding “men who have sex with men” wording by the CDC. That actually means the pox is NOT contained within the self-identified gay and bisexual communities.

    1. Ignacio

      The problem with the article is that it exaggerates a lot about possible benefits of the detailed (and very nice indeed) structure of the light harvesting complexes (LHC) of cyanobacteria. This is nice basic research and nobody can predict what applications might arise from this.

      On the other hand LHCs of cyanobacteria, green algae and plants are a fascinating scientific theme. I think that organic photovoltaic systems have a lot to learn about it. Both are semiconductor systems one to produce electricity from sun and the other transforming it on chemical energy.

  36. Samuel Conner

    The thing that catches my eye in today’s plantidote is the state of the ground the animal is sitting on. My backyard looks much the same; I don’t know what the rabbits are eating; I imagine they are hungry and thirsty.

    1. rrrrrrrrrr

      I am trying to understand what a “price cap” would look like in simple terms. Is the idea that the EU is going on price strike, and saying we won’t buy unless it’s at x per unit? Why would Russia agree to that?

  37. dftbs

    In regard to Big Brain Nate doing what he does best, stating the obvious. My hot take is that the only thing the US has to trade for more “economic gains” are the lives of its citizens.

  38. Michaelmas

    The week of the Amazing Collapsing Empire (just like last week) continues:

    ‘G7 countries back price cap on Russian oil-
    Initiative is aimed at limiting Kremlin’s funding of its war against Ukraine’

    This just in on top of Biden’s speech and the news that Chinese average lifespans are now two years longer than that of the average American’s. What utter morons.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If they are deliberately reducing their own population ( that’s us, folks) by Applied Jackpot Design Engineering and have successfully tricked us into thinking they have achieved it by accident because they are “utter morons”, that just shows how intelligent they really are.

      If our falling lifespan really is an accident, then our rulers really are utter morons. But if our falling lifespan is the real secret goal all along, and they have tricked us into thinking they have caused it by accident because they are ” utter morons”, then they are really evil geniuses.

      It all depends on what the real goal really is.

  39. LawnDart

    Nord Stream gas supply to EU stopped indefinitely – Russia’s Gazprom

    The flow will not be restored on schedule due to a turbine failure, Gazprom says

    Source: “Arrgt Teeee…”

    Well, what are the ramifications if this?

    1. Polar Socialist

      I believe a more correct translation is “for now” or “indeterminately”, rather than “indefinitely”. As in, they really can’t say when the insecure gas compressor unit can be repaired.

      And it doesn’t seem to be any play, Siemens reps were involved in deeming the unit insecure to run due to oil leaks. And yes, Siemens can only repair the unit in special workshop, which would be under sanctions, until someone, somewhere comes up with a directive or similar clearly excluding these compressors.

    2. Glen

      If this was poker it’s a classic case of reality calling the West’s bluff. Let’s see if the West raises or folds.

      Personally, if I lived in the EU and needed NG, I would be calling my rep and telling them to turn on Nord Stream 2.

  40. curlydan

    the sad part of the Texas cotton travails is West Texas just got an unusual amount of rain…just 2-3 months too late

    I’m guessing the aquifer just couldn’t make up the difference, or it’s been depleted already. It’s kind of weird that a story about West Texas agriculture wouldn’t mention the Ogallala aquifer at all since ag is so dependent on it there.

  41. Susan the Other

    Russia offers to supply India with gas for 100 years. Russia has massive reserves and the gas fields it is currently developing have enough to do India for that long – along with China and all points Middle East. Gas pipelines? Np problem. Russia can do that efficiently. Afghanistan is now in on the deal; it will run through Afghanistan. How timely that we got out. (Thanks Jeri Lynn).

  42. Mikel

    “If True…” Andrei Martyanov

    He brings up Cali’s Flex alerts regarding the heat. For your entertainment, here is the text I received:

    “Sent by State of California Public Utilities Commission
    This is a Flex Alert! Turn off the TV from 4-9pm to help stop an outage.
    Why not try a board game? Or maybe read a novel?
    Learn more:

    Does this mean more money for public libraries?

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