Links 9/23/22

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.

* * *

NASA gears up to deflect asteroid, in key test of planetary defense Deccan Herald

Care from afar Aeon

Statistical analysis aims to solve Greek volcano mystery Cornell Chronicle

Barbados Issues World’s First Pandemic-Protected Bond The St Kitts and Nevis Observer

The Great Lithium Squeeze: Elements by Clara Ferreira Marques Bloomberg

Kia and Hyundai Are Being Sued Because Viral TikToks Showed How Easy It Is to Steal Their Cars Vice

Rattling the Cage The Baffler

The Other Problems With Bringing African Cheetahs to India The Wire


Humans are dosing Earth’s waterways with medicines. It isn’t healthy. Mongabay

Where the Colorado River crisis is hitting home NPR (DL)

Federal authorities charge 48 people in Feeding Our Future investigation—allegedly ‘largest pandemic fraud in the United States.’ Sahan Journal


Taiwanese independence is a charging rhino that must be stopped, says China The Straits Times

China ready for ‘fight’ over international action on Xinjiang human rights abuses The Guardian

China’s Water Crisis Could Scramble the Global Economic Outlook Barron’s

U.S. aircraft carrier arrives in South Korea as warning to North Reuters

South Korean leader’s hot mic criticism of US goes viral The Manila Times

A UN-backed tribunal on Khmer Rouge crimes just confirmed the conviction of key leader Khieu Samphan. What now? The Conversation


Why India Is Suddenly Buying Less Russian Crude OilPrice

Communal Virus Injected into Diaspora, and the Culture is Growing The Wire


U.K. Could Move Embassy to Jerusalem, Truss Tells Lapid Haaretz

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid calls for two-state solution, Palestinians say United Nations speech ‘means nothing’ ABC (Australia)

The Most Stinging Resignation Letter Ever Written The Atlantic

* * *

US: Dozens of lawmakers renew push to halt Iran nuclear deal Middle East Eye (KW)

At least 9 killed in Iran as protests over woman’s killing by morality police spread PBS

Treasury Sanctions Iran’s Morality Police and Senior Security Officials for Violence Against Protesters and the Death of Mahsa Amini OFAC

Iranian President Warns against NATO Expansion As Threat to Independent States Fars

Norm Coleman Oversees GOP Congressional War Chest, Then Lobbies on Saudi Arabia’s Behalf The Intercept

Old Blighty

UK in recession, says Bank of England as it raises interest rates to 2.25% The Guardian

‘Gatekeeper’ to combat companies fraud The Times

British Farmers Consider Moving Production to Morocco Amid Rising Costs Morocco World News

First hearing in Lachlan Murdoch and Crikey defamation case Crikey

European Disunion

Capacity fears as APMT shelves Maasvlakte II expansion due to rising costs The Loadstar

EU approves up to $5.2 billion in public funding for hydrogen projects CNBC

Hungary to poll public on support for EU sanctions on Russia AP

German Police Raid Residence of Russian Oligarch Alisher Usmanov; Tax Evasion and Money Laundering Suspected OCCRP

The Devils and Ukraine CounterPunch

New Not-So-Cold War

Donbass, Zaporozhye, Kherson regions to vote on accession to Russia TASS

Russia can defend new regions with nuclear weapons: Medvedev Al Jazeera

Ukraine: Azovstal commanders among 215 soldiers released in prisoner exchange with Russia

Yale Report: Approximately 1 in 6 Ukrainian crop storage sites impacted by war Yale News

Acquisition of Apaches, other US materiel to make Poland formidable on NATO flank, envoy says Stars and Stripes

* * *

Putin pushed by Russians, media into war – Berlusconi ANSA

‘Cyprus will take part in international response to Russia’, Lavrov meeting cancelled Cyprus Mail

Keynote address by President von der Leyen at Princeton University European Commission

Estonia wants to end Russian energy trade, commerce and finance dialed back ERR

Germany broadens crude import horizons as Russian flows dry up Hellenic Shipping News

Turkish lender Işbank suspends use of Russia’s Mir payment system Daily Sabah


N.Y. Attorney General Accuses Trump of ‘Staggering’ Fraud in Lawsuit NYT

Inside California’s pot legalization failures: Corporate influence, ignored warnings LA Times

New US company owner database ‘taking way too long’ to implement, experts warn ICIJ

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Postal Service surveilled protesters with pro-gun, anti-Biden agendas Washington Times

Imperial Collapse Watch

How France aims to streamline, simplify arms and ammo acquisition BreakingDefense

‘Fat Leonard,’ a fugitive in a massive Navy bribery case, has been caught in Venezuela NPR

Turkiye delivers drones to UAE as Gulf States seek to counter Iran Middle East Monitor

Raytheon Beats Lockheed, Boeing for $1 Billion Hypersonic Cruise Missile Bloomberg

Romania Looks Set to Be First European Country to Buy Israel’s Iron Dome Haaretz

Social media and influencers key to military recruitment of young people, defense officials say Stars and Stripes

L’affaire Martha’s Vineyard

Florida migrant-moving company gave GOP cash, has ties to DeSantis’ immigration ‘czar’ and Rep. Matt Gaetz NBC

Class Warfare

“You Strike So You Don’t Quit”: Across the Country, Nurses Are Fighting Overwork The Nation

The White House intervention to block rail strike and the political issues confronting railroad workers WSWS

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Sardonia

    Here in the Entertainment Section of NC (before you get to the intelligent comments), enjoy singing along with The Rolling Stones as we mess with their lyrics of “19th Nervous Breakdown” (You probably know the song – but just in case, it’s in the first reply. (such a fun, upbeat tune)

    You’re the kind of person, who trusts the words from
    Corporate media
    If they got nice hair, you don’t really care
    Just what they’re feedin’ ya.
    You take each new jab, from the Pfizer Lab
    Even though it soon degrades.
    They neglect to teach you, it’s one that each new
    Variant evades.

    You better stop.
    Look around.
    Here it cuh…ums, here it cuh…ums
    Here it cuh…ums, here it cuh…ums
    Here comes your nineteenth Bug Infection!

    Big Business ghouls, got a lotta Tools
    They got lotsa wherewithal.
    The imperative, of their narrative
    Is “Go out and spend it all.”
    “No need to fret”, said your TV set
    On the PBS News Hour:
    The same line as Trump, from another Chump
    Whose only concern is Power.

    You better stop.
    Look around.
    Here it cuh…ums, here it cuh…ums
    Here it cuh…ums, here it cuh…ums
    Here comes your nineteenth Bug Infection!

    Oh, who’s to blame?
    This world’s just insane.
    Well nothin’ we do don’t seem to work
    ‘Specially when Special Interests lurk.
    Oh, Plee-eee-eee-eeze.

    In medical schools, we got lots of fools
    Who really mess our minds.
    Overlooking facts, they can turn clocks back
    To much more carefree times.
    What we wanna hear, is “No need to fear.”
    And they wanna think that too.
    And if they’re kinda hot, they’ll get a speaking spot
    On primetime Channel Two.

    You better stop.
    Look around.
    Here it cuh…ums, here it cuh…ums
    Here it cuh…ums, here it cuh…ums
    Here comes your nineteenth Bug Infection!

    Oh, who’s to blame?
    This world’s just insane.
    Well nothin’ we do don’t seem to work
    ‘Specially when Special Interests lurk.
    Oh, Plee-eee-eee-eeze.

    We’ll take Innocence, over virulence
    We’re gonna let the good times roll.
    There’s no need to see, increased morbidity
    And its cumulative toll.
    We all hid away, and now it’s time to play
    Time to go and have some fun.
    Play Russian Roulette, and mock the etiquette
    Of anyone who checks the gun.

    Not gonna stop
    Or look around.
    Here it cuh…ums
    Here comes our nineteenth Bug Infection!
    Here comes our nineteenth Bug Infection!
    Here comes our nineteenth Bug Infection!
    Here comes our nineteenth Bug Infection!
    Here comes our nineteenth Bug Infection!
    Here comes our nineteenth Bug Infection!

      1. Sibiryak

        Have you done “Shattered”?

        Shattered, shattered
        Love and hope and nord stream dreams
        Still surviving on Arbat street
        Russky industry, it’s in tatters
        I’m a shattered

    1. LawnDart

      19th Bug Infection– I’d love to see/hear that performed by even an only half-decent bar-band!

      …on YouTube.

        1. aletheia33

          “It often happens that, if a lie be believed only for an hour, it has done its work, and there is no further occasion for it.” ~ Jonathan Swift

          1. ambrit

            No doubt, the Motto above the entrance to the CIA ‘public’ building in the Washington Swamp Annexe, in code of course.
            Also, a very credible foundation for the gentle art of Propaganda.
            Could this also be the motto on the Fauci family crest?
            Plus, a suggestion that, to protect his cadaver from disinterment and incendiation, Fauci can put on his tombstone the International Biohazard Symbol.
            For IBS see:

            1. aletheia33

              thank you for that link, very interesting. dow chemical and USG in lockstep as usual.
              i completely agree. put it on his winding cloth also.

              1. ambrit

                A stake through his heart, if it can be found, and the corpus sealed up in a welded shut steel coffin. Buried in the centre of a crossroads of course, at the dark of the moon.
                One can reasonably assume that someone who has made a career out of the needlessly extended sufferings of many people qualifies as a vampyre. He already looks ‘undead.’

  2. griffen

    Jumping goat, a very pleasing antidote to end this incredibly wild week. Wait, has every week thus far in 2022 been this wild – so maybe it’s just par for the course.

    Anyway, happy to see goats this morning.

    1. Tom Stone

      Wild? The water temperature off of Bodega Bay is 66 degrees F, they are catching sailfish and yellowfin Tuna 30 miles off the coast.

  3. Bart Hansen

    On those referenda in Ukraine, the media employees have quickly come together on a new narrative word: That the referenda are being “staged”.

    The Times: “Russia Begins Orchestrating Staged Voting in Occupied Ukraine Territories”

    The Post: “Russia stages referendums in occupied regions in the face of world condemnation”

    The Times get extra credit for implying orchestration was involved.

    1. JohnA

      And sham. All western media are required to call them sham referendums, as in the uniform ‘unprovoked’ invasion.

      1. hunkerdown

        To the neoliberal, private property is the highest sacrament, and it is blasphemous and futile to vote against their alleged laws of motion.

      2. timbers

        “Filtration” gets past Western censorship. I’ve used it on Linkin as in “Referendums are being held today in response to demands for protection from Ukraine filtration of Russians, similar to what Germany did prior to WW2.”

    2. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Bart.

      Yesterday evening, the BBC, Channel 4 and France 2 reported that the newly mobilised troops are from the poor and ethnic minority periphery, not wealthy and cosmopolitan Moscow. It seemed as if the stories were coordinated. How these stations are able to film freely around and interview people without any problem in totalitarian Russia is never explained.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Thank you, Colonel. I noticed that nearly all the people being interviewed or those people protesting about being called up were precisely the sort of people that are not subject to this partial mobilization at all. Strange that. But you do have to admit, the coordination going on in different media in a few dozen western countries is very impressive. It’s almost if….it’s almost if that they have been able to do it through long practice. Fusion centers perhaps?

      2. notabanker

        Russian Flyover Deplorables are now the poor ethnic minority periphery. In the US we call them enemies of the state. In Russia they are forced Putin conscripts. Good to know.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          In the US we call them enemies of the state.

          No, in the u.s. we call them people without futures who want to “be all they can be.”

            1. Oh

              The huddled masses yearning to be free are the poor and homeless in America. They yearn to be free from hunger, sickness, police brutality etc. etc. and long for shelter.

      3. Stephen

        Thank you, Colonel Smithers. Good to be unformed of the latest mainstream media narrative so I can avoid watching it.

        I guess they went on to explain that British rank and file soldiers are, of course, uniformly from the professional classes.

        iEarl Grey is showing on his telegram channel a large scale “we don’t abandon our own” rally in support of Donbass in Moscow and people dancing in Kherson. Another channel shows a similar mass rally in Sevastopol. Various Twitter pictures show Russians flocking to enlistment stations.

        I wonder how the totally impartial, accurate and independent BBC will choose to report these events. Maybe: “Panicked Putin forces oppressed occupied people to smile, wave flags and sing”.

        More seriously, it is saddening that the war escalates. I am sure that nobody who writes, reads or comments to this blog wants to see more brave people die in this war. From either side. It just feels that there is no way to stop this though.

        1. Tom Bradford

          While I tend to filter out mainstream news touching on Russia v. Ukraine as being uselessly one-sided, I was godsmacked when some reporter last night’s leading news broadcast in my neck of the woods dealing with the attack on the Russians at the UN Assembly, referred to ‘untrained Russian conscripts being sent into the front lines with inferior weaponry.’

          Not only was the comment completely irrelevant to the story, any half-competent journo would have known that Russia was calling up reservists not conscripting, that they would be used in support roles freeing up regular army forces to move to the front lines and that Russia’s weaponry is inferior to no-one’s – I assume the implication is that as the Ukraine is now being armed by the West, Russia’s weapons must necessarily be inferior.

          This was blatant brain-washing on a par with the stories of Iraqi soldiers throwing Kuwaiti babies out of incubators in the lead-up to the Gulf War. Being both retired and cynical I have both the time and inclination to try to educate myself as to what is really going on in Ukraine – which the Internet makes far easier to do than in 1990 – but what I find scary, and depressing, is that;
          a) I think the ‘journalist’ bringing the report of the events in the UN believed what she said, revealing both ignorance and a lack of professionalism in informing herself on the background to what she was reporting on – in mainstream news,
          b) she took it upon herself to add a utterly biased and ignorant personal comment at best peripheral to the matter she was supposed to be reporting on,
          c) TPTB that fed her the line did so believing that the great unwashed watching her report would not question it, but instead unconsciously add it to the other lies they have been fed as confirming them, and
          d) they probably will.

          It was also noticeable to me, because I was alert to it, that it was strongly implied that the UN’s condemnation was universal. The actual far more measured stance of China, India and many other non-western orientated countries wasn’t mentioned.

    3. .human

      In an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired earlier this week, President Joe Biden said independence was something for the Taiwanese people to decide.

      But not for the ethnic Russian population of Ukraine, or for that matter, the people of Vietnam through their elected leader Ho Chi Minh’s request to the US for help to throw off the Colonial yoke of France.

      1. ambrit

        It’s a seamless continuum, isn’t it.
        Today’s Neo-liberalism is just a Globalist form of the old style colonialism.
        In both, the basic system is exploitation of the masses.

      2. Exiled_in_Boston

        So the people of Taiwan are entitled to self-determination as much as the ethnic Russian population of Ukraine?

        1. .human

          I’m not going to be drawn into your pointless debate other than to make the obvious observation that self-determination for a peoples was the premise of The Declaration of Independence, whether it was Thomas Jefferson’s (slave owner) or Ho Chi Minh’s (revolutionary) version.

    1. Old Sovietologist

      “Will others follow”?

      No, there all going off the cliff together unless govts fall, or talks are going on behind the scenes that aren’t been publicised.

      The Western European govts fell into a trap in the spring. That’s when the UK/US launched the “British gambit”. The Brits since Brexit have been determined to weaken the European Union and since its the EU who will bear most of the costs due to the conflict their well on their way to achieving that aim. What’s strange is that the EU govts went along with it. We’ll have to leave that to future historians to work out.

      Britain need to prolong the Ukrainian crisis, bringing the “British gambit” to a successful conclusion. If Ukraine has to be sacrificed in the process then so be it.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The UK may be the point person, like how they spiked the peace negotiations a coupla months ago which might have ended this war, but it is Washington that is running this whole op which serves several purposes. It cripples the EU from ever being a serious economic competitor to the US in the world market, provides a place that will be ordering hundreds of billions of dollars of US weaponry in the coming years and makes sure that the US will be calling the shots in those EU countries – as US corporations go on a buying spree in Europe to buy up the wreckage of their industries on the cheap. Historically, great empires despise allies and will only tolerate obedient satraps – but which tends to cripple those empires in the long run.

        1. John

          Who is benefiting from the EU at this juncture? The collective economies are under threat from their sanctions policy. Their military posturing is a bad joke. Objective observers consider EU leadership an even worse joke. Appearances lead to the inescapable conclusion that the EU is not master in its own house. Yes, a single currency and visa free travel are agreeable, but those are baubles. I cannot see that the EU has been a success in any way. Could someone wiser please point out where I am mistaken.

          1. LawnDart

            Who is benefiting from the EU’s decline at this juncture?

            Aside from the pols who help manage the deliberate pillage and destruction..?

          2. Anonymous 2

            The EU a success in any way – just look at what has happened to the UK since 2016. Gone from the world’s fifth largest economy to seventh place in just six years.

            Eastern Europe has done well economically since joining the EU.

      2. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, OS.

        I can help answer that, based on a discussion with the No 2 at the Belgian embassy to the UK, in late 2016. He said that much of the EU valued the UK’s defence capability and wanted that relationship protected from even a hard Brexit. I explained that British forces were hollowed out and had performed badly in Helmand and Basra. He replied that he meant access to and the use of Britain’s intelligence services.

        That conversation sprang to mind in 2018. I asked a friend and former comrade of my dad, he ex British army and still living near Salisbury and my dad ex Royal Air Force, both medical and public health professionals, about what went on in his ‘hood. We wondered if these were false flags to get May out of a hole and to frighten the EU.

        1. David

          I’ve sung this song before, but it’s worth repeating that military power is relative, not absolute. Even now, the British are the only serious military power (with the French) in Europe. Indeed, the great missed opportunity of the last thirty years is a European defence capability led by France and the UK, which some of us worked for and failed to bring about. This wasn’t possible because the UK wanted to preserve its position in NATO (which mean preserving NATO) and its close working relationship with the US in the intelligence and nuclear fields. I suspect anyone who thought that the UK would share intelligence widely with European states was gravely mistaken. The fact is, Europe has opted to get rid of almost all its serious military power. The UK and France, with bits of Germany, Sweden and Spain on a good day, are about all that’s left.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I was just reflecting earlier today what would happen if NATO put together a division to send to the Ukraine and how it would fare. I am sure that the Russians would be sportsman like and let it travel unhindered from Poland all the way to the Donbass front to give it a fair chance.

          2. Socal Rhino

            Right now, I think the relevant comparisons are Turkey (NATO) and Russia (Europe), and perhaps Poland given reports of buildups there.

          3. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, David.

            I don’t disagree.

            Were you involved with the Westland / EC collaboration / initiative that led to Heseltine’s resignation in 1986?

            Mum’s big sister worked for what became British Aerospace and, as she’s bilingual, was seconded to Aerospatialle in the early 1970s and married a French colleague. The pair still live in French aerospace country.

          4. JTMcPhee

            Say the EU had actually created the defense (sic — war making) capability that some hoped for. Would the EU have been a position, a decade ago given the state of Russia then, to go about dismembering the Russian Federation and reducing it to bits of Empire-owned and corporate-exploited “resource pools?” And would that have been a better outcome for the mass of us ordinary people who are also mostly just lootable bits of “resource material,” and for the general goodness quotient of the world?

            Maybe it’s all just Rooskie propaganda, but it seems to me that there is indeed a “fair multipolar world order” starting to develop. Of course the looting and hegemony-seeking impulses will continue to exist in any multipolar structure that eventuates, so humans will likely not escape all the destiny that seems coded into our genes. But if the warlord types that sought to create that indomitable Northern Eurostructure (operating under US direction, as advised by the practices imperialists in the UK and their corporate partners had succeeded, would the track we would then all be shunted onto look anything at all like the dreams of shining cities, lorded over by “patriots,” undimmed by human tears, that a couple of generations ago were fed to the public as the nature of the planned future?

            I for one think there’ much more to be said for the bona fides of Putin, Lavrov, Shoigu and their political economic framing, than the dark images of a future under constant fear of nuclear war and steady loss of living and moral standards under the tender mercies of the globalists and neocon-neoliberal elites.

        2. Michaelmas

          Col. Smithers: He replied that he meant access to and the use of Britain’s intelligence services.

          Interestingly, employees of GCHQ, SIS (aka MI6), and the other British intelligence services are estimated to outnumber British army personnel.

          Old Sovietologist: The Brits since Brexit have been determined to weaken the European Union and since its the EU who will bear most of the costs due to the conflict their well on their way to achieving that aim.

          Suggestive evidence for this interpretation is that most of the ‘evidence’ for the ‘Russiagate’ campaign, such as the Steele dossier, came from a contingent of ex-SIS (MI6) members around former SIS head Richard Dearlove, a Brexiter —

          In other words, with hindsight it’s possible to surmise that the plan was that, following both Brexit and Hillary’s ascension to the White House, the proxy war in Ukraine was to kick off in 2017-18, beginning a degradation of the EU’s capabilities and in particular of German industrial dominance, which latter turns out to have been based on cheap Russian natural gas.

          With Trump’s election, a spanner was thrown in the works. One possible fix that was pursued was to de-legitimize Trump so as to install Hillary.

          Conspiracy theory material? Lest we forget, Britain has had a single foreign policy objective for at least the last five-hundred years —

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, M.

            I have crossed swords with Dearlove’s son Mark, a City scoundrel protected on account of his father. The pair have a lot to answer for.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “‘Fat Leonard,’ a fugitive in a massive Navy bribery case, has been caught in Venezuela”

    Just had a brilliant idea. So as far as I know, the US does not have an extradition treaty with Venezuela. And in any case, the relations are pretty toxic. So considering the fact that the most that the Venezuelans could bust him on is illegal entry to their country, this could be a good opportunity here to mess with Washington. So ‘Fat Leonard’ could be paid to give a series on interviews that could be carried on the internet where he talks about what he did and how he did it. Name names. He could say things like ‘Oh yeah. I bribed Admiral Blowhard with a coupla Play Stations and a hooker as well. Even tossed in the booze for free. He gave me a $10 million contract which gave me the movements of half the US 7th Fleet. I’m surprised that I didn’t have the Chinese knocking on my door for info to sell. Then again, I’m not sure who that hooker really worked for.’ This could be a whole series of interviews with English subtitles and it would be epic with a lot of red faces all around.

    1. Wukchumni

      I still contend that ‘Portly Leonard’ would be a much better nom de plunder, considering his naval movements.

            1. ambrit

              Keep this up and you two will end up in the dock. You have been warned.

              Oh, and do keep an eye out for the upcoming docudrama about ‘Portly Leonard’ and his nefarious schemes: “Sail of the Century.”
              Pre-release reports describe it as a “streaming pile of —-.”

                1. ambrit

                  Rebooted as “The Ballad d’Or.”
                  Nexxtflikz prequel to their present ‘hit,’ “The Rings of Powell.”
                  [It’s all economics after all. This is an economics blog.]

                  Curious how no one is attempting to make light of ‘Fat Albert’s’ movie, “Leonard Part 6.” Perhaps some things really are best left forgot.

    2. Gregorio

      I can’t figure out why a guy who plead guilty in 2015 to a multi-million dollar fraud against the U.S. government, wasn’t already in jail.

    3. Maxwell Johnston

      All joking aside, this is an interesting litmus test for future USA-Venezuela relations, and I’m surprised that Venezuela even arrested him. If V hands him over to the Yankees, this implies that V wants to kiss and make up w USA (and sell them lots of oil, and maybe get their gold back too). If V ignores USA and allows him to continue onwards to (supposedly) Russia, then it’s business as usual. With USA apparently losing its Colombian beachhead (as per Corbishley’s excellent article), USA might be ready (or even desperate) to cut a deal with V. This will be fun to watch.

    1. Louis Fyne

      those drones are even cheaper than cruise missiles.

      the future of war won’t be the F-35. It will be missiles and drones using an off-the-shelf engine with less horsepower than your car

      1. aletheia33

        nothing new here. as in US civil war to hiroshima. UK empire. the grand warriors must have their new wars, to play with their new equipment and systems of soldier supply and control. it has ever been so, from the beginning of “history”.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Postal Service surveilled protesters with pro-gun, anti-Biden agendas”

    For the US Postal Sevice, it would not be hard to do that. After all, it has been know since 2014 that-

    ‘The USPS uses a program called Mail Imaging, which takes a photograph of the outside of every piece of mail sent in the U.S. While the primary purpose of taking the pictures is to process the mail, law enforcement agencies are able to request images of mail sent and received by a target they are investigating.’

  6. Wukchumni

    Where the Colorado River crisis is hitting home NPR (DL)
    The compounding issue being that it isn’t as if all of the upriver users are going to just let the life giving bounty pass by them because it isn’t theirs, by law.

    The sloppiest seventeenths of the Colorado end up in San Diego, i’d hate to be last in line.

    (CN) — The Yurok and Karuk tribes have blown the whistle on ranchers in Northern California who are defying state orders to curtail water usage by diverting flow from the Shasta River, imperiling already endangered salmon of the Klamath tributaries. The tribes say the diversion led to a 37% decrease in Shasta River flows, from 58 cubic feet per second to 36 in two hours on Aug. 17.

    The Shasta River Water Association’s diversion came days after a fire-induced mudslide killed tens of thousands of fish in a 60-mile reach of the Klamath River.

    “The Shasta River Water Association is illegally dewatering one of the most important salmon nurseries in California,” said Karuk Chairman Russell Attebery in a statement Tuesday. “After last week’s fish kill, every juvenile salmon in the Klamath basin must be protected to ensure future runs. We are horrified, we are angry, and we expect accountability.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      it is likely that the ranchers will face no punishment at all. Governor Newsom needs the national rancher vote in 2024. Wait and see the goodies he will bestow on Central Valley Big Ag.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine: Azovstal commanders among 215 soldiers released in prisoner exchange with Russia”

    Nice to see that DW is white-washing all references to the Nazi ideology of those Azov guys. A lot of Russian are furious that they were let go but they shouldn’t be. The Russians probably got all the testimony from them that they were ever going to get. And as the Ukrainians are short of trained men, pretty soon these guys will probably be sent to the Donbass or some other region. And then for the Russians it won’t be wabbit season or duck season. It will be Azov season. The fact that those 10 foreign mercs got freed to might suggest that there was some sort of side-deal made somewhere but as the Russians have already killed several hundred mercs, those 10 guys were only a drop in the bucket.

    But the big news, according to Alex Christoforou, is who brokered the deal – Saudi Arabia & Turkey. A few years ago this would have been unimaginable and it might have been a country like Swizterland that would have done this. No longer. Obviously some other side deals were made with Russia, Saudi Arabia & Turkey but it might be years before we learn what each country got out of it. Zelensky will publicize this all throughout the Ukraine as a win but this might undermine him. They have been telling their soldiers that the Russians will torture and kill Ukrainian prisoners but when they see that the Russian let a bunch of Nazis go back, then they will realize that surrender is actually a real option for them and this was brought up by a guy called Garland Nixon on The Duran.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I dont think either country needs much. Saudi Arabia is a plantation, so playing dress up as a real country is always a plus for them. Erdogan might be unpleasant, but Turkey is a major country that no longer needs access to the West for modernity. Long term traffic through the Bosphorus is good. The young population has a level of college “achievement” on oar with Germany and a larger population. Anatolia and Constantinople have been out of the game for a bit due to the end days of the Ottoman Empire and the size of the US relative to other countries, but it wasn’t going to last. Like Russia, Berlin really didn’t want to bring Turkey into the EU because Berlin can read population statistics too. It was a country lare enough to direct and rally smaller countries against Berlin. Erdogan’s neo Ottoman fantasies have blinded him to what Turkey can be. This is real soft power especially as the power of the US is in decline.

      The population of Turkey is larger than Germany, and Biden wants Germany to be on the UNSC.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Until a few years ago, Germany was a powerful country with a solid manufacturing center. In a year or two’s time, what will be left will not be considered a powerful enough voice to have on the UN Security Council anymore. Sad but true. And that will remain true until they have wholesale change in their leadership class and get rid of all these idiots.

        1. Alezic

          46.5% is the employment rate, it’s 1.2 down from a 25 year peak according to that website. It was close to 42% two year ago but now seem fine. Doesn’t really scream crisis to me

    2. Michael Ismoe

      The agreement also included the stipulation that these dudes would stay in their “host” country until the war is ended. When they show up in Kiev to a ticker tape parade, we all will also know that Ukraine is not “agreement capable” so any attempt to negotiate a peace is a waste of time.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Yeah, I found it interesting that the article mentioned .”..that the Azov commanders were already safe in Turkey…”.

        I’d thought that Russia wanted to put these Azov types on trial, and maybe they did retain some higher value Azov prisoners for those purposes. Given that, and also Erdogan’s propensity for trying to play all sides, you have to wonder if these prisoners will ever actually make it back to Ukraine.

        1. ambrit

          Will they end up in Kurdistan, fighting for the Sublime Porte? You must admit that the two groups, Neo-Ottoman Turks and Avostals, do think alike.

    3. anon in so cal

      Azovstal: There has been a lot of grumbling on Russian telegram about the exchange (yes, I realize the limitations of Telegram). Apparently, if this newspaper article is credible, Kadyrov is also displeased. Of course, the exchange exposes Ukraine’s lies about how prisoners are treated, and it also reassures those about to be mobilized that Russia prioritizes its forces’ lives. Stil, it has caused rancor.

      “We are talking about 215 Ukrainian prisoners of war, including five commanders of the Azov, who were exchanged for 55 Russians and one Viktor Medvedchuk. “Whenever combat or tactical decisions were made, we, active participants in the special operation, were consulted. And here…”, — said the head of Chechnya.”

      1. The Rev Kev

        In the long run, it is a good message for Russian soldiers and their allies. That if you are captured, they will try to get you back.

    4. Skip Intro

      I’m sure the Russian-released nazis nationalists will be welcomed back as trusted friends by their fellows, who are a naturally trusting, forgiving bunch.

    5. juno mas

      According to Mercouris (Duran) the Azov leaders are being sent to Turkiye and not back to Ukraine. He suggests the leaders may be in “detention” for a long while.

    6. Brunches with Cats

      > when they see that the Russian let a bunch of Nazis go back …

      Adding, “well-fed and not beaten” — at least, not detectible in the photo, which came from the Ukraine government. Just give it a day or two, though, and every Western media outlet will be reporting their brutal treatment, multiple violations of the Geneva Convention, etc. etc. And of course their terrifying firsthand accounts of being under seige at Azovstal, with sick and starving women and children — children! — prevented by the Russian aggressor from leaving to get food and emergency hospital care.

      As for the 215-to-55 complaint, is it possible that Russia has more POWs to exchange, because they didn’t torture and shoot them on the battlefield?

      1. The Rev Kev

        The very first report that I heard about those guys was talking about how they had been tortured by the Russians according to the Ukrainians.

        1. Brunches with Cats

          Understood. But the whole world has just seen Ukrainian government photos and video showing smiling, well-fed guys, faces unscarred, no missing limbs, walking without canes or crutches. And as you pointed out, that they were sent back at all, and very much alive, refutes the Ukrainian/Western psyops. So now Ukraine and its foreign advisers have to cook up a new “evil Russkies” narrative that doesn’t conflict with the visual evidence and make sure the ex-POWs all have their stories straight before issuing talking points to the Western media. I might have to break my diet for a bowl of popcorn.

          Links to Ukraine state-owned channel Suspilne, with lots more photos and a video of the moment of exchange to follow shortly, original and Google machine translation.

        2. Brunches with Cats

          Links to more photos and video (Ukraine state-owned media), promised in comment that went to queue.


          Machine translation via Google Translate:

    7. Janie

      Re: the Rev Kev, 09.37. Garland Nixon had some good guests on his own show (sorry, can’t link). He has had the guy who was to repair Hunter’s laptop, Ray McGovern, Larry Johnson, among others.

    8. MichaelC

      Is it just me, or have we all been played?
      Are the Russia and Ukraine oligarchs playing the west off each other?

      Zelensky thanking the Saudis for the safe return of the riff raff surrendereers who should face jail time ( under recently adopted legislation) somehow sounds discordant.

      It seems to me the West has been outplayed by the real power brokers in Russia and Ukraine chess game.

      Their oligarchs are cleverer than ours, I think.

      1. Yves Smith

        Mercouris said this but less pointedly: refusing a prisoner swap brokered by Erdogan and MbS would be dissing them both. And they are seen as being too cozy with Russia, so this is a cheap way for all parties to burnish the appearance of their independence.

  8. howard in nyc

    That Raytheon $1 billion hypersonic missile contract. Is that the price per missile? Cuz a billion here and a bil there, pretty soon yer talkin bout real money.

    1. Steve

      I believe the billion is upfront cash (use taxpayer money to better enable spending their own capital on share buybacks and dividend payments ) to cover costs of developing the missile. Once developed they will sell it to the US military at an estimated price of $6-$10 million per missile.

      1. Martin Oline

        If the Iranian Shahed-136 costs $10,000 each (I am guessing, no information is available about price) than a fleet of 1,000 could be assembled for $10,000,000. I wonder which option is better? The book The Dervish House by Ian MacDonald is well written and is interesting fiction about drone swarms.

        1. Martin Oline

          $10,000 each isn’t bad for a WAG. I found that a Chinese drone shot down near Crimea costs $13,000 on the commercial market. Wholesale would be less. From an article in SouthFront, it was made by: “the Chinese company Mugin UAV, which is available on the commercial market. It can be bought for about 13 000 $.”

    2. NN Cassandra

      Last line of that article reads: Russia and China are able to press ahead on new weapons without the oversight by lawmakers and the public that can slow testing and deployment under the Pentagon’s acquisition system.

      How good things could be if only the public wouldn’t be sticking noses where they don’t belong!

  9. Wukchumni

    NASA gears up to deflect asteroid, in key test of planetary defense Deccan Herald

    The last time I played a video game it required 2 bits, and I was quite a whiz @ Asteroids, or at least as good as say $60 worth of investment got me.

    I’m way rusty, but should NASA need my services, please contact me care of Big Eavesdrop, Utah.

  10. Wukchumni

    January 6th is all about who the Donkey Show can charge for admission, and what better foil than the dude with an Adolf mustache…

    A New Jersey man who was one of the first rioters to break into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, then testified under oath that he didn’t know Congress met there, was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison.

    Hale-Cusanelli, 32, worked as a security guard at Naval Weapons Station Earle and lived on the base in Colts Neck, N.J. In addition to being a supporter of President Donald Trump, the man was a white supremacist who supported Nazi ideology and admired Adolf Hitler, even wearing a “Hitler mustache” to work, the government said in court filings. But U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden ruled that Hale-Cusanelli’s racist preferences were too prejudicial to present to a jury, though he did allow the defendant’s comments that he wanted a civil war to come into evidence. (WaPo)

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Instead of sending all these people to prison, wouldn’t it make more sense to give them Civics lessons? Once they realize that the entire “insurrection” was a giant waste of time – it wasn’t going to stop the Electoral Vote count – (and it didn’t) they might spend more time asking why the voting process is so byzantine and designed to stop you from voting.

      Bonus Points: Once you had 5th grade Civics, you understand what Congress does (and who pays for it) and then you have a real reason to have an insurrection.

    2. John Zelnicker

      Good morning, Wuk. You don’t need to provide links to your comments. I assume you wrote the songs outside of the comment box with some kind of text editor. I can work with any Windoz compatible program., e.g., Word, Notepad, WordPad.

      1. Wukchumni


        I rarely take more than 3 minutes to reinterpret a song, but keep no records as everything lies within the comment box and therein is where you’ll find the goods in a search somehow.

        1. Janie

          Three minutes??!?!! I was messin’ around with Pinky and the Brain rework the other day for an hour or so (and it’s short) but didn’t like the result. I pass it on to you.

        2. John Zelnicker

          Amazing, Wuk. You have quite a talent.

          I’ve also tried searching for comments and it just isn’t part of the search feature.

          However, could you send me the link when you post it, in case I don’t see it?

    1. Kouros

      Hungary said that if it pertains to energy, they will say no… and I thing even assured the Russians that they will do that.

      Tip of the hat Hungary!

  11. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Statistical analysis aims to solve Greek volcano mystery

    The new timeline synchronizes the civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean while also ruling out several ancillary theories, such as the idea that the Thera eruption was responsible for destroying Minoan palaces on the coast of Crete as the first excavator of Akrotiri, Spyridon Marinatos, proposed in 1939.

    “That seems not to be the case,” Manning said. “Because when we date the destruction levels on Crete, they seem to be upwards of a century later.”

    I am not a professional archaeologist and it’s been a generation since I was involved in the field at all so I’m not as up to date as I could be. That being said, I worked at an excavation on the coast of Crete in the 90s and there is well delineated stratum of Theran ash all over Crete and I saw it with my own eyes. I also understand that strata can get mixed up – the dig I worked on had been previously excavated many decades before, so a lot of what we did was looking for orts and scraps that had been missed by the first excavation – but this ash layer really is obvious. So was the Cretan palace destruction below this ash layer or above it? Or mixed in with it?

    It really seems like too much faith is put in computer models when common sense could do the trick, or simply being willing to admit that we’ll never really know for sure. Or course, if anyone can ever decipher the Linear A script found widely on Crete, maybe there will be an actual historical record there (doubtful, since other ancient scripts from that time period tend to be merely inventory lists, but possible!). Until we can get more definitive proof, I remain skeptical of archaeological extrapolation based on computer modeling.

    1. Pat

      I remain skeptical of computer modeling for the same reason I remain skeptical of analysis by people in Washington about the extent of Covid. The basis of the model or the analysis is the data that is input into the process. If you don’t have clear knowledge that the data was comprehensive….

      1. eg

        Are you suggesting that they are engaged in policy based model making? (with apologies to Sir Humphrey Appleby)

        1. Pat

          I’m not. It is possible of course, but there are so many ways for data to be bad. For instance trust the wrong source. Until the last couple of years I would have thought that choosing CDC data for my model would be choosing straight unscrewed data, but now I wouldn’t. Then there is the problem of an entry mistake. They do happen. And then there is the design of the model…

          My point was more that I find that people trust things that are done by computers forgetting how much humans have to do with it.

    2. juno mas

      This sort of modelling is what goes on in academia now. All the ground work has already been performed. No reason to get your hands dirty. Just do some modelling to earn the PhD, or earn publishing points.

      1. ambrit

        Hmmm…. virtual archaeology.
        Will we see college level courses run like a generic Superhero show, heavy on CGI and short on actual “ground work.”
        Imagine the fun the guys and gals down at the “Ministry of Truth” could have with ‘virtual’ evidence based education! Much less, ‘virtual’ evidence based legal prosecutions.
        We live in an “in the pocket” universe.

  12. Matthew G. Saroff

    Given that the US is actively trying to overthrow the Venezuelan government, how likely is it that Caracas will be helpful regarding extraditing Fat Leonard?

    Is there going to be a prisoner swap for Juan Guaidó?

    1. ambrit

      Will “Portly” Leonard end up ‘retired’ to a dacha on the Black sea? Venezuela could accrue mucho bonus points for helping him “escape” to Russia. Imagine all the information he must have in his head about US Naval systems and methods. All Leonard need do is to look up at the portrait of the Imperial Russian Navy admiral, one John Paul Jones, to know that he was ‘home’ again.
      Interesting tit-bits:

  13. Jason Boxman

    While I know the Pandemic is over (ha), Walgreens has updated their positivity per vaccination status chart some days ago:

    The Positivity Rate by Vaccination Status graph has been updated to reflect the influence of time since last vaccine dose. Our recent unadjusted data did not demonstrate significant differences in positivity by number of doses/boosters when stratifying by time since last dose. Patients aged 18+ who had their last dose within 6 months of their test had similar positivity rates across all doses (31% for 1-2 doses, 32% for 3 doses, and 31% for 4 doses), as did those who were 6+ months since their last dose (40% for 1-2 doses, 40% for 3 doses, and 38% for 4 doses ). For this reason, we will now focus the Positivity Rate by Vaccination Status graph on time since last dose instead of providing a breakdown based on total doses received, with ‘vaccinated’ group representing all patients who have at least completed the primary series vaccination. Recent data shows that vaccinated patients make up 71% of our testing population.  In alignment with published information regarding waning immunity, our data demonstrates that positivity is lowest in individuals that received a vaccine dose most recently. 

    It’s nice to see more acknowledgement of waning vaccine effectiveness based on how long ago it happened.

    1. antidlc

      From the Johns Hopkins website:


      This chart is officially out of date as more than 30 states across the US have stopped reporting testing positivity or significantly scaled down their testing reports. The CRC data visualizations will remain available for past dates and reports, but will no longer have up to date information on testing positivity and criteria.

      STOPPED REPORTING: 09/21/2022

  14. Tom Stone

    The Taibbi piece is another reminder that the US is a lawless oligarchy which has abandoned the Rule of Law.
    Short term this serves the insatiable greed of Oligarchs, in the long term it means that the Oligarchs will be the main course once most of the smaller fish have been gobbled up.
    The Bill of Rights thingy and the “Rule of Law” were put in place to protect the rich and powerful, no matter how distasteful granting those protections to the rabble is it is a necessity .
    I wonder how soon Zuke the puke and Jeff the great will realize that they can only keep what they have if they choose the right ass to kiss?

    1. hunkerdown

      Friedrich Engels ran a weaving factory. I think you’re just mad about their takedown of your party’s 1619 myth. There really is no reason at all to treat middle-class moral bloviation as any more important than reified dyspepsia.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I once saw a huge profusely illustrated coffee-table book about the Life of Friedrich Engels for sale at a consignment store. I still regret not having bought it. Predictably, I have never seen another copy ever before or since.

    1. britzklieg

      A Song on the End of the World

      On the day the world ends
      A bee circles a clover,
      A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
      Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
      By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
      And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

      On the day the world ends
      Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
      A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
      Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
      And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
      The voice of a violin lasts in the air
      And leads into a starry night.

      And those who expected lightning and thunder
      Are disappointed.
      And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps
      Do not believe it is happening now.
      As long as the sun and the moon are above,
      As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
      As long as rosy infants are born
      No one believes it is happening now.

      Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
      Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,
      Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
      There will be no other end of the world,
      There will be no other end of the world.

      Czeslaw Milosz – Warsaw, 1944

  15. Carolinian

    Re Kia Hyundai car theft–since I own a Hyundai I am very aware of this issue that has hit the news in the last month or so. As best I understand these are cars are not particularly more vulnerable than the older models of other brands where you could break into the steering column and jumper some wires. It’s just that TikTok has been showing joyriding teens how to do it. When I bought my car I deliberately didn’t want an “immobilizer” which could block starting not only by thieves but also by me if that radio dongle lost or broken. They can cost hundreds of dollars to replace and program.

    At any rate after all the bad publicity Kia/Hyundai has said they will offer steering wheel locks (i.e. The Club) for free in some markets and a retro starter immoblizer to all the pre 2022 cars but at installation cost starting in October. I’d say the real villain here is TikTok for offering instructions for criminals.

  16. IMOR

    “Romania Looks Set to Be First European Country to Buy Israel’s Iron Dome”
    From Iron Guard to Iron Dome in less than a century! Gotta make ya proud, esp from the Israeli side.

  17. AW

    “Humans are dosing Earth’s waterways with medicines. It isn’t healthy.”
    Thank you for digging up this link. The Science article referenced in it has a good overview without all the specific examples. It is available at ResearchGate.

    1. digi_owl

      Looks like numbers. a 3 and a sideways 5.

      Looks like they belong to a British farm park, so perhaps done to make it easier for visitors to tell them apart.

      While i have not seen numbers before, i have seen farmers mark sheep using a easy to see spot of paint, usually on their back, in addition to the ear tags.

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