Links 9/3/2022

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.

* * *

Friday night fish frys define Wisconsin. What happens when climate change adjusts the menu? Grist

History by numbers Aeon

The “Peacewar” of Sanctions LARB


The curious case of the 471-day coronavirus infection ScienceNews (Resilc)


Study raises concerns about the effectiveness of the monkeypox vaccine STAT

Second monkeypox strain found in the UK The Guardian


Study finds climate change is waking bumblebees earlier from winter hibernation, putting the species at risk (Resilc)

The Arctic Circle: A new frontier for sustainable wine BBC (Resilc)

Raids reveal how illegal gold from Indigenous lands gets laundered in Brazil Mongabay

* * *

Climate change is a national security issue Responsible Statecraft (Resilc)

Jackson water crisis: Troops hand out 1.1m bottles of water in a day BBC (Resilc)


U.S. to sell $1.1 billion in anti-ship, air-to-air weapons to Taiwan WaPo

US ramps up China tech sanctions faster than expected Asia Times (KW)

Germany’s military ramps up presence in Indo-Pacific DW


MGNREGA: The Last And Often The Only Resort For Indian Women IndiaSpend (J-LS)

PMO Has No Record of Modi’s Claim of Going to Jail Over Satyagraha for Bangladesh’s Independence The Wire

Floods in Pakistan bear similarities to those in India. It’s time for a collaborative mechanism to deal with extreme weather events The Indian Express (J-LS)

Restricting INGOs Dawn (J-LS)


Iran briefly seizes 2 US Navy sea drones in Red Sea amid tensions Military Times

Trudeau defends CSIS after U.K. author claims agency informant smuggled girls into Syria CBC

Old Blighty

‘Starve or freeze to death’: Millions of elderly Brits fear a grim choice this winter as costs spiral CNN

UK energy price hikes threaten half of small businesses with collapse WSWS

Boris Johnson promises £700m funding in bid for new nuclear power plant Sky News

* * *

Saudi arms sales: UK government accused of ‘delay tactics’ over files Middle East Eye

Bain & Co takes legal action to overturn UK state contract ban FT


Greece’s wiretapping committee meeting held under secrecy Neos Kosmos

How do you do, fellow kids? TikTok’s newest star is … Silvio Berlusconi Politico

New Not-So-Cold Cold War

White House Asks Congress for $14 Billion To Fund Its War Against Russia (Resilc)

G7 ministers forge ahead with Russian oil price cap, details thin Reuters

Nord Stream 1: Gazprom announces indefinite shutdown of pipeline The Guardian

20% of Italian industry will close if Russia turns off gas -Bonomi ANSA

Wood industry: Biomass shortage due to Ukraine war and bird nesting peace ERR News

Ukraine can become ‘green energy center’ for Europe, President Zelenskyy says Anadolu Agency

Germany’s energy saving rules come into force DW

France to restart all nuclear reactors by winter amid energy crunch France24

* * *

Mahathir tweets on Russia’s war in Ukraine from heart hospital The Edge

Our Latest Interview with Jacques Baud The Postil (guurst)

Italy Says Cyber Attacks on the Rise Since Invasion of Ukraine Bloomberg

Games studio offers chance to write message on artillery shells in Russia-Ukraine war

Vostok-2022 commences in Russia with India, China participating The Hindu

Kazakhstan Suspends Arms Exports for a Year The Diplomat

Chevron applies for Venezuela license renewal, proposes wider business Reuters

Argentine vice president survives assassination attempt when gun jams NBC (BC)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Inside Fog Data Science, the Secretive Company Selling Mass Surveillance to Local Police Electronic Frontier Foundation

FBI and French officials arrive in Montenegro to investigate ransomware attack The Record

Imperial Collapse Watch

Air Force, Space Force may let in applicants who test positive for THC Military Times. Resilc: “New meaning of spaced cadetzzzz”

The Missing “Peace” in the $13.5 Billion Military Package CounterPunch (Resilc)

The US military is still missing 6 nuclear weapons that were lost decades ago Task and Purpose (KW)

SpaceX Signs Deal With NASA to Provide 5 More Crewed Trips to the ISS Gizmodo Australia

Biden Administration

Biden backtracks on ‘threat’ to America RT (KW)

Trump Raid

Trump search inventory reveals new details from FBI seizure AP


Convicted felon busted for 3D printing gun parts The Register

The Bezzle

Real Money, Fake Musicians: Inside a Million-Dollar Instagram Verification Scheme ProPublica

DeFi venture OptiFi permanently locks up $661,000 of assets in code snafu The Register

America’s Bad Bet on Sports Gambling Compact (Resilc)

Amazon Really Believed It Could Sell You a Health Care Fantasy NYT (Resilc)

Class Warfare

Amazon loses bid to scrap historic union win at Staten Island warehouse CBS (KW)

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Sardonia

    It was fun to learn that Yves and I had the same favorite band in our teenaged years – Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. So when I wanted a song that would match the darkness and…fervor…of Semi-President (TM) Biden’s Red-Staged, Marine-flanked, extremely weird speech, basically calling half of Americans extremists. I pulled out EL&P’s “Knife-Edge” (live performance video below – Keith Emerson going wild, Prog Rock at its apex) – as I imagined these new lyrics coming out of Joe’s mouth during that speech:

    “As of now,” said Dark Brandon,
    “Unity, we abandon
    “Vote Repub, any reason
    “And we take that as Treason
    “Dare you challenge our Power
    “We’ve much more than London’s Tower
    “F-15’s armed and ready
    “Pilots’ hands holding steady.

    “Tread the road of our abyss
    “Half of you, filled with madness.
    “Once outside our Blue City
    “All you Red States get no pity.
    “Get in queue in November
    “How you vote, we’ll remember.
    “MAGA Homo Erectus
    “Must submit and elect us!

    “Well, we will know who you are!
    “And we’ll come to where you are!

    “Only I can redeem us
    “From the scourge of Extremists!
    “The time to purge is at hand!
    “You will obey my Command!

    “Come to heel, Semi-Fa…sciiiiiisssssts!!!!”

      1. Sardonia

        Yeah, they were something to behold in concert. Best I ever saw, and I saw pretty much everyone back then.

        Hard to do much with their lyrics since…well…all their songs have brief lyrics – good ones, but short – but amid great musical compositions. Most of their playing time was Keith Emerson being brilliant.

        The lyrics themselves only really have their power when heard in sync their music. The music in Knife-Edge makes the words soar.

      2. Tim W

        Old enough to have been a teenage Nice fan and saw them in Brighton, England some time in 69 or 70 probably…..the whole ‘daggers in the keyboard’s was a live thing at that time.

      1. Sardonia

        Was that at the Oakland Colosseum? I saw EL&P in 1970 while growing up in Chicago, but by 1980 I was in San Francisco, and in that year I saw my 2nd best concert, in The Colosseum – The Who. My ears rang for a week and it was worth it.

        1. Glen

          I remember watching Pete do his power chords at that show in Oakland. There and the stadium next to it had some very good concerts.

          Never did see ELP live thou, that would have been something.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Power chord, history. I am fascinated to learn that the power chord, being a dyad, is not strictly a chord, which is a triad. The missing notes (?) are supplied by distortion, possible with electric guitars. There’s a metaphor here, I think., about binary thinking.

            1. Paul Jonker-Hoffren

              Notes as in harmonics accented by distortion and feedback. There is a reason why a power chord sounds lame on keyboards – not nearly as rich harmonically! On a church organ though it works.

        2. Tom Stone

          Yes, at the coliseum.
          I worked as an usher at the Berkeley Community theater and Winterland in ;69 through 71, Concerts at the Avalon Ballroom I paid to attend.
          Rambling Jack Elliott and Captain Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen were made up for by the Dead and other first rate bands.
          My first Rock and Roll Concert was Jimmy Hendrix at the Avalon Ballroom, it was a life changing experience.

    1. Mildred Montana

      More nostalgia. I well recall that carefree time in the early ’70s when my friend and I would bomb around in his Volkswagen Beetle with 𝘉𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘚𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘥 𝘚𝘶𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘳𝘺 cranked up. Those were:

      “Sunny days
      Oh, sunny, sunny, sunny days
      Ain’t nothin’ better in the world, you know
      Than [drivin’ in your car] with your radio”

      Brain Salad Surgery. If my friend hadn’t already owned it, I’d have bought that album for the title alone!

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          Grandad had a cheapy hammond church organ(not a b3!).
          Lugged it around w various moving of my junk for 20 years.
          Finally salvaged the leslie unit when the rest stopped working.
          Its wrapped in plastic in the shop loft.
          Always inteded to make a leslie cabinet a la hendrix

      1. BeliTsari

        Thing was, you’d have to CHOOSE between Captain Beefheart & Ry Cooder @ CMU (frat & sorority churls, clueless, all staggered off), Igor Kipniss at the original Carnegie Hall, playing Mozart on a hand built harpsichord OR Clarance Gatemouth Brown (and, I believe Art Blakey, with Dr Nelson Harrison, some damn where?)

    2. Laughingsong

      Great! Although maybe Karn Evil 9 is also useful as a war theme, especially 3rd Impression….

      Biden, what a Lucky Man he wasn’t….

    3. Clark

      Wow! I saw ELP at East Tennessee State U. (Johnson City) in 1976 or ’77. Had to make a road trip from Boone, NC to see them. They were one of my favorite bands back then, even though I wasn’t really a fan of “prog rock.” … “Ooooh, what a lucky man he was ….”

    1. The Rev Kev

      Don’t suppose that you heard that the Ukrainians tried another commando attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear plant, even though those IAEA inspectors are there now-

      ‘Over 40 motor boats, divided into two groups and carrying over 250 Ukrainian special operations troops and foreign mercenaries, tried to land on the coast of the Kakhovka reservoir not far from Energodar, host city of the nuclear power plant, a ministry statement said on Saturday.

      The attackers were quickly spotted and struck by Russia’s Su-30 jets and Ka-52 attack helicopters. Those strikes sunk some 20 boats, while the rest turned around and retreated. The remaining Ukrainian troops were than targeted by the Russian artillery as they tried getting ashore in the Ukrainian-controlled territory, the ministry said.’

      1. hemeantwell

        Thanks, wasn’t aware of it. Or perhaps I was reading carelessly and couldn’t imagine that they would repeat their blunder. If this represents decisions made by the politicos in the Zelensky wing of Kyiv’s ruling circles against the advice of the military tensions must be near critical mass.

        At the recent recommendation of Gilbert Doctorow I’m reading 85 Days in Slavyansk, by Alexander Shuchkovsky. Covering the period in the spring and summer of 2014 as the Donbass militias began to take shape, it’s written in a spare, documentary fashion by a participant. Takeaways so far:

        — Great, repetitively expressed frustration with Russia discouraging a formal breakaway and failing to follow through on material support. “While they were parading modern technology in Moscow on Victory Day, we were getting nothing.” No analysis of Russian motives yet but my guess is that they were banking on the Minsk process and didn’t want to appear to be jumping the gun. I’ve seen a number of Moon of Alabama commenters bitterly recalling the period, comes up around complaints re Donetsk still getting shelled. And confirms Jacques Baud’s statement that early on the militias got their weapons by capture.
        — AUK had very little offensive power apart from Nazi/nationalist units. Many shows of overwhelming force that fall apart. Some of that was due to the AUK’s fear that Russian army units were present.
        — Frank acknowledgment of uneven quality of the militias, with some formations turning into “hetman” led groups veering into gangsterism, but others, eventually dominant, showing impressive fighting capacity and morale.
        — A militia leader, Strelkov, defined his politics as “White Monarchist.” Expected, but still yeesh. Overall, though, a wide range of political positions.

        1. jsn

          I followed it fairly closely at the time. NATO very much wanted Russia to engage directly to justify a sanctions regime like the current one.

          The Russians knew they were in no position to withstand that.

          While NATO spent the following 8 years fortifying a Ukraine military, Russia spent it fortifying its economy. I suspect Putin secretly hoped someone authoritative in the bowels of NSA or CIA understood what the Russians were doing. His irritability just before SMO launched was his realization that NATO was really as stupid as it acted.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > the Ukrainians tried another commando attack on the Zaporozhye

        It has occurred to me that anyone actual on the ground at Zaporozhye would, I think, be able to tell which direction the shelling was coming from. Perhaps the IAEA, primed to do whatever it was the United States and its lackeys wanted them to do, experienced a bit of a conversion experience when they arrived at the plant? (“These lunatics are shelling a nuclear power plant!”)

        1. Paul

          Yes, this I have thought about too. I follow the Telegram channel of Eva Bartlett, who is one of the few Western independent, language-proficient reporters in the area. She apparently regularly interviews locals and all are of the opinion that shelling definitely comes from the Ukrainian side.

    2. timbers

      Reportedly, the Ukraine military command opposed this disastrous offensive of diving deep into flat open land and allowing themselves cut off, trapped targets is an obvious blunder to experienced military. Also suggestions that political interference of this level of incompetence is one reason military leader stage coups against elected leaders but Western control of Ukraine appears too tight for a military coup to happen. It must be so very clear to professionals in the AUF that they are nothing more than pawns at the disposal of The West with it’s obsession of destroying Russian.

      1. MRLost

        I am beginning to believe this slaughter of untrained and unsupported recruits is an intentional tactic to render long-term peace impossible. It would be very difficult to make peace with an enemy who has killed your father or brother or cousin even if that death was the result of idiotic decisions by one’s own leadership. Under standard combat math there will be roughly three wounded for every death but how many family members and friends to remember that death and will those so harmed ever commit to peace with the killers. This could be one way to ensure a conflict that will last for generations.

        1. Yves Smith

          Uh, no, Did you forget the US civil war? The US/Soviet victory over Germany in WWII? The US victory over Japan where we inflicted staggering civilian deaths by firebombing major cities with paper and wood residential construction:

          In “The Fog of War” film, one of Robert McNamara’s “lessons” comes about midway in the film – Lesson No.5, that “proportionality should be a guideline in war.” And for this lesson, McNamara draws on the LeMay firebombing campaign, offered in the film clip below. In the clip, McNamara describes the firebombing of Tokyo and other cities, listing the percent of each Japanese city destroyed and naming similar-sized U.S. cities for comparison purposes: Tokyo, roughly the size of New York City, was 51% destroyed; Toyama, the size of Chattanooga, 99% destroyed; Nagoya, the size of Los Angeles, 40% destroyed; Osaka, the size of Chicago, 35% destroyed; Kobe, the size of Baltimore, 55% destroyed, and others. And as he concludes, McNamara emphasizes this was all before the nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Here’s the clip:….

          Why was it necessary to drop the nuclear bomb if LeMay was burning up Japan? And he went on from Tokyo to firebomb other cities. 58% of Yokohama. Yokohama is roughly the size of Cleveland. 58% of Cleveland destroyed. Tokyo is roughly the size of New York. 51% percent of New York destroyed. 99% of the equivalent of Chattanooga, which was Toyama. 40% of the equivalent of Los Angeles, which was Nagoya. This was all done before the dropping of the nuclear bomb, which by the way was dropped by LeMay’s command.

          Proportionality should be a guideline in war. Killing 50% to 90% of the people of 67 Japanese cities and then bombing them with two nuclear bombs is not proportional, in the minds of some people, to the objectives we were trying to achieve.

          I am NOT saying Russia should or need to inflict Japan-level destruction. I’m using it merely to disprove your contention.

          However, like the US in the Civil War, Russia will have to completely prostrate the Ukraine military. They have to accept that there was no way they could have won. Once that recognition sinks in, blame shifts to the leadership who let the loss of lives go on for far too long

          1. schmoe

            I agree with the unfortunate contention that high casualty figures can make another war less appealing, but World War I’s casualty figures were no bar to Round 2 in 1939, and in the case of Japan and Germany, the US controlled the post-war media. The latter is also why the US Civil War is not a good analogy (I do not see Russia being inclined or able to occupy Western Ukraine).

                1. Lambert Strether

                  > The demonstrators demand that the authorities pursue an independent policy and free themselves from the oppression of the EU, ensure cheap gas supplies from Russia and free the Czech industry from foreign dependence.

                  The first of many, no doubt.

                2. Ignacio

                  So far, I believe Germans, with 1 year supply contracts, are not noticing properly the situation, living in Lalaland and believing Habeck’s and von der Leyen’s idiocy.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                I doubt it would be a short term arrangement as much as “lawless” areas being absorbed by Poland and Romania via plebiscite long after the RF has its demands.

          2. MRLost

            I must beg to differ.
            The hatred caused by the War of Northern Aggression (usually called the American Civil War by the victors) lasted a long time and was truly only quelled once the statues to all those losers were erected in a post-war quest to mollify the South. We still have many military bases named after Southern generals who not only lost but were monsters in the process.
            And the hate generated by war cuts both ways. When the Soviet Union defeated the Nazis, they stripped Eastern Germany of whatever they could carry home and held half of Germany in bondage for many years; more than a generation. Most German POWs held by the Soviets never made it home. One reason the Americans and British were comparatively decent to the POWs they held was to drastically reduce the bitterness that would be felt by returning war prisoners. The Nuremberg Trials carefully divided the Germans into groups who could be – and were – forgiven and those who must hang. We still have troops in Germany who were initially stationed to make sure the Germans didn’t try to start something and remained defeated. Only later were American, British, and French forces seen as defending West Germany from the Soviets.
            The Japanese were commanded by their (divine) Emperor to surrender and so they did. But MacArthur made sure the Japanese remembered just how crushed they had been by, among many other revisions of Japanese society (the status of women), limiting Japanese written language to 1945 Kanji characters. China and Korea still hate the Japanese and demand apology and compensation. Since such an apology is still not forthcoming, the hatred must still cut both ways.
            Not to quibble with your reply but if some exterior power continues to supply military and political assistance to whatever is left of Ukraine, the hatred necessary to fuel the fire of resistance will continue to burn bright.
            This, I believe, is why Russia is trying to limit the damage and deaths in its preemptive war against an entity it sees as a tool of the West rather than a traditional enemy. Fewer dead means fewer eternal foe. I see that as smart.

            1. John

              Preemptive only in the immediate circumstances. To me 30 years of one or another provocation provides sufficient justification.

            2. Yves Smith

              You are shifting the ground of the argument. The issue was not resentment but continued guerrilla action after the Civil War.

              And your statement about Soviet POWs is false:

              By 1950 almost all surviving POWs had been released, with the last prisoner returning from the USSR in 1956.[


              It’s disputed how many died, but well fewer than half did and most of those during the war, which suggests some of them could have been wounded who didn’t make it. Deaths after injury were far more likely then than now.

              The guerrilla action even now isn’t enough to change the outcome of the war. I was in London when the IRA bombings were on and they were more active than Ukraine has managed to be.

              Russia said from the start of the SMO that it intended to demilitarize Russia. I said prostrated to refer SPECIFICALLY to Ukraine’s warmaking capability. As many have observed, Russia is on its way to demilitarizing NATO by draining its weapons cupboards. The US cannot continue to fund Ukraine at its current rate.

              It’s the current Ukraine government that it throwing untrained men into a meat grinder, and as Moon of Alabama argues, into hopeless counteroffensives. Russia has tried to encourage surrender and makes a point of treating POWs properly. But it’s hardly a secret in Ukraine that the Kraken and similar units are shooting men who try to desert. Since the start of the war, young men have been fleeing, mainly to Poland, to escape subscription, suggesting that support for combat isn’t as deep as the Western press would have you believe. I think it will be hard for Ukraine to hide how bad the losses from this botched counteroffensive were. The hospitals in major cities of Southwest Ukraine are full of wounded and they’ve had to launch blood drives.

              1. ambrit

                The South is still conflicted about that war, even 150 years after it ended. This shows that regional identities are “real” and must be dealt with. The PMC fetishization of a “Single Virtuous National Culture” is just that, a fetish. The Southern elites may have thrown their lot in with the “victors,” due to a congruence of interests, but the majority of the population did not do so. You cannot cultivate a thriving regional Separatist ideology without fertile ground from which to grow it.
                Secondly, the idea of a “War of Northern Aggression” serves a purpose for the Elites, whether North or South. It is a simple and effective way of distracting the populace from the facts concerning the Class War. Divide and Rule has been a meme for millennia because it is so effective.
                I often hear that past conflict called the “War Between the States” by Sothrons. In many towns and cities, mentioning that war as the “Civil War” is a marker for Yankee or adjacent. Being considered a Yankee is still considered somewhat less onerous than being the spawn of incest, but not by much.
                The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                1. Carolinian

                  You must be a lot further south than I am. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a Confederate battle flag. And lots of Northerners are moving down here with probably more adjustment to the climate than the culture. Even the local news leaflet has gone “woke.”

                  It’s over.,

                  And re the Moon link at the top of this thread–just checking the NYT web front page and indeed not a word about the massive defeat of the Ukrainian offensive. Do they even still bother to call it “the newspaper of record”?

                  1. Jorge

                    You want Confed flags, move to the rural Pacific NorthWest. I had the privilege of seeing a couple with a flag on a motorcycle cruise downtown Coeur d’Alene a couple years ago. I was standing near the one black guy I saw downtown that day.

                    1. Carolinian

                      Many years ago my brother and I did a car trip out west and were struck when we hit Washington state by the total absence of black people. In my town it’s fifty percent African American.

                      And of course in Oregon they were once driven out in toto. I don’t want to overstate my case but down South we had a Civil Rights movement while much of the rest of the country may need to catch up. Cliches about the South are out of date, at least where I live.

                    2. ambrit

                      Carolinian, we here in Mississippi live a considerable way closer to the Infernal Regions than you do. The “old” Confederate Myth has become a “new” Confederate Myth. Northerners are seen as Carpetbaggers still, and as interlopers from an alien culture.
                      I commented elsewhere about the modern myth of a unitary National Virtuous ‘Liberal’ Culture. What I think you may be seeing up there in the marches is a wholesale “ethnic cleansing” of Sothrons and the physical replacement of same with migratory Damnyanks. Such is a time honoured method of pacification of “questionable” regions used by Empires.
                      Do remember that America has distinct regions, with their own sub-cultures and mores.
                      I would also point out that “Woke” has the seeds of it’s own destruction within it. Essentially, “Wokeness” is a form of Authoritarianism.

            3. Kouros

              Regarding the treatment of German prisoners and despoliation of Eastern Germany by the Soviets. I think in this case, going by the proportionality principle of McNamara, the Russians did not reach proportionality with the level of death and destruction the Germans inflicted on the Soviets…

              Americans and British could afford to be nice with German POWs…

          3. spud

            before the start of the battle for seelow heights, Zhukov did offer the germans surrender terms and lay down your weapons to stop the killings, he was ignored.

            the fanaticism of the lunatics that came into power in 1993, will only encourage more slaughter.

            i know i have no link so don’t quote me. i cannot find the link.

        2. The Rev Kev

          There may be another calculation at work here. You might have heard of the Tet offensive during the Vietnam war. It was a tactical defeat for North Vietnam but a strategic victory as well. The thing is, I believe that most of the NV casualties were on the part of the Viet Cong that lived in South Vietnam. The net result was that when the North Vietnamese finally took over South Vietnam, there was no longer any cadre of opposition to Hanoi as they had been mostly wiped out in ’68. Almost as if *cough* it was planned that way. So maybe the same is happening here. The ultra-nationalist care not for the lives of the ordinary soldiers as after the war is over, that would mean less people to oppose their grip on the Ukraine. The two groups hate each other enough that firefights have broken out between them over the years and several times during the present war, the ultra-nationalist have shot dead dozens of regular Army soldiers retreating from collapsing fronts.

        3. The Heretic

          I believe that World War 2 has some important lessons to offer. Even if you kill huge numbers of enemy, I believe peace is still possible if you a) remove the crooked leaders of the enemy b) help restore prosperity to the e enemy’s c) restore the enemy sense of dignity and give home
          A place among the local community of countries
          D) also very useful… have an external enemy to refocus the fears of enemy onto another nation and hence get the reminder of the leaders of the enemy, and it’s people to cooperate. The scapegoat of an external e enem… I.e. Communist Russia

          I believe lessons a to c, are fairly well explored in the official narrative of WW2 aftermath. However it is also important that many of the people and the elite feared the Soviet Union far more than they feared the USA. Japan, despite starvation, firebombing and nuclear bombing, might have continued to endure those Food bombings little while longer, until the generals and leaders themselves run low and fish rice(and thus well after many more of the people succumb to starvation), it was only after Russia declared was on Japan and swept away its ground forces in China did Japan surrender.

          The Germans also much preferred surrending to the Americans than the Russians. I have no doubt then excellent level of postwar cooperation of with west Germany, was strongly driven by the fear of Russia and communism, and the mass rapes and shooting of German civilians during the Russian invasion of Germany… especially in the battle for Berlin

          1. John

            I read someplace in recent months that the report of mass rapes was a great exaggeration. I had believed for many years that it was a fact. I should like to have the truth of it. Can anyone point me to sources?

            1. Soredemos

              Don’t have the sources on hand, but the gist I remember is that the narrative was that something like two million women in Germany were raped, 100,000 of them in Berlin. Antony Beevor (a pop historian that somehow started getting taken seriously) regurgitated these numbers in his book about the fall of Berlin. But the actual sourcing for these numbers, at least in the context of Berlin, came down to an extrapolation based on the self-reported numbers from a single hospital.

              Was there rape? Of course, and it isn’t hard to find both Russian and German anecdotes of it. But the idea that there was a vast tsunami of it, in amounts that were abnormally higher than what usually goes on in war, is an inherently bad faith attempt to vilify the Soviets. Just, full stop. It’s an attempt to turn the Soviets into villains even in the context of defeating the literal Nazis.

              If anything, given the context, I would say the Soviets were surprisingly restrained. The German project, Generalplan Ost, had been literally genocidal: kill most of the Slavs while keeping a few alive to serve as farm slaves for German colonies. In that context if the most the Germans got in retaliation was a lot of rape, well, that’s not exactly proportionate, eye-for-an-eye justice.

              1. OIFVet

                So what’s new about Slavs being portrayed as bestial in certain Western circles? Throw in the asiatic Red Army soldiers, on which Beelor also focused, and you have a perfect image of violence being visited upon white women by those ‘others’ that is sure to warn any ‘civilized’ white man and woman that past a certain point East, “You’re off the edge of the map, mate. Here there be monsters.” We better get these monsters before they get us.

                One thing that has stuck with me is Colonel Lang going after b from Moon of Alabama, again and again, by questioning whether b is the child of a Russian rapist. It was sickening, and demonstrated just how much such images play in some parts.

          2. Kouros

            Knowing what they did in Russia, the Germans were right to be fearful of Russian retribution. Russian women were raped then killed by Germans, while German women ended up just being raped….

        4. KD

          Irrelevant in a country with a 1.20 tfr before the start of the war, not to mention the places under Russian occupation represent most of the petroleum, industry, and grain production, so Ukraine will never be able to recover economically, and anyone who can will leave after the war. Ukraine will be a name people will have to look up, like Ruthenia, in 100 years.

    3. Yves Smith

      The estimated force was 12,000 per Colonel MacGregor, who has good sources. Might be 15,000. Most estimates were 10,000 to 15,000: “three brigades.”

      Russian MoD claimed IIRC 3000 “destroyed” over first 2 days, 1200 day 1. 1700 the second. Some have marked that down to 2000. Even so, you’d expect 3 wounded to every 1 killed. So 8000 “lost” is a low estimate.

      And that likely does not include the guys trapped but still alive who are goners.

      Transnistria [corected: Transcarpathia] supplied troops. Losses so bad they have declared a day of mourning. So this looks to be way over 50% losses.

      If the military doesn’t coup Zelensky after this, he must have enough Azov goons immediately around him to protect his hide.

      1. Sardonia

        “he must have enough Azov goons immediately around him to protect his hide.”

        Since the Azovs have reportedly been holding a gun to Zelensky’s head so he doesn’t negotiate a peace, if they’re the ones now protecting his hide, his Stockholm Syndrome must be through roof!

        Can’t wait for his video in which he insists we start calling him “Tanya”

        1. Yves Smith

          The Azov types have the most to lose if the regular military agrees to a peace with Russia. My impression is Zelensky has been hostage to them for a while. It is widely believed that they threatened Zelenksy after he was elected to make sure he didn’t deliver on his election promise of normalizing relations with Russia. I don’t know the finer points of who might be the chief stiffeners. Right Sector has been mentioned.

          1. John

            Sounds like to me some of those cannon fodder Ukie recruits need to learn how to roll a grenade under the bed of their gung ho Banderista sergeants and lieutenants…it took a while for the US cannon fodder in Viet Nam to figure that out…but they did.
            The true believer patriot boys are the source of a lot of problems for everyone that wants to walk from a battlefield alive.
            They also get removed at a fairly high rate on their own.

            1. Yves Smith

              I’ve been watching the Military Summary YouTube channel when I have time. My impression is that in the bigger battles, the Azov/Kraken/Right Sector etc types are often (usually?) separate units, to the rear of the zero line, to shoot deserters.

        2. Nikkikat

          “Can’t wait for his video in which he insists we start calling him Tanya”. Sardonia thanks for the chuckle of the day! I would pay to see that video.

      2. tgs

        Given Zelensky is treated like the hero of our times, a coup against him would be an absolute propaganda disaster for the ‘West’. No doubt there are those at the top of the Ukr military who would favor such a move at this point, I think it is too big a risk. A lone assassin on the other hand, one who could be presented as an agent of the Kremlin – that could work.

        1. Sardonia

          If Jill Biden hates Kamala Harris as much as we suspect, I could see Jill ordering the Hit, then having Joe assign Kamala as the new acting President of Ukraine – then just leaving her there by herself to “sort it all out”

          1. hk

            Well, she can be the American Maximilian, although that comparison would be a grave insult to Napoleon III….

        2. Yves Smith

          Maybe yes, maybe no. What happens if the West tries taking out the top layer of the Ukraine military? There will be no one to run the war. I doubt the West has even remotely enough Ukraine/Russian speakers to direct forces and be seen as remotely credible, plus that level of management = the US and/or NATO being at war with Russia, something they have avoided. That move would invite full bore economic retaliation from Russia. No aluminum or platinum or palladium or fertilizer for you! (well maybe some fertilizer but a restricted ration).

          Scott Ritter also speculated that the FSB had almost certainly penetrated Zelensky’s security detail because they don’t want him killed. They would love to capture him or else help him flee. Running away would be a very bad look.

          1. timbers

            There will be no coup of Zelensky and if there is the coup will be coup’d. Because without the $5 billion/month US is giving to Ukraine just to keep the lights on, It’s game over. Any coup that seeks to be rational and negotiate peace will be cut off by Washington and that will bring the knives out. And if Ukraine is as corrupt as we have been told there will be knives for Washington’s picking. Also I expect Ukraine military leadership totally knows this.

        3. hemeantwell

          Agree about the propaganda disaster if Zelensky is toppled, and it wouldn’t only be for NATO, but for Ukraine as well. That’s a good portion of Zelensky’s assassination insurance. They have a political reserve bench that makes the Dems look like the Yankees in the late 50s.

      3. OIFVet

        Perhaps you mean Zakarpatia? Anyway, regardless of the exact figures about force size, equipment and casualties, this offensive turned out to be an even bigger disaster than most Ukraine skeptics expected. If the US or UK had a hand in the operational planning, then this begs the question whether conventional operation planning is a lost art in the West, or whether they view Slavs (even allied ones) as expandable. Frankly, as the weeks pass, I am beginning to again lean toward the view that TPTB in the West truly view Slavs as inferior and expandable.

        1. Yves Smith

          Yes, will fix. You are correct.

          I’ve skimmed too many pieces and tweets in the last couple of days to have good recall (witness the error you caught) but one made you point…maybe Jacques Baud? about the west not being good at operational planning because they’ve spent most of the last 20 years going after irregular forces.

          1. OIFVet

            Yep, Baud talked about operational art at some length in the latest at The Postil.

            Yes, the inability to plan is one of the legacies of the Iraq and Afghanistan quagmires. But I think that it goes deeper than the simple fact that the West has been fighting insurgencies rather than large scale conflicts with peer or near-peer foes and has been planning operations accordingly. It’s a matter of doctrine, operations are planbed according to doctrine. I think that American doctrine is based upon the Pentagon’s belief in air power and technology as the deciding factor in conflicts. Coincidentally or not, yhat doctrine happens to be quite lucrative for the MIC as well. Iraq 1 confirmed that doctrine, since on paper Iraq had large and fairly well-equipped military.

            But as we are seeing in Ukraine, there is no substitute for the ability to bring massive firepower to bear on the enemy. Airpower alone can never do that, especially when fighting against an integrated air defense such as Russia’s. In effect, we have bet the house on expensive planes, while Russia has bet on inexpensive but well-varied mix of artillery systems (which include MLRS and cruise missiles), and on protecting them with layered and integrated air-defense systems. They have also learned their lessons from their own recent wars and have evolved their doctrine further. The results are self-evident: they are winning massively while letting most of the ground fighting be done by the Donetsk and Lugansk militias, no offense against the competency of these militias.

            Which brings me to something we all know: putting MIC profits first not only robs Americans of the trappings of civilization, such as health care and modern infrastructure, it also degrades the ability of the empire to dictate terms to peers and near-peers. I don’t have a problem with the latter, it’s the former which drives me mad.

            1. Louis Fyne

              If only your comment can be condensed to a bumper sticker or 30 sec TikTok.

              things won’t change until the culture wars end and the people’s anger is diverted to the real root of America’s problems

              1. elissa3

                Bumper sticker: I made one up and have had it on my car’s back window for over 5 years now:

                Always $$$ for ENDLESS WARS
                NOTHING for US

                If anyone has a more succinct version, I’m open to suggestions.

                1. elissa3

                  And the second “bumper sticker”, also for 5 years:

                  Medicare For All
                  Cheaper Better Much Less Worry

                  Maybe some small fraction of those who read these will be “activated”. Hopeful.

            2. David

              Yes, if you look at the Anglo-Saxon tradition in general, you find that it has very little practical experience of planning and conducting warfare at the operational level (ie that of the military campaign as a whole, over time and space and in pursuit of strategic-level objective.) It’s arguable that the only real period when this happened was less than a year, from June 1944 to May 1945, and it was against a massively weakened German opponent, and with total air superiority, so that the Americans, in particular, could just blast their way through. And it still took them that long to get from Normandy to the Rhine. What would have happened in Iraq 1,0 and Iraq 2,0 against a closer to peer enemy will never be known, but in any event, there was no opportunity to learn lessons from setbacks.

              Given the way that experiences like this shape the culture of militaries, it’s not surprising that the British and Americans have trouble with getting their heads around operational level issues. This was famously the case in the First World War for the British, but in the Second World War also there were capable commanders (O’Connor for example) who’d performed well at Division level, but were simply overwhelmed by the intellectual and technical complexity of Operational level command. And if you can’t get your head round this yourself, how can you advise others? Of the other western nations, the French and the Germans used to be OK at this level, but the French have veered off totally in the direction of counter-insurgency warfare, and the Germans, with their great tradition, have nothing much left to plan with. The Canadians are doing the diversity training though.

              So basically, the Russians have been doing this for two hundred years, and they have continuously trained and exercised for a level and type of warfare that NATO nations are not intellectually capable of performing. And I really do think that it’s that, more than equipment, which explains what’s going on.

              1. spud

                the russians bailed out bill clintons air war debacle in his illegal war against yugoslavia.

                it came down to a invasion on the ground which would have pitted nato vs. the yugoslav army, that was well trained in W.W.II tactics used against germany and italy.

                that bailing out of bill clintons disastrous air war policies, only further ingrained that type of simpleton thinking into americas government.

                the day the russians sent in troops, was the day i thought why did they bail out that idiot.

              2. Mikel

                There’s also a difference between strategizing to protect a people/nation vs to protect the interests of corporations.

              3. Louis Fyne

                and 2014-onwards is the 3rd existential war that Russia will be fighting since 1812.

                The Russians have to win this war. The USA will “go on” if Ukraine is yet another failed overseas debacle.

            3. The Heretic

              I think there also something else besides lack of planning something more fundamental… there is real lack of the cultural and political mindset of both people and their leaders, plus no sense of patience and generosity toward the people to actually build a peace. In Afghanistan, the US Allies it’s allies and afghan soldiers to exploit the people, even turned a blind eye to the abominable practice of ‘Bazi Bazi’… a practice abhorrent to the vast majority of Afghans… hence one of the reason they so readily capitulated to Taliban, since they strictly banned that practices.

              Known thy enemy and know they self, and in a hundred battles you can avoid calamity… probably an inaccurate quote form Sun Tzu, but it captures his intent and meaning.

      4. Louis Fyne

        small correction, you meant Transcarpathia (home of ethnic Hungarian-Ukrainians) not Transnistria.

        Allegedly those Transcarpathian troops (a well-respected mountain brigade) were the last unused professional troops in the Ukrainian army.

        when the total collapse of the UA army comes (and no one can say when), it’ll be like Afghanistan 2021—fast and furious.

        Russia is in 100% control of the tempo of the war now.

      5. hk

        The part about Transcarpathia caught my attention. The area has a large Hungarian population that has not been happy about the ultranationalist rule from Kiev and Orban has been making noises about this. Curious if they suffered disproportionate bloodshed in this fiasco, they will not feel kindly towards the regime in Kiev, I’d imagine.

    4. bwilli123

      A link from comments at the MofA article. A good overview of what has happened militarily, what is happening and what is likely, in the author’s opinion, to come.

      …”All of this is likely to tip over into a cataclysm over the winter. I would not be surprised to see a financial collapse and unemployment in the EU in excess of 30%. Given the fact that the EU is notoriously bad at solving problems of any kind, there’s a non-negligible chance more countries try to leave the EU. Spexit anyone?”…

      1. albrt

        This is an excellent first post for a new substack. I hope he can keep it up.

        One new insight for me – the agencies who control Dark Brandon probably expected Ukraine to collapse quickly, and then they would follow the standard business model of funding a cheap terrorist insurgency. Western actions make more sense when seen in that light. But because Ukraine did not collapse quickly, the fact that Dark Brandon lacks the industrial/logistical capability for a full-scale war of attrition is now being exposed.

        1. David

          I don’t think they were quite that dumb. I think they believed that Russia would collapse quite quickly, or at least manage to capture only a small part of Ukraine, which would then be vulnerable to guerrilla warfare. They confused Ukraine with Afghanistan. It never entered their heads that the Russians might have the capability to fight a long, high-intensity conflict, whereas they couldn’t.

          1. marku52

            Where the heck were the aphabet intel agencies? it can’t have been hard to find out the Russian ammo factories must have been running flat out for the last couple of years.

            1. Polar Socialist

              You don’t even need alphabet agencies for this, since Russians publish these things in their media since 1991. Last year they modernized one of their huge ammo factory, and another one at the beginning of this year. IRCC, of course.
              Then, of course, they also have a crapload left from the Cold War days, when their army was four times and two time zones bigger. Some of it certainly has expired, but not all. And if one out of 100 doesn’t go boom, does it really matter when you shoot 20,000 of them anyway.

            2. David

              It’s all a matter of priorities. Forty years ago, you’d have dozens of experts crawling over satellite photos of tank factories, counting stuff going in and out, making assessments of stockpiles and production rates. You’d have Russian-speaking experts combing the military press, and engineers trying to work out the technical characteristics of weapons and ammunition. You’d be trying to track how may military engineers were graduating from universities, activities on testing and proofing sites and a dozen other things. These days, there’s probably one or two guys mainly reading the technical press.
              The fact is that the political leadership in the West didn’t treat Russian military production as a priority. So no satellite or signals intelligence tasking. Not a priority for human sources. Above all, not a priority for analysis. Even if you’re the analyst and you think (say) Russian ammunition production is important, you have to convince your boss to let you study it, your boss has to convince someone else and people in other agencies to join you, and then you have to have the time and the resources to produce a report, and then that report has to be read by senior people, and finally briefed to those who might need to take decisions. And what decisions could they take, given the limitations on western armaments production?

              There’s an important difference between “having information” and “knowing” something. Various intelligence agencies probably had information, somewhere, about some of this. But they didn’t “know” it in any institutionally meaningful sense.

              1. The Rev Kev

                I heard a complaint years ago that there were plenty of intelligence specialists who could tell you all about the bolts that the latest Mig fighter used in its production for example, but they lacked generalists who could take all the work of the specialists and put it together into a coherent whole report.

            3. Kouros

              The alphabet agencies were also incompetent in predicting the fall of USSR 30 years ago. They learned the wrong lesson from that fiasco…

          2. albrt

            With all due respect, wasn’t it dumber to underestimate the Russians than to underestimate the Ukrainians?

        2. Louis Fyne

          “bigserge” has a great apolitical twitter account for military history. He is a self-proclaimed Russo-sympathetic and transparent about his biases. Follow his twitter if one likes military history

  2. KD

    How do you do, fellow kids? TikTok’s newest star is … Silvio Berlusconi

    He’s been teaching children how to do the bunga bunga for decades.

      1. griffen

        Not to encourage such a move, but he does appear to look younger than his 85 years. It is almost a little unnerving in comparison to our own US politicians, who generally appear much closer to death’s door.

  3. GramSci

    re: Fish Fries.

    As a boy, I used to fish for perch off the pier in Lake Michigan. I remember the day I saw my first lamprey, delivered courtesy of the St. Lawrence Seaway; the day I learned progress does not always move forward. But ’tis an ill wind that blows no man good. Per Wikipedia:

    The pie made for the coronation of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom on 4 March 1953 was a lamprey pie. However, after many decades, the city of Gloucester had to use Great Lakes lampreys for her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 because few lampreys could be found in the River Severn.

    1. Bugs

      Sort of a sad article but a great opportunity to plug Ron Faiola, a filmmaker and author who’s been great in promoting Wisconsin food traditions like Friday fish fry and supper clubs. He’s also an old punk rocker, which is nice.

    2. JohnA

      I have been served lampreys in Bordeaux France, a local dish called Lamproie à la Bordelais. In a red wine stew, obviously. Can highly recommend.

  4. griffen

    Joe Biden speeches, well for one thing Winston is busily retracing or even retracting what is available. The Ministry of Truthiness is busy this week, methinks.

    You just said that literally on national television Thursday night. Everyone either heard you or has read it in a summary. I don’t live in the shadow of lies, just in the nearby shadow of the western NC mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

      1. voteforno6

        Conservatives are such whiny snowflakes, that they can’t handle it when anyone says mean things about them.

      2. JCC

        I agree. The Dem Party finally showed some courage and have gone after the worst of the Republicans. What’s not to like?

        1. The Rev Kev

          That is not courage. That is cowardice. You think that you can brand tens of millions of fellow Americans as Enemies of the State and think that there will be no blowback from it? It makes regular Republicans more hard-line and even alienates Democrats who can see this as fundamentally wrong. If they want to get rid of the worse of the Republicans, then let them start with Joe Manchin & Nancy Pelosi. Or try a different approach

          ‘Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?’ – Abraham Lincoln.

          1. marym

            Republicans and conservatives have a history of calling Democrats, liberals, and anyone remotely leftward communist, socialist, and both fascist and, recently, antifa, using all of these to convey authoritarianism and evil intentions.

            Here’s Trump calling Democrats fascist in 2020.

            The tweeter’s commentary is biased for the blue, despite team blue getting angry about everything Trump does or says; but in general I don’t think Republican name-calling has been met with much mainstream criticism or calls for walking it back.

            Other right wing politicians and media calling Democrats fascist

            When one “side” does something divisive or otherwise evil, it’s not just the “other side’s” fault for making them evil. It’s also a component of their own policies and bias.

          2. spud

            bidens speech was just a rehash of hillarys deplorable speech. it was just a update.


            “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, and an elevation of the fascists’ right to pursue it based on an assertion of their nations’ inherent superiority and right to rule.

            But the more profound difference was the conception of internal governance. Nationalism accepted that the right to hold power was subject to explicit and periodic selection of the leaders by the people. How this was done varied.

            It also requires that opponents of the elected have the right to speak out against them, and to organize parties to challenge them in the future. Most important, it affirms that the people have the right to govern themselves through these mechanisms and that those elected to lead must govern in the people’s name.

            Fascism asserts that a Hitler or a Mussolini represents the people but is not answerable to them. The core of fascism is the idea of the dictator, who emerges through his own will. He cannot be challenged without betraying the people.

            Therefore, free speech and opposition parties are banned and those who attempt to oppose the regime are treated as criminals. Fascism without the dictator, without the elimination of elections, without suppression of free speech and the right to assemble, isn’t fascism.’

          3. JCC

            Rev Kev, I have a great respect for your opinions and make it a point to read all of them, but in this case I have to disagree. Anyone that took the time to read exactly what he said knows he did not call all Republicans “near-fascists, only those that specifically followed Trump and his election denial.

            I just finished a book called “How Democracies Die” by Stephen Levitsky. It reminded me strongly that athough Trump did not quite pull it off, he and the worst of them, like Ted Cruz, tried darn hard.

            Typically the Dems have cowed to Republicans attacks (communist!, Dems hate America!”, etc) but this time Biden gave the worst of the Republicans a dose of their own medicine… and the Republicans couldn’t handle it and went into their usual misconstruction of everything he said.

            1. The Rev Kev

              If Biden had given that speech about MAGA Republicans sitting at the White House or in the a well-lit briefing room somewhere, that would have been one thing. But by doing the whole Leni Riefenstahl routine of a blood red background & US Marines, that was just a declaration of war with the threat of using the full power of government against them. This from a guy who promised to be a unifying President not that long ago. Stupid stuff like that makes people wonder who else may be next and once you do it, you can’t take it back

              1. JCC

                I would concede your point regarding the visual part of Biden’s presentation if I hadn’t just finished Mr. Levitsky’s book, mentioned above, this past week. I strongly recommend it.

                I am no fan of President Biden but I am happy to see at least one President call out the nastiness of the worst of the Republicans, something no President has had the courage to do since Gingrich, Norquist, and the rest started this no holds barred partisan warfare, which Trump definitely escalated. So I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree :-)

                (And this: )

            2. anon in so cal

              My recollection is that Democrats rigged the 2016 Democratic Primary and engaged in shenanigans during the 2020 primary (Obama’s “night of the long knives” and so forth).

              Democrats spent the past 4+ years pushing the Russiagate scam, which involved weaponizing the DOJ and the FBI, and was an attempt to overturn election 2016 and obstruct the peaceful transfer of power. Russiagate was referred to as a “slow-motion” coup attempt. It was also a geopolitical project: it aimed to propagandize the public to dislike Russia, to disfavor peace and diplomacy, and to condition the public for war with Russia.

              During the run-up to the 2020 election, Democrats worked with Big Tech and the MSM to suppress information about the FBI’s investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged money laundering and influencing peddling. This occurred before election 2020 and can be considered a form of election interference. Real Clear Investigations also chronicled the participation of Big Tech and “dark money”:

              “”We hear about dark money and corporations buying ads, but never have we seen 100s of millions of private dollars going into conducting of elections. States didn’t have any laws on the books to stop it”

              Democrats have engaged in censorship and worked with Big Tech to de-platform those whose thinking did not conform to acceptable narratives.

              Biden chose Nina Jancowicz, who hails from Ukraine and worked in the Zelensky government, to be the arbiter of “disinformation” or “misinformation”

              Biden’s speech was absolutely chilling. Moreso, given that, shortly after taking office, Biden issued a memorandum through DHS outlining the criteria of what constitutes a “domestic extremist.” In short, the IC and its “war on terror” would be turned inward to operate domestically and cast a wide net.

              As Glenn Greenwald noted:

              “In sum, to the Department of Homeland Security, an “extremist” is anyone who opposes the current prevailing ruling class and system for distributing power…..

              ….Involvement of the intelligence community in the domestic activities of U.S. citizens is one of the most dangerous breaches of civil liberties and democratic order the U.S. Government can perpetrate…..

              ….there are few dangers more acute than the weaponization of these security state instruments against U.S. citizens for political ends.”

              “As I’ve previously reported, the Department of Homeland Security’s new definition of “domestic extremist” includes not only anti-government groups on the right but also anti-establishment left-wing groups such as animal rights and environmental activists:”



        2. Pat

          While I believe that using the bully pulpit is something that our elected officials should do, using it to effectively call a significant portion of Americans names is not going after the worst of Republicans.
          How does that lessen their support? How does it address issues that make them a possible choice for thousands to millions of voters? How does it change the conditions that let outrageous election theft claims happen (regardless of which party makes them)? It doesn’t.
          Once again it is finger pointing and nothing more only meant to get votes with the least amount of actual voter engagement and policy promises possible.

          As for fascism, considering the state of propaganda in this nation under a fully Democratic administration, let me adjust one of my takes on the speech…
          to Biden and the Democrats should take a very good look in the mirror before pointing out fascist tendencies in anyone else.

          1. spud



            Biden’s Speech Full Of MAGA Hate & Division

            70,595 views Sep 3, 2022 Joe Biden traveled to Independence Hall in Philadelphia to deliver a speech excoriating Trump supporters as violent threats to the rule of law, democracy and the Constitution. That Biden delivered a speech decrying his detractors as fascists in front of a blood-red backdrop reminiscent of something out of Triumph of the Will was not lost on observers.

            Jimmy and America’s comedian Kurt Metzger are joined by The Duran hosts Alexander Mercouris and Alex Christoforou to discuss Biden’s delusional and highly self-unaware takedown of his political opponents.

          2. Lambert Strether

            > As for fascism, considering the state of propaganda in this nation under a fully Democratic administration, let me adjust one of my takes on the speech…

            There’s no question the two parties are not equivalent, since even leaving out the moralizing and the ideology, they have different bases, both in class and geographically. That said–

            There’s a name for when corporations (Silicon Valley; the media) and the government (the organs of state security) merge*. I know it’ll come to me in a moment….

            NOTE * This is not my definition of fascism. Gramsci argues, I believe correctly, that State and Civil Society can only be separated as objects of study. They are two aspects of the same ruling class(es).

          1. Geo

            Dems often remind me of this story from “A Man For All Seasons”

            Sir Thomas More: “What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?”

            William Roper: “Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!”

            Sir Thomas More: “Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?”

            1. Bruno

              considering that the “laws” Saint Thomas More worshipped were those promulgated by dictatorial Popes that “justified” him in torturing and burning “heretics,” he could well be confident that “the Devil” was his ally even against the “laws” of the English King.

              1. Stephen

                More does tend to be idealized because he martyred himself by refusing to recognize Henry VIII as Head of the Church.

                But still, in the 1500s both religions thought it was ok to burn heretics. Executing people for what we now see as minor crimes was also the done thing.

                We need to judge historical actors by the standards of their time, not ours.

                It is a great story and I have quoted it myself with respect to the unwarranted persecution and non legal sanctions that the UK government has deployed against people such as Graham Phillips.

    1. Mikel

      “Everyone either heard you or has read it in a summary.”

      That’s the point. They probably have s – – – eating grins on their faces as they do the retracing and retracting.
      They’ve reached the gullible ones they wanted to reach.

    1. Martin Oline

      Sorry to hear of her passing. I remember a column she wrote at Mother Jones that was transformative in how I thought about politics, reproductive rights, and the world.

    2. Earthling

      Thanks for posting that. I’ve been a fan of hers since that book, too.

      In this inflation summer, it’s becoming even more offensive how poor people have to buy goods in this country. Everywhere I go, every chain, every grocer, it’s 2-for-this or 4-for-this, and if you just need or can afford 1 small package? In days gone by maybe you paid 15-20% more per unit. Now you are expected to pay 80% more for the privilege of buying one of something. If you have a small house with no storage, or a small cash budget, YOU PAY EXTRA, while the soccer moms loading up the SUV with cases of goods get a big discount that YOU subsidize. Literally a tax on being poor. And everyone I mention this too thinks it is The Way Things Are and Should Be. And they have never heard of Barbara Ehrenreich, and never will, because nobody like her is ever going to be on the Today Show.

      1. Mel

        “2-for-this or 4-for-this”

        You’re seeing this too! It’s all over the place at a supermarket here, and it disgusts me.

        I think it’s a psy-op. With prices going up weekly by a dollar for this and a dollar for that, they’re saying buy one for $1.69, or three for $1 each. You’re supposed to think that they’re giving you a deep discount.
        In fact, $1 is the regular price, and $1.69 is an insult to our intelligence. With most of these supermarket items, if I only “need” one, then II don’t really need any.

        1. Earthling

          I’ve taken a pass on a lot of these deals, but, sooner or later, we all have to buy food, it’s not discretionary.

          This is all done just to boost the total ‘win’ they get from you at the checkout. If people don’t want to buy more, well, force them. It increases monthly and quarterly revenue and profit. And the overpaid creeps in charge get a nice bonus at the end of the year, and the stock analysts are happy. So what if millions of people get screwed.

          1. Anthony G Stegman

            Something else must be going on. Rather than food shortages, as we are all being led to believe, there must be a surplus of some grocery items. Perhaps this is a result of supply chain issues and/or the various sanctions levied by the US.

            1. Earthling

              Absolutely not. The 2-fer,4-fer,5-fer gambit has been going on for years, it’s just getting more and more pervasive and greedy. And there is no motivation in management except ‘take in more funds, however you can trick them or coerce them’.

        2. albrt

          Yes this tactic is most common for non-necessaries like Doritos and Gatorade, but I think it is correct to see it as a massive tax on the poor, much like cigarettes and lotteries.

          I also noticed the the Kroger chain has recently changed their signage to make it less clear that you need to buy a certain quantity to get the sale price, especially on end-cap displays where the product is isolated from comparison to similar items.

          1. Earthling

            Protein bars, cereal, fruit? Not exactly vice items.

            It’s exhausting to try to work around seasonal prices, sales, and get decent meals and nutrition. It’s discouraging when you know the grocer is out to getcha.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > Everywhere I go, every chain, every grocer, it’s 2-for-this or 4-for-this, and if you just need or can afford 1 small package? In days gone by maybe you paid 15-20% more per unit. Now you are expected to pay 80% more for the privilege of buying one of something. If you have a small house with no storage, or a small cash budget, YOU PAY EXTRA, while the soccer moms loading up the SUV with cases of goods get a big discount that YOU subsidize.

        Excellent point!

    3. Petter

      Very sad news. She wanted to title her book Natural Causes, Old Enough to Die but her publisher objected.
      When she got breast cancer she was disgusted by the positive thinking looniness, and if I recall correctly, one person telling her that having breast cancer “is a blessing.”

      1. Lambert Strether

        > disgusted by the positive thinking looniness

        The other locution I hate is “fighting” (often followed by “a long battle with”).

        Whatever cancer might be, getting rid of it is not a battle. It’s a cure.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Kazakhstan Suspends Arms Exports for a Year”

    I suspect that The Diplomat is being very diplomatic here. What happened is that Kazakhstan has been busted selling arms and ammunition to the Ukraine from old Soviet stock. The UK rep in Kazakhstan was arranging this as a cut-off but the Russians weren’t fooled. Probably Putin reminded the Kazakhstan leaders that it was Russia that saved their necks a little over a year ago during that attempted coup but if they don’t knock off the weapons shipments, that maybe next time the Russians will let them get the chop before they move in again-

    1. Carolinian

      Re the suggested Android setting–it’s for Android 12 and isn’t present in my not that much older Android. The article links to the below w.hich tells how to opt out from one’s Google Account page if one so has. It is possible to run Android without a Google Account.

      Of course if you avoid smartphone web browsing and apps with ads then you presumably won’t see any ads at all. Some open source Linux applications have been ported to Android.

  6. griffen

    Jackson, MS. City of 180,000 where the military is handing out bottled water for the citizens, currently deprived of a basic deliverable for modern living. Clean water, for cooking, for drinking, for bathing and personal hygiene. Probably would have happened absent the flooding of the local river in recent weeks.

    Per the national news I watch on the weekends, Congress is being requested to fund ~ $13 billion for help supply Ukraine with military aid. Because we must do so, I suppose.

    What the hell is happening, I ask you. The summer of craziness is continuing.

    1. Leroy R

      As the drought continues, year after year, getting worse as the future arrives, can we see the situation in Jackson being played out worldwide, albeit not as a result of infrastructure failure?

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Jackson, MS is the state capital. The governor and members of the state legislature work there. Are there functioning restrooms at the statehouse, or are all the state officials whizzing outside in the bushes?

      1. Glen

        They got some fairly nice looking portables brought it. This article has a picture:

        Mississippi capital’s water disaster developed over decades

        It would be nice to have a local confirm just how long those have been in use since the water system there has been messed up for a rather long time.

        And for Wall St – How to Profit Off Of Third World America:
        1) Go long portable toilets!
        2) Have a multi national corporation illegally pump millions of gallons of water out of a creek in California and ship it to a flood zone.
        3) Have your PE company bid on infrastructure renewal projects, take the money, declare failure, BK the company, and move on.

        People want to drink water, what fools! (Somehow this all reminds one of coal company mountain top removal schemes except it’s strip mining a failing infrastructure.) Coming soon to a third world country near where you live!

        Ah, the profits, the profits…

      2. ambrit

        This is Mississippi after all.
        The State politicos are whizzing off of the balcony of the State Capitol onto the passing crowds of “ordinary folks” below. It’s an old Conservative Party game; Trickle Down. [Who’ll bet the aforementioned ‘whizz’ is filtered lobbyist supplied champagne?]

        1. Carolinian

          Ha ha. I sometimes pass through Jackson on my way West. It doesn’t seem that great in the best of times.

          But then Jacksonians might say the same about where I live. However we do have a working water system and the high water bills to pay for it.

    3. Earthling

      What is happening, you ask? The military-industrial complex has taken over Washington to loot our treasury. And they do not give a flip about the fate of a bunch of poor black people in Jackson, Mississippi.

      1. ambrit

        Woah there pardner. Mississippians are heavily “gunned up.” Almost equally so across all demographics. [Jackson has a well established Black radical tradition. They ain’t afraid.]
        The Mississippi PMCs are aware that they maintain their positions at the sufferance of “the masses.”

      2. griffen

        I hope that isn’t actually true. I’ve got family living there, if memory serves they are not far away from Memphis, TN.

    1. Sardonia

      It’ll be fun watching players making prop bets on their phones on the sidelines while the game is on.

      “Ezekiel! Lose 3 yards on the next carry! I’ve got 10 G’s on you getting under 30 yards in the first half!!!!”

    2. Martin Oline

      Remember Pete Rose? He was such a pioneer. The constant encouragement to bet on sports has become an obsession with the sports ‘pundits’ for the last several years. They are a waste of time. I think it’s better (pun not intended) to go to the high school on Friday for sports.

    3. griffen

      I’m reminded of a great line from the Wolf of Wall Street. Judge my stock picking on the winners because I have so few losers, or some similar phrasing. And as to the topic of sports betting; how to separate a fool and his money, numero uno is to provide a hand held method to place mid game bets and so forth.

      That is a well written article. ESPN, just by example, is no longer pretending to veil the true appeal of live sporting events. Sometimes I tune into their afternoon series called Daily Wager. One of the mavens is a quite attractive blonde woman. Know the market and sell.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > One of the mavens is a quite attractive blonde woman.

        She’s wasted there. She should move to DC and form a pro-Ukrainian think tank (though to be fair her experience shilling to marks will come in handy).

    4. Carolinian

      That is why the most disturbing aspect of sports betting is the collusion of the power structures defending it. The industry requires close ties between corporations, politicians, media, and sports leagues, ties of a seemingly new kind. Of course, there is the usual corporate-government revolving door. Former Massachusetts senatorial candidate Martha Coakley went to work at DraftKings. Then-President Donald Trump invited sports-gambling impresario Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports to the White House. (Perhaps due to the ex-casino mogul Trump’s lock on Republican affections, sports betting is one of the few projects of the Washington establishment that meets little populist opposition.

      And let’s not forget the influence of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson who reportedly convinced Trump to drop the Iran nuclear deal (he gave a great deal of money to Trump’s campaign). So this supposedly respectable industry not only bilks the gamblers but also bilks the nation by shoveling money and power to people who favor unsavory causes.

      This look back at the Godfather movies is somewhat interesting.

      The immigrant’s story, the self-made man’s story, the American story of achieving great success, which is compatible with and perhaps even necessary to national greatness, is almost entirely reversed in the Godfather. Michael Corleone succeeds precisely by corrupting American institutions and putting on a show of respectability in business. He is part of a gradual political corruption of America that seems to start from moral corruption, one that affects elites especially. And it is their level at which he operates, typically behind the scenes. While every idea of representation or deliberation is made vulnerable by such conspiratorial activity, Corleone is much more a symptom than a cause of the loss of political virtue and public spirit.

      Of course the country’s past has had plenty of corruption which TAC might prefer to view through rose tinted glasses. But we do seem to be living in a time when it has been normalized and accepted. Hunter Biden? So what. Pelosi stock trades? Why do you love Putin? Meanwhile Biden is not so much Michael as Fredo.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Speaking of the godfather, Paramount Plus has a great new show about the making of the godfather. It’s not super serious but I’m highly enjoying the banter between Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo as they try to write the screenplay. It’s called “The Offer.” Of course it is lol.

        1. Carolinian

          Don’t get that channel. Of course Coppola was almost fired at one point.

          The point made by my link is that Coppola took Puzo’s potboiler best seller and made it into a metaphor for America itself. And I think that was his intention. The creative class just seemed to be a heck of a lot more liberal back then and less obsessed with status and money. Leonard Bernstein put on jeans and the sartorially obsessed Tom Wolfe made fun of him because of it. When the Reagans came along a TV interviewee said “does this mean it’s ok to be rich again?” And it was. And how.

          1. CanCyn

            Indeed, the 70s were the end of hiding your wealth. My father-in-law was president of a big plumbing company and drove a Cadillac. The odd time when he drove my husband to high school, hubby would get him to do them drop off a couple of blocks away. Being seen getting out of a Caddy was embarrassing in 1975

      2. Lambert Strether

        > Former Massachusetts senatorial candidate Martha Coakley went to work at DraftKings

        What a horrible human being she turned out to be. (Anyone else remember election 2010?)

  7. Steve H.

    > History by numbers Aeon

    Seeing some intraelite competition amongst stakeholders in the social sciences. The erasure of the numeracy of the Annales school is a tell.

    What looks like an academic dispute about verbal versus numerical descriptions should be viewed through the lens of numerical description in the social sciences, with economics having enormous influence in policy. The predictive utility of the Chicago School hain’t worked out so good. I suggest the following chart is a strong challenge to the veracity of the established economic model (relative income is a simple median to mean indicator of inequality):

    Figure 3. Temporal dynamics of relative wage in the United States, 1780–2019

    1. tegnost

      Thanks Steve H.
      That chart is quite something.
      I read the pdf, interesting but I’m not an economist or theoretical maff wiz so not sure how much weight to put on it all. Thought provoking at the least…

    2. skippy

      This is Lars Syll’s patch and can recommend having a peek for a granular unpacking.

      For myself the – predictive utility – is a misnomer because in reality its achieving preferences in shaping society through market forces aka under the hood of all it is the rational agent model with a side of says law/barter theory et al which then gets the numerical symbology blender treatment. Yet at the end of the its all just so Counsel of Nicea with the floor littered with the after math of political editing.

      Don’t get me started on the whole late 1800s push to apply fake physics which are deterministic in which market forces and mechanisms pulling an economy into equilibrium[tm] if left to its own devices. 2008 clearly refuted any notions about that and then some ponder at the liquidity thrown with out any broad distribution vectors and only allows more looting and consolidation of power whilst anything below the top income bracket is being hollowed out.

      1. Steve H.

        Well done, Lambert, posting images is beyond any of me.

        Why it matters:

        > The fundamental structural-demographic driver for instability is relative wage or, alternatively, relative income.

  8. John

    There are no sane persons remaining inside the DC Bubble & Echo Chamber. All is delusion. All is fantasy. All is what’s-in-it-for-me? The new federal motto: “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.” seems somehow familiar but not less real for its familiarity.

    1. griffen

      That sounds better than lipstick on a pig? Victory has been declared over inflation! I do think, or suppose, strong labor markets beget a decent backdrop against the weaker performance measured in terms of GDP. One more signpost that 2022 is just a strange time.

      One more thought, these supposed experts on CNBC keep repeating that retail sales are strong. Well, I do think many are focused on living and daily sustenance so that may likely have forced retail sales to stay elevated in spite of the year / year price increases.

  9. John

    TO add on to my previous comment: Two proxy wars and even the adjective is unnecessary. Sanctions are warfare. Supplying a belligerent is warfare. The use of tariffs for political purposes is warfare. Thus, two wars. Wars with two nuclear powers. Wars with two nations whose combined arms and economy dwarf ours. War with two nations who are systematically divorcing themselves from the dollar, which will inevitably lose its “sole reserve currency” status, which will them cause a devaluation of the dollar, which will drive inflation since the US imports such vast quantities of manufactured goods not to mention raw materials that are vital. There are no sane persons left in the DCB&EC.

      1. nippersdad

        Wild guess: (inside the) District (of) Columbia Beltway and Economic Corridor. Roughly translates as “inside the Beltway” and “Acela Corridor”.

  10. anon

    “The US military is still missing 6 nuclear weapons that were lost decades ago”

    Now we know what was in those empty folders at MaL – the secret map to the location of the nukes. I wonder who Trump sold them to,

    1. Sardonia

      Probably Rick and Marty Lagina – the brothers searching for the fabled hidden treasure on Oak Island, on The History Channel. They keep coming up empty, so they need something interesting to plant there and “find”. That’ll be good for 3 more seasons – trying to explain how the Knights Templar managed to develop nukes 600 years ago.

    2. Yves Smith

      You need to get that Trump Derangement Syndrome seen to.

      If the military lost the nukes, how pray tell could Trump find them? Did he manage to set up a huge Erik Prince competitor from whole cloth to do massive private intel operations to find what the DoD, the CIA and NSA with their massive surveillance capabilities could not locate after decades? Trump must be the operational and intel genius of all time to have constructed such a massive surveillance apparatus entirely on his own dime, with no experience whatsoever, and kept it totally secret.

      I am getting tired of this blatant stupidity that people run uncritically. If you are an actual person and not a bot, you should be ashamed.

      1. ambrit

        I have been seeing versions of this TDS meme “on the street” recently.
        My best guess is that people are becoming very frightened at what the near future is promising, such as food shortages, increased crime rates, degrading infrastructure, etc., and are casting about for someone or something to blame. The canny mememeisters of the Pseudo Left ‘feel’ this and are rolling out Trump as the Ultimate Evil 5.0 edition.
        (Oh, and as an addition to your probably already overwhelmed “unsought advice” queue; you might want to not let very many people know exactly where you “go to ground” when you do emigrate. Much safer that way. Just saying.)
        Stay safe!

    3. Susan the Other

      I remember reading, back in the 90s, an account (maybe Gore Vidal but I can’t remember) of missing nukes that had been secretly taken to South Vietnam and bunkered there to be used in a wider war against China. How true that was, I have no clue. But if 6 nukes are missing I’d just submit that’s a lot of nukes to have simply been misplaced somewhere. And then my thoughts wander to the possibility of missing nukes from the Russian arsenal after the fall of the USSR. It might be a good idea to get the UN to offer up a nice reward for the retrieval of rogue nuclear weapons.

    4. David

      Well, as the story says, they know where some of them are, at least approximately, and in general that’s in or near the US. It’s a useful reminder of the cavalier approach to nuclear weapons that was common among all the nuclear powers in the 1950s and 1960s.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “G7 ministers forge ahead with Russian oil price cap, details thin”

    Some things that are idiotic just refuse to die but continue to lurch around like the living dead. The Russians have already said that they will refuse to sell oil to any country that tries this stunt. Western countries may refuse to sell insurance to ships carrying Russian oil but all that would happen is new insurance centers arising that are not in London. Lloyds is apparently not wanting this to happen. If it did actually happen, what would that do to oil prices? “To the moon, Alice, to the moon!”

    This attempt by the Group of Seven finance ministers to set up an oil buyer’s cartel may sound like a good idea to them but means nothing without the cooperation of OPEC, China and India – all of whom have told the G7 that it is not going to happen. So why do it? They may try to strong-arm India but India is making money hand over fist and would be expected to give it up for what exactly? The G7’s gratitude? And if OPEC, China and India did cooperated with this cartel, the net effect would be to have the G7 having full control over the price of oil. Think that they will play along?

    But I have hear that the Group of Seven finance ministers were so jubilant over their decision that they all hoped into a jeep and went out for Orange Mocha Frappuccinos but tragically, when they stopped for gas, got into a playful gas fight- (1:57 mins)

    1. lyman alpha blob

      This plan is so vague I think that the G7 ministers are actually underpants gnomes.

      The provision of Western-dominated maritime transportation services, including insurance and finance, would be allowed only if the Russian oil cargoes are purchased at or below the price level “determined by the broad coalition of countries adhering to and implementing the price cap.”

      Sounds like the West is eager to jumpstart the Chinese maritime finance and insurance industry. The continuing sense of Western exceptionalism among the elites is risible in the face of current reality.

      1. Paradan

        So in order to run an efficient insurance industry, you need experienced people. As our insurance industry collapses,our people can go to China for employment. If you squint, it sometimes looks like the elites facilitating rats jumping off a sinking ship.

        1. John

          The “West” is enabling the “Rest” as they change the System of the World. It is poor policy and worse tactics, but when was the last time we saw something clever from Washington, London, or Brussels.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > Sounds like the West is eager to jumpstart the Chinese maritime finance and insurance industry. The continuing sense of Western exceptionalism among the elites is risible in the face of current reality.

        Yep. And if people have doubts about going Chinese, any other nation with the requisite professionals, financial skills, and some reputation for probity. Say, Singapore.

        Hudson framed the Ukraine war as a war against Europe. I don’t think he’s wrong. And now we’re going to war with the City of London, the United Kingdom’s only remaining engine of so-called wealth.

        The mind reels.

    2. vao

      The EU might enforce that measure by sanctioning countries that buy Russia oil at a price above the cap.

      However, the traditionally largest importer of Russian oil (before European countries) is China. Among the top-10, there is also Bielorussia, Turkey and Japan. India has substantially increased its imports of Russian oil since those statistics were published.

      Hence, if the EU attempts to play the sanctions card again, it will realize — perhaps too late — that while punishing Russia means self-inflicting grievous economic wounds, punishing China (and India, and Turkey) might well mean economic death.

    3. Stephen

      It’s a mad scheme.

      My interpretation though is that seeing the G7 as some form of collective decision making group is increasingly a misnomer. It seems to do what the US wants. Period. Maybe there is some discussion and some toning down but reality is that it is the US that runs the show.

      The other governments seem scared of her, or in thrall to her ideology but reality is that the G7 is a bit like NATO: a way to project US power but with the cloak of multilateralism. Good for the folks back home to feel there is an alliance and it creates moral standing vis a vis other countries not in the G7. But it’s not a multi polar democracy.

      If people have good evidence that I am wrong then it would be great to hear it!

    4. nippersdad

      It just sounds like another tantrum that will not work out well in the end. Like a child in a grocery store that cannot have the Captain Crunch with Crunchberries, laying on the floor and going into a red faced screaming hissy is all they have left.

      Maybe it will work better in their second childhood than it did in their first, but I think there is a lot to be said for just letting a generation that is not fettered by the concept of American-Superiority-In-All-Things get on with it. We are a country run by brats, and it is not a good look.

  12. Tom Stone

    So a felon was caught printing 3D Gunz, not a surprise.
    There are a dozen or more functional designs for 3D Gunz including RPG’s and the FGC9 MK2 which is good enough that pics of entire squads of Myanmar rebels armed with them have surfaced,
    That model is also replacing the designs of PA Luty in popularity among Bikie gangs in Oz and I’d be very surprised if there aren’t quite a few 3D printers churning these out for a variety of successful criminal gangs here in the USA and elsewhere.,
    Along with home hobbyists and those with political agendas.
    No machining skills needed, just a spare bedroom and a couple thousand dollars to start your own submachine gun factory churning out one or two a day with a lovely profit margin.
    Impro.Guns tracks the proliferation of craft made firearms and the quality has improved drastically the last few years even in India, which has little in the way of traditional firearms manufacture.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘even in India, which has little in the way of traditional firearms manufacture’

      Maybe not in India but there certainly has been in Afghanistan. So maybe some of those gunsmiths went to India when Afghanistan started to fall apart. Heard a story decades ago how this western guy in Afghanistan wanted a fully functional replica of a rifle that he had so went down to the market. This old boy checked out the rifle, a price was agreed on and some time later they guy collected the original rifle and the duplicate.

  13. Paradan

    Not to be out done, American Game developers have banded together to donate 10,000 side quests to Ukraine in hopes that they can be used to slow the Russian advance.

  14. Mikel

    Re: Study/Concerns about effectiveness of monkeypox vaccine

    1) This is also supposed to be the new smallpox vaccine. Are they really going to replace a sterilizing vaccine with a non-sterilizing therapeutic?

    2) When they did this study, due to the clock ticking on this becoming widespread, it seems that simultaneous comparison with the old smallpox vaccine and its effectiveness should have been discussed.

    3) It appears studies are becoming more lame with each passing year before foisting drugs on the public. Humans are the new lab mice.

      1. Mikel

        Yes. Around 10% mortality rate. I mentioned the same worry in a following post just after this one, but it took a minute to show up.
        But they are saying this is from a person that had visited West Africa.

        Which is all too worrying because there were only two widely known strains – West Africa and Congo – before this new outbreak with different transmission features.
        It’s been festering for longer than we know and the mutations are growing and becoming more adaptable to spread in humans.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Nord Stream 1: Gazprom announces indefinite shutdown of pipeline”

    Looks like another turbine will be headed to Canada. Think that it will ever come back? But there may have been a cause for this happening and it is due to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Not content to try an oil price cap by the G7 finance ministers, von der Leyen was at a meeting at the Baltic Sea Energy Security Summit in Denmark and while talking at a press conference, said that ‘Europe needs to impose a price cap on Russian pipeline gas’ (Picard facepalm). Russia has already said that if the EU tried that, then they could forget any gas at all-

    1. Sardonia

      “von der Leyen said that ‘Europe needs to impose a price cap on Russian pipeline gas’”

      Were I Putin, my counteroffer would be: “For the first cubic meter the price is the $300 billion in our foreign reserves that were stolen. After that, eh…5% discount from market cuz we’re nice guys….”

    2. OIFVet

      So price caps on Rusian gas were frau(d) von der Leyen’s big idea to deal with the self-inflicted energy crisis? We in the EU truly have even more incompetent political class than the US and UK do.

      1. nippersdad

        “frau(d)” I saw what you did there. Clever!

        I think it was initially Yellen’s idea*; she floated it a couple months ago at the G20 and it went over like a lead balloon then. However, this may be a problem:

        “Russian Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina has said Russia will refuse to sell to countries that impose a cap, raising doubts about whether the plan [….?….]

        The G-7 in its statement committed to working urgently to finalize the measure in each of its jurisdictions and acknowledged that implementation in the European Union will require unanimous agreement among all 27 member states.

        Can you see Turkey agreeing to this?


        1. Irrational

          Turkey is not an EU member – but Hungary might not agree.

          As for the energy crisis in Europe causing governments to fall, there were demonstrations in Prague today, 70k strong, conveniently blamed on far right and far left. See (in German).

          There were also demos in German Kassel , first at the arms manufacturer Rheinmetall yesterday, today in town, so far not labelled extremist. See (in German).

          Apologies, I always fail to make the “link” function work.

          Prague does lend credence to Alex Mercouris’ speculation that governments will use extremist allegations to crack down on dissent.

          1. nippersdad

            “Turkey is not an EU member – but Hungary might not agree.”

            You are right: NATO but not EU. Orban got an exemption last month for oil, and has increased its’ supply of gas from Russia.* I doesn’t sound like he is going to be on board for this price cap either.

            “Hungary, which is about 85% dependent on Russian gas, has consistently opposed the idea of any EU sanctions on Russian gas imports,…”


            They want to be careful about labels like “extremist” when 99% of their country is freezing. The one percent labelling others as being deplorables has a losing track record.

          2. Old Sovietologist

            European Govts including Germany will have troops on the streets to preserve social order this winter.

      2. DJG, Reality Czar

        OIFVet: While the English still have Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, there is some (dim, obscure, stygian) hope.

        1. OIFVet

          It’s a race to the bottom, innit. Funny how it works out for you and me: left Chicago and boarded the Titanic Europe :)

          I can’t even escape Mike Pompeo. He has been in Bulgaria for a few days, lobbying fo the the Extraction of Shale Gas in Bulgaria, which is “Cleaner than Russian.” I wondered who in their right mind would call fracking “clean,” until the other shoe dropped: the Texas-based Linden Energy bought 50% of the Bulgarian Overgas utility, and it just so happens that Mike Pompeo is the chairman of the advisory board of Linden Energy. Vice-Chairman of the advisory board of Linden, sitting UK MP Mike Pritchard, also piped in about how fracking would lead to energy independence from the Russkies, while no doubt filling his and Pompeo’s pockets. Fracking is likely not gonna happen because Bulgarians easily take to the streets when the subject comes up, but dependence on US LNG is very much in the works.

          So I dunno, even with Truss and Johnson and Biden and Trump and Clinton, the US and the UK are running circles around the hapless EU.

            1. OIFVet

              Yep, I remember the events from the Mother Jones article quite well. They just never give up, do they? The things is, personal opportunism is tied to policies. The events in Bulgaria this week lend yet more proof that stranglehold over Europe at all costs is the US policy, and Ukraine is being used to further that policy.

              It may well work in most of the EU, but the US is too cute by half in Bulgaria. Even their Harvard-educated stooges from the formerly ruling party Change Continues ran away from Pompeo, issuing a statement against fracking not even two hours after Pompeo’s speech. There is an early election on October 2nd, the fourth one in 18 months, and I am willing to go 100 to 1 that they saw Pompeo’s timing as highly inopportune and outright ignorant of the situation in Bulgaria.

              The fact is, the ruling coalition was brought down in large part due to being so compliant in the fight against Gazprom and for selling weapons and ammo to Poland for delivery to Ukraine. The Russians still have a stranglehold over Bulgaria, not only in energy but in agent networks and over the hearts and minds of the men and women on the streets. So it wasn’t very hard for them to bring down the government in June, the hit on the wallets at the pump and the certainty about impossible heating bills this winter following the Gazprom exit made their position untenable.

              Heck, my apartment is gas heated, including hot water. Just got the gas bill for August, most of which I was travelling so little gas used for hot water. It’s four times higher than for the same period last year, during which my consumption was 2.5 times higher. I shudder to think what this means for my gas bills from November onward, and I am not hard up like most Bulgarians. But hey, my money will go to Pompeo, I am a client of the Overgaz monopoly…

              Bottom line, I think that people in the EU will stay warm this winter by huddling in scores of thousands in mass demonstrations against their governments. Whatever the press tells them about evil Putin and sacrificing for Ukraine, it’s about the kitchen table issues.

              1. Stephen

                I have spoken to two Bulgarians who live in the UK over the past couple of months. Both were 100% supportive of Russia and of President Putin personally. It’s a small sample of course but I took it as representative!

    3. Stephen

      Just as aside but I read that these turbines were originally Rolls-Royce. I am adding it here but may be of more general interest given the travels and travails of these engines!

      These are RB211/ Trent aero engine derived technology and I wonder if the original deals were at least partially linked to aero engine sales into Russia too. R-R exited that business

      The R-R factory was in Montreal, which was the hub for oil / gas. Siemens took it over, I believe. Suspect too that spare parts, servicing and so forth are still heavily linked to the R-R aero engine supply chain, given these are derivatives.

      So it may be more complex than we had understood too.

        1. Stephen

          Quite possible, which would no doubt explain even more some of the pedantry around servicing arrangements on the part of Gazprom. “We do not want Siemens suing us and blaming us if something goes wrong and their turbine breaks when we are using it”.

          Even if they are not formally leased, the supply chain is 100% bespoke and would not be surprised if there is a multi year maintenance package associated with them. Typically, the engines are sold as a loss leader to get the maintenance income.

    4. Vandemonian

      Just read on Telegram that NordStream has restated, and significant quantities of gas are getting through. I also read that “indefinite” shutdown was a mistranslation – should have been “indeterminate”.

  16. Mikel

    Re: Second strain of monkeypox in UK

    This is connected to travel to West Africa and the strain there.

    They’ve most likely developed a non-sterilizing “vaccine” that is going to allow this pox to fester and develop more mutations adapted to spread in humans.

    Be on the look out for the Congo/Central Africa strain if this pox continues on the tear that it is on. That one is 10% fatality.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine can become ‘green energy center’ for Europe, President Zelenskyy says”

    This article is being a bit sparing with the details which I read earlier. In another article he said-

    ‘We will invite all investors — contractors, service companies — to come and start gas production in Ukraine. If you want to help us pragmatically, this is the tool…You can obtain licences and enter agreements on the distribution of products and carry out exploration and drilling.’

    In other words, send us your money! At least he didn’t ask for weapons too.

    I’d rather listen to Hunter Biden’s ideas on how to spend spare money.

  18. LawnDart

    Games studio offers chance to write message on artillery shells in Russia-Ukraine war

    “Return to Sender”?

  19. Mikel

    ‘Starve or freeze to death’: Millions of elderly Brits fear a grim choice this winter as costs spiral” CNN

    And huddling up to keep warm is not much of an option anymore in the era of Covid….

      1. Mikel

        I remember reading about some parts of Europe preparing large gathering spaces for people to come to get warm if they can’t afford or have access to heat.

        “Hey, let’s put a whole bunch of people in an indoor space with alerts out on two diseases going around, half-assed “vaccines” available, and health care systems already strained.”

    1. JBird4049

      I have read a smidge about corruption in the electrical companies in pre-Great Depression United States, much like with PG&E. Yanking up prices and giving bad service. Along came the depression and for the first winter, it really was a choice of food or heat for many. It was partially covered up, but especially in NYC, they were finding bodies in the streets, often under snow drifts or alone in their apartments, of people who had starved to death. Perhaps, more commonly, become so malnourished that anything else could kill them. It did not happen the next winter as government and charities organized to stop it.

      It is funny how after 1929, starting in 1930, both the government at all levels and private charities were effective enough to prevent hunger or at least real starvation even with everyone being honestly surprised by the scale of the disaster. They had one summer to set it all up. Today, we can all see it coming, but no one is expecting competent leadership this time.

  20. Hepativore

    I was going to ask this in a posting a few days ago, but I never got around to it.

    Biden has been trying to intervene in the railroad labor disputes, and employees are threatening to strike over it. If railroad unions actually do strike, what would prevent Biden from pulling a Ronald Reagan and declaring railroad workers to be “essential employees” and then dissolving their unions and forcing them back to work like Ronald Reagan did with air traffic controllers?

    1. ambrit

      Biden probably couldn’t get away with that because, Ronald “Spawn of the Devil” Reagan had a cadre of military air traffic controllers with which to replace the ‘striking’ civilian air traffic controllers until “loyal and patriotic” civilian replacement air traffic controllers could be rotated into the “vacant” slots. As far as I can see, Biden has no such of a ‘captured’ cadre of railroad workers available. Plus, the old Air Traffic controllers were would be PMCs themselves. So, they were half way ‘captured’ themselves. No acts of sabotage were reported against the national air traffic control system. The railroad workers, however, look to still have a leavening of old guard labour activists in the mix. Expect to see sabotage and ‘wildcat’ strikes and picketing if Biden goes all Harry Truman on the railroad workers.
      Time to stock up now. It will be an epic “Winter of Our Discontent” soon.

      1. Darthbobber

        Most of the bolts offered by the Railway Labor Act have already been shot. (the contracts expired over 2 years ago), and they are now in the final 30 day post-mediation cooling off period, which expires on the 16th I believe. After that date any new obstacles to a strike or lockout would require congressional action either imposing a settlement or mandating a new mediation/arbitration process.

        1. JBird4049

          It is funny how workers are expected to obey the rules based order, but not the elites for whatever reason. I don’t suppose it is because that the rules are created by the gold?

          The Feds could confiscate the money of both the workers and their union, but if they just will not work, then what? Mass arrests? In previous large railroad strikes, the state militias and the army were sent in.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > If railroad unions actually do strike, what would prevent Biden from pulling a Ronald Reagan and declaring railroad workers to be “essential employees” and then dissolving their unions and forcing them back to work like Ronald Reagan did with air traffic controllers?


      If something like the March on Rome plays out, the workers take some direct action, Biden calls out the National Guard and some cops, workers get shot, there’s an enormous liberalgasm, and Biden sails to victory as part of a government of national unity, since the RINOs, at least, like to shoot workers too.

      1. JBird4049

        My, that is some serious political cynicism there.

        While this is the most likely scenario, I am not quite sure that Biden’s victorious liberalgasm would be successful. It has been some decades since the heavy machine guns were used on strikers and doing so might shock some of the mental and emotional complacency out of Americans.

        The recent abortion decision and changes in the law has shocked some people into actually truly thinking about what is going on. Don’t forget that the winter heating bills are coming soon as well. Seeing workers and cops get it on ultimately for the execs’ bonuses might get the MAGA and actual leftists to react, not playact.

    3. c_heale

      Well from what I have read, the rate of employees quitting is through the roof. If they force them to work all I can see is more quitting and the railroads becoming completely unable to function.

  21. Mikel

    “Real Money, Fake Musicians: Inside a Million-Dollar Instagram Verification Scheme” ProPublica

    Recently, I was trying to help a singer friend come up with unique stage name to use for his releases.
    In addition to comparing his suggestions against trademark databases, I would do searches on places like YouTube and Spotify. While on Spotify in particular, I saw so much questionable “music” from “artists” that I wondered what was going on. What I mean by questionable music is lots of instrumental artists with generic music tracks that all sounded like they came from instrumental music libraries like those used by TV shows and various content creators. I remember thinking: Is instrumental music REALLY this popular? None of it was jazz or classical.
    Now I know why….

    1. hunkerdown

      It’s easy and cheap practice for the bedroom producer. It might not get very many plays, but that’s not the reason for its existence.

  22. Roger Blakely

    RE: The curious case of the 471-day coronavirus infection ScienceNews (Resilc)

    Infections in people with poor immune systems may generate variants. Duh. So what? Who cares?

    I write down my temperature and day count every morning. Today it is 1.4 degrees F above baseline and 881 days.

    SARS-CoV-2 is special. It doesn’t function like other viruses. There is no getting over it and clearing it out like we are used to doing with other viruses. The issue isn’t that we can’t get over it and clear it out. The issue is that I’m just going to get hit with more SARS-CoV-2 tomorrow during the course of normal daily activities.

    This morning my immune system is struggling to keep the COVID diarrhea at bay. I wear my respirator everywhere. What happened? Where is the exposure? In the grocery store I am not wearing goggles. Just the SARS-CoV-2 that lands on my eyeballs and washes down into my eyelids is enough. And I’m the only person in the grocery store wearing a respirator.

    In November Omicron spun out of Botswana. Within a month it covered the globe. There was BA.1 and BA.2 and BA.2.12.1 and BA.4 and BA.5. It looks like we might catch a break this fall because we can’t see anything coming up behind BA.5. But don’t worry. You’ll get your excuse not to see your relatives. Some variant will come along and ruin the holiday season.

    1. kareninca

      I had an upset stomach for about three months. I am not vaccinated and have never tested positive for covid (I test weekly), but I am sure that I am constantly fighting it off, as you describe, despite my proper masking and Xlear nasal spray. I ended up pretty much getting rid of the upset stomach with turmeric capsules, ginger capsules and ground nigella sativa seeds mixed with honey (I grind the nigella sativa seeds in a coffee bean grinder). The nigella sativa is part of the FLCCC protocol. This is not medical advice; ask your doctor; also any of these three things can interact with some medications.

      1. ambrit

        I like the “boilerplate” legal “get out of jail free” card at the end. If ‘your’ doctors are anything like the ones I am encountering here in the North American Deep South, then you must ignore most of their advice since it is somehow working out that said advice actively works to kill you.
        We really are “on our own.”

        1. kareninca

          Well, yes, you are right, but what can I say after all. Actually it is important to check for interactions.

          1. ambrit

            Don’t get me wrong. I completely agree with you. I married a woman who I met in an old hippy run health food store. (She was cooking in the kitchen for the restaurant side of the store.)
            Some vitamins must be taken at either end of the day, else they cancel each other out.
            Due to the ‘supply chain’ issues, I’m actively trying to find “natural” substitutes for my blood pressure meds. Getting ready for the Jackpot is work.
            Be safe.

  23. Mikel

    “Ukraine can become ‘green energy center’ for Europe, President Zelenskyy says” Anadolu Agency

    And this is not from The Onion. Amazing.

  24. Mikel

    “France to restart all nuclear reactors by winter amid energy crunch” France24

    Enough to make me wonder if Europe and the USA will ready to approve Ukraine finally negotiating with Russia and ending the debacle there after they get more nuke plants in action and deals solidified from US energy producers. And how much was that the point of letting this mess drag out as a mess all along?

    1. ambrit

      And what about the supply of the enriched uranium for those French reactors. Will the French re-enrich the spent fuel rods in their storehouses into Plutonium for high energy reactors? That could get ‘messy.’

      1. Lambert Strether

        The French nuclear industry actually seems competent (as the French expect, or at least expected, their government to be). We should just abolish our own industry and use theirs. Ditto everybody. Am I wrong?

        1. ambrit

          The French can do industry when the political will is there.
          My quibble is with the physical supply of enriched uranium. Perhaps France can buy it from Iran.
          Of course, there is always “yellow cake” from Niger. France was the colonial power in that benighted landlocked place.
          It’s a natural. Send in the Legion! Save France! Civilize the natives!
          “We will enact an uniquely French form of Neo-liberalism.”

  25. Mikel

    “Italy Says Cyber Attacks on the Rise Since Invasion of Ukraine” Bloomberg

    Just spitballin’:
    If I were a cyber criminal, I’d think now would be the perfect time for attacks while the establishment is wanting to put the blame on Russia for so much.

  26. Tom Stone

    OT, but I don’t think the “Dark Brandon” iconography of Joe’s latest speech was accidental and neither were the words, especially after the Mar A Lago raid being conducted in a way that makes it crystal clear that it was political warfare of a previously rare kind in America.
    The current administration is all about IdPol, PR and “Messaging”.
    Look at the choices of WH Spokepersons, Psaki was very definitely not a Trumpian babe and Jean-Pierre checks so many IdPol boxes I’ve lost count.
    These are BRILLIANT minds, Masters and Mistresses of Communication on every level…
    Just ask them yourself if you don’t believe me.
    If you didn’t get the memo it is “Get in line or get hurt”.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Taibbis close.

        I see chancellor vibes from V for Vendetta.


        Too bad the people of England and Europe couldn’t stage a huge Remember Remember The Fifth Of November protest for real!

    1. Fraibert

      The Democrats have friendly access to the best media minds in Hollywood and the “news” business. Anyone claims thaf the red backdrop was a “gaffe” or “oversight” are therefore implausible. I’m am amateur photographer and I could tell you within a second of seeing that backdrop that it was unacceptable because most of the speech (and speeches are shot mostly in relatively tight framing because viewers want to see the speaker) would be dim, hellscape/Nazi red.

      The conservatives are even circulating a video where it does appear that CNN was attempting to adjust the red color to make it less ominous, but at the telltale cost of adding more magenta to the white on the American flag. This shift (and I agree that at least the circulating video does show it) could have been a white balancing issue but CNN presumably hires professionals, so it is a bit suspect since professionals should not be making that kind of error…

      My bottom line is that the red backdrop is deliberate.

        1. Fraibert

          LOL, seems about right. (Got to love Matt Taibbi’s writing!)

          It’s funny to watch some “liberals” on social media point out that Independence Hall as a whole was lit blue and red. Sure, that’s nice as far as it goes. However, imagery (still and moving) of political speeches is mostly focused on the speaker, with perhaps a few zoomed out shots to show attendee size or reaction. So, the red at issue was ALWAYS going to be the backdrop for most of the images…

          Also, because President Biden had to be reasonably lit (he’s the speaker), the red background was always going to be fairly dim in order to ensure that the President was properly exposed. But professionals know this stuff cold, so intentional again.

          1. JBird4049

            But just why such an overwhelming Dark Brandon look. I don’t expect everyone to match Triumph of the Will here or be anywhere as good as Leni Riefenstahl, but if it is as deliberate as some are saying, it pushes the “President for Life” meme in the American subconscious hard. I have been working on the idea of it being a botched effort to rev-up the PMC. It might, maybe, get the My Heart Bleeds Blue True Believers, but the other 80% plus percent is getting off the ride.

            Maybe the goal is to separate the Unbelievers from the Faithful so that they can be purged? Encourage an overreaction from the supposed Rightwing MAGA hoards so that the designated leadership (but not the informants working for the police) can be auto-de-fé’d with the survivors sent to Gitmo?

            1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

              Re Dark Brandon

              This is just my opinion but I think the Dark Brandon meme is meant to appeal to the youth. The reddit crowd. They saw how they were getting destroyed by all those Biden Gaffes and videos. This is the PR teams bs excuse. In lib media, they go on and on about the MAGA Trump whatever.

    2. Screwball

      As usual, the aftermath of this is quite entertaining. I say entertaining because it sounds better than the real truth of the matter – which is depressing.

      I didn’t watch, but I saw pictures of the set and a few outtakes. I did read the transcript. As usual, I see things one way (in this case it reminded me of Chancellor Sutler of V for Vendetta fame), but I always look to places on the left and right to see how it was received by the masses.

      First, as expected, the usual suspects (PMC class, or MSNBC liberals) thought it was great, and will go to any length necessary to defend what Joe said and at whom. The MAGA people, or Red Hats as they like to call them, must be purged from existence, and Joe was spot on by confronting them and everyone should do the same. Democracy is at stake don’t you know.

      Second, the reaction from the MAGA,s is the usual middle finger as it usually is, and as as expected. These people simply hate each other and they keep giving each other reasons to do so.

      Third, and this is where it matters the most, I think. What about the rest – not the blue and red MAGA’s, but Joe Six Pack who are not in the other two groups. The independents and middle of the roads in both parties, or whatever you want to call them. How did they see this and how will they vote?

      The more I watch the more I think the Dems are running on fear, not policy – fear of Orange Man and his merry band of deplorables their base hates with ever fiber of their body. The messaging seems clear. Will it work? We will see. But I can tell you, in my parts and the people I talk to (most of which do not consider politics front and center in their life), just about everyone is sick and tired of just about everything they see from our political class, and especially the ones in power now. That speech was no help. Deplorables V.2.

      I expect Basement Joe’s approval ratings to go down, and I expect a bloodbath come November. This is how we ended up with Trump. He was the “screw you” vote. The “screw you” vote will rein supreme once again for the midterms, and likely 2024. And it won’t matter – this country is FUBAR no matter what sweet talking chameleon POS either party puts on the ballot.

      The decline of an empire will continue until it pops like a worn out tire. Then things will really get ugly.

      1. digi_owl

        For USA to simmer down, there is a real need for a third option that is paradoxically center-left economically, while center-right socially.

  27. Mikel

    Just in case anybody is under the illusion any issue is being solved or mahem is slowing down:
    2 dead, 3 injured in multiple overnight shootings across Indianapolis
    A man who fatally shot two people inside a Safeway supermarket in Bend, Oregon, began the shooting in a residential neighborhood of apartment complexes behind the shopping center and continued his rampage in the parking lot before entering the store, authorities said. Terrified shoppers and employees fled for safety late Sunday when the suspect entered the supermarket and began “spraying shots” from an assault rifle, police said.
    Three people are dead, including the suspect, and two police officers are injured after a shooting broke out Sunday night in Phoenix, authorities said.

    In a news conference Monday morning, police said the suspect, who has not yet been identified, left a hotel and randomly began firing a weapon around 8:45 p.m. Sunday, according to NBC affiliate KPNX of Phoenix.

    Police said the suspect, who was wearing a “carrier-type” tactical vest and Kevlar helmet, also tried to throw a Molotov cocktail at the hotel at some point…”

    Just a sampling of a search that had the words: “Three Dead in Shooting”

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Police said the suspect, who was wearing a “carrier-type” tactical vest and Kevlar helmet, also tried to throw a Molotov cocktail at the hotel at some point…”

      This truly is the stupidest timeline. Who would make some expensive purchases and do some planning, all to throw a Molotov cocktail at a hotel?

  28. fresno dan

    So I got my PG&E bill (utility bill – natural gas and electric). It was 4 cents less than 1,400 dollars. That is approximately 4-5 times higher than I have ever paid. I am in a new house that is a little less than twice the size of the old house, but still. Plenty of trees around this house, and large front and back overhangs.
    Is this an anomaly, or will there be massively more expensive utitily bills from now on???
    I think I am going to look into augmenting our cooing with evaporative. And we keep the thermostat at 78 (I’m Danish extraction and I would keep it at 80, but my Mexican born wife won’t tolerate a degree above 78). We’ve installed a bunch of ceiling fans, and that really helps. Supposedly, 111 on Tuesday – I say that’s fake news – I doubt it will be hotter than 109…

    1. ambrit

      Check into thermostat controlled attic exhaust fans. This can be done without “IoT” ‘connectivity.’ (We did this in the house down by the coast and it did some good.) Another scheme I have seen is a trellis screen of vines situated just outboard of the sun facing building walls. Find some heat tolerant vines and it creates a layered defense against the ravages of the solarian threat.
      Alas, Comrade Vlad Vladimirovitch has communicated, via Bunny Gram, that since Natural Gas prices are fungible, this state of affairs will be “the new normal.”
      Hope you and the Mizzez are experiencing wedded bliss.

      1. Hepativore

        I am not looking forward to late autumn/winter. I live in the upper Midwest in USDA climate zone 4, and while our summers do get very hot, what people spend on air-conditioning during the summer here is dwarfed by our heating costs during much of the year.

        My apartment complex has all-electric heat, and projected electricity costs from our energy company are going to rise astronomically for many people in the state.

        We can send billions of dollars to Ukraine to fight a proxy war with Russia which we are not even technically in, but we cannot seem to put together something like a program to subsidize energy costs for much of the nation.

        Winter is indeed coming.

        1. Pat

          I’m a renter. Frankly they keep our building too hot by my standard, but I work at a small coop uptown that uses boilers for heat. We have older shareholders so we took a higher temperature standard than the city requires last year, I’m not sure they will be able to afford that this year. The requirement may mean dipping deeply into their savings, not a good thing.

    2. heresy101

      Check into heat pumps. We replaced a very old one that died in our that we purchased 8 months ago with a new Daikin heat pump. We keep the 2,000 sq ft house at 77 degrees during August 90-103 degree weather and we have an all electric house (water heating, range, washer/dryer). Natural gas prices have gone up by almost 10 times (thanks to our warmongers in Washington DC). Our PG&E bill in the northern Central Valley was $375; not cheap but a lot less than $1,400. Finally, CA is offering a $6,000 rebate on the install of heat pumps and additionally the new IRA may allow you to take a tax credit.

    3. Solarjay

      Hi Dan.
      Check the actual readings on the kWh meter against what’s on the bill.
      And PGE used to say on the bill what your usage was last year /month.

      If the usage is way higher than last month or last year then maybe some appliance is on 24/7 that isn’t supposed to be.

      Wouldn’t be the first time that they made a mistake.

      If you have PG&E online account you can find lots of info there.

      Good luck

    4. Anthony G Stegman

      Earlier today I received an email from PG&E with the amount due on 09/15/2022. It was under $90.00. I don’t have air conditioning, nor do I have a fan. I enjoy the natural SF Bay Area air conditioning. The few days inside temperatures reach 80 degrees I go topless. While housing costs in the Bay Area are sky high there are savings to be had when heating and cooling the premises. These are now quite substantial, what with the high energy costs that prevail these days.

    5. Louis Fyne

      check your per kWh and BTU/therm price, too.

      Anything significantly more than $0.14 per kWh (not including the meter/delivery fee) or $1.30/therm (not including meter/delivery fee) = something seriously wrong with your area’s utility rates or you somehow get switched to a 3rd party supplier versus the regulated PGE rates

  29. Michael McK

    Speaking of starving or freezing in Britain; I have heard that they are the same word in old English.

    1. Lambert Strether

      The Free Online Dictionary says:

      starve (stärv)
      v. starved, starv·ing, starves
      1. To suffer or die from extreme or prolonged lack of food.
      2. Informal To be hungry.
      3. To suffer from deprivation: a puppy starving for attention.
      4. Archaic To suffer or die from cold.


      In Ireland, especially the northern province of Ulster, you will sometimes hear people say starved or starving to mean cold or freezing instead of the usual very hungry. Often it appears in a longer set phrase, such as starved/starving with the cold. And not just in Ireland: one source says the idiom exists in the Yorkshire dialect, while a recent political report quotes a French farmer saying: “people in Europe are dying and starving from the cold.”

      Far from being innovative, the usage comes from a very old sense of the word. Starve is descended from the Old English word steorfan, meaning die – without implicit reference to the means of death – which came from the hypothesized Proto-Indo-European root *ster, meaning stiff or rigid. Ireland and a few other places have preserved this meaning of starve in colloquial expressions.

      Etymonline tells us that in the 14th century the meaning of starve narrowed to “die of cold”, and later took on the more familiar senses “kill with hunger” and “die of hunger”. We see the early broader sense retained in German and Dutch, where sterben and sterven, respectively, are the cognate verbs for die.

      The story of starve illustrates a common semantic process – known as narrowing, restriction, or specialisation – whereby a word’s field of reference contracts. For example, accident used to mean any occurrence, before it took on the more restricted sense of something that happens by chance, then something unfortunate that happens by chance: happening to happenstance to mishap. (Sometimes the different senses exist in parallel.) In the 20th century, accident gained a still narrower meaning: a child whose conception was not planned.

  30. nippersdad

    “Study finds climate change is waking bumblebees earlier from winter hibernation, putting the species at risk”

    I can personally attest to this. We have had hardly any bees around this summer, and this is after angsting about it last year when we had more of them.

    One strange thing: the Blueberry bumblebees normally come out early for, wait for it, the blueberries. They normally only hang around just long enough to pollinate the blueberry bushes and then go dormant for the year. This year we had a “late” frost that killed off most of the blooms on the bushes. The bushes actually just bloomed earlier than they are supposed to, which is also a problem for the bees. One of my Wife’s workmates has hundreds of established bushes, and he only got about ten to fifteen percent of his usual crop.

    Anyway, now, in September, I am seeing them everywhere. They should be in dormancy right now. Their schedules are seriously screwed up, and I hope they have a new strategy to deal with it.

    1. semper loquitur

      Over the last few years, I’ve seen bees at very odd times. I saw a bumble bee in January, crawling lethargically on the ground. There was nothing in bloom, nothing to eat and nothing for it to do.

  31. ewmayer

    Had the following e-mail exchange with an Aussie friend, one of the few people I know of this site who have also become keenly aware of the Man behind the Curtain of Western propaganda and thus with whom I can discuss this stuff. Includes a shout-out to NC, Michael Hudson and also Colonel Smithers’ appellation for the UK’s Liz Truss, behind which perhaps there is a funny story? My opening e-mail was based on the Telegraph op-ed “Putin has pulled off a shock win that could destroy the free world” featured in yesterday’s links, whose sheer unhingedness several readers commented on:


    Ha, ha, the level of delusion and borderline hysteria in this one is off the charts. It wasn’t the arrogant US/NATO states highly dependent on Russian energy shooting themselves in both feet and in the a*** by sanctioning and vilifying said energy provider, which happens to be more or less of an autarky after ousting the Yeltsin-era Western looting cabal, redeveloping its economy and having been repeatedly sanctioned already in the past decade – no, it was bad, wicked, naughty, evil mastermind Ras-Putin playing eleventy-dimensional political chess and baiting the innocent, virtuous West into doing all these things. He really needs the next unelected British PM, Fizzy Lizzy Truss, to give him what-for. (Aside: Lavrov already took Truss’ measure during her FM stint by baiting her into betraying her ignorance of basic geography – I’m sure the folks at the Kremlin are quaking in their evil boots at the prospect of her replacing BoJo.)

    His reply:

    Well, I can’t read it, but the first few lines is enough…

    Shooting yourself in the foot while pretending someone else was holding the gun.

    I saw the other day that Macron had the temerity to call Russia to task for using energy as a weapon! It it wasn’t so serious, I’d be falling off my chair at the comedy act.

    Meanwhile, I did see a rather insightful comment, that this is Europe’s hard landing, that the world just doesn’t need them anymore, they are no longer central to its ongoing development and prosperity and they can no longer dictate terms. I am still completely flummoxed though as to why they allow the US to dictate terms to them that are so obviously self-defeating… do they still feel such “gratitude” or obeisance to the US as the great “liberators”?


    Re. “the world just doesn’t need them anymore” – that is especially true of the UK, which these days is little more than a financial parasite on the global economy. The US at least has a few things – Big Ag, oil and gas, computer and biotech – which it exports alongside its fraudulent financial products and overpriced weapons systems. Germany has – or until the own-foot-shooting had – high-end industrial products and cars, France and Italy have luxury goods and wine. But so many parts of those supply chains have been outsourced to China and India, 2 of the Big 3 of the emerging dedollarized trade bloc, that they are much more prepared to go it alone – or better, go it without the West – than the latter realizes or cares to admit.

    As to the whole ever-eager-Europoodles thing, the only thing that makes any sense to me is “wanting to have it both ways”. The post-WW2 dollar-dominated Bretton-Woods system was designed to ensure dollar hegemony, and that coupled with Nixon taking the US off the gold standard in the early 1970s due to the massive cost of the Vietnam War had the perverse effect of allowing the US to run effectively unlimited budget deficits. That led to the other NATO countries having the luxury of spending very little on their own militaries while enjoying the “protection” of the US. The price of this Faustian bargain was effectively surrendering their own sovereignty. And now that I’ve written that, it occurs to me that Michael Hudson’s earlier classic, Super-Imperialism, which I’ve only read in summary form via Hudson’s ongoing posts in NC, details this nicely:

    [From MH’s site for the same book:]
    The book became famous for detailing how the removal of the gold standard left the world’s central banks with only one alternative vehicle: to hold their international reserves in U.S. Treasury securities.

    The result was a self-financing circular flow of U.S. military spending and the investment takeover of foreign economies. The larger America’s balance-of-payments deficit grew, the more dollars ended up in the hands of central banks and sovereign wealth funds. Machiavelli could not have planned it better. By participating in this circular flow, nations in effect financed their own economic and military encirclement.

    The Euros probably thought they were being clever.

    The whole “rules-based international order” is just repackaged neocolonialism. “We make the rules, which we apply to the non-white Untermenschen (which includes the Slavs) and we give the orders”. “She who rules the waves can waive the rules,” righto!

  32. semper loquitur

    Field Report: New Jersey

    I took the ferry into New Jersey today, almost no one was wearing masks on the boat. I was in two restaurants to pick up food , one was crammed wall to wall with people and the other pretty empty. I took a total tally and, besides my N-95, I saw two (2) people masked up. One had a KN-95 and the other a surgical mask. I got a definite stare from one of the workers.

    A friend’s mom commented that she thought COVID was over but she keeps hearing about people getting it. She had it herself and still isn’t fully recovered. I bit my tongue as I’ve been down this road time and time again.

    I just read a comment above talking about a more dangerous strain of monkeypox. If it really takes off, there is going to be chaos as no one is going to take proper steps until it gets a real foothold and there are deaths and serious injuries. That combined with the restaurant I was in would be a super-spreader event on wheels.

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