Links 9/5/2022

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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.

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* * *

Ohio man who suffered 20,000 bee-stings expected to recover, family says The Guardian (Resilc)

The Summer Everyone Saw the Sharks Slate (Resilc)

Investigators, Citing Looting, Have Seized 27 Antiquities From the Met NYT

Book banning in U.S. schools has reached an all-time high: What this means, and how we got here Grid (Resilc)

The Battle for ‘Cop City’ Rolling Stone (TH)

The Search for Scientific Proof for Premonitions The New Republic


CanSino’s inhaled Covid-19 vaccine gets emergency use approval in China Bangkok Post

Covid app that detects virus in your voice ‘more accurate than lateral flow tests’ The Telegraph


U.S. Solar Bottlenecks Are Causing A Resurgence In Coal OilPrice (Resilc)


How to make EVs without China’s supply chain Asia Times (Resilc)

The US shoots itself in the foot with sanctions against Chinese PV products: industry insider Global Times

China’s Visa Alternative Cuts Off Russian Banks Over Sanctions – RBC Moscow Times

Tiny Tuvalu to ‘stand firm’ with Taiwan as Pacific competition hots up Reuters


Myanmar junta leader Min Aung Hlaing to visit Russia Mizzima

Sri Lanka

IMF chief pleased that Sri Lanka reached staff-level deal for $2.9 billion Business Standard


Spotting the Truth and the Hype About INS Vikrant’s Domestic Sourcing of Material The Wire

India’s Electric Vehicle Push Is Riding on Mopeds and Rickshaws NYT (Resilc)

In Affidavit, Former RSS Worker Claims Top Right Wing Leaders Involved in Nanded Blast The Wire


Iraq PM hosts US delegation for talks in Baghdad Al Arabiya

Four sides benefit from unstable Iraq Tehran Times

Türkiye hosts Libya’s rival prime ministers on same dates Daily Sabah

Old Blighty

Liz Truss warns against predictions of an ‘Armageddon scenario’ and tells Laura Kuenssberg that Britain has the right ‘spirit’ to get through energy crisis – while promising ‘immediate’ action to help if she becomes Tory leader TOMORROW Daily Mail (Resilc)

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant partly goes offline amid fighting CBS

Zelensky says Russia is using ‘nuclear weapon’ by occupying Zaporizhzhia The Hill

Keeping What Matters In Focus. Reminiscence of the Future (ctlieee)

Moment of truth in the Ukraine war Indian Punchline

Ukraine War Day #192: Back To School! Awful Avalanche (guurst)

Lavrov warns Moldova about threats to peacekeepers AP

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev says West is playing ‘chess game with death’ The National

Ukraine PM meets German Chancellor Scholz seeking more military support DW

* * *

China Is Quietly Reselling Its Excess Russian LNG To Europe OilPrice (KS)

Russia’s Sberbank to sell off sanctions-hit Swiss subsidiary ABC

Italy’s Salvini says West should rethink sanctions for Russia Politico

EU states bordering Russia searching for ways to halt tourist entry ERR

Steel mill applies for reduced working hours due to energy costs Swissinfo

Will the energy crisis spell the end for German bakeries? DW

* * *

Why Gorbachev Was One of the Greatest Failures in History CounterPunch (Resilc)

Chileans reject new, progressive constitution NPR

Imperial Collapse Watch

Airmen brace for special duty pay cut in 2023 Military Times

Trump Raid

Trump calls Biden ‘an enemy of the state’ The Hill

GOP Clown Car

How a Record Cash Haul Vanished for Senate Republicans NYT (furzy)


The VA says it will provide abortions in some cases even in states where it’s banned NPR

Study raises red flags about corporatization of health care, OHSU investigator says OHSU

The Bezzle

Crypto real estate: the property market built on digital assets FT

Nobel laureate Paul Krugman has slammed bitcoin as pointless, wasteful, and in large part a Ponzi scheme. Here are the economist’s 12 best quotes about crypto over the past decade. Insider (Resilc)

Hackers Compromise The Youtube Channel of The South Korean Government To Promote a Crypto Scam CryptoPotato

Supply Chain/Inflation

Germany’s government agrees on €65 billion relief package amid soaring energy prices DW

World food prices drop for fifth consecutive month: FAO UN News

Class Warfare

New York City sues Starbucks for firing union-organizing barista The Guardian (Resilc)

Qatar deports workers who protested against unpaid salaries Middle East Eye

Trader Joe’s broke labor laws in effort to stop stores unionizing, workers say The Guardian (Resilc)

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    “I Am A Tool”
    (melody borrowed from Y.M.C.A. by the Village People)

    When you’re — feeling hopeless and lost
    (I said) There is — a quick cure at a cost
    (I said) When life — gets too boring and bland
    There’s this Orange. Guy. Who. Looks. Suntanned!

    His plan — makes America great
    (I said) He’ll soon — be on tour in your state
    You can be there — if you cough up some cash
    You’ll meet Ev’ry. Kind. Of. White. Trash!

    (It’s plain to see now that) I Am A Tool
    (I’m such a loser I’m a) lost MAGA Mule
    I’m a check-writing rube for an obvious ploy
    Cuz I can’t tell the real McCoy . . .

    (The world can see now that) I Am A Tool
    (I’m such a loser I’m a) lost MAGA Mule
    I just love how I feel when I hear Donald’s spiel
    I don’t care that this is not real . . .

    At his rallies — everyone screams
    (We’re all) High on — power trips, power dreams
    (We are) Right there — with our Lord and our King
    But you’ve Got. To. Know. This. One. Thing!

    Donald — is just playing a role
    (I said) To him — you’re a working class prole
    (Donald’s) Wallet — has a bottomless hole
    Grifting Your. Cash. Is. His. One. Goal!

    (It’s plain to see now that) I Am A Tool
    (I’m such a loser I’m a) lost MAGA Mule
    I’m a check-writing rube for an obvious ploy
    Cuz I can’t tell the real McCoy

    (The world can see now that) I Am A Tool
    (I’m such a loser I’m a) lost MAGA Mule
    I just love how I feel when I hear Donald’s spiel
    I don’t care that this is not real . . .

    This song — wasn’t written for you
    It’s an anthem — for L G B T Q
    You are dancing — to a song that’s not straight
    It’s the Very. Thing. That. You. Hate.

    To us — it’s our old Stonewall song
    Though your Bible — says what we do is wrong
    You’re just dancing — cuz you’re getting your kicks
    Hope it Holds. You. Till. Your. Next. Fix!

    (It’s plain to see now that) I Am A Tool
    (I’m such a loser I’m a) lost MAGA mule
    I’m a check-writing rube for an obvious ploy
    Cuz I can’t tell the real McCoy . . .

    I Am A Tool
    (I’m here to tell ya that) I Am A Tool

    Hey MAGA man — yeah, the closet’s your thing
    Is it time to come out — time to come out and sing?

    I Am A Tool
    (I’m here to tell ya that) I AM A Tool

    Hey MAGA man — yeah, the closet’s your thing
    Is it time to come out — time to come out and sing?

    1. kareninca

      This sort of cruel humor just makes people hate one another. It is very sad to see.

      The use of the term “white trash” is especially hurtful and damaging.

      Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

    1. hunkerdown

      That’s what politics is: a performance of moral oneupsmanship. If we want service or administration, we should ask for those instead.

      1. The Historian

        “That’s what politics is: a performance of moral oneupmanship.”

        I think Chris Hedges said it much better than I could:

        It will do no good, as Biden did on Thursday in Philadelphia, to demonize Trump and his supporters in the way they demonize Biden and the Democrats. Biden, raising clenched fists, backlit by Stygian red lights and flanked by two U.S. Marines in dress uniforms, announced from his Dantesque stage set that “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our Republic.”

        Donald Trump called the speech the most “vicious, hateful and divisive speech ever delivered by an American president” and attacked Biden as “an enemy of the state.”

        Biden’s frontal assault widens the divide. It solidifies a system where voters do not vote for what they want, since neither side delivers anything of substance, but against what they despise. Biden did not address our socioeconomic crisis or offer solutions. It was political theater.

        But God, for those of us who have had to have dealings with some of the MAGA people, Biden’s speech did feel good for a moment – until our brains kicked in.

        1. anon in so cal

          IMHO, I thought the worst thing Trump did as president was his attempt to open up the Tsongas to development. An unspeakably horrific crime.

          Otherwise, Trump antagonized the nat sec state and the Establishment by ending TPP and CIA Timber Sycamore (a billion to “moderate rebels” to topple Syria’s president). Most incendiary was campaigning on peace and diplomacy with Russia–a very laudable, sane proposal (of course T got rolled, repeatedly, by Haspel, Yovanovitch, Milley, etc).

          Living in a solidly blue area, I don’t think I’ve encountered any MAGA people, except online. They seem to be opposed to open borders (as Bernie Sanders was before shape shifting), which apparently aligns with the position of many working-class people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

          My (perhaps inaccurate) recollection of Antifa is that they rioted (at least in Portland) when T got elected. Many places were boarded up during the 2020 election, also, perhaps in anticipation of additional Antifa riots? The oddest thing about Antifa is their total silence when Biden bombed Syria and as Biden gives $74 Billion to Ukraine.

          Glenn Greenwald also noted:

          “And Antifa punishes those who disobey their “policy” by doling out street violence, including to reporters. That has always sounded to me to be a lot more like fascism than anti-fascism.”

          Alexander Mercouris on Biden’s speech:

          “one of the most terrifying speeches I have ever heard from a U.S. president….”

          1. Jason Boxman

            He also appointed and saw successfully confirmed a slew of conservative judges, with a helping hand from Schumer, of course. Trump’s presidency certainly wasn’t benign.

            1. Lambert Strether

              > Trump’s presidency certainly wasn’t benign

              Nor was Biden’s, Bush’s, Clinton’s, Bush’s….

              The point is that it’s possible to make a case for Trump as a President when you look at his actions (and forget the tone). The CARES Act, passed under Trump. actually reduced poverty. Biden hasn’t. Trump managed not to get into a major war. Biden started one, maybe two.

              This doesn’t mean I agree with the case, but there’s a real one based on actual delivery on policy. So I find the aghastitude a bit wearying.

          2. Swamp Yankee

            Yeah, I think when I talk with people from very Blue areas, one of the impressions I have that I find surprising is that they have never dealt with really aggressively unpleasant MAGA types. Because from the point of view here at the border of the Metropole and the Summer Vacation part of the Provinces, in a place where red and blue precincts sit on top of one another, and where tourists of all kinds and from all countries visit, the yuppie PMC liberals, while annoying and colonial, are less often disruptive and personally unpleasant in public in the way the MAGA crew are.

            This is in paradox to the private behavior of PMC liberals, which those of us who are class expatriates/scholarship kids will recognize as being frequently sneering elitists in private.

            But in public, when people are dining outdoors along Court Street or Main Street or on Water Street on the Harbor of a pleasant summer eve, it is far likelier to be MAGA bikers revving their engines at the dogs and young families and scaring babies and grandmothers than the self-regarding Prius driver with their Resist bumper stickers. The former are often just Tea Partiers, who were just Bush oafs, who were Gingrich GOPers, who were just the George Wallace wing of the Reagan GOP, etc.

            This is not to say I choose the Prius tribe. My own ideology is the Commonwealth tradition, or civic republicanism, and I am actually in political coalition with members of both tribal groupings on local issues where we happen to agree, which are actually several (I always more or less ignore culture war stuff; just ignore it unless it is really egregiously horrible, it is almost impossible to successfully intervene, unless you are dealing with actual, not fever dream but actual, bigots, like our State Rep. candidate who was anti-Muslim and thought the Reformation was demonically-inspired). But the MAGA types strike me as ruder in public in my experience, and I do think that matters.

            1. Lambert Strether

              > But the MAGA types strike me as ruder in public in my experience, and I do think that matters.

              I would say “transgressive,” rather than rude. I’ve known polite Trump voters personally, and all Trump voters are not MAGA (as I show here).

          3. JP

            Does Antifa have a head? Who makes”their” policy. I don’t think their violence is so much like fascism as anarchy. Portland was a street riot. There was no significant leadership calling the shots to my knowledge. Maybe I am terribly wrong but my impression is Antifa is like a student protest whereas Proud Boys, Patriot Front etc is ex military and law enforcement and militia wantabes They are the ones trying to establish white authoritarian rule by intimidation and violence. That is what Fascism looks like. Antifa is their weak ineffectual mirror opposition but they make a great excuse to impose a fascist state. I think it is important to remember that the local Portland police were willing to let things cool down. It was Trump who fanned the flames in Portland.

            1. Daniil Adamov

              That is closer to my own impressions (as of right now; I’d need to do more digging into Antifa before reaching any firm conclusions). Of course, that makes them worse than useless. And they do harass people – they pose no danger to any real concentration of power, but they can be a serious nuisance to some individuals (though perhaps no worse than that, unless they actually managed to kill or seriously injure someone while I was not looking).

        2. Harry Haller

          Great post! Instead of gleefully hurling insults at “those people” (whoever they may be) it would be great if people reacted more like you did…acknowledge that the dark and sadistic side of the human psyche exists, defuse it by having a laugh over it, and then get on with the day. Grown ups getting into tit-for-tat insult wars is pretty lame.

          Deliberately stoking anger and resentment that could very well at some point turn lethal is a really, really bad strategy for any serious politician who cares about more than just winning the next election. Two wrongs don’t make a right and all that. Particularly if you or your party claim to be the “adults in the room.”

        3. Daniil Adamov

          “But God, for those of us who have had to have dealings with some of the MAGA people, Biden’s speech did feel good for a moment – until our brains kicked in.”

          That’s how they get you. There are a lot of irritating people out there. It feels good to have one’s irritation validated, and by someone in power, no less.

    2. The Historian

      I am doing my best to turn the other cheek, but I can definitely understand Antifa’s (and Biden’s) frustrations with MAGA!

      1. The Rev Kev

        If it helps, don’t forget that old saying when talking about Republicans and Democrats-

        ‘The enemy of my enemy is still an enemy.’

      2. enoughisenough

        I mean, remember that this was all a show – Biden walked back the speech the next day, having got all the #resist people to jizz in their pants, and everyone seems to have forgotten that this is a ruse by the Dems. If they were so scared, then why were they funding and promoting the very people they say no one should listen to?

        They are fomenting chaos for profit.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > Biden walked back the speech the next day

          But that’s typical. The bell once run can’t be unrung, any more than “semi-fascist.” Nobody remembers the corrections.

          As for Democrats doubling down on the Pied Piper strategy, nobody said people can’t be duplicitous and stupid.

          1. enoughisenough

            “The bell once run can’t be unrung”

            Exactly. Not only are they not serious, they are egregiously stupid.

    3. Sardonia

      Time to go off to bed
      But off the top of my head…

      Got no song in my mind
      So I’ll just go a cappella
      Try to bust out a rhyme
      And respond to that there fella
      Yeah it’s fun to punch down
      And get out over your skis
      But just remember that clown
      Took out two dynasties
      Jeb was a shoo-in for Red
      Until Trump had some fun
      And slayed Jeb when he said
      “Why don’t your Mommy run?”
      Then with the winds in his face
      Against a true abomination
      He still eked out first place
      And stopped a wicked coronation
      And yeah, it’s easy to bash
      The dimmest bulbs in his crowd
      And to call them White Trash
      They don’t read Maureen Dowd
      But keep in mind who they fought
      The very Cream of Elite
      Folks totally Bought
      And still got totally beat
      MAGA don’t have high IQ’s
      Just a family to feed
      Most have paid lots of dues
      And still don’t have what they need
      Some sent their kids off to war
      Some came back; couldn’t walk
      So when Trump said “No more”
      They cheered the Dove, not the Hawk
      Sure, Trump is a con man
      But he trolled the Ruling Class
      And his MAGA said “C’mon man
      “Stick that finger up their a@@!”
      But now it’s time for sleep
      Time to lay my head down
      But just a thought here to keep –
      Maybe punch up, not down.

      Night night, y’all, Peace Out :)

  2. The Rev Kev

    “The VA says it will provide abortions in some cases even in states where it’s banned”

    The article does not really say but is the implication that V.A. hospitals are actually Federal facilities which are under Federal rather than State law?

    1. Lex

      Yes. Federal facilities, including post offices and courthouses are not regulated under state law. It gets a little weird because most of the time they adhere to state laws and will do things like let state regulators in and such but they don’t have to.

      1. kson onair

        So the Democrats really do have the ability to guarantee abortion access by sitting then through federal facilities and they’re just… not doing that.

        1. Expat2Uruguay

          But wouldn’t the woman receiving the abortion still be legally liable in that state? It would only protect the provider, not the patient, correct?

      2. scott s.

        I don’t think it is as simple as that. Here is a quote from DoJ web site:

        “In summary, the United States may exercise plenary criminal jurisdiction over lands within state borders:

        Where it reserved such jurisdiction upon entry of the state into the union;
        Where, prior to February 1, 1940, it acquired property for a purpose enumerated in the Constitution with the consent of the state;
        Where it acquired property whether by purchase, gift or eminent domain, and thereafter, but prior to February 1, 1940, received a cession of jurisdiction from the state; and
        Where it acquired the property, and/or received the state’s consent or cession of jurisdiction after February 1, 1940, and has filed the requisite acceptance.”

        IANAL, but my understanding is that it is more common to have concurrent jurisdiction. Note this is in regards to criminal jurisdiction, not “regulation”.

    2. marym

      In the summary the rule says the VA is changing its medical regulations “to remove the exclusion on abortion counseling and establish exceptions to the exclusion on abortions in the medical benefits package for veterans,” and remove exclusion/expand exceptions for beneficiaries.

      The NPR article says “The department says its employees are able to avoid state restrictions “when working within the scope of their federal employment.” So they’re adding/expanding a benefit for veterans and their beneficiaries; and it’s part of VA employees’ jobs to provide those services. Discussion about the limits of state law in interfering with federal employees doing their jobs is around p.30 in the rule. (ianal)

  3. griffen

    Those energy bill anecdotes, I’m not sure what the proper UK term would be but my first thought was holy crap on a cracker. There’s no budgeting for that kind of increase, not as a small business or a pub or a homeowner.

    Welcome to your new role as PM. Please dive in immediately and prevent mass death and privation this coming winter! Speaking as an American, we offer our hopes and thoughts and prayers, let’s face it that’s the best we got on offer. Any meddling from DC might only make matters worse.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Well Biden did promise the EU plenty of gas if only they abandoned all gas supplies with Russia. But now because of domestic shortages as well as facilities going online, the Biden regime has just told the EU that sorry, all that gas will be needed in the US so there is none to spare for the EU. Psych!

      1. Pat

        They should have remembered that the US is not agreement capable. (Not to mention examining the promise and seen that even without any problems the US could only realistically supply a small portion of the amount needed to replace the Russian gas and certainly not at anywhere near the same cost.)

        IOW Biden lied and they had to know it.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I suspect the “America is back” myth and the idea of Trump as an aberration instead of a continuance were more internalized than many of us realized. After all, the US has Disney and NYC. How can it be bad…

          The non-stop messaging of OMG Russia and Trump pushed by media and US expats who joke about pretending to be Canadian (my mom’s family is French Canadian, so I don’t have any imaginary ideas about the old country) ruined too many minds.

          1. The Rev Kev

            ‘The non-stop messaging of OMG Russia and Trump’

            There is a derivative of that thought. If you live in the US and you oppose what Biden is doing, then you are a Trumpist. In Europe, if you oppose how the EU is trashing your economy like those in Prague, then you are a Putinist. In either case, it is never their fault.

            1. JBird4049

              It is never their fault because they cannot fail and they have never been cold or hungry. Demanding to be to stay warm or cool, keep the lights on, get to work, stay in business, or afford food does not make one a Trumpist or a Putinist. It just means that you want to live; maybe I should get a t-shirt that says “The Hamptons: Lots of firewood there.” on the front and “The Rich: Good with Ketchup!” on the back.

          2. Carolinian

            Yes the media are the real problem. Just watched The Insider, Michael Mann’s 1999 movie about the Sixty Minutes/Mike Wallace expose that helped fuel the successful multistate lawsuit against big tobacco. The crux of the film is not Jeffrey Wigand’s insider whistlelowing but the CBS attempt to suppress the segment for fear of litigation.

            So it’s an expose of an expose but the premise–that the fourth estate is there to protect us–is itself historically dubious if you wayback past the post Vietnam period to earlier periods of history. The media could only challenge political power when they themselves had power–those big city newspaper monopolies and three FCC protected television networks. We have now returned to the Citizen Kane world of partisan media and the yellow press.

            1. pjay

              – “The media could only challenge political power when they themselves had power…”

              I think the mass media in the US has always been part of the Establishment. But when there is conflict *within* the elite over power or policy, then “challenges” (to one faction or the other) emerge in the media. This was the case with Vietnam, Watergate (the great “shining moment” of the Media – supposedly), and most other examples. If the Washington Post publishes an expose on Afghanistan after decades of bulls**t, I assume that one faction of the Establishment has had enough and decided that we need to cut our losses. The stenographers in the Media are just tools (in all meanings of that term).

              1. pjay

                Adding: there is *no* elite disagreement on Trump; he has to go by whatever means necessary. That’s why all this fear-mongering by the Democrats is so ridiculous; the “semi-fascist” MAGAs and their fearless leader have *no* support among the elite and the institutions they control. But there might be some cracks within the Establishment on Ukraine in the near future. We’ll see.

              2. Carolinian

                Well the Washington Post is in financial trouble if you believe the NYT. And the movie I cited is a reflection–even back in 1999–on the limits of truth telling when the financial interests of these expensive national news outfits are at stake. In the end CBS did stand up to big tobacco but perhaps only because Sixty Minutes was a huge money maker and therefore a power center in its own right.I do think a cultural shift of the “thought leader” media class has taken place and a lot of it has to do with insecurity. The truth telling that once earned you plaudits can now get you fired.

            2. Tom Stone

              I picked up a free copy of the local fishwrap wen leaving Safeway a little before 6AM this morning and that VA Shooting was on the front page above the fold.
              Big news GUNZ VIOLENCE!}
              Since I have a badditude I looked through the rest of the paper to see how they are covering the recent rapid rise in US Covid deaths.
              It looks like they are saving it for the Sunday paper where I’m sure it will be covered in depth.
              If not Sunday, then soon, real soon.

              1. JBird4049

                Some deaths are more sexy than others and as they say, “if it bleeds, it leads.” Even those deaths of despair like with opioids ain’t really sexy and there is no excitement seeing some die all alone or with a very small coterie of family and friends as often happens with Covid. Even that most deaths by the gunz are suicides or deaths of despair is often not even alluded to.

                Really, those mass shootings are good for business. Primo click-bait for the advertisements. Get the blood pumping, make the viewer all excited about the evil ones and their demonic weapons while ignoring those with the money slowing draining hope, dreams, and lives out of many, more people all for even more money. Hello Sacklers.

            3. Pavel

              Great movie. Both Russell Crowe and Pacino at the top of their games, plus a stunning soundtrack by Lisa Gerrard. Highly recommended!

            4. Lambert Strether

              > The media could only challenge political power when they themselves had power–those big city newspaper monopolies and three FCC protected television networks.

              Good argument. And of course a lot of the newspaper and TV owners were American gentry, so even if you didn’t agree with them, there was still a broader range of acceptable reporting.

        2. Carolinian

          So Biden is a menace? But Trump shouldn’t be the one saying it. You could make a case for Trump if he was able to put his ego aside and truly do what is best for ordinary people. But that’s never going to happen, in the past or in the future. We need an alternative party, not feuding individuals.

          1. notabanker

            Yeah, either way were are going over the falls. The only choice is to vote against the guy you think can paddle faster.

          2. the last D

            We need collective action against a system that is destroying human society. Pakistan is 1/3 under water. The Arctic is warming about four times faster than the rest of the world. Fires are raging around the world. Will any political party ever begin to address that, let alone resolve the problem? The trumps and the bidens, and the alitos, are all useless impediments to what must be done; they are holding the doors of the furnace wide open to all peoples. We need to be out in the streets before they’re flooded, or before they’ve burned away. Forget political parties, people must become the solution. It will not be easy, and it will not be pretty, but it will beat the alternative of feeding the tender egos of psychopaths who rule the world. Do whatever you can, organize and get out in the streets in order to be seen, and to show others that they are not alone.To paraphrase the bearded one, People of the world, unite; there is a world to be saved. Begin to see the rightness and wrongness of political actions in this way: do they contribute to the existence, ot to the extinction, of human life.

            From where I stand on the watchtower, the hour is growing late.

              1. the last D

                Where else should people go? That is where revolutions can begin. Who can know what might result from any action, large or small? A little match can cause a great fire. The point is to do something. Be a fool for Christ, a fool for our beautiful, suffering world.

                1. hu

                  A long march through the institutions would afford an opportunity to destroy or disable the tools of industrialized social formation.

                  (hunkerdown here, typoed my name)

      2. griffen

        Yeah I probably am a bit unaware on that particular aspect, but given our DC leadership class it is not surprising. Maybe Nancy Pelosi can read the EU some passages from the Book of Matthew once again?

        Okay, that might just work for sending $Billions over to Ukraine.

        1. The Rev Kev

          ‘Maybe Nancy Pelosi can read the EU some passages from the Book of Matthew’

          Either that or maybe another one of Bono’s poems. :)

    2. Pat

      Yup there is a person with a small bungalow in that thread, so it is hitting all.
      Truss is going to walk straight into a meat grinder. It may take a bit but unless there is suddenly a whole of actual support I don’t see this being a stiff upper lip situation where the citizens keep calm and carry on.

      1. Michaelmas

        Truss is going to walk straight into a meat grinder.

        It couldn’t happen to a nicer, more suitable person.

        Truss is BoJo without the brains.

        1. ambrit

          “Truss is BoJo without the brains.”
          Gadzooks! Is this possible? And here I was viewing BoJo as Baldrick, full of “cunning plans.” What would that make Truss then? “Queenie” Liz with her nanny holding down the fort?
          I’ll know something’s up when we see the “Daily Telegraph” ‘Style Section’ do a spread on the Royals’ luxurious digs in the bomb shelter under Windsor Castle.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Just before the war Truss was negotiating with Lavrov about the Donbass. So Lavrov asked Liz Truss if she recognized Russian sovereignty over Rostov and Voronezh which happen to be core provinces of Russia. Truss – who had no clue where he was talking about – said that Britain would never recognize them as Russian and had to be corrected by an Ambassador over her mistaking them for Donetsk and Luhansk. Traditionally the Foreign Ministers for the UK are highly qualified and experienced people. Liz Truss is, well, Liz Truss.

            The other day she was asked point blank if she was ready to launch nukes, even though that could end up being a planet killer of an event. She said ‘I’m ready to do it’ not once but twice

   (56 secs)

                1. rowlf

                  Lavrov driving the Freightliner Of Reality over victims of British Bubble Brain is always fun to watch. He’s flattened several BBC interviewers in the past. I think Lavrov wishes he could state things a directly as railway union leader Mick Lynch does but his position does not allow it.

            1. Stephen

              Yep, that was heavily reported here.

              It shows what an idiot she is in so many ways.

              She did not know where those provinces were.
              Then she was not smart enough to check where they were.
              And it did not occur to her that Lavrov might be setting a trap.

              She is definitely not someone to take to a serious negotiation!

              1. OIFVet

                Well, she is now the one that will set the parameters of serious negotiations. It boggles the mind that such a dimwit can be the UK PM.

                1. Stephen

                  It does.

                  Sums up the UK political class. It is not an attractive career. I have seen several wannabe 20 something politicians who started out as special advisers to Ministers exit and become management consultants instead.

                  Truss studied PPE at Oxford (a classic UK political route) and then qualified as an accountant. But it is really clear that she is someone of low ability promoted well beyond her competence level. But anyone who has a good corporate career these days would never choose to move across into politics.

                  1. paul

                    Which does mean that current politics is left to only those whose ambitions can be outmatched by their abilities.

                    Just as johnson left may as a punchbag pre brexit, truss is the next in the bag on the hook.

                    Truss’s unique qualification is a combination of complete lack of awareness, to both self and other.

              2. wilroncanada

                The interviewer should have asked her about British Columbia. See if she identified it as somewhere near Lands End. (She spent a year of elementary school in Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver.)

          2. eg

            Truss is playing Mrs. DressUp in her Margaret Thatcher kit. I expect nothing more sensible out of her than from Marie Antoinette flouncing about Versailles in her shepherdess outfit.

        2. Bart Hansen

          The Wikipedia entry on Mary Elizabeth Truss’s spouse, Hugh O’Leary, notes the following:

          “The couple’s first date was spent ice-skating, during which O’Leary sprained his ankle.”

          There’s an ignored omen for you.

      2. Stephen

        Stiff upper lip culture died in 1997 when everyone here in the UK (I was an exception but was living in the US then) freaked out over the death of Princess Diana.

        Victorian stoic and wartime “Carry On Regardless” culture died that year. People will freak out if they have to limit calories or cannot heat their homes.

        The only way Truss might make it work is if she can (wrongly) convince people that President Putin is all set on conquering the world SPECTRE fashion. Even our non thinking population may struggle to believe that though.

          1. LifelongLib

            IIRC in the Bond movies SPECTRE was an international criminal organization that victimized both British/Americans and the Soviets.

            The early Bond movies were often conciliatory toward the Soviet Union, or at least didn’t paint it as an unalloyed villain. The real bad guys were generally from SPECTRE.

            1. hk

              I thought most Cold War Bond movies (except, I think, From Russia with Love) treated Russia fairly sympathetically, in a way. KGB was a rival “law enforcement” organization of sorts going after same international criminals rather than the enemy in many of these movies. They weren’t allowed to win, but they weren’t the bad guys either.

              1. paul

                The Harry palmer films were even more strongly sympathetic.
                The caine/homolka interactions were rather affectionate and respectful.

                Funeral in berlin was rather wallersteinish world system.

                Billion dollar brain was great, if a little too optimistic.

                1. rowlf

                  Harry Palmer and Colonel Stok sharing common interests to achieve their goals. I liked that part in the books and in the movies. In the books there are fun moments of political discussion where neither one believes their governments are perfect.

                  In a way like in the movie Hopscotch where Miles Kendig prefers Yaskov as he knows how Yaskov thinks, Palmer and Stok prefer each other’s professionalism.

                2. LifelongLib

                  Liked “The Ipcress File”, the rest not so much. Among other things it caught how it feels to work in a government bureaucracy. And Palmer was an enlisted man and convicted felon with the constant threat of military prison hanging over his head, unlike the privileged Bond. Can’t imagine Bond cooking for anybody either…

                  1. paul

                    perhaps give them another look, BDB has out of control,hackable cybernetics and germ warfare, evangeligal liberalism as well as both cold war and office politics.

                    …and all of them,from Furie to Russell looked and worked beautifully.

                    And both had servants of the people (caine/homolka) trying to do their best.

                    1. paul

                      If you liked the ipcrees file over the others, ‘The Bank Job‘ should be right up your street.

                      Created by a pair of talented and prolific comedy writers ,Clement and La Frenais, who saw and heard a little more than they should.

                    2. LifelongLib

                      Rewatched “Funeral in Berlin”. Liked it better than before :) . Thanks for “The Bank Job” recommendation.

            2. The Rev Kev

              You also had the TV series “The Man from UNCLE” which depicted a UN organization to fight international organizations. The heroes were a guy from the CIA, another from the KGB and both working under a British Chief-


              Such a premise would be totally forbidden nowadays of course. It would not be allowed.

              1. paul

                While I remain in my childhood awe of napoleon solo, I was jarred by ilya kuryian’s appearance on the the bbc’s Terry wogan show, when he explained he had to flee the UK due to the malignant poison of ‘socialism’.

                His intensity at this infection was quite dramatic.

                That was my first step in separating performer and art.

                I am buoyed that napoleon went on to greater things, and was a kennedy assination nut.

        1. Petter

          Re everyone freaked out in UK over Diana’s death:
          Did everyone really freak out over her death or was that the expectation and people then lived up to the expectation? Thinking back to the news coverage – a nation drowning in tears.

          1. paul

            Not really, but many were,even the royal family were ambivalent in the first few days until damage limitation was mobilised.

            Classic Sir Anthony Charles Lynton Blair KG on his people’s princess flannel:

            In his 2010 autobiography, A Journey, Blair recounted that the phrase “now sounds like something from another age. And corny. And over the top. And all the rest of it. But at the time it felt natural and I thought, particularly, that she would have approved” ……. Blair had prepared the statement with Alastair Campbell, the Downing Street Press Secretary and Prime Minister’s Official Spokesperson, and had written it on the back of an envelope.[5]

            1. paul

              I should have said:

              the royal family were ambivalent in the first few days until damage limitation was mobilised in the face of an elton johnslaught.

          2. Lambert Strether

            > Did everyone really freak out over her death or was that the expectation and people then lived up to the expectation?

            I was in London at the time, and I remember going past the fences that surround Buckingham palace — literally a mile or so of wreaths and bouquets, piled high. (No teddy bears or balloons, IIRC. The UK is not the US.)

            So I think the grief was real.

            1. Stephen

              It probably was real grief. Even affected my own father. I was unaffected but was not there.

              I see it as a mass formation, which is still consistent with people experiencing real grief. Any mass formation needs a scapegoat too and much of the Royal Family provided that.

              And that is kind of the point. George VI died much younger than he ought to have done. No public mass outpouring of grief. Mourning yes but not the mega reaction that took place in 1997.

              The UK of 1997 behaved very differently to the UK of 1952. Stiff upper lip gone. Emotion now the norm.

        2. Pibb

          How the morons in Whitehall can agree to suicide our economy, our country, our seniors and destroy small businesses for some corrupt autocratic shell of a country like Ukraine is beyond us.

          God speed Vladimir Putin and his troops.
          Mr. Putin, please finish the job quickly.

      3. ArvidMartensen

        If you look at how Britain is playing out right now, Brexit must be factored in. I don’t know what the point of Brexit really was, and assume it was nothing to do with the narrative sold to the voters.
        Is it really just for US looting and also making a US security bridgehead into Europe? Only time will reveal to us lesser beings what the chess game is really all about.
        But if it has been just a security state/military takeover, that would not surprise me.

        1. paul

          I think the big idea is flooding:

          a technique in behavior therapy in which the individual is exposed directly to a maximum-intensity anxiety-producing situation or stimulus, either described or real, without any attempt made to lessen or avoid anxiety or fear during the exposure.

          from stupedia:

          The advantage to flooding is that it is quick and usually effective. There is, however, a possibility that a fear may spontaneously recur…..Flooding therapy is not for every individual, and the therapist will discuss with the patient the levels of anxiety they are prepared to endure during the session.

          Sounds like a lot of repeat business, the best kind of of business, to me.

        2. Stephen

          I believe Brexit was about independence. Whether that worked or was realistic is a very different discussion. But most countries want independence!

    3. Mikel

      They are getting “Enron-ed.”
      Look Iike complete fools – like Cali did when it got royally screwed.

    4. NotTimothyGeithner

      Ive wondered how many operations have already decided to close. I figure everyone near the end of their ownership has already asked if operating during a fuel crisis is worth it, even before the bills.

      1. ambrit

        I can see it now:
        Cannibal Mom: “Junior! Stop playing with your food! There are starving children in Amherst. Now quiet down and eat your “Greens.””

    5. Ignacio

      These show how, slowly but relentlessly, when contracts reset after expiring previous term, sanctions are starting to hurt small business. A bloodbath as it looks like. End of abundance, sacrifices, the lot. The sanctions will work very well against all of us. As for the links Salvini appears as a unique example of a politician with a brain working on this issue so he deserves criticism. The problem with Salvini is that he has gotten correct only part of the equation. He is still a bloody warmonger wanting the destruction of Russia with Ukraine as collateral loss.

    6. Redlife2017

      On ITV’s This Morning (kinda like The Today Show on NBC), they had on their “Spin to Win” segment this morning…and it is bloody horrifying. You can either win 4 months of energy bills or £1,000. You can see here from about 1 min 45 sec how we are about 6 months (or less) from completely entering The Running Man timeline.

      1. Pat

        Well that is a whiplash of an article. Besides showing that things are much worse in Britain than in Russia, they try to dig out of the hole by saying that the sanctions are slowly destroying the Russian economy it just hasn’t been long enough, but they’ll be shattered. (Britain will be rubble by then but it will work.) Then they double back and try to point out how sanctions are affecting Russians, no MacBooks and Rolls Royces and having to buy fashionable clothing via circuitous routes really aren’t going to do it for most of the readers but they try. Will it be enough to save them from being called Russia’s lapdogs, we’ll see.

        Meanwhile Truss is continuing to promise tax cuts…

        1. Daniil Adamov

          It’s a very interesting article. Actually, they are not saying that. They are citing various British figures who say that and then show that maybe it’s so, and maybe it isn’t, but so far they’re not seeing it. The quotes may well be for protection against criticism, yeah. (Also note that Michael Clarke told them that he expects things to get worse for us, but it depends on the price of energy. I wouldn’t bet that it will drop in the next few years.)

          (Personally I also haven’t noticed much hardship, though according to the liberal economists in above-ground Russian media, utter collapse is always three months away and has been so since February. Prices have risen a little and some things have gone missing, but that’s about it so far. Who knows what the future will bring, of course.)

      2. Maxwell Johnston

        An interesting summary. I’m actually in Moscow all this week, so I’m observing things for myself. Next week when I’m back in Italy, time allowing, I’ll post a comment summarizing my observations for the benefit of NC’s commentariat. Early report: so far (after 2 days), I’m quite struck by how normal everything is. Prices are up, but otherwise not much has changed in six months.

      3. Revenant

        Yes, I sent this to Lambert last night in the hope it would become a link.

        The accompanying article in the Sun had some halfhearted argument that Russia economy only *appears* to be OK and it will collapse next year. It side stepped that point that the UJ’s is collapsing right now and the winner is the last man standing!

        I think the Sun sees which way the wind is blowing – its readership will remember that price graphic, of the concrete material benefits of being Russia and not the Calvinist reasoning why it won’t pay in the hereafter to feel good in this life….

        1. Revenant

          The other article that needs a bigger promotion is the Ukrainian War First Day of School link above. The title seriously undersells it!

          Russia allegedly sent the Ukraine and the multilateral organisations all the precise GPS coordinates of every school in the occupied territories, demanding they safeguard them from Ukronazi targeting….

          Bold. Very bold.

  4. DJG, Reality Czar

    I’m wondering who Hannah Roberts, the ostensible Rome correspondent at Politico, is. She seems not to have a biog on the Politico site. Hmmm.

    So she repeats conventional wisdom, including quoting Luigi Di Maio, whose party is currently polling at 0,5 percent. He’s watching his career evaporate.

    First, Salvini’s Lega isn’t “far right,” although he personally is somewhat Trumpy. The Lega has evolved into a branch of the U.S. Republican party. Some people claim that a few high-profile Leghisti like Luca Zaia, “governor” of Veneto, are pretty much Christian Democrats who found themselves homeless. (Not as if I’m going to vote for these clowns.)

    Yet: Salvini is correct (for once). The sanctions are doing harm and should be re-thought. I’d argue that they should be eliminated.

    Fatto Quotidiano reports today on a poll: 51 percent of Italians are against the sanctions.

    And they are not all named Vladimiro and Vladimira Putin. I suspect that the Italians have known for months that the proxy war as tactic, Ukraine as motherlode of corruption, and sanctions as self-licking cono di gelato are all one big truffa.

    1. jsn

      I don’t want to go too far down the definitional rabbit hole, but how is “becoming a branch of the US Republican Party” not far right?

      Ds&Rs have always agreed to never let the proles have anything approaching the level of Socialism actually extant across the EU.

      The Ds are center right for a EU party leaving no place but far open for the Rs.

      1. ArvidMartensen

        If you take away all of the PR fluff around identity politics that the Democrats use in the US to gull voters, then the Democrats and the Republicans are two heads of the same hydra which is moving constantly to the right.
        And Bernie Sanders is a shill for the Democrats to funnel all the idealistic young into voting for the next gerontocratic Democrat figurehead. He did it for 2016. Then again for 2020. And now he’s having another go for 2024.

    1. timbers

      I just raised rent on my tenant for the first time ever, by 5% effective Nov 1, citing expected HUGE increases in electricity cost this winter due to sanctions on Russia. He replied no problem. He likes it toasty warm in winter and the heat is electrical (mine is natural gas). My electrical bills last year caught my attention each month being so high, and expect them to be much higher this year. Ditto for gas heat.

      1. Aumua

        Ha ha well my rent was raised 20% in the past 6 months, citing “market value”. I pay my own electric bill. So as much as I might fault you for participating in the rent extraction economy, if I have to have a landlord I sure do wish it was you.

  5. DJG, Reality Czar

    Premonitions: The Premonitions Bureau

    The article is worth your while. It is an interesting description of one doctor and two journalists who were on to something. The question is what.

    From a Jungian view, synchronicity and the collective unconscious allow access to events. I have a book that includes images and a description from Jung: A girl of about twelve drew a series of pictures and reported dreams. Jung recognized when she died that the images and dreams were portrayals of her death. The unconscious knew.

    When I was living in Chicago, now and again, I’d find cards on the sidewalk. It’s hard not to attach significance to an Ace of Wands (a powerful and benevolent card) from the tarot that one chances on in the street. How does an ace escape the deck? Cards on the sidewalk happened to me often enough that I knew that something was up. Like Dr. Barker, I couldn’t go much farther than that.

    It’s always something. We just don’t know what the something is.

      1. Vandemonian

        Happened to me, too, while I was still working. I called it “the psychic switchboard”.

        Nobody rings me now…

      2. John Zelnicker

        Back in my salad days, I had a knack for calling or visiting friends at certain propitious moments (no details for legal reasons). I had no specific reason for contacting them at that particular time and had no idea that it was ideal for my purposes, but it happened often enough that my friends commented on my bird-dogging ability.

      3. Pat

        My secret intuition isn’t particularly valuable anymore. I was amazing at finding just the right book or article when I was doing a report, even when it was supposedly missing in the library. (I have had librarians in high school, university and multiple city libraries ask me where I found books.)

        I am also a big believer in listening to your gut and/or the hackles on the back of your neck. There have been multiple occasions in my life where my gut dropping to the floor made me more aware of my surroundings so I could take precautions, which meant I didn’t end up hurt or worse. I don’t know if it it is intuition or just the subconscious processing more information than your conscious mind is, but it is real and valuable.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > I was amazing at finding just the right book or article when I was doing a report, even when it was supposedly missing in the library

          I thought I didn’t have a secret intuition, but this is mine too. I remember going into the university library for find a quote for the debate team and finding it without using the card catalog, in a set of journals I’d never read. The kicker is that I wasn’t even in the section of the stacks I thought I was in.

      4. mrsyk

        I have a friend who for one summer always and only showed up if I had a pizza in the oven. It was uncanny and hilarious.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      A worth-the-time book on the subject is The Science of Channeling: Why you should trust your intuition & embrace the force that connects us all, by Helané Wahbeh. The author grew up in family of trance channelers and became one herself. She embarked on a career in academic psychology where embracing such notions are career killers but grew tired of the “double life” and signed up as the Director of Research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. This is the outfit the late astronaut Edgar Mitchell founded because of the visions (or whatever you call them) he experienced while returning from the Moon during the Apollo 14 mission. The author cites dozens of studies that have shown non-random results when testing various forms of “channeling,” a category of experience types of which she lists many.

      1. Petter

        “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

    2. David

      If you regard time as the structure which we limited mortals have managed to impose on eternity, then you can accept that, in eternity, everything happens at the same “time”, therefore there’s no “time” as such, and no past, present or future. That being so, if you have the slightest access to eternity, as some people seem to, you will naturally see things which our limited understanding considers to be “in the future.”

      1. witters

        “If you regard time as the structure which we limited mortals have managed to impose on eternity, then you can accept that, in eternity, everything happens at the same “time”, therefore there’s no “time” as such, and no past, present or future.”

        Medieval Theology! It’s there in Spinoza too.

    3. ArvidMartensen

      I went through a period of foretelling deaths to the day of people I knew but wasnt geographically close to. Not fun.
      My father did the same for people he didnt know eg people in burning buildings, plane crashes. Not fun.
      When he was dying I put out a plea to the universe to leave me alone this time. Seemed to work.
      Where did this come from? No idea. neither of us religious either.

      1. ArvidMartensen

        Only benefit was he told me the year before he got sick that he was going to die the next year and had known since he was a kid. I took him seriously too. And he was right.

  6. Mikel

    “Moment of truth in the Ukraine war” Indian Punchline

    “…The Biden Administration is asking Congress to approve another $11.7 billion in aid..”

    People I n the US won’t even be allowed to have choices in an election that would end this foolery.
    And they think they’re fighting or “sacrificing” democracy.
    I wouldn’t even look at a candidate unless they were against this mess.

    1. Lucy Cooke

      Support [give money] to Mathew Hoh, running for Senate/Green Party in North Carolina.
      from his website,
      “I went to war 3 times as a US Marine and a diplomat before realizing the courage to pronounce these wars as unjust and immoral. In 2009 I resigned from the State Department over the surge of troops to the war in Afghanistan, and started speaking out against the endless war machine and the growing rot in our political system.

      I realized that the oligarchs who control the US government had been waging war on working class people and our planet at the same time they were waging endless war abroad.
      I love this country. I love our people, and I see them suffering. We need real change now.”

      As I see it, we who care about the insane militarized foreign policy of the Progressive and Establishment Democrats and Establishment Republicans and their insane passion for their proxy war with Russia…
      WE MUST SUPPORT any sane candidate who has a better vision for the future.

      I am supporting Hoh and even making/putting up a sign supporting Hoh, though I live in CA.
      The sign is meant to send a message challenging neighbors who have signs supporting a truly unimpressive, candidate, probably recruited by the dimwit CA Democratic Establishment because he is
      an Iraq veteran.

      Some commenter somewhere, likened Democrats to Uvalde cops.
      I like that.
      Those of us who want a decent future for America AND THE WORLD,
      we have got TO DO STUFF, take risks, not be afraid to lose, or afraid of Republican wins.
      We need to let those Democrats know that they are expendable, until the Democratic Party changes its values.
      Democrats, Progressive and otherwise have got to be punished for supporting the insanity of this proxy war with Russia.

      I would appreciate being told of any other sane, competent candidates who stand against this proxy war and the US insanely militarized foreign policy

  7. Louis Fyne

    re Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom’s thread

    1. the barn door has closed on Kim’s sensible proposal, it would have been snatched up by Putin in Feb. Not now. Too much Russian blood (even if, hypothetically, it under 10,000 Russian dead) has been shed for the Russian hawks to be mollified with a half-victory. (Putin is a moderate compared to the real hawks in Russian)

    2. Germany/Scholz/the ruling coalition believes EU’s own propaganda, that is their biggest problem.

    3. I’m always skepitcal of pundits who claim the US has some 4-D chess, Sun Tzu “great game strategy,” ie US wants to see Germany destroyed.

    DC just stumbles from policy to policy, improvising along the way. There is no US geopolitical master plan from Biden or the bureaucracy. Just discrete fifedoms discreetly pursuing their own ambitions. And Biden is the perfect weak president for the fifedoms to each have their own way

    then thrown on a healthy dash of pride, arrogance, hubris and intellectual blinders.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      3. I wouldn’t call it a strategy, but I don’t think the US can sit by and tolerate agreements or other actions being made without direct input. It will seek to destroy any potential arrangement. Ex. We promised the EU lng we can’t possibly supply.

    2. Dftbs

      You’re correct it is too late. But in addition to timing, I don’t think the German government has the sovereign agency ascribed to it by Kim.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Ex-vice-admiral Schoenbach can’t have been the only person in German higher echelons (political, military and civil service) to think what’s best for Germany. I believe that the potential for sovereign agency is there, but people in position to affect it are scared that in this situation any independent action may swing the pendulum too far and take Germany further away from USA than they would be comfortable with.

        It would also bring about a parliamentary crisis, given the extreme russophobia of the Greens and how they have declared “Ukraine über Alles”.

        1. Dftbs

          I absolutely think there are many Germans that are thinking of the German national interest. But the structures of their Republic are subordinated to supranational interests, by political agreements to the EU, economic bondage to the Dollar system via the Euro, and militarily occupation via the US military and NATO.

          I won’t be disappointed to be proven wrong about their capacity for independent action, but I don’t believe it exists within the political confines of the Federal Republic.

        2. Tom Stone

          As far as “Doing what’s best for Germany”, any other EU Country or the “Shining city on the Hill”…Erm.
          Five Eyes.
          Does the phrase “Six ways from Sunday” ring a bell?.
          There’s a big stick and a varying number of carrots for the “Deciders”.
          “Silver or Lead” is how it is sometimes put..

    3. anon in so cal

      Agree, although in terms of policy, US actions in Ukraine, Syria, etc. seem to fairly closely follow the blueprint/summary presented in RAND’s, “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia.”

      BTW, Rand issued this statement once people remarked:

      “Editor’s Note, April 2022: We encourage you to explore this research brief and the full report that it is based on. However, because Russian state media entities and individuals sympathetic to Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine have mischaracterized this research in recent weeks, we also encourage you to explore this helpful resource on Russia’s “firehose of falsehood” approach to propaganda and our research on “Truth Decay,” which is a phenomenon that is driven in part by the spread of disinformation.”

    4. LifelongLib

      “There is no US geopolitical master plan…”

      That’s because the U.S. has no great geographic or strategic situation that defines its foreign policy for decades or centuries. We are not an island nation like Britain, sandwiched between potential enemies like Germany, or wide open to invasion from the west like Russia.

      “DC just stumbles from policy to policy, improvising along the way” because (unlike most other nations) it can afford to…

      1. Daniil Adamov

        Exactly this. US elites can afford to pursue whatever nonsense they want, whether it is ideological crusades, self-enrichment, attempts to play the Great Game, or all three at once. As far as I can tell, they risk no real consequences for failure, and so have no incentives to get smarter. Those who die as a result of their decisions, including American soldiers, are not so lucky.

      2. Kouros

        Full spectrum dominance. US to be unchallenged by no one, and avoid the rise of any other power on the par with the soviets, or worst…

  8. The Rev Kev

    Just when you think that things can’t get any worse-

    ‘Liz Truss becomes new UK prime minister’

    ‘British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has been chosen to lead the Conservative Party and become the new prime minister.

    The winner of the two-month race between Truss and former finance minister Rishi Sunak was announced on Monday by Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs.’

    A person has become the UK PM who is so geographically challenged, it is surprising that she can find her way out of a car park.

    1. .Tom

      Presumably the plan is, after a suitable period, and assuming Labor maintains its commitment to being the wish-washy faction of the Conservative party, Truss will look so bad that BoJo can make a comeback.

      1. paul

        Perhaps even worse,though were talking fine margins, gideon osborne, might reclaim the sword, that he might slough his ‘oik’ scales.

  9. LawnDart

    While not a fan of Chomsky, I do agree with this observation– most Westerners do not counsume a balanced diet of news: what we hear is whistling outside of the graveyard where empires are burried.

    Factchecking the Factchecker on Chomsky, Russia and Media Access

    Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, US-based media platforms have made an extraordinary effort to cut Western audiences off from news from a Russian perspective. When social critic Noam Chomsky pointed out how unprecedented this was, Newsweek‘s “factchecker” (7/26/22) declared his criticism “clearly untrue”—a determination that did more to confirm the ideological strictures of US media than to debunk them.

    For people who can only learn through direct and personal experience, it seems that Europeans will be the first to confront the chasm between their own realities and the reality crafted by the state-friendly medias.

  10. Lex

    The degradation of American politics: everyone’s someone’s enemy of the state and the other side is always dangerous fascists.

    At this point, I consider both parties dangerous fascists and both parties enemies of the state if we define the state as the population and the roll of the state being to improve the lives of the population. I assume the dem politicians looking for my vote and dem family and friends will enjoy my thorough rebuttals based on their support for fascism abroad. If not, at least I’ll enjoy it.

    1. hunkerdown

      If you define the state as the population, you’re at once engaging in material reductionism beyond the point of utility, erasing the actual relations that form a state rather than a council or a workgroup, obfuscating the nature of property, and promoting neoliberal ideology. Petulant entitlement is not a philosophy of law to anyone but the Open Society Foundation, and they can go to hell.

      If you define the role of the state as to “improve” the population, you are naturalizing Puritan ideology and imposing the religion of capitalist moralism on other people, and who are you to? I am NOT your familyblogging feedstock.

      1. Lex

        If a state is a democracy (or utilizes any form of population representation) how can the state not be the population? Is it not “of, for and by the people”? And while I may have been unclear in my language, you’re clearly putting your own ideas to my words. The role of the state is to improve the lives of the population, not improve the population.

        Now, I don’t believe the US is a democracy or even a representative government because the majority of the population is obviously unrepresented. And I’ve long thought the US constitution is a worthless document that wasn’t even cutting edge political science in the 18th century. But obviously you understand my real beliefs better than I do and I’m clearly a puritan work ethic type neoliberal. Thankfully for you I’ve given up participating in the US political system via voting so you needn’t worry about the effect of my perverted neoliberalism affecting any elections.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Russia’s Sberbank to sell off sanctions-hit Swiss subsidiary”

    I suppose that it is like running a business and you have a customer that is not only a pain to deal with but who takes time away from good customers. And such seems to be the case with Switzerland and Russia. Switzerland had a neutrality policy that dated back to 1815 when Napoleon was defeated and it was reckoned as the oldest policy of military neutrality in the world. But now, not only have they abandoned this nearly two centuries long policy but have taken so many actions against Russian interest, that the Russians have put them on their list of ‘Unfriendly Countries.’ Having spent some time in Switzerland, this turn around came very much as a surprise. The pity is that they could have been neutral ground for negotiations between Russia and the Ukraine but that is no longer possible. I wonder if this will have further knock-on effects to the Swiss diplomatically-

    1. vao

      I wonder if this will have further knock-on effects to the Swiss diplomatically

      It already had. The on-going “Syrian constitutional committee” has <a href="I wonder if this will have further knock-on effects to the Swiss diplomatically It already had. The on-going “Syrian constitutional committee” has postponed indefinitely its next session because Russia no longer accepts Geneva as a proper neutral place to hold negotiations.”>postponed indefinitely its next session because Russia no longer accepts Geneva as a proper neutral place to hold negotiations.

      Switzerland is making a serious mistake in placing itself so blatantly on one side of a conflict, but as I already mentioned, there are several factors that explain its current position.

      1. paul

        Just shows how far a few bob spent on political engineering can go.

        West of the brave ukaranian kleptocracy, if there is an atlanticist sceptic,let alone critic,adjacent to power, left ,, I am eager to hear about them.

  12. Old Sovietologist

    “Moment of truth in the Ukraine war” .

    Ambassador MK Bhadrakumar is correct we are at a pivotal point.

    In B’ latest post – Zelensky is going for broke and prepared sacrifice up to 20K dead and 40k wounded on the offensive.

    The Ukrainian Kherson counteroffensive is a real Hail Mary play. Will it work? If they are prepared to use that much cannon fodder its not impossible.

    1. Louis Fyne

      sending middle-ages conscripts across open terrain with no air cover, little artillery cover, little tank support.

      Charge of the Light Brigade 2022, without the valiant prose.

      Biden, VonLeyden and Scholz thanks Ukraine for their service.

      1. ambrit

        The politicos who are “engineering” this debacle are thinking strictly short time horizon. What happens next year when all those traumatized Ukrainian ‘survivors’ of the Ukraine Russia War return home? Plus, they return home to a rump country enmeshed in a Depression with a capital ‘D’? The closest analogue this admittedly cynical observer can think of is Weimar Germany after the end of WW-1.
        If the present trajectory carries on, History may not repeat, but it will be singing in close harmony.

        1. Amateur Socialist

          When I imagine bitter traumatized broken Ukranian ‘survivors’ I can’t help thinking of the weapons gone disappeared into the military of the most corrupt country in Europe. The broken Germans at the end of WW1 didn’t have access to the dark web etc.

          Some survivors will likely end up refugees in other countries. Will some of NATO’s lost/stolen weaponry accompany or follow them? They won’t need to build IEDs they can just use the ones off NATO shelves. The mind reels.

        2. hk

          Not Germany, which, for all it’s losses, remained a latent great power after WW1. Maybe Paraguay after it’s war against Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay?

          1. ambrit

            Ouch! The arms industry made a lot of money off of that conflict. So, I can see Davos Man as saying; “Hey. It’s all good.”

        3. Bart Hansen

          “What happens next year when all those traumatized Ukrainian ‘survivors’ of the Ukraine Russia War return home?”

          Many of the survivors will be returning women, and as in Blazing Saddles when the sheriff asks “where the white women at?”, they will ask where our husbands at?

            1. paul

              The ones they lived in when president t shirt vowed, as a servant of the people, to normalise relations with russia.

              Normalising is a very vague term, I admit.

      2. Polar Socialist

        Cut them some slack, they did sent mountain troops first, and middle-ages conscripts only after running out of troops proper.

        The New Atlas [via Youtube] from yesterday is really worth watching. Brian Berletic also explains the concept of Russian Battalion Tactical Group way better than I’ve been trying to.

        He doesn’t quite get into how Russian doctrine uses maneuver warfare also in defense (as in, static defense will always fail), but describes the principles nicely.

        1. The Rev Kev

          We’ve been hearing for weeks now how when the Russians finally free the Donbass, that for hundreds of kilometers it is just cow country with few natural defenses for them to advance through. I think that Kherson is showing us how that will look like as it too is mostly flat lands.

          I saw one Russian clip of a few Ukrainian armoured vehicles and a coupla dozen troops going into the attack and I wanted to shout at them not to bunch up like they were but to extend themselves out lest they attract Russian artillery but of course it was too late.

      3. Old Sovietologist

        I was thinking more First World War but your Charge of the Light Brigade 2022 is probably even more apt.

        1. Louis Fyne

          only 16% of the Light Brigade got killed, UA units (allegedly) will not be so lucky.

          supposedly 70%+ casualty rates in some units

          1. Tom Bradford

            And the Light Brigade did take the Russian artillery battery it attacked. The debacle of the ‘Charge’ was that it was the result of carelessness and bad communication from above. They were supposed to encircle the battlefield and come at another battery from behind but a ‘misunderstanding’ caused them to charge the wrong battery from the front across open ground with the inevitable consequences.

      4. Tom Stone

        If you want valiant prose about all them glorious deaths read contemporary accounts of the Somme, Tarawa or the Hurtgen Forest.
        This offensive joins a long list.
        Fine, noble lies about the slaughter of young men out of hubris and stupidity.
        “If any question why we died,tell them, our Fathers lied.”

        1. Tom Bradford

          From what I’m hearing about the war it seems to me that, on the Ukrainian side at least, we’re having yet another example of lions led by donkeys. The Ukrainian front-line troops are putting up a very creditable fight against the Russians with their huge advantage in artillery and almost complete air superiority, and suffering hugely as a result. And their courage is being abused and squandered by the asinine politicians safe in far away Kiev selling “The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.” (per Wilfred Owen)

          1. paul

            there is brave, stupid and coerced.

            There is a considerable cohort of healthy ukranians who have chosen to relocate well behind the frontlines in the previously inaccessible EU fortress.

            Who is going to be first to repatriate them as servants of the tv producer and his reality conflict?

    2. Michaelmas

      Old Sovietologist: If they are prepared to use that much cannon fodder its not impossible.

      Someone might have made the same remark about the Mahdi’s forces at Omdurman, I suppose.

      To quote Field Marshal Erwin Rommel: “Anyone who has to fight even the most modern weapons with the enemy, dominating the air, will fight like a savage against the European colonial troops, in the same conditions and with the same chances of victory.”

      And the Ukrainian forces have no air support, AFAIK. Yes, the Russians are operating under some constraints in that respect, as we went back and forth about the other day. But the Ukrainians are naked on the ground under the sky against the Russian artillery, missiles, and such air power as Russia does put up there.

      1. Tom Stone

        The Poor Bloody Infantry, again.
        If it was Nazi’s being slaughtered I’d be fine with it, but almost all the dying will be by poor schmucks with training that amounts to ” Hold it this way, the bullet thingy comes out the skinny end”.
        If you needed more evidence that most human “leaders” are psychopaths and always have been…

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          Yesterday on NC there were reports of Ukrainian children undergoing military training as well as Nazi indoctrination. Don’t assume that the children being used as cannon fodder won’t know how to fight. They may prove to be more capable than you can imagine. They can die like adults too.

          1. paul

            They will be transubstantiated into PR fodder.

            The algorithm being:

            Our children will fight to the end

            Our children have been killed by Russia

            Send more money to be stolen weapons and guns to keep this happening, as we are running out of young and old servants of the people (the people at the top,far from enemy lines).

    3. The Rev Kev

      The idea seems to be to throw just regular troops at the Russians for several days and when the Russians are worn down, then professional Ukrainian or foreign troops are sent in for a breakthrough. Well, you may get a breakthrough but then where are the troops that you will need to throw into that breach and exploit it? Bring them back from all those chocked hospitals?

      There is a NATO Military Chiefs of Defence conference coming up in ten days time in Estonia so perhaps the point of this offensive is to convince NATO to keep on throwing money and weapons into the Ukraine to bleed the Russians – while skimming off a big chunk of that money for discreet bank accounts-

    4. LawnDart

      I have no doubt that the Russians themselves will do as much as they can to encourage Zelinsky to feed more of his forces into that meat-grinder, even by allowing him enough “tactical victories” to maintain a delusional hope for success. We see the same principle at play in our casinos every day.

      When Ukie forces are spent, which will be long before this fact is politically acknowledged by Kiev, it’ll then be a quick sprint into Odessa for Russian forces and their Odessian militias. And once Russia takes Odessa, they sure as heck aren’t giving that up at any negotiating-table.

    5. Louis Fyne

      reportedly (from RU social media), the no-man’s land between RU and UA are miles/kms wide, at times with entire villages inside that twilight zone; and with the RU “front-line” sparsely manned with their real line of contact deeper on their side.

      So the reports of early UA success in the Kherson against RU is entirely true, but those forces faced zero opposition.

      As a comment above notes, RU makes extensive use of mobile reserves. Once RU gets a sense of the size of the opposition, the mobile reserves hit back with a vengenance. Lots of UA dead for a meaningless 1,000 meters of territory.

      We may be seeing the key battle of the war right now as UA seems to be throwing everything towards Kherson, including their latest NATO tank shipments. UA will have no organized professional units remaining after this battle concludes.

      1. Stephen

        Sounds a little like German WW1 defence in depth tactics where they also deliberately thinned out the front line and engaged in tactical retreats.

    6. Ignacio

      IMO Kherson counterattack was a pre-condition for the next pack of billions approved a couple of days later by the US. Zelensky pleasing his masters… err… the donors.

      1. Tom Stone

        If 70% of supplies sent to Ukraine are pilfered that amount to quite a few weapons hitting a variety of markets at steadily improving prices.
        Corruption is very well organized inn Ukraine and those in any position of power have been making hay while the sun shines.
        And as the idea of “Winning” the war with Russia becomes more laughable those with the ability to do so will be maximizing their retirement funds.
        Lotsa Gunz, but even nice M4’s with ACOG and Suppressor for $2,400 isn’t that big a deal.
        Lotsa NLaws and Lotsa Stingers.
        Those will likely need some refurbishment, especially the NLaws, however that’s not likely to be difficult in most cases.
        I’d expect the Stingers to bring a better price than the NLaws because they are more easily portable and are a mature weapon system.
        There will be two major sources for these systems, corrupt Ukrainian officials and Russia’s Secret Service ( FSB?).
        I wouldn’t be surprised at all if some of these nasties showed up in Puerto Rico or with the Aryan Brotherhood.
        The Cartels might buy in bulk.
        There is no shortage of buyers…
        Remember that US and EU arsenals have been emptied of these weapons, we are talking in the thousands.
        And likely 70% are entering the Black Market.
        What could go wrong?

    7. lyman alpha blob

      I’m no Sun Tzu, but advertising your counteroffensive against a militarily superior opponent for weeks in advance doesn’t sound like a winning strategy to me.

      1. OnceWereVirologist

        I don’t think there was ever any chance that the Ukrainians could both conceal their troop movements and plug intelligence leaks sufficiently well as to achieve a surprise attack so might as well announce it as not, if it has some propaganda value.

    8. Stephen

      The US has form with getting the citizens of other countries killed fighting its wars. I recall a statistic that 50k Afghan National Army soldiers died in the last few years of that conflict.

      However, 20k in a few days is more like Battle of The Somme territory.

      1. Vandemonian

        I was re-reading Harold Pinter’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech yesterday:

        This paragraph seems particularly relevant today:

        It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

  13. LawnDart

    China: amid the turmoil, making moves to capture high-value market-share.

    Premier stresses need to nurture higher-quality products

    BEIJING — Premier Li Keqiang on Sept 1 called for efforts to boost the quality of Chinese products amid market competition and nurture more competitive products, in a bid to better cater to people’s needs.

    China will adopt a zero-tolerance approach toward products with quality and safety issues, and will take steps to boost the efficiency of services, Premier Li said.

    I guess that for historical precedent look no further than Japan, Korea, and Taiwan– all once known as purveyors of cheap crap.

  14. Martín

    Chileans reject new, progressive constitution NPR

    And there it goes. The result of a tone-deaf conventional constitution, where not dialogue but monologue was the rule.

    Saddest part? Watching the parents of this still-born blame it on anything and everyone but themselves. This could be a moment for growth for the left, acknowledging mistakes, listening and understanding what Chileans are asking for (and what they are NOT asking for). Plurinationality wokeness was sent down the drain yesterday. How many more times will it have to be dismissed again remains to be seen.

      1. Martín

        There is a lot to it, and I have not yet seen a good analysis. You could try this video for starters (try translated subtitles if you don’t speak spanish).

        Content-wise, it had a couple of big issues: the way power was distributed and managed among governmental institutions was ripe for abuse (talking about stuff like having politicians as part of the highest staff for the Council of Justice, the proposed new justice system). And the focus on indigenous people, minorities, and decentralization was so strong that it failed to create a sense of unity, it had a very divisive approach.

        Furthermore, the constitutional convention that wrote the proposed constitution was run by individuals, and many of them didn’t rise up to the challenge. One of them lied about having cancer (after getting pity-elected for a seat), other took a vote while having a shower, a couple used to dress up on costumes, indigenous ones behaved as separatists claiming a new mapuche state, and many, many more. The whole thing was quite a circus, and tainted the proposed constitution.

        The end result was so bad that in communities were +90% identify themselves as indigenous, the “rechazo” vote won in a landslide (+85%). When asked about what to make of it, the Director for the National Indigenous Corporation answered that the indigenous population “didn’t understand the text”, implying that the indigenous people can’t read or are stupid somehow. And this is the approach that nearly everyone on the left has taken: not questioning their views (the proposed text is a gathering of sometimes moderate, and many times quite radical leftist ideology) but instead believing that people are stupid, or were duped.

        Oh and also that one time on a closing “apruebo” act, an “artist” pulled a chilean flag from inside their anus (think full-on display), proceded to unfold it (think poop-blood tainted), declared “abort Chile” and tossed the flag to the audience. This was a family event, kids and everything. That may have had something to do with it too.

    1. Old Sovietologist

      The election of Boric raised great expectations in Chilean society. The history of recent months has been one of continuous disappointments. It retained in government posts the leadership of the police, responsible for the wildest repressions against demonstrators, it continued the policy of militarizing the Indian territories in the south, it decided to keep its stake on the USA and NATO in foreign policy, criticizing Cuba internationally.

      Boric attempts appease the US State Department and Chilean right haven’t gained him anything from those groups but they have alienated many of his supporters on the left.

      The people voted against because, in their deep disappointment, they identified the draft of a new constitution with the Boric government, which was actively promoting it.

    2. Kouros

      The scaremongering of nationalizing homes was widespread apparently… It will do the trick. I heard in the past very intelligent people here in Canada claiming that NDP in power would nationalize homes…

  15. flora

    Interview with Glenn Greenwald, Reason Magazine. One bit:

    Q: How can we make sense of the political shift we are experiencing in the U.S.?

    A: The thing that makes no sense is that anybody would twice vote for Obama and then vote for Trump. How do you make sense of that if you see the world through conservatism versus liberalism? It makes perfect sense, though, if your driving ideology is not conservatism or liberalism, but contempt for the status quo and the ruling elites that safeguard it. Because that is what Obama channeled more than anything, right? “I’m an outsider. I have this funny name. I haven’t been in Washington very long. I want to change the way Washington works.” That’s exactly the message Trump nestled within his work in his own different style.

    1. Mildred Montana

      Greenwald nails it. Obama thought he could deceive tens of millions of hopeful voters without consequences. He was wrong.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        How was Obama wrong? He deceived tens of millions of voters twice. And now he has two mansions to live in gloriously. People are easily bamboozled. Hope is a narcotic.

        1. semper loquitur

          Gotta agree. I think for a narcissist like Obama, it was all about prestige, personal power, and wealth. He couldn’t care less about the mess he left for the Democrats, the 200 or so counties that abandoned them for Trump. It’s all fodder anyway, red meat for the dupes who still think the Democrats give a $hit about their needs.

    2. Pat

      I always appreciate it when someone points out that Obama is more of a con than Trump. ( I have faith that someday it will be common knowledge that Trump’s term as President with a few exceptions was better for most people than Obama’s was, which with few exceptions was terrible to dreadful for most. ) Biden’s will end up making Obama’s look good, if I am not mistaken.

      For the record this is all relative. Not one of our Presidents so far in this century have been worth a plug nickel.

      1. Bruno

        “not worth a plugged nickel”–except for the first of them, the despised Warren Harding, who freed Wilson’s political prisoners, most notably the great Eugene Debs.

        1. Pat

          I was thinking 2000-2022, although I could easily take it back another four presidents from that as well, probably further.

      2. Petter

        I always appreciate it when someone points out that Obama is more of a con than Trump>>
        But then isn’t the secret, or one of the secrets to being a good con man, faking trustworthiness?

        “If you can fake sincerity, you can fake anything.”
        Someone or other.

        Note: everyone I talked to here in Norway was sure that Obama had fixed health care with Obamacare.

  16. Solarjay

    I wonder if solar is just being used as an excuse for keeping coal plants in operation.
    Most coal plants have been replaced by gas because of them being so much cheaper to operate not because of solar. But now gas is much more expensive and it’s pretty close to coal so maybe they see gas being lots more expensive this winter and into the future? IE let’s keep the coal running.

    And solar has never really be a substitute for coal. Coal is a base load and solar is just daytime at best.
    That’s where gas turbines and solar work pretty well together.

      1. paul

        But on his churchillian return, he will still be the shiftless, shit filled and unscrupulous incompetent he was,is and always will be.

        And that is good enough for the 30ish % of the engilsh electorate he will need.

    1. .Tom

      That’s a good one from Pie. Back in the times of Brexit negotiations I regularly watched and then eventually I stopped, for no reason that I can recall.

    2. skippy

      As Pie noted she was elected in an Athenian like democracy of corporatist share holders [absentee] which experience a completely different reality than 90+ everyone else. Hence the “they’re not normal people like I am.” perspective e.g. rational agent maximizing utility homo economicus thingy.

  17. TroyIA

    According to the people I follow on Twitter this is a good thing because it shows that sanctions are hurting Russia. Why else would they demand that sanctions are lifted? I like Europeans but the delusions they have about Russia and energy is just astonishing.

    Russia switches off Europe’s main gas pipeline until sanctions are lifted

    Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at

    Russia’s gas supplies to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline will not resume in full until the “collective west” lifts sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin has said.

    Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, blamed EU, UK and Canadian sanctions for Russia’s failure to deliver gas through the key pipeline, which delivers gas to Germany from St Petersburg via the Baltic sea.

    “The problems pumping gas came about because of the sanctions western countries introduced against our country and several companies,” Peskov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. “There are no other reasons that could have caused this pumping problem.”

    1. digi_owl

      Because most get their understanding of Russia through MSM, and those in turn have unified behind the image of Putin as the great modern day satan.

      I just recently read a correspondents letter that made me wonder if he has even lived in Russia these last few years, as it was simply echoing the talking points of the front page headlines. No nuance, nothing. Just a general puzzlement about “how Russia could lose its way so drastically after doing so well” in the early 2000s.

      And what i noticed is that it all hinges on Crimea. As if Putin got out of bed that morning and decided to “invade” just because. No talk about Maidan or anything leading up to it. No talk about how Russia had a massive naval base on the peninsula, and thus didn’t really need to invade. Nothing.

      Frankly the attitude of the western press towards Putin seems to be the most unified it has ever been. Even during the cold war you at least had some fringe newspapers or similar pointing out that the USSR had some potential good aspects. But now it seems that those that survived into the present day are all backing the simplistic “Putin = Satan” line.

        1. digi_owl

          I really can’t figure out how we ended up with som much of the western intelligentsia worshipping her ever footstep.

          1. ambrit

            Well, there is ‘intelligentsia’ and there is “Intelligentsia.”
            Hillary’s sort plays 11 dimensional Jacks with rubber balls that slip in and out of perceptible dimensions. Then there is the Old Guard Intelligentsia that demands evidence and logical argumentation.
            Hillary lives in a transactional pocket universe.
            The rest of us live in the “Real World.”
            If all else fails, I fall back on a very old maxim; “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:16-20

    2. OnceWereVirologist

      Why else would they demand that sanctions are lifted ?

      Because Euros are worth nothing if you can’t buy anything with them. Beyond whatever volume of Euros they can launder through third parties there’s no point in continuing to flip bits in a bank account. It’s a mystery to me why anyone ever had any illusions that sanctions of this severity weren’t a prelude to the total cessation of gas flows to Europe sooner rather than later.

      1. Petter

        That’s been my thinking – that there would be a cut off of gas. I remember Putin saying back in February or March something to the effect that Europeans had forgotten what war was like, that we’d had it good for so long now. Well, the good times are over, even here in rich Norway.

      2. Stephen

        This is also perfect timing for seriously reducing or ending gas flows, I guess. Winter is coming and protests have already started.

        Telegram channels claim large scale protests today in Magdeburg and Leipzig on top of Paris and Prague over the weekend.

        And it is only the first week of September. Good time to ratchet up pressure on EU leaders. Is Russia seeking a reverse colour revolution in Europe? Tongue in cheek thought but it may not be so fanciful!

    3. kson onair

      >Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of T&Cs and Copyright Policy.

      lmao get fbed FT

  18. Dave in Austin

    Something is strange about the Ukraine Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant story. The Russians occupied the 5,700 MW plant on theDave Dnieper River early in the war. The plant still has Ukrainian operators and the majority of the power goes to unoccupied parts of the Ukraine- four million Ukrainians get power from it.

    In the past months the Ukrainians claim the Russians have fired artillery from the plant; the Russians claim the Ukrainians are firing at the plant. No damage has been done to the plant itself (which is an easy target) although nearby power lines and transformers seem to have been forced off-line by… something. The Russians have occasionally stopped sending power to the Ukrainians. The Ukrainians say shutting the plant down is dangerous. There is an element of theater here, but potentially dangerous theater.

    Two days ago UN inspectors went in via a carefully arranged deal. They came from the Ukrainian side (sovereignty issue), passed through Russian army checkpoints and drove to the plant. According to the inspectors they have “Been allowed to inspect everything”. But no comment on “Who’s shelling”.

    Today every two-bit country in the world has anti-artillery radars. They track incoming shells, calculate the trajectories and identify the origin. This makes it easy to shoot back, or, in the case of UN observers, identify who is shooting. If the UN wanted to know who was shelling, they could find out and quickly tell us. Somehow the UN observers haven’t asked a neutral country to supply the equipment. Or they have been told “You can’t use this stuff” and decided not to tell us who is saying “No”. To add to the farce, the inspectors arrived and declared “We are not leaving” as if that decision hadn’t been arranged in advance.

    This all has the air of opera boufee. And our press tells us nothing. If anyone has real information, please comment.

    1. Yves Smith

      First, as we have repeatedly said, nuclear plants generally and this one in particular are designed to withstand severe bombardment. The only parts seen as vulnerable are the refrigeration units and the operators could shut the plant down if they were damaged.

      Second, did you miss most artillery is mobile? That Ukraine has been shelling civilian Donetsk City for what, two months, and Russia is having to go through heavily bunkered lines to capture positions in shelling range as their only way to stop that from happening?

      Third, there is a school of thought that the IAEA minders were briefed on the Ukraine attack on the plants, and were told how to play along if it succeeded and have been caught off script with the failure of the Ukraine efforts to take over the plants. If that had happened, they’d also take the position (for their personal safety as well as rewriting the old story as if the new conditions had already held) that Russia was shelling.

      Fourth, as to the monitors staying, perhaps they have been persuaded this is the only way to prevent more shelling of the plant?

    2. Skip Intro

      I believe that the transfer of the plant from the Ukraine/EU grid to the Crimea/Russia grid is a relatively major undertaking that was only recently set in motion, possibly in response to Ukrainian threats to the plant, which needs to be attached to a grid to operate and shut down safely. So while the plant was attached to the EU grid, it may have been vulnerable to being cut off without sufficient notice.

      1. Polar Socialist

        ZNPP was in the Russian grid until latter half of February. As was the whole Ukrainian grid. It was temporarily decoupled from Russia in order to test it for connecting to EU, because EU operators were really, really suspicious. Ukrainian grid was scheduled to join European in 2023.

        So, after the test Ukrainian grid was supposed to resync back with Russian grid, but due to the invasion it did not. In March Ukrainian grid was hastily synchronized with EU grid, but by then ZNPP was already under Russian control. So, for all we know, the plant is synchronized with Ukrainian or Russian grid or no grid at all.

  19. spud

    the article on solar mentions difficulties in supply chains, gee, free trade, who’da ever thunk.

    this excerpt from the article explaining how important local manufacturing is, its applied to germany, but in actuality it could be any country.

    “It is estimated that each manufacturing job produces around three other jobs for people who supply raw materials or in other ways support the factory’s operations, or who sell the products, as well as those who provide goods and services to factory workers. People who get up in the morning and produce things are essentially the cornerstone of modern civilization. If Germany’s factories don’t run, that is the end of the European economy.”

    bill clintons free trade policies have destroyed americas capabilities to produce just about anything.

    free trade reduces a modern economy into a banana republic.

  20. antidlc

    RE: Ventilation
    The MASS model of community-focused architecture

    We Americans spend 90% of our time inside of buildings, yet most of us give little thought to the role architecture plays in our lives and our health. Tonight we bring you a story about a group of award-winning young architects who have set out to create a new model of architecture — not a particular style of building, but a way of thinking about how to build, who should build, using what, and for whom..

    Their nonprofit firm, based in Boston, is called MASS — short for Model of Architecture Serving Society, and they were inspired early on by the work of Dr. Paul Farmer, who passed away unexpectedly just months after our story first aired last fall. Though trained at Harvard, MASS’ founders say they learned the most important lessons of architecture during time they spent in — of all places — Rwanda.

    Michael Murphy: This entire hospital is designed around that simple idea that air flow, air movement, are the basic premise that we should design our buildings around, and in particular our hospitals so that patients don’t transmit airborne diseases to each other.
    How to Fix Air Quality in Schools In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt

    As kids head back to school, many parents and teachers worry about air quality amid viruses like COVID-19. Rather than waiting for your school’s HVAC system to get replaced, what if you could build something that circulates air to the standard of an intensive care unit room for under $100 and in less than an hour? Engineers and air quality experts Richard Corsi and Jim Rosenthal have designed just a product and teach Andy how to make one.


  21. Mikel

    “Covid app that detects virus in your voice ‘more accurate than lateral flow tests’ ”

    They never explained what makes the Covid frequency signature so unique and exactly the same in every person of varying backgrounds, geographical locations, medical histories, age, and on and on with the differences.
    Or other issues that affect the nose amd throat that are not chronic.

    Another BS app compajy are just collecting data to sell.

    Fools, bye with this mess.

  22. LawnDart

    After oil and gas, is this the next shoe to drop?

    For your consideration:

    Moscow is capable of bringing down the global financial system in one blow
    05.09.2022 16:59
    By Elena Panina

    The launch of the Moscow International Precious Metals Exchange would destroy London’s monopoly on dictating gold prices and endanger the entire global financial system based on dollar dominance.

    Such conclusions follow from an article by precious metals analyst Ronan Manley of Singapore’s BullionStar, who studied information about Moscow’s alleged implementation of its gold standard.

    Here are some of Manly’s calculations:

    The discussion of the Moscow World Standard (MWS) was initiated by the Eurasian Economic Commission. With the submission of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, the project has been discussed at various levels of the civil service and among market participants since July.

    If the project is adopted, MWS will become an alternative to the generally recognized standard of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) — the world’s main infrastructure for trading monetary gold.

    This will not only neutralize Western sanctions on Russian precious metals, which it removed from circulation this spring, but also put an end to the dominance of the LBMA (and New York’s COMEX) in determining the price of the “royal metal”.

    The participation of the EAEU regulatory body, as well as the Russian Finance Ministry’s reservation about a “new settlement unit within the BRICS member countries” suggest that Moscow’s initiative can be supported by both its post-Soviet allies and key states of the non-Western world. Including gold-producing countries that are also trying to get out from under the dictates of London and New York.

    “Let’s dig deeper: what looked like a hastily planned attempt by Russia to respond to its expulsion from the LBMA is suddenly turning into a long-term plan-with the participation of the EAEU, BRICS and SCO. Is it possible that after a sharp jump in gas and electricity prices in Europe, the ban on trading in precious metals for Russia will be another shot in the foot by the West? ” asks Ronan Manley rhetorically.

    Source: news[dash]front[dot]info

    1. The Rev Kev

      You mean that we might finally learn what the true value of gold actually is and not what the London Bullion Market Association says it is? That would be unintentionally hilarious that. If the Moscow International Precious Metals Exchange put a much higher value on gold, the UK’s LBMA & the US’s COMEX would have to follow or else people would buy it from the later and sell it on Moscow’s market. Bonus points if gold on Moscow’s market was 100% transparent and people could see exactly where their gold is and who exactly has claim on it.

      1. LawnDart

        It’d make our goldbugs batshit-crazy happy, for sure. Price-discovery and market manipulation have been hot-topics with them for something like forever.

        But before this happens, I think that the insurance-rackets will get hammered.

      2. albrt

        I am all for undermining western financial scams, but let’s not get too carried away with lionizing Russia. It may not help too much to know where your gold is stored if the guy holding the key gets pushed out a window.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Not about Russia here. I’m just an advocate for transparency whether it be gold or interest rates or any other way that you measure worth. So UK officials have admitted in the past manipulating gold prices and I have heard that stacks of gold have multiple claims on them through being sold again and again. And let us not mention gold-coated Tungsten bars. And with interest rates, do you remember the Libor scandal?

          There are other examples but those two are the first that come immediately to mind.

  23. Lexx

    It had been a long day and we went downtown for a couple of hard ciders and few games of gin, and since it was just next door I went into the drug store to buy some sweet German mustard… because really I can hardly choke a bratwurst down without the complementary condiments, like Lowensenf Bavarian style sweet and spicy mustard. The whole left wall as you walk in is loaded with German foodstuffs and the mustard was half price, so I bought 6 jars. I was told this was wise since they can’t place a wholesale order for less than $4000 and it would be a while until they placed another.

    But Frau Blucher wasn’t going to let me go without buying something more, like the sausage in the freezer she gets in from Chicago, or at least a loaf of bread. So I grabbed a loaf of light rye because she’s almost impossible to say ‘no’ to and the bread is excellent. Is it better than domestic ryes, some of those Old World recipes? Yes, I think so with stinky meats and cheeses, and a slather of sweet coarse grain mustards. There’s a balance of flavors that work together, were developed together and perfected. There’s expensive French mustard in the fridge… it’s just not the same, it must be German mustard or nothing at all, and if nothing why bother with a brat?

    I’m going to miss Cloris Leachman.

    Also please forgive the omitted punctuation.

  24. ewmayer

    Re: Trump calls Biden ‘an enemy of the state’ | The Hill

    So first Biden essentially labels 70+ million USians domestic terrorists, now Trump similarly labels Biden … ooh, the next 26 months are going to be so fun. The Dem strategy is clearly to get Trump disqualified from running, and as crazy as this would’ve sounded just a few months ago, I’m starting to wonder if that effort fails their Plan B is to literally disenfranchise the Deplorabes. We are likely to see martial law imposed in multiple EU countries in the next few months, why not here?

    Several readers made the obvious Riefenstahl connection the creepily apocalyptic visuals of Biden’s primetime fist-brandishing speech; alas the proper snark-title only occurred to me yesterday:

    “Triumph of the Won’t”

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Several readers made the obvious Riefenstahl connection

      I don’t think it’s that obvious, starting with the fact that Riefenstahl is black and white, and going on to the fact that Triumph of the Will is not a series of still photos.

      Sounds like a lazy attempt to say Nazi-like, to me (itself lazy).

  25. skippy

    Just having a saunter through Lizzie Truss early political/bio past and Gump like lurching facilitated by keen flexian malleable flexibility in becoming PM – just wow~~~~

    “I was a teenager at the time and I do believe that people who never change their mind on anything and think the same at 16 as they do at 46 are, well, first of all, they’re not normal people like I am.”

    So I assume the takes any consideration of what mental processes or any incentives to hold past strong views, do 180s, yet maintain the passion projection – right off the table and call it ***normal***.

    More so as the oblivion train keeps speeding up I can only imagine the pass the parcel nature of the Torie party PM baton too the keenest self interest. All added and abetted by the destruction of the public services by the free market breathers over decades. I mean Lizzie went from Liberal Democrat banging on about Monarchy – choices and being some one – admiring Thatcher and now a propeller head right wing [self interest aligns head to strongest wind] PM.

    Then again orthodox economics ignored fraud since the 70s and now absurdity … so there is that to consider … yet markets will clear … twas written …

  26. semper loquitur

    Here’s a measured takedown of Derrida from Paul Austin Murphy on Medium:

    I’m please to say I arrived at some of these critiques on my own, arguing from first principles and the patent absurdities apparent in post-structuralist thinking. As I’ve called it before, it’s navel gazing in free-fall, with no ground to stand upon as it sweeps the ground from under it’s own feet.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > no ground to stand upon as it sweeps the ground from under it’s own feet

      “We have got onto slippery ice where there is no friction and so in a certain sense the conditions are ideal, but also, just because of that, we are unable to walk. We want to walk so we need friction. Back to the rough ground!” –Wittgenstein

  27. spud

    if not already posted, someone has actually called what happened to trump is not fair at all.

    Judge cites ‘reputational harm’ to Trump in ordering a Mar-a-Lago special master and pause in probe

    “A federal judge who ordered the appointment of a special master to review documents seized in last month’s search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago beach club, repeatedly expressed concerns about the unprecedented nature of the law enforcement action, indicating that the ruling was necessary to promote a perception of fairness.”

  28. spud

    nader on the cashless scam

    “For over a decade the screws have been tightening to coerce people into the credit-debt economy. Both the corporations and the government are to blame.

    Try renting a car or getting home insurance without a credit card and credit history. Try using FedEx or UPS without a credit card. More retail outlets are experimenting with cashless transactions, even in places like the District of Columbia where a law barring discrimination against cash purchases goes unenforced.”

    1. Late Introvert

      Post Office Bank that gives people with verified addresses and Soc a Fed backed Credit Card backed by cash deposits that earn interest and no overdrafts allowed? I can see the privacy problems already, but make it simple and then just block all the fraud and reimburse all accounts – we’re talking a grand at the most, in fact put a local block based on income. Most of the clients will be banking a few hundred, bloct it at 2 grand.

      Have it run by the IRS, and give them AR-15s. Thanks to my state Senator Grassley. /s

    2. Late Introvert

      Before Covid I did freelance video shoots where I could interact with lots of people in their 20s and 30s, on the crew but also actors. I would ask do you have checking accounts? Nope. It was all Venmo last I checked in early 2020.

  29. spud

    much to agree with. maybe not all, but a lot. americans will never reclaim their civil society and standard of living via the vote. that boat left in 1993.

    “Biden also insulted Americans’ intelligence by gaslighting that it’s only some MAGA folks who’ve ever rejected the outcome of a presidential election when most Democrats refused to recognize the legitimacy of Trump’s victory in 2016. Not only that, but their anti-MAGA “deep state” puppeteers literally concocted the Russiagate conspiracy theory that they laundered through allied congressional representatives, law enforcement, media, and NGOs to discredit the entirety of his four years in office.”

    1. ArvidMartensen

      What the Ukrainians have been doing. Whatever bad deeds they commit, then accuse the other side of doing the same or worse, and deny their own culpability.
      Classic projection. Sometimes projection is inadvertant, this looks planned.

  30. flora

    Tucker Carlson interviews Mattias Desmett on mass formation. (I wonder if the leaders of the EU countries are caught in mass formation, such that they’re willing to sacrifice their countries’ economies and citizen’s winter survival.) One of the best interviews I’ve seen. 1 hr. on rumble

    Mass Formation Psychosis:
    The COVID pandemic changed the world forever. People were forced into isolation, and anxiety became the norm. But Professor Mattias Desmet says we’ve seen this phenomenon before. It’s called ‘mass formation’, and he joins Tucker to explain what it means.

    1. semper loquitur

      Thanks for this flora, this is fascinating. I do take with issue with the use of the COVID lockdowns as an example of this mass formation, I’d say it was an example of social responsibility, but that’s just my take. Otherwise, this guy seems to be right on point, especially the technocratic transhumanist rationalist discussion.

      Yet again, I recommend the movie Mephisto, available for rent on Youtube:

      The scene in the opera house when the Nazi official and his wife take their booth to the adoring applause of the crowd has stuck with me for over 25 years.

  31. spud

    kinda looks like finland is going back to the 1930’s!

    “On 1 September, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin described the economic situation in her country in the midst of the gas supply crisis as a “war economy”. Interestingly, in her speech, Marin blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the crisis, despite the fact that the decision to sanction Moscow was taken unilaterally by Western countries. According to her, the gas crisis is occurring because the Russian government is using energy as a weapon in the current conflict.”

    Prosecuting Journalists in Finland: The Helsingin Sanomat Case

  32. The Rev Kev

    An unusual twist to this war. A lot of people have heard how the US Marine Corps used Navajos as radiomen as talking in their language, the Japanese could not understand them when they intercepted any radio traffic. They made a film about this in the 2002 film “Windtalkers.” Well the Russians are now doing the same with radiomen from Russia’s Tuva Republic. How about that- (1:11 mins)

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