Links 10/7/2022

Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.

And for those who are new here, this is not a mere polite request. We have written site Policies and those who comment have accepted those terms. To prevent having to resort to the nuclear option of shutting comments down entirely until more sanity prevails, as we did during the 2015 Greek bailout negotiations and shortly after the 2020 election, we are going to be ruthless about moderating and blacklisting offenders.


P.S. Also, before further stressing our already stressed moderators, read our site policies:

Please do not write us to ask why a comment has not appeared. We do not have the bandwidth to investigate and reply. Using the comments section to complain about moderation decisions/tripwires earns that commenter troll points. Please don’t do it. Those comments will also be removed if we encounter them.

* * *

Fat Bear Week 2022: The voting has started CNN

The risks from derivatives have morphed FT

Bond Market Sees Once Easy Yield-Curve Bets Upended by Fed Path Bloomberg


The Air Force has released its first plan to reduce its carbon footprint and adapt to climate change NBC

Everyone Has the Wrong Idea About EV-Converted Classic Cars Road and Track. Interesting nugget: “Almost all conversions use Tesla powertrains and batteries. Why? Because people crash a LOT of Teslas, meaning the supply of batteries and motors is plentiful.”

Micro molten salt reactor can fit on a truck, power 1k homes. When it’s built The Register


Wall Street Is Behind Jackson’s Water Crisis Lever News


Molnupiravir plus usual care versus usual care alone as early treatment for adults with COVID-19 at increased risk of adverse outcomes (PANORAMIC): preliminary analysis from the United Kingdom randomised, controlled open-label, platform adaptive trial SSRN. From the Abstract: “In this preliminary analysis, we found that molnupiravir did not reduce already low hospitalisations/deaths among higher risk, vaccinated adults with COVID-19 in the community, but resulted in faster time to recovery, and reduced viral detection and load.” Oversold, then. From the FT: Merck Covid antiviral pill did not cut hospitalisation risk, study finds (KLG). Commentary:

SARS-CoV-2 disrupts host epigenetic regulation via histone mimicry Nature. This one is so over my paygrade that I’m not even going to quote the Abstract. Nature helpfully paywalled the popularization. Here is a thread from the authors’ lab:

Popular among people for whom this sort of thing is popular. Readers?

Ocugen obtains exclusive license for nasal Covid-19 vaccine to complement Covaxin Philadelphia Business Journal

CDC to stop reporting daily COVID-19 cases, moving to weekly reports The Hill. “With smaller testing we would show fewer cases!” –Donald Trump, June 23, 2020.

CDC’s Covid-19 Vaccine v-safe Data Released Pursuant to Court Order (press release) ICAN, via Business Insider. For pre-populated fields (e.g. dropdowns, i.e. within paradigm) but not text fields (out of paradigm, by definition).

CDC, WHO, Uganda to host regional meeting as Ebola spreads AP. Handy chart:


Can Xi Jinping Reopen China? Foreign Affairs

Xinjiang’s cotton harvest is here, but where is the frenzied buying? South China Morning Post

Why the Emerging-Markets Dog Didn’t Bite Yet John Authers. Bloomberg

The Koreas

South Korean Defense Sources Express Concerns About Unreliable F-35 Fighters The Diplomat

South Korean missile fails during combined weapons test with US forces: Seoul NK News

Real Estate Price Dropping at Record Pace: Data The Blue Roof

Dear Old Blighty

How would three-hour power cuts work if enacted in Great Britain? Guardian

Government Isn’t Telling People To Curb Energy Use Despite New Blackout Warnings Politics Home

In the Heart of the Tory Identity Crisis Tribune. Commentary:

Bank of England says pension funds were hours from disaster before it intervened CNBC

European Disunion

The Massive Gas Field That Europe Can’t Use Bloomberg. Groningen, the Netherlands.

France’s nuclear energy strategy — once its pride and joy — faces big problems this winter CNBC

There might be a metaphor here:

New Not-So-Cold War

Zelensky calls for ‘pre-emptive’ strike against Russia in speech to Lowy Institute The quote:

[ZELENSKY:] But what is important, I once again appeal to the international community, as I did before February 24 – we need pre-emptive strikes, so that they’ll know what will happen to them if they use nukes, and not the other way around

Don’t wait for Russia’s nuclear strikes, and then say, ‘Oh, since you did this, take that from us!’ Reconsider the way you apply pressure. This is what NATO should do – reconsider the order in which it applies pressure [on Russia].”

Zelensky’s staff forced to clarify statement after president suggests ‘preemptive strike’ on Russia Kyiv Independent. What’s to clarify?

Poland Escalates War in Europe with Nuclear Bomb Threat to Kremlin John Helmer

* * *

Joe Biden warns Vladimir Putin is ‘not joking’ about nuclear threat FT.

Escalation Management and Nuclear Employment in Russian Military Strategy War on the Rocks. From September, still germane.

Frank talk with Biden on Ukraine may help Indian Punchline

* * *

Why Elon Musk is right Responsible Statecraft

Memo to Elon Musk: Only Ukrainian victory can stop Vladimir Putin The Atlantic Council

* * *

Nord Stream investigation finds evidence of detonations, Swedish police say Reuters

US Media Held Murdered Russian Journalist to a Dangerous Standard FAIR

Nobel Peace Prize Jointly Awarded to Belarus Rights Activist, Russian and Ukrainian Groups Bloomberg

Biden Administration

US says ‘nothing off table’ in response to Opec+ oil cuts FT

The Radical Plans To Counter High Oil Prices

Federal prosecutors weighing charges on two fronts in Hunter Biden investigation CNN


‘Not an Easy Villain’: Documentary Tackles Healthcare’s Big Hospital Problem MedPage Today

Medicare open enrollment is on the horizon. Here’s what 5 major payers have planned Fierce Healthcare

Police State Watch

The maddening irrelevance of Charlie Vaughn’s innocence Radley Balko

The Court of Mass Incarceration (PDF) Rachel E. Barkow, CATO Institute. “One out of every 52 people in the United States is under some form of criminal justice supervision (such as probation or parole). In some states and communities, the rates are even higher. In Georgia, for example, one out of every 18 people is on probation or parole. We are now living in a country where one out of every three adults in America has a criminal record.”

The Right Stuff users claim they were contacted by FBI after using the conservative dating app Independent

Supply Chain

Moody’s revises outlook for global shipping industry to negative Hellenic Shipping News

Class Warfare

ATDA Members Ratify Freight Rail Agreement Railway Age. A small union.

IdPol passes everywhere (Rev Kev):

Working From Home Is Not an Urban Escape Hatch Bloomberg

McDonald’s Workers Are Begging People To Stop Ordering Adult Happy Meals Kotaku

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidotes from AC: “Gray and Pearl wearing their orange coats during hunting season,
and the same dogs in the winter. Pearl really liked that coat”:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett)

    On a moonless night above the Baltic Sea
    Our Navy dropped UUV’s deliberately
    From a Navy P8 flown from our Eastern shore
    Two tons of TNT quite uncalled for

    (We blew the pipes!) We blew the Nord Stream pipes!
    (Hay-zoos H. Cripes!) I mean Hay-zoos Haitch Cripes!
    (The Stars and Stripes?) Is that the Stars and Stripes?
    (We blew the pipes!) We blew the Nord Stream pipes!

    But the Kremlin was watching from the distant east
    They have the flight plans and comms, at the very least
    Yet another act of terror, which we do now and then
    And they’ll soon present their proof at the UN

    (We blew the pipes!) We blew the Nord Stream pipes!
    (Hay-zoos H. Cripes!) I mean Hay-zoos Haitch Cripes!
    (The Stars and Stripes?) Is that the Stars and Stripes?
    (We blew the pipes!) We blew the Nord Stream pipes!

    The walking dead in Ukraine (Wa hoo, whadja do?)
    Are about to feel real pain (Wa hoo, is it true?)
    They’ll face Russian armor
    After October’s rain

    The pipelines now end at holes in the sand
    It’s a terrorist act, you must understand
    Affecting hundreds of millions of civilian population
    An act of political desperation

    (We blew the pipes!) We blew the Nord Stream pipes!
    (Hay-zoos H. Cripes!) I mean Hay-zoos Haitch Cripes!
    (The Stars and Stripes?) Is that the Stars and Stripes?
    (We blew the pipes!) We blew the Nord Stream pipes!

    But Washington is happy with this turnaround
    With Europe in chains, to America bound,
    But it will boomerang, and as blowback arrives —
    We’ll see if any Western government survives

    (We blew the pipes!) We blew the Nord Stream pipes!
    (Hay-zoos H. Cripes!) I mean Hay-zoos Haitch Cripes!
    (The Stars and Stripes?) Is that the Stars and Stripes?
    (We blew the pipes!) We blew the Nord Stream pipes!

    Europe’s ruled by people in cloud cuckoo land
    They overestimate what their people can withstand
    NATO goes astray when it starts a war
    It’s a danger to the world, it’s a dinosaur

    (We blew the pipes!) We blew the Nord Stream pipes!
    (Hay-zoos H. Cripes!) I mean Hay-zoos Haitch Cripes!
    (The Stars and Stripes?) Is that the Stars and Stripes?
    (We blew the pipes!) We blew the Nord Stream pipes!

    (Wa hoo, we blew the pipes!)
    (Wa hoo, we blew the pipes!)

    Easy Ivan, you impetuous Russian (Wa hoo, we blew the pipes!)
    (Wa hoo, we blew the pipes!)
    (Wa hoo, we blew the pipes!)
    (Wa hoo, we blew the pipes!)
    (Wa hoo, we blew he pipes!)

      1. JohnA

        Re Scientificamerican pipe repair article
        Russia has already stated it is prepared to cover the cost of repair work to the Nordstream pipes. As it is right now, the Swedish authorities have created an exclusion zone around the damaged areas, and refused access to Russian investigators. The Swedes claim to have completed the preliminary investigation and gathered evidence. But if Sweden were then to blame Russia, (I personally do not envisage any situation where the Swedes would dare blame the US/Poland or even its own armed forces) it would likely be politically impossible to allow Russian engineers to engage in any such repair work, lest they do it again. Another win/win for Biden/Nuland/Blinken/Zelensky.
        As a footnote, it has now been convincingly proven that the so-called Russian submarines in Swedish territorial waters scare in the early 1980s, was actually a psyop by the Reagan government, but Swedish mainstream media have declared omerta on the subject and Swedish TV even pulled a programme about it.

            1. Sveno

              Never liked that (don’t even remember what they called it) but some fish in the face is always good comedy. Now it’s fishes with weight on the richterscale. But still i liked you link.

      1. jefemt

        It was the Israelis!

        They just haven’t got their gas infrastructure together to deliver all that Eastern Med Nat Gas to Europe. Yet.
        Cart before the horse, under duress.
        Think of all the weapons we can sell in the interim!

        The tin foil in Montana is extra strength!

          1. cfraenkel

            Summarizing the contents of that link for those too busy – the author presents a scenario with flight tracking data showing a US P8 (sub hunting Navy plane) flying over the pipeline at exactly the same time as the pipeline explosions. I don’t know enough to evaluate the credibility of the data, but he claims it’s available if you know where to look.

            1. jefemt

              Whose sub were they tracking?

              Haw haw haw haw. So. Many. Options!

              Halliburton? Exxon Mobil? BP? Statoil? Total? Israel?
              A US sub hired by the above?

              My head spins into a cocoon of foil.

  2. flora

    Top of the thread of Stoller’s twt:

    Another astonishing clip from the Cato Institute event today, this one from the influential Adam Posen, head of the Peterson Institute. He says a focus on domestic manufacturing is simply a “fetish for keeping white males with low education in the powerful positions they are in.”

    Low education white males are in powerful positions? Riiight…

      1. semper loquitur

        Thanks as always, flora. This brings to mind a video I came across on Youtube last night. It showed a selection of young black girls reacting to the newest incarnation of The Little Mermaid played by a black actress. The black kids were overjoyed to see a black Ariel, they are crying and laughing and jumping up and down.

        This generated quite a stink amongst hardcore Disney fans, including someone promising to digitally “whiteface” the actress. Now I have no doubt there are racists in that crowd, as there are in any population of people. But I suspect the reaction is more about pushing back on the perception that another popular fictional character is being used to wag a finger at them. There should be mermaids of every color and shape, why not? But when corporations and elites wield these notions as clubs, and so often clumsily to boot, there is an inevitable reaction. I suspect that is, in fact, the point: trigger an overreaction then claim the moral high ground in response. It’s passive-aggressiveness on a societal scale…

        1. t

          Given what we can do with CGI, we could build-your-own-adventure any number of things for streaming. Provide fanfic revisions at the point of delivery. Unlikely to be any clunkier than what shows up on deviant art.

        2. Bruno

          It takes Disney-level genius to put a bra on a mermaid. And it takes Biden-level stupidity to take such a farrago seriously.

          1. semper loquitur

            As long as anyone is free to wear a bra there, it’s fine. And Joe “Sniffy the Clown” Biden is just looking out for the well-being of the American tween…


    1. Jessica

      Neal Stephenson’s “Anathem” portrays a future in which the holders of all non-mundane knowledge, scientific or mystical, have somehow so pissed off the ordinary folk, that the holders of such knowledge must quarantine themselves in monasteries. Knowledge that generates contempt for ordinary folks is not wisdom.
      These think tankers are no anomaly. There is something fundamentally wrong with how knowledge is generated and transmitted nowadays. There has been for decades at least.

      1. cfraenkel

        That’s one way of reading it I suppose. What the author actually wrote was that in the far past, the having the knowledge circulating through the general population was too dangerous. (ie large areas rendered uninhabitable etc) The knowledge workers were quarantined to keep the knowledge available if it became needed, but not available to the ordinary folks living ordinary lives. Where you read contempt in the book, I missed completely.
        Contempt among think tanks today, on the other hand – that rings true.

      2. LifelongLib

        Going to mixed “working class” and “PMC” public schools in the U S., I could count on my fingers the number of people I met who had an interest in anything beyond the “mundane”. We pretty quickly formed our own cliques. It didn’t have much to do with class or grades either — a lot of “straight-A” students were just grinding it out, while many of the people I hung with got ‘B’s and ‘C’s because they were doing their own things rather than what the schools assigned them. I wouldn’t say it led to “contempt for ordinary folks” but it sure made us outsiders.

    2. Sibiryak

      Thanks, flora. Stunning example of divisive identity politics (wokeness) co-opted to promote plutocratic ends.

      1. jonboinAR

        The column has drawn a lot of good comments over at Unherd, too. I always enjoy discovering a good new-to-me commentariat.

    3. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Flora. Please read my comments about Posen when / if it emerges from moderation.

    4. fresno dan

      Adam Posen is influential?! I can’t think of a clearer example that class (i.e., money) doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves – the lack of attention is almost exclusively because there is a massive and well financed (dare I use the word) Matrix of the rich that control the media, the social media, government at every level, and the entire economics “profession” that have one, and only one goal – to become ever richer. The fact that such an absurd statement could be proffered says something about the values, the culture, the very being of this country…

      1. Lee

        It would appear that enemies of the state as conceived of by our betters pretty much includes anyone with an opinion about anything that matters.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Pretty sure that there will be no three-hour power cuts to the City of London. Or any other wealthy area for that matter. Not that the British media would ever report it.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Rev.

        The UK had two multi day near misses last month. It was saved by Belgium and at prices that make eye gouging seem generous. That concentrated the minds of ministers, so, yesterday, Truss attended an EU meeting in Prague, even though Johnson had turned down the invitation in June, to negotiate.

        1. Martin Davis

          Thanks for that, I did wonder what had come over her. Hopefully the thin edge of a very long wedge.

      2. JBird4049

        Just like in California two decades ago? It was fun to listen to the radio while commuting to see whether I had a job for that day. To be fair, I think that everyone except the hospitals and fire departments were affected.

    2. Omicron

      I haven’t yet seen any references in the UK press (or the American, for that matter), about the miners’ strike in 1972 and its effects on power distribution. I was living in Britain then (Lancaster). If memory serves, we didn’t have rota power cuts of three hours. We had rota power *availability* of four hours every 24. I remember my wife and me getting up at 2 a.m. to do a day’s cooking when we were due to get power in the 2 a.m.-6 a.m. time frame. I don’t remember any publicity about whether the City of London or Southern England more generally was treated more leniently. There were the usual pictures of people riding bicycles to power home generators, etc. The general theme of the coverage, of course, focused on the dastardly miners. Ted Heath was PM, which didn’t help….

  3. Eureka Springs

    If there is truth in the CNN article on Justice Department, FBI, vs Hunter Biden then it demonstrates the governments long delay with tiny legal points (false statement) are nothing but a tortuous zombie crawl of a waiting game, a witch hunt ultimately covering up much more important corruption. What a fubar system. Time to scrap it all and start over.

    1. marym

      CNN: “The Washington Post reported on Thursday that prosecutors believe they have “sufficient evidence” to charge [Hunter] Biden…”

      WaPo: “Federal agents investigating Hunter Biden have gathered what they believe is sufficient evidence to charge him with tax crimes and a false statement related to a gun purchase, according to people familiar with the case.”

      (This is a comment on “truth” to the CNN report, not on whether there’s truth to what WaPo says that “people familiar” say that agents “believe,” or whether it matters.)

    2. The Rev Kev

      Nothing is coming to come of it you know. A day or so ago Biden was caught on a hot mike saying that ‘Nobody f***s with a Biden’ to a Florida mayor. Even Snopes had to agree that he said that. Note that he did not say that nobody f***s with me. He said nobody f***s with a Biden. So having heard this, will the Justice department or the FBI risk going after Hunter knowing that old Joe will go after them?

      1. fresno dan

        I am pretty sure Biden the younger will be charged with tax crimes and a false statement. As I have noted before about the media NOT reporting things is what is important, so it is what the DoJ will NOT investigate, and NOT prosecute that is important. The Biden crimes referred to are a ?first offense? and will be considered minor – Biden the younger will not spend a day incarcerated. Probably the punishment will be telling kindergarteners about 1619.
        And of course, no special prosecutor will be appointed to dig into what daddy Biden knew, and when did he know it. Even if the repubs take back both the house and senate, it won’t happen, because national security investigating might reveal things the US doesn’t want known about how we do things in Ukraine and elsewhere.

        1. Wukchumni

          I’d imagine Hunter is shopping for non-extradition countries to vacay in for an extended stay, come November.

          Nobody ducks like a Biden!

        2. Tom Stone

          The Biden Family has been anything but discreet about its corruption, going back decades.
          You will note that there are no gun charges, lying on a form 4473 is a Felony and R.Hunter’s “Biography” makes it clear he was living on Vodka and Crack at the time.
          No jail time and almost certainly no Felony charges, questions about Rosemont Seneca Tech’s investments in Bio Labs through cutouts will not be asked.
          There are some nice things about living in a Country of Men and not one of Law, if you are connected.

          1. Bsmith51

            My understanding [sorry, lost link. help?] is there will be no charges on the form 4473 because of mental incapacitation, i.e., he was using drugs. So, he can’t be charged with lying about his drug use because he was using drugs. Is there a bottom to this rabbit hole?

  4. Sardonia

    Tulsi Gabbard is painting a big, bright target on her back – that takes a lot of courage. It’ll be interesting to see which of the “six ways to Sunday” they’ll use on her – probably all six:

    “ What this reminds me of… is how our democracy was stolen in 2020…. We saw how heads, former heads of intelligence agencies, the FBI, law enforcement agencies, colluding with Big Tech social media companies and the mainstream media decided hey, we don’t want the American voter to know what the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop are because we know that they are more likely to vote for Donald Trump instead of Joe Biden if they actually find out what was there.

    “So they intentionally worked together to withhold that information from voters across the country as they were trying to figure out who to vote for, stealing our democracy. This is so important for us to remember, never forget, never forgive them for this treason to our democracy that was committed.”

    1. hunkerdown

      > HER democracy

      Absolutely disqualified for that aristocratic, private-propertarian formulation. Her WEF time is starting to show through.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        >stealing OUR democracy

        You just condemned her for using words she did not use?!

        I do not understand how you get to switch pronouns then condemn Gabbard for something she did not say.

        1. hunkerdown

          Yeah, there are co-owners. “Their” democracy, my bad.

          Regardless, the locution is unacceptably aristocratic and we should be ruining political careers for playing along with it.

          1. Darthbobber

            Oh, pish. Referring to oneself and one’s fellow citizens collectively has been happening as long as there have been citizens, and has no aristocratic implications.

            1. jsn

              WEF is more recent and decidedly aristocratic.

              When WEC types wax possessive about “Our Democracy” they’re referring to the one they thought they bought.

              1. pjay

                Since Gabbard has been a harsh critic of the WEF, I would not classify her as a “WEF type.”

                Look, at one time Gabbard was clearly seen as a rising star by the Establishment. She was a sponsored (temporary) member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She was named a WEF “Young Global Leader” (in 2015, I believe). She was named to a top position in the DNC. She was on her way.

                And she ditched it all. She resigned from the DNC over their malfeasance for Hillary. She was blackballed by the Establishment for her stance on Syria and rejection of the Russiagate Kool-Aid. She’s *dead* as a Democrat or WEF/CFR “mover-and-shaker.” If she makes a political comeback it will probably be as an Independent or Republican.

                I don’t know how I feel about Gabbard. But if she uses her media access to tell the truth about Russia, Ukraine, or anything else I’ll applaud her when she does, as I would Tucker Carlson, because there is *no one* among liberals or Democrats who are doing this – at all – not AOC, not Bernie, *no one*. Criticize her if you want, but don’t use this bogus WEF crap.

                I think Putin was a WEF Global Leader as well at one time. He may have had to return his secret decoder ring by now.

      2. Pat

        Are you disputing the premise that lying about Hunter Biden’s alleged crimes and the validity of the evidence against him was done because the truth about it would lessen and could perhaps even destroy Biden’s chances of getting elected?

        Or are you disputing Gabbard’s position as an American citizen and as such her ability to be part of the American collective, thus disallowing her to be part of and a participant in “our” democracy?

        If the latter, you might want to consider what happens when someone gets to question your position due to a contrary opinion.

        1. hunkerdown

          I’m calling out the arrogant aristocratic tic “*our* democracy” as a sign of absolute unfitness for any position of power or public audience. The Hunter election debility (with which I agree fully) and the national myth (which I reject as middle-class puffery) aren’t relevant to that and do not mitigate her linguistic alignment with the authoritarians.

          marym and I are usually at diametric opposites, but she expresses my thoughts well just below at 1:01pm.

    2. marym

      Gabbard’s agreeing with the clintonists that there’s an “our democracy” and that it was“stolen” by government officials, big tech, and media manipulating propaganda during election season. They just don’t agree on the year!

      1. Darthbobber

        But people use such phrases because of their emotional connotations. Note that Clinton and Gabbard use the same term to denote totally different “threats” from completely different sets of actors. This always happens with contested words and phrases that carry an emotional charge. Almost all words and phrases that are capable of moving people get used as masks for various projects having little to do with them. Like liberty, equality, virtue, self-defense, freedom, life, choice, democracy, self-determination, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

        To insist on abandoning every word or phrase that gets used for unsavory purposes, and to then go further and insist that the misuse is now the sole governing use is to wind up with a rather restricted vocabulary, and also to voluntarily surrender all the big, moving words to one’s enemies.

    3. orlbucfan

      Tulsi Gabbard is a RWing Fundie fan of Fundi Hinduism and Modi. Anyone who proudly buys into any sort of religious fundamentalism needs their head checked. There is plenty of proof so you can look up credible links.

      1. anon in so cal

        Trying to discredit someone’s message by attacking their supposed personal characteristics is
        an example of the ad hominum fallacy. What Tulsi is saying, the content of her message, is indisputable.

      2. pjay

        LOL! “RWing Fundie” or WEF “aristocrat” – which is it folks? Or is it both?

        Anyone who challenges the Establishment narrative, especially on foreign policy, becomes a Supreme Smear Magnet. Much is thrown to see what sticks. The hope, as Anon’s comment points out, is that the message will be ignored.

  5. zagonostra

    I was reading the story from the Nord Stream investigation link from Reuters and saw a link there that Putin turns 70 today. I thought, damn he seems in pretty good shape, both physically and cognitively. I clicked on it and read so many “tells” that I think it would make a good sample for college students in their first year in communications, if they still teach such courses. The article opens with:

    LONDON, Oct 7 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin turned 70 on Friday amid fawning congratulations from subordinates…

    Putin is facing the biggest challenge of his rule after the invasion of Ukraine triggered the gravest confrontation with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. His army there is reeling from a series of defeats in the past month.

  6. zagonostra

    >CDC’s Covid-19 Vaccine v-safe Data Released Pursuant to Court Order

    Based on this article, am I wrong in concluding that people who were demonized for questioning the safety of the CV19 vaccines where right to be concerned? And, that mandating vaccination on pain of losing one’s job was government overreach?

    Out of the approximate 10 million v-safe users, 782,913 individuals, or over 7.7% of v-safe users, had a health event requiring medical attention, emergency room intervention, and/or hospitalization. Another 25% of v-safe users had an event that required them to miss school or work and/or prevented normal activities.

    There were also 71 million symptoms reported in the pre-populated fields. This is an average of more than 7 symptoms reported per v-safe user.

  7. Lex

    Update on Biden’s Marijuana pardon for federal crimes. It totaled 6,500 people, none of who are currently in jail and most of whom happened to be arrestees in DC. Calling on governors to pardon is like calling on gas stations to lower prices. And while he talks about rescheduling, he’s said this before and did nothing about it; also, his rescheduling plan is merely to drop cannabis one category so it’s like cocaine instead of heroin.

    1. doug

      Like R v W, the D’s are(and have been) going to fix it next year, and cannabis users are just another tick box for the fund raisers.

      1. orlbucfan

        SloMoJoe might have tapped into a critical nerve with the young vote. First, the abortion bans and now freeing pot smokers out of prison. All this hot air about the Repukes gaining control of Congress, is hot air. No one knows what’s gonna happen here next month.

  8. jsn

    John Authers on Emerging Markets unusual resilience.

    They didn’t drink the Russian Sanctions koolaid so it hasn’t killed them.

    He’s puzzled that all the nations that put self interest ahead of NATO aren’t cratering like the NATO firsters. How the world looks with a cranial, rectal inversion.

    1. jsn

      “Countries we tried to murder are doing better than the ones we convinced to commit suicide. Maybe Blinkin can talk them into killing themselves.”

  9. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert, especially for the Posen clips.

    I can’t say that I am surprised.

    I first met Posen when I wrote my masters dissertation on central bank independence in 1995 and at times in the following twenty years as he advised the Labour government* and opposition and served as a monetary policymaker at the Bank of England from 2009 – 12. He has always held these sort of views, but they were not expressed as crudely. Posen even used climate change as a reason for off shoring and opposition to a green new deal and reindustrialisation.

    *There was more deindustrialisation during the Labour government of 1997 – 2010 than under the Tory government of 1979 – 1997.

    When the EU was enlarged in 2004 and 2007, Posen was one of the people who advised** Blair and Brown to not make use of the transition period for the free movement of labour. The Bank of England, led by deputy governor Paul Tucker***, challenged this and produced evidence on the impact of free movement on pay, especially the bottom quartile, but was ignored and even threatened with dismissal for talking out of turn.

    **New Labour was, and remains under Starmer, a sucker for US BS, an inferiority complex that goes back to when Clinton was elected president. At EU meetings, Brown would make some remarks, including citing whatever Posen and Larry Summers and even Slick Willie told him in preparation for EcoFin (finance ministers) and the European Council (heads of goverment), and then read something, often not EU related, and not bother listening to what other ministers and heads of government were saying. As Brown speaks English only, he would not even bother putting headphones on to listen to a translator, or pretend to. Blair was a bit less offensive.

    ***Tucker would like the records from the period 1992 – 2015 exempted from the thirty year (if not more in some cases) rule and made immediately available to the public as he challenges the view that 2008 and even Brexit could not have been foreseen and says officialdom warned ministers.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      I forgot to add that the arrival of Posen in the UK heralded the sidelining of UK officials in favour of US imports (and even a matinee idol from a former colony, Carney). US academics, e.g. Posen, Summers, Anil Kashyap and Laura d’Andrea Tyson, and Fed officials, Donald Kohn and Randall Kroszner at the Bank of England, were / are some of them. They know little about the UK and are / were not interested in learning, either. It led to policy errors like the “light touch” regulation of big finance under New Labour, 2008, the failure to learn from 2008 and Brexit.

    2. fresno dan

      thanks for that specialized knowledge. It really is a cabal (well, strickly speaking, maybe not “secret” but you certainly have to have drunk the kool aid to be admitted)

    3. flora

      Thank you, Colonel. This is very interesting.

      After the fall of the old Soviet Union the US crowed it had won the cold war, and this fact “proved” the superiority of all things US – including deferring to “the market forces” as a higher political purpose that caring about voters’ (or nations’) economic conditions. It was quite a sales pitch. By 2000 it was clear something wasn’t working as promised. Shelly’s poem Ozymandias comes to mind.

      What Larry Summers did with Harvard’s endowment wealth was stunning, and not in a good way.

      Larry Summers’ Endowment

    4. spud

      thank you Colonel, i have always considered a bill clinton/tony blair type as far more dangerous to workers standard of living and democracy because they are feverish believers.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “South Korean Defense Sources Express Concerns About Unreliable F-35 Fighters”

    If I was the Swiss government, I would be starting to get very worried by this news. Going against tradition, the Federal government rode roughshod over the Cantons, ignored the results of a legal referendum by the Swiss people, then overnight signed contracts to buy the F-35 that will have Switzerland locked in for decades to come with these turkeys. Thing is, the Swiss don’t go sending their forces much around the world and their entire system is geared to defending just their small country. Switzerland itslef is about 15,940 square miles (41,285 km2) in size so is smaller than West Virginia and much of it is mountainous and thus easy to defend. So why they chose the F-35 rather than something simpler and more robust I have no idea. I see that the Swiss have elections next year but have no idea if they can undo that contract if a new government gets in.

    1. Chas

      It may not make any difference that the F-35 is unreliable because human-in-the-cockpit fighter planes are hardly being used at all on the battlefront in Ukraine. It appears that fighter jets are vulnerable to shoulder-fired-from-the ground Manpads. The Ukrainians are concentrating Manpad fire power by using ten or more of them at a time. Manpads have greatly restricted use of helicopters and apparently the Russians don’t dare to challenge them in battle with fighter jets. From what I’ve been reading on the Russian defense ministry daily reports they shoot down a Ukrainian fighter plane every couple of days, but that’s it. Fighter jets are not being used to attack enemy troop concentrations. Instead, drones appear to have taken over that job. So it might be that jet fighter planes are a thing of the past.

      1. Lex

        I think that what the Ukraine conflict has show is that the age of plane-based air power is (mostly) over. It’s not just that MANPADS make close air support extremely dangerous but the primarily Russian advances in anti-air defense systems. Ukraine can barely get a plane in the sky and Russia is dissuaded from heavy use of air power by a mostly degraded, soviet era air defense system.

        The cost and prestige of airframes and pilots vs air defenses just don’t make sense in near peer conflicts unless it is truly existential. Based on Russian air defenses against HIMARS, even cruise missiles may be problematic against modern air defenses. Interestingly, the $20,000 Iranian kamikaze drones are looking like an effective tool. The moped engine runs too cool for MANPADS to lock on and the mobile launch makes early warning difficult. Air defenses can get them via radar, but in that case the defensive system is spending $300K rockets on $20K drones.

        1. Polar Socialist

          What we know from Ukraine, is that MANPADS don’t prevent air support, if proper protocols are followed. As far as I know, Russian pilots are still flying about hundred sorties per day.

          What they can’t do is loiter over the battlefield, so they require precise targeting data for each sortie. And they have to plan the ingress and egress routes to be different each time so the Ukrainians can’t mass the MANPADS on the flight path. They also need to approach in close formation to hide as much as possible the number of planes, then spread out for final approach for synchronized attacks (as in timed to avoid collisions and explosions).

          But even the pilots think that if the target can be taken out with artillery, missiles or drones, by all means do so. They think that only when there has to be “eyes on the target” before launching, should an aircraft be used.

          As for helicopters, they have developed this weird “rocket lobbing” technique, where they can deliver their payload outside the range of MANPADS. They claim the “magical” SVP-24 sight they’re using has been programmed to allow accurate enough fire even with such dramatic maneuvering during launch.

          1. Paradan

            Its just like toss bombing with CCIP, except they’ve got GPS/GLONASS data, so you can just select a map point, or have coords transmitted to you from a FAC. It’ll put a little cue on your HUD with a bearing and then tell you when to pull up and when to fire. I suppose its possible to have the local wind and barometric pressure be updated and included in the aimpoint calculation. Still though, those are unguided rockets flying 4 or 5 miles…I’m pulling this number out of thin air, but it’s gotta be at least 200m CEP. 16-24 120mm rockets comin down in an oval 400m long and 200m wide isn’t that bad.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Can’t say for sure but I thought I heard a coupla weeks ago in a video that the Russian Air Force is using their aircraft in stand-off attacks with missiles and frequently do not even have to leave Russian territory to do so. But drones are really changing warfare right now and the Iranian ones seem to be very impressive. Drones are typically launched individually but I saw an Iranian rig where you had quite a few in a frame and they could send them off rapidly, one after another.

    2. communistmole

      There will be no new government, only a new Distribution of seats in Parliament and Senate between the parties. The government (Bundesrat) consists of seven members of the four major parties, and they are not affected by the elections (unless the relations between the parties would change radically, which is not to be expected. The Senate in Switzerland has the same function as in the USA: to exclude any major change).
      In my eyes, the purchase of the F-35 was primarily intended to appease the USA with regard to Switzerland as a financial center and to bring the country closer to NATO.

    3. vao

      ignored the results of a legal referendum by the Swiss people

      Not exactly. It ignored the fact that a valid initiative had been presented (with more than the required number of signatures) and signed the contract, but after the Swiss Parliament decided to ignore the initiative and voted the credits for the F-35. The organizers of the initiative have since meekly decided to retract it. That is as stupid as it is craven; keeping it would have ensured an interesting, and potentially “wonderfully clarifying” constitutional crisis.

      So why they chose the F-35 rather than something simpler and more robust I have no idea.

      Because, as I already explained, many Swiss politicians (and especially in the government) lean heavily pro-NATO, and many in the Swiss officer corps see the role of the Swiss military as complementary to NATO — hence the very odd scenarios used to justify the F-35 as the best airplane to buy.

      I […] have no idea if they can undo that contract if a new government gets in.

      As is usually said: for a fee, everything is possible. But rescinding the contract would imply

      a) that the (bicameral) Swiss Parliament reverses its decision freeing the credits for the F-35 and enjoining the government to go forward with the acquisition, without waiting for a possible vote on the initiative;

      b) that the Swiss government repudiates its decision to sign the contract and bind Switzerland without even waiting for a possible vote on the initiative.

      It will not happen. That would be too many politicians in the legislative and executive admitting they were wrong.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      My guess is that something else entirely is going on here. South Korea is designing its own Gen 4.5 aircraft – with input from Lockheed. The aircraft is more or less a scaled down, simplified F-22 so far as anyone can see. The South Koreans are pretty good at the ‘game’ of extracting everything possible from foreign tech, so I think they are busy learning as much as they can from the F-35 to incorporate into their own aircraft. This sounds like they are putting on the pressure to get the US to sell some of the more advanced instrumentation that was previously refused. This is the equivalent of going to a restaurant and threatening to give them 1 star on all the review sites unless you get a free bottle of wine. The ROK is playing the game with the US that the Chinese and Indians have done successfully to the Russians in the past in order to extract more data.

      The F-35 is rapidly developing – its no longer the flying turkey it once was, although its mission has changed significantly from being just an F-16/F/A-18 replacement. Its now being developed as a force multiplier – essentially it will be the eye in the sky for cheaper, conventional aircraft and long range missiles. The Israelis have been using it with apparent success in this role – its been noted that F-35’s over Syria have stayed in the air even after expending missiles – they are operating as the close-in ‘eyes’ for F-16’s and F-15’s. Whatever its faults as an airframe, the F-35 has (if you are willing to pay for it, and the US will supply it), the most advanced passive sensors available – sensors too expensive to put on a drone.

      Ironically, this is exactly what the Russians need over Ukraine (the Su-57 has at least partly been designed for this role, but its clearly not advanced enough yet to be fully integrated with other aircraft). While the Russian airforce has minimized its losses to Manpads and other SAMs, its clear from the videos I’ve seen that they are doing it by shooting and scooting from a distance with dumb weapons. This will very significantly reduce accuracy and so their utility to ground forces, not to mention put civilians and their own soldiers at high risk. Its not clear that the Russians have sufficient integration of sensors to allow pilots to ‘see’ live information from drones, and its also clear that the Russians have nothing near the quality of passive sensors available to the F-35.

      I’m as happy to dump on the F-35 as any aviation enthusiast, but the objective evidence right now is that it is proving to be a highly effective force multiplier – the ideal aircraft for any airforce wanting to keep its existing Gen 4 aircraft effective for another few decades and to integrate into more effective stand-off warfare. Its probably very limited if F-35’s are all you have due to its very poor warload and range, but if you have bomb-trucks, then you get the best of all worlds – expensive stealth penetration when needed, but also increased enhancement of older-generation weaponry, far beyond what drones can do for you. This is why its winning hands down in open competition against its competitors (which, it should be remembered, are not all that cheaper). Only the French Rafale continues to match it, and that’s probably because the French aren’t too fussed about technology transfers so long as you cough up the cash, and they also won’t use it to spy on you.

      1. Jeotsu

        But we have not seen a scenario where the F-35’s are engaged (or even threatened) by quality air-defense systems. If they can’t loiter safely at altitude, does that negate some or all of this force-multiplication effect?

      2. Polar Socialist

        Mig-31 was designed to be eyes for the lesser fighters already in the 1970s, because in the Soviet north there were no radar stations or ground control. It can still perform in that role, but there’s no need anymore since other mobile sensor systems came online decades ago. It was a concept adopted only because at the time there were no alternatives.

        I also was under the impression that Soviets (and thus Russians) took a lead in passive sensor systems early on (Mig-31, again, being able use FLIR on targets up 50 km away) and the west is still playing catch up. Every Soviet/Russian fighter since 1970s has had electro-optical targeting system, while only the latest batch of western fighter have them.

        And about the Korean service rate: it’s much better than the USAF admits for their fleet.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          The Mig-31 has a gigantic radar, although its huge radar antennae also made it highly visible to Nato aircraft. It had no integration whatever, it was part of a generation of Soviet aircraft where pilots were largely guided from the ground – its own radar was for operating beyond ground control range and guiding its own missiles. It was very much a stand-alone aircraft, it was never intended to be integrated to other systems. Its electronics were simple even by the standards of the time as the focus of the design was to harden it against electronic attack and it was built to be cheap and robust. The Sukhoi-27-35 series was always intended as the more advanced and integrated air superiority and ground attack system.

          The Soviets/Russians have led on FLIR, something the US never invested much in, but the Europeans, especially the French, always valued, and arguably the European systems are superior, as they’ve had more access to the right materials. The US just caught up when it realised passive systems are essential for stealth. FLIR is very useful for air to air, but of limited value for the ground attack role. FLIR has its uses, but it has the weakness that it lacks precision for guiding missiles. The F-35 seems to have managed to integrate FLIR with a range of other passive systems to build up a bigger picture of the battle environment.

          The Russians were never ahead in integration, the Su-57 is the first real attempt to catch up on this. The Suhkoi system looks to be highly impressive, but its clearly not fully operational yet so realistically its at least half a generation behind Nato. The French and Swedes were really the forerunners of successful system integration – the US, like the Soviets/Russians, always saw ground level control as central to controlling airspace. With more limited budgets, the Europeans saw the value of a group of aircraft acting in an integrated manner independent of ground control. The Eurofighter was designed to use integrated sensors to track stealth aircraft (i.e. using faint tracks from several aircraft to build up a bigger picture) and the Gripen claims a similar ability. The Rafale seems to have a very formidable stand alone integrated system, one more focused on using electronics to confuse opponents – every individual Rafale seems to have a close-to Wild Weasel ability to jam and spoof active sensors.

          Obviously, this whole issue is vague as most of the information is heavily classified and there is a lot of marketing nonsense out on the ‘net. But if you look at what customers are seeking, its pretty clear that buyers are convinced that the F-35 has cracked the problem and if you can persuade the US to sell you the best sensor package, the F-35 is very formidable. It wouldn’t be so great one on one in a dogfight, but increasingly its obvious that this isn’t its strength or what it will be used for. An F-35 over the battlefield will give an enormous quantity of genuinely useful information to any combat controller, almost certainly far more than any other individual aircraft, or integrated system around.

          Its very easy to dump on the F-35 as so much money has been chucked at the program and there are so many obvious problems. But you can say the exact same about the Su-57, which has had a very checkered history (not to mention all those overpriced Gen 4 aircraft). But the reality is that militaries who have had a close look at it – from Japan to ROK to Thailand to Switzerland and Israel and Finland and many others – they all want it. You can dismiss one or two as being down to marketing or corruption, but not all of them (and its not as if their competitors are squeaky clean on this).

          To really assess how good combat systems are, in the absence of having massive amounts of information, you really have to use heuristics. One of mine is ‘how many people with access to inside information are trying to buy this’. Its pretty clear that the F-35 is favoured by nearly everyone, even with much cheaper and proven alternative US aircraft available. Anyone suspicious of the US goes for the Rafale. Anyone who is more worried by local peers buys the Sukhoi. For those interested in value, the ROK F-50 is doing really well. Nobody who isn’t trying to curry favour with Britain/Germany is buying the Eurofighter, and few are really interested in the Gripen. Nobody has any interest in Chinese aircraft (so far).

          1. vao

            how many people with access to inside information are trying to buy this

            The acquisition of such military systems is to a great part, and often the greatest part, decided by politics, not technical excellence, and req specs can be fine-tuned to increase the probability to reach the desired outcome.

            This year, the US Air Force has decided to reduce its procurement of F-35 in 2023, and to increase its procurement of F-15EX. And it admitted last year that the replacement of F-16 by F-35 has failed and a new airplane (not F-35) is needed. From the organization that had the closest and longest look at the F-35, this is difficult to interpret as an endorsement. Rather, it appears very much that they tried hard, but the F-35 is just too troublesome.

            Besides, the Korean complaints about the dismal availability of the F-35 is a rejoiner to the Australians downgrading the availability rate of the F-35 some months ago, and the reports about persistently low availability of F-35 in the USA.

            The Thais intend to acquire F-35 to replace their F-5 and F-16, but since the F-35 is so expensive, they will buy just a few and complement them with drones — not airplanes. As far as the UAE is concerned, I read they withdrew the deal to acquire F-35 early this year.

            Regarding the Israelis: the F-35 they received (dubbed F-35I) were built to their own specifications; they have modified the C4 system of Lockheed for their own purposes and for integrating with their other aircraft; they have modified the electronic warfare system for their own needs; they have integrated their own weapon guidance system; and they do not depend on Lockheed, as they have been given the rights, documentation, tooling and training to perform maintenance and overhauls themselves. It is a substantially different model, and the privileges granted regarding customization and upkeep are unique.

            Korea is formally at war with North Korea, and is neighbour to potentially an even more formidable opponent, China. The wide variety of combat aircraft it uses can be explained by the necessity to cover all eventualities and not bet everything on a single aircraft model (which the Europeans are doing).

            Until any of those airplanes are actually used in a context they were supposed to be employed (and not just to bomb peasants with AK-47), we will never know how well they fulfill their intended role.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              The fact that the F-35 has not achieved its original claimed aims is not in dispute – it was always silly to think that a single engined aircraft could replace so many different types (although in truth, the F-35 is in reality three different aircraft, there is little in common between the A, B and C variants than a superficial appearance and their electronics). But thats not uncommon with weapon systems and it doesn’t make it a failure. It is, after all, named after a forerunner that was a catastrophic failure in its design aims (fighter escort over Germany), but a success in its accidental role as a long range Pacific interceptor.

              It is clear that the Navy was never enthused by it – it wanted its own aircraft and was forced to accept it, and the B version is of more use to US allies than the US itself. But the adoption of the F-15EX has more to do with the failure of the F-22 than the F-35 – the latter was always supposed to fulfil the ‘lo’ part of the ‘hi-lo’ mix, with the F-22 and variants doing the high level long range thing. Its also pretty clear that the Air Force sees the F-35 as having quite a short operational life – the 6th Gen aircraft seem to be making good progress and as such will take up most resources.

              As you say, much procurement is down to politics and other things. But the reality is that most customers were offered upgraded F-16’s and F/A-18s and F-15’s (which are much easier to buy as there is less chance Congress will interfere, as they did with the Korean and Japanese purchases), and nearly all customers pushed very hard for the F-35. There has to be a reason for this beyond just politics.

              As for the Koreans, as I stated in my original post, I believe the primary reason they purchase the F-35 is not fear of North Korea or China. The ROK is very ambitious when it comes to military tech and they are busy buying up all the know-how they can get their hands on. As my link above points out, it seems at least some in Washington are well aware of this, hence blocking some optional extras. I’ve little doubt that in a decade the Boromae will be a major competitor to the F-35. They have seen the mistakes the Japanese made with trying to build up a domestic military aviation industry and they are working hard to avoid them (if you think US combat aircraft are expensive, just check out what the Japanese have paid for their domestic designs).

          2. Polar Socialist

            It had no integration whatever

            This is not true. Already in first batches the RP-31 Zaslon Weapon Control System allowed sharing data between aircraft using APD-518 secure data link: targeting data and target allocation by flight leader, radar image, wingman trajectories, missile trajectories, combat formation info etc.

            The data link allowed Mig-31s exchange tactical data within 200 km of each other, and provide targeting information for other fighters like Mig-29 or Mig-21 or ground control. It had four data exchange algorithms: group, pair exchange, leader exchange and solo.

            TKS-2 secure data link was for tactical information exchange between joint task force of up to four flights. So taken together up to 16 Mig-31s could share their tactical information, or “see what the others were seeing”.

            Mig-31 had all and all 67 antennas and aerials for integrating with all possible systems from ground control to other fighters.

            And the radar was, besides big, the first ever 3 channel (search, track, iff), 2 band phased array antenna with pulse-doppler data processing to find even low-flying targets. And it could definitely guide missiles from other aircraft to target, due to the data link.

            Only Air-defense Area (PVO) pilots were guided from the ground in the Soviet system. Each pilot had a dedicated controller in a situation room with an up-to-date tactical image in front of him, kinda like WSO but on the ground. The controller made most of the tactical decisions based on the bigger picture available to him/her.

            Soviets figured a good controller/pilot team would beat every time a pilot trying to figure the battle space out himself while flying an airplane on a hostile sky.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              Data sharing is not the same as true systems integration. The latter requires onboard computing power that the Soviets didn’t have at the time. A glance at the cockpit layout of the Mig-31 would clearly show that. It only because feasible from the 1990’s onwards so far as I’m aware.

      3. vao

        the objective evidence right now is that it is proving to be a highly effective force multiplier

        The word “effective” hides the fact that it is a terribly *inefficient* force multiplier — too expensive; laden with useless features for the role you describe (why all the fixtures to carry bombs? why a rotary cannon to strafe ground targets? why so many attachments for missiles if 4G airplanes are supposed to do the job?); too frequently grounded because of serious technical glitches, poor workmanship, and overly complex and brittle software chain…

        the ideal aircraft for any airforce wanting to keep its existing Gen 4 aircraft effective for another few decades

        The problem is that most countries that have acquired the F-35 do not have the budget to maintain both F-35 and a sizeable 4G air force, and for that matter still rely upon older generation aircraft. Thus, the Swiss still use the F-5; the Norwegians no longer have any combat aircraft besides F-35; the Finns intend to completely replace their F/A-18 with F-35 and so do the Australians; likewise, the Belgians will replace all their F-16 with F-35.

        So it seems that the idea of a limited inventory of F-35 as force multiplier for larger squadrons of other aircraft just does not correspond to the practice and the plans of those buying them. Apparently, dealing with the F-35 is so complicated and expensive that it excludes maintaining a variety of other equipment with overlapping roles. The F-35 is an ideal of an aircraft, not an ideal aircraft.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          All those countries you have listed are either integrated, or intend to integrate with Nato and as such are interoperable with the full range of air and ground based forces available to Nato (or AUKUS). As small airforces, its not practical to maintain too many types, so they pick the best one available. They’ve decided its the F-35. They had choices, they all opted for the F-35. Maybe they are stupid and corrupt. Or maybe they decided after careful consideration its the best option. I’ve no idea, I can just see what they chose.

          Countries that are not part of formal alliances, such as Israel, UAE, South Korea, Thailand and Japan have also bought, or intend to buy the F-35, and are clearly integrating them with existing western aircraft systems and see them as an important element in an overall defence strategy. Again, they had choices, but they opted for the F-35. The Swiss wanted the Gripen, but it was voted down, so its the second choice for them.

          The Israelis have used them in combat over Lebanon and Syria. There are rumours that the Russians/Syrians managed to damage one severely with the S-300 system, but nobody seems to know for sure. Its possible that the Russians held back from shooting one down so they would not give away their anti-stealth capabilities. Or its possible that despite all their efforts, they failed. Only the Israelis and Russians know.

    5. Tom Stone

      Rev, the five eyes have a big stick and bunches of sweet baby carrots.
      I would be surprised if there weren’t a combination of threat and bribes involved.
      I’m sure the NSA can give a little help to its friends in the MIC from time to time, only when it is in the National Interest of course…

    6. Tom Stone

      The F35 is the do everything Airplane again.
      There are 4 major tasks.

      1) Long range interceptor.

      2) Dogfighter/ Fighter-Bomber

      4) Ground Support.

      5) Bomber, rapidly becoming obsolete.

      Trying to combine these requirements in one airframe does not work.
      It has been tried repeatedly and it has never worked.
      The Little crappy ships, the Fart class Carriers and the Effed in more than 35 ways “Do everything” Airplane are all examples of the corruption of the US Blob.
      No Nation who looks at the F35 honestly will buy them.
      Not if they care about their pilots or are honest about what it takes in the way of highly skilled labor and unobtainium replacement parts to keep these puppies running.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Some years back I did convert to the school of thought that in military platforms “multipurpose” is a clever marketing thing that in real world means no real purpose at all.

        I’m not saying a thing (fighter, destroyer, tank) shouldn’t have multiple different uses, but it should have only one it is optimized for. It that is done well, if it excels in it’s designed role it’s also quite likely to be good in some one other role with enough overlap (even if it wont excel).

        Having dedicated stuff for different roles is bound to more expensive because you need more stuff. But on the other hand, every piece of that stuff is quite a lot cheaper, so the difference isn’t actually that big. And as a bonus, when you loose one of them, say an anti-sub frigate, you still get to keep your missile frigate and your air-defense frigate (both with some anti-sub capability).

  11. spork

    So my sweet, quiet mom politely turned down an indoor dinner with a group of ‘friends’. During the pandemic she has only attend activities that are done outdoors with this group of ‘live your life’ socialites, and has tried to be low key and respectful about continuing to mask and exercise caution. She hates causing a scene or making other feel uncomfortable, but she does not want to get COVID. This was the message sent in reply:

    “Sue, we need to talk about this ongoing panic over indoor activities. Believe me I KNOW what it’s like to have anxiety with a bit of possibility of the anxiety being true – but mostly a product of something else. Today I decided I had esophageal cancer. Why? Because there is a lump in my throat. Could I have it – possibly. It’s more likely it’s because of post nasal drip and sinusitus. And inside me, logic knows that. But panic and anxiety takes over and I can only think – cancer.

    It’s been years now. COVID is still out there, but it’s much milder and more like a flu – especially if you are vaccinated, which of course you are. This isn’t about COVID. There is something else keeping you from living your life. You are shutting yourself away from groups of people – only seeing them if outdoors. Which means half the year you see no one. I’m saying all this because it is devastating to see someone I care about do this to herself. Especially when I know how easily I fall into similar problems. But. I got help. Talk therapy, medications. Or I’d not be able to function. Please please – talk to a professional – see what help they can provide you. We all have a short time on this earth. We want you to share that time with us.”

    1. semper loquitur

      A close friend, who recently had COVID, is turning 50 in a few days. He is planning a huge birthday bash with all his friends, a disco party on a boat. Around 20 people plus kids.

      I talked to him recently and he said he didn’t bother to invite me because he (correctly) figured I wouldn’t want to go. We are going to get together at another time. I’m going to make sure it’s a few days after the party in case he gets it again, I’m sure he is still has natural anti-bodies but I’m not taking the risk.

      There aren’t any bad feelings about it, he understands how I feel, but it’s sad that he doesn’t see the risk to himself and all his other friends. He doesn’t have a problem with his fiftieth birthday being a mini-super spreader event. Or he doesn’t now, let’s see when a bunch of people get really sick. Some people only learn from experience. Some never do. At least you can keep taking the lessons as many times as you like.

      He has stated in the past that he is “done” with masking, being scared, blah blah blah. The sense of freedom those who lack freedom enjoy. This last infection was his second tango with COVID. I’ve pointed out that the damage is cumulative and all that but he makes these dismissive comments, gently mocking me about “brain fog”….

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        You may be overreacting. Life has risks, A party of 20 people on a boat is relatively low risk for Covid. 20 people in a basement is a different matter. I attended a wedding reception held out doors on a spacious deck. There were 50 or so people in attendance. As far as I know there was not a single case of Covid. The NFL season is in full swing , with packed stadiums. I have not heard of any superspreads of Covid from NFL games. Today I watched on TV a baseball playoff game. The stadium was packed, with nary a mask in sight. Will the game prove to be a superspreader event? Perhaps, but I’m guessing it won’t.

    2. mistah charley, ph.d.

      Your mother’s would-be host regards your mother’s social avoidance as a form of mental illness. Too bad this person’s views would not be changed by reading a twitter thread “ten things twitter readers know about covid that the general public does not”

      There’s a song about the Christian life that could be adapted to the covid-cautious lifestyle – the original goes

      You can’t lose a friend by heeding God’s call
      ‘Cause what kind of friend would want you to fall

      Your mother has choices – yield to peer pressure, or stand her ground, with or without trying to educate those who believe she is harming herself by prioritizing her health. May peace be with us all.

      1. anahuna

        I have often been astonished to find how many women accept that kind of condescending criticism from “friends” and are even intimidated by it. Comes down to not recognizing abuse. Perhaps training in recognizing abuse needs a wider and deeper focus.

    3. aletheia33

      with “friends” like these . . .

      i share my short time on this earth with those with whom i share mutual respect. we know it is possible to agree to disagree.

      where i live, i run into, in surprising places, these days, some people who have not drunk this particular kool-aid. people who continue to mask, etc.
      we are a quiet source of solidarity for one another, even though we may only meet in passing.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Anybody know what sort of dogs Gray & Pearl are exactly? They look like some version of terrier perhaps.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Nord Stream investigation finds evidence of detonations, Swedish police say”

    This whole story gets curiouser and curiouser. The Russians have been cut out entirely out of the investigations although they built those pipelines and have the technical expertise to help with the analysis. In fact, they are forbidden going anywhere near them. The article also mentioned that ‘The (Swedish) security service added that there was extensive damage to the gas pipelines and it had retrieved some material from the site that would now be analyzed.’ OK, so where are the photos? Why have they not published any so far? Undoubtedly tests on those samples retrieved from the site will show the presence of explosives and may take some time but they have those photos ready to go now. When you had the Deepwater Horizon oil spill about a decade ago it did not take long to show video of that line leaking. So did they pick the Swedish Security Service to investigate so that they could sit on those images as they would reveal not small holes punched into those lines but probably whole sections torn apart?

    1. nippersdad

      “OK, so where are the photos?”

      They learned their lesson when that Italian journalist posted the serial numbers of the Tochka U bomb that fell on a train station in Kramatorsk, and Victoria Nulands handwriting, from what I read, is quite distinctive. “F(amily blog) the EU” written in crayon might lead to questions no one wants to answer.

    2. vao

      There are obvious parallels with the MH17 event.

      1) Russia was immediately accused, before any evidence had been gathered, and despite the fact that it was counterproductive for Russia to attack a civilian airplane. Same for the Nordstreams.

      2) The supposedly incriminating evidence (communication data, satellite images, radar tracing) was never made public, nor even transmitted between allies. Your point about Sweden and its investigations. In the case of the MH17, the material evidence provided by Russia (complete tracing of BUK launcher and assorted missiles linked to the event, from their fabrication in the USSR to their final storage place in independent Ukraine) was simply ignored.

      3) Ukraine performed some shenanigans (such as the SBU confiscating the recordings of communications in Ukrainian control towers for the day the event occurred), and was known to have shot down a civilian airliner before. Same with the US helicopters and airplanes closely overflying the zone where the destruction took place, and the USA having a history of sabotaging energy infrastructure (Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua).

      4) Malaysia, the country owning and operating the airplane was excluded from the Joint Investigation Team (whose role was to identify the culprits having downed MH17), and it had to make a ruckus before Ukraine allowed it to participate — but ultimately was not satisfied with the conclusions of the JIT. Something similar might be happening with Nordstream 1+2.

      I assume everything will be undertaken so that the circumstances of the Nordstream sabotage and the identity of its perpetrators will be thoroughly obscured.

      1. pjay

        My thoughts exactly. Same with the Skripal “investigation.” Same with OPCW “investigations” in Syria. Russia will be shut out. Accusations made. Contradictions and contrary evidence suppressed or ignored. Eventually the event will be rabbit-holed.

    3. Polar Socialist

      Oh, I bet the Swedes will find traces of Novichok at the site. Case closed.

      Has anyone checked where Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov were at the time of the incident?

    4. zagonostra

      Is this the same Sweden helped that helped frame Assange for rape only to drop the charges once he was in UK custody?

      1. Milton

        The Swedes, God bless them, have a severe case of Russia derangement. If it’s not a case of sub intrusion delusion, it’s a Baltic sea version of Havana syndrome brought about by herring farts.

    5. Bart Hansen

      Baring Russia from an investigation into a crime they are accused of is right out of the West’s ‘playbook’

      Where are the Skripals, by the way?

    6. Kouros

      Malaysia owned the plane but somehow it was excluded from the investigation, with the Dutch taking the lead… Nothing new to see here…

  13. nippersdad

    That Helmer article really does give depth to the kinds of rhetoric that Putin is responding to in his speeches. Poland and the Baltic states just sound nuts. I fail to understand what Russia has done to anyone over the past thirty years that could generate such paranoia and hatred. It is just not rational, but then the Slavs have been doing this for a thousand years now and have yet to get bored with it.

    Speaking of irrationality…

    Just as a general thought project (generated by a comment on WC yesterday. HT Ranger Rick.*): It seems clear that there are going to be a lot of mercs floating around from the Ukraine war pretty soon, so what are the odds that they get special visa treatment from State (Nuland, Blinken, et al) to join our military? It is not like we didn’t hire a bunch of Nazis after WWII, so there is precedent and Nancy seems to get a real charge out of inviting them to Congress; Slava Ukraini and all that.

    I’m thinking the potential for losing the tattoo ban is pretty good. Taking all of those black sun tattoos off would cost money better used to irritate everyone around us as we devolve into the North Korea of the West, paranoiacally clenching onto our bond coupons and firing off random missiles at anyone who wants to take them from us. They may just end up being the Homeland Security forces The Hamptons we were looking for.

    Recruitment problem solved.

    *Ranger Rick
    October 7, 2022 at 3:57 am
    I have cynicism to spare, because this is politics we’re talking about: this announcement came right after the military announced it just barely made its recruiting goals:

    ** . . .just 23% of young people can meet the military’s fitness, educational and moral requirements — with many disqualified for reasons ranging from medical issues to criminal records and tattoos.


    1. Karl

      I wonder if the U.S. is using Zelensky and Poland to signal to the Russians that preemptive use of nukes by the U.S. is a real possibility, so watch out, Mr. Putin. Mercouris has speculated in previous podcasts that frequent warnings by DOS andDOD about nukes is deliberate coded signalling.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        When it comes to nuclear war there is an enormous advantage to the side that strikes first. The US knows this which is why it has never agreed to a no first strike policy. If I were a betting man I would bet that the next nuclear detonation is of an American weapon.

    2. GW

      ” I fail to understand what Russia has done to anyone over the past thirty years that could generate such paranoia and hatred. It is just not rational…”

      Poland and the Baltics are among the newest, and most strategically insignificant, members of NATO. They know the people of western Europe could, someday, easily vote to ditch all four states in the event of a crisis. This realization must cause Polish and Baltic elites deep anxiety.

      Therefore, Poland and the Baltics act like the boy who screams wolf. That’s why they have been so vociferous about the alleged “Russian threat.” They’ve been acting this way since well before 2014. It’s their strategy for ramping up their (perceived) strategic value for Europe.

      And, of course, Polish and Baltic elites would love to unload their “undervalued NATO eastern flank” status onto other countries, such as Ukraine, Georgia, and maybe Belarus. Hence the push to yank more former Soviet states into the alliance, even at the cost of war.

      Parting thought: read the history of Poland’s anti-Russian posturing during 1918-19, immediately prior to the Soviet war. Back then it was called the Prometeizm strategy. History moves in circles.

    3. Kouros

      I found the Balts, the Poles, the Czechs, and even the Bulgarians absolutely nuts on how they are dealing with Russia. Hungary had their revolution killed in 1956 and don’t seem to harbour that much animosity. Romanians had a big chunk of their country taken away and you barely hear a peep (I also think that Ukrainians are even less loved there than Russians). True that the media in Romania is bat-shit crazy and populated by absolute impostors and intellectual imps, but the population at large doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the war in Ukraine.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        Since much of eastern Europe was made free of Jews (Judenfrei) in the 1940s countries like Poland and the Baltic states can easily forget what the Nazis did there. They may even quietly applaud what the Nazis did. When the mobile killing units (Einsatzgrupen) were doing the dirty work much of the actual killing was done by Latvians, Lithuanians, and Ukrainians. I am not at all surprised by the vitriol aimed at Russia by Poland and the Baltic states.

  14. KD

    Matt Stoller:

    Many decades ago, I used to read Lester Thurow’s books on economics for dummies. I remember a discussion that government spending created positive economic growth similar to private sector employment (attempted refutation of libertarian notions that redistribution was a net drag on growth). For example, the government welfare office rented space which was a capital good, and bought typewriters (old days) and this was economic activity just as much as when IBM did it. However, if you think about it, government redistribution, to the extent that it require overhead, produces capital spending, and the more efficient it is provided, the less capital spending. In contrast, the more a heavy industry becomes efficient, the more capital spending it has to undergo to preserve its competitive advantage and improve productivity. [I want to leave aside the fact that redistribution from rich to poor creates a shift from saving to consumption and props up aggregate demand. . . I get that redistribution can stabilize demand and stabilize the impact of the busines cycle.]

    Long preface, but the point is that the finance sector, or at least, the consumer finance sector, is functionally no different from the welfare department, except that consumer finance redistributes money from the poor to the rich. As finance becomes more efficient, the less capital is required to support it, and the less demand for capital goods. If you shift your economy from manufacturing to financial services (and tech monopolies), less and less purchases of capital goods are necessary. It hollows out the economy, and sharply increases inequality, because consumer finance, like gambling, redistributes wealth from the poor to the rich, and the bigger the share of the economy, the faster and more extreme the redistribution.

    Beginning to circle back to Stoller, in a representative government, or a republic, the middle class operates as the mediating force between the rich and the poor, and a large middle class stabilizes the society and politics. A hollowed out middle class de-stablizes the republic (as happened to Rome), and you are left with aristocrats, security guards, and angry proles with pitchforks and torches. Its not clear to me that the vision of society offered by Cato can actually support a republican form of government, because it does not produce or sustain a sufficient middle class to preserve political stability. I believe this is what Peter Thiel was getting at in his speech at the Nat Con Convention. Nationalizing California is a recipe for political collapse.

    It is true that you can get some kind of fascist system that protects the wealthy from the proles, and shuts down elections, but its important to notice that that kind of society is based on the primacy of force, not money, and the wealthy end up the prisoners of their guards, if safe from the masses.

    The other important point is that whites in America are well-primed to espouse anti-racist norms, but if you look at housing patterns, whites consistent prefer overwhelmingly majority white housing. Eric Kaufmann in his Whiteshift book talked about studies in London, and whites flee when even a small minority community moves in. Studies in Georgia have found the same phenomenon, and one can offer statistics about Black crime, but whites in Georgia moved when the suburbs started peopling up with Asians, who have lower crime rates. Its not “public safety,” its a strong racial preference. Further, most of the great anti-racist spokespeople exemplify this public talk while living in overwhelmingly white neighborhoods. Performative anti-racism appears to be a status game to separate elites from non-elites whites, but underneath it all, whites behave on extremely racialistic grounds. The point is that one can be suspicious of the bona-fides of performative anti-racism, and be assured that there is a significant amount of unarticulated racial animus which could flare up at any time.

    To sum it up: you have a failed economic system that cannot support a republican system, and then you go and play with racial politics, which is basically throwing a molotov cocktail at the problem, and what happens if you get a serious white backlash, which could happen on a dime. [Look at the way norms have changed around homosexuality, what if norms on race went 180 degrees in 30 years.] It seems like we are spiraling toward some kind of nasty neoliberal apartheid system.

    1. KD

      Its pretty clear that monopoly is a great way of maximizing profit, and short of piracy, return on equity is always going to be higher on gambling, speculating and money lending than actually manufacturing a product, but all the real technical and scientific advances come directly from the deployment of capital into advanced production capabilities and/or public infrastructure spending. The stagnation in the USA is a direct result of the collapse of manufacturing.

  15. Katniss Everdeen

    I don’t know whether this has been covered here, but “… the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has upheld a lower court in ruling against DACA.”

    Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit (with U.S. Circuit Judges James Ho and Kurt Engelhardt), Chief Judge Priscilla Richman found that President Obama did indeed circumvent Congress and evaded the limits imposed in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) when it enacted DACA in 2012. The court declared:

    “Under the first factor, DACA’s deficiencies are severe. The district court’s excellent opinion correctly identified fundamental substantive defects in the program. The DACA Memorandum contradicts significant portions of the INA. There is no possibility that DHS could obviate these conflicts on remand.”

    The Fifth Circuit also rejected the common claim that this is nothing more than the exercise of prosecutorial discretion not to prosecute cases:

    “As our court held in DAPA [Deferred Action for Parents of Americans], “‘[a]lthough prosecutorial discretion is broad, it is not “unfettered.”’ Declining to prosecute does not transform presence deemed unlawful by Congress into lawful presence and confer eligibility for otherwise unavailable benefits based on that change.”

    Even if the INA were ambiguous, DACA would fail at step two because it is an unreasonable interpretation of the INA. Like DAPA, DACA “undoubtedly implicates ‘question[s] of deep “economic and political significance” that [are] central to this statutory scheme; had Congress wished to assign that decision to an agency, it surely would have done so expressly.’”

    There is no “clear congressional authorization” for the power that DHS claims.”

    So, I wonder what happens now. Along with the millions of illegal immigrants pouring over the border since biden took over, some future president and congress is going to have to deal with a pretty ugly mess. The “solution” is bound to be just as ugly.

    1. Glossolalia

      I’d guess that what happens now is more of the same. This is still related to something that happened in 2012, ten years ago. Biden can just do something via execute order and be safe in the knowledge that it’ll take a decade to overturn.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Yes, and it’s worth remembering what happened in the intervening 10 years.

        After his inauguration in 2017, Trump attempted to end the obama era, executive order enabled program. He was met with the (by then) usual barrage of racist, xenophobic, fascistic hysteria, and was sued by various states and other entities. Here’s how huffpo described it in September, 2017:

        The lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York, argues that President Donald Trump’s decision to terminate the program, which protects undocumented immigrants who arrived as youth from deportation, violated due process and amounted to a discriminatory attempt “to punish and disparage people with Mexican roots.” Some 78 percent of DACA recipients were born in Mexico, according to the complaint.

        The case was eventually taken up by the “supreme” court, which included the notorious rbg at the time. The court rendered its 5-4 opinion in June, 2020. Trump lost. john roberts cast the tie-breaking vote. Both thomas and alito maintained that DACA was illegal from the start. Here’s how the daily Beast put it at the time:

        It bears noting that the Court did not rule on DACA itself–only on the flawed process of repealing it. If President Trump is reelected, this issue will come back, and the administration will surely provide all the kinds of rationales and explanations that it failed to do the first time. DACA is not necessarily here to stay.

        But in practice, that process will not happen before the election.

        That, of course, is the most significant result of this landmark case: that 700,000 “Dreamers” will not be deported, and that another of Trump’s signature initiatives has been defeated. Already, celebrations have broken out among immigration activists.

        Sounds to me like another case of Roe v. Wade-level democrat malfeasance. repubs learn from their mistakes and alter course. dems think they can keep their mistakes limping along forever. Especially when obama the great is the constitutional genius who made them.

  16. Glossolalia

    How would three-hour power cuts work if enacted in Great Britain?

    “The electricity and gas system operator has said households could face a series of three-hour power cuts if Vladimir Putin shuts off gas supplies from Russia”

    What about if the US blows up more pipelines? What’s the plan for that?

    1. nippersdad

      Seems like it was only a few months ago that Britain was bragging that they only got about four or five percent of their gas from Russia and that any disruptions caused by the sanctions would be easily missed.

      It would be funny were it not so sad. It doesn’t take long for pipes to freeze during cold snaps. That is going to be hard to manage. What would one do? Drain the pipes every day before you go to work?

  17. The Rev Kev

    “The Massive Gas Field That Europe Can’t Use”

    They could have done it if they had done it right – perhaps. They could have had those corporations getting that gas settling all home damage claims caused by earthquakes and settling or even doing total house rebuilds. Instead, and with the cooperation with PM Rutte, they ignored all those damaged homes, grabbed the gas & the profits and ran. And now they want back in for more. At the very least they should settle all those damaged home claims but you know that they won’t but will try to throw those people under the bus once again. But it seems this time they will be in for some serious push-back. Maybe the Dutch can buy some of those ATGMs on the Ukrainian black market and take out any new well-heads in defense of their homes. :)

    1. Werther

      The reality is, people over there aren’t that bullish…. And Germany is probably inquiring about long-standing arrangements on the delivery of NG. It seems very probable that the interests of about a 100K people will be weighed against international obligations. It’ll be interesting to see how PM Rutte is going to handle that. Anyway, production in Jamal Peninsula sure doesn’t shake and rattle 100K Russians (some Samojeed reindeer herders maybe…). From my memory… that giant NG field was est. in ’60 to be about 2400 billion m3 NG. About 1100 is still there… We sure had a nice time, wasting 1300 on tomatoes, gerbera’s and draughty houses… And a lot of shareholders.

  18. timbers

    Biden Administration

    US says ‘nothing off table’ in response to Opec+ oil cuts FT ……………. well it’s not just oil that’s going up in price. After latest weekly trip to grocery store there is also: bread is going up again, Australian red wines up about 20%, and Apothic Red at $10.59 vs $8.49 last week, co-workers zbuzz over the announced 67% increase in electricity. And do I need to say anything about eggs? Dispite all this and more recent guesstimates say that Dems may retain Congress truly shows many have figured out they have choice besides the Uni-Party and that nothing will change regardless who vote for. The cost of pleasure and necessity is going up up up.

  19. tegnost

    “fetish for keeping white males with low education in the powerful positions they are in.”

    Gets me thinking about all my tech friends who didn’t go to college so when one says something like “All’s for the best in the best of all possible world’s” they have no idea what you’re talking about. Not sure about the powerful part, but they certainly have lots of money.

  20. fresno dan
    Even more interesting were the responses when African Americans were asked if they would support President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump if the 2024 presidential election were held today. About 70 percent of respondents indicated they would vote for Biden, while fully 23 percent said they would support Trump, who won about 12 percent of Black votes in the 2020 race.
    I don’t think most blacks voting for Trump think Trump will do any more for them than dems, just like whites, but if dems prove time, and time, and time again that they will screw the working class with relish, what other choice does a voter have?

  21. Old Sovietologist

    The Nobel Peace Prize is for the first time since 1901 being shared by three laureates, We have the

    Founder of the Belarusian human rights organization “Spring” Ales Bialiatski

    Russian human rights org “Memorial” whose main claim to fame seems to have been to put Nazi collaborators down as victims of Stalinism

    Oh and finally the Ukrainian “Centre for Civil Liberties”

    Comparing Martin Luther King Jr or the International Committee of the Red Cross with the current laureates just boggles the mind. The award is not for the cause of peace but what the West approves of at the moment.

    1. hunkerdown

      “The Eurovision Prize for World Peace in Honor of Alfred Nobel”

      I mean, why not just officially hand the whole world prize thing over to Sveriges Riksbank, so as to reflect actual practice.

    2. Pat

      Hey, just remember that they gave Obama the award. And after their mistake was pointed out to them said they couldn’t rescind any award. It has been meaningless long before these choices.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        The unindicted war criminal Henry Kissinger was also awarded the Peace Prize. People and committees are strange.

  22. fresno dan
    At this stage in the war, virtually all of this pablum is asinine and counterproductive to the actual U.S. national interest in these contested areas. Our national interest in the Ukrainian theater is not coterminous with Zelensky’s absolutist stance; our interest is for de-escalation, detente, and peace. But if we want to achieve those ends — especially as the threat of nuclear warfare is bursting out into the open, many in the West recklessly double down on calls for Ukraine’s ascension to NATO, and the war-hungry Zelensky is himself calling for a NATO-led “preemptive strike” against Russia — Biden needs to recognize reality and change strategic course immediately.
    That our present ruling class demonstrates no interest in common sense de-escalation and instead demonstrates a seemingly interminable interest in escalation and Ukrainian territorial maximalism, speaks volumes about how out of touch that ruling class is. If nothing else, hopefully, the American people speak up and begin to rein in our sordid, war-hungry ruling class at the ballot box next month.
    I think what is noteworthy here is this is a repub, conservative, call it what you will publication (yeah, the American Conservative has been against Ukraine involvment from the beginning, but Townhall caters more to the repub base). All though there have been a few repubs who have been skeptical of involvement in Ukraine, for the most part the vast majority of repubs have stayed in the neocon fold. So hopefully this will be a start of a trend, maybe even going back to the good old days of isolationism.

    1. Werther

      Do you think a sturdy congressional victory for the Republicans is going to change a lot? When I reflect on MSM news and discussions over here it’s doubling down exponentially. Interesting to survey mainstream thought over here with that around you, in the States. The twisted reasoning over here is, he (Putin, they mean RF government) hasn’t many options left. Army in tatters, Ukies in winning mood, opposition growing. Biden is a Leader…he warned unpredictable and irrational Putin! NATO capabilities are strong…

    2. Anthony G Stegman

      The war appears to be going very well for Ukraine. Russian forces are being annihilated, Putin is not well, and is hiding out in one of his nuclear bunkers. Zelensky frequently holds court with world leaders and celebrities. Why would the US change course? Victory for the US is certain.

  23. Old Sovietologist

    I see the US lapdog the OAS voted for a resolution condemning Russia’s “illegal, unjustified and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.”

    The usual payroll states were among the 24 who voted for the resolution but they also included Chile, Peru and Columbia. I won’t be expecting an independent foreign policy that doesn’t allign with the US from those three countries.

    Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Honduras, Dominica, Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines did not support the resolution

    During the 74 years of the existence of the OAS, it has never condemned or even questioned any of the dozens of incursions by the United States and its allies into independent countries, but immediately after the revolution it excluded Cuba. I suppose you shouldn’t expect any better.

    1. tegnost

      I find myself regularly wondering what this clusterfrack would have been like with the TPP enacted, and generally come out thinking we dodged a bullet there…

      My way or the highway, who has the gold makes the rules, and the like (I welcome any other suggestions)…these are the religious parables of our day…

      1. Polar Socialist

        At least the investor-state dispute settlement would make the sanctions ridiculously expensive for the governments as “investors” would seek huge compensations.

      2. Kouros

        An old one for you:

        “…since you know as well as we do the right, as the world goes, is only in question between equal power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”

    2. jsn

      I suspect alignment of OAS heads of State with US policy reflects mostly their trust level with their personal security forces.

      They will all have seen the kinds of things that can happen.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to hear someone showed Bernie the Zapruder film while Nevada “results” were in development two years ago.

  24. fresno dan

    And another thing. Anyone remember The Day After ?
    Now, maybe my memory is faulty. I remember Reagan as being characterized as a “cowboy” and a man ready who believed very much in American power, but I don’t remember any high level officials speaking about the imminent possibility of nuclear war. Certainly Reagan didn’t say what Biden had said. Yet the attitude of the media, than and now, seems to me 180 degrees different. If what I see reported today, had been reported back in 1983, the outcry would have been immense, overwhelming, and consequential. Today, the possibility of nuclear war is met with a big meh
    Is it because everybody thinks it is just posturing? Am I naive to be concerned – really, nothing is going to happen – nothing can happen???

  25. NotThisAgain

    I remember Reagan as being characterized as a “cowboy” and a man ready who believed very much in American power, but I don’t remember any high level officials speaking about the imminent possibility of nuclear war. Certainly Reagan didn’t say what Biden had said

    This is sort of off topic, and I realize that it is a very, very minority opinion, but I remember writing an essay on Reagan in a class a couple of decades ago. Reagan was actually absolutely terrified of nuclear war–his rhetoric was quite strong, but it was typically used (masterfully, imo) as a substitute for military aggression rather than a precursor to it.

    I think this was about the only thing he really, truly did well in his entire time in office.

    1. fresno dan

      I remember there were quite a few neocons and repubs who were quite miffed at Reagan for meeting with Gorbachev in Iceland. Reasgan did the right thing in trying to reduce tensions and the possibility of war.

    2. hk

      That is my sense as well, and he knew to exit gracefully when situation was getting sticky. I remain in awe of how quickly and noiselessly he pulled US out of Lebanon after the marine barracks were bombed.

  26. Wukchumni

    Fat Bear Week 2022: The voting has started CNN
    I keep hearing reports of starving bears breaking into cabins and houses throughout Cali, we have a presumably fat one which has raided 7 cabins here (does it have tally marks on the side of it’s rump?) and in one case, it made off with half a refrigerator worth, and then came back a few days later for the rest.

    I’m not leaving even a tiny morsel worth of food in my cabin over the winter…

  27. Karl

    RE:micro molten fast reactor can fit on a truck.

    Fascinating. This concept used to be nicknamed ” three pipes and a pump” for its simplicity. Now, this passive cooling design takes out the pump.

    This is one reason I love NC: it’s so good at distilling what’s important in the news in very diverse domains.

    I personally think the molten salt fast reactor is the only sane way to go with nuclear power. The Chinese are way ahead of us in developing this, as usual.

    1. Acacia

      I personally think the molten salt fast reactor is the only sane way to go with nuclear power.

      You mean like the Japanese Monju reactor that only functioned for one hour in 20 years?

      1. wilroncanada

        Too many Americans, and Canadians, are already plugged in to psychoceramics, in other words, crackpots. (hat tip Morey Amsterdam)

    1. fresno dan

      encourage bike riding, improve race relations, reduce inequality?
      Nah, I’m thinking presage a nuclear strike against Russia

      1. Wukchumni

        encourage bike riding, improve race relations, reduce inequality?
        Nah, I’m thinking presage a nuclear strike against Russia

        Remember when gas stations were full service (at no extra cost) and they’d always be giving stuff away to entice you to come.

        My favorite was they’d sell you the ‘A’ Funk & Wagnals encyclopedia for a penny, but B-Z editions were like $4.99, and as a consequence, people would buy that edition and be hep as far as Aachen & Azerbaijan and everything inbetween, but were oblivious about anything starting with B through Z, ha.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      A few days ago, cnbc was reporting on new car sales.

      According to their transportation guy, Phil LeBeau, 14.3% of new car loans currently being made in the u.s. have monthly payments of $1000 or more. They interviewed one dealer who claimed that 50% of his new-car-buying customers were taking 7 or 8 year loans with monthly payments of $1000 or greater.

      So, I have no idea about the “national psyche,” but I think that $10/gal. gas will alleviate the pressure in the housing market, since people will be able to “afford” a car or a stationary roof over their heads, but not both.

  28. Screwball

    Shout out to Lambert – you might like this one – from NPR

    Hand-counting ballots may sound nice. It’s actually less accurate and more expensive


    What the research has found

    Hand-counting ballots is a voting “solution” that, to those without familiarity with elections, may sound nice. The problem is that counting tactic has actually been found to be significantly less accurate, more expensive and more time-consuming than using tabulation equipment.

    The beginning of the article states;

    It’s a common refrain from election deniers and the Republicans who support them this election cycle: Get rid of the machines.

    According to many conspiracy theorists, the 2020 election was stolen by an algorithm, therefore if you take computers out of the voting process you can further secure your election.

    That’s all you need for my PMC friends to be in total agreement with this. They sound like the Duke Bros – “turn those machines back on”

    You really can’t make this stuff up.

    1. Darthbobber

      Really sad piece of writing. Nary a mention of what the international standard is.
      The pretence that election integrity concerns are the exclusive property of maga “nutjobs”, when the reality is that such concerns are widespread among those familiar with the technologies.
      No attempt to rhyme this take with the periodic hyperventilating about “hackers” (almost invariably Russian) compromising the integrity of these systems. Hard for hackers to compromise pens and paper.

  29. fresno dan

    So, take these 3 steps in the event of nuclear war
    1. go inside
    2. stay inside
    3. listen to the media (because, after all, our peace loving media told you how peace loving Joe Biden was)
    uh, um, I think they forgot step 4:
    bend over, as far as you can, and kiss your ass good bye

    1. Glossolalia

      In the event of nuclear war go outside and get as close the blast as possible because afterwards the living are going to envy the dead.

      1. anon in so cal

        HHS is purchasing $290 Million of an Amgen drug to reduce radiation-induced blood-clotting impairment. (apologies if this has already been posted)

        “HHS Buys Amgen Drug for Radiological, Nuclear Emergency Use

        Oct. 4, 2022, 9:42 PM

        The Department of Health and Human Services is buying a supply of an Amgen USA Inc. drug approved to treat injuries that accompany acute radiation syndrome, according to a release from HHS.

        The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority is using authority provided under the 2004 Project Bioshield Act and $290 million allocated in Project BioShield to purchase the supply
        The purchase is made “to save lives following radiological and nuclear emergencies,” according to the release.”

    1. Ignacio

      Must be the term “epigenetic” barely known or used outside scientists. Epigenetic changes involve chemical changes in chromatin (basically histones and DNA) modulating gene expression together with other batteries of factors. Play an important role on cell differentiation, cancer development, flowering and other events in plants, diseases and some drugs are associated with epigenetic changes.

      This is a world on its own and I have just a tiny knowledge about it. My friends working on these processes say, funnily enough, “la cromatina me la empina” not proper for family blog but can be politely translated as “sex and chromatin provoke me akin” to complete the rhyme.

  30. spud

    love the idiot from the cato inst., pure lunacy that should be rewarded with a life time job in a pakistan cotton mill.

    we will never get rid of that type because these are the guys who were unleashed on us in 1993.

    “One of the impediments to getting this legislation passed is expected to come from lobbyists and trade groups representing multi-national corporations in the U.S. that don’t want to see any restrictions placed on their ability to improve their bottom line from outsourcing – regardless of its impact on American workers or national security. (There’s a good reason these corporations are called “multi-national.”)

    the article is from a site which i cannot link to, it gets s##t canned the minute i post it, tried at least 4 times.

    its a site about a parade, the parade is on wall street.

  31. spud

    the jackson water article i read a a day or two ago, its great. however we cannot get rid of the wall street parasites and reform our economy till authors of the articles like that, acknowledge how jackson got into the shape its in today.

    Father Of The U.S. Financial Debacle: Bill Clinton Allowed The Banks To Manipulate The Markets Beginning In 1999

  32. GW

    The disinformation coming from Washington and Brussels is getting worse. The US and EU are sinking to new, ever-more-egregious lows concerning manipulation of facts.

    That’s because Biden spoke today of “nuclear armageddon.” Anti-Russian media wonks in the US compare present Russia tensions with the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

    American statesmen and their media allies are conning Americans into thinking that the barbaric Russians are at it again. Threatening us – and the world – with nuclear destruction.

    Sadly, many, many Americans are not aware of the irony. Most of them don’t understand that, right now, nuclear tensions are spiking because US/NATO is doing to Russia exactly the same thing that the Soviets did to America in 1962.

    The Cuban situation happened because Khrushchev lost his judgment and tried to turn that country into a Soviet military base, intending to subvert US national security on America’s own borders. That’s why JFK threatened nuclear war against Moscow in 1962.

    The present nuclear tensions with Russia exist because US/NATO leaders lost their judgment and have been striving to turn Ukraine into a Western military base, for the purpose of subverting Russian national security on the RF’s own borders. That’s why hawks in the Kremlin are talking about the possibility of using tactical nukes in Ukraine.

    You’d think the analogy between Cuba and Ukraine is easy to understand, and that most reasonably intelligent people could understand we’re now dealing with 1962 in reverse (US as the aggressor this time). But no-go. The US public is so brainwashed about Ukraine that most Americans, if properly informed of the Cuba comparison, would drop their jaws and exclaim, “Putin propaganda!”

  33. LawnDart



    Looks like the West is hitting more infrastructure… pressuring and hoping for a less-than-measured response from Russia?

    1. LawnDart

      Appears to have been a truck-bomb– this website has purported CCTV footage of the blast:

      https://money-budget [DOT] ru/news/vzryv-kryskiy-most.html

      Dunno about damage to the railway line, but the roadway seems to have lost a section or two. From what I see, this may be an attempt to slow-down resupply to Kherson, or it could be because that the West is just pissed-off that Russia built the bridge in the first place and finally decided to act on it’s displeasure.

      Ukraine keeps handing-out IOUs for an ass-kicking: I wonder how and when Russia will collect?

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