Links 2/8/2023

Farmers Find Wild African Cat Wandering Around Missouri Smithsonian

Have model organisms evolved too far? (press release) University of Birmingham. E. coli.


Study: 15 million people live under threat of glacial floods AP

Green Empire? New Left Review

New Not-So-Cold War

Will Ukraine Wind Up Making Territorial Concessions to Russia? Foreign Affairs. Ask the experts! Handy chart:

(The faces are for experts actually quoted in the article.)

GOP base warms to giving Russia some of Ukraine’s territory WaPo

The Anatomy of Annexation: How a 2010 ICJ Ruling Destabilized International Law to Putin’s Benefit The National Interest

* * *

Germany approves delivery of Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine Andalou Agency. 178. But maybe 237. And such small portions!

Ukraine army discipline crackdown sparks fear and fury on the front Politico

As Russia Amasses Troops in East, Questions Remain About Its Ability to Sustain an Offensive NYT

* * *

In Ukraine, There’s Once Again Talk Of An Anti-Corruption Campaign. Will It Really Happen This Time? Radio Free Europe. Note the source.

Security Service of Ukraine notifies its former head of suspicion of high treason Ukrainska Pravda

Ukraine War Day #349: Who Is Destroying Ukraine’s Forests? Awful Avalanche

IMF issues Russian economic growth outlook that is more optimistic than Bank of Russia’s BNE Intellinews

How Putin made himself Maidan-proof by waging war on Ukraine Al Jazeera

Does the United Nations still exist? Social Europe


Jackson water system a step closer to getting new owners AP. Not viewed with favor by Jackson.


Long COVID: What Do the Latest Data Show? KFF. Good news if true.

Bivalent Covid-19 Vaccines — A Cautionary Tale (perspective) NEJM. “Why did the strategy for significantly increasing BA.4 and BA.5 neutralizing antibodies using a bivalent vaccine fail? The most likely explanation is imprinting. The immune systems of people immunized with the bivalent vaccine, all of whom had previously been vaccinated, were primed to respond to the ancestral strain of SARS-CoV-2. They therefore probably responded to epitopes shared by BA.4 and BA.5 and the ancestral strain, rather than to new epitopes on BA.4 and BA.5.”

Analysis of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Among Immunocompromised Individuals in a Large US Health System JAMA. From the Conclusion: “Our results highlight a substantial gap in adherence to CDC recommendations for mRNA monovalent COVID-19 booster doses among immunocompromised individuals in a large, sociodemographically diverse population.”


US should not let its China policy drift because of sensationalizing of balloon: China Daily editorial China Daily

Commentary: Spy balloon or not, history cautions against overreaction in latest tension to US-China relations Channel News Asia

On day ‘spy balloon’ was shot down, China refused call with Pentagon chief, US says South China Morning Post

* * *

Tech war: starved of chips, China’s bid to topple US as No 1 economy faces ‘unprecedented’ pressure South China Morning Post


Myanmar’s coup: Two years on but a long fight ahead Frontier Myanmar

Tipping the scales in Myanmar’s civil war Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Bill Gates: Stop Telling Africans What Kind of Agriculture Africans Need Scientific American

European Disunion

More than 750,000 protest against pension reform across France France24

‘Real’ wages fell at record speed in Germany last year The Local

Here is when Russia starts building Hungary’s new nuclear power plant Daily News Hungary

Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: Race to Rescue Survivors WSJ. Live updates.

Dear Old Blighty

Strikes: Who is taking industrial action in 2023 and when? Sky News

England’s Health Service Enters Biggest-Ever Week Of Strikes Forbes

UK‘s Royal Mail workers call off 24-hour strike, union says Reuters. Solidarity!

Britons face 20,000 digital pound cap under Bank of England plan Reuters. The ceiling for dull normals when they take away cash? Good to know.

Biden Administration

Remarks of President Joe Biden – State of the Union Address as Prepared for Delivery The White House

Joe Biden warns China over threats to US sovereignty in State of the Union address FT

Biden, GOP battle at raucous state of the union The Hill

Expect Big Replenishment Orders Soon, Army Tells Industry Defense One. Ka-ching.

Supply Chain

Climbing cases of seafarer abandonment places profits above people as $40 million is lost in unpaid crew wages Hellenic Shipping News

Iran’s ‘ghost fleet’ switches into Russian oil FT


U.S. Health Care from a Global Perspective, 2022: Accelerating Spending, Worsening Outcomes The Commonwealth Fund. Commentary:



Japan rolls out ‘humble and lovable’ delivery robots Bangkok Post (Furzy Mouse). Every time I see the dorbs-inducing rounded edges of one of those lozenge-like bots creeping about I want to beat it into shards with bat.

Killer robot swarms, an update Politico

Our Famously Free Press

Will Ashley Biden’s Diary Take Down Project Veritas? After a decade of punking liberals with hidden-camera stings, James O’Keefe becomes the story. New York Magazine. From January, still entertaining at the very least.

The Blood Libel Commonweal. A very early moral panic.

Gaslighting: What It Is and How to Stop It WebMD

Class Warfare

America’s Labor Shortages Are Good, Actually Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

Fed chair warns of even higher rates if jobs data stays strong FT. Still turning the rubber thumbscrew…..

A Chilling Paragraph from 1960 Ted Gioia, The Honest Broker (IM Doc).

Antidote du jour (via):

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

    There is a clique of crazy neocons atop our Federal government,
    and a claque of their war hawk followers atop the EU and USA,
    and infesting many think tanks and media outlets.
    This is their anthem.

    (melody borrowed from A Summer Song by Chad and Jeremy)

    Sanctions on the Russian state
    Folks we love to denigrate
    And hope they die

    Plan to Balkanize the place
    Dispensing with the Slavic race
    And profit thereby

    Such an ethnic boullabaise
    And we could use the living space
    We Have To Try

    They say our empire has to end some day
    Hegemons must fall
    But doncha know we’re Exceptional
    The rules apply to you
    We aren’t planning to collapse
    And we fight for scraps

    We’re insane
    We like eminent domain
    We like some slick legerdemain
    And we’ll come at you

    They say our empire has to end some day
    Hegemons must fall
    But doncha know we’re Exceptional
    The rules apply to you
    We aren’t planning to collapse
    And we fight for scraps

    Watch our Reich
    Destroy whatever we dislike
    A quick decapitation strike
    We Have To Try

    We Have To Try . . .

  2. Stephen

    Bill Gates Should Stop Telling Africans What Kind of Agriculture Africans Need

    Am I reading this correctly?

    Gates, Soros, assorted oligarchs, NGOs and academics they fund plus agri corporations want to sell African farmers all sorts of innovations that will put them into debt, increase the level of investment needed in farming and effectively convert them into sharecroppers or else create plantation economies?

    All in the guise of higher yields and reducing world hunger but with the efficacy unproven.

    Sounds like extractive economics.

    As an alumnus I am sorry to see that Cornell is linked to this too.

    Please tell me I am too cynical and have totally misunderstood.

    1. Daniil Adamov

      Weren’t they already doing precisely this for years? I definitely remember such stories about Gates, at least.

    2. Ed Miller

      As Lambert often says, you can’t be too cynical. Apologies to Lambert if I misquoted a statement said by another.

    3. Chas

      And ruin the land and rivers just like in the USA. Too bad Gates can’t give money to support organic, regenerative agriculture in Africa, which I suspect they still have a lot of. Too bad about Cornell. Perhaps you are not cynical enough.

      1. Grateful Dude

        Funny that the Rockefellers (Peggy) have a 250 acre organic farm, also focused on sustainability, in the Hudson Valley. I heard that the Rockefeller Foundation was a model for Gates.

        This must be about making way for plantations that export food. Gates must know what he’s doing to Africa.

    4. semper loquitur

      The worship of billionaires is one of the more distressing aspects of modern life. Gates, Thiel, Musk: all of these parasites are consulted on things they have no real expertise in. People cleave to power, even power that makes their lives worse.

    5. britzklieg

      Let’s talk about Jamaica, then ask why “they” wouldn’t want to do the same to the entire African continent:
      watch this documentary and weep:

      “Life and Debt” documents the extremely negative effects “globalization” has on the Jamaican economny and agriculture. Juxtaposing typical tourist views with searingly challenging economic conditions of Jamaican natives, the audience begins to see a side of this culture normally hidden away.

      Jamaica can’t take all the rap for its poor performance on millennium development goals
      Past IMF policies forced on Jamaica have had a devastating effect on its economy and capacity to make progress

      two decades ago, and how quickly we forget.

    6. thousand points of green

      James Jesus Angleton once said of the CIA . . . ” There are many rooms in the mansion.”

      The same might well be true for Cornell. This Cornell Alliance for Junk Science might not be the only semi-self propelled group at Cornell.

      There is also a group for System of Rice Intensification at Cornell which to me seems rather different.

      There is also a USDA Climate Hub based at Cornell. It came up when I looked for “Cornell biochar”.
      And so it may well be studying biochar, among other things.

      Cornell also has a group of people studying terra preta.

      So there may be parts of Cornell to be non-embarrassed about. Meanwhile, it might be possible over time to launch a counter-offensive against CAS to get it discredited and rejected by many.

      And about Gates himself? What if people started referring to Gates as the Soros of Seattle? Could clever photoshoppers morph the faces of Gates and Soros together into one Gatesoros face?

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Will Ukraine Wind Up Making Territorial Concessions to Russia?”

    Trust Foreign Affairs to ask mostly think tank wonks like those from the Atlantic Council. Perhaps they should have asked a few military people their opinions. But not serving General officers as they still have to carry water for their leaders. Better to ask retired majors and Colonels such as Douglas Macgregor. But the title in any case is nonsense and here would have been a similar title-

    “The Times” newspaper, December 1864

    “Will the Confederacy Wind Up Making Territorial Concessions to the Union?”

        1. Gregorio

          The defense industry lobbyist/consultant apprenticeship program graduates showing off their merit badges.

        2. JBird4049

          I actually like those uniforms, but they were first created when the United States had a prewar army smaller than any European country including, IIRC Belgium.

          It was also when the country could make almost anything and built an entire effective military in a few years while having not that much corruption doing so. None of this is true anymore. Maybe they are trying to pretend that what my country was is. It’s insulting.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      That was my reaction as well. Hard to make concessions when you have lost. Russia has taken Crimea and will likely have control of the entire Donbas soon.

      Seems like some narrative-shaping is in play, as usual.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      The only thing that I got from that article is that Foreign Affairs does not know how to frame a polling question. What do you answer if you think Ukraine will concede territory but it won’t be through a negotiated settlement? Or you think there will be a negotiated settlement but it won’t involve formally conceding territory?

      Apart from that, its clear that the foreign affairs think tank world has more than its fair share of village idiots.

      1. chris

        If only the wokesters could invade and disassemble the white, male, war monger class that infests these think tanks. Maybe if Rand and others were more concerned about ambiguously gendered turtles we’d see fewer articles about what country the US should destroy next? Why does the crapification never affect the industries that make our lives worse?!

        “I’m sorry Senator Cheugy, we totes meant to publish tf out of that white paper but there was a huge blowout in our knitting circle and there’s no way we can consider the economic impact of direct conflict against Iran at this delicate time…”

      2. Jeff V

        “Any settlement that involves Kyiv making territorial concessions would only perpetuate the war by emboldening Moscow to attack Ukraine again in the future. The only stable outcome is one in which Ukraine retakes, at a minimum, the territory Russia has taken since February 24, 2022.”

        Only the Sith and the Atlantic Council deal in absolutes.

        I somehow failed to spot the glorious stability that suffused the region prior to 24 February 2022.

    3. chris

      It is interesting to watch how things get rolled up in these articles, isn’t it? You wonder if the people wasting the type on the digital page will ever get around to questioning the basic premise of the whole affair. Why should we have any say? What does this mean to us, and the US? Can another country, or a people within a country, have any claim to specific rights and interests? Or should we assume the responsibility of dictating what other people are allowed to consider in different countries?

      I’m perfectly capable of listening to a Ned Price explain why the Ukraine conflict is an existential exercise for the US. I’m perfectly willing to consider arguments and evidence that the outcome of this conflict matters to more than the MIC and select corrupt officials around the world. The fact that we aren’t even allowed to publicly consider such questions, let alone expect any answers, tells me most of what I need to know. I suppose we’ll start seeing articles sooner or later about how Biden’s alleged “masterful” handling of the war wasn’t good enough. Or else we’ll see a last desperate gasp from our overlords to convince us that direct US involvement is necessary. I think the articles discussing how Putin may have signed off on the missle that shot down MH17 could be the start of that. Not that we have to worry about that domestically. Our airplanes don’t leave the ground on any schedule a terrorist could predict…

      1. Felix_47

        I did not see it here although it might be here but the recent detailed explanation and history of the US Navy blowing up Nordstream and how they did it was recently published on Substack by Seymour Hersh. That was an act of war according to Hersh and I guess the US is at war with Russia. This was a decision by our Commander in Chief. Hersh explains how the executive structured it to avoid any Congressional scrutiny. If Hersh figured it out I suspect Russia figured it out as well. He points out they have not retaliated. And with the recent uproar about that airliner getting hit because Putin ordered it, he probably ok’d sending the weapon to Ukraine but I doubt he ordered the plane to be shot down, one senses something is coming, hopefully not our way.

        1. Cat Burglar

          The one solid piece of evidence that the US did not blow up Nordstream was that Biden promised us he would destroy it.

    4. Kilgore Trout

      Their comments confirm Scott Ritter’s frequent complaint about the poor quality of Russian Studies in US universities–ideologically driven with a Russo-phobic slant. Almost everyone was 180 degrees off from the takes of Berletic, Martynov, MacGregror, Mercouris, Moon of Alabama, and Ritter. “It is difficult to get a person to understand something when their paycheck depends on not understanding it.” In this case, they represent a Group Think that justifies war and the breaking of nations. Over and over.

      1. hemeantwell

        Back when at my state university with more than its share of centers: “people study China because they love it, they study Russia because they hate it.”

        1. eg

          I took a Russian culture course as one of my electives in my undergraduate degree. I figured I ought to know something about the country that Reagan was threatening to nuke.

        2. The Rev Kev

          That’s changed now. I forget who said it but they were saying that those studying China these days hate that country and want it broken. And unless you share this attitude, that you will never get a post with one of those think tanks much less a pathway for higher things.

  4. zagonostra

    >Does the United Nations still exist? Social Europe

    Unlike Dag Hammarskjold, who died while trying to mediate in the conflict in the Congo in 1961…

    That’s like saying Fred Hampton died while he was in his bed. Many theories are out there on who would/could have shot down Hammarskjold’s plane, you can draw your own conclusion and how that may play into answering the question “does the United Nations still exist?”

    1. agent ranger smith

      There is a saying about ” konspirisi theeree” . . . . ” Its not a theeree if it happened.”

  5. Lex

    I’m not one who believes the Russian military is the finest fighting force ever. I spend way too much time on Russian TG amongst the cynicism and doomers for that. But I have been rereading Glantz lately too. The Russian military is the grandchildren of the finest fighting force in modern history: the Red Army from 1943-1945.

    In those years the red army did a few things that might sound familiar. Offensives would generally start all along a (or the) front. Sometimes sequentially sometimes not. This was done to A. force the Wehrmacht to move defensive reserves around putting out fires and B. mask the planned point of breakthrough. Sometimes there was even flexibility in that point/goal based on German reactions. The other thing it did was move offensive reserves around behind the front line, a lot. Decoy armies, armies just riding around on trains. The Germans generally knew what the front line looked like in detail but not much about reserves, not really reserves but often the main attacking force that came from behind the line of contact.

    The scale is different today and the potential for super deep operations and big arrows is limited by satellite/drone intelligence as well as an unwillingness to commit the level of manpower and losses such operations require. But it sure sounds like rhyming. I think it’s frustrating the west. They believe a big offensive is coming but from where changes all the time. If I’m right, it already began but how it develops is still wrapped in mystery. With the Ukrainians cosplaying the eastern front as the Germans it all starts rhyming.

    1. John

      I recently read When Titans Clashed . The continuing advances, probes, demonstrations, north, south and east, by Russian forces do have a family resemblance to the preparations for Red army offensives. We shall see.

    2. Kouros

      That offensive approach was first devised by Brusilov on the Eastern Front in WWI, when Russians totally destroyed the Austrian fighting force. However, that offensive ultimately failed to accomplish any strategic objective. See Big Serge for a nice summary on it.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      One other similarity that has struck me is that when overelaborate Russian assaults haven’t succeeded, they’ve been misinterpreted by the enemy as human wave attacks (or at least, that’s what the Ukrainians are claiming they’ve faced). The steepest learning curve for the Russians seems to have been in urban assaults, from what I can glean from Ukrainian sources it seems that they felt they had an edge in urban areas at first, only being dislodged in the face of overwhelming firepower, but now the Russians are matching or exceeding them in squad tactics.

      Another interesting comparison is that much German contemporary writing considered that while the Soviets were very dogged in defense, they were frequently far too reluctant to press their advantage in attack, preferring a more conservative grinding strategy. Things haven’t changed much.

      It is, as you say, striking that for all the change in technology, basic land war tactics haven’t really changed that much. In some weird respects the war is actually resembling some stages of WWI on the eastern front (where it was generally more mobile than on the west, especially along the Russian/Austria-Hungarian border). It also shows how deeply embedded tactics and strategies are within long established military establishments. And how little impact technology really has. Drones are now doing what early WWI aircraft were doing in the early stages of trench warfare – harassing soldiers behind the lines and dropping grenades into trenches. And as for balloons….

        1. ambrit

          These are your “New and Improved Nazis” Rev. As bought to us by the Neo-liberal Blob.
          The Neos have reverted to basics, (and I do mean ‘base.’) The End Justifies the Means. Now where have we heard that before?

        2. agent ranger smith

          That’s only because they were afraid the Allies would use it right back on them if they did.

          They were perfectly happy to use chemical gas-fare on civilians who could not gas back.

      1. Kouros

        Germans / Prussians would go on attacking forces ten times bigger their own. Very, very aggressive. They were far less considered of their soldiers’ lives. Berserker attitude. But then when loosing blamed it all on Soviet human waves attacks…

      2. Stephen

        Interestingly too, the modern Russian Army is very strong in artillery. That goes right back to the Napoleonic Wars and is mentioned by Dominic Lieven in his book “Russia Against Napoleon”. Maybe it was the case earlier too. I do not know. But historical legacies seem very important.

        Agree that the Soviet Army was for sure not omnipotent. Nor is the Russian today. No army is. Scott Ritter made the point in one video that no peacetime army is ready for the war it fights and drew attention to some of the challenges the US Army faced in Iraq. It seems that the Russians are learning from early mistakes and becoming more competent as they go along. That also seems to be what happens in most wars.

        One of the challenges of much WW2 historiography, of course, was that the defeated Germans wrote the original histories of the Eastern Front. So they blamed Hitler for bad strategy, talked up the competence of the Wehrmacht (including their own operational brilliance) and described the Red Army as a human wave rabble that won through weight of numbers. I know that authors such as Glantz heavily revised this view but it is still there in the popular narratives. Authors such as Anthony Beevor still play to it and this means there is a very wide open door for western propaganda to encourage the same perception today.

        NATO standard tactics were then also heavily influenced by Wehrmacht doctrine, that itself was anchored in earlier Prussian approaches. Prussia had always needed quick victories, being surrounded by more powerful enemies. The Blitzkrieg and Mission Control approaches can be clearly traced from Prussian doctrines. Russia was traditionally able to fall back on her reserves in the interior and so favoured a more grinding and even more circumspect approach to fighting. She could abandon territory for later advantage. Prussia never had this luxury and always needed a rapid result. As an analogy think modern NATO with its lack of scaleable war industry.

        So, we have a Ukrainian Army trained it seems to fight the NATO way and that is anchored in Prussian / Wehrmacht practice, but actually stuck in trenches. We then have a Russian Army that is clearly fighting in a way that is consistent with its history.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          “Interestingly too, the modern Russian Army is very strong in artillery. That goes right back to the Napoleonic Wars and is mentioned by Dominic Lieven in his book “Russia Against Napoleon”. Maybe it was the case earlier too. I do not know. But historical legacies seem very important.”

          I’d say it does go back earlier: Those innovations proved very effective during the Seven Years War.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Already in 1588 Giles Fletcher, her majesty’s ambassador to Moscow, was impressed by the amount of artillery present at the Moscow arsenal. It seems that already in 16th century Russian artillery was one of the strongest in Europe. At the time they already had regimental artillery.

            Also in the Russian version of the battle of Poltava, the Russian artillery has a crucial role in defeating the Swedish attack. Peter the Great was personally with the batteries directing their fire. After losing most of their guns in Narva several years earlier, Russian artillery had been completely rebuild and reorganized by general Jacob Bruce, Peter’s personal friend.

            1. Daniil Adamov

              If I were to speculate, I’d say our artillery tradition probably goes back to the Golden Horde. The Mongols certainly used gunpowder artillery extensively, and the Russian principalities will have been exposed to it on many occasions, teaching their rulers the value of cannons early.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          From my reading (admittedly not very deep), the myth of Soviet human wave attacks came from the Germans simply misunderstanding the early versions of its deep battle tactics. When deep battle failed – as it did for the first year or so – it looked like a disorganized rabble running into minefields as it broke down, and that’s what the Germans thought it was.

          US and Russia do have more similarities than differences I think in overall strategy, its just that Russians use ground based systems (artillery and SAMs) to do what the US tries to do with airpower. The US doesn’t have S-400’s because they do what F-35’s are supposed to do. It makes sense when you see one country as essentially a continental power and the other as a sea power.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Regarding the human waves, there’s also the reality of the German generals using Red Army numerical superiority to excuse their mistakes and miscalculations. Even when there was none.

            Of course, given that the effective Soviet maskirovka in the latter part of the war often led the Germans thinking there actually were many more Soviet units than there actually was.

            Also the Red Army tendency to rename units on all levels after some R&R made the Germans think there was some un-exhaustible source of men and material.

            1. Lex

              Indeed. Of course in the second half of the war the Soviets did have manpower advantages but they did not have inexhaustible resources. Manpower limited offensive planning and some offensives after 1943. It could probably be well argued that the Soviets’ initial reluctance to fall back cost them in the second half of the war. But one might also be able to argue that a little more success holding territory early on might have stopped the Germans who needed the quick victory.

            2. hemeantwell

              Adrift in the currents of pop culture, I ask if you’ve seen the opening battle in Enemy at the Gates (Jude Law plays a famous Russian sniper). Germans are dug in, and across the open field in front of them come mases of Russians who are so short of weapons their final instructions are to arm themselves by picking up the gun of the man who falls in front of them. Any truth to that depiction? Regardless, it’s a scene that lends cred to the current smear.

              1. Polar Socialist

                I’ve seen it, and I’ve even commented on it several days ago. It’s safe to say that there’s no truth to that depiction whatsoever.
                The movie’s historical accuracy is on the level of Sound of Music – there was a family von Trapp and they did flee from Austria.

              2. Daniil Adamov

                Based on some past reading, I associate this kind of instructions with the (Russian) Civil War, not WWII. Can’t find anything to that effect right now on short notice, though. But it would be considerably more plausible in those conditions. Maybe the story just drifted from one conflict to another.

    1. lou strong

      I don’t know much about Unherd.
      I know quite well Thomas Fazi , he is an Italian essayist who in the past wrote mainly about political economy ,and he never disappointed me.

  6. zagonostra

    >A Chilling Paragraph from 1960 Ted Gioia, The Honest Broker (IM Doc).

    But it is in these circumstances that people put up with a system because “there are no alternatives.” And when one cannot think of anything to do, soon one ceases to think at all.

    It takes a lot of creative effort to bring about a culture where people believe that there are “not alternatives.” Capitalism is one of those beliefs, Communism used to be another one. An author that comes to mind in accurately predicting were things were heading, as the article claims of Goodman’s predictions, is Kevin Phillips, especially when he writes about the sleepy town that D.C. used to be and what it was becoming (is).

    I don’t recall reading Goodman or any references to Growing Up Absurd. I did have a professor in grad school who wrote The Sociology of the Absurd so I’m very interested in what Goodman wrote, thank you for the post.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine War Day #349: Who Is Destroying Ukraine’s Forests?”

    IKEA? No, seriously. Several months ago you had all the drama about getting wheat out of Ukrainian ports so that people in developing nations would not starve. Well it did not take long to reveal that in fact the majority of that grain was actually going to the EU for the domestic markets there. Since the EU cut themselves off from purchasing Russian timber, I would say that it would be the EU buying all that timber on the sly for their own domestic needs so I would not be surprised to find that a lot of the goods coming out of IKEA had their origin in Ukrainian forests. It is all part of a larger pattern this. The west is plundering the Ukraine for all that they can get out of it before they abandon them and I would not be surprised if people start comparing the forests of the Ukraine with the jungles of the Amazon.

    1. Beluga

      I was the one who mentioned IKEA’s change of wood buying policy in a comment on AA. You must have have skipped over what I wrote. My backup is reports like this:

      Who knows if they’re also buying illicit Ukrainian timber? Doesn’t seem like a long term strategy.

      The released Ukrainian corn/grain went to feed EU livestock, not to feed people there. Any number of reports on that outcome.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I wouldn’t be surprised if IKEA is in on this illegal timber market. They do have a history here going by that link that you provided not long ago. As for that grain, it was also used to undercut farmers in places like Poland growing the same grain.

      2. Paul Jurczak

        The released Ukrainian corn/grain went to feed EU livestock, not to feed people there. Any number of reports on that outcome.

        Polish farmers disagree. Low quality (not conforming to EU norms for human consumption) Ukrainian grain, which was supposed to be transited through Poland to Africa, is finding its way to EU food supply. The warehouses in south-eastern Poland are full of it, prices reached a rock bottom and farmers can’t sell their harvest. They are blocking the transit of grain from Ukraine:

  8. Arizona Slim

    Okay, show of hands: Who else blew off the State of the Union Address last night?

    I’ll confess to not getting a good night’s sleep on Monday/Tuesday. So, by the seven o’clock hour of Tuesday evening, aka SOTU time, I was nodding off. Hence, I hit the sack early.

    Did I miss anything?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Saw a bit on the news in Oz earlier. Biden was talking about unity – and then he picked a fight with the Republicans right in the Chamber by saying that they want to get rid of Social security & Medicare. But those Repubs were on their feet taunting him as he has said that he wanted to do the same in videos going back decades. He then picked a fight with China and claimed that him shooting down a balloon shows his determination to defend America. Then said ‘And let’s be clear: winning the competition with [China] should unite all of us.’ Then he went for a well-earned nap.

    2. fresno dan

      I don’t have cable TV and didn’t have the inclination to try and find some alternate live broadcast. I did read the written version of the SOTU this morning that was posted. I noted a couple of things in a comment. I have no idea how LONG the SOTU took, but I imagine I saved myself a good deal of time.

    3. Nikkikat

      Didn’t bother either. Same old S#&t show it’s always been. President talks up numbers of jobs he didn’t create, programs he never initiated lies about the next two years and all the for the people stuff that will never happen because they only pretend they run things. Apparently they’ve already given Ukraine the heave ho as it was hardly mentioned according to press coverage.

    4. Bugs

      This was the first time in my life that I haven’t bothered at all with even reading about it or watching some excerpts. Even seeing headlines about it sort of ticked me off. I can’t think of anything that this administration has a right to brag about. And the whole concept of the SOTU speech is bragging rights, isn’t it? No wonder nobody wants to vote anymore.

      Meanwhile in France, the pension reform looks like it might be taken down by the streets. Fingers crossed. It’s going to be sunny but cold this Saturday. Good weather for protests.

        1. Bugs

          Since French presidents are limited to 2 terms, this will either be what breaks up his political formation (I won’t yet call it a party) or gives it an actual future beyond the next election. It’s a high stakes poker game playing out right now.

    5. ambrit

      No Binge Biden here also.
      If I wanted to watch an old codger pontificating about how “Things Ought to Be,” I’d watch a rerun of “Father Knows Best” or “The Real McCoys.”

      1. Wukchumni

        Joey was doing ‘My Two Sons’ and as usual Beau who has been dead nearly a decade got an honorable mention, but not a word was spoken in regards to Hunter.

    6. Wukchumni

      Watched it on NBC with the dartful codgers who lean to the left, and had to bite my tongue so often when they would express their admiration for Mayo Pete or Elizabeth Warren as the camera panned in on them.

      Nothing serious, but next SOTU i’m gonna wear a mouth guard like NFL players do.

          1. Wukchumni

            I almost never crash into trees, I think they are afraid of me…

            Here was the weather forecast the day Bono cashed it in…

            ‘Cloudy in the morning, Sonny in the trees in the afternoon.’

      1. griffen

        Over the last week or so, Mayo Pete was seemingly everywhere like all of a sudden he has this compulsive need to be seen and an urge to keep his phony baloney cabinet position.

        I am glad I averted mine eyes from watching last night, and just watched some recaps this morning accorded to the “leaning to the right” capitalists on CNBC. Taxes on buybacks, bad. Taxes on gazillionaires also so bad. It’s all populist takes on fairly easy targets, both sides do it.

        And elsewhere, the NBA has a new regular season scoring champ. This is US basketball professional ranks, for our international commenters.

    7. Pat

      I’ve blown it off since W, which was about the time I realized how much of a dog and pony show they were, apologies to dogs and ponies. But I usually read first transcripts then moved on to summaries. Can’t even do that anymore. The most I will probably do is get the gist from the comments here. Although I do admit to having a perverse desire to see the Republicans calling Joe out on his Social Security grandstanding.

    8. wendigo

      The promise by Biden to eliminate the use of Canadian made products for Federal infrastructure projects as well as American roads and bridges.

      Hopefully with sanctions instead of kinetic actions.

    9. pnwarrior_womyn

      I was thinking to myself, how about going for some existential angst and wondering, like NOVA, “What happens when a frozen world, locked away for millennia, starts to thaw?”

      So I watched “Arctic Sinkholes” an award-winner documentary online:


    10. Mildred Montana

      Of course no SOTU makes for gripping television but I was impressed by Biden’s ad-libs directed toward heckling Republicans. He was sharper than I expected, assuming of course that they were indeed ad-libs, and came across as a man who likes a fight.

      On the other hand I was unimpressed, to put it mildly, by Kyrsten Sinema’s bright-yellow winged dress. Whenever the camera caught her I could think only of calling her Madam Butterfly—a woman as a yellow winged creature. This woman clearly likes attention and seeks it.

      1. skippy

        Looks like an over ripe lemon set to explode …. crosses fingers Kevlar nanna gut panties were QC’ed before donning them for this event … oh … must have left the fruit hat in the car … please somebody hand her a couple of maracas … I would have and it would have been epic – !!!!!

      2. c_heale

        Easy to mock Sinema, but it’s not as if the rest of them aren’t a bunch of narcissistic attention seekers.

        At least she showed some sign of imagination, which in these days of conservative, unimaginative technocratic thinking (exemplified by the suits most of them are wearing), is what we need more of.

    11. Screwball

      I chose to watch a basketball game then an auto race. If I didn’t have those alternatives I would have went outside and watched the grass grow, even though it’s winter and it’s not growing.

      I knew I could count on my PMC friends to fill me in, and I wasn’t disappointed. They gushed over slow Joe, thought he was great. And the best part was how him and their team saved social security from those nasty republicans right in the middle of the speech. Pure genius by ole Joe and Company. They called it political master class because Joe and the speech writers knew the marks couldn’t help themselves.

      Of course they were gushing over Mittens telling some other creep he didn’t belong there, and they were aghast over those disrespectful republicans for shouting during the speech (the toddler caucus as they call them). But all in all, it was a night to behold and we should be so grateful we have Joe, Kamala, and the democrats fighting for us while the crazy unhinged party is trying to destroy democracy and America.

      On the rebuttable from Huckabee; it was a message of hate and division, and was all about whipping people up so they start killing people they don’t like. Propaganda 101 they say. Yes, they actually said that, and I’m sure some believe it. They hate these people with the heat of a thousand suns.

      What a world we live in.
      On C-Span Senate channel the are grilling some of the Twitter execs about the Laptop from Hell. I tried to watch but just can’t. These people are awful.

      My PMC friends also told me there is breaking news (WaPo) that Putin is now proven to be behind the Malaysia passenger jet that killed 298 over Ukraine in 2014. I haven’t dug into that one yet, but guessing there will be a bunch of citations from “sources.”

    12. notabanker

      I watched most of it. I turned it off when he got to Ukraine, that was my tipping point. Biden did really, really well. He only lost his place on the teleprompter 3 times, and had one major gaff, telling the oil companies we will still need oil for a decade. Repubs when bonkers and he quickly realized he screwed up and moved on.

      Lots of tough talk about taking on big pharma, which then turns into a plea to make insulin $35 for everyone.. Bragged about how we cut the deficit by restricting insulin pricing for medicare/aid. No mention of the gouging on everything else, or the billions they looted for covid.

      Lots of pro-Union references, but no mention of the railroad workers who got railroaded. Introducing Tyre Nichols parents turned into “we need more training for the police”. Ka-ching and truly cringe worthy moments.

      He did well sparring on SS. After accusing repubs of wanting to cut it, they got pretty animated and he turned it into “well I guess we all agree SS and Medicare is off the table.

      It will definitely boost his polling numbers for the millions of morons whose political education is based on watching TV. But otherwise b-level theatre.

    13. playon

      I honestly couldn’t be bothered. I read Biden’s twitter feed which is full of Orwellian propaganda and I figured the SOTU address would be more of the same.

  9. Onward to Dystopia

    Long time lurker here. I’m still in a disorientated and slightly woozy state, having finally gotten COVID. I believe I’ve had two very mild cases of it in the past but I never tested positive — this time I did and this is the sickest I’ve been in a decade, easily. 100+ degree temp for over 3 days, constant thoughts and mantras racing through my head. Passed out in the shower on day 3. Thankfully I felt it coming on and turned off the water. I woke up conveniently propped in the corner of the tub and didn’t hurt myself at least, but it took an hour to crawl back to bed.

    I’m taking Paxlovid and starting to feel better. It’s been nearly a week and I can only sit up for few hours at a time, sleeping 12 hours a night. But Biden said COVID is over now, so I guess I just dreamed all that. Anyway, just putting in my $.02, my experience, and a reminder that this is an extremely nasty virus. I can’t imagine if I had to work some 9-5 job with a *familyblog* boss and bills to pay. That’s the one thing in all of this I was thankful for…well that and being in a fever dream of ignorance for the whole balloon panic.

    1. playon

      I sincerely hope you are better soon — it is indeed a very serious virus. My advice FWIW – if you have any digestive symptoms take plenty of probiotics, and don’t resume any strenuous exercise until you are sure you’re over it.

  10. timbers

    GOP base warms to giving Russia some of Ukraine’s territory WaPo

    Only because the GOP wants to move on to China. Ukraine is chicken feed.

    1. hemeantwell

      Trump is positioning himself to take advantage of the likely collapse of the UKA. Macgregor, his foreign affairs guy, has been warming up the audience for months and doing a decent job. Couple that with the recent wave of critical Russiagate coverage, originating outside of the Republican media apparatus and thus harder to squelch, and Trump’s ready to rock. I’m sure that’s giving impetus to Biden’s revivification, his handlers are bracing themselves.

      1. pjay

        Macgregor is Trump’s foreign affairs guy? I was not aware of that. It would certainly be an improvement over the likes of Bolton, Abrams, Pompeo, and the Establishment Generals. Has Trump actually learned something, or is this just a way to stick to the Democrats?

        As good as Macgregor is as a commentator on Ukraine, I’m not sure how he would do navigating within the Blob. They may be pretty bad at fighting wars, but they are quite effective destroying individuals who buck the system.

  11. fresno dan

    I ran for President to fundamentally change things, to make sure the economy works for everyone so we can all feel pride in what we do.
    not anymore (6 times)

    Biden told donors at an event at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan on Tuesday evening that he would not “demonize” the rich and promised that “no one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change,” Bloomberg News reported.
    sometimes, statements become inoperative

      1. Milton

        Democrats have forever been the safety valve against left populism/socialism. They essentially neutered the movement by running WJ Bryan, thereby sopping up and shelving the more radical items from the Populist plank. Bryan was the Sanders of his time only was responsible for greater damage to the workers. Eventually, the populists were severely whittled to but a few anarchists. It would take another 3 decades for elements of the party to be put forward as legislation due to the Depression.

  12. OIFVet

    Seymour Hersh: How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline. Well folks, it’s probably not much of a surprise unless one has been reading the imperial press, but the fact that it’s Seymour Hersh who is now saying it, with his decades’ worth of credible journalism and inside sources is what takes informed speculation into the realm of highly probable US government action.

      1. OIFVet

        Hah, no sun today: battleship-grey skies, freezing temps and snowfall. Makes me dream of the Mexican Riviera, diving with the Akumal sea turtles by day and cavorting with the Brazilian ladies by night :)

        1. Kouros

          Spring and summer are around the corner and you can go to Varna. Learn to live within your means. Now you should go skying somewhere.

          1. OIFVet

            Balchik, just north of Varna, is much better. Awesome botanic garden, great views. I do spend a lot of time in the mountains, but trekking and climbing. Easier on the joints than skying, I’ve got too much wear and tear on my legs from my time in the Army for high-impact activities.

      2. BeliTsari

        I’d sent it to a pal, recently running a gig at Berg (yep… EuroPipe Mülheim’s Panama City sister plant). Waiting for a sardonic reply about joking about this, back before Rice, Hills, Albright or even Brzeziński joked about this?

        Saving DNC™ LLC’s planet killing FRACKING Ponzi scheme is what’s been going on, since Bernie said he’d back Hillary, in 2015 (killing Medicare For All, to cash in on COVID & indenture us as 1099 serfs, was just icing?)

    1. The Rev Kev

      I wondered which country was helping the US blow up Germany’s pipelines so it turns out that it was the Norwegians. I thought that it might have been the Swedes or the Danes. Hersh forgets to mention that the same time that those pipelines were being blown up, that Norway was opening up a pipeline to Germany which only delivers a fraction of the amount that Germany was getting before. So Norway helps blow up Germany’s pipelines and then has Germany pay them for their gas. I do not think that Germans will forget this and wonder what will come of it down the road.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The Norwegians may have had other interests as well. The destruction of Nord Stream—if the Americans could pull it off—would allow Norway to sell vastly more of its own natural gas to Europe.)

        Its in there.

      2. OIFVet

        Small correction: the Norway pipeline goes to Poland. I doubt the Poles give any to Germany, but the US is happy to frack ’em financially with expensive US LNG.

          1. Skip Intro

            That detail was an important background to to the Polish PMs tweet thanking the US for breaking NS. The timing of the Polish pipeline and NS were prima facie suspicious. Like the old ‘Reagan Inaugurated, Hostages released” headline.

        1. Kouros

          Why? Those Viking genes must be lurking somewhere in there… It was interesting how the Norwegians help tremendously with the planning, almost like the Americans just did the job while the Norwegians provided the training, spotted the site, identified the cover, and probably approached the Danes and the Swedes…

          Probably the Norwegians also were thinking that this will be a nice payback time to Germany for their occupation of Norway in WWII…

        2. Joe Renter

          I am disappointed in Norway as well. I have been fantasizing about trying to find a Norwegian wife if I traveled there. The accent when speaking English is captivating.

      3. Daniil Adamov

        I wonder if Norwegians remember WWII. Maybe they just found a superior alternative to Poland’s and Greece’s approach towards remembering it.

      4. Eclair

        Back in 2014 or so, I was hooked on a Norwegian TV series, “Occupy.” It ran for two or three seasons and is still on Netflix. Premise was that Norway had developed a risk-free source of endless power and was giving it away, free, to the rest of the planet. The Russians demurred and, after taking over Norway’s off-shore oil platforms, which Norway was planning to shut down, wriggled their way into occupying Norway, thereby setting themselves up as The Bad Guys. Interesting how popular entertainment so often predicts the future. Or, maybe, nudges us into it.

        1. begob

          The short scene in the spooks drama series Strike Back, explaining how the Russians developed novichok and were up to some jiggery-pokery. It aired about a month before the Skripal affair and six months after its original broadcast slot was … unexpectedly postponed: “In a change to our scheduled viewing you can now look forward to a repeat episode of The Antiques Roadshow, in which the team uncover an exciting stash of World War III memorabilia.”

          The scene used to be on youtube; I guess you’d have to look elsewhere these days.

      5. Lambert Strether Post author

        See here.

        > Hersh forgets to mention that the same time that those pipelines were being blown up, that Norway was opening up a pipeline to Germany which only delivers a fraction of the amount that Germany was getting before. S

        In fact, Hersh does mention this:

        The Norwegians may have had other interests as well. The destruction of Nord Stream—if the Americans could pull it off—would allow Norway to sell vastly more of its own natural gas to Europe

      6. ACPAL

        The morning after the pipeline attack I was watching a YouTube channel that daily tracked US military aircraft and vessels. He showed a track of a US Navy aircraft (by tail number) flying from the US to a location above the pipeline, turn along it, drop to torpedo altitude, then climb out and return to base. A few minutes after it made it’s run over the pipeline reports of explosions were made. I haven’t seen the channel since but then I haven’t looked for it either. FWIW

    2. t

      Now there’s a muckraker. The NYM seems to think James O’Keefe well funded foolishness is the same thing.

      1. pjay

        Doctorow: “Either, as I fervently hope, there will be an anti-war movement in the USA, in Europe arising from the shock therapy news now developing with respect to the coming kinetic war between NATO and Russia, OR failing that, it will be every man for himself.”

        My problem is that as things now stand I have a lot more trouble envisioning the first alternative than the second.

        1. Janie

          Agreed, but if you conducted man on the street interviews, your primary response might be: “what war? You mean the super bowl?”

          1. Pooblius

            I don’t think so….

            If you see your vote reduced to nothing, by fraud what will your protests to war amount to?

            The ‘intelligence’ system being brought to bear on you with all every modern technocratic technique.

      2. Stephen

        I read that this morning. My deep fear is that he is right. 1914. There is even an ultimatum to Serbia in play.

      3. Eclair

        Good grief! One hopes that Doctorow, returning to gray and freezing Brussels from a warm soothing climate, was jet-lagged and cranky and maybe coming down with a head cold and not looking at the bright side of life.

        I did, however, check out the major military installations around the US coastlines. Seattle is screwed. And Norfolk. As is the Florida panhandle. Probably San Diego. The areas around the Great Lakes looks relatively installation-free and, being on the Canadian border, may not be a great target.

        Now, if y’all will excuse me, I’m going to go into my closet and scream and bang my head against the wall.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      I suspect this is the reason for the balloon brouhaha. Germany may be whipped, but good bye global south.

      Trump was taunting Biden, but Cruz and Rufio were both all in on the story. The MIC is stomping their feet, but the only mentions of the balloon in the wild are jokes.

      1. Carolinian

        I think you are right, or at least it’s a justifiable suspicion. It’s worth noting that Trump was also vehemently opposed to the pipeline so the voters have been presented with a choice of which deep state puppet to put in office. However Trump is now making antiwar noises as a way of taking down the Democrats. Perhaps the only way to stop all this is to do what Hersh has done and the MSM refuse to do: turn on the lights and make the critters scurry. Secrecy is poisoning everything.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          My suspicion is when Hersch was asking for comments on his sources claims (he noted one embassy didn’t provide comment) it was kicked around to the people in the know. Cruz and Rufio can be replaced, and with this story, American businesses with operation abroad have just been shot in the foot in every country.

          So we cooked up the best anti-China hysteria we had left. Guys like Rufio and Cruz need this to avoid a primary backed by their former backers.

      2. Kouros

        The balloon is more material than the “torpedo” in the Golf of Tonkin, or the WMD in the hands of Saddam…

    4. Carolinian

      And then: Washington had second thoughts. The bombs would still be planted during BALTOPS, but the White House worried that a two-day window for their detonation would be too close to the end of the exercise, and it would be obvious that America had been involved.

      Instead, the White House had a new request: “Can the guys in the field come up with some way to blow the pipelines later on command?”

      The story makes plain that Biden was planning an act of war against Russia before the current Ukraine invasion and one committed not just by oil competitor USA but also oil competitor Norway. We have a president who is both foolish and reckless as long as he thinks he can escape personal blame and it’s not hard to conclude that was going on before he was president.

      1. fresno dan

        As much as I think Nordstream was an incredibly bad thing, I have my doubts that there will be any negative consequences for Biden or the US. There is a war tolerance that I find just remarkable. I don’t know if its because the first Iraq war gave the impression that war is like a video game or what.
        And of course, the way war is covered now a days – look at the coverage in the field of Vietnam and compare to Iraq. Did the media coverage change the attitude of the American people, or did the attitude of the American people change the media coverage? Will this story even be printed in the NT or WP? It appears to me that the political class in the US is set on war, and there is no significant push back against it.

        1. Carolinian

          A new poll says that even the Dems–a plurality–don’t want Biden to run again and that the country as a whole definitely doesn’t want that. Meanwhile the MSM are being blasted with a series of stories that are percolating below the surface and their trust rating was already in the 20s. This may be a lot more important than whether CNN and MSNBC with their tiny audiences ignore Hersh or Taibbi or Gerth. As mentioned above Trump is threatening to run against the war and that may blow the whole thing wide open because public dissatisfaction with the direction of the country is building.

          So I think this new report may prove to be very important indeed. Hersh always had CIA connections so could be the spooks are also trying to get rid of Biden. He’s a loose cannon.

          1. fresno dan

            I hope I’m wrong and you are right.
            It is mind blowing that Trump is America’s peace candidate.

    5. pjay

      It will be interesting to see if there will be a reaction in the mainstream media. Hersh notes the official “absolute” denials. Will the media report this at all? Maintain a deafening silence?

      It is good to see Hersh reemerge. Now, let’s see a story on Seth Rich – or the long-delayed book on Cheney.

      1. Sibiryak

        At this point, afaict, the MSM is ignoring Hersh’s story entirely, or drastically downplaying it.

        I do like this headline, though:

        White House says blog post on Nord Stream explosion ‘utterly false ‘” (Reuters)

        1. vao

          Seymour Hersh used to get published in the New Yorker.

          When his investigations about what was happening in Syria clashed with the approved narrative, he found an outlet in the London Review of Books — but there, his investigations got increasingly embarrassing for the USA and allied NATO countries.

          So when it came to publish his third article on the toxic gas shenanigans of Syrian rebels, he was no longer welcome there and had to fall back on the die Welt.

          Now he apparently does not even find a single magazine or newspaper in our wonderful Western democracies ready to publish his exposés.

    6. Old Sovietologist

      The question arises. Why is Hersch being spoon-fed what is a deliberate leak? And how much of it true in terms of the detail.

      It reads like a super cool, perfectly executed mission carried out by Team America worthy of Hollywood.

      I’m sticking with the the US sub contracted the operation to more local actors.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Can’t wait for the Hollywood film to come out about it. Maybe we will see Tom Cruise in a scuba suit. Why not? He is already a certified scuba diver and has completed freediving courses.

      2. pjay

        – “The question arises. Why is Hersch being spoon-fed what is a deliberate leak? And how much of it true in terms of the detail.”

        That is always a major question with Hersh, since his best work is almost always based on leaks from well-placed inside sources. One assumes that such sources always have a motive. Hersh does have a track record, though. His sources are usually good, and his information usually accurate — not *always*, but usually.

      3. hunkerdown

        No especially sophisticated technology is required; there just hadn’t been a recognized need for it yet. The principles of software-defined radio are at least 50 years old. WSJT, a well-known public implementation of weak-signal coding and decoding for amateur radio, has been public for about 20 years. It can recover signals deeply buried in the received noise, as little as 1/250 (-24dB) as powerful. The limiting factor in weak-signal reception, and also the most technology-intensive factor, is power efficiency of computation. Even that is not particularly magical when one has carte blanche to buy as many batteries as required.

        It’s dangerous to underestimate the PMC’s ability to develop plans and follow through on them. The incompetent government myth is cope. The reality is, to paraphrase O’Brien from Nineteen Eighty-Four, “The state exists for its own sake” and they’re really just not that into us.

        1. Joe Renter

          Negative -db? Pretty low threshold and hard to imagine from my experience. New tech to one out of the loop. I was a ham operator back in my teenage years.

          ex- whiskey alfa six serria uniform quebec

          1. hunkerdown

            That’s right, far sub-unity signal-to-noise ratios. Ain’t digital signal processing amazing? It only delivers a few bits per second but you don’t really need much for a presence beacon. JT’s codes are mostly used for propagation studies (e.g. earth-moon-earth bounce) and by low-social hams who want to participate but not really talk to people. I don’t believe there is an HF general short message service band, but wouldn’t that be grand.

            73 de 8 land

        2. Jason Boxman

          Ha. True. Remember when the CIA tried to recover a sunk Russian nuclear missile sub in the deep Pacific. Under cover of deep sea mining. Truth is stranger than fiction.

          1. Acacia

            Yep. Project Azorian. And Howard Hughes was brought onboard to build the Glomar Explorer for the CIA ‘mining’ operation. After failing to recover all of the Soviet sub, this weird giant ship was parked for a time near Redwood City, California, with its name in plain view from Highway 101, for countless drivers to see and learn about the putatively ‘secret’ project.

      4. Kouros

        The main thing was keeping it secret… Otherwise it was all children’s play in the backyard, no big bad wolf lurking in the back… It was a conspiracy… And the way the article ends, it raises the question whether it was A Conspiracy of Dunces?

      5. Mr Matt Painting

        Asks more questions than answers. What I don’t understand is Hersh’s focus on the pipeline’s manual / physical accessibility then insisting that it must have only been the US and Norway, not for example, Poland or Ukraine. The latter being ex-Soviets mastering western tech and acting like Israelis. As if divers were the only logical means, excluding sabotage of the routine transit of a pig or a discharge control valve, particularly post-Stuxnet. And the shallow depth suggests an area where a US submarine could not operate safely and without detection, so divers swam?

        A lot of face is saved by overlooking the vulnerability of systems in place to service the line, which was the sole domain of Russian companies. I’m not saying Russia is responsible but that Hersh’s story does not take into account how Gazprom actually operates the line or uses commercial subsea construction vessels.

        Also not a total wash, Gazprom not being financially responsible for non-delivered volume through Nord Stream 1 by pleading force majeure was an unintended consequence. And what is not widely known is that Nord 2 includes a second pre-commissioned line to have been used when the main line needed to be diverted for maintenance. That and excess capacity available in the Yamal-Europe line means gas volume could still be increased tomorrow but for Poland’s approval.

        1. hunkerdown

          Hello Spc Painting, 77th Bde. The USA and Norway were on station at the time of the bombing. They were either the perpetrators or complicit. For them to have not immediately come forward with an attribution is a sign of complicity. So is your appearance here to throw even less substantiated chaff narratives around and repeat the “russia bad” mantra, btw.

      6. wendigo

        Waiting to blow up the balloon and not sending tanks/planes made it easy for the Republicans to make Joe appear weak, this changes the channel.

        Great way to troll the Republicans, what are they going to say, Joe was too aggressive against the Russians?

        As far as what this makes the Europeans think, Victoria Nuland answered that years ago.

        Like the SOTU, another indication Joe ( his people anyways ) wants another term.

    7. JohnA

      My only cavil would be the alleged scoop a few weeks ago that Liz shorter shelllife than a Lettuce, supposedly called Blinken/Biden to say ‘it’s done’ or words to that effect, the moment, the blast occured.

    8. Daniil Adamov

      Seymour Hersh of course is pre-assassinated as a character. After all he has often picked fights with mainstream Western narratives in the past, with the predictable result of being identified as a “conspriacy theorist” who has “gone off the rails”. It is good to see that he is not giving up (of course, what does he have to lose?), but I would not expect any great awakening as a result of him stating the obvious.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Hersh is a remarkable journalist – his autobiography is a great read.

        Unfortunately, the media has already shown it can marginalize him – how many people know of his writings about the death of bin Laden or the Syrian chemical warfare hoaxes?

        Maybe there is more to come, but it looks like everything he has is from anonymous briefings, which means no smoking gun documents. Which gives the NYT, etc., an excuse to ignore it or belittle it if they chose.

        It does raise the other question though of how he got the briefings. Its unlikely to be disgruntled staffers – more likely someone sees an advantage to this. Perhaps someone is hoping to provoke a Russian retaliation?

        1. pjay

          These are good points. I’d like to think the leak came from someone in the national security establishment who wanted to inject some sanity into an increasingly insane situation. In my view this was the motive behind the leaks to Hersh on Syria. Your last point is worth pondering though. I’m sure Russia already assumed – or knew – the US was behind Nordstream. But it is true that public acknowledgement of such a deed, basically an act of war, would raise the stakes in an already high-stakes game.

    9. Otis B Driftwood

      How appropriate that our country’s most distinguished investigative journalist, who can no longer publish in main steam publications, has broken this huge story.

    10. Cresty

      I cannot believe a soul believed the line about Russia blowing up its money printing pipelines. And it’s pretty telling that Hersh has to go on substack. Nobody would print this, all in lockstep on the propaganda line

    11. Jason Boxman

      There was a vital bureaucratic reason for relying on the graduates of the center’s hardcore diving school in Panama City. The divers were Navy only, and not members of America’s Special Operations Command, whose covert operations must be reported to Congress and briefed in advance to the Senate and House leadership—the so-called Gang of Eight. The Biden Administration was doing everything possible to avoid leaks as the planning took place late in 2021 and into the first months of 2022.

      (bold mine)

      Biden was planning this, allegedly, before the war! Liberal Democrats really did want to get into a hot war with Russia. Holy s**t. Trump’s election only delayed what perhaps Clinton might have done, given their hardon for Russia.

      These people really are going to kill us all.

    12. begob

      On the same day Hersh publishes this, news that Putin authorised supply of the missile that shot down MH17 … except “insufficient evidence for prosecution.” The Times did relay Hersh’s report, but sandwiched in a blurb about doubts over the reliability of his reporting since the Douma fiasco.

      Gunshots in the hall of mirrors: “Maybe I’ll live so long that I’ll forget … Maybe I’ll die trying.”

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Much of Norway’s gas goes via one single platform – the Draupner platform in the North Sea. Two of the three pipelines to Germany go via this one platform, as does most of the gas to the UK and Zeebrugge. I’d be pretty worried if I worked on that rig.

          My oldest brother worked for decades as a gas driller in the North Sea and ‘stans. I think he’s pretty relieved now to be retired.

  13. Quentin

    How sweet it was, literally, in real time, ‘Growing up absurd’ and how crushingly bitter the present-day growing panic and disappointment. Thank you Paul Goodman for what now looks like a fantastical interlude on this side of the societal crash. And thanks to youTed Goioa for helping me momentarily enjoy a glimpse of my optimistic teenage years.

  14. flora

    re: A Chilling Paragraph from 1960 – Ted Gioia, The Honest Broker

    Very good read. What he finds inexplicable about the 1960 book on-the-nose prediction for a future I find easily explainable.

    1960 was only 30-40 years away from the living memory past of great monopolies and trusts, pre-New Deal era. Imagining music or any industry being controlled my monopolies was easy enough to do. It had been done before, and many financial interests were working to bring back those “golden” days.

    1960 was less than 10 years away from the height of 1950’s McCarthyism and the purging of economic leftists from academia and the arts. A future where only university faculty deemed ‘safe to the business trusties’ would be appointed was easy enough to imagine It had recently happened. And any leftism on college campuses would in future ignore economic issues and concentrate only on cultural issues. In the 1960s and later anyone working for a uni in any form had to sign a loyalty oath. really. Here’s a deep dive into that time.

    Goodman’s writing this was less a wild swing at imaging a future than a careful criticism (and carefully distanced into an imagined future) of what had already happened/was happening and the results it would inevitably bring. / my 2 cents.

    1. Michaelmas

      flora: Goodman’s writing this was less a wild swing at imaging a future than a careful criticism (and carefully distanced into an imagined future) of what had already happened/was happening and the results it would inevitably bring.

      Quite so. I’m a little amused that Goia is so impressed by Paul Goodman’s ‘prescience.’

      Still, good to see Goodman and his book retrieved–at least momentarily–from the trashcan of history.

      He actually was a large figure in his time, so you’d find everybody from Mailer through Seymour Krim (who?) to Susan Sontag writing about him. Here’s Susan Sontag on her admiration for his work and that work’s scope back in 1972, in the NY Review of Books, shortly after Goodman died —

    1. Expat2uruguay

      Well, there are two versions of those tanks, version 1 and version 2. So you’re seeing different numbers referring to the different makes/models of the tank

      1. Polar Socialist

        Just to pick a nit, Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 are completely different animals (pun intended).

        Leopard 1 was designed in the end of 50’s, going into production in 1960. The idea was a light tank moving so fast it was difficult to hit. Frankly, it’s armor is only a small step up from modern infantry fighting vehicles. It was made in 23 versions from 1960 to late 80’s and exported in 10 variants.

        Leopard 2 was designed in 70’s to replace Leo 1 which was already deemed totally inadequate against the Soviet tanks of the era (T-62, T-64 and T-72). It’s about as heavy as they come, with a strong armor and capable gun. It was made in 23 variants and exported in 21 variants.

        So whatever the number donated, there are likely multiple different variants among them making the training, logistics and use less than optimal. Given that Ukraine has so far lost likely in excess of 1500 tanks better than Leopard 1, I doubt a few hundred will make any difference.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          So far as I’m aware, the most up to date Leopard 2A6 is a very different beast than the earlier versions and the only one that is at least a match for the best Russian tanks. I think the Germans are saying they will provide 14 of them. I think its unlikely they would be sent to the front lines, but if they do the Russians will have to make a big decision on providing ammo for their tanks – so far they’ve been using older rounds as these are good enough for any armor they are facing so far – they seem to be reluctant to use the best APSFDS rounds in case they fall into Nato hands. In the past, Russia has obtained western tank rounds via Israeli tanks captured by Hizbollah and they’ve tested them to redesign their armor accordingly.

          What is interesting so far is that it looks like there has been very few tank on tank clashes. Nearly all the videos I’ve seen of claimed tank on tank kills (with one exception) are dubious for various reasons. Most seem to show abandoned tanks being finished off, probably for the benefit of camera. Overwhelmingly, it seems most losses are to artillery. I doubt if even the very best western tanks will fare better on the receiving end of a 155mm round than anything the Ukrainians have. The only thing they might benefit from is protection from laser guided rounds. But then again, I strongly suspect that everything sent to Ukraine has been stripped of anything the Russians can usefully test or reverse engineer.

          1. vao

            That would be 152mm in the case of Russian artillery.

            Anyway, the big issue — which the Armenians realized to their great dismay 2.5 years ago — are drones. They loiter, enable artillery units to spot incoming vehicles precisely, which are then smashed them with accurate gunnery strikes (or even with a sufficient powerfully armed drone).

            Tank-on-tank engagements become less relevant in an environment where the danger comes from the sky and is inconspicuous contrarily to an helicopter. All tanks fielded by NATO countries (as well as the T-72, T-80, T-90 of the Russians, or the T-64 of the Ukrainians) were designed for fighting foes attacking frontally — not from above. It looks a bit like WWII: battleships in the age of aircraft carriers are still usable, but increasingly vulnerable — and the big T-crossing broadside combats become a rarity. I wonder how much the T-14 (the most modern tank amongs the belligerants) has been designed to deal with these new threats.

          2. The Infamous Oregon Law Hobbit

            Won’t the Russian Krasnopol guided munition be hurtful enough, without needing to upgrade tank gun ammoz?

        2. jan

          …Leopard 2 was designed in 70’s to replace Leo 1 which was already deemed totally inadequate against the Soviet tanks of the era (T-62, T-64 and T-72)

          Interesting that. Listened to a Dutch podcast earlier where it was said some Dutch parlementarian made the observation that yes, leopard 1 is old, but that’s ok because it’s up against a lot of old Russian tanks anyway, so still helpful. Your argument undermines that.

          Podcast from Boekestijn & de Wijk, btw.

          1. JBird4049

            It is sarcasm, I believe. With the warning that I could be completely wrong…

            I think that 19,33,42 references the years when the Nazis took power and World War Two really got going with the United States officially fighting.

            153 might refer to the 1953 couping of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh by American and British intelligence agencies to help British Petroleum get back control of the country’s oil fields and maintain its profits. Can’t have countries’ believe that they should control their own oil fields.

            666 is a reference to the Number of the Beast in Revelations.

            1776 is when the American Colonies declared independence.

    2. hunkerdown

      I call it high quality trolling, projected through the perma-serious German deadpan mien. Christine Lagarde’s love for numerology in enforcing the world order is a matter of record.

  15. Mikel

    “Bill Gates: Stop Telling Africans What Kind of Agriculture Africans Need” Scientific American

    Has anybody asked Gates if he uses the modified BS seeds on the farmland he’s purchased?
    I still think he’s a creepy eugenicist (like his pal Epstein) and the globe should wary. And I guess there really isn’t any kind of eugenicist other than creepy.

    1. Nikkikat

      My opinion on Bill Gates interview. Gates PR firm planted this interview. Bill gets his feeling hurt very easy. People talking about the jets in Davos. Felt he needed to point out how good and virtuous the bill Gates initiatives are for the world. It’s all to make Gates look good. He cares about how much money he can make off of us. He throws in some more nonsense by talking about vaccines for Africa.

      1. c_heale

        It seems safe to say that whatever Bill Gates puts his hand (and money) to, it will be to the detriment of the humanity and/or the natural environment.

    1. Christopher Peters

      I kind of doubt he has been inside Ukraine in a long while. Green screens can do wonders.

    2. OIFVet

      It has certain logic for the head of a failed state to visit the capital of a failing state. Birds of feather…

    3. JohnA

      At least Zelensky should not need a hotel suite, he has an extensive London property portfolio. Plus his entourage seemed to include plenty of military age members, that might be better employed at the front. Especially as the Ukrainians are press ganging every individual on the street aged from 16 to 60+ (oligarchs and their families excluded, obviously.

  16. Mikel

    “America’s Labor Shortages Are Good, Actually”Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

    “…But it can be an irritating one for the much larger population of Americans who never lost their jobs during the COVID recession and have little patience for harried waiters, long coffee-shop lines…”

    I don’t think harried waiters and long coffe shop lines should be irritating…unless one wants to admit they are actually irritated with themselves.
    If you can’t wait or are in a really big hurry, you are free to leave both places. Neither locks the door behind you when you enter.
    In fact, more of this attitude would improve staffing at numerous locations.

    1. Jason Boxman

      In reality, America’s labor shortages have little to do with any extant social welfare program except, perhaps, for Social Security. The U.S. labor-force participation rate — the percentage of Americans who have a job or are looking for one — has declined since the pandemic. But this is almost entirely the result of COVID nudging older workers into retirement. Most of the workers who exited the labor-force in recent years are over 70 years old, as the Niskanen Center’s Matt Darling notes.

      (bold mine)

      And. KILLING. THEM.

      Powell himself mentioned dead citizens last year or whatever in regards to labour shortages. We’ve killed quite a few working age people, that this isn’t taken into account when factoring labour shortages is nuts.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Here is when Russia starts building Hungary’s new nuclear power plant”

    Hope that it does not mysteriously blow itself up when finished.

    1. Carolinian

      Depends on whether Biden is still president?

      At least Obama had as his motto “don’t do stupid shit” even while doing stupid shit. Biden on the other hand seems to think if think is the right word that he can get away with anything.

      1. Jason Boxman

        That’s Obama’s disingenuous streak in action. I’d prefer a president that flatly states such things will happen, with feeling. At least you know what you’re going to get.

  18. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Ukraine army discipline crackdown sparks fear and fury on the front Politico

    A Ukrainian army officer who recently left the frontline city of Bakhmut (and requested anonymity as officers are not authorized to speak to the press) told POLITICO: “Sometimes abandonment of positions becomes the only way to save personnel from senseless death. If they cannot deliver ammunition or [relieve troops], when you sit in the trenches for several days without sleep or rest, your combat value goes to zero.”

    “Fatigue and trauma lead to mental disorders, and bring chaos, negligence and even depravity into a soldier’s life. This strongly affects fighting qualities and obedience,” the officer said.

    “In the situations of despair and complete exhaustion, fear of criminal liability does not work,” Zakrevska argued.

    Now that zelensky has succeeded in getting tanks that require months of training in locales other than beloved ukraine, and continues to beg for warplanes that require the same, could this new law punishing would-be deserters be a warning to any of the best and brightest who get the notion that, once they’ve been sent out of country for “training,” the wisest course would be to keep on going and never look back?

    “Asylum” is a pretty popular word in america these days.

    Certainly sounds like “fighting to the last ukrainian” and “as long as it takes” doesn’t have the cache in ukraine that it has in the blue-and-yellow-flag-flying enclaves of washington, d.c.

  19. Objective Ace

    >Long COVID: What Do the Latest Data Show?

    I realize this is self reported data, but this makes no sense. The sum of those who have long covid and those who no longer have long covid is cumulative over time. The only way to escape the “no longer have long covid” group is to die or go back into the “have long covid” group. Since we arent seeing massive deaths, something else must be going on — the normalization of long Covid where people no longer associate it with being abnormal and don’t report it

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I strongly suspect that many people are ascribing their illnesses to something else. I’ve heard plenty of comments by people about ‘that cold I just can’t shake off all winter’ and so on. The gaslighting is working.

      1. Jen

        I have a co-worker whose wife had COVID. He started experiencing the same symptoms she had, but was testing negative on a RAT. He honestly believed that even though he was exposed, and he had the same symptoms his wife, the negative test meant he did not have COVID.

        Thankfully I work remotely.

  20. Presley

    Wanted to mention a brief notice in February 2 Medscape. From the story:

    “People no longer need a positive COVID-19 test to be prescribed the antiviral medications Paxlovid or Lagevrio. “……………………….”The FDA announced the changes Wednesday in letters sent to the drugs’ manufacturers, Pfizer and Merck.”

    The U.S has limited viral tools. Paxlovid has shown some positive results in spite of rebound cases. Lagevrio (generic molnupiravir….Merck) is getting lots of attention recently, and not in a positive direction. The drug EIDD-1931 (Emory Institute of Drug Development) mode of action induces base substitution mutations into the virus to interrupt viral replication. What is being reported is that some of the mutated variants, however, are surviving the process and thereby providing new variants, some of which are doing quite well….

    I know I don’t have to say it but……keep masking NC !

  21. Old Sovietologist

    The Russian pianist Denis Matsuev will not perform at the international piano festival of Bergamo and Brescia.

    The same Bergamo where Russia sent doctors and employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations at the start of the Covid pandemic.

  22. OIFVet

    OMG, Zekensky must have the corniest speechwriters, ever. “We have freedom, give us wings to defend it with,” he’s quoted as telling the British Parliament.

    Can’t help but think of that Red Bull commercial, “Red Bull gives you wings!” Let’s give him Red Bull, says I.

    1. Mildred Montana

      Clearly, they have been googling “Memorable Quotations of G.W. Bush” and landed on this one:

      “Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.”

      The problem is, these people don’t read anymore. They are reduced to quasi-plagiarism. It didn’t matter that Bush’s quote didn’t make any sense. That “wings” metaphor was too hard to resist.

    1. Stephen

      Thanks. I need to watch that later. Must say though, he seems to be a morally brave man. Agree or disagree with him, that is worthy of compliment,

    2. notabanker

      I am a huge fan of David Gilmour, but after the last exchange between him, his wife and Waters, I am completely rethinking that. Accusing Waters of antisemitism and being a Russian puppet is a bridge too far for me. Gilmour pontificating from his houseboat and english farm house while sitting on 100’s of millions can stick it.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yeah, even by Pink Floyd standards, that exchange was weird. Waters implied in a response that he was talking to his lawyers. Mind you, from the very little I’ve read about Gilmores wife, I suspect that she is the one leading the charge here.

        There is, btw, a fantastic interview with Waters by Joe Rogan available on YT, Waters explains his politics with wonderful clarity.

      2. Milton

        As persons, I can say that Waters more represents my view than Gilmour but there’s no way I would cancel an artist from my library no matter how counter their opinions are from mine.

  23. timbers

    Grim summary from Gilbert Doctorow: The Russians are paying attention to the plans for Russia’s partition and destruction that seem to be aired daily on US television. They listened to Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, former commander of all U.S. forces in Europe from 2014 to 2017, on how the Ukrainians must be given long range precision missiles for them to attack Russian Crimea and also further into the Russian heartland. As a result, Russia is revising its policy on use of nuclear weapons. One of the regular panelists on Russian “Sixty Minutes” faced the cameras directly and said that Russia’s nuclear doctrine is under revision in light of these aggressive plans being aired in the United States, so that Russia is headed towards a policy of ‘preventive’ tactical nuclear strikes, similar to what the United States has. Moreover, if Ukraine targets Crimea and heartland Russia, then Russia will respond according to plans now being laid down. These plans foresee counter strikes against U.S military installations in Europe and in the Continental United States using hypersonic missiles. The panelist calls for this threat of counter strikes in Europe and the US to be made public and explicit, so that no one is in doubt about what to expect from the Kremlin.

    1. Screwball

      Wow! That’s pretty scary if you ask me. Are there no adults in the room here? Are we really this crazy? I’m starting to think we are.

      I wonder, if Russia decided to push a few big buttons, what the targets would be? I’m sure if they did that it would get some peoples attention, but it would be nice if people got attention BEFORE that happened. There doesn’t seem to be much anti-war people anymore. The people who were screaming about Bush’s war are now frothing that the mouth for more.

      This is insane, what are we doing?

    1. DJG, Reality Czar


      Link works. The whole plot was vile by vile people.

      And the Norwegians, who pride themselves on being independent-minded? What did they stand to gain?

      Horrible. And a must-read.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        “And the Norwegians, who pride themselves on being independent-minded? What did they stand to gain?”

        Money, apparently. They are the closest oil and gas supplier to Germany, are they not? Certainly with that out of the way…

  24. semper loquitur

    Great piece about gaslighting. It seems a perfect description of identity politics. Disagree with me? Your a racist (X)phobe Nazi. You actually were already, come to think of it.

    1. LifelongLib

      Another thing (well, maybe the same thing) is ad hominem once removed: “My opinion is the modern enlightened one, so if you don’t agree, you must [by implication] be a backward jerk”.

      1. Aumua

        well there are a lot of backwards jerks, in case you haven’t noticed, and they’re gaining power.

        so there are multiple angles to consider.

  25. semper loquitur

    The Intelligencer examination of Ashley Biden’s diary is interesting. How in the name of Bog is a father showering with his teenage daughter not abuse? Yet the author cries “creative framing”.

    Normalizing the grooming of children. Divisive identity politics that pit American against American. Tens of billions for the Ukrainian mafia while the country crumbles. The full throated promotion of public figures with problematic interests in young girls. Is there any low that the $hit-lib won’t sink to?

    1. LifelongLib

      Well, don’t forget asset forfeiture. Law enforcement seizing money and property before the owner has been convicted of a crime. Due process is so 18th century…

  26. Karl

    RE: Hungary to build Russian nuclear plants

    The plan is to build 2 x 1200 MW plants, supplementing 4 x 500 MW PWR plants, also Russian nukes built in the Soviet era (1967 -82). Supposedly, the existing Soviet models have maintained an 82+% capacity factor (fair), and the Hungarians must have high confidence in these newer and larger reactors.

    The size of this expansion is similar in total megawatts and technology (PWR) to that of Georgia Power’s new Vogtle units #3 and #4, which are being fueled and will finally start up sometime in the next few months after $28 billion spent. So, it will be interesting to see how much this Hungarian expansion will cost in comparison (in about 15 years).

    Interestingly, US DOE seems to be hedging its nuclear bets with Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), defined as reactors <300MW. DOE got over $300 Billion in new loan and grant authority in the recent IRA, which it will use to fund some SMR boondoggles if it can find some private sector partners. The problem is, these reactors also have lots of problems, e.g. higher levels of nuclear waste.

    I wish DOE would put some bucks into molten salt thorium reactors. Currently it seems to be interested in sticking with light water pressurized small or micro reactors, or Terra Power’s breeder reactor (producing plutonium). Interestingly, Terra Power is building its first breeder in China (Fujian province), our ostensible “adversary”. But Gates gets what he wants.

    Needless to say, if there are breakthroughs in making Nuclear Energy safe and cost effective, they won’t come from the U.S., but from China, South Korea, France and/or Russia.

  27. Paradan

    E.Coli K-12

    Ok, so years ago when I was doing my rotation for lab tech, I was looking at slides I made from a control colony that was close to 48 hours old. They had these giant E.Coli on it, they were like 30 time as long as normal, and when I asked about it all I got from the CLS’s in Micro was that its an old colony so it doesn’t matter/stick to procedure. Anyone else seen this? There’s better places to ask but I’m lazy. My theory on these things is that after the colony ages a bit the cells start to diversify into jobs, and these are signal amplifiers/relay stations for the colony.

    I’m also suffering from deja vous now, so if I’ve asked about this before, sorry.

  28. KFritz

    Re: African cat in Missouri

    The Serval is the actual namesake of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s great novel, “Il Gattopardo,” mistranslated as “The Leopard.”

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