Links 3/8/2023

Yves here. Thanks to those who read Lambert’s Water Cooler Special on NYC Mayor Adams telling businesses to have their patrons remove masks as a condition of entry and circulated his post or better yet, filed a complaint. It’s not too late to act if you haven’t yet had time!

Our experience with CalPERS showed that on the state level, it takes comparatively few messages from upset citizens to change the trajectory of policy. And remember, New York City draws in many people who don’t live in the five boroughs: commuters, tourists, patients seeking specialized treatments. So if you visit the city more than occasionally, please weigh in, since New York depends on income from these many transients too, and has to respect state and Federal laws in dealing with them (yes, the Adams edict is procedurally improper too, but better to go with the substantive abuses).

I complained to the New York attorney general (link to be found in Lambert’s WC) without the benefit of his piece and it took only 15 minutes. I’m also a slow typist so it would likely take most of you less time.

That form asks for a short description of the civil rights violation. It’s not much more work to copy and paste that text and send it to your state Senator and Assemblyman.

In terms of enlisting allies, nurses and advocates for HIV and other immunocompromised groups would be prime candidates. And if you sent the post to anyone who tries telling you that a study shows masks don’t work, the simplest rebuttal is the Cochrane study was an obvious bad faith exercise: a metastudy based on 78 studies. Only 2 were on Covid and the 2 Covid studies found masks were beneficial. And of course you can also send on Lambert’s long-form evisceration.

* * *

Bumblebees’ puzzle-solving powers suggest a capacity for animal culture NPR (David L)

What hunter-gatherers demonstrate about work and satisfaction aeon (Anthony L)

The Ancient Boundaries of Classics Antigone (Anthony L)

How sugar substitutes sneak into foods and affect your health Washington Post (furzy)

Can Our Brains Be Taken Over? Quanta (Anthony L)

Los Angeles Is Burning: Ian Winwood on Rock Music in L.A. Los Angeles Review of Books (Anthony L)



China’s Xi Jinping Takes Rare Direct Aim at U.S. in Speech Wall Street Journal

White House Backs Bill To Strengthen US Powers To Ban TikTok Reuters

Banning TikTok Bruce Schreier


A supermajority of South Koreans want nukes: polls Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

Forced Labour Victims Protest in Wheelchairs, Reject S.Korea Deal on Japan US News (Kevin W)

New government plan opens up possibility of 80.5-hour work week in Korea Hankyoreh (CH)

La belle France

Live: French roads, fuel deliveries blocked by protesters France24

New Not-So-Cold War. We are covering the ludicrous New York Times/Die Zeit pinning o the Nord Stream pipeline bombings on a small freelance team that did miracles with a comparatively tiny boat in a separate post, so please have fun with it there.

The coming spring offensives in Ukraine Asia Times (Kevin W)

What they are talking about on the Russian talk shows today: full war mobilization! Gilbert Doctorow (guurst)

Ukraine Hopes the New IRIS-T Weapon System Will Protect it From Suicide Drones Vice


Syria Says Israeli Airstrike Halts Earthquake Aid Flights Into Aleppo Antiwar (Kevin W)

Biden’s Iran policy makes no sense Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

Can American Jewish Support for Israel Survive This New Government? New Republic (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

FTC: BetterHelp pushed users to share mental health info then gave it to Facebook The Register (Kevin W)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Air Force Will Likely Miss Recruiting Goals, Service Secretary Says


Tucker Carlson releases exclusive Jan. 6 footage, says politicians, media lied about Sicknick, ‘QAnon Shaman’ Fox (resilc)

Republicans slam Fox News’ Tucker Carlson over Capitol riot clips BBC

Tucker Carlson’s Jan. 6 video blasted by Capitol Police Chief Manager USA Today

Rupert Murdoch predicted ‘riots like never before’ if 2020 US election was overturned Financial Times (Kevin W)


Deaths of US citizens put pressure on Biden over handling of Mexican cartels The Hill

The Incredible Shrinking Power of Joe Biden’s Welfare State Slate (Leroy R)

Biden FCC nominee withdraws, following bruising lobbying battle Washington Post


Never, Ever, Ever Haley The American Conservative


Mifepristone, misoprostol may be mailed to states with abortion bans Washington Post (furzy)

Five women sue Texas over abortion access BBC

Police State Watch

‘This is how I’m going to die’: police swarm activists protesting ‘Cop City’ in ‘week of action’ Guardian (furzy)

The U.S. Probation System Has Become a Quagmire Reason (guurst)

Norfolk Southern Chemical Bomb

The Democrats botched the Ohio disaster response – and handed Trump a victory Guardian (resilc)

Two Norfolk Southern rail accidents in four days in Ohio show nothing has been done after East Palestine disaster WSWS

Our No Longer Free Press

U.S. Special Ops Wants to Use Deepfakes for Psy-ops Intercept (resilc). “Wants to use”?

Florida Legislator Proposes a State Registry for Bloggers Jonathan Turley. Turley bizaarely fails to mention this law is not enforceable outside Florida.


School that’s part of notoriously woke Virginia district BANS white and Asian students from college prep program, as sister school faces probe for withholding merit awards to boost ‘equity’ Daily Mail


As Customer Problems Hit a Record High, More People Seek ‘Revenge’ Wall Street Journal. ZOMG, confirming my earlier comment about the woman who drove her SUV into a Popeyes over missing biscuits, there is a Customer Rage survey! BTW, the perception of quality of customer service is not based on the number of screwups but how the vendor handles a screw up. That is why horrible phone trees and tech companies that as a matter of policy allow no human contact are feeding this problem. Oh, and pro tip: is you friend.


Is the US government ready for the rise of artificial intelligence? Guardian (resilc)

The Bezzle

A Speculative Endeavor: Education has become an investment. But what are its returns? Lapham’s Quarterly (Anthony L)

California community colleges rely too much on part-time faculty; misspend funds Bakersfield (Paul R)

Mark Zuckerberg Quietly Buries the Metaverse The Street (Micael T)

Perth Mint sold diluted gold to China, got caught, and tried to cover it up ABC (Brian C)

How is brand Harry and Meghan faring in the US? News just in: not good Guardian (furzy)

Class Warfare

Hamptons trailer park home sells for $3.75M FoxNY (furzy)

Summer Lee Mocks AFL-CIO Chapter – 3 Million French Workers Strike – French-owned Company Unionbusts Va. Bus Drivers Mike Elk

Antidote du jour. Celia C: “I attach a picture that might be useful as an antidote du jour. The mother sheep is named Platypus and lives in Ireland. She is shown here with her baby, just born in the last week or so.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Terry Flynn

    Harry and Meghan (via South Park) were top trending topic on my twitter for DAYS after the broadcast. This was only partially due to differing broadcast dates – Comedy Central stuff is broadcast via mainstream services in UK within 24 hours of USA airing. It got “bumped up” because of a few days delay in several south American countries (judging by most recent comments each morning GMT). THEN Brits and finally USA people woke up each day and kept it going with more memes.

    Attempts to support the royals spectacularly backfired when *THAT* hashtag resurfaced about William. I see the front pages of newspapers when shopping and they’re all becoming a joke and soap opera, even in former staunchly Royalist papers.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘*THAT* hashtag resurfaced about William’

      I had not heard about that one and went to look it up. Is that anything like Tent Pegging?

      1. Terry Flynn

        Prince of…..

        TBH I knew of it when I lived in Oz and so UK Court (presumed) super injunction on the press there didn’t extend to Oz. So when it became a “thing” here in UK people wondered why I knew all about it already!

        1. Terry Flynn

          PS yes your verb is correct.

          And in case anyone wondered why you, as a knowledgeable Aussie, didn’t know about this, I noticed at the time that despite no (to my knowledge) legal action from Buck House to try to suppress stuff in other Commonwealth countries, we were under right wing monarchist loonies like the mad monk (my local MP) at that time so all media were discouraged from reporting. Smaller blogs including NC were already becoming my major source of news and discussion…… Hence how I knew…..

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Musing on the acclaim of the episode despite the quality, I think the Royals (the whole premise) are so cartoonish they generally can’t be made fun of in a way that resonates. The men who swoon on BBC during some ceremony are so bizarre, but Canadians in SP are just a whole other thing. In effect, they are cartoons for the cartoons, putting the Royals in their place as is tradition.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Agreed. Although I doubt the episode will ever appear in a “top 20…..” list there were sublime moments and sometimes via using the Canadian “get out clause” Matt and Trey had free rein to shoot with both barrels.

        Together with SNP angst in Scotland, I think the episode will eventually be shown to be a big plus for anti-monarch sentiments here. Plus yesterday’s papers lead with Harry’s latest and it really really doesn’t look good for the Monarchy.

    3. griffen

      Remarkable that their approval rankings, however that is surveyed, is now falling beneath Prince Andrew (who formerly cavorted around with the likes of Epstein and Maxwell).

      The world is mean! I really could give 2 piles of horsecrap how they (Harry and Meghan) are supposedly meant to suffer.

      1. ArvidMartensen

        You have triggered the pedant in me. Correction. “I really could NOT give 2 piles of horsecrap……” is what I think you meant.
        Totally agree with the sentiment though.

    4. Some Guy

      Harry and Meghan took on the UK tabloids and when anyone does that, the tabloids will ‘monster them’ and since the UK is filled with millions upon millions of people who only ever ask ‘how high;’ when the tabloids tell them to jump, now they are very unpopular.

      Typically, the way this plays out is that someone tries to change the UK for the better, this is threatening to the people in charge (since if they wanted that aspect of the UK to be better, it already would be, it isn’t because it doesn’t suit them for it to be better) so that person gets monstered.

      The only differences in this case is that a) Harry and Meghan are just looking out for themselves, not the country, and b) because they are part of the royal family, they have a big enough profile to defend themselves a little bit and make waves as they are getting monstered.

      The only really instructive element here is to realize that if the press can and will do this to the royal famiily, what chance does an ordinary person have of doing something to take on the corrupt elite that is destroying the UK. None – and that is why the UK continues to be the leading poster child for Western collapse, corruption and decay.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        On this side of the pond, a while back there was a guy named Mencken who said something about not picking fights with folks who buy ink by the barrel.

  2. griffen

    Deaths of US citizens put pressure on Biden. That’s like an extended or bizarro world version of the fictional work called “Sicario”. Maybe Joe Biden could put Taylor Sheridan in charge of controlling the border and corralling the worst of those cartels.

    FWIW, Sheridan has been putting out excellent work like Sicario, Wind River and more currently Yellowstone (but I am less sure about season 5 myself). But hey when we’re talking DC and political leadership, that’s all fiction as well.

      1. John

        Or he could just conduct a special military operation into Mexico to protect US natives there and de Cartelize Mexico. Why ask the Mexican government? We never have before.

      2. JP

        I thought it was Bill Barr’s idea to send troops to Mexico not Biden’s. The Villa expedition was justified by Villa’s incursion into the US. Well at least the part that used to be Mexico

      1. pjay

        In a Congress full of despicable war-mongers the competition for “worst of the worst” is tough. But my vote would probably be for Lindsay Graham. He is *always* leading the pack braying for *every* war and intervention. Couldn’t we please, please, please just give him a weapon and send him off to the front lines somewhere. The country, and the world, would be a much better place.

        The arrogance and hypocrisy depicted in this article, given the actions of the US over the last 80 years and our current reputation in the global South, is almost beyond comprehension.

      2. The Rev Kev

        If I remember correctly, Lindsey Graham was in the US Air Force. That being the case they should re-activate him and send his a** south to accompany any troops going across the border.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Officials noted that Biden recently signed an order giving expanded authority to the Treasury Department to penalize cartels…

      So, “sanctions?”

      1. Cristobal

        Like maybe the gas cartel (Exxon, Shell, PB, etc), the armaments cartel, the pharmacutical cartel? We could only hope.

    2. notabanker

      I find it interesting that days after the President of Mexico called out the US government for being run by oligarchs, we have a sudden interest in sending troops over the border to rescue US citizens and splash is all over the front page of every oligarch controlled newspaper in the land. This is also the same President that is fighting GMO seeds from hitting their soil. YMMV.

      1. pjay

        Just a “coincidence” I’m sure. Kind of like the big break in the Nord Stream story appearing, after all this time, soon after Seymour Hersh writes about it.

      2. Paradan

        A week or two ago, 3 Pemex(?)(Mexico’s Oil company) refineries caught fire on the same day. This was after they refused to raise gas prices to match the US. The companies partly state owned, so I sense an anti-socialist fit brewing.

  3. QuarterBack

    Re the J6 tapes, it is fair to debate whether or not the coverage released by Carlson is representative of the overall situation at the Capital during J6, but I see no justifiable reason why Jacob Chansley would deserve to be in prison for 4 years and counting based on this evidence. There are countless cases of people arrested during “mostly peaceful protest” that committed actual violence and injury, but were not given jail time, and others not charged at all.

    It is clear that the “bad old days” are still alive and well if how the full weight of the Government is directed against citizens is determined by which side the political winds are blowing.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      From the git-go, it’s been pretty obvious to us subversive conspiracy theorist, potential domestic terrorist types that Chansley was being railroaded, even without Tucker’s treasonous revelation of the Shaman’s J6 capital guided tour. His made-for-tv costume did him in.

      But according to the USA Today link, the mortal sin is Tucker’s popping the Brian Sicknick martyrdom balloon. How dare Carlson reveal actual video of a hale and hearty Sicknick directing the coup plotters into the building AFTER he “fought valiantly for hours on the day he was violently assaulted,” causing his own death the next day from “natural causes.”

      I mean, damn, people might start thinking they made the whole insurrection thing up.

      1. Carolinian

        Schumer demanded that Murdoch block Carlson’s Tuesday night report but Tuesday night came and went and I assume that didn’t happen (don’t get cable).

        Apparently polls show a majority of the public believe the J6 arrestees are being railroaded so that cat may have already been out of the bag if only via intuition. After all what are you going to believe: your lying eyes or Chuck Schumer? Even Jon Stewart used to make fun of him.

        Those same polls though show that MSNBC Dems are devote believers in J6 insurrection so unlikely the new videos will change the minds of the “influencers.”

      2. Mildred Montana

        >”…Brian Sicknick martyrdom…”

        Why do they keep trying to make heroes, to create myths? Their lies always fall apart in a matter of years. Given Congress’ and the military’s approval ratings of late, most people have stopped buying them. Yet they never learn, they persist, without embarrassment or apology. Do they even remember history as recent as twenty years ago, the sad outcomes of their attempts at myth-making?

        1. Jessica Lynch, Iraq war “hero” from 2003: She said in 2007, “I spoke before Congress about how the military creates myths exaggerating the heroics of its soldiers.”

        2. Pat Tillman, an Iraq “hero” killed in 2004 by friendly fire: “Tillman’s brother testified before Congress [in 2007], stating “The deception surrounding this case was an insult to the family, but more importantly, its primary purpose was to deceive a whole nation.””

        “…its primary purpose was to deceive a whole nation.” That’s well said, and it goes for so much more these days.

        1. hunkerdown

          It’s the job of any state’s priest class to manipulate our attitudes so that we remain in its total, captive service. The only facts that actually matter are that we are moved as prescribed.

    2. Boomheist

      When this thing happened I watched the live TV coverage and it looked like most of the people got swept up in the crowd and the whole thing became a riot. It was obvious to me there were some in that crowd, a small number, with more deadly and serious intent (those in conga lines of hand on the shoulder military types heading for the building) and once inside some of the people were destructive and disgusting and others just wandering around. So in my opinion both sides are right – there were some trying to get to Congress and stop the process and there were a lot more others swept up in the fever of the moment, goaded sand incited by the speeches and froth to do….something…..It does look, a bit, as if Trump and his people were actually trying to halt the process, and to me the stand down of the DC Guard was the key to this, for which even the Jan6 committee remained virtually silent, and so, was there a conspiracy to stop the counting? Yes. Was there a plan by Trump’s people and Trump? Yes. Was it a good plan? Hardly. Trump was relying on Mike Pence the ultimate sycophant to delay things until the fake electors could snarl the process, and Pence unbelievably found some courage and did not delay the vote, and hence the whole Trump plan came apart, if in fact plan, real plan, there was. Looking at the insanity around the stolen election thesis, if the same minds were planning the capitol riot, no wonder it went awry.

      Since that date there have been two narrative struggles, the “insurrection” narrative accepted by most media and Democrats and a few Republicans and the “at worst riot” narrative now being further massaged into a nothingburger by Mr. Carlson. Now the independent media types are crying about how the arrest and holding and prosecution of so many rioters is a sign of a police state, and they may be right. In my opinion they should indeed have thrown the book at anyone who could be targeted with planning and preparation for shutting down the process, the Proud Boys and Three Percenters, and anyone in Trump’s employ or the givernment involved in the plan should be locked up for a damn long time, but as far as the rest of those there that day? Really no different than the mobs running around Portland and other cities dueing the BLM struggles. Riots and rioters.

      The biggest story, to me, of all this, is the evidence now flooding into the country from the Dominion suit of how a multi-billion dollar company and its owners and employees masqueraded as “news” and burned in a lie about the election which caused that riot, and which has forever damaged our trust in government systems. Jailing hundreds of over-stimulated rioters (and a few real conspirators) won’t solve the problem of allowing a company to brand itself news and then foment lies under the protection of free speech and whatever protections media has. The best thing to happen in my opinion is to indict and charge anyone who can be proven to organizing the effort to stop the counting (not the riotors) and a jury in the defamation suit to so burn Fox with fines the company ceases to exist. That will send a very clear message.

      1. Pat

        I think you may have the wrong tail regarding the conspiracy, at least as far as the incredibly welcoming police, and surprising mild DC police presence and total lack of National Guard support.

        Think logically, the whole point of the January 6 committee was to make sure it was 1) considered the largest and most dangerous insurrection in the country’s history, that 2.) it is only through some heroic action by an overwhelmed Capitol police force that Nancy and multiple Congresspersons were not slaughtered, and 3.) most important of all that this was planned and incited by Trump and his nearest and dearest. Orders that the changed the current standard of police and National Guard coverage of a protest event, even the more lightly policed conservative ones would have been a huge smoking gun to indict Trump. That they made no, yes, no effort to find out why this was treated so differently only makes sense logically if it was NOT Trump connected and they had to be sure that did not come out.

        And something I believe, but is not provable in any manner, the proven FBI involvement with the Proud Boys and other of the more militant is not indicative of actual policing nor is any instigation of violent protest have to be because of FBI support of Trump.

        1. boomheist

          You may be right but if one is a conspiracist to think Trump was somehow behind this after weeks and months of lying about the election and the fake elector efforts and flynns brother – brother! – being in on the NG call down decision then to believe all of this was somehow planned or overseen by the Democrats and the deep state taking advantage of Trumps lie seems to me to be even more unbelievable….

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            C’mon, man.

            Seeding a protest with agitators to vilify the protesters and discredit their cause is a tactic that’s old as the hills and twice as dusty. WTO protests in Seattle and Maidan are only two of a slew that come to mind.

            The right to peaceably assemble for redress of grievances is supposed to be bedrock in this country, and there’s nothing that corrupt politicians fear more than tens of thousands of people willing to show up and tell them what a shitty job they’re doing. Loudly. In person.

            What skin was it off anybody’s ass that these people believed the election was stolen and were willing to travel to d.c. to say so? Do you honestly believe that the QAnon Shaman or Ashli Babbit were going to hang Mike Pence? jeezus h. christ.

            This country is being pushed to the brink, and this is not the last time protests like this are gonna happen. Some may even be for causes that you support. This is not about Trump. It’s about the struggle to control an increasingly angry, abused population that’s fed up to the gills and not gonna take it anymore.

            They’ve shown you the playbook. You can hide behind Trump Derangement Syndrome like they want you to for now, but you can’ keep that up forever.

            1. ex-PFC Chuck

              Has Ray Epps been arrested and charged yet?
              Didn’t think so. Until he is I’ll vote for the “insurrection” being a trap custom designed for the narcissistic president to step into, which he duly did.

  4. zagonostra

    >What they are talking about on the Russian talk shows today: full war mobilization! Gilbert Doctorow (guurst)

    Lukashenko argued that Russia had not yet unleashed its military potential, had not yet mobilized its economy and its society for total war, but that was sure to come if the conflict is allowed to proceed and thus to escalate further.

    There has been much speculation since day one of the shift to open kinetic military action of why Russia has been holding back. One reason that Douglas MacGregor and others have put forward was that Putin still thought that a peace deal was possible. But now that it is obvious that there is no “agreement capable” parties to deal with the only option is on the battle field.

    Garland Nixon had a great summary of events on his podcast yesterday. Garland highlighted that the U.S. is paying the salaries and pensions of Ukrainians and propping up the economy, that Ukraine as a nation has ceased to exist. What is left when the conflict is over will need trillions to recreate a functioning economy.

    The Russians know that after the military phase is over there massive investments will have to be made to repair the damage and support the remaining population. So, why not let the U.S. sink as much money as possible into Ukraine before hostilities end? The more money pours in, the more resources will be available when hostilities end. On the flip side, as Paul Craig Roberts has written, Putin by prolonging the conflict, will lead to more destruction. Whatever the reason, the Russian people are bracing for a prolonged conflict.

    1. Dftbs

      Seems like they are “holding back” so as not to escalate beyond the point of no return for the human race. None of the West’s actions seem rational, imo the Russians believe they are dealing with an irrational antagonist, one that would let nukes fly rather than admit defeat to itself. Of course dementia Joe could be playing a character a la Nixon. But the risk and consequences of nuclear war are too great to ignore. So the Russians refrain from destroying Ukrainian(NATO) ISR assets and Ukrainian(NATO) logistics because they have concluded they can achieve their goals, at their pace, without wagering an extinction level event. Heck, if they play their cards right the US will lose interest in Ukraine and go for a bender on Mexico.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      This whole “investment by the West” talk is utter bullshit. It is to disguise the fact that the money being pumped into Ukraine now is going into a burn pit.

      Remember Greece 2015? That country was not ravaged by war, refugee flight, death of many of its reproduction age men and had a working grid. Its corruption is pale compared to Ukraine’s. The efforts to hawk assets like island, beaches, partly completed hotels were a bust.

      The other big reason, as I have repeatedly said, that the West is never, and I mean never, going to rebuild Ukraine is only Russia can fix its grid. Only Russia makes the right gear. Too expensive for the West to rewire from scratch or set up new factories to make transformers etc for Ukraine.

      1. Dftbs

        I’m curious as to who is going to make the US whole on the “lend lease” or the “Blackrocks” that are presumably lending for physical assets that will be under Russian control. I imagine they are using the Soviet precedent with Lend lease to gauge the inclination of the Russians to pay. I think they’ll find the Russians less inclined than their Soviet predecessors to play ball. After all in 2023 the Russians have more capital than their Western counterparts, so no impetus for submission.

        1. jrkrideau

          I know just about zero about electrical infrastructure but can those things be integrated into the Ukrainian grid? As Yves points out, just above, the Ukrainian system is built to Soviet standards not North America’s .

          Still it probably keeps some voters happy. Hi Chrystia.

      2. John k

        Imo the west would like Ukraine rebuilt so that in the future it could be used against Russia again. I also agree only Russia can fix the grid. But imo the country that could do it doesn’t want it done. Seems better for Russia if west Ukraine becomes a no-man’s land, devoid of electricity, meaning the cities empty out mostly to the west. Lovely buffer. Besides, there will be plenty work fixing the oblasts they decide are keepers.
        Similarly, seems unlikely russia would want Poland taking a chunk, which would move nato further east.
        ‘Send us your armies, we will entertain them as they arrive.’
        I can imagine somebody calling up putin, asking ‘mind if we take Galicia? And putin saying, ‘yes’.

      3. skippy

        Are you suggesting this like that asset pump on Afghanistan mineral deposits once the war was going to be won on … yet water was always going to make that impossible … smirk …

  5. Lexx

    ‘Hamptons Trailer Park Home Sells For $3.75M’

    “This location speaks for itself,” Gold said. “It is easy to fall in love with the community and culture of Ditch Plains in Montauk. It truly is the ultimate lifestyle for beach lovers, families, or individuals. If you were to visit you would fall back in time to where kids ride around on bikes all day hopping around to each other’s properties or spending the day surfing on the beach.”

    … just as soon as someone manages to get those Oculus headsets off their heads and pry their noggins out of the Metaverse.

    I have a high, and I think healthy regard, for the purchasing power of $3.75M, and project perhaps that anyone who would spend that kind of money for a single-wide with an oceanview does not. I can only hope it’s sitting on a double lot and the new owner intends to build. Otherwise, the buyer would seem to be a moron. A rich moron but still…

    1. griffen

      I would echo the observation. Being rich invites a unique set of problems, like how quickly to part with that dough for even a thin slice of life in the Hamptons. I did not observe a garage so where does the owner park their high dollar SUV? Out in the elements, the horror !

      1. earthling

        These folks have multiple vehicles. One is going to be a vintage ‘woodie’ station wagon for use only at the beach house. No worries about exposure to the elements; over the winter it lives in a commercial garage in town, where an artisanal body worker can restore it as needed.

    2. Mildred Montana

      >”I can only hope it’s sitting on a double lot…”

      Seems not. It appears to be sitting on a postage stamp, badly hemmed in. Here’s a link with some very good photos of the trailer and the park itself (actually looks a little dumpy):

      Two questions I have:

      1. Is it a trailer or a modular home? Here in Canada trailers have only two inches of insulation while modular homes have six. How to tell the difference? Modular homes have window-sills, trailers don’t. They’re strictly bottom-of-the-barrel for those who want to get in cheap.

      2. All the trailer parks I know of have a monthly pad-rental. You own the trailer, you don’t own the land it sits on. Wonder how much Montauk Shores Trailer Park charges for parking a trailer?

      1. Terry Flynn

        Regarding land you own. I wonder whether leaseholds in London are still as common as 30 years ago? 99 year leasehold creates weird economic dynamics and I know lots of people came to rebel against them……

        Whether or not they had power to gain control of the land is something I don’t know.

        1. JW

          Yes. The nearest ownership of the property is via a share of the Freehold which leaves you arguing with several other people about how to maintain it. Part share of the Freehold includes part share of the land the building sits on.

      2. Lexx

        ‘Residents say their new billionaire neighbors merely use the trailers as a changing room after a swim, leaving the units vacant during the off-season.’

        A $3.75M ‘beach cabana’?!

      1. flora

        Thank you. A dear memory is of my grandma bringing in to her kitchen in the late winter a young lamb whose young mother, a very young ewe (ewe is pronounce “you”, just so you know ) who at her first lambing didn’t know how to care for the the lamb properly. I remember grandma bringing in the lamb, snow flakes on her scarf and coat and on the lamb’s wool, and feeding the lamb with warm milk from a glass bottle with a rubber, feed store bough nipple. And the lamb taking after the bottle as if it was the best thing ever.

        1. digi_owl

          Yep, took part in same during many a winter growing up. They were fed a kind of powered milk mix here.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “New government plan opens up possibility of 80.5-hour work week in Korea”

    That is going to be a neat trick that. Employers would have to start offering barracks for them to sleep in as not being worth the time for them to go home and back again. The societal problems would be epic and I suspect that a lot of workers would have to use drugs to get them through the day. And resort to booze when home. I can guarantee that birth rates would fall off a cliff after the first year and you may end up with people fleeing north to North Korea for their own mental health. There would certainly be a second diaspora of South Koreans leaving the country which may head to the US like their predecessors did from 1960s through the early 1980s. South Korea will pick up the nickname of ‘No Country For Young Men’. I have many times referred to Neoliberalism in my comments. This is an example of Hyper-Neoliberalism.

    1. Terry Flynn

      Indeed. This is post-war Japan on steroids. My best friend (Dean at major Japanese university) sees the reasons for lack of population growth….. Yet SK ignores all the Japanese experiences and will suffer. My BFF said SK will really suffer when the implications of its policies really come home.

      1. c_heale

        Yep, and since young people (there is high youth unemployment in Korea and many badly paid “McJobs”) already want to leave Korea, there is going to be a major problem of a brain drain from Korea too.

    2. Mikel

      “I suspect that a lot of workers would have to use drugs to get them through the day…”

      Meth problems already reported in other manufacturing hubs around Asia.

      But everybody here needs to pay attention. The govt and corps talk about being “competitive.” That means which country can work the most people to death, cheaper and faster, and get away with it.
      That’s the kind of thing those off-shoring companies all over the world are looking for. It’s multipolar.
      They look at the USA too…which seems to be having a lot more issues lately with child labor.

    3. Kouros

      All the while the “rule based international order system” will declare no foul play if S. Korea acquires nukes… NPT R.I.P.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “What they are talking about on the Russian talk shows today: full war mobilization!”

    The fact that innocents were killed in the Kersh bridge bombing was bad enough, especially since the driver did not know about his load thus leaving a wife and kids behind. But sending scores of armed people across the border to terrorize and kill people going about their business is pretty nigh unforgivable. Maybe they were hoping for their own scaled down version of the Battle of Colombus and try to get the Russians do a brutal response that would earn international condemnation. I can imagine how the Russian citizens would be feeling about these acts of terrorism. Let’s say that they would be pretty p*****. The only thing is that it will give a very clear idea to Russians of the problem of having a border with the Ukrainians so maybe they will go with a DMZ after all – just to protect their people.

  8. Stephen

    Imagine your last moments being mocked and yelled at like this.

    That video is almost unwatchable.

    I can believe (and even sympathize) that police officers see a lot of acting up and so get case hardened. Can also believe that a video may not be the full story. But that lady looked seriously ill. How on earth any of them could think gaol was the best place for her and how on earth two hospitals said she was fine beggars belief. Their behaviour and banter bordered on sadistic too.

    I wonder if there is some incentive mechanism at work with the hospitals. For example, if she was without the means to pay then despite the obligation to treat would it then make economic sense for them to say she was well and avoid helping her? Guess they also assume that no one would sue on her behalf too.

    Knoxville is definitely not on my list of places to visit. Cops who don’t care and also lack common sense to boot.

      1. JTMcPhee

        One of my “Meals on Wheels” deliveries was to a man who was a double amputee (both legs.) He had some congenital circulatory condition that led to gangrene. His wife stated that the day of the second amputation, the man was delivered to his home by ambulance, and the ambulance drivers left him outside on the ground, didn’t even put him in the wheelchair that was sitting right there. The wife was at work. He had to crawl up the ramp into the house, and the effort opened up his wound. Almost bled to death. (This is the wife’s recitation, so for whatit’s worth. I did see stuff like this while working as a nurse.)

    1. jsn

      Of course there were incentives.

      It’s the death and disease industry.

      They knew they could make no more money from her disease, so Rule 2 was applied.

    2. britzklieg

      Frankly, I didn’t watch it. Didn’t need to. We are in hell and have been there for a long time, on every level, in every nook and cranny of society and culture. The execrable polity. My disillusion doesn’t need further nurturing through cruel, and real, images administered by the intrusive feeding tube of media, whether the issue is left or right, all the while motoring the fact that partisanship makes one stupid and the arguments redundant. The evidence of our perdition is abundant.

      1. Joe Renter

        Well said, britzklieg. I even question myself on inquiring for any news these days. Help me/us Jesus.

        1. britzklieg

          I’m not a man of faith, and yet “Jesus” – even as an exclamatory – resonates deeply. We need the miracle I don’t believe in.

          God’s Song – Randy Newman

          Cain slew Abel, Seth knew not why
          For if the children of Israel were to multiply
          Why must any of the children die?
          So he asked the Lord
          And the Lord said:

          “Man means nothing, he means less to me
          Than the lowliest cactus flower
          Or the humblest Yucca tree
          He chases round this desert
          ‘Cause he thinks that’s where I’ll be
          That’s why I love mankind

          I recoil in horror from the foulness of thee
          From the squalor and the filth and the misery
          How we laugh up here in heaven at the prayers you offer me
          That’s why I love mankind”

          The Christians and the Jews were having a jamboree
          The Buddhists and the Hindus joined on satellite TV
          They picked their four greatest priests
          And they began to speak
          They said, “Lord, a plague is on the world
          Lord, no man is free
          The temples that we built to you
          Have tumbled into the sea
          Lord, if you won’t take care of us
          Won’t you please, please let us be?”
          And the Lord said
          And the Lord said:

          “I burn down your cities, how blind you must be
          I take from you your children and you say, “how blessed are we?”
          You all must be crazy to put your faith in me
          That’s why I love mankind
          You really need me
          That’s why I love mankind”

    3. antidlc

      Michael Moore had a clip on patient dumping in his 2007 documentary “Sicko”:

      At the time, I had hoped Moore’s documentary would be the impetus for change.

      Wendell Potter’s testimony:
      “They Dump the Sick to Satisfy Investors”: Insurance Exec Turned Whistleblower Wendell Potter Speaks Out Against Healthcare Industry

      As the debate over healthcare reform intensifies on Capitol Hill, we spend the hour with a former top insurance executive who’s now exposing the industry’s dirty secrets. Wendell Potter once served as the head of corporate communications at CIGNA, one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies. We speak to Potter about his own transformation from industry mouthpiece to whistleblower, the healthcare industry’s extensive PR and lobbying machine, the campaign to discredit Michael Moore’s film Sicko, and the insurance industry’s most pressing task: the fight against a public option, let alone a single-payer system

      Rush transcript at the link.

    4. Janie

      Couldn’t watch it. There was a similar case (she’s just acting) in Orange County CA at MLK Hospital, aka Killer King, some 15 years ago. The patient writhed on the floor in ER lobby, waiting patients called 911 (which said, what, it’s in a hospital – nope), and janitors mopped around her. She died of a ruptured internal organ.

      OT, some other time I’ll tell you about the cop in OC who was acquitted of beating a homeless man to death; he did this after putting on gloves and announcing his intention to beat him. Took ten minutes, if I recall correctly.

  9. Alice X

    International Women’s Day

    On that day in 1917, the women of Petrograd Russia held a protest that escalated well beyond.

  10. Henry Moon Pie

    The flexible Mr. Heilemann–

    Poor go-with-the-flow Heilemann has probably had Covid so often he doesn’t remember what he said two minutes ago, much less back to May, 2020.

  11. fresno dan

    This is the only example of policing and healthcare in the United States that you need.

    A hospital called police on an elderly woman in distress they insisted was simply causing a scene. She was then arrested and berated while having a stroke and died in police custody.
    I’m not sure where this occurred, but most states have laws about elder abuse, failure to report abuse, etcetera. So where is the prosecution of hospital and police officials???
    well, of course not. Justice and law are two completely different things – indeed, in the US one could say the whole point of the law is to thwart justice….

    1. some guy

      Could the relevant decision-makers and carry-outers at the hospital be considered as the people who killed this woman? Could the police whom they called be viewed as their weapon of choice which they used to kill this woman with?

      When “very important people” or “very important institutions” call the police, the police kinda sorta have to come. And the hospital’s police-callers probably knew exactly what kind of behavior the police would show when the hospital’s police-callers called the police to come show that behavior in the first place.
      Perhaps primary blame should rest with the hospital personell who called in the police to kill this woman with in the first place?

  12. t

    To bad wiki leaks doesn’t have the footage. Would be nice to see anything we want.

    I suppose people think of protests and riots from news and movies and YouTube and have never actually been in one.

  13. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: “woke” VA school

    Are there Black or Hispanic kids at TJ? I’m cynical enough to think they promised a class, don’t have enough teachers, and came up with a sure fire way to not have to hold the class.

    1. Miley

      “No taxation without representation”.

      White and Asian parents can universally vote down all school bonds and refuse to pay the school tax portion of property taxes. Maybe that’s what the gravediggers of our culture want them to do? Tear down the entire thing? Best to start by voting out all the local school board members and polticians that support this without fail.

    2. hunkerdown

      I suppose the theory is that the white kids have “access to” enough private money and Federal gimmes to self-enrich, and that it is all a performance of magnanimity for “the help”.

    3. Bart Hansen

      Not many, but that’s what the school is trying to change by lowering the asian student enrollments from 73% to 54%.

      Opinions on the change differ.

    4. c_heale

      As a corollary to this, I have read that the term BIPOC was intentionally created to exclude Asians.

  14. Wukchumni

    Requiem for a heavy wait…

    A dozen inches of rain spread over 10 days in the foothills here where it will hardly ever be below 50 degrees in the time span, translates to what, nearly 20 inches of rain up top thanks to orographic lift?

    The ground is so saturated that you hit water about 5 inches down, and something that hasn’t really been talked about much in our bountiful winter are the land slips of which we have hundreds here, you can see the makings of much mayhem when something liquid comes this way.

    There is precedence for a big rain on snow event around these parts, a pineapple express came calling through the lower Garfield Grove in 1867 resulting in a snowslide that took out 1,500 mature Giant Sequoias and formed a 400 foot high-1/2 a mile wide dam that lasted a day until it broke and there was catastrophic flooding all the way to Visalia, where Sequoia trees were floating in the streets there.

    When you walk on the Garfield trail, you go right by Snowslide Canyon where the scene of decline happened, and it took it down to bedrock and it looks more or less the same, even today.

    This event looks eerily similar, for those of you playing @ home…

    If you know where to look on the South Fork in the foothills, you’ll find pieces of Sequoia wood way above the river channel as a reminder of what went down 156 years ago~

    1. The Rev Kev

      That is – epic. I can just imagine classes of advanced students following on the ground the course of these events and a professor interpreting what they are seeing and how it all happened back in 1867. The thought of a mud slide would be frightening as I have seen videos of those happening. Everything gets taken out. And its not like you can ski your way down a mud slide.

      1. Wukchumni

        1867 was a key year to compare winters-big snow & then a pineapple express, and there were many avalanches in the Sierra, which is unusual in that we rarely have them happen here.

        If I was in a cabin or house in a mountain community with a hillside behind me loaded with snow-which means all of them, i’d be so out of there and on my way to a Motel 6 in the flatlands, where they’ll leave the light on for you.

        1. earthling

          Many years ago we were in Silverton, Colorado, and it seemed so peculiar that everyone lived down on a nondescript ‘flat’ in town, instead of perching homes along the hillsides, as they do in California. It was explained to us that avalanches tended to clean off the efforts of anyone who built on a slope.

          Slides would be even more effective at erasing the works of man from the slopes. Not to worry, they will use our flatland insurance premiums to compensate the social climbers.

        2. skippy

          Always remember the photo from 90s CO where a massive bolder came down on a cabin and stopped, twice the size of the cabin and had rolled for around a mile down hill before picking its place to stop …

    2. Socal Rhino

      There have been minor mudslides in Laguna Beach, can only imagine the potential further north where the heavy rain and snow fell.

    3. Ed S.


      About 200 miles north of you and we have TEN FEET (no exaggeration) of snow down around our house. After shoveling the roof last week, one side of the 2 story house is now buried within 2 feet of the 2nd floor bathroom window. Above freezing temperatures starting Thursday (with 1 to 2 inches of rain forecast for Thursday/Friday) and a four day flood advisory.

      This is coupled with the damage from the Caldor Fire in the summer of 2021 which left 15 miles of US Highway 50 utterly denuded of all vegetation. (FYI – US 50 is a 2 lane road that runs from Sacramento through the Sierra mountains through South Lake Tahoe on to Carson City, NV and ultimately to Ocean City, Maryland).

      This rain has the potential to result in a disaster of biblical proportions. Rain, floods, mudslides, etc. Forecast is rain/snow for 6 days.

  15. mrsyk

    I see the Guardian headline is measuring the epic shortcomings of team Biden’s response to the East Palestine disaster in “Trump Units” because the potential political tragedy of Trump ’24 far outweighs any current sufferings of the deplorables.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Perth Mint sold diluted gold to China, got caught, and tried to cover it up”

    Just reading the title made me groan. The stupidity! Don’t they realize that the Chinese wised up the dodginess of gold when the US sent them a consignment of gold-coated tungsten bars decades ago? So in trying to save up to $620,000 a year, they not only risked billions of dollars in damage but also put the entire Perth Mint at risk of reputational damage. That is some real MBA level thinking there.

    1. Wukchumni

      There was a very diligent rat catcher of a guard @ the San Francisco mint in the 19th century, and his gambit was to open up the carcass and insert a purloined $20 gold piece in it and sewed it up before disposing of the corpus delecti in the trash, which he then recovered.

      This went on for quite some time…

      A more recent SF mint employee embezzler guard happened about 30 years ago, all of the sudden Reno casinos were getting recently made commemorative halves in slot machines by the hundreds, and these were coins that cost $8-10 from the mint, so who would ever spend them?

      An easy caper to figure out…

      1. semper loquitur

        “The whole tendency of equity language is to blur the contours of hard, often unpleasant facts.”

        “Equity language” is the verbal component of DEI. As the author compellingly writes, “equity language” doesn’t fix problems, it masks them. It’s why certain power centers and privileged individuals cleave to it. It replaces material change with moral posturing, offering the wielder the power to judge others without challenging their own position at the head of a rapacious and dehumanizing economic order. It’s a public display of self flagellation for the Wokel as well as a whip to crack on the unbeliever’s back. Yet another version of identity politics (X)-face.

        The lack of clarity of “equity language” extends beyond it’s being a feel-good façade for power. It has consequences beyond maintaining power differentials. Here is an article about it’s deleterious effect on the practice of medicine:

  17. Carolinian

    Re Atlanta protests–Woodstock in the woods or

    Nearly three dozen people have been detained after flaming bottles and rocks were thrown at officers during a protest at “Cop City,” a new police training center that’s been the site of prior demonstrations and the death of a protester, Atlanta police said Monday.

    Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said at a midnight news conference that several pieces of construction equipment were set on fire Sunday at the site for the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center in DeKalb County.[…]

    Protesters dressed in all black threw large rocks, bricks, Molotov cocktails, and fireworks at police officers Sunday at the construction site, police said.

    Turley says we should withhold judgment on the SPLC lawyer arrested since legal observers are a legitimate thing, but then if he too was dressed in black that might not help his case.

    Meanwhile there’s the journalistic battle but the PBS version above at least has more facts, less press release.

    1. mrsyk

      Now would be a good time to remember Kent State. When the sons and daughters of the not poor became the victims of state violence, murder in particular, policy changes came. Not saying history always repeats, but here’s hoping.

      1. Carolinian

        You dishonor the memory of Kent State by even making the comparison. These are hobby rioters who invented a cause and then pretended to be martyrs to same while putting on their black costumes and–probably–Guy Fawkes masks. Stopping a new police training center on an old prison farm will not stop police training or indeed have any effect on genuine police misconduct except, through violence, to encourage it.

        As for any eco angle, that too is bogus. I live in a Southland that is awash in succession forests since the true old growth was cut down a century ago by farmers and timber barons. Atlanta where I once lived is itself a forest, with wooded neighborhoods and trees that are probably older than those in South Dekalb.

        And finally I deeply oppose Antifa and everything they stand for. If they want to protest true fascism they might start with the Biden administration and the Pentagon where the militarism of some police finds its origin. Kent State was about a real thing.

        1. hunkerdown

          So this is all about PMC feels and their right to rhetorically dictate what is and isn’t. At least we cleared that up.

          Property is theft. I’d say those kids have a valid complaint.

          1. Carolinian

            And I’d say it’s merely a bid for attention and excuse to avoid protesting far greater problems and issues.

            1. hunkerdown

              Oh, so it’s really about enshrining the police relation and competitive moral citation as a norm, i.e. preserving the status quo. Those who are attacking the police production pipeline are arguably working against the causal chain that not only allows all those bigger problems to exist, but enforces their existence. Their efficacy of their action is a separate topic, and I’m not nearly as hopeful that this particular order of battle will have significant real effect.

              If it is Antifa, it would be well within the Soros Open Society ambit to launch low-skill warning attacks against institutions endangered by them, to encourage them to shore themselves up.

              1. Carolinian

                All I’m saying is that from my perspective the police training facility is a total non issue. And I’d have to be convinced that it is so for the vast majority of people who live in Atlanta. Once again almost all of the arrested have been from out of state. To me it simply looks as though the black fashion crowd–whatever they choose to call themselves–are looking for something to do.

              2. JBird4049

                If the protesters don’t have real grievances, why are the police being so… enthusiastic? If nothing else, using violence creates violence and it appears that the police started it.

                This does not make the protests sensible, but the police in general are being increasingly equipped as a military force, using violence when not necessary. And I have yet to read any reasons for the new training school beyond money.

                As for the Kent State shootings, the national guard got hot, frustrated, and angry while using gas masks that interfered with their sight. They had spent hours chasing the protesters back and forth the campus. Most, if not all the people shot were not actually involved in the protests at the time. Bullets can travel a long ways after they miss.

                1. skippy

                  The equipment aspect is not as important as the indoctrination received at such schools, equipment does not action itself, hence it would not matter what kind is on offer. Its the mentality of the people wearing it and yes I can confirm that wearing that stuff has a huge psychological impact on the wearer. Not just from an individual state, but more so the obvious sense one gets from others around you i.e. in this setting the civilians – palpable.

                  For example once I ETS’ed out of the military I still had my uniforms and quite a bit of personal web gear etc. After maybe 3 years post discharge I wore it for a Halloween in Calif in the mid 80s with camo on my face. Hooboy … wore it to work as a bartender on the side, coworkers that new me for a few years were actually scared, is that really you[?], scared a few just coming around a corner, then out with a ex Marine mate in his garb for a few parties and bars, same thing every time – everyone just stares out of the corner of their eyes.

                  At the end of the night we ended up with a few friends at a bar in High Riviera South Bch L.A. and as we were walking in got accosted by some ex S.F. guy that worked as a loan officer at the local bank, wall festooned with Vietnam trophies sort. Anywho he was pretty drunk and thought I was just dressed up for the occasion and not the real deal, cursed young looks strikes again. Almost became physical on his part until his mate dragged him off.

                  Yet this tribal mindset can be pierced under the right circumstances. Was recently interviewed by a couple of police in para military gear at home and after informing them of my past actually used the term/phrase “you boys” would understand. I met their looks casually and they did not blink an eye.

                  So in my view the drama is not the people or the schools that they attend, its those that shape the indoctrination they receive and how that shapes its culture. The only other thing I take exception with is the sourcing cadets from other states. In 80s Calif they were importing lots of Midwest HS/collage football players that did not make it too the big time and brought their biases and grudges with them. Could see them now forming a Ukrainian freedom and liberty support club …

                  over and out

        2. mrsyk

          Food for thought. I need to chew on this. I’ll comment that real things are a matter of perception. I don’t pretend to understand what reality looks like to people two generations younger than I, because I can’t square it with my own experiences (hence the analogy).

    2. JBird4049

      >>>Turley says we should withhold judgment on the SPLC lawyer arrested since legal observers are a legitimate thing, but then if he too was dressed in black that might not help his case.

      As an official observer, he was suppose to be wearing a neon green cap, and I understand that there is video of him after his arrest wearing such a hat.

    3. J.

      The PBS version is omitting some fairly important information.

      There was a music festival at the park nearby with a couple of hundred people attending. A black bloc split off and burned the construction equipment. The police were apparently unable to catch any of the actual vandals, so they went to the music festival and arrested a bunch of people including the SPLC lawyer; then they released the locals and put the others in jail for “domestic terrorism”.

      Note how many of the detainees are not wearing black.

      The local reporting on this story is terrible because Cox Media, which owns WSB and the AJC, is a backer of the Cop City project.

      Most of the Atlantans I’ve talked to do not support this project. The area was slated to become a park, then suddenly the Cop City project got rammed through the city council despite a short comment period in which 70% of constituents were against it.

  18. flora

    re: NS train derailments, private corporations and govt (lack of) safety regulations or enforcements, etc.

    Seeing how well the govt regulates private sector critical infrastructure, knowing how very screwed up so many large databases are on any day, seeing how the credit reporting agencies work, my question is:

    Why in gawd’s name would anyone think a Digital ID scheme would work any better than the above examples. Digital ID: Welcome to hell world.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Key takeaway:

      This is especially so for BAU2 [Business As Usual) and CT(Tech Miracles), which is why it was not possible to differentiate between them. It’s thus unclear whether a future decline in human welfare can be expected to be moderate as in CT, or sharp like in BAU2 (see Figure 5). Both scenarios however do indicate society will see a halt in industrial, agricultural, and welfare growth in the near to medium term.

      We’re at the point where degrowth is a reality, not a policy choice. Finite planets don’t permit infinite growth. Let Elon go give it a try on Mars.

      Here’s Nate Hagens interviewing the paper’s author with PDF transcript.

      1. farmboy

        One of the criticisms of LG was it didn’t treat CO2 as a pollutant, so factoring that in would alter the outcome, not necessarily worse, but likely as it will spur innovation, political efforts that might not otherwise be modeled.

    2. Ghost in the Machine

      Here is an interview with her on Nate Hagen’s The Great Simplification podcast. She is good.

  19. Maxwell Johnston

    “What they are talking about on Russian talk shows today”–Doctorow

    “The coming spring offensives in Ukraine”–Bryen

    It’s always fun to read these two (and I’ve posted Bryen’s articles on NC in the past), but I think they’re both going too far this time. Bryen’s forecast of a UKR Crimea offensive backed up by NATO pilots secretly flying F16s, with subsequent RU strikes on NATO territory, seems a bit much to me; it certainly goes against everything I’m reading on non-MSM sites. As for Doctorow: maybe the mood in RU has changed since my visit to Moscow last month, but I picked up no hints of any incipient mobilization or changing of the status of the SMO to an anti-terrorist operation (let alone a declaration of war).

    Doctorow refers to footage of USA military gear recently spotted in a Polish port. He names Gdansk, but I think he refers to this equipment in Gdynia (photo and video embedded in the link):

    I count maybe 50-60 tanks and 30-40 IFVs, the rest being support vehicles (notable absence of artillery or AAA). Assuming the photos are taken from the very end (to maximize visual impact), we’re talking about a reinforced battalion or a light brigade. I.e., not much from a practical military point of view. Normally, a road convoy of a USA army division (assuming single file with spacing between the vehicles) will stretch for 20-25 miles. It’s easy to forget how large these military formations are. They will also need to re-paint these vehicles before sending them to UKR, as I don’t think their color will blend into the UKR landscape.

    My sense is that cooler heads in the USA are trying to rid themselves of the UKR tar baby, rather than doubling down as Bryen and Doctorow seem to believe. I hope that I’m right and they’re wrong.

    1. Polar Socialist

      The link you posted says the equipment belongs to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division and is about to be shipped back to Fort Hood after participating in Atlantic Resolve.

    2. David

      I agree. I see absolutely no sign that NATO wants to take a more positive role in Ukraine. The Russian forces are far larger and more powerful, and as I’ve pointed out elsewhere, just organising yourself and getting there would probably be insuperable obstacles. The article claims that “massive” amounts of equipment are being sent to Ukraine, but all it offers is a photograph of one civilian ship docking in Greece, with equipment destined for NATO forces in “South-East Europe.” There’s no reason to suppose that the equipment was necessarily going to Ukraine. (Bulgaria, Rumania and Turkey are more likely destinations.) “How many other US ships are in the ocean at the moment or arriving at other ports, isn’t yet known.” Well, indeed, you’re a journalist, go and find out. The only other item mentioned is bridging equipment, but I think Brian Berletic said that the total number was four, which doesn’t get you very far.

      More generally, I think people talking about the use of NATO airpower, even disguised, are indulging a dangerous fallacy of western military superiority. The Ukrainians had hundreds of combat aircraft and lost nearly all of them. The ones they have are probably of the same quality as the F-16. To make a difference, you’d need hundreds of modern aircraft, armed with the latest weaponry, and be prepared to take massive losses. There’s absolutely no sign that NATO is prepared to do that. It’s true that you could probably put a fake Ukrainian squadron together from pilots who retired last week, but what would be the point? You’d need not only pilots but ground crew, engineers and communications people: a modern fast-jet squadron typically has 100-150 personnel, and here you’d probably need more, for force protection and logistics purposes. You can’t recruit them from employment agencies, so they’d have to be serving personnel. In other words, the minimum of operational benefit combined with the maximum of political risk.

    3. KD

      It is hard to see why it would be in Russia’s interest to widen the war, and its hard to see why it would be in NATO’s interest to widen the war. However, both sides appear to be lurching toward preparation in case the conflict widens, and of course, this signals to each side the other may have an intention to escalate, and sets up the question of whether it makes sense to react first and maintain tempo for the conflict (as it is inevitable). . . or maybe out of fear of the other side’s imminent attack to gain tempo.

      In other words, we may be locked into to cycle of escalation at this point which ends up with a result that neither side desires but which is forced upon them by the logic of escalation. . . which is why in the dark ages, every American President avoided a direct conflict with the Soviet Union.

      1. JBird4049

        Both sides after the extremely close call that was the Cuban Missile Crisis tried hard not to accidentally blow up the world, and yet, we still came close to doing several times.

        This was with two functional governments with at least vaguely competent foreign departments and diplomats. I don’t know anything about the Russia’s abilities in this nowadays, but the little I know about the American/European governments’ ability to use diplomacy is lacking beyond Mongo angry. Pay Mongo. Mongo lied. Mongo crush Bad Man. Agreement incapable, stupid, and violent as well.

        This does not make me confident in my continued breathing, never mind some of my relatives.


    4. paddy


      the vice article: 52 hits with 52 shots is incredible, my participation in air defense exercises we did not claim more than 75%. the ukies are amazing!!! image what they could do with us army m-60 tanks!

      providing iris-t to ukraine is a model for f-16!

      iris-t is depends on a complex integrated air and missile defense system, something like ‘meads’, which iris-t is a german contribution to ‘meads’, ‘meads’ a highly complex set of data and communications links, connecting various sensors to command and control systems and sends combat data to fighter aircraft and weapons on their launcher (as well as surface to air launchers) through redirecting missiles during approach to target! i am a bit old, when i was around directing an aim 9 in flight was a dream written about by tom clancy!!

      the iris-t missile is shot from the launcher from cues from longer range situational awareness capability, the part of the meads that you do not hear about which is (kill chain support) given to ukraine, likely nato awacs (e-3) and command and control back in germany.

      nato long range radars, i do not know if aegis ashore in poland and rumanias look to that azmuth(?), the e-3 is to look down at uav’s……. the communications links for iris-t are nato not soviet standard, so the comm environment is donated with iris-t.

      all this stuff would link to usaf or dutch f-16’s for air to air missions, and in small part ground attack vectoring.

      the command and control for nato fighters is likely already in ukraine. with a part of it outside ukraine, piped in to avoid having to use satellite comm.

      one difference between iris-t and f-16 (or tornado) is supporting the mission, iris-t ground system operates on demand and not in 3 dimension, f-16 operates in a mission profile a sortie, available on target only during its flight regimen.

      maintaining that flight regimen requires generating sorties!!

      much more complex than iris-t and hugely more highly trained people, equipment, supplies and nato spec fuel, as well as flying air refueling aircraft which ukraine does not own within 200 km of the area the fighter will attack…..

      all that said f-16 with a huge infrastructure will be no more impactful in ukraine than f-105’s in vietnam!

      and the red line will be how usa reacts to nato e-3 becoming lawn darts.

      biden needs to be checking the ‘human reliability’ of his minuteman crews!

  20. Carlton

    About customer rage:
    Fabulous old website full of tricks and philosophy about how to get even, or avoid the problems to begin with.

    “BEFORE you buy a product or service, call the help line, or go to their customer care website. If it’s impossible to reach or staffed by foreigners, spend your money elsewhere.

    If an existing customer, do the recorded survey’s that are often requested at the end of a call and let management hear your comments. They will retain workers if enough people voice their opinion about this. Ask help line operators where they are. If in India or other overseas operations, ask to be transferred to corporate headquarters in the United States for help.”

    1. flora

      It started higher up the economic scale, back when David Brooks wrote Bobos in Paradise. / ;)

      It’s about asserting class dominance over those deemed lesser and poorer. The Bobos were less physically, directly violent about it, but bigger jerks, imo. “Hey, waitress, what’s the delay with my food? Don’t you know who I am?!” What’s the saying: The fish rots from the head down.

      Now the Bobos own or run so many of the non-responsive companies cheating or ignoring their customers. Don’t you know how important the owners are ? / ;)

    2. mrsyk

      Guess that rules out anything sold at Walmart or Home Depot. You’re not leaving us many options, at least in flyover country.

    1. hemeantwell

      Thanks for that. German expressionism rocked as a horror medium. The first section pulled a lot from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Metropolis, and Nosferatu but other bits are new to me.

      1. semper loquitur

        My pleasure. Whatever movie it was that superimposed the skulls over peoples faces…yikes. The Four Horsemen images were pretty weird as well.

      2. hemeantwell

        I asked around on the others:
        — There are several sections from this famous Slavko Vorkapich montage from Crime Without Passion
        — Besides the ones already mentioned, I also recognise Murnau’s Faust, Wiene’s Hands of Orloc. Lang’s Dr Mabuses (both the silent and Testament of) and Der müde Tod (Destiny), Wegner’s Golem, Grune’s Die Strasse, and there might have been an Asta Nielsen too, though I don’t know the title.
        — The bat woman in black is from Feuillade’s Les Vampires photo here. It’s not Irma Vep herself, but from a stage show representing her.
        — A dissent: The woman in black menacing a sleeping woman is from GENUINE (all the purple stuff), from the director of CALIGARI. Dreyer’s VAMPYR also appears along with Sjostrom’s THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE, DER MUDE TOD, WAXWORKS, HANDS OF ORLAC.
        — “Spellbound” by Hitchcock and I suppose Ingram’s “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”

  21. dday

    First I read the story on hunter gatherers and how they worked. Then I read down to the link on South Korea moving to allow a 80.5 hour work week.

    I was struck in the first article by how the hunters worked “enough” but not so interested in working more than necessary. We talk about human nature a lot. When did it become human nature to want more than “enough”? Was it a result of agriculture? Religion? City states?

    1. Alice X

      >When did it become human nature to want more than “enough”? Was it a result of agriculture? Religion? City states?

      I’m not sure about the human nature component, but my pet theory on when it became easier to accumulate more than enough was the pairing of the wheel and axle for a wheeled vehicle. This said to have occurred sometime between 6500 and 4000 BCE, but there is not complete agreement on the time frame.

  22. Tom Stone

    I’ve seen quite a few Rivians but today I saw my first Ford “Shelby” pick up truck with the Cobra decal on the grill.
    755 Horsepower.
    REALLY nice tires on it, beautiful paint job and just right for towing a loaded 6 horse trailer over the Rockies at 90 MPH.

  23. Jason Boxman

    And the debt freakout is bipartisan:

    It is unclear how Mr. Biden settled on the ultimate $3 trillion figure for his budget’s deficit reduction, or to what extent he agrees with Republicans who claim that the nation’s current levels of debt and deficits pose a risk to the economy.

    Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, did not directly answer a reporter’s questions this week on how Mr. Biden arrived at his preferred level of deficit reduction or whether the path of growth in the national debt is hurting the economy.

    Biden Is Set to Detail $3 Trillion in Measures to Reduce Deficits

  24. Jason Boxman

    Deaths of US citizens puts pressure on Biden over handling of Mexican cartels

    So it seems Republicans want to engage in military strikes in Mexico:

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Monday on Fox News that he was ready to introduce a measure that would classify certain Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations and “set the stage” for the U.S. to use military force in Mexico in the wake of the kidnapping.

    “I would tell the Mexican government if you don’t clean up your act, we’re going to clean it up for you,” Graham said.

    Former President Trump, who is running for the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination and has made border security the center of his campaigns, earlier this year offered his vision for getting aggressive toward cartels.

    Trump, in a pre-recorded video released in January, said he would order the Pentagon to use special forces, cyber warfare and other actions “to inflict maximum damage on cartel leadership, infrastructure and operations,” and he pledged to ask Congress to legislation ensuring convicted drug smugglers and traffickers receive the death penalty.

    No mention that some of the weapons used are bought in the US and slipped across the border, or that the militarized approach taken previously in Mexico against the cartels led to mass slaughter and carnage. Drugs are a multibillion dollar industry, and the cartels easily have the funds to fight back against the Mexican state, and fight back they have with the same kinds of weapons.

    Whatever the solution, turing Mexico into another wasteland like Iraq or Syria doesn’t seem like the answer.

    1. Mildred Montana

      Good points all. Unfortunately none of them will even be considered by the tough-talkers in Congress. Mexico is their and the MSM’s new “Enemy of the Week”. Any of them remember Chinese balloons? Nope. That was more than a week ago. Forgotten. On to the next phantom threat.

      I get a kick out of the political contortions of Lindsey Graham. Back in early 2021, he at first affirmed the 2020 election results. A few days later, he was harassed and berated by a sprinkling of Trump supporters at a DC airport. Since then, he’s been silent on the election.

      When he himself is threatened he backs down. Therefore, easier and safer to bluster about “military force in Mexico” and “cleaning up Mexico’s act”. Graham is a craven, cowardly, pusillanimous chicken-hawk.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Graham is a glass tiger that’s never met a war he didn’t want you and yours to die in. Heck-of-a guy.

    2. jrkrideau

      Invade Mexico. Humm, how many native Mexicans live and work in the USA and just might be a bit annoyed that Mexico was being attacked?

      Somehow, I do not think Mr Graham has thought this through.

  25. Jason Boxman

    The Incredible Shrinking Power of Joe Biden’s Welfare State (Liberal Democrats cutting benefits is never passé.)

    Both rural and urban Americans overwhelmingly supported the expanded program, according to a 2022 Purdue University survey on food policy. And yet, in December, in a pact averting a government shutdown, congressional Democrats quietly agreed to a deal with Republicans that shut down enhanced SNAP prematurely: The Department of Health and Human Services extended the COVID emergency declaration until May, but the emergency SNAP enhancements were only allowed to continue through February.

    (bold mine)

    Remember when Pelosi shutdown the government under Trump because of The Wall!! funding? Remember when liberal Democrats didn’t shutdown the government over SNAP a few months ago? And which of these is performative theatrics and which is the use of political power to save lives?

    These people are worthless.

    For President Biden, the quiet expiration of enhanced SNAP marks yet another disappearing act in his once vaunted welfare state. The Child Tax Credit, a signature Biden policy in the American Rescue Plan Act, halved child poverty. But it expired with relatively little pushback at the end of 2021. Enhanced unemployment benefits expired three months before that.

    (bold mine)

    What welfare state? It expired because liberal Democrats, with control over both houses of Congress and the presidency, decided to let it expire. Because Manchin thinks people on any kind of public assistance are lazy and must be starved back into the workforce.

    So we see what liberal Democrats true priorities are. Performative theatrics.

  26. Regis II

    On filing complaints re: the New York mask mandate.

    I have doubts about the effectiveness of making a claim based upon discrimination against those with disabilities.

    When masks were mandatory in Massachusetts, I know a number of persons who objected to wearing them claimed to be exempt because of a disability.

    The response was to demand to see some medical certification indicating the type of disability, the major life function which the disability prevented the person from carrying out and how the requirement to wear a mask was connected to the disability.

    That ended most of the protests and the person either did not enter the business or did so wearing a mask.

    I think there would be a similar issue with anyone claiming discrimination against persons who want to wear a mask based on the disability clause of the civil rights law.

    Someone who is immuno-compromised can probably do so successfully. An otherwise healthy 40 year old person (for example) probably could not.

    However, the general utility of wearing a respirator (as opposed to a mask), it seems to me, places the use of that item outside of the types of behavior which a private entity should be able to ban (e.g. “no shoes, no shirt, no service”).

  27. Col 'Sandy' Volestrangler (ret)

    Re: Zombie Fungus

    I imagine this has been weaponized and soon to be unleashed. Revelation of the method.

  28. JBird4049

    >>>How sugar substitutes sneak into foods and affect your health Washington Post (furzy)

    “When given a choice between cocaine or water sweetened with saccharin, rats will almost always choose the artificially sweetened beverage.”

    This is not disconcerting at all. No siree Bob.

      1. JBird4049

        I think that I will stick to the brown and muscavado sugars I like with my coffee with the occasional honey and white sugar for baking and some desserts. They might not be good for my teeth, but for everything else, they seem less likely to kill me than the artificial and “natural” fake sugars.

        It seems like Big “Food,” much like Big Tobacco does not care about killing its customers.

  29. some guy

    About weighing in on the Mayor Adams take-off-your-mask mandate for shopping, etc. . . . would it make any sense for out of state people who might be tourists to NYC otherwise to tell the relevant NYC authorities that they will never again visit NYC unless and until the take-off-your-mask mandate is cancelled? Could enough prospective tourists calling or writing in to say ” no masks? no visit! ” get the NYC authorities to reverse course?

  30. Karl

    RE: Today’s links and connecting some of the “dots”

    The lnteresting links today on Nordstream, Israel, Ukraine, Syria and China got me to thinking about the “big picture”…. Reading the diverse array of stories in one place, here on NC’s links for the day, is like viewing the world from a mountaintop. It provides a gestalt of the whole world scene. Patterns emerge, or they seem to. Do others in the NC commentariat see similar or other patterns?

    I’m an energy-economist and I see the world through that lens. What I see in so many global hot spots in Eurasia is a root cause: competition over access to abundant resources (particularly food and fossil fuels) and whither they go (West or East). Consider that WW II military priorities and invasion routes were often dictated by where the oil was. Is it the same today? Consider:

    1. Russia invaded Ukraine two days after Germany formally denied crucial permits for Nordstream’s operation.

    2. Nordstream was an essential hedge for Russia in that it helped it by-pass Ukraine as a potential gas transit bottleneck. This shifted the power balance toward Russia over Ukraine, which was intolerable to Ukraine and its friends in the West.

    3. Russia is in the process of solidifying its relationship with Turkey as a new hedge– a future natural gas “hub” for Europe. Turkey’s strategic location, and the sabotage of Nordstream, give Turkey a huge amount of leverage over West and East.

    4. Similarly, Syria’s location makes it potentially valuable as a right-of-way for gas pipelines. Will this gas benefit West-friendly or unfriendly interests in the Persian Gulf? A proposed Iran-Iraq-Syria-Turkey route would be in the latter category. Is this the real reason for the proxy war in Syria? Therefore, are the proxy wars in Syria and Ukraine connected–by energy geopolitics?

    5. It is widely accepted, now, that the decision to invade Iraq by Texas oil guys Bush Jr. and Dick Cheney was, to a considerable extent, a power grab over oil.

    Nordstream was sabotaged (by someone) because the stakes in this conflict are so high. What could possibly justify the political risks of this extra-legal act? Energy. This means the stakes go way beyond Ukraine, Russia and Europe, it seems to me. It helps explain why Milley visited troops in Syria and Israel bombed its main airport yesterday. What could possibly be more important than helping earthquake victims?

    It’s all connected, and it isn’t about “freedom.” IMHO.

    1. ArvidMartensen

      Yes, and it’s not really about domestic use because it appears the US doesn’t give two hoots about it’s inhabitants (I won’t call them citizens).
      Oil and gas (and derivatives) are the only effective fuel for weapons of war. Even nuclear bombs need to be delivered using fossil fuels.
      And threats to use, and actual use of, weapons of war are the only way to cement political power. It’s how the US has held the world in thrall for over 80 years. Threats of nuclear war and actual use of conventional weapons delivered from on high are really what holds up the $US and its financial monopoly(now weakening)..
      Withholding aid from earthquake victims while attacking Syria clearly shows the priorities of those in charge of the US.

      1. some guy

        And in fact it might be fair to say that visiting Kiev while boycotting East Palestine shows the priorities of Biden in particular ( and perhaps his thinking brain dogs as well if they are the ones who told him to make that choice.)

        ” Ich bin ein East Palestinian.” . . . ? Not our Joe Biden

  31. Chaps

    Gilbert: “Western talk of an ‘authoritarian’ or ‘autocratic’ Kremlin has just been libelous propaganda”

    Uh huh. It’s a pluralistic political paradise over there.

    1. ArvidMartensen

      US/Dependent states Vs Russia.
      There is a difference! Ordinary Americans have their freedom!!! As in “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”,
      Which could be rejigged to “Democracy” just encourages US oligarchs to loot”.

  32. The Rev Kev

    Say, about that Katie Porter. Isn’t she supposed to be a Progressive? ‘Rep. Katie Porter pushed for Dem delegation to meet with Netanyahu, says she was ‘extremely impressed’’

    Some of the things that she voted for in that article shows her to be just yet anther neocon. Nancy Pelosi called herself a progressive but everybody knew that was a lie. Yet Porter gets a free pass. I note that recently she is gunning for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat.


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