Links 6/14/2023

Florida scientist resurfaces after breaking record of living underwater Anadolu Agency

Developing countries have hit the financial rocks FT


WTF is Happening? An Overview Watching the World Go Bye

Ocean temperatures are off the charts, and El Niño is only partly to blame LA Times

The new reality of a country on fire Editorial Board, Globe and Mail

Scoop: Western lawmakers spot opening in smoke crisis Axios


First People Sickened By COVID-19 Were Chinese Scientists At Wuhan Institute Of Virology, Say US Government Sources Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, and Alex Gutentag Public. “US-funded” ought to appear in the headline. It doesn’t.

On Today’s Explosive Coronavirus Story Matt Taibbi, Racket News

* * *
An interview with Arijit Chakravarty on ending of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: Part 2 WSWS. The deck: “The unilateral declaration of an end of war is called surrender.” Part 1.

* * *
Efficacy of mRNA-1273 and Novavax ancestral or BA.1 spike booster vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 BA.5 infection in non-human primates Science. From the Abstract: “[B]oth Novavax vaccines blunted viral replication in nasopharynx at day 2. The protection against SARS-CoV-2 BA.5 infection in the upper respiratory airways correlated with binding, neutralizing, and ADNP activities of the serum antibody. These data have important implications for COVID-19 vaccine development, as vaccines that lower nasopharyngeal virus may help to reduce transmission.” One can only wonder why Novavax encounters so much resistance….

Smell and Taste Loss Associated with COVID-19 Infection (accepted manuscript) The Laryngoscope. From the Abstract: “The majority of adults infected with COVID-19 in 2021 experienced olfactory or gustatory dysfunction with a non-negligible population reporting incomplete or no near-term sensory recovery. Our results are useful for providers counseling patients and suggest that interventions lessening overall COVID-19 symptom burden may prevent prolonged sensory dysfunction.”

Quantitatively assessing early detection strategies for mitigating COVID-19 and future pandemics (preprint) medRxi. From the Abstact: “We developed, empirically validated, and mathematically characterized a quantitative model that simulates disease spread and detection time for any given disease and detection system..,. We find that hospital monitoring could have detected COVID-19 in Wuhan 0.4 weeks earlier than it was actually discovered, at 2,300 cases compared to 3,400. Wastewater monitoring would not have accelerated COVID-19 detection in Wuhan, but provides benefit in smaller catchments and for asymptomatic or long-incubation diseases like polio or HIV/AIDS. Monitoring of air travel provides little benefit in most scenarios we evaluated. In sum, early detection systems can substantially mitigate some future pandemics, but would not have changed the course of COVID-19.” Hmmm.

From Bad to Worse Science. From April, still germane. The deck: “How the avian flu must change before it can trigger a human pandemic.”


Xi Prepares China for ‘Extreme’ Scenarios, Including Conflict with the West WSJ

How China’s Xi Jinping promotes mix of Marxism and traditional culture to further Communist Party and ‘Chinese dream’ South China Morning Post

The Global Movement Against China’s Economic Coercion Is Accelerating RAND

Marriages in China slump to historic low Channel News Asia


UN: Junta’s blocking of aid access after Cyclone Mocha ‘unfathomable’ Frontier Myanmar


Commentary: India’s new map ruffles regional feathers Channel News Asia

Jack Dorsey’s Revelations Expose Serious Threats to Democracy and Free Speech in India The Wire

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine SitRep: Destruction Of Its Third Army – Issues To Negotiate Moon of Alabama. One simple-minded litmus test: If you see “dragon’s teeth” in aerial photos or videos, you know that Ukraine has reached a Russian defensive “echelon.” Otherwise, very possibly not.

Armor Expert Breaks Down Ukraine’s Loss Of Bradleys During Breaching Operation The Drive

Zaluzhnyi tells US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ukraine is executing its counteroffensive plans Ukrainska Pravda. Not Zaluzhnyi’s digital avatar?

* * *
Background and elements of the war in Ukraine (interview) Jacques Baud, Swiss Standpoint

Ukraine’s Winnable War Foreign Affairs

Is the US military more intent on ending Ukraine war than US diplomats? Responsible Statecraft

Putin’s quick way to end war: ‘Stop weapons supplies’ to Ukraine. Live updates USA Today

* * *
The Western Media Is Whitewashing the Azov Battalion The Nation. Hard for me to understand why liberal Democrats would get into bed with fascists….

C.I.A. Told Ukraine Last Summer It Should Not Attack Nord Stream Pipelines NYT. “Dude, that diving chamber. You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

* * *
The tributary to the cooling pond of the ZNPP has become significantly shallow – satellite images Ukrainska Pravda. At the end: “According to Energoatom, there is still enough water in the ZNPP pond, because almost all power units have been put into a “cold shutdown” state, Schemas [journalists] add.”

Unseen Threat: Russia Adds Unusual Defenses To Secretive Navy Base Naval News

How the war in Ukraine transformed Finnair The Air Current (PI).

South of the Border

Turmoil risks financial stability Peru long took for granted Associated Press

Biden Administration

U.S. decides to rejoin UNESCO and pay back dues to counter Chinese influence NBC. Wouldn’t it be more effective to stay on the sidelines and moralize?

Trapped Under Trucks Pro Publica

The Supremes

Jack Daniel’s wins big in challenge to spoofing “Bad Spaniels” dog toy SCOTUSblog


Donald Trump blasts ‘evil and heinous abuse of power’ after second indictment FT

‘Not a Flight Risk’: Trump Released but Barred from Discussing Secret Documents Case with Aide News18

Trump-Milley feud played key role in classified documents case The Hill

Spook Country

U.S. Spy Agencies Buy Vast Quantities of Americans’ Personal Data, U.S. Says WSJ

Digital Watch

Twelve Brutal Truths about AI Music The Honest Broker

Loneliness, insomnia linked to work with AI systems (press release) American Psychological Association


Medical “Conservatives” Are Medical Radicals Science-Based Medicine

Sports Desk

This whole Everest thing needs a rethink:

Everest climber accused in online spat of snubbing Sherpa who saved his life NZ Herald

Chinese woman saved after falling unconscious on Mount Everest refuses to pay Sherpa guide US$10,000 rescue fee, angering mainland public South China Morning Post


Virginia teacher shot by 6-year-old student not returning to her job at the school NBC. Unsurprisingly!

Book Nook

Cormac McCarthy, Whose Sentences and Cynicism Reshaped American Letters, Dies at 89 Publishers Weekly

Digital dollar ‘complex’ situation, US treasury head says Anadalu Agency

Imperial Collapse Watch

Modern supply-side economics and the New Washington Consensus The Next Recession

Longing for Crusades New Left Review

Class Warfare

First It Was Quiet Quitting, Now Workers Are Facing Off With Their Bosses WSJ

What’s Killing Productivity? Some Think It’s the Banks WSJ

Neoliberal Keywords: Creative, Passionate, Confident Public Books

US Has 12 Or More Alien Spacecraft, Say Military And Intelligence Contractors Public

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. KD

    C.I.A. Told Ukraine Last Summer It Should Not Attack Nord Stream Pipelines . . . knock it off Zaluzhnyi, you don’t have what it takes. You want to see what it takes? Here, hold my beer. . .

      1. The Rev Kev

        I have a theory. What happened was that they used a Ohio-class submarine which is 560 ft (170 m) long to do the job. But then they pulled a swifty. They cut off the conning tower and in its place they bolted on a normal yacht in it’s place. That’s right. The SS Andromeda. So the submarine stays submerged and the only part sticking out of the water is the Andromeda and that is how they got away with it.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I saw this clip a few days ago and it is fair dinkum. Now watch that clip again while playing the following music as background and it is perfect-

   (1:25 mins)

            I saw another clip today where the Ukrainians are playing possum. When they hear a drone, they all lay down and pretend that they are dead until the drone passes and then they get up and get on the move. This was picked up by a higher flying drone. :)

          2. digi_owl

            Reminds of some comedy skits that would play on Norwegian TV decades ago, by a trio calling themselves KLM.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Desperate propaganda for foreign capitols. I’m sure every conversation Blinken has had included “if this is what you do to a loyal vassal, what will you do to us?”

      Blinken et al besides not recognizing how blowing up Nord Stream will play still buy “the Cia reports” is going to play well.

      1. KD

        A la O.J. Simpson, I think the CIA needs to offer a reward for anyone providing credible intel on the identity of the true perpetrators of the NS2 bombing.

    2. Oh

      The US (including the media) are trying their hardest to blame someone else for what they did. However much they try, they’re not succeeding.

    1. lambert strether

      It is compelling. As readers know, I am not a “lab leak” proponent. However, if Shellenberger’s “government sources” are correct, this is an interesting data point:

      the first people infected by the virus, “patients zero,” included Ben Hu, a researcher who led the WIV’s “gain-of-function” research on SARS-like coronaviruses

      1. ChiGal


        the argument takes on less significance than I initially gave it after reading the link above, with its review of statistical analyses of the locations of all the people in the vicinity who got it early.

      2. Ignacio

        Except that all to frequently “government sources”, just in case someone hasn’t noticed, produces nothing but BS. This has all the qualifiers. Another Andromeda.

      3. Darthbobber

        Hmm. I’ve plowed through the Shellenberger piece now, and can’t avoid the feeling that its less an expose than a test rollout of a proposed new official narrative. I’ve been waiting for this to happen since back when Biden decided to expand the universe of “investigators” to include the entire alphabet soup of intelligence and law enforcement agancies.

        A few points, in no particular order.

        We start out referring to the 3 lab workers as “patients Zero”, but a couple of paragraphs later that’s become “3 of he earliest people” infected.

        Soon after that, it’s walked back to “likely among the first” (first dozen, first hundred, first thousand? they did live and work in Wuhan) infected.

        Then a bit later they’re just said to have been admitted to hospital with “Covid-like symptoms”. Curious to see what evidence is released to establish even this. Pretty sure it won’t be actual hospital admission forms or their actual medical records.

        Our biggest NAMED source is the FBI director, who says that the FBI “has assessed for sometime that a “potential” lab leak is the most likely source. And what does one think the FBI would know about any of this? Why would they be thought to know anything? (and how does a “potential” anything become the “most likely” anything?

        Then we have State Department “investigators” (presumably freed up from the case of he Cuban crickets) pushing this as a smoking gun (ie, a useful stick with which to beat the PRC). Seriously? The State Department has believable credentials in epidemiology now?

        Alina Chan has nothing to say here she hasn’t said before, and seems to rely pretty heavily on innuendo. We’re supposed to see evidence of coverup in the WIV’s Covid paper not referring specifically to furin cleavage, but as I read it it does. Just not with that terminology. And in any case they release the full genome mapping along with the paper.

        Whether there’s anything to any of this depends on the quality of such underlying evidence as they choose to release. My expectations aren’t really all that high.

        I’m also in the habit of looking at how countervailing evidence is accounted for. (like what appears yet again in the LA Times piece linked above. In Shellenberger’s case, it not only isn’t accounted for, its existence isn’t even acknowledged.

        All I can tell for sure from the article is that a significant number of blob members now want the story told this way. Given that any prospect of collaboration between Amrican and Chinese authorities was torched yeaars ago, presumably all further investigation has proceeded through such state-of-the-art scientific methods as spying and reading tea leaves.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > All I can tell for sure from the article is that a significant number of blob members now want the story told this way.

          That’s what I figured when I saw the anonymous government sources in the lead. (Yes, it’s good to have multiple sources, but we’re dealing with spooks here, so we could have multiple chorus members singing from the same hymnal.)

          Thing is, there’s no way to avoid US funding as part of the story (even if it’s not in the headline). I don’t see how they can, at this point, erase Fauci. But if they throw Fauci under the bus, a lot of other people get thrown under the bus with him. I don’t see the end game here.

      4. JB

        Got to say, I’ve not given the lab leak idea much credence since reading some NC writing (which I have read years ago so may be reproducing inaccurately) on researchers who had stated the virus origins didn’t bear any hallmarks of lab engineering, and were far more likely to be natural/zoonotic origin – and that viewpoint has stuck, since.

        Now, the new lab leak story can be perfectly compatible with that – with lab workers looking to save us from the next pandemic, ironically getting chomped on potentially by the-next-pandemic-carrying bats.

        However, if it turns out the story does involve additional lab work on the cleavage site, and isn’t fully zoonotic origin – then tbh I’m a bit disappointed to have given that past writing so much trust (everything in general written about Covid from NC though, has been excellent – but kept more so when perceived/potential mistakes in writing are highlighted).

        1. Mikel

          A lot of press made it seem like the origin of the virus was settled. And there was desperation around making people think so (which raised my suspicions). It should have been ok to say it was a scientific investigation that could take more time.

          Well-established scientists and organizations all over the world have continued to investigate.

      1. Cassandra

        Thanks for the link! I thought I remembered reading this, but couldn’t recall the details.

  2. DJG, Reality Czar

    Worth reading, interview with Jacques Baud. Detailed but also laconic. He moves swiftly and cleanly from one point to the next.

    However, I found it at this location (not the one in Links above)

    Particularly important is the delusion among the Anglo upper-middle class that Ukraine can win (or has won) and (contrariwise) that the counteroffensive is needed. Much of this delusion stems from upper-middle class self-righteousness (white is right) as well as an intense fantasy life in which “believing” is reality–and at the same time is imbued with a fear of the Russians that indeed borders on racism (as some Russians have noted).

    Also, note his comments on Afghanistan, which is likely the precursor to how the U.S. “strategists,” to use a term very loosely, want Ukraine to play out.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      “Much of this delusion stems from upper-middle class self-righteousness (white is right) as well as an intense fantasy life in which “believing” is reality”

      A variant of “white is right” has been operating with Covid: nice white people don’t get it. I’ve had some nice white people become indignant when I suggested that they take a Covid test to see what’s going on with the “nagging cough” or “cold that won’t go away.?

      As for “believing is reality,” Gnosticism has been around for a long time. As Marianne Williamson says, “Thought is cause. Matter is effect.” So we’ll all just take the Christian Science approach to Covid and whatever else I suppose.

      1. chris

        I’d like to suggest that the delusion with respect to COVID and many other phenomena wrecking our country is color blind. Also applies regardless of sex. I can say that the population of people around me who believe that Joe Biden is doing a great job, the pandemic is over, and Ukraine is winning, is perfectly contained within the population of people who believe Trump is an existential threat foisted on the US by the Russians. What unites these people is income. I’ve heard the same concepts from Chinese engineers, Indian lawyers, African artists, and well to do families with mixed backgrounds and constellations of rainbow placards on their front lawns. The only thing different about the more recent immigrants is that they can also acknowledge that our government is hopelessly corrupt.

        1. hunkerdown

          It’s a class property, as HMP said. Virtue signaling is inapposite and unnecessary capitalist emotivism (race is a capitalist property, after all) is frankly suspicious.

      2. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Lambert, DJG and HMP.

        Further to the Ukraine links, especially Jacques Baud’s commentary, please read Aurelien / David’s latest masterpiece,

        In the past week, I have attended summer receptions in the City, and very delightful they were in the summer evening sunshine, and asked attendees for their thoughts.

        I explained, in part from having worked for HSBC briefly in Russia, I understood Russia had interests, compared them to how the US treats its back yard, and suggested that a pan European security treaty would be a long term outcome, after a long sulk by the EU and UK.

        The City, including former Treasury officials, did not disagree, think the fighting and its impact on the economy will continue for, at least, until 2025, and admit clients, firms and individuals are suffering. However, they dare not say so publicly and invite criticism and even legislation / a crack down and confess that business speaking out will only damage whatever case needs to be made.

        The German and Italian contingents were particularly disenchanted. The former were scathing about German and European policy, but they have been since the mid teens, well before the war and parallel confrontation with China. They were also scathing about the Greens.

        I hope to write more soon, but hope David / Aurelien pipes up.

        1. Harry

          Really useful Co. Smithers. Merci Beaucoup!

          I do not see the same thing in the US. Quite the opposite. There is no sense that an inconvenient reality is intruding at all. I will do another check because its a critical question.

        2. chris

          Wow. Thanks for sharing the article by David. I feel both reassured and queasy after reading it. On the one hand, it seems as if most of the senseless death from the Ukrainian conflict will stop soon. On the other hand, I can’t imagine what new horror Vicky and Tony will unleash on the world once their rabid anti-Russian project has been squandered. Might they try a nuclear false flag? Might they

        3. Michaelmas

          Yes, David/Aurelian’s piece is very good.

          One very minor factual quibble, which in no way takes away from his overall analysis. He writes:

          ‘…early literature was full of predictions of massive battles between “air fleets” to dominate the sky. This never happened … In fact, none of these metaphors ever really applied. In particular, “air control” struggles between fighters were rare to non-existent.’

          In fact, such battles did briefly happen. The air war in Korea from 1950 to 1953 produced a historically unique situation, never repeated since, where fighter jets fought dogfights at altitudes of 20,000 to 33,000 feet (6,100 to 10,000 metres) and at jet speeds, without radar and with pilots only using line-of-sight fire. Furthermore, the Soviets sometimes fielded configurations of fifty-some MiG fighters in these battles; Soviet practice was to send their new fighter pilots to Korea to be “blooded,” or trained.

          Not incidentally, John Boyd and his warfighting theories, and in particular his concept of the OODA loop, were products of his time as a USAF wingman in the Korean war and of his postwar analysis.

    2. johnherbiehancock

      This conflict is generating a lot of $$$ for arms dealers. Call me cynical, but I feel like they’d be a lot less delusional about this war and Ukraine’s
      chances for victory if the market opportunity wasn’t there.

      1. LawnDart

        From the FP article linked above:

        Battlefield success is the ultimate advertisement for any weapons system, and Ukraine’s performance means the demand for cutting-edge Western artillery, armor, and air defenses will only grow.

        Many, many gems such as this throughout the piece– great stuff!

    3. hk

      A useful service that Baud’s article provides is a view of “democracy” that has been largely forgotten.

      I tend to think the heart of democracy (and associated features like freedom of speech) are useful not so much because of what they achieve as the end product but for the “discipline” they require of its participants. Baud gets to the heart of it when he writes “If I ban someone from speaking, it means that I don’t have arguments. That is no longer democracy. This crisis clearly shows that, and this is our weakness.” “Democracy” means that political actors of all stripes have to build big coalitions if they want to get something done–they have to persuade, gain trust from, cut deals with, etc. with diverse disparate groups of people that make up a society, with their own interests, worldviews, values, and so forth. Freedom of speech is necessary for this endeavor because, in order to achieve any of these, you and your interlocutors need to speak freely about points of concern. If “democracy” is reduced to “thinking like them (i.e. whoever “we” are),” then the whole “discipline” required by a functioning democracy is not only pointless, but “counterproductive” since this requires forcing people to come to terms with those who do not think like “us.”

      1. Alphonse

        We have fought numerous wars for nothing, without any clear aims. . . . If you have a war goal, for example, to occupy Paris and when you reach Paris, then it is finished, then you have achieved your aim and you are satisfied. But if you don’t know the goal, it becomes endless. . . . Today’s militaries . . . are no longer strategists, but (often bad) tacticians.

        The essence of technocracy: means replace ends. When an institution (formal or informal – NATO, an activist group, a credential) outlives its purpose, the only purpose left is self-perpetuation. No longer anchored in the world as it exists, it deploys its specialized techniques and tactics endlessly, spinning off spurious goals and strategies as post hoc rationalizations.

        Sure NATO fights wars for the profit of MICIMATT. But like Checkov’s gun, it also fights wars just because it has weapons. Western governments deploy sanctions just because we can. It’s irresistible. deHaven-Smith’s State Crimes Against Democracy are often top-down conspiracies, but mass and media hysteria follows the bottom-up logic of self-justifying technique. Madness converges simultaneously from the top and the bottom.

        This is the civilizational insanity Iain McGilchrist described. The narrow technical view of left hemisphere detached itself from the grounded meaningful big picture of the right. This is the derangement of the PMC. Created as servants, they are credentialed in how but purposely blinded by their masters to the question of why. Now they are becoming masters. Our strategies are obsolete and all we are left with is our tactics. So many tools and so little meaning. Heaven help us, we have nuclear weapons that have outlived their purpose. The one thing more dangerous than a man with a plan is a man without one.

      2. Bazarov

        That doesn’t sound like “democracy” to me, it just sounds like mass politics. You can have mass politics without democracy, but you can’t have democracy without mass politics. Oligarchies often have rather vibrant mass politics–Ancient Carthage and Ancient Rome certainly did–with plenty “persuading” of the hoi polloi as to which rich candidate to support in the streets. Raucous debates, horse trading, and deal cutting.

        Democracy, to me, has always meant that the principal machinery of state is peopled by lot and that therefore the ordinary strata directly administer the community. The plebs make up the magistrates and judges, with only a small number of specific officials elected (for example, as in Athens, the Strategos). The people debate and resolve policy as its authors and its subjects. Democracy is majoritarian such that when the people decide, they decide for everyone.

        This democracy would be intolerable to the liberal subject, who could never acquiesce in having their individuality and property circumscribed by community standards. Democracy, to them, would seem like bleak authoritarianism. They therefore decapitate it everywhere it rears its head.

        If it weren’t for the fact that the Constitution inscribes the jury system–the sole democratic aspect of the American system of government–the oligarchy would long ago have gotten rid of it. As it is, they found an end run: the right to trial is a dead letter for everyone but the those who can afford able counsel. Most are dragooned into pleading guilty. Conviction rates are therefore extremely high in the United States.

    1. Wæsfjord

      That website is comedy gold. We can expect the Ukrainian army to be having brunch on Tverskoy Boulevard by the weekend. At least they are quite candid about it however as they proclaim: “Journalists fight on their own frontline”! So there it is folks. Journalism is a branch of the military.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Hardly anything that I can find to disagree with here. He notes the Visegrad group with Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia which may be part of Poland’s plans for empire. Now Hungary is almost the only country in Europe that is playing it smart with this war and is thus the outlier in the EU. Recently Hungary was weeding out a lot of excess officers to make their armed forces more efficient which was in Links a few weeks ago. So perhaps the opportunity was used to get rid of officers who were true believers in the Visegrad group concept which was why there was so mush squawking in NATO.

    2. ChiGal

      yes, thanks so much for this. don’t know anything about who finances this publication because all I could find was a mission statement but seems like informed analysis without an agenda. refreshing!

    3. .Tom

      What does Baud mean by ‘The “denazification” goal was achieved on 28 March 2022.’ early in the Q&A?

  3. zagonostra

    >Ukraine’s Winnable War Foreign Affairs

    Starts out with a faulty premise, “Russia invaded Ukraine in an attempt to conquer the country and erase the independence” and ends with a classic case of projection.

    Gideon Rose, the author and former editor, is living in a self-contained bubble void of reality or just doing what he is paid to do, propaganda.

    Concluding paragraph to article:

    …what began as a challenge to the American-sponsored global system is causing a revival of it, something a Ukrainian victory would drive home with a vengeance. In Ukraine, the United States is not unilaterally imposing its will on other countries but leading a broad coalition to restore international order. It is not committing war crimes but preventing them. It is not acting as the world’s policeman or as a global bully but as the arsenal of democracy. And it has been doing all this effectively and efficiently, without firing a gun or losing a single soldier. The effort to date has been a model of how to blend hard and soft power in a single strategy.

    1. tevhatch

      Gideon Rose is a former editor of Foreign Affairs and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as Associate Director fo…

      Follow the money, or rather the scum pond lucre.

    2. OnceWere

      These kinds are literally the worst. I could not develop more contempt for a human being. I’d prefer to have a beer with Pol Pot than this guy. Deliver him bound hand and foot to a Ukrainian recruitment office – and have him pressganged into a territorial defense battalion and sent immediately to the front. Should he survive, only then would I like to hear his opinion on how efficacious, efficient, democratic, casualty-free, not-at-all bullying and not-at-all world-policemanning America’s efforts are.

        1. OnceWere

          Trying to weasel your way out of a combat posting seems human and natural even if not exactly admirable. But imagine if Colonel Klink combined that with writing thinkpieces on how the most efficient, efficacious and casualty-free policy was to man the Eastern front with expendable Hungarians, Romanians & Italians. That’s the kind of guy you want to feed to wild pigs.

        2. Henry Moon Pie

          I was a watcher of Hogan’s Heroes. It always seemed to me to really be about an anarchist affinity group carrying out a weekly propaganda of the deed.

          1. Mike Mc

            Could never understand why my father-in-law – a Navy vet who fought on a destroyer in the South Pacific – and father – an Air Force radio operator who fought in Korea including being overrun at the Yalu River – both loved Hogan’s Heroes! Your take on anarchism might be right on. Or maybe they liked the often absurd nature of the show. Both long gone so I can only guess.

            1. LifelongLib

              The most memorable episode was one where Hogan was ordered to assist a von Stauffenberg-like plot to kill Hitler. He and the other POWs do so reluctantly, but at the end Hogan tells one of the plotters “Guys like you are the reason Hitler got power in the first place.”

        3. Janie

          Late to the party – husband would not allow children to watch the show because he did nit want them to think being a POW was s big joke. He let them have a really special late bedtime one night when Stalag 17 was on tv.

      1. pjay

        Well, the CFR neocons had to respond to that slightly realistic Foreign Affairs article that appeared the other day, so here we are.

        I tend to agree with your assessment. Here is the author’s Wikipedia page – note the institutional affiliations, and the timeline in which they arise. Also see the bio of his father – a very prominent and connected real estate developer, but also note especially his own foreign policy affiliations (also a CFR member).

        Gideon Rose is the epitome of a privileged member of the Establishment, nurtured and selected for his positions of influence. He represents the “liberal” wing of the neocons, with connections to the Democrats (he served on Bill Clinton’s NSC). Please read his bio, and then imagine him on the Ukrainian front line facing some of the brutal experiences we’ve been reading about over the last few weeks. If only…

    3. rob

      It’s “Foreign Affairs”…. the only thing the council on foreign relations is really there for is to keep all the actual information closed off to the public, while disseminating propaganda.
      100 years ish…..and counting.

    4. Keith Newman

      @zagonostra: June 14, 2023 at 7:35 am
      The Gideon Rose article is fascinating, albeit delusional. It perfectly illustrates the points made by Jacques Baud.
      One clear illustration is the claim by Rose that “The Ukrainians have inflicted hundreds of thousands of Russian casualties in the war and have suffered almost as many themselves.” which contrasts with the BBC+’s estimates of 10-20k dead that Baud cites.
      The final paragraph quoted by you Zag reveals the advantages of proxy war: no US troops directly involved, at least officially. No US troops is the reason I believe the US public will have completely forgotten the war a few weeks after it ends, in Ukrainian defeat. The US rulers will then move on to another bad guy, China, etc.

    5. Harry

      Something about me always pays most attention to precisely what is denied in any piece. Anything you need to specifically refute, probably has some kind of reason why it requires refutation.

  4. DJG, Reality Czar

    Shellenberger, US Has Twelve Craft

    Relevant paragraph not passing the smell test: ‘A different contractor said, “There were at least four morphologies, different structures. Six were in good shape; six were not in good shape. There were cases where the craft landed, and the occupants left the craft unoccupied. There have been high-level people, including generals, who have placed their hand on the craft, and I would have no reason to disbelieve them.” ‘

    Yes, they just wandered off, looking for a Dairy Queen. Or a bottle of Cupcake Vineyards Rosé at the 7-11.

    No mention of the Vogons. Noting (according to Wikipedia): “Vogons are described as officiously bureaucratic, a line of work at which they perform so well that the entire galactic bureaucracy is run by them.”

    The question asks itself: Isn’t it curious that civilians haven’t found the craft, that they have ended up with the oxymoronic “intelligence community”? And if these aliens are looking for intelligent life on Earth, why are they bumbling into the soldiers and spooks?

    A supposed confirmation of said mysteries: “I have plenty of current and former senior intelligence officers who came to me — many of whom I knew almost my whole career — [and] who confided in me.”

    Well, at least, they aren’t overthrowing the government of Guatemala.

    And I am the Tsar of All the Russias. And the Vogons are composing an epic about me.

    1. BillS

      I agree. I see lots of words, but no proof of these “non human vehicles”. The BS detector is winking wildly! How do you distinguish a “non human vehicle” from a human one? Who cares if a general or some nameless “intelligence” official is said to have put his hand on it? Generals would never lie, right? Extraordinary claims need extraordinary proof. Why do we have to be subjected to this kind of malarkey? It’s embarrassing to see Russell Brand and other independent commentators devoting time to this. Is not the “Ukraine is winning” fiction enough?

      1. christofay

        Reality is nightmarish enough that even commentators such as Brand are looking for relief.

      2. DJG, Reality Czar

        BillS: Besides, if these aliens were truly intelligent, wouldn’t they be landing in Roma, where the maritozzi stuffed with whipped cream are heavenly? Or in my own Disclosed Region where the gianduiotti are out of this world? (I won’t mention that there is a story of a craft landing on Mount Musinè just outside the Chocolate City…)

        1. BillS

          They could land anywhere in Italy and never leave! Every region has its exquisite specialties. In my area (not far from the Dolomites), practically every valley has its own different type of cheese and salame. Toward the sea in pianura, the frittura di pesce is to die for and best enjoyed with a chilled glass of bubbly dry Prosecco followed by a lemony sorbetto. Landing near a US military base in the desert means a diet of stinky fried food brought to you by outsourced cooks from Sodexo. Why would you do it?

      3. Bugs

        Close relative is at the main contractor involved. I’ve asked and he’s heard zilch but this is currently the talk of the company, rhymes with knock kneed.
        I’ll put in a comment here if I learn anything.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I’m amused by the reaction where this seems like these are novel “claims.” There have been UFO books available for purchase in Waldens written by former colonels and such.

      My conspiracy theory is this is a chatgpt project, pulling X-files plots together with modern geopolitical points. If Phillip Morris and Joe Camel are involved, we will know it’s chatgpt.

      1. Grebo

        I’m surprised I have not seen Bob Lazar mentioned. Thirty years ago he was claiming to have seen nine saucers at Area 51.

        Grusch has not even seen them himself.

      1. Michael Mck

        Agreed. And an opportunity to get more of the budget. If aliens want to contact us they will not go through our government. Somehow I doubt they are good enough to get here but keep crashing on arrival. Happy to be wrong and I would trust them more than our leaders if they appeared.

    3. lambert strether

      I linked to this because of the other Shellenberger article today. I want to get a reading on him from the world’s most critical commentariat

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        Lambert Strether:

        Well, one wonders: Is the piece on the Wuhan perps his magnum opus, with excellent sources and reliable conclusions? Or is it of a piece with this aliens-leaving-their-cars-unlocked article of flimsiness?

        I’m not familiar with Shellenberger’s work beyond the Twitter files. Is he mainly a paster of pastiche? Are you finding the Wuhan article and the UFO article equally well structured and well argued?

      2. Ghost in the Machine

        Taibbi seems to be involved with the Wuhan piece on patient zero.

        I think the lab leak theory is true. The story makes sense, but I don’t trust anonymous sources anymore. Except maybe if it comes from Hersh.
        So the Wuhan story doesn’t push anything forward and will convince very few.
        I think the alien stuff is a psyop. Show me the crafts or shut up.

      3. pjay

        Yes. This Shellenberger story is disturbing to me for this very reason. It is not his reporting verifiable facts about what this “whistleblower” Grusch or his supporters say that bother me, it is that Shellenberger seems willing to accept his credibility and story at face value, despite his background. As DJG and others point out, this story just doesn’t pass the basic smell test. And the intelligence community has a long history of undermining legitimate inquiries with all sorts of dubious “whistleblowers” whose “disclosures” get increasingly ridiculous, thereby tainting all such questioners as credulous goofs.

        I’ve learned not to rule out *anything* these days. But it would sure benefit those who want to undermine exposes about twitter, Russiagate, Ukraine, and perhaps COVID, to make important critics like Shellenberger and, by association, Taibbi, look like gullible saps.

      4. CaliDan

        In an earlier manifestation of this comment, I had a bunch to say about his writing and political leanings, but I got confused because he’s all over the map. Instead I’ll offer the following, which are mostly representative. Though his bio requires a lengthy follow up: seems like there’s a lot of pro-nuclear/environmental money flowing around him, which could explain the anti-woke (read: anti-nuclear/Greta Thurnberg?) strain of videos.

        Anyway, the most consistent thing about the author’s work: both he and Pelosi’s “psychotic” attacker hail from the same zip code in Berkeley, CA, except one has money and the other has BLM flags and trash in the yard.

    4. Jeff W

      The part I found most non-credible was this:

      Others said that the U.S. has been able to fly at least one of the retrieved craft. “Some of the tech is very cutting-edge,” said a source, “and they have to travel to places like Italy, Belgium, and Indonesia to do flight testing. It’s worldwide. Some of our allies know about the programs. The clandestine places that they work out of have grown larger.”

      They’re able to flight-test at least one of these craft? The ergonomics, the instrumentation, whatever, of this “non-human-origin” craft, if it is that, just happens to conform to human capabilities? And why, exactly, do “they” (whoever “they” are) have to “to travel to places like Italy, Belgium and Indonesia” to do the flight testing?

      That said, these sources are coming forward, Michael Schellenberger says, because they feel “compelled to speak out publicly [but anonymously] to validate” David Grusch’s claims. (They serve to “validate,” at most, that people told Grusch stuff.) None of what’s being said is necessarily true—I’d surmise that a lot, if not almost all, of it isn’t—but I take it that Schellenberger is just reporting the data, i.e., what these sources are saying.

      The House oversight committee is planning to conduct hearings on David Grusch’s claims, “including a witness list of the most credible witnesses and sources who would be able to speak openly at an unclassified hearing,” according to some spokesman, so some “process,” effectual or not, is being followed.

    5. Mildred Montana

      >DJG: “…if these aliens are looking for intelligent life on Earth…”

      Well, if that’s the case, they’ve flown to the wrong place. But if they’re looking for the stupidest, lying-est, most selfish, most self-interested, most self-promoting, most materialistic, most attention-seeking higher life-form in the universe, they’ve hit the jackpot. “Whistleblower” Grusch is Exhibit A. (Btw, that whistleblower tag is just a dog-whistle for the gullible.)

      If the MIC has its hands on twelve(!) alien craft and has done a bit of investigating and reverse engineering of their advanced technology, how come those Top Gunners and Black Hawk helicopters keep crashing—sometimes into each other?

      The appropriate words have already been used by other commenters: BS, malarkey, etc. and yet they shamelessly print it and expect us to swallow it whole.

  5. John

    WSJ, quiet quiting/employee disengagement. Gallup makes so much money from its “engagement” survey. Con-insulting add-ons.

  6. digi_owl

    “Unseen Threat: Russia Adds Unusual Defenses To Secretive Navy Base Naval News”

    On that note, a Virginia class submarine was spotted visiting Tromsø the other day.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Florida scientist resurfaces after breaking record of living underwater”

    Ten out of ten for endurance but he was living in the Jules’ Undersea Lodge after all so was really on an extended holiday-

    But reading this brought me up short. Back in the 60s and 70s, not only was there an effort to go into space but one to go down into the oceans as well. In fact, Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter went on to become an aquanaut. Those were the days of Jacques Cousteau as well as the bold SEALAB experiments. But all that went away. Today in space, we have probes and the International Space Station as well as plans to return to the moon. But at sea? We really only have Jules’ Undersea Lodge.

    If asked as a teenager about what we would have in the oceans by the 2020s, I would have figured at least one town on the seabed and a few underwater mining settlements. Damn.

    1. digi_owl

      Basic thing is that the major problem with going into space is getting there. Any tin can that can hold atmospheric pressure will serve as a space craft once in orbit.

      By comparison, the pressure doubles every 10 meters or so of ocean depth.

      Never mind that the space race was likely a covert ICBM pissing match. If you can lob astronauts into orbit, you can lob nukes at DC or Moscow.

      And that is perhaps also why it is picking up again. Or some nutcase in DC think they can set up a moon habitat and then go hide out there after going nuclear on the “commies”.

      1. hunkerdown

        P = ρ g h. There is no exponent here. Pressure is actually proportional to depth.

        1. Will

          Perhaps meant 10m = 1 atmosphere? But it’s been decades since I last went scuba diving so might be misremembering.

          1. digi_owl

            Yep, mea culpa.

            What i get for going by faulty memory of something i read ages ago rather than spend a bit more time refreshing myself on the topic.

      2. tevhatch

        Submarines and other warfare devices were already satisfactory to the profit of MIC-IMATT. Space really was the new frontier of profit margins.

      3. Michaelmas

        digi-owl: Basic thing is that the major problem with going into space is getting there.

        No. The major problem with going into space is staying there for humans as currently constituted.

        Astronauts sleeping on the ISS, for instance, contend when they close their eyes with the distraction of constant little fireballs — sparks showing up — which are the impacts of particles of ionizing radiation against their inner eyelids.

        In Earth’s orbit, moreover, they’re still very much within the protective radius of Earth’s magnetosphere. In translunar space — solar space — cosmic radiation is much more intense, with occasional massive upsurges from coronal mass ejections — solar flares — from the sun.

        Zero-G’s prolonged effects on terrestrial human vascular and muscular systems are also problematic. One NASA geneticist, Christ Mason, has worked out a 500-year plan to genetically engineer Homo Astronauticus

        Which would be contingent on the human race surviving down here first.

    2. Cetra Ess

      I knew there was something in the water in Florida… *duck*

      What I’m tryng to understand about this is, don’t naval submariners normally spend 4 months under, at least aboard nuclear-powered subs? I might be missing something…

  8. hendricks

    The way folks want to complain about a “two-tier justice system” and “kangaroo courts” and a “banana republic” but then still casually ignore how Donny was allowed to walk free as merely “not a flight risk” is just too rich.
    Anyone else, that wasn’t former top tier leadership of any federal branch, that so blatantly defied FBI subpoenas, with that amount of evidence, about that kind of state secrets, would have been frog marched in the middle of the night, and then stuffed in a prison cell, without a phone call, so fast, we’d be able to hear the sonicboom across the country.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Americans would believe more in the justice system if they saw Hunter Biden being frogmarched into prison based on what is in that laptop along with the videos that he has made of himself. You can’t expect these charges to be seen as justice at work when Hillary Clinton had all those files on that server and which she deleted tens of thousands before handing it over to the FBI. Nor Biden who had all those classified documents in his house, in his garage and in that wonky think tank at that university. This is more “selective justice” where the laws apply to some people but not to others – especially if they are powerful.

      1. Benny Profane

        Let’s not forget Patreus giving his mistress really sensitive stuff to write a puff piece about daddy. Last I saw him was on Bloomberg telling me that Ukraine is well on it’s way to a big win, Zoomed from his office with a big KKR logo in the background. Crime pays!
        Now he’s probably the Clinton’s new source of insider info about big trades.

        1. Bsn

          Prepare thyself for the “what aboutism defence”. Dr. Wilmer Leon via his Critical Hour podcast (quite good) has this analogy. A black man in the US is arrester for jay walking while 3 white guys are doing so and ignored. The black man says “Hey, why don’t you arrest those white men”. That’s not what aboutism, that’s equal justice under the law. You know that line of offence is coming, ergo, be prepared.

        2. marym

          If there’s an argument to be made that HRClinton and JBiden should have paid a penalty for document mishandling in violation of the law and/or the public trust, there’s no logical reason for Trump (also elite, wealthy, influential) not to pay a penalty.

          The Trump DOJ, FBI, State Dept., and special counsel investigated Clinton’s emails, the Clinton Foundation, and Russiagate. Clintons have been investigated since the 90’s and Congress and former Trump appointees – special counsel, and a federal prosecutor per this link – are investigating Bidens. If they haven’t yet found reasons to charge these corrupt people with any crimes, that’s the fault of their segment of the ruling class.

              1. Katniss Everdeen

                “…Trump’s DOJ and State Dept….”


                Please see the CNN article I linked below for an example of their “investigative” prowess and “impartial” dedication to truth, justice and the american way.

                (Especially the dedicated public servant, peter strzok. There’s a Trump guy if there ever was one.)

          1. pjay

            There are investigations, then there are “investigations.” That’s the whole point. Thanks to the work of actual investigative reporters, we know a *lot* about the Clinton’s many dubious activities over the years. That there have been *no* indictments, or any real consequences at all, for what appears to me to be some very obvious violations of the law just demonstrate how such official “investigations” work for insiders. Comey’s “investigation” of the e-mails? C’mon man. Even Durham’s investigation of Russiagate was a whitewash in my opinion, covering up serious constitutional violations by the national security apparatus as merely campaign dirty tricks meriting no criminal sanction. And the phrase “Trump appointee” means nothing. Barr was a “Trump appointee.” As miserable as he is at one level, Trump was always a minnow among sharks when it comes to the Permanent State, a clueless outsider surrounded by insiders.

            The key point is that the Clintons (and many, many others) have *not* paid any penalty, and that Trump will – if the Establishment has its way.

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              Investigations v. “Investigations”

              From the “investigation” of hillary’s emails back in 2017 for which, just by the way, Trump did not pursue prosecution, as reported by that notoriously “impartial” “news” outlet, CNN:

              A former top counterintelligence expert at the FBI, now at the center of a political uproar for exchanging private messages that appeared to mock President Donald Trump, changed a key phrase in former FBI Director James Comey’s description of how former secretary of state Hillary Clinton handled classified information, according to US officials familiar with the matter.

              Electronic records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey’s earlier draft language describing Clinton’s actions as “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless,” the sources said.

              The shift from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless,” which may appear pedestrian at first glance, reflected a decision by the FBI that could have had potentially significant legal implications, as the federal law governing the mishandling of classified material establishes criminal penalties for “gross negligence.”

              Apparently the fbi thought “there was an argument to be made” for hillary’s paying a “penalty,” so they removed it.

          2. semper loquitur

            ” that’s the fault of their segment of the ruling class.”

            Right, the question is whether it’s incompetence or corruption on the part of those law enforcement officials. The bottom line is this: In-group elites get away with pretty much anything they want, out-group elites like Trump get the law wielded like a cudgel. Our legal system is being weaponized, from the local level to the highest reaches.

            You don’t have to like Trump to see this writing on the wall. I think Trump should probably be in prison for a ton of things, long before his Bizarro World political career was launched. But there is a spectrum of criminality across our political classes, an open brazenness that has been documented here time and again. Mishandling classified material comes with the territory: rules are for thee, not me. Pretending that nailing Trump is some kind of victory for justice and truth is one of those “narrative victories” that mean little outside of the heads of the credulous, eager for some sign that their crumbling society still has a few working pistons.

      2. hendricks

        Dude, did you just ignore the whole defying the FBI thing, the claims by Trump himself about the volatility of the contents, or the persistent conflicting stories about why and how Donny still had the files?
        What’s a better question about Hunter Biden, is if the laptop and all that data is authentic, why haven’t the Republicans manage to wrangle any of their sources to seal the deal and get those court cases rolling as the presidential campaigns are heating up?
        Your theories have too many conflicting motivations and you’re obviously too well informed, to see that the conflation and whataboutism isn’t intentional.

        1. Acacia

          if the laptop and all that data is authentic …

          Sounds like you haven’t bothered to look up the data dump.

    2. hunkerdown

      Nobody cares about your National Security mysteries, your imaginary friends, or any of the rest of your whiny religious blather. See DJG, Reality Czar’s top comment above for exactly why your class needs to start practicing being seen and not heard.

    3. Cristobal

      I think that the laxness with which some say Donald J (for Genius) Trump is being treated is due more to the understanding that this whole case is not-serious – can we say theater – rather than to any special treatment for the rich and famous. It shows that the FBI and the entire justice system has lost their credibility, as has been described elsewhere (see Patrick Lawrence´s recent post).

      1. Sardonia

        Rachel Maddow truly summed up the Zeitgeist of everyone involved in the Prosecution (and their supporters) when she said it would be fine to dismiss all charges as long as Trump drops out of the Presidential race.

        Yeah, Crime of the Century, huh? “Just stop campaigning and we’re good….”

        Talk about saying the quiet part out loud.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I’m sure that Trump could trust the DC establishment to keep their word after he dropped out, especially Biden. So the question remains. Does Rachel Maddow really believe this? Or is she saying it to please her viewers as that is what they are thinking?

          1. Benny Profane

            I think shes getting tired of this ruse, and just wants to retire with her Russiagate wealth somewhere on an island.

    4. DJG, Reality Czar

      hendricks, hendricks, hendricks: Well, you have truly provoked a reaction.

      I ask as a leftist: Just how is a 75-year-old man, grossly overweight, with a chemically induced up-do and a distinctive voice, supposed to flee the U S of A after a career in the public eye for decades? And to what place where he wouldn’t be recognized? Bhutan? Sabah? Paraguay?

      The real question here is this: Where’s Melania?

      1. hendricks

        I’m not saying he’s going to flee.
        I’m saying the law should be practiced with impartiality, and find it interesting even the folks who are causing a stink about impartiality, don’t recognize this aspect isn’t impartial.
        Please, practice your reading comprehension, despite how clever getting it wrong and clapping back at a strawman can occasionally make you feel.

    5. britzklieg

      you’ve inspired a chorus for my latest song… it’s a country waltz, melody starts on the upbeat

      “Don’t let the door hit ya
      Where the good lord done split ya
      We don’t need to hear ya bitch about it any more
      (There’s the door, go away)
      Don’t let the door hit ya
      Where the mangy dog done gone and bit ya
      We’ll only shed a tear if you stay
      (Go away).”

    6. Don

      My perceptions could not be more at odds with your’s. This whole bit of theatre is the very definition of much ado about nothing.

    1. bwilli123

      “…alien technology”
      Hopefully to soon find its way onto the Ukrainian battlefield

  9. griffen

    Rest in peaceful sleep, Cormac McCarthy. Your books will be on my must read list, but watching the film No Country for Old Men was a real piece of genius. Others mileage may vary, I’m certain, but the Javier Bardem character in the film was a most brutal type of trained killer.

    And then the other film, The Road, is an absolutely mean, thorough hellscape of a future apocalypse. Don’t go looking in that basement!

    1. s.n.

      My candidate for the greatest english-language writer of the second half of the 20th century.
      That he never received a Nobel prize just shows how fickle that institution is.
      For those who admire him but haven’t yet read Suttree, don’t miss it

      1. Luckless Pedestrian

        I had read a couple of his southwest books (which I quite liked) before I discovered Suttree. Comp!early agree, not to be missed. Just finishing The Orchard Keeper now. His Tennessee books are great.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      i spent some of my formative years in Blake, Rimbaud, Verlaine, and especially Eliot.
      “The Road” is, hands down, the bleakest book i’ve ever read.
      IMO, much bleaker and visceral than the film.
      had to read some Sylvia Plath to cheer the hell up.

      1. britzklieg

        lol, Plath!

        …reminds me of Gore Vidal’s response when asked for the 3 most depressing words in the English language: “Joyce Carol Oates”

        and yes, the book’s much bleaker than than the film, by magnitudes.

      2. Bretty

        The Road is a chocolate fondue party compared to Blood Meridian. However, McCarthy was one of the greatest prose stylists; only Pynchon could maker greater sentences.

        And he was The Great Painter of the Desert. I expect New Mexico is all like this: terrifying

        The stars burned with a lidless fixity and they drew nearer in the night until toward dawn he was stumbling among the whinstones of the uttermost ridge to heaven, a barren range of rock so enfolded in that gaudy house that stars lay awash at his feet and migratory spalls of burning matter crossed constantly about him on their chartless reckonings.

    3. Mildred Montana

      >Griffen: Love his prose in all his books. Almost poetic and his minimalist way with dialogue is superb. So true to life.

      The Road, No Country for Old Men, wonderful. Child of God, interesting and highly readable. Blood Meridian, stopped after a hundred pages. Couldn’t handle the non-stop, almost gratuitous violence. All told though, a writer almost certain to be read for many, many years.

    4. Oh

      No Country for Old Men was great read and the film was terrific. Javier was superb.
      I read The Road and it was so so. Stella Maris was the worst, really boring.

  10. Mikel

    “Virginia teacher shot by 6-year-old student not returning to her job at the school” NBC.

    “Deja Taylor is accused of having lied about her marijuana use on a form when she bought the firearm…”

    Another one of the drug laws that demonstrates the fear of anyone considered subversive.
    Gun regulations are needed but not these stupid AF laws.
    So you can have all the alcohol you want and a gun. Can have all the meds that have suicidal side effects and a gun.

    Backwards clowns.

    1. rob

      weed is now “not a crime” in virginia…. but I would still bet that employer’s are still into prohibition…. so you have to still be careful. CYA?

      1. Mikel

        But the residual effects of targeted drug prohibition continue. There are laws that were instituted with the idea of punishing subversives that smoked weed or other group that is considered marginal. The drug penalties were decided by ignorant ideas about what the perceived users were like.
        It is still a federal crime and this particular Virginia law is in accordance with the federal prohibition still intact that is intended to be used to crack down on those considered subversive to the status quo.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          erlichman and nixon, sitting in the Oval.
          nixon looks fearfully out the window at all the uppity blck folks and long haired freaks cavorting on the grass.
          “what can we do?”
          erlichman:” drug war, man…they’re all on drugs..thus skirting that pseky First Amendment…”

          paraphrasing from memory.
          first saw this in High Times Mag, some 20+ years ago.
          right after that portion of the Nixon Tapes surfaced.
          it was always entirely political.
          subversion is difficult to define sufficiently to overcome free expression protections…drug use(sans alcohol, tobacky and “mother’s little helper”, of course) was a pretty good proxy for Not Us attitudes and belief systems.

  11. Henry Moon Pie

    Interesting. Rogan quotes Bob Lazar’s criticism of the reverse engineering efforts that things were too siloed. There must be some problem because here we are trying to get back to the moon still using Werner von Braun’s chemical rockets. And where are the guilt-free flying cars?

  12. chris

    Instant brands, maker of Pyrex and products like the Instapot, is filing for bankruptcy reportedly due to a heavy debt load. Instant is of course owned by Cornell Capital, a PE firm. The Guardian article of course does not include details on where the company came by this debt, I’m looking for that because I’m curious if this is another company to add to the “PE killed it” list.

  13. eg

    Chinese economic coercion? And this is somehow different than the last century of American economic coercion (dating back to the US decision NOT to write off its “allies” debts after WWI) how, exactly?

  14. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. decides to rejoin UNESCO and pay back dues to counter Chinese influence”

    I think that I read an article that said a major reason for the US rejoining UNESCO is that one of the duties of that organization is to set some international standards. And that the US woke up to the fact that while they were sitting on the sidelines muttering about Israel and the Palestinians, the Chinese had moved in and were helping set those standards in UNESCO. If true, this is a major point. One of the main reasons that Obama was pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership was – and he actually said it – that he wanted America to set the international standards for all other nations to follow.

    1. Synoia

      Obama wanted America to set the international standards for all other nations to follow.

      I think that illustrates much exceptional.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Commentary: India’s new map ruffles regional feathers”

    ‘Redrawing national boundaries has provoked concern in Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, says the Financial Times’ John Reed.’

    So stupid this. They actually put that map in their Parliament. And with that saw the formation of the Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh pact with China – who have their own disputes with India.

    And re that wolf in today’s Antidote du jour. I think that that is a good boi who wants a belly rub.

  16. tegnost

    The Nation…soft pedaling and minimizing…

    There is a kernel of truth in the allegations that Azov is just a Russian bogeyman. The Kremlin and Ukraine’s neo-Nazis have a symbiotic relationship that reaches to the very heart of this war: Putin needed a pretext to justify his illegal invasion; for that, he turned to Azov. Moscow seized on Azov’s existence to paint all of Ukraine as a cesspool of fascism in need of “denazification.” Azov is the linchpin in Putin’s narrative—without it, his excuse for the war is gone.

    In turn, Azov’s defenders have capitalized on Russia’s obsession by implying that anyone who criticizes the group is a Putin apologist. Moscow and Azov use each other to defend the indefensible: For Russia, it’s acceptable to invade a sovereign country to fight neo-Nazis; for the West
    1.) What does a legal invasion look like?
    2.) Further up in the text,Yanukovitch was ousted, why don’t we get one of those directional words like ousted in a coup that gives us direction on how we should feel about the ouster? Was he ousted in a free and fair election? Because if he had been it would endlessly repeated, as an example.
    The excuse for the war could be the murdering of russian speakers…don’t see that anywhere.
    The penultimate, less one as there are two last words…
    Azov is a small fraction of those fighting to save Ukraine. For every feat attributed to Azov units, there were many more accomplished by others. Even the legendary siege of Mariupol last year that made Azov famous involved Ukrainian marines who suffered and held out just as bravely. We could have honored them. Instead, we went out of our way to glorify Azov.

    Just an oversight, a minor flaw in the narrative, stuff happens…a tough read, like a storm culvert into which all kinds of nasty stuff disappears.
    Am I being too harsh?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Funny thing about the Azov guys and gals. A contingent came to America and they were taken to Disneyland (as were the Taliban before 9/11) and then they went to meet fawning Congress critters. I guess that if Congress was fine with paying and arming ISIS terrorists, then why not Nazis? But one thing I do not understand is how a contingent of Azov actually went to Israel of all places. If there is one country in the world that would know who Azov actually were and what they were all about it would be Israel. And yet, there they were on an invite for a tour.

    2. OnceWere

      One “illegal invasion” isn’t too much to bear for an article that actually calls a neo-Nazi a neo-Nazi. But this small faction business is another matter. If a group can publically threaten to hang the President of a country if he capitulates to the enemy and get away with it, then no matter how few representatives they have in parliament, or how low they score in opinion polls, they are de facto if not de jure one of the key powerbrokers in that country.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Everest climber accused in online spat of snubbing Sherpa who saved his life”

    Tharumalingam blocked the guy that saved his life and who carried his sorry, frozen a** down the mountain before relenting and giving a call out to the Sherpa that saved him. Being a cynic, what is the bet that Tharumalingam wanted to go on the media circuit and make a bundle of money talking about his experiences but then realized that his treatment of the guy that saved his life would put a spanner in those works as people kept on asking him about it. So then he made nice with the guy and cleared the decks first. If so, what a jerk.

  18. Tom Stone

    What’s next on the home front?
    The Biden administration has sold out or betrayed pretty much every American Demographic except the rich and the indictment of Trump is a particularly raw example of just how politicized and corrupt the blob has become.
    So, what’s next?
    There don’t seem to be any limits to what these idiots will do, so…what action could they take that immediately brings to mind the phrase “No one could possibly be that stupid and arrogant ? “.

    And am I the only one that automatically translates “General Milley” to “General Vanilli” because he is to Smedley Butler as Milli Vanilli is to Pink Floyd?

  19. Alice X

    >U.S. Spy Agencies Buy Vast Quantities of Americans’ Personal Data, U.S. Says WSJ

    Another instance of gross gov over reach.

    Pay walled. But free last night Glenn Greenwald was all over it in System Update #98. He reads directly from the government release.

    Two attempts to post the link previously have gone into the Twilight Zone, so, if this posts maybe the link was the problem.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Yup. Paywalled. Didn’t read. (pw; dr)

      I just wonder why the “spy agencies” feel the need to “buy” the data. Couldn’t they just ORDER the companies to give it up?

      Pesky little thing called the constitution gettin’ in the way? It hasn’t seemed to have been much of an impediment over the last several years or so, at least not since “Trump” made the constitution just an old piece of paper.

      Oh well. I’m for giving big tech all the taxpayer dollars it needs to keep us safe from those criminals saying very bad things on the internet. Those bad talkers frighten me so. Thank you, big tech. I really don’t know how we ever lived without you.

      1. Alice X

        Did you forget a /sarc tag perhaps?

        The gov is required (in theory) to have probable cause and obtain a warrant to surveil US persons. Their apparent rationale (per GG) is that they can get around that if they buy the data. It is chilling enough just to consider the amount and kinds of personal data that is out there for sale, period.

  20. ilsm

    regarding bradley crew qualifications

    the subject engagement was not a breeching operation.

    the convoy was not deployed it was moving up

    they were ambushed by russian federation skirmishers, likely special ops.

    they engaged with russian version of raams and atgm on the tanks and mine clearers.

    atgm wasted on m2a2…..

    they were 20 klicks from doing any breeching

  21. Amfortas the hippie

    been working too hard, of late…so i called it a day, and am hanging around reading at the wilderness bar where its cooler…and the chickens, guinneas and geese and turkeys are taking turns wandering through, doing their various things.
    so its cool that i happened upon this article…last half of it is a delightful narrative of bird behaviour.

    1. Alice X

      A nice respite from the daily red-pill blues, but it follows us even there. The poor chickens are now endangered!

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      FTA:”Such a massive Make Trade Not War project, centered on connectivity, infrastructure building, sustainable development, and diplomatic acumen – focusing on the Global South – could not but be interpreted by western elites as a supreme geopolitical and geoeconomic threat.”

      encapsulates what They fear the most…a world where they are not needed unless they can compete and prove themselves….for reals, this time.
      daddy’s name and “credentials” and orthodoxy dont mean much,lol.
      its like china is turning their own bullshit against them.

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