Links 7/24/2023

Robot made of LEGOs produces DNA machines Interesting Engineering

Indian Ocean gravity hole was caused by extinct ancient sea, scientists say

When Can There Be a Fall in the Rate of Profit? Peoples Democracy

Hedge Funds Brawl Over Battered Commercial Real Estate Wall Street Journal

Scientists Discover ‘Chemical Cocktails’ That Reverse Aging Decrypt

Shortage of male turtles could be solved by splash of cold seawater New Scientist


A Catastrophic Flood on California’s Central Coast Has Plunged Already Marginalized Indigenous Farmworkers Into Crisis Inside Climate News

Fire still blazing on the Greek island of Rhodes as dozens more erupt across the country AP

Extreme heat forces US airlines to limit passengers and fuel loads The Guardian

Africa is Burning! DRC in Environmental Crisis Internationalist 360


Humanity’s headstone is built, only its epitaph awaits  Crikey


The case of the Colorado River’s missing water High Country News


Long COVID Persists as a Mass Disabling Event MedPage Today


“Henry K. in Beijing.” Patrick Lawrence, The Scrum

China to widen Asean trade with first major waterway in 700 years, but will Pinglu Canal be a game changer or white elephant? South China Morning Post

Chinese Money Flees the Western World Wall Street Journal

1 in 5 young people in China can’t find a job – and that’s a big problem for Xi Jinping Business Insider

European Disunion

German center-right leader mulls cooperation with far right at municipal level Politico EU

Election in Spain: PP wins, PSOE resists and the right-wing bloc falls short of majority El Pais

New Not-So-Cold War

Counteroffensive, F-16s delivery may take ‘several months’: Blinken Al Mayadeen

CIA Vet: Weird That NATO Failed to Foresee Botched Ukraine Counteroffensive Sputnik


The coming Russian -Polish war Gilbert Doctorow

Belarus’ president says Wagner Group ‘mood is bad’ as its fighters want to move into Poland Anadolu Agency


Stanford and Silicon Valley in general sure do love themselves some fascists:

US influencer becomes ‘emotional support stripper’ in Ukraine RT

UN or NATO? Consortium News


Over 40 nations express interest in joining BRICS Africa News

Macron’s invitation to attend South Africa’s BRICS Summit not granted Al Mayadeen


Iran shrugs off fresh US reinforcements in Persian Gulf, boasts drone power Al-Monitor

Iran summons Danish envoy to protest Koran burning in Copenhagen Reuters

Former Iraqi Kurdish intelligence official killed in car explosion -source Reuters

South of the Border

Protests Erupt In Guatemala Over Alleged Meddling In Vote AFP

Spook Country

FISA Report: FBI Continues to Violate FISA and Improperly Sought Information on Senator and Judge Jonathan Turley


Biden Administration


Billionaire donors cool on Ron DeSantis over rightwing policies FT Trump

As Inquiries Compound, Justice System Pours Resources Into Scrutinizing Trump New York Times

The Supremes 

Supreme Court tapped to review law blocking protests near abortion clinics Washington Examiner


Patients Are Still Being Misinformed About Electroconvulsive Therapy Mad In America


Digital Watch

‘It almost doubled our workload’: AI is supposed to make jobs easier. These workers disagree CNN. No. Working as planned.

New Study Suggests ChatGPT Is Getting Dumber—But, Is It? The Deep Dive

Police State Watch 


Among the drug traffickers you don’t hear about: The United States Border Patrol 48 Hills

Class Warfare

The UPS Strike Looms as Corporate America Cashes In In These Times


We Can Solve Homelessness (If We Want To) In These Times

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. digi_owl

      Where do one even start?

      It is like he took 1930s eugenics, filed of the serial numbers, and dumped it into the modern day. I have mentioned warrior worship before, and this seem like a very clear, and shrill, example of such.

      Between that and reports that some are edging to start something with Belarus, and i am wondering if i should start digging a fallout shelter.

      Truman had the wherewithal to fire MacArthur when he dragged China into the Korean war. Now however it seems like it is Biden that wants to drag Belarus into things against the advice of Pentagon.

      NATO do not have the resources to keep Ukraine going, and now they want to start a second front with Belarus. Pure F-ing lunacy.

        1. BillS

          MacArthur wanted to widen the conflict – removing the North from Communist control and bombing cities in China, whereas Truman wanted to negotiate a cease fire agreement at the 38th Parallel to reduce bloodshed. The Chinese took MacArthur’s threats seriously, since the war was also going badly for their North Korean allies, and decided to invade, rolling back the US gains and producing an attrition war along the 38th parallel that lasted until July 1953.

          MacArthur defied presidential orders, thereby created a wider war and was sacked.

          1. Michaelmas

            MacArthur defied presidential orders, thereby created a wider war and was sacked.

            Worse than that. MacArthur also pushed hard for the battlefield use of of nukes.


            ‘…MacArthur’s final plan for winning the Korean War was outlined to this reporter in the course of an interview in 1954 on his 74th birthday. … ” “Of all the campaigns in my life—20 major ones to be exact—the one I felt the most sure of was the one I was deprived of waging properly. I could have won the war in Korea in a maximum of 10 days, once the campaign was under way, and with considerably fewer casualties than were suffered during the so-called truce period. It would have altered the course of history.

            “The enemy’s air would first have been taken out. I would have dropped between 30 to 50 tactical atomic bombs on his air bases and other depots strung across the neck of Manchuria from just across the Yalu at Antung (northwest tip of Korea) to the neighborhood of Hunchun (northeast tip of Korea near the border of the USSR).

            ‘“That many bombs would have more than done the job! Dropped under the cover of darkness, when his planes were in for the night, they would have destroyed his air force on the ground, wiped out his maintenance and his airmen. …

            ‘“With the destruction of the enemy’s air power, I would then have called upon a half million of Chiang Kai-shek’s troops, sweetened by two U.S. Marine divisions ….’

            And so on; worth reading for the level of mad dog delusion.

            Say what you will about Truman’s deficiencies and background as a machine politician out of the Pendergast machine, but he took responsibility both for the original use of A-bombs on Japan and when it came to immediately yanking MacArthur’s chain

            1. Pat

              Considering how Obama handled the military tanking his agreement with Syria and Russia it does make one happy it was Truman and not him when faced with a clearly delusional MacArthur.

              (Though I do have to wonder if Obama had taken a strong stand at the time, about this, actually prosecuting torturers, and arresting a clearly criminal Secretary of State (security, influence peddling and FOIA violations) whether we would be looking at proxy wars in the Ukraine turning into WWIII.

              1. Henry Moon Pie

                And MacArthur came home to a hero’s welcome at a joint session of Congress as he delivered the “Old Soldiers Never Die” speech. It was a very dangerous time that served as the inspiration for “Seven Days in May” starring Burt Lancaster as a general plotting to take over the country from an insufficiently war-loving President. Director John Frankenheimer said Lancaster’s role was MacArthur with some Curtis Lemay thrown in for good measure. Kirk Douglass plays the Smedley Butler-esque whistleblower. Rod Serling wrote the screenplay.

        2. Cat Burglar

          The Coldest War by David Halberstam goes into all the detail, gory and petty, on the US and MacArthur’s failure, and it is well told. MacArthur’s testimony before the Senate on his return discredited him.

          China announced that they would enter the war if the US went north of the 38th parallel, but the US ignored the warning. MacArthur’s intelligence people, knowing he wanted to take all Korea, suppressed field reports of contact with Chinese troops until after US troops were attacked and routed. Going in to the battle at Chosin Reservoir, the Marines understood the Chinese were everywhere in force, and slow walked their deployment — to MacArthur’s rage — until they had prepared to be able to fight their way out encirclement. After being briefed on MacArthur, Mao said he liked having an arrogant adversary.

      1. Benny Profane

        Belarus now has tactical nukes and Wagner. Not to be trifled with. And I really doubt Polish mothers want their sons to go off and die for the Banderites left in western Ukraine.

        1. notabanker

          So is a nuclear war in eastern Europe sufficient reason to declare martial law and postpone a 2024 election? Asking for a friend.

      2. Mikel

        “Ukranian civic patriotism is fundamentally healthy and strong. It is, in fact, healthy in a way that makes lots of people integrated into the urban, post-historical professional and administrative classes in advanced democracies uncomfortable…”

        So when going to war as a tool of an empire it’s “civic patriotism.” Any other more grass roots expression of their independence, rights, or strikes and he would have been whining like a little &^%* about “populism.”

        And he’s stuck on that “end of history BS.” The “post-historical professional and administrative classes”????

        These are the same PMC types historically that write the war mongering drivel leading up to global conflicts. These same types run the same lines leading up to war.
        His type is typical in history.

        1. CarlH

          Perusing his history, I notice a glaring lack of military service. You would think a guy as enamored with warriors as he is would certainly have become one himself at some point. Just kidding. It’s chicken hawks all the way down.

      3. EssCetera

        What does “deracinated Westerner” even mean? What ancestry or culture is one supposedly disconnected or alienated from? And how, even? I hope I’m wrong but I’m thinking the only context in which it fits is a supposed “Aryan race” having lost its way after losing WW2? This guy Fukuyama likes such talk?

      4. hunkerdown

        That eroticism of the warrior is all pretty normal for heroic societies. This is the sort of thing that happens when you allow people to believe in myths.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Stanford you say? I remember their sterling work on the present Pandemic such as this one from back in early 2020-

        ‘Last month, a group of Stanford University researchers released a remarkable study: Covid-19 infections in Santa Clara County, Calif., might well be 85 times higher than official estimates. The fatality rate for coronavirus might be as low as 0.12 percent, the researchers concluded, which would make Covid-19 only as deadly as the seasonal flu.’

      2. petal

        It was a mess when I was there in the early 2000s. Got out as fast as I could after realising. Can’t tell that anything’s changed 20 years later. There’s a weird delusional bubble, where ethics and good character seem optional, even frowned upon in some circumstances. Hard to explain.

        1. digi_owl

          Wonder if US universities produce this outcome by being their own towns rather than within a wider community.

        2. CaliDan

          Agreed, petal. Circa 2010s for me. Stuck it out to get the shiny Ph.D. though. Only, the first one had the previous president’s signature on it so they had to send me a corrected second. Both now proudly hang side by side in the powder room––which one is which is long forgotten––similar to how some Indigenous folk prefer “Indian” to “Native American” only because is serves as a monument to white man’s stupidity.

      3. Insouciant Iowan

        Chk out Palo Alto by Malcolm Harris for a history of Stanford’s deeply conservative founding followed by its shaping by Herbert Hoover and the Hoover Institute. He explains why Silicon Valley is the way it is.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Also, founder and good ol’ boy Leland was considered dumber than a bag of hammers by his contemporaries, and started a university presumably to appear smarter so as not to have to sit in the corner with a dunce cap on at all the robber baron club meetings.

        2. playon

          Thanks for that, I hadn’t heard of the book. The NY Times review of it trashes the book as “Marxist” so it’s probably pretty good.

          My step-daughter lives there as she and her husband both work for big tech. Their modest 3 bdrm rambler set them back a little over $4 mil.

      4. Michael Fiorillo

        Stanford’s high status as a Pole Of Evil has been in place since at least the mid-1950’s, with the Cold War evolution of the Hoover Library into the Hoover Institute we all know and love.

    2. diptherio

      Do note (as many of the responders to Ames’ tweet seem not to have) that the article that Ames links to in Tablet was not written by Fukuyama – Francis was simply promoting it and Ames was commenting on that fact. The article itself (by an Atlantic Council cretin, ofc) is pretty gross. But it is hilarious to see him write about Azov now respecting the chain of command, when there’s video of Zelensky, at the front lines, fruitlessly trying to make the commanders follow orders as they call him a loser and tell him to gtfo.

      1. nycTerrierist

        ah, thanks for this context — I haven’t re-registered so I didn’t see the full tweet (‘x’)…

        Tablet runs some good stuff, but not this one!

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think Fukuyama sells to an audience. He was trying to make the yuppies feel good in a continuing era of community decline. He’s moved on to their modern incarnation of Team Blue Karens and neoconservatives, Republicans with a world map.

      Gen Z won’t care about him as he’s obviously a dork and his seminal work is well…stupid, and everyone else is more or less is familiar or simply won’t care about him. This leaves him with his audience. He needs to end a certain quesiness caused by you know the Ukraine regime.

      This behavior in the US, country, god and guns, was problematic for Fukuyama as he put the EU as the standard of the future in his book which is trite in the grand scheme. I doubt he’s embracing it now as much as knowing who might pay him. I’ll borrow from “nycTerrierist” and postulate that it’s more an indictment of Stanford’s elite culture than Fukuyama. Though when you lie down with dogs…

      1. Kouros

        I think his work on Trust as well as The Origins of Political Order & Political Order and Political Decay are quite good. They are not talk about at all because it truly blows the lid open on the present ills US has.

    1. Sardonia

      And in a parallel universe where Covid-19 is sentient and has a newspaper, the headline horrifyingly reads:

      “For the third time in a year, Covid-19 tests positive for Dick Durbin!!!”

      1. britzklieg

        I would argue he is a virus, always has been, always will be. Far more lethal than covid.

  1. griffen

    Scientists discover a cocktail mix that could reverse ageing. Hey if medicine is for it how can I be against? Add in some life altering drugs to reduce weight and it’s a real party now. There must always be a cautionary tale; the article includes someone whose practices and approach has been discussed herein previously. Tech billionaire who has a ridiculous daily regimen to cheat the calendar.

    Now I’m guessing the “death and taxes” phrase for what all men owe is gonna require updating. Vampires live forever as well, amirite? \ sarc

    1. .human

      “Death is a debt to nature due. I paid mine and so must you. “</blockquote

      Popular Victorian era epitaph.

    2. Mildred Montana

      >”..the article includes someone whose practices and approach has been discussed herein previously. Tech billionaire who has a ridiculous daily regimen to cheat the calendar.”

      Yeah, that regimen included 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘧𝘭𝘺 injecting his son’s blood. Briefly? What happened? Son ran out of blood? Son disowned crazy father?

      As a staunch “age-reversal denier” I always read such articles as the hucksterism they probably are. Promising results in cell cultures and mice almost always mean nothing. The field of cancer research is littered with such failures.

      From the article: “…preparations are already underway for human clinical trials of “age reversal gene therapy.” So what we’ve got here is a press release based on little more than *preparations* for human trials. Seems a little premature to me. Hence, hucksterism.

      1. Faz

        It’s already the case if you compare life expectancy and social and economic class. Covid really magnified as well.
        There are numerous studies for this and related links here on NC. If needed I would have to set some time.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “US influencer becomes ‘emotional support stripper’ in Ukraine”

    Hey, Naked Capitalism commenters & readers need emotional support too.

    1. digi_owl

      Gets me thinking about a clip from a Vietnam war movie where some female singers are flown out to a firebase to give the soldiers a show. Only for said soldiers overpowering the MP security detail and climb onto the stage, leading to the ladies and their manager scrambling for a nearby Huey.

      1. Stephen

        I am now desperate to figure out which movie that was in. I remember the scene well but just cannot name the movie. It sums up the stupidity of war.

          1. Mildred Montana

            Btw, a movie that corporate/military Hollywood would never make today. Others: The Deer Hunter, Full Metal Jacket, and maybe even Stripes which was an hilarious send-up of the US military.

            A war movie today cannot be made without Pentagon approval and/or support. Thus, drek like “Top Gun” and the “Hurt Locker”.

            Realistic war movies disappeared after Vietnam, with the advent of “imbeds” (ie. stenographers) and reporters sending their dispatches from the safety of hotel rooms in Baghdad or Beirut or—LOL!—Washington.

            1. digi_owl

              There was also Platoon, written and directed by Oliver Stone based on his own tour of duty during the war.

              1. Mildred Montana

                Thank you. I forgot that one. Agree or disagree, Oliver Stone has at least the “stones” to say what he thinks.

            2. Wukchumni

              Aside from Combat, Twelve O’Clock High and Rat Patrol, pretty much all tv shows regarding the military were comedies from the late 1950’s until the last tv military comedy Private Benjamin was axed just before Operation Urgent Fury, in 1983.

              1. Stephen

                And in the U.K. too: Dad’s Army, It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum, Allo Allo and Get Some In to name just a few.

                My explanation is that the wartime / postwar generation had served in the military and poked fun at it in a knowing and realistic way.

                It has been in the last thirty to forty years as they all passed on that the military has been able to create a giant PR exercise for itself as omnipotent. This would never have worked for our better informed forebears.

                1. Wukchumni

                  The lack of military comedy tv shows jives nicely with the near aftermath of the end of the draft in the early 1970’s.

              2. Steven A

                A TV show that would never be produced today is Sgt. Bilko. Phil Silvers as a senior NCO grifter supported by a ragtag platoon of misfits. It was popular in the 1950s because its target audience was the cohort my dad was part of — WWII veterans who knew all the characters and shenanigans.

            3. hunkerdown

              Notice all the mythical hero narratives now polluting the fiction space, with two competing “universes” to teach and further reinforce mindless partisanship and subordination to Greatness. People are being trained to live in fiction, not unlike the Matrix.

            4. griffen

              I’ve long thought We Were Soldiers was a well done film, based on the book from Hal Moore if I understand correctly. Possibly overlooked. I have never furtively rooted into the details supporting the film, to be clear. Added, it was a great cast as well.

            5. Vandemonian

              Not to forget Australia’s contributions – The Odd Angry Shot, Breaker Morant, Gallipoli…

            6. 0311

              I was at Camp Pendleton in 1971 when the Ralph Nelson picture Soldier Blue (1970) with Candice Bergen was shown at the base theater. In the first half of the movie there is a battle where the Indians kick the livin’ bejaysus out of the army. Funny thing was the big auditorium full of Marines whooping and cheering when that happened. :-) (Of course, by the end of the film, order was restored — both on screen and in the audience.)

          2. Stephen

            Thanks. It was. What threw me off was that I could not find that scene in the Wiki write up!

        1. Bugs

          Devastating. Thanks to you, I’ve realized that I’ve never watched that movie all the way through. I think I get too disturbed and fast forward or tell myself I’ll get back to it. There are also multiple versions of it and I’m never sure which one is definitive.

          1. ilpalazzo

            There are two: Theatrical and Director’s which is considerably longer. I watched both some years ago and I’d say the original is a better, more coherent movie and I would recommend it for first time viewing. DC is for movie nerds for second viewing and it does take its time.

            1. Bugs

              Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated.

              On a movie note, may I suggest “Costa Brava, Lebanon“, which I watched last year and still think about a lot.

              I’d also highly recommend “The Exiles” a ‘lost’ movie from 1961 about American Indians living in the now demolished neighborhood at the top of the Angel’s Flight in L.A.

            2. Amfortas the hippie

              i guess im a nerd,lol…i prefer the DC.
              filled in the background, etc.
              and the Hendrix playing in the background at the blown up bridge withe the spacey black dudes was a perfect accompaniment.

      2. IMOR

        Apoc Now. Bill Graham as the women’s road manager in an emergency helo evac. (foreshadowing). Thanks for the reminder.

    2. petal

      Yes, yes we do. Rev Kev, are you volunteering? Nothing like a little thunder from Down Under!

        1. flora

          adding: if all you need is a hat then me wants some pics, dear Rev. Hubba hubba! / :)

          And yes, I did buy a Calendar Girls calendar at my local, wonderful, independent bookstore back in the day. A genuinely witty and wonderful calendar. The photos were delightfully clever for the photo difference between what they suggested and what they actually showed. Imagine your minister’s wife in a seeming full on, but when looked closely, no full on. Sort of a genius humor there. / ;)

      1. ChrisPacific

        “People don’t talk about the sexual needs of the people of [a] country at war,” she told the outlet.

        This is funny (and true). ‘Camp followers’ have been a longstanding feature in most militaries.

        I don’t think sexual needs are normally within the scope of humanitarian relief efforts, though, so I’m not entirely surprised that she was rebuffed by that community.

    1. chuck roast

      Odd. They never appeared too disturbed by the abuse, displacement and murder of countless Palestinians.

      1. flora

        OK. But I think that’s a non sequitur observation in this political battle to preserve the Supreme Court.

        Shorter: Will making Israel politically worse off help the Palestinians? You might enjoy the schadenfreude but I don’t think anyone would be better off except the far right. I’m pretty sure the far right having no checks on its actions will be even worse for Palestinians, if that’s possible. / my 2 cents.

        1. Bosko

          My 2 cents: Israel as a whole is far right. Candidates there fight over who can be worse to Palestinians. In a country where hatred of Palestinians is the status quo (and I realize there are many exceptions), the ins and outs of the judiciary seems trivial.

        2. Daniil Adamov

          I think that’s almost certainly correct. But there is a tradition of saying “the worse, the better”. Meaning that if things get bad enough in a society, the status quo might become untenable, leading to change, presumably for the better. I find that rather naive on the whole (history suggests it could at least as easily change for the far worse), but it is not impossible that Israel would come under more pressure on this and other counts as it becomes ever harder to sell as a model liberal democracy.

        3. chuck roast

          And what checks would they be? The velvet glove or the iron fist? The military is in revolt? Maybe they just got tired of doing the dirty work. The ultra-orthodox are exempted from military service. They are, apparently, doing the important national work of parsing the Torah, and as we Catholics used to say, propagating the faith. They have been known to take time off from this exhausting work by chopping down Arab olive trees or invading Arab settlements.

          When I was in school…back in the Punic Wars, I was introduced to the concept of a “Garrison State”. And it was explained that Israel was the perfect exemplar. What?! The Israelis?! The sympathetic victims of the holocaust?! Perhaps we in the US are now the more perfect exemplar. And perhaps Israel is simply demonstrating possible future for us.

      2. flora

        I think removing the last check on the current govt will be bad and make life worse for everyone… except the current govt. /my 2 cents.

        1. Vandemonian

          Netanyahu and his cronies should be careful what they wish for. There will be no judicial checks on the next government, either…

  3. griffen

    Billionaire donors cool on funding the DeSantis campaign, for varied reasons. Noted billionaires include Ken Griffin, Nelson Peltz, and the lesser known Thomas Peterffy, some of whom are keeping “powder dry” before throwing support towards any 2024 candidate. Griffin has very recently announced he is relocating his investment firm, Citadel Securities, to Miami.

    You can’t win in the primary, let alone the general, without them deep pockets and $$$ money dear governor (that’s my opinion). Some of the hard line stances DeSantis is taking / has taken in respect to governance topics in Florida are causing these donors above, and their big money friends, to withdraw or even withhold any further support.

    1. Pat

      Call me crazy but I think you can win without them. But having them makes it so much easier.
      The thing with those billionaire donors was they didn’t and don’t care about DeSantis’ policies. They thought he could easily win over Trump and would be a willing front man. They found out that no he can’t win easily and two wasn’t a willing front man.

      IOW like so much else, reality is biting them in the…

      1. Late Introvert

        The idea that ol’ Ron apparently has the sincere belief that he could be President! LOL and pass the popcorn.

        1. Nikkikat

          Lol, all this guy does is pluck the latest liberal outrage off Fox News and run these TV ads in order to stir up evangelicals and right wing masculine types.
          There is no substance what so ever. This won’t get him enough votes to win anything.

  4. The Rev Kev

    ‘Ex-CIA analyst Larry Johnson: Poland plans to launch an operation. Perhaps against Belarus. To draw NATO into the fight. ‘

    So Poland took a straw poll about which other NATO partner nations wants to also get into a shooting war with a nuclear-armed Russia. Here are the results of their answers. They are kind of brief-

    Albania – Nr
    Belgium – Non
    Bulgaria – не
    Canada – No
    Croatia – Ne
    Czech Republic – Ne
    Denmark – Nej
    Estonia – Ei
    Finland – Ei
    France – Non
    Germany – Nein
    Greece – Όχι
    Hungary – Nem
    Iceland – Nei
    Italy – Si
    Latvia – Ne
    Lithuania – Ne
    Luxembourg – Nee
    Montenegro – Ne
    Netherlands – Nee
    Norway – Nei
    Portugal – Não
    Republic of Macedonia – не
    Romania – Da
    Slovakia – Nie
    Slovenia – Ne
    Spain – No
    Turkey – Hayžr
    United States – Go ahead, pal.
    United Kingdom – You first.

    1. Bugs

      Italy and Romania would? Where does that idea come from? Italians are very ambivalent about the whole thing.

    2. digi_owl

      I fear that the Norwegian response would be “When?”, but i wish it would be “are you f-ing nuts?!”.

    3. Kouros

      I am very surprised to see Romania there. It is really not in their genes. Something wrong with the poll.

  5. timbers

    The coming Russian-Polish war

    “…Belarus military intelligence has been following very closely the massive build-up of Polish forces including tanks, helicopters and other heavy military equipment close to the Belarus border at several locations…Poles’ new aggressive plans are proceeding only because of their confidence that Uncle Sam supports them.”

    What puzzles is Poland seeing first hand the destruction of Ukraine, you’d think she would not want to be next for destruction. There were headlines past few days that “Poland” realizes Ukraine is lost which re-enforces this looking like a big miscalculation on Poland’s part. Doctorow does not mention Poland understanding Ukraine is losing but the US as knowing this…US encouraging Poland to sacrifice herself makes perfect continuity of US policy sense IMO.

    On another note, Ukraine has destroyed a 3rd ammo depot in Crimea, again thousands of civilians evacuated. Ammo depots are a legitimate target, but didn’t Putin make a promise to retaliate against any attack on Crimea civilians? Regardless, Russia needs to figure out how to stop the Storm Shadows getting through her air defenses. Maybe Crimea is under-defended with defensive missiles? Last night Ukraine launched drones targeting Moscow, which were intercepted. But will the same happen if she sends Storm Shadows to Moscow?

    1. Sardonia

      “Last night Ukraine launched drones targeting Moscow, which were intercepted. But will the same happen if she sends Storm Shadows to Moscow?”

      My guess is that tourism would rise as people would come to gawk at the smoldering pile of rubble that was once Kyiv.

    2. Random

      Poland is conducting a large military build up in general but ultimately no one really knows what those new forces are for.
      Always useful for both sides to paint each other’s moves as aggressive.
      As for long range missile/drone attacks…
      Well nothing can really ensure perfect safety so the most you can do is make sure you conduct more of those attacks than the enemy.

      1. timbers

        3 successful strikes in as many days on Crimea’s largest ammo depots is an indication of a problem.

    3. begob

      Again, do you have any links for the Crimea strikes apart from Dima? The only other place I’ve seen mention of this is in an unlinked comment on MoonofAlabama.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Can’t access RT (as I’m residing in democratic and freedom of speech loving EU), so only things I could find were comments today by the Sergey Aksyonov, the head of Crimean Republic saying that on 19th there was a fire at military training ground and people were evacuated as a precautionary action, on 22nd there was a drone attack (presumably by local agents) on an ammunition storage causing a detonation but no serious damage (yet people were evacuated within 5 km radius) – and that last night 17 Ukrainian drones attacked Crimea with 14 forced down by EW and 3 destroyed by AA.

          Everywhere I look (in Russian TG) it’s all about pondering if the Ukrainian front between Kupyansk and Kreminna has actually collapsed, because Russians are pushing forward over the Zherebets-river towards the Oskol-river in multiple places. And capturing tens of POWs at a time.

          That and several independent threads about how Russian MoD is actually downplaying Ukrainian casualties in order not to make the war unpalatable to Russian public (Ukrainians are still brothers) and how the Russian troops on the Zaporozhe front are developing mental issues due to the carnage they are wreaking on the attacking Ukrainians. It may just be propaganda, but if so, very, very subtle.

          1. Daniil Adamov

            The carnage of war elicits all kinds of different reactions from those who see it. I recall Winston Churchill was appalled and sickened by the one-sided slaughter he witnessed at Omdurman, during Kitchener’s Sudan campaign (he was fighting on the slaughtering side, of course). That was rather more extreme, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if some witnessing Russian soldiers had similar reactions to the counteroffensive.

          2. Irrational

            Which websites to block seems to be a decision at EU member state level as I can read RT and Sputnik just fine in Luxembourg on my own PC, though not on my employer’s phone.

    4. Aurelien

      I don’t know enough about the Polish military to be sure, but if the Poles were really contemplating anything serious, then I can think of at least two things to look out for.

      One would be bringing these units up to wartime strength (recall of reservists etc) and outload ammunition and logistics stocks. Has that been seen? The other is that so far as I know the Poles don’t have an operational HQ capable of commanding operations outside the country: very few European nations do, and it’s not something you can improvise. Again, you’d be looking for any signs that they are setting one up. Otherwise, I suspect it’s mostly posturing.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        Aurelien, just a couple of days ago, you wrote a very good article on how inviting Ukraine into NATO would be a disaster. Posturing aside, isn’t Poland simply another Ukraine, albeit one that’s already inside NATO? Perhaps Poland has yet to reach the terminal stage of the rabid “disease” that’s already infected the entire Ukraine, but are we looking at WWIII or the breakup of NATO?

        1. Benny Profane

          That’s a broad brush. Poland, for it’s faults, is probably the healthiest economy in that region and was hardly as infected by oligarch controlled corruption as Ukraine was/is.

          1. ambrit

            Barring any surprise revelations, I’ll note that the switch in government in Poland was one of the very few truly ‘popular’ changes in regime in Europe “recently.” [Perhaps the breakup of Czechoslovakia was another.] Most others were outside ‘engineered’ coups.
            Given the degree of “control” over the information reaching the public exercised by the Elites of the countries today, I wonder what the level of anti-war sentiment in Poland is.

            1. Benny Profane

              There was recently a large anti government march or protest combined with an awesome Spring day gathering. And one only wonders how that would change (either way) if boots were on ground and bullets flying. Poland has to tread lightly as an EU member, Couldn’t shut down protest or electioneering without a serious martial law situation, which, hey, is more than possible these days. Lord help that country and it’s young men if they go down that aisle.
              A lot of the west won’t admit that we have been spending a year and a half training the Russians and helping them develop a new arsenal of weapons, including electronic. We said they’ll fail in weeks pulling chips out of appliances to function, but now they’re freaking out our DOD, I’m pretty sure, because how in the hell do we come in with an F35 or billion dollar aircraft carrier against that? The Chinese smile at it all, taking notes.

        2. Aurelien

          One thing that was very obvious even in the first round of engagement in 1997 was that new NATO members were still mentally back in the 1930s. That’s to say that the old idea of balance-of-power and alliance politics between European states, and especially against Germany, had not been smothered by forty-five years of forced cohabitation in NATO and the various institutions that culminated in the EU. Recall that the original Brussels Treaty Organisation in 1948 was an alliance between the UK, France and the Benelux countries against the possibility of a resurgent Germany. In the end, Schuman’s idea of making another war in Western Europe not only unthinkable but impossible was achieved, more or less.

          But members after 1997 never went through this stage, and I’m not sure how far they’ve really absorbed the new mindset now. The Poles, for example, were very keen to use the US as a counterweight to Germany and Ukraine, even Russia in their foreign policy. I was in Warsaw a number of times in the lead-up to the 1997 entry, and I was struck by how rapidly the military, for example, had swerved away from a Communist orientation to a stridently nationalist one, which wouldn’t have been out of place, so far as I could judge, in the time of Pilsudski. On one occasion, I was talking to a very liberal and well-educated group of intellectuals and students, and was surprised at the glee with which they visualised Poland in NATO being able to defy and piss off its neighbours, sure of the support of the US and NATO allies. Maybe things are different now: it’s a while since I was there.

      2. Anon

        Open another front, again, without assaulting Russia proper, and using Article 5 as a deterrent. Makes sense tactically, as this would draw Russian resources away from Odessa, preventing (delaying?) them blocking access to the Black Sea, which is what I gather the Poles covet. The logical move for Putin would be to fight it out conventionally (Belarus < Armageddon), and perhaps the Poles believe they can do better than the Ukrainians.

        If Ukrainians are virile, certainly the Poles are the image of Adonis, what could go wrong?

        1. Yves Smith

          Pray tell, this is on the level of economists’ “Assume a can opener”. First, exactly how and who opens this mythical second front? The US is sending cluster bombs, to much controversy (and with comments about their lesser effectiveness compared to conventional artillery) clearly because it is out of anything better. Ukraine is going to be out, for practical purposes, of ammo and air defense missiles. Then what?

          Second, as John Helmer indicates (I have not tracked this down but Helmer is a reliable reporter), the NATO meeting at Vilnius showed European members had cooled to a marked degree on Project Ukraine, particularly the weapons/$ supply part, and Zelensky was given (more or less by the US pushing not to abandon Ukraine) till Christmas to turn things around. This actually means, ex terrorist acts highly unlikely to turn the tide, mid-October, since that’s when mud season normally starts.

          Third, Article 5 does not work the way you think it does. Each NATO member is tasked to decide if it acts on a security threat to another member. No one is obligated to defend anyone else, despite press coverage that gives a very different impression.

          1. Anon

            It would be a terrible idea for the Poles to move in… but clearly they have been assuming can openers from the get, and all we have had so far are terrible ideas… so “makes sense” was doing a lot of lifting there.

            If I was close to pushing the nuclear button (and hobbled with ego/avarice) I’d be throwing Ukrainians, Poles, and the kitchen sink at the Russians. Judging by our willingness to shove Ukraine under the bus in the first place, a second front, though likely suicidal, and utterly despairing, is on the menu. Banzai.

      3. Kouros

        Also Poles rely for their weapons on outside parties… We are seeing how that worked out for Ukraine…

        1. Anon

          At the beginning of the war, I watched a think-tank panel of some active and former (American) spooks discussing their expectations. They were saying things like “insurgency”, and “guerilla fighting”, which indicated to me they had expected a military defeat, long before fighting began.

          With that knowledge, why would they send their best equipment and munitions to be wasted on a lost cause? By all accounts a significant portion of the ‘aid’, to include weapons and ammunition, did not reach the front lines…

          I wonder where it all went.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I can answer why it was “wasted”. With all that equipment and munitions destroyed and NATO armouries depleted, guess which industries get to replace it all? Hint – it is the same ones that retired military & spooks go to work for to cash in. And these retired military get to appear on CNN, MSNBC, etc to give their opinions but without mentioning their vested financial interests.

            1. Anon

              While I don’t doubt the corporate motive; they could have just stayed in Afghanistan if profit-making was the goal. Which is to say the Ukrainian conflict is far more political/ideologically motivated, so there is likely more discipline to its conduct than compared with Afghanistan etc. This has been in the works for a long time.

              Knowing Polish ambition, as well as observing the farcical nature of the entire conflict… from Putin’s restraint, right back to the Ukrainians’ lack thereof… tells me the fall of the AFU is not where this is intended to end. Putin’s been delaying it, and NATO/Ukraine seem to hasten it!

              I mean who goes on TV and says “we’re running out of ammo, so uh, we’re sending these baby killers…”: Someone who wants you to believe they are running out, and that embarrassing prospect was confessed by an administration that’s lied about everything else, yet suddenly comes clean about the bare cupboards?

              “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” – Sun Tzu

              If I was a betting man, I’d say Ukraine never got a fair shot, and aid was cover for Polish armament. Would explain the bonkers human-wave attacks by the AFU, when they were (ostensibly) equipped to have better choices in tactics. But then I suppose so does regular corruption *shrug*

              I’m reaching with this conspiratorial mind of mine, but I still find it hard to accept that NOBODY in the government reads Naked Capitalism, that they’re all high on the good old days, and are just bumbling fools. They must have a few evil geniuses.

    5. Daryl

      Extremism blinds. Germans reckoned they would steamroll the inferior Slavs in a matter of months back in 1941.

    6. Feral Finster

      I know the Polish mentality well. Too many Poles would gladly slit their own children’s throats, if that meant that an American would pat them on the head and call them a good dog. That goes double, if their children’s deaths would somehow spite Russia.

      If you think that is hyperbole, look at how Poles embraced the direct biological and ideological descendants of the people who so gleefully murdered their grandparents. I don’t think I know a Pole who didn’t have relatives that suffered or died in the Volhyn Massacre. But that is what makes Master happy, and that is all that many a Pole needs to know.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        Surely they still hate us Russians more than they love Americans. Poland has truly gone to the dogs if what you say is true.

        1. Feral Finster

          Hard to say which emotion is stronger in the Polish soul.

          Once you’ve heard a Pole insist that Budweiser (not the Czech variant, but straight up American p1sswater) is The Finest Beer In The World because it comes from America, you will see what I mean.

          1. Daniil Adamov

            I can’t help but suspect that may be a particular type of Pole (educated, affluent, some sort of right-liberal). We have those Ameriphiles too, though less and less with every year I think. They, I assume, would have many more, but how widespread could that be? Especially in a country with a long history of national pride and sneering at foreigners including Americans. Unless it really has gone to the dogs in recent decades.

          2. ilpalazzo

            I’d argue the situation is more nuanced. The currently ruling elite are rabidly anti – russian because they see themselves as descendants of old anti – tsarist small lot nobility & inteligentsia of congress Poland. I half joke that they are mentally stuck in november uprising modus operandi. Remember that the current Eminence Grise is a twin brother of former president that died during the plane crash in Smolensk and is openly blaming Russia for the catastrophe so it’s personal for him.

            Formerly governing liberals will do what EU would tell them to do but are practical people. As for common folk, many are indifferent. Anti ukrainian sentiments are quite strong in many also. I know a good few old working class pensioners, former workers from big industry liquidated in the nineties who are russian sympathetic. Also a few ultra – religious guys who see Putin as a saviour against demoralised woke west, despite church being rabidly anti – russian as well (this being its anti – communist legacy with John Paul II revered as an oracle). The PMC is obsvously rabidly anti russian as well as a form of cargo cult westernism.

            1. ilpalazzo

              Adding a historical detail, peasants from the eastern part used to be pro russian for a long time remembering that it was the Tsar that released them from serfdom, not their own aristocratic elite. To this day there are votive chapels built by them commemorating the date. The same peasants hid in the forests when during WWII Polish underground Army came to town thinking they would be restoring serfdom and bringing back landlords.

    7. Mikel

      “What puzzles is Poland seeing first hand the destruction of Ukraine, you’d think she would not want to be next for destruction.”

      You’d think she would have learned from two previous world wars.

      1. Stephen

        And the reality of what a western “guarantee” means. The May 1939 British one did not exactly save Poland, of course.

      2. Polar Socialist

        A version of the current Poland was actually born from the WW1 – they fought both for and against Russian Empire, although Nicholas did |family blog| that up, too. The Poles who ruled the newly independent state came from circles supported by Germany and Britain, and oddly enough Poland became a Russophobic state, even if only a generation earlier the only viable state the Polish saw was autonomous Poland within and protected by the Russian Empire.

        To me the situation now has all the signs of an involuntary descent towards war – both sides (Poland vs Union State) are trying to deter the other by “sending strong signals” past each other, while simultaneously preparing for the worse. If nobody takes a step back, eventually there will be two armies facing each other, following their own logic of confrontation.

        Eastern Europe could use a hefty dose of trust right about now, but unfortunately all the mechanisms to create any have been dismantled. Mostly by The West, thankusverymuch.

  6. Sardonia

    “BREAKING: “Western military officials knew Kyiv didn’t have all the training or weapons, that it needed to dislodge Russian forces. But they hoped Ukrainian courage and resourcefulness would carry the day.”

    -> NATO wanted Ukraine to sacrifice themselves in a huge human wave attack … but break through.”

    Gee, remember how horrified media-people used to report about Sadaam Hussein grooming suicide bombers, and then sending them off to take out a few folks he didn’t like – and then rewarded the dead bombers’ families with $25,000?

    I wonder who the US will have passing out the checks to Ukrainian families who have lost sons in the “offensive”. Maybe we’ll get to see live coverage of Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow, Whoopi Goldberg, etc. as they meet with the families and give them the dough. Their fanboyz and fangirlz will weep at their idols’ acts of compassion.

    1. Feral Finster

      Funny, US officials were singing a different tune a few weeks ago.

      Victory really does have a thousand fathers, and everyone always knew that there was something wrong with that “Defeat” kid all along, I’m telling you.

      1. ambrit

        My take: “Yes, capitalism sucks, but at least we’ve defeated all the other religions!”

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      “Humanity’s headstone is built.”

      This is the foundation for a new book, Breaking Together: a freedom-loving response to collapse, by Jem Bendell. Bendell was also the author of Deep Adaptation: Navigating the Realities of Climate Chaos (2021).

      The thesis of Bendell’s first book was that we have already reached enough climate tipping points that very bad things are headed our way both weatherwise and socio-politically where Bendell argued that collapse was now “inevitable.” The book was attacked by mainstream environmentalists like Michael Mann and goodthinkers everywhere, but some respected ecologists have said Bendell had most of it right.

      His newest book updates and amplifies the collapse realities explored in the first book, emphasizing that collapse of bio-physical, economic and political systems is already well underway. The second half is directed toward what must be done, with an approach that seeks to take control of the response away from the elites and give it to a bottom-up coalition. The book has been published by the Schumacher Institute, founded by E. F. Schumacher, author of Small is Beautiful. Remarkably, the book has been made available for free as an EPub document on Bendell’s website. I’ve downloaded it along with installing Calibre to serve as a reader on my Windows 10 machine.

      I had been wary of Bendell, who is a WEFie, but Breaking Together contains his account of his “conversion” experience when he was still the striving-to-get-ahead “corporate sustainability manager” who had been through the Young Leaders program. After physically collapsing from stress and anxiety, he began to radically reduce his economic and carbon footprints, resigned his professorship in England and moved on a farm where he does permaculture and teaches it to others. For the Emma Goldman types out there, he also learned an instrument (guitar) and started a band. And he, with the cooperation of the Schumacher Institute, are releasing the free EPub of the book.

      Hey, it doesn’t cost anything to check it out. I think it can provide people with some interesting perspectives and ideas as the floods roar, the fires rage and the world bakes.

    2. Steven A

      Roger Waters’ eulogy comes to mind:

      No tears to cry no feelings left
      This species has amused itself to death

  7. Stephen

    “1 in 5 young people in China can’t find a job – and that’s a big problem for Xi Jinping”

    I must confess that I never know how much credence to give these articles. They quote percentages but I never know how meaningful these are.

    This is quite apart from the fact that many western countries have similar challenges when it comes to jobs for young people.

    Would be interesting if someone with real knowledge of China were to comment.

    1. Random

      It’s an officially acknowledged issue by the Chinese govt.
      Depends how you measure but it’s around 20% as the article suggests.
      Some of Europe has similar issues (Greece, Spain, etc.) or worse so we’ll see. Still a concern though more of a social rather than economic one.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      One difference is Xi might care. The construction heavy side of the Chinese economy if they don’t have places for the employees to go. I don’t know how they operate. There are solutions like shorter work weeks, hiding in academia, welfare. The article notes they have too many college graduates trying to fill too few jobs.

      I’m sure the Chinese are aware, and this won’t result in a new European occupation. The article is by Business Insider.

    3. ChrisFromGA

      It’s always a big tell when they personalize it. The fingerprints of neocons all over that unctuous Business Insider propaganda – if we could just color revolution away that bad old Xi, for sure we’d get a complaint comprador stooge to run China like a subsidiary of Megadeth, Inc.

    4. SocalJimObjects

      The issue is acknowledged in Global Times, a mouthpiece of the Communist Party,

      Also, you can go to Baidu and use the following search term: 青年人失业率, that stands for the unemployment rate for young people.

      I usually just go to Sina for my Chinese news, and the following also mentions the 21.3% youth unemployment rate.

      Needless to say you can use Google Translate to read the article.

    5. Huang

      The percentages was given by the National Bureau of Statistics of China.
      May refer to the website for the original report:

      Export orientied economy, and transition: The key
      You may have heard about the ‘dual circulation’, said by Beijing in 2020.
      The current problem is the dismatch between the demand and the supply of the labor makert.
      Traditional export economy needs labors in the ford-style assembly line, actually the factories are still looking for large amount of workers. But most of the young were guaduated from the universities, they refuse to work like a factory worker. And the current labor market cannot provide this huge number of jobs in engineering or in acadamic or some other ‘decent job’. I agreed with what David Dollar said(but not with the rest of report..).

      Covid, and sanctions: catalyst
      Sanctions(like the ‘trade war’) and covid19 heavily strike the traditional export oriented economy system, led to intensification of contradictions. Those are also lead to need of acceleration in transition.

      Something else to say:
      It is not a ‘existential problem’ yet. Under the background of high saving rate of chinese families and the tradition of large family, the fresh guaduates are allowed to stay at home for preparation of further study or looking for a good enough job. (It is also an interesting data that number of people looking for master or doctor degree in China, it is usually negative related to the employment situation). But there are also a lot of families in trouble with debts during covid.

      I hope that it can help, I am fresh to naked capitalism and sorry for some potential grammar mistakes

      1. digi_owl

        So they are starting to replicate the employment problems of other industrial nations. I guess we will see if they manage to figure out a better solution than those before.

      2. curlydan

        Thank you! I was recently in China, and my wife talked to a lot of cabbies and Didi drivers. The wages in China seemed really low still. A Didi or taxi driver might earn (on a good day) 200 yuan or about $30. I believe a factory worker makes even less while working very long hours.

        When we told drivers that my 16-year old makes $15/hour, they were a bit shocked. Of course, it’s a bit more expensive in the US, but not _that_ much more expensive.

        It does seem like China needs to re-orient its economy to strike a better balance between lower- and high-wage work.

        1. Bill Malcolm

          A cursory web search gives, from multiple sources, a cost of living at official exchange rates at about 50% in China compared to the US. Plus they have free medical care. Extrapolating from cabbies’ gossip somewhere or other in China to making wholesale pronouncements about the overall Chinese social scene comprising 1.4 billion people seems not a particularly persuasive method for measuring Chinese income inequality. Inductive reasoning at its shadowy finest – going from the particular to the general is fraught with problems, and is a favourite politician’s logic to obscure reality and make a faux point.

          If your son makes $15/hour, is that for a full 40 hour week, or just for casual work, for example? Can he afford to rent an apartment, buy food, live and prosper on $15/hour, or is it just pocket money?

          For example, here in Canada, minimum wages are set by provinces, your states equivalent, and are around C$15/hour. A bare minimum living wage was calculated recently as being from $23 to $28 per hour depending on location. That’s the income needed for a 40 hours per week job just to get by with zero frills whatsover. Unsurprisingly, perhaps 25% of the population survives on much less than this calculated minimum. Somehow.

          A question I’d ask a Chinese cabbie is simply this — where are the food banks around here? The Salvation Army equivalent overnight accomodations for indigents? Are these kinds of terms the cabbies even understand?

        2. PlutoniumKun

          Its a very imperfect measure, but on GDP by PPP (purchasing power per capita), China ranks around the level of Thailand, Mexico or Belarus. There are of course huge variations across the country – there would be a huge difference between Shanghai and a typical Tier II northern city. China is still well behind countries like Taiwan or South Korea or even Russia.

          There is a huge gap in China in the wages of higher level professional people (engineers, etc), which are very close to western levels, and those in the service industries and lower professionals, including teachers, nurses, etc. The latter can be quite shockingly low considering that China isn’t really all that cheap a country to live in. A couple I know well – a policeman and a teacher – told me that when they had their first child they spent a full 40% of their income on baby formula. They have since moved to Australia and despite both having fairly low level unqualified jobs, say their standard of living is much higher. A lot of western commentators get a very false impression of China as most don’t wander far beyond Beijing or Shanghai or Guangzhou or rural tourism hotspots.

    6. Mikel

      I thought a previous Bloomberg article delved more into the dynamic going on in China. It was touched on in this one:

      “…Dollar added that China’s economy was still too dependent on exports and investment – sectors that typically don’t employ a lot of college grads.

      “If China relied more on consumption for demand, that would help because consumption is mostly services and sectors such as media, entertainment, education, health, finance, and telecom are where the jobs will be….”

      According to statements and translations of previous articles, Xi wants the youth to “eat bitterness” and go out and take the manual labor jobs or get interested in the countryside.

      It’s all about the various aspirations of the parties involved, including the people studying the situation.
      And the rural – urban divide continues to rear its head all over the world.

      But I’m pondering “multipolar” vs “unipolar” global orders. One thing for sure: everything around us has still got to be manufactured somewhere. Everthing you see. Manufacturing all around you. Real as it’s ever been. Never went away.

      When it’s said “because consumption is mostly services and sectors such as media, entertainment, education, health, finance, and telecom are where the jobs will be,” that’s code for rentierism. Hourly, weekly, monthly, yearly charges instead of one-time purchases of quality that last.

      It’s a snake eating its tail vision of a global economic order.

    7. PlutoniumKun

      Some reputable Chinese sources put youth unemployment as being much higher – 40% or more.

      This is a constant feature of the export oriented model of growth – when you suppress domestic demand while the more advanced sectors gain higher productivity, you end up with a big gap in your labour market. Even during their periods of extreme high growth, Japan and South Korea and Taiwan struggled with unemployment – this is the main reason why all those countries maintained a deliberately low productivity highly protected domestic service and agriculture sector to soak up all the excess bodies.

      South Korea has led the way in showing the problems caused by overemphasising exports over the domestic economy – despite its horrible demographics and surging economy, it still manages to have a huge problem of unemployment and underemployment among young people, including graduates. Ha Joon Chang and others have written in detail on the causes of this, but it basically boils down to a byproduct of suppressing domestic demand while expecting high productivity export companies to provide jobs (they simply don’t, because by definition they are very productive and so don’t need large numbers of staff).

      I suspect that the problem is now becoming acute in China as local governments are under significant fiscal strain, so they are dropping the local works project that would have soaked up a lot of youth unemployment. Similarly, lots of smaller inefficient government enterprises are failing or being closed down (sometimes to address pollution issues). But there is nothing else to soak up the excess workforce, especially as male sectors seem hardest hit.

      So it really is a very serious economic and social issue for China, one which has been predicted for some time on the basis of the other Asian Tiger experience. You simply cannot suppress domestic demand indefinitely and not have a big problem with getting younger people into their first jobs unless you intervene very intensively.

      The solution is both very simple and apparently very difficult. You boost the domestic economy by giving widespread pay rises and use your stimulus money for more labour intensive projects rather than concrete pouring (or, possibly, through military Keynesianism). But structurally it has proven very difficult for high growth export led economies to balance themselves out – Japan has been struggling with this for decades and Taiwan and ROK have been only moderately successful at this.

  8. Roger Moore

    Why are the AfD considered far-right? If you look at their political platform, they are generally to the LEFT of the Democrats in the US.

    1. britzklieg

      Why are the Greens considered green? There’s nothing more destructive to the ecology than the war they are mongering.

      But, it “doesn’t matter, as long as your German” as painfully (because I made my living singing German art song) and perfectly spoofed by Fascinating Aida:


      Doesn’t matter if you sing out of tune
      So long as you’re German
      Doesn’t matter if you can hardly croon
      So long as you’re German
      So if you haven’t got a note in your head
      Put on a silly accent instead
      And people will stop wishing you were dead
      So long as you’re German

      Doesn’t matter if the notes are all wrong
      And people are squirmin’
      Just make the tune up as you go along
      Pretend you’re German
      And if your voice sounds like it’s coming through a strainer
      Sing it out of sync like Marlena
      And soon you’ll be compared to Lotte Lenya
      Who was Austrian

      Nicht hinauslehnes sprechgesang Zauberflöte wunderbar
      Wiener Schnitzel, Boris Becker, sturm und drang, Kutsche Berhad

      So, if you ever wonder what you have to do
      To sound like a Hun
      Just chain-smoke from the tender age of two
      That’s how it’s done
      And if the audience is all walking out
      Just make believe that you’re a Kraut
      And open your mouth and shout
      In German
      In German
      In German
      Auf Deutsche

    1. Daryl

      It seems to be having a fair amount of reliablity problems as of late. Unfortunate, I went looking for an alternative and couldn’t find one.

    2. pjay

      Are you using Firefox? I can’t get to it with Firefox but I’m ok with Edge. I’ve had such problems before.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Chinese Money Flees the Western World”

    Could it be that the Chinese do not trust the west not to steal their money in case things turn serious? They have already seen how they did it with Russia’s money and how they are trying to come up with a legal justification to actually take that money rather than just freeze it. And it is not just the Chinese either. Others around the world are pulling their money out of the west as well – individuals, organizations and nations – and some nations have already repatriated their gold back to their own countries. I guess that this is what happens when you replace international law with a rules-based order.

  10. Jason Boxman

    At a company I know, the CEO currently has COVID, isolating from family at home. Looks and sounds okay, must be mild. You’d think employees would be company assets, and not getting infected would be a corporate advantage. Who knows?

  11. Ignacio

    Election in Spain: PP wins, PSOE resists and the right-wing bloc falls short of majority El Pais

    People’s Party will try to form a government but It I am almost certain they will fail. They need the “far right” VOX and more parties but no other party wants to join such coalition. Then Sánchez may try and might even manage to form a government if they ensure a couple of parties abstain. Very much like the latest government. A conservative wave has been avoided thanks to high participación but we see a phenomenon which is quite general in Europe: tiny majorities and difficulties to form governments. No one there whom the people at large has enough confidence to give a clear mandate.

    1. Bruno

      Three days ago the “Northite” pseudo-Troskyist WSWS spewed out this example of their profound analysis: “It is likely that Sunday’s snap national elections will bring the overtly Francoite Vox into government in Spain as junior coalition partner of its co-thinkers in the Popular Party (PP).”

      1. flora

        Thanks, that’s very funny. I was fortunate enough to meet one of the moon landing astronauts when he came and gave a talk at my research outfit. He knew some of the researchers here, which is why he came to our otherwise relatively obscure, to the wider world, organization. I’d always thought those guys were about 10 feet tall, as the saying goes about one’s impression of impressive people. But no, he was pretty short and compact. Maybe 5’8″. I think they all were. Not much space in those rocket moon landing capsules.

  12. Wukchumni

    Are abnormalities on account of climate change that bring on 1 in a thousand year events all that different from deviations from the norm in money matters in markets across the world?

    1. EssCetera

      Even better, are such deviations in money matters directly connected to such deviations in climate change?

      I was just thinking how sad it is that in response to Wikileaks, Occupy, BLM, etc., the social media platforms have algorithmed and fatigued out of existence all forms of online organizing, revolution is disabled, and just when we really need it the most.

  13. Lex

    I get the stories about some amalgamation of NATO countries wanting to enter the war, and I’m sure there are influential people even in the US advocating for it. But at the point of cold, hard calculations it appears to be a non-starter for practical purposes. (Unless everyone is completely ignoring the lessons of Ukraine.)

    The planning discussion has to start with “How long can we maintain a high intensity conflict?” and then move directly to “How many casualties are we willing/able to take?” I just don’t see how any NATO country can answer either of those questions in a way that would lead to attacking Belarus or entering Ukraine as full combatants. Poland trying to grab its “historical lands” in the west is a real possibility. IMO, the talk about Poland and Belarus from Minsk and Moscow is a bit of a ruse to keep the Poles tied up and not do anything stupid in Ukraine.

  14. Jason Boxman

    Outside Staples. Triangle fold up sign outside advertising passport photos here.

    Glad COVID is over.

  15. Old Sarum

    The X factor:

    Will a tweet become a “twix”? (smack lips in memory of the Mars confectionery).

    …or will every tweet be “X”-rated by the censorship algo?


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