Links 10/4/2023

Lyft driver takes off with cat, global search ensues The Register

Tan Yamanouchi’s New House Speaks to His Cats’ Desire Spoon & Tamago

The dinosaurs didn’t rule Aeon

Investors Must Accept Lower Returns to Unclog Private-Equity Deal Flow WSJ. Take one for the team!


The Climate Sleuth Uncovering Methane Leaks for the United Nations Bloomberg. The deck: “Itziar Irakulis Loitxate is a 27-year-old Ph.D. student who is the closest thing the world has to climate police.” Just like variant tracking: Another enormous inverted pyramid balanced on an apex of grad students (and volunteers).

* * *

Investors’ Bets on Mother Nature Are Paying Off Big WSJ

How to pay for saving the world: Modern Monetary Theory for a degrowth transition Ecological Economics

PG&E’s $6 Billion Plan to Prevent Wildfires Is in Peril WSJ

* * *

New study definitively confirms gulf stream weakening Phys.orgz

SoCal cities desperately need more shade. Is it time to finally ditch palm trees? LA Times

* * *

AI might drive down carbon — if its energy use is kept in check Politico


‘A ticking time bomb’: Why California can’t provide safe drinking water to all its residents LA Times

How will Louisiana deal with saltwater threat? Pipeline emerges as one answer Times-Picayune


FDA authorizes Novavax’s updated Covid-19 vaccine Stat. Monovalent “protein-based non-MRNA option.” The FDA press release.

Portland’s COVID-19 booster rollout hampered due to supply issues KOIN. Funny how Trump’s single payer rollouts worked, and Biden’s privatized rollouts are fraught with problems. Rule #2.

Nirmatrelvir-Ritonavir and COVID-19 Mortality and Hospitalization Among Patients With Vulnerability to COVID-19 Complications JAMA. From the Abstract: “In this cohort study of 6866 individuals in British Columbia, nirmatrelvir and ritonavir treatment was associated with reduced risk of COVID-19 hospitalization or death in CEV individuals, with the greatest benefit observed in severely immunocompromised individuals. No reduction in the primary outcome was observed in lower-risk individuals, including those aged 70 years or older without serious comorbidities.” Nirmatrelvir-Ritonavir = Paxlovid.


Detention of China Evergrande founder Hui Ka-yan ‘a signal Beijing won’t let super-rich off the hook’ South China Morning Post

* * *

China Isn’t Shifting Away from the Dollar or Dollar Bonds Council on Foreign Relations. Commentary:

As Democrats used to say: “They’ve got no place to go.”

Opinion: How to Fix China’s Local Government Debt Crisis Caixin Global

Who Killed the Chinese Economy? (symposium) Foreign Affairs

* * *

Addressing the China Challenge: Realisms Right and Wrong Los Angeles Review of Books

Mineral-hungry clean tech sees countries seeking to escape China’s shadow Agence France Presse. Handy chart:


Blackouts Lengthen in Yangon as Power Crisis Worsens in Myanmar The Irrawaddy. Meanwhile:

Well, we know what that means….


Meet The ‘Savings Agents’ Who Help Strengthen India’s Rural Economy Gaon Connection


In Afghanistan’s Ever-Shifting Politics, an Opposition Comeback Cannot Be Ruled Out New Lines Magazine. The publisher.

Huge surge in the number of Russian, Iranian owned companies in Turkey amid sanctions Nordic Monitor

European Disunion

France to hold crisis meetings over ‘scourge’ of bedbugs France24

Dear Old Blighty

The Tories have so much to learn from geese Funding the Future

New Not-So-Cold War

Army War College Report Predicts Mass Casualties in Near-Peer Fight Against [Russia] – Analysis Simplicius the Thinker(s). Today’s must-read.

Mass still matters: What the US military should learn from Ukraine The Atlantic Council

Putin’s “bluff”: a cautionary note about underestimating the possibility of nuclear escalation in Ukraine Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Ukraine SitRep: Bad Demographics – End of Support Moon of Alabama

Britain has ‘run out of arms to send to Ukraine’ The Telegraph

* * *

All three key Ukrainian Black Sea ports reopen to ships Ukrainska Pravda

Fighting against the USSR didn’t necessarily make you a Nazi Politico. Commentary:

(This is perhaps a better link on the Ukrainian Waffen SS oath than that given in by the Twitter community note. Sse also Esprit de Corps at “oath”, and the curious absence of the relevant oath from the Ukrainian Canadian Research & Documentation Centre, so-called. From the Lviv Center (about):

Proponents of honouring the Waffen-SS Division “Galicia” emphasize that the soldiers of the Ukrainian military formation swore allegiance to Ukraine, which is true. Proponents of the collaborative narrative always quote the text of the division’s German oath, where the soldiers promise to be loyal to Adolf Hitler, and this is also true.

The next step would be primary sources; the Lviv Center gives no links. (On the class basis of the Waffen SS, “Debunking the Myth of the Volunteers: Transnational Volunteering in the Nazi Waffen-SS Officer Corps during the Second World War” (PDF) is interesting, although it does not cover Ukraine specifically).

Biden Administration

White House vows Ukraine aid will continue despite funding uncertainty in Congress ABC. Let me know how that works out.

Republican Funhouse

McHenry named as acting speaker and McHenry ordered Pelosi to leave her Capitol hideaway office by Wednesday Politico. Hilarity ensues:

Who is Patrick McHenry, the new acting Speaker of the House? The Hill

The Supremes

Supreme Court Justices Wary of Argument Against Financial Watchdog’s Funding WSJ

A Supreme Court case about hotel websites could blow up much of US civil rights law Vox

Maritime Coverage Case About To Make Waves at Supreme Court New York Law Journal

The Administrative State

Regulation as Respect (accepted manuscript) Law and Contemporary Problems. From the Abstract:

The modern regulatory state does not have effective mechanisms for absorbing public perspectives in all their variety and nuance. Notice and comment rulemaking is a bust for ordinary people who want to be heard; structural reforms to inject more public voice into regulatory agencies have gone nowhere; and broadly deliberative, civic republican reform recommendations are not – have never been – a solution. Yet the problem goes deeper than just the need for some new communication tool. In recent decades, regulators’ responsibilities for exercising subject matter expertise have come to be lodged within a broader managerialist model, which evaluates success not by outcomes for ordinary people, but rather by reference to a separate layer of compliance metrics, private sector-derived methods, and a correspondingly hollowed-out normative mandate

Spook Country

Lost Boys documentary links British intelligence to decades old mystery of missing boys Belfast Live

Digital Watch

A Digital Coup Harper’s

Our Famously Free Press

While many small-town newspapers are vanishing, these Coloradans are working to keep local news alive Colorado Sun


Heads They ‘Cha-Ching!’; Tails They Take Away Your Malpractice Insurance Maureen Tkacik, The American Prospect

Zeitgeist Watch

Metaphors for human fertilization are evolving, study shows (press release) Yale University. N = 47.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Marine Corps relaxes uniform standards due to camouflage shortage FOX

Class Warfare

Las Vegas Strip resorts begin negotiations with Culinary Union amid looming strike KTNV

Two-thirds of executives at US financial services firms would quit if they had to return to the office 5 days a week Unusual Whales

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote (AM):

AM writes: “The graylag goose family in Roger Williams Park. Two parents, 3 grown siblings from a couple years ago- can’t tell them apart- and 6 new members of the family. According to ebird, they are exotic escapees.” As who among us is not?

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from New York, New York)

    There’s too much to lose, so much disarray
    They’ll never be a part of us, New York, New York
    They need clothes and shoes, and we have to pay
    That there’s the bleeding heart of it, New York, New York

    They cost four billion every year, that ain’t cheap
    This thing is our poison pill, we’re in too deep

    “Those border town blues, the cartel’s highway
    Stuffed into sealed cargo trucks like sides of pork
    I swam the river there, to stand here in Times Square
    I’ve paid some dues, New York, New York”

    New York, New York
    We had no notion sanctuary don’t come cheap
    We can’t afford all this horde, we can’t coexist
    We’re headed downhill, to the scrap heap

    “No gangster tattoos. I’m not here to play
    I’ll make a brand new start of it, here in New York
    To work is my only prayer, we couldn’t stay down there
    It’s up to you, New York, New York”

      1. CanCyn

        Why is this important? If you believe at all in protecting yourself to whatever degree the vaccines allow, don’t you want the latest version?

        1. Yves Smith

          Because XBB is not the current dominant variant, so all the booster vaxes are behind.

          What COVID-19 variant are we on? Currently, the dominant variant nationwide is EG.5, with 24.5% of cases, followed by FL.1.5.1, with 13.7% of cases, and XBB.1.16 with 10.2% of cases. “The original omicron variant is gone now,” says Dr. Rupp.

          So you are kidding yourself that getting a “current” vaccine is going to be tuned to the current dominant variants. There is an argument for mixing and matching. If I were to be doing this now, I’d want one shot of Novavax for the original virus and one for XBB. But I’d still much rather have whole virus vaccine even if the efficacy against a current variant looks lower.

          On top of that, one of the variants that have scientists worried, BA.2.86, is about halfway between Omicron and wild type and in particular targets ACE2 receptors better than other Omicron variants.

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            guess i’m lucky – had the mRNA duo in 2021 when first offered – then after reading white papers about the heart/endothelium issues was nervous about ever getting the mRNA again since i had a bovine valve installed in my heart 5 years ago and didn’t want to take chances – so when boosters were the craze, in Oct/Nov ’22 i got the full 2 shot series of Novavax – and then surprise, despite being a mask-monkey got covid the end of Dec but was asymptomatic and only lasted 5 days – new years eve ’22 i was alone and puffed some weed which caused me to cough seriously – chatting with my Chicago friend Sunday new years day ’23 and telling her about the coughing she told me take a test despite my protests – i was positive – by Friday 1/6 testing negative – never felt it, could smell, taste, no muscle aches, worked outside no problem, completely asymptomatic i guess – maybe it was the Novavax that kept it so mild i never felt it? – don’t know/don’t care – my brother and his wife in Colorado, also mask-monkeys and careful, and had mRNA shots and boosters got covid real bad early February ’23 and laid up for a couple of weeks – go figure – i’m real careful now and mask always – if people ask i tell them about the heart operation and it quiets them down – good to read that Novavax finally got approved for a booster but from what i’ve been reading none of the vaccines really last beyond a few months for whatever protection they provide – and as the world warms and climates shift we’re going to see new pathogens to be wary of so mask up folks – also take lisinopril for BP –

          2. Jorge

            Yes, all boosters are behind, but this matters less with Novavax.

            NV generalizes to new variants better, due to a few oversimplified reasons:
            1) it has many pieces of the virus, rather than one giant blob like the mRNA vaxes used, and
            2) it uses a new adjuvant that is somehow, by itself, better for you,
            3) stats on the original Novavax showed that it generalized better to Omicron than the mRNA vaccines.

            A slightly less oversimplified explanation, with fanciful pictures:


            And a summary tech paper on the new adjuvant, which is made from a Chilean tree sap that is also used in root beer suds (soapiness or saponification).


            I found these from an infodump by a Novavax aggregator:

            It is vaguely possible that Kaiser (after the current strike) will be able to hook me up. There were also 2 independent Chinese-owned pharmacies in Silicon Valley that carried the original.

            Whether or not I can achieve Novavaxification, they’ll have to pry my Aurora AM99 portable HEPA-filtered mask from my cold dead hands. I bought it on Amazon for $50. They’re $35 on Ebay. I’ve worn it for 1.5 years and still love it. I learned about it because Dr. Steve Keen wore one in a hospital selfie. (After a grand effort I actually found the selfie, but it’s Patreon-only.)



            1. Yves Smith

              I’m not opposed to Novavax and have written favorably about it merely because its more traditional design = lower odds of side effects. And I agree with continuing NPI. I don’t want readers to regard Novavax as better than it is. For instance, being better than the mRNA vaccines v. new variants is a low bar. We need data from when it is in use.

  2. Richard H Caldwell

    Regulation as Respect: “…, but rather by reference to a separate layer of compliance metrics, private sector-derived methods, and a correspondingly hollowed-out normative mandate” — bafflegab and doublespeak. Where do people learn to write in such an allusory, vague, and ultimately incomprehensible way? I was taught that I should write to be understood. Obscure and allusory was only for blank-verse poetry. WTF?

      1. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

        Probably depends on the school – ours taught and encouraged a simple and concise writing style, able to be easily understood.

        Others … possibly not so much. After all, how much money can you make litigating a clearly written contract or custody order?

    1. hunkerdown

      I found that phrasing to be perfectly precise and explanatory of what exactly is happening. Don’t project your anti-intellectual reading problems or your need for drama onto others.

    2. Ranger Rick

      In plain English, this translates to “government by statistics; statistics which are derived from measurements made by third parties; all in service of a status quo with no basis in reality.” It’s a complaint that ordinary people (or subject matter experts if you’re technocratically inclined) don’t have input into government decisionmaking that appears to be at best done by rote and at worst malign neglect.

      Although it is not meant to be a commentary on the business environment (they’re pretty clearly focused on regulators driving outcomes in peoples’ everyday lives), I can see a very similar situation in play there as well. As a popcorn-munching observer of SpaceX and its many brushes with regulatory authority in southwestern Texas, it is difficult to support the current state of things. Regulators have a free and seemingly completely unaccountable authority to interfere, and act according to ideals (and metrics) that at times seem completely arbitrary or even random. It’s not just the regulators, though, and this is the issue I have with that article: the public can be just as capricious as the authorities being critiqued.

      1. GramSci

        There is no simple truth that cannot be obscured by additional complexity. That complexity can be more epiphenomenal than intentional, but obscure it does.

    3. some guy

      When the Clinton Admin decided to substitute genuine on-the-ground meat inspection with paperwork inspection instead, he called it HACCP. That stood for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points. Meat inspectors joked that it stood for Have A Cuppa Coffee and Pray. Here is a link to HACCP.

      This was an enshrinement of exactly what the article was talking about . . . ” separate layer of compliance metrics, private sector-derived methods, and a correspondingly hollowed-out normative mandate”.

      That is exactly what HACCP was/is and did/does. Do you feel safer now?

  3. The Rev Kev

    The Antidote du jour today is a goose. Considering the big headlines coming out of Washington and the separate post appearing today on this topic, that wouldn’t be a Californian goose, would it? At least this one is not cooked.

  4. Amfortas the Hippie

    thanks for the Goose Coverage.
    i’ve spent probably too much time among geese for the last 20+ years.
    i have about 35 of them…many from the first batch i bought …one of that first batch,Dick Cheney is readily identifiable, but we ate George Bush II long ago, after he bit me in the a$$—the rest, well, you cannot even tell male from female without sticking a finger up their “vent” and feeling for the corkscrew johnson…

    they exhibit much of the “pull together” work-sharing the article mentions…at night, one or three will stand guard, and …as at some signal…when they lay down, 2 or 3 rise up to take watch.
    and so long as they have a little light, they’ll gang up on a coon or even a fox.
    and, also like he said, when i’m moving them between pastures(“migration”), we traipse down the road…and sometimes they get excited and take flight, en mass…right at head level.
    to be surrounded by 40# birds flying past you is something.
    they are also very conservative birds…they’ll look and squawk and mutter at a newly opened gate for a whole day before sending a scout to determine that, yes, there’s grass.
    and, i only hafta mow on my part of the place once per year.

    1. griffen

      Considering your description of the homestead there and the varied wildlife, in hill country of Texas, thought you as well as others might enjoy this tale of woe (for small pets and cats) from an Oklahoma city. There is some manner of care and planning, I’d think, to capture this apex predator.

      Apologies if this was shared previously, but the TPS report demands really get rolling to start every month.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        ive eaten rattlesnakes…as well as a “chicken snake”, one time, long ago.
        also eaten alligator and a variety of largeish lizards.
        i suspise that pythons are edible, in a pinch.

        i tolerate our own giant snake…the Texas Rat Snake, which we call Jormungandr…
        one old maid around here is more than 6 feet long.
        and they climb.
        i find shed skins above the ceiling boards.
        i have no mice or rats.
        and their mere musk is a rattler deterrent(they stink)….so its worth the occasional egg tax.
        however…i think i’d draw the line at a non-native serpent that, while non-venomous, grows to 20 some feet.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Would you believe that during the Vietnam war, that some American soldiers found themselves tending flocks of geese? Turns out that they are so territorial, that even Vietcong sappers could not sneak past them so they were used to secure the perimeter of bases.

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        Rev Kev: And Roma was once saved by geese (plus the Goddess Juno, who later also gave us the mint):

        From a Roman tourism site:
        An army of geese!
        “One of the most famous episodes in the history of Capitoline Hill relates to the friendly palmipeds and the Sack of Rome of 390 BC. On 18 July, the Gauls defeated the Romans near the Allia river, reaching and sacking the city in the following three days. They besieged the hill where all those who had not fled with the enemy advance had taken refuge. Here were the geese sacred to the goddess Juno – the only animals not sacrificed by the hungry survivors. Disturbed by the hostile army, the geese began to squawk, alerting the defending soldiers and saving the symbolic hill of Rome.
        The event was interpreted as the goddess divine intervention. So, in 353-344 BC, a temple of Juno Moneta (coin or “cautionary”) was erected. The building was the seat of the first mint (coin workshop from the name of the temple, from which the current term originates).”

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Pedant alert! I think the excerpt might be jumping the gun a little bit with the etymology. Ancient temples often doubled as mints, and originally Juno Moneta meant simply Juno the Warner – I believe it’s the same root we use in English words such as “admonish”. It was only after the temple had been established for a while that Moneta became associated with coins, and later evolved into our modern word, “money”.

          On a related note, given that the US was modeled on ancient Rome and is currently lurching around the globe spreading death and destruction in a likely futile attempt to preserve its hegemon status, in hindsight, I kind of wish the geese had shut the hell up and let the Gauls sack the place.

          1. DJG, Reality Czar

            lyman alpha blob: You caught me. I posted the picked-up paragraph even though that explanation at the end is indeed out of order.

            Juno, like Saraswati, has sacred geese.
            Geese save Roma under the direction of the Goddess, natch.
            Juno Moneta is the temple of Juno Who Warns (against the Celts), commemorating the miracle.
            Mint is established at this particular temple on the Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill), which is the seat of Roman government.
            Moneta ends up meaning coin in Latin and Italian. Then monnaie in French, money in English. Possibly the warning as the famous adage, Don’t let that moneta burn a hole in your pocket.

            Considering that geese are notoriously bad tempered and not suave like ducks, would you settle for sending a large gaggle of geese into the White House to goose Nuland, Blinken, and Sullivan? Invasion of Washington by the Gauls seems a tall order.

      2. Jorge

        I heard this tale the other way ’round: the Murricans had expensive alarm systems that the VC guys snuck past, and the VCs used long low cages surrounding their camps with ducks/geese/the local equivalent. Americans could not get past the boids.

        But, this is of course old hearsay.

    3. LadyXoc

      ❤️ your observations of the geese. Forty flying past you at head level (you are part of their flock). And how conservative they are. I find them ferocious watch “dogs.”

      1. Luckless Pedestrian

        They are conservative in some of their manners, but as you say utterly fearless when they are in “protective” mode. There is a year-round population at the small man-made lake at the county civic center near me. I’ve seen more that one large dog regret crossing some line neither the dog or I could see!

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        they’re outside birds.
        so long as they have some kind of light…even moonlight, or starlight, or those little solar fairy light strings…they can see a threat and gang up on it.
        and they like cold and wet more than any other creature on this place.
        they love it when it floods in the winter.
        they can be very intimidating when riled.
        wings spread, half of them with snaky necks low to the ground, other half striking a dragon pose(per my youngest)…and hissing and yelling.
        i’ve watched them beat up 3 raccoons…and chase off a rather big bobcat. mom’s cats are terrified of them.

  5. Wukchumni

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year
    With the ouster in Congress
    And everyone telling you be of good cheer
    It’s the most wonderful time of the year

    It’s the hap-happiest season of all
    With those say goodbye greetings and post McCarthyism meetings
    When push meets shove comes to call
    It’s the hap-happiest season of all

    There’ll be a no host party roasting
    McCarthy for consorting with the Donkey Show
    And voting out of the Red Scare tableau
    There’ll be scary ghost stories
    And tales of the glories of
    House Speakers long, long ago

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year
    There’ll be much unknowing
    And angst will be growing
    When the 45 day deadline comes near
    It’s the most wonderful time of the year

    There’ll be a no host party roasting
    McCarthy for consorting with the Donkey Show
    And voting out of the Red Scare tableau
    There’ll be scary ghost stories
    And tales of the glories of
    House Speakers long, long ago

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year
    There’ll be much unknowing
    And angst will be growing
    When the 45 day deadline comes near
    It’s the most wonderful time of the year

  6. Joe

    I see Larry Johnson’s blog is in “Account Suspended” mode. Good thing that Americans have free speech protections.

    1. Donald

      Good lord. Is there a reason for this other than censorship? Asking seriously. I don’t know how blogs work.

    2. Yves Smith

      Lordie….I thought he had his own webhost. If he was on a platform, I am sure we’ll hear what happened on Judge Napolitano (where he usually appears 2x a week) or from The Duran duo very soon.

      1. .Tom

        I warned Taibbi about it quoting your words more than once. And telling him to have backups and a relocation plan.

  7. flora

    Taibbi’s latest. Very short public excerpt. The title alone gives the flavor the full article, which is both scathing and funny.

    The Worst Op-Ed in History?
    Politico gives National Socialism its finest makeover since “Springtime for Hitler”

    From the longer article:

    It doesn’t matter, because this story was never about the moral choices of Yaroslav Hunka, but the decision by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canadian House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota, and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland to applaud as a “Canadian hero” a former member of the SS. Hunka also happened also to have fought on the other side in a war that killed 42,000 Canadians. But who’s counting? As Giles writes, it’s “complicated.”

    GOERING AT NUREMBERG: IT’S COMPLICATED would have fit National Lampoon’s famed “Hitler’s Tropical Escape” issue, or its later “Spring Fascism Preview.” A New York Times spoof would write itself: “For Augusto Pinochet, Good Governance, Complex Choices.” But Giles one-ups them all with this piece arguing, with no laugh track, the “nuanced truth” of SS service. It’s the literary equivalent of trying to scale the El Capitan Wall without a harness, an incredible thing to try, much less publish.

    1. flora

      Adding this bit, about the photo of Hunka in his training group:

      Politico ran a photo of Hunka in his Galizien uniform, but the article still made repeated references to things like “shouting about ‘Nazis,’ real or imaginary” (you just established this one isn’t imaginary!) or the “chorus of evidence-free condemnation” (you just printed the evidence!).

      1. Polar Socialist

        Can’t remember where I saw it, but somebody somewhere pointed out that with the Hunka incident the Kiev regime finally showed the world who they are, and nothing is said about that.

        I mean, in some circumstances, with really stretching ones imagination, the Canadians could be forgiven not knowing what the dude actually represented. But there were a whole Ukrainian delegation of people who certainly knew what was happening. And they figured it was ok to celebrate a real Ukrainian SS-soldier. Because in Ukraine they do celebrate Nazis and collaborators. On purpose.

          1. hk

            The Ustashe, thought to be even more brutal than the Nazis to Jews and Serbs, were lionized by the Croats in the period after the disintegration of Yugoslavia. I hadn’t heard about them for a while and I naively assumed that the Croats became a bit ashamed of it, but maybe not. How do the Croats view their Nazi past nowadays?

            1. flora

              an aside: The regular German Wermacht – the regular army, navy, and air force was different from the SS.

              The SS units were “special units.” Per Wiki: The Waffen-SS (German: [ˈvafn̩ʔɛsˌʔɛs]; Armed SS) was the combat branch of the Nazi Party’s paramilitary Schutzstaffel (SS) organisation.

              For apologists to imply volunteer SS members were just the regular Wermacht soldiers is quite a stretch.

              1. magpie

                Anyone with an interest in WW2 knows the Waffen SS was a separate entity from the German army (“Heer”). For somebody to suggest otherwise means they either are clueless or think their readers are.

                My grandmother was 18 when the Germans invaded the Netherlands. She was one of three sisters. The Germans took over a nearby school to use as a barracks, and they remained there for five years. They developed a rapport with the locals and, according to my grandmother, the regular army soldiers posted there would warn my grandmother’s family when SS detachments were expected to pass through town. They would advise my great-grandmother to send her three young daughters out of town or at the least keep them out of sight until the SS left again.

                She told this story many times.

                  1. Procopius

                    I don’t have the link, but the Wehrmacht in Poland and U.S.S.R. was nearly as bad as the SS (and Waffen SS). When ordered, they dutifully killed whoever they were directed to. Granted, the Nazi ideology wasn’t as strong in the Wehrmacht. By the way, the Waffen SS were created because not enough men volunteered for the SS (I think the entrance requirements were high, too). Germans were conscripted into both the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS.

        1. Sam

          Patrick Lawrence has a look at the Hunka family and how it was impossible for Rota to not have known their history.

          Also inside the article there is a picture of Zelensky giving the Nazi salute. I can’t recommend this article enough. Plus Helmer’s article is a must read.

          Hey have we heard anything from Israel yet?

          1. turtle

            Ugh. I’m all for dunking on Nazis, but it’s disingenuous to imply that Zelensky gave a Nazi salute to Hunka. First, you can tell by the video that they took that still from, as well as from other still photos of the event, that he was waving as if to acknowledge Hunka (which is bad enough on its own). Second, Zelensky, for as media-savvy as he is, would have to have decided to give a literal Nazi salute in the middle of the Canadian Parliament, knowing that there were cameras everywhere. I note that the article itself didn’t mention a Nazi salute, but it did seem to slightly allude to it.

    2. The Rev Kev

      They have been trying to change history for a long time now. When they have their annual commemorations for WW2, they no longer invite Russia like at the last one for Auschwitz, even though it was the Russians that liberated that camp. Same with the D-Day event. Forgotten is the fact that the Russians killed 80% of the total German losses for WW2. So now we are watching Nazis go on a tour of Capital Hill and the Canadian Parliament applaud an un-reconstructured SS soldier from WW2. Hell, we even saw a Nazi delegation go to Israel – to Israel! The western media tries to pretend that there are no Nazis in the Ukraine and that it is all Russian disinformation. Are they really trying to put forward a narrative that the Germans were actually the good guys in truth in WW2 and that as far as Nazis were concerned, it’s complicated, it’s nuanced, you had to be there at the time, etc. No wonder Putin calls us an Empire of Lies.

      1. Anthony H

        Back in the 90’s, I had a student who was an elderly retired man. We had such students then since there was no age limit to a University Grant. He had been a military policerman during WW2 and had personal contact with the Galician SS division, guarding the surrended remnants in the UK. He described them as the most disgusting human beings he ever encountered, worse even than the German SS prisoners. He also stressed that they were guarded, not to protect us from them, but to protect them from us. He was told that several UK organisations wished to get at them, including the British Communist Party, and the Jewish ex-servicemens group, and hence security surrounding them was tight.

        1. flora

          As if on que to make the point, Sarah Ashton-Cirillo gets pranked into saying what s/he really thinks about the Ukr fight against RU. twtr-X

          After threatening to “hunt down” so-called “Russian propagandists” around the world, Kiev’s infamous spokesperson Sarah Ashton-Cirillo was fired, then rehired. Now Cirillo is likely to fired once again after being fooled by Russian pranksters posing as former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Thanks for that link. That article mentioned the following-

          ‘In Washington DC, the Azov delegation met with a North American leader of the International Committee of the Red Cross’

          So, is the American Red Cross also feeding money into the Ukraine? If so, that is revealing as past articles linked on NC shows them not wanting to give help to fellow Americans after a disaster.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Considering that Ukraine lost 10-15 million people between 1991 and 2020, I’d say there has been a slow burning humanitarian catastrophe ongoing, so Red Cross involvement is warranted.

            Plus there are currently millions of internally displaced people on their own (especially if they speak a verboten language).

            Also the mysterious destruction of the Kahovka dam did cause an emergency very real for the population living downstream.

          2. Marta

            And the Red Cross is providing, in Central America, kits with maps and Spanish language instructions to “”migrants”” on where and how to cross the U.S. border.

            Right Wing propaganda? How about from their own website?

            ” depending on local needs, our assistance might also include providing food, water, comfort, health services and mental health support. We aim to prevent and mitigate additional humanitarian consequences that migration can bring — including the potential for separation and loss of contact with family, disappearances, detention and medical issues.”


            1. turtle

              The article you linked doesn’t provide any evidence that “the Red Cross is providing, in Central America, kits with maps and Spanish language instructions to “”migrants”” on where and how to cross the U.S. border.” By the way, what’s with the double double-quotes around migrants?

      2. Duke of Prunes

        It has been a long time since i read it, but didn’t Orwell talk about this in 1984. We’ve always been at war with Oceana… oops, I mean Russia.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          I used to make the same mistake (you may have mislearned this from me).

          Winston Smith is from Oceania. They have always been at war with Eastasia.

      3. Feral Finster

        In Jewish folk memory, Galicians were the stupidest and most ogrish antisemites of them all.

      4. Jabura Basaidai

        TRK – second time i’ve seen the expression ‘Empire of Lies’ and this time attributed to Putin – believe it was Ron Paul who stated long ago “Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” – and he was talking about the USA, maybe that makes him a Putin-puppet and enabler (hahahaha, yeah right) – and it would be nice if his son were more like Dad – i kinda liked Ron Paul and was disappointed at the insults cast at him during his primary run and on the debate stage – my Dad was a big fan of Ron Paul and before the hits come at this comment, he had his weak points too – but he disparaged the wars and aggression against other countries and peoples, commenting that it just put a bullseye on America’s back – he was against the blank check for DoD – wanted audits on all gov-grift spending – oh well, here we are now –

        1. caucus99percenter

          Ron Paul also recognized and fired broadsides against the evils of the Federal Reserve banking system and the ways it serves oligarchy and militarism, long before anyone else.

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            c99% – audit the Fed is one thing Rand did carry the torch for what his Dad started – oh yeah – he was also a gold/silver guy – you write long before anyone else?……who the heck has been anywhere near as intelligently caustic about the oligarchy and blank check for DoD since – where i diverge with Mr Paul is his adherence to the Austrian School of economics preached by Friedrich Hayek, and Ludwig von Mises –

      5. Roger

        The Polish government also passed a law making it illegal to point out that a significant number of Poles were active in the Holocaust. Prior to WW2, Poland was an extremely anti-semitic nation. The establishment of a new national identity is always riven by a process of forgetting, as in the Baltic states. The most egregious being that of Lithuania, where major segments of the local population (including its now celebrated national “heroes”) took part in the genocide of the 200,000+ Jewish population and the Lithuanian state has attempted to erase this history.

        1. undercurrent

          I agree with you, that the Poles and others living in Eastern Europe had fashioned anti-semitism into a natural part of their lives. Saying that, I wonder how so many Jews came to be living in those regions. Would you share any information? And thanks.

      6. JBird4049

        >>>No wonder Putin calls us an Empire of Lies.

        This whole thing is bulls—-. Until the year before last, it was the gospel truth that the Nazis and most especially the SS were personifications of evil. Today, it is not so for some reason or another.

        It is more than mere propaganda or ignorance. It is studied ignorance of the past at best.
        I got multiple relatives who fought the Nazis and these people want to make it all a lie. These people are liars. Period.

        And no one should ever say otherwise to me.

      7. Thomas The Obscure

        The Allen Dulles school of history is finally* beginning to triumph.
        As far as the purported Zelensky Nazi salute is concerned, I suggest attempting oneself whatever it was that Zelensky was in the process of doing with his arm. Do not be afraid… give the arm movement a feel…

    3. ilsm

      Quislings, successors now living parts of Ukraine and east sectors of the EU, are okay bc they killed russians/slavs, tatars, etc in that army defeating Germany for the US!

      The quislings also assisted in perpetrating the mass genocide but as long as they killed that army defeating Germany, it is okay!

      Great to be progressive in the USA

    4. Carolinian

      Helmer, linked here yesterday, on the case. Seems the British may have asked their Commonwealth pals to host some Nazis?

      Hunka’s defense is that he was only 18 when he joined up with Adolf. But Helmer says his descendants in their small town are still celebrating the departed Reich.

      Bottom line: hate crimes and hate speech are bad unless you hate the right people according to the Hegemon and associated poodles. Canada’s govt wags its tail with the best of them.

      1. Skip Intro

        I’ve been waiting to get the story of Hunka’s immigration to Canada. No one seemed to be interested in how a wanted SS officer got into Canada in the first place. I was expecting to either hear of the Canadian version of Operation Paperclip, or that he had falsified stuff, and Immigration Canada was looking into throwing him under a bus.

        1. Cas

          The Canadian equivalent was covered by 60 Minutes in 1997, Mike Wallace reports in “Canada’s Dark Secret”.

          I watched the episode a few days ago. When I went today to copy the link I see that the segment is now restricted as “age-restricted,” must sign in to view. The internet censorship continues apace.

        2. Polar Socialist

          It’s a long story, involving Vatican and especially UK ending up saving the men of 14th SS first from repatriation and then wiping their slate clean so they could be sneaked into Canada as refugees.

          “Unauthorized Entry : The Truth about Nazi War Criminals in Canada 1946-1956” by Howard Margolian tells the story in about 200 pages.

      2. Feral Finster

        It’s one thing if Hunka had said that he was young and foolish and made a regrettable choice under tough circumstances. Millions of Ukrainians did not make that choice, but still, no man liveth and sinneth not.

        However, Hunka’s actions since 1945 betray something entirely different from that.

      3. Sam

        Well duh on me. I just reposted the Helmer article and forgot that I saw it on this site first… my bad. I do hope people read it.

    5. danpaco

      This article reminds me of Trump’s post Charlottesville presser when he said to much aghastitude “good people on both sides”. smh
      We’re doomed!

      1. caucus99percenter

        Good point! The partisan double standards, bad-faith indignation, and specious claims to moral high ground really have come full circle, haven’t they?

    6. PelhamKS

      It appears the softening toward actual Nazism is somehow deep-seated among our betters and not just a series of lapses in judgment. It may be linked to the quite open and persistent racism directed at Russians.

      1. Anon

        I believe it results from their up-start attitudes, what with killing the King’s cousins and all. When the Russians are under a boot, nobody seems to mind them. The Nazis are just convenient, and effective… a club to wield, hide behind, and abandon when the tide turns.

    7. Synoia

      I was told m by Adolph the Plumber, the there were 2 arms of SS. The Waffen SS and the Police SS. According to this aquatints the Waffen SS were fighting troops, and the SS others the Police.

      He insisted the Waffen SS were only elite fighting troops.

  8. Wukchumni

    Nobody digs Nazis, but are we going to go after that recalcitrant 109 year old orderly in 2033 and serve justice?

    Kind of similar to Poland hitting up Germany recently for ‘services rendered’ during WW2, we’re nearing the end of living history and you better get your game on.

    1. flora

      This is about Trudeau and the Speaker more than about a “recalcitrant” old person.
      Sorry, but your comment reminds me of Hillary’s “What difference at this point does it make?” when trying to deflect or dismiss her disasters in Libya when she was Sec of State.

      1. Carolinian

        Comparing anyone to Hillary could be a low blow.

        Of course the hypocrisy of the whole situation, it burns, but it’s not like those of us pointing this out are going to have much effect on the Masters of the Universe. Although they do seem to be mildly embarrassed–temporarily.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Isn’t it funny how they will go after a 97 year-old woman because she was assigned as a typist at one of those camps but they give guys like Hunka a free pass.

    3. hk

      I always wondered when Poland will demand payment for the help they provided in carving up Czechoslovakia. Teschen would have been the price, but evil Russians and their equally evil allies took that away, so Poland needs another prize.

  9. Henry Moon Pie

    Simplicius on Army War College report–

    This was interesting:

    What’s most interesting is that this release comes amid a timely and clearly coordinated push from other publications to begin conditioning the U.S. public for the need of a new future draft to restock the depleted American armed forces…

    Translation: the idea of an all volunteer/professional force is obsolete. Large scale combat operations require at least partial conscription. Anyone worth their salt in military matters would have known this long ago. How can you possibly sustain a high intensity war effort with upwards of thousands of casualties a day merely through volunteer enlistments? U.S. planners should of course know this, their last “real war”—that of Vietnam—famously employed a full-scale mandatory draft, and they still lost. Imagine fighting such a war without a draft or “conscripts”?

    So it turns out that ending the draft prevents the U. S. from undertaking “big” wars, even as big as Vietnam, much less going against China or Russia.

    So by all means, let’s re-institute the draft so the neocons can get the big wars they want. It will only take 5-10 years, at best, to build an anti-war movement that can stop these big wars. Who knows? Maybe we’ll avoid nuclear holocaust in the meantime.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Simplicius was reporting that 77% of American youth are not qualified to join. But how will Covid effect those numbers? About 2 years ago the Army was knocking back any potential recruit that had been hospitalized by an infection. And that was two years ago. Want to know the funny thing? The Army is doubling down and is now saying that the Army wants as many as one-third of its future enlisted recruits to have college degrees. Good luck with that idea-

        1. The Rev Kev

          Forget the French Foreign Legion, how about the American Foreign Legion? And to riff off eg’s comment, ‘Service Guarantees Citizenship.’ Only that is not true as American vets have been thrown back across the border after their service as they had not dotted their i’s or crossed their ts on the matter of their birth.

    2. DJG, Reality Czar

      Henry Moon Pie: Let the U S of A reinstitute the draft for men and women. Riding with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is an opportunity open to all.

      Ooops, all of a sudden, there will plenty of peace-lovers.

      1. doug

        Start with 40 year olds and work down. No excuses, something will be found for everyone to do. Talk about peace breaking out..

        1. GramSci

          Yes, we all have a role to play. Journalists can unearth secrets known only to the CIA, the FBI, and the CIA. Lawyers can conduct lawfare against the miscreants. Common clerks can push buttons to send drones. There’s a whole army here, even without the draft, protected by two oceans and walls of ignorance.

    3. Carolinian

      In his discussion the other day Max Blumenthal said the reason we no longer have an antiwar movement is that the war is being prosecuted by Democrats. If Trump was still in charge there’d be masses in the streets.

      Maybe. But it is telling that neocons like Kristol seem to have decided the Dems are now their natural home. Meanwhile Nikki Haley and my obnoxious senator are furiously raising their hands saying no it’s us, pick me. Maybe she should become a Dem?

      Honestly though the draft thing will never happen. Indeed the whole premise of NATO from the beginning–that a war between nuclear superpowers would take place with tanks and guns–was always a bit absurd. The MIC bigwigs have had to settle for proxy conflicts like Vietnam and now Ukraine.

      1. .Tom

        Greenwald keeps talking about a political inversion. I see it more like a reorganization of the parties around politics. Where D is going seems more clear than R, which appears to be suffering a schism in which one half wants to hold on to what D is now clamming as its own and the other half is confused by the conflicting interests of voters and donors.

      2. Feral Finster

        Straight from the CIA:

        “The answer to that that the CIA gave in this memo was fascinating. They essentially said the real chance we have to stop the tide of antiwar sentiment is if Barack Obama is elected president in 2008 instead of John McCain. And their argument, which turned out to be quite prescient, was that as long as the war was considered to be a right-wing war, in Europe, one sponsored by this swaggering evangelical George Bush, or then the warmonger John McCain, then it would fuel anti-war sentiment in Western Europe. It would continue to turn countries against the war in Afghanistan and ultimately force more countries to withdraw. But if President Obama became the face of the war in Afghanistan, as ended up happening, then Western Europeans who were swooning for Obama – who worshiped Obama as this kind of cosmopolitan sophisticate, this coastal intellect – would start to see the war differently. They would start to see it as a noble war, a liberal war, and that would stem the tide of anti-war sentiment. And that’s exactly what happened.”

        1. Duke of Prunes

          So then McCain picks Palin and Barak assumes the throne and it plays out exactly as planned… Got to hand it to the Langley wizards

    4. Samuel Conner

      > So by all means, let’s re-institute the draft so the neocons can get the big wars they want.

      I think there are too many moving parts for this to work. We don’t have the industrial capacity to replace munitions consumption and equipment losses in a sustained high-intensity conflict. Public health policy, if it stays on the present course, will worsen the recruitment deficits. Tolerance for casualties is low (I think this may even be an issue in RF, and part of the reason for the lower-intensity SMO approach; how much more in US). There are probably other obstacles.

      Will we take a page out the RF’s “play-book” and develop a national military industrial policy, perhaps even state-owned armaments industries? Hard to see that happening; perhaps there will be “public-private partnerships” with lots of opportunity for private sector profit from rearmament; but that won’t enable us to prevail in a long-term conflict with adversaries that can provision their armed forces at lower cost.


      The thought occurs that the answer to Madeleine Albright’s famous question is: “the point of having this best-in-the-world military is to not use it”. We seem to have gotten there by an indirect route.

      1. Feral Finster

        “Tolerance for casualties is low (I think this may even be an issue in RF, and part of the reason for the lower-intensity SMO approach; how much more in US).”

        This is correct. Most Russians support the war, as long as they and their kids aren’t likely to be conscripted, and as long as the war doesn’t inconvenience them too much.

      2. John Beech

        Samuel Conner says we don’t have the industrial capacity to replace munitions and I respectfully, disagree. After all, it’s one thing to choose not to, and a horse of another color to actually lack the capacity/capability. As a point of fact, we readily have both because America is replete with not just factories in the traditional sense but many mom & pop machine shops inhabiting tens of thousands of industrial parks in and around our cities. I own three of these machine shops, all captive (meaning expressly existing to manufacture my own product), and which I acquired on the open market as demand increased. Moreover, all of these could be readily repurposed to produce munitions if so ordered by the war department (as it was known last time the need arose). So unless you get out and about you won’t realize how many shops are actually quite busy actually making ‘stuff’ and capable at the drop of a hat to repurpose production quite rapidly as CNC means rapid changes in production. In our case, a truck from ALRO or Copper & Brass makes Monday deliveries each and every week as we turn billets of Alcoa aluminum bar stock into finished products. Please don’t buy into the propaganda that we’re prostrate and unable to fulfill our needs because when the bell rings, we’ll answer.

        1. Yves Smith

          Artillery manufacture is extremely high skill. It’s done at very fine tolerances for heating and cooling. This could never be done in a mom and pop shop.

          The US claims it has double production to 25,000 155mm shells a month. That’s how many 152mm shells Russia fired that on a typical day until very recently (and as many as 70,000 shells a day) but hans’t had to fire many of late because the Ukraine counteroffensive has been so pathetic Russia doesn’t need to shoot all that much. From NPR:

          The Pentagon recognized the problem years ago. In 2019, it launched an effort to modernize its aging ammunition plants, like the one in Iowa, and the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in the Kansas City area….

          The big ramp-up of munitions manufacturing is heading straight for some major obstacles. Hiring, for one. With the unemployment rate hovering near 50-year lows, companies are going to great lengths to find workers.

          “One factory I talked to in the Midwest said that they had previously recruited in about a 50-mile diameter around their factory,” says Cynthia Cook, director of the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “They had to increase it to a 400-mile diameter just to find people.

          And even when manufacturers can find people, those new employees can’t do any work until they have tools, parts and, you know, a factory.

          “The machine tools you need might have a several-year back order,” Cook says. “You have to develop your rail lines, and this is all just in the final assembly stages. You also have to surge your manufacturing industrial base, your entire supply chain.

          While I appreciate your participation, you need to stop Making Shit Up. It’s a violation of house rules. I won’t approve further unsubstantiated assertions like this.

          1. Glen

            It would be interesting to know where the bottlenecks are in the manufacturing process for 155. John is right that CNCs can be quickly re-purposed, but manufacturing MUNITIONS has unique problems. I have limited experience in that type of manufacturing environment, but I remember walking into a shop where earlier they had managed to drop a 1200 pound warhead. It did NOT go off. Let’s just say everybody looked more than a little haunted.

            Back in the bad old days the USSR made a mistake handling munitions at a large weapons storage facility and it just continued to explode for about a week:

            Severomorsk Disaster

            So making munitions has unique problems that require unique facilities, processes, equipment and people. And like much of America’s manufacturing base, it could almost be called a “lost art”, and could take a long time to re-generate to any real scale.

            1. Yves Smith

              The tolerances part I mentioned was TEMPERATURE tolerances. The explosive material apparently has to be heated and cooled while being packed/inserted in a very particular way. I heard a long form description of how difficult this all is but can’t track it down.

          2. Benny Profane

            My father owned a machine shop, and the modest fortunes of my family, I learned early, were dependent upon defense spending. My Mom drove a Cadillac during the Korean war and aftermath, and college was no problem during Vietnam. Fortunately I didn’t take over the business as he would have liked, because, as we all know, most of that sort of capacity is now in China or Mexico. Sure, yeah, Ford switched from cars to armor in a flash for WW2, but that was much easier in a time when almost the entire capacity of a process was in one factory or within, at the most, a hundred miles. Now it’s scattered all over the world, a long with the skilled manpower needed. I’m stuck in a modern tragedy that seems to have no solution. My Honda was damaged in a near tornado on 8/7, with a large tree branch going straight through the windshield, through the dash, and destroying my instrument panel. Unfortunately, my insurance didn’t total it, so now, two months later, they have no clue when parts will be available. There’s the result of just in time supply chains blowing up. Imagine all that during a war when we have to make weapons. Sure, we can ditch trillion dollar jets that don’t work and billion dollar boats that will be sitting ducks the first days of war, and make boring old shells, but, no business is going to tool up for that without solid contracts, and I haven’t heard about any changes afoot. Where’s the glamour and money in that?

          3. Synoia

            Yes. It is a bit embarrassing to have the rounds too big or too small. Too small and the rounds will wobble in flight and go off target. Too big and one looses the barrel of the gun, and probably the gun crew.

        2. Samuel Conner

          Poking around a bit, it appears that the constraints on production of 155mm ammunition are not related just to the availability of CNC lathes to finish castings prior to filling with explosive.

          Putting this,

          and this


          I think that “forge time” may be a constraint.

          I agree with what I interpret to be your implication (given that the steps you suggest have not been taken) that there probably isn’t political will to engage in the policies that would be required to prepare US for sustained high intensity conflict.

          That may be a good thing.

          1. John Beech

            You are correct but if there’s a will, there’s a way because presses and forges can be either repurposed from civilian production, or made lickity-split because they’re just big, not especially difficult to make. Me? I thank God there’s a lack of political will. I have grandsons and zero desire for them to grow up in such a world.

            Never forget Ford’s Willow Run plant converted from civilian automobile production to turning out B-24 Liberators in a matter of months! If it comes to it, we can do it. Me? I don’t want to. I love making ploughshares instead of swords!

        3. Samuel Conner

          Here’s a description of the manufacturing process for 155mm shells:

          CNC machining is part of the processes, but there is a hot forge step with quality assurance procedures that I suspect would be costly and long-time-frame to scale up. This might be the “machines the size of buildings” mentioned in the above-linked defense-one article.

          There may be similar choke-points in many other supplies and equipment manufacturing processes. Over time, these could be overcome with appropriate top-down industrial policy. But that’s not how US does things, these days. Perhaps we’ll take a step back toward “central planning” for war mobilization. Or, better, perhaps we’ll prefer to share the planet with our peers and near peers, and try to peacefully co-exist with them.

    5. Eclair

      Henry, I read the report pointing out the impossibility of waging a really big war with mere volunteer military forces as containing both good news and bad news.

      The good news? “77% of Young Adults Cannot Join the Military,” according to the DOD. Malnutrition, manifesting as obesity, disqualifies 11%. So, the need for more young adults to serve as cannon fodder, might, finally, incentivize the government to begin a campaign against ultra-processed foods, high fructose corn syrup in everything, and the general lack of low cost fresh fruits and veggies. Plus, push for youth to exercise more, enjoy the open air, do group calisthenics. Wear crisp uniforms.

      The bad news? The need for more young adults (teenagers, easily manipulated and too naïve to realize their mortality) will embolden the proponents of strict anti-abortion laws. Women’s, well, low-income women’s, role in life will be to pop out future soldiers to defend the fatherland … whoa! Has this been done before?

      1. John Beech

        Our soldiers are anything but cannon fodder. As the son of a once Command Sergeant Major of the 193rd Infantry Brigade, I have at least a passing familiarity with the training required for integrating men and materiel into our order of battle. Point being, mistaking a fat boy/girl for one who ‘cannot’ be, with diet and exercise (pre-boot camp?), slimmed into a being capable of surviving and thriving in boot camp is fantasy. Just as young men with athletic potential go to remedial education to open an opportunity to make it at a football school, and the same happens with students desiring an appointment to a service academy first attending military schools, if the need come up, we’ll find a way. Am I eager for this? Oh Hell no! But lacking an appetite for a return of the draft, and recognizing we could if needs must, are two different things. What’s different this time from the services before the first world war? Then our corps were slimmed down due to budget but were able to rapidly integrate enlistees and train them, now our armed forces are very well trained, and experienced PFCs will become corporals, corporals will become sergeants, etc. I pray it never comes to it but if it does, I have complete faith in the military to expand to do the job and field well trained men instead of meat with a weapon fated to become casualties due to lack of training.

        1. Anon

          Your faith is based on a false sense of superiority: that your son’s life is somehow worth more to the powers that be, than that of a Ukrainian. Their behavior shows little appreciation for the sanctity of life, much less the constitution that defines our republic, so your expectation of patriotic, exceptional, humane leadership is quaint at best. Well-trained soldiers without air-cover die just as quickly. Pride cometh…

          1. scott s.

            I have to respectfully disagree at the risk of speaking for someone else; the “superiority” is in the quality of the senior NCO, of which OP seems to have lived experience (having a CSM father). Your argument seems to be that leadership has no value on the modern battlefield; I beg to differ.

            1. Anon

              My argument, is that the West is rife with privateers, cum managers, not leaders. Especially at the level that determines what folly the mission is to be.

              But, let’s observe the outcome for the umpteenth time… it will be different this go around.

            2. Anon

              And respectfully, the “superiority” appears to be in industrial capacity, supply lines, manpower, etc. Seems we would field a lot of highly-trained corpses, so John Beech’s words of comfort to eg. prospective draft families, about good training are in very poor taste. It’s like students hiding under their desks from nuclear fallout.

        2. Henry Moon Pie

          ” Point being, mistaking a fat boy/girl for one who ‘cannot’ be, with diet and exercise (pre-boot camp?), slimmed into a being capable of surviving and thriving in boot camp is fantasy. ”

          Sometimes, those efforts to train the overweight don’t go so well.

    6. Ignacio

      I found very amusing the envision of “AI war” and also the “public-private partnership war” in the document produced by the Army War College. They cannot help themselves.

      Yet the most interesting bit was that about the “inadvertent escalation” in the Rand paper linked. Are there still many morons in the West salivating for such inadvertent escalation?

      1. Feral Finster

        “Are there still many morons in the West salivating for such inadvertent escalation?”

        Yes. The PMC is all-in.

        1. John Beech

          To your query Feral Finster . . . no, I don’t believe there are. In my experience I know of zero mothers wanting their kids to die in war, and virtually zero fathers (ditto grandmothers and grandfathers like myself).

          Don’t mistake talking heads on cable television whose job is to say outrageous things for the purpose of gaining/maintaining eyeballs with serious people. These news readers can and will be repurposed from tripe to serious matters if it comes to it.

          1. Feral Finster

            Oh, I didn’t say that the PMC were ready to pick up machetes and charge up the hill themselves. Nor are they planning to send young Dylan and Meredith to die for Ukraine, or even for the Lockheed Martin quarterly earnings.

            But they are happy to send Volodymy’s and Olessia’s kids to the slaughterhous, and after that, Timek and Kasia.

      2. Jeremy Grimm

        The War College publication Simplicus discusses in the link coughs up some strange conclusions outlining what could represent the beginnings of a new push for funding lines and procurements, and possible efforts to reintroduce the draft. I did not notice much in the way of analysis in the War College publication and my first impression of the publication was that it did not read like any of the few Army War College or TRADOC documents I have read in the past. It reads less like a military strategy document and more like summary policy documents originating from somewhere outside the War College.

        The brief set of conclusions in the publication was genuinely amazing to me. That Army Command Centers present a high profile EM target was discovered decades ago at field test events as the C4ISR Materiel Enterprise built up its hardware. [C4ISR: a large set of procurements that worked to computerize and radio link Army Command and Control and build a coupling of sorts between Command and Control and Intel Systems.] Several times I heard some of the Electronic Warfare [EW] types, Marine Corps Officers, or Special Forces types mutter about that at field test events.

        The shortfalls of C4ISR centralized Mission Command were plain along many lines long before the Ukraine War. I recall reading around the turn of the Century about Executive Branch dreams of being able to direct and micro-manage the actions of an actively engaged force from inside the White House. What the report cluelessly refered to as ‘disciplined disobedience’ — suggests how minutely Mission Orders are written. I thought that at one time Officer Candidates were selected based on their ability to think critically, their initiative and ability to understand and execute the commander’s intent, achieve the intended end states, while aware of constraints, and following restraints. Without the dream world of perfect communications, a subordinate office or soldier must be trusted to make the right judgment call during battle. Did the War College require a study to discover this?

        The report’s conclusion that the u.s. needs to re-start the military draft arrives largely unsupported. I suppose this conclusion was based on some source indicating the number of casualties the Ukrainian forces suffered in their efforts to lauch various offensive actions. I imagined this group that studied the Ukraine War making a study of the Battle of the Somme and General Sir Douglas Haig’s brilliant strategy which accomplished so little on the battlefield and spent so much blood, and concluding after careful analysis that the u.s. needs to re-start the military draft. I had hoped TRADOC or the War College might reach some other conclusions about strategy and tactics from study of the Ukraine war.

        The last sections of the report read to me like some Neoliberal think tank generated plans to push for a new birth and resurrection of the colossally failed Future Combat Systems [FCS] Initiative. Stringing together a collage of clips from the tail of the report: A public-private partnership when preparing for and while engaging in conflict, managing unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned surface vehicles, satellite imagery, sensor-based technologies, smartphones, commercial data links, and open-source intelligence married with artificial intelligence performing command and control in an information battlespace. That echoes some of the dying visions of FCS marketing videos.

        The section describing how “The US Army continues to make significant headway in the development of multidomain operations (MDO)…” sounds a lame slogan meant to move billions of procurement dollars.

        The u.s. military spends close to a trillion dollars each year to build a military machine that Simplicus portrays:
        “The truth is, in many ways the U.S. armed forces are currently a lot smaller and less ready for a major conflict than most people are aware. Not just in the needed manpower and the strategic industrial capacities, which we’ve discussed at length here before, in manufacturing weapons, etc., but also even in the current available equipment.”
        Instead of restarting the Draft and continuing to spend government money on this military I would conclude that efforts to build an Army that can sustain large scale conflicts in two theaters based on current procurement processes, thinking, and funding methods are expensive folly — the u.s. is fifty years past due to do some serious house cleaning of DoD, the MIC, and our hydra-headed Intelligence Industrial Complex. The greatest threats to the u.s. and world peace inhabit the corridors of the u.s. government. If the Empire hopes to survive it needs to discover there are other ways to resolve conflict and sustain hierarchy than military force and economic coercion.

    7. Mark Gisleson

      There’s a Brer Rabbit story about this.

      Congress can’t pass a draft unless it’s fair.

      Neoliberals will never pass a draft that puts their children at risk.

      Conscription can’t pass because the only people who’ll want it are those who refuse to be bound by it.

      But if next year’s elections get canceled…

      1. Anon

        Never forget. Americans didn’t want any part of WW2 either, but they bit down, used their grit, and saved the world from the throes of evil. Ironic though, that had either Hitler or Stalin prevailed, we would have free healthcare.

    8. scott s.

      I don’t think Vietnam was a “full-scale mandatory draft”, at least compared to WWII. But worth remembering many folks leaving active duty are still in some sort of reserve status for years, subject to recall.

      1. Benny Profane

        Everyone had to register. College and post grad were exempt, then, towards the end, post grad exemptions were eliminated. That may be why so many Boomers of a certain age are so well credentialed. (It wasn’t so expensive back then)
        Bottom line, every draft age kid had the chance of being killed in that jungle.

        1. juno mas

          BTDT. There was an inducement to join the military during the Vietnam War. Young high school graduating men were were given the option of a college fund (GI Bill) after only a thirteen month enlistment with Vietnam deployment.

          I attended college with several. They came from worker class households. They were the first in their family to attend college. None graduated.

          One of them was a survivor of the Hamburger Hill ambush. Another became a regional leader of the Veterans for Peace group. Yet another now lives in Vietnam (with his Vietnamese wife).

        2. Wukchumni

          A friend was what was called a ‘Kennedy Husband’, as JFK enacted a law in September 1963 that married men such as him were exempt from the draft.

    9. Glen

      This actually is a rather clarifying statement:

      ” … those who defend their country in uniform, or are shot down or seriously wounded in combat, or spend years being tortured as POWs are all ‘suckers’ because ‘there is nothing in it for them.’”

      Wonder who said that?

      Trump insulted vets in private, former Chief of Staff Kelly confirms

      So, here’s the thing – as much as it pains me to say this, I have to agree with that statement. Vets are homeless, and commit suicide in horrific numbers every day. To some degree, this will always happen with people exposed to combat; it destroys them body and soul.

      But now we have active duty families living in poverty, on food stamps which was a bit of a WTF moment for me.

      I’m reminded of a story I heard during the run up to the Iraq war with a colonel being quoted as to why Bush had decided to make terrorism a military concern rather than more of an international police concern used by Clinton (I’m paraphrasing, I cannot find the exact quote):

      “because the President knows he can command them into combat, and ride them like the cavalry rides a horse until that horse drops dead from exhaustion”

      Well, that horse is in the process of dying whether we want to admit it or not. Our military has been turned into one more profit center by the neocons and neoliberals. Watching VP Cheney profit via Halliburton from a war that he lied us into was at the least, disgusting, and at the most, treasonous.

      So a draft is very much a double edged sword. It seems to be the only remaining mechanism that can engage the American people to speak loudly enough to let our elites know if our country should be in a war. And even that is dubious since it’s been a long time since those muscles were flexed.

  10. Benny Profane

    Simplicius brings up that sticky subject of a draft in the U.S.. Probably will have to happen, considering recruitment issues, and the realization that trillion dollar fighter jets sitting on billion dollar aircraft carriers will be useless in a war like Ukraine. I’ve been calling for it for awhile now. The draft put an end to Vietnam, and it will end these forever wars, finally.

    Edit: Whoops, did not see the above post from Moon Pie as I was typing, but, seems we agree.

  11. .Tom

    Simplicius comments on the risks of US military procurement that will ‘“out source” a lot of its future war fighting capability—whether that’s to private corporations, open source collectives on the internet, etc.’ In the private sector, a firm that does not control a technology critical to its strategy is vulnerable. For example, a competitor can buy the supplier. Obviously governments have controls over who is allowed to invest in and buy from their weapons manufacturers but how this works for open source collectives or foreign private suppliers selling to many markets is a but more complicated. What I read from Simplicius analysis of those strategic discussion docs is a crisis of confidence that the Pentagon is able to specify what it wants and get it built.

    1. Glen

      Outsourcing has already happen. Major base in Afghanistan (before leaving) was majority contractors by a wide margin. It would be interesting to know that ratio for the bases in Syria.

      1. digi_owl

        I seem to recall that the number of contractors running around in Iraq was massive as well. And some of them were quite trigger happy.

  12. Wukchumni

    Held a séance yesterday, trying to communicate with the Speaker and receive messages from the dais sphere in the great beyond, but we got the idea he wasn’t into trance issues.

    In happier news, we all had cake and ice cream, and it isn’t easy to light 216 candles…

  13. marym

    “Picketing began Wednesday morning at Kaiser Permanente hospitals as some 75,000 health care workers go on strike in Virginia, California and three other states over wages and staffing shortages, marking the latest major labor unrest in the United States.

    The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, representing about 85,000 of the health system’s employees nationally, approved a strike for three days in California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, and for one day in Virginia and Washington, D.C.”

  14. Mikel

    “A Digital Coup” Harper’s

    As I said to someone: the financial transactions in the Metaverse will be the thing that’s real.

  15. lyman alpha blob

    Poor Nancy Creamsicle. I remember back in 2006 when she was looking to be speaker and told us all that “elections have consequences”, insinuating that if the Democrat party was given the majority, she’d go after the lawbreaking Bush administration and bring articles of impeachment for the illegal war. She then won the election and proceeded to do [family blog]-all about it.

    Now it turns out elections do have consequences for her, when the elected actually decide to wield the power they have rather than keeping it locked up in the dry powder cellar. Yes, it’s petty but also hilarious.

    Don’t let that old office door hit you where the good lord split you, Nan!

    1. Pat

      Considering that McCarthy got to name the interim Speaker, I had to wonder if this was a response for Nancy letting her well trained pseudo replacement tell the Democrats to let Gaetz wack him. Especially since it will be a present for Matt and remind Nancy and Jeffries that they just handed him more power.

    2. Neutrino23

      The first thing he does is a petty, vindictive act against the former Speaker? What a small, petty d****.

      Pelosi graciously gave Hastert a nice set of offices. No good deed goes unpunished.

      1. Pat

        The most current former Speaker is not Pelosi but McCarthy.
        Fun fact, Hastert resigned from the House 11 months after he stopped being the Speaker to go be a lobbyist. So he had that super duper office courtesy of Nancy only about two months longer than she did. And there wasn’t a second or third Speaker after him like there is going to be for her. Don’t know if it applies but maybe If she had been ousted, they might have needed it for her.
        And as I indicated above, I think this is just the start of the House Dems missing McCarthy.

  16. Jason Boxman

    From Army War College Report Predicts Mass Casualties in Near-Peer Fight Against [Russia] – Analysis

    In a mere two weeks, the U.S. can suffer 50k casualties, according to the report. But the biggest issue here is they foresee a need of 800 daily recruits to sustain such a war, yet they call attention to major deficiencies in the current reserve system:

    The Individual Ready Reserve, which stood at 700,000 in 1973 and 450,000 in 1994, now stands at 76,000.

    (bold in original)

    I guess this was news to US war planners? No one thought a peer conflict would require a total war footing? gods help us.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It seems like a small difference, but I think the idea of the US army as “warriors” was more widespread than recruiting ads. The brass saw finding invincible warriors instead of training soldiers as their mission. A few nerds with computers would allow the Warriors to have force multipliers, but items like building showers that don’t electrocute the troops were handed over to private contractors so the army could have more warriors.

      The thought never really grasped the greatest warrior in history is going to have the same experience as a wheelchair bound individual if they are are the other end of artillery.

      “Army of One” was short lived, but I think it represented a deep seated view, that was created by poorer popular fiction. We see it with the new Top Gun. Integrated air defense will wipe the floor with the heroes form the movie in a real life scenario. Their skill won’t beat modern weapons. Disciple and cooperative measures might.

      While they were fighting undisciplined thugs with AKs and could bring in whatever weaponry we required, everything was okay.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Not sure why but that last bit reminded of a real life story from the 70s. So there was this bar in America and a bar room brawler saw this short guy and decided to beat this guy up for fun because that was what he as all about. Turned out that not only was that short guy a Vietnam vet back from the war but he was also an experienced “tunnel rat'” because of his short size. You can imagine how that fight went. A witness said that the short guy got so frustrated with his short height in the fight, that he actually jumped up on the bar to beat this guy’s head in better. Funny how things like this pass through your mind.

      2. Feral Finster

        Special forces and aviation are two branches of the service that are easy to recruit for. Every red-blooded human boy wants to be a fighter pilot or a Green Beret when he grows up.

        “Trench-digger”, “latrine-cleaning janitation engineer” and “line cook”, not so much.

        1. hk

          So we have wound up with an army that can’t feed itself, dress itself, carry stuff around for itself, and can’t even take dump by itself without contractors. The great revolution of 19th century was to create an army that could do these things…..

          1. JBird4049

            >>>The great revolution of 19th century was to create an army that could do these things

            Actually, I think it started back in the 17th century with Swedish King Gustav II Adolf when he started to use he own people for the artillery as before then it was the contractors who provided and manned the artillery. When fighting came anywhere near them and their expensive tools of their trade, the artillerists would pull out with the guns. Leaving you without artillery in the middle of a battle.

            All the other European armies followed Gustav. After that it slowly expanded to everything else.

            250 years learning these lessons, 150 years keeping them, and then 50 years losing them.

  17. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: Pelosi kicked out of office.

    After Pelosi bemoaned tradition, she noted how she gave Danny Hastert a larger suite for as long as he wished during her tenure. I’m not sure how Pelosi thinks that plays.

    1. nippersdad

      To be fair, Denny needed a lot more room for his wrestling matches than Nancy did for front running the stock market.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      If I understand these things correctly, Pelosi can only get a cushy office if she kicks out the present occupant who will then kick someone else out of their office and so forth.

      Speaker Henry just threw a monkey wrench into the Democratic House leadership which will now be paralyzed by moving hassles.

      This is absolutely delicious revenge.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Marine Corps relaxes uniform standards due to camouflage shortage”

    The article says that Covid was to blame for the shortage of uniforms but I do wonder about that. Could it be that the real reason is that all those factories have been busy pumping out uniforms for the Ukrainian army? They have to be getting them from somewhere so I imagine western countries will be helping, especially the US. But if so, who is profiting from this? Many years ago I read an article and I am a bit fuzzy on the exact details now but it turned out that some Republican politicians were making bank on uniforms being made in the US for the Iraq Army during the occupation. It seemed to be a grubby way to make money but I guess that this was one of many revenue streams that they had on tap from that war.

    1. Eclair

      One of the most heartbreaking themes in the recent film of Remarque’s “All Quiet on the Western Front,” was the recycling of the German soldiers’ uniforms. A job for the new arrivals on the front lines (who had no training in fighting or surviving) was to strip the dead of their clothing. A scene showed groups of women at sewing machines, mending the uniforms, which were then issued to a new batch of younger and younger recruits who were being sent to slaughter.

      But, those uniforms were wool, well tailored, and could be cleaned and mended.

      1. Anonymous 2

        True and sad story from French Army in WW1. Soldier being issued uniform was given some which still had the blood from the previous wearer on it. Soldier threw up and refused to put the uniform on. He was executed for refusal to obey orders.

    1. John Beech

      Political theater only as said alfalfa farm will merely change hands to a more politically correct ‘owner’ and water will continue to be drawn from the aquifer for alfalfa. Yawn.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “UK has run out of arms to send to Ukraine and other countries should step in, says military chief”

    At this stage of the game, I suppose that you can say that the Russians have rendered the UK military as combat-ineffective without even firing a shot. Not quite demilitarized but the British would be very hard pressed to put together a combat brigade to send to the Ukraine. Last I heard, the UK had only 40 tanks that are in operational order. Forty! If they went into combat, how many would they have after the first week by the time those Lancets had gone to work on them. And I think that I read that they only had enough ammo for two to five days. After that – ‘Fix, bayonets!’ And it was not the Russians that have done this to the British military establishment but all those British Neocon politicians trying to do wars on the cheap.

  20. antidlc

    New report out by Physicians for a National Health Program
    Our Payments Their Profits
    Q u a n t i f y i n g O v e r p a y m e n t s i n t h e M e d i c a r e A d v a n t a g e P r o g r a m

    By our estimate, and based on 2022 spending, Medicare Advantage overcharges taxpayers by
    a minimum of 22% or $88 billion per year, and potentially by up to 35% or $140 billion. By
    comparison, Part B premiums in 2022 totaled approximately $131 billion, and overall
    federal spending on Part D drug benefits cost approximately $126 billion. Either of these—
    or other crucial aspects of Medicare and Medicaid—could be funded entirely by eliminating
    overcharges in the Medicare Advantage program.

    1. juno mas

      Actually, they were the apical predator of the time. As the article notes, events deprived them of both food and shelter. The upshot of article is that all trophic levels (predator/prey or plant/herbivore) are dependent on a functioning ecosystem.

      Tamper at your peril. The supply chain of sustenance is not guaranteed.

      Aldo Leopold made similar observations in “A Sand County Almanac”.

  21. Tom Stone

    On the lighter side, an author recommendation:
    Lois McMaster Bujold whose first series of space operas is as good as anything in that Genre, the second is Chick Lit and didn’t sell as well despite being very well written and the third is a series set in the “Land of the Five Gods” which i enjoyed a great deal and which I think both Amforta’s and HMP would find entertaining on several levels.

    1. John Beech

      Tom Stone . . . if you refer to Falling Free and Barrayar, I concur. The first is simply a lovely story and the latter more a shoot ’em up, but still a fun read. Good recommendations! In fact, I just pulled Falling Free from the bookshelf expressly to re-read. Thanks!

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Thanks for the rec, Tom. I e-checked out The Hallowed Hunt. You’re right. It looks like it will be right down my alley.

      1. Cassandra

        The Hallowed Hunt was the third written of that series. I would suggest starting with the first, Curse of Chalion, for a better understanding of that universe.

  22. Marta

    Today’s nationwide, all electronic devices test of the alert system.

    What a great day for a “terrorist attack.”

    Who needs internet censorship? Just fire up the Patriot Act II, which is already written for sure.

  23. Wukchumni

    New pictures have emerged which show Joe Biden’s German Shepherd, Commander biting yet another White House staffer just as presidential sources tried to lay the blame for the animal’s aggressive behavior on Secret Service agents.

    White House sources on Monday made the assertion that Commander targets members of the president’s security detail because of their ‘unfriendly expressions.’

    Now can reveal that the two-year-old German Shepherd bit another member of staff barely two weeks ago.

    The staff member, Dale Haney, 71, is not part of Biden’s security team and was simply playing with the dog. (Daily Mail)
    There was no winner in the recent ‘bite-pool’ as Dale wasn’t picked by anybody,…so we have a carryover, folks!

    Who will be the lucky 13th?

  24. Sub-Boreal

    Some backstory to the linked JAMA article on Paxlovid: the study was conducted in British Columbia, which has highly restricted access to this drug, compared to other Canadian provinces, resulting in situations like the one described in this March article:

    In B.C., a person with a mild to moderate case of COVID-19 who is within a five-day ­window of symptoms is eligible for Paxlovid if they are ­immuno-compromised or deemed clinically extremely ­vulnerable, or 70 and older with three or more other ­pre-existing serious diseases.

    Eligibility criteria also extend to some Indigenous people and others 50 and older, depending on their chronic conditions and vaccination status.

    By contrast, in Ontario, the drug is available to anyone 60 and older, and those 18 and older who are immuno-compromised or at high risk of severe illness due to having at least one other serious disease, such as liver, lung or kidney disease.

    Additional background on BC’s restricted access here and here.

    Bonnie Henry is on the case!

  25. Jabura Basaidai

    and now for your dystopian affirmation – Presidential alert being broadcast right now on my cell – a Brave New 1984 World coming to you now – instead of pressing “next” at the message displayed on my phone i just turned it off and now it is coming over the radio – this just sucks in so many ways – a nationwide test to rattle nerves or just piss you off –

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