Links 5/18/2024

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A lost branch of the river Nile flowed past the pyramids of Egypt New Scientist (Dr. Kevin). Prime real estate back in its day.

Private mission to save the Hubble Space Telescope raises concerns, NASA emails show MPR (Chuck L)

Listening Like a Spider: The Future of Sound Technology SciTech Daily (Chuck L)

Archie, the Internet’s First Search Engine, Is Rescued and Running ars technica

Anti-sex’ beds installed in athletes’ rooms at Paris Olympics Toronto Sun (Dr. Kevin)

FBI Documents Allege Japan Used Germ Warfare in Attack on US and Canada (Kevin W)


Fed’s Powell tests positive for COVID-19 for second time MarketWatch. ma:

Odd. Which CDC guidance is he following? The new guidance is if you don’t have a fever you’re good to go? (that’s what people heard anyway…..). How will we know if he suffers brain damage this time? He’s not that young…….


Hopes For Sustainable Jet Fuel Not Realistic, Report Finds Guardian

Lancaster University votes to ban meat and dairy at outlets FarmingUK


China Attempts to End Property Crisis With Broad Rescue Package Bloomberg

European Disunion

Europe EU ambassadors agree to place four Russian media outlets on sanctions list Reuters. Micael T: “There is a EU Commissioner for Values and Transparency. So impeding the freedom of press is actually an EU value.”

Fifteen countries ask Brussels to explore creating migrant centers outside the EU ElPais

Europe’s Youth Are Fueling the Far Right Foreign Policy

The Netherlands veers sharply to the right with a new government dominated by party of Geert Wilders Associated Press


Fierce fighting in northern Gaza as aid starts to roll off US-built pier Arab News. You have to get a few paras in to learn the aid has gone straight to a warehouse.

Why Israel Is in Deep Trouble John J. Mearsheimer (Chuck L)

Hezbollah introduces new weapons and tactics against Israel as war in Gaza drags on Independent

Gaza Protests

Medics at UCLA Protest Say Police Weapons Drew Blood and Cracked Bones KFF Health News. Lead story.

New Not-So-Cold War

Second Russian invasion of Kharkiv caught Ukraine unprepared Washington Post. Lead story.

Answers to media questions following the visit to China President of Russia (guurst)

Washington no longer rules out US weapons being used to strike Russian soil LeMonde. YouTubers like the Duran duo featured this clip, but it seems not to have gotten the attention it warranted.

Note Russia made warnings like this a LONG time ago; that was what provoked John Helmer’s idea of Russia creating a de-electrified zone as a DMZ, and noting it would need to be as wide enough to put the longest-range missile NATO was deploying in theater out of reach of Russian soil:

Ukraine CRUMBLES After Russian Probing Attacks in Kharkiv History Legends. Has only first three days of the advance, but extremely well presented day-to-day action. Critically, points out how the Russian troops were clearly inexperienced (real rookie errors), yet still made persistent gains due to the overall plan and Ukraine weakness. One suspects Russia didn’t expect to go this far this fast but found unlocked doors.

Ukrainian military’s Starlink terminals went down at beginning of Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast Ukrainska Pravda

Law on new rules of mobilization comes into force in Ukraine TASS

Russian court imposes injunction on UniCredit’s assets Anadolu Agency

Imperial Collapse Watch

The DragonBear-Hug Signals Unprecedented Expansion of Ties Simplicious the Thinker (Kevin W). The visual in case you want to click through to the post later:

Russia, China Reveal Their Global Agenda Moon of Alabama. Jeez, the February 2022 statement was only 5,000 words. The verbosity seems to be reflect the Chinese influence on the text. Need to read this when a good English language translation emerges. The Kremlin posted their translation last time so that might be the go-to place.

Putin and Xi no longer have a partnership of equals BBC. The new party line.

The era of globalisation is about to come screeching to a halt Telegraph



Key House committees vote to advance contempt proceedings against Garland over Biden audio files CNN (Kevin W)

Watch: Chief Economic Adviser Refuses To Admit Biden Is LYING About Inflation Modernity

Trump thumps Biden in Nevada, poll says Las Vegas Review-Journal

McConnell, Collins on collision course with Democrats over spending parity The Hill

Police State Watch

Our No Longer Free Press

How Oil Companies Manipulate Journalists Nation (Randy K)

Why second mortgages could make a comeback Felix Salmon, Axios. I didn’t post on the news that Freddie is interested in buying second mortgages on the firsts it guarantees.. I was going to write this up because this is primarily a Freddie exec enriching exercise. Why from a policy standpoint should it be made easy to drain the equity from your house? But Chris Whalen, quoted in this piece, has this right. This is going to accomplish very little, thank goodness.

The Bezzle

74% of University of Michigan grades are A’s. Other schools aren’t far behind MLive. ma: “Well of course……….the children are well above average.

US auto industry scam: overpriced parts, repairs Asia Times (Kevin W)

Tesla self-driving claims parked in court The Register

Guillotine Watch

Far Right Billionaires Are Waging a War to Capture State Courts Truthout

Tax havens are still a threat to our well-being Richard Murphy

Class Warfare

Amazon Workers Say They Struggle to Afford Food, Rent Bloomberg

Viral ‘courtesy’ letter American Airlines gives flight attendants shows how little they make CNN (Kevin W)

Shoppers Drug Mart Recruiting Volunteers to Staff Stores Mander (Paul R)

Americans Across the Political Divide Want a Federal Job Guarantee Jacobin

Mercedes-Benz workers in Alabama vote against unionizing in blow to big UAW push CNN (Kevin W)

Another EV Factory Has Unionized Boosting Labor’s Push In US South Bloomberg (ma)

Land Squeeze IPES Food (guurst)

Antidote du jour. Kouros’s “very skittish” Bean-bean:

And a bonus (Chuck L):

And a second bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    Speaker Johnson
    Send him cash
    He’s on the list

    Joseph Biden
    Commander in Chief
    Is his motif

    Texas Senator Cruz
    Truly loves Belize
    But he takes his cues
    From Tel Aviv

    Sullivan, Jake
    Has not read Hoyle
    His big mistake
    Is wars for oil

    Old Tom Cotton
    Purchased and bought
    The cash he’s gotten
    Makes him their robot

      1. ChrisFromGA

        It would be cheap to print up a bunch of these !

        Put them on roadside signs all around the Beltway.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “CITY OF NO LOVE: ‘Anti-sex’ beds installed in athletes’ rooms at Paris Olympics”

    You think that it will go with the anti-sex bedside cabinets, anti-sex lounges, anti-sex desks, anti-sex kitchen cabinets, anti-sex shower recesses, etc. to make a complete set?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Don’t forget the walls too. Good thing that those rooms don’t have swinging chandeliers.

          1. ambrit

            What? No Epstein Memorial Prize in Paris? (Would it be a Futurist version of the Oscar statues?)
            I’ll bet the Hillary’s Secret models were ‘in training’ preparing for the “games.”
            Such a shame, and anti-eugenic too. With no s-x in the Paris Olympics, where are tomorrow’s super soldiers to come from?
            Things are a lot different from the Paris Olympics of 1900, or 1924 for that matter.

    1. pjay

      The concluding paragraph of this article gave me a flashback from long ago – and a suggestion for the Olympic Committee:

      “Tiedtke explained: “The athletes are at their physical peak at the Olympics. When the competition is over, they want to release their energy.”

      When I was in 6th or 7th grade my Church provided “sex education” classes for the youngsters (yes, my Church). It was there that I first learned about ‘sublimation,’ long before I knew anything about Freud. The source was our “textbook”: ‘Ann Landers’ Teenage Guide to Sex’ (yes, Ann Landers). I remember her advice. She warned that as our libidos developed we would have these urges. But rather than give in to these urges (i.e. seek immediate “release”), you could channel this libido energy into your studies, art, or other creative activities – ‘sublimation.’

      So my advice to the Committee: provide all athletes with a copy of ‘Ann Landers’ Teenage Guide to Sex.’ Problem solved!

    2. Es s Ce Tera

      Just look at cars which are even more inhospitable to sex, did that ever stop anyone? Closets? Kitchens? Stairwells of buildings? Conference rooms? Tents? The middle of forests? In corn fields? In stables? Behind the curtains on stages? On bridges and the roofs of skyscrapers? In haunted houses? Who ARE these people who genuinely thought this would stop sex? Incels or something?

      1. Trees&Trunks

        How about something that would reflect the state of the Macron government, promote modern EU gender values and stop sex?
        Penectomy and vaginectomy. That should do the trick

    3. griffen

      This should go over about as well as abstinence training has done in certain Republican states and localities…the kids will do what they do…Oh and best not play any early 90s music, say for example by Young MC…Bust a Move…

      At every summer Olympics, don’t they routinely have like a few million condoms to pass out ? \sarc

      1. magpie

        At the 2010 Winter Olympics, the athletes exhausted the condom supply of the Town of Whistler.

    4. Wukchumni

      In the mixed pair competition @ the Paris Olympics, its all about sticking the landing~

        1. ambrit

          The Kama Sutra competition is all about who comes in last, not first. To add a little balance to the proceedings.

  3. timbers

    Fifteen countries ask Brussels to explore creating migrant centers outside the EU

    Have they contacted Joe Biden? I hear he’s looking for votes come November, and only a few places in the US have drug resistant TB related to voter harvesting…err…”immigration”. Michigan comes to mind as prime location to re-locate future voters/immigrants.

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      I don’t like Biden and I oppose Open Borders (despite having taught immigrant students for over two decades), but do you really not know that these desperate people will be unable to vote for years, and mostly likely never?

      Or are you just a vector for false and nasty talking points?

      1. JTMcPhee

        Bears remembering, in the tempest-in-a-teapot category, that “voting” has no effect on “policy,” the actual behavior of the mechanisms of government. Any more than do preferred policies, as identified by “scientific polls,” however majoritarian they are.

        The idea that voters (those who still bother) make a damn bit of difference except as a backdrop for the rich folks’ claim of legitimacy is naught but a chimaera, in most instances.

        The “representative form of government,” as the Founders clearly understood, ensures the growth and dominion of “parties” and the furthering of the interests of the “rich class,” which Warren Buffett points out has won the class war.

        Working class know their jobs and benefits are dying with the influx of migrants. Too bad they, as a group, aren’t smart enough to make common cause with the migrants to flay the rulers.

      2. timbers

        Oh I agree. They won’t vote. But that IS an MSM talking point, and it’s possible Team Biden believes it, too. I’ve read they do but that could be wrong also.

        I’ve read intelligent people are more likely to understand sarcasm.

        Also Note: immigrants having drug resistant TB is neither false nor a nasty talking point.

        1. c_heale

          Permanent Residents can vote in municipal elections in many countries. It’s not something new.

          Permanent Residents are a completely different category to recent migrants. Some are married to citizens for example.

    1. Es s Ce Tera

      I recommend this as a must-read.

      Also, I think this is the first time I’ve seen “concern” for mental health being used in this utterly chilling way by an employer as a means of curtailing interest in Gaza issues.

      1. zesty mordant

        My roommate has the CBC on all day; we’re both older, so I don’t/can’t help my occasional guffaws at the cruel mendacity of our state broadcaster and he respectfully ignores same. The article is a must-read for Canadians about our national broadcaster and an oh-so-familiar depiction of “soft” power (we’ll kill the Indians gently through displacement and starvation) versus America’s gung-ho shootin’ wars “hard” power. Hence, Canadians’ (mine included in the past) increasingly indefensible and repulsive smugness. As a provincial government employee I can attest that any whiff of questioning of the status quo, management or union-wise, is met with a caring smile and a “list of resources”. We’re awfully polite for a country run by unrepentant Nazis and Zionists- but then, we DO have a lot of oil. CBC management has bills to pay, eh?

        1. Kouros

          Polite?! What about the RCMP snipers always posted when First Nations or even green activists do some road blocks and protest this or that clear-cut or oil development?!

          And management would chew trough people like there is no tomorrow. Where I worked, I had two people committing suicide and one being involuntarily committed for mental breakdown. Me and all my colleagues with seniority were moved from our jobs. I was the only one to be moved laterally and then up, but then I was the hardest nut to crack (didn’t).

      2. LawnDart

        It is an excellent article and well-illustrates how “narrative” is crafted behind the scenes, well out of the public eye.

        “Mental health” has been used as a cudgel since at least Soviet times, when many dissidents were labled as “unwell” and sent to state hospitals. I believe that the (mis)use of a “mental health” assertation is quite commonplace throughout the west in attempts to malign or discredit those who have left or are otherwise outside of “the fold.”

        Anyone remember the suggestions from the Obama dem camp that Putin has Aspbergers?

    1. jhallc

      While I don’t largely disagree with what Mr. Brooks says in his substack, I don’t think Mearsheimer say’s that Hamas and the IDF are symmetrical at all if that’s what you suggest. He makes several references to the Oct.7th attack and previous Intifada’s as insurrections which would suggest a very different symmetry. HIs main point being that the IZ response/plan is for expulsion of all the Palestinian’s from “Greater Israel” in order to get themselves out of the apartheid box they’ve put themselves in.

  4. The Rev Kev

    Study: Kids with long COVID have impaired exercise capacity
    90.2% of long COVID patients had a pathologic test.’

    You can bet that the Pentagon is paying attention to such studies. Right now they can’t make the recruitment numbers and are falling way short in nearly every service. So what happens when with the rising generation that too many will have to be knocked back from the recruitment centers due to Covid damage? Even four years ago the Pentagon was knocking back recruits if they had been hospitalized due to Covid. Maybe they had better start work on making T-800 terminators.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      In the 00s, RAND did a study about manpower potential, and the conclusion was to end support for competitive youth sports (athletes often joined up, but the wear on young bodies make so many unfit) and push for healthy diets and actual Healthcare.

      Without proper oversight, the Pentagon won’t do squat except tweak commercials.

      We had manpower issues going back a long time such as ending high-school diploma requirements under Clinton. The real problem is pay for soldiers.

      1. Old Jake

        The real problem is trying to maintain an empire. Mind our own business and we would need just enough soldiers to defend our borders from friendly neighbors.

    2. JTMcPhee

      The long money is on AI Terminator entities, which (who?) will presumably obey orders without question.

      And as they/them develop the ability to self-replicate, who needs any fookin’ human overlords anyway?

      None so blind as those who will not see.

      “Kiss the day goodbye, Sarah Connor…”

    3. SocalJimObjects

      That’s what those illegal immigrants are for. Give them temporary shelter, and then send them off to die. Promise them a path to citizenship if they survive. Also Covid damage has to be impacting everyone equally, meaning the Russians, the Chinese and pretty much everyone else will soon have nobody to fight wars with.

      I’ve said this before, but only nature will “fix” America (possibly the rest of the world too), and because we live in the stupidest timeline, the choice seems to be Covid/H5N1/NameYourFavoriteVirus (no wars though!!!) vs WWIII. Yours truly will choose neither and instead continue to mask, because instead of the meek, it will be maskers who will inherit the earth, which might be a stupid choice anyway given what’s coming …. I just ate an excellent Kung Pao Spaghetti for dinner, thereby maximizing my immediate utility and I’ll take that as a win.

        1. SocalJimObjects

          The non mRNA shots were not sterilizing either. Did you miss the approximately 2 million deaths in China after the opening?

        2. VietnamVet

          The purposeful confusion about coronavirus “vaccines” lingers on. No doubt due to the close ties between Western Journalists and the Five-Eyes Intelligence Agencies. None of the spike protein inducing injections had long term safety or efficacy studies conducted when approved nor are they available now three years later because close monitoring by the corporations of the vaccine campaigns were not required. This would have cut into pharmaceutical industry profits. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are both lipid encased mRNA that was designed and manufactured by humans to enter inside and take over human cell protein assembly to make a chimera Spike Protein that induces an immune response.

          They all have been shown not to prevent coronavirus transmission.

          The other vaccines including Russia, Cuba and China used an engineered human virus vector to take over the cell protein assembly and produce a modified spike protein to get an immune response for COVID. Both AstraZeneca (in Europe) and Johnson and Johnson virus vaccines have been taken off the market because of blood clotting issues in younger women. Scientists suggest that the virus enters the blood stream and binds to P4 receptors on blood cells and the immune system in response to the alien protein releases antibodies that cluster the cells together and trigger blood clots.

          This was more or less known when the mandates for the vaccines were issued by the Biden Administration. It basically confirms (together with the proxy WW3 in Ukraine and Gaza) that for the corporate/state Western Empire; profits outweigh human life.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            The increase in clotting in women was in one in the millions level, as in bupkis. But the press whipped hysteria over that and ignored female reproductive side effects, like screwed up periods and in some cases, cessation of periods. This is why many nurses quit rather than getting vaccinated. They were concerned that these were signs of fertility effects, and no one was willing to give this a serious look.

            But the vaccines did reduce transmission under wild type and Delta, it is false to say they didn’t. But no where near as much as Biden and Walensky claimed. And officials used the vaccines to aggressively discourage masking and ignore ventilation, when if those had been maintained/implemented in high-risk setting, who knows what the relative impact would be. I am convinced the reason transmission has been low in Southeast Asia is that 1. People are outdoors and in high quality air settings a lot more (lot of buildings have open-air interior corridors, many restaurants and bars are open-air, three sides closed, one open) 2. There’s still masking. Some of that is due to general iffy air quality for PM25, particularly in big cities. Maybe only 15-20%. But people here also mask if they have a cough.


    4. Will

      Was sent this video the other day.

      Seems to be a YouTube channel making reaction videos to Korean food but for some reason they’ve taken young British men to undergo basic training in Korea. What’s interesting is that in the background you can see people still wearing masks and at about the 3 minute mark we’re told that before they could join the other recruits, the Brits had to get Covid tests. The video was filmed earlier this year.

      Now, I don’t know what’s going on generally with Covid precautions in Korea but I assume they’ve reopened so the precautions in the vid seem too little too late. Then again, I suppose it makes sense for the military to protect their men while they’ve got them. Wonder if they’re also doing wastewater testing for all their bases.

      1. Hibiker

        I’ve very recently been in Tokyo and can report approximately half of people wear masks on public transport and perhaps as much as a quarter wear them outdoors, including school kids. In the UK they are a rare sight indeed.

        1. SocalJimObjects

          That’s better than the last time I was there which was at the tail end of last November. I was there for 8 days, and I would estimate only 35% to 40% of people were masking up. One time I was taking a bus from somewhere near Hiroo station in Minato-ku to Shinjuku and a bunch of school kids boarded the bus, one of them was literally coughing up a storm throughout a 20 minutes journey and he wasn’t wearing a mask, and his mates weren’t wearing any either.

          I was in Japan for two plus months last year, visiting almost half the prefectures, and other than Ehime prefecture, where close to 70% of the people were wearing masks, mask wearing in other prefectures never reached above 45% IMHO.

    5. Es s Ce Tera

      This is why I think Biden is probably looking to create some Pearl Harbour event. Something which will bring Americans to recruitment centers in droves. Enough to supply bodies for the war front-end while the covid “invalids” stay home and maintain the economy back-end.

      Gattaca but with the healthy bods going to war instead of space.

        1. The Rev Kev

          C’mon, man. He’s trying as hard as he can with his Bidenomics strategy. Give it time.

          1. Bsn

            Love your Biden quote, “C’mon, man”. I can hear his master’s voice in my head. That’s right up there with “I can see Russia from my front door”.

      1. hk

        But who’s Pearl Harboring whom? I am pretty sure that there was a brief rush to recruitment centers in Japan in 1941-2 also.

      2. Louis Fyne

        the volunteer military is dead. Not literally, but the historic core of the volunteer military, rural-exurban multigenerational-military whites, have finally realized that “war is a racket.”

        it only took 18 years of forever wars and really big institutional Pentagon-DEI gaffes.

  5. timbers

    War in Ukraine: Washington no longer rules out US weapons being used to strike Russian soil

    Not seeing how sanitary zones can work, IF US is determined to defeat these zones. Lack of “sanitary zones” may not be the problem. The real problem might be Russia’s timidity to exercise it’s right to self defense against Western terrorism, and to say in clear language that the US and NATO are sponsors of terrorism if not outright terrorist organizations themselves.

    Creating a “sanitary zone” in Ukraine can be easily foiled and will not work, if US decides to make it not work, by providing Ukraine with weapons with ranges greater than the depth of that zone. Even if Russia turned the entire Ukraine into this fantasy sanitary zone, there will always be a longer range weapon.

    With the US and NATO bogged down, low on weapons, paper tigers, we may be approaching the moment that sooner or later, Russia might need to say in crystal clear terms that if US provides Ukraine with the mean to launch terrorist attacks on Russia, the Russian response can include direct attacks on US homeland involved making/transporting these these weapons AND any NATO nation providing transportation or land allowing these weapons into Ukraine.

    1. Joker

      If whole of Ukraine becomes sanitary zone, there will be no place to fire those longer range weapons from. If they are fired from Moldova, then Moldova will become part of sanitary zone. If they are fired from Romania, that would be declaration of war from Romania.

      1. timbers

        “If whole of Ukraine becomes sanitary zone, there will be no place to fire those longer range weapons from.”

        Maybe, but not certainly. Russia does not want to occupy western Ukraine and nor should she, because then Russia would get bogged down in an area what I assume is infested with a population that does not welcome her and will sabotage her. If Russia merely makes western Ukraine a sanitary zone, it might be possible western Ukraine will remain a launch point forever, if The West wants to do that.

        Logic tells me that it is easier and more efficient for Russia to set the rules, and one of those rules regarding her right to self defense, and one rule could be any terror attack on Russian civilians will be a strike on the parties making it possible, assuming she can determine who is helping make it possible..

        1. Hibiker

          But nearly all the military age men will be… absent, either abroad in the West, or … otherwise unavailable, so who’s going to do the sabotage?

          1. timbers

            Mercenaries paid by USA taxpayers, the updated version of White Helmets, ISIS if need be, of course. All real Ukrainians the MSM will tell us.

    2. The Rev Kev

      The Ukraine is now asking Washington for intelligence on targets on Russian soil. Of course that make the US a direct party to this war but I have no doubt that old Joe will do it. It would be one thing if the Ukraine was using their NATO-supplied weaponry to target military targets but they are also using it to target civilians targets in a terrorism campaign-

      ‘Intelligence from the US and other allies on military targets on Russian soil would allow Ukraine to better plot approach routes for its drones and missiles, the newspaper said. With detailed terrain mapping, it would allow them to fly low and avoid radar detection, increasing their effectiveness. While Kiev already has access to commercial satellite imaging data, US intelligence would provide more detailed and timely information, they wrote.

      General Charles Q. Brown Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confirmed that Kiev has been seeking to ramp up strikes inside Russia. The Ukrainians have been “asking us for help to be able to strike into Russia,” the US general told reporters on Thursday, while flying to Brussels for NATO meetings.’

      But you know what they say about payback…

      1. ilsm

        US puppets in Kiev have the inalienable right to invite US weapons of terror into their territory.

        The newest gifts to Ukraine include $20 billion for “direct support” from US European Command, or whatever the empire calls that headquarters in Frankfurt.

        Someone has to pay for AWACS, Global Hawk, and steering satellites around to find Russians to kill!

        It will also pay for advisors to keep US puppets in Kiev safe.

        Do you think Russians read US legislation?

        Great time to play the “prisoner game” with a nuclear adversary!

        1. hk

          Yes, but who’s going to keep the US advisors in Kiev (or, generally, USans every- and anywhere) safe? Certainly it won’t be Ukrainians, as they have shown their true colors.

      2. Feral Finster

        “The Ukraine is now asking Washington for intelligence on targets on Russian soil. Of course that make the US a direct party to this war but I have no doubt that old Joe will do it.”

        What does Russia propose to do about it? A strongly worded statement?

        1. The Rev Kev

          I would imagine killing any NATO or foreign troops in the Ukraine but more importantly, they will pass on to the Chinese everything that they have been learning about all those western missile systems. How they work, their strengths, their weakness and how to defeat them as well as samples. So now the Pentagon knows that when they go up against China next year, that the Chinese will have the number of all those missile systems. That will be a huge disadvantage for those western forces.

          1. Feral Finster

            Russia has shown itself loathe to do such things, even though Ukraine already is crawling with NATO troops.

            Apparently, casualties are at an acceptable level, since NATO ever always only talks about more, more, more.

            1. barefoot charley

              Remember, the French send the Foreign Legion (who don’t come from anywhere), and our mercs are no different–for some reason mercenaries don’t have Congressmen–unless they’re flagrant in Falluja.

                1. Gaianne

                  His point may be that when French “mercenaries” in the Ukraine were found to have launched missiles into Russia, the Russians not only struck them, but double-tapped them: When French military officials came to the Ukraine to retrieve the bodies, the Russians struck and killed them too.

                  Russia does not always hold back.

                  And yet it is true that Russia is constrained.

                  Americans live in a suicide cult: “World rule, or nothing!”
                  (the old Nazi slogan) America tells itself it can win a nuclear war, and has not figured out that it will lose no matter what it does. It could quit fighting, but would rather lose than quit–and if it is going to lose, a nuclear war will do fine.

                  The Russians want to win, and to do that, they must avoid global nuclear war.

                  Which they think they can do. They may be right.

            2. Procopius

              I recall in January there was a missile strike in Kharkiv on a hotel. It turned out the entire hotel was hired by French — soldiers? mercenaries? technicians? — anyway, first reports were that 140 of them had died, but I think later updates lowered that considerably. I remember a report last month that 2,000 Foreign Legionaires had arrived in Ukraine, and I have not seen mention of them since. The Russians have limits on what they can do. They don’t make their own reality, the way the Americans do. They’re doing the best they can with what they have.

        2. Kouros

          After Stalingrad, and then especially Kursk (1943), it was clear to everyone that the Soviets will defeat Germany. It took 2 more years of a bloody war of attrition.

          This is happening right now in Ukraine, and Russia has opened a new front. Russia is trying to do a minimax operation, minimize its loses, especially people, and destroy as much as possible of AFU. The fact that Ukraine gets weapons and intel from US is par for the course. But the rolling over AFU continues, the depletion and destruction of Ukraine continues.

          What do you expect Russia to be doing? Bring down US satellites? Shoot down or sink planes and ships crossing the Atlantic with US materiel? US can’t stop China and India buying stuff from Russia and countries selling stuff to Russia. But they would badly want that to happen.

          1. NAFO

            He is just sh*tposting, repeatedly. Here, and on Simplicus’ Substack, and who knows where else. It’s either Dunning-Kruger effect galore, or intentional trolling.

      3. Lambert Strether

        > Intelligence from the US and other allies on military targets on Russian soil would allow Ukraine to better plot approach routes for its drones and missiles

        That is the FA part. We await the FO part (for which Ukraine itself, especially Kyiv and Lviv, not to mention infrastructure, is the obvious tethered goat).

    3. Yves Smith Post author


      F-16s can’t fly to Russian targets from bases outside Ukraine. They lack the range.

      F-16s require golf-green runways and Ukraine does not have any pristine enough. And Russia can hit a runway anywhere in Ukraine.

      We aren’t about to try F-35s and risk killing sales by having Russian air defenses successfully whack them. I have not looked into whether their range + that of what they can launch would do.

      The US is not about to use ICBMs and start nuclear war. It is only prepared to use mobile weapons platforms it can deliver to Ukraine. Turkiye is not allowing NATO warships into the Black Sea, so ballistic missiles fired from there are not on.

      1. foghorn longhorn

        Looks like carrier Harry S. Truman is being deployed to the Red Sea.
        What could go wrong?

        1. Benny Profane

          Big boats, those things. Electrical failure. Fires. Running into other big boats. Engine failure. Hell, at this point, mutiny.

          1. chris

            I do wonder about mutiny on the ranks these days. Most of our enlisted service members are not well paid. To the extent that housing is provided, the privatized sources are not maintaining those properties well. My friends and family who serve have lots of stories about payment errors in their favor (e.g., they accidently were given less than $100 extra on a pay check) are resolved using crushing penalties to clawback the excess funds. Payday loans are still preying on soldiers. The GI bill doesn’t cover what it used to, and many of the institutions that accept it are fraudulent. The VA has tragically always been a joke, and despite it being a place where veterans can get good care, you wouldn’t want to be there very long. But that’s if you can get an appointment and if their systems work. The list time I had to help someone through VA processing was 2023, and they were using a 1990’s style computer to do it. Once you leave the military, employers are skittish about hiring you. And the goal of the Pentagon, maintaining a force of soldiers who can work in the private sector 6 months of the year and be available for deployment the rest of the year, is one that no one else wants. Certainly not the JIT always available scheduling crowd for many jobs. And let’s not forget that in top of all this, many are being emotionally and spiritually damaged by what they’re being asked to support.

            So… why would our military personnel keep taking orders? Seems like the bad deal they had has only gotten worse.

            1. Feral Finster

              If the military is careful about one thing, they are very careful to make sure troops obey orders.

            2. Benny Profane

              You’re basically describing a major reason why recruitment is so difficult today. Our volunteer military consists of maybe around 5% of the population, and they tend to be legacy. After a generation of two of this life, I’ll bet fathers, grandfathers, and uncles aren’t too enthusiastic about pushing such a career to the kids.
              I helped a friend driving back and forth to the big VA hospital in the Bronx through cataracts and cancer, the latter of which, unfortunately, he didn’t survive, and I’ll admit it wasn’t a happy place, but he was happy with his treatment, and I was impressed with the customer service I witnessed.

              1. chris

                If you get them early in the day, you get different service. Warts and all, tye VA is the best place for getting good outcomes for vets. But the government makes it an awful experience. So much so that people use the VA as the prime reason why we can’t have single payer.

        2. scott s.

          I don’t see that the CSG has gone through COMPTUEX yet; so don’t see deployment to 6th Fleet real soon. I assume they will turnover with CSG-2/Eisenhower so what can go wrong is that the operational tempo/relationships established currently will have to be relearned by alcon.

      2. Will

        Yes, but what about those long range drones hitting refineries etc? How long before the vampire drone in links earlier this week get militarized to allow even greater range of attacks? Not gonna win you a war but useful enough for the terrorist campaign mentioned by timbers.

        Not sure Russia retaliates on American soil, but if they’re launched from Poland, the Baltics or even France?

        Mostly joking, but I’m gonna keep an eye out for a sudden a shortage of new laundry machines as a sign of an eminent drone war.

        1. hk

          Not sure if that should be discounted: I’d been suggesting for a while that F16s will be a “game changer” not because they’d achieve anything but because their appearance would mean that Russia will seriously need to consider marching on Warsaw, Berlin, and beyond.

          Of course, then there’d be talks about “unprovoked Russian aggression” on Europe, like how, I’d imagine, the Japanese might have decried unprovoked American aggression at Pearl Harbor in 1941….

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Alexander Mercouris has repeatedly described how the damage is minimal. Refineries are huge operations and are very sturdy. And the current school of thought is many were fired from w/in Russia. If the SBU can kill Darya Dugina, they surely have other assets in Russia.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              The same Pentagon that told us Russia was running out of missiles again and again and again. Zero credibility. Actually even less than zero since Russia does not refine a lot of its oil and it’s only the refineries being targeted.

              No evidence that output has fallen.

        3. Wisker

          Indeed. Looking beyond the short-term, the INF treaty is no longer in force. Missile ranges are becoming longer. Even air force centric countries like the US and Israel will probably have an arsenal more like Iran’s within a few years… give or take the preferred launch type: naval vs air vs ground. Aircraft are increasingly obsolete if not firing long-range munitions anyway.

          If you have a proxy willing to risk retributive strikes, long-range drones can disrupt civil infrastructure plenty. They can even have a military impact if the target is so unwise as to leave expensive aircraft parked outside protective hangars, for example.

          If you don’t have a proxy handy, you might hide the territory of origin by using ’boutique’ manufacture, launching from civilian ships, adding enough stealth to obscure the launch point, and so on. Blame it on terrorists or insurgents within the target country.

          1. Kouros

            Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem very smart for the Israelis for instance, to concentrate all those strategic objectives in that little strip of land (looking more like a dagger in the heart of the Arab world)…

          2. Morincotto

            Of course it would nonetheless usually pretty obvious who was really responsible.

            But yeah, at such a point obviously the countries targeted by the US (and Israel) would definitely have to retaliate in kind (but ideally hitting harder).

            Even if miraculously for once the US was not to blame, hitting it the same way could never be wrong.

      3. timbers

        “The US is not about to use ICBMs and start nuclear war.”

        1). I would not assume…ever…that the US would not provided whatever type of missiles necessary to enable Ukraine to hit Russia.

        2). If Russia occupies western Ukraine, that would probably be a US victory because it’s possible/likely Russia would become bogged down in western Ukraine.

        If instead Russia tries to make western Ukraine a sanitary zone, it’s possible she might eliminate or reduce Western weapons that hit Russian civilians, but I am not totally sure this is true and think it could still be possible.

        Either way, it seems to make more sense to solve the source of the problem which is the West supporting terrorism against Russia.

        1. Feral Finster

          Ukraine is not suited for a guerilla war. If you look at successful insurgencies, the one thing that they all have in common is young populations.

          The median age in Yemen is 19. The median age in Ukraine was over 40 – and that before the war.

          This is just a retcon that Russia supporters tell themselves to justify why Russia didn’t use appropriate force in the beginning.

        2. Daniil Adamov

          “If Russia occupies western Ukraine, that would probably be a US victory because it’s possible/likely Russia would become bogged down in western Ukraine.”

          Maybe, though note that this didn’t stop the Soviet Union after WW2. Ukraine isn’t really that well-suited for a long-term insurgency; it has a long history of failed uprisings and a longer one of largely undisturbed external rule. Maybe modern technology and Western backing would change that. I’m not sure it’d be enough. Though it would certainly be bloody and I hope we could avoid it.

    4. ilsm

      Grabbing headlines and thrilling the evening news commenters.

      US weapons fired into Russian Federation are terror weapons! Nearly no impact on the “war”.

      It is as if we clones Bomber Harris!

      1. timbers

        Isn’t that the very definition of terrorism? As in 9/11, the constant Ukraine shelling of Russians in Donbass? Isn’t that the entire point of sanitary zone? So your what is your point? And if bothered to read what I wrote, this applies to what happens mostly AFTER the war and how to secure the peace. As in, Russian civilians living in peace w/o USA sponsored terrorism.

    5. Feral Finster

      Of course the problem is that Russia is loathe to escalate while the West is itching for a fight.

      1. Kouros

        I have not seen the long lines of young western men volunteering to support Ukraine or join their own militaries… Also, their elites definitely don’t want a war with Russia… After all, US will not want New York be nuked for Berlin…

          1. ambrit

            The problem I see is that Americans are in general, in vastly worse physical condition than back in the 1940s, or even the 1950s.
            Couch potatoes and keyboard warriors will have to be “conditioned” for the rigours of real war. Ever check out the combat load of the average ground trooper? Such “conditioning” will be a matter of months, if not years of work before the recruits are prepared for the task.
            America could “outsource” the job. The alt-media has had a consistant ‘buzz’ wafting about concerning the idea that “Illegals” from South of the Border can supply adequate troops in exchange for citizenship. If I remember correctly, that is what the Late Stage Roman Empire did, with disastrous results later on. Whan the soldiery becomes more attached to the institution they serve in, plus the occasional outbreak of Cults of Personality, the traditional governing structures are at serious risk of being replaced.

            1. Feral Finster

              None of that matters for now as long as this war gets won with minimal American casualties. . Sort of like hiring barbarian auxiliaries in the Late Roman Empire, as you noted.

              1. ambrit

                Many of those barbarian auxiliaries were lured into moving to Roman territory and or enlisting with the promise of citizenship.
                The later “barbarian” immigrants were more attuned to tribal allegiances than Imperial ones. This weakened the “soft power” of the central authority.
                Terran human nature doesn’t change very quickly. It usually shifts at a glacial pace. Thus, Empires have similar logics and historical trends across cultures and time.

      2. Frank

        Jacques Baud is saying that as the collective west keeps pushing the envelope, Russia will destroy Ukraine.

        1. SocalJimObjects

          The meaning of “destroying Ukraine” is not very clear, does that mean Western Ukraine will become an irradiated wasteland or is Russia planning to pull a Gaza like genocide? And what will that accomplish? The collective west is probably preparing a bunch of other envelopes to push right now. The end comes with the fall of the west, or perhaps WWIII.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Have you considered de-electrification? Or looked at the remains of contested cities in Donbass? All the buildings are rubble.

            1. SocalJimObjects

              Presumably the Donbass or most of it will be part of Russia at the end of the war, in which case that whole region is no longer Ukraine’s? Is a Ukraine that’s missing the Donbass region still considered to be Ukraine? If yes, then it’s not really destroyed is it? I realize I am possibly playing with words here, but absent genocide, which I am not advocating and will give Russia a bad name in the Global South, the best Russia can hope for is to reduce Ukraine to a state where it can’t fight Russia for perhaps two generations. Yes, the Russians are currently fighting a war of attrition, but even with a million dead Ukrainians, if we are talking about just manpower, there’s enough to fight another battle perhaps 10 years down the line. Maybe the lack of weapons will dissuade the Ukrainians?

              I had high hopes for de electrification, but then Blinken stopped by for a musical tour and my hopes were dashed. At this point in the war, Western businesses should have been in the middle of evacuating Kiev for lack of stable electricity, but perhaps I was expecting too much.

              1. Acacia

                I’ve been assuming the famous Colin Powell rule is at play here, i.e., “you break it, you own it.”

                The Russians could have done what you suggest and bombed the power to Kyiv — or perhaps to those Kyiv clubs right in the middle of Blinken’s guitar solo (possibly much to the relief of the other revelers) — “Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)” —, but for whatever reason they evidently want some kind of business to continue in Kyiv. At some point, we’ll find out what their plan is.

                Meanwhile, as Michael Hudson points out in his talk with Jill Stein (here at NC, 05/18/2024), both Biden and Putin have apparently said they expect this conflict to continue for ten years, which raises the question of how the Ukraine could carry on like this for 10 years, and which Hudson doesn’t see possible.

                Instead, he reads this as meaning that the Russians are preparing for this to escalate with Western European powers like the UK and France getting more directly involved. Poland is going to get involved, etc. So it won’t be a proxy war but rather a full-blown conflict with NATO, which seems to be what the more hawkish Ukrainians really want, and quite possibly what Biden is ready to deliver.

                In view of this possibility, it makes sense for the Russians to proceed slowly.

      3. lyman alpha blob

        The West is itching for a fight where the citizens of other countries die. Russia loses its own. Perhaps that explains the “problem”.

  6. schmoe

    The tweet reading Udo Ulfkotte’s book erroneously said that it is not available in English. Unless he wrote two books, it is and the English version is called “Presstittutes”. I read it about one year ago and highly recommend it. I am not sure if I felt better or worse that Germany’s media is probably just as compromised as US MSM.

    1. Ignacio

      Not only German media. How many European outlets are owned by financial outfits based in Delaware?

      Many EU journalists are nothing but hired guns.

  7. Jackiebass63

    When I went to college in the 60’s a C or B were the most common grades. An A was unusual. I had a physics teacher brag that he only gave 1 A in the last 5 years. The freshman year was a weed out year. At freshman orientation the speaker said that only about a third of you will actually graduate. Probably the majority of students failing out was in the freshman year. It seemed after the second year teachers gave higher grades. I have as a teacher had contact with recent college students. It amazes me that they actually got a degree. When I attended college they wouldn’t have made it past the first year.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I would guess that those teaching at modern colleges may find themselves punished or missing out on promotions if they do not pass a certain percentage of the students in their classes annually. Having too many students may make the college look bad or something. Maybe they should revert to how this professor marked his class in an elite English University about a century or more ago. He would stand at the top of a long flight of stairs and throw those student’s papers into the air. Those that landed at the top got a pass while those on lower steps got a lower mark. Those that landed on the floor at the base of those stairs got a fail. True story that.

      1. chris

        It’s certain disciplines and certain colleges within an institution. For the kid we currently have pursuing a major in a STEM field, their profs are absolutely failing kids left and right. My kid has courses where they’re struggling and have to go to tutoring to pass. Top students in their class has 3.5 or less averages and they put in a lot of work to get those grades.

        But I’ll tell you at the same school, the communications majors and the education majors can go to parties every night and do OK.

        1. Kurtismayfield

          As someone who took a lot of education classes, I can say I always received an A without any worry of getting anything else. In my science classes the A was much rarer.

          There also has been a pronounced inflation of grades the last thirty years. It’s become more of a customer service model out there.

        2. Laura in So Cal

          This is my kids experience at a mountain west state school in the engineering program. Not a lot of “A’s” being given out. He had a “D” in a core class last year and had to retake it. He got a “B” the second time around. This isn’t uncommon among his friends and the early class withdrawal method is being used freely if it looks like the class is not going well.

    2. griffen

      I was born too early, dang it. Maybe that C+ during senior year in Assembler programming would have inflated to a solid B. Truth be told I earned what I got, machine language was never ever gonna be my thing…it’s all bits and binary !

      In the very recent past while employed at different jobs, recent college graduates have detailed that they took a college course in MS Office products such as Excel. I was astounded to learn what little instruction was actually accomplished on basic, practical knowledge. I mean to add, it’s not like they have to be trained to know DOS and learn simple commands, either.

    3. flora

      Back in the 60’s college enrollees were known to the college admin as students.
      Sometime in the 90’s they became known as customers. ‘The customer is always right’, don’t ya know, there to buy a credential. That’s what unis are selling these days. / ;)

    4. Benny Profane

      College for you was probably free or close. Now it’s a major industry supporting tens of thousands of cube dwellers with life destroying student debt. Of course they want these kids around for four, maybe five years. Keep it flowing!

    5. wol

      I also went to college in the late 60’s. Open secret that the state colleges wanted to cull boomers for Viet Nam cannon fodder.

    6. pjay

      Yes, the mathematics of college administration has evolved considerably since then. The value of courses and instructors can now be rigorously quantified and scientifically determined. One key measure is how many students are enrolling in one’s classes. Students are converted into FTEs – “full time equivalents” – for this scientific determination of value. The other key measure is instructor course evaluations – how do your students rate your classes each semester. This is also highly scientific. On a five-point scale you could have nearly every student give you a 4 or 5, but if a few pissed off students give you 1s, then your score could be, say, a 3.6. Clearly your course is not meeting the needs of those irritated students. What if they were the children of affluent alumni?

      So you could see how the old school standards of grade distribution might undermine the value of courses and instructors as determined by the rigorous measures of scientific administration today.

      In fairness I should say that originally there was a reason for considering course enrollment and student evaluations. Back in the day faculty could get by with anything, and sometimes did. Some means for holding them accountable was a good thing. But as usual, The Science has a logic of its own and continued to develop to the point of farce, requiring ever more administrators to interpret the “data.” Increasing reliance on non-tenured faculty also enhances the grade inflation – gotta keep those students happy and entertained or you’re out.

    7. earthling

      I went to one of those colleges determined to fight grade inflation long ago. Learning the content got you a C+, phrasing your answers in the exact same words the prof would use would get you one of the rare As.

      The result? My transcript from a supposedly great school looked like I was an underachieving slug. Guess who never gets around to endowing said school?

      I understand we don’t want these falling standards which are now rampant. I also think the old school plan of ‘grading on a bell curve’ the efforts of a student body that was pre-selected to be capable, is, well, stupid.

    8. Duke of Prunes

      When I attended UofMi in the mid-80s, the college of engineering was strict on their C mean curves. Yes, as many flunked as got As. I graduated cum laude with a 3.4 gpa. The trick was to take electives from the b-school which had a B mean curve (but make sure to take them “off-term” so they weren’t full of b-school tools).

    9. DanB

      I retired there years ago from college teaching. The last two classes I had were in 2021 and the students were, IMO, suffering from collective trauma (Covid anxiety, fear of debt, jobs, cultural ennui). In one class I gave no A’s and 4 Bs (28 students). In the other class I gave out four A’s. I’m glad I don’t have to face them anymore -and most of them were not obnoxious or felt entitled. It was a private college with high tuition.

    10. ArvidMartensen

      Went to university in the mid 1960s and did a science degree in Australia. As you say, Bs and Cs were the common grades.
      Started a Masters in Computer Science in the late 1990s, to backstop career. All group assignments, and the group mix was about 70/30 students from overseas to local students.

      In my group of 4 for one course, we had one overseas student who didn’t understand English, and one who wouldn’t work in an iron lung.

      For the universities, it has been all about not upsetting the cash cows, the foreign students who are being charged extortionate amounts to do courses. It has only gotten worse in the past 20 years. So not much difference between the US and us. And our local student debt has also ballooned due to good ole American know-how.

    11. matt

      resident current college student here. but engineering major so it is No Joke. (just finished the semester and hahaha still recovering. would be thrilled to get a C in this one terrible class.) anyway. this definitely varies from department to school, etc. my friend who is a theatre major has been google translating all her homework for her french class and has an A in it and this distresses me. but i’ve been trawling r/professors on reddit for a bit and a lot of it is pressure from the administration to give good grades. because so many colleges are just for profit degree mills. they will blame students’ failures on not the students, but the professors, expect the professors to bend over backwards to make their students succeed, etc. so the professors give As instead of dealing with people harassing them for giving their students low grades. its also somewhat an extension of no child left behind policies which make sense for schools as a social service but Not for universities where the point is that you actually master skills. also admin bloat type issues. ‘get those numbers up!’ goodharts law when a measure becomes a goal it ceases to be a good measure, and the point of tests is to measure mastery of content.
      one of my professors gave a whole talk on why students cheat (after some students cheated haha) and how students normally cheat because they feel that either it doesnt matter or so much is riding on this assignment they cannot risk failing it. and i definitely see a lot of the latter. people pushed to think their grades are everything especially among general anxieties abt surviving under capitalism, climate change, etc. like they are so afraid to fail they cheat instead of trying. or again, people who just don’t care / learned helplessness.

  8. yep

    Europe EU ambassadors agree to place four Russian media outlets on sanctions list Reuters.

    The real shocker here is that there are four Russian media outlets not sanctioned two years ago.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Maybe back then these people were still aware of the Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights or Article 11 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights which both state:

      Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

      Now they just don’t care about the official jibber-jabber and merely follow their values…

      1. digi_owl

        Yet more and more of the European airwaves are flooded with US cultural fast food. At times it seems like the younger ones forget that they are not living in a US state…

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Hezbollah introduces new weapons and tactics against Israel as war in Gaza drags on”

    Funny how you do not hear the IDF breathing fire anymore and saying that they are about to invade Lebanon any day now. As Hamas keeps on fighting, all that talk has gone away. By Hezbollah showing the Israelis the business end of these new weapons, they complicate any possible invasion plans that now has to take account of thems. And of course the IDF must be wondering what other weapons that Hezbollah may have up their sleeves. But where this Independent article says that Hamas has lost 150 fighter while the IDF has only lost 15 of their number, I don’t believe that for a minute. A coupla days ago Hamas got a big hit on the IDF in Gaza killing a number of them and the IDF came out with a story that it was actually a friendly fire incident. The IDF has a long history of hiding casualties and this war is no different. And news flash for the Independent. The 2006 Israel-Hezbollah 34-day war wasn’t a draw but the IDF got their a**** kicked by Hezbollah’s B team. You have to give credit where credit’s due if you want to understand a situation.

    1. ilsm

      Start to worry!

      $5 billion of US aid to Israel is to rearm iron dome and David’s sling!!!

      Very limited career in defense, no initiative!

      1. The Rev Kev

        I think that you will likely find that that is $5 billion of contracts to rearm Iron Dome and David’s Sling. And it will take quite a while to even build them which may be months but more likely years. Since Israel used up about half their missiles during that Iranian attack, their kinda running short right now.

  10. Louis Fyne

    >>>>points out how the Russian troops were clearly inexperienced (real rookie errors)

    currently the order of battle is an educated guess…

    but it is reasonable to assume that Russian “volunteer units” were involved and it may well be these units that made the obvious mistakes.

    The “real Russian army” has been used judiciously through the whole war. A significant brunt of the fighting has been assigned to volunteer units and ex-con units.

    If/when we see the core units of the Russian army fighting, it’ll be an obvious sign that this is “The Big One”

    1. Benny Profane

      A lot are still expecting a “Big One”, but I still think ain’t gonna happen soon, if ever. Remember the original SMO objectives. Denazification and demilitarization. And it’s all going to plan, slowly and surely, on Russia’s timeline, not a western Hollywood blitzkrieg level push. Maybe when the rats finally start heading west as Kiev crumbles, you’ll see a push, but, by that time it will just be a slow, confident march.
      As that Russian oppo fellow stated, maybe expect a lot of Ukrainians to join the Russian side when they realize how the Nazi leaders and the West have screwed them. Probably already happened a lot in intelligence.

      1. The Rev Kev

        We just had a preview of what you just wrote at Kharkiv. The Russians just marched into this region as there were no fortifications or minefields for them to worry about. If the Ukrainians collapse, I would expect to see this all along the front once the Russians got past those defensive lines. Just open fields and retreating Ukrainian soldiers.

      2. ilsm

        Russia needs to calculate how crazies like Charlie- F-16 driver- Brown will react in the nuclear “prisoner game” that Biden is playing with them.

        Imagine the day after NY is nuked!

        For the inalienable right for the empire to run its nukes up to the Ukraine-RF frontier, and Lockheed revenues.

      3. Feral Finster

        “Denazification” and “demilitarization” are so vague as to be meaningless.

        This is doubtless intentional, making it possible to declare victory at any time.

        1. Bsn

          Hmmm, well, seems pretty clear to me. “Denazification” = getting rid of many if not most of the Nazis in Ukraine. And “demilitarization” = getting rid of many if not most of the weapons in Ukraine. And at this point, they are being successful.

          1. Feral Finster

            Ukraine still has an openly nazi ideology, with the secret police waiting for dissenters.

            And new and more sophisticated arms delivered every day to the nazi regime there.

            So even by those lights, it’s a fail.

            1. Benny Profane

              Well, as I said, patience. Sure, there will always be a hard corp element left, especially if we fund them, but, I’ll bet a lot are six feet under or blown to pink mist some time ago. There seems to be a few making pizza in Kiev, though.

              1. Feral Finster

                We’ve been hearing that for over a decade now.

                Time to face unpleasant facts.

                1. Yves Smith Post author

                  No we haven’t. Stop making shit up.

                  The neo-Nazis became much more powerful after the Maidan coup.

                  I am getting tired of you making crap comments just to be provocative. You are rapidly accumulating troll points.

                  1. Jabura Basaidai

                    thank you – have noticed it for a while but if i responded to F-squared it only becomes an invitation, as noticed when others do respond – thank you again Yves

            2. gk

              Germany is trying

              Germany deports 7 Ukrainian soldiers for wearing Nazi symbols

              German authorities say all Ukrainian military personnel arriving for training will be explicitly instructed that it is prohibited to display Nazi symbols

              How would Ukrainians otherwise know?

          2. Daniil Adamov

            The trouble is that previously, demilitarisation and denazification meant something else: it meant disarming Germany and purging it of Nazi political power entirely, which obviously was impossible without fully occupying it first. Your reading is certainly possible, but note that it involves a much vaguer, relative “denazification” and “demilitarisation”, allowing Putin to move the goal posts as needed. I think Finster is right.

            1. Captain Obvious

              Of course goals are made vague intentionally, just like plans for offensives are kept secret, and not announced with a cinematic trailer. What kind of fool would lay down plans in front of the enemy?

              Why did USA start this war in the first place? What are goals? Freedom, equality, democracy, LGBT values? Nope. They want to plunder Russia. They didn’t say that in public, because only a fool in sweatshirt would say his plans in front of the camera. Guys in suits won’t.

    2. hemeantwell

      History Legends has managed to maintain some AUK watchers – he delighted in showing a video of some of them commenting on one of his posts – and I think he likes to throw them a bone every now and then, embellished with his amusing style. At this point it must be very reassuring to hear that Russians are making rookie mistakes. In any case, they have a lot of leeway when they can use glide bombs to clear the board.

    3. Polar Socialist

      Russian army has doubled in size in a little over a year – there’s bound to be inexperienced units no matter how they construct the build-up. And even experienced units can do rookie mistakes when they’be been defending for a year and a half and then go on attack after some R&R.

      All and all the Russians seems to have done quite well, considering the original Ukrainian estimate was a force of 2-4 battalions. Estimating from Soviet doctrine, it would seem that on Russian side it’s the forward elements of (at least) two divisions – one aiming for Liptsy and for Volchansk.

    4. Lefty Godot

      Aren’t most of the soldiers up on the Kharkov-Sumy border from the new divisions that haven’t been on the battle lines previously? I have to believe that no big gains were expected here (for a while, at least) and that these attacks were meant to get those troops involved and up to speed for when the real push comes. And, of course, to make Ukraine divert forces from other areas that are being fiercely contested south of there.

      In the Tucker Carlson interview, Putin acknowledged how the US has full spectrum dominance in the propaganda department. Part of the patient approach the Russians are taking, I think, is denying the West any propaganda bonanzas outside their own echo chambers about horrible, murderous Russian aggression. The Rest of the World can compare and contrast how Russia has handled this war with how the US (and “allies” like Israel) bomb civilians indiscriminately and wreak total destruction as their first and only option. It won’t keep Western media-zombified “consumers” from lapping up the propaganda about Russian (or Syrian, or whoever’s) atrocities, but outside that bubble the citizens of the world majority can see the difference.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Archie, the Internet’s first search engine, is rescued and running”

    A good article but an even more fascinating 20-minute video which I can recommend watching. I think that I myself may have used Archie once or twice but there were all sorts of odd programs in this era like Gopher, Finger and Trumpet Winsock and now it is part of the dim past. Geez, I’m showing my age here. But it is good that they were able to resurrect Archie and I wonder about other early programs and if they are being saved. I wonder for example if anybody saved the Netscape Navigator web browser.

    1. Milton

      Mosaic was the first browser to which I was introduced while interning at a remote sensing outfit. I was blown away that I could embed images into a page and it was my first foray into creating forms for server integration. I was all a blur back then. The thing about web development back then is that I still write everything in notepad; utilizing an S-load of libraries I still haul around. The good ole days…

    2. Es s Ce Tera

      Ah, those were the days, the days before the AOL invasion…

      When we’re rocking in our chairs in our old age homes we’ll be reminiscing about gopher fingers and the kids will be thinking we worked the fields or something.

    3. digi_owl

      Speaking of Gopher, there is someone working on modernized version called Gemini.

      As for Netscape Navigator, technically Mozilla’s various offering are its direct successor.

      The Netscape brand is likely owned by Yahoo, by way of AOL, these days.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Lancaster University votes to ban meat and dairy at outlets”

    So 18 students decide what some 13,000 students eat and more particularly, what they can’t eat. This is the worse sort of virtue signalling and you wonder if those students did it in order to pad their personal, environmentally-friendly resumes. I hope that all those other student’s fight this brand of activism as you never know where it will end. If they can get away with this undemocratic decision, then it is only a matter of time until these same students will vote some foods to be removed and be replaced by insects instead. It could very easily happen. All for a good cause of course. /sarc

  13. Mikel

    “A lost branch of the river Nile flowed past the pyramids of Egypt” New Scientist

    The pyramids had a function other than tomb.
    I’ve heard speculation that the water currents could also have flowed under some pyramids.

    1. The Rev Kev

      A fascinating article this. They may have to rewrite some of the textbooks on pyramid construction though. I do wonder. It has been theorized that a series of ramps were used so that those heavy stones could be transported up to the pyramid under construction. And here we have a river that must have been certainly used to bring in those stones from the quarries. So I wonder if the terminus point for that ramp was right at the dock itslef. That way, those stones could be lifted over to a sled at the base of that ramp so that it could go up straight away. No transporting those stones to another location where that ramp started.

    2. britzklieg

      name that tune:

      “Little Moses was found in a stream.
      Little Moses was found in a stream.
      He floated on water
      Till Old Pharaoh’s daughter,
      She fished him, she said, from that stream.”

        1. britzklieg

          yes indeed… but the lyric is by Ira Gershwin, the music by brother George and despite some concern about cultural misappropriation by the small minded, from the one and only “Porgy and Bess” and sung by the “silver tongued dope peddler” Sportin’ Life.

          Best piece of dialogue is about him:

          “Friends with you, Sportin’ Life? I fear I must decline. I’d rather cut my own throat them call you friend o’ mine.”

  14. digi_owl

    “Europe’s Youth Are Fueling the Far Right Foreign Policy”

    For to reasons basically.

    First is that they promise less rules and more party should they be given power. The irony is that in 40 years the left has become everything they were opposing when they rebelled against the strict society of the post-war right.

    The other is to blame migrants for everything. No jobs to be found, migrants. housing costs skyrocketing, migrants. petty crime, migrants. Only that for the extreme right migrants means refugees while for most it means foreign workers. But those the far right makes wide use of in their businesses.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s not like the European youth have much choice. The political establishment has either destroyed or sidelined the Left or else they have taken them over like the Greens in Germany who are now neoliberal and neocon. Nothing like they were in the 80s. That being the case, that only leaves you the Right, especially when it is the Right that is saying what those kids believe. I mean, if these kids want to have a decent and regular income, a comfortable home, access to education and health care, and a buffer against unexpected problems, does that suddenly make them Nazis? It’s what nearly all young people want but under the present European establishment leadership, those needs have been denied or even derided. The establishment could give these people a bit of what they ask for in the same way that Bismark brought in social security to stabilize the German State but that is not in the DNA of the present leadership that wants to give nothing to them but a violent police crackdown.

      1. Feral Finster

        The euroleft knew that groveling before American hegemony was the price of power and they gladly paid.

        The euroright will be presented with the same choice. Meloni and LePen have made it clear where they will go, and Fico makes it clear what happens to those who do not go along.

        1. KeithNewman

          Feral Finster@10:30
          Re the case of Fico of Slovakia and the elimination of the top leadership of a disobedient government by a convenient “deranged lone gunman”. I have long believed the only way to avoid elimination is for the second in command to be more extreme than the top leader, and the third in command to be even more extreme.
          Jeffrey Sachs (I think) has pointed out that the US has not had a president independent of the military industrial complex since JFK and Robert Kennedy were assassinated.

          1. Feral Finster

            This is what Cuba did.

            I suspect that Fico’s subordinates will get the message, however. Not to mention, valuable prizes will be dangled out to entice defectors.

      2. Keith Newman

        Re The Rev Kev@10:20
        The near disappearance of the euroleft is quite remarkable. It has happened over decades. Now we observe most European politicians obediently obeying orders from the US that run counter to the interests of their countries, even capitalist interests. We know the US lavishly sponsors think tanks, networking, and the promotion of the subservient to good jobs. But why does it work so well? Is it due to the decline of the labour movement that despite its faults must cater to the interests of the working class it represents? Is it due to a multiplication of parties that fragment clear thinking and concerted action? Is there a sufficient number of people doing well enough to thwart actions to help those doing badly?

        1. digi_owl

          I’m tempted to blame EU, and in particular its rapid expansion eastwards.

          This gave the capital class access to a massive pool of workers that kicked the legs out from under the unions of the existing members.

          Also, the labor oriented parties were themselves changing thanks to the “boomer” generation. While the core of the parties had previously been industrial workers that rose to become union reps and then politicians, now their ranks swelled with university graduates who had scarcely worked on a factory floor before going into politics.

          As i understand it, the higher the education the lower the interest/belief in unions.

          There also seem to be this unflinching belief that EU can be a tool for promoting egalitarianism. Thus they have to support the EU as a concept even if the current state is dismantling all those hard fought welfare rights.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Where live, the unions are still about as strong as they ever were. And as the government is now considering banning “political strikes”, even people I didn’t know as pro-union are starting to get angry.

            Just today I had an argument with (part of) my family about what the left did wrong and where did it go. My stance was that left has focused too much on the identity issues and lost the class-awareness (which seems to be returning, now that the government is turning “proto-fascist” [to quote a colleague]). My family kinda agreed, but considered the right-wing surge more of an counter-swing that will pass – it just has to be endured. I tried to point out that it passes when the left has something better to offer, it won’t happen by itself.

          2. Kouros

            In the central/eastern Europe, the unions (syndicates) were all gutted by the socialist/communist parties decades before 1991. Maybe except the Gdansk Shipbuilding Union. But that was gutted after, with work and workers dwindling to a fraction. Decimation is not the wright word here (1 in 10 killed), unless you take the flip of that, 1 in 10 left… So Eastern Europe working class has been gutted, and then when the western companies started bringing new factories, there was no talk of unionism, people had to be happy to have a job.

            The left will have a resurgence when destitution and precarious home situation and lack of access to afordable food etc will grow… Just you wait Mr. Higgins, just you wait…

            1. Daniil Adamov

              Very good point. Certainly that was the case in the USSR, but I am not surprised to hear it was likewise in the “people’s democracies”. I’d add that the communists both gutted specific unions and pretty much killed the whole tradition of working class politics (despite the seeming strength of the latter on the eve of their takeover in Russia). The steady collapse of strike activity against the backdrop of worsening working conditions in the early Soviet years is illustrative. After you strangle the notion of workers organising and keep it dead for decades, it is not surprising that it doesn’t easily come back when the economic system changes.

              Anyway, perhaps the left will bounce back. Certainly the likely economic trajectory will favour it. But that doesn’t mean that other groups wouldn’t be able to take over those questions as they have before.

        2. Feral Finster

          Because europeans like being slaves, and tell themselves that they get to be house slaves and not field slaves.

          Didn’t Borrel say something about a “garden” and a “jungle”?

    2. JustTheFacts

      The left now is the product of the same schools and universities as the mainstream right. They view themselves as part of the globalist class, and disdain the working class who they view as barely human… “deplorables”. They know better how to run the country than those uneducated proles. Very different from the old left that came from said proletariat. The interests of this “meritocratic class” are very different from those of the working class, and it shows. After all, their investments are in the same places as the rest of their globalist peers, as are their ideas. The same is true for the arbiters of truth: the journalists. And with class mobility falling, these people aren’t even all that bright. They just all recognize each other because they belong to the same tribe sharing the same “ideas”. Only the true extremists who already don’t fit are willing to dump class conformity.

    1. britzklieg

      Didn’t click the link but did they forget the part where he’s fully vaccinated and boosted and oh so grateful for the miracle mRNA solution [not] created by the billionaires of Big Pharma?

  15. digi_owl

    “Private mission to save the Hubble Space Telescope raises concerns, NASA emails show MPR (Chuck L)”

    So if it works, all glory to private enterprise. And if it fails, potentially killing people, blame bureaucracy.

  16. griffen

    Between the Bernstein comments and the ongoing Biden “economy strong and I turned it around” are we finally reaching some interval that even some in the media just have to moderately push back on the Bidenomics narrative ?!? Took a really long time to reach this point.

    Joe Biden has no clothes. Aren’t his clothing and attire the best in the land, dare I say the world. This is putting William Le Petomayne on a stage in a few debates to be eviscerated . Here are some talking points I’d like to suggest.

    1. Military achievements since 2021
    2. Economic achievements since 2021
    3. Real wage gains for the lower ~60% of employed Americans
    4. Price of a median mortgage, or equivalent to rent (OER)
    5. Price of a standard grocery basket to feed a family of four

    Joe should be done by dinner with almost any reasonable discernment. Except to those firmly wearing the rose colored glasses that everything is better with Joe.

  17. Es s Ce Tera

    re: The DragonBear-Hug Signals Unprecedented Expansion of Ties

    I’m thinking if they weren’t expecting that hug, Putin’s translator must be better than expected.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It certainly was a huge statement in itself. The Chinese don’t do hugs on this level but Xi went out of is way to use this custom to show the world how close those two countries are. I’m sure that it impressed the Russian audience but more to the point, it demonstrated to the Chinese audience how relations with Russia stood. I suppose that it also frustrated both Yellen and Blinken who ordered China to cut off ties with the Russians the other week but the Russians turned up with a massive contingent and I bet that there will be a lot of deals signed.

      1. digi_owl

        Seriously, why would China cut contact with Russia? Massive energy resources that China needs to fuel its industry, a market for its products, and a land route to the Middle East (and potentially Africa if they can persuade a few more nations away from USA). It would be a massive check on Anglo sea power.

          1. JustTheFacts

            And a land route to Europe, that cannot be disrupted by the US Navy, if European politicians ever extract their heads from their rear ends.

  18. Feral Finster

    “Note Russia made warnings like this a LONG time ago; that was what provoked John Helmer’s idea of Russia creating a de-electrified zone as a DMZ, and noting it would need to be as wide enough to put the longest-range missile NATO was deploying in theater out of reach of Russian soil:”

    Talk is cheap. Basically another Russian red.line ignored with total impunity. Spin it how you like.

    1. Keith Newman

      @Feral Finster, 10:20
      Re “another Russian red.line ignored with total impunity”
      You have made that point a number of times in the past. Certainly the Russians were reluctant to act initially but I think you exaggerate their reluctance. They have acted on their no NATO in Ukraine redline by taking over much of the country, continuing to take over more, devastating its military and slaughtering foreign mercenaries by the thousands. They have also overtly joined with China to put an end to US hegemony over the world.
      To my mind that’s not the West getting away with total impunity.

      1. Feral Finster

        The fighting is so close to the Russian border that shells fall on Russia every day.

        Stop kidding yourself.

        1. NAFO

          Man, you really are insufferable. Seems like everyone here is dumb, except you. Grow up.

          1. Feral Finster

            Ukraine doesn’t have to. Nobody in Kiev cares about Ukraine or Ukrainians. V.V.Putin cares more about Ukrainian lives than anyone in Kiev.
            Kiev, not to mention Brussels and Washington, take full advantage of this.

        2. Hickory

          The Russia-Ukraine casualty ratios are astronomical in Russia’s favor. They’re taking care of the red lines on their own time and cheaply. He’s not fooling himself.

          1. Feral Finster

            So? Nobody in Kiev, Brussels or Washington cares..

            Ukrainian < new european < old european < brit < American

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              I am tired of you arguing just to have the last word even if it means spewing garbage.

              What people in Western capitals believe has zero impact on battlefield outcomes.

              I have put you in moderation. You are lucky I didn’t blacklist you.

  19. Neutrino

    The cat is watching its human pet pour that shifter of cognac and trim the cigar just so. What better way to anticipate the string quartet that is doing the warm-up calisthenics!

    1. bayoustjohndavid

      Actually, I liked the way the man in the second bonus knew to put his food up above ground level before helping the trapped dog. I can imagine somebody who hadn’t been around dogs much setting his food down and being surprised to see that the first dog ate his food while he helped the second dog.

  20. Afro

    There are multiple possible purposes to a second mortgage.

    It can be used to refinance large debts at a lower interest rate. For example it can make medical or credit card debt more manageable.

    It can be used to pay for upgrades to a house, which can theoretically boost the property value such as additional space, or reduce utility costs with better windows. When a second mortgage is used in this manner, the interest is tax deductible.

    When interest rates are low, some people take our second mortgages to buy index funds.

  21. antidlc


    It was thought to be extinct, drowned out among the flu and other outbreaks of winter. And now the COVID reappears in Paris… among the “sententeties” – named after Taylor Swift’s groupies. On X (ex-Twitter), the posts accumulate, mentioning “coughing” and “horrible headache.”

    “We’ve all been sick since The Eras Tour.[the name of the American singer’s tour., it’s madness.”, notes one.”Not me who shoots the Covid at Taylor Swift’s concert?” ”, deplores another. In parallel,the latest review of Santé publique France, as of 14 May, reported an increase in emergency room for COVID suscription, especially among those under 15 years of age (up 20%) and 15 years of age and older (-28%).

  22. Mark Gisleson

    Just read a heavily photo-illustrated thread on Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut.” The movie is being mentioned more often now as its application to Western society becomes more obvious.

    If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t bother with the link. I watched it again last year and it was clear to me that I’d missed the point in real time but tbf, the movie came out before Jeffrey Epstein was outed.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      That’s been on my rewatch list for a while. I only saw it in a theater, but that theater was a particularly rowdy dollar theater. While I certainly had an experience, I know it wasn’t the one Kubrick intended.

  23. The Rev Kev

    Re Antidote du jour. Kouros’s “very skittish” Bean-bean

    Between the hard cover books in those glass cases and the cello behind him, Bean-Bean looks like he has dressed up in a tuxedo for the occasion. And he does look to be a very good cat.

    Glad to see also that that passing dude was able to rescue that German Shepherd as his sibling (?) looked to be going frantic with worry. Good doggies.

          1. flora

            adding: people talk about the artists’ ‘love of the art’ with no description of what that means. How can you describe it? Listen to great musicians, look at great paintings and sculptures, take in great plays. You will know what it means. Even if it is indescribable or ineffable to you. Even if you cannot explain it. You will know it. It will ring a bell in your being. / my 2 cents

    1. Pat

      Yeah on the rescue as well.

      And Bean-bean had the same stance and concentrate my late tuxie used to show when a fly dared invade our space. I expect a leap over that ottoman any second now. Beautiful boy.

  24. The Rev Kev

    ‘The Public Archive

    That is at least a hundred cops in that image in a solid block and it looks like they are going down a flight of stairs. Of course I wonder what would have happened if students had rolled a coupla hundred marbles underfoot of that phalanx. Hilarity may have ensued.

  25. begob

    Indian general on Russian operations in Ukraine (29:58). Reflects the non-MSM consensus on all points, but also adds chewy bits on the prospects for Odessa. He predicts a Russian ‘crescendo’ in June.

    This guy is new to me, and I think his views may be of interest, since I imagine the Indian military has good insight on Russian battlefield practice.

  26. bayoustjohndavid

    Has Truthout turned into an organ of the idpol PMC “left?” From the article on state courts you’d think the main reason billionaires were funding the Federalist Society was because of abortion-related issues.

    Also, the five subject links under “Truth out” in the masthead are:

    What was it Mark Ames in a “Naked Capitalism” fundraiser several years ago? Something about the American left not caring to understand finance,economics, or money

    1. britzklieg

      Thanks for the links!

      I grew up in St. Petersburg, FL when we knew him as Joe Waller.

  27. Jason Boxman

    On Americans Across the Political Divide Want a Federal Job Guarantee, I’ve always felt that the keys to presenting this are

    – local control over what projects or work is done
    – assurance that people that loaf or fail to meet standards are sent packing
    – elimination of minimum wage laws, which a JG basically obviates anyway; let employers compete with the JG for labor and pay more, or not, and see what happens

    1. steppenwolf fetchit

      So a Federal JG would simply be a Trojan Horse filled with elimination of minimum wage laws? If that is a legally extorted condition for getting FJG, why wouldn’t the wage for the FJG be set a one dollar an hour?

      1. Jason Boxman

        Wages would be set by statute for the JG. This sets a living floor wage. Anyone else could pay less but who would be a taker? Let the private sector do whatever it wants, but if it wants to employ people it’ll have to be a better deal than the JG which should be generous, and include universal care, paid time off, and so on. Civilized employment.

        1. steppenwolf fetchit

          The same people who would successfully extort the end of minimum wage laws as the price the FJGists pay for getting their FJG would also successfully extort setting the FJG wage at a level which would effectively satisfy the minimum-wage-abolitionists.

          1. Jason Boxman

            Then we can’t do things in this country; Because minimum wage laws aren’t exactly working, either, at the federal level.

            1. jobs

              In the short term, they are “working” just fine, keeping enough people precarious.

              In the long term, they suppress domestic demand and contribute to the decline of US society.

  28. thousand points of green

    . . . ” Lancaster University votes to ban meat and dairy at outlets ” . . .

    It would have been better if the ban had been against CAFO beef and CAFO dairy specifically. But at least this ban will spur some students and others to learn about ecology, sustainability, livestock on multi-species pasture as against in feedlots, etc.

    And if the livestock-on-pasture growers are pressed to demonstrate their claims that livestock-on-pasture is net-skycarbon-resuckdown, perhaps ways will be found to do actual research for actual data for actual science on just what does happen to year-on-year soil carbon/ root carbon levels in that pasture under the livestock.

  29. neutrono23

    If Trump is requesting a drug test before the debate I say we comply and give him one. Let’s see how much Adderall or fen-phen he needs to perform in a debate.

  30. matt

    re: China Attempts to End Property Crisis With Broad Rescue Package
    China’s housing saga is super interesting to me because it is somewhat a test of China’s socialist banking infastructure. I am still working on fully understanding it, but it gives me a lot of hope for debt as a public utility in the future.
    Anyway. From what I understand. Local government backed finance vehicles helped create housing using loans with the Chinese government as a creditor and these shell companies for local governments as debtors. (They wanted this bc of the complexities of acquiring government funds and something with taxation or growth, having housing built in your province made finances easier somehow.) Now the government is buying back that surplus and converting it into affordable housing. Which, yay? But it somewhat is a bailout. I come from the American perspective where building more housing is desperately needed but from what I understand, that isn’t the case in China, and they actually have a surplus. (Which, I think good? Affordable housing is definitely good.)
    I think somewhat the economy needs to transition away from construction of housing (its kind of a basic supply and demand issue right now w/ too much housing) and into construction of something else I don’t know. I need to do more research. I need to spend my summer researching this. But uh, keeping an eye glued to how the Chinese housing bubble pans out.

    1. CA

      “China’s housing saga is super interesting to me because it is somewhat a test of China’s socialist banking infrastructure…”

      Perfect; understanding begins there. And the restructuring of the housing market means a stronger, increasingly equitable China.

    2. CA

      “China’s housing saga is super interesting to me…”

      Ben Norton @BenjaminNorton

      China announced a huge 300 billion-yuan ($41.5 billion) social housing program. China popped its real estate bubble, refusing to bail out over-indebted private developers. Now state-owned enterprises can use this money to buy unsold homes, then offer them as affordable housing.

      9:38 AM · May 17, 2024

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      We had a very detailed cross post on this before.

      This is absolutely not a socialist banking structure. The local governments have been operating w/o state backing. The loans for the real estate are overwhelmingly Ponzi finance, which means they are subsidizing developers and construction industry players at the expense of buyers (due to the loss of wealth as the bubble deflates) and citizens generally (who will eat the bailout or zombification costs just as in the West with the GFC and in Japan with post bubble malaise.

      See the links for details. The post also shows that contrary to pro-China PR, it has a financialzed economy.

      Just because the West sucks does not automatically make the non-West a bunch of paragons.

  31. LawnDart

    Heathens. Our nazis are expected to wear suits and ties.

    Germany deports 7 Ukrainian soldiers for wearing Nazi symbols

    German authorities say all Ukrainian military personnel arriving for training will be explicitly instructed that it is prohibited to display Nazi symbols

    1. Acacia

      Curious which symbols, exactly, were considered objectionable. The Germans ought to know, right?

      The article sources Kommersant, but there’s no link and searching “Германия” doesn’t surface the source article.

      However, this story is being reported elsewhere as well, and here’s some video:

        1. Acacia

          Thank you. I wish more news sites would link to sources, as Kommersant does.

          From the article:

          At the same time, the German government noted that it does not see a threat to the possible peace process in Ukraine from Ukrainian nationalists.

          Journalistic irony, à la Russe ? Lol

          1. R.S.

            If you read the original exchange (in German), the one in the pdfs linked in the Bundestag press release, I’d say it’s somewhat amusing.

            It mostly revolves around “symbols”, and I’m now also curious what symbols, exactly, those guys were deported for. The gov’t states that neither OUN-UPA, the Right Sector and the Azov, nor their symbols are prohibited because these orgs are not active (really?) in Germany. Moreover, the gov’t sees no contradiction between them fighting right-wing extremism at home and crickets when it comes to similar movements in Ukraine. It’s also known what insignias the Ukr military like to wear and paint on their vehicles. But it’s all dismissed as fake news, sorry, social media, and “it doesn’t relate to the materiel from German stocks” (huh?)

  32. matt

    re: Medics at UCLA Protest Say Police Weapons Drew Blood and Cracked Bones
    oh california… it is a foreign country to me (east coast baby!!!) but its collapse is deeply fascinating to me. between the homelessness issues, and general unrest, i am a bit worried for it. i read a different article recently on the rise of private security companies in california. coupled with the gangs. add in the police violence: things are not looking good. and police committing more violence against citizens is kinda shooting themselves in the foot; raises public distrust in the government. i do not pretend to know and understand california but i just hope they are okay, and if they are not okay they revolt efficiently.

  33. Acacia

    From: FBI Documents Allege Japan Used Germ Warfare in Attack on US and Canada

    According to Japanese testimony, all records inside Japan relating to their secret balloon program were destroyed at the end of World War II, along with the biological warfare research undertaken by Japan’s infamous Unit 731.

    The author seems to be mis-quoting the source, which in this case is Stephen C. Mercado’s book on the Imperial Japanese Army’s elite intelligence school at Nakano, possibly by relying on Wikipedia instead of actually checking Mercado’s book.

    The balloon bombs were developed at the the Noborito Research Institute, which is today a museum open to the public. You can visit and see extensive documentation of the balloon bomb program on display.

  34. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from We Three  by The Ink Spots)

    We three stand each alone
    From the river to the sea
    We’re Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthi

    Each clan of us has vowed
    To push back the Israelis
    We’re Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthi

    For Gaza we all fight
    Israel’s triple blight
    We fight for love

    The Israelis don’t know
    Which way they should go
    Which group to rid themselves of

    We three know what we do
    We’ve ruined their economy
    We’re Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthi

    Israelis weep and groan
    Attrition is a bitch indeed
    Your citizens will choose to flee

    We three will not be bowed
    Until all of Palestine is free
    We’re Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthi

    You know the IDF’s blundering
    Their hatred and sheer spite
    The fact that they can’t fight
    The safety they’re now bereft of

    That American ammo
    One day will be vetoed
    Their hand won’t be in your glove

    Israel will soon be through
    A nation that soon will not be
    And Gaza will live so free

Comments are closed.