Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 26, 2022

Open Thread 2022-08

News & views ...

Posted by b on January 26, 2022 at 18:43 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

Posted on Saker just now.

Ya'll don't listen very well. For 3 months I've given you every hint I could without breaking OpSec and generally, not always but generally, I'd wait until something was even vaguely hinted at in the local news, who are by the by quite observant and under the same restrictions we are, before I said anything, either that or I have reported what is observed eyes on in publik but in no way violating OpSec.

I told you several times starting when VCO and I got out of hospital in late October that our pool of available muscle to help around the lawns and gardens was suddenly 'unavailable' since very early November. I have told you more than once of the racket from Belbek Aerodrome but a few kilometers north of us. I have told you of the sudden dearth of military aged men on our streets. I have told you of VCO and I stocking heavily up on food for us and the children. I have told you of the noise from the various specialist lagers near us as the specialists hone their skills 24/7. I have told you of the sudden lack of any uniforms on the streets in our little village on northside. I have told you of the sudden lack of any green vehicle traffic in and around our little northside valley. I reported to you within minutes of the Flot sailing out of harbor that the Flot had indeed sailed (in the local, and then national, news within minutes and with videos), as it was reported the other Russian Flots had sailed. What do all these 'hints' tell you?

In my opinion Mat Rossiya has called up the reserves and is positioning all her assets as needed for an expected attack from SehSha. Nato don't matter, it can't and won't fight because they well know they are looking down the muzzles of thousands of Comrade Kalashnikov's Ode to World Peace and a sudden total lack of Russian gas (at which point they are totally and irrevocably screwed). At this time war is 95% or more in the cards. The very fact that the Flots sailed worldwide and news reports the heavy movements of Russian ground forces west should tell you all including that Katai has our backs on the East Front.


Posted by: Auslander | Jan 28 2022 10:24 utc | 301

It would be a disgraceful act of European incompetence to let this escalate further. The fools, the fools, the fools.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 28 2022 9:43 utc | 295

Hello uncle. I think it is worse than that.

Russia has clearly framed this as a matter of good versus evil, as an issue of morality.

Europe has reached the point of no return.

Let's face it. The European Commission is hopelessly corrupt; the European Parliament is hopelessly corrupt; the European Court of Human Rights is hopelessly corrupt (I can prove that myself); the Council of Europe, which supervises the Court, is hopelessly corrupt; and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is being shown by the Russians to be hopelessly corrupt.

This is the last chance for Europe. Does the continent possess any honour and integrity whatsoever?

Posted by: John Cleary | Jan 28 2022 10:32 utc | 302

I was strolling about in metallicman and found a proposal for Russia to retaliate against every congress critter that backed santions. See this gem:

Banning the companies that support American Congressmen

Yesterday the idea was floated to ban any US company which financed a US congress rep that votes for sanctions against Russia, for 5 years from the Russian market.

Oh. This could be bad.

Most US companies donate to some, at least the ones in the state, of both parties.

Apple? Coca Cola? Boeing? McDonalds? VISA? Walmart? General Motors? Ford? Procter&Gamble?

Apple alone does 3 billion sales in Russia, 5 years would be be 15 billion sales lost.

No problem for Russia. They just get everything from China. At a fraction of the cost.

You will need to scroll down a way but the main story is a goodie.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 28 2022 10:57 utc | 303

Well then, look what we have here:

Biden's call with Ukrainian President 'did not go well'

A call between US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday "did not go well," a senior Ukrainian official told CNN, amid disagreements over the "risk levels" of a Russian attack.

The White House, however, disputed the official's account, warning that anonymous sources were "leaking falsehoods." They did state that Biden warned Zelensky an imminent invasion is a "distinct possibility".


Zelensky, however, restated his position that the threat from Russia remains "dangerous but ambiguous," and it is not certain that an attack will take place"


Zelensky urged his American counterpart to "calm down the messaging," warning of the economic impact of panic, according to the official. He also said Ukrainian intelligence sees the threat differently.
The Ukrainian leader pointed to a recent breakthrough in negotiations with Russia in Paris, saying that he hoped a ceasefire agreement with rebels in eastern Ukraine would be maintained.

The January invasion will now be a February invasion...


I wonder who could possibly benefit from such distractions at a time when British police are investigating the British Prime Minster's behaviour during Covid lockdowns, and when the US President is staring at a shambolic foreign policy ahead of the November mid-terms. I wonder..

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Jan 28 2022 11:10 utc | 304

waynorinorway #296

Thanks for the recipe but Pine trees are fine just where they are and maybe I would eat any safe fungi around the base but I am not big on that form of roughage. I do appreciate the idea of food forests, I am living in the one I planted. Blueberries and figs have just finished their season, bananas filling out, papaya occasionally, avocados likely fruiting well next year and loads of citrus. Much much more. Way to go.

I will watch the vid when I have finished with world affairs.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 28 2022 11:12 utc | 305

John Cleary #298

This is the last chance for Europe. Does the continent possess any honour and integrity whatsoever?

They have been Sturgeoned then, I take it.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 28 2022 11:18 utc | 306

Today, in Canadian news, seeing it from the other guy’s perspective.

1) Germany? More NATO forces will provoke Russia. Lithuania? More NATO forces will deter Russia (new coverage of the same old debate, on location this time)

(I referenced this obliquely in prior posts but I’ll restate. Canada is leading a NATO group in Latvia and is present in Ukraine. Both are under command of a French-Canadian officer, and more than 300 troops are from Quebec. Most NATO troops are English second language.)

2) Ukrainians in Montreal speak up

“Le monde entier parle d’une « invasion potentielle », mais il ne faut pas oublier que Vladimir Poutine a déjà pris par la force une partie substantielle de l’Ukraine, avec l’invasion de la Crimée et du Donbass, en 2014, explique Evhen Osidacz, un Montréalais d’origine ukrainienne qui suit de près les derniers développements.
« Si on parle d’une invasion russe totale, on parle de dizaines de milliers de morts. Pas seulement du côté ukrainien, mais du côté russe aussi. Des générations vont souffrir si Poutine décide d’aller de l’avant. » “

3) Live from New York: Canadian news reporters

“The name New York is part of Ukraine’s European history,” she says. “We return to historical justice.”

4) Foreign interest in the Caribbean

Don’t kill the messenger, ok? I’ve read many of the glowing posts about Russia and China increasing their presence in Latin America. Just a reminder that there are other countries who are also involved who aren’t the USA. Trudeau spoke with the PM of Barbados yesterday. In the links at the bottom of the press release, there was one to this page on Canada’s ties to CARICOM. I post the link for the opening sentence:

“Canada has strong historical ties and a robust relationship with Caribbean countries based on our Commonwealth and Francophonie connections, and our shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. “

Even if the last half of the sentence is dropped, the first half will remain.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jan 28 2022 11:22 utc | 307

waynorinorway #296

Eating cambium layer of trees is a good resort in a famine I guess. But you might want to be very sure of its tannin content or the typical famine outcome will include yourself. In my younger days I have tended a herd of goats and they are good at ringbarking many fruit trees in their rush to consume cambium but they never went for the pines so I assume it is worth some precautionary investigation.

I will stick to a wide variety of trees that are typical human cultivars plus the small green growing things like ginger and turmeric.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 28 2022 11:59 utc | 308

Could the Democrats kill two birds?

SCOTUS vacancy
Kamala Harris unpopular as VP

Posted by: intp1 | Jan 28 2022 12:44 utc | 309

Could the Democrats kill two birds?

SCOTUS vacancy
Kamala Harris unpopular as VP

Posted by: intp1 | Jan 28 2022 12:44 utc | 305

I think they are thinking about it. She ticks all the boxes, and can be "relied on",

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 28 2022 12:49 utc | 310

re :Peter AU1 | Jan 28 2022 5:02 utc who asks "Who do you consider your stalker?" well certainly not you or anyone else I have interacted with during this current sojourn at MoA. I have no intention of identifying him/her unless the usual M.O. of kneejerk opposition to anything I post becomes too annoying. Like most of us I'm too old & bored by facile ego 'battles' but poorly thought through contradiction does become tiresome. Nevertheless I plan on restraining myself unless I just get too pissed, MoA is not the forum for such nonsense which is best left to talkback radio or the web equivalent.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 28 2022 12:57 utc | 311

I was strolling about in metallicman and found a proposal for Russia to retaliate against every congress critter that backed santions. See this gem:

Banning the companies that support American Congressmen
Yesterday the idea was floated to ban any US company which financed a US congress rep that votes for sanctions against Russia, for 5 years from the Russian market.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 28 2022 10:57 utc | 299

No, the Russians (and the Chinese) should say the we have far too many monopolies, and they will only do business with our smaller competitive companies in the future, until we have a healthier and more diverse Capitalist economy.

That will drive them nuts.

Boycotting anything belonging to Kroger, Kock, Gates, Pelosi, Bush etc. is of course a good idea too, and still completely legal.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 28 2022 13:03 utc | 312

I think they are thinking about it. She ticks all the boxes, and can be "relied on",

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 28 2022 12:49 utc | 306


The Financial Times is pitching Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Ketanji Brown Jackson emerges as frontrunner for vacant US Supreme Court seat ==>

Posted by: too scents | Jan 28 2022 13:08 utc | 313

Ketanji Brown Jackson emerges as frontrunner for vacant US Supreme Court seat ==>

Posted by: too scents | Jan 28 2022 13:08 utc | 309

Yeah, the question is how comfy are they with President Harris? I don't know myself. If the question of her fitness to replace Joe was not on the table we would not ask the question. I think there will be other "front-runners" until a choice is made; and Harris looks like a long shot to me.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 28 2022 13:22 utc | 314

@CarlD #265
@ADKC #275
I posted about this in refutation to another allegation that Nord Stream 2 is fully paid for by Gazprom. This allegation is false.

NS2 estimated cost is 9.5 billion euro = $11B or so

NS2 was half paid for by Gazprom, half by 5 companies:
Uniper, Wintershall, Engie, OMV and Royal Dutch Shell

Of the 5, 3 have "fully paid their loan payments" - i.e. have provided all of the money promised. One of these - Wintershall - says it withdrew from Gazprom but that would be irrelevant if they already paid.

1 (Uniper) says they withdrew but had already made at least some loan payments. Not clear how much.

No information on the last (Engie)

source 1 - Nord Stream 2 on wiki

soure 2 - Tass on Uniper withdrawing and also announcing completion of funding by OMV, Shell and Wintershall

So net net: it is 100% clear that Gazprom DID NOT fully pay for NS2.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 28 2022 13:27 utc | 315

@intp1 #305
@Bemildred #306
Saagar and Krystal on Breaking Points put it best: the idea is stupid because it would be transparently obvious that Biden is ditching Kamala.
That doesn't even go into the issue of Kamala's qualifications as a judge. She was a prosecutor but has zero experience as a judge - they are very different jobs. The same can be said for most of the "short list" of candidates put up, although there are 1 or 2 who both have a (short) experience as judges and are actually progressive.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 28 2022 13:32 utc | 316

@PeterAU1 #284
No doubt Debs is complaining about me - even though I haven't responded to any of his posts in a long time.
He is such a baby - his pronouncements are apparently decrees of God such that no one can possibly question them.
Idiotic and the usual bullshit of many "progressives": free speech unless someone objects to their speech.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 28 2022 13:37 utc | 317

@too scents #309
@Bemildred #310
Ms. Jackson's background: Harvard, Harvard Law school. Black woman but more likely a scion of the American oligarchy.

But Krystal says she has actually acted in anti-corporate ways in the past - so that just means she won't get confirmed...

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 28 2022 13:40 utc | 318

Durham is still trucking along

What Did Clinton Know About RussiaGate And When Did She Know It - Real Clear Investigations

There is A LOT of circumstantial evidence that she did know at least something, but that's not the interesting part.

The interesting part:

Among those Americans aware of the Durham probe, fully 60% think the special counsel should question Clinton about her role in the dossier and other campaign foul play, according to a recent national poll by TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics. Broken down by political affiliation, 80% of Republicans, 44% of Democrats and 74% of independent voters agree that Clinton should be interviewed by investigators.

Hmmm. Given that this is similar to the present "not-Democrat" vote split in the American people, one secondary effect of a Red Wave in 2022 might be an intensification of Durham's investigation.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 28 2022 13:43 utc | 319

This is the MIC at work

Army Infantry Squad Vehicle Problems

The OT&E report goes on to detail substantial deficiencies in the ISV during combat situations, from the vehicle’s relative lack of ballistic armor to the fact that, due to its design, “personal weapons were not easily accessible on the move, degrading the ability of the squad to quickly react to enemy actions and ambushes,” according to the OT&E report.


This is the second devastatingly critical assessment of the ISV handed down by the Pentagon’s weapons tester in a row. The January 2020 OT&E report noted that, with a lack of an underbody and ballistic survivability requirement, the ISV “will be susceptible to enemy threats and actions” — and the soldiers inside will remain basically helpless to respond.


Despite these issues, the Army appears to be plowing ahead with its procurement and fielding of the ISV. The service awarded GM Defense a $214.3 million contract in June 2020 to manufacture 649 ISVs for soldiers and, eventually, support the potential production of up to 2,065 vehicles over eight years with additional authorization.

The initial order above amounts to ... $330,000 per vehicle. If you go to the link and look at it, the vehicle looks basically like a stripped down mini SUV.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 28 2022 13:48 utc | 320

This is a great substack posting: Chris Arnade did 2 long walks through different parts of Washington DC.

Walking America, Washington DC Anacostia

While my two walks went through the two very different parts of DC, what unites them, besides proximity, is both voted overwhelmingly for Democrats, and both are core to the party. Both represent a wing of the Democratic Parties base. Anacostia and south eastern DC the black vote, and Alexandria and northern Virginia the college educated white vote.


Anacostia is, like most Back Row communities, very religious, not particularly that political, and not obsessively careerist. Sure people care about their jobs, care about their elected officials, but it doesn’t define who they are in a way it does in Alexandria. Non-economic things like faith, family, and local communities means more than how big is your resume. The transcendent trumps the material.

Anacostia is like the rest of the country that way. Far more like "Flyover America” than Alexandria is.

Yet, it is the Alexandria’s of America that is more and more defining who the Democratic Party is. That is partly because the activist class, who drive the party’s changes, are more and more from the Alexandria’s of America. And, most importantly, more and more they stayed bubbled there. They rarely go to, or understand the Anacostia’s of America, beyond dabbling in a few non profits, or mingle with a few residents who have “escaped” from there.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 28 2022 14:04 utc | 321

@too scents #309
@Bemildred #310
Ms. Jackson's background: Harvard, Harvard Law school. Black woman but more likely a scion of the American oligarchy.

But Krystal says she has actually acted in anti-corporate ways in the past - so that just means she won't get confirmed...

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 28 2022 13:40 utc | 314

She sounds like the best one could hope for, not another white male bureaucrat.

I doubt it will make any difference, whatever they do about Breyer. It is not like he was some Knight of the Left or advocate for the people. A decent judge would be nice, but not likely, as you say.

But replacing Joe is looking more urgent, and I don't see anybody, and I sure don't see Harris. Which was my interest here really.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 28 2022 14:05 utc | 322

@intp1 #305
@Bemildred #306
Saagar and Krystal on Breaking Points put it best: the idea is stupid because it would be transparently obvious that Biden is ditching Kamala.
That doesn't even go into the issue of Kamala's qualifications as a judge. She was a prosecutor but has zero experience as a judge - they are very different jobs. The same can be said for most of the "short list" of candidates put up, although there are 1 or 2 who both have a (short) experience as judges and are actually progressive.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 28 2022 13:32 utc | 312

I expect stupid.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 28 2022 14:10 utc | 323

Some evidence that Harris Kupperman's ESG thesis is correct:

Are Activist Investors To Blame For High Oil Prices on

Citing an Evercore ISI study, Eberhart noted that private oil companies in the shale patch were planning on boosting their capital spending by as much as 42 percent, while public companies were going to raise their expenditure by half that. In fairness, they are still planning to increase capital spending. However, it may not all be spent on new oil production.

The European supermajors are a good example as well. Pressure on the oil industry in Europe is a lot stronger than it is in the U.S., and it comes from more directions. As a result, BP, Shell, and TotalEnergies are not only expanding into low-carbon energy but also planning to slash their oil and gas production substantially to make their shareholders—and governments—happy.

To recap: Harris Kupperman's thesis was that the ESG movement was causing Western oil majors to severely underinvest in new oil exploration. This in turn would enable a supply crunch, which in turn would drive oil (and other energy) prices higher. That's why he's put a lot of money in 2023-2025 oil derivative collars aimed at $100/barrel profit point.

Note also ESG is hardly "activist" - it is literally like Moody's and other bond rating agencies prior to 2008: bureaucratic, corporatist crap which only public companies care about.

Bloomberg had a great article on MSCI - the promulgator of ESG rating:
What is ESG Investing? MSCI ratings focus on the corporate bottom line

No single company is more critical to Wall Street’s new profit engine than MSCI, which dominates a foundational yet unregulated piece of the business: producing ratings on corporate “environmental, social, and governance” practices. BlackRock and other investment salesmen use these ESG ratings, as they’re called, to justify a “sustainable” label on stock and bond funds. For a significant number of investors, it’s a powerful attraction.

Yet there’s virtually no connection between MSCI’s “better world” marketing and its methodology. That’s because the ratings don’t measure a company’s impact on the Earth and society. In fact, they gauge the opposite: the potential impact of the world on the company and its shareholders. MSCI doesn’t dispute this characterization. It defends its methodology as the most financially relevant for the companies it rates.

This critical feature of the ESG system, which flips the very notion of sustainable investing on its head for many investors, can be seen repeatedly in thousands of pages of MSCI’s rating reports. Bloomberg Businessweek analyzed every ESG rating upgrade that MSCI awarded to companies in the S&P 500 from January 2020 through June of this year, as a record amount of cash flowed into ESG funds. In all, the review included 155 S&P 500 companies and their upgrades.

The most striking feature of the system is how rarely a company’s record on climate change seems to get in the way of its climb up the ESG ladder—or even to factor at all. McDonald’s Corp., one of the world’s largest beef purchasers, generated more greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 than Portugal or Hungary, because of the company’s supply chain. McDonald’s produced 54 million tons of emissions that year, an increase of about 7% in four years. Yet on April 23, MSCI gave McDonald’s a ratings upgrade, citing the company’s environmental practices. MSCI did this after dropping carbon emissions from any consideration in the calculation of McDonald’s rating. Why? Because MSCI determined that climate change neither poses a risk nor offers “opportunities” to the company’s bottom line.

MSCI then recalculated McDonald’s environmental score to give it credit for mitigating “risks associated with packaging material and waste” relative to its peers. That included McDonald’s installation of recycling bins at an unspecified number of locations in France and the U.K.—countries where the company faces potential sanctions or regulations if it doesn’t recycle. In this assessment, as in all others, MSCI was looking only at whether environmental issues had the potential to harm the company. Any mitigation of risks to the planet was incidental. McDonald’s declined to comment on its ESG rating from MSCI.

There's a reason why government authorities, even the heavily regulatorily captured ones like the SEC, are scrutinizing at ESG ratings.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 28 2022 15:15 utc | 324

@c1ue | Jan 28 2022 13:27 utc | 311

So net net: it is 100% clear that Gazprom DID NOT fully pay for NS2.

I.e. even more likely to have been compensated by gas sales at higher prices

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 28 2022 15:17 utc | 325

There are gossips about hedge funds managers turning against Pfizer.
People even talk about Pfizer being the new Enron.


As I commented a while ago: Boeing 737 MAX oversight failure on steroids.

Posted by: pppp | Jan 28 2022 15:24 utc | 326

as someone keenly interestee in developments in space tech, I want share that china has just towed a defunct satellite to a farther orbit to remove it from causing dowxe debris.

the US interpretation of this of course focused on the military implications.

“You could look at China working to develop the capability to remove inactive satellites on orbit as a way in which it is being a responsible space actor and cleaning up debris that it caused. Or you could use the lens that a lot of the US-based China watchers use and say that this could indicate that China is developing an on-orbit offensive capability.”

anyhow the science behind it is cool

Posted by: mastameta | Jan 28 2022 15:40 utc | 327

I see Germany is now being summoned for correction. It will be interesting to learn the results of that conversation.

Posted by: thecelticwithinme | Jan 28 2022 15:40 utc | 328

typo: dowxe debris = space debris

Posted by: mastameta | Jan 28 2022 15:40 utc | 329

@Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 28 2022 0:58 utc | 256

Loved that story!


The MSM, however, gets a "Russia!, Russia!!, Russia!!!" fear porn story.

What is really behind this story?

Ostensibly, an American woman is trying to get a visa for her new Ukrainian husband.
Her job with Microsoft, she says, had moved her from the US to Ukraine.
Now, she is crying wolf to get the process sped up.

"Naturkach and her family are under the threat of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a military invasion.

"It's just a very scary situation because apart from his soldiers and his army, there's a lot of people in Ukraine who are pro-Russia as well and you never know where they are," she said.

Beyond all that, how shocked would we be to learn that this is really one of those fake marriage schemes?
She gets a fee to enter marriage and he gets to move to the US.

Posted by: librul | Jan 28 2022 15:43 utc | 330

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 28 2022 9:17 utc | 293

Rather than get into a 'misunderstanding' can you be definitive about what a "higher power" is. I can imagine a deity, an alien, an oligarch, an idiot with a virus in a bottle

Yes I can imagine all of that also, but I have seen no evidence from which I could give you the definitive answer that you seem to want.

What I have seen evidence for is that the whole covid mess has been a disaster for TPTB. It has done more to undermine their authority and power than anything I have ever before witnessed. The people who think that the pandemic is planned by elites and is proceeding as planned have their head in the sand and are refusing to look at the evidence.

Posted by: jinn | Jan 28 2022 15:45 utc | 331

Posted by: waynorinorway | Jan 28 2022 9:58 utc | 296

Thank you for the link! I noticed that the open thread has generated huge numbers while the followup on the Ryanair is only in the 30s which indicates a number of points regarding the power of this blog:
b's technical and intelligence background and skills are more than impressive.
b's use of Open threads allow for a parallel process which opens the floodgates of information, ideas and perspectives from a large number of people around the world, most of whom share a similar worldview to generate a lively and informative discussion. Contributions of posters are equally if not more impressive than b's original threads which trigger the synergy and inspiration that touches all of us barflies.
Waynorinorway, your link adds another dimension seldom mentioned here: food. Natural food. free food. What we put into our bodies is very personal, involves our appetites/addictions as well as our needs; relates to our perception of our social status and how others perceive us. I would encourage barflies to talk about food in the open threads, knowing that it is a journey into another labyrinth which is loaded with emotion and potential for disagreement but, essential as we continue facing challenges to our life support system.
Uncle Tungsten, let us know how your avocado trees are doing. And I'll let you all know how my experiment with pine needle tea goes!

Posted by: migueljose | Jan 28 2022 15:46 utc | 332

I don't know if it's heartening or sad that there is so much anticipation here about the supreme court pick. that the only requirement issued by the administration is that it must be a black woman just tells me it is a token pick, not just token for checking all the 'affirmative' reasons but token in the sense as a substitute for substance. (whatever substance means here, given how the court is currently stacked).

a government more concerned about symbolic gestures instead of governance. as it is, the requirement is not so much idealistic as utterly cynical. as if people can be placated with empty show. the domestic side just reproduces the smoke and mirrors of the US on the international scene.

Posted by: mastameta | Jan 28 2022 15:52 utc | 333

again, on the supreme court pick: identity politics is both a symptom and catalyst for a nation's cultural disintegration. the irony is that the overt message is about overcoming differences, while differences are all thst it accentuates. when manifest destiny has run its course, and imperial expansion is no longer on the horizon, all that's left is identity politics.

Posted by: mastameta | Jan 28 2022 16:06 utc | 334

Posted by: librul | Jan 28 2022 15:43 utc | 326

...there's a lot of people in Ukraine who are pro-Russia as well and you never know where they are," she said.

For the first time in eight years the Western MSM tells what the Ukrainian crisis is really about — civil war.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jan 28 2022 16:09 utc | 335

@Norwegian #321
The higher gas prices weren't caused by Gazprom; they are largely caused by Europe's energy practices ranging from massive investment in unreliable energy sources like solar PV and wind to shutting down all of Germany's nuclear plants.

But let's look at just how much revenue Gazprom could generate from natural gas through Nord Stream 2.

Gazprom report on natural gas sales -

Over the course of 2020, the Gazprom Group sold 219 billion cubic meters of gas to countries outside the former Soviet Union (including both exports from Russia and sales of gas purchased by the Group abroad). The net revenue from gas sales (net of excise tax and customs duties) totaled RUB 1,811.6 billion.

In 2020, Russian gas exports to Europe (under contracts of Gazprom Export) amounted to 174.9 billion cubic meters.

If we use say, 74 rubles to the dollar, that's $24.48B in overall revenue. Sales to Europe are 174.9/219 = $19.55B

$19.55B/174.9bcm = $111 per 1000 cubic meters

Nord Stream 2 capacity is 55 bcm, so Gazprom would generate $6.1B revenue per year, at the 2020 prices from above, if NS2 were operational and at full capacity. No brainer, right?

But of course, this isn't the actual business equation. Russia can transit gas already via other channels, principally the Ukraine.
Ukraine charges $2.66 per 1000m3 per 100 km.
source: Can Ukraine Do Without Russian Gas Transit Fees on

Actual numbers: $2B revenue for ~55.5bcm

So the 55 bcm which NS2 can send directly to Germany would cost around $2 billion just in transit fees through Ukraine.

Is that worth a $5.5M investment plus operating costs for NS2? Seems like a no brainer, particularly since there is also significant geopolitical risk with Ukraine.

Of course, all of the above was calculated using average 2020 prices.

Prices in December went over $2100 per 1000m3 at one point, and price right now is over $1000 per 1000m3.

Obviously full year 2022 is not going to see an average natural gas price of $1000 per 1000m3. If we look at 2018 and 2019, peak winter prices were roughly 25% higher than summer (and were around $250 per 1000m3).

So here are the NS2 (max capacity) revenues for various possible full year 2022 gas price per 1000m3:
$850: $46.75B
$650: $35.75B
$450: $24.75B

Note that even at $450 average for full year 2022, Gazprom would generate more revenue from NS2 than it got for its entire worldwide operations in 2020.

This is the reason why - even should the US cut off Russia from Swift somehow (Swift is Belgian), Europe would likely find a way to pay anyhow. Russia supplies 40% to 50% of Europe's entire natural gas consumption - the above prices would look far worse without Russian supply.

Note also this is very possibly why the American Russia haters are panicking.

High natural gas and oil prices mean not only Russia becomes A LOT richer, it also means Russia has won the economic war via sanctions etc started in 2014.

Russia used the sanctions to build up its internal production capacity, has built stronger energy and other ties with China and will now have more energy revenue than it has seen in a long, long time (2007-ish).

For example, did you know that Russia is now the world's largest wheat exporter? This on top of being the largest oil exporter, the 3rd largest steel exporter, the largest softwood lumber exporter, 2nd largest copper exporter etc etc.

Russia's trade surplus in 2020 was $92B; 2021 is going to probably double that.

To compare, the US' trade deficit was $678.8B in 2020. Adjusted for population, the comparables on trade is -$296B (US) vs. +$92B (RU) in 2020.

For 2021, the comparable is going to be around $-371B (US) vs. $180B+ (RU).

As you can see, even with the exorbitant privilege of the USD, this is pretty stark a comparison.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 28 2022 16:15 utc | 336

@c1ue | Jan 28 2022 16:15 utc | 332

The higher gas prices weren't caused by Gazprom; they are largely caused by Europe's energy practices ranging from massive investment in unreliable energy sources like solar PV and wind to shutting down all of Germany's nuclear plants.
I have not said higher gas prices were caused by Gazprom, for sure they were caused by the reasons you mention. But Gazprom sells gas and benefits from the high prices, and nobody should blame Gazprom for that.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 28 2022 16:20 utc | 337

Next installment of Robert Whiting up on Asia Times

Adventures of US Electronic Spooks

The output from the signal analysis was collated with the data gleaned from photo analysis and combined with other on-the-ground intelligence to produce air intelligence studies. If war broke out, the pilots of our B-52 bombers would have to know how to enter and maneuver through enemy territory without being detected, for long enough to unleash their bombs.


That we were violating the sovereign air space of other countries and then denying, at the highest levels, that we were doing it was something that nobody I knew lay awake at night worrying about. China, Russia and North Korea were communist nations. And communists were the enemy. Those were the times we lived in. And that was the life we had chosen.

As you can see from the 1st excerpt above, the numerous and repeated violations of other nations' airspace were at least partly for offensive reasons, not defense.

This was also interesting - talked about in a previous article

For the high-altitude flights, the Lockheed U-2 aircraft was used. The U-2 planes had been piloted by American civilians and flown out of Atsugi until 1960 when American U-2 pilot Gary Powers went down over Russia and was taken prisoner. After that, all U-2 flights were flown out of Taipei by Republic of China pilots.

American civilians = CIA contractors?

And we see the use of cutouts: Taiwan pilots.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 28 2022 16:24 utc | 338

Posted by: Auslander | Jan 28 2022 10:24 utc | 297

This morning comes with cold and snow plus skies of a Russian blue here in New Mexico, far from any ocean, (yet graced even so by seagulls who have taken up residence on the ice of a nearby lake - I might assume they came eons ago when the ocean lapped at our doorsteps. Or maybe they simply more recently followed fish trails all the way up the Rio Grande.)

I begin my read-through with deep thanks, Auslander! You grace us with your contribution here. Best wishes to you and to Saker for military acuity and observance! I'm an oldie ocean traveller myself, native to the South Pacific, so I have great respect for the ongoing movements of ships thereon. And I remember at one of the last large Russian Federation military gatherings for consultation even the students were present to the matters under discussion. That impressed me enormously.

Safe passage, all!

Posted by: juliania | Jan 28 2022 16:26 utc | 339

Posted by: migueljose | Jan 28 2022 15:46 utc | 328

Thank you, migueljose, for your encouragement and wise words about b's stewardship here. We have all benefited from his knowledge and viewpoint on international affairs, and it is only fitting we pay him back as best we can.

I have a great love for my postage stamp garden here in the US high mountain west. The soil is poor and gravelly so drainage is not an issue. I compost madly to compensate and it has been trial and error as far as what will grow - veggies do best container grown, and because winters are cold my sunroom gets crowded with said containers - or it used to. Presently I have geraniums in bloom facing south, many succulents,dwarf kale very happy on the cold windowsill and chard in a long tub facing south. It's a distance to grocery stores so greens are more important than anything else for ongoing vittles wintertime.

My last of many small employments (I'm retired) was at a plant nursery - low pay but plenty of freebies in 'orphans' that were not saleable. I grabbed lots of those! And I purchased a few fruit trees that have given me not only fruit when the seasons complied but seedlings for more trees - I crowd in as many as I can, even using some as bordering espaliers around the pathways. As I said, it's a tiny garden, lots in it though.

Better stop there! ;)

Posted by: juliania | Jan 28 2022 16:54 utc | 340

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 28 2022 16:15 utc | 332

Also, c1ue, Russia has foresworn genetically modified crops, which means its wheat and everything else is not laden with pesticides, something that the US cannot boast. We've had a very hard time but organics are finally coming into their own -- for a while it was nearly impossible to find non-modified corn and potatoes in the US, but now it is gradually getting better. People are realizing that killing the soil to force plants to grow is sawing the branch whilst sitting on it.

Still a long way to go, though, and organics are more expensive in stores, a major reason for poor diets contributing to health problems in the US among low income citizenry. I'm low income but I make an effort to eat healthy in order to stay that way. It's not easy and will get harder, but at least I have the time to garden, which many do not.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 28 2022 17:17 utc | 341

c1ue @311

Yes, but what you say is too simplistic. Gazprom have paid for the pipeline but they got financing (loans) for 50% of the project. Gazprom didn't need the financing but it wanted to involve western "partners". Gazprom has to repay those loans. So 100% of the cost of Nordstream 2 is bourne by Gazprom.

Nordstream 2 is built by "Nord Stream 2 AG" a subsidiary of Gazprom. "Nord Stream 2 AG" has only 1 shareholder which is Gazprom.

Gazprom sought financial investors and the companies you mentioned provide 50% of the costs of the project which will have to be repaid by Gazprom. But what are the terms for servicing these loans? That is not transparent (unless you can enlighten me). There is this extract that indicates that it may be tricky for Gazprom to avoid servicing the financing provided:

Nord Stream 2: Who wins, who loses?

There is only one shareholder of NS2, Gazprom. So, how would NS2's suspension hurt the energy giant?

"In as much as it would increase the cost, yes," Mikulska said. "The financing partners — ENGIE, OMV, Shell, Uniper and Wintershall Dea — should be fine as long as Gazprom adheres to the financing terms."

However, there is an interesting twist, she added. "If Gazprom defaults on its payments, according to the financing agreement, the companies can take over the share of the company."

But, this is all tangential to my main points @275 which is:

"However, Russia hasn't lost any money on NS2 because the rise in wholesale gas prices more than covers the cost of NS2. Russia would actually be making less money if NS2 was operating.

"But none of that is relevant. The loss of NS2 would be important to Russia because it would mean that Germany/Europe is allied with the US in containing and encircling Russia and China.

The most important thing that German/European people can do is insist on the opening of NS2 and the flow of cheap Russian gas."

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 28 2022 17:20 utc | 342

Lavrov holds interview "with the heads of four major Russian radio stations on Friday to discuss the pressing international issues of the day, chief among them the continued escalation of tensions between Moscow and the West over Ukraine," reports Sputnik. There isn't any transcript of this posted at the MFA in Russian, so we'll need to rely on this item that was published two hours ago. The two biggest questions are answered at the article's top:

"'If it’s up to the Russian Federation, there will be no war. We do not want wars. But we won’t allow the West to grossly ignore our interests, either,' Lavrov said, answering a question from Sputnik and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan during his big interview.

"Discussions regarding the US' formal written response to Russia's security proposals are still ongoing, Lavrov said. 'The Western-style responses muddy the waters, but there are rational points there on secondary issues,' he noted."

But as he said yesterday, the top issues went unanswered. At least Lavrov provided his assessment of NATO's reply:

"NATO also sent a formal written response to Russia's security proposals on Wednesday. Lavrov characterised it as much more ideological than that of the Americans, to the point where Washington’s letter constituted a 'model of diplomatic decency' by comparison.

“'I will mention, in brackets, that the US response, against the background of the document that was sent to us by NATO, constitutes almost a model of diplomatic decency. From NATO the reply was so ideological, reeking so much of the ‘exclusivity’ of the North Atlantic Alliance, ‘its special mission, its special purpose,’ that I was even a little bit ashamed for those who wrote these texts,' Lavrov revealed."

Lavrov on Ukraine:

"This fearmongering has become so 'frank and cynical in its use of Ukraine against Russia that the regime in Kiev has become frightened. They are already saying that there is no need to exacerbate this discussion so much, talking about reducing the rhetoric, asking the West why it is evacuating its diplomats,' Lavrov noted.

“'By the way, regarding the evacuation: who is evacuating? The Americans and other Anglo-Saxons – the Canadians and the British. That means they know something others don’t,' Lavrov suggested. Moscow may now also need to consider 'precautionary measures' for its diplomatic staff 'in anticipation of some provocations,' he said." [My Emphasis]

I'm led to conclude that the planned provocations aren't being made by Kiev, unless the theatre scriptwriting is far better than usual, which I don't think is the case. I'd very much lke to read the entire context surrounding this next bit by Lavrov:

"'[Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky and his regime are used by the Americans primarily to escalate tension, who use their ‘Cossacks in Europe,’ who play along in every possible way in any Russophobic undertakings. And Washington’s main goal, in this case, is not about Ukraine’s fate at all. It is important for them to escalate tension around Russia in order to close this matter and move on to China, as American political scientists write,' Lavrov said."

Aha! Russia doesn't view this as an attempt to contain Russia as Russia has proven that's an impossible task. Lavrov did confirm the assessments made at MoA about the ECHR:

"'[T]he EHCR lost its ability to rely on the principles of justice a long time ago, and politicises its decisions more and more with each passing year, in my opinion,' Lavrov said."

And that's it. Hopefully the MFA will have a transcript available soon as I'm sure much more was discussed than was published.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2022 17:33 utc | 343

Meanwhile, other news is being produced. Global Times has two important articles linked at the bottom of this Infographic detailing its space exploration plans. One of the articles links to the 5th edition of a White Paper detailing China's space accomplishments over the past 5 years. A plethora of information is provided, one nugget being that the planned joint lunar research base Russia and Chine will construct is to be located at the lunar South Pole. There will also be an effort by both Russia and China to establish a new UN-based set of rules for space exploration:

"The white paper also states that in the next five years, China will hone its space environment governance capability, strengthen the protection of its space activities, assets and other interests by boosting capacity in disaster backup and information protection, address vulnerabilities, and increase survivability.

"At the same time, China will seek to actively participate in the formulation of international rules on outer space under the framework of the United Nations, and jointly work with other countries to address the challenges of ensuring long-term sustainability of outer space activities. Researching plans on building a near-Earth object defense system, and increasing the capacity of near-Earth object monitoring, cataloguing, early warning and response is also on the schedule.

"Analysts said such plans are of great necessity, and China's efforts will not only make contributions to the opposition of the militarization of space, but also safeguard the safety of humanity as a whole.

"It is time to deal with space debris and traffic chaos, and China has experienced increasing challenges in recent years, as it builds satellite infrastructure and a space station, they said.

"China could lead the designing of laws in the space sector at the United Nations, hopefully making it a UN resolution to protect all, Song Zhongping, a space observer and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Friday."

Needless to say, the Outlaw US Empire will oppose any such efforts to restrict its actions. A code of conduct will certainly be required by the time construction begins on the ILRS--International Lunar Research Station--its completion date target being 2035.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2022 17:53 utc | 344

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2022 17:33 utc | 339

Thanks for the link, listened to the first fifteen minutes and Lavrov is having a field day, through Ekho Moskvy a question from McFaul was relayed, you'll have fun.

Posted by: Paco | Jan 28 2022 18:38 utc | 345

Bill 3739

A worthwhile longish read ... 87 footnotes.


All in all, the story of bill 3739 excellently illustrates Ukraine’s post-euromaidan economic world. This is a situation where the EU nations dictate a destructively liberal economic policy, to the benefit of EU producers and workers, overriding the protests even of significant sections of the domestic Ukrainian economic and political elite. Historically, such situations have been named colonialist, and I see no reason to refuse the use of such a term in the case of modern Ukraine. I would call the situation colonial to distinguish it from the general situation prevailing in the world capitalist system, which is economic imperialism, where poor nations remain poor through the organic mechanisms of the global market, even despite the attempts of the state to improve the situation[86]. A colonial situation maximally intensifies the imperialist economic exploitation of the colonized nation.

Posted by: too scents | Jan 28 2022 18:46 utc | 346

@ADKC #342
I understand what you're trying to say, but the fact still remains that 50% of the cash outlay for NS2 was not from Gazprom.
We both know that Gazprom has no need of the loans; they exist entirely to ensure that Western European companies are vested in the project - but this is irrelevant.

As for your other points: overegged, I think.

There are actually many routes by which natural gas can transit from Russia to Germany. There is a route through Poland and Belarus, for example, which is entirely unused at the moment due to the higher transit costs. There is also a similar problem with Poland as Ukraine: geopolitical issues. There is the long route from Turkstream up through Southern Eastern Europe. There are gas transit facilities in the Baltics.

Let's also not forget that NS1 is still there and still operating.

The one and only point of NS2 is that it allows Russia to transit more gas directly to Germany, both at a lower cost (due to lower/no transit costs) and with much fewer geopolitical issues.

This capability also enables supply to downstream Western European customers like the UK, Netherlands etc.

So I see NS2 as more of Americans/anti-Russians trying to hold the line at *greater* Russian/German cooperation, not a sign of go/no go.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 28 2022 19:14 utc | 347

John Cleary #298

This is the last chance for Europe. Does the continent possess any honour and integrity whatsoever?

They have been Sturgeoned then, I take it.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 28 2022 11:18 utc | 302

uncle, that comment has gone. Now it might be that it was an overflow when comments in moderation were added back, but I don't know. I DO know that the heat is now highest in Germany, so whatever b does is ok with me.

But I must find out. Here is the gist of my comment.


uncle, it is much worse than that.
The Russians have framed this as a battle between good and evil. A matter of morality.

For Europe it is the final chance.

The European Commission is hopelessly corrupt; the European Parliament is hopelessly corrupt; the European Court of Human Rights is hopelessly corrupt (as I can personally prove beyond any doubt); the Council of Europe, which supervises the ECHR, is hopelessly corrupt; the Organisation for Seecurity Co-operation in Europe is hopelessly corrupt.

This is the last chance for Europe. Does the continent possess any honour and integrity whatsoever?

Posted by: John Cleary | Jan 28 2022 19:32 utc | 348

sorry b my mistake.

Mea maxima culpa.

Please delete #348

Posted by: John Cleary | Jan 28 2022 19:40 utc | 349

Well now:

Yemen: UAE-backed Giants Brigades begin withdrawing from Shabwah

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 28 2022 20:18 utc | 350

Bless Our Truckers for shining a Global light on this cause. For the first time in a long while I am so proud to be Canadian. They can shut down/ blackout our foot protests but this is a completely different magnitude. Canadians coming together in a show of solidarity... formidable.

Posted by: ld | Jan 28 2022 20:38 utc | 351

mastameta #327

Thank you for the link on the China satellite clean up. It is good to see one nation taking responsibility for its defunct satellites. But the hyper negative tone of the report was so infuriating - the ugliness of those USA morons always trying to besmirch other nations achievements.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 28 2022 21:05 utc | 352

Guns, Drugs & the CIA
If you're over 60 you might remember a show called "Frontline", aired on PBS in the US. This 1988 show is a jaw dropper. Andrew Coburne and his wife Leslie Coburne tell part of the story of the CIA and how they worked with drug cartels in Laos, then in Central America. I don't know how they convinced people to talk: we're talking about people dealing with mafias who kill people who talk. 50 minutes. I guarantee you'll learn something.

Posted by: migueljose | Jan 29 2022 3:31 utc | 353

Posted by: juliania | Jan 28 2022 16:54 utc | 340
Thank you for your kind words. I wish you the best on your garden and food production. One of my aunts lived in the mountains outside Westcliffe, Colorado (8,000 ft) for 25 years, loved every day but growing food was a challenge. She finally gave up on tomatoes. One of her children, my cousin, lives in Salida, Colorado (7,000 ft.) on 5 acres and has a 30 ft. diameter dome greenhouse. He grows lots of food, peas are the only thing he has now.

Posted by: migueljose | Jan 29 2022 3:46 utc | 354

The Register has a posting up about the latest F35C loss into the South China Sea

In the comments I just have to share a couple for our down-under barflies

Winkypop titles his comment "Sunk Costs" and writes

Dry it out and flog it to an ally.

Scott Morrison is stupid enough to buy it.

Woza replies in the comment below

Maybe it can be a stand-in until we get the new submarines...

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 29 2022 6:09 utc | 355


The facist cabal now in control of Australia would buy dildos at a million dollars a pop if they thought that would fuck china or US/UK told them to do so. When the clowns started loud mouthing about China, China stopped buying some of our exports. It is also setting up the infrastructure to dump the rest of our exports. In the meantime, stuff like coal that China has stopped buying from us, they are now buying from US. Hold your enemy close as the saying goes. China pulls away from the US it will survive whereas US... But back to oz apart from handing our export dollars over to US, many billions are now promised and flowing to the US MIC.
Our biggest threat is US and they will loot this place, then if push comes to shove with China they will just run back home and we're left to deal with some justifiably very pissed of Chinese.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 6:34 utc | 356

@ Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 6:34 utc | 356

Yes, AU is getting screwed and used by late empire. China, like Russia, know it is the entitled and exceptional Anglo-Saxon's and not the masses living in our countries doing the proxy battle with China.

This is quite interesting to watch...

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 29 2022 6:49 utc | 357

Cia working with a drug smuggler to oust Maduro but he gets done smuggling drugs into the US. That place have got to get their act together if they want to rule the world.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 8:01 utc | 358

re c1ue | Jan 28 2022 13:37 utc | 317
In the interest of making sure no one feels bad for something they didn't do, I decided to clarify a little.
You're wrong yet again oh clueless one. You were correct in one portion that as far as I can tell cos I've had months off reading very little & posting less, you haven't stuck yer oar in mindlessly contradicting what I post for quite some time. Consequently you cannot be defined as a stalker.
I'm not gonna say any more on this evah because it is a fucking boring subject that cannot hold the interest of anyone other than voyeurs. I erred in making the remark because I hoped it would be an un-noticed way to get shit off my liver that would pass unremarked as so many most posts do.
Much bigger issues that mean a helluva a lot more to us all are what this page is for. This is my last remark on a shallow irrelevant issue. I shan't respond in the unlikely instance of anyone else self selecting stalker as a hobby. There are hundreds of great posters here at MoA we should be considering their words rather than those who aren't so great.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 29 2022 8:07 utc | 359

Debsisdead |

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 8:10 utc | 360


Some other clown was posting that whatever was to be his or her last comment. kept coming back to post the last comment. You post some interesting stuff debs but you got about as much viagra as a piece of wet paper.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 8:15 utc | 361

One wonders about a society that can't be bothered to paint its bridges.

Pittsburgh ==>

Posted by: too scents | Jan 29 2022 8:24 utc | 362

too scents

\You gotta laugh about the yanks. Its infrastructure is falling down but has no issues with allotting 3/4 of a trillion for war each year. I guess that's to ensure the sneaky Chinese and Russians wont sneak in and fix their infrastructure.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 8:37 utc | 363

Thanks Debs, good to see you here. We’ve had our spats but I agree on the many good posters.

Posted by: jonku | Jan 29 2022 8:41 utc | 364

NeoCov.. Sounds like Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology has detected US.

jonku Just winding debs up a bit. See if he can walk the talk.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 8:49 utc | 365

From your past posts I have gained an impression which may be incorrect of a person who has walked his talk. My time the the aboriginal people of the Kimberly very much changed how I viewed other cultures. You talked about skins and so forth. For that reason I am always interested in your posts, often being the only one to respond, even though it may be just on points I don't agree with.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 29 2022 9:12 utc | 366

@PeterAU1 #366
A nice try by a nice guy, but you're wasting your time.

That individual has posted very little that was either educational or interesting, IMO, over the entire time I've been on MoA, although I'm sure there are those that disagree.

The difference, however, is that I have never asked for the censorship of others nor have I ever urged anyone else to boycott or otherwise restrict access to anyone's posts.
I firmly believe in freedom of speech and that the solution for bad speech is more and better speech, not less and regulated/censored/filtered speech.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 29 2022 18:33 utc | 367

Fake vaccine cards

Fake vaccine cards are everywhere. It’s a public health nightmare.

All I can say is: ha ha ha.

This is entirely an outcome of shambolic American government.

And to be fair, it is almost certainly too late to do anything about this - does anyone really think the vaccination data from the start is reliable or even still existent?

I sure don't.

Anyway, this is all crying over spilled milk. Let 'er rip is in full swing, and we're now going to be faced with the flip side of shambolic American government: if you weren't vaccinated but got COVID and recovered, do you still need to show proof of vaccination?

Real countries with real governments have programs to address that - the US doesn't have diddly squat, including in the so-called better COVID governed states like NY or CA, and this can entirely be ascribed to the utterly wrong "vax or nothing" policy under Biden.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 29 2022 18:38 utc | 368

At OilPrice:

Biden Desperately Needs To Bring Oil Prices Down

U.S. presidents have long been made by their advisers to understand the dangers of benchmark oil prices staying above the US$75-80 per barrel (pb) level for extended periods of time.


The danger for a U.S. president in oil prices being above these levels for any prolonged period is twofold. Firstly, there is the damage that is done to the U.S. economy. As analyzed in-depth in my new book on the global oil markets, and the recent disconnect between the oil and gas markets aside, historical precedent highlighted that every US$10 per barrel change in the price of crude oil results in a 25-30 cent change in the price of a gallon of gasoline. The corollary longstanding rule of thumb is that for every one cent that the U.S.’s average price of gasoline increases, more than US$1 billion per year in discretionary additional consumer spending is lost.

Secondly, there is the damage done to the re-election prospects of the sitting U.S. president and his party by the negative economic effects of sustained high oil prices and also by the negative public reaction to sustained high gasoline prices. The ‘danger zone’ for U.S. presidents starts at around US$3.00 per gallon and at US$4.00 per gallon they are being advised to pack their bags in Pennsylvania Avenue or start a war to divert the public’s attention.

Now reference the recent Wolfstreet inflation update

Whoosh goes Fed lowball inflation measure and eats up all income gains plus some

Compensation from wages and salaries, not adjusted for inflation, and not including government transfer payments, rose by 0.7% in December, by 9.2% year-over-year.


But they were eaten up entirely by inflation. On a per-household basis, after inflation, those wage and salary gains disappeared entirely, opening up an ever-wider gap between the money people earn with their labor, and what’s left over after inflation.

I've seen multiple "man on the street" quotes along the lines of: I'm making more money than I ever have, but am able to buy less than before.

Barring 0.5% or 1% or higher interest rate hikes by Powell - the likelihood of the Fed policy to tame this inflation beast seems highly unlikely. As I noted in a previous post - a comparable Fed prime rate to the 1978 inflation taming policy would be 7%.
That requires either a big time "shock and awe" rate hike in March or a 1.25% rate hike in every single Fed meeting from now until the 2022 election (5: March, May, June, July, September).

Even a single 1.25% rate increase will certainly crush the stock market.

To put this in perspective:
The Fed has NEVER raised interest rates 1.25% or more.
Of the 353 interest rate changes since 1947, the Fed has raised interest rates 1%, 6 times and 0.75%, 9 times.

Other fun facts:
The Fed has raised interest rates 193 out of 353 interest rate changes, so interest rate decreases are only 160 in comparison.
However, there is a 2% decrease (1980), 11 - 1% decreases and 4 - 0.75% decreases.

As you can see, there is a definite skew to the Fed's behavior...

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 29 2022 19:20 utc | 369

Rhania Kalek on the strangulation of Cuba.

Pub Jan 29. 1hr.13 utoob.

Breakthrough News was on the ground in Havana, Cuba where Rania Khalek spoke with Johana Tablada, General Deputy Director of US affairs at the Cuban Foreign Ministry.

They discussed the US blockade hampering the country’s development, how socialism makes Cuba’s survival possible, why Cuba has such a strong anti-imperialist foreign policy, how Cuba sees the recent left victories across Latin America, Cuba’s vaccine leadership, “Havana Syndrome,” how Cuba’s medical brigades connect to an internationalist foreign policy, its growing relationships with Iran & China, and more.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 30 2022 3:33 utc | 370

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 27 2022 21:58 utc | 211

From the wikipedia page you posted:
"the further east the Einsatzgruppen travelled, the less likely the residents were to be prompted into murdering their Jewish neighbours.[74]"

Heavens to Murgatroid, don't tell me 'The Russians' were more civilised the further they got away from the Nazi sphere of influence. Surprised that it hasn't already been edited off the page by apparatchiks of the US MIC.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 30 2022 3:47 utc | 371

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 27 2022 21:58 utc | 211

From the wikipedia page you posted:
"the further east the Einsatzgruppen travelled, the less likely the residents were to be prompted into murdering their Jewish neighbours.[74]"

Heavens to Murgatroid, don't tell me 'The Russians' were more civilised the further they got away from the Nazi sphere of influence. Surprised that it hasn't already been edited off the page by apparatchiks of the US MIC.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 30 2022 3:47 utc | 372

Mukhtar Ablyazov, the fugitive ex-head of the BTA Bank and founding president of the Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (QDT) party [1], was taken in by Russian pranksters Vovan and Lexus (who had also fooled French President Emmanuel Macron in 2019).

In the gag, the two Russians pretended to be associates of Alexei Navalny and discussed by videoconference with Mukhtar Ablyazov of their joint alliance for the overthrow of dictatorships in Kazakhstan and Russia, but also in Ukraine and Venezuela.

This is at Voltairenet and has a video of the entire performance.

They concluded the conversation standing up, to the sound of the European Union anthem.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 30 2022 5:22 utc | 373

Posted by: Joe | Jan 30 2022 6:12 utc | 374

Break Trough News Socialist Program reports on: Risking World War III with Russia: Why?

One hour utoob.

Is war with Russia just around the corner? If you listen to corporate U.S. media and politicians it is. Brian Becker and Eugene Puryear break down what’s really going on in Ukraine and Russia, what the context of the tension is, and what the chances are of war.

Brian is joined by Eugene Puryear, author and activist, host of the BreakThrough News podcast The Punch Out, and co-host of the BT live video show The Freedom Side.

The Socialist Program with Brian Becker comes out weekly on BreakThrough News’ Youtube, Wednesdays at 7pm ET.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 30 2022 7:35 utc | 375

Re: my previous post #369

Fed Could Use 1/2 point increases if needed - paywalled

So in other words, we're going to see 4 or 5 (present expectations) 0.25% increases. The Fed Prime Rate needs to at least equal inflation - that mean a 3.75% or greater increase. That's 15-0.25% increases.

But in order to actually do anything in time for the 2022 elections - rates have to be higher. And it seems the Fed isn't going to do that unless this statement is a feint (which they have NOT been doing under Powell).

Given all this: I still stand by my view that the Fed will crash the stock market AND fail to tame inflation.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 30 2022 14:41 utc | 376

A health reporter/blogger talking about his own experience with not getting insulin (i.e. potentially dying) due to the American Health Care System (tm)

I Write About America’s Absurd Health Care System. Then I Got Caught Up in It.

He should have just driven to Mexico. My 2nd trip there to complete the dental work I had started, I went to get a haircut since I needed to be there 3 days. The little hair salon I found, there was an older woman sitting. I asked if she was waiting for a haircut - she said no so I sat down to wait.
A few minutes later, an older man came in the door. He had a largish plastic bag. It turns out they were both in Mexico entirely to purchase medications. They told me they come every month because it saves them $350.

I didn't ask what they were buying to respect their privacy but it did help me understand why there were so many pharmacies in that little town. Fewer than the dental clinics because that's the main biz, but a lot nonetheless.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 30 2022 14:46 utc | 377

Supply chain fun

Los Angeles port volumes down

Import volumes to Southern California ports continue to deteriorate, underscoring just how severe the supply chain crisis remains, despite public relations spin to the contrary.

Los Angeles disclosed on Thursday that it handled just 385,251 twenty-foot equivalent units of import cargo in December. That’s down 16% year-on-year and down 18% from December 2018, pre-pandemic.

December marked the fourth month in a row that Los Angeles’ imports fell versus the preceding month; imports were down 4.5% from November and 17.6% from October. December imports were the lowest since June 2020, a month when ocean carriers were canceling sailings to America due to lockdown-depressed demand.

Los Angeles’ December export performance was even worse: Exports were down 41% year on year to 70,872 TEUs, the lowest monthly tally since October 2002, almost two decades ago.


Long Beach handled 358,687 TEUs of imports in December, down 12% year on year and down 1% from November, marking the second straight month of declines.


Combined LA/LB imports totaled 743,938 TEUs in December, down another 3% from November and 13% from October. Combined LA/LB imports haven’t been this low since June 2020.


[from the sub-header] December imports to LA -16% y/y, exports -41%, empties +11%, total volume -10.5%

Yeah, this is going to resolve itself soon...not

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 30 2022 15:02 utc | 378

Yeah, this is going to resolve itself soon...not

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 30 2022 15:02 utc | 378

Thanks, noticed that, they are going to have to do something about the gatekeepers who are grifting off the ports. (But I don't think that will be easy.)

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 30 2022 15:13 utc | 379

« previous page

The comments to this entry are closed.