Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 27, 2022

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2022-018 (NOT Ukraine)

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:

This is a first:



Use as open thread for NOT Ukraine related issues ...

Posted by b on February 27, 2022 at 12:36 UTC | Permalink


Reminder that we now have an actual fucking Nazi regurgitating actual fucking Nazi talking points.

Posted by: Misotheist | Feb 27 2022 12:38 utc | 1

According to Chinese official media GT, Russia controls Mariupol.

Ukraine agreed to meet Russian delegation in Belarus.

Russia is likely to propose thr terms for Ukraine capitulation

There is really a question in Zelenski whereabouts.

Posted by: Bianca | Feb 27 2022 12:58 utc | 2

Yes, I have to say the wild abandon with which the News Media have been making things up and yelling at the top of their lungs about the made up stuff is, well, stupifying. Zelenski has won himself an Oscar for best comedian playing Rambo, a very competitive nomination. The sheer number of grifters looking for attention is impressive too.

And thank you for bringing it up.

Posted by: Bemildred | Feb 27 2022 13:17 utc | 3

I have bern shocked by the surprise some felt over Russian attack on Ukraine. Russia’s relutation for being rational global player has been questioned.

But that is to assume that this is about Ukraine.

It is not. This is a response to US and NATO refusal to address Russia’s security concerns. And taking care of them one atvthe time.

What follows is the US response to being challenged — sanctions amounting to a blockade . US is makung itself clear.

But it allso opens a curtain on the new world order being out in olace by China and Russia — new international payment institutions,

The impact on Western centric. financial institutions is not known

This intervention by Russia is as rational and as clear as it can be. The notion that zRusia was to sut back as. NATO is rolling into Ukraine is irrational.

These are early days in this confrontstion. Let us hooe that it would not end missiles flying.

Posted by: Bianca | Feb 27 2022 13:20 utc | 4

One issue that is going under-reported is our (US) inheritance.

Do we not have the same elements influencing policy decisions in Washington that we had before?

We had the Afghanistan invasion and it's 20 years of disastrous war and exit.
Then the Iraq invasion, a total humanitarian and policy disaster.

Washington remained the same.

Then the Lebanon invasion of 2006

Washington remained the same.

Then Yemen.


Then Libya.


Then Syria.


Then the coup in Kiev (2014).


And today we are being asked to stand against Putin.
It was years in the making, this Ukraine debacle didn't start last week.
And when the dust finally settles on this one we will still have in Washington
the Same.

Posted by: librul | Feb 27 2022 14:17 utc | 5

Highly recommend this discussion by Alexander Mercouris of the latest sanctions debacle unleashed against Russia, evidently against the advice of the Federal Reserve, European central banks, and a good chunk of Wall Street.

Good account also of some military developments by a Western guy living in Kharkov and marooned for the moment in Kiev.

sanctions on Russian Central Bank

Posted by: expat | Feb 27 2022 14:26 utc | 6

This goes way beyond propaganda. Once they established how well the mass formation psychosis works, they do not want to let their population out of it. Firstly, they promoted the killer virus, now the killer Russians, what is next mass psychosis? The same individuals shitting their pants because of the virus now want to drop everything and go fight in Ukraine to kill themselves some dastardly Russians. I have never seen or imagined so much madness in humanity. What worthless piece of humanity the Westerners have turned out to be, without a grain of critical thinking, cuddled in their selfish convenience and utterly brain dead.

Yes, it is the same vaccinated people who are now demanding that something be done against Russia.

Posted by: Kiza | Feb 27 2022 15:55 utc | 7

Ask yourself why all the Jews are supporting the Nazis in Ukraine and you will have your answer.

Breaking Russia means breaking Iran. It means breaking Syria. It means breaking Russias ability to project power in the Black and Mediterranean Sea.

Could they have converging interests with the US? Perhaps, but it domains the full court press of banks and media to cut Russia’s legs out from under it.

Posted by: Evoilax | Feb 27 2022 16:01 utc | 8

Yes isn't it interesting how one existential crisis can fade into the ether as another gets going... the point is perpetual crises - germs or guns don't matter - all that matters is mass hypnosis to cover the truth of encroaching pyramid scheme totalitarianism.

Posted by: gottlieb | Feb 27 2022 16:26 utc | 9

i used to check *news* aggregators daily. in one of them this linked popped up:
usually when you check the trending news on each of these popular news aggregators, you see at least 3 out of 10 is obvious propaganda and rest is sometimes good links that designed to keep you on the site.

a few days on and i am now in such despair that i am unable overcome. *each and every* one of these outlets employ same tactics, following the exact same operation manual. it is 100% anti human/russia/china propaganda. botnets posting, botnets voting, botnets banning, botnets spouting talking points. there seems to be no longer actual human interaction and if there was one, they are stomped by these botnets instantly. everyone says orwell this orwell that. we have been post-orwell for some time now. this dystopia we are living through is something he couldn't even imagine.

i blocked all these aggregators yet still strugle to find a decent page to read. is internet really dead?

Posted by: norwellian | Feb 27 2022 16:27 utc | 10

This is an amazing article, IMO:
The CIA and the New Dialect Of Power -

Essentially it points to the unification of the CIA and the American PMC class - and how the changing view of said PMC class is what is changing the CIA. Not its mission but its image of itself and what it projects publicly.
It also talks about the Rockefeller Red suburban classes (the PMCs) going to Obama in his terms as POTUS but that these aren't actually liberal in the working class sense.

Today’s new dialect of power, which has supplanted the old, is radical New Left politics internalized, individualized, and regurgitated by the professional class. It is imparted by the universities just as the previous elite idiom was imbued at British-style boarding schools. This dialect, like the transatlantic accent before it, is a class signifier. But today this class contains both CIA agents and left-wing journalists, to the embarrassment of the latter.


For graduate school, she enrolled at Georgetown, a university so entrenched in the national security apparatus that it had a CIA agent in residence, who recruited Fox at the age of twenty-two.


Though liberalism is the dominant ideology of the Democratic Party, the stereotypes about liberals—well-paid, well-educated, and cosmopolitan—hardly describe the Democratic Party’s national voter base of working-class nonwhites.42 Instead, the professional-class residents of the Rockefeller red suburbs who defected to the Democratic Party were not Republicans who became liberals; they were liberals who became Democrats. When they did, they took their affection for institutions like the CIA with them.


The Left has won nearly every culture war of the past seventy years amid growing economic inequality, deindustrialization, mass privatization, deregulation, austerity, and deunionization. The CIA, likewise, has been most successful in its own kind of culture war, whether it be through the CCF, anti-Soviet propaganda, or the lead-up to the Iraq War. Regardless of their failures, both the CIA and the professional class use their adeptness at culture war as a means of self-justification. The CIA utilizes the new dialect of power because it grants the agency legitimacy within the ruling elite; the Left and its professional-class vanguards cry foul because they do not want to admit their own involvement in the credentialing and reproduction of this elite.

Food for thought.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 27 2022 16:32 utc | 11

The "other NRA"

Pandemic Restaurant Closures and the National Restaurant Association - slate

Not really sure I buy that lobbying was responsible so much as that chains and large outfits are able to hire lawyers and accountants while "mom and pop" generally cannot.

Nor am I particularly impressed with $3 million a year on lobbying when a Presidential campaign is $1.6B (HRC in 2016) just by itself. Total Congressional campaign costs are like $25B?

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 27 2022 16:54 utc | 12

Hi folks. You should all feel bad for me. I am spending the day checking Western sources for their err...... analysis? 🙄 or take on things.

I was thinking of using a Democrat propaganda trick (based on an actual science) where I set up a T-table of lies and truths. So the video link and time markers and T or F.

It's evaluation of a design. It is also offering a huge amount of material for a comedy show from what I see.
See: Former Nazis arming Nazis.

But I come here on a mission of peace.
PEACE TALKS have been officially announced and the Ukraine is going to send a delegation.

So my source it trash but whatever.
From DW News:

Russia has defined a firm position on this that I support. Disarming Nazis is never a bad idea.

Peace and love. ☮️

Posted by: David G Horsman | Feb 27 2022 16:58 utc | 13

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is evidently floating banning RT and Sputnik in the EU.

Guess North America will be next. I knew I should never have thrown out that short wave radio. Let's hear it for Western values!

Posted by: expat | Feb 27 2022 17:05 utc | 14

So far Russia has kept the casualties minimal, under 200 casualties at Ukraine’s last report in the destruction of the military equipment of an entire nation! That must be a record low, less than one percent of typical US interventions. Clearly they will avoid a quagmire like Afghanistan and back off to independent provinces as they did in Georgia.

Russia is unlikely to go much further than broader protection of Donbass:
1. Destruction of military equipment, command and control centers;
2. Defeat of the Kiev government without occupation of Kiev or other major cities;
3. Surrounding and defeat or capture of the Ukraine forces attacking Donbass;
4. Setting up bases and structure to protect newly independent provinces.

The question is which provinces want to be independent, and how to determine that:
1. Odessa probably wants independence, but southern provinces between them and Luhansk/Donetsk are less Russian;
2. Russia may want to control the coastal provinces linking Donetsk to Odessa (Mykolaiv, Kherson, Zaporizhia);
3. So retaining forces there limits weapons and import/exports of Ukraine during referenda on independence;
4. But if Russia knows the south coastal provinces do not want independence, it may have to forego Odessa.

Posted by: Sam F | Feb 27 2022 17:33 utc | 15

Banning of Russian media reminds me a bit of what my grandmother said about how she listened to BBC radio secretly in her room during WW2 in Germany to gather information on upcoming British air raids. It seems like every day, politicians must top the day before. I cant see the end game in that except a hot war with Russia. There is no room for error. One escaltion to far, and you have an incident, eg NATO states transporting its weapons through Ukraine to shield it from Russian strikes, when Russia said before it would strike them.

Posted by: Arne Hartmann | Feb 27 2022 17:59 utc | 16

thanks b.... i appreciate all your work here! it is tricky separating the ukraine from the non ukraine issues at this point...

i liked with was said here which a few posters are hitting on.. mass hypnosis or mass psychosis...

@ gottlieb | Feb 27 2022 16:26 utc | 10 quote - " ....all that matters is mass hypnosis to cover the truth of encroaching pyramid scheme totalitarianism."

we've gone straight from covid to russia in no time at all.. and all of it has to be dealt with a certain way according to the authorities... sad, but true this is happening..

Posted by: james | Feb 27 2022 18:01 utc | 17

@ Arne Hartmann | Feb 27 2022 17:59 utc | 17

looks like a game of chicken to me, waiting to see who blinks first... fucking insane.... i once had this happen driving on a road in northern montana - someone coming at me in my lane, or a 2 lane hwy... one car is going to get out of the way, or not..

Posted by: james | Feb 27 2022 18:03 utc | 18

james gottlieb " ....all that matters is mass hypnosis to cover the truth of encroaching pyramid scheme totalitarianism."

In eight to ten years of looking at geo-politics and what is occurring in the world, I have only ever run into one other person that has done similar. The rest just go with the MSM flow. For them now, all they know about the big bad world is what they hear or read on MSM. I have watched Goering's simple observation of human nature work its magic on all those around me.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 27 2022 18:21 utc | 19

I suspect this is an attempt to continue the emergency status all developed countries have used covid to justify by now having a world war of sorts, at least especially in the financial arena. This will further stress an already teetering US whose ruling elites are bent on bringing the country to its knees so that the internationalist Great Reset technocracy can be offered at a point the country can no longer refuse it.

Gullible American and European public will eagerly buy the proffered explanation which conveniently blames the mad dictator Putin for all the ills which have collapsed their societies. First it was a virus that swept through the whole world (therefore not the fault of the leadership) and then it was a financial and supply chain collapse leading to food shortages, stock market crashes and banking and currency failures world wide due to the wicked invasion of Ukraine (also not the fault of the leadership).

The reason Biden knew with such certainty that there would be an invasion is that he is part of the globalist elite in the US who are part of the coordinators of this whole Reset mess.

Posted by: BaronAsh | Feb 27 2022 18:30 utc | 20

Sweden made the correct decision by avoiding a full Covid-19 lockdown and relying on their population's common sense, a commission into the handling of the virus has claimed.

Despite praising keeping the country open, the commission said some restrictions should have been introduced earlier.

Swedish experts said repeated lockdowns in other European countries were neither 'necessary' nor 'defensible'.

Sweden 'correct' to avoid full Covid-19 lockdown, report claims

Posted by: Down South | Feb 27 2022 18:41 utc | 21

A few minutes ago, on RT video, I just watched Vladimir Putin order Russia's defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, and the chief of the general staff of the armed forces of Russia, Valery Gerasimov to place Russia’s nuclear deterrence forces on highest alert. And just heard on The Duran that the E.U. has ordered all Russian government sponsored websites to be blocked on the Internet. Here in Massachusetts RT News now appears to be blocked as well. Check it out yourself:

Posted by: blues | Feb 27 2022 19:29 utc | 22

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 27 2022 16:32 utc | 12

Lol @ "left" and "liberals" but I guess the reflection itself is worthwhile.

Posted by: Misotheist | Feb 27 2022 19:36 utc | 23

the people that eagerly believe putin is a cartoon character are the same people that are scared of covid

the people that will happily escalate the current conflict are the same people that support mandates

the exact same people

Posted by: Rae | Feb 27 2022 20:11 utc | 24

Meanwhile ....massive and unprecedented floods in Australia. The devastation extends from Queensland's Mary River region in the north [Maryborough]to the NSW Mid North Coast and much in between[NSW, Northern Rivers].

The Brisbane River is expected to peak at four meters in one hour. Much of Brisbane is already underwater. There have been several death across two states.

The economic costs will be astronomic.

The Queensland government needs to figure out if the Wivenhoe Dam is a water catchment dam or a flood mitigation dam.

Watch live:

Posted by: Paul | Feb 27 2022 20:32 utc | 25

The solution is to first propose and push a federated system. This way people can get the authority to run their local neck of the woods as that community sees fit, within reason. If the Banderites want a Ukrainian-fixated area, then they should have it, but only for the areas where the population wants it and decides to do it of their own accord.

A federated system would allow Ukraine to potentially remain a cohesive unit, if the people want it (and I would encourage them to do that).

Putin complicated things with his recognition of LPR/DPR and feels to me that was the fatal decision. Personally, if I were him, I would have used the R2P excuse that NATO used to do Libya, because in this case, the government HAS BEEN killing civilians instead of claims that Quaddaffi might feel like he wants to kill people in Benghazi.

Posted by: P Walker | Feb 27 2022 21:20 utc | 26

Our host keeps on getting everything covid wrong.

“ Two preprints have published today with the aim to demonstrate that the Huanan market was the origin of the pandemic. Just a pity that zero animal samples were found positive there and no ancestral sequences different from the ones found in humans were identified at the market.”

They also “forget” to mention that multiple studies point to a circulation of SARS2 in several countries previous to the cases identified at the Huanan market.

Posted by: DG | Feb 27 2022 21:36 utc | 27

Did Australian government loose the Mandate of Heaven, or just Queensland? Posted by: Paul | Feb 27 2022 20:32 utc | 26

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 27 2022 22:59 utc | 28

DG # 28 Our host keeps on getting everything covid wrong.

Posting a link does not necessarily equate to an endorsement of linked article

Posted by: MW | Feb 27 2022 23:02 utc | 29

Posted by: Sam F | Feb 27 2022 17:33 utc | 16

Actually, Americans lost very few people during the invasions. Occupation is a different story.

Mechanized infantry, Air Force etc. are bad at controlling cities. I seen a video that commented a Ukrainian statement alleging that using a drone from Turkey, an entire convoy of Chechen troops got destroyed. The video contained a clip of another video showing a long chain of light infantry trucks full of Chechens, standing on a narrow highway in a forest. Some Chechens were standing around, some praying (Muslim prayers or yoga?), a combination of beards of various lengths (from zero to few inches), so definitely not ethnic Russians.

Specially trained light infantry near Kiev... Cleaning of the city seems feasible.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 27 2022 23:08 utc | 30

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 27 2022 22:59 utc | 29

"Did Australian government loose the Mandate of Heaven, or just Queensland?"

Good question Piotr but you should ask Australia's PM, Pastor Morrison, that theological question. I bet you wouldn't understand his mumbo jumbo answer. Lets just stay 'logical' at this bar.

Posted by: Paul | Feb 28 2022 0:01 utc | 31

Piotr Berman and Paul

I think you would have heard this before Paul

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

Floods and droughts - always been that way. All too often droughts in Queensland are broken by floods. Drought weakened cattle getting bogged in mud, washed away starving to death because the cocky can't get feed to them ect.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 28 2022 0:11 utc | 32

Putin complicated things with his recognition of LPR/DPR and feels to me that was the fatal decision. Personally, if I were him, I would have used the R2P excuse that NATO used to do Libya, because in this case, the government HAS BEEN killing civilians instead of claims that Quaddaffi might feel like he wants to kill people in Benghazi.

Posted by: P Walker | Feb 27 2022 21:20 utc | 27

Seriously, what would be different?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 28 2022 1:33 utc | 33

people who talk about the NWO and Great Reset are just so very. there has never been any other plan than to keep the same train rolling on the same tracks. never. anything else is star trek fantasies, with which bill gates and elon and the bland corporation and trump teem.

Rae | Feb 27 2022 20:11 utc | 25
and so are you. I fully support shutting the global economy down 100% to eliminate the virus. and I support the Russian gov't's absolute right of defense against the same people who have done nothing but lie to their populaces about how severe the coronavirus is from day one.

the contradiction is only in your mind. China has successfully eliminated the virus. and supports Russia.

nice break from the Ukraine reporting here. people are so caught up in the spectacle and the stratego of the war, so much so that for participants, war trophies are now selfies, because there is no point in killing some old man for the cause unless you can be seen to do so. it's called "military glory." how people love their bombing campaigns. and to be seen. there's no point in committing the crime unless one can be seen to do so. open criminality is strength.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Feb 28 2022 1:50 utc | 34

@P Walker #27
Federalization was what was on the table with the Minsk Accords.
This next deal is likely going to be significantly worse for the Ukraine.

I agree with Piotr: sending peacekeepers into Luhansk and Donetsk would have reaped most of the sanctions anyway but without actually addressing any of Russia's geopolitical concerns.

I would also note that this is a prime time for Russia to act.

OPEC is unable to even meet their existing quotas.
Iran is not going to fall for Lucy football tactics again on nukes for sanctions removal.
There is no way for the rest of the world, much less Europe, to replace Russian oil and natural gas in the short term (2+ years).

Militarily: Scott Ritter (and others) have been adamant that US and Western European militaries have re-oriented towards fighting insurgents in the past 30 years and have lost all of their capability against top line opponents - F35s vs. guys with AK47s and rags. They have zero capability or experience against Russian troops for the foreseeable future (4+ years). Furthermore, European military capabilities are so weak that they were not even able to bring their own (small numbers) of troops back from Afghanistan when the US pulled out. Russia actually transported Ukrainians out of Afghanistan last year
Russian Defense Ministry Evacuates Russians and Ukrainians From Afghanistan Note that this is a Ukrainian web site...

Thus if the EU and Japan want to destroy their own economies, so be it.
China will be happy to absorb all Russian oil and natural gas production.

Where exactly is the disaster facing Russia? Economically or militarily?

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 28 2022 2:09 utc | 35

Rae | Feb 27 2022 20:11 utc | 25
not to speak for this website's host, but i believe he disagrees with you. so that makes two people. though most of the regulars on this site fully agree that the virus has been a complete fake.

these gov'ts have never shut down for anything (no, the budget is bullshit, that doesn't count) ever in anyone's lifetime, never shut down the economy, so why are they doing so in response to the coronavirus? it's so completely out of character for them to lift a fingernail about anything. ah, but it's so much sexier to believe in the great reset than that bill gates and soros and the illuminati and whoever are the laziest people in history. they are busy, busy, busy, that's for sure. but change? they aren't changing a damn thing. they are busy pumping oil into the machine. that's not work. people supporting the bureaucracy don't "work". please don't confuse them with farmers and plumbers and teachers and such. and it sure as hell is no "great reset" or anything like that. the only reset planned in nuclear annihilation.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Feb 28 2022 2:09 utc | 36

I dunno how many barflies use VPN but I have been using assorted VPN servers since 2011, chiefy because I want to protect myself from casual intrusion & accept that if I was really copping the hairy eyeball from the enforcers of the corporate state, nothing could protect me from such intrusion.
Anyway today I have noticed something peculiar about my VPN client which lists over 100 nations I can connect through, listed by the delay between myself and the VPN server of the country I can connect to.
In aotearoa that means the fastest service is from the aotearoa followed by australia then either singapore or brunei. There is only a max of 2 milliseconds difference between those last 2. After that all the other nations are listed usually 30 or 40 milliseconds slower than those last two.

Today when I went to use my VPN I saw something odd, that is the first 50 or 60 vpn servers I can connect to all have exactly the same delay of 141 milliseconds! It is as if all vpn servers are being routed through one central point so the delay is identical.
Are vpn's all being monitored controlled from one central server as the big boss has decided we are all on a war footing merely because of a minor contretemps far away from here and for the matter 'the big boss'? Is this so that it doesn't matter where we connect to the big boss is gonna be able to gather data we send prior to it being protected by an 'encrypted tunnel' enabling much faster real time access to the entire internet including VPNs?

I dunno but it sure is weird I'm gonna run some tracert across a range of vpn servers.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 28 2022 2:24 utc | 37

@38 Debsisdead

Great sleuthing, please keep us neophytes updated

Posted by: Les7 | Feb 28 2022 3:13 utc | 38

@Debsisdead #38
I haven't looked at the internet backbones recently, but generally these types of issues have to do with BGP routing changes.
In your specific case: New Zealand has exactly 4 trunk lines: 1 to the US and 3 to Australia.

Given the DDoS attacks being conducted by everyone - it wouldn't shock me that the relative bottleneck nature of connectivity plus flareup of internet activity due to war porn viewing is causing the infrastructure responsivity changes you are seeing.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 28 2022 3:14 utc | 39

@ Debsisdead | Feb 28 2022 2:24 utc | 38 with his VPN observations

Thanks for that.

In the US their are secret rooms next to all the big regional/international telecommunication switches that are for the taps of traffic.

Congratulations, IMO, you are now being routed through some point of filter/capture just like us in the States.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 28 2022 3:19 utc | 40

karlof1 | Feb 27 2022 22:13 utc | 346 (from one of the Ukraine threads)
Luke learning his father's Darth Vader

I may have said this before, but JJ Abrams (ipse or a clone) is writing the script of the Russia/Ukraine conflict for the US audience. So alike. Nothing makes sense. "Empire bad, must die" is the plot. No characters to develop. Theft after theft, in the movies, of both the originals and now even the prequels, so bereft of any ideas have been all 5 miserable Disney Star Wars movies. It's all action and spectacle and motion and busy vacuous bluster.

My thoughts below are based on comments from the gang at Red Letter Media, who try to be mainstream and "non-political", and at HackFraudMedia (Harry Plinkett's grandkid), but who've dug their teeth in and pulled some serious red meat out re Disney's and Sony's efforts to politicize and "weaponize" the failures of their own horrible, typically horrible capitalist products (Disney=Star Wars and Marvel, etc; Sony is Ghostbusters, etc.)

Just how much of a crap do Disney and Sony and co give about the issues they force down viewers' throats in desperate efforts to appear "woke" and "diverse" and even "anti-war" in these gooey sickening messes that are the greatest force of cultural homogenization and flattening after only a nuclear weapon? Their one goal is pushing consumer behavior. and for sure the masses love massiveness (Goethe).

I can't even begin to get into Disney's Marvel's Lucasfilm's Stan Lee's "Captain Marvel", its Aryan heroine, story, effects, etc., all DOD bought and paid for. Red Letter Media's Half in the Bag review goes extensively into Disney's gaslighting of viewers who hated this seizure-caused undigested bowel movement, because, per the Mouse, these haters don't like "diversity" and "feminism". Again, brought to you by the Pentagon (Tom Secker at also covers the DOD angle extensively in his thorough and enjoyable manner, but I point to Red Letter Media because they are not trying at all to get into the politics, financing, support, etc., side, but it's so obvious, such heavy-handed moralizing and propagandizing).

This is what this #woke bs means in the US. the DOD is all over it. Disney means #iheartdiversity. Disney and the Pentagon are 100% #Metoo.

This is also what scary Russia means to them, as well.

Here's two articles:
one from The Hill about SW: the Last Jedi.

and one from the Daily Chewbacca about Ghostbusters 2016.

Again in both we get the "repressed incels who hate strong women, esp of color" theme hurled against white guys, stoking racist sentiment to push their cinematic plastic fantastic marshmallow movie.

But we now with both these articles get RUSSIAN BOTS with tweets and bleeps and bells trolling R2D2 fans who are (rightly) saddened by movies that literally "make the [Star Wars] prequels look like Citizen fucking Kane" (Rich Evans, Half in the Bag)

This is how seriously your capitalist overlords take the idea of war with Russia. Putin has influenced your mind not to like Melissa McCarthy or Laura Dern. Not only is adoring Ghostbusters a blow for women's liberation, but oohing and ahhing and ogling at light sabers in the Last Jedi shows how strong the Force is with you against Russian mind tricks.

fuck this fucking country. what else is there to say?

(George Lucas himself is the version where Luke, instead of confronting Vader, just joins the Empire in the final, original movie. As kids we liked the idea of Luke saving pops, so that's ok, but already: everything else recycles the 1st movie, but now bigger, and with Ewoks. the dead already had to speak because there's truly nothing new under the Lucas/Disney sun. People like this run everything about our culture).

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Feb 28 2022 4:03 utc | 41

An unfortunate truth; 99% of Americans are oblivious to the moral battle going on between the empire of illusion, & the other nations involved.

Posted by: vetinLA | Feb 28 2022 4:09 utc | 42

while i'm blathering about movies:

Mad Max: Fury Road. I can only watch this in short doses. In this era of the constant repetition and recycling in movies of what is, like our consumer "recyclables", only about 5% "recyclable", this movie shows how to do it. It's a retelling of Mad Max: Road Warrior. Did we need this movie? i don't know. it just leaves Star Wars and Spiderman and Ghostbusters and Marvel and co in the dust. It's like this movie is mocking the emptiness of all this constant repetition, because Disney and co are not even trying, despite all the slavery and labor. Fury Road does so by exaggeration, how big the action and chase is. it's enjoyable, but i mentioned seizures for a reason.

oh yeah, and in Fury Road, we return to a very repressed subject: traffic in women. I remember a former commenter here scoffing at the idea that we would go to war over women in the modern world. nah. just bitcoin.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Feb 28 2022 4:18 utc | 43

disaster relief exercise that went live.

Murder in the sky.

Cyber warfare

Swine flu .....

Posted by: denk | Feb 28 2022 4:33 utc | 44

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 28 2022 2:09 utc | 36

My non-expert impression about "Russian military superiority" observed by c1ue. I would not attribute it to an excessive focus on fighting low-tech opponents. That may be the case in Israel, there military raised harassing villagers to high art (however dark), with some atrophy of infantry capabilities against opponents that are actually armed

But the bulk of NATO spending is on weaponry that has scant use against low-tech opponents and motivated by the prospective grand war, perhaps with Russia, but potentially against China -- why there are joint naval patrols in South China Sea. Huge teams develop best possible "specs" for those weapons, and the prices are hefty, very hefty. Once you procure all those "necessary" toys, there is very little money left, say for the manpower or readiness.

One reason is that NATO, after USA example, defines its military goals in terms of spending. Europeans are supposed to spend 2% of GDP, and many countries like Lithuania or Poland proudly spend more. USA quite a bit more. But little attention is paid to what those expenses are supposed to achieve. In countries like Poland there are political fights where to spend money, previous government procured combat helicopters in France, the current cancelled the contract, and after some hesitations, opted for American helicopters. With additional orders for tanks, anti-aircraft systems etc., the government felt that it gained sufficient American support against ... EU aggression and domestic private TV. But apparently they lost on both issues. (Later, Zelensky copied some Polish ideas, but to no avail, Americans generously offered him evacuation from Kiev.)

Australia is not in NATO, but in a sense, in NATO+. Recall recent bruhaha about submarines. Another contracts snatched by Americans from the French (helicopters for Poland are another example). Why the heck Australia needs 50 billion dollars (Australian or American? any expert explanation) for submarines. To be serious about defense, that's why. Submarines or not, Australia could survive the way New Zealand does -- too far for an invasion to be worth the bother, and even too far to have any dangerous disagreements with neighbors.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 28 2022 4:44 utc | 45

Posted by PeterAU1 @ 33

Thanks Peter I have heard it many times. It was part of the school curriculum.

I called an erudite farmer friend recently to mention the rain developing over the usually dry Diamantina River region, an ominous sign of coming floods according to Dr Bradfield. These events usually occur every 10 or 12 years. My friend was aware of the sign. Imagine the price of fresh food now, nothing growing and nothing able to move.

I like the Donald Horne quote from his book 'The Lucky Country' : "Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck".

That hasn't changed since the book was written.

The talk of 'luck' was ironic.

Posted by: Paul | Feb 28 2022 4:57 utc | 46

Peter AU.

Greetings from Castlemaine Victoria.

It is very wet here too.

All strength to Russia and it's people. I have always felt and believed this

Posted by: tim | Feb 28 2022 5:04 utc | 47

@Piotr Berman #46
What I wrote was Scott Ritter's (and a number of other actual military people's) view, not my own - which I explicitly noted.

What they have said is 100% opposite to your "But the bulk of NATO spending is on weaponry that has scant use against low-tech opponents and motivated by the prospective grand war".

You're welcome to debate the issue with the above people who were trained in the military and are familiar with Cold War/USSR era military capabilities in the US, EU and Russia then vs. military capabilities today. In particular, Scott Ritter has noted that it isn't just the gear itself but also the training, the quantity and the military doctrine (quality) which are lacking in the US and EU.

For example, Ritter noted that Germany had downsized from 38 brigades/12 divisions to 5 brigades today - a total of 64K soldiers. To put this in perspective - the entire German military is roughly comparable to the Russia's 1st Tank Army by itself.

I would further note that buying expensive F35s does not mean the nation possessing it is ready to contest air/land space with a 1st world military like Russia.

One item I do know is that the US attempted to conduct warfare with LAVs and Stryker combat vehicles in Iraq - these didn't even work great against jihadis; it is extremely likely they would fare even worse against first line Russian armored formations like the 1st Tank Army.

The squishiness of the above light and medium armored vehicles is one of the reasons why the US military shoots in all directions, all the time, since suppression via firepower is the best way to keep from getting killed.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 28 2022 7:51 utc | 48

1/ From the people who destroy: Eyes on the Pacific - Declassified Australia A dive into spying operations on the various smaller Pacific nations by Australia and New Zealand.

2/ The people who build: How China Defeated Poverty Arnaud Bertrand’s dive on the battle against poverty by the People Republic (American Affairs Journal).
An answer by a Neo-con ‘thinker’: Jonah Goldberg: Yada Yada-ing Tyranny (the Dispatch) and a rebuttal by Arnauld Bertrand (Twitter thread).

Posted by: phiw13 | Feb 28 2022 9:28 utc | 49

I hope this is fake news. Another cry to liberate Canada. (Do you ever get the feeling that your seemingly waterboy-for-team-West of a prime minister might have something that hasn’t been publicized? Something like what, anyway?)

“But we also have neighbors to the north who need freedom and need to be liberated and we need that right here at home as well.” …

“Boebert made the outrageous comments after Hegseth brought up Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and called him an “autocrat” because he quashed anti-vaccine protests that had paralyzed international supply chains for weeks.”

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Feb 28 2022 10:37 utc | 50

« Nous sommes tous ukrainiens » (perhaps another meaning to that here in the autocratic north)

Demonstration in Montreal, ‘bout 300 people.

“Le père d’Oleksandr Balokha se bat avec les forces ukrainiennes, raconte le jeune homme, les yeux mouillés. « Nous faisons tout ce que nous pouvons d’ici pour les aider, 24 heures sur 24, 7 jours sur 7. Des enfants ont été tués, et l’ensemble du pays a été bombardé », se désole-t-il, brandissant une pancarte sur laquelle on pouvait lire le slogan : « Poutine = crimes de guerre + génocide ». « La guerre doit s’arrêter. »”

La Presse is in Poland.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Feb 28 2022 11:01 utc | 51

The US, Russia and China all realize that nuclear weapons are suicidal (so do the Israelis and perhaps the Pakistanis - but they may be suicidal anyway).

As alternative devastating weapons, the US has settled on animal and human biowarfare with the eternal hope of finding a disease that attacks Russia and China while leaving Americans safe and sound. I think it is a futile and stupid effort - there is no such disease. No matter what disease they come up with, Americans will be affected.

Russia, on the other hand, has decided on economic warfare. Economically speaking, the US is a parasite - most of US GDP is filled with expensive items (Housing, Health Care and Insurance, College and University Education, Commercial Real Estate) that are either free or cheap elsewhere. Another heavy component is military hardware and software - not useful economically speaking. Meanwhile, Russia runs a budget surplus and has a conservative economy: mining and extraction of natural resources, chemical manufacturing (fertilizer) and other manufacturing. If the Russians withhold commodity exports and fertilizer from foreign spot market(s) for three months and after that demand payment in gold - the world economy collapses. I would not be surprised if they do just that.

Posted by: Albertde | Feb 28 2022 13:45 utc | 52

The US, Russia and China all realize that nuclear weapons are suicidal (so do the Israelis and perhaps the Pakistanis - but they may be suicidal anyway).

As alternative devastating weapons, the US has settled on animal and human biowarfare with the eternal hope of finding a disease that attacks Russia and China while leaving Americans safe and sound. I think it is a futile and stupid effort - there is no such disease. No matter what disease they come up with, Americans will be affected.

Russia, on the other hand, has decided on economic warfare. Economically speaking, the US is a parasite - most of US GDP is filled with expensive items (Housing, Health Care and Insurance, College and University Education, Commercial Real Estate) that are either free or cheap elsewhere. Another heavy component is military hardware and software - not useful economically speaking. Meanwhile, Russia runs a budget surplus and has a conservative economy: mining and extraction of natural resources, chemical manufacturing (fertilizer) and other manufacturing. If the Russians withhold commodity exports and fertilizer from foreign spot market(s) for three months and after that demand payment in gold - the world economy collapses. I would not be surprised if they do just that.

Posted by: Albertde | Feb 28 2022 13:45 utc | 53

Important: Johannes Beermann on cash

Welcome remarks by Dr Johannes Beermann, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, at the Banknote & Currency Conference 2022, Washington DC, 24 February 2022.

when we talk about the future, we cannot disregard current developments. Therefore, let us first take a look at the present.

Cash in circulation continues to increase in Germany and throughout the euro area. The Bundesbank has issued more than half of the euro banknotes currently in circulation by value.

Cash fulfils various economic functions. One of them is to store value. Another is to make payments.

According to our estimates, only about one in twenty banknotes issued by the Bundesbank is used to make payments in Germany. The use of cash as a means of payment is declining – this is true both internationally and in Germany. Nevertheless, the level of cash use is still high in many countries – and especially so in Germany.

There are fewer cash payments, but we are far from being cashless.


First, it offers independence from one's socio-economic background. Cash is tangible and does not require any technical equipment. The use of cash is easily understood across generations, from young children to the elderly. The physical feel of cash is, in my view, an important element for strengthening financial inclusion.

Consumers can use cash regardless of their income level or level of education. In this sense, cash is also a means of safeguarding social cohesion.


Second, cash ensures independence from technological ecosystems. Given the still partially fragmented payments landscape in Europe, it is important to note that cash has long been a universal means of payment when it comes to person-to-person transactions in the euro area.


In the Eurosystem, cash offers an easy way out, at least for certain transactions. This is because it can also be used as a matter of course for payments abroad.

Third, cash ensures independence from social control and data collection. As legal tender, cash is fully backed by the domestic central bank. Cash is the payment method of choice when it comes to privacy. This strengthens individual freedom.

Ultimately, digital payment systems involve the collection of personal data.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 28 2022 15:13 utc | 54

Beat goes on: gas prices continuing to rise

Gas Prices Over 6 Dollars in LA -

A Mobil station near the Beverly Center, just east of Beverly Hills, was advertising regular unleaded at $6.19 a gallon on Friday.

That's well above the average for the county, which rose by 2.6 cents to $4.848 per gallon.

That was the county's 19th record high price in the last 22 days. It was also the largest one-day jump since Feb. 2, when the average price rose by 2.8 cents.

The average price has increased 22 times in 25 days, rising 17.7 cents, including 2.6 cents Thursday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 6.7 cents more than one week ago, 17.9 cents higher than one month ago and $1.143 greater than one year ago.

US Average gas price spikes 10 cents over 2 weeks to $3.64 - Fox Business

The highest gas price in the last 2 decades was in 2008 with crude peaking at $147: it hit $4.11 per gallon.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 28 2022 17:42 utc | 55

c1ue | Feb 28 2022 17:42 utc | 56

I often sit back and think how ludicrous this is in the way it is affecting western economy.
Ukraine post 2014 has been a black shithole down which US and EU poured lots of money. Russian invasion should relieve western economies of that burden yet here we are, prices starting to rise and everything due to get much worse in the near future. Russia is yet to impose its reciprocal sanctions and I am sure they will be designed to bite even more chunks out of the western economy.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 28 2022 17:55 utc | 56

@Peter AU1 #57
I have been thinking from that start that Biden wanted a foreign policy win to distract from domestic woes.
And the yakety from that administration clearly is trying to pin further economic pain on Russia.

The question is: will it work? Will people forget the year of inflation preceding 2/22/22 and start blaming Putin for everything?

I don't know.

I hope not, but anything is possible.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 28 2022 18:52 utc | 57

Hi @c1ue (55)
What probably helps on Germany's end is that they've got coins of €1 and €2 and notes of €200 (and €500). Meanwhile in the USA the largest coin in circulation you'll invariably find is the quarter (25¢), as $1 bills are still more popular than coins, and the largest bill is $100 ($500 bills used to be made, but not anymore).
With one US dollar in 2021 being less than a sixth of what it was worth in 1971, it pains me to see how neglectful the USA has been of its physical monetary system, and I find it (and various others which deserve a separate thread) symptomatic of the backwardness of the US monetary system compared to that of the eurozone, Canada and Japan.

Some see the heavy weight of coins as a burden that justifies the replacement of cash with electronic payments. My theory is that, at least in the US, inflation, coupled with said negligence, has created a mentality where paper notes are seen as "real money" and coins, once useful as a means of payment, are seen as loose pocket change. As a result, when one pays for cash with nothing but notes, he/she ends up with coins piling up waiting to be spent.

It's times like this when I doubt that the US waging "regime change" on Saddam Hussein was coincidental with the fact that he wanted to sell oil in euros instead.
I have long assumed that cash is still king in Russia unlike in China. Can anyone who has been there chime in on that?

Some time ago RIA Novosti ran an article talking about redesigns of the Russian ruble notes. Tellingly, the article talked about the 10- and 50-ruble notes alongside the larger denominations. Until that point I had assumed that they stopped printing the 10-ruble note due to inflation replacing it with a coin. Many of the comments were disappointed, insisting that they should replace the 50-ruble note with a coin. Some wanted the same with the 100-ruble denomination.
When Russia revalued its ruble in 1998 and introduced new coins with it, the largest coin was five rubles. Looking at the inflation calculator, five rubles in 1998 became 63.10 in 2018.
What's stopping the Central Bank of Russia from introducing larger coin denominations?

Posted by: joey_n | Mar 1 2022 1:09 utc | 58

@joey_n #59
I'm not really clear why it is so important to have larger denomination coins.
There is a 10 ruble coin, for example, as well as 10 ruble notes.

The $500 bill was never in circulation to my knowledge.

As for the breakdown of bills vs. coins and the sizes of denominations: I haven't visited Russia in a few years, but I distinctly remember that the "cheap" supermarkets sold onions and potatoes for single digit rubles per kg costs. Plus public transportation was in the 10-ish ruble range - and this was in St. Petersburg.

I imagine the purpose of cash is to be able to pay for everyday living expenses, as opposed to storing huge sums of savings.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 1 2022 4:41 utc | 59

I know there is a crisis in world affairs.

There is a concurrent flood crisis in Australia and, nb, an overlooked worldwide food supply crisis, exacerbated by Lithuania banning Belorussian amnion nitrate exports, as part of NATO.

BTW, see the impact of the Australian floods:

Posted by: Paul | Mar 1 2022 8:18 utc | 60

@Paul #61
It is a terrible situation in Australia.
How much are the floods a consequence of the constant refrains of "permanent drought"? i.e. people building in flood plains as a consequence of the refrains.

2003 Permanent Drought - Wired

Creeping toward drought - Scientific American 2019

I seem to remember floods in Queensland in 2010 as well.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 1 2022 9:32 utc | 61


I'm not really clear why it is so important to have larger denomination coins.

My idea was that when a currency loses its purchasing power, so do its physical cash denominations. As such, to make up for lost efficiency, the central bank would have to replace certain values of notes with equivalent coins.
Coins would henceforth make it easier for vending machines to dispense change. With certain other coin-operated machines the note acceptor would fail where the coin mech is functional.

Then again, I'm not sure how many transactions in Russia are done daily with vending machines versus human-to-human interaction - in the latter case, the use of coins versus banknotes wouldn't hold that much weight to begin with.
The OECD website, for what it's worth, claims that the purchasing power parity in 2021 is such that ~25 RUB has as much purchasing power in Russia as one US dollar has in the US. If prices are stably low enough

As for the breakdown of bills vs. coins and the sizes of denominations: I haven't visited Russia in a few years, but I distinctly remember that the "cheap" supermarkets sold onions and potatoes for single digit rubles per kg costs. Plus public transportation was in the 10-ish ruble range - and this was in St. Petersburg.

then I can understand the lack of pressure on Russia's central bank to introduce larger coin denominations.
(I guess I ended up answering my own question, didn't I?)

Posted by: joey_n | Mar 1 2022 10:56 utc | 62

From Canada, some selected news I’m going to spill across the bar like beer from a tipped over bottle.

Yes, it can get worse, reports fake news purveyors
From the Beaverton: Putin accuses Ukraine of having a civilian population
And —
“Climate Change considering makeover to stand out amongst shiny new calamities”

“I’m like the mousy chick with the glasses and the ponytail who stands at the back of the dance and everyone takes for granted until she kills ten percent of the people in the room and makes life a living hell for the survivors.”

Canada’s Minister of Defence, Anita Anand, moved into this role after her heroics at procuring COVID vaccines in her previous cabinet post. And she seems to have maybe found a way to apply her skills to national defence procurement: buy it for Ukraine (who are so pathetic they still use Soviet era weaponry unlike the ultra-modern Canadian army with its pistols from the Second World war era that it can’t replace due to procurement difficulties) then hastily add on some stuff for possible later shipment to Ukraine that might be able to be used by Canada’s military. Something to watch for!

La Presse is still in Poland. With a report prominently showing a student from Africa in tears. Not because of Putin, at time of press. Only stony silence from the Kremlin on the issue.

Fake news about Russia withdrawing all its diplomatic staff from Canada. Nice reply by evil Putin-bot from mainstream media CTV news:

“To my knowledge, no Canadian media has received any word from the Russians on if they are staying/leaving.”
“With that in mind, it’s important to be skeptical if people who “break news” no one else can confirm, who then follow it up by promoting a startup”

And from CBC’s the National— Canadians support Ukraine (I’m sorry but it is what it is) summarized in under 2 minutes

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Mar 1 2022 12:44 utc | 63

OSCE SMM Mission Folding, Crosses Border Into Russia

Weeks ago members UK and UK pulled out ahead of time … disgusting.

Posted by: Oui | Mar 1 2022 12:50 utc | 64

@joey_n #63
Again, it has been a few years since I last visited - but I do not recall hardly any vending machines in Russia.

For public transportation:
Subways in St. Petersburg are paid by token. Tokens purchased at a window in the subway station for cash.
Bus and light rail: there are actual people who check fares on each vehicle. They accept payment and make change (and issue a receipt).
Grocery stores: I don't recall seeing anyone ever use a credit card, although presumably such payments must exist. Cash is the vast majority of purchases although there are also the equivalent of preloaded debit cards.
I've never driven a car in Russia so no idea how gas stations work.

But I think you are focusing on the wrong thing. Inflation has been high in Russia for a long time, especially relative to Western countries. Coins/currency denominations have not been an issue. Despite the inflation, the Russian government heavily subsidizes basic foodstuffs (potatoes and onions above are an example) as well as things like health care.

The sanctions being enacted now: Russia does import a lot, but I believe a large percentage of these imports are luxuries as opposed to necessities.
I do know there are a lot of European (and Japanese) cars in Russia despite domestic Russian car lines and domestic Russian production of some cheaper foreign car brands. There are food imports - but they divide into imports from cheap places like Turkey or Morocco vs. fancy French wines and what not. Not really sure what the breakdown is between 1% consumption of imports vs. 99%, but I suspect it is pretty significantly 1%.
In general, I am fairly sure that the sanctions impact is going to be minimal for regular people - certainly so in the short term - so long as China continues to sell to Russia (and buy energy in return).

The biggest impact is likely tourism. St. Petersburg has a huge tourism sector and sanctions will definitely affect that negatively even disregarding the MSM demonization.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 1 2022 13:21 utc | 65

Energy beat goes on:

WTI and Brent are $105 and $106; the other 4 major indices are just under $100 except Mars.

This means more gasoline price increases - particularly since US refinery capacity fell in 2021 for the first time in at least 30 years.

Uranium prices jumped also from ~$14 to over $20: Japan now talking about restarting its nuclear plants (again) plus the Sprott uranium ETF made a big purchase.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 1 2022 17:04 utc | 66

China has delivered the first dual fuel LNG/Diesel powered VLCC with a total range of 24,000 nautical miles using both fuels. Chinese built, owned and operated. However, the article doesn't provide info on the difference in costs between the two fuels while dwelling on the better environmental impact of LNG.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 1 2022 18:01 utc | 67

c1ue | Mar 1 2022 9:32 utc | 62 " people building in flood plains as a consequence of the refrains."

Nearly every inland town in Queensland and NSW were built near permanent water holes. Coastal towns were built on rivers and creeks were there was a fresh water supply. back in the 1800s one town was swept away when ricer level rose quickly in the night.
perhaps a bit callous of me but I generally take no notice of the sob stories. You live on a floodplain, you're gonna get flooded. We were cut off for six weeks once. Big effin deal. I see in some of these floods, and they occur every time there isn't a drought, people are getting food and whatever helicoptered out. One thing I learned about Qld and NSW, the average rainfall figure is somewhat misleading as some years there is none then other years double. And when it does rain you can get your years average in a week.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 1 2022 18:35 utc | 68”>
On ground report on aftermath of January riots in Kazakhstan

Posted by: die Niemandsfuchs | Mar 1 2022 18:52 utc | 69

Posted by: Mark Gaughan | Mar 1 2022 19:57 utc | 70

Overall, just average weather.

"Summer weather data suggests an 'average' year, disguising several incidents of extreme weather"

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 1 2022 19:59 utc | 71

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 1 2022 9:32 utc | 62

Inappropriate building locations are a factor. Australia is just so corrupt and local governments allow it, so developers make a buck.

Many of the worst areas have flooded before. The floods are now larger and more frequent.

In the case of Brisbane, the dam at the head of the Brisbane River was designed as a water storage dam not a flood mitigation dam, it can't be both.

The rainfall this time is overwhelming.

Posted by: Paul | Mar 1 2022 20:22 utc | 72

For the Aussies that remember hearing this on the radio when they were young. The original Road to Gundagai

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 2 2022 3:37 utc | 73

Energy beat goes on:'s gasoline index has jumped from ~$2.60 to over $3.22 in the past 2 weeks - most of it in the past several days.

WTI is $109 right now and Brent is over $110.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 2 2022 3:40 utc | 74

Us whiteys have only been here a couple of hundred years Paul. Out in the bush, you find the remains of the original station slab hut on river flats or floodplains. By the time they had got financial enough to build a proper house, they had learned to build on stilts or high ground.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 2 2022 3:47 utc | 75

not sure if this is the energy beat, but the beat goes on.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 2 2022 3:59 utc | 76

I have really enjoyed reading the comments and following the links in these threads... I would like to offer two links of my own:

1) (Oct, 2019) Fascinating presentation on the philosophies of the ruling elites around the world. The differences between their ideologies; why some countries (China, Russia, Iran) are natural ideological allies; why others (UK vs Russia) are implacable opponents; how UK-created Naziism was used to subvert Germany.
Speaker: Alex Thomson, UKColumn. Duration: 1h 10m.

Link to youtube video

2) (Jan, 2022) Aaron Mate interviews ex- Pentagon aide Douglas Macgregor. Thoughts on Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Syria, Afghanistan.
Duration: 37m

Link to youtube video

Posted by: Browser | Mar 2 2022 15:13 utc | 77

Biden SOTU from CNN
CNN take on Biden State of The Union: winner and losers


* Inviting the Ukrainian ambassador to the US:

* A history-making backdrop:

* A return to normal:

* Pushing the reset button on Covid-19:

* "Fund the police:"

* Not giving up on bipartisanship:

* Stephen Breyer:


* Actions from Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene:

* The work-from-home crowd:

* "The Iranian people:"

* The Schumer stand:

I reference CNN because this network is clearly pro-Biden.

My reaction:

1) There is no "hit" regarding the economy. The economy and inflation are the top priorities for all voters - Democrat, Republican and Independent and CNN didn't think Biden's SOTU speech was a hit there. And in fact, there is NO plan put forward to address inflation directly - Biden blamed semiconductor shortages and Russia.

2) Of the Hits, several are flip flops: "fund the police", "return to normal", "hitting the reset button on COVID-19"

3) No mention of pharma as a hit - the reining in of insulin drug prices to merely $35 vs. $10 sale price. Only 71.4% gross margin allowed for an off-patent drug!
You rock Joe!

Obviously this may just be CNN's view, but I do find it instructive.

What is most notable: Ukraine is front and center - the American people (his constituents) are much further down.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 2 2022 16:00 utc | 78

All 6 top oil indices now over $100/barrel.

The huge jump in worldwide average gasoline price since 2/24 has not shown up in US gasoline prices yet - will be interesting to see if it does (don't see why it would not).

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 2 2022 16:12 utc | 79

Russian Oil and Gas Giants Lose 95% of their market cap on London Exchange

This is more MSM bullshit.

Gazprom is trading in the US at the moment for $0.63 a share. Bargain right?


Gazprom in the US is an ADR - an American Depository Receipt. Basically it is a completely different, American company which says that every share of this American company is matched by a share in actual Gazprom (in Russia).

This is an important detail. OGZPY - the Gazprom ADR - is not actually Gazprom stock but is a promise of Gazprom stock. Given the sanctions and other geopolitical factors - there is a very real risk that the US or Russia (or both) break that linkage by force majeur law.

If the linkage is broken by sovereign unilateral action, then the depository receipt becomes worthless. This action could be Russia forcing Gazprom to no longer honor its foreign depository receipts or it could be the British or American governments passing legislation to break the linkages, or no doubt all sorts of other fuckery.

The LSE equivalent is PJSC.

So is Gazprom *really* worth 95% less or 60% less or whatever?

No. It is the foreign depository receipts which are free falling due to sovereign risk.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 2 2022 20:34 utc | 80

Australian barflies take note. there is a predictable disaster waiting to happen at North Richmond, NSW, on the outskirts of Sydney

There was a magnificent dairy farm terraformed sustainably with dams flowing from one to the other down the side of a gentle hill. This farm as used by the Hawkesbury Agricultural College as a demonstration farm.

Bloated, corrupt developer and coal miner, Nathan Tinkler purchased the farm and put Development Applications [DA's] before the corrupt Hawkesbury City Council while making 'donations' to the corrupt Liberal mayor, Bart Bassett.

Approvals were given against much local public opposition.

A number of dams were filled in. The land was concreted and a huge 'development' was built with numerous houses and a retirement village. There was nowhere for the water to go except downhill into Redbank Creek.

Now one of the existing old dams is in danger of collapsing which will endanger the whole suburb of North Richmond below.

Bassett continues to exert influence over council planning staff and the NSW Liberal Party.

Posted by: Paul | Mar 3 2022 2:36 utc | 81

Biden establishes $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit program -

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released a Notice of Intent (NOI) and Request for Information (RFI) on the implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit Program. The nuclear credit program supports the continued operation of U.S. nuclear reactors, the nation’s largest source of clean power.


Nuclear power currently provides 52% of the nation’s 100% clean electricity, and the Biden-Harris Administration has identified the current fleet of 93 reactors as a vital resource to achieve net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050. Shifting energy markets and other economic factors have already resulted in the early closure of 12 commercial reactors across the United States since 2013.

Presumably this is to address likely reduction of the US nuclear capability from 96 GW to as low as 60 GW by 2030

So the US is going to try and slow its nuclear generated electricity decline by keeping existing reactors open even longer, even as China plans to build 228 new nuclear reactors.

The above includes

that China planned to build [another] 150 new reactors at a cost of $440bn (2.8trn yuan), which is more reactors than the rest of the world has built over the past 35 years.

Note this in context of China's many and manifest successes in infrastructure development - including the enormous proliferation of high speed rail among many others.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 3 2022 8:20 utc | 82

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