Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 20, 2022

Ukraine SitRep - Russians Break Through U.S. Bolsterism

On May 14 I noted that the U.S. had asked Russia for a ceasefire in Ukraine:

The U.S. readout of the call says:

On May 13, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu for the first time since February 18. Secretary Austin urged an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication.

Austin initiated the call and the U.S. is seeking a ceasefire in Ukraine!!!

Yesterday the top officers of the U.S. and Russia had a call which, again, the U.S. side had initiated:

Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian General Staff, held a conversation that the Pentagon declined to further detail beyond acknowledging it had happened.

Thinks must be bad in Ukraine for this to have happened. Indeed if one trusts the daily 'clobber list' the Russian Ministry of Defense puts out all positions of the Ukrainian army are under heavy artillery fire and it is losing about 500 men per day. There are additional Russian effective strikes on training camps, weapon storage sites and transport hubs all over the country.

On top of that the tactical situation at the eastern frontline has changed after Russian forces broke through the heavily fortified frontline.

Source: - bigger
A few days ago the Russian army went forward along the H-32 road, broke through the line in the direction of Propasna and took the town. It has since extended the bulge by taking several villages to the north, west and south.


This breakthrough gives the chance to roll up the Ukrainian fortifications along the frontline through flank attacks or from behind. By cutting the supply lines of the Ukrainian troops to the north and south envelopes can be created which will eventual lead to cauldrons with no way out for the Ukrainian troops.

This is especially dangerous for the several thousand soldiers north of the bulge which currently defend the cities of Sieverodonetsk and Lysychansk in the north eastern part of the upper bubble.


The Russian plan was to have another breakthrough from the north pushing to Siversk to then close the upper envelope. But after several failed attempts to cross the forest area and the Seversky Donets river that breakthrough has still to happen.

Russia is now likely to push fresh troops into the Propasna bulge to extend its reach into all directions. Reports of current actions show that the heavy fighting and bombing on the frontline continues and that bombing also continues to target traffic nodes.


Other fronts in Ukraine are currently relatively quiet with little direct fire. Still daily Russian artillery attacks hits all Ukrainian front lines and will cost daily casualties.

Some 2,000 Azov militia and Ukrainian army troops have left the catacombs of Azovstal in Mariupol. Another thousand may still be down there. The Russian army is filtering these prisoners. Members of Azov and other militia will be put to court. Ukrainian army soldiers will become prisoners of war.

The gasoline and diesel scarcity in Ukraine is currently having severe impacts. Even the Ukrainian military is now rationing its fuel. Since about six weeks ago Russia has systematically attacked refineries and fuel storage sites in Ukraine. It also disabled railroad bridges along the lines that brought fuel from Moldova and Romania.

At the same time the Ukrainian government had held up price regulations for fuel. The consumer sale prices for diesel and gasoline were fixed. The cost of fuel brought in by private trucks from Poland exceeded the price gas station owners could ask for. In consequence gas stations ran dry as their owners refrained from purchasing new fuel.

Three days ago the Zelensky regime in Kiev finally ended the fuel price control:

According to [economy minister] Svyrydenko, the government expects that the maximum prices for diesel will not exceed UAH 58 ($1.97), for gasoline — UAH 52 ($1.76) per liter, once controls are lifted.

“As soon as we feel that market operators are abusing their position, we will impose sanctions on them,” she added.

“We will monitor the situation on a daily basis”.

The expected prices are lower than what is currently asked for in Germany and that is without trucking the fuel the 600 kilometer from Poland to Kiev. The threat of sanctions also means that local wholesalers will have little incentives to actually deal in fuel. With the average wages in Ukraine being about $480 per months the real fuel prices will soon become another economic shock.

The Ukrainian government also continues its attacks on unions and labor laws:

In March, the Ukrainian parliament passed wartime legislation that severely curtailed the ability of trade unions to represent their members, introduced ‘suspension of employment’ (meaning employees are not fired, but their work and wages are suspended) and gave employers the right to unilaterally suspend collective agreements.
But beyond this temporary measure, a group of Ukrainian MPs and officials are now aiming to further ‘liberalise’ and ‘de-Sovietise’ the country’s labour laws. Under a draft law, people who work in small and medium-sized firms – those which have up to 250 employees – would, in effect, be removed from the country’s existing labour laws and covered by individual contracts negotiated with their employer. More than 70% of the Ukrainian workforce would be affected by this change.

Against a background of concerns that Ukrainian officials are using Russia’s invasion to push through a long-awaited radical deregulation of labour laws, one expert has warned that the introduction of civil law into labour relations risks opening a “Pandora’s box” for workers.

In total the social-economic situation for Ukraine is catastrophic. The military situation is even worse. Mariupol has fallen and Russian troops working there will soon be able to go elsewhere. The Propasna bulge is threatening to envelope the whole northern frontline together with the core of the Ukrainian army.

There is no more talk of the Ukrainian army 'winning' like in Kiev or Karkov where the Russian troops retreated in good order after finishing their task of holding Ukrainian forces in place.

The Ukrainian command has sent several territorial brigades to the front lines. These units were supposed to defend their home towns. They consist of middle age men drafted into service. They have little fighting experience and lack heavy weapons. Several of these units have published videos saying they were giving up. They are lamenting that their commanders left them when their situation became critical.

That the Ukrainian army is now using such units as cannon fodder shows that it has only few reserves left.

Weapons that come in from the 'west' have difficulties reaching the front lines and had so far very little effect. They amount to drops of water on a hot plate.

All the above are the reasons why Austin and Milley have phoned up their Russian equivalents. They are also the reasons why the New York Times editors call on the Biden administration to end its bluster and to take a more realistic position:

Recent bellicose statements from Washington — President Biden’s assertion that Mr. Putin “cannot remain in power,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s comment that Russia must be “weakened” and the pledge by the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, that the United States would support Ukraine “until victory is won” — may be rousing proclamations of support, but they do not bring negotiations any closer.
In the end, it is the Ukrainians who must make the hard decisions: They are the ones fighting, dying and losing their homes to Russian aggression, and it is they who must decide what an end to the war might look like. If the conflict does lead to real negotiations, it will be Ukrainian leaders who will have to make the painful territorial decisions that any compromise will demand.
[A]s the war continues, Mr. Biden should also make clear to President Volodymyr Zelensky and his people that there is a limit to how far the United States and NATO will go to confront Russia, and limits to the arms, money and political support they can muster. It is imperative that the Ukrainian government’s decisions be based on a realistic assessment of its means and how much more destruction Ukraine can sustain.
Confronting this reality may be painful, but it is not appeasement. This is what governments are duty bound to do, not chase after an illusory “win.” Russia will be feeling the pain of isolation and debilitating economic sanctions for years to come, and Mr. Putin will go down in history as a butcher. The challenge now is to shake off the euphoria, stop the taunting and focus on defining and completing the mission. America’s support for Ukraine is a test of its place in the world in the 21st century, and Mr. Biden has an opportunity and an obligation to help define what that will be.

Posted by b on May 20, 2022 at 16:49 UTC | Permalink

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@Scorpion (101)

One problem with the mythical version of Holodomor as targeting Ukrainians in particular is that those who scream about it the loudest were not part of USSR, and for that matter, many never were subjects of the Russian Empire either. Until 1918, they were subjects of the Habsburgs. When Soviet Ukraine was suffering famines, they were under Polish rule. It wasn't until World War 2 that they came under Soviet rule.

Posted by: hk | May 21 2022 2:05 utc | 201

To identify the true nature of the characters, have Firefox browser => Tools => Add-ons => find "Character Identifier" and install => Block Text of word => right-click and choose "Identify Characters". See it?

Posted by: blues | May 21 2022 2:16 utc | 202

uncle tungsten @ 206. Agree


The Ukrainian special operation was always just a starting point. This was always a battle with the US. And the special operation will continue until the crime families in the US are demilitarized and denazified. Then the tribunals on bio war crimes etc can target the appropriate people.

Posted by: financial matters | May 21 2022 2:25 utc | 203

Recently from (the comments section of) AM's Reminiscence blog:

Austin called Shoigu to let him know that Monkeypox got out of the box.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 21 2022 2:31 utc | 204

From Colonel Cassad Telegram channel...

May 20 was the last day of the battle for Mariupol and Azovstal.

1. Shoigu reported to Putin that today the last Nazis at Azovstal surrendered and the territory of the plant came under the control of our troops. May 20 was the end.

2. The total number of prisoners was 2439 people. Of these, 531 have surrendered in the past 24 hours. "Kalyn", "Volyn" (there is already a video) and "Radis" in captivity (they were taken away in an armored car, fearing lynching over it).

3. Russian troops are already taking control of the basements of Azovstal, which will now be carefully examined. I am sure that many more interesting stories await us, not to mention the testimonies of Nazi fighters who will await the tribunal in Donetsk.

4. There is no information about any foreign generals about whom there were various rumors. There are no details yet about the various mercenaries who were probably there.

5. There are no more Ukrainian soldiers on the coast of the Sea of ​​Azov. As well as Ukraine. The Sea of ​​Azov became the inland sea of ​​Russia on May 20. As the Nazis themselves declared, there will be no Mariupol, there will be no Ukraine. I will not argue with them on this issue.

6. Mariupol from today has finally become a rear city, which will have a painful recovery after 3 months of fighting. I am sure that the city will be gradually restored. Russia has experience in restoring Grozny and Crimea.

7. We can expect the intensification of work on the restoration of railway and road communication with the Crimea from the Rostov direction. The land corridor to the Crimea, "the need for which the Bolsheviks have been talking about for so long," is ready.

8. As a result of the entire defense of Mariupol, Ukraine de facto lost 15-20 thousand troops. This is the largest military defeat of Ukraine, significantly exceeding the size of Debaltseve and Ilovaisk combined. About 4.5 thousand prisoners were taken during the fighting alone. The number of those killed, wounded and missing has yet to be calculated.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 3:15 utc | 205

From Rybar Telegram channel... Apparently the US wants to send anti-ship missiles to Ukraine in order to deblock Ukrainian ports.

US raises stakes to unblock Ukrainian ports

The Reuters news agency reported ( that White The house plans to transfer modern anti-ship missiles to Ukraine to break through the naval blockade of Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea.

The supply of weapons capable of hitting the ships of the Russian Navy at a long distance can bring the conflict to a new level. This is opposed by some military and congressmen. They point to the complexity of weapons and the need for long training in use, as well as the possibility of their capture by Russia.

However, the White House is seriously considering the option of transferring long-range anti-ship missiles to Ukraine: the main reason is the threat of a food crisis.

As we have already written (, the Kyiv authorities actually pay for Lend-Lease with agricultural crops, exporting food to Western countries by rail and road.

Due to the low throughput, it is vital for the West to establish a sea route (, which is blocked by ships of the Black Sea Fleet.

Currently, the United States is considering the transfer of weapons of two types of anti-ship missiles, which they plan to send directly or from the warehouses of allied countries:

Boeing's Harpoon.
Naval Strike Missile (NSM) of the Norwegian company Kongsberg.

The process of supplying modern American weapons, like Harpoon missiles, officially requires the approval of the US Congress. Therefore, the NSM launchers are the main option so far. The Norwegian government has already expressed its readiness to send them to Ukraine.

However, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have already received ( М142 HIMARS, which are deployed in the Kharkiv region and Donbass. All this points to the conditionality of legislative approval by Congress and the possibility of retroactive deliveries of modern weapons to Ukraine.

Against this background, it is likely that the US is already actively supplying anti-ship weapons and long-range artillery by air and sea. In the past few days, all the US Navy Sealift Command support vessels stationed there have left the naval base in Norfolk.

The destination ports of these ships are not specified, but the increased activity of American logistical assets is a signal that lend-lease is in full swing.
#USA #Ukraine

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 3:26 utc | 206

From Donbass Insider telegram channel... The West is going to lose this - the DPR has meetings with reps from North Korea...

DPR Foreign Minister met with the Ambassador of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Today, on May 20, a working meeting was held in Moscow between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Donetsk People's Republic Natalia Nikonorova, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lugansk People's Republic Vladislav Deinego and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the Russian Federation Sin Hong Chol.

The meeting was devoted to consultations on formats and mechanisms for further interaction. Particular attention was paid to the discussion of the real state of affairs in Donbass, as well as the importance of disseminating objective and reliable information about the situation.

During the event Heads of the Foreign Ministries of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics conveyed to the Ambassador greetings from the Heads of states and also expressed gratitude for the desire to build and intensify mutual cooperation.

🤝 Parties agreed that working contacts would be continued in the near future.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 3:32 utc | 207

"Lose" should been "love"...but either will work... :-)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 3:33 utc | 208

From Sputnik News Telegram channel... Sergey Glazyev wants a new digital currency... Comments?

>BLOCKQUOTE>"It is necessary to abandon the use of toxic currencies altogether — the dollar, euro, yen, pound."

These currencies are an instrument of sanctions pressure, their issuers do not fulfill their obligations, violate international law.
This was told by the Minister for Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission Sergey Glazyev during the video bridge @SputnikLive.
However, our national currencies alone may not be enough to replace these currencies in which trust has been lost.
Therefore, negotiations are underway with partners, including the SCO, that we need to think about creating a currency for use in international relations.
It should be a digital currency: stable, fair, transparent, protected from various sanctions.
The model of such a currency is planned to be discussed at the next Eurasian Economic Forum in Bishkek.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 3:38 utc | 209

Great, the one time I forget to check the blockquote tag...

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 3:39 utc | 210

#Opinion by Maria Zakharova, Russian MFA Spokeswoman, on Sweden's application to NATO without a referendum...

The frenzied celebration of Atlanticism and the show that official Stockholm staged on the occasion of its “historic” decision to apply for NATO membership bear all the signs of laboured artificiality. After all, there is no national consensus behind Stockholm’s decision to join NATO. Left Party leader Nooshi Dadgostar came down hard on that decision. The attempts to get the Green Party to support the move to join the Alliance failed.

The Swedish media conveniently did NOT publish any opinion polls in the run-up to the “historic decision,” either.

That’s democracy, baby.

No one said a word about the referendum that could be held according to every canon of liberalism (which everyone remains in the dark about so far). This is strange. After all, the referendum holds a special place in the political culture of that country.

There have been quite a few national referendums in the Kingdom’s recent history, including on matters like transitioning to right-hand traffic (the 1955 referendum ( and, I kid you not, a vote on prohibition ( 1922 referendum).

Prohibition posters of that time are available online (1 (, 2 (

No doubt, issues like Sweden’s EU membership and accession to the single euro-currency system were also decided by a national vote. As such, Sweden adhered to fairly democratic practices. Clearly, much has changed in Sweden over the past 100 years since the first referendum was held in the 20th century, and democracy is now in short supply.

Crimea, which Ann Linde considers undemocratic, held a referendum, and the people made their choice. There was a referendum in the Soviet Union. In the Russian Federation, a vote was held on constitutional amendments. However, Sweden, which decided to overhaul its 200-year-old security policy, didn’t hold any.

Why? The answer is clear.

If you take a look at the latest polls, the growth in the number of people who are willing to “march in step with Brussels and Washington” (and spend 2 percent of GDP on defence, which is NATO-approved defence spending minimum) has slowed significantly.

According to a poll conducted by Demoskop and Aftonbladet on April 19, 2022 – more recent data is not available for obvious reasons – hardly more than half of Swedes are interested in joining NATO. To put it bluntly, every second Swede understands the morass their American “friends” are dragging Stockholm into.

Speaking of “friends,” it is notable that US senators were visiting Stockholm on the day the “historic” decision was announced. Not rank-and-file congressmen, but leader of the Senate Republicans Mitch McConnell. Sweden has not yet joined the Alliance, but the Americans are already dictating to the Swedish authorities what to say to their people. And this is just a demo of what is in store for them.

More than 200 years of neutrality, which guaranteed the Kingdom’s security and prosperity, are now history.

So why wasn’t there a referendum? Just because no one has been consulting Swedish public’s opinion on anything for a long time now. The Americans call the shots for the Swedes.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 3:47 utc | 211

From Russian MoFA Telegram channel... Forwarded from Russian Embassy in London...

Watch our new video: "Truth on Ukraine. The Unholy Trinity."

It explains the background of Bandera, Shukhevich and Stetsko who are worshipped in modern Ukraine as "heroes" and "fighters for freedom".
This video was made using open source data, including documentary footage from WWII and recently published materials available on the Internet.

#Russia #Ukraine #StopNaziUkraine

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 3:48 utc | 212

Latest Russian MoD briefing...

Briefing by Russian Defence Ministry

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation in Ukraine.

During the day, high-precision air-based missiles of the Russian Aerospace Forces have hit 4 command posts, 45 areas of manpower and military equipment concentration, as well as 7 ammunition and fuel depots near Bakhmut, Berestovoe, Soledar, Pokrovskoe, Konstantinovka and Maslyakovka of the Donetsk People's Republic.

In addition, 1 Osa-AKM anti-aircraft missile system launcher near Seversk and 1 radar of the Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system near Barvenkovo, Kharkov Region, have been also destroyed.

Operational-tactical and army aviation have hit 3 strong points and 47 areas of concentration of AFU manpower and military equipment.

The attacks have resulted in the elimination of more than 280 nationalists and up to 59 armoured and motor vehicles.

Missile troops and artillery have hit 12 command posts, 213 areas of manpower and military equipment concentration, 24 artillery and mortar units at firing positions, and 3 ammunition depots near Chuguev, Kharkov Region.

Russian air defence means have shot down 10 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles near Barvinok, Chernobaevka, Lazurnoe in Kherson Region, Grakovo, Malye Prokhody, Novaya Gnilitsa and Chkalovskoe in Kharkov Region.

In addition, 17 Ukrainian Smerch multiple-launch rockets have been intercepted near Topolskoe, Malaya Kamyshevakha, Snezhkovka in Kharkov Region and Chernobaevka in Kherson Region.

In total, 172 Ukrainian aircraft and 125 helicopters, 952 unmanned aerial vehicles, 314 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,168 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 396 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,571 field artillery and mortars, as well as 3,039 units of special military vehicles were destroyed during the operation.

#MoD #Russia #Ukraine #Briefing

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 3:52 utc | 213

New Pepe Escobar... Reminding me of Everett Dirksen: "A few billion here, a few billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money"...

Russia Rewrites the Art of Hybrid War

By now it’s evidently clear that open-ended Operation Z targets unipolar Hegemon power, the infinite expansion of vassalized NATO, and the world’s financial architecture – an intertwined combo that largely transcends the Ukraine battleground.

Serial Western sanctions package hysteria ended up triggering Russia’s so far quite successful counter-financial moves. Hybrid War is being fought predominantly in the economic/financial battleground – and the pain dial for the collective West will only go up: inflation, higher commodity prices, breakdown of supply chains, exploding cost of living, impoverishment of the middle classes, and unfortunately for great swathes of the Global South, outright poverty and starvation.

In the near future, as insider evidence surfaces, a convincing case will be made that the Russian leadership even gamed the Western financial gamble/ blatant robbery of over $300 billion in Russian reserves.

This implies that already years ago – let’s say, at least from 2016, based on analyses by Sergey Glazyev – the Kremlin knew this would inevitably happen. As trust remains a rigid foundation of a monetary system, the Russian leadership may have calculated that the Americans and their vassals, driven by blind Russophobia, would play all their cards at once when push came to shove – utterly demolishing global trust on “their” system.

Because of Russia’s infinite natural resources, the Kremlin may have factored that the nation would eventually survive the financial Shock’n Awe – and even profit from it (ruble appreciation included). The reward is just too sweet: opening the way to The Doomed Dollar – without having to ask Mr. Sarmat to present his nuclear business card.

Russia could even entertain the hypothesis of getting a mighty return on those stolen funds. A great deal of Western assets – totaling as much as $500 billion – may be nationalized if the Kremlin so chooses.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 3:57 utc | 214

It has become evident that the United States has outlived its right to exist. It is by several orders of magnitude the primary promulgator of fascist ideology and economic slavery in the world today; in essence, it is a spiritual death cult. Let us remove emotions and acknowledge the destructive impact of the country's existence, consider that the protestations and actions of its few honorable citizens have no material effect whatsoever on the country's political movement, and promote with all effort the complete and irrevocable deconstruction of its supporting institutions, so that it never again threatens all dignified life on Earth.

Posted by: Ornos | May 21 2022 4:16 utc | 215

I couldn't agree more. It is hard to tolerate hearing about that topic. By the way you wound happen to have a updated paysheet for this year? All I have is this old copy from 2020. 2020_JDIF
We should be on the lookout for Russian trolls.

Posted by: Jakob Gyrsker | May 21 2022 4:24 utc | 216

financial matters #211

The Ukrainian special operation was always just a starting point. This was always a battle with the US. And the special operation will continue until the crime families in the US are demilitarized and denazified. Then the tribunals on bio war crimes etc can target the appropriate people.

Thank you and I might add that whatever the initial process intention, a flexible thinking war machine discovers original unknowns, discards original presumptions when found erroneous and then redesigns the execution of the war. We can only surmise that Russia intended to merely secure the two renegade provinces.

I doubt that as I see the Russian state as an incredibly detailed thinker and planner. It is the type of state that carefully sets out plans, examines consequences and designs responses. This approach reveals opportunities within each game sequence.

The Rouble is where it is perhaps by accident but more than likely it was envisaged as a possibility and gamed thoroughly to reveal how to place fulcrum points and leverage circumstances to Russia's advantage.

That this SMO and the hyper goading of USA in the month prior would have been seen as manic desire for the USA to test out its ultimate plan on China as well. I feel certain that some fine minds were assembled to this task of both defeating the USA at its own dirty game, and then moving on to hobble the beast on the global scale.

The beast is severely wounded imo and cannot be certain that it won't soon be directly attacked - metaphorically speaking. Hence the generalisimo squawking on the phone.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 21 2022 4:26 utc | 217

@cobo | May 20 2022 22:51 utc | 151

And don't try to hide behind Putin's age and the timing of the "Young Global leaders Academy." There are so many examples of the long relationship of Putin with Klaus Schwab going back decades

So you believe GRU never sent their people to spy on WEF?
Sloppy Russians !!!

Posted by: Vajezatha | May 21 2022 4:30 utc | 218

Posted by: Ornos | May 21 2022 4:16 utc | 223

Thank you!

It has become evident that the United States has outlived its right to exist.......Not only but includes the 5Eyes, Germany, UK and every NATO countries...

Posted by: JC | May 21 2022 4:41 utc | 219

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 20 2022 17:52 utc | 17
Why don't people read over, edit and proof-read their posts before hitting 'post'?
Posted by: Patroklos | May 21 2022 0:03 utc | 172

I suspect that it is the environment. This is not a forum for orderly discussion, it’s a bar. Granted there
are many well educated and intelligent people here but even they are drunk with their own interpretation
of reality. It’s more important that they get their say out than to present a well written post.
Damn the art of communication, full speed ahead!

Posted by: waynorinorway | May 21 2022 4:59 utc | 220

Vajezatha #226

So you believe GRU never sent their people to spy on WEF?
Sloppy Russians !!!

Thank you for that direct retort. The hubris output of the west would break any meter capable of measuring such a thing. I am pretty certain the WEF would have been proud to have all manner of guests willing to report their assessments of process AND attendees directly to the GRU.

This is the essence of the practice of sociological analysis as I have practiced. Some call it entrism ;)

Read Bradstow: A study of status, class and power in a small Australian town (Studies in Australian society) by R.A. Wild.

I used its practice extensively and it is one of the key informers for those seeking to be a changemaker or just a mere spy.

Wild was accused of plagiarism because he omitted to reference the original practitioner in england. Such is academia.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 21 2022 4:59 utc | 221

Peter AU1 | May 21 2022 0:29 utc | 181

This is several hours later, and probably won't reach you, but I am completely in agreement on both counts. Yes, a just war & yes, I would have protected my soldiers. Possibly, this is the last war we are seeing the old technology in use, and probably we are on the cusp of a major evolution of the battlefield.

However, Peter, would you agree with me that of all those moments that Russians were fighting for what for me was a just cause with their scant resources (recall the Russian soldiers without boots ('wearing their own cheap fabric trainers') in Georgia, murdered while on rotation, etc), they effected a transformation. Think of the impossibility of so many people like us being without reserve on the Russian side. What should it tell me about myself?

'Top of the morning'--nice to talk to you.

Posted by: @vec | May 21 2022 4:59 utc | 222


Can we start being more accurate in the language use ? For example:,
“A few days ago the Russian army went forward along the H-32 road” Those were LPR units not RF.

For the record, roughly 110 ,000 DPR and LPR are fighting alongside the roughly 125,000 RF. The DPR liberated Mariupol and Azovstal.

It’s important to highlight that this conflict in primarily a civil war against Kiev

Posted by: Exile | May 21 2022 5:06 utc | 223

@ Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 3:48 utc | 220

that youtube video is quite potent.. i am sharing it again for others to consider watching it - 5 minutes... thanks richard..

Truth on Ukraine. The Unholy Trinity.

Posted by: james | May 21 2022 5:08 utc | 224

@Tom_Q_Collins | May 20 2022 21:22 utc | 95

Some ten-fifteen years ago I did some research on "Irish Famine" and I would say that video you have posted barely touches the subject. I am not Irish but I would encourage everyone to learn a little bit about what has happened there.
In my opinion it was not a drought that caused starvation and death. It was a mix of greed and premeditated and legalized genocide of Irish people.

Posted by: Vajezatha | May 21 2022 5:11 utc | 225

Posted by: Vajezatha | May 21 2022 5:11 utc | 233

I agree. As a victim of the American public education system, I never learned of the genocidal angle on the Irish Potato Famine (slash Planned Genocide) and really all I know about it the video I posted now. What other sources are there if you know any?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 21 2022 5:19 utc | 226

The BBC in its continuing and embarrassingly crude anti-Russian spin campaign has this gem today:

The Azov regiment, set up as a volunteer militia in 2014 but now a National Guard unit, once had links to the far right.

Posted by: Jezza | May 21 2022 5:34 utc | 227

Roubles for wheat?
Yo, way to go

The lads at Duran are getting excited but it only lasts 28 minutes. DO WATCH and share their excitement especially when they get to Medvedev's statements :))

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 21 2022 5:47 utc | 228

Posted by: Jezza | May 21 2022 5:34 utc | 236

Can you please link to that headline? I cannot find it anywhere including Slimey BBC.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 21 2022 6:08 utc | 229

Gonzalo Lira trashes Scott Ritter, calling him a "sell-out" essentially, someone who wants to get back into the mainstream media for a steady paycheck.

2022.05.20 I No Longer Trust Scott Ritter

I have to say, he may not be wrong on that. He suggests that the mainstream media outlets are "wooing" him in an effort to co-opt the alt-media narrative. Given that Ritter is one of the primary voices of the alt view of Ukraine - or used to be - that may be true.

Lira cites the same Energy Intelligence report that I cited in a previous thread here. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised, given Lira's appearance in the thread, that he found the piece based on what I wrote. Can't prove that, of course, but it's interesting that he shows up here right after I posted that and then references it in his video. Whatever.

People need to read that Energy Intelligence article that Ritter wrote. There's no valid excuse for it. It's unmitigated bullshit - as Lira says, right out of Atlantic Monthly or CNN. Lira is completely right about that.

As an aside, Lira also points out that he has provided documents to The Duran team proving that he was in fact arrested by the SBU during his "missing week". That is supposed to reassure people who think he made that whole thing up.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 6:11 utc | 230

It was a mix of greed and premeditated and legalized genocide of Irish people.

Posted by: Vajezatha | May 21 2022 5:11 utc | 233

Well you must be so inclined to believe such twaddle. If it was "premeditated" it was the US that did it since it was their Phytophthora infestans that emerged in Mexico and was transported to Europe from USA.

It affected EUROPE and not just Ireland.

Ireland's problem was overpopulation and poverty. You get really poor by having lots of children. They had a diet of potatoes which were grown as animal fodder.

Believe it or not 1840s Ireland was dirt poor like Scotland - my own family left Ireland in 1840s for England like so many around Glasgow or Liverpool. There were regular Poor Law riots in Northern English cities whenever harvests failed or short-time working came in.

Corn Laws were like CAP in EU - exporting wheat when prices were low to keep a fixed producer price so they could pay the high land rents from the Napoleonic Wars when marginal land was put under the plough and the industry cartelised postwar to save farmers from bankruptcy due to excess production at high cost.

EU CAP worked same way using price of wheat grown in Ruhr - highest marginal production cost - as base level for intervention pricing/storage to keep prices stable. It was a cartel structure to keep marginal producers solvent.

Everyone wants to be a 'Victim Jew' whether Alex Haley with "Roots" or "Ukrainians" or "Gypsies" or "Gays" - everyone wants "Victim Superiority" through proclaimed weakness.

Those days are over.

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 21 2022 6:15 utc | 231

Oh and Robert Peel as PM split his party 1846 by repealing Corn Laws - he imported wheat from USA but the real fear was rioting in Northern industrial cities where large Irish populations were living - they were none too popular there - and threat of disorder.

It was the triumph of the Industrialist over the Agricultural Interest in British politics

Life is complex and not simply about "Putin starving the world by invading lovely Ukraine and refusing to sell fertiliser to lovely peace-loving Americans"

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 21 2022 6:18 utc | 232

The propaganda and lies that surround us today didn't start since the Ukraine war. It was always there. I have only read British take on history,but if you read enough, you will find some authors/books that tell the truth.

To convince people who to hate, a lot of false facts as history is taught. Over the decades the west has fine tuned there take on history and erasure of others to a fine art.

There was a famine but it affected all people's in the USSR, not just Ukrainians. Stalin was a dictator, but Stalin was a Georgian, like Sakasasvilli.

Mao might have initiated the cultural revolution, but it was his wife and 3 others that carried it out in their way. They were all put in jail. The so-called Tianamen square massacre said 7,000 people died in the Western press. Years later, it had been reduced to less than 100. I am sure you still have books in America that claim the original figure, much like the ones being written now that Putin is a war criminal.

What I think is missing in all of this is racism. Everyone has cultural, tribal and bias instincts. Not everyone allows they're hatred to attacking other people. The Ukrainian people have shown that they have a bitter hatred of Russia, not just because of this history, but because they are racist, just like the Poles, Germans and even more so in America.

The hate crimes against Asians have gone up 600%, as their MSM have given them an excuse to express their hatred. Now it's the Russians also, but do not forget the blacks.

The West has exposed to the rest of the world their true nature, too stupid to even know it.

Posted by: Karl luck | May 21 2022 6:24 utc | 233

Actually, I no longer pay much attention to Lira, Ritter, or anybody regarding the Ukraine 'crisis'. Something weird is going on. Think hidden variables. Ultimately I no longer think this narrative is even about the Ukraine. I think it's about something else. Something else is going on, which will become evident quite suddenly, I would guess.

Posted by: blues | May 21 2022 7:21 utc | 234

Karl luck #241

Well said. This is a terribly sad state of affairs and it is so clear that the current 'hate russia hate China' has evolved to the state of deliberately and overtly aligning with nazism - the greatest hate factory of all.

The foundation premise of nazism is hatred and we see it manifested in Ukraine amplified by the bio weapons manufacture as if the rest of the world cannot/will not recognise it.

I trust they are wrong and we can restore some semblance of sanity.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 21 2022 7:22 utc | 235

Gonzalo Lira trashes Scott Ritter, calling him a "sell-out" essentially, someone who wants to get back into the mainstream media for a steady paycheck.

2022.05.20 I No Longer Trust Scott Ritter

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 6:11 utc | 238

Lira doesn't trust Ritter. I have no idea what is going on here, nor what is your play, Richard. But for some reason, I get the vision of Thor and Loki in drag. Loki: "I don't trust Thor".

“No!” Thor shouted. “I’m not dressing up as a woman. All the gods will make fun of me.”

“Be quiet,” Loki told him. “If you don’t do this, Thor, if you don’t get back your hammer, the giants will break into Asgard and take over.”

Thor relented and allowed the other gods to dress him up as Freya in a bridal dress, veil, necklaces, jewelry, a garland on his head, and women’s keys. Make no mistake, the gods enjoyed themselves very much as they did this. They laughed and told jokes at Thor’s expense. Loki also dressed up as a woman to be Thor’s waiting woman when he went to visit the giants.

Posted by: veto | May 21 2022 7:53 utc | 236

Vajezatha | May 21 2022 5:11 utc | 233
Paul Greenwood | May 21 2022 6:15 utc | 239

One major reason for deaths during the (potato) "famine" is that the wheat was still being exported as a source of cash for "Owners" and "farmers", who were from the UK. No potatoes, no wheat, what do you eat? If the wheat had not been exported, there could have been enough to feed them all.

There was also a viscious element of racism. As Irish peasants were considered as sub-people, idle, drunkards with too many children, by the "land owning Gentry" and the Government in London.

Capitalism at it's most brutal, was responsible.

Posted by: Stonebird | May 21 2022 7:54 utc | 237

@blues | May 21 2022 7:21 utc | 235

Ultimately I no longer think this narrative is even about the Ukraine. I think it's about something else. Something else is going on, which will become evident quite suddenly, I would guess.
It is not so difficult to see that it never was about Ukraine. It is the economic and hegemonic collapse of the west, hastened by its increasingly irrational leaders and 'cretinous behavior' (ref. Medvedev). All the made up issues like "climate change", "covid", "Ukraine" and more are about restricting your use of energy, restricting travel and increased totalitarian control as the money printing fails to cover up the downfall.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 21 2022 8:09 utc | 238

@veto | May 21 2022 7:53 utc | 237

Lira doesn't trust Ritter. I have no idea what is going on here
No, what could it be? When someone publically declare you murdered, perhaps you have a right to question his judgement, unless you rose on the 3rd day.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 21 2022 8:14 utc | 239
Surrendered militants from Azovstal were delivered to correctional colony No. 120 in the village of Molodyozhnoye, Volnovakhsky district

It certainly looks like there is an area surrounded by a double wall there (Google Map link).

Posted by: Norwegian | May 21 2022 9:01 utc | 240

That the Ukrainian army is now using such units as cannon fodder shows that it has only few reserves left.

Or: They are sacrificing the Volkssturm units to buy time in which to re-equip their professionals with the Western Wunderwaffe. The Russians spend men and munitions grinding through the defences (which even low-moral territorials will be able to hold for a while), while the VSU gets ready for the summer counter-offensive.

Posted by: Radish Wrangler | May 21 2022 9:14 utc | 241

elenski said that 700k are currently fighting. I highly doubt that number but I still expect the actual fighting numbers to be at a minimum 1:3 RU:UA

Posted by: rk | May 21 2022 9:18 utc | 242

I don't think they'll last more than weeks. T80M and Terminators will wipe them much faster, while fresh volunteers fill all liberated regions, making it impossible to lose.
They can continue only in terrorist style. Hide and shell at distance in cities or over the border but not more than once each group, the return fire is very quick.

Posted by: rk | May 21 2022 9:22 utc | 243

In post 243 I wasn't clear. 700k fight for Kiev, the puppet said.

Posted by: rk | May 21 2022 9:28 utc | 244

So, the Azov Nazis really thought they would be evacuated, not surrendered:
There is, of course, an incomprehensible moment in the logic of the Azov people who surrendered. They dragged all their belongings into captivity: medicine, sleeping bags, mattresses, five-liter bottles filled to the brim with cereals. Ours saw it all, they were stunned, of course, and forced to quit.

The impression is that the Ukrainian command promised a field camp after the exit, where all this would come in handy, and the pre-trial detention center came as a surprise to the militants.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 21 2022 9:29 utc | 245

This "war" now has become existential for Russia. Ukraine is now a sideshow. Many politicians have voiced out that Russia cannot be allowed to win, Putin cannot remain in power, regime change, weaken Russia, etc, all pointing to a western resolve to wage political and economic war, instead of a military kinetic war with Russia. So like weiqi or Go, the pieces are being placed. And I can see who is winning. EU can't even agree on a 6th package. They have run out of non military options. The one with the resources, food and energy will win, in the long run. The Russians are slow to saddle, but they ride fast. Eventually, we will see who amongst the EU will break ranks. When it becomes existential for them, like Hungary, we already know the answer. Poor, hungry and jobless, the masses will force an accommodation with Russia. And when hunger drives refugees from Africa into Europe, we will see their application and interpretation of human rights. My bet? This war will only end when EU is destroyed as a coherent entity, or Russia. Russia can't destroy NATO militarily, but NATO can be dismantled by eroding the political will behind it. Turkey will be first one. My take? This "war" will last many years. Be prepared for a rough or rougher times ahead.

Posted by: C Lai | May 21 2022 9:30 utc | 246

Life is complex and not simply about "Putin starving the world by invading lovely Ukraine and refusing to sell fertiliser to lovely peace-loving Americans"

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | May 21 2022 6:18 utc | 233 & 232.

Really excellent couple of posts. It's really tempting always to fall into the trap of seeing the world in terms of black and white. "Divide and conquer" has always been the best strategy for those seeking control, and they are really excelling at the moment. The West is seeking to stir up hatred of Russia and Russians per se. Something that was never attempted during the height of the Cold War. At the same time, it seems that those who support Russia are being encouraged to hate Americans and British, not just the regimes who've siezed power there. The nonsense about the Irish potato famine being deliberately engineered is something that regularly crops up with people who have no absolutely zero knowledge of British political history. The important thing is the way these national "myths" are used by those in power. I fear many on ere fall into the same trap dismissing everyone on the Ukrainian side as "Nazis". We need to bring people together if we are ever to take on the genuinely evil puppetmasters who seek to control us all.

Posted by: ManintheMoon | May 21 2022 9:40 utc | 247

"The West is seeking to stir up hatred of Russia and Russians per se. Something that was never attempted during the height of the Cold War."

Russians were often demonized during the height of the cold war. So were other communists.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 21 2022 9:51 utc | 248

A lot of people being misled here by endless talk of Russia Russia Russia. They are perhaps being confused by the interpretation of the Saker, whose White Russian approach, while interesting, doesn't really capture the core essence of the issue.

The Americans' core and key goal isn't Russia. It's China. Trump had the right idea, to, to a certain extent, make nice to Russia, try and bribe them, buy them off. Then, with Russian out of the way the attack on China could begin.

The neocons, more power hungry, more cynical, more racist, won out instead.

So their plan is.

First, destroy the EU as a viable economic and political entity. Weakened, it will have no choice but to become simply a client state of the Amerikan Empire. (CF Michael Hudson).

Once this is done, take on Russia. The Amerikans plans for Russia are self-evidence. Russian is surrounded at least on the European side, by Amerikan client states (Poland, Ukraine etc.). Provoke a fight with one of these client states (this has now been done). Amp it up and lengthen it (i.e. in time). Try and make it the new Afghanistan (i.e. what Afghanistan was to the USSR). At the same time, try and 'do an Iraq'. Weaken the Russian's economy via sanctions for 10, 20 years. When the Russian's economy is destroy, use a puppet (one of the many Russian 'liberals') to stage a coup (cf Allende). Then break up the country or at least federalise it till it's too weak to function as a coherent socio-political entity.

Then when it's back under Yank control do the same to China using Xinjian or HK or Taiwan. Then...Thousand Year Reich.

And why? Because force is the only language the Americans understand. China has only 40 or 50 nuclear weapons. The Yanks can and will start a nuclear war with China and they will win.

But Russia has 5000 nukes. So the Yanks can't win. So Russia has to be annihilated before China can be conquered.

Yankistan barely even pretends to be a democracy any more with the anti-democratic supreme court making key decisions, rampant gerrymandering and de facto gerrymandering, two identical far right parties vying for power. a politicised and armed police force, the 'alphabet soup' of the 'intelligence agencies' and the Deep State, and rampant bribery and corruption ('lobbying') on all sides. The left is destroyed. The intellectuals are bought. Silicon Valley etc. are simply the information control wing of the State. These trends will all accelerate as the US becomes even more openly imperial.

Unless the Russians and the Chinese stop the Yanks. This is a battle for civilisation: and yet again it is up to the Chinese and the Indians and the Russians to stop the Nazis from the West.

Posted by: Hidari | May 21 2022 9:58 utc | 249

The US wants a ceasefire so it can bring heavy weapons in large volumes without interruption by Russian strikes.

Ukraine can be fully defeated, they are making that possible by wasting all their forces in Donbass. With those forces destroyed, the Russian line will be shortened and there will be no substantial fortifications in front of them. It would be ideal for them to continue to advance westward, methodically encircling and destroying all resistance in Ukraine and filtering the population through camps.

Posted by: Clubofinfo | May 21 2022 10:16 utc | 250

Posted by: Hidari | May 21 2022 9:58 utc | 250

Why do you say the Yanks will win against China? How can you be certain they only have 50 nuclear weapons. And what about North Korea?

Posted by: K | May 21 2022 10:24 utc | 251

Hidari @250

SCOTUS' possible/probable decision re: abortion rights is arguably democratic as it would allow the states to decide issues that balance competing principles upon which the US electorate is divided, albeit not evenly. are right.

Madison said in the secret proceedings of the creation of the Constitution that it would "protect the minority of the opulent from the majority"...and so it goes.

Posted by: Objective Observer | May 21 2022 10:25 utc | 252

467 of the 535 elected leaders, 87%, voted to keep funding the war. 57 not forget the 87% is either bribed, or blackmailed or just plain ignorant into the pro-war vote.

How is this verifiable?

The same amount of American voters keep them in office, year after year, expecting different results to better American lives but never getting any. Definition of insanity?

Who needs gun grabs with such a dangerous-voting population?

Posted by: ERing46Z | May 21 2022 10:30 utc | 253

Posted by: Radish Wrangler | May 21 2022 9:14 utc | 242

And having ground down the first string, what makes you think the Russians won't do the same to the second string?

The West forgets something: It is Russia that has the "wunderwaffen" (or whatever the hell the German is). Not to mention ultimately four times the military that Ukraine used to have (without calling up reserves.)

The West is advising Ukraine to do this stupid crap because the West thinks they can "bleed" Russia. They're going to be so butthurt, as Martyanov says, when they finally realize that the Russian economy is more than capable of supplying the Russian military with whatever it needs for as long as it needs it. As Martyanov repeatedly says, the West simply doesn't comprehend Russia - neither its economy nor its military.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 10:31 utc | 254

@250 Hidari

China has at minimum 600-700 nukes, and that number is growing rapidly. By 2024 they will have 1500 or more.

The moment to deal with China military passed about 5 years ago. The balance of martial power continues to shift rapidly towards China.

Posted by: Haassaan | May 21 2022 10:37 utc | 255

@250 Hidari

China has at minimum 600-700 nukes, and that number is growing rapidly. By 2024 they will have 1500 or more.

The moment to deal with China military passed about 5 years ago. The balance of martial power continues to shift rapidly towards China.

Posted by: Haassaan | May 21 2022 10:37 utc | 256

@Hidari #250
Nato's own websites say Russia has about 6300 nukes. I think it's more than the whole world combined. The percentage of upgraded nukes is the highest in the world. They also have hypersonic nukes. The whole planet will go boom long before Russia uses all its missiles. The radius for new missiles is so high that UK will be gone even if a missile falls by mistake in France.

Posted by: rk | May 21 2022 10:38 utc | 257

Posted by: rk | May 21 2022 9:28 utc | 245

Yes, that was always a point about Ritter that irritated me. He always cited that Ukraine had 200-250,000 troops "plus 300,000 reserves', and claimed the total was 600,000 and that Russia was fighting at a 3:1 disadvantage.

Bullcrap. Russia was fighting 100,000 or less in eastern Ukraine with 100,000 Russians, at least 20,000 LDR, and 5-15,000 Chechens - after having shaped the battlefield (that part Ritter always got right) by pinning half of Ukraine's actual military around Kiev. So there was no 3:1 disadvantage. At worst it was maybe 1:1 or 1:1.2 Russian advantage.

The real advantage of course was Russian superior technology and superior strategy and superior operational plan.

Now that most Ukraine's military materiel has been destroyed and its fuel mostly cut off, the rest of Ukraine's military will not be able to stop the Russian advance (if there is one) across open steppes under Russian air supremacy, no matter what weapons the West supplies (short of tactical nukes).

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 10:39 utc | 258

North Korea has 40-50 nukes, probably more.

Posted by: Haassaan | May 21 2022 10:39 utc | 259

Posted by: rk | May 21 2022 10:38 utc | 258

Total warheads are irrelevant. What matters is launch vehicles and deliverable warheads. Because thirty minutes after the war starts, all the stored warheads will be destroyed. As I always say, nukes were never meant to be used - they were meant to be paid for.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 10:43 utc | 260

Posted by: Haassaan | May 21 2022 10:39 utc | 260

Citation, please. My guess is they have less than that. How much less I'm not sure. Estimates I saw a few years ago was 10-20. I'm not sure the NK economy supports producing double that since then. Of course, anything is possible.

But even 40-50 are irrelevant. One US Trident sub can obliterate NK with just what it has on board.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 10:46 utc | 261

"If not I believe they will declare war on someone, Russia possibly or China, immediately declaring Marshall Law"
Posted by: Scorpion | May 20 2022 23:01 utc | 151

"Martial Law."

"Marshall Law" is a character from the Tekken franchise.


"Easy-peasy. Just look at "moonofаlabama" with Firefox Character Identifier Add-on. The first "a" in "alabama" is NOT an English character at all. It is in fact a Cyrillic character!"

Posted by: blues | May 21 2022 1:43 utc | 201

"w" is, historically, an english and german character. Notable for outcompeting the character called "wynn" and for achieving a very wide implementation and listing in many alphabets that don't have a native use for it.

"a" is not an "english character". "a" in "abdcefg..." is a latin character, daughter or granddaughter of greek alpha and sister or cousin to the virtually-identical cyrillic character.

This latin character is present in the english alphabet, which is the set of latin characters used to write current english, notable for lacking any character unique to english or even any character shared by only a few languages, along with also lacking any diacritics.

Example comparisons: Portuguese, Spanish, French, German, Polish alphabets.

I am open to well-founded corrections, especially remembering that there's a former typesetter around.

I have no idea if specifically the double-story lowercase "a" has any particular relationship with English, England, or their history.

Posted by: Arganthonios | May 21 2022 10:57 utc | 262

I think Russia will say how many troops (their own + Donbass + others) were fighting against how many from the other side (Ukr + nazi + nato). You can see hints when you read news. The highest I've seen was an event where ~100 captured ~1000.
Russia is also sending volunteers to secure Donbass and other areas but they don't fight. Russians did not outnumber Ukrainians on the front line.

Posted by: rk | May 21 2022 11:11 utc | 263

“Boosterism” is probably the word you were looking for. Not bolstering. Not that it matters. They both work.

Posted by: Zed | May 21 2022 11:14 utc | 264

@Arganthonios | May 21 2022 10:57 utc | 263

Well done pointing out there are no "English characters", but instead use of Latin characters in European (and other) alphabets. As you say, the English alphabet does not have any character unique to English. This is different from most European alphabets, in the Norwegian alphabet we have 3 additional characters in addition to a-z: æøå , uppercase ÆØÅ, two of these are shared with the Danish alphabet, one is shared with Swedish alphabet.

Other countries have alphabets with unique characters, e.g. Thai alphabet.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 21 2022 11:25 utc | 265

@262 RSH
North Koreas economy is misjudged like Russia's, it is a capable industrial economy with a good deal of self-suffiency. The military gear they produce is impressive given the supposed isolation, a notch above Iran. Due to the high technology level I'd guess tie to China run far deeper than commonly acknowledged.

Yes, in a void a single Trident would severely damage North Korea, but wouldn't prevent North Korea from launching most of their nukes.

I don't trust commonly cited sources in regards to any nations nuclear stockpile, but...

"According to the Arms Control Association, a US organisation that tracks nations' military capabilities, North Korea was estimated to have between 40 and 50 nuclear weapons and enough fissile material to build six to seven nuclear weapons per year as of 2022.Apr 27,

This is the standard assessment, similar to Wikipedia, ISW and other think tanks... and the one I use for reference, although personally I feel it conservative and the actual number to be double this.

Posted by: Haassaan | May 21 2022 11:26 utc | 266

Posted by: Haassaan | May 21 2022 11:26 utc | 267

OK, I'll accept those numbers. I'd be careful, though, as a lot of these thinktanks, such as ISW, are neocon fronts and tend to overestimate threats in order to encourage a US attack.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 21 2022 11:33 utc | 267

@ Posted by: Passerby | May 20 2022 19:36 utc | 50

A most strange conclusion.

I take it you have not heard of the HF OTH Radar('duga' & 'Jindalee')?

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | May 21 2022 11:48 utc | 268

@268 RSH
Yeah, those neocon think tanks are thoroughly wretched, I feel dirty for even citing ISW.

Posted by: Haassaan | May 21 2022 11:51 utc | 269

About the relative sizes of the forces in Donbass, here is the opinion of a frontline officer posting on his telegram channel "Older than Edda" (vysokygovorit is the telegram handle):

I don't know how true Zelensky's figures are about 700 thousand people who are now in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but in any case, the number of the Ukrainian army (the total number, together with the National Guard and the Defense) is very significant and probably exceeds half a million combatants.

Against this background, I would like to draw attention once again to the fact that the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are fighting with a peacetime army and attacking the enemy, which often outnumbers us by 3-5 times.

In turn, despite the very large numerical superiority, the AFU cannot conduct intelligible counterattacks, no matter how much they try to do it. Considering that the irretrievable losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (killed and captured) exceeded 50 thousand people, Ukraine will not have enough margin of safety to continue the classic war with the current numerical strength for a long time.

Posted by: Bloke from block 8 | May 21 2022 12:03 utc | 270

Wrong, lots of them are mobile, on wheels.

Posted by: rk | May 21 2022 12:07 utc | 271

Not to worry. According to the best brains in the Pentagon and in the UK those pesky Russians will start to run out of ammo at the end of April.... oh.... err.... hmmm.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 21 2022 12:38 utc | 272

@200 If you... sorry, if your friend shoves it up their butt then, no, it probably isn't going to be detected.

And if it is detected then they can just say, well, goodness gracious me, so that's where it got to! They must have sat on it by accident and, gosh, you know how it is.....

Posted by: Yeah, Right | May 21 2022 12:42 utc | 273

So, the Azov Nazis really thought they would be evacuated, not surrendered:
There is, of course, an incomprehensible moment in the logic of the Azov people who surrendered. They dragged all their belongings into captivity: medicine, sleeping bags, mattresses, five-liter bottles filled to the brim with cereals. Ours saw it all, they were stunned, of course, and forced to quit.
Posted by: Norwegian | May 21 2022 9:29 utc | 246

That’s dumb, even by Ukie standards, and we know Z and the Kiev mafiosi don’t give a flying F... about their “boys” so why the ruse? The gear they tried to bring out should be checked very thoroughly for contraband!

Damn! Now we'll never know what they were doing underneath Azovstal...
"The last enemy groups before leaving, destroy something of value to them using explosives. We hear the sounds of explosions and see flashes and smoke - they don't want 'it' to fall into our hands." #UkraineWar #Russia #Ukraine
Posted by: PavewayIV | May 21 2022 0:57 utc | 186

Same kind of deal, all those Azovstal captives will just have to sit in jail until the bunker is excavated and searched to RF satisfaction. Westerners will get to see Siberia this time of the year, so it’s not a total loss!

Posted by: anon2020 | May 21 2022 13:01 utc | 274

Maninthemoon@248 your understanding of British Colonialism leaves much to be desired. They took the fucking food from Ireland and gave it to England, all documented, Brits love their wee bits of paper. It was a famine, and it was engineered. When tainted seed potatoes showed up in Alexandria and Russia, they closed their ports to tainted potato seed stock. The English bastards continued to ship blighted potato stock to Ireland. The rest is documented history.

Cheers M

If it wasn't for Quaker Soup Kitchens thousands more Irish men women and children would have starved to death. The British government was shamed into action, (documented in the Minutes from the floor of the House) how dare German Quakers save the lives of the blighted Irish.

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | May 21 2022 13:07 utc | 275

I imagine that at this point the Ukraine soldiers and non combatants are asking themselves: Is this really benefitting Ukraine / How is this benefiting Ukraine / Who is this benefitting and What will be left of Ukraine if this continues?
Zelenski, if he is a good boy and not an inconveinience will be very wealthy as will much of the government. The foreign military advisors will return to thier homes and family and be treated for psd - the horrors they have seen. The regular military will be wounded, dead, captured or return to poverty (likely leave the country). All this to be pawns in some elses game (some very wealthy and uncaring people). Not guaranteed that Russia will "win", but it is clear that Ukraine has already lost.

It may still be possible for Ukraine to salvage a better future. It would require standing up to those who use them so badly.

Paint It Black

Posted by: jared | May 21 2022 13:12 utc | 276

Stalin was Georgian and the famines were across the USSR, not just Ukraine.
Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 20 2022 21:47 utc | 111

Well. Stalin had a very active genocidal brother-in-law Lazar Kaganovich, the Ferst Secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine. Lazar Kaganovich was directly involved in the requisition of grain in Ukraine thus assuring the multitude of deaths of innocent Ukrainians of all ages. That was the Genocide of Ukrainians.
Another important genocidal person was Phillip Goloshyokin (born Shaya Itskovich), the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan. Under his leadership, the man-made famine resulted in the 'elimination' of 40% of all Kazakhs. This is why the Holodomor in Kazakhstan was known as the Goloshyokin Genocide.
They don't teach this in American and Israeli schools. One wonders why...

Posted by: Cerena | May 21 2022 13:31 utc | 277

AP: Russia’s claim of Mariupol’s capture fuels concern for POWs
. . .There's no cure for stupid.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 21 2022 13:37 utc | 278

Countries will keep joining Nato until Russia stands up to the US/UK in a direct, military way.
I recall an old BBC program called the Power of Nightmares, in which neocons who served in the Reagan/GW Bush admins were asked why they kept poking Russia with a sharp stick, and one of them (Rumsfeld, maybe) said "They didn't stop us, so we kept pushing".
That's the neocon mindset that Russia is dealing with.

Posted by: D J G | May 21 2022 13:41 utc | 279

@Sushi #163
You asked

Is Volcker a "junk economist"?

Yes. People seem to ignore the reality that Volcker started in office from 1979. He was appointed by Jimmy Carter - not Reagan.

If you look at the actual details of inflation vs. fed rate hikes/cuts in the 1979 to 1983 period, you will notice inflation actually was falling even before Volcker started his "shock and awe" rate hikes (as opposed to the "measured" rate hikes prior to July 1980).

In fact, Volcker raised rates to 20% in April 1980 but then cut them down to 11% in July 1980, whereas the interest rate hikes he is credited with for "slaying inflation" were executed from July 1980 to December 1980. The peak rate in the "shock and awe" was 21.5% in December 1980 vs. the 20% in April 1980...

Hudson himself says Volcker - presumably the late 1980 campaign - was primarily aimed at crushing organized labor as opposed to fighting inflation.

Brad Delong: Atlantic Council.

Do I need to say more? I don't know about you, but I actually have followed Delong's work for at least 15 years. Delong has done some good work such as his analysis of what would be required to overturn the US dollar as global reserve currency - notably China doesn't fulfill most of his criteria - but he has been singularly undistinguished for the last 5-6 years. I should point out that Delong is a self-professed neoliberal; he co-authored 2 papers with Larry Summers that serve as part of the core of the neoliberal economics religion. So yes, I do consider Delong a Junk Economist - in fact, he is one of the High Priest Junk Economists.

Re: $19 billion a year. Given that the US exported $2,528 billion - i.e. 2.58 trillion in 2021 and imported $3.387 billion - i.e. $3.387 trillion of which $1,762 billion was goods exports and $2,852 billion was goods imports: No, I can't say $19 billion a year means jack squat.

Try to understand how any given number actually fits into the big picture, eh?

Re: Zhou Xiaochuan

I know who he is, but I have not followed him because frankly - he is a non-entity. This view comes from his outing as a neoliberal proponent: China's Central Bank Chief Makes Reform Appeal, Please Free Yuan

Zhou, China's governor of the People's Bank of China, said China must embrace free trade and investment, let the market decide the yuan's value, and scrap capital account controls

China has done NONE of these things since 2017 - when Zhou said the above, so the government of China clearly also believes he is a non-entity...

So yes, I do consider Zhou to be a junk economist.

It is very clear that you are a dilettante when it comes to economics.

I don't pretend to be an expert, but I do perform my own analysis and have been doing so since 2001. It is because of this long period of interest in economics that I found Michael Hudson more than 15 years ago, and bought a copy of Super Imperialism (1st edition) in 2006.

Posted by: c1ue | May 21 2022 13:57 utc | 280

Posted by: Arganthonios | May 21 2022 10:57 utc | 263

The Marshall law post was originally made by:
Posted by: Bonami | May 20 2022 18:35 utc | 30
But if course you are correct viz martial law.

Posted by: Scorpion | May 21 2022 14:01 utc | 281

@daffyDuct #200
Are you trying to hide a hardware cryptocurrency wallet?

Well, let me put it this way: the Secret Service has dogs specifically trained to sniff out cash, but also electronics.

I don't know just how effective they are, but I wouldn't discount this capability automatically. Silicon doesn't have a smell - at least not in the form of a wafer - but the insulation, packaging, etc certainly do.

This news article seems to imply they can

Posted by: c1ue | May 21 2022 14:03 utc | 282

Blinken eats crow. . .
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Well, good morning everyone, and welcome to our friends and colleagues. It’s very good to have Foreign Minister Tileuberdi here today. We have been strategic partners with Kazakhstan for 30 years, something that we value very much. We very much support as well the important efforts at political and economic reform that are taking place now in Kazakhstan. This long relationship is one girded by our strong commitment to Kazakhstan’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 21 2022 14:03 utc | 283

Not everyone thinks Finland and Sweden in NATO is a good thing

US Experts skeptical of Finland Sweden NATO bid -

This is notable primarily because of who these experts are: Chris Preble/Atlantic Council and Sumantra Maitra of the Center for the National Interest.

Both of these guys are of the "not neocon" conservatives, but nonetheless the point is that the groupthink infecting the US government isn't 100% complete.

Posted by: c1ue | May 21 2022 14:16 utc | 284

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | May 21 2022 13:07 utc | 276

"If it wasn't for Quaker Soup Kitchens thousands more Irish men women and children would have starved to death. The British government was shamed into action, (documented in the Minutes from the floor of the House) how dare German Quakers save the lives of the blighted Irish."

I always assume there is a mix of happenstance, stupidity and malice but most analysts tend to oversimplify by insisting that only one is in the mix. Like covid: leaving aside the biolab speculation, let us agree that there was some sort of pathogen that spread. Then you have the government mandated responses world wide, many of which have arguably caused more damage, including death, than the pathogen itself. Let's be generous and chalk that up to stupidity.

But then you have widely administered new tech vaccines from different companies using identical approaches (strange!) including greatly varying the ingredients from batch to batch without informing the doctors administering these jabs. None of us knows what was injected into our bodies although a couple of enterprising groups have made that info available on websites. This cannot be happenstance or stupidity but malice. And now we know that many young people are damaged by these things: men dying of heart attacks in their twenties, some of them professional athletes; women becoming infertile or having miscarriages. And god knows what other long-term damage to what percentage of those who got jabbed. Malice.

I have no doubt whatsoever - without knowing anything about the Ukraine famine - that there was a similar combination of happenstance, stupidity and malice. For example before the starvation got really bad I believe all the wheat was taken by the central Soviet govt so that when the harvest failed the next year starvation set in. I never read about this so that might be inaccurate but in any case I betcha there was some malice in the mix.

Because there always is. Human beings have a certain percentage of psychopaths in their various populations. Power networks always attract them. Wars are never between one side angels the other side demons despite the attraction of the human mind to such simple narratives. Indeed, analyzing wars through a moral lens is what propagandists on both sides exploit. Best to suspend that faculty when considering military (and most political) matters.

And so it goes....

Posted by: Scorpion | May 21 2022 14:17 utc | 285

Sanctions effects on the US and EU

German Producer Prices jump annualized 33% in April, highest ever -

US Consumer Spending on Gasoline has doubled in past 12 months

The average U.S. household’s gasoline expenditure has jumped to $5,000 a year over the past 12 months, from $2,800 this time last year, according to new research. And there does not seem to be a sign of relief in sight. Yardeni Research reported the figures, as cited by CNBC, adding that since March this year alone, annual spending on gasoline by households had risen by more than $1,000—in March the figure stood at $3,800.

Unfortunately, I think this is before the commodity supercycle says: "Hold my beer"

Posted by: c1ue | May 21 2022 14:20 utc | 286

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 21 2022 14:03 utc | 284

Who was shopping for a "post-occupation" base in October 2022?
oh, right.
Jan 2022: Politico | U.S. has no real leverage in Kazakhstan

All experts we spoke to said there's no military role here for the U.S. and that Washington has little-to-no leverage in Kazakhstan, let alone in Central Asia.

Jan 2022: APsplainin | Russia against US troops in Central Asia near Afghanistan
The Biden administration has reportedly considered Uzbekistan and Tajikistan that border Afghanistan, as well as Kazakhstan, as possible staging areas for monitoring and quickly responding to possible security problems that may follow the U.S. military's withdrawal from Afghanistan.

"I don't think that anyone is interested in becoming a hostage to such US policy and intentions, and in inviting retaliation," Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister questioned what results would be achieved with a small U.S. presence outside Afghanistan when a 100,000-strong NATO force inside the country "failed to do anything."

Blinken: I a tool among tools. I need a name change. Does "Brad" make me look fat?

Posted by: sln2002 | May 21 2022 14:25 utc | 287

"...When you clear the dust away and examine the deep history, what's occurring is closing the Epilog to WW2. Yes, that seems odd, but it's the historical reality that's been obfuscated since April 12, 1945 when the final defeat of Fascism was delayed until our time."

Posted by: karlof1 | May 20 2022 21:32 utc | 101

I want to thank you again, karlof1, for posting the Russian presentation at the UN of the criminal bioweapons program the US has been operating in Ukraine since 2014. Much of the subject matter being discussed on this thread (I have been just now on
the final page) is I believe a frantic attempt to distract us -- "obfuscation" is indeed the correct term. Perhaps folk are terrified at the implications; I certainly am.

I came across quotations I'd copied from a previous comment that do apply:


"Evil comes from a failure to think. It defies thought, for as soon as thought tries to engage itself with evil and examine the premises and principles from which it originates, it is frustrated because it finds nothing there. That is the banality of evil." [Hanna Arendt]

We need not to be distracted; we need to think about what Russia is showing us; we need to think about evil. The evil of biowarfare on ordinary citizens.

Posted by: juliania | May 21 2022 14:27 utc | 288

Hudson himself says Volcker - presumably the late 1980 campaign - was primarily aimed at crushing organized labor as opposed to fighting inflation.

Posted by: c1ue | May 21 2022 13:57 utc | 281

It also, after a decade of the banks pushing easy credit for land- and equipment-purchases, crushed small and medium farmers all across the Midwest, facilitating collectivization, under private ownership of course.

(No "grandfathering" there.)

Posted by: John Kennard | May 21 2022 14:37 utc | 289

Posted by: John Kennard | May 21 2022 14:37 utc | 290

Yes, that was the beginning of the rent-seeking economy we have now, the franchising of everything, the corporate fattening and consolidation, disemboweling of unions, the crapification, the crushing of small businesses and small farmers, the off-shoring. It was all going on before then, but under Jimmy C. they took the restraints off. That was when I first thought we were going to wind up somewhere like we are now. And then Raygun, and the unending stream of clown Presidents since. Jimmy was the first, before Obama, to get the supermajorities and not do much with it, IIRC. The Democrats were corrupt-as-can-be back then too.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 21 2022 14:48 utc | 290

@Bemildred #291
Fully agree.
Reagan did some good things, did some bad things, but the single worst thing he did was to reopen the door for banksters back into control of the US government and economy.
The advent of the FIRE economy, as Hudson puts it, clearly starts in 1980.

Not that the Democrats are any better: Clinton's successful riposte to Reagan was to change the Democrat party into the "good cop" for banksters as opposed to the Republican "bad cop", including letting the repeal of Glass Steagall go through in 1999.

The Democrats, however, have full credit for selling out their previous working class constituents via the Great China Offshoring which Clinton also got rolling.

Posted by: c1ue | May 21 2022 14:58 utc | 291

US and EU expected to have suicide by proxy, however it looks that this became contagious and backfired.

Posted by: JR | May 21 2022 15:00 utc | 292

I think it's worth viewing the Soviet famine of the 30's in the wider context of global food security at the time and the state of the global economy and USSR's specific role in it. One might be surprised by the amount of developments that all coalesce around the same time, with information most readily available being, naturally, the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, but also the worst flooding China ever experienced in recorded history, with objective factors of food security in other regions of the world more difficult to find online. Needless to say, the overall picture doesn't support the narrative of an incident isolated to the territory of the USSR.

Also, worth noting is the wider history of famines on the Ukrainian territory specifically and in Russia in general. The Ukrainian famine of the 20's is well known in niche circles, as the saying goes, due to the extensive photo-documentation done by NGO's, unlike the 30's famine, which was later used by the Nazis in their propaganda. The historical record suggests that the Ukrainian territory saw a famine roughly every decade going back centuries, though the objective factors for such a regular recurrence are too complex to condense into a single sentence.

Although it's convenient, for narrative purposes, to place responsibility at the feet of the Soviet administration, the problem remained unresolved long before their arrival and would only be settled under their watch. That isn't to say the human factor couldn't or didn't play a role in making a bad situation worse, but it's one thing to be responsible for breaking something that always worked, and another thing to be responsible for fixing something that was always broken.

As for Ukrainian hatred towards Russians over Holodomor; although it served its function in building a narrative of a separate Ukrainian identity, it's too abstract and too far removed in time to illicit a genuine emotional response. Stories that are being churned out right now, about Russian soldiers raping infants in front of their mothers for instance, are a much more effective tool for shaping public perception. Holodomor, for all intents and purposes, has served its purpose and may be retired.

Posted by: Skiffer | May 21 2022 15:01 utc | 293

The Democrats, however, have full credit for selling out their previous working class constituents via the Great China Offshoring which Clinton also got rolling.

Posted by: c1ue | May 21 2022 14:58 utc | 292

Thank you. The Democrats have certainly been more duplicitious. The Pubbies were always the party of the rich and big business. Joe Biden still tries to pretend he is really a blue-collar kind of guy. "A man of the people".

Posted by: Bemildred | May 21 2022 15:07 utc | 294

"“Groups are capable of being as moral and intelligent as the individuals who form them; a crowd is chaotic, has no purpose of its own and is capable of anything except intelligent action and realistic thinking. Assembled in a crowd, people lose their powers of reasoning and their capacity for moral choice. Their suggestibility is increased to the point where they cease to have any judgment or will of their own. They become very ex­citable, they lose all sense of individual or collective responsibility, they are subject to sudden accesses of rage, enthusiasm and panic. In a word, a man in a crowd behaves as though he had swallowed a large dose of some powerful intoxicant. He is a victim of what I have called “herd-poisoning.” Like alcohol, herd-poison is an active, extraverted drug. The crowd-intoxicated individual escapes from responsibility, in­telligence and morality into a kind of frantic, animal mindlessness.” – Aldous Huxley – Brave New World " : " Will there be a 2024 US Election?" by James Quinn.

I don't agree with much of the article necessarily but the quote is good, especially when considering the Nazi issue flying around these days.

Happenstance. Stupidity. Malice. All three go into the historical and current Nazi phenomenon. There is some sort of crisis or pressure (post-Versailles Germany for example with people using wheelbarrows to deliver piles of paper to exchange for a loaf of daily bread); then there is a need to do something about it and so crowds gather, self-existing stupidity cracked open into a collective mixing bowl in the public square and then beaten up into a frenzied froth which in turn focuses onto a fixed object of hatred, that hate being the medium of raw emotion driving the mob forward.... into yet another hell.

In other words, Nazis are saps too. I am not sure exactly what the term really means any more but it's something like hate-driven groups or movements often in paramilitary configurations. Something like that. These people have nearly always been brainwashed after having first been dazed with angst and confusion having first been traumatized by existential crises, usually a series of them, and nearly always caused by corrupt elites whom they can neither identify or, seemingly, influence.

So along with deploring the heinous behavior which such movements clearly evidence, what do we attack? The final expressions in word and deed? Or the leaders who exploit the angst in the mass formation phase? Or the existential causes that led to the initial bewilderment and desperation, often some combination of corrupt elite classes and natural calamities?

And lest we forget: official governments acting in sane, sober fashion also administer the same sort of hells (like fire or carpet bombing Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Vietnam, Iraq) using mainstream propaganda organs to whip up frenzied fear-laden consent on the part of their brainwashed populations, aka 'us' who believe 'we' are the 'good guys' and our governments are knights in shining armor saving the world.

I have no doubt, for example, that many in Ukraine still supporting Z do so from a conviction that their cause is just, that the Russians are monsters, that it is their sacred duty to forego gentleness and rather embrace ruthlessness and violence to defend their homeland. And so on.

Nazism never arises in a vacuum. One can no doubt spend eternity going back and back into the causes of the causes of the causes of the causes, so far back that of course one has entered the realm of myth and imagination.

But there is no need to go back. One can deal with the myth and imagination in the mix right now, the hysteria right now, the happenstance, stupidity and malice right now.

And what we have right now is yet another war which will quite possibly do more harm than good by stirring up the mix of toxic causes that later evolve into new manifestations of what can again then be called Nazis.

Once you have a war, you have to win it.
But how you win it and how you behave as victors, how you treat the defeated afterwards, is by far the most important dynamic because that is the point where you can sow better seeds for the future and break the cycle.

War cleanses the filth built up from the past, let us say: but how peace is waged afterwards determines whether or not such toxicity returns if the underlying causes which whipped up hatred are not addressed with a certain degree of wisdom and compassion. And those underlying causes ALWAYS involve the presence of a society which has lost its way, lost its capacity for collective sanity, wisdom and compassion.

Russia is about to face an initial test in this regard. Assuming she can indeed rescue the two Donbass republics, what then? Or maybe after kinetic conflict with NATO and their capitulation, what then? If Eurasia establishes a new international financial and relational order, what then? Will US be relegated to a prison colony of untouchables? Or the victim of a far more virulent biolab-generated pathogen? Or somehow nudged into becoming a sane, ordinary, decent country again (if indeed it ever was one)?

In any case, Karlov1 is right that what is playing out now is the aftermath of WW II. But that was the aftermath of WWI which itself was the aftermath of the industrial revolution's thrust to despiritualize the culture, overthrow the feudal-based aristocracy and establish a new materialist wet dream, which itself was the aftermath of....... and so on ad infinitum, and the Russians, Chinese and Indians and Persians and so on all have their own ad infinita in the mix.

Put another way: will this mainly asymmetrically waged war and the upcoming turmoil the world clearly faces in the near future generate more new traumas than the old traumas it is attempting to resolve?

Time will tell...

Posted by: Scorpion | May 21 2022 15:28 utc | 295

JR @ 293. The US and EU seem to be having recurrent problems with blowback. Coronaviruses tended to be more of a regional problem mostly affecting Asian populations.

I tend to see both blowbacks as stupidity enhanced by hubris but definitely criminal type stupidity.


gm @ 364

""for 'natural' mutations to be highly concentrated only at 4 discreet, short (18-24-mer length) non-contiguous segments of ncov19 viral genome, and not significantly anywhere else in the 30K-mer long ncov19 genome, is apparently quite unlikely.""

I agree. The important thing now is to deal with the problem at hand but I think it is useful to discuss the origin to better understand the response.

The use as a bioweapon to up the ante in the trade war was in character (consider Libya, Syria, Yemen).

Coronaviruses such as SARS were thought to be regional problems and not pandemic in nature like influenza

China recognized it for what it was and took extreme measures.

The US got unexpected blowback from this enhanced virus. Think dual use and gain of function and essentially became scared shitless.

I don't think the lockdowns and economic meltdown were planned.

But of course the response is typical, witness the direction of the bailouts.

Posted by: financial matters | Apr 4 2020 12:26 utc | 375

Posted by: financial matters | May 21 2022 15:28 utc | 296

Posted by: Scorpion | May 21 2022 14:17 utc | 286

Thank you! People need to keep this in mind, that it's almost NEVER about a SINGLE issue/aim. Always various interests and angles, sometimes these collide and sometimes they coalesce and compound. There are too many backrooms and not nearly enough flies on the wall to be able to fully understand WHY and WHAT (in addition to HOW) things are expected/being pushed to go toward: and this ASSUMES that these various backroom dealers know WTF they're doing (most are just masters of human hubris).

Posted by: Seer | May 21 2022 15:47 utc | 297

Bemildred | May 21 2022 14:48 utc | 291

Hello! - glad to see you're still kicking somewhere out there. Been under the weather myself, and just scanned this thread to see who was posting.

Agree with your brief synopsis above. Biden/his administration is an absolute dark humor farce. Couldn't vote for the other asshole, but Biden is just what I expected him to be. Never thought I'd say this, but probably am done voting for good - what a f#$g shame.

Posted by: vinnieoh | May 21 2022 16:50 utc | 298

""for 'natural' mutations to be highly concentrated only at 4 discreet, short (18-24-mer length) non-contiguous segments of ncov19 viral genome, and not significantly anywhere else in the 30K-mer long ncov19 genome, is apparently quite unlikely.""

Posted by: financial matters | May 21 2022 15:28 utc | 297

Not exactly. Replication of the virus is naturally error-prone, but most mutations do not increase infectivity or disease severity. The relatively few mutations that increase pathogenicity are limited to certain regions of the virus, or at least that's my understanding.

Any virologists or geneticists out there that can confirm or refute this? Thanks.

Posted by: farm ecologist | May 21 2022 17:03 utc | 299

"... facilitating collectivization, under private ownership of course.

Posted by: John Kennard | May 21 2022 14:37 utc | 290

Collectivization under private ownership.

This is a very advanced subject, only taught after the Pope's lessons on islamic jurisprudence, which are given on the 6th Wednesday of every month.

But at least you can unwind properly after studying these strenuous subjects, it's the same day that the fried ice bar opens, which also serves purple coffee and rooster eggs.

Posted by: Arganthonios | May 21 2022 17:10 utc | 300

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