Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 26, 2022

Open (Not Ukraine) Thread 2022-114

News & views NOT related to the war in Ukraine ...

Posted by b on July 26, 2022 at 7:15 UTC | Permalink

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Will Afghanistan Pass the Test of Peace? (Valdai Discussion Club, Ulugbek Khasanov, July 25, 2022)

Posted by: S | Jul 26 2022 8:05 utc | 1

A brilliant summary by Craig Murray, of the fixed report into the fixed investigation about the coup and plotters inside the Labour Party against Jeremy Corbyn since he surprisingly won the leadership in 2015 and the efforts to stop Labour winning in the snap election of 2017 and the nasty work of the blairites and cia media whores to unseat JC, disenfranchise the grassroots membership ever since with the wormtongue current leader SIR Keir starmer - the jailer of Julian Assange on fake charges.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Jul 26 2022 8:47 utc | 2

Some readers on another site have discussed water fluoridation and the problems it entails for human health.

Some weeks ago I went and looked up information on water fluoridation by country.
Apparently, Wikipedia claims that Mexico doesn't fluoridate its water - instead it has a salt-fluoridation program, as do some other countries.

Does this mean that common household table salt (the stuff you sprinkle on your foods, etc.) sold in these countries has fluorides in it? Does that make it as unsafe to ingest as fluoridated water? Or is non-fluoridated salt available as well?

Posted by: joey_n | Jul 26 2022 9:04 utc | 3

Off Topic (USSR and Russian leaders)

My own point of view is different (but not necessarily correct; just mine).

Gorbachev had an impossible situation of a rapidly failing "superstate", if he (along with the rest of the leadership) had done nothing it would descend into chaotic bloodshed and maybe world war. See the current US.

Yeltsin got the leftovers of the hail Mary that Gorbachev and others somehow pulled off against all odds. Still an impossible situation where Yeltsin and others managed to if not entirely defuse it then to at least redirect or deflect and blunt it but still with disastrous consequences. This destroyed Yeltsin from the inside.

Putin had a lot of information working with and looking over the shoulder of Yeltsin, it still took Putin (and everyone else) between two and three decades to make things significantly better and I doubt the task is complete yet.

I find it difficult to blame Gorbachev and Yeltsin all that much although I have no difficulty understanding that it's easy to do from a Russian perspective.

Putin and everyone working with him have done something incredible but both for better and for worse it didn't come out of nowhere.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jul 26 2022 9:17 utc | 4

joey_n | Jul 26 2022 9:04 utc | 3

Watch out for toothpaste which regularaly contains fluorides. There are some, but not many that do not have it as an addition.
(Fluoride, lowers sperm count and curbs the IQ.)

I think Ireland is one of the countries that fluorides the water.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 26 2022 9:23 utc | 5

for those having trouble opening it appears to be an issue with most DNS servers not recognizing the authoritative server hosting RT's IP address. If you want to fix this on your Windows computer simply run Notepad as admin and open C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts (you will need to change file type from text to all) and add these lines above "# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself."

save the hosts file taking care not to add the .txt suffix and you will be able to open RT again.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 26 2022 9:23 utc | 6

The future Indian leader of the UK, Rishi Sunak, is promising war with China when he is elected.

Posted by: Ghan-buri-Ghan | Jul 26 2022 9:32 utc | 7

From Ottawa: ‘Freedom Convoy’ to protest the Pope’s apology [which was given in Spanish, btw] while others protest in support of farmers in the Netherlands (Both reported on by the Ottawa Citizen)

From La Presse: interesting interview with a banker, decades-long career with Bank if Montreal

[I know some French, like intermediate level, but “mini-kiwi” is not a word I know so I translated it. It means a miniature version of that popular fruit associated with New Zealand.]

Adorable footage of a walrus in Norway. Partway through the video it says this in extra-big letters:

« Freya a déjà été observée au Royaume-Uni, aux Pays-Bas, au Danemark, et en Suède. »

5 people drowned over the weekend in Quebec (various bodies of water involved)

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jul 26 2022 9:57 utc | 8

Alastair Crooke's latest:

Illusions of Superiority. What’s Next?

It will need a long catharsis to purge Europe of its illusions of superiority – as perceived by the non-west – especially since its claim to a lineage deriving from ancient Rome or (even less so) ancient Greece is more propaganda than truth. Contemporary ‘EU civilization’ and values in no way connect to the pre-Socratic world. Modern Europe – the West – is more the product of the Frankish, Carolingian civilization.

Nonetheless, Moscow ultimately may offer the European rump a ‘Minsk deal’ too. That, however, is likely a long way off.

Posted by: b | Jul 26 2022 10:35 utc | 9

Been watching Bob Nichols website that shows the Rad Readings in the US and the top 10 worse cities. Those radiation levels are off the charts , and have been for a very long time now. Look at Billings, Mont. and then run if you live there. Everywhere we look , we will see the US Military hiding - scheming and destroying more and more.

Posted by: GMC | Jul 26 2022 11:08 utc | 10

@ Ghan-buri-Ghan #6.

Well at least the U.K. won’t be crushed into radio active dust under Sunak as will happen should Truss decide to take on Russia.
These people are deluded. I emigrated long ago from the U.K. To quote the chorus from a track by Cream.

“ I’m so glad, I’m so glad, I’m glad I’m glad I’m glad.

Not to have to wake up in the mess the U.K. is now, let alone if either of these two imbeciles get into #10 is a big relief. However if Truss brings on Mr. Sarmat, it won’t matter where I live.

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Jul 26 2022 11:47 utc | 11

Sharpen & EDUCATE your GREY MATTER on CHINA - go there, read, think or RE-THINK...
倪明达 (Ni Mingda)
BEng(Hons), DipIT(Distinction), DipEng(Merit) | Chinese diaspora | International relations analysis & commentary
(Ongoing Adrian Zenz SMEAR & DRECK campaign all directed by Pompous & Co.)
And Did You Notice:
Tiangong | China Space Station Another historic moment:
Shenzhou-14 crew entered #Wentian Laboratory Module at 02:03 UTC.
Follow !

Posted by: MD | Jul 26 2022 12:23 utc | 12

Any comments on Nasrallah’s latest interview in which he gives Israel until September to stop natural gas extraction from Lebanon’s territorial waters?

Posted by: Ross Campbell | Jul 26 2022 12:28 utc | 13

Boeing defense workers set to go on strike

New York (CNN Business)Workers at Boeing's defense plants in the St. Louis area are threatening to go on strike next week after union members rejected the company's final contract offer.
There are 2,500 members of the International Association of Machinists set to go on strike at 12:01 am central time on August 1. The plants are in St. Louis and St. Charles, Missouri, and Mascoutah, Illinois.
"Our members have spoken loudly and with one voice," said a statement from the union. "This company continues to make billions of dollars each year off the backs of our hardworking members. Boeing previously took away a pension from our members, and now the company is unwilling to adequately compensate our members' 401(k) plan. We will not allow this company to put our members' hard-earned retirements in jeopardy."

Boeing issued a statement saying it was "disappointed" with the vote to reject what it called a "strong, highly competitive offer." The company said the offer matched dollar-for-dollar up to 10% of worker's base and incentive pay towards 401(k) contributions. Boeing also offered to make a special contribution of 2% of workers' pay in 2023 and 2024, and to provide matches on student loan payments for workers' children.

"We are activating our contingency plan to support continuity of operations in the event of a strike," said the company's statement.


Arsenal of Democracy?

Posted by: too scents | Jul 26 2022 12:36 utc | 14

Well at least the U.K. won’t be crushed into radio active dust under Sunak as will happen should Truss decide to take on Russia.

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Jul 26 2022 11:47 utc | 10

Really? Those decisions are well above their pay grade. Recall Boris was all for negotiated peace in Ukraine until he got a tap on the shoulder.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 26 2022 12:39 utc | 15

@Opport Knocks | Jul 26 2022 12:39 utc | 15

Recall Boris was all for negotiated peace in Ukraine until he got a tap on the shoulder.

Recall Boris promised 'Hasta La Vista'.

Boris comeback?!

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 26 2022 12:54 utc | 16

Modern Europe – the West – is more the product of the Frankish, Carolingian civilization.

Posted by: b | Jul 26 2022 10:35 utc | 8

Yes, an excellent point. And Catholicism, East & West. Explains a lot. Thank you for the recent Crooke posts, and karlof1 too.

The classical Mediterranean world was quite different.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 26 2022 12:57 utc | 17

Sorry, forgotten something before:

And POSSIBLY (re-listen *Possibly Maybe* by Björk) the American madness for wanting another war... with China.
(Regarding CHN then!! the UNZ comments section is one blaring example of mostly brainwashed pseudo-knowledge, that must make fatty Pompous real proud for being so american bullshitty!)
Sharpen & EDUCATE your GREY MATTER on CHINA - go there, read, think or RE-THINK...
倪明达 (Ni Mingda)
BEng(Hons), DipIT(Distinction), DipEng(Merit) | Chinese diaspora | International relations analysis & commentary
OR other REAL people
(Ongoing Adrian Zenz SMEAR & DRECK campaign all directed by Pompous & Co.)
And Did You Notice:
Tiangong | China Space Station Another historic moment:
Shenzhou-14 crew entered #Wentian Laboratory Module at 02:03 UTC.
FOllOW !!

Posted by: MD | Jul 26 2022 13:04 utc | 18

Alastair Crooke's latest:

Illusions of Superiority. What’s Next?

Posted by: b | Jul 26 2022 10:35 utc | 8

Modern European superiority had little to do with the lineage of Greece and Rome, except in the cultural realms like Art and Architecture.

It was the Industrial Revolution following the Enlightenment that created Europe and its colonies as the dominant global player. Casting off the shackles of the reactionary Roman Catholic church didn't hurt either.

Many here seem a bit quick to welcome the decline of "the west", without clarifying or thinking through what that really means. All that is needed is a major purge at the political and hyper-financial level and the west will be just fine.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 26 2022 13:51 utc | 19

Ross Campbell | Jul 26 2022 12:28 utc | 13
In the context of Russia's closure of the Jewish Agency in Moscow and the meetings between Khameini, Putin and Erdogan in Tehran, plus the Chinese finally signing a $40billion twenty year contract to buy Iranian gas, not to mention the farcical reception accorded to Biden in Jeddah, it looks as if Israel, which seems to have sold the gas it intends to steal to the EU, should take Nasrallah's threats very seriously.
Israel however is entering another long election campaign so any emergence of real life awareness in Tel Aviv is likely to be postponed.
In Palestine this is the darkest hour: state violence gets worse all the time, every day more Palestinians are killed, some under torture, others at checkpoints and during raids. Israel is now deperiving Palestinians, en masse, of citizenship. Fascist settlers are building new settlements in the West Bank, now only a geographical expression with no political solidity.. things are at their worst.
And the dawn is very close.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 26 2022 14:22 utc | 20

Modern European superiority actually did have a great deal to do with the "lineage of Greece and Rome..." The engineering and mathematics were of course learned from the Arabs and Persians, who also added their contributions. And the influence of Indian mathematics learned from the Muslims was also vital. And of course the technological influence of China, so very slowly carried across the Eurasian continent played its role as well. The notion that the Scientific Revolution or the Industrial Revolution or the Enlightenment are solely European achievements. The slow restoration of civilization after the Dark Ages of the West Roman empire depended vitally on non-European influences.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 26 2022 14:26 utc | 21

Opport Knocks@19
'The Enlightenment' is an event which is very questionable. As is its relationship with the Industrial revolution. The events of cardinal importance, in the rise of Europe were the, fruits of the explorations in the C15th- the trade routes to India, around the Cape of Good Hope and, even more importantly the conquests, thanks in large part to diseases, of America. It was the looting of American resources of all kinds that primed the European pump.
That is my, not very original, opinion.
I disagree too with your view that 'the west' can reverse the tendency towards decline. In relative terms this is impossible because the major indication of the decline of the west has been the rapid growth of the east, China in particular: there is no way short of a nuclear first strike that China and India, for that matter, can be returned to the sort of paralysed submission in which they spent the C19th and C20th.
The truth is that the world is just returning to the position it was in before the decimation of Moghul power in India and the, very much related, decline of the Qing empire. My recollection is that the average living standards of the Indian or Chinese population exceeded that in Europe until the first quarter of the C19th. It was certainly in that ballpark.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 26 2022 14:37 utc | 22

Reality check: If you truly want to claim the mantle of ancient Greece and Rome, then you have to put Christianity back into the trashbin of history. Heck, put all monotheisms in the trashbin for good, since their overall influence has been globally negative.
Then, when all the monotheistic values have been at long last discarded and the world has been reset, we can at long last start anew where we stopped, and beauty and knowledge will once again be allowed to flourish.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jul 26 2022 14:39 utc | 23

Irony of ironies!

At the same time the Freeland/Trudeau government is putting on a big show with the Pope to apologize for the abuses to Canadian Natives as a result of the European colonization of Canada, they are front and center pushing the new global colonization project of the WEF.

Self-awareness anyone?

Posted by: dh-mtl | Jul 26 2022 15:05 utc | 24

@ dh-mtl | Jul 26 2022 15:05 utc | 25

maybe it is the fluoride in the water here in canada... have you seen the john stetch videos of him imitating trudeau? you might get a laugh out of them...

Posted by: james | Jul 26 2022 16:17 utc | 25

Posted by: joey_n | Jul 26 2022 9:04 utc | 3

Some weeks ago I went and looked up information on water fluoridation by country. Apparently, Wikipedia claims that Mexico doesn't fluoridate its water - instead it has a salt-fluoridation program, as do some other countries.

Does this mean that common household table salt (the stuff you sprinkle on your foods, etc.) sold in these countries has fluorides in it?

According to, Mexico has been adding 250 mg of potassium fluoride for every kilogram of salt. I surmise that other salt-fluoridating countries do something similar.

Does that make it as unsafe to ingest as fluoridated water?

My guess is that the concentration involved in salt-fluoridation was chosen to deliver roughly the amount of fluoride (including that in processed foods) that would have been obtained from fluoridated drinking water. If this is correct, then they would be similarly unsafe.

Or is non-fluoridated salt available as well?

In Mexico and at least some other countries, there are natural forms such as sea salt that contain at most negligible concentrations of fluoride.

But taking such salts might not make much of a dent in fluoride consumption if a person is still getting it from processed foods.

Posted by: David Levin | Jul 26 2022 16:36 utc | 26

@ dh-mtl | Jul 26 2022 15:05 utc | 25

This Liberal government excels at virtue signaling and corruption, nothing else.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 26 2022 16:36 utc | 27

More fun with climate science

Tropical cyclones 13% less frequent due to climate change

Changes in Atlantic major hurricane frequency since the late-19th century

We find that recorded century-scale increases in Atlantic hurricane and major hurricane frequency, and associated decrease in USA hurricanes strike fraction, are consistent with changes in observing practices and not likely a true climate trend. After homogenization, increases in basin-wide hurricane and major hurricane activity since the 1970s are not part of a century-scale increase, but a recovery from a deep minimum in the 1960s–1980s. We suggest internal (e.g., Atlantic multidecadal) climate variability and aerosol-induced mid-to-late-20th century major hurricane frequency reductions have probably masked century-scale greenhouse-gas warming contributions to North Atlantic major hurricane frequency.

No, there are not more storms...

Real world study shows methane releases 1/10th as large as predicted

For the study, scientists gauged emissions from one swath of permafrost that thawed in the 1980s and another that thawed 10 to 15 years later. Emissions in the first area were 10 times less than in the second. That’s because as ice melted underground in the first area, water on the surface began to sink down into the soil. As the surface dried out, new plants emerged that helped keep methane emissions buried underground.

Grasses typical of wet areas have straw-like systems that convey oxygen to their roots and also allow methane in the soil to escape into the atmosphere. As those areas grow dry, grasses are replaced with dwarf shrubs, willows, and birch, which lack such systems.

“When methane can no longer escape through the straws, soil bacteria have more time to break it down and convert it into CO2,” said Bo Elberling, director of the Center for Permafrost at the University of Copenhagen and co-author of the study.

And then the plants eat the CO2...

Heat waves are 100% Natural

But that is misinformation. Any honest and critical thinker will readily see the peak in USA heatwaves, as illustrated by the EPA, happened in the 1930s and there is no correlation with the global warming trend.

EPA heat wave historical data graphic

North America’s and also the world's record for the hottest extreme temperature ever measured is

56.6 Celsius or 134 Fahrenheit measured in Death Valley located in the sub-tropics at 36 degrees north on July 10, 1913.

This century old record again refutes any correlation with global average warming trend. It is likely this record has not been broken because it lies close to the theoretical maximum caused by the combineD dynamics previously outlined.

Africa's record maximum is 55 degrees Celsius or 131 Fahrenheit on July 7, 1931, in Tunisia at 32 degrees north.

Asia's record maximum of 54 degrees Celsius or 129.2 Fahrenheit happened in Israel on June 21, 1942, at 32 degrees north.

These extreme temperatures all happened within weeks of the summer solstice, during a colder global average temperature, and in the subtropics where dry desert conditions, and cloudless high-pressure systems prevail.

Europe's record maximum happened in Athens Greece on July 1977

Australia's record of 50.7 Celsius or 123.3 Fahrenheit happened in January 1960 in Oodnadatta Australia

that claims to be the driest town in the driest state of the driest continent

No, it isn't record heat

half of climate science publications are bullshit

Research on sustainability and transitions is burgeoning. Some of this research is helping to solve humankind’s most pressing problems. However, as this provocation argues, up to 50% of the articles that are now being published in many interdisciplinary sustainability and transitions journals may be categorized as “scholarly bullshit.” These are articles that typically engage with the latest sustainability and transitions buzzword (e.g., circular economy), while contributing little to none to the scholarly body of knowledge on the topic.

If the "scientists" are up to 50% bullshit, just imagine what the science popularizers are putting out...

And last but not least:

The Third Transformation

The politics of austerity are back. So is the resistance.


Today, neoliberalism has lost its nineties luster. Since the 2008 global financial collapse, the idea of an army of rapacious capitalists and their pencil-necked economists rescuing the world’s poor through their enlightened self-interest doesn’t inspire the confidence it once did. So the Davos poobahs who once worshipped at the altar of the global free market have undergone a makeover. They wear kinder faces now, furrowing their brows and frowning gravely at slide decks on global warming and the rise of right-wing populism in Europe. They speak of racial equity and effective altruism as they contemplate a simpler, greener world for the rest of us, to save our children from the hellfires of climate apocalypse.

But while the pretext is different, the mechanism is the same: imposed austerity. Just as the IMF once dictated that impoverished nations raise taxes, cut social spending, eliminate subsidies, slash wages and impose fees for public services as a condition for the massive debts they were forced to take on, governments of both rich and poor nations alike are testing how much of a burden they can force onto their working classes to restrict their national carbon outputs. And just as so many of the populations made destitute by the IMF, the World Bank and, later, the EU exploded into riots in countries all over the world, from Argentina to Indonesia to Egypt to Greece, as actual human societies rebelled against the “laws” of the market, we have begun to see the same responses to austerity measures imposed in the name of climate emergency.

Interesting - not sure I agree but the Polanyi fans will enjoy this.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 26 2022 16:39 utc | 28

@ Opport Knocks | Jul 26 2022 13:51 utc | 20

I don't exactly welcome "the decline of the West," because I live in it, and I care about my family and friends. But the "major purge at the political and hyper-financial level" that you speak of can scarcely be accomplished without some kind of violent upheaval, as those who have gamed the system will not go peacefully, will they? Not only will that upheaval be very destructive, possibly even including the financial rulers vengefully blowing up the world with nuclear weapons rather than letting anyone else have it, but even if that does not happen, removing the lid of their rule from the boiling cauldron will simply cause all the numerous, disunited, and often conflicting and contradictory tendencies to burst forth, probably not leading to a peaceful outcome either. It would be wonderful if people could come together and embrace the spirit of cooperation and mutual tolerance and affection, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Posted by: Cabe | Jul 26 2022 16:39 utc | 29

Fun with energy

Why Biden's attacks on energy are absolutely insane - Michael Shellenberger

it’s not clear how antagonizing American oil and gas companies will result in more production and lower prices. U.S. refineries are already operating at 94% of their capacity and Exxon invested $50 billion over the last five years to expand oil production by 50%. And, said the CEO of a large, publicly traded energy company, who asked to remain anonymous, “Biden’s attacks on the industry have created an uncertain environment that prevents investment.”

In what might be perceived as the extending of an olive branch, the Biden Administration last night invited oil and gas executives to the White House for talks about how to lower energy prices. And on CNN, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm emphasized that the administration is not seeking to destroy oil and gas companies but rather re-tool them. “We are asking the oil and gas companies to diversify,” she said, “and become diversified energy companies.”

But these gestures pale in comparison to the overarching hostility the Biden Administration has directed toward oil and gas companies since taking office. In March, it revoked a permit for a massive expansion of a refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and in May shut it down entirely. Last month, the Biden administration canceled a massive, one-million acre oil and gas lease in Alaska. And earlier this week, Senator Ron Wyden proposed a large new tax on oil industry profits, which Biden officials say the president may support.

A senior executive at a major U.S. bank that finances oil and gas exploration yesterday told me, “If you were an oil company, why would you invest hundreds of millions of dollars into expanding refining capacity if you thought the federal government or investors would shut you down in the next few years? The narrative coming from the administration is absolutely insane. ”

As a result, mainstream journalists are increasingly calling out Biden officials for the glaring contradiction at the heart of their energy policy. “Are you telling me you want them drilling for more oil?” asked CNN host John Berman of Secretary Granholm yesterday. “You want the refineries putting out more gasoline in five or ten years?”

“What we’re saying is today we need that supply increased,” she said. “Of course, in five or ten years — actually in the immediate — we are also pressing on the accelerator, if you will, to move toward clean energy, so that we don’t have to be under the thumb of petro-dictators like Putin, or at the whim of the volatility of fossil fuels. Ultimately American will be most secure when we can rely on our own clean domestic production of energy through solar, through wind —”

“But that’s the problem for these companies,” interrupted Berman. “These companies are saying, ‘You’re asking me to do more now, invest more now, when, in fact 5 or 10 years from now, we don’t think that demand will be there, and the administration doesn’t even necessarily want it to be there.’”

Small modular nuclear reactors not a panacea

Small Modular Reactors Produce High Levels of Nuclear Waste

“The more neutrons that are leaked, the greater the amount of radioactivity created by the activation process of neutrons,” Ewing said. “We found that small modular reactors will generate at least nine times more neutron-activated steel than conventional power plants. These radioactive materials have to be carefully managed prior to disposal, which will be expensive.”

The study also found that the spent nuclear fuel from small modular reactors will be discharged in greater volumes per unit energy extracted and can be far more complex than the spent fuel discharged from existing power plants.


The study concludes that, overall, small modular designs are inferior to conventional reactors with respect to radioactive waste generation, management requirements, and disposal options.

This makes perfect sense - why wouldn't a small reactor, with a far higher surface area vs. energy produced, produce more waste?

Africa's diesel generation boom

Some 600 million people still lack access to electricity in Africa today, shows data from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. This means just 56% of people have access to electricity, compared with 90% across the rest of the world. Per capita energy consumption is lower than any other region, with Africa using 6% of the world’s energy supply for 17% of the world’s population.


Data from Wood Mackenzie, a global energy consultancy, shows there are now 17 countries that have more off-grid diesel generator capacity than on-grid power generation capacity. The researchers estimate there is now roughly 100GW of operational diesel power across 39 African countries – and they describe this as a “conservative estimate”.

Consider how expensive electricity is as generated from diesel. It makes solar PV and wind look good - but lack of a grid means even the limited reliability/availability of solar PV and wind is nonexistent.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 26 2022 16:48 utc | 30

Interesting - not sure I agree but the Polanyi fans will enjoy this.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 26 2022 16:39 utc | 29

I think the essential point is that in order for the rich to stay as rich as they are, the poor must be kept poor as they are.

“Men nearly always speak and write as if riches were absolute, as if it were possible, by following certain scientific precepts, for everybody to be rich. Whereas riches are a power like that of electricity, acting only through inequalities or negations of itself. The force of the guinea you have in your pocket depends wholly on the default of a guinea in your neighbors pocket. If he did not want it, it would be of no use to you; the degree of power it possesses depends accurately on the need or desire he has for it, – and the art of making yourself rich, in the ordinary mercantile economist's sense, is therefore equally and necessarily the art of keeping your neighbor poor.” – John Ruskin “Unto the Last”

What I remember from my blue collar days is that the owners just hated having to treat the worker bees with respect.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 26 2022 16:52 utc | 31

And last but not least: medical fun

Key theory in Alzheimer's research very possibly fraudulent

Schrag, 37, a softspoken, nonchalantly rumpled junior professor, had already gained some notoriety by publicly criticizing the controversial FDA approval of the anti-Aβ drug Aduhelm. His own research also contradicted some of Cassava’s claims. He feared volunteers in ongoing Simufilam trials faced risks of side effects with no chance of benefit.

So he applied his technical and medical knowledge to interrogate published images about the drug and its underlying science—for which the attorney paid him $18,000. He identified apparently altered or duplicated images in dozens of journal articles. The attorney reported many of the discoveries in the FDA petition, and Schrag sent all of them to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which had invested tens of millions of dollars in the work.


But Schrag’s sleuthing drew him into a different episode of possible misconduct, leading to findings that threaten one of the most cited Alzheimer’s studies of this century and numerous related experiments.

The first author of that influential study, published in Nature in 2006, was an ascending neuroscientist: Sylvain Lesné of the University of Minnesota (UMN), Twin Cities. His work underpins a key element of the dominant yet controversial amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer’s, which holds that Aβ clumps, known as plaques, in brain tissue are a primary cause of the devastating illness, which afflicts tens of millions globally. In what looked like a smoking gun for the theory and a lead to possible therapies, Lesné and his colleagues discovered an Aβ subtype and seemed to prove it caused dementia in rats. If Schrag’s doubts are correct, Lesné’s findings were an elaborate mirage.

Schrag, who had not publicly revealed his role as a whistleblower until this article, avoids the word “fraud” in his critiques of Lesné’s work and the Cassava-related studies and does not claim to have proved misconduct. That would require access to original, complete, unpublished images and in some cases raw numerical data. “I focus on what we can see in the published images, and describe them as red flags, not final conclusions,” he says. “The data should speak for itself.”

A 6-month investigation by Science provided strong support for Schrag’s suspicions and raised questions about Lesné’s research. A leading independent image analyst and several top Alzheimer’s researchers—including George Perry of the University of Texas, San Antonio, and John Forsayeth of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)—reviewed most of Schrag’s findings at Science’s request. They concurred with his overall conclusions, which cast doubt on hundreds of images, including more than 70 in Lesné’s papers. Some look like “shockingly blatant” examples of image tampering, says Donna Wilcock, an Alzheimer’s expert at the University of Kentucky.

The authors “appeared to have composed figures by piecing together parts of photos from different experiments,” says Elisabeth Bik, a molecular biologist and well-known forensic image consultant. “The obtained experimental results might not have been the desired results, and that data might have been changed to … better fit a hypothesis.”

Just for kicks: The New Scientist shilling for the original finding

Alzheimer's May Be Caused By Brain's Sticky Defense Against Bugs -

And another blockbuster lawsuit to come:

SSRI drugs and serotonin increase does not seem to work

The serotonin theory (ST) of depression should no longer be promoted as there is a distinct lack of credible supportive evidence according to the findings of a recent umbrella review by an international group based at the Division of Psychiatry, University College London, London, UK.

The selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of antidepressant drugs that include fluoxetine, citalopram and sertraline and commonly used in the treatment of depression. The mode of action of SSRIs is described as inhibition of the re-uptake of serotonin, thereby increasing activity of the neurotransmitter. In other words, the concept of depression is predicated on the ST, i.e., low levels of the transmitter lead to depression although this premise has been challenged in recent years. Nevertheless, the concept of a chemical imbalance as an underlying cause of depression is a widespread belief among the general public and also, it seems among healthcare professionals. In a survey of 66 UK general practitioners, 23% strongly agreed and 54% agreed that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance. Despite belief in the ST of depression, to date, no comprehensive review has synthesised the available evidence to either confirm or refute the theory.

For the present umbrella review, researchers examined the available literature to try and establish if there was credible support for the ST. In doing so, they focused on several specific areas that could provide evidence to support the theory. They initially examined whether there were lower levels of both serotonin and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), its active metabolite, in body fluids among those with depression. Secondly, if there were alterations in the level of serotonin receptors. Thirdly, if levels of serotonin transporter (SERT) protein, which remove the transmitter from the synapse, were elevated in depression. Fourthly, whether tryptophan depletion (which also lowers serotonin levels) could induce depression and finally, the researchers looked at if there were elevated levels of the SERT gene in depressed patients.

Serotonin theory and supportive evidence

The researchers identified a total of 17 eligible studies for inclusion in their umbrella review.

Two meta-analyses with a total of 19 studies failed to provide evidence of an association between 5-HIAA levels and depression.

The team then focused on levels of the 5-HT1A receptor, an auto-receptor that inhibits the release of serotonin pre-synaptically. If depression is due to lowered levels of serotonin, the activity of this receptor should be enhanced although again, there was no evidence of a difference between depressed and control patients.

Sooooo - all those antidepressants which have been prescribed and sold for so many years, don't actually do what they are supposed to do: alleviate depression.

Shocked! I am Shocked! Shocked to find that gambling is going on here!

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 26 2022 17:00 utc | 32

Monkey pox...

In Oz, daily Covid deaths and new cases are the highest since the pandemic began. And mask-wearing is at an all time low. So the last thing I wanted to hear was a looming Monkey Pox epidemic. But it might be OK. I heard on the news last night that most M-P cases are among homosexual men...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 26 2022 17:01 utc | 33

Last words (links) from Montréal’s La Presse

Given the topics I posted above, I think this is important (of interest to those who live with canals, maybe)

I can’t remember the subject but I was going to post a comment explaining how much support the Quebec premier has in this province, by saying that in comparison the support for China’s Xi seems lukewarm. But this comparison is far better -

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jul 26 2022 17:03 utc | 34


There is a treatment which provides profound but temporary relief - a sub-concussion bump to the skull.

An elderly female relative contracted the condition in her mid eighties. As it progressed she occasionally fell and bumped her head. This invariably led to an improvement in her self-awareness and ability and eagerness to interact socially.

I used to call in on her whenever I was passing to make sure she was OK. Once, not long after a Xmas gathering in which she was an active particpant, a couple of days after a fall, I called in to see how she was progressing. She was stiĺl her "old self" so I asked if she was aware of a change in the way she was thinking, to which she replied "Yes. I think it was the fall. It must have knocked some sense into me."

I discussed this with various carers and medics and all of them poo-pooed the idea.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 26 2022 17:32 utc | 35

Bhadrakumar has an article up today on the dispute between the Izzies and the Russians about "aliyah":

With eye on the CIA, Moscow cracks the whip at Israel

The US-Israel intelligence nexus

The Israel government pretends to be “neutral” but then, it is a member of US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s “coalition of the willing” fighting Russian forces in Ukraine.

Call it a trapeze or balancing or double-crossing act, but Moscow cannot afford to ignore the ground realities, given the nexus between the US and Israeli intelligence. Succinctly put, the possibility exists that the Jewish Agency operatives in Russia have had covert liaison with the US intelligence.

From February-March, Moscow began uprooting all vestiges of US intelligence from Russian soil, including Carnegie’s Moscow Centre. It is entirely conceivable that the CIA had a “back-up” plan and “sleeper cells” in Russia handled through associates. The fact remains that the Jewish Agency also has an office in Kiev and Israeli military runs a hospital for treating wounded Ukrainian soldiers. Of course, Ukraine’s spy agency is also very active. All things taken together, the Russian intelligence possibly caught up with the nexus.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 26 2022 18:08 utc | 36

oh the engineer cites a McKinsey whore to back up his ignorance on climate science. yeah, that's convincing. maybe Pete Buttigieg has an opinion on climate science too, he's just as qualified as C1ue!

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 26 2022 18:23 utc | 37

i bet Purdue Pharma will provide a glowing reference for McKinsey too!

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 26 2022 18:25 utc | 38

TASS has conducted an interview with the Director of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Volynkin centering on the treatment of Russians abroad by unfriendly nations and troubles to be encountered traveling to them. This will be of importance to those planning on traveling to Russia or for those Russians planning to travel to unfriendly nations. The interview's in Russian. Generally, Russophobia and sanctions have created difficulties for the Russian diaspora mostly within Poland and the Baltics. Travel to Turkiye is way up.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 26 2022 18:43 utc | 39

Below is a Yahoo "news" posting headline

Putin ‘using energy’ to cause political discord in Europe: Expert

Now that I see humanity really in a revolution about human social organization with Russia/China leading the revolt, I find all the obfuscation of reality to be almost humorous. Back in the early 70's, when I was studying the future with a cultural anthropologist, there was a concept that I have shared before here that applies and has been attributed to someone more recent than my first exposure to it...a concept that applies very much now:

The future is here, it is just not evenly distributed.

I don't so much care where it came from as much as the way in which it describes succinctly the disjointed nature of human advancement. IMO, we are in a watershed moment of our species potential evolution and, as I sense it, in that whiplash period when all the pent up energy finally overcomes the inertia of centuries of a dead end.

It speaks well of our species that a revolution is under way to move beyond the barbarism of our past. I encourage folks to look ahead, not back and share dreams about what we can become.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 26 2022 19:09 utc | 40

Posted by: b | Jul 26 2022 10:35 utc | 9

Thanks b for Alistair Crooke's latest.

Interestingly, he's taken a leaf out of Pepe's book with:

"... The point here is that to understand the Ukraine war in the context of the double-helix interplay of intrinsic Traditionalism and extrinsic literal ideology, is both to understand what Putin means when he refers to Nazism, and to understand why Russia sees History as a continuum of hostility to Russian civilisation – one stretching from The Great Schism (1054), through the two World Wars, to today’s schism pivoted around Ukraine..."

I'm not so sure Putin would see it this way, and it rather narrows the parameters to do so, but Crooke may have a point when it comes to how 'the West' looks at the Christianity Putin adheres to. Crooke ends with:

..."Contemporary 'EU civilization' and values in no way connect to the pre-Socratic world. Modern Europe - the West - is more the product of the Frankish, Carolingian civilization..."

I hadn't stretched that far back, but just maybe, maybe so. Something did happen to Christianity back then, indeed it did.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 26 2022 19:49 utc | 41

To add to my reflection on Crooke's thesis at 42, I wondered a bit at the 'pre-Socratic world' rather than simply 'Socratic' as I would have thought to begin Greek history - at least as I studied it in my Western college.

Certainly, the early Christian fathers would have gone back that far, classisists as they were. And perhaps Plato is more properly understood if one does so, since Socrates, in the Dialogues, often critiqued his contemporaries using 'pre-Socratic' arguments. If we only start with Socrates, we miss the drama and instead try to unravel the logic. Which leads us to prefer Aristotle, and there's the rub.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 26 2022 20:19 utc | 42

Nonetheless, Moscow ultimately may offer the European rump a ‘Minsk deal’ too. That, however, is likely a long way off.

Posted by: b | Jul 26 2022 10:35 utc | 9

Not to argue with the point but isn't it interesting how all the Chinese in the photo at the top of the article are dressed in Western style including the military. They have taken our modern, post-industrial revolutionary Ball and are running with it.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 26 2022 20:29 utc | 43

And the dawn is very close.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 26 2022 14:22 utc | 21

No doubt you know far more than I, but it's my distinct impression that the UN failed to realize its intention and potential because it was hijacked ab initio by the Israel agenda. And an ugly nightmare it has turned out to be...

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 26 2022 20:38 utc | 44

psychohistorian @41--

I see Lavrov at today's presser in Uganda anticipated the Yahoo! bologna during the Q&A. But before I paste those, there's a few parts from Lavrov's statement that need to be read first:

"President John C. Museveni has made a convincing, vivid and capacious excursion into the history of our relations, which dates back more than a hundred years from the period when Africa began to advocate decolonization. Russia most actively supported the countries of the continent and led the movement for independence, which ended in the early 1960s with the adoption of the corresponding declaration of the UN General Assembly."

Linked within is "the corresponding declaration" which I'll bet no barfly has ever read, and most will have a hard time with that Russian language copy. And yes, there's a reason behind Lavrov's introduction of that topic:

"We talked in detail about the situation in the world from the point of view of the principles laid down in the UN Charter. Chief among them is respect for the sovereign equality of States. We have a common position that this provision should guide us in resolving any problems arising in international relations.

"The President of Uganda today gave examples from his own practice of political activity. When asked whether he is a pro-Western or pro-Eastern politician, J.K. Museveni gave the only correct answer for serious political figures. At present, the recidivism of colonial thinking, the instincts of colonial policy, unfortunately, are manifested in the policies of Western countries, demanding from the whole world to take a position 'for them and against the rest.'" [My Emphasis]

What do you suppose President Museveni's answer was? IMO, he said Pro-Ugandan or Pro-African as those are the only two that fit Lavrov's description. Lavrov closed with the following observations:

"We reaffirmed Russia's support for Uganda's efforts to promote cooperation within the African Union and resolve the various crises that persist on the continent, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes Region as a whole, South Sudan, Somalia and the Central African Republic.

"Russia adheres to a principled position, according to which African problems can only have an African solution. It is up to the countries of the continent to determine how to cope with this or that task, and the international community, represented by the UN Security Council and other foreign states, is obliged to help African countries both from a political point of view and in terms of equipping peacekeeping contingents with modern equipment."

Now for the Q&A. Those that have followed Lavrov's pressers over the past two months will note the broken record questions and answers provided, although Lavrov seems to add just a bit more each time. Here's what Lavrov had to say about that issue, which I hope will become a regular feature, almost like a disclaimer, prior to taking questions:

"Regarding the first part of the question. As I said, you have a slogan in your head: 'Why doesn't Russia solve the food crisis?' I tried in the previous answer to show that life is always much more complicated than slogans coming even from the Associated Press."

And of course, it's not just that "slogan." You'll see that in its full context below:

Question (translated from English): What can you say about the current economic crisis? Some countries around the world blame the crisis on Russia because of the ongoing "war" in Ukraine.

Sergey Lavrov: I have already touched upon this issue. I can additionally say that now our Western colleagues blame almost all the problems on Russia without exception.

This began long before the special military operation in Ukraine. Remember 2016: there is no Ukrainian problem, and D. Trump was "elected" by the Russian Federation. Over the past six or seven years, the European Union, without giving any examples, has repeatedly stated that Russia "uses gas as a weapon," and at the same time did everything to limit the gas pumping capacity that Nord Stream 1 possessed.

Not so long ago, Poland refused to directly receive Russian gas through the existing gas pipeline. Ukraine has halved the transit of Russian blue fuel through its territory. Again, Russia is "to blame". Nord Stream 2 is fully prepared to meet Europe's needs for this type of hydrocarbon, but is closed for purely political reasons. All investments in this megaproject were carried out in full compliance with EU legislation, but as soon as everything was ready for the launch of operation, the European Commission retroactively (I emphasize this) adopted the standards that are still used to "brake" this gas pipeline, which is important for Europe's energy security.

Today, the story of the Siemens turbine, which underwent routine maintenance in Canada, is inflated. Ottawa didn't want it back. Then the German conglomerate, with the support of the German government, achieved a return. Nevertheless, no one can clearly explain to us, in the documents, now the status of this and other turbines that must undergo routine maintenance in Canada.

Now there is a fuss (I watched the latest news) around the fact that Gazprom PJSC should put another pumping turbine for service. An extraordinary, extraordinary session of the European Union on energy is being convened, during which "invectives" will certainly be made against the Russian company. I have a simple question: are we being urged to violate the existing regulations that ensure the safety of the gas pipeline, as German representatives, in particular, do? I do not know how representatives of Germany, famous for such a national trait as "pedantry", "accuracy", can offer to violate the rules on which people's safety depends.

The same thing is happening with the theme of the food crisis, which began with rising prices during the period when the coronavirus pandemic broke out a few years ago. Western countries began to combat its consequences by printing poorly secured money. Many other things were happening that reflected miscalculations in the West's policy in this direction. We are well aware of them. You can read about this in detail in the reports of the World Food Programme and FAO.

The only thing that links the Ukrainian situation with food security is the illegal aggressive sanctions imposed by the West against the Russian Federation. The restrictions affect the entire logistics chain (financial, transport), which must be preserved and maintained for the uninterrupted supply of Russian grain to the consumer.

At a meeting in Istanbul on July 22 this year, a memorandum was signed between the Russian Federation and the UN, in which United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres undertook to achieve the lifting of the restrictions I mentioned. This promise is recorded on paper. I hope that the Secretary-General will be able to implement what he has signed up to.

You asked a short question, and I have been answering it for a long time, because Western propaganda "throws" into the public consciousness exactly such slogans: "Russia is to blame for the energy and food crises." All this spins in the brains of ordinary people, they are "hammered" into it, and they begin to believe. I have tried to cite the facts so that you pay attention to them if anyone wants to understand in more detail. There are many other opportunities and publications that lay out the truth about the causes of the current situation in the world economy.

Question (translated from English): Many African countries expect Russia's direct intervention in resolving the food crisis with regard to grain supplies. Now you are traveling in Africa. There are problems between Egypt and Ethiopia with the construction of the Renaissance Dam. Will Russia discuss this issue?

Sergey Lavrov: Regarding the first part of the question. As I said, you have a slogan in your head: "Why doesn't Russia solve the food crisis?" I tried in the previous answer to show that life is always much more complicated than slogans coming even from the Associated Press.

On the situation between Egypt and Ethiopia concerning the Renaissance Dam being built by the Ethiopian side on the Blue Nile. We advocate that the issue be resolved directly by the parties concerned, as it should be in any situation. There are norms of international law, the Khartoum Declaration of 2015, which the parties signed. These are good guidelines for states to reach mutually acceptable solutions with each other. We support this process without imposing our mediation. A few years ago, the United States appointed a special representative who "famously" took up this work, but then "gave up" and "went into the shadows." No one remembers that now. I am convinced that in this, as well as in other situations arising on the African continent, it is optimal to mediate, facilitate and accompany negotiations between the African Union and the relevant subregional organizations in Africa.

Question: We are actively working on a new Foreign Policy Concept for the Russian Federation. How much will the role and importance of African countries change for Russia in the new version of the document?

Sergey Lavrov: The role of the African continent in Russia's new Foreign Policy Concept will be significantly enhanced. This would have happened regardless of what is happening in the western direction, which now, as you know, "cancels itself". Due to our principled, long-term and opportunistic interests, the importance of Africa will increase as a result of what the West is doing towards Russia. This will objectively increase the share of the African direction in our work.

We have begun work on the preparation of the second Russia-Africa Summit, scheduled for 2023. I am convinced that, in contact with our African friends, they will prepare a solid package of documents containing practical and meaningful agreements.

Question (translated from English): The war in Ukraine is causing damage to almost all economies of the world, including Africa. How can the Russian-Ukrainian conflict be resolved?

Sergey Lavrov: On the economic side of things, you mentioned that Africa is suffering. It turns out that because of Russia? I tried to answer this twice. If journalists have the task of asking why Russia is doing this, I can only redirect you to my answer to the first question.

About the situation "on the ground" and the prospects for its development. We discussed this in detail today with President of Uganda Y.K. Museveni. The Russian side has never refused to negotiate. Everyone is well aware that any fighting ends at the negotiating table.

At an early stage of the military operation, the Ukrainian side offered negotiations. We agreed. Several rounds took place, which led to an interesting stage. On March 29 of this year in Istanbul, the Ukrainian side proposed a version of the agreement. We supported him. We notified our colleagues in Kiev, from whom we have not received any response since then, although, I would like to stress once again, in fact, we agreed with their approach. We know that such "partners" as the United States, Great Britain, and a number of European countries have banned Ukrainians from negotiating with Russia on this basis.

Listen and read not what you see in slogans, on screens or in social networks, but what Western politicians say: "in this conflict, Ukraine must win on the battlefield", "it must achieve a military victory", "no negotiations until Ukraine defeats Russia". Read. I didn't make that up.

A few days ago, in an interview, I said that Russia has no prejudice against negotiations with Ukraine. Just a few hours later, a State Department official says the U.S. believes that now is not the time for Ukraine to negotiate with Russia. Draw conclusions. Ask our American colleagues what the reason is.

Another quote. On July 7 of this year, President Vladimir Putin said during his speech that Russia does not refuse to negotiate, but those who refuse them should know that the further they go, the more difficult it will be for them to negotiate with us.

Question (translated from English): According to available information, some countries outside Europe continue to buy Russian oil. If this is indeed the case, why can't Russia sell it to Africa, where fuel prices are rising by the day?

Sergey Lavrov: This is a strange question. You say "reportedly" that Russia sells oil to individual countries despite sanctions. The question contains the statement that there are sanctions and everyone should follow them, if I understand correctly what you said.

We sell oil to any interested country. If a state, be it India, China or any African country, wants it, there are no obstacles. We not only sell oil, but also help develop our own industry for the processing of hydrocarbons, the production of petroleum products, the use of gas in industry. We have such discussions with friends from Uganda, and they will deepen. [My Emphasis]

I agree with Lavrov's calling attention to the idea that sanctions must be followed when in fact they are illegal and following them makes the nation doing so an accomplice to law breaking. You'll also note Lavrov's using the term illegal to properly depict the sanction's nature. What Lavrov says without saying this exactly is, Go search for the Truth; don't blindly agree with the accusations leveled by your previous oppressors. His lesson is that reality is most often complex and not a sound bite.

From Uganda, Lavrov will travel to Congo then likely travel to Tashkent for the SCO Foreign Ministers Meeting that begins on the 28th.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 26 2022 20:45 utc | 45

"No doubt you know far more than I, but it's my distinct impression that the UN failed to realize its intention and potential because it was hijacked ab initio by the Israel agenda. And an ugly nightmare it has turned out to be..." Scorpion@45
You are wrong, I don't know anything about it. Yours is an interesting idea, however, and worth considering. One thing I do know and that is that the situation in 1948 was very complex and that the decision to pull put of the mandate by the UK government was unpopular in many quarters. Was it also significant that the Palestine Police withdrew in many cases to Malaya, where the 'Emergency' had just been declared? Of course Malaya produced rubber, tin and other minerals whereas Palestine....

Posted by: bevin | Jul 26 2022 20:48 utc | 46

"...I don't so much care where it [the future] came from as much as the way in which it describes succinctly the disjointed nature of human advancement. IMO, we are in a watershed moment of our species potential evolution and, as I sense it, in that whiplash period when all the pent up energy finally overcomes the inertia of centuries of a dead end.

It speaks well of our species that a revolution is under way to move beyond the barbarism of our past. I encourage folks to look ahead, not back and share dreams about what we can become."

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 26 2022 19:09 utc | 41

That's an admirable thought, psychohistorian, and most certainly for those who have had no other experience than the current one, we do need to offer a positive outlook. I will just say that history isn't all bad -- there have been better times, amazing times, and some of them not so long ago either. It hasn't all been barbarism, far from it!

It was Obama who famously said he wasn't going to look back at the most recent crimes...and he went on to commit more of the same. I think we do need to confront our past, and to say that some of it has been good, some of it very good! We do need to have our wits about us and by all means educate those who haven't been where we have been... but it shouldn't be starting from scratch.

Dreams are good, but experience is better. We have leadership arising from experience right now; it's not perfect but it is good. Hold onto that, and with a little or a lot of humility we can fix what is broken. But the time for that, while there are still people who have seen the better times, who have studied the past, is now.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 26 2022 20:54 utc | 47


There is a treatment which provides profound but temporary relief - a sub-concussion bump to the skull.

An elderly female relative contracted the condition in her mid eighties. As it progressed she occasionally fell and bumped her head. This invariably led to an improvement in her self-awareness and ability and eagerness to interact socially.


I discussed this with various carers and medics and all of them poo-pooed the idea.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 26 2022 17:32 utc | 36

Perhaps the increased blood flow to help heal the mild head injury also improved cognition.

But I'd be more inclined toward substances that can stimulate blood flow to the brain even if the person hasn't been conked.

Posted by: David Levin | Jul 26 2022 21:06 utc | 48

@ bevin & Ross Campbell re Palestine

The Cradle had a useful article following Nasrallah's speech that highlights a similar golden opportunity at present for Palestine to step up its game and claim its hydrocarbons (seize, rather, since it has already claimed them). I don't think I've seen this linked here yet, and it's well worthy - apologies if old news:

Time for Palestine to claim its stolen gas - Yousef Fares, July 22

Hezbollah has threatened Israel with war if Lebanon is not allowed to exploit its share in the Karish gas field. Now, the Palestinian resistance may do the same over their “stolen gas” off the Gaza Strip.

The anguish for both Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance lies, I think, in the great need for total unity and solidarity in order to make a successful move against the imperialists. The opportunity seems at hand with the great Russian move on Ukraine.

One can only hope that Lebanon will seize its priceless opportunity to unite in action, and that Palestine will act conjointly. The reasoning presented by Nasrallah seems sound as far as it goes: the west wants energy, and whatever force can manage to hold it in its hands - or can threaten to destroy it for everyone - can rule the discussion.


And the reason I tie this with Russia so prominently is that I believe that Russia's war against the west has emboldened the entire world to dream of things that might be, and to see that they are possible in this moment, if timidity is set aside. And that global calculations based on energy have changed, or can be reworked.

The rise of Lebanon and Palestine would indeed be an amazing thing to result from these possibilities. In my own mind I can only give it odds of 50-50. But even to see it dreamed out loud and awake is wondrous...

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 26 2022 23:38 utc | 49

@41 Psychohistorian:

Well-said. If humans have the capacity for greatness - if indeed that's the case - then the well-spring of that greatness is our capacity to imagine ourselves as something greater than what we currently are. I hope you continue to remind us about what we're capable of.

@48 Juliania: You said " We have leadership arising from experience right now; it's not perfect but it is good".

May I ask which leadership you're referring to?

May I also ask: What is your definition of "leadership"?

Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | Jul 27 2022 0:15 utc | 50

Just some thoughts re a dystopian future:

right now we are witnessing a really drastic and all encompassing media manipulation. Most of us have never thought something like that would be possible.

Now add something like Facebooks planned Metaverse and you get a totally manipulated & fabricated virtual reality. Now add some artificial Intelligence, just a tiny bit, and you will get something like a very, very deep way of manipulating not only masses of humans by brute force but also individually tailored to the specifics of any single one of us.

In the end it's a total(itarian) full spectrum media manipulation, reality fabrication.

Ok, that's about 10 to 20 or even 30 years from now and you could think of rejecting this kind of tech but what about if you will have to use that to be able to work? To be able to get entertained? 99% will happily use that and even pay for it...

Posted by: zet | Jul 27 2022 2:50 utc | 51

barbarism of our past. ... about what we can become.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 26 2022 19:09 utc | 41

Is that really true? Since I read Rutger Bregman's "Humankind" I am not so sure we humans have been bad all the time, it just started some two to four thousand years ago but up to that we seem to have been quite good. we just took a wrong turn (by inventing land ownership & property) and maybe can correct that in the future... who knows?

Posted by: zet | Jul 27 2022 3:01 utc | 52

@ zet | Jul 27 2022 3:01 utc | 53 with the follow up...thanks

In the past year I have reported here on having read The Dawn Of Everything by Graeber/Wengrow which says similar to your comment. They report about 40K years of lots of different forms of social organization before we got stuck in this patriarchy/monotheism meme...from which extends, to me, the concept of private property, et al which you touch on.

I see the revolution as happening outside, but effecting, my world in the way I want but it is up to me and you to see that the transition that is being offered by the revolutionaries is taken advantage of.
In that vein, I want to see MoA barflies discuss the kind of world they want to see. I studied the future in the early 1970's at the state level in Washington state as part of, what the then governor, an engineer/Republican, saw as the future of public policy planning.
As you can imagine, those sorts of nascent efforts in the early 70's got shot down like Occupy and need to be reborn as part of the bottom up government management processes we develop.
We need, on a country/nation basis, to do public economic geography studies to understand what the current/future natural and human resources are. This will feed public educational about all the risk management tradeoffs that need to be reflected in the public policy planning process...that itself needs to continuously evolve.
We need, on a country/nation basis, to determine what sort of mixed economy makes sense for current and desired goals and strategies to get there (like China 5 year plan but with Western flavor)

The revolution that China/Russia have undertaken will provide the impetus for change to our form of social organization and the more prepared we are the quicker we will make it through the difficult period ....says the psychohistorian....grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 27 2022 3:57 utc | 53

From your favorite Singapore-Chinese Ukraine observer :
Unpacking South China Sea: Paracel, Spratly, Scarborough, Pratas, Taiping & Layang-layang Islands

Not so rosy view of Xi's expansionism.

Posted by: Antonym | Jul 27 2022 12:52 utc | 54

Interesting drone tech: Altius 600 / 900

Stumbled across this via a NOAA storm monitoring project but it’s actually a compact (6” by 1m) military tube-launchable drone, 12kg, 440km one-way range, folding / telescopic wing (2.5m deployed span), electric propeller drive, with neat aerodynamics and wing configuration (given the claimed endurance).

Looks like these things are being prepped for multi-role, semi-disposable, single / cooperative / swarm missions.

The Altius 900 runs on conventional liquid fuels and has extended endurance / range (36kg, 1000km).

I think this Altius drone family is worth watching because it already seems to be well ahead in the zoo of competing drones, given the publicly available specs.

* I have no undisclosed interest one way or other, nor any sort of “handler”, unlike some (you know who you are), so enjoy in safety =)

Posted by: anon2020 | Jul 27 2022 13:29 utc | 55

@54 Psychohistorian:

re: "We need, on a country/nation basis, to determine what sort of mixed economy makes sense for current and desired goals and strategies to get there (like China 5 year plan but with Western flavor)"

Please lead off. You have some great background on this, you've clearly thought about it a lot, so please lay out some sort of concept glossary, and a discussion roadmap, or whatever discussion aids you see as helpful.

See how people respond.

Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | Jul 27 2022 13:31 utc | 56

On the situation in Sri Lanka

John Helmer's latest article sheds a light on the very recent events in Sri Lanka.
Title: Sri Lanka’s Arrest of Aeroflot Plane Was The Straw That Broke President Rajapaksa’s Back
Hugely informative for me who knows nothing about Sri Lanka. My takeaway: both Viktoria Nuland and the Russians threw Rajapaksa, with his dual citizenship, under the bus, for very different reasons. A fight for Sri Lanka's future alignment in a multipolar world is taking place. Also, Sri Lanka has a sizeable and potent military!

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Jul 27 2022 13:36 utc | 57

@anon2020 | Jul 27 2022 13:29 utc | 56


Long range drones need to be able to perform in a contested communications environment. That means having satellite communication and a big antenna. Think of the SpaceX Starlink size as a baseline. Small antennas suck.

Posted by: too scents | Jul 27 2022 13:47 utc | 58

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 26 2022 20:38 utc | 45

I think it was hijacked ab initio by the US agenda, from reading Michael Hudson's Superimperialism. The Security Council, the IMF, the World Bank, all created about the same time. Israel wasn't a country yet, as far as I know the people who became its leaders were still ethnic cleansing the Palestinians.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 27 2022 14:01 utc | 59

Long range drones need to be able to perform in a contested communications environment. That means having satellite communication and a big antenna. Think of the SpaceX Starlink size as a baseline. Small antennas suck.

Posted by: too scents | Jul 27 2022 13:47 utc | 59

Sure, there were quite a few more sites with Altius mission info than the ones I posted, so, from what I can remember, I think the existing larger drones, predator / reaper etc, and tactical aircraft / helicopters, would serve as communication nodes in the overall formation, relaying information, potentially via satellite.

What seemed interesting about those Altius drones is that they look like a credible airframe for swarms of mesh-networked drones. Small / cheap enough to be used in large numbers, long range, able to carry miniaturised EW / ISR / warheads, recoverable or disposable, multi-role.

A lot of the existing drones are either too small to have a long enough range / payload for mission flexibility or they’re too big / expensive to be used in large / semi-disposable formations.

The compact tube-launch configuration means they could be fired in huge salvos from trucks, or dropped from cargo aircraft.

I wouldn’t normally go out of my way to promote something like this but it seemed a lot more interesting and worthwhile than the usual MIC state-terrorism flying bomb rubbish like Switchblade and the rest.

Posted by: anon2020 | Jul 27 2022 15:21 utc | 60

The agenda against China is likely trade war, not shooting war.
US is trying to create circumstances which impede trade with China and foster domestic manufacturing - undermining any trade agreements. So in this respect the US is trying to relieve itself of the yoke of the owners. China is trying to avoid giving support to this agenda and in anycase is hub of globalism and nwo - "do not sing...". Personally I support that effort and dont see it as neocon or mic based.

Taiwan is sovereign and US does not have authority to negotiate that point. US might support Taiwan in protecting its sovereignty. Provoking China in Taiwan, furthers above agenda but may not work for Taiwan. US failing to back Taiwan, would be serious failing of reliable ally. I hope US would not simply use Taiwan in another proxy war - they should refuse that role. The One China policy was big mistake - tell China we believe Taiwan has rightful claim to chinese mainland.

Posted by: jared | Jul 27 2022 15:21 utc | 61

One thing I do know and that is that the situation in 1948 was very complex and that the decision to pull put of the mandate by the UK government was unpopular in many quarters. Was it also significant that the Palestine Police withdrew in many cases to Malaya, where the 'Emergency' had just been declared? Of course Malaya produced rubber, tin and other minerals whereas Palestine....

Posted by: bevin | Jul 26 2022 20:48 utc | 47

According to the book Perfidy by Ben Hecht, the British had made a deal for access to the oil of Palestine's neighbors in exchange for making the eventual Jewish state more vulnerable to attack by those very neighbors. The latter included sinking vessels that were carrying refugees fleeing the Nazis, and using the "Jewish Agency" of Palestine to trick European Jews into boarding trains that were destined for the gas chambers.

It had been years since I'd read the book, but in revisiting selected passages last night, I got angry all over again. I mention this to prepare the prospective reader to be upset by the events recounted therein.

Posted by: David Levin | Jul 27 2022 15:43 utc | 62

Taiwan is not “sovereign”. Attempts to assert such will provoke a crisis much like Ukraine. Schisms in U.S. leadership are set to create a crisis within weeks, centered around proposed trip to the island by Pelosi. One faction says “don’t do it”, other factions decry “appeasing” the commies. Some voices propose securing a Pelosi visit with aircraft carriers, while hawkish Congressional figures assert that failure to see through the Pelosi provocation will itself lead to a foreign policy crisis ( which they will create). Major dysfunction on autopilot.

Posted by: jayc | Jul 27 2022 17:07 utc | 63

Does any financially savvy person know how/why gold is down, the dollar is up, inflation is high and supposedly employment is pretty much full (3.6% unemployment) but consumer confidence is in the basement?

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 27 2022 18:13 utc | 64

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 27 2022 14:01 utc | 60

Thank you for your reply.

I just found a page with list of UN resolutions and there was nothing there about Israel until 1948 and then recognition of the country in 1949 so I think my impression - formed years ago for reasons can no longer recall - may be off though of course many of the big ticket items you mentioned essentially set up the new post WWII financial/bankster order which is finally being challenged this year.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 27 2022 18:30 utc | 65

Russia fired a missile at an Israeli jet (intentionally did not hit it)

Remember, Syria shot down an Israeli F-35 jet with a 40 year old S-250 missile some years ago, and Russia told Syria to stop helping the Israelis by letting them know how bad the F-35 is.

Posted by: Carl | Jul 27 2022 18:50 utc | 66

TASS has published a good article about some interesting archeology being conducted in the arctic where a very curious wooden vessel was found and has now been excavated, "Ancient Pomors boat found at the end of the earth. Why it is so important for history. It was very refreshing to read something completely different from our ongoing regime. Our Norse and Finnish barflies IMO will be interested in this.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 27 2022 20:43 utc | 67

A wonderful speech for peace
English subtitles

Posted by: Stella | Jul 27 2022 20:58 utc | 68

Does any financially savvy person know how/why gold is down, the dollar is up, inflation is high and supposedly employment is pretty much full (3.6% unemployment) but consumer confidence is in the basement?

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 27 2022 18:13 utc | 66

For years, an organization called the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) has been copiously documenting the manipulation of the gold price, primarily by central banks. GATA is hardly the only one to expose this activity; it just happens to be the author of most of the material I see on the subject.

I've read that governments routinely manipulate other financial indicators also. To the extent that this is true, it would go far in explaining why those indicators don't seem to reflect consumers' day-to-day experience.

Posted by: David Levin | Jul 27 2022 21:30 utc | 69

Regarding "the wavenumber 5 pattern" -- five high-pressure omega loops in the northern hemisphere's jet stream, undergirding long summer heat waves...

How Is the Jet Stream Connected to Simultaneous Heat Waves Across the Globe?

Dim Coumou, a climate scientist at VU Amsterdam, said there are two important patterns in the jet stream in summer—with five waves, or with seven waves—that tend to remain in the same place when they form. “If such wave patterns become stagnant and persist over longer periods, then we typically see simultaneous heatwaves,” he said.

A growing body of research is trying to answer the question of how exactly the jet stream is being changed by global warming and what this means for future weather patterns. [more]

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jul 27 2022 21:41 utc | 70

For a moment, I’d like to consider the Pope’s visit to Canada in a geopolitical context. Because there are some intriguing bits here.

Right now the Pope is in Quebec City where (among other activities), he will meet with the Governor General, Mary Simon. Who represents the Queen in Canada of course. And, according to the Vatican News, in England, the 15th Lambeth Conference just started in Canterbury.

“The most important event of the Anglican Communion gathering bishops from across the world every ten years runs from 26 July to 8 August on the theme "God’s Church for God’s World"”

PM Trudeau will have an audience with the Pope and he’ll also meet with the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Pietro Parolin.

This is not to take away from the significance of the apology (which well exceeded what I expected - one gets conditioned to official apologies after a while, and this was well past that for me and I was quite emotional over it although I spent little time, a few months only, in residential school) and his other steps to bridge the gap between the Vatican and the Indigenous peoples of Canada. It’s just might be a larger event than the large event that it already is.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jul 27 2022 22:43 utc | 71

@ 73 - Pure speculation on my part - but this might come up in those conversations, missing mother and 7 year old son

“Walker has been chief of staff at the FSIN for almost 10 years. Also known as Dawn Dumont Walker, she's a well-known author in Saskatchewan and ran for the federal Liberal Party in Saskatoon in 2021.”

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jul 27 2022 23:27 utc | 72

@ David Levin #71

Thank you. I take it by your answer that you doubt the figures or that various elements (like gold) are being manipulated. It's also possible that they reflect reality which is not well aligned with many narratives. One never knows these days - if indeed one ever did.

Speaking of the past, this is an excellent piece by Cynthia Chung on the Saker site.

Liberty for All?

“Two systems are before the world; the one looks to increasing the proportion of persons and of capital engaged in trade and transportation, and therefore to diminishing the proportion engaged in producing commodities with which to trade, with necessarily diminished return to the labor of all; while the other looks to increasing the proportion engaged in the work of production, and diminishing that engaged in trade and transportation, with increased return to all, giving to the laborer good wages, and to the owner of capital good profits… One looks to pauperism, ignorance, depopulation, and barbarism; the other in increasing wealth, comfort, intelligence, combination of action, and civilization. One looks towards universal war; the other towards universal peace. One is the English system; the other we may be proud to call the American system, for it is the only one ever devised the tendency of which was that of elevating while equalizing the condition of man throughout the world.”

– Henry C. Carey, Harmony of Interests, 1851

That dynamic continues though the Brits bad system co-opted the emerging new American system (which some believe JFK was trying to revive hence the great distress felt by various key world leaders when he joined the assassination list illustrated by an image in the article after this intro:

"The Three Principles of the People by Sun Yat-sen and The National System of Political Economy by Friedrich List were both modelled off of American System economics.

It was crystal clear that the leadership of the world had embarked upon a common path and was desirous to enter a new age where slavery might truly become a thing of the past; that the individual was from henceforth to be seen as sacrosanct, that after centuries of brutal war the world was finally ready for peace and was willing to uphold liberty and freedom for all.

Was it just a dream?

No, it was not just a dream, although it was just as fleeting. The reason for this is found in the list of names below."

The older I get and despite having studied relative and absolute truth and other arcana the old Manichean good vs evil seem rather accurate regarding political affairs. Perhaps internally we all can go both ways so separating one from another in that zone is too draconian or simplistic, but when writ large on the blackboard of major events, it really does seem like there is a primordial struggle in Middle Earth between two differing vectors, one which promotes growth, prosperity, good lives and the other which obstructs the same.

We have to put the past behind and move forward together following the inexorable arc of history which has been moving towards some sort of mixed system which balances order, creativity, market principles, private initiative, individual and state sovereignty and world cooperation without hegemonic power structures. The vision has been there for a while but whenever something like that arises into view it is perceived as the next target, something to be brought low by those motivated to tear things down. A confrontation is now underway and let's hope the destroyers who make those lists above happen don't get their way this time, although for sure they are trying and for sure they will never give up.

Well: here's to Victory of the Good Guys!

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 27 2022 23:31 utc | 73

Scorpion | Jul 27 2022 18:13 utc | 66


JPMorgan Chase and Citibank Hold 90 Percent of All Gold and Other Precious Metals Derivatives Held by All U.S. Banks

What did anyone expect these banks to do ? Hanging paper as a trade goes way back.

And BTW: it makes perfect sense that N. American systemically important banks would encourage their captured US Fed to raise interest rates, take down the Euro Zone banks and defend US sovereignty so they can continue to ..................................... This makes them enemas of DAVOS.

2021 List of Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIBs)

Nothing to see here.

Basel 3 re unallocated gold has never been enforced; $200 bn LBMA per day buys a lotta regulators.

And as the crisis proved, banks do not always hold their side of the bargain in times of economic distress. This is what Basel III is trying to prevent.

Unallocated gold is the most widely traded form of gold in the world and is thought to take up to 95% of gold business – in London alone, the amount traded daily is worth about $200bn– but the new Basel III regime means that banks are required to put up 85% of the value of unallocated gold in cash. Before Basel III, it was 0%.

The ramifications of these changes are huge. They mean that the entire trading, clearing, financing and settlement infrastructure of unallocated gold becomes exponentially more expensive. Unallocated gold, or “paper” gold, is classified as more risky than physical gold, and no longer counts as an asset like bars or coins. Subsequently, some bullion providers and other institutions may have to stop offering unallocated gold and close these parts of their businesses.

Posted by: pogohere | Jul 28 2022 1:39 utc | 74

Posted by: pogohere | Jul 28 2022 1:39 utc | 76

Thanks for your reply. Sounds like the regulatory changes about unallocated gold might change things in terms of the general ease of large houses using derivatives to push down prices which otherwise might rise.

I don't have a dog in the fight having decided to divide my modest holdings between cash and land. I just don't want to deal with anything that a child can't understand I guess!! (Although I still love looking at futures charts for some reason....)

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 28 2022 3:52 utc | 75

@48 Juliania: You said " We have leadership arising from experience right now; it's not perfect but it is good".

May I ask which leadership you're referring to?

May I also ask: What is your definition of "leadership"?

Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | Jul 27 2022 0:15 utc | 51

Sorry to be so late getting back to your questions, Tom. Simply I meant the leadership from Russia and China in pointing towards multipolarity and sovereignty for each nation large and small in choosing their own leadership - so it can be very different depending on that. And it would be leadership that is chosen by the populations in whatever democratic structure each finds suitable, so as I've said, one size does not fit all and it ought not to be imposed from the more powerful other nations. The common element to such leadership would be an adherence to international law as properly exemplified through the UN rather than the west's 'rule based order' which in any language sounds false and contrived - best termed manipulation.

Hope that helps.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 28 2022 4:11 utc | 76

Psychohistorian, at 89 on the current Ukraine thread you posted a thought contained in the following extract:-

"... If Pelosi is stupid enough to take an armada and other congress critters to Taiwan, I expect the response to be swift and decisive.

Part of me continues to question whether this whole geopolitical transition has been agreed to behind the scenes and we are just seeing the instantiation of some agreement, as brutal as it may seem..."

I just had a thought reading that, so hurried myself over here -- this big hoohah on Pelosi's part, what if all it is is payback? Payback for what happened a while back when the Chinese delegation came to Alaska. Then it was a war of words, and we discussed it - pretty clear the Chinese won that round. That had to rankle, especially with wordy Congresspeople who would after all be chafing at the bit to do the same from a similar podium, an entity like Alaska for the US, Taiwan - perfect! Only this time, China doesn't want to play.

But, but - it's her turn!

(Oh, where is Molly Ivins when we need her so badly? Come back, Molly!)

Posted by: juliania | Jul 28 2022 5:23 utc | 77

Kim Jong-Un just made a speech saying he is ready to fight the USA. Interesting timing.

Pelosi's trip to Taiwan is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for China to liberate the island of Taiwan and North Korea to unify the Korean Peninsula.

Posted by: Ghan-buri-Ghan | Jul 28 2022 6:30 utc | 78

karlof1 | Jul 27 2022 20:43 utc | 69

The old boats hold some interest for me. The aboriginal people of Australia arrived here 50 to 60,000 years ago. They had to cross a section of ocean to do so. Sea travel I suspect was relatively common in the times before Noah and the great climate change.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 28 2022 6:40 utc | 79

Posted by: David Levin | Jul 27 2022 21:30 utc | 71

David, It is not hard to manipulate (fake ) the unemployment figures.

Once upon a time “full-employment “ was considered to be around Five percent unemployment , but that was at a time of full time hours being the majority experience of most workers. Since the Seventies at least, casualisation of work ending up in the “ gig “economy of today , has accelerated , mostly due to employers “screwing “ workers out of pay and conditions with usually globalist governments of both the Left and Right turning a blind eye .

It didn’t help that in my country the government considers anyone working at least one hour a week ,as employed or that one hour being “ a job “ . So it is easy to have a nation of people underemployed and only able to only find one hour a week to work , or working two to three such casual jobs , but STILL unable to survive with any dignity ,as none of those conditions adds up to the security and pay of yesteryear.

I disgusts me when my government says we have the best employment figures in over thirty- fifty years when it is patently a lie , and the measure means nothing. It is sadder still , that ninety percent of people here , or I presume in the Western World , do not know how their gov measures unemployment , and I can bet money on the fact that the government will never introduce this important measure of economic activity into any school curriculum in a hurry. Why would they ? If people in large numbers learned about this , every politician would be pelted with rotten eggs and fruit for decades to come.

Posted by: Brother Ma | Jul 28 2022 8:08 utc | 80

Many here seem a bit quick to welcome the decline of "the west", without clarifying or thinking through what that really means. All that is needed is a major purge at the political and hyper-financial level and the west will be just fine.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 26 2022 13:51 utc | 20

Given the fact that it would need the resources of 3.5 / 4 planet Earth's to enable the rest of the world to consume (as they no doubt aspire to) at the level of the west, then it is essential that the west declines. As it is presently doing.

Posted by: Jams O'Donnell | Jul 28 2022 8:24 utc | 81

The common element to such leadership would be an adherence to international law as properly exemplified through the UN rather than the west's 'rule based order' which in any language sounds false and contrived - best termed manipulation.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 28 2022 4:11 utc | 78

Seems to me that adherence to international law exemplified through the UN.. defines strategy and morality but not leadership.. and it also defines positioning of self within the global schema as one of the members, not as dictator over, but as a contributor to. I agree all of all of this is experience imposed. but

Leadership is confirmed by the size and intensity of those who willingly and spontaneously follow but confirmation does not define leadership..

Leadership is the marshalling of minds and behaviors into a common channel of thoughts and actions. One measure of leadership involves degrees or percent of symbiosis between the proposals and commitment of the leader and the agreement and willingness to the commitments expressed by followers.

does this not fit into your definition somehow?

Posted by: snake | Jul 28 2022 11:27 utc | 82

Good morning to the bar. I’d like to again touch on the Pope’s visit to Canada and it’s geopolitical significance.

After a long (and tortuous) night, I am asking: is the Pope’s current embrace of Indigenous Catholicism in Canada (and he deferred to the guidance of UNDRIP), a declaration that Catholicism will no longer be the exclusive property of Western European civilization? And this, no longer a tool in the hands of imperialists? I think even the Italians have complained about that. From the unipolar to the multi.

This could be posted in the Ukraine thread because if that is the case, it has implications for what’s happening there. (Poland, Hungary, Romania)

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jul 28 2022 12:03 utc | 83

@Bemildred #32

You said

I think the essential point is that in order for the rich to stay as rich as they are, the poor must be kept poor as they are.

Sorry for the slow reply - getting slammed by multiple forensic accounting/expert witness cases including a pretty interesting one involving the life expectancy of a (now) 90 year old white male as a major factor in the restitution for taxes paid on an improper asset sale.

As for the above: I don't actually agree, depending on your definition of "rich".
To me, "rich" is $10M+ net liquid assets. People at that level - it doesn't matter if poor people are more or less poor - they don't deal with poor people at all. I know several personally, so this isn't just theory.

Consider that someone at that level is receiving $30K a month minimum - and their housing is already paid for. Does it really matter if minimum wage is $7 or $50?
I'm not saying no "rich" person ever cares, but I am saying the vast majority - it doesn't matter the least bit. They don't eat at McDonald's (minimum wage workers) - they eat at Michelin star restaurants (no minimum wage workers). Furthermore, if the US minimum wage magically went to $30/hr - would that make any material difference to the Wal-mart heirs wealth? I say no.

Corporations can be a different story; Walmart and other retailers are 100% benefiting from minimum wage repression. And while the Walmart heirs certainly are benefiting from this repression - I am seriously doubtful they are playing a direct role in it. Rather, it is the Walmart corporate structure which is doing so: the $100K store managers, the $200K regional managers, the $400K top executives etc etc.

So it is really the "retainers" of the rich - the managers and corporate officers in Walmart for the Walmart heirs, the Amazons, etc that are charged with the labor cost repression. Yes, a bit of semantics but important IMO because it is evidence that labor repression isn't a handful of Bill Gates types sitting in a cabal in a room somewhere (Bilderberg!), but rather the far larger PMC classes of which a very large proportion serve these "rich" people. Using the $30 minimum wage example above - the Wal-Mart heirs wealth is not materially impacted but the PMC retainers definitely would be...

Thus changing the wealth distribution dynamic is far harder because you're not going up against said handful of "rich" people, you are going up against the most powerful, best emplaced technocrats and bureaucrats etc in the entire system who are charged with "them (the poor) or us".
Kind of like the proverbial Jewish tax collectors in the feudal era, except back then you only needed the tax collector and a few armored soldiers. Today, you need government bureaucrats, politicians, lawyers, various "experts", etc etc.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 28 2022 12:54 utc | 84

@Hoarsewhisperer #36
That is interesting, but what could the "bump" possibly be doing to induce a change in Alzheimer's effect?

This explainer on concussions says

A concussion weakens your brain’s ability to make and supply energy for healing. To make matters worse, a concussed brain needs more energy than normal to restore balance and heal. This gap between your lower energy supply and higher energy demand explains why you may feel extremely tired after a concussion.

Makes me wonder if a non-concussion brain jolt causes just enough damage to stimulate the energy level in the brain - thus offsetting Alzheimer's to some extent.

I guess one way to test might be to try hard core stimulants - i.e. meth?

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 28 2022 13:01 utc | 85

@pretzelattack #38

I'm always happy to see a factual response, but I am equally always dismissive of moronic drive-by ad hominem.

Go back to Twitter, yo.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 28 2022 13:03 utc | 86

@psychohistorian #41

You said

The future is here, it is just not evenly distributed.

This is an over-used and, at the same time, meaningless trope.

I don't so much care where it came from as much as the way in which it describes succinctly the disjointed nature of human advancement. IMO, we are in a watershed moment of our species potential evolution and, as I sense it, in that whiplash period when all the pent up energy finally overcomes the inertia of centuries of a dead end.

It speaks well of our species that a revolution is under way to move beyond the barbarism of our past. I encourage folks to look ahead, not back and share dreams about what we can become.

While I am curious what you specifically mean by barbarism (capitalism? US as world hegemon? feudalism? West vs. ROW?), ultimately I do not share your future-is-always-progress view.

The US talked the same talk, back when it was pushing to displace Pax Brittanica, as China is doing so today.

It very much remains to be seen if the 3rd and later generation CCP families will retain the revolutionary ethics of their forefathers.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 28 2022 13:09 utc | 87

It will be very difficult for the administration of Taiwan to refuse to accept the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the US Congress Nancy Pelosi. But if this visit takes place, the island's authorities will feel all the wrath of Beijing - said South China Morning Post newspaper.

So as soon as the us carrier started going towards China the visit is acceptable. "Wrath of Beijing" will be an angry fortune cookie?
When trump gets back, soon after elections and impeachment of grandpa, he'll attack China or even nuke them just to weaken Russia by removing an ally, then Iran.

Posted by: rk | Jul 28 2022 13:09 utc | 88

@zet #52
I have zero worries about the Metaverse EVER amounting to anything more than a very expensive version of high-end gaming.
The hardware is brutally expensive, the software is even more so - this means that the fundamental economic basis of the Metaverse is thus never going to be anything more than the equivalent of the $5K gaming rig today: a toy for the rich and the obsessed, but irrelevant to anybody else.
I understand why FB is doing Meta - Matt Stoller put it perfectly accurately: FB/Meta is being squeezed out of its core markets because it is an app in an app-store dominated world.
Apple has taken back its control over the privacy/data of its users; it is inconceivable that Google and Microsoft won't do the same.

Meta represents the possibility of creating a whole new platform in which FB/Meta owns the app store, owns the hardware platform, owns the OS, etc etc.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 28 2022 13:15 utc | 89

@psychohistorian #54
You are focusing on the wrong problem: what to do once the power is passed.

The real problem is the incompetent fucks in power aren't using it well and won't give it up.

As I have repeatedly said: this isn't a handful of people.

It isn't a delusion in the top 5%, either: It is the 5%'s rice bowl, now and in the future. The problems we see now didn't arise magically, they are the outcome of the 5% getting their pre-eminence in the economy and society, and this can only be pried from their cold, dead hands - metaphorically or literally.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 28 2022 13:19 utc | 90

@anon2020 #61
A major problem with "swarm" controls is that they are even more reliant on communications than normal drones.
Jam those, and what do you have? Soon to be not-flying garbage.
The noise level from masses of continuously communicating entities is also high, hence detectability is very high. Not a great feature in a combat system, especially one primarily useable only for surveillance.

The Predators, etc have the payload to carry and fire a Hellfire missile - which are 45 kg all by itself meaning 25% heavier than the entire Altius drone you reference.

I am also highly amused because the Russians have an Altius drone too - only that one is like 13000 pounds...

My sense is that the sales drone (lol) market materials you have served up are primarily to sell this Western Altius system to the US military to use against goat herders with AKs.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 28 2022 13:30 utc | 91

Posted by: David Levin | Jul 27 2022 21:30 utc | 71

David, It is not hard to manipulate (fake ) the unemployment figures.

Indeed, and in post #71 I probably should have explained further (such as you've done, thanks).

Posted by: David Levin | Jul 28 2022 13:31 utc | 92

@Scorpion #66

You said

how/why gold is down, the dollar is up, inflation is high and supposedly employment is pretty much full (3.6% unemployment) but consumer confidence is in the basement?

I have repeatedly noted that gold actually does badly when interest rates rise. The difference between the "security" of holding gold (i.e. it never goes to zero) vs. the interest gained on dollars in a bond - Treasury or worse - is not a bad tradeoff when interest rates are ZIRP, but changes as the effective Fed Funds (EFF) rate increases.

The dollar - you are referencing the dollar index.
The dollar is not up vs. the RMB or the ruble.
The dollar is up against the Five Eyes/EU/Japan = US stooges.
The dollar is up vs. the 3rd world although commodity exporters are net cash flow vastly improved; the moronic ones who borrowed in dollars are now going to get it good and hard.
The dollar is not up vs. the gallon of milk or gasoline, the pound of chicken, the other forms of anything consumable today vs. last year.

As for employment and consumer confidence: net worker earning are negative for the past 8? 9? months now?
Because even as absolute earnings are increasing at historically high rates, inflation has been increasing at even higher historically high rates.
John and Jane, Americans, are finding that their biggest ever paychecks are still leaving them ever more short at the end of the month - after paying for food, gasoline, utility bills, housing - i.e. life.
Hans and Lili, Europeans, have it even worse.
Hideki and Tomoko aren't much better off than Hans and Lili.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 28 2022 13:39 utc | 93

NC is on a roll today:

Left In The Dark: the families struggling to survive fuel poverty

“We used to put £20 a week in and now it’s more like 50,” says Steve, discussing his family’s pre-paid electric meter. “That’s how bad it’s got, so we just knocked everything off. There’s nights where we just sit there in the dark.”


Gas usage is even more rationed in Steve’s home, in the forgotten outskirts of Cardiff. Last winter, there were only three weeks where the family put the radiators on.


A week after we met, Steve’s worst fears appeared to be confirmed. Martin Lewis, the founder of the Money Saving Expert financial website, warned that household energy costs could increase by a further 64% in October, with the energy price cap having already risen by 54% in April.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has predicted that households on the lowest incomes will be forced to spend 26% of their budget after housing costs on gas and electricity in 2023/24, compared to just 12% two years previously.


Helen reveals another alarming statistic: 90% of those who reach out to the grant scheme are women – the majority of them single mothers.

The mums she speaks to do not heat their homes during the day in winter, instead layering up to survive in a cold house so that they can put the radiators on for a bit when their children come home from school.

Even so, Helen says many kids “regularly keep their coats on at home until they go to bed”.

In the summer, many families eat only cold meals, so as not to use energy on heating up food. “But in the winter, when it’s gonna be hot meals, and you need the heating on, I just don’t know how it’s going to be possible for people,” Helen says.


Mags, a pensioner, has had to dramatically reduce what she eats – now receiving all her food from The Pantry, for just £5 a week. She says she doesn’t know where she’d be without the service.

Although her doctor recommends she eats cooked vegetables and fish because of her diabetes, Mags can’t afford the electricity to turn the oven on, explaining she has “a sandwich instead of a hot meal now”.

There are many, many more such stories in the article.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 28 2022 13:50 utc | 94

More fun with energy

Back To The Future

Well, they didn’t exactly discover coal – it had been known for centuries that coal could be a useful fuel – but they did learn that, with a bit of tinkering, coal could replace wood in many important applications. They also recognized that they had a lot of it. With a higher energy density than wood, coal is a superior fuel that ultimately enabled meaningful improvements in the British economy. Trees could be preserved for construction purposes, homes could be more efficiently heated, and companies could leapfrog their competitors – foreign and domestic alike – by retooling to accommodate the new fuel. What followed was a decades-long economic boom.

It is now well understood that the wide adoption of primary fuels with high energy density enables better standards of living.


The first rung up the Doomberg Ladder™ represents wood, followed by coal, oil, and methane (natural gas). Here’s a key passage from that piece (emphasis added throughout):

“It makes intuitive sense that if we are using carbon-based materials as a source of energy, we’d want to be at the highest rung possible. This is, in fact, how societies evolve. Wood burning gives way to coal, which eventually gives way to oil and then natural gas as societies can afford cleaner environments.”


it might surprise our readers to learn that the European Union and Britain are not only incentivizing a return to the primitive concept of burning wood for energy on a massive scale, but they also claim doing so is carbon neutral (spoiler alert: it isn’t, not even close). Nearly 40% of Europe’s so-called renewable energy is currently obtained by combusting wood, and a sizable portion of what’s being burned is derived from clearcutting forests in the US. In a farce so perverted and obscene that it can only be the work of bloated and arrogant bureaucracies, a carbon accounting loophole is causing huge amounts of CO2 to be pumped into the atmosphere today that will take decades to abate using natural means.

NC calculation of European likelihood of surviving without Russian gas (even partial cutoff). Short summary: ain't gonna happen

The Gang That Can't Shoot Straight

Nord Stream 1 supplied roughly 55 billion cubic meters annually to Europe (I have seen varying estimates of total buys from Russia, ranging from 140 billion cubic meters to 155 billion).


So Gazprom has further cut its supply to 33 million cubic meters a day (yes, a different time frame) versus pipeline capacity of 160 million cubic meters a day. So a bit over 20%.

So let’s go back to the annual math. 55 billion cubic meters x an 80% reduction is 44 billion cubic meters[shortfall]


The part that EU leaders and the press conveniently omit is that the EU has lost 34 billion cubic meters of thanks to no fault of Russia. That’s the annual supply that went formerly through Yamal-Europe.


First, it’s effective in the event of a complete shutoff of Russian gas. Russia is still providing 12 billion cubic meters a year to Europe though TurkStream, and apparently also another 14 billion cubic meters of LNG (note all the sources I have identified so far are at least 26 billion cubic meters short, so there appear to be other gas routes missing…). Na ga happen unless the EU makes it happen.

Second, the EU “vowed” to lower gas consumption by 15% from August 1 to the end of March, or 45 billion cubic meters.

Did you miss the elephant in the room? To lower gas consumption starting August 1, as in next Monday, the EU would have had to have started on detailed planning and implementation, particularly legal and regulatory, at least six months ago! This plan is a con.

Third, the math also does not appear to work. problem is they’ve already lost Yamal-Europe, and it will be nearly a full year of supply by the end of March next year, so 34 billion cubic meters from that alone. The problems with Gazprom will be less than a full year, so assume 3/4 of a year of 60% loss. That’s another 25 billion cubic meter shortfall. So they plan to cut 45 billion cubic meters when they look likely to be nearly 60 billion cubic meters short. There were optimistic projection that the US could provide 15 billion cubic meters of LNG but production facility outages and other issues make that look outdated.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 28 2022 13:59 utc | 95

BASF considers more ammonia production cuts

As I've noted before - the Haber Bosch process converts natural gas to ammonia. EU natural gas prices now are over $2000 per mcm (1000 cubic meters).

Ammonia + nitric acid (ammonia --> nitric acid via the Ostvald process) is where the majority of nitrogen fertilizer comes from. $2000+ mcm = $56.5+ mcf - to compare. US natural gas prices are in the $8 - $10 mcf range vs. the $2 - $4 mcf range during the shale boom.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 28 2022 14:02 utc | 96

pretzelattack@60 is correct in refuting the sleazy insinuations that Jews subverted the UN. In addition to things like the World Bank and the IMF (and the GATT,) what we could briefly call the Bretton Woods system, was begun in 1944. Other aspects like the termination of Lend-Lease; the onerous restrictions on the subsequent British Loan; the massive growth of US investment in oi countries like Saudi Arabia mattered greatly too and had no discernible relationship to Jewish agendas.

I would add that the provisions for spheres of influence also mattered a great deal. The most notable example was of course the Organization of American States, equally of course not called a sphere of influence.

pretzelattack@60 probably would not agree with me that the UN always represented the class-collaborationist internationalism of the US. It may have been a mistake even then for the USSR ever to have acceded to its pretensions of legitimacy. But I cannot be too dogmatic about the difficulty of openly confronting the US after the hideous casualties of WWII. I can say that sowing illusions about the UN now, is a disservice to humanity. Trying to cite some illusory version of history where the UN really was the peaceful collaboration between sovereign nations, as opposed to the supposed evil of a "rules-based order" is nonsense. It's all something like those sad people who swear that if you just stayed with the original Constitution and skipped all those corrupt laws added on, it would all be wonderful. It was never wonderful. Maybe better. People who peddle stories about how something great was magically, mystically stolen by evil forces and conspiracies should always be distrusted, as stupid if not outright dishonest. If the past was so great, why did it go away? The invocation of enemies with terrible powers of subversion that can overrule all "us" decent people is a mainstay of fascist thinking, too. Nobody's consistent but clarity and consistency in politics is part of being effective. Being confused and incoherent in your work makes it ineffective.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 28 2022 14:38 utc | 97

PS And by the way, the bad results of the recognition of Israel as a Zionist state were also perceived as a defeat of British imperialism, a good thing. The worst results weren't so obvious then. The real turning point in the subversion of the UN in a political/military sense was of course the Korean war. This was so huge it's bizarre to ignore it, to chase shadowy conspiracies by the forces of evil (aka Jews by people of a fascist or cryptofascist bent.)

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 28 2022 14:42 utc | 98

This doesn't sound as very democratic.

The Trail of Tears was a series of forced displacements of approximately 60,000 American Indians of the "Five Civilized Tribes" between 1830 and 1850 by the United States government. Part of the Indian removal, the ethnic cleansing was gradual, occurring over a period of nearly two decades. Members of the so-called "Five Civilized Tribes"—the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations (including thousands of their black slaves)—were forcibly removed from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States to areas to the west of the Mississippi River that had been designated Indian Territory. The forced relocations were carried out by government authorities after the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830. The Cherokee removal in 1838 (the last forced removal east of the Mississippi) was brought on by the discovery of gold near Dahlonega, Georgia, in 1828, resulting in the Georgia Gold Rush.

The relocated peoples suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while en route to their newly designated Indian reserve. Thousands died from disease before reaching their destinations or shortly after. According to Native American activist Suzan Shown Harjo of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, the event constituted a genocide, although this label has been rejected by historian Gary Clayton Anderson.

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) is an epidemic of violence against Indigenous women in Canada, the United States, and Latin America; notably those in the FNIM (First Nations, Inuit, Métis) and Native American communities.

One in three Indigenous women is sexually assaulted during her life, and 67% of these assaults are perpetrated by non-Indigenous perpetrators.

Posted by: Alef | Jul 28 2022 15:24 utc | 99

@ c1ue @ 87.
(Concussion & Alzheimers)

Concussion can be serious or mild. If a c-event leads to loss of consciousness, even briefly, it's considered to be serious by the practitioners and advocates of Sports Medicine.

The concussions suffered by my relative were always well short of this benchmark although they usually left facial bruises. An early theory focused on loss of brain mass and research focussed on the detritus produced by the degradation of brain tissue. This detritus tended to gather in cavities where it was thought to disrupt the normal electrical activity in the brain. That's the basis of my theory - stir up the clumps of disruptive detritus.

One of the downsides of Modern Medical tosh is the desire to find a chemical solution to every problem. It may be that brain problems can be treated with enlightened physiotherapy.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 28 2022 16:24 utc | 100

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