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January 24, 2022

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The article you link suggests this as a solution:
...the Biden Administration could save face by agreeing to a moratorium on new NATO memberships for the next 15 years..

That does rather echo the Moscow line.

Moscow warns Finland and Sweden against joining Nato amid rising tensions
https://eutoday.net/news/security-defence/2021/moscow-warns-finland-and-sweden-against-joining-nato-amid-rising-tensions

And why Minsk II perhaps isn't going to be the basis for a settlement to the current crisis:
https://www.chathamhouse.org/2020/05/minsk-conundrum-western-policy-and-russias-war-eastern-ukraine-0/minsk-2-agreement

Thanks for putting this up. (I had been procrastinating on writing something on the issue as well.)

Any discussion on resolving the crisis has to start with recognizing just how bad a situation Putin is in. The Russian economy is a mess. For that and other reasons, his popularity is at an all time low. And, police state apparatus notwithstanding, Russians are increasingly willing to publicly make their dissatisfaction known.

Putin's go-to approach to regaining popular support is a foreign adventure. Invading Georgia worked. Invading Crimea worked. The invasion of parts of Ukraine worked. (Even if officially not involving Russian troops, nobody in Russia believed that for a minute.)

But all of those put the Russian military up against weak to nonexistent military opposition. Today's Ukrainian army, while nowhere near the equal of Russia's, is at a whole different level of training, equipment, etc. than it was even a couple of years ago. And while Ukrainian topography isn't as favorable as, say, Afghanistan's, the demographics are substantially better for a guerrilla resistance. So it could be a long and nasty campaign.

Plus, the Russian army, while large, does not have unlimited resources. And events in Kazakhstan have drawn off significant troops in order to support the current regime there. Leaving fewer resources to subdue Ukraine after a possible invasion. Although a strictly air borne and artillery approach could limit casualties, it also would be less politically helpful than actually grabbing territory.

And finally, instead of a fanboy in the White House, Putin is looking at a US government which is far less compliant, and far more competent diplomatically. Which means the economic cost to Russia (not to mention the potential personal financial cost to Putin and the kleptocrats who support him) will be far higher.

Overall, the man is in a tough spot. He doesn't have any good options. It comes down to what he decides will be the least bad one.

Is something interesting happening overseas?

"instead of a fanboy in the White House"

Correcting the "instead" in that sentence is Putin's primary geopolitical target.

"Is something interesting happening overseas?"

Oh, it's domestic, right up our noses in our subhuman traitorous vermin conservative movement backyard.

ttps://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/20/us/politics/ted-cruz-biden-ukraine.html

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/newt-threatens-jail-for-jan-6th-investigators

Civil Fucking War on every street in pigfucking conservative dogshit America.

I found these two Twitter threads useful as they're trying to see things from Putin's perspective:

https://twitter.com/DAlperovitch/status/1473362460673515527

https://twitter.com/DAlperovitch/status/1485241734925897728

The best (semi-realistic) scenario, from a Ukrainian point of view, would be a warming trend, which keeps the ground from freezing significantly. Meaning that the ability of Russian tanks and other heavy equipment to roll across the border is restricted. (The need to wait for the ground to freeze hard is the reason predicted dates for the invasion have, for months, been February.) Unfortunately, not much the Ukrainian government can do to warm things up.

No, they did not "fire back". They flapped their twitter lips back, pointlessly.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/1/24/2076444/-Gingrich-channels-Trump-with-threat-to-jail-Jan-6-committee-members

Only firing back, in the full literal, no-air-quotes sense of the English language, the kind vermin conservatives routinely threaten, is going to save America.

Fiona Hill, via LGM:

"In the 1990s, the United States and NATO forced Russia to withdraw the remnants of the Soviet military from their bases in Eastern Europe, Germany and the Baltic States. Mr. Putin wants the United States to suffer in a similar way. From Russia’s perspective, America’s domestic travails after four years of President Donald Trump’s disastrous presidency, as well as the rifts he created with U.S. allies and then America’s precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan, signal weakness. If Russia presses hard enough, Mr. Putin hopes he can strike a new security deal with NATO and Europe to avoid an open-ended conflict, and then it will be America’s turn to leave, taking its troops and missiles with it."

Putin and Trump get all they wanted.

America is fucked and with it Democracy, and with thoroughly stolen elections before us as far as the eye can see, it will stay fucked with a low tax fascist subhuman regime.

Kill the conservative movement.

It is an evil, traitorous Beast.

This could make for some fun times / hysterics. As you may know, the US has some 100 troops in Ukraine as trainers for the Ukraine military. What you may not know (I certainly didn't) is that those troops are from the Florida National Guard. Picture DeSantis' reaction if/when hostilities break out.

"Picture DeSantis' reaction if/when hostilities break out."

OK.

He'll arrest Florida school teachers for letting a black first grader boast in broad daylight that her Dad is one of the Florida Guard getting his ass kicked and his life matters.

He'll send a team of veterinarians from Florida's alligator control Unit to de-worm the Florida Guard members in the Ukraine with ivermectin to treat their war wounds.

He'll order the Guard members back stateside and deputize them into his Election Surveillance Guard to enforce free and fair elections and with orders to regard blacks and other minorities approaching polling stations next Fall as invading Communist and UN troops.

He'll cancel the Guard members' health coverage because they were vaccinated against polio, hepatitis, tuberculosis, shingles, and conservative canine distemper before winging off on their mission.

He'll fire the rest of the Florida State Health Department for whatever it is he will fire them for, maybe because they are healthy.

He'll drain the rest of the Everglades to make way for a luxury housing development and golf club, Mar-a-Potemkin with exclusive membership limited to wealthy Russian oligarchs disguised as Ukrainian troops practicing their war games in a 20 square mile mock-up of Washington DC.

Here's a picture: Federal troops surrounding the Florida Governor' manse and hauling DeSantis, on the martial law order of President Joe Biden, blindfolded and hog-tied into the street and executed by firing squad and his bullet-riddled body left to rot in the Florida heat like some former Eastern European Kremlin lackey.

Then the Governor of Texas will re-christen HIS ranch the Alamo and he'll pull up all of the wheelchair ramps and then the real goddamned fun can commence.


I think I posted something yesterday that went into spam. This is a different post. Also, as with yesterday, mostly just a recommended link.

https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2022/01/20/spooks-russia-and-disinformation/

That went through. Here is another link.

https://postsocialism.org/2022/01/10/the-russia-pundit-problem/

https://www.eschatonblog.com/2022/01/these-assholes-are-trying-to-kill-your.html

No matter how many of the conservative movement death cult who murder (just another term for freedom) themselves and their families with Covid-19, for every dead one (here's lookin at ya, Sarah Death Panel) they gain two more stolen votes via their utter corruption and destruction of the voting franchise across the country.

I believe they are counting on their legions of evil dead being resurrected to walk again and kill all representative government, kill the nation's public education system, and rule by fascist armed force.

It is the new fake math of the vermin resurrected.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCTwcbTOnlU

The genocidal conservative, crypto-religious, crypto-libertarian Republican Party movement must be terminated.

Every one of them.

Start here:

https://twitter.com/RightWingWatch?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1485719639137128455%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdigbysblog.net%2F

All civilized institutional rule-of-law impediments to these evil ones murdering all of us are melting away.

They're coming.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foFFwO06-tw

Robert Farley at LGM has this round up

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2022/01/russia-ukraine-roundup

Farley, as I read him, essentially supports my take: Putin is in a bad situation. He doesn't really have a good outcome -- absent a miracle replacing the Ukrainian government with one that he likes, but which Ukrainians are OK with.

In the real world, he needs a "least bad" outcome. And he needs it fast.

Farley's take is nuanced enough that I don't have a clear take away. The thing about Putin is that he seems to have a lot more levers, levers that we don't even seem to recognize. Donald's first link (the two should be read in reverse order) sort of poo poohs Carole Cadwalladr's reporting, suggesting she got played. While that is possible, I believe the problem is bigger than that, as she points out in her TED talks.

https://www.ted.com/talks/carole_cadwalladr_facebook_s_role_in_brexit_and_the_threat_to_democracy?language=en

I mentioned in the earlier thread about the guest post on Bari Weiss' substack from a 'mother and educator' Stacey Lance, whose appears on the scene as an anti-mask and anti-vax in Aug 2021. I wouldn't be surprised if she were fictitious (she seems to have no digital footprint up to that point) but even if she is 'real', multiply that by a big number and that seems to get at the situation we are in.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/mar/13/facebook-uncovers-russian-led-troll-network-based-in-west-africa

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/29/technology/russia-troll-farm-election.html

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/09/facebook-forced-troll-farm-content-on-over-40-of-all-americans-each-month/

The Morris piece seems to imply that there is Russian disinformation and British disinformation and it can be categorized by what it supports. The problem is that stance can't be determined from the stance the disinformation supports. It is disinformation to toss out some of the far-left red meat that wj is always horrified by, the point is to make sure that calm and considered discussion can't exist. Putin seems to have a much better grasp of that and I'm not sure what can be done to combat it short of making facebook, twitter and other similar outlets deal with it institutionally.

It is disinformation to toss out some of the far-left red meat that wj is always horrified by, the point is to make sure that calm and considered discussion can't exist.

It is. But a much bigger portion of the disinformation seems to be pseudo-far-left stuff that I'm not horrified by because nobody with two brain cells to rub together would believe even the far left endorses such things. Unfortunately, the number of those who are just that gullible, and just that stupid, is higher than one would like.

On the other hand, while that disinformation apparatus can cause problems for us, 2020 demonstrated that Putin doesn't have enough leverage to successfully protect his operation. We may decide to give up; he can't force us to. And at the moment, neither US faction wants to give up**; if anything, the reverse. I suspect that, on some level, Putin knows that.

** I don't see even Trump being willing to queer his own con by trying to turn his fans against it. Especially when Putin looks like becoming a . . . loser.

Maybe global warming will speed up (let's take a break from watching conservative vermin for decades stymie and halt all attempts to avert that disaster ... and now root for it) and the Russian tanks and heavy artillery will sink into the Ukraine mud.

Probably not.

Putin is a conservative, supported by sub-American conservatives (I expect Ayn Rand, Joe McCarthy, and William F. Buckley, like Trump, all Soviet double agents, would be supporting Putin too, if time hadn't already killed those assholes; too bad Pat Buchanan is still breathing his subhuman dragon breath over everything) as he has supported them in the wrecking and subversion of this country, and therefore I expect, once again, these vermin and Putin are underestimated by those hopeful that events will blow over, just missing us, as conservative darkness and killing falls over the world.

Putin, as with the subhuman murderous conservative movement in this country, has been setting the stage and planning their every malign move, dozens ahead of any moves we can envision, for decades and now they are implementing.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/jim-cooper-retirement-gop-district-redraw-nashville-tennessee

https://digbysblog.net/2022/01/25/dont-ask-dont-die/

Only savage violence here and abroad will halt this fucking Evil, but they know we haven't the will to abandon our fruitless search for and assumptions of good faith from their Evil.

Joe Biden is coming around to that, but it's too late.

Calling a dumb sonofabitch a dumb sonofabitch is progress but Biden should have produced a pistol and shot the dumb sonofabitch in the head as a message to Putin that his Pravda representatives at Murdoch News, who are subverting America on his behalf, will all be executed.

I notice they aren't siccing armed cocksucking right wing fat fuck conservatives to harass and intimidate and discriminate Russian nationals in this country, like they have on every other furriner they've fucking hated since time made a go of it.

Odd, ain't it, that those FOX vermin finally have a war they won't form a patriotic circle jerk over on behalf of their beloved defense budget and apple pie and freedom fries and the rest of the cheap-ass lying horseshit they've trotted every time a republican gets us in the shit.

And heck, I'm a commie liberal.

The "C"s in CCP, stand for "Conservative", too, but as Johnny Carson might say, "now that's some wild stuff".

Give me time. It all holds together.


Donald, the coverage of the Banks / Cadwalladr case in your link is so fundamentally one-sided that it amounts disinformation.

I'm all for a dispassionate, analytical approach towards regimes like Putin's, but this is not that.

It won't be liberal crossdressing school teachers doing Putin's dirty on American soil if push comes to shove.

https://digbysblog.net/2022/01/25/as-if-we-dont-have-enough-to-worry-about/

Put out the light, and then put out the light.

Fox News facilities around the country have their own generators, so they'll still be good to broadcast their traitorous poison.

I'm entertaining the notion that only a Holocaust can stop the coming Holocaust:

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2022/01/heart-like-a-maga-wheel

https://twitter.com/i/status/1485719639137128455

Oh lord, “disinformation”. Novakant, if you think the blogger is lying or misleading or whatever, just say that and if you have time,explain it or give a link. It might be bullshit for all I know. I have no love for Brexit fans, but am also not a fan of British journalism from what I have seen of it.

I have a pet peeve about “ disinformation”— it’s a word that suggests people are living in a spy novel. Lying, otoh, is just mundane, but it covers most of what people mean. So does “ bullshit”. So maybe the blog post was bullshit.

Btw, I know he used the term disinformation himself, but I think ironically. But that’s no excuse. The word is a linguistic plague.

much bigger portion of the disinformation seems to be

I don’t think or I know the extent of it, so we can’t say what ‘portion’ is what.

that disinformation apparatus can cause problems for us

The ‘purpose’ of disinformation is not to cause specific problems, it is to make the notion of reasoned debate and discussion moot. I don’t think Putin/Russia’s goal is to protect its operation. I suppose it is in the long run, but one shouldn’t think that the goal of disinformation is to convince people to support Russia (excluding Tucker carlson) the goal is to inject enough noise and hesitation so that no one knows what to do except the most easily swayed.

The ‘purpose’ of disinformation is not to cause specific problems, it is to make the notion of reasoned debate and discussion moot.

I disagree. Most* disinformation is intended to create a specific reaction.** A lot of it is inept enough that it only works on those already inclined to believe. But that's enough that those spewing it out (exclusive of the crazies who believe it themselves) keep hoping it wil do better next time.

* No, I don't have stats on that. But I still think the characterization is correct.
** Admittedly, sometimes just to generate audience for ratings. Cf Fox News.

Correction
I don’t think [you] or I know the extent of it

https://www.brookings.edu/techstream/how-disinformation-evolved-in-2020/

I think you are sure that most disinformation is designed for specific reactions in the same way you think that most of the country is cool with interracial marriage.

Perhaps it might be more helpful to look at this as game theory. If I can do something that has my opponent hesitate, thus reducing the time they have to make a move, it doesn't really matter what the reaction is, it is just that it causes _any_ reaction.

A couple of pull quotes from the above article
In 2020, Facebook and Twitter attributed at least 15 operations to private firms, such as marketing or PR companies.The outsourcing of social media disinformation to third-party actors first gained notoriety in 2016 with Russia’s use of the Internet Research Agency, an ostensibly private company run by Prigozhin. Since then, third-party actors, from troll farms in the Philippines to strategic communication firms in the United States to PR firms in Ukraine, have been accused of running disinformation campaigns.
and
The use of fake news outlets is partially a byproduct of the democratization of the internet: New legitimate blogs and news sites pop up every day, and it is easy to hide in their midst.An information operation linked to the Islamic Movement of Nigeria—a group that advocates the installation of an Islamic form of government in Nigeria—included seven pages that claimed to represent NaijaFox[.]com, a pseudo-news site that published articles with an anti-Western slant. (The NaijaFox domain has since been seized by the FBI.)

While most fake media outlets used in information operations are original, some have assumed the identity of existing legitimate media outlets. A takedown in November of a network that originated in Iran and Afghanistan included a Facebook page and Instagram account pretending to represent Afghanistan’s most popular TV channel. A common tactic is to use “typosquatting,” changing just one letter of a Facebook URL so that the URL passes as legitimate at first glance. A report from CitizenLab documents how an Iran-aligned network used typosquatting extensively: Impersonating Bloomberg with a “q” (bloomberq[.]com) or Politico with a misspelling (policito[.]com).


and
much of the content we see in these operations is non-falsifiable—not true, but also not demonstrably false. Bad actors are using accounts to spread hyperpartisan content. We have seen, for example, Saudi-linked Twitter accounts pretending to represent ordinary Libyan citizens tweeting non-falsifiable cartoons mocking Turkey and Qatar.

I am also sure that it isn't just Russia, China, Iran, or other bad actors that are doing this, it's just that the so called developed countries may have to be more circumspect in how they get things going.

The idea that disinformation has to be totally plausible and stand up to some scrutiny misses the point of it in the new connected world.

This is an interesting analysis

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/26/nato-allies-policy-russia-ukraine-analysis

Blowing off the Cadwalladr case because it is British journalism is a rather unique take.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/21/cadwalladr-reports-on-arron-banks-russia-links-of-huge-public-interest-court-hears

https://rsf.org/en/news/uk-abusive-slapp-case-concludes-against-investigative-journalist-carole-cadwalladr

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/arron-banks-vs-carole-cadwalladr-shows-how-weak-uk-press-freedom-is/

https://twitter.com/carolecadwalla?lang=en

Russian spokesman on the BBC this morning explaining that in invasion of Ukraine was impossible, since any Russian action would be a "liberation" from the current repressive regime.

The fact of the matter is that Putin does not view Ukraine as an independent nation. A large majority of its citizens clearly do - and are prepared to fight to defend it.
As a matter of international law, they are right.

Donald, I could reply in detail later but lj has already posted some relevant links, which you might want to read through first.

Basically this blogger is presenting Arron Banks' position as the truth and leaving out all the other aspects of the case.

And significantly Banks is not suing the Guardian / Observer but has been going after Cadwalladr personally for years now on the basis of a TED talk and a tweet.

Also, while I agree that most of the UK media is a dreadful affair, The Guardian / Observer is (with the FT) the only readable paper and has done some great investigative work over the years (NSA leaks / Windrush scandal / Panama papers).

Here's an interesting article about the history of the eastward expansion of NATO and how it figures in the current crisis:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-historical-dispute-behind-russias-threat-to-invade-ukraine

The eastward expansion is surely the natural result of independent nations not wishing to remain vassals of Russia, though ? That is the legacy of Hungary in 56 and Czechoslovakia 68, and a generation of immiseration.

The trouble with all these arguments about whether the US is to blame is that they grant little agency to the independent countries in question.

What Nigel said.

Plus, I am absolutely with lj and novakant on the Cadwalladr case. She has been heroic, in my opinion, on the whole Cambridge Analytica/Brexit business, and subsequently, under enormous pressure and bullying by rich and powerful entities. Investigative journalism needs more like her, and Channel 4 News.

Channel 4 News is (or was when Jon Snow was the senior anchorperson doing the interviewing) openly liberal, of course, which my late husband objected to. But their actual reporting is pretty good, and one can always make some allowances for bias. And they collaborated with Cadwalladr on a lot of the Cambridge Analytica stuff too, as well as breaking quite a lot of the micro-targeting of African Americans stuff on the US side. For the first couple of years, the BoJo government refused to put Ministers up for interview on C4 News, but eventually, when this was made crystal clear on every broadcast, and Labour shadow Ministers gleefully commented unopposed, they had to start.

One thing for we Americans to consider when playing geopolitical analysts is that our country was built on the principle of invasion, and in turn, we have never been invaded.

This tends to color our view on things.

Speaking of legacies....Unlike us, Russia is dealing with the legacy of being invaded twice in the last 100 years, and by the French before that.

I know. I know. They should just get over it. Only the US is entitled to "spheres of influence".

And yes. Putin is a thug.

As for how we would react to a hostile military alliance poised on our borders, well, see Monroe Doctrine and Cuban missile crisis for example.

An understated "soft NATO" might have been a better diplomatic choice back in the 1990's, but the euphoria of total victory is a powerful drug.

I think the Finns and Swedes might have a bit to say about Russia’s fear of being invaded.

US and Russian foreign policy views are both more than a bit far gone in self-mythos, but the fears of the smaller nations in the balance are helpful for cutting through those delusions.

It's no accident that films set in Russia can be filmed convincingly in Finland.

It's no accident that films set in Russia can be filmed convincingly in Finland.

And vice versa. There have been some cooperations (on noncontentious topics of course). That includes the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala. The movie (original title: Sampo) was filmed on locations in Finland and Russia and at Mosfilm studios in both a Finnish and a Russian version [The film reached the US only in a completely butchered recut, abridged and nonsensically dubbed version].

Speaking of legacies....Unlike us, Russia is dealing with the legacy of being invaded twice in the last 100 years, and by the French before that.

All the way back to the Mongols. Plus the occasional invasions by the Ottomans and the Japanese. The border skirmishes with China came close to kicking off a war. There aren't many nations with a history more likely to make them paranoid.

Nigel, fair enough, but

Cuba

And, as a though experiment, Mexico / Canada in a 'defensive' alliance with Russia / China ...

The Monroe Doctrine is alive and well.

One thing for we Americans to consider when playing geopolitical analysts is that our country was built on the principle of invasion, and in turn, we have never been invaded.

The War of 1812 seems like an invasion. Unless, I suppose, one accepts the current Russian view of such things as an attempted reunification and overthrow of a repressive regime.

Seems like Britain has gone rather longer without being invaded. Do their geopolitical analysts show the same phenomena you describe?

"There aren't many nations with a history more likely to make them paranoid."

Belgium.

Yet, somehow, they went on to invent Saxophones and frites (aka Fries/Chips) and lots of very high quality beers.

Maybe they're too busy with the internal disputes of Flemish vs Walloons to invade the rest of Europe.

Yeah Congo was Donald-rant-worthy bad, but that was long ago.

History != Destiny

US and Russian foreign policy views are both more than a bit far gone in self-mythos, but the fears of the smaller nations in the balance are helpful for cutting through those delusions.

Quite. And the views those smaller nations take, as to which of the two might be a threat, seem remarkably consistent. Has anyone near the US, since Cuba in the middle of the last century, felt impelled to ally with Russia in order to keep us at bay? Yet what do we see all around Europe?

It seems telling that even the Swedes are considering joining NATO. The Georgians were begging to join, a few years back (due to obviously well-founded fears of a Russian invasion). But we turned them down, out of concern for Russia's tender feelings.

Having seen how that played out, it's no surprise that Ukraine might wish to dive under the NATO umbrella. IF they could spring it as a fait accompli -- otherwise the announcement of even talks on the subject would doubtless trigger a Russian invasion. But then, they look to be getting that anyway.

Putin and his acolytes long for the corrupt monarchy of the Czars.

There is hardly any difference between the fate of a Pussy Riot under Bolshevism and its fate under the Czars and the Russian Orthodox Church so beloved by sub-American conservatives, who admire the brutal autocratic kleptomania of the various Czars, especially the latter's view of private property ... all property privately owned by the autocratic monarchs.

Dead in both cases.

Same, same for the Ukraine:

https://theweek.com/articles/449691/ukraines-fraught-relationship-russia-brief-history

The thorny problem for the paranoid subhuman American conservative movement is they may have to film yet another sequel to Red Dawn, beloved and formative cult film by armchair commie haters like Moe Lane back in the day, for example.

This time around, however, the conservative freedom-fighting militia school students from the original Milius script will rally round the Czarist paratroopers dropping from the sky as the latter gun down their high school teachers for peddling BLM, CRT, feminist, and LGBT points of view, and then the Czarists and the students will join arms to kill all American liberals and re-install the Trump Republican conservative movement monarchy to power in perpetuity, which is the fundamental will to power of malignant conservatism behind all of its masks, except for anti-Covid masks, around the globe.

Since the subject of filming locations was broached, Red Dawn was an odd set up. The film (script: John Milius, who also wrote the original script for Apocalypse Now) locates its plot in the little town of Calumet, Colorado, which is south of Pueblo, the foothills of the Rockies just to the west, as you approach the New Mexican border.

What the Soviets and their Cuban hands wanted with Calumet, Colorado is a mystery ... there was a coal industry and little else.

According to dogshit conservatives, they could have parchuted into Boulder, Colorado and been put up in commie liberal bedrooms throughout town and been offered lunch at University of Colorado dorm dining halls.

But nearly all of the filming was accomplished on the outskirts of Las Vegas, same basic landscape, but I surmise that the conservative money behind the film needed access to the gaming tables and the whorehouses and Calumet just wouldn't do.

I look forward to Czar Vladimir's first visit to Cuba after he has engineered a reverse revolution in Havana and reinstated a new generation of Batista's thugs to power, and split up Cuban assets between the Russian Mafia, with tributes thrown to a revitalized American Mafia, based in Florida.

Corrupt fucks Rubio and Scott and DeSantis will be trundled in to greet Czar Putin with well-greased bear hugs, as they beg Putin to return nuclear missiles to the island, but aimed only at blue states and Washington DC.


The conservative filmmakers who gave us "The Green Berets", "Red Dawn", and "Atlas Shrugged" are readying a film biopic of Sidney Poitier, with Natalie Wood, she of Russian descent, in the lead role as Sidney Poitier based on her historically accurate portrayal of the young Puerto Rican, Maria in "West Side Story", and her performances as Ted, in "Bob, Carol, Ted Cruz, and Alice", and Walter Lee Younger in Lorraine Hansbury's "A Raisin is Just a White Grape Left Out In the Sun".

She may reprise Poitier's role in a remake of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" as well, but this time with a cannibalistic twist ... "Guess Who We Ate for Dinner".

Objections raised about casting an actress who has been dead for 40 years in these roles were countered by conservative movement spokescorporationsarepeople with claims that Death is just another name for Freedom in 2022 America and in the original Aramaic.

No related living thread to put this into.
The descent into madness in search of consistency is further progressing:

https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/opponents-vaccines-requirements-won-t-stop-covid-19-n1288040

Several states (or, to be precise: GOP led legislatures in those) are seriously discussing bills to get rid of vaccination mandates for good - for all diseases, persons, locations and purposes. At least one bill would also make it illegal for schools and universities to even ask questions about the vaccination status of applicants (reminds me of the move to make it a felony for medical personnel to ask patients about firearms for any reason).

The Georgians were begging to join, a few years back (due to obviously well-founded fears of a Russian invasion). But we turned them down, out of concern for Russia's tender feelings.

I don't remember any of the details from then, but my own suspicion would be Germany and France saying "No way would we honor an Article 5 request from Georgia." I suspect the same parties would be saying, at least in private, "No, we will not roll tanks for Ukraine."

...get rid of vaccination mandates for good - for all diseases, persons, locations and purposes.

Were this to succeed, you'd have to wonder if, say, an outbreak of polio would wise a significant number of people up. Vaccines are victims of their own successes, with the very frightening reasons for their existences having been forgotten because the vaccines have worked so well.

Were this to succeed, you'd have to wonder if, say, an outbreak of polio would wise a significant number of people up.

There are two countries left in the world where polio exists "in the wild": Afghanistan and Pakistan. Polio boosters are advised before traveling there, at least four weeks and no more than 12 months before. How soon before the rest of the world starts pulling manufacturing out regardless of the transportation cost savings, just because of the vaccination hassles associated with travel to the States?

OK, I'm assuming that this Open Thread is not just about Ukraine. And I know from previous experience that there are various people here who will be very receptive to intelligent content about anything to do with the Beatles.

https://ianleslie.substack.com/p/the-banality-of-genius-notes-on-peter?r=w2vx&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email

A friend of mine, a screenwriter in New York, believes Get Back has a catalytic effect on anyone who does creative work. Since it aired, he has been getting texts from fellow writers who, having watched it, now have the urge to meet up and work on something, anything, together.

This is strange, in a way, since the series does not present an obviously alluring portrait of creative collaboration. Its principal locations are drab and unglamorous: a vast and featureless film studio, followed by a messy, windowless basement. The catering consists of flaccid toast, mugs of tea, biscuits and cigarettes. The participants, pale and scruffy, seem bored, tired, and unhappy much of the time. None of them seem to know why they are there, what they are working on, or whether they have anything worth working on. As we watch them hack away at the same songs over and over again, we can start to feel a little dispirited too. And yet somewhere on this seemingly aimless journey, an alchemy takes place.

"Were this to succeed, you'd have to wonder if, say, an outbreak of polio would wise a significant number of people up. Vaccines are victims of their own successes, with the very frightening reasons for their existences having been forgotten because the vaccines have worked so well."

It's much worse than that.

Fascist conservative movement polio and pandemic lovers in state legislatures will mandate that voting booths will also serve as iron lungs, in fact those who breath and ambulate freely will have their voting franchise sharply curtailed.

The strategy is as follows: This will destroy all public schooling. Genocidal death cult Christians are already abandoning schools and the conservative movement wants to make the remaining students and their parents, teachers and public school administrators so fearful of dying merely by stepping foot in public school buildings that the rest of the American population will abandon public schooling altogether.

If the Governor of Texas must be confined to a wheelchair, so must all Texans. No ramps either, cowboys.

A massive incidence year after year of previously disappeared diseases like polio, smallpox, tuberculosis, and rabies will also bankrupt the American medical system from the bottom up, closing hospitals and clinics and nursing homes, with the ultimate subhuman goal of the monstrous vermin conservative movement goal being the insolvency of Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, the VA, and the rest of the public safety net.

The murderous American conservative movement is chock full of astonishingly murderous ideas, as Vlad Putin might put it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZct-itCwPE

A Final Solution is the only self-defense America must implement against the conservative movement's Final Solution.

Vaccines are victims of their own successes, with the very frightening reasons for their existences having been forgotten because the vaccines have worked so well.

I had the misfortune, a while back (i.e. pre-covid), to encounter someone who was at least a borderline anti-vaxxer. He was contending that the various "childhood diseases" that vaccines wiped out in my youth were, in fact, dying out naturally. That is, that the vaccines didn't actually do anything useful.

I. on the other hand, lived thru that time. I remember quite clearly that nothing resembling natural disappearance was happening, right up to the moment that we all started getting vaccinated. But some people will insist on believing whatever is convenient. (Or politically correct in their circle.)

So overall, I doubt that some would wise up, if pushed by nothing more compelling than their children sickening and dying.

That was a great article about Get Back.

Thanks, GFTNC.

It's astonishing that the Beatles reappear in our consciousness again 50-some years later, when we are once again beset by world-destroying Blue Meanies, and can reinvigorate us ... again.

I will read the Callawadr material later. The point of that person’s post was, I think, that she got information ( disinformation to use the popular lingo) from government intelligence, which one should take with a truckload of salt. His claim about that is either true or it isn’t. Perhaps the links will answer that question. I did not read it feeling sympathy for a Brexit advocate.

“ The ‘purpose’ of disinformation is not to cause specific problems, it is to make the notion of reasoned debate and discussion moot.”

Most political discussion about controversial topics especially those involving prospective war or human rights is chock full of lies and bullshit which is intended to make reasoned debate impossible. For some reason, people have started using the term “ disinformation” for this. I think it really took off with Russiagate and people use it to refer to the Russians, but if you strip away the spy novel mystique their lies are not very different from those of other countries, including ours. I don’t think the mainstream foreign policy community in the US ( or Britain) is capable of having honest discussions about our own behavior, which is why the moralizing about Russian thuggishness smacks of dis…, bullshit.

I. on the other hand, lived thru that time. I remember quite clearly that nothing resembling natural disappearance was happening, right up to the moment that we all started getting vaccinated.

I'm old enough to remember that rather than the diseases disappearing, mothers had "measles sleepovers" so their kids would catch the then-standard childhood diseases. The big three -- measles, mumps, rubella -- can all be much worse in adults. I had them all, including mumps twice. Breakthrough infections have always been a thing.

"He was contending that the various "childhood diseases" that vaccines wiped out in my youth were, in fact, dying out naturally. That is, that the vaccines didn't actually do anything useful."

An ill wind blows hard

From maskless vaxless faces

Their asses a second mouth

I'm old enough to remember that rather than the diseases disappearing, mothers had "measles sleepovers" so their kids would catch the then-standard childhood diseases.

We had the same, of course. But I tend not to bring those details to discussions. Two reasons: First, those too young to remember have trouble wrapping their heads around the idea of deliberately getting your children sick. (Even those who apparently have no problem with gratuitously infecting those outside their immediate family.)

Second, those who believe can seize on the historical practice, ignore the details, and decide that the same procedure is the right way to go with covid. Why give such nuts ammunition?

Over here in Europe we had a problem some years ago when there was a measles outbreak (iirc in the Netherlands or Belgium). The Seventh-day Adventists are traditional anti-vaxxers, and in the area where the outbreak occurred there were many of them working as nurses (and at schools). Their services were urgently needed but they posed a huge risk of becoming first class measles spreaders. Can't remember anymore how it was dealt with in the end.
To my knowledge measles top even omicron at ease of transmission.
I do not know, whether there is a connection but in Germany mandates for the measles vaccine have been strengthened since then significantly. I had to get a second shot while at the time I went to school one shot was considered to last for life.
And now that I am becoming a schoolteacher the only vaccination that I had to send in a certificate for in advance was measles. For all other diseases from a long list I had only to affirm that I was not currently suffering from them and would immediately inform the authorities should I catch any of them (covid was not yet on the list and I had to affirm vaccination only at meeting the principal for the first time without even having to bring proof).
So, measles are taken very seriously over here at the moment while a lot about covid is still improvised.

Too bad "stay home, save lives" isn't foreign policy...

Yup, measles can be pretty dangerous, contrary to what we all used to think. In the wake of the scandalous MMR anti-vax movement, there were a few outbreaks.

https://www.piedmont.org/living-better/why-is-measles-dangerous

Why is measles dangerous?
The recent measles outbreak underscores the need for every child to be vaccinated. Jesse Couk, M.D., a Piedmont infectious disease specialist, explains why measles is such a dangerous illness and how it can be prevented.

What makes measles so threatening?
Measles is a virus that is one of the most contagious agents known to man. There are case reports of individuals who became infected with measles from others roughly an hour after visiting the same location, without the two individuals ever having come into contact. Measles can cause pneumonia and encephalitis, which can be fatal. Pneumonia occurs in 6 percent of measles cases and is the most common cause of death. Neurologic infection is rare, occurring in only 1 out of 1000 measles cases, but with a much higher risk of permanent harm including death.

Following measles infection, there is a loss of immune memory that results in immunosuppression, which increases risk for mortality for up to three years after measles infection. Additionally, rare but potentially fatal complications can occur after infection, including a demyelinating disease called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), which can occur two weeks after infection, and subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), which typically occurs 7-10 years after infection.

Most political discussion about controversial topics especially those involving prospective war or human rights is chock full of lies and bullshit which is intended to make reasoned debate impossible.

Well, glad there is some point of agreement. Yes, controversial topics often have this feature. That's why it's important to disentangle the threads. You get mad at novakant and basically say (my restatement) 'why don't you just call him a liar?' He doesn't because he's not. He could call him a bullshitter, following Frankfurt but leaping to that without giving due diligence to who he is (or, nowadays, if he exists at all) is the problem.

There is actually a case for disinformation coming from Russian dezinformatsiya, though this link points out that the word was used previously

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/disinformation-meaning-origin

As I've mentioned, I don't think that 'false' actually figures in to disinformation, that sets up wj's problem, which is thinking that you can run all this stuff through some machine and come up with what is true and what is false. That Russia is pretty tetchy when it comes to their area of influence is certainly true. That the US really can't understand what this is like is also true.

It's not surprising that this stuff has gone nuts with corona. Science, with its hedged language and its acknowledging of possibilities (lab leak anyone?) is a playground for disinformation. And, as I pointed out, lest we think it's just some axis of evil disinformation, a lot of this crap was pioneered by big tabacco, big pharma and fossil fuel industries.

I think there is a parallel to what happens with climate change. A couple years, we had people, even in these comments, dismiss global warming because there were places getting colder than they ever have before. Ha ha, how could the globe be warming if that was happening?

What that misses is that raising the atmospheric temperature is basically dumping more energy into the system, making it more random and leaving us less able to predict what will happen. Disinformation is basically creating randomness in what we know and understand, and, if a nation or group is prepared to take advantage of it, they can make the changes in advance.

This kind of disinformation is also aided and abetted by the fact that people always have lenses through which they view the world. Sometimes, those lenses help one see things better, but other times, if they are held on to too tightly, obscure things that they should see. Other times, the lenses consistently warp the vision, making things that should be seen invisible. At least that is my take.

"Mr. Franklin, what have you wrought?"

"Never mind that, my dear, may I interest you in the undercoating for a mere $400? It comes in a menthol flavor.

What I love about the world we live in is the up-selling of the premium bullshit now, when we have been getting along just fine with the ordinary bullshit since the first bipeds loped across the prairie on their stegosauruses.

Packaging the bullshit now into a new, non-transparent, but shiny asset class.

I can now make my very own personal money, say, dog turds I gather in the park and put a ribbon around them and market them as a medium of exchange, tokens of non-existent, but soaring value, a massaged expectation of nothing, to be bought "on the dip", otherwise known as "volatility", the phrase "down 90%" having been bullshat away.

The President of El Salvador is interested in my personal asset class and doesn't even care the breed of dog that produced them.

He might be interested soon in Sarah Death Panel's packaged turds as a store of value, since there is a very good chance the supply chain of her personal currency may be permanently interrupted as her inner dimwitted algorithm may cease operation, not that her compatriots aren't contriving as we speak to flood the zone with the fake knockoffs.

Gamestop, the asset, a moribund buggy whip purveyor, is worth maybe $5 a share. Not 12 months ago, it soaredskyrocketedexplodedbamalicetothemoon to the vicinity of $450 before slumpingsaggingdippingtumblingexperiencingvolatility to about $100 a share today.

The premium bullshit sales reps tell us the market discounts events maybe six months into the future. Odd, though, how six months ago the price of $350/share for Gamestop somehow couldn't suss out and discount today's price of $100, the only fact worth knowing about the imaginary future of that piece of shit.

But it's all freedom, like suffocating to death on a ventilator.

This way to the egress use to be a shorter walk.


wj's problem, which is thinking that you can run all this stuff through some machine and come up with what is true and what is false.

I'm not sure I'm quite that mechanistic. 😁

But I definitely do think that there are things that are true and others that are simply false. Plus those where the best we can do from available information is make a probabilistic estimate. (And, thank you quantum physics, a few whuch are inherently probabilistic.)

Whether someone is lying, or merely misinformed (and, perhaps, gullible), is a different question.

The world is (approximately) spherical, that is true. That the earth is flat is simply false -- even if flat is a useful approximation when you are laying out your garden. An asteroid will hit the earth in 2050 gets, for the moment, the Scotch verdict: not proven.

A politician who says vaccines are a serious threat to anyone who takes them, after carefully getting himself (and perhaps his family) fully vaccinated, is lying -- he knows damn well that what he is saying is untrue. When some QAnon true believer says the same thing, and is carefully not vaccinated, he's merely a damn fool.

Disinformation is stuff which is known by the originator to be untrue and which is pumped out to achieve an effect. In short, it is lies for a purpose.

but other times, if they (lenses) are held on to too tightly, (they) obscure things that they should see

Yes. Like not seeing the fact that England's raid on Washington, DC in 1814 (in response to a US attack on a Canadian city) was several orders of magnitude different than two huge destructive German invasions of Russia.

PS: I remember my mother desperately trying to get me exposed to mumps when I was a child. Like baseballs, I was simply not up to the task of making the catch.

What I love about the world we live in is the up-selling of the premium bullshit now, when we have been getting along just fine with the ordinary bullshit since the first bipeds loped across the prairie on their stegosauruses.

I confess that it was amusing (I can be nasty that way) to read that individual investors in cryptocurrencies had lost some $1.4 trillion in the past few weeks. How gullible do you have to be to invest in something like that? But apparently a lot of people were induced to put money into vapor. Top premium bullshot for sure. (How did "Trump Cash" never become a thing?)

England's raid on Washington, DC in 1814 (in response to a US attack on a Canadian city) was several orders of magnitude different than two huge destructive German invasions of Russia.

The Brits burned the US Capitol. On the other hand, the Russians burned their own capital while retreating before Napoleon. And the Nazis never did capture Moscow. So yeah, an order of magnitude different.

Symbols matter, especially in war and in history.

"(How did "Trump Cash" never become a thing?)"

His word is his bond. That and a plug nickel if you were one of his contractors.

However, you can now buy shares in his faked orgasms:

https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/11/investing/trump-spac-stock/index.html

Around sixty bucks a share last time I looked with the assets listed in the annual report as
a big bag of hot gas and a middle finger.

No more elections. Only violence:

https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1486411212254556163?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1486411212254556163%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdigbysblog.net%2F

I do appreciate the murderous Republican Party's tolerance now for choosing African Americans for high positions who sometimes exceed even their white conservative counterparts' God-given talents for lying, cheating, thieving, grifting, and bullshit production.

Who needs affirmative action when the worst among us can rise to the top no matter race, creed, gender, and the cranium measurements Charles Murray's calipers indicate.

Republicans choose blacks for these jobs not unlike southern cracker Democrats ... republicans in training ... use to take innocent black kids into custody for eventual lynching for "allegedly" raping the Mayor's flirtatious daughter, when everyone in town knew it was Matt Gaetz doing the raping all along.

It's basically human sacrifice for conservative entertainment. Let the "boy" twist in the wind.

No more elections. Only violence.

I confess that it was amusing (I can be nasty that way) to read that individual investors in cryptocurrencies had lost some $1.4 trillion in the past few weeks.

Depends on when they bought in. Bitcoin is currently about $36,000. Some people, even if they were in during the current drop, have done very well indeed. Even with the volatility, cryptocurrencies are far better than the local fiat currencies in countries experiencing hyperinflation.

cryptocurrencies are far better than the local fiat currencies in countries experiencing hyperinflation.

When you've got hyperinflation, pretty much any external asset is better. But how many places (besides Venezuela) are experiencing hyperinflation currently? Anybody who went for cryptocurrency to avoid notional US hyperinflation has gotten the bath their folly deserved.

FUD
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty,_and_doubt#

Don’t worry, it’s not disinformation, we are safe!

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/buy-bitcoin-el-salvador-183009681.html?guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAAJw7hwHCj_C4HiUARAasvKloqnewwvE166PAklqVQ9Ln3NER7WsJbLqdOC5UE8DvQhuPoguDkkzc5VKluycyW6eBH99EKV8Xv8NLdopnnBw76QVGbsXEHgS9rml2miG4ZY8CpoQOVU32_CnIMcbHZnhQJGDz4PZa36TolsVCD1I

It’s compulsory by gummint fiat, Charles. Quite the Libertarian deal.

Their first mistake was naming their local currency the “Colon”.

But how many places (besides Venezuela) are experiencing hyperinflation currently?

One example.

"HAVANA (Reuters) - The Cuban peso was trading at nearly 100 to the dollar on the informal market Tuesday, according to a trader and online trackers, a depreciation of more than 30% in less than a month and four times the fixed official rate.

The peso's free fall is bad news for a population that for two years has confronted a grave economic crisis here and unusually severe shortages of food, medicine and other goods, a predicament made worse by the coronavirus pandemic and the Cold War-era U.S. embargo."
Cuban peso in free fall against the dollar


World's Highest And Lowest Inflation Rates 2021: Inflation rates are rising in every country but not equally so

Chickens are currency too.

So we’re told by daft conservatives and libertarian who exchange them for abortions and root canals.

https://time.com/nextadvisor/investing/cryptocurrency/common-crypto-scams/amp/

Like the irritating noise of gunfire, it’s just something we have to endure as a secondary effect of let freedom ring.

I know it’s a trend when drug cartels, death cults, organized crime, and disorganized libertarians and conservatives get behind it.

Follow the fake money.

Hey Charles, sleep tight and be safe.

Thanks, you too.

I did a bit of googling and this Twitter thread by the heroic British journalist strikes me as McCarthyite twaddle.

https://twitter.com/carolecadwalla/status/1071343451881521152?lang=en

Also, you don’t really have to go back to Hitler or Napoleon to understand why Russians may not trust the West. You can just go back to the 1990’s.

https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2021/12/13/russia-marks-the-thirtieth-anniversary-of-the-dissolution-of-the-ussr/

So, their economic model didn't work, leading to their empire imploding. And that makes them feel physically threatened? It's not like we rolled tanks in to take advantage of the confusion.

Ukraine, Belarus, and the Central Asian countries separated on their own initiative. NONE entered into an (anti-Russian) military alliance -- although Ukraine is no doubt regretting not doing so, if it could have. Just not seeing it.

Ukraine signed a deal to get rid of its nukes in return for the guarantee of the security of its borders.

How did that work out ?

Also, you don’t really have to go back to Hitler or Napoleon to understand why Russians may not trust the West

No, you just need to look at the output of their state media.

Again, what Nigel said (both times).

As for Cadwalladr, she has been absolutely heroic in standing up to large forces who she saw as agitating for, or enabling Brexit (Corbyn was in the latter category) and, incidentally, Trumpism, (not to mention other sources of "disinformation" - see e.g. her TED talk). Russia was well-disposed towards (and they or their catspaws acted in the interests of) both, of course. Anybody still denying that at this stage, whether you think Corbyn et al unfairly criticised or not, shows some wilful blindness.

That there were others in her exposees (don't know how to do acute accent), like the Mercers and Bannon in the Cambridge Analytica situation for example, shows that she is far from a McArthyite, either ideologically or otherwise.

don't know how to do acute accent

My GoTo for diacritics (at least from my laptop) is the Unicode table
https://unicode-table.com/en/
(é is about 15 rows down) Then just copy and paste.

Can you tell I've spent the last 7 years up to my elbows it this stuff?

Thanks wj.

don't know how to do acute accent

Usually I just google* the word I want, then use copy and paste. With the advantage that I thereby check the spelling, which in this case is exposé.

*other search engines exist

other search engines exist

"Google", like Xerox (remember them?) and various other products over the years, has been successful enough to have its name become a generic term. I suspect that the company has mixed feelings about that sort of thing. But its competitors definitely aren't happy about it.

I thereby check the spelling, which in this case is exposé.

I knew that! I only added the ee in order not to use the word expose, which would have been ridiculous!

(Defensive, much?)

Usually I just google* the word I want, then use copy and paste.

That's how I get upside-down question marks and exclamation points when I want to write something in Spanish.

¡Gran idea!

Here's a take claiming Putin miscalculated:

Instead of trapping the United States, Mr. Putin has trapped himself. Caught between armed conflict and a humiliating retreat, he is now seeing his room for maneuver dwindling to nothing. He could invade and risk defeat, or he could pull back and have nothing to show for his brinkmanship. What happens next is unknown. But one thing is clear: Mr. Putin’s gamble has failed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/28/opinion/putin-russia-ukraine.html

Though Putin has one Trump card, i.e. gas exports to Europe - though cutting those off would be a drastic measure. Hopefully considerations like this will help speed up the development of renewable energy, espc. in Germany.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/01/27/russia-europe-energy-natural-gas-ukraine

If Putin's gamble has failed, fine by me.

However, I don't trust failures in possession of world-ending nuclear arsenals who have a bad day at the gambling tables and stalk out of the casino with one chip left, the one on his shoulder (to go with the other 500 chips sewn into into suit lining).

Besides, that Times excerpt illustrates what I hate about punditry and journalism in general.

"What happens next is unknown."

"But one thing is clear: Mr. Putin’s gamble has failed."

Boilerplate bullshit. If the first assertion is correct, then NOTHING, not even ONE thing, is yet clear.

It can't be clear if it is unknown, except in the Trumpian single-celled brain and on ESPN and CNBC.

Other examples, repeated ad nauseum:

What happens next is unknown. But one thing is clear: The bears' gamble in the stock market has failed or I'm not Larry Kudlow's uncle.

What happens next is unknown. But one thing is clear: The Force 5 Hurricane's gamble to wipe Puerto Rico off the map has failed.

What happens next is unknown. This flu outbreak is over and is NOT a pandemic and we're in the clear except for those first five deaths, aaah, chump change, and Tony Fauci's chinky fortune cookie gamble and HIS scary "pandemic" gamble have failed. Hi, I'm Larry Kudlow and I cook the books for the professional bullshitters.

What happens next is unknown. With two weeks left in the baseball season, the Cubbies gamble for winning the pennant has failed.

OK, that last one might be plausible.

I don't know.

Why don't I know?

Because it is clear that what happens next is unknown.

Or maybe, that should go: Because one thing is known. That what happens next is unclear.

Every psychic's last thought as the bus runs over them in front of their house is: "Gosh, I didn't see THAT coming."

Let's play two, anyway.


https://www.marketwatch.com/story/jim-cramer-literally-drowns-cathie-woods-ark-as-flagship-fund-falters-11643360227?siteid=yhoof2

Now, are we clear?

One thing, and only one, is known.

Jim Cramer, standing in as humanity's representative, is full of horseshit.

Cathie Wood gives him a run for his clients', those yachtless dupes, lost money.

Gutenberg, Marconi, and Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee made one thing clear.

With their innovations, all of humanity is enabled to be totally full of shit loud and clear, every minute of every day, instead of leaving it to just a few elite bullshitters.

See ya next week.

That last assertion is neither known nor clear.

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/01/27/nyc-mayor-blasts-palin-for-dining-while-infected-with-covid-19-00003020

https://www.thedailybeast.com/maga-candidate-kimberly-lowe-caught-on-tape-menacing-butterfly-sanctuary-on-texas-border?source=articles&via=rss

When will we commence to fulfilling the murderous conservative movement's wetdream of an armed citizenry's right to bear and carry arms and use deadly force to protect ours lives and property?

Shoot to kill.

Obviously, I was unclear about when next week begins.

he is now seeing his room for maneuver dwindling to nothing.

It is premature to say that Putin has failed. But he is, increasingly, trapped. Which means it is time to give him a face-saving exit. (Like noone, I don't trust failures with nuclear weapons.)

Perhaps make an agreement, with President Putin (albeit not with Russia), that Ukraine will not join NATO in the next 25 years. It's not like they were going to join this year anyway, but it allows him to say he got something. And once Russia has a new President, everyone can reevaluate.

As we know
There are known knowns
...

"Which means it is time to give [Putin] a face-saving exit."

Yeah. So, based on his previous actions, we could give him something he really wants: GEORGIA.

But, he has to take Alabama with it; they're a set.

Hopefully considerations like this will help speed up the development of renewable energy, espc. in Germany.

In the meantime, it'll certainly speed up the rate of energy poverty.

Also, Europe is going to squint and see at least some nuclear and natural gas as green.

"The European Commission is expected to allow investments flowing into natural gas and nuclear energy projects to be considered as “green” investments, assuming certain criteria are met. Germany and France, however, differ in their approaches to renewables. While Germany has abandoned nuclear power in favor of natural gas, France continues to rely on nuclear."
Europe Plans To Label Some Natural Gas and Nuclear Investments as ‘Green’

Which means it is time to give him a face-saving exit.

This is always a wise tactic, as the best negotiators know.

CharlesWT: from memory, quite a lot of more open-minded, evidence-led environmentalists regard nuclear as potentially green.

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