A Promise Or a Threat?

Put me down firmly on the side of those who see You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy” as more of a threat; I see “You will be happy” with special emphasis on “will” and the unstated addendum to that statement as “You damn peasants better be happy, or else!”
The simple fact is that owning things – especially things which can be construed as tools – allow one a degree of independence, and even a mild degree of comfort over and above the norm. This was suggested to me in a college class four decades and more since. I think it must have been the required readings for medieval history course; dedicated medievalists had gone into various probate records and wills in England or France and studied the inventories of barely-above-survival peasant households. Nothing really notable in the main – just basic tools, household and farm implements like butter churns, cheese presses, cooking pots, some simple furniture. But at least one of the readings pointed out how possession of certain tools like a cheese-press, hinted that the owner of that item –was in fact, making cheese, possibly for their own use or for the market. The very fact that they owned something with which to turn a farm product like milk, into something to sell or barter for in the marketplace implied a slightly higher level of comfort and security for that household.

The fact is, owning things permits a degree of social independence and economic freedom. The medieval household who owned that cheese press were able to better themselves economically and live slightly more comfortable lives. Owning a spinning wheel, or a loom meant that household could turn sheep wool or flax into thread and cloth. A simple plow and a team to pull it meant being able to farm and raise a crop sufficient to support a small household. Owning a house with a yard in this present day means possibly having space for a vegetable plot, or a bearing fruit tree or two. (This was the common practice where I lived briefly in Utah, a regional culture with a local tradition of domestic self-sufficiency. Most suburban houses had a garden plot and a fruit tree or two.) Owning a sewing machine and having the ability to use it to best advantage means one is not dependent on the whims of retail clothing merchants. Owning a car (or truck, bicycle, or historically, a horse and buggy) means that one isn’t dependent on the availability or scheduling of public transport. Owning a coffee mill and an expresso machine means that one is not dependent on Starbucks for your morning caffeine fix. Owning certain items permits a wide range of self-sufficiency, personal choice, and the ability to cater to your own taste, comfort and convenience.

Visualizing a world where no one owns anything and is wholly dependent on renting the necessities – from an apartment to the contents, a computer, or whatever – still doesn’t seem a very stable arrangement. Someone or some entity will own the goods and property that you will have to rent – so, who will that be? So much for abolishing ownership – this just moves ownership to a corporate level, rather than a personal one. And what renter is really motivated to maintain the rented/loaned items in pristine, tip-top prime condition? It is an axiom relative to this concept, that no one washes a rented car, and that in driving through a suburban neighborhood, one can almost always pick out the rental properties held by indifferent landlords and equally indifferent tenants. And an added caveat to all of this – is who decides what rental price, and who is worthy? The natural suspicion among us natural independent small capitalists is that this is just another scheme by the new economic overlords to reduce us all to readily controllable and obedient serfs.
Keep the cheese press. Keep it as your own property.

Discuss as you wish. How far will this flight of international authoritarian fancy fly, or will it crash in stupendous flames, as it collides with reality?

165 thoughts on “A Promise Or a Threat?”

  1. “one can almost always pick out the rental properties held by indifferent landlords and equally indifferent tenants.”

    Excellent point about maintenance. Someone has to take responsibility for keeping a place up to snuff and paying the associated costs. A smart owner will do that. It may be an echo of 18th Century moral philosophy to say it — perhaps the most efficient solution is for the occupier of the property also to be the owner.

    Being a non-occupying owner can be a challenge. A gentleman who invested in rental properties for his retirement told me what he had learned about the human race from renting out his valuable houses: People are no damn good!

  2. The history of “property held in common” is not pretty, at all. There were reasons that the “enclosure acts” in the UK almost had to take place, because nobody was taking care of the commons.

    What these bright lights are going to find is that man proposes, and reality disposes. Or, alternatively, God. Either way, I don’t see this brilliant idea working out. Common property is what the Soviet Union had, and we all know how that worked out.

    I suspect that they (and, the rest of us…) are going to be in for a bit of a shock when the population drops precipitously.

    I invite you to consider the implications of what Dr. Wolf has written, here:


    Let us say, for the sake of argument (and, I do not espouse this line of thought with particular fervor, merely holding it out as a hypothesis), that our wunnerful, wunnerful elites made the determination that the world population was too high, and that they decided to Do Something ™ about it. And, that that “something” was COVID-19 and all the vaccine BS around that.

    I think their thesis about population is wrong. The drop-off in population growth once said population gets prosperous and the women educated is immense; most societies doing so have dropped well below replacement rate. So, despite that fact, they’ve decided to “egg the pudding” even more, reducing the population more quickly than the course of events would have. Where’s that leave our rentier class, when there ain’t no renters to rentier over?

    Dear God, the horror… The sorry f*ckwits may have to do for themselves, grow their own food, fix their own machinery. Don’t see it ending well, TBH. The world post-population crash may be pretty damn ugly, and the process going down is likely to be even uglier. I really would not want to be a member of any group tied to the COVID response and vaccination campaigns if it turns out they were behind what amounts to an attack on women’s ability to bear children, world-wide.

    What cracks me up, in a macabre way, is that Israel has apparently gone all-in on the vaccine BS, which may have dire consequences for their fertility, going forward. And, with the low penetration of vaccination into the Palestinian Arab community…? Israeli/Palestinian conflict may be a non-issue, here in a generation or two.

    At least, that will put paid to the idea of Jewish conspiracies to kill off the Arabs and Christians, since they so thoroughly went for the vaccine themselves. Own goal, if they were behind it… Which makes no damn sense, but I’m sure that the anti-Semitic conspiracy fans will figure out a way to blame them.

    I think our Davos crowd may well find themselves in the same situation that the various and sundry aristos did, in post-Bubonic Plague Europe. While I’m not sure there will be much market for their BS, I’m pretty sure that the average working man will likely be able to set his own wage.

    A lot depends on just how long all this takes, and how fast the population crashes. Before this, I would have forecast something of a relatively soft landing, but now? LOL… Your guess is as good as mine. Ehrlich and the rest of his idiotic ilk are going to be remembered a lot differently in a few generations. Watch.

  3. This Klaus Schwab guy is a cartoon villain, he must be a front man for someone or something else, it makes no sense otherwise.
    Whoever it is, their plans are stupid and can’t possibly “work” but could cause unimaginable suffering before falling completely apart.

  4. The more concentrated the ownership and control are, the juicier a target that concentration is. The oligarchs will battle each other for it like cartel gangsters. If the battles are economic and political, we’ll merely see businesses wrecked/busted-out, and wave goodbye to jobs and services. It might not stay bloodless.

  5. Actions are already in motion. Did anyone miss the import of Bill Gates, with his coy little TED talk about coronavirus, back in 2019?

    In a sane world, that would have led to him spending a few days in close proximity to “enhanced interrogation” investigating just how it was he was so “prescient”, and there would have been some rather radical forensic accounting done about who paid for all that “gain of function” research.

    We don’t live in a sane world. In that sane world, Fauci would have been fired after he screwed up the AIDS pandemic and the Ebola panic.

  6. A longer, older version:

    A Southern farm is the beau ideal of Communism; it is a joint concern, in which the slave consumes more than the master, of the coarse products, and is far happier, because although the concern may fail, he is always sure of a support; he is only transferred to another master to participate in the profits of another concern; he marries when he pleases, because he knows he will have to work no more with a family than without one, and whether he live or die, that family will he taken care of; he exhibits all the pride of ownership, despises a partner in a smaller concern, “a poor man’s negro,” boasts of “our crops, horses, fields and cattle;”, and is as happy as a human being can be.

    – George Fitzhugh, *Sociology for the South: or, The failure of free society* (1854)
    google books:

  7. Sgt Mom, Thanks so much. I’ve been a bit obsessed in the last few years with the importance of property to our freedom, our independence, our families, our identities, etc. And the idea that we can take our stands on our piece of land is important – but I’d never thought of our possessions as tools for trades – though my mother taught us typing in the lower grades and taking a typewriter off to college meant one of the few skills I acquired could be put to good use – both in classes and for money. (As one of the first things both she and my two aunts got in their first years out of high school were those portable Singer sewing machines that she dragged around college, as a some extension agent, and then around the country as a Wave) Our identities lie in those tools and skills – I don’t know much about the smithy in the town square or welders today, but it seems interesting that the name “Smith,” so common in our culture is matched by similar names in other’s (Kovar means Smith in Czech and in the oil boom my husband’s cousin, Kovar, did quite well at weldiing – which always seemed nicely fitting – wish I’d more seriously studied our history of naming.) This wanders off from the really great essence of your remarks – and how everything that happens makes us more and more suspicious of the purposes of so much that was done under Obama and then tripled in the last year and a half.

  8. Very much this.
    I’m strongly in favor of the notion that ownership of the means of production should be widely dispersed, for many reasons. Personally, I get twitchy if I don’t have a good variety of tools ready to hand (Man is, after all, a tool-using animal), and my wish list has always been heavy on things like capital equipment and farmland. (I finally have a bit of farmland, but recent events have delayed plans for setting up a machine shop and an electronics assembly facility.)
    And: until 2019, I lived in Silicon Valley. I watched it become the place where dreams go to die, as the successful individuals and corporations pulled up the ladder of success behind them. In 2004, it was easy to find low-budget rental space for a small business; a few years later, all the low-budget business parks and most of the mid-budget ones had been bulldozed to make way for megacorp expansion and high-density housing – and the new model is shared spaces owned and operated by vulture capitalists, who’ll happily lend working space and working capital to carefully-chosen startups in exchange for a majority share in the business.

    Our Illustrious Betters of the Eloi / Cloud Minder caste clearly have no connection to the work (let alone the concerns) of the Morlock / Troglyte classes who actually make all the fine things the aristocrats so enjoy.

  9. How does all this gathering tyranny end without gunfire?

    It does not. The lefties have captured almost all the bureaucracies and the ONLY was it will end the incipient tyranny is to shoot them all and totally destroy the current bureaucratic structure.

  10. the ONLY was it will end the incipient tyranny is to shoot them all
    Nah. I’m sure some of them will meet their end in other ways – rope, guillotine, a dark alley….

  11. It’s been a while since I read “Brave New World” but I think the model for the left/greens is that, not “1984.” The masses were kept content with “feelies” and unlimited sex. Unfortunately, Huxley did not anticipate the birth control pill, so women in BNW had to carry some sort of contraception in cartridges. There also was a small band of exiles who lived what we would call normal lives in the southwest. I’ve forgotten how it ends but I live in Arizona, just to be sure.

  12. “You will own nothing”…Wasn’t that the basic principal of feudal land tenure?…very few people owned land in fee simple, the vast majority of people held it under some kind of rental or lease tenancy.

    Which in some cases could be canceled for something like voting for the wrong candidate.

  13. Deep Lurker…a response to the Fitzhugh type of thinking from Fanny Kemble, a famous British actress who married an American and lived with him on his Georgia plantation:

    “Though the negroes are fed, clothed, and housed, and though the Irish peasant is starved, naked, and roofless, the bare name of freeman—the lordship over his own person, the power to choose and will—are blessings beyond food, raiment, or shelter; possessing which, the want of every comfort of life is yet more tolerable than their fullest enjoyment without them. Ask the thousands of ragged destitutes who yearly land upon these shores to seek the means of existence—ask the friendless, penniless foreign emigrant, if he will give up his present misery, his future uncertainty, his doubtful and difficult struggle for life, at once, for the secure, and as it is called, fortunate dependance of the slave: the indignation with which he would spurn the offer will prove that he possesses one good beyond all others, and that his birthright as a man is more precious to him yet than the mess of pottage for which he is told to exchange it because he is starving.”

  14. The problem I have in turning myself over for domestication by these people is that I’ve seen how they treat their domestic animals…

    There is no way this is going to go through, and I can see nothing but horror if an attempt is made at implementing it. What is more likely to happen is that they’ll try, and then the general mass of “the rest of us” will route around it all.

    I’ve a great deal of faith in the human capacity for “failure to conform”; every time some genius has set up some all-encompassing, all-devouring “system of the world”, it’s blown up in their faces. Mostly because the “little guy” won’t behave in conformance with their preconceived notions of what they should be doing. The entire situation is hubristic in the extreme.

    Just like with the whole “social credit” scheme the CCP has come up with. That’s in early days, yet, but I fully expect that they’re going to start having problems with that entire system being suborned from within. If they manage to stamp that out, then the problem is going to come from disenfranchising a whole bunch of people, who will then have nothing to lose and no stake in the status quo. Which is a recipe for disaster.

    I don’t know how long it is going to take for all these “brights” to learn this, but you cannot impose order on an inherently chaotic system with any lasting success. The more you try, the harder your controls, the bigger the explosion in the end when the whole thing blows up in your face.

  15. schwab has been at this for fifty years, a protege of galbraith and kissinger among others, his father was a manager for a major engineering concern, involved in slave labor in the third reich, if you recall mooney’s discouraging pitch to howard beale, about no countries, no individuality, that was schwab encapsulated, he started his pitch in 1971, chayevsky might have come across it, the Club of Rome, were operating along parallel roads, soros glommed onto the same track, some years later,

  16. I think his name was rooney, an avuncular warren buffett or bernard baruch type, of course this came in the aftermath of our truncated forever war in southeast asia, and the keynesian tool chest that proved unable to solve the problem, naomi wolf seems to have taken the red pill, in some respects she was ahead of the curve,

    Faye dunaways character was not a premature SJW, just a confirmed cynic, who saw promoting more scenes of violence and alienation as just fine for the bottom line, there was probably a pretense of objectivity in those days, even though anything to the right of howard k smith was considered odd,
    so schwab has been real as a heart attack, for more nearly half a century gaining adepts in the commanding heights, of media academia and increasingly corporate america,

  17. The land under large swaths of British real estate belongs to the Queen or more properly, The Crown.

    In China, all the land belongs to local government. An apartment generally has a 70 year ground lease. The proceeds are the main, nearly the only, source of income for the various governments. The ongoing real estate crash in China is causing many local governments to miss payroll and cut back drastically, laying off many employees.

    It is the ownership of the tools as well as the skills that differentiates the skilled tradesman from the common laborer. It also means that they were relatively free to move around, pursuing employment as they wished.

  18. Humans don’t domesticate well, at all. I would offer these bright lights the various ways things have not worked out for the elite, like the Janissaries and the Mamelukes. There are also examples all across Asia, like the palace eunuchs of Imperial China.

    The wisest path is the one that does not strive for control. Control is an illusory thing; you think you have it, but like as not, it’s only the proles humoring your stupid ass. I can’t give you a cite for it, but even in the Old South of Antebellum times, a lot of the time, the slaves had far more control over some things than anyone really recognized. We never saw the end state of where all that was going, but I’d wager you good money that the whole thing would have eventually wound up with a totally different outcome than the plantation-owning fops would have wanted or been able to conceive of.

    Humans are contrary bastards. Enserf or enslave them at your peril; you’ll never sleep well at night once they figure out what you’ve done.

  19. I’ve heard of the author, vaguely… I think I found some articles written by him; the name rings a bell.

    I lay my perception of how things would have gone more on reading history and recognizing that slavery is a pernicious habit that damages the slaveowner as much or more than the slave, and that every system of slavery inevitably ends with the slaves gaining the upper hand. Happened to the Ottoman Empire twice. You can argue that the various slaves of the Imperial family in Rome had a hell of a lot of power, some of whom actually made or broke Emperors. Same-same in China; lesser degree in Japan. I’d wager you could find examples anywhere.

    The process usually goes along when the idiot slaveowners decide to offload more and more onto the slaves, including administration and all the rest. By the end, they’re as much slaves to the system as the slaves themselves are.

    Long-term? Don’t allow slavery. Period. You’ll maybe enjoy the benefits, but your descendants are going to find themselves cursing your name.

  20. “Long-term? Don’t allow slavery. Period.”

    No-one these days is going to support the institution of slavery. However, we must recognize that slavery (or closely related institutions like serfdom) has been the norm throughout human history, for thousands of years. Almost every historical society has enslaved others, and has itself in turn been enslaved. Slaves were the original “renewable energy”.

    Slavery stopped only once machinery powered by fossil fuels was developed and put into widespread service in the 1800s. The “renewable energy” of human slaves simply could not compete. Now the Political Class is trying to eliminate fossil fuels. History gives us a good idea about where that will lead.

  21. Paid $4.99 for a gallon of gas last night. The esteemed Treasury Secretary, who we are all supposed to think is some sort of super genius since she was previously head of the Fed, which is sort of like how we’re supposed to think that the esteemed Dr. Fauci is a super genius because he was a senior government official during the height of AIDS hysteria, assures us that this little price kerfuffle just means we need to become more dependent on the wind and the sun. Well, I feel reassured now…

  22. }}} The history of “property held in common” is not pretty, at all.

    Indeed. “The Tragedy of the Commons”.
    ( https://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/tragedy-of-the-commons.asp — though most of you already know, no doubt)

    }}} How does all this gathering tyranny end without gunfire?

    NOT to suggest we not be sufficiently prepared for this eventuality, I will call attention to the fact that the biggest question of the latter half of the 20th C was:
    “How can the Cold War end without a hot war?”

    And the eventual answer to that question was one that not one single individual would have seriously proposed before 1988, and most probably not before 1990.

    Just because the an option is preposterous, does not make it something that Does Not Happen That Way.

    Be prepared, but be open to other possibilities.

  23. }}} Tragedy of the commons is a 20th century myth, nothing like that happened in medieval England.


    The concept of the commons current in medieval England is significantly different from the modem concept; the English common was not available to the general public but rather only to certain individuals who inherited or were granted the right to use it, and use of the common even by these people was not unregulated.

    So — not the kind of commons being discussed, as its use was limited and constrained to people with vested interests in the land.

    A proper example of TotC is the history of whales and overfishing in general. No one is responsible, no one has any constraints, so the immediate wish towards (rightful) profit is unbounded, and this leads to tragedy.

  24. “The concept of the commons current in medieval England is significantly different from the modem concept”
    That’s disingenuous, the original and canonical example is overgrazing, you (meaning economists in general, and the author of that piece in particular) can’t coin a phrase, use an example, then when it’s pointed out that nothing like that example ever happened, claim that it’s actually not a good example of your new term.
    “its use was limited and constrained to people with vested interests in the land.”
    Yes, exactly, the people in a village could use the common lands, some rando from somewhere else couldn’t. So of course they had a vested interest in making sure it didn’t get destroyed. There was a sense of community. That’s really what’s missing in 19th/20th century socialism/communism–scale and community (which was strongly based on religion, of course).

  25. “The concept of the commons current in medieval England is significantly different from the modem concept”

    The reason for “Enclosure” was that communal land could not be improved. Swamps could not be drained. Crop rotation could not be maintained.

    There were improvements in land use due to better understandings of science and advances in technology starting in the 18th century. The three-field crop rotation system was improved when farmers discovered that certain crops could help a field regain its nutrients, such as turnips or clover. Farmers would grow these crops in the field, usually left fallow, making the land much more productive.

    The communal land was unimproved pasture.

  26. There’s a point where owning too much stuff and it tends to control you. I recently inherited my father’s car; I already have 3 but don’t want to get rid of any. Now one plays musical chairs sitting in the driveway.

    I wouldn’t want Jay Leno’s collection of 200+ even if I were in his tax bracket.

    But you are right about the independence.

  27. I think the classical example of the “tragedy of the commons” was essentially in error, but… The lesson is actually still there. Anyone who is ever stuck with maintaining or supervising the maintenance of any “common areas” in the course of their lives can attest to what a pain in the ass it can be. Public restrooms, anyone?

    There are differences, though; I ran troops in the US Army for years. Lengthy periods with gang-style latrines, equally lengthy ones with individual bathrooms in dorm-style barracks. The interesting point there was that whenever there were separate male/female facilities, the males generally did a better job of maintaining the public facilities and left their private ones fairly well trashed. Females, it was the opposite–Public gang-style latrines were thrashed, always a pain in the ass to keep up that required a lot more attention. Personal bathrooms? Immaculate. Same females, different barracks.

    You can be as reasonable as you like, and it’ll still happen. Maddening, to say the least. Sweet reason and gentle voice does nothing–You have to be an utter draconian ass to ensure the work is done.

    I once had a really smart guy working for me; very much a “bright”, and also someone who was a fervent socialist touchy-feely type when he started working for me. I put him in charge of the latrine and common area clean-up in the barracks, and in six months? He was a dedicated authoritarian on his way towards being a conservative.

    That’s pretty much the story with anything. Human nature being what it is, common property or the property of others gets little or no consideration. Company employees of ours? Abuse the ever-loving shiite out of company tools. The ones they have to buy? Carefully cared for, treasured even. Annoying? Oh, hell yes.

    You can see it in your kids, even. Note what concern they have over things you give or provide them, then observe how they take care of those things they buy for themselves… Another aggravation in life, but a part of human nature.

    So, yeah… The Medieval examples of “the tragedy of the commons” might not be all that accurate, relying on the excuses laid on by those that performed the enclosures that took them away, but… Man, does that supposed “Just So” story resonate with real life-experience.

  28. }}} How does all this gathering tyranny end without gunfire?
    To echo ObloodyHell, keep other options in mind. We can’t let ourselves become so blinded by the tough choice that we don’t see the others. And yet…there will be others who will be blinded by the choice, so it could still become an option. I’m reminded of the meme saying that those who’ve studied history are dragged into a repeat of it by those who didn’t study history.
    On another note, I think it was in the book “The Immigrant Upraised” that mentioned an incident where some elites imported some ‘trash Eurpoeans’ to compete with the black slaves. At first it looked like it was working, because they did outproduce the blacks. But when a labor dispute arose, the imports sided with the blacks. Strange, that.

  29. That’s disingenuous, the original and canonical example is overgrazing, you (meaning economists in general, and the author of that piece in particular) can’t coin a phrase, use an example, then when it’s pointed out that nothing like that example ever happened, claim that it’s actually not a good example of your new term.

    No, it’s not. It’s an illustration of a concept, not a detailed example of exactly what happens in one specific single instance. I already gave you at least two examples, whaling and general overfishing. Others followed that with other examples, such as public toilets.

    What is disingenuous is to ignore what are clearly valid examples to attempt to say, “Nuhhh-UHH!” by pointing to a specific example which has been used as being invalid:

    “This one example is invalid, therefore ALL examples are invalid!!”

    (Note: No, you did not expressly say that, but it is certainly implied)

    That dog don’t hunt. You know that. I know that. Everyone else reading this knows that.

    Got a legitimate issue to raise in refutation?

  30. One of the issues in the events of 1848 in parts of Europe were enclosures and privatization of forest lands. Many poor peasants still relied on feudal rights to collect firewood and edibles from forests–common or community rights going back centuries.

    That’s not that long ago.

    OTOH, consider the Mudlarks of the Thames about the same time–tragedy of the commons, spontaneous order, either, neither, or both?

  31. The “Tragedy of the Commons” runs both ways… In one direction, nobody was maintaining or developing said commons to their best effect, and on the other, the people who’d customarily benefited from using them got screwed when they did the enclosures and privatization.

    Which, when you look at it through a certain lens, ain’t all that much different than when they privatized all the Soviet Union’s “public property”. Or, when they did the same in the UK…

    The reality is this: There really is no such thing as something that is “publicly owned”, when you get down to it. Day comes they decide to cease the lie, well… You’re screwed, no matter what. They’ll hand you a mess of pottage, and call it good.

  32. ““This one example is invalid, therefore ALL examples are invalid!!”
    (Note: No, you did not expressly say that, but it is certainly implied)”
    Well thanks for refuting yourself. I didn’t imply that, and don’t think that, so I have no reason to bother to write some long essay, when you’ve already conceded.
    To be honest, the “tragedy of the commons” overgrazing myth is a pet peeve of mine, and when you brought it up I got triggered, as the kids say. That’s really all there was to it.
    And now that we’ve established that you know it’s a myth, I know it’s a myth, and everyone else reading this knows it’s a myth, you can carry on.

  33. “There really is no such thing as something that is “publicly owned”, when you get down to it”
    Well, more like the reality is that nothing lasts forever, not the climate, and not the government’s recognition of your “rights” to your property, money, etc. If They decided They can take your stuff, with less cost to them than the benefit of taking it, then They’ll do so.
    Henry threw aside centuries of English law and gave all that public and church land to his cronies who centuries later benefitted even more from the Enclosure Laws that helped directly lead to industrialization and we all say hooray that was clearly more “efficient” and using that property “to best effect”, but that all sounds pretty similar to me to the people who say that NAFTA and “free trade” has everyone so much better off than we used to be.
    I fully expect that I’m young enough to see all my 401k money get “equitably appropriated” for “more deserving” recipients, and/or “the common good, no matter what little things like “the law” say now…

  34. absolute power corrupts absolutely, and this camarilla, which operates like keystone cops, are rather relentless in exploiting every opportunity, to our detriment and their profit, no matter the cost, even when they were out of power, they exploited the ‘blood price’ of covid, to get into power, even as they exarcerbated it in blue climes,

  35. Many poor peasants still relied on feudal rights to collect firewood and edibles from forests–common or community rights going back centuries.

    But they were illiterate and could not prove their rights. Some of the old land records were on tally sticks for illiterates. The problem was that England needed more food and the medieval commons could not provide it. The population was growing, perhaps because of better health although child survival was far below what we think is acceptable.

  36. Expropriation of church lands and wealth was the beginning of the modern European economy. Those that expropriated earliest and most thoroughly had a head start. Separation of church and economy–as necessary as separation of church and state for real progress.

    But such is our world today that people who live in comfort and safety because of past revolutions often feel the need to wistfully recall an idyllic world that never existed.

  37. Good grief everyone’s a mind reader today. Who said anything about “an idyllic world that never existed”?
    That being said, we know that the WEF and the “global elite” expect that in a few centuries historians will write:
    Elimination of human labor and wealth was the beginning of the modern global economy. Those that eliminated earliest and most thoroughly had a head start. Separation of humanity and economy–as necessary as separation of church and state for real progress.
    But such is our world today that people who live in comfort and safety because of past revolutions often feel the need to wistfully recall an idyllic world that never existed.

  38. David Foster, I have seen the argument and don’t dismiss that case, but financial and other revolutions preceded the IR, and set the stage.

    One alternative history to consider–and I just throw it out to help bring out the important factors–is this What If: What if the revolutionary new technology of movable block printing had been developed, not by more or less independent craftsmen and entrepreneurs, but by the RC church itself? What would they have published?

    In reality, of course, the hierarchs tried to control and constrain what could be dangerous in the wrong hands, but the Index was a post-hoc defensive action; the first great printers were pious men and there was a lot of demand for devotional lit, but the new technology was too powerful and potentially lucrative to be contained within the old limits of thought and belief.

  39. The history of the Roman Catholic Church is a pretty good example of what happens when you reach for too much control. Eventually, everything spirals out of control, out of your reach. They tried to control information and all the rest of European culture. Where did that get them?

    Best not to even try for control. You won’t get it, and it won’t work for very long if you do manage some semblance of it.

  40. I’ve seen it argued that the confiscation of the monasteries actually delayed the industrial revolution, because some orders were pioneers in the applications of waterpower.

    Hmmm. I haven’t seen this hypothesis and I didn’t manage to discern it in the linked article. Forgive me, maybe I’ll see that tomorrow.

    But I did notice this:

    Additionally, the Greeks and Romans had a surplus of labor from their immense working class, and this provided no incentive to develop labor-reducing technologies.

    This reminds me of my own notion that when labor is relatively scarce, freedom grows, and when there is a surplus of labor, tyranny prospers.

    I note that the later Roman Empire was essentially a brutal totalitarian state, with the noted lack of any apparent impulse for productivity improvements.

    I also have had a notion that revoking the power that our modern universities possess to decide what education actually means would have a similar impact upon modern society that the expropriation of the monasteries had upon Ye Olde Airstrip One.

    I suppose the counter argument to my thesis would that the modern universities are also pioneers in technology- but are the disadvantages they entail worth it?

    I suspect not. It seems to me that our modern universities have all the disadvantages I imagine for the monasteries- the imposition of an idiotic and counterproductive religiosity along with the tendency to soak up far too much of the available wealth of society into all that.

    Hence, I think modern society would be better off doing the modern equivalent of the confiscation of the monasteries- only with MOAR extreme prejudice.

  41. I’d argue today’s universities are more like Henry and his cronies–they just a generation ago seized power for themselves that they never had before…

  42. Xennady…”when labor is relatively scarce, freedom grows, and when there is a surplus of labor, tyranny prospers.”

    It’s certainly the case that the relative scarcity of labor in the US drove higher wage rates and thus strongly incentivized mechanical and other productivity improvements, creating a virtuous circle between wages and technology.

    This loop is interrupted when offshoring becomes dominant; no need to worry too much with productivity improvements when you’re paying people $1/hour and selling your products into a much-higher-income economy,

    The various analyses that are circulating, claiming that bringing more manufacturing back to the US will cut standards of living because we won’t be arbitraging very low wages, seem to ignore the point that if you’re making stuff in the US and paying people $15-25/hour, capital investments in productivity suddenly become a lot more interesting than if you’re paying people almost nothing.

  43. Speaking of tyranny, the FBI just arrested a leading GOP candidate for Michigan governor. The same FBI that faked a plot against the current Michigan governor just before the 2020 election. Any GOPer that is opposed to obliterating the FBI root and branch doesn’t know what time it is.

  44. Lay you long odds that the FBI and their Democrat masters just made a huge “in-kind” contribution to that candidate’s campaign… And, don’t even know they did it. I wonder if a Federal prisoner can be sworn into office as Governor?

    We may find out.

  45. I’ll say this about the machinations of our putative self-identified “masters”: They don’t know what they don’t know about what they’re actually doing. I can see the outline of a campaign to “reduce the population” going on, if you squint right and put on your conspiracy-colored glasses. If that is correct, I further surmise that it will blow up in their faces just like the “one-child” policy blew up in the CCP’s face.

    I’m highly suspicious of this “sudden” identification/discovery of this supposed “Sudden Adult Death Syndrome”. Rather odd, is it not, that it happens to coincide, coincidentally, with COVID and the vaccines? Does anyone remember the number of professional and semi-professional athletes just dropping dead of heart failure and other issues on the playing fields, before these benighted times of the 2020s? I sure as hell don’t. Yeah, you had Hank Gathers in ’90, and Reggie Lewis in ’93, but those were rare occasions years apart. Go do a search on “athlete dead on playing field” for the last three years, and then tell me something ain’t suspicious.

    I don’t know what is going on, but there is something happening with that which ain’t normal. I suspect that we’re experiencing the opening wedge of something significant, and the actuaries who’ve been suddenly silent about the sudden rate of change with regards to the deaths of healthy adults were probably on to something actually happening. I don’t know if it was COVID, the vaccines, or the phase of the moon, but there is a definite uptick in the number of people who were heretofore healthy, and are now dropping dead for no obvious reasons… It’s like a stealth bubonic plague, in some regards. No notice in the media, but at the same time, people keep dropping these casual little bombshells about friends and acquaintances of theirs who’re no longer with us. Mostly people who got vaccinated, I will note in passing…

  46. this is sadly not a new thing, see leopoldo lopez and the events of march 2002, in venezuela, a key stone affair, there was another candidate who was sidelined because of those events, the protests about 15 years later, incurred some 150 casualties, there was finally an assembly installed around 2018, but in leninist fashion, it was dissolved,

  47. leonardo capriles, the latter was considered a more blanc mange candidate, he along with julio borges formed a social democrat leaning opposition bloc, the former went into exile, after being released from prison from protests around 2014, the disinfo gambit isn’t new either, previously it belong in the fcc, with black marxist mark lloyd, the tweedle dum to the pentagon’s zampolit, bishop garrison, so they are sampling 14 flavors of tyranny;

  48. do they really know what they are doing, they think collapsing the system, will put them in charge, but they can’t guarantee that, that may just leave in piles of rubble, like jericho, sans the ark, or constantinople after the walls were breached,

  49. Odd, ain’t it, how they keep using the same techniques? Soviet Union, Venezuela, here in the US…

    It’s almost like there’s a unifying ideology, or something… Huh.

    Thing is, I have my doubts about how well it’s going to work for them, here. Too many independent assholes that don’t like people telling them what to do, although it does seem as though the percentage has gone down.

    One major difference, though… The arms. In Venezuela, you rioted and there wasn’t much the rest of the general public could do. Here? You piss enough of the right people off, those riots are going to be shooting galleries. Case in point would be what happened when the Antifa types tried taking their little agenda out into the countryside of Oregon. Rumor has it that there are some bodies that haven’t been located, as of yet, and the cops out there ain’t looking to find them, either. All those fires they had, a few summers ago? There were more than a few that were not natural in cause. I’ve heard whispers that some of the arsonists were caught by the landowners and locals. Note that I did not say “turned over to police”, there. Firebugs up here in the mountains are not appreciated, at all.

  50. The subtext of my What If is of course: our situation is as if the RC -had- invented and monopolized a revolutionary new information technology.

    Our hierarchs are technically adept but politically naive (at best) and ignorant of anything that happened before about 1990 (for the most part). That combination of technic and power with ignorance is one of Nietzsche’s definitions of barbarism . . .

    My own study of history led me to much the same conclusion as Kirk’s: the illusion of being In Control is the most dangerous one of all. And the western fires are a good metaphor for the overdue and certain to be terrible reckoning(s) over this long hot crazy summer.

  51. Literally the Michigan GOP candidate is being prosecuted by the FBI for being in the crowd and pointing at the Capitol, it’s total derangement and an outrage, but completely and totally unsurprising.

  52. “Our hierarchs are technically adept but politically naive (at best) and ignorant of anything that happened before about 1990 (for the most part)”

    Depends who you mean by Hierarchs….pretty clear that Biden, Pelosi, etc have not the vaguest comprehension of energy technology. Very few CongressCreatures have any understanding of information technology beyond how to use twitter and FB.

  53. }}} I think modern society would be better off doing the modern equivalent of the confiscation of the monasteries- only with MOAR extreme prejudice

    I think you misspelled “MOAB”, there.

    Jus’ Sayin’….

  54. One of the problems our civilization faces is that the technically astute are often politically naive, while the politically gifted are technically illiterate and innumerate.

    Way too much hubris, not at all enough humility.

    One of the really big takeaways I had from my first decade in the military was “You don’t know everything about anything”, and to have the humility and wisdom to seek guidance from those that do, no matter where the hell they were on the totem pole of rank structure. The rankest private that’s been to the new equipment training knows way more about how to employ something than you, ‘cos new. Attempting to template the known old ways onto the new path? Bad, bad idea; it will result in failure and embarrassment. Open mind, listen, manage the course and the outcome.

    Of course, when it all blows up in your mutual faces because “reasons”, well… You’ve at least got buy-in with the troops for shared responsibility due to your having taken their input and actually listened to them. That counts for a lot more than you might think, as a leader. It’s better to be the guy that says “Hey, I don’t know what the hell is going on here, let’s figure this out together and muddle through…” than the arrogant sod who says “I know best, always…”

    It’s also often surprising to one and all how many of the “lowly” actually have really good, workable ideas that just need some support.

  55. In my mind the true hierarchs now aren’t the old people in formal political structures, but the new tech moguls. At the moment their interests align and overlap, but the coalition is inherently unstable and over the long term youth and technical mastery will win out.

  56. Well, it’s a pretty easy conspiracy theory to spin that all the big tech companies are basically really just government surveillance and control programs, and perhaps have been from their very beginnings…

  57. I’ve always had my doubts about “social media”. Who needs a surveillance state when you can persuade everyone to do your work for you? I would not find it surprising at all were someone to tell me that early financing for Zuckerberg came out of the CIA or NSA.

  58. So lefties continue to “protest” at the homes of Supreme Court justices, and the authorities, both national scumbag Dems and Virginia GOPers, continue to do nothing. How much longer until some righty groups decide to take matters into their own hands and step up in defense? Would have to be someone who doesn’t mind being immediately arrested and imprisoned, of course. That’s the whole point of the Jan 6 prosecutions, to make sure conservatives get the message that we’re not allowed the same “rights” that the left has…

  59. that was harold finch’s *admission in person of interest, the inventor of the AI that was the key element in the series, well ITT was deeply imbedded in the embryonic deep state, through it’s CEO Sosthenes Behn, who didn’t merely attend to American interests, in the interwar period, and I’m being charitable there, James Hougan, compared him to the real Milo Minderbinder from Catch 22,

    *the name of a popular telegram feed,

    this is why they took the Proud Boys out of commission, as they were the defense against so called Antifa,

  60. I feel like we’ve totally forgotten that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is a fat treasonous piece of garbage and our enemies hold him and the entire administration with complete contempt.
    Chinese military officials in recent months have repeatedly asserted that the Taiwan Strait isn’t international waters during meetings with US counterparts, according to a person familiar with the situation, generating concern within the Biden administration.

  61. Brian: “our enemies hold him and the entire administration with complete contempt.”

    The disgraceful rout from Afghanistan has been memory-holed in the US — but undoubtedly is well-remembered and closely studied in China, Russia, India, Iran, Brazil and who knows where else. Our Political Class’s failing proxy war in the Ukraine is simply going to reinforce that global opinion that the US has lost the plot. What the consequences of that loss of international respect will be … we will have to wait & see, but they are unlikely to be good.

    Kirk has several times noted that those responsible for failures in the US are not held responsible, provided they are card-carrying members of the nomenklatura. That may well be the most important lessons our enemies are drawing from US performance. Everyone makes mistakes — but the US Political Class now fails to learn from them, and indeed tends to double down on failure. Eventually, that will change — one way or another. But the process is going to be very painful.

  62. https://twitter.com/disclosetv/status/1536323814753173508
    JUST IN – China’s Xi orders the introduction of a legal framework to deploy troops in “non-war military actions.”

    I concede I’m not quite sure what to make of this, but I am pretty sure that the next two and a half years promise to be extremely rocky. We’re on the verge of economic struggles not seen in decades, or longer, and no one even knows “who” is running things in DC, president pudding brain certainly isn’t in charge, and his advisors/handlers are all morons and/or non-entities.

  63. “China’s Xi orders the introduction of a legal framework to deploy troops in “non-war military actions.”

    Interesting! We would have to study the 6 chapters and 59 articles to guess at what it really means. Is this focused on external “non-war military actions”, e.g. peacekeeping in the Ukraine? Or is it focused on internal use of military forces to quell disturbances, e.g. Tiananmen Square? Or is it focused on occupying Taiwan at the invitation of the Taiwanese government, which is undoubtedly drawing the lesson not to rely on the US or Australia to provide protection?

    Let’s remember that President Xi is seeking an unprecedented third term at the big CCP meeting later this year. That also may be a factor. Once again, we will have to wait & see.

  64. My guess is the “plan” is to impose massive economic pain on the world, especially the West and Western aligned nations, and see what you can get away with in the next two years or so while DC is run by the current imbeciles and crooks. “Non-war military actions” is pretty similar to Russian rhetoric about Ukraine, no? In two years if there’s widespread inflation and recession all across the world, do they think they can pressure Taiwan to see the writing on the wall and figure that capitulation is preferable to fighting to stay free and aligned with a West that’s incapable of and uninterested in defending them?
    (I didn’t say it’s a good plan, just my guess about a ChiCom plan–they’ve basically started to really shut themselves off from the world, reducing travel both in and out quite significantly, allegedly stocked up on food, etc.)

  65. Ah, but you have to remember, Miguel… These are people of the diktat, not reality. They think that their words and actions create the world around them, that what they say has more impact than anything else. Intent counts more than actions, to them. They do not live in the real world, have not been brought up in it, and think that they are immune to consequence or repercussion.

    I think an awful lot of this has roots going right back to child-rearing practices first brought in during the Dr. Spock era. Parents were told not to punish their children, to try to “understand” them. While I don’t disagree that a lot of “old school parenting” was abusive, I do think that it taught the kids something about the world–Actions have consequences. Action “A” will result in Consequence “B”, inevitable as the sun rising the next morning.

    You look around at the current lot of idiots-in-charge, and they’re all convinced that they’re not actually responsible for anything. You go and tell one of these “Soros Prosecutors” that their policies and acts have resulted in general lawlessness and higher crime rates, and they’ll all look confused as hell and likely respond with “But… But, that’s not what I said! That’s not what I meant to happen! I didn’t say crime was going to go up… I just said we weren’t going to punish criminals…”

    There’s an entire generation of severely “consequence disadvantaged” children running things, I am afraid. They do not get it, because their little bottoms didn’t get paddled as small children when they did things they were told not to do. Hell, most of them aren’t even self-aware enough to show the slightest amount of dismay at getting caught, because they don’t have that deeply-rooted instinctive fear that goes back to childhood about transgression.

    I really don’t give a flying f*ck about how “Inuit never hit children”. Well, great… Good for them. They live in a horribly austere and deadly environment; kids don’t act right, they’re probably going to get eaten by a passing polar bear or fall into a hole in the ice. That’ll weed out the sociopaths pretty quickly, and I don’t doubt that more than a few of them were “helped” in finding said bears or holes.

    Much as I loathe saying it, the average Westerner is likely genetically predisposed to being a bit of an asshole; you subtract the traditional ways of ameliorating that, and what you have is our situation today.

    I suspect that the whole thing is going to end in tears, followed by an interregnum of outright horror where instead of handing out “human services” to the homeless, we’re instead giving them OD levels of fentanyl and banning Narcan. I expect that you’ll see impromptu executions of criminals in the act of shoplifting or robbery, and nobody will even blink.

    Friends of the family live in what has, of late, morphed into a rather high-crime rural area. Thieves got off of I-5, found their farm, and proceeded to try and steal contractor’s trailers and a horse trailer with a stolen truck they got elsewhere along the highway. Unfortunately, the trailers were locked, and the farm wasn’t as unoccupied as they thought… Sheriff’s deputies showed up and arrested them, and the thing they asked our friends was “Why didn’t you shoot them? You could have, you know…”, very much with a “hint, hint” mien, and about the only thing the deputy didn’t do was stamp his foot when he said “Shoot”.

    So, now law enforcement is telling the average citizen to just kill the f*ckers, don’t call them. Think that’s gonna end well? For anyone?

    And, whose brilliant ideas and policies, put into effect, have put us here? Huh. The “Spock Generation”, insulated from accountability and consequence, all their lives.

    I grew up with kids like that. They’d come up with some stupid f*cking idea, suggest it to the rest of us, and I’d be about the only one able to work out “If we do that, then X is gonna do Y…” They weren’t going to get in real trouble for burning down the barn, so they didn’t really care. Me? I knew if I was even there, and my parents found out…? Then, it was gonna be ass whuppin’ time. Period.

    Organisms respond to stimulus. Withdraw the stimulus when you get the behavior you don’t want, and you’re gonna get way, way more of that behavior. We’ve been doing that in far too many ways, ever since that inane jackass started weighing in against “punishment”. It’s not “punishment”, it’s environmental feedback that should be modifying behavior. The actual abuse is in not providing that feedback, which we haven’t been doing for a couple of generations. The feedback loop that will happen when all that wind-up in the system finally unleashes itself? It ain’t going to be pretty, and it’s going to be far more horrifying than any Dr. Spock-decried child rearing practices ever were. Heinlein’s comment about “spanking the baby with an axe” in Starship Troopers comes to mind, and I’m increasingly seeing his writing in that work as being at least somewhat darkly prophetic.

  66. I’m sure what they say about food production is right, what are the chances they’d get oil and wheat both wrong?

    An informal summary:
    Winter Wheat, starting harvest about June 1, 30% good to excellent. 50% would be normal.

    Soybeans, too early in the season for condition, 80% planted, 60% emerged, about normal.

    Spring Wheat, just planted, 80% planted, 50% emerged, very slow from lack of moisture, farmers will be considering replanting if they see a chance of moisture.

    Corn, 75% good to excellent, 90% planted, 80% emerged, should be higher.

    Here’s soil moisture and days suitable for field work, Notice how many states have lots of days suitable for field work because soil moisture is so low.

    Let’s go Brandon.

  67. Summers got part of it right: “And that, in turn, feeds through for inflation. Because if you can’t trust the country’s government, why should you trust its money?”

  68. For as long as I can remember, inflation has been described as too much money chasing too few goods. The present situation may be people, convinced that their money is worthless, willing to pay nearly anything to someone that hasn’t caught on yet for what they think will stay valuable. They assume whatever piece of paper they have proving their ownership will be enforced. By just whom do you suppose. None of the presently popular Post Apocalyptic literature seems to be written from the view point of someone holding off the ravening mob by brandishing a Deed of Trust. In the end, paper is just paper.

    As usual, the government thinks they can command respect and confidence by right, without earning it. The Emperor’s New Clothes writ large.

  69. Everyone just assumed that the former state of things was the natural order, and lost track of how the hell we attained it in the first place. Because of that, they’ve been steadily gnawing away at the roots of it all, and here we are.

    I do not know where this ends, and neither do they. The difference is, I’ve always known and appreciated how fragile it all was. They did not, and again, here we are. Lessons are going to have to be learned, and I suspect that Biden may well be our Chavez or Maduro. I do not see the inept Republicans managing any such thing as a turn-around, because the vast majority of the ones we have participating in national politics are as stupid and invested in the oligarchy’s schemes as the Democrats are. I’m cultivating a sense of the absurd, hoping to maintain a bit of sanity and hope for the future.

    I mean, they can’t possibly be this stupid, can they…? Can they?

  70. I don’t think the current inflation has anything to do with consumer sentiment. That’s the scary thing, we haven’t even gotten to that point yet, all the price hikes are due to legitimate cost increases, when people start to panic it’ll be “look out below” time…

  71. Instapundit is conveying reports of a bank run in China…

    Yeah, we’re screwed. Observe what happens next… Idiots put billions into a Chinese system managed by corruptocrats indoctrinated in communist theory, and expected it all to Just Work Out ™.

    I swear to God, these people are mind-bogglingly incompetent at running the world. The idiot financiers are oblivious to all of this, and have not one damn clue when it comes to real-world consequences.

    Still, it will be an artistic achievement, the crash. I can’t wait to see which way it all tumbles. Morons. Utter, ‘effing morons. Life was the best it ever was for the most people, ever, and they decided that wasn’t good enough.

    Can’t help but wonder what it is all going to be looking like, a decade hence.

  72. I started hearing about Chinese bank runs even before Evergrande. In all the “developer” crashes since, it’s the foreign investors that were screwed first. I, stupidly, figured everybody realized that any money they had invested in China was just gone, they are never getting the money or any accounting of it. That goes for Chinese factories, I hope Musk isn’t counting on money from his Chinese Gigafactory to pay for Twitter.

    I say I was stupid because I forgot that much, probably most, of the U.S. money invested in China is in the form of “Offshore Growth” or “Emerging Market” funds that were supposed to somehow pay large multiples of the minuscule interest rates at “no risk”. These people probably still don’t know just how screwed they are, it’s all buried in a footnote on page 47 of the prospectus. When they find out, then you’ll see runs.

    I hope I’m wrong. If I’m not, it will be just another case of; “If I’m so smart, why ain’t I rich?”.

  73. MCS: “In all the “developer” crashes since, it’s the foreign investors that were screwed first.”

    That is the way it always has been. Russia’s Gazprom invested in Germany to provide that country with essential gas — building pipelines, facilities, gas storage reservoirs. And then the German government seized it all — stole it, to be precise. Foolish Russians for investing in Germany.

    It was always obvious that when things went pear-shaped, the foreign investors in any country would be the first to get fleeced. But the guys & gals who believed in “Free Trade” and “Globalization” ignored common sense and experience.

    If this gets countries around the world back to investing in themselves, it will not be a bad thing in the long term.

  74. Of course, most of the people getting fleeced are Chinese. All the people that had jobs in the export sector aren’t going to be buying tickets on those high speed trains. They’ll have more time than money so they’ll probably take the slow way back to the pig farm. All those miles of high speed rail will have even more trouble paying the electric bill without passengers. Maybe China wants to teach the rest of the world a lesson by committing economic suicide, must be some inscrutable oriental plan for world domination.

  75. China “committing economic suicide” would mean the death of the entire global order that’s been built for the past 30 years…my guess is the scorpion thinks it can swim better than a stung frog, hopefully we won’t find out if that’s the case…

  76. Kirk: I mean, they can’t possibly be this stupid, can they…? Can they?

    They can be this evil. The whole desire of their big piss-pumping hearts is to punish us uppity deplorable revolting peasants; to make us suffer, to kill as many of us as possible, and to break any survivors to “KNOW YOUR PLACE, SERF!”

    Any electric-vehicle, renewal unicorn-power plans for a better, greener future are strategic deceptions to keep up the morale of their troops and to make their true “punish and kill!” plans more effective. If the leaders believe in those renewable-unicorn plans themselves, it’s in an Orwellian double-think sort of way.

    They’re willing to burn down the world, let the heavens fall, and sacrifice all their followers for the sake of crushing their never-to-be-sufficiently-hated right-wing enemies, driving the broken survivors before them, and hearing the lamentations of the chemically-castrated children.

    They see us as a defeated and occupied nation of Nazis, and they’re imposing a 21st century Morganthau Plan on us. Only this time they’re determined to press the plan home, instead of flinching out of pragmatic and humanitarian concerns, and abandoning their plan the way the original Morganthau Plan was abandoned.

  77. Whatever your predicted gas price for the fall is, it’s not nearly high enough, you should probably add a buck or two to get in the right ballpark…
    President Biden intensified attacks against the nation’s largest oil companies, writing an “angry” letter to the heads of ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP America, Shell USA, Phillips 66, Marathon, and Valero to boost US refinery output, according to Axios.
    “I understand that many factors contributed to the business decisions to reduce refinery capacity, which occurred before I took office,” Biden writes in hopes that everyone is an idiot and incapable of grasping how how green policies have crippled the US energy sector, adding, “at a time of war, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly onto American families are not acceptable.
    “My administration is prepared to use all reasonable and appropriate federal government tools and emergency authorities to increase refinery capacity and output in the near term, and to ensure that every region of this country is appropriately supplied,” the president escalated for dramatic effect.

  78. The Stinky Sock Puppet: “My administration is prepared to use all reasonable and appropriate federal government tools and emergency authorities to increase refinery capacity and output in the near term, and to ensure that every region of this country is appropriately supplied,”

    Option 1: Roll back most Federal regulations. Best case it would take about 3-5 years to build new refinery capacity, instead of the 10+ years under current regulations.

    Option 2: Immediately eliminate the sanctions on Russia which are disrupting fuel supplies world wide, and grovel before the Saudis (much deeper bow than Barry Soetero did — probably the full kow-tow) and provide even more support for Saudi Arabia’s ongoing war against the Yemeni people. Supplies would normalize within a month.

    Option 3: Expand the “Disinformation Office”. Better media coverage of the MalAdministration, no effect on fuel supplies.

    Any guesses on which option the Political Class and their sock puppet are going to choose?

  79. There was a story the other day that the admin had been calling around to oil companies “asking” them to ramp up production and were surprised to find out it would take years. Because they are morons.
    So the new “plan” is to yell and scream and call names and blame someone, anyone. Don’t think it’s gonna work for ya, Brandon.

    (Re: Option 2, I don’t think MBS would care at all, he hates Brandon and the Dems, because they are contemptible loathsome toads. Why should anyone trust us anymore? We’ve shown ourselves to be a completely unserious country. OPEC’s not going to come riding to our rescue, they’re doing just fine right now.)

  80. Brian: “OPEC’s not going to come riding to our rescue, they’re doing just fine right now.”

    Got to agree with that. Biden* should remember that the days of OPEC are effectively over. The institution that matters now is OPEC+ … the + refers to Russia, which is a key member of OPEC+ because it is such a large oil exporter — and remains a large exporter, despite Biden*’s sanctions.

    If the Biden* Krew cannot reduce gasoline prices by increasing supplies, their alternative would be to reduce demand. Gasoline rationing would be popular with the imbeciles of the Political Class (“energy transition”, etc), but would it play in Peoria?

    Let’s never forget Barry Soetero’s advice to people who were struggling to pay for gasoline for their old gas-guzzling truck: No Problem! Just go out and buy a new $40,000 fuel-efficient vehicle. The Political Class don’t live in the real world.

  81. No, they do not.

    The real world is going to come visiting the John Kerry types real soon, now. They are not going to like it.

    What baffles me is that they all seem to think that a.) the rubes are way too stupid to figure out what they’re doing, and that b.) they’re going to keep getting away with it. Last night’s blow-out in Texas, where a Latina Republican married to a Border Patrol agent took a D+5 district at 51 to 43% margins, which also has an 85% Hispanic population base.

    That ain’t according to the playbook they’ve been working at, for the last few generations. The assumption that the Democrats always had was that the Hispanic vote was a lock-in for them, but what they failed to wrap their heads around was that those dirty brown people weren’t coming North to vote for Democrats, they were coming North for the better life–And, if the Democratic Party is actively engaged in destroying that better life…? Did they fail to reduce the equation to its simplest terms, or something?

    I will solidly laugh my ass off if it turns out that all those illegals they’ve let in, thinking they were gonna be permanent clients for the Democratic Party, actually turn out to be self-interested types who regard the Democrats as a menace to their aspirations. That might actually be the case, and it’s only going to get worse if the Democrats continue to ally themselves with the BLM and Antifa types. I’m already hearing things that make me think this is something the “brights” have missed, in their calculations. La Raza may be a natural fit in the Democrat scheme of things, but the number of the illegals that want anything to do with those types is really low. They want a better life, period; if the Democrats can only offer more of what they had to put up with at home…?

    I think a lot of these Wily E. Coyote “Sooooper-Genious” types are in for a rough, rough ride going forward. Around the world. Man propose, God (or, reality for the secular…) disposes.

  82. You couldn’t come up with a more effective repellent for Hispanic voters than “Black Lives Matter” with a side dish of “Defund the Police”…those crazy lines are primarily aimed at liberal white women, they eat that stuff up.

  83. Yeah, I’ve often commented on that. Mexicans and Central Americans likely to come North are generally either Indio or Mestizo ethnically, and they’ve all got really nasty folk-memories of African overseers and foremen in the Spanish mines and fincas. There are reasons that there are so few African-origin ethnic groups down there. The majority of them either got killed off, or, at best, found it wise to either leave or do their best to blend in with everyone else. There are reasons why the Misquito Coast down around Nicaragua had so many blacks, and why the Guatemalans loathe the Belizeans.

    [sigh] Which are all things utterly invisible to the average idiot “activist” whites working on behalf of the Democratic Party. Kinda how they’re oblivious to the various ethnic issues between the Navajo and the Hopi, along with the other tribal animosities: [stunned voice of a Karen] “But… But… You’re all Indians!! How can you hate each other…?”

  84. A few things to keep in mind about Texas and Southwest Hispanics.

    First: A fair number can trace their roots here back to before the Mayflower was built and certainly to before the border had any real relevance.

    Second: In Texas they have a history of voting Democratic because until about 30 years ago, everybody here voted Democratic. The Rio Grande Valley was the last hold out on that. It’s not an accident that it was Duval County that put LBJ in the Senate.

    Third: They may be slightly more likely to own or have an interest in a small business.

  85. Mayra Flores was born in Mexico, and legally immigrated.
    Last night she posted this:
    “This historic win will bring back God to the halls of Congress! This win is for the people who were ignored for so long! This is a message that the establishment will no longer be tolerated! We have officially started the red wave!! #TX34
    God, Family, Country”

    The fact is there’s tons of people who are infinitely more attracted to Donald Trump than to Mitt Romney, no matter what their race, and the GOPe scumbags can either wake up or go away.

  86. I don’t think there’s really a razor’s worth of difference between the Mitt Romney’s and the Chuck Schumer’s of the Uniparty; they’re all in on running things for the benefit of the oligarchy.

    The problem is that these knuckleheads have apparently mistaken their position as unassailable, and beyond anything “the rest of us” can do about them or their BS programs. Could be that they’re right, but I have my doubts. If nothing else, “the rest of us” can simply opt out of participation in their little games, and cease supporting them and the government which is no longer ours. They can’t recruit enough cops or FBI agents to enforce their will, nor can they keep those cops or FBI agents secure against a population that chooses not to be policed by them. This is something I’ve told cops for years, now–Just because “things have always been this way” doesn’t mean that they always will be. The guys who told me that the cops were always right, were always on the side of the angels, and that they’d never be questioned about that over any of the abuses perpetrated by them? Those guys are now in a bit of a state of shock, witnessing what’s happened and what is still happening in cities like Portland and Seattle. Not to mention the State Patrolmen I know, who never thought they’d see anything like what came out of the legislature about pursuits. I warned them that the things they took for granted could be removed by the public, if they chose to.

    Turns out, I was right and they were wrong. I think a lot of our DemoRepub Oligarchic Complex is going to be in for a similar shock. They’ve gotten used to just taking “consent of the governed” for granted, and I don’t think that it’s as much of a given as they’ve been thinking…

  87. “Financial system collapses happen where everyone loses faith in the financial system at the same time and too many make a break for the exits simultaneously.

    China being a place where that might happen wasn’t on my 2022 bingo card.”

    From This thread:
    From Trent. Also lots on non-tendentious Ukraine war information.

    Not that I have a Bingo card for 2022 but the signs of a Chinese economic collapse have been multiplying since before Covid. 2022 seems to be the year that all their chicken come home to roost. The question everybody needs to answer is whether they’ll be a spectator or a participant in the coming crash there. A lot of us will find they are a lot closer to the action then they imagined.

    That’s not to say that the dimensions of the coming crash here are known, just that our proximity is less of a mystery. Not to mention Biden’s ability to make things worse which has hardly been tested to date but certainly seems substantial.

  88. Trent also said that Russia was going to use chemical weapons in Ukraine, so I don’t give a ton of deference to his strategic analysis at the moment.

    I’m way more worried about the West, and it’s not even close:
    JUST IN – Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Habeck (Green Party) urges German citizens to save energy, wants to enforce energy-saving measures by law “if necessary.”
    A gas shortage and high prices will send “shockwaves through the country,” leading to landlords cutting the heat for tenants and widespread company bankruptcies, warned Klaus Müller, the head of Germany’s Federal Network Agency, which is the regulatory office for electricity, gas, telecommunications, postal services, and railway markets.

    At this point, now nearly four months into the invasion of Ukraine, Russian gas flows to European clients have plummeted to their lowest levels since 2014, Bloomberg has noted. But at the same time, Reuters is reporting that “Russia’s Gazprom increased gas supplies to China by 67% in the first five months of this year, the company’s CEO Alexei Miller said on Thursday.”
    It was also on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping held their second phone call since the Ukraine war began. Xi told Putin that China is “willing to continue to offer mutual support (to Russia) on issues concerning core interests and major concerns such as sovereignty and security,” as quoted in state broadcaster CCTV.

  89. MCS: “Not that I have a Bingo card for 2022 but the signs of a Chinese economic collapse have been multiplying since before Covid. 2022 seems to be the year that all their chicken come home to roost.”

    Could happen — just like the Ukraine could beat the crap out of Russia. We all have to wait and see.

    What we can see is the obvious consequences of an economic collapse in China. Something like half the manufactured goods in the US come from China. And probably most of the rest contains Chinese components. What really staggered me was looking at the garlic sold in my local grocery store — straight from China!

    Yes, yes, yes. Of course eventually the US could rebuild all the factories and machinery that was shipped off to China, and train a whole new generation of workers on how to use them. We probably could accomplish a lot of what needed to be done in about … a quarter of a century. In the meantime, the US is going to be a very unhappy place to be.

    Bottom line — If China has an economic collapse, they will take the US and the West down with them.

  90. well they have that capacity, but they don’t want to cross that threshold, if needs must, does anybody know what they are doing, are they really looking after their long term interests, it certainly doesn’t look like it, Putin was arrogant, and gerasimov told him it would be cakewalk, because the wonders of hybrid warfare, but one still faces the reality of massed men, vehicles and aircraft,
    the eu is pushing to bring ukraine in, what would the point of that be, we are the leading edge of tim blair’s law, where all the insanities roll together,

  91. This sounds like it’s along the lines of what some of us have been saying, Russia and China are actively looking to blow up the current global order, not just talking about it. We can say “are they really looking after their long term interests” but it sure looks like they think so, that taking the West down a peg or two is in fact the best thing for them, even if in absolute terms it hurts them, it will help them because the West will suffer more than them. And besides Russians and Chinese are used to hard times…how are we going to farer?

    Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed in further remarks given before the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that anti-Russian sanctions have only come back to hurt the people of the EU and the West broadly, amid soaring gas and food prices, inflation fears, and severe supply chain shortages. He declared the end of the unipolar world as we know it, saying, “Over the past decades, new powerful centers have been formed on the planet […] each of them develops their own political system and public institutions, implements their own models of economic growth, and, of course, has the right to protect themselves, to ensure national sovereignty. We are talking about real processes, about truly revolutionary, tectonic changes in geopolitics, global economy, the technological sphere, in the entire system of international relations”.

  92. Brian: “… that taking the West down a peg or two is in fact the best thing for them [China & Russia] , even if in absolute terms it hurts them, it will help them because the West will suffer more than them.”

    We know that military war is expensive — $50 Billion for the Ukraine, and it is not enough for the Kiev crowd. Yet the rulers of the US are prepared to pay that price, because … Oh Look! A squirrel!

    Why would China not be prepared to spend that and more in an economic war to end the threat of an aggressive US/NATO showing up at their door? We in the West have been on the losing end of an economic war for two decades — and we still do not realize it. Maybe we will only realize what has happened after the economic war is over.

  93. Let me get this straight; China is willing to commit economic suicide to the extent of wide scale impoverishment and even starvation of their own citizens in order to prevent an organization based thousands of miles from their borders from doing something that it has never shown any tendency to do. Further, they intend to beggar us by causing us to spend some 50 billions on Ukraine while we are engaged with shoveling trillions into various holes, all on our own. All the while, Russia expends their operational forces forces to acquire some few hectares of desolated, depopulated countryside. Forces that they will need a decade, at least, to rebuild after displaying to the world their own complete military incompetence.

    Looks like winning to me

  94. “China is willing to commit economic suicide ”

    “to the extent of wide scale impoverishment and even starvation of their own citizens”
    Please show one piece of evidence that the Chinese government cares one whit about starving its own people?

    “in order to prevent an organization based thousands of miles from their borders from doing something that it has never shown any tendency to do. ”
    I have no idea what you mean–NATO attacking Russia, maybe? It’s hard to say? I think China, and Russia, each have their own particular concerns but both share a desire to shatter Western institutions that they perceive as either actively or potentially hostile to their interests.

  95. “Please show one piece of evidence that the Chinese government cares one whit about starving its own people?”

    They probably don’t, as such. There’s ample precedent for that. What they do, or should, care about is the sort of social unrest that has transformed large swaths of China into depopulated hellscapes overlain by the stench of unburied dead periodically over the last few millennia. This doesn’t spare the the ruling class and many places are running out of money to pay the police. Who will protect them from the mobs then?

  96. MCS: “… to prevent an organization based thousands of miles from their [China’s} borders from doing something that it has never shown any tendency to do.”

    Come on, MCS! Reasonable people can differ in their interpretations, but let’s respect the facts.

    NATO — that great defensive organization — invaded Iraq, thousands of miles away. Maybe half a million Iraqi children killed, with the country still in turmoil.

    NATO bombed Serbia for over two months straight — deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure like power plants, which some would argue is a blatant war crime — except the US never declared war before bombing the Serbian people. And the US blew up the Chinese embassy there, just to show.

    US/NATO bombed Libya, thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean from the US. And did this after Libya had demonstrated good faith by dismantling its nuclear weapons program. Libya is still in chaos from the US assault.

    US/NATO invaded and occupied the sovereign nation of Afghanistan, thousands of miles from the US. for two decades, causing untold numbers of civilian casualties.

    Any reasonable objective observer would accept that the leaders of the US show a great proclivity to intervene militarily in other countries, for reasons that are often tenuous.

    It is understandable that countries like China and Russia should be very suspicious of the US. As a US citizen, I do not like what Our Betters have done in our name. Do you think the leaders of the US have shown the world that we are a peace-loving people, MCS?

  97. Gavin,
    Granting your points momentarily for the sake of argument, that China’s plan was for Putin to provoke a general war with NATO. That hasn’t worked out very well and the evidence is that it would have been more of a disaster than what actually happened. NATO is, for the moment, more unified than ever and while stocks of munitions are being depleted, those are only relevant to a ground war. I haven’t heard anyone walking around free that sees any prospect of NATO or the U.S. fighting a land war with China. In fact, the only big loser so far is the only country with a long border with China that isn’t the worlds highest mountain range or impenetrable jungle.

    In the mean time, China seems to have adopted the strategy of a fighter, repeatedly running into a brick wall with the intent of… what exactly?

    As far as the peace loving sovereign nation of Afghanistan, I seem to remember a certain day in 2001 and that they provided assistance and protection to those that organized that attack. It also seems unlikely that the nature of our exit would leave Xi quaking in his wingtips.

  98. “China seems to have adopted the strategy of a fighter, repeatedly running into a brick wall with the intent of… what exactly?”
    With the intent that CHINA decides what happens in CHINA. Yes, the ChiComs are bad, bad, bad, but THEY want to run THEIR country THEMSELVES. They don’t want the leaders of big Western companies dictating to them, they quite like power flowing the other way. It’d be nice if our elected officials felt the same way, no?
    “The multinational corporate control of government is exactly what the BRICS group foresaw when they first assembled during the Obama administration. When multinational corporations run the policy of western government, there is going to be a problem.
    In the bigger picture, the BRICS assembly are essentially leaders who do not want corporations and multinational banks running their government. BRICS leaders want their government running their government; and yes, that means whatever form of government that exists in their nation, even if it is communist.
    BRICS leaders are aligned as anti-corporatist. That doesn’t necessarily make those government leaders better stewards, it simply means they want to make the decisions, and they do not want multinational corporations to become more powerful than they are. As a result, if you really boil it down to the common denominator, what you find is the BRICS group are the opposing element to the World Economic Forum assembly.”

  99. Interesting read, whether you agree with it totally or not:
    “The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum has been configured for years now as absolutely essential to understand the evolving dynamics and the trials and tribulations of Eurasia integration.
    St. Petersburg in 2022 is even more crucial as it directly connects to three simultaneous developments I had previously outlined, in no particular order:
    First, the coming of the “new G8” – four BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China), plus Iran, Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico, whose GDP per purchasing parity power (PPP) already dwarfs the old, western-dominated G8.”

    The immediate loss of US influence with India is probably the most catastrophically stupid act of the Brandon regime. Just unimaginably idiotic. Alienating Brazil and KSA are bad, but throwing away gains with India is sheer insanity.

  100. Brian: “The immediate loss of US influence with India is probably the most catastrophically stupid act of the Brandon regime.”

    There is a lot of competition for the Biden* “most catastrophically stupid act”. I would vote for starting a proxy war against Russia as most stupid, because it could so easily spiral out of control into global thermonuclear war which will end life as we know it. But regulating productive business out of existence and printing money to make up for the resulting lack of tax revenue will get us to the same point without the necessity of war.

    This is what it must have seemed like in the 1930s. Anyone with eyes in his head could see the avalanche tearing down the mountain towards them … but they could not do anything to stop the approaching disaster. The present insanity will not end well.

  101. Russia and China can’t hope to really build an alternative to the Western-dominated global order if India is Western-aligned. Ukraine is a footnote to their attempts to shatter the West. India is critical, and the corrupt DC vipers are too stupid to even care. I guarantee you the morons running the White House know infinitely more about the Washington Post internal politics than about what’s going on in New Delhi. They’re throwing everything away. Things aren’t going to go the way they think they are, but they’re going to cause unimaginable pain and suffering…

  102. I’d submit that none of the idiots in any of the various capitols have any idea at all what is really going on. We’ve got a world-wide crisis of “dumbass in office” right now.

    Putin went into Ukraine expecting a three-day walkover. Xi thought that China was somehow immune from economic effects. The cabal that put Biden into office thought that was a good idea… It goes on and on. None of the bright lights we all rely on are demonstrating very much in the way of brightness, and the price will soon come due, around the world.

    Everyone saying that the Chinese or the Russians are brilliant strategists needs to have their heads examined; there’s as much ‘effing stupidity on their parts as there is on ours. The real question here is “Who is going to turn out to be the least stupid?”, just like the usual winner in a conflict isn’t the most effective military, but the least incompetent one.

    I frankly suspect that when this all shakes out, none of the current lot of idiots are even going to be at the table. It’s like with WWI; when it was all over, the pre-WWI powers had so thoroughly discredited themselves that most wound up out of the empire business within a generation.

  103. If you’re going to advance candidates for the “new world order”, you’d better find some where conditions in the countryside, outside of a few cities can bear comparison to the rural Congo.

    My favorite China Vlogers laughed uproariously when asked if they had ever suffered from cholera in rural China. Not from fond memories either.

  104. Things aren’t going to go the way they think they are, but they’re going to cause unimaginable pain and suffering…

    Already Germany is seeing reality in energy production.

    Germany will restart coal-fired power plants and offer incentives for companies to curb natural gas consumption, marking a new step in the economic war between Europe and Russia.

    Berlin unveiled the measures Sunday after Russia cut gas supplies to Europe last week as it punched back against European sanctions and military support for Ukraine.

    The steps, part of a broader strategy initiated after the invasion of Ukraine, aim to reduce gas consumption and divert gas deliveries to storage facilities to ensure that the country has enough reserves to get through the winter.

    Yes, winter is coming and reality is right behind.

  105. Here is a realistic estimate of the end game.

    There is no good solution, especially with the idiots running our country.

    The West has been inhabiting a fanciful world that could exist only in our imaginations. Many remain stranded in that self-deluded mirage. The more that we have invested in that fantasy world, the harder we find it to exit and to make the adjustment — intellectual, emotional, behavioral.

  106. @Mike K,

    That article lays out a lot of things, many of which are entirely delusional.

    NATO and Russia go at it over the Suwalki Corridor. OK, fine… Say that Lithuania decides to play Russia’s game, and unilaterally “violate” the agreements to let rail traffic through to Kaliningrad. How’s that any different than Russia violating the agreements about Ukrainian borders and sovereignty made back in the ’90s? I mean, if what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, Russia really has no grounds for complaint. As well, you have all the varied and sundry provocations the Russians have been conducting in the Baltic, the latest of which was a violation of Danish waters by Russian ships.

    On top of that, which I’m sure we’ll be told is all Russia’s “right” because they’re Russian and scared of everyone on their borders, you have the raw fact that Russian military power ain’t all that. I think Lithuania is making a power play here, which is likely backed by others in NATO, intended to demonstrate to Russia just exactly what else they could lose, should they decide to play stupid and escalate in Ukraine. The Lithuanians would not have done this absent some decent assurances of backing and some key indicators in the intelligence. Or, so one would hope…

    The thing here is that Russia has been poking all along the borders with the Baltics for the last two decades. There’s been crap like kidnappings of border guards, cyber attacks, and a host of other provocations. This is simply the bully getting notice that things aren’t always likely to go their way.

    I don’t see the people of Belarus supporting a Russian incursion into the Suwalki Corridor, nor do I see Poland accepting that as a “thing”, either. If Russia decides it has to stick it’s nose into the affair, well… I think it’s going to look a lot worse than Ukraine, for them. Much, much worse.

    People keep templating Russia as an actual superpower, based on WWII. They were a third-world economy even then, propped up by lend-lease and a host of other Western supports like building their factories. Even during late Soviet times, they were entirely dependent on Western industrial inputs in order to even maintain the crappy economy they had then. Today? Same thing, different commodities. Russia, because of its backwards political system, is doomed to a future of resource extraction only. They are not actually a fully-realized economy, capable of even the basic level of autarky. They have to have the external inputs, or they can’t build crap. Even their nuclear program under the Soviets was dependent on Western switches for their warheads… Russia is, I am afraid, a Potemkin economy. It looks really good, really powerful on paper. Get behind the scenes? Jesus wept… It’s a damn mess.

    Good grief… Look at all the munged-up crap they’ve had happen in key industries; ever hear of anyone managing to blow up a hydropower plant, outside of Russia? Through sheer negligence and ignorance?

    The Russians are in a really bad place because of their own choices. I seriously doubt that their military is going to magically start doing better than it has, and manage to take the Suwalki in a coup-de-main operation. What’s more likely to happen is the self-directed suicide of the Russian military, as it gets ground up on two very separate fronts. If they decide to focus on dealing with Lithuania and Poland, vice Ukraine? LOL… I don’t think the idiots who wrote that article have a damn clue just how shallow a bench the Russians really have going, right now. This is a military that can’t get out of its own way, and has been eating its seed corn since 24 February. That won’t change just because they decide to go after the Suwalki.

    Everyone has been talking up the Russians the same way they talked up the Iraqis before Desert Storm. The fact that they have been unable to fulfill their plans in Ukraine would be a freakin’ clue of epic proportions, if anyone bothered to think about it. How many days has this “three-day special military operation” taken, now?

    Frankly, I think Lithuania has just recognized reality, and decided to quit enabling the BS in the Baltic. That little “incursion” into Danish waters is what caused this, and I think it’s a warning shot across Russian bows…

    We’ll see. There’s no telling what the stupids are going to get up to. The Russian military has demonstrated so many holes in its fabric that I’m not even sure they are capable of pivoting to the Baltic, let alone executing some sane operational plan. There’s zero demonstrated evidence that they’ve learned anything in Ukraine, other than how to kill a bunch of their own people to no effect.

    People keep looking at this stuff and saying how it “demonstrates the Russian way of war…”, when the reality is that that way is mostly direly incompetent at very basic functions. We shall see what we shall see, though. I’d have thought that they’d have found a way to save face and get out of Ukraine by this point, but they’ve obviously got too much invested at this point to do the sane thing and get out of the tar baby they blundered into. They started this bullshit with 190,000 troops; they’ve burned through at least a third of that, maybe more. Rational commanders would have recognized they were losing their asses about two months ago, and gotten the hell out. Russians, however, with their extra-special disregard for casualties? They’re doubling-down. Demographically, they’re committing suicide; there are not all that many ethnic Russians or wannabe minorities to keep filling the ranks, even at the pay they’re offering. It isn’t a good sign when you’re reduced to advertising for contract soldiers on the equivalent of CraigsList, and from what I’ve been able to make out, there was abysmal intake during the spring conscription intake.

  107. If I was playing 21st Century Geopolitics my first pick would be to play as the USA, but if I had to play as China or even Russia, I wouldn’t be that stressed, if the current morons in charge were playing for the West. My main concern wouldn’t be to become a global colossus, but to make sure the West couldn’t color revolution me and laugh while doing it, and to upend the current system that is designed to keep me away from the grown up table.
    “Haha China is dirt poor outside of the big cities and Russia is drinking itself to death!” So freaking what, the West is still committing suicide and they’re in bed with a scorpion who they think is happy to get their table scraps.

  108. Brian: “If I was playing 21st Century Geopolitics my first pick would be to play as the USA”

    20th Century Geopolitics? Absolutely, play as the USA.
    22nd Century Geopolitics? Quite possibly playing as the USA (or more likely its reformed rebuilt successor) would be a good move.
    21st Century Geopolitics? We have to accept that the morons in charge have been screwing things up for half a century — and the rot goes deep, right down to local school boards. The mines are closed. The factories have been moved to China. The youth are barely educated. The media would make Goebbels proud.
    Given the right leadership (which currently is nowhere to be seen), we could turn this around — but it would take at least a quarter of a century of hard work & sacrifice, if we were left alone by the rest of the world to get on with it.

    Every country has its problems. If we are going to play 21st Century Geopolitics, whose problems would we rather have? China’s problem of investing enough to automate its productive factories before the population decline makes it too hard to find enough workers? Russia’s problem of developing the massive natural resources on which the world depends? India’s problem of dozens of languages and religions within borders their population is outgrowing? Or the US problems we all know about?

    One thing is clear — no reasonable person would want to play “Europe” in the 21st Century game.

  109. Oh, I dunno… The fecklessness and stupidity is concentrated in a couple of capitols, not spread across the entire span of Europe.

    I hesitate to predict any outcomes past the things I know, but it strikes me that while the Germans and French are pretty much discrediting themselves, the peripheral states aren’t quite doing as badly. Orban is doing what he thinks is good for Hungary; the Scandinavians are not as stupid as the Germans and French look, and there’s a good chance that some of the other Eastern European nations might pull their heads out of their asses. Maybe.

    I’m not at all fond of the things going on here in the US, right now. Most of the decisions being made by the “elite” here are just plain nonsensical… I mean, for the love of God, who in their right mind decides to take down the current energy sector with no real plan to either upgrade the grid or build the necessary power plants to support it and the electric car mandate they’re all in love with? That’s going to blow up in their faces, and if they think the proles are just going to quietly acquiesce? LOL… Yeah, we’ll see. My guess is that about two years into this brave new world of theirs, anyone admitting to being a Democrat is going to be at risk for a lynching. Environmentalists think everyone is gonna line up to save Gaia, but the reality is? Nobody really gives a rat’s ass for their concerns about a hundred years from now–But, they’ll damn sure bear in mind how miserable their lives are now, without the energy.

    I’m not sure how the hell they think this crap can possibly work. They don’t have the consent of the governed that they’re doing it to, and they sure as hell don’t have the numbers of people they’ll need in the state “organs of control”, or the means to protect those they have, along with their families. Which, I assure you, will become a necessity going forward. ‘Cos, I guaran-damn-tee you, you’re going to need to have lots and lots of cops to keep people under control as you contract their lives for them…

    The whole enterprise is going to end in blood and tears. Especially the inept way they’re going about it all.

  110. Here is the full transcript of Putin’s recent speech in St Petersburg that was mentioned previously. I’m not a Russophile let alone a Putin lover like our resident troll, but I think it is extremely informative to read in order to get an idea of how he’s talking to his own country as well as the non-Western world. You don’t have to take any of this at face value to see how it’s likely to be taken by countries who saw the West gleefully (falsely) boasting about destroying Russia’s economy. I’m not endorsing anything here, just saying it’s worth reading, and pondering if our Western “leaders” have a clue about anything at all.
    “My point is that sovereignty cannot be segmented or fragmented in the 21st century. The components of sovereignty are equally important, and they reinvigorate and complement each other.
    So, what matters to us is not only the defence of our political sovereignty and national identity, but also strengthening everything that determines our country’s economic, financial, professional and technological independence.
    The very structure of Western sanctions rested on the false premise that economically Russia is not sovereign and is critically vulnerable. They got so carried away spreading the myth of Russia’s backwardness and its weak positions in the global economy and trade that apparently, they started believing it themselves.
    While planning their economic blitzkrieg, they did not notice, simply ignored the real facts of how much our country had changed in the past few years.”
    “Changes in the global economy, finances and international relations are unfolding at an ever-growing pace and scale. There is an increasingly pronounced trend in favour of a multipolar growth model in lieu of globalisation. Of course, building and shaping a new world order is no easy task. We will have to confront many challenges, risks, and factors that we can hardly predict or anticipate today.
    Still, it is obvious that it is up to the strong sovereign states, those that do not follow a trajectory imposed by others, to set the rules governing the new world order. Only powerful and sovereign states can have their say in this emerging world order. Otherwise, they are doomed to become or remain colonies devoid of any rights.”

  111. Not that impressed with Wauck’s take at first read.

    Kaliningrad is instructive. That waste dump exists only to provide the USSR/RF with a toehold on the Baltic that is not under the control of someone else–not even any of the Baltic SSRs or the fraternal Poles.

    It’s a version of the minority enclave gerrymandering that gave us the current grind in Eastern Ukraine, with a brand new corridor for those that miss the Polish one and all the opportunities for fun it provided.

    I don’t have time to do much more than agree in large measure with Kirk’s assessment of the military situation and Russian performance and immediate prospects; the likely stalemate brings other factors–economic*, political, cultural–into prominence.

    *Lenin was right to the extent that the Capitalists did prove eager to deal when they sniffed a profit.

  112. Is what were doing furthering or diminishings chinas influence its hard to say the latter we are weakening every pillar of our foundation energy military strength social cohesion

  113. I think China is doing just fine at doing itself in, and has been for quite awhile.

    Those piss-poor investments in all the ghost cities by the real estate types trying to take advantage of there being no real savings/investment system set up for the masses? The resultant bank runs? All of that insanity?

    Here’s a news flash for anyone thinking that economics doesn’t apply to them: It absolutely does, even if you’re a “socialist state”. Why? Because economics is completely neutral; all that socialism really does is sever the ties between cause and economic effect, substituting “central planning” for market signals. Those huge swathes of concrete and steel, as yet to be occupied? Never would have been built, in a sane economy. Because, the market would have sent the signal that there weren’t any occupants coming, and they’d have been left unbuilt. It’s the same with the housing “crisis” here in the US… All those NIMBY types who resisted conversion of single-family housing to more dense options around the Silicon Valley? They’re the reason they’ve gotten into the mess they’re in. Government-assisted market distortions don’t work, no matter who, no matter how. Rent control? You get freakin’ New York. And, again… The economic fundamentals are what kill you. You can make believe they don’t apply to you, but eventually? They will. China thought it could get by on the cheap, not building out a financial and banking system that served the proles, allowing them to save for retirements and so forth… Instead, that forced all that money into the real estate market, which blew up and is now imploding under the weight of their contradictions. Those bank runs you’re seeing? That’s just the first tremors of the impending economic collapse that’s coming when all those contradictions and distortions finally work their way out. We aren’t immune, either–The feckless stupidity that they’ve gone about managing things like zoning and all the other BS? LOL… We. Will. Pay. It will be ugly, world-wide.

    Whole thing is really the theater of the absurd. It’s just like the last housing crash, here in the US–George Bush told them that the housing market was overheated, but nooooo… They told him “No, we’re not doing anything about that…” What happened in 2008 was predicted and warned of, just like the idiocy with the energy sector today. Nobody wanted to listen, so here we are.

  114. The part a lot of the current wisdom seems to miss is the difference between the Real Economy and the Financial Economy.

    The US had a housing crash. The houses did not fall down — they were still there. The people who had invested money in houses lost a lot of that money — life is hard. Other people bought houses on the cheap — life is good! The same thing will happen in China. It is not going to be the end of the world.

    China’s economy certainly has problems. But China is underpinned by a healthy Real Economy — they make things; they have the factories and the skilled labor forces that can build bridges and cars and ships. When the Chinese Financial Economy takes a hit (as it will), they will still have all that productive capacity. Life will carry on, with different winners and losers.

    The US economy also has problems. But we have offshored too much of our Real Economy. When our Financial Economy takes at hit (as it is doing now), we lose the ability to import the products of other countries’ Real Economies. This is a much more serious problem.

  115. There is a difference. When we had our housing crash, those houses continued to exist as you said and the market eventually cleared. In China, and you’d better believe they’re having a real estate crash right now, the houses/apartments don’t exist. There’s a reason almost no one lives in those ghost cities, the grand buildings are just shells, no electricity, no water, no sewer, usually no elevators. It’s all been a decades long con job.

    Now we’re seeing, if you look, runs on the banks that loaned the money to the developers and hold the mortgages for the “owners”. All that money is in the process of evaporating, leaving not even ash behind.

    The same goes for all the impressive high speed rail where multiple lines can’t even pay the electric bill. If there’s a bright spot, the over-built lines, where one 1,200 mile route runs an average of only four trains a day, aren’t wearing out the equipment too fast.

    If you look closely at drone footage of the new Chinese “super carrier”, you’ll see it’s just a shell as well.

    In a culture where the first impulse is to kill the messenger bringing bad news, central control = no control and no warning when things go south.

  116. yes evergrande was the first canary, they over extended themselves like countrywide or lehman bros, whose core was the affordable housing cluster called tishman speyer, this I drew from the Valukas inquiry, how exactly lehman collapsed is still a mystery, the consequence were obvious, but the fact that no major financial institution has ever collapsed in such a way, 60 days before an election, there was a host of suspicious activity, occurring that suggests it was deliberately demolished, perhaps by a foreign party, a curious detail I noticed their chief economist edward morse, who was previously a Company analyst (he later emerged on the board of the Malaysia IMDB scandal) was one of the few who averred by Goldman’s bet on 140/barrel oil, maybe that’s why it was the first domino to fall,

  117. Which is why every society that runs along authoritarian/totalitarian lines eventually collapses into chaos and ignominy. You centralize decision-making power, what you are actually doing is setting things up such that any bad or wrongly-made decision becomes effectively irretrievable. You could have centralized authority and decision-making power, but you’d better be putting God in charge of that, because absent actual and real omniscience, you’re going to wind up breaking everything when that central authority gets it wrong.

    This is the essential fallacy behind much of our civilization. The urge to bureaucratize, to centralize. It does not work, because the hierarchy inevitably becomes saturated with incompetent jobsworthies who cannot tolerate being told “No” about anything at all, and who invariably come to believe in their own infallibility.

    Happened to Rome, happened to the British Empire, and is happening to us. The urge to centralize everything is at the root of the issue; for examples, just look at the history books and reflect on how often the “authorities” have gotten things utterly wrong, in every field of endeavor. How is it that the supposed “upstarts” of each and every generation in every hierarchy wind up being the authorities of the next? Why the hell don’t we learn from this, and act on it?

    Time was, the theories about the Ice Age floods here in the Northwest were iconoclastic heresies; today? They’re the conventional wisdom, unquestionable. Same with continental drift theories; where now are the men who denied those theories when they were first proposed?

    Humans do not do hierarchy and structure well, over the long haul. Today’s effective organization is tomorrow’s hidebound ossified relic, ineffectual and actually dangerous to one and all. Why don’t we learn from this, and cease setting these things up?

  118. The current ChiCom leadership lived through the Great Famine, the Cultural Revolution, the implementation of one-child, Tienanmen, etc., they’ve seen the greatest mass murder in history, and they’re supposed to be bothered by Evergrande real estate speculation? The point isn’t whether they can displace the US as an unquestioned global domineering power, of course they can’t. The question is whether they can and/or will go after the current global economic order, and why on earth wouldn’t we think they will? They already act as a de facto alternative to the World Bank, in the way they make predatory loans to third world countries and then take control over major infrastructure. What possibly makes anyone think they’re satisfied with being the West’s junior partner and source of cheap labor and condescended to? Because threatening that would be “bad” for them? Yeah, invading Ukraine is “bad” for Russia (allegedly), but they went ahead and did it anyway, and from where I sit it sure looks like the average Russian is going to be better off next year relatively speaking compared to where he was last year than the average German, no? The question isn’t really is he absolutely better off, but how stable the respective systems are, and whistling past the graveyard saying, la la la, the West is so great, China and Russia are nothing, ha ha ha, seems to me to be an insane course of action in a world where the West is ruled by the likes of Brandon and Fidel Jr and all the European midgets.

  119. I bring up evergrande because it’s the first of the icebergs’ xi’s father was swept up in the cultural revolution, and yet he doesn’t get it, only chi haotian, is of the generation that encompassses all that, michael pillsbury’s narrative about how china is seeking revenge for their colonial looting is persuasive, much of the Western so called leadership are compradors, the names for the Chinese middlemen, who interacted with Western elements like Jardines and Matheson, the fentanyl is their Opium War, we’re not at Taiping rebellion with the so called Woke, but give it time it wlll be,

  120. Come on, Miguel! We are making progress.

    Back in the bad old days of China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, university professors were beaten for such offenses as failing to teach a Marxist approach to physics. Those professors who survived the beatings were then sent off to work in the fields. Nowadays, all we do is deny tenure to any would-be professor who is insufficiently enthusiastic about Anthropogenic Global Warming or trans-genderism; we let them get jobs as coffee shop baristas. We are so much more humane than those old Chinese Communists!

  121. I knew a handyman who was sent off the umap, work camps, in castro’s wonderful archipelago, so yeah,

  122. BrianL “Does it not seem that the US and UK actually do want war with Russia?”

    US/UK certainly want for “you & him” — the Ukraine & Russia — to fight. Not too clear whether they want to get in the trenches themselves.

    Boris Johnson (who is Big Dog in London, faut de mieux) apparently has plans to train batches of 10,000 Ukranian military conscripts in the UK every 120 days, to ensure that the Kiev Krew can keep fighting. Scott Ritter points out that at the current rate of attrition, those poor Ukrainians would last for about 10 days in combat. Then the Russians would have to stand down for 110 days until the next batch arrived from Merrie Olde England.

    What those who claim to lead us are doing is unconscionable — as is the total silence from the usual No War crowd.

  123. Allegedly the goofiest duo of the spetznaz (i call them the in bruges crew ) went all the way to salisbury plain to target one defector and his daughter they killed everybody but the target (are the laughing stock of this elite unit) what would they be willing to do now?

  124. The UK fully supports Lithuania stopping sanctioned goods from Russia travelling through their country. We must stay strong in the face of Russian aggression and challenge these unjustified threats.

    Russia has treaty rights to ship goods through Lithuania to Konigsberg- I mean, Kaliningrad- which Lithuania has decided to violate because reasons.

    I take this as yet another attempt by the neocons ruling the United States or at least controlling American foreign policy to goad Russia into taking actions that would somehow generate public support in the US for war against Russia sufficient to generate regime change in that far away foreign country most Americans don’t care about and have no interest even in looking at a map to find out where it exists.

    Bluntly, Americans don’t care about Russia. Or Ukraine. And have never heard of Lithuania. And wouldn’t care if we had.

    Know why? Because we aren’t neocons, still enraged about the treatment their ancestors got from the Czar.

    Oops, this was a quote from someone in the UK.

    No change.

  125. Because we aren’t neocons, still enraged about the treatment their ancestors got from the Czar.

    I had no idea Biden and the Cheneys were Jews.

  126. Someone is going to have to explain to me, in very small words, why it is that Lithuania should adhere to treaties, and the Russians should not? I mean, weren’t there signed treaties saying that Ukraine’s borders were to be respected, since they were giving up their nukes?

    Not to mention, it’s bloody odd hearing someone say “Oh, the poor Russians! Someone is breaking a treaty with them!!”

    Frankly, given their history, I say it’s about bloody time someone returned their habitual favors. They might learn to reflect on the hazards of breaking those treaties and agreements themselves.

    Also, let’s consider something here: Russian provocations in the Baltic Sea are the likely impetus behind this, and I don’t doubt but that the Danes, the Swedes, and the Finns are likely the ones telling Lithuania that they’ve got their back. Russia doesn’t seem to understand anything that the rest of the world would recognize as “rational” when it comes to these minor issues of following treaties. Withdraw from Ukraine, get your rail lines to Kaliningrad opened. Seems pretty straightforward to me…

    Due deference and respect to Russia? LOL… That’s how we got here. The long, long history of Russian/Soviet crooked dealings and treaty-breaking ought to serve as a bit of a wake-up call. If you ever paid attention to that, that is…

  127. I had no idea Biden and the Cheneys were Jews.

    Biden is a senile puppet and the only Cheney that mattered is long gone.

    I’ll repeat- I have no idea why the American political establishment is so intent upon regime change in Russia.

    Lacking a rational framework in the context of American interests for such a goal, I can only fall back upon what I would generally consider an irrational reason.

    Thus, I posit that various folks with ancestry in the former Russian empire have maintained their ancestral grievances and seek to use their influence in the United States to punish their ancestral enemies in their former homeland.

    If you have a better explanation of events, I beg you to express it here.

  128. I mean, weren’t there signed treaties saying that Ukraine’s borders were to be respected, since they were giving up their nukes?

    Tell me about the Minsk accords, in the context of this argument.

    Also, let’s consider something here: Russian provocations in the Baltic Sea are the likely impetus behind this, and I don’t doubt but that the Danes, the Swedes, and the Finns are likely the ones telling Lithuania that they’ve got their back.

    In other words, they all expect that Americans are on tap to die for them while they enjoy their 72-weeks of annual vacation along with free healthcare and luxury housing.

    Nope. No way, no how. If they have trouble with Russia, their problem, not mine.

    Due deference and respect to Russia? LOL… That’s how we got here.

    This is the exact opposite of what I have observed. I recall long ago I noticed that the USSR was coming after us- that is, the US- and we were defending ourselves against them.

    Then, we won the Cold War and I thought this nonsense was all done. Gradually, I noticed that the roles had reversed- and we were going after them.

    At this point, our regime has decided that we need to be poorer and have a lower living standard to destroy Russia- straight from Janet Yellen’s own mouth- and I object.

  129. “our regime has decided that we need to be poorer and have a lower living standard to destroy Russia- straight from Janet Yellen’s own mouth- and I object”
    Straight from Brandon’s teleprompter the other day as well.
    As for myself, I strenuously object.

    Basically the Plan A of both Russia and the West were catastrophically stupid with low chance of “success”–a decapitation strike by Russia, and massive and immediate sanctions by the West. Russia’s Plan B is to grind out both the physical war in Ukraine, and the economic war with the West. What’s the West’s plan B? Impose a crushing economic war on its own citizens? What do they intend to do about food and gas riots this coming winter?

  130. Thought experiment: Suppose Russia were to respond to the provocation from mighty Lithuania by bombing the capital of Lithuania (Quick! What is the capital of Lithuania? How many people in the US could answer that question?) — How many people in the US would be prepared to vote for a military response, knowing that our response would lead to global nuclear war and our own destruction?

  131. Well, now we know exactly how the counterfactuals about “If only the French/English/US had confronted Hitler in the beginning, when he was still small enough to stop without killing 30 million people…”

    The issue here is not past policy, but current acts. Sure, the Versailles Treaty was stupid, but that should not have tied people’s hands when it was more than obvious where Hitler was taking his plans. Yet, despite everyone having had Mein Kampf there for reference, nobody took things seriously enough to do anything.

    The nature of Russian irredentism is pretty damn clear, if you’ve been keeping track of the propaganda. This crap is a direct outgrowth of the things that the Russians have been telling themselves and broadcasting since about 2000. Putin himself has said it: The collapse of the Soviet Union was the tragedy of the millennium. Funny how none of the former inmates in the “Penitentiary of Nations” seem to feel that way…

    One way or another, you either put a stop to the irredentist impulse in Russia by resisting it, or you’re going to be sitting here in a generation or two saying “Oh, if only someone had done something early on, when it would have cost fewer lives…”

    That’s precisely where we are with Russia. This is a “remilitarization of the Rheinland” or “Sudetenland” moment, and the majority commenting on this here are too ‘effing stupid or ahistorical to recognize it.

    As to whose job it is? Gee, well, that kind of accrues to the guy that can do it. And, just like the English opposing the Kaiser or Hitler, the unfortunate fact of making yourself the major power of the era implies that you’re the one who gets stuck with these things.

    Frankly, I find it hard to believe that anyone with more than a grade-school education and who has been paying attention to the news over the last 20 years can’t see this without having their noses rubbed in it. Speaking up on the side of Russia as though they have some sort of inborn “right” to their idea of security, which seems to be the same thing as dominating their neighbors in ever-increasing numbers with their ever-expanding borders? That’s just freakishly submissive and entirely blind to consequence. Where do you suppose Russia’s need for security ends? The beaches of Portugal?

    Russia could have everything it says it wants, simply by being a decent neighbor and minding its own business. Instead, they’ve been exporting corruption and subversion since the time of the Tsars. Where do you suppose all the money has come from for the anti-nuclear programs or the “Green” movements against fracking and pipelines, here in the US? We’ve known for years how much support all of that has had from the Russians, to the point where it was a well-known joke about who paid the lobbyists for all that BS. You think that was by accident? Who do you suppose has been paying for all these things in the German government, and here in the US? Ever note how nobody says shit about Russia’s abysmal environmental record, or the damage done by pipelines in Eurasia that carry Russian oil and gas westwards? Ever wonder about that? Yet, day one of the Biden administration, we’re cancelling pipelines and oil leases left and right.

    Wake the hell up, people. Russia is not some quaint Eurasian phenomenon you only have to worry about as a test question on your history tests. They have been active in doing damage world-wide, in terms of the destruction of our industries and politics. All of you “speaking up” for their position are guilty of furthering that, whether or not you recognize that fact.

    And, of course, we’re going to get scads of “whataboutism”, saying that anything the Russians are doing, we did worse. Maybe so. However, you don’t see anyone agitating to get back under Moscow’s skirts, aside from Lukashenko. And, it’s probable that even Lukashenko would only take Belarus back into the Russian sphere if he were the guy in charge of it all…

  132. Sorry Kirk, you don’t get to say Russia’s failing miserably and is about to get their rears kicked all the way back to Moscow and will collapse into a dozen substates, AND that we have to confront them now before they completely overrun Europe.
    SO which is it? Pick one, please, then we can talk about possible responses.

  133. Russia could have everything it says it wants, simply by being a decent neighbor and minding its own business.

    Does that include the ability to ship supplies into Kaliningrad? Has Russia done anything to Lithuania in the last few decades? Who broke the treaty Russia had with Lithuania guaranteeing the right of transit?

    They have been active in doing damage world-wide, in terms of the destruction of our industries and politics.

    And what has the US government done about it inside the US? Has it even stopped the Russian funding of the greens? As long as we’re on the topic of destruction of US industry, when has the US government ever been concerned about that? Or done anything about it?

    I’d say never. And both the EU and China have done far more to deindustrialize the US with nary a peep from the DC regime.

    And, of course, we’re going to get scads of “whataboutism”, saying that anything the Russians are doing, we did worse.

    No, we’ve been invading and drone-striking various foreign countries with only the highest of motives. Why, George Bush even deliberately refused to talk about the WMD found in Iraq lest the American public get the idea that the invasion was done for some nationalistic reason, like defending the United States from attack.

    I’ve had enough of this. If the EU- Russia’s wealthy and populous neighbor- has a problem with Russia, then let them arm up to defend themselves.

    But no, they won’t, because they’ve got the US to do their dying for them. And we’re also on tap to spend endless billions arming Ukraine in what appears to be a futile and failing attempt to cause Russia to implode.

    Question- when was a case made to the American people that Russia must be destroyed? Has there been been any sort of vote in Congress on the topic of Russia delenda est? Do we get to have a say on this? Ever?

    My present guess is no we don’t. What happened is the DC uniparty decided they wanted to destroy Russia because reasons and set about it with their usual incompetence. The only justification we got was apparently a poll indicating that Americans wanted to support Ukraine- of course without mentioning any potential risks or asking if our goal should be the end of Russia.

    Not enough. If DC wants to destroy Russia, they need to make a case for that to the people who are going to pay for it and quite possibly die for it. But since they know they public isn’t on board and never will be, they’re attempting to do it on the sly.

    This just isn’t going to work, for about a trillion different reasons.

  134. Kirk: “Where do you suppose all the money has come from for the anti-nuclear programs or the “Green” movements against fracking and pipelines, here in the US?”

    There was a time when I would have agreed wholeheartedly with you that the USSR/Russia was funding all the anti-Americanism we see within the US and internationally. But to paraphrase the late Lord Keynes — we now have new facts; those facts force us to reassess our previous positions.

    If Russia were really in charge, then surely this would be the time they would be unleashing the full force of BLM transgendered Anti-War fervor! Any reasonable person would accept that global thermonuclear war is clearly within the range of current possible outcomes — people can differ on their estimates of the probability, but it is definitely greater than zero as long as nuclear-armed US is fighting a proxy war in the Ukraine against nuclear-armed Russia. And yet the Western “No War” crowd has completely disappeared — just at the time when they would have been most useful to Russia. Strange, isn’t it?

    For decades, someone has been funding the entities which have undermined the US — whether they called themselves Greenies or BLM or Peace Activists. What the proxy war in the Ukraine unequivocally shows is that, whoever the shadowy funder was in the past, it is not now Russia. That means we have more enemies than just Russia … and maybe much more dangerous enemies.

  135. Russia has treaty rights to ship goods through Lithuania to Konigsberg- I mean, Kaliningrad- which Lithuania has decided to violate because reasons.

    Really? “Reasons”? How about the reason being that one of their closest allies — Ukraine — had a treaty with Russia guaranteeing their borders — a treaty that Russia is violating in a genocidal war of conquest?

    What a wonderful world you’re advocating for. A world in which Russia can rape and murder at will but Lithuania can’t even stop a train at its own border.

    I’ll repeat- I have no idea why the American political establishment is so intent upon regime change in Russia.

    Really? No idea? How about the regime in Russia launching a genocide war of conquest against its European neighbors? Did you really forget about that? I find that hard to believe.

    Don’t play dumb. If you’re gong to back the murderous regime in Russia, at least dispense with all of the “And then for no reason, the West started picking on Russia” b.s.

  136. “If you’re gong to back the murderous regime in Russia”
    This is all so tiresome. If you’re so eager to fight Russia, go ahead and get on a plane. You’ve had months to do so, what are you waiting for?

  137. Really? “Reasons”? How about the reason being that one of their closest allies — Ukraine — had a treaty with Russia guaranteeing their borders — a treaty that Russia is violating in a genocidal war of conquest?

    Russia violating treaties- bad. Not-Russia violating treaties- no problem.

    I disagree with this.

    Also, it doesn’t matter how many times you sprinkle words like “genocide” or “murder” in your comment, because it doesn’t actually help your argument.

    What a wonderful world you’re advocating for. A world in which Russia can rape and murder at will but Lithuania can’t even stop a train at its own border.

    Meanwhile, back in our actual wonderful world, our blessed allies the Ukrainians have been shelling the city of Donetsk and murdering Russia prisoners of war. But that’s OK, because Vodka Man Bad. Also, I’d like to point out that Russia hasn’t apparently destroyed civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, certainly not the extent they could have.

    And if you don’t understand why Lithuania blocking treaty guaranteed rights to supply Kaliningrad represents a significant escalation, I doubt I will convince you. But I’ll try. Remember the Berlin Airlift, when Russia blocked treaty guaranteed rights of the West to resupply West Berlin? That was bad, right? I think so. Also, I take the blockade of Kaliningrad as a deliberate attempt to get Russia to respond, thereby allowing the wanna-be regime changers to blame Russia for escalating, in an attempt to get public support to expand the war from Ukraine to Everywhere, because they know they don’t have public support now for their schemes.

    I’d rather not have a wider war, thank you.

    Really? No idea? How about the regime in Russia launching a genocide war of conquest against its European neighbors? Did you really forget about that? I find that hard to believe.

    Another problem you have is that I simply don’t give a fsck about Russia or its neighbors. I note the US did pretty well when Ukraine was 100% part of Russia- better in fact- and my concern is the United States. I’d really like an American government that spent its time and resources worrying about the US and not conniving for endless regime change in foreign nations I don’t care about. I admit this is a futile dream.

    Don’t play dumb. If you’re gong to back the murderous regime in Russia, at least dispense with all of the “And then for no reason, the West started picking on Russia” b.s.

    I’ll say it again- I don’t care about Russia. In my view we spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year to ensure Russia is sufficiently deterred that they do not make war against us.

    The problem of Russia should be well in hand, and I should not lose sleep worrying that Putin will get me.

    If this is not the case- then why exactly are we spending so much money on the military, to so little effect?

  138. Vilnius, like it’s fictional favorite son, marko ramius, the Greater Enemy, is China, and everything we’re doing is making China’s exercise in revenge easier, China’s regional ally in the middle east is qatar, they promote xte through a branch operation, qatar is party with turkey in pushing islamism of a salafi variety,

    for 61 ones, my paisans were assured that the US government wanted a Cuba Libre,* yet after Playa Giron, and the Missile Crisis we should have been suspicious of their intentions, when they invaded dominican republic and expanded into Vietnam, then the Nicaraguan proxy fights, Panama, the Gulf States, Bosnia, Haiti,

  139. mkent: “a treaty that Russia is violating in a genocidal war of conquest?”

    The only “genocide” in the Ukrainian situation was the 8-year long civil war which the Kiev leadership waged against Ukrainians who had been brought up speaking Russian. The Kiev authorities murdered something like 14,000 human beings simply because they spoke the wrong language.

    Remember R2P — Responsiblity to Protect? The US/NATO invoked that as a justification for invading Libya and Serbia — neither of which are anywhere close to the US. It is certainly understandable that Russia might get concerned when it saw the Ukrainian leaders committing “genocide” right on the other side of its border.

    What might the US do if French Canadians in Quebec were murdering thousands of English-speaking Quebecers because they spoke the wrong language? Might the US intervene and try to stop the violence on the other side of our borders?

  140. For decades, someone has been funding the entities which have undermined the US — whether they called themselves Greenies or BLM or Peace Activists. What the proxy war in the Ukraine unequivocally shows is that, whoever the shadowy funder was in the past, it is not now Russia. That means we have more enemies than just Russia … and maybe much more dangerous enemies.

    Agree completely. Most of our enemies these days are home grown. Wasn’t it interesting how the George Floyd riots stopped before the 2020 election? I’m sure they were ready to go again if Trump had been able to overcome the cheating.

  141. the Russians had a part as did the emirates, they funded projects like those terribly dated iraq war films, as well as CAIR once upon a time, some Saudis also funded outfits like the Center for American progress, for a time, in part because according to source in ‘inside the kingdom’ they didn’t like how W had downgraded their relationship, and they were upset at holding pens like gitmo that held their stray wolves*
    *postcript one of the detainees that the levick group, moved heaven and earth, to free yaser hamdi, was eventually moved to the kingdom, where he was graeme wood’s guide to the rehabilitation center that prince salman oversees,

  142. The US/NATO invoked that as a justification for invading Libya and Serbia — neither of which are anywhere close to the US.

    I still recall a poster on Reddit who put up a photo of a large burning building and wrote something like curse the aggressors. Everyone of course chimed in to say, yeah, evil Russians. Then the original poster came back to say, this was an apartment complex in Serbia destroyed by NATO in 1999. The post was deleted by reddit and the commenter was banned.

    I mention that because I am pretty fscking tired of the endless stream of bovine excrement pouring out of DC to justify war against their latest target. We’re always always always told our supposed enemies are committing genocide and murder and the leadership is evil and must be destroyed.

    Libya- that country seemed pretty functional before DC stomped on it. Now it is a failed state with active slave markets to go with wrecked cities. Serbia- bombed for months, even though it did nothing against the United States. Syria- years of civil war which the DC regime helped along by arming and training various groups including Al Qaeda.

    I won’t say much about Iraq, but I will note that apparently Christians being ethnically cleansed from there during the war fled to Syria. If the Assad regime had been overthrown, very likely they would have been murdered along with the Alawites and others.

    In other words, US intervention in Syria would have brought about a genocide, had it succeeded.

    Now, Ukraine. This war is ghastly human tragedy that never should have happened. I’m very glad I have no sort of connection to Ukraine at all, so I can truthfully say I don’t care about the outcome, anymore than I care about Libya or Serbia on a personal level.

    I’ll say it directly- I believe the Deep State spent years plotting out events with the goal of destroying Russia. The blood is on their hands for all this. They worked hard to goad Russia into attacking and when they finally got their wish, it blew up in their faces.

    No good will come of this, especially for the West.

  143. the punchline was the bosnian and yugoslav wars were al quedas aircover, you look at all the mid level players from khalid shaik mohammed down were all involved in the balkans, as part of the Mudzhahid battalion, the two fighters who were on flight 77 were there, so they didn’t really appreciate our efforts, that’s being charitable, in fact some speculation is because these fighters have been involved in operations through the Islamic Affairs Ministry, they were granted carte blanche on later projects,

    China probably wasn’t amused by that aspect, Libya was a similar game plan, as Qaddafi in his own idiosyncratic way was an opponent of Al Queda, in fact the first to issue an interpol warrant against ubl personality, this was back when MI 6 was secretly plotting with them, to take out Quaddafi, there’s no shortage of Frogs inviting scorpions, about six years later, they were official enemies after september 11th, and just a few years later, friends again, like the manchester bomber’s kin

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