- Call for max working temperature cap after EU heatwave deaths Iraqi News
Trade unions called Monday for the European Commission to impose maximum temperature limits for outdoor workers, after three people died while on shift in Madrid during last week’s withering heatwave.
While a handful of member states have legislation limiting working hours in excessive heat, the thresholds vary and many nations have no nationwide heat limits.
According to research by the polling agency Eurofound, 23 percent of all workers across the EU were being exposed to high temperatures a quarter of the time. That figure rises to 36 percent in agriculture and industry and to 38 percent for construction workers.
- Siemens Energy hands Gazprom documentation for transport of Nord Stream 1 turbine Reuters
Siemens Energy handed over Canadian documentation to Russian gas giant Gazprom on Sunday which would allow the transport of turbines for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reported.
- Germany ‘on Brink of Recession’ as Business Confidence Falls Bloomberg
German business confidence deteriorated to the worst level since the early months of the pandemic on growing concerns that record inflation and limited energy supplies from Russia will throw Europe’s biggest economy into a downturn.
A gauge of expectations released Monday by the Munich-based Ifo Institute fell to 80.3 in July from 85.8 in June. Analysts had predicted a drop to 83.0. An index of current conditions also dropped.
“Germany is on the brink of a recession,” Ifo President Clemens Fuest said. “High energy prices and the threat of gas shortages are weighing on the economy. Companies are expecting significantly worse business activity in the coming months.”
The report reflects mounting gloom in Germany, whose pandemic recovery was already muted because of rampant inflation and component shortages exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. A gauge of private-sector activity by S&P Global signaled the economy began contracting in July for the first time this year.
- Rotterdam Port’s Resilience Gets Tested in Global Cargo Crunch Bloomberg
The port of Rotterdam’s CEO said he’s confident Europe’s busiest gateway for global trade can weather a barrage of potential threats to its business ranging from energy supply disruptions, sanctions on Russian commodities and labor disputes at neighboring ports.
“Our infrastructure, the world class companies we have, the portfolio of activities, the resilience, versatility and diversification of this port position us in the best possible way to address any of these challenges,” Allard Castelein said in an interview.
“The synergistic two-pronged approach of our strategy is extremely effective and efficient and promotes high value for our consumer base."
Asia and Oceania
- Heatwaves Could Cause Energy Crunch In Central Asia Oil Price
Kyrgyzstan’s state power supplier has warned of possible energy shortages as consumers set a new daily record for power consumption in summer. Central Asia is being gripped by the same heatwave blanketing much of the northern hemisphere. On July 19 electricity consumers increased consumption by around 20 percent compared to the same day over the previous two years, according to data released by the National Energy Holding.
They consumed a record 34 million kilowatt hours, compared to 28 million on the same day in 2020 and 29 million in 2021.
The power supplier did not offer any explanation for the rise in consumption. But a key factor is likely increased use of air conditioning to combat what the company laconically described as “ongoing abnormally hot weather.”
- Is Chinese President Xi Jinping vaccinated? Two years into China’s COVID jab blitz, it’s still a mystery Fortune
The Chinese government has delivered 3.4 billion COVID-19 vaccine shots to its citizens, more than any other country in the world by a wide margin. Its tally alone accounts for over one-quarter of the world’s total jabs. But amid the blistering campaign, Chinese President Xi Jinping has been conspicuously silent on whether he’s among the vaccine recipients. Beijing had the chance to put the question to rest on Saturday, but it still danced around the issue.
At a Saturday press conference to promote booster jabs, Zeng Yixin, the deputy head of the National Health Commission, said China’s top leaders had all been vaccinated in response to a question on the vaccination status of top officials.
“China’s state and party leaders have all been vaccinated against COVID-19 with domestically made shots,” Zeng said in the press conference. Chinese state media said the phrase ‘state and party leaders’ usually include members of China’s Politburo, the government’s top decision making body, which Xi chairs.
Aha! I’ve solved the mystery for you, Fortune. That was pretty easy.
Zeng’s statement seems to indicate that Xi has, in fact, been vaccinated, but by not mentioning Xi by name, Zeng still leaves room for doubt. China’s government has had countless other opportunities to publicize Xi’s vaccination status—Xi is front-page news in every day in China—but it’s chosen not to.
…what? I do not understand how you can see the statement “Everybody in the government has been vaccinated, including the leaders” and then think “Ah, but what about THIS leader in the government?” and think you’ve made a good point. I think what happened here is that the author had a “good” idea for an article, wrote a preamble, then found Zeng saying that and was like “Ah, fuck. Well, I told the boys at the office that this was gonna be my column for today, so… gotta try and milk this…” And haven’t we all been there, once? Haven’t we all confidently looked up something online to prove somebody else wrong, and then been owned ourselves? I don’t blame the dude. He’s still going to prison when we take power, obviously, but with an encouraging pat on the back.
- Thai PM Survives Vote of Confidence, Setting Stage for 2023 Election The Diplomat
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has survived his fourth parliamentary vote of no-confidence, his last major political test prior to elections next year. The former army chief, who has led the country since staging a coup d’etat in 2014, received 256 votes in favor and 206 against with nine abstentions during a vote in parliament on Saturday. Three deputy prime ministers and seven other cabinet members also survived the vote of confidence.
The vote, which followed four days of televised hearings in which the 68-year-old leader was grilled by opposition members, ensures that Prayut serve as prime minister until his term ends in March 2023.
The opposition called for a vote of no-confidence in Prayut and his colleagues on the grounds that they had mishandled the economy and ignored corruption.
During the four days of televised questioning, Cholanan Srikaew, the head of the opposition Pheu Thai party, an electoral vehicle for exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, described Thailand as “a coma patient” and said that it was “overwhelmed with debts because of this government.” He also accused Prayuth of ignoring corruption in government agencies.
The opposition also accused Prayut’s administration of surveilling political dissidents with the Israeli-made Pegasus spyware, and of legalizing cannabis without proper controls.
- Marcos pushes for gas, nuclear development alongside renewables Philstar
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. reiterated Monday the need to adopt nuclear and develop fossil gas—two energy sources that groups say will impede the transition to renewable energy and threaten host communities.
In his first State of the Nation Address, Marcos stressed that increasing the use of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal power is “at the top of our climate agenda.”
But in the same speech, the chief executive also spoke about the development of new power plants and the use of natural gas—or fossil gas—as another energy source alongside renewables.
“Nuclear and fossil gas should be out of the picture today; it’s hypocritical to talk about addressing the climate crisis while prioritizing dangerous energy sources,” Greenpeace Philippines campaigner Khevin Yu said.
Marcos called on Congress to enact an enabling law seeking to foster the midstream natural gas industry “by diversifying the country’s primary sources of energy and promoting the role of natural gas as a complementary fuel to variable renewable energy.”
- North Korea accuses US of biological warfare in Ukraine Jakarta Post
The whole saga with US biolabs in Ukraine has been dropped by almost everybody (except the Russian government, who occassionally come out with more claims) and honestly, at this point, I think it’s almost certainly true that the US was experimenting with diseases to determine how to best disrupt Russia. Maybe there are exaggerations here and there, but the premise is extremely believable. At an absolute minimum, the fact that the US has something like dozens of labs in Ukraine of all places is extremely fucking sus.
North Korea accused the United States on Sunday of manufacturing biological weapons in Ukraine, echoing a Russian claim dismissed by the United Nations in March.
Moscow ally Pyongyang in February said US policy was the “root cause of the Ukraine crisis”, and this month formally recognised two self-proclaimed pro-Russian separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, prompting Kyiv to cut diplomatic ties with North Korea.
Washington “set up many biological labs in tens of countries and regions, including Ukraine, in disregard of the international treaties”, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Sunday, citing what it said had been “detected” by Russia.
- Iran & Russia pledge to cut US dollar from global trade, strengthen China alliance Multipolarista
In a significant example of growing Eurasian integration, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Iran, signed a $40 billion energy cooperation agreement, and pledged to strengthen their economic and military alliance with China. Moscow and Tehran also called to drop the US dollar and use local currencies for trade.
- Russia continues Africa charm offensive as Lavrov arrives in Congo Euro News
Strange how Macron’s trip to Africa isn’t being called a “charm offensive” by the media.
Russian Foreign Minister is in Congo on Monday as part of Russia’s Africa charm offensive that also takes Sergei Lavrov to Egypt, Uganda and Ethiopia.
Lavrov arrived Sunday evening in Oyo in northern Congo, some 400km north of the capital Brazzaville and a stronghold of Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso.
Sassou Nguesszo and Lavrov will hold face-to-face talks on Monday, and later travel on to Uganda and Ethiopia on his Africa tour, designed to shore up support for Russia on the international stage.
The foreign ministry in Moscow accused the US of trying to persuade leaders not to pose for pictures with Lavrov, “in order to prevent Russia from using this as proof that it’s not isolated”, and posted a number of pictures on social media of a smiling Lavrov being warmly greeted by the Congolese Foreign Minister Jean-Claude Gakosso at Oyo’s Ollombo international airport on Sunday night.
- Russia is trying to convince African nations that food shortages caused by the invasion of Ukraine are not its fault Business Insider
Pretty much the same article as above, but with more dipshittery in it.
- Fed relies on dubious data to chart economy’s course Politico
Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell has vowed to follow the data in deciding how high to crank up interest rates to crush the worst inflation surge in four decades.
But Powell and other Fed policymakers are making that crucial decision based on data that lately has been so confusing and contradictory that it’s hard for them to know where the economy actually stands.
Economic growth is projected by some analysts to have been negative in the second quarter of the year, but hiring is strong and the jobless rate sits near historic lows. Consumers say they’re unhappy about the economy but are still spending even amid the aggressive price spikes. Supply chains are improving, but manufacturing output is slowing. And Covid cases are skyrocketing again even as America fully reopens for business.
That means as Fed officials gear up for another supersized interest rate hike that’s likely to send the economy and markets through convulsions, they’re doing so without a clear line of sight at their target. That uncertainty heightens the risk that they’ll either do too much — triggering a severe recession — or too little, prolonging red-hot inflation and making it harder to conquer.
The Fed is “putting together a puzzle where the pieces were miscut and they just plain don’t fit together,” said David Wilcox, who led the central bank’s research division from 2011 to 2018. “Where is the economy today, and what direction is it headed? All of our measures, no matter how richly assembled, provide only an imperfect and somewhat out-of-date perspective on those key questions.”
- Oak fire remains uncontained as Al Gore warns ‘civilization at stake’ Guardian
Al Gore has returned to the limelight for some reason lately. There’s probably a good reason but I don’t care to know it. So I just picked a single one of the few articles that mentions him today:
The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, declared a state of emergency for an area close to Yosemite national park, mobilizing thousands to tackle a wildfire that exploded on Friday, grew to more than 15,600 acres and on Sunday remained entirely uncontained.
Discussing the ferocity and fast-growing nature of the blaze, the former vice-president Al Gore, long a campaigner for action on the climate crisis, warned: “The survival of our civilization is at stake.”
The US climate envoy, John Kerry, told the BBC the White House was still considering announcing a climate emergency, adding that Joe Biden was prepared to use “every tool available to him” to tackle climate change, including executive orders.
The fire in Mariposa county, California, named the Oak fire, represented a dangerous new front in the fight against wildfires in the western US. The region has already seen blazes accelerated by a long drought – a terrible forewarning of the intensifying effects of the climate crisis.
The article describes the blaze, then:
“We’re seeing this global emergency play out and it’s getting worse more quickly than was predicted,” Gore said. “We have got to step up. This should be a moment for a global epiphany.”
Climate scientists, he said, have for years warned that “if we don’t stop using our atmosphere as an open sewer, and if we don’t stop these heat trapping emissions, things are gonna get a lot worse.
“More people will be killed and the survival of our civilization is at stake.”
- Infrastructure Law Won’t Fund Cleanup Of Uranium Mines On Indigenous Lands Popular Resistance
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will dole out $3.5 billion to clean up the most hazardous contaminated sites in the country, but so far, no Arizona sites are set to receive funding.
And some of the most polluted locations in the state, the hundreds of abandoned uranium mines on Indigenous lands, are likely ineligible for the money.
The funding comes from the bipartisan infrastructure law, which passed last November and is considered the Biden administration’s top legislative achievement.
- Guyana Poised To Break $1 Billion In Oil And Gas Revenue This Year Oil Price
As the burgeoning Guyanese offshore oil and gas industry goes from strength to strength, powered by the Stabroek block, government revenue from domestic production is on track to break the $1 billion mark this year and accelerate to $7.5 billion annually in 2030, according to Rystad Energy research. This year is set to be a turning point for the Georgetown government to start capitalizing on the vast reserves in the offshore field, with revenues more than doubling over 2021 levels. Low breakevens and below-average emissions intensity in the Stabroek will propel Guyana from a relatively small producer to a global leader in the coming years, solidifying the country’s position as a competitive and policy-friendly player for offshore production.
The government’s take* from the production is expected to increase until 2025, reaching $4.2 billion annually. Triggered by a forecasted drop in oil prices and continued spending on the field’s development, government revenues will fall to $2.4 billion in 2027. Still, production growth is set to accelerate, with revenue momentum resuming as new pre-Final Investment Decision (FID) projects are sanctioned and brought online, leading to peak government revenues of $16 billion in 2036. These projections do not factor in as-yet undiscovered resources.
- High Crude Prices Are Here To Stay Oil Price
Crude oil has been on a decline over the past few weeks as growing worry about a looming global recession weighs it down. But oil is not going as far down as drivers across the world would like it to go—or as far as politicians up for reelection would like it to go. Barring a dramatic event of demand destruction, oil is going to remain expensive for the observable future.
Climate and Space
- Berating climate sceptics isn’t enough – disruptive protest now seems the only way forward Guardian
I have mixed feelings towards this article. I didn’t have the heart to put it in dipshittery because it comes from a good place, but the article also isn’t really a good take. I’m not sure of John Harris' personal views, so maybe he’s a Marxist Leninist or something and just isn’t really mentioning forming a separate socialist party in the article, but I think he treats disruptive protest as the highest pinnacle of political action and the Thing That Will Get The Ball Rolling On Climate Action, when I just don’t see it really happening like that. Protest is just a single part of a comprehensive political movement with a real party that can form a concrete alternative to those currently in power, and I’m not sure I see the current UK Green Party fulfilling the role of a communist vanguard based on other European Green parties. It’s an important - even essential - part, but a single part nonetheless. But even so, it’s a welcome break from the endless drudgery of “vote for Labour and not the Tories and things will get better”. I’m not really all that old and I’m already completely exhausted by that line of argument, whether it’s in the UK or the US or Europe or anywhere else. I’m not sure how people much older than me can still think it’s a good idea after living through life for decades upon decades. Maybe for a short time between 2016 and 2019 there was some hope in electoralism, but that hope has been hung, drawn, and quartered. Revolution is the only path forward now. Anyway, enough masturbatory speech by me. I quote in full:
For the past year or so, I have been repeatedly listening to a critically acclaimed album, Ignorance, released in 2021 by the Canadian band the Weather Station. Its music is graceful, poised and smooth, but it is also an almost conceptual set of songs about the urgency of the climate crisis and the disorientation of living in a culture that still refuses to acknowledge it. According to its chief creator, the singer-songwriter and former actor Tamara Lindeman, many of its songs evoke what happens when “this veneer of ‘everything will be OK’ disappears”. That moment of revelation is perfectly captured in one song I have played over and over again – which is simply called Loss, and finds Lindeman recalling a conversation: “What was it last night she said? At some point you’d have to live as if the truth was true.”
Amid unprecedented temperatures, fires and the grim pantomime that will eventually end with the selection of our next prime minister, I suspect more people than ever would now understand those words as a matter of direct emotional experience. For millions of us, this summer’s heat is synonymous with an anxiety that is now impossible to shake off, and a renewed awareness of the small transgressions and outright hypocrisies that are required to get through each day. We perform them because of something that Lindeman’s lyrics consummately describe: that very human talent for just about averting our eyes from what is directly in front of us, so as to live a quiet life; and a political culture that just about keeps the “everything will be OK” veneer in place.
These are things evident across the planet, and the UK has its own grim versions of them. One of the two remaining Tory leadership candidates has pledged to retain the current de facto ban on onshore windfarms; the other wants to reconsider some of the key policies built into the government’s milquetoast 2050 net zero target (the positions of Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, respectively). The Labour party has one big climate policy – its £28bn-a-year climate investment pledge – but is still not putting global heating anywhere near the centre of its basic message, and is thereby failing to acquire much consent for action on it.
Meanwhile, for a certain kind of media voice, the past week has been all about raging against climate sceptics and deniers and their influence on politics, as if pointing out that they are mendacious and dangerous is an act of bravery. The former BBC presenter Andrew Marr provided a good example in a monologue broadcast on his new show on LBC: “I for one have had enough of being told by pallid, shadowy, old businessmen and lazy ignorant hacks and sleazy lobbyists – who aren’t real scientists, any of them – that the science is wrong and that what is happening isn’t happening,” he said. “Enough!”
The key question of 2022 is not whether those people are wrong, both factually and morally: we know the answer to that. For the moment, I don’t think many people need to be thinking very much about particular parties or politicians. What we surely need to focus on is the deep attachment to fossil fuels still locked into our economy and political system, and how to help the movements that definitely want to end it: Extinction Rebellion (XR), Insulate Britain, Just Stop Oil and the other forces that clearly understand the unspeakable gravity of the moment. This comes down to a question that still does not intrude on politics nearly enough: as these groups take the most direct kind of action, do you support them? And if – or, rather, as – the climate emergency deepens and the awful gap between politics and the sheer scale of what we are faced with only widens, what will you think if their actions take new, ever-more disruptive forms?
To some extent, the way our media and politicians fend off the climate crisis accidentally confronts people with exactly those arguments. In one of our most regular national rituals, mainstream politics barely intrudes and instead, a protester fresh from some or other climate action is berated by Piers Morgan, Richard Madeley or one of the presenters from GB News or TalkRadio, and the only real options become clear: meaningful and radical action or nothing at all. An editorial last week in the Sun insisted that “we need a sober debate, free from the extremists’ juvenile panic, on how we inch towards Net Zero in decades to come”, which made panic look like much the more sensible option. In April, the Labour party demanded that the government take legal action to effectively ban climate protests that disrupt traffic and oil production. When he stood to be his party’s leader, Keir Starmer took donations from a former boss of the RAC and AA, and the latter company-cum-lobby group’s former chief financial officer. The people he apparently thinks should be locked up, by contrast, are motivated by a comparatively pure mission to confront the car industry and quickly finish the hydrocarbon era, and thereby avoid catastrophe. So who do you choose?
In some cases – Occupy is a good example here – sustained support for protesters and activists has bumped up against their lack of a coherent agenda. But the modern climate movement is not like that. The basic position shared by the central handful of groups is clear enough: net zero by a much earlier date than 2050. XR and the people backing the climate and ecology bill – including such politicians as the Greens’ Caroline Lucas and Labour’s Clive Lewis – envisage that change being driven by citizens’ assemblies, set up to decide how such an aim will be reached. In the context of Westminster politics, such ideas may seem so unlikely as to be barely worth considering. But remember: Brexit is a madcap, massively disruptive project that defies just about every element of political and economic sense, but was until recently the preserve of cranks and obsessives and only became a reality when David Cameron decided to bypass MPs and ask the rest of us to decide. Less than a decade after it decisively burst into the political foreground, moreover, we are locked into it for keeps, with the support of both main parties. By comparison, is trying to set an example to other countries by doing exactly what the climate demands really so fanciful?
Activism and protest often trigger a kneejerk suspicion that they will alienate people and kill whatever cause they advocate. But experience suggests the exact opposite: just as successive waves of social reformers, the suffragettes and the anti-apartheid movement were stubborn, daring and creative enough to make their demands irresistible, so the people now lying in roads and charging into airports and refineries have conveyed the urgency of climate breakdown more successfully than anyone in a suit. There is a very good reason for that: it is only well outside centres of power that you can find the answer to a question that power and politics are dodging more than ever – how to live as if the truth is actually true.
Dipshittery and Cope
- The myths and reality of Russia’s famed S-400 air-defense missiles Business Insider
We start off the celebratory journalist session with this article.
Russia’s S-400 Triumf, often referred to as the SA-21 Growler within NATO circles, is widely touted as one of — if not the — most capable air-defense systems in the world.
With the ability to leverage a variety of missiles to engage different air threats, an engagement range of nearly 250 miles, and widely praised counter-stealth capabilities, the S-400 has gained a reputation as one of the few systems capable of countering America’s air-dominance approach to warfare.
But is the S-400’s fearsome reputation really deserved, or is it just another Russian weapon system that benefits from the Kremlin’s well-established nack for media manipulation in the interest of furthering foreign weapons sales?
I think I know what you’re gonna argue.
Russia has been intentionally opaque about the S-400’s history in testing and in the few situations where the S-400 has found itself in real combat conditions, its performance has prompted more questions than answers. But through extensive research into the system’s development and use, bolstered by expert assessments from a variety of nations, there are two seemingly counter-intuitive conclusions about the S-400 that we can draw.
First: The system is not nearly as capable as it is often perceived to be. Second: It is, nonetheless, among the most capable air-defense systems in use today.
Indeed. The most capable air defense system is the S-500, which Russia also made and uses. Holy shit, this article is so fucking long. Just skimming through it, there’s a section on the F-35 vs the S-400:
The figures above represent the detection range for the S-400 system’s low-frequency radars versus the F-117, which offers an RCS that’s approximately 30 times larger than the F-22 and at least twice the size of the F-35. As a result, both detection and targeting ranges for these more modern fighters will be reduced dramatically.
Based on assessments, the S-400 can target aircraft like the F-35, but likely not until the jet flies within 20 miles of the system. As a result, in a one-on-one fight between America’s F-35A and Russia’s S-400, the stealth fighter would almost certainly take home the win in a future conflict thanks to the forthcoming adoption of weapons like Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (ARRGM-ER).
The AARGM-ER is an advanced anti-radiation missile, or a weapon designed to detect and close with broadcasting radar arrays. This weapon is designed to be carried internally within the F-35’s weapons bay and boasts a range of at least 60 miles (though some sources claim a range as high as 80 miles).
If fired from well outside the 20-mile targeting envelope of the S-400, the AARGM-ER has a high likelihood of finding its target without the F-35 being shot down, though during the short time the F-35’s weapons bay doors are open and compromising its stealth profile, the S-400 will likely be able to achieve a weapons-grade lock (not unlike how an F-117 was downed over Yugoslavia in 1999).
However, Russian troops would likely not have the opportunity to exercise that lock, as the anti-radiation missile coming toward them will likely prompt them to power their system down and relocate. If they simply power down without relocating, the missile’s onboard targeting system can still find its target using GPS.
This fictional engagement doesn’t reflect the reality of large-scale combat between the United States and Russia, however, as the S-400 is most effective when leveraged as a part of a broader integrated air-defense system (IADS), rather than alone.
It would be more difficult to engage these systems with F-35s when they’re networked with airborne warning and control system aircraft (AWACS) to provide increased detection ranges beyond the horizon, alongside a network of other air defense systems working in tandem.
The article goes on for a long time, then concludes:
The fact of the matter is, that the S-400 and its recently deployed successor, the S-500, are indeed very capable air-defense systems, but they remain limited by the physical, financial, and geographical constraints on their operational environments and the defense capabilities of the countries that use them: Like all weapon systems, their real value can only be found when properly integrated into a larger defensive apparatus based on a functional and effective combat doctrine.
The S-400 is almost certainly not the stealth-defeating air defense force field it’s often claimed to be, but it is a highly effective system with scalable capabilities through networked support.
Should America be scared of the big, bad S-400? With systems like the F-35 and F-22 in service and platforms like the B-21, NGAD, and F/A-XX in active development, Uncle Sam certainly shouldn’t be shaking in his boots … but make no mistake about it: underestimating the S-400 in combat could prove a costly mistake, no matter what you’re flying.
- The Yale historian who predicted Trump’s fascist turn foresees Putin’s failure in Ukraine: ‘You pretend to win a war and we pretend to show enthusiasm’ Fortune
…did I miss the part of Trump’s presidency where he went fascist? I don’t think he ever did that. I’m genuinely confused. Are they talking about January 6th? Or the election? You definitionally cannot vote a fascist out of office, so… I mean, this article is therefore “Yale historian who was wrong about something to with current-day American politics is now deciding to predict something to do with Russian politics and warfare, as if those were transferrable fields of knowledge”
A Yale historian who predicted former U.S. President Donald Trump’s fascist turn contends Russian President Vladimir Putin is losing his war in Ukraine, saying the fact that other powerful Russians are speaking out means the despot is “lost in the fog of war.”
“We now regularly hear … from people aside from Putin (for example, former Prime Minister and President Dmitri Medvedev) about the meaning of the war, the catastrophic consequences that await Ukraine and the West, and so forth. This is a sign that Putin is losing control,” said Timothy Snyder, Levin Professor of History at Yale, Saturday in a lengthy Twitter thread.
Among Snyder’s myriad other reasons for the assertion: Russia’s “doom propaganda” is serving as “rhetorical preparation for a power struggle after Putin falls,” and “drastic proclamations” are serving as “evidence that important Russians think that Russia is losing.”
No, they aren’t. Zelensky’s drastic proclamations about retaking Crimea are examples of that.
Russia is capable of mobilizing its people for war “only at the level of emotions, not bodies,” Snyder said, adding that the country has taken “horrible losses in men” since invading Ukraine in late February.
No, they haven’t. Ukraine has experienced that.
“Russian regions are now working hard to find highly paid ‘volunteers’ who are sent to die with little training,” he said. “Putin is clearly afraid that a general mobilization would undo his popularity and bring down his regime. In this sense, he is weak.”
No, they aren’t. Ukraine is doing that.
Tentative factors like “mastery over rivals, soft support in the population, [and] integrity of the army” keep Putin in power—barely, Snyder said. “Putin has been good at keeping us all in a fog. But now he himself seems lost in the fog of war.”
No, that’s Zelensky. Like, I hate to just be like “no, u” at every point he says but I don’t really have any other way of putting it. It’s just pure, delusional projection.
Snyder has long warned publicly of the existential threat Trump poses to American democracy, saying shortly before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that “we are in a slow-motion Reichstag Fire right now.”
“Donald Trump is not as skilled as Hitler,” he told Salon in October 2020. “He doesn’t work as hard as Hitler. He doesn’t have the same level of confidence as Hitler, but he’s clearly looking for that Reichstag Fire emergency. … ‘Antifascists’ and ‘thugs’ and ‘law and order’ and so on is part of that effort.”
“Donald Trump keeps trying to make the Reichstag Fire work.”
What the fuck are you talking about? I’m not even trying to insult him - literally what the FUCK are you talking about? I guess it’s true: Yale really does give complete morons degrees in whatever they want.
- As Ukraine Signs Up Soldiers, Questions Arise About How It Chooses NYT
In a great contrast to that Yale historian claiming that Russian recruiters are needing to kidnap soldiers off the street to make up for the millions, nay, billions of Russian soldiers that have been killed so far in this war, we get this article from the NYT. Now, class: pay extra close attention to how the NYT words what Ukraine is doing, and compare it to how you would imagine they would word it if Russia was doing the same thing. This will be on the test.
At a subway station, a recruiting officer named Oleksandr, one of dozens deployed to different spots around Kharkiv, pulled young men out of the crowd recently, checking documents and determining whether they were eligible for military service.
A nationwide campaign is underway in Ukraine to recruit, register and draft men — a predictable response for a country at war. That campaign includes fanning out on the streets to find potential soldiers and issuing summonses ordering them to report to recruiting offices.
But the effort, especially the street recruiting, is drawing accusations that it is secretive and arbitrary, that it violates the government’s own rules and that it sometimes drafts the unwilling while spurning the willing. It has also led to a cat-and-mouse game between recruiters and men trying to avoid them.
Recruiters like Oleksandr, who did not give his full name because he was not authorized to speak to the media, say they issue summonses to register only to those who want to fight. “We ask them, do they have military training and do they want to serve in the war?” he said.
But some of those on the receiving end say they were never given a choice about appearing, while there are reports of men who are eager to fight being turned away, for reasons that appear bureaucratic in nature.
A petition signed by more than 25,000 Ukrainians, the threshold for requiring President Volodymyr Zelensky to respond, requests a ban on issuing summonses at checkpoints, gas stations and other public places. It asks him to establish a transparent process for when people might be called up.
“There are many willing people who are motivated, who have combat experience, but cannot join the service, because in many places they recruited people precisely on the streets who do not have experience,” the petition read.
Denis, 29, said he was recently handed a summons he did not want outside a Kharkiv supermarket. But at the recruitment office, “I lied and said I didn’t have any military training,” he recalled — a lie that may not be caught because his records are in a different part of Ukraine. Denis, who did not want his last name to be published for fear of punishment, added, “I know guys who don’t even leave their apartments because they’re afraid to get a summons, but I also know a lot of people who want to fight.”
Ukraine has long had conscription, and young men are required to do military service unless they fall into an exempt category, like being enrolled in a university, having a disability or having at least three children. After the war began, all nonexempt men ages 18 to 60 were required to register with their local recruitment offices and undergo medical screening for possible service, but enforcement and record-keeping have been haphazard.
Government officials say that only those with military experience or specifically needed skills have been drafted so far, but that others are likely to be called up as the war continues. Critics say that conscription has not been as selective as officials make it out to be, and that with the military in charge of recruitment, registration and drafting, the process is shrouded in secrecy, with little transparency about the standards applied to each step.
“This process of handing out summonses fully complies with the law,” said Yevheniia Riabeka, former legal adviser to the commander in chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “This is a normal attempt to register citizens who are obligated to defend their country.”
Each local recruitment center is given targets for numbers of people to register, she said — but those figures are “completely secret information.”
Andrii Novak, a lawyer who represents people trying to be excused from service, drew a distinction between a summons sent by a recruitment office because its records showed that a person should register and one filled out by a recruiter who stopped someone on the street. He said his firm, Miller Associates, considers the latter illegal.
In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city by population, a channel on the messaging app Telegram provides anonymous, crowdsourced, real-time information on the locations of recruiters for people trying to steer clear of them. It has more than 67,000 subscribers.
“Our goal is to prevent the inappropriate issuance of summonses,” reads the channel description. It invites residents to send in locations and photos of police officers and recruiters.
- Neither Moscow nor Kyiv can control Ukraine’s skies. These are the jets they’re using to fight the air war. Business Insider
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, neither side has achieved complete air superiority, surprising analysts and officials who believed that Russia’s larger and technologically superior air force would overwhelm Ukrainian forces.
Man, this fucking sucks already. Doing the “It may seem incredible that -complete falsehood- is true, but it surprisingly is!” thing right off the bat? Shame on you, Business Insider. Shame on you. Let’s just move on past this drivel, it’s not going to get any better from here.
- Ukraine wants more ‘game-changer’ HIMARS. The U.S. says it’s complicated. WaPo
If only they had more, and more sophisticated, weapons from the West, Ukrainian officials often tell their American counterparts and anyone else who will listen, they could make short work of Russian invaders. Last month’s arrival of the first of what are now a dozen U.S. multiple-launch precision rocket systems, known as HIMARS, has already been a game changer, soldiers here said this week.
Since a recent HIMARS strike on an enemy ammunition depot in Izyum, located southeast of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, Russian shelling has been “10 times less” than before, said Bohdan Dmytruk, a battalion commander in Ukraine’s 93rd Mechanized Brigade.
Huh. Yeah, I can’t think of any other explanation as to why Russia would be pausing their shelling in the Donbass region right now. Must have been that singular depot which the Russians, which their inferior brainpan, connected up to the entirety of their eastern artillery, instead of implementing redundancies. What did I tell you about the Russian skull shape?
Yet the Biden administration has parceled out the rocket systems slowly, watching how the Ukrainians handle them — and how the Russians respond. To fighters on the ground, that makes little sense at a crucial moment in the war.
In his battalion alone, Dmytruk said, the number of killed and injured has fallen dramatically compared with when his soldiers moved to this part of the front line three months ago. “We have about one guy suffer a concussion every week now. Before the HIMARS hit, it was about two to three a day because of the intensity of the shelling.”
Dmytruk and soldiers in the area attributed the drop-off in what was near-constant bombardment to the Russians’ need to conserve shells after the depot was destroyed, and their fear that firing their own artillery will alert the far more accurate and agile HIMARS to their positions.
“They have no idea where it is,” Dmytruk said of the wheeled launch vehicle and its four-man crew, which can fire and drive away at up to 60 miles per hour within two minutes. Already, he said, the Russians are likely adjusting to the new weapons by moving their supplies deeper into Russian-held territory beyond the 50-mile HIMAR range.
The administration announced Friday that it would send four additional HIMARS — High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems — to Ukraine, bringing the total to 16. Britain and Germany also have each sent or pledged three similar multiple-launch long-range systems. But the Ukrainians and some other close observers of the conflict say the need is far greater and immediate.
Ukrainian government and military officials have said at various times that they need dozens, hundreds or even thousands of HIMARS. “For an effective counteroffensive, we need at least 100,” with longer-range munition than what has been supplied, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said last Tuesday in a video appearance at the Washington-based Atlantic Council. “That would be a game changer.”
Hang on, so you’re claiming that 16 HIMARS is enough to bring Russian shelling to almost a halt, and that, contrary to Russian claims, Russia still hasn’t destroyed any of them, meaning they have some staying power on the battlefield, but you need a hundred more to actually counterattack? I don’t understand. Russia can’t hit you with artillery, you’re saying! Russia has experienced colossal casualties in the tens of thousands, you’re saying! Just counterattack now! You don’t need a hundred more!
- Ukraine app captures thousands of videos that could help prosecute Putin Guardian
More than 13,000 pieces of footage from the Ukraine conflict have been captured by an app, which could help to prosecute Vladimir Putin and other Russian political or military leaders at the international criminal court.
The eyeWitness to Atrocities app enables people to take pictures or video with the time, date and location recorded to prove their authenticity. They are then stored encrypted so they cannot be edited, enhancing their evidential value.
I cannot even express how much this fucking sucks. I could write ten paragraphs on how idiotic this idea is; how you almost certainly can alter the footage or images to make them appear worse; how Ukraine’s war crimes are worse than Russia’s; how the premise that these could be used to prosecute Putin is so flawed that surely even these people don’t really believe it’ll ever happen; how this is just app-developing nerds grifting off a war; how this probably contributes to the ever-accelerating panopticon of self-surveillance via devices like Alexa and Ring. But instead I will just not say anything, and let this article pass from this world as if I had never seen it.
- Russia’s Artillery Is Wearing Out, And Blowing Up Forbes
Russian artillery batteries in Ukraine appear to be running low on ammunition as Ukrainian rockets blow up more and more supply dumps.
And that’s not the only problem Russian gunners are having as Russia’s wider war on Ukraine grinds into its fifth month. Their artillery tubes are exploding, too.
Photos that appeared online in recent days depict two Russian guns with what Mark Hertling, a retired U.S. Army general who commanded forces in Europe, described as “banana-peeled” barrels.
That is, split and bent-back after bursting mid-use. According to Hertling, the banana-peeled tubes of one towed gun and one self-propelled gun are evidence the Russians are wearing out their artillery pieces—and not repairing them.
“Here’s what happens when you don’t do maintenance,” Hertling tweeted. “You can bet there were associated casualties.”
I’m getting pretty exhausted now. This is just cherrypicking a couple images and pretending they apply to the entire Russian artillery force. And Russia appears to be continuing to run out of artillery ammo for the fifth consecutive month despite not reducing their fire rate except during operational pauses.
- Gen. Mark Milley Says Chinese Military Aggression Has Worsened WSJ
The Chinese military has become significantly more aggressive and dangerous over the past five years, the top U.S. military officer said during a trip to the Indo-Pacific that included a stop on Sunday in Indonesia.
Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the number of intercepts by Chinese aircraft and ships in the Pacific region with U.S. and other partner forces has increased significantly over that time, and the number of unsafe interactions has risen by similar proportions.
“The message is the Chinese military, in the air and at sea, have become significantly more and noticeably more aggressive in this particular region,” said Gen. Milley, who recently asked his staff to compile details about interactions between China and the U.S. and others in the region.
Dude, I feel you, Mark Milley. I also hate it when a person who I repeatedly and aggressively threaten to punch in the face, and make punching motions before stopping just short, starts responding in self defence.
- Yellen says signs of U.S. recession aren’t in sight ‘when you’re creating almost 400,000 jobs a month’ Fortune
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed confidence in the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation and said she doesn’t see any sign that the U.S. economy is in a broad recession.
“We’re likely to see some slowing of job creation,” Yellen said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “I don’t think that that’s a recession. A recession is broad-based weakness in the economy. We’re not seeing that now.”
“As an experienced economist working for decades in this field, an incredibly precise and detailed scientific discipline, a recession is basically whatever you want it to be, and it especially isn’t happening now, because if it was, then people might be angry at us for that, which would suck as we’re just about to enter the midterms."
“I would be amazed if the NBER would declare this period to be a recession, even if it happens to have two quarters of negative growth,” she said. “We’ve got a very strong labor market. When you’re creating almost 400,000 jobs a month, that is not a recession.”
For the last six months, I have endured almost daily articles about the US and whether it’s going to go into recession, and how bad it’s gonna be. That whole time, I have been reassured that the official definition is two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Now they’re seriously going to change the definition, when the US might be about to hit that requirement? This is copium of the highest degree. Imagine if China went into two consecutive quarters of negative growth and then argued that they weren’t in recession. Can you IMAGINE the headlines from the western press? The most smug fucking idiots the US has ever produced making an article titled “Uh, actually Xi, a recession has a precise definition. China is in a recession.” with the profile picture of a bald bespectacled 35 year old man in a plaid shirt smiling at you against a beige background, and then 10 paragraphs asserting the inferiority of the socialist economy model and the superiority of the western free market.
Good Takes that are Dope
- Nicaragua’s President Ortega: US/EU waging war to stop multipolar world Multipolarista
In his speech at the 43rd anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said the United States and European Union are waging wars to prevent “multipolarity on our planet.”
Ortega quoted Che Guevara, arguing “imperialism cannot be trusted even a little bit.” He added that dialogue with Washington is “impossible,” because it would be like negotiating with the devil.
A portion of Ortega’s speech:
Why does the United States behave in that way? And when we say the United States, we are speaking of the North American rulers. Because when they dropped the atomic bomb above Hiroshima, they did not ask the North American people if the bomb should be dropped…
And they did a count of how many thousands the bomb could kill. And the higher the number was, that they calculated that the bomb could kill, the happier and more excited they were…
And they went ahead and dropped it, and killed, in one blow, hundreds of thousands of civilians, children, adults, because they dropped it on a city…
Right there, they killed, murdered many more civilians than all of those who could have died now in this war that the empires have started to try to destroy the struggle that humanity is carrying out to bring about the end of hegemony, and to create multipolarity on our planet.
That is the battle that is being fought over there in Ukraine, where Europe and the United States don’t want — they don’t want to see China growing economically…
It is from there, it is the evil that those powers have shown throughout history, the powers that colonized Africa, Asia, Latin America, the powers that brought slaves from Africa to these regions, to sell like them animals in slave markets…
When you asked me, and when it was asked, why not reach an understanding? They [the US] are not prepared to reach an understanding. They are prepared to do nothing more than impose — impose, occupy, bomb, kill, as they have done throughout history…
And they [the imperialists] waged war among themselves, to take over the world. It was war between the European powers, before there was a European Union.
You know it, dear brother. England, France, Spain, wanting to dominate all Europe, and dominating all of Europe, later taking over Africa, Asia, all of the Americas.
A hegemonic mentality. A selfish mentality. A mentality that has nothing to do with being Christian, nothing to do with being Christian. And all of that, they did it with the blessing of the different churches that existed in that time…
When they asked Roosevelt, who was a good friend of Somoza, why he was so gracious and friendly with Somoza, Somoza being a criminal, Roosevelt responded, in English, “He is a son of a…” How do you say it? “He’s a son of a bitch.” Yes, that is how he replied. “But he is OUR son (of a bitch).”
Yes, “He is a son (of a bitch), but he is OUR son (of a bitch).” That was the cynical response of the yankee…
I’m answering why there is no dialogue. Dialogue is impossible. Impossible. Dialogue is for one person to put a noose on your neck, and you to put your neck in the noose.
Look, dear brother, what dialogue can you have with the devil? As Che said, the yankees, imperialism, you can’t trust them even a little bit, not even a little bit. Because it will end you. It will end you.
- Africans Decry Europe’s Energy Hypocrisy Popular Resistance
Europe, one of the largest consumers of Russian gas, is scrambling to find African alternatives as Russia threatens to permanently turn off the taps.
Russia’s gas supply to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was halted for routine maintenance last week, and there are concerns that Russia may not restart it. Moscow has already cut natural gas supplies to Poland, Finland, and Bulgaria, which refused Russia’s demand to pay in rubles. The Bavarian Industry Association forecasts that Germany could lose almost 13 percent of its economic performance in the latter half of this year if Russian gas stops flowing.
Facing an energy crisis, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz went to Senegal in May to pursue the development of a gas field that’s expected to open next year. European Union diplomats began talks with Nigerian officials in April, seeking to tap the country as an alternative gas supplier. Meanwhile, Italy has struck agreements with Algeria, Angola, and the Republic of Congo.
This month, Italian President Sergio Mattarella visited the Mozambican capital of Maputo to discuss energy collaboration. The Italian energy company Eni announced recently that its floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant off the coast of Mozambique’s insurgent-plagued Cabo Delgado province is expected to achieve its first LNG cargo in the second half of 2022.
As Europe scrambles for energy supplies, observers and Africans themselves are denouncing what they see as energy hypocrisy, considering that most African countries live under regular power shortages and are severely impacted by climate change. African governments have sought to develop new fossil fuel projects to meet local needs, but Western governments have demanded that multilateral lenders such as the World Bank stop funding those projects to reduce global carbon emissions.
“Our countries cannot achieve an energy transition and abandon the polluting patterns of the industrialized countries without a viable, fair, and equitable alternative,” Senegalese President Macky Sall said in a defiant speech at last year’s meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. “Stopping funding for the gas sector … would be a major obstacle.”
A report released last week suggests some African countries will have to cut public spending elsewhere to meet the cost of adapting to a warming planet, which will eclipse their spending on health care. The entire continent is responsible for just 3 percent of global carbon emissions. That figure is far lower when coal-intensive South Africa, the biggest carbon emitter in Africa, is excluded. The average European uses more than six times as much electricity as the average African consumer.
Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in a recent op-ed in the Economist called out Europe for its insistence that poorer nations freeze their carbon emissions, which richer countries in real terms have not committed to doing, “because of a naive belief in leapfrogging, the assumption that, like skipping landlines for mobile phones, Africa can ‘leap’ to new energy technologies.” African leaders say those requests amount to a wish to keep the continent poor.
Ayukegba argues that African governments need to focus on infrastructure investments for local rather than European and Asian markets. He noted that because the Russia-Ukraine war pushed oil prices, which had been originally forecast at $50-$70 per barrel, above $120 a barrel, Nigeria made significant unexpected profits this year, which he argues should go toward infrastructure investments for local electricity needs.
- Assad And Zelenskyy – A Contrast In Media Coverage Popular Resistance
In the early hours of Friday morning, Israeli airstrikes on the Syrian capital of Damascus resulted in the deaths of three Syrian soldiers, only a month after Damascus International Airport was bombed under similar circumstances, with Tel Aviv alleging that it was being used by Iran to transport weapons into the Arab Republic, where Tehran is operating in an anti-terrorist capacity under official invite from the Syrian government.
This air campaign, which began in 2013 following the Iranian intervention in the proxy war on Syria which had begun two years previously, has stepped up markedly in recent years, with Israel recently threatening to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in an airstrike should the Islamic Republic continue to co-operate with its Arab counterpart.
What is interesting to note however, is that despite remaining President in the face of an 11-year long regime change operation, involving the arming and training of terrorist groups by the United States, Britain and Israel, as well as direct military action from those states, Bashar al-Assad is not afforded the same heroic descriptions gifted to his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a newfound darling of the corporate media since the Russian military intervention in Ukraine began in February of this year.
Timber Sycamore, the CIA operation intended to violently overthrow Assad, has its roots in the Syrian leader’s 2009 refusal to allow US-allied Qatar to build a pipeline through his country, an arrangement that would have undermined his relationship with key-ally Russia.
Realising that should Damascus fall, Tehran would be next in line to experience a US-backed ‘revolution’, Iran and Hezbollah launched an intervention in 2013 at the request of Assad’s government, an arrangement that has played a crucial role in preventing Syria from suffering the same fate that befell Libya, also subjected to a US-orchestrated regime change operation in 2011 and overrun and destroyed by Western-backed terrorists in the space of eight months.
This is where the role of Israel comes into play, with the Syrian Arab Republic being a long-time foe of the Zionist state since its establishment in 1948, and previously friendly Iran also becoming an opponent following the anti-Zionist Ayatollah Khomeini coming to power in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
As a result, Israel has played a key role in the Syrian regime change operation by providing arms and training to the terrorist groups vying to overthrow Assad, and has also stepped up its campaign of air strikes against the Arab state in order to counter what it sees as ‘Iranian expansionism’ in the region.
Despite this air campaign carrying the serious risk of escalating the Syrian war into a major regional conflict, Israel has come in for little to no criticism from the West for carrying it out, and no praise has been given to Assad for standing by his country in the face of it, in stark contrast to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Have you considered that Assad is a bad person, whereas Zelensky is Wholesome 100 Keanu Reeves epic?