News & Commentary (often Radical & Censored) for Friday, August 12, 2022

I see reports from the Russian side about Ukrainians deserting. The Ukrainian side (which includes the US, UK, etc.) report about Russians balking. Russia struggles to replenish its troops in Ukraine. The term "struggles" there is subjective. We don't know whether Russia is getting the number of troops it wants and needs right now.

It does appear that the HIMARS have made the most difference so far in the war and that the Russians were probably wrong militarily not to have invaded Kiev.

Russia obviously lacks the eyes in space to find and target the HIMARS. I had thought they were more equipped in that department than they've turned out to be. Since the HIMARS are so mobile, spies on the ground don't seem to be able to provide targeting info quickly enough if at all. Meanwhile, the USA is giving Ukraine all the satellite intelligence it can use.

CDC drops quarantine, distancing recommendations for COVID.

The state plan calls for expanding water storage capacity above and below ground by 4 million acre-feet; expanding average groundwater recharge by 500,000 acre-feet; accelerating wastewater recycling projects; building projects to capture more runoff during storms, and desalination of ocean water and salty groundwater.

Newsom outlines sweeping strategy to bolster water supplies - Los Angeles Times

It is very telling about all the Republicans (and others) rushing to condemn the DOJ & FBI and to defend Trump before those condemners and defenders even know the facts.

On the legal front, the FBI search was part of an investigation into whether the former president took classified records from the White House to his Florida residence. While Republicans have rallied behind Trump, very few facts about the case have been released publicly. Trump’s attorneys have so far declined to release details from the search warrant.

Trump's bond with GOP deepens after primary wins, FBI search | AP News

What matters is whether or not he took the documents. Hillary Clinton was dead wrong to have that email server in her basement using it for official governmental business, and Trump was wrong before to have taken (maybe others did it without his knowledge) government documents. If he did it again (didn't have his team go through everything to return it), he's a jerk for that and shouldn't be elected dogcatcher, period. The American people elect the jerks they deserve.

Trump was a lousy President, just as Hillary would have been. He ran the Oval Office like a chicken with its head cut off. He talked a great game for the working class to get into office and then only truly benefited the uber-rich. I held my nose only because ditzy Hillary wanted to start WWIII over Syria with her brainless "no fly zone" idea against the nuclear superpower Russia.

Here's the Republican view.

"I mean, the idea that he was subject to a subpoena, complied with a subpoena, didn't challenge it, voluntarily showed the storage room to the agents, followed their advice, secured it to meet their demands. All of that is hardly a basis for saying now we need to send in 40 FBI agents on a on a raid,” he added. “I mean, if the subpoena worked the first time, then presumably a second subpoena would work the second time if there were remaining documents.”

Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., told Just the News that Trump mentioned to her Tuesday night the prior cooperation, and that she viewed the raid as an effort at nullifying his future run for the presidency in 2024 if he chooses.

“Look, this is exactly what people, the public is seeing: a two-tiered justice system. This is impeachment 4,” she said, citing Trump‘s prior two impeachments and the January 6 hearings that preceded the raid.

The flurry of cooperation in June came months after Trump had already returned about 15 boxes of documents, many of them classified, at the request of the National Archives. Government officials have said the documents were mistakenly boxed up by the General Services Administration along with Trump's personal possessions from the White House and shipped to Mar-a -Lago.

After the subpoena was delivered in late May, federal authorities said they suspected there were more classified materials still left at Mar-a-Lago, and arranged the June 3 visit.

After mid-June, the government had no other official contacts with the president's lawyers until agents showed up unannounced on Monday and executed the search warrant, ousting the president's lawyers and staff and spending nine hours collecting evidence. Sources told Just the News they collected about 12 boxes of evidence.

Questions grow about Trump raid after revelation of grand jury subpoena, extensive cooperation | Just The News

Well, I agree with the questions. If he cooperated the first time, why not just ask him to open up again the way he did before? Obviously, the reply will be that it would have been irresponsible to simply "trust" him to be honest and fully cooperative what with the huge increase in political tensions. However, if the judge knew about the prior cooperation, the judge should have ordered that they go in lightly (like the first time).

If this turns out to be another Russiagate, Trump will likely be reelected.

In the face of Global Warming, the rich are moving to the warmest states. Go figure.

Some people move to Texas. Others leave. Subject:Texas Realtor Helps At-Risk LGBTQ+ Homeowners Flee Texas.

The "Six Assurances" to Taiwan

July 1982


6. The United States would not formally recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.

Part of the reason may be that it is a tenuous hope to expect that the heavily beleaguered US government and its body politic will support expending American blood and treasure to defend Philippine claims to remote rocks and resources. It did not do so regarding the China-Philippines standoff at Scarborough Shoal and it is unlikely to do so in similar situations, despite what it says.

Marcos Jr disappointing anti-China analysts

When I saw the news about the Cuban oil fires, I thought exactly about this:

Despite having invaluable expertise and experience with major fires, the U.S. has not sent personnel, equipment, planes, materials, or other resources to its neighbor that would actually help minimize the risk to human life and the environment.

Opinion | While Cuba Deals with Blazing Fire, the U.S. Heartlessly Watches and Waits | Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan

I called for price controls when inflation was first becoming an issue.

"Many economists warn that price controls never work. But history says that's not true," Jacobs and Weber argued. "Targeted controls combined with large-scale investments present a real alternative to the potent sort of stagflation—high inflation and a stagnant economy—that wreaked havoc in the 1970s and threatens us now."

To Tackle Stubborn Inflation, Experts Urge Bold Action Against 'Corporate Profiteering'

While scholars have made many claims about US military interventions, they have not come to a consensus on main trends and consequences. This article introduces a new, comprehensive dataset of all US military interventions since the country’s founding, alongside over 200 variables that allow scholars to evaluate theoretical propositions on drivers and outcomes of intervention. It compares the new Military Intervention Project (MIP) dataset to the current leading dataset, the Militarized Interstate Disputes (MID). In sum, MIP doubles the universe of cases, integrates a range of military intervention definitions and sources, expands the timeline of analysis, and offers more transparency of sourcing through historically-documented case narratives of every US military intervention included in the dataset. According to MIP, the US has undertaken almost 400 military interventions since 1776, with half of these operations undertaken between 1950 and 2019. Over 25% of them have occurred in the post-Cold War period.

Introducing the Military Intervention Project: A New Dataset on US Military Interventions, 1776–2019

"We are going to have to change the labeling because these are not one-in-1,000-years events anymore," Andreas Prein, a climate expert at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, told The Guardian. "It's shocking to see all of this flood damage but it follows a pattern. These rare events are becoming more and more common and our infrastructure is just not keeping up."

"Climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of flooding," he added, "and it will likely [definitely] get worse with further warming."

Death Valley Floods Deemed a '1,000-Year Event'

... big win for those who want financial markets to serve the real economy — companies with productive capacity, their workers, and research and development — instead of the real economy serving financial markets. The latter arrangement, which is our current reality, prioritizes payouts to corporate executives and wealthy shareholders at the expense of workers, consumers, and the long-term investments necessary for sustainable and equitable economic growth. Buybacks also exacerbate economic inequality and the racial wealth gap.

Congress Takes Historic Step to Tax Stock Buybacks -

This doesn't mean the bill was generally even remotely good enough. It was only the best that good be done with THE OBSTACLES: Manchin and Sinema.

Subject:China’s Second Spaceplane Launch Solidifies Its Near-Peer [overstatement] Status With America.

The economy still sucks for the average "worker" and has since the 2008 crash.

Long story short, many people are picking up part-time jobs to help pay the bills, and a decent number are picking up a second (or third) part-time job. Full-time jobs were reduced in July, which confirms what a lot of people have suspected—there has been a net increase in layoffs.

The Labor Force Participation Rate, the percentage of the population working or looking for work, stands at 62.1%. This is about 1.2% lower than where it was in February 2020 prior to the pandemic.

What July's Job Report Says About the Economy's Health

I enjoyed reading this article: Democracy in America.

Tocqueville reached the following conclusion. In future there may be republics, monarchies and other mixed forms of government. But in essence only three political systems can exist. One where liberty is the most important feature, irrespective of its consequences. But if this were so, eventually there would be no political form, no state or even politics – for complete freedom is anarchy, which is the antithesis of a political structure.

The second possibility is a system where equality and liberty coexist, with a tendency for equality to be perceived as more important than liberty. But this, says Tocqueville, after anarchy would be also the worst possible political system – from which an exit to freedom would be most difficult. Of this we have recent massive historic evidence in Europe during the XXth century.


How does it happen that, in such a society, we accept to resolve problems that have no solution? Poverty, for example, is a problem without easy or final solutions. It generates itself continuously.

I disagree with Tocqueville. Freedom from poverty is liberty and is politically (democratically) quite doable. The so-called "tyranny of the majority" has never existed because full democracy has never existed. Democratically derived equality is as free as it gets, as total anarchy is unbridled Hell, which is the most enslaved condition.

Of course, there's Heaven, where evil isn't allowed entry. There is complete consensus about good behavior. That itself is anti-anarchy. Heaven is a state. It is governed.