The Evening Blues - 5-26-23


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Chuck Berry

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues and rock n roll guitarist and songwriter Chuck Berry. Enjoy!

Chuck Berry - Promised Land

"To assert that the universe has a purpose implies the universe has intent. And intent implies a desired outcome. But who would do the desiring? And what would a desired outcome be? That carbon-based life is inevitable? Or that sentient primates are life's neurological pinnacle? Are answers to these questions even possible without expressing a profound bias of human sentiment? Of course humans were not around to ask these questions for 99.9999% of cosmic history. So if the purpose of the universe was to create humans then the cosmos was embarrassingly inefficient about it."

-- Neil deGrasse Tyson

News and Opinion

Russia moving nuclear warheads to Belarus, says country’s leader

The Belarusian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, has said that Russia has begun moving tactical nuclear warheads for storage to Belarus, adding that it was possible that the weapons had already arrived in his country.

“We had to prepare storage facilities and the rest over there [in Belarus]. We’ve done all of that. This is why the relocation of nuclear munitions began,” Lukashenko said during a summit of the Eurasian Economic Forum in Moscow. Asked if the weapons had already arrived, he said: “Maybe. I will go and take a look.”

The remarks came hours after Russian and Belarusian military officials signed a pact that provides for Moscow to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, marking a shift in the Kremlin’s nuclear posture that could raise the stakes of any future instability in Belarus.

The plan to deploy tactical nuclear weapons on foreign soil is Russia’s first since 1991. The Kremlin has defended the decision saying that it is being provoked by western powers supporting Ukraine.

Russia has said it will maintain control over the tactical nuclear weapons, which may be launched on Iskander-M missiles or from Su-25 planes, both of which Belarus has in its arsenal. Belarus borders three Nato countries and has missiles that could reach several capitals. The US also has about 100 such weapons stationed at bases around Europe.

Russian arms to Belarus: Moscow to station nuclear weapons in ally country

Worth a full read:

Britain’s Perilous Escalation in Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an unexpected trip to Britain last week on a whistle-stop tour of European capitals, pleading for more powerful and longer-range weapons to use in his war against Russia. What was hard to ignore once again was the extent to which the U.K. is playing an outsize role in Ukraine.

Last year, shortly after the start of the war, the then-prime minister, Boris Johnson, hurried to Kiev — presumably on Washington’s instructions — apparently to warn Zelensky off fledgling peace talks with Moscow. At around the same time, the Biden administration made clear it favoured an escalation in fighting, not an end to it, as an opportunity to “weaken” Russia, a geo-strategic rival along with China.

Since then, the U.K. has been at the forefront of European efforts to entrench the conflict, helping to lobby for the supply of weapons, training and military intelligence to Ukrainian forces. British tanks and thousands of tank shells — including, controversially, some made from depleted uranium — are being shipped out. Last week, the U.K. added hundreds of long-range attack drones to the inventory.

A recent leak revealed that the Pentagon had learnt through electronic eavesdropping of Zelensky’s eagerness for longer-range missiles so that his forces were “capable of reaching Russian troop deployments in Russia.”

Britain now pays little more than lip service to the West’s claim that its role is only to help Ukraine defend itself from Russian aggression. The supply of increasingly offensive weapons has turned Ukraine into what amounts to a proxy battleground on which the Cold War can be revived.

Rus Advances North Central Donbass, Ukr Attack Recon Ship TurkStream Fails; Armenia Azerbaijan Peace

Russia Says Warship Attacked By Ukrainian Sea Drones Near Bosphorus Strait

Moscow said Wednesday that a Russian warship protecting pipelines in the Black Sea was attacked by unmanned Ukrainian speedboats near the Bosphorus Strait, far from Russian and Ukrainian territory.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the naval ship Ivan Khurs repelled the attack by three unmanned watercraft in an incident that took place about 87 miles northeast of the Bosphorus and within Turkey’s exclusive economic zone, which extends about 230 miles from the country’s coast.

Ukraine has employed unmanned speedboats to attack Russian vessels before, but not so far from Russian or Ukrainian ports. The location of the attack demonstrates the potential of the war expanding to other parts of the region.

60 Minutes Australia Keeps Churning Out War-With-China Propaganda

60 Minutes Australia has been playing a leading role in saturating Australian airwaves with consent-manufacturing messaging in support of militarising to participate in a US war against China. A segment they ran a year ago is titled “Prepare for Armageddon: China’s warning to the world,” and features an image of Xi Jinping overlaid with war planes and explosions and captioned “POKING THE PANDA”. Another from a year ago is titled “War with China: Are we closer than we think?” Another from ten months ago is titled “China’s new target in the battle to control the Pacific.” Another from six months ago is titled “Inside the battle for Taiwan and China’s looming war threat.” Another from two months ago is titled “Is the Navy ready? How the U.S. is preparing amid a naval buildup in China.”

All of these segments have millions of views on YouTube alone. Now this past weekend 60 Minutes Australia has aired back-to-back segments titled “The real Top Gun: US military in heated stand-off with China” and “Five countries secretly sharing intelligence say China is the No.1 threat,” both of which are as jaw-droppingly propagandistic as anything I’ve ever seen.

“It might sound like twisted logic, but military forces everywhere argue that the greater the firepower they possess, the greater the chance of maintaining peace,” opens 60 Minutes Australia’s Amelia Adams. “In other words, massive weaponry is the best deterrent to war. Right now the theory is being tested like never before, and much of it is happening in Australia’s backyard, the Indo-Pacific region. The United States wants the world, and more particularly China, to know of its increasing presence there, and to do that it’s putting on a spectacular show.”

What follows is 19 minutes of overproduced footage displaying this “massive weaponry” while Adams oohs and ahhs and gives slobberingly sycophantic interviews to US military officials.

“There’s something utterly mesmerising about the F-35 jet,” Adams moans. “The sound, the heat, and the power put this supersonic stealth fighter in a league of its own.”

“Colonel these are some very impressive machines you’re in charge of!” she gushes to an officer on an aircraft carrier.

“Yes ma’am,” the colonel replies.

Jesus lady, do your orgasming off camera.

Contrast this glowing ecstatic revelry with Adams’ open hostility later in the segment toward a Chinese think tanker named Henry Wang, claiming that he was trying to “rewrite history” for dismissing panic about a Chinese military buildup by pointing out (100 percent correctly) that China is spending a lower percentage of its GDP on its military than western nations.

“Every command, every maneuver, is being fine-tuned on this vast blue stage, where China has proven to be a bad actor, playing a long game of intimidating Pacific nations,” Adams proclaims over helicopter footage of US war ships. “But the US and its allies aren’t having it, bolstering their defenses — and it’s an impressive display.”

I defy you to find me footage more brazenly propagandistic than this, from any point in history. This is supposed to be a news show, run by people who purport to be journalists, yet they’re engaging in propaganda that looks like it came from a Sacha Baron Cohen spoof of a third world dictatorship.

As I never tire of pointing out, the claim that the US has been militarily encircling its number one geopolitical rival defensively is the single dumbest thing the empire asks us to believe these days. The US is surrounding China with war machinery in ways that it would consider an outrageously aggressive provocation if the same thing were done in its neck of the woods, which means the US is plainly the aggressor in this standoff, and China is plainly reacting defensively to those aggressions.

While the first segment unquestioningly regurgitates Pentagon narratives and gives supportive interviews to military officials, the second segment unquestioningly regurgitates talking points from the western intelligence cartel and gives supportive interviews to Five Eyes spooks.

“Showing off deadly weaponry in massive war games is a tactic China and the United States both use to try to avoid full-on combat,” says 60 Minutes Australia’s Nick McKenzie in introduction. “But the truth is the two countries, as well as other nations including Australia, are already battling it out in an invisible war. There are no frontline soldiers but there are significant skirmishes. Until now these conflicts have been kept quiet, but key members of a secretive alliance of top cops from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand are about to change that.”

“Their group is called the Five Eyes, and tonight they want you to know what they see,” says McKenzie, which is the same as saying “We’re telling you what the Five Eyes intelligence agencies told us to tell you.”

McKenzie literally just assembles a bunch of Five Eyes officials to tell Australians that China is bad and dangerous, and then disguises the western intelligence cartel advancing its own information interests as a real news story.

“There is one threat that alarms our partners more than any other,” McKenzie says over dramatic music, asking “Which state actor is the key threat to democracy in Australia and amongst the Five Eyes partners?” and presenting a montage of western intelligence operatives answering (you guessed it) China.

“The Americans describe a growing menace on our doorstep flowing from China’s increasing influence in the region,” McKenzie says, before asking an American official, “Do you see the Chinese state preying on Pacific island nations?”

“I believe so, yes,” the official responds.

Western journalism, ladies and gents.

Australians are particularly vulnerable to propaganda because Australia has the most concentrated media ownership in the western world, dominated by a powerful duopoly of Nine Entertainment (who airs 60 Minutes) and the Murdoch-owned News Corp. This vulnerability is being fully exploited as the time comes for the western empire to beat the war drums against China.

We keep being hammered by this narrative that “massive weaponry is the best deterrent to war,” when all facts in evidence say the exact opposite is true. It was the military encroachment against Russia and the conversion of Ukraine into a NATO military asset which provoked Putin to invade Ukraine, and all the militarization against China that we are seeing is only inflaming tensions and making war more likely.

And, I mean, of course it is; even a casual glance at the Cuban Missile Crisis reveals that powerful nations don’t take kindly to having menacing forces placed near their borders. So much of the propaganda indoctrination we’re subjected to in the 2020s revolves around convincing people to believe that Russia and China should react completely differently than the way the US would react if foreign proxy forces were being amassed along its borders.

So yes, Amelia Adams, claiming that aggression and militarism is the best path toward peace is absolutely “twisted logic”. It is as twisted as it gets. Because it is false. This is obvious to anyone who hasn’t yet been successfully indoctrinated into this omnicidal belief system.

We need to do everything we can to fight against this indoctrination now, because if we wait until the war actually starts it will likely be too late to resist.

North Korea slams ‘sinister’ South and allies as live-fire exercises with US begin

North Korean media has criticised as “sinister measures” plans by South Korea, the United States and Japan to share real-time data on missile launches by Kim Jong-un’s regime – with the North lashing out as its neighbour this week undertook its largest-ever live-fire exercises with the US.

The leaders of South Korea, the US and Japan met at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, last weekend and discussed new coordination in the face of North Korea’s illicit nuclear and missile threats. North Korea has undertaken a series of missile and weapons tests in recent months, most recently a new solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The North’s missile and nuclear weapons programmes are banned by the UN security council.

With Kim Jong-un last week inspecting what North Korea says is its first spy satellite, South Korea on Thursday said it successfully flew its domestically made space rocket, delivering a commercial-grade satellite into orbit.

Manufactured crisis over US debt ceiling sets stage for bipartisan assault on Social Security and Medicare

It is now one week out from the “X-date,” June 1, when the US will purportedly default on its debt obligations, triggering a “catastrophe,” unless the Democrats and Republicans can agree on a bipartisan deal raising the debt ceiling in return for brutal cuts in social programs on which tens of millions of working people rely. Behind the mutual recriminations between the two capitalist parties and the stage-managed crisis negotiations, there is a basic agreement: All of the social gains made by the working class in the course of more than a century of struggle must be wiped out to pay for the drive by the American ruling class to remove, by force of arms, Russia and China as obstacles to US hegemony, even if it means triggering a nuclear war.

The social cuts implemented in an eventual debt limit/budget deal will be only a down payment. They will set the stage for an assault on the core entitlement programs—Medicare and Social Security—extracted from the ruling class in the class battles of the 1930s and 1960s.

On Wednesday, with the talks between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy having hit a “speed bump” and the financial markets indicating increasing nervousness, the Washington Post published an editorial backing Biden’s proposal for a two-year spending freeze and $1 trillion in cuts over the next decade. At the same time, the newspaper owned by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos reiterated its demand that both parties tackle what it deems the real problem, the cost of the mandatory programs that stand outside of annual discretionary spending—Social Security and Medicare.

“Mr. McCarthy keeps claiming the nation has a ‘spending problem,’” the Post wrote. “The part he leaves out is the spending problem is driven largely by the fact that Social Security, Medicare and health-care costs are shooting up. Yet House Republicans and Mr. Biden don’t want to touch Social Security and Medicare.” The editorial is part of an expanding wave of media commentary on the need to “reform” or privatize these core social programs. On Sunday, CNN’s “State of the Union” program featured Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy, a so-called “moderate” who advocates tying Social Security to the stock market and essentially privatizing it.

Debt ceiling deal within sight as Biden and Republicans continue to negotiate

Joe Biden and Republican lawmakers on Thursday appeared to be nearing a deal to cut spending and raise the debt ceiling, with little time to spare to avoid a potential default that could wreak havoc on the economy and global markets.

The deal would specify the total amount the government could spend on discretionary programs including housing and education, according to a person familiar with the talks. The two sides, who met virtually on Thursday, are just $70bn apart on a total figure that would be well over $1tn, according to another source.

Republican negotiators have backed off plans to increase military spending while cutting non-defense spending and instead backed a White House push to treat both budget items more equally. Conversations are set to continue into the night.

The US House adjourned on Thursday for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but lawmakers have been told to be ready to come back to vote if a deal is reached.

DEBT DEAL Closing In?! Biden, McCarthy Balk In Hot Mess Of Ceiling Limit Talks

Among the GOP's Debt Ceiling Hostages? Social Security Payments for Oldest Americans

As the U.S. edges closer to a self-inflicted economic disaster whose most immediate cause is House Republicans' refusal to raise the debt ceiling unless President Joe Biden agrees to slash social programs and give the fossil fuel industry more handouts, the earliest potential victims of the GOP's hostage situation—which could provoke the nation's first-ever default as early as June 1—are coming into view.

"Seniors nationwide are on the frontlines of the fight to raise the debt ceiling, because if the federal government can't make a June 2 payment slated for Social Security recipients, the oldest beneficiaries—those over 88—and people with disabilities will be the first to suffer," The Washington Post reported Wednesday amid ongoing negotiations. "Roughly $98 billion worth of benefits, including Medicare, Medicaid, and military and civil retirement payments, are scheduled to go out in the first two days of June, according to an analysis by the Bipartisan Policy Center."

"Social Security benefits are distributed four times a month, but the earliest round of payments go to retirees older than 88 years, as well as people with disabilities and seniors with especially low incomes—and less than $2,000 in assets—who are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)," the Post noted. "Even a weeklong holdup, economists say, could be devastating for the roughly 27 million Americans who rely on Social Security for most of their income. Food insecurity and poverty rates will almost certainly rise, and people will probably forgo medical treatments, as families struggle to make do without necessities."

"There's no fallback if these checks are late," Kathleen Romig, director of Social Security and disability policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told the newspaper. "These are people who are literally not allowed to have emergency savings."

Progressives have long accused House Republicans, who know full well that failing to increase the federal government's arbitrary and arguably unconstitutional borrowing limit prior to the quickly approaching default "X-date" would unleash devastating impacts domestically and globally, of weaponizing the nation's credit rating to advance their reactionary agenda. With a five-seat House majority and the ability of any party member to introduce a motion to remove the speaker—a rule the far-right Freedom Caucus secured in exchange for electing Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to the role—the GOP has significant leverage over the fate of the U.S. and world economy.

Earlier this week, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) admitted that his party, led by the House Freedom Caucus to which he belongs, is exploiting the ongoing standoff in a bid to gut the nation's already meager welfare state and weaken its embryonic climate policies.

Referring to the austerity-or-default bill House Republicans approved last month, Gaetz told reporters, "My conservative colleagues for the most part support Limit, Save, Grow, and they don't feel like we should negotiate with our hostage."

Will America’s first ‘right to sleep outside’ actually help unhoused people?

New York City could soon pass a “homeless bill of rights” with a “right to sleep outside” – something that no other major US city has done.

If signed by Mayor Eric Adams, the proposal, which cleared New York’s city council unanimously last month, would add another plank to the city’s unique protections for unhoused residents. Since 1979, New York City has been one of the only places in the country with a “right to shelter”, which requires the government to provide a bed under a roof to anyone who needs it.

New York City’s public advocate, Jumaane Williams, who introduced the bill of rights, called it a “base standard, a moral and legal obligation that the city must meet for vulnerable unhoused New Yorkers”. (The public advocate is an elected citywide watchdog who can introduce bills but can’t vote.) In addition to naming the right to shelter and the right to sleep outside, the proposed bill of rights includes the right to an interpreter and a right to be placed in a shelter consistent with one’s gender identity.

But while the bill could be a promising step toward decriminalizing homelessness, advocates say it’s hampered by confusing legal language. It also leaves out the one right that would actually solve the problem: the right to housing. “It’s a sad state of affairs when we are basically asking, begging authorities to allow us to sleep in the elements,” says Deborah Padgett, a leading homelessness scholar at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work. “If you think about it, why should that be a right? Housing should be the right.”

New York City’s unhoused population reached an estimated 78,000 people this month, according to city data, in part due to an influx of asylum seekers and immigrants being sent by states along the US-Mexico border. The city’s traditional shelter system has been pushed to its limits, and officials have tried adding capacity by repurposing everything from hotels to school gyms. But the chaos has made it even harder for existing unhoused residents to access shelters, which already carry a reputation for being overcrowded and dangerous.

Memorial Day Massacre: Chicago Cops Killed 10 During 1937 Steel Strike, Then the Media Covered It Up

‘I want my left eye back’: those injured by 2020’s police violence speak out

“You don’t recover from something like this. That’s not a thing you do,” said journalist Linda Tirado, who was partially blinded after being fired on by the police while covering the protests that engulfed Minneapolis for months after George Floyd was slowly murdered in plain public view by a senior police officer in the city. Tirado is one of many who were injured in the protests that year and won a legal case against the city, which has already agreed to pay out at least $5.1m in settlements to demonstrators – using city funds – and is estimated to be facing an additional $100m more in potential payouts as a result of lawsuits.

Her settlement is just one of many that add up to what experts deem a record level of payouts across the US as a result of violent policing of the 2020 protests, with probably many more to come.

While photographing demonstrations, Tirado says an officer shot a projectile at her face. Bleeding profusely, Tirado was taken by protesters to a nearby hospital where she was rushed into surgery, but lost the sight in one eye. She now deals with short-term memory loss, a lack of depth perception and other health issues. She can no longer drive and has trouble with simple tasks like cooking. She was awarded $600,000 by the city in May 2022, the Minnesota Reformer reported. The funds addressed her medical debt, but not the long-lasting impacts on her work and life. “There is no [appropriate] amount. Because you know what I want? I want my left eye back,” Tirado said. ...

During the mass demonstrations across the country against police violence, police injured many and, like Tirado, some were severely wounded by so-called “less-than-lethal” weapons, including rubber bullets and beanbag projectiles.

In a global report by Amnesty International, the organization said countries around the world, including the US, increasingly use ammunition against peaceful protesters that is less dangerous than actual bullets but can still cause permanent injury or death.

the horse race

Texas panel recommends impeaching state attorney general Ken Paxton

The Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton, teetered on the brink of impeachment Thursday after years of scandal, criminal charges and corruption accusations.

In an unanimous decision, a Republican-led House investigative committee recommended impeaching the state’s top lawyer on 20 articles, including bribery, unfitness for office and abuse of public trust.

The state house of representatives could vote on the recommendation as soon as Friday. If the house impeaches Paxton, he would be forced to leave office immediately. Only two officials in Texas’ nearly 200-year history have been impeached.

The state’s Republican majority has largely met the allegations against Paxton with silence until now.

As reported by the Texas Tribune, four investigators, testifying before the house general investigating committee, described in “painstaking and methodical detail” ways in which they said Paxton violated multiple state laws. Investigators said they believed Paxton wrongly spent official funds and misused his authority to help a friend and financial backer, the Tribune said.

the evening greens

US supreme court shrinks clean water protections in ruling siding with Idaho couple

The scope of a landmark law to protect America’s waterways has been shrunk by the US supreme court, which has sided with an Idaho couple who have waged a long-running legal battle to build a house on wetlands near one of the state’s largest lakes. In a ruling passed down on Thursday, the conservative-dominated court decided that the federal government was wrong to use the Clean Water Act, a key 50-year-old piece of legislation to prevent pollution seeping into rivers, streams and lakes, to prevent the couple building over the wetland beside Priest Lake in Idaho.

The justice’ decision in effect overhauls the definition of whether wetlands are considered “navigable waters” under the act and are therefore federally protected. ...

Justice Samuel Alito, writing for himself, Chief Justice John Roberts and justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett ruled that the Clean Water Act can only protect “wetlands with a continuous surface connection to bodies that are waters of the United States in their own rights”.

The judgment is the latest blow to environmental regulations dealt by the supreme court, which last year curtailed the government’s ability to limit greenhouse gas pollution from power plants. Environmental groups have accused the court, along with Republican-led states and industry interests, of threatening bedrock protections to nature in the US.

This criticism was echoed by Elena Kagan, one of the more liberal supreme court justices, who wrote in a dissent to the decision that the court’s majority had appointed itself “as the national decision maker on environmental policy”.

Toxins hidden in plastics are the industry’s dirty secret – recycling is not the answer

Current best estimates are that only about 10% of plastic ever produced has been recycled. Despite this, the idea of circular economy in the plastics industry is often cited as the magic bullet: we will simply reuse the plastic we have already made and reduce the impact of plastic pollution. But new evidence points to the flaws in this plan. A report by Greenpeace has found that recycled plastic can be even more toxic, and is no fix for pollution.

It is now well known that plastic pollution is ubiquitous across the planet, with evidence of plastic particles being found in the deepest parts of the ocean, from the Mariana Trench to the peak of Mount Everest. There is justified concern about the impact of this pollution, both on ecosystems and human health. However, as an environmental chemist who has been studying plastic in the environment, I am increasingly concerned by a more hidden “invisible” threat posed by plastics: toxic chemicals.

It is estimated that more than 13,000 different chemicals are involved in the production of plastics, and many of these have never been assessed for their toxicity. Chemicals are used alongside the plastic polymer itself to create the desired physical properties for different applications: how bendy or rigid you want your plastic, whether it needs to be fire-resistant or resilient to the effects of sunlight, not forgetting dyes and pigments used to give the product the desired colour. In food packaging or products designed for small children, there are stringent regulations of which chemicals can be included in order to reduce or mitigate the potential risk of exposure to toxins. However, this becomes problematic when you start to consider recycled plastics.

Plastics collected for recycling will have been made for a variety of different uses (just think what might be in your household plastic recycling bin) and contain a wide range of chemicals used in their manufacture. If you add to the equation the fact that plastics very easily absorb substances that they come into contact with (containers for pesticides, household cleaning products etc), then you have the potential for a cocktail of chemicals, none of which will be removed by the recycling process. On top of this, studies have shown that other toxic chemicals can actually be produced during the physical process of recycling the material. As a result, these toxic chemicals can be transferred into products made from the recycled material, with evidence showing this includes food packaging and children’s toys.

Slowing ocean current caused by melting Antarctic ice could have drastic climate impact, study says

A major global deep ocean current has slowed down by approximately 30% since the 1990s as a result of melting Antarctic ice, which could have critical consequences for Earth’s climate patterns and sea levels, new research suggests.

Known as the Southern Ocean overturning circulation, the global circulation system plays a key role in influencing the Earth’s climate, including rainfall and warming patterns. It also determines how much heat and carbon dioxide the oceans store.

Scientists warn that its slowdown could have drastic impacts, including increasing sea levels, altering weather patterns and depriving marine ecosystems of vital nutrients.

“Changes in the overturning circulation are a big deal,” said the study’s co-author, Dr Steve Rintoul, an oceanographer and expert on the Southern Ocean at the Australian government’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). “It’s something that is a concern because it touches on so many aspects of the Earth, including climate, sea level, and marine life.”

The finding comes months after modelling, which Rintoul was involved in, that predicted a 40% slowdown in the circulation by 2050. “The model projections of rapid change in the deep ocean circulation in response to melting of Antarctic ice might, if anything, have been conservative,” Rintoul said. “We’re seeing changes have already happened in the ocean that were not projected to happen until a few decades from now.”

Invasion of Ukraine ‘has fuelled funding boom for clean energy’

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has helped ignite a boom in clean energy investment which will significantly outpace spending on fossil fuels, according to the International Energy Agency. A report from the IEA has found that clean energy investment is on track to reach $1.7tn (£1.4tn) this year as investors turn to renewables, electric vehicles, nuclear power, grids, storage and other low-carbon technologies.

At the same time investment in coal, gas and oil will rise to just over $1tn, the IEA said. The Paris-based agency found that clean energy investments have been boosted by many factors including periods of strong economic growth and volatile fossil fuel prices as well as heightened concerns about energy security after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Fatih Birol, the executive director of the IEA, said: “Clean energy is moving fast – faster than many people realise. This is clear in the investment trends, where clean technologies are pulling away from fossil fuels.

“In very simple, but very striking terms, five years ago global energy investment was $2tn, of which $1tn was for clean energy and $1tn was for fossil fuels. Today, $1tn is for fossil fuels and $1.7tn is for clean energy. This is a dramatic shift which will have consequences for the energy markets and climate change. In my view, it’s very exciting.”

The clean energy boom is particularly apparent in solar power investment, Birol said. “For the first time in history the amount of investment going to solar is higher than the amount going to oil production. It may be symbolic but it is very important because it shows the tide turning,” he said.

Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

How Wolf-PAC Is Helping ALEC Rewrite the Constitution Along Right-Wing Lines

Kissinger at 100: how his ‘sordid’ diplomacy in Africa fuelled war in Angola and prolonged apartheid

New Evidence Emerges that the Investigation of the Fed’s Trading Scandal by the Inspector General Has Been a Coverup from the Beginning

Winnie-the-Pooh book teaches Texas kids to ‘run, hide, fight’ in a shooting

Ice Melt In the Pipeline

Capturing Carbon With Machines Is a Failure—So Why Are We Subsidizing It?

BBC’s New Disinformation Expert Is A Joke!

A Little Night Music

Chuck Berry - Reelin' And Rockin'

Chuck Berry - Thirty Days

Chuck Berry - Guitar Boogie

Chuck Berry - Let's Boogie

Chuck Berry - You Never Can Tell

Chuck Berry - County Line

Chuck Berry - Carol

Chuck Berry - Bio

Chuck Berry - Oh Yeah

Chuck Berry Live Rocking Horse at BBC Theatre 1972

19 users have voted.


snoopydawg's picture


with western equipment after the fall of Bakmut. It’s a good read.

I will put it simply — we are living in the most dangerous time in World history since the start of World War II. The United States is showing no sign of backing down from its effort to keep the war going in Ukraine in the futile hope of weakening Russia. And Russia is intensifying its operations to decimate Ukraine’s military capabilities. This appears to be a toxic recipe for a horrendous collision. I hope I am wrong.

Another writer I like is M. K. BHADRAKUMAR from the Indian Times

US hopes to snatch victory from jaws of defeat in Ukraine

The Russians seem to have concluded that nothing short of a total victory will make the Americans and the British understand that Moscow means business on the three objectives behind the special military operations that are non-negotiable: security and safety of the ethnic Russian community and their right to live in peace and dignity in the new territories; demilitarisation and de-Nazification of Ukraine; and a neutral, sovereign, independent Ukraine freed from the US clutches and no longer a hostile neighbour.

To be sure, the unprecedented levels of US hostility towards Russia only hardened Moscow’s resolve. If the Anglo-Saxon alliance keeps climbing the escalation ladder, the Russian campaign may well expand the operation to the entire region east of the Dnieper River. The Russians are in this war for the long haul and the ball is in the American court.

What comes to mind is a speech last July by President Vladimir Putin while addressing the Duma. He had said, “Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield. Well, what can I say? Let them try. We have already heard a lot about the West wanting to fight us ‘to the last Ukrainian.’ This is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but that seems to be where it is going. But everyone should know that, by and large, we have not started anything in earnest yet.”

Well, the Russian operation has finally started “in earnest.” The thinking behind the delay is unmistakeable. Putin underscored in his speech that the West should know that the longer Russia’s special military operation goes on, “the harder it will be for them to negotiate with us.”

The unmanned drones that attacked the Russian ships were in an area that Ukraine would need help finding and there was a US drone flying in the area at the time. MoA questions whether the people retiring from the Biden administration are the more sane and leaving because of how insane Blinken, Nuland and Sullivan are. I posted a link in doh's essay that covers Nuland saying that NATO is helping Ukraine plan their upcoming offensive. Not that Russia didn’t already know about its involvement, but sheesh you’d think loose lips might sink ships.

Thanks for another week of the news and blues and have a great weekend! Hope you have something fun planned. My trailer is still winterized, but I’m not sure if the campground I visit early in the year is even open yet. 2 weeks ago it was closed and the roads were not plowed. Been rainy all week and through the weekend.

14 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

joe shikspack's picture


thanks for the links. i've seen a bunch of speculation today about whether the u.s. was involved in the attack on the ship guarding the pipeline, whether it could be proved and what russia might do about it if it was proven. my take is that the u.s. has a lot of infrastructure around the world that is quite vulnerable, so it seems pretty silly to threaten russia's infrastructure again. payback is going to be a bitch.

fun is indeed planned. i will be going to a bluegrass festival out in western maryland this weekend (delfest) for some r&r.

i hope that you find something fun to do, too. have a great holiday weekend!

12 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Turkey was also targeted in them and just maybe they will be more obstinate about going along with NATO’s plans going forward. Someone mentioned since Turkey is part of NATO wouldn’t that mean that Ukraine attacked a nato country? What about that 'if you attack one you are attacking all'? Just kidding…

Have fun at the festival. I’ve taken to driving Sam around after our walk and twice we’ve gotten caught in the rain with the top down. Sam of course thinks that is the bees knees and people get a kick out of watching her enjoying the rain. Cheap entertainment since we can’t go camping.

10 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

joe shikspack's picture


i would think that hungary's orban might be the one in the best position (with the least to lose) if he launched an article 5 complaint. if he did, i would need an astronomical amount of popcorn. Smile

9 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg it in the bud before it could utilized. If this is true
the collective west knows not of what they do. Truly evil

As the latest "nuclear fallout' settles on Poland with a total blackout on such happening's by the Western Press and a cover up of all coverup by the Poland Gov, the EU , like Von de-crazzzy, you see how much the ordinary Pole matters in such circumstances - we will fight to the last radiated Pole. Lots of 'glow' in the dark or contaminated wheat for sale to the EU consumers.
This troubling news (below ) just proves how crazzzy the 'west is'.
This could escalate to end of the world scenarios

Posted by: Col from OZ | May 27 2023 0:01 utc | 117

10 users have voted.

I never knew that the term "Never Again" only pertained to
those born Jewish

"Antisemite used to be someone who didn't like Jews
now it's someone who Jews don't like"

Heard from Margaret Kimberley

snoopydawg's picture


Whether it caused any health issues or not it’s pretty certain that if any NATO country set off a false flag nuclear attack in Ukraine then the fallout won’t just stay in Ukraine, but would go elsewhere too. And I doubt that Russia would be dumb enough to do one since it’s so close to their country too. Hopefully if there is fallout over Poland they are on the phone with their partners and telling them to knock this shit off!

10 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

soryang's picture


There are some issues with this incident that need to be clarified, but it doesn’t seem possible due to the fog of war.

Firstly, Russia’s statement mentioning that Ivan Khurs was ensuring the safety of the pipelines was not convincing. Because;

This is an intelligence ship and doesn’t have the capability to take relevant measures if she detects any attack on the pipelines.

She doesn’t feature underwater detection systems or ROVs to monitor the pipelines.

Another question is how the Ukrainian USV could reach a ship that was about 450-500 km away from Odesa. Although we do not know the exact specifications of the USV, such as range, endurance, fuel capacity, communication equipment, etc., it is not easy to go to such a distant location because endurance and control are problematic. Controlling the drone via satellite is an option, but not easy given the size, seaworthiness, and endurance of the USV.

The last paragraph is consistent with my own independent evaluation of the video of the USV and diagrams of the USV on twitter. As to the earlier comments made on Naval News, I have no idea where the attack took place nor the characteristics of the Russian ship.

8 users have voted.

語必忠信 行必正直

snoopydawg's picture


Thanks for the info.

The drone attack is covered by simplicius76 in this essay down at the bottom of the update.

He has a picture that shows where it happened. I’m not sure where he gets his information but lots of other writers i follow think he’s reputable and accurate. Time of course will tell.

7 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

soryang's picture

@snoopydawg it is unlikely those USVs have the range to get to the position given in the reports from Ukraine. They are not blue water vessels. The inference isn't necessarily that the report is false. There are other possible explanations. This is just my intuition from having been around boats for a significant period of time.

7 users have voted.

語必忠信 行必正直

we are the ultimate transmigration from soul to universe

thanks for the Berry!

8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


heh, even more amusing is that some folks seem to think that some cosmic muffin or hairy thunderer would miss us if we were stupid enough to blow ourselves up.

have a great weekend!

11 users have voted.
usefewersyllables's picture

@joe shikspack



6 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

enhydra lutris's picture

cosmic muffin reference, which conjures up a perfect state of mind for the coming weekend. Thanks for the Chuck Berry too, also a good lead in to the weekend.

That all said, have a great weekend, and, of course,
be well and have a good one

9 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

have a great weekend!

5 users have voted.
dystopian's picture

Hi all, Hey Joe! Hope it's all good out there!

Love Chuck Berry. First I was a Keith Richard guy, which is known to lead one to becoming a Chuck Berry guy. I play a lot of that sort of thing, simple enough for me to get right. Wink I always thought that live UK 1972 Chuck show was fantastic, it so well-showed how talented he was. What a great singer and songwriter too.

The SCOTUS wetlands decision is a tragedy, and a crime against humanity and the environment. It is mind-blowing that these environmental idiots, bought corporate whores, are making these decisions for all of America forever.

Thanks for the great soundscapes!

9 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

joe shikspack's picture


heh, i guess if you can afford to purchase the government, it is your right to destroy the planet. once again, i am hoping that satan reserves these folks a warm spot by the fire.

have a great weekend!

7 users have voted.
OLinda's picture

Been awhile. Hope everyone is doing well. So glad to see you all are still here.

Thank you, joe, for Chuck Berry. Can anyone listen to You Never Can Tell without seeing Uma Thurman and John Travolta twisting?

8 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture


be well and have a good one

5 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

OLinda's picture

@enhydra lutris

and you, too.

3 users have voted.

@OLinda No.
Glad you stopped in!

5 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

OLinda's picture

@on the cusp

Thank you, on the cusp.

”No.” Haha. What a great scene. Glad to know it's not just me. :).

3 users have voted.