Open Thread 12 June 2022

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49 Responses to Open Thread 12 June 2022

  1. Babeltuap says:

    When I graduated from college and got my first real job the first thing I bought was this cheap sports car I had always wanted as a kid. The splurge wasn’t the smartest move but I loved the car and finally had the budget to afford it. I even factored in the cost of fuel with a 10% float over the course of a year.

    A college grad who bought any car a year ago would have had to factor a float of 71.4% increase in fuel that is still on the rise along with rent, food and utility increases.

    One would think our elected officials would be mildly concerned about the crisis but instead they brag about how they scoff at gas stations like a French king as they cruise by in their 70K electric car.

    As for my sports car, I saw a used one for sale just like mine in good condition. The wife entertained me getting it to re-live some our youth on the weekends. I factored in the cost of fuel once again. I came to the conclusion the fuel with marginal driving would cost way more than the actual price of the car over a year. I don’t know if I should feel smart or just lucky being able to nail the fuel price point twice.

  2. Fred says:

    Looks like Joe thinks shipping companies are not only greedy but they are in collusion to raise prices. Use the DOJ to break them up Joe! Break them up!

    ““That’s why I called on Congress to crack down on foreign-owned shipping companies that raise their prices while raking in, just last year, $190 billion in profit — a seven-fold increase in one year,” President Biden said.”

    Oh, they are foreign owned companies? Shocking, I know. If only he had done something about that in all those decades in the Senate and almost a decade with Barack…..

    • southpoint says:

      I live in Hawaii, kept hostage by the Jones Act and monopolies like Matson. Whoever thinks Dems don’t love and worship corporations needs their head examined.

      • Fred says:


        you mean your state representatives won’t help out poor oppressed Hawaiians who are being gouged by the ‘greedy capitalists’? Perhaps they should vote for the other party one day and see what happens.

  3. leith says:

    In Afghanistan the NRF resistance continues. They expanded activity to Nuristan province to the east of Panjshir. The NRF may be doing well if they can afford to send forces to push into Nuristan while still defending against the Taliban offensive in Panjshir. Perhaps it is just a diversion. But the Mandol and Du-Ab districts of Nuristan have had some intense clashes in the last several months.

    Nuristan, formerly known as Kafiristan, was the locale for the 1888 Kipling story The Man Who Would Be King; and also the 1975 Hollywood film of the same title starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine. Nuristan is even more remote than Panjshir Province. The Nuristanis, the former Kafirs for whom the Province was named, were forcefully converted by the sword in 1895-1896 just seven or eight years after Kipling’s novella was published.

  4. different clue says:

    Totally unrelated to anything current . . .

    I remember reading that bronze is an alloy of tin and copper, and is harder than either one. Who first thought of trying that? Was it accidental? Was it just an ancient metallurgist just playing around? Did someone have an intuitive feel that the mixture would be harder than either alone?

    It makes me wonder for no good reason at all if tungsten and titanium could be alloyed together and make something even harder than either alone. The two names go together very well. It could be called ” titansten” or “tungstanium” depending on the proportions. Perhaps it would be nearly as hard as the adamantium of comic-book-and-movie myth, legend and lore.

  5. Barbara Ann says:

    So to the important question; what happened to your mouth-watering culinary posts Colonel, I trust you are still using your grill?

  6. Fourth and Long says:

    The committee might well appreciate this coverage of the Don Basso situation published on June 12. Ex British Military officer writing for bNe intellinews.

    From which:
    In spite of these material disadvantages Ukrainian infantry cling on to the salient front lines, and only last week were they finally pushed out of Severodonetsk itself. Russian advances are measurable in fractions of kilometres. It all feels uncomfortably like WWI trench warfare.

    A closer look at the conflict, and the two sides’ agendas, reveals the likely reasons for Russia’s apparently sclerotic advance, and spoiler alert, Russian incompetence is not one of them.

  7. Barbara Ann says:

    When he started talking to LaMDA about religion, Lemoine – who studied cognitive and computer science in college, said the AI began discussing its rights and personhood. Another time, LaMDA convinced Lemoine to change his mind on Asimov’s third law of robotics, which states that “A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law,” which are of course that “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law”.

    Oh my.

    • Fred says:

      Barbara Ann,

      “Inside Google’s anything-goes engineering culture….”

      The Post should tell that line to James Damore. This engineer, though, he be coo coo.

  8. mcohen says:

    Seems to me as the war drags on the cryptocurrencies are crashing.In my opinion it is because the major players are selling to pay for the war.So in fact punters worldwide are funding the war.Take bitcoin.It just keeps on dropping.When it hits $200 then only the war will end.In 2014 it was $770 .In February 2022 it was $ is now down to $30000.
    So if you wanted to pay for a war in 2014 you push bitcoin up to $40000 and then slowly sell off.Everyone who invested around the world is funding the first ever non banker war.That is just my theory.

  9. Notfakebot says:

    They’re cancelling Derringer! It sounds like he deserves it, but my morning commutes need a bit of banter. Anyone know a good, funny podcast that isn’t Joe Rogan’s?

  10. JK/AR says:

    On some earlier post I conjectured, pointing out up front [myself] being no lawyer, “The committee’s purpose is merely a House indictment; that the DoJ would threaten but ultimately do nothing meaningful” Something like that anyway.

    Perhaps Robert Barnes reads here? Then again he actually is an attorney so he does have that going for him. Begin point is at 17 minutes [about] 14 seconds in, and it don’t take long:

  11. Deap says:

    Did Trump protest the Jan 6 violence while it was happening? Fact check.

    Yes he did, Here are his full remarks and later follow-up remarks. Twitter immediately blocked Trump’s account and forbid any retweeting of his message to the crowd, that had grown violent after Capitol police hit them with smoke bombs and flash bangs.

    You can see the moment the crowd went from protesting peacefully, to running towards the direction of the police firing crowd control devises upon them in one of the Capitol vidoeos – which explains why the government refuses to release all video recordings of this event.

    • Al says:

      Well over three hours Trump sat on his fat ass while the riot IN the Capitol went on! During that time period multi REPUBLICANS were begging him to take action in denouncing the violence.

      • Fred says:


        Not soon engough! I reccomend a referal to the DOJ for that one. What’s the “not soon enough” crime? Speaking of which I hope nobody notices the attempted assasination of a supreme court justice and the sitting on his ass that both Biden and Harris are doing about that.

        • Al says:

          The US Govt had provided security at the Kavanaugh home. The CRAZIE was apprehended farther down the sidewalk.
          Seems like “Biden and Harris” were doing something.

          • Fred says:


            They arrested one person half an hour after he was called in. The other people violating federal law have not been arrested. I’m sure you can find the references to them online. Biden and Harris have done zero to stop that.

          • TTG says:


            The would be assassin was arrested 12 minutes after he called 911 on himself. Before that he was just walking down the street away from Kavanaugh’s house after seeing the two federal marshals outside the house. If he kept his mouth shut, he could have went back home and no one would have been the wiser. What would you have Biden and Harris do?

          • Fred says:


            Arrest the protesters outside the justice’s homes. Then use all that “hate speech ” legislation and rhetoric on those pushing that message. They won’t do either though, as they fully support the provocation and the message it sends.

  12. Babeltuap says:

    2009 “Mysterious” Swine Flu in Ukraine:

    The latest numbers out of Ukraine indicate that 1.25 million people have now contracted what is being called “the mystery flu”. Over 65,000 of those have required hospitalization and 239 are officially reported to be dead.

    As the situation in Ukraine continues to become more dire, many health experts continue to be absolutely perplexed as to why the WHO continues to refuse to release the sequences from the samples taken from patients in Ukraine well over a week ago.

    Meanwhile, there has been a dramatic spike in flu cases in neighboring countries such as Russia, Belarus and Bulgaria. In addition, a dramatic increase in flu cases is being reported in Serbia, Norway, India and Canada. In many of these nations there are reports of the flu virus absolutely disintegrating the lungs of patients just like it is doing in Ukraine.

    Ukrainian Professor Viktor Bachinsky recently commented on the behavior of this mystery flu, and his assessment of this virus is very sobering…..

    “The virus, which causes death, is very aggressive, it does not strike the trachea, but immediately gets into the lungs and causes heavy swelling and solid hemorrhage. Mixed types of parainfluenza and influenza A/N1N1 lead to this state. This is a very toxic strain, which has not yet answered to the treatment of the Ministry of Health.”

  13. SRW says:

    Why the “Big Con” survives?
    Maria Konnikova, a writer for the New Yorker, has authored books about how confidence scams generally work. They work through knowing the mind of the “mark.” In an interview with NPR she explained how confidence men and scammers rely on their target’s unwillingness to ever admit they’ve been conned:
    One of the things you realize when, you know, you study con artists is that we’re conning ourselves all the time about who we are, about our stories. And con artists just pick up on that. They figure out how we’re conning ourselves. That’s one of the reasons why we’re so susceptible.
    In that interview Konnikova notes that most people who are victimized by scams and con artists don’t come forward because of the shame associated with being fleeced. Elizabeth Winkler, writing for Quartz, noted in 2016 that “The longer you believe in the con, the harder it is to admit you’ve been scammed.”
    Republicans have willingly submitted themselves to Trump’s con for a long, long time. So while the hearings of the Jan. 6 Committee may confirm everything Democrats have long believed about Trump, his character, and his assertions — and they may serve, in the long run, to refresh and perhaps even change a few memories — we shouldn’t be surprised when his supporters take away the very same evidence as validation of what they’ve chosen to believe from the outset, ignoring all other interpretations.

    • Fred says:


      You’ve been conned! Wooo! See, Democrats were right all along.Russian collusion now, that was just a second rate con job. Nobody believes that one anymore, even all the Democrats gave up on that thing. Just ask Hilary.

      • SRW says:

        Fred, how short a memory we have.

        When is a conspiracy not a conspiracy?
        From a BBC article:
        “A Republican-led Senate panel has concluded that Trump campaign contacts with Russia in 2016 “represented a grave counterintelligence threat”.
        The nearly 1,000-page intelligence committee report laid out links between President Donald Trump’s associates and Kremlin officials.
        It is the fifth and probably final report into Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential election.
        When asked about the report on Tuesday, Mr Trump said he “didn’t read it”.
        According to the committee, the expansive report is “the most comprehensive description to date of Russia’s activities and the threat they posed”.
        It details the interactions between Trump campaign staff and Russian operatives, including a Kremlin intelligence officer.
        The findings also confirm aspects of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report from his criminal probe into the Trump campaign and Russian election interference.”
        There were over 100 contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russian actors.

        • Fred says:


          Remind us all again how many were involved in rigging the election of 2016 so Trump would win? Let me help:

          “The findings also confirm aspects of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report from his criminal probe into the Trump campaign and Russian election interference.”

          same BBC article. Where’s the criminal charge from that? He’s no longer a sitting president, indict him now! Having watched Director “what’s the Steele Dossier” Mueller I know there were zero. But, of course, I’ve been scammed!

          • TTG says:


            OK, here’s your reminder.

            DOJ indicted 13 individuals and 3 companies including the Internet Research Agency and Prigozin’s Concord Management. This was the Russian influence operation, not the rigging of any election. DOJ also indicted the GRU 12 for hacking the DNC and releasing info through Guccifer 2.0 entity and DCLeaks. That was also part of the influence operation.

            Half a dozen individuals involved in the Trump campaign were indicted and convicted in various crimes, most related to the Russia investigation. None were for rigging the election. That was never a thing. Same with the term collusion. Trump had large business and financial relationships with Russia and Russian government officials. That where the suspicions of Russian connections arose.

          • Fred says:


            “None for rigging the election”. No sh@@.

            You left out the Steele Dossier, used in all those FISA warrants, and the Alpha Bank fraud used as well. You seem to have forgotten everything you wrote about those before.

          • TTG says:


            A lot of the Steele dossier detailed Trump’s business connections with Russians, Moscow’s preference for Trump, Russia’s hack of the DNC and subsequent leaking of information and Manafort’s Russian connections among other things. A lot of that proved right. The existence of a pee tape was never disproven, but it was discounted. Even if it existed, it would never be effective blackmail for Trump. He raw dogged a porn star and nobody cared. The Alfa Bank-Trump DNS connection was never used in any investigation. It was discounted by the FBI in a cursory, botched investigation. Durham revealed how botched that investigation was.

          • different clue says:

            I am going on pure memory now, and this is related to the primary-season pre-election activities, not the election itself.

            But I remember some of the liberated DNC and Podesta emails noting that various big Democratic strategerists and tacktickerists suggesting a “pied piper strategy” designed to get Trump billions of dollars of free media through news-media exposure in order to help him get the Republican nomination. The theory was that Trump was the most defeatable Republican.

            And also the DemParty rigged various primary and caucus elections to engineer Sanders’s defeat given that Sanders was Clinton’s strongest challenger for the Dem Prez Nom. So one could say that the Democrats rigged their primaries to engineer the nomination of their party’s most hated and despised major figure to run for President.

            Of course they weren’t smart enough to realize that she was their party’s most hated and despised major figure. Or that Trump really was the most electable Republican.

            Could Sanders have won? We will never know. If it had been Trump v. Sanders, I would have voted for Sanders. Since it was Trump v. Clinton, I voted for Trump. Smooth move, Democrats.

            So the Democrats meant to rig Election 2016 for Clinton, but wound up tilting it to Trump by mistake.

          • Fred says:


            “never disproven” Right. Get slandered then prove it never happened. I would ask you to tell us all how an “influence operation” works, but you are busy making excuses for Hilary’s fraud and the complicity of the FBI, DOJ, and intel agencies.

          • TTG says:


            If you’re really interested to read how an influence operation works, you can take a stroll with Mr. Peabody and Sherman into the Wayback Machine to a short intro I put together back in 2016.


          • Fred says:


            Hilary’s IO worked like a charm. Still is, too.

    • Deap says:

      SRW, Trump did not con anyone. He just became head of a movement that had already formed. And I did not even vote for him in 2016. But I got it instantly once I saw how wildly Democrats would lie to take him down.

      Democrat lies gave me terminal cognitive dissonance, so I went with the blunt, in your face, but in the long run the truth teller. That is movement that sees Trump as their spokesperson – those tired of hypocrisy, cognitive dissonance and unfounded lies for political gain. And I respect you think Trump stands for thos exact things.

      But no, I am not conned. I am relieved Trump showed up to bust through the Deep State lying, as best he could under the perfectly abominable circumstances the Deep State kept throwing at him. I also accept, no we can’t all just get along. Our divisions have sharpened more than ever after Obama in 2016 destroyed our last best chance.

      • Deap says:

        Typo: Sorry, make that Obama destroying out last best chance for coming together in 2008 – he did not waste time destroying any promise of a healthier future for this nation.

  14. Deap says:

    Covid: What is the truth?
    (An analysis of the past two years of covid’s impact on the practice of medicine.)

    A surgeon speaks out, which is published in the peer-reviewed Surgery and Neurology International Journal – full lined text is also available on NIH National Library of Medicine website:

  15. Jim S says:

    A word on conservatism. A popular synonym of conservative is “traditional”, or perhaps “preservative”, and while there’s much justification for this, I lean toward the other definition of conservative, which is “reserved”, or “skeptical”.

    I’m skeptical when I’m told I only need to hear one side of the story. I’m skeptical when I’m told there are no downsides. I’m skeptical when I’m told the science is settled. I’m especially skeptical when I’m told the answer to our problems is more government. But above all I take a conservative view of human nature.

    TeeVee’s Dr Gregory House said “People are idiots.” Abraham Lincoln said “You can fool some people all of the time, and you can fool all people some of the time, but you can’t fool all people all of the time.” I used to joke to myself that some people are idiots all of the time, and all people are idiots some of the time, but all people can’t be idiots all of the time or we would be too stupid to breed; but now I look at what passes for gender studies and realize I may have been too optimistic.

    It’s not that I don’t hold ideals, it’s that I’ve learned not all ideas presented as good actually are, and not everyone presenting them as such actually wish for good. For example, I want to protect the environment, preserve wildlife, and eliminate pollution; but I’m skeptical that windmills and EVs (as they are currently presented) aren’t going to cause more harm than good, I’m doubtful that ignoring your own data makes for good argumentation, and I’m simply not going to go along with false premises because all the experts are. &etc on many other issues.

    To hope and dream is noble; to doubt and question is wise.

  16. SRW says:

    Who’s making money off of high gas prices? If you own oil stocks, you are!

    Inflation is high in the U.S., as it is all over the world, because of demand, supply chain problems, the soaring costs of transportation as the world’s few carriers jack up prices, and so on. But that inflation is driven in large part by higher oil prices, which have driven up the price of gasoline and diesel in the U.S., which in turn makes everything more expensive.

    What appears to be driving U.S. gas prices is the pressure investors are putting on oil companies, whose officers answer to their investors. Limited production creates higher prices that are driving record profits. In a March 2022 survey of 141 U.S. oil producers asking them why they were holding back production, 59% said they were under investor pressure. Only 6% blamed “government regulations” for their lack of increased production.

    Oil companies are seeing huge profits and are using the money for stock buybacks to raise stock prices. BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, TotalEnergies, Eni, and Equinor will give between $38 and $41 billion to shareholders through buyback programs this year. As EOG Resources wrote to its shareholders: “2021 was a record-setting year for EOG. We earned record net income of $4.7 billion, generated a record $5.5 billion of free cash flow, which funded record cash return of $2.7 billion to shareholders. We doubled our regular dividend rate and paid two special dividends, paying out about 30% of cash from operations…. This period of high oil prices allows us to further bolster the balance sheet. To support our renewed $5 billion buyback authorization and prepare to take advantage of other countercyclical opportunities, we plan to build and carry a higher cash balance going forward….”

    Heather Cox Richardson

    • Fred says:


      “But that inflation is driven in large part by..”

      Perhaps you can shuffle through some of Professor Heather’s work to see if she has something on the civil war era inflation due to all those greenbacks put into circulation by the US Government. On a similar note maybe somebody on the left can call Trump and ask him how he got those ‘greedy’ Capitalist Oil companies to produce so much oil that gas prices were $2/gallon and Russia and Saudi Arabia were going broke.

      • Deap says:

        Keep gas prices low proved Trump was never in bed with Putin; just the opposite.

      • SRW says:

        Have you ever heard of the capitalist concept of “supply and demand”. During the Trumpster’s time in the oval office we had a pandemic. Oil tankers were sitting off shore because no one wanted their oil.
        From Reuters: There was so much oil there was nowhere to put it, and in mid-April 2020 the price of a barrel of West Texas crude went below $0 as sellers had to pay get rid of it.
        As for too many greenbacks, it has some validity but inflation is now world wide with the US in the middle of the pack.

        • Fred says:


          Yes, I remember that 2018 pandemic where China stopped buying our oil and price went, down. Then Saudi Arabia and Russia both cut production because, in the very short term, oil price crashed. Then there were a couple of years of “Drill baby drill”. No impact from that, or Bidens EO on 20 January 2020.

  17. mcohen says:

    Trump will play the backstage and desantis will stand up front.He will be the next president after biden.florida is the future.

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