News, observations, guesses May 2022

May 17, 2022

Shares of military and security firms surged after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Two weeks into the conflict, shares of Raytheon were up 8 percent, General Dynamics up 12 percent, Lockheed Martin up 18 percent, and Northrop Grumman up 22 percent, while war stocks in Europe, India, and pretty much everywhere else experienced similar surges in expectation of an exponential rise in global military spending.

Someone should start a European Union deathwatch. The EU is clearly an institution that has not worked, is not working, and will never work. It will take a long time for the intellectual elite to face up to this fact though, and hopeless pointless pan-European institutions can stagger on for years or even decades before reaching their inevitable end .

It’s also possible the UN is doomed, long term. The fact that its headquarters is in New York, the decaying imperial financial capital, is not a good sign. Certainly, it’s increasingly starting to look like the League of Nations.

For environmentalist and anti-globalist, the decoupling of Russia from the West is a positive development. Russia is self-sufficient in energy and minerals, food production, and production of essential goods. It doesn’t need to import anything what is deemed as absolutely necessary for enabling a comfortable life. Most imports are plain luxury for the middle class.

If Russian’s cannot buy all the unnecessary gadgets Western consumer culture offers, if they have to buy Russian made replacements or save the money, it will only benefit Russia’s economy. In comparison, if Europeans are broke because food and energy gets ever more expensive, there will be mayhem!

If Russians save the money and reduce spending, industrial activity will be reduced (degrowth), giving nature a much needed relief. If less oil can be sold to India or China, CO2 and methane emissions will be diminished, an important step to avoid catastrophic global warming. Maybe even some of the arctic permafrost areas, peatlands, boreal forests can be saved, and large wildfires avoided.

Pursuing permanent growth on a limited planet is delusion, foolishness, insanity. The present leaders of most industrial nations are idiots (including Putin and Xi), but maybe a new generation of leaders waiting in the wings can use the reordering of global economics, trade, and financial systems to introduce structural economic changes which are in line with the reality of this planets nature.

A comment about cities:

If one can stand the all day and night noise and the air pollution, if one likes to live in a world of concrete, steel, glass, tarmac, plastic, if one has the discipline and endurance to grow and mature inside disregarding the outside, go ahead and move to a city.

Shared ventilation for toilet and bath rooms of several flats. No bugs (most will view this positive), but how will the plants in balcony and roof gardens be pollinated? How will old leaves and other organic waste be composted?

There is no future in vertical farming. Too much energy and materials needed to set it up and keep it running, it never reaches the efficiency of well managed smallhold farming. So you leave the food production in the country side and ship food in and waste out over long distances.

What to do when the elevators, the ventilation or air condition, the doorbells, the water and plumbing don’t work? Who likes chlorinated water? What about the 5G antennas on every roof and the CCTV cameras on every corner?

Localized economy and subsistence don’t go together with cities. When expensive, complicated, vulnerable logistic is needed to keep a society working, it is time for a transition to a more simple, logical, and transparent social structure. 

In the end, it’s a matter of overpopulation, a resource intensive lifestyle, inequality, and exploitation by a small techno-feudalistic elite.

Are there any solutions? Like: A small industrial and administrative city center and sprawling suburbs of Buddhist monasteries? Or sending Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and their acolytes to Mars?

Feline news:


Against the odds:


Environmental news

Propaganda for nuclear energy, suggesting that the problem of nuclear waste is solved.
Compiling a list of dangerous chemicals to be banned not earlier than 2027 (they cannot be banned right now because that would be an undue burden for the chemical industry).
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (anti-vax) about the problem of pesticide-laced seeds.
After “living with the virus” comes “living with the poisons.”

Economy news:

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, announced a plan to phase out Russian crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year. Uncertainty over Russian oil supplies consequently is pushing up global oil prices and inflation.

The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has revised down its eurozone growth forecast for 2022 to 2.8 percent from 3.9 percent in its January estimate, with the region’s biggest economy, Germany, taking a heavy hit. The main channel through which the conflict in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia affect the Euro area economy is raising global energy prices and energy security.

The shockwaves of the conflict hurt countries like Italy and Germany more than other European nations because they have relatively large manufacturing sectors and depend on energy imports from Russia. Germany’s economy is now expected to grow by 2.1 percent this year, down from the previous forecast of 3.8 percent. Italy will also drop, with a growth rate of 2.3 percent compared to an earlier forecast of 3.8 percent.

Bloomberg reports that Israel is dumping US$ debt to expand into China’s Remimbi.


Pandemic news:

Journalist H. Holden Thorp writes:

I tested positive for COVID-19. After writing about the virus for two-and-a-half years, it was in my body. But I’d had four shots of the vaccine to bolster my already robust immune system, a supply of rapid test kits, and a prescription for Paxlovid from my doctor. The fever was gone within a few hours of taking the antiviral, and I tested negative a few days later. Great news for me, but not for those who don’t have these resources.

Half of Covid-19 survivors still suffer two years on, a recent Chinese study shows.

It makes total sense if you still don’t want to get COVID.
Portable air cleaners and residential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 aerosols.
Omicron sub-lineages BA.4 and BA.5 have the potential to result in a new infection wave.
Endemicity is not a victory: the unmitigated downside risks of widespread SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
Cognitive impairment from severe COVID-19 equivalent to 20 years of aging.
SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant is as Deadly as Previous Waves.
Bleak outlook for COVID-19 epidemic in USA.

Media. technology, and propaganda news:

Important, please read it!

Imperial news:

More than 100,000 people died of drug overdoses in the USA last year — a record high, according to federal data. The number is up 15 percent from the previous year, according to figures released by the National Center for Health Statistics.

From a comment on Larry Johnson’s https://sonar21.com/:

Biden can barely stay on script with his earpiece and teleprompter. He is clearly a marionette in this drama. Biden will never be re-elected, it will be a miracle if he survives his full term and the only thing protecting him from getting the boot now is Harris – the “poison pill”.

Harris is even less competent than Biden is, despite Biden being in full on dementia!

I have great fear for what is coming. The US Foreign Policy establishment is clearly in over their heads, Austin is not competent to run a Cub Scout troop much less the US Armed Forces, Blinken is the perfect example of the old saying “the light is on but nobody is home”, Victoria Nuland is Exhibit A refuting that theory about women not normally being psychopaths or serial killers. Her husband Robert Kagan screaming for troops, death and destruction can barely walk across from this dinner table to the buffet table without breathing hard. Throughout history there was never such a rogues gallery of incompetents and nutcases assembled in one place.

Something tells me we are not going to be able to vote our way out of this in November. A goodly number of the Republicans are as bad as the Dems, and you can see the hints setting up for more mail-in voting and Dominion machine fun and games, and what is the GOP doing about it? A whole lotta nothing.

Who needs Democrats when you have the Romneys, Kinzingers, Grahams, McConnells and Cheneys etc wielding outsize power and influence.

I have no illusions that Trump can fix any of this, all we can hope for is Trump sowing more confusion and panic causing them to make more mistakes.


Imperial conquest news:

Ottoman empire.
Sweden and Finland hastily preparing to join NATO.
The murder of Thomas Sankara.
US administration is not able to substantiate accusations of corruption against Syrian President Assad.
Balochistan: a menacing tool to disrupt Sino-Pakistani economics.
Erez Israel.

Chinese news:

A new study indicates that at least 18 China-backed coal plant projects around the world probably will move forward despite a Chinese pledge at last year’s climate talks to stop building coal plants outside of China. An apparent loophole in the prohibition on new plants appears to allow continued Chinese involvement.

An expensive Chinese funeral sparked a debate on social media about traditional customs. Lavish funerals are an important part of rural Chinese culture, but one ceremony in northwest China, costing over 10 million yuan (1.5 million US$), raised the question as to whether the age-old custom is justifyable.

To honor a dead elder, an unnamed family in Yulin, Shaanxi province, held a grand funeral complete with fireworks, a superb feast, bottles of the famous Mao-tai baijiu and even Chunghwa cigarettes, a brand famous for being enjoyed by Mao Zedong. The son of the late elder owns a farmer’s market in the capital city of the province, so he is capable of paying the bill for such a splendid funeral ceremony.

World-renowned Chinese mathematician Yau Shing-Tung has announced his retirement from his position at Harvard University to teach full-time at Tsinghua University in Beijing, aiming to help China become a maths powerhouse within a decade. Yau, who was with Harvard University since 1987 and retired as the William Caspar Graustein professor of mathematics, joins Tsinghua as a chair professor in mathematics.

Yau was just 33 when he became the first Chinese to win the Fields Medal, awarded to the world’s best mathematicians under the age of 40. He was honored for his work in differential geometry and his research, including the famous Calabi-Yau manifold, continues to profoundly influence the study of mathematics and theoretical physics.

Since 1998, Yau and Hong Kong entrepreneur Ronnie Chan Chi-chung have jointly sponsored the International Congress of Chinese Mathematicians. The event, one of the largest and most influential for the country’s maths community, is hosted every three years on a rotating basis by universities and institutions in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Yau has also organized college student maths contests in an effort to fundamentally change how young people understand and learn the subject, as much of related education in the country has tended to be exam-oriented.

China moves to contain the rise in new COVID infections in Beijing.
China approved about 700,000 patents for inventions last year, a 30 per cent increase compared to a year earlier.
Assessments by an US think tank.
Why China stands firm on dynamic zero-COVID policy.

Uncategorized news:


News from cat land:

I’m sitting on the computer and start writing after a four hour shock period, caused by the death of my dear feline friend and companion Wendy.

I saw it coming for weeks and it became dreadfully clear in the last few days that she would die soon. Wendy had only 1.6 kg, half of her normal weight. The medicine, which should have added crucial enzymes her pancreas didn’t provide, stopped working and her digestion system failed completely.

Discussing diagnosis, treatment options, and her actual condition with two veterinarians gave no hope and led to the conclusion beyond doubt that her life would end, inevitably, inescapably, finally.

I asked if it would make sense to let her live another week where I could fully focus on her and comfort her, but the veterinarian said no, it would just be another week of suffering.

So we went ahead.

I held her in my arms as she lost consciousness, whispering under tears: ”I love you, my wonderful friend, my little angel, I love you, I’ll never forget you.”

I seldom cry and I had not cried for some years.

Well, it’s only a cat, people may say.

Wendt lives on in the memory of her fellow cats, in my memory, in the memory of everyone who met her during her short life of just 14 years. Undeniably she is (was) part of the eternal flow of life, touching and maybe even changing everyone who met her.

Being a little animal with a short life her impact will be commonly considered as tiny, but who knows. Remember chaos theory? Remember the often cited example of a butterfly flapping its wings and causing a tropical storm?

Wendy has caused a storm and heavy rain — rain in my heart. I’m moaning, while kaleidoscopic memories are passing by. Pictures of her rescue from an abandoned farm as a miserable dirt covered kitten. Episodic memories of her fragile health as she grew up, making me every morning anxiously looking if she still was alive.

Pictures of the big and beautiful tomcat who stalked her. I called him Romeo. Wendy became pregnant at the tender age of 6 month, that is what the veterinarian found out when she spayed her. Wendy would have had five kittens — I was terribly sad that she had no chance to procreate, but it was maybe better so.

Wendy lost her close friend Cindy, also rescued from the before mentioned abandoned farm, when Cindy was killed by a hunter. Cindy was only 3 years and three month old. Wendy’s other friend, Princess Min Ki, who had become the step mother of Cindy and Wendy, teaching them all the tricks of cat life, gradually turned away, as cat mothers often do.

Wendy was a very agreeable and social cat, an unusual character trait as cats are normally loners. It was heartbreaking to see her optimistically approach the other members of the cat family, only to be rebuffed again and again.

Wendy had severe digestion problems throughout her life and she had a lifelong diarrhea. When she was 9 years old, a veterinarian told me that I should be glad to have her brought that far. Despite this bleak assessment she made it another five years, and from this point of view, I should be content that she against all odds had long years of an easy and sometimes even joyful life.

Two years ago, Wendy unexpectedly started to follow me into the forest. She didn’t want to go with the other cats, but she liked to make short walks with me alone. Consequently I had to undertake two walks, one with Wendy and one with the rest of the cat family. Unfortunately after two month a period of rain and bad weather interrupted our walks and Wendy never took up this habit again.

I have buried Wendy now in our small cat cemetery deep in the woods, near Mia (Gandhis mother) and Miss Marple. This is a mystic place, a tiny clearing, or rather a gap, in a virgin forest where the ground is completely covered with moss. Nobody except the animals of the forest, the cat family, and I know this place.

The humus soil layer was only 20 centimeters, after that came clay. Without forest cover this would become wasteland soon. A little cat doesn’t need a deep grave, and it took only ten minutes do dig the hole with a short spade. I had used this spade also for the graves of Mia and Miss Marple. When the hole was deep enough, I softly put Wendy into it, shoveled earth back onto her little body, and covered the grave with moss and branches.

Hopefully I will be able to guard my remaining cat companions till their peaceful end. Hopefully I will be able to bury them here.

I also would like to be buried here.

After I had buried Wendy I took my spade and walked north towards an area of thorny shrubs where I thought Rita could be. Two days ago Rita had left the group while we made our obligatory forest walk and she had not come home since. I called Rita’s name a few times and she indeed suddenly appeared from the bushes to greet me enthusiastically and accompany me back to our house.


  1. I’m so happy that Rita returned. My deepest condolences and wishes for comfort on the passing of Wendy. These types of connections don’t end. Wishing you peace.


  2. Oh, Mato, I’m so sorry to hear about your dear Wendy. Thank you for the lovely story about her. It’s truly heartbreaking to lose such a wonderful friend.


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