• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    jmac on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Beata on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    jmac on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Beata on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Seagrl on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Seagrl on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Propertius on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Propertius on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Propertius on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    William on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    jmac on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    William on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Beata on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Beata on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
    Beata on Weighing the Benefits and Cost…
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    May 2022
    S M T W T F S
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    293031  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – December 4, 2022
      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – December 4, 2022 by Tony Wikrent   Professional Management Class war on workers Railroading workers [Popular Information, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-29-2022] “The dispute boils down to one issue: paid sick leave. … Railroad companies have adamantly refused to include any short-term paid leave. That means rail wor […]
  • Top Posts

Women are Catholic Now

Politico is reporting that they have a draft of the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion and it’s militant. They are overturning Roe. Alito was the asshole who wrote the opinion.

Alito flippantly writes that we can’t predict the fallout so let’er rip! Like, all those years preceding Roe just never happened. But I have a pretty good idea of what will happen in my former kind of work because I have seen it happen. There are policies already in place that will affect women who are forced to stay pregnant and there will be consequences.

As a former researcher who used to work in a lab, I can say with 100% certainty that this will affect the careers of women in the biotech sciences. There’s no way around it. Lab researchers frequently work with teratogenic compounds or substances where the toxicity and teratogenicity is unknown. The company I worked for immediately pulled women out of the lab as soon as they reveal their pregnancies. They had to wait it out doing paperwork in the library. That’s if everything is normal. But if there’s any indication that the fetus has been affected by working in the lab, there is not going to be a way to abort without taking extraordinary measures. Maybe an industrial researcher can take a vacation to Mexico or Canada or New York but I don’t know how easy that’s going to be for students and academic researchers where pay is pitiful.

Companies may prefer to not take the risk for fear of lawsuits and that may affect hiring or the type of lab work women can do. In fact, should women of childbearing age be in the lab at all? We may lose some of the finest minds of this generation. There will be fewer CRSPR’s and groundbreaking vaccine technologies in the future.

The thing that really annoys me is the decision is CLEARLY based on religious belief. At this point in time, women do not have freedom of religion. I can’t understand how this is constitutional.

Republicans should be careful what they wish for because there will be backlash.

**********************

For the record, the pre-Roe years never affected me. I came of age when biology was not destiny like it soon will be for the vast majority of women in the south and plains states.

But I remember a book that I ordered from the scholastic book club. It would probably be on the banned book list now but even when I ordered it the subject was settled law. It was called Bonnie Jo, Go Home. It was about a girl from the Midwest who had to go to NY for an abortion. It turns out that she was too late for a simple procedure so she needed to go through a second trimester abortion which was a lot harder on the body and a lot more expensive. The whole story was sad and all too believable. The ending was sobering, as it probably should be. The moral of the story wasn’t that abortion is wrong. That was never even implied. The moral was to be responsible so this doesn’t happen to you. I took it to heart. I never needed one. That’s not to say I’m more virtuous but I was a lot more careful.

There have been movies that are similar to Bonnie Jo but they make the person seeking the abortion into too much of a victim. Or they emphasize how degrading the procedure is for women who have to get one. I hope we can go back to the days when it wasn’t degrading. The states where it will be legal will be a refuge and will give women their lives back.

Terrorism, Altruism, Imperialism and other isms with Fiona Hill

You may ask yourself, does RD spend all of her spare time with these very un-fun topics? Yes. Yes I do. Today, I’m sharing a link to a conversation with #globalminds4ukraine and Fiona Hill. If you don’t know who Fiona Hill is, go back to 2019 and the “perfect phone call”. She worked for John Bolton but I get the feeling that Hill is non-denominational when it comes to politics. She’s got criticism for both sides. She’s also a expert on Russia and Putin. I think she got to sit next to putin at a White House dinner and he didn’t know she had studied him. He thought she was part of the low level staff. Well, so did Trump. Her first day at the White House, Trump asked her to take notes like the Secretary.

Until 2019, I’d never heard of Hill and had no idea how knowledgeable she was. But every time I run across one of her podcasts or videos, I find myself absolutely riveted by the breadth, depth and insight into Russian history and culture. One of the takeaways I got from this interview is that making long range forecasts on a current situation isn’t always helpful. You need to consider what is happening in the now because dynamics will change the outcome in sometimes unexpected ways. Very Tolkien.

This video was from a few days ago. There’s not much information on who she is speaking to. I’m guessing they are foreign policy or international studies students from around Ukraine. Hill is realistic and her sign off is hopeful.

I hope you find this video as interesting as I did.

Is it a “proxy war”? No.

Disinformation flows so quickly out of Russia these days that it requires some therapeutic Imodium. The “proxy war” disinformation has been a constant *almost* since the beginning of the 2022 war of aggression of Russia against Ukraine. Let’s put it to rest.

The stated goal for Russia’s “Special Military Operation” (remember, no one in Russia is allowed to call it a “war”) was “denazification” of Ukraine. That would imply that the government of Ukraine was run by Nazis. There is no evidence of that. But it was a clever use of history on putin’s part because the Nazi’s destroyed Ukraine and parts of Russia in WWII. Russians hate Nazis. Well, who doesn’t, except some of Donald Trump’s followers who think fascist nationalism and Nazis are cool again.

(For more historical insight into how Russians have suffered under their own repressive regimes and how their army has behaved in other wars, see The Core of Putin’s Weakness in The Sipher Brief)

Sure, there are nationalists in Ukraine but they’re fewer in number than the number of nationalists in Republican areas of the US and I can say that with confidence because 1.) nationalist Democrats are virtually non-existent and 2.) Republicans have a traveling nationalist mouthpiece holding rallies on a regular basis and making nakedly nationalist speeches.

Ukraine doesn’t have a political leader in the opposition with the same nationalist pull like Trump. They have Zelenskyy who is a democratic Jewish president with strong EU sentiments. In other words, a typical liberal.

But let’s get back to Russia.

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, it and the world, with the notable exception of Ukraine, thought the “special military operation” (because no one in Russia can say war without getting a jail sentence) would be over in 96 hours. The goal was to Blitzkrieg the Donbas and Luhansk, and then speed to Kyiv to either capture or kill Zelenskyy. Reports from Ukraine in the early days were that Chechen assassins were repelled on a couple of occasions. Then the Russian convoy got stuck on the road before it got to Kyiv and decided to rape, pillage and destroy Bucha and Irpin instead.

If everything had gone according to putin’s plan to do a naked land grab in Ukraine during his brief window of opportunity while Europe was distracted by upcoming elections in Hungary and France where putin had already manipulated the public to go for more authoritarian, Russia friendly politicians, the “special military operation” would have been over by now and Ukraine would be Russia. Also, he counted on Europe’s dependency on Russian oil. We can talk about Germany’s catastrophic blunders when it comes to putting itself at putin’s mercy by closing down almost all of their 30 nuclear power plants in the last 30 years. There’s a lot about Germany’s aggressive business practices that we should talk about. But let’s save it for another time. Suffice it to say that putin had/has Germany by the balls.

Nevertheless, Europe was justifiably on alert and determined to fight back against a destructive putin. But now we see, the whole world sees, that putin’s bark is loud but his bite is much less threatening than previously thought.

Nobody counted on the Ukrainians to be so good at defending themselves. putin also underestimated Zelenskyy’s superpower. We don’t know how he transformed himself from a comedian to world leader (I think we have to acknowledge that he will never be the same and the world now sees him as an iconic leader). It’s a miracle for Ukraine that the right person was in office at the right time and he stepped up and exceeded every expectation. Let this be a lesson to testosterone fueled bullying strong men. The liberals might not be the pushovers you think they are. Zelenskyy has definitely given us our mojo back. Don’t test us.

When putin’s lazy, illprepared army was mowed down, defeated and retreated by Ukraine’s highly trained but underpowered defense force, and Zelenskyy rallied the world to help defend it, putin had to come up with a reason why he failed. That’s when the “proxy war” excuse got rolled out.

I don’t think NATO or the US would have gotten so involved if Ukraine hadn’t been willing and able to take putin on. But once the west saw what putin’s plans were and that it was necessary to assist Ukraine, it started pouring in weapons and imposed harsher sanctions. That’s causing hardship to some extent in Russia, although it has been able to manipulate the economic situation for the short term. It’s not going to last.

There’s a news blackout in Russia. If you don’t have VPN or a relative outside the country calling you to tell you what’s going on, then you don’t know how badly the “special military operation” is going. But with a “proxy war”, you can blame all of the escalation and hardship on the US and western Allie’s in NATO.

To recap: putin and the world had every expectation that Ukraine would fall in 4 days. The plan was to take over a limited area in Ukraine, cut the head off the government and install a Russian governor for Ukraine. Russia didn’t expect ANY push back from NATO because Ukraine was not a part of NATO. That’s why putin thought invading Ukraine would be consequence free for him. To make sure NATO didn’t get involved, putin threatened nuclear holocaust. Defanging NATO *almost* worked. Turns out that Ukraine was more ferocious than he thought and that Zelenskyy got the world on his side when he showed how crucial its position was globally. Now, putin has to blame his failures on the west because he miscalculated in a catastrophic way.

Russia has shown what it wanted to do. The world reacted accordingly. The “proxy war” is putin’s idea that he would like to foist on the world to cover up his failure. It’s his construct, not ours. He brought this on himself. The world is reacting in the only way possible.