Links 12/10/2020

Honeybees found using tools, in a first—to repel giant hornet attacks National Geographic (Re Silc).

The End of the Facebook Crime Spree Matt Stoller, BIG. Impossible. Zuckerberg is a Harvard man.

Dutch prosecutors to investigate UBS chief over ING money laundering case Reuters

Fast-food giants gobbled up $1 billion in federal aid for small businesses The Counter

Special Report-How oil majors shift billions in profits to island tax havens Channel News Asia


Ivermectin is having a moment, due to Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearings:

Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Topical Ivermectin + IotaCarrageenan in the Prophylaxis against COVID-19 in Health Personnel Journal of Biomedical Research and Clinical Investigation. Submission to publication was one week; I conclude no peer review. n=220 health care workers. The statistics are above my pay-grade; here is the narrative:

In the present two clinical trias, the ethnic and age characteristics, previous health, personal protection measures, performance areas, work hours, and type of patients assisted were the same in each arm.

If we consider the following facts:

1) Drops and sprays are a major source of human-to-human transmission.

2) The sources mentioned above depend on different sizes of saliva droplets.

3) The contagion comes from symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.

4) The proportion of asymptomatic patients exceeds 30% of all cases.

5) The concentration of ivermectin and carrageenan is adequate in the nasal mucus and salivary glands.

6) The combined oral solution can offer double protection: on the one hand, it reduces the spread and, on the other hand, it reduces the viral load.

7) Both (ivermectin and carrageenan) are present in the international pharmacopoeia, and their use is widely accepted.

8) Their respective “off label” applications do not involve any risk.

9) Health Personnel are constantly at risk of contagion, thus locking down all their co-workers, and preventing the community from the access to appropriate health care.

We conclude that by using ivermectin in oral solution and carrageenan in nasal spray form, we are providing an inexpensive, safe and effective means to protect people from contagion and serious forms of the disease.

The Therapeutic Potential of Ivermectin For Covid-19: A Systematic Review of Mechanisms and Evidence (preprint) medRxiv. A review of the literature. Results: “Search keywords- “COVID-19 (and synonyms) AND ivermectin”- generated 86 articles on PubMed, 48 on medRvix and 37 on at the time of writing. Twelve of these were listed as completed clinical trials and of these, 8 were included as investigators had released results. Positive mortality benefit, reduced time to clinical recovery, reduced incidence of disease progression and decreased duration of hospital admission were reported in patients across all stages of clinical severity.”

The effect of early treatment with ivermectin on viral load, symptoms and humoral response in patients with mild COVID-19: a pilot, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial (preprint) Research Square. From the Abstract: “Ivermectin inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro at concentrations not readily achievable with currently approved doses. There is limited evidence to support its clinical use in COVID-19 patients. We conducted a Pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to determine the efficacy of a single dose of ivermectin to reduce the proportion of PCR positives, viral load at day 7 post treatment….Among patients with mild COVID-19 and no risk factors for severe disease receiving a single 400 mcg/kg dose of ivermectin within 48 hours of fever or cough onset there was no difference in the proportion of PCR positives. There was however a marked reduction of anosmia/hyposmia, a reduction of cough and a tendency to lower viral loads and lower IgG titers which warrants assessment in larger trials.”

A five day course of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 may reduce the duration of illness International Journal of Infectious Diseases. December 2. From the Abstract: “A 5-day course of ivermectin was found to be safe and effective in treating mild COVID-19 adult patients. Larger trials will be needed to confirm these preliminary findings.” Placebo-controlled study in hospital, n=72, Bangladesh.

White paper on Ivermectin as a potential therapy for COVID-19 Indian Journal of Tuberculosis. The Abstract: “A group of senior doctors with vast clinical experience met on 19th July’20 under the aegis of Academy of Advanced Medical Education. The panel looked at Ivermectin, one of the old molecule and evaluated it’s use in COVID 19 (Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019) management. After critical panel discussion, all the attending doctors came to a conclusion that Ivermectin can be a potential molecule for prophylaxis and treatment of people infected with Coronavirus, owing to its anti-viral properties coupled with effective cost, availability and good tolerability and safety.”

Treating Covid-19: When enthusiasm trumps evidence Ojo Publico. Good overview.

What’s Up With Ivermectin? Derek Lowe, “In The Pipeline,” Science. Another good overview; from May, still germane.

* * *
A Nursing Researcher’s Experience in a COVID-19 Vaccine Trial JAMA (SE). Pfizer. “I took my temperature and looked at the reading: 104.9 °F (40.5 °C)…. The research nurse said, “A lot of people have reactions after the second injection. Keep monitoring your symptoms and call us if anything changes.” My fever hovered around 99.5 °F (37.5 °C) for the rest of the day. By the next morning, all my symptoms were gone except a sore, swollen bump at the injection site…. I cannot be certain, but based on my reaction, I have a strong suspicion that I received the experimental vaccine, not the placebo.” SE writes:

My concern is that a 104.9 degree fever is a grade 4 reaction. We have no data on the number of grade 4 reactions, but also…I worry if this was even recorded as such. I am not an expert and don’t know enough about it to know if the fever had to be sustained over several hours in order to be class[ed] that way, bit… Like many people, I have been troubled not just by the lack of data from pharma companies, but by the apparent lack of interest in data in the press. It feels like a narrative rather than information. I am not against vaccines (I love the way we all have to give this caveat in expressing concerns) but this feels off.

Alert reader IM Doc expressed similar view in comments yesterday. I too am pro-vax…. but that’s not the same as having no concerns about this vaccine. Again I ask why the publication of results in a peer-reviewed journal, with data available, cannot be expedited, like everything else has been? That, to me, is a giant, flaming, screaming red flag.

Oxford COVID-vaccine paper highlights lingering unknowns about results Nature

After first round of vaccine distributions, bulk of planning remains unfinished NBC

Supply-Chain Obstacles Led to Last Month’s Cut to Pfizer’s Covid-19 Vaccine-Rollout Target WSJ

Johnson & Johnson cuts size of Covid-19 vaccine study due to prevalence of disease in U.S. STAT

Intent to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine Rises to 60% as Confidence in Research and Development Process Increases Pew Research Center

* * *
Three-quarters attack rate of SARS-CoV-2 in the Brazilian Amazon during a largely unmitigated epidemic  Science

Covid Unknowns Leave Survivors Fearing Life Insurance Rejection Bloomberg

Pandemic Villains: Robinhood Matt Taibbi, TK News

Did Covid Lockdown “Solve” Productivity Mystery? Barry Ritholtz


The Party That Failed Foreign Affairs

Long Hair’s win a significant step against discrimination South China Morning Post

China’s spectacular Australian trade war own goal Macrobusiness


Coronavirus | SII, Bharat Biotech emergency vaccine authorisation on hold The Hindu. AstraZenaca, on hold, is “Covishield” in India.


Missiles, bullying claims, a tragic death: what’s going on at Saudi Aramco? FT

China Set to Bail Out Iraq With Multibillion-Dollar Oil Deal Bloomberg

There Is Only One Way Out of Afghanistan Foreign Affairs

Ethiopia’s war risks leaving manufacturing dreams in tatters Reuters

Kenya Eyes AstraZeneca Vaccine on Less Onerous Storage Needs Reuters

Don’t mix Sputnik vaccine with alcohol, says Russian official. Some recoil Reuters


Brexit: Sunday’s deadline ‘a point of finality’ for trade talks unless EU moves, says Dominic Raab Sky News

No dinner deal, just (another) Brexit deadline Politico

Honda pauses UK production after Covid and Brexit delays Agence France Presse

Whitehall braces for fallout of no-deal Brexit FT


The European Coup London Review of Books. Break out the coffee machine, it’s Perry Anderson. A massive takedown of EU thought leader Luuk van Middelaar…. “The court’s decisions of 1963 and 1964 establishing the supremacy of Community over national legislation, without any warrant in the Treaty of Rome, were successive brilliant coups; the confection of the European Council was a coup; the imposition of a path to revising the treaty at the Council in Milan was a magnificent coup; the foundation of the Union itself was a coup. In each case, the definition of a coup is an action taken suddenly, by stealth, catching its victims unawares, and confronting them with a fait accompli that cannot be reversed.”

A Government-Commissioned Report Admonishes the Netherlands for Stacking Odds Against Those Seeking the Return of Nazi-Looted Art Artnet News

Trump Transition

House passes stopgap bill to avoid government shutdown The Hill


Trump, Republicans pin hopes on Texas lawsuit to overturn election results, but legal experts say it’s a long shot Texas Tribune. The brief.

Trump asks to enter Texas election lawsuit SCOTUSblog

Biden Transition

The Hunter Biden Criminal Probe Bolsters a Chinese Scholar’s Claim About Beijing’s Influence With the Biden Administration Glenn Greenwald

Biden to name Hill staffer Katherine Tai for top trade job Politico

Joe Biden’s Appointments Show Focus on Superficial Representation Teen Vogue. Not exactly Tiger Beat.

Pentagon plans to cut most of its support to CIA’s counterterrorism missions ABC. That’s a damn shame.

I agree with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Foreign Bases David Swanson, Dandelion Salad

Progressives’ patience with Biden wears thin Axios

Who The #Resistance Was Actually #Resisting These Last Four Years Caitlin Johnstone

Obama Legacy

Hope Lives: My Journey from an Obama Loyalist to Advocating for Inclusive Justice The Ghion Journal

Health Care

The Establishment Is Gearing Up Against Even a Public Option Jacobin

Lobbying Expenditures and Campaign Contributions by the Pharmaceutical and Health Product Industry in the United States, 1999-2018 JAMA

Police State Watch

Minneapolis City Council votes to cut millions from police budget amid record crime rates WaPo


Why These Young Men Carry Guns NYT. No, not the cops.

Class Warfare

Four in 10 households report lower income than pre-pandemic, threatening economic recovery NBC. The deck: “Around 6 percent of surveyed households said they have given up hope that their income will ever recover.”

Left-Wing Hypomania The Battler. Things are more like they are now than they ever were before. –Dwight D. Eisenhower

Are We Just Buying Time? ‘An Urgent Need To Reconfigure The Whole Socioeconomic System’ The Heisenberg Report (Re Silc).

Portrait of the philosopher as a young man: the first volume of Michael Heinrich’s biography of Marx globalinequality

Monolith-mania Continues as Artists Come Forward to Claim Credit for Sculptures Hyperallergic

What We Know of Sappho The Paris Review

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. zagonostra

    >Pandemic Villains: Robinhood Matt Taibbi

    I never heard of Robinhood nor do I use Facebook (though I do use WhatsApp to stay in touch with family) but “selling intelligence about customers’ behaviors to experts” seems to be an extension of what Snowden revealed the gov’t was doing. In this instance, as in Facebook, people will voluntarily flock to a product that is free and think little of their privacy. An individual giving up her privacy when she has nothing to hide may seem innocuous enough, when a whole society thinks the same I can only imagine what the dystopic outcome will be given how power tends to corrupt in proportion to its increase.

    Robinhood will be on its way to becoming a finance version of Facebook: a free platform that keeps a sea of customers engaged with a hyper-stimulating user experience, while making money selling intelligence about those customers’ behaviors to expert wealth extractors on the other end.

    It’s the perfect mousetrap, among other things because of its name. “That’s the other thing,” says Brewster. “They call it Robin Hood.” Instead of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, the American version takes in the young and sells them to computer-powered hedge funds; this Robin Hood is the house that always wins. If there’s a more brilliant metaphor for capitalism in the Covid age, it’s hard to imagine.

  2. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “Pentagon plans to cut most of its support to CIA’s counterterrorism missions” article at-

    Makes sense. The CIA already has their Special Activities Center division for ‘wet’ work so why should support come out of the Pentagon budget? If I remember right, the Green Berets were originally set up to do the CIA’s military missions but it looks like the CIA want their own troops. if so. it can all come out of the CIA’s budget.

    1. pjay

      Two comments about this article. First, this last-second move by Trump’s new Defense appointee, set to take place “by Jan. 5,” means nothing, and will be quickly reversed by the Biden administration. Second, I couldn’t help but laugh at this sentence:

      “If these stories are true, they mark the end of a very strong and effective relationship between the CIA and the Defense Department,” said Mick Mulroy, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, retired CIA paramilitary officer and ABC News contributor.”

      “… and ABC News contributor”! A well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.

    2. Procopius

      I will be glad if the “knuckledraggers” (paramilitary “operators”) get shoved back to their former background position. I believe they create a lot of insecurity for the country (read Bin Laden’s fatwa). The analysts have been corrupted by being reduced to producing supporting fables for the operations.

  3. Redlife2017

    Re: Brexit, the dinner that solved nothing…Richard North has a very good wrap up on his EU Referendum blog.

    A couple of key takeaways:
    “That Johnson and von der Leyen were photographed before their meal, and not afterwards, is highly significant. There was no joint statement before Johnson left for London – only a “senior No 10 source” telling us the “very large gaps remain”.”

    “One wonders, though, if Johnson is thinking about letting the negotiations run to the wire, with no decision made at all, so that we end the transition period on 31 December with the talks still running, delivering a no-deal by default. That would certainly be in character, as the man has a history of leaving things to the last minute, and a predisposition to chronic indecision.

    With neither side wanting to be seen to pull the plug and take the blame for collapsing the talks, this would seem a messy way of getting both parties off the hook. Should the talks simply run out of time, both parties share the blame, with the balance even tilting towards Johnson for failure to extend the transition period.”

    I hadn’t really thought that they would do it, but it seems to me that is exactly what is going to happen. No one wants to pull the plug, so they will let it fall out…no deal by default. Absolutely the worst way to deal with this. Giving people some hope that something can be fixed, when in reality, everything is already set in stone. The question is just if we have tarrifs or not.

    What a mess.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I let out a groan when I read this morning that they’ve shifted the ‘real’ deadline to Sunday.

      I can’t actually see a motivation for Johnson to allow a default no-deal. Surely he wants his Churchill moment when he declares independence from the dastardly continentals? I would have thought that politically a default was the worst of all worlds politically.

      But he did definitely dig himself into a hole yesterday when he declared that the EU’s stance was not acceptable. That looked to me like the first stop of declaring no-deal. Unless he genuinely believes that the EU will blink. The only certainty now I think is that the EU will not be dragged into making the declaration of no-deal for him. And now that there is a transition deal for NI there is even less incentive for the EU to be too bothered one way or another.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Like Arthur Dent of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame, I have given up being surprised with any Brexit news. There doesn’t seem to be a point anymore.

      2. fajensen

        The UK truly, and completely, believes in it’s own agit-prop about how weak the EU are and how desparate they now are for getting “Our Money”.

        The UK also firmly believes that Angela Merkel (the Germans) completely runs the EU (and for the benefits of Germany) so if only they can convince Merkel that they mean business, Merkel will order a deal to be made. The French being The Spoilers of The Broth, of course.

        Finally, the UK believes that they can always cut separate deals with individual EU states, thereby undercutting “Brussels”, because “They wants Our Money” so in a way the “No Deal” is another way to undermine EU and “Put Brussels in it’s Place” if the Primary Way of getting a deal and then reneging on all the bits the UK doesn’t like, should fail.

        It will therefore be very naive of the EU to let these “negotiations” run on all the way to 01-01-2021. The UK will at the minimum see every deadline that is extended that the very proof of their modelling of the EU is 100% correct and that Merkel will soon give them the deal they rightly demand to have.

        The only way to break the doom-loop is for the EU to break off negotiations, with no more deadlines.

        1. D. Fuller

          Without the Euro, using the Deutsche Mark? The DM threatened German exports with being far too expensive in other European countries, destroying German exports.

          Think of the Euro as a subsidy for Germany. The Germans exported their inflation to the rest of Europe.

          Germany will do almost anything to save the Euro, being the prime beneficiary of the Euro. So yes, Germany is the prime driver behind the ECB and Euro.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Incidentally, this article in the Irish Times outlines how one major set of interested individuals – Northern Ireland Unionists – see it:

      Quite simply, they are praying for a deal, Goves signing up of the WI details (which essentially puts a trade border along the Irish Sea) has been a betrayal of the DUP, not that anyone is in the least surprised that Johnson and Gove would sell them out. The DUP were playing political games in supporting Brexit, because they assumed it would never happen. Now a whole flock of chickens have come home to roost and they’ve found themselves with a border between them and the ‘mainland’. This is a huge humiliation for the DUP, and if there is a no-deal, it will be compounded by the reality that Northern Ireland business will find itself having to realign with the Republic (and the EU).

    3. David

      Yes, when I saw the news this morning I really wondered whether I could justify using a few more neurones to think about what it means, let alone to put finger to keyboard. But whatever.

      I do actually think that there’s one person who doesn’t want all this to stop, and that’s Johnson. Why? Because he’ll have to make a decision, and he’ll be stuck with the consequences. Johnson is the eternal can-kicker, the man who hates taking decisions, who thrives on ambiguity and misdirection, not to say downright lying. But the time is now approaching when he faces the choice of a humiliating climbdown or the disintegration of his position in some kind of no-deal. He’s basically the little boy who doesn’t want to go to the dentist, and is managing to put it off day after day with excuses. Now he’s facing the wall. No wonder he looks tired and haunted.

      In fact, the no-deal isn’t nearly as an attractive option as it may appear, because it means that the situation will develop in unpredictable and unforeseeable ways, without anyone being in control. “No deal” is fine as a slogan to keep some of the more primitive Tories in line, but it’s not a policy. Very rapidly, all sorts of complicated and messy things will start happening, and the excuse “it’s all the fault of Brussels” can only last so long. When it comes to empty shelves, children stranded abroad, companies going out of business or whatever, the tabloids will scent a good story and change tack immediately: why isn’t the government doing something, they will ask? And then of course there will be leaks of contingency planning documents or reports about post-Brexit scenarios, and the media will go nuts with “Boris was warned” stories. I think at some level Johnson must know this. There are no good outcomes for him, and I continue to think that he’d be wise to go sooner than later.

      Incidentally, the EC today may not formally be discussing Brexit but you can take it for granted that in what diplomats call “the margins” there will be a lot of activity.

  4. PlutoniumKun

    Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Topical Ivermectin + IotaCarrageenan in the Prophylaxis against COVID-19 in Health Personnel

    Well, that’s a surprise. In the West of Ireland, Carrageen moss was considered a folk medicine in treating respiratory infections (i.e. a cold or bronchitis). I used to spend quite a lot of time as a child on summer days collecting it from rock pools, my mother would dry it out and make a sort of blancmange out of it (the folk medicine was making it into a drink, with just maybe a touch of poteen added). It actually put me off both poteen and carrageen for life having been made drink both when I had asthma as a child.

    Its also an ingredient in Guinness, in case you are wondering about dietary sources…..

    1. Cuibono

      Now THAT is news you can use!!

      Its also an ingredient in Guinness, in case you are wondering about dietary sources

      “Honey, why did you buy 6 cases of Guinness?” ” Covid Prevention dearest”

  5. Katiebird

    Can’t we do anything fairly?

    Just one percent of companies received nearly a quarter of Paycheck Protection Program loans in the restaurant sector

    If the reason they don’t have to send checks to individuals is that the PPP protected their income…. How does that work when so much of that money goes to such a tiny number of businesses?

    1. ambrit

      Ah, but, and I do not relish defending the ‘status quo,’ the number of businesses versus amount of money is not the metric to look at. More important is the percentage of employed workers versus moneys disbursed. So, if that small percentage of businesses employ a large proportion of the total work force, the “fault” is not so egregious.
      I’m wondering about how some money could have been funneled to the cohort of “gig” workers in our economy.
      All I can say at this point is that Charles Dickens would have recognized today’s system for what it is right away. He would have been familiar with it.

        1. Wukchumni

          In a pickle
          Need some lettuce
          Special orders don’t upset us
          All we ask is that you have it your way!

            1. ambrit

              Hey there! We just “elected” Mayor McCheese to the highest office in the land.
              That is a definite vote for ‘Food For the Masses!’
              Nothing suspicious about that????

              1. Wukchumni

                Burger-meisters in the lower NADS are a position to be relished with a no holds barred expense account.

                1. ambrit

                  You stumped me there. I don’t want to come of as flipping crazy, so, no Grill the Chef sessions tonight.
                  To continue the Roman theme, let us characterize the process thusly, a la Caesar: Veni, vidi, edi.
                  The above can be dismissed as a spqrious reading.

  6. John A

    Re Don’t mix Sputnik vaccine with alcohol, says Russian official.

    That has already been dismissed as fake news. The actual advice, in addition to drinking in moderation in any case, is to lay off for 2-3 days if possible.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “The Hunter Biden Criminal Probe Bolsters a Chinese Scholar’s Claim About Beijing’s Influence With the Biden Administration”

    And the FBI intend to pursue this case mercilessly. Well, maybe not over Christmas. Even FBI agents want time off with their families. And then there is New Year’s Eve. Can’t expect people to work too in the few days between these two holidays. And speaking of holidays, a lot of agents take leave in early January. Can’t pursue a case without agents, can you. So as soon as all those agents return from their holidays and get themselves settled in, they will immediately start digging into all these allegations. Does 20th January work for everybody?

    1. Keith

      I think the interesting thing will be if the media pursues this issue. After all, without Trump, they will need to fill the void somehow and generate clicks, lest they continue the downward trend of profitability pre-Trump.

      As an aside, I would love to see the headlines of Biden pardoning his son. Watching the talking heads pivot to defend the action would be very entertaining.

  8. Wukchumni

    Trump has designs on running again in 2024, and if he was to give his adoring fan base (and everybody else) a 1 year extension via executive order on rents & mortgages on say December 25th, would it be overkill for him to give a press conference dressed in a Santa suit, with Stephen Miller attired in an elves getup?

    Oh yeah, lets just see Biden try & overturn that bad boy a month later…

    1. edmondo

      Biden will offer a plan to hire more sheriffs to ease the backlog of evictions. Never count out the Democrats.

        1. ambrit

          Oh man. This is not snark. The ammo shelves everywhere are bare.
          Those sheriff’s deputies had better be very careful when serving those eviction notices next spring.
          Plus, back in the Go-Go Years, my Dad used to have a friend who traded on the old AMEX. It was the AFL of the old exchanges.

          1. Wukchumni

            My dad cut his teeth on penny stocks in
            Denver and then went onto the big-time @ the Pacific Stock Exchange in the City of Angles, woo-hoo!

            You kinda get the feeling the Cinderella story of the 20th Century being ours, is about to be put paid and soon, with carriages turning into repos and the likes.

            I’ve been reading about shoplifting ramping up in supermarkets, and if it gets to the point where everybody is doing it merely to survive, what incentive is there for a retailer of food to be in business once they realize they’re subsidizing the poor?

            1. ambrit

              Oh, penny stocks! You could have some fun without losing your shirt.
              My “big score” in the market, not big by any rational measure of course, was in having to double up several times on an excellent stock that had it’s breakout product kneecapped by Federal regulators for several years. I settled for a tripling of my original investments when I needed money for university funds.
              As to your shoplifting comment; there is a regional grocery chain down here that has suspiciously cheap pricing. I have heard it said that the operation received governmental support in exchange for servicing low income neighborhoods.
              Secondly, the idea of hard times reminds me of the old Department of Agriculture excess food giveaways. Powdered milk, wonderful Wisconsin cheese, in five pound blocks, dried beans, rice, flour, and other stuff we could never seem to get our grubby mitts on.
              As anyone who reads the history of Ancient Rome should recognize, maintaining and subsidizing the food supply is the perfect way to control the masses. Alas, now that Pelosi et. al. have legitimized the withholding of needed resources from the population at large for political gain, I don’t expect the food supply to suffer any less going forward.
              Time to “Get Defensive” oh Mountain Dweller!

              1. Wukchumni

                I think it all goes down in the Big Smokes where out here at least, people are far removed from farming and herding to the extent that 20 million in the SoCalist movement aren’t within 50 miles of any food production. There isn’t an endless supply of food, we can’t just make more online.

                And then the hunger spreads from there…

              2. edmondo

                I have heard it said that the operation received governmental support in exchange for servicing low income neighborhoods.

                Yep. It’s an Obama era program so who knows if Trump found it and cut it just for the Hell of it. I worked for a chain that took the money, opened the store, was shoplifted out of existence and closed up the store. Hooray America


    2. Keith

      How about a blanket pardon for non-violent weed inmates. I believe Biden is opposed to legalization, and making him deal with the process of letting them out of prison could be a very Trumpian troll tactic, as well as earning him some good will.

      For 2024, I would wait and see what he does in 2022. If he campaigns, he is in, otherwise he may just be building his brand.

    3. vlade

      There’s tons of things Trump could do to poke Biden badly and get ammo for 2024. But most of his energy so far was spent on ranting and pouting, so I very much doubt he’ll get anything done. His “Biden is boring, I get higher ratings.” tells you all you need to know there.

      TBH, I accidentally saw Trump’s rant recently, and he comes across as tired and played out, much more so than say six months ago, or really anytime during his 2016 campaign and then presidency. They took away his drugs, maybe?

      1. tegnost

        yeah, on trump I’ll wait and be surprised by what he does, if it’s anything significant, rather than speculate on the things he could do, but most likely won’t.

        1. Wukchumni

          Donald lame duck is kind of a Bizarro World Diktat’r type who is going to lash out in his last weeks at the helm at those that dared defeat him…

        1. Massinissa

          Wow, I didn’t even consider that possibility before you mentioned it. I guess part of it is that I often forget he had covid at all.

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        They took away his drugs, maybe?

        Perhaps the worst drug of all; his yes men are starting to bail.

        Such a colossal failure is one of those things that’s hard to get around. He put a lot of emotional energy into efforts to overturn the results in the eyes of others which on one level means he exposed himself, and the resultant, more or less total, air hissing failure has got to hit home, even for him. Also, I suspect people around him are starting to visibly back away, to be strangely quiet and reserved when he seeks the usual gang support.

  9. GramSci

    Re: Impossible. Zuckerberg is a Harvard man.

    Long ago, my incorrigible roommate founded the Quincy House Wine Society. A few years thereafter, I couldn’t make ends meet on my CO alternate service teaching junior high in Somerville, so I took on a night job working for the QHWS’ wine merchant. Bye and bye, the Boston Herald Tribune caught wind of the only liquor store in Massachusetts that was open on Sundays and sold exclusively to minors. I was summoned to a meeting with Harvard’s chief counsel for The Corporation. He immediately put us kids at ease. “Don’t worry,” he said, “there are no criminals at Harvard.”

  10. IM Doc


    Thank you for the link regarding the nurse who had the reaction to the vaccine.

    A few words of clarification for your readers from a physician of 30 years.

    A temperature of 104.9 in an adult with a functional immune system (we are not talking about babies and kids – they are different) is extraordinary after a vaccination. 104.9 means that the immune system has been activated enough to take it up a few notches to DEF CON 1. This is very unusual in infectious disease – some parasites and ameba do this routinely – and things like sepsis syndrome can – but for the most part, getting a temperature up this high is definitely not normal. It is certainly not a good sign for a vaccine. A vaccine should not be stimulating the immune system to this degree – EVER. Idiosyncratic reactions in a very rare patient is one thing – if this is happening more often – this is not a good sign for that vaccine.

    The nurse in the article is absolutely correct – a temperature of 104.9 after a vaccine administration is a grade 4 reportable event.

    This is medically important for two reasons. 1) That level of fever if sustained can damage permanently multiple organs. 2) Vaccines should simply not be activating the immune system to that degree – it is completely inappropriate. It is very normal for people to have a brief temp of 99 or 100 after a vaccine – this is a completely different level.

    From what I can tell in the Pfizer documents – “fever” is not uncommon as a side effect to their vaccine. I cannot determine in any location what their parameters are for “fever”. As stated above – it is accepted that multiple vaccines will give a patient a slight fever as a side effect maybe up to a day. But not 104.5. How many of these patients classified as “fever” in their information and glossies were actually 103? 104? There is no transparency – and that is the problem.

    In earlier years, decades ago – 2 people having anaphylactoid reactions to any new pharmaceutical (not just vaccines) on day 1 of wide release and fever in at least 1 subject up to 104 would have at a minimum required an instant review – and an FDA public discussion about continuing. It may even have led to a temporary suspension.

    For example, in 1999, there was a flu antiviral released by Glaxo that was in the form of an inhaler. Within days, there were dozens of patients all over the USA who had sudden bronchospasm resulting in respiratory failure. I cannot remember exactly but it seems the drug did not even last a month before it was pulled. And later it was determined that the company knew this was a problem before the release. The FDA played a crucial role in that whole affair.

    But that was my father’s generation’s FDA. I have witnessed first hand all year that we no longer have my father’s generation’s CDC. Both of these agencies – along with many others – have been turned into corporate toadies – and have been defanged and neutered – and are shadows of what they once were. And that was well completed long before Trump ever came along.

    And most Americans are just completely unaware that this is a problem. As evidence – your other link that 60% of our population are fully confident in the science and ready to proceed with vaccination.

    As an Internist, a role model, and a primary care provider – part of my job with my patients is not to be too “doom and gloom”. Too macabre. And being concerned like this is certainly not my normal personality.

    I will also reiterate to the heavens – I am not an ANTI VAXXER – I have given out tens of thousands of safe vaccines over my life. I would paraphrase Obama – I am not against vaccines, I am against dumb vaccines.

    My brain is telling me to just get over it – people have this under control. My gut – well honed for 30 years of BIG PHARMA and its shenanigans – is telling me, however, that we are looking down the maul of an immense upcoming tragedy. I feel like I am in a Twilight Zone episode most days right now. And all of you should know how much I hope I am so very wrong.

    Again – thank you all at this site for the moderation and the comments. It keeps me going every morning.

    1. Screwball

      I can only speak for myself, but I don’t think I am alone – thank you for taking the time and effort to speak to this matter from your experiences. Truly appreciated.

    2. CallMeTeach

      Thank you so much for your measured and considered responses so eloquently voicing the concerns I have, and often elucidating others I did not know to have. The absolute refusal to even mildly question the accepted narrative regarding these vaccines is terrifying. Yesterday, I posted on FB (I know. I know. I have to have it for my job.) the Guardian article about the reactions Almost immediately I was lectured by an older friend, telling me that I don’t understand how these vaccines work. She missed the point completely. I fear for the repercussions if/when these vaccines don’t play out as the public expects.

    3. Wukchumni


      Thanks for your running commentary on things Covid, it allows us a rare chance to peek under the big medical tent.

    4. Wukchumni



      My mom is 95 1/2 (the halves matter when you’re a kid and only a kid at heart) and is high priority to get the vaccine.

      She has a yeah whatever, something’s gonna get me attitude which is admirable and i’d guess the old bird makes it to 100, but are we rolling the dice here in pressing the point of a hypodermic?

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      I cannot remember exactly but it seems the drug did not even last a month before it was pulled. And later it was determined that the company knew this was a problem before the release. The FDA played a crucial role in that whole affair.

      It is precisely at this time of escalating covid panic, hysteria and threats of loss of employment or mobility, that the “need” to ignore the shoddy, dishonest history of collaboration and failure of the big pharma / government “regulatory” regime must be “resisted.”

      Regardless of the immense, abusive and absolutely relentless pressure not to do so.

    6. Cas

      Thank you for sharing your insights with us. As earlier articles (STATNews) pointed out mRNA vaccines have never been approved because of severe immune system reaction. Guess PharMA didn’t fix that glitch as much as they claim. The FDA advisory committee meeting is going on today. Here are links. I tried the youtube one and it works.
      Webcast Information:
      CBER plans to provide a free of charge, live webcast of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meeting. If there are instances where the webcast transmission is not successful; staff will work to re-establish the transmission as soon as possible.

      The online web conference meeting will be available at the following: Link Disclaimer Link Disclaimer (Supported in Chrome browser) Link Disclaimer.

    7. ambrit

      I’m firmly on the “Thank You” bandwagon. We need an informed commentary about this Pandemic and related developments, not glossy press releases by the Big Pharmas and assorted enablers.
      Stay very safe.

      1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

        The very thesis of all this is “to reduce deaths”. So I propose that any Covid death charts have another chart alongside showing lockdown deaths. The UN can supply the data showing the additional 120M people now in danger of imminent starvation, including at least 450,000 additional dead children under age 5 (I know, they are poor, brown, and faraway, but with median U.S. Covid death age at 80 the Branch Covidians are making it clear who counts and deserves a year or two more time above ground no matter what that does to the rest of humanity).

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Imagine you are a hospital administrator in a country that attempted to substitute the public good for an aggregation of for-profit private goods.

          A patient presents, a 70-year old morbidly obese diabetic complaining of chest pain. You check your little admissions manual and discover you can bill at a 25% higher rate if you just give them a little swab. All your testy thingy needs to do is find a fragment of the DNA of this year’s Boogieman Bug and the manna can flow.

          Hey presto, a new headline: “Covid hospital admissions soar!”

          Sorry, but the extreme economic and civil liberty destruction we are looking at means a little healthy skepticism is more than justified. Others may wonder who the current assignee of U.S. patent #US7220852B1 is, and why. Under 35 USC 101 “a naturally occurring DNA segment is not patent eligible”.

          At the bottom of every rabbit hole we seem to always find the same thing: just follow the money. I’d love to hear an innocent explanation for all the above.

    8. pjay

      I just want to repeat what others have said: thanks for your commentary. Greatly appreciated. It is very frustrating to try and stay informed on such an important subject, only to find that information is missing or distorted on key points.

      The phrase “I am NOT an anti-vaxer, but…” is getting to be as obligatory as “I am NOT a Trump supporter, but…” The worst part of all of this is trying to figure out who the “trusted experts” are. No wonder there are so many skeptics.

    9. martell

      Another thank you. I’m especially interested in this issue because I had a severe reaction to an MMR vaccine two years ago. I’d have sought medical attention but for the fact that I lacked health insurance at the time. So, I just endured it while hoping that the worst of the symptoms would quickly pass. About a week later, including one sleepless night, most of them did. I’m told (by the CDC if memory serves) that the second allergic reaction is usually worse than the first. Thus, as far as I am concerned, the Pfizer vaccine is guilty of being an existential threat to me until proved innocent. I’m not sure what it would take to convince me that it does not pose such a threat. Minimally, I’d have to see published numbers in a peer reviewed journal, and those numbers would have to be accompanied by explanations of who was included in the sample population, what counts as a fever, and so forth. Also, I’d have to have consulted with allergy specialists in order to establish that this particular vaccine is relevantly dissimilar to the one that caused me so many problems. But of course there is no way I can afford the latter, living as I do in the greatest country in the history of countries. So, if the Pfizer vaccine becomes mandatory (de facto, because required for employment), I’m going to have to get creative. There’s a religious exemption, right? Christian Scientists can get out of taking vaccines, or so I’m told. Yeah, well, I might convert, start “following” The Scientist. Sure, this would be embarrassing. But it beats getting killed by Pfizer.

    10. tegnost

      thanks doc, something I haven’t seen mentioned is that if front line health care workers are required to take the vaccine and there are a high percentage of bad outcomes, who will replace the front line?

      1. Elizabeth

        Thank you doc – I appreciate your comments and considered opinion. I’m not anti-Vax either, but this Pfizer vax is something I don’t think I’m on board with. No one seems to be asking questions about the safety of it, and I’m wondering if other bad reactions will not be disclosed in the media, which has precious little to say about it. it’s like – the vaccine is here – yeah! I also agree with you about the FDA – it’s not what it used to be – in fact a pharmacist friend of mine said don’t take any drug unless it’s been on the market at least 5 years – money has corrupted this agency also. I’m sharing your info with others. I wish there were more docs like you.

    11. Brian (another one they call)

      indeed, thank you. We don’t have enough people that want to tell things as they are.

    12. Eclair

      Thanks, IMDoc! I am 80, in great health, as is my spouse, and coping well (laughs hysterically for 15 seconds) with social isolation, etc. Talking with my son yesterday, I said that I really would rather take my chances on continuing as my spouse and I have for the foreseeable future, rather than take the Pfizer vaccine. My understanding of this vaccine, unlike the ones I have taken (and had given to my children and grandkids), is that the method of injecting a bit of virus RNA has never been tested in a large population, over a length of time. Other vaccines under development are made using more conventional and fully tested techniques. Circumstances may change, but as of today, I will wait.

    13. Cuibono

      you and I are on the same page. Like you, MD of 35+ years. Like you, huge vaccine advocate with experience leading vaccine programs.

    14. Ping

      With the required disclaimer “I am not an anti-vaxxer”, from the first nano-second my Spidey senses were alerted with this “new technology” described as cellular re-programming.

      The information that has been dribbled out indicates to me that the immune system is redesigned without time to evaluate unintended consequences and perhaps dangerously supercharged. Then we need a second dose and then perhaps boosters indefinitely perhaps exhausting the immune system when we are vulnerable to late-onset auto-immune conditions etc.

      How can we ever trust Pharma or the FDA after decades of dangerous drugs aggressively marketed to the population? Opioids legally flooded and devastated entire communities while marketing synthetic heroine as non-addictive. No-one went to jail. Remember hormone replacement therapy that women over 50 were automatically prescribed only to be discontinued with enormous late-onset rates of cancer, heart attack rates etc.

      I’m very disappointed that there has been no campaign to emphasize healthy diet to boost immune system and the deplorable factory farming of animals where so many viruses originate. All while at least 30 drugs flood TV commercials with side effects like: tears in the stomach and intestines, thoughts of suicide, swelling between the anus and genitals, lymphoma, cancer, lump in neck, brain infection. tuberculosis, inflammatory bowel disease, severe bone aches, liver damage, ruptured spleen, stroke…..

      This is the state of modern health?? We ignore the causes and are indoctrinated to rely on heavy drugs instead?

      I may consider a vaccination with the established technology.

    15. SKM

      I don`t think I`m alone in appreciating your comment. It confirms my unease about everything to do with the vaccine role out and from the beginning (the deliberate suppression of attempts to look for anti-virals in drugs with known safety profiles, the messaging that vaccines are the only way out while leaving the population ill-informed and in a state of widespread vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency, ignoring well-established methods of dealing with epidemics of this kind, then using the resulting infection rates to justify truncating phase 3 of trials,the hype around the vaccines coupled with a paucity of real information and data).
      We need the views of people like you who clearly are motivated by the desire to care for patients, but being on the front line can help us with this kind of information we cannot ourselves access. Hope you keep posting!

    16. Massinissa

      “Both of these agencies – along with many others – have been turned into corporate toadies – and have been defanged and neutered – and are shadows of what they once were. And that was well completed long before Trump ever came along.”

      What really scares me is this isn’t limited to just one or a few institutions. Pretty much every major institution has been hollowing out since at least the 80s. How long can this systemic rot continue without the entire system falling apart?

  11. madarka

    Re Ivermectin: Well finally you caught up… Here in Dominican Republic Ivermectin has been part of the standard care recomendations since early on; pioneering clinics started using it in April! Other latin american countries are using it too. Hydroxychloroquine was also used but discontinued, iirc.

      1. TroyIA

        Doctor explains 99.3% of COVID-19 patients treated with Ivermectin recovered in five days

        After eight months of active clinical observation and attending about 7 thousand patients of Covid-19 in three medical centers located in Puerto Plata, La Romana, and Punta Cana, Dr. José Natalio Redondo revealed that 99.3% of the symptomatic patients who received care in his emergency services, including the use of Ivermectin, managed to recover in the first five days of recorded symptoms.

        The renowned cardiologist and health manager affirmed that Ivermectin’s use against the symptoms of Covid-19 is practically generalized in the country and attributed to this factor, among others, the fact that the risk of dying from this disease in the Dominican Republic is significantly lower than in the United States.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Progressives’ patience with Biden wears thin”

    This is true this. They are getting ready to send a stern letter to Biden. Well, at least announce that they will do so. And I am sure that that great progressive Nancy Pelosi will speak up on their behalf. Maybe even talk about it with old Joe on an ice cream run. Some senior members of the progressive caucus are even getting ready to start wagging their fingers and are already practicing their frowns in their mirrors.

    Seriously, what is wrong with these people? Trusting people like old Joe to do the right thing is like putting your trust in Boris Johnson. Progressives have to demand such positions and back it up with their votes. Maybe they should have made it plain and clear when Nancy wanted the speaker-ship again. Maybe they should not go along with voice votes but demand actual head counts. But you know that they won’t happen. They want to protect their careers first and foremost.

      1. ambrit

        Yikes! That “unfriending” is going to get yanked off of the FB as “fake news,” and “against community standards” as well.

  13. zagonostra

    >Special Report-How oil majors shift billions in profits to island tax havens – Channel News Asia

    This is standard operating procedure not only for oil, as the “Paradise Papers” and the “Panama Papers” revealed but by big tech and the Global elites. While on one end of the spectrum politicians begrudge giving extended UI benefits to those displaced from their jobs through no fault of their own or cutting back on food stamps, on the other end, they continue to write laws that allow their donors and controllers to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

    Nothing new here, it has almost become trite as if to say “this is just the way things work.” I recall watching an episode of the YouTube “Rational National” where the host indicated that there is no need for “conspiracy theories” that everyone knows that power and money influence the legislative process.

    It feels like the world has turned into a Gary Larson comic strip.

    Shell and other oil majors are avoiding hundreds of millions of dollars in shifting profits to thinly staffed insurance and finance affiliates based in tax havens…these subsidiaries, in turn, book profits that go lightly taxed or entirely tax-free.

    Such arrangements are not illegal. But they highlight the ability of international oil corporations to game global tax systems and avoid handing over revenue to nations where they conduct their core business, according to academics who study corporate taxation.

    1. Jesper

      & that makes me a bit sceptic about the reasons for some wars. First it was claimed to be about introducing democracy, then it seems to be accepted that the real reason was to keep oil cheap for the masses but since when does our elite care about making things better for the masses so what might the reason be?

      If wars were to be fought for the masses then some of the tax-havens would be invaded and made part of the empire – no more tax-avoidance and that would be good for the masses.
      If UK were to invade its overseas territories then it would be done with little to no blood-shed, the inhabitants of those overseas territories would for the most part notice little difference and the huddled masses in UK were to get more taxes paid.
      Instead we see the US government willing to go into a trade-war to protect the right of US companies to avoid paying taxes anywhere…

      The above is mostly tongue-in cheek.

      1. km

        “Because cheap oil” doesn’t make sense, either.

        To take only the case of Iraq – Saddam would have been thrilled to have been allowed to sell oil freely on world markets for dollars. Iraq would have gladly sold every drop that it could pump.

  14. timbers

    Four in 10 households report lower income than pre-pandemic, threatening economic recovery NBC. The deck: “Around 6 percent of surveyed households said they have given up hope that their income will ever recover.”

    Just accepted a job for about 60% of what I was making at my previous job that ended in March. I declined a few other offers along the way, the most recent being to work at much better rate for a bank processing mortgage applications but for only 6 weeks. Usually when they give a time line it often does not hold and can go on forever, but in this case I gave credence to the 6 weeks because 1). Don’t expect mortgage applications to continue at their current level and 2), They wouldn’t even provide a phone which was clearly a huge tool needed – reinforcing my belief in their stated 6 weeks. Plus, the lower paying job is in healthcare so it gives continuity to my resume to bolster prospects for a higher paying job latter. It also does not involve sitting in a cubical or at home 8/hrs a day manipulating excel spreadsheets – a refreshing break.

    As I have no debt, own my house and car, I can afford to work for less. But how many younger folks can afford to?

    By the way, one job I was offered was working for a medical company processing test results. When I applied they were looking for 30 heads. Now they say they are looking for 50 heads. It is a graveyard shift (why I turned it down) as they have made their facility to function 24/hr a day 7 days/wk.

  15. Wukchumni

    Gooooood Mooooorning Fiatnam!

    Here in the asphalt jungle it was all about the skill ratio, as long as it was high, losses were deemed acceptable in the lower ranks, for we clearly had the enemy on the run in a war of attrition.

    Ideally you wanted to have around a 278-1 pay ratio if you were the brains of the outfit, the CEO.

  16. cocomaan

    Reading that nurse’s narrative about possibly getting the experimental vaccine and her high fever makes my mantra pop off again: the vaccines are approved for emergency use.

    Emergency use is defined as:

    Under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), the FDA Commissioner may allow unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions caused by CBRN threat agents when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.

    This just means that the risk threshold is such that the supposed benefit of the vaccine outweighs the supposed risk of covid, all of this based on data collected in the last nine months; AND, that the vaccine is the only alternative to any known therapeutics.

    When I was working on medical compliance in a higher ed medical setting, emergency use came up regarding individual patients suffering from diseases. Kind of like Right to Try. We had an Investigational New Device, in our case, and requesting FDA authorization for emergency use was something like a $100,000 prospect. We ended up not going for it because the risk threshold is what it is.

    This is much different, involving population-scale use of what’s an openly admitted understudied investigational new drug. The benefits, according to the FDA, outweigh the risks. And the risks are an unknown gray area. There is no way around it. We just do not know what we don’t know.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “The End of the Facebook Crime Spree”

    No it’s not. It’s probably a money shakedown or maybe giving Facebook the word that they have to be more cooperative with the powers that be in the years to come. You want to know how I know? The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly backed a $740 billion defense bill with a veto-proof majority. A big chunk of the progressive caucus would have had to vote for that bill to account for the numbers. But stripped out of that bill was a section where Trump wanted to have Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act repealed. They deliberately took it out. If they seriously wanted to make social media companies like Facebook and Twitter be responsible for what appears on their sites, then they could have left it in and that would have ended Facebook’s powers. But not only did they not agree to it, they took active steps to strip it out of that bill. So Facebook’s behaviour will continue – but with some ahem, supervision.

    1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      It is not entirely controversial to state that Facebook is an intelligence operation and a laboratory for sculpting public opinion in the digital age. So they’ve always been ‘under supervision’. Insofar as the thing can be policed. Regardless who they kick off FB, you see the widest variety of opinion.

    2. hunkerdown

      How does simply repealing Section 230 serve donors? They’d prefer actual, ideological censorship. They need something more specific if they expect to continue to hold the left wall of the Overton window.

  18. Lex

    ‘The End of the Facebook Crime Spree’

    ‘And fortunately for the FTC and 48 state AGs, Zuckerberg and company helpfully wrote it all down in email.’

    *chortle* Should have listened to cybersecurity when they said, ‘Email is a business record and we have to keep a copy for 5+ years’… although not writing things down didn’t keep Ebbers out of prison. Nor did such a warning keep The Zuck from tripping over his own genitalia.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “What We Know of Sappho”

    There is one reason for hope that we might find more of her works. There is a lot of Pompeii and Herculaneum still to be uncovered so it is always possible that some of those villas may have scrolls with her works on them. We now know how to recover text from such carbonized works so maybe, maybe, one day more of her works may be found.

    1. Wukchumni

      There is one reason for hope that we might find more of her works. There is a lot of Pompeii and Herculaneum still to be uncovered so it is always possible that some of those villas may have scrolls with her works on them

      Indeed, i’ve been to both many times, and for a first time visitor to Pompeii you’re amazed at how extensive the excavations have been with much more to go, and then when you get off the train and walk 1/2 a mile on the streets of the modern town of Ercolano until you get to a ramp which descends down to Herculaneum, and when there, you look back and Ercolano is about 100 feet on top of who knows what?

      Herculaneum was kind of Malibu, to Pompeii being Beverly Hills.

      Don’t miss all the good stuff recovered from both sites @ the archeological museum in Naples, a must see!

      1. The Rev Kev

        Ercolano has to be the better of the two as you get a sense of what the town would have looked like when it was alive but damn, even the wood was preserved, if carbonized, which brought me up short. Wish I could make another trip there.

        1. Wukchumni

          We were @ Herculaneum once and a docent motioned for my wife to go up the (off-limits) 2,000 year old stairs in one of the buildings ‘Presto-Presto’ he uttered like some magician, and she hoofed it up there, gave it a looksee and came right down, smiles all around.

          The old Getty museum full of primarily Greek art in Malibu is modeled after a villa in Herculaneum.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “China’s spectacular Australian trade war own goal”

    I think that Scotty from Marketing has been listening too much to Boris from Brexit lately. So for the past few months, Scotty has been throwing his weight around with China because everybody knows what a superpower we are. He was one of the first to step forward to try to get the Coronavirus labelled the China virus if not the Wuhan virus. That went down like a lead balloon in Beijing. And he was been first to help form the Quad which is hoped to be an Asian version of NATO. He even sent warships from Oz to do exercises in China’s front yard. Then he just had passed a law that any agreement that China has with any State or Uni or organization here can be torn up on Canberra’s whim. And there has been an anti-China propaganda campaign going on for some months now.

    So China has said screw this for a game of toy soldiers and has started to retaliate. They have been hitting individual targets like wineries, beef exports, barley exports, lamb exports and others. Maybe as a reminder that you do not get into a fight with your banker unless you have a really good reason. I don’t know why Scotty is doing this. Did he want to be Trumps cat’s paw? Maybe try to set up Oz to be a powerhouse in the Pacific? Whatever, his ego is writing cheques that the country cannot cash. This guy who wrote the article said ‘So far, and into the future so far as I can see, the net result is a net benefit to Australian trade’ but I do not believe it as China can merely select different targets to create pain for our economy. Dammit, Scotty could have just gone to China with a team to negotiate most of our differences and they would have respected that. But instead he did it in a way that they are literally not answering our calls. Idjut.

    1. Wukchumni

      Scotty from marketing is more of a ‘Breaker More Anthracite’ character now, not to be a Boer.

      Oh, how i’d love to have an exchange president-pm program going on where leaders try out another country for a year. Scotty would be so fun to make fun of here.

    2. skippy

      The bit about Oz wineries having a significant Chinese ownership/investment profile sure messes with the grandstanding by scomo.

      Which at the end of the day seems quite wobbly considering all the stuff that was sold on in the 80s to international investors, albeit with Oz front house [men], which in turn has had several periods of consolidation and new ownership cycles.

      Yet all the sudden this is a issue considering the whole “open market” aspect being their baby at onset and now wish to intercede in whom is the right sorts. The whole hordes from the north aspect is a bit sus considering the LNPs pogrom for decades, but nothing like a good distraction from its results over the years I guess.

      Deploy the LNP Sovereignty Patriots [we can loot our own just fine thank you] …. burn the ALP traitors [china boot lickers] – !!!!!! …. mirth ….

  21. William Hunter Duncan

    “Minneapolis City Council votes to cut millions from police budget amid record crime rates WaPo”

    While I am quite sympathetic to the idea that the Police exist to protect the wealthy and property rather than “the people” and public safety, carjackings in Minneapolis up 537% this November compared to November 2019, has me looking over my shoulder everywhere I go in Minneapolis. My 17 year old niece works in a local Grocery and has had to call police several times, recently when a patron walked out and walked back in with blood streaming down his face, pistol whipped, his assailant driving away with his car during rush hour.

    The lawlessness in Minneapolis last March was not protestors, it was the vast underbelly of societal deplorables taking advantage of a vacuum in power and looting and burning for the sake of looting and burning. I remember a conversation years ago, with a young black man who is a friend of mine (who has the past two years descended into a coke and vodka fueled personal collapse, abandoning my nephew his son in a similar way my friend’s father abandoned him) who used to dream about raiding and looting all those rich houses, and doing unspeakable things to the occupants. Liberal/progressive ideas that such people are traumatized by society and just need more public services/counseling to get right with the world is a lot of magical thinking about the world, and people like my friend are filling the perceived vacuum in power. While this vote will appease activists, it will also likely exacerbate crime in the city in the short term, as if the council is oblivious to the ramifications of the pandemic induced destruction of the economy and a present and pending homelessness epidemic.

    Of course we can have policing and robust social services, and reinvent policing, but sending such a message now, that policing is being devalued and will be less a presence going forward, in the midst of a recession is a kind of obliviousness to reality, and sure to have the opposite effect, at least the next six months. Likely too, if crime continues to increase, this council will continue to double down. Such is the reality in one of the most liberal cities in America.

    1. A guy who asks a lot of questions

      “it was the vast underbelly of societal deplorables taking advantage of a vacuum in power and looting and burning for the sake of looting and burning.”

      “who has the past two years descended into a coke and vodka fueled personal collapse, abandoning my nephew his son in a similar way my friend’s father abandoned him”

      “Liberal/progressive ideas that such people are traumatized by society and just need more public services/counseling to get right with the world is a lot of magical thinking about the world,”

      “the reality in one of the most liberal cities in America.”

      What if people are traumatized by the weird thuggish creep empire that we call “society,” and what if they got actual society instead?

      What if, for example, some of the millions of people shunted out of employment were employed in child care centers across the US, offering support for every child who needs it no matter what their parents do?

      What if people with addictions had access to counselling and real financial support, so that making mistakes with drugs works the same way for rich and for poor?

      What if social services weren’t forced to work on pennies while the police get billions? What if that were just switched around? If you think that wouldn’t work, is it because you think Some People Are Just Criminals?

      If so, wouldn’t the actions of the police and the carceral system be completely redeemed if they could be found completely justified? In other words, aren’t we societally preventing the existence of Good Cops by making all cops police an unjust society by unjust rules for unjust reasons?

      100 years of increasingly metricizable Law And Order has failed to produce any reduction in crime not explained by regulation of lead in gasoline and plumbing. Why keep betting on the pony that never wins? The “liberal city” is a gross simplification of who benefits from the existing order – you know perfectly well those benefits are not distributed equally. Why do we keep asking the poorest, most miserable people to shut up and act decent or else while allowing the already-powerful to continue to strip mine communities?

      Why, in other words, are you so ready to handwave the harm done by society to people while demanding that people do no harm to society? And d o you ever wonder whether it’s because you can imagine punishing “criminals”, but you cannot imagine there ever being a punishment for the sociopaths of the ruling class?

      1. Carla

        “In other words, aren’t we societally preventing the existence of Good Cops by making all cops police an unjust society by unjust rules for unjust reasons?”


        Thanks for asking the right question. Now, how’re we gonna get it in the pages of the Bezos Daily Shopper? Or on MSNBC and CNN and Fox, for that matter.

        1. fwe'theewell

          Amazing. Glad I stepped back to read this thread. I appreciate all of the comments on NC for developing the dialogue, and this is an example. It – the right question- will be on those pages you mention when it is thoroughly co-opted and monetized to a smoothie enough margin. Those pages are mission-driven. Their mission is to obfuscate the right question because the right question threatens the smoothie grinder.

          Reminds me of the Pantene Colors 2021: Lost Cause? Sorry if someone already made this joke. I’m working a $2-over-“in-n-out”-wage (a not bad wage) job at a small business, neighborhood FIRE outlet. Have to change my positionality so I’m not going online as much.

          Agency support from main company was by phone, increasingly long waits as thousands were sunsetted on the other end), now increasingly only by chat application-by-application. In a few weeks we transition to a corporate-owned system of no phone, just a headset linked to the computer.

          Probably more comfortable for me anyway, as the system learns everything I do and all my bosses’ trade secrets, and we are sunsetted too. All for it, if only it were for the public good. Nationalyzit all.

          BTW, yes I hear you on the childcare thing. Many others are hearing too. Thanks.

    2. maps

      I think that things are a bit more complicated here in MPLS than it seems. I live in the Powderhorn neighborhood, and I’ve lived in Philips for many years. Our neighborhoods are being destroyed during this pandemic, the housing market is unreal. So many southside houses have been bought with richer people moving in, I was forced out of my previous house recently so the landlord could sell. The cost of housing here is ridiculous right now, how does it cost 850 a month to live in a single bedroom apartment in a dangerous neighborhood? The tension is thick and palpable. The lawlessness here is people being squeezed to death. People are desperate, and crime pays better than nothing. Why wouldn’t people want to loot and burn when they are forced out of the neighborhoods they grew up in so the rich can take over? I don’t condone the crime, but I understand why people are doing this. Are you really surprised that the people being crushed by society fantasize about brutalizing the rich?

      1. Eclair

        “Are you really surprised that the people being crushed by society fantasize about brutalizing the rich?”

        “Are you really surprised that the people being crushed by greedy, psychopathic rentiers, corporate minions and clueless politicians (not a complete list) decide, finally, to fight back. Because, what is their alternative?” There. Fixed it for ya!

        (Great response, maps, BTW.)

    3. a different chris

      >but sending such a message now,

      This message is not *new*. Like I said, here in Pittsburgh the police have been supposedly reformed twice in the past two decades. They still suck.

      It’s like everything, the Powerful just pick something to amplify around election time that will scare Mr and Ms MiddleClass and use it to entrench themselves even further.

      Joe Biden is now President. Do you really think anything substantial changed, rather than just changed back? If not, then why exactly do you think people should wait, and again this is with using your framing that this is something new.

      But again, the problems are not new. The attention is, but only because the people in power find it useful

  22. Mikel

    RE: “Pandemic Villains: Robinhood” Matt Taibbi, TK News

    Still on this read, but wanted to stop and say this:
    “These harmless-looking eggheads sounded genuinely excited to bring their product to the world, explaining they had a mission to “democratize finance for all.”

    Whenever these types use the word “democratize” you should now by now that the fix is in and a scam is in play.

    There’s a one-two punch to this long con and Taibbi may get to it later. They now have fools posting there Robinhood and other brokerage account positions on wallstreetbets where they wear their gains and losses as badges of honor. No telling who is really making the meme posts there that generate FOMO in people that think they have a handle on the emotional manipulation. Wouldn’t be surprised if it a bit were from marketing companies. Imagine gambling at a game of poker and showing your hand to everyone around the table!

    Back to the article….

  23. Mikel

    RE: “Pandemic Villains: Robinhood” Matt Taibbi, TK News:
    “The last question is key. In what the press accounts describe euphemistically using terms like a “controversial but legal practice,” Robinhood makes the bulk of its money on “payment for order flow.” It sells its data to high-frequency traders like Citadel and Virtu, market makers who ostensibly are paying for the honor of executing trades for Robinhood investors….”

    They’re executing them alright…
    Back to the article…

    Side note: Taibbi’s article might trigger them to create a few more winners…in the short term, to keep them hooked, then con back on blast…

    1. bob

      “payment for order flow.”

      Called frontrunning by anyone who doesn’t have to worry about getting sued for calling it that.

      “In essence, it means the practice of engaging in a Personal Securities Transaction in advance of a transaction in the same security for a client’s account.”

      Client has a limit order a $550. Market at $548. Buy for $548, sell to client at $550, pocket $2 for no risk at all. It’s not like the SEC is going to do anything

      1. D. Fuller

        High frequency trading (HFT) being another form of front-running. With the key difference being that the company performing the HFT is buying a peek at non-client orders. At least, they should be non-client orders.

          1. D. Fuller

            Client, or (informal or formal)business partner?

            That is the question.

            Informal being the usual backroom dealings with formal being contracts between the two.

            As a business partner… Robinhood clients are being fleeced by both.

            Reminds me of Amway showcasing successful distributors in their monthlies to keep hope alive among lower tier “partners”. You to can become them! While the majority, desperate as they were, lost.

    1. a different chris

      No. The brilliant thing about this age is that TPTB have found it better to allow this stuff to be out in the open. So they say “see we have free speech” whilst counter propandagating (is that a word? should be) at a level of 10:1.

      People are interested when they think they “know something” TPTB is denying. Thus the idiocy over the vote. But if TPTB say “hey, well we understand why Caitlin is saying this and she has a right to her opinion but…” it works so very much better as it becomes a “hey nothing is admittedly perfect but she is a bit hysterical…” subject which quickly loses its interest.

      1. a different chris

        In fact you can see this is the FP Afghanistan link. The very second sentence:

        “U.S. policymakers freely admit there can be no military solution to Afghanistan’s problems.”

        Well OK then.

  24. FFA

    Derek Lowe has blog posts on vaccine trial data. The results for Biontech / Pfizer:
    “There were two deaths in the vaccinated group, and 3 in the placebo group (both about 19,000 people).”
    Doesn’t look like there’s an unexplained mortality problem. Also, he first dose of the vaccine has a strong protective effect even before the second is given.

    The Oxford / Astrazeneca vaccine:
    This trial did in fact swab participants on a regular basis and test for asymptomatic infections. The full dose / full dose regime did not prevent infection, the half dose / full dose regime did; I think this supports the thesis that there is a real difference between the two regimes.

  25. Mikel

    Re: Intent to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine Rises to 60% as Confidence in Research and Development Process Increases”…Pew Research Center

    A push poll. Lemmings need to turn off the MSM.

  26. Anon

    Re: The Baffler

    This paragraph stuck out to me in particular:

    It’s here we find the greatest hope that this election promised, at least for the broadest spectrum of the left. Perhaps, without the media spectacle that is Trump, the constant circulation of Trump, the Trump-induced cortisol pumping through veins, without the drip-drip dopamine hits of a thousand retweets and likes, without the insane self-narration of middlebrow heroics, without the desperate longing for grace from above, perhaps finally Americans could share a greater, mass recognition of the stark reality that lays all around us. This reality, its transparency, and its feeling, are, like most things, poorly distributed.

    I mean, it’s been over four years and the best breakdown as to why Democrats lost in 2016 came from this very website, so perhaps it was wise of the author to put hope in italics.

  27. fwe'theewell

    Anti-pump n dump song dedication. Pump-n-dump is being further entrenched by Democrat watercarriers for the gig economy extracto-dons via nationwide application of California’s Prop 22 Right To Work. The photos of young Guatemalans on bikes delivering food in NYC may be a dog whistle. As a commenter pointed out, regional demographics of gig victims include all types, even the label-that-must-not-be-used, “white.”

    Pointer Sisters, Slow Hand

    1. jr

      I have mentioned here before that I have seen young, and not so young, white male delivery bicyclists as well as some women of color. The other day, I saw my first white female dropping off food. It’s saddening that this is a metric, the whole damn situation makes me sick, but there it is.

      1. fwe'theewell

        Yeah, I commented in response to The Heisenberg Report link. I really don’t know what to think about whether objectively undesirable side effects even exist. I am firmly convinced now more than ever that this is The Great Sunset, a cleaning-house of undesirables, aka noncompliant or non-able-to-comply. Many are celebrating the cleaner air and lessened traffic, without understanding the literal death-price we are paying while the rich deepen their assault and profit-taking, nestled under Trump’s and Biden’s wings alike.

        The homelessness-experiencing young men stalking the streets are going to die or become SuperSoldiers. For what force, time will only tell. I rarely even see the young women, who are usually on the stroll when I do spot them.

        Objectively undesirable side effects are tolerated based on justifications that center around the assumption of steady progress. But if that assumption doesn’t hold, or if the progress is there, but the benefits disproportionately accrue to a smaller and smaller subset of the populace, the bargain begins to look like a bad deal.

        “These conflicts are reflected in an escalation of political tensions forcing elected political leaders to manage the underlying discontent,” Kocic went on to write, before delivering the following incisive, not to mention foreboding, assessment:

        It appears as if there is an urgent need to reconfigure the whole socioeconomic system in a way that harmonizes with the needs of both the economy and society. The main objective of current politics in the short run is to decouple the two crises by any means necessary. In the absence of other solutions, this aspect could take center stage and compound problems further. If this effort fails, it could become just the beginning of a bigger transformation to take center stage in the coming years.

        As I put it earlier this year, the ongoing crisis is multifarious, with countless points of intersection.

        It’s a kind of Venn diagram that, if only we could comprehend it, would describe a historic period of economic and societal upheaval.

  28. Wukchumni

    Day 37 of the ‘I Ran Hostage Crisis’

    Melania didn’t ask outright, but left post it notes on my smartphone with the local Pouters Anonymous chapter information on the Tweetmobile, oh what a kidder she is, as if i’d ever go and utter the words ‘I’m Donald and I pout’ merely to get the assembled audience to respond to me, on second thought, hell yes i’m going once the lease is up here.

  29. NotTimothyGeithner

    I’m on my phone, but I’m reading this story about Feinstein and her age. She’s obviously terrible, but why isnt Schumer’s minder from the “gun control group” Chuck installed to mind the Barrett and Kavanaugh hearings not getting more play.

  30. jr

    Well here is a new one: whilst eating me eggs this morning I received my near daily robo-call. Cadillac warranty expired? Nope. Car insurance expiring? Nope.

    Apparently, I have a “federal warrant” which is about to be executed on me by, and I quote, “federal agency”. I was urged by the robot to stay on the line to get help from a “representative”. I have a family member in the FBI, I’m considering passing this on to him but wow, this is level 10 scamming!

    1. ambrit

      We keep getting calls from Jamaica about our “Big Lottery Winnings,” even though we haven’t done anything so stupid as entering a lottery in years. The little lotteries Phyl does send some money too are really usually specific charity appeals. We know we aren’t going to win anything. The charity is the point. And do believe that Phyl looks hard into the backgrounds of the charities she does support. When I tell her that we should be a charity, she laughs at me. “A real charity is for people who have nothing to lose. We have too much.”
      Stay safe!

  31. bob

    Pandemic Villains: Robinhood Matt Taibbi, TK News

    Even Tiabbi can’t call if frontrunning. I understand, he’d probably get sued. But this was the first time it dawned on me what they were doing. I’d been halfheartedly trying to figure them out.

    The comments on that story are really wonderful. One whole thread is about how AOC is selling shirts for $65 and yet there are still people who don’t like hobinhood on the internet! Hello! You can’t use the internet if you disagree with anything they say!

  32. Cuibono

    trialsl are small and not done all that well. but data is uniformly positive. lots of highly credentialed MDs in US supporting its use: but some of them at least seem to be aligned with Folks like Sen. Johnson which gives me pause.

    1. ambrit

      It looks like the old scam of; we won’t approve of serious trials because there is not enough data to verify the claims.
      The common element throughout seems to be the money trail. Older, off patent or ‘common’ drugs are not “sexy” or profitable, so, into the Memory Hole with them. Meanwhile, a huge part of the population cannot afford the new ‘shiny’ drugs. The older generics are perfect for this cohort of the public. Thus, we infer that this entire process is a method of enforcing Neo-liberalism Rule #2: Go, die.
      Dysfunctional turtles all the way down.

    2. juneau

      I think one reason docs like ivermectin, in addition to the positive data, is it’s safety profile which is substantially better than remdesivir or HCQ (in high doses). The EVMS doctors like Paul Marik MD and Pierre Kory MD have been developing protocols for Covid 19 since the pandemic began. They have made it a living document that is continually upgraded as data is available on treatment. To me this looks genuine. Doctors read it and appreciate it (anecdotal but that is what I have seen). Dr. Kory’s testimony to the Senate on ivermectin is compelling and convincing to me. He is really in the trenches. Time will tell of course. Like vitamin D, with proper supervision, this intervention is safer than many while we wait for better studies. Outpatients have no approved treatments, it is all experimental.

  33. Foy

    Australia’s University of Queensland’s potential COVID vaccine just got terminated after several trial participants returned false positives for HIV. “The UQ vaccine candidate uses a protein and adjuvant platform, containing the COVID-19 spike protein and a “molecular clamp”. A small component is derived from the human immunodeficiency virus, known as HIV, that is not able to infect people or replicate.”

    Doesn’t help matters that Scotty from Marketing had already signed a billion dollar deal to buy 50 million doses, because you know, Nationalism and gotta have your own national vaccine to show we are as good as everyone else and all that.

  34. Pat
    You have just presented a link to a badly referenced, inaccurate and anecdotal article about the efficacy of Ivermectin that was published in the middle of June. Even if were worthy of referencing at that time, why would you be linking to it now when huge amounts of new research is available? “Good overview” is your comment? Seriously? On what planet are you residing? Because its definitely not the one where in the United States there are now 3000 deaths a day, many of which may be entirely un-necessary if, as now seems obvious, the various authorities were not so determined to create a crisis to realize bumper profits for vaccine makers and personal career benefits. How do we know that? Because the NIH and the other attendant organizations do not have a single functioning working group studying the effects of off the shelf existing medicines. But that doesn’t make you suspicious at all does it? Faked research against HCQ gets published in the Lancet immediately but good luck finding the detailed Senate testimony of Pierre Kory on the effectiveness of Ivermectin a few days ago. As a sop, various studies on off the shelf medicines are being conducted but the early ones were deliberately designed to fail. Early in the pandemic, I was particularly impressed with the most quoted piece of HCQ research that gave HCQ in doses that were order of magnitudes larger than the norm and at the moment when the disease had progressed beyond the point in its progress where the medication’s usage was being recommended. To be clear, I’m not advocating the use of drugs that have not been studied. I’m just pointing out that there is huge institutional and corporate pressure on people who would be qualified to do research and form an opinion to ignore the possibility that there are existing drugs that might be suitable for treating the disease. Where these people have resisted the pressure they are in the process of being both vilified and silenced. Big tech has climbed on board the enforced silence on this of course, and perhaps the writers at Naked Capitalism are also vulnerable to censorship. But why publish on a subject if you are self-censoring? Naked Capitalism normally does better than this. The desire to be in lockstep with the establishment on Covid treatment must be very strong to offer articles from June and May as “overviews”. The phrase, “you reap what you sow” strikes me as apposite.
    I’m not qualified to judge what works or does not work so I’m not advocating Ivermectin or HCQ or Zinc or even Vitamin D. The role of science is to tease these things out and provide a reasonable basis for making difficult choices. It may well be that vaccines are the only option available but if this link does not get you to sit up and pay attention then I don’t know what will.

    1. Yves Smith

      Your comment is utterly out of line. You asked for this sort of reply.

      First, you make offered no substantive criticism of the oso-publico piece. All you did was engage in a fact-free smear. The piece is the antithesis of anecdotal and refers to study results in many countries. It also provides more data points and information than you normally see in a piece written for laypeople, including in Kaiser Health News. But a piece that is fairmindedly cautious conflicts with your priors.

      Second, you’ve proven you are unqualified to come to any judgement about medical studies with your link to the Argentina study. It’s garbage. Not randomized, not blinded, no placebo. The fact that Ivermectin advocates are touting this as their best evidence says they don’t have any. Now it might eventually pan out but the hype is way out of line with any evidence.

      Third, you smeared the site and attacked Lambert on utterly false grounds. He provided a lot of material but you get pissy because some of it isn’t the sort of cheerleading you want to see.

      You have a history of unwarranted invective against fellow commentors and post authors. These are persistent violations of our written site Policies. You’ve refused to shape up. Goodbye.

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