Links 12/19/2020

Kangaroos can learn to communicate with humans, researchers say Reuters

Deadly ‘brain-eating amoeba’ has expanded its range northward Live Science

Coinbase picks Goldman Sachs to lead listing plans -source Channel News Asia

Federal Reserve frees up US banks to resume share buybacks FT

World Bank Staff Manipulated Global Business Rankings—Boosting Saudi Arabia, China—Internal Audit Finds Forbes (Re Silc).


FDA grants authorization to Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, the second in the U.S. STAT

The lightning-fast quest for COVID vaccines — and what it means for other diseases Nature

The Underground Market For Vaccines NPR

The Impact of COVID-19 on Geographic and Industry Mobility (PDF) Moody’s Analytics

The Army Spent Almost a Year Making Face Masks. That Doesn’t Bode Well. Popular Mechanics

One in Six US Restaurants Have Closed Down — Moms-and-pops suffer much worse than chains Contractor News

‘Following the science’ is more complicated than we like to admit FT. “We“?

A happy ending for King Lear? Trauma of plague caused Shakespeare to change play’s finale Guardian


The World’s Most Important Body of Water The Atlantic

Competition With China Could Be Short and Sharp Foreign Affairs

China’s Military Actions Against Taiwan in 2021: What to Expect The Diplomat

Coronavirus: China to complete vaccination of high-risk workers by February, health official says South China Morning Post

And ore Reuters. Boo…l!

The Emergence of Labor Unions from Within Hong Kong’s Protest Movement The Asia-Pacific Journal

Neolithic China Patrick Wyman, Perspectives


Farmers’ protest LIVE updates: All India Kisan Sabha extends support to farmers’ protest against new laws Hindustan Times

Dozens die during India farmers’ protests; Modi offers more talks Al Jazeera

Sikh diaspora drums up global support for farmers’ protest in India Reuters


Mauritius shipping disaster caused by lack of attention to safety – owner Reuters

The War in Tigray Is a Fight Over Ethiopia’s Past—and Future Foreign Policy


The CIA’s Afghan Death Squads The Intercept. The deck: “A U.S.-Backed Militia That Kills Children May Be America’s Exit Strategy From Its Longest War.”


Britain not ready for no deal, says Brexit select committee Guardian. Shocker.

Brexit news – live: Deal remains in the balance as ‘moment of truth’ looms Independent

UK Retailers Call for Inquiry into Port Delays and Shipping Costs Maritime Executive


Is trifle sufficient for sweet? Times Literary Supplement

New Cold War

Vladimir Putin still does not use smartphone, spokesman says and Putin says Russian hypersonic weapons’ existence impacts global situation TASS

Navalnyigate Gordan Hahn


You gotta respect the grift:

Biden Transition

If Trump pardons himself, Biden should un-pardon him WaPo

Democrats in Disarray

A rural strategy we can work with Bleeding Heartland

“The Black Caucus Unified with the Progressive Caucus? Watch Out, Baby”: Nina Turner, Progressive Disciple, Could Make Waves in Biden’s Congress Vanity Fair

Supervisor suspended after illegal winery found at Alabama wastewater plant, mayor says (Re Silc).

Intelligence Community

A CIA Officer Has a Headache. Media Blame Russia. FAIR

QAnon’s Mysterious Leader ‘Q’ Is Actually Multiple People Vice (original). “Conveniently, Merlin wasn’t just one source, was he.” –George Smiley, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Inside the font factory: meet the man who shapes the world’s letters FT (DL).


The Guardian view on Julian Assange: do not extradite him Guardian


Boeing ‘inappropriately coached’ FAA test pilots during review of 737 MAX after deadly crashes, Senate investigators say Seattle Times

Class Warfare

Stanford apologizes after doctors protest vaccine plan that put frontline workers at back of line San Francisco Chronicle

What Happens When the 1% Go Remote Richard Florida, Bloomberg

Tax Cuts For Rich People Produce ‘No Significant Economic Effects,’ Says 50 Years Of Data Heisenberg Report (Re Silc).

Targeting U.S. wetland restoration could make cleaning up water much cheaper Science

How to remain Human in the Wrong Space? A comment on a dialog by Carl Schmitt (PDF) Bruno Latour

After Escape: The New Climate Power Politics Adam Tooze, e-flux

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. The Rev Kev

    “The Army Spent Almost a Year Making Face Masks. That Doesn’t Bode Well.”

    Phhffft! That’s nothing that. The Army once spent five years studying tactical yoga pants before adopting them.

    1. foghorn longhorn

      Wish they would spend 5 minutes studying their russia nonsense.
      What in the f*ck do they expect to accomplish?
      Their system wasn’t ‘hacked’, it was horribly designed and managed. Maybe they should fire a few pmc types and hire some competent help.

      1. QuarterBack

        Cyber security in USG has been in neglect for decades. There was a common gallows humor joke in the cyber circles that systems and networks were so slow or inoperative so often that we would say “if there IS an enemy denial of service attack, how will we know the difference?”

        I have posted this link before, but I recommend this cyber rant as the best description of cyber state of affairs I have ever found:

        1. LilD

          Making things secure is expensive. Cutting corners is essential otherwise you won’t get market share.
          Good software is late and expensive and since it’s always all about profit, will lose to the cheap fast buggy stuff.

          1. Glen

            You are SO CORRECT. Here’s how this actually plays out in a factory.

            New third level manager is determined to look good by reducing costs. He does this by starting to get rid of people as soon as he gets the job.

            “It’s a MATURE PRODUCTION LINE so I no longer need programmers, IT support, all you people that work on software.”

            He proceeds to get rid of all the people that support the factory automation. He doesn’t realize or care that he has literally thousands of embedded PCs running everything from DOS to Windows 10 which run the factory automation that has been patched and upgraded continuously for twenty years to keep that factory running. He reduces cost by cutting people, and is rewarded with a promotion.

            Sometime later, the production line suffers from automation failures leading to production delays and excessive costs. Management blames this on workers and uses it as an excuse to further punish the workforce.

            The remaining people have been frantically working it’s a$$ off trying to stop the inevitable problems as things begin to break/fail just like to told said manager they would while he was laying off people.

            But he got away with it, was rewarded with a promotion, and got out of Dodge before the $hit hit the fan, and is on to wreck a new part of the company. And so the MBA PMCs moves through the companies, leaving trail of wreckage in their wake.

      2. JCC

        Not to take anything away from the PopMech article, but software management in the military is no worse than the private companies that also were compromised. Let’s not forget that China was embedded in Lockheed-Martin systems for 5 years before they figured it out.

        The problem lay in the software itself, and Microsoft/Solar Winds/Orion.

        And, of course, it was Russia. China, Israel, the UK, Germany, Brazil, etc are our friends and would never do anything like this (/sarc)

        1. edmondo

          Didn’t Iran promise to revenge the killing of their nuclear scientist “no later than Christmas”? Russians my patoot. The stuff that was stolen is more likely to benefit Israel than Russia. Maybe the mossad was just leaving a forwarding address for Jeffrey Epstein, you know, the guy who “strangled himself” in front of 7 cameras that all “ran out of film” at the same time.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          It’s not just the software they try to hack, it’s the people sitting in front of the software. Officially the CCP calls the strategy “Blue, Gold, and Yellow”. Blue is for information and media hacks, Gold means money hacks like their bonanza with Hunter and Joe, and Yellow is for regular old tradecraft hacks using sex (Swallwell et alia).

        3. Glen

          Some good information on SolarWinds here:

          SANS Emergency Webcast: What you need to know about the SolarWinds Supply-Chain Attack

          Be sure to read the comments. There is skepticism that this is a Russian attack. At some time in the past I read that China has TWO military divisions working on this stuff, that’s 30,000 people. I’m sure that the US and Russian have the equivalent too.

          1. boots

            More deets on the attack, very granular, including well-explained review of the malicious code:

            Very cool to see what exactly the code does. The talk about it being very advanced seem to mean:

            * They got the code in before before the spaghetti was boxed, so to speak, probably with spearphished credentials.
            * They didn’t call their malicious code MaliciousCode.exe, but used benign sounding names.
            * Same for their command and control server domains.
            * They put the malicious code in a smart place and ran some checks to make sure they weren’t in a testing environment before running it.

            These are smart moves, but dont necessarily require a nation state to do. Once the code executes, it allows the operation of commercial Cobalt Strike tools, which a clever blogger said a few months ago allow B list hackers to act like A list hackers.

            Also the link above says that the Solarwinds product was also compromised by a second unrelated malicious program, probably inserted by a separate adversary. When you used solarwinds123 as the master password to push software to your deployment update server, and your scale makes you a desirable target, of course you’re going to get riddled with haxx.

            My thoughts:

            * I wonder if the widespread ransomware attacks on hospitals etc a few months ago (Including the hospital chain I work for, whose computers were down for almost 2 months, but never reported in any news I could find) happened to institutions using solarwinds orion to monitor their networks?
            * If legislation compels backdoors in all encryption, remember that anybody who can find a backdoor can use it.

            1. Glen

              Seeing the “no-brainer” password is not new. We’ve used Siemens automation for years, and the whole Stuxnet Iran attack was based on using the default Siemens Administrator password that everybody knew.


              Stuxnet exposed our factory to potential chaos. The local Siemens reps sent out a team of people to fix everything pronto – they were very good about it.

              I suspect between every vendor, and vendor rep embedding back doors, and then the NSA installing back doors, that every system out there is riddled with back doors.

              Long ago I worked at a place where secured systems were kept in specially shielded buildings (TEMPEST shielding) and NEVER connected to networks. If you really want to protect stuff , it’s easy to do, but now considered “impossible”. I’ve had this discussion, many, many times with our IT people.

              Tempest (codename)

              People need to understand that I spent 2/3rds if my career MAKING everything network to everything else, but once our systems became integrated with all the business systems (I am factory automation which is different.) we realized we were going to be exposed to every crazy attack put out by a script kidde, and Microsoft’s seeming indifference to security. I’ll have to say that Microsoft has gotten MUCH BETTER about security.

              But people need to understand that it’s one thing to have your Windows 10 desktop have a bad day, and another thing entirely to have the US power grid get commanded to do stupid things, and become a glowing ball of slag.

              And I agree, there is a lot of IT stuff happening that will never get reported. Been there, done that.

    2. David

      Um, far be it from me to defend etc etc. But in public procurement (which I’ve been involved in) the priority is seldom speed as such. It’s to get, but more importantly to be seen to get, the right product at the right price, and to leave a visible audit trail behind you for successive echelons of auditors to crawl over. The result is a risk-averse process where the important thing is to demonstrate that the correct procedures were followed at every stage. That’s incompatible with speed, and has always been recognised to be so, but then, as the media never tire of saying, it’s the taxpayers’ money, so spend it wisely.

    3. Jeff W

      Meanwhile, over in Taiwan, the government pledged back in April to boost production of masks from an already-impressive 17 million a day to 19 million a day, largely through the efforts of its “national mask team.” That included the mobilization of the armed forces, with soldiers being dispatched to the production line at local mask factories.

    4. alex morfesis

      some poor script kiddie in flyover country is sitting in his basement wondering how many years his little program to make it look like the rooskies did it will take to come to light….we do not have anything that even begins to pass for security in respects to the gigo nonsense that passes for security software…

      recently find systems insisting moi can not be allowed to use a 19+ character password and must reduce it to no more than 16…which certainly makes the magical 17 number useless and well…

      thankfully, we don’t have much of anything useful behind closed doors the average mope could not figure out from the googoylemonstyr and other open source data…

      so moscva finds out something…
      what exactly can they do with the information…

      catch some genius forgetting the zoom call is not on hold while he takes care of his (family blog) needs in private for kompornmat ?

      figure out that “archaeologist” is maybe too interested in hiking in unique and out of the way but near a military installation not so visually interesting locations ??

      Most americans don’t much travel to exotic places beyond the usual locations and stand out and are easily monitored…

      hey but we need an enemy…

      thank goodness keith richards and raul castro have the same witch doctor…

    5. Lupemax

      I seem remember a Senator Proxmire from Wisconsin who awarded “Golden Fleece Awards” to “projects Proxmire viewed as self-serving and wasteful of taxpayer dollars.[4] Winners of the Golden Fleece Award included governmental organizations like the United States Department of Defense,[54] Bureau of Land Management,[55] and National Park Service.[56]”
      Back in the day when that seemed to be unusual? now, every day.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        When I started reading about some of the things that Proxmire pleasured himself to award a Golden Fleece to, I began to think that Proxmire had a very primitive , narrow, and stupid view of what is important.

        I remember him one time yukking it up over a USDA study about ” the sex life of the boll weevil”.
        Isn’t that funny? Isn’t that just such a waste? Not if you were a cotton farmer in the South and shared in the hundreds of millions of dollars-worth of cotton lost to boll weevils every year, it wasn’t.

      1. Ignacio

        Indeed they are. Great runners that never appear to get exhausted and more efficient hunters than most felines in the Great Savannah.

    1. Phacops

      Great pic. And it makes me wonder about the different canid lineages that became domesticated and their behaviors.

  2. Lemmy Caution

    Another cluster of allergic reactions occurred yesterday among healthcare workers at a suburban hospital near Chicago. One of the workers was hospitalized for treatment for possible anaphylaxis – a severe, life-threatening reaction allergic reaction.

    Based on media reports, that brings the total of 5 people known to have had an anaphylactic reaction to the Pfizer vaccine.

    That’s a lot.

    To put it in perspective, the CDC says analphylactic reactions to the flu vaccine average around 10 per 7.4 million doses. The NIH says the same thing in a different way, expressing the risk for anaphylactic shock as 1.3 per million doses.

    Back to the Pfizer vaccine.

    The nearest I can tell, there have been 138,000 that have received the Pfizer vaccine in the Uk and about 130,000 in the U.S. Call it 300,000. There have been at least 5 cases of anaphylaxis. That means the rate of anaphylaxis for the Pfizer vaccine is about 15 per million doses.

    Now, where is the CDC leadership on this developing issue? Or the media? More on this later.

    1. ambrit

      Add one more from Mississippi. It’s anecdotal, I know, but I’m beginning to think that the “official version” of events is being manipulated. (My source is sound.)

      1. Lemmy Caution

        The number of anaphylactic reactions to the Pfizer is one thing. The fact that they seem to be occuring in clusters might be even worse. Are there bad lots of vaccine shipments? Do the people who have had reactions share some common characteristics? Are there environmental factors? Again, where is the CDC?

        1. Ghost in the Machine

          The clustering is concerning to me as well, and I also thought of the possibility of bad batches. I am working my way through a Nature reviews paper on mRNA vaccines now. The lead author, Weismann, did some of the important research that is the basis for the Pfizer and Modern vaccines.

          It is mentioned that purification after production of the mRNA is important because there can be the production of double stranded RNAs which they noted can enhance/exacerbate the immune response. It could be beneficial if it acted as an adjuvant, but bad if the immune response got out of had. Purification could differ between batches perhaps. The paper has some good charts on all the trials both for cancer and infectious diseases up to 2018 when it was published. It also has interesting discussion off the carriers for these vaccines, which could become relevant. The carrier for the COVID vaccines are lipid nanoparticles I believe. Generally, it is glowing about the promise of these techniques. I haven’t looked up the details about Weismann’s financial connections with these vaccines yet, but I imagine they are there. Unfortunate that we have to consider these things.

        2. Pat

          Not for nothing but a more worrying possibility is that it isn’t in clusters. As in it only appears to be in clusters because these are larger more observable locations where the incidents cannot be ignored.

          And yes I do think that is very possible.

        3. drumlin woodchuckles

          Perhaps dominated by whatever Political Commissars that the TrumpAdmin still has overseeing its every word before release?

        4. skl1n32

          “Marks said the FDA was not certain what caused the reactions but indicated a chemical called polyethylene glycol, which is present in the vaccines produced by Pfizer and BioNTech as well as by Moderna “could be the culprit.” He added that the reaction some people have experienced could be more common than once thought.”

          Back in September, Children’s Heatlh warned about possible allergic reactions in these vaccines due to PEG.

      2. Lemmy Caution

        I’ve searched for this Miississippi adverse event in local news and can’t find it. How sure are you about the source? Not that I doubt you, but this brings up yet another aspect of ths vaccine roll out. Will there come a point when the media and/or the FDA start to suppress reports about really severe reactions to the vaccine?

        1. Kurtismayfield

          You have to ask yourself with corporate news whether it is in their interests to report it. The obvious answer is no.

          The only faith I have us that the doctors or nurses union will not stay quiet if the adverse effects are widespread.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            The doctors and nurses are probably under plausibly deniable strictly verbal no-trail-of-footprints orders to keep such things quiet ” if they know what is good for them”.

            If so, the numbers of anaphylactic reactions among doctor-and-nurse recipients of the mRNA vaccinoids would have to become so large that the fear of anaphylaxis becomes deeper than the fear of being fired and blackballed throughout the medical industrial complex could ever be.

        2. ambrit

          I looked for it being reported too. No luck.
          My source is an MD in the system who should be able to tell an anaphylactic shock case from a garden variety allergic reaction. I had to do a little “gentle chiding” to get that much information out of the person.
          An undertone of “team player” “rah rah boosterism” was discernable in the person’s responses. I will give them credit for being ‘worried’ about the subject. They did know about the Ivermectin “controversy.”
          This is a mid-range Hospital Business complex. I have heard subtle complaints about the introduction of metrics based “performance measuring tools” before from people working there.
          I too wonder if this is some sort of “group think” in action.

          1. Swamp Yankee

            Yeah, Kurtismayfield, I’d second ambrit’s observation about boosterism and rah-rah-ism — among my many physician and nurse friends, all are completely onboard, to the extent that one, after, she said, careful weighing of the evidence, took the vaccine while pregnant (!). That these declarations are accompanied by social media depictions of said inoculation seems to be part of the phenomenon.

            I don’t want to gainsay how tired and heroic these individuals have been — but social media seems to me to be the opposite of the scientific method. I haven’t read it, but isn’t that what Ibsen’s “Enemy of the People” is about, the scientist who suspects the town’s water supply is bad?

            Every group of humans is subject or prone to group think, esp. in times of stress and trauma.

            1. kurtismayfield

              The medical community may take relief at any cost at this point. You may be right. I don’t see them lying down for deaths of their own members if it’s widespread or clustered.

              Let’s see what happens when they are due for a 2nd dose.

    2. TMoney

      Q Does the vaccine work ? The data says yes.
      Q. Is it safe ? Tougher question. Sort of maybe seems to be answer, but the official data presented has a rosy tint **
      Q. Do the benefits outweigh the risks ?

      Given that the mortality of COVID is about x10 compared to the flu, then is a x10 (approx) risk of anaphylaxis acceptable ? I think so. The overall result of everyone being vaccinated will be less death – but it still sucks if you draw the short straw.

      ** We won’t really know until we jab a staggeringly large number of people and see who gets sick.

      1. Lemmy Caution

        This what I wanted to get to next. So far these anaphylactic reactions have occurred in hospital or clinic settings, which are loaded with capabilities for near-instant emergency medical procedures. What happens when Kroger, Walmart and Costco start administering the vaccine? The CDC has already updated its guidance on what equipment needs to be on hand (e.g., epipens, etc). But there is a bare bones minimum “toolkit” of supplies and meds (what I call the Clint Eastwood package. As in, the “Do you feel lucky” package), and an optional package of more sophisticated equipment.
        I’m not saying stop the vaccine’s. Just that we need leadership to communicate the risks and prepare to mitigate issues.

        1. none

          And are they going to want people to linger around Kroger or whatever for 1/2 hour after receiving a shot, surrounded by other possible infectees who have been waiting in line or are just shopping? Doesn’t seem wise even if you were just vaccinated since it takes some weeks for the vaccine to kick in.

          Also, are the mRNA vaccines expected to wear off after a few months? Will people have to keep going back for revaccination?

          1. Lemmy Caution

            The question about how long the vaccine lasts is yet another big matzah ball hanging out there. Is it possible that the first waves of people who get the vaccine will already need another dose before great numbers of other people haven’t even got their first dose. Who knows?

            1. chris

              You’re correct. There are lots of unknowns but that’s one of the bigger ones IMO. Since I have had Covid and recovered from it, I’m not sure what the vaccine means to me yet. I’ve been told by the state health authorities who keep checking in on me that it means I am at the back of line to get the vaccine and that I should still consider getting it. But I don’t know what kind of data they have on that yet. I’ve been listening to TWIV since this started but I don’t think they’ve covered that yet.

            2. antidlc

              There have been reports of distribution problems.

              Are doses going to be available in three weeks for people to get the second dose?

              What happens if you don’t get your second dose on time?

        2. Krystyn Podgajski

          They claim these allergic reactions are only from the adjuncts in the vaccine. But they have not demonstrated that. The spike protein the vaccine makes in our body is a protein, which is usually what triggers allergic reaction. The adjuncts are just fats mostly, like cholesterol.

          So they have no idea what the medium of long term effects are of injecting someone with an mRNA vaccine will be. It has never had a long term test. My question si are these people allergic to the spike protein? Probably not. So are these people making a longer protein from a bad mRNA in the vaccine? Or is the mRNA lost in “translation” from some genetics in the ribosome which causes it to make some longer protein?

          They rushed this vaccine because of the economy. It was not rushed for your health or suffering. I have lived with schizoaffective bipolar type for 30 years and they have never rushed through any new drugs for people like me.

          I will believe the trope that the sacrifice of the few outweighs the sacrifice of the many when the wealthy few are the ones who are sacrificing.

          did you see the video of the nurse fainting after her injection? she works in a CCU with an “over active vagal response” that caused her to pass out six times in the last six weeks! So she knew she had this condition but the chose HER to speak to the press? She let herself speak to the press?

          1. Lemmy Caution

            Your last point about the fainting nurse especially caught my attention. You’ve got to believe the PR person who okayed her as the facility’s media darling has some splainin’ to do!

          2. Lee

            I am counting on the elites to use their money and their status to jump the vaccine queue and serve as guinea pigs for us plebs.

            1. ambrit

              The stories from California about the “rich” offering bribes to ‘jump the queue’ support your hypothesis. Some behaviours are predictable. However, those “rich” folks will be camouflaged, and mixed in the general “first desponder” population. So, it is possible that this “rising tide” will “sink all boats.”

            2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              How can you impugn our betters like that? It’s not as though B.Gates was jabbing impoverished Indian girls with experimental vaccines without their consent:


              And I loved Melinda Antoinette’s statement this week about the economic devastation of the lockdowns, basically boiled down to this: “We didn’t realize that people had jobs”.

              “Qu’íls injectent des vaccins”

            3. neo-realist

              I’m looking forward to the elite becoming guinea pigs and jumping the line to get the vaccine: If a significant number of them suffer harmful side effects, there will not only be a increased attention to the potential dangers of the mRNA vaccine in the mainstream press, but a possible withdrawal of the vaccine from the markets if our “betters” determine that it is too dangerous for them. A much more grounded focus on better options to attack covid-19 and or the development of a superior vaccine may result from their plight.

          3. Lemmy Caution

            The FDA has weighed in on the severe allergic reactions to the Pfizer vaccine:

            “Marks said the FDA was not certain what caused the reactions but indicated a chemical called polyethylene glycol, which is present in the vaccines produced by Pfizer and BioNTech as well as by Moderna “could be the culprit.” He added that the reaction some people have experienced could be more common than once thought.”

            I will add the link in a bit.

          4. JohnMc

            cholesterol is not a fat. it’s an unsaturated alcohol. sorry to be pedantic but 40 years into an chronic disease epidemic caused by misguided dietary guidelines, this misconception (and the resulting fat phobia) should not continue.

            1. Krystyn Podgajski

              Sorry, I use lipids and fats interchangeably when convenient. cholesterol is a lipid, as are fatty acids.

              And I know you will not like to hear this, but in some people, fats raise cholesterol. As plant sterols can raise cholesterol in some people as well.


            2. Jeff W

              “…sorry to be pedantic…”

              I appreciate it. I once had a personal trainer refer to cholesterol as a “fat” (maybe about 25 years ago) and I told him it wasn’t. (To his credit, he checked and agreed.) It helps to get the terms right.

        3. IM Doc

          A bit of clarification medically.

          Anaphylaxis is a different breed than a normal allergic reaction. It may not be fully in force for hours after the allergic exposure. Sometimes, it is instant but most of the time it is not. Furthermore, it often takes days or hours to mitigate. Epinephrine usually makes it better, but until the allergic issue itself is resolved, once the epi wears off the symptoms will re-emerge.

          It is important to note, epi-pens are never meant to be a one time “shot” to cure anaphylaxis. They are meant to stabilize the patient until they can get to a hospital. The patient often ends up admitted for a day or two until the allergic reaction is gone.

          Having people wait around the Kroger is just not going to solve this issue. The arrival of the symptoms may be gradual and it may be hours. It is very concerning to me in a rural area because so many patients are so far away from care and this could happen many hours after the injection.

          To be a bit morbid, this is a horrendous way to die. The patient is turning all different colors, they are fully awake and in absolute terror, and the only sounds they can make are that of a barking seal. In medicine, this very often initiates in the hospital setting and is instantly taken care of. We do not get to see this in full force. As an intern in a large public hospital, I saw this after the patient had been struggling for many hours. Not pretty. I have seen parents of kids who had this happen to them who are traumatized for years. I am not saying this lightly or for comedic effect. This is serious business. If this starts happening on a grand scale, I do not think the risk/benefit ratio for society at large is going to mean a hill of beans for Joe Q Public.

          1. Krystyn Podgajski

            Good point about the delayed reaction.

            I have a friend with alpha-Gal allergy who almost died from it because the reaction happened many hours after eating meat. He literally died in front of the paramedics. He was in the hospital for two days. So with ICUs already filled up they should give these people priority seating.

            If this is can be caused by a bad mRNA in the vaccine, which creates a longer protein, they better have some better quality control.

            I cannot find if they ever injected mRNA in humans before, if they did not, this is going to be some experiment!

          2. ArvidMartensen

            I have seen a delayed anaphylactic shock, but in our golden retriever. He had just had his yearly shots, and then just to give him some fun, we took him to the playing field right next to the vet clinic.
            He ran around joyfully for a little while, then he was going slower and slower and then he fell over. No barking, nothing. We ran into the clinic with him and the vet gave him a shot. He survived but it was a near thing.
            Had we put the dog into the back of the car and driven home (20 mins) he would have died quietly in the back of the car. Then the vet told us that after all those years of shots our dog had the all immunity he needed. So he never had another shot after that

            I always thought anaphylactic shock was a noisy, gasping sort of thing in humans. But can people have a similar fade into unconsciousness, which would make it even more dangerous?

        4. antidlc

          “What happens when Kroger, Walmart and Costco start administering the vaccine?”

          Are Kroger, Walmart, and Costco going to be administering the Pfizer vaccine, given the refrigeration requirements? Are they going to have the freezers?

          1. chris

            That is what I’ve heard. That is the plan that’s been touted as well. Far more concerning to me is the training necessary to evaluate all the steps in the process. Getting freezers that can keep things to -70 F is one thing. Knowing how to safely handle thawing the phials and checking for spoilage before and after thawing is quite another. The risk of some kind of bad outcome happening immediately after administration is another reason why I’m not sure why we think rolling this out to grocery stores is safe, even if it is efficient.

            I can also say as someone who inspects the appliances and HVAC systems at commercial facilities like warehouses and grocery stores that they don’t do the best job of keeping their own stuff in good condition most of the time. They’re also not that great at training. I’m really concerned about this plan absent some solid evidence that they’re committing to training all the people involved and having a dedicated maintenance staff on call for the critical equipment.

            1. Lemmy Caution

              To be fair, I believe that retail locations with pharmacies, like Walmart and Ritaid, will be administering the vaccine’s. I don’t mean to denigrate pharmacies or the professionals that work there. But pharmacies are not hospitals, nor are they staffed or equipped like hospitals.

              1. ambrit

                The point above about maintenance is valid. I have been involved on commercial construction jobs building Bigg Boxx Stores. That is one aspect of the process, and arguably, the most effective. Builders are generally, even in these ‘crapified’ times, more focused and experienced in the separate skill sets used to construct complex systems.
                the problems seem to lie in the abysmal standards applied to building and equipment maintenance. The specialized machinery is repaired by traveling teams of repairers. These groups try and cover rather wide swathes of the infrastructure in a store. This seems to be due to “budgetary constraints.” today, most repair people work for regional concerns who bid for areas, not individual stores. a sort of parsimony goes into effect. In short, “market forces” degrade the quality of the service.
                Enough for now.

            2. Stillfeelinthebern

              Bigger problem is the staffing to administer the vaccines. Hospitals, clinics, everything medical are all experiencing severe staff shortages.

      2. Medbh

        “Given that the mortality of COVID is about x10 compared to the flu, then is a x10 (approx) risk of anaphylaxis acceptable ? I think so.”

        Maybe if you’re over 60, but what about low risk people? I’ve got kids, and it seems like the calculation for them would be very different. Very few kids die from it, and from the articles I’ve read, I can remember only one who didn’t have a underlying health condition or obesity.

        I understand that there are unknown long-term risks of covid, but the same issue applies to a new type of vaccine as well.

        1. BlakeFelix

          Well, you are comparing dying to suffering anaphylaxis. I’ve suffered anaphylaxis twice from eating snails when I was much younger (I stopped eating snails). It sucks, but it didn’t suck that badly for me. My parents took me to the hospital and they put me on a breathing thing with some medication until I was OK again. I don’t think that I even spent the night. Anaphylaxis can be deadly, but usually isn’t, especially in a controlled setting where it isn’t unexpected. I think that it would take a great many cases of anaphylaxis to balance one death or stroke.

          1. Yves Smith

            Fatal anaphylaxis is estimated at a 0.7% to 2% rate. The reason for the range is that fatal anaphylaxis is often not observed.

            What if you had had anaphylaxis and had not gotten to an ER? Say you were in a car where there was no signal or your phone was out of juice? Or were too far to get to the ER fast enough? Where I go for holiday in Maine is an hour from the nearest hospital (no joke, Google says one hour one minute, right now, in the middle of the night). Add the time for an ambulance to get there and you are at at least an hour and a half, more like two hours. I think you need to rethink your assumptions about risk.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              A friend of mine once had anaphylaxis on my street about 500 yards from my home. She had texted me about half an hour earlier to say she was shopping but felt unwell and asked if she could come to my place to rest (she lives on the city outskirts). I assumed it was just a minor thing – then 20 minutes later I got a panicking phone call from another friend of hers to say that she had a message from my friend to say she couldn’t breathe. I knew vaguely the last place she’d messaged from, and ran out – I found her curled up on the steps of a public building, people walking past her, probably assuming she was drunk or a junkie (lots in this area).

              I bundled her into a taxi (with hindsight, I should have called an ambulance). I had a vague memory of hearing on the radio that one ER hospital had closed temporarily, and so told the taxi driver to go as fast as possible to the nearest open ER. I then realised he had almost no English and had no idea about hospitals and just asked me for an address. I picked the nearest one and prayed this wasn’t the one that was closed.

              I quickly carried her into the ER (it was open, thankfully). I first made it clear to the staff that unlike many others in the waiting room, she wasn’t drunk or on heroin. They triaged her quickly and gave her an ephedrine shot. But they then made a series of errors (there were only junior doctors available) – a close friend of mine is an ER doctor in another hospital and I called him – he made it very clear to the obviously rookie Doc who dealt with my friend that he had not followed correct procedure and told him to keep my friend on observation for longer (they were trying to discharge her too early).

              Anyway, the purpose of this ramble is to point out that there were any number of stages in this that could have led to my friends death. If I’d decided to wait for her to arrive, if I’d guessed the wrong direction to search for her, if the taxi driver took me to the wrong ER, if I hadn’t double checked on her treatment by calling my doctor friend…. Suffice to say, its a very dangerous condition, and even in a hospital environment, it can kill (I’ve heard of cases where doctors misdiagnosed it as drug overdose).

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        Using these same numbers but for only until one or more of the classical virus-based vaccines come out, is it worth waiting? If it is a year before any such classical vaccines come out, but then every took strictly classical vaccines for every year thereafter, how many “years thereafter” would have to ellapse before the lives and health-profiles NOT lost over the “years thereafter” became as many on the “not-lost” side of the balance as the number of lives and health=profiles YES lost in the one year of using the mRNA neo-vaccinoids?

    3. IM Doc

      To put this in perspective.

      These vaccines are basically fat globules with various proteins on the surface. Their exact nature is proprietary so exact details are conjecture.

      Fat globules covered in protein in general are an ideal compound to initiate allergy reactions from mild to severe like anaphylaxis.

      Phase 1 trials of all other vaccines in the recent past using this technological approach – Zika and Flu – were not allowed to expand because of this very issue.

      It is curious this is occurring in geographic clusters. It makes me really wonder if we are dealing with a shipping or stability problem.

      If someone actually dies from this at this point, it will change the game. At this point now we are entering territory where in years past, the FDA would have begun to have safety meetings to see a way forward. In those days, temporary suspension was always on the table.

      In our current situation, I will be honest. I do not even know the safety protocols in an emergency situation. I remind everyone, these emergency laws were written as an anti-terror attack issues. They were never really intended for this type of rollout. I am going to look into this today. We could be in the Undiscovered Country.

      1. Lemmy Caution

        The Chicago healthcare network cited above announced it was temporarily suspending the administration of the vaccine to its workers.

      2. Krystyn Podgajski

        Aren’t the mRNA is inside the lipid nanoparticle. If they we on the outside they would be destroyed.

        1. Krystyn Podgajski

          Actually, the mRNA makes the protein. So I am going to assume people are having an allergic reaction to the protein they are making from the mRNA.

          1. Dean

            And yet we have not heard of anaphylaxis in the 75+million cases of Covid worldwide. If we believe the claims of Pfizer and Moderna that the 3-D structure of the protein fragment produced from the mRNA is exactly identical to the native spike protein structure then why don’t we see allergic reactions to the virus?

            1. Krystyn Podgajski

              Sorry, I am saying the the mRNA might be making a different protein that looks nothing like the S1 protein. It you start with a bad mRNA you end up with a bad protein.

              It could be the people have some form of malnutrition as well.

              But it could be from the PEG in the vaccine, but then why the cluster?

              I am trying to trust the science…

              1. Dean

                I think we are all just trying to follow the science first before we trust. It certainly is a mystery though the cluster may be a clue. Allergic responses are due to pre-existing antibodies. I suppose that a misformed formed protein or one with altered glycosylation could be recognized by some preformed antibodies against some other component. But I am not sure about the timing. How fast would this altered protein be produced? Would it be fast enough to cause anaphylaxis within 15 minutes?

                PEG might be the cause but it would assume that given IM is different than taken orally (as prep for colonoscopy).

                It is a mystery.

              2. Jeotsu

                There are issues of how the spike protein might mis-fold, even with a good mRNA sequence.

                Is there anything published on where the newly manufacture spike protein goes, and in what proportion? I know some is presented on the cell surface, but what is the mechanism for it getting there? Addressing/targeting of naturally manufactured proteins is a big thing, so what happens here. Is the spike protein unfolded, passed through a pore in the cell membrane, and then reconstituted on the outer surface? How is it attached to the membrane, or does it (or some portion of it) free-float away into the extracellular space?

                How much of the spike protein folds correctly? How have the confirmed this? Where did they confirm this (on the cell surface, or after initial translation from the RNA?

                What exactly is the vaccine making? Where is it going? What is it interacting with?

                1. TroyIA

                  Understanding and Explaining mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines

                  mRNA vaccines have strands of genetic material called mRNA inside a special coating. That coating protects the mRNA from enzymes in the body that would otherwise break it down. It also helps the mRNA enter the dendritic cells and macrophages in the lymph node near the vaccination site.

                  mRNA can most easily be described as instructions for the cell on how to make a piece of the “spike protein” that is unique to SARS-CoV-2. Since only part of the protein is made, it does not do any harm to the person vaccinated but it is antigenic.

                  After the piece of the spike protein is made, the cell breaks down the mRNA strand and disposes of them using enzymes in the cell. It is important to note that the mRNA strand never enters the cell’s nucleus or affects genetic material. This information helps counter misinformation about how mRNA vaccines alter or modify someone’s genetic makeup.

                  Once displayed on the cell surface, the protein or antigen causes the immune system to begin producing antibodies and activating T-cells to fight off what it thinks is an infection. These antibodies are specific to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which means the immune system is primed to protect against future infection.

                2. Dean

                  “I know some is presented on the cell surface, but what is the mechanism for it getting there?”
                  Proteins that are destined for sites other than the cell cytoplasm have a mechanism for directing them to the proper site. These proteins form a signal (called the signal peptide) with the first 21 or so amino acid. The signal peptide is recognized by a cytoplasmic component called the signal recognition particle (SRP). The SRP stops further protein translation and migrates the complex to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) where protein translation restarts but the protein is formed inside the endoplasmic reticulum. When synthesis is complete (the signal peptide is snipped off) a small amino acid sequence of the newly formed protein should anchor the protein to the ER membrane. Post translational glycosylation will start within the ER. The protein (still attached to the membrane buds off in a vesicle and migrates sequentially through several regions of the Golgi Apparatus where editing of the sugars occurs. This editing helps to dictate the final destination of the protein. A vesicle will pinch off the final Golgi section then migrate to and fuse with the cell membrane.

                  At least that is the proper sequence for proteins that are expressed on the surface of cells. I assume that the mRNA vaccines will contain the signal peptide and anchoring sequence to achieve cell surface expression.

                3. william tell

                  maybe one more question for this good list:
                  how long does the body make it?
                  all the sources i saw said: “believed to be short lived” with no references to back that.

              3. drumlin woodchuckles

                Are the makers and approvers of these neo-vaccinoids even practicing science? Or are they practicing mere technology?

                Science means “finding things out through an experimental method”. Is anyone trying to find out what these incidents mean through any “experimental method”? Or indeed through any method at all whatsoever?

                And isn’t injecting a little RNA sequence into live cells to get it into their own RNAnomes a kind of Genetic Engineering? With all the risks that entails when it comes to injecting alien DNAs into the Genome?

          2. KLG

            The mRNA provides the instructions for the protein to be synthesized on cytoplasmic ribosomes in cells of the host (us). I don’t know how long this takes, probably hours, so an immediate immune response to the vaccine is very unlikely to be against the viral protein.

            I do not know how to explain this to the broad audience we have here, but this is a good place to begin:


            Regarding other nearby questions:

            An allergic reaction to any allergen is an example of immune hypersensitivity. This is distinct from the immune response that produces antibodies to the spike protein subsequent to inoculation with the spike protein mRNA. Allergic reactions can be unexpected and inscrutable. Not to mention lethal, as we all know.

            The mRNA in the vaccine is exceedingly unlikely to produce a different protein “that looks nothing like the spike protein.” I don’t know how many mRNA molecules are in a liposome-like nanoparticle (thousands to millions?), but probably much less than one in a million has a mutation that would affect the sequence of the spike protein. This is not an issue. And since sequence determines structure, the spike protein will be the spike protein in 3D. We must assume that these basic questions have been answered by BioNTech, Pfizer, and Moderna.

            I have looked at the various Wikipedia entries covering these topics, and they are generally good enough to a first approximation. But the human immune response is very complex! So beware. It really does take a very good immunologist to explain this…

            For those interested, if you go here
            and enter your search term, you will get a list of relevant publications. Those freely available will be so marked. Restrict your search to “Reviews” and you can nearly always find something containing excellent figures and diagrams. Such pictures are worth thousands of words, but again, beware.

            Today “mRNA vaccine” returns 5879 hits. Restricting this to “Review” (Article Type) returns a more manageable 452 hits. The first one is entitled “mRNA vaccine delivery using lipid nanoparticles.”

            1. Phacops

              Translation occurs at about 20 amino acids/s. SARS spike protein is on the order of 1,200 amino acids, so about 60 seconds for synthesis. Plus, not this protein, perhaps, but post processing, not mere sequence, frequently determines conformation and activity.

              Interesting that data on receptor binding to the resulting protein has not been provided.

              1. KLG

                Yes, protein synthesis rate on ribosomes has been measured over the past 50 years in bacteria and eukaryotic cells. This was something important in the first cell biology class I took 45 years ago. It is not a thing now. After the vaccination the nanoparticles must bind to and be taken up by cells. I don’t know how the cells do this, or even which cells do this, perhaps by having the nanoparticle “fuse” with the plasma membrane and release its contents into the cytoplasm. Or by non-specific fluid phase pinocytosis (“cell drinking”). If this happens, the package must then get out of the membrane-bound vesicles and into the cytoplasm where the ribosomes are. The cell biology is complicated but straightforward and well understood in every detail. It has been harnessed well for many other things in research and Big Pharma labs. The molecular biologists responsible for this part of development will have the skills and resources, so this is not a difficult problem. The main point is that all of this biology takes time, probably measured in hours in vitro (i.e., in cultured human cells used during development of the nanoparticle) before detectable protein is produced. Days before the protein is produced in quantity and recognized as foreign by the immune system.

                The actual details of all of this are most probably proprietary but not exactly a “secret.”

            2. rtah100

              You said: The mRNA in the vaccine is exceedingly unlikely to produce a different protein “that looks nothing like the spike protein.”

              I say: are you sure? The mRNA is a sequence of triplet-nucleic acid codons for amino acids. If you start the reading frame off by one or two nucleic acids, you will translate very different codons and therefore very different proteins.

              1. KLG

                Yes. There are indeed three reading frames (six if you want to consider the other direction). But the mRNA expression construct will have the 5′-cap and all the other translation start site regulatory elements and the ATG (methionine) start codon in the correct place and probably a 3′-polyA tail. This has been understood at the molecular level for probably 50 years and has been “easy” to direct for 30+ years in eukaryotic cells, without frame shifts. It is a logical puzzle, but a reasonably precocious high school student can solve it. The host cell will view this as just another normal mRNA to be translated into protein; it does not “know” it is a viral protein. This has undoubtedly been worked out from the beginning. I don’t know if the sequence of the mRNA has been published, but it is correct and has been shown to produce a spike protein of the proper size. Because this is a human therapeutic the amino acid sequence was also confirmed. This is all the easy part.

      3. Dean

        The vaccines are mRNA in a lipid nanoparticle. There are no proteins associated with either Pfizer or Morderna formulations.

        1. IM Doc

          This is correct sir and reminds me yet again not to attempt comments after an all nighter in the covid unit.

          They are lipids covered in other fats – which is again very allergenic.

          Sorry all for the mistake
          Again I am working on no sleep for 48 hours

          1. Swamp Yankee

            Don’t worry about it, IM Doc, we all are in your corner! Thank you for everything!

            And thank you, as well, to Dean for the correction.

            I haven’t thought this much about lipids or proteins or mRNA since AP Biology 20 years ago (which I loved).

        2. Jeff W

          Thanks, Dean. Your all-too-occasional comments are precisely on point and prefectly clear. I really appreciate them.

        3. Cuibono

          that seems a releasable assumption but are not the specific formulations proprietary? including possible adjuvants?

        1. grayslady

          It appears that it might be a bad batch (storage issues, processing issues–who knows?). Condell Libertyville was purchased by Advocate several years ago and is one of the better hospitals in its (generally) financially upscale area. Advocate owns numerous other hospitals in the Chicago area but none of those are halting vaccinations. I don’t know whether or not it has anything to do with Illinois’ vaccine distribution decision, but the Chicago Tribune’s reporting earlier this week showed Advocate Condell was the only hospital in Lake County that was down to almost no ICU beds available (I think they had 3 remaining beds available). Advocate Condell is a large, modern hospital with some excellent doctors, nurses ranging from excellent to mediocre and has previously had serious patient data security issues, for what it’s worth.

        2. Lemmy Caution

          This brings up yet another issue with the vaccine roll out — how are people — and their doctors — supposed to educate themselves about the risks of vaccination in this very fluid situation. The CDC has said in briefings that a clearing house for info about severe vaccine reactions is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). This is where all the reports of reactions are to be submitted. I’ve only just begun to learn to navigate around, but one of the first things I noticed is the statement that there is a 4- to 6-week lag from the time a report is submitted until the information is available. Will there be an expedited system for Covid vaccination reporting? Don’t know yet, but I would hope so. The CDC has told the public, talk to your doctor to discuss the risks before deciding to get a vaccination. What are you supposed to do, talk about the weather? Maybe spend some time together googling to see what the latest adverse reaction story in the media says and search for some insight?

          1. Lemmy Caution

            Here’s an example of what I mean about knowing where to turn for informaiton about the risks. I happened to be reading an article titled Most Allergic Reactions Not Enough to Nix COVID-19 Vaccine. In it a CDC spokesperson kinda soft pedals the number of serious allergic reactions to the Pfizer vaccine, but also gives some good information about how people can evaluate whether they are at elevated risk or not. All well and good. But then at the very end of the article, while the CDC doctor talks about how soon a person recovering from a Covid infection might get a vaccine shot, she drops this nugget:

            “However, they do not recommend co-administration of other vaccines, such as the flu vaccine, with mRNA vaccines. They should be given either 14 days before or after the COVID-19 vaccine.”

            Now this is the first time I’ve seen that warning. The doctor doesn’t say what could happen if you get the two vaccines together, but I don’t think I’d want to find out.

            Is that what happened to the healthcare workers? As I understand it, many hospitals and clinics require their employees to get annual flu shots. Even if that wasn’t the cause of the rash (no pun intended) of severe allergic reactions to the Pfizer vaccine, what about all the people who go to Walmart and Rite Aid every year for their flu vaccines. Will they know to not mix the two shots, or to wait for 2 weeks either side of the Covid shot?

            I googled “Walmart Flu Shots” and the top search result said “Come to Walmart Pharmacy any day to get your flu shot or other vaccines.” The link talks about their flu shot services did say the Covid vaccines would be available soon, but there was no warning that I could see about mixing the flu and covid vaccine shots.

            It’s early yet and it sounds like the shots won’t be available for the general public for a while, so I am sure the good people at Walmart, Riteaid and other pharmacies will want to update the information as it comes in. But still.

            Every time I read another article another red flag pops up. As Krystyn Podgajski says, I am trying to trust the science…

            1. Lemmy Caution

              The more I think about this the more incredulous I become.

              How is it not common knowledge right now that you should not have a flu shot either two weeks before or two weeks after the Pfizer vaccine shot?

              When did the CDC know this? How are the tens of thousands of people getting shots supposed to know?

              1. IM Doc

                I read the cdc alerts the instant they are sent – and have done so all year.

                I have not heard this before. If I did, it was when I was exhausted.

                Thank you for pointing this out in her statement. I have some homework today.

      4. expr

        since the clusters are all personnel of the same hospital, is it possible they were all exposed to some related antigen (virus or environmental) that primes the immune system to react to something in the vaccine? Also, since these are two shot vaccines, if you have a minor allergic reaction to the first shot may you have a much larger reaction to the second? not to mention a booster shot in a year or so later

        1. Lemmy Caution

          One possible common thread at both the Fairbanks hospital and the suburban Chicago hospital are mandatory flu shots for employees. The CDC says you can’t have a flu shot either two weeks before or two weeks after the Pfizer vaccine shot. The Fairbanks hospital has a mandatory flu shot policy for employees, and the state of Illinois has a requirement that healthcare workers receive annual flu shots. Did the employees receive flu shots within the last two weeks? I have no idea. It would be way too simple for this to be the answer, but it is possible.

          1. IM Doc

            It would likely have been much earlier. Hospitals usually have all flu shots for employees done by mid October or so. Usually not this late.

            1. Lemmy Caution

              Yes, of course you are correct. It didn’t occur to me until after the edit window on my comment expired. I went a little overboard there.

    4. Ignacio

      For what I have read, the deployment protocol says that if you have a history of some allergies (I don’t know which precisely), when you receive a shot you will have to stay for 30 min to 1h on site to check if there is anaphylactic reaction. Then you can go.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “The Guardian view on Julian Assange: do not extradite him”

    Very generous of the Guardian to say this. Especially when you remember that it was Guardian reporters David Leigh & Luke Harding that published a book on Wikileaks that included the key to all the redacted US diplomatic cables leak that Wikileaks published for which the US government is chasing Assange – not Leigh or Harding – for this act.

      1. Alex Cox

        Why don’t we all take 5 minutes to email Trump and ask him to pardon Assange? Flatter the heck out of him and remind him of his Legacy!

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Why Trump? I thought “the good guy” was about to enter The Oval Office, why not just wait until he is installed? I’m sure he will pardon on Day One, right after he runs roughshod over Big Pharma money to get drug price cuts, and pulls US troops out of Afghanistan. LOL

        2. Jack Parsons

          Mr. G. Greenwald claims that he is doing exactly this, pointing out to Mr. T. that the DEEP STATE would be massively angered by such actions.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Trump doesn’t read Greenwald.

            Trump ( or his people) may well read Trump’s Twitter account replies. If so, perhaps someone could start a quick movement to get thousands of Trump followers to all start tweeting back to Trump to . . .

            Pardon Assange!
            Pardon Snowden!
            Own the Liberals. Infuriate the Deep State. Troll the Democrats.

  4. Dftbs

    What happens when the 1% go remote. It’s funny how the framing for this article frames this cohort as the source of solutions and not problems. If NYC loses a billion in revenue, perhaps they’d look at reducing that $10 billion NYPD budget, as there’d be less brunches to guard.

    1. Geo

      If only John Galt had Zoom and Slack.

      On the plus side, if the 1% goes remote maybe rural areas will finally get broadband.

      1. Swamp Yankee

        I think a lot of them would sooner die than actually live life even in a “blue” (which really breaks down on the ground) rural place like Vermont.

        I was a summer research assistant at my alma mater, which is in the same town as a major theater festival in a beautiful neck of rural New England. The theater festival drew actors and actresses and other drama people, including some famous stars, and many were almost physically desperate at their boredom among the trees and libraries.

        And we had great Internet for that period, 20ish yrs ago! Of course, no cell phone service, which was one of their main gripes — who needs mountains and rivers when there is texting to be done, after all?

        But I think one real winter in the Adirondacks or on Nantucket would kill them.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Supervisor suspended after illegal winery found at Alabama wastewater plant, mayor says”

    Puts me in mind of a story I heard about the world-famous Guinness beer. A guy from Dublin told me that the mean reason for the distinctive flavour of this dark Irish dry stout is that the river water intake for the Guinness brewery is downstream of the river outlet of Dublin’s sewer works. I was never game to find out if that was true or not.

    1. edmondo

      It takes real cajonnes to fire a worker who can turn water into wine. The good news is he was hired over at the graveyard.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        But can that worker walk on water? [say this fast five times and if so pass to woodchucks … Sally … ]

    2. fresno dan

      The Rev Kev
      December 19, 2020 at 9:14 am

      In the sometimes slightly wacky world of wine evaluation, it is entirely possible for a wine taster to say, “This wine tastes like $#@*!” … and mean it as a compliment.

      Let’s take a look at bad flavors in good wines, and specifically brettanomyces (“Breh-TAN-oh-MY-sees” or just plain “brett” for short). Brett is a wild yeast that’s sometimes found on grapeskins and that can get into wine barrels, where it resides and grows and can be almost impossible to remove. When brett appears in a wine, it creates earthy organic aromas and flavors that don’t sound appetizing. The aroma of brett-afflicted wines may range from leathery to mousey, wet-fur, or “barnyard” aromas like chicken manure or horse sweat.
      Brett is often found in red Rhone wines and Burgundies, where no less a luminary than Voltaire once commented, apparently favorably, that Burgundy smells like “merde.”
      Being only a novice, but voluminous, wine drinker, I prefer the non merde tasting wines. But who knew there were such sophisticated wine palates in Alabama?

    3. EarlyGray

      Pretty sure your friend was taking the piss. I worked as a student in the Dublin brewery over a summer many moons ago, and I remember being struck by how much importance was put into cleaning the pipes and vats between each brew. The water is piped in from the Wicklow Mountains, not taken from the river Liffey.

      Incidentally the water quality is considered an important factor of the taste. Apparently Nigerian Guinness tastes almost as good as Dublin Guinness because the water composition is quite similar.

    1. CitizenSissy

      +1000. If you’re on Twitter, Auntie Dionne is well worth the follow. She’s your wise, filter-free, curmudgeonly elder, and is a total hoot. Seeing the Weeknd’s and Chance the Rapper’s startled responses to her were gold.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “The Black Caucus Unified With the Progressive Caucus? Watch Out, Baby”: Nina Turner, Progressive Disciple, Could Make Waves in Biden’s Congress”

    Yes to this. Because I saw how powerful the Black Caucus were in the eight years of the Obama Presidency and the massive differences they made in ordinary black people’s lives back then. Combine that with how radical the Progressives have been this year in bringing aid to ordinary Americans in the worse pandemic in a century as show by how they were rewarded with so many powerful posts that they have received in Biden’s Cabinet. They are both of them so effective at what they do I am sure that they will Raise a Ruckus AOC-style in Biden’s Congress. You just watch.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The current CBC largely exists to serve as an impediment to progress, using their IDpol to blunt progress and divide. They held a stunt to promote the terror watch list and claimed it was about gun control. They coast on reputation at this point, most of it being undeserved. As time goes on, the figures connected to end battles of the Civil Rights movement won’t be there at all.

      Given candidate recruitment efforts, the CBC isn’t made up of people like Nina Turner who were twisted. They started out as less lucky and charismatic Obamas.

      Nina Turner’s constant presence will do more than a symbolic losing vote on M4All as symbolic he will consistently force the CBC to not provide cover for bad actors or side with bad actors directly exposing them for what they are. Hillary didn’t push the message that she and Sanders agreed on the big issues because they do. She did it because she knows the bulk of her voters believe HRC is everything FoxNews claims Team Blue types are. Hillary had no shame calling Sanders everything under the sun to keep people from hearing the real divides. They will try it with Turner, but it will be harder.

      1. edmondo

        Um, if Nina Turner were to win the seat, would that calm AOC’s fear that “we have no one to run against Nancy Pelosi”? Nina could end up being Bernie with balls. I;m willing to give anyone enough rope to hang themself or tie up the opposition. Innocent until proven guilty.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          So you mean of the 20 non heinous members of Congress? Greenwald’so Rotating Villain Strategy is still at play. AOC is still ugh a force because there are so few non heinous members of Congress, the few stand out.

    2. nippersdad

      I would like to be a fly on the wall were Turner to get Clyburn into a room alone. Having her go after them would probably be their greatest fear. They can snub the squad, but the squad plus a black firebrand like Nina, who will be eager to bring the receipts, may make for some change.

      Bombs need fuses, and that is exactly what I would expect from her against the half-bowl-of-shite Administration she is going up against. Sanders said he would lead protests in front of intransigent congress members houses, I believe she would do it.

      Starting at Clyburn’s.

      1. Carolinian

        Speaking as a Carolinian, please!!

        I saw her in town back at the start of the campaign. Sanders then came on and said she was a hard act to follow.

        1. nippersdad

          I think I can honestly say that she is the most exciting thing to happen in politics since I first started following it. We have already started sending her money for her campaign.

          Listening to her speak is much like one of those old fashioned church home comings. She would be a real “come to Jesus” moment for the black misleadership class, and I pity any one of them who gets in her way.

  7. Carolinian

    Re FAIR on Russia. I finally caught up with the HBO Chernobyl miniseries. It’s a show about the danger of telling lies while itself freely exaggerating and re-arranging events, making up characters etc. A friend defends this as dramatic license but arguably when it comes to our supposed “adversary” a bit more diligence is required from the entertainment industry. This graf from the FAIR story says it all.

    The Washington Post editorial board (12/9/20) took the news to its logical endpoint, combining the Moscow, Havana and Guangzhou cases, together with other discredited Russiagate theories, to demand that President-elect Joe Biden must “call out” Russian President Vladimir Putin. Given that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved their famous doomsday clock—symbolizing the risk of the destruction of the planet through nuclear weapons—to the closest it has ever been to midnight, upping tensions with Russia would be reckless in the extreme. For the single-minded Post, however, Putin’s denials are actually further proof of devious, “asymmetric warfare” being waged against America.

    It won’t be fun and games should Biden or his minions take the Post urgings seriously. Our elites seriously need some therapy.

    1. Mike

      I’m sure VIPS has parsed the CIA’s poor handling of this snafu- it is obvious that any agency or actor can “imitate” or cover their identity with any “adddress” they wish to use, and the CIA knows this full well – they use the trick themselves overseas against Germany, France, etc.. So, a lie is propagated by our medias (excuse me, Lie Control2), so as to lend credence, at best, to a spying game and CIA/liberal talking point going on since WW2. Le Carre saw through this BS some decades ago.

      All countries spy, and mostly on their supposed allies, just to be sure. The Russia gambit has been exposed over and over as garbage, but the Dems continue to spout it, just like Trump spouted China stories. If only they were as powerful as we presume.

    2. Randy G

      “Our elites seriously need some therapy”

      Our ‘elites’ seriously need to be shot… but this is a family blog and in the Holiday spirit perhaps we can substitute a little outdoor activity on a chain-gang rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure. South Dakota apparently needs some help with their deteriorating state highway system. Perfect time of year for the ‘elites’ to get out there, pitch in with a shovel, and show how much they care.

      1. JBird4049

        Sounds a bit extreme. How about “volunteering” instead for the soup kitchens and food banks, the quarantined, and even the COVID wards?

      2. Swamp Yankee

        Yes, I know it’s a family blog, but I always thought their true just desserts would be for a few to adorn a lamp-pole, pour encourager les autres….

        But since we are in the USA, or I am, we could always copy the American Revolution and go for shaming and humiliation as a form of social death. Tarring and feathering was so effective because in an Old Regime society of Orders, dragging a Gentleman (capital ‘G’) through the streets covered in bitumen and goosedown, or painting his house with human excrement, was really equivalent to killing him without the bloodshed. Many of these, who did not flee to Canada or Britain, never left their houses again for the rest of their lives.

    3. The S

      How ironic that Covid became America’s Chernobyl such a short time later; hundreds of thousands dead from gross incompetence and lies.

      1. satan's fax machine

        Severely underappreciated post! In 10 years Covid will be the thing that finally killed the American economy.

    4. anon in so cal

      >The CIA’s Vault 7 “Marble” is how the CIA can frame innocent individuals or nation-states for cyber attacks.

      >WaPo is probably taking cues from Biden, setting the stage, conditioning the public, for Biden’s escalated aggression toward Russia in Ukraine and Syria.

      Biden articulated one sickening lie after another to Biden accuses Russia of the U.S.’ aggression—including his–Biden’s—malfeasance.

      “They must also invest more in NATO, which he says should forward deploy more troops to Eastern Europe to deter Russian aggression.

      He argues that the United States and Europe must “impose meaningful costs” on Moscow. Biden touts the sanctions the Obama administration levied against Russia after its 2014 invasion of Ukraine and says they should be continued and expanded as necessary.

      He told CFR that he would increase U.S. military assistance to Ukraine, conditioned on anticorruption reforms, to ensure “Russia pays a heavier price” for its interference. As vice president, he advocated for sending weapons to Ukraine to support it against the Russia-backed insurgency in its eastern territories, and he supported Trump’s moves to do so as well.

      He sharply criticized Trump for failing to respond to intelligence reports that reportedly indicated Moscow was offering bounties to Taliban-linked militias to kill U.S. and coalition soldiers in Afghanistan, calling it a “dereliction of duty.”

      He opposes Trump’s advocacy for readmitting Russia to the Group of Seven, from which it was expelled after its 2014 annexation of Crimea.””

    5. Aumua

      Re ‘Chernobyl’: Great show, highly recommend it! In spite of having a fair bit of Soviet bashing in it and some, as you say, artistic license taken with the story… it’s still really captivating. I’ve watched through it like 3 or 4 times.

      1. Carolinian

        I think I would prefer a straight documentary about what happened. The dramatizing doesn’t add much and can’t be trusted to be true. For example the Emily Watson character is a composite and never existed. Frequently the show will exaggerate the actual danger (for example to the people of Pripyat) for the sake of that “drama.” The Jared Harris character didn’t commit suicide on the anniversary of the accident but later.

        You could say the same about the made up parts of The Crown but that show is simply better and to that extent more forgivable.

  8. antidlc

    I have tried to follow the discussion, but I may have missed something.

    Trial protocol for Pfizer:

    5.2. Exclusion CriteriaParticipants are excluded from the study if any of the following criteria apply:
    Medical Conditions:

    1. Other medical or psychiatric condition including recent (within the past year) or active suicidal ideation/behavior or laboratory abnormality that may increase the risk of study participation or, in the investigator’s judgment, make the participant inappropriate for the study.

    I am really wondering about #1. Levels of depression have increased dramatically since the pandemic began. It would be interesting to know how many people were excluded from the trials because of recent/active suicide ideation/behavior.

    1. Francine

      “75,000 additional people could die from what they called “deaths of despair,” (which include suicide and substance use) because of Covid-19.” Added to the “additional deaths”, from Covid?

      In many states, cadavers, from all causes, are tested for Covid and if positive are added to the “death toll.”

          1. Aumua

            From your second link:

            Data regarding the exact number of COVID-19 contaminated corpses is not easy to come by since testing for COVID-19 in dead bodies is not routine [emphasis mine]. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has specific recommendations for the collection and submission of post-mortem specimens from deceased persons with known or suspected COVID-19.

            Your first link describes this protocol for handling covid or suspected covid corpses. It is not an instruction for testing all cadavers and adding covid positive ones to the count. So maybe in the future consider being a little more critical of whatever source is telling you that story about these links, which in fact say the opposite of your original claim.

    2. IM Doc

      Let me give this a shot

      Clinical trials often exclude depressed patients. Except of course in antidepressants.

      The reason for that is because these people can make for unreliable subjects.

      Once I located the exclusion criteria for this trial it was actually a garbled mess. I was unable to find any statement if the depression exclusion and several others were because they just did it prima facie to decrease non compliant subjects OR if data points tipped them off in their phase 1 and 2 trials that the vaccine made those depressed subjects worse.

      One can infer from their wording that it was a simple elimination to decrease bad cohort subjects but that is a guess.

      One can also look at the big picture and wonder if exclusion criteria in a study for a drug meant for everyone are a good idea at all.

      Exclusion criteria are meant to cherry pick healthy people into a trial to either improve results or make the trial quicker to be the first across the finish line. Many of these criteria problems detonate only after the drug is released and for example all those old diabetics excluded from the trial start taking the real drug.

      1. antidlc

        Thanks for the reply.

        How are depressed people supposed to know whether to take this vaccine or not if they were excluded from the trials?

        How is anyone supposed to know whether to take this vaccine if they were excluded from the trials?

        “One can also look at the big picture and wonder if exclusion criteria in a study for a drug meant for everyone are a good idea at all.”

        That’s really what I am getting at.

  9. Mike

    RE: Britain not ready for no deal, says Brexit select committee Guardian.

    Old news, and should be framed as “British elites preparing to overlook starving bodies on the streets “.

    No mistakes, no errors, no unforeseen outcomes – this was all part of the plan for some from Day One.

  10. marym

    Voter suppression attempts

    GA US Senate run-off
    “[Judge Lisa Godbey Wood] in Brunswick has denied a request seeking to stop some newly registered voters from casting a ballot in the Jan. 5 runoff, ruling that the plaintiffs lacked standing to proceed with the “extraordinary relief” sought.

    On Thursday, Judge J. Randal Hall in Augusta and Judge Eleanor Ross in Atlanta each dismissed suits filed by Republicans seeking to change Georgia’s absentee rules for the Jan. 5 runoffs.

    Hall said the claims of Georgia’s system being a potential source of voter fraud was “highly speculative” and Ross said the complaint in her case lacked standing because the potential harms were “based in theories of potential future injuries.””

    MN Congressional elections
    Legal bid to undo state election results tossed by judge
    “The identical cases target the victories of House incumbents Angie Craig in the 2nd District, Dean Phillips in the 3rd, Betty McCollum in the 4th and Ilhan Omar in the 5th. The wins of four Republicans weren’t part of the challenge — something the judge took note of.”

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      LOL, R’s are “suppressing voter turnout in GA”.


      Q: How much did Mark Zuckerberg personally give to voter “turnout” efforts? A: $400M. Q: What percentage of those funds were spent in Red districts? A: 2%. Q: Did those vote “drop boxes” have a chain of custody to the tabulation centers? A: No. Q: Did Georgia just change the minimum distance allowed for “election observers” from 10 feet (LOL) to 100 feet (LOLOLOL)? A: Yes.

      But carry on, constructing a narrative is heavy lifting I know

      1. marym

        The link is to tweet with a picture of a truck! This isn’t useful source material for discussion.

        Security for dropbox ballots including chain of custody

        Chain of custody for voted ballots transferred from polling place to elections office

        There was an alleged issue regarding chain of custody in relation to a “ballots under the table” video excerpt, which was refuted by public officials and press who viewed the whole tape.

        I’m not sure what the rest of the items are about, or how they relate to my comment regarding actual court cases brought by Republicans and dismissed by judges.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Mm-hmm, a picture of a truck at a voting location that reads VOTE DEMOCRAT GET $1200.

          And wouldn’t it make more sense if instead of internet bloggers like you and I, a single court of law had ruled on the evidence and not just standing and procedures. Here is a handy summary of the unexamined evidence:

          Meantime Twitter today: “We’re switching back. You can now choose to ReTweet or Quote Tweet the way you did before”. FB did the same.

          Two weeks before the election Twitter changed how you could retweet because they didn’t want certain things to go viral. Now that they got the result they want, they’re going back to the old way.

          Yes, things. Things like detailed information demonstrating that the candidate’s entire family is compromised by foreign powers. Compromises that a Senate Subcommittee last week stated raised “extreme criminal financial, counterespionage, and extortion concerns”. Nothing to see here folks, move along.

          So having stolen it from Trump, now they need to steal it from Joe. The information on Hunter’s laptop is now inexplicably leaking out, even in places like CNN. One of two reasons: either it is just way too explosive and credible and damaging for even them to memory hole, or the faction behind Kamala is making their play, so we get the woman who did not receive a single primary delegate straight to The Oval. Whee, this democracy stuff is fun! Especially if you are a billionaire tech monopolist (Kamala’s money and power base).

          But I’m so glad that the tape of it happening in realtime “was refuted by public officials and press who viewed the tape”. Surely there is an innocent reason that having announced that tabulating was over for the night and kicked the Republican observers out of the room, they pull hidden cases full of ballots out from under a table and proceed to count them. Mm-k.

          1. marym

            I don’t understand the claim of evidence never having been presented in court. There was a link to a National Review article in the 12/14/2020 Links where a judge provided the opportunity to present evidence of fraud but Trump lawyers didn’t take it. I made 2 comments with additional links to court documents and a presentation to GA legislators.

            There are cases where, despite tweets and media statements about fraud by Trump and his cronies, the evidence was judged not to show fraud; or Trump lawyers didn’t claim fraud. I’ll leave some links as a response to this comment, but it may go to moderation if you care to check back.

            As far as the events and the full tape from which a 90-second excerpt fueled the “ballots under the table” allegation here are links to further statements by public officials and sworn statement by the Chief Investigator in the Office of the Georgia Secretary of State.

            1. marym

              NV – 12/04/2020 – First Judicial Court of the State of Nevada
              Numerous findings on machine malfunction, “illegal” votes, and official misconduct.
              “177. The Contestants failed to meet their burden to provide credible and relevant evidence…”

              AZ – 12/04/2020 – Statement from AZ GOP Speaker of the House 12/04/2020
              “Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Ellis made their case here at least twice—on Monday, at an unofficial public gathering hosted by a small group of legislators; and again on Tuesday, during a closed-door meeting at the State Capitol with Republican leaders from both chambers of the Legislature. Both times, the Trump team made claims that the election was tainted by fraud but presented only theories, not proof.”

              AZ – 12/04/2020 – Superior Court of Arizona Maricopa County
              “3. The Evidence Does Not Show Fraud Or Misconduct…
              4. The Evidence Does Not Show Illegal Votes..
              5. The Evidence Does Not Show An Erroneous Vote Count…”

              Summary of cases in PA, NV, AZ – 11/20/2020 –

              PA Commonwealth Court of PA – 11/23/2020
              “The stipulation clearly establishes that Appellant does not allege, and there is no evidence of, fraud, misconduct, impropriety, or undue influence…Further, Appellant does not allege,
              and there is no evidence, that the Board counted ballots that did not contain signatures on the outer envelope or “‘naked ballots,’ (ballots that did not arrive in a secrecy envelope).”…Last, Appellant does not allege, and there is no evidence, that the electors who cast these votes were ineligible to vote, that votes were cast by or on the behalf of a deceased elector, or that votes were cast by someone other than the elector.”

              President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani described at length to a federal judge in Pennsylvania a vast but vague Democratic conspiracy to steal the election that justified the invalidation of hundreds of thousands of votes — enough to flip the state from President-elect Joe Biden to Trump.

              And when [U.S. District Judge Matthew] Brann pressed Giuliani to explain why none of the specific legal claims in the suit are based on voter fraud, the president’s lawyer admitted the campaign isn’t pleading voter fraud at all.

              Some of the references are from media summaries, but court documents are a matter of public record. Some of them are here: . Click on the state.

      2. Basil Pesto

        But carry on, constructing a narrative is heavy lifting I know

        au contraire, you’re demonstrating precisely the opposite

    1. rowlf

      I’d like to see a US President go four hours answering questions like President of Russia Vladimir Putin does every year. The contrast between the statesmanship of Putin and the two Sergeys to what the US puts in office always amazes me.

      1. carl

        Not sure about the level of sincerity, but it certainly does look very good for Putin to do this. US elite pols, who specialize in ignoring the views of the public, would rather stick needles in their eyes than answer questions in a format like the Russian one.

      2. timbers

        After a 4 hour questioning session, Biden would likely disintegrate into a blob of incomprehensible psycho babble.

        1. petal

          A year ago August he couldn’t even make it through his own 45 minute town hall without freezing in the middle of a sentence multiple times, and wandering off track.

        2. wilroncanada

          And Trump would have insulted every questioner at every turn, without answering except to repeat: I am perfect, I am perfect, I am perfect, and then would have walked out after the first three minutes. Then, after watching Fox & Friends for 2 or 3 hours, would have gone on twitter to claim that the questioners were rude, that they wouldn’t let him give his perfect answer, and then claim that the questioners walked out on him. That would be the four hours.

          1. rowlf

            So why can’t the US field any talent in the statesmanship category? Why do the Russians make the US look like pikers?

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Because statesmen, or even possibly potential statesmen like Sanders, are very carefully pre-excluded from the process. That’s why.

      1. Foy

        He’s very good to listen to, West can really make a concise point and emphasise it with a quote. I also liked the way Jimmy let him talk without interrupting after asking a question.

        Also noticed when Jimmy hears a new point or fact, or a point articulated in a new, better way, he goes still, leans back in his chair with an “aha” look, you can see the gears spinning in his mind. I remember seeing that when he interviewed Matt Stoller a while ago and started realising Bernie Sanders was not who he thought he was.

        1. Foy

          “You’re going to misconstrued, misunderstood, attacked character assassinated, I say ‘join the club’, they’ve been coming at me for decade after decade, you got a smile on your face I got smile on mine, because when you are fighting for something that’s bigger than just the next party election or the next position in the establishment then you got a different kind of freedom”

          “You talk about being a revolutionary Christian. I’ve always wondered why aren’t most Christians socialists?” “Well, most Christians don’t want to follow Jesus into the temple and run out the money changers. They’re on Pontias Pilate’s payroll or they are paying homage to Pontias Pilate”.

          “Critiques of war, critiques of patriarchal power, critiques of economic elite, thats the role of free people who engage in fearless speech, and often that’s the artist and often that is the comic artist. Look at Marks Twain’s critiques of Imperialism and Capitalism, he was the greatest comic writer in the history of the American Empire.”

  11. zagonostra

    The uncircling firing squad, Dorean Vote Proposal

    I see some alt-left Y-Tubers changed their initial critique of Jimmy Dore’s initiative to unseat Speaker Pelosi unless she brings M4A to a floor vote. For instance, Tim Black of TBTV is now endorsing and encouraging people to sign the petition at

    That took courage, unlike David Pakman, who when asked by a caller yesterday on his show, made like he didn’t even know Dore’s proposal was trending. Very disingenuous, if fact I suspect he outright lied.

    I didn’t get to watch Cornell West on the Jimmy’s show last night, but I will definitely watch it today when time permits. Below is link to the interview.

    I signed the petition and I hope if you are behind JD on this that you sign up as well. I see this as undermining the “progressive circular firing squad” quip. It is also a regeneration of the collective force that coalesced behind Bernie’s campaign which died a horrible death when he endorsed JB.

    Which leads me to “where is Bernie” on this? Why hasn’t he promoted this “movement” or come out and articulated why this is a bad idea? Even if this flops tomorrow, it is/was a clarifying moment.

    1. zagonostra

      A wide ranging discussion/critique of the “neoliberal” regime in addition to forcethevote push.

      Cornell calls Obama “spineless”…imagine if Bernie had said that in the campaign. If this brings in enough African American voters, this might actually have a significant impact.

      1. neo-realist

        A lot of black americans, regardless of what a neoliberal sellout that he is, believe that Obama walks on water and such an personal attack would have been detrimental to Sanders’ ability to get black votes, not that he did do a good job of that in his campaign.

        Incremental criticism of Obama policies – not bailing out enough homeowners during the crash, of which their were a lot of black homeowners who suffered, offering to cut social security, of which many black people have that as their only source of income, and undercutting civil rights protest – could potentially go farther in painting a broader and insightful portrait of Obama that sticks rather than an insult that may be interpreted as bigoted and turn people away from the messenger instead of the target.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        If Bernie had said that in the campaign, 10 million screaming PKKK Democrats would have howled about how that just proved what a racist Sanders was.

        1. Waking Up

          As Norman Solomon stated in his article “Mark Twain Speaks to Us: I am an Anti-Imperialist”:

          “Mark Twain was painfully aware of many people’s inclinations to go along with prevailing evils. When slavery was lawful, he recalled, abolitionists were “despised and ostracized, and insulted” — by “patriots.” As far as Twain was concerned, “Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.”

          Even if 10 million screaming PKKK Democrats howled at Sanders, it would just show they are complicit in the evil behavior such as throwing millions of homeowners out of their homes, deporting record numbers of immigrants, endless wars and never ending support for the wealthy over the vast majority of people in this country.

    2. RTFirefly

      I signed the petition as well, but unfortunately, I’m starting to see some YouTuber’s debating adding issues to Dore’s M4A initiative (just watched a live stream with Katie Halper, Briahna Joy Gray, and someone with the handle Marcus4America). David Sirota has also discussed adding and some other items (addressing PaGo?).

      This is a bad idea, and provides representatives with a escape hatch. If you ask for M4A and X,Y, and Z, they’ll vote it down and give us the “I really wanted to vote for M4A, but I couldn’t vote for X,Y, and/or Z”. Adding issues defeats the entire purpose of the exercise. There’s a reason why one calls for a straight up and down vote on a single issue.

      1. grayslady

        Those people aren’t asking that the entire progressive wish list be rolled into one floor vote. Rather, they’re saying that with this kind of leverage, which won’t come again for a long time, bargain for not only a floor vote for M4A, but also a separate vote on card check, stimulus checks, whatever else is immediately needed to strengthen the movement and help normal Americans. In negotiations, you want to start high; then, even if you have to back off, you’ve achieved more than you expected.

  12. timbers

    Federal Reserve frees up US banks to resume share buybacks FT

    With the Fed’s regularly scheduled updates on the economy and guidance the plot never changes. Only the words are re-arranged:

    “The economy is getting better but faces uncertainly and headwinds but fear not the Fed will continue to use it’s totally temporary and totally only for emergency powers for ever and ever and ever but only temporarily for ever and even though the powers are only for emergencies there’s nothing to worry about it’s not an emergency it’s just what we are doing is for emergencies but there isn’t one.”

    1. Glen

      Allowing share buy backs? Ouch too bad.

      Share buybacks are used by the company C suite to ensure they hit stock values that reward them with bonuses. This has the unfortunate side of hiding the real performance of the company instead of the intended effect of ensuring the company is well managed to actually earn that bonus (i.e. it’s fraud).

      1. Francine

        Perhaps banks should be required to sell every share of their own stock that they own on the open market before my tax dollars go to bail them out.

        1. skippy

          Your taxes don’t pay for it and as YS has noted rules were loosened due to LBO antics back in the day [own goal] with a side of Milton’s shareholder value meme setting the stage for perverse incentives.

          So at the end of the day banks are a component of a much bigger problem set and not the driver.

  13. chuck roast

    World Bank Staff Manipulated Global Business Rankings: Forbes

    It has always been my understanding that “staff” were the employees who gathered the facts, did the research, typed the reports and did the lifting and toting. I assume that this true at Forbes as well. Imagine my surprise when reading the Forbes piece that it was the World Bank managers who “manipulated” data and “overrode controls” to produce more desirable political results. Not the “staff”. So, the Forbes headline is not only misleading, but according to the article it is entirely fabricated. A wild-a$$ guess here, but I am guessing that Forbes management “manipulated” the headline produced by Forbes “staff” to produce the desired political reading. I’m sure that there is a metaphor here, but it is probably so obvious that it escapes me.

    1. D. Fuller

      Agreed… from the article…

      when managers overrode controls meant to ensure data integrity.

      Managers “pressured” (do you like your job? Would you like to keep it?) staff.

      From personal experience…

      Oh, preparing intel products – an activity rendered mostly useless through the bias of “management” – for the Brass suffers from the same. If the Brass does not like it? You rewrite the intel reports until they – the Brass – like it.

      Well after the intel reports were “fixed”, upon which the inevitable failures would ensue… s**t would begin rolling downhill.

      The trick was to have the evidence that, you, the lowly intelligence staffer did indeed provide the correct information. Which is where signatures came in, in the form of paper receipts. Never trust the electronic receipts through work email.

      Kind of hard for a General or Staff Officer to claim that they are not responsible for the faulty intel when you have their physical signature on a sheet of paper. Acknowledging receipt of the original, correct intel product before bias was introduced through “undue command influence”.


      It saves from jail time.

      Oh, the officers responsible are rarely punished, soon promoted, and you – who embarrassed the officers – are soon screwed. Unless you have an officer or high official as your patron. Said lowly intel analysts are universally hated by officers. To the point that they want you dead – literally.

      1. skippy

        Wipes tear from eye …

        Don’t know how many times after a lot of jawboning, about variances in previous plans, only to ask those that get payed* to take responsibility*, sign off on it and receive the death stare whilst they remove themselves from this uncomfortable situation.

        The gall of some people … I tell you …

        Pretty much why I do the sorta of work I do now.

  14. Alex1

    Re Navalniygate

    It is certainly true that there is no hard evidence implicating Putin, or even Bortnikov. But it’s not a court of law where the guild has to be established beyond the reasonable doubt.

    I don’t think that the rogue FSB version is likely here. Navalny is the leading opposition figure in Russia , and the operation of this magnitude cannot be conducted by a small rogue group in FSB without the knowledge of anyone else.

    Put yourself in the shoes of the mid-ranking officer who would order the assassination to go ahead. Would you issue this order without at least informing your superiors? That seems absurd, no middle manager in a huge bureaucracy would risk his career in that way.

    I had some doubts about the ability to locate a person based on his mobile number. Yesterday Putin claimed that it was the CIA who have done it rather than Bellingcat – which may well be true. Interestingly he did not deny that the guys who followed Navalny are from FSB.

    1. The S

      Navalny is not the ‘leading opposition’ in Russia. The communist party is the leading opposition. Next is the LDRP. No one in Russia supports Navalny because he’s a creepy Nazi and calls for the extermination of Muslims, and for some strange historical reason Nazis aren’t popular is Russia. And the Russians didn’t try to kill him; why would you poison someone and then allow him to be whisked away to another country for medical treatment? Remember: if a news source pushed for the Iraq war, one absolutely cannot trust that source on anything related to foreign affairs. They will lie for corporate interests no matter the cost in lives and no matter the evidence to the contrary.

      1. Alex1

        Well, it’s hard to argue who is more popular when Navalny is prevented from running as a candidate and his party is continuously denied registration. However I’m pretty sure that Navalny is more popular than the communists. In the Moscow mayoral elections of 2013 Navalny got 27% of votes and the communist candidate got 11%. Navalny is searched 15 times more in Yandex than Zyuganov and 5 times more than CPRF (see or google trends).

      2. wilroncanada

        The S
        Maybe this correction would help.
        Navalny is/was the opposition leader of the US-financed and promoted opposition in Russia. Better?

    2. Maxwell Johnston

      I’ve been following this story closely, and I’m still puzzled as to what actually happened. What bothers me most about the “Putin did it” point of view is that the story keeps changing; first Navalny was poisoned in his tea, then it was in his hotel room, then it was his underwear (…really…this version is out there), then it was a second poisoning in the Omsk hospital where he was being treated. All these different poisonings make my head spin, it’s like reaching the climax of an Agatha Christie novel; and why all this just to eliminate someone (Navalny) who is not very popular anyway? Meanwhile Navalny enjoys life in Germany; it would be nice to know who pays his bills. That said, I would never underestimate the corruption and incompetence and paranoia of Russia’s security services. So I await more data, preferably from an organization with more credibility than Bellingcat. In the meantime, label me skeptical.

    3. km

      I remember when Nemtsov was regularly heralded as “the most leadingest opposition figure in Russia®”.

      Fact is, I could get more votes in Russia than B.Ye. Nemtsov, and I’m not even Russian.

      1. Alex1

        I don’t think Nemtsov was ever as popular as Navalny. He joined the ‘democratic’ forces in early 2000s and that was a big mistake considering what other ‘democrats’ had done in the 90s.

        Also this comment is rather distasteful considering that Nemtsov was murdered (likely by Kadyrov’s thugs) because of his political activity.

  15. farmboy

    “plenty of perjury” by Lin Wood owns the internet today. Freud is laughing. Yes, that lawyer from Georgia

  16. antidlc

    Employers can bar unvaccinated employees from the workplace, EEOC says

    Employers can bar unvaccinated employees from the workplace, EEOC says

    By Megan Cerullo

    December 17, 2020 / 5:27 PM / MoneyWatch

    With the first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine now being administered in the U.S., the federal government is giving employers around the country the green light to require immunization for most workers.

    In general, companies have the legal right to mandate that employees get a COVID-19 shot, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said Wednesday. More specifically, employers are entitled — and required — to ensure a safe workplace in which “an individual shall not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of individuals in the workplace.” That can mean a company requiring its workforce to be vaccinated.

    1. Carolinian

      Lawsuits ahead? What if the vaccine itself isn’t “safe”? Congress has given vaccine makers legal protection but perhaps that doesn’t extend to the employer that makes you get the shot or else.

    2. Pat

      Pardon me but at some point didn’t it come out that they could not say that a vaccinated person couldn’t still spread the virus? I admit I didn’t understand how that might work, but if it is the case being vaccinated does not protect others.

      But then When is it about protecting employees?

      1. Samuel Conner

        Pfizer did not test for asymptomatic infection, so yes, we don’t know if that vaccine will affect the dynamics of community spread of the virus.

        A 12/15 item at asserted that the Moderna trial did test for asymptomatic infection, and found about a 60% reduction of that in the vaccine arm of the trial (with a pretty wide confidence interval due to low number statistics)

        I think that the basic public health measures are going to need to be in effect for quite a while yet.

      2. Phacops

        Exactly. The assumption that both groups in a study will be exposed to SARS-CoV-2 at the same frequency is very weak, especially when common reaction to the vaccine, or non-reaction, unblinded the study. No evidence that the approved vaccines actually prevent infection has been provided in the submittals I reviewed.

    3. neo-realist

      A top managerial person in my company said that he cannot get the shots because he has numerous allergies, and would suffer life threatening anaphylaxis shocks. He would gladly do the vaccine if the allergies were not an issue. I suspect he isn’t the only one in the company with such an issue. Exceptions might have to be made.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      Any employee fired for not wanting to take the mRNA neo-vaccinoid may have no real-time recourse but to alert the anti-vaxxers and the Storm Trumpers and hope those two groups can orchestrate a Social Media platformed “napalm-attack” against the company where an employER did this. Perhaps the Social Media orchestrated extermination of that company would scare other employERS from doing the same.

  17. Mikel

    RE:Stanford Medical Protests

    “But the protesters accused hospital leaders of ignoring an apparent error in the algorithm — which allowed employees not working directly with patients to be vaccinated first — and that the leadership knew about it as early as Tuesday.”

    Ahh, the programmed but unaccountable algorithm strikes again:
    “It’s nobody’s fault, it was the algorithm”.

    There’s an unaccountable algorithm in charge of the distribution of a drug that the manufacuter has no liability for.

    1. flora

      The ‘algorithm’ ate my homework. The algorithm is the new all-purpose excuse, as if the algorithm wrote itself and had no priors. ;)

    2. lb

      “But the protesters accused hospital leaders of ignoring an apparent error in the algorithm — which allowed employees not working directly with patients to be vaccinated first — and that the leadership knew about it as early as Tuesday.”

      At least some of the hospital leaders didn’t ignore the error, they consciously exploited it. The fact that something is possible does not mean that it is acceptable. I just googled up the Stanford Health Care code of conduct and found this trivially:

      As an organization, we are committed to honest and ethical behavior, and to conducting our business with integrity. The practice of behaving honestly, ethically and with integrity is an individual responsibility. We make decisions about how to conduct ourselves every day as we go about our work. Each of us is accountable for the actions that we decide to take.

      On page 25 of the CoC PDF I found this:

      Our Code of Conduct helps us to make ethical business decisions. However, it is not designed to address every issue. You may face a situation where the right course of action is unclear. Ask yourself the following questions when you are unsure of what to do:

      Would our organization be compromised or embarrassed if it became public knowledge?
      Would we be uncomfortable reading about it in the newspaper?
      Is it unfair or inappropriate?

      So, it seems like the administrators may have violated their own code of conduct in both letter and in spirit, knowingly. To say that an error was ignored is unreasonably forgiving. If a less powerful employee were to exploit such a loophole knowingly, you can imagine they would be [family-blogged].

      Thank god this all got solved after the powerful folks got their vaccines.

  18. Count Zero

    Deadly ‘brain-eating amoeba’

    Has anybody tried to correlate its expansion north with shifting voting patterns in recent elections?

    1. Geo

      That amoeba will starve to death when it reaches our shores. The MSM & social media brain worms already devoured most the brains here.

    2. ChrisPacific

      They’ll declare it fake news, and hold parties at hot springs where everybody takes turns to snort the water.

  19. flora

    re: A rural strategy we can work with – Bleeding Heartland

    I cannot say this strongly enough: the Nat. Dem estab wants rural states’ Dems to lose. The national Dem party wants the rural state Dems to lose. It fits the nat Dem party’s narrative. The nat Dem narrative requires rural voters and rural states be tarred as ‘unredeemable’ flyover that should be ignored.
    I can’t tell you how many times over the last 15 years I’ve watch the nat Dem party scuttle rural state Dem candidacies – both state and national.

    If you are a Dem candidate in a rural state, particularly a rural state regarded as red by default, do not accept the help of the national party, or even of your own state party if it’s tied at the wrist to the national party. If you accept that help, your candidacy will be insidiously undermined in ways you won’t see until too late. There’s a lot of experience and observation behind my comment.

    1. flora

      edit: should read “if you are a new Dem candidate”, the already elected have a good chance of re-election, but not so new Dem candidates for a new or higher office who accept nat Dem party “help” from “consultants” or from a state party too closely tied to the nat Dem party.

    2. Stillfeelinthebern

      I agree with you. Dem party in my state raised more money that ever and lost almost every targeted race. The consultants that were forced on all the candidates never even set foot in the state and refused to poll or do ads on the issues that candidates knew mattered to their voters.

      1. flora

        Same here. They come in with demands for campaign control and campaign money and make great promises of support for local candidates, scoop up most of the local Dem campaign money, and depart doing nothing for the local new candidates or state party. (People have used the term ‘carpet baggers’, but ‘pyramid scheme’ seems to work as well.) In 2016 Sanders scared the nat Dem estab because he showed a way to fund a campaign outside of the nat Dem party estab.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Interested in your comments here, flora. Isn’t what you said true of what happened in Maine? There was an article on it in Links just the other day. Maybe they could create a verb to describe this phenomena after Robby Mook as in ‘They were going to win in that flyover State but then the consultants came in and mooked it all up.’

          1. flora

            Not sure about Maine, but Maine is a rural state so it’s likely, imo.

            Mooked it all up. Ha! That’s great.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Perhaps every Sander-backer and every other sometime-Democratic voter in rural type areas should consider quitting the Democratic Party and forming parties of their own to perhaps be called the Real Democrat parties or some such thing.

          They could use the Sanders-small-donor model for fundraising against the Official Democratic structures.

          Or perhaps they could organize as separate factions “within” the Democratic Party in their area. They could view the State and Local DemParty apparati in their regions as being under “Enemy Occupation” and as being targets worth conquering and purging and disinfecting and making their own.

          But first you would have to get all the rural-zone Democratic-voting citizens to bring themselves to believe that the Official Mainstream Democratic Party really is doing this to them on purpose with malice aforethought.

  20. Bazarov

    After Escape: The New Climate Power Politics Adam Tooze

    Sometimes, I very much enjoy Tooze’s work.

    Other times, I find his work to be utterly blinkered.

    This “New Climate Power Politics” that he describes (and predicts as emergent) is pathetic. And yet, there’s nothing in this piece that really acknowledges reality: that even if the political powers that be get their collective act together through an emergent global order stabilized by a universal natural crisis, it will take much longer than the bare decade we may have–and at the same time as this new order is struggling to emerge, the impulses of the old order will still be with us, seizing our attention like the deep, groaning breaths of a dying patient. For every step the world collectively takes toward some semblance of climate government, the alarms will sound: “Won’t somebody think about the economy, growth, and the market!”

    Even if the elites ultimately overcome the final, desperate gasps of the old world, what Tooze posits will emerge is frankly uninspiring: promises of decarbonization by 2060? Are you kidding me? Such promises (so easy to break!), even if kept, will not prevent catastrophe.

    Also, Tooze’s imagination seems oddly constrained–he’s looking toward a future where the current elites remain in control. This might be the most fantastical aspect of this article. Given that 2 degree celsius rise may already be inevitable–and that is catastrophic stuff–there’s no chance that the global order we have now, one ruled by 2000 or so billionaires, remains in power.

    There will be great upheaval, and if any order emerges from the chaos, it will be lead by a new breed who will, more than likely, totally disdain and repudiate the “agreements” of the old, rancid order. I’m afraid Tooze’s liberal, process oriented biases produce enervated reasoning.

    The new world will not be like the old–it will be a foreign country in the sense that the past is: our time will seem as strange to the future civilization (if there is one!) as feudal times look to us.

    To see the future with any plausibility requires eyes that can discern the radical shape of things, if only by their shadow. For Tooze, those shadows seem familiar as his own.

    1. Don Utter

      The article by Tootze is one of several on the exhibit going on now in Taiwan based on the work of Bruno Latour

      The articles I suspect are part of the catalog of the exhibit

      e-flux journal

      The article with Bruno Latour as a co-author describes the several planets that humans seem to be on which is a way to describe the major differences in political positions. Reading that article I found out that Steve Bannon, yes that Steve Bannon, was brought into Biosphere 2 as a change agent to turn the experiment in the desert around.

      I recommend people going there to find some insights of where humanity has been and where humanity is going but with entanglement with Gaia.

    2. Michaelmas

      Bazarov wrote: ‘Tooze’s imagination seems oddly constrained–he’s looking toward a future where the current elites remain in control.’

      Tooze gained access to Tim Geithner to write his book, CRASHED, and has been quite sycophantic about the man both in his book, and in print statements and public appearances since.

      That tells you the primary thing you need to know about Tooze.

      So, by all means, pay some attention to him. I do, but in the same way I pay attention to Neil Ferguson, whose giant book on the Rothschilds is absolutely worth reading — it rightly made Ferguson’s reputation — but who remains an arch-Thatcherite. Similarly, Tooze is an advocate for the current Transatlantic neoliberal political elite

  21. juno mas

    RE: Wetland Restoration

    These articles are Polyannish.

    Wetland ecology is enormously complex. Few wetland restorations succeed. They take up a large amount of space (area) and require specialist monitoring. I’m involved with a small (50 AC.) study of re-orienting a near coastal waterbody into a pollutant reduction wetland. The watershed is approx. 800 AC. The current science indicates that it would take 80 AC (10% of watershed) of wetland to clean the pollutants from the watershed. And that ignores the pollutants from an adjacent freeway (oils, chemicals, nitrous oxides from vehicles).

    The solution to pollution is not dilution. It is source control.

  22. Expat2uruguay

    My son reports an in-vehicle protest on a freeway in Sacramento against Modi, and using the slogan no Farmers no food, or no Farms no food. (He didn’t know what it was about , but he’s been cramming for finals, ironically in Education.) The protesters displayed traditional Indian Garb in their cars and named Modi in some of their signs.

    1. polecat

      There is a rather large Sikh community within the greater Northern Cal region, from what I’ve been told.

    2. Janie

      Big increase along I5 in central Calif of Indian drivers of 18 wheelers and food. Best food stops on the road. Maybe ten years ago, none.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “China’s Military Actions Against Taiwan in 2021: What to Expect”

    Hardy likely that the Chinese would actually invade. That would make the battles the US Marines fought in the WW2 Peleliu invasion seem like a picnic. At the moment through their posture they continually probe for weaknesses but more importantly draw US Navy forces to the other side of the Pacific far from home to maintain a defensive stance to Taiwan. At least that is my guess.

  24. Tomonthebeach

    The Big Hack.

    How gullible are we supposed to pretend to be that because somebody just discovered a hackattack on most major US agencies and firms that it just happened this year – like COVID-19?

    Spyware probably has permeated the Internet and most government/corporate servers for decades — just as our CIA & NSA have done to others for decades. But the USA is different cuz we are the good guys? Oh please! Of course, the kneejerk blame on RU ignores China, as well as nearly every other country. It is not necessarily malicious as it is intel gathering to divine what is really going on behind the gaslighting most governments spew daily to the eager MSM. Let’s just clean up the mess and weld shut some more doors.

  25. Jack Parsons

    I used to know a guy who worked on the Space Shuttle launches in FL. He said that every time a shuttle went up, “there were a lot of tight sphincters in the room” waiting for the danger time to pass. This was before 1986.

    That’s I think the best summary of the vaccine launches: a preposterous engineering project made to happen with a lot of money and “the best people” (non-ironically), courting disaster at every turn.

    I wish them all luck.

    1. YetAnotherChris

      The old truism in engineering holds: There’s cheap, fast, and safe. You get to pick two. Since fast is spoken for, it would be great if the mRNA vaccines prove to be safe ahead of cheap.

  26. The Rev Kev

    “Mauritius shipping disaster caused by lack of attention to safety – owner”

    Sounds like a whitewash here. If it was just a safety issue, then people can shrug it off and say they will just update a few regs to fix this problem. But unasked is just exactly why this ship got so near that island in the first place before hitting it. And from what Colonel Smithers has written before the Mauritian government will be happy with this verdict.

  27. VietnamVet

    Modi protests in Sacramento, “When Deplorables Become Ungovernable”, and mRNA vaccine side effects are why reading the comments here are so important but they also make corporate media unreadable.

    The Western Empire is gone. The 1945 film “They Were Expendable” perfectly portrays the position of US troops and contractors today in Syria and Iraq. The lame-duck President and 170+ Congress Critters are actually trying to secede to stay in power. Democrats and the Union are done for if the disasters that American workers are facing; eviction, unemployment and illness, are not alleviated.

    Identity Politics is extremely grating when life itself is at stake. The incompetence and corruption is fatal if not cured.

  28. The Rev Kev

    “Neolithic China”

    A not to be missed article this and a saver. You forget that there was a time before Chinese civilization that there was a neolithic time like in Europe. The use of rice and millet and the use of jade jewelry certainly gives it a local twist and you wonder what Chinese archeology turns up at their digs.

  29. Daryl

    > A rural strategy we can work with Bleeding Heartland

    Have to say, dirt road Democrats sound a lot better than blue dog Democrats.

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