Links 1/15/2021

The Cat Who Came Back: Patches, Believed Killed In Mudslide, Shows Up 3 Years Later NPR (David L)

‘Fake’ US leg band may get pigeon a reprieve in Australia Associated Press (resilc)

YOUR BEES, YOUR HONEY. First ever beehive designed for home beekeeping​ BEEING and Lasso (Robert M). Promising pro-environment products featured at CES.

Animal Planet New York Times (Robert M)

How the famed Arecibo telescope fell—and how it might rise again ScienceMag (Kevin W)

On the Rise of Hyper-Individualism Plebity (Mark W)

Turn off that camera during virtual meetings, environmental study says PhysOrg (Robert M). I’ve always hated the idea of any form of video calls. Now you have an excuse for opting out.

New Study Claims Your Face Can Tip Off Your Political Beliefs Gizmodo (David L)

From guurst. When I lived in Escanaba, Michigan, it was a big deal when the ice breaker would come in every March (Escanaba is the biggest iron ore port on Lake Michigan). But they didn’t use cute tugs. The Coast Guard cutters would open a path and the ice breaker would widen it.


Nigeria launches ‘biggest job creation scheme’ in its history after long delay Guardian. Resilc: “But USA USA can only muster a new space force…….”

The Securitization of the Coronavirus Crisis in the Middle East Academia


Post-COVID lungs worse than the worst smokers’ lungs, surgeon says CBS News. Kevin W; “Image – and it’s not good.” Aargh, I had thought this was only hospitalized patients, but read the story….this large sample includes asymptomatic patients. This confirms the notion that Covid is going to produce a lot of health care costs down the road, and shortened lifespans, due to various types of lasting damage.

Caffeine and caffeine-containing pharmaceuticals as promising inhibitors for 3-chymotrypsin-like protease of SARS-CoV-2 Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics
Latest Articles. Published last year, still germane.

Decontamination of SARS-CoV-2 and Other RNA Viruses from N95 Level MeltblownPolypropylene Fabric Using Heat under Different Humidities ACS (Tom B). From last year. Problem is I don’t know how mere mortals create a 100% RH environment..


Coronavirus vaccine incentive: Trader Joe’s, Instacart and Dollar General to pay workers to get vaccinated USA Today

AFT’s Randi Weingarten Talks Tying School Reopening to Teacher Vaccine Rollout, Biden’s Ed Secretary Pick and $900B Relief Bill 74 Million. fk:

“Schools also don’t have [proper] refrigeration. [The Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored in ultracold settings; Moderna’s is also maintained in specially regulated, chilled settings.] The refrigeration needs are intense, so one of the things we suggested is that schools make themselves distribution sites, like what happened with polio, but you’d have to bring in the refrigeration.”

Gee, if only there was an alternative to the mRNA vaccines…

1 person dies every 6 minutes: How L.A. became the nation’s largest coronavirus hot spot NBC (furzy)


Struggling London hospitals sending Covid patients to Newcastle Guardian (Kevin W)


Cracks in the vial of China’s vaccine diplomacy Asia Times (resilc)


President-elect Biden on $1.9 COVID-19 Relief Proposal C-SPAN (Kevin C).

And what happened to that $2,000 that Biden promised if the Dems won the Senate?

I like John Siman’s headline better: Biden Already Sucks Caitlin Johnstone

Biden calls for extending national eviction moratorium through September 2021 as part of $1.9-trillion stimulus MarketWatch

Biden to include expanded child tax credit in major new stimulus proposal Washington Post (UserFriendly)

Jobless, Selling Nudes Online and Still Struggling DNYUZ (resilc)


Scottish fishermen threaten to dump rotten shellfish outside British parliament Reuters

New Cold War

RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 14 JANUARY 2021 by Patrick Armstrong Sic Semper Tyrannis (Kevin W)


Iraq issues arrest warrant for Trump over Soleimani killing Military Times (resilc). If the US only had an extradition treaty with Iran, this would solve a lot of Biden’s problems.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Trump orders DoD to explore use of nuclear power for space DefenseNews

Trump Transition

Trump Ignites a War Within the Church New York Times

Donald Trump a ‘flight risk’ if criminal charges filed, experts say Washington Times (resilc)

Report: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Made Their Secret Service Detail Go to Extreme Lengths “to Find a Bathroom” Vanity Fair (furzy)

Trump demands his staff not pay Giuliani’s legal fees for helping him try to overturn the election: report Raw Story (resilc). OMG tacky but may be just a gambit to get the bill lowered.

DC attorney general wants to interview Donald Trump Jr. as part of Trump inaugural funds abuse probe CNN


Exclusive: Trump considering lawyer who spoke at rally for impeachment defense – sources Reuters (resilc)

Capitol Seizure

Learning from the Failure of Reconstruction New Yorker (UserFriendly)

Exclusive: Parler CEO says social media app, favored by Trump supporters, may not return Reuters (resilc)

Exclusive: Large bitcoin payments to right-wing activists a month before Capitol riot linked to foreign account Yahoo

Accused Drug Trafficker Was A Capitol Invader Smoking Gun (resilc)

Parler left its content, even deleted posts, out in the open — and archivists have saved it all Mashable

Etsy Is Full of QAnon and Insurrection Merch Vice (resilc)

Until U.S. Capitol riot, Amazon expressed scant concern about violent content on Parler, social network says Seattle Times (furzy). This is a legally ridiculous argument. Tolerating or not being fully aware of the extent of a breach of contract is not tantamount to a waiver.

Etsy Is Full of QAnon and Insurrection Merch Vice

Hoo boy (guurst):

Cumulus Media orders conservative radio hosts to temper election fraud rhetoric Washington Post (UserFriendly)


Inside Joe Biden’s plan to avoid a midterm ‘shellacking’ Politico. UserFriendly: “Insert DOOMED in the headline. They don’t even know what the problem is and are as usual relying on better propaganda. And sending Vilsack out as a surrogate to rural America? ROFLMAO.”

Interventionist Samantha Power is latest pick to serve in Joe Biden administration as USAID head RT (Kevin W)

Our Famously Free Press

Open Letter from Laura Poitras Praxis Films (BC). On her firing from The Intercept over the Reality Winner source-burning. The long delay between the firing and Poitras going public is very odd. Normally if you want to gag someone, you pay for their silence. Did First Look try to threaten Poitras about saying anything more, and did she and her attorneys need to paper the record before she issued her statement?

Laura Poitras says she’s been fired by First Look Media over Reality Winner controversy. Now she’s questioning the watchdog’s integrity. Washington Post

A Co-Founder of The Intercept Says She Was Fired for Airing Concerns New York Times

Lack of Tiny Parts Disrupts Auto Factories Worldwide New York Times (resilc)

Tesla Would Take Nearly 1,600 Years To Make The Amount Of Money The Stock Market Has Put Into It Jalopnik (resilc)

When to trade bitcoin? When Saturn crosses Mercury, of course Reuters

“The World Is Watching in Shock”: Global Investors Are Getting Jittery as America Descends Into Political Turmoil Vanity Fair (resilc)

Toxic positivity is real, and this is the antidote Fast Company (resilc). IMHO, anxiety and anger are extremely productive, albeit a drag to harbor.

Class Warfare

Europe’s Army of Filipino Domestic Workers: Modern Slavery Der Spiegel (resilc)

Antidote du jour (DL). Apologies! Got this in Sept, and saw only now!

And a bonus (guurst):

See Yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Wukchumni

    1 person dies every 6 minutes: How L.A. became the nation’s largest coronavirus hot spot NBC
    Even more shocking, in one of the videos in the link, there are now 44 ICU beds for Covid patients in a metropolis of 10 million, and half of those are for children, an odd Catch 22 on both ends to be sure.

    As far as I could tell from being born & raised in LA, the place largely exists so people can go shopping, is that the main vector?

    1. Wukchumni


      An LA story

      Growing up in LA in the 60’s was all about keeping up with the joneses real or imagined, and the most humorous one was somebody buying little monkeys that they kept in a metal cage that took up about half of the driveway, and according to my mom, there were half a dozen simian keepers out of say 50 houses all of the sudden, that is until there was a bit of a revolt among the poo fighters flinging far afield, and then our jones town quickly de-acquired said simians.

      Gotta go, the Helms Bakery truck just showed up~

          1. Mikel

            Hehe…”Monkey see, monkey do…” is an old -schoolphrase that describes this type of human behavior.
            I just thought it would be fun to imagine the first home with the pets did it just to see how long it would take for the “Jones’ ” to come along. If there was anyone in the neighborhood who was that snarky….

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Fake US leg band gets pigeon a reprieve in Australia”

    The government’s position of destroying this bird if it was from Alabama had people in disbelief here. We have millions of migratory birds that come from Siberia, India, Japan, China, Korea and god knows where else from which most people know. What did they think an American bird would be carrying if it was from there? The B117 virus? Cooties? So what the hell ‘strict biosecurity measures’ are they even talking about. Just when you think our government couldn’t get more stupid, one of them opens their mouth and removes all doubt. A link for bird lovers-

    1. Wukchumni

      Word has it the pigeon had a Parler account and actively threatened coots on occasion, making derogatory remarks about said birds always appearing in whiteface.

      1. Harry

        I am sorely tempted to suggest that all Parler account holders should have their right to vote to removed and see what kind of response I get on twitter.

        I got the idea from Sacha Baron Cohen.

  3. Howard Beale IV

    As far as using schools as vaccination centers, I saw someone mentioned using closed Sears stores – they’re huge (so social distancing won’t be that big of an issue), they’ll have lots of parking, and are located near major roads/intersections.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I don’t think locations are really a problem except for the shut in at risk population in rural areas. The real issue is personal and vaccines. Shutting down a Wal-Mart for a day is a nothing, but getting the people there to run the operation is an entirely different matter. Schools and so forth.

      The traditional shutins are another matter, but in the end, it’s about reducing transmission points. The people interacting with the shutins should be able to jump the line. The nouveau poor strike me as the largest pain point as they won’t be linked with any group.

      Managing will be more difficult because the older population is less likely to use phones for various activities. Old fashioned phone calls are needed.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Not true. We ran a post on how in NYC it’s hard for people in drugstore deprived areas to get to a pharmacy at all. Cost, time, and safety issues, as well as even bigger problems for the handicapped who need assistance to go anywhere.

      1. sharron

        Mobile refrigerators would not be a big deal for school districts. The school maintenance staff handle moving refrigerators frequently in large school districts. Schools are in neighborhoods. If the vaccination push moves from school to school in a district, it would be close to most residents. Local churches and senior centers and school buses could transport residents to the schools.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          No, no, no. The super cold fridges pretty much don’t exist outside big teaching hospitals and fertility clinics. They are incredibly expensive. And you need extras since they are prone to failure.

          You don’t seem to grok that the Pfizer vaccine is being kept in its shipping boxes with new dry ice dumped in periodically. Not a system that gives me great confidence.

  4. steve

    Concerning Decontamination of SARS-CoV-2 @ 100% RH

    A covered pan, like a Dutch Oven or roasting pan with a lid, or any oven safe pan sufficiently large enough, filled partially with water and fitted with a rack heated in an oven at the recommended temp would create a 100% RH environment within the pan. I would suggest preheating and monitoring with an appropriate oven safe thermometer. Aluminum foil could serve in place of a lid but you should be mindful of possible condensation dripping on the mask, most lids direct condensation to the sides. You could also use a piece of foil to cover or tent over the masks in addition to a lid to avoid condensation dripping onto the masks.

    1. Mark

      Agree. The methods section of the paper describes this on a smaller scale: water and mask sample both in sealed test tube, mask sample and water not touching.
      There’s a very good chance you’ll hit 100% humidity using your oven as the container. Place a tray of water on one rack, your masks on another. Use of Al foil could be tricky – condensation may just form under it.
      Seems like a good community experiment. Any Arduino or Rasp Pi fans with a T/RH sensor?
      I have about 10 N95 masks for woodworking. Finding replacements is very difficult and I want to switch to these in response to the new variants. This is a good option to pursue.

  5. cocomaan

    Beekeeper here. The Beeing.IT hive is interesting but I’d wait for people I know to use it before I committed. Reason being that bees don’t place nice with just about any of the fun mechanics I’ve tried to implement over the years. Round honey combs, AKA Ross Rounds? They refuse to fill them. Observation hive? They gum up everything with propolis resins.

    The last big buzz (sorry) was the Flow Hive, where you can do hands off extraction. They sold the things for a tremendous amount of money. But extracting honey is about 15 minutes each year. The real hard work of beekeeping is a weekly inspection where you need to get into the innards of the hive to check on progress.

    The great thing about the Langstroth design, the traditional boxes you see everywhere, is that it’s accessible and cheap. Langstroth tried to patent it, succeeded, but not before everyone copied his simple design and left him a pauper.

    One concern I’d have with a six foot high chimney entrance/exit is that here in PA, it gets abysmally warm and humid in the summer. Bees need to be able to ventilate here or they will overheat. I don’t see them dealing well with our type of heat when the main source of ventilation is three feet away from the brood nest.

    Best save your money for an expensive hobby like beekeeping by sticking with the classic design. Beekeeping is already tough enough as it is in the 2020’s without adding in complicated design elements.

    1. fresno dan

      January 15, 2021 at 8:21 am

      The last big buzz (sorry)
      I don’t thing you are sorry…but that is OK, I love puns…
      thanks for the info honey…whoops, I meant to say “about honey” – not to say that you are not sweet…

      1. cocomaan

        The bee puns are limitless and I have to stop myself from using them.

        One of the guys I sometimes buy bees from goes in the other direction: he uses every available bee pun possible including all forms of the “being verb”. It actually gets to be so bad that I can’t read his email updates.

    2. polecat

      I’ve built both Warre’ vertical hives and also what are essentially horizontal ‘bar-framed’ hive boxes, both with varying degrees of success/failure. The problem that I have with Langstroth hives, is the comformity of imprinted foundation comb sheets, which force the bees to buildcomb contrary to their needs!
      I tend to harvest comb only from hives have suffered complete colony loss, and generally leave any viable colonies alone to do what nature intends … other than feeding them when conditions warrant.
      Deformed-wing virus and late summer wasp predation are my/their big issues as things stand, so far.

      1. cocomaan

        Yeah varroa-as-a-disease-vector in general is just awful. #1 killer, bar none. I find that if wasps are attacking at the end of the summer, I’m probably about to lose them to mites. I barely test for mites anymore because after five years I haven’t seen a hive that doesn’t have it in my area! That’s how bad it has gotten in SE PA.

        I think my argument for Langstroth hives is that it’s one of the cheapest ways to get into the discipline. Someone can make a top bar hive but I feel like the chances of having a giant mess on your hands when inspecting can be higher than if you go with the tried and true Langstroth measurements.

        I’ve managed to go foundation-less by starting with foundation my first year and then putting an empty frame in between two drawn out frames, letting them draw out the cell size to their own liking. Now none of my frames have foundation, it’s great!

        1. polecat

          I read an article in 2018 re. some researchers in Hawaii, where they found eviednce that yellow jacket wasps on the islands, which prey on honeybees .. as they do here on the mainland .. can act as a secondary vector for curly/K-wing virus trasmission, due to reintroduction of such BACK to the very colonies, as they go into the hives to grab what they can! Not to be confused with the NEW scorge, most likely the unintended result of Wonderous Globalism – the Giant Asian Hornet.

          For us beekeepers, it’s all quite distressing.

          ps – good on you, per the foundation!

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Cracks in the vial of China’s vaccine diplomacy”

    Sinovac’s vaccine is only 50.4% effective in its trials? That’s a coin toss that. China is going to get a diplomatic black eye out of this for pushing a vaccine that is not so great but there might be something else to consider. Sinovac’s vaccine is of course being used in China to put a lid on outbreaks of the virus as it appears. But if it is only 50% effective, then the Chinese are working with a busted flush. No wonder they do mass testing and lockdowns. As for those countries that were hoping for deliveries of this vaccine to bail them out as they could not get ahold of the top brand western vaccines, they may have to consider some of the other vaccines that have been developed to see how effective they are. With luck, some of them may be more effective than the ones being pushed at the moment.

    1. José

      The São Paulo government and Butantã Institute claim that Sinovac is 100% effective for moderate (requiring hospitalization) and serious (requiring ICU) cases – and 78% effective for mild cases (requiring a visit to the doctor).

      So it may be misleading to state that the vaccine only has 50.4% effectiveness. That’s the overall rate that includes also ‘very mild’ cases (not requiring medical care).

      That figure would thus not be directly comparable to those provided by Pfizer and Moderna in their trials.

      The Butantã Institute Director, Dilma Covas, took pains to emphasize that the Pfizer and Moderna trial results didn’t consider very mild cases; according to him, their effectiveness numbers thus apply only to mild, moderate and serious cases of Covid. Whereas the 50.4% effectiveness of Sinovac’s vaccine includes ‘very mild’ cases.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Well that brings up a very interesting question. Do you deploy a vaccine that is only moderately effective to more people that includes mild cases or do you concentrate on vaccines that are more effective with more serious cases? That article in Links today about the X-rays showing major damage to people’s lungs, even if they showed no symptoms, would indicate that those with mild symptoms are not to be ignored.

        1. José

          If the Butantã Institute trial results for Sinovac’s vaccine turn out to be reliable in the real world it would be a good scenario indeed: very effective for serious, moderate and mild cases and somewhat effective for ‘very mild’ cases.

          And the vaccine uses the traditional inactivated virus method. That may ease safety concerns (versus the never until now applied mRNA vaccines) with the added bonus of not requiring extremely low temperatures for conservation.

          I guess we’ll have to wait for the large scale administration of the many competing vaccines to have reliable conclusions on their real levels of effectiveness and safety.

        2. K.k

          Lung damage and covid.

          If there are a significant number of asymptotic and mild infections with some lung damage it sounds like even with vaccines such as Pfizer we will still have people getting lung damage if they contract the virus despite being vaccinated?

      2. a different chris

        Thanks but I don’t have any idea what this is supposed to mean? A vaccine, I thought back when the world made sense, was to prevent disease.

        Thus “100% effective for moderate (requiring hospitalization) and serious (requiring ICU) cases – and 78% effective for mild cases” doesn’t even make any sense to me, when something is an effective treatment it’s not considered a vaccine, is it?

        So WTF?

    2. Don Cafferty

      “Sinovac’s vaccine is only 50.4% effective in its trials” raises the question of what is an acceptable efficacy rate. Both the US FDA and the WHO recommend a minimum efficacy of 50% for a Covid-19 vaccine. A higher rate is preferred. For the WHO, the preferred rate is at least 70%. A concern that I have is the credibility of the efficacy claims. Clinical trials can be used to “game” the efficacy of the vaccine simply by deciding who is and who is not included. Other factors also come into play. The result is that efficacy between different trials may not be comparable because of the parameters of the study. Sometimes they are. A reason cited for comparing Moderna and Phizer/BioNTech, for example, is that they have similar populations in their trials. It is difficult to assess the honesty of the “players”.

    3. Harry

      What makes you think the other vaccines are much better.

      An acquaintance told me (health warning obviously) that a senior UK politician had suggested the Pfizer vacc stats were actually based on a 35 year old. Efficacy dropped markedly for older age groups.

      Lies, and damned lies eh?

      1. curlydan

        The vaccine efficacy across age groups was very similar for the Pfizer vaccine, and efficacy was 100% for 75+ year old participants in the study.

        In the NEJM paper, the vaccine efficacy (and confidence intervals) by age group were as follows. Note: I’m not sure why the 75+ confidence interval is so wide, but of the 774 75+ year old vaccinated participants, zero got COVID versus 5 participants in the placebo arm. Maybe the zero or the lower number of participants makes the interval wide.

        Age group
        16 to 55 yr: 95.6 (89.4–98.6)
        >55 yr: 93.7 (80.6–98.8)
        ≥65 yr: 94.7 (66.7–99.9)
        ≥75 yr : 100.0 (−13.1–100.0)

        See table 3

    4. Expat2uruguay

      An important asteriks on the results observed of any vaccine in Brazil may be to consider that there is a new Brasil variant to the coronavirus that is thought to be more transmissible and it’s not known how effective currently developing vaccines are against the new variant.

      “The current vaccines were designed around earlier variants, but scientists are confident that they should still work against the new ones, although perhaps not quite as well.”

  7. marcyincny

    The masks:

    I haven’t seen any research but I find it hard to believe that the failure to provide good quality masks isn’t a big part of the problem. So many people wear ill-fitting masks of inadequate material including some who spend hours in stores, schools, restaurants…

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I believe sufficient research has already been done to reasonably wonder why it isn’t possible to design, develop, and distribute better, better fitting, more comfortable and — I would hope — less expensive masks. I suspect there might be a market for such masks.

    2. freebird

      You are correct, this has to be a factor, especially for ‘we just don’t know how we could have caught this’ cases.

      I’ve tried to buy good ones but they are all too small, poor coverage, poor seal, even for women, never mind larger male faces. There are a couple of standard patterns and that’s all people have access to. Still using a homemade one with better coverage and good breathability. This week I saw some ‘expert’ on a reality show dragging some participant through a store, both of them masks on, noses out. Who the heck let that be broadcast?

      Also, you should have a safe clean place to stow the mask, and always fold it germy side out or you are inhaling the last place’s germs. But most people drape the thing on their stick shift in the car.

      Meanwhile, regarding the link on decontaminating where our reporter says :”I don’t know how mere mortals create a 100% RH environment.. ” Well, it helps if the mortals are in Louisiana.

    3. Keith

      Bigger issue is use and care. People do not bother to wear the masks they have properly (myself include- if in a store a while, I do set the nose free). A large portion of the population wear the masks below their nose and/or mouth. Further, many men have beards, as is the current fad, so the mask cannot make a proper seal. Then the issue comes on cleaning the mask- how often and how to clean- a topic I do not see much about. From a personal point of view, until you resolve those issues, people won’t take masking seriously, as it appears to be nothing more that just a motion to go through.

    4. Katy

      I have sewn a couple dozen masks since August, using many different patterns. In my experience, the best pattern is the Jesse Killian mask. You use a person’s actual face measurements. There are 18 size variations.

      Even with the multiple sizes, the mask still has to be individually tailored to fit right.

      YouTube Instructions:

      I have been using one layer of tightly woven cotton and one layer of medium weight 100% silk, also tightly woven. I had to buy all of the fabric online because the sewing stores near me only stock quilting cotton fabric, which is too porous.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Thank you for the links you provided. They appear remarkably helpful. I will forward them to my sister who sews.

  8. Bill

    I think Biden’s announcement of an additional $1400 cheque is in addition to the $600. The $600 part of the $2000 cheque is not new spending.

    1. Wukchumni

      We got our ‘Chargecard of the Light Brigade’ the other day, a Visa debit version, and all it took was a phonecall to unlock the noble 600.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Cory Bush is getting a fair amount of push back from tweeters / commenters over her apparent expectation that a $2000 check actually means a $2000 check.

      Oh, to be young and blissfully unfamiliar with the biden style of political promise making again.

      One astute commenter, named Jasmine Dragon, however, appears wise beyond what I assume are her years when she says:

      These are two separate checks on two different relief packages. The first $600 should have nothing to do with this next payment. If Biden promised us $2,000 but only gave us $200 because we already got $1,200 + $600 beforehand, how would that not be deceptive?

      Thank you, Jasmine.

      1. The Historian

        Joe Biden is more popular at the moment – and he’s going to blow it all by handing out $1400 instead of the $2000 he promised. But isn’t that just like what Democrats always do? Steal defeat from the jaws of victory?

        1. polecat

          Never EVER do they leave those shabby, tattered kabuki slippers off their staged feats of clay, whilst hobbling the lowlyMokestanis with every sweep of the fan!

        2. curlydan

          By the time Biden is done negotiating with McConnell, the check will be down to $200 because $2,000 – $600 – the original $1,200=$200.

          It’s all in the great tradition of Democratic Party negotiating.

          Then the gatekeeps will tell you to be thankful for the $200 because it’s a lot better than $0.

        1. Wyatt Powell

          Why let the corporations be the only ones to have the fun, and behind the scenes at that?

          Whats wrong with letting everyone here and elsewhere know what has really mattered in American politics for the last ~40 years? (Even more so since Citizens United)

          How much kickback money you gonna give me? Glad to see regular folk get some for a change.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        Just got the last check with Trump’s name on it. If anyone else did too, I would suggest cashing it immediately before Sloppy Joe puts a stop payment on it.

        1. tegnost

          Thats pretty funny biden claiming credit for a check with trumps name on it…
          I’m sticking with my original contention that they’re concerned that the essential workers (the gigs, instacart doordash uber etc…) won’t go to work (joe manchin was mentioned on this topic recently). What if they had to pay more money for labor?

    3. Grant

      I got a check last time, directly deposited into my account. Second time, couple weeks ago, the IRS said I can’t get anything until I file taxes. Got a small raise, no change at all otherwise. I am told I cannot call the IRS for any explanation. Thanks for nothing basically.

  9. cocomaan

    The Pro Publica article on the heirs system of land ownership and black land loss since slavery is a must read.

    It’s also interesting to read it on the heels of learning that Bill Gates now is the largest single owner of US farm property in the United States. Of course, he does it through a bunch of shell companies.

    Would be interesting to see if the developers seeking out the Reels property were somehow working under a Gates agent.

      1. cocomaan

        Think his castle will have a lot of windows?

        I’m here all morning, folks, don’t forget to tip your servers.

        Especially if they’re using active directory.

        insert Rimshot here.

  10. fresno dan

    Until U.S. Capitol riot, Amazon expressed scant concern about violent content on Parler, social network says Seattle Times (furzy). This is a legally ridiculous argument. Tolerating or not being fully aware of the extent of a breach of contract is not tantamount to a waiver.

    When I went to CSUF (Fresno University) I visited their huge library, and enjoying periodicals, I visited the periodical room. For the first time in my life, I became aware that the KKK and Nazis published and distributed periodicals. I was amazed that there were enough people to provide demand and supply funds for such publications.
    It seems to me that for all of human history, until the last 20 years or so, there have been editors. And I failed to appreciate them… For the first time in human history, individuals have megaphones where they can communicate to masses, and self organize so that even rare views can gain widespread distribution.
    Is there a higher percentage of right wing kooks than when I went to college? Or are they just more visible? Finding out what your fellow citizens really think is rather disconcerting, but I think there is a tendency for our modern profit driven media to give more import to horned headgear and fur wearing insurrectionists than they perhaps warrant.
    I still believe in free speech. There are rules about inciting violence and threatening people – they should of course be enforced. I think allowing people to say exactly what they believe will eventually hoist the screwiest on their own petards….

    1. Wukchumni

      The only lunatic fringe I ever came across in business were ‘Sovereign Citizens’ each and every one of them loonier than the last, but this was before the internet, so they were lone woolves-harmless really.

      Here in the Sierra foothills we had a militia-cum-church (how many houses of worship have a target range behind the dwelling?) that always worried me, not from an internet standpoint, the danger was clear & present, we’re talking high velocity nutters in our midst. They hightailed it for Idaho a few years ago, thank goodness.

      The internet has allowed like minded nutters of all stripes to converge as one, evidenced by January 6th.

      1. flora

        My state’s local version of the “sovereign” citizens movement focused on their legal “reasons” they didn’t have to pay taxes. They lost every court case they brought and every IRS tax evasion charge they tried to defend. They weren’t/aren’t about arms or violence, though. Just trying to talk their way out of paying taxes.

        1. Wukchumni

          Our variant of SC intrigued me, and I like to pick brains to see what makes people tick, and the goods were odd, but odds were good they were in a militia.

        2. fresno dan

          January 15, 2021 at 1:04 pm

          the first job I had upon getting out of the Air Force and returning to Fresno was at the Fresno IRS service center – just imagine a big auto assemble plant, except for tax returns. I worked in the CID (criminal investigation division, but I was just a clerk). Anywho, I was in the branch that dealt with tax protesters. It always amused me that the mail they sent to us was addressed: Infernal Revenue Service.
          As it turned out, most of these individuals had jobs with withholding, and the IRS sent them the refunds that were due them.

    2. freebird

      We are seeing the result of people listening to Rush Limbaugh as the background music of their lives for literally decades. His irresponsible, angry babble is hard wired into their brains now. I hope he’s proud of himself for leaving the USA much worse than he found it.

      1. flora

        And on the other side, too many people listening to Madow and MSNBC for the past 4 years have been driven nuts as well. The MSM learned how to monetize anger and outrage and nearly all the MSM have stoked those emotions for years, for profit of course, just like FB and twit social media giants. Remember the FB “emotional contagion” experiments in 2014 (?), followed by news reports that everyone needed to be on FB and Not being on FB made one a “suspicious” person? really. The media learned how to manipulation their audiences’ hottest, maddest emotional responses and keep them stoked, because profits. The movie Network foresaw all this.

        Taibbi is right, we need a new media, a non-partisan and emotionally neutral just-the-facts media.

        1. freebird

          Yes, the blue-kool-aid process is well underway too, a little younger a phenomenon, but with the same brainwashing results.

          People seem so proud of telling me which brand of brainwashing they are infected with, while very sure they are imparting The Truth to those who are uninformed.

          1. fresno dan

            January 15, 2021 at 11:48 am

            And the looney are always verbose – you never meet a succinct loon…

      2. Pelham

        This calls to mind for me a comment by Thomas Frank (or was it Matt Taibbi?) to the effect that the vast political meltdown in the Trump era is mystifying elites and causing them to take another look at questionable media programing decisions over the past few decades. I love the mildness of the jab there, with “questionable” clearly equating to something like stupendously disastrous.

        Elimination of the fairness rule in broadcasting was one such decision, clearing the way for Limbaugh and a lot more. The fairness rule didn’t really guarantee much actual fairness, but it did have the effect of keeping a vast flock of political loonies favored by broadcasting moguls off the airwaves. You could argue that the spread of cable TV would have eventually led to our hyper divided environment anyway. Maybe so. But the mess got off to an early running start with Limbaugh and his clones.

        1. km

          The Fairness Doctrine only applies (and really only can apply in conjunction with the First Amendment) to broadcast media in which bandwidth is limited.

          In other words, “we only got so many channels, so we gotta let Tweedledee and Tweedledum each have a say.”

    3. Gordon

      fresno dan,

      It seems to me that for all of human history, until the last 20 years or so, there have been editors.

      Martin Gurri, ex CIA analyst agrees with you. He has a blog and a book. Well worth a little time.

      1. fresno dan

        January 15, 2021 at 1:27 pm

        What is going on is a crisis of authority that is battering the institutions we have inherited from the industrial age – government, media, business, science, the university – as a system that based its legitimacy on information scarcity is unable to cope with overabundance.
        Thank you. Interesting. I would note a subtle distinction between information scarcity and the reality of the information provided. But that’s the rub – who edits the editors…

        For instance, as I have noted time and again, there seems to be a plethora of information from sober, intelligent, objective, and well informed sources (or at least presented that way) that Russiagate was real. And based on these sources, 20 or so years ago I would have thought that information a true reflection of reality. But with the analysis and alternate sources provided by NC, and other internet sources, I see that a lot of mainstream sources I used to believe have agendas, and truth and objectivity isn’t their top priority. On the other hand, I find the waterfall of information that the 2020 election was so corrupt as to be invalid specious.
        So…good that people are more skeptical about their information purveyors, but bad if they become cynical and are unable to see reality…

        1. ambrit

          Uh, I hold the view that the more cynical one becomes, the closer to ‘objective’ reality one approaches.

  11. Fireship

    We had so much potential as a country, and we pissed it away in fraud, greed, hustling, and corruption. In Ben Franklin’s time, you could drink out of the Schuylkill River; now much of our formerly beautiful country resembles a cesspool. And it has also become a cesspool of the mind, in which extreme individualism is celebrated, and helping others is regarded as weak. Well, I could (and have) go on and on, but you all know the drill: Last Exit to Brooklyn, get out while you can. – Morris Berman, 1-14-21

  12. doug

    I lived in the county for decades and watched/learned/heard about the two Rule brothers in the Pro Publica account. I know the story and the land well, and lived close by. I believe the article was excellent reporting of the objective truth, which I find refreshing.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “A New Stanford Study Uses Facial Recognition to Figure Out If You’re Liberal or Conservative”

    Phfft. Amateur stuff this. Why am I not surprised that this is coming out of Stanford? People can do this at a glance. If I see a guy and scan a bright red cap with some white lettering and maybe some trendy battle-rattle, I can identify that person as probably being a Republican. If I see a guy wearing conflict-free fabrics riding around on a Lime scooter, drinking ethically sourced artisanal Soy Chai lattes and reading the latest from McSweeney’s on their iPhone, I can say with some confidence Probably-Not-A-Republican.

    1. Pelham

      Those are fine clues. But growing up in Kansas I swear I could pick up on more subtle stuff confined to the face. For instance, eyes narrowed in what appeared to be a permanent squint against bright sunlight tended to suggest conservative or hard right leanings. Think Clint Eastwood, or Reagan in his later years. You might call this the Clint Squint.

      Of course, squinty eyes like that also suggested someone who did hard work outdoors, the kind of men who might naturally be conservative. But I worked with older guys (cable TV linemen) who spent plenty of time under the sun with no shade who did not have permanent squints and also turned out to be rather liberal.

      As for left leaning people, there seemed to be a more relaxed sort of semi-dismayed look about them (living in Kansas, this is understandable) or, alternatively, a pleasant, confident look that’s hard to describe but was easy to recognize. Conservatives could appear cheerful as well, but tended to accompany that with a cautionary Clint Squint.

      1. Acacia

        Detail: the pig is carrying a Suica card (e-money), which was either lost by the person off-camera, or is for a law-abiding pig to pay on exiting the turnstile.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Laura Poitras says she’s been fired by First Look Media over Reality Winner controversy. Now she’s questioning the company’s integrity.”

    Frankly I am surprised that she lasted so long. When I found out that Pierre Omidyar was financing The Intercept when it started, I noted it down as a honey-trap which the dense Reality Winner found out to her cost. Since when is burning your confidential sources good journalistic practice? And it was The Intercept that was supposed to be releasing the information from the Snowden Archives but instead eventually killed it. Poitras should have gotten out sooner and now they are trying to smear her. Did she not see this coming?

    1. Wukchumni

      In a similar honeypot gig, what if Bitcoin was a ‘Lawn Jaw’ i.e. ‘green catcher’ investment scheme along the same lines as John Law’s scheme perpetrated by the Feds. Throw in Elon’s gig as well, both of them make no sense whatsoever.

      I’d see it as a 2-way win, you hoover up the proles proceeds with an endless program of Martingales, and the fools think they’re investing in something cutting edge, when they’re catching a falling digital knife made out of steal.

      The second part involves maneuvering money away from traditional venues of safety in time of great uncertainty, how does anything else compete against the returns on Bitcoin & Tesla?

      What did Bitcoin really offer other than money hiding, with a side order of possibly buying illicit items online w/o a trace. How many of us would really want to do that, though?

      Hope the investors don’t end up in the swamp…

      1. JP

        Those are not investors. Those are gamblers, speculators at best. True investors are people who put their hard earned money back into their business to make it grow. What most people call investors are ones who put their savings into the stock market. Long term saving in the stock market pays much better then a savings account at the bank. Short term retail trading is where the professionals go to fleece the rubes. Wall street wants you to think you are investing. You are really either gambling or saving.

        1. Wukchumni

          We’ve all turned into gamblers using the house’s money, and against odds in a time when oh so many are laid off with a lot more to come, the forces that be re-ignited the housing bubble!

          {ascends to top of soap box}

          This country really went to shit when gambling became all invasive after crawling out of it’s hidey hole in Las Vegas in the 70’s.

          It needs to be pared down tremendously, this something for nothing mindset will do us no good going forward.

          1. Tom Doak

            Instead, every radio ad I hear is about how online gaming is coming to Michigan, so “their revenues” [aka their profits from fleecing the public] can be taxed by the state, to prevent the public from having to pay more taxes.

          2. The Rev Kev

            ‘We’ve all turned into gamblers’

            You got that right. In a healthy economy, savers are rewarded while speculators are punished. In the modern economy, savers are punished with zero interest rates or lower while speculators are made out to be heroes. In fact, at a UK press conference I saw several years ago, the government spokesmen were smugly talking about their latest measures to force people to use up their savings in the consumer economy rather than leaving it in banks or investments.

  15. Wukchumni

    This is a very scary map:

    It portends the end of Las Vegas, a 1-2 punch of paucity & pandemic in sin city. Cash your chips in & vamoose. The entire Colorado River basin is in deep crimson.

    Another chapter in Nevada boom & bust stories, this saga was about mining money out of wallets & purses.

    Closer to home, SD gets Colorado River water along with the Imperial Valley for Ag, looks a bit grim for Tijuana-adjacent.

    All of the Sierra and just as important, the Trinity mountains & assorted precip catchers up north are all in extreme drought.

    It went dry so quickly last year in light of our snowpack of a little over half of average. There’s a number of natural springs just off of Mineral King road, everybody drives past pretty much.

    One I like to fill up the nalgenes with went dry in August, and it had taken a few years of the drought in our earlier 5 year bout for it to go dry, very unusual especially considering the nearly record setting snowpack of 2019, which you would have thought would replace the largess in springs, but not so much.

    1. Glen

      I have heard, and am looking for links, that we have already come pretty close to exposing the turbine intakes for Hoover dam. I’m sure I saw ita few years back, but maybe this type of information is now considered “vital national intelligence” or something goofy.

      But here is the one that most recently caught my attention:

      Turkey drought: Istanbul could run out of water in 45 days

      Ha, if it’s like California, upstream of the reservoir, Nestle is pumping millions of gallons out of the river so they can sell the water.

      I think it’s very foolish for anyone to believe “oh that could never happen here” at this point. Investing in infrastructure is an absolute no brainer. Which worries me, we sure seem to be a country where “brainless” is the default governing mode. I suppose if you just run the country to make more billionaires from your downers/owners this is what you get.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Maybe for your own amusement you should write out a complete description of what is was like to make a trip to Las Vegas and go into it in fine detail and describe exactly what it was like and what you saw. Something to pass down your family. From what you write, a generation from now your description will bear little resemblance to the new reality of what Las Vegas will be like and may become a fascinating historical document. Who knows? Maybe in a hundred years Ken Burns III will be taking quotes from your description in his latest documentary, ‘The Death of the American West.’

      1. Wukchumni

        Pavlovegas was suffering mightily after the GFC, and their solution was to fill rooms, and circa 2009 I obtained a rate of $10 a night in what would be a $75 to $100 room, that’ll take some topping! Of course there wasn’t the slight problem of a pandemic back then, and when LV went to the cheap room gambit this go round, they figured out it attracted the wrong kind of people, whoops.

        To have watched it mushroom over the decades was something. Just when you thought it couldn’t get gaudier & wasteful, they upped the ante on you.

        A few years ago we did something we hadn’t done in eons, drive the LV strip all the way, and never attempt it on controlled substance, all coffee does is amp you up, and we felt like the pinball in a pinball machine, lights exploding all around us, every bit of electricity eliciting our attention.

  16. marym

    So Biden’s got a plan for what this guy (an ACA stats tracker) calls “2 major #ACA2.0 provisions.” It takes him about 12 tweets, 2 hashtags, and several charts and graphs to explain it.

    I think it purports to provide some expectation of lower premiums. He includes a link to his website for those who prefer an ordinary text format for reading about inadequate incremental means-tested programs that don’t provide healthcare

    1. Ranger Rick

      I see a focus on lower premiums and my brain immediately supplies “and that means higher deductibles.” I strongly doubt this proposal would save anyone money.

  17. Jason Boxman

    Awesome frog photo; I actually took several in Florida that are similar, at night, with only one instead of two, but for some reason they seem to like jumping up on exterior doorknobs. It’s particularly impressive with the flash at night, which is when I always found them, after barely avoiding grabbing the doorknob with the almost unfortunate frog still on it.

  18. Mikel

    RE: “So let me get this straight, they COULD immediately pass relief but instead they want to waste time being held hostage by Republicans. Fantastic.

    — Krystal Ball (@krystalball) January 14, 2021

    People thought the duopoly was going to start working differently?

  19. Jason Boxman

    So is the national guard occupation of the capitol the logical endgame of “Gun control? LOL no.” in our society? I’m not sure this inspires much confidence, that what the Secret Service is apparently calling a “green zone” according to the NYTimes is necessary at all in this country.

    The Secret Service, which is leading the effort to secure the inauguration, said on Thursday that it would establish a “green zone” in downtown Washington this weekend, blocking streets surrounding the Capitol and Lincoln Memorial and shutting down train lines. National Guard troops continue to flood into the increasingly militarized city, with a total of 20,000 expected to be present for Inauguration Day.

    So are there more threats we don’t know about, but the security forces in DC do? Or do they have no idea either, but with so many armed rightwing populist groups, they don’t want to take chances?

    And all this in the midst of a global pandemic where the US response continues to be, let it ride!

    1. flora

      but with so many armed rightwing populist groups

      Or so they claim.

      And note how they smear the word ‘populism’. Real populism (unlike the devils in their imaginings) in the late 1890s and first half of the 20th C worked for good government/anti-cronyism reforms, the right to unionize, the direct election of Senators instead of party appointment of same, cleaning up commercial food and drug manufacturing, expanding the right to vote to women, breaking up monopolies, regulating predatory finance, etc. I can understand why billionaires hate populists. ;)

      See Tom Frank’s new book The People, No.
      Check out the “Gallery of Anti-Populism” editorial cartoons from the late 1890’s on his website here:

      1. Jason Boxman

        And that’s how effective propaganda is; I didn’t even realize I’d written that.

        I intended to write nationalist. Oops.

        The People, No is an excellent book, and I also recommend it!

  20. Wukchumni

    In regards to being busted taking Lincoln’s bust, its a bit of an amateur theft as a pro would take the art on the walls, and yeah it’d be hard to fence, but I bet Giuliani knows somebody.

    1. flora

      A lot of artwork in the WH is on loan from the Smithsonian – Freer Art Gallery, from the National Art Gallery, from private collections, etc. A lot of it changes with each new admin, each admin gets to pick out works they’d like to have in the WH during their term of residence. Remember also that the new pres moves into the WH immediate after the inaugeration, so a few days from now, and the old pres’s family has to be packed and moved before that time even if only by an hour.

      Before I get exercised about that picture of an art work being removed prior to a new admin taking up residence I need a lot more information. Especially since people are preparing for a lockdown in the city. (Frankly, I’m hoping for a snowstorm. ;))

      1. Wukchumni

        While it does have the feel of Tony Soprano et al stripping out Ramsey Sports & Outdoors, it’s merely a coincidence.

      2. flora

        adding: presidential historian Michael Beschloss knows this. Sad seeing him stoop to twit clique-bait chasing.

    1. Carolinian

      Given the Nuland news elsewhere today we may have a new wartime Espionage Act as well. Will Sanders stay true to that Debs picture on his wall and oppose?

      Or, the Dems are vastly overestimating their thin victory.

      1. km

        Underestimating? Team D is practically drooling at the prospect of finally getting the whip hand.

        Of course, at first the whip will only be used on Them, Those Deplorables, conspiracy loons and the political equivalent of flat-earthers. Folks that no respectable person is going to defend, “If it saves one life, just one life….”

        But anyone who plans on ever challenging power can bet that if they ever get in a position to do so, a reason will be discovered why they too are dangerous and a threat that must be suppressed. For the good of the nation, of course.

    2. Glen

      Enormous defense budgets and the Patriot Act do not seem to be making us safer – seems more like the opposite. It would obviously be better to just repeal the first Patriot Act, cut the defense budget and spend that money to do something for Americans that improves their lives.

      But I’m not holding my breath…

  21. Dirk77

    Re: On the Rise of Hyper-Individualism. I’m no expert, but the discussion seems similar to the Buddhist one of No Self, and how unproductive is the obsession with individual identity. (Not that Buddhist groups can’t themselves get caught in IdPol as I can attest.) In modern physics parlance, we are all merely local excitations of the wavefunction of the universe, and will decay soon enough. So stop obsessing about who you are and if you are truly happy, as being sad and depressed have worth in their own way. Live in nonjudgmental awareness, and just enjoy the farce and wonder of life in your short ride.

    1. Jamie

      Hyper-Individualism is a symptom of civic decay, something we’ve lived with since the fruiting of the Haight Ashbury.

      1. Dirk77

        I am not a scholar of the subject, but I think swinging back and forth from collectivism to now hyper-individualism as the article calls it, predates the ‘60’s. Perhaps the concept of individual rights is only a few centuries old, and the bugs still haven’t been worked out.

      2. Lex

        I’m not convinced that hyper-individualism could exist to the degree that it does, were we more economically dependent on each other. It’s been held out to us as a luxury, that notion of choice independent of group process or group consent. You’re as free as you can afford to be. So young adults moving back into their parents house, shared households among friends, cul-de-sac’s taken over by extended families, parents moving in with their adult children… in these economic times pooling resources may be the only way to survive… and what happens to that hyper-individualism then?

        ‘It’s your thing, do what you wanna do. I can’t tell you, who to sock it to.’

  22. Wukchumni

    I expect the local tag team of Kevin y Devin to rather suddenly decide to resign, in order to spend more time with their money.

    Anybody that was close to the teflon Don, will be highly toxic soon.

  23. Marla

    “Jobless, Selling Nudes Online and Still Struggling”

    As the Biden depression deepens, this is going to morph into prostitution, I am afraid.
    “more money than I knew what to do with.” Wonderful epitaph for postmodern feminism.

    During the Argentine financial crisis of the early 2000s, we saw attractive well coiffed women in their 50s and 60s prostituting themself on Avenida Corrientes. This in a rigidly Catholic and conservative country.

    America, with its OK Cupid dating websites, recreational sex habits and moral relativism will be far worse.

    1. anon y'mouse

      it will be far worse because anyone who can sell themselves profitably on such a market already is doing so, even law students and so forth. buyers are spoiled for choice.

      the middle aged who jump into the market, even if in good shape, will quickly be ground down to the level of the street market drug addicted. which isn’t that profitable and a lot more taxing on body, mind and soul.
      i worry for them, and i worry about a spike in the kinds of serial killers who tend to take advantage of those our society considers hopeless and disposable.

    2. Mickey Hickey

      My German relatives told me the story of high unemployment, hunger, homelessness and mothers of young children with unemployed husbands working the streets in Hamburg between 1929 and 1933. Fascism grew and prospered in Germany during the collapse of the economy in the Weimar Republic which led to Hitler being elected in 1933. I hope Biden does not continue as he has for the past 30 years by selling favours to his biggest contributors, perfectly legal. Trump was elected to clean the swamp, the swamp remains but Trumps supporters are still as unhappy as the day he was elected in 2016. Will Biden now address income and wealth inequality or will the voters have to go for another great white hope in 2024. Normally I would support an Irish American but in this case the Senator from MBNA seems lacking to me.

  24. Wukchumni

    ‘5 Days In January’

    Drama/Thriller: United States military leaders plot to overthrow the President because he’s gone plumb loco comparing himself to the Jesus and they fear a sneak attack on Iran.

    …coming soon to a theater near you

    1. The Rev Kev

      I was just watching the preparations for the Inauguration and it seems that there will be more soldiers, FBI agents, Secret Service people, etc. than the actual number of people attending the Inauguration itself. By the 2024 Inauguration, you will probably have to be one of the five million people with a security clearance to attend which should make it quite cosy.

  25. ella

    So some anecdotal information on the state of US economy/joblessness in 2021… I work in financial services. Big, deep layoffs this week. Seemingly random and quite unsettling.

    I suspect 2021 will be worse than 2020. The new Covid strain, political unrest, growing unemployment beyond the service sector, political and social unrest. I’m personally feeling quite beat up.

    1. Wukchumni

      We are in 1931 when the Great Depression got going in earnest, there was still optimism in 1930-er 2020, but it faded and 1931-32 was the darkest period of the dirty thirties.

  26. Mikel

    RE: “Toxic positivity is real, and this is the antidote” Fast Company (resilc)

    Referencing the current crisis, consulting firm McKinsey noted:

    “When people exhibit fear and a desire for protection and self-preservation, compassionate leaders validate those feelings as normal. Instead, provide safe workplace forums for stakeholders to express emotions. It will help individuals move past pain, stress, and anxiety, and refocus on their work and the organization’s mission.”

    Because nothing humanizes people in the eyes of other like referring to them as “stakeholder”????

      1. polecat

        to inject toxic $pharmacology$ as a means to an end .. as in ‘Cease to Function’ – lacking All accountability for developing such an awful crap-shoot! .. as Spock might put it.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      The use of the term “stakeholder” offends me as well. I understand it could theoretically be used in a non-exclusionary, non-callous way, but in practice, never is. When you hear it, do yourself a favor and stop listening.

  27. Darius

    My grandfather used to travel throughout Michigan in the 1950s as a labor rep. He being a lover of tall tales, and me being a gullible audience, he regaled me with a story of a large stone pile at the end of the runway at the airport in Escanaba. So if the runway was slick or icy, the plane was in danger of crashing up on the rocks. Another time, he said he was in a DC-3 over Lake Michigan when an an engine failed. So the crew dumped out all the luggage into the lake. I don’t know if I believe that one either.

    1. Mickey Hickey

      I have flown in DC3s which have two engines when one fails the other leaves little reserve power to stay airborne. To be on safe side cargo usually got dumped. When airports are built and runways are being levelled the rocks are piled up nearby, if there was danger of running into water the rocks would be piled not more than 2 to 3 feet high between the end of the runway and the water.

  28. Wukchumni

    I read that despite putting on the Super Bowl halftime show*, Pepsi isn’t going to air any tv commercials. When you’re scraping for money to keep a company going, cutting advertising is job # 1.

    The same thing with political contributions-which is part of advertising, the buffoon gave cover to cut about 150 Congress critters out from the dough re mi.

    * starring ‘The Weekend’, who dat?

  29. Milton

    Some anecdotal info regarding the c-19 vaccine. It seems that San Diego county has yet to receive doses for distribution to the general public as per an email I received this morning. Even though I’m a bit hesitant I am willing to take one for the team, so to speak, in the hopes that we can bring a halt to this crisis.
    Vaccine info

    We are aware that California officials have allowed for residents 65 and older to qualify for COVID-19 vaccinations. However, none of the San Diego hospitals have been given the vaccinations at this time to begin distribution to their patients, and we are waiting to hear from the government on when to expect them. We ask that you wait to hear from us, and we promise to keep you fully informed. At this point, please do not call your physician’s office as they do not know when the vaccines will be available.

    We are committed to updating you as soon as information becomes available. When we are ready to schedule patient vaccinations, we will notify you through your MyScripps account or through email. You will need to have a MyScripps account to make a vaccine appointment, so please sign up for one today if you haven’t already. This is the best thing that you can do in order to be prepared and to receive notifications. In the meantime, you can reference our COVID-19 vaccine FAQs for up-to-date answers to many vaccine questions.

  30. Wukchumni

    A remarkable document in total, I merely quoted something of interest to me, and so far no F-35’s overhead today!

    The idea that these thoughts were let out to the public is downright shocking!

    Q: I wanted to ask you…Joint Strike Fighter?

    A/SEC. MILLER: Which one? F-35?

    Q: Yep…say nothing of the littoral combat ship. It’s like the list of flawed acquisition programs…seems endless to me. What is your takeaway about these programs and the Pentagon’s acquisition process?

    A/SEC. MILLER: I so…I mean, I cannot wait to leave this job, believe me. But part of me is like, I would have loved to have gotten involved in the acquisition process and try…and you know, talk about wicked problem. I wanted to take that one on….F-35s, the case study. Although, I gotta tell you, yesterday we were talking to some guy, some lieutenant colonel, or colonel, said ‘what are you flying?’ Said ‘F-35,’ I was like that’s a piece of…and he was like…and he laughed, and I was like, ‘no seriously, tell me about it,’ and he was…an F-16 guy, F-35, he said…’unbelievable aircraft,’ I’m not…I…that investment, for…that capability, that we’re never supposed to use, ‘well, we have to deter, blah blah bluh blah…Are we fifth generation? You know we…I think it’s hilarious, you know, right now, you know, ‘well we need to invest in the sixth generation,’ I’m like, we have created a monster, but you know that.

  31. Mickey Hickey

    100 % RH
    Sanitizing face masks, how to get 100% RH (relative humidity). Use an enamelled cast iron pot with a lid (Dutch Oven). One or two inches of water and a sieve like metal surface (such as a frying pan anti splatter device) supported about 3 inches above the water to put the masks on. The water will give off steam above boiling point which with the lid on and steam escaping around the lid means 100% RH internally. Do not boil vigorously just simmer so as the fabric does not get sopping wet. Five minutes above boiling kills most organisms. Boiling point of water 212 F or 100C you could also put pot in oven set to 225 or 250 F or 105 to 110 C

  32. Glen

    So I recently learned that those keyless door locks and ignitions on new vehicles – where you use your RF key fob to do everything?

    They make it so that your vehicle is really, really easy to steal, and there are large car theft operations doing just that:

    Watch thieves steal car by hacking keyless tech

    The key fobs are transmitting the codes for your vehicle continuously so you need to learn how to turn this feature off, or keep your key fob in a Faraday cage container.

    Lucky for me, I’m a cheap {family blog} and my new vehicle doesn’t have any of that. I would have gotten the ultimate anti-theft system – a manual transmission, but those are getting hard to find at the dealers.

  33. ambrit

    I hope that Lambert is all right and he is just having “technical difficulties” today. Of course, he does have that soft white frozen water to deal with this time of year.
    Stay healthy Mr. Ambassador!

    1. Katiebird

      Thanks for this, Ambrit. I’ve been worrying too. But I forgot that he’s been having tablet/computer trouble. That’s a lot less scary than some other things.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I suspect that Tim Cook is not in Lambert’s good books at the moment. Don’t know if a second-hand laptop running Linux is a working proposition for him for future emergencies as it would probably require a lot of time-consuming individual tailoring to get it where it would be productive for his needs.

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