Links 1/24/2021

Medicine Is Made for Men New York Review of Books

Jim Haynes: A man who invited the world over for dinner BBC

Yosemite closed after high winds bring down two giant sequoias Guardian

NYC man chooses to go to jail rather than give dog back to his employer NY Post

10 Best Herbs to Grow Indoors TreeHugger

Harvard’s top astronomer says our solar system may be teeming with alien technology New Statesman

The new mosquito bringing disease to North America BBC

The Limits of Caste London Review of Books

Hank Aaron Was More Than a Man Who Hit Home Runs Jacobin

From white gold to white elephant TLS

America Has a GPS Problem NYT

The True Story of Indonesia’s US-Backed Anti-Communist Bloodbath Jacobin


Rogue antibodies could be driving severe COVID-19 Nature

Can We Stop a Super Coronavirus? Der Spiegel

Pfizer to ship fewer vaccine vials than expected after extra doses discovered The Hill

Covid-19 Vaccine: What You Need to Know When You Get the Shot WSJ

Reports of Racial Disparities in Covid Vaccines Distort Science FAIR

A gout drug shows promise for Covid-19, but skeptics worry about trusting science by press release Stat

Exclusive: Canada deporting thousands even as pandemic rages Reuters

The art and science of boarding an airplane in a pandemic Ars Technica

Family businesses are welcome winners in the pandemic FT R J Balson and Son, a butcher in Dorset, has been in business for more than 505 years.

Capitol Seizure

The Capitol invasion was not 9/11 in terms of violence but its political importance may be greater Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

Don’t Let The Riots Legitimize Facial Recognition Tech American Conservative

Mob mentality: Capitol riot exploited to expand the national security state that failed to stop it Grayzone

Capitol attack will spur broad crackdown on domestic extremists WaPo


Guard in DC forced to sleep in garages, sparking outcry AP

AOC OFFERS HER OFFICE TO NAT’L GUARD … After They Got Sent to Freezing Garage TMZ

‘Packed us together like sardines’: Guard deployed to Capitol struggles to contain Covid Politico

Justice Department considers NOT charging up to 800 MAGA rioters who caused havoc at the Capitol ‘since most of them just trespassed and were not violent’ Daily Mail

Trump Transition

Trump’s Pardons Show The Process Has Always Been Broken Marshall Project

Trump wanted the Justice Department to sue individual states to overturn their election results, but top officials refused, WSJ report says Business Insider

Why McConnell Dumped Trump New Yorker

Trump jumps into a divisive battle over the Republican Party — with a threat to start a ‘MAGA Party’ WaPo

New Cold War

Biden Transition

Why Biden May Be Less Evil Than Obama and Clinton – and Why This May Not Matter All That Much in the End Counterpunch

Joe Biden’s US presidency seen as a likely boon for Africa SCMP

Four Ways Biden Can Boost the Global Economy Project Syndicate. Jayati Ghosh.

Biden’s HHS Freezes Trump Insulin, Epinephrine Rule Until March Bloomberg

Biden administration takes over at VA’s deadliest moment Stars and Stripes

Class Warfare

Bernie Sanders’ Inauguration Meme Hijacked By Amazon For Ad; Critics Appalled Huffpost

The Unfinished Business of Flint’s Water Crisis ProPublica

Biden Has Extended Eviction Moratorium — Now It’s Time for More Truthout

Hunts Point Produce Market Workers End Strike with a Raise The City

Scabs Used to Bust Teachers Sickout Strike – Ohio Auto Parts Worker Strike – Minnesota Oil Workers Walkoff Payday Report

Uber and Lyft Sponsored Law Under Attack Capital & Main


India is giving away millions of coronavirus vaccine doses as a tool of diplomacy WaPo

Like it or not, future of Indian economy will have to be built on services, not manufacturing The Print

Narendra Modi is pushing Indian society to the brink Qantara Arundhati Roy


Was This Fakenews An Attempt To Get Khamenei Banned From Twitter? Moon of Alabama


Russia arrests thousands amid nationwide pro-Navalny protests Al Jazeera

Navalny Should Be Released Craig Murray

Antidote du Jour (TH):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. fresno dan

    The Capitol invasion was not 9/11 in terms of violence but its political importance may be greater Independent. Patrick Cockburn.
    What we are seeing is political theatre, which is scarcely surprising since we have seen little else during Donald Trump’s four years in the White House. It is fitting that the end of the Trump presidency was marked by two events – the Capitol invasion and the exaggerated military response to it – that hover between theatre and reality and MGI (media generated imagery – I’m not saying the riot didn’t happen – I’m saying the emphasis upon the “insurrection” is a media construct).
    Both were highly visible even by the standards of round-the-clock news coverage: the image of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers was seared into the minds of Americans by repeated showings. Every detail of the takeover of the Capitol is likewise known to the world because the supposed revolutionaries spent much time taking film of themselves. Politics has always been a form of theatre but satellite television and the internet means that today the whole world really is its stage.
    The theatre will continue – except instead of watching The Three Stooges we will be watching the serious, sober, solemn The Sopranos.
    If one party doesn’t kill us, the other will…

    1. jackiebass

      I watched it happen live on BBC World. It didn’t look like theater to me. It made me very concerned for the safety of people inside of the capitol, the police and our democracy. The whole thing unfolded very quickly going from a protest to an out of control mob. I never thought anything like this would happen in our nations capitol.

      1. cocomaan

        It seems to me that it never can, because you have an 2000 person police force, the Capitol Police, at the ready. They can summon the national guard on a whim, and did in 2020. They can call in ringers from various police forces in neighboring jurisdictions, US Marshalls, ATF, whatever.

        When it came to the mob in front of the capitol, I counted about 30 officers manning the barricades. How could that happen? The answer lays with the capitol police force officers, who should have to appear in front of Congress to explain what the hell happened. Where are they?

        I knew about the January 6th demonstrations weeks head of time, how did they not know? A conservative person I know was ranting about them two days beforehand, where were the police?

        During the LA Riots, Daryl Gates was criticized for sending his detectives home the afternoon that the Rodney King verdict was announced. He himself left town to go to a fundraiser. You can pay overtime.

        1. The Historian

          Well, I think there are some things to be considered before jumping to any conclusions about what happened at the Capitol wrt law enforcement.
          1. There were a lot of “Stop the Steal” rallies in this country before this one – and they were all peaceful. Why should anyone have thought this one would be different?
          2. The law enforcement agencies always collect intel on any planned march. And yes, they always find some people that they fear could go violent – but rarely do. Was the intel different this time than it is for any other march? We don’t know that.
          3. What about the optics? DC Police have been criticized for how they’ve handled the BLM marches – were they trying to show that they have learned from that? From what I’ve heard about why the DC police weren’t there from the Mayor of DC, I think that may have been the case.

          In any event, if there had been overwhelming force there, we would now be talking about how badly law enforcement handled this again – just like they did at the BLM marches. Seems to me law enforcement just cannot win. We attack them if they use overwhelming force – we attack them if they do not.

          In any event, when sh*t happens, it is how the police that are there react that matters. And for the most part, the Capitol Police did their job – as scary as it was, they did keep the lawmakers safe.

          1. cocomaan

            Well, I have to disagree with a few things.

            On your three points, this was a Stop the Steal rally featuring Trump on the day of the vote count. The guy I was talking to was saying how militias were going to show up on the 6th, and this guy is a construction worker. Does he have access to intelligence that nobody else does? Doubtful.

            And as bad as the Capitol Police handled the BLM marches, nobody had to resign. In fact, it wasn’t even a question.

            I’m not saying there’s a conspiracy at work, I’m saying that a full investigation needs to happen into when key decisions were made. That’s what happened with the LA riots, which I mentioned had a similar breakdown in leadership along the way. Plenty of people had warned Gates that things were going to go bad, and he ignored them.

            Three hundred officers at the steps of the capitol building would have stopped the advance of the mob, easily. Where was the force? On leave? On vacation? I just want answers.

            1. Wukchumni

              I’m not saying there’s a conspiracy at work, I’m saying that a full investigation needs to happen into when key decisions were made. That’s what happened with the LA riots, which I mentioned had a similar breakdown in leadership along the way. Plenty of people had warned Gates that things were going to go bad, and he ignored them.

              Everybody had seen video of Rodney King getting the crap beaten out of him by LAPD, and it was months between the beating & trial, and nobody seemed to have given any thought to what if the coppers were found innocent?

              Not only was Gates AWOL, the whole friggin’ LAPD got raptured as soon as events got out of hand, help yourself-looters, pillagers and the like.

              Law enforcement realizes when they’re outnumbered, in that video of Viking man in the Capitol, a copper merely tells said mock scandahoovian, that the capitol is a sacred place-and nothing more as the horny guy sat himself down on the seat of power, ha ha.

              I remember seeing fairly recent South Korean merchants on the roofs of their retail buildings, guns at the ready, but there was no gun violence from the riot, it was more largely the Black population of LA burning itself out, and only when the rioting came up Fairfax did the coppers maker a stand, as festivities were getting too close to WASPy areas.

              Before Staples Center opened up, the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood was about as far into South Central as most of us ventured. I remember getting off on Manchester Blvd on the 110 freeway and driving the 10 or so miles to the Forum in the late 90’s one day, and it wasn’t unusual to see empty lots on what were burned out businesses, sometimes you’d see 3 out of 4 businesses at an intersection, gone. Nearly a decade later and nothing had been done aside from clearing the debris.

            2. The Historian

              I do have to quibble about your first point: there is a lot of trash talk on those websites. I’ve heard numerous brags about how militias were going to show up at various events and start the ‘civil war’ and of course, that didn’t happen. How do you separate the trash talk from any serious plans? It would seem to me that those that are the most dangerous at these events wouldn’t be advertising what they are going to do. Maybe I’m wrong.

              My other quibble is that I do not think 300 officers would have been enough given the size of that crowd – that isn’t ‘overwhelming force’. I think that the most dangerous in that crowd would have thought that was just enough to really get the crowd really roiled and on their side.

              I absolutely agree that we aren’t getting answers and that more investigation does have to be done.

              1. tegnost

                They were advertising what they were going to do because they wanted more people to be there, but yeah, let’s do a study….
                I think it’s raining outside I’d better check the radar to make sure…

                1. epynonymous

                  I remember when Trump saying “Lock her up” was the greatest threat to our democracy since the Civil War.

                  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

              2. cocomaan

                How do you separate the trash talk from any serious plans?

                This is probably hard for a person like me or you to sort out, but we have entire agencies of the federal government devoted to surveilling the people (as tegnost points out below). There are many thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people whose full time job is to make sure that violence against Americans does not happen.

                Is it the case that these agencies and their staff are incompetent? Didn’t see it coming? Take away their money and their power, then.

                Is it the case that they didn’t care? See above.

                Is it the case that they purposely ignored signs of violence in order to convince The People that they are necessary sentinels against a white supremacist Fifth Column? IMO, see above.

                Actually, all roads lead back to defunding, to me! Much better uses for that money, like feeding hungry people.

              3. Enver "Bonkers for Bunkers" Hoxha

                >How do you separate the trash talk from any serious plans?

                Just have to find out which are from the FBI and which are from real people.

          2. tegnost

            the police that are there
            Nice try.
            The police are actually everywhere.
            “One country, Under surveillance.”
            It wasn’t a “surprise”, it didn’t take them off guard.
            A stronger police presence would have prevented the entire thing without injury to anyone, and it is ridiculous to claim that because of BLM their hands were tied.
            “Scary” is the excuses being made to absolve the security apparatus.

            1. Phillip Cross

              Yes. A classic Rope-a-Dope strategy.

              Let the “KAGgots” in. They will make proper fools of themselves (allowed entry just far enough that nobody that matters is ever really endangered). Media squad provides hyperbolic coverage 24/7 to scare ‘Mom n Pop Sixpack’, whilst righteously disgracing the El Cheeto.

              A great (in the Olivander sense) finishing move!

              Trump brand destroyed, wheels get greased, lots of new high paying security state department jobs and contracts for “the resistance” (just to ‘protect’ Mr and Mrs Sixpack of course!), retirements get secured, cronies get even more rich.

              What’s not like?

              1. flora

                And sets the stage for the “need” for more draconian domestic “security” laws. As you say….what’s not to like. ;)

          3. lyman alpha blob

            …if there had been overwhelming force there…

            Why does it have to be overwhelming force? Just some more police with consistent orders to not let people in would have been sufficient for a crowd that size.

            The cops in this country can’t seem to find the happy medium between doing nothing and murdering people, but it does exist.

          4. Mike

            As for the previous “demonstrations”, they were not held a such a “terminal” time as the final days of Trump’s reign, when all else had failed. I give the Capitol Police some credit for brains that they could guess this might lead to some minimal extreme behavior by some Trump acolytes, no?

            Since the Secret Service , the FBI, the CIA, all had advance warning of large demonstrations, since they had knowledge of the rally with all Trump’s liars giving not unexplosive speeches, why weren’t some advance preparations done? And, while some Capitol Police “did their job”, some allowed the already angry and obviously ill-intent demonstrators into precincts of the building that could’ve been dangerous to lawmakers. How was that doing their job? Yes, they were afraid, and more so because there was NO BACKUP!

          5. ahimsa

            I used to live in a quarter of a German city that regularly saw protest marches. The preferred police approach I observed there was to demonstrate a heavy presence but to keep their distance. That meant the protesters were allowed to mach in peace on the main street, but were left in no doubt that if things turned riotous the police would come streaming out of their vehicles from the sidestreets.

            Watching the situation at the Capitol unfold, I kept waiting for a heavy police/military presence to flood onto the scene, but there simply was none. There was no group on standby, it took hours for them to mobilise and arrive at the scene. I still cannot fathom this.

            WaPo reports apparent chain-of-command issues:

          6. Phil in KC

            Historian, I take issue with your first point. I can’t speak about all the Stop the Steal rallies, but the one in DC on December 12, which occurred simultaneously with the Jericho March, was NOT peaceful at all.

            The Jericho March, organized by Eric Metaxas (among others), featured speakers Lt. General Flynn, the My Pillow Guy, and Alex Jones, along with a few clergy. This was not going to end in a silent prayer vigil.

            Comingled with the Jericho rally was a Stop the Steal rally promoted by Ali Alexander. This rally merged with the Jericho at some point. It was hard to distinguish who was there for what rally after a certain point.

            The Proud Boys showed up that weekend en masse, and likely some allied groups as well. We KNOW the Proud Boys were active because the night before the rallies they were prowling the streets looking for trouble. They found it. There were several arrests and at least 4 stabbings. Enrique Tarrio, the PB leader, bragged that it was him who lead his group onto church grounds to rip down Black Lives Matter banners, which were then burned in the street. Peaceful? Hardly.

            Business owners in downtown DC knew that the January 6th rally was going to be even bigger and uglier than the Dec 12 event, knew it well enough to board up their windows or just close entirely, like the Harrington Hotel, heavily patronized by the Proud Boys. What did a hotel owner know that the Capitol Hill Police and the Sergeants-at-Arms didn’t know? Nothing. The hotel owner was just more prudent and circumspect.

            I think any sensible person could smell trouble brewing and even in the early morning hours of the 6th and could have taken reasonable steps to reinforce the security of the Capitol Hill Complex.

          7. Paul P

            Very late to comment, but wanted to point out that police have never stopped repressive behavior toward demonstrators, including illegal
            surveillance, arrests, assault, often on camera,
            because of optics. To say they stood back now
            because of optics is ahistorical. The video of
            trespassers moving past the police with impunity
            with one cop on a cell phone indicates that this was a planned stand down.

        2. JoAnnB

          Cocomann, Your bewilderment over the the ineffectiveness of all the local and federal police agencies seems to ignore the words “Cui bono”? Who benefits?

          Adam Schiff and his anti-Democratic cohorts who authored H.R. 4192 last November, the Patriot Act II, and were delighted to exacerbate a crisis for which they had a pre-crafted “remedy.”

        3. Yves Smith

          The Capitol Police are not real police. The most aggressive thing they might regularly do is wrestle someone caught by the metal detector with a gun or a knife on them to the ground. When disruptive people get into the gallery and make noise or throw shoes, they can’t rough them up overmuch when removing them because 1. Excessive force = bad visuals and 2. They might be related to someone powerful.

          They don’t break up bar fights or domestic fights, let alone deal with gangs, drug distributors, and pimps. They don’t appear to have basic crowd control skills like kettling. They are show ponies.

          So their performance failure should come as no surprise.

          The real question is why didn’t they bring in the DC police in advance?

          1. K.k

            “The real question is why didn’t they bring in the DC police in advance?”

            According the letter Mayor Bowser tweeted out on the 5th, Metropolitan Police Department was charged with dealing with the planned protest for the week. She states the MPD is fully prepared and is working with the federal partners, mainly the US Park Service, Capitol Police , and the Secret Service. The letter goes on to state that they would also be assisted by the unarmed DC National Guard with logistics.


            1. K.k


              You may have already seen this. The response from the MPD Police Chief Contee. In the article he says they were prepared and had “mutual aid” on the ground from surrounding law enforcement agencies ready to go. Only they did not have the authority to enter the Capitol grounds without being invited! Invited by who? Worth the quick read for those that may have missed his response.

              1. K.k

                Apologies for the triple post, but i left out Contee says they went in after they were eventually called in by the USCP to the capital.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        It’s happened before, and the results were a lot worse when an organized group with an actual plan carried it out –

        And this one was much more recent and went right down the memory hole. I only learned about this in the last few weeks (probably from someone here) and have zero memory of it happening at the time. Anybody else remember this and was it ever hyped as much as this month’s events were?

        The War of 1812 is obviously a bit different situation that a domestic riot, but bombing the Senate is more of an apples to apples comparison and yet for some reason, our media and DC elites don’t bring it up while they hype recent events as if everything good and holy in the world (themselves) were in danger of eradication.

        1. farragut

          There was also a shooting in the Capitol building in 1954. I may have even learned of this event from the NC Commentariat, I no longer recall.

          On March 1, 1954, five Congressmen were shot when a gang of Puerto Rican Nationalists opened fire on the House of Representatives. News coverage of the event reveals suspicions that the shooters are part of the same group that attempted the assassination of President Harry Truman in November 1950“.

        2. caucus99percenter

          In 1954, Puerto Rican pro-independence militants shot up the House of Representatives — media and pundits don’t seem to want to reinforce any memory of that attack either.

          ETA: farragut beat me to it; GMTA ;-)

          1. Cocomaan

            Wow, that’s insane, thanks to both of you for posting about it, had never heard of that or the bombing in the 80s

            1. Baldanders

              Puerto Rican nationalists killed more people than any other bombers in the 70s in NYC.

              Forgotten because it doesn’t support anyone’s current narrative on any topic.

              “Days of Rage” tells the whole story, but it seems to be a verboten book among the left because it dares to show the Weather Underground as the spoiled children they were, not an intellectual vanguard of any kind.

    2. Sam Adams

      The Insurrection was significant as a marker for the end of the Republic. It highlighted that a significant number of residents of the USA do not accept the premise of democratic elections, the legitimacy of a peaceful change in governance or the that it’s institutions will better their lives.

      1. Wukchumni

        As an event goes, it was absurd. But the implications of opening Pandora’s Box by the porch pirates @ the Capitol will weigh heavy.

        Sam, was it similar to events you witnessed back in the 70’s, er 1770’s?

      2. farragut

        Call me a cynic, but on the scale of ‘civil unrest’, the insurrection of Jan 6 would rank below some of the more boisterous Black Friday Sales at the local WalMart. Can we dispense with the hyperbole, please?

        PS: this Republic of which you speak has been dying for a very long time. Trump was the symptom of this slow-death, not the cause.

        1. marym

          The event at the Capitol was part of the larger attempt to undermine and undo the results of the 2020 presidential election; and of the on-going right-wing project to ensure minority rule.

          Trump and his following are agents, not just symptoms.

          1. tegnost

            You lost me here.
            Both parties are committed to minority rule.
            What the top 10% wants it gets.
            What everyone else wants doesn’t matter.
            The problem they face now is on that both sides the base is getting restless.
            We’ve spent how long on NC complaining about computerized voting,but now that it’s trumpies suddenly there’s no problem?
            No, there is a problem, and domestic terrorism laws are already written to protect the interests of the protected class. Everyone else can pound sand.

            1. marym

              The comment was a reference to the Capitol event within the specific context of Trump and Republican election policies and propaganda as to who should vote and whose votes should be counted, in 2020, and on-going. It wasn’t intended as an evaluation of our electoral and political systems in which both parties – in similar and dissimilar modes of operation – serve the donor class. I should have made that clear.

              I will point out that Trump’s complaints about electronic voting were only directed at one particular race, only in potential swing states where he lost – as were his unsubstantiated allegations of non-existent voter fraud, and complaints and court cases about previously Republican-supported but suddenly supposedly problematic election procedures.

              He and his followers and his grievances don’t, imo, provide the most credible perspective from which to evaluate the vulnerability of manual or machine processes to error or manipulation, and to identify alternatives. Republicans are already using the 2020 election to propose more voter suppression measures.

              1. tegnost

                I will point out that Trump’s complaints about electronic voting were only directed at one particular race, only in potential swing states where he lost – as were his unsubstantiated allegations of non-existent voter fraud, and complaints and court cases about previously Republican-supported but suddenly supposedly problematic election procedures.
                Yes, and I appreciate all the effort you put in to keep track of it all

              2. neo-realist

                Trump and his followers are angry because black voters (that particular race?) in the metropolitan areas in the swing states made up the bulk of the difference in throwing him out and they believe such voters are illegitimate due to their own latent and not so latent bigotry.

                  1. neo-realist

                    Biden received 94 percent of the black vote in Detroit. An Associated Press VoteCast survey showed 90 percent black support for Biden.

                    Biden also over-performed in the suburbs, which was a factor, e.g., Philly ones.

                    Trump got a few more black votes at the margins, but not enough to overcome the energized waves in those swing states that were pretty much absent in 2016.


                    Another factor was Biden’s overall increase in male support from Clinton’s – by 7% to 48%.

          2. Massinissa

            “Trump and his following are agents, not just symptoms.”

            And you have evidence to back this claim up? To me it seems like Trump has never understood what he is doing. I highly doubt he has some kind of plan.

            Also I agree with Tegnost: Neither party is committed to democracy.

            1. marym

              I just mean they have agency. They choose to do stuff and they do it. When Biden does bad stuff I trust we won’t be saying he’s just a symptom.

              I also agree about the bipartisan non-commitment to democracy.

        2. Pelham

          I mainly agree with the apt Walmart comparison, although we should remember that a police officer and a protesting woman were killed. But yes, when I hear the ill-understood term “insurrection” or, worse, “coup” used to describe this event, my BS radar pings.

          1. Baldanders

            How about putsch?

            The Beer Hall Putsch was widely seen as a pathetic joke at the time.

            I would wonder if any of the rioters will write a best seller in prison?

            1. JBird4049

              Well, there are similarities except for the actual machine guns(not assault rifles as they weren’t invented until 1943) the dozens of deaths, and the thousands of Nazis, police, soldiers each. Strangely, I don’t think that the police were riddled with Nazis or sympathizers is mentioned often. Nor that the German army provided training and weapons to the Nazis pre-putsch.

              1. Procopius

                Are you talking about the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923?

                Approximately two thousand Nazis marched on the Feldherrnhalle, in the city centre, but were confronted by a police cordon, which resulted in the deaths of 16 Nazi Party members and four police officers.

                The later growth of the Nazi Party was mostly a result of desperation from the Depression and Chancellor Breunig’s refusal to allow any relief measures. I don’t have a source to back me up, but my memory is the Army training of Nazis didn’t happen until after Ludendorf appointed Hitler Chancellor.

                1. Basil Pesto

                  Nothing in that article as far as I can see supports Baldanders’ claim. In fact, it’s described as the Nazi’s first propaganda victory. Citation still needed.

          2. John Wright

            I feel the same way about the BS radar..

            When one looks at the power of the USA authorities to preserve the established order, with the media keeping population segments on message, the ongoing surveillance of the populace (NSA/FBI), the heavily militarized USA police forces, large number of prisons, the ability to call out national guard, and the ability to spend vast sums of money in response, it is difficult to imagine this as an ‘insurrection” or “coup” that has more than an infinitesimal possibility to succeed,

            I suspect the “coup” will be used by TPTB to fund items on their never empty shopping list (more surveillance, more militarization of police forces).

            One can remember the Waco incident, where the US government took on a small cult with devastating results (to the cult).

            If one looks at 9-11, the terrorists spent maybe $300K to conduct their operation.

            The USA has spent more than $6.4 trillion in response to 9-11, per

            This is about 21 million dollars spent by the USA per dollar spend by the terrorists.

            The recent attempted “coup” simply could not support itself with the vast resources the USA authorities can marshal in response.

      3. Carolinian

        So in 2016 were there “peaceful transition problems” as many Dems refused to accept the result?

        I’d say neither party has much respect for democracy and that’s been true for a long time. It isn’t recent.

        1. FluffytheObeseCat

          There was a lot of stagey PMC whining about Trump in 2016. But I cannot recall any Resistance(tm) Democrats storming the Capitol and making off with the podium. More importantly there were no reports of any pussy hat types killing a cop by beating him over the head.

          A fundamental disrespect for democracy is more indicated by theft and violence than its absence.

          1. Carolinian

            The daughter of a friend was on a business trip to Portland at the time and there were people rampaging through downtown and breaking windows. Meanwhile Brennan and the O team were cooking up a fake case of Russian collusion against Trump in order to discredit his administration from the getgo and cripple it. Believe this is called taking someone out “Chicago style.”

            Years of investigation and no Russian collusion was found although media are shy about telling you that just as they are shy about the things on Hunter’s laptop. I’m not claiming that any of this makes Trump a good guy but it does indicate that disrespect for the legitimacy of elections is a bipartisan thing and has been going at least since Bush v Gore 2000 and arguably much longer.

            And after a year of violent protests including around the White House itself it’s hard to make a case that only one side is violent. Federal buildings were also attacked during the summer including the Federal couthouse in Portland. When Trump subsequently sent troops there it was decried as “fascism.”

            1. Riverboat Grambler

              Trump sent armed DHS agents to snatch people off the street in unmarked vans. No warrants, no identification, no due process. That’s why people cried fascism, and though I agree that the label is often overblown when applied to Trump, that is one of the instances where it was very much warranted.

              1. Katniss Everdeen

                Trump sent armed DHS agents to snatch people off the street in unmarked vans.

                I know, huh? Wasn’t that just terrible????

                Every time that Bad Orange Man said “Jump,” the permanent d.c. bureaucracy said “How high?” In unison. The military, fbi, cia, nsa, supreme court, “justice” department, dhs, cdc, epa and all the other three-letter agency public servants were soooo in the tank for that guy it was sickening.

                I swear, I have nightmares worrying about how much damage was done to our sacred democracy by that unholy alliance. I mean, I know he was the president, but sheesh, somebody should have pushed back. Somebody could have at least lied to him and told him that they were doing what he wanted when they really weren’t.

                1. Riverboat Grambler

                  Katniss, was there a point you were trying to make? Were you trying to articulate that feds picking up people off the street in unmarked vans was actually good? Do you feel like the fourth amendment is quaint and outdated? Do you feel like I am engaging in hysterics?

                  Please speak plainly, and with less blustering.

              2. Spoofsdesu!

                That’s a good point Riverboat man. But I wouldn’t call that fascism–and I am likely splitting hairs here–but more along the lines of totalitarianism, if you look at it in a little more context.

                If you intersect that specific mentioned event with what Glenn Greenwald and Patrick Cockburn’s above mentioned 9/11 comparison–which resulted in people all over the world being “snatched off the street”–and we’re looking at some very dodgy trends/times ahead.

            2. Phil in KC

              There are indeed many violent fringe groups, Antifa being one. But I am a bit baffled by Antifa. BLM has a web page, for example. The Proud Boys have leaders. Who is Antifa’s leader? Where is their web page? I’m not saying they don’t exist. They do. But what’s their purpose? If aligned with the Democratic Party, then they must not have heard that Biden was sworn in recently. They strike me as more of an anarchist party, despising both parties and being hostile to the concentration of power in the Federal government. Am I wrong?

    3. timbers

      Democrats I talk to have bought into this theatre. They really believe it’s actually important, a political win, to ban Trump from running in 2024. Because then we can elect as many outstanding leaders like Hillary or Obama or Biden as we want in 2024, 2028, and beyond.

      The problem has been solved. All is good and great again in America, with the greatest most exceptional indispensable healthcare in the world.

      Would like to add, not happy at all how this has allowed Nancy and AOC to push single payer healthcare further into purgatory.

      1. Charger01

        Please also consider how incredibly fragile the Dems are to singularly target one candidate for explusion from the electoral system. I think they realize that 2022 will be a blowout and they’ll lose the senate and a pretty good chance of losing the House. Team Biden/Harris will likely lose in 2024 if they are perceived as ineffective to a resurgent Right, regardless of who is running. But a second loss to Trump will likely continue to undermine the legitimacy of the Democratic party as a real political alternative. I would guess that third parties will gain steam as people search for viable options.

        1. timbers

          I think you are right about Dems getting losing in 2022 and 2024. IMO, the tell-all was when the Democratic Senate majority decided to assign committee seats a 1 for 1, totally equal basis. Doesn’t that mean Dems can’t even get their agenda – whatever that may be – out of committee unless the get Republican support?

          If so, nothing says “we have no intention of changing current policy” louder than that, of equalizing committee power when you didn’t have to. And continuing current policy looks like a good way to lose an election.

          Republicans will use every bit of that and other power surrendered, to block things that might win votes for Dems and diffuse voter anger…like that $15 minimum wage increase for starters.

          1. JBird4049

            That the Democratic Party has the ability to pass $2000 stimulus checks and probably a $15 minimum wage last week yet will not even try until March says something. Doing even a few things like that would probably ensure their dominance, but like McConnell and the Republicans during the last election, they will not do so.

            To anyone even skimming the news, it is obvious that this Summer is likely to be worse than last, and that in a few years we might have 1968 levels of violence. Yet, we have this nonsense.

            It is not just the corruption or stupidity. It is the sheer, rampant folly in our government that is the problem. That frightened me more than the corruption.

      2. Skip Intro

        I find it ironic, since Trump is about the only candidate a corrupt lying pu55y-grabber like Biden could beat, and Trump 2024 is probably Kamala’s best/only shot at a victory after their Austerity+War program has its intended effect.

    4. campbeln

      Hogwash! No theater here!! No one saw the Capitol siege coming!!

      WASHINGTON (AP) Jan 4, 2021— Bracing for possible violence, the nation’s capital has mobilized the National Guard ahead of planned protests by President Donald Trump’s supporters in connection with the congressional vote expected Wednesday to affirm Joe Biden’s election victory.

      Trump’s supporters are planning to rally Tuesday and Wednesday, seeking to bolster the president’s unproven claims of widespread voter fraud. “There are people intent on coming to our city armed,” D.C. Acting Police Chief Robert Contee said Monday.

      Well… no one other than the DC Mayor and the Acting Police Chief…

      “…nation’s capital has mobilized the National Guard ahead of planned protests…” So… who rolled back this mobilization between the 4th and the 6th?

      1. K.k

        Take a look at this tweet from Mayor Bowser. The tweet is from the the 5th. It has a letter attached that her office sent out to us AG Rosen, acting Sec of Defense Miller, and Sec of Army McCarthy.
        The letter points out they do not want any more federal personnel. They have the national guard unarmed and will be used for logistics. Interestingly the letter uses the presence of federal personnel present during the BLM protests that caused “confusion” as a reason for not wanting more federal help.

        Its possible her office asked for more help after the letter was sent out.

  2. jr

    This is an interview with the astronomer Karen Meech discussing the reasons why she doesn’t think Aumuamua is of alien origin. It seems the nut of the question, besides the inexplicable acceleration, is the shape of the object. She presents an image of a light reading taken that seems to indicate a cigar shaped geometry, not a flat one. This runs counter to the above linked articles claim that it’s 91% certainly flat.

    One thing that jumped out to me. She used a term, I don’t have time to pinpoint it at the moment, where she says something to the effect that the notion of it being flat is “impossible” or something. Essentially saying because such a shape would be so out of the realm of what is considered possible that it shouldn’t be considered. This strikes me as an unjustified assumption, the entire point is that the thing doesn’t look or act like >any< other object we have seen.

    1. Massinissa

      “This strikes me as an unjustified assumption, the entire point is that the thing doesn’t look or act like >any< other object we have seen."

      You're right. It quite possibly isn't alien, but even if it isn't, its one of the strangest and most unique space objects we have ever seen. Even if its natural rather than artificial, its terribly fascinating.

    2. The Rev Kev

      But I must politely disagree with Karen Meech. The Hubble Space Telescope has picked up an object heading towards the asteroid belt with no relation to any regular orbits which alone is suspicious. The image it took shows definite signs of artificial rather than natural creation and in fact, there may even be signs that this artificial craft may even be manned. It’s really quite exciting-'s_Tesla_Roadster_(40110297852).jpg

      1. jr

        Would that it was manned by it’s creator…and thanks for the comments.

        This is another discussion critical of the alien origins of Oumuamua. A few arguments that seem fairly sturdy to my world-renowned astrophysicist eyes:

        The shape is a result of breaking up and reassembling.

        The lack of out-gassing images are a result of dust particles being larger than usual and not reflecting tons of light, perhaps due to Oumuamua’s surface being baked into a crust over the untold eons of exposure to cosmic radiation.

        It didn’t really originate from outside our system but rather our Oort cloud, it just happens to have an odd trajectory.

        It’s shape is the result of some heretofore unknown cosmic process.

        Ok fine, but here is where the problems start for me. One, the argument that there would have to be zillions of these things for one to be spotted. There may well be, we don’t know as we just gained the ability to spot such things and just coughed up the notion that they may not be natural. We have already conceived of self-reproducing machines whose numbers would swell exponentially, Loeb mentioned something to the effect that it would only take ten thousand years for gazillions of these things to fill the skies. That possibility was ignored.

        Secondly, the narrator proposes that such a project would last far beyond the projected lifespan of any such civilization. They would all be dead! Why bother?

        We have >absolutely no reason< to think we could guess what the motives of a civilization that was old when we were still sporting tails might be. Like an infant who cannot imagine why any one would bother leaving the house when there are toys aplenty and a full bottle at hand, we quite possibly, and I mean literally, could not conceive the notions that would motivate such intelligences. If notions and motivations are even applicable terms, for that matter. We simply don’t, and perhaps physiologically cannot, know such things. And that’s before the notion of a “life-span” is even applied.

        It’s times like this that science needs to be taken gently by the hand and led back to it’s laboratory. Like that fellow Sean Carroll of “God is not a good hypothesis!” fame. Think of the terms you are using, man, for argument’s sake if not your own. Any omnipotent Entity would be outside and above such hypothesizing, above and outside the notion of hypothesis for that matter. He is referring to a demiurge, at best.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        To your humorous point, in the his interview with Lex Fridman, Loeb mentions that astronomers recently found some previously lost space debris from a decades-old launch floating around up there whose orbit exhibited similar characteristics to Oumuamua. We know the former was artificial and built by us. Now as to the latter…

        1. Wukchumni

          {interstellar Interlude}

          Lime and limpid green, a second scene – a fight between the blue you once knew.
          Floating down, the sound resounds, around the icy waters underground.
          Jupiter and Saturn, Oberon, Miranda and Titania… Neptune, Titan, Stars can frighten.
          Blinding signs flap, Flicker, flicker, flicker blam. Pow, pow.
          Stairway scare, Dan Dare, who’s there?
          Lime and limpid green, the sounds around the icy waters under
          Lime and limpid green, the sounds around the icy waters underground.

          Pink Floyd – Astronomy Domine

    3. Wukchumni

      I saw the object as being more fiat shaped, and can we discount the idea that it more closely resembled an intergalactic QE platform, helping governments on distant planets out of an economic jam in doling out the big bickies?, I mean look at the timing, it all makes sense.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      Avi Loeb sure is humping his book lately. A few weeks ago I hadn’t heard of him and now he’s giving interviews everywhere. He was recently on Lex Fridman and Joe Rogan’s podcasts and I’ve seen him pop up other places as well.

      I just finished Mike Brown’s book about Kuiper Belt objects he discovered – How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming. He talks about finding a cigar shaped object that is part of our solar system and while he only mentions it in passing and it was several years before Oumuamua was discovered, evidently the cigar shape isn’t unprecedented. Loeb discusses how the shape is only inferred from the albedo, or brightness readings, of the object. Rather than being steady, they fluctuated which would be consistent with a tumbling, oblong object – the amount of reflected light you see changes significantly as larger and smaller surfaces from the rotating object face you. This could be due to a cigar shaped object, or something like a light sail which has been posited by researchers like Loeb as a possible interstellar propulsion system.

      In today’s link, Loeb mentions one theory that the object didn’t enter our solar system but rather it was more or less stationary and our solar system ran into it, so it may be more of a galactic beacon than a ship. But in an interview, he also mentions the possibility of it being a probe that did enter from outside. I would think it can’t be both. I would like to find out more details so yesterday I just ordered his book from my local bookstore. Today’s link mentions calls it a “personal” book – hopefully he won’t waste a few chapters discussing his love live and the development of his children like Mike Brown did – stick to the astronomy please! ;)

      The great thing about all the recent publicity is that it will probably convince many amateur astronomers to start searching for this type of object. I bought a telescope for the first time myself this past year and have been amazed at what I am able to do as a rank amateur just starting to learn for just a few hundred dollars in my backyard. The technology available today is truly astounding and I’m sure there are many amateurs with more expertise and better equipment than I have who could find these objects if they’re out there.

      1. jr

        Thank you for this and yes, I’m interested in reading his book as well.

        But not his diary.

        And thanks for the Lex Freedman link below, I did catch that show.

        Finally, apologies to Aumua, whose name I melded with Oumuamua above. :]

        1. Aumua

          Well there may be a connection there. That’s all I can say for now. Actually one of my previous internet handles was aumuaumua, so it is a little strange for me.

    5. TsWkr

      I would recommend the episode of the Lex Fridman podcast with Arvi Loeb (the scientist interviewed in the Links article). His take on that show is that the scientific community is overall too conservative in thinking and full of career academics who are afraid of being chastised on social media (he says he does not have social media). There was some interesting discussion on why we don’t create telescopes that search for gases which would be the product of industrial pollution, rather than just oxygen, if our goal is to find life.

    6. The Historian

      As Carl Sagan said in his book, Contact: “The universe is a pretty big place. If it’s just us, seems like an awful waste of space.”

      I am following this with interest – it may be some natural phenomenon – or not! It is way to soon to be saying one way or the other – and maybe we will never know for sure! I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the arguments!

      1. stefan

        My guess is the phenomenon of Life is fairly ubiquitous throughout the universe. There are billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars, each in turn with their own solar systems of planets that probably shake out in somewhat regular intervals or bands, positing at least one sweet spot per solar system.

        And following Life, the phenomenon of Mind must run a close second. Virtually every living thing we see appears to have Mind, even the Earth as a Gaia system is arguably an expression of Mind.

        Of course, we must recall the special circumstances on Earth, such as the presence of a single Moon that acts as a highly effective timepiece or modulator. So how many sweet spots have companion moons?

        Where I begin to have problems is with the physical distances, and the time it takes light to traverse them.

        So, if we are to experience Universal Mind now or in the future, there must be something more we need to know about.

        Given that the Matter of the universe must have been more compacted at the beginning (if indeed there was a beginning), perhaps the Particles of Matter were in some way “entangled” at that point such that they are in some sort of “spooky action at a distance” today. This might provide a lattice in the Crystal of Time enabling instant messaging faster than light. Alternatively, we may not yet be aware of other geometries (aside from flat, hyperbolic, or spherical) that might allow for Universal Mind to communicate among its selves. Some sort of fractal geometry, perhaps?

        But as I say, there must be more we need to know about.

        1. Wukchumni

          Sometimes i’ll go a little over the 67,000 mph limit on this good orb, but don’t to risk a speeding ticket as it looks like the rest of the planets suck, Women are from Venus? not at 847 degrees please, and Pluto would require a lot of polar fleece, and don’t get me started on Uranus.

          I’m content to be an earthling, and if there are others out there in the universe, I would respectfully ask you go elsewhere in our solar system, not that I want to be accused of being planetist.

        2. Michaelmas

          You make a whole series of unjustified assumptions there, Stefan.

          My guess is the phenomenon of Life is fairly ubiquitous throughout the universe. There are billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars, each in turn with their own solar systems of planets that probably shake out in somewhat regular intervals or bands, positing at least one sweet spot per solar system.

          Stop right there. Why should life be ‘fairly ubiquitous’ throughout the universe?

          It’s quite possible that the accident of self-replicating molecules and autocatalytic carbon-based chemistry that happened on this one ball of rock — assuming those self-replicating molecules evolved here and the panspermia theory isn’t true — is so unlikely and contingent that it never has happened anywhere else.

          Certainly, the evidence we have suggests that abiogenesis is highly improbable, once you get past the fact that we happen to be here —

          Stefan: ‘….own solar systems of planets that probably shake out in somewhat regular intervals or bands, positing at least one sweet spot per solar system</em …

          Why this human planetary parochialism that assumes, on the other hand, that life may only evolve on a planet in what we think of as a ‘goldilocks zone’ around its star?

          Sure, life like ourselves could only evolve in such a situation. But even sticking to carbon-based life, as a thought experiment I can just about conceive of how life could evolve in free space among the comets and the CHON fields of the Oort Cloud. There’s very little heat out there, so it would be life that was so slow we wouldn’t recognize it as such. That’s my point, basically.

          All this is before we even get to alternate organic chemistries, such as silicon-based organic life and other possibilities.

          Stefan: ‘And following Life, the phenomenon of Mind must run a close second. Virtually every living thing we see appears to have Mind, even the Earth as a Gaia system is arguably an expression of Mind.’

          Why must this capital M Mind evolve whenever organic life appears? It’s very possible there’s organic life throughout the universe but only in the mode in which most life on earth in fact continues to exist, the viral or bacteriological (or maybe even non-eukaryotic) mode?

          What do you even mean by Mind, if you’re claiming that ‘even Earth as a Gaia system is an expression of it?

          Sure, the Gaia system can be interpreted as performing a vast ongoing computation. But that’s true of everything, either living or non-living, in this vast quantum computer of a universe that we inhabit.

          If by Mind, you’re assuming that organic life leads inevitably to agency and intelligence, we in fact know the opposite is the case and, furthermore, intelligence may be the opposite of a viable long-term survival strategy. That’s what has been argued by some leading evolutionary biologists like Ernst Mayr, Theodosius Dobzhansky, and George Gaylord Simpson.

          Ernst Mayr not only argued that high intelligence is evolutionarily costly and unlikely, but that it’s a “lethal mutation” that’s unstable and will destroy itself and its environment. You can look up Mayr’s debate with Carl Sagan about SETI. With only humanity in our current state to go by, it’s impossible to conclude Mayr was wrong.

          Not dissing you, Stefan. It’s just that the only inarguabe thing you propose is that ‘there must be more we need to know about.’

          1. stefan

            And there I was, thinking I’d get in trouble for proposing a lattice structure in a Crystal of Time!

            The article you cite says:

            It is estimated that the whole universe could contain more than 1 googol (10^100) stars. When Totani factored in this new abundance of stars, he found that the emergence of life was no longer improbable, but very likely.

            Then two paragraphs later it says:

            If life first got its start in RNA, “life on Earth was created by a very rare chance of producing a long RNA polymer,” said Totani. “Most likely, Earth is the only planet harboring life in the observable universe. I predict that future observations or explorations of extraterrestrial life will yield no positive results.

            That “if” is a pretty “big if.” Personally, I haven’t said anything about the chemistry of how life first got its start. But your buddy Totani seems to want to have it both ways. (Talk about probabilities!)

            By Mind, I am thinking along the lines of Gregory Bateson (or maybe Hegel sometimes!).

            As far as I can tell, COVID-19 was intelligent enough to help relieve us of our former president. Perhaps it did help prove Mayr’s claim that intelligence is not a viable strategy. Anyway I think this may drag us into Ethics (gasp!). So never mind.

            To the first problem, are we a “one off” or is life quite common throughout the universe. I can agree that it’s a toss-up. (So flip a coin.) But when I look at the COBE output and realize how smooth the Universe is, I tend to think that Life might just be one of the things that is blended throughout that homogeneity. And where I see Life, I see Feeling, I see Consciousness. And I see a bit of Fun.

    7. Alex morfesis

      About our wohMamma satellite…there is a small cadre of carbon based life forms on this planet who insist we have up cycle and down cycled our existence and our societies and the knowledge lost and refound, for millions of years…and thus, that could simply have been a satellite our predecessors sent off into deep space and since we fumbled our past and lost the knowledge…it possibly did swing past us looking to feed us data and we were too busy to notice and have lost the capacity to input that source of information….we can certainly observe nation’s on Earth with pyramid type structures who by our current standards would be proclaimed not “first world” societies, yet we would be hard pressed to replicate their engineering capacities…

  3. jr

    As a former US soldier, the stories of the mistreatment of the Guard troops are old news. Enlisted soldiers are routinely abused, used, crapped on and crapped out when no longer of use. Anyone who has “served” can back that up.

    But not providing sleep arrangements? That’s like not providing food. You cannot guard the things you have been assigned to without rest. This fact is amongst the basics that commanders know and know full well. It’s also an unspoken pact between troops and command: 3 hots and a cot are expected.

    This was not an unannounced deployment to a “hot” theatre of combat where all norms go out the windows. The “first casualty” is the “plan”, etc. They knew where they were going and what the mission was. D.C. must have space to put them up. And scrambling for cots as an afterthought? The commanders must have known that all eyes would be on them and somehow… where to sleep.

    Maybe I’m making too much of this but seeing those headlines somehow hit me harder than the imbeciles who ransacked the Capitol. Imperial ineptitude of near crystalline purity. Don’t think for a second this isn’t making it’s way through the hearts and minds of the enlisted.

    1. The Rev Kev

      All those soldiers are going to have to be isolated for a fortnight after going back to their home States. Or they should be. No telling really who is infected until they are in isolation and can be tested a coupla times. No need to introduce another source of infections to those States. Of course after the fortnight is over those States should hold a big bash for those troops to show them that in their own States that they are appreciated but that comes later.

    2. Carolinian

      Texas and Florida have now demanded that their Guard members return from security theater duty.

      I’d say those DC pearl clutchers who think the deplorables are coming to get them need to consider whether the military would be on their side in some Civil War 2. In Civil War 1 a large chunk of the military of course defected to the other side.

      All of which is a good reason not to have a Civil War 2 and so tell the Dem hotheads who seem to want one.

        1. Carolinian

          From his lair in Florida Trump has offered them free accommodations at his DC hotel. Take that Nancy?

          1. jr

            An so begins his post-Presidential antihero hero career. It’s been said before, the liberal left loves to lose. As Dore has pointed out: these guys make his job easy.

        2. polecat

          ‘Cookies’ handed out during military ops …

          hummmm .. now THAT seems to have sounded a rather familiar ring, to my mind.

          Was the good Dr. ‘Baking with Vicky’ in the White Haus kitchen, or sumptin??

        3. lordkoos

          Ted Cruz was another one using the national guard for a photo-op. Most politicians are utterly predictable.

      1. Carolinian

        This is good.

        Looking at the many centurions on duty around Washington, D.C. guarding the new American emperor, I was reminded of a World War II diplomatic meeting, held somewhere in Berlin. As the German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop was delivering an upbeat assessment to the summoned audience on the outcome of the war, the ambassador cut him off to ask: “If you’re winning the war, how come we’re having this meeting in a bomb shelter?”


    3. Wukchumni

      Looking on Amazon, you can buy a US Military Genuine Issue Complete 4 Piece Modular Sleeping Bag System for $320, for temps from -50 to +50, and looks downright comfy. Too bad soldiers in the NG who have Amazon Prime didn’t get next day delivery on the goods, as our military brass wasn’t gonna come through for them.

      1. LawnDart

        Split up the system and it’s good for two people during warmer weather, though I’ve had some issues with condensation seeping past the bivy sack when in the open air. In the cold/extreme cold, you’re still going to want additional protection between you and hard ground.

        Pavement would count as hard ground.

    4. Dirk77

      Imperial ineptitude. Damn straight. Ive worked in DC. Yet if anyone can explain to me why the fish rots from the head, I’d appreciate it.

    5. The Rev Kev

      Looks like those Guardsmen aren’t going anywhere soon. The plan is to keep them there until March and they are not happy. Nearly 200 of them have tested positive for Coronavirus and apparently it is difficult to feed troops in DC, even with MREs. A surprising revelation is that that security fence around the Capital building is going to be a permanent fixture. Definitely not a good look-

  4. Cocomaan

    All this hand wringing over how Biden is going to handle the economy and I haven’t seen a single article on one easy way: fix the problems with the post office.

    I bought some firewood from a friend recently and on putting the check in the mail to her, feared it may never get there. This Christmas several people I know never got cards or gifts. I had Christmas cards bounce back for no reason.

    Start repairing the post office and you’d get the economy running a tad more smoothly again. Not sexy, but necessary now

    1. cocomaan

      Now that I think about it, I sent Vanguard some paperwork the first week of the new year and it still hasn’t gotten to them.

      Crapification deepens.

      This is truly the dumbest situation imaginable. Anyone else having persistent mail problems?

      1. freebird

        Christmas card/letter from California to Florida: Dec 23 to Jan 15. I’ll admit 23rd was a bad time to mail, but still.

        The nation that used to do things right now cannot pass out vaccines or move the mail.

      2. jr

        I believe it was related here recently that Amazon has their eyes on Postal properties as mini-distribution centers due to centralized locations and the undoubtably bargain basement costs of such properties if/when they are made available to private interests.

        1. Wukchumni

          Seeing as about the only thing Congress can cooperate on together across the aisle is the renaming of post offices, said denizens will come to their senses and save the USPS.

          Check out your Congressman or Congresswoman, bet they’ve either introduced legislation to rename a post office, or co-signed along with a bunch of others. Sadly, it’s about all they accomplish.

          H.R. 1988 (115th): To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1730 18th Street in Bakersfield, California, as the “Merle Haggard Post Office Building”.

      3. tegnost

        The idea according to my connected tech friends is for everything to be in the cloud…
        disrupt, deconstruct, reconstruct in tech’s image of perfection which of course is total imformation awareness. We’re all dick cheney now…
        Extra bonus all that data can be used to train the AI

        1. lordkoos

          “The cloud” is just someone else’s computer, FFS. Buying a bunch of external drives may not be realistic for corporate or government entities but works great for me. HD space is cheap.

          1. tegnost

            I understand the utility, what I’m talking about is no paper books,no vinyl, no paper bills, no paper money, everything in the cloud, and hosted by a private corp such as amazon

      4. Keith Howard

        Here in Colorado first class mail has become noticeably capricious. A check sent to a Buena Vista PO box finally arrived after about six weeks. I’ve taken to mailing bill payments two weeks before the due date. That the Congress and Administration do not fix the old problems of the PO (the pension requirement, specifically,) undo the vandalism of the DT years, and institute simple postal banking causes me disgust. This seems like a clear case of an obvious general public need being ignored, probably in favor of more looting of the public realm. A very loud bully pulpit from Biden could move things along. I hope and wish that Bernie and other decent people in Congress make this a top priority.

        1. Mikel

          I can’t help but think about the article above “America has a GPS Problem” with all the worry about “foreign agents” disrupting delivery systems of all sorts.
          Daily delivery systems that people rely on are getting disrupted by elected officials for the benefit of private corporations on the daily.

        2. LifelongLib

          I live in Hawaii. Sent two checks first class to business addresses in the continental U.S. on December 5. One was not received until December 17 (late fee charged) and the other finally cleared on January 20. Don’t recall this happening before. I suppose xmas mail could be a factor but my understanding (wrong?) is that overall volume of mail has dropped in recent years because of email etc.

          1. Procopius

            I live in Thailand. For about six months there was no international mail service. Luckily it resumed in October, just in time for me to send my absentee ballot. During the outage, the Embassy offered to collect letter mail and send it along with their pouches, to be delivered to the US Postal Service in the states. The problem was, the letter had to have US postage stamps on them, and there is only a small postal facility on the grounds of the Consulate, which not many people can get to.

      5. Heraclitus

        We have mail problems very consistently. I put a handful of mail in my neighbor’s mailbox today.

    2. km

      I suspect that Biden will handle the economy by re-opening and if some people die, so what. The rhetoric will be different and there will be some smoke and mirrors, but that will be the gist of it.

      The same people who were in hysterics about how Trump was killing us will be masturbatory in praising Biden’s hard-headed realism.

      The same people who insisted that COVID was a fake virus from China and nothing but the flu and Trump had handled the vaccine besides will be wailing about a Culture Of Death.

      1. Riverboat Grambler

        Trump says the virus isn’t a big deal and we don’t have to do anything about it, and now Biden says it’s a big deal but we can’t do anything about it.

    3. marieann

      I think this was an exceptionally bad year for mail. Canada Post has never been as good as the US mail but this year we seemed to be even with them
      All our mail has been late this Christmas….I think I will tick the “Pony Express” box next time I mail something.

    4. VietnamVet

      I posted yesterday my pet peeve that reporting on the lousy postal service has been deep-sixed by corporate media to grease its way to privatization so FedEx can charge $8.50 to pick up and deliver a letter. No cots for the National Guard troops, no backup riot police on Jan. 6th, and the mal-distribution of vaccine all have the same cause. These functions have been so crapified that the federal government has ceased to work; all to end taxes on the wealthy and gut corporate regulations.

      Politicians (and the top 10%) in today’s neo-gilded age to gain power and get rich must justify the most crass prostitution of themselves. The easy way out is to join a cult, self-medicate or just be plain crazy. If they governed or managed for the public good, this would resolve the dilemma. However that is impossible with today’s rigged elections, bought politicians, endless wars, and deregulated finance system. Facebook gave $500 million to state election offices in 2020. Why? Because, they are “Goodfellas”. Once you accept the money, you are never free of their grasp.

    5. marym

      Defunding, asset stripping, and eventually eliminating (privatizing) the postal service is a long-term bipartisan project. It’s gotten a lot more acute recently with changes instituted by the current Postmaster General. There were a number of lawsuits and court orders to prevent further changes that were likely to delay processing of mail ballets, and other more general legal actions that continue. The Democrats occasionally offer an empty gesture of concern for the service and/or the workers, but it’s a very bad situation now. See the link below for some history and detail about the issues.

  5. Wukchumni

    Yosemite closed after high winds bring down two giant sequoias Guardian

    When I saw a NOAA forecast with a recording of hurricane-like 110 mph winds in the CVBB earlier in the week, you just knew the hammer was gonna fall, but where?

    This Giant Sequoia decided to come down on a sunny day about 20 years ago, and there isn’t much of the 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee left.

    A friend was at the scene shortly after the 1,500 year old baum went off, and related that they had to use the ‘jaws of life’ in order to extract a wallet in the car that was the property of one of the 3 young men, who had parked the SUV about 10 minutes before the downfall, and were about 100 yards away when it came down.

    I have a few friends that have actually seen a Giant Sequoia of size come down, rare that!

    Sequoia Smashes SUV Car – Sequoia National Park DVD Tree

  6. ArkansasAngie

    A request. Please give the media link and not “just” the twitter link. I am trying to de-FAANG+ myself and it’s hard because … well … they do have monopolistic power

    1. flora

      The Taibbi tweet link to City Journal article:

      Slouching Toward Post-Journalism.

      Very good read about how and why old-school journalism of reporting facts in a neutral tone at the NYT gave way to all advocacy all the time – supposedly as a temporary measure.

      The article left me thinking of that saying repeated after Watergate: the cover up was worse than the crime. It seems to me like the past 4 – 5 years has been one long MSM insistence (or cover up of their mistake) that their lurch away from old-school journalism based on reporting facts wasn’t and isn’t a problem. imo.

      1. flora

        An aside: This is from the foreword to Martin Gurri’s book The Revolt of the People. I agree with this outlook. Our current MSM post-journalism/social media landscape won’t make this sort mental change easy, imo. (I’ve indulged in much of this, too, unfortunately. )

        Reading this books made me realize that democratized information poses a dilemma for society. If the public loses patience and respect for government, the result would be disintegration. If elites choose to dig in, they are likely to resort to repression.

        To avoid these extreme outcomes, both elites and the public have to change. Elites will have to cede authority and permit more local variation and experimentation. The public will have to be more tolerant. Imperfections and bad outcomes should not be taken as proof of conspiracy or evil intent. We should pay less heed to those who only can pour out condemnation and blame. We should show greater appreciation for those who make constructive attempts to experiment and fix.

      2. Carolinian

        Thank you. Rutenberg’s amazing column was discussed here at the time.

        The old media had needed happy customers. The goal of post-journalism, according to Mir, is to “produce angry citizens.” The August 2016 article marked the point of no return in the spiritual journey of the New York Times from newspaper of record to Vatican of liberal political furor. While the impulse originated in partisan herd instinct, the discovery of a profit motive would make the change irrevocable. Rutenberg professed to find the new approach “uncomfortable” and, “by normal standards, untenable”—but the fault, he made clear, lay entirely with the “abnormal” Trump, whose toxic personality had contaminated journalism. He was the active principle in the headline “The Challenge Trump Poses to Objectivity.”

        One could argue that the media have always viewed presidential politics differently and tended to see themselves as character cops out to protect the Amercan people from off the wall choices. When Perot ran in the 90s Woodward said, paraphrasing, “you don’t want to go there” and of course he and his partner helped to ultimately “cancel” one of our presidents based on moral failings.

        As always though the Puritanical impulse falls away when it comes to people the press like or, perhaps more to point, who like them. If Trump had been more chummy with the media the coverage might have been much different.

    1. John

      In the neoliberal financialized Pentagon, three hots and a cot are a quaint relic of the past. Command is primarily interested in contract flow for the MIC and getting primed for the private sector double dip. From the commander in chief on down.

    2. jr

      Yes. “Three hots and a cot.” is often bandied about by soldiers as a mark of toughness, as in all I need are 3 hots and a cot to do my job because I don’t need any frills. I’m a soldier.

      An illustration: I recall that while at Ft. Hoodlum years ago, a major brought a scarlet, silken inflatable pillow to the field. It was the butt of jokes for weeks. This was a widely respected battalion XO.

      But 3 hot/1 cot is also a kind of social contract, if you will. It’s the bare minimum but it’s expected. Again, this is rippling through the enlisted ranks as we speak, I know it.

      And I’ve burned through my allotment of pixels for this morning. Apologies to the management, I was up early and highly caffeinated.

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        Wise comment, many thanks.

        By definition, a ‘soldier’ is distinguished from a ‘warrior’ by fighting in an organization, which compounds their fighting power: whether that’s a shield wall, phalanx, skirmish lines, or what we today call ‘combined arms’.

        That takes logistics and organization. And the parent formation that can’t keep you in ‘beans’ probably can’t keep you in ‘bullets’ either. When the Janizeri flipped over their (empty) pilav pot, that meant their leaders were likely to lose their heads….

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Why Biden May Be Less Evil Than Obama and Clinton – and Why This May Not Matter All That Much in the End”

    Just because Trump is gone does not mean all that TDS will disappear. It is still warping people’s minds as can be seen in this article so I will just tackle the first few points that the author makes.

    ‘he’s too old to be dreaming of years lived high in the economic oligarchy as the payoff for serving Wall Street’

    You mean like those great aged American humanitarians like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer? Their greed has only increased with age.

    ‘(He) might be more prone to care about his legacy to humanity’

    C’mon man, this is Joe Biden we are talking about

    ‘Second, he’s not super-bright’

    Neither was Trump but it did not stop him causing enormous damage.

    ‘being white might help him do more against racism than Obama would.’

    Biden wrote the damn Crime Bill to put away as many black as possible for everything “except jaywalking” (his words). His racism is on video record.

    ‘Biden seems less plagued by narcissism than Clinton and Obama’

    Oh god, I can’t go on. No, TDS definitely has warped people’s brains and it appears that the damage is permanence.

  8. dk


    There’s a particularly interesting misnomer in this article.

    “We’re in a crisis mode,” [Ezra] Cohen had told me earlier. He said he and others had discovered that the Joint Chiefs were creating their own “security compartments” containing operational planning details “for the express purpose of hiding key information from career civilian and political leaders in the Pentagon”—up to and including the secretary of Defense. Talk about a deep state. “That means that policymakers were basing their decisions on partial information. It’s very dangerous and irresponsible, and that’s something I’ve actually highlighted in my conversations with [Biden’s] transition team.” I’ll admit it sounded loopy. To me it had all the elements of a Trump fever dream: The military and intelligence establishment was somehow scheming against the renegades. That is, until two other senior national security officials—with Miller and company—confirmed Cohen’s assertion.

    In a deep state, the intentions of policy makers is thwarted or circumvented and redirected to other ends, by embedded career appointees. The description of “policymakers were basing their decisions on partial information” is that of a shallow state, where top level advisers or immediate staff (not the deep embedded administrative functionaries) filter information presented to otherwise naive or ideologically narrow-minded policy makers to steer policy and action more directly.

    The article’s author is Adam Ciralsky, who after being railroaded out of the CIA has become an author, journalist, and video/cinematographer. Along with biographical details about Ciralsky, his suit against the CIA for his termination and treatment is a case study of the deep state pattern.

  9. Wukchumni

    From white gold to white elephant TLS
    Antique porcelain is worth a fortune in China these days, and a good amount of it come from shipwrecks of Spanish galleons plying the Mexico-Philippines-Spice Islands-China trade routes.

    In the mid 80’s the hold from a Philippine shipwreck was sold @ auction in the Netherlands, all of it Ming Dynasty porcelain in brand new condition.

    Nobody in China at the time had a pot to piss in and it sold for maybe 1/100th to 1/1000th of current value, similar to older Chinese coins not being all that desirable back in the day, and now worth 100x as much.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Can We Stop a Super Coronavirus?” Der Spiegel

    Whatever efforts they are making to fight this pandemic has just had a spanner thrown into the works courtesy of a German district court in Thuringia. Months ago the State of Thuringia ordered a lockdown and now that court has ruled that that move was unconstitutional since there was no “epidemic situation of national importance” at that time and the health system was at no risk of collapsing.”

    Of course those conditions no longer apply but you can bet that this court ruling will be taken up by others. I have heard Germans in Germany complain that a bane of life there was legalism and they said how the cemeteries in Germany were filled with gravestones saying ‘But I was legally right!’

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Navalny Should Be Released”

    Umm, I’m gunna say no. They should keep his a** in the hoosegow for breaking his own country’s laws. Funny thing though. Trump has been savagely criticized for calling for protests that ended in violence on the streets. For this he was criticized not only in America but by the world’s leaders. Navalny also called for mass protests on the streets a few days ago that also ended in violence on the streets but world leader’s are saying to let Navalny go for this and Biden is saying that under American law, Russia has to let Navalny go. The Russians should say that they modeled their police tactics on those used against BLM rioters last year.

    But at least the Kremlin Regiment didn’t let those protestors walk into the Kremlin.

    1. Dftbs

      I have a tremendous amount of respect for Craig Murray, but he shows a tremendous blind spot in this piece. Not only is Navalny a criminal; but Murray’s criticism of Putin taking Russia away from “Europe” is tragically comic. Perhaps it’s caused by some nostalgic liberalism; what does Europe and its culture, what does the West have to offer? It is this West that is persecuting Murray’s friend Julian; demonstrating the true face of its cultural values not in some treatise from Locke, but at Belmarsh prison.

      1. Keith Newman

        Murray’s post is most peculiar. I have no opinion re Navalny but to suggest Russia turn to the West is odd. Over the last 20 years or so NATO has attacked Yugoslavia (“South Slavs”), moved provocatively right to Russia’s borders despite promising not to, engineered the overthrow of the Ukrainian government by neo-nazis, planned to vastly increase spending on nuclear weapons, produced enduring hysterical anti-Russia campaigns (Russiagate, the Skrypals), and applied a series of economic and political sanctions against the country. These relentless attacks have resulted in Russia turning to China, a very obvious reaction. To suggest Russia would, or should do otherwise, requires remarkable mental gymnatics.

        1. RMO

          Russia has tried to “turn to the west” more than once – even going so far as trying to join NATO. Their value as an enemy was too high for this to have been allowed to happen.

    2. chuck roast

      Not a peep from John Helmer on the Navalny arrest. Seems he has 20/10 vision in one eye and is blind out of the other. And Craig Murray blathering about Putin coming closer to the west demonstrates that despite his good heart he may well be in need of a visit to the ophthalmologist himself.

      1. Weimer

        Yes! And “Biden is saying that under American law, Russia has to let Navalny go” – since when do internal laws of one country apply to another? Hypocrisy is the name of the game; sad that Murray does not see this.
        But then, Biden is the guy who told Putin not to run for prez in 2011. (And dems cheered destruction of legislative offices in HK in 2019, so what can we expect.)

      2. John A

        On the contrary, Helmer points out how treasonous Navalny has behaved.

        Unlike France, where Gillets Jaunes protestors have lost eyes and hands to police brutality, and yet the western media ignore this, a Russian police or security officer allegedly had an eye gouged out yesterday. Western media hypocracy in a nutshell.

    3. Maxwell Johnston

      I agree with Murray on this (and I’m pleased to see that he’s at least as skeptical about Navalny as I am). The Russian govt’s response to Navalny’s return has been an own goal so far; from the airport switcheroo last Sunday (which massively inconvenienced the other innocent passengers who happened to be on Navalny’s flight) to the crackdown on the (actually quite modest) demonstrations yesterday, they have managed to generate lots of free publicity for Navalny. The Streisand Effect comes to Russia. Given Navalny’s low popularity ratings, why not just ignore him? In another example of overreaction and even paranoia, the Russian foreign ministry is angry with the US embassy for having published the locations and times of the demonstrations. In fact, the US embassy routinely sends out electronic warnings prior to any planned demonstrations. What’s unusual this time around is that they were very specific about exactly when and where the pro-Navalny demos would take place.

      Of course this was done on purpose, and it’s actually rather clever and subtle on the Yankees’ part (plausible deniability, “hey, we were just making sure our local citizens stayed away!”). The Russians could have just chuckled and ignored the US Embassy’s little act of defiant support. Instead, they overreact (again!) and generate yet more publicity. Why?

  12. JWP

    Re: India

    “In return for up to more than $120 billion in loans at the time, India was directed to dismantle its state-owned seed supply system, reduce subsidies, run down public agriculture institutions and offer incentives for the growing of cash crops to earn foreign exchange. The plan involves shifting at least 400 million from the countryside into cities.”

    Same privatization techniques used here and in the UK to weaken, dismantle, and replace with privately run “systems”. The global grift and its parallels to British imperialism the article draws are excellent, with companies backed by the IMF and World Bank stepping into the place of colonial powers. Maybe I’m too young to see this, but the sheer scale of these moves makes me wonder about just how deep the cabal of global elite runs, that they would be willing to sacrifice 400 million plus people for cheap farmland.

  13. Wukchumni

    Biden Has Extended Eviction Moratorium — Now It’s Time for More Truthout
    The extended eviction moratorium only goes through March 31, so Raus! on April Fools Day!

    From what i’ve read, landlords with apartment buildings are getting creamed, as their clientele has no skin the game and are much more likely to go the forbearance route than say somebody contemplating not paying their mortgage. Here’a a crocodile tear shed for lords looming large.

    It’d be hellish to get the boot here in the Golden State this week, as finally winter has arrived in the form of one hell of an extended storm that could go from a trace of snow (for once white stuff in Malibu that wasn’t from Bogata!) on the ground presently in the higher climes, to 10 feet by the end of the epoch. Really frigid (Cali cold-dude, think 30’s) temps in much of the state.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      You should cry for small landlords. They were the only human face to renting apartments in places like the City … the only Human buffer between tenants and Neoliberal housing rents and policies. Small landlords are not poor by any measure, but they are generally more … much more … responsive to their tenants then Corporate landlords.

      I worry for what kind of resolution awaits the growing rental and mortgage moratorium “overhangs” for renters, home owners, and where they are protected, the small landlords. Before they fall … your crocodile tears should grow much more real.

  14. rkka

    Re Murray’s concern about Putin failing to move Russia towards Europe, the conspiracy theorizing that has arisen in Poland almost immediately over the Smolensk air crash of 10 April 2010, shows that his opinion, that Russia is a pillar of European civilization, is not shared by some NATO & EU members.

    Similar conspiracy theorizing cast a deep shadow over Soviet-Western relations, when 39 Panzer Corps counterattacked Soviet 2nd Tank Army on the outskirts of Warsaw on 1 August 1944, as the Warsaw Uprising started. During this counterattack, one division sized Soviet mechanized force was surrounded and annihilated by 4 Panzer Divisions, suffering a 90% casualty rate, and two others driven away from Warsaw with heavy losses.

    The Polish Government-in-exile in London called this “…just standing by, passive and ostentatious, at a distance of 15 kilometers from Warsaw.” and the English-speaking world believed it, raising an impediment to the idea that Russia was a pillar of European civilization, as the Polish gvt-in-exile intended..

    So don’t believe for a minute that significant parts of NATO & EU Europe share Mr. Murray’s opinion that Russia is a pillar of European civilization

  15. Carolinian

    Re the fragility of GPS–Airliners do have a backup system using terrestrial radio transmitters and ships do as well if sailors still know how to use a sextant. Generations of NYC cab drivers and delivery men somehow managed to find their way around (perhaps while arguing with customers about the routes) without GPS. It could be the problem is that GPS, like social media, has seduced us with its convenience. If your navigation depends on a platform….

    So the solution is less more dependable GPS and more less dependence on GPS? Nobody is a bigger fan of GPS than yours truly but you have to accept the limits.

    1. Duck1

      Isn’t there a Russian system we could back up on?
      Oh, wait, there is somebody knocking loudly on my door!

    2. cocomaan

      I have this amazing paper product in every car I own, and have ever owned. No, not toilet paper. But that’s a good idea too.

      It’s called an Atlas. I’m shrugging about the NYT Atlas article*, but seems to me that reading an atlas is a lost art. It’s a great backup to have and incredibly inexpensive. I think I paid $20 for my last atlas and it’s probably good for 5 years.

      I submit that an atlas is worth way more to you than a year’s subscription to the NYT.

      As you said, Carolinian, there’s a lot of shortwave that enables navigation. Airplane transponders operate around 1000mhz. If you have an airplane and another coordinate, you can chase Pythagoras and figure out where something is.

      * Sorry, it’s Sunday Punday.

      1. Wukchumni

        Used to call my better half ‘The Queen of the Thomas Brothers Atlas’ for in the days before Waze in the 80’s & 90’s, she had the top secret ways of doing her commute if LA traffic sucked-which was a given.

        My favorite of hers was Eldred St. the steepest driveable street in LA & SF near Dodger Stadium. Here’s a drive by:

      2. jp

        Even though AAA stopped updating maps years ago, we still have all our old paper maps. My wife’s family has a genetic flaw. They all experience travel as a two dimensional exercise, like following a string. They are conceptually unable to rise above street level and visualize alternate paths. They are also terrible at cardinal directions. I believe they would all benefit from an implanted chip.

        1. Wukchumni

          GPS has its place, but a 7.5 minute topo map in the High Sierra is more fun, and doesn’t need batteries or a satellite orbiting overhead, but requires you to learn the lay of the land, hmmm can I go over there off-trail?

          1. JP

            It would be nice if 3.75 min were available. Although, if I was dropped anywhere between Mineral King and the South Fork Ranger station on the Kern, when the blindfold was pulled off I would not need a map. Never the less exploring off trail, especially ridge tops, has often resulted in back tracking to avoid unnegotiable verticals. One thing for sure is google earth is worthless for the wilderness.

            The old topo maps are fun because they show a lot of abandoned trails that are fun to find and can take you to places no one goes anymore.

            1. Wukchumni

              if I was dropped anywhere between Mineral King and the South Fork Ranger station on the Kern, when the blindfold was pulled off I would not need a map.

              I’m similar with a larger range from say Woods Creek in the north to Golden Trout Wilderness in the south. For me it’s all about familiarity with peaks.

              I’d been hoping the original section of the Hockett Trail which went through the Ladybug Trail would’ve burned out in the recent Castle fire, as it was poison oak & thicket hell, but it only partially burned from what i’ve seen from afar. I’d like to see if I can connect to the Garfield Trail, as it used to be before the epic 1968-69 winter did a number on it, and the trail was abandoned.

    3. rusti

      What’s much more concerning to me than navigation applications is the complete dependence of modern electrical power and communications infrastructure on precise time synchronization. A feat which is incredibly difficult to achieve with anything other than Global Navigational Satellite Systems.

      Basically anywhere on Earth you can step outside and tap into a network of cesium clocks that give sub-microsecond global time synchronization and all it takes is a cheap antenna/receiver and no subscription cost. When the engineering challenge of time synchronization is solved it becomes much easier to build more advanced electrical and electronic systems, and in the past 40 years the trend is for more infrastructure to depend completely on operational GNSS.

      There are various funding calls for “Robust PNT” (Positioning, Navigation, Timing) but GPS is so elegantly designed I can understand why we’ve been incapable of building resilient systems and instead chose to ignore the reality that it is a huge vulnerability that if it were to fail the consequences would be catastrophic.

      Good to see they interviewed Todd Humphreys at UT Austin for the article, he has very nice journal papers on the subject.

    4. Glen

      The navigation system on current commercial airliners is an Inertial Navigation System which does not use GPS data (but it may need GPS data or the manual equivalent to get properly initialized):

      Inertial navigation system

      These have been in use in commercial aviation since the Boeing 747. There are also other VOR/DME systems which provide position information:

      VHF omnidirectional range

      Distance measuring equipment

      How Do Commercial Aircraft Navigate?

      Inertial navigation systems require initial position data in order to properly start up. This is normally obtained from the GPS data, but can be manually input while the airplane is sitting at the gate.

      1. Bill Smith

        INS systems do need GPS or something (I once taxied over to the big X painted on the taxiway, I had a book that told where the X was) to set up. INS systems are not good yet enough to use for as an ILS.

        INS systems are also updated by GPS enroute.

        1. Glen

          Yes, inertial navigation systems need to know the starting location to get earth rate right, and depending on whether it is a gimbaled or strap-downed system, it needs to know where the local gravity vector is pointing.

          It is entirely possible to have inertial nav systems that are very accurate, and don’t require daily update via GPS, but these are more expensive, sophisticated, and large such as is used in a navy sub where poking an antenna up to get a GPS reading may not be possible.

          Most modern nav systems will use GPS data for the initial setting. The older systems relied on the operators to enter the data which was normally posted in the hanger or as you mention a marked location.

          The GPS system is entirely under the DoD’s control, and they can and do degrade the accuracy of the system although that does not happen as much now as in the past.

          1. rusti

            Most modern nav systems will use GPS data for the initial setting. The older systems relied on the operators to enter the data which was normally posted in the hanger or as you mention a marked location.

            Not just for initialization, but to correct drift biases in the IMUs during operation. Strategic grade IMUs cost a million bucks, which can be justified in applications like nuclear subs but not much else and also fall under ITAR. Also, air routes that follow a more efficient trajectory are possible when long-term unbiased position estimates are available with GNSS.

            The GPS system is entirely under the DoD’s control, and they can and do degrade the accuracy of the system although that does not happen as much now as in the past.

            Selective Availability was turned off 20 years ago, there is no more intentional degradation. The P code is still secret but that’s largely irrelevant for precision applications which use carrier phase anyway.

    5. RMO

      With regards to air navigation, in the US (and elsewhere) the VOR and NDB ground facilities are being decommissioned as the FAA has put almost all it’s eggs into the GPS basket. ADS-B is also dependent upon GPS functioning properly. Inertial navigation systems would be immune to GPS problems but I don’t think there are a whole lot of them still working in the civil aviation field.

      Funny thing about that article is that they never mention the US military degrading GPS in certain areas from time to time in exercises. Or a good solar storm knocking the satellites out, which would be a huge problem considering how dependent the world has become on GPS function.

      1. Glen

        Every large commercial airplane carrying passengers has an Inertial Navigation System. I would have to check to be sure, but I think a non-functional INS means the airplane cannot leave the gate with passengers.

        Any commercial pilots out there know the answer to that one?


          Most airliners in current use have two or three Inertial Navigation Systems. If you have three systems having one not functioning is allowed per the Minimum Equipment Lists. The aircraft with two systems (737s) can have a nonfunctioning system deferred but the associated operating restrictions usually don’t make it practical to fly like this.

      2. Carolinian

        Thanks. Here’s what Wiki says about that

        The US FAA plans[12] by 2020 to decommission roughly half of the 967[13] VOR stations in the US, retaining a “Minimum Operational Network” to provide coverage to all aircraft more than 5,000 feet above the ground. Most of the decommissioned stations will be east of the Rocky Mountains, where there is more overlap in coverage between them.[citation needed] On July 27, 2016, a final policy statement was released[14] specifying stations to be decommissioned by 2025. A total of 74 stations are to be decommissioned in Phase 1 (2016–2020), and 234 more stations are scheduled to be taken out of service in Phase 2 (2021–2025).

        In the UK, 19 VOR transmitters are to be kept operational until at least 2020. Those at Cranfield and Dean Cross were decommissioned in 2014, with the remaining 25 to be assessed between 2015 and 2020.[15][16] Similar efforts are underway in Australia,[17] and elsewhere.

    6. Jeremy Grimm

      I’ll toss in another possible concern. I still adhere to a belief we might need Defense for this country. I do not believe what we currently ‘enjoy’ could rightly be called ‘Defense’ but national defense is a fundamental responsibility of the national State. How well could our Defense forces operate if their GPS systems went down? As a retiree, I am out of those loops but I did sense — though did not actually ‘see’ — a strong dependence on a fully operational GPS in the few Army units I observed in test events when I was still employed years ago. I believe many Air Force bomber systems might have an Inertial Navigation System [INS] in addition their MIL-spec GPS navigation systems … but I worked on F-16 … years and years ago … and we are up to the F-35.

      1. rowlf

        Strategic Air Command in the US Air Force always relied on internal navigation due to experience with spoofed external nav aid signals. Since the early 1960s inertial navigation systems were used along with radar map imaging and astro navigation units. (I like the astro navigation computers as they could spot stars even during daylight). Some early INS units and astro navigation units were installed on Hounddog cruise missiles and the B-52 carrying the missiles could use that information along with the aircraft systems.

        Military INS systems were more precise than units for civilian use, as the US DoD didn’t want an off-the-shelf guidance package for other countries to use. However, civilian manufacturers figured out ways to undither the civilian units by taking radio shots and knowing the location of major airport runways to return the missing accuracy.

      2. The Rev Kev

        The US Navy got so concerned about this problem that once more they are teaching their offices to use sextants. If you are in the middle of the Pacific and the GPS gets screwed up, which way is home? At least the rising & setting of the sun lets you know which is east and which is west but not much more.

      3. rusti

        I believe many Air Force bomber systems might have an Inertial Navigation System [INS] in addition their MIL-spec GPS navigation systems … but I worked on F-16 … years and years ago … and we are up to the F-35.

        I am sure that all modern aircraft have Inertial Measurement Units which can be used for inertial navigation. The limitation with inertial navigation is that it has what’s called “unbounded error” for position estimation.

        Imagine you have your eyes closed and you’re getting pushed around in a shopping cart in a parking lot, and your goal is to guess where you wind up. You can probably guess your approximate position based on the acceleration you experience after a short time, but the longer it goes the more disoriented you will become and any errors in your best guess will accumulate. If you can open your eyes periodically and find a few landmarks, you can close your eyes again and your short-term guesses can work reasonably well again for a time.

        GPS is brilliant for this because the satellites are 20,000 kilometers above the earth so when it’s operational and you can see the sky, you don’t need great skill at navigating based on acceleration and rotational speeds, you always have a few landmarks to orient yourself with.

    7. Bill Smith

      US, Russia, Europe, China have GNSS systems. India and Japan have systems that look like they will grow into GNSS systems. They are all pretty closely located frequency wise.

      There are other systems. The Iridium satellite system has a location service. It is located quite a distance away from the GNSS systems (frequency wise) and because those satellites are in much lower orbits that signal is about 1000 times stronger than GPS. That makes it much harder to jam.

      And as the article mentions eLORAN can be expanded as that signal as with other radio signals cross national borders. It was operational in Western Europe for while in (until 2016 or so) addition to the places mentioned in the article. But the Galileo lobby pretty much killed it. It would take about 20 towers to provide eLORAN coverage in the US. I don’t recall exactly as it has been more than a decade since I played with LORAN and that was almost entirely LORAN C, eLORAN signals are like a million times stronger than the GNSS signals.

      The US is still planning on keeping enough VOR’s in operation to provide a backup for aircraft. But ‘enough’ is a number that shrinks every year or so.

  16. Dftbs

    In the discussion of the events of January 6, on this and other forums, I notice the strong tendency for alienated, armchair analysis. Monday morning quarterbacking, what you would’ve done in the big game, is an appropriate method of analysis to apply to a situation you would/could not participate in.

    If you’re an American, the events of Jan 6 are different, they didn’t occur like a game in a discrete moment in time. The conditions that brought the crowds forth, and the response from state power, are continuous in nature.

    As a long time reader of this site, I don’t imagine many sympathies here for what may pass as the political project of the riotous crowd. But rather than analyze their operational security or their operational capacity; I think we should think on our response as individuals to what is coming over the horizon.

    That crowd may question the legitimacy of state power, they may be represent a significant portion of the population, or just a fringe. But state power is coming for them, and if history is any indication, for much more then just them.

    For better or worse, noble or ignoble, their act and the response it begets will change the legitimacy of the state. And we shouldn’t get stuck in an eddy of thought on who the “gunmen on the grassy knoll” were on Jan6. Everyone should think on how they’ll react to what happens next.

    1. flora

      That crowd may question the legitimacy of state power, they may be represent a significant portion of the population, or just a fringe. But state power is coming for them, and if history is any indication, for much more then just them.

      Glad to see Greenwald’s tweet about Congresswoman Tlaib’s push back against Patriot Act v. 2. Many people are skeptical of the rationales offered for that hideous Rep. Schiff concoction – H.R. 4192 – and anything like it.

      Look also at the states which are suddenly offering state “anit-protest” bills, (all remarkable alike in language, as if they’d been written by an outfit with a “model legislation” think tank bill ready to go). This is in the name of “keeping the peace”, after the summer BLM protests marred by riots (hello antfa) and the Capitol protest marred by a riot. So, shut down right to assemble, petition, and free speech in the name of “keeping the peace”. (Good job, protest provocateurs. /s)

    2. Fireship

      “As a long time reader of this site, I don’t imagine many sympathies here for what may pass as the political project of the riotous crowd.”

      As a fan of comedy such as The Three Stooges, Laurel & Hardy and The Marx Brothers it delights me to see such shenanigans. A bonus is that as long as Americans are clobbering each other they might leave us folks in the rest of the World alone! Thanks for the Blues and Jazz and Abstract art, I really enjoy it, but not a fan of US foreign policy.

      Keep it futile!

      1. tegnost

        just wait til TPB send them over there so they don’t have to fight them here, then it switches from slapstick to black comedy

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      I am not sure what reaction you expect or what reaction an ordinary person might make to the Government reaction to the 6 Jan Clownfest. My reaction to the Patriot Act was deep visceral revulsion — for all the good that did. My reaction to the Patriot Act 2.0 will be deep visceral revulsion — many deeper visceral revulsion.

      “For better or worse, noble or ignoble, their act and the response it begets will change the legitimacy of the state.” You give a lot of weight to a Clownfest. I believe the response to the Clownfest might affect the moral and ethical “legitimacy of the state” for the little it contributed to forwarding the promotion of the long waiting legislation to implement a Patriot Act 2.0.

  17. lordkoos

    10 best herbs to grow indoors –

    We grow many of these on our front porch and a few in the garden as well, quite a few of the former make it through the winter as it’s near enough to the house to help counter the winter temperatures. Global warming means that the last few winters rosemary and sage surive outdoors no problem. No mention of growing cannabis indoors…

  18. Wukchumni

    In my experience in observing our local militia-cum-church, it wasn’t as if they were trying to hide anything as far as their intentions, and I noticed that almost everybody not in their sphere was hesitant to talk about them in terms of something printed in a newspaper, as they were the potential weird X factor in town, whose stated goal pretty much was to lord over us as the law when the proverbial shit hit the fan although there was only 50 in the flock, versus 2,000 infidels on the outside looking in.

    I know how some feel about SPLC on here, but they pegged our militia perfectly, lemme tellya.

    They briefly had a ‘survivalist store’ in town, hawking paper targets outside that turned red when hit, to passers by on Hwy 198. I went in a few times and bought a video disc they’d produced called ‘To Teach Them War’ which was a treatise on how to better get your proto-teenager ready for a conflict, I kid you not.

    These militias have no saving grace in our society and would be the vanguard of privateer armies if allowed purchase, and i’d guess all are as sloppy online as ours was, they left lots of clues.

    Should be easy to take them down in order to make them less of a nuisance to society, and the time to stop a revolution is before it begins.

    Imagine America being taken out by hoodlums the likes of these people?

    1. jp

      I had no idea. Makes Springville look tame. However our county supervisor is an avowed theocratist who believes the US should be governed as a christian theocracy.

      1. Wukchumni

        The SPLC article I feel was instrumental in the Church of Kaweah moving to Bonners Ferry Idaho and renaming itself ‘Lordship Church’.

        Their church on the North Fork had these posts around the perimeter by the road with placards stating that the land belonged to Jesus Christ, part of the tax dodge angle, no doubt.

    1. Phillip Cross

      So far this year i’ve added Biden, Trump, Hawley, Cruz, Kamala, Antifa, Proud Boy, Domestic Terrorism, Putin and Navalny to my “muted words” list on Twitter. It’s really improved the experience! I say the more the merrier, so please can you can give me a rundown on the latest things you’re up in arms about, so I can add them too?

  19. Kurt Sperry

    Covid-19 Vaccine: What You Need to Know When You Get the Shot WSJ

    One thing it seems like the media (and governments) have completely dropped the ball on here is in illuminating the problems and constraints on the manufacturing end of vaccine production and a stubborn insistence on instead focusing on the distribution chain, whose problems seem largely to stem from lack of supply. What in the way of resources do the actual makers of vaccines require to quickly ramp up production to meet critical demand? This question so much hinges on doesn’t even seem to be on the media’s radar. Our governments should be directing far more attention to getting vaccine production massively increased rather than concentrating on the far less important issues of who is or isn’t qualified to get a vaccine in what order (idpol) or where vaccination clinics are or aren’t sited and other relatively minor bureaucratic questions. We get the manufacturing process up to speed and all the bureaucratic issues recede into lesser importance.

    Have any of us seen media reports or government health officials going into depth on the manufacturing end and what is constraining the supply? It seems likely an awfully important question to be so blithely uncurious about.

    1. KB

      Don’t really think so. In Minnesota as of the end of last week they still have only administered 46 percent of available (already delivered) vaccines…

      If I recall correctly this is true in many states….so, still a last mile problem overall.

      From kstp Minneapolis:

      “Out of the 871,650 doses that have thus far been promised to Minnesota from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 522,975 doses have been shipped to health care providers and 153,300 have been shipped for the CDC’s long-term care vaccination program. So far the state has administered 46.1% of all doses shipped to their final destination.”

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      An excellent comment and question. I suspect our Government is more concerned about coloring within the lines between Government concerns like low-level distribution of vaccines — but be careful about lines between Federal, State, and local Government — and Big Money Business concerns like production. I am not sure actually getting the public protected against the Corona pandemic is the number one concern.

      1. Massinissa

        “I am not sure actually getting the public protected against the Corona pandemic is the number one concern.”

        I’m convinced both protecting the public from Corona and preventing deaths from Corona are pretty far down on the list of priorities. They’re pretty much taking the Herd Immunity route while ‘fighting for’ stopping the pandemic, I.E. they only care because not caring would make them look bad, so they’ll pretend to care so as to look less blamable.

  20. Mikel

    RE: “America Has a GPS Problem” NYT

    Hmmm….what could be the backup for GPS in everyday life usages? I wonder what…
    Hey, how about maps, compasses, and land lines for phones? Of course we need humans and their brains to use and control these, but it would be manageable in an emergency, no?
    Maybe beef up geograhpy education?

  21. a fax machine

    re: Ohio Auto Parts workers

    Perhaps the worst part about being a non-dealer counterman is that the management is deliberately changed every 24-36 months if EBIT numbers are not grown how the company wants. In practice, very few SMs (Store Managers) can actually hit this, and doing so requires a strong commercial arm with mechanics. At least where I worked (’13-’18) the primary thing holding stores back was the lack of qualified drivers to make hourly deliveries, which was a direct result of the low pay. Amazon then came in and took most by offering a lot more, and most stores couldn’t justify the increases in pay as pay/hours is tied (via algorithm) directly into overall sales/EBIT. Likewise, Amazon will also back up drivers in cases of alleged theft – auto parts chains won’t if that person is a mechanic as all these deliveries are made in cash without cash bags. Where I used to work, this only changed in Sept ’20 (due to covid, cyber staffs were cut and delayed cash bag rollout by 8 months). Of course, sales have to be cash because most of these people run a huge debt with the company (the corporate accounts operate similar to a credit card).

    Now, within every district there’s a hard split between the top 10 and bottom 10. The middle group is increasingly having their staffs cut out for the others, as the warehouse doubles in size every 5 years to compensate. This has created a situation where the company has to conceive of itself as an actual distributor and not just a retail front. For MBAs trained in merchandising and sales, this doesn’t come easy especially when a store wants to order extra stock or eject unused stock.

    The whole operation is managed poorly, to say the least. Say what you want about Amazon, much can be said, but in this era they know what their business is and how to successfully operate it. Their drivers might be treated poorly but they are at least recognized as drivers and machine operators, not a sales person. The only people who win in this system were ones that went back to school and became the (licensed) mechanics or who became truckers and thus left for a subcontractor (some of which are Unionized). And where do *these* people get their parts? Pick-and-Pull, where they pay homeless people to actually get the parts!

  22. jr

    Good news: the CEO of Duke Energy assures us that President Bo-Bo is going to tie the “Green!” economy to renewable energy and battery tech and electric whiz-bangles:

    This rich bit stood out:

    “Earn union-level wages making solar panels!”

    Something tells me she means sans union. I’ll leave it to any interested energy heads to pick apart the article if desired, I don’t know anything about it other than burning it. But I do know the ridiculous when I see it. Such as a puff piece of journal-tising that offers the chipper sociopath who did this:

    “ In January 2020, Regan reached a settlement with Duke for the cleanup of nearly 80 million tons of coal ash at six Duke facilities in North Carolina. Coal ash, which is created when coal is burned to create electricity, contains mercury, cadmium and arsenic, and without proper management, these contaminants can pollute waterways, groundwater, drinking water and the air. It was the largest coal-ash cleanup in the nation’s history.”

    as an exemplar to lead the nation into a brighter, Green!er future. The Green! revolution that will require loads of petroleum based materials to get going. That one.

  23. Fastball

    While I know many people on this thread are actually occupied by the riot at the Capitol, many more things alarm me much more.

    I’ve recently seen MSNBC arguing that FBI agents are unfairly vilified, based on an interview with an FBI agent working with MSNBC.

    I’ve also seen police in Tennessee arresting a man for “disrespecting” the grave of a police officer even though he did nothing but disrespect a police officer. He didn’t actually desecrate the grave even. It was all Photoshopped.

    I’ve seen Facebook ban left wing groups and authors without justification and without explanation.

    This is just in the last few days. There’s more.

    It appears to me that free speech rights are being systematically curtailed in favor of authority.

    I know that some among the liberal community like to say that this is all to counter right wing extremism, but if so, it seems misplaced and overreacting. That alarms me because it heralds a new censorship regime.

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘The House Progressives have already sent a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate’

        But was it a sternly worded letter? They always work best.

        1. Glen

          Read it – link provided. I’m sure it’s very stern!

          But also a way to say – we’re not voting for anything, but a Patriot Act II is probably something you can get the centrists in the Democratic party and the Republican party to agree on. Unfortunately.

          1. marym

            It’s a good letter, particularly the historical references. I wonder if there will be any substantial resistance to further expansion of the security/surveillance state, and in what factions of Congress and the public. Thanks for the link.

  24. H1C

    Jerri-Lynn, thank you for the link to the Nature article re rogue antibodies looking like they are involved in severe cases of Covid-19. The next step I’d like to have seen is for them to ask whether and to what extent the antigen in the 1st-gen vaccines may trigger autoimmunity, or contribute to severe disease upon meeting the live virus after vaccination, due to antibody-dependent enhancement. The Nature article mentions molecular mimicry in passing as a possible reason why infections with certain pathogens may generate autoimmunity, but it turns out that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein epitopes share a high degree of similarity with human-like epitopes. If the Nature article is correct, it would seem to imply that those with a TH2-pathway-dominant (humoral, antibody-dominant) immune response have a worse go of it than those with an innate immunity-dominant, or a TH1-pathway-dominant (T-cell-mediated dominant) immune response.

    Below is the email I sent to my neighbor, who’s a MD, PhD who works at CDC, outlining the questions I have regarding the 1st-gen vaccines. I bumped into him on a walk last week, and he said I could send an email to him, and he’d ask around at CDC if anyone has given these issues thought. He could not guarantee whether he’d be permitted to share with me any responses to the issues I raise; in fact he said that most likely he would not be permitted to share any discussions within the CDC that have taken place regarding these matters.

    Hi Dr. _____,

    Thank you for taking my email. Below are the questions I’ve had about the first-generation vaccines, which have been bothering me:

    Why have all of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates approved to date used the entire spike protein as the antigen? It seems like all of the thought has been directed toward clever ways to deliver the antigen (Pfizer, Moderna mRNA; Novavax recombinant nanoparticles), but very little if any thought has been put toward antigen selection. My guess is that the entire spike protein was chosen as antigen to make the vaccines resilient to mutations; or because the designers were in a rush; or a combination of both reasons.

    Alternatively, the vaccine makers thus far seem to have assumed that vaccines with the entire spike protein as antigen would produce mostly, or enough, neutralizing antibodies, and thus would not be subject to antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE).

    But doesn’t that beg the question? Isn’t it merely an assumption that a sufficient number of the antibodies to the entire spike protein would be neutralizing? Without a full understanding of SARS-CoV-2’s methods of infectivity (for example, RBD, furin cleavage site, knowledge of the receptor binding sites outside of the RBD), how would we know that most, or enough, of the antibodies produced against the entire spike protein are neutralizing, and not subject to ADE? Rather, it seems to me to be largely a matter of chance what type of antibodies (binding or neutralizing) would be formed when presenting the entire spike protein as antigen, and it would be dependent upon which epitopes of the antigen happen to be presented most dominantly to one’s immune system.

    I ask the above questions because I bookmarked the following paper last spring, and the issues it raises have been nagging at me ever since:

    The authors state that they analyzed the spike protein, and found that it has 78.4% similarity to human-like epitopes, and thus only 21.6% non-human-like epitopes. Further, they state that they selected as antigen for their vaccine candidate only the non-human-like epitopes residing in the receptor binding domain (RBD), in the furin cleavage site, and in receptor binding sites outside of the main RBD.

    Their reasoning for selecting as antigen only these epitopes was that “the immune system will be guided directly to the epitopes which are relevant to virus neutralization.” And further, since their vaccine presents only non-human-like epitopes, and only epitopes relevant to SARS-CoV-2’s methods of infectivity, the risks of: 1) autoimmune reactions (local or systemic toxicity) and 2) the formation of ineffective antibodies (and even antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) on subsequent exposure to the virus) are reduced with their vaccine candidate, vs. the conventionally-designed vaccines, which all present the entire spike protein as antigen.

    What do immunologists, microbiologists and other experts make of these issues? How great is the risk with the conventional SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, which present the entire spike protein as antigen, of autoimmune reactions, or of the formation of ineffective antibodies (or even ADE)?

    These issues are the ones that are causing me the most to take a wait-and-see attitude toward the vaccines that have been released to date, more than possible allergic reactions to their ingredients. And I do have a history of strong allergic reactions to certain things, but would be willing to take the chance if I see that the risk of autoimmune reactions, or of the formation of ineffective antibodies, with the vaccines released to date is low. I’d appreciate thoughts from you or from any other experts.

    Thank you and best wishes,

    I am curious to know whether scientists at the CDC have given these issues thought, and if so, whether they’ll be allowed to respond to a member of the public.

    1. Cuibono

      interesting and provocative thoughts.
      We have not seen evidence of ADE yet have we? Too early for sufficient reinfections to occur or too early for Ab levels to wane? or have we and we just don’t know it?

      As for autoimmunity, it seems pretty clear that once injected even the mRNA might end up pretty much anywhere in the body though animal studies seem to suggest locating in the muscle it is injected in and regional lymph nodes primarily. But you are raising a whole different issue: that the epitopes mimic human ones..however so far we are not seeing any widespread reports of autoimmune behaviour: very sporadic so that concern is likely not serious at this time

      1. H1C

        The Florida doctor who died after getting the Pfizer vaccine likely had (auto-)immune thrombocytopenia triggered in him by the vaccine, and both the Nature article and this NYT article link to the same systematic review showing that infection with the live virus can cause it as well:

        This may have been a very unfortunate case of his immune system forming an antibody against an epitope on the spike protein that happened to be similar to an epitope found on platelets or the cells in bone marrow that make platelets.

  25. K.k

    Disturbing footage from last night in Tacoma. A group gathered around some drivers doing stunts with their cars. LEO showed up, the crowd in front of the police did not move, the officer decided to plow right through the crowd. Again very disturbing footage, made my stomach turn.
    Demands being made to fire the officers. I think the officer should also face criminal charges. There was absolutely no reason as far as i can tell for him or her to have done something like this.

    1. Massinissa

      ” There was absolutely no reason as far as i can tell for him or her to have done something like this.”

      *puts on ridiculous tinfoil hat*

      Its to send the American people a message!

      *takes off ridiculous tinfoil hat*

      In reality, I agree with you. This makes no sense. I’ve been really tired of how the police have been acting nationally in the last year. Getting to the point where it really does feel like they’re more interested in oppression than law enforcement lately. Which, honestly, does make their absence at the Capitol protest slightly more jarring.

  26. allan

    Public health officials are now being targeted with live ammo:

    Shots fired into home of Ohio Department of Health official [Columbus Dispatch]

    Police are investigating after someone fired shots into the home of an official at the Ohio Department of Health.

    Upper Arlington Police responded to a call just after 8 p.m. in the 1700 block of Berkshire Road on Saturday of shots being fired into the home of Dr. Mary Kate Francis, assistant medical director of the Ohio Department of Health. …

    Although Francis works at the state health department, she’s mostly remained behind the scenes during the pandemic. Her supervisor, medical director Bruce Vanderhoff regularly appears on television during Gov. Mike DeWine’s COVID-19 briefings, as did Dr. Amy Acton, former director of the Ohio Department of Health. …

    Before Acton resigned in June, she became the target of threats and anti-Semitic slurs.

    People protested outside of Acton’s Bexley home. Some of the protesters showed up with guns.

Comments are closed.