Links 2/13/2021

Gorgeous Rare White Grizzly Bear Sighted In Canada DOGO. From last year, missed it then.

Captive bears set free into mountains of Iraq Reuters (resilc)

Pigs can play video games with their snouts, scientists find BBC. So when do they get Robinhood accounts?

Lulu the dog inherits $5m from deceased US owner BBC (David L)

Stonehenge: Did the stone circle originally stand in Wales? BBC (David L)

Dust devil Psyche Films (Chuck L). Not what you’re expecting.

Mars’ Dust Storm Is So Intense It’s Now Encircling The Entire Planet Science Alert (Chuck L)

Tampons vanish as Mexico City takes aim at single use plastics Financial Times

Scientists Discover an Immense, Unknown Hydrocarbon Cycle Hiding in The Oceans Science Alert (Chuck L)

Andrew McAfee and the Myth of America’s Green Growth Foreign Policy. UserFriendly: “Important!!!!”

A Pie Every Night London Review of Books. On the most schizophrenic family.


Nebulizer That Vaporized Virus Starts New Australia Outbreak Bloomberg


F.D.A. Agrees Moderna Can Increase Vaccine Supply in Each Vial New York Times (Kevin W)

The rollout of Russia’s Sputnik vaccine was roundly criticised, now more than a billion doses have been ordered around the world (Kevin W)

Four potential COVID-19 therapeutics enter Phase 2/3 testing in NIH ACTIV-2 trial NIH (Kevin C)

The Hard Lessons of Modeling the Coronavirus Pandemic Quanta (Anthony L)

Lambert’s Covid thing is aerosols, mine is reinfection risk being underestimated:

On W.H.O. Trip, China Refused to Hand Over Important Data New York Times (David L). Recall that Chinese social media has been awash with stories that a US soldier brought Covid to China. Merely showing natural origin would undermine that account and might lead to uncomfortable questions about the apparent lack of regulation of small farms.


CDC releases guidelines for reopening schools The Hill

Overloaded schedules and ‘Covid cowbells’: For pharmacists, the Covid-19 vaccine rollout brings exhaustion, but some relief STAT. One reader reported that some pharmacists in his area had quit over greatly increased job duties with no extra pay and no increase in support staff.


GoFundMe CEO: Hello Congress, Americans need help and we can’t do your job for you USA Today

Charles de Gaulle: Plans for huge new airport terminal in Paris scrapped BBC (resilc)


Why Japan Inc can’t and won’t quit China Asia Times

New Cold War

Why Russia is driving the West crazy Pepe Escobar, Asia Times


Biden Adopts a Trump Approach to Iran CounterPunch (resilc)

After 20 Years, the Establishment is Still in Denial About Afghanistan American Conservative

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Court Docs Show FBI Can Intercept Encrypted Messages From Deep State-Backed ‘Signal’ App Big League Politics (BC)

Minneapolis Bans Its Police Department From Using Facial Recognition Software TechCrunch

Facebook is reportedly building a smartwatch and wants to sell it to you starting next year in exchange for your health data Business Insider (Kevin W)

Google Explores Alternative to Apple’s New Anti-Tracking Feature Bloomberg (UserFriendly)

Imperial Collapse Watch

North Adams Trying to Address Failing Hydrant System iBerkshires. Resilc: “Multiply this by about every town in usa usa….but we have a space force.”


Trump lawyers center defense around attacks on Democrats The Hill

Justice Department says an Oath Keepers leader waited for Trump’s direction before Capitol attack CNN

Poll Finds Nearly 40 Percent of Republicans Think Political Violence Is Justifiable and Could Be Necessary Slate (resilc)

Lincoln Project Accused of Protecting Predator John Weaver New York Magazine (UserFriendly)

Cuomo And The Lincoln Project Are Media-Created Monsters David Sirota and Andrew Perez

The Lincoln Project, Facing Multiple Scandals, is Accused by its Own Co-Founder of Likely Criminality Glenn Greenwald

The Real World And The Narrative World Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)

WA launches investigation into 200,000 missing cows at center of Easterday bankruptcy, legal fight Tri-City Herald (mb)

Florida consumers ‘flabbergasted’ as property insurers push for double-digit rate hikes Reuters (resilc)

Tesla spent $1.5B in clean car credits on bitcoin, the filthiest asset imaginable Amy Castor

NYPD Still Babysitting Christopher Columbus Statues on Taxpayer Dime THE CITY

Opioid Settlement Tax Breaks Sought by Drug Firms Wall Street Journal. No doubt McKinsey too.

The ‘Revolution’ Robinhood And Reddit Are Looking For Happened Years Ago Heisenberg Report (UserFriendly)

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy ‘plans to eliminate two-day delivery for first-class mail and hike postage rates’ as USPS struggles with billions in losses Daily Mail. And the Biden Administration is nowhere to be found.

Second to None in the Creation of Extraordinary Wealth Notes on Liberty

Class Warfare

Those Who Work Lapham’s Quarterly (Anthony L). On peasants.

Inadequate healthcare has killed more Americans than Covid-19 Quartz (resilc)

Understanding the Rise of “Socialism” Brad DeLong (UserFriendly)

This map shows where in the U.S. a $15 minimum wage would be the most impactful CNBC (Li). Looks like the minimum wage increase is na ga happen, but this shows where wages are lagging badly. Home health care aides here in Alabama get only $10 an hour when their agencies charge more than double that.

Amazon Uses An App Called Mentor To Track and Discipline Delivery Drivers CNBC. So drivers need a union too…

The Children Are Starving Heisenberg Report. Resilc: “You rapidly lose status when not a fetus…”

Mass Incarceration: Why Are So Many Americans in Prison? Gravel Institute, YouTube

Antidote du jour. From Eric S. His presumably unrelated cats seem to get on well:

Attached, please find a pic I took of my three cats this past weekend. I elected to entitle it “kitty coronation” as it appears that Skippy (the big Siamese looking fella) is being knighted (imprecise terminology usage, I know) by Rainbow (the ginger), while Cinnamon (the tabby) looks on approvingly. In any event, I thought it was amusing and I submit it for consideration as an antidote du jour. Thank you for running nakedcapitalism, I have enjoyed it for years now and was even inspired to create my own Econ-related FB page for some of my friends. Have a great day!

Happy Lunar New Year! Tony K sent this seasonal offering:

And a bonus video. John Siman: “From 1906 – Best cat video ever! (Remastered and colorized silent film).” Moi: Only place I’ve even seen a cat striped like that was in Istanbul.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “Lulu the dog inherits $5m from deceased US owner”

    You see stories like this over the years and I myself use to think think that they were entertaining but no longer think so. That person could have left half a mill to the dog and their carer and given the rest to a fund to feed hungry people in the middle of this pandemic. And in that way, they could have had on their gravestone ‘He/She Fed The Hungry.’ Now wouldn’t that be something?

    1. petal

      Maybe they didn’t like people. I’ve been hearing more often people saying out loud they prefer their dogs or pets to other humans. I’m definitely in that boat!

    2. carl

      Yep. Those who are inclined towards animal welfare might consider, as I did, making a bequest to a local animal rescue organization. I guarantee there’s at least one or two in your area.

      1. jp

        This isn’t about animal welfare. This is about pets and most supposed (wild) animal support organizations are about collecting money with pictures of relatable mammals (that might / could be pets.

    3. John

      You see these stories from time to time. I have always wondered who actually benefits from such a bequest. Never knew a dog or cat or bird who actually spent money.

      1. jefemt

        I’d say the caregiver, the lawyerz, and the bean counters do well. Amazing how all that cash extends the pets lives for decades!

    4. The Historian

      Yes that would be something! But what we don’t know is how much money that the owner had and what percentage of it went to the dog. And it is obvious that the person now caring for the dog is not wealthy and may not outlive the dog. It is a sad thing when an owner dies before their pets – it isn’t like the pet can make any decisions about its future and many just get put to death if a new owner can’t be found. Older pets are hard to adopt out – which is why I adopted a 10 year old cat after its owner died suddenly.

      Perhaps the owner wanted to make sure his pet was cared for, even if this lady dies first. A few thousands might not have done that but I’ll bet a few millions would!

      1. Wukchumni

        Cats aren’t dumb, and I could easily see the brains of our outfit: aptly named Einstein, taking any meager nest egg I was to leave the clan of the enclave was I no longer adoringly enslaved, investing in the market doing numismatrix cryptos, making bank and then parlaying it all into TMP (Temptations cat treats-aka kitty cocaine) ordered online and delivered under the laboring arms of the UPS driver struggling with the weight of the box.

      2. t

        Except for that Ray Milland movie where a cat inherits a baseball team, I think these people are in a Leona Helmsley headapace where ego and hatred drive their deisions and they, generally, think their own death is more when the world dies.

        1. Pat

          My cat IS my closest family (no children or partner) and I do not begin to live a Leona Helmsley life style. My “estate”, paltry as it is, is designated to be split between the humans who 1.) will have to deal with the physical and financial details of closing out my life, and 2.) will care for my current cat or any subsequent animal I adopt. I have no problem saying that the greater amount is going to 2. If I had real money I would set up a trust that would support any animal(s) I had adopted AND their human caretakers in a manner similar to my lifestyle for at least a decade and a half with added consideration to the costs of both human and animal health care. Leftover funds following the deaths of both human and animals would be split among the rescue groups who have helped me adopt my non human family members. In the case of the border collie and the new human “owner” that could easily be millions.

          See my animals have always been family, and deserve no less consideration on my part than would any human child, more perhaps as animals have no means of self support and cannot really protect themselves which humans mostly do.

          I do not expect others to have the same beliefs I do regarding animals, especially the responsibility that comes with adoption, I do however have no problem saying they have far less knowledge of the headapace (sic) then they might think.

          1. The Rev Kev

            February 13, 2021 at 6:45 pm’

            Thanks for that “Rhubarb” link as I loved that film as a kid. Certainly the America shown in it no longer exists. Leonard Nimoy got around as he also had a small part in the scifi film “Them” about giant ants-


  2. Ape Man

    The snark about firms charging “double” the 10 dollars a home health aid makes no sense to me. Maybe things are different in Alabama, but in New York a good rule of thumb is that the employer has to pay out mandatory costs equal to wages in the form of Workers Comp, unemployment insurance, employers contributions to social security, and like costs. Charging more than double the wages paid seems about right to stay in Business.

    1. ambrit

      You may have been correct a decade or more ago, but now, as I can attest from Phyl’s experiences with the Hospice practice, neo-liberalism has made significant inroads into all corners of the medical provision industry.
      First, the nurses were required to supply their own transportation. Even with the Federal rules on recompense for this, the amounts paid out were always less than the actual costs of utilizing ‘personal’ transportation.
      Second, the nurses were paid by the billable hour. Thus, I speak from knowledge gained from several lengthy conversations with several of the nurses, transportation hours were not ‘paid’ time.
      Third, some outfits treat their personnel as 1099 “contract workers.” This takes a huge cost of doing business off of the employer’s back, and improves the bottom line of the firm.
      Fourth, ‘bean counters’ back at the office micromanage the provision of supplies used in treatments. Several times, we had to procure a particular type of wound dressing ourselves because the “office” told the nurse that only a certain amount of such ‘specialty’ supplies were allowed per patient per unit of time.
      Fifth, as is standard in neo-liberal organized commercial entities, the first item in the financial process is the “skimming” of the gross funds flow. Such “skim” is dedicated to the ‘investors.’ I have yet to see, read, or hear of an organization where the “investor vig” was ever raided to make up any shortfalls in funding for the actual running of the business. Invariably, the places where I have observed that happening are in Sole Proprietorship or Co-operative institutions. There, the owners are close to the ‘shop floor’ as it were and care about the business, not just the money.
      Finally, do consider the amazing turnover in such neo-liberalized organizations. In the less than a year that Phyl was ‘with’ the Hospice practice, no less than three out of a total of six or seven Certified Nurses left. That alone tells us something important.
      The Era of Responsible Business died with the introduction of the “Shareholder Equity” method of business governance.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      It’s more than 2x and the agencies add zero value. Their screening and training are close to non-existent. And they don’t even care about theft. We had one aide put >$200 on my mother’s credit card and the agency made clear it was moving her to another client….further implying they thought WE were a problem for having a problem with stealing! Another agency got upset with us Saying Something about a 6′ aide who broke a chair that only the aides use, and we had witnesses from the day before (this was pre Covid) who’d seen the chair was fine. It quickly became our fault and we were unreasonable.

      Social security + FICA is only $1.53 an hour on a $10 wage. Oh, but half of that is the employee percentage, so the employer pays only $0.76. The highest UI percentage is on the first $8000 per year, so that’s another $2.70 AT MOST. So that only gets you to $13.46 at the very highest, it drops as the worker gets to higher pay over the year. The agencies charge $22 to $27 an hour for $10 pay. They don’t provide masks or gloves. And the workers could be 1099s,

      And they make a point of keeping their hours below 30 a week so as not to have to provide health insurance.

      Nationally they get ratings barely over 2 out of 5 stars.

      Don’t cavil on their behalf. These agencies are grifters.

  3. witters

    That person could have left half a mill to the dog and their carer and given the rest to a fund to feed hungry people in the middle of this pandemic.

    I suspect it was just them and the dog.

  4. fresno dan
    In its article of impeachment, the Democrat-controlled House alleged that former president Donald Trump, by his “incitement of insurrection,” was responsible for murder. That is an essential rationale for impeaching Trump. It is the most serious accusation that has been leveled. The impeachment article states that, incited by Trump to storm the Capitol and “fight like hell,” Trump supporters “injured and killed law enforcement personnel,” among other heinous acts.
    Adding to the serious but vague accusation in the impeachment article, the Democratic House impeachment managers, who are the prosecutors in the Senate trial, elaborated in their publicly filed pretrial memo (at p. 28): “The insurrectionists killed a Capitol Police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher.”
    It appears certain that Sicknick was not rushed to the hospital directly from the Capitol. Several reports indicate that he returned to his police office. Hours after the siege ended, he texted his brother to say he had been “pepper sprayed twice” but was otherwise “in good shape.” Tucker Carlson notes that, according to the head of the Capitol police union, Sicknick had a stroke. That is consistent with a report from KHOU in Houston regarding what the Sicknick family was told about how the officer died.
    I had no idea that there was any controversy regarding Sicknick’s death. Its like the MSM is trying to undermine their own credibility. This reminds me of Jessica Lynch, the female soldier in the Iraqi war who was captured and the initial reporting was very wrong. I don’t think it was wrong because of pro or anti war bias – I think the error can be attributed to something much more prosaic. A story that will sell.
    Now, it seems quite a coincidence that Sicknick dies within 24 hours of the riot (of natural causes), but it could be. Can bear spray cause strokes? But it doesn’t appear his death was due to a blow to a head by a fire extinguisher, at least according to this article. It could still be due to the riot.
    Getting it wrong initially is understandable. It seems to me Sicknick’s death should not be a mystery. Is it?
    I would assume there was an autopsy.

      1. fresno dan

        Lambert Strether
        February 13, 2021 at 1:52 pm
        More than a month after the January 6 riot, an autopsy revealing the cause and manner of Sicknick’s death has yet to be released. Earlier reports that he was beaten with a fire extinguisher were false, sources tell CNN and multiple other outlets.

        Sicknick’s body did not have evidence of major blunt force trauma, the sources say, and investigators are now said to be pursuing a theory that he had an adverse reaction to bear spray or other irritants sprayed by the rioters.
        Thanks for that. So it took about a month to figure out it wasn’t blunt force trauma….or a month to report that? So I am glad that the British are on this, but were there any American reporters on this? I mean, if you are using the death of a police officer to impeach a president, I would think the manner of death would be a major enough issue to be more significant in the news flow if there is any controversy about the manner of death.
        Did every one else know that Sicknick wasn’t killed by a fire extinguisher??? – am I missing some major source of fact???

        1. JBird4049

          >>>were there any American reporters on this?

          American reporters, you mean that nearly extinct subspecies, of homo americanus? I doubt it. What we extant have today are subspecies of American stenographers.

          1. The Rev Kev

            What if Sicknick had died as a result of being pepper-sprayed twice by his fellow officers? That would make it a ‘friendly fire’ incident which would not fit the narrative.

    1. Nakatomi Plaza

      No, there is no mystery or controversy. Why create one? Why do Tucker Carlson’s dirty work for him?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Ad hominem and Making Shit Up. There is a controversy because the MSM narrative that Sicknick was killed by a fire extinguisher (or any blunt force) has now been walked back.

        Bear spray is implausible as a cause of death. I can’t find any cases of death by pepper spray, which is more irritating to humans than bear spray, but the concern re pepper spray is asthma. We have yet to see anyone say Sicknick had asthma.

    2. Procopius

      I am not a lawyer, but from reading newspapers back in the day I understand that every person who was in that crowd is guilty of “felony murder.” If in the commission of a crime a person dies, all the people connected to the crime are guilty of murder. Thus, the driver of the getaway car, who didn’t go into the bank, is guilty of murder if one of the robbers is shot to death, as well as the other robbers. So when Ashli Babbit was shot and died, while committing the crime of forcibly entering a restricted area, every member of the crowd became guilty of felony murder. Now, I know that no prosecutor is going to charge any member of the crowd with felony murder, but that’s how draconian our legal system is. I wonder if that doctrine would apply to Trump, as well.

      1. JBird4049

        From what I understand, that law is an abomination and yes, if he was poor, a truly left-wing advocate, or Black, he just might probably would have been. Since Trump being ostensibly conservative and wealthy, and is certainly White there is hardly a chance.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Making Shit Up is a violation of site Policies. I should not have to spend the 30 seconds on Google and the three minutes additional to write this up I wasted correcting you.

        Felony murder is a potential charge in jurisdictions that have created this category of murder by statute for an accessory to a murder. This has absolutely nothing to do with those who were present when Ashli Babbit was killed. There would have to be a precedent murder. The cop who shot her would have to be the murdered and the crowd acting as HIS co-conspirators. Are you nuts?

    3. Aumua

      Democrats and the anti-Trump MSM are trying to get the most mileage they can out of the Jan 6 riot. It’s quite deplorable of them but also that shouldn’t make the riot any less deeply concerning. It’s a tangled web of narratives and counter narratives, with the truth a distant third as usual.

  5. Fireship

    > The Lincoln Project, Facing Multiple Scandals, is Accused by its Own Co-Founder of Likely Criminality

    “That is why when American liberals, including in the media, look in the mirror, what they see staring back is Rick Wilson and Steve Schmidt and John Weaver. That is the perfect reflection of what they have become, of who they now are.”

    In a griftocracy, these guys are kings. They are success stories. Winners. They fleeced the rubes and used their positions to abuse others for their own sick ends. As Donald would say, “We love it folks, don’t we!”

    A reading from the gospel of St George:

    Cause you do know folks, living in this country, you’re bound to know that every time you’re exposed to advertising, you realize once again, that America’s leading industry, America’s most profitable business is still the manufacture, packaging, distribution, and marketing of bullshit… high quality, grade-A, prime cut, pure American bullshit, and the sad part is is that most people seem to been indoctrinated to believe that bullshit only comes from certain places, certain sources; advertising, politics, salesmen… not true, bullshit is everywhere, bullshit is rampant, parents are full of shit, teachers are full of shit, clergymen are full of shit, and law enforcement people are full of shit. This entire country, this entire country is completely full of shit and always has been from the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution to the Star Spangled Banner, it’s still nothing more than one big, steaming pile of red, white and blue, all-American bullshit because think of how we started… think of that.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      So I presume Schmidt is firing up the Grant Project. #Resistance types will fall all over themselves to have identified a good Republican. I figure after this he will switch over to apocalypse food packs. Of course, he will probably be chased out of Team Blue for being too liberal.

    2. Adam Eran

      Not to mention Brandolini’s law: It takes orders of magnitude more energy to debunk the bullshit than to create it in the first place

      1. MichaelSF

        per Jonathan Swift:

        “Besides, as the vilest Writer has his Readers, so the greatest Liar has his Believers; and it often happens, that if a Lie be believ’d only for an Hour, it has done its Work, and there is no farther occasion for it. Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv’d, it is too late; the Jest is over, and the Tale has had its Effect…”

  6. The Rev Kev

    “The Myth of America’s Green Growth”

    Why am I not surprised that Larry “Lightbulb” Summers is a supporter of this idea? No mention by him of any worries that all that economic activity might lead to inflation. Andrew McAfee is spruiking the idea that US consumption of resources will remain steady due to increasingly efficient technology and a shift toward services. Obviously he has not cranked in the factor of the point of diminishing returns as part of his calculations. Somebody might want to point out to him the growing worldwide shortage of sand which is used in things like cement and ask him where that fits into his calculations. I wonder if he has ever heard of chaos theory for that matter?

    But the underlying fault for this idea is exactly the same as that which has led to economic theory becoming so detached from real world reality and it is this. Externalities. Modern economics will look at things like the resources that a factory uses in relation to its output but forgets other factors such as the pollution created by that factory whose costs are paid for by the rest of society. Or how an Amazon will pay poverty wages leading to the workforce having to apply for government payments to meet the shortfall which again is met by the rest of society.

    This book is just more of the same where it only considers what goes on inside the US but omits all the externalities such as global trade that leads to that result. And until modern societies start to use holistic all-factor accounting methods, books like this will continue to appear.

    1. Mark

      Climate colonialism isn’t just a usa, usa thing: How the EU Green Deal Perpetuates Climate Colonialism:

      “Between 1990 and 2014, Europe’s forests saw an increase in area of 13 million hectares…Europe imports millions of tonnes of crops and meat each year from abroad…As a result, many countries around the world are clearing their own forests to make space for land that ultimately feeds European demand. In the same 24-year period mentioned above, around 11 million hectares of such land was cleared globally, primarily in developing countries like Brazil and Indonesia whose forests are important carbon sinks rich with biodiversity.”

    2. Nels Nelson

      What I found amazing about the article was that there was no mention of Jevons paradox. Named after William Stanley Jevons and explained in his book The Coal Question published in 1865. Jevons observed that an increasing efficient use of a resource due to technological progress often results in a rising rate of consumption of that resource. The Jevons paradox is perhaps the most widely known paradox in environmental economics.

      It is estimated that humans are currently using the earths resources at a rate 1.7 times that of the ability of the earth to replenish. I’ve come to believe the only way of dealing with the climate crisis and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is with carbon rationing. Steve Keen is a proponent of carbon rationing. you can find an explanation of it here:

      With central banks working on the development of digital currencies or CBDCs, this could be the medium through which carbon rationing could be implemented.

    3. John Siman

      McAfee writes: “Ecological economists have been aware of this problem for a long time. To correct for it, they use a more holistic metric called “raw material consumption,” which fully accounts for trade. When we look at this data, which is readily available from the United Nations, the story changes completely. We see that total resource use in the United States hasn’t been falling at all; in fact, it has been rising more or less exactly in line with GDP. The same is true of all other major industrial economies, including the European Union, and the OECD as a group. There has been zero dematerialization. No green growth. It was all an illusion of accounting.
      I interviewed the great ecological economist Herman Daly and his brilliant Ph.D. student Kenneth Townsend over fifteen years ago. Maybe we should track them down now? Here’s the link to an updated edition of their book:
      Valuing the Earth, Second Edition | The MIT Press

      1. Nels Nelson

        I was a student of Herman Daly’s over 40 years ago. I had both his undergraduate and graduate courses in environmental economics. He is a fine man. Still have my copy of Toward a Steady State Economy and contribute to CASSE, the Center for the Advancement of a Steady State Economy.

        One of the things I found most enlightening from his courses was the magnificent adage from John Ruskin that “there is no wealth but life” as well as his distinction between “wealth” – that which helps produce “full-breathed, bright-eyed and happy-hearted human creatures” and “illth” – that which causes “devastation and trouble in all directions”.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I would like to see someone figure out how to measure ” illth” the same way we measure ” wealth”.

          And the amount of “illth” produced in or by a country could be called the ” Gross Domestic Destruct”.

          And then the size of Gross Domestic Product ( GDP) could be compared to the size of the Gross Domestic Destruct ( GDD ). And subtract the smaller number from the bigger number to see if we achieved a Net Domestic Product ( NDP) or a Net Domestic Destruct ( NDD).

      2. Wombat

        John, I think that would be pretty neat to track them down, and see their thoughts on the green-washing push over the last 15 years, their thoughts on “green” bio-mass (burning trees), Kerry private-jetting all over the world to spread the Green Word, accuracy of Planet of the Humans, I could go on etc.

        Do you have a link to the original interview?

    4. Skip Intro

      A truer weathervane for wrongness than Larry Summers is a rare thing indeed. The critique of McAfee just squeaked around the edges of what I think is a major flaw in the theory, namely that the GDP has become financialized, and thus ‘cooked’. The rising weight of the FIRE sector is problematic because the rents it extracts from the productive economy are actually counted as if they were production. These rents should probably be excluded if not subtracted from a real GDP.
      So if consumption of resources remains in step with GDP while GDP veers from counting actual production, then resource use must becoming less productive. I find this plausible without even invoking that complex theory of the decreasing excess energy available from extracted sources.

    5. Rod

      It’s an alibi for inaction.

      we must say this (scream it) out loud–all the time–

      Ecologists say that the planet can handle maximum annual resource use of about 50 billion metric tons per year. We crossed that boundary in the late 1990s, and today we’re overshooting it by more than 90 percent.

      and more to the point–

      There is a deeper question that we need to address here. McAfee and others go to such extraordinary extents to justify perpetual economic expansion because they start from the assumption that we need it. They assume that GDP is necessary for human well-being. Indeed, they seem to see it as a proxy for human progress itself.

      But is it true? The evidence suggests otherwise.

      Jevons paradox. is alluded to in the para just above this excerpt…

      1. LifelongLib

        IIRC several years ago there were stats posted here showing that countries which devoted whatever per capita income they had to public goods like health care and education had better life expectancies and literacy rates than countries with higher per capita incomes that focused on private consumption. So when it comes to basic measures of well-being money isn’t the whole story.

    6. ObjectiveFunction

      But while there is little to disagree with in the analysis, Hickel’s recommendation is weak beer, the usual League of Nations plea for Someone In Authority to make everyone go along:

      The only fail-safe strategy is to impose legally binding caps on resource use and gradually ratchet it back down to safe levels. Ecological economists have been calling for this for decades. In a way, this is an elegant solution to the long-standing debate about green growth.

      Elegant? Does anyone seriously imagine China or India (or Egypt or Nigeria) are going to accept any external mandates that amount to them telling their striving citizenry: so sorry, your kids cannot have the middle class life you see on your screens daily because the planet can’t support another 3-4 billion ‘Americans’?

      Sure, Mother Gaia will eventually make that fact too plain to ignore, via any number of catastrophic mechanisms. But being human, the growth addicts simply cannot accept it until they have exhausted every possible alternative, and tried to pass the workload and costs off on everybody else.

      (So if we stupid white barbarians want to shiver in dark carbon-neutral communes, then fine, go for it. That’s what stupid white barbarians should do anyway. Go cut down some more trees for the Middle Kingdom if you want to stay warm)

      Meanwhile, they will do what they always do, sign whatever treaty, make some pious speeches, fund some flashy billboard projects (Made In China, of course) and then keep shipping energy/carbon intensive manufactures to eager buyers around the world. Just as whitey world did in the ‘machine gunning bison herds’ coal/oil phase of blowout consumption growth, which came off the rails starting 1914.

      The Indispensable Nation did not invade and occupy Brazil or Indonesia in the 1990s (Al Gore’s watch) to prevent the incineration and bulldozing of about half the world’s rainforest and CO2 reservoir. And the World’s Most Powerful Navy did not stop the overfishing and collapse of 90% of the planet’s fish species. So what are the chances now that the tottering Empire is about to enforce any global laws on the world’s workshop?

      I wish I had better cheer to offer, really I do.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Is there any inherent technological reason why White barbarian communes would have to shiver in the carbon-neutral darkness? Does carbon-neutrality have to be shivery-cold and dark? Is that an unavoidable given?

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Nebulizer That Vaporized Virus Starts New Australia Outbreak”

    Melbourne is going to go into a five-day lockdown as a circuit-breaker to the spread of this virus. Yeah, the Nebulizer has a lot to answer for but you still see mistakes being made with hotel quarantine here. Hire-a-guards working several jobs so if they get infected, they spread it to other places in the city. People still forgetting to wear masks, even nurses. Just now (!) are they giving the staff that work there N95 masks instead of the normal surgical mask. Scotty from Marketing is still going on about how we shouldn’t over-react. The Premier of NSW was saying again that lock-downs should be a last resort and not a first (“Shut up, Gladys!”) . We keep on dodging bullets down here with this virus but this new variant may be a game changer. Truthfully, I haven’t seen this many bullet dodges since “The Matrix.” But too many leaders are still trying to prioritizing keeping businesses going, not recognizing that if this virus cuts loos, that those businesses will be deader than the people that they will end up killing. We’ll see how we go.

    1. Wukchumni

      Maybe i’ve lived a charmed life, but the only Gladys I knew was Mrs. Kravitz from Bewitched. Has anybody made this association in Aussie in a if the name fits fashion?

      Are you a Gladys Kravitz? If you don’t understand something that has been said or posted and you take it upon yourself to make wild assumptions about the posted items, then you could be a suffering from Gladys Kravitz Syndrome.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Should have clarified that last night. The name of the NSW Premier is Gladys Berejiklian and no, I can’t pronounce her name. During the pandemic she has been a champion of demanding the borders be open and business going, even after the bloodbath in Victoria a few months ago. Saw her on TV a few hours before and she was still doing the same and it is one of the rare times that I wanted to reach through the telly and slap her up the side of the head.

        1. Foy

          Gladys also said yesterday she would not close the border to Victoria until there was 150 daily cases. I can’t believe that’s the health advice she is receiving, and is only making up that number to suit her own purposes. When we in Victoria had our second and most severe breakout in July last year we went from 150 to 600+ daily cases in about a week if I remember rightly. The horse will well and truly have waltzed through the barn door if she leaves it that long, especially with the new variants.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Especially with this new variant as it spreads much faster than what we have been dealing with. Imagine if in that outbreak in Victoria that you guys had to have dealt with that it had been this new variant. It would have spread like wildfire. After the scandal that she had with her business dealings recently that she might have kept a low profile but no, she is still at it. She seems to be Teflon. Keep safe down there, mate. I imagine that it is going to be a long week for you.

            1. Foy

              Thanks Rev, I read that the promulgation of the regulation of the new lockdown law has dates that go for two weeks not five days. Obviously they can change that if cases evaporate but they can let it run longer than 5 days without changing anything, so looks like they think it might be longer than 5 days. At least we know how to deal with it now.

              I feel especially sad for the florists this time around. Closed last year for much of the time and then closed again just 2 days before their biggest day of the year, that would be heartbreaking. Think I’ll go buy something from the local florist when we open again.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Probably something like . . . beh-reh-JIK-lee-uhn. It looks Armenian though I can’t be sure.

    2. Basil Pesto

      Hire-a-guards working several jobs

      Do we know this for a fact? (I think there’s a difference as well between quarantine ‘guards’ and quarantine hotel ‘staff’ – the commission into the Vic gov’t over the pvt security contractor cockup last year was pretty scathing – they must have changed something?

      The longest exposure site period in this outbreak was the case working at the Brunetti’s cafe in Terminal 4 at Tullamarine, who worked a full shift. I find it hard to believe that the gov’t would have employed that person in two jobs (see Andrews here), and I don’t believe they’re subcontracting anymore. More likely he was a close contact of a case that was +ve. All the other exposure sites have been for brief periods of about an hour or less at various sites. One guy who was a quarantine employee was all over the place! From the driving range to the bottle shop to the yoga apparel factory outlet. Though apparently he masked up and was a model employee. That was from before this Holiday Inn cluster though.

  8. timbers

    This map shows where in the U.S. a $15 minimum wage would be the most impactful CNBC (Li)

    A $15 minimum wage by 2025 is an insult. It’s quite possibly a pay CUT in it’s 5th year with inflation at 10% and assuming current pay of $10. My recommendation is do a Russia – thanks but no thanks, and withdraw such a proposal and submit a real one. $15 now, $25 by 2025.

    With raging inflation all around us – housing for example go up 10% a year – assuming a current pay of $10, $15 is a PAY CUT in it’s 5th year assuming 10%. And yes, Mr Fed, housing it a cost of living not an investment, and medical inflation exists even thought you remove it from your inflation report and transfer most medical prices increases into GDP.

    1. Carla

      @timbers: Points very well taken, but I would add a couple more things, plus annual deadlines:

      $15 an hour minimum wage now; expanded, improved Medicare for All in 2022; $20 an hour wage floor in 2023; $22.50 an hour minimum in 2024; and yes, $25 an hour as the national minimum in 2025.

      And because oligarchy is a toxic force standing in inimitable opposition to anything that can be called “democracy,” we need steeply progressive taxes on incomes of over $500,000 a year and on wealth exceeding $5 million, starting in 2021. (Admittedly, I picked these figures out of the air but we have to start somewhere.)

    2. Pelham

      I assume you’re talking about real inflation and not the phony numbers the government cranks out. I like your proposal, and it should be noted that if the minimum had kept pace with even the understated government numbers over the past 40 years it would be $22 an hour. And that’s right this minute, not five years hence!

      An article linked here this week from The New Republic spoke of the family background of Sen. Marco Rubio, noting that both his parents had menial, low-wage jobs but could keep up a single-family home and raise him in something close to middle-class circumstances. This was understood as a routine possibility at one point in our not-so-distant history.

      The fact that nothing of the sort is remotely imaginable at this stage should serve as a stark measure of how pitiably low we’ve fallen as a nation. And keep in mind that so-called humble jobs involve real, useful, often essential work, as opposed to the corrosive, parasitic “work” that characterizes Wall Street and many of the high-earning areas that voted for Biden.

      Finally, a pet idea of mine: The case for Medicare for all or single-payer rests not just on the savings that could be realized but principally on the cruel absurdity of having one’s healthcare linked to employers, particularly in an economy in which jobs are fleeting and employers ever less likely to provide such a benefit. M4A makes perfect sense. But if that’s the case, why should something far more immediately vital to a worker’s well-being — his week-to-week paycheck — be linked to employers?

      If we’re going to advocate for M4A, shouldn’t we also pair it with federal paychecks for everyone? I’m not talking about a UBI but rather a full, guaranteed paycheck geared to things such as years of service and perhaps adjusted for the nature of the work one tends to do (hard physical jobs would pay more, for instance, so workers could retire before they go lame or get addicted to pain-killing opioids).

      1. Rod

        The fact that nothing of the sort is remotely imaginable at this stage should serve as a stark measure of how pitiably low we’ve fallen as a nation.

        maybe just a real clear and visceral picture of just how much wealth has been extracted…

  9. Wukchumni

    Dust devil Psyche Films
    That was fabulous and I watched her perform in the 1980’s @ the Amorgosa Opera House, kind of spellbound by the whole idea of such a venue even being there on the cusp of Death Valley, a place with such a foreboding name for a friendly familiar haunt in the winter & spring when it hardly rates the moniker of mortality, although it certainly deserves the title when it’s 120 something in the summer and there is scant shade on account of essentially no trees to be found on the valley floor.

    Perhaps the most inaccessible ghost town in the country is in Death Valley NP, and my friend Wonderhussy wants us to venture to Beveridge, Ca. this spring to check it out, and i’m game although trepidatious as all get up. As usual in the desert, water is an issue and although there is plenty @ the old mining town, the source is compromised by cyanide which was used to separate gold from ore crushed on site in the late 19th and early 20th century. One of those backpack trips where you schlep 20 pounds of water in your pack.

  10. a different chris

    >received exuberant endorsements from the writer Steven Pinker, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, and the economist Larry Summers, plus CEOs, bankers, and a number of Silicon Valley celebrities. The Bloomberg columnist Noah Smith has repeatedly leaned on McAfee to bolster his own narrative

    ROTFLMAO. That’s like finding a book titled “Humane Democracy” and seeing it endorsed by Stalin, Hitler and Idi Amin. Give. Me. A. Break.

  11. Pat

    I note in that Australian article regarding Sputnik that a large section of it is about assuring Australians that the vaccines they have access to are more than adequate. They rightfully point out that the Pfizer vaccine has a higher efficacy rate than Sputnik, but do a whole lot of work to cheerlead the Gates Oxford-AstraZeneca version. “It stops you from getting a severe case!”

    I admit I was leaning toward the Oxford version due to my reluctance to be a guinea pig for mRNA vaccines. However there is now data that indicates it is fairly worthless against the B117 variant.

    Out of curiosity, am I the only one who looks at the cursory coverage of B117 and thinks this might be an even bigger case of journalistic malpractice than missing the beginnings of the pandemic last year. Read Dr Feigl-Ding’s twitter feed for some rather startling statistics on it. Just as the CDC’s school opening recommendations ignore doing the one (very expensive) item that should be requirement number one, adequate ventilation, data showing that young people and children are more vulnerable to B117 doesn’t seem to make it to our news reports in any meaningful way.

  12. Pat

    Love love love the Lunar New Year “lioncat”, love the cat investiture, love the restored film.

    Thank You!

    Not quite as fond of the Great White video as spectacular as it is, I feel for the seal.

    1. JTMcPhee

      How happy was the cat at being crammed into that dragon getup, which could have weighed as much as the naked cat, and was constraining and likely pretty warm?My new kitten wants to know, in casr I start to get viral video stars in my eyes…

        1. Mo.B.

          Don’t fret. From the looks, I’m guessing it was a mechanical instrument, probably measuring bite strength or something. Not many people would be cruel enough to tie a live seal out for a great white.

          1. ambrit

            I’ll wager that you could find lots of people of that calibre working on Wall Street.
            (Hint: Look in the eyes.)

  13. allan

    On Sunday, January 24, with Southern California’s intensive-care units (ICUs) at full capacity, a shuttle bus made its way from the beachfront Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica to the office of the XPrize Foundation in Culver City, carrying business executives from as far away as Israel, Hawaii, and Vancouver.

    They were on their way to a pandemic-year rarity: an indoor, in-person, mostly unmasked business conference, called the Abundance 360 Summit.

    Created by Peter Diamandis, the founder of the XPrize Foundation and Singularity University and cofounder and board member of the covid-19 vaccine developer Covaxx, the conference was a lucrative opportunity to hold court with a group of “patrons”—businessmen (and a small handful of businesswomen) who pay large annual and conference fees for the privilege of gathering to talk about some of Diamandis’s favorite topics: AI, longevity, exponential growth, and “the abundance mindset.” Speakers at the 2021 event included Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Starlink SpaceX VP Jonathan Hofeller, among others.

    A360, as its organizers call it, was being held despite widespread recommendations from public health experts to limit contact with non-family members, wear masks, and hold any gatherings outdoors to limit the spread of covid-19. …

    You’ll never guess how the story ends.

    He started a covid-19 vaccine company. Then he hosted a superspreader event. [MIT Tech Review]

  14. Carolinian

    Re Cuomo and the Lincoln Project

    So far, it looks like “not.” Fox News media critic Howard Kurtz alleged that MSNBC put Lincoln Project members on its airwaves 17 times after the Weaver allegations first surfaced. In fact, even as details of the scandal exploded in the last 24 hours, MSNBC today opted to continue providing a platform to the group to continue to present itself as a legitimate, forthright, and credible political player in the post-Trump era.

    While some of us spend a lot of time bashing the NYT and never watch TV news at all, it’s surely hard to overstate the key role of television when it comes to brainwashing the country with infotainment. The late Roger Ailes claimed you were nothing if not on TV. He went on to prove his point by turning Fox into a propaganda powerhouse that the Dems would then flatter by imitating on MSNBC and CNN. The respectable daily newspapers at first scoffed at Fox, but their reporters longed to get in front of the cameras and raise their profile and incomes as celebrities. TV talkers make a lot of money–8 million a year reported for Maddow. And finding telegenic news presenters provided Cable and networks with a new unscripted revenue source to compete with tired cop shows and sitcoms. As Caitlin Johnstone says, it’s now all narrative all the time.

    The article wonders whether Cuomo will get his comeuppance, and indeed with cartoon villain
    Trump gone they are going to have to find a replacement. Perhaps Biden will start some new war–just for the ratings.

    1. Alex Cox

      Thanks for that link!

      And yet across the Channel, Heathrow’s plans for a third runway proceed apace…

        1. Wukchumni

          Flew into Düsseldorf Airport maybe 6 months after the most devastating structural fire at an airport ever in 1996.

          Everything was done outside as far as disembarking went…

  15. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Justice Department says an Oath Keepers leader waited for Trump’s direction before Capitol attack

    “As the inauguration grew nearer, [Jessica] Watkins indicated that she was awaiting direction from President Trump,” prosecutors wrote in a filing Thursday morning.

    This is the most direct language yet from federal prosecutors linking Trump’s requests for support in Washington, DC, to the most militant aspects of the insurrection.

    I understand that impeachment isn’t the same as a criminal trial, but is this really the best they can come up with? Some rather confused person who thinks the president is going to send direct messages to them? We keep seeing arguments both in the impeachment trials and in the media of what might have happened had things taken a different turn or what people think Trump really meant, that he was conveying plans with a wink and a nod, that he really wanted the crowd to attack despite tweeting out the exact opposite.

    Not only is this dog and pony show not going to result in a Senate conviction, it is also not making Trump less popular. We’re 6 years in to this Trump-as-politician phenomenon and still the elites haven’t figured out that Trump is a reality TV blowhard and not a politician, and will never start acting like one no matter how much the elites would like him to, and that is precisely why he is popular. It’s still Caddyshack, slobs vs. snobs, and the snobs still haven’t figured out why nobody likes them despite all their money, education and good breeding.

    Want to remove Trump from office? How about for illegal activities like assassinating foreign generals or fomenting coups in South America? Oh right, all of DC backed those actions…

    Want him to be less popular? How about giving me and everybody else the damn $2000 that was promised immediately.

    For all the liberal PMC TDS sufferers who still can’t figure out why Trump was president, how he can be made to go away or what can be done to excise him from our collective psyches, I have for you the world’s smallest violin accompanying the following words:

    “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: ‘It might have been!'”

    Now go take a nice warm bathos – that might cheer you up.

    1. JTMcPhee

      A lot of interests are doing their best to erase the entire Trump experience from the public awareness. And of course so many of us are complicit in that work, modulo wanting Trump to be jailed, tried for treason, etc. for offending the Narrative so egregiously. Working very hard at it.

      No love for Trump here, he did a lot bad stuff and opened the gates to a bunch of nasty people to do some looting. But what happened during the Trump admin is not a patch, far as I can see, as what has gone on before and what is going on under the “normalized” Biden time.

      1. John

        Trump is going to emerge from isolation. He needs attention. When he does, then we can begin to get an idea of to what extent he can hold the attention of his public. Unfortunately, the media is too likely to be slobbering after him in search of clicks or whatever thus reviving the feeding frenzy, bless their little hearts,

  16. Charles D Myers

    If Amazon paid a fair delivery cost USPS would be solvent.

    The more packages they deliver the more money they lose 2019 report

    The USPS showed an uptick in revenue even as the volume of normal mail decreased.

    This would normally result in more money made.

    Why do we have to raise rates on Mainstreet and Grannies to subsidize Jeff Bezos?

    Why do we have to attack the USPS pension fund to subsidize Jeff Bezos?

    When the numbers come out for 2020 the USPS is going to get blown out of the water while Jeff Bezos swims in his money on the back of everyone else.

    1. phenix

      The point is to privatize the post office and sell off its prime real estate. NK posted an interview with an Amazon exec. He went into that idea.

      1. John

        Too true, but the Post Office would be solvent were it relieved of the idiotic requirement that it fund its workers pension into the next millennium. And while we are on the subject, how about a post office bank. I would love to move my mite from one of the behemoths to a public bank.

      1. ambrit

        If we were forced to pay “fair” shipping costs for all those items we “just have to have,” I could imagine the volume of e-commerce slowing precipitously. That’s not such a bad idea in and of itself.

  17. Wukchumni

    One thing i’m jealous of Fresno, is it’s advantage in being closer to felines of all kinds @ Cat Haven in Dunlap, just up from Squaw Valley (not the Tahoe one) on Hwy 180. We like to go once a year, and even though it’s a zoo, seems situated perfectly in the Sierra foothills where Bobcats & Mountain Lions share the lair.

    9 years ago they had 2 Barbary Lions in a large enclosure and the male named Cous Cous slumbering in the distance was well fed almost 2 years old & 484 pounds, we were informed. These would’ve been the very type of feline feeding on Christians in days of Roman Empire-once common enough, now rare.

    The docent told us to not get within 10 feet of the fence and a little girl got within say six feet and cats of all stripes aren’t really distance runners, they’re one trick pouncers.

    In no time flat the nearly 500 pound formerly slumbering lion was at the fence in a show of tour d’force. Sadly the same lion killed a volunteer there a year later when it got out of its enclosure and was shot by the police.

    Now, I hope that I haven’t dissuaded you from going when frequenting Fresno, or headed to Kings Canyon & Grant Grove.

    It’s like Catsco, a warehouse store of sorts.

    Here’s their trio of Snow Leopards.

    Oh, and Squaw Valley en route>? bit of a tussle over the name.

    Lawmakers and residents in California’s Squaw Valley were taken aback by a resolution to rename the area to “Nim Valley,” eliminating the racist and misogynist slur for Indigenous women.

    1. fresno dan

      February 13, 2021 at 10:14 am

      Thanks for that!!! I am embarrassed to admit I never heard of the place. Of course, I left Fresno in ’86 and didn’t return until 2018…
      Maybe I should do a google search of other attractions near Fresno…

  18. verifyfirst

    I’m confused how a nebulizer spreads Covid into the air–the liquid it is atomizing for the patient to inhale into their lungs(usually vis a mouthpiece) contains Covid and was allowed to pump the vapor into the air in the room? Or does “nebulizer” mean “vaporizer/humidifier” in Australia? Or somehow when the patient exhaled, infectious Covid particles had been atomized in their lungs?

  19. QuarterBack

    Re Tesla and Bitcoin investment, remember that Elon Musk first entered the high roller table with his earnings from PayPal. Over time, I am beginning to think that much of his wealth an influence has been in the management of money and being a stealthy market maker. After all, look at how much of Tesla’s cash flow is from energy credit instruments. Years back, when Solar City was big, some of my techie friends tried to get me to join the craze. I read the very long and complex contract and concluded that the entire enterprise was just thinly disguised energy futures contract. I’m thinking that Tesla’s investments in Bitcoin is just another case of the apple not falling far from the tree.

    1. Wukchumni

      I’ve related before about the only visible brick & mortar presence i’ve seen with Bitcoin was a cardboard sign saying ‘We Accept Bitcoin’ in the window of ‘U-Wash Doggie’ in Mammoth Lakes, Ca.

      If said storefront was really a front for invasion of Pomeranians, Chihuahuas and other curs, with illicit arms & drug deals as the main business, i’ll never know.

      Wall*Street’s main business is in doing shady deals, and if the market on Bitcoin & Tesla were to get blamed for a rather sudden downturn of all indexes, it’d be easy to point the finger at them, the former in particular with all its anonymity.

      I can see the headline from the future now:

      ‘Wall*Street demands SEC have more control over cryptocurrency’

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      while looking for news on the texas weather, i came across this:

      i had no idea he was coming here,lol.
      i remember what happened the last time Big Tech made a mass incursion into the Austin Area(late 80’s-early 90’s)…soon, the rent was too damned high, and the whole “must work 3 jobs” thing got demonstrably worse.
      i just hope that musk’s entourage doesn’t discover the farthest west portion of the Texas Hill Country.
      reckon we have enough rich people hogging land out here already.
      time to start playing up the Radon in the groundwater, again.

    3. RyanL

      Delusional crypto folks seem to think that they are supporting green energy nowadays. If he had bought ethereum (proof of stake and the sharding layer attempt to reduce the energy required), then I might understand. Bitcoin is just confusing though. Is there some long term plan here? I’m surprised people on here aren’t discussing this more.

      1. Massinissa

        I mean, there’s all sorts of delusion over there. One of the more mainstream ones is basically 1. Bitcoin 2. ? 3. DOLLAR COLLAPSES. How a currency that requires a small countries worth of electricity is going to destroy the worlds fiat oil backed physical currency I have no idea. I understand the desire to find a way to destroy the dollar at least to some extent, but uh, this aint it.

  20. Charlie H.

    In RE: GoFundMe CEO: Hello Congress, Americans need help and we can’t do your job for you USA Today

    Curious if the new CEO will also bring attention to the use of GoFundMe for healthcare / medical debt. (New as of Jan. 2020)

  21. Amazing

    Germany is now trying to reopen and they start with, as is tradition from 2020… Hairdressers. Also, at the same time they now try to push the goal of 7-day incidence to 35 instead of 50. In the current political world it is all about appearance, literally.

    As Wagenknecht explains in the talkshow Anne Will, we are 1+ year into a pandemic and still the political misleadership is not taking any decision based on numbers. One of the largest outbreaks in Germany was in the Eldercare on the German border to Czech republic. Why? Because the privatized hospitals employ only low cost Czechs. Czech republic had superhigh infektionrates. But hey, privatization is great so we can’t touch that.,erste11566.html

    1. Tim

      If, in the future, after the current pandemic ends, a new virus with similar properties as the current Coronavirus appears, would our governments be able to handle things better?

      Based on the current handling of the pandemic, 1 year in, I think the result would be pretty similar.

  22. Wukchumni

    Maybe 5 years ago we had these Black Bears that looked as if they had bathed in hydrogen peroxide and some wag in the community (that would be me) termed them the ‘Billy Idol Bears’ as no way that could be their natural color, but there you had it, reminded me of the blonde as you want to be hue of the Spicoli surfer dudes in high school, 35 miles afar from hanging ten.

    Best one of the Billy Idols was about 250 pounds, and around each eye had a perfect circle of brown kind of mimicking a Panda in looks although imagine said circle only being 2 inches wide. We were only about 20 feet away for 10 seconds by a creek.

    Once saw a 2-tone bruin, predominantly the same shade as mentioned above from about mid-belly, with the underside being brown.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      we saw an albino white tailed deer near the creek in town the other day.
      signs and wonders abound.

      and! last time it was warm…i was roaming around nekkid on the “mountain” a mile behind our place, drinking beer and looking at things…and discovered cougar scat…and then footprints…juvenile by the size of both, and likely a young male just establishing his territory(poop was on a big flat rock, where it would get wind exposure)
      once i was down on the flat, looking for my bathrobe(the wilderness bathrobe, not the gardening one), i heard him yowling.
      so i yowled back.
      we talked for a while, him on top, me in the flat, maybe 1/3 mile and 600′ elevation between us.
      i had my side arm, and my stick…as well as my terrifying visage…so i wasn’t too worried.(i worry more about the wild hogs, hence the sidearm)
      i haven’t told my rancher neighbors…because they’d get a posse together.

      (* we call it “the mountain”, but it’s really a big hill, part of Mason Mountain.)

  23. Dalepues

    200,000 Missing Cows. Well, not really.

    “President Cody Easterday admitted to the fraudulent scheme, and has explained that he concocted the scheme in order to offset over $200 million in losses he incurred in the commodities trading market,” Tyson attorney Alan D. Smith wrote in the complaint.”

    Seems like we’ve become a nation of gamblers. And if my math is correct, those 200,000 cows that didn’t exist were worth about $1000 each, which coincidentally is about the price per steer in today’s markets.

  24. Mo.B.

    The CDC report reeks of bureaucratic dishonesty. It says vaccinating teachers should be a “priority” but not a “prerequisite”. There should be ventilation through open windows if possible, but if it’s not safe or possible, then oh well. Six feet distance should be maintained, unless that’s too hard, then forget about it. The report is plainly slanted and not based on science as it pretends. I agree that schools should open, but only after teachers have the vaccine and ventilation+filtration is there. Either schools are a priority or their not.

    1. Alex Cox

      Schools and college buildings are constructed, for whatever reason, with as few functioning windows as possible. Classes are often taught in windowless basements. The absence of natural light makes them resemble prisons. Ventilation? Forget it!

    2. carl

      This is yet another instance of CDC failure. Pretty much everything in the US failed last year, from the tippy-top Trump all the way down to the people. It’s actually been a rather amazing spectacle to watch.

  25. Fran


    In other words, all you people who took a vaccine did it for nothing, in addition to those who already had Covid and didn’t need it.

    Have to keep flogging the trillions of dollars of pharma molecules for sale.

    See New York Magazine interview with Dr. Mina

    “All of the major vaccines that we are building all present the exact same spike protein. They’re all clones of each other — no difference for the most part. Nobody ever took a step back to say, what if this virus mutates? We are vaccinating with a narrow-spectrum vaccine against one piece of the virus. If that piece mutates, it would be able to escape all of our vaccines. And all it needs to do is mutate once, somewhere in the world. And then all of our major vaccines are moot. Why was that not considered?”

    1. Lee

      “Why was that not considered?”

      Viruses can mutate quickly, randomly, and hence unpredictably.

      Viral evolution is an important aspect of the epidemiology of viral diseases such as influenza (influenza virus), AIDS (HIV), and hepatitis (e.g. HCV). The rapidity of viral mutation also causes problems in the development of successful vaccines and antiviral drugs, as resistant mutations often appear within weeks or months after the beginning of a treatment. One of the main theoretical models applied to viral evolution is the quasispecies model, which defines a viral quasispecies as a group of closely related viral strains competing within an environment.” (Wikipedia)

    2. Maritimer

      More of the same today from the Daily Mail:

      “Government scientific advisers say UK may need to debate on whether to let Covid rip and cause a ‘big wave’ once all over-50s have been vaccinated…

      Experts have warned there needs to be a discussion about the level of risk

      Scientists say a rise in infections in under-50s would have little effect on NHS …

      No10’s scientific advisers claim there may need to be a debate on whether to allow coronavirus to rip through the country once the most vulnerable Britons have been vaccinated….

      Leading experts have warned there needs to be a national discussion about the level of risk allowed in society, once the mammoth inoculation drive has targeted the 32m most vulnerable residents. ”

      So, vaccinate the vulnerable and then let’er rip to get herd immunity. As a well-qualified skeptic and, now, amateur epidemiologist, my position six months ago was: PROTECT THE VULNERABLE, DEVELOP TREATMENTS AND LE’ER RIP. Can I get my SAGE badge now?

      In addition, add in the variants, questionable vaccine effectiveness, possible long term side effects, huge devastating economic losses, etc. A really complex, toxic mess which could have been easily solved which some in SAGE now seem to realize.

      Seems like the Great Barrington folk and others who have been attacked and censored were onto something. And, imagine that, an actual debate? In my jurisdiction, it has been all dictat and suppression of debate and a lack of information.

      1. Basil Pesto

        As someone uncritically reading the Daily Mail, I question your skeptic credentials.

        “Gov’t scientific advisers say…”

        “Experts have warned…”

        “Scientists say…”

        should set alarm bells ringing immediately. This is all weak appeal to authority. Which scientists and what are their qualifications and areas of
        expertise? How many of them? Which gov’t advisors? Do they have any conflicts of interest? Do these people discussing risk have any expertise in the field of risk? What do scientists who disagree with them say? Do they outnumber the scientists that say “to hell with it, pos me daddy”?

      2. Phil in KC

        Were that to happen, I’d be more worried about the “long-haulers,” those who survive the virus but with chronic disabilities that could be life-long. That would put an enormous strain on the NHS. Moreover, just cruel to all the under 50’s who are raising the children, working, teaching, etc. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.

  26. allan

    Alex, I’ll take witness tampering for $200:
    Marjorie Taylor Greene @mtgreenee

    The gift that keeps on giving to the Democrats.

    First voting to impeach innocent President Trump, then yapping to the press and throwing @GOPLeader
    under the bus, and now a tool as a witness for the Democrats running the circus trial.

    The Trump loyal 75 million are watching.

    [ links to statement from potential impeachment trial witness Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)]

    11:51 AM · Feb 13, 2021·Twitter for iPhone


  27. aleph_0

    Reading through the Quanta modelling article, and one thing jumps out at me.

    After talking about the Goldenfeld and Maslov model catastrophically failing because they didn’t bother considering how students actually behave, the conclusion of the article just talks about the need to have even more data collection, even better sources of data, even more surveillance shared with even more scientific elites. Well, that and how to be even more not to blame when your model gets something wrong.

    The utopian thinking here drives me nuts. Models can never fail, they can only be failed by pesky humans. There’s no call for humility on the part of scientists, there’s no call to reevaluate assumptions; there is only shit rolling down hill. The college presidents got what they wanted – fully paid tuition; the modelers just get to shrug and move on – who could have known that students would be so naughty.

    Instead, we get the old canard that scientists are just being misunderstood – Don’t worry, your model’s still very useful, it’s just because you’re not good at talking to people! And those people are misinterpreting it! It’s not your fault!

    As if the weirdos who couldn’t talk to people about their work haven’t been cleared out of academia and related bureaucracies almost entirely for people who are better self-marketers than researchers so that grants keep rolling in.

    I guess there’s a bright spot here. These scientists can be as horribly wrong as economists and not suffer any consequences, either. Well, that and they do go on record in saying that the CDC has been compromised to the point of being basically worthless and somewhat harmful. That’s not nothing.

    1. flora

      After talking about the Goldenfeld and Maslov model catastrophically failing because they didn’t bother considering how students actually behave, the conclusion of the article just talks about the need to have even more data collection, even better sources of data, even more surveillance shared with even more scientific elites. Well, that and how to be even more not to blame when your model gets something wrong.

      Fractalized GIGO? / ;)

  28. urblintz

    Insurance for my home in Florida – the family home I grew up in, a mid-century modern gem built and designed by my uncle in 1959 and bought from my mother before her death in 1999 – increased by 30%…

    due next month…

    I’ll be paying it quarterly and will seriously consider dropping it entirely if the hurricane season looks to be mild…

    and then I’ll try to sell…

    although I don’t know why anyone, especially a young family, would buy a home in coastal Florida…

    run by the cretin Ron (mini-Trump) DeSantis and represented by the likes of Rick (Valdamort) Scott, little Marco (tiny-mind) Rubio and chain-gang Charlie (don’t let my puppy-dog smile or the (D) next to my name fool ya) Crist. I hear Charlie wants to be governor again…

    … given all that, they should be lowering insurance rates because the disaster struck decades ago and the bill for it will never be paid.

    1. Jason Boxman

      According to NOAA, 15 million out of 19.6 million people in Florida live on the coasts.

      That truly is a disaster waiting to happen. And the average policy is double the national average:

      But Florida property owners with $300,000 to $399,999 in coverage pay an average of $2,350, compared to the national average of $1,252 for the same amount of insurance, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

      “It’s also important to know that most homeowners’ insurance policies do not include flood insurance,” warns state Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier. Flood insurance can easily add another $1,500 to the bill, according to quotes from websites that sell it.

      And some homeowners may not be able to purchase insurance at all, except from the state.

      “In Orlando if a house predates 2010 and is worth less than $300,000, no company is going to write [insurance for] you,” warned Locke Burt, CEO of Security First Insurance Co. in a June 2020 Sun Sentinel article.

      Of course I’m left to wonder who can afford a 300k house in Orlando, where the economy is more bifurcated than Boston even, as in a greater share of people are paying greater than the 30% gross of monthly income rule for rent in Orlando than Boston. That must translate into housing affordability as well. And that was pre-pandemic.

      I don’t miss any of it; glad I left.

  29. marym

    I watched much of the Dem’s trial presentation. They laid out timelines of what Trump has said/tweeted laying the groundwork for claiming a stolen election well in advance of the election, and continuing since the election; and riling up extremist protest, not discouraging or criticizing it, not just on riot day.

    For a few minutes today the Senate (including 5 Republicans) voted to call witnesses. Then the Democrats decided not to bother.

    So whether there is or isn’t a case that should be made against attempting to replace the presidential election with whatever Trump and his elite and non-elite followers were hoping would happen, no need to fret. Dems don’t really care. It’s all a show to them. Trump won’t face even symbolic consequences.

    Team Blue twitter once again can’t believe Dems “caved” on something important to them.

    So it’s back to the more traditional forms of voter suppression – Dems discouraging their own voters and Republicans making further efforts to ensure that they can’t vote anyway.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > For a few minutes today the Senate (including 5 Republicans) voted to call witnesses. Then the Democrats decided not to bother.

      What?!?!? [checks] They did indeed [throws hands up in despair], [pounds head on desk]. Sure, Romney 2024, but if the initial case was serious, why on earth not take every opportunity to make it?

      > So it’s back to the more traditional forms of voter suppression – Dems discouraging their own voters and Republicans making further efforts to ensure that they can’t vote anyway.

      Pass the Victory gin!

      This is “the deal”:

      After two hours of chaos when the Senate unexpectedly voted to call witnesses in the impeachment trial, Trump attorney Bruce Castor announced that impeachment managers had agreed to a deal to include a statement in the record instead of deposing any witnesses.

      Such a deal. I don’t have the detail, but at first sight it looks to me, amusingly, like five Republicans crawled out on a limb to vote with the Democrats for witnesses, and the Democrats promptly sawed the limb off. The spirit of unity!

      1. Pat

        I thought it had to be Beutler’s statement. Which, I’m pretty sure is hearsay. Now admittedly this is not a criminal court, it is still going to undermine any power in the testimony. Unless the managers were ready to call McCarthy and possibly be told something entirely different, this is the best they are gonna get. It will be in the record though most people won’t read it or care.

        And I now have a reason to read McCarthy’s book when he finally writes it.

        The only one who wasn’t already on the limb that was halfway sawed through already was Graham. And I bet there is more to his last minute change In direction then misreading where the potholes were.

        1. marym

          The change may have been to affirm that Republicans would call witnesses too, and have the Democrats see that as something to worry about.

            1. Pat

              But how far? Even a dozen would have most leaving the managers to face the testimony with little or no preparation.

              Sacrificing A thorough case with preparation and investigation for speed has not really worked out for them.

      2. Rod

        kinda perky for a cold and clouded nation on a slow news Saturday
        everyone needs a strategy for something…

        I’m sure the Senator from SC had identified a witness or two before reconsidering and changing his vote

      3. Kurt Sperry

        “Sure, Romney 2024”

        I’m having difficulty imagining a less meaningful choice than a Biden vs. Romney contest would present. Which would be the whole point, I suppose.

        1. Massinissa

          I hate terms like RINO, since they’re usually pretty meaningless seeing as how there’s no ‘true’ republican or ‘true’ democrat, but honestly, Romney is basically a RINO. He has no political stances to speak of. Probably joined the Republican party after flipping a coin.

      1. Daryl

        As someone who hasn’t been following this charade, this is pretty hard to follow. Dems “won” a victory in a process they control, then didn’t use it? Does it matter — is it expected that would change the final vote?

        I have to say if I were involved in this whole thing, I’d want to end it sooner. Can’t blame them.

        1. Lee

          I haven’t been following it closely either. Alas, I had hoped that the Dems folding would have meant that NPR would resume its regularly scheduled weekend programming. I guess I’ll have to catch Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me online.

        2. marym

          It wouldn’t change the outcome as far as conviction, but if the Dem case is that trying to reverse the presidential election, unsubstantiated claims of fraud, and support for right-wing extremist protests are bad for “our sacred democracy” then discrediting Trump and the Senators who vote to acquit him would be the point.

          Apparently the Senate rules for this process were such the they would have been able to depose witnesses in committee and over time, while continuing other Senate business.

          Walking away from doing that within a few hours of achieving bipartisan consent to do a more thorough job discredits their position on the issue of the impeachment, and on the broader issue of voting rights; and their standing with their own voters (such as it was, anyway).

            1. Anonymous

              If I was watching this show in a bankrupt AMC theater, I would ask to see the manager to get a refund.

          1. Procopius

            discrediting Trump and the Senators who vote to acquit him would be the point.

            Discredit them with whom? The Trump base in their comfortable suburbs? That’s delusional.

        1. ambrit

          Are you suggesting, good sir, that our stalwart governators have a penchant for “Caveing” every chance they get? The ignominy of it!
          This Rabbit Hole is made of sterner stuff, indeed, adamantine in it’s moh’sness. Or, I’ll scratch your lich, you scratch mine.

          1. Wukchumni

            Not everybody can descend into the abyss with such aplomb, while pleading for funds in order to be able to occasionally win & fight the bad right, and then squander opportunities as if it were a dirt right, upon ascension to grand poobahdom.

            I’d almost call it spine tingling but seeing as the Donkey Show doesn’t possess any, its lost on them.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Markos is going to send a huge order of flowers to DiFi’s office and then denounce the Russian trolls infiltrating his sight.

      3. urblintz

        I was banned years ago for telling the cognitively-dissonanced partisan commentary to put away their pom-poms for Obama. I feel their pain LOL…

        oh wait, that’s not pain…

        How do you spell S-C-H-A-D-E-N-F-R-E-U-D-E?!!!!

    2. Pat

      I cannot say for sure why Graham changed his vote at the last minute, but whatever Lee said to him he felt the need to act on it. And considering his support of Trump I don’t think it was because Lee’s testimony could damage the former president. And Cassidy, despite his much commented on notes did NOT vote for it.

      My guess – whatever his reason it was a reminder that prosecutors do not call witnesses if they have an iota of doubt what they are going to say. They are ill prepared to call witnesses.

      They looked at their options, made some calculations, and with their usual finesse, made the worst choice possible. They had a really good shot of censuring Trump (Lambert’s favorite), but that wouldn’t have disqualified him from running. Nor would it have been as showy a punishment and less vindication for their previous loss. Deciding to go for speed and emotion rather than really investigating and nailing down their case has also been a mistake.

      1. Lambert Strether

        So now the Democrats have tried and failed to impeach Trump three times. That’s quite a record.

        Adding, they could try to disqualify Trump from running again under the Fourteenth Amendment. Section 3:

        No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

        But since Trump apparently won’t be impeached for inciting insurrection, it’s hard to see why this applies. In what other venue do they convict him?

        1. Pat

          Censure would appear to have allowed for that. Lost opportunities…

          I honestly cannot decide if they want to appear to be or really are the gang that cannot shoot straight. Either way they should be embarrassed.

        2. Synoia

          The Democrats were “doing something” and avoiding other things they could be doing, such as Medicare for all, or an industrial policy.

          It appears as a combination of Political Theater and Time-wasting to avoid actual responsibility and concrete actions.

          Continually trying, failing, delivering nothing, and wasting time has hallmarks of avoiding “difficult” issues.

          1. RMO

            I’ve said it before: Trump has had as many “We’ve definitely stopped him now!” – (JUMP SCARE!) AHHHH! No we haven’t!” moments as Jason Freaking Vorhees in the Friday The 13th movies.

    3. Jason Boxman

      Well, at least it is settled that between Clinton and Trump, impeachment as a Constitution tool is now a thoroughly illegitimate, partisan affair that will never be seriously accepted by about half the country should it ever truly be necessary and proper to impeach a future president.

      Mission accomplished!

      And these are supposedly the adults in the room, ffs.

      1. RMO

        Torture people to death, lie to the nation to commit “the supreme war crime” of aggressive war, shred the Constitution and The Bill Of Rights – nah, no impeachment for that. And he went and gave Michelle Obama a cough drop so he’s totally redeemed. But Clinton and Trump – DEVILS that are beyond the pale!

        1. Lambert Strether

          > Torture people to death, lie to the nation to commit “the supreme war crime” of aggressive war, shred the Constitution and The Bill Of Rights – nah, no impeachment for that.

          If Bernie were a war criminal, he might be President today!

    4. farmboy

      maybe it was a straw poll to see how many might vote for conviction, getting close. using Buetler’s statement takes McCarthy off the hook and Pence too, not a bad strategy, avoid embarrassing R’s, allowing for a conviction vote

      1. Wukchumni

        My Kevin defies gravity and falls upward.

        In truth i’m lucky to have him-such a goof, what if I was saddled with Devin?, who’s a much craftier ex cow juice extraction wrangler on the low plains of the Central Valley…

    5. Carolinian

      Apparently the defense said that if witnesses allowed they would first call Pelosi to explain the ease with which the rioters gained access to the Capitol. End of discussion.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > if witnesses allowed they would first call Pelosi to explain the ease with which the rioters gained access to the Capitol

        I don’t think that’s Pelosi’s responsibility (because which party would allow a structure where the other would have complete control). So a link on that would be nice.

  30. JTMcPhee

    About those overworked, overloaded pharmacists — all just part of the neoliberal business model, more and more work, from fewer and fewer people, for less and less money (between fixed low wages debased further by actual inflation) under tighter and tighter metric-driven “management.”

  31. ambrit

    Zeitgeist Watch Weekend Edition.
    A local news source ran a squib about a quiet movement among the Academic Law Enforcement Elites.
    Surveillance cameras are being deployed around town. This has been going on for several years. It’s part of Project NOLA, run out of the University of New Orleans. The local coppers get all the info. As stated, some crimes have already been solved using the extant part of the system. It sounds very much like the London Iron Wall system.
    Project NOLA:
    The Panopticon is here. Assume the rhetorical position.

      1. ambrit

        Great link! Thanks. It is always reassuring to see that there is still self reflection and a “jaundiced eye” to be had.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      See my comment above – Daszak has links with the Wuhan laboratory, he is not an unbiased observer.

      1. Synoia

        Daily Mail assertions have to be read with a great deal of skepticism.

        Newspapers in the UK make no attempt to report unbiased views. Their focus is on sales or a specific constituency, most probably both.

        Is the Daily Mail a Murdoch newspaper? If so, all the words come out of the Right Side of the mouth with an anti Russia or China tilt.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I just picked that as the first article I found, it was actually widely reported elsewhere. A quick google will find you lots.

          The Daily Mail isn’t a Murdoch paper, its right wing and frequently stupid, but it occasionally does good quality old style muckraking reporting. Also, as libel laws are far stricter in the UK than the US, that type of allegation won’t be published unless it can be backed up to some extent.

  32. Pat

    Pretty much every airline lobbied the government so that a negative corona virus test would not be required before a domestic flight. And it is looking like they will get that pass.

    Between that and the recommendation to open schools essentially ignoring the need for ventilation in the classroom we really have to stop pretending to be concerned about the pandemic.

  33. NotTimothyGeithner

    Back to the powder vauls!

    As the Democrats go on vacation without a Covid Relief Bill, lets reflect on how much dry powder they are hoarding.

    Have faith! The heart shaped signs are on the White House lawn and the troops had cookies that one time! America is back!

  34. Synoia

    Stonehenge: Did the stone circle originally stand in Wales?

    Looking at the map suggest the journey could have included partly sea route, either to the River Severn Estuary, or to Southampton Water.

    Much easier than dragging them over South Wales and the West country.

  35. The Rev Kev

    “From 1906 – Best cat video ever! (Remastered and colorized silent film).” Moi: Only place I’ve even seen a cat striped like that was in Istanbul’

    I’m calling it as a Bengal cat. They have a magnificent pattern and are quite striking – and I want one!

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      my ex-wife and i adopted a brother/sister pair of those in austin, 25 years ago.
      big, muscular jungle cats. we found them as kittens behind the dumpster where she worked….had no idea they would turn out that way,lol.
      they came out here to the wilderness with us, were put in mom’s barn until the trailer was up and ready, and ran off just as soon as we opened a door.(they had been inside cats in austin, and we intended to continue that)
      since then, that whorled pattern has become endemic in the local cat population, even as far away as fredericksburg(60 miles south) where i’ve seen them in recent years around dumpsters.
      i hypothesise that this breed, whatever it is, has superior survival skills.

    1. Massinissa

      “We have no interest in these pursuits, and we are opposed to the movement to substitute Black capitalism for white capitalism.”

      Its so refreshing to hear this kind of thing. Also after that line they start denouncing the Democratic Party, Obama, Harris, Biden… I don’t know enough about this group, but they sure talk a good game, that’s for sure. I like their guts.

  36. marym

    57-43 – conviction needed 67 votes
    Democrats failed to do an effective job of standing up for the voters who voted them into the WH and a Senate majority, and allowed them to keep the House; for the election workers who have been vilified by mr. populist and followers; and for the “sacred democracy” against which mr. populist and followers attempted a reversal.

    Time – probably not much time – will tell if the consequences of their failure will be worse for civil rights, voting rights, and representative democracy than the Republican failure of 1877.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > the Republican failure of 1877

      The beauty part, at least from my perspective, is that both parties are thoroughly embubbled in clashing, but false narratives: The Repubicans that the election was stolen, the Democrats that the Capitol seizure was an insurrection.

      No doubt we will be unable to recognize either a truly stolen election or an actual insurrection when either, or both, occur. Well done, all.

      1. The Rev Kev

        If we are going to be complete, we can also say that the Democrats think that their 2016 elections were stolen too – by Russia. The 2024 Presidential elections is gunna be a mess.

        1. ambrit

          I would dearly love for Putin to “sponsor” a Third Party Socialist candidate in the American 2024 election. Then he can come out and say; “Put up or shut up.”
          Sit back, have some popcorn, and watch heads explode.

  37. Wukchumni

    Stonehenge: Did the stone circle originally stand in Wales? BBC (David L)
    Interesting video~

    To go to Sequoia Stonehenge, its best to backpack from Mineral King to just about the only flat spot to camp in the heart of the seldom visited Garfield Grove (sorry you got bumped off #20, here have a grove of trees that nobody goes to named in your honor) hidden off-trail a few hundred feet behind a circle of boulders surrounded by towering Sequoias, rendering it the nickname of Stonehenge camp.

    The only downside is the nearest water is 300 yards away in a spring fed creek-the upside with dry camping being less mossies.

    I tend to look more when i’m going downhill, and thats all you’re doing for 5,000 feet of drop in altitude to Ladybug trailhead, where you have a car stashed for shuttle to the other vehicle you left back at the parking lot in MK. Walking downwards from essentially the tops of the goliaths to their base all the while. Within where Brobdingnagians dare are a couple in the top 12 as far as size matters goes, and it takes an hour of steep off-trail from the trail to get the scene of their clime, in a Mexican stand-off of too big to fails each a football field apart, the third tree not mentioned being only thirtieth in girth.

    Our tent @ Stonehenge is next to 15 foot wide-bodies in the photos, with a splendid view of Homers Nose, so named after one of the cabin owners great great grandfather proboscis bearing much resemblance, nothing to do with that other Homer fellow, the journey is the thing, out of sight, out of mind, et al.

  38. Amfortas the hippie

    ive been a brad delong fan for a long time, even when i have major disagreements with him about some major fundamental feature of our world.
    the linked art. didn’t disappoint…and neither did another one on his site:
    fta:”A state that makes civil society legible to itself cannot protect us from its own fits of ideological terror, or even clumsy thumb-fingeredness. A state to which civil society is illegible cannot help curb roving bandits or local notables. And neither type of state has proved terribly effective at constraining its own functionaries.”

    i am fortunate that i live in one of the few remaining limnal spaces in this country…whole county is routinely overlooked and forgotten, and most out here like it that way.
    we don’t even have traffic lights, just a blinking light, just outside of town(known as “The Blinking Light”)…so no traffic cams…although we recently learned that the 3 banks on the square(2 locally owned and 100+ years old) have sufficient security cams to provide evidence enough to detain the guy that burned the courthouse down.
    regardless, we remain at least partly ” illegible” to the seats of power further up the food chain.
    i sincerely hope that we can remain so.

    1. Wukchumni

      We’re hidden in plain sight, with a good many out of towners now intimate with the insides of a few hundred homes here thanks to short term vacation rentals being the new neighbors you don’t need to bring cookies over for.

      Hard to have any cohesion here were things to come a cropper, as the fact is, you don’t even know who the mysterious garage mahal investor from LA who owns 12 AirBnB’s is either?

      In a much lower orbit than Elon’s efforts, we are oft treated to way too many outside lights left on overnight by city slickers used to doing way too many lumens, cheapening the sky.

    2. Maritimer

      “i sincerely hope that we can remain so.”

      Somewhat the same here but this once backwater, undesired locale is becoming desirable. One of the problems are the ever present Boosters (See SInclair Lewis, Babbitt) who constantly blabber about the place hoping to boost their main and side hustles.

      My once peaceful country lane walk with obligatory dog is now spoiled by a recently arrived urbanite who you can hear a long distance away blathering away on his cellphone. This is the ever speading pox of Progress and GDP expansion.

      I am reminded of opponents of SETI who worry about contacting other occupants of the Universe and that they may have evil intentions, unlike us. So if you live in a nice place, do not identify it!

    3. Lee

      A case of local willful landscape illiteracy:

      As I have noted on a number of occasions at this site, just yesterday in fact, there are large tracts of land in our town (Alameda, CA) consisting of low-lying, waterside landfill, that developers and local and state politicians cannot or pretend not to be able to rightly read. They have already built and keep pushing to build more doomed structures all over such remaining open lands in spite of their having been found to be exquisitely vulnerable to both liquefaction due to earthquakes and flooding due to sea-level rise. The risk maps produced by government funded research are perfectly legible and their import as to future catastrophes are clear and posted online for all to see. Fortunately, the voters have clearer vision and landscape reading skills and keep voting down, by very large margins, politician and developer driven initiatives to build more tick-tacky on these manmade future swamplands. But pressure from state authorities to build moar is mounting, so for just how long the local electorate will prevail is open to question.

  39. The Rev Kev

    So the US Senate folds in their prosecution of Trump because of Democrat mendacious behaviour and incompetence. It’s almost if, it’s almost if – it is almost if the past month has been a complete and total waste of time while sucking the air out of passing legislation to help people in the middle of a pandemic-

    Seven Republicans crossed the line to vote with Democrats, two of whom will be retiring. We’ll see what happens with those five in the coming months. They’ll be as popular as Ralph Nadar at a Democrat cocktail party.

      1. Pat

        It appears the rest will be fought in the press with lots of storm and drang and finger pointing. One news report I just saw was sure we would hear the inside story of the great witness compromise any day! Media are probably salivating at the idea of Donald Trump stirring the pot. They miss him already.

        I believe our ever stalwart elected officials are less divided between parties and more between the belief outrage and pretend vindication is a winner or a loser with the public. Most of our vaunted Dem leadership especially Pelosi think the public is eating it up, Mitch is going with Solomon/elder statesman, a few others are declaring their position with righteous social media posts, but most seem to want their vacation, and then to get back to whatever looks good for their voters.

        1. Lee

          I propose a friendly amendment:

          “…and then to get back to whatever looks good for their voters donors.”

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          My suspicion is Team Blue thought the 7 GOP votes would be a huge PR coup and gave up witnesses in exchange for praising Cheney. Pelosi’s desire for a strong GOP was part of this. Then they would all go home for a break and maybe come back when vaccine rates are higher.

          The idea they are focused on the Biden agenda before going on vacay is absurd even for Team Blue elites. They expected to be praised for getting Mittens on their side again.

          1. Pat

            Do you think they are actively trying to make sure they lose one or both majorities in 2022? The callous disregard of the mountain of public problems almost feels like a taunt.

            I can never quite fathom how they are so divorced from the reality facing the majority of Americans and then they say or do something that make it seem they are that stupid and clueless…think George HW Bush and the supermarket price scanner.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              No. Its just their nature. They are lazy, but I think they decided 7 GOP votes was better than putting this on the GOP and getting only 2 votes as Republicans hardened or this moved out of a three day weekend during a major winter storm.

              Now, they don’t have to work. They improved on their first try. And when they get back from vacation, they fully expect a few more cutesy stories about Jill Biden doing the bare minimum of decorating will convince people to forget rent is due. Its just who they are.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Fellow travelers more than anything. If Coons wasn’t just like Biden, he never would have been recruited.

  40. pk

    What’s the point?… I just find it weird that ‘Grizzly bear story’ starts with a lament hinting how small their population is but quick search reveals that “Since being listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1975, grizzly bear populations in northwest Montana and the Greater Yellowstone Area have more than tripled in size”

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Help me. Tripling in a small subset of their range is meaningless. And did you miss that the white grizzly was seen in Canada, not the US, PER THE BLOODY HEADLINE?

  41. JohnB

    The article on the Signal app: The FBI didn’t intercept anything, they had physical access to the phone – and were able to bypass the screen lock on the phone.

    So, communication with Signal is still safe/secure as far as we know – but all bets are off once someone gets physical access to your device – and that is true for all apps, no matter how secure they claim to be.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Not according to the BBC:

      “Cellebrite seem to have been able to recover the decryption key, which seems extraordinary as they are usually very well protected on modern mobile devices.”

      He added that if this was indeed true, it was no surprise Cellebrite would have altered its blog.

      “I suspect someone in authority told them to, or they realised they may have provided enough detail to allow others – who don’t just supply to law-enforcement agencies – to achieve the same result.”

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