Links 3/13/2021

Spain to plant thousands of trees to help feed bears, as climate change forces them from hibernation early inews

YouTube Star Tim Pool’s News Site Collapses Amid Allegations He Took a Cat Hostage Daily Beast

Prehistoric women were successful big-game hunters, challenging beliefs about ancient gender roles The Conversation (Anthony L)

New Kind of Space Explosion Reveals the Birth of a Black Hole Quanta. Anthony L: “On being eaten from the inside by a Black Hole.” Moi: Eeew!

Countries Tried to Curb Trade in Plastic Waste. The U.S. Is Shipping More New York Times (Robert M)

NFTs are setting the creative world alight. Are they also bad for the planet? (furzy)

How Sustainable is High-tech Health Care? LOW-TECH MAGAZINE (Anthony L)

Deep-sea ‘Roombas’ will comb ocean floor for DDT waste barrels near Catalina Los Angeles Times (furzy)

Scientists may have solved ancient mystery of ‘first computer’ Guardian (Kevin W)

Oil and gas pipelines plague US property owners Popular Science (Kevin W)


Mexico’s lucha libre wrestlers fight against COVID Reuters

India reports year’s biggest COVID-19 spike Reuters


Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from asymptomatic and presymptomatic individuals in healthcare settings despite medical masks and eye protection Clinical Infectious Diseases

Russia Secures Sputnik Italy Output in European Vaccine Push Bloomberg


Kroger accidentally vaccinates people with empty syringes Independent

To the People Who Tried Slate. Resilc: “If we cannot come together on an issue that killed 500k+, we cannot come together on ANY issue facing USA USA……..”


>U.S. Treasury Begins Sending First Batch of $1,400 Payments Bloomberg. Our Friday evening aide show us her $1,400 receipt on her phone when she got alert. .

Young retail investors plan to spend almost half of their stimulus checks on stocks, Deutsche survey claims CNBC


‘Not Enough Being Done’ to Counter China’s Growing Aggression, US Military Officials Warn – Defense One (resilc)


In Northern Ireland, a ‘shift in enthusiasm’ for Irish unity Aljazeera

Deferring new UK-EU customs controls no ‘universal fix’ for underlying problems The Loadstar

Ex-ambassador appointed to lead ‘Havana syndrome’ task force, as CIA expands inquiry into mysterious brain injuries RT (Kevin W)

Exclusive: Myanmar’s first satellite held by Japan on space station after coup Reuters. Resilc: “No democracy there too and they also have a space force……..”


Iran Is Starting to Want the Bomb Foreign Policy

Israel ‘bombed a dozen ships carrying Iranian oil or weapons in past two years’ Guardian (resilc)

Why Saudi Arabia won’t hit back at Iran Asia Times (Kevin W)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The UK is secretly testing a controversial web snooping tool Wired (David L)

Microsoft Probing Whether Leak Played Role in Suspected Chinese Hack Wall Street Journal. So now the “hack” is being defined down.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Jackson, Mississippi Residents Enter Fourth Week Of Water Crisis NPR (Kevin W)

Trump Transition

Trump Official Charged in Capitol Riots Had a Rap Sheet and Still Got Top-Secret Clearance Vice

Policy Series 2012-9: Making Trump History H-Diplo (Anthony L)

Exclusive: Dr. Deborah Birx, former Trump coronavirus coordinator, to join Texas air purifier maker Reuters


Biden’s Commerce Secretary is Pure Clintonism CounterPunch (resilc)

Biden’s Build Back Better Plan Faces Hurdles Outside of GOP, Politics Bloomberg

ICE asks for volunteers to deploy to border ‘as soon as this weekend’ to cope with surge Texas Chronicle

Krystal Ball: Inside The Establishment Plot To DESTROY The Left YouTube

Members of Congress Urge Federal Action on High Lumber Prices The Family Handyman

More on H.R.1/S.1: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly CounterPunch (resilc)

Hertz “deeply saddened” that it took 5 years to find the receipt to free an innocent man Boing Boing

‘Everybody shouldn’t be voting’: Arizona Republican defends voter restrictions as GOP pushes ‘fraud’ claims Independent (resilc). Now that that’s official…

Pro-Life Policy After the Baby Arrives American Conservative


Andrew Cuomo’s governorship has been defined by cruelty that disguised chronic mismanagement. Why was that celebrated for so long? New York Magazine. Bob:

Forwarded to me by someone near NYS government. She said it was horrifying and accurate. He’s been doing this shit for more than 10 years. There should be hundreds of these. I still want to hear some recordings of his 11:30 pm personal calls to bully people.

Schumer, Gillibrand call on Cuomo to resign The Hill. Your truly said Thurs (sadly privately) when the story of groping allegation broke, that you could stick a fork in him. Now it’s official. But sadly, the furore appears to be almost entirely about sexual harassment, and not his role in nursing home deaths.

Cuomo walks around his mansion in a blanket with daughter Mariah and dog Captain after Chuck Schumer demanded he RESIGN when seventh woman accused him of sexual harassment Daily Mail (petal)/blockquote>

Our Famously Free Press

Huge middle finger’: YouTube tells foreign creators they will soon be charged AMERICAN tax RT (Kevin W)

Woke Watch

Mum’s the word: British university scraps the word ‘mother’ The Spectator

Ex-CalPERS trustee wants records of CIO’s resignation revealed Pensions & Investments (Kevin W)

Microsoft wants the US to hit search rival Google with Australian-style media laws, following the bargaining code battle down under Business Insider (Kevin W)

Drivers Are 24% More Likely To Speed When Using Adaptive Cruise Control ars technica

NTSB Cites Tesla To Make the Case For Stricter Autonomous Driving Regulation engadget

Theranos: Elizabeth Holmes’ pregnancy expected to delay her trial Guardian (BC)

Mr. Clean” in San Francisco Was Paid $380,000 Per Year – It Wasn’t Enough Real Clear Politics (BC). Yes, I know, right wing leaning site. But the story is on a case filed by the DoJ and helps explain the shitty state of SF sidewalks.

Class Warfare

Marco Rubio Backs Amazon Union Mike Elk. Heads explode. Although the reasons not the best. Basically confirms that forces on both sides of the aisle have woken up a bit late to the idea that Bezos has too much power, and they need to Do Something.

14-hour days and no bathroom breaks: Amazon’s overworked delivery drivers Guardian (resilc)

What if the most important election of the year is happening right now in Alabama? Guardian (resilc)

23rd Annual David Gordon Memorial Lecture UPRE. Michael Hudson. We posted the transcript earlier (Michael Hudson: Finance Capitalism vs. Industrial Capitalism – The Rentier Resurgence and Takeover) but the video is now up, for those of you who prefer that format.

Antidote du jour. CV:

I have never seen an Eastern chipmunk on the frozen snow. It was 10 degrees F when I took this shot. Here it’s sitting at the entrance of its burrow:

A bonus (Chuck L):

And another Chuck L bonus. What a stunning video:

Bonuses galore! I need extras, it was a tough week:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Maxwell Johnston

      Amazing video. Thank you for posting. I’ve read previously about the Antikythera mechanism, but I didn’t realize so many brilliant scientists are working to solve its mysteries. How the ancient Greeks managed to build this thing (if it was in fact the ancient Greeks…..) is baffling.


      As Elvis would say…thank you, thank you, thank you. Mind bending. Odd that this ingenious little device was not replicated enough in the ancient world so that a few working devices survived. Imagine if the 16th century church had a working model of the geocentric universe. All Copernicans to the thumb-screws! Worse than the Austrian Marginalists.

    3. R

      An investor in a company I ran was involved in the project. He was an old school British backroom boffin – no degree but he had worked with three different Nobel laureates and there is nobody in the world better at designing ultrahighspeed camera equipment and, in this case, industrial xray inspection equipment. They sent him the antikythera mechanism for 3D xray imaging.

    4. The Rev Kev

      That’s a good video that. With this part of the project complete, perhaps they can better work out the context for this device. And what I mean is the astronomical knowledge, the metallurgy, the production of precision machinery and all the rest of it. This could not have been the first such attempt but with so much past knowledge lost, we do not know how many or how many other models were built and it took a shipwreck to supply the only know model in existence.

      It makes you wonder what else was lost that we just do not know about and that there was a bit more to this swords and sandals era than we think. The only way that I can compare this would be if that diver had found half a rusted internal combustion engine instead sitting on that ocean floor. At least with that we would be able to name the technological and knowledges need to produce one. But we do have some mention of this astronomical technology, even if second hand-

  1. QuarterBack

    Re Kroger’s “accidental” empty vaccine doses, the story doesn’t mention whether they also accidentally billed the Government for them too. Hopefully, they ended up only billing for administering one dose and not two when people got the none blanks. Could also be a convenient way to “accidentally” increase the counts of people that received both doses of the vaccine.

    1. John A

      I vaguely recall many many years go reading some detective story by maybe Agatha Christie or similar, in which the villain murdered someone by injecting air into the victim. This air bubble then travelled through the bloodstream and killed the person but was undetectable as such in the post mortem. It took the genius of Poirot or whoever to figure this out. I never investigated further but assumed this to be possible. Is it? Could Kroger then also have been on the hook for manslaughter in a worst case scenario?

      1. The Historian

        I think that the storyline was that air was shot into a vein and caused an embolism. Vaccine shots are given intramuscular, not in a vein, so no, I don’t think there would be any bad side effects.

        When I went in for my shot at a medical clinic, not at Kroger, they had already loaded syringes sitting in a container, so they just took out a syringe, removed the cap, and gave me my shot. Perhaps someone botched up preparing the syringes or putting them into the container. Either way, it doesn’t say much for their QC processes, does it?

        1. RMO

          It would be pretty difficult to do that in reality. You would need a half-liter of air and would have to empty it into the vein in about five seconds for it to have a good chance of being fatal.

    2. Katiebird

      I read about this the other day and still don’t get it. What is a blank vaccine dose? Water? Who would put water in those vials? Why don’t reporters follow stories to answer questions??

      How did they identify who got the empty shot (WHAT is an empty shot — air?) No answers.

      1. JohnMc

        as someone that has given a lot of vaccination (to livestock), i clicked on this story only to see how it was possible to not understand how someone could inject an ’empty’ syringe. so pretty frustrating that the reporting did nothing to explain that.

        finally found a story that explained they were using high tech vanishing point syringes. maybe a bit too much engineering for a simple medical device – and it ends up creating a situation where the technician can’t even tell if the syringe is empty.

        here is info on how they work:

        1. jefemt

          Can’t count how many times I react to a given ‘report’ to ask the obvious glaring follow up questions- and answers.

          JohnMc diligence in pursuing answers is likely not the common reaction.

          Sad state of affairs in much reporting these days. Hope they aren’t carrying too much debt for that education!

        2. XXYY

          These are fascinating. i don’t know how they are to use, but it’s a clever way to protect heath care workers, family members, and everyone in the hazardous waste disposal chain from the danger of contaminated needles, which seems like a real accomplishment. Hopefully they will become the norm.

        3. t

          No idea what the dose size is. Teeny tiny doses barely register as depressing the plunger.

          At least that’s my experience with small animals. With big dogs and livestock, you’re standing there hoping you can finish before something goes wrong. Seems like forever with, for instance, thick antibiotics.

          Had a flu shot with a syringe that snaps the needle back into to prevent sticks. Hurt like hell – spring mechanism activated while the needle is in your arm. But at least no worries about the nurse getting a prick while trying ti recap the used syringe. I guess.

          Syringe technology and use is a land of contrasts.

    3. LaRuse

      I live in the county (Chesterfield, VA) where these bogus doses were distributed (Midlothian is in western Chesterfield) and I am telling you that there is something extremely fishy about the whole story. Chesterfield County Health Department is telling people the only doses available are from the County itself and are only being distributed at our County Fairgrounds facility. I have checked with my own Kroger (I am in the eastern part of the county) and they said they were getting no doses. Nor does our local CVS or anyone else have it.
      A random Kroger gets doses and they turn out to be empty? The lack of information coming out even at the local level suggests some kind of scam went on there.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Members of Congress Urge Federal Action on High Lumber Prices”

    Trump slapped tariffs of up to 24% on Canadian lumber imports when he was President so if they are still in effect, perhaps they can be scrapped for the duration? The World Trade Organization sided with Canada on this one so it might be a good look for the Biden regime to say that they will do so. But this dispute has been going on for some forty years already so there must be some group behind it that pushes each and every President on it-

    What concerns me is this. That some jacka** will pipe up and ask whether America’s National Parks really need so many trees and couldn’t they spare a few million.

    1. farragut

      I’m sorry, Rev… I hate to be the spelling police, but I’m compelled to point out you’ve misspelled The US Strategic Lumber Reserve. Common mistake, really. Carry on.

  3. zagonostra

    >Young retail investors plan to spend almost half of their stimulus checks on stocks, Deutsche survey claims CNBC

    An online survey of 430 investors who use online broker platforms found that half of respondents between 25 and 34 years old plan to spend 50% of their stimulus payments on stocks.

    This is such transparent propaganda that I’m surprised it was linked. The sub text is that most people don’t really need the stimulus checks and will squander it on speculation and non essentials. It also suggest that the young (between 25 and 34) are irresponsible.

    Why not a headline that 99% of single mothers who were laid off due to CV19 will use money for food or shelter? Why carve out this category of young investors for special treatment? How representative is it of the overall population. Reasoning by fallacy of composition is one of the preferred ways the corporate media use to manufacture concent.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      “Young retail investors” is a very small minority of the public and close to an oxymorn, but I don’t see this as anti the checks, since they are a done deal and the $1.9 million is clearly a one-off.

      And you may not like the message, but the report is based on a survey. This is not David Brooks extrapolating from talks with a few taxi drivers. Admittedly these investors may not follow through on their intentions, but this is a reading of their plans.

      I see this instead as a warning to expect more Gamestop/Robinhood cray cray and stock goosing.

      1. zagonostra

        It’s not the message per se that I don’t like. And whether it’s based on a survey is irrelevant as we know surveys can be designed to distort reality. My criticism is of asking why carve out this specific category to comment on in the first place. There is an inherent bias in selecting this over other uses to which the stimulus check will be put to by other defined classes of people. It’s not what is said on the surface but sub rosa that I reacted to. Is it just my own biased way of looking at the world?

        When a law is passed it will never be perfect. There is over-reach and under-reach, the stimulus checks have an element of both over and under-reach (the two intersecting circles in the illustration by Tussman and tenBroek in below article). My beef is that rather than highlight “under-reach” the article choose to highlight that class of people who will speculate with the stimulus check. This often creates a knee jerk reaction from many conservative friends who respond with lambasting the gov’t as a “nanny state” or the iconic welfare queen in the Cadillac. This selection of what to report on is a function of the media’s manufacture of consent.

        1. jefemt

          I think that the word investors should have been in quotation marks?

          How quickly that money will aggregate into the gaping maws and gullets of the Davosmen- that’d be interesting fodder and subject-matter—

          Whether is it the smart guys knowing to Never Bet Against The Dow, as a central South Dakota farmer/rancher opined to me, or an underemployed under-waged singe mom or debt-ridden unemployed college grad…

          Trickle up!

        2. Amfortas the hippie

          “I’m with you in Rockland”,Zag..
          I’m paying my only debts…to the Hardware Lady(she’s also pretty hot)….with my “stimulus’..

          i’ve been away from the news for some time.i come back, and Biden is doing his bestest FDR Impression….by all accounts(

          even the American Prospect is on board with FDR=Biden:

          meanwhile, i’ve had the first Moderna shot….sore arm is all….
          and am looking forward to cutting my pandemic beard…maybe even shaving entirely.

      2. Michael Ismoe

        I read it the same way as Zagonostra:

        You people won’t be getting another check for a long time. So don’t go expecting one.

        Besides, it’s way better when one billionaire buys a million shares of Gamestop but it’s a threat to democracy when one million people buy one share.

    2. jonboinAR

      I guess I’m trolling a little with this, asking for it with pushback, but honestly, I don’t see why everyone who works needed a stimulus check (emphasis on needed.) Some of us, like me, weren’t financially damaged by the Covid crisis, at all. My business simply didn’t get worse. If anything, it improved for a time. It just happened to. I really imagine there’s quite a few others in my boat. I’m banking the check, just as I did the first one.

      For the life of me, I can’t figured out why the stimulus wasn’t directed mostly or all to the unemployed and/or to those who’s small businesses were severely damaged or destroyed by the crisis. I know that some amount of help has been directed to those people, but it could have been more, and I think it would have had more of the desired effect of stabilizing the economy and of alleviating suffering. A lot more of those folks wouldn’t be just banking the cash as I am.

      Now, I’m too personally selfish or too financially insecure-feeling to do the “right thing” and give the money away to someone who, according to my argument above, is more deserving of it, so this is just an abstract argument I’m making using my own circumstances as an example. But maybe someone can explain why the money wasn’t directed or shouldn’t have been, in the way I have promoted above? Was it to improve the “animal spirits” of the whole population, or something? I could see that. I think it has done that, somewhat. I just think they should have attempted to give the really financially-damaged-by-the-crisis-folks all the boost, as in more money for a longer time.

      1. Phillip Cross

        I think ‘the check’ is supposed to be a “stimulus”, rather than “welfare”.

        There was quite a lot of ‘welfare’ money there in addition to the checks too.

        If you’re getting a check at all, you’re not exactly rich. Save it, enjoy it, give it away or burn it. It doesn’t matter to anyone but you.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          If you believe the point was stimulus and not a social safety net (for every because universal benefits are preferable for political as well as practical reasons), then the Deutsche report is germane, since it shows some money will go into utterly unproductive speculation.

          You can’t whine about the Fed goosing asset prices and then take exception to the DB account. The only reason for objecting is that DB would not be able to quantify well how many people/how much $ this involved. As I indicated, any savvy reader would know this was trivial on the level of the entire economy but could make a difference to the stocks favored by Gamstop longs.

          1. Phillip Cross

            Did I mention the fed? I am quite glad they goosed asset prices, as opposed to letting cascading failures implode the global economy. I would prefer it if the Mad Max II scenario was deferred indefinitely.

            I also have no opinion about what people should spend their checks on. What business of mine is it if someone wants to buy $GME, or even magic beans for that matter.

      2. Otis B Driftwood

        It shouldn’t be controversial to wonder why COVID relief wasn’t more consistent for those who were actually impacted by the lockdown.

        1. doug

          That would take a few committees and some probes and and on and on. Great idea, but how to achieve that goal is elusive at best. And when done with all the probes, committees, etc, there would still be folks crying “UNFAIR”.

          If folks get money they don’t need, they can give it away/burn it/feel like Jeff B/whatever.
          Speed is of the essence with this rescue.

        2. phenix

          My main beef is that “essential workers” did not get paid more. People on unemployment made more money doing nothing than people working full time.
          It’s a sad thing to say but Romney and at times Rubio have been more progressive on this issue and child care than the Corporate dems and even progressive dems since they come off as all idpol all the time.
          Romney’s child care proposal was covered here but his plan to pay essential worker more money 12 per hour was not or I missed it.

          1. Baldanders

            Do the payments for unemployment take away anythingfrom any essential workers?

            Was it a good idea To keep people home?

            Does the money lent out to the megarich like Jared Kushner upset you?

            Punching down and sideways is so much easier, right?

      3. ChiGal in Carolina

        The problem with means-testing in addition to its being cumbersome is that it stigmatizes the recipients.

        1. ambrit

          Beat me to it. Also, means testing limits the ‘effectiveness’ of the stimulus by lowering the aggregate fiscal effect. Less money to the part of the population that spends the highest percentage of it’s resources on actual, physical items reduces the intended economic effect.
          Has no one “official” yet advanced the argument that the Government can send the cheques out to everyone and tax back the “excess” funds from the wealthy later?

          1. workingclasshero

            The feds couldn’t see from states data who was on unemployment insurance or which small to mid size businesses were stressed and having possible layoffs and insecure or precariat workforce?i could be wrong but means testing does’nt seem overly difficult or time consuming.

            1. ambrit

              Take my word for it, we have experienced the slow burning descent into Avernus that is a means tested social program.
              The process is first, a big time sink for the ‘recipients.’ “Sorry. You’ll have to get us much more documentation than this. Come back next week with this list of papers.”
              It is secondly, a work program for the PMC. “We get to tell you what to do because we have the Credentials.”
              Thirdly, the amount of intrusive inspection the ‘recipient’ is expected to go through is embarrassing and often depressing. “Am I such a deadbeat as they are saying I am?”
              Point four is that most of these ‘certifications’ are of a short term duration. The “Public Clinic” that I go to requires re-certification of ‘need’ every six months. This entails rounding up more recent income and expense records. “Hey, wait a minute. We already have this in the files. Can you get something more recent?”
              Fifthly, the most efficient public record keeping institution I can think of is the Security State. Then we drop down, way down, to the DMV.
              Six, the last few decades have seen a steady process of destruction of the public services apparat. Add to this, the double whammy of the drop in State and local tax revenues because of the Pandemic and the reactions to same, and you see a hollowing out of the lower levels of the public services sphere. “When you need us most, we’re on layoff! Hahahahaha….”
              As others have observed, the sole purpose of means testing in a crisis is to deny help to as many of the public as can be done. It is, at root, a mean spirited attempt to enable the upward flow of wealth.
              I will observe that this dynamic is evidence that the ruling elites do not give a family blog about the general public. Furthermore, it shows that the ruling elites no longer fear that public. Very bad things will result from this.

          2. Samuel Conner

            > Has no one “official” yet advanced the argument that the Government can send the cheques out to everyone and tax back the “excess” funds from the wealthy later?

            I have not seen this idea anywhere other than at NC, advocated here and there in comments and by site principals.

            The thought occurs that this might be a “back door” into a UBI that doesn’t gut (as Yang’s proposal does) the existing, albeit tattered, “safety net”. A UBI with modified tax system (UB income could be accounted for separately as a new “type” of income — we already distinguish earned from various types of unearned income — and taxed as progressively as one likes based on adjusted gross income; this would ensure that no-one who didn’t need the boost would get much of one) would be legislatively quite simple, and would still create PMC jobs, since it would slightly complexify the tax system.

            At some point, I think that Congressional progressives will take note of this possibility.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          It also wastes some of the money on paying means-testers to means-test who gets what money.

          That’s why members of the Means-Testing Industrial Complex like means testing so much. It pays them a high salary for doing socially destructive and parasitic work. It would cost less money to fire all the means testers, put them on a smaller UBI for the rest of their lives on the condition that they stay inside their houses and never darken society’s doorstep again.

        3. Glen

          I need to figure out how to jigger the means testing so I can get in on the trillions that the Fed has been printing.

          But I think you need to be at least a millionaire to get in on that, and a billionaire to really score.

      4. juno mas

        I see the stimulus check as a replacement for lost income from the Feds decision to bring on zero interest rates. While my equities component has recovered from the “lockdown”, my interest income component will suffer for years.

        Retail investors will take it in the shorts (no pun intended) soon enough.

      5. RMO

        “I’m banking the check, just as I did the first one.”

        Well, then it’s on you that that money won’t be doing any stimulating of the economy isn’t it? Most people will spend it and that’s the whole point of stimulus money. If you don’t need it, spend it so other people get it or give it to people who really, desperately do need it – you know for food, shelter, clothing. That’s what my wife and I are doing with the Provincial benefit we just got.

        1. Darthbobber

          Except that whether you literally need it now is a separate question from whether you might well need it in the future. And many of our crystal balls see perils ahead.

      1. Carla

        I send my stimulus to my daughter, who desperately needs it and spends it!

        Sure would be nice if the Fed would do something for us savers, though. We’ve been absolutely hammered.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Savers get nuthin’ these days. If you want money from the government you have to be a speculator.

    1. Vladimir "Shooting Tsars" Lenin

      Did he “try” to defy the shutdown? I seem to remember him keeping his plant on California open and daring the government to do something about it, but it’s been a minute.

    2. Charger01

      OSHA and Cal-OSHA have visited his facilities and have dispensed their very best wet noodle lashings. I’ve seen photos of workers in their early 20s assemble parts on a line, no PPE, in street clothes.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “YouTube Star Tim Pool’s News Site Collapses Amid Allegations He Took a Cat Hostage”

    As Robert A. Heinlein once wrote – ‘If you would know a man, observe how he treats a cat.’

    1. jonboinAR

      I listen to Tim Poole podcasts quite a bit as I work. He happens to stay on subjects of which I share an interest. I also find he at least appears to make some attempt at balance. I know, that’s just my perception and YMMV. His delivery I find kind of annoying, jabbery. He seems a little callow, like someone who might find himself involved in a goofy situation such as this. As far as the cat goes, I don’t get the idea he was particularly mistreating it. It was already suffering from the insecurity of being moved all over the place. i know that cat’s, particularly, hate that. What emotional distress he was causing the cat’s “owner”, I don’t know.

      1. Old Sarum

        Not all cats:

        From time to time we look after Stella, whose “owner” only has to put the cat box down and open the door for to Stella to walk in and settle down. Stella stay with us for days, weeks even months. When the owner comes to pick Stella up, after the usual catch-up conversation, Stella walks into the cat box ready for the journey “home” in the car.


        nb Stella is an outdoor cat, at “home” or away.

  5. nl

    Is this the same Tim Pool who was livestreaming from Zucotti Park? Rumor had it
    that it directly fed into NYPD headquarters. The discovery so angered… rumor also had it that this resulted in Tim being…

    1. GERMO

      This the same Tim Pool — it was jarring to recall his excellent Occupy livestreams in 2011 and then see him more recently having joined the Patriot Prayer/Proud Boys side. I mean really joined, as in, hang out with them, produce propaganda on behalf of them. He’s a white supremacist now. I wish him the worst.

  6. Jen

    Ahem. Is it just me, or does that Daily Mail article on Cuomo have a picture of Governor Covid walking around with his fly unzipped?

      1. Brian (another one they call)

        I keep my pants up with a piece of twine
        I keep my fly wide open all the time
        I keep my eyes out for the ties that bind
        because your mine, please pull the twine
        Good night Gracie.

    1. fresno dan

      March 13, 2021 at 8:00 am
      I hope people don’t think that is inDICative of something…or his critics an opening…

  7. QuarterBack

    Re the cruelty of Cuomo article. I am not at all surprised. I started to notice a very stark change since 2009 in the selection of DOD civilian leaders and the culture of the workforce that evolved around it. The trend seemed to be to push people into being either bullies or sheep. People that were in between were harassed to pick a side or leave. Most of the bullies were elevated to leadership positions, with the super bullies getting General Officer, SES, or political appointee positions. Sometimes, the most docile and physically attractive sheep were also elevated to help soften the leadership optics. This trend seemed to get worse year after year to the point that meritocracy gave way to something more resembling feudal Live Action Role Playing.

    For the same reason, I am not surprised by the crapification of Government services and American technology (particularly software). When organizations stop valuing people who know how things work or ever having the desire to learn, and the large number of workers that take pride and diligence in maintaining and improving quality, then they end up with nothing but a facade that wastes resources on nothing but appearances. Another thing that happens is, eventually, they run out newer (or lesser known) ideas that can be plagiarized and passed off as “innovation”.

  8. Matt Alfalfafield

    Re: The “woke watch” article about Manchester University – looks like you got got by the anti-woke brigade. The university hasn’t made any changes to their official guidance. They’ve been using “parents and guardians” instead of “mothers and fathers” for years, as have most schools, and most news outlets that picked up this non-story had the decency to note that they definitely haven’t banned any words. I’m in my mid thirties and this language was pretty standard when I was a kid in school!

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      “As have most schools”? Admittedly this was 6 years ago, but Morag McLean (a friend of the site and a professor of developmental psych at Oxford Brookes) published a paper on mother-father differences:

      I get 72 million hits (no typo) when I do a search for “mother” on the site. Some first page results:

      Mothers’ and babies’ brains ‘more in tune’ when mother is happy (2019)

      Mother’s attitude towards baby during pregnancy may have implications for child’s development (2018)

      Unhappy mothers talk more to their baby boys, study finds (2019)

      Making Shit Up is a violation of our written site Policies. You are accumulating troll points.

      1. Matt Alfalfafield

        Reading through the guidelines on the Man U website, it’s pretty clear that these are intended for writing to a public audience about university matters, not for researchers publishing results.

        In a comment to the BBC, Man U said it is:

        “…a guidance document for our staff that encourages the use of more inclusive language to avoid bias or assumptions”.

        “In that, we recommend the use of the term ‘parent/guardian’,” they added.

        “This is well established terminology and does not in any way mean that we are banning the words ‘mother’ or ‘father’.”

        And yes, at literally every educational institution I’ve ever attended, “parents and guardians” was standard on written communication to families. It didn’t ever mean teachers were forbidden from saying the words “mother” or “father” in any context!

      2. ChiGal in Carolina

        Your examples all seem to reflect research papers, not university administration policy.

        Could Matt just be engaging in an uncontroversial and even encouraged form of participation in the NC discussion by reporting his actual experience on the ground?

        He is not a regular commenter so may have thought in this case he had something relevant to contribute. In no way challenging that this is your blog and not his, or mine for that matter.

    2. Dictynna

      I remember this too, and I’m much older than you. The mismatch may be that you are thinking of how schools referred to their students’ parents/guardians, as opposed to how schools refer to relationships in academic research.

    3. Michael Fiorillo

      We were using “Parents and Guardians” in addressing those caring for our students – at a public high school in Queens, NY with a 100% recent immigrant student body – well over a decade ago, since many of our students were living with siblings, cousins, etc., and not their biological parents. It was clearly presumptuous to assume these children were living with their mothers and fathers – neoliberalism being toxic to family life – and had absolutely nothing to do with wokeness.

    4. Basil Pesto

      I’m in my mid thirties and this language was pretty standard when I was a kid in school!

      Ditto, in Australia. But in the phrase ‘parent or guardian’, the ‘guardian’ bit is usually a carveout for those who aren’t cared for by biological parents for whatever reason – guardian is a legal designation.

      The Spectator article suggests (and I don’t necessarily trust it unconditionally) that ‘mother’ is to be subsumed by guardian, because reasons. Which strikes me as stupid, though I don’t really care beyond aesthetic reasons (like latinx, it’s a travesty of language to rebrand mothers and/or fathers as ‘guardians’), but I guess mothers working on campus who are rather fond of identifying as such probably might. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the Spectator was guilty of culture war chicanery by misrepresenting the nature of the document and its implications. On the other hand, it’s not necessarily a big leap from ‘recommendation ’ to ‘official policy’.

    1. timbers

      When I was in high school, my parents sent us to Catholic Schools. Vaccines were public financed and required in all pubic and private schools. We kids would leave class, and be hearded like cattle into very long lines in the hall ways that twisted downstairs into the Cafeteria which was set up with the nurses and parent volunteers in medical garb as we each took turn getting it in the arm.

      Yesterday at work on, I checked the Phase I, II, III categories and requirements needed to schedule Covid shots in far far away places you need to travel to with bold headlines “Vaccine supply is very limited.”

      Complex and confusing and much effort involved.

      This below has been wiped from our collective history in many ways but many of us still remember the nuns taught us this among other things. Polio and Jonas Salk was still material to present to young children what a hero was:

      News of the vaccine’s success was first made public on April 12, 1955.[7] Salk was immediately hailed as a “miracle worker”, and chose to not patent the vaccine or seek any profit from it in order to maximize its global distribution.[2] An immediate rush to vaccinate began in both the United States and around the world. Many countries began polio immunization campaigns using Salk’s vaccine, including Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, West Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Belgium.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        The Massachusetts approach (catch as catch can on a crappy and poorly integrated public/private web site network mess with thousands of others competing for the slot) has been a total disaster. Day after day, I filled out form after form, each time after getting into Baker’s “Queue” and waiting for an hour or more, only to get the message, “This slot already taken.” As of yesterday, they finally implemented a registration database with what appears to me a hastily designed interface (you can only choose one of three ways to be informed your place in line has arrived). It would be so easy to allow one to choose more than one method of being contacted (such as by email AND phone). They don’t even have a web page where you can go monitor your progress in the line so as to be more on alert for the call or the email.

        They could have been thinking this through since early summer of 2020, but I suppose their argument for vaccine distribution would be the same as for planes flying into buildings; who could possibly imagine it happening before it happened?

    2. The Rev Kev

      Imagine being one of those South American governments that went hard right and do the empire’s bidding like in attacking Venezuela. And when they need help the west says ‘Nah!’ even though the west has announced it will help in the Pacific to those countries there to stop them getting help from China instead.

  9. a different chris

    Oh god I hope Ms. Holmes kid somehow, someway digs past their parent’s overabundance of psychopathic genes and finds a few good ones.

    PS: amazing Antidotes. Stevie Nicks voice makes my skin crawl – I’m sure she’s a verý nice person – but that actually was a great pick for a soundtrack. That vulture gave off a completely prehistoric vibe, didn’t it?

    1. ambrit

      My first thought at seeing that video was that the parasailing couple must be venture capitalists or hedge fund managers, and so, the vulture was visiting cousins.

      1. RMO

        That’s a completely undeserved and nasty swipe at vultures. You should be ashamed of yourself.

        1. ambrit

          Oh man. Now I feel like road kill.
          I guess I’ll have to go into the ‘Big City’ one night and expiate my sins at a “Kiss A Vulture” event at a financial district watering hole.

  10. fresno dan

    Pro-Life Policy After the Baby Arrives American Conservative
    The presence of representatives from organizations such as the American Principles Project and Students for Life among the letter’s signatories make clear that, whether through Catholic social teaching or personal reflection, a growing number of conservatives see their commitment to the sanctity of the life of the unborn as obligating a new effort to make the U.S.. hospitable to new life.
    growing number …from 1 to 2? Just like Rubio is pro-union…
    conservatives pondering helping the less fortunate always puts in mind of this:

    1. Pat

      Want to bet that won’t include increases in SNAP benefits and school meal programs. I always figure any group that bemoans spending money on programs meant to help alleviate hunger particularly child hunger have made very clear how pro life they really are.

      1. jefemt

        They have a long way to go from conception, to birth, to six months post-birth, to age 18. And why do we stop at 18? Or re-start at age 65?

        I am always angered by the non-extension of the pro-life / sanctity of life argument. Logic would dictate no more war, no more killing, domestic or abroad, re-tooling from swords into plowshares, sharing and communalism. Sort of a Christ-like message in action.


        Just have a gander at the image of the earth, our home and spaceship, hurtling through the universe, and the lack of cohesion by its occupants to keep that marble in top shape by all sharing and contributing, doing as little harm, from the least among us- the smallest microbes- to the big Kahuna (no, not Trump…gawd!)

        1. lentilsoup

          “I am always angered by the non-extension of the pro-life / sanctity of life argument.”

          Me too. My eyes were opened about 15 years ago, when I started to notice that the same people (religious conservatives) who were so adamant about pro-life were silent about things like — the American invasion of Iraq, the US military torturing people to death in Guantanamo, or the banking system creating housing bubble that made home ownership unaffordable for families. Cognitive dissonance? Social schizophrenia? Manipulation by shrewd politicians?

          I don’t know, but it caused me to go through some big changes, moving from right to left, and from Christian to “other”, in what was a sometimes painful mid-life re-orientation of most of my values, only to become equally disgusted with the progressive left.

          But just imagine this: What if some real pro-lifers actually thought through to the logical conclusions what it would mean if human life were really sacred from the moment of conception until natural death? And what if they then created a new political party that brought together the pro-life / traditional family values from the Elephant Party and the pro-worker, humanistic / anti-war values from the Donkey Party? What if they advocated policies designed to benefit the citizens of this country, instead of the oligarchs, corporations and special interest groups?

          IF such a party could actually be created, and IF it actually could get on the ballots, and IF there were free and fair elections — then this third party would be unstoppable. It would win every election for the next hundred years.

          Maybe that is why such a party does not exist? and why it must never, ever be allowed to form?

          1. Old Sarum

            On their terms;

            The lesson I learned from Gillian Tett, is to concentrate on the unsaid. Pro-Life (On Our Terms).


  11. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Theranos: Elizabeth Holmes’ pregnancy expected to delay her trial Guardian (BC)

    So, “maternity” flight suits so that pregnant women can be dressed properly for flying fighter jets, but a pregnant woman on trial for fraud is a bridge too far.

    Somebody needs to make up their mind.

    1. Phillip Cross

      I doubt it’s a courtesy they extend to all pregnant women, just the ones with rich and connected families, and expensive legal teams.

      With her track record, would anyone be surprised if her lawyers cleared it with the judge first, then arranged to get her inseminated afterwards?

  12. Katiebird

    The Mums the Word story…. is this an early April Fools joke? What is driving this decision? Is it really offensive to say someone is a persons mother? And all the rest….

    1. The Rev Kev

      That’s nothing that. ‘Nursing students attending the University of Pennsylvania are required to refer to their “preferred pronouns” and ask those of an imaginary patient or be punished with point deduction in one course.’ But wait – there’s more. ‘It was reported this month that Georgetown University Law School’s Student Bar Association sent an email to students requesting that they list their preferred pronouns in their social media profiles, their emails, and in Zoom calls to show “support” for transgender and non-binary classmates.’-

      The problem that I have with this is that instead of dealing with people as an integrated whole, there is this insistence that people label themselves so that they can be divided up according to sex, race, religion, etc. into discreet boxes that will be semi-isolated to others.

      1. Jen

        I attended a workshop about a year and half ago led by a woman whose daughter was transgender, and not a fan of the whole preferred pronoun thing because she felt like it made more of a big deal out of being trans than she wanted it to be. YMMV.

      2. Michael

        I think its still evolving…

        Reporter A (who, what, where, No why no how)

        Reporter B (CIA, NSC, lies, damn lies no statistics)

        If pronouns, why not adverbs?

      3. Aumua

        I do kind of see the point about dividing people, but problem is it’s hard to separate that sort of egalitarian ideal from the very real and present reactionary backlash about things like people using and wanting to be referred to by pronouns outside of the ‘normal’ ones. There is still plenty of the attitude ingrained in our society that non-binary people don’t really exist, or shouldn’t exist. I mean you don’t have to look that far to find it. Historically oppressed groups have already been divided out and ‘othered’ for a long time, so I find the concern about division when it comes to those groups advocating for themselves to be a little reactionary in itself.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I know what you are saying but I think that we are moving in a direction that is even worse and not necessarily one that benefits those groups. For example, I have read a few articles by lesbians who are finding themselves being ‘othered’ because of trying to overprotect trans-people to the point that they are being critized for being female, I kid you not. In fact, their feelings are being ‘policed’ much more than just average people.

          Personally I am a fan of the don’t-know-don’t-care school of thought. So if I meet a guy and he says his name is Ray, I say G’day. If he says that he is trans, I say don’t-know-don’t-care. If Julie says that she is Pentecostal, I say don’t-know-don’t-care. if Barry says that he is a millionaire, I say don’t-know-don’t-care. It is much more rewarding to take people as they are and a good marker might be their reputation but it is more important to see how they behave right here, right now.

  13. timbers

    Italy re-imposes near-national lockdown Monday, with most schools, restaurants, shops closing, as terrible 3rd wave of Covid hits. Vaccination programme also struggling, as in most of EU.

    That’s odd. Seem to recall reading Russia has a highly rated and affordable vaccine. Isn’t Russia near by? Part of Europe even? Last time I checked, Russia is part of Europe in a geographical sense.

    Maybe some folks in Europe can get there head out of their you know what, stop talking orders from US imperialists who don’t give a darn about Europe, and combine and cooperate with Russia to get this into production and, you know, help their peasantry folk.

    In fact if they start doing that regularly and in other areas, someday US might wake up and find it taking orders of a united Europe…just maybe.

    1. Paul Beard

      The highest vaccination rate in the EU is Hungary which bought vaccine from Russia at the first opportunity. Their program is using Sinovac, Pfizer and Moderna as well.

      I found the BBC report amusing
      “Even well-known Brussels critic Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, recently admitted that vaccine deliveries agreed by the EU were “constantly delayed and rescheduled”.

      Given that Orban was critical from the first about the Brussels push to exclude the Russian option the word ‘admitted’ seems a little odd.

        1. Paul Beard

          So is Denmark’s now. The Austrian prime minister was on lunchtime news complaining that this was because both had received excessively high quantities under the EU scheme while others were left with less than average.

    1. Aumua

      He did say it in an explanatory context where it probably was not meant as a racial slur. But then he tried to defend using the word based on some other shaky ground: “I come from a place where people use that word.”

      So… not very smart.

      1. nl

        All over, not insufficient information for me to make a judgement call. I had noticed what you pointed out above.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Prehistoric women were successful big-game hunters, challenging beliefs about ancient gender roles”

    No real surprises here as in every primitive community, it is always all hands on deck. If you could fire up the flux capacitor in your time-travelling DeLorean and go back to those days and could ask the men about women hunting, the answer would probably be something along the lines of ‘Well, yeah. The tribe needs food. What else would you be having them do? Spending the day hanging around the cave?’ Hmphh! And we call them primitive.

  15. timbers

    14-hour days and no bathroom breaks: Amazon’s overworked delivery drivers Guardian (resilc)

    Maybe we can lower the driving age in America to fix this problem – say to 6 yrs old?, because I’m starting to see a pattern:

    1). The planned reduction of US wages to $15/hr by 2025 while inflation runs at about 10%/year was scuttled – reduction in earnings not enough.

    2). Headlines galore of big surge in child immigrants at US border, as we double down on regime change in South American nations like Venezuela.

    3). 14-hour work days with no breaks.

    Trust me, the kids can do it!

    1. Michael

      We should require amazon to locate porta potties in heavily traveled neighborhoods.
      They could pay the home owner a fee or give a discount, more if adverts allowed.
      Maybe free wifi hotspot too

      1. newcatty

        We could expand the entrepreneur track for the “smart” kids. They would be analyzed to be given the prized ownership of their first business, welcome to America! Bringing back the American nostalgic narrative of the iconic lemonade stand. Training ( conditioning) them to be productive and for $future participation in their society. Don’t forget that their will be a hierarchy of merit for the smart kids. The ones who are “chosen” to be in ” Make lemonade out of lemons!” development and early education federal program will be able to proudly climb the ladder to advance their future. The kids who test for basic intelligence, but with a psych evaluation showing a follower profile will be tasked with making the lemonade. Literally squeezing fresh lemons and mixing with cane sugar. Of course, a “sugar free” product made with “artificial sweetner” will be offered.

        Along with lemonade there will be cake! The procurement of cake and supplies will be another management class position of the smart kids. That leaves the program with all other kids, who score “poorly” on intelligence section of testing, to work in the warehouses or as delivery drivers. They will be thrilled to have jobs with the famous, big company in America! As part of the innovative and amazing federal program, the kids will be provided with free housing, a cafeteria and health care. After completing their entrepreneurships, they graduate to become future workers. Of course, with Amazon or other American businesses and “corporations. Or with government. Or with the military. These kids, after their training and education (total conditioning) will be ready to be good citizens and enthusiastic contributors to society. BTW, they will be a great asset of the sheer numbers of fresh recruits for the draft, when reinstated for the MIC. This is a very cynical and pessimistic narrative. My pov…it’s a story that is never coming true.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      This is what every single Amazon customer supports every single time he/she/they/it buys something from Amazon.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Russia Secures Sputnik Italy Output in European Vaccine Push”

    With the shortage of vaccines in the EU and now the questions arising out of the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine, this could get really interesting. I think here it is more a matter of Italy securing Sputnik from Russia rather than the other way around. So imagine that Italy gets production up and running and can supply any country in the EU with it after satisfying their own needs. That would undermine the EU but they would have no choice in the matter because of their own mismanagement. So they go to Italy for vaccines, right? Not so fast.

    Anybody remember when Italy was going through hell with this virus and how calls to the EU for help went unanswered? And how very few countries were willing to send them any medical supplies but were hording them all for themselves? And how some medical supplies bound for Italy were hijacked en route by other European countries, the law be damned? And how the US Air Force was flying out critical medical supplies to the US under Trump’s orders? The only country that did help was Russia I believe and who sent an army medical unit where they were needed most. So with this in mind, I wonder how the Italians will respond to requests for vaccines and if there might not be an additional price for some countries to pay.

    1. Stephen

      I know from first-hand personal experience that the CDC implemented shadow PPE export restrictions as early as mid January 2020. I was asked to export a shipment of n95 masks from a major global manufacturer to the European subsidiary of a major safety equipment wholesaler. The manufacturer refused to release the goods to me, later citing CDC interference. The purchase order went unfilled. I saved the email exchanges and was able to forward screenshots for historical record.

    2. Gordon

      … now the questions arising out of the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine…

      Hmmm. AstraZeneca seems to keep having these upsets which all soon come to nothing.

      Could it be that a mixture of vaccine hesitancy and temporary suspensions by nervous politicians leading to, say, 10,000,000 doses supplied by a rival at a profit of, say $10 per dose rather than AZ, might just incentivise someone to seed a few bad rumours?

    3. The Rev Kev

      Thanks Bruno and Lee. I could not remember last night which other countries were helping Italy back then. I should have guessed that it would have been the Cubans.

      1. Stormcrow

        Apparently not. Check it out on google. (Unless you mean “referred to” as opposed to “officially named.”)

      2. Montanamaven

        Most New Yorkers still call it the Tappan Zee, but the sign as you cross says “Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.” Wouldn’t another reason to return it to “Tappan Zee” is that the Tappans were an indigenous tribe of the area and “Zee” is Dutch for Sea. So isn’t it more “woke” to name it after the Native Americans and an easier sell than “we don’t like the name because Mario’s son is a creep?”. I have never liked the idea of naming bridges and especially airports after politicians. Airports were named after pilots like “O’Hare”. Why name them after presidents and governors? A gazillion years ago, my last apartment in NY in Washington Heights had a view of the Tappan Zee down to the statue of Liberty. “Top of the world, Ma, Top of the World.” Now I’ve got the Crazy Mountains in Montana. Great Name! The wind makes everybody crazy!

      3. Pat

        NYers are contrary folk, the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge is still the 59th Street Bridge for most, and very few people call Sixth Avenue the Avenue of the Americas. It was to be expected that even a new bridge there would still be the Tappan Zee. I remember rolling my eyes when Andy insisted on naming it for his father, so pointless. Which is why I would love to see it returned officially.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          “Queensboro Bridge” is common usage, and in keeping, I don’t know anyone who calls the Triborough Bridge the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I remember reading somewhere that the original designers of the Tappan Zee bridge rebuild had designed it to be retrofittable for passenger-grade train tracks in case passenger rail was ever desired over the new bridge.

      But then Governor Cuomo invaded the design process and forced the redesign to make the new bridge perma-non-fitable with any sort of railroad tracks ever. Because he could.

  17. Michael Ismoe

    I still want to hear some recordings of his 11:30 pm personal calls to bully people.

    My first boss (coincidentally, also Italian-American) did this to me after he promoted me. He would call me every night around midnight to “go over my day” and discuss personnel and results. He did this for a couple weeks straight and it was cutting into my sleeptime. So one day He asked me about why a budget line was out of whack (it was merely a cash flow issue and corrected itself the next month). I told him that I didn’t know but that I would check on it and get back to him. I waited three hours and called him back at 4 am with the answer to his question. He never called me at home again.

    1. bob

      Cuomo probably had a lot more profanity.

      He’d also get you, your wife and your children fired if you tried to call him back at 4am.

  18. semiconscious

    re: On Tuesday, 21% of documented COVID-19 deaths occurred in Brazil (which has 3% of the world’s population)

    — Dr Zoë Hyde (@DrZoeHyde) March 13, 2021

    of course, another 20.5% of documented covid-19 deaths (2.6m) occurred in the u.s (532k) (which has 4.3% of the world’s population), so there’s that to consider, too, i suppose…

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Israel ‘bombed a dozen ships carrying Iranian oil or weapons in past two years'”

    This is Netanyahu being a maniac again and trying to stir up a war. Bombing the ships of another nation? What could possible go wrong. Maybe they could start bombing your ships – like just happened? Maybe one tanker leaks oil which lands on your beaches and it’s so bad that you have to have the military censors hide the whole story because it would ‘jeapordise the investigation.’ Yeah, right.

    But again, bombing ships? Countries have gone to war for that. Does he seriously think that nobody will notice? That other nations may not get caught up in these bombings? It seems that US officials leaked the whole thing to the Wall Street Journal as a message to Netanyahu to knock it off.

  20. CoryP

    I still have no idea who Tim Pool is but thinking back to when to when I had Twitter brain poison..

    I will forever associate him with this fan CGI video of him eating a hot dog.

    (Sorry, but reading his name make me relive this nightmare)

    1. fresno dan

      March 13, 2021 at 11:39 am
      When FBI agents knock on their doors, many Americans won’t hesitate to open up because they assume “those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear.” But along with Bureau procedures that are a travesty of due process, the FBI is exploiting a sweeping law that criminalizes casual comments. Federal agents have the right to lie to you and to put you in prison if you lie to them. Any citizen who makes even a single-word (“no” or “yes”) false utterance to a federal agent faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
      No one being interviewed by police authority should ever do it without benefit of a competent criminal defense attorney. If there is any silver lining to this, perhaps it will disabuse repubs, the right, conservatives – call them what you will, to the absurd notion that police act without ambition or bias, and are always competent, fair, and impartial. (now if someone will remind MSNBC of all the outrages the FBI committed against the civil rights and anti war movements, and how that level of rights violation remains standard practice to this day – see Carter Page) Not to mention when they flat out lie or break laws in their own interest. And I haven’t even brought up prosecuting attorneys….

  21. chuck roast

    Biden’s Commerce Secretary is Pure Clintonism

    Nice article by Andrew Stewart on Gina (yes I have my own personal guillotine) Raimondo. Clearly the guy knows what he is writing about since he integrates the name Ira Magaziner early into his piece. My memories are parochial rather than long, but you may recall that Ira was the brains behind the healthcare plan of none other then Herself. But he was a Clintonoid when Herself was working for Rose chucking old folks out of their newly privatized old folks homes. Interesting that he is still lurking around.

    In the early ’80s he surfaced from nowhere in greatly depressed ‘Vo Dialin’ with an economic Renaissance plan for the state. The state of RI was simply to turn over large sums of cash to the local bankers, investors and financiers, and under his plan, called The Greenhouse Compact, the people of the state would become wealthy and prosperous. Just like the people of Mass. and Conn. Sound familiar? Here is a guy who developed an early template for the predatory state in which we all now thrive. Kiss the ring.

    1. flora

      Ah, Wall St.’s* darling Gina. Who can forget her tenure as Rhode Island’s Treasurer and then Governor? It worked out well…for her.+ (I wonder sometimes if US pols have sold the US gov to a PE consortium. /s)



  22. Marva

    Mr. Clean” in San Francisco Was Paid $380,000 Per Year

    Reporting facts is not a right wing trope. The shitmap is an official city site.

    For a true example of waste and fraud, please look at the San Francisco Public Works website. These projects are where the insider feeding networks of fraud, corruption and preferred hiring takes place:

    Notice this with the abandonment of millions of square feet of office space nearby and the collapse of tourism and convention schedules, due to feces, homelesness and physical attacks?

    “Our project management team is working with the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District Management Corporation to implement a $500 million improvement and expansion of the Moscone Convention Center.”

    Thousands of housing project units to be rebuilt, after multiple upgrades, plus thousands more new ones added. San Francisco is where corrupt politicians nationwide go, where civic unity, progress and standards go to die.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Same in Nola. They approved recently a huge addition to the Marc Morial Convention Center.

      Can’t wait til we toss these bums out and rebuild our Society FOR THE PEOPLE!

      1. JBird4049

        Yeah, last I check there were something like 15,000 homeless in a city of less than 900,000. That’s going towards 2% of the total population of San Franciscans. As for public toilets? Don’t be silly. They’re are like hen’s teeth as they barely exist.

        This has been true for decades. Well, the unhoused population has been increasing since around 1980; yet, ultra Blue San Francisco hasn’t really done anything effective for all that time except tokenist efforts.

        This true for much, perhaps most, of California and so I really cannot just dump on San Francisco. It can’t be just corruption as not everywhere is as corrupt as the city. There is plenty of money and yet good times and bad times, under both parties for forty years, it just gets worse.

    1. flora

      adding: interesting headline in today’s WaPo. (paywall)

      “In the shadow of its exceptionalism, America fails to invest in the basics

      “In recent months in the U.S., historic breakthroughs have come alongside monumental failures of infrastructure and health care.”

      Yes, and for the past 30-40 years the govt has failed to invest in infrastructure because ‘government is the problem’, ‘tax cuts’, and ‘the era of big govt is over’. The ‘market’ did not provide modernized infrastructure to benefit the country (instead of its stock price and profits.) 40 years of Reaganomics and DC suddenly now realizes a govt made too small to meet the important public needs of the country has shrunk too much to get important public infrastructure and public health work done. Here’s hoping they don’t decide public/private partnerships (aka looting) are the answer.

  23. so long Gina

    Biden’s Commerce Secretary is Pure Clintonism CounterPunch (resilc)

    Our former governor, Gina, spoke down to the people, like we were little children. This was her worst characteristic. It signaled, to me, her dislike of the citizens and office. I always thought she was using being governor as a step stone to higher office. And I was right. I expect she will run for senate given the chance.

  24. lobelia

    Re Woke Watch – Mum’s the word: British university scraps the word ‘mother’ The Spectator

    Reminds me of this piece, which noted the 117th Congress’ insane ditching of familial relationship language, which barely received any press: 01/04/21 By James Gordon ‘It shows how out of touch with reality Congress is’: Tulsi Gabbard slams ‘woke’ use of congressional language that sees prayers conclude with an ‘Amen and Awomen’- saying ‘it isn’t common sense’

    References to fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives and in-laws are to be changed to ‘parent, child, sibling, spouse, or parent-in-law,’ according to the resolution.

    Extended family members would be referred to as ‘child’s parent’ instead of aunt or uncle, stepparents, and siblings-in-law.

    ‘It shows how out of touch with reality and the struggles of every day Americans people in Congress are. Also as their first act, this new Congress could have been to make sure that elderly Americans are able to get the COVID vaccine now along side front line healthcare workers. Instead of doing something that could help save people’s lives, they are choosing instead to say you can’t say mother and father in this congressional language. It’s astounding,’ Gabbard continued.

    Evidence of the new rules could already be heard during the opening prayer which saw the words ‘Amen and A-woman’ uttered by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver.

    In the past, Congress operated under a binary rule that ‘words importing one gender include the other as well.’

    Congress is so far removed from the average person’s reality it’s horrifying; and frankly, speaking as a female, the Democrats seem hell bent – with California at the lead, e.g. guess why Silicon Valley’s City of San Jose has been called Man Jose for over two decades- on erasing the, as yet to be corrected, centuries of inequality for biological females; showing the same misogyny as Republicans, but in a far more backstabbing manner, which appears to be a Dem Politician trademark.

    Regarding the pronouns, also mentioned in the piece:

    The words himself and herself will be replaced with themself.

    all of us millions of male and female ‘no-ones’ are regarded by Congress as “Its” anyway, so why don’t they just cut to the chase.

    gotta run

    1. Basil Pesto

      the rules surely don’t mandate the use of ‘amen’ and ‘awoman’, the description of the congressman in the article uttering that non-sensical phrase as though it were an ‘effect’ of the new ‘rules’ is a non-sequitur.

      I find that tabloidy outlets like the Daily Mail, RT are pretty much worth ignoring when it comes to these issues (and more besides!). They’re staking out territory in culture war battles that have been lucrative for decades now. Always money to be made off the ‘political correctness gone mad’ crowd (I say this as someone who enjoys checking in on r/stupidpol from time to time). That article itself lacks detail and specificity. It says that gender neutral language will be required, then mere paragraphs later says it won’t be required, but will be ‘official’. I suspect the motion carried was purely symbolic and will be completely ignored and forgotten.

      1. Old Sarum

        Are we talking about the same “newspaper to commit suicide to” daily mail?
        There is one of that name that threw its lot in with a 20’s, 30’s and 40’s aggressive death cult during the last century. Henry Ford was big into it too, I believe.

        Pip Pip!

        ps Again I have to shamefully admit that one of my brothers “takes it for the sport”.

    2. RealityCheck

      In many parts of US and Canada this has been standard for many years, in most/all levels of the school system. Here’s an example why it’s important and it’s not about ‘wokeness’: a large number of kids are living in single parent homes or with relatives, or in the foster system. This is especially true in areas that have been impacted by the opioid crisis. In many places it’s COMMON that kids are literally no longer being raised by their actual mother and father. A lot of times it’s grandparents, if they’re lucky; foster parents if they aren’t. I volunteer with these kids and they have enough being shoved in their faces. Keeping it to ‘guardian’ instead of specific terms like ‘mommy’ avoids another chance to rub their noses in it. There’s nothing wrong with keeping things to broader terms, it’s closer to reality, sadly, not further.

    3. Aumua

      Tulsi fails to ask the real question, which is “why is prayer a part of congressional sessions?”

      I personally remember “A-men and A-women!” as a funny one-liner in the Church of the Subgenius, but I guess it’s a serious political issue now? [family blog] em if they can’t take a joke, right? Reality continues to make good on “Bob”s predictions it seems.

  25. ArvidMartensen

    Re UTube creators paying US tax when they live and work somewhere else.
    Well, seriously guys, this is a looting enterprise at the end of the day. Anyone who thinks any of the FAANGS are public services are delusional.

    This is the real problem, the inability of people to turn off their emotional, gimme now, brains and apply thinking skills to working out what would likely happen if all internet services were run by the US empire.
    There are always alternatives, it just takes enough people to think and then vote with their feet.
    Youtube is telling its creators that this is a tax on their stupidity, lol.

    1. Phillip Cross

      YouTube is collecting tax from them on money they make by distributing their product in the US, not worldwide.

      That seems perfectly fair, if that’s what the US tax code dictates, they should pay up.

      Wouldn’t you agree?

      1. ArvidMartensen

        Absolutely. Google never dodges tax in other jurisdictions.
        These content creators just need to lawyer up, the snowflakes.

        etc, tediously ad infinitum.

        1. Phillip Cross

          Two wrongs make a right now?

          Maybe youtube could give people an easy way to demonetize themselves whilst streaming in the usa, if they are offended by the idea of paying the associated tax?

          1. The Rev Kev

            So in the same way that these YouTubers are taxed in their own jurisdictions and then taxed again in the US, you are totally fine with American citizens living and working overseas in places like France paying their taxes owed there – but are then required to pay the US government taxes too on the same exact income that they earned in spite of not being in the US at all? And as far as I know, no other country has this requirement on their books at all.

            1. Phillip Cross

              It is a different issue, but if I were a high net worth US citizen, who didn’t want to pay tax on my income, I might be inconvenienced by it. However, they can renounce citizenship and go and live elsewhere, if they feel that strongly about it.

              If the US didn’t tax worldwide income, all the rich Americans would just have a primary residence in the Bahamas for 6 months, and they would never pay a penny in tax (without all the hassle of loopholes and shelters). Just look at the UK “Non Doms” in public politics who ‘live in Belize ;-)’ and pay 0p in tax. I say, let’s at least pretend to curtail it!

              For everyone else, there are tax treaties between the US most countries to make sure you don’t pay tax twice on the same dollar of income. There is also a income threshold, below which US citizens are not obliged to pay anything.

  26. Foy

    The state of Western Australia held a state election last yesterday. The Labor party (The Left) held power, and had put up Covid border closures very early on and didn’t hesitate to close borders if there was a breakout in other states. They also locked down themselves when there was a local outbreak from a quarantine centre earlier this year. Scotty from Marketing has been forever critical of Western Australia closing its borders too soon for too long, he supported court action to force them open.

    Labor won in a huge landslide with a 13+% swing. This now makes a 25% swing to Labor over the last two elections. One quarter of the voting population! Labor is expected to hold 53 seats, Liberals (The Right) 2 seats and Nationals (Country party) 3 seats. Libs and Nats are a coalition here. The state opposition is now virtually non existent, Liberals decimated with only 2 seats left – which it must said isn’t a healthy thing going forward.

    Pretty obvious which COVID policy that the WA public preferred, and it wasn’t Scotty’s. Very strong approval of the fast and early lockdown approach. Of course it was easier for WA to lockdown because of their relative isolation. But this could still be a problem for Scotty at the next national election as the many of the Liberals’ national seats are in Western Australia and Queensland which have now both seen strong wins by state Labor parties. Although Australians do seem to like their National govts to be different to their state govts.

    1. skippy

      The LNP are quite concerned about Queensland because without it their out, although WA and Qld have better state labour leaders the Federal heads don’t come off as well publicly. One might ponder that they are just keeping off the radar whilst things plays out with covid strategies and how that effects a national election.

      Sydney seems the last strong hold with the corrupt National [country] party backing it up for rice bowl favors.

      I would only mention the labour party in both states would be better described as pluralist and not confused with the old labour party. I would also add WA Premier Mark McGowan ran a squeaky clean campaign and was quite magnanimous in victory. Meanwhile ScoMo is having a bad hair day with all the baggage from AG Christian Porter’s dramas …. a known quantity from back in his Collage days, so it begs the question, why he was elevated to such a high profile job and quite vocal about becoming PM one day with all his baggage.

      1. Foy

        Yep agree with all you said Skippy. It does seem that Porter had ‘form’ for a fair while and it’s not the Bob Hawke era anymore where that stuff stays hidden. Porter seems to have been a pretty obnoxious individual in his past. Ethics should be important when the role under consideration is the Attorney General position.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Good reports guys. It has been said on TV that the remaining liberals in Western Australia are now just enough to ride a Vespa together. I was not following this campaign to be honest but hear that the liberal leader – Zak Kirkup – actually conceded defeat in the middle of his campaign about two weeks ago. Who does that? And now he lost his own seat too.

          Seems that Scotty from Marketing supporting Clive Palmer’s lawsuit went down like a fart in an elevator. For those from overseas, Clive Palmer is a local billionaire who once was in Parliament using his cash to get himself elected. He tried to sue the State of Western Australia to force them to open their borders because it was restricting his business operations and wanted $30 billion in compensation for his troubles. Oh yeah, and he said that it was unconstitutional too.

          Oh well, maybe Scotty from Marketing can now concentrate on the rape scandals that are overtaking his government right now. They don’t seem to be going away no matter how he wishes it.

          1. ambrit

            Oh no skippy. You don’t mean that this ‘Brethren’ are followers of “The Back Way of the Lord,” do you? That adds a new dimension to “Down Under.” Perhaps some pranksters can send Scotty From Marketing a box of ‘Soap on a Rope.’ That or some Vegemite flavoured KY lube.
            Best to you and yours.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Scotty from Marketing is a member of the Pentecostal Hillside Church with all that happy clapping, raised hands and the rest of it. For Oz, these is really different as Aussie Prime Ministers are only expected to have a nodding acquaintance with the churches. In American terms, it would be like having a President who slipped out for the weekly Democratic Socialists of America meeting. And yes, Scotty has used his position to financially benefit his church-

     (2:04 mins)

    1. The Rev Kev

      Dammit petal, now I know how The Onion feels. You try to write good satire and it is immediately overtaken by current events. Looks like Congress is not the only place where they will have to have a permanent fence and National Guardsmen deployed. With an English Prince in the White House, they will have to do the same to keep all their fans out and the White House Press Room will be reduced to a cuddle puddle love fest.

      1. skippy

        As my own ears have heard time and time again from such sorts … gosh … look at all the poor suffering people … beseechingly looks at sky and asks … there is a ***business*** solution[tm] to all this[!!!!!] … where oh where is the person/people to supply this divine enterprise ….

      2. R

        Cuddle puddle. :-)

        Rev Kev the quondam Rave Kev? Or is that term in wider circulation?

        Misty eyed for my pre-corona youth….

        1. The Rev Kev

          Remember five years ago an image that come out showing the press looking at Hillary Clinton and it was labelled ‘Find a love that looks at you the way the press looks at Hillary’?

          Now imagine the same press looking at President Markle next to an English Prince in the White House while they hold their two babies. Can you imagine?

      3. petal

        Sorry, mate! Gotta be on your toes to get ahead of these characters! They’re always scheming…er planning.

        1. ambrit

          In the olde days, any aristocrat worth his salt would have a “friend of the family” warn off any predatory “actresses” found scheming to become publically associated with him. That this American Actress wasn’t paid off and warned off is a sign of how far the gentry have fallen.
          I mean, good heavens, an ‘actress’ in the Palace?

          1. petal

            I have read goss that she was offered a very large sum of money to go away and was going to take it, then changed her mind at the last minute-and so then we got what has since become known as “The Gathering of Unhappy People”(the wedding).
            I hope you and Phyl are doing well. Please give her my best.

            1. ambrit

              Greetings from Phyl, and many thanks. She is doing well and wrestling with learning to use the prosthetic leg. (It’s harder than one would imagine. Learning new muscle memory isn’t a one day affair.) Keep yourself safe, at any cost.
              Last week, the Downtown Group, (actual and want-to-be movers and shakers all,) set up a one year anniversary ‘tableau’ of 220 empty chairs set up in a downtown mini-park to signify those who have officially died from Covid in our city over the last year. More granular data is nigh impossible to find. This town has at least three decent sized “old folks homes” in the metropolis.
              Oh my, “The Gathering of Unhappy People.” Hasn’t the ersatz Princess seen Dynasty, or Dallas, or Falcon Crest, etc.? She, supposedly being a card carrying thespian, must have watched those shows, where the intrigues of “glamourous” women and men to weasel their way into fame and wealth were primary plot elements.
              Now, she has a recurring role in one of the original Soap Operas, “The Royals.” Poor little rich girl. Cry me a river.
              Stay safe!

  27. R

    I’d like to draw your attention to the Trump in history article. I got as far as this beauty and had to stop reading.

    “The Brexit referendum result in 2016, and the electoral victory of Boris Johnson in the UK in 2019, are just two of the most visible manifestations of the much wider vulnerability of European democratic structures to challenge from below, …”.

    I’ll just leave that with you, and the dictionary opened at oligarchic.

    1. Darthbobber

      In his wordy way, he really seems only to say that after decades of confining the allowable range of politics within a very narrow slice of the spectrum the system’s failure to produce results has compromised the confinement and created the threat that unapproved views may carry the day by democratic means. Which is apparently to be seen as a threat to democracy rather than to its traditional throttlers.

  28. ObjectiveFunction

    Found via the ChinaLawBlog folks:

    China’s Semiconductor Theranos

    The HSMC ponzi scheme was led by a trio of characters who have zero expertise in semiconductor (or anything tech related), but are experts in manipulating local government subsidies, construction contractors, a renowned but gullible former TSMC executive, and China’s desperate need for homegrown chips to pull off a heist so large it makes Theranos look amateur.

    Details follow. The macro context is interesting too:

    [One] myth about China is that Beijing’s central government is omnipresent and omnipotent. In reality, the dynamic is more of a call-and-response; the central government calls with directives, local governments respond with implementation plans. [Local officials] compete for star projects and build new companies…. to deliver results for political advancement. [This] can produce ripe opportunities for scammers.

    Four months after the central government issued its “5G+ Industrial Internet” guidance, the Guangdong provincial government issued its implementation plan, and the city of Huizhou in Guangdong province soon issued its own plan to align with the provincial government’s plan. What tangibly resulted was Guangdong (the province) offering a 30% public cloud discount to push businesses to move to the cloud, while Huizhou (the city) pledging 100 million yuan (~$14 million USD) in subsidies to attract so-called “intelligent manufacturing projects” to set up shop there.

    Naked Industrial Policy?
    – Lobbying and regulatory capture, check
    – Massive tax breaks, check
    – Officials burnishing their resumes in place of governance, check
    – Vaporware and hinky financing, check
    – Malefactors getting off scot-free, check

    (Yes, ‘but at least They still make things!’, I hear you say.)

  29. The Rev Kev

    “#BREAKING Bolivia’s ex-president Jeanine Anez is arrested in ‘coup’ probe: minister”

    Always was a sucker for a story that has a nice plot twist. I still remember this woman grabbing power for herself and waving around different bibles to show that the ‘good people’ were back in the saddle again. Told the army and police to ‘restore order’ and promised that they would not be held legally liable for anything that they did too. Now that they have arrested her and charged her with terrorism, sedition and conspiracy, she will maybe reflect on the adage of what happens when you play Game of Thrones. Zero sympathy for her and her gang. Maybe Greedo from Venezuela could send her a wish-you-were-here card.

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