Links 3/25/2021

Bald eagle populations soar Indian Country

Get ready for Brood X: The once-every-17-years cicada swarm is coming NBC

Suez Canal remains blocked despite efforts to refloat grounded Ever Given Lloyd’s List. A poem:

How to Dislodge a 200,000-Ton Ship From a Canal Wall Bloomberg. “You’re gonna need a smaller boat.”

Stranded Suez ship’s owner, insurers face millions in claims Reuters

Exclusive: U.S. regulator opens inquiry into Wall Street’s blank check IPO frenzy – sources Reuters

Tech Bubble or Rotation? The Big Picture

Global banks’ $750bn in fossil fuels finance conflicts with green pledges FT. Handy chart:


Biden’s school reopening promise faces aging bus drivers, vaccine scarcity Poltico. We’re blaming the bus drivers now? GTFO.

All Barnstable Public Schools Going Remote Due to Community COVID Spread NBC Boston

Experts wonder why younger people seem to be getting sicker with COVID Montreal Gazette. Variants in Canada:

Why Uruguay’s Schoolchildren Are Doing So Well in the Pandemic Der Spiegel (Re Silc).

Ventilation and schools:

Rigid rules that are also ever-changing, with seemingly no motivation, but forceful demands for compliance (rather like eligibility requirements, come to think of it). No wonder the public health establishment has a public relations problem.

* * *

SARS-CoV-2 and the role of airborne transmission: a systematic review [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review] Carl Heneghan, et al., F1000Research. From the Conclusion: “SARS-CoV-2 RNA is detected intermittently in the air in various settings. Standardized guidelines for conducting and reporting research on airborne transmission are needed. The lack of recoverable viral culture samples of SARS-CoV-2 prevents firm conclusions over airborne transmission.” Heneghan is a heavy hitter, so this review of the literature will surely generate some controversy. However, I remember linking to studies of “recoverable viral culture samples” in airborne hospital settings not once (for RNA) but twice (for DNA with infectiousness shown). I don’t have time to dig the links out, very unfortunately; perhaps later today. But I’m not certain how “systematic” this review really is.

Ventilation procedures to minimize the airborne transmission of viruses at schools (PDF) medRxiv. From the Abstract: “[T]here remains significant uncertainty surrounding exactly what ventilation rates 26 are required, and how to best achieve these targets with limited time and resources. This paper uses a mass balance approach to quantify the ability of both mechanical ventilation and ad-hoc airing procedures to mitigate airborne transmission risk in the classroom environment. For naturally ventilated classrooms, we propose a novel feedback control strategy using CO2 concentrations to continuously monitor and adjust the airing procedure. Our case studies show how such procedures can be applied in the real world to support the reopening of schools during the pandemic. Our results also show the inadequacy of relying on absolute CO2 concentration thresholds as the sole indicator of airborne transmission risk.”

* * *

AstraZeneca’s US Vaccine Trial Data Derek Lowe, “In the Pipeline,” Science

What scientists do and don’t know about the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID vaccine Nature

Krispy Kreme Offers Vaccinated Customers Free Ride On Glaze Conveyor Belt The Onion

* * *

1 report, 4 theories: Scientists mull clues on virus’ origin Associated Press

Weaned on Hollywood endings, Americans now face a messy one AP

Long Covid affects most hospital patients, two UK studies find FAT

Doctor, How Long Should I Isolate? NEJM

Disaggregation for Health Equity: Shedding Light on COVID-19’s Impact on the Filipinx Community KCET

Birx Joins Air-Cleaning Industry Amid Land Grab for Billions in Federal Covid Relief Kaiser Health News. But:

[A]ir quality experts say, the best solutions come down to basics: adding more outdoor air, buying portable HEPA filters and installing MERV 13 filters within heating systems. But school boards are often lured by aggressive claims of 99.9% efficiency — based on a test of a filter inside a small cabinet and not a classroom. “Every dollar you use for this equipment is a dollar you remove from doing the right solution,” Zaatari said.

I sure hope “lured” doesn’t imply “lured with a steak dinner.”

‘I would like to apologise unreservedly’: Moncef Slaoui offers his ‘deep regrets’ over the sexual harassment charge that led to his ouster at Galvani Endpoints News

Easing pandemic marks return to gun violence The Hill. This is America, man.

Asian America after the Atlanta Shooting Ask a Korean! More:

Yes, Blame Christian Fundamentalism for the Atlanta Murders The Intercept


Iron ore tycoon pleads with west to mend its relationship with China FT

Hong Kong vaccination drive struggles to gain public trust AP


US said to blacklist Myanmar military firms after deadly crackdown Straits Times. Today:

Yesterday, “silent strike”:


India’s second Covid wave undermines herd immunity theory FT


Assassinations Silence Afghanistan’s Intellectuals The Diplomat

Son of slain Afghan commander Massoud warns of ‘civil war’ if US troops leave hastily France24. As opposed to?


STEPHEN GLOVER: Yes, his ‘greed’ remark was clumsy. But Boris Johnson was right to say capitalism won the vaccine war Daily Mail. China (and Vietnam) would like a word.

Riot cops are confronted by naked protester during ANOTHER night of violence in Bristol as police chief says officers feel ‘under siege’ amid claims they have lost control – while ‘Kill the Bill’ activists urge supporters to destroy evidence Daily Mail

Politics at the BBC: a who’s who of the establishment Socialist Appeal. From 2019, still germane.

The Euro’s Viral Turn Is More Than Pseudo-Science John Authers, Bloomberg

New Cold War

Why Russia Is the Problem From Hell Robert Kaplan, The National Interest

Biden Trips : Four Reasons Why Calling Putin a “Killer” is a Misstep Gordon Hahn

Biden Administration

Trump Got China All Wrong. Now Biden Is Too. Foreign Policy

How a Federal Agency Excluded Thousands of Viable Businesses From Pandemic Relief Pro Publica

IRS: More people can take advantage of the $10,200 unemployment tax break Grow

Intelligence Community

The U.S. Intelligence Community, Flouting Laws, is Increasingly Involving Itself in Domestic Politics Glenn Greenwald

Health Care

About 7 in 10 Voters Favor a Public Health Insurance Option. Medicare for All Remains Polarizing Morning Consult

Our Famously Free Press

BREAKING: Anonymous Sources Say US-Targeted Government Did An Invisible Bad Thing Caitlin Johnstone

Using Randomization to Learn About Framing Effects on LGBTQ Rights Questions Survey Practice (dk).

Groves of Academe

Homeschooling doubled amid pandemic: Census data The Hill

Bush/Obama Ed Reform: It All Came Tumbling Down Education Realist

Columbia University offering graduation ceremonies based on race, ethnicity, income status USA Today (KW). Hilariously, one must be either of a given race or working class to join one of these separate but, one assumes, equal ceremonies.

I Am Not Ready to Reenter White Society Elie Mystal, The Nation

Climate Anxiety Is an Overwhelmingly White Phenomenon Scientific American. The URL gives the original title: the-unbearable-whiteness-of-climate-anxiety

Class Warfare

Amazon workers leading a historic push for unionization in Alabama describe midnight ‘education’ meetings, an unexpected mailbox, and streams of anti-union flyers as they go up against one of the world’s most powerful companies Business Insider

Dispatch from the Ground: Birmingham Goes All Out for Amazon Union Left Voice

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, actor Jennifer Garner to visit Birmingham Friday WVTM. As is Bernie. And so?

* * *

POISONED Part 1: The Factory Tampa Bay Times

Colectivo Could Soon Become the Largest Unionized Coffee Chain in the U.S. In These Times

Wage theft and adjunct contract enforcement. A case study from California. Strike Wave

Uber’s Flexible Work+ Campaign Is a Scam to Evade Canada’s Labor Laws Jacobin

Letter from LA: The homeless are internal refugees — victims on the run from neoliberalism Yasha Levine, Immigrants as a Weapon

Castes of Mind The Baffler. Review of Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of our Discontents.

Scientists discover why the human brain is so big Guardian. Internet cat photos. Obviously. #catsoftwitter:

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus meta-antidote:

One of the few Inuk accounts on the Twitter.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Halcyon

    With respect to the 2019 article about politics at the BBC, one can now further add former Conservative councillor Tim Davie who was appointed as the director-general last year, and the BBC’s new Chairman as of 2021; Richard Sharp; a former colleague of the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, at Goldman for many a year, and a donor of £400,000 to the Conservatives since 2001. Sharp was also head of the Centre for Policy Studies think-tank… eagle-eyed observers of UK politics will not be surprised to learn of the location of this think-tank, nor its founding members, nor its ideology, nor its stance on whether the BBC has a “left-wing bias”.

    Sinecures for the lads.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Halcyon.

      I sent that link to Yves and Lambert, further to yesterday’s links and comments about the BBC, and pointed out it was an oldie, but a goodie. There’s a better one from a decade ago when the politicisation took a turn for the worse under the coalition. If I can find it again, I will ask Yves to post. What’s good about that decade old one is it names the ones / string pullers behind the cameras.

      Richard Sharp was also on the Bank of England’s financial policy committee. There, he pushed back against tougher rules, including higher capital requirements and leverage ratios for banks and exemptions for foreign banks, including his former employer, Goldman Sachs.

  2. zagonostra

    >1 report, 4 theories: Scientists mull clues on virus’ origin – Associated Press

    I had to scroll through article twice the find the “4 theories.” What is clear to me is there is no clarity on origins of CV19.

    from a bat through an intermediary animal; straight from a bat; via contaminated frozen food products; from a leak from a laboratory like the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

    At this point, there are no facts suggesting that there was a leak

    We have a clear understanding that other studies will be required.

    1. Cocomaan

      There’s no “facts to support a leak” but there’s no facts to support any other explanation either.

      “Who is patient zero?” should be a chant. The fact that we are going to get through another year without knowing the answer to that question is enraging and unacceptable.

      China knows the answer.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I doubt that you could ever realistically attach a name to the first person to either get this virus or have it mutate within their bodies to the first version of Coronavirus seen. Look at the great Flu Pandemic of a century ago. It is pretty sure that it began in Kansas and they even know which county. There was a highly intelligent doctor living there reporting the emergence of this worrying virus but nobody in a century has come up with the name of Patient Zero there either.

        And if we are going to be truthful, this virus could have emerged from some other place like Africa or South America or Australia or somewhere else. What is certain that another will emerge sooner or later but we have yet to learn how to deal with the present virus (look at the question of aerosol spread) much less put things in place for a future one. That is what people should be really protesting about.

        1. Cocomaan

          Look at the great Flu Pandemic of a century ago. It is pretty sure that it began in Kansas and they even know which county.

          I know what you mean, but this virus originated in one of the most invasively surveilled countries in human history, supposedly starting in a major metro center that I am sure has a bajillion cameras pointed around at all times.

          In comparison, at the time of the Spanish flu, people still rode horses as the predominant mode of transportation.

          Where are our intelligence services on this one? Are they not doing signal intel on Chinese government sources to understand what the hell happened? That’s actually been a complaint of mine this entire time: where are the intelligence services on this one? Out to lunch?

          It’s fundamentally disturbing to me that we do not know what happened other than “musta been some critter.”

          1. pjay

            Where are the *intelligence services*?? Is this meant as sarcasm? I can’t think of a more unlikely source of the truth on this matter.

            1. Synoia

              Sadly, I cannot discern what is “Intelligence” and what is “Agitprop” when uttered by the USG.

              Their behavior comes from the Manual “1984”.

          2. The Pale Scot

            You might be able to find the first person to seek medical treatment. But by then there would have been hundreds if not thousands of asymptomatic and/or mildly sick people spreading the virus. It’s not Ebola where almost everybody who gets it leaks blood out of their orifices.

          3. Ignacio

            The Chinese did their best to erase forensic evidence and it will now be very difficult to find good evidence unless luckily the scientists find something very much related in some intermediate species in the wild. In my opinion the direct bat-to-human hypothesis is quite unlikely though it cannot be ruled out so far. All wild animal farms were closed and the specimens killed destroyed or burned. This is the best indication they feel responsible after decades promoting wild animal farms as a key food supply and this is why now they promote the ‘frozen product’ hypothesis that by itself is not an hypothesis but a political desire very much like the lab leak hypothesis which is not only political but novelistic as we always enjoy good conspiracies. Good for a movie, we will soon see a production dealing with that.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      And they aren’t even theories on the origin either – no. 3 is a theory on how it ended up in Wuhan, nobody is arguing that it somehow evolved in frozen food.

      And they are not exclusive – at least one of the more convincing theories is that it was a sample from a known outbreak of a coronavirus among guano diggers in a bat cave in China several years ago – its possible that this virus was preserved in the Wuhan laboratory and escaped following experiments, or it may have been primed somewhat in gain of function experiments. The real story may be a complex mix of events that don’t fit into any simple narrative scenario.

      But the fact that the frozen food hypothesis is being given credence while the lab escape one is being downplayed makes me a little cynical about how serious they are about really finding the truth.

      1. Phillip Cross

        When you think about it, the “frozen food hypothesis” is even scarier than “lab leak”.

        If frozen food is a viable vector for contagion, it is a heck of a vulnerability for budding bio-terrorists to focus on.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Which truth is the preferred one?

        Only utility I can see in this “quest for truth” is propaganda value, including distraction from the failure of “modern political economy” to detect early and react homeostatically. Like so much else, these days, and a few people are getting rich off the disruption while the most of us get screwed.

        Maybe some finance type can figure a way to monetize “naming rights” to the disease…

        Stupid effing humans. Not fit for purpose.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          If it turns out to have arisen from a wet market, then it will have the benefit of providing a huge incentive to the Chinese and Vietnamese (in particular) to ban them.

          If it turns out to have been the result of human intrusion into protected habitats, then it provides a strong incentive in China to stamp down on this.

          If it turns out that it was a gain of function experiment that went wrong, then that will probably lead to a ban or restrictions on those experiments, which is probably not a bad thing.

          If it turns out that frozen food was a major vector, then it will fundamentally change how we regulate food chains.

          I can’t see how you can dismiss ‘the truth’, as if this was some sort of Rashomon situation.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Not dismissing truth. Just noting that there are a lot of likely disingenuous partisans pushing one Rashomon version or another. I wish us luck in figuring out what the real initiation was.

            And I doubt that any authority exists that would or could “ban,” let alone seamlessly regulate or restrict, whatever human preferences and behaviors resulted in a human-caused pathogenesis, contrasted to a fortuitous genesis in “wild nature.”

            We ate of the tree of knowledge a long time ago.

          2. Harold

            Wet market is anything that isn’t dried beans and grain (dry goods). What have been shut down are commercial wild game farms. Seems it could have originated there.

  3. taunger

    The Yasha Levine article is a year old. I’m sure relevant in many parts, but it’s discussion on Trump politics is now a bit dated.

    1. Wukchumni

      Had my moment of clarity a few years ago @ a Wal*Mart in Whittier, all of the Coleman tents in the sporting goods dept were under locked glass…

      Haven’t been to the City of Angles in almost a year and a half, the longest stanza ever between visits and observing angles of pose among the caste aways, and in talking to friendenizens who call it home, one told me last week I might not recognize the place, as sidewalk camping has become extraordinarily popular.

      Now as far as social decorum goes, if a homeless person with a current net worth of $7, moves into a neighborhood of $700,000 homes, is it necessary to do a meet & greet session with the new neighbors?

      There’s a homeless guy named Pan who has been living in the backcountry 10 miles in @ Willett hot springs for about 6 months, and he’s got it dialed in, as most people bring too much food with them, and he lives off of handouts, and so far so good. I gave him a couple bags of peanuts.

      I’m surprised I haven’t seen more homeless in the wilderness, although i’m not sure how NPS would handle an influx into Sequoia NP, but an enterprising sort could count on handouts in many popular locations in the back of beyond during the summer months.

      1. Eclair

        The goods that a society keeps under locked glass in the markets must be a clue to our values. Used to be cans of spray paint, when the evening news was filled with warnings of hoodlums putting their gang symbols on empty factories and crumbling tenements. Then the artist community began running seminars on “graffiti art” and the cans re-emerged into the daylight.

        Some places, low-income neighborhoods, the markets lock up infant formula. Too tempting for economically-challenged new moms with squalling babies to lift a few cans. Now it’s razor blades; I have to beg at the check-out counter for them to unlock my pink Lady Schicks. (I am mystified by this trend; is it our yearning for women to remain hairless, pre-pubescents. Are we a culture of pedophiles?)

        But, go long on tent makers. Mutual aid groups in Seattle buy tents and tarps for our burgeoning population of priced-out residents, which are then bulldozed into garbage trucks, along with their meager possessions, when a site is inevitably cleared. No commons for these peasants.

  4. fresno dan

    Yes, Blame Christian Fundamentalism for the Atlanta Murders The Intercept
    WE’LL PROBABLY NEVER know how many hours Long spent on Pornhub or how often he paid for sex. But he believed he had a sex monkey on his back that he couldn’t shake.
    Back from a trip to a spa, “[Long] would say, ‘I’ve done it again’ and it just ate away at him. He felt absolutely merciless remorse,” a roommate told the New York Times. Long was gripped by a “religious mania,” the roommate said.
    Well, I’ve spent a LOT of time on pornhub. And not enough money is the only thing that restrains paying for a LOT of sex. And, despite this sex monkey, (and by sex monkey I mean sexual desire which I don’t believe too many people want to reduce) which I in no way discourage, and which I think most “normal” people have, I have managed never to have killed an Asian, or anybody else. Never had a traffic violation either. Nearsighted since elementary school, but not blind.
    But as for as making suppositions about what causes people to murder, as there are about 46 murders every day, I imagine days, weeks, and maybe even a month go by where not one murder occurred that could be attributed to fundamental Christianity.
    People murder. And people believe what that want to believe causes that, usually something that reaffirms what they already believe. I don’t think porn causes murder, and though I don’t much subscribe to fundamental Christian beliefs, I think it has as much to do with causing murder as Pornhub…
    (was Long screwed up BEFORE he became a Christian?)

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      this just reinforces my long-held view, that a remedy for a lot of this sort of dysfunction….from “InCels” to homophobia to “Toxic Masculinity” in all it’s forms… is a normalising of sex: it’s OK to beat the bishop…it’s cool to hire a prostitute…it’s alright to get off with another dude, sometimes, even when you ain’t gay…and so on, and so forth.
      the 80’s…from aids to Reagan’s christofacists…undid the progress of the sexual revolution…and dern it!…we need more revolution(HT Habermas)
      how many of these mass shooters are merely horny and sexually frustrated and self-loathing about being horny due to the medieval sexual mores forced upon the world by hypocrites…who so often get caught diddling rent boys, btw…?
      would a normalisation of prostitution make a dent?
      would a lessening of the invective and hyperventilation and moral opprobrium surrounding all things sexual make any difference?
      I think that it would…and it’s worth a try.
      (since we can’t seem to agree that war machines being so readily available might be a problem)
      I would bet money that there’s an inverse correlation between those who have a healthy attitude about sex/masturbation/etc and folks likely to go shoot up a walmart.
      (bullying and the sad Mental Health System also play a role in all this, to be sure…I was bullied as a kid/young adult, and can attest to how it screws you up for life….)
      the idiotic evolution of Metoo…with the andrea dworkinesque features(“all men are rapists!”)…also doesn’t help.

      it should also be noted that there’s a historical relationship with having “too many” lonely, horny failsons running around, and revolution, riot and general societal chaos(from the crusades to a lot of the islamic world, today)

      pseudopuritan prudery and yelling at people for being sexual beings is not the answer.

        1. Wukchumni

          This is my patrol rifle*, this is my gun, one is for shooting up a supermarket, one is for fun.

          * I found it fascinating that Boulder PD couldn’t possibly call the weaponry used to kill 10 innocent bystanders, an assault rifle.

          1. John Zelnicker

            March 25, 2021 at 8:57 am

            I read yesterday of an FBI agent explaining that the AR-556 used in the shooting was designed specifically to avoid the federal government’s designation as an “assault rifle”, apparently due, at least in part, to its short barrel.

            Without that designation, the gun can be sold (as a a handgun?) without a federal license and without a background check in some venues.

      1. BillK

        More sex robots needed! Mass-production should reduce the price. The new AI sex robots will also tell you to clean up and take the trash out. :)

        1. Basil Pesto

          Careful now. If the sex robots are too good, diminishing sperm count might be the least of our problems.

            1. Basil Pesto

              Maybe so, but I can only imagine that if I were a real woman, I’d probably be umming and ahhing at the choice between a real man and a sex robot for quite some time.

              1. fresno dan

                I imagine most male sex robots smell better, look more attractive, listen attentively, and probably can hold a more interesting and witty conversation than about 98% of the husbands I observe.
                As well as they can be built with, um, accoutrements that fit the woman’s specifications…

                1. The Rev Kev

                  But will those specs ever be enough? Women’s standards tend to be much higher than guys to the point that some actually hold out for a Prince Charming and will not settle for any less. Those robots would be subject to constant upgrades and improvements. Most guys would probably settle for a women that likes sex, is kind and is fun to be with. Knowing how to cook would be bonus points. :)

      2. Phacops

        Exactly! the lack of acceptance creates so many mental health issues. I grew up at a time when being on the spectrum was not recognized. People thought that because I was high functioning I possessed the skills necessary to function socially. Nope, but my mind could recognize and dissect all the horrible messages we were fed about sexuality. My breakthrough was making friends with an older hippie couple whose clear acceptance of me made me think about accepting myself. One of the measures I learned was to own my sexuality. My desires were my own and did not mean others had power over me. Why all the disturbing and isolating messages from religions, when you realize that positive sexuality must be a gift from the creator? Isolation and denial of those feelings is disturbing to me.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      AAK’s measured and balanced essay on the Atlanta murders is, as usual for him, a very good first take. But its a rarity, I’m really tired of everyone tying every killing, mass murder or not, into an agenda (one reason of course why NK is such an oasis of quality discussion). The Colorado killings of course confounds all the assumptions made by some of the left, and has no doubt left the non NRA loving right feeling a little smug. This just leads everyone to circular arguments.

      If even 1% of a population has the potential to be a killer (likely an underestimate, given the prevalence of personality disorders), and 1% of those actually gets triggered to do something, then every society is going to get regular killings that will horrify everyone. Given the number of f**ed up people I’ve encountered, I’m surprised there aren’t a lot more. If you have lots of automatic weapons around, those killings will be mass killings. If not, they’ll likely be one-off killings, which only hit the headlines if the victim is particularly photogenic.

      At the expense of seeming to downplay those murders, it only makes sense to create grand narratives about ‘what they mean for society’ if you have a clear pattern or large number of them occurring. Anything else is just a twitter tread.

      1. Wukchumni

        The worst thing about these mass murders is we’re so used to them now, that outrage lasts a few days, maybe a week or 2 and then they’re forgotten.

        In the wake of the Columbine mass murders 22 years ago, local authorities actually took measures to stop the proliferation of hand cannons, in LA the county did away with the biggest gun show in the world? @ the fairgrounds in Pomona.

        That would never happen today…

      2. Pablo Sanchez

        “If you have lots of automatic weapons around, those killings will be mass killings”

        I guess its a good thing automatic weapons are illegal and not obtainable in the USA under about all reasonable circumstances. Most would be hard pressed to produce any news article of an automatic weapon being used in a mass killing in the US.
        Unfortunately, those opposed to legal gun ownership in the US tend to throw out terms they don’t understand and look to try and solve our terrible murder rate in this country by removing guns from the law abiding folks here.

        1. Wukchumni

          If anything, semi-automatic weapons are more useful in killing those unarmed as you don’t waste ammo.

          The recent mass murderer in Colorado owned his gat less than a week, and managed to kill one out of 3 people with the bullets chambered, impressive in a bad way.

          I’m sandwiched in between a couple of posts that are so very tut-tut in terms of nomenclature, sad that.

          1. wadge22

            The mass murders are the sad part. So too the quantity of hopeless men who apparently find them an attractive option.

            Being intellectually consistent when you discuss the issue isn’t as sad, in my view. Nor is trying to help steer the discussion away from topics that aren’t likely to be part of any solution. I see we instead wound up focusing on it more, so I guess I don’t know what.

          2. occasional anonymous

            In fact when the US military upgraded the M16 after Vietnam, the resulting M16A2 had the full-auto setting completely removed (single shot and three round burst were the only firing options). One of the lessons from Vietnam was that panicked soldiers would often just hold the trigger down and not hit anything. Eventually full-auto would be added back in, but clearly it’s a feature of limited use even to the military.

            The point about nomenclature is that it’s emblematic about a general cluelessness about firearms among the people most eager to restrict them. Another example of that cluelessness is the sheer amount of attention given to rifles (and whatever you choose to call them, that’s what they are) when they actually make up a vanishingly small percentage of gun murders. If you want to ban something, start with the pistols, because that’s what’s doing most of the killing, not the scary looking rifles.

      3. wadge22

        “If you have lots of automatic weapons around, those killings will be mass killings. If not, they’ll likely be one-off killings…”
        I don’t think it destroys your better point about how many potential attackers might be out there, but that part there doesn’t fit the facts at all.

        Most US mass shootings are with semi-auto weapons, often handguns.
        Automatic weapons are not common here (for civilians), nor easy to come across, either at cabela’s or on armslist.
        Semi-automatic rifles are not automatic rifles, even if they look like one, or were designed based on one, or ‘could be modified’ into one, or are also scary just like one.
        Being imprecise or ignorant with choice of language really makes it hard to take the rest of the argument seriously, and you are far from the only one who makes this mistake on this topic.

        recently from statista

        another from 2013 with more granular detail

          1. wadge22


            “If not, they’ll likely be one-off killings…”
            I wish that were true, but it’s completely wrong. At least as it pertains to my home country. The one with all these mass shootings we are discussing.
            That’s all I meant.

        1. polecat

          Well, when was the Left NOT imprecise!

          Meanwhile, in quaint bergs like Chicago, especially with regard to B on B crime, on a DAILY basis no less ……… ‘crickets’.

          1. JBird4049

            And this is surprise? Both parties have extremely convenient memories and both do not intend to deal with issues like unemployment, poverty and corruption that are the real reasons for much, if not most, of our society’s violence.

        2. occasional anonymous

          Banning ‘assault weapons’ (and I’m going to keep putting that phrase in apostrophes because it’s literally meaningless. It isn’t an accepted firearm term, it has no meaningful definition outside the media, who habitually call any gun that isn’t obviously a pistol an ‘assault weapon’) is a liberal wedge issue. It’s something they can claim they’re always ‘fighting for’ to rally voters and donations. But not only do they mostly never actually do anything on that issue, even if they did, it would have little effect on the rate of gun murders in the country because in reality anything other than basic sidearms (pistols, since apparently a lot of people don’t have any grasp of any of this terminology) are only used in a very small minority of gun crimes:

          ‘Assault weapons’ are the big scary thing that objectively are a bit player in gun violence, but which get the majority of attention so that Democrats can pretend like they’re Doing Something.

          It’s long been a Republican talking point to always counter fearmongering about ‘assault weapons’ by pointing out that most gun crime in America is done with handguns on the streets of Democratic strongholds like LA and Chicago. And here’s the thing: they aren’t wrong. I don’t for a second believe that the average Republican actually gives a crap about people getting killed by handguns in Democratic cities, but the reality is that mass shootings account for something like 2% of US gun deaths. The vast majority of the killing comes in the form of a steady trickle of singular or double killing events, day after day after day, mostly done with pistols. And the Democrats have absolutely nothing to say, much less to do, on that simple fact.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            for all the performative love of “reaching across the aisle”, we have 2 parties occupying opposite pole of extremism.
            I carry guns all the time…rifle in the truck, shotgun in the golfcart, and when i’m on the “Mountain”, where the wild hogs and a cougar live, i wear nothing but a 357 mag.
            but i’ll use my cousin as an example….he called me drunk talking about his new toy: a 12 ga shotgun, semiautomatic, with a 24 round drum mag.
            might be useful if i got my nekkid self into the middle of a herd of angry hogs, but otherwise, it’s just idiotic overkill…he said you can shoot the whole mag in 2-3 minutes. –“Because it’s Awesome!!”
            he also has an AR, and a sniper rifle with a computerised scope, and a bunch of other guns.(i do NOT expect to ever see him on the news, because he’s really not that kind of guy…he simply leaves when things get uncomfortable or whatever.)
            the 2 scenarios are totally different.
            and it would be cool if both parties would depoliticise the dern issue and meet in that proverbial middle.
            they won’t of course, because it’s a motivating issue for their respective pavlovian bases.

      4. occasional anonymous

        The immigration and class stuff in the article, which is most of it to be fair, is interesting. But it’s also partly arguing from what I feel are false premises; ie the shooter was a ‘deranged racist’. Deranged, yes, but it seems that he was a deranged religious weirdo who felt he was striking out against his self-diagnosed sex addiction. Time will tell as more comes out in the trial, but as of right now I genuinely think there is little reason to just accept the framing that this was a targeted racial killing.

        I also reject totally the notion that there is some epidemic of ‘increasing amount of violence that Asian Americans have been facing in the past year’. Anti-Asian hate crimes in LA going from 7 to 15, and in New York City jumping from 3 to a whopping 28 is not an epidemic. That is a very small increase, from a handful to a slightly larger handful, being sexed up by cynical woke media apparatus.

        Also this, from the AAK article: “Several Asian American writers noted that the police mangled the names of the Asian American victims, and the mainstream US society’s inability to deal with Asian names was another form of subtle violence.”

        Oh, literally eff off with this. ‘Violence’ has been completely debased as a concept.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          On “sex addiction”: The dude was the son of an evangelical youth pastor. In that milieu, sex outside marriage (which is between a man and a woman) is “sex addiction.” Masturbation is “sex addiction.” (Evangelicals, or ex-evangelicals, please feel free to add nuance.)

          The Asian hatred moral panic — was there ever a more vacuous political posture than “ending hate”? — strikes me, as I said yesterday, as being not organic at all. It arose in a key swing state, and the Democrats lost a lot of Asian votes to Trump, of all people. That’s what’s going on, and other than the simps who carry signs and light candles, it’s all that’s going on.

          1. fresno dan

            Lambert Strether
            March 25, 2021 at 2:47 pm
            I will never understand “moderation” – I am not complaining, being moderated never bothers me, the comments always make it in eventually, but how it works is a mystery. A comment to Wuk about good luck on eye surgery, moderated. A comment about Kapland, moderated. A comment today to Wuk about Basques, moderated.
            A comment with references to porn, prostitution, masturbation, Christianity, which I thought wouldn’t even get posted – SAILS through on the first go. ???
            Ours is not to wonder why…

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Some of my comments go right through and others get moderated and then appear after a while. The ones that get moderated have nothing to do with eachother, no similarity, no nothing.

              This makes me think that the “moderation” is a technological artifact which sometimes happens and sometimes doesn’t by pure random digital chance.

          2. 430MLK

            On the vacuous act of ending hate:
            My city has exported to the rest of the world this “Unlearn Fear and Hate” art project, which sells itself as social justice. The sentiment works in poem form where it began (as a commissioned writing), though not in real-world form, where the need to understand hate and to respect fear seem necessary for a functioning society. Another reason why artists can produce great art but still not necessarily be much good at engaging the real world.


            The location of the art-sculpture, in addition to being across from a historical slave market, is also across from the city’s most subsidized Creative Class playground of fine dining, craft booze and beer, and art galleries.

        2. fresno dan

          Asian America after the Atlanta Shooting Ask a Korean! More:
          Asian American women writers pointed out that racist violence against Asians often take on misogynistic forms, as the American image of Asians is sexualized. Several Asian American writers noted that the police mangled the names of the Asian American victims, and the mainstream US society’s inability to deal with Asian names was another form of subtle violence.
          Suppose I said, “Korean immigrants inability to deal with American names was another form of subtle violence (against white American males).” Anybody I know that I said that to would think I was being facetious – AS IT IS – because pronouncing words in different languages is HARD for ANY native speaker. Good grief – this is what the racial antipathy industry has come to…
          I hear that (inability of Americans to pronounce foreign language words perfectly as VIOLANCE as maybe the most absurd thing I have ever heard), and it almost makes me want to become a follower of Hannity. Are there Americans who mock foreigners’ pronunciation of words? Maybe precious few. There are some who joke about it (usually of the same ethnicity – was the accent in Fargo mocking, joking, or realistic??? Or is it impossible to mock Europeans?)
          The writer (AAK) of that article strikes me as quite intelligent, and I think writing in good faith. But what has happened when someone puts forth the proposition that a person who can’t pronounce a foreign language is doing so solely to inflict violence? REALLY?

          1. occasional anonymous

            Speaking of Europeans (and, amazingly, even of Fargo!), it occurred to me after submitting the earlier comment, that white Europeans in fact have a long history of English speakers getting their names wrong. A reason there are so many Andersons in the US is because the immigration officers on Ellis Island couldn’t be bothered to perfectly pronounce (or write out) Andersson and Andersen. Going back to before the United States even existed, the English took chainsaws to Scottish and Irish names. “How the hell am I supposed to pronounce Mac Gille Ghionndaig? You’re McLintock now.”

            The actress Saoirse Ronan has to frequently explain how her name is pronounced when she does interviews (it’s Seer-sha, apparently. Good luck knowing that if you aren’t already familiar with Irish Gaelic).

            Are the above examples racism? Or are they better explained by a genuine inability to pronounce the original, or ever simple laziness? In the spirit of not assuming malevolence when stupidity suffices, perhaps the more likely explanation for most people getting their names wrong is that they just can’t pronounce them properly?

            The Asian name that always really stands out to me, and that I spent years getting completely wrong until I actually heard it spoken out loud once, is Nguyen. There is literally no way for an uninitiated person to know that it’s pronounced ‘Win’, except even then it actually isn’t, but you basically can’t make the actual sound if you aren’t Vietnamese, so ‘Win’ is close enough. I’m so sorry for my ‘micro-aggressions’, Vietnamese people.

            And that’s far from the only Asian language example. Even Japanese, which is a much more straightforward language in terms of sounds, is frequently not actually what most people think it. The Japanese F? Yeah, sorry, that’s not actually an F, it’s much closer to an H. We’ve all been pronouncing ‘Mount Fuji’ wrong for decades.

            Don’t get me started on Mandarin, where none of the transliteration systems bear much resemble to what the sounds actually are.

            1. fresno dan

              occasional anonymous
              March 25, 2021 at 7:30 pm
              EXACTLY!!! I was a linguist when I was in the Air Force (Arabic) and my roommate was a Vietnamize linguist (he was a white guy being trained to speak Vietnamize – we lost, or won a rearguard victory, so he became a Russian linguist, and we don’t say their words correctly either…). This is where I learned that Vietnamize had a song like tonal quality to speak and understand it. Arabic has 2 “s’s” 2 “t’s” 2 “d’s” and two “a’s” and a couple of others that have slipped my memory. And of course, NONE of those letters are precisely equivalent to an English “a” or “s” etcetera.
              If you want to find offense, you can find offense. In the off line world, I have never once in the 3-d world encountered a situation where someone refused to try and pronounce someone’s name properly.

          2. Basil Pesto

            The writer (AAK) of that article strikes me as quite intelligent, and I think writing in good faith. But what has happened when someone puts forth the proposition that a person who can’t pronounce a foreign language is doing so solely to inflict violence?

            note the beginning of the sentence: “Several Asian American writers noted […]”

            It doesn’t follow that that is his position as well (it might be; I don’t know)

        3. marym

          He didn’t strike out at his addiction. He struck out at female, Asian workers of subservient economic and social standing because his attraction to them is burdensome to him.

          Maybe further judicial or psychiatric analysis will sort out which of those demographic elements he considered as entitling him to strike.

        4. Amfortas the hippie

          “…police mangled the names of the Asian American victims, and the mainstream US society’s inability to deal with Asian names was another form of subtle violence.””

          yah…that’s pretty ridiculous.
          the powers that be have mangled my name for as long as i can remember, beginning with the registration lady in 3rd grade telling my mom that we were spelling my first name wrong(“josef”)….and then insisting that we were when mom protested.
          i’ve never considered this “subtle violence”, but plain old not caring enough about the person to learn how to pronounce their name.
          there’s currently a high school kid, here…Rogelio…who the coaches insist on calling “Roger”.
          he’s given up and accepted it.
          so i’ve unilaterally renamed all the (white) coaches by their spanish/Mexican analogs(paul=pablo)
          but i don’t see them enough for the lesson to be learned…am currently spreading the idea among the teachers.

      1. occasional anonymous

        I dunno. They’re doing a great job butchering their way through the population of Brazil via their puppet Bolsonaro…

        Also, ‘assault weapons’ are not a thing. Assault rifles are, but assault weapons is a purely gibberish media term that means exactly nothing.

        1. Wukchumni

          Is it a usual occurence for handguns to have 30 round clips, such as you’d commonly find on assault rifles?

          1. occasional anonymous

            In fact you can get extended mags for most pistols for about 20 bucks. Also, a shooter could simply carry multiple pistols for a similar effect.

          2. wadge22

            Yes what he said. And a lot of handgun capacities with the regular magazine will be 15+1 or 17+1.

          1. occasional anonymous

            Rifle. Assault rifle, if you really want, though it technically isn’t one (the definition of an assault rifle includes that a weapon has selective fire options. Civilian models of rifles sold in the US are already restricted to single-shot only).

            1. wadge22

              Single shot meaning semi auto. We probably must try not to be confusing ourselves if we are the ones niggling about the vocabulary.

              1. Darthbobber

                Not necessarily. My Enfield is a bolt action. But darn nice if you know what you’re doing.

                1. wadge22

                  Yes. Probably nobody is calling that an assault rifle, tho. I have a long post (probably deserving of infinite moderation) where I try and helpfullyly describe some of the terms, and then oa’s post was aggravatingly there using a different lingo like selective fire just right after I pushed the post button.
                  But lets be clear: In the US, for regular people, ARs and AKs shoot one round per trigger pull quickly till there are none left in the 20round+ magazine. And that is the state-of-the-available-art for fever dream SHTF self defense scenarios or pretendous deer-hunt-turned-feral-hog-surprise-raids, and therefore it’s also the best that the school shooters will get their hands on. Nobody is allowed to have even the basic military arms of today.

                2. occasional anonymous

                  Bolt action isn’t the same as semi-auto. Semi-auto loads the next round itself, that’s the ‘semi’ part. Bolt action you have to move the bolt yourself. Semi-you can fire as fast as your fingers can pull the trigger, while bolt action has more of a hard limit to how fast the mechanism can function.

          2. wadge22

            I’d say you should call it a semi-auto rifle.

            Or maybe just say “AR15 type rifle,” which will be more specific yet also less precise, but clearly cover the gun we are all trying to talk about.

            Or to clearly and accurately describe the type of gun we are all trying to talk about, say high power, high capacity semi automatic rifle.

            (Great, now we’re still all not talking about handguns, nor about despair.)


            That was the TLDR.
            I’ll give just a little guide. I’m not an expert, or even a gun person. I’m just a guy who reads things online and remembers the details.

            Guns basically go in three groups, and two or three subgroups of each.


            Then it’s useful to distinguish (for any of the three) between
            -Automatic- shoots repeatedly while the trigger is held down until it’s released or runs out of ammo
            -Semi-auto- shoots once each time the trigger is pulled, with no other action other than aiming and pulling the trigger again needed for the next shot, given sufficient ammo
            -Single shot- shoots a single round and requires some sort of action before the next shot, although some can be very fast for skilled users

            Handguns generally will be either revolvers, or autoloaders. Revolvers may be single shot or semi automatic (the sheriff has to pull back the lever with each shot at the group of bandits, but the ’70s cop can shoot all six shots at the van speeding off.) Autoloaders (nobody is ever calling them that, it’s a pistol or a glock or any of a number of other terms, as long as revolver isn’t specified) will be semi auto.
            I know there must exist automatic pistols, but automatic firearms of any kind are essentially illegal in the U.S., outside of tightly regulated collector and grandfather situations.

            Shotguns could be semi-auto or any of a few varieties of single shot. Semi auto shotguns look like big semi auto rifles with big barrels. Double barrel shotguns might be semi-auto or single shot, generally semi (for those two shots). Pump shotguns are single shot, and must be racked for the next shot.

            Rifles could be any of the three, although the same point about no access to auto weapons still applies. Semi auto rifles are like the AR15 or AK47 type. A shorter rifle of any action could be called a carbine, but it’s still a rifle. Single shot rifles are often a lever action or bolt action, and include “sniper rifles,” but are generally for game hunting.

            Other useful things to note would be the caliber and the capacity.
            Caliber is the size of the bore in the barrel and therefore the size of the projectile, and generally you can look up the energy in that type of round and therefore the lethality.
            Capacity is how many shots are stored in the magazine (don’t say clip, unless that’s what you mean, because it’s a specific somewhat outdated sort of a magazine rival) and can therefore be shot in succession. In my opinion, the capacity is pretty important if we are talking about actual legislation that could have an impact while also being achievable in our political context.


            If you can master that little glossary, it should be fairly easy to talk about what you want to talk about regarding guns without sounding condescending or ignorant.
            I’m not accusing anyone of that, btw. Any amount of snark I brought along this morning was a mistake, and I know there was at least a little in each of those posts. I respect PK and Wuk and their comments here.

            But this does seem like one of those topics where we’ve lined up on two sides and won’t even speak the same language to one another. And it laughably-cryably bleeds it’s way up to legislation, which winds up being loophole filled nonsense attempting to target boogey-muskets. Ineffective at controlling the problem but useful for deepening and hardening the fault lines, and for increasing the gun sales, and maybe for driving voter turnout.

            1. JBird4049

              But this does seem like one of those topics where we’ve lined up on two sides and won’t even speak the same language to one another. And it laughably-cryably bleeds it’s way up to legislation, which winds up being loophole filled nonsense attempting to target boogey-muskets. Ineffective at controlling the problem but useful for deepening and hardening the fault lines, and for increasing the gun sales, and maybe for driving voter turnout.

              Oh, yes. This last paragraph of yours is the most important one, I think. Add in bad statistics and sometimes outright lies taken as fact by one side or the other, and there is not communication, just endless, but politically profitable, arguing.

              1. Yves Smith

                I don’t know who this “we’ve” is. This looks to be another area where the MSM is creating the appearance of a deep schism when the reality is much closer to hard core gun advocates on one side (NRA types, suburban gun fetishists, working people who use guns like ranchers who’ve been persuaded by the right wing press that liberulz are out to get them) versus gun control types, some of whom are similarly un-nuanced in their views v. ones who are more measured. But there are lots of people who don’t have much of a stake in this fight. Most of the people I have ever met just don’t care that much, either because they don’t own guns, don’t intend to, and have a rational appreciation of the risk of being shot (a car accident or fatality is vastly more likely) or are sane gun users (hunters, farmers who use them to shoot varmints and observe basic gun safety practices, like taking ammo out of a gun between uses).

                1. JBird4049

                  I don’t know who this “we’ve” is.

                  Far enough. This is a gross simplification, but I think it is what I would call the “Pavlovian Schism” whereby one supports an idea or belief and gets pigeonholed; it is not done consciously, but it is like a script inserted into somebody’s unconscious.

                  Support gun rights or gun control? What should one expect if that is expressed verbal to someone at work, with friends, or with family? Even if only a small part of the nation voters included have a serious stake in something, saying something for or against one thing marks you as a member of that tribe. You are assumed to have another entire series of beliefs, even if you have said nothing about it, and tends to shut down conversation and isolate people.

                  I’m a fairly hard leftist and usually have voted Democratic in the past. If I told anyone during a conversation, how many people would believe that I support the Second Amendment or the reverse? Would they instead automatically believe that I am some MAGA dude? (Yes, they have.) Say you are a socialist and what is the response from many Americans? What set of beliefs are ascribed to you if you are a socialist? Being a human being with a nuanced, individual set of beliefs is not considered. No, you must be a particular kind of liberal or conservative, blue or red, with these set of beliefs, who will do these actions.

                  Guns, abortion, wearing masks, vaccines, climate change,religion, and so on get automated responses in much of the population. No thinking, reflection, or nuance required or wanted. Somehow it seems to be actively blocked in some people. Just straight to the script with its strawmaning and dehumanizing of the other person.

                  And it does not have to be a completed script that one could see in a hardcore MSNBC/CNN or FOX viewer. Just having an incomplete ghost script influencing, channelizing your feeling, thoughts, and actions is dangerous enough. It takes awareness of the possibility and then examining oneself own mind. Do I believe what I believe because I thought about it or is it the result of the kind of programming done by some asses for the money, much like that for brands of cereal?

      2. Jessica

        The leader of the Bolivian coup (and its subsequent murders) made a big deal about returning Bolivia to the Bible and casting out non-Christian ways.
        Guatemala had a dictator during its decades of genocide who made a big deal of being a Christian.
        Even before Bolsonaro, Brazilian fundamentalist Christians were burning down candomble facilities and harassing Afro-Brazilian religion.,
        Would that evangelical/fundamentalist Christianity from the US were peaceful elsewhere.

    3. occasional anonymous

      From the Intercept piece:

      Why did Robert Aaron Long kill six Asian women, in three Atlanta-area massage parlors, as well as two other people who happened to be on the premises?

      Many have answered: Because they were Asian women. And in the Western imaginary — in films, jokes, porn, and immigration history — the racist stereotype is of the Asian woman as sexually voracious yet docile and submissive, exotic and inscrutable yet sympathetic to the white man’s burdens and stresses, which she can smooth away with her strong but delicate hands and mouth. She’s the model-minority yellow peril of sex.

      Is making stuff up on the spot and pretending like its something that is common knowledge a form of gaslighting? I’ve literally never heard of this supposed stereotype of Asian women being ‘sexually voracious’ and ‘sympathetic to the white man’s burdens and stresses’ before.

      The submissive thing, yes, I have heard of that, though basically only ever from a particular type of sad internet virgin who is forever lamenting how he can’t stand Western women (it’s because they find him repulsive and won’t give him the time of day, to which his reaction is that they’re the ones with a problem, not him, no he’s obviously great) and is forever lusting after his weird idealization of an Asian girl (and nine times out of ten Asian here will mean Japanese specifically). But the idealizing is always that she’s submissive, not that she’s sexually voracious. This flavor of internet loser basically wants a human sex toy who will also cook for him. It doesn’t matter if she’s into or good at sex; all he requires is a human mattress that will let him lay on her when he wants to. The emphasis is on her being submissive, nothing more.

      1. Massinissa

        ” (and nine times out of ten Asian here will mean Japanese specifically).”

        Times are changing. K-Pop is a huge thing with young people these days. So Japanese or Korean. K-pop is so big now, you could probably ask these people (obviously don’t, but if you did) you would get a mix of the two.

        I agree that none of them care about fillipinos, vietnamese, laoshan, or even the Chinese in many cases. They’re not part of the mental equation because they don’t have internationally famous pop music groups, I guess.

  5. zagonostra

    >Yes, Blame Christian Fundamentalism for the Atlanta Murders – The Intercept

    I don’t know why “The intercept” is writing on pornography. Their self described mission is “…dedicated to holding the powerful accountable through fearless, adversarial journalism.”

    In the article above they say:

    Sex and pornography “addictions” similarly slip between morality and medicine and are similarly circular and vague.

    It’s not vague to those who have written on the subject for 40 years. E.Michael Jones – I know controversial and his perspective is from within a narrow religious perspective – in his book “Libido Dominandi” (the title taken from St. Augustine) gives a coherent deeper view than that of the “Intercept” could every hope to or that would be allowed to by their editor and owner.

    EMJ would not lay the blame on “Christian Fundamentalism” and maybe that is why many of his Ytube videos are banned on Ytube and you can’t buy some of his books on Amazon.

    1. occasional anonymous

      Really not seeing what I’m supposed to be getting from this Jones guy. Seems like yet another religious prude overly obsessed with other people’s sex lives.

      1. JBird4049

        It’s about censorship. This reminds me of the Comstock Laws passed at the suggestion of Anthony Comstock. It became essentially illegal to mail anything regarding sex, contraception, abortion, “obscene” literature, including pictures or any devices. People went to jail and books were burned. Considering that the USPS was perhaps more important then than the internet is today…

  6. Anonapet

    re Yes, Blame Christian Fundamentalism for the Atlanta Murders The Intercept

    Any Christian who has read the ENTIRE Bible would know* that sexual sins are currently OVER emphasized in order to UNDER (actually, totally ignore) emphasize economic sins.

    And who knows if economic oppression is not a contributing factor, at least, to sexual sin anyway?

    But hey, I imagine that bankers are relatively heavy donaters to their local churches…

    *eg. David had 10 concubines in addition to his multiple wives.

    1. KLG

      And let us not forget that thing with Bathsheba and her husband Uriah the Hittite. David was a thug.

      1. Anonapet

        Uriah the Hittite is listed LAST (for emphasis, an especial place of honor?) of David’s top 37 warriors; I teared over when I read that; David had murdered one of his top 37 men, and from the story, a very noble one too.

        David had his good side too and he was severely punished for that crime.

        Btw, it’s interesting that adultery was apparently a greater crime/sin than murder in those days; eg. Abraham was afraid Pharaoh would murder him in order to get his wife, Sarah.

        1. km

          Machiavelli commented that men will forgive a lot of crimes and insults, as long as you do not touch their women.

  7. Miami Mitch

    On that “Climate Anxiety Is an Overwhelmingly White Phenomenon”

    As writer Britt Wray puts it, emotions like mourning, anger, dread and anxiety are “merely a sign of our attachment to the world.” Paradoxically, though, anxiety about environmental crisis can create apathy, inaction and burnout. Anxiety may be a rational response to the world that climate models predict, but it is unsustainable.

    Yes, what white people and what all wealthy off people are doing, are getting rid of their anxieties my believing the greenwashing by NGOs and people like Elon Mush (not a typo) instead of looking at their attachment to the world and worldly things.

    If they can be told they can still have a car and avert destroying their children’s future, well, that is the path of least resistance. They do not care if it is true. The anxiety comes from guilt and buying a Tesla is their penance.

    And again these problems are always about race and never about class. Most people I know are convinced to use solar only because it saves them even more money, a privilege only for the wealthy.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      That article really, really annoyed me.

      What she should have written was ‘I asked lots of white American people a question and they answered, now I’m deeply concurred that only white American people responded’.

      There is a whole world out there, from South American to the Himalaya, from Africa to India, where many, many people (most of them subsistence farmers) are deeply anxious about what the changing climate means for them and their children. But they don’t seem to have been asked about their anxiety. Maybe they’ve better things to be doing than answering online questionnaires.

      1. Miami Mitch

        Yes, That is so true. And when I think about it, the article is really saying “Oh, those poor white people with their climate anxiety! How can we understand it so we can help them?” So it is really again about white people, like you said.

        It seems whenever I hear about race now I get so frustrated because I see it as such a distraction from the source.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Just to clarify, I’ve no idea why I wrote ‘concurred’, when I meant ‘concerned’. I’ll blame autocorrect.

        2. occasional anonymous

          A tone policing article about how “Being worried about the obviously sinking ship we’re all on is an example of white privilege, smh” is an entirely predictable outcome of identity politics, where all that exists is idpol. These days the woke all seem to be in a race with each other to see who can put our the most moronic take. A couple favorites of the genre I’ve come across over the years:

      2. Lee

        Variation on an old joke: “If a white guy is alone in the woods and says something, is he still wrong?”

      3. c_heale

        Climate anxiety seems quite rational to me. Unlike the fact that the people who run our world are doing their best to ignore it and exacerbate it by consuming way too much.

        1. occasional anonymous

          I will say there’s probably a certain degree of truth to the article, but the pivot point would be class, not race. Spending a lot of time focusing on the climate is probably something only relatively well off people can afford to do, and a whole lot of those people will be white, but it isn’t because they’re white that they have the luxury. It’s because they have money. Poor people of all colors are too busy struggling to survive day to day to worry about something like the climate.

    2. ArvidMartensen

      I could not believe this article. A reflection of how everyone is now caught up in their own bubble.
      Which was foretold a decade ago as social media really took off, because of the bubblifying nature of the money-making FB etc algorithms.
      Reminds me of Monty Python skit where they all sit round talking bout the enemy, which is an off shoot of their group, not the Romans.
      As mentioned later in comments, it well be, very unfairly, the poor and the non-white people who are first slammed by climate change. Those in Asia without glacier melts and those in Africa with no rain at all, and those in the many locations where the humidity + temperature extremes will lead to death by heatstroke

  8. zagonostra

    >About 7 in 10 Voters Favor a Public Health Insurance Option. Medicare for All Remains Polarizing – Morning Consult

    Partisan divides around Medicare for All remain stark, though: 79 percent of Democrats and 28 percent of Republicans support the single-payer proposal.

    Is this article propaganda? In treating the subject in Dem vs Repub rather than MIC_2 versus the majority of the people is the author funneling debate into a sterile “partisan divide” framework. Not once does it suggest that that “polarization is by design”, a feature of the political system.

    Also from the article,

    Once people start to see details of legislation, and once various stakeholders start mounting campaigns or advertising efforts to persuade the public one way or another, these views can shift,” Corlette said.

    I had to shake my head on this one. “Stakeholders?” You mean those who will mount a media blitz that flood the airwaves with deceptive “advertising efforts to “persuade” (distort) the facts? What does Corlette intimate in saying “one way or another?” That it is a fair fight to be conducted in an open and free market? That “views can shift” based on the truth?

    No, this is a disingenuous article that seeks to frame the battle as one that will be fairly played out in the open with the result emanating from said battle rather than the result of the corrosive influence of money on the political process.

    1. IM Doc

      After the last two elections and the amazing job pollsters did – I approach anything and everything that uses as evidence “a recent poll said this” “about 7 in 10 voters feel this” with a gigantic grain of salt.

      It is becoming clearer by the day that polls are meaningless – and you can find a poll out there that will support any conclusion.

      1. polecat

        That’s because pollsters might as well be huffin BATHsalts for all the ‘good’ they don’t!

  9. dcblogger

    Easing pandemic marks return to gun violence The Hill.

    Baloney. Here in the District of Columbia before shut down we had 2-3 murders every month, but after shut down that increased to almost every day. Of course The Hill is not located in DC, it is based in Washington, and there is a big difference. But I suspect conditions are similar in other cities. For white people the big fear is these mass shooting events, even though most murders, including white people, occur between people who know each other.

    From the point of view of Washington, DC might as well be a foreign country and the people who write for The Hill could not care less about the people dying every day here in DC.

  10. John A

    Why Russia Is the Problem From Hell Robert Kagan

    Has Kagan every turned his telescope round to look at the US? To see the US as the rest of the world sees it. The mass homelessness, the mass incarceration and use of prisoners as almost slave labour, the outrageous lack of healthcare, the lack of a decent safety net and welfare provision, the starvation wages way below any reasonable living wage level, how the political system and politicians have been bought by lobbyists, the collapsing infrastructure, from bridges, tunnels, railways, roads, dams etc., etc.? Not to mention the murderous international adventurism and 800+ military bases around the world.
    I do wonder if Putin declaring Kagan’s cookie dishing out monster wife persona non grata has upset Kagan so much in that he is peeved they can no longer go on family holidays to St P, Moscow or the Black Sea. Letting other countries live how they see fit, does not accord with his kind of mindset. A US, rather than a Kiplingesque white man’s burden.

    1. amfortas the hippie

      by kagan; didn’t read
      i try mightily to ignore what those people think
      otherwise they’ll just be encouraged to continue messing up the world
      similarly i never read anything by hillary or that mustache of concern guy
      mark levin, too
      so many people to ignore
      doing god’s work

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        I read it & it’s aim is to convince the already convinced that Russia needs to be brought back into the Western fold rather than forming an alliance with China. He doesn’t state how this should be done, so I assume that the usual bear baiting & attempts at destabilisation will continue, which all & all do not appear to work very well & I would think will actually cause the very thing he wants to avoid.

        Perhaps he just needs something other to do than washing the dishes, hoovering etc while the Missus gets on with it. The Scythians btw were eventually defeated by some Roman General whose name I forget.

    2. Maxwell Johnston

      Let’s not confuse Kagan with Kaplan. Robert Kagan (married to Victoria Nuland) is a disaster. Robert Kaplan (the author of today’s link) is much more of a foreign policy realist. He is usually worth reading. This particular article is sensible, although I think he overestimates the USA’s near-term chances of improving relations with Russia (let alone setting China and Russia against each other, good luck with that one). But at least he advocates trying, which is a small step in the right direction.

      1. pjay

        Thanks for clarifying. I saw “Kagan” and, like Amfortas, decided to spare myself the aggravation. Robert *Kagan* truly is The Problem from Hell — a zombie problem in that he never dies, just keeps coming back no matter how disastrous his policy recommendations.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        I clicked it because the author was listed as Kagan and wanted to know what awful Kissenger-esque warmongering scheme he would be bringing next to some soon-to-be-disadvantaged nation. When I came across parts that actually made sense, I realized the author was not actually Kagan.

      3. Darthbobber

        And he sees Kagan’s preferred line as a non-starter. I started reading on the assumption that it WAS Kagan, but about half way through realized that, barring some vision on the road to Damascus this couldn’t be the case. I think its a bit late in the day to expect much in the way of results from Kaplan’s approach but compared to Kagan and Nuland he at least advances something worth considering and not literally batshit crazy on the face of it.

      4. fresno dan

        Maxwell Johnston
        March 25, 2021 at 11:37 am
        I am kinda dyslexic with certain names, phrases, words, and I cannot keep the evil Robert Ka…. separate from the reasonable Robert Ka…. to save my life…

    3. PlutoniumKun

      The article, as others have noted below, is by Robert Kaplan, not Robert Kagen.

      And its actually quite a sensible and balanced one. Try reading it.

    4. chuck roast

      Yeah, Kaplan. He’s going along OK and then he throws in this line: “And it was the West’s failure in the 1990s to aggressively remake a defeated Russia in its own image, politically and economically—a failure that in terms of scale equaled Napoleon’s—that led directly to Vladimir Putin’s revanchist authoritarian regime.” If you consider this statement to be breathtakingly presumptuous you would not be overstating the case.

      I read Balkan Ghosts many years ago and found it pretty jaw-dropping. And I thought that the Irish were the superior grudge holders of the world. How Tito held these people together for as long as he did is total testimony that he was top notch at making glue. These people have resentments that go back millennia. Still worth a read.

  11. Mike

    RE: Biden Trips : Four Reasons Why Calling Putin a “Killer” is a Misstep Gordon Hahn

    I’m positive that Biden’s “misstep” was as purposeful as the disorganized Covid response- as for Russia, it continues a productive attitude for defense industries and the Pentagon (actually, they are the same, no?). For the health issue, we have multiple competing pharma giants vying for the golden ticket of monopoly pricing and the goal of killing off old people and enough youth to help reduce the social security rolls and unemployment statistics.

    Win-win – for them.

    1. barefoot charley

      I said to thoroughly respectable friends that Biden’s ‘killer’ carp on Putin was especially hypocritical because Obama himself had bragged that he “turned out to be pretty good at killing people,” at his desk, signing off on drone attacks every Tuesday morning. They didn’t believe me. I sent them a Huff Post cite, to make belief permissible. They said “He wasn’t bragging,” which turned out to be true, according to the sympathetic book the story came from. One of them emailed me this morning that the citation wasn’t footnoted, with no named source, so it can’t be credited. Is it worth asking why he believes CIA ‘sources’ then? I didn’t think so.

  12. Code Name D

    It’s as if Kansas wants to virus to spread.

    In a pandemic first, teens have the worst COVID case rate in Kansas


    Sedgwick County Commission ends COVID-19 mask mandate, pushes for vaccines

    The state legislature is currently debating the sabotage of the mask mandate, making it harder to enforce mask rules. Even as COVID numbers are starting to go on the rise.

    1. Katiebird

      And in Johnson County, KS the health department just announced they would be receiving 16,500 doses of the J&J vaccine this week instead of the expected (and previously announced) 100,000 doses. This is supposedly due to manufacturing issues.

      But wouldn’t those issues be obvious last Friday when they made the 100,000 dose announcement? I don’t think there are any reporting standards at all.

    2. curlydan

      Yes, once the KS teachers in my school district got their vaccines, it was back to school for all middle and high schoolers (except remote only kids) and no more hybrid scheduling. So now we’re back to 3 foot spacing.

      I thought it was a selfish move by the school district as kids could easily carry the virus back to their unvaccinated parents. Could they wait a couple months to let the parents get vaccinated, too?

  13. merd

    Can someone explain to me why every single report seems to list the stranded ship in the Suez Canal as the “Ever Given”, when the pictures clearly have “Evergreen” painted on it’s side? Was it renamed without a new paint job? Is this some mistake that has now taken hold and won’t let go? I know it doesn’t really matter, but I am just so confused…

    1. Basil Pesto

      Evergreen is the name of the company. Ever Given is the name of the ship.

      Similarly, Qantas aircraft all say ‘Qantas’ on the side, which can readily be seen at a distance. But all the aircraft are individually named as well, usually after Australian towns ‘Canberra’, ‘Alice Springs’, etc.

      1. Dalepues

        Right. My father had a Cadillac that he called the Lemon. Mrs Johnson, next door neighbor, called her husband’s Cadillac the Hearse.

        1. Wukchumni

          I was briefly the owner of a cream colored 1979 Cadillac Seville so prone to breaking down, my friends called it:

          ‘the Yellow Peril’

    2. ambrit

      tegnost explains, briefly, from yesterday:
      March 24, 2021 at 5:16 pm
      evergreen is the ship owner, boat owners do that with the naming, it’s a word play

      1. Wukchumni

        Stuck, in the Suez Canal ooh
        Stuck, in the mucky goo
        One ship that is stuck too
        I have found it on the internet like you

        Like a Brobdingnagian under a heavy tow
        I was always certain they’d get it to go
        Seems ages and Evergreen
        Might have to cut in two

        You and I will make merry of this first
        Every day a new beginning
        Waters rise and fall their dance unrehearsed
        They warn and excite us

        ‘Cause we have the biggest megaship
        Holds twice as much as an old one
        Morning glory and midnight sun
        Time we’ve learned to sail above
        Time won’t change the meaning of one trip
        Ageless and ever Ever Given

        1. ObjectiveFunction

          This Is Just To Say

          That that Suez tweet gave me the best laugh I have had in 6 months

          Which I badly needed

          And you simply cannot top it, Wuk.

          Forgive me

        2. junez

          The Suez poem is especially delightful because it parodies this one:

          This Is Just To Say By William Carlos Williams

          I have eaten
          the plums
          that were in
          the icebox

          and which
          you were probably
          for breakfast

          Forgive me
          they were delicious
          so sweet
          and so cold

    3. Maritimer

      It seems to have passed notice by commenters that this is just another example of the failure and fragility of our complex and just-in-time society. Lucky indeed it is just a canal. But, like Covid, it is a symptom that increasing Complexity will possibly do us in. Again, an omen that will be ignored.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “About 7 in 10 Voters Favor a Public Health Insurance Option. Medicare for All Remains Polarizing”

    It is better than that. Fox reported that a solid majority of Republicans were in favour of “government-run healthcare” as well. So a majority of Democrats, Republicans and independent voters want it but you will never get it. The fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage shows how it is done. Just enough Democrats will be found who will cross the aisle to vote with Republicans to vote it down. The Tweet Squad will, uhhh, tweet about it but will otherwise do nothing. And even if it somehow got passed, old Joe has promised that if it ever arrives on his desk it will be dead on arrival. He will never sign it, even if doing so would cement his position as The Greatest President Since FDR. And it is not like he would have anything to lose by doing so but he will still never do it. But the Blue Check brigade will still defend him.

    1. Mao "No Landlords Now" Zedong

      So what is our only option for dealing with a president that has promised to kill Americans?

  15. Wukchumni

    Weaned on Hollywood endings, Americans now face a messy one AP
    If it turns out we relapse after reopening up much of the country, I think our collective psyches will be maxed out, as we’d mutually decided the pandemic was in its death throes, the final act of a two-reeler.

    TV & the movies are a funny medium in that they don’t waste time on the mundane (ever see anybody go to the bathroom?) and pretty much cut to the chase in 30 minutes to a couple hours. We’re used to things being over quickly, how many of us could sit through a 7 hour film?

    1. The Rev Kev

      I noticed for a long while with Hollywood action films that it would not be uncommon to see American soldiers on guard with military aircraft flying overhead at the end of a movie. The endings for the films “The Day after Tomorrow” and “I, Robot” come to mind here.

      But you are right about there being an absence of the mundane like a character going to the bathroom. Last time I recall that in a film was in “Lethal Weapon” when the Riggs character got up in the morning and went for a leak. But that film was nearly a quarter of a century ago.

      1. Petter

        In the film Nomadland, the character played by Frances McDormand takes a very loud dump in her trailer, using paper towels as TP. In an other scene she’s taking a leak by the side of the road. But the she isn’t a Super Hero, although come to think of it…

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        Not to mention horror films with “The End” followed by belated question marks. . . .

  16. John

    I suspect that the pandemic will be declared ended someday. I also believe that SARS-COV-2 is here to stay. Nothing suggests that, like the seasonal flu, it will simply disappear. What was “normal” before the Pandemic is not the “normal” that will pertain inn the aftermath.

    The hopeful euphoria that I perceive in the media, in some governments, among economic boosters, and those sick and tired of the whole thing seems premature.

    The best outcome from my perspective is for the foregoing to be 100% incorrect.

    1. Wukchumni

      When national borders were pretty much locked down a year ago, it had the feel of September 3rd 1939 to me, a war by completely different means, and like all wars-the hope is it’ll be over sooner than later.

      The huge difference of our pandemic bout compared to the couple year 1918 saga, is that you can be anywhere you’d like in these not so United States within a day’s time-we’re willingly prolonging things, giving the virus every chance to mutate and spread.

      1. Alex morfesis

        Although it was winding down, a very strong argument can be made the Spanish Flu is what brought the quick shutdown of ww1 which German military types complained was a premature surrender…not that they were not soon enough going to lose … Wilson goes public with the Flu in USA within weeks of the armistice…what little previous resisting he might later claim privately was easily ignored by General Payton March…more American soldiers died from the Spanish flu during ww1 than from the actual battlefields

  17. Darthbobber

    I thought the Russia article was surprisingly sane for Kagan. Turns out that that’s because it’s actually by Robert KAPLAN.

    1. farragut

      Thx, Darth. I found myself thinking, “What the hell got into that corpulent turd, Kagan?! He’s actually making sense!” It wasn’t until I saw your comment pointing out the name confusion, that I realized I hadn’t been dropped into an alternate universe. Death, taxes, & an unrepentant warhawking Neoconservative Kagan.

  18. Eureka Springs

    If it’s two days old and you didn’t save it, it’s gone forever. Perhaps someone still has the link open? I’m looking for the recent comment thread discussion on Medicare plan/part distinctions. Thought I saved it to share with friends. Thanks in advance if you still have it.

  19. Petter

    I don’t understand what the big deal is with Biden calling Putin “killer.” Buddies do that all the time. You know “hey killer, how’re they hanging?” – and then a jab to the arm and few boxing moves and a high five.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      It’s not like he called him a “dog faced pony soldier”. Killer is at least something people in the year 2021 understand.

      1. Wukchumni

        Sometimes I purchase ‘Dave’s Killer Bread’ but I don’t know if i’d be so interested in Dave’s Murderer Bread.

        1. wadge22

          When I worked at the big natural and organic food co-op in Seattle, there would occasionally be attempts by members to get that (great selling) brand taken off of the shelves because of the name.

          Anyone who doesn’t know the story behind it, here is an illustrated version, although it’s dated and therefore leaves you hanging.

          Peace Bomb was my favorite of their products.

      2. Petter

        True. It’s important to keep up with the times. Shows how sharp Biden is, choosing not to use an epitheth from his youth.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          And he didn’t forget who he was talking about before finishing his answer. So it looks like he’s on a roll to me.

  20. Terry Flynn

    The LGBQT paper would become my new “example of how to fundamentally misunderstand logistic regression and its use in surveys” paper were I still teaching. Here’s an example my teacher used to quote to show what happens to the variance (consistency) of a person’s responses when progressing through a survey (when things like Latin Square designs are used to systematically net out all ordering effects and avoid “bad randomisations – medical statisticians will all recognise these”).

    In a discrete choice experiment (choice model/”choice-based conjoint analysis”), in the first few questions, the responses are not very skewed. People are “getting to grips with the topic”. As they “learn” what it’s all about, how to answer it (and if you as survey designer have designed it badly, how the respondent learns how to “game the survey”), you see more skewed answer distributions – the variance goes down as people become more “sure”/”consistent” of their answers. Often this can be spotted by the third question. Skewed responses (so, e.g. 80/20 to a binary choice question) are observed for quite a while. If it’s a run-of-the-mill consumer good you’ll see this up to around 16-32 questions. Then survey participants get bored or start disengaging. The variance goes back up. The response frequencies start to look more like 70/30, then 60/40. IF the participants know how long the survey is, within the last 5 or so questions they re-engage (they’re in the home strait) and you see the variance go back down again (70/30 or 80/20).

    So if you ask an identical question at the “question 2” position, “question 12” position and “question 32” position, you will almost certainly get perhaps as many as 30% of people change their answers on each occasion. Why? Because whilst the mean utility of the item on the person’s “latent scale of utility” is fixed, their variance isn’t. If you look up “variance heterogeneity” by my former boss J Louviere (who also has worked with McFadden who knew all this predicted BART demand before they built it and so helped him get the “Nobel” – note quotes but he is still very smart) then there are links to all the various tests showing this. But Hensher, Louviere & Swait textbook remains the definitive starting point for any masochists wanting to deep dive!

    Here is the fundamentally flawed null hypothesis of this paper, along with a host of other bad survey papers – “that people should give the same answers on different occasions, when you’ve eliminated context and a bunch of other effects”. Outside of some highly emotive issues like end-of-life care, that simply is wrong. The null should be “people are largely inconsistent and person x CANNOT and SHOULD not EVER be aggregated with person Y unless their inconsistencies have been netted out”. This is what “Specification Error in Probit Models”: Adonis Yatchew and Zvi Griliches (1985) showed and what is in the small print of the technical details of logistic/probit regressions in manuals of all legit stats programs. Why do you think medical statisticians go to such effort to understand if a “zero” is a “sampling zero” or a “real zero”? Get it wrong and billion-dollar lawsuits arise.

    I see one reference in the bibliography to someone who knows this stuff (Sara Dolnicar – she is great – I’ve met her several times and she is responsible for advancing one of the most novel, brilliant methods of clustering people based on their responses ever – archetypal analysis). Otherwise I see no references to the people who actually understand random utility theory – the “nobel” winning method used for 60+ years in math psych and successfully demonstrated for longer, showing why people generally should NOT be expected to be consistent. Math psych, academic marketing, several branches of applied micro economics and other fields have all tested, and shown the power of random utility theory. Yet “soft psychology”, macroeconomics and mainstream survey fields seem doomed to wait for enough people to die off before they start acknowledging the key mathematical statistics paper (explaining logistic regression) of Y&G and the various fields of research based on it.

    TL;DR – Outside of “basics” like sociodemographics etc, outside some very very specific fields, people generally DON’T give the same answer twice to attitudinal survey questions. So you use a signal-to-noise model (logistic/probit regression). Indeed the models only “work” if there IS noise. If people were consistent your parameters go to +/- infinity. If you don’t understand the logistic function and what to expect you are playing with tools you don’t understand.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Thanks for this. I never knew about that ‘long questionnaire’ effect – but having filled out a few in my time (“oh no, not another page of questions!”), it makes sense.

      I’ve pretty much given up believing anything from opinion pollsters unless there are very clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ type answers available.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Thanks for engaging. Yes questionnaire length undoubtedly affects the variance of responses. This heteroscedasticity is, in a model with a CONTINUOUS outcome (like blood pressure or GDP) just a “nuisance” – it messes with standard errors but NOT point estimates. However if your outcome is discrete (binary/multinomial) then heteroscedasdicity on the latent scale is now REALLY SERIOUS. It biases point estimates.

        So “Democrat” vote might be “always Democrat” or “moderate who happened to vote Democrat this time”. The two are different in the likelihood function. Opinion pollsters assume they are all first type. I know many are 2nd. Ironically YouGov “got” this in 2017 UK election. Trouble was their “2nd equation” used trash data that only worked for 6 months. So I simultaneously admire and am annoyed by YouGov.

  21. ambrit

    Something for the Heartless Capitalists file.
    Big chain grocery store closes outlets in “poor” neighbourhoods due to ‘hardships’ created by Covid extra pay for “essential” workers law.
    Now we know what one big outfit thinks of the ‘community’ they get their money from.

    Bonus round: I noticed the prices in the local Goodwill have gone up again. Now most of the ‘stuff’ they re-sell is priced up in the e-bay price range. For example, a medium-small sized cedar chest priced at $209 USD. (That is not a typo.) I knew that ‘things’ were taking a turn for the worse when the Goodwill moved it’s location and set the new shop up like a “Boutique” store.

  22. Wukchumni

    Get ready for Brood X: The once-every-17-years cicada swarm is coming NBC
    We had our about once every 17 year swarm of tussock moths in the Sierra last summer, and they tend to fall from trees on you and leave a nasty rash if on your skin awhile, and unlike cicadas they’re silent.

    1. 430MLK

      Our big one in the Bluegrass was around 2007. I remember paddling on the KY and their shells just covering the entire river. Every paddle stroke, you could pivot your paddle to parallel w/ the water and pick up 15 at a time. The noise! (And speaking of trees….during the ’07 swarm, a buddy of mine threw an old Christmas tree on a mid-summer fire we were having, which made for quite a biblical falling of cicadas from the nearby Ash–still living, before the ash-bore got’em–and poplar trees above.)

  23. Michael Fiorillo

    As long as we’re channeling William Carlos Williams:

    So much depends
    On a red-hulled container ship
    Moving through a blue canal
    In the desert.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Why Russia Is the Problem From Hell”

    Not sure why the National Interest started this article of with a picture of Russian soldiers wearing what appears to be WW2 rig. That would be like a Russian article leading with an image of WW2 GIs. Anyway, the Russian army has worn the Ratnik rig for years now-

    But this idea of splitting Russia and China is dead on arrival. There is no trust in Russia with the west, much less the US. The article mentions “The last and highest triumph of history would…be the bringing of Russia into the Atlantic combine” but Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov said a few days ago that Moscow now has no ties with the EU because they have been deliberately destroyed. In a recent poll by a western-friendly research group, less than a third of Russians regard themselves as European at all and the youngest cohort of 18 to 24s poll at only 23 percent. It took a lot of effort by the west to get that result so I hope that they are proud of themselves.

    And as for ‘the West’s failure in the 1990s to aggressively remake a defeated Russia in its own image, politically and economically’ I have no idea what he is talking about. Back then the whole west was trying to loot that country of everything not nailed down and cared nothing for reform. I think that the idea was to eventually break Russia up a bit so that the oil-rich regions would fall under the leadership of a western-friendly oligarch. Even if a lot of people forget this the Russians haven’t and I cannot think of one thing offhand that the west has done to try to improve ties with Russia. In fact, a long time ago I linked to a US Sate Department document that came out and said that the plan was to sanction and pressure Russia continuously until they break and give the west whatever they want – just like in the 90s. Not going to happen. Nor will Russia abandon China now.

    1. km

      Russia and China are not natural allies. In fact, the United States has much more to offer Russia than China does.

      However, Russia would have to be insane to trust the United States or its ability or willingness to abide by the terms of any agreement.

      1. John A

        Whether it was first said by Palmerston or Bismarck or even earlier and subsequently repeated by Kissinger, countries don’t have allies, they have interests. It is certainly in the interests of Russia and China to buddy up against big bully Biden et al

        1. Synoia

          I think “countries don’t have allies, they have interests” was Palmerston, UK Foreign Secretary in the Victorian era.

    2. occasional anonymous

      The ‘West’ (actually Goldman Sachs and the CIA) in fact did make a massive effort to ‘aggressively remake a defeated Russia in its own image, politically and economically’. The result was something like three million premature deaths from despair and a new class of Russian super-oligarchs. The rise of Putin was a direct reaction to the horror of the 90s.

      Saying we didn’t beat them down hard enough is downright psychotic.

  25. chris

    Coming up on 24 hours post Moderna dose number #1, after recovering from COVID 4 months prior, and I feel OK. I hope others on this site are doing well too.

    The spot where I received the shot feels like someone dug a knife into that muscle but overall I don’t feel anything like what I was worried about. And I was worried because in addition to having to take time away from work and family to receive the medicine I had been told by others that I would need anywhere between 1 to 3 days go recover from the vaccine because I had already had COVID and this dose would make me feel awful. Plenty of people I work with and work for understand when you need to take time off because you’re sick. But no one understands that might need to take time off from getting a vaccine. That’s not been anyone’s experience in the general public. The response I received when I told people I might need to take time off post vaccine was mostly, “can’t you schedule that to happen over a weekend or something?” And the answer is no…you get your appointment and you go, or else you go to the back of the line. So I’m pleased I won’t be a burden to my family or clients for the remainder of the week.

    I know my experience is not representative of anything, but I’m sharing in hopes that if people are worried about getting the vaccine and not being able to function the next day or two, that they might find some comfort from my case.

    1. IM Doc

      I am glad you are doing well.
      I am not sure how old you are – if under 50 – you will almost assuredly have a bad day or two after dose #2 –
      Just plan for it – if it doesn’t happen – just enjoy the day off.

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      I had Moderna #1 yesterday also. My arm is a little sore and I’m kind of fatigued today (but that could just be Thursday.) Otherwise, no issues to report. FTR, I’m 45 and been Covid free thus far.

  26. ddt

    Saddened not to see any mention of the March 25th 200 year anniversary for Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire. Ελευθερία ή θάνατος..

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Thanks for the reminder. Back at you with some words to aspire to:

      Δεν ελπίζω τίποτα.
      Δε φοβούμαι τίποτα.
      Είμαι λέφτερος.

      With a world full of stupid on the large scale and intractable issues bubbling up on the personal level, I needed some Kazantzakis.

  27. Estuary

    Columbia University has some explaining to do.
    Why in this woke era do they still have a Columbia Lion as a mascot?
    Is that not the essence of, well, something?

    Will a Class of ’21 grad receive some annotated* diploma on faux-sheepskin?
    * Intersectionality categories listed

    1. Pelham

      Maybe the separate-but-equal graduations are actually a good idea. Sociologist Robert Putnam’s work demonstrates that mixing different races and ethnic identities together generally yields awful results. Diverse communities have very low levels of trust, and the longer a community is diverse, the greater the degree of distrust and suspicion.

      “Separate but equal” has been in bad odor (exception Columbia) since the 1954 Supreme Court ruling that equal treatment is never possible in practice with enforced separation. True enough at the time. But must it always be true? The question arises amid ample evidence now (including Putnam’s work) that mixing all sorts of identities together with the apparently inevitable demonization of the white cisgender population that ensues isn’t working out either.

  28. tegnost

    Re robert kagan article
    Man that is a scary photo with those mean looking soldiers. I have to wonder, are those coats made in russia or china? Our good guy coats are made in china… That aside, OMG RUSSIA, you know what i mean? $50,000 in facebook ads by the devious boris and natasha (clearly from the names you know these people wear russian coats…draw your own conclusion here…) beat(beat is a synonym for “you lose.”) hillary and david brocks investment in the social media…
    What this tells us unquestionably is that silicon valley is incompetent. Full stop.
    $50,000 evil genius dollars crushes millions of moral dollars…let that sink in for a second…whew, ok, done….

    Further, what do you mean “they” kemo sabe’?
    “The Americans had once assumed that Russia would be chastened by its military involvement in Syria the same way that they themselves had been chastened by Iraq. ” (my bold in the quote)
    See this from 2004…that’s right this guy loves both dem and repub admins …indeed anyone not named trump…

    No wait! There’s more!
    “Russia is also the world’s largest exporter of grain.”
    and that b*$t@rd poutine or whatever his evil name is (unnamed intelligence professionals told me, off the record, that poutines middle name is boris…once again, the conclusion is obvious, so obvious that no questions are allowed because they’re not necessary.) doesn’t allow GMO wheat. How, I ask you as an american, can we accept this affront to wall st.?

    Adding in conclusion, if we don’t send the deplorables to fight boris over there,we’re going to have to fight them here.
    Enough said.

  29. WJ

    Not sure if this has been pointed out here yet, but Craig Murray’s blog has been temporarily shut down due to an order from the High Court. How much of that blog will be restored subsequent to today’s court hearing regarding the Salmond affair is not clear.

    It is becoming increasingly obvious to me that Murray has been right all along in his analysis of the state’s entirely corrupt persecution of Salmond.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its extremely depressing to see what’s happening in Scotland. The stress on Murray must be immense, all for simply, and carefully, expressing the truth as he sees it. He is actually a very cautious and well informed writer, so if he can fall afoul of the law, then anyone can. Which, no doubt, is the purpose of the law and the prosecution.

    2. paul

      He was found guilty this morning, by three judges of contempt of court.
      How they came to that conclusion, I doubt we will ever know.
      They delayed their decision until this week, a rather busy one, what with the non exoneration of the FM and Alex Salmond’s entirely expected announcement of legal action, and have delayed sentencing until the day the day after the holyrood election.
      As he is likely to be a candidate in that election, I’m sure his success or otherwise will have no bearing on their judgement (A two year suspended sentence, I think, would disqualify him from taking office).

      May God rot them all.

  30. Jon Cloke

    Canal blocked with a 20,000 ton boat? Couldn’t be simpler – winding holes is what you need (, like we still have here in the UK canal systems.

    Now, given the length of a narrow-boat is about 72ft and you need a few feet more than that (say 90 feet) for a winding hole, then all you have to do is dig a winding hole in the bank of the Canal the size either of the Ever Green (400 m), allowing for the width of the canal (200 meters plus movement room), or the longest ship that’s ever been down it….

    Basin 300 meters long should do it for the EG… I like to think of this as the cutting-edge, world beating thinking that PM Borisconi wants from us to get the UK back as a great power again.

  31. Wukchumni

    The first time we visited Capitol Reef NP I had no expectations and was pleasantly surprised by what seemed to me like a red rock Death Valley, albeit on steroids. When we ate apples from the aged orchard, it astounded me. There is an apple orchard in Yosemite Valley and closer to me, one in Mineral King. It also has a petroglyph of what appears to be ancient astronauts!

    There was this one 100+ year old apple tree on MK road that was good for 30-40 apples, but sadly the leader branch that bore the only fruit which dipped a little towards the road, was ripped asunder when caught by a high centered fire vehicle in the fall in the midst of the Castle fire, a tragedy.

    There is a place or two in the National Park System where you can reach up and pluck a fresh apple, or peach, or cherry, or even apricot. But only at Capitol Reef National Park in Utah can you do so against a backdrop of soaring redrock.

    There, tucked between the vivid orange, tan and pink sandstone cliffs of Waterpocket Fold in south-central Utah is an unexpected swath of green. That’s where you’ll find 100 acres of orchards and pastures, most of which were established more than 100 years ago by Mormon settlers and where present-day park visitors are still invited to pick and eat the fruit.

    If you’ve been able to partake in one of the harvests, it’s no doubt an experience you’ll never forget. If you haven’t, well, it’s definitely something to put on your to-do list.

  32. steve

    Re. Ventilation procedures to minimize the airborne transmission of viruses at schools

    Nice effort by the authors, and as they stress this is an effort to support policy changes in support of ventilation to reduce aerosol transmission, but…

    “Quantifying the air exchange rate for mechanical ventilation systems is straightforward, as the fresh air ventilation rate can be easily measured in most cases, and should be consistent with the original design parameters of the system (assuming proper installation and routine maintenance). ”

    *emphasis mine
    Their “easily measured” is strongly recommended over assuming “original design parameters”, especially for any installation >10yrs old. The thing is proper flow and balance measurements aren’t actually that easy and are quite costly. In all but the most mild environments increases in outside air ventilation will result in uncomfortable conditions because systems are designed for the minimum required outside air exchanges, exceeding this gives you too hot or too cold. There is no cheap and easy fix for this. Any approach for increase ventilation that leads to environmental discomfort will be subject to constant pressure from the occupants to circumvent the measures in the name of comfort. This aspect is generally overlooked or underappreciated by engineers but if not addressed will seriously erode any efforts to the contrary.

    Their approach to naturally-ventilated schools seems a little Rube Goldberg but should appeal to administrators so there’s that.

  33. Otis B Driftwood

    Noted here many times, but it bears repeating that the public option is going to benefit health insurers (despite their declared opposition) as it will allow them to move all their high-risk/high-costs members over to the government plan. So, essentially, this will completely shift the cost burden onto the taxpayer while insurers enjoy even larger profit margins.

    Universal health insurance funded and administered by the government is the only equitable and cost-effective solution.

  34. Synoia

    How to Dislodge a 200,000-Ton Ship From a Canal Wall.

    There is nothing on site, as photographs show.

    Plan A) To fix the hull breach would typically involve unloading all the Cargo, with massive cranes. Then, Assuming the ship is compartmentalized take the vessel to a dry dock for repairs. Fixing it on site is difficult.

    Plan B) Dredge a new channel bypassing the ship. Hopefully there are Canal maintenance dredgers in the area which can be used.

    I’d do both. I would pace a small bet on (B) being faster than (A), because the infrastructure for (B) can float in, and is possibly available in the Canal area.

    Noting is available for (A) in Egypt.

  35. Wukchumni

    Bidern press conference odds:

    Malaprop: 2-1

    1930’s reference: 5-2

    Stumbling @ the lectern: 4-1

    Uttering the word ‘malarkey’: 5-1

  36. Wukchumni

    The ‘quatropuss’ of exceptional drought lurking over the southwest is growing, and no need to wait for the April 1st snow survey in Cali, it’s gonna be awful, around 30% of an average normal winter snowpack here.

  37. Martin Oline

    I’m glad there is not a drinking game for Biden’s ‘news’ conference. If I had to drink every time he loses track of the thread of his response I would be on the floor right now. A pitiful display and possible elder abuse.

    1. Wukchumni

      Last I heard, the unmasked wolf in question had been seen @ a bar in fresno dan’s bailiwick, where it got really soused and was making leering looks at the patrons, including letting loose with what sounded like a wolf whistle, but strangely it seemed completely normal in the state’s 5th biggest city.

      1. Wukchumni


        Canis Lupus somehow boarded a Greyhound to SF after what seemed like weeks in Fresno-although only a few hours had elapsed and has been seen in the vicinity of a German-American economist who runs a blog there, using a tenuous connection as it’s entre vous to Frisco.

        When asked about the Suez situation by Wolf, it merely wagged it’s tail back & forth, a sign of wishy-washy opinion on the matter.

        1. Wukchumni

          Sheep thrills are where you find them, and thanks for the tip on the Basque restaurant in Fresno, now I have another reason to venture north…

          I’ve been to most of the Basque restaurants around Minden/Gardnerville and up towards Reno way, its always a nice treat.

          One time about 25 years ago there was a Basque restaurant visible from the 99 Hwy in Bakersfield so we gave it a whirl, and it was run by Chinese-American folks, but sadly the ju-ju was all so wrong!

        2. juno mas

          In the 1970’s I lived in Sun Valley, ID and every summer the Basque shepherders would appear with their Percheron pulled wagons herding huge numbers of sheep along Hwy 93 (now Route 75) and then into the alpine valleys of the mountainous central Idaho terrain.for the snow free months. Lots of green meadow/slopes to fatten the calves.

          This type of Basque herding is less common (if not rare) now. Traffic hazards and 18 wheel trucks has changed most of that. There a great Basque-style restaurants all over Idaho. There is one in Winemucca, NV (on I-80) that is a relict of the Basques that herded sheep in the way-remote grazing land in northern Nevada.

          I may have a photo in my archive of a large herd (100’s) of sheep blocking traffic near my house in Idaho. The backup of cars and trucks is into the horizon.

  38. lyman alpha blob

    RE: I Am Not Ready to Reenter White Society

    We have real issues of racism is this country and this person decided to focus on a young black girl being hollered at outside a CVS by a white woman looking for a vaccine? Plenty of indications in that anecdote that the woman was overprivileged, rude, and obnoxious but there was nothing to indicate that she was racist.

    If these are the types of racism critiques we can expect to keep seeing from major publications like the Nation, the backlash against the all-IdPol all the time is not going to be pretty.

    Meanwhile, the cops still haven’t stopped shooting people and getting away with it.

    1. occasional anonymous

      Reminds me of Ta-Nehisi Coates recounting the time he berated a white woman in an elevator because she impatiently shoved his kid out of the way. Such racism, much wow. Really living in a dangerous world there, oh Persecuted Black Man®. It’s amazing he and his son could even find the courage and strength to get up in the morning. /s

      Man, I can’t wait for the return to segregation, but woke. Obviously if BIPOC are to be truly free from toxic white fragility, we need to have exclusive ethnic spaces. I mean, it would be unjust otherwise. Since the White Devil is eternally corrupt and can never truly overcome his inherent racism, the only truly effective solution would be to give minorities a world where they never have to interact with, or ideally even see at all, a white person.

      Part of that anti-idpol backlash, by the way, is going to be lots of white people actually becoming white nationalists. If you’re going to just constantly tell white people that we’re all an undifferentiated mass that constitutes a singular identity, and especially if you’re going to just continue dismissing the material suffering of people because they’re white and thus ‘privileged, eventually white people are going to start going “You know what? Okay. I believe you, and so now I’m going to start standing with Whites, and I will start organizing and campaigning for the preservation and betterment of My People.”

      1. marym

        The identity politics of white supremacy, white nationalism, and reactionary christianism have been with us long before — and have been as counterproductive to class analysis and solidarity — as what’s currently considered BIPOC or LGBTQ idpol.

        It may be useful to argue against an identity group’s “dismissing the material suffering of people” not like them” so long as the presumed audience is all its practitioners.

        1. occasional anonymous

          That’s my point. Idpol is inherently stupid in all its forms. And if the woke are going to keep pushing it for everyone else, and in fact implicitly say that ‘white people’ (or ‘straight white men’, or any other such category) are some meaningfully distinct group (who they then inevitably vilify), then eventually white people are going to start thinking of themselves that way and start organizing along those lines. White Nationalism, but woke. It’s like we’re circling back around to really ugly, stupid ideas, but liberals are arriving at throwback Nazi-style conclusions from a different angle. We’re already at the point where certain slices of the liberal woke are (probably unwittingly) making what are essentially blood and soil arguments.

          I’m serious about thinking it’s only a matter of time before the woke start floating the idea of segregation as a ‘solution’. It’s basically just a further evolution of the safe spaces concept.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Part of that anti-idpol backlash, by the way, is going to be lots of white people actually becoming white nationalists. If you’re going to just constantly tell white people that we’re all an undifferentiated mass that constitutes a singular identity, and especially if you’re going to just continue dismissing the material suffering of people because they’re white and thus ‘privileged, eventually white people are going to start going “You know what? Okay. I believe you, and so now I’m going to start standing with Whites, and I will start organizing and campaigning for the preservation and betterment of My People.”

        Yep. That scares me to death. I’m amazed it hasn’t happened already. (No matter how much liberal Democrats yammer about it, it hasn’t.) America must be a much more level-headed and tolerant society than I had imagined.

        To put this another way, if liberal Democrats conceive of politics as an aggregation of identity-based verticals, hadn’t the (potentially) biggest identity start punching its weight*, instead of below it? As you say, if this is the kind of politics they want, they will surely get it. (I would imagine that reparations would be the flashpoint.)

        NOTE * This might bring the assimilation process to a halt, where peoples of various ascriptive identities become “white,” as for example the Irish. But perhaps if people see society as zero-sum, assimilation isn’t so important any more.

  39. VOODOO

    People getting sicker in Canada with Covid?
    I dunno: what does the data show. I see deaths at about 1/8 the peak. Maybe too early to say and in 2-3 weeks it will soar to new levels.

  40. occasional anonymous

    >Castes of Mind The Baffler

    Er, can someone else who’s read this tell me what I’m missing? Because it seriously looks to me like the book being reviewed presupposes there’s a caste system in the US, and then faffs about trying to explain things in terms of caste, when simple class analysis explains all of it. Why did so many upper-class, upper-caste Indians successfully join the upper-class in the US? Um…because they started from a position of already having money and credentials? There’s literally no caste analysis needed to explain that immigrant story.

    Trying to explain US history as one of caste also doesn’t really work very well, since that model can’t really explain all the people who have escaped the supposed caste restrictions, who for some strange reason (what could it possibly be???) inevitably seem to be rich people.

    1. Wukchumni

      It’s a bit dated now, but Paul Fussell’s Class: A Guide Through the American Status System is as good as it gets in explaining differences in social strata in these United States.

      To this day, I mentally subtract 15 IQ points if I see a prole wearing a baseball hat backwards, and he isn’t the catcher on a baseball team.

  41. bayoustjohndavid

    Since Yves, Lambert or whoever is doing the links usually include a comment when they strongly disagree with an article, I used to think that lack of comment meant approval or agreement. Yves corrected me about that a few years ago.

    But if you were curious about reactions to the “Not ready to reenter white society” article, mine is to be really disappointed to see that it’s the second most popular article on the Nation’s website today. I’m not disputing that black people are subjected to the behavior he described more often than white people, but the example he used is just lame. That’s the best a Harvard educated writer at the Nation can come up with, seriously? It sounds like the kind of behavior my brother used to always talk about from rich (compared to us), especially older “rich” people growing up poor on a transition block between two vastly different neighborhoods.
    An entitled older person acts imperiously toward a teenager is all I got from the article. Not saying the writer isn’t talking about a real issue, but he didn’t mention any class markers for the older white lady. He did note that she blocked traffic for everybody, so she apparently felt entitled to block white as well as black drivers.

    1. Yves Smith

      Thanks for your take as well as your reminding readers about our practices. There are so many Links these days that we don’t say as much as we might. Some of the problematic ones don’t need to be called out; we assume readers hold view of Larry Summers similar to ours but Summers still has a big following in policy circles and thus bears watching.

      And regarding class markers, I recall seeing studies (too lazy to link to them) that found that drivers of expensive cars were much more discourteous drivers than the average. They apparently believe the status marker is a license to misbehave.

  42. bayoustjohndavid

    Somehow missed lyman alpha blob’s comment and responses, when I looked to see if there had been any reaction to the “Not ready to reenter white society” article. Sorry, for almost repeating something somebody had already said, without acknowledging it.

  43. JBird4049

    POISONED Part 1: The Factory Tampa Bay Times

    Anyone who hasn’t read the article should. Mass murder by lead. All for profit. We really have left the monsters in charge.

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