Links 3/26/2021

How we discovered a hidden world of fungi inside the world’s biggest seed bank The Conversation

This rabbit walks on its ‘hands.’ Scientists think they’ve found the genetic reason why (video) Science. It does!

More Evidence Links ‘Cat Scratch’ Bacteria and Schizophrenia Gizmodo (Furzy Mouse).

Scientists Finally Identify a Deadly Toxin That’s Been Killing Birds Wired (Re Silc).

The Big, Stuck Boat Is Glorious The Atlantic

Suez Canal Transit Sail Safely. Entertaining. From 2003.

Suez blockage prompts shippers to call US Navy over piracy threat FT

Expert predicts toilet paper shortages will happen again The Hill (Re Silc). Go long bidets….


Pilot Investigation of SARS-CoV-2 Secondary Transmission in Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Schools Implementing Mitigation Strategies — St. Louis County and City of Springfield, Missouri, December 2020 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC

Many kindergarten through grade 12 (K–12) schools offering in-person learning have adopted strategies to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (1). These measures include mandating use of face masks, physical distancing in classrooms, increasing ventilation with outdoor air, identification of close contacts,* and following CDC isolation and quarantine guidance


Modifications to increase ventilation to prevent COVID-19 were reported by 98% of schools: 91% opened windows or doors, 87% used fans, 93% decreased occupancy in spaces where ventilation with outdoor air could not be increased, and 5% replaced or updated heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

CDC’s own scientists keep showing ventilation is essential. When will the CDC’s sclerotic policy-making process emit revised school re-opening guidelines to replace the current, lethal ones?

Quebec courts: #CovidIsAirborne. A thread:

* * *

Assessment of protection against reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 among 4 million PCR-tested individuals in Denmark in 2020: a population-level observational study The Lancet. From the Conclusion: “[N]atural protection, especially among older people, cannot be relied on.” But–

What to Make of That Danish Reinfection Study? MedPage Today. Reviews above study. “[T]he open question is if you were to have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, and you unfortunately were reinfected with SARS-CoV-2, are you as sick as somebody who’s seeing SARS-CoV-2 for the first time?”

* * *

U.S. Covid Cases Are Rising Again, Reversing Months of Progress Bloomberg

U.S. COVID response could have avoided hundreds of thousands of deaths: research Reuters

40,600 people likely caught Covid while hospital inpatients in England Guardian

* * *

Want a vaccination appointment? It helps to know a Python programmer NBC. “[A] boutique online community [has] sprung up in recent months in which programmers come up with ways to give their friends and families an edge in getting vaccination appointments. Github, a website that serves as a repository for programmers to share their code, hosts dozens of uploaded scripts meant to help people secure vaccine slots.”

Loretto Hospital executive resigns amid uproar over improper distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations Becker’s Hospital Review

* * *

Latest results put Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID vaccine back on track Nature

The Coronavirus Variants Don’t Seem to Be Highly Variable So Far Scientific American (nvl).

Remote management of covid-19 using home pulse oximetry and virtual ward support British Medical Journal. “Pulse oximeters do not save lives, good clinical care does. There is a world of difference between the patient who is given a pulse oximeter and symptom diary and told to contact the health service if they deteriorate and the patient who is given the same equipment, shown how to use it, and who then receives regular calls from a healthcare professional.”

Top JAMA Editor Out Amid Podcast Investigation MedScape

Race and Medicine NEJM


There Will Not Be a New Cold War Foreign Affairs

Wolf warriors shoot Chinese foot worldwide Macrobusiness

China Won’t Have Any Issues Beating Its 2021 GDP Target Bloomberg

Xinjiang Cotton: Li Ning, Anta Shares Surge While Nike, Adidas, Burberry Hit With Backlash Women’s Wear Daily

Britain says Hong Kong ‘has no right to dictate’ passport recognition Agence France Presse

The new codes governing everyday life in China Agence France Presse

Taiwan Wants More Missiles. That’s Not a Bad Thing. Defense One


India’s Dangerous Myanmar Policy The Diplomat

Despite international pressure, Myanmar’s ruling junta continues to crush dissent France24. With shots to the head:


Saigon’s Infrastructure Failures Vietnam Weekly

The Olympics Are On! But Why? NYT

Scott Morrison addresses ‘disturbing’ month of sex and rape allegations 7 News


Israel elections: Netanyahu has to marry strange bedfellows if he wants to form a government Middle East Eye

India Joins the Afghan Peace Negotiations Foreign Policy

Resist the “Goldilocks” option and get out of Afghanistan Responsible Statecraft (Re Silc).

Has Britain learned from its failures in Afghanistan? The Spectator (Colonel Smithers).

EU offers Turkey aid, trade help despite rights concerns AP


Murray Found Guilty of Contempt Consortium News (WJ). Murray’s site.

Revealed: Government plan for Covid ‘pub passport’ app on phones that will show proof of jab, negative test or immunity – but furious publicans say it’s ‘bonkers’, ‘un-British’ and a fraud risk Daily Mail

Covid: What’s the problem with the EU vaccine rollout? BBC

EU leaders clash over vaccine distribution in tense summit FT

EU and US similar, but split on China, Merkel says Deutche Welle

UK and EU begin diverging on financial regulation after Brexit FT

Biden Administration

Biden meets the press and the pandemic disappears Politico. The World’s Greatest Troll™ called his shot, didn’t he? “By the way, on November 4, you won’t hear about it anymore.” Unfair, because Biden de-lowballed his vaccination estimate, but still.

Biden May Be the Most Pro-Labor President Ever; That May Not Save Unions NYT

Senate passes PPP deadline extension Journal of Accountancy

Statement from Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security, about Economic Impact Payments Social Security Administration (pq).

The 420

Businessmen Convicted of Duping Banks in Marijuana Sales WSJ (RS).

Our Famously Free Press

Bellingcaught: Who is the mysterious author of Bellingcat’s attacks on OPCW whistleblower? Aaron Maté, The Grayzone (Furzy Mouse).

AP style on border stories, good, actually. A thread:

Covering the Atlanta massacre from inside the Korean community Columbia Journalism Review


Carrying Guns in Public Is Not a Constitutional Right, Ninth Circuit Rules Courthouse News

Groves of Academe

USC to pay $1.1 billion to settle decades of sex abuse claims against gynecologist LA Times

Class Warfare

The fight to unionize Amazon is the most important labor story of this century America Magazine

“Mr. Bezos draws a lot of water in this town“:

The Post Office too, not just the cops:

Oakland launches guaranteed pay plan for low-income people AP

Documents Show Amazon Is Aware Drivers Pee in Bottles and Even Defecate En Route, Despite Company Denial The Intercept. To be fair to Amazon, I’ve seen reports from highway clean-up volunteers in Kent, UK, who report picking up plenty of bottles and bags tossed aside, presumably by lorry drivers who had to endure long Customs delays, post-Brexit, and wanted to keep rolling rather than lose more time. Midde-class types like me are reacting to this story with horror and disgust, but with the already shrinking number of restrooms shrunk further by Covid, I wonder whether all working class drivers experience this as normal, and not just Amazon workers. (To be even more fair, warehouse workers making quota use pee bottles too, not just drivers.)

Mutual Aid and Workers’ Power Rampant

Ancient Egyptian manual reveals new details about mummification University of Copenhagen. News you can use!

Uncertain times Aeon

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

Alpaca McAlpacaface?

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

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. Amfortas the hippie

    the cud i’ve been chewing all week:

    so Eldest is down in Houston, initially working for Cousin, doing demolition after the Ice Age.
    Does that for a week, and cousin gets him an interview with a largeish electrician’s company.
    This is last friday…and he gets the job…signs on as an apprentice(they offer training…so a real career opportunity)
    tell him to be at the job site, in the Galleria area monday morning at 6:30 am.
    But they give him the wrong address, and wrong phone number for his foreman, and neglect to explain parking(or assume that he knows about that).
    So he gets down there at 6, in the dark, and in the rain, and freaks out, because he can’t find where he’s supposed to go, and the phone # is bunk.
    So he circles and wanders down there, until 9:30, and returns to the apartment, where the main number had been left….no answer.
    Finally gets a hold of someone at the office, and is wigging that he’ll get fired the first day….but they give him the right number, and all is well, and he’s to show up on tuesday.
    Cousin says that it’s like he’s Rushing the Electrician’s Fraternity, and that the wrong addy and phone # was on purpose, to determine his mettle…..would he sit in his truck down there all day and expect to get paid? Would he go get drunk?
    But he passed….called incessantly, showed an almost grovelling sense of personal responsibility for the failure….and now he’s a Frosh.
    Cousin councils him with further analogy: like freshmen footballers being made to do Twoaday’s for 6 months.
    All this was lightbulb time for me…i failed such tests when I was his age, in sheetmetal trade, and pretty much every other trade I encountered…i got pissed off, and gave them the bird,lol.
    But I had never been on a Team..and the bullying I encountered around sports just furthered my antiauthoritarian intolerance of hazing and other teambuilding exercises.(leading blues rock bands…and commercial kitchens…while necessitating some form of teamwork, were very different animals…i was the obvious Leader of these groups, and while even the bass player got his solo, and the fry cook got to shine occasionally, I was the uncontested center of the storm)

    anyway…he passed….not least because he played football(went to State, no less)
    and the foreman has “taken him under his wing”.
    The resentment is fading…he is, after all, my son, and inherited my rock headed individualism and self-directedness…as well as the tendency for Total Resistance in the face of injustice or assholery. But his is controlled…again, by his experience with sports.
    All in all, a very enlightening vicarious experience for me.
    now, to peruse/skim all those links, ere i must run out the door(planting stuff, today, and finishing up on chickenproofing the Library Chickens’ yard/gates, and other assorted tasks)

    1. fresno dan

      Amfortas the hippie
      March 26, 2021 at 7:27 am
      Well, congratulations to your son – I certainly wish him all success and I hope all goes well for him.
      But, and what can I say? I’m just overly critical – I would wonder how good the training is of a company that can’t get an address and a telephone number correct. As far as it being some kind of winnowing process, perhaps, but I can’t help but think that pulling that is basically dishonest. Reading resume’s and calling references, and having a probationary period may take longer, but I have always found that people who take shortcuts do so for their own advantage and are not much concerned with being fair to others.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          like i said, i’ve encountered this sort of thing before, whenever i got a ground level job in a trade…and brother even admits that this is a thing.
          I intend to ask some of my friends in the building trades when i run into them.
          running a gauntlet to prove one’s worth before being allowed to pledge to a club, secret society, or whatever, has a very long history….eg: even the preparatory rituals for the Mysteries at Eleusis, or the Catholic Church, contain this process.
          i’m not too worried about it, because since that first wasted day, they have embraced him.
          it was just not something i had anticipated, because i’m a congenital loner and anarch…similarly to how i didn’t advise him about parking in such a place…because where i go, i never, ever have to think about parking.

          1. Rod

            Don’t dismiss that this is ‘The Construction Industry’
            Flexibility is required ;-)

            That aside, if he is a bonafide Apprenticeship with the IBEW or an Open Shop employer, and likes it, a world of Opportunity awaits.

            A good model for your youngers to examine.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              yes, via the union.
              benefits after 90 days
              religious about breaks.
              whole bit.
              also, to counter the lingering smell of the pseudo-hazing, he got in through connections:cousin, who’s well known in construction circles down there, vouched for him, and actually set up the interview with a upper guy at the company that he’s known forever.
              i feel pretty good about it, shameless connection exploitation and all.

              * cousin is “proving them wrong”, in regards to much of our family, who…as when thinking about me…still think it’s 1990.

      1. freebird

        Yes. I can’t see humiliating someone deliberately on day one. Who knows how long they struggled and waited for work. A human being presenting mind, body, and time for work deserves respect, not tricks and power games. Pfffft.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        If I have read Amfortas the hippie’s comment correctly, it is not that the company “couldn’t” get an address and a telephone number correct. It is that the company deliberately on purpose gave the son in Houston a fake-and-wrong address and telephone number deliberately on purpose. As a psychology experiment. To see what the son would do.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          because it’s Rush, and he’s trying to get into the Electricians Fraternity/Union.
          Cousin, who is my only today(as opposed to 30 years ago) contact with this demographic, so far, says it’s perfectly normal.
          I’ll ask my local electricians and plumbers.
          and contractor, doing mom stuff…
          be interesting…..if they came up through the ranks out here, might not know about all that union stuff.
          it’s Texas, after all…

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > it’s Rush, and he’s trying to get into the Electricians Fraternity/Union

            I have always hated fraternities for this reason. Sorry, fraternity Brothers!

            I will be interested to hear the results of your research.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      There is ample opportunity for these types of shenanigans in kitchens too you know. Back in my restaurant days in Seattle, there were restaurants at the ends of several waterfront piers. The cooks at mine would wait for a rush to hit, and then tell a new busser or waitron they had lent out a vital cooking implement and couldn’t get orders up without it, so the n00b needed to run to the restaurant two piers down and ask the chef there to give the bacon stretcher back. Other times it would be the left handed sieve. Good times, good times….

    3. skippy

      That is why I sent my youngest son up to his uncles place, up the mountain in the bush, learn the old code. Interviewed with the #2 at Volvo CE, hour and a half w/ full tour of the facilitates, and then the #1 at the apprentice management mob. Got high marks and the management mob even dropped by his grandmothers house, where he lives, 2 houses down, and spent an hour just talking to her.

      First day on the tools his team was getting instructions about the days job, strip and rebuild big diff, so whilst the rest were awaiting further instructions he grabbed a rattle gun and started stripping nuts off the diff. They were like where did this kid come from?

      This is a top shelf apprenticeship where they teach and seek to retain apprentices rather than flog them and give them the flick after the government subsidy ends. On top of that he will know all the various machines and be ticketed to operate them. All for a international Mfg and services of heavy equipment. Two days a week whilst in year 12, so hes already a year ahead of most.

      His Uncl,e that is a partner in a business that has been around for about 50 years did vouch for him, son has done holiday work at his place over the years, but at the end of the day that is sticking ones neck out. Not a good look to vouch for someone that can’t cut it and can diminish ones standing amongst peers.

      Mouth closed, ears and eyes open, and be keen, but a bit of banter to show you’ve got a spine is OK.

      Off to work on a Sat because house is empty before clients move in and primary job, huge house is during the week, and were booked out 5 months in advance.

    1. marym

      Thanks for the link.

      “After the bill was written in 2018, the staffers who did the hard work on it did begin to engage with industry groups and a few election administrators about the problems with the requirements. That the Senate did nothing to address the concerns of election officials has justified the feeling of many administrators that congressional Democrats see the bill more as a symbol—since chances of passage are low—and don’t seem eager to fix the bill’s flaws because of that.”

      To my totally in-expert eye the bill seemed like a bunch of people collected their random suggestions and pet peeves on whiteboard and someone wrote it down, though I can see that putting it all together in a bill would still involve hard work by staffers. The article says it was written in 2018, so it really was performative, counting on the mean old Republicans to ignore it.

      Manchin — usually the villain in the rotation — made a little sense recently saying there should be a more limited bill, though his idea that “expanding voter access to the polls” would ever be “bipartisan” seems unlikely (Link).

      State legislatures are really going strong now on voter suppression measures. The Dems need put aside their usual worthlessness and complicity at least to pass the Voting Rights Act, (HR4) and some measure of federal requirements for voter access, and postpone the dramatic performances for some other time.

      1. UserFriendlyyy

        I’m quite sure they would much rather dwell in permanent minority status. Better fundraising, less responsibilities.
        Biden does seem to be enjoying the fact that he his getting press as “more progressive than Obama,” and it is actually hysterical watching dem operatives squirm when desperately try to avoid pissing of cult members in either camp when asked to comment on that dynamic. So if there is action that will be the reason.

        This country is so worthless. Letting so many things depend on the vanity of a 78 year old racist.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Biden does seem to be enjoying the fact that he his getting press as “more progressive than Obama,”

          Biden’s sense of the moment is really the only thing this country has going for it. Granted Biden is likely discovering even being a do nothing President is hard, he’s also discovering Obama was really bad, like supervillain status bad.

          Letting so many things depend on the vanity

          This was the reason for not term limiting the President. A non-term limited President has the option to stay President. A 50 year old first term President has to think about the next 30 years. The narcissists want to stay relevant and have pomp long after the Presidency ends.

  2. paul

    RE: Craig Murray

    While the article is better than you’ll find in the UK,it promotes the idea that our FM did not mislead the toothless parliament and committee:

    Nicola Sturgeon was cleared by a cross-party inquiry of lying to Parliament about the Salmond affair.

    From paragraph 720 in the committee’s report:

    P720. “The Committee notes that there is a fundamental contradiction in the evidence in relation to whether, at that meeting on 2 April 2018, the First Minister did not agree to intervene. Taking account of the competing versions of events, the Committee believes that she did in fact leave Mr. Salmond with the impression that she would, if necessary, intervene. This was confirmed by Duncan Hamilton who was also at the meeting. Her written evidence is therefore an inaccurate account of what happened, and she has misled the Committee in t his matter, and there is a potential breach of the Ministerial Code under the terms of section 1(3).

    I am amazed that consortium news have the temerity to finger,by quotation, elizabeth lloyd .

    Do that here and you’ll have the bobbies outside your door.

    1. JBird4049

      Having a still somewhat functioning First Amendment is nice. It seems to me that violations of free speech by the police, and usually of the government as well, is just about the only legal abuse that the courts will quash with alacrity.

  3. Louis Fyne

    For anyone who missed/didn’t see above the news about stimulus payments to Social Security payees, the SSA didn’t send the file of address information of recipients to the IRS until this week despite being asked by the IRS two weeks before the passage of the bill..

    1. Tom Stone

      I recieved a letter from the Treasury Department yesterday inforrming me that a direct deposit of $600 would be made to my checking account within 7 days.
      Not $2,000, not $1,400, $600.
      And my 2019 income was well below the $75K cutoff.
      The “Notice Date”on the letter is February 5th 2021.

      1. Miami Mitch

        I think you misread that letter, I got that too but I think they were talking about the last $600 payment. But that notice was confusing and made no sense so I understand.

        1. Michael Ismoe

          I never got a letter. The $1400 was deposited into my bank account last night. The first $600 was a check, the second was a debit card and the final one was a direct deposit of $1400.

        2. RockHard

          I got a letter the other day saying I was receiving $1200, which makes sense with the $600 thing since I claim a dependent on my taxes. But around the same time, I had a deposit from the IRS show up for $2800. Still haven’t seen the 1200. No idea what’s going on.

          On the other hand, I was contacted a few months ago by my employer asking why I’d filed for unemployment. Suddenly started getting emails and letters from the state and a debit card came in the mail. The debit card issuer (some major bank, I forget which) had a really nice fraud reporting mechanism. The state, after much searching, has a Google Form you can fill out. I’ve tried calling the public numbers for unemployment and can’t even get to where I can leave a message, and my emails go unanswered. I still get periodic emails about my unemployment benefits, including one advertising a webinar on how to prevent identity theft (maybe I should have attended and asked some pointed questions about why it’s so hard to report fraud to the state). I’m hoping they haven’t paid anything out, not so much because I care about the state wasting money (happens all the time) but because they’ll report this crap to the IRS on my taxes and I’ll have to unwind the whole stupid thing, which given the response I’ve gotten so far, means I’ll probably just have to eat the loss if these dummies actually paid out after my employer and I both told them not to.

          1. Eric F

            Unemployment fraud is rampant where I live too.
            To the point that the State office doesn’t have what it takes to answer all the calls. The only thing that has worked for my friends is to call their state Rep. and ask to be put on the Unemployment Department call-back list.
            I think that worked.
            Good luck!

      2. Darthbobber

        I also got this. It was a very late confirmation of the 600 that had already been in my bank for over a month. IRS website says our 1400 payments are being MAILED on the 26th, aka today. Why mailed at this point since they have our direct deposit info and used that for the 600? Who knows?

        1. petal

          So glad to see someone else in the same boat. My other two had been direct deposit with no issues, now for this new one, the IRS says it’ll be mailed to me today. I do not understand. Stuff like this pisses me off. Does not make any sense.

          1. doug

            Our first one was direct deposit. We have moved in the past year and the new two payments were sent to our old address and not forwarded. It doesn’t change our lifestyle, but I bet a lot of folks have moved that it might. I have NO idea why it was not direct deposited like the first one. Makes no sense.

      3. John Anthony La Pietra

        Does the letter say 1444-B at the top? If so, then it’s about the second “Economic Impact Payment” — the $600 one, if you’ll pardon the shorthand. (The first form letter was just a 1444, no B.)

        I got that letter back on the 17th telling me they’d direct deposited $1,200 for me and my wife. And when I checked with my bank, I found there had been a direct deposit . . . of $4,200.

        Is that supposed to cover the $1,400 payments (and another $200 for our daughter)? I don’t think the timing and the amounts work out right — but this isn’t a frequently asked question, or anything else I can find at the IRS Website, and I can’t reach anybody with the IRS by phone to ask them. I may have to mail them a letter.

        I’d be delighted to think this really is our money, not just the result of a slip of a typing finger a row up the numeric keypad . . . but I can’t bring myself to be sure of that, any more than I can be confident about that crazy mail-a-letter idea these days.

  4. fresno dan

    Wolf warriors shoot Chinese foot worldwide Macrobusiness
    I bring up the movie because of the use of the word “wolf.” I think American movies accurately reflect American thinking and values. I think the referenced Chinese movie sure appears to signal a more expansive and aggressive Chinese foreign policy…

    1. Kouros

      Like The Quiet American?

      I think it is safe to say that we can talk about Chinese Wolf Warrior diplomacy only when it reaches half the levels of the things American Diplomacy does…

  5. zagonostra

    >Uncertain times Aeon

    There are better ways to make consequential, society-wide decisions…we might take inspiration from complex systems in nature and design processes that foster adaptability and robustness for a range of scenarios that could come to pass.

    This approach has been called emergent engineering. It’s profoundly different from traditional engineering, which is dominated by forecasting, trying to control the behaviour of a system and designing it to achieve specific outcomes. By contrast, emergent engineering embraces uncertainty as a fact of life that’s potentially constructive.

    One of the many challenges in designing systems that flourish under uncertainty is how to improve the quality of information available in the system. We are not perfect information processors…

    That said, in thinking through how to design aggregation algorithms that optimise for collective intelligence, ethical issues concerning privacy and fairness also present themselves.

    Long article and I probably need to more carefully read, but on a quick read, I don’t like it’s unstated POV, which reeks of scientism and hubris. No mention of Justice, Self-determination, Dignity, etc…we are not “information processors.” What does it mean to be human? Do we have a soul? Where is the spiritual dimension? I have read books on “emergent consciousness” (George Herbert Mead and Whitehead come to mind) and have found it a compelling argument certain distinctly human characteristics have come to be. But, “emergent engineering” that designs “aggregation algorithms that optimizes collective intelligence” leaves me uncomfortable and skeptical.

    The inclusion of “ethical issues” occurs toward the very end. In my view, if you are going to talk about “society-wide decisions” maybe you should begin with that.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      I worked for a few years in the field of “reconfigurable computing” which is just as amorphous and squishy a term as “emergent engineering”. Good for grant writers and professional conference swans, perhaps a couple of dissertation topics, but little else. In my case, I mentally substituted “FPGA-based” for “reconfigurable” and carried on (although a strange spider in a JG Ballard story led me to imagine a somewhat more expansive interpretation). I wonder what the equivalent term is for “emergent engineering”?

      1. Bruno

        ” I wonder what the equivalent term is for “emergent engineering”?”
        Wonder not. The term you’re looking for is “trial and error,” which has
        been going on here ever since learning machines (aka living beings) emerged
        on this planet.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Ha. I had thought perhaps Markovian engineering, but you cut to the quick of it. Most of that article suggests someone needs to have a chat with the systems engineering peeps about the design of resilient systems. Just an opinion from this mental midget.

  6. jackiebass

    There is lots of talk about Amazon workers being unreasonably pushed to produce. I’ve noticed the same thing with UPS. At one time the UPS driver would visit with you.Now they are almost running up to my house to deliver a package. The only conversation you can get from them is a quick Hello. If you are getting a package UPS lets you track where the driver is at any moment.I bet they use tis to see how fast the driver delivers his cargo. The same is true for FEDEX. Workers are forced to produce more but their pay stays stagnant. In too many cases employees are treated like second class citizens.

    1. Fireship

      Worker productivity has risen 400% since the 60s. Karl Marx got the most important thing right: in a capitalist society, the worker always get ripped off.

    2. cnchal

      Amazon sets the standard for how much abuse it can heap on employees. The others have to emulate or die.

      Greshams dynamics in the labor market. Notice how working conditions in Chinese factories have been transplanted wholesale into Amazon warehouses. Goes along with all the stuff from there.

      1. Lemmy Caution

        I think of the brutal work conditions whenever I hear an Amazon flack bragging about how they pay employees $15 an hour. What good does $15 an hour do if management is all but whipping you like an abused draft animal to maximize your productivity? It’s like Amazon is paying you $15 an hour for the right to break you mentally and physically. What a deal!!

    3. lb

      Imagine an alternate reality in which there’s a strong “deliverer’s union” (not just Amazon workers, or UPS workers, or FedEx workers) which demands that delivery trucks have bathrooms in them and deliverers get mandatory bathroom break time of n minutes per shift, spread as needed. Maybe this sort of issue in this era rhymes with the safety concessions won by organized labor against factory-owners in the former part of the 20th century.

    4. .human

      FedEx route owners are contractors of FedEx. Route drivers are the route owners or their employees. I imagine that some are treated as subcontractors.

    5. Mark Gisleson

      I applied for a job with UPS in 2014 and part of the application orientation process included a description of the job. You would ride with the driver and RUN the packages up to the front door and had to be physically able to navigate ice and deep snow.

      And then through the mysteries of HR they proceeded to only hire young extremely fit applicants. This was a temp job for the Christmas season and it was very clear they didn’t want any old or fat people who’d fall on the ice and not be able to get right back up or who might need to use a bathroom during their shift.

    6. Maritimer

      I often wonder how much “Monkeywrenching, nonviolent disobedience and sabotage” must go on at these mega corps. I suspect a lot but it is unreported. There are numerous anti-corporate groups. Certainly, they must have ideas on this subject.

      Unless a corporation can tightly control the work environment, the corporation is subject to retaliation.

      I have often wondered how many of the food contaminations/recalls that have occurred from large meat packing plants may have been due to sabotage. The working conditions in these plants are reportedly horrendous.

  7. Wukchumni

    During the conference, Johansson discussed the likelihood of cutbacks by the water projects. Later in the day, the State Water Project announced it would reduce its water allocation to 5%, down from an initial allocation of 10%, and the federal Central Valley Project said it would delay “until further notice” delivery of its 5% allocation to agricultural customers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
    This means every last one of the approx 400 million nut & fruit trees in Cali will pretty much have to be quenched with well water from deep in the bowels of the earth, exacerbating subsidence.

    I noticed an interesting thing during the 5 year drought from 2012 to 2016 with summer fruit all irrigated with water that had been under wraps for millions of years, in that the fruit tasted utterly fantastic compared to the usual orbs watered from the largess of a typical winter, if one was looking for a silver lining to this saga.

    The sliver lining being that large areas of the state will be utterly useless sans ground water for pretty much time immemorial (aquifers 1,000 feet underneath don’t replenish themselves) and a lot of it (i’m looking @ you almonds) on account of exporting water in condensed form.

    The bubble in orchard plantings is pretty amazing, there was about 23,000 acres of orchards of all kinds in the state in the midst of the 1976-77 drought, now there’s 1.5 million acres of almond trees alone!

    1. freebird

      A cynical person would wonder if the trees were planted to give the farmer more permanent access to water. Easy to tell a row-cropper to skip planting one year in drought, but harder to order tree killing.

      If the orchards ever do get destroyed, it will be after there is a federal compensation program to pay for the chopping down and plowing up, and to pay for the next bad idea.

      1. Wukchumni

        All of those trees are irrigated with electric pumps, and should the grid ever go down in the middle of a torrid summer for an extended time, there’d be some fabulous deals on almond firewood.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          And a chance for midwestern almond growers to enter the market by planting Ukrainian almond in the sky-water weather-irrigated midwest.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “There Will Not Be a New Cold War”

    After the Song of Ice and Fire in Alaska, it is obvious that it is on between the US and China. So Biden will continue Trump’s policies – but without the vulgar tweets. This article has a lot of good material in it but at the bottom there is one main reason why this conflict will escalate over time. I believe the following words are from Michael Hudson (he may correct me if they are not) and it is a good summary-

    ‘The fight against China, the fear of China is that you can’t do to China, what you did to Russia. America would love for there to be a Yeltsin figure in China to say, let’s just give all of the railroads that you’ve built, the high-speed rail, let’s give the wealth, let’s give all the factories to individuals and let the individuals run everything and, then we’ll lend them the money, or we’ll buy them out and then we can control them financially. And China’s not letting that happen. And Russia stopped that from happening. And the fury in the West is that somehow, the American financial system is unable to take over foreign resources, foreign agriculture. It is left only with military means of grabbing them as we are seeing in the near East. And you’re seeing in the Ukraine right now.’

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The wreath in Myanmar jumps out. Normally, it would be a paltry but nice move, but right now, Biden seems insistent on irritating everyone except MBS.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Biden has always been a dolt. Senility could be an issue, but he’s just a lazy person out of his depth. He’s resorting to his tough guy schtick, but because as President, even his old masters will only implore him to act on their behalf.

          Biden is well known for cramming, but he’s a D student otherwise. Now every day, he’s expected to steer the ship of state with questions coming at him from every direction. Even a delegator is going to be expected to know things. Relations with China? Biden has to start from scratch. Part of the reason his Presidency is slipping by is he wasn’t ready to roll day because he knows nothing.

          Vice President Cheney has probably been the most dangerous vice president in this nation’s history

          This is from the debate with Palin, but this is how he speaks. Its probably true, but he uses the same rhetoric with Trump because its all Biden has. Biden attacked McCain over Iraq in this debate. Biden was the Team Blue front man for the Iraq War. He did more to than McCain could to let the war happen. He barely knows what he did then. He’s like a James Carville book come to life. Stupid and pointless.

    2. Kouros

      Exactly what TPP was geared to achieve. By banning the economic intercourse with State Owned Enterprises (no mention of China – and probably a secret addendum excluded Vietnam) it was likely hoped that will force the privatization of said SOEs by the Chinese state…

      And then comes Trump…

  9. fresno dan
    A 22-year-old man who police say went into an Atlanta grocery store carrying a rifle and who was later found to have six guns and body armor was arrested Wednesday.
    No one was injured, and the man’s motives were not clear early Thursday
    Rico Marley was booked into the Fulton County Jail on 11 charges, including five counts of criminal attempt to commit a felony and six counts of possession of firearm or knife during commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies, records show.
    The incident unfolded around 1:30 p.m. at a Publix Supermarket. The man went into a bathroom in the store and officers were waiting for him when he left, police said.
    So, at some point the irresistible force of open carry will meet the immovable object of most people not wanting people walking around grocery stores with AR-15’s …
    I always thought it was pretty obvious why after the wild west people stopped carrying guns in public. When your walking down the street, how many people appear to you to have a screw loose? And how many people when your walking around do you see and think, if only that guy was carrying a AR-15, I would feel so much safer…
    And as I always say, if carrying a gun so guarantees peace, politeness, and security, why don’t the republican conventions allow guns on the convention floors???
    So, Colorado is a right to carry state? I assume the grocery store that had the shooting, like most businesses, had a rule of no guns in the store?
    And is Georgia right to carry? What felony was the guy in Georgia “attempting” to commit, cause other than going to the bathroom, it seems the only thing he did was carry a rifle.
    Funny how those good guys with a gun are never around when the bad guys with a gun are…

    1. Arizona Slim

      Oh, for [family blog’s] sake!

      I grew up in a shooting family, and lemme tell you something: My father thought that parading around in public with your weapon was stupid. And I can still hear dad saying the word, which came out of his mouth sounding like “stooh-pid.” Think of the word “book” and you’ve got that double-o sound down.

      When Dad and I drove to and from the range, all weaponry and accessories had to be under the blankets he used just for this purpose. Nothing was to be even slightly visible.

      During these drives, we never stopped anywhere. We went to and from the range, that was it.

      Oh, the number one rule at the range? Safety first and always. And Dad and his fellow gun club members were self-policers of the highest order.

      As for showing off, there was absolutely one appropriate way to do that, and that was after you had removed your target from the stand and you were comparing it to the other shooters’. You also had to compliment the other shooters’ efforts, even if they fell short of the bullseye. I know, because I frequently received those compliments.

      And that’s my perspective. It is possible to use firearms responsibly.

      1. jefemt

        I was saddened (for lots of reasons) to hear a Boulder CO grocery store employee post shootemup interview.

        He is a Colorado native in early 20’s who has lived and grown up with Columbine, The Theater, the charter school, and now was unwittingly personally hiding in fear at a coffee kiosk in-store.

        His reaction… lots of points, but he wants to have a handgun on him now. Have not seen that interview with that statement re-surface.

        There certainly is no shortage of firearms available for purchase in America… go to a sporting goods store or a pawn shop. Talk about low-value ubiquitous commodity! No telling how many are in hands of citizens…

        I am amazed that in this third most populous nation-state –that we have not yet completely come to blows and a shooting war in the good old OOSA OOSA OOSA

      2. Tom Stone

        AZ Slim, I also grew up with firearms,hunter safety and a .22 for my 10th birthday.
        And my initial training came fro an ex marine Raider who participated in the Makin raid.
        He was a good teacher.
        Owning a firearm was a right of passage, a sign that you were considered to be a responsible person and no longer a child.

        1. IdahoSpud

          There’s a saying, no idea where it comes from: “If you hand a rural kid a gun, the last thing he would ever point it at is a human being. If you hand an urban kid a gun, the first thing he will ever point it at is a human being.”
          You can sense a certain truth in there, so who are the deplorables again?

      3. The Rev Kev

        And I bet that your dad would never consider loading any bullets in his rifle until he was out on the range itself and double-checked his rifle for cartridges when finished shooting and leaving the range.

        1. Baby Gerald

          Like AZ Slim and Tom Stone, I was raised around firearms in a big way. My dad grew up hunting for actual food for dinner. He was a gunner’s mate in the Coast Guard after getting drafted into Vietnam. He hunts with a muzzle-loader. He even re-loads his own cartridges for his other pistols and rifles. During hunting seasons, the guy was a walking cordite trace. So it was kind of normal to go to the gun range with dad as a kid.

          Like the contributors above, my dad is and was very careful with guns and taught me and my two brothers all the same rules. Keep the gun unloaded until getting to the range. Keep the safety locked until firing. Always keep the barrel pointed down at the ground away from people. Most importantly, keep the gun and the ammo far away from each other at home, with the gun itself preferably in a locked safe.

          Unlike the respondents, I refuse to let my sentimentality and the ‘reasonable majority gun-owner’ argument cloud the fact that we don’t need concealed or open-carry permits for most citizens. We don’t need firearms that can be easily modified into machine guns. We don’t need 30+ round magazine capacity. We don’t need legal silencers. Let’s try restrictions on these four items and see where trends go for a decade or so. Maybe even add to that nation-wide pistol registration. The sporting life of my dad and thousands just like him would not change one iota under these restrictions and maybe a few of these shootings would be averted.

          And to pre-empt anyone using the ‘assault rifles are just dressed up semi-automatic hunting rifles’ argument I’d respond with ‘OK thanks- we’ll restrict those too.’ Hunt with something else for a few years. Try archery if you really need to scratch that itch. At this point we need to change something and the tyranny of the gun-owning minority in this nation needs to end.

          1. GF

            Banning the weapons and accessories isn’t enough. There needs to be a buy-back program included. (Have you priced an AR-15 lately?) Just saw the PM of NZ talking about how they did it after the Tasmanian massacre in 1996. She said it would not have worked without the buy-backs. Tucson tried a buy-back program 10 years ago or so, while not banning any weapons (not allowed to do that in AZ). The state blocked the buy-backs because the NRA interfered and said the guns needed to be resold instead of melted down.

            1. Baby Gerald

              Excellent point,GF. I am all for a buy back program, even a very generous one. It would be a small cost up front with a large saving on the back end.

      4. Wukchumni

        About 30 years ago my business partner & I had a friend in LAPD and we’d occasionally go to an indoor shooting range in downtown LA and let the lead fly, and one time we were right next to crips gang members doing the same, and our friend had a duffel bag with LAPD badges on it, so it was kind of like being on neutral ground, it struck me as very weird, the tableau.

        Back then you’d never see a gun in public or in a place of business, but that was before gats got more rights than humans in our twisted country.

      5. km

        I came home from university on summer break. My parents lived in a small idyllic Iowa town, one of those places where crime is illegal and is therefore unknown.

        I came home late, after going out to see a friend. I didn’t have a key, and the door was locked. That was odd, nobody locked doors. This was long before cellphones were a thing. Fortunately, I knew that the window to the spare bedroom was open, and that I could get to that window from the garage roof.

        I climbed up, opened the window and was thinking about my bed, fat, dumb and happy, when out of nowhere, I heard the sound of a shotgun racking up. Let me tell you, I know of no sound that will better instantly concentrate your mind on the immediate situation than the sound of a pump action shotgun racking a shell into the chamber.

        I fairly [familyblogged] myself.

        There stood my father in his underwear, holding a 12 gauge. “Oh, it’s you [sushiforbrains]. Go to bed.”

        I was lucky that my father had a powerful situational awareness and enough self-confidence not to get trigger-happy. This was probably fortified by a couple of tours in Vietnam and a stint as an inner city cop. It was dark, everyone was surprised, scared, nervous, uncertain. Easiest thing in the world to panic or just do something stupid.

        Adrenaline does a lot of things to people, but it does not make them smart. That is how people get hurt. That is also one reason why I do not own a gun. I am close to legally blind and have poor situational awareness, even when I can see. I also have small children and I live in a place where crime is basically unknown. Therefore, a gun is probably more danger to me and mine than it is to any likely invader.

        Dad emptied the chamber and went to bed.

        1. Wukchumni

          A friend my age was living in a little town called Lake City near Cedarville in the middle of nowhere in the northeast of the state with his wife and 4 year old twin daughters about a decade ago, when in the wee hours they heard somebody climbing on the side of their 3 story home, and in the darkness he challenged the would be intruder from above and shouted out that he’d shoot if said person clinging to the side of the building didn’t stop, and then one shot later, a drunk local was quite dead.

          The dead guy really posed no threat, and into the calaboose and charged with voluntary manslaughter ( why does that word always look like ‘man’s laughter’ to me?) was my friend whose life pretty much unraveled from that point on, despite being acquitted for the crime. He’s a complete utter wreck now.

          He was similar to me, never been arrested for anything-a lot to live for, and all pissed away because of that stupid gun.

          It could have all been avoided, but we tend to shoot first, and then question why we did it later, in this Gun Crazy* country.

          * A great movie from 1950 that foreshadows our preoccupation with hand cannons

    2. Procopius

      Remember Tamir Rice? Ohio is one of those “right to carry” states. According to the story, the cop was shooting before the car door was fully open.

  10. Anonapet

    When will the CDC’s sclerotic policy-making process emit revised school re-opening guidelines to replace the current, lethal ones? Lambert

    A more fundamental question is why schools are not well ventilated to begin with?

    My own suspicion is that for all the talk about “it’s for the children”, the real concern is maximizing salaries for administrators, the staff, and teachers at the expense of fresh, clean air in the classroom.

    Shorter: Pervasive wage and salary slavery is no way to structure a decent society and we should move to more voluntary labors of love.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      out here, they only got around to removing the asbestos from the elementary/jr high(circa:1950’s) a few years ago, after federal grants were to be had….so that informs my thinking.
      also, the schools all now have essentially blast doors leading outside, because of the active shooters problem.
      and the windows are all screwed shut…also because of the active shooter problem.
      only classroom windows that still open are in the oldest part of the school, and they are antique woodframed jobs, that lever outward and, i suppose, were too fragile to screw shut(?).
      the blast doors caused some concern when they were installed…because it violated the fire code…but since lunatics must have guns, fire safety was scuttled in this case.
      I’m planning on getting wife a portable hepa filter for her classroom…not just for covid, but for the pollen(follows you in the room in your hair, on yer clothes) as well as for the inevitable gaseous discharge one encounters whenever a bunch of teenage boys are confined in an enclosed space.
      many of the more non-trumpy teachers have bought these, as well as occilating fans and even fans that blow air out the above door transom window into the hallway.

      another interesting, if unnoticed development: because of the fear of student terrorists, hand sanitizer had been banned in classrooms…i admit, that $hit burns really well,lol…but really?
      also no wipes allowed, for the same reason.
      this policy has not been rescinded, but is being ignored.

      i think lambert…and someone yesterday…are right: it’s both the money that would be required if OSHA, et al. admitted the aerosol spread of covid…as well as the rending of the veil that such requirements would reveal, as to just how bad our working/schooling environments are as far as air quality goes.
      similar to how some question about the reality of global warming must be maintained, lest coastal real estate crash, and bring down the entire incestuous FIRE sector.

    2. Kurtismayfield

      Even shorter explanation: the buildings are ancient, and had different ventilation standards when they were built in the 60’s and 70’s.

    3. pasha

      no, lack of ventilation isn’t caused by “maximizing salaries,” as they have a different revenue stream, funded by property taxes.

      most school buildings are funded by bonds, issued by the school district, and by law those funds can only be spent on capital improvements/ repairs. further, once built, it is usually very difficult to retrofit a school with better ventilation — especially with buildings designed for air conditioning

  11. The Rev Kev

    ‘Hnin Zaw
    Scornfully abusive, disrespectful. The wreath placed by US embassy Yangon honoring Myanmar protestors who have lost their lives, at the spot of one young protestor was killed, was taken away by junta’s secutiry forces a moment later this morning.’

    Not trying to be contentious here. Well, maybe a little bit. Personally I have no sympathy with Myanmar’s coup leaders and I suspect that it will not end happily with them. And a good thing too I think. However, what would people say if the Chinese Embassy had laid a wreath at the site where George Floyd for example was killed? How long would a wreath remain there before it too was removed? I dislike stunts like this as it is not the job of an embassy to do stuff like this as it can backfire too badly.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It depends on the goal. If the US was what it pretended to be, a responsible hegemon, sure, why not? Putting the junta on notice that the international community might not be so eager to work with them is a big deal. It’s just not the kind of thing to do when the US is the US and a man like Biden is President. Americans might not know who Biden is, but the rest of the world does. One certainly doesn’t do it when the countries you need on board have been openly insulted.

      It’s like your possible quote from Hudson. It’s the US acting outraged it wasn’t in on the plot.

    1. Tom Stone

      Allan, no surprise that LAPD is acting in a traditional manner, if you think they are bad take a look at the gang problem the LA County Sheriff’s department has had going back at least 30 years.
      Yup, criminal gangs consisting of Sheriff’s deputies.
      And yes, that is Gangs, plural.

    2. Darthbobber

      As my brother never tired of pointing out, many of the most vicious police departments in the nation are in jurisdictions where a Republican in power happens less than once in a blue moon.

      1. Synoia

        Oh, has your brother in law also discovered the connection between slums, the poor, and voting?

    3. Maritimer

      Not just CA but MA too and firefighters to boot.

      “Officials said members of the group, who often cheered as they watched buildings burn, were motivated by a mistaken belief that the fires would force local governments to hire more firefighters after widespread layoffs in the early 1980s.
      Norton, a Boston firefighter for 14 years and one of two members of the ring who did not plead guilty, was convicted by a federal jury Feb. 12 of conspiracy, arson and perjury charges. He had been free on bail pending sentencing. ”

      Then in Boston also, Whitey Bulger gangleader and brother of the President of the MA Senate had his crimes and murders facilitated by the FBI. See Black Mass, book and movie.

      This type of activity vastly under investigated and unreported in the US. Omerta is not just for the Mafia.

  12. ilpalazzo


    perhaps you’ll find this interesting on the subject of games. I’ve been playing PC games since early nineties yet this game blew my mind when I stumbled upon it a couple years ago and I’ve become a devout fan of the creator since. The video is a bit overdone in parts (and there are many others on the subject), but it shows how deep the rabbit hole goes. It is 45 mins.

    1. occasional anonymous

      Nier creator Yoko Taro is one of the most interesting developers in all of gaming. He’s a strange mix of weird, cheeky, and sometimes genuinely thoughtful. He’ll make an entire game about human extinction and machine life, but then make most of the androids in the game beautiful women in skimpy outfits just because he loves beautiful women in skimpy outfits. And then he’ll put in an optional ending where you can kill yourself by eating a fish.

      Also he only ever appears in public wearing a ridiculous mask/helmet of one of his recurring characters:

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Has Britain learned from its failures in Afghanistan?”

    The last paragraph reads, and I quote – ‘The lesson from Afghanistan is that we should not try to punch above our weight. The British Empire ended over 50 years ago. Isn’t it time we stopped trying to be one of the world’s policemen? We would do much better by being one of the world’s interpreters and facilitators instead.’

    I am afraid that the answer is a resounding no. They are doubling down in fact. Just today I became aware of a book called “The Changing of the Guard” by Simon Akam and it pains a damning picture of what has become of what was once a redoubtable army.

    But to my main point. The UK government is reducing the size of the British army down to 72,000 people which is where it was before the Crimean war. I think that is less than what the US has in Special Forces right now. They are also getting rid of tanks, helicopters, ships, artillery, etc. Instead, what they are doing is converting their forces into some sort of permanent expeditionary forces with a new commando battalion, new overseas bases, and any other way that they can make themselves useful to the Pentagon. That is why those two new carriers. You don’t build carriers to defend your homeland but to project power in some other region. Two regions that I am seeing is the Baltic to threaten the Russians and the Pacific to threaten the Chinese. What else can you say? ‘You just keep on thinking, Boris. That’s what you’re good at!’

    1. David

      I wasn’t originally going to comment on this shambles of a story, but the sentences you quote in italics are so incoherent and self-contradictory that I suppose I ought to.
      First “punching above your weight” simply means that, for an Army of a certain size and composition, yours is better and more capable than average. It’s not something you “try” to do. You either are or you aren’t better for your size than others: the metaphor is from boxing, where some light heavy-weights , for example, have been able to out-punch heavy-weights. In a world where not all militaries are equal, the British (less so now I’m afraid) were recognised to be well above average. Sorry about that. (The French always said that the British were the only other serious military power in Europe, and the only European military they would go into action with.)

      Second, I have no idea what the “Empire” meme is doing here. The Afghanistan deployment, like the Iraq one, was explicitly part of the post-imperial defence policy adopted in and after the 1960s, which emphasised NATO and the US link to the exclusion of virtually everything else. Almost all British deployments since the end of the Cold War have been in this context. Anyone could have told the author that, if he had bothered to ask.

      Who ever said the British were the world’s policemen? I don’t think there’s a single British government in recorded history that has ever imagined that for a moment. Actually, the British military have been involved as “interpreters and facilitators” all over the world since the end of the Cold War. They oversaw the demobilisation of Zimbabwean combatants in 1980 and protected the camps against attacks from the white regime. They provided one of the only three or four national contingents to the UN mission in Bosnia that was of any military use, and would shoot back if attacked. They oversaw the integration of the guerrilla and apartheid forces in South Africa after 1994 because they were the only country trusted by all actors. They bought an end to the war in Sierra Leone in 2000 and retrained the Army. Whatever you think of the politics of any of these episodes, this was not being “the world’s policemen.”

      Which is not to say that the British military is perfect or always successful. Read Frank Ledwidges’s devastating book “Losing Small Wars” on that subject: but Ledwidge was actually in Afghanistan and knows what it’s like to be shot at. And there are very powerful criticisms to be made of the way the military have been managed (and to some extent led) in the last decade or so. I’d be the first to make them. I’m not at all sure the present government really understands what it’s doing, and I think the Army, in particular, is too small and much of the military is wrongly equipped. . But that’s a different issue from this set of clichés and non-sequiturs.

      Unlike the Americans (and many other nations) the British have always understood that military forces have a wide range of uses beyond annihilating enemies with firepower. One of these is what’s called “stabilisation” operations: especially training, demobilisation after wars, overseeing integration of combatants and similar tasks. Some militaries have more experience than others at that, and are just better. It helps, in the rather Darwinian world of international diplomacy, if you have a serious military. I was talking not long ago to a Finnish officer who had just returned from service with their UN battalion in Lebanon. He said that the first question the Lebanese military asked was “have you been in combat?” When he said no, they basically stopped listening. That’s what punching above (in this case “below”) means.

    2. Wukchumni

      It costs us a million a year per to keep GI Joes & Janes in the stanbox, and it was confirmed by another Joe yesterday, that we will be there for 2 decades, so i’m calling it the ‘Twenty Years War’.

      After we extract ourselves, I have an idea how to prop up the economy.

      We give every GI a million bucks with the proviso they have to spend it stateside and all within a year of receiving the moolah.

      I’m calling it “Brewster’s Million’

    3. Kouros

      The British military was usually good at fighting natives armed with spears and bows. The scandals from incompetent leadership from the Crimean War, Afghan War, Sudanese Wars against Mahdi, Boer Wars, beginning of WWI, WWII against Germans and in the Indo-Pacific are all reminders of this.

      Yes, the Brits with propaganda, can make whip out of sh$t, and are good at sabotage, but give them a peer rival and in most of the cases will fold.

      1. David

        I had a longer comment disappear into moderation and never emerge. But just to say that the British Army was fundamentally reformed after the Crimean War, and did become a lot more professional. It was generally well led at the lower level, but lacked people at the top with strategic vision. This, in the end was why the British performed badly at the start of WW1: the commanders simply had no experience of command of large-scale forces. That said, the Army improved massively during the War, and by the end it was as good as the Germans. In WW2, once more, the professional Army that went to France was well-trained, and probably the best-equipped in Europe: at that time, there was no counter to the German armoured tactics and the use of tactical air power, no matter how good you soldiers are. By 1944 the British had more or less integrated millions of conscripts, but they were by that stage junior partners in the fighting in Europe.

        The British Army that emerged from the professionalism and restructuring of the 1960s was very good, and acknowledged to be so. It performed well in a lot of difficult situations, and, once again, turned out to be very good at small-scale operations where a lot of initiative was required. I was interested to be told several times by French officers that it was the only other European Army they took seriously, and the only one they would fight alongside. That said, the last twenty years has been a period of decline, not just in numbers but in capability, and I fear it will get worse.

        1. Kouros

          Yes, they always had to reform after obvious failure.

          I appreciate how the Boer’s wives and children were put in concentration camps and starved to death, so that to cut in the fighting spirit of those Dutch farmers… British style psychological warfare.

          I don’t think that this time around there will be a Marius to reform their military. And all the ideals are gone and there is no value left to fight for. They are becoming all mercenaries in spirit. These kinds of men sapped Italy in XVth century and carried on the 30 years war in Germany…

  14. Carolinian

    Re peeing in bottles–there’s a Larry David movie where he works for a Silicon Valley think tank and suggests that all cars should have a hole in the bottom and special device so drivers can pee enroute. His boss calls him an idiot. Needless to say George on Seinfeld was Larry David.

    Apparently though one version of the Covid guidelines says to avoid public restrooms. They are small and unventilated.

    1. Wukchumni

      One thing very noticeable in Sequoia NP earlier in the pandemic was a great reluctance of people to use bathrooms to do their business, a good many resorting to the woods instead, probably the first time a lot of them ever did #2 without sitting on the throne.

      1. Carolinian

        So kind of like your average San Francisco sidewalk?

        In good old Europe the French have pissoirs right out on the sidewalk–a civilized country we men say.

        On the other hand if you take the stairs down to the actual toilet there’s some lady expecting a tip.

    2. Pelham

      Agreed, peeing in bottles is probably an ancient and honored practice among truckers.

      However, the problem in Amazon’s case arises from the statement by an executive denying that Amazon drivers need to pee in bottles, a statement clearly contradicted by an Amazon policy paper instructing drivers to remove their urine bottles from their trucks at the end of a day. If the exec had just kept mouth shut, this all might have soon have been water under the bridge.

    3. timotheus

      I see peed-in bottles in my upper Manhattan neighborhood all the time, in the gutters and tossed into the park. As a park volunteer, I also empty them [eew face]. Occasionally, I will see a driver stop his car at a roundabout/dead end and wade into the brush to take a whiz. Given the pressures on these (mostly) guys, I’m surprised it isn’t even more common.

    4. Ella

      I doubt I will ever use a public restroom again! I’m not sure how I will actually fulfill that but as of now, it’s just ewwwwww……

  15. thoughtfulperson

    Vaccine Administration Management System – New entity?
    About Vaccinations, I was lucky enough to be offered an appointment yesterday, I am in the 1b group. I live in VA, and all communication on vaccinations until yesterday had been from the state through the VA Dept of Health. Yesterday I got a message from Vaccine Administration Management System which has a web address of and was signed the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention, but I hadn’t heard of the VAMS yet. From the initial email, it referenced a number of states: “If you encounter any issues while using VAMS, please contact your State/Territory Health Department point of contact.” Then listed the following states: CT, DE, HI, VA, SC, NH, WV, UT as well as the Indian Health Service.and US Virgin Is. Thus I expect that VAMS is active in those states but not yet (?) nationwide?

    In any case, VAMS seems like a good sign, as the website to sign up for a shot worked great. First they sent a link to set up a VAMS account. Then it was authenticated with a code to my email, then I was able to select a date and time of which there were days out about a month into the future (and when I checked there was even a same day slot still avail in about 20 min, so I nabbed it and rushed out to the old JC Penneys where the clinic was located).

    Comparatively, a few weeks back the state dept of health had sent me two messages on different days about vaccination availability. I did not get these for a few hours as I get many emails a day and don’t check them all constantly, and those were for the same day only, by the time I checked those there were no more slots.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Scott Morrison addresses ‘disturbing’ month of sex and rape allegations”

    Yeah, Australia politics can be a bit of a sausage fest and more so with the present Coalition government. It was not long ago that they chased out a few women Parliamentarians for other sausages, errr, members, errr men. Scotty from Marketing has been refusing to deal with all these allegations for about a month or more, hoping that it will go away. Instead, more and more women have come out with their stories and that former staffer Brittany Higgins has gone all in when she realized that they were trying to smear her. Australia’s Attorney General was also accused of historical rape allegations and it is only now that he has been forced to step down.

    What finally pushed Scotty over the edge was when it emerged that hookers were being brought in through security for the people that work in parliament House. Neither party is innocent here but when Scotty was questioned by a reporter after his tearful apology, he tried to smear that reporter’s organization. This is not a bad apples thing but a culture where some guys figure that they can do anything they like because they are on the inside. Heard a Greens Senator only six months on the job talk about how this other Senator is basically stalking her. Thing is, Scotty waited until Oz was hit by the worse floods in a generation as a distraction before making his apology but I do not think that it will go away. Just wait until it hits the court rooms.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Just gets better and better. So an MP was forced to apologize after bulling two women for several years- but then followed up by saying he ‘didn’t even know what for’ which led to a proverbial ton of bricks falling on his head. The present government is in by only one seat in the House of Representatives so instead of laying low and shutting up, they still can’t help themselves-

    2. Kfish

      The Conservatives in Australia are kept in power mostly by the Murdoch press and the power of propaganda. Scotty was panicked enough to accuse Sky News (a Murdoch arm) of having their own sex scandals. The very next day, Scotty was apologising for that accusation. Scotty is desperate enough to bite the hand that fed him, and I think he’s going down.

  17. Fiery Hunt

    Yeah, that AP headline…”Oakland launches guaranteed pay plan for low-income people” is absolute bullshit…
    The program EXCLUDES low income people who are WHITE. Every other “race” is eligible if income is below the cutoff. So White Mom living on $17,00 a year is NOT eligible but Black Mom making $58,000 a year is.

    Completely and utterly racist but no mention of that little detail in the headline.

    This is the insanity that is Oakland, the San Francisco Bay Area and Woke America in general.

  18. Darthbobber

    Since urination is in the news in the Amazon context, i’ll take this opportunity to post a link to Kinder and Nygaard’s book “Void Where Prohibited”, 1998. Deals at length with the issues involved.

    I also dimly recall a labor issue, 90s I think it was, involving a Ford plant in Mexico, where they decided it would be more efficient to run sheet metal guttering out on the lines so workers could take care of #1 without absenting themselves from the line. This had led to a walkout by the workers and gunfire directed at them as they gathered outside the plant.

    Co-author Linder, by the way, was the author of Anti-Samuelson, a chapter by chapter polemic against the then current edition of Paul Samuelson’s standard textbook on Economics.

  19. chuck roast

    Revealed: Government plan for Covid ‘pub passport’ app on phones that will show proof of jab…

    What is actually revealed here is the future for us flip-phone Luddites. Either we get smaht’ or we can forget about participating in the modern world. I’m not saying that like it’s a bad thing.

    1. km

      How else is Big Brother supposed to track you if you don’t have a smart phone?

      Security cameras are still everywhere, but the identification software apparently still doesn’t work too good. Aren’t you worried that you can’t have the freedom if Big Brother can’t look down at your every move?

  20. Pelham

    Re Gunz: I’ll have to agree with the court’s dissenters. I’m sure there were all sorts of laws, even dating back to the 14th century, that kept people from toting weapons around. These are all immaterial unless they can somehow shed light on the 2nd Amendment. They can’t because the amendment’s wording is already clear and precisely guarantees that “the right of THE PEOPLE [not just militia members] to keep AND BEAR arms shall not be infringed.”

    In fact, it could be more pertinently argued that earlier restrictions on bearing arms were exactly what the founders were trying to cancel, since those laws tended to favor tyrants trying to keep the rabble in check. However, the one court dissenter who asserted the right to self defense is probably wrong. There’s no hint at individual self defense in the amendment.

    All that said, my appetite is slowly being whetted to study constitutional law. The more I glancingly learn about interpretations of various provisions in the Constitution, the more it appears that courts are just making stuff up while offering convoluted support with references to ever more obscure and irrelevant oddities. It happens in both left- and right-leaning decisions.

    1. Redlife2017

      I have no issue with gun ownership, but you sort of cut off the entire 2nd amendment:
      “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

      It’s that first part that has been the source of interest. You could read it as, yes, people have the right to bear arms due to the requirement of having a well regulated state militia. A bit like Switzerland. Which means, of course, they can have arms, but it is contingent on their state training and regulation.

      I am not saying what I believe, but it obviously can be interpreted in multiple ways.

      1. occasional anonymous

        A huge problem is that the 2nd Amendment is shockingly badly written, even providing for the archaic 18th century language, both from the point of view of legal clarity and simply aesthetics.

        The first half doesn’t unambiguously connect to the second half, because sitting awkwardly right in the middle is the ‘being necessary to the security of a free State’ part, which is a justification for the existence of the law, and not actually part of the law itself. If you cut that out you’re, apparently, left with something like ‘the right of the people to bear arms, in the form of a well regulated militia, shall not be infringed’. The wording seems to be explicitly saying that the existence of a Militia is itself the ‘right of the people to keep and bear Arms’. But the grammar is all kinds of [familyblogged] in the original.

        If you cut out the justification part, and reverse the awkward grammar, I genuinely think it’s pretty hard to come to any conclusion other than that the 2nd Amendment is about the right of citizens, as a plurality, to have weapons and organize themselves into armed bands. It’s not about individual citizens having an inalienable right to own a firearm. I don’t know where the line would be drawn though. Some sort of town armory where all the guns are stored until the sanctioned militia needs them? Who controls access to the armory? Who controls the militia?

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > the 2nd Amendment is shockingly badly written

          It’s not badly written at all. The language is perfectly clear.

          A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.


          Houses that don’t burn down being necessary to the safety of our town’s families, the right of the people to install fuse boxes and purchase fuses shall not be infringed.


          Weather permitting, we will have a barbecue tomorrow.

          I have helpfully underlined the absolute clauses in these absolute constructions.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state

            the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

            Aren’t standing armies the agents of tyranny? A militia isn’t the same as a standing army. I would argue we’ve functionally failed by tolerating a military capable of acting without relying on “well regulated” militias. Even the British had a relatively small army, and the Declaration of Independence is fairly clear its the tyranny against the colonies that is the problem. Yes, there was turnover, but its functionally the same group or their immediate accomplices between both efforts.

          2. Fireship

            It is still a cause of confusion. If a state decides that it no longer requires a militia (because it has a heavily armed police force to do the job, for example) does that mean that the citizens no longer have a right to bear arms?

          3. QuicksilverMessenger

            I always wondered about this, because the ‘founding fathers’ were anything but not highly educated. I studied Sanskrit for a number of years and really got into the precise grammar of it, and carrying over, thought I knew something about English construction. Learned something new today! Reminds of the time when I was young and found about the gerund and the possessive- it always sounded so weird to me. My being an occasional reader of NC has added a notch in the grammar belt!

          4. occasional anonymous

            I completely disagree. It should be self-evident; if it was perfectly clearly written we wouldn’t still be debating what it means centuries after the fact.

            1. Basil Pesto

              The amendment is anachronistic, outmoded and, as it stands, imo, stupid. But you made an argument about grammar, and the grammar is fine.

              1. occasional anonymous

                The grammar is ‘fine’ in that it’s using a valid literary technique. But that technique is convoluted and stupid, and not conducive to clarity of meaning.

                This is my hill, and I’m going to die on it, apparently.

  21. Jason Boxman

    Another monopoly, from the interesting “Scientists can now sequence an entire genome overnight“:

    According to the Federal Trade Commission, Illumina controls roughly 90 percent of the market for sequencing machines in the U.S., and by the company’s own assessment, it compiles 80 percent of the genomic information that exists in the world in a given year. It is sometimes described as the Google of the genomics business, not only because of its huge market share but also because of its products’ ability to “search” our complete genetic makeup. In short, it dominates the business. Last year, the firm took in over $3 billion in revenue and about $650 million in net income. In its hunger for expansion, the company has recently made a run of acquisitions. In late September, for example, Illumina announced that it intended to acquire, for $8 billion, a biotech company called Grail, which has created a genomic test that runs on an Illumina sequencer and that an early study suggests can successfully detect more than 50 types of cancers from a small sample of blood. On a recent corporate earnings call, deSouza called Grail and early cancer detection “by far the largest clinical application of genomics we’re likely to see over the next decade or two.”

    Who smells rent extraction?

    And earlier in the article, the advances that led to this came from NIH investment in the Human Genome Project, public funding!

    1. petal

      Illumina is annoying and v. expensive to purchase from, but what do they care? They have you over a barrel-you really have nowhere else to go.

    1. Ranger Rick

      No-till is a topic of no small debate amongst farmers. The environmental angle is unlikely to make much headway, but the impact of topsoil erosion on yields will immediately get their attention (it also means they have to use more fertilizer, increasing costs).

  22. Judith

    Since McKinsey is a frequent topic on NC:

    “Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is slamming Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration for continuing to hire the consulting giant McKinsey and Co., citing the firm’s work with drug companies to “turbocharge” opioid sales.

    “The Administration should not be enriching a company that has profited from the devastation of our communities,” Healey wrote in a series of tweets Thursday afternoon, in response to the news that the Baker administration had tapped McKinsey to study the “future of work” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    “Baker’s office confirmed that they had hired McKinsey for the future of work project this week, after releasing a “request for proposal” on Feb. 12 seeking contractors to conduct the study on the broad implications of the post-pandemic shift toward remote work. The administration has also paid millions to the well-known firm for help with school reopening plans, the COVID-19 response, and the study of MBTA privatization. According to state records, Massachusetts has paid McKinsey nearly $7 million this month alone — which Healey noted occurred after her office’s settlement. ”

    1. Maritimer

      I wonder if Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey will similarly be concerned that MA is dealing with and will be paying vaccine criminal organizations such as Pfizer, AstraZeneca and J&J.

      If not, why not? Ethics, morality, legality suspended when it comes to Covid?

  23. Synoia

    Many kindergarten through grade 12 (K–12) schools offering in-person learning have adopted strategies to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (1). These measures include mandating use of face masks, physical distancing in classrooms, increasing ventilation with outdoor air, identification of close contacts,* and following CDC isolation and quarantine guidance.


    Except at Lunch in the Cafeteria.

    Coughs and Sneezes spread Diseases.

  24. occasional anonymous

    >Taiwan Wants More Missiles. That’s Not a Bad Thing. Defense One: Ground-based, short-range missiles are a realistic and relatively quick way to improve cross-Strait deterrence.

    Oh god, can we please stop with the pretense that Taiwan is a truly independent country that has any kind of long-term future absent the protection of the US? The ‘deterrence’ that stops China, population 1.4 billion, from just invading and taking over Taiwan, population 24 million, in about a week (if even that long) is the existence of the US Seventh Fleet. Anything Taiwan itself can bring to the fight is a token extra at most.

    The only possible leverage Taiwan itself has is that it’s a computer chip manufacturing powerhouse and will burn down all the chip factories if invaded. But that leverage will eventually disappear, as mainland China is investing heavily in building up its own domestic capacity.

    I’m not even making any kind of moral judgement here; I’m not saying China taking Taiwan back into the fold will be a good thing. Taiwan seems like an interesting place (not that I’m remotely an expert), with its own unique personality and culture, and I can definitely appreciate Taiwanese not wanting to be subject to Beijing. But it’s also a rump statelet that exists because it has superpower patronage. From Beijing’s perspective it’s nothing more than a mildly irritating rogue province. It has no long-term future.

    1. Susan the other

      I was surprised to read that Taiwan is pointing it’s small arsenal of missiles at China. With us backing them. It seems like retaliation for North Korea lighting off their firecrackers every other week. With the backing of Beijing. We don’t want our interests in South Korea or Japan damaged. In fact I was beginning to think that most people wanted to see North and South Korea come together. And the same for China and Taiwan. Beijing doesn’t want its Interests in Taiwan damaged. China has been open about taking Taiwan back since the 90s at least. And the whole reason, IIRC, for establishing Taiwan as a renegade Chinese outpost was to give the KMT a refuge after they tried and failed to unseat communist power in the late 40s. Chaing was our ally during the war and we backed his KMT against Mao. Hence all the bad relations between China and the US. But all that was supposed to have been settled. What is the reason they are digging it up now? Who is being threatened the most, the US or China? All I hear is about China’s belligerence. I wish I could get a report on our belligerence. Pretty sure it’s there. Because Taiwan is as strategic to China as Crimea is to Russia. We are “containing” them. A sure-fire way to make them blow a fuse.

  25. RMO

    ” I wonder whether all working class drivers experience this as normal, and not just Amazon workers”

    Even under the best of circumstances, which is what mine were when I worked as a delivery driver, finding a bathroom can be difficult. I had a list in my head of places to go when out on deliveries and still kept a 4 liter bottle in the truck for the times when they weren’t available. I wasn’t under tremendous delivery pressure either as I worked in our small family business where we paid the two drivers we usually had on staff by the hour and never punished anyone for being late. The algorithmically derived sadistic schedule Amazon, third party and gig economy drivers would be a whole new layer of hell and I can see why they simply wouldn’t be able to stop no matter what facilities were available.

  26. The Rev Kev

    “Suez Canal Transit”

    Thought some readers might be interested in an earlier version of what it was like going through the Suez canal. Was researching this a while back and came across a source called “Orient Line Guide: chapters for travellers by sea and by land, illustrated” from 1889-

    As soon as the ship begins to move past the town she is virtually in the Canal. The offices of the Canal Company are amongst the last of the buildings…
    Leaving Port Said, the steamer enters between the long moles that preserve the channel of the Suez Canal, a narrow water-way across the desert, eighty-seven geographical, or about one hundred statute miles in length, The Canal runs first through a wet, flat, sandy plain scarcely higher than the level of water on the east side, and a little below it on the west side. This plain is the wide swamps and marshes of Lake Menzalah : wild fowel, including large flocks of white and pink flamingoes, abound ; and the thought recurs that these unproductive shallows were once fertile wheat-growing plains watered by the Pelusaic and Tanitic mouths of the Nile. But the sea has invaded and oppressed the rich soil with a coating of sand and salt, burying even the remains of many ancient towns and cities that once flourished here. In steaming through Lake Menzalah, every one on board watches the wonderful flights and flocks of birds to the westward. Sometimes thousands of pelicans appear sitting so close together that they look like a whitewashed wall at a little distance, and it often requires a strong glass to resolve such a cloud of birds into its component individuals. The spectator is fortunate if a flock of flamingoes rises into the air, because while the flamingo looks white when standing, the under side of his wings when he flies is rosy pink. This is an excellant place to watch for the mirage which is almost always visible in the eastern desert. Sometimes a reflection of the ship itself seems to be sailing alongside.

    The Canal has at present an average width of only twenty-five yards, but great improvements are about to be made in this respect. Strange to say, the narrow water-way is found best for large ships, and it is almost always a small one which grounds in the Canal. This is explained when we remember that such a vessal as a the Ormuz or Orient cannot get across the channel, whereas a smaller boat, blown by the wind, or affected by the slight current, or awkwardly handled by her crew, sometimes contrives to block the passage for days together. By way of preventing these disasters, several changes are carried out. M. de Lesseps (by whose genius and perserverance this marvelous work was carried through), and his collegues recently traversed the Canal in one of the largest ships which make the voyage to Australia by the Suez route, namely, the Austral of this line, and their observations have resulted in a scheme by which in some places the water-way will be doubled, and in others will be widened and deepened, so that the dangers of traffic as at present conducted will, it is confidently expected, disappear. A deepening of the Canal is almost more to be desired than a widening, because the very slow pace, about five miles an hour only, is necessitated by the lack of water under the ship. Every foot of additional depth would add proportionally to the average speed.

  27. boydownthelane

    As a retired individual who drives a lot (even in the middle of the pandemic) to engage in his hobby of digital photography and one who is on chronic furosemide therapy for his cardiomyopathic congestive heart failure, I keep empty bottles of Starbucks coffee in the back seat. During the pandemic (which appears to be a chronically-recurrent event), most fast-food joints which heretofore had public rest rooms closed them. I have the liberty of not being on the clock or surveilled electronically but furosemide can lend a sense of urgency that leads me to entertain the possibility of uploading a “Toilet Finder” app on my android. It begs the question, as well, about when Amazon will sell its own trademarked pee bottle. I thought that returning nitrogen to the soil was progressive, no?

  28. Kouros

    The Wolf Warrior article about China and its particular relation with Australia is extremely lame.

    Australia started the trade war by banning Huawei and screaming to the world as being in the grip of a boa constrictor of the dangers of using Chinese equipment.

    When China retaliates, it is accused of unfair trade practices. Why would I patronize a store when the the owners call my mother a whore all the time, and tell all the other customers that my mother is a whore?

    And for Xinjiang exaggerations and fabrications , the ban on cotton ultimately affect the lives of said Uyghurs, which are mostly farmers, and now their products, like cotton and tomatoes are banned because of “forced labor”. And Australia talks about human rights, with its history with Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea and the shooting of civilians in Afghanistan, and the treatment of its own Aboriginal population. Oh, cry me a river! The rank hypocrisy emanating from the entire Anglo-sphere (maybe less so New Zeeland) is comparable in stench with the Augias stables.

    Some interesting links to tilt the issue a bit:

Comments are closed.