Links 3/3/2021

Glow-in-the-dark sharks found off New Zealand coast BBC (dk)

Rare ‘locked’ letter sealed 300 years ago is finally opened virtually LiveScience (Kevin W)

Mount Sinabung eruption: Indonesian volcano sends a cloud of ash and dust into the sky CNN

How Green Are Electric Vehicles? New York Times (David L)

On Mars, and in Texas, Engineering is Peer-Reviewed by Reality Issues (fk)

Our grasslands have been poisoned by intensive farming Aeon. Anthony L pages Amfortas.

First-of-its-kind trial finds psychedelic microdosing is equal to placebo New Atlas (David L)

HIV findings in DR Congo ‘give hope for cure’ BBC. Resilc: “Between this and the possible malaria vax, a big week in health issues missed by USA USA press.”



New evidence shows coronavirus can infect and kill heart muscle cells New Atlas (furzy)

COVID variants spreading fast in Japan, Kobe study finds Nikkei


Germany plans to extend coronavirus lockdown to March 28 DW

Tempers fray over France’s vaccine strategy Financial Times


Biden: US will have vaccine for all adults by end of May The Hill

Why Did Trump Want to Keep His Covid-19 Vaccination a Secret? Rolling Stone (furzy)

Doña Ana County detention officer sues over COVID-19 vaccine mandate MSN (resilc)

Texas Governor Lifts Mask Mandate, Business Restrictions Wall Street Journal


The Goldilocks Stimulus Myth Yanis Varoufakis, Project Syndicate (David L)

A K-shaped recovery and the role of fiscal policy Bruegel

Self-harm claims rise by 333% and overdoses are up 120% among 13 to 18-year-olds: The shocking toll of the pandemic on teenagers’ mental health is revealed Daily Mail

Obamacare would get a big (and quiet) overhaul in the Covid relief bill NBC (furzy)

FCC approves $50 monthly internet subsidies for low-income households during pandemic


China’s ambitions threatened by US equipment ban Asia Times (Kevin W)

Chinese labour schemes aimed to cut Uighur population density – report Guardian

Air Force General: If US Doesn’t Hurry to Build New Fighter, China Will – Defense One. Resilc: “The last one doesn’t fly, so why would this one?”

Eric Schmidt’s National Security Commission on AI issues China warning CNBC (resilc)

Chinese Australians discriminated against as Canberra-Beijing tensions boil over: Lowy report Kevin W: “There are 1.2 million people who have Chinese ancestry in Australia so everything is going to plan.”


The seven key questions facing Nicola Sturgeon BBC. Kevin W: “In short, the answers are Yes, Yes Yes, Yes, Everything, Yes & Yes.”

EU must overhaul flagship data protection laws, says ‘father’ of policy Financial Times

New Cold War

US sanctions Russian officials over nerve-agent attack Associated Press. Resilc: “I’m sure they are shaking in their boots.”


Afghan war: Three female media workers shot dead in Jalalabad BBC (resilc)

Biden’s Protection of Murderous Saudi Despots Shows the Hidden Reality of U.S. Foreign Policy Glenn Greenwald

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Air Force Is Having To Reverse Engineer Parts Of Its Own Stealth Bomber The Drive (Kevin W)

California’s Pacific Coast Highway is falling into the ocean. Is this the end of the road for one of America’s most scenic drives? USA Today. I’ve not taken the drive….now too late…

Capitol Seizure

Antifa Didn’t Storm The Capitol. Just Ask The Rioters. NPR

FBI chief calls Capitol attack ‘domestic terrorism’ and defends US intelligence Guardian (Kevin W)

FBI Director Wray says domestic terrorism cases have soared to 2,000 in recent months Washington Post (furzy)


Neera Tanden withdraws as Biden’s budget chief pick Politico (Kevin C)

Democrats’ voting bill would make biggest changes in decades Los Angeles Times

Supreme Court Will Hear Voting Rights Act Case as Congress Takes Up H.R. 1 Charles Pierce, Esquire (furzy)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Killings by Police Declined after Black Lives Matter Protests Scientific American (Kevin C)

Texas Deep Freeze Aftermath

A Pipeline of Oil Money Fuels Texas Deregulators Young Turks (furzy)

Stimulus checks have Americans in agreement, but we’re bitterly split on everything else Study Finds. Resilc: “I am all for New England LLC.”

ACLU, Partner Orgs File SCOTUS Amicus Brief Supporting Privacy Rights of Nonprofit Donors ACLU. As an expert on money in politics said, “Look who is feeding the pigs.” I haven’t read the filing, but the wording of the press release is consistent with providing for anonymity of 503(c)4 donors, who are funding lobbying.

Woke Watch

Biden removes mention of Dr. Seuss from ‘Read Across America Day’ New York Post (John Siman)

The Next Cancellation Target: Dr. Seuss Wall Street Journal (furzy)

Dish tries to disrupt SpaceX’s Starlink plans as companies fight at FCC arstechnica (Kevin W)

A jury says Intel owes $2.18 billion for infringing a zombie chip company’s patents The Verge

How private equity squeezes cash from the dying U.S. coal industry Reuters

Class Warfare

What REALLY happens at DAVOS? Russell Brand

Are The Days Of The “K-Shaped” Con Finally Over? Matt Taibbi

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

And a bonus (dk). I may have featured this vid years ago, but it’s gotten picked up on Twitter again, so as good an excuse as any for a reprise:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Polar Donkey

    The Shelby County Health Department is under investigation by the FBI for how it has handled the roll out of covid vaccines. The schd had poor record keeping, let large batches of vaccine expire while stock piling vaccine, and gave people expired vaccine. Because the record keeping was so bad, schd doesn’t know how much or to whom they gave expired vaccine, so they may have to vaccinate everyone again.

    1. Carla

      To save others from having to look it up as I did, Memphis is in Shelby County, Tennessee. This is a big country, containing thousands of counties.

  2. zagonostra

    >On Mars, and in Texas, Engineering is Peer-Reviewed by Reality Issues – (fk)

    Our question is simpler: why are we willing to invest in putting a rover on Mars but not in the mundane responsibility of keeping the nation’s infrastructure in good shape? We are yet to resolve this conundrum.

    It’s more than just a “conundrum” it’s the fundamental characteristic in mankind’s bloody history and lies at the heart of psychology and religion. E.O. Wilson comes to mind. He approaches the question in “Consilence” using his expertise in entomology with some interesting analysis of intra/inter group dynamics. But from the iron law of oligarchy to descriptions of the functioning of the limbic system and language, there is no answer (read the exchange between Einstein and Freud).

    And, I’m okay with not having a definitive answer as long as it doesn’t remains an unquestioned “reality,” which it seems to have in the “normal” (pathological) functioning of society in contemporary America. It’s only when you have the confluence of a Texas Freeze and a Mars landing that the issue comes to the forefront.

    1. Fireship

      “Our question is simpler: why are we willing to invest in putting a rover on Mars but not in the mundane responsibility of keeping the nation’s infrastructure in good shape? We are yet to resolve this conundrum.”

      When you realize that Americans behave collectively as a locust swarm, it makes perfect sense. They devour and move on, leaving a trail of desolation in their wake. A horrible society makes horrible people.

      1. Calypso Facto

        Too bad Americans don’t collectively govern. You do this near-daily now, why don’t you re-read some of the relatively- recent posts when the comments were locked down because they got too nasty. You are not contributing to the conversation, you’re just venting. Moon of Alabama’s comment section sounds more your speed!

      2. Bruno

        “why are we willing to invest in putting a rover on Mars but not in the mundane responsibility of keeping the nation’s infrastructure in good shape?”

        Hate to keep having to ask this question. Who’s WE?

      3. JTMcPhee

        That observation is at the center of the fear and loathing that people feel when watching “Independence Day” and similar horror movies. Which are based on a fictional species that has become interstellar after wasting its home world, and now voyages interminably and inexorably to other star systems to kill all the potentially competing indigens and loot all the resources. Just to have the energy and material to make more of its kind.

        And I second that question, the one about who is “we”? The notion of “agency” being important in the discourse here.

        Another big and dependent question that usually begs an answer: What kind of political economy do “we” want to live in?

      4. The Historian

        You make it sound like it is an either/or situation. It is not. We can do both and yes, we have the money to do both. But the powers that govern us do not want to spend the money on infrastructure.

        Humans have always been explorers. If they hadn’t have been, we’d all still live in Africa. It is just who we are and whether you like it or not there has always been a push to explore. Space is just one more frontier for exploration and many many millions of us get enjoyment from our pushes into space. If we didn’t, Star Trek and Star Wars, not to mention all those sci-fi novels, wouldn’t have been so popular. Humans do need to dream and this world would be a much sadder place if we didn’t have something to get excited about.

    2. Lee

      At one point during a PBS series on Neanderthals, one of the scientists is asked about the differences between them and Homo Sapiens. He provided an imagined example of members of each species looking across the water from Gibraltar and seeing the African coastline. The Neanderthals would simply enjoy the view, while the Homo Sapiens would be seized by an irresistible desire to leave hearth and home, risk life, limb, and resources to go to that other shore. He laughed and concluded, “Homo Sapiens are crazy.”

      1. Procopius

        ??? And he knows this how? Does he have lots of Neanderthalensis friends? Has he interviewed their thought leaders? Has he gone to one of their birthday parties? A formal dinner? I don’t mind bashing Sapienses, but this is like telling us what somebody thinks. We don’t what people think or even what they believe. All we know is what they say and do.

  3. Hana M

    Sadly, National Geographic can’t post a disclaimer, “No penguins were harmed in the making of this video.”

    1. Wukchumni

      Everybody is somebody else’s meal in the annals of animals, yesterday I watched a red-tailed hawk pursuing a smaller bird almost as if it was a WW1 aerial battle, with the red baron emerging victorious and enjoying a repast of a robin or perhaps scrub jay.

    2. Robert Hahl

      It looks as if she thought he was an injured seal who couldn’t feed himself. Sharks think humans look like seals too.

  4. fresno dan

    Air Force General: If US Doesn’t Hurry to Build New Fighter, China Will – Defense One. Resilc: “The last one doesn’t fly, so why would this one?”
    In the White House, President Weed did not need to guess. Reports from the US forces in Kenya came in daily via the diplomatic line; when Nairobi fell, after a bitter three-day battle near Konza, a new line was jerry-rigged from Kisumu in the far west of the country. Most of the news was bad. The Chinese had brought in more planes, as well as air-defense systems that were making B-52 raids from Diego Garcia risky—two of the bombers had been shot down by surface-to-air missiles already. Meanwhile, there was no way to get supplies in to the American forces and their Kenyan allies; another fleet could not be sent as long as Chinese cruise missiles might be waiting for them, and the loss of air superiority made airlifts equally problematic.

    “We tried to get Predator drones in to hit their air defense radar, but they were spotted and taken out,” the DCI—Director of Central Intelligence, the head of the CIA—was saying. “Chinese technology is, well, as good as ours these days.” What he was not saying, Weed knew, was that Chinese technology was better than its US equivalents these days, and half a dozen other countries had the same advantage. The reason wasn’t a mystery, either; most of the officials in the room, starting with Weed himself, had taken donations now and then in exchange for promoting or approving programs that were far more profitable to their manufacturers than they were useful to the US military.

    1. cnchal

      Pity the fool Air Force general that has to tell President Trump in 2025 the F35 is just for show, and that it will not extend his penis.

      1. fresno dan

        March 3, 2021 at 8:22 am
        The third realization, though, was the troubling one: the Chinese pilots were at least as good as their American counterparts, and their planes were better. Both US fighter wings in Kenya flew the F-35 Lightning II, the much ballyhooed Joint Strike Fighter, which had been designed to fill every possible fighter role in the NATO air services. That overambitious goal meant that too many compromises had been packed into one airframe, and the result was a plane that was not well suited to any of its assigned missions. The Chinese J-20s had no such drawbacks; faster and more heavily armed than the F-35s, they had a single role as a long-range air superiority fighter and they carried it out with aplomb. By the end of the first day, though both sides had been bloodied, US losses were nearly half again those of the Chinese force.
        might as well go full druid….

        1. The Rev Kev

          Of course the ‘druid admitted that when he wrote that novel, he did not realize how bad it was or he would have included greater losses of the F-35 in those air battles. And in that novel, the F-35s were referred to as “Lardbuckets” which kinda says it all.

            1. Wukchumni

              How much longer before Hollywood admits the sequel to Top Gun starring the F-35 & Tom Cruise and in the can now for a couple years, might also be an Edsel?

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                Eh…I imagine the current Pentagon outreach program would be too hackey, but the original was fun. Unlike most movies, the protagonists and antagonist are really just kind of people as opposed to good guys and bad guys or pretending bad guys are good guys. Its not high art, but its different.

                I have high expectations that in three or four years I won’t be annoyed at having watched this one afternoon.

    2. farragut

      “The last one doesn’t fly, so why would this one?”

      Gen. Buck Turgidson, impatiently, “Yes, yes–but THIS one doesn’t fly better!”

      1. Michael Ismoe

        It’s a safety feature, You can’t shoot it down if it doesn’t fly.

        We’re the only country that would dare bring a tank to an airfight

      1. Andrew Watts

        I’d second this opinion and I don’t usually enjoy works of fiction like Tom Clancy.


        The ending was kinda like the beginning of a cyberpunk novel.

    3. russell1200

      As vulnerable as our supply chain is due to outsourcing in general, buying our fighters from China isn’t all that different from what we do now: just at the component level.

      thanks for the link

      1. Procopius

        A few years ago, I think at the POGO site, I read that a majority of the spare parts for our tanks and aircraft are made in China (lowest bidder requirement). Almost all spare parts for electronics come from China already, and that’s before the current outcry over shortage of chips. I wonder if that has anything to do with the frequent reports that one reason the F-35 can’t achieve an availability ration better than 25% is a shortage of spare parts.

    4. Bill Smith

      The F-35 flies pretty well. It’s just really, really expensive. Hopefully if they build something new (which some articles claim they already have) it will be less expensive to operate. Heck, a lot of the F-35 stores out there these days might be put out to set the stage for the next great thing.

      The Israelis have used it in a combat environment where they got shot back at. In fact, their doctrine uses the F-35 against air defense sites (SEAD) that shoot at attacking Israeli forces.

      And anyone who looks at these things understands that the current generation of commonly used drones will not survive in a contested aerial environment. So this “We tried to get Predator drones in to hit their air defense radar” is pretty much comic book stuff.

    5. a fax machine

      My problem with political fiction like this is that it always just leads to “lets build another fighter” instead of the actual consequences of a better Chinese or Russian military. In any real life scenario the US would just start lobbing “tactical” nukes and claiming victory, and I’m of the opinion that the government has been slowly working towards this for decades now. This is especially true when the next generation of planned directed nukes are, at least in theory, indistinguishable from a high power laser.

      Considering how little care is given at the top to collateral damage, and how the next generation political class seems completely unable to conceive of war as something with a goal or end state, what’s to stop the government from gradually increasing it’s list of allowable weapons? The more fear and supposed inferiority, the greater the allowable collateral damage.

      Even better if it’s paired with orbital systems, as Biden doesn’t see any reason to stop space from being militarized and filled with quick-strike systems that will probably do a number on society. It only takes one perturbed defense satellite to knock out global GPS.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “US sanctions Russian officials over nerve-agent attack”

    Fortunately Washington decided that they will still let the Russians sell them the rocket engines that they need for NASA and the military. Of course Russia has promised to retaliate for this round of sanctions so hopefully rocket engines will not be part of it.

    1. Keith

      Let them ban the rocket engines, that way Biden can get his green wind powered rockets! ;

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        You know Biden doesn’t think global warming is anything other than a cultural signifies? If T Boone Pickens was alive, he would be renting out the Lincoln bedroom while they worked on what color of lead based green paint to color the “transitional” smokestacks.

  6. Amfortas the hippie

    thanks for the mention:
    “At its most cynical, our current agriculture and food system is a wasteful solution to the problem of what to do with abundant post-Second World War industrial products – steel, aluminium, oil, heavy machinery, pesticides and fertiliser. The cheap food and energy that emerged from this solution have become albatrosses around our necks – driving climate change, fouling our waters, and undermining food security and sovereignty around the world. US agriculture shows us how bad intensive livestock-raising is for people, animals and the environment. This should be a warning sign as global demand for livestock products increases and, along with it, the drive to intensify the inputs into what have been traditional mixed agricultural systems.”

    this is often overlooked. post world war 2, there was all this capacity…sunk costs…for producing gobs of chemicals. organophosphates(pesticides) had been engineered as chemical weapons, but were now getting unpopular …so they were repurposed to kill bugs.
    so ranchers/feedlot operators were encouraged by all the experts to hang a sack of organophosphate pesticide over their chutes, so the cows would brush against them and get the poison poder on their backs.
    really efficient*.
    but the spinal cord is also right there, and i remember this class of chems as one of the potential culprits in the mad cow debacle.(this aspect of prion disease was tossed immediately in the round file of “conspiracy theory”…but the mad deer problem originated at a fenced wilderness where the army tested these very chemicals…and so on)
    this sort of repurposing of products derived from sunk cost wartime efforts happened over and over.
    the systems built to use “commodities”(corn, wheat, etc) as weapons during the cold war, along with an obsession with “efficiency”, and a drive for extracting every cent from productive practices has led us to this state.
    the Big Ag monstrosities, from Dowpont to Cargill to ADM, were no accident.
    now, china gets mad at the us, stops importing all that soy we grow, and suddenly there’s burger king commercials about “it tastes like meat, but it’s not!”…must do something with all those “commodity crops” that we grow too much of…same with corn….hence ethanol, which has a negative EROEI, such that we would be more environmentally responsible to just burn the fossil fuels directly that are used in used in producing it.
    meanwhile, obesity, food deserts where nary a fresh fruit or veggie is to be had, antibiotic resistance, and on and on

    but if you are a farmer or a rancher, heaven forbid you attempt to do things differently.
    Big Ag is a monopsony…as are the giant grocery chains(fruits and veggies are regarded as “specialty crops”, remember, and don’t enjoy the largess from the fedgov that corn does)
    they decide what and how and how much and how you grow.
    with meat…from cows to the 30 or so geese wandering around my place, good luck making a living unless…as Ag Sec Butz said…”Go Big, or Get Out”.
    I can’t sell an egg, except for on-farm…because i can’t get permission unless i grow ten thousand chickens in warehouses.
    permission is uneconomical at small , medium or even big scales….math only works at very large scales.
    as you prolly knew when tagging me for that entry, i can go on and on and on about just how idiotic and counterproductive(in myriad, not always obvious, ways) our food production is.
    Know Yer Farmer…and support them as best you can.
    including by yelling at your grocery store manager to make an effort to support local ag.

    out here, i’m too far from the big city to take advantage of alternatives like farmer’s markets, and have neither the labor or capital to gin up capacity to get in good with HEB(onerous requirements)…so i’ve been putting all my efforts into feeding ourselves…and so not needing to make those dollars in the first place that i would have spent on food. any surplus is given away(“shore up your treasures in Heaven…”) or sold in back alleys as if it were heroin.
    i’ll never make any money at this…but it’s all i got. once the current frenzy for infrastructure is complete, my labor expenditure(how much labor i have to do every day) will drop off a cliff, and i can more or less relax and let nature help me produce food, fiber and candles(lol)

    when the finely tuned, just in time, high input, low resiliency systems that Big Ag has imposed on us fail(they will), i’ll be out here, feeding my neighbors.
    i don’t expect the schadenfreude to give any comfort….just a terrible sense of lost opportunity for a better world, so a few rich bastards can get even richer, and not have to share with anyone.

    1. cocomaan

      I remember hearing the host of the Meat Eater podcast, Steve Rinella, who is a great conservationist voice, wonder aloud if the intensive push post-WW2 into factory farming/agrochemical dominance had to do with so many people experiencing food shortages during the Great Depression. If you were writing policy and developing chemicals in the 50’s or 60’s, you grew up hungry.

      Seemed like a good insight. We’re always reacting to the last crisis. 90 years ago, the crisis was caloric. Now we’re overproducing, poisoning ourselves, wasting food, and blowing out the soil.

    2. freebird

      Well said. I am traveling in AZ, where the Colorado is sucked dry by canals allowing big ag to tear up the crust of the desert to grow alfalfa for feedlots, presumably to feed LA and Phoenix, both of which should be about 1/1000 their current size. And nuts. Irrigating nut trees in vast tracts to grow nuts for export. Nuts grow all by themselves in so many other parts of the country that actually get rain. Side benefits of all this ag where none should be: dust storms from tilling where there should be none.

      1. Wukchumni

        Its nuts to grow almonds primarily for export, in essence selling water in quite condensed form when you get right down to it, but this second year of drought will cause the 666 million nut & fruit trees in the state to be watered largely from well water in a race to the bottom for profits now, an utter wasteland without water underneath forevermore for almost time immemorial.

        During the 2012-16 drought orchardists were going broke @ their old well depth of say 600 feet, so to be sure, they’d sink a new one down to 1,000 feet, and the corporation’s orchard adjacent is thinking the same thing, but they have deeper pockets, and went down to 1,200 feet. In some locations they are hitting brackish water @ these levels, as in game over. Almond trees don’t live that long and its almost as if they have it timed for the water underfoot to run out just as the trees say sayonara.

        The search for a right now plumber in Texas resembled the wait for water well driller in the Central Valley circa 2014-15 with 6 to 12 month out availability, so some enterprising Texas oil well drillers set up shop drilling water wells, which is the same set of skills, i’d imagine.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          beat me to it, regarding export.
          due to our silly system, a lot of that beef ends up somewhere else, too…because it’s seen as an elegant solution to have ships passing in the night carrying the same cargo.
          when we used to be sort of in the barbado and goat business(mom prevented any actual business management practices to occur), and i’d haul the surplus down to the auction…guys who worked there were always on about how none of that meat stayed in the USA, but went to Australia and the ME.
          the Lamb and Mutton available locally has a label that says Australia…hence the ships passing imagery.

          Hubris is forever stalked by Nemesis, and foolish creatures don’t last.

        2. fresno dan

          March 3, 2021 at 10:01 am

          One of the most disconcerting problems to Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, was he could not resolve the issue of valuation in human preferences. He described this problem in The Wealth of Nations by comparing the high value of a diamond, which is unessential to human life, to the low value of water, without which humans would die. He determined “value in use” was irrationally separated from “value in exchange.”
          Homo sapiens – what a crock. As well as the human idea that the market is efficient at allocating resources – besides the the health care “market,” is there a better example of how resources are expended wastefully other than growing water loving plants in the CA desert?


          1. Wukchumni

            Almonds are the perfect just in time profit bearing food taking 3-4 years to produce, versus also abundant pistachio trees* taking a dozen years before delivering the goods.

            As you drive through the highways and backroads of the Central Valley, sometimes you wonder if there’s a sea of almond trees extending on towards a featureless horizon?

            Citrus still pays better here, but i’ve seen mature orchards of olive trees & other income has-beens ripped out en masse and burned in a jiffy on pyres, with almonds put in their place-all turned over in a week or 2, the new gang in a turf battle occupying the high value ground.

            The value of almonds has dropped, but it still beats a plan B nut such as walnuts, which take forever to be commercially viable and aren’t worth nearly as much.

            *there’s a pistachio tree orchard of around a thousand planted in 2012 right off of Hwy 198 i’ve been enjoying
            watching them grow oh so slow though, but as in the usual tortoise & hare tale, the almond tree lives only 30 years, whereas a pistachio tree can live 10x as long.

          2. Procopius

            As nearly as I can tell, Marx and the classical economists were all hung up on the same thing. I don’t know, but I think Carl Menger was the first one to realize “price” is not “value.” It’s too bad Austrian School Economics was taken over by cultists, like the Chicago School.

    3. The Rev Kev

      I recall you saying in previous comments that in methodology, you had more in common with your grandparents generation rather than your parents generation. And I can see how in the future that the way Big Ag runs things, that it will eventually leads to food shortages and hunger riots in US cities. It could happen one day, especially with climate change. So perhaps things will have to be done growing food that would have more in common with practises from a century ago.

      But I can just imagine what would happen if you could bring back farmers form a century ago and have to explain to them how modern farms are run. They would be all “Yep” and “Uh-huh” and “I see” but as they wander away, they would be hear to mutter amongst themselves “What a bunch of dumba****!”

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        and remember the headlong rush to phosphate depletion,lol.
        using up an essential finite mineral, without which there would be no Big Ag, to make gobs more of exactly what we already have too much of…so much that it’s a curse on our health, our environment, the ocean, the ability of antibiotics to function, and the viability of our non-urban places.
        and, to boot, overusing that mineral because of “common industry practice”, such that it ends up in the gulf of mexico and poisons the fish.

        i suppose it all works out, in the end…when a substantial portion of us “useless eaters” die of ordinary soil bacterium(b/c the drugs no longer work), there’ll be less people to feed, and we won’t need to ramp up my modest methods to a global scale.
        problem solved.
        …and, it just crossed my mind: i’ve heard all my life about how Capitalism!(Holy, Holy) is the best way of allocating resources, and of planning ahead for the future…but then i merely scratch the surface of Big Ag,lol….

        and, speaking of fish….cousin sent a pic of his dad’s dockside house in Palacios, Texas….millions of floating, stinking dead fish….from the recent ice age event.
        and i hear that it’s that bad all the way down to at least Brownsville.
        Fish killed by the cold at sea are only now being washed up into the bays and sloughs.
        I look at that, and think:”at the very least, that’s fertiliser…containing phosphorus that we washed out there to begin with.”
        Circle of Life, and all.

      2. JTMcPhee

        The public’s mythology already contains the imago of this unseen reality (unseen by most folks, but clearly understood by awake people like amfortas). Check out “Soylent Green,” if not in one’s collection of reality-decoding sources.

        Soylent Corp. is the survivor of all the mergers and acquisitions in the libertarian neoliberal strife, and ends up having bled the planet of the resources it acquired. To the point most of us have heard about, where the remaining food products from Soylent, in various colors, are all that’s left to “feed” a rump population that somehow has the money to buy the corporation’s “food.” “Solent Green is people!” Manufactured from the corpses of dead humans that feed algae in vats — corpses from the mopes who dare to riot against shortage and disruption, and people who avail themselves of the convenient and pleasant suicide parlors, where on the way out they get cosseted by pretty facilitators and shown movies of how beautiful the world used to be.

    4. The Historian

      My hat’s off to you!
      I’ve been watching Modern Homesteading on Great Courses and it has blown all kinds of holes in my idea that I could raise enough food to feed myself. There is a huge amount of knowledge about subsistence farming that our generation has lost. I sincerely doubt that many of us, including those survivalists who think they will be able to live off the land if the sh*t hits the fan, would be able to do it!

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        my plan, such as it is, is to get as much productive capacity and sustainability built in now, while i have a little $$(manure, mulch, built environment/infrastructure/tools, critters)…and when TSHTF for reals, i expect plenty of people to lobby to come live and work for food out here….thereby solving any remaining labor issues.
        (Wife:”now that’s cynicism!”)

      2. Jeotsu

        We’ve been pastoral farming for the last 17 years now. Yeah, a huge learning curve. We could probably support ourselves in a manner akin to pre-industrial nomads with four seasons of food — all colour coded. Red seasons is the meat eaten in winter (to reduce stock numbers). White season is the milk in Spring. Yellow season is the cheese in Summer. Green season is the later summer/autumn crops/veggies.
        People lived quite healthily on that for thousands of years. Of course pastoralists need a big hunk of land, so best get about razing the suburbs for open land. Make your Mongol ancestors proud!

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          finished the Library Chickenhouse*, and am moving tools and implements of destruction and creation to what used to be “the New Bathroom”, tacked on to the back of the Library*(funky trailerhouse in the woods).
          There, i shall cause a Drying Room/Chick Nursery* to be made…and next to that, with all of MIL’s old windows and a bunch of ancient, odd dimensioned lumber rescued from the dump, another Greenhouse(“the Otro Greenhouse*”), in a sort of trapezoidal floorplan(to fit into that space well).
          Current greenhouse functions as a sundrying room when spring is done and the flats are cleared out.
          Collected everything from sausage making stuff(hand and electric) to a chick brooder to hand op grain mills of varying sophistication.

          It would be an enormous amount of work to feed a larger pod than we currently have(after the current infrastructure frenzy=labor savers abound)…but if need be, in TSHTF situation, i reckon i could handle 20 people on this 20 surrounding rangeland….so long as everyone pulled their weight.
          That said, it’s taken me 26 years to get to just this point…such things don’t fold up in one’s trunk for when you need them.
          Much as i loathe the woman, Hillary was right: it takes a village.
          even mountain men came down to the flat for flour, sugar, whiskey and human contact.

          *Dr Seuss inspired, perhaps, i name everything, to avoid confusion(go to the…)…Red Gate, Yellow Gate, Purple Gate…Milton/Melville Gate…Turkey House…Cousin’s Boondoggle(future bunkhouse for all those future villagers)

  7. paul

    RE:The seven key questions facing Nicola Sturgeon.

    Just watched the first half of the FM’s appearance.

    Her defense seems to be I didn’t really know what was going on while I was trying to help these poor women* and and Mr Salmond is a terrible man.
    Not backing up her statements with any evidence so far.

    *apart from when her administration took the responsibility for making it a police matter out of their hands and against their wishes.**

    **Her defence of women can be a little inconsistent.
    Witness her silence over the phone offer of ‘corrective rape’ made to Joanna Cherry, allegedly by a young man who not only has a lengthy criminal record, but is a close confidant of a westminster SNP MP.

  8. John A

    Biden has also imposed a ban on the sale of defence articles and defence services to Russia, despite the fact that Russia has not received any US arms since arms 1945.

    1. Polar Socialist

      For what it’s worth, Russian media quite openly says that Russia tolerates Israeli strikes on Syria mainly because Israel is so willing to sell them military technology it has access to but Russia doesn’t.
      I can’t assess the truthfulness of the claim, but it sounds plausible. Isn’t that the golden standard nowadays?

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        Agreed–I’ve seen similar reports. Netanyahu and VVP get along swimmingly; “birds of a feather”, perhaps. I’ve also seen from multiple sources that the Russians are quite OK with Israel supplying drones to Georgia and Ukraine, as long as they give the Russians the necessary data to disarm the drones. And the Israelis were initially furious about Russia supplying S-300s to Iran, until (…sotto voce…) the Russians provided them with necessary data to defeat the S-300 (which in any case is now superseded by the S-400, which Iran ain’t getting anytime soon). Money has no odor, and cynicism has no borders.

          1. Maxwell Johnston

            Interesting. Your link is more recent than my older observations. Just for fun, here’s Wikileaks from 2012 on some Russian-Israeli deals:


            The S-300s were delivered to Iran in 2016-17, so I’m guessing your link from 2019 comes into play afterwards, in a joint effort to control matters. Netanyahu has visited Russia many times in the past few years, so one can assume that these sorts of discussions are ongoing.

    2. zagonostra

      There is a whole period in U.S. History that has been memory holed when it comes to Russia that I just learned about recently and makes me even more puzzled over Russiagate and the virulent antipathy toward that country by our elites.

      Even though Wiki only provides one sentence (“In 1863, the Russian Navy’s Baltic and Pacific fleets wintered in the American ports of New York and San Francisco”) when you look up Alexander II, if it weren’t for Russian support for Lincoln, Great Britain and France would have carved up the U.S. in 1863. In short, Russia was instrumental in keeping the U.S. from falling apart. I don’t recall any history course that I took that covered the Civil War while I was in school mentioning this.

      Russia was not only an ally during the WWII, their military assistance goes all the way back to 1812 and the defeat of Napoleon.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Bill Clinton is a Southern Democrat who wrecked Russia in the 90’s. I mean why do you assume the sailing of the White Fleet was forgotten. Slave power didn’t end. It just morphed, and the old enemies are still enemies.

        The UK and France likely wouldn’t have intervened despite elite support. The street support wasn’t there, and the observers knew the Union street reaction would have been something else. Say good bye to Canada and any Caribbean asset. Preparations for a throw down with Russia were more pressing. And well, Central Europe was rapidly changing.

        1. JTMcPhee

          The Great Game is still the model for and driver of most “diplomacy” and the thought traps that lie behind what seems to me to just be a global-scale “Game of RISK ™.”

          How the planet dies… it was such a nice world, full of so much potential for good…

      2. Swamp Yankee

        As I’ve said on other comment threads — I am all for better relations with Russia, but this idea that it was the Russian fleet that saved the Union from Anglo-French intervention just doesn’t pass muster.

        For one thing, the Union was a considerable naval power; it really didn’t need Russian help. The Russians were in neutral ports in case Crimean War 2.0 broke out, the better to attack UK and French shipping. To offer a sop to Northern opinion was an ancillary benefit at best.

        Second, it was the success of Northern arms, or rather the failure of Confederate arms, that nixed UK-French intervention. If Mead loses Gettysburg, it’s likely either Britain or France recognize the Confederacy.

        So while it’s a nice corrective to Russophobia to note that they were on our side, at least in sentiment, in the 1860s, the idea that, absent Russian squadrons in NYC and SF, the Union is dismembered, simply lacks evidentiary support, and is ahistorical.

        We don’t want to make the same presentist mistakes that the 1619 Project made. The Russian role in the Civil War was minor — it was ultimately Northern industrial capacity that prevents the dismemberment of the Union, not a handful of Russian warships.

      3. Ranger Rick

        I took a course on the history of US-Russia relations once. It’s an exceedingly convoluted tale, as all good ones are. One of my favorite parts is the story of a Russian immigrant who would later go on to become a general in the Civil War who was famous for breaking with the idea that any war could be civil. The abject failure of Russian diplomacy in Hawaii (the kingdom) is also good for a chuckle, as is the first Cold War the US had with Russia (not to say that the history of the Tlingit and other peoples in Alaska who were caught between the two powers isn’t a sad and ultimately tragic one). The history of railroads in Russia is also inextricably linked with early US industrial interests and people do tend to overlook the time the US invaded Russia during the Revolution.

      4. The Rev Kev

        Here is a page that talks about it more and if you look, you will find graves of Russian sailors that passed away while on duty and are buried in America. There are some buried in San Francisco too I think. It would certainly make a good book or even novel to read about these Russian squadrons. The naval power sent was not that great but the significance of the diplomatic support that it represented was priceless to Lincoln and the Union. Can you imagine what would have happened if the British and the French had sent a naval squadron to the Confederacy at the time? If Lee had won at Gettysburg, it might have happened-

      5. jrkrideau

        Russia was not only an ally during the WWII, their military assistance goes all the way back to 1812 and the defeat of Napoleon.

        Well from my point of view as a member of the Commonwealth, yes. I do not think the USA was at war with France in 1812–1815.

    3. Doc Octogon

      Received? Nay. Smuggled? Maybe. Bolometric focal plane arrays: China, Taiwan, Japan, the UK, and the US makes them. Russia can not. A Franco-Russian firm WAS developing the means up until the sanctions. [Not sure why the Russian military is such a hot topic here; I’d think business opportunities would be limited in English-speaking circles.]

      Microbolometers. Used in the new generation thermal weapon sights. General manufacturing issues include, one, the average age for a Russian industrial engineer is 50 instead of 30-40. And two, higher inflation in the economy zaps the long-term strategic investment in emerging technologies before an operation can be scaled-up to produce a million devices over ten-years before the device becomes obsolete.

      Russian rotary pilots are wearing vintage NVG’s produced in the 90s and crashing at night in the Syrian desert. It’s why the Mi-28N is now the the Mi-28NM: new helmet optics mounts. But Russia plans to make only 14 per year [see above]. About 1.3 choppers per time zone per year. Boeing exported at least 50 new Apaches in 2020 alone. Kuwait just bought 24 Apaches for 2021.

      1. Procopius

        Yes, it’s amazing that the media are able to pretend the Russian Federation is a military superpower, capable of reaching the English Channel in less than a month. It’s important not to forget, though, that they have a large supply of nuclear warheads, and they may have the capacity to deliver some of them to Continental US. They should not be casually provoked.

    4. jrkrideau

      Finding parts for those Studebakers on the black market is going to be a real brute.

  9. Wukchumni

    If I ran the zoo
    I’ll tell you what i’d do
    I’d be careful with snakes
    Who 70 years after publication
    Canceled amid claims of racial mistakes

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’m surprised that his first book – “The Pocket Book of Boners” – was not cancelled as well for being too suggestive. Kinda weak tea for Biden to also cancel Dr. Seuss but it will be a great recruiter for the Republican’s cause between now and the mid-terms as in “Look! The Democrats want to cancel your childhood!”

      1. Wukchumni

        Is our cancel culture (the phenomenon isn’t happening elsewhere all that much in our peer countries, is it?) kinda sorta our sorry version of the Cultural Revolution in China with an odd emphasis on placing present moral values on those so charged in retrospect.

        I see Abraham Lincoln is getting canceled in SF, is anything sacred?

        Lets turn things around with the recently canceled John Muir, who came to fame in the 1890’s, and practically every woman dressed today would be utterly scandalous back in his time, how dare they go out in public!

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Canceling Seuss while the police run amok…except for the Mulberry Street one, weren’t the books in question canceled already? Why did the Loudon County Schools have them? Oh right , Loudon County.

        1. josh

          “Cancel” is such a stupid term for this. Yes, our casual racism is bad and it needs to change. That means, among other things, don’t read racist junk to kids. If you are American, your childhood was steeped in it and absolutely does require critical re-evaluation.

            1. Phillip Cross

              Willful ignorance, and obtuseness is a winning rhetorical device in your circles. i presume?

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            among other things, don’t read racist junk to kids

            I pointed out the problem is why did the Loudon County schools have to ban the books they shouldn’t have.

            If you are American,

            Yeah, have you ever been to really anywhere else? Its not just America.

            1. marym

              They didn’t ban the books.
              “We continue to encourage our young readers to read all types of books that are inclusive, diverse and reflective of our student community, not simply celebrate Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss books have not been banned and are available to students in our libraries and classrooms, however, Dr. Seuss and his books are no longer the emphasis of Read Across America Day in Loudoun County Public Schools.”

              (All the stuff after the ? seems to be necessary for the link to work. Sorry)

              1. Aumua

                Shhh no they’re BANNING and BURNING the books! Everyone take your pants off and put them on your heads, and run around waving your arms! Lets have 4 different discussion threads about it in every blog post for days on end.

                Cancel culture! Wokeism! IDPOL! Oh my…

          2. Phillip Cross

            When you have spent your entire life steeped in propaganda about how exceptional your country is, and how special you are as an individual, the message that you were in fact a benefactor of a viciously cruel and racist regime, that has killed and immiserated millions of your fellow humans since its inception, is a particularly bitter pill to swallow.

            It’s hardly surprising that many deeply hypnotized people, who have benefited from this asymmetry for generations, would rather there not be any critical re-evaluation.

            1. QuicksilverMessenger

              Slight tangent- How would one know if one were hypnotized, or indeed not? I presume you take it that you yourself are not under ‘deep hypnosis’. How do you know? And what is hypnosis? Perhaps this was just a figure of speech, and I get that, but it’s a very interesting question, at least for me.

              1. Phillip Cross

                Good question.

                I think that if you hold beliefs about subjective matters with certainty, you’ve probably been hypnotized.

          3. JTMcPhee

            And we have the self-appointed rectors, the new Red Guards of the Exceptional Imperial Cultural Revolution, the activation of which will, as clearly happened in China, extirpate all Wrongthought from the populace.

            For sure, “Green Eggs and Ham” will not be the new Little Red Book. Wonder what the text we will all be expected to read, learn and inwardly digest, as we do our critical self-re-evaluation, will be? Or will it be a moving target, as seems to be the case, as new deviances from Goodthink are labeled and rectified?

          4. ChrisPacific

            Or: read it to them, but point out where it’s racist and why. Pretending things don’t exist doesn’t make them go away.

            The whole business about dropping ‘Huckleberry Finn’ is a great example. [spoiler alert] You’d be hard-pressed to find a more searing indictment of slavery and racism than the passage where Huck, a child, reflects on how he is helping Jim (considered property in the eyes of the law) to ‘steal’ himself from his owners, thereby committing a sin. Because he can’t bring himself to turn Jim in and repent, which he has been taught is a prerequisite for forgiveness of sins and entrance into Heaven, he matter-of-factly concludes that he is damned, and if that’s the price of helping his friend then so be it (“All right then, I’ll go to hell.”) Yes, Twain (being of his time) is guilty of some racial stereotyping himself, but is it really worth excising that passage from modern education?

  10. timbers

    Stimulus checks have Americans in agreement, but we’re bitterly split on everything else Study Finds. Resilc: “I am all for New England LLC.”

    A co worker with Trump proclivities – but by no means a standard cutout you can beg because his views cross sacred partisan lines on both sides like he supports the minimum wage hike Dems just killed but excitedly informs me Trump is running in 2024 – says Congress should pay $2,000 every month to those who need it.

    And to think Bill Clinton killed welfare.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “New evidence shows coronavirus can infect and kill heart muscle cells”

    This is not good. Not good at all. It is well known that Coronavirus will scar your lungs as if you were a severe smoker but to actually attack the heart muscles? Seriously? We are not yet at that point but the time will come when we refer to some people as the “Covid Generation” to describe those – after the pandemic passes – to people who have been permanently damaged by this virus. Employers will not want to hire them, some families will not want to be burdened with their future care, and governments around the world will spend the next several decades trying to pretend that this is not a thing so that they can avoid paying for their care.

    1. HotFlash

      And insurers will not want to insure them. Will Covid => Obamacare for all? Not quite a silver lining.

  12. cocomaan

    FBI Director Wray says domestic terrorism cases have soared to 2,000 in recent months Washington Post (furzy)

    I still fondly remember when the FBI reported that they stopped another nice round number of terrorism cases, 50, back in 2012. Remember Islamic terrorism? I barely do at this point.

    I couldn’t get past the WaPo paywall, but I assume Wray didn’t say “1,874 cases of domestic terrorism.” God forbid some specificity from unelected bureaucrats.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      What wray did say, when asked directly, is that the fbi found no “evidence” that antifa or any “left-wing” groups were involved in the Jan. 6 riots, but they were looking hard.

      This is a rather remarkable soundbite all things considered.

      Today, during his congressional testimony FBI Director Chris Wray was asked whether Antifa members participated in the January 6th Capitol Hill riot. Director Wray says the FBI “has seen no evidence” of Antifa participating. However, on January 14th the FBI literally arrested Antifa leader John Sullivan for his role in the planning, coordination and participation in the January 6th Capitol Hill riot.
      On the day of the January 6th riot operation Sullivan admitted publicly, via social media, his intent to infiltrate the large crowd by posing as a supporter of President Trump.

      Why anyone believes a word that comes out of wray’s mouth, on any subject, is beyond comprehension. You’d be more likely get an accurate picture of any situation on which he, or any other fbi spokesperson comments, by assuming the exact opposite of what they say is “true.”

      1. lyman alpha blob

        That Sullivan character is very interesting, but I don’t believe that he’s an antifa leader based on what I’ve read previously about him. He’s more likely to be affiliated with the cops. Of course, I have long argued that antifa are cops, seeing as how they just never seem to be able to arrest any of these black clad window breaking do gooders.

        1. ambrit

          A tell for me is that no so called ‘Antifa’ style groups have established ‘commandos’ to find and snatch some of those “Men in Black” for interrogation. This speaks to a lack of ‘seriousness.’

      2. marym

        “…Sullivan is a curious figure who is treated with suspicion or outright hostility by a number of left-wing organizers associated with Black Lives Matter and anti-fascism in Utah, California, and the Pacific Northwest.”

        Months before Sullivan embedded himself in the right-wing mob that broke into Congress, a racial justice activist in Portland warned members of the movement “to not associate with Activist John”…”

        1. Jonhoops

          And as I recall his brother is the founder of Blacks for Trump or some such organization. His dad is a white conservative Mormon high ranking military man, who adopted the brothers.

          A curious character indeed, all the hallmarks of a Govt. provocateur. He also has no visible means of support, yet is traveling around the country attending BLM rallies etc. Makes you go… hmmm.

      3. Aumua

        Why anyone believes a word that comes out of wray’s mouth, on any subject, is beyond comprehension.

        Why anyone believes a word that comes out of a site like conservative treehouse is a mystery to me, but well here we are. Do you really think they are painting an accurate, unbiased picture here?

    2. JBird4049

      “I have here in my hand a list of 205 [State Department employees] that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy of the State Department.”

      Senator Joseph McCarthy

    3. lyman alpha blob

      Islamic terrorism has been rebranded. It’s now back to “freedom fighters” again like it was in the 80s, or “moderate rebels” – didn’t you get the memo? Uncle Sam is in league with the Queen of Hearts and the headchoppers are our friends again.

      A wise Cassandra tried to warn us way back then but we wouldn’t listen… ;)

      Playing with the queen of hearts
      Knowing it ain’t really smart
      The joker ain’t the only fool
      Who’ll do anything for you

  13. Carolinian

    Well thought crime laws as such aren’t on the books just yet. Sounds like he needs a decent lawyer.

    As for the FBI and pre-crime, they’ve been doing it for their entire existence. J. Edgar Hoover was the ultimate paranoid. Given his own various skeletons he clearly thought everyone else had them too.

    Personally I think Pelosi and company are riding for a fall on this and, just as Tailgunner Joe ended in disgrace, they will as well.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “California’s Pacific Coast Highway is falling into the ocean. Is this the end of the road for one of America’s most scenic drives?”

    This is a shame this as you see bits of this road in various films and it always looks so scenic. California State Route 1 actually stared off as a series of separate roads and it was not til the 50s onward that it was decided to finally fill in the gaps between some of these roads. Looks like to an extent that this highway will return to what it was once and will no longer be unified. Of course in a great Californian tradition, convict labor from Folsom prison were paid 35 cents per day to help build the roadway in some parts. So here is a video with music to remember this highway by-

    1. Carolinian

      Backgrounders on this tell us that the road has been falling in places ever since built. Good thing I didn’t know when I did travel on it years ago as I’m already a bit acrophobic. I let my brother do the driving.

    2. Pookah Harvey

      If corporations are people, then why when they commit crimes and are convicted, are they not “incarcerated”? The corporation should be considered a prisoner. The government can then pay them $0.35 per hour for their productive capacity. All corporate profits are given to the government during this incarceration and the stockholders can share the prisoner’s pay.
      It’s just a thought.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        it would save space, too.
        to my knowledge, most incorporation papers would fit into a bread box.
        does the caymans, pulau, etc have extradition for non-corporeal “persons”?
        and where is Mr Exxon?
        last i saw “him”, he was buying up land adjacent to the Woodlands, Teas.

        (i looked into this, once, during my econ autodidactery…Mr Exxon “lives” in every state, and most countries, so “he” can “move” across borders at will(“changing domicile”) whenever the taxman or regulators show up)

      2. Maritimer

        And, “If corporations are people,…”, then why are people not corporations? Then, I would get all those tax deductions, shelters, etc For example, my marriage is a Partnership and all costs (dating, etc.) to initiate and form (wedding, etc.) would be deductible. Maintenance also, vacations, gifts, etc. Children are investments, deduct all related expenses. Deduct all housing, transportation, feeding, etc. for Me, Corporation.

        It is astounding that Sanders, Warren, AOC, never even suggest this idea. It is staring them right in the face!

      3. John Anthony La Pietra

        My turn: if corporations are people, how can they be owned?

        Are they “born” guilty of crimes serious enough to justify being sentenced to involuntary servitude?

        Or maybe they’re just immature, and their boards of directors are in loco parentis. . . .

        (But in that case, shouldn’t they reach maturity at some age and go out into the world on their own as employee-run co-ops?)

    3. HotFlash

      A favourite from my early youth, read aloud to me before I could read it on my own, was Little Brown Koko. They were the first Negroes blacks Blacks I ever met in my little midwestern life, and and I loved them dearly. Not a bad first impression, I would think.

      All this (at the risk of sounding sexist) hysterical cancelling reminds me of Away with Rum:

      We never eat cookies because they have yeast
      And the tiniest bit turns a man to a beast.
      Can you imagine a sadder disgrace
      Than a man in the gutter with crumbs on his face?

  15. petal

    Yesterday morning first thing I went on alibris and ordered 5 of the 6 Seuss books that will no longer be published. By the time I went to bed last night, 4 of the 5 orders had been cancelled. The other one has shipped out. I figure they were pulled down by the sellers and put up on ebay where books were going for more than $600, some listed above $1000. It was a sad day. Mulberry Street and If I Ran the Zoo were staples when I was a kid. Sad I won’t even have the option of being able to read them to my (future) kid. I hope there is a wicked backlash. Do these people realise the damage they are doing to their cause, or by erasing books they think they get the upper hand and win because they’ll influence future generations of little kids?

      1. Maya

        Quite ironic since one of the Dr. Seuss books talks about how the Red Star-Belly Sneetches don’t like playing with the Plain-Belly Sneetches. The Star-Belly Sneetches think they are better than the Plain-Belly Sneetches.

        Juxtapose that with the Kamalacreature’s constant yammering about how some colors of stars are more deserving of power than others and deserve reparations.

    1. Geo

      I guess it’s easier to ban books than it is to teach critical thinking.

      I collect weird old books. One in particular is from 1854 and is a book for slave owners to learn how to teach scripture to their slaves. Each sermon is basically: “Your mortal life is terrible but you’ll find reward in heaven.” Reading this book didn’t make me into a pro-slavery Bible-thumper, it allowed me to better understand the ways in which religious indoctrination was used in the field (literally, in this case) to subjugate an entire swath of people and convince the oppressors they were doing “the Lord’s work”.

      Same goes for so many of the old books I’ve read. Whether it’s the ones promoting the indigenous re-education schools (“kill the savage, save the man” is a term used often in them), ones about women’s psychology from the 1800’s where they’re described as incapable of higher thought, and so much more. All have allowed me to better understand the concepts of patriarchy and white supremacy.

      Erasing these books from the past could potentially create a false understanding of just how terribly bigoted and oppressive our past was and how difficult the fight to achieve an bit of agency and equality has been for marginalized groups.

      But, again, that would require efforts to teach critical thinking skills. And in a society where memes are mistaken for research, maybe just banning “bad stuff” is the best solution our underdeveloped brains can handle?

      And I’m not exactly a smart person so I’m not accusing others of being dumb. I’m sure in many ways they can run circles around me intellectually. I was just lucky to have some experiences as a kid that helped teach me how to see beyond preconceived perceptions and look for what is actually there. Something that requires being highly critical of the self first before directing the critical thought outward. Not a very appreciated method in an era obsessed with self-affirmation and Objectivism.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i like weird books, too.
        (“In Watermelon Sugar the deeds were done and done again as my life is done in watermelon sugar.” –
        …and strive for comprehensiveness in my Library.
        it contains much DIY/ancient wisdom/phronesis, Classics, a large section on Philosophy, an even larger section on Comparative Religion…and a section of Bad Ideas: containing things like the whole Left Behind series, Mein Kampf, the Late Great Planet Earth and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion…
        I want to get all around things, so i can better understand them…and i can’t do that with what some guy on youtube says Hitler talked about.
        I have neither an high school, nor a college diploma…although i attended both for a time…but i read everything.
        I reckon the world needs more autodidactic polymaths.

        prolly the weirdest book in my Library is a little paperback introduction to chemical weapons from the 50’s…with smiling children and their grey suited dads having fun in the kitchen making napalm.
        it was put out by the DOD, i think, as part of some misguided Civil Defense effort.
        found it in my grandma’s pile of junk after she died…
        i keep it on the shelf with Che and Mao’s Guerilla Warfare books, a Swiss Army manual for civil resistance(!–also from the 50’s) and the various Anarchist Cookbooks.
        (cop friend(one of my hunters) saw that shelf while perusing the Library…said:”damn! the secret police would not like all that!”)

        1. ambrit

          I know what you mean about ‘assimilated’ friends and acquaintances. I once made a passing reference to the practice of grafting a hops vine onto a cannabis root to make a “weaponized beer ingredient” to my brother-in-law the lawman. He remarked that; “You do know what I do for a living, don’t you?” I retorted with; “It doesn’t have to be your entire life you know. It’s only a job.” He gave me the classic ‘funny look’ and changed the subject.
          I dearly love the Anarchist’s Cookbook. The DoD has published some truly subversive literature over the years. The Navy has put out some of the best SHTF construction manuals. I remember one about building things out of nothing longer than three feet, some sort of packing crate dimension common at the time.
          Stay safe!

        2. chuck roast

          I have an interesting record that is certainly cancelable. It’s Message to the Grassroots from Malcolm X on Charisma Records (c) 1970 and distributed by Platinum Entertainment. I had a record store back in the day, and I used to loan it to HS and Jr. HS teachers (in exchange for their first born) for play in their classrooms. It was consistent with my business plan which was to subvert the youth of America and pay the rent at the same time. Side 1 contains: Excerpts From an Address Delivered at King Solomon’s Baptist Church, Detroit, Michigan, November 10, 1963 to the Northern Grass Roots Leadership Conference. Side 2 is a continuation of the address. This was of course way before Malcolm’s trip to Mecca and he was enthralled with Elijah Mohammed. It’s wicked radical fire & brimstone.

  16. Tom Stone

    The PCH is spectacular.
    I have ridden it on a motorcycle fro LA to Oregon back in the 70’s, make it in a convertible or on a bike if you can.
    And when I read Amforta’s post I think of the little ways I have improved the soil when I have had the chance, the 3,000 daffodils I planted on a Sonoma County hillside in 2017 are making a nice show.
    “Mulch, Mulch, Mulch” is as true for gardening as
    “Location, Location, Location” is for Real Estate

  17. lyman alpha blob

    RE: First-of-its-kind trial finds psychedelic microdosing is equal to placebo

    But –

    So the team from Imperial College London developed a unique self-blinding protocol to solve the problem. Volunteers, who self-report personal microdosing practice, were directed to create their own collection of microdoses and placebos.

    The gel-caps were then placed into envelopes marked with QR codes. The envelopes are shuffled and the volunteers are subsequently blinded from what they are taking. Only the researchers, via the QR codes, can track the placebos from the active doses.

    Odd way to run a study, no? How can we be sure those self-reporting volunteers with a proclivity for hallucinogenics didn’t dose the placebos to make the study more fun? Definitely more research needed!

    1. Phillip Cross

      If microdosing is proven to be as useless as homeopathic dilutions, can we expect overpriced, weak hallucinogenics to soon be legalized, and mass-marketed with the rest of the snake oil at GNC, Goop and CVS?

    2. Aumua

      Well microdosing is for wimps who can’t handle a real heroic dose anyway. I mean if you really want to see what it has to show you…

      1. ambrit

        Add to that the necessity of preparation beforehand. Strong ‘trips’ are not recreational at all. They are properly psychological learning exercises.
        It’s like the ending of the old classic film, “Forbidden Planet.” Monsters from the Id never rest.

  18. Wukchumni

    Not to pile on, but words have it he was a phony doctor, too.

    Today is your day
    You’re off to great places
    You’re off and away

    You’ve got brains in your head
    You’ve got feet in your shoes
    You can steer yourself any
    Direction you choose

    You’re on your own
    And you know what you know
    And you are the guy
    Who’ll decide where you go

    Out there things can happen
    And frequently do
    To people as brainy
    And footsy as you

    And will you succeed?
    Yes you will indeed!
    (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed)

    You’re off to great places
    Today is your day
    Your mountain is waiting
    Go, get on your way!”

    Another great book for young minds is C D B! by William Steig.

    I loved it as a youngin’ and have given many copies to families so as to corrupt their progeny into figuring out letter games within.

    Will it too be canceled for not being wordist enough?

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Have the idpol police noticed Shel yet? Now that you mention it, I’m surprised he hasn’t been cancelled. His poetry didn’t stop at Where the Sidewallk Ends and The Giving Tree – he also wrote the lyrics for a lot of country sings including some “novelty” songs recorded by David Allen Coe that are pretty nasty.

        1. ambrit

          Shel spoke truth to both Power and the Powerless.
          David Allen Coe does perform some quite Non-PC barroom sing along tunes.
          The big reveal for me when I was first introduced to the “Country and Western Outlaws Music” milieu was that there were very distinct sub-cultures in society that were not beholden to the ‘Official’ PMC Narrative.
          In diversity is strength.
          Monocultures can collapse and die suddenly and without warning.

        2. wilroncanada

          I remember
          Ever since my masochistic baby went and left me
          I’ve got nothing to hit but the walls

  19. semiconscious

    re: Self-harm claims rise by 333% and overdoses are up 120% among 13 to 18-year-olds: The shocking toll of the pandemic on teenagers’ mental health is revealed Daily Mail

    & again: a ‘pandemic’ do not produce results such as these. it’s government mandated general lockdowns in response to a pandemic that do this. such lockdowns have never been common practice, or ever even suggested as a possibility:

    More evidence against the unexpected and unprecedented world and WHO response to the crisis in 2020 is provided in this 91-page 2019 WHO report titled “Non-pharmaceutical public health measures for mitigating the risk and impact of epidemic and pandemic influenza”. The word “lockdown” (one form of a non-pharmaceutical intervention or NPI) does not appear in this report. Nor does the WHO report even recommend masks (a favourite 2020 NPI) in case of an epidemic, though it does advocate their use for symptomatic individuals.

    On the effect of NPIs, the report stated: “The evidence base on the effectiveness of NPIs in community settings is limited, and the overall quality of evidence was very low for most interventions. There have been a number of high-quality randomised controlled trials (RCTs) demonstrating that personal protective measures such as hand hygiene and face masks have, at best, a small effect on influenza transmission, although higher compliance in a severe pandemic might improve effectiveness.” (emphasis added). Yet, for Covid-19, NPIs were recommended in bundles by WHO and other experts.

    1. flora

      This is an interesting take by an Indian writer about all the measures. shorter: tech oligarchs are using C19 for their own ends, their ‘great reset’ and have cowed (intimidated) democratic govts and have suppressed normal media questioning for their own ends.

      There’s a lot here that sounds about right in the economics, work and wages, and social area, and some stuff that sounds questionable, but it’s not denialism, imo.

      1. semiconscious

        flora –

        wow! excellent article – thanks much!..

        the toll that these lockdowns have taken on children (the least likely population to be directly affected by the virus) is unforgivable. that versions of what, under any other circumstances, could easily be described as ‘child abuse’, have actually been formalized is simply stupefying…

        1. R

          I stopped reading this interesting article at the antiscience nonsense “casedemic”. This was the claim for the pandemic being an artefact of PCR tests detecting sequences of inactive viral DNA. Unfortunately the PCR test-confirmed incidence closely tracks the clinical diagnosis incidence, except for asymptomatic patients, and individual patient disease status during disease course.

          1. flora

            That’s a reasonable response to your objection. However, it’s very interesting that the US, UK, EU, and other countries new case rates started falling at the end of January at almost the same rate and the same downward arc shortly after the number of cycles in the PCR test was reduced from over 40 to under 35 or 30 in many of those countries. It’s only a correlation, but an interesting one. WHO sent out a memo* in mid- January reminding med facilities that higher PCR cycles above a certain threshold did not increase accuracy and could increase false positives by amplifying weak bio-signals which, without amplification, would normally not indicate an infectious state of disease. Were ‘asymptomatic cases’ actually false positives signaled with the higher cycle PCR tests?


          2. Cuibono

            the cases in fact do NOT correspond in some sort of close match to the number of truly sick if you take a global perspective. Far from it as even a cursory glance can show. IFRs and CFRs vary widely and at least some part of that is likely what is defined as a case.

            now it should be said that if we lower the cycle counts above which we wont call something a case, then the CFR will go up.

            and to be clear we have a few situations: true PCR tests that reflect a past infection no longer transmissible and of no clinical concern;False positive PCRs; and true active infections. We have no readily available reliable way to distinguish these three in the absence of clear symptomatolgy or CT/lab findings. But the symptoms are so protean that we often cant say for sure.

            But most people would be surprised to learn just how common false positive tests are.

  20. flora

    re: Are the day’s of the “K-shaped” con finally over? -Taibbi

    Quote from the full article:

    For decades now, we’ve watched our politicians continually make decisions that widened wealth and influence divides, while blowing off possibilities of backlash from below. For a long time, there was a rationale behind this, because the big-money capture of both parties left the Volk without obvious avenues for revolt. The two parties didn’t need to govern with the bottom half of the country in mind, so they didn’t. They continued their myopia even through disasters like the Trump election.

    So of course, the Dems are desperate to pass a new domestic terrism bill that will essentially criminalize peaceful protests. ( That’s quite an act. What do you call it? /s)

    Adding: here’s a link to Taibbis shorter public excerpt from his longer article:

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Thanks for the link, flora.

      I have a question on substack in general – In today’s links I hit a paywall on both the Greenwald and Taibbi articles. When I first heard about them going to substack I was going to pony up for a subscription, but then I kept seeing substack links to them at NC that didn’t have a paywall. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t – does the paywall get removed after a certain period of time or are just certain longer pieces behind the paywall? And if you do subscribe to substack, do you have to pay separately for each person you want to read? Any info from subscribers would be much appreciated!

      1. flora

        I subscribe to both taibbi and greenwald. Some of their posts are free and some are behind the paywall. (Why would anyone subscribe if everything was free?) Some of Taibbi’s paywalled articles also have a shorter free excerpt of same. Seems to be up to each substack writer how they handle their articles’ release on their substack site. And, yes, each author has his own subscription rules and rates, and requires individual subscriptions for their paywalled articles.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Thanks flora – I’ll look into getting subscriptions. They are among the few (like NC) that I’m willing to pay to read.

    2. ambrit

      When I hit that paywall, I immediately thought how ironically appropriate it was that this was listed under “Class Warfare.”

      1. Late Introvert

        The Bolsheviki published all of their articles in newspapers that were not free. Just sayin’.

  21. ProNewerDeal

    Do Bio/Med professionals on this site like IM_Doc or Ignacio have a take on the newly FDA-approved Johnson adenovirus viral vector vaccine?

    My understanding is that Johnson requires merely regular refrigeration, in contrast to Pfizer & Moderna high-tech refrigeration. Perhaps targeting a lower-tech site to get the vaccine, like a grocery pharmacy, would be a way to ensure getting the Johnson vaccine?

  22. zagonostra

    Some harsh words for the Dems and Sanders over the $15 MinWage from WSWS. Words which came from a not so liked comedian some time back…

    “…the very fact that an increase in the minimum wage from the current extreme poverty-level wage has been torpedoed by the Democrats, under such extraordinarily dire conditions, only underscores the bankruptcy of the entire political system and its contempt for the great majority of the population.

    With Democratic Party control of both chambers of Congress and the executive branch, they have been forced to resort to administrative means and technicalities to cover over their right-wing policies.

    …the real role of Senator Bernie Sanders and his fellow “progressives” as a critical part of the Democratic Party operation. Their political function is to provide a left gloss to the party as it moves ever more sharply to the right…The peak of his political career stretched throughout his 2016 and 2020 presidential runs and were waged under the banner of “political revolution.”

    Both campaigns ended in fawning endorsements and rigorous campaigning for two of the most right-wing candidates the Democratic Party has ever produced: in 2016 Hillary Clinton, and in 2020 Biden.

    As payment for his services, Sanders now holds a top position in the Democratic leadership as chair of the Senate Budget Committee. Sanders was given the position because he is a trusted member of the Democratic Party apparatus. If proof of his allegiances is required, one must look no further than the current debate on the minimum wage. Despite all of his bluster, Sanders’ “political revolution” has proven incapable of achieving even the most minimal social reforms.

    The Democratic Party is subservient to the interests of the financial oligarchy, and, therefore, categorically opposed to any significant measures to address the needs of the working class.

    1. km

      If Trump (anyone else Team R) were president today, how much you wanna bet that Team D would suddenly be all in for a $15.00 minimum wage?

      No, that is not an endorsement of Trump or of Team R.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        With a split Senate and Trump, its too much risk. My guess is Team Blue would have Clyburn argue passionately for reparations. Coates would run a think piece on it. Then they would gripe about unions.

    2. Bruno

      This rhetorical “rrrevolutionism” should be read in conjunction with today’s WSWS editorial scabbing (I use that ugly word quite advisedly) on the Bessemer Amazon warehouse proletarians. These are pseudo-trotskyists whose whole notion of the proletariat is that of a “Rank and File,” a regiment-ed labor battalion.

      1. JBird4049

        I respectfully disagree. The main point of the article is how the leadership of the unions have been co-opted the companies as well as the government, which is true especially of teachers unions and the auto manufactures. In Mexico, the recognized unions are those official unions allied with the government.

        The United States government with the help of the Democratic and Republican Parties and their web of NGOs, foundations, and think tanks is very, very, very good at subverting movements and installing spies and government agents. It’s been doing so for at least sixty years. The anti-war, civil rights, and feminist movements were thoroughly infested and the latter two were certainly deflected from their goals I offer as evidence for the modern efforts the leader of the Proud Boys and the leadership of the national body of the BLM.

        So, while WSWS might be gaslighting, it is just as likely that they are right. If President Biden can not be bothered to fight for the $15 minimum wage or even those $2000, but really $1400 checks, as well as increasing the restrictions for them, but is very willing to go to push for a union drive on a major Democratic donor? After forty plus years of, at best, extremely tepid support for unions?

        Could be those workers are being the ones gaslight by Amazon, the union leadership, and the President. People do recall what happened to Senator Sanders twice, right? And all those presidential candidates who just happened to drop out of the race at the same time and with Kamala Harris being nominated for the vice presidency?

  23. lobelia

    Re: Self-harm claims rise by 333% and overdoses are up 120% among 13 to 18-year-olds: The shocking toll of the pandemic on teenagers’ mental health is revealed Daily Mail

    Those tragic figures brought something I saw headlined elsewhere yesterday morning to mind. It was certainly kept quiet, outside of NBC it looks like the only Mainstream News to carry it was from the UK: the Independent; and The Daily Mail (of course, but even there it quickly sunk below the horizon of the front online page). Also, both the original Daily Mail piece and the NBC piece have been edited from their original versions yesterday, which included more employee input, particularly regarding the dangerous area from which the employee jumped. I should have taken a screenshot so I could remember the exact quote but was way too busy. This is the edited version:

    03/02/21 Amazon worker died by suicide at Las Vegas facility

    A man who appeared to have “fallen or jumped” was pronounced dead inside an Amazon facility in North Las Vegas, Nevada, early Monday, police said. The coroner later determined the man died by suicide.

    It should be a Felony when a company treats its employees so inhumanely that they don’t want to live anymore. It’s high time our bipartisan morticians politicians stop naming United States Post Offices they actually want to destroy and do something concrete about Bezos and his ilk. It’s not like they don’t know about this, it’s been happening repeatedly at Amazon, for years.

    03/11/19 Working at Amazon: 189 Suicide Attempts, Mental Health Episodes Reportedly Took Place Over Five Years

    At least 189 instances of “suicide attempts, suicidal thoughts and other mental health episodes” prompted emergency responses at Amazon warehouses between October 2013 and October 2018, The Daily Beast reported.

    The 189 calls about Amazon employees, which Amazon tracked through police reports and emergency call logs, came from 46 Amazon warehouses in 17 states. These 46 facilities make up a quarter of such spaces around the country. Calls to 911 dispatchers detailed incidents in which Amazon workers tried to cut themselves and talked about killing themselves.

    Can’t imagine what the figure would have been if they’d been able to get the data for 100% of those facilities, versus a quarter of them.

    gotta run

  24. Amfortas the hippie

    the NBC article on the secret rejiggering of obamacare doesn’t mention the words “co-pay” or “deductable”.
    talks a lot about subsidies for Premiums…but in my limited experience, it’s the former 2 that get ya.
    (as well as providing an obscuring cloud as to just how much is coming out of your pocket…when we went through the ISD plans with the lady at the school office who handles all than mess, i wanted to burn something…hypercomplexity covers the myriad ways you get screwed)

    1. Jason Boxman

      That was my thought as well. What good is a plan that is entirely paid for with subsidies, if the deductible is 10k? That’s still useless insurance.

    2. Lee

      The tell:

      “And industry groups, which spent tens of millions of dollars on ads and lobbying campaigns against previous Democratic health care proposals, are largely supportive this time….

      The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and top lobbying groups representing insurers, hospitals and doctors have all endorsed the measures, which would pump more money into the system without asking them to cut costs or pay new taxes.”

    3. Ranger Rick

      The “Cadillac tax” is the other shoe people are waiting to drop.

      The tax was always an unpopular and controversial part of the 2010 health law, because the expectation was that employers would cut benefits to avoid the tax. Still, ACA backers initially said the tax was necessary to help pay for the law’s nearly $1 trillion cost and help stem the use of what was seen as potentially unnecessary care.

      Zero-deductible health insurance disappeared the moment that the ACA passed.

  25. Wukchumni

    The horror stories of communities across the country dealing with a rash of catalytic converter thefts that only really ramped up since the pandemic, is startling to me, and this tale of no on a used car lot in Pa. is quite something.

    SHARON – When Phil Cooper arrived Monday morning at his used-car lot, he found a disaster.

    Over the weekend, someone had stolen what he thought had been seven catalytic converters from vehicles on his lot at the bend along the Shenango Valley Freeway downtown. But the final tally turned out to be even worse.

    When Cooper checked all of the vehicles on the lot of Phil’s Auto Sales, he found that 15 devices — which control vehicle emissions and pollution —had been taken.

  26. Jason Boxman

    What a shock, eh?

    President Biden has signed off on a Democratic plan to further limit the next round of stimulus payments, a crucial concession to moderates whose votes he needs to push through his $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package.

    The proposal would disqualify individuals earning more than $80,000 — and households whose incomes exceed $160,000 — from receiving stimulus checks of up to $1,400, lowering the income caps by $20,000 from the last round of direct payments and from the version of the aid plan passed over the weekend by the House.

    Biden signs off on narrowing income limits for stimulus checks in a bid to win moderate support.

    1. Aumua

      Before it was the parliamentarian and her decor that Biden had to appease. Now it’s ‘moderate democrats’ who stand in the way of progress, although we’ll never hear their names or what states they are from, apparently.

    2. Aumua

      I like the NYT headline which says “Democrats Agree on Income Restrictions”, like whose demands are they agreeing to here? Their own?

  27. dftbs

    One for the “Imperial Collapse” file.

    I linked to the Barstool Sports story, not because I hope anyone here broadens their taste over and into that horizon. But I think it reinforces the notion of Imperial Collapse when an entertainment outlet like Barstool is at the forefront of commentary, from this to the GME debacle a few weeks back.

    1. Dirk77

      Being in America, the sergeant major needs to prove that he is incompetent in order to get a promotion. Fail upward.

  28. Michael

    Question for the commentariat,

    I received a “spam risk” phone call on my Android. Swiped the red button to reject and still got a voice mail…that was spam!


    1. Ranger Rick

      Two things at work there. Rejecting a call is the same as letting a call run through incomplete, so they get redirected to voice mail. Spammers are wise to the fact that many people don’t answer calls from numbers they don’t recognize, so the spammers leave a voice mail. I have to admit that that was my previous criteria for calls I paid attention to. If the caller left a voice message, surely they were actually trying to get in touch with me. Not the case anymore, sadly.

  29. Alex Cox

    The NYT article about the true price of electric vehicles is pretty funny. The author acknowleges several costs which are usually ignored (manufacture, disposal, battery replacement) but assures us that all will be well when coal is phased out… To be replaced by solar, wind and ‘natural’ gas – i.e. fracking!

  30. Darthbobber

    Contra Greenwald’s headline, I don’t see how the non-sanctioning of Crown Prince Bonesaw exposes anything “hidden” in American foreign policy. How hidden can something be that’s been staring me right in the face for my entire adult lifetime.

    Maybe “danced around”, which requires some creative footwork from time to time, but far to open to be hidden, even with the aid of our complicit media conglomerates.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Exposes for a certain audience. There is a tendency to confuse being nice in person with decency. The guys who gave Colon Powell a Jaguar after he retired (Isn’t that just swell, there is no way to misinterpret this) are the same people who killed Kashoggi. Given Kashoggi’s links, how is being white, regardless of whatever group they are trying to appropriate, going to protect them from the House of Saud? Its one thing to kill a poor person, but a rich person?

      Its like airplane crash fascination in the msm. I mean Wolf Blitzer could be on an airplane. Look at Jake Tapper’s reaction to this.

      If the Saudis are going to send me to a hooker party at the Super Bowl, they can’t be all bad, but if they are going to break my legs if I don’t voice support for the regime on tv, well…it might be time to do something.

  31. JMM

    Re: The Air Force Is Having To Reverse Engineer Parts Of Its Own Stealth Bomber

    Isn’t this the very definition of “decadence”. I’d swear something like this must have appeared on Asimov’s Foundation books.

  32. Sibiryak

    In AP’s “US sanctions Russian officials over nerve-agent attack”, the key sentence is the following:

    “However, the U.S. list did not include any of Russia’s most powerful businesspeople and bankers, oligarchs whom Navalny has long said the West would have to sanction to get the attention of Putin.”

    So, they sanction a bunch irrelevant people. Heads of state security agencies that shouldn’t be going abroad anyways. The real oligarchs actually have money in the West, so can’t be touched.

    The sanctions are designed to look tough, without actually upsetting things too much. I am sure the rhetoric will be very harsh, however. And Russia will surely reciprocate and complain loudly about them.

    1. Kouros

      Litigation would have ensued immediately and the US would have lost if private business/men would have been included…

  33. Phacops

    Re: mental health in isolated teens. For me, an Aspie, there is a bit of schadenfreude there to see Neurotypicals feel marginalized. Wasn’t aware of being on the spectrum until late in life as that was never diagnosed when I was growing up. Will those children gain any empathy for those who are socially delayed? I’d hope so, but doubt it.

    1. Late Introvert

      I’ve been shy and introverted since grade school when I was mocked for being short and nerdy. Guilty as charged. Now I have a 15 year old who is very social and is stuck at home. I would have loved it back then. She very much hates it.

      1. Dirk77

        Yet you can’t wander the neighborhood and get into trouble, so the pandemic world still sucks compared to when I was a kid, introvert or not.

  34. The Rev Kev

    “Neera Tanden withdraws as Biden’s budget chief pick”

    She has already been promised another job in Biden’s administration. Maybe they can make here Special Envoy to Libya as she knows so much about the place and can advise them on their oil industry.

  35. Patrick Morrison

    Came across this on Twitter, seems like it’d be of interest here:

    “The emergence of systemic risk: The Federal Reserve, bailouts, and monetary government at the limits”

    Abstract: “Why does the Federal Reserve bail banks out in violation of a core principle of free-market capitalism: private gain–private loss? This article argues the Fed rescues banks not because it is captured by financial interests, but because it is captured by the paradigm of ‘systemic risk’. Systemic risk emerged in the 1960s out of a jurisdictional struggle over the Fed between two expert groups, ‘monetary substantivists’ and ‘monetary formalists’. The latter’s triumph transformed the Fed into a macroeconomic institution, responsible for managing growth. It also led to the institutionalization of ‘systemic risk’—a conception of the financial system as a vital and yet vulnerable economic system and of the Fed’s responsibility for protecting it. In this process, policymakers grew to fear bank failures as they began to see financial disasters through the lens of systemic risk.”

    Article link:

    Twitter thread by the author:

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I find it hard to take a paper seriously that so fundamentally misunderstands and therefore misrepresents the role of the Fed and central banks

      The Fed is not and has never been in the business of “free market capitalism.”

      Its most important job is protecting the safety of the banking system.

      What he should be upset about isn’t rescuing banks, which OF COURSE central bankers do, but of not acting on the Bagehot rule: “Lend freely, against good collateral, at penalty rates.” Banks should be saved but punished.

  36. juno mas

    RE: PCH travel through Big Sur

    No, it’s not too late to travel the route. But the scenery and ambience is nothing like when Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills and Nash headlined the Big Sur music festival in 1969. Esalen and the Big Sur Inn were affordable and full of exotic literary characters. Lunch could end up being with a writer of renown any Sunday. Today not so much.

    The road is too busy with auto tourists to drive the highway casually. The roadside pulloffs all have trampled vegetation. The iconic succulents of the coastal plant community have been singularly stolen from the landscape over time.

    But– the power of the Pacific is still a palpable sensory experience as it pounds the jagged cliffs. The curve of the earth is easily discerned in the distant horizon. With a few tokes it is mystical. Worth standing on the edge of the earth.

    1. David in Santa Cruz

      Absolutely so! That story is pure click-bait. My street intersects with CA-1 and Gary Griggs was my biology prof 43 years ago. The first “tell” is that the Big Sur Coast Highway is referred to throughout the story as the “Pacific Coast Highway” — a Southern California spur of US-101 Alt. which runs from Dana Point to Ventura that was re-designated as part of SR-1 in the 1960’s.

      The Coast Highway in Big Sur has been subject to slides and winter closures since it officially opened in 1937. No surprise, since it was built by convict labor and two steam-shovels and the cuts that bring the trees to its edge were not properly engineered — compounded by the El Niño, Pineapple Express, and Atmospheric River winter storms that have been endemic to our coast since my memories begin in the late-1950’s.

      Eight billion human beings, globalized tourism, and the selfie stick have done more to ruin the Big Sur Coast Highway than Climate Change has. Rise early and pay the thousands to overnight at Post Ranch or the Ventana Inn and you can still avoid the barbarian hordes and experience the timeless Pacific that Kerouac, Joni, or Hunter S Thompson did…

  37. Jack

    Hwy 1 story…if you’ve never driven it and think you missed the opportunity because of the land slide, don’t fret. Yeah, it has some spectacular overlooks, but driving the coast from Carmel to Morro Bay was, in my opinion, one of the worst drives I’ve ever been on. Traffic backed up behind motor homes, 40 mph down to 15mph, back up to 30mph, down to 10mph over the course of 120 miles. It took us over four hours and I was exhausted by the time we reached Santa Barbara. Swore I would never use Hwy 1 again.

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