Links 3/7/2021

Friends by Robin Dunbar review – how important are your pals? Guardian

Cronkite signed off 40 years ago; it seems like an eon in news standards The Hill

The Dangers of Brain Science Overdetermining Legal Outcomes Literary Hub. Judge Jed Rakoff.

Originalism’s Original Sin Chronicle of Higher Education

Egypt’s el-Sisi visits Sudan for Nile dam talks Al Jazeera

‘Who would feel safe?’ Site C dam concerns build in downstream communities The Narwhal


David Graeber: After the Pandemic, We Can’t Go Back to Sleep Jacobin

Lucy Kellaway: what is the point of schools? FT. The always interesting Lucy Kellaway.

Schoolchildren Around the World Face a Steep Uphill Battle Der Spiegel

‘This isn’t done’: Experts warn that no matter what our Covid end goal is, we have a ways to go Stat

Coronavirus: Return to ‘test, track, treat’ strategy, Centre tells states reporting surge in cases Scroll

What People in Prison Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine The Marshall Project

Why comparing Covid-19 vaccine efficacy numbers can be misleading Vox

EU turns to US in scramble for Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine FT

A federal vaccine site in Jacksonville can handle 500 people a day. Only 29 got the shot Thursday News4JAX

Merck’s experimental antiviral drug is effective at quickly reducing the virus, new study shows, as it enters final phase of testing Daily Mail

The Pandemic’s Future Hangs in Suspense Atlantic

Coronavirus: German vaccine shortage ‘over soon’ Deutsche Welle


Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: The five years separated from her family BBC

Biden Administration

Biden stimulus showers money on Americans, sharply cutting poverty in defining move of presidency WaPo. Delusional headline. “Showers”, “sharply cutting poverty”. Really?

Louis DeJoy Is Killing It NY magazine

Tulsi Gabbard calls out the US dirty war on Syria that Biden, aides admit to Grayzone

Rand Paul Slams Biden Bombing of Syria: ‘We’ve gone to a liberal form of John Bolton’ Antiwar

Roaming Charges: No Neanderthal Ever Bombed Syria Counterpunch

White House signals coming antitrust push with Tim Wu appointment Ars Technica

The Goldilocks Stimulus Myth Project Syndicate. Yanis Varoufakis.

Democrat Katie Porter says to target Big Oil in new role as natural resources chair Reuters (Katiebird)

The post-Roe abortion fight has already begun The Week

Trump Transition

Trump orders the GOP’s three biggest fundraisers to STOP using his name on emails, branding and merchandise in fury over Republicans who voted to impeach him Daily Mail

Democrats en déshabillé

This Is Who Democrats Are: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix Caitlin Johnstone


Cuomo Is Facing a Political Extinction Event NY magazine

Cuomo’s behavior created ‘hostile, toxic’ workplace culture for decades, former aides say WaPo

State Assembly, Senate Pile Up Bills Aimed at Nursing Home Accountability Spectrum News

Kill Me Now

Films! Novels! Springsteen! The Obamas and Clintons seem to be having the time of their lives. WaPo

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

How to poison the data that Big Tech uses to surveil you MIT Technology Review

Could The Simpsons replace its voice actors with AI deepfakes? Wired

Class Warfare

Gig companies fear a worker shortage, despite a recession Ars Technica

NYT Columnist David Brooks Resigns From Nonprofit After More Evidence Of Conflicts Emerges Buzzfeed

Please do not give billionaire Jack Dorsey money for his tweet Vox

A Rust Belt All-Hands On The Opioid Crisis American Conservative

Amazon Is Paying Consultants Nearly $10,000 a Day to Obstruct Union Drive Truthout

Italy’s Government Is Outsourcing Its Economic Strategy To Private Management Consultants McKinsey Jacobin

No, The PRO Act Wouldn’t “Kill” Freelancing Labor Law Lite

Our Famously Free Press

Fear and Celebration of Substack Are Both Misplaced FAIR


The fight for forests, the struggle for land rights People’s Archive of Rural India

India’s Government Focuses on Internal Migrants, At Last The Diplomat

Disengagement at LAC a Breakthrough, but What Can India Do To Make It Last? The Wire

Farm laws: Farmers block highway to mark 100 days of protest, call it ‘black day’  Scroll

India Threatens Jail for Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter Employees WSJ


Meet the Censored: Myanmar Writer Zaw Moe Shinn Matt Taibbi

Body of ‘Everything will be OK’ protester exhumed in Myanmar Reuters


China’s ‘two sessions’ 2021: Beijing zeroes in on eight core areas for country to become manufacturing superpower SCMP

Antidote du Jour (via)

One a bonus video (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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  1. PlutoniumKun

    White House signals coming antitrust push with Tim Wu appointment Ars Technica

    Its really good news if Wu does get appointed – he seems the real deal as a genuine progressive with the type of knowhow that the Tech giants will fear. Only time will tell of course as to whether this is optics or the sign of a real policy shift.

    1. Aaron

      I really hope he was not hired to be used as leverage against Big Tech to do Dems’ bidding.

      From the article: “All that said, Wu’s new role does not put him in a position to come leaping in with a metaphorical sledgehammer and start smashing up companies. The White House can make all the suggestions it wants, but actual antitrust enforcement comes from the Department of Justice and the FTC, both of which are still waiting to have new leadership nominated or confirmed.”

      To be fair to the Biden admin, the acting FTC chief Rebecca Kelly Slaughter also supports strong anti-trust actions against Big Tech. But after the President Good Cop – Senate Parliamentarian/Manchin/Sinema Bad Cop stunt I am considerably less sanguine about any big move happening.

      1. Charger01

        I would be thrilled if they rolled William K Black or Mike Patriciaria into the DOJ or SEC. That would be truly interesting…

  2. The Rev Kev

    “SenateBiden stimulus showers money on Americans, sharply cutting poverty in defining move of presidency”

    Speaking as an outsider, I would say that your Republicans and Democrats are raining something on the American pubic but it isn’t money.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Reverend. Or as a boxer said about Don King, “He’s p’ing on you and telling you it’s champagne.”

    2. timbers

      Probably someone felt compelled to get in a headline how with Biden, America is once again Good And Right, and fighting poverty, only because China has been recently prominently bragging about conquering it. Kind of like a “keeping up with the Jones’s” sort of thing amongst the governing class.

      1. Vlad "The Mad Lad" Lenin

        Isn’t it funny how as soon as the Soviet Union was gone the US just let loose with the most reactionary policies in a century and embarked on a world tour of conquest and destruction?

        I just think it’s interesting.

    3. Wukchumni

      Relieving oneself with your pants on also brings on warming relief, albeit temporarily.

    4. pasha

      although the $1400 will have fleeting effect, in a land where most cannot raise $400 cash in an emergency, the annual $3000 plus for each child is, in fact, going to lift a lot of families out of poverty. of course, the arbitrary “poverty line” is set very low

  3. Lakecabs

    Louis Dejoy

    With package delivery at insane highs why isn’t the USPS awash in profits?

    They should be able to hire more people if that was the case.

    Jeff Bezos is dancing with joy.

    1. Darius

      Democrats want to privatize the post office just as much as Republicans do. They just don’t want their fingerprints on it. This is a pattern. Democrats don’t do the blatantly sociopathic stuff the Republicans do. But Democrats rarely undo what the Republicans did. They just are thankful for the Republicans’ gall.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The USPS pension crisis goes back to before 2007, so we are now almost 50 days in and it simply hasn’t been addressed.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          It’s not really a crisis but an insane requirement imposed by the GOP enough personalities in Team Blue have publicly promised to get rid of over the last decade and a half that even 1 day without fixing it in 2009 was a monstrous betrayal.

          1. Darthbobber

            PAEA, creating the insane requirement, passed the House by voice vote and the Senate by unanimous consent during the ’06 lame duck session. So it’s hard to see it as “imposed” by the GOP.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                the Vandals and the Goths

                They get bad raps. If the Western Roman elites simply didn’t behave like modern American elites, deals could have been made. They simply didn’t want to do what Romans had done for centuries.

                1. flora

                  No doubt ignorantly assuming that what the Romans had done for centuries was unimportant and unconnected to the polity cohesion and strength of the larger governmental enterprise. / ;)

    2. j

      Louis De Joy needs another line of work. The post office needs relief from the insane congressionally imposed requirements that it fully fund its workers pensions 75 years in the future … that would be as of today until 2096 … and a Postmaster General not devoted to laying the groundwork for privatization.

      Oh … up the rates that Amazon pays. Jeff can afford it … even if he has to deal with a union.

      1. ambrit

        Eliminate the preferential overseas rates ‘foreign’ vendors get under the International commercial postal rate scheme.
        Also, as anyone who has sold anything over the internet knows, the postal rates for small packages are wildly skewed in favour of “official” vendors. The bigger you get, as a commercial concern, the cheaper shipping can be.
        The best I could find that is not behind a paywall, on short notice:

        1. Wukchumni

          Eliminate the preferential overseas rates ‘foreign’ vendors get under the International commercial postal rate scheme.

          Once a Ponzi time, that was the very basis for his scheme…

    3. Stephen Taylor

      LeJoy’s shenanigans are a bigger issue than even the article seems to indicate.

      Last month, I mailed off my credit card bill, about a week before the due date as usual. It took almost two weeks to get there, and since it was late, I was charged a late fee plus interest on the balance, which amounted to around $35.

      Imagine that happening to huge numbers of people across the country, getting dinged for late fees and finance charges on bills where the payment was mailed off–by the standards that we’ve known up till now–with plenty of time to arrive at their destination. How will that go over with Americans, i.e., voters, when they see that much of their money drained away because the Post Office is a dumpster fire, largely created by a Trump toady whom Biden is not aggressively trying to dislodge from his office (via the Board of Governors being fired or any other means)? It’s a very effective way to undermine the new administration on the “streets level” without having to bother with much political maneuverings in Washington.

      It is clearly not a product of election mail or the holiday rush; it’s still going on now–an explicit effort to sabotage not just the postal service itself, but to exploit its daily impact on Americans’ lives. Add this to Biden’s list of ‘hair on fire’ projects that need taking care of now.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Just had the same experience – mailed a check weeks ago, it was never cashed, and got charged a late fee on the new bill.

        If Biden were serious about fixing this problem, DeJoy would be gone by now.

        1. pasha

          iirc, a president cannot remove the postmaster general directly, removal must be via vote of the post office board. three new directors were just appointed but not yet approved by the senate

          1. flora

            The Civil Service system prevents to a once-large degree cronyism in govt appointments and paid sinecures. Gaming the Civil Service system wasn’t imagined by the late 19th C. and early 20th C good government (the goo-goos) populist reformers.

      2. flora

        Last month, I mailed off my credit card bill, about a week before the due date as usual. It took almost two weeks to get there, and since it was late, I was charged a late fee plus interest on the balance, which amounted to around $35.

        Events like ‘late payment’ can hit your credit score if several late payments occur. The cost you pay for things like auto insurance are affected by your credit score, the higher your score the less you pay. If I were foily, I’d think this is a great way to make people start paying more for services and insurance by screwing their bill paying record. Rentierism taken to the next level: rentierism by sabotaging the payment process. But I’m not foily. /;)

        1. flora

          adding: I checked my current cc account activity online. The last bill was mailed 2/20, I received it 2/24, I mailed payment 2/25, and the cc company received it per them on 3/3 – that’s 8 days after I mailed it. 8 days. There was a law passed some years back to stop cc companies mailing their bills too late for most people to avoid a late payment fee. Credit card bills must now be mailed 3 weeks (?) before payment due date. DeJoy (nojoy) is destroying a good and long standing payment process. Driving everyone to online banking isn’t the answer. My cancelled check printout is my receipt.

            1. ambrit

              That’s still terrible for First Class mail.
              It’s a shame that individuals cannot hide behind the same boilerplate contractual machinations that corporations do. “Not responsible for lost or late mail.”
              The issue of forced migration to an internet based payments system is complicated by the extremely fragility of all electronica. Remove the power, for even a short period of time, and the system collapses. That is the reason why the “Inner Eye” system based in Utah has an enormous backup electricity generating system.
              If the government can spend 1.5 billion dollars on a data centre for the spy agencies, it most certainly can afford to fund a competent mail system.

              1. flora


                Yep. If earlier Congress’s s said cc companies must mail bills 3 weeks in advance of bill’s due date to create a reasonable time frame for payers to mail payments, what happens to that when DeJoy says 1st class mail will now take 10 days to deliver? Now only 20 days in total for both ways mailings – 10 to deliver mailed bills and 10 to deliver payments? You’ve then essentially got one day (20 days for transport vs 21 days in the 3 week mandated period) between formerly 3-5 day guaranteed mailing receipt of a bill to and a biller’s receipt of mailed payment.

                1. flora

                  No idea how the Music Man clip ended up at the top of my above comment. Sorry. I must have missed step somewhere.

                  Main point in my above comment: the US Post Office first class mail has always, as in “always!” (short of blizzards, floods, and tornadoes) , had a 3-4 day delivery guarantee. Dejoy (nojoy) has fubarred that guarantee to 10 days.

              2. Procopius

                I remember reading in the Sherlock Holmes stories that before the days of the telephone, somebody in London could receive an invitation in the morning and send an R.S.V.P. confident that it would reach the destination that afternoon. When I was a kid I think the expectation was that, in the same city, it would reach its destination the next day. I think Ben Franklin achieved the same standard in Philadelphia in the middle 18th Century. Between cities was slower, but I think a letter took about a week from New York to California, unless you sprang for the very expensive Air Mail — 7¢.

      3. heresy101

        Unfortunately, I have been sabotaging the USPS for well over a decade by paying and receiving my bills online. Originally, I used My Easy Bills until something in Dodd-Frank bailout bills of 2009 caused them to go out of business. Now, I use my credit union’s bill paying service and hardly write checks any more.

        We need some politicians to put together a real bill and proposal to save the people’s USPS. Steps that are necessary are:
        1. Get rid of the retirement prepay anchor that is trying privatize it.
        2. Do not sell any more USPS real estate.
        3. Purchase all electric vehicles and not DeJoy’s proposal.
        3. Create a public bank and add public bank window(s) in each location. It would be available to all. It would cash checks for a nominal fee, take deposits, and provide a debit card to all that request it.
        4. Set up a web/storage system for the USPS.
        5. Create a bill paying/ bill rendering service that was controlled by the USPS that would provide these services directly, and in conjunction with credit unions and local banks.
        6. Create, or buy out, an email service that would be mandated to not monitor to sell your information to marketers.

        These steps would bring in billions of dollars even if the services were very moderately priced.

        1. Pat

          I would add one that would cost money – provide broadband in underserved areas.

          While mail for human citizens could be subsidized by other things, commercial mail (junk, packages, etc) should be provide a profit. Maybe not much of one, although I do think that last mile services to other shippers should be at a premium, but it should never cost the Post Office money to deliver packages from Amazon or importers or…

          But mind you, I’m of the opinion that the one thing there should be no question that the government should pay for is the Post Office. It is a required government function according to the Constitution.

          1. JBird4049

            >>It is a required government function according to the Constitution.

            This somehow gets missed by so many people. Even if it is not strictly required, it was considered so important that they put in the Constitution. Also, many people depend on the USPS because it will deliver anywhere, unlike private deliverers.

            1. ambrit

              Adding, as far as I can ascertain, the USPS is not allowed to maintain a lobbying department. While this puts the Post Office at a practical disadvantage, it also should be seen as a shield against the politicization of the Service.
              Never forget that that Arch Socialist, Richard Nixon began the devolution of the USPS by decoupling package delivery from the other sorts of mail. It’s an equal opportunity program.

        2. Stephen Taylor

          You bring up a point that expands the original point: I pay a lot of my bills online, too–but a) there are certain bills I can’t pay online, because of the way the entity handles their payables (my local garbage pickup, and the city’s water/sewer bill)–and those bills are paid via mailed check, and b) you can’t pay credit card bills with other credit cards (unless you transfer a balance, which is not fully applicable), so paying them online means you have to expose your checking account (that is, your account that has “real” money in it) to the web, which leaves you more vulnerable to having that very sensitive info compromised, meaning either someone siphons your money out of your account, or they get enough info to help them steal your identity–either option being very problematic. I’ve had my credit card number compromised, with fraudulent charges placed on it; the crime was caught quickly, and the issue of a new card was a nuisance but ultimately not very problematic. I wouldn’t want to hazard that with my deposit account; I can foresee substantially greater problems coming out of that.

          So the point being, we need the USPS to actually be functional, fast and secure to protect us financially, from both money wasted (late fees, interest) and money stolen. Just handing the functions of the postal service over to UPS/FEDEX/Whatever, or allowing ever-magnified rentierism via sabotaging the service, should both be unacceptable outcomes, for everyone regardless of political outlook.

          It will be interesting to continue following this and see where it leads: if we start hearing more noise coming out of the White House about DeJoy, or if it’s still crickets from Biden and Co. as things continue to get worse.

      4. VietnamVet

        After this, in January, I’ve switched all my bills that I could to internet payment – a huge for disruption to this old fogy. That is 55 cents the DeJoy USPS will not earn any more per bill per month for now and forever. The little people will fight back but without a change of the ruling class, Americans will never get reliable cheap mail service restored.

  4. Eustache de Saint Pierre

    Ah yes, Merck put out a press release stating Ivermectin was useless for the same purpose despite 40 trials, 20 of them controlled & randomised, worked for around 200 million in the Northern Indian province of Utter Pradesh & Peru until they got a new president – according to WHO Ivermectin is about 2 cents a shot, while Merck’s is said to be around $ 400.

    All that you need to know from extremely eminent ICU critical care experts :

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        The NIH is also using 2 faulty studies as justification for not passing it. 1 of them based on monkey kidneys as Dr. Marik points out have no relevance to human alveoli, while also accusing them of perpetuating falsehoods. Dr. Pierre Kory also points out that Ivermectin at the very least could be used as a back-up to the vaccines for those who are suspicious of them.

        drbeen on youtube features 2 very good talks by the above.

        1. marku52

          Also, what’s the risk? About 3.5 BILLION doses of IVM over the last 40 years, only 16 related fatalities. The toxic dose is about 100X the therapeutic one.

          Kind of like, maybe help, no evidence it will hurt.

          Remdesivir has killed quite a lot of people in the short time it has been around, and the FDA recommends it. WHO decided, correctly, IMHO, that there is no data to support its use.
          Dr John Campbell has an interview up with a research lady who is advocating IVM, and impressed him.

          1. Phillip Cross

            I suppose the risk is that people take it thinking it will protect them, and then act like they are at not at risk.

            If it doesn’t actually provide the protective effects that some claim, they could end up catching the virus, and and spreading it more widely.

            1. flora

              The same precaution exists with the current C19 vaccines.

              The current vaccines, as I understand them, do not prevent contracting the virus or spreading it, not just in the first 2-week post-vaccine period but in general; they only reduce the likelihood of an infection creating a serious and dangerous response requiring hospitalization, and in reducing the viral load of a vaccinated person’s likelihood of transmitting the disease. Which is good, it’s better than nothing, but it doen’t create ‘sterilizing immunity’ as far as I know, (unlike the measles vaccs for example). This is why health authorities say that even if you’re vaccinated mask wearing and social distancing need to continue.

              So, if IVM has the same precautions as vaccs, that’s an interesting data point, imo.

            2. ambrit

              That looks to be a problem with all the “officially approved” vaccines.
              We live in one of the ‘Vanguard of the Precariat’ states, Mississippi, that has just ‘Opened For Business.’ (That phrase can be interpreted several ways.)
              We are told that vaccines are now available for all. But only the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are available.
              We are like Lambert and other more discerning commenters. We chose to wait for an old fashioned killed virus vaccine to become available.
              With our half horse town now being all Wild West, and Open City, we are waiting to see if a new spike in infections happens two or three weeks hence.
              Be safe. Read the fine print.

              1. Cuibono

                “We chose to wait for an old fashioned killed virus vaccine to become available.”
                Is one on the way in the US?

                1. ambrit

                  That’s where “Hope and Change” come in. If Biden is going to be Obama 3.0, then the ‘bait and switch’ con is also a primary tool for them.
                  Worryingly, the infosphere is totally muddied by conflicting narratives and censorship moves.
                  That is why we are trying to prepare to deal with infections by the virus as best we can. Regular intakes of the “proper” supplements are already ongoing. Built up immune responses will help. We still restrict our out of the house movements. Double masking is now de-rigueur for trips away from home. A HEPA tower air filter is on all the time in the living room. When spring arrives, some previously recalcitrant windows will be freed up to provide more ventilation.
                  The basic shift of priorities here is that we will have to live with a “New Normal” from here on. The virus is not going away. It is embedded in the global population and will continue to mutate and evolve.
                  Vaccines, if any can be worked up that are safe, will be, as is the case with flus, an annual affair.
                  Meet the new paradigm, same as the old paradigm.
                  Stay safe.

                2. ambrit

                  Reply “Lost in the Ozone.”
                  Basically, the infosphere is “quiet, too quiet” about such vaccines.
                  We will work to deal with infections if they strike us. Already taking the ‘preferred’ vitamins. Already masking. HEPA air filtration tower working in the house.
                  Covid is the “New Normal.”

      2. WobblyTelomeres


        I’ve been giving 1% injectable Ivomec (ivermectin) to my dogs for years as heartworm prevention. A bottle from Tractor Supply lasts a very long time and is a lot cheaper than the pricey chewables the vet tries to sell. Dosing instructions are 0.1ml (or cc if you prefer) per 10lbs once a month squirted on their food using a syringe a friendly pharmacist gave me. For example, my son’s foxhound weighs 65 pounds, so he gets 0.6ml. My little 20lb Jack Russell gets 0.2ml.

        Some of the ladies who escorted at the local women’s clinic with me also run a dog rescue, and recommended this approach (I had asked them how they could afford to treat so many dogs). They could be wrong, but we haven’t had any worm issues…

        Note: avoid the other formulations, such as Ivomec+, that can cause serious liver damage.

    1. rowlf

      I have been interested in Ivermectin as reports of positive outcomes, low cost and no side effects for common people sounds like a winner. The Gomez Adams side of me says why not take it? Like vitamin D3 and the ever galvanizing zinc, it seems like a safe and low cost gamble.

      A few days ago I entered a comment here at NC about a three week old Washington Post article about a WaPo reporter and his wife in Brazil getting infected with Covid-19, starting then stopping using what was framed as large animal anti-parasite medicine. What shocked me was the comments attached to the article. On one side where skeptics that suggested that Ivermectin may work and should be available, and on the other side where people screaming that no one can be allowed to take anything that Dr. Fauci hasn’t approved and recommended. Simply bizarre.

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        The above also make a good case for melatonin of which I found this fact interesting – Bats carry a host of coronavirus variants while also being blessed with the highest concentration of melatonin within the animal kingdom – scientists blocked the latter to which the bats responded to by becoming almost instantly symptomatic.

        1. marku52

          Yes, that was a fascinating discovery. Melatonin is now added to my C, D, quercitin, and zinc. I actually got my fam practitioner to prescribe IVM for me by giving him links to the papers I had read, the FLCCC stuff, and promising not to take it unless I actually got Covid.

        2. Lambert Strether

          > Bats carry a host of coronavirus variants while also being blessed with the highest concentration of melatonin within the animal kingdom – scientists blocked the latter to which the bats responded to by becoming almost instantly symptomatic.

          Link, please.

          1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

            Part of it is featured here with a large mass of other information including the work Dr. Cory did while volunteering for the emergency team at the ICU at Mount Sinai hospital in NYC during the first wave, where he & others examined x-rays taken of the lungs of those that died which indicate that Covid kills by organised pneumonia.

            The part which involves the reaction when the melatonin was blocked is mentioned in the talk he gave on drbeen’s youtube channel, which incidentally has the best I have seen graphic explainers of the various mechanisms involved including one on melatonin.

            He also features his 2 eccentric cats who occasionally get high on catnip which adds some fun to the proceedings.

            I don’t have the expertise to judge how correct they are but when you consider that remdeviser is being used with little or no effect, I don’t see why Ivermectin should not be at least considered, particularly when you add up the evidence….Oh & I have remembered the details of that 2nd trial the NIH has circled it’s wagons around. The original authors after receiving criticism did a 2nd which disproved the findings of the first that are not it seems worth any consideration – this info was given verbally during DR. Marik’s Dr. Mobeen Syad talk.


      2. vlade

        “no side effects”?

        Invermectin has potentially some significant side effects, as it’s effectively a neurotoxin that targets insect nerve cells.

        The side effects appear to be relatively rare, but when they do show up, they are often severe, and it seems it has to do with when the drug is avble to pass the blood-brain barrier, which makes sense (cf it being neurotoxin).

        I’d personally never take it as a prophylactic.

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          Yes, there are side effects for the most part caused be the death of the parasite, but as is illustrated below the upsides are much larger than the downsides which is the case with most medications especially in the example of Remdiviser – while the Pfizer vaccine has very recently resulted in the deaths of 10 Germans, apparently due to the bad health of the recipients

          Neither of the above needed anything like that which Ivermectin is required to prove in order to be adopted for clinical use.

          1. vlade

            I do not see how the death of a parasite would have any way of helping to breach the blood-brain barrier, which is behind the most serious side-effects.

            The most common cause for breaching the barrier is currently seen when combined with statins, HIV medications, lidocaine and similar. Which are drugs used sufficiently wide to make me very wary of any widespread indication as prophylactic.

            Also, I was able to find only one study as a prophylactic, on Indian healthworkers.

            The sample for that wasn’t small, but it wasn’t great either, and TBH, I’d have to see considerable more studies first, because even a much larger studies suffer from what I call background noise (I’m sure there’s a better term here).

            What I mean here is that for any sample, you have a probabilty to be get a number of infections over a period of time. But that’s a problem, because the transmissibility is low enough to cause (over short periods of time) to have large distributions.

            There are other things that can blow up the distribution as well, for example becasue the trasmissibility is not constant by the look of it, but superspreader driven. Which, may or may not create problems again.

            In other words, it’s very hard without some very simplifying assumptions to say what is the probability of a sample of 100 to have 10 cases or 1 case, and controls don’t help much here (because the distribution of the infectivity over the population is not evenly spread, so sample selection is super-important, and yet something that I never saw discussed in any of the papers).

            In other words, unless you do multiple tests, over relatively long periods of time (which introduces other problems, like more confounding variables), it’s actually pretty hard to have a good small sample.

            1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

              The fact is that there is much in the way of evidence that the drug has saved very many lives & in the Indian case resulted in their economy getting back on track. I don’t pretend to know the full story on this, it just strikes that there is something fundamentally wrong that something as useless as Remdeviser gets a cheerleading go ahead, while other possibilities are ignored – something that is particularly idiotic as we are not over No 2 yet, with the high possibility of a No 3 arriving at some unknown date in the future.

              Details of the around 40 Ivermectin trials are available on the FLCCC website, for whatever they are worth.

    2. Phillip Cross

      Ivermectin, a controversial anti-parasitic drug that has been touted as a potential Covid-19 treatment, does not speed recovery in people with mild cases of the disease, according to a randomized controlled trial published on Thursday in the journal JAMA.

      My understanding is that ivermectin probably helps if the covid patient also has untreated worms. That’s why most of the larger positive studies are from third world places like Bangladesh.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > It’s touted as a prophylactic.

          So, the same as with HQ. If the use case is prophylaxis, do an RCT for hospital use. Then complain about wasted resources doing trials.

          (Not endorsing either drug, and unsure of whether is anything more — “more” doing a lot of work, here — than RCT playing its paradigm-reinforcing role in hospitals, concentrated profit centers (not to denigrate the many humane practitioners who work there. Not a playbook, in other words.)

          1. Phillip Cross

            What is most likely?

            a) That there is a massive global conspiracy to suppress Ivermectin involving national governments and millions of medical professionals. ( to force vaccines on us, keep lockdown going longer, make the pandemic seem worse than it is, ruin ‘small businesses’, crash the economy, take away our rights etc etc)


            b) Bangladesh is a third world country, notorious for untreated parasitic infestations and lack of safe drinking water, and the deworming drum worked there by deworming the patients, making them more able to fight the virus.

            Of course we can’t know “for sure”, but we can take a stab at what is probably the case.

      1. Phillip Cross

        Why bother reading boring studies, when it’s far more fun to indulge your prior beliefs and regurgitate the “forbidden knowledge” that you absorbed from a Facebook meme?

        1. ambrit

          You do notice, I guess, how many of what were firmly demonized as “conspiracy theories” in prior years have now been vindicated as facts? Mockingbird, Gladio, The LSD Program, Russiagate is a hoax, New Coke, etc. etc.
          In Latin America, I have read of a cultural meme called “The Official Version.” The phrase describes the situation where the “official” versions of events are lies set up to benefit the elites at the expense of the masses.
          Plus, for extra credit; we are still in ‘early days’ of this new virus pandemic. It will take literally years to get anywhere near to certainty about this ‘event.’

          1. Phillip Cross

            Yes, but I think it makes more sense to practice zeteticism, rather than believing any old internet rando, just because they are opposed to an official story you don’t like.

            1. ambrit

              Ah, thanks, a new word. Looked it up and pleasantly surprised. A word for the scientific method that sounds like a religion.
              I would temper any resort to zeteticism with a healthy dose of skepticism. I apply skepticism to any source of “information” nowadays.
              We live in a corrupt world.
              Be safe.

            2. flora

              Oh, I think scientific skepticism and peer review are good, even without using the French term, and especially without reference to a disproof of the supernatural. ;) I think most NC comments are in that line of inquiry. Haven’t seen too many comments that seem to accept “any old internet rando” and none that reference the supernatural as an argument needing disproof. Pretty sure there hasn’t been a lot of appeal to the ‘supernatural cause for C19’ argument here.

              1. Phillip Cross

                I think Google may have led you astray about the french supernatural stuff.


                Zeteticism is an approach to ontology where you do not give credence to anything at all, until you look into it for yourself, and draw your own conclusions. A default position of, “I don’t know” or agnosticism.

                Many online skeptics rightly question how factual the ‘official story’ is, but then give too much credence, relative to the evidence, to specious arguments that oppose it.

                ps There are several internet randos getting their authority appealed to in this very thread. Scroll up.

      2. rowlf

        Are US studies in a medicine-for-profit environment more valid than off shore studies? If Ivermectin did provide a benefit would that embarrass US politicians?

        1. Christopher D Pinkleton

          More importantly, what common characteristics do “miracle cures” for various diseases possess?

          1)”Works in vitro!” (You know what else works 100% in vitro on microorganisms? A handgun! I won’t be giving myself. 357 treatment/ propholaxis)

          2) a study or studies with insufficient rigor, and usually very small numbers show “amazing results.” All follow ups show inconclusive or no benefits.

          3) “Big Pharma is hiding the wonder cure!”

          I would never use HCQ or Ivermectin for covid. It’s not quite as sad as Letrile for cancer, but it’s close.

          Of course I’m so brainwashed by Big Pharma, I took my first Moderna dose without hesitation. I would rather have an mRNA vaccine than a “real” one, anyway.

          It is interesting to see how often “miracle cure” promoters for covid overlap neatly with “it’s a bad flu/the real killer is the lockdowns” denialism.

    3. Baldanders

      Covid19criticalcare is NOT a good source of information.

      A great example of “doctor” doesn’t equal scientist. These guys are heavy on the “OMG we must reopen everything immediately!” “Lockdowns are the real killers” thinking. Tons of poorly documented “amazing results,” etc.

      They strike me as Libertarian Fundies, which is usually the last group you want to listen to for evidence-based thinking.

  5. timbers

    How to poison the data that Big Tech uses to surveil you MIT Technology Review

    FWI, I use Brave browser. It blocks tracking and pop up adds.

    Understand if this post should be deleted.

    Tracking once eliminated, frees up your computer processing and internet for you to use as YOU want instead of the how the Internet wants them to be used. Once in a while not often, a site will not allow me to proceed unless I agree to disable the pop up blocker or tracking. I never read those sites.

    It’s not perfect. On rare occasions it blocks a needed popup, in such case I use Deep State Spy approved Microsoft Edge browser. Also, some few adds do get thru. No doubt add blocking is eternally evolving.

    1. Skip Intro

      I hadn’t heard of AdNauseum, the browser extension to click every ad. I am in the practice of poisoning the machine learning training they force us to do by finding stop signs in a set of pictures in those ubiquitous captchas. Always guess a wrong one and miss one. You have to do it a couple times, but my petty spite overcomes my massive annoyance by doing this. Or sometimes I just leave instead of being captcha’ed. I’d also like a ‘chaff bot’ that could do a bunch random web searches around all my real ones.

        1. Baby Gerald

          Thanks for the link, QB. Quite literally Google crowdsourcing work onto unsuspecting dupes. It began with the Captcha word boxes. This was used to crowdsource the flaws in the optical type recognition software they were using when scanning all the books of the world for their GoogleBooks project. The user would be presented with two words. One word would be easy to read and the other was the distorted word. I would purposely mis-type the distorted word to throw them off and I do the same with their AI-training game of ‘find the street signs’.

    2. Carolinian

      In Firefox you can turn off both Javascript and images without using an extension. Type “about:config” in the address bar, click yes to the warning, and then search out “javascript.enabled” and double click from true to false. Search out “permissions.default.image” and change the default from 1 to 2.

      Of course you wouldn’t want to do this for NC as, among other things, the comment reply button won’t work without Javascript. But the settings can be set bacjk to default as long as you don’t forget what they are. And it’s easy enough to install multiple browsers. On my laptop I have four.

    3. Keith

      I get blocked quite often, generally for use sites. That being said, not burdening my device with trackers is worth not being able to read those articles. Anyways, if the story is interesting enough, someone else usually covers it.

  6. Fireship

    > Friends by Robin Dunbar review – how important are your pals? Guardian

    To misquote De Gaulle, “Americans don’t have friends, only interests.”

    1. Geo

      Nice! I like that one.

      Speaking of misquotes, was researching for a project and found the infamous Steinbeck quote about “inconvenienced millionaires” has been misquoted for a long time. The real quote, while less succinct, is actually much more thought provoking regarding our current skirmishes on the left:

      “I guess the trouble was that we didn’t have any self-admitted proletarians. Everyone was a temporarily embarrassed capitalist. Maybe the Communists so closely questioned by the investigation committees were a danger to America, but the ones I knew—at least they claimed to be Communists—couldn’t have disrupted a Sunday-school picnic. Besides they were too busy fighting among themselves.“

  7. Wukchumni

    In the midst of a two-game set against the Sharks, the Vegas Golden Knights had to scramble and switch hotels in San Jose because the league’s designated place of lodging suddenly filed for bankruptcy, according to multiple reports.

    Citing financial difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fairmont Hotel, a landmark in downtown San Jose, closed its doors, but said it will reopen and resume operations in two to three months, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

    The Mercury News reported that the Fairmont, an 805-room hotel, is attempting to find a management partner and extend its existing mortgage debt. The newspaper also reported that the hotel’s overall debt is between $100 million and $500 million.
    How does a hotel have as much as half a billion in debt?

    1. ambrit

      Creative accounting by the bunch of crooks in charge.
      If only some really “progressive” local governments arose. Then we could see the spectacle of ‘bankrupted’ hotels and motels being nationalized and turned into homeless shelters.
      As for what we can do about the afore mentioned crooks, well, I can imagine Madame Defarge happily knitting away as Madame K and her ilk go to the guillotine. (Biden and Harris really are characters worthy of a Dickens novel.)

      1. wilroncanada

        There are at least three hotel/motels in Victoria BC (Canada) that have been bought by the city and are currently being used as homeless shelters. I think there are several in Vancouver also. Of course, some of the former staff are now residents because, having lost their jobs, they could no longer afford to pay their rent. A vicious affordable housing shortage leads to a vicious circle of homelessness for us proles.

        1. ambrit

          Ah, but that’s in Canada, a First World country.
          Even the most rabid American Exceptionalist eventually has to admit that America is now, at best, a Second World country with large pockets of Third World level misery. I just have to drive by one of the several Homeless Camps set up in the wild spots at the edge of our town to see that.
          As an added ‘bonus,’ petty crime is still increasing locally.

      2. Wukchumni

        As for what we can do about the afore mentioned crooks, well, I can imagine Madame Defarge happily knitting away as Madame K and her ilk go to the guillotine. (Biden and Harris really are characters worthy of a Dickens novel.)

        …isn’t Kamala Defarge more into the crocheting lifestyle?

  8. scoff

    For those looking for some good news:

    Tricking Coronavirus With a Fake ‘Handshake’ –Scientists Develop Peptides That Could Inactivate COVID

    “Scientists have developed protein fragments—called peptides—that fit snugly into a groove on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein that it would normally use to access a host cell. These peptides effectively trick the virus into “shaking hands” with a replica rather than with the actual protein on a cell’s surface that lets the virus in.”

    To Fortify With Iron, Ingenious Metal Fish Soaked in Soup Provides Nutrition And is Much Cheaper Than Pills

    “The iron supplied in the Lucky Fish lasts five years if used daily, and quite ingeniously, users will know when it’s time to get a new one as the smile on the fish will slowly wear away. When the fish is no longer happy, it’s time to get a new one.”

    1. Hutch

      The Lucky Iron Fish does the same thing that cooking with cast iron pots and pans do: they all release absorbable iron into food. So if you have cast iron cookware, you don’t need to spend $50 for the fish. But it IS a cute idea.

        1. Baldanders

          Plus, if you are male, you probably want to limit your consumption of easily absorbable iron….

  9. JohnB

    On the PRO Act article: Exactly what’s happening to me with the equivalent IR35 stuff in the UK.

    The solution put forward for ending the legitimate problem of disguised employment affecting Uber/Deliveroo etc. employees disguised as contractors – is simultaneously being used to funnel ALL remaining private contractors into recruitment agencies and umbrella companies, who extract a rent and have previously operated as a cartel, and which (I’m yet to find out fully) may have more punitive taxes (higher than proper employees).

    In some industries, contracting has provided a sweet deal for getting work-from-home jobs for decades before the pandemic, while effectively being able to be your own boss in many respects, choose your own hours (both amount worked per week and when), not have to deal with most office politics etc. etc. – with the tradeoff being less of the company-managed benefits an employee has (but with these other benefits far outweighing them depending on personal circumstances – in my case it was impossible to work in an office job due to personal circumstances, so I lucked into a godsend with both the industry I work in and being able to contract from home).

    It is impossible to get this flexibility being properly employed. Can’t even choose where to live in a job when fully employed, even if you remote worked the exact same job for more than a decade beforehand, if your employer tells you you need to be in an office – meaning you have to buy or rent an overpriced house in an overpriced shithole, if that’s where they’re located…

    This is certainly a case of employers having too much power, and them needing to be more flexible with employees etc. etc. – but for some industries this contracting was a way for workers to have some power and flexibility in their life (even if it’s a, tbh, privileged type of flexibility that most workers have no opportunity for) – and it looks like that’s about to be massively curtailed, and employers are going to get a much greater amount of say over some contractors lives, by them being forced to become employees.

    These contractor reform laws have certainly not missed the opportunity for turning the solution to one exploitative problem, into another warped/exploitative problem affecting a different subset of people.

      1. JohnB

        Fixing the contracting abuse for Uber/Deliveroo etc., isn’t mutually exclusive with retaining the ability to contract for others who need its flexibility in order to be able to work at all.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Tulsi Gabbard calls out the US dirty war on Syria that Biden, aides admit to Grayzone’

    Tulsi Gabbard – still doing good work and being one of the few voices to go against the narrative. The Grayzone, meanwhile, still has no entry for it on Wikipedia. Strange that omission.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “The post-Roe abortion fight has already begun”

    This would be an ideal fight for the Democrats this – but not in the way that you might think. You could have a whole series of battles involving abortion which would fire up the Democrat base against a whole range of Republican forces. The Democrats would fight this in the House and the Senate and all too often would be encountering problems such as a ruling by the Parliamentarian or maybe some “religious” Democrats siding with the Republicans and I am sure that Kyrsten Sinema would put in another appearance.

    And while all this was playing out in the media, the Republicans and the Democrats would be quietly working together in the background to privatize the Post Office or maybe Social Security or something else.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      The Texas state legislature is back in session, and despite the ongoing pandemic and recent power outages, the statehouse is introducing new restrictions on abortion care including new trigger laws anticipating the overturning of Roe.

      With all the relocation from California to Texas supposedly going on, you have to wonder how much longer the “Texas state legislature” will be willing to keep this Dark Ages abortion shit up. While politicians are, in general, mostly on the worthless side, one thing they’re pretty good at is knowing which side their bread is buttered on.

      On the other hand, it’s hard to believe that either wing of the uni-party would be willing to give up such a reliable source of manufactured controversy by resolving the issue according to the “will of the people.”

      1. ambrit

        Never underestimate the power of religion to warp reality.
        Also keep in mind that a lot of the ‘relocation’ going on is in the upper percentages of the population. This is precisely the group that can, if such is ‘needed,’ travel to another state to find the needed “medical care.” The poor, as usual, will be stuck, in more ways than one.

        1. Wukchumni

          But think of the surge in coat hanger sales & back alley careBnB’s when the far right finally gets their wish that every gawldurned sperm is indeed sacred, even the 100 million or so every male of breeding potential has that don’t make the cut.

          Abortion has been the defining issue of the GOPhova Witnesses though, wouldn’t their quiver of causes be pretty much empty, or would they obsess more over the stigma of possible socialism laying waste to our country?

        2. The Rev Kev

          Could be. But I recall how when not that long ago in Ireland when abortion was still illegal, the church had the government make laws to prevent Irish pregnant girls from traveling to England to get an abortion there. I could very easily see some American States trying to make some similar law to delay pregnant girls and women traveling out of State until they are too far gone to get an abortion. I would have to research it but I have the impression that for some reason, States that are anti-abortion to protect holy life are also the same ones who push for capital punishment.

          1. Wukchumni

            If only there was a way to do pre-cog on a fetus, we could build a little jail around the potential bad apples after sentencing them to 9 months of hard labor.

  12. lyman alpha blob

    RE: The first Stoller tweet

    Neither party wanted Trump re-elected which is why they wouldn’t send checks out pre-election. Pelosi said so explicitly to a NYT reporter and clearly McConnell didn’t want Trump around either, which is why we had the phenomenon last Sep and Oct of both parties taking turns seeing who could be blamed most for not helping anyone. Politically it seemed asinine, especially for the Republicans.

    Meanwhile to counter the bungling and ineffectual Trump, the Democrat party forces one of the least popular candidates down everyone’s throat after Obama’s Extended Cutlery Soiree, and pairs him with an even less popular VP, all while promising that we will NOT have the hugely popular M4A, even in the middle of a pandemic.

    Sure seemed like neither party really wanted to win the election. Normally when a politician wants to win, they have a go-to move they use – lying – and the Democrats couldn’t even be bothered to do that. For once they told the truth – nothing will essentially change so don’t expect much, but we’re not Trump. So I can see how McConnell made the political calculation he did – he probably felt that with the Democrats putting nothing on offer, he would keep his position as majority leader and maybe even get rid of Trump to boot, replacing him with Biden who is for all intents and purposes a Republican anyway, and one who is much easier to control than Trump.

    It was only after election day that the Dems really embraced the mendacity and McConnell’s goose was cooked.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      ossoff is a real piece of work. Promise bigly, renege immediately and proclaim your own greatness hyperbolically.

      Sounds like a joe biden egg is in the incubator. Only 50 tortuous years left to go.

    2. Alex

      My theory in the runup to the election was that both parties were trying to pull a Springtime For Hitler.
      In 2021, being the opposition party is extremely good for fundraising.

    3. Pelham

      Re mid-pandemic absence of M4A: I think we have a pretty good estimate of how many die prematurely each year due to lack of medical care. I hope someone updates these figures for the pandemic, so we can firmly and forever pin X number of deaths on the federal politicians in office during this horror who strove like hell to avoid doing the obvious, humane and overwhelmingly demanded thing by delivering a single-payer healthcare system.

  13. Michael Ismoe

    China’s ‘two sessions’ 2021: Beijing zeroes in on eight core areas for country to become manufacturing superpower SCMP

    Any chance we can get a copy of that and send it to Ohio?

  14. QuarterBack

    Re the Judge Rakoff link, I have held him in the highest regard for almost two decades. If the Democratic Party (or the Republican for that matter) acted on half of their espoused principles on the Constitution, Rule of Law, and fundamental decency and fairness, he would have already been on the Supreme Court for many years now.

    Anyone who is a fan of this blog, would be inspired by many of his judgments and written opinions. I would encourage you to learn more. The next SCOTUS appointment that comes up, remember his name.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Cronkite signed off 40 years ago; it seems like an eon in news standards”

    It’s so strange reading this article. It is like reading about another country where things are done so differently. And damn, wouldn’t it be great to have it all back again. His voice punctuated the American media for so many years and his effect could not be ignored. His voice announced major events like the death of JFK, Watergate, MLK’s death, the Apollo 11 Moon landing and all the other major events. When Walter Cronkite said that it was time to come home from Vietnam, the White House knew that it was game over. But because of all that he represents, I would not be surprised to see a campaign to diminish his works over time. The contrast is too great and too painful- (1:47 mins)

    1. occasional anonymous

      Veteran reporters from that time like Seymour Hersh would scoff at any claims that media on the whole was very good even back then. It was better than it is now (how could it not be?), but the myth of ‘authoritative newsman just giving unbiased facts every night’ is hugely overblown. Ask any Marxist from the 60s how factual most of the reporting was.

      Cronkite’s dissent over Vietnam was also mostly about how it was an unwinnable stalemate and how bad it was for ‘our boys’. He still maintained we were there to ‘defend democracy’ (what democracy? The country was still effectively ruled by a military junta; what elections there were were incredibly fraudulent).

      1. JBird4049

        We actually had a news media. Multiple newspapers, radio and television news programs, and it was prestigious to news bureaus in D.C. and other major cities including overseas. Supporting death squads in the Americas or the abuses done by the Israelis, was harder to do when there was a local bureau or two with a couple of reporters and a secretary or editor as support. Or the local small town would get serious and do a series on corruption in the town hall.

        That’s all gone now. It wasn’t the quality of the individuals or their organizations (How many Edward R. Murrows are there after all?), but the sheer numbers that often made up for the lack. The far fewer people in the news business now, makes much easier to control the news and the propaganda.

      2. Ook

        Nostalgia can indeed be dangerous. I learned in the early 1980s just how selective the coverage of inconvenient events could be.
        I lived across from the local legislature building, and many times, political demonstrations with thousands in attendance went uncovered, while other demonstrations with only a few people were covered in a manner that suggested the grounds were full.

        And as a general rule, media coverage of both local and national events of which I had first-hand knowledge was filled with errors.

        The Economist newspaper being a notable exception: their bias was more subtle.

        1. rowlf

          While I (and family and friends) have been involved in several news events that were poorly reported, I really enjoyed the perspective of General of the Army George Marshall in the Forrest Pogue interview tapes noting the reporting of the news media during WW II and what they got wrong. One of Marshall’s points was how every action from North Africa on was reported as the imminent defeat of Germany, and another was the media fascination with Patton when several other generals were doing just as well or better.

          After evaluating past reporting accuracy I tend to take a wait-and-see approach on anything presented to me.

          As an example of news media versus reality: Truth… As We Know It

  16. R

    Re Merck anti-viral (molnupravir) – this was covered by Derek Lowe recently, with a level of expert scepticism in his post and the comments about the efficacy and practicality of treating patients early enough for a benefit. Plus a mention for ivermectin!

    On the other hand, the mechanism of action is general to viruses so, if not useful now, if could be useful in other outbreaks (especially where symptoms precede infectiousness).

  17. Wukchumni

    Biden stimulus showers money on Americans, sharply cutting poverty in defining move of presidency WaPo. Delusional headline. “Showers”, “sharply cutting poverty”. Really?

    Alternative headline:

    Biden stimulus showers money on Americans, sharply tripling the net cash worth of 1/3rd of the country in a defining move of presidency.

  18. Rod

    This Is Who Democrats Are: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix Caitlin Johnstone

    The most destructive force on our planet is human unconsciousness.

    We need a plan for this. It would really help a lot.

  19. tegnost

    I’ll recommend the ars technica gig article to all the basic income supporters. One can assume that uber/lyft/doordash lobby was pounding the table for no stimulus,
    Considering 81% of ubers funding went to dems we can conclude with some certainty that the dems were listening, and that does double for the bouncy lady from the southwest (oh by the way sad about moab, but why ride a bike when you can rent a thingy, it’s who we are…:(
    I saw no mention that drivers need to own cars, presumably good ones, have insurance, presumably good insurance (although if you are a wealthy person you probably have comprehensive car insurance so you of course are covered, but everybody is a no on that) be able to fill up your gas tank, and etc…. That’s all cash out of pocket before you earn anything. And you’re depreciating your asset (what do you want a medal? Get to work serf…) Of course the article does address these things obliquely in saying that their drivers are family members where families have infra that unemployed members can use for gig work. i’ve seen this among the better off not wealthy and it works great in those families where you have assets and income such there are multiple cars in the driveway so it’s in that sense truly helping wealthy families by taking up slack, but working class jane has to bootstrap it. A basic income causes the same heartburn in an uber democrat donor as stimulus does. A job guarantee works because bozos and uber literally must pay more for service to their accumulations. Of course this is also a non starter so we get to watch the train crash in real time instead. Just look at our former first families celebrations, that’s how great life is for their class. It’s been a fantastic pandemic.

  20. ambrit

    There has been a spate of Star Trek commentary lately here. In reference to that, I recently came across a ‘real world’ example of serious Star Trek Behaviour Syndrome (ST-BS.)
    The city of Bloomington, Indiana had built and erected a statue to Captain Janeway, (played by actress Kate Mulgrew,) in a town park. Captain Janeway, a fictional character, is supposed to be born there in the future.
    The following video is quite revealing about the sub-cultures in American society. A discussion of the mechanics of making the bronze and limestone statue starts at 6:56. That part is interesting in another fashion.
    Live long and prosper.

    1. Isotope_C14

      I do love much of the Star Trek series, aside from those painful JJ Abrams movies, and thanks much for this link, but this was awful… It’s peak neo-liberal, STEM now has women in it baloney. I work in a lab that’s 90% women. Most of biology is that way, has been for decades. Can’t discuss class, just that Victoria Nuland is peak diversity.

      Voyager was Gilligan’s Island for much of the series. The writing was quite bad, and of course that is not Kate Mulgrew’s fault, but celebrating the arguably weakest of the Star Trek series smacks of a really pathetic IDpol neoliberal attempt to celebrate diversity. Ratings were so bad that they decided to bring in Jeri Ryan. Ms. Mulgrew was very mad about that, and so were many of the male actors who were essentially sidelined when Barbie-Borg appeared. Sadly the writing was so bad for the male characters as well, that they had little going for them at that point in the series anyway.

      Where’s the Captain Sisko statue? Avery Brooks, after about season 3ish (after character development was complete, which is slow in sci-fi), was utterly incredible. Probably one of the most under-rated actors of any sci-fi genre.

      Deep space 9 was monumental regarding race relations, amongst MANY other incredible moral and ethical dilemmas for anything televised. “In the pale moonlight”, where Sisko has to get the Romulans into the war, and “Far beyond the stars” – You need to know nothing about ST:DS9 to see that’s a role only a real actor could pull off. It’s breathtaking.

      Ok, Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra. :)

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        so were many of the male actors who were essentially sidelined

        The writing and actors did that to themselves. The “Native American cultural adviser”, Jamake Hightower, was a known fraud. This is the most egregious problem. Even before Seven, the writers wanted to kill off Harry Kim.

        Weaknesses of the show aside and the problems with Janeway being good at everything, no one really questioned episodes where she has to fight or command the ship. From that vantage point, Janeway is a trailblazing fictional woman on tv. Kirk has stuff. When they do more tactical oriented plots, it doesn’t come off the same way as when Janeway is conveniently an expert at everything.

        Sisko is from New Orleans, so New Orleans has real people. Just because Philly put up a statue of Rocky Balboa when Joe Frazier is actually from Philly is far more problematic doesn’t really mean Ben Sisko needs one.

        Also Seven and the Doctor were the best characters. Jeri Ryan is really quite good.

        1. Baldanders

          I liked Seven about 1000% better in Picard.

          I would like to see Janeway make a similar redeeming appearance.

          Voyager and Enterprise were shows packed with good actors and bad writing.

          Word is Captain Archer is coming back, soon….

  21. DJG, Reality Czar

    From the StatNews article, quoting former Obama Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem:

    But at the same time, “it was the homeland that saved us,” said Kayyem, who served in the Obama administration. The gap in action and information from the federal government was filled with “responsibility by governors and mayors and CEOs.”

    “You saw the system break, but the system also worked, worked in the sense — look, no one is justifying the 500,000 dead — but it wasn’t like we were all lost in the wilderness. There was a capacity at the local, state, tribal, territorial, and private institutional level that really was able to fill in the gaps,” she said. Without that, “for all the horribleness of our 500,000 plus number, it could have been worse.”

    –Complete delusion, and the usual white-collar impunity. In short, “we made dead some folks.”

    –Not to worry. The adults are now in charge again.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > “it was the homeland that saved us,”

      That “the homeland” is an operative concept in these people’s minds concerns me more than anything else.

      I also wonder exactly where this Kayyem thinks “the homeland” resides. Where is this “homeland”? The labs of Big Pharma? Certainly not in the State administrations of (in alphabetical order) Abbott, Cuomo, DeSantis, or Newsome. Nor in the CDC. So where, exactly? The people who actually did quarantine and mask up? The frontline HCW workers? The essential workers?

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        Lambert Strether: Years ago, in my first editorial position, incising tablets at Knossos, my supervisor was reading a book entitled Crazy Talk, Stupid Talk. We had some interesting discussions.

        The distinction should be revived, although in the current atmosphere of faked etiquette, the terms are wildly daring.

        When I see the word “saved,” I consider it crazy talk, the usual U.S. discourse based in the establishment of religion–the usual testifying and sermonizing.

        The rest of the quote is stupid talk. “worked in a sense”? “500,000 dead”? Stupefaction.

        The problem with the WWW is that it provides outlets for a great harvest of crazy talk and stupid talk.

        And, yes, “homeland” is an absurd and dangerous idea, not an Etsy shop. I don’t want to blame the Germans, but is is word that in German discourse has a long and horrible history. She probably thinks of it as a variation on “heartland,” which is stupid talk for “flyover country.”

  22. Dr. John Carpenter

    The Simpsons Wired article tosses out a question I’ve seen kicked around among fans (and detractors) of the show. If I had to lay odds on what the first show to deepfake their cast would be, The Simpsons seems to me to be a very likely bet. The age of the actors is definitely an issue. Aside from the deaths of actors who played smaller roles, Julie Kavner’s Marge voice has clearly taken a toll on her and is usually sounding pretty strained. Then, as mentioned in the article, it seems like Harry Shearer is ready to retire. I can’t imagine the others aren’t woo. People also speculate about labor and financial issues (like Shearer) and note they had no problem giving Alf Clausen (musical director) the boot in 2017. I’m sure if they could get AI to do it cheaper, they will. Considering they just renewed for two more seasons, it’s clear they have no intention of stopping soon.

    *insert obligatory “the show hasn’t been good for ages and should have ended years ago” comment*

  23. lobelia

    Re: Fear and Celebration of Substack Are Both Misplaced

    One thing that really disturbs me about Substack is Andreessen’s major investment, he’s no less of a Status Quo, Homogenous, Libertarian Tech Oligarch than the rest of them. This lengthy 2014 piece predominantly focuses on Andreessen’s horrid ideology, 06/06/14 By Andrew Leonard Tech’s toxic political culture: The stealth libertarianism of Silicon Valley bigwigs – Who talks like FDR but acts like Ayn Rand? Easy: Silicon Valley’s wealthiest and most powerful people

    In his second act as a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Andreessen has hardly slackened the pace. The portfolio of companies with investments from his VC firm, Andreessen Horowitz, is a roll-call for tech “disruption.” (Included on the list: Airbnb, Lyft, Box, Oculus VR, Imgur, Pinterest, RapGenius, Skype and, of course, Twitter and Facebook.) Social media, the “sharing” economy, Bitcoin — Andreessen’s dollars are fueling all of it.

    And, good grief, right now the man is tweeting. Since Jan. 1, when Andreessen decided to aggressively reengage with Twitter after staying mostly silent for years, @pmarca has been pumping out so many tweets that one wonders how he finds time to attend to his normal business.

    So when the man tweets, people listen.

    On June 1, Andreessen took his game to a new level. In what seems to be a major bid to establish himself as Silicon Valley’s premier public intellectual, Andreessen has deployed Twitter to deliver a unified theory of tech utopia.

    In seven different multi-part tweet streams, adding up to a total of almost 100 tweets, Andreessen argues that we shouldn’t bother our heads about the prospect that robots will steal all our jobs. Technological innovation will end poverty, solve bottlenecks in education and healthcare, and usher in an era of ubiquitous affluence in which all our basic needs are taken care of. We will occupy our time engaged in the creative pursuits of our heart’s desire.
    So how do we get there? Easy! All we have to do is just get out of Silicon Valley’s way. (Andreessen is never specific about exactly what he means by this, but it’s easy to guess: Don’t burden tech’s disruptive firms with the safety, health and insurance regulations that the old economy must abide by.)

    (The referenced Andreessen/@pmarca tweets are embedded in the article)

    For more current reference to the Andreessen Horowitz ideology for those interested, this 2019 piece (a few months prior to their July 15.3M Substack investment; and, a little bit over a year, May 2020 12M Clubhouse Investment, which they’ve recently (January) led even more (100M) investing in) might be of interest, 04/30/19 By Alex Konrad Andreessen Horowitz Is Blowing Up The Venture Capital Model (Again). It starts with (emphasis mine):

    Emerging from the financial crisis in 2009, Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz laid out their campaign to take on Silicon Valley. The pitch deck for their first venture capital fund that year promised to find a new generation of “megalomaniacal” founders—ambitious, assertive, singularly focused—who would, in the mold of CEO Steve Jobs, use technology to “put a dent in the universe.” In getting behind the likes of Facebook and Twitter, with a war chest that swelled into the billions, they proceeded to do exactly that.

    Perched on a couch in his office at Andreessen Horowitz’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, Andreessen, whose Netscape browser and subsequent company IPO were touchstone moments of the digital age, understands that the original word choice doesn’t land so well in 2019. His new take: “The 21st century is the century of disagreeableness,” he says, sitting down with Forbes for his first extended interview in two years. In an era of hyper-connectivity, social media and information overload, he says, those “disagreeables” will challenge the status quo and create billion-dollar companies. Ego is out, anger—or dissidence, at least—is in.

    gotta run

    1. The Rev Kev

      I wonder if Andreessen realizes that if he had a heart attack and fell off his perch, that the world would just move on without him. There wouldn’t be any public mourning, business associates would probably reproach him for the timing of is dying, no statues would be built to honour his legacy. History would just close over him in spite of all his wealth.

      He has been saying that Silicon Valley tech is the solution to the pandemic but I have made the point before that since the pandemic broke out over a year ago, that they have been mostly missing in action. His vaunted industry has just sat back to protect themselves and looked for points that they can exploit for profit like Bill Gates has done. Maybe in the end Andreessen is confusing the value of all that he owns with actual worth.

  24. none

    Cuomo Cuomo Cuomo Cuomo, Cuomo Cuo-mee-lee-on,
    It’s time to go, it’s time to go-o-o-o…

    1. Michael Ismoe

      The bad news is that he has to give the Emmy back. The good news is he won the “Harvey Weinstein Achievement Award”

  25. jr

    Field report: Manhattan

    Source: Citizen app

    Small group of protestors shut down the Brooklyn Bridge briefly and are now in Manhattan heading north. Hard to identify feom videos.

  26. occasional anonymous

    >Originalism’s Original Sin Chronicle of Higher Education

    “In short, originalism isn’t “dumb”; it’s theocratic.”

    They just used the same word twice.

  27. BoyDownTheLane

    Cronkite was ex-military intelligence and a closeted NWO fan; Anderson Cooper interned at the CIA. What’s changed?

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