Links 3/8/2021

Thai navy rescue four cats from burning ship BBC

Great apes given Covid vaccines after outbreak at San Diego zoo Guardian

The Right to Live in Peace Consortium News. Vijay Prashad.

China’s Donghai Airlines suspends pilot and male attendant after allegedly fighting mid-flight over a toilet incident SCMP Flying the not so friendly skies.

Wagnermania The Baffler

From Goa to London with Graham Greene: A first-person account of a literary friendship Scroll

The Vying Animal Bookforum

The mystery of Azerbaijan’s missing army chief

Splash New York Review of Books

California would ban boys and girls sections at big retailers under proposed law Sacramento Bee

California is bone dry. Will March bring more misery or a miracle? LA Times

The ocean’s ability to absorb carbon could make or break a net-zero future Narwhal


The COVID Bubble Project Syndicate. Nouriel Roubini.

What the Coronavirus Variants Mean for the End of the Pandemic New Yorker

How to Get a Covid-19 Vaccine: a State-by-State Guide WSJ. From February; still germane.

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge AP

Don’t let bureaucracy constrict the supply of Covid-19 vaccines Stat

Most adults in rich nations face long wait for vaccine, distributor warns FT

CDC to issue guidelines for vaccinated people in ‘next couple of days’: Fauci NY Post

Fauci warns against lifting Covid measures but Republican-led states push on Guardian

For Planet Earth, No Tourism is a Curse and a Blessing NYT

WHO readies Covid-19 origins report as demands grow for more transparency on China investigation SCMP

A New Study of Athletes’ Hearts After Covid Shows Encouraging Results WSJ And the study: Prevalence of Inflammatory Heart Disease Among Professional Athletes With Prior COVID-19 Infection Who Received Systematic Return-to-Play Cardiac Screening JAMA  Cardiology

Our Famously Free Press

Humanitarian Imperialism FAIR

Texas Deep Freeze Aftermath

As the Texas power crisis shows, our infrastructure is vulnerable to extreme weather MIT Technology Reviews


Andrew Cuomo vows ‘no way’ he resigns amid sexual harassment accusations NY PostHmm – never say never.

Cuomo Discovers #MeToo Means #HimToo NYT. MoDo.

Biden Administration


Nigel Farage vows to quit politics for good saying UK vaccines drive is ‘proof positive’ Brexit has worked and he is amazed he has ‘stayed sane’ through 30-year campaign – but he will stay in the public eye to fight ‘woke agenda’ Daily Mail

Waste Watch

Where curbside recycling programs have stopped in the US Waste Dive

Could plastic roads make for a smoother ride? BBC

These Eye-Catching Bricks Are Made from Textile Waste TreeHugger


Cyber threat looms large over German election Deutsche  Welle


Bolivians vote in local, regional polls amid COVID-19 concerns Al Jazeera

Ruling on Murder Case by Judge Suffering From Dementia Will Stand, Court Says ProPublica

Why Cornel West’s Tenure Fight Matters Boston Review

Class Warfare

‘Failing up’: Why some climb the ladder despite mediocrity BBC

Report to Newsom: Support California Workers With Fair Pay and Benefits Capital & Main


Houthis fire missiles, drones at Saudi oil facilities Al Jazeera


Eco India: Meet the woman leading a herbal medicine & grassroots wellness renaissance in Tamil Nadu Scroll

100 Days Later, the Farmers’ Protest is Alive, Well and Gaining Momentum The Wire

PM Modi in Kolkata: Crowd Management, Communal Speeches and a Call for Change The Wire

Mamata Banerjee leads march against LPG price rise, challenges PM for ‘one-to-one’ contest Scroll

Secularism biggest threat to India’s traditions finding a spot on global stage, says Adityanath Scroll


How Eight Pacific Island States Are Saving the World’s Tuna Foreign Policy

Grassroots Activists Work to Save Remaining Cardamom Mountains Rainforest The Diplomat

The Last Fishermen of Kashmir Foreign Policy
Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “California would ban boys and girls sections at big retailers under proposed law”

    Because Californian legislators have nothing more important on their plate to deal with right now in that State and so are concentrating on what is really important in life. As Spock once said, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.”

    And good work by that Thai Navy unit rescuing those cats from that burning ship. The guy carrying those cats on his back was going above and beyond.

    1. Pelham

      I really don’t get what right the state would have to dictate any such thing. How could this stand up in court?

      1. Stephen Gardner

        There were those 50 years ago that wondered how the state could ban white and black dining sections. Many whites couldn’t see what the problem was. Now people who don’t get this will look the same in 50 years. Gender is the box they put you in based on what your sex is. Most people don’t understand the difference between sex and gender. That predisposes them to miss what is going with this proposed law. For children, especially boys, that can’t be comfortable with the rules of gender presentation that are imposed on them, the gendering of all things is painful. It’s still fashionable in some quarters to mock the pain of others. I find this very disturbing.

        1. French75

          I feel like a fundamental point is missed here: The “gender” in stores isn’t saying “only men here” or “only women here”; it’s saying “clothes for male presentation here” and “clothes for female presentation here.”

          Surely, a male who wants to present as female would find it useful to have all of the desired clothing in one section?

          Or is the argument that there should be no presentation at all? If there is no gender presentation, then there’s no such thing as “trans.” And then what do you say to someone who identifies as trans? Is their identity wrong now?

          I feel like, regardless of your sex and gender presentation, things like free healthcare and rent control would have a larger positive impact on your life than telling Target to co-mingle dresses and jockstraps.

          1. Stephen Gardner

            The problem isn’t with adults. It’s that genderizing every article of children’s clothing delivers a message that seems subtle to people that have no problem with assigned gender but to gender non-conforming children it is “another brick” in the wall separating them from who they want to be. It reinforces the steady push to conform or be ridiculed or bullied.

            1. French75

              > It reinforces the steady push to conform or be ridiculed or bullied.

              *People* reinforce this, not stores or physical spaces. Co-mingling the clothes won’t change any perception of societal stigma, since the buying patterns will still be obvious.

              Conversely, one can take the (reasonable) approach of explaining that people can wear mixed genres of clothing as readily as they can listen to mixed genres of music, or eat mixes of cuisine. And that, just like with everything else, clothing is organized by genre because people who like one article of clothing for one gender, tend to like other articles of clothing from the same gender.

              Surely, the solution is to dispel the illusion that stores are designed to force them into gendered conformity, and replace it with the truth that stores are designed to encourage as many people as possible to buy as much as possible.

            2. Ook

              If I remember my childhood correctly, the rules to conform will still be there, just much less visible. And those unfortunate children whose parents who don’t have the requisite abilities to see the rules will be ridiculed and bullied on the schoolyard for wearing the wrong clothing, irrespective of any gender issues.

          2. Grateful Dude

            Probably sections would have to be marked for gender and strictly separated to violate the rule. Without that there could be one section that blends from M to F, I never wear what we used to call “women’s” clothes, and as a 70s male, I don’t want to fish through brassieres and whatnot to find my size in jeans and t-shirts. It would just it harder to find stuff. Aint gonna happen; alienating a majority of your customers to please a radicalized few isn’t good merchandising regardless of your politics, unless there’s just flood of ambiguous gender folks in the pipe.

            Does that rule apply to thrift shops? They’re the dept stores around here in the sierra foothills, and full of bargains, dontcha know,

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Oops! Fixed it. Thanks! When I imported the link, I deleted a character.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Oops! Fixed it. Thanks Rev! Same mistake as above, when I imported the link, I deleted a character. Now that is said to be the type of foolish consistency said to be the hobgoblin of little minds.

      1. The Rev Kev

        No worries as we all do stuff like that. I’ll post a comment that will contain a boner of a spelling mistake and never see it until it is too late to correct. Just yesterday I wrote the word ‘public’ but when I saw it later I saw that I had actually written ‘pubic.’ Do’h!

        1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

          I’ve noticed I’m making more typos today than I usually do – and that’s saying something. The reason: I’ve slept fitfully the last couple of days. Even minor sleep disturbances mean I botch details.

  2. fresno dan

    Matt Stoller
    Mar 6
    Yes. Biden is mediocre, but basically moveable on a bunch of useful stuff.
    Obama was terrible. Actively bad.
    Maybe, just maybe, after two presidencies of nothing but media hype, there is a tentative, incremental move toward substance. It does start with acknowledgement that other than being black, what did Obama actually do? Boring is good – the only thing worth covering with Biden is what he is actually doing…

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      I’m going to need to see some examples of “basically moveable on a bunch of useful stuff” because I don’t see the evidence of this.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Like bombing Iraq/Syria? $2000 = $1400? WHAT minimum wage increase?

        We wait for the eventual tell-alls that reveal Doddering Joe Biden was movable in the same sense that a potted plant is…

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          That’s the only way I see Biden as movable. He doesn’t have any politics of his own therefore can be molded and shaped by whomever is lining his pockets. I don’t quite think that was what Stoller intended, unless his definition of “useful stuff” is inline with TPTB.

        2. Bruno

          Biden was put into office on January 20. Today is March 7. 46 additional days-and counting-of torture for Julian Assange. Biden deserves a century in hell for every one.

          1. ambrit

            I can think of something even worse than that; siting hunched over in his wheelchair watching the swearing in of Kamala Harris as the replacement President. In his lucid moments, that will be h— on earth.

      2. Skip Intro

        I take its to mean he isn’t as slick as Obama, so when he’s pissing on you, you don’t think he’s giving out free lemonade. As a result, he faces more pushback faster, inshallah.

      3. Aumua

        Yeah we know that he’s moveable in the wrong direction, with several examples of that so far.

    2. vlade

      When, in 2009, I criticised Obama, I was told how wrong I was and how terrible it was to critique him. My answer to that was “so sure, he deserved to get a Nobel prize even before he was inagurated, yes?”.

      Obama was Trump-enabler-in-chief, and let’s not forget it.

      Anyone who hates Trump should really remember two people – Obama and HRC. I very much doubt that w/o them Trump would be electable.

      1. chuck roast

        Yes, the big prize from the Swedish National Bank…that’s a tell. You should have said, “Oh, that’s the same prize that Kissinger won!” These Nobel people are getting really ham handed. Take a look at their annual report. I won’t link to it because the glittering decadence will hurt your eyes. But really, my favorite was the economics “prize” in 2006 to Edmund Phelps for NAIRU…eight years after it had been proven entirely fallacious. Take a look at this list of geniuses and tell me if any one of them has done anything to improve the lot of humanity.

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          I enjoyed the Quincy Jones docu on Netflix in which towards the end when the politicians got interested, I was reminded of my late wife’s expertise in body language that during any social occasion she would delight instructing me in. Obama presented an award to Q of which there were 2 shots, one from the side with the other being of the actual presentation from the rear.

          In the first O was leaning back as though he were in front of something distasteful & in the 2nd he gave Q an embrace that only a robot could be proud of.

          I was at a trade show at the RDS in Dublin the day he was elected & everybody I saw including myself was very happy about it.

          I hang on to that Zuangzhi quote ” Those who realise their folly are not true fools “.

    3. Mme Generalist

      You make an excellent and, I think, underappreciated point here. Now, if we can just get the MSM to “play the ball, not the player,” as we say in football (soccer)…

    4. lyman alpha blob

      Not so sure Stoller is correct on Biden.

      I don’t see much movement toward getting M4A in the middle of a global pandemic, and in fact CoronaJoe has explicitly said he’s not interested.

      But yes, 100% correct on statusquObama.

      1. Pelham

        I’m leaning in favor of your assessment over Stoller’s — and exclusively because of M4A. If we can’t even begin to move toward single-payer in mid-pandemic and given more than two-thirds support among the electorate, this is probably the only issue Biden and the Dems should be measured by. Any other constructive thing they might do just won’t register in the shadow of what will probably end up being tens of thousands of deaths that could have been prevented.

        1. ChrisPacific

          He is moveable in the same sense that a ratchet is moveable – one direction only.

  3. ajc

    You can’t use the ocean as a carbon accounting trick without seriously looking at ocean acidification, which always occurs during large mass extinctions, according to the geological records we have discovered. Dead oceans mean a dead planet, at least for a few millennia if not longer. And ocean acidification happens because the CO2 in the atmosphere mixes with ocean water turning into carbonic acid, slowly but inevitably raising the pH by orders of magnitude unimaginable outside the worst geologic and extinction level crises.

    This is the problem with ‘net-zero’ vs actual zero emissions and the continued belief among poorly informed policymakers and journalists who don’t understand that the planet is a complicated and mostly closed physical system that won’t respond to accounting tricks since Nature has already put the vast majority of the carbon emitted and heat captured by said carbon in the oceans.

    Plus this kind of thinking displayed in the article is literally playing with the human and mass extinction gun according to Daniel Rothman, an MIT geophysicist.

    1. nerdyMark

      Small point: Adding acid lowers pH. The (healthy) ocean is slightly base with a pH above 8, as I recall.

      1. Rod

        Image result for current ocean ph levels
        Prior to the Industrial Revolution, average ocean pH was about 8.2. Today, average ocean pH is about 8.1. This might not seem like much of a difference, but the relationship between pH and acidity is not direct. Each decrease of one pH unit is a ten-fold increase in acidity.Aug 23, 2019

        Understanding the Science of Ocean and Coastal Acidification … › ocean-acidification › understanding-scien…

    2. Rod

      The most destructive force on our planet is human unconsciousness. — Caitlin Johnstone

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

      1. ambrit

        I hope that you do not mean a “cunning plan.”
        Politically, the ‘unconscious’ is a powerful tool.
        A 2024 election bumper sticker: Vote for ‘Monsters From The Id!’

    3. The Historian

      Too many people in this world think we can ‘technology’ our way out of our carbon problem. We can’t. You are so right that the planet we live on is a closed system and just moving carbon from one area to another, i.e., an accounting trick, doesn’t solve the real problem. The real problem is that we have got to consume less – but we’ve been tricked into becoming a consumer economy – buy, buy, buy, you know will solve all our problems. So, frankly, what comes, comes. I no longer have any hope that humans will survive this crisis. And those who still want us to buy, buy, buy, will continue to peddle the ‘technology will save us’ hype.

      1. Bruno

        We need much lower gross consumption. We need much more net consumption. We need much less gross production. We neeed much more net production. What we need most of all is much, much, less throughput.

        1. Gc54

          Looking up at the sky wistfully from my Zoom cell, I’ve been seeing more and more contrails. Soon coronal blue skies will a memory.

    4. juno mas

      …and the oceans are not all alike. Temperature and agitation (mixing) affect chemical/biological processes. The minor change in pH of some sea water has led to the substantial leaching of sea coral. (And the consequent change in local ecology.)

      Understanding the impact of carbon (as CO2) into the ocean is important. Radically reducing CO2 in the environment is critical to maintaining a life sustaining planet.

  4. GG

    Obama – The Affordable Care Act. A big effing deal, as the current president said at the time.

    As an engineer whose career was defined as having to deliver real-word substance and not pretend stuff, people who are boring and are the workhorses of any effort rarely get the credit they’re due. People usually go for the flash and shallow (re: tRump). What matters is what actually gets done. Let’s celebrate boring, and actual substance, for a change.

    1. urblintz

      It certainly was a big “deal” for the health insurance industry.

      Nothing to celebrate, imho.

      1. Glen

        No kidding, it was like his favorite move.

        It was a very “Obama” thing to do.

        Wall St banks crash rhe world economy? Give them trillions and nobody goes to jail.

        American healthcare insurance sucks? Give them trillions and force everybody in American to use them.

        I’m not only not celebrating, I’m never forgetting it.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The whole GoFundCancerTreatment industry has really taken off.

      Admittedly, if the United States was a less unequal country ACA would have been much better. The Medicaid expansion put in by Bernie Sanders was a big deal. Its probably why Obama left it up to the states.

      Whatever happened to fixing ACA? I mean at this point the potential fixes should have been widely discussed and ready to go. Its almost as if they didn’t really care.

      Its easier to pretend doing nothing is the same as “boring.”

    3. dave

      Yeah, we had 30 million Americans without health care and now we have 30 million Americans without health care.

      The ACA was a small tweak. Something I can easily see any Republican President of the last 50+ years signing.

      1. Procopius

        Dave: My memory is not all that reliable, but my memory from 2010 is that we were told we had 65 million people without health insurance, and after the ACA passed we were supposed to have 30 million people without health insurance (health insurance is not health care, and I don’t know how you could get an accurate count of how many people don’t have/can’t afford health care). One problem is health insurance is a really complicated subject. David Anderson at Balloon Juice does a great job of covering it, if you really care. He gets into the real nitty gritty, and since I don’t reside in the U.S. now I don’t pay a lot of attention to it, but subtle differences between silver and bronze plans can make huge differences in what you pay and they are really hard for the rest of us to find out about. You definitely don’t see the differences he writes about discussed in the MSM.

    4. Laputan

      This might be the first time I’ve seen the icon of celebrity politics described as boring or substantive, at least on this site. And as someone whose job it was to implement the ACA, i can attest to it being both boring and poorly crafted. It did do some good in ending the barbarism of pre-existing conditions and expanding Medicaid, but it also tried to force poor people to buy a private service and created all sorts of perverse incentives. Let’s not conflate the purposely half-hearted policies that were created primarily to appease special interests as boring and substantive.

    5. Pelham

      Since boring and actual substance is your standard, how about the boring socialized and single-payer systems that many other countries have had for many decades now, routinely, substantively and boringly achieving healthcare results far superior to ours and for a great deal less money?

  5. Wukchumni

    California is bone dry. Will March bring more misery or a miracle? LA Times
    It isn’t just Cali that’s bone dry, but the whole southwest in entirety from New Mexico to the coast. You never know when a drought will be quelled as peak drought only comes into focus after the dryness has passed and enough precipitation to return to some semblance of ‘normal’, and there’s historic evidence of quite long epochs in every state in the SW such as the 50 year bout that did in Chaco Canyon about 900 years ago, where the Native Americans gave up after a decade of it’s wrath, and abandoned it.

    It’d be tantamount to abandoning Washington DC a decade from now, unthinkable, right?

    I really thought we were just a couple years away from the state really emptying out if the 2012-16 drought had gone on longer, and here we are in another one, with rising global temps evaporating more existing water on the surface in every which way.

    We’re lucky in that we own a length of river to the half-way point, but for most in the state, their water comes from a faucet with nary a thought given to where it originated from, oblivious.

    If only we could do the same tomfoolery in ginning up water through QE, or CWO’s (collateralized water obligations) but unfortunately it’s real and not a chimera ruse like all of our financial flim-flam tends to be.

    For a really deep dive into droughts & floods in the state, this book has more information on the last 2,000 years than any other tome i’m aware of.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Do you ever think that it would get serious enough so that a law would be enacted prohibiting the export of water from California, especially if it was locked up in foodstuffs? Difficult to accept the possibility that if a drought got serious enough, that not only would it be necessary to evacuate most of California’s population but also that of the southwest. That’s a lot of people that.

      1. tegnost

        That’s the idea behind prop. 22, to get young people to leave voluntarily so as to soften the blow.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Except there’s already an effort to export prop 22 to the rest of the country. Where do we go then?

      2. Wukchumni

        Las Vegas is a goner, I feel.

        It’ll be the first major city abandoned on account of climate change in the USA, they’re about to go tilt not just because of the water running out on the Colorado River* to the point where electricity generation is a no-go, but also in tandem with Covid wrecking their business model, which featured lots of human beans glomming together in casinos with lots of a/c blasting.

        I imagine the employees of casinos will drift off into other states, as the proliferation of casino gambling is such that aside from Hawaii & Utah, I think all of the other 48 states have them now.

        What would you do with nearly 40 million of us here though?

        Repopulating the midwest would make sense for a lot of reasons, one of them being that it’s cheap, and most people’s wealth is tied up in real estate here but you can’t take it with you, and flyover has been nicely pre-abandoned already.

        * doing a kayak trip in a couple weeks paddling upriver from Willow Beach Az. to Az hot springs. It’s a trip i’ve done dozens of times and easy-peasy flatwater, just 30 miles from the Vegas strip, but has the feel of being hundreds of miles away.

        1. John

          Over 30 years ago a colleague of mine retired and moved to Las Vegas, which, if I recall correctly was growing rapidly even then. I may have said, I certainly thought, ,why would people be flocking to a city in a desert with one source of water and a well-documented history of long term drought in its past.

          1. Wukchumni

            The Vegas of 40 years ago might’ve weathered the lack of storm, as the strip abruptly ended @ the Hacinda casino and then there was a bunch of nothing until the airport and about 400,000 lived there, as opposed to the nearly 3 million now.

        2. Dr. Strangelove

          I have an acquaintance who is a hydrologist in Las Vegas. He’s actually hopeful. There’s water going into Lake Mead and going out. Once the water level gets too low, the water will quit going out. However, it’s still going in. Also, there’s an idea to build a water pipeline to the North.

          1. Wukchumni

            If you’re ever in Vegas take a road trip to Boulder City to see the 30 to 40 Bighorn Sheep hanging out @ Hemenway Park, and then continue along the western ‘shore’ of Lake Mead which more closely resembles the Aral Sea in that there are boat launching ramps hundreds of yards from actual water. Hang a left @ Valley of Fire state park and check out the petroglyphs all over the place, and then come back on Interstate 15.

            From the LV strip and back in a circular fashion, it’ll take you most of the day stopping occasionally to check things out.

            Bighorns @ Hemenway Park (you can get within 10 feet of big rams!)


        3. Field in Texas

          We don’t “enjoy” it in Texas. All the people looking for that fun drive over the border to Oklahoma which is pretty easy.

      3. Wukchumni

        A goodly amount of the watering of the 666 million nut & fruit trees in the state comes from deep private wells in times of drought, so it isn’t as if it’s a source such as the largess from Shasta Dam or any of the other 50 or so dams of size in the state, but if given the choice of using well water for humans and not almonds exported to Asia, i’d like to think we’d make a stand, but I kinda doubt it, capitalism uber alles rules tend to apply.

      4. a fax machine

        If push comes to shove we’d just build desalination plants again, the type of which Newsom recently approved despite Sierra Club objections. After a certain point, CA will have to build a new nuclear power plant. As PG&E continues screwing over customers, demand will mount for a CA power authority. Eventually, it just rolls into a larger CA Utility Authority ala the TVA.

        Not under the current regime though. Newsom is too clueless for such an endeavor and can’t even commit to building a train (read: a thing that is also usable as a utility easement). But after enough homes are burned, after enough power shutoffs occur, and after enough homes go dry people themselves will put these measures on the ballot and pass them. Just as the state gov’t eventually did with our passenger railroads.

        Unfortunately, getting to this point requires an incredible amount of human suffering. Sacramento only took intercity rail seriously after the state capitol itself was threatened with service cuts. This is what got the state gov’t into the business which escalated into modernization programs and now a total rebuild effort. Sacramento already has SMUD for this purpose. It will take a similar level of crises within SF and Oakland to get a modern CA power grid and a modern CA water system.

      5. juno mas

        The drought in California affects mostly agriculture and in-stream flow (75% of consumption), not urban areas (11%). The Central Valley will likely move to selling renewable energy (wind/solar) rather than pecans as irrigation water becomes more scarce/expensive.

        Yes, the artichokes from the Castro Valley and the strawberries from Oxnard will become pricey and encourage emigration to Oregon. But commodes will flush and showers will splash.

    2. Rod

      We’re lucky in that we own a length of river to the half-way point,

      ummmm, sorry Wuk, as caring about that glorious flow of water as I am confident you are:,%2C%20pre-dates%20property%20d

      Fact: Public ownership of physically navigable rivers, including the land up to the ordinary high water mark, pre-dates property deeds. … Fact: The state does not actually own the river, but holds it in trust for the public for navigation, recreation, and fisheries.

      River Law: Fact or Fiction – National Organization for › river-fact-or-fiction

      It’s a sore spot for paddlers(and fishers) across the nation–so paddlers need to know the Law(and remain calm in the prescence of a gun being brandished)

      1. Wukchumni

        We can take whatever water we want out of the river for personal use, but in reality the H20 all flows into the Friant-Kern Canal and every last drop is used for Ag, along with 4 other rivers emanating from the the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, with JG Boswell (read The King of California to get a glimpse of how 1 man was able to control 5 rivers!) being the big player.

        Because our 3 rivers (there’s actually 4 here, but we’re modest) are deemed navigable anybody can use them for boating or fishing and all of the private land with river frontage has public access as long as you enter from public land, you can’t just go on somebody’s property and put in your kayak or fish.

        Very few people know that though, lets keep it on the down low.

        1. JP

          Long before Boswell there was Haggen controlling the Kern and Miller & Lux controlling the San Joaquin , with constant battles between appropriative and riparian rights. A good book covering this is Industrial Cowboys and another is Vanishing Landscapes. Anyone living in the central valley should read these.

    3. JBird4049

      Ecosystems to create or at least encourage what perpetuates them. Forests and other green areas tend to attract rainwater as well as cooling the environment around them. Redwood forest recycles everything because soil usually not very good rich. Add in the sheer size of the trees themselves and the (formerly) vast size of the Redwood forests, even in during droughts, they had some resilience. The then vast flocks and herds also helped. Then add the beavers, who were all over California, building those dams and water habitats which also slowed down the water’s trip to the sea and recharge the underground aquifers.

      Even in those long droughts, which must have been devastating, I image that there was some green space. The Redwoods and their forests have been around for millions of years. 15 thousand years ago we had mammoths or elephants in the Bay Area. Droughts or no, they all survived.

      Today, here in California, we’ve built an ecosystem of concrete and asphalt. Chopped down the forests, especially the Redwoods, killed all those herds of animals, shot out many of the flocks of birds, and extirpated the beavers. Dryness and heat. Rather like a desert ecosystem.

      Maybe we should reintroduce more beavers to California?

  6. John Siman

    Your link to “Wagnermania” brings to mind Alex Ross’s recent piece “Black Scholars Confront White Supremacy in Classical Music” in The New Yorker
    My question to readers: What would W.E.B. Du Bois, who had a profound love of both Wagner and the African-American folk song, have said about preening PMC wokesters like Ross and his audience? Here is what Du Bois wrote ca.1903: “Little of beauty has America given the world save the rude grandeur God himself stamped on her bosom; the human spirit in this new world has expressed itself in vigor and ingenuity rather than in beauty. And so by fateful chance the Negro folk-song—the rhythmic cry of the slave—stands to-day not simply as the sole American music, but as the most beautiful expression of human experience born this side the seas.“ And Du Bois went to Bayreuth in 1934!

    1. Darthbobber

      Somebody should tell the author that there’s a difference between acknowledging that all art has a political dimension and taking the further step of believing that art has only a political dimension, or can be collapsed into that dimension.

      1. Bruno

        Beyond all that, Ross makes a complete ass of himself (but not as much as the insane Nietzche) when he calls Parsifal “decadent.” Parsifal was to Wagner (and he was right) the pinnacle and completion of his whole life’s work. It should never be ignored that his very first project for an opera was to be titled “Der Sieger,” (*The Buddha*). Parsifal is *obviously* the realization of that lifelong project, a totally Buddhist opera. But who even notices that the motto of the opera, entoned by “celestial” voices, is “Durch Mitleid, Wissenden?”

        1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

          I listen to Parsifal at least once a year, usually sometime just before Easter (and yes,I know that’s rather obvious). But someone should have told Wagner: lose the swan crashing out of the sky. I saw Jonas Kaufmann sing the role at the Sydney Opera House in 2017, in a concert performance, and it was far more satisfying for me than a fully-staged production at the Met, with Domingo singing the title role. Consistent with that house’s tradition of hyper-realistic productions, a stuffed swan DID fall out of the sky, and I got the giggles. I managed to suppress them so as not to mar the performance for other audience members. Never did quite recover my composure, however.

    2. Carolinian

      I’d humbly suggest this passage from that long article finally embraces the main point

      Behind Ross’s upside-down Wagner, demoted from god to nonentity, lies an upside-down Wagnerism: not all art aspiring to the condition of music, but music aspiring to the condition of language.

      In his classic study Noise, the French economist and musicologist Jacques Attali poured scorn on this vision of music, which he called “the lamest kind of naturalism or the most mundane kind of pedantry.” Unlike language, music lacks a stable code of reference; unlike language, it acts directly on the body. Music, Attali argued, is really a form of violence.

      Which is to say that music is not about “ideas” other than musical ideas and, like my own favorite art form (the movies), it appeals to something deeper within us than the verbal. Naturally this isn’t a view favored by many critics and analysts who get paid to be verbal and in the case of modern art even become big cheeses by way of their opinions (see Tom Wolfe The Painted Word).

      I’d say one can love Wagner’s music without taking the dramatic aspect–much less his political opinions–too seriously. But that’s just me.

      1. QuicksilverMessenger

        Music is about vibration and its interaction with the whole human nervous system and all that that entails. This is not understood very well and thus it is difficult to write anything about music, or even say something meaningful about it in what we consider to be ‘language’ (oh gawd, French intellectuals alert!). And what is language? Does a human being contain different ‘languages’? Is feeling a language? Is sensation a ‘language’? When one walks into a room and senses a “vibe” (good or bad), is that a “language”? It is probably right to say that music enters the psyche at a much deeper level, and this deeper level speaks and hears in a different way.

        At any rate, Lennon once said “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture’. To be fair, he was probably aiming that at someone from Rolling Stone mag!

  7. Randy

    “Nigel Farage vows to quit politics for good saying UK vaccines drive is ‘proof positive’ Brexit has worked and he is amazed he has ‘stayed sane’ through 30-year campaign – but he will stay in the public eye to fight ‘woke agenda’“

    Lot to unpack in the title alone. Have to say though family blog the EU for giving this crowd the self inflicted vaccine blunder to justify everything they did.

    1. John A

      And Farage is going to get a fat EU pension for life as a former MEP. He has also enjoyed very generous expenses in his time as MEP> He was even on the EU fisheries committee and never attended any meetings but wailed out loud about how bad the EU was for the British fishing industry. Complete snakeoil salesman.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “As the Texas power crisis shows, our infrastructure is vulnerable to extreme weather”

    I’m not sure if this is really the lesson here. The authorities in Texas knew that the infrastructure was vulnerable to extreme weather both by historical record and personal living memory. But they did nothing about it. And of course when the Big Freeze hit, Texas went down. It is like today’s post ‘New Report: U.S. Dams, Levees Get D Grades, Need $115 Billion in Upgrades.’ Everybody knows the problems. And to a large extent, the solutions are a matter of simple engineering. The amount needed to fix it would be negligible for the federal government to put together and it would be of long term benefit to the country. And yet it is not being done. So the real problem with our general infrastructure is not that it is vulnerable but nobody is doing anything about it.

    1. Glen

      Indeed! A couple millionaires had to move on to new grifts, but nobody goes to jail, nobody is fined serious money.

      Just as with PG&E in CA, the lesson is keeping Wall St happy and sucking up to the Fed will make CEOs rich, rich, rich. The government will do nothing to stop this.

      This type of thing is now the norm.

  9. SOMK

    Re: ‘Failing up’: Why some climb the ladder despite mediocrity BBC

    “Changing the workplace so that all employees can be recognised for their successes and supported through their failures is crucial to building a more meritocratic environment. This begins, says Burey, with acknowledging issues of racism that breed an environment in which women of colour are disproportionately labelled as not up to the task while when white men are allowed to fail as part of their development process. “That awareness could look like conversations, that awareness could look like metrics and tracking who has been moving up and who hasn’t been. And that awareness could immediately look like action, maybe changing the language or culture around failure.”

    No mention of ‘social mobility’, ‘class’, ‘education’, ‘nepotism’ or ‘HR’ in that article and the solution is to change workplace culture so it accepts failure more presumes the hypothetical ‘failure’, already passed the various hurdles necessary to get a job that matches their talents/aptitudes in the first place. Isn’t a fairly large amount of this already covered in management theory anyway? The articles main argument seems to be that mediocrity is fostered because white men are allowed to fail and everyone else isn’t, whilst I wouldn’t disagree there could be a tendency towards this (I would like to see data cross-referenced with class background), it certainly isn’t a unilateral one, as this would indicate that every non-white/female who does climb to the top does so off the back of talent alone and in spite of a system that is rigged against them, implying both ability and fortitude of character that would surely manifest in the work itself? As someone who is most familiar with the fields of art and culture, arenas where ‘talent’ does matter, the evidence for this is fairly thin (there are fields like acting where broadly women are better than men, but it does not manifest in every female actor being good and every male actor being mediocre or bad) the most important hurdle in the arts is getting the foot in the door to having some kind of regular income from your craft as early as possible (thus avoiding being forced to earn income via other means and getting locked into family or mortgage obligations, or the health implications of long-term under/unemployment), once you have a base, you have a shot and the sole single most obvious determinant to this is having rich parents (although even that isn’t a unilateral golden ticket, the closest to a golden ticket is having rich parents in your chosen field). The biggest success of my graduating generation from my alma matter is a POC female fashion designer who’s father is an internationally famous multi millionaire fashion designer who counts royalty amongst her clients. Anecdotally I’m aware of women suffering bullying much more in environments like art college, the worst of it by accounts I’m familiar with came from a female lecturer, though female students often had the impression of ‘the boys’ being the favourites of the tutors (Ireland is a very white culture, I can’t comment on racism, save that a minister for the arts who launched her political with a leaflet calling the provision of a facility for Irish Travellers as a ‘waste of valuable resources’ received little or no criticism from the arts establishment, our anti-racism is an imported variety as opposed to one which deals with the experience of minorities in Ireland proper).

    However to only consider race and gender and dismiss class or education seems like the establishment line these days, in that if it is isn’t dictated for from above it is selected for. And you wonder what the motivation for this is, it is both wrong and antagonistic to speak to one and not the other, especially in a country like Britain which has at least some self-awareness when it comes to class. The new chairman of the BBC is a noted Tory donor and former boss to the chancellor of the exchequer, the editorial line of the BBC has gotten noticeably more right-wing to the point it is becoming a mouthpiece for its own dismantling, this fairly mediocre piece seems like the other side of that.

    Marr: “How can you know I’m self-censoring?”
    Chomsky: “I’m not saying you’re self-censoring. I’m sure you believe everything you say. But what I’m saying is if you believed something different you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.”

    1. Mme Generalist

      Interesting observations. Can you provide a link to the Marr-Chomsky conversation? Cheers!

    2. nycTerrierist

      similar reaction here: I skimmed the piece waiting for some reference to
      the class basis for ‘over-confidence’, and the mental/social ease of family connections (a.k.a. odious term, ‘social capital’) — but race and gender seem to be the only factors on the menu.

      yet another specimen of idpol gaslighting

    3. chuck roast

      In my experience, the two best ways to “fail up” are:
      1. always, always keep your mouth shut at meetings and cultivate your superiors, and
      2. change jobs and employers frequently
      These strategies allow mediocracies to advance without people being able to get a real handle on them. Eventually, they get so Petered out that they get promoted elsewhere just to be rid of them.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      Yup, there is lots of research on discrimination in the world of employment, and its far more complex than just about sexism or racism. Just being tall, for example, gives anyone a huge advantage in the workplace.

      I think your example of the fashion designer is a good one – if its the one I’m thinking of, her father very lovely house has a magnificent view over Killiney Bay. That said, I’m no fashion expert but she does seem very talented.

    5. Jason

      I’m not saying you’re self-censoring. I’m sure you believe everything you say. But what I’m saying is if you believed something different you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.

      Me and another plebe went to a Chomsky lecture once where he was going on about this. She rolled her eyes at old Noam, recognizing instantly that he doesn’t apply his own logic to himself. We left early, grabbed a hot dog and enjoyed the weather outside. Among our own. No Chomsky-type personalities anywhere. It was a joyful day.

    6. Larry Y

      I recall that Nassim Taleb had a rule of thumb, where you pick the person who least looks like a doctor or whatever expert in that field, because they had to be better to overcome prejudices.

      1. mary jensen

        May I suggest this?

        “Never take advice from anyone in a tie. They’ll bankrupt you. Don’t ask a general for advice on war, and don’t ask a broker for advice on money.”

        Nassim Nicholas Taleb

    7. Pelham

      My experience over a career now in its 45th year: I can think of one instance in which an overconfident white male got a promotion he didn’t deserve. OTOH, I can count seven instances in which minorities or women were promoted to positions for which either A) they weren’t qualified or B) they were qualified but a more qualified white male was passed over.

      I can well imagine that sometime in the now dim past, overconfident and marginally qualified or unqualified white males were routinely favored. I just haven’t seen much of that firsthand since I entered the workforce in the ’70s. I’d be interested to hear from others with a few career decades under their belts.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Good friend of mine earned a PhD and was searching for a faculty position about 25 years ago. At one point, the interviewer told him that he was the most qualified candidate for the job, but he wasn’t getting it because the department needed to hire a woman to fill the position. He was pretty good natured about it and reasoned that women had likely been passed over many times in the past, so him being passed over now was only fair to some extent. Seeing the writing on the wall – his field was fairly esoteric and there wasn’t that much demand for medieval German scholars to begin with – he wound up pursuing a career outside of academia instead.

        When it happened, I was of the same mind as he was. Now, I think it’s being taken too far, especially in the social media realm, which unfortunately does seep into the real word and has recently cost some pretty decent people their livelihoods.

        All the being said, that whole article was a good example of what had been termed “HR liberalism” – only socially conscious to the extent demanded by HR departments, right or wrong.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        On a related note, I ran across this yesterday from an article on dark matter –

        The first hint of dark matter’s existence came in the 1970s, when astronomer Vera Rubin noticed that galaxies were rotating far too quickly — without an additional, hidden source of gravity, they should have torn themselves apart eons ago.

        They are trying to give credit where credit is due, but that is flat out wrong. Vera Rubin did do great research on dark matter and was overlooked for a long time, and white male professors taking credit for things that female assistants or graduate students accomplished happened on a fairly regular basis in physics. But Fritz Zwicky, a white male, postulated dark matter back when Rubin was a toddler, and there were others who discussed it before him (although arguably those scientists were discussing a somewhat different concept of dark matter).

        Vera Rubin was a great scientist who was long ignored, but she has been getting her due in recent years, with a brand new telescope named after her scheduled to go online later in 2021, and there is no need to rewrite history to hand out idpol accolades.

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          I once watched a BBC docu presented by a female Art expert who was attempting to promote an unknown female Renaissance painter, to the equivalent rank of the likes of Raphael etc. Sadly the artist wasn’t up to scratch particularly in regard to anatomy & foreshortening, which the expert either chose to ignore or simply couldn’t see.

          Women simply didn’t have a chance to fully express themselves artistically & perhaps we should just be happy that they do so now, rather than applying what would be alien standards to those in the past, which in a way takes away their voices.

          I would rather the BBC would look into who their hired Capita bullies were harrassing & throwing in prison over unpaid TV license fees, which is very likely to include minorities.

        2. Jason

          No idea exists in a vacuum. All life is a creative process. Pathologically individualistic societies lose sight of this fact at their own peril.

          Simply consider the amount of energy expended in attempts to determine who actually did what, when. Making sure the proper person gets his or her due recognition is a full time job these days. And it’s a very serious endeavor.

          There were others before Zwicky. And there were others before the others before Zwicky. And so on.

  10. a different chris

    >Andrew Cuomo vows ‘no way’ he resigns amid sexual harassment accusations

    Haha what is the political career equivalent of the “5 stages of grief”? I hope he’s on number 4!

    1. Keith

      Perhaps he is smart enough to just not surrender. Look at Franken, he capitulated and got nothing for it. We have seen countless articles when people surrender to the Twitter mob/Wokesters, and then they get kicked down a little more. By contrast, if you stand your ground and fight, or ignore the complaints, you can come out with a win. Think about Trump and Biden, they both had their woman issues pop up, they both moved on from it and the media forgot about it and went with a new story.

      In regards to Cuomo specifically, there is a lot of chatter that this is nothing more than political, hard left and GOP exploiting headlines while regular Democrats are starting to circle the wagons. I think if he stays the course, he can ride this out.

      1. tegnost

        Democrats are starting to circle the wagons. I think if he stays the course, he can ride this out.

        Because the moral superiority of democrats is total BS. Somehow I don’t think wall st had frankens back in the same way they have cuomos….
        …uh oh…what did he say?

        ““Working Minnesotans deserve to have the same or better protections from the Federal Reserve than Wall Street and the big banks,” ”

        cuomo, you ask?
        “In blocking his party’s push for new taxes on stock trades, capital gains, and carried interest, New York governor Andrew Cuomo is protecting the financial industry that has delivered millions to his campaign and political operation,”
        from jacobin…

        I’d put his odds of staying the course to be strong.

      2. Bruno

        If you think Cuomo’s lined up for impeachment because of #metoo stuff, you’ve been sleeping through it all, Rip. Lying about Covid deaths. Murderously sending Covid sufferers back to nursing homes to spread the plague. Surrepticiously sneaking total immunity for executives guilty of forcing workers to slave under drastically unsafe conditions. That’s a lot more than Trump was ever charged with, and Andy Kim has more guts (and personal reason for resentment) in his little finger than Pelosi and Schumer combined! James is not a clown like Schiff. Cuomo’s on the way down.

  11. flora

    re: Fauci and C19.

    The goal posts keep moving. They’ve moved so many times over the past year it’s hard to keep up. The first bench mark was ‘flattening the curve’ to protect the healthcare system. Looks like that benchmark has been met. Herd immunity is – or was supposed to be when 70% of a population is immunized by vaccination or immune by natural infection/recovery. Now the new benchmark is apparently 80% of population. That’s a new number. More goal post moving. The CDC is only now, maybe, in a couple of days, maybe, releasing guidelines for activity for vaccinated people. Only now? (Does the CDC and govt know what they’re doing, or do they like keeping people confused and afraid? )

    Much shorter: If states want to reopen I don’t blame them at all. I hope my state reopens soon. Today or tomorrow would be great.

    1. CanChemist

      I would say that they just gave up on protecting health care workers, which has led to really bad issues for both the workers and people needing treatment, including for non-covid issues.

      As for herd immunity thresholds moving, this is because the new variants are far more contagious (and potentially deadly) and this means that the number of immune people have to be higher in order to slow/stop transmission.

      The other issue is that the current vaccines aren’t protective against the new strains, so we’ll all need boosters very soon as well even if we’ve been vaccinated. Which is why we can’t just let off on public health measures.

      By the way people didn’t predict the new strains being an issue early on, because nobody thought everyone would be so negligent that governments would just let it blow through millions of human hosts and let it mutate like crazy.

      No dispute here from me on the terrible standard of communication happening with most governments now. However there are still serious reasons why we’re not done yet and need to be more strict instead of less until more people are vaccinated.

    2. The Rev Kev

      They had a choice all around the world a year ago. They could saves lives or they could save their economies. One or the other. Herd immunity was just a quick and dirty way to go back to 2019 again to a lot of leaders. Turns out that saving lives saves your economy too but who knew?

    3. semiconscious

      flora –

      i disagree. i’d say that, by the time they’ve reached the point where they’re discussing ‘benchmarks for people who have been vaccinated’, they have gone from simply moving the goal posts to removing them completely…

    4. Keith

      I think that’s why people are starting to ignore the edicts. Over the weekend, we took a family road trip to an aquarium, and I noticed a lot of people not bothering with the face masks and people going out to enjoy themselves and patronize various venues. To me, it seems, the pandemic is over for a lot of people. The media and therefore the govt is focused on it, but it has lost traction with the general population.

      That being said, I am enjoying the moving goalposts to a degree, as I switched jobs, and the new one only teleoworks due to COVID, so once govt throws in the towel, I will be in the office. :(

      1. Jason Boxman

        Oddly, it looked much the same back in October in November, with regards to dining at least in Somerville MA. I think the pandemic has been over for a lot of people for quite a while now, the latest wave not withstanding.

      2. noonespecial

        “people going out to enjoy themselves and patronize various venues.”

        Indeed, from the urban area of Colombia’s 5th largest city, this past weekend witnessed people enjoying the recently approved measure to patronize bars/dance clubs until 12:00 a.m. The article (in Spanish, reveals, though, that some humans looking for a release were less than cautious. Not unlike US college parties, or US cities whose nightlife-goers went out full throttle. A video is embedded within.

        Quick translation of a few phrases from the article:
        At 8:30 p.m. on Saturday the bars were overcrowded…At 9:30 p.m., entry to enter an establishment was no longer possible…the use of facemasks seemed non-existent… use of anti-bacterial gel was a no-go even though the crowds were thick. We even came to think for a minute, “Are we all just immune?” The only worry among the crowd was please don’t close the place.”

        Note on spread of disease: In the last two weeks, new case numbers average from 90 to 200 persons daily.

        1. Keith

          We ended up at a mall over the weekend; it seemed like all the hand cleaning stations were empty (aside from bathrooms).

    5. Tom Doak

      The 70% number was picked out of the air, and Fauci has admitted he aimed a bit low so as not to scare people into thinking it was unachievable. It was never the right number. Also, new strains of the virus were entirely predictable, and those in medicine should not be acting like they are a surprise.

      States are reopening . . . even Michigan, where our governor fought the good fight for as long as she could. I’m sure it won’t lead to another wave, though, because [mumbling].

      1. CanChemist

        New strains were predictable, and in fact ‘old covid’ is already the 2nd or 3rd major mutation. In terms of it getting more malignant, what caught everyone off guard was just how fast it ended up happening in a poorly controlled situation.

      2. Alex

        Fauci was lying then, but he’s totally being honest now you guys!
        Remember “don’t wear masks, they probably make you sicker”? Fauci is just another self-aggrandizing narcissist, like my favorite nutritionist (and apparently now Russiagater) Dr. F-D. Has Eric locked down his book deal yet? It would be nice to see him stop pitching.

    6. lyman alpha blob

      Thanks for this flora. I was on board when it was ‘flattening the curve’ which made sense – we had a new, serious disease that we weren’t all that sure about. Since then, we’ve determined it’s an airborne disease that is a danger to the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, primarily obesity-related conditions. And yet we are all supposed to stay locked down, even after receiving the miracle big pharma virus, because of some vague reasons and oh by the way fear, Fear, FEAR.

      At this point, it looks like many are willing to take their chances and I can’t say that I blame them one bit. The leadership on this has been abysmal worldwide, with following neoliberal prescriptions the only option, or at least that sure how it feels in the US. The only silver lining I see right now is at least the mass delusion that Cuomo was some kind of hero because he gave vapid press conferences while presiding over the worst outbreak on the planet is now gone.

    7. Lee

      From The Differences Between the Vaccines Matter Atlantic

      “There is very good reason to be encouraged by the data, but to say right now that people who have been vaccinated face zero risk of serious outcomes—that, for them, COVID-19 is no more dangerous than the common cold—is sure to influence behavior. Imagine how people in high-risk groups would feel about going to the movies, or how their employers would feel about putting resources into workplace safety, if we all assumed that vaccines confer perfect protection against hospitalization or death. Now imagine how the same people and employers would feel knowing they were 85 percent protected.

      Nor is there any reason to believe that the public or the personal interest will be served by hype. People who think the vaccines provide ironclad protection may lose trust in experts if reality falls short. Trust in coronavirus-vaccine information is already a problem, and could sink even lower. Activists who are opposed to vaccination may end up turning experts’ “super-pumped” promises against them.”

  12. CanChemist

    Speaking of covid variants, here’s the situation last Friday in Ontario, Canada:
    Nice plot showing the spread per regional health unit. Account is run by a public health biostatistician.

    Today he updated that ‘VOC’ mainly B117 will be dominant as of this coming Friday.

    It amazes me how everyone in this province except for metro Toronto seems to think everything is fine, reopening has been fine. There’s very little media coverage of this overall despite some pretty dramatic pleas by public health officials.

    1. Wukchumni

      My 65 year old cousin in Calgary told me she doesn’t expect to get her first vaccine shot until the fall, is that typical for all of Canada?

    2. CoryP

      Northwestern Ontario doesn’t think it’s fine! Thunder Bay’s currently getting clobbered by a week of ~200 cases/100k pop. Granted, our previous mini-spikes were mostly confined to nursing homes, so this is our biggest instance of widespread community contagion. I believe it is the first time the hospital is really feeling the heat. I don’t see any VOC information on the TB District Health Unit’s site… no idea how many samples are getting sequenced.

  13. Tom Stone

    I recieved my first injection of the Moderna Vaccine on 2/24 and have experienced some side effects.
    I did take benadryll 45 minutes before the injection in hopes of lessening any adverse reaction and think it helped.
    So, 6 hours of nausea not quite as bad as the nausea from Chemo, then joint pain starting two days after the shot.
    Which I am still experiencing to a small degree.
    In both elbows, which was new and it also made the old sore spots a good deal more sensitive, to put it mildly.
    No loss of range of motion, just enough pain to incapacitate me for two days and limit the use of my arms for a week.
    I also seem to be more sensitive to caffeine, I was able to have two strong cups of black tea in the morning without setting off my sciatica before the injection, now it’s one.
    And yes, I will be getting the second shot.
    I’m playing the odds, waiting for an old fashioned vaccine was weighed against the risk of the virus.
    A toss of the dice.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “WHO readies Covid-19 origins report as demands grow for more transparency on China investigation”

    This is starting to sound like all those inspections that were going on in Iraq back in the 90s before the invasion. Washington here wants to keep sending teams back to China until one comes back with a report that they want – that China is 100% responsible for the whole world pandemic. Of course with Iraq that were finally told that they had to prove that they did NOT have a WMD program but as that is trying to prove a negative, was by definition impossible. I wonder if they will try this approach with China too?

    1. Lee

      China did f*ck up, certainly by its early suppression of ample evidence that there was a problem, and possibly by maintaining a leaky lab doing gain-of-function research. But so has just about every other government in varying degrees and ways.

    2. Cuibono

      pretty sure by all accounts you have this backwards.WHO has done everything to cover up a possible lab origin

      1. Gc54

        There has plenty of cloaking noise to obfuscate a plausible inadvertent asymptomatic super spreader from the lab wandering around town. Patient zero remains obscure and was not revealed to the WHOs down in whoville.

  15. Tom Doak

    There was no link this morning about reconciling the House and Senate recovery bills, but the thing I don’t understand about the Senate bill is how they cut so many things [unemployment from $400/wk to $300, lower caps on eligibility for the $1400] but did not change the top-line number of $1.9 billion, and there is no explanation of where any of those savings were put?

    Nor have I been able to find anything in the MSM comparing the two bills side by side.

    Our system at its finest.

    1. Lou Anton

      My impression was that those things we’re just a rounding error (which makes it all the more infuriating the cuts happened in the first place).

    2. FluffytheObeseCat

      The top line number that’s commonly reported is $1.9 trillion, so mean, petty little clawbacks, like lowering and shortening the AGI cut off for the direct assistance checks, a change which is estimated to save ~$12 billion, end up lost in rounding.

      I.e. if the original Biden stimulus bill was actually estimated to be $1.933 trillion, the savings from reducing the AGI cutoff range* from $80k – $100k down to $75k – $80k would bring the top number to $1.921 trillion. The news media still reports it as $1.9 trillion.

      *(The following AGI brackets are for single filers; the reductions for married or head of household are similar in scale however.)

  16. flora

    Matt Taibbi interview with Martin Gurri, author of the book “The Revolt of the Public”. (free – no paywall )

    Interview with Martin Gurri, “A Short-Term Pessimist and Long-Term Optimist”
    Q&A with the author of “Revolt of the Public”

    And more from Taibbi about Gurri’s book “The Revolt of the Public.” (free – no paywall )

    The Prophet Of The Trump Era
    Review of Martin Gurri’s “The Revolt of the Public,” the book that called both an uprising and a reaction

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Both articles are very interesting, I’d only vaguely heard of Gurri before, but his ideas seem very insightful.

      1. flora

        Yes. His ideas makes a lot of sense. I think access to more information is good for democracy. If it upsets the elites to be challenged by the half of the country that’s been losing economic ground for the past 30 years, thanks to neoliberal govt policies, that’s a good thing. Suddenly, the ‘disposable people’ have to be responded to or negotiated with. (Or, the elites can decide the news has to be cens*red. / ;) )

  17. Chauncey Gardiner

    The story from Foreign Policy about the lakes of Kashmir, environmental degradation, and loss of their livelihoods by people in the region, is a story that is repeated daily all over the world in various forms. Demographic pressures, calculations of short-term political and economic gain, casual disregard of once beautiful natural environments, climate change… all contributing. Begs the question of how to respond.

  18. CH

    China’s Donghai Airlines suspends pilot and male attendant after allegedly fighting mid-flight over a toilet incident

    And the fight was badly dubbed. I’ll see myself out….

      1. Norm de plume

        I think it’s Jenna Owen who works with comedy teams The Chaser and The Shovel. She looks like a taller, funnier Sinead O’Connor, and no less spiky.

        The Chaser had a great tv show on the ABC a while ago but put too many official and corporate and media noses out of joint and so were forced to flee into the sunlit uplands of social media. So it goes.

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