Links 4/13/2021

Why Read the Classics? Abdelfattah Kilito, Baffler (Anthony L)

Japan to Dump Treated Radioactive Fukushima Water Into Ocean Bloomberg (David L). Not news per se, more a status update.

Despite Pandemic Shutdowns, CO2 Now at Levels Unseen in 3.6 Million Years Defend Democracy

Airborne plastic pollution ‘spiralling around the globe’, study finds Guardian (Kevin W)

Injectable gel found to help reinforce and resurface joint cartilage New Atlas (Kevin W). A way away from prime time. Only mice studies.

Brain Wifi Aeon

Here’s Why Stress Could Make Your Hair Fall Out, According to New Mouse Study Science Alert (Chuck L)

On a limb: Despite resistance, a group of researchers is investigating the possibility of a new mental health disorder STAT. Gah. An excuse for more medding of kids.

Can drinking cocoa protect your heart when you’re stressed? ScienceDaily (PlutoniumKun)

Last Men and Women Commonweal (Anthony L). “Are some virtues casualties of progress?”


How Bill Gates Impeded Global Access to Covid Vaccines New Republic

Pentagon scientists reveal a microchip that senses COVID-19 in your body BEFORE you show symptoms and a filter that extracts the virus from blood Daily Mail (Li). Even more reason to push for sniffer dogs!


Inhaled budesonide for COVID-19 in people at higher risk of adverse outcomes in the community: interim analyses from the PRINCIPLE trial MedRxIV. Preprint.

Scientists discover three liquid phases in aerosol particles (Kevin W)

The ongoing evolution of variants of concern and interest of SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil revealed by convergent indels in the amino (N)-terminal domain of the Spike protein Virological (guurst)

I really really really hate running this, since where it winds up is not that far from anti-vax CT. It’s not supposed to be possible for RNA to modify DNA (the central dogma of molecular biology is “DNA makes RNA makes proteins”), so this paper falls into the category of “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof” and I don’t think this paper meets that standard. Keep in mind, for instance, that certain enzymes can modify both DNA and RNA, so there may be a similar mechanism that produces this outcome.

Note also is not peer reviewed and I strongly suggest waiting to see the caliber of the takedowns before taking it as more than speculation supported by some data. We have very few actual biomedical scientists who are capable of assessing this article in our readership, and merely being expert adjacent does not cut it. So any speculation on this piece will be ripped out since it’s unlikely to be well informed. This BTW is Lambert’s find:

SARS-CoV-2 RNA reverse-transcribed and integrated into the human genome BioRxIv

We asked KLG, who is a professor and has also done basic research, for a sanity check:

A quick read says the data are probably good. Moreover, while I do not appreciate arguments from authority, Richard Young and Rudolf Jaenisch have been pioneers in the later phase of modern molecular biology (both have Wiki biographies FWIW). As a graduate student and since then, their work was often that which we read to understand molecular biology at the cutting edge. Young, especially, is “connected” to Big Money Biotech, but I don’t think that is relevant here. Some of his ideas about the control of gene expression seem “out there,” but a lot of modern molecular biology is out there (introns, for example).

How Common Is ‘Long Covid’? New Studies Suggest More Than Previously Thought Forbes

The leader of Sicily in Italy said as many as 80% of people are turning down the AstraZeneca jab Business Insider Australia (Kevin W)


Third Covid wave pushes Poland’s health system to limits Financial Times


How America’s Great Economic Challenge Suddenly Turned 180 Degrees New York Times. Resilc: “i figure the Michigan Covid blow up, when rolled out nation-wide, will slow demand.”

The American Jobs Plan’s tax provisions are valuable but not the limit on possible spending Economic Policy Institute


China tries to wear down its neighbors with pressure tactics NBC (furzy)

Hong Kong elections: can blank votes be outlawed and will Beijing be embarrassed by low turnout? South China Morning Post

Wanted: Experts on War William M. Arkin (resilc)

Calls mount for probe into US bio-labs after Russian claim Global Times (guurst). From an official Chinese house organ. But what is good for the good is good for the gander.

China’s Message to America: We’re an Equal Now Wall Street Journal. Resilc: “Nobody can equal the exceptionalism of delusion in USA USA.”


Did Delhi just yield the Indian Ocean to the US? Asia Times (Kevin W)


100 days later, Brexit isn’t working and business wants it fixed CNN

“My small business is in ruins and I see no way out.” West Country Bylines (guurst) :-(

How French companies are also being hit hard by Brexit Financial Times

Brexit: Boris Johnson’s EU trade deal branded worst UK negotiation in at least 40 years Independent

Much good discussion via e-mail of this tweet by Clive, Colonel Smithers, vlade, and David. Key easily hoistable points. David:

All previous tactics for 2022 have been based on the assumption that (1) Le Pen will get into the second round and (2) she will then lose to whoever is the other candidate…..But over the last year or so, we’ve begun to see indications that Le Pen might not, in fact, be unelectable after all. This is partly because recent events have moved the debate in her direction, over such questions as national sovereignty, Europe, industrial policy, political Islam, immigration etc. It should be stressed that these are not “right-wing” issues historically: they were issues addressed across the political spectrum until fairly recently, but which have since been abandoned by all the mainstream parties. Now (industrial sovereignty is a good example) everyone is talking of them again. But it’s partly also because of the mess that the rest of the French political system is in. As usual, it’s the Left (broadly defined) which is in the worst state. Unable to amass more than 25% of the vote, it’s still split into bitterly feuding factions, and the chances of it fielding a single candidate in 2022 are remote.

And vlade:

TBH, the reason why I think left/right labels are now wrong is actually simple.

The left, as it’s now, cares more about believing it’s right than power.
The right, as it is now, care more about getting and retaining power than any “right or wrong”.

We’d call it now “power-crazies” faction and a “smug” faction. The actual class policies are now irrelevant, and the “power-crazies” will happily do things for workers that communists would not blush about (as long as it gets and keeps them power), while the “smuggies” happily sending more people to powerty.

Brazil building new giant Christ statue, taller than Rio’s France 24. Resilc: “When vaccines dont work, you gotta go big Jesus.”

New Cold War

Facing the Facts of War with Russia American Conservative (Chuck L)


Israel Targeting of Iran the Result of U.S. Backing, Refusal to Acknowledge Its Nuclear Weapons Institute for Public Accuracy

EU Sanctions Iranian Officials Amid Vienna Talks (Kevin W)

Tariq Ali on our Saudi Prince New Left Review

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Appeals Court Hearing: Pelosi/Schiff Argue Congress Can Secretly Subpoena Phone Records of Citizens Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch is on the sane end of the right.

Imperial Collapse Watch

OMG, the arrogance and cluelessness of this perspective. So US thinks it can solve a real world physical problem that the chip makers themselves are highly motivated to straighten out faster because political pressure will help? And that the US give orders to chip makers who are overwhelmingly not in the US, nor in military protectorates that we can push around? And that’s before getting to the fact that even those countries know that screwing European corporate customers to favor US ones is not a good. The Japanese are masters of faux cooperation, of agreeing and then doing the least important 40% of what was requested slowly. I am confident that South Korea and Taiwan have their own gambits.


Democrats face mounting hurdles to agenda

Taiwan dollar drops with US set to apply currency manipulator tag Financial Times. Has someone lost their mind? Taiwan’s GDP on a PPP basis is $1.3 trillion and we are supposed to be their good buddy v. nasty China. China also buys nearly 3x as much of Taiwan’s exports as the US, if you include Hong Kong. Oh, and the currency should RISE if anyone though Taiwan would respond to the currency manipulator charge.

The Hill

Katie Porter (D-CA) Wields Her Iconic Whiteboard Like a Viking Sword and Merits Being Honored With the BuzzFlash Wings of Justice Award BuzzFlash

Top American CEOs vow to block Texas attack on voting rights in unprecedented Zoom summit Independent (Kevin W)

Democrats en déshabillé

Is It Time to Cancel FDR? Michael Lind (Chuck L)

“Why Should We Vote for a Party that Holds Us in Contempt?” – A Viewer Comment Paul Jay

Chris Hedges: We Must Build A New Party YouTube (Glenn F)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Shocking killing renews tensions over police The Hill. Trying to cuff and then shooting over expired tags? Seriously? I was driving my mother’s car with expired tags for nearly a year because the concept of “tags” as a non-car owner was new to me. I am highly confident I would only have been pulled over, scolded, and fined.

Bodycam footage of Daunte Wright shooting released CNN

Twins game against Red Sox postponed after Daunte Wright shooting New York Post (resilc)

Kill it With Fire

The city apparently got this costly toy in February, meaning when the city was Covid-budget stressed. What sexual favors were exchanged for that to happen?

Our Famously Free Press

Facebook’s Algorithm Practices Gender Discrimination Intercept (furzy)

Orders in Pending Cases Supreme Court. Li: “Social media might be natural monopolies. Scroll down to p 9 for Thomas view”

How Bill Hwang of Archegos Capital Lost $20 Billion in Two Days Bloomberg (Chuck L)

[Untitled Poem], Box 40, Folder 5, Item 7 St. Louis Fed (Scott). Marriner Eccles tries his hand at verse.

Guillotine Watch

New book sheds light on secretive Sackler family — the makers of opioid OxyContin PBS

From last week, still germane (guurst):

Class Warfare

Amazon workers react to the defeat of the RWDSU at Alabama warehouse WSWS (Micael T)

How Amazon Crushed The Union Threat In Alabama HuffPost

Krystal Ball: The Next Housing CRISIS Is Here And The Villains Are Exactly Who You’d Expect YouTube (dk). From last week, still germane.

Republican ‘attacks’ on corporations over voting rights bills are a hypocritical sham Guardian (resilc)

Elite philanthropy mainly self-serving Academic Times (Chuck L)

Antidote du jour. Tam: “I’ve just discovered that in Lombardy, Italy they have an annual ritual of donkey nannies that carry lambs down from the mountains!

And a bonus (furzy):

And another bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. PlutoniumKun

    Injectable gel found to help reinforce and resurface joint cartilage New Atlas (Kevin W). A way away from prime time. Only mice studies.

    Hyaluronic injections into the knees have been around for at least 2 decades, mostly for athletes. A friend of mine, an athlete nurse NZ who damaged her knees from years of competitive walking, came to Europe specifically because it was easier and cheaper to get here them done here. She said she needed them every few years, it was the only treatment that allowed her to move normally.

    From what I understand (not my area of expertise, to put it mildly), they are a little controversial and the meta studies are ambiguous, possibly because they are only useful for people who still have high quality bone/cartilage structures in the knee. My friend said that they were resisted by the orthopedic establishment in the US because they potentially would undermine the very profitable knee replacement industry, but I’ve no idea if that is true or not. Certainly the French orthopedic surgeon had no problem doing it to my friend on her word alone (I was with her at the time) and he seemed to consider it a low risk.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Yes, but this isn’t regular hyaluronic acid shots but a gel that apparently stays in place and apparently also helps adult stem cells to bind to it and so leads to tissue repair. I’ve read the research and hyaluronic acid is effective only in ameliorating mild to at worst moderate osteoarthritis. I’m surprised your friend needed a shot only every few years; the research suggests shots need to be either weekly or at least every few months to be effective.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Obviously, you’ve researched this and you know far more than I do, but she did refer to it as a gel that was developed for athletes (as she worked in orthopedics and had been a fairly high level athlete so she was very well informed about these things). From what I recall (this was about 8 years ago), she said it was not licensed in the US and needed renewal every 2 years and could only be prescribed by an orthopedic surgeon, even though the procedure was very quick and simple. She said it had been developed in Ireland and the testing had been done here on rugby players, but it was very expensive in NZ, but a fraction of the price in France and Ireland for some reason.

        I’d ask her for more information, but the last I heard from her she and her husband were cycling in some very remote part of Central Asia….

        1. Skip Intro

          I heard of a treatment several years ago for a sports-related cartilage injury, where they would use hyuralonic acid to damage then induce regrowth of natural cartilage. Sounded gruesome.

  2. Alfred

    “It is a scientific dualism based on the difference between matter and energy, rather than matter and spirit”

    I wonder why they don’t consider “spirit” to be energy. This article reminds me of the teachings of Don Juan from the Castendeda books. I can’t remember the exact words, but he said the source of your consciousness is out in space somewhere, being beamed into your body like a radio signal.

    Oh, my. Is that what I look like making it to bed? this is sobering.

    1. CNu

      Katumuwa’s mineral transmigration reminds me of alchemical notions

      Bone, vine, and phoenix represent the palingeneses of the vegetable and animal kingdoms from their mineral foundation. For Schwaller, the human femur—the largest bone in the body—was the repository of the fixed alchemical salt, the immortal mineral remains that neither fire nor putrefaction can destroy, ‘the last in corruption and the first in generation’ (Steeb). The incorruptible ashes or salts were regarded by Schwaller as the passive register that preserved an entity’s acquired consciousness, and the agent of all mutations between kingdoms and species.

        1. Stephen V.

          Yes indeed. To project dualism onto humanity’s mythic animistic past is an act of logomorphism. All too common, I’m afraid.

        2. Lee

          Although much of his presentation is well beyond my ken, I found it intriguing nonetheless. Am I correct in assuming that he was positing that consciousness is inherent to existence as evidenced in particle physics? Well, I’m off now. I’ve got mammoth traps and seedlings to attend to.

          As an aside, it could not escape my notice that the presentation was held in January 2020, in La Jolla, CA, and there was some pretty serious coughing going on in the audience.

    2. ArvidMartensen

      There are a lot of unsolved puzzles in the world that need new ways of seeing things. A bit like, the last thing to recognise water is a fish.

      If em energy has an impact on mind, then going under high tension powerlines must play merry hell with the mind, but not that I’ve noticed, although if my mind has stopped working then I would say that.

      Perhaps the excessive em energy in the human world messing with our minds due to the tech tsunami is the real explanation for Trump, Q-Anon, Biden’s election, FB addiction, articles in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Elon Musk, Brexit, Boris Johnston, the list goes on and on.

  3. John Siman

    At the outset of his essay “Why Read the Classics,” Abdelfattah Kiloto writes: “The strange thing is that despite not reading them, we behave as though we have read them and lay claim to the knowledge of their production. Personally, I have not read the Iliad, but I know the gist of it — and by the way, who reads Don Quixote? Most know about it only through the drawings of Gustave Doré or by way of a paragraph in the pages of a school textbook. This applies just as well to the majority of works designated as ‘classic’….” — Well, that’s a real big fucking problem, isn’t it just? A whole generation or more with all kinds of credentials and no experience of serious literature. We are living in a time of anti-Enlightenment, and we should be scared shitless by this fact.

    1. zagonostra

      It’s not just “classic literature” that is no longer read. I found myself scanning the essay for key points. There are different modes of reading. Did I really “read” this article?

      The kind of immersive reading of text is becoming a rarity. Ivan Illich in the “Vineyard of the Text” explores how revolutions in technology affect the way we read and understand text. My reading of Kiloto’s article is of a different nature than my reading of Plato’s dialogues or a Dostoevsky novel.

      Daniel Boorstin’s book “The Image” written in the early 60’s saw early how images were supplanting the written word. With that comes a “rewiring” of our brain’s pathways, even when we engage in written word over the “image” those types of reading that were done by Hugh of St. Victor in the 12th century are as far from my reading this article as a drawing of a stick figure is to a Gustave Dore painting.

      1. Martin Oline

        I have found my own reading differs on what I read. Fiction is easier and I can plow through 400 pages in a day because there is no there there. Non-fiction takes more time as I have found in reading the 4 volume set of George Orwell’s Collected Essays Letters and Journalism. I often have to stop and read some fiction for a break before going back to it for a couple days. It is a fascinating history lesson of the 1930’s and 40’s.

        1. Robert Gray

          > Fiction is easier and I can plow through 400 pages in a day because there is no there there.

          Sorry, but a blanket statement such as this just reveals the sort of fiction that you choose. The person has not yet been born who could ‘plow through’ 400 pages of, e.g., Joyce in a day and to claim that there is no there there is simply ludicrous.

          1. Martin Oline

            Straw man arguments are never impressive, but for full disclosure: I really dig the Cherry Ames student nurse series. I read the entire article because I also read Arabic literature when I can find it. My library carries none of the four ‘classic’ Arabic authors cited but one by the author Kiloto is available on the internet. I am saving audio books for when I am infirm. I am only retired at the present.
            My copy of Ulysses in the modern library edition is 797 pages. What do I read next week? Any suggestions?

      1. Susan the other

        I’ve heard it’s very funny, like the ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ of its day. But I’m so impatient with fiction, I’m only good for short stories anymore.

    2. Robert Hahl

      I did read Don Quixote to about one third through, until yet another absurd scene just didn’t interest me further. I stopped as I might stop any book after feeling that another one on the pile has waited for me long enough. But it was worthwhile.

      On the Nook I saw there were more than thirty English translations, all with free samples and introductions available and some were obviously better than others. One intro said that its purpose was to make Don Quixote funny in English since it is funny in the Spanish, and it really was funnier but still, one third of it was plenty.

      1. Basil Pesto

        if anyone is reading this and umming and ahhing about whether to read Quixote, I highly recommend reading the whole thing; it’s just very fun and funny. Volume 2 and its conceit is a pretty remarkable feat as well.

        1. Wukchumni

          The Good Soldier Švejk and Don Quixote are both marathons of absurdity, every page reveals another example and it can be tiring to laugh out loud over instances of improbability, but somebody has to do it.

          1. urblintz

            Agree with your rec for The Good Soldier Švejk as well. Wish I could have read that in Czech.

          2. km

            I read Svejk, I read The Last Days of Mankind and laffed my head off at both.

            I read about one-third of Quixote.

        2. urblintz

          My father, professor emeritus of Spanish Language and Literature, was a Cervantes scholar. Reading Quixote was a mainstay for any Spanish major. Remarkable is a proper adjective and indeed, it’s very very funny (he was crushed when the college dropped the language requirement and over the years was quite despondent over his diminishing class sizes)! Everyone should read it in whatever language they can, but reading the original Spanish can’t be beat.

          Alas, polyglotism is decidedly unappreciated in the USA.

          Que lastima…

          1. Alfred

            “Alas, polyglotism is decidedly unappreciated in the USA. ”

            You’re being very kind. Strongly discouraged, I would say.

            1. tegnost

              not a problem just as long as english is your second language but we don’t want to give any high falutin ideas to the deplorables, they can read the bible, especially that part where the meek shall inherit the earth… you know, when they’re buried in it.

    3. Val

      Iliad, Quixote, etc I also noticed that everyone became a molecular epidemiologist this time last year, fervently tweeting as much. Keep in mind, ALL darwinist hand-waving is somehow acceptable. But stroll along any chromosome, never tell what one may find, though you’ll actually have to look at it for yourself, like the Quixote!
      The RT’d covid paper is charmingly competent and from a well-stocked lab (where? Didn’t look, don’t care). Hoped they would have extracted some genomic DNA from, say, sputum of a clinical covid long hauler, RNase the holy hell out of it, then amp and sequence your N gene, golly gee who’s charging windmills now?

    4. cocomaan

      One of the side effects of the drive to destroy anything that stinks of racism, sexism, etc. is that the logical end is that anything penned before the year 2000 (or pick your arbitrary line) is suspect. Taken to its logical end of shunning, you eventually have no history to draw on, but all of your idioms, your culture, your art all relies on those things anyway.

      So in the process of eliminating, you become alienated to everything around you, which causes more lashing out. A destructive process.

      The shunning process in the Amish community drives out malcontents. But it encourages inbreeding.

      1. CanCyn

        In response to Cocomaan at 11:58am
        I have a theory that cancel culture is possible because no one reads history or learns enough/anything about art and culture. They have no context, no understanding of the past and thus it is easy for them to just ‘cancel’ anything they find offensive or triggering or whatever. So yes indeed, a most destructive process.

        1. cocomaan

          Your theory would line up well with schools no longer teaching anything outside the standardized test, thus ditching history, social studies, etc. I like it, at least a contributing factor.

    5. Robert Hahl

      Broadening the definition of “classics” a bit, one hears that Lady Chatterley’s Lover is one, but it’s overrated. I do think that Sons and Lovers justifies all the fuss made over D.H. Lawrence, but if you really want to see Englishmen having sex above their station, read The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley. (“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”) Made into a decent movie too.

    6. kareninca

      I have read the Iliad and I have also read Don Quixote. They are both translated into English; they are not hard to read.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “China tries to wear down its neighbors with pressure tactics”

    Meh! Bunch of amateurs. If they were going to up their game and be professional about it, then they would be hitting them with occasional missile strikes, sanctioning their people to the edge of starvation & misery with sanctions and sabotaging their infrastructure with cyber warfare. Add in a few tame NGOs and a local, obscure leader ready to become the head of their government and then you would have a decent package of pressures.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Actually I can respect that cat, skip. If Gideon’s Band of 300 had been selected from cats, then this particular cat would have made the cut.

  5. Mickey Hickey

    An executive of Maersk the Danish ship owner/operator stated a few days ago that the effects of the Suez bottleneck would clear around the middle of May. There are two major problems ships misplaced and the actual containers piling up in Europe to the point where harbourmasters do not let ships dock unless they commit to taking on containers. This means there are goods piled up in warehouses in East Asia waiting for containers. Which also means that manufacturing in North America and Europe is disrupted. Covid has created a problem for ship crews who cannot fly home and replacements cannot be flown to the ships. Some crews have been working 7 days a week for over a year that is not safe.

  6. ex-PFC Chuck

    The cat video is hilarious but when you look closely the stair climber is not the same animal as the wine taster. The color pattern of the fur around t he paws is different. In which case it may not quite so funny if the former has a neurological or musculature disorder.

    1. Alfred

      I thought the same–I had a cat who was recovering from a head trauma, and after only being able to walk in circles for a week, looked like this cat climbing the stairs. I have hopes and cheers for the Tik-tok cat–mine had a full recovery.

      1. JEHR

        I have to say that the drunk cat looks like animal cruelty to me. The cat could have had his paw in milk; it didn’t need to be wine.

  7. ObjectiveFunction

    Re: Archegos. They eat their own….

    The dilemma for Hwang’s lenders was obvious. If the stocks in his swap accounts rebounded, everyone would be fine. But if even one bank flinched and started selling, they’d all be exposed to plummeting prices. Credit Suisse wanted to wait.

    Late that afternoon, without a word to its fellow lenders, Morgan Stanley made a preemptive move. The firm quietly unloaded $5 billion of its Archegos holdings at a discount, mainly to a group of hedge funds. On Friday morning, well before the 9:30 a.m. New York open, Goldman started liquidating $6.6 billion in blocks….

    When the smoke finally cleared, Goldman, Deutsche Bank AG, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo had escaped the Archegos fire sale unscathed. There’s no question they moved faster to sell. It’s also possible they had extended less leverage or demanded more margin. As of now, Credit Suisse and Nomura appear to have sustained the greatest damage. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., another prime broker, has disclosed $300 million in likely losses.

    1. Maritimer

      “The firm quietly unloaded $5 billion of its Archegos holdings at a discount, mainly to a group of hedge funds. ”
      I would love to know who the unloadees were. Bunch of Chumps. I imagine MS have software that scores “clients” and then MS burns the lowest on the list when necessary. (“Hey, Freddie, get me $5Billion worth of Chumps and fast!”) And, probably unlikely the Chumps ever sue, either unable or too scared.

      “Swim with the sharks, you gonna get bitten.”

  8. Martin Oline

    Chris Hedges: We Must Build a New Party runs about 55 minutes but it is worth the time. Thank you for the link.

  9. The Rev Kev

    Nah they really got these robot police dogs in NYC. This is wild’

    This is not a toy nor is it a stunt. I think that the purpose of this thing is to intimidate people, to freak them out and make them uncertain using the uncanny valley effect. But at the bargain basement price of only about $75,000, which police force can resist having one to play with?

    1. Alfred

      The thought crossed my mind also–can you sue a robot? Can robots be expected by law to exercise the guidelines of policing? Are programmers responsible for robot behavior? What were the protocols these programmers were following? All that, plus being in a park to relax where one of these shows up, freaks me out.

      1. norm de plume

        ‘The thought crossed my mind also–can you sue a robot?’

        No. The fact that you can’t sue a machine means that bad actors can act badly and hide their own lack of humanity behind the machine’s lack of humanity. Crimes will become errors.

        You also don’t have to pay a robot, or give it sick leave, or indeed any leave at all. Jeez, it can work 24/7.

        What’s not to like?

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Oh come on. You sue the robot owner. If a worker on an auto assembly line is hurt by a malfunctioning robot, he sues his employer. If a surgeon botches a surgery because his robot arm didn’t work right, you sue the hospital..

    2. Fireship

      Robot police dogs. Black people being summarily executed on the street. Heavily armed riot police in residential neighborhoods. Sounds like the blurb for a dystopian movie but it is actually USA 2021. The descent into total fail state quickens.

    3. norm de plume

      Anyone who thinks that panic about this development is over the top needs to watch this episode of Black Mirror.

      On Netflix. 40 mins long. ‘Deeply unsettling’ is right.

  10. Wukchumni

    There’s a ‘burn it all down’ mentality among a small percentage of our population that frankly has nothing left to lose, aside from the looming freedom to throw spanners in the works, resulting in a lost world that kind of resembles Luddism, but without the idea that machines have brought us to this point, they’re merely handy adversaries.

    We’re in a Covid respite where if you didn’t know any better you’d claim the enemy was licked and its back to the wall based on declining numbers here, but we all know the nature of the beast we’ve become close with, and here we are eager to reopen everything-only to shut it down again, another chance at hope dashed and back to the same old same old seclusion.

    Will that be the catalyst?

  11. petal

    Have to agree with KLG. If it’s coming from Rudi Jaenisch, I tend to buy it. He’s been solid, and for a long time. Great track record. He also helped my group out of a work-stopping jam back in the day when he didn’t have to.

  12. flora

    re: Despite Pandemic Shutdowns, CO2 Now at Levels Unseen in 3.6 Million Years – Defend Democracy

    Thawing permafrost releases CO2 and methane.

    Permafrost and Carbon Storage

    Permafrost soils are one of the great carbon storage zones on Earth, where, over millennia, the organic remains of plants and animals were frozen before they could be decomposed by microorganisms. Now that permafrost is thawing, these frozen remains will begin to decompose, returning long-stored carbon (C) to the atmosphere in the form of greenhouses gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4).

    What happens in the arctic does not stay in the arctic, as the saying goes.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Facing the Facts of War with Russia”

    It is crazy what is happening in Europe at the moment. Washington seems to be really stoking a fight between the Ukraine and Russia. You have at least hundreds of tons of military gear being shipped to the Ukrainians, the military attache to the US Embassy has been seen visiting the front lines, NATO is holding an emergency meeting with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will visit NATO headquarters this week and last week you had the head of NATO’s Military Committee complete a two-day visit to Ukraine. Does the Ukraine think that NATO will actually enter the Ukraine to help them fight the Donbass forces?

    But what is worse is how the media have also been pushing for a fight and have been eager to see US weapons being used on the front lines. A few hours ago I saw a story that was really pushing the line that Russia is about to invade the Ukraine. To prove this, CNN showed footage of a train carrying Russian tanks towards the front lines. The only problem is that is was actually Ukrainian T-72 tank being sent to eastern Ukraine passing through Dnipro and I bet that they knew that when they used that tape.

    Meanwhile the US navy is sending warships into the Black Sea so I will quote an article about this development-

    ‘The CNN feature mentioned that U.S. Navy routinely operates in the Black Sea, crisis or no crisis, but that dispatching additional warships to the sea would “send a specific message to Moscow that the US is closely watching.” The equivalent of what’s being considered would be Russia sending several guided-missile cruisers through the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Great Lakes to “send a message” to the U.S. over Washington moving troops in the direction of the Canadian border.’

    1. Bill Smith

      There are plenty of videos of Russian equipment being moved to the border going back weeks that have been geolocated in Russia. (Same for the Ukraine.)

      There is plenty of blame to go around.

      Hundreds of tons of military equipment being shipped is just about meaningless unless we know what type of equipment it is. After all 5 tanks might weigh 300 tons.

      I did notice stories that Biden is withholding some Congressional authorized aid to the Ukraine.

      1. urblintz

        “There are plenty of videos of Russian equipment being moved to the border going back weeks that have been geolocated in Russia”


      2. The Rev Kev

        I should have clarified that that ‘Hundreds of tons of military equipment being shipped’ that I mentioned is being flown in by US military transports and not on those trains. And they would not be flying in tanks but maybe Javelins and more advanced weaponry.

        1. Bill Smith

          I agree with that. I have been wondering what they would have carried.

          At least one flight by the Canadians, they have come out and said it was only normal supplies/personal to their NATO forces engaged training in western Ukraine.

          Otherwise, who knows…

          1. ambrit

            Hah! ‘Normal’ supplies for an army unit would include ammo, big time.
            One question here is how much of the ‘supplies’ being airlifted to the region’s NATO troops is compatible with Ukrainian weapons.
            This situation is exactly what the terminal Soviet negotiators were afraid of. They knew their Western opponents too well, and didn’t trust them one bit.
            A key tell to how this situation might play out is if the Americans send an amphibious assault ship into the Black Sea with a Marine Expeditionary Force aboard. (I can just see those idiots trying to seize Sebastopol by sea. “We’re just helping the peace loving Ukies ‘regain’ their lost province.”)

      3. IMOR

        ….aaannnndd we’ve learned the generals and State Dept/NED ghouls will do precisely whatever they intend regardless of Presidential order. I don’t see how, on the record since the Georgian invasion (or maybe the 1700s), there’s an equivalence here. ‘Bad actors on both sides’ doesn’t vitiate any of the points made in the Am Cons article or by the Rev, does it?

        1. urblintz

          ‘Bad actors on both sides’ doesn’t vitiate any of the points made in the Am Cons article or by the Rev, does it?”

          No, it doesn’t.

  14. miningcityguy

    Why should we vote for a party that holds us in contempt? – A viewer comment

    I can see why Paul Jay thinks this comment from Ann Morrison of rural Wisconsin is so powerful. Ms Morrison traces the history of Wisconsin politics from being at one time a pretty much all blue state to the present. The Democratic Party during that time consciously spurned both rural Wisconsin and industrial Wisconsin. Bill Clinton supported NAFTA. Bill Clinton ended most welfare. Barack Obama completely failed to support the Wisconsinites who were protesting against Scott Walker and seeking his recall. Hillary Clinton offers nothing that would improve the material circumstances of the people in Wisconsin but instead calls Trump supporters ” deplorable”.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Everything in that article lines up with what I have read but there is one thing that I wonder about. How would this article read to a Brooklynite liberal for example. I suspect that they would read it through their own filters.

  15. dave

    I think vlade is on the right track.

    I’ve taken to calling the Republicans “the willful ignorants” and the Democrats “the smug condescenders”.

    1. Dirk77

      I’d vote for Le Pen if I were French, to judge by the views of the few French people I know. Being PMC, they are all violently against her. Yet, take away their class Trump-like revulsion, then I can see her appeal.

  16. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Politico tweet–Why the president can’t quickly solve the computer chip shortage

    It’s tempting to point out how “the president,” as a younger and more lucid career “public servant,” was a significant force in creating the thorny problem that he cannot now “quickly solve,” but it’s also painfully obvious so I won’t.

    “We’ve talked about whether or not we’re doing anything in terms of bipartisanly. Well, we are,” Biden said. “Both sides of the aisle are strongly supportive of what we’re proposing, and I think we can really get things done for the American people.”

    “Bipartisanly.” Sharp as a tack, this guy, and I’m sure his “plan” will reflect that.

  17. Carla

    Thank you, Yves. Today’s Links NEEDED three antidotes, and once again, you came through.

    I was stopped for expired tags once years ago. I told the officer the truth: “I just split from my husband and he always took care of that. I’m sorry, Officer, I just wasn’t aware of it.” Of course, he never ordered me to get out of the car. He gave me a ticket and that was that.

    1. Alex

      Something tells me you didn’t have any arrest warrants, and if you did you wouldn’t have resisted arrest.

      If I had a black kid, my #1 piece of advice to him would be “If they start to arrest you, let them. We’ll have plenty of time to figure it out with a lawyer.”

      Not many of these shootings happen after the guy is in custody. Is it often unfair that he’s being arrested? Yes, but live to fight another day.

      1. jax

        Put yourself into the mind of a young Black man who knows that many before him have died en route to the police station, or at the station itself. You say, ‘oh, that was in the bad, old days’, but the constant drum beat of young black men shot by the police whispers to him ‘They can kill me.’

        We underestimate how traumatized communities of color in this country truly are. A practiced exercise of putting ourselves into their shoes is required on a daily basis.

  18. km

    Re LePen.

    Vlade is generally correct on the internal dynamics of smug lefties vs power hungry righties, but in the specific case at hand – Marine LePen is considered unacceptable by the people who matter in France and the EU.

    Therefore, the French political establishment will be permitted to do whatever it takes to keep her out of power. That goes double after the clownshow that was Trump.*

    My guess is that the French establishment has about one more electoral cycle left in it before The Deluge hits. Maybe the plan is to hold out long enough for LePen to die or retire and then hope that her replacement is more tractable or less effective. At least that replacement will have some building to do.

    Germany is where France was a few years ago – the the populace is seething with white hot rage, the establishment parties are unresponsive at best, but the alternatives are still too scary and declasse for solid citizens to contemplate.

    *An interesting question would be what would have happened in German and French politics if Trump had lost in 2016. Trump, his buffoonery and manifest incompetence were the best election managers the European establishment could have asked for. “Vote for a populist and *this* doofus is what you’ll get!” was their real slogan.

    1. David

      I agree about the one electoral cycle; indeed it’s quite possible that we will not see an election in 2027 under the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, or indeed the Fifth Republic itself. It’s also true that, assuming Le Pen goes down this time, she’s unlikely to have another go in 2027. So perhaps all the system has to do is wait, and then unleash the same kind of propaganda barrage next year against Le Pen that we saw in 2017, and after that it’ll be back to normal.
      But I’m not sure. I think the obsession with Le Pen is perhaps missing the point. Given the complexity and uncertainty of the French electoral system and the legendary bolshiness of the French, such a a barrage will not necessarily work. All that’s needed is for a large enough proportion of the electorate to stay and home, and anything is possible. What you won’t see, however, is Le Pen with a comfortable majority in Parliament, because the RN simply doesn’t have the strength in depth. If Le Pen were to win (which I personally doubt, as things stand) then the lack of a majority in Parliament might be enough to break the system. Indeed, the most likely way the Fifth Republic could fall is a weak President and a hopelessly divided Parliament, where no lasting government could be formed. We’ve been here before, of course;

      1. km

        A very good point. Even if LePen were to win (which I also doubt will be allowed to happen, for the reasons given), she would have a very hard time governing. Besides a lack of parliamentary support, the entire French government apparatus to a man will be looking to stymie her and her agenda, with tacit or overt encouragement from Brussels and the entire European political establishment.

        Again, the career of one D. Trump provides an excellent object lesson here. It certainly didn’t help that Trump probably didn’t expect to win, and that he definitely did not do the things he would need to do in advance to enact his agenda, had he expected to win. That left Trump, weak, stupid, easily manipulated, easy prey for his new found BFFs on Team R.

        As to whether a LePen would be better prepared, I cannot say.

  19. DJG, Reality Czar

    Why Should We Vote for a Party That Holds Us in Contempt?

    I read through the transcript, and the irony is that the transcript didn’t seem to capture all of Ann Morrison’s delivery. I imagined her speaking Upper Great Lakes English. It’s as if the algorithm can’t even hear people from this part of the country.

    In spite of the glitches in the transcript, everything that she says is true about patterns and trends that we see in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois. Less so Indiana, which is much too conservative for its own good. “Not as Lutheran,” to paraphrase Morrison. Ohio has different forms of devastation.

    Ironically, she lives in Viroqua, in a part of the state that is still reputed to be prosperous. Yet her description of the destruction of farming in the Great Lakes States is on the mark.

    Her anecdote about the welder becoming an “old” graphic designer is worth contemplating.

    The lack of concern for the economy by either party is more than obvious. To paraphrase a comment by vlade today, you have the “smug” party and the “anything for power” party. This also applies to the World Socialist site’s wrapup of the Amazon / Bessemer skirmish: The union hasn’t produced real gains for many of its members.

    But everyone is running truly groovy Tweet campaigns!

    1. Pelham

      Agreed, and I really like her rundown of the specific policies that have clobbered her part of Wisconsin as well as industrial cities in the eastern part of the state. I think we need more of this rather than valid but cosmic complaints about deindustrialization. Her detailed recitation conveys the impact of successive face punches delivered by Democrats over many years now.

    2. RMO

      “Her anecdote about the welder becoming an “old” graphic designer is worth contemplating.”

      Personal experience supports the idea that once you hit 40 “retraining” is likely to prove to be a snipe hunt.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Democrats face mounting hurdles to agenda”

    From what I can see, the hurdles that the Democrats face are ones that they put in their own way rather than the Republicans. It is not the people like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that they have the most hassle with but other Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin. As an example, those $2,0000 checks that the Democrats promise and reneged upon. Was this a result of the Democrats negotiating with the Republicans over this or was it a result of the Democrats negotiating with themselves. But not to worry. This guy on Twitter named @DoctorFishbones has tweeted out the following-

    ‘Good news everyone – the Senate Parliamentarian ruled that Chuck Schumer can pass bills that aren’t Medicare For All and a $15 minimum wage’

    1. zagonostra

      As long as the shadows on the wall are in the form of Dems versus Repubs, the true nature of political reality will be obscured. It has been, it is, and it probably will always be, to varying degrees, a battle of a small powerful minority (oligarchs, plutocrats, special interest, elites, take your pick) against the majority.

  21. Wukchumni

    My better half has been playing barber the past year and she’s better @ cosmology than cosmetology, being a rocket scientist (actually her expertise was getting radiation hardened computers into space) and all that.

    Got my first jab a few weeks ago and was feeling safe enough to procure a haircut & shave, which requires sans mask.

    I’ve been going to the same place for many years now, and it was always $18 or $20, but the new rate was $32, a 70% or 60% raise in price despite no cost increases in the tools of the trade, or rise in rent.

    There used to be 6 barbers always busy and often 4 or 5 waiting their turn, but not the other day. In my 20 minutes in the chair there was only one other customer among the 3 barbers.

    What other services have you noticed draconian increases in cost on?

    1. upstater

      Same increase with my barbershop; $18 to $30. I went last fall and was miffed about the increase. Started going to my wife’s hair cutter that has a shop in her basement. Better haircut, half the price!

      1. CanCyn

        In Ontario many of these services were closed for months, and they got some financial support. In your neck of the woods, without gov’t aid, whether they were closed or just operating with fewer customers, I would guess that the increases may be about making up for lost income.

        1. Wukchumni

          You’d think in the land of unfettered capitalism there’d be oodles of new barbershops undercutting the overpriced competition, but not this shear.

      1. R

        Your engineering is not going to show off its physics without chemistry!

        I suspect a lot of the science in rocket science was chemistry, both inorganic (propellants), metallurgical (titanium etc) and organic (polymers, Teflon to handle those hellish liquid propellants etc).

        There’s a lot of hilarious things that go boom in the memoir Ignition!

        Download options here:

  22. Rod

    Airborne plastic pollution ‘spiralling around the globe’, study finds Guardian (Kevin W)

    A Plague.

    or this??

    the above states:

    Kaminsky said this model, which leaves management control mainly in the hands of producers, could be a key to helping the bill pass in New York because it helps create buy-in from big-name brands.

    Nancy R, what should we do??

  23. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    “Despite Pandemic Shutdowns, CO2 Now at Levels Unseen in 3.6 Million Years–NOAA warned that carbon dioxide and methane “continued their unrelenting rise in 2020.”

    At the boundaries of unthinkable thought, or at the approach to the event horizon, if one is so inclined towards the metaphorical, it is observed that evolutionary dead ends, impermanence, and extinctions are the brutal truths dominating this reality. Humanity is not unique and may in fact contain the seeds of that fundamental irredeemable nature that the priest class observed centuries ago regarding this planet’s rogue ape, invasive species. That is, as selfish over consumers, humans as a species are inherently destructive to themselves specifically and their environment, more generally, because individual short term thinking crowds out longer term negative spillovers, temporarily. Or so it would appear.

  24. Mikel

    RE: “On a limb: Despite resistance, a group of researchers is investigating the possibility of a new mental health disorder STAT”. Gah. An excuse for more medding of kids

    And the long term effects of all the other meds for BS disorders? I’d like to know more about the studies on the long-term effects of all this medication of children. It has to be ongoing and more of it out there, because this classification of behavioral disorders non-sense has gotten out of hand.

    It’s “Pop A Pill Nation”. Even the over idealized era like the 1950s was spead freaks buzzing underneath. The eras before that, it was “step right up” and buy who knows what from con (Amen posing as businessmen (America’s favorite type to exhalt).

    I’ve actually gottne the impression before from doctors that they were pushing drugs on me. Conditions that had non-drug alternatives for treatment for me – like getting more sleep.

    1. ArvidMartensen

      Re making this new “disorder” an official diagnosis eg putting it into the DSM.

      First of all, that is the most appropriate place for it. The DSM is the home of diagnoses which have no scientific validity:
      The DSM is rejected as the grounds for research applications by the National Institute of Mental Health:

      Second of all, the DSM seems to be about “excessive medicalization and stigmatization of transitive, even normative distress” eg grief

      Human beings are genetically diverse in all sorts of neurological ways. There are two ways to go. Narrowly define “normal” and drug everybody who lies outside of “normal”. Ka-Ching!
      Or accept diversity and support everybody contributing according to their abilities. Would sort of see off racism, sexism, physical ableism, ageism, neurotypicalism, etc etc etc.

  25. tegnost

    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said over Congress’s recent two-week recess that he did not support increasing the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 21 percent, adding that he would support raising it to 25 percent instead.

    Joe Manchin…the pawl of the ratchet

  26. cocomaan

    The J&J vaccine news is a disaster of PR if you’re interested in vaccinating the entire US population. All of a sudden, the vaccinistas that I know, who were pushing it hard, have shut up really fast. All of a sudden, being part of a massive medical experiment seems a little more dangerous.

    Someone pointed out that 6 blood clots is nothing compared to gun violence in America. But then why pull it at all? There’s been other adverse events before today, what about these blood clotting problems is so concerning?

    Especially at issue is that people are going to be recommended to take a booster of the SAME vaccine in a year’s time, or six months, or whenever officials think a booster/annual shot is needed. Not good for those who got JnJ

    1. Psmith

      Yes, its absolutely a PR disaster for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine (and I suppose for all the vaccines, to some degree). I had the J&J vaccine two weeks ago and I certainly experienced a _mauvais quart d’heure_ on hearing today’s news. I understand the part about these blood clots being very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very rare, but that’s scant consolation if you happen to draw the short straw. Good luck to everyone else on #TeamJohnsonandJohnson! And in Guinea Pig Nation.

    2. Anonapet

      Karl Denninger (Market Ticker) says the reason treatments like Ivermectin, etc are being ignored is that one can’t get a EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) for a new vaccine if effective, non-vaccine, treatments exist. And no EUA means no $billions for Big Pharma.

      Anyway, Denninger is a hothead but, imo, he makes intelligent arguments which, if true, justify a great deal of indignation.

      Proverbs 18:17

        1. Anonapet

          Only to a point.

          Then he tells you to bite him and bans you.

          Kinda detracts from his credibility …

      1. Cuibono

        i have heard that argument repeated ad nauseum we do have approved emergency treatments already so i doubt it is correct.

    3. sd

      I’m so cynical…

      The chance of developing a clot among the general population is 1:1,000 a year while the chance of developing a clot ostensibly from the J&J vaccine is 1:1,000,000

      Cui bono

      1. flora

        Look at the age distributions of the events, not the general all-age background number. I think that’s possibly where a long-tail risk might be showing up from this new class of vaccines which isn’t explained by total general background numbers. My 2 cents.

    4. jen

      Agree that it’s not good from a PR perspective, however having just received the J&J on Sunday, and 6/7,000,000 are odds I’m willing to live with. Not super enthused at the prospect of having chills and major fatigue after each jab.

      1. jun mas

        Well, I’ve had both jabs of Moderna vac. And both times I spent a subsequent day laying down and feeling lousy and fatigued. While somewhat dsiconcerting, I simply told myself it was my immune system response for future protection (of some kind).

    5. Ella

      I got my J&J vaccine 6 days ago, I’m 49 Female and I’m freaking out.

      I know it’s not “rational” and it’s “unlikely” to happen to me, but that’s no consolation.

      I am pro vaccine and I have never felt more like a pawn in a big science experiment. I’ve spent most of the day crying and extremely nervous. This after being knocked down for 2 days from the vaccine (side effects).

      It’s just too. much.

      1. newcatty

        Ella, Sorry to read about your experience. It is easy to tell ourselves that we are being irrational about something that is being propagandized as against “the science”, as the fact that a serious outcome of having had a vaccine ,which has had a detrimental effect on those of your own cohort, is being spun as just so rare that one must be practical and calm when in your position. BS.
        The latest, AFAIK, is that the “pause” on J&J is positive! This shows that the Biden administration is led by the science! And, really, there is plenty of moderna and Pzier to vaccinate the people. Never let any spin by “authorities ” or “government officials” have influence on your very rational and understandable stress and worry about your life at this time. After 6 days from getting the J&J vaccine, it’s a good probability that you will be OK. In meantime it’s most reasonable to be nervous and cry. As I am reminded often : deep breathing and keeping whatever ” the faith ” is for you helps.

    6. Maritimer

      I am more concerned with the Corporate Rap Sheets for J&J, Pfizer and AZ than any other factor. Even more concerning is that no Dr. Health Expert/Public Health Official has addressed these Rap Sheets.

      These records are easily available on the Tubes.

  27. Wukchumni

    Came across this the other day, and what are the odds that 2 fellows named Naismith would come up with walking calculations & basketball, at around the same time?

    Naismith’s rule helps with the planning of a walking or hiking expedition by calculating how long it will take to travel the intended route, including any extra time taken when walking uphill. This rule of thumb was devised by William W. Naismith, a Scottish mountaineer, in 1892. A modern version can be formulated as follows:

    Allow one hour for every 3 miles (5 km) forward, plus an additional hour for every 2,000 feet (600 m) of ascent. (Wiki)

  28. shtove

    On cocoa and heart health – I see they used flavanol rich cocoa, which is not the Dutch-processed stuff you get in supermarkets. Apples and green tea may be decent replacements.

    1. Elizabeth

      I make mine with unsweetened chocolate – not dutch processed. The stuff you find, like Swiss Miss, and other “hot chocolate” drinks is terrible. Not a coffee drinker, so this is my wake-up beverage. Glad to know it’s good for me.

      1. juno mas

        Not certain whether the flavanoids being referred to in the article are the poly-phenols that folks thought were present in dark chocolate (made from cocoa beans), but it has been determined that polyphenols found in natural,un-processed beans are eliminated in any subsequent processing.

        This finding was in a recent Link (can’t locate it) in NC.

        It seems the heart protecting proclamations for chocolate are overstated: eat blueberries instead.

    2. kareninca

      You can’t get dutch processed cocoa in the Safeways near me in Silicon Valley in CA. I tried to find some to make a chocolate loaf cake according to a recipe that required it. You have to go to a specialty store to get dutch processed. I wonder if you live in Europe.

      Hershey’s cocoa powder – the easy thing to find here – is definitely not dutch processed.

        1. kareninca

          Actually what I have read is that the “natural” cocoa that is common in the U.S. is more healthful than the dutch processed that is common in Europe. Because the dutching processes removes phytonutrients. So they aren’t doing anything to our U.S. cocoa; they are doing something to yours. The dutching, which involves processing with alkali, means that you need less sugar. I guess there is also a more intense flavor, and it affects the texture.

          I am not a foodie so once I discovered what a nuisance this all was I went back to my old retro American cookbooks that call for good old natural – and cheap – Hershey’s cocoa powder (or Trader Joe’s equivalent).

  29. flora

    re: Pentagon scientists reveal a microchip that senses COVID-19 in your body BEFORE you show symptoms and a filter that extracts the virus from blood – Daily Mail

    DARPA again? (Friends call it the I’ll be back agency.) From the article:

    One of their recent inventions, they told 60 Minutes on Sunday night, was a microchip which detects COVID infection in an individual before it can become an outbreak.

    The microchip is sure to spark worries among some about a government agency implanting a microchip in a citizen.

    Officials who spoke to the 60 Minutes team said the Pentagon isn’t looking to track your every move.

    A more detailed explanation was not given.

    This is the same DARPA with a long history of trying to track everyone and every move. See their 2003 Total Information Awareness (TIA) proposal .

    From PBS:

  30. Mikel

    Re:The ongoing evolution of variants of concern and interest of SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil revealed by convergent indels in the amino (N)-terminal domain of the Spike protein Virological (guurst)

    “I really really really hate running this, since where it winds up is not that far from anti-vax CT…”

    But they are actual studies being done by scientists. So why feel guilty about showing people that it is all still being studied? All of it. And then these studies need to be studied.

    1. juno mas

      No, probably not. But, with all that information on him, it’s likely they could go find him later. Without having to explain they “accidentally” shot him dead from a right-side Glock, not the left-side Taser.

      Over the years the police have learned to “game” the technology that was intended to end these sort of killings. (Yell “Taser, Taser” when you know full well that you’re reaching for your lethal weapon.)

      1. Michael Sharkey

        juno mas said “with all that information on him, it’s likely they could go find him later.”

        I’m unaware of the Minneapolis police policy, but I suspect that when an officer stops an individual who has an outstanding warrant for possession of a handgun without a permit, they are required to arrest the individual. Also, given the use of body cams and the present state of affairs in Minneapolis, I seriously doubt this was intentional. What purpose is served by a 26 year veteran of the police force intentionally killing a suspect? Did she really intend to ruin her life, knowing full well her actions would become public knowledge?

  31. Brunches with Cats

    No mimosas, brunches with my cat are alcohol-free, seeing as it’s really just late breakfast. But if by chance I ever left a cocktail or wine within reach of the cat, I would remove it the instant I saw him trying to drink it, not let him get drunk so I could film it and add stupid music for stupid people to laugh at on social media. Surely I can’t be alone among this pet-loving commentariat to have thought it painful to watch that poor, confused cat struggle up the stairs?

    1. harrybothered

      I’m with you. Watching the animal drink was OK, although, like you, I would have removed it quickly. Watching it walking up the stairs was painful and I couldn’t finish it.

  32. Big River Bandido

    Re: Michael Lind wants to “cancel” FDR. This article is so stupid, I had to bail after several paragraphs in an effort to preserve what intelligence I still have left. For starters, Lind’s use of “progressive” and “populist” belie either ignorance or a calculated smear. Probably a combination of both.

    1. Anonapet

      I liked it! Makes me think better of FDR even though he (reluctantly) agreed to government guarantees of private, including privately created(!) (“Bank ‘loans’ create bank deposits”) liabilities for fiat.

      Also liked FDR’s desire for family farms as the norm.

      1. Harold

        Wallace defended family farms, but not very small ones. Medium is what I read somewhere, but haven’t been able to find the reference. Not sure what his criterion for measuring size would have been.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Wallace defended family farms, but not very small ones

          I don’t know what Wallace would have set the bar at, but the internets seem to make the case the machinery needed to plant and so forth is expensive for farms under 200 acres. The stuff used by gardeners won’t last or would be expensive for farm production where you would refer to it as crops.

  33. Wukchumni

    [Untitled Poem], Box 40, Folder 5, Item 7 St. Louis Fed
    That was fun, you just couldn’t imagine a latter-day Fed Chief taking apart the President in such a fashion, recommended!

  34. Willis

    “Shocking killing renews tensions over police”

    This type of thing has been going on for so long, that its represented by its own line item in city budgets. A line item that in some cities is much larger than others. According to the Daily News:

    “New York City taxpayers spent a whopping $230 million to pay off 6,472 lawsuits settled against the NYPD in the last fiscal year, according to an annual report released Monday by Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office.The amount reflects settlements made from July 2017 through June 2018, and marks a 32% decrease from the prior year, when the city paid out $335 million for lawsuits against the police department.”

  35. Pelham

    Re the Minnesota shooting: There was a warrant out for the victim’s arrest, and when an officer announced that, Wright resisted and tried to get back in the car, as the bodycam video shows.

    The audio also reveals the officer clearly yelling “taser” repeatedly before the shooting occurred, suggesting the discharge was accidental. Then the wounded victim sped off and crashed into another car.

    The officer who fired the shot made a mistake. That’s it. What else could have been done in this case? Should they have just let Wright speed off — as he did — and possibly cause a traffic fatality? I’d really be interested in an informed opposing viewpoint.

    In the meantime and given what is known so far about the case, I’m reserving most of my sympathies for the veteran police officer who fired the fatal shot as she faces a wave of deeply and deliberately uninformed and vile accusations that are likely to follow her for the rest of her life after 26 years of public service.

    1. Anthony Stegman

      How did the officer make such a mistake? The weapons are holstered on opposite sides of the body. Was she nervous and reached for the wrong weapon? If so, she had no business being on patrol. Nervous cops should never be allowed on the streets. Desk duty is more appropriate.

    2. Tom Stone

      Pelham, a Taser is not only worn on the opposite side of the body from the pistol it has a different grip, balances differently and is bright yellow.
      Really bright.
      I seem to recall a Bat Cop doing much the same thing, with the same result.
      Fear, stupidity and bad training .

    3. The Rev Kev

      This has happened before on an underground metro station in a US city and the whole thing was filmed by the passengers at the open door. A black guy was on the ground and there was a whole bunch of cops there when one standing up reached for his pistol and blam, shot him through the chest and killed him. He claimed too that he was reaching for a Tazer but you would think that as his Tazer was bright yellow and need to be aimed, that that would have been a bit of a give away that he had the wrong weapon. Completely understandable that. Just a minute ago I thought that I was drinking my coffee but discovered that I was actually holding the TV remote. Happens all the time that.

    4. Fireship

      Your sniveling authoritarianism is disgusting. So police officers are now allowed to summarily execute people in the street as long as they yell “taser” first? You seem to have some type of brain worm infection similar to that of MAGA CHuDs.

      1. Wukchumni

        Is this a taser which I see before me,
        The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
        I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
        Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
        To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
        A taser of the mind, a false creation,
        Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
        I see thee yet, in form as palpable
        As this which now I draw.

  36. JEHR

    Re: How Bill Gates Impeded Global Access to Covid Vaccines

    Now I know why my stomach churns whenever I see Gates’ name! In Canada we have had problems getting vaccine supplies–so much so that we are facing a third pandemic based on variants because we didn’t get the amount of vaccine needed in March and April this year. However, this dilemma is of our own making because we closed up our manufacturing base for vaccines a long time ago when life seemed so free of pandemics.

    This article makes me so angry because this billionaire has enough power that he can make sure that the idea of Intellectual Property can overrule access to vaccine that would prevent deaths by the hundreds in poor countries that cannot pay the price that pharma wants for its products. The man is, indeed, evil in this context.

    Please read the article.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you.

      The Gates Foundation donates to the BBC and Guardian, so gets air time and favourable coverage. The foundation also gets much of the British and even some of the French aid budgets to disburse as it sees fit or to mandates that are subject to little or no oversight.

    2. RMO

      The vaccine shortage here in Canada is a big problem but the variants wouldn’t have become the nightmare they are if we had implemented proper travel restrictions and ensured effective quarantining procedures for those entering the country.

      Here in BC I’m still struggling with trying to get a vaccination based on my lack of a spleen (which is supposed to give me some degree of priority) but they’ve decided to vaccinate everyone in Whistler where the Brazillian variant broke out at the ski resort and town. Because it was apparently vitally necessary to have ski resorts open and have people come in with a Brazillian mutation of the virus during a global pandemic. The lesson seems to be “do something brain dead stupid that lets the virus spiral out of control and get put first in line for the vaccines that are in short supply.”

      1. JEHR

        RMO, I sympathize with your not being able to find a safe way to get vaccinated. I hope you get your dilemma solved soon.

        It seems to me that there were a number of reasons why Canada came out on the short end–some of them our fault for not having manufacturing vaccine capabilities and some of them from our leaders. Our PM was accused of hoarding vaccines but that turned out to be a good thing otherwise we might have had only one or two vaccines to choose from and we wouldn’t have known which were the best. (J&J and AstraZenica do not seem to be as safe as we had hoped.) Some of our premiers thought that the economy is more important than people’s lives (much to our population’s detriment) and transportation was the biggest problem from the beginning. Our PM was eager to get Canadian citizens back home before banning travelling from abroad. How could we have done all these (unknown) things in the best interests of the population without once stumbling? We did the best we could with the information we had. We would have to have had the skills of Nostradamus to succeed in every realm!

  37. newcatty

    We just received texts and calls from the pharmacy that was our source for the J&J vaccine. Our appointments for today were cancelled. The pharmacy did not know when any rescheduling would happen, but we will be called. This pharmacy ( not a small, independent one) only offers J&J because it doesn’t have freezer capacity for Moderna & Pfizer. This was fine with us, since we preferred J&J. One reason: “one and done” aspect. So, the morning has been weird and stressful. I watched a presser with Fauci and white house point person, Jeff somebody, and the smug and smooth presentation cheerleaded the “pause” of taking J&J off market was showing how “safety” was a priority for CDC and our public health service. The emphasis on how the other vaccine have no “red flags” and are safe. There are plenty of supply. When it’s “your turn” get one now. And, you know the incidence of blood clots in those women…so rare.The conflating of the next big goal for all Americans: 4th of July! Luckily, we are both older and retired. Feel like I’m in a strange suspension of time and space. BTW, our “middle aged” daughter had her second dose of either moderna or other one and is home for a second day of headache, very sore arm, and very tired. Her “side effects” did not show up, until day after second dose. So, this is 3 days after shot.
    Hope for some comments relating to my ground report and the whole subject . I thought I had covid fatigue…Now, will pet my cat, and sit on the deck and melt into the surrounding solace of trees and sky.

    1. urblintz

      My best friend had a severe reaction to the Pfizer vaccine… swollen tongue and breathing difficulties and was glad the 15 minute observation envelope worked to help him overcome it with whatever they administered.

      Another good friend (unfortunately obese and alcoholic) had no immediate reaction to the Moderna vaccine… but one week later had a “mini” stroke (confirmed by MRI) that left him dazed and confused with apparent aphasia. He recovered quickly and was home from the hospital in 2 days… so…

      I’m not sayin’ it was due to the vaccine, I’m just sayin’ it happened.

      1. Late Introvert

        My wife and I got the J&J yesterday at the Wal-Mart in Grinnell, 68 miles away, it was the closest one we could find. I chose the J&J based on 1-dose and older, more proven technology.

        1 in 5 customers were un-masked, FWIW. The woman who administered the shots was professional. It was pretty painful as shots go. I said YOW and she nodded that people were commenting.

        Next day I’m just a little tired, but my wife has been throwing up most of the day and did not sleep. I think 1 in 1,000,000 is pretty good odds re: the clotting, but sick at heart to be a part of this public experiment.

        Gov Reynolds and the State House passed a law on 1/29 forcing 100% in-person schooling, my district now has 49 confirmed student cases, and 983 quarantining (dating from 8/5/2020). If my kid gets it I’m going to drive to the (unmasked, Republican-led) legislature and have her tour the building coughing /s?

  38. newcatty

    Glad to hear both friends recovered. Are there so many other anecdotes out there about outcomes from these vaccines? Maybe, the reactions are not always just a sore arm, as has been reported by recipients. If so, it appears to not being reported by govt. Or mass media. I am not any expert on medicine or public health science. I do find it curious that the negative and serious reactions to the vaccines seems to be, at the least, underplayed in what is reported to the people. Yeah, “just sayin”.

    1. urblintz

      Thanks for your thoughts about my friends. They are doing well.

      I am certainly no medical expert either and hesitated to even offer the anecdote but, as you say, reports about reactions seem to be hit and miss and, most maddeningly, further undermining of any confidence in what we know and don’t know about covid. I lost my partner to HIV in 1996, just before the protease inhibitors changed the course of treatment and saved the lives of millions, so I am particularly unnerved by it all…

      and I remember well the animosity we felt toward Fauci then. IMHO he’s not done any better with covid, alas.

  39. R

    A word to the wise, “Westcountry Bylines” is part of a network of astroturf “local” news-sites run by March for Change, the anti-Brexit lobbying group with mysterious donors. This fact is very lightly disclosed in small print (and the donors not disclosed at all).

    The UK press is famously free (with the facts) and nobody expects it to be anything other than partisan but the proclivities of the major players are well known at least (Daily Mail, Telegraph, Express all take after the Beobachter Zeitung; Guardian is Woke Pravda etc.). Westcountry Bylines (and all the other XXX Bylines) deceit of a national lobbying campaign disguised as honest local news is not a reason not to read it but it is a reason to read it with care – or frankly, on the topic of Europe, to roll 2d10 for economic damage and move on, since it has nothing politically insightful to say on the topic but the worst sob stories it can find. Once a globalist, always a globalist.

  40. Susan the other

    A day late here. Thanks for the foray into reverse transcription. The few sentences I could grok, at least. But the thought crosses my mine that it should be legally impossible to patent a vaccine since the epigenetic machinery in every cell does this for us (vaccinates us). From my de-focused interpretation I think they were saying that reverse transcription happens from CoV2 RNA into human cellular RNA and then, within the human cell still, it gets transcripted into the nuclear cell DNA. So, that looks like storage for future reference and use. Why else? Epigenetics in action. And this could be one of the causes of all those false positives. They are discussing genomic transcription within a cell nucleus it seems. But I have read (can’t cite, I think Steele) that these snippets of RNA-DNA from various places find their way back to the germ cells and are thus heritable. The only logical reason for this is heritable immunity. I don’t think this article was talking about that final junket. But it was way interesting. Made me feel like a klunky old suitcase with arms and legs.

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