Links 4/16/2021

Patient readers, Yves apologizes for a dearth of original posts. Due to family drama, elder care, and travel planning to address her health issues, her concentration is not what it could be. –lambert

There’s a single New Jersey deli doing $35,000 in sales valued at $100 million in the stock market CNBC

Data Brokers Are a Threat to Democracy Wired


WHO throws in the towel on aerosols?

Over to you, CDC! Please, please, don’t make underfunded schools spend money on hygiene theatre that gives only the illusion of safety!

Covid-19 has redefined airborne transmission British Medical Journal. “It is now clear that SARS-CoV-2 transmits mostly between people at close range through inhalation.”

Outdoor Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and Other Respiratory Viruses: A Systematic Review Journal of Infectious Diseases. A review of the literature. Conclusions: “Existing evidence supports the wide-held belief that risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission is lower outdoors but there are significant gaps in our understanding of specific pathways.”

Discrimination of SARS-CoV-2 infected patient samples by detection dogs: A proof of concept study PLOS One (LA). Methodological critique of previous studies:

Jendrny et al. trained eight detection dogs over one week to discriminate between SARS-CoV-2 positive and negative saliva and tracheal secretion samples. Though they presented the dogs with 1012 randomized samples (across all eight dogs), most of these were repeated presentations of samples from the same individuals, despite being initially novel. In the double-blind experiment with seven novel SARS-CoV-2 positive and seven novel SARS-CoV 2 negative samples, though the samples were initially novel, they were presented repeatedly and the data are reported together, making it more difficult to discuss the dogs’ true ability to generalize to completely novel samples.”

And so:

Because dogs will readily respond to the stimulus that is rewarded most frequently, this generalization is critical for potential deployment of dogs in the search for a rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19. The more novel profiles of both positive and confirmed negative samples without repetition of individuals will promote generalization by the dogs and identification by the sensors of the specific COVID-19 target odor profile.

Presumably dogs have generalized odor detection for other diseases, however.

* * *

Johnson & Johnson delay prompts criticism of CDC panel The Hill

Pfizer CEO says third Covid vaccine dose likely needed within 12 months CNBC. If Antibody-Dependent Enhancement (ADE) is a thing for Covid, the boosters might not boost. I understand a CEO’s incentives, but more science, please.

How to get COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries – and still keep patent benefits for drugmakers The Conversation

* * *

Always Read the Methods Section Zeynep Tufecki, Insight. The deck: “How a preprint paper with seemingly good news and interesting findings fueled panic worldwide instead.”

Health worker disillusionment threatens to hinder Covid recovery FT

U.S. taxi services see business boost helping Canadians avoid hotel quarantine CBC


Meanwhile, In China… The Heisenberg Report

Tales of the “News Assistants” Chinese Storytellers

Citi Retreat Highlights Global Banks’ Struggle in China, India Bloomberg


S.Korea’s POSCO C&C says to end Myanmar military-backed joint venture Reuters. Buying out the Tatmadaw.

Could be a big deal:

For Myanmar Federalism to work — leaving aside the Tatmadaw — a number of warlords are going to have to become statesmen (certainly not unknown). Presumably all the R2P people are going to put their heads together to get this parallel government recognized (and not by Taiwan).

Military v. civilians:

Happy Thingyan:

The ‘Tumi Revolution’: Protesters fight back in Sagaing Region Frontier Myanmar

ASEAN’s Myanmar Crisis Council on Foreign Relations

The Looming Catastrophe in Myanmar Foreign Affairs. Comparing Myanmar to Syria is just the sort of comparison The Blob would find illuminating (as they carefully erase their role in starting and prolonging the Syrian Civil War).

Aung San Suu Kyi representatives hire law firm to track junta crimes FT


Afghanistan: ‘We have won the war, America has lost’, say Taliban BBC (Re Silc). Unsurprising, since our extremely expensive and politically dominant military hasn’t won a war in quite some time.

Israel is testing Biden The Week (Re Silc).

African Trade Contracted 11.9% in 2020 on Virus, Report Says Bloomberg

Education officials’ fury over principal’s 20-kilometre daily trek The Nation


Revealed: Dozens of UK former senior officials profit from fossil fuel corporations, rubber-stamped by Whitehall committee Declassified UK

Berlin’s ‘Mietendeckel’ rent freeze ruled unlawful. What does it mean for tenants? The Local

Finland’s Covid Situation Eases as New Cases Drop Significantly Bloomberg. “The closing of bars and restaurants had the biggest impact.”

Brazil’s Supreme Court agrees Lula convictions are void Deutsche Welle. [genuflects] Obama really shouldn’t have installed Bolsonaro.

Brazil’s P1 coronavirus variant mutating, may become more dangerous -study Reuters

New Cold War

Now Biden tries the diplomatic approach: President urges Russian leader to ‘de-escalate’ at the Ukrainian border and ‘refrain from military action’ after Putin shut off Kerch Strait to all foreign warships Daily Mail. The Kerch Strait.

U.S. Slaps Wide-Ranging Sanctions on Moscow—but Stops Short of Killer Blow Foreign Policy

Russia Shrugs Off Biden’s Sanctions as Putin Looks to Summit Bloomberg

FACT SHEET: Imposing Costs for Harmful Foreign Activities by the Russian Government

Biden and Blinken Blink on Ukraine Ray McGovern

Biden Administration

Exclusive: Why Trump went hard on China, and Biden will follow H.R. McMaster, Politico

States Were Told They Can’t Use U.S. Covid-19 Aid to Cut Taxes. They Sued. WSJ

EXCLUSIVE U.S. considering cash payments to Central America to stem migration Reuters. How about… $2,000?

Offshore wind:

Maine in the crosshairs once more.

Democrats en Deshabille

Corporate Donors Are Rewarding Sinema And Manchin Walker Bragman, Daily Poster

Police State Watch

Must-watch (something I very rarely say):

Daunte Wright’s Death Proves We Don’t Need More Police Training Teen Vogue

Prosecutor who said Adam Toledo had gun in his hand ‘not fully informed’ WGN9 (Chicago). Oh.

Bodycam footage of officer fatally shooting 13-year-old released The Hill

Arming US Cities With Military-Grade Healthcare Consortium News

Our Famously Free Press

Press coverage of Trump v. Biden on Afghanistan withdrawal, a thread:

Shocked, shocked.

It’s The Media’s Job To Normalize War: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix Caitlin Johnstone

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Neil Gorsuch agree: Misinformation is threat to America ABC. No doubt they will address the Afghanistan situation tout suite. Not to mention Russian bounties (now inoperative), Iraq WMDs, etc., etc., etc.


8 dead, more injured in shooting at FedEx facility near the airport Indy Star. America is back!

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“As Usual, Dalton Got in Its Own Way”: Inside the Antiracism Tug-Of-War at an Elite NYC Private School Vanity Fair

L’Affaire Joffrey Epstein

Appeals court upholds Jeffrey Epstein deal that minimized punishment, silenced victims Miami Herald. “The decision, unless it is overturned on further appeal, could allow wealthy defendants to continue to arrange favorable plea deals from the government without any oversight or accountability, said an attorney who originally filed the challenge.”

Class Warfare

Some Hermes drivers working for free for hours a day, union says Guardian. Ingenious staffing strategy by Hermes.

Jeff Bezos Tells Amazon to Treat Employees Better While He Prepares to Flee Planet Earth Gizmodo

Off the Grid WaPo. “And yet for all its successes, the trillions in aid have often failed to reach the poorest Americans in places like the south end of Peoria. Because many in Shawna’s neighborhood have jobs that paid them in cash and because they didn’t report their income to the government, they were unable to qualify for unemployment insurance. Because they moved frequently, failed to file taxes or owed fines for back child support or past criminal activity, they often didn’t receive their full stimulus checks.” Well, naturally. Complex eligibilty requirements much beloved by liberals mean that only the deserving get help. That is as it should be.

The welfare effects of asset mean-testing income support (PDF) Quantitative Economics

The Private Property and Personal Property Distinction Matt Bruenig, The Bruletter

How Did a Self-Taught Linguist Come to Own an Indigenous Language? The New Yorker

We love animals — so why do we treat them so badly FT

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

Good kitties!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. jackiebass

    I have a thought or two about off the grid workers who get paid in cash. I believe you reap what you sow. Many of these workers do it to avoid paying taxes, both SS and income. It puts more money in their pocket. What many don’t understand when they do this there is a future price to be paid.One is they may not have enough work credits to qualify for SS and Medicare.I understand that some have no other choice but to work off the grid.Some do it intentionally without realizing they are harming their future.I know several workers that work off the grid. They work in jobs like carpenters lawn care and snow removal. They honestly believe they are winning by doing this.I have watched them working until they die because they have no other choice. I guess if you want to work forever it is your business. I had a hard time convincing my son in law , who was working off the grid to get a regular job. Fortunately he did in time to accumulate enough credits to collect SS at a reasonable age. The other thing that make me mad is these people are in effect free loaders that the rest of us may eventually pay to support.

      1. tegnost

        Thank you so much john. It is absolutely delicious where you, the unabashed republican, are finding common ground today!

    1. Alfred

      Are you referring to Apple, Amazon and Citi and Google ad nauseum when you say
      “these people are in effect free loaders that the rest of us may eventually pay to support” ?

      Companies that offshore every “regular job” they can so they won’t have to pay SS, Medicare, etc?
      I have had regular jobs and “cash” jobs, and I can assure you that when I paid my taxes, it was brutal and I never knew if I would ever see that money again. These people may not think they are “winning” but just surviving to work another day. I am not advocating that anyone evade taxes, just don’t call them “in effect freeloaders.” Instead think about how they may feel in the moment about whether there are “regular jobs” even available that would pay their bills. Even people with “regular jobs” are on welfare, case in point, Walmart employees.

      1. The Rev Kev

        To add to that, how about companies like Amazon that pay no taxes and yet pay their workers so little, that to survive and eat those workers must apply for government food stamps i.e. taxpayer money. I think that Alfred has a point in questioning just who the actual “freeloaders” actually are here.

        1. tegnost

          add to that the millions of undocumented workers these people are competing against because you know and I know that wages must be kept as close to zero as possible. Extra super sweet bonus the IRS is now the enforcer for both the horrific ACA and student loan garnishment industry. Yay America!

      2. Randy G.

        Alfred — SHAME on you!

        How can you coddle these parasitic losers who mow lawns for cash when it’s obvious that their myopic greed is ruining America?

        8 out of 7 Ivy League economists agree that irresponsible income garnered by mowing lawns and domestic housework for cash is the greatest threat to our future economic prosperity.

        It certainly has nothing to do with the trillions wasted on a global military Empire, the trillions in welfare and tax breaks given to the corporate plutocracy, the trillions wasted on a parasitic “health” insurance industry, the trillions of taxes off-shored and never paid because of clever little tax loopholes that only the oligarchs can use.

        And our sanctified leaders would NEVER be caught mowing lawns for unclean cash. Why just the other day a little birdie told Nancy Pelosi that it would be a great time to buy $10 million in Microsoft stock —and lo and behold Microsoft got a 20 billion dollar contract from the MIC!!

        See! Due diligence and playing fair pays off! I know she and her plutocratic husband pay taxes (a smidgen) on the 100 plus millions she’s ‘earned’ representing the little guy and gal in Congress.

        Why don’t those scummy lawn mowers invest $10 million in the stock market to keep America prosperous? No, they’re selfish and they’d rather spend it on themselves at the Dollar Store.

        By the way, I’ve worked as a teacher and a video editor at regular jobs, and now when I gaze at the immense largesse that will be coming back to me from Social Security, I can see that I will be living a life of luxury in my car while dining on tasty delicacies from the local Circle K. Pampered in America!

        In the meantime, I can barely sleep at night worrying if some poor SOB is mowing the lawn for cash. The SHAME!

        1. Alfred

          I appreciate your taking the time – I enjoyed that.

          I too did the regular job thing, and now I relish the knowledge that my superyacht is at hand when the next global cataclysm threatens (in my imagination).

    2. The Historian

      Sadly jackiebass, you have your eyes on the wrong target. It isn’t your neighbors who work off the grid that are the problem. Those people who work off the grid make so little money that all of their earnings could never replace the amount of taxes that Amazon, not to mention all those other companies, do not pay. If off the grid work provided so much income, you can bet everyone would be doing it, but of course, they don’t. I won’t begrudge the person who shovels my walk for cash, or cuts my lawn for cash – I know they need the money. I am sure that if they could get a well paying job that met all their needs, they wouldn’t be doing those jobs for me for what I can pay. And these people spend that money in our community, they don’t suck it out like Walmart and Amazon do, so I’d hardly call them freeloaders. No they aren’t the hurting SS or Medicare – what is hurting SS and Medicare is our bought and paid for Congress and these people working off the grid surely aren’t buying Congressmen and women, are they?

      1. amfortas the hippie

        i have known a whole lot of people who would fit right in in that article
        they ain’t doing it for frelling tax purposes
        they do it for survival
        a bad decision early on….or just a run of bad luck… and you find yourself excluded from normal society
        and end up on the fringe…. where it ends up being even more expensive($4gal milk, check the ex con box, no credit, and on and on. its expensive to be poor)

        but let’s focus on their cigarettes and lotto dreams
        after all, it’s obviously a just world, and they must therefore deserve their suffering

        1. wadge22

          On the lotto part:
          I wonder if the author, who notes how much the subject spends on scratchems, would even acknowledge that her outlay there is inhernetly partially offset by winnings.
          Not a call to play lottery, of course. Just another notable case where bad faith argumentation (even from the correct ‘side’ of the issue) veers closer to simple moralizing and smug superiority than helpful education or thoughtful discussion.


          A fella I work with scratches tix at work, daily. It always seemed easy to compute how much money he was wasting on that passtime. Then he hit for (iirc) 25K. Now, I honestly have no idea whether he is ahead or not. Perhaps I never knew in the first place.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            the lottery line hoggers i know prolly don’t keep books.
            i smell an economics dissertation.

    3. Matthew Stief

      Taxes don’t pay for social services. Everyone who reaches a certain point in age needs to be provided a decent living regardless of whatever byzantine round about way society has decided to organize the accounting around the issue, it’s irrelevant. Just add the extra zero to their bank account and keep them in food and shelter, period. And that aside it’s grotesque to call someone who has worked their entire lives a freeloader so please don’t do it.

    4. freebird

      Jackie is right. And it goes on up the line, there are penny-ante tax evaders, on up the chain all the way to the billionaires. I’ve had to pay cash at a whole lot of establishments this winter in snowbird country, some one-man stands, some substantial businesses with a dozen of more employees. I know good and well their cash-only policy is to dodge taxes, and I do resent being the chump responsible for paying every cent owed in April because my income is all ‘on the books’.

      The fact that the poor working class is getting screwed in a hundred ways and scraping to make rent is another issue. We need a simpler way to collect taxes that isn’t so complex and unfair, and a gig worker shouldn’t have to be Abe Lincoln voluntarily ponying up cash in advance to cover our stupid tax rates, only to get most of it back a year later when they needed it the prior May. And those working for chump wages on the books shouldn’t pay tax while others skate.

      1. Alfred

        ” I know good and well their cash-only policy is to dodge taxes”

        I know it’s to avoid fraud in a lot of cases, and usurious fees from credit companies. Another reason cash is dishonorable, eh? Let’s just all get bank chips implanted in our hands, that’ll make everyone accountable, right?

        1. freebird

          I agree that cash should never go away and we should not all be prisoners of the credit companies, but there is no way the total income is getting reported from these businesses.

          And, let’s take another group, tradesmen, who are not using credit cards in any way. Why is is okay for them to exempt their income from taxes? I don’t like paying taxes either but I don’t get to choose whether to report it all.

          1. Alfred

            If you are so sure, there are ways to vent your frustration and justify the existence of the revenuers:

            To report a business or individual, mail or fax Form 3949-A. Or, if you don’t want to use the form, you can send a letter with details of the alleged violation. You don’t have to identify yourself, although the IRS says it’s helpful if you do and that it will keep your identity confidential.
            To report a tax preparer whom you suspect of fraud, or an abusive tax scheme by a tax return preparer or tax preparation company, mail Form 14157.
            If you suspect a tax return preparer didn’t file a return when they said they did, or changed your return without your approval and you want the IRS to update your tax account, use Form 14157-A and mail it along with Form 14157.
            To report someone you suspect is promoting or engaging in an abusive tax-avoidance scheme, mail or fax Form 14242.
            If you suspect a tax-exempt organization such as a church, charity or trade association isn’t following tax laws, you can mail, fax or email Form 13909.

              1. Alfred

                I wasn’t saying it would come to anything. But if you want to complain ad infinitum, that’s the place to do it.

    5. upstater

      If there is no working class solidarity, the inevitable consequence are starvation wages (whether cash or W2), unfettered immigration and off-shoring to keep wages down, and a piss-poor social safety net for the disabled or retirement.

      Amazon defeating the union and Prop 22 in California to me are as consequential as Reagan firing the air traffic controllers 40 years ago.

      1. Mikel

        Here in Cali, I couldn’t get people around me to really even think about the implications of Prop 22. They refused to give much consideration to it’s implications beyond Uber riders and drivers.
        But if it could have been shown that the Prop hurt people based on an identity (real or imagined), they would not have talked about much else.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        That Prop 22 vote hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention, but it will be the most consequential election result of 2020, and not in a good way. Bet on it.

    6. Otis B Driftwood

      And working until you’re 70, when you finally reach the age for the maximum benefit from SS, is better how, exactly?

    7. JTMcPhee

      Apologies to Yves for having to start the commenting day with this thread up front. No apology from her is in any way needed for any self-protection she needs to use to manage the challenges she is facing.

    8. truly

      I don’t want to sound like I am poor bashing, but there is some absolute truth to Jackie Bass’ comment. For those who HAVE A CHOICE, minimizing reportable income can be very short sighted. I work in a salon as a private contractor. Many Cohorts over the years have engaged in minimizing reportable income by encouraging cash payments from customers. If they can keep their income low enough they qualify for assisted health care. ( I got my health care the old fashioned way- married for it!) But yes, if you under report it may hurt your eventual SS payments, and in the once in a century pandemic it may limit your ability to collect assistance. And if you ever need financing- say to buy a house or open your own salon, your low reported income becomes an issue. A lot of good and decent people feel forced into cheating the system. The system cheats us on a regular basis. George and Duante remind us of that. I think there is a saying around NC- “it isn’t that the system accepts corruption, the system is corruption”.

      1. tegnost

        Right now all those people have a $3200 bonus towards taxes and they should file. Just because they’re not paying doesn’t mean they don’t owe…
        It would be a much appreciated public service if one of our tax mavens would address this topic…

    9. Glen

      Indeed, much better to be “on the grid”, and pay no taxes while reporting tens of billions in profit, send vital technology and manufacturing to China, and pay your employees so poorly that the other dumb tax payers provide healthcare and food to your employees.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Taxes do not fund federal government social spending. At the state and local level they count, but that is a level at which deals relieving corps of taxes are often cut, with stuff like using cops to ticket and arrest poor people to strip them of any wealth or even the ability to work for pay to fund muni services. Don’t look for righteousness or justice here in the Empire.

        1. newcatty

          This subject of comparing the egregious and rapacious actions of huge corporations and most elite wealthy individuals and families not paying any or little taxes to off the grid, or “under the table” workers not paying any or little taxes is an Apple’s (pun intended), Amazon, Google, etc. to oranges false argument. It’s like saying that since these entities don’t play fair or use their advantages to pay less taxes, often legal, makes it justified and alright for everyone else to “work the system” or “beat the man” or? Having empathy for those workers who have lost paying jobs that require reporting of income to tax authorities is also not a sound argument to justify off the grid workers who have , before covid and economic downturn, “worked the system”. There are people who don’t make enough income to pay taxes. Some of these people are doing the best that they can. Many have disabilities or do the work that they are able, in this caste society, to do. Among them: the poster children who work for crap wages at the likes of Wal-Mart or Amazon. Don’t begrudge them SNAP or Medicaid one bit.

          This leaves another example of “workers” who deliberately “work the system”. An anecdote : a man who chose to do the carpenter, and other construction work as his career. This man is shrewd and sees the world through his set ideas. He , and his partner, are very up-to-date on exactly how much money he does declare on his taxes. In the 50 some years I have known them, they are quite proud and pleased to let the people who become aware of their “philosophy ” of being “smart” about beating the “Big gubmint “. They calculate every year just how much to pay taxes, but still qualify for every social net service or assistance that exists. They have paid in enough to qualify for SS and basic Medicare. But, do not pay for Part B or D. Those are paid, or replaced , by Medicaid. They receive SNAP off and on… They enjoy turkeys from food banks for holidays. They have adult children who carry on the “philosophy” as a way of life. The child who has 4 children never married and so is as a perpetual “single mom”, who receives every possible welfare service or assistance. She has fulltime job ,but still qualifies for welfare. They all drive nice cars and trucks. They eat out alot( not fast food or convenience store crap). The older couple own a beautiful home . The one son who isn’t in the clan, is in the military. So, his family’s needs are ,uh, provided by that “Big gubmint “. These people feel, it seems , smug about their “philosophy “. They feel that the poor mugs who don’t play the system are fools or used by PTB. Hypocrisy is not in their consciousness. Also, mix in a feeling of entitlement or an identity of being “self-sufficient”. How many millions of Americans don’t want to or are unable to play the game? How many pay outrageous rents, big deductibles and co-pays ( if they have insurance), higher costs for basic needs like food, utilities, transportation ( car payments, if they have one), some clothing, the kid’s activities ( the ones they can find affordable or offered by few organizations still offering city or county parks and rec ). They make too much for welfare, but live lives much less comfortable or healthier than the example of “the workers of the system ” profiled. The working poor and lower middle income people are paying the price for the “smart” play the system workers. Not in the way that our tax dollars pay for social system, but that they benefit from whatever social nets and infrastructure ( that exists) that are still there, w/o any contributions to others besides themselves.

  2. John Beech

    Before Daunte Wright’s death falls off the front pages, let me say I am not sad he’s dead.

    Shocked? What would you be feeling for the cop’s husband if instead of Daunte being shot, body cam footage showed him twisting around after diving for the car, and unloading a clip into that woman cop? Horse of a different color, right?

    Sadly, we’re so spring loaded these days to criticize cops we fail to see what’s as obvious as the eyes on our faces. Would you disobey a cop who pulled you over and make a dive for your car?

    What would you expect a cop to do in that situation, wait and see if you’re startling him for no reason, or to shoot your ass dead?

    Me? I obey the cop because he’s the representation of my government I am most likely to interact with. Not a matter of fear, a matter of respect for my role in society. Cop has a job to do. My role at that moment is to comply. Period. Had Daunte Wright complied he’d be arrested (deservedly so we’re learning) but he would be alive, and this would never have made the news.

    Instead, a thug in training (and make no mistake for all the angelic photos of him with his baby daughter he was a thug), is dead. And that poor woman who shot him dead is having her life upended.

    Why on Earth she claimed she mistakenly thought she had a TASER is beyond me. The difference in mass is enormous. Instead, she had the perfect right to kill him dead because he could just as likely been reaching for a gun. I for one, don’t expect a cop to wait.

    And maybe I’m in the minority, but I’m glad another piece of dung if dead and gone. Good riddance.

    1. John Beech

      And replying to myself, I’m glad that 13 y/o in Chicago won’t be killing anyone in future. He had a gun in his hand during the foot chase and that cop is right now in a world of poop for it. Meanwhile, the media is riding the outrage clicks re; cop killing 13 y/o – but – without question he had a gun during the chase, and footage shows him reaching behind the fence opening to toss it before turning back to the cop and raising his hands. I’m thinking in the dark, even with a flashlight, the cop couldn’t possibly know that and took the kill shot instead of waiting to be shot.

      You’ll see, if you haven’t already, the footage is already coming in from more than just the body cam angle. Good riddance to another piece of garbage in training.

        1. amfortas the hippie

          obviously mr beech has never been on the badness end of a nightstick or sidearm or shotgun.
          and i doubt he’s ever had a whisper campaign against him by the local elite, resulting in persecution
          i have, and cops look a whole lot different from where i am
          fire them all and start from scratch
          bad apple spoils the whole barrel

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Your language – “thug in training,” “piece of dung,” “piece of garbage in training,” etc. – and seeming pleasure in reflexive cop violence and vengeance is very revealing, but it doesn’t flatter you at all.

        You seem to want to be perceived as some kind of hard-headed realist, but your comments exhibit a nasty combination of fear, an attraction to dominence/subordination, and sadism.

        Surely, there must be some site with police interrogation/torture videos where you’d be more at home, no?

          1. Jacobiteintraining

            A friend of mine from high school who is a retired cop, and then detective, of 20 years, and who likes to tell stories where the narrative is mostly maggots vs citizens, also tells stories about the most aggressive of the keyboard warrior types doing stupid stuff in high stress situations after hearing of some drama on their police band scanners…and where the professionals on the scene want them to just go home and quit getting in the way.

            He once had to detain a citizen roaming around at night with a John Wayne memorial lever action NRA limited edition (the kind with the big rounded lever, like in Big Jake or whichever movie Wayne used one like it in)

            This, in response to a potential hostage situation where the perp was out at night too w/hostage. An ex girlfriend.

            Ended ok, perp found in field, ‘making up’ with GF. Nobody got shot.

            They released the citizen, or Pilgrim, or whatever you want to call him but kept the Winchester for a little while.

            Made for some awesome videos as my buddy and his fellow cops practiced the John Wayne twirly one handed lever action reload, lol

            They uniformly mocked the Pilgrim as an idiot who could easily have gotten someone shot, in the dead of night.

        1. wadge22

          I won’t stand next to JB and his cruel generalizations (he’s trolling you, folks.) But I will point out that both “sides” of this conflict pick up the weapon of inciteful language to pound their chest or poke at the eyes of the other side.
          Why, even our favorite blog isn’t innocent.

          “Gunz” “gun strokers” “gun fetishist”

          Or from these comments

          “rednecks” “your basically scared shitless”

          Nobody wants to take the high ground, they just know for sure the other side is lowdown.

      2. Basil Pesto

        why do I have the feeling that your penis twitched a little bit when you typed the words “took the kill shot”?

        1. judy2shoes

          Basil Pesto, I can always count on you for a morning/afternoon/evening belly laugh. I often think of “float like a butterfly; sting like a bee” when I read your ripostes.
          Thank you!

      3. aliteralmind

        Wow. That’s probably the most noxious two comments I’ve ever seen on Naked Capitalism.

        Hats off to you, sir.

      4. JBird4049

        John Beech, I understand the fear as the world is sometimes a dangerous place, and soon, likely to get worse.

        I just have to ask where is the presumption of innocence? Of the accused, not being some slavering monster out to murder and rape? Is it good to assume that he or she is? A monster, not a human being, only fit to be put down as one?

        The officers presumed Daunte Wright’s guilt, and worse, his dangerousness. They knew where he lived. The original charges and the warrant were only for misdermeanors. The new ones would have been for illegal air-fresheners. What purpose would even a taser have served?

      5. Kurtismayfield

        So if a person has a weapon, and you drop it and turn around raising your hands, the shooting us justified. Got it.

        I can’t wait for this policy to be applied evenly to every man, woman, and child who is being apprehended by the police.

        Do you just think you are protected from this policy because of your skin color, or your class?

      6. QuicksilverMessenger

        Ok then- all for a fawking air freshener. Much of the American psyche (if we can say that there is such a generalized thing) may be represented by Mr Beech above- deep, unrecognized fears, a bizarre feeling of satisfaction at someone “getting theirs”, a narrative ‘screen’ so thick that they cannot see what is directly in front of their eyes, and an unseen guilt about treatment of black people here, projected outwardly (of course) onto those very same people and used as a “See! I told you so! Those people are dangerous criminals!”
        So, to me, the problem might not be some more training, or defunding/re-allocating funding (although some if this might help at least somewhat). The problem is way deeper. So thank you John Beech for revealing to us the spell of an American psychic sickness.

      7. oliverks

        I have thought about your comment all day. This comment might well be deleted in moderation, and I will not blame NC for doing so. I suspect I am in violation of more than a few site policies.

        But seriously, what is wrong with you? How can you feel so much hate. This is a 13 year old boy we are talking about.

        A boy

        He was a boy, a boy that evidence now suggests was unarmed. But even if he was, he was just a boy. If a cop can’t handle a child, why are they even employed.

        Why can you celebrate a death of someone so young?

        Seriously, what is wrong with you?

        1. CoryP

          Me too. This whole thread is fucking gross. And unexpected! I usually enjoy JB’s contributions.
          I’m glad it happened though. The mods did a good job letting this play out.

          But yeah yikes.

      8. Anthony Stegman

        So….one can assume that you are a proponent of death squads. Why aren’t you a cop?

        1. Suzie Alcatrez

          Pat has always been out of step with most evangelical leaders.

          Pat hired Ben Kinchlow as co-host on his 700 Club over 45 years ago. I’m sure more than a few southern viewers were shocked about that.

    2. RockHard

      >I obey the cop

      How’d that work out for Philando Castile?

      > Why on Earth she claimed she mistakenly thought she had a TASER is beyond me.

      Because she’s not very good at her job and maybe some people shouldn’t be police officers. But for some weird reason, people who reflexively hate unions and constantly talk about unions protecting incompetent workers have no problemo with police unions protecting incompetent or evil cops.

      1. Keith

        Honestly, I think it is too many toys in the arsenal. They only add confusion to an already hectic situation. No need for tasers. A baton, pepper spray and sidearm is more than enough. Too be honest, only one non-lethal device is needed, as if one doesn’t work, it is probably best to put the problem down.

        1. Fireship

          “it is probably best to put the problem down.”

          I hope you don’t have access to children.

          1. Keith

            I have access to both I also understand the need for police being able to arrest a suspect, for the protection of society especially when they are resisting arrest and trying to flee.

            That being said, I am not one of those defund the police and abolish prisons type.

            1. Procopius

              That “…trying to flee” part is one of the things I don’t get. The purpose of arresting and trying and imprisoning an offender is to discourage others from committing crimes, as I understand it. You don’t catch, arrest, try, and imprison all the criminals. In fact very few. No police officer should ever shoot at a fleeing suspect — well, I guess it’s OK if you’re in the Mojave Desert at least five miles from the nearest residence, but if you’re in a city you don’t know where that slug is going to go or who it might hit. If there’s an outstanding warrant you can try to arrest the person, but don’t pull your weapon. If nobody has gone to their home to arrest them before now, let it go.There are tens, hundreds, of thousands of outstanding warrants. Most of them are for things that should not be crimes, anyway.

      2. Kurtismayfield

        Don’t forget Charles Kinsey

        On July 18, 2016, Charles Kinsey, a mental health therapist, was shot in the leg by a police officer in North Miami, Florida. Kinsey had been retrieving his 27-year-old autistic patient, Arnaldo Rios Soto, who had run away from his group home. Police encountered the pair while they were searching for an armed suicidal man. Kinsey was lying on the ground with his hands in the air, and trying to negotiate between officers and his patient, when he was shot. The officer who shot Kinsey said he had been aiming at the patient, who the officer believed was threatening Kinsey with a gun. Both Kinsey and his patient were unarmed.

        Even if you are lying on the ground, hands up, begging for mercy on the patient you are trying to help, you can get shot.

      1. Keith

        Well, let’s qualify that. Black person killed by a white cop. If black lives really mattered, we would look into the black on black violence that far outpaces any issue of police killing a black suspect, especially one one resisting arrest, has warrants, engaging in violence, etc.

    3. The Rev Kev

      A cop pulls you over and tells you to have both your hands out the window which you of course do. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to follow the cop’s next direction to exit the car by undoing your seat-belt and opening the door handle while still having both hands out the window at the same time lest the cop think that you are reaching for “something.” Note – only one try allowed. Good luck.

      1. Alfred

        And, if you have already undone your seatbelt before you put your hands out the window, and survive the encounter, the cop will issue you a ticket for not wearing your seatbelt as a reward for still being unharmed.

        This happened to me–but I undid it to get into my glove compartment for my registration after I was pulled over. I think he did it out of frustration that there was nothing else he could hit me with.

      1. Eustachedesaintpierre

        On that point while listening to Adrian Weale’s audio version of his book Army of Evil – A history of the SS, I discovered that very many of the higher echelons of that organisation were ex police – Gestapo perhaps obviously & concentration / extermination camp commanders in particular.

        Obviously nearly a century ago & not Americans but….

    4. Carolinian

      she had the perfect right to kill him dead

      She has been charged with manslaughter so it seems the law, at least until trial, doesn’t agree with you.

      Without a doubt there is a great deal of hypocrisy in those who decry cop violence at home while fully endorsing and encouraging US “world cop” violence abroad. The regime changers claim they have the purest of intentions while employing the same shoot from the hip style as this poorly trained officer.

      So yes gun defenders have some point in saying that US “culture of violence” is a contributor to our problem as much as (they would say more than) the guns themselves. But that still doesn’t make them right, or you either.

    5. lyman alpha blob

      I asked on the other thread two hours ago and so far crickets, so I’ll ask again here.

      To all those who think the cops are justified in murdering people because they’re scared, or someone ‘didn’t obey orders’, how is it that in other countries like Germany an Japan and the UK and Australia, the cops manage to do their jobs and bring criminals to justice without having to kill anybody? Those countries often go years with fewer deaths by law enforcement than the US has in a day.

      Tell me it’s all OK when it’s your kid who gets pulled over for a bullshit infraction and winds up with a bullet in their chest.

      1. Pelham

        No, it’s not OK. But as for those other countries, what is the rate of citizen compliance with police orders? Or defiance? A lot depends on that. Maybe Japanese, Germans, Brits and Aussies behave differently under such circumstances.

        1. QuicksilverMessenger

          I will check the international crime statistics, country by country, on “prevalence of being pulled over for having an air freshener”. Might take a little time though!

        2. BlakeFelix

          They probably do, if for no other reason than that they aren’t terrified. I think that Finland made a joke video where a cop pulled a guy over in America and Finland and had the American terrified because there was a squirtgun on the passenger seat and the Finnish guy had a rifle on his lap and just asked the cop to hold it so he could rummage in his glove box. In the American one both the person and the cop were terrified, in Finland they were a little bored, if anything, because people and cops in Finland basically never shoot each other.

        3. Amfortas the hippie

          so all that Freedom! and being free from unreasonable searches and such was all just rhetoric?
          not to be actually implemented?
          Due Process is only for those worthy folks who can afford it?
          I look forward to the day when my black brothers and sisters finally take up arms against this crap…because, apparently, that’s what it’s gonna take.
          cops(err…”Bad Apples”) are digging their own graves, here.
          (and yes, i’ve known plenty of asshole black and hispanic cops—hired to “modernise” the force)
          i had the same thought when i heard about houston gop wanting an “army of poll watchers” to go “enforce the law” and “be brave” in frelling Acres Home, in Houston.
          i’ve been to Juneteenth, there.(saw John Lee Hooker, there)
          good luck with all that.

          I reckon that, contained within my Right to Life, etc…is the Right to not be killed by agents of the state….fucking Period.
          back when i was an outlaw, i rarely carried anything more harmful than an old swiss army knife…and i never, ever “pulled it” on any one.
          but i was chased and arrested and beaten and buried nevertheless.
          that was 30+ years ago…and i’m a white male.
          justice has been a laugh in this country for a long, long time.

    6. Aomoa

      Notice how a single comment, with a couple of reinforcing follow-ups has regressed the discussion of this into a cul-de-sac of irrelevance. We’re arguing over the finer points of whether the cops are justified in this kind of murder when it really should be a given that they are not. Instead that should be a base for continuing the discussion we were having last June about what can to be done to address the systemic problems with policing as an institution in this country. Remember ideas like taking away their military grade hardware, defunding their bloated and ballooning budgets and putting that money back into alternate community-based solutions? Because all attempts at reform have failed and continue to fail, remember? The overpowered police unions, secret gangs within the departments and the code of silence prevent that. Rampant steroid use among officers contributes to the rabid dog behavior we see on a regular basis. We need to step this discussion back up to where it was before “defund the police” became such a poison pill for politicians and move it forward, because nothing has changed and nothing will continue to change until we actually take some real measures and start hitting them where it hurts, in the pocketbook.

    1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      And just like the ‘contras’, it’s establishment agit-prop. Anything that holds out hope for a salve for this madness that does not involve massive handouts to investors like Gates is going to be attacked as ‘anti-science’.

    2. pjay

      And “contra” its title, this website is *not* an objective source of “science-based medicine.” It’s a propaganda site for supporting the status quo and denigrating anything that challenges the established medical narrative. That doesn’t mean its claims are false. But it is definitely not an unbiased source, and its evidence and arguments are often very one-sided.

      1. Basil Pesto

        I mentioned in the last Ivermectin story posted on NC that I don’t have a dog in this fight as C19 isn’t an urgent problem here, and I was arguing in defense of exploring it, because of course everyone wants better treatments, and against those making inane arguments against it. But I have to say when argument, such as it is, devolves into “establishment agitprop in the service of Bill Gates!!” ad hom, I tend to lose interest because I don’t really learn anything. Unfortunately I’m not technically expert enough to properly evaluate the strength of SBM’s claims against those of the FLCCC. Further so-called unbiased evaluation from someone or group who’s not particularly professionally, personally or politically attached to either camp would be most welcome, but when you put it like that you start to see the problem for laymen like myself.

    3. Yves Smith

      Doesn’t even bother understanding the use case, which is prophylactic, or even worse know and presents in bad faith. First actual study it cites is on hospitalized patients.

      And KLG reported that ivermectin is in advanced trials in several countries as an HIV prophylactic, showing very promising results. So what about it not being an effective antiviral???/

  3. bassmule

    Gunz: My friend Mike tells me about his visit to Cabelas:

    “I was in Cabelas to buy some fishing stuff and the register line was next to a very long ammo line. Regardless of what your opinions are about gun laws please don’t insult anyone’s intelligence by making it about hunters. The conversation was not about hunting. I was interested enough in the apparent camaraderie that I checked out a couple mech racks up and down the line just to eavesdrop on the tone of the conversation. Among the things I heard were discussions of lack of 9MM rounds, size of various people’s stockpiles of ammo and how they buy all they can. One conversation between a group of four or five people was about the virtue’s of shooting center of mass. The fact that we have a bunch of just regular folks spending their Saturday planning how they will shoot another human being should be alarming but somehow it isn’t.

    1. John Beech

      Those in the city cannot fathom how those in the country don’t want to foot the bill for an Amtrak line they’ll never ride, and which only benefits the few who live comfortably outside the city and benefit from riding a train to work. Folks like the President before he was elected. Comfortable.

      Those in the city cannot fathom why a guy who drives 25 miles to Walmart, or who drives 15 mile to work doesn’t ride a bike, instead. Or want mass transit because it’s obvious they can’t build enough for wide open spaces.

      Those in the city cannot fathom how someone whose nearest neighbor is two miles away, who isn’t in daily close contact breathing in the breath of someone else on crowded a subway, feels about being told to mask up. Could it be they’re suspicious behind the rationale. Sadly yes and it’s because of the ceaseless BS spewing from the mainstream media.

      So you don’t understand people buying ammo and chatting about center of mass? Simple, it’s because you’re two minutes from cops at your door. Me? I’m 18 minutes from a deputy driving here. 18 minutes is a loooong time. 18 minutes during which ‘I’ am the representative of law and order.

      Yes, I have gunz. Yes, I queue up to buy ammo. And yes, we do discuss shooting for center of mass. Why? Because it’s the kill shot.

      God willing I’ll never be in the position to defend me and mine but God favors the prepared. I visit the range a couple times a year to run a box of 50 rounds of .357 through my weapon. As does my wife. Don’t do it for fun. Do it because Lord Baden-Powell had it right when he wrote the Boy Scout’s Handbook . . . be prepared.

      Not sure whether a single nightly goes by (local TV news) which doesn’t mention a home invasion, car jacking, violent assault in a parking lot, or murder. And shootings in general.

      Sign of our times? Dunno. I’m prepared.

        1. amfortas the hippie

          that’s the underlying comorbidity for everything on the right: fear
          fear of inadequacy, of not measuring up, of being unable to make it in the world… as well as fear of anything unusual, or new.
          the rednecks that tormented me in my youth were in fact merely terrified little boys, attempting to remove a reminder of their terror

          1. TomDority

            Yep, I agree…. A lot of it has to do with shame or not breaking out of the absolute dependancy, all of us have, for our survival upon our parents or caregivers after we were born. It leads a lot of people to live life with a disguise or mask that is shown to other people. It a way to hide – what you think is your real self, from others…… problem is – it hides your true self from yourself as well. What is the truth of those who tormented you is in fact, they are terrified little boys and they were acting out of fear of their precieved selves… put another way – They live next to the guards of their soul, always on guard against the outside world trying to see who they really are……so long have they been on the outside of self – that they do not know who they are in their castle — the guarding of it all ones life has made it a prisoner. I does take strength and courage to dismiss the guards and go into the castle to release the true prisoner..the true self.
            Sorry, did not mean to preach.
            I agree that most of these acts are done of fear and the long term effects of fear to include the real fear of ones own survival as was born into every human but not grown or learned out of every human.
            Makes you think that jumping off a tree with vines around your ankles or other rights of passage practiced for millenium had a lot of good reason behind it.

          2. Pelham

            So you’ve psychoanalyzed everyone on the right.

            The Centers for Disease Control did a study in 2013 of US gun usage and found guns were used far more often legally for defensive purposes than they were used illegally and offensively. Defensive uses in a typical year ranged between 500,000 and 3 million.

            So in my psychoanalysis of everyone on the right, I conclude that gun ownership is a generally positive thing and evidence of a confident person attempting to take personal responsibility for defense of his or her home and loved ones in a worst-case scenario.

            Separately, my analysis of those who reject the right to gun ownership reveals an alarming mental disconnection between their confidence that police will rush to help them in an emergency and their disdain for the police.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              I have, indeed, psychoanalysed the American Right…at least those portions of it i’ve been embedded in my whole life.
              (there’s a different quality of redneck in the Hill Country, than East Texas)
              and nowhere did i indicate that i am against guns…just guns in the hands of hopeless lunatics…but since it is by now impossible to keep them out of that ill-defined bunch’s grasp, we must endeavor to , instead, fix the hoplessness and lunacy parts.
              I have guns for varmints, and because republicans have made the world into such a state that i figger i need a few to hand.
              (so…you know…well done , all! Results of our 50 year social experiment are in!)

            2. pasha

              insofar as the cdc has, for decades, been forbidden by statute from investigating gun violence, i think it behooves you to supply the source material of this mythical 2013 “study”

            3. Procopius

              Do you have anything to help identify that CDC study? I’d like to check it out, because it sounds fantastic (I mean like a fantasy). All agencies of the federal government are prohibited from conducting public health studies related to firearms. I don’t remember when that was first included in the budget, but it’s been renewed every year for many years. It’s one of the things liberals and progressives and leftists all want changed. I believe the claim comes from the NRA.

            4. eg

              Perhaps you could work some consideration of the family members maimed in gun accidents, along with the lethal consequences of domestic disputes and suicides into your paean to the joys of gun ownership?

        2. Keith

          Being prepared is not being about being afraid. It is about being able to take care of one self and their loved ones. I, too, have my defense mechanisms as well as supplies. While much maligned, during g the corona games when stores were empty and people had no toilet paper, I was very very happy with the fact that my family not only did not have to do without, but we had plenty to last if and when we were totally shut down. Listening to people complain in check out lines about having g to use paper towels for their rears, not having food, diapers, etc, only made me realize that my path was the correct one.

          Those that chose dependency will always maligned those that choose to be able to do for themselves, but is it really because the prepared are living I fear or is it because the dependent are not capable of a little sacrifice needed to think and plan ahead?

          1. TomDority

            I applaud you being prepared – I am capable of taking care of me, my family and community – prepared and active – But
            I do have a little problem with “Those that chose dependency will always maligned those that choose to be able to do for themselves”
            It assumes that people are choosing to be inferior to your choice ….to that later
            Being prepared is a good thing – shame they tossed the planning when Covid hit – Shame they tossed Central Planning before our Iraq thing…but anyway
            Do you grow all your own food, produce your own energy, travel to a store on a public road, did you raise or build your transportation, to you raise yourself, did you go to school or home schooled, do you depend on our set of laws or the freedoms and requirements etc

            1. a different chris

              And even if Keith does all that, the gummint might just decide to turn his farm (I assume he has a farm? Otherwise it’s all BS) into a freeway.

              Nobody is independent.

              1. Keith

                Five acre homestead that still needs a lot of work. Turning it into a working farm would be nice, preferably raising some pasture sheep. Right now I have to settle for my budding orchard and ducks and geese (highly recommend, as they are very entertaining and provide lots of eggs).

            2. Keith

              There are people that choose to be dependent and choose not to save and prepare for the rainy day (I concede, not all). Take my girlfriend, for instance, she has no desire to be prepared for a calamity, even after the covid spectacle and ongoing shortages of various items, including food stuff. She has actually embrace the notion of the tiny house movement, and hints at wanting to live in one. One notion that has come from the movement is that the store is your storage. This, to me, is about living a “Just in time” inventory system for the home, and begs for failure. She is not alone in this mindset, many people choose to have just enough and prefer to go out and buy when needed. This is one story, but there are many.

              Heck, I remember living on the Gulf Coast during hurricane season. It was never a matter of if, but when. People would wait until the last minute to get gas, food, etc. That is a choice. That being said, there were many people on travel, and yes, fate handed them a rotten hand at time.

        3. Dr. John Carpenter

          I worked out in the boonies for a while. A co-worker one day was causally mentioning all his guns and how he kept his 9mm at his side when he was out on his riding mower. Because I knew he lived in the literal middle of nowhere (nearest neighbor probably a half mile away or so), I just asked him why? He couldn’t give me an answer, not even the excuse of some sort of wild animals that I expected. I was really trying to understand the mentality because it would never occur to me I needed to be armed in my own yard. And keep in mind, I heard a co-work gasp once when I told her where I lived, even though the neighborhood was all old people and young families. The worst that ever happened there was one time a party got too loud and I lived there 8 years.

          That conversation stuck with me, and I’ve had similar ones with loud and proud gun owners since. I’d really like to believe there was some other reason, but to man, it really boiled down to fear. (And rarely based on first hand experience, mind you.) So yeah, JB might think I’m two minutes from a cop at my door (I’m not sure about that) but it’s something I don’t think about all, ever. Not because I have that “security” or whatever you want to call it, but because I’m not convinced there’s someone minutes away from doing me harm lurking around every corner.

          1. amfortas the hippie

            i go armed on the mountain
            there’s. wild hogs and a cougar back there
            and there’s a rifle in the golf cart
            and another in the truck
            for the next odd rabid skunk and whatnot
            and even way out where i live i had an 8 year prowler problem

            which got me a bit closer to beech et alia with the be prepared thing
            but darn it
            the sheriffs department is the biggest armed threat out my way( if yer strange) and i can’t go toe to toe with them

            my defense against the relatively tiny cohort of mexican mafia is being known by them as a powerful bruja who will put the evil eye on them if my wide open shop gets robbed

            all that said, if you’re terrified of your neighbors, perhaps you should get outside and meet them sometime
            i live in red rural texas
            i don’t hide my redneck hippie ways, my libertarian socialism or my not being a christian
            everyone knows i garden fish and party naked
            and rednecks just like my neighbors harried and harassed and even beat me when i was young (for all those reasons)
            if i can make peace…and even become indispensable to… these narrowminded hillbillies… whats beech’s excuse

            a gun doesn’t make you brave
            it’s a tool, like a hammer
            bravery is facing one’s fears and overcoming them

            un examined assumptions about all those people all around us… especially based on surface phenomena…is just letting the fear rule you

          2. Jen

            In the times before COVID, the sight of a masked man carrying a firearm in the grocery store would have sent me scurrying in the opposite direction. The sight of an unmasked man carrying a gun would have sent me into an eyeroll that would let me watch my own hair grow.

            But I come up behind this dude in the snack isle and see he’s carrying a gun (proprely holstered, mind you). The first thing I’m wondering is whether he’s also refusing to wear a mask or has it down around his chin. Nope. All masked up proper like, so I excuse myself, grab a bag of pistachios, and go on my merry way.

            I live by myself in the woods and feel no need to arm myself against some potential threat. Didn’t feel like I needed to when I lived in the city either, though I had a number of “liberal” friends who were talking about buying guns for whatever reasons.

            1. a different chris

              >and feel no need to arm myself against some potential threat.

              And until that third eye pops out of the back of my head, I’m not sure what good it would do anyway.

              The whole point of us who live “in the woods” is that most of what is going on nearby is hidden from us. For better (almost always!) and yeah, sometimes worse.

              A gun won’t protect you from somebody who wants to shoot you unless you actually know who that somebody is and where they happen to be.

              1. Amfortas the hippie

                yeah, i learned that last part with the prowler.
                viet nam vet…former tunnel rat…small man, hooped around alot, really squirelly.
                went nuts, progressively, and one day we noticed a sliding glass door jimmied, and i followed the tiny bootprints back to his place.
                i’ve been “painted” by a night scope on many occasions(i obtained one of my own, or would have never seen the IR bead)
                my legs, at the time, were going(dead hip), and that guy had me at the drop for years.
                moved my wife and kids to town because of it(he died , uncharged, in the nuthouse…where he was known for sneaking into everybody’s room)

                the Elephant and me go way back,lol.

              2. Jen

                “A gun won’t protect you from somebody who wants to shoot you unless you actually know who that somebody is and where they happen to be.”

                In about 80% of violent crimes, the victim and the assailant know each other. Not sure owning a gun protects you either way.

                It’s funny how some of the same people I know who refuse to “live in fear” by wearing a mask insist they need guns to defend themselves from some unknown menace. Motive, intent and opportunity are always far more likely to exist among the people you know than random strangers.

                1. Mikel

                  Hey there! You win the grand prize.
                  It is the one consistent thing about murder/assault across all countries and cultures.

        4. Tom Bradford

          Scared shitless? I think I would be if I had the misfortune to live in the US.

          Of course I’m probably wrong, as I don’t live there so don’t have my finger on the pulse, but from what I get from this and other sites is a growing hysteria, and when it appears on this site which I’ve always regarded as having a particularly level-headed commentariat I take note. Forget Covid. There ain’t nutt’n as catchin’ as hysteria.

          When ordinary, peaceable folk feel they have to arm themselves to protect themselves and theirs, when the police get paralysed from doing anything for fear of being crucified for making a mistake in a situation no-one in their right mind would want to get into – chasing a possibly armed thug down a dark alley – so that the only people who’d do the job are the last people you’d want doing it, when you’ve lost faith in your government (“millions think the last election was stolen from Trump”) and all you get to vote for is the one you hope is least worst, you’ve a society circling the drain in the bathtub and once that vortex starts it takes a massive interference from outside to stop it – and for something the size of the US you’re talking something on the scale of a shooting war with China to break the downward slide.

          Scared shitless? Hell, you’re the width of the Pacific away from me and I’m worried enough. I can’t understand how anyone living in the US isn’t scared shitless.

      1. a different chris

        >those in the country don’t want to foot the bill for an Amtrak line they’ll never ride,

        Do you literally know nothing about anything?

        Less than a minute of reading about Amtrak would tell you that those “slow” Amtrak trains criss-crossing the country are *not* used by people to go “from Chicago to LA” or whatever, but instead to get from Podunk City A to Podunk City B which are stops in between.

        And urban liberals foot most of the bill in this country, another thing that would take 1 minute of reading.

          1. a different chris

            Good point, in fact upon reflection I would rescind that comment if I could also because, beyond that, or maybe more basic than that, it simply separates people by the money they have.

            Which was really ugly of me regardless of how the distribution came to be.

            1. BlakeFelix

              Although I will say that I live in a small town in PA, and to my understanding my grandparents could get on a train and be in NYC in a few, comfortable hours. “They” tore up the tracks and sold them for scrap. Our national infrastructure isn’t designed to benefit rural people and poor people so much as it is designed to keep us away from high class people. Trains are efficient, cars are expensive, and driving to NYC sucks, largely because Bob Moses designed all the roads but never learned to drive. Driving is menial labor, that’s for the little people.

      2. JP

        Yeah, I also live in the sticks. I wear a hat with a lightening rod and drag around a ground strap because the chances I need to kill a local hostile and being struck by lightening are about the same.

        1. a different chris


          I’m looking out my window in the “sticks” and can see where a mammoth tree was before lightning brought it down. Actually it only killed it but somehow it kept standing until it was professionally brought down. This was fortunate because it would have punched quite a hole in the roof.

      3. lyman alpha blob

        I grew up in a rural area and my family had lots of guns. They were mostly hunting rifles and used as tools on a farm. My father collected guns at one point, restoring old black powder rifles and building new ones from kits.

        We did not have large stockpiles of ammos – maybe a partial box. When a neighbor gave my father a handgun as a gift, he got rid of it almost immediately, feeling it was too dangerous and not wanting anyone to accidentally kill themselves with it. We were required to take a hunter’s safety course before we could handle a gun, using a gun as ‘protection’ was never even mentioned, and it was drilled into our heads that the gun was never, Never, NEVER to be pointed at another human being.

        I don’t know what crazy and fearful bunch of Yosemite Sams you live near, but your rural experience differs vastly from my own.

        1. tegnost

          One more thing to add to this difficult topic, I am really glad to have been trained with firearms when I was in the single digits. Handling guns is natural but I don’t want one. When a friend bought a glock I had him show me the operations so I could disarm it if I thought it was necessary. I watched the Pat Robertson thing and the way they handled the gun was scary. Guns are scary and there’s a lot of them. People should know how to work one.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            amen to all of that.
            i’m fortunate to have a stepdad who is a nut for gun safety and training(shot in back in a rice paddy, ’68)
            so i learned when i was little, too.
            and so did my boys, in their turn.
            i won’t tolerate stupidity with firearms.

            i have few problems with those guys i see with a discreet holster in the small of their back…it’s the fetishists that feel the need to wave them around and fondle them in public that i have issues with(not helpful towards the universalisation of essentially your entire last post^^. re: training and respect for the tool)

            it would be cool if we could magically put the collective arsenal back in the box, so that the hopeless lunatics must resort to swords or slingshots or something…but, as i said: unlikely.( i doubt even a 1/3 of our family “collection” is registered, just inherited, or bought at a gun show 40 years ago–i doubt we’re alone, in this)
            and out of the two remaining things that might be remedied, the hopelessness seems like the easier lift, to me.
            New New Deal, and all.
            well, that…and for the cops to stop killing folks.(Norway manages)

            1. The Rev Kev

              Hey, Amf. Just had the thought the other day that if they could develop a Star Trek style phaser but with only enough power for a stun setting and at a cheap price, would it be fiercely opposed by groups like the National Rifle Association and gun nuts? I’m guessing yes. Come to think of it, would the police want them, even if it could replace both guns and tazers in one hit?

              1. WobblyTelomeres

                “fiercely opposed by … the NRA”

                Well, dude, that depends entirely, ENTIRELY, upon who manufacturers them. The NRA is run by the manufacturers. The rest of their shtick is massaging their customer base.

              2. Amfortas the hippie

                out of all the gee whiz in star trek, i figger Replicators are the one we should be focused on the most.
                They couldn’t have accomplished their pseudo-communism, or overcome the war and rapine phases of development, without them.

                i think cops…if allowed to continue as a franchise,at all… should only be armed with brooms…at least until they prove their worth…as determined by a plurality of those they presume to “serve and protect”.
                (and make no mistake, brooms are frightening enough, in my experience)

        2. Jen

          Haven’t done a lot of shooting, but whenever I’ve taken lessons the emphasis has always been on respecting the weapon and, yeah never ever point that thing anywhere but at the target on the range.

          A friend of mine grew up in VT about 30 miles from Canada. He had his friends used to bring their hunting rifles to school, keep them in their lockers and go hunting after classes ended. Can you imagine that today?

          Most of my neighbors are hunters and own guns. They many joke about their alarm system being a 12 gauge, but they take safety seriously. One of my neighbors was coming out of the woods with a couple of his friends during hunting season when he saw some guy take a shot out of his truck across a field. There are two houses on the other side. Words were exchanged and the offending party had not repeated his error.

      4. chuck roast

        John Beech you are a buggah’! I see you having a little doll with NC on its chest. And today you are furiously jamming those pins in. You must be having a regular laugh-riot.

        1. Aomoa

          If he is just coming around to troll and stir up trouble, well then that should be a serious infraction. However I don’t think he really is just trolling. He actually believes the things he says, which is disturbing enough. Of course I’m sure he is aware that his hard right opinions are tolerated around here at best, and he probably gets some smug satisfaction from shoving them in our faces. I’m not sure I would be so tolerant if I was running this place, but then again it’s… probably a good thing I’m not.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Might be a case of where you learn more from people that you disagree with than those that you do. With the former you are challenged to clarify your thoughts and ideas as you go along whereas the later is just an echo chamber.

            1. Aomoa

              Yeah it all depends if someone is arguing in good faith or not. If they are interested in discussion and/or understanding then absolutely more different points of view are better. But if they are more interested in winning, being right and/or simply trolling then I consider it a waste of time to even try to engage someone like that.

              And I’ve noticed our friend sometimes does respond with some semblance of good faith to the people who engage with him, but more often it’s just drive-by comments like you see here.

      5. eg

        Have you considered the possibility that you also live 18 minutes (maybe more) from anyone interested in putting themselves in a position to get shot by either yourself or your wife?

        I for one am grateful that there is far more than 18 minutes between us, not to mention a closed border.

  4. zagonostra

    I found the juxtapostion of these two headline in links interesting:

    U.S. Slaps Wide-Ranging Sanctions on Moscow—but Stops Short of Killer Blow – Foreign Policy

    Russia Shrugs Off Biden’s Sanctions as Putin Looks to Summit Bloomberg

    I scanned the FP article and it seems they are living in a pre-debunked Russiagate universe.

    What is the “killer blow” in the FP Lede? I remember when the U.S. put sanctions on the sale of wheat to Russia, helped Russia become the number 1 producer/exporter of wheat.,production%20exceeded%2072%20million%20tons.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      And when I saw the link

      FACT SHEET: Imposing Costs for Harmful Foreign Activities by the Russian Government

      for some reason I assumed I would see some dollar figures, not just more agitprop fly-by rhetoric.

      I sincerely hope Biden does a summit with Putin as I don’t think he’s physically or cognitively capable of doing one and would be exposed on an international stage where the US media can’t cover for him.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Virtual summit, with the updated version of Max Headroom wearing an AI-generated Biden mask in opposition to Putin. Wonder which proprietary videotelephony product would be called on to disintermediate the conversation? I’m guessing no way that Biden’s handlers will let him sit in a room with Putin with any kind of public view of the action.

    2. km

      To this day, plenty of russiagate conspiracy theorists insist that their little conspiracy theory is proven.

      When asked for evidence, they say that just because we don’t have any, that just means that we need to keep looking, aka an “argument from ignorance”.

    3. Maxwell Johnston

      It’s a weak article, even by FP’s low standards. The sanctions are mild, and I don’t see what ‘killer blow’ there could be anyway. Russia has done a lot since 2014 to immunize itself against financial sanctions. My bet is that Uncle Joe and VVP won’t have a summit. I hope I’m wrong, but I think I’m right.

      FWIW, the Runet took an interesting view of Biden’s “friendly and supportive” 2 April phone chat with Zelensky. It seems Biden read Zelensky the riot act, telling him to get going on internal reforms and fighting corruption (ironic, I know, given Hunter’s background with Burisma, but I digress…..), otherwise no more support from Team USA. The specific article I read is from a pro-Kremlin site that’s usually articulate and well-informed and not given to making things up. Given the subsequent events (i.e., Kiev backing down, Biden proposing a summit, USA warships not actually entering the Black Sea), I suspect this version is true. Zelensky is in quite the political mess, with no clear way out:

      My concern is that Ukrainian oligarchs might support Ukrainian nationalists in a coup to remove Zelensky and launch an attack on Donbass/Crimea, in the expectation that this would provoke a Russian response (obvious) and draw in USA/NATO support (not so obvious, but I’m not sure they realize this). It’s a sad situation, as Zelensky seems to mean well and ordinary Ukrainians deserve better.

    4. Procopius

      A lot of people are still living in the pre-debunked Russiagate universe. There are several (many?) blogs I check out from time to time and the majority of their commenters write as if Russiagate was a fact, proven by massive evidence. I used to really enjoy Charles P. Pierce over at Esquire, but he completely buys into it. I think something happened to him even before he got hit by the car, because a few years ago he was my goto guy. Now I feel as if I might have sideslipped into an alternative universe.

  5. Alfred

    From “Citi retreats…”
    “tougher capital requirements for overseas banks in India requiring them to hold larger buffers…”

    That’s just not fair. Can’t they just get their Fed to bail them out? Wow. “If we can’t loot you, we’re going home, harumph.”

    I can’t read the FT article, but when animals are used as food or for profit, don’t people distance themselves emotionally and treat them as objects, while on the other hand, treat companion animals better than some people? Humans are are inclined to be just lazy creatures of want and convenience now, IMO.

    1. RMO

      Remember Charles Taylor? He of the memorable campaign slogan “He killed my ma, he killed my pa but I will vote for him” during the 1997 Liberian general election? Pat Robertson was pretty tight with him – bought the rights to diamond mining areas in Liberia and then used the planes he had being paid for by his flock as “Operation Blessing” which was supposed to be bringing relief supplies to the people to fly equipment in to them.

  6. timbers

    Brazil’s Supreme Court agrees Lula convictions are void Deutsche Welle. [genuflects] Obama really shouldn’t have installed Bolsonaro.

    First Obama installed Bolsonaro. Then Trump.

    I’m seeing a pattern. Too bad Team Blue’rs can’t.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. considering cash payments to Central America to stem migration”

    Sure, yeah, whatever. Maybe as Kamala Harris seems to be in charge of the border, that before any money is handed over that it is a requirement that any applicant be 1) a Pell Grant Recipient who 2) started a business in their disadvantaged community and 3) managed to keep that business afloat for at least three years. Hey, it is a Democrat initiative.

    1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      They need to also be able to somehow call themselves a ‘community organizer’.

    2. Robin Kash

      Surely any money to buy off immigrants from the Northern Triangle will go for distribution to the governments the US has more or less directly installed in each. Curious that few immigrants come from Nicaragua. Happy with their CAFTA-modified socialism and tolerant of the rough handedness involved in keeping Chomorro-brand conservatives from overthrowing Ortega/Murillo?

  8. RockHard

    Re: Always Read the Methods Section

    >The first question, always, should be: did the reporter read and understand the methods section?

    I want to say that Probability & Statistics should be a required subject for all Journalism students, but it’s not like it would matter. Editors write headlines to get clicks because that’s really all that matters, and nobody wants to try to understand math or statistical methods, that doesn’t generate ad impressions.

    Don’t apologize, Yves. This crew will be fine for a while, you take care of what you need to.

    1. IM Doc

      I am not sure taking classes in stats would help,

      As a faculty member for years at a Med school where epidemiology and stats are critical to understand, Med stats was one of the hardest for the kids to pass and these are bright kids.

      I would say about a tenth are able to fully get it and this is evidenced by the abysmal thinking on display for all to see right now.

      Who seemed to really get it? Kids that spent a lot of time with sports stats especially baseball and golf and kids whose parents played the ponies. I only wish I was kidding.

      There is a reason someone like Nate Silver got their start in sports.

      1. freebird

        Well said. But I have to lay some of the blame on the statistical textbooks, which seemed to me to be written to impress other statisticians instead of enlightening the masses. Intensely unreadable and inscrutable, then we’re surprised 19-year olds don’t get it.

        1. Alfred

          I recall the little pocket gem from my college bookstore, “How to Lie With Statistics,” by Darrell Huff.

          If you want to outsmart a crook, learn his tricks—Darrell Huff explains exactly how in the classic How to Lie with Statistics.

          I remember I gave it to my brother in Marketing when I was done with it. You can imagine his reaction.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      You don’t need to understand how to do statistics to understand technical papers – what people should be taught is how to interpret statistical results and apply logical thinking to any scientific paper they are reading.

      Often the most damage in science is caused not by people who are mathematically illiterate. Its caused by people who have enough of an understanding of statistics to pass an exam, but not enough to really understand the underlying limitations behind the raw results. Statistics is a highly specialized and difficult subject and you should not expect, say, a doctor to fully understand all the subtleties of the subject in the same way you would not expect a statistician working on medical research to carry out a heart operation.

      I strongly suspect that any journalist with a credit course in statistics would be easier to bamboozle rather than more difficult. It would make more sense for media outlets to run complicated stories past reputable scientists/statisticians (as, for example, our hosts here regularly do behind the scenes before clicking ‘publish’ on articles).

      A few years ago, EO Wilson proposed that statistics requirements should be dropped from most science degree courses. He suggested instead that any papers that required statistical input beyond the fairly basic should be co-authored by proper, professional statisticians. He argued that this would produce far higher quality research. I think he had a good point.

      1. Jesper

        I couldn’t agree more about this:

        Often the most damage in science is caused not by people who are mathematically illiterate. Its caused by people who have enough of an understanding of statistics to pass an exam, but not enough to really understand the underlying limitations behind the raw results.

        I have the firm belief that rare diseases are now not being discovered or even diagnosed due to some (possibly many) doctors firmly beliving that all anecdotes and statistical outliers can and should be ignored without further investigation or reporting. In other sciences I do believe that other discoveries are simply not made due to poor understanding of statistics.

        ‘plural of anecdotes isn’t data’ is a pet-hate phrase for me.

        In other words, the plural of anecdote, to be more precise, might be valid data leading to a potentially significant conclusion.

        The dismissal of anecdotes might be the right thing to do, it might also be the wrong thing to do.

      2. NotThePilot

        I’ve heard of a similar suggestion before, that statistics in any official capacity should almost become like certified / chartered accounting. Scientists would still do most steps of the scientific method, but claiming any hypothesis or interpretation is justified by the data would require essentially an independent audit.

        I could get behind that idea. My formal background is in mathematics, though not stats, and when I’ve tutored or subbed for entry-level statistics, I’d always wind up saying something like, “The formulas aren’t really the important thing. Unless you plan to get a PhD & think up new ones, your computer will do all that for you. The real skill is more about epistemology, critical thinking, and always double-checking your assumptions.”

        It’s not directly related, but I think it’s also a shame how most entry-level stats classes (at least the general or STEM-oriented ones) don’t dedicate a little time to “design of experiments.” I find some of that stuff mind-blowing in its simplicity, and I think it could be more useful for the average person than even hypothesis-testing.

    3. Socal Rhino

      Only if the requirement is to take the introductory math major’s version of the courses. Those courses (if they haven’t changed since I took them) put a lot of focus on theory, suitability, and the pitfalls of various tools. From what I’ve seen, non-majors skip or gloss over all that and jump to toolkits. Do that and follow a few twitter accounts (maybe start with Lars Syll, Nassim Taleb) for a month and wrestle with the arguments, might improve the quality of what’s written.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      Collecting and interpreting data to infer connections and correlations using statistics whether using them well or poorly makes it all too convenient to base research on contracts instead of grants. The best and strongest of statistical evidence should not replace explanations of mechanism describing ‘how-and-why’, if for no better reason than the frequent incidence of correlations between a chosen variable and as yet occult and unregarded variables. Statistics at best poorly explains how and why things work as they do. Statistics are necessary to discover possible variables describing a process but they explain little and tell less about ‘how-and-why’.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “How to get COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries – and still keep patent benefits for drugmakers”

    Well, Denmark has shown one way here. A few days ago the Danish Health Authority banned the use of Astrazeneca in their country due to a “real risk of severe side effects” which led to them have a large amount of stocks of Astrazeneca on hand. So now they are exploring the possibility of shipping their Astrazeneca to poorer countries instead. I would say that that satisfies the requirements of the title of this article-

    1. Paradan

      What! AIDS is caused by a virus called HIV and our entire blood supply could be contaminated?
      What are we gonna do with all this blood? I guess we could sell it all to the Arabs.

  10. PlutoniumKun

    Offshore wind:

    Its a rare good news story, but I wonder if wealthy Marthas Vineyard landowners will continue to object to off-shore turbines because it destroys their views.

    Off-shore wind as a commercial reality has hit the commercial tipping point thanks to scale and the development of a new generation of super large turbines. Just as happened with solar 10 years ago, the drop in cost has been very dramatic and significantly more than was anticipated by economists who used simplistic linear projections. There is a massive ramping up of investment in Europe on coastlines from Norway to Portugal, with a particular emphasis on the massive Dogger Bank. The Dogger Bank may be the most perfect site for it as its surrounded by heavy energy using countries and there is an already very large infrastructure of support and manufacturing industries which was originally built up for off shore oil and gas.

    The huge advantage off-shore wind has over other low carbon energy sources is that it can be scaled up very rapidly with relatively few regulatory/land ownership issues. While there are concerns over visual impact, fishing, marine conservation and migrating birds, these are fairly insignificant compared to the potential problems with land based wind or pretty much any other form of energy development. Even the grid connections are simpler, as they are primarily underwater, and since many fossil fuel and nuclear plants are located on coastlines there are ready made high capacity circuits to connect to quite easily. Wind energy is also far more reliable than land energy and drop-off’s are easier to anticipate, so they are usually easier to manage as part of the overall grid with other energy sources.

    Another positive is for fish – every turbine will act as an artificial reef, and there would almost certainly be no- fishing zones around each one for safety, thus creating effective no-fishing zones. Fishing interests won’t be happy, but there will be plenty of new jobs generated to offset.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I cannot help but wonder what lifetime off-shore wind power is built for. How much ocean rise do they anticipate and how much has their base been built for immersion in salt water?

  11. Tom Stone

    More deaths of despair, 8 shot at a fedex facility.
    The price we pay for living in a blatantly cruel and unjust society, some will snap.
    “Random acts of Cruelty, senseless acts of Violence” seems like it would be the right bumper sticker for the USA.

    1. JBird4049

      Funny how many refuse to look at the tandem rise in both mass shootings and economic collapse for the past thirty years; the murder rate, the last year excepted, has been going down for thirty years as well. The mass shootings are what is increasing; most shootings of either type are done with handguns as well.

      But facts like these don’t fit the propaganda narrative of the more extreme gun haters or gun lovers as well as the “liberal” or “conservative” establishment or the gun-makers.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “8 dead, more injured in shooting at FedEx facility near the Indianapolis airport”

    An aspect of this shooting was that employees at that FedEx place could not call loved ones to say that they had survived. The reason for that is that FedEx requires people to “give up and lock” their phones during working hours as if they were in high school or something. So FedEx is now rethinking its no-phone policy. Nice to know-

    1. JP

      I imagine working at FedEx is a lot like high school. Try getting help at Lowes from somebody not on their cell.

  13. amfortas the hippie

    a decent profile of one of my favorite people on the political scene today:

    infuriating how demparty itself is the biggest hindrance

    from their utterances in the article i get the distinct impression that the demparty has as big a problem with racism and sexism as the gop… just from a different angle. farrakhan is black. sarah palin is female. neither are worthy.
    this isn’t hard, lol
    “a black ceo doesn’t trickl down”

  14. PlutoniumKun

    Myanmar: Could be a big deal:

    Historically, creating an alternative government and getting a significant number of the population recognizing it as the only legitimate authority is perhaps the best way of peacefully undermining an authoritarian or colonial power. It worked for Ireland in 1918 and some Scottish Nationalists think its the only way forward for them.

    It would be wonderful if it worked, although almost inevitably you can see problems if, say, the US recognizes the alternative government but China insists on only recognizing the junta. There really are no easy ways out for that country.

  15. pjay

    – ‘The Looming Catastrophe in Myanmar’ – Foreign Affairs. Comparing Myanmar to Syria is just the sort of comparison The Blob would find illuminating (as they carefully erase their role in starting and prolonging the Syrian Civil War).

    On Lambert’s observation: this is not surprising. Regarding the author:

    “DEREK J. MITCHELL is President of the National Democratic Institute. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar from 2012 to 2016.”

    The NDI is the Democratic party’s link to the NED, the CIA’s overt soft-power propaganda arm. I think their motto is “never let a good public protest go to waste.” But I’m sure they are as concerned about “democracy” in Myanmar as they were about democracy in Syria.

    1. diptherio

      Yes he did. And the person who hired him (despite his notable lack of teaching credentials) was…wait for it…William Barr’s father! Small world our psychopathic elites inhabit, innit?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Incestuous at times. If they are not related by family, then they are serving on some Board together, or they are part of the same social set and go to each other’s parties, or they holiday in the same overseas places. Just as a quick example, Victoria Nuland who helped birth the Ukraine mess, is married to one of the Kagan clan that have pushed for the neoconservative Project for the New American Century.

  16. anonymous

    Re: Discrimination of SARS-CoV-2 infected patient samples by detection dogs: A proof of concept study.
    Detection dog training and validation of procedures by the Penn Vet Working Dog Center is the gold standard. The article, which explains some of the challenges in producing reliable Covid sniffer dogs, is a must-read for those wondering why dogs have not yet been deployed in the US (except for a couple of private firms, hired for event screening, with no information that I could find on their dogs’ training and proof of accuracy.) A quicker press release is here: Otto’s group is still collecting t-shirts for generalization, with instructions for participation on the Facebook page for Penn Vet Working Dog Center.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “There’s a single New Jersey deli doing $35,000 in sales valued at $100 million in the stock market”

    Aaaand there is the disconnect in the economy. That New Jersey Deli doing $35,000 in sales represents the real economy. It’s valuation at $100 million is what the stock market values it as. So that is a factor of about 2,860 between the two so no real relation between them. And that is where Trump fell flat. In talking to the people, if the stock market was doing good he would talk about it often as a sign that the economy – and people – were doing well. For him, it was all about the stock market because that is what he and his wealthy clients really only cared about. And he never saw the disconnect. Better that he had paid more attention to the daily death toll as that would have told him more about the state of the nation.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      On the other hand – I’d probably buy the deli stock for the 401K instead of Tesla. I prefer my CEOs not move to Mars

    2. Jen

      The first thing that popped into my mind when I saw this piece was: I’m sure this has absolutely nothing to do with the mob /sarc.

      I mean, yes, the stock market is completely disconnected from reality, but a deli? In New Jersey? Something else is going on here.

      1. Geo

        I kinda feel bad for old time mobsters. All that black market numbers racket, drug running, and loan sharking only to have their trade legalized and stolen by bankers, pharma, and government.

        As an old timer in NYC once told me, “back in my day they had a dealer on ever corner and the mob controlled the streets; only thing that’s changed is now it’s a CVS on every corner and Citibank or Chase runs the streets.”

        1. Jen

          Maybe they’re now using the “legalized trade” of WS to their advantage. Either that, or their grinders are truly next level.

    3. Maritimer

      Best deli scene in a movie ever: The Wrestler with Mickey Rourke. Absolutely degrading and humiliating. A great flic about America going in the terlet. “How many ounces of chicken loaf (hold the chicken)?”

      See your local torrent dealer.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Just reading the headline I wondered why the Taliban said they won the war. Wouldn’t it be more expedient to say the US won the war and now the US troops and all of their ‘support contractors’ should go somewhere else … what about go home?

      1. Andrew Watts

        The Taliban is entitled to a little bit of gloating. I don’t hold it against them all things considered. Washington wasn’t able to enforce any conditions that they wanted like a cease fire.

        1. ObjectiveFunction

          Can we put aside for a moment all the just so stories about the Empires, causation and culpability? and consider what is now likely to become of this ‘country’ and the c40 million human beings within its borders (+refugees)?

          A few lay predictions follow, for what little they may be worth (based solely on reading, I have no intention of ever visiting that part of the world, although I’d love to see Iran):

          1. Pashto (‘Pathans’) are only about 40% of the Afghan population, but about twice as many are in Pakistan (thanks again, British Foreign Office mapmakers, the McKinsey of their day!). Pastoral highlanders, with poor soil but a high birth rate, they predate and dominate all their neighbors, and have furnished soldiery for Vedic, Turkic, Uzbek and Persian conquerors invading into India for thousands of years.

          …. But unlike say Vikings or Scots, they have never really come down from the hills and settled under centralizing rulers who could then outbreed and subdue their wild highland brethren. This is mainly due to the impossible geography (‘lowlands’ are isolated valleys, not coastlines).

          2. The Taliban (‘students’) are not a Viet Minh. They are not, and never were, a popular, disciplined nationalist movement with a clear if hardheaded program for the independence, unity and advancement of all ‘Afghans’.

          ….They are now a very traditional confederation of Pashto militias whose sole unifying features are rigid adherence to sharia and fighting the despised outsiders, as well as each other once we leave. There is no Ho Chi Minh figure, and unlikely to be one. By default, the Talib are heirs to the old ‘loya jirga’ (tribal congress), but their legitimacy, as always, is rooted on armed force and exhausting invaders in their impenetrable hills.

          3. Their neighbors, especially the Tajiks and Uzbeks, no slouches at war themselves, fear and loathe them. And everyone (except the quarter of the people born since) remembers the last time the Taliban ruled in Kabul. Nobody wants that again; even the Taliban hive mind is ambivalent about it after a generation of war.

          4. So as Afghanistan relapses into chaos and the ANA reverts to warlord militias (with spook advisers), I predict Tajik militias funded by China will effectively carve off the northeast quarter of the country, with the long term aim of eventually unifying with Tajikistan.

          5. China will directly garrison the Wakhan corridor, and build a highway and rail line as part of OBOR. It’s a very sensible move for them even if there is little traffic at times.

          6. Uzbekistan hasn’t showed much appetite to date for absorbing their Afghan cousins. The Russians and Americans have kept them from moving too close to China, cuz oil. So I suspect that Transoxiana remains a sandbox of intrigue, with all the Great Powers backing local warlords. But bluntly, there isn’t much worth fighting for here; the minerals are in the mountains, where the Pashto are….

          7. The western deserts and scrublands (Helmand) too will remain a contested zone, but largely unimportant until someone finds oil or cobalt. The Taliban can’t really hold them; not enough Pashto, or hills to hide in.

          8. As noted, nobody really wants the Taliban ruling in Kabul again and holding itself out as a national government. So the Kabul-Jalalabad region will become a buffer zone between the Taliban heartland and the Tajik and Uzbek dependencies in the north. Basically one big refugee camp riven among numerous warlords and grifters squabbling for NGO handouts. Think Lebanon 1977. The forever war will go on here, probably for another decade or more.

          9. The Pashto highlands will remain in the stone age as always, with the Taliban warlords turning on one another again. A few nasty old goats like Gulbuddin Hekmatyr will take American money to prevent a unified march on Kabul, but then turn around again in a few months to ensure the next payoff.

          …Anyway, I guess we’ll see how it plays out. 20 years of Western and occupation achieved nothing, other than the belated death of OBL. Plus some useful combat experience for Western armies (offset by Be All You Can Be no longer being a desirable path for PMC-aspiring kids, out of fear of losing a leg or suffering TBI in the next Stanbox).

      2. Procopius

        Seeing that it’s from the BBC, I read the article and I don’t believe “the Taliban” said it. The [family-blog] neoconservatives are going to use every dirty trick to prevent Biden from pulling the troops out. In this case a BBC reporter went to a town purportedly now controlled by “the Taliban,” and the mayor made some matter-of-fact remarks about how they are going to arrest people connected to the former [U.S. puppet] government and hand them over to the courts. I was struck by the statement that “this group’s” political leadership is in Qatar. That’s odd — I thought most of the Taliban leaders were in Pakistan.

    2. ObjectiveFunction

      > Unsurprising, since our extremely expensive and politically dominant military hasn’t won a war in quite some time.

      I know this is a favorite trope here on NC, but it is not technically speaking true, unless one engages in a lot of goalpost shifting along the lines of: ‘so what did the victory ultimately achieve?’, or ‘yes, but look at the awful people we put in power!’ Those aren’t military considerations if the guns have fallen largely silent.

      The many botched paramilitary operations (Bay of Pigs, etc.) aside, and in spite of ignominious exits of our regular forces from Vietnam, Laos, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq and now Afghanistan, the US armed forces have actually *won* quite a few important wars as well since 1945, at least as defined by the folks who sent the troops.

      1. From a military perspective, Korea was a draw overall, and arguably a major strategic win since after a period of brutal military rule, South Korea became a wealthy US-aligned industrial power. This is offset by the ongoing potential for a nuclear war which, however, has not occurred. But fine, let’s say it’s ‘not a win’.

      2. Invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1966 swiftly installed a US-friendly thugs whose successors more or less run things today. Good for the people? No, but I find it pretty hard to argue that the US military ‘lost’ this one.

      3. Grenada. Same as above. More US troops were killed by mishaps and ‘friendly fire’ than by any enemy action. Admittedly, this one was pretty hard to screw up, but the USA did what was needed and Grenada has been a quiet sugar and tourism dependency since. Winning!

      4. El Salvador and Guatemala. This was the Vietnam our military adviser corps got ‘right’, making the armies of our tinpot oligarchs airmobile and aggressive enough to drive rebel forces into the jungles, while murdering and exiling other reformists (my California neighbors). Can ya smell that? Smells like….

      5. Panama. Noriega was ejected from power and pliable pro-US leaders were reinstalled. Panama’s National Guard was swiftly overwhelmed in spite of 14 Navy SEALS getting caught in a crossfire at the airport. This was a complex operation and was ably conducted. Military victory.

      6. In Gulf War 1, a US-directed army systematically crushed Saddam’s heavy armoured forces in and near Kuwait, with de minimis friendly losses. Bush 41 getting the Kurds, Shias and Marsh Arabs to revolt and then abandoning them was vile, but that isn’t a military defeat. The last time a regular army was this totally defeated was the Red Army steamrolling Japan’s Kwangtung Army in Manchuria in August 1945 (OK, the ARVN caved pretty fast in 1975 too).

      7. Kosovo was smoothly occupied, with minimal attacks on Allied personnel, in spite of a number of errant bombings and nobody troubling to ask the Russians what they wanted. A successful military operation, I would say, it did what the EU and the Clintons wanted.

      8. As in Salvador and Guat, Colombia’s ‘blanco’ technocrat caste, backed by thousands of US paramilitary advisers and billions in advanced equipment was able to contain and exhaust a formidable and popular insurgency among the ‘indio’ majority, and buy off and coopt a wide range of warlords. This was very much a ‘win’ from the narrow perspective of the US military machine, and the same pro US corporate oligarchs remain in power today. Win.

      9. I shall note in passing the swift and efficient US invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, overwhelming Saddam’s regular armed forces, since the subsequent occupation and resistance did more damage than the war, and has not led to installation of a durable US-aligned regime. So that’s definitely not a ‘win’ although the US military pulled off some pretty impressive operations against heavily armed forces fighting on their home turf.

      I hope this is interesting. I definitely make no moral judgments, nor claim that any of these operations were essential in defending Our Way of Life. But the Big Green Machine works, just not infallibly.

  18. fresno dan

    So I get up, flip on the news, and another day in America – a mentally disturbed (or evil) person shoots a bunch of people to death….

    Who had “Woke Pat Robertson” on their 2021 bingo card?
    I would not have believed it. But slowly, incrementally, videos are making people see

  19. Andrew Watts

    RE: Exclusive: Why Trump went hard on China, and Biden will follow

    Sorry, no. China was never going to liberalize itself politically even as it adopted market reforms. The mythical belief that markets will lead to freedom and liberalization is a faith held by simpletons. Most of whom are right-wingers. Every policy expectation based upon this belief only backfired in the face of the US government. As much respect as I have for McMaster for being one of the few military leaders who attempted to learn from history and apply it’s lessons he’s way out of his league here.

    Which isn’t to blame China for it’s trade policy either. The concentration of capital, the unequal distribution of resources, and asymmetric information ensures that any market that can be gamed will be gamed. They just played it better is all. McMaster can’t pretend that America didn’t derive any benefit from this state of affairs. The administration of Bush the Younger was able to pass tax cuts amid the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The dollars the US was sending aboard for cheap goods were recycled back in to the US Treasury to cover those costs. The stock market and Wall Street also fell upon good times while the last of the country’s light industry was being shipped off.

    The ironic thing is that if anybody sat down with McMaster, explained all this to him, and proposed a few solutions, it wouldn’t be all that different then what Bernie would’ve tried to do. Call it an industrial policy, socialism, or national security whatever and the answers aren’t that dissimilar.

    Except for the whole provoking China into a war scenario.

    1. David

      It wasn’t just the US. It’s the basic liberal mindset since the 18th century – the “doux commerce” of Montesquieu, the idea that trade has a civilising, liberalising influence on states, and that states which trade with each other don’t fight, but rather cooperate. Montesquieu wasn’t a democrat, but he did think that societies which traded with the rest of the world were better and more civilised than those that didn’t. Some illusions take a long time to die.

      1. Andrew Watts

        The difference being that ideologies are more idealistic and optimistic in the beginning. When they mature they lose their vibrancy.

        There are plenty of cases that contradict Montesquieu since his day.

    2. Susan the other

      I think HR needs to get back on his meds. His focus is so 1960. His blind, but patriotic, spots are real screamers. Of course China is competing with us – it’s the only game in town. And it would be the greatest tragedy for mankind if China won and stuck with the old paradigm… because they won! Strategic competition won’t accomplish anything. It’s nonsense. We need to stop competing altogether and start cooperating. HR’s comment about Xi (China’s) disingenuousness on the environment – they are building coal-fired power plants all over the 3rd world – is somewhat hypocritical when all HR is promoting is “strategic competition” to keep China from gobbling up all the profits. Let’s hope China has a solution for coal ash and all the toxics and CO2 associated with its use. That is one possibility, one of many that HR refused to even consider.

      1. Andrew Watts

        Harshly said, but a fair assessment. Nobody has asked why or what we’re even pursuing in a strategic competition with China. None of our allies seem interested in having another Cold War.

        They have their own concerns and historical grievances that don’t involve the validation of any administration in Washington.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. Slaps Wide-Ranging Sanctions on Moscow—but Stops Short of Killer Blow”

    Right now, you know that there is some policy wonk in Foggy Bottom congratulated themselves for coming up with the brilliant strategy of dumping a whole boat load of sanctions on Russia, threatening them if they do anything about it, telling them that the US are ready to move on now so how about a summit? Russia shutting down the Kerch Strait is just the first in a banquet of consequences I would judge. The whole Russian tone has changed a lot in the past few weeks and they are getting more bloody minded as they realize that there is literally nothing and no one to negotiate with. Not just the US but also the EU as well.

    If the Ukraine tried to attack the Donbass right now, I would expect the Russians to declare a no-fly zone over the Donbass and slam every Ukrainian command & control center that they could find and they will not care if there are NATO officers in them (this happened before in Syria). And then they would say that they had a “Responsibility to Protect” like the west says that they have. Gaach! This whole thing is so stupid and unnecessary – like children playing with matches and gas cans.

    And reading that sheet of charges reminded me of what Secretary of State Cordell Hull told the Japanese reps after they had handed him their diplomatic note just after Pearl Harbour was bombed-

    ‘In all my 50 years of public service I have never seen a document that was more crowded with infamous falsehoods and distortions – on a scale so huge that I never imagined until today that any government on this planet was capable of uttering them.’

    1. Fireship

      Well, when your society is disintegrating at home with daily massacres, out of control police death squads, rampant opioid addiction, a war abroad is just the tonic. America is dying anyway, so perhaps they want to go out with a bang.

  21. Alfred

    I put out my hummingbird feeders this morning, two weeks early. I looked at the “hummingbird central” siting map, and they are way early in my neck of the woods. I have not seen them peeking in my windows at me yet, but I hope the little mites who raised families last year here will make it back. I will link to the site, not the goggle map, which is there for anyone who wants to click on it further down the page.

    1. flora

      Thanks for the link. This year I’m putting out hummingbird feeders for the first time. This info is appreciated.

      1. RMO

        They hung around all winter as far as I can tell here in Vancouver. With the weather getting warm like a switch was thrown and things blooming they’re actually showing up less at the feeders than a little while back. We’ve also got a wren that’s made a nest in one of our birdhouses and a pair of crows who have been hanging around for more than a year who are building a nest somewhere nearby.

      2. Alfred

        My pleasure! It is snowing here today, not cold enough for accumulation. At least if they are early, I want to have the comfort stations out.

  22. Mme Generalist

    Oof. Is it just me, or are there some peculiarly deranged and ugly sentiments being expressed in comments today? Chilling.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      There are a lot of people outing themselves today. And we wonder why the union lost in Bessemer?

    2. tegnost

      “only one non-lethal device is needed, as if one doesn’t work, it is probably best to put the problem down.”

      just wow, right?
      This is going to be an explosive summer.

      1. Alfred

        yeah, that one hit me between the eyes–I was even afraid to ask for clarification in case it wasn’t what it sounded like.

      2. urblintz

        Is he the same who, a few days ago, minimized Chauvin’s crime as choosing “the wrong day to be too much of a cop.” Oy vey…

    3. steve

      Not just in comments here. There is a troubling swell of fear and anger from all quarters. I look about and I’m shocked to realize the height of the beast, the rise so steady and uniform as to condition you, so immense as to hide the horizon.

      Things go slow, till they don’t.

      1. Mme Generalist

        What on earth is going on? And it’s true it’s coming from all sides.

        I recently got called a racist on the patio of my local pub when some random stranger overheard my neighbor and I talking about BLM’s failure to address the horrifying black homicide rate. I asked her what I had said that she felt was racist and she wouldn’t answer the question. She just kept saying, “You’re a racist!” and, “She’s a racist!” And within a couple of minutes she was yelling at me and then at the manager, who knows me well, that he had to kick me out because I was being racist to her. She was making such a scene that she got thrown out, thankfully. Completely unhinged.

        I was shocked. Not least because this was a young woman, probably in her twenties, and I’m sixty. Old enough to be her granny. And I’m Puerto Rican. I’ve never experienced such rude aggression and disrespect. When did it become okay to act like that? Outrageous! And the future is in the hands of these young people. It’s really scary to think about.

    4. wadge22

      I think I agree. Except I can’t tell who you mean.

      Are you talking about those blaming the poor for not paying their taxes, those blaming the child for getting shot by the evil cops, or those calling people who won’t leave their protection in the hands of those same cops “scared shitless?”

      We walk a fine line around here.

    5. Nikkikat

      Indeed! I thought I was over on a fox comment board. Bashing poor working people accusing those who barely get enough to eat of tax evasion on pennies in earnings compared to the billions Amazon and Wall Street skips out on is usually not the commentary I read here. Then there was the comments to the effect that shooting 13 year old children before they become criminals is a good thing. By the way to the comments re: the taser gun being mistaken for a weapon…this cop was a UNION rep. She was required to show up in officer shooting incidents to protect the officers rights. Do you think she did not know how to cover up her killing? She completely escalated the situation and knowingly used her service weapon. It was quick thinking or planned long ago, just in case she got in a jam and could not use the usual excuse…..I though he had a gun.

    6. petal

      Things seem quite unsettled across the proverbial board, not just here at NC. Whether it’s on the road, at the store, online, etc. People have increasingly shorter tempers. Been noticing it for a while. Lots of anxiety and stressors. You can feel the tension in the air. Can’t imagine it’s going to get any better.

  23. WobblyTelomeres

    Re: Bezos leaving the planet

    Reminded me of Casino Royale – the 1967 version* – where Jimmy Bond/Dr Noah had a bacillus that he planned to loose on the world that would make all women beautiful and all men shorter than himself. I expect Bezos would personally oversee the passenger manifest.

    *contains one of the best movie songs ever. Imho.

    1. Alfred

      Make a big mess, move to Mars. Too bad Earth will still be there as a support system for him and his ilk as long as it keeps limping on. I’d say, if you leave, that’s it, no more Earth bennies, and good riddance.

      1. Geo

        I give a bunch of pampered libertarians sharing a little hub on Mars about a week before it turns into Lord of the Flies. And that’s only if there isn’t a tech malfunction that dooms them sooner.

        Can’t imagine their little utopia will go well when none of them have developed communal cooperation skills. If one of them wants to use the Peloton stationary bike at the same time another is using it, things will go Gangs of New York in seconds. :)

    2. .human


      That playful love scene between Peter Sellers and Ursula Andress is one of my all-time favorites.

      1. RMO

        That’s actually my favorite Bond movie. I know that’s an unpopular opinion but I love that glorious mess of a film. I have real trouble watching any of the newer ones. I just can’t help thinking of all the real, destructive, evil things that “intelligence” agencies are doing in the world right now when I’ve tried sitting through them.

    3. NotThePilot

      Ah, I love that movie, ever since I first saw it on TCM! It’s just so ridiculous.

      “A good spy is a pure spy. Let’s his intestines hang out & washes them by hand.”

      Fun fact about that movie, if you ever look at the credits, one of the screenwriters is a certain (IIRC) Wolf Mankowitz. That’s actually Joseph Heller writing under a pseudonym… which sort of explains some things about that movie.

    4. Michaelmas

      Wobbly Telomeres: contains one of the best movie songs ever

      Ah yes. Dusty Springfield doing Bacharach.

      I bought a copy of ‘Dusty In Memphis’ a couple of years back. Baddest ass white girl singer ever. There’s an old New Orleans R&B song called ‘From A Whisper to A Scream’ and that sort of sums up DS’s emotional and musical range — in one phrase, she could go from this beautiful, intimate, jazzy near-whisper that seems almost on the edge of her voice cracking to belting it out gospel-style as in ‘Son of a Preacher Man.’.

        1. Michaelmas

          Yeah, she knew Page and John Paul Jones as session players, and recommended them to the Atlantic Records higher-ups (I think it was).

          If you look around on the internet there’s blurry old videos of her jamming with Jimi Hendrix (extremely blurry, lousy sound) and Tom Jones (who could get down in his day) doing Dr. John’s “Right Place, Wrong Time.”

          Don’t know what they did about the line, “Right vein, wrong arm.”

  24. Robert Hahl

    Even assuming the last few trades were legitimate arm’s length etc, the transaction volume is essentially nil and this value is fictitious even by penny stock standards.

    One year my family and another vacationed together at the sea shore in Maine. There were five early-teens and four parents. We found weathered sea glass from broken bottles, mostly brown, but some pretty greens, and a few very pretty blues. One could hunt for them…or just buy them from someone else. An active trading market developed and prices rose every day, until my oldest suspended his buying program He would only sell at a high prices without reinvesting in sea glass (too speculative) and this sucked all the money out of the market. But prices didn’t drop. They just stopped. In speaking of this phenomenon we like to say that the prices went to zero if there had been a formal sea-glass exchange, it would still be reporting the last high prices paid. It think they were 10 cents for browns, 25 cent for greens and $1 for the best blues.

    1. Robert Hahl

      p.s. This was meant as a reply to Rev Kev on “There’s a single New Jersey deli doing $35,000 in sales valued at $100 million in the stock market”

  25. Mikel

    So here I am relieved that aerosol transmission is now being put at the forefront. Even had a friend, who was running around without a mask last year and wondering why I was wearing one, telling me it’s safer to eat take out because the aerosol transmission is more a culprit than droplets.

    And people are looking and talking about the lingering effects of illness, another important topic.

    Then I read:

    When will the Scientific Brief be updated to include the various peer-reviewed studies that have been released?

    “the infectious dose of viable SARS-CoV-2 required to cause infection in another person are not known, but it has been studied for other respiratory viruses.”

    Wouldn’t this be key to know for a variety of reasons, but above and beyond, wouldn’t it be key to know this before anyone could make claims about what are the best safety protocols?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I’m too lazy to find the link, but I did in fact publish a study on the infectious dose (quite a small number).

      Given that this is a pandemic, I think it would be good to know the dose, but that should not be a barrier to taking sensible measures (and ventilation is not rocket science). For instance, do we need to know the dose on Skagit, or on many of the other epidemiological studies?

      1. Mikel

        Oh, I meant this in a way to say the best safety protocols around ventilation, vaccine doses, etc.
        Not saying DON’T do them, but to make sure that what is being done is going to be enough for certain gathering places.

  26. IMOR

    It ain’t just you. Sometimes useful to check out the abyss staring back, but this was too much for me.

  27. Alfred

    re “Corporate Donors Are Rewarding Sinema And Manchin ”

    Who is Heather Bresch, late of Mylan? And of EpiPen gouging fame?
    Government funds awarded to Mylan, Inc. increased dramatically after the daughter of Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) took over as its chief executive officer.

    The pharmaceutical company Mylan sparked controversy this week for hiking the price of its EpiPen, an autoinjector used to counter allergic reactions. The life-saving device was sold wholesale at $56.64 per unit in 2009. That price skyrocketed to $317.82 by 2015, an increase of 461 percent. Company executives increased their own salaries as the cost of the EpiPen rose.

  28. flora

    re: Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Neil Gorsuch agree: Misinformation is threat to America – ABC.

    Hmmm…. I wonder why they were asked that question. (hint: nothing about official misinformation.)

    From LATimes, March 25th:

    ‘Uncharted waters.’ Judges are banning some Capitol riot suspects from the internet

    So… let me get this straight… “suspects” – as in not convicted of any crime yet, are being silenced on social media because… judges are pre-judging them? ooo-kaay. Several defendants appear to be going online to raise funds to hire their legal defense.

    1. Darthbobber

      Though reading the article, in the sole case of an actual ban cited, they make it explicit that the pretrial social media ban was requested by the defendant. I assume the prosecutors were pushing for bail denial.

    2. a different chris

      >o… let me get this straight… “suspects” – as in not convicted of any crime yet, are being silenced

      Um, let me introduce you to America. These are white people so they get “silenced”. When black men are suspected of a crime, unless they can raise bail (and if it is a serious enough of a crime there will be no bail allowed) they sit in jail. For years often.

      I’d take silenced and, well shut up about it.

  29. Duck1

    “Hermes drivers working hours for free”
    It is almost like the owners really, really like unpaid labor. Slavery is ingrained, it is all a master/slave relationship with a smattering of cash creating the illusion of freedom

    1. Procopius

      The pride of man makes him love to domineer, and nothing mortifies him so much as to be obliged to condescend to persuade his inferiors. Wherever the law allows it, and the nature of the work can afford it, therefore, he will generally prefer the service of slaves to that of freemen.
      –Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Book III, Chapter 2, paragraph 10

      Smith is a really hard read. Boring. There are nuggets in there like this one. He was employed as a “professor of moral philosophy.” Conservatives don’t want people to read it, they want us to accept their distortion of “the invisible hand.” The Invisible Hand only works when people are moral, when they recognize mutual obligations. We live in an Age of Darkness.

      1. eg

        Precisely. The usual suspects have distorted Smith into a cartoon bearing little resemblance to the man and his actual works, so much so that it is almost a universal “tell” when you see his name mentioned in the public narrative.

  30. Mikel

    Anybody else get the feeling that suddenly there are going to be more crypto security flaws “discovered” down the road? And wonder about the implications of that with a non-recoverable currency (which I interpret as also meaning no refund for purchases, but correct me if that is actually possible).

    I kind of like the ability to get a refund or a charge back or a write off – or have some recourse from fraud – even if it takes a long time.

  31. kareninca

    I empathize about the elder care. My 96 y.o. father in law, who lives with us, is suddenly needing a lot more care, due to two compression fractures (one caused by the PT for the first). My husband has already hurt his own back hauling him out of bed. So we have to hire some assistance; the minimum cost here in Silicon Valley is $200/day ($50 per hour, four hour minimum). Plus we will be having people come into our place; the FIL is vaccinated but we are not (not yet readily available to husband, and I’m not interested).

    And of course we are already seeing that the agency will not always be sending someone, even on days when they say they will. My husband works from home, so we can manage somehow. We don’t want to put his father in a home if we can help it but this is a challenge.

  32. curlydan

    I’m skeptical on the booster shots at the moment. How would Pfizer or Moderna even prove the need for a booster shot without another clinical trial–which would likely take much longer since there would be very few breakthrough cases?

    I also thought it was interesting that Pfizer’s CEO made these comments at a forum sponsored by CVS Health–two companies with a key interest in getting people to get boosters.

    1. Nikkikat

      Had the exact same thought myself yesterday about the booster shot. Also have to wonder if the Johnson and Johnson pause nonsense isn’t also a helpful boost for Pfizer and Moderna.

    2. a different chris

      Man I am really of two minds about this.

      The first is pretty much your post.

      The less pretty but maybe, at this awful point in history, more relevant take is OMG they are finally interested in prevention. Ok maybe They are finally intere$ted in prevention” is a bit closer to the mark.

      If we can convince them that people not getting sick has money in it (wasn’t there some place, a long time ago where doctors only got paid when you were healthy?) maybe they can actually try to keep us from getting sick.

      Of course that would ram the Medical Industrial Complex up against both the Twinkie Industrial Complex and the TV/Couchmaker Industrial Complex plus every smokestack owner in America so… who knows.

  33. urblintz

    Is he the same who, a few days ago, minimized Chauvin’s crime as choosing “the wrong day to be too much of a cop.”

  34. Maritimer

    Maine in the crosshairs once more.
    If you are an average citizen run like hell from any project Irving is involved in.

    “Irving oil ordered to pay Can$4 mln after Lac Megantic disaster”

    Irving also in bed with CDN government on military contracting/shipbuilding. Many of these contracts go over budget with no consequences.

    “How Irvings Built an Empire Using Tax Havens

    In 1972, billionaire K.C. Irving of New Brunswick moved to tax-free Bermuda and placed ownership of his empire into a series of Bermudian trusts to avoid taxes in Canada. Decades later his companies – and there are over 100 of them – still rely on New Brunswick forests, minerals, roads, ports, education system, and health care to vault them comfortably into the 1 per cent.”

    Over the past twenty years, Irving has also moved into Nova Scotia big time, buying up shipyards and other assets.

    Woe Canada! Every region of Canada has its influential, powerful Elite.

  35. boydownthelane

    Whether armed or unarmed, mindfulness and situational awareness always function for the better.

  36. Maritimer

    “The elephant is the biggest animal in the forest.”
    Hey amphib those elephants to the beaches of the Hamptons with a Marine Division and we’ll see real progress.

    In other pakiderm news, one of Royal Phil’s accomplishments was being a member of the Order of The Elephant. (Absolutely true, lookitup.)

  37. Darthbobber

    Not sure I understand Bruenig’s intellectual difficulties with the distinction between private property employed for the purpose of making money and personal property used for one’s own living and enjoyment. Its conceptually about the easiest thing in the Marxist corpus. ANd not just the Marxist one.

    Then there’s what he wants to call the more “modern” nomenclature, which he feels would be conceptually clearer, to wit:
    “The tangible world consists of three basic categories of things. There are non-produced assets such as land and natural resources. There are capital goods such as buildings and equipment that are used as inputs into production. And there are consumer goods such as food and clothing that go to satisfy the needs and wants of individuals.”

    Taking this as written, it appears on the face of it that any of these categories he “finds” in the tangible world could be either personal or capitalist goods depending on the use to which they are put and the end towards which they are employed. How this somehow makes things clearer evades me.

  38. drumlin woodchuckles

    Why are CDC and WHO pretending to change their minds about aerosol transmission of coronavid?
    Perhaps they have people reading threads like this one and other ones and perhaps they were getting concerned that highly disgruntled people . . . VERY highly disgruntled people . . . . would start to pay senior CDC and WHO leadership commanders some very personal visits.

    Well, it brings to mind that old political saying . . . . ” I felt the heat, I saw the light”.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Why are CDC and WHO pretending to change their minds about aerosol transmission of coronavid?

      WHO only (this time). CDC, having pretended once, is not even bothering to pretend this time.

      Since I’m trying to apply Hanlon’s Razor more often, I would attribute this to bureaucratic scientists who are unwilling to embrace a paradigm shift (which is inherent to the paradigms, unfortunately; and to be fair, we don’t want institutions driven by fads, either).

      I would speculate — and our many doctors can correct me — that hospitals have tremendous clout, and within hospitals, surgeons. Surgeons have elaborate protocols for operating room safety based on droplet transmission, so we have very high status people in very high status institutions resisting the aerosol paradigm. Unfortunately, the surgeons have the classic PMC mental disease of thinking their experiences are universal; in this case, the rest of us poor shlubs don’t have the number of air changes per hour they have in their operating theatres (some incredibly high double digit number), and so our experience is different.

      1. Susan the other

        Had to read Skunk’s link (just the synopsis as it was too many run-on scientific sentences for my brain) and it seems to address my questions last year about, Is is good or bad to take an ACE2 inhibitor/blocker to prevent a Covid2 spike attack? It does’t mention blockers but it might still be a relevant question. This research has found that “…treatment with recombinant human ACE2 protein and an anti-spike-monoclonal-antibody can reverse Covid2 spike-protein-induced-platelet-activation” (which otherwise cause cytokine storms and platelet mass production/blood clots). So very interesting. My follow-up question is, Why do they report “low platelet counts” associated with this thrombosis when platelets are going critical mass production? I’m guessing this is a lag-time phenomenon – it takes about 2 weeks (from vaccination) to set off this immune reaction and the platelet counts are taken maybe just a little too soon? So then, back to my original dumb question: Wouldn’t it be a good prophylactic to give everyone ACE blockers?

        1. Expat2uruguay

          I wonder if a good prophylactic would jeopardize the emergency use authorization for vaccines

  39. John Anthony La Pietra

    Arming US Cities With Military-Grade Healthcare Consortium News

    Laura Flanders with a variation on a theme from the end of January:

    We can have an Interstate Defense Highway System — can we have a National Health Defense System?

Comments are closed.