Links 5/20/2021

Brink of a fertility crisis: Scientist says plummeting sperm counts caused by everyday products ABC

Canada Needs to Nationalize Its Transit System Jacobin

‘We don’t have time’: scientists urge B.C. to immediately defer logging in key old-growth forests amid arrests Narwhal

The Never-Aging Ants With a Terrible Secret Atlantic

Acid test: scientists show how LSD opens doors of perception Guardian

UFOs Aren’t Real  Richard Hanani’s Newsletter

In Defense Of Bird Names American Conservative

Extreme weather displaces record numbers of people as temperatures rise Deutsche Welle

Australia offers cash to ‘work in paradise’ Asia Times

Indigenous forest gardens remain productive and diverse for over a century Ars Technica


‘Public Health 101 failure’: CDC mask decision may knock out Biden’s workplace Covid crackdown Politico

Scarred but Resilient, New York City Tiptoes Toward Normalcy NYT

How the Covid pandemic ends: Scientists look to the past to see the future Stat


Before ruining millions of vaccines, Emergent failed inspections, raked in cash Ars Technica

How to Vaccinate Every Country Project Syndicate

What England’s new vaccine passport could mean for covid tech’s next act MIT Technology Review

Michael Abrahams | Does Ivermectin have a place in the management of COVID-19? The Gleaner

Restrictions reimposed as virus resurges in much of Asia AP


“The Super-Rich in the West Are Evading Their Responsibility” Der Spiegel

Ministers consider diluting plan to relax Covid rules as India variant surges Guardian

Countries Are Scrambling for Vaccines. Mongolia Has Plenty. NYT

Fears grow that Nepal’s Covid-19 crisis could be even worse than India’s SCMP

Amid Covid crisis, Modi’s popularity rating drops to a new low for first time in 7 years: Report Scroll

What Rebuttals to The Lancet’s Editorial on India Got Wrong The Wire

Black fungus piles on the misery for India’s Covid victims FT

How US Intelligence Community Views Rivalry With Russia and China Valdai Discussion Club (Micael)

The Supremes

Supreme Court Delights Conservatives With Action on Wish List Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Judge Orders California City to Zone for Affordable Housing Capital & Main

Ed Gainey Defeats Incumbent To Become Pittsburgh’s 1st Black Mayor Payday Report

Con of the Week: Greensill Capital Matt Taibbi TK News

Bitcoin recovers from day’s worst losses as Elon Musk says Tesla will NOT sell its holdings and the company’s crypto horde returns to the black with a net gain of $200M – and celebrities who bought early are also up big Daily Mail

Trump Transition

New York attorney general adds ‘criminal capacity’ to probe of Trump Organization CNN

‘Madman … racist, sexist pig’: new book details Obama’s real thoughts on Trump Guardian

Inspired by Arizona recount, Trump loyalists push to revisit election results in communities around the country WaPo

Capitol Seizure

Mitch McConnell says he OPPOSES 9/11-style Capitol Riot commission in dramatic U-turn and dooms its chances in Senate ahead of House vote tonight Daily Mail

House backs commission on Jan. 6 riot over GOP objections AP


Gov. Greg Abbott signs ‘fetal heartbeat’ bill banning most abortions in Texas Austin American Statesman

Biden Administration

‘You’re a really dull class’: Joe’s Navy jokes fall flat at tough crowd Coast Guard graduation as he tells them about the time he sprayed a dorm supervisor with a fire extinguisher in college Daily Mail

Nord Stream 2: Biden waives US sanctions on Russian pipeline BBC


Progressives warn Biden, Congress against fueling hatred with anti-China measures


A wider war spreads fast and far in Myanmar Asia Times


Netanyahu ‘determined’ to continue Gaza bombardment: Live Al Jazeera

Israel’s War Against Press Turns More Literal FAIR

Ocasio-Cortez leading effort to block arms sale to Israel The Hill

Palestinian journalists targeted by Israel in Gaza speak out  Grayzone

The Best Thing Jimmy Carter Ever Did Counterpunch

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Anders K

    That article (available free here) about the ants with parasites make for an interesting simile about late stage rentier capitalism:

    They are agents not of disaster, but of an insidious social sickness that sets reality only slightly, barely perceptibly, askew. Infected workers get a taste of invincibility and status, swaddling themselves in youth and the benefits it brings. They also form resource sinks that sap the energy of those around them. They become echoes of the microorganisms they harbor. They are, in the end, parasites themselves.

    Unfortunately, I’ve yet to see any over the counter medication for expelling the rentiers from the body politic (nor the economic one). Pity.

    1. hunkerdown

      Forgive me for imagining that such an authoritarian neocon (pardon the stutter) as the senior editor of The Atlantic might be exploiting Weberian esotericism to reproduce the principles of elite domination. Or just to humblebrag and reinforce the class interests of elite domination. First tapeworm’s free, kid, just sign here for your financial aid…

        1. rowlf

          Having seen actual lampreys and having worked at a company that was LBO’d, financial lampreys meme gets my vote.

      1. JTMcPhee

        And as scientists discover more and more ways the fungi of the world and other parasites make humans sick, there’s this article linked in the ant piece:

        “ How the Zombie Fungus Takes Over Ants’ Bodies to Control Their Minds
        The infamous parasite’s methods are more complex and more sinister than anyone suspected.”

        Harry Harrison wrote a sci fi novel issued as “Planet of the Damned” back in 1962. It revolved around the invasion of the brains of the upper class on one planet by a symbiote that removed and replaced all the parts of the brain that enable empathy and such functions. It’s an ebook that can be read for free (sign-in required) here:

  2. fresno dan

    UFOs Aren’t Real Richard Hanani’s Newsletter
    But you’d think a species that advanced would have a more meritocratic selection process for space missions.
    It seems that at one point, the Pentagon and its allies saw UFOs as a distraction. Yet they eventually realized that by talking about physics-defying craft as a “national security issue” they could use it to get more military funding, which is what they have always wanted anyway.
    Maybe for an alien pilot, the absolute worse assignment is going to earth, so we’re getting the dumbest alien pilots. Think of all the places FBI agents can be stationed – New York, LA, Honolulu, etcetera, but your assignment is Fresno. They don’t send their experienced, or their best, to Fresno…
    And OF COURSE, the security state always has an agenda.

    1. chris

      I always thought they were whatever the alien equivalent of drones were. Why would they waste a high functioning, well piloted, sensory device on us? We don’t try to hide stuff like that from monkeys, do we?

    2. Wukchumni

      Well, underestimate the romantic appeal of Fresno @ your own risk…

      You’ve just traveled a couple gillion miles and you’ve heard that
      Fresno girls are easy and not stuck up like the hawties in Honolulu.

      No wonder the illegal aliens (yes, they are stateless w/o passports) flock there for a piece of ash. (Fresno translates to ‘ash tree’ in Spanish)

    3. John A

      Why would aliens travel such a monumental distance from some galaxy far, far away, that must have taken a very long time, and then not go the extra mile to land or even make contact? As though it were just a sightseeing trip. You would think they would at least buy a lousy T-shirt to take home with them.

      1. Wukchumni

        In the aliens defense, no t-shirt exists with 3 neck openings & room for 14 arms.

        1. Michael Ismoe

          That’s not true. I just saw a “Trump 2020” t-shirt that had exactly 14 arms. They were wearing at the “Maricopa County vote counting and homeless camp” at the Phoenix convention center. The dude with 14 arms could count ballots that didn’t even exist.

          1. ambrit

            Hah! You think that’s bad? I got an e-mail from an alt-real organization last week that asked me if I wanted a “Trump 2024” lawn sign? Without a mandatory ‘donation’ too! Now that’s unusual, even, dare I say it, alien.

    4. Craig H.

      According to Luis Elizondo, a former Pentagon official

      Elizondo is an intelligence agent. Current tense.

      Real is not the right adjective. The appropriate adjective is paranormal.

      We have satellites that can measure suspect bin Laden’s height to nearest 2″ from outer space and these released videos are serious? To quote John McEnroe “you can’t be serious”. Any way the article is not terrible if you look past these kind of glaring errors. There are better ones out there for sure.

  3. Toshiro_Mifune

    UFOs Aren’t Real

    Assuming that the recently acknowledged events* aren’t non-terrestrial. What is the purpose of bringing them public now? About all we have to go on so far is the video and eyewitness accounts. We don’t have access to the radar telemetry data/etc. The video shows…. well, about the same stuff you always see in UFO video. Small blurry objects moving. This time apparently taken from FA-18 gun cameras or similar. I mean… they’re just small blurry objects moving and some voice over. That’s about it.
    It has certainly had a significant amount of press coverage. NYT and 60 Mins do not usually cover this sort of thing and have done so. Obama recently commenting on UFOs leads me to believe we are certainly meant** to be paying attention to this. So, why? Why now? What purpose does this serve?

    * That is; The Navy has acknowledged the events recently even though some of the events occurred quite a while ago.
    ** – Inferring intentionality here I know.

    1. Juan "Close Encounters of the Fourth International" Posadas

      The aliens have come up bring us socialism and the elite want to try and poison us against the interstellar proletariat.

      1. Tom Denman

        According to the New Yorker article John Podesta, John Brennan and Marco Rubio are among the luminaries pressing for UFO disclosure. So we may soon be reading about “high confidence” intelligence assessments that Nicolas Maduro is colluding with an extra terrestrial power. Then expect Wolf Blitzer, Rachel Maddow, et al. to solemnly intone that we have to invade Venezuela.

      1. KLG

        The Historian is on to something. A friend asked me why all this, now? I replied “distraction.” Silly me. I forgot all about our Space Cadet Farce.

        Anyway, where are Sterling Hayden and George C. Scott when we really need them! And Slim Pickens.

        1. ambrit

          James Earl Jones was one of the members of the “Leper Colony,” and he’s still alive.

    2. Robert Hahl

      It’s hard to believe that this is all about military spending since they are going to get the money anyway. Why resort to preposterous justifications?

      My pet theory is that this campaign relates to climate change and the growing awareness of near-term human extinction. Wasn’t it Enrico Fermi who asked, Where is everybody? – implying that aliens probably destroyed themselves too quickly to leave a trace. UFOs prove that we can make it through climate change.

      1. Aumua

        Yeah well, define “near term”. I mean everyone’s favorite NTHE guru Guy McPherson has a track record similar to many other seers and prophets, in that his deadline dates keep getting pushed back.

    3. Cocomaan

      I thought this article kind of sucked.

      The videos aren’t what’s interesting, it’s the statements by the pilots in public that are interesting. The navy captain who appeared on Joe Rogan and explained in detail what he saw as well as commented on all the videos.

      These aren’t videos in isolation, they’re videos with people behind them. The criticism should be leveled at the people, not the videos.

      And quoting Elon musk about what’s real and what isn’t? Can we stop doing that?

      I think a lot of the aliens talk distracts from the fact that we have no idea what the Pentagon is up to, and neither does much of the military. If the pentagon invented a new type of propulsion device, how would we even know?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Drones are the US’s baby, so I tend to go with the latter. I suspect Russian and Chinese weapons are largely built around making the US logistical support for forward bases to run drones from impossible, necessitating larger drones which are easier to target. This might be drones, but based on what is accessible to mortals, I would go with missiles.

          Yes, the dramatic increase in these stories does coincide with Space Force The Next Generation.

          1. CNu

            “Drones are the US’s baby”

            Drones are a worldwide game changer rewriting current military doctrine. Remember the Houthi drone attack on Saudi Aramco and the brief Armenian/Azerbaijanian dustup decided by Turkish drones?

            In fact, drones and drone swarms are rightly considered WMD and nobody does swarms better than China

            1. jsn

              Agreed! The US Brass is invested in all their heavy legacy systems and the Self (M) Licking (I) Ice-cream Cone (C) is built around cash flows through those systems.

              Therefore, obsolete systems are the foundation of what industrial base remains in the US for the MIC. Forward thinking officers tend to get “retired” at LT Colonel so legacy systems can sustain their primary function of enriching the narrowing population they enrich.

              I still like my option 2, but also believe foreign developments in weapons systems are going to eat our lunch in some surprising places. We may have similar surprises in store for them, but if things get big, they’re going to get exponentially weird.

        2. polecat

          I think the A•L•I•E•N•S are in need of a new Queen. I’m quite sure D.C. via the ‘Company’ have many to choose from.
          Those juicy colonists don’t cocoon themselves, you know.

          Private Nutson: “Funding or NON-Funding …”

      1. Jeff W

        “I thought this article kind of sucked.”

        I thought it did, too.

        “…it’s the statements by the pilots in public that are interesting.”

        And it’s unfortunate that the multiple observations connected with this incident are not put into one coherent narrative in most of these accounts.

        “For two weeks” the NYT reported, “the [USS] Princeton [a missile cruiser] had been tracking mysterious aircraft. The objects appeared suddenly at 80,000 feet, and then hurtled toward the sea, eventually stopping at 20,000 feet and hovering. Then they either dropped out of radar range or shot straight back up.”

        On the day of the Nimitiz incident, 14 November 2004, the two F-18s involved were conducting an air defense exercise. About a half hour into the exercise, Princeton’s Senior Chief Operations Specialist Kevin Day detected UAVs entering the training area. The F-18s, one with Cmdr. Dave Fravor and Lt. Cmdr. Alex Dietrich, his weapons systems officer; the other with Lt. Cmdr. Jim Slaight (and, presumably, some other commander whom I haven’t been able to identify) were instructed to intercept a UAV.

        After Fravor encountered the UAV, radar then picked up what seemed like the same object at the rendezvous point (the “CAP point”) 60 miles away that the two F-18s had been instructed to head towards, although it was no longer there when the two F-18s arrived.

        Then, an hour later, another Navy pilot, Lieutenant Commander Chad Underwood, picked up what seemed to be the same object on the infrared camera on the left wing of his F/A-18 Super Hornet.

        These observations are, again, in addition to those made by the radar operators on the USS Princeton who “spent about two weeks attempting to figure out what the objects were” and Princeton’s (retired) Chief Master-at-Arms Sean Cahill “who reported seeing what appeared to be another grouping of the objects from the missile cruiser’s deck.”

        And there’s also the weird, perhaps often-overlooked detail, observed by both Fravor and Slaight, of “a disturbed patch of water, where it appeared as if there was a large object, possibly a downed aircraft, submerged 10 to 15 feet below the surface” in the vicinity of the UAV. (The way Fravor talks about it, it appears that the UAV and the submerged large object are not the same.)

        Whatever all these observations add up to, they doesn’t seem consistent with birds or weather balloons or camera tricks, at least to me. (While, according to the article, UFO debunker Mick West says the Navy videos can be explained by “some basic trigonometry and an understanding of how cameras work,” Fravor says pretty definitively that that’s not how these FLIR systems work.)

        I do agree with the premise of the piece—it’s hard to imagine why extraterrestrial beings would be hanging out in Earth’s airspace only to zip off when anyone gets close to them—maybe they really don’t care if they’re observed at a distance but, knowing “how we are” (violent? paranoid?) they avoid any “close encounters.” Granting, for the sake of argument, some extraterrestrial origin of the beings that might be aboard these UAVs, if we can’t even begin to imagine the physics governing their vehicles, why are we assuming we’re any better at understanding their motives?

    4. freebird

      1. Distraction from the authoritarian-ization they are wreaking on us.
      2. Normalizing vast numbers of new satellites and space weaponry, to track ‘danger’ and every move humans make.

      1. Wukchumni

        Sooner or later the Kessler Syndrome is going to occur and what a perfect foil to blame for a cascade of space junk crashing into one another, ‘ET did it!’

      2. Toshiro_Mifune

        Yeah. This is what I was leaning towards. And also a distraction/diversion story for increased military drone surveillance within US borders. “Its a UFO… can’t be explained. Don’t ask any further questions”

  4. zagonostra

    >“The Super-Rich in the West Are Evading Their Responsibility” Der Spiegel

    I wanted to learn about what kind of “responsibility” the super-rich had, but alas the story is behind a paywall.

    The title suggest that this class has characteristics that are geographically unique, I’d like to see the contrast with the Super-Rich of the “East”, kind of like the Wizard of OZ’s wicked witch of the East. I’d like to know who they are “Evading.” Is someone pursuing them? Typically they’re the predators who control the politicians, police, and courts. They have “responsibility?” Wow, this is news to me. I’d really like to see an enumeration of these. But I’m not one of the Super-Rich and I can’t afford anymore subscriptions so I’ll have to defer to other commentators to educate me.

    1. Alfred

      one definition of evade: “to intentionally not talk about something or not answer something”

      IMO, The Super-Rich in the West are really good at that. Journalists naturally would not appreciate it.

    2. HotFlash

      when I clicked on that link a pop-up gave me the choice of reading with ads or subscribing, so I took the ‘with ads’ option. Long/short: The headline (not same as article) seems to refer to the obsrvation that billionaires who said they would use their wealth to fight CoVid have done not much.

      More important, I thought, is Branko’s observation that global communication decreases inequality among countries (comparing national GDP) but increases inequality within countries (comparing classes). Eg, cheap upper-middle and middle class workers in India (doing medical transcription, legal research, etc., even medical tourism) displace more expensive upper-middle and middle class workers in Germany. So India and Germany are, on average, more equal, but within Germany the middle and lower classes lose vis a vis the top 10% and in India the poor fall off the bottom. The only class doing really well out of all this are the top 10% in any country, who by maximizing both their investment income and their labour compensation (Branko calls it ‘earnings’, but I can’t) are hoovering up the $$$ capital, which they then convert to human capital (= power, apparently) by ‘contributing’ to politicians and political causes, getting their kids into top-tier universities, etc. Branko says that Biden plan to increase corporate taxes is a good idea, but as NC readers know, that’s a farce without taxing personal income and capital gains.

  5. Wukchumni

    The concept that nobody has ever seen the Ultimate Financial Object leads me to believe that this ‘mining’ story we’ve been told & sold is bunk. Isn’t it obvious that extraterrestrials are behind Bitcoin (which truth be told is actually 11 dimensional) and their long range goal is to buy off the Earth?

    1. ambrit

      All red blooded Terrans must be vigilant to prevent the Venture Aliens from sucking up all of our Precious Financial Liquidities.
      I wonder what, if anything, any really advanced “alien” species would want from us? Cheap labour with which to ‘break’ alien labour unions?

      1. Wukchumni

        What if said extraterrestrials valued plastic more than anything else?

        I can sense a win-win gig here if we play coy as we’re loading soda bottles, tv dinner trays et al, onto their saucers…

        1. Lambert Strether

          I believe I read in PKD’s Our Friends from Frolix 8 was that what the aliens really wanted, and would trade for, was kitsch (and schlock). An alien civilization wouldn’t invent, say, garden gnomes, which they found novel and unique.

          1. ambrit

            There was an early story where a ‘local man’ was selling cigarettes to some ‘alien’ smugglers because tobacco, or ‘toffaco’ as the aliens pronounced it, was a highly addictive narcotic analogue for them. This was way before the dangers of tobacco smoke were widely publicized.
            The Land of the Lotus Eaters, that’s us.

            1. Gaianne


              The author would have been Hal Clement. ‘The title was “Iceworld.” The aliens come from Sarr–which is much hotter than the iceworld–which is, of course, Earth.

              A single hit of toffaco–which spontaneously breaks down into God-knows-what at Sarran temperatures–is permanently addicting.


              1. ambrit

                Ah, Hal Clement. Thanks. One of the best of the “Hard Science” science fiction writers. I’ve still got a copy of “Mission of Gravity” lying about somewhere in the “book repository.”
                One of the good things about the “hard” science writers was their ability to put out there some really ‘alien’ landscapes and cultures. This is not an easy task. Subconscious biases are very powerful things. Overcoming them and their effects requires effort.

  6. Dave

    On the ufos, seems like a way they could create a human overlord class with sufficient technology they couldn’t be challenged. Most likely though just another scam to funnel billions to the military class. The us is being drained so hard by parasites, we’re dizzy and stumbling. True detriment shows up in next gens :(

    1. tegnost

      It seems to me like something to get people talking about that isn’t how ineffectual, lame, and greedy the ruling class is…that and space cadets are actually going to turn out to be drone pilots since recruiting drone pilots is hard, but who doesn’t want to be a space cadet? It’s like when I worked (briefly) at a toy store in the ’80’s…everyone was an assistant manager…? Work your way up to the top, but make sure you stay in your aisle…
      Everything is a distraction.

      1. Alfred

        “Space cadet” is the most hilarious snark. Growing up, it was certainly not something you’d want someone to call you:

        Space Cadet
        When people are in their own little world, constantly “spaced out” of their current surroundings and positions. Often associated with not paying attention, or confusion towards otherwise simple tasks.

        1. ambrit

          In my circle back then, “Space Cadet” was used as an honorific. “Lost in the Ozone with….the Space Cadets!”
          The people who try to break free of the “general narrative” are always portrayed as fools, dopes, and other sorts of deviant. The ruling elites have to maintain the “general narrative” in order to preserve their power and privileged status.
          Think outside The Narrative.

            1. newcatty

              Remember when being”spaced out” was referring to being not paying attention to whatever someone else thought one “should ” or “must” . Besides being in the company of “fools , dopes and other sorts of deviants”… I was in the company of a sort that was the epitome of outside the narrative. The greatest insult one was called: hippie!

          1. Alfred

            In my circle, “classical musician” was an honorific. deviants outside the “general narrative”, for sure

            1. ambrit

              Yes, exactly. Take the “Box” you have been thrown into by the dominant elites and decorate it to your taste and enjoy the resulting milieu.
              I remember reading the transcript of an interview with Ray Bradbury. He gleefully related the endless fun he had as a child playing inside of big cardboard boxes. He said something to the effect of; “All that playing with minimal props spurred the development of my imagination. That came in very handy years later.”

  7. zagonostra

    >1/6 Investigation

    Perfect, you have McConnell squashing investigation which will keep Trumpers believing that it was a false flag that was designed to stop the vote recount and you have Pelosi keeping the Cult of Dems from believing it was the biggest attack on the U.S. since the Civil War. What could be a better emblem then how Congress works, divide the whole and keep your supporters fed with red meat.

    1. Don Utter

      Thanks for the link.

      It looks like the front line trial of ivermectin in India will be the defining “experiment” about the drug. The “official” lab “experiments” have been few yet but eventually they will be the official story.

      Fascinating to see science and public health controversy play out with Covid-19 pandemic.

    2. antidlc

      Mentioned in the link:

      Ivermectin for the World Kindle Edition

      With frank honesty, this book for the first time provides a stunning view of the underground movement by the world’s leading physicians to get the truth out against all odds, and the David V. Goliath battle to save the world with Ivermectin. The author of “Big Pharma uses Big Tobacco’s Strategy to Defeat Ivermectin” calls out the true hero’s of this Pandemic, those humanitarians who placed the welfare of others above that of their own careers, those doctors who stood up to the most powerful corporations and billionaires in the world, and won. This is the story of COVID, and most importantly, it is also the story of Ivermectin.

  8. a different chris

    Oh God.

    Greenwald/Tracey and others here are so eager to tell us that it wasn’t an insurrection. But these apparent masters of words can’t seem to find a dictionary. There’s one online:

    “a violent uprising against an authority or government.”:

    Incompetence is not a defense. Stupidity is not a defense. Tell me why they stormed the Capitol. Tell me they weren’t violent (those windows broke themselves?).

    It was violent. It was against the Capitol of the US, which last I checked was an “authority or government”.

    I don’t know why this is so hard to accept.

    BTW, this is the classic non-sequitur: “then wonder why there’s skepticism about the motives of those” – politicians take advantages of facts on the ground. Again, who doesn’t know that? This is an educated person tweeting this? Lordy.

    1. Cocomaan

      If you use that definition, the Black Lives Matter protests were an insurrection against the justice system writ large. I’m fine with calling them both insurrections though.

      1. Carolinian

        I believe the above commenter has defended the Portland riots where they literally tried to burn down the Federal courthouse and committed widespread property destruction in the city. This line of argument seeks to separate the “good” rioters from the “bad” rioters (and therefore insurrectionists) with anyone supporting Trump a priori falling into the latter category. Indeed this has been the running theme since 2016.

        Here’s suggesting that in both cases the violence was mostly driven by thrill seekers and opportunists with little in the way of a true political program. The rest, in DC at least, seem to have been as Greenwald describes them. After a year of watching the media praise and defend rioters perhaps they figured “hey, why not?”

        1. cocomaan

          Good framing!

          I always go back to the old Salvor Hardin line from Foundation: “Violence is the refuge of the incompetent.”

          1. phoenix

            Throughout history, violence has been the only way to spur change. If you think that material conditions in this country are going to change through legislative action or the ballot box then you’re delusional.

            1. jsn

              But the Hardin quote nicely sumarizes US Foregn Policy!

              Or policing policy for that matter.

            2. cocomaan

              If the material conditions need to change through violence, and you’re the one calling for violence, you’re asking someone else to pay the price.

              I don’t buy it.

              If there’s anything I’ve learned from listening to Mike Duncan’s Revolutions podcast, it’s how badly violent revolutions go and how rarely they change the social conditions they think they are improving.

              1. hunkerdown

                Would 1/6 have happened if the establishment wing of BLM and Antifa hadn’t gotten broad dispensation from the PMC party’s flex net? Probably not. Those are social conditions.

                If current exploiters are taking ill-gotten gains and reproducing themselves, there is a strong moral case, going right back to problematic Plato, that allowing them to continue to harvest your surplus only to ensure you don’t use it is actually evil. Those are material conditions.

        2. fresno dan

          May 20, 2021 at 10:12 am
          I agree. Most of the people at the Jan 6 Trump demonstration (i.e., the people marching to the capital) were non violent. Just as most of the Portland demonstrators. A tiny subset riots. Most of the rioters would not be able to organize themselves to take over hot dog stand, never the less a government. Where laws were broken, the people who committed them should be prosecuted.
          So, undoubtedly, some of this hysteria about an insurrection is the desire to goose viewership and sell commercials. But the real problem is that modern media and social media just cannot do dispassionate perspective. Spinal Tap – these go to 11

    2. The Rev Kev

      If those rioters had had automatic weapons and pistols I would agree with you. But you can see worse violence after a football/soccer/hockey game when things go south for a team with even upturned police cars. What did this mob do when they got inside. Issue demands? Fortify the building? No, they took selfies and souvenirs.

      1. Nikkikat

        Agreed, looked like a bunch of yahoo’s wandering around. Everyone knows Trump ginned up the whole thing, nothing to investigate there. The reason Pelosi wants to beat this dead horse is to distract the public, collect money for the midterms etc etc.
        Most people could probably care less at this point.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          Yup. I’ve heard several independent journalists who were in the midst and yahoos is an apt description. The general scene seemed to be like a bunch of people, milling around, not sure what they were doing, with no leadership or demands or anything like that. One of the reporters talked about the people sharing a joint in Pelosi’s office, like a bunch of truant highschoolers. Individual’s mileage may vary, but from reports of people who were there who aren’t trying to push an agenda, calling this an insurrection is downright comical.
          Furthermore, I don’t see the point in a “9/11 style commission” or whatever. What is that going to accomplish other than more police state “security” measures?

          1. Wukchumni

            I looked @ Tragic ComicCon as an embarrassment for the Pachyderms, who would just as soon forget about it, while the Donkey Show wants nothing more than to rub their adversaries face in it, similar to what you do with a dog who left a pile on the carpet in the living room.

            1. tegnost

              I notice you didn’t say “cats”, you wouldn’t want to go to sleep on the all cats ranch after behaving so rudely to your masters who were after all only telling you that you need to clean more frequently in the marked area of the house.

              1. Wukchumni

                Although I heard there’s a few people that owe allegiance to both pawlitical parties, my masters demand obedience training from me, er boxing.

          2. cocomaan

            And a related question, what did the 9/11 commission accomplish? Didn’t go after any Saudi royalty, and their recommendation that the US change its foreign policy to not have blowback was pretty obviously out the window come 2003/iraq.

          3. Nikkikat

            You are correct on this “commission” being an excuse for some more 9-11
            Style Patriot act crack downs, stuffed into a big ugly bill. You know, the kind of bill that the Dems will claim Mitch Mc Connell snuck in some really awful things they didn’t know were in there.
            I’ve seen this play before.

        2. Carla

          Nikkikat: “Agreed, looked like a bunch of yahoo’s wandering around.”

          They looked like exactly what they were (and are).

          I refer not to all Republicans or conservatives, but simply to those who breached the Capitol.

      2. Wukchumni

        I wonder how much Humordor being really tough on firearm possession played into there being not many around?

        That was the most shocking to me, as the assembled kooks fit the profile of gun owners to a T, I thought.

        To lawfully possess a firearm in DC, a person must have that firearm registered with the Metropolitan Police Department. In order to register the firearm, an individual needs to give all the pertinent information about themselves and about the firearm to the Metropolitan Police Department.

    3. David

      Er, in most political systems there’s an important difference between the government and the parliament. It’s called the separation of powers. An “insurrection” by that definition would be an attempt to overthrow the government (ie Trump) and replace it with another.

      1. Tom Bradford

        Er, the fundamental point is true but to the extent that the separation of powers concept exists in the US I would suggest that Congress is the legislature from which law emanates – ie the Government – while Trump merely heads the executive. As successful insurrection in the US would be to take over Parliament’s/Congress’ law-making powers as Oliver Cromwell did Parliament’s on 20 April 1653 with a speech that could be quite justifiably levelled at Congress today, viz:

        ‘It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

        Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

        Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

        In the name of God, go!”

        1. hunkerdown

          Can you just imagine if, instead of removing the podium, those kids had given that speech while holding the Speaker’s gavel? They missed a great trick, or it was a sham in the first place and liberals are trying to screw with the language as if they owned it.

    4. tegnost

      It wasn’t violent.
      It was a distraction from how lame, ineffectual and greedy our rulers are.

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      I’m with you, a different chris.

      Watching those insurrectionists walk violently within the rope lines through Statuary Hall was positively harrowing. Somebody even moved the rope lines out so more insurrectionists could stay violently within them. ( And remember that guy with the face paint and horns? OMG, I thought I was going to have a heart attack!)

      PS. Speaking of “skepticism” about “investigations,” whatever happened to John Durham?

    6. zagonostra

      “Incompetence is not a defense. Stupidity is not a defense.” No, but lack of planning or premeditation would rule out “insurrection.”

      A spontaneous riot, perhaps. Agent provocateurs that wanted to make Trump and Trumpsters look stupid and unpatriotic? I can buy that. Violent?, please, you want violent, look at what Israel is doing to Palestine, look at Drone deaths by U.S., “come on man” this was no insurrection.

      Look at it from the perspective of a loyal Trump follower who really believed in his heart-or-heart that the election was being stolen. From that perspective these where loyal patriots. You have to be able to view a situation from multiple perspectives. So where is the truth if there are multiple perspectives you ask? Good question…

    7. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      It was not so very violent. (come to Portland and see some violence). Also, the whole thing was stage-managed top to bottom. There were some theatricals and choreography outside to make it look like a struggle then the Capitol Hill Police just let them all swarm the building. And then AOC cried dramatically, as is her wont, about how she was hiding in the stationary closet. Buffalo hat guy has a history of popping up in weird places. The sheer number of anomolies in the video footage are astonishing.

      This wasn’t the March on Rome it’s been presented as.

    8. PHLDenizen

      Greenwald properly contextualizes the alleged insurrection in historical antecedents. You’ll notice that the same “folks” who are so eager to frame a bunch of drunk, shirtless idiots taking selfies and trespassing as tantamount to, say, the Civil War or Wilmington insurrection of 1898 — or the American Revolution or the CIA funded overthrows of governments of Latin America — are incredibly quick to contort themselves into explaining how what Israel is doing in Palestine is not ethnic cleansing.

      Proportionality exists and is a consideration in the common understanding of things. Manipulating the measurement or scale of terms like “genocide”, “insurrection”, “sedition”, etc. is propaganda. And propaganda, IMNSO, is a form of violence against the mind.

      Furthermore, as America is intended to be a “… government of the people, by the people, for the people…” — words crossing the lips of Lincoln, our president who managed the civil war and probably knows a thing or two about insurrection — any violent action against US citizens to deprive them of their own autonomy can rightly be called insurrection. Police violence, refusal to provide healthcare, no jobs guarantee, and so on are again, IMNSO, an insurrection the powers that be turn a blind eye to and endorse.

      Prefixing your argument with “Oh god…” and “This is an educated person…” are arguably ad hominems, as it indicates a visceral disgust with Mr. Greenwald himself and not necessarily his argument.

      French onion soup for thought.

    9. lyman alpha blob

      Be careful what you wish for. Enough people start thinking this was some kind of terrorist insurrection, and the next thing you know old Uncle Joe will have an excuse to take a few more of your civil rights away. I’m still waiting to get the one’s we lost 20 years ago back.

      Which reminds me – I may have missed it, but did they ever remove all the after the fact fortifications in DC that didn’t protect anybody from anything, or have they decided the capitol should be a full on Green Zone permanently?

      1. km

        Enough people start thinking this was some kind of terrorist insurrection, and the next thing you know old Uncle Joe will have an excuse to take a few more of your civil rights away. I’m still waiting to get the one’s we lost 20 years ago back.

        The money quote, right there, yo.

        I have never been a 9/11 Truther or whatever you want to call it, but 9/11 turned out to be hella convenient. 9/11 and its aftermath are the template.

        On 9/10, anything like the so-called “Patriot Act” would have been a non-starter (Biden proposed something similar in the 1990s and it went nowhere). On 9/12, Americans could not surrender their civil liberties quickly enough.

        1. LifelongLib

          IIRC the Patriot Act passed 45 days after it was introduced. My old (state) government office couldn’t plan our Christmas party in that amount of time. Rather than being a rational response to terrorism, the Patriot Act was just a wish list of things various agencies had wanted for years and hadn’t been able to get passed.

    10. marym

      The intent wasn’t to overthrow “the government” and establish a new one. For most of the crowd it seems to have been to interrupt the existing certification process so that magically Trump would still be president, and then go home.

      As a general description I’d call the event a sore loser temper tantrum. It was also a product and a future tool of the long-term disenfranchisement project on the right – thus the enthusiasm for the event among the right’s non-elite and the reluctance of the elite to disavow it.

      I’m not following closely, so no links, but I’ve seen bits about some of those with more militia type backgrounds deciding not to arm for the “first” step, but expected cop allies to join them, and stored arms nearby. That doesn’t seem to have been the expectation of most of the crowd.

      The House bill calls it an attack on the Capitol.

      1. Carla

        I’ll say one thing, though: from the footage I have seen of Congress critters being hustled out of the Capitol, every single one of them looked terrified, including each and every Republican.

        I sincerely doubt even one of them wants this to happen again.

        1. tegnost

          well I can see that the intelligence community didn’t forget how to kettle lawmakers,
          not that I think there are people who live for this kind of opportunity or anything…

        2. Aumua

          Yeah they definitely pissed off the Congress with this little stunt, and not just Democrats. Congress was not amused by this, and rightly so.

      2. Bruno

        “As a general description I’d call the event a sore loser temper tantrum.”
        The term in french is ‘baroud d’honneur.”

      3. Pat

        I have believed for awhile that there are three reasons why Democratic lawmakers are so fixated on this.
        The first is that it is a very good moneymaker that still elicits a visceral response from the PMC crowd aka the Resistors.
        Secondly it is a very good lever to advance legal efforts that weaken or outright trample public civil rights most particularly those that allow for dissent.
        Finally it scared them silly. And as the politicians most likely to tell the public one thing while doing the exact opposite they had to have that realization that a real insurrection would have meant they never would have “escaped.” The only way to head that off is to eliminate all means to both dissent near them and for those dissenting to build a resistance network.

    11. Alfred

      a different chris: looking down the thread I am a bit gobsmacked at how much about this has been “forgotten.”
      Politifact refutes Ron Johnson’s claim it “didn’t seem like an armed insurrection.”

      All anyone has to do is search “capitol insurrection” on utube to see some violence.

      Whatever Greenwald is doing here, I don’t know.

      1. marym

        Here’s a recent account of arrests and charges. It’s mainstream media, quotes an anonymous DOJ spokesperson, and doesn’t link to the court documents, but it appears as though most of the charges are now part of the public record.

        “Around 440 defendants have been arrested in the federal investigation, the Justice Department said on May 6, and CBS News has reviewed court documents for 412 cases that have been unsealed. Of those, at least 174 defendants were also indicted by grand juries.

        More than 125 defendants have been charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers or employees, and at least 35 of those were charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon, the Department of Justice said. About 140 officers were assaulted during the attack, according to a Justice Department spokesperson.”

        As with instances of vandalism and attacks on people during or at the end of other mostly non-violent protests, one can argue the relationships, proportional representation, and motivations among the peaceful and the more destructive participants.

      2. mement

        The same Politifact that changed its mind a few days ago about the “debunked” Covid-19 lab escape theory? Seems they are more about politics than “facts”.

        Archived fact-check: Tucker Carlson guest airs debunked conspiracy theory that COVID-19 was created in a lab

        Editor’s note, May 17, 2021: When this fact-check was first published in September 2020, PolitiFact’s sources included researchers who asserted the SARS-CoV-2 virus could not have been manipulated. That assertion is now more widely disputed. For that reason, we are removing this fact-check from our database pending a more thorough review. Currently, we consider the claim to be unsupported by evidence and in dispute. The original fact-check in its entirety is preserved below for transparency and archival purposes. Read our May 2021 report for more on the origins of the virus that causes COVID-19.

    12. .human

      Some time back a sane wordsmith (Greenwald?) called it “hooliganism.”

      The shoe fits.

    13. Aumua

      While I 100% agree that calling what happened an insurrection or treason or whatever is ridiculous, and I almost never agree with government “security clampdowns” no matter what the reason,

      it’s still a mistake to just poo poo away the seriousness of the mob, like they were just some hooligan kids having some fun raising a ruckus and trolling liberals or whatever, as we see lot of here. I was watching this in real time on twitch and it was scary. Maybe after the mob realized they weren’t getting any further they calmed down a bit and started wandering around, and people reference videos and photos of that, but when they were breaking in and they first had broke in, for some period of time the situation was very fluid. They were out for blood and they were surging and screaming, and yelling call and response chants and they were not under control at all. If you think that mob had got it’s hands around the throats of AOC, or Pelosi or even Pence (for daring to suggest that the election was over), that they would just have sat them down for a stern talking-to, well I think you’re mistaken. Trump, and extremists among them had pushed them over the edge, not everyone there but it’s a mob mentality. There’s no accounting for individual reasons and actions at that point. People might do things in that situation that they would never do otherwise.

      At the least, Jan 6 was a sign of societal pressures moving past the bursting point, and those pressures are still there and a lot of Americans are still ready to be fanatically, religiously devoted to a strong arm hard right demagogue, be it Trump or whoever is waiting in the wings. Personally I see a perhaps loosely connected network of underground proto-fascist movements testing the waters on Jan 6, just feeling things out, and seeing what might be possible in the future.

    14. R

      Property damage is not violence.

      Unless you are a rentier. Sticks and stone won’t break my bones but impaired assets hurt me.

  9. Wukchumni

    Indigenous forest gardens remain productive and diverse for over a century Ars Technica
    The protective canyon walls and fertile basin had drawn various groups of Indians to Canyon de Chelly for more than 1,000 years. When the Navajos arrived, a small group of resident Hopis told of the peach trees that thrived in their homeland farther west. Navajos visited the Hopi villages, returned with peach seeds and planted them around White House Ruin in Canyon de Chelly. The Spaniards had brought peach trees to North America in the 1600s, and the orchards flourished on missions and farms. The Hopis took to the sweet fruit (and probably the Pueblos did, too) before the Navajos jumped on the peach bandwagon. Of course, the Navajos found the canyon ideal for growing other crops as well, such as wheat, corn, alfalfa, beans, melons and pumpkins.

    There were Navajo holdouts, and in August 1864 Captain John Thompson and 35 men of the 1st New Mexico Cavalry re-entered Canyon de Chelly. In his report on that expedition after returning to Fort Canby (formerly Fort Defiance) in Arizona Territory, Thompson said he had systematically destroyed more than 3,000 mature peach trees. On one day alone, he reported, he cut down 500 “of the best peach trees I have ever seen in the country, every one of them bearing fruit.” But he had not laid waste to all of them, because later that year Captain Edward Butler, the commander of Fort Wingate in New Mexico Territory, reportedly destroyed another 1,000 of the Navajos’ prize Canyon de Chelly peach trees.

    1. The Rev Kev

      This was a fascinating article but a thought occurred to me while reading it. What is to say that this was not just only in North America? What if you had similar in old Europe for example? The entire European landscape has been radically altered over the past two or three thousand years so who is to say that something similar was no practiced in Europe and the British Isles before then. It might be possible that there might be traces left in lake-bed deposits for example but it is an intriguing thought.

      1. BlakeFelix

        IIRC peasants in Europe used to get an awful lot of their calories from Oak Trees, so they had that going on at least.

        1. Wukchumni

          Real estate here back when the Wukchumni were around these parts for 3,000 years wasn’t delineated like we do now with lines marking boundaries, instead it was based on oak trees which supplied 2/3rds of their nourishment.

          You can buy acorn flour from South Korea, for before the Korean War, it was one of the poorest places in the world, and typical of hunter gatherers, they might have been the last larger society who ate them as part of their diet.

  10. Wukchumni

    Judge Orders California City to Zone for Affordable Housing Capital & Main
    Wow, I thought for sure said city would be in SoCal or SF, when to my surprise it was an already affordable* burb that’s Fresno-adjacent. I don’t get your point, Clovis**.

    * The average price of a home looks to be $350k in Clovis, which is half of that in big cities in SoCal and 1/3rd of that in SF

    ** Some Fresnans claim to be from Clovis, because nobody outside of the CVBB knows where the place is

    1. JBird4049

      I think the Clovians in government and more influential citizens like homeowners think anyone who might have difficulty in paying rent must have a certain… smell about them. This is not uncommon.

      Also, adding four thousand new apartments in a city of a hundred thousand might threaten the income stream of apartment owners. Can’t have that.

  11. David

    Often, a single word tells you all you need to know about an article. In the Project Syndicate article, the word is “access.” Yes, in spite of the title, the article says nothing about “vaccinating” people. In true PMC-speak fashion, it’s all about people having theoretical “access” to vaccines, after which, magically, the problem will be solved. After all, it’s the World Bank saying so. Do you mean to tell me that there are some problems that can’t be solved with financial incentives and spreadsheets?

    I’ve always argued that the real problems with mass vaccination campaigns are less with vaccine production (which can and should be ramped up) but with logistics. And so it has proved, with doctors dragging people in off the streets to stop doses going to waste, whilst Europe has piles of unwanted AZ doses that no-one will take.

    Ok, let’s take Mr Malpass to Africa’s second largest country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, famously a country the size of Europe but without any reliable roads at all. Look at the province of Katanga: about thirteen million people, and two hundred thousand square miles. Infant mortality is believed to be the highest in the world, with nearly one in five children dying before the age of five. In many areas healthcare is effectively non-existent. The only communication with the capital and other cities is by air, and the only way of moving around the country easily is by helicopter. Much of the region has no reliable electricity: parts have none at all.

    The practical difficulties of providing healthcare in such areas are well known and exhaustively documented. The DRC has over two hundred different ethnic groups and at least as many languages. Illiteracy is widespread. Few people in Katanga have any real idea what is going on even in the capital, and most will have no idea what Covid is or why people want to stick needles in them. (And anyway, there are nasty diseases in Katanga that we don’t even have names for, let alone cures). Medical teams will need military escorts or their drugs will be taken and sold (sometimes by the escorts, so they need to be well remunerated). There are no reliable records of who lives where and no reliable medical records either. It’s highly unlikely that any kind of records can be kept of who has been vaccinated, and there will be little or no capacity to treat abreactions to the vaccine. And so on and so on.

    Does it matter, you ask? Well, yes; Imagine local Katangese politician carrying the disease goes to Lubumbashi for meeting, infects someone from Kinshasa, who infects the local community there, some of whom then fly to Europe for a big meeting on development policy. So if you really want to stop Covid, you need to find a way of actually vaccinating people at the other end of the earth, in places that the author of this article probably doesn’t know exist.

    1. JBird4049

      Too many don’t see tens of millions of poor Americans tucked away in the bad parts of towns or in the sacrifice zones covering much of entire states in the United States going without healthcare. To the professional managerial class, the DRC might as well be on the Moon.

      1. LifelongLib

        My sister the architect spent her career designing and managing clinics for a farm workers health care organization. My brother is still fabricating prosthetics, but he’s got work-related injuries and may not be able to keep going much longer. Guess they’d have done more good working at McDonald’s, huh?

        1. hunkerdown

          It’s a job, not a social station. They can do the work just fine without their attitude problems and their tiresome conceits and their normalized corruption. And so can everyone else. Too many people thinking they’re special right now…

  12. Philo Beddoh

    Prediction: Ed Gainey as “likely Pittsburgh Mayor” is a test-case to see how many existing leases, can be fracked in Allegheny County, before Black and other poor 1099’d gig workers all realize all the well-pads are in Cancer Valley, Frackistan, where they’d been red-lined adjacent to EPA Super Fund sites, 4-5 generations back. Like Williams funding Cynthia Nixon in New York, figuring she’d lose? Certainly nothing NEW, here?

  13. The Rev Kev

    “‘You’re a really dull class. Come on, man’: Joe’s Navy jokes fall flat at tough crowd Coast Guard graduation as he tells them about the time he sprayed a dorm supervisor with a fire extinguisher in college”

    Yeah, I’m sure that a Chief Petty Officer would find it hilarious if they were sprayed by a fire extinguisher let off by one of those cadets. Chuckles all around for that prank. Of course Joe being Joe, he had to resort to plagiarizing. In this case, one of Ronald Reagan’s lines (nothing will fundamentally change, remember)-

    He also assured those cadets that as members of the United States Coast Guard, that they can look forward to patrolling Russia’s coast and China’s coast and Iran’s coast and god knows where else. America’s coast? Not so much.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      ‘I would think you’d have an opportunity when I say that about the Navy to clap,’ he said. Then he got a laugh and the round of applause he was looking for.

      What they left out was that old Biden pal Jeb Bush was off to the side flashing the cadets a “Please clap” cue card.

    2. Wukchumni

      It’s just Joe’s way of breaking the ice, now that the Coast Guard only has one ice breaker. He’s a team player, in his mind.

    1. Wukchumni

      My neighbor is a classic chicken hawk (was in the Air Force stationed in Hawaii from 1973-75-and yes he qualifies as a Vietnam Era veteran) Trump lover, but he’s got some good attributes also in that he’s really handy fixing anything, so I try not to bring up politics, although he always does, and I mumble enough to make myself purposefully vague in regards to people I have no respect for, which is anybody involved in politics.

      So I carefully asked yesterday if he’d got the jab, and he was almost non committal in telling me that the VA wanted him to have it, what could he do otherwise?

      It felt weird, an apology of sorts.

      1. diptherio

        24 incidents total, 1 fatal…out of 2,100,000 doses administered: so about .001% chance of a negative outcome. Pretty sure driving your car to the store comes with equal or worse odd.

        1. The Rev Kev

          When you see a pretty 18 year-old trainee nurse suffer multiple blood clots, those numbers tend to lose their significance. Thing is, through a coupla lucky breaks and a lot of sacrifices, we have eliminated the virus in Oz so taking an unproven vaccine simply so that we can bring back paying tourists, emigrants & international students does not seem such a great idea. Especially when you have doctors & business people saying (this week) that we live in a “gilded cage” and we must learn to live with the virus by letting it in and accept all the deaths-

          1. FluffytheObeseCat

            “…those numbers tend to lose their significance

            No, they don’t. That is sentimentalist baloney, driven by “news”media propaganda.

            Australia had ~43 road deaths per million in 2020. Two orders of magnitude more people dead than the 0.5 per million deaths attributable to the COVID vaccine. They left behind roughly 100 times as many broken, bereaved families. Those are real people, and real injuries, not imaginary tripe. And yet, it is deemed a wholly acceptable artifact of modern life.

            1. The Rev Kev

              If we had the pandemic raging here, then getting a vaccine would be a reasonable idea. Since we don’t have it, suddenly the equation looks a whole lot different, especially when you see the media trying to do a number on us by saying that this or that person died of blood clots but that there is no proof that it was connected with the shot that they had a few days earlier.

              And if the vaccines are used here to save lives, that would also be a reasonable proposition. But to get the vaccines just so the economy can be opened up to overseas and accept the occasional vaccine death, that gets dodgy enough. But then to accept that even a majority vaccinated population can still experience mass deaths like the Seychelles and you say aw hell no. And it will be those projected deaths in this case that you have to work with, not the present ones which you worked out.

      2. rowlf

        “I like my vaccines to have a longer development and testing cycle than the 737 MAX.” is what I tell my co-workers as I cling to my NPIs.

      3. Harold

        I just talked to one. I was admiring the flowers in his Brooklyn front yard (his mother’s flowers, it turned out) and I assured him I was vaccinated, and he said he wasn’t and proceeded to tell me why, saying his whole family was very angry with him and called him selfish. I said that I had been hesitant, too, for the very same reasons: that it hadn’t been FDA approved, and so on, and that I agreed with everything he was saying. I was hesitant, too. But I went ahead and got it, devil take the hindmost. I suppose I just like to live dangerously. :). We spoke about our neighborhoods, the house values, and so on. Then we said goodbye on friendly terms.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Paywalled so I have to ask – does it also tell you how to patch up a nosebleed after being punched in the face for being condescending?

      1. Jason

        How to Talk to Someone Who Doesn’t Want the Vaccine

        By Arnaud Gagneur and Karin TameriusMay 20, 2021

        [Strange image intended to be scary]:

        Dr. Gagneur is a neonatologist and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Sherbrooke. His research has led to programs that increase childhood vaccinations through motivational interviewing. Dr. Tamerius is a former psychiatrist and the founder of Smart Politics, an organization that teaches people to communicate more persuasively.

        The difference between people who eagerly want the Covid-19 vaccine and people who are hesitant is not as great as it may seem. Most vaccine holdouts are not anti-vaxxers or conspiracy theorists.

        Before you demand that your loved ones get a shot, know that not all conversations are created equal. Research shows that many common persuasive styles — commanding, advising, lecturing and shaming — not only don’t work but also often backfire.

        To help you learn the basics of a method that works, we’ve created a vaccination chatbot based on the principles of motivational interviewing, a research-backed approach for encouraging people to get vaccinated that’s used by health care professionals to harness people’s innate drive for change.

        Hey! ?
        I heard you just got vaccinated.
        Aren’t you scared?
        I’ve heard a lot about it that makes me think it’s a bad idea. ?

        Now it’s your turn to respond. Choose one of the three following responses to interact with the bot.

        1. Jason

          Click on one of the responses and it tells you what to think. It’s straight mind control.

        2. Jason

          His research has led to programs that increase childhood vaccinations through motivational interviewing. Dr. Tamerius is a former psychiatrist and the founder of Smart Politics, an organization that teaches people to communicate more persuasively.

          It’s funny, I’ve posted things today – specifically a piece by Claude Alvares – that take the intentionally completely isolated, purely rational view of science to task for its (again intentional) failure to consider human values at all in its evaluations, and this then being accepted as the preeminent worldview, such that any values outside of this system are seen as at best quaint, perhaps acceptable crutches to help a person get on with the truly important things in life (haha). But failure to accept the scientific worldview is always and ever irrational, and at its worst is downright insane. In Alvares’ words,

          “The first argument, which relates to scientific method, concerns the functional, violence-disposition of the method. The method vetoes or excludes compassion. Its postulates require the excision of values. In actual operation, both the method and its metaphysics require mutilation or vivisection as an integral part of science.”


          “Science claims for itself a method for arriving at indisputable knowledge, knowledge that is not the result of negotiation, bargaining or choice, and that has no basis in politics. One is not free to choose scientific knowledge on principle. That is a given, declared final after the efforts of thousands of researchers. One is free (and often encouraged) to reject the statements of religion or art but he who refuses to accept the basic scientific worldview runs the risk of being labelled ignorant, insane, or irrational. Science has redefined the rational to mean only its own method, excluding all else.”

          Yet here we have emotion intentionally introduced into a system that is specifically designed to eliminate the burdens of such human consciousness. Science and reason tell us to dispassionately examine the evidence. This is a problem in and of itself, as it creates environments and mindsets ripe for colonialism, imperialism, totalitarianism, as Alvares has brilliantly elucidated. But we see here that if the dictates of science aren’t enough on their own to advance the prevailing notion, emotion will be introduced to achieve the desired result.

          1. polecat

            PsyC*hI*A*try × “SMART” = BAD Jabby JUJU
            No one is immune …. No One!

            well … ALMOST no one … right, Big Pharma?

            *Conjurers *In *Action

    3. athingtoconsider

      I thought I had Covid yesterday. I had a fever (99.5F) and my kidneys ached. Nothing helped to ease my misery.

      Turns out I was low on potassium and some No-salt (potassium chloride) fixed me up in minutes. My blood pressure is more normal too.

      How did I guess I was low on potassium? Well, it did get so frustrating that I actually prayed for healing and within a hour the answer came.

      Off to Wal-Mart for some bananas and oranges …

      1. Alfred

        ” I actually prayed for healing and within a hour the answer came.”

        That is an excellent thing to do–you don’t even have to wait for an emergency. I do it all the time, I call it “checking in.” Namaste.

      2. John k

        A lot of people are low on potassium, especially elderly like me. Recommended daily amount nearly 5,000 mg. My nightly leg cramps didn’t go away until I was taking 500 mg/day each that and magnesium.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Nord Stream 2: Biden waives US sanctions on Russian pipeline”

    I knew it. I knew it. Biden is a traitor! What is worse, he is probably Putin’s b****! And it is not just me saying this but all the neocons like Ted Cruz and Bob Menendez. When Biden has his summit with Putin, they had better not be alone together with just a translator or I am calling it treason. Yeah, I can just see Biden and Putin now. Riding topless together on a flying unicorn. You’ll read all about it in the New York Times for sure-

    1. Nikkikat

      Gave me a good chuckle there Rev Kev. Not only the Times, but heads are really going to explode over at MSNBC….they will need to interview Tom Cotton and John Brennan right away!

      1. newcatty

        To add to the chuckles, see Biden on the unicorn grinning with his hair flying in the wind . He has on his mirrored black sunglasses and a black leather jacket and gloves. He is holding on to the unicorns neck and sniffing it’s silky, silver mane. Putin sits as far as possible behind him…no hands needed, of course. His great chest is deeply suntanned and glistens in the rainbow aura of the flying unicorn, as it glides through the blue sky. He uses his fine tuned telepathic communication skills to tell the unicorn to land. When asked about their ultra top secret rendezvous, Joe makes a lame joke about enjoying a ride on a “horse with a horn”… no it’s really not a UFO. Come on, man. Putin remains aloof and cool. He says, No comment. He pulls on a tight sweater and walks away.

  15. Otis B Driftwood

    Very disappointed my erstwhile prominent progressive Congresswoman, Barbara Lee, is not leading the effort to block Biden’s arm sale to Israel. Heck, she isn’t even following as a co-sponsor.

    I’m not sure what’s happened with her. But as constituents it is our duty to let our representatives know how we feel. I urge everyone to call or write their representatives demanding they support this measure.

  16. Don Utter

    What will be the turning point when wealthy nations face up to the climate crisis?

    Or maybe is will continue to be small changes that finally add up.

    The article on “the Fertility Crisis…” leading to possibly no male sperm by 2045 — this might be enough to get the attention to stand up against the forces of “progress”, “capitalism” which are no longer invincible.

    As we enter the Sixth Extinction, humans are surprised that they are a target.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “‘Madman … racist, sexist pig’: new book details Obama’s real thoughts on Trump”

    Can you imagine what a book would be like that told the hard truth about Obama? How he kicked five million families out of their homes so that the banks could profit, how things grew worse and not better for his fellow blacks, how he bombed so many places that the US ran out of bombs, how he killed medicare for all and brought in RomneyCare, etc. And you know what would happen? Nothing, that is what. No such book will ever be published in America right now. Don’t people like Thomas Frank have to publish some of their work outside the country? If you tried to take such a manuscript around the big American publishers, this would be the result- (3 secs)

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Netanyahu ‘determined’ to continue Gaza bombardment”

    Yeah, Netanyahu moves by his own logic where he feels he can ignore the whole world and especially the US. But he has already stated what motivates him only three years ago-

    ‘The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end peace is made with the strong.’

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Yeah, Netanyahu moves by his own logic where he feels he can ignore the whole world and especially the US.

      Except for reports about Biden calling for peace on phone calls, Biden has continued to block the UN resolutions and sold Bibi weapons during this stretch. Bibi isn’t defying DC.

    2. Alfred

      He left out “alliances are made with the strong who engage in a little judicious corruption…

    3. km

      Sounds like straight-up fascism.

      Make the implicit racial subtext a little more explicit, and that’s straight-up Nazism.

      1. Aumua

        Oh there’s no if’s, and’s or but’s about it. But some people might say that we’re holding Bibi and Israel to an unreasonably high standard because they were themselves victims of fascism, but I mean at what point do we just call it what it is?

    1. tegnost

      That infrastructure bill must not be going very well…too bad for the palestinians….

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Brink of a fertility crisis: Scientist says plummeting sperm counts caused by everyday products”

    I see a great film in the making here. So it is thirty years in the future and only a handful of men are left that still have high sperm counts and high motility. Come to think of it, I think that was a plot line from a British 1974 comedy film named “Percy’s Progress”-

          1. ambrit

            Yes. Any movie that makes ‘B’ movie actors look positively thespian is all right in my book.
            Thanks for the link. I seem to have mislaid my VHS of the film.
            An idea for a ‘Cheesy Sci Fi Film Night:’
            “Hell Comes to Frogtown” with “Tank Girl” and then “Primer,” to warp a few psyches.

    1. das monde

      And we are back to the patriarchy of a few Gods… Quite the norm for a primate species.

      Come to think of it: sperm counts of male primates should correlate with their status in the troop. If the experienced status of most modern men became diminished abruptly, the sperm crisis is no wonder then.

  20. fumo

    Brink of a fertility crisis: Scientist says plummeting sperm counts caused by everyday products ABC– I don’t see plummeting human fertility as a crisis, but rather a highly fortuitous event. The planet will benefit immeasurably from a continuing “crisis” in the form of plummeting human fertility. May it continue!

    1. Alfred

      I had that same reaction. Nature gives zero effs about the headlong pursuit of profit.

      1. Wukchumni

        There I was, just another spermatozoa on the make in the naked city, one of a hundred million…

        …and then she asked me out on a date

  21. Jason

    COVID-19 survivors need vaccination, but one shot may be enough, studies from Penn and others show

    Past infection doesn’t mean protection. The latest findings make it clearer than ever that vaccination is vital to beating the pandemic.

    A coronavirus infection generates weaker, shorter immune responses than vaccination, but people who recover from COVID-19 probably need only one dose of the authorized two-dose vaccines for full protection, a University of Pennsylvania study suggests.

    What’s more, natural infection does not always prevent reinfection, not even for young, healthy adults, concludes a new study led by the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center and published in the Lancet.

    Taken together, the latest findings make it clearer than ever that vaccination is vital to beating the pandemic.

    Although the study was small, the results were striking. The team followed 44 volunteers, including 11 who had previously had COVID-19, through vaccination with Moderna or Pfizer shots. Blood samples were collected and analyzed before and after each vaccine dose, for a total of four samples per volunteer.

      1. Wukchumni

        Aluminum in modern refined form really only showed up on the marketplace in the late 19th-early 20th century just as major outbreaks of Polio started happening, unlike any other period in thousands of years of the virus being around…


        1. JBird4049

          Maybe. The outbreaks could easily be a result of increased population density. Or it could be the two factors working together.

        2. Jeotsu

          I read one theory that the outbreak of Polio was due to public sanitation.

          Before the sewers went in, children could expect to be exposed to polio while still carrying maternal antibodies, and thus they had a chance to develop lasting immunity to polio with getting the full-blown disease.

          After the sewers many kids were not experiencing the virus until they were 10 or so, at which point they had no maternal antibodies left and could go on develop the full-blown disease with paralysis and death.

          There were a huge numbers of changes in our lived environment during that period, so narrowing down single causes will always be difficult.

      2. Jason

        Thank you for the link. From the video [begin 28:20]:

        Richard H Roellig, U.S. Air Force Major General
        Led a top secret program for 3 years

        During the ten years I worked at Raytheon, the exposure to various programs was limited to what they wanted you to work on. So even though I still had the top secret clearance, and certain programs I got exposed to, that (geoengineering) was not one of them. That was compartmentalized – as it should be – and unless you had a direct impact, or you were personally involved in it, you would not have received that particular clearance.

        This illustrates more broadly how nefarious ops are achieved. This is why the phrase “don’t attribute to malice what can be more easily explained by incompetence” shouldn’t be taken as gospel. Sure, that applies sometimes. But it doesn’t take a genius to think a little further and see how that same “logic” can be used by nefarious actors in their own interest. The intentional compartmentalization is what allows the intelligence apparatus to do its dirty work, both abroad and domestically.

        We can also see how another country can execute ops from within a host country, provided it has personnel in all the key operational areas. See Doug Feith and Paul Wolfowitz’ Office of Special Plans (OSP) in the Bush administration that fed manufactured intelligence to the administration that was then fed to the world via Colin Powell.

      3. Aumua

        Or you could also check out the Contrail Science website and learn how contrails are actually made of water and are not in fact part of a shadowy government conspiracy to spray you with poisons like bugs every day for decades now, while ostensibly stopping the (obviously made up) problem of global warming.

      4. Jason

        This is an excellent video on the geoengineering atrocity. Dare I say “must watch!” Thanks again.

  22. Tom Stone

    I am so disappointed in the recent statements by Dr Fauci and the CDC regarding masks I could cry.
    Dang it, I had just completed my response to their RFP about encouraging mask wearing and I had a sure winner, “Whip Infection Now, wear a Mask”
    It’s a “Win/Win” all the way.
    And I can supply them ( And bumperstickers!) at a very reasonable price with distribution handled by appropriately selected NGO’s for a small cost plus fee.

  23. Mikel

    RE:”Acid test: scientists show how LSD opens doors of perception” Guardian

    Really? Really???

    Time to propose a name for a new section:
    Re-disovered Science?
    Nothing Ever Happened Until It Could Be
    Posted About On The Internet?
    Science Amnesia?

    At this point, I have to ask WTH is really going on?

    1. ambrit

      Don’t forget the section: Stolen Thunder, where old memes are “repurposed” by over ambitious ‘modernes.’
      “The Doors of Perception” is the title of Huxley’s book about his mescaline experiences. He “stole” the phrase, “doors of perception” from a line by William Blake.
      Blake wrote: “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite.”
      There is an interesting CT to the effect that the early ‘Psychedelic’ movement, originating from California, (although Leary taught at an Ivy ‘back East,’) was a CIA affiliated socio-psychological ‘control’ experiment. The CIA was involved in clandestine ‘experiments’ with the effects of LSD on “ordinary” people as far back as the 1950s. The Army was also supposed to have been peripherally involved through the chemical warfare facilities at Fort Detrick in Maryland.
      Of interest to ‘journalistic integrity’ aficionados is the fact that Wikipedia does not have an entry for Albarelli’s book, “A Terrible Mistake,” a telling of the story of the mystery surrounding the death of Frank Olson. Olson was a senior scientist at Fort Detrick specializing in the delivery of chemical weapons to ‘targets.’ Evidence suggests that Olson was involved in a real world test of the mass application of psychedelics to a town’s worth of people in Pont-Saint-Esprit, France, back in 1951. He broke psychologically under the strain of the guilt and was said to be threatening to go public. He was also one of a group of scientists and PMC types given LSD without their knowledge at a ‘conference’ in 1952.
      This “rabbit hole” is deep but appears to be populated by real rabbits.

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        “Evidence suggests” lol

        The St. Esprit epidemic was caused by ergot in the rye used by the village bakery. Why on earth would the US MIC use a French village as opposed to say, occupied Germany? Was DeGaulle’s government nice about it? Anyway, it’s tosh.

        …In 1951, any respectable sinister MIC program would target some poor Negro settlement in the Deep South, conveniently close to an Army base. [I wish I could say sarc]

        1. JBird4049

          Yes, you always mention the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male that only ended in the 1970s. Four decades of studying a disease that could be cured with a shot of penicillin starting in the second decade of the study

          I find there is more than enough evil in the world to find so that one doesn’t need fiction.

        2. ambrit

          LSD was discovered by accident by a chemist working at the Sandoz labs in Switzerland back in 1938. The psychedelic properties were ‘discovered’ in 1943. It was used for psychiatric treatment during the 1950s and early 1960s.
          The investigation of LSD as a psychological warfare tool was ‘on the radar’ of the Army and the CIA from the 1940s on up to, probably, today.
          The evidence for the Pont-Saint-Esprit “experiment” is laid out in Albarelli’s book. At the time, America was the undisputed Hegemon of the West. If America could experiment on it’s own population with impunity, what is to stop it’s vassals from following suit and going along with such ‘sinister’ schemes? Also of note is that LSD was directly developed from ergot compounds by Hoffman at the Sandoz labs in Basel, Switzerland.
          Sometimes, the worst cynicism is not sufficient to account for the actions of our agencies and bureaucracies.

      2. ckimball

        Dear Ambrit

        In the 60s when hippies were rare,before the ‘flower children and before the
        funeral for the ‘death of the hippie’ when the area began to see a tour bus. I went to Haight St. to search for LSD.
        I had been told I could see a new color. For me that would be an experience
        beyond riches. I felt like I’d found a leprechaun when I was given those purple
        Owsely pills. For me it was a most expansive experience. It was way beyond
        what I could have imagined and remains along with pregnancy and the birth of
        my daughter the most seminal experience in my life.
        Two friends, one at UC and the other at U-M were given LSD as an experiment observed within the premise of scientific observation. From my
        understanding at that time the observers had not experienced LSD. Scientific
        ‘neutrality’ did not and can not produce real knowledge that comes through the
        feeling and emotional centers of the heart and gut. Their observations fall flat.
        Those people who give this drug to people without their knowledge are committing a form of rape. Some learned perceptual structures are loosened. I did experience seeing someones vomit as beautiful before recognizing that it was vomit. At some point in my first experience I noticed I wanted to leave the
        planet and was imagining ways I could be gone when I realized there was no exit to really leave and that I just be back. (kind of like recycling) This was not a thought form I had thought about or studied philosophically but it freed me.
        Something happened to the level of my understanding of material and immaterial and the challenge of that particular experience of the drug was
        resolved and I looked through my eyes with awe and wonder at everything.

        1. ambrit

          I remember the feeling of euphoria that the Owsley LSD 25 gave. (We could get it out East.) The pure substance was a completely different “trip” from most of the other stuff floating around purporting to be LSD. Most of the other forms weren’t ‘cleaned’ fully and had remnants of other powerful drugs used in the manufacture still in them.
          I was lucky in that I had my experiences in quiet, semi-isolated settings. I do indeed suggest the presence of a “Shaman” guide for the uninitiated. “Tripping” is not a recreational experience. Too much can go wrong.
          I’m very glad that you had good ‘trips’ back then and gained from the experience.

          1. ckimball

            Thank you for the links you provided. I am reminded that my father’s doctor spoke to my parents about giving him LSD for help with his alcoholism. He had a massive heart attack before it could happen which eliminated that possibility. In respect to the above. Personally I was never able to have a recreational experience with LSD. I didn’t understand how people could do it. My experience was too intense for that. It was always psychological
            metaphysical/spiritual. I think you have in part explained it and that the qualities of LSD on main street had changed. After my daughter’s birth I knew I would not
            experiment with it because it always created unexpected realizations and change. I needed to reintegrate back into the culture for consistency and stability for us both. And you are
            so correct I had seen what could go wrong and would not advise
            anyone to take it casually and certainly if they are not interested.
            thank you for your kind thoughts and informative links

  24. km

    Re: Greenwald. I lack first-hand experience, in fact, most of what I know about speed is from watching “Spun“, but I thought speedfreaks moved around.

    A lot.

  25. Synoia

    “The Never-Aging Ants”

    This explains the Octogenarians, Trump and Biden’s Success ….They are governed by Parasites!

    1. ambrit

      Since they are parasites themselves, it is an example of the dictum: “It’s parasites all the way down.”

      1. Wukchumni

        Like many i’m in deep kimchee with PETA* on account of the wanton dispatching i’ve done regarding them. If only it was as easy with politicians.

        * People for the Ethical Treatment of Ants

        1. ambrit

          Then there is the ‘definition’ of PETAflops, which shall remain hidden from the general public for fear of getting me banned for life from this excellent commenteriat.
          Addendum: See? I was right! The merest hint of the dreaded ‘definition’ of which we speak got my comment sent into moderation. I am wise in my caution. Some things are only for the “initiated.”

  26. ChristopherJ

    Late night note from paradise in Australia –

    Yes, our Premier is offering $1,500 plus $250 in travel, iirc, for people to relocate to the tourist regions in Queensland – I am in Cairns. This is being done to placate the tourism and hospitality sectors who are struggling to find workers (for the wages being offered). With nowhere to fly outside of Australia, except NZ and Tasmania /s, cashed up bogans, who can also access ‘half priced airfares’ sponsored by our Federal Government, have replaced our normal influx of tourists from Asia and Europe. And, without our normal backpacker workforce, many businesses are finding it hard to get workers to meet the demand, particularly cleaners and hospitality workers.

    Problem is we have nowhere to house the workers. Many rental properties are now being short term let and our long term rental stock is below 1 % putting upward pressure on rents and making it very hard for people to find a place. Prices for real estate are also going somewhat nuts.

    We went into hard lockdown in March 2020, for about 6 weeks. Closing our borders, track, trace, test, isolate, quarantine, masking and hard lockdowns – these are the strategies that have worked for us, but particularly closing the borders.

    Keeping the borders open has been the policy in Europe and the US, but also in much of South America, with predictable transfer of the virus from infected travellers to people in your communities. If the virus continues to circulate overseas, I cannot see Australia reopening its borders without the quarantine that we now require. Some are saying we should allow vaccinated people. Yet, I read here that vaccinated people can be asymptomatic carriers, so I don’t think Australians are going to buy into that argument. Many are also reticent about being vaccinated, due to fears about side effects, the experimental nature of the vaccines and an absence of infectious people in our country.

    Isn’t this how viral immune escape happens, with the virus mutating and being spread by people who think they are fine?

    Thank you to the NC community for keeping us all better informed. The virus never got a hold in my part of the world, but I read the comments here and I feel everyone’s pain and frustration. I hope this does not become a permanent reality.

  27. marym

    Re: TX anti-choice bill

    The bill would prohibit abortions at a stage when most women don’t know they’re pregnant and has no exceptions for rape and incest.

    Per Austin American-Statesman link: the bill also “…would allow virtually any private citizen to sue an abortion provider or others who “aid and abet” an abortion in violation of the new ban.”

    This is a bill to allow the comfortable and self-righteous to inflict pain and hardship.

    Also from TX freedom-hating anti-lifers this month:
    “Medicaid expansion for uninsured Texans had bipartisan support, but lawmakers won’t pass it this session.

    Nothing is truly dead until the Texas Legislature adjourns on May 31…But supporters’ hopes have dimmed, even though two recent polls show that 70% of Texans support Medicaid expansion.”

  28. JEHR

    Re: Canada Needs to Nationalize Its Transit System Jacobin

    I live in the Atlantic province of New Brunswick and, when I wanted to visit my mother, I would hop on a Greyhound bus in my home city and ride all the way across several provinces to central British Columbia. I made this trip several times (estimated at about 3000 miles one way) in order to see my mother and eventually to be with her when she died. It took about three or four days and I never had to stay overnight anywhere along the route. The price was right too. Now, any Canadian who wanted to make that trip would be hard pressed to do so. The article was very timely.

    I noticed that the author of the article is a Canadian who also writes for CCPA to which I also subscribe. His article enticed me to subscribe (“lifetime”) to the Jacobin. I have also listened to Jacobin podcasts.

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