Links 5/21/2021

On the Care and Keeping of Mythological Apparitions Literary Hub

The Pleasures of LearnedLeague and the Spirit of Trivia New Yorker

My Bizarre Reign as New York’s King of “Virgin Russian Hair” Narratively

Construction, Efficiency, and Production Systems Construction Physics

Why is the USDA Buying $40 Million Worth of Pistachios? Modern Farmer

Multidrug-resistant bacteria is significantly less common in organic meat, new study finds The Counter

Champagne Tries to Fix Its Problems The beleaguered bubbly industry turns to the Hamptons to regain its sparkle. New York magazine (Grub Street).

Junk The Nation. Review of Mark Bittman’s latest.

Boardwalk Sabotage: Dead Fish and Rotting Meat Raise Tensions in the Rockaways New York magazine (Grub Street).

Burnout: Modern Affliction or Human Condition? New Yorker

Big cats seized from zoo in Netflix’s Tiger King BBC

B.C. failing to meet international targets for protecting biodiversity, critical habitat: report Narwhal


COVID-19-related dermatosis in November2019: could this case be Italy’s patient zero? Wiley Online Library

Oxford/AstraZeneca booster works well, study finds FT

Pfizer’s COVID vaccine can stay in normal fridge for up to a month, FDA says Ars Technica

Need for annual COVID shots may hinge on how many get vaccinated now, Fauci says Ars Technica

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


Confirmed cases of India variant in UK rise 160% in a week Guardian

Covid-19 Disrupts Years of Health Progress in U.S. WSJ

As Paycheck Protection Program Runs Dry, Desperation Grows NYT

From free beer to $1 million giveaways, here are the strange ways states are incentivizing their residents to get vaccinated Business Insider

Can the ‘right to disconnect’ exist in a remote-work world? BBC

Why Big Pharma’s Arguments Against Patent Waivers Don’t Add Up Counterpunch

Former Civil Servants Slam Modi Govt for Mishandling Second Wave of COVID-19 Pandemic The Wire

California could become first state to mandate biosecurity screening by mail-order DNA companies Stat

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch.

How to Opt Out of Facial Recognition at the Airport Conde Nast Traveler. From January, still germane.

Class Warfare

Tony Blair Wants to Drag the Left Into His Own Political Grave Jacobin

‘We Need to Stop Taking Employers’ Viewpoint as Gospel’ FAIR

A City in Brazil Experiments with the Unconditional Basic Income Der Spiegel

The Strongest Sign Yet That Inflation Is Transitory Bloomberg

All Those Electric Vehicles Pose a Problem for Building Roads Wired

Tesla Drivers Test Autopilot’s Limits, Attracting Audiences—and Safety Concerns WSJ

Biden Administration

24 Hours After Collapse, Crypto Hears Three Dreaded Letters Heisenberg Report (re Šilc)

Biden slams ‘ugly poison’ of racism that’s ‘plagued’ the US while signing anti-Asian hate crime bill at White House event with NO masks or social distancing Daily Mail. Imagine the reaction if Trump were the one doing this.

U.S. proposes global minimum corporate tax rate of 15%, with an eye on something even higher CNBC

ICE to stop detaining immigrants at two county jails under federal investigation WaPo

Biden’s first five judicial nominations – including the woman favored to be the next Supreme Court pick – are approved by Senate committee and are sent to the Senate Daily Mail

Biden’s Drilling Moratorium Is Not A Moratorium The Daily Poster. David Sirota.

Waste Watch

Twenty firms produce 55% of world’s plastic waste, report reveals Guardian< Leading plastics reduction lawyer sees single-use policies as ‘gateway’ to bigger change Waste Dive


Celebrations in Gaza as ceasefire takes hold: Live Al Jazeera

srael-Gaza conflict: world leaders hail ceasefire after 11 days of attacks Guardian

UN says lives of children in Gaza ‘Hell on Earth’: Live Al Jazeera

Israeli-Hamas hostilities: same old story, or is it? Qantara


H&M and Primark resume Myanmar orders for first time since coup FT


Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduces Bill to Help Save the USPS TruthOut

Trump Transition

The Deep State Thwarted Trump’s Afghanistan Withdrawal American Conservative

The Atlantic Daily: How Obama Really Feels About Trump Atlantic, Althouse his monumental ego blinds him to comprehend how the failures of his presidency gave us Trump.


ONGC, barge contractor ‘ignored’ cyclone warnings, resulting in deaths of nearly 50 workers The Print

Bengal Is Paying the Price for BJP’s Failure to ‘Conquer’ the State The Wire


EU-China investment deal on hold as MEPs vote to halt talks SCMP


H&M and Primark resume Myanmar orders for first time since coup FT

The Fall of the House of Gates? The Nation

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here/

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  1. fresno dan

    The Fall of the House of Gates? Yje Nation
    The news media, for its part, has not only overlooked the foundation’s contradictions for most of the past decade but put its weight behind deifying Bill Gates, often openly trading in fiction and mythology. The same outlets that are now targeting him previously spent years inflating his character—endorsing him as a warm and virtuous sweater-wearing saint of a man, unimpeachable in his devotion to fixing the world, and highly effective in these efforts. And they’ve presented this hagiography with a passion that has routinely betrayed the basic currency of journalism: the facts.
    The charity’s endowment currently stands at $50 billion and Bill and Melinda French Gates’s private wealth is estimated at around $130 billion. From what we can see, the Gates have $180 billion at their disposal but have given only 1 percent of that enormous wealth—$1.75 billion—to tackle the greatest public health crisis in generations. The story we read in the news, however, is not about the Gateses’ miserly giving but about their plowing their fortune into saving the world.
    I am not going to suggest that sweaters cause evil (Bill Cosby), but that is quite a correlation….

    1. Alfred

      I am thinking about his uh, social engineering approach to “giving” on his terms. And making sure he makes a bundle off his “investment” on the other end (Monsanto stocks).

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Exceptions to every rule, but then again, he was on television.

        Further evidence for the correlation, Jimmy Carter. He set the blue print for Reagan.

      2. Arizona Slim

        Who was born so wealthy he never had to work a day in his life. Yet he did. And what a difference Mister Rogers made.

      3. neo-realist

        Another counterpoint: Soupy Sales, but his alleged evil was telling the kids to take the green pieces of paper with the president pictures out of their parents wallets.

    2. timbers

      I’ve come full circle in my old-er age and question why we even have rich folk…can we ban them, disallow them, tax them out of existence, make it illegal to be rich? After all, even the Goddess of pure Capitalism Ayn Rand wrote that the the “Atlases” of human kind who created all the inventions the rest of us benefit from loved not money but the pure joy of creation and the mental and physical work it entailed.

      1. JohnnyGL

        These rich people seem awfully expensive for society to maintain. It makes sense that maybe the burden of proof should be on them to justify their existence.

        A million, we can probably overlook. But a billion is an absurd amount of money.

        You can’t exert tremendous influence on a society with a million. You can absolutely do so with a billion. Lobbyists, think-tanks, just your mere existence as a billionaire means your calls get answered by elected officials.

        1. Odysseus

          A million, we can probably overlook. But a billion is an absurd amount of money.

          Exactly. With “hard work” and honest intellectual contributions it’s quite possible to become a millionaire.

          To create billionaires requires leverage that we as a society should not tolerate.

      2. hunkerdown

        Capitalism, elitism, psychopathy, all of a piece.

        Good to hear that even Ayn Rand thinks the PMC should be paid minimum wage.

        1. John

          The Gilded Age operated a very similar piratical capitalism to today and it had its bevy of hyper-wealthy as we have today. The billionaire in my view is the most visible symbol of an unbalanced economic system. Milton Friedman and the Chicago School provided the justification for the gimme-mine-and-to-hell-with-everyone-else regime which sucks up more and more as each day passes.

          Were 50% of these obscene fortunes of a billion or more dollars removed, the holders of same would continue to be the wealthiest persons on the face of the earth. Take 75% and the same would be true, so what is the point.

          Any change is a matter of political will, which is present among the people at large and all but entirely lacking among the co-opted, bought and paid for, political class.

      3. km

        Ayn Rand also admitted that her characters weren’t exactly real world.

        No joke. I’ve met cardboard cutouts with more depth of personality than a Rand character.

        And I am curious how, say, a manufacturer of garbage bags or simulated leather wallets or some other throwaway commodity is really motivated, not by mere lucre, but by the joy of creating and the mental and physical work associated therewith. Maybe they should be, I buy Hefty, too, but I can think of other things that I would rather be making if I were making them in order to give myself a sense of satisfaction.

        1. Rageon

          I think some of the reward or satisfaction comes from the mastering of the business process itself, regardless of the product made. The maker of widgets who analyzes the metrics and improves the production and efficiency such that the company is the best widget maker in the world probably feels fulfilled, regardless of the complexity of the widget in question (even if they are just garbage bags or wallets).

          1. km

            Sure, but the MBA ideology would have it that the business processes are identical regardless whether the business is selling financial services or soda pop or computer software, so if mastering the process is the point, why not master the process and apply that mastery to making something seemingly more satisfying?

            Again, I buy garbage bags and I also like to eat, every day, if possible, so I don’t discount the value of doing things for utilitarian purposes, or just ’cause I need the money, but I also don’t pretend that this is always necessarily in service to a higher cause.

            1. FreeMarketApologist

              As somebody who creates utilitarian things, the joy is, as Rageon notes, in the satisfaction of mastering the process, but also in creating something that is appreciated as being a good example of a utilitarian object. How many picnics have you been at and thought murderous thoughts about the maker of the junky plastic fork you’re holding? It’s very satisfying to design and produce an exemplary object at an low price point. I’d like to contribute to the enhancement of people’s lives in whatever way we might engage, not just the flashy self-aggrandizing ones.

              1. km

                I don’t think too many garbage bag makers are doing it for the joy, just saying. Maybe they should, but they aren’t.

      1. CNu

        Both Bloomberg and The Nation strictly conform to the gaslighting MSM vivisection of Gates the “serial philanderer”. Is this another textbook example of Eric Weinstein’s distributed information suppression complex?

        I bet you a dollar that Bill Gates relationship with Jeffrey Epstein was based on a more than passing professional interest in the long running elite intelligence and extortion operation that Epstein fronted.

        1. QuarterBack

          I think Mr. Gates is in some serious trouble. There is a saying amongst investment banking circles “the only thing harder than making a billion dollars is keeping it”.

          It’s virtually impossible to become a billionaire, let alone one on the top of this list, without running over many powerful people along the way. Whether they are interested in payback, or just seizing some of his money and power while he is weakened, there are many powerful types circling Gates like a wounded hyena in the pack.

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        I can’t believe anyone hasn’t seen his philanthropy as buying an image remake. To me, it’s seemed blatantly obvious that’s what’s been going on and that he’s the same as he’s always been.

        1. jefemt

          He and Elon are allofasuddenly into carbon, clean renewable… and Bill… the newest bestest full lifecycle ultra-clean and pure nukes. (sarc)

          I think they woke up and realized how much carbon is embededed in all things “e”, and that is a treat to their cash flow and gazillion$.

          So, get on it, protect that bottom line, and …. oh yeah… control the industry and dominate the narrative and biz.

          Positively Randian.

          Bill – it turns out— is quite Randy!

    3. The Rev Kev

      ‘I am not going to suggest that sweaters cause evil’

      Hmmm. Steve Jobs…Elizabeth Homes. I’m staring to see a pattern here.

    4. Michael Fiorillo

      I’ve seen it attributed to Wilhelm Reich, and to Churchill referring to the Germans and the Arabs, but the adage, “At your feet, or at your throat,” seems to best describe media behavior in our degenerate era.

      I don’t feel qualified to comment on Gates’ interventions in medicine and public health, but as a public school teacher I can assure NC readers that, based on his foundation’s forays into education, Old Pasty Face is indeed the monster you always assumed him to be.

      1. pasha

        yes, his foundation is a major supporter of the “charter schools instead of public schools” movement, as is the de vos foundation

    5. Dr. John Carpenter

      From the article:

      If this does come to pass—if, for example, Bill has to step down—that would be not just a stunning development for the world’s most powerful philanthropy but also a damning reflection of our obsession with the cult of personality.

      Or maybe, just maybe, philanthropic organizations tied to one one person’s ego are a bad idea? I feel like “our” is doing a lot of work in that sentience. “We” didn’t have a say in the Gates Foundation.

    1. crittermom

      Thank you!
      Your Larsen link was perfect.

      A story on the local news last night spoke of how our national parks here in Colorado are being overrun by humans, to the point that reservations to visit (not even talking camping) may be needed all the time now for some.
      Even to visit such places as Rocky Mtn National Park.

      They’re asking for public input*. (Hell, this entire state has been overrun since I was forced to leave over 9 years ago!)

      The parks service said they have seen a ‘great increase in human waste along the trails’. (Thanks again to Larsen. Spot on)

      *Meanwhile, the advice from the parks service, elected officials, etc is to “get outside and enjoy the nature and beautiful parks we have here.”

      Wish they’d mentioned using the bathroom before doing so.

      I feel sorry for the critters.

      1. Alfred

        Forest creature poo has a certain significance and function in the animal world. Human poo is just dangerous–who knows what infectious stuff and toxic residue from McD’s will run off into the forest environment. Hikers used to carry spades to bury their deposits and there were instructions how to do that. Can the Forest Service, instead of just lamenting the onset of poo, publish instructions and require that people abide by them, and maybe provide poo bags (pack it out)? People just think, bears do it, what’s the big deal?

        1. Wukchumni

          I’ve always thought that going to the bathroom in the wilderness was a great dissuader for many, sans porcelain throne.

          Its liberating taking a dump like any old mammal does, and we don’t come easy to the practice being away from the game for so long, but once you get the hang of it…

          Black bear sightings for me have barely got into the double digits per year since the 2012-2016 drought hit them hard in that one of their food sources were sugar pine tree pine cones, the largest pine cones of all, with the most nutricious tree nut in the Sierra.

          Saw 10 bears last year, 1 year this year so far. The most I ever saw in a year was 54, to put things in perspective. totals in the high 20’s-low 30’s were common.

          The bark beetles really did a number on sugar pines, it seemed to me that they were hit hardest of all pines in the forest for the trees.

          Its a hit or miss thing when driving mountain roads (where most encounters come) as merely a few seconds either way might cause you to not see anything, sometimes coming around a curve i’ll catch a glimpse of the rump of some boo-boo before it disappears out of sight, that sort of thing. Other times you get a nice 20 second sequence of a mom and a couple cubs meandering on the road.

          I used to see a fair amount of bear poop on the trails, for if I was a bruin, you don’t shit where you eat, and they don’t eat on the trail, besides if they’re lucky, it’ll scare off humans, heh heh.

          I’m not seeing much bear shit these days, on & off-trail. Of all the crap-the most interesting as usually its pretty obvious what they’ve been eating, compared to other poop.

          1. Alfred

            Animals in the woods where I live leave their poo on certain rocks in or by the path, actually called “latrines”

            I come across fox and raccoon messages all the time in my walks. The bears who pass through leave notes in my unpaved long driveway in the Spring.

        2. Wukchumni


          A number of times i’ve gotten out of my hammock to take a piss after a night’s sleep, and what a windfall for the 3 or 4 Marmot Cong licking up the largess after a brief golden rainbow led them to it. They love me for my salt intake.

        3. crittermom

          >”Can the Forest Service… publish instructions and require that people abide by them, and maybe provide poo bags… ”

          My observations have been that too often when people go “into the wild”, they “get wild”. No rules for them!

          So few people pick up their dog’s poo, I really don’t see most packing out their own waste. That would be even more gross to them.

          I’m doubtful the parks service has the funding to provide poo bags or personnel to enforce, either.
          Most bags would probably not be used anyway, and once again–it’s more plastic to become litter and end up…

          Maybe they could just install signs at the bathrooms when first entering the park using the powers of persuasion/suggestion with, “Last chance to use a bathroom”?

          Hmm… I may submit that suggestion since they’re asking for input.

          As you said, human waste is unhealthy, which is why it’s not used for composting.

          1. Wukchumni

            It all depends upon how used an area is. I was walking the High Sierra Trail with 4 friends a few years ago, and when we got to Crabtree Meadow I was blown away by how many people were camped there, perhaps 175 or so around the periphery of the meadow. It had a drop toilet that must’ve gotten emptied often, and was 200 feet from where we were camped, beautiful meadow, lousy with humans though.

            I don’t know that i’ve ever slept overnight in any location in the Sierra Nevada with more than say a few dozen people, to put things in perspective. There’s almost always a secluded camping spot somewhere where a small party can have it to themselves, if you spend a little time looking. It also allows your manure to spread out a bit by not using the usual spots to do your doody.

            The Mount Whitney zone is strictly wag bags and for good reason, for if you go #2 above treeline it takes forever to decompose, Back in the day when wag bags weren’t required, the stench of Trail Camp below Mt Whitney was awful from the composting toilet there.

      2. Phacops

        The book, “How To Shit in the Woods” should be required reading. One of the first rules is to watch out for dangling hoodies.

      1. eg

        It’s hard to beat “Boneless Chicken Ranch” or “Medvale School for the Gifted”

    1. Arizona Slim

      Oh, all right. I just stepped away from this confounded computer and opened another damn window. Happy now?

      All snarking aside, I love the early mornings here in Tucson. This one’s cloudy enough to make me believe that it could rain today. A very uncommon event in May.

      1. PHLDenizen

        Having done a bit of time in Tucson, Phoenix, and Flagstaff, flag is definitely the holiest of that trinity. Probably because of my woodland WASPiness. The desert is indeed majestic, but its illusion of civilization is a bit worrisome. Great place to visit, maybe not such a great place to build a life.

        The southwest’s carrying capacity is finite, a constraint imposed by its lack of natural sources of freshwater. Those appear to rapidly drying up, as the Rube Goldberg machine of conveyances and water sharing agreements from a century ago groans and creaks under its burdens. I imagine it’ll turn into American’s own Egypt, exiling AZ-raelites and their brethren. Or maybe they’ll build some nukes and use them to run desalination plants. Water always flows uphill toward money.

        I’m reminded of Shelley:

        Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
        Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
        Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
        The lone and level sands stretch far away.

        I did have a blast spending 2 weeks rafting down the Grand Canyon, starting right below Glen Canyon Dam. Camped on the floor. No contact with the outside world. Plentiful trout. The night winds howling and whipping sand at my face. Sleeping in a tent was useless. Wonderful and zen. I just crashed on the beaches in a sleeping bag. Highly recommend the experience to anyone lucky enough to get a permit.

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      And the article was published in October 2020–lots more gymnastics since then!

    3. The Rev Kev

      Carla, I hope that you remembered to clean down your keyboard thoroughly as well as your mouse before typing that comment! :)

  2. The Rev Kev

    ‘Max Blumenthal
    The govt of Venezuela has just submitted Biden aide Richard Nephew’s sadistic book, “The Art of Sanctions,” to the ICC as evidence of US war crimes confessions.’


    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I hope they throw in this lovely video as a sweetener.

      But it was Donald Trump who made the u.s. “look bad” on the world stage.

      Almost too twisted to be believed.

    2. Alfred

      Reading this, I notice the govt’s same lack of respect for “ordinary” Americans–being an “ordinary American” these days is kind of like working for a big corporation…where the “shareholders” and “stakeholders” “sanction” workers with lack of opportunity and poverty pay while they suck everything up to the top.

      1. hunkerdown

        The anarcho-capitalists are technically but not morally correct when they claim that the only purpose of the state is the enforcement of property rights. That is true not only for concrete properties but also for abstract properties, such as knowledge (“intellectual property”), language (Ukraine/Latinx), credentials (Democrats), and not least, the all-down alliance known as class systems. Asking states to serve their masses is like asking a vacuum cleaner to cook and serve dinner, the predictable results of such folly being amply explicated in Tuesday’s Water Cooler. The pumps are non-reversible by design.

        Yes, that’s reductive. IMO, reductiveness is simply the intolerance of mysticism. It keeps the BS down so that “smart” people aren’t rewarded for self-serving behavior.

    3. Mr. Magoo

      Why is something like the ‘Art of Sanctions’ even a book? Is there really a market for something like this?

      1. anon y'mouse

        many criminals would get away with it if they could only stop themselves from bragging about their criminal activities.

      2. Alfred

        His colleagues absolutely love it, and see it as a valuable reference book for the State Dept. They are just playing multilevel chess for world domination, these little darlings.

        1. Isotope_C14

          Too bad we can’t trick them to start playing Eve Online so they stop wrecking the real world.

          1. Alfred

            Or they could have their very own Truman Show. What a delicious irony that would be.

          2. Jeotsu

            Eve Online even has a giant faction of evil Russians. It would feel just like home.

          1. Alfred

            absolutely, but shhh, don’t want to prick those inflated egos. They’ll probably start pouting and crying.

    4. Procopius

      This monster has been appointed “envoy” to Iran? So it’s clear Biden has no desire intention to rejoin the JCPOA, and may be contemplating the attack on Iran that Netanyahu wants.

  3. John Siman

    Jerri-Lynn hits a bull’s eye with her observation on the Atlantic-Daily piece “How Obama Really Feels About [that fucking lunatic,” that “corrupt motherfucker”] Trump: “[Obama’s] monumental ego,” she writes, “blinds him to comprehend how the failures of his presidency gave us Trump.” But, oh how Atlantic readers will thrill to learn for sure that Saint Obama has felt impelled to drop the f-bomb because of the apocalyptic ickiness of Donald Trump!

    And note the assumed complementary blindness of the Atlantic’s demographic silo: If one reads all the way to the end of the article, one is rewarded with “Tonight’s Atlantic-approved activity.” Atlantic-*approved*!! Afraid to think for themselves, unashamed of their voluntary intellectual blindness, this elite demographic dutifully seeks to be led by the blindest of the blind. i.e., the morally blind.

    1. Alfred

      It’s struck me lately that being an arrogant monster is one of the requirements to be selected as a Presidential candidate, since Reagan.

      1. Parker Dooley

        Since Reagan? Well, Andrew Jackson did a pretty good job of that. Among others.

        1. Jason

          “Anyone who wants to be president is either an egomaniac or crazy.” – Ike, who was a president himself. Hmmm.

    2. hunkerdown

      It’s not blindness, but an understanding of class, and a commitment to elitism. Plato would have critically supported the PMC blood-eaters as upholding a society with an order.

      1. John Siman

        No, Plato’s ultimate vision was for aristocracy in the literal sense = government by *the best*. Both Plato and Aristotle disparaged oligarchy, which they defined as government by the wealthy.

    3. km

      Paul Fussell was at times simplistic in his analysis of class, but he hit the nail squarely on the head about the middle classes and their constant, overwhelming anxiety about what other people think of them.

    4. FluffytheObeseCat

      “[Obama’s] monumental ego,” she writes, “blinds him to comprehend how the failures of his presidency gave us Trump.”

      True. Of course no one has claimed Obama’s descriptive outbursts lacked truthfulness on this issue. Instead….. we see a string of short replies railing about the deficiencies of the readership of The Atlantic.

      1. John Siman

        “… the deficiencies of the readership of The Atlantic.” Deficiencies that are, I say, destructive of our national fabric. I am picking on bien-pensant Atantoids in particular because they so often and so vividly represent the very worst of the anti-Ameican snobbery of the NYT-WaPo-NPR-MSNBC-CNN demographic silo.

  4. zagonostra

    >From free beer to $1 million giveaways, here are the strange ways states are incentivizing their residents to get vaccinated – Business Insider

    I think Business Insider needs to include “guilt” to its list because according to Fauci in the Ars Technica article: “Whether we’ll need[vaccine shots] every year seems, for now, dependent on how many people get vaccinated this year.”

    “Seems, for now?”

    It reminds me of being in grade school and the teacher telling us that if anyone talks when they are not supposed to be talking then the whole class will lose recess. From lotteries, beer, joints, etc..the carrot and stick will continue to evolve and possible get nasty.

    1. Arizona Slim

      For a different take on this topic, see tegnost’s comment below. Suffice it to say that tegnost is not a happy camper.

    2. Screwball

      Maybe it’s just me, but I’m in the camp that thinks Dr. Fauci should just STFU at this point.

      1. Nikkikat

        Amen to Fauci and STFU…..any one start to wonder how much big Pharma stock this elitist dipstick has in his stock portfolio? He is probably the one that came it with the everyone take their mask off idea for Walensky at the CDC. I have ignored Fauci since the beginning of the pandemic when he told us masking wouldn’t work.

        1. Arizona Slim

          No, Screwball, you aren’t the only one. Whenever I hear Dr. Fauci, I get grouchy.

        2. enoughisenough

          Super agree. I’m sick of Fauci’s victim-blaming.

          Reminds me of GWB saying “Americans are addicted to oil”. Coming from a scamming oil “businessman”?

          Don’t blame the people for not having alternatives. Leadership are the ones who effed everything up. Fauci’s doing the same thing. Smug jerk.

    3. Maritimer

      Free VAC with incentive at the FF drivethrough window:

      “Good morning, welcome to Fatsies. How can I help you?”
      “I’d like the Moderna vaccine.”
      “Certainly, sir, would you like the combo?”
      “What comes with the combo?”
      “With the combo, you get the Moderna, two Pfizers and a side of AstraZeneca.”
      “Sure, give me a combo.”
      “Sir, would you like to Biggie that?”
      “Absolutely, it’s gonna be a Long Pandemic.”
      “And what would you like as your incentive”
      “Give me the fries.”

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Celebrations in Gaza as ceasefire takes hold: Live’

    Hamas today put out a statement after the end of eleven days of a one-sided bombardment by a technologically-superior force intent on their annihilation-

    “We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on!”

    1. tegnost

      yeah. he can’t afford to pay anyone….
      a rational society would see him as a sick person.
      And of course bidens 80,000 new irs agents will not increase bezos non payment of taxes while his gig workers get shafted.
      Remind me why we need to save this system?
      The f@cking virus was brought here by greedy globalists.

  6. tegnost

    Having just stayed up all night after my second moderna with a fever, racing heart, and body aches so that bezos and the vaccine makers among many others, can make billions. I will never take another mRNA vaccine ever again. when I told the attendant and the nurse both that I had a high blood pressure reaction to the 1st shot they were not at all interested and hand waved it off, indeed the nurse said said “your blood pressure varies so I wouldn’t worry” I pointed out that I take my blood pressure a lot and 150/95 is waaaayyyy higher than it’s ever been she was like oh that’s interesting. What this means to me is that in this stage 3 trial they don’t want to hear adverse effects. Both my sister and a resident of the island have auto immune problems, the guy on the island can’t get anyone to talk to him. I took mine for the team and that’s it.

    1. ambrit

      “Vaccine shaming” is taking many forms now. I have been given the “fish eye” once already in a store by other shoppers. (I am still masking.)
      The actions and attitudes on display by the public related to the Pandemic, at least here in the North American Deep South, are taking on the characteristics of a religious cult mind set. I can plainly see the physical imposition of vaccination upon the recalcitrant coming soon.
      Stay safe. Keep a low profile.

    2. IM Doc

      Massive extended increases in blood pressure for weeks after the vaccine have become commonplace in my practice. Fortunately no serious complications that I know of yet.

      And some patients BP is being persistently high. They seem to be fairly resistant to the usual meds.

      I am certain it has something to do with the vaccine’s action on the vascular endothelium.

      Take care of yourself. Take it easy the next several days. And know that despite the people at the vaccine clinic, yes this is a very common issue.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Thanks for that. My wife is already taking blood pressure medication and the thought of her having one of these mRNA vaccines is not one to entertain. I think that in Oz we use the AstraZeneca for older people and Pfizer for everybody else but that they are going to bring in the Moderna vaccine soon. Personally I would prefer to go with the Sputnik V vaccine but they will never allow that one here. So if they put a gun to our heads, may have to go with the AstraZeneca vaccine for my wife.

      2. grayslady

        Thank you so much for mentioning this. My best friend has kidney-driven high blood pressure and sees a nephrologist once every 6 months for monitoring of blood tests. Even though he is now 90 years old, his results have been stable for years due to the success of the drug “cocktail” mix he’s been on. However, back in February, his readings were distinctly out of pattern. The nephrologist insisted on seeing him again within 3 months and, lo and behold, all the readings looked really good again. Interestingly, the poor blood test readings came after his second Moderna shot, even though he had no noticeable side effects from the second shot. I don’t think a lot of doctors know about this correlation. Even I noticed a spike in my normally average blood pressure after my first Pfizer shot, but I didn’t know bp variation was a potential side effect, so thanks again.

      3. News at 10

        CDC did send out an alert yesterday to watch for myocarditis. They said that there was no signal they were seeing but mentioned that Europe agency was .

    3. Judith

      You and I and one other person in the comments (as far as I have noticed) have mentioned severe side effects from the Moderna vaccine. I thought about entering my experience into the CDC v-safe tool but decided not to. The CDC has made it quite clear they have no interest in data and I don’t trust them anyway. But: Some group of researchers needs to be collecting actual reliable data about this pandemic. Wishful thinking, I know.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      You can’t even get a dental exam and x-rays in this country without filling out three pages of health history questions and several more of privacy information. No such “requirement” to drive up in your car, stick your arm out the window, get injected with an experimental drug and be on your way without any mention of follow-up.

      There is no formal effort to track and report post-jab reactions, which means there’s no way to determine health condition contraindications or significant drug interactions. Eating grapefruit while taking some drugs can cause serious complications fer chrissakes. How would they know if there’s something like that here when they’re not even looking?

      Helluva way to conduct an experimental drug trial if you ask me. The casual attitude toward vaccine concerns and vilification of anyone who dares to question conventional “wisdom” is not only beyond galling, it’s beyond suspicious. And then there’s the deliberate suppression of Ivermectin information……

      1. rowlf

        I like to do news searches a couple of times a week to see how Ivermectin is being reported. With the Covid-19 outbreak in India going on today I searched for Ivermectin, India and one week. I like the results.

        Media Outlets: Doctors say not to take Ivermectin for Covid-19.
        rowlf: Doctors are reporting good results using Ivermectin.
        Media Outlets: Don’t listen to those doctors. Listen to our doctors.

        I can picture medicine turning into a science like economics is considered to be.

    5. Dr. John Carpenter

      FWIW, my second Moderna was about a month ago. I was out of commission for a week after and I still feel “off”. I have osteoarthritis and my hands have been pretty flared up since plus I’m still dealing with fatigue that I wasn’t before that second shot. I’m sure my blood pressure has been high too, though since you’ve mentioned it, I should be checking. I guess I took one for the team too (didn’t have much of a choice as they forced us back into the office, masks optional.) Here’s hoping this evens out eventually.

      1. rowlf

        My wife had her second Moderna shot and was miserable and called in sick for several days. One of my teenage sons stayed in bed for two days after his second Pfizer shot. I can understand why commercial pilots get two days off after being vaccinated before they are allowed back to work.

        1. Keith Newman

          Yiikes! I’m not due my 2nd Moderna shot for three months. I’ll let you know what happens. I had no rxn to the first one other than a slightly sore arm at the injection point for 24 hours. My wife the same.
          My nephew had no rxn to the 1st Pfizer, but fatigue the next day after the 2nd dose. None of the teenagers in his household had any rxn to either.

    6. fresno dan

      May 21, 2021 at 8:30 am
      when I told the attendant and the nurse both that I had a high blood pressure reaction to the 1st shot they were not at all interested and hand waved it off, indeed the nurse said said “your blood pressure varies so I wouldn’t worry”

      That sounds familiar.
      1:16 I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, think things over
      advanced technology – what could go wrong??? (you know, the computer didn’t malfunction – it was doing what it was SUPPOSE to do)

    7. Ping

      Reluctantly I took one for the team also. J&J and I’ve now had tinnitus (constant ringing, buzzing in ears), head pressure, chronic headache, fatigue and related symptoms since April 6th. The FB site “Tinnitus and hearing loss after Covid Vaccine” quickly got over 2,400 members all struggling with post-vax symptoms, some debilitating. ENT diagnosed “ototoxicity” the nerves in ears effected by toxic substance and reportedly they are seeing alot of this. Sometimes goes away, sometimes permanent. Awaiting neurologist appt. My interaction with VAERS (vaccine adverse event reporting system) has been cumbersome to say the least, repeatedly asking for same info so I only have a temporary report number, then their phone system was down, now supposedly I’ll get a call back sometime as “call volume is high”. VAERS would not accept the ENT’s electronic submission so he faxed it but did not get a report number.

      A good friend has had a large torso rash for months now since his Pfizer jab and his dermatologist said the practice is seeing alot of that from vaccines. The doctor recently took a biopsy of the rash and our friend feels a recent Afib episode is related.

      These issues are vastly under-reported. If CDC or Pharma intended to document vax reactions, they would notice practices to BOLO for adverse events and report, especially now with the push to vaccinate younger and younger children and with boosters on the horizon.

      1. Michael

        I have the tinnitus situation also. Not sure of its origin as I’m 68. My sister had it precovid and I had an extremely mild and part time case.
        No other symptoms thankfully following Moderna 1&2.
        Now it’s more intense and frequent.
        Kaiser Ear Dr said its common and no cure. No mention of Covid.
        Thanks for the info!

      2. Skunk

        I also had noticeable buzzing in the ears for a few days after my second Pfizer shot, along with patches of skin discoloration. Both disappeared fairly quickly.

      3. tongorad

        My tinnitus worsened after getting the Pfizer vaccine, which has led to frequent insomnia. Miserable.

    8. Geo

      Adding my experience here: Had the second Pfizer dose on Sunday and the arm soreness turned into debilitating back pains for days. Yesterday was the first day I wasn’t mostly bedridden but can still only sit for short periods of time and the shoulder on the side where I got the shot still has a sharp pain somewhere between a pulled muscle and slipped disk type of feel. Hard to find much info but have found a few others online with the same issues. All said it goes away in about a week. Definitely getting better but has been difficult.

      Didn’t have much of the usual side effects beyond the grogginess for a day. So, that’s good at least. And fortunately had very little work this week so was a good week to be bedridden I guess. Only real issue is having to apologize to my neighbors for my random outbursts when I move around and the sharp pains make me shout expletives into the air.

      1. chuck roast

        Geez…I’m happy I waited for the J&J jab to clear all the bogus political hurdles. I got my single dose three weeks ago…no arm soreness, no out-of-sorts, no nothing. Everything has been good. Now all it has to do is protect me.

    9. eg

      My wife got dose #1 of Moderna last Sunday and besides a sore arm only experienced a couple of days of fatigue.

      I had dose #1 of AZ 43 days ago. At t+7 hours I experienced the onset of what are for me typical cold/flu-like symptoms (muscle ache) which persisted for 24 hours. All good since then. I took the reaction as a good sign of immune system response.

      Here in Ontario getting dose #2 is a bit of a circus. My wife has an appointment for hers in the first week of September. AZ dose #2 is more complicated — depending upon availability, I may be able to book for the 12 week mark, but it’s also possible that I may have to take Pfizer or Moderna instead, and there is no established timeline for any such mixture.

      My 19 year old daughter is on the waiting list for dose #1 (could be Moderna or Pfizer) and 15 year old son must await the end of the month to book an appointment (only Pfizer approved for under 18)

    10. michael99

      First Moderna: arm soreness that lasted about two days.

      Second (one month later): about 10 hours after the jab came a fever (at least 100.3 F) and body aches that kept me awake most of the night. Not sure about blood pressure but felt slightly short of breath for a bit when the fever was running hot. Started shivering when I got out of bed even though I felt like I was burning up. The next morning I felt bad early but started to feel much better by 24 hours after the jab. Still had a low grade fever that evening. Next morning fever was gone and felt much better. Arm soreness lingered a while longer.

      It was a very unpleasant experience but fortunately for me the side effects were mostly gone within 48 hours. The medic who gave me the shot warned of these possible effects happening in the first 24 hours, which was some comfort (not much). Hope getting vaccinated was worth it.

      Sorry to hear of people having lingering effects and hope you are feeling better soon.

  7. QuarterBack

    Re the USDA’s pistachio purchase, my guess is a large factor is to support Stewart and Lynda Resnick, who are the largest pistachio growers in CA. They are also the largest water consumers in CA, which is probably part of why they are very large contributors to climate research (over $750M), which a great way to deflect attention from their not so eco-friendly water consumption.

    On their water consumption:

    On their climate research donations

    As another aside, both the Resnicks and the Speaker of the House share a common interest in keeping Governor Newsom in office:

    1. Watt4Bob

      Water is the new gold.

      It seems like all agriculture in California has become a play for water rights with the Resnicks first in line.

      As with many of the schemes cooked up by billionaires, one of the prime secret ingredients is getting someone else to pay for it.

      Plant a pistachio orchard, or any orchard for that mater, gain perpetual water rights and get the government to pay for your monopoly.

      It’s the American way.

      Of course Nestle is another part of the picture.

      1. ambrit

        We need a Government agency that, as did the US Army back after the American War Between the States, will go in and “do G–s work” by cutting down all the offending trees. When I read the quote from the 1860’s officer about cutting down all the Navajo peach trees near Canyon de Chelly, I almost cried. Now that’s ethnic cleansing. No wonder we “support” Israel in it’s own ethnic cleansing campaigns in Judea and Samaria. No wonder the early NAZIs sent a team over to America to study how Jim Crow laws worked so as to better deal with their own “problem populations.”
        We have no “high ground” on which to stand.

      2. Wukchumni

        Plant a pistachio orchard, or any orchard for that mater, gain perpetual water rights and get the government to pay for your monopoly.

        Since the new state groundwater law was passed in 2014 (to be enacted in 2020-but Covid expanded the dateline) you wouldn’t believe how many new hires are in the ground, massive orchards popped up all over the place in the Central Valley.

        My favorite is about 10,000 plum or peach trees that were planted in close proximity to the Visalia dump, as in across the road from it!

        Everybody wanted to get grandfathered into the new normal, and yes water is precious-but only when it isn’t plentiful does it take on a special urgency and the winner of the race to the bottom of the aquifer, if they time it just right, will have their orchard die of old age-just as the water runs out, wreak every penny of profit out of the gig until you abandon it.

        1. fresno dan

          May 21, 2021 at 9:41 am

          according to google
          In 2018, California generated around $49.8 billion in agricultural cash receipts with the highest valued commodities being dairy products, more specifically milk, grapes, and almonds. That same year, the value of California’s agricultural production and processing industries represented 2.8 percent of total state GDP.
          Nursery and floral production is an important component of California’s agricultural output, accounting for 7.5 percent of the state’s farm sales. Annual sales of $3.5
          billion mean that California accounts for 20 percent of U.S. sales of nursery and floral products.
          California’s agricultural abundance includes more than 400 commodities. Over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts are grown in California. California’s top-10 valued commodities for the 2019 crop 1 are:

          Dairy Products, Milk — $7.34 billion
          Almonds — $6.09 billion
          Grapes — $5.41 billion
          Cattle and Calves — $3.06 billion
          Strawberries — $2.22 billion
          Pistachios — $1.94 billion
          Lettuce — $1.82 billion
          Walnuts — $1.29 billion
          Floriculture — $1.22 billion
          Tomatoes — $1.17 billion
          Water, next to air, is THE most essential thing to human life. One can also say that it is essential to human commerce. Yet thirsty orchards that cannot be water managed once planted (they need a minimum amount of water merely to survive, year after year, regardless of the amount of rain that falls that year) are planted for commodities that can be provided by other suppliers. It doesn’t make ecological OR economic sense, yet somehow it happens. I think it really shows something is wrong how we are governed…

          1. JTMcPhee

            “We” are “governed” by institutions that are staffed by people beholden to the oligarchs. Who pay relative peanuts for the use of the necessary but poisoned legitimizing role of the institutions that pass laws and effectuate regulations often written by the lobbyists. Who are connected to the bribe takers that we nominally “elect” every couple of years. Choosing, almost always, between liars and thieves who know who their masters really are.

            Only way I can see that will change is that it will finally all just burn down and burn up, since so many of “us” are propagandize into not seeing the real problem and planning to join the lootery at the first opportunity (e.g, bitcoin and those evanescent other blockchain sh!t like NFTs.)

      3. QuarterBack

        It seems like all agriculture in California has become a play for water rights with the Resnicks first in line.

        I was once told about the difference between being wealthy and powerful.

        Being wealthy is having things that other people want, whereas powerful is having things that people need.

        If you control what people need, money doesn’t matter because they have to bow to you to get what they truly need. Water is on the top side of the needs list.

    2. Wukchumni

      Pistachios can only be grown in a few spots in the world, and now we can’t sell $40 million worth all of the sudden overseas, because of overproduction & Iran undercutting us on price more than likely. (they produce half of the total output-and to say that their currency is weak would be an understatement-good for exports)

      Maybe it’ll get turned into pistachio ice cream by the USDA?

      A few years ago I had jury duty and for once I really wanted to get picked for the jury as the case was grand theft pistachio, the perp had hijacked an 18 wheeler full of them and the trial was expected to last a day or 2, but no luck for me, ha!

        1. Wukchumni

          How come when I was a kid in the 60’s and 70’s pistachios had to be dyed red in order to be salable?

          It was kind of silly, your fingers would get red after eating them ha!

  8. Wukchumni

    Sadly, the 9th largest living tree in the world died in the Castle wildfire.

    I was able to visit the King Arthur tree a number of times, and it wasn’t exactly an easy get, but worth it as the brobdingnagian was a few feet wider @ eye level than the biggest of all-the Sherman tree.

    Once upon a time it was called the California tree about a century ago~

    It used to be a few thousand years old…

    1. The Rev Kev

      That’s a damn shame that as it looked magnificent. Those before-and-after photos certainly tell the story.

      1. Wukchumni

        King Arthur residing in the Garfield Grove really made sense, as to pull excalibur out of the scabbard required a long hike on trail and then route finding as it was way off trail in steep terra firma, forbidden fruit in the summer as you have to gain 4,000 feet in altitude in 7 miles on a 14 mile day hike when the trailhead temp is in the 90’s @ noon, and the lower 3 miles of trail are choked on either side by tendrils of poison oak causing one to have to bob & weave occasionally.

        The better way to do it is to backpack from Mineral King to Hockett Meadow and then descend 5,000 feet to Ladybug trailhead through the Garfield Grove, a minimum of around 25 miles of walking.

        There’s a magnificent trio of really big ones in a triangle of sorts each a few hundred yards away from one another, and the Floyd Otter (12th largest tree in the world) got burned up a bit while Eric De Groot (around the 30th largest tree in the world) was relatively untouched by the fire, such were the whims of the flames.


  9. QuarterBack

    Re US lobbying for a global minimum tax rate, how long before the U.S. starts bombing and/or sanctioning into oblivion countries that dare not raise their taxes? Also a great opportunity for countries to raise taxes for pet projects under the cover of “We didn’t want to raise taxes, but the Americans made us do it.”

    1. Michael Ismoe

      It’s a simple fix all you have to do is tax revenue generated in each country, not profits. Of course, 5000 lobbyists in DC will disagree.

      1. hunkerdown

        Why do you hate God business? :) Kidding aside, there’s a test of the Reagan Doctrine (“If you want less of something, tax it”), as long as you make sure there is adequate capacity of all sorts outside of the private sector for when (not if) capitalists strike and take or scrap their physical plant out the door with them.

        Anyway, what you are calling for is a VAT. It is well known that VAT is regressive. 5000 lobbyists would, if anything, fight like wet cats in a sack for a piece of that gig flow.

        1. chuck roast

          How about we make all corporate lobbying and and all corporate advertising come out of profits and are no longer a cost of doing business. Might slow down the predation a bit.

  10. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The Deep State Thwarted Trump’s Afghanistan Withdrawal American Conservative

    So, the military brass actively resisted Trump’s attempts to withdraw troops from Afghanistan for more than four years, most recently 6 months ago, and when biden tells them to “jump” they say, “Yes, sir, Mr. Commander-in-Chief, sir?”

    Sure they will. biden is so compromised, he can’t even orchestrate a coherent mask policy through the cdc or get a Coast Guard class to laugh at his plagiarized “jokes.”

    I’d imagine the war department is not even breaking a sweat. Just get someone to put it on the teleprompter for biden to read and he’ll believe it really happened. A no-brainer in more ways than one.

    1. Mantid

      Katniss, the MSM is reading the teleprompter to us. The “troops” are withdrawing and the “contractors” are staying. Not to worry.

      1. John

        I have read both “the contractors are staying” and “the contractors are leaving.” Is the an either/or situation or a both/and?

        1. fresno dan

          May 21, 2021 at 11:05 am
          It is far, far worse than if we are staying or leaving.
          Ever see the Woody Allen movie Bananas?
          There is a scene where he is a paratrooper (long story) and he asks if we (the US military) is fighting for or against the small country we’re invading. His comrade answers, “Both for and against the country we are invading – that way we can’t lose.”
          True story – we fought for and against Al Qaeda…and the Taliban…so I presume half of the half that are staying will be for the government, and half will be against…

          1. Procopius

            Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is still supporting Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen, hiring them as mercenary troops. The Houthi were their main opponent before the Saudis intervened in Yemen, and were quite successful against them despite American policies. In Afghanistan now, the Taliban are fighting against ISIS even as we dither about leaving. They are not going to let a bunch of amped up Wahhabists interfere with their enforcement of pure Salafi Islam. It’s a lot more interesting that the American press ever reports.

  11. zagonostra

    >Canadian Housing Market – Wolf Street

    Having family in Vancouver, B.C. I find Wolf’s reporting on housing in Canada interesting. This is from the comments in below article:

    Average home price in Toronto in 1970 was 30K
    Average home price in Toronto 2021 is 1.2 million.

    I always tell my Brother-in-Law that housing prices can’t continue to rise and he should sell and buy a nice farmette on a 100 acres in Central PA that he could buy if he sold his modest 4/2 home, and have plenty of money left over, but every year I’m proven wrong and house prices continue to increase.

  12. zagonostra

    >Lapham Quarterly

    Excellent article.

    The outside has disappeared, just as the stars, the heavens themselves, are disappearing because of light pollution. Even on a butte in remote Zion National Park, the pollution from Las Vegas shadows the night skies—from 150 miles away…

    Which conspiracy fantasy is the more deadly? The conspiracy fantasy that insists international elites are plotting to enslave us? Or the Davos Conspiracy Fantasy that insists stakeholder capitalism will bring greater equality and restore the earth?

    1. chuck roast

      The knuckleheads don’t care. When I was sailing I always made a trip to Matinicus Island on the new moon so I could groove the wicked immensity of the Milky Way. It was way offshore. Then a few years ago some knucklehead fishermen put up some big nightlights on their dock and ruined the night sky. So, I started going even further offshore to Ragged Island…next stop Portugal. A couple of Matinicus brothers had a small string of moorings that they rented for $25/night. After I stopped going I met a Matinicus fisherman in Rockland and told him that I had a message for the brothers whom he knew. I go, “Tell the brothers that those clowns on the south-end with their night-lights ruined the night sky, so I’m not coming back anymore. And if they are $25/$50 short this summer they blame it on their idiot fishing buddies.” I figured this would give the Islanders something to give one another hell about all winter.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Israeli-Hamas hostilities: same old story, or is it?” 244″

    Been thinking of the results of this latest onslaught and it seems that the winners are Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas. Before he ordered this war up, Netanyahu was on the way out the door politically. And with a criminal trial awaiting him, he had a lot of incentive to start a war and it worked. All the parties in Israel lined up behind this ‘wartime’ leader and so perhaps he will be able to continue as Israel’s leader – and safe from a prison cell. Sure, nearly 250 Palestinian and Israelis died but for him that was a price worth paying as far as he was concerned.

    And Hamas? I think that they won this engagement. It came down to a numbers game between Israeli defence missiles and Hamas missiles – and Hamas had more. President Joe Biden has already vowed to resupply the Iron Dome missile defense system which tells me that they were running out. Hamas had fired off about 4,000 missiles but I read that they had 34,000 available. Sure, the Iron Dome system was intercepting 90% of Hamas missiles but when they run out, than ALL Hamas missiles would be hitting Israel. And that is why Netanyahu called it quits. And those Israeli defence missiles cost from $20,000 to $100,000 each which quickly adds up. And that goes across the board with all Israeli missiles. I saw a video showing a $200,000 missile striking a Hamas launching frame – which would have cost all of about ten bucks. And now Hamas is respected more throughout the Middle East for its resistance. The Palestinians did not have to win to come on top. They only had to not lose.

    The losers? Well the Israelis of course. Yeah, they wanted the attacks to keep going but this time the atrocities were so blatant that the whole world was looking at them anew. And of course there is now going to be trouble between Israelis and Arab-Israelis because of what happened at Al-Aqsa Mosque. The US loses yet once more because the US blocked three separate UN resolutions to call a cease fire but instead shipped more munitions to the Israelis, including bunker-busters. Those countries that recognized Israel recently have now realized the devil’s bargain that they signed and are now facing questioning from their people. I doubt that the Saudi will recognize Israel now as the Israelis are now once more politically radioactive in the Middle East. The results will take years to shake out of this particular war.

    1. John

      “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.” Hillel

      Hubris has its own reward.

  14. Henry Moon Pie

    In the midst of another day with much discouraging news, here’s an article I found encouraging about what is going on in Pine Ridge, South Dakota:

    They started first with a simple straw-bale house. Recruiting students from the local colleges and gathering donated materials, they were able to test what the process might look like. They figured out how to teach young people construction and how to build an energy-efficient house with simple materials. “The process is much more powerful than the deliverables that you see.”

    When I visited, they were putting the finishing touches on the first seven homes. They were arranged in a circle with an open space in the middle. “Traditionally this is how we used to camp,” said Andy. “We call it Tiyóspaye, or family. We really thought about that sense of community in a space. In order to get to the community center, you have to meet your neighbors.” The residents of each circle will get to pick what goes in the open space, anything from a garden, playground, or picnic area.

    What was most interesting to me was the process that led to this effort. It began around a multi-generational spiritual circle, and it has remained a democratic process throughout. One resident described it as a unique experience in her 91-year life:

    “This unci, that means ‘grandma’ in Lakota, she ended up coming up to me. She was 91 years old. And she came up to me and she said, ‘Takoja,’ that means ‘grandson.’ She said, ‘That was the best meeting I ever went to.’ And I was like, ‘Really? Why?’

    “And she said, ‘91 years I lived on this reservation … But in those 91 years, nobody ever asked me what I wanted for my children’s future and my grandchildren’s future. Nobody ever asked me those things and meant it. And today, people asked those things to me and they meant it, and I shared them.’ And she said, ‘That’s why this is the best meeting I ever went to.’”

    1. chuck roast

      South Dakota, huh? Nothing wrong with R-40 insulation. Kinda toasty actually.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “All Those Electric Vehicles Pose a Problem for Building Roads”

    Some are talking about charging drivers based on how far they drive each year? That is just a declaration of war that. So if you live in a city, you will have to pay a lot less than someone who lives in a rural region where everything is spread out and charging stations more rarer. In the US, you are almost talking about the Republican-Democrat divide here. It would never fly. And what about France where the diesel tax sparked off the Yellow-Vest movement with all the riots? Might be fairer and wiser to just add a flat tax on top of annual vehicle registration.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Heavy trucks destroy roads. Cars not so much. Guess which causes more roadbed damage, a prius or a concrete mixer?

  16. Carolinian

    Re Jacobin/Tony Blair–a larger theme comes to mind. Says the article

    Beneath his pragmatic rhetoric, Blair is categorically opposed to any measure that will encroach upon the privileges of the wealthy elite to which he belongs.

    and this neatly sums up why the Left always seems to be betrayed by its leadership. Once their leaders gain the power to do something they also become part of the powerful and begin to share those values (or in the case of Obama already shared those values). Meanwhile this is less of a problem for conservative parties where the seductions of power produce leaders who are neatly aligned with the goal of keeping things as they are.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes said FDR had a second class intellect and a first class temperament but the dismissive remark may point to the solution. What the Dems need are better leaders, not better ideas. Britain too, sounds like.

  17. Nikkikat

    With regard to vaccine side effects. My family including myself have all opted for the Johnson and Johnson. None of us have had any severe side effects. I was the only one out of 10 that had any side effects at all. I had chills for a couple of hours. Both of my neighbors had the Moderna and were ill with side effects for 3 or 4 days. I do not intend to ever get one of the MNRA vaccines.

    1. Eureka Springs

      Thanks for this info. I’m still waiting for JJ. Unfortunately the closest available is about a 90 mile round trip. All kinds of registering and personal info required by either the one wal-mart or walgreens in northwest AR who have it, as well as by appointment only. Meanwhile I’ve checked on several friends and family members this morning who all had their second moderna jab this week. They are all feeling horrible.

    2. AndrewJ

      I had the JJ shot in the evening a week ago – ended up with a 104 fever overnight, lots of body aches, very little sleep. Didn’t get much done the next day. Effects were pretty much resolved 24 hours later.

      1. RMO

        In my circle I can name just over forty friends and family who have been vaccinated ranging from my 80+ year old Mum to those around 40. This includes those with no health problems whatsoever, seniors with adult diabetes, a younger woman who developed diabetes as a child, overweight people, one person without a spleen, one person with reduced spleen function as a result of radiotherapy for cancer, one person who had a serious fight with cancer five years ago, one who is undergoing treatment for cancer right now, those with high blood pressure, those with low blood pressure (me and my Mum) average couch potatoes and the quite athletic. Most of their vaccinations have been Pfizer and a few Moderna (this is in Canada). So far the worst side effects from the first shots has been feeling tired and groggy and sleeping a lot the day after. Everyone got a sore arm for a few days. Only one person I know has had both shots – she works in a long term care home so had priority – and she found the second shot affected her more than the first and she was tired and sleepy for two days afterwards. Personally I just had a sore arm.

        Here in BC we’ve got about 2.5 million out of a 5.5 million population that have had their first shots. Some business and travel restrictions were instituted after cases jumped to 1,300 per day earlier in the year as the variants went wild. We seem to be going steadily down now, under 400 cases per day yesterday. All the stores still require masking and compliance in the places I’ve been has been 100% I’m certainly not planning on giving up my N95 masks until cases are down to single digits or zero for a few weeks at least.

    3. diptherio

      Just for balance here, I got my second Moderna last week and, just as with the first dose, had no side effects to speak of. And I haven’t heard any horror stories from anybody else yet either, and everyone around here has gotten the mRNA.

      1. Jeff W

        Pfizer. Besides a very mildly sore arm both times, the only other side effect I had was I slept about 12 hours each the night of and the night after the second shot.

        I’ve asked about a dozen friends and acquaintances, all of whom got the mRNA vaccines. One person had a mild fever (100.2° F./37.9° C.) that broke after a day; her husband had hives all over—he took Zyrtec on the advice of his doctor and the hives subsided in the next day. Other than that, very mild symptoms (e.g., a sore arm, some fatigue), if that, reported by others. (One person said he experienced “euphoria,” not happiness from being vaccinated, no joke.)

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Tony Blair Wants to Drag the Left Into His Own Political Grave”

    I never really read his Wikipedia entry before but it turned up a few surprises. When younger he live in Oz for a few years but thankfully went back home. He played guitar and sang in a rock band and also did some stand-up comedy. The biggest surprise for me was that his wife – Cherie Blair – was the daughter of Tony Booth who played the son-in-law in “Till Death Us Do Part”(which was copied in the US as “All in the Family”). I still despise Blair though. The best thing that could happen with him is that he becomes totally irrelevant to British politics and is just seen as a relic of an earlier age-

  19. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    “Why is the USDA Buying $40 Million Worth of Pistachios?”

    Perhaps it should be asked why constant government intervention is needed in order to modulate the inefficiencies of supply and demand, market distortions, and “market disequilibrium”, that is, interventions that are designed to support the large scale failures of the current foundational economic myth itself [The laissez-faire myth and its assertion “that the market will find its equilibrium without government or other interventions forcing it into unnatural patterns”]? Noting also, that the money flows of the required interventions always seem to have the added effect of furthering the pecuniary interests of those at the very top of the economic pyramid, as if it were by design.

    The current iteration of the global capitalist enterprise does not even attempt to hide the fact that the private profit of its privileged capitalist class will be protected [backstopped directly by the state itself, or indirectly through the various institutional (quasi)state entities] at any cost; while, their private losses will continue to be socialized, again, at any cost.

    See for example, the unsurprising observations made in the following presentation:

    “2021 Student Investment Fund Annual Meeting Keynote by Stanley Druckenmiller”

  20. Jason Boxman

    COVID treatment bills are destroying an entire generation of people. What a fantastic country!

    The United States is estimated to have spent over $30 billion on coronavirus hospitalizations since the pandemic began, according to Chris Sloan, a principal at the health research firm Avalere. The average cost of each hospital stay is $23,489. Little research has been published on how much of that cost is billed to patients.

    Some coronavirus patients are postponing additional medical care for long-term side effects until they can resolve their existing debts. They are finding that long-haul coronavirus often requires visits to multiple specialists and many scans to resolve lingering symptoms, but they worry about piling up more debt.

    1. Geo

      “What a fantastic country!”

      Indeed. Thanks for the link. Depressing but important to know about.

      The origin of the word fantastic meant “unreal” which is a fitting descriptor for our nation: a society built on myths, idols, and propaganda.

  21. Dirtfarmer

    Why is the USDA Buying $40 Million Worth of Pistachios?

    Because they are grown by a the biggest landowner in California and major political donor to Harris?

    This was linked from Naked Capitalism in June of 2019.

    “the California pistachio industry is obsessed with maintaining a trade war with Iran, one of the world’s leading producers of the salty treat. Stewart and Lynda Resnick, the couple behind The Wonderful Company, one of California’s largest pistachio farms and producers of Fiji Water, have consistently lobbied for a trade war with Iran.

    This pistachio-trade war is the subject of a forthcoming documentary from journalist Yasha Levine and filmmaker Roman Wernham. Pistachio Wars seeks to investigate how the Resnicks “have been responsible for both making the pistachio into a ubiquitous snack food in the U.S. while also eating away at Iran’s global marketshare,” per a profile in Bourse and Bazaar.

    The Resnicks have mobilized the California pistachio industry, turning them into foot soldiers in the attempt to keep financial pressures on Iran; at the same time, The Wonderful Company has been one of the foremost figures in commodifying water, donating to specific political campaigns and figures that would support their business over the entire population of California. In the process, The Wonderful Company has undermined environmental protections while still maintaining a liberal image in the eye of the public through donations to presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.

  22. Phil in KC

    Under Class Warfare, “We Need To Stop Taking Employers’ Viewpoint as Gospel.” Amen!

    I listened to an interview on my local NPR station this week with the new Trumpy Senator from Kansas, Dr. Roger Marshall. The interviewer allowed Dr. Marshall to gush and pother over the plight of employers all across the state of Kansas, employers who need to have the unemployment benefits cut so workers will have an incentive to return to work. Marshall said he had spoken with hundreds of employers on this and they all agreed the augmented benefit must end.

    To his discredit, the interviewer did not ask how many unemployed people Marshall had talked to about the same subject. Steve Kraske, the interviewer, teaches journalism at a local university and is unfailingly polite to guests, but let this one go by for hit.

    I think Senators like Marshall and governors like Parson in my state of Missouri should spend some time visiting with folks in trailer parks and homeless shelters to find out for themselves how good the down-and-out have in this nation. I am sure they more much more aware of conditions among the upper classes than those at the bottom.

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