Links 5/9/2021

Why do we think cats are unfriendly? BBC. From 2020, still germane.

Cyber attack shuts down U.S. fuel pipeline ‘jugular,’ Biden briefed Reuters. Oddly, Colonial’s enormous leak hasn’t generated the same level of coverage.

Wyoming backs coal with $1.2M threat to sue other states AP

Amazon Fake Reviews Scam Exposed in Data Breach Safety Detectives


Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19 American Journal of Therapeutics (peer-reviewed; Wolters Kluwer; in MEDLINE). Conclusions: “Meta-analyses based on 18 randomized controlled treatment trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 have found large, statistically significant reductions in mortality, time to clinical recovery, and time to viral clearance. Furthermore, results from numerous controlled prophylaxis trials report significantly reduced risks of contracting COVID-19 with the regular use of ivermectin. Finally, the many examples of ivermectin distribution campaigns leading to rapid population-wide decreases in morbidity and mortality indicate that an oral agent effective in all phases of COVID-19 has been identified.”

* * *

An evolutionary portrait of the progenitor SARS-CoV-2 and its dominant offshoots in COVID-19 pandemic (accepted manuscript) (PDF) Molecular Biology. From the Abstract: “However, multiple coronavirus infections in China and the USA harbored the progenitor [SARS‐CoV‐2] genetic fingerprint in January 2020 and later, suggesting that the progenitor was spreading worldwide months before and after the first reported cases of COVID‐19 in China.” Consistent with discovery of Covid infections in Italy in late 2019 (Links 2021-5-4).

* * *

Covid Pitted Life Against Liberty and Vanquished Both John Authers, Bloomberg

CDC’s Guidelines for When It’s Safe to Still Wear Lounge Pants McSweeney’s Internet Tendency (nvl).


Huge Chinese rocket booster falls to Earth over Arabian Peninsula Space. Splashing down, apparently, near the Maldives in the India Ocean.


Myanmar’s junta approves US$2.8 billion investment, including gas power plant Channel News Asia

Illegal Rare Earth Mines on China Border Multiply Since Myanmar’s Coup The Irrawaddy

Under Military Rule, Myanmar Has Retreated to the Keypad Phone Age The Diplomat

Beyond the Coup in Myanmar: A Northern View Just Security. Hmm.


India’s Supreme Court sets up task force over oxygen crisis FT

India’s COVID-19 emergency The Lancet

Why the 1974 All-India Railway Strike Is Relevant Even Today The Wire

Ramachandra Guha: Future of Indian democracy may hinge on Election Commission regaining credibility


A bit crude:

White Helmets corruption scandal deepens: Dutch gov’t investigated parent org for fraud, but covered it up The Grayzone

‘Conspiracy is hard’: Inside the Trump administration’s secret plan to kill Qassem Soleimani Yahoo News


Election results: Boris Johnson invites devolved leaders to Union summit – as he hails ‘Team UK’ Sky News. Surely “devolved leaders” casts a rather broad net?

SNP election win: Johnson sets up summit as Sturgeon pledges second referendum Guardian. Not enthusiastic about 50%+1 referenda.

Election results: Alex Salmond admits he may not lead Alba much longer after disappointment at polls Sky News

Keir Starmer’s sacking of Angela Rayner is self-destructive, stupid and wrong New Statesman

The Left Must Take Back Labour Craig Murray. “Starmer is down now.” Periodically, I quote this passage from Pratchett’s Guards, Guards: “‘Corporal Nobbs,’ [Vimes] rasped, ‘why are you kicking people when they’re down?’ ‘Safest way, sir,’ said Nobby.”

Homelooseness London Review of Books. The North remembers….

* * *

EU agrees potential 1.8 billion-dose purchase of Pfizer jab AP

New Cold War

U.S. Doesn’t Accept ‘Spheres Of Influence,’ Blinken Says In Comments Aimed At Russia Radio Free Europe. Holy [family blog].

Secretary Blinken Faces a Big Test in Ukraine, Where Nazis and Their Sympathizers Are Glorified The Nation

“The Russia question.” James W. Carden, Marshall Auerback, and Patrick Lawrence, The Scrum

Private equity funds eye Venezuela acquisitions on hopes Biden could ease sanctions Reuters

Migration, corruption, tree-planting on agenda of López Obrador-Kamala Harris meeting Mexico News Daily

El Salvador’s parliament removes checks and balances on President Bukele’s powers Global Voices (Re Silc).

Biden Administration

Jobs surprise triggers battle over federal aid Politico

American Family Values and Biden’s Families Plan Adam Tooze, Chartbook

Biden fills immigration court with Trump hires The Hill

The most significant piece of justice reform in decades is flaming out Reuters

Biden’s under-the-radar domestic agenda The Hill

Should Biden Emphasize Race or Class or Both or None of the Above? NYT

The Hume paradox: how great philosophy leads to dismal politics Prospect

Our Famously Free Press

Oh, my sweet summer child:

Kosinski (net worth $5 million) has been a Senior Diplomatic Correspondent for CNN and White House Correspondent for CNN. She was a foreign correspondent for NBC News based in London; before that she was a correspondent based in Miami. Another illustration that journalists view themselves as in the same class as those they “cover.”

BBC owned:

Big Tech’s Censors Come for Science Jacobin

Journalists running PR for a US government privacy app Yasha Levine, Immigrants as a Weapon

Trump Abused the System. Facebook Created It Wired (Re Silc).

“Keep As Much Money As You Can”: Hunter Biden Disclosures Offer New Details On His Chinese Financial Dealings And Association Jonathan Turley. If we’d crossed out “Hunter Biden” and written in, say, “Jared Kushner,” the news cycles on this biography would still be cranked up to 11, after months of coverage.

Police State Watch

NYPD Oversight Board Overturned Hundreds of Its Own Police Misconduct Findings The City


Chris Hedges on the Ruling Class’ Revenge Against Julian Assange Scheerpost

Black Injustice Tipping Point

The Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race The Hill. Sigh.

We Found the Textbooks of Senators Who Oppose The 1619 Project and Suddenly Everything Makes Sense The Root (marym).Interesting methodology. And, since Google will have censored it, this. Sadly, the opposite of false history is not false history, even in a textbook controversy.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Clown Show: Three Inept Foreign Policy Initiatives The American Conservative

Gender reveal mine announces Navy’s next ship will be a dud Duffel Blog

Pittsburgh & Allegheny Co. leaders search for solutions after U.S. Steel cancels billion dollar investment WPXI

Class Warfare

After being hired in huge numbers, US delivery workers are losing their jobs Quartz

It’s not a ‘labor shortage.’ It’s a great reassessment of work in America. WaPo. “‘The problem is we are not making enough money to make it worth it to go back to these jobs that are difficult and dirty and usually thankless. You’re getting yelled at and disrespected all day. It’s hell,’ said Sara, who is 31. She added that with two young kids, finding child care has also been a huge issue lately. The couple have decided to sell their suburban Detroit home and buy a camper van to travel the country. They hope to home-school their kids and spend more time as a family.”

The Business Class Has Been Fearmongering About Worker Shortages for Centuries The Intercept (Re Silc).

How copyright filters lead to wage-theft Cory Doctorow,

Do Communist-Led States Protect Public Health Better Than Capitalism? Marxism-Leninism Today

How Tech Loses Out over at Companies, Countries and Continents Bert Hubert (drumlin woodchuckles). From January, still germane.

Lying to the ghost in the machine Charlie’s Diary. On AI; important!

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus antidote (nvl):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. Tom Stone

      There might be other causes of violent crime than GUNZ, no?
      Poverty, lack of opportunity,desperation, systemic corruption and injustice, things like that.

      “Gun Violence” is an interesting phrase, it didn’t show up before 9/11 and it implies that Guns have agency, that they are”Malum in Se”.
      Restricting the ownership of firearms by law abiding citizens does not reduce violent crime because violent criminals are not law abiding…
      And the numbers are in, there have been a number of studies on the effect of firearms bans and firearms ownership on crime, particularly violent crime.
      The UK provides a beautiful case study, they have excellent records of crime going back before 1900 and the “Firearms Act” of 1920 gives a cut off date and 100 years of data regarding firearms ownership after their possession was banned for poor people.
      In 1919 you could walk into the vicker’s showroom, plonk down you cash and walk out with a belt fed machine gun.
      In 1920 firearm ownership became restrictive, shotguns for the wealthy and rifles for their game keepers was about it.
      The plague of “Knife Violence” became so bad last year that the UK Ministry of Defence offered to step in…and while most categories of crime stayed about the same between 1920 and 2020 one category exploded.
      Rape, by more than 4,000%.

      1. Fireship

        The use of “favela” implies the “Poverty, lack of opportunity, desperation, systemic corruption and injustice”. Totally agree with you, Tom. I have made the point before that the US is becoming Brazil with nukes. As for firearm laws? Give every citizen a small nuke, I say. The sooner you guys Darwin yourselves, the better for the rest of the world.

      2. Wukchumni

        You’d think judging from hyperbole that everybody was knifing one another in the UK…

        Looked up the numbers, and there were 285 homicides with a knife or sharp instrument in the UK in 2019. Looks as if there was around 50 homicides by guns in the same year.

        In contrast there was 1,476 homicides by knife or sharp instrument in the USA the same year, which is almost exactly the same amount as the UK based on population.

    2. Mikel

      “While many expected gun violence to decrease during the pandemic, when crowded meeting places were closed and people sent to stay at home, it has surged during the coronavirus.”

      Shouldn’t have been unexpected. Domestic gun violence is way more likely than stranger gun violence.

      1. Wukchumni

        Domestic gun violence is way more likely than stranger gun violence.

        COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In a “senseless act of violence” early Sunday morning, a man drove to a birthday party at a mobile home, walked inside and started shooting, killing six people and himself, according to police.

        Police said it appeared the shooter was the boyfriend of one of the female victims. Friends, family and children were gathered inside the trailer to celebrate when the shooting occurred. The children were not injured and are now with relatives, police said.
        The thing about using a shiv or stiletto to murder somebody is you have to initiate physical contact with your victim. Most people can’t do this, but guns are different in that you dispatch from a distance utilizing only an index finger as a trigger mechanism, Big Difference.

    3. Futurebroketeacher

      “Onwards and downwards”? That sounds familiar. Might you be a WAFer?

  1. Zzzz Andrew

    Sleaford Mods! Been waiting to hear what Jason Williamson has to say about the Labour debacle in Nottingham … I’m not sure they meet the bar for “decent groove” by NC standards, but as politically conscious working class music, this American thinks they’re (familyblog)ing riveting.

    1. tommystrange

      Indeed, also ‘new’ in similar vein… The Idles…..(Mercedes marxist video is almost social realist art!). and The Clockworks!

      1. Zzzz Andrew

        Will check out The Clockworks, thanks.

        As it happens, Jason and the Idles have a feud going! (over his accusation that they’re basically faux-left without the class commitment, can’t say whether that’s fair or not):

        Jason on the Idles:

        Joe Talbot of the Idles on Jason:

        And I’d missed that Jason (from Nottingham) already said his bit on Labour, in line with a lot of the comments posted here in the last couple of days, when the party suspended him back in 2016 (

        “You know, it’s quite them, isn’t it, what can I expect … I kind of broke membership rules, so to speak, um, so what? you know, I mean, I just joined, like I say, to support Jeremy Corbyn. … It’s not really my party, really, I think I kind of almost bizarrely view Jeremy Corbyn as different from the Labour Party. … He’s the only one out of all of them that is making people listen at the minute.”

  2. A.

    I’m impressed by the arrogance and/or the ignorance in the BBC post that states right in the first sentence that we domesticated cats. Mensch, your cat doesn’t give a damn about you, and will leave you the first minute he thinks it’s expedient. She cares little as you leave for work every day, but you go on a fit every time she disappears. To you he means the world, but for him you’re just another broad. You love her, but you will never be sure she loves you back. Who domesticated whom again?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Agree here. When Lambert said ‘Why do we think cats are unfriendly? BBC. From 2020” , he neglected to mention whether that was BC or AD.

    2. Pat

      As some one who cat sits, I have to tell you you would be surprised at how attached cats can be to their owners. So it does not look like it does with dogs, there are signs. For instance in one case I know that about the third day, the cats will come as I open the door only to turn away as soon as they see me. They begin “yelling” at me to let me know they are not happy a day or two after that, before I can pet or groom them. They “like” me well enough, they know I provide food and clean the litter box, but I am not their humans.

      1. Yves Smith

        Indoor cats will be very attached to their owners. Some breeds are bred to care about humans. Abys are like that as well as Bengals and Scottish Folds. Maine Coons I am told are very friendly too. And most rescue cats remember that they were saved by their human.

        My cats would always scold me if I was away for more than a day, and scolding intensity was related to length of absence.

    3. PHLDenizen

      As the owner of two (2) ragdolls, both of whom are wholly unequipped to live outside or without human caretakers, I vehemently disagree. I also grew up with several cats, so I’m accustomed to the ways in which they express themselves. Cats have personalities and affinities towards certain people, regarding with suspicion others. The introversion/extroversion dichotomy applies to cats. The tails and ears are a large part of their communication styles, so ignore those at your own peril.

      Hemingway loved his cats. Twain, Eliot, Dickens, Gaiman. Bill Watterson’s own tabby Sprite inspired the look and personality of Hobbes of Calvin and Hobbes fame. Cat owners are in good company.

      1. Petter

        Thinking is not enough.
        Nothing is. There is no final enough of wisdom, experience — any fucking thing. No Holy Grail, no Final Satori, no final solution. Just conflict.
        Only thing can resolve conflict is love, like I felt for Fletch and Ruski, Spooner and Calico. Pure love.
        What I feel for my cats present and past.
        Love? What is It?
        Most natural painkiller what there is.
        W.S. Burroughs

        1. mary jensen

          Again from Bill Burroughs’ “The Cat Inside”:

          “Evidence indicates that cats were first tamed in Egypt. The Egyptians stored grain, which attracted rodents, which attracted cats. (No evidence that such a thing happened with the Mayans, though a number of wild cats are native to the area.) I don’t think this is accurate. It is certainly not the whole story. Cats didn’t start as mousers. Weasels and snakes and dogs are more efficient as rodent-control agents. I postulate that cats started as psychic companions, as Familiars, and have never deviated from this function.”

          I agree unequivocally with ‘Uncle Bill’.

      2. Brunches with Cats

        Agree with you 95 percent, PHL. The 5-percent disagreement is with the concept of ownership, unless perhaps you take for granted that it goes both ways. Those of us deemed by a feline as suitable companions are no more their owners than we are of our human partners, children, friends, etc. That we are responsible for their well-being, including setting certain limits (e.g., keeping them “captive” indoors, for which they exact revenge through subtle and devastating means of guilt-tripping) still doesn’t confer ownership.

        The BBC article acknowledges that feline independence, while appealing to many people, is a likely source of their reputation as “unfriendly,” but he dances around what I believe is the main objection: cats can’t be owned, and many people are uncomfortable with sharing the control in a relationship.

    1. Lee

      Thanks for the working link. Here in the SF bay area I, other members of my household, and many others locally according to my GP got a really nasty, long lasting respiratory infection in January 2020.

      1. TalkingCargo

        Just one anecdote but I had a bad case of the flu in early December 2019 that in retrospect was similar to the Covid cases. I had serious muscle aches throughout my body and a complete lack of energy. I stayed off my feet for 2 days. After 2 weeks I felt fully recovered but I did experience one brief episode of shortness of breath which was new for me. Unlike the typical flu, there was no sinus congestion. I don’t recall losing my sense of smell or taste though.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Sorry to hear that. NC has drawn attention to the studies showing earlier and earlier concrete evidence of Sars-Cov2 aka Covid-19. Early December 2019 was initially “impossible”. Now it seems, very possible.

          I, being a former professor of Health Services Research, initially thought my Feb 2020 horrid illness couldn’t be Covid-19. Now I am 90% sure it was. I, and two immediate blood relatives have appointments with hospital specialists in fields that have seen the “key auto immune sustained flare ups following Covid-19 illness”. In short, we may all have long covid.

  3. Carla

    Lambert, thank you for the “Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of” — the Drug that Must Not Be Named, because identifying it will automatically trigger Moderation of this comment, making unnecessary work for the intrepid NC team.

    I am sharing the link with many friends and relatives, as well as the few medical professionals I happen to know — and I hope others in the Commentariat will do so as well. Big Pharma will pull out all the stops to silence information about an inexpensive, safe, widely available drug that is an effective preventative, and treatment, for the scourge of Covid-19. It’s up to us little people to fight censorship of this information.

      1. Richard Needleman

        JAMA, considered the gold standard for clinical research in the US, has just published an article on March 4 by Lopez-Medina et al. claiming that “the compound that can not be named” is ineffective in C19.

        As a start, read the comments in JAMA and then those in an open letter signed by 100 physicians pointing our the flaws in this study ( As a scientist and reviewer I can state that the paper would be embarrassing for anything other than a paper submitted to a Junior High School Science Fair. Well-designed studies with much more data, including meta-analyses, coming to the ‘opposite conclusion’ have been accepted after peer review in other journals like Nature and the Lancet, only to have the editors reject them. A practice I have never heard of…

        Yet JAMA is, ‘a journal other professionals would find to be credible’. Laymen accept the cachet of the top journals but nobody who publishes in them does. Paper quality varies widely in the ‘top journals’ even when there are no financial interests at stake but I have had many amusing conversations at meetings about terrible papers published in them. Now add to that that massive money stakes are involved in the veracity of the statement that ‘IVM is safe, cheap, and extraordinarily effective’. Vaccines for variants, alternative useless but expensive meds like remdesivir, new oral medications, etc. are potentially worth at least 10’s of billions of dollars.

        JAMA and other journals, WHO, medical schools, and to a lesser extent NIH, have been captured by big Pharma and the interests of Bill and Melinda Gates. Unfortunately writing this I have reproduced the insanity of those that claim that scientists have a cure for cancer but are suppressing it to ensure their incomes. However, simply look at the resistance to supplying vaccine off-patent to the world population to avoid massive death for an example of the same attitude.

        There are no ‘credible’ journals but no lack of medical professionals who do not read the literature but depend upon the NIH, WHO, and JAMA rather than forming their own opinions from the data and acting upon them in the clinic. A hopeful sign is that many front-line physicians recognize that their judgement matters and are willing to take on the derision of their colleagues by supplying their patients with IVM. It is called practicing medicine and is an ethical responsibility that can not be avoided.

        1. Eustachedesaintpierre

          The IndependantWHO, apparently started by scientists that left the WHO due to disgust in the way that they handled both Chernobyl & Fukishima.

          Perhaps many here are aware of them but here are their demands :

          The IndependentWHO collective believes that, in the area of radioprotection, WHO should, as a matter of urgency, put in place the following 6 points :

          1.To reinstate the Health and Radiation Department and recruit independent and internationally recognised experts to lead and coordinate responses to public health disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima and also to investigate the health consequences of nuclear-related activities in general .

          2. To take immediate action, in collaboration with appropriately qualified partners including the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), to ensure that medical care, treatment and adequate radioprotection are provided to populations in the affected areas.

          3. As a priority, to coordinate with appropriately qualified partners, the importation of uncontaminated food to meet all the nutritional needs of the populations living in the affected areas and the implementation of medical interventions (such as the daily administration of apple pectin) which are known to facilitate the elimination of radionuclides and significantly reduce the radioactive dose delivered to sensitive cells and organs.

          4. To establish a Commission on Radiation and Health made up of independent experts to undertake a scientific study of the health consequences of the accident at Chernobyl, including all studies undertaken by independent researchers, having no connections, financial or otherwise, to the nuclear industry or associated bodies, and to report their findings to the World Health Assembly organised by WHO.

          5.Within the Commission, to establish working groups to examine and report on the available evidence, the gaps in research in relation to different aspects of radioprotection, and as a priority, establish a working group on the health consequences of chronic, low dose, internal radiation and a working group on damage to the human genome from both external and internal sources of radiation.

          6. To publish and make available in full, the proceedings of the Geneva 1995 and Kiev 2001 conferences on the health consequences of Chernobyl.

  4. paul

    RE: SNP election win: Johnson sets up summit as Sturgeon pledges second referendum

    There have been such ‘pledges’ before:

    (from wikipedia)

    On 13 October 2016, Sturgeon announced that an Independence Referendum Bill will be published for consultation the following week.

    Following the 2017 UK general election, Sturgeon announced that the Scottish Government would postpone legislation on the proposed second referendum on Scottish independence until at least autumn 2018 when it was believed that the outcome of Brexit negotiations would become clearer.

    In April 2019, Sturgeon proposed holding a second referendum before the end of the Scottish Parliamentary session in May 2021.

    In March 2020, the Scottish Government halted plans for a referendum due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The wholly undemocratic union of 1707 is certainly safe in her hands.

    1. fumo

      Question for the commentariat- Last week, Sturgeon commented that in the event of Scottish independence her intention is to use the GBP for years if need be until a new arrangement—presumably joining the EZ—can be made. This sounds like madness on its face to this economically naïve reader. What would be the biggest or likely dangers of an independent Scotland using a currency they have no control over?

      1. Anonymous 2

        The Republic of Ireland effectively used the pound sterling for decades after independence so it can be done.

        Arguably a fairly comparable situation. The Republic did have a hard time but I doubt having their own currency would have made much difference.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Sorry, that was practically all under Bretton Woods so currencies were practically fixed against each other. The Republic was effectively on the gold standard.

          The world today is completely different. MMT advises currency sovereignty.

          1. Anonymous 2

            Indeed but Sturgeon seems to have been saying that they would keep the pound until a new arrangement can be made so I am assuming we are thinking in terms of years rather than decades.

            Other countries than the EZ and the US use the euro or the dollar even now so it is not impossible.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          Yes, Ireland used the pound sterling for decades after independance, which arguably means it wasn’t very independant. The price of this was having to trade in a very overvalued currency for the economy which probably contributed to the 4 or so decades of low growth it suffered (not unlike Italy post the Euro). Later on it floated and joined EMU. Arguably, there was really no choice, the state of the Irish economy would have meant establishing a viable currency would have been very difficult, even allowing for the technical issues with creating a currency.

          1. paul

            Technical differences can be overcome.
            Sovereignty must be decided.
            The cult of nicola, the patron saint of women who agree with her, echoes de valera too much for my taste.

            A man who would drive out the best ( which is why I’m here) rather than rock a foreign designed boat

      2. jsn

        It is a veiled concession she is not interested in real independence.

        With control of the Pound, the BOE can throttle the Scott’s economy for any policy it objects to.

        1. fumo

          What mechanisms could the BOE use to focus pressure in a directed way towards Scotland without invoking currency controls?

      3. HotFlash

        Let’s see. Well, I don’t think it really matters whether they are at the whim of the English govt (whatever that would be), or the Euro govt. Either way, they are not a monetary sovereign. England will probably be peeved, so (Bank of) England might make them suffer. As for the EZ and the Euro, just ask Greece how well that worked out for them.

        Don’t see it ending well for an independent Scotland.

      4. The Rev Kev

        I suspect that Sturgeon will push for Independence for Scotland in the same way that the US Democrats push healthcare-for-all in America. I wonder if the Scottish Parliament has an actual Parliamentarian or not?

      5. PlutoniumKun

        I don’t think a viable independant currency is possible for Scotland in the short to medium term. For all the reasons that were discussed during the Greek crisis here, the IT and administrative costs are astronomical – it would take an absolute minimum of 2 years to do work out the logistics.

        I’m assuming the plan would be to have a Scottish pound linked initially to GBP, until such a time as it could float, and then they could make a decision as to whether to join the Euro. I can’t see any other viable way forward, even an immediate adoption of the euro would be extremely difficult – although note that a number of non-EU countries such as Montenegro and Kosovo have adopted the euro without actually asking), and others, such as Cuba and Syria, use it as a trading currency. So the EU’s permission is not required if they wanted to go in that direction.

        Its important to remember that MMT policies are much less applicable in small open economies than in larger more self contained ones. So its not clear to me that the advantage of being able to take an MMT approach would outweigh the problems of trying to adopt and maintain a minor currency.

        1. paul

          We have scottish notes here already.
          There might be a little conversion hiccups, but whose to say which way they will go?

          I bought my mother some milk with them this morning.
          As we have the most fabulous and able financial class doing less and less, I get all Julie Andrews about these technicalities.

      6. paul

        I was about to comment yesterday, or the day before,
        Our first minister has no interest or appetite for independence.
        So her wilful ignorance of currency issuance or usage is hardly even moot.

    2. Anonymous 2

      Thank you for reminding us about that.

      I suspect nevertheless that the SNP will have to go for it this parliamentary term (i.e. by 2026 at the latest) or they will lose credibility.

      I think one of the factors affecting their thinking is the demographics. I remember calculations being made in 2014 that, because the old voted for the Union, and it is an issue where people are reluctant to change their minds, the expectation was that Independence would move into a majority position in 2024. Sturgeon may be reluctant to move at present – and have been in the recent past – for a number of reasons but one of them could be that the SNP really lacked confidence that they would win. A second defeat arguably would put them back a long way.

      1. paul

        But do you ,in your memories of something or other, factor in the four estates in action for their interests?

        The media were fore square behind Mrs Murrell and the message of SNP 1 and 2, which gifted a million votes to her dramatic antagonists.

        Sturgeon may be reluctant to move at present

        Make that forever

  5. John A

    Re: U.S. Doesn’t Accept ‘Spheres Of Influence,’ Blinken Says In Comments Aimed At Russia

    President Munroe says hi.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Trump was too incoherent, but Obama, Bush(s), and Carter all expanded the US sphere of influence. Given Colombia and the Likudniks in recent days, my guess is countries know Biden has blundered too much and won’t control the US’s more repulsive flunkies.

        1. The Rev Kev

          If Blinken says that there are no such things as ‘Spheres Of Influence’, does that mean that he would be OK with the Russians building a naval base in Cuba and the Chinese establishing advance military bases in Calgary and Ciudad Victoria? Maybe freedom of navigation exercises too in the Straits of Florida & the Gulf of California?

 (5 secs)

    2. John

      Is Blinken programmed to utter idiocies, so steeped in his chosen view of the world that he sees nothing else, or totally clueless?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The brainwashing and worldview similarity at that level prevents much from getting through, and even then, the cognitive dissonance is so great they simply would never be able to grasp reality. As sad as it is, the generals eager for a cushy corporate board gig are the best hope of peace in the world because they live in fear of a military disaster coming on their watch.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Why does so much of America’s ” left ” rigidly refuse to accept this basic fact? I suspect that early spiritual pollution, corruption and contamination by Quaker Pacifist Sub-humanism into the deep brain of the left causes this broad sub-humanist pacifism and deep anti-soldieritic bigotry
          on the left.

          Joan Baez has come to be a figure of deep spiritual disgust and nausea and revulsion to me. She too would rigidly refuse to see the reality of this point about the cushy-perch-seeking generals.

    3. Samuel Conner

      While US doesn’t recognize spheres of influence, I believe that — based on observation — it does recognize flattened ellipsoids.

      Oysters are approximately that shape, and so it is not hypocrisy for US to reckon that the world is its oyster.

      1. Michael

        Considering congressional districts, there is a chance these artists are just getting started.

        Add in the arctic, the deep blue sea and space and if you can’t do 3D learn to code flat lander!

    4. km

      That was something like my thought. Actually, it was more like “that’s [family logging] rich, coming from the folks who gave us the Monroe Doctrine!”

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The Bush doctrine which Obama reaffirmed. We don’t even need to go to the distant past just Obama at AIPAC in 2012 for the US to claim lordship over the Earth.

    1. Mantid

      Dear NVL. And……. So …….. Are you implying something specific? If you are, let us in on the implications thereof. I have seen a handful of both Dr. Campbell and Dr. Kory’s presentations and I’m not sure what you’d like us to understand. Thanks.

    2. Eustachedesaintpierre

      Pierre Cory on the last but one FLCCC update featured a US lawyer named Ralph C. Lorigo who successfully forced hospitals to give Ivermectin to patients on their last legs all of which recovered. The judges involved all ruled in favour, with one hospital being threatened with contempt of court because of the hospital’s claim that they had lost their supply of the drug.

      In the last but one update PC related his amazement that during his Ivermectin senate hearing it was the Dems who were extremely hostile, most of whom walked out early. Democrat Gary Peters being the most critical so I typed his name into Duck go go followed by the words big pharma which led to a Detroit News article stating that he had received $ 49,500 from drugmaker PACs whatever they are.

      Yves & Nick Corbishly also got a heads up for the Now it’s time to talk about Ivermectin article.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        The reason I hate YouTube in cases like this is that nothing, nothing of what you say can be independently verified except by taking X minutes to listen and then making a transcript, manually.

        1. Mantid

          Hi Lambert, I hear you. I watched NVL’s link from above and by chance Doc. Corey’s description of his “hostile” treatment by democrats is at the very beginning, about 30 seconds in. It’s good when a person references a long video to put the specific time line related to the discussion for ease. The link again:

      2. John Anthony La Pietra

        FWIW, Pfizer has connections to Michigan — through its acquisition of Pharmacia which had previously acquired Kalamazoo-based Upjohn.

  6. Mikel

    RE: As an American journalist, you never expect:
    1. Your own govt to lie to you, repeatedly
    2. Your own govt to hide information the public has a right to know
    3. Your own govt to spy on your communications

    Trump’s unAmerican regime did all of these.
    No one should accept this.”

    Journalists have been needed BECAUSE OF things like 1, 2, and 3 existing long before Trump…and in America…the actual America and not the fantasy.

    1. BoyDownTheLane

      What he said… for decades before I was born (and I’m an old geezer)…

    2. Synoia

      Bombing Cambodia
      Vietnam War
      House Committee 0f un American Activities
      Perl Harbor
      Assange and Collateral Murder

      That’s a sample of collections of lies told the American people.

      As an American journalist, you should expect:
      1. Your own govt to lie to you, repeatedly
      2. Your own govt to hide information the public has a right to know
      3. Your own govt to spy on your communications

    3. Questa Nota

      A bit rich of Kosinski, a CNN employee, to whinge about lying. Her network is an enabler, a co-dependent and various other intersectionalities rolled into one cluster*.

    4. km

      Sweet mother of [familyblog] the denial is strong in this jackass! Even by the standards of journalists.

  7. timbers

    The Left Must Take Back Labour Craig Murray (and assorted other UK links)

    Every once in a great while, I refer back to a short post entitled – When Nothing “Left” Is Left The People Will Vote Far Right. I do this to anchor back to a fairly brief and solid piece that helps explain to myself what reality really is and why everything seems to be either gong backwards or falling apart for no apparent reason.

    1. David

      What today’s performative “Left” parties don’t understand is that political parties are not brands to which voters develop loyalty through advertising. In the past, people considered themselves “Labour” (or in other countries other left-wing) party voters because they knew what these parties represented, and agreed with that. If you voted Labour in the 1980s, you knew what you were voting for, and it was a traditional, if mild, form of British socialism. By the 90s, this had started to change, and in recent years, the casual newspaper reader could be forgiven for thinking that the burning issue for parties of the performative “Left” was, oh let’s say, equal rights for transexual weightlifters, or suppressing the history of your country. There’s absolutely no reason why people should vote for a party that they feel doesn’t represent them and their interests, no matter how clever the advertising. That’s the party’s fault, not the fault of the voters, who don’t owe politicians anything, in spite of what you might sometimes think from the media.
      It’s not a question of voters moving from “Left” to “Right”. It’s about voters giving their support to parties that speak to them about issues that concern them. Given enough expenditure on consultants and focused groups, Labour might eventually understand this.

      1. The Rev Kev

        It used to be true in England a very long time ago that if a political party worker wanted to find out who a person was really going to vote for in an election, that they would simply ask them who their father voted for. Of course these days all bets are off.

      2. flora

        Greenwald enjoys a moment of schadenfreude.

        Every now and then, politics delivers moments that make you remember why it can be so gratifying and rewarding.

        One such time is when it doles out endless punishment to those who deserve it most: such as watching UK Labour leaders viciously turn on each other. It’s heart-warming

    2. Carla

      Re: “When Nothing “Left” Is Left The People Will Vote Far Right” — I searched for this and haven’t been able to find it. Could you possibly post a link? Thanks.

  8. PlutoniumKun

    Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19 American Journal of Therapeutics

    I’ve been on the fence about Ivermectin for a while, but it seems the evidence is becoming overwhelming that it is a cheap and effective treatment.

    This morning I was reading this very long, but absolutely essential twitter thread from Jose-Luis Jimenez on the whole aerosol vs droplets/fomite issue. When you tie the aerosol failure with the debacle over travel advice (still going on), along with the baffling resistance of the medical establishment to look carefully at Ivermectin and other cheap, simple possible treatments, it all adds up to a scientific failure of colossal scale. In decades to come this will be a textbook example of multilevel failures by the spectrum of scientific authorities. Every time someone says ‘the Covid vaccine is proof of how amazing science is!’ or ‘the vaccine is the greatest scientific breakthrough in history!’ (yes, I’ve heard those multiple times, I can feel my teeth grinding.

    I’ve no idea if there will ever be a reckoning for this among WHO and national equivalents, not to mention the numerous scientists and medical authorities who got this so badly wrong, but I very much doubt it.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > it all adds up to a scientific failure of colossal scale.

      For some definition of failure, yes. I agree that Jimenez thread is very good; the droplets v. aerosols battle is indeed a paradigmatic case of a paradigm shift, heh heh. I will be posting on aerosols tomorrow….

      1. Synoia

        The difference between droplets, small droplets, and aerosols is not precisely defined, and all happen at the same time, as anyone who has wielded a garden hose could attest.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Maybe a fame-seeking virologist could come up with a new name for virus-aerosols in order to put the concept across that way.

        Virosols. Or maybe virusols.

      3. Mantid

        Dear Lambert and Plutonium, the question is, failure… who’s. I just realized the irony there. Actually it’s the opposite of failure if looked at from Pfizer’s point of view. From the Guardian: “the husband and wife team Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci – both doctors – became multibillionaires last year, when the potential of the vaccine and the deal with Pfizer prompted the shares to surge.” Link:

        Humanity’s failure, Pfizer et. al ….. a grand success!!

    2. TalkingCargo

      I think part of the problem is, as Carl Sagan pointed out, “We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.”

      The average person doesn’t seem to understand that understanding a new virus requires research and that takes time. They expect the cure to be available on Amazon for home delivery tomorrow.

      1. Kurtismayfield

        Everytime I try to explain technology, I realize that I am slowly becoming a tech priest from the Foundation series in the US.

    3. Ignacio

      Jimenez’s thread does precisely demonstrate that science is usually not accepted by the establishment, so it is not a scientific failure but a political failure. The WHO or the CDC are not scientific but political institutions (like any other -political- healthcare institution and the many other failures these have committed) and the situation this year paralleled very much that of the resistance of London authorities to accept cholera could be transmitted through the water. These days the politics did not want people to be very much aware of the risks in closed environments probably because this would endanger lots of activities of economic importance. Nobody wanted to say loudly that offices, commercial buildings, factories, planes, restaurants… could be high risk spaces.

      When I read ‘scientific failure’ as if scientists were badly advising the authorities my teeth tremble. Scientists have been, as usual, very much ignored this time and the people that analysed and demonstrated air transmission were… scientists!

      1. Ignacio

        And the latest and quite disingenuous (political) claim that I have read is that ‘most contagions occur at home’ as a way to defend that people should fear their home and go more often to business places which are safer. It may well be true that homes are the sites where more contagions occur but from the epidemiological point of view the important thing is HOW the disease enter homes and where outside homes is the virus acquired: Bars, workplaces, meetings…

        1. Ignacio

          I wouldn’t like to be look paranoid but it seems that trust on scientists, particularly virologists and epidemiologists has been (intentionally?) eroded and scientists are easily deemed guilty of failure if not directly responsible for the pandemic via lab escape.

          I cannot count the many times I have been ignored trying to advise people on the pandemic. I am no longer a scientist but my mind still tries to find scientific reasons..

      2. skippy

        Concur and would add that cookie cutter ideologies/economics precede any notion of science being applied, albeit using social soft science to go Grandin on the unwashed – PR/Marketing receives vast sums of monies … sorta like C-corps biggest line item …

        Never knew Science started with the precept of a lie ….

    4. Cuibono

      Got wrong? Got wrong?
      You realize we are creating a new Billionaire every 17 hours?
      Seems they got this just right.

    5. Maritimer

      In my jurisdiction like most others, the Authorities talk about overloading hospitals, flatten the curve. Despite this, they have failed to offer ANY prophylactic measures like Vitamin D.

      In addition, they have failed to recommend any sort of early treatment should one become sick from Covid. For example, Ivermectin. It would be my understanding that a general medical condition should be treated as early as possible.

      On top of that, there is recently a backlog on testing and the recommendation is to stay home until you receive test results. This seems extremely ill advised that there would be no early intervention.

      From Day One, it has been vaccine, vaccine……no other recommendations or treatments. Just incredible.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Biden fills immigration court with Trump hires”

    Actually this makes a lot of sense this. Considering the fact that Biden is continuing Trump’s policies, why wouldn’t he use Trump selectees? After all, kids are still filling those cages that his old boss built and filled. He is still building Trump’s wall and even taking people’s land to build it on. And almost none of those people that he confirmed have made their career representing migrants in court? That is bonus points that. So yeah, nothing is fundamentally changing.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Since VP Harris was put in charge of this job, I suppose that you can say it is a variation on “turning the Wheel of Kamala”

  10. .human

    I have to leave this anecdote here after reading How Tech Loses Out.

    I had a job this week to retreive diagnostic logs from an IBM server that was down and not communicating with the sysadmins. After returning from the previous day because “No work has been scheduled,” I waited about an hour while my site contact rounded up the necessary interested parties by email only to be told that the initial action plan was approved, and that _they_ didn’t know any more than I did.

    Long story short: I retrieved the logs without further incident and was texted an email address to send to. Five hours later I was reminded to send the log files. A ten second investigation showed that my lead remote contact had given me an incorrect address for his own email after repeating it!

  11. John Siman

    Thank you, Lambert, for linking to Julian Baggini’s very thoughtful and penetrating essay on David Hume! And Baggini most generously shows us the Aristotelian context of Hume’s thought! A caveat to readers, though: Since there is no longer freedom of speech in academia, Baggini’s essay, by necessity I imagine, has what appears to be the requisite number of Critical-Theory-friendly sentences to satisfy our woke commissars.

    The scary title, for example, which is “The Hume paradox: how great philosophy leads to dismal politics: The Enlightenment genius showed how admirable scepticism in the world of ideas can translate into a miserable reactionary stance in the world of practical affairs” — actually means “The Hume phantom: how great philosophy exposes our current anti-civilizational anti-Enlightenment: The Scots genius still shows us how admirable scepticism in the world of ideas translates into a humane critique of barbarism in the world of practical affairs but will get you fired if you don’t keep your doggone mouth shut.”

    P.S. Hume was a great friend of Adam Smith and, along with Smith, should be given due credit for his role in the great Enlightenment project which was the explication of large-scale political economy — until then humankind had understood only Aristotelian plantation/estate economy. Here is the practical foundation of the human equality on which we now depend!

    1. David

      Yes, I thought the bits on, you know, philosophy were very interesting. I had more difficulty with the subtext, which amounted to asking “if this guy Hume was so clever, why does he have different opinions from me and everybody I know?”
      This reflects a common view (and not a new one, either) that opinions in the past about moral and philosophical issues can be argued to be “wrong” in some fundamental, objective sense. But this is obviously not so. Hume’s opinions on marriage and divorce may not please liberal enlightened opinion in advanced western societies today, but they remain opinions, and they can’t be shown to be objectively “false” in the same sense that, say Aristotle’s physics can be. I don’t suppose Baggini considers himself to be a greater philosopher than Hume, so I doubt that he imagines that, could Hume be brought back to life, he could triumphantly oblige Hume to recognise the falsity of his views through philosophical argument.

      All this really means is that views about moral and political issues have changed, and will continue to do so. In two hundred years, our descendants may well be reading articles about what a shame it was that Baginni was such a good populariser of philosophy when he had such unacceptable views on other things.

      Much of the modern Woke assault on the past, it seems to me, derives from the discomforting realisation that the vast majority of great thinkers and artists of all civilisations throughout history, almost by definition greater minds than we will ever be, had opinions on a wide variety of subjects that are fundamentally different from those which currently dominate political and media discourse. That doesn’t worry me personally. But I’m sure it worries people who take their opinions, as they change daily, from Woke Central, and have no real idea why they think what they think. As it happens I was reading earlier today a Jacobin article about the obscure Russian/Italian Marxist Leone Ginzburg. As an uncritical defender of Soviet Russia, he wrote in 1931 that:

      “For a modern state truly to be established in Russia, it was necessary that every form of the previous society should perish. It goes without saying that the temporary — and yet grave — abuse of the values of the spirit is painful, and it is especially heart-rending for we men of culture. But history has inexorable demands of its own.” Which is pretty much where we are now with Woke Culture, itself a form of degraded Marxism. It’s a shame that great philosophers like Hume had the wrong ideas: I wonder what the inexorable demands of history say we should do?

      1. John Siman

        Thank you so much, David, for so thoughtful a response! I would like to quibble, though, if I may, with the precision of a few of your words. You wrote: “Hume’s opinions … may not please liberal enlightened opinion in advanced western societies today….” Would it not be more accurate to say that “Hume’s opinions … may not please anti-liberal anti-enlightened opinion in neo-barbarian, neo-feudalistic post-western societies today”? For Hume and his friends in philosophy were enlightened, and we, unfortunately, are not.

        And hooray for your felicitous suggestion that we bring Hume back to life! I am right now imagining that his refutation of today’s sclerotic liberalism would be almost identical to his refutation of the religious and speculative superstitions of his own day: “Here indeed lies the justest and most plausible objection against [Critical Theory and Wokeism in general], that they are not properly a science; but arise either from the fruitless efforts of human vanity … or from the craft of popular superstitions, which, being unable to defend themselves on fair ground, raise these intangling brambles to cover and protect their weakness. Chaced from the open country, these robbers fly into the forest, and lie in wait to break in upon every unguarded avenue of the mind, and overwhelm it with religious fears and prejudices. The stoutest antagonist, if he remit his watch a moment, is oppressed. And many, through cowardice and folly, open the gates to the enemies, and willingly receive them with reverence and submission, as their legal sovereigns” (An Enquiry Concerning Hunan Understanding 1. 6).

        1. John Siman

          P.S. to David: I think a proof that Hume & his friends were enlightened — while we, most decidedly, are not — is found in their awe and absolute admiration of Isaac Newton, whose unprecedented achievements in Natural Philosophy filled them with an intensity of intellectual optimism unimaginable to us. Thus Hume wrote of Newton: “But may we not hope, that philosophy, if cultivated with care, and encouraged by the attention of the public, may carry its researches still farther, and discover, at least in some degree, the secret springs and principles, by which the human mind is actuated in its operations? Astronomers had long contented themselves with proving, from the phaenomena, the true motions, order, and magnitude of the heavenly bodies: Till a philosopher, at last, arose, who seems, from the happiest reasoning, to have also determined the laws and forces, by which the revolutions of the planets are governed and directed. The like has been performed with regard to other parts of nature. And there is no reason to despair of equal success in our enquiries concerning the mental powers and economy, if prosecuted with equal capacity and caution” (An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding 1. 9).

          Thus too Pope:
          Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night;
          God said “Let Newton be” and all was light.

          But for the Romantic Wordsworth, the optimism has begun to sour:
          And from my pillow, looking forth by light
          Of moon or favouring stars, I could behold
          The antechapel where the statue stood
          Of Newton with his prism and silent face,
          The marble index of a mind for ever
          Voyaging through strange seas of Thought, alone.

          1. begob

            And yet Newton was obsessed with patterns in Revelation and Kabbalah, in order to discover the true ancient religion as manifested in the stone circles of England. I think that’s called, Making the wrong mistake. We may be standing on the shoulders of a giant, but once we push on, whatever is left of him that we don’t have to take with us ought to fall into the abyss. Otherwise, obscure conservatism persists in appeals to ancestry and authority.

            1. Anonymous 2

              Thank you, all, for your interesting comments. I incline to the view that two observations may be warranted.

              Individual humans are fair less consistent in their intellectual processes than they (or we) would like to suppose. There is much that is irrational, illogical in us. Some may choose to apply that to Hume or Baggini but I imagine in truth it applies to both.

              Individual humans are more affected by their cultural environment than they realise or would care to admit. This failure to understand ourselves applies particularly in the case of Western ‘individualistic’ societies. Again, apply this to Hume, Baggini, or both. Plus ourselves.

      2. Mao "No Landlords Now" Zedong

        >Woke Culture, itself a form of degraded Marxism

        Not even.

    2. begob

      I thought that pieces was mainly aimed at the notion of centrism in politics, and effectively concluded that Hume, like Burke, was a covert Whig.

    3. Andrew Watts

      Eh, I think the author was projecting his own beliefs onto Hume. I occasionally wonder if the political activists and public intellectuals in our day even believe positive change is possible. History isn’t a reflection of the present nor is our understanding of it inflexible or unchanging. The idea that Hume was a reactionary, or even all that conservative, is still a hard pill to swallow. When he questioned the utility of marriage in the face of the dominant social institution of his time it made him a radical of his time. This being in spite of his unenlightened and ignorant views of women and race.

      Hume pointed out that the ruling classes only have the power of opinion on their side. When Reinhold Niebuhr wrote about how the dominant forces in our society are vulnerable when the they are stripped of their intellectual defenses he was channeling his inner Hume. Neither could be labeled a violent revolutionary, or a believer in a earthly utopia, but that didn’t make their ideas reactionary. It’s a non-violent and gradual approach to human development and political change.

      1. Andrew Watts

        Whoops, that should’ve read.

        When he questioned the utility of marriage in the face of the dominant social institution of his time it made him a radical in his time.

  12. pjay

    -‘Beyond the Coup in Myanmar: A Northern View’ – Just Security. Hmm.

    “Hmm” is right. I noticed that Jake Sullivan and Avril Haines are still listed on the Advisory Board of Just Security.

    I know I risk accusations of being (1) a Tatmadaw apologist, (2) a Conspiracy theorist, and/or (3) an “agency” denialist. I am none of those things. But I hope everyone is taking the Western media narrative about Myanmar with several spoonfuls of salt.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I hope everyone is taking the Western media narrative about Myanmar with several spoonfuls of salt.

      I certainly try. It’s hard to know when enough is too much, unfortunately. And now that the generals are shutting down the Internet and cellphone communication, I fear we will know the outcome in that unhappy country only… when it emerges (the Tatmadaw being an exceptionally nasty oligarchy).

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      If a situation arises so quickly that the Western Interest-Guardians do not even know how it will affect their interests, they may not know what to instruct their media about how to “narrative-ize” events. In that early phase of leaderless confusion and ” no same page” to get the propagandists on, more or even much more truth may seep through.

      We could still be at that stage with the ongoing Myanmar events.

      And also, just because the media usually lies about most things mostly , does not mean that the media is lying about any one particular thing at any one particular time. So we don’t get to use that easy rule . . . whatever the Western Media says must be taken with some salt.

  13. The Rev Kev

    ‘Red Crescent: 163 Palestinians have been injured, 23 hospitalized as Israelis fire sound bombs and tear gas inside the Al Aqsa Mosque compound’

    Because it is happening to Palestinians, nobody will really care. Well, maybe the Israelis will get a severe finger-wagging. But can you imagine what the reaction would be if you saw the same thing happening but elsewhere?

    ‘Red Cross: 163 Catholics worshipers have been injured, 23 hospitalized as Protestants fire sound bombs and tear gas inside Saint Peter’s Square.’

    Or perhaps closer to their home-

    ‘Red Crescent: 163 Ultra-Orthodox worshipers have been injured, 23 hospitalized as secular Israelis fire sound bombs and tear gas outside Jerusalem’s Western Wall.’

    1. Fireship

      “163 Catholics worshipers have been injured, 23 hospitalized as Protestants fire sound bombs and tear gas inside…”

      This went on for decades in Northern Ireland before Catholics launched their civil rights campaign which was inspired by Martin Luther King. God bless you, Dr King.

  14. flora

    re: “Keep As Much Money As You Can”: Hunter Biden Disclosures Offer New Details On His Chinese Financial Dealings And Association – Jonathan Turley.

    The continued lack of interest in those connections by most of the media is astonishing and part of a continued blackout of virtually any scandals and possible crimes connected to Hunter. …. My problem is that the media has overwhelming and continuing interest in one (Giuliani) and little interest in the other (Biden). Both raise serious questions that should be fully investigated and disclosed for the public.

    Yes. This is one example of why the MSM isn’t respected as much as it once was. Van Morrison even wrote a song about it, which the woke mob immediatedly used to paint him as an anti-sem*. (Because the word ‘they’ could never refer to ‘the blob’ or to billionaires or to the ownership/donor class.) Wokeism is a racket. / heh


    1. Phillip Cross

      When will the woke madness stop? Anyone can see he is talking about the Frankists and Lizard People in that song!

      1. flora

        “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”


        1. Alfred

          Well, it seems to depend now on who the absurdity reflects on. This “both sides” stuff? Is it true maybe? It’s not enough to believe something is wrong and unethical. This reminds me of “Dead Weight,” an episode of Columbo, where the witness sees a murder happen in a house on the water. She calls the police, and points out the house. The cop says, “Do you know who lives in that house?” and she says, “Well no. Why, does it matter?” I have the boxed set, and I laugh for a long time every time I see that episode.

    2. shinola

      Methinks this Jeffrey Salkin fellow doth protest too much. A critique of elite capitalism deliberately mis-/re-interpreted as anti-(name your ethno-rreligious self identity) is a sure sign of a charlatan.

  15. rowlf

    Always good to see ivermectin news here for those of us rooting for Team Pony Paste. I’m hoping the US approves its use soon as my employer is itching to fill up all the desks in the open office area soon and I am reluctant to volunteer for a vaccine that was developed quicker than the 737 MAX.

    1. Mantid

      Dear Rowlf, actually, I get mine via our local farm/feed store and Duramectin as well as Zimectrerin are starting to sell out as fast as they can re-stock them. Through the FLCCC I think it’s possible to get a prescription via tele-med contacts but I haven’t tried that route yet. Myself and a few friends have no ill effects from the horse paste. I suggest reading the ingredients closely to avoid any other combinations of chemicals included with the IVM. Don’t want hands turning to hooves.

      1. rowlf

        No worries. Some of my nearby neighbors are cattle and horses. I’m kinda thinking the veterinarian product manufacturers are happy (and maybe proud) that while their products products are very safe for animals maybe their products are helping in other ways. This is a positive thought with no mean spirit intended. If their sales are up more power to them.

        What a weird world we live in.

        Whoops, PS. Whenever there is a hot social or media topic I like to share it with the nearby neighbors to see if I should get excited about the subject. Usually their response seems to be a “Let it ride” headshake or they look at me like I am an idiot.

  16. Nikkikat

    With regards to cats. I also was convinced that cats were solitary and did not show emotion on a level with dogs, thus “I would rather have a dog” became my mantra. Over the last ten years or so, I have discovered that I was wrong. Being very observant of my dogs over the years, I had noted that people misunderstood their dogs many times by not consciously being observant of their “signals” or body language. I started using the fact that they were constantly observing us and our body language to better train and work through behavior issues. It was a tremendous help.
    A few years later, a neighbor asked me to take care of their cats while they went on a trip.
    I immediately noticed the cats were quite aware their owners were gone. They knew me well as we were over there quite often. Both cats pined for their owners refusing to eat much the first 2 or three days, both attempting to keep me from from leaving with various antics.
    As these cats passed on and were joined by other cats over the next few years, the behavior was the same. They sought out affection, tried to keep me there with them and showed me by their body language using their tail, ears and whiskers in particular.
    I was so taken with my neighbors cats that I rescued a couple of cats after my dog passed away from cancer. Owning a cat is little different from having dogs. They are affectionate, fun and want to spend time with us. Cats and dogs are not that dissimilar in that they constantly observe us and communicate with us. Cats only meow at people not other cats. My cats have several different vocalizations for what they are seeking and they use them all consistantly. Colonies of feral cats will remain together in groups they form for years. Some related to one another and some not. So the idea that they are completely solitary isn’t always true. Science has been rather late catching up to the Native American view that we as humans are not superior or more intelligent We are all part of nature, we need to respect their needs and their place along side of us.

    1. Alfred

      Thanks for that thoughtful comment. I had over 30 rescue cats over the years, and they all had distinct personalities, and they taught each other things. I had one 2-year-old cat who had been in and out of foster care for her entire life. I adopted her with her daughter. Her daughter dove into the mix of 14 other cats. She went into a pantry outside the kitchen and reclined on a shelf there. It took me a couple days to realize she just was not going to invest in being somewhere when she had every expectation she was going to have to leave. I talked to her and told her this was her home now, she was not going to be taken away again. She looked at me, came out, and joined in. Just watching a bunch of individual cats live together has been a real education for me, and the best friendship I have had.

    2. lordkoos

      My wife takes care of our neighbor’s three cats (sometimes for months at a time) when the neighbor is travelling. It’s obvious that they miss their owner a great deal — after a few weeks they begin to hang out on our property to get some affection.

  17. tegnost

    Re inept foreign policy

    A common theme in all of these episodes is how U.S. officials initially seemed so impressed with their own cleverness and creativity.

    Well, you don’t say……

    Ukraine?…sleep with dogs, wake up with fleas.

  18. chuck roast

    CDC’s Guidelines for When It’s Safe to Still Wear Lounge Pants

    This is extremely important information and really needs to get out there. Thanks to Lambert and McSweeney’s for posting. Certainly the kind of dope that will change people’s lives. I’m reminded of a similar sartorial bombshell that occurred quite a while back that resulted in a tectonic cultural shift. It’s not all about big and tall.

    1. Maritimer

      Where are the stand up comedians with Covid routines? The material offered is so rich.

      The latest Covid dictat here is that only one family member can shop at the Stuperstore. A neighbor told me he was at the SS and saw a three person family he knows waiting in their car in the SS parking lot. When the Admitting Clerk was out collecting carts, they zipped in the store to shop as a family. Verboten, Comrade!

  19. rowlf

    Regarding the fun to watch interview snippet of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev from the BBC, may I suggest that the BBC reporter was “Lavroved”? (This is similar to being run over by the Freightliner Of Reality.) There has been several interviews over the recent years of Russian officials where the interviewee gets frustrated with a western media reporter’s agenda and starts being a big meany by asking the reporter what planet are they from and what is the color of the sky on their world.

  20. George Phillies

    “As an American journalist, you never expect…” Kosinski

    Ummh, Hello?

    Michelle, you should read about the War in Viet Nam, starting with the Church Committee, COINTELPRO, the Pentagon Papers, and, of course, the Five O’Clock Follies.

  21. Pat

    The coming NYC election is a hot bed of grift and influence peddling. My new “favorite” is Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, the former CNBC talking head. Some may remember her from the 2020 primary election where she became a Democrat and moved into AOC’s district to wage a multimillion dollar campaign to unseat her. As far as I can see, Michelle’s production company hasn’t done diddly, but she has apparently raised a few more millions from her Wall Street friends to attempt to become the City Comptroller or at the very least knee cap the candidate they really really don’t want. If you watch local television here you cannot miss her television ads.

    We escaped her the last time, this time we might not be so lucky. If she does lose, I have to wonder what she can run for next as being a candidate has pretty much been her job for the last two years.

    Our system is so broken.

  22. Carolinian

    That’s an amazing and must read Doctorow on the drive to turn the internet into the “filternet.” A woman posts a Youtube of herself playing the Moonlight Sonata and and some shadowy outfit with no proof claims copyright and has it taken down. Big Tech at first fought but now has embraced the anti libertarian trend as the last shreds of their “don’t be evil” altruism float off in the wind. Clearly the drive is on to tame the internet and return to the era of controlled content but without even that era’s ethical framework which declared free speech to be of paramount importance.

    1. Alfred

      Thank Beethoven we can still play it in our own living rooms. Every time something becomes popular, money interests try to corral it and milk it dry. I can still go buy Beethoven’s sheet music though.

  23. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: michelle kosinski tweet

    I guess this woman has “followers,” since her tweet got a fair number of comments, not many of which were…er….complimentary.

    One commenter helpfully recalled a Today Show “report” she did in 2005 on a New Jersey flood while paddling a canoe. (katie couric makes an astute reference to kosinski’s “oar” during the segment.)

    kosinski’s Wikipedia page describes it thusly:

    In 2005, Kosinski was involved in video news scene while covering flooding in New Jersey. In the video she was seen paddling in a canoe, in what she claimed were in deep floodwaters, when two pedestrians walked through the shot exposing the water to only be a few inches deep; Kosinski declared at the time “O.K., this probably looks a little bad”.

    Her Wikipedia bio also states that “Kosinski has covered such world events as the War in Afghanistan, terrorist plots in Europe, international court cases, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake,” and everyone knows how well and truthfully informed the american public is on those subjects.

    In the little blurb on her twitter page, she calls herself a “storyteller.” I’d guess that part is probably true.

  24. JBird4049

    As an American journalist, you never expect:
    1. Your own govt to lie to you, repeatedly
    2. Your own govt to hide information the public has a right to know
    3. Your own govt to spy on your communications

    Trump’s unAmerican regime did all of these.
    No one should accept this.

    — Michelle Kosinski (@MichLKosinski) May 8, 2021

    This must be gaslighting. That or cultivated stupidity. Seriously. I don’t recall anytime after the age of what(?) ten, maybe, that I didn’t understand that 1-3 is done by every American presidential administration, certainly in the Twentieth and Twenty-first centuries.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I remember reading about how President Eisenhower was asked at a press conference if he ” would ever lie” .

      I remember his reply being . . . ” I am just as ready to lie for my country as any other patriotic American, but only if I am confident that I will be believed.”

  25. Terry Flynn

    What do the Tories do when they lose? Change the rules . Labour, if you didn’t see this coming you’re dumb. This is why you deserve to be replaced. A written constitution is needed in which a non FPTP system is set in stone and cannot be changed except by very strict conditions in a referendum (e.g. 50% of ALL REGISTERED VOTERS supporting a change, not just 50% of those who turn out).

    If you think this impractical, consider compulsory voting like in Australia (of which I also have citizenship). If you really don’t like anything on offer you’re free to indicate that. At present under the UK system I vote but spoil my ballot writing in my views.

    1. Roger

      Yeah, then the Queen’s representative comes in and takes out any PM the UK and USA don’t like a la Whitlam. Australia needs to be a true Republic, and stop being the puppy dog for the “homeland” and the bigger white settler colony. New Zealand seems to be learning this a bit quicker than Oz.

      Labour has now become the UK Democrats, with the political assassination of Corbyn, they would rather lose to the Tories than win with a truly left-wing leader. The UK establishment never gave a damn about rules, written or not. Just like the US establishment, who do have a written constitution.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Thanks but not sure if you’re agreeing or disagreeing with me.. .. I simply mentioned how a written constitution should define the lower chamber. I have (for what it’s worth) ideas for rest of new UK constitution but the topic is reform of existing positions that are in the news.

        I understand the Whitlam debacle perfectly but not pertinent to point I’m making.

  26. Alfred

    Elon Musk “reveals” on SNL that he is an “Aspie.” I think I speak for “Aspies” everywhere when I say–he wishes.

  27. Carolinian

    Interesting story on the Colonial North Carolina spill. The pipeline runs on the outskirts of my small but fast growing town and when driving you can see where it is by the treeless swath and warning signs. As the rural and even wilderness-like Southern countryside increasingly turns into suburbia this will undoubtedly be a growing problem. There have been spills in this state as well.

    But it’s not as though you can just shut the thing down as the entire east coast would grind to a halt. When my brother sent me news of the current shutdown I immediately went and filled up my car.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘If a pipeline leaks 1,200,000 gallons of gasoline into a small nature preserve in a forest and the main stream media does not report it, did it actually happen?’

      1. Carolinian

        Well they are reporting it and I offered the Sanger NYT version yesterday. Of course they are probably hoping Putin did it or at least they can blame it on him.

        Our hillbilly paradise is falling prey to real estate speculation more than oil spills. The trees are going…..

        1. Carolinian

          Oops apologies. It was the cyberhack story I linked not the spill story that Lambert also linked.

          But the pipeline owners aren’t necessarily wrong that a pipeline is at least safer to the public than other means of transport. As you’ll recall a runaway oil train in Canada destroyed a whole town.

          1. Qufuness

            NBC News’s first headline was the objective “Colonial Pipeline blames ransomware for network shutdown,” but some hours later it put out the follow-up “Russian criminal group suspected in Colonial pipeline ransomware attack,” a suspicion harbored by unnamed “sources.” Neither that article nor the ones by AP and Reuters even mention the leak; WaPo’s piece does, perhaps to make up for its earlier non-coverage of the disaster. Even moderate skepticism would lead one to wonder about the timing of this alleged attack and its relationship to the deep trouble Colonial is in due to shoddy management of the pipeline. Once again Incompetence meets Blame it on the Russians!

  28. Lynne

    About the 1619 propaganda project, what I don’t understand is why the proponents need to make shit up. The history of the US is replete with bigotry. Why do they think it necessary to claim it’s even worse than it was?

    Just one example: I read and hear over and over again from history professors—and I use that term only because that is the title given to the charlatans — that Black Americans were not allowed to homestead. Yet that’s just a flat out lie. See, the NPS Black homesteaders project about the exodusters. I’m old enough to remember the remaining members of a community founded in SD by Black homesteaders. Unfortunately, the community no longer exists because they got good land which the Democrats flooded in the Pick Sloan ecological disaster. And there is a film festival honoring Oscar Micheaux, a producer of more than 40 films, who homesteaded near me. Perhaps they don’t want to mention things like that because Blacks benefitted from the treaty violations. And somehow nobody mentions Micheaux whenever they laud Spike Lee as the first big Black filmmaker. But they don’t just not mention them. They actively lie and say it didn’t happen due to systemic racism.

    1. hunkerdown

      The goal of the Project is to redistribute and reinforce the dominance-submission relationship called society, not to overthrow it. If you think about it, high culture is the arch enemy of human emancipation…

    2. marym

      I searched the 1619 Project pdf for “homestead” and found no match. Do you have a reference for specific article?

      I found the following:

      Eric Foner’s Reconstruction p. 246 in my copy
      “By 1869 only 4,000 black families had even attempted to take advantage of the [1862 Homestead] act…and many of these subsequently lost their land.” (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
      The Act opened lands in 30 states, though principally homesteading occurred in the states north of Texas and west of the Missouri River. Between 1863 and 1961, approximately 1.6 million homesteaders successfully staked their claims and obtained title to their land. It has been called the federal government’s biggest wealth-redistribution program ever.
      “Canaan on the Prairie”: New Evidence on the Number of African American Homesteaders in the Great Plains
      [from the abstract]
      “This study undertakes the first systematic accounting based on cross-referencing in eight Great Plains states. We find that in these states more than 1,800 black claimants successfully proved up. If we also add Oklahoma, it is likely that more than 3,400 black claimants homesteaded in the Great Plains. They gained ownership of nearly 650,000 acres of land. Counting claimants’ family members, who typically made crucial contributions to the homestead’s success, more than 14,600 black people lived in families of successful homesteaders. Today there are probably between 100,000 and 250,000 living descendants of the original black homesteaders.”

      The African-American population in 1870 was about 4.8M of a total 38.9M.

      Whether or not anyone is lying about the extent of black homesteading, the obstacles to black land ownership after the Civil War have been well documented.

      1. marym

        My apologies: on re-reading I realized you didn’t say it was the 1619 Project itself that was misleading on the topic of homesteading.

      2. Lynne

        Marym, it’s not just “misleading.” They are not just exaggerating the *extent*, they are lying and saying Blacks were not allowed to homestead at all. I first heard that claim in an interview on Minnesota Public Radio. Then I heard it again not that long ago in the BBC, where the “journalists” credulously swallowed that claim as well as the debunked claim that all local law enforcement originated as slave catching patrols. After the taped interview, they commented that they had not realized all that and that it was “eye-opening.” Any respect for, or confidence in, BBC reporting that I had left after the Assange business died that day.

        Please stop trying to minimize what is, at best, historical malpractice and, more likely, misconduct and deliberate misinformation. Not only is it red meat to the right, but it undercuts the cause for righteousness with everyone. What are we to think when advocates don’t think history is bad enough, that they have to embellish it in clearly disprovable claims.

        1. marym

          I haven’t seen examples of this lying though I did try a few searches, so I made a milder comment.

          I agree that saying free black people didn’t have the right to apply for land under federal homestead law, would be a lie, and counterproductive to an assessment of how bad things were. The same would be the case, for example, of saying black people didn’t have the right to vote in the Jim Crow era.

          If the discussion includes impediments to exercising those rights that’s a different discussion. There’s much to read on that subject — statistics and interpretations — that provide for a more substantial evaluation.

          As far as red meat to the right: if the “right” that’s appalled at some already acknowledged (and, as I understand it, to be corrected in the book version) errors in the 1619 project and using it as an excuse for passing laws about what can and can’t be taught aren’t equally appalled at the sorts of “historical malpractice” in the textbooks referenced in the link to The Root, their outrage may not be about specific errors of fact.

        2. JBird4049

          IIRC, Black families owing and operating successful farms was very widespread;the Ohio valley had Black landowners for centuries before White colonists moved in and shoved them off their farms in the early 19th century; after the Civil War, freed slaves set up farms (and towns) everywhere, but under practices such as being denied rail access or acts of violence against the owners, and the creation of sundown towns among other forms of discrimination, that all went away.

          History in general, and American history in particular, is so damn interesting, complex, confusing, confounding, and just fun to read about that to make a lie of it for some blasted propaganda is wrong, maybe even evil.

          1. Lynne

            Exactly. As you point out, there are plenty of horrible examples of actual oppression and bigotry which dispossessed Black landowners. We don’t need to make things up.

    3. pasha

      freedmen faced enormous “barriers to entry” because homesteading was not for the poor. you needed capital to afford the tools and animals to “prove” a claim — building a home, clearing land, and raising a crop — in five years. the assistance of neighbors was also important. “forty acres and a mule” was not itself a recipe for success

  29. Milerw0

    Let me say at the outset I am inherently against frivolous litigation. However, I also know that corporate IT departments focus much more on costs than on security, mainly because there are limited repercussions to security breaches.

    So, if the Colonial pipeline stays closed, and fuel prices go up, shouldn’t there be a large class action lawsuit and start to signal that doing things on the cheap isn’t acceptable?

      1. tegnost

        Don’t you think we should wait til we know what price the market will bear before limiting ourselves to only 10x?

        1. Screwball

          Great point, and I was thinking that exact same thing when I decided on 10.

          On the same subject, which I found interesting. I found a Tweet yesterday about Ivermectin in a Tweet by the Weather Channel. Wow! The Weather Channel – that’s “almost” main stream. Progress!

          Later, I wanted to find it again so I could retweet it. I did a Google search – nothing. I tried Duck-Duck-Go and it was in the top 3.

          Imagine that!

          And they wonder why some of us are “skeptical” about the news and our science people.

          I have some, and I’m damn glad I do. If used for a prophylactic it cost around 100 bucks for a years supply.

          It still boggles my mind how this isn’t even on the radar with all the issues going on in the world. They can’t use it because it can only be used (since it is not prescribed for COVID) as an emergency treatment.

          Last I looked, we have been fighting this pandemic for over a year with MILLIONS who have died – and this is NOT an emergency??????


          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > I found a Tweet yesterday about Ivermectin in a Tweet by the Weather Channel. Wow! The Weather Channel – that’s “almost” main stream. Progress!

            I saw that but didn’t link to it, because Weather Channel pulled the story off the wires, and the wire service had supplied an Indian source. (I am drawing a blank on where the trail led, but if the study was good, I linked to that and not the weather channel.)

        1. rowlf

          If Nitcemrevi™ is accepted as working isn’t that kind of awkward that the older formulation may have been useful? (Or can this be handled by really savvy marketing?)

          1. John Anthony La Pietra

            How about a proprietary blend with vitamin D, a few complementary herbs, etc.?

    1. rowlf

      When the maker of the horse paste for Tractor Supply takes the bath salts approach and offers the horse dose as a bottle of 6 tablets to be administered to a horse? /s

  30. dcblogger

    Do Communist-Led States Protect Public Health Better Than Capitalism? Marxism-Leninism Today

    until recently, no. When I went to the Soviet Union in 1989 I was struck by bad teeth and other signs of a bad health care system. The life expectancy was ten years less then the US in 1989. And today South Korea has MUCH better health than North Korea. Japan better than China.

    But since 1989 the American health care system, never great, has gotten MUCH worse.

  31. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    Myanmar: Exploitation by powerful outside interests seems to be a common thread in the “affairs of state” on the “Grand Chessboard”; where, maximizing pecuniary self interest seems to be the central motivating factor, under the guise of “national security interests”; since, individual human actors remain the ultimate beneficiaries. The names of the players may change, but the game remains the same, that is, the strong continue to benefit from the subjugation, manipulation, and /or coercion of the weak.

    “Indeed, Chinese investment and support came at a price. Economically, China’s exploitation of Myanmar’s rich natural resources has created serious problems: Neither the hydropower dams nor the oil and gas pipe-lines would help alleviate Myanmar’s extreme power shortage; most investments from China focus on extractive industry with little regard for sustainable development, job creation or technology transfers; many of them bring irreversible detrimental environmental and social impacts. Myanmar’s importance for China’s energy security lies in two aspects: as an energy transportation route and as a provider of hydropower and natural gas. The largest Chinese investments in the country have been in hydropower dams and energy pipelines.” — “China and the Changing Myanmar”

  32. Mikel

    RE: “Lying to the ghost in the machine” Charlie’s Diary

    Keep hearing that people “want” AI that is supposed to be like humans and now it occurs to me that “competitive drive” might be something they would want to rethink, if they were really thinking or even understanding what it meant to be human at all.
    Imagine if a computer chess master actually CARED whether it won or loss.

  33. Andrew Watts

    RE: ‘Conspiracy is hard’: Inside the Trump administration’s secret plan to kill Qassem Soleimani

    I have a hard time believing that the CTG would involve itself in the assassination plot. The Iranians have a fairly good relationship with PUK and Soleimani was respected as much as he was feared throughout Iraqi Kurdistan. A news story like this raises more questions then it answers and muddles the waters. But it probably won’t prevent the Iranians from retaliating against any specific target due to the lack of clarity.

  34. Brunches with Cats

    Surely “devolved leaders” casts a rather broad net?

    Dry, Lambert, very dry … well, until I spit out coffee all over my lap.

    Adding, good thing for BoJo it’s not an abroad net. He’d definitely need a bigger boat.

  35. lobelia

    Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s, particularly to those who are having a very rough time in these horrid days; and also to anyone nurturing a fellow being – including themselves, if they’re alone – who is having a particularly rough time.

    Speaking of which, I hope you’re doing okay petal; ambrit and Phyl; Jason; and a number of others who’ve been suffering brutal blows at the hands of a government that’s almost totally lost any moral compass it once had; and seems to increasingly be amping up even more WARFARE daily. E.g. who really knows yet who was behind that cyber attack on the pipeline; could even be some of the type of young amoral hackers (Adrian Lamo comes to mind) that the CIA and other Snoop entities have so loved to hire over decades, when barely anyone with a moral compass can possibly make a decent living wage anymore, no matter their abilities, unless they have connections™ in high places.

    gotta run

    1. Jason

      lobelia, I echo your sentiments and I hope you had a wonderful day yourself. Be well!

  36. R

    I posted this comment in the post about the Labour party but I am not sure there is any more traffic there so, if it is not a solecism, I will repeat it here.

    Guido Fawkes has a good quote of the day.

    Outgoing Labour leader of Amber Valley council, Chris Emmas-Williams:

    “The voters have let us down. I hope they don’t live to regret it.”

    Very Brechtian.

  37. Wukchumni

    Just back from Mineral King and i’m sad to say all of the hikelines are shut down due to a digital hack involving toes hidden away in boots using ransomware on the steeper stretches, which would be all of them.

    A cyberclimb syndicate from the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada is suspected, but Russia can’t be ruled out.

    Their demands are 100 million pounds of GORP, and no funny business, mister.

  38. Wukchumni

    Read the dead tree edition of the LA Times last week, and it was as if an old friend had been held hostage in a concentration camp and systematically starved for years…

    Very thin gruel-but by no means a grueling read, I was done with it in record time as there was no there there, ads, what ads aside from the legal briefs?

    Now the owner wants to do ‘Plopaganda’, as in would Big Gov plop down some semollians to the fishwraps?

    Bloomberg) — The owner of the Los Angeles Times is calling on the government to throw its support behind newspapers, saying the loss of advertising to tech companies and declining readership threaten local journalism.

    “The government needs to step in a little bit,” Patrick Soon-Shiong, the billionaire biotech entrepreneur who bought the Times in 2018, said in an interview.

    While a few newspapers — like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal — are thriving thanks to growing online audiences, many are shrinking due to the loss of ad sales and readers.

  39. square coats

    Anyone have a good argument for why vendors offering free products in exchange for fake reviews is meaningfully different from companies using influencers to sell their products?

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