Links 6/18/2021

Martha Stewart Bids Adieu to the Hamptons By Hosting A List Book Party at Historic $30 Mil Mansion Showbiz 411. Smart move. “The Hamptons are not a defensible position.” –Mark Blythe

Davos is dead, and the coronavirus killed it FT (Vlade). Hot stuff.

The Climate Culture Shock Is Coming Bloomberg. “Just 0.2% of Fortune 100 board members have any experience with climate. That’s going to have to change.” I don’t see why. Nobody on Boeing’s board has any experience with aircraft manufacturing. Oh, wait….

The CalPERS Executive Team Demands a New Loyalty Oath! Tony Butka, CityWatch

We’re Not In A Real Estate Bubble Surviving Tomorrow, Medium. Deck: “It’s far worse than that.” I’m not a real estate maven. Perhaps readers who are will weigh in.

Bond spreads collapse as investors rush into corporate debt FT

One Failed Bridge in Memphis Is Costing Business Millions (not pay-walled) WSJ.


Missouri Tourist Hotspot, Where Vaccination Rates Are Low, Seeing Outbreak Of COVID Variant KCUR

Roger Marolt: A wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth Snowmass Sun. From Aspen, another tourist town.

* * *

Coronavirus ‘still has the upper hand,’ warns WHO Europe head Deutsche Welle

From $1-Million Lotteries to Free Beer: Do COVID Vaccination Incentives Work? Scientific American

Should we track all breakthrough cases of COVID-19? Harvard Health Publishing. From early June, before CDC answered “No,” but making CDC’s answer all the more inexplicable.

The potential stickiness of pandemic-induced behavior changes in the United States PNAS


Exclusive: Banks Prepare to Lower Deposit Rates as Rate Cap Reform Takes Effect Caixin Global. Commentary

Washington’s Dangerous New Consensus on China (not paywalled) Bernie Sanders, Foreign Affairs. The deck: “Don’t Start Another Cold War.”

Biden’s plan to keep China in check relies on Manila FT. Oy.

China should build surveillance system to track coronavirus variants, says top virologist South China Morning Post

China’s Worse-Than-Suez Ship Delays Set to Widen Trade Chaos Bloomberg

WPX: The State of the Chinese Pork Import Market The Pig Site

The Relentless Wave Vietnam Weekly

A Way of Life Almost Lost in Kampong Phluk’s Fishing Community Cambodianess. Tonle Sap; see NC here.


Anti-regime group bombs condo project linked to junta cabinet member Myanmar Now! Real estate. Ouch!

United Nations set to call for halt of arms to Myanmar -diplomats Reuters. Don’t think “crimes against humanity”:

Think “blueprint.”

Does the right hand….

… know what the left hand is doing?

(ASEAN Defense Minister’s Meeting)


In Rural India, COVID-19 Outbreaks Have One Standout Feature: Speed The Wire

Amravati: Vaccines for reluctant Melghat tribals at job guarantee scheme worksites Times of India

Vaccines and oxygen run out as third wave of Covid hits Uganda Guardian


French prosecutors seek 6-month jail term for Sarkozy

Germany disbands Stasi records agency but saves files Deutsche Welle

Argentine Port Unions Plan Strike Over Vaccine Access MarineLink

‘We are not communists’: Castillo seeks to allay fears in divided Peru Reuters

New Cold War

Russia and Its Neighbors, Thirty Years after the Fall Valdai Discussion Club

Biden Administration

Biden heads home with a mixed bag from Geneva Responsible Statecraft

Post-Summit, Putin Says Image of Biden Drawn by Media Has Nothing to Do With Reality Sputnik News

How much can Lina Khan do to rein in Big Tech? FT

Biden Presses Cybernetic Biden Replica On Growing Threat Of Automation The Onion

Our Famously Free Press

Pushing Consumers to Amazon Is Baked In to NYT’s Business Model FAIR

YouTube suspends GOP Sen. Ron Johnson’s account, says he violated Covid-19 policy NBC

Lifting the mask Ed Snowden, Continuing Ed

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Fort Bragg Murders Rolling Stone. Gruesome.

Covid-19: Technology That Saves Lives – But Can the NHS Afford it? Bright

Class Warfare

What’s at stake at the Teamsters’ convention Tempest

The incarcerated women battling wildfires High Country News. A walk down memory lane: “Lawyers for California Attorney General Kamala Harris argued releasing non-violent inmates early would harm efforts to fight California wildfires.”

Love me, love me, love me….

If Obama had passed card-check, as he [snort] promised to do, the MSNBC workers would have a union today.

Latinx Files: ‘In the Heights’ and the pitfalls of Latinx representation LA Times

Toni Morrison Hated ‘Hamilton’ So Much She Funded a Play About Lin-Manuel Miranda Newsweek. Stoller on Hamilton.

Antidote du Jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jur 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. griffen

    Gotta love the Onion on a Friday morning! And the article on that bridge repair on the I 40 stretch into Arkansas makes one appreciate not having to drive it. Especially if you’re driving a semi hauling goods to and fro.

    1. GramSci

      The WSJ I-40 article *was not paywalled*?! ¡¿ At the top there was. a. questionnaire soliciting my opinion of the WSJ. I naively began to answer honestly, but then I caught myself and aborted. Why should I be truthful with them? They might never again take down their paywall for NC.

      1. griffen

        I clicked through it this once. Otherwise I rarely go further than that.

        Summary, traffic nightmare detoured onto I 55 I think. A 15 minute route takes several hours instead. Bet even some R are arguing in favor of an infrastructure plan while they sit in said traffic.

    1. Alfred

      Hey, I am trying to “say no” but increasingly my sh*t comes from Amazon warehouses no matter who I buy it from. I guess I’ll have to start questioning and stipulating before I place my order.

      1. t

        Indeed. Order direct from small manufacturers and then it appears in Prime wrapping. If the product is sold on Amazon, I guess they just push all shipping to Amazon.

        Not surprising when it’s Etsy or eBay, but jeeze.

        1. Always Amazed

          Amazon makes money selling their stuff on their website. They also make money acting as a web store for other people who do their own warehousing and distribution. They also make money acting as the warehouse and shipper for other company’s website stores. They also make money hosting websites of all kinds through AWS (Amazon Web Services). So you never really know when you order something or visit a website if Amazon is involved unless it’s the obvious cases.

        1. athingtoconsider

          You’ve never heard the expression, “a mess of pottage?”

          I’d ask why some people must own more than one house while others must be rent slaves

      2. ChiGal in Carolina

        I order from Etsy a fair amount, have never received anything shipped by Amazon.

        As to small manufacturers, I use Amazon for research only. Once I find a product I ddg it and buy direct from the manufacturer. May be a little more trouble and a little more expensive but I have the time and the money. Again, never received anything from Amazon.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          It depends on what you’re buying, I guess. In tech, for instance, a lot of manufacturers sites direct you back to Amazon to purchase anything. I am noticing this happening more and more.

          Etsy though, yeah, I’ve only ever bought handcrafted stuff that is coming straight from an individual. However, I know Etsy has caused a lot of stress to those people by requiring them to offer an Amazon-esque “free shipping on orders of $35 or more.”

        2. Oh

          I never do either. And I don’t use Amazon for research because the reviews there are fabricated. I make sure I delete the cookies placed on my computer by Amazon, Google and scores of others.

        1. Louis

          I’ll do as much of my shopping online, even if it doesn’t involve Amazon, as possible.

          Not only is it more convienient–being able to buy what I need to buy in 5 minutes on my own time, instead of having to take an hour or more out of my day, is pretty civilized–but it’s a nicer experience. No one is pushing a rewards card or credit card on you, when all you want to do is pay for your purchases and go home.

          I used to work retail so I have some compassion for the cashiers that have push to that crap. I didn’t like asking anymore than customers liked being asked but it was part of the job and what we were graded on. That being said, constantly being asked to sign-up for rewards cards or credit cards, which in a lot of cases are not all that good has a way of ruining the shopping experience and making online much more attractive.

          Not meeting metrics for credit cards or rewards sign-ups could result in anything from simple coaching to hours being cut (especially if payroll was tight). Though no one was ever terminated for failing to meet these metrics at the places I’ve worked at, I’ve heard of it happening elsewhere.

  2. Katiebird

    Regarding, “We’re not in a Real Estate bubble” …. And this quote

    House sellers: Put a perpetual restrictive covenant on your deed that states all future purchasers can only be owner-occupiers.

    Is this really possible to do? I’ve never heard of it.

    1. ChrisFromGeorgia

      Good question – I have a query out to any real estate lawyers in my neighborhood. If they reply I will post back here.

      Any NC readers with real estate law experience might help clarify this as well.

      I have had the thought of trying to form an HOA here in my neighborhood, for the only purpose of doing exactly the same. Restricting the number of renters allowed or otherwise limiting future purchasers to only those who will occupy the home. I am not sure if it is do-able here in Georgia; all real estate law is local so I suspect it will vary by state and maybe even by County.
      The basic idea is to use the HOA to put in a covenant to stop an investor from buying up all the homes en masse, then turning it into a slumlord or absentee landlord situation. No fining the neighbors for not mowing the lawn or any of that nonsense.

      I have no problem with an owner who is not a corporation or hedge fund renting out a single family home to make ends meet, in fact we have one such situation in a neighbors home. One idea I had was to “grandfather in” current homeowners in the subdivision so that they would be allowed to rent, but any future owners would not.

      Of course I would need to convince everyone in the subdivision (around 30 homes) to go with it and that may be a tall order.

    2. .Tom

      In some situations, it seems so. The building I live in is a 4-unit condominium. The downstairs unit is being sold. The seller’s agent asked if there is any restriction in the bylaws on renting the unit. We thought about changing the bylaws there and then before answering the question.

    3. Michael Fiorillo

      Even if possible to do, how would you enforce it? Far better to have local regulations, strictly enforced, banning short term rentals.

      1. ChrisFromGeorgia

        Yes, I believe it would be quite difficult to enforce.

        However getting your neighbors to join an H.O.A. that prevents a new owner from coming in and turning a property into a rental is do-able, at least legally, I think. Covenants can be put in the H.O.A. by-laws and joining the H.O.A. made mandatory for new owners, I think.

        The hard part as I wrote would be getting everyone to agree to that. I think simple self-interest would make folks want to have as many options as possible if they need to sell, including selling to an absentee corporate landlord, I am afraid.

        1. Krystyn Podgajski

          I have heard they are not hard to enforce if someone wants to enforce them. The deed is a legal document and, if I am not mistaken, is how HOAs work. “Neighbors, adjacent landowners, municipalities–many individuals and entities can seek to enforce covenants. ”

          I understand this from knowing a man who sold a large piece of property in NC with a restrictive covenant saying the land could not be divided into parcels. I never knew it was possible to do something like that.

          That article was great by the way;

          For years, banks and ultra-elites (bankrolled by years of money-printing, corporate socialism, and bailouts) have been using their wealth to take control of the world and rent it back to us.

          No one is seeing this coming. People think their rising house price means they will retire rich, but when the only on who can afford to buy these houses are Blackrock, then anywhere they can go will probably cost as much as the mortgage they were paying.

          Maybe the only way to go is not to own nothing, but to need nothing.

      2. FreeMarketApologist

        Deed restrictions can work for some types of restriction (sub-dividing land, certain uses), but are illegal for others (racial discrimination). They also usually reduce the value of the land, since unrestricted use is considered more valuable than restricted land. Condo and Co-op organizations can make some restrictions work by virtue of having them built into the By-laws. Open land, much harder.

        I’d like to see more people exploring co-operative ownership (they’re everywhere in NYC, and some get a bad rap for a history of discriminatory practices), but, like creating HOAs after the fact, are a long uphill slog.

      3. chuck roast

        What if a local government declared a “rental residential unit” to be a “commercial use” under the zoning ordinance. Then you would have a situation where the commercial use may be a prohibited use in a R-1 zone. So, all proposed residential rentals would need a special use permit in a low density residential zone. A prospective landlord can argue that he needs the money and the neighbors argue that he should go and make money on a commercial zone or high-density residential zone.

    4. Rod

      Because of the affordability issues associated with incredible growth, the Concept of Community Housing Land Trusts is gaining ground. A Variation to your question.
      Here is a local group working through this and its potential for home ownership(models exist all over with a simple search):

      lot’s of potential and something I am looking into(because my own urban ‘Park’ doesn’t need to be subdivided)

    5. mirjonray

      About 20 years ago a small group of homeowners in our subdivision either filed or threatened to file a lawsuit against a real estate developer because the developer was planning to build a hotel on some land adjacent to our sub. It turns out that the land used to belong to our subdivision but got sold off a number of years earlier with a restrictive covenant stating that only single-family homes could be built on the land. If my memory is correct, our city rezoned the land to allow the hotel to be built.

      The city then laughed at the Davids shaking their tiny fists at the mighty Goliath and said, “Good luck winning your case in court.” I also believe the homeowners’ group was counter sued for interfering with the process, and the homeowners’ lawyer told them to drop the suit. They were advised that it would be too costly to proceed, and there was no chance that they would win the suit. The prevailing wisdom at the time was that restrictive covenants were seen as being unenforceable. Looking back, it almost seems that whoever put in the restrictive covenant should be sued for fraud, as in, people were defrauded into selling the land because they felt comfortable believing the land would forever have single-family homes.

      I don’t think anyone ever said that restrictive covenants were illegal – I think everyone was just saying that courts never enforced them. BTW, the hotel was built along with a nice-sized berm with lots of trees, and homeowners can’t even tell that anything is located there.

  3. John Siman

    Quotation quiz time! Can you guess who said this? “Music is like books without words, it goes straight to the heart and educates in the right way, by provoking certain emotions and feelings.”

    Yes, it is a translation from a foreign language, and, yes, it does sound like Aristotle at the end of the Politics, but the speaker is a living person.

    Give up? It’s Vladimir Putin, speaking about literature and art to a group of Russian teenagers. The YouTube video of this conversation is amazing:
    “Putin Reveals His Favorite Book” (Russia Insight)

    Putin is extremely well-read and discusses his nation’s literature with joy and insight. And so it is unsurprising to read in “Post-Summit, Putin Says Image of Biden Drawn by Media Has Nothing to Do With Reality” that he knows how to be traditionally diplomatic.

    My point is that there is probably not a single living American politician who could speak engagingly about American literature. And no group of PMC-spawned teenagers who would even tolerate a non-woke conversation about any literature

    Thus, when Putin quoted Tolstoy after meeting with Biden, many Americans cried out in aghastitude, James Bond villain! Thus our enforced Official Stupidity.

    Bonus: here’s a link to “Vladimir Putin’s most unforgettable quotes.” Putin is not only well-read, but also witty, sometimes even caustic. This is probably worse, from the elite American point of view, than child abuse and racism and transphobia combined:

    1. Acacia

      Thanks for the link. “International League of Sexual Reform” also works in the present-day context of wokeism.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I can just imagine how aghast the media were to learn that Putin was using a cultural reference that did not come from a modern movie or TV program-

      New York Times reporter: ‘He used a cultural reference from an actual book? Why didn’t we get it?’

      Washington Post reporter: ‘Dunno. Guess we are too highly educated.’

      Of course in that article, Slate being Slate, they still basically called Putin a thug at the end of it.

      1. John Siman

        The fact that Putin quoted Tolstoy pretty much proves that he is a totally malevolent sci-fi monster even scarier than Trumpenstein!

          1. Temporarily Sane

            Speaking of PR…

            The panic over “misinformation” from Russia, China, Iran etc. began when countries that the American foreign policy blob designates as enemies began pushing back against the onslaught of American and wider western media PR (i.e. propaganda) that is constantly demonizing and denigrating them.

            It’s pretty mild stuff compared to US/western media propaganda which reduces these countries to dystopian caricatures run by a rotating cast of mononymous Bond villain thugs. And it appears in every major newspaper and TV channel in every western aligned country as well as on Radio Liberty, Radio Free Europe and BBC foreign-language services.

            Additionally, there is an entire network of “think tank” propaganda mills like the Atlantic Council and Bellingcat that churn out mis and disinformation on a daily basis. Last but not least there are covert operations like the UK’s Integrity Initiative that work with major MSM outlets to portray Russia and friends in a negative light.

            The PR/propaganda on channels like RT, CGTN and PressTV consists basically of criticizing American/western hypocrisy and calling out the the west for doing what it accuses its “enemies” of doing. They also run general interest stories about life in those countries and highlight achievements in tech, health, infrastructure, military hardware etc.

            Western governments and their media sycophants label all news or information that pushes back against the pervasive propaganda from the west as misinformation.

            Western “enemies” are not allowed to have their own voice or present their countries in a positive light.

    3. vlade

      Literature was an important part of curriculum in the Soviet-bloc countries, and anyone going to a high-school would have been exposed to many national and foreign writers & poets.

      Less so in elementary school, but even these days kids there would get least get some knowlede of names like de Saint-Exupéry, Hugo, Orwell, Remarque, Salinger to name just a few likely known to NC readers.

      You also need to add to that the fact that educated Russians pride themselves on being culture-aware (and there’s a thin line between really cultured and snobbish, see below) – it’s really a class marker, from the Soviet times where the elites were often clever and cunning, but not really educated.

      “Nekulturniy” vs “intelligentsiya”, but you have to watch for “obrazovanets”, who’s usually a wanna-be elite or at least intelligentsiya, although the term actually comes from Soviet times too, where these were “nekulturniye” educated at “political” universities where the main requirement was the ability to quote from Marx/Lenin (and at some time Stalin)’s collected works.

      1. juno mas

        I have a young friend who was born and educated in Russia. He emigrated to the US with his Russian mother at the age of nineteen. I met him as a radiology technician working for my cardiologist at the age of 25. He had learned/spoke impeccable English and gained his technical certificate in those 5 years!

        He is very proud of the depth of his Russian education. And the primacy of advanced education in Russian culture. (His mother has a Masters is mathematics.)

        The US should not sell Russia (or Putin) short.

        1. Mike Mc

          Never see any reference to the fact that Putin survived the collapse of the USSR, the chaos of the post-Soviet Union and Boris Yeltsin, only to wind up on in charge of the ‘new’ Russia.

          What Western leader could have managed that? I’m no fanboy but this summit as well as the Trump one should remind Americans (and Westerners in general) that Putin as well as Chairman Xi are deeply formidable politicians who came to power via circumstances we can barely imagine, let alone understand.

          Biden – given all his baggage and handicaps, visible and otherwise – is probably as good as we could expect. (Diehard Berniecrat so don’t get me started!)

          And given that the United States and possibly the UK and EU as well are likely to undergo something like the USSR’s collapse before long… maybe Mr. Putin has some handy hints for us, eh?

          1. The Rev Kev

            During the collapse of the USSR, Putin said that it was so chaotic that he took a shotgun to bed each night. The last US President to live through dangerous times when younger was George H. W. Bush nearly forty years ago. In WW2 he was a US Navy aviator who was shot down in combat-


            Since then, you had Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden who are either draft dodgers and/or are grifters.

      2. km

        My friend Lena the corporate raider was very proud of her skills in mathematics and literature. We had a sort of party game we would play with her, giving her extremely difficult calculations to solve in her head like something out of Rainman. She would make a show of counting on her fingers and making facial expressions while she worked out the answer.

        My Soviet educated co-workers were shocked that I was able to enter university without first knowing simple subjects like multivariable calculus.

    4. Maxwell Johnston

      Yes, VVP knows his literature (as did Stalin). Ilf & Petrov’s “The Twelve Chairs” is a hilarious book, and the Soviet film version of it is excellent. If I had to recommend one book that enables an outsider to understand (somewhat) modern Russia, that’s the book I’d choose. Daily conversational Russian is littered with quotes and references from it.

    5. Mildred Montana

      Nice comment. One of my recurring fantasies is to ambush an American politician with the questions “Who is your favorite author?”, “What is your favorite book?”, “What are you currently reading?”. I squirm with delight as I imagine the stammering answers. (Of course, impossible to ambush them today, all questions are vetted and all answers are rehearsed.)

      Gore Vidal: “Today’s [American] public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can’t read them either. ”

      1. Samuel Conner

        I imagine that many of them would come back, without a blink, with:

        author: “The apostle John”
        favorite book: “The Gospel according to John”
        currently reading: see above

        Since GWB’s answer to “your favorite philosopher”, I suspect that many politicos are prepared for questions like this.

          1. synoia

            Q to our elites “What are you currently reading?”
            A from our elites “Most Recent Bank Statement.”

    6. fresno dan

      John Siman
      June 18, 2021 at 7:44 am
      Thank you for that. I have mentioned a number of times that I think Putin runs circles around our “leaders.”
      But of course, that is a very low bar. As well as the fact that Putin has to evaluate courses of action and decide which is best (in his judgement) for the country. American politicians just do whatever they are told by the people paying them (and I don’t mean the people paying them their government salary).

      Here is the Putin annual press conference. And what makes Putin appear so good, is that the Russian press (and others as well) asks questions that are not fawning (e.g., Biden and Obama) nor of the “have you stopped beating your wife (e.g., Trump). Their like, real questions. And of course, Putin doesn’t have the “other party” to blame, so Putin doesn’t have a ready made excuse

      1. John Emerson

        Successful American politicians need to be able to present an image appealing to the infotainment world, give donors what they ask for, and negotiate the factions and tendencies of the political class. No need for anything else.

    7. Nikkikat

      I read Oliver Stone’s interview of Putin a couple of years ago. There was also a film containing most of the interview that took place over several days. I agree with you. He is extremely intelligent, well read, at times quite humorous. I am positive we have no one in politics either as intelligent or as well educated.
      I would include diplomat Sergei Lavrov as well. I worked with a couple of people from Russia. An education in Russia includes learning several languages, as well as the Arts. These two individuals were better educated than anyone I have ever met.

    8. km

      Watching Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Halfwit Joe Biden in a room together, unscripted, winner take all, would be comedy gold, but only if you think elder abuse is sort of funny. Still, if ever were there an elder who deserves to get abused, good and hard, it would be Biden….

      The effect of such a spectacle would be like watching Mike Tyson bodily jack up a wheelchair patient. Over and over and over again. And then after he was done and his fists were sore, Iron Mike would proceed to take a tire iron or aluminum baseball bat to that poor dude’s head, chest, neck and breast area.

      No wonder Biden’s handlers could not abide the thought of a joint press conference at which their figurehead would be laid waste for all to behold and marvel at. Much less a debate.

    9. ChiGal in Carolina

      >My point is that there is probably not a single living American politician who could speak engagingly about American literature.

      Ludicrous. Y’all sound like a bunch of reverse yahoos. Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper recently had Dennis Kucinich on, who was until a few years ago a politician. He was the very definition of engaging, a delight really, passionate about a wide range of literature and philosophy, and not just American either.

      And little as I like them, both Clinton and Obama were voracious readers who knew how to turn a phrase.

      So Putin has charisma. We know from Clinton and Obama that sounding intelligent and being witty can camouflage values that are rotten to the core.

      I don’t know if Bernie is a reader but he sure has a keen understanding of one of the greatest works of all time: the Old Testament.

      Sorry, just being cranky. Setting Dubya aside for the moment, there are probably just as many Republicans as Democrats who can talk books and ideas with a passion. These are privileged people, after all, they go to the best schools and have the leisure time to improve themselves. The shame is that they set their refined sensibilities aside when it comes to wielding power. My guess is that Putin does the same.

    10. ObjectiveFunction

      China’s Premier Xi is evidently a big fan of Goethe, whose works he read avidly while in rural exile as the son of a disgraced Party intellectual.

      …Interestingly, Goethe has all but disappeared from the Western literary canon outside Germany. 100 years ago, Faust and Werther were to be found in the library of any self-respecting bourgeois intellectual.

  4. cnchal

    > Pushing Consumers to Amazon Is Baked In to NYT’s Business Model FAIR

    One former Amazon human resources VP interviewed gave some context for the company’s sky-high 150% yearly turnover rate, saying CEO Jeff Bezos “didn’t want hourly workers to stick around for long, viewing ‘a large, disgruntled’ work force as a threat.” In other words, high turnover is a feature, not a bug, of this “success story for the ages.”

    Amazon shopper = whip cracking sadist

  5. fresno dan

    The Fort Bragg Murders Rolling Stone. Gruesome.
    Dumas had been arrested numerous times in North Carolina on charges ranging from making terroristic threats to impersonating a cop, yet had never been prosecuted. Lavigne, too, managed to escape prosecution on multiple occasions, though he had been suspected of felonies that included harboring an escapee, maintaining a vehicle or dwelling to manufacture a controlled substance, and even murder.

    In 2018, Lavigne shot and killed his best friend, a Green Beret named Mark Leshikar, in an inexplicable, drug-fueled altercation that no one witnessed but two little girls. Sheriff’s deputies took him to the station, but he was never placed under arrest or charged with a crime. He was taken home that same night by some of his Delta Force teammates. “They are a very hush-hush community,” says Diane Ballard, a police detective in the tiny town of Vass, where numerous Delta Force operators, current and retired, own houses. “They do what they want.”
    The king’s guards are not subject to civil authority

    1. griffen

      I’ll have to complete that article later today, but holy heck in a bucket. Zero accountability, and the one dude killing his wife. Sorry if that’s a spoiler alert*

      I visit the region often, family nearby that is not aligned with the military in anyway. You can tell much has changed since the middle 90s. *It is worse than that.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      …..44-year-old Timothy Dumas. People who knew him tell me that in life, he fit a certain kind of American archetype: the wannabe special-forces guy, a fake operator who, in order to impress people or intimidate them, passed himself off as an ex-commando. He had served 19 years in the Army, including time in the 7th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, but as a property book officer, a glorified supply sergeant.

      Why did that make me think immediately of chauffer-to-generals-in-Iraq transportation secretary pete buttigieg? “I am the right man for the job, having both military and ‘transportation’ experience.”

    3. .Tom

      Seth Harp was on a recent TrueAnon.

      My take away was that the Pentagon and JSOC need psychos and borderline nut jobs to staff their special ops. Collect a lot of them together in one place and stuff is going to happen. They cover it up in order to maintain their fighting force of psychos and borderline nut jobs.

      I guess it’s a bit like how cops don’t go to jail. While the overt story is one thing, in reality violence is a part of how they segregate and subdue. Violence is part of the job. They hire people like Chauvin who can do that job. His screw up was getting filmed while going too far.

    4. doug

      I live near the base. Neighbors used to enjoy going to a bar mentioned in the Ft Bragg article for years, then the subjects of this article ran them out of their favorite bar. In another incident, a soldier broke into someone’s home and beat up the elderly man and his wife within the last two years.

  6. Tom Stone

    Just a retired Broker, not a Real Estate Maven.
    The points made are valid, especially the changes made by AirBnB and the like however the suggestion of a Covenant restricting future owners ability to rent or lease their homes won’t fly in many States.

    1. griffen

      I concur on that point. Binding the next buyer to such a restriction would require a discount I think.

      The Fed has maintained their nonsense of buying US agency MBS quite long enough. And large institutional buyers ought to pay a premium above a single family owner occupant I’m unaware if they do or don’t.

      1. Objective Ace

        Insitutional investors do not pay a premium. In fact, if you get large enough you again get subsidized by the government. Loans greater then 1 million are backed by Fannie and Freddie just like small conventional loans that target SFH buyers. There’s a bit of a middle ground on properties in the 500k-1.5 million range (location dependent for the precise amount) that don’t receive subsidies and must borrow from the private market

    2. LawnDart

      Re: We’re Not in a Real Estate Bubble

      I’m looking forward to the comments on this one… …are multi-generational and mixed-households to become the norm again?

      1. Rod

        Solutions? Solutions at hand?
        So old school–before we learned the ‘the Power of Individuality’ and ‘Independence’
        What you propose could be dangerous and upsetting…
        all snark except the solutions at hand part– ;-/

      2. Louis

        No, millienials just need stop buying buy advocado toast and then they could afford to buy homes. /s

        1. Chris

          Houses in Southern California are going between $80k-$500k over asking price. Avocadoes need not apply

          1. Late Introvert

            The PMC obviously got a big raise in Covid 2020, and now again in 2021. The rest of us got a vicious pay cut or some unemployment and child credit nonsense, along with evictions now coming due. Enjoy the love from the capitalists cashing in even harder on a pandemic the 2nd time around.

    3. CuriosityConcern

      “Airbnb-type models altered the market irreversibly by proving on a large scale that short term rentals were more lucrative than stable long-term residents.”

      Quote of a reader comment featured in that post. There has to be a saturation point though, right? I know this is one facet of the poster’s argument, and that PE is another, but both of these factors are subject to regulatory and legislative largesse, which in a functioning democracy(or even the one we have in the us) could change overnight…

      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        I lost a $700 month rental to AirBnB. The unit now takes in up to $2800 a month at times. I do not see that person voting for any changes that wold favor me.

        1. Jef

          Could you expand on this: “I lost a $700 month rental to AirBnb”. I’m trying to think of what this means, but can’t come up with anything.

          1. Krystyn Podgajski

            Meaning my landlord didn’t renew my $700 month to month lease because he could get much more money renting it as an Airbnb. Straight from their mouth.

            1. Nikkikat

              Same thing happened here on our street.
              Three single guys worked construction type jobs. Rented the place for 2800.00 a month. Stayed 6 years and were great neighbors. Took very good care of the property. Owner evicted them so he could do Airbnb there. Now there are huge parties, cars parked all over the street, limiting our own parking. People wandering the neighborhood at all hours.
              Our city council told us to pound sand.
              Mayor has own Airbnb so we won’t get much help from him.

      2. chuck roast

        I live in a tourist town. It would be safe to say that demand is relatively inelastic for the Airbnb type rental unit. Real estate types are in complete control here. They are so rapacious that they don’t seem to understand what constitutes normal living. Everything is an income opportunity.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      If neither local incomes nor outside demand can support sales, rentals or temporary rentals what is the basis for the peculiar demand driving home prices and rentals? I believe an empty property is not an asset and an AirBnB property in the middle of no where is a property that can command little income. If I want to move from outback to further outback but everywhere the prices for purchase and rental of properties are going up am I wrong to ask what is going on? Is there some magic that turned homes into ‘trading homes’ — into a commodity like the ‘trading sardines’ of joke fame?

      The current trends toward evictions and foreclosures were designed and implemented in the extremely rapidly and essentially unanimously passed CARES Act. What are the designers of this egregious transfer of housing wealth intending? This appears to have been a carefully designed Congressional Act, strongly backed by Big Money. I like to believe our Elites are nefarious and EVIL, but I am especially disturbed by signs they may be seriously STUPID. Without some rapid and significant increases in personal income to whom do our Elites plan to rent the real properties they have and will be extracting from our Populace? I cannot believe there is enough AirBnB activity to cover the rental incomes necessary to justify the current home prices.

      Do ‘We’ — the Populace — still have a Government anywhere that answers to our needs, concerns, and desires?

  7. timbers

    We’re Not In A Real Estate Bubble Surviving Tomorrow, Medium. Deck: “It’s far worse than that.” I’m not a real estate maven. Perhaps readers who are will weigh in.

    I’ll weigh in.

    The Fed is making me a $millionarie$ on paper and I only have is a middle working class 1600 sq ft split level house in a good area of a city that many better incomed avoid and would never consider living in. The internets say it’s now past the half a million mark. And that’s a fair estimate as I see nearby home do 1 one house that create traffic congestion with all the cars parked, disappear from online listings, and then report a sold price way above the original listed asking price.

    My neighbor’s have trucks parking in their driveway with signs like “Bella Glass” “Professional Wiindows” “Pro Movers” “Sullivan Lawn and Landscaping”. Based on early morning observations walking the dog past these homes, some look to have son’s carrying on the profession and living with parents in same home.

    Lesser home called “Camponelli’s” which a single level homes about 1,000 sq ft were about 200k trying to reach $250k when I moved into the area 5 yrs ago. Now you the nicer one crashing thru 400k.

    1. The Historian

      I’ll weigh in too since I am now in that market too.

      As I said before, I just sold my house for over 2 1/2 times what I paid for it in Boise. What I’ve noticed in the real estate market here is that small houses like mine are selling like hotcakes to investors – larger family houses – over 2500 sq ft – aren’t selling so fast and I’ve noticed some are now doing price reductions to try and get them to sell.

      In the small town in North Dakota that I am moving to, prices are still fairly low – I will have enough cash from my sale to buy a house or a townhouse outright – which I will have to do or get hit with a tax. Anything over $250,000 has to be reinvested within 6 months! That is another way a small homeowner can take a hit! I’m not rich – I only make $50,000 a year on my retirement, yet selling my house put me in the class with the elite and now I am worrying about capital gains taxes!

      There are a few sellers in North Dakota who have listed their properties at outrageously high prices for the area – near what they could sell the property for in Boise – but they aren’t selling there right now. Wishful thinking on their part, I guess – or maybe they know something about that area that I don’t!

      I’m trying to find a decent place to rent in North Dakota while I look for a house – and the rental markets are also outrageous – the rents there are as high as the rents in Boise even though they have a LOT of empty units – I have lots of choices but at idiotic rates! I guess they’d rather have them sit empty rather than lower their prices!

      1. John Emerson

        You’re the first one who’s taken the bait. Every time someone complains about high home prices, I google up some nice $50,000 ND home for them.

        From what you’ve said I’d guess that the town you’re moving too is small by your standards but not by ND standards. In the really small
        towns prices can be unbelievably lpw.

    2. flora

      Wonder what that does to the local property tax rates? Sounds like everybody’s carrying costs on owning a home is going up even if they bought before the latest bubble.

      1. The Historian

        Idaho’s property taxes are incredibly low compared to the rest of the country but lately there have been a lot of complaints on local social media, especially from older residents who have owned their homes for a long time, having to contemplate selling their houses, because the assessments on their houses, and therefore their property taxes, have skyrocketed lately.

  8. Bandit

    Should we track all breakthrough cases of COVID-19? Harvard Health Publishing. From early June, before CDC answered “No,” but making CDC’s answer all the more inexplicable.
    It should read inexcusable.
    Why anyone still believes anything coming from this financially captured NGO is beyond me, unless maybe……..they themselves are captured?
    The last thing the CDC and the WHO want is any word getting out that the vaccines themselves may be toxic, as more and more evidence emerges about the extent and the dangers of side effects being “recorded”. It is in their interest (which coincidentally coincides with the vaccine manufacturer’s interests) that official records not be kept nor disseminated among the public. It is thanks to NC and other alternative media that the information is getting any traction.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      These days, “knowing” what they don’t want to “know” about the vaccines seems to be a lot more valuable than what they do want to “know” about it.

    2. flora

      If the CDC doesn’t test for and measure breakthrough cases then they don’t exist…right? / ;)

    3. Mikel

      “There could be other reasons for the CDC’s decision. First, there’s the challenge of messaging around encouraging people to get vaccinated. Focusing on breakthrough cases may send a misleading impression that the vaccines aren’t effective. This might complicate efforts to battle vaccine hesitancy.”

      They are prioritizing corporate messaging.
      They can’t wrap their heads around the idea that decades of prioritizing corporate messaging and profits over detailed research IS a major contributor to vaccine hesitancy and skepticism around alot of drugs promoted as safe.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Speaking of “messaging,” the “emergency” cdc meeting regarding myocarditis in boys and young men who have been vaccinated which was supposed to have taken place today, has been been postponed “in observance” of juneteenth, the newest federal “holiday” minted just yesterday.

        Since Juneteenth falls on Saturday for 2021, the holiday is celebrated Friday, according to CNN. The CDC cited the new federal holiday as reason for rescheduling the meeting.

        “The June 18, 2021 COVID-19 meeting is being rescheduled due to the observation of the Juneteenth National Independence Day holiday. The discussion will be rescheduled to be included as part of the June 23-25 ACIP meeting,” the CDC said according to CNN.


        1. Lemmy Caution

          Yes. Quite the responsive organization.
          On VAERS right now, these are the current number for myocarditis/pericarditis reports* among young people:

          Ages 6-17 — 137 reports
          Ages 18-29 — 341 reports

          Ages 6-17 — 33 reports
          18-29 — 129 reports

          It would be helpful to find out the number of vaccinated in each age group so we could calculate the frequency of these adverse events.

          *As noted elsewhere, these are just reports that have been submitted voluntarily. They still need to be vetted.

  9. Bandit

    French prosecutors seek 6-month jail term for Sarkozy

    It will never happen because it sets a bad precedent for all the other crooks in office, past and present. Sarkozy will likely get a slap on the wrist, maybe a fine and be required to perform some sort of community service if that even exists in France. France can always point to the US example set by the FBI and DOJ in the case of Hillary Clinton and her hundreds of enablers.

    1. David

      Sarkozy is already serving a one-year prison sentence (with two suspended) for other crimes, and there is at least one further case on the way (frankly I’ve lost count recently). The French justice system has been pursuing Sarkozy with some tenacity since 2012.
      This case is about fraudulent over-spending in the 2012 election campaign, where Sarkozy lost to François Holland. There are very parsimonious and very rigidly enforced campaign spending limits in French elections, to guarantee égalité among the candidates. The limit in 2012 roughly equates to $25M, and Sarkozy’s team, by billing various events to the party, and not to his campaign, managed to spend nearly twice that. The only question is whether Sarko knew about it: he claims he didn’t, everybody else claims he did. The integrity of the French electoral process is something they pride themselves on, and Sarko’s political opponents on all sides will be more than happy to see him go down.

      1. John Emerson

        I believe that in most of Europe politicians don’t have the impunity they have here.

  10. upstater

    re. Germany disbands Stasi records agency but saves files Deutsche Welle

    Maybe some day we’ll see a headline “In the US, Facebook and Google disband, but NSA saves files”. The borgs don’t need a Stasi agency and neighbors ratting on one another; smartphones and browsers do such a fantastic job without needing people and paper.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I heard a story how after Cold War One ended, an older CIA agent asked his KGB counterpart why they had so many people working for them to spy on people. The KGB agent said it was because on their side of the curtain not that many people used and had computers.

    2. David

      This has been an immense problem in all the post-Soviet states. I remember being at a seminar about twenty years ago, and listening to the (then) head of the Czech domestic intelligence service talking about the havoc it had caused. OK, you want to know what’s in your dossier. But do you want to know who gave the information? Your friends, your family, somebody jealous of your position? Someone who was blackmailed into working for the regime and had to feed them information to survive? And supposing you turn up in the dossier of a friend because of a casual comment you made about their drinking habits in the hearing of a regime agent? Don’t forget that most of the old WP services operated on Soviet lines established by Stalin, who was an MBA before his time. Intelligence officers were given quotas of informants to recruit, and frequently made them up, and invented testimonies and even incidents. It’s the old story: be careful what you ask for, in case you get it.

  11. Tom Stone

    The Tony Butka article is devastating, and having the Assembly Judiciary Comittee unanimously support a bill ( 386)that would exempt CalPers from parts of the Public Records Act tells you all you need to know about California Government.
    CalPers, in the persons of Jones, Jacobs Et Al have been acting as though they are above the Law.
    They may be acting above their station in this Nation of men and not laws.
    And that’s pretty much the only reason they may be held to account.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s a remarkable article but what is most remarkable is the fact that they are allowed to do this sort of stuff time and again and now they want the laws changed to make their corruption actually legal. I suppose that they will keep on doing it if they never see guys turn up in their offices in dark uniforms with guns on their hips and badges on their chests. The time to watch for is when they leave CalPERS as that may indicate a time of rats and sinking ships.

  12. Bandit

    Covid-19: Technology That Saves Lives – But Can the NHS Afford it?

    Ivermectin as a promising cure or prophylactic for Covid-19 — But Can the NHS Afford it?

    1. R

      This article is well worth reading as it is much wider ranging than the title suggests and touches on many NC hot buttons: groupthink, institutional rot, zinc, effective covid treatment, ventilator panic, Orientalism etc.

      The author is a brilliant surgeon and medical device inventor who solved the problem of perfusion immune reaction making extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECNO) a reliable treatment. (full disclosure: a colleague was a major seed investor in his heart pump startup, Calon Cardio).

      He speaks from personal experience how the UK public health established closed its mind to the facts visible on the ground in China from the beginning, when he came back from a medical conference in Wuhan in early Jan where the Chinese had asked this advice on ECMO in their viral pneumonia outbreak. His advice was also to use zinc as a membrane steriliser and steroids as an immunosuppressant, to reduce the viral and ventilator lung damage.

  13. The Rev Kev

    Just 0.2% of Fortune 100 board members have any experience with climate. That’s going to have to change’

    I suspect that they will change when they are effected by climate change themselves. So when they can no longer go skiing because their favourite ski resorts no longer have snow, when their homes in the Hamptons start experiencing flooding and are hit by unseasonal and unusual hurricanes, and their investment portfolios suffer downturns as climate change wrecks havoc on the economy, then and maybe only then will they try to greenwash themselves -if there is a profit in it. If not, they will just head to their bunkers or fly out to NZ if they can.

    1. Rod

      Bloombergs Column is dead on in where new blood is needed–
      But if companies are going to make climate a priority, they’ll need to be bold about it. Changing to meet new imperatives—whether driven by the pandemic, technology or climate—starts with changing leadership.

      Curiously–this comes next (my emphasis)– “This is what disruption looks like,” he said. “It happens slowly at first, then very quickly. It seems impossible to imagine a different way to do things, then we’re doing things in a different way. Stay tuned for a whole new way to work.”

      because Extinction Rebellion ( ) says this–
      We set our mission on what is necessary.
      Mobilising 3.5% of the population to achieve system change – such as “momentum-driven organising”.

  14. jr

    Re: Martha Stewart

    I used to date a one-time employee of Martha Stewart. Here are two anecdotes that may shed light on Martha’s world:

    At a photo shoot at Martha’s Hamptons estate some years ago, one of the crew discovered the sad fact that a housecat had drowned in the pool. At the time Martha was in prison, no doubt developing new ways of making colorful but practical shivs from stuff you have just laying around. Martha’s mother was overseeing, and I mean overseeing, the operation at the mansion.

    The crewmember fished out the cat and came into the house with the bad news. Upon hearing it, Martha’s mother grabbed a big Ziploc bag, went out and placed the dead cat in it, and stuffed the corpse into the kitchen freezer when she got back inside. She then turned and flatly announced to the stunned crew that “Martha can deal with that when she gets out of prison.”

    Interlude of manic screams . . .

    Martha has, if I remember correctly, two grand daughters. She threw one of them a five trillion dollar birthday party at her offices in Manhattan complete with a professional Elmo and a cake that could feed a city block. Now, Martha loves one of her grand daughters and could care less about the other. This was made clear when a cruelly smiling Martha was videoed pretending to stomp on the head of her non-favored grand daughter as she lay playing on the floor at her feet. Martha appeared to be doing this for the comedic benefit of her staff, who looked on with the well practiced frozen smiles of the courtiers of Henry VIII. The child was maybe around six years old or so, to put it in a crisper context.

    1. JacobiteInTraining

      I’m reminded of the nickname my Mom had for our family cat when I was growing up (she = dog person)

      …she called him “Mr. Weeksworth”

      As in, if we ever got short of protein in an emergency, the chubby kitty would provide meat for about a week, if rationed properly.

      As long as frozen quickly enough maybe Martha’s cat provided as well.

      1. jr

        “As long as frozen quickly enough maybe Martha’s cat provided as well.”

        I’m not going to touch that one on NC. But the notion naturally lends itself to thoughts of cannibalism and we are free to wonder what delicacies Martha would cook up if forced to consume one of her staff members. Say her jet goes down with a full crew, somewhere tasteful like Provence. As the tins of specialty biscuits and forcemeats in the survival kits empty, her baleful eyes begin to roam amongst her mob. There, that’s the one. There’s a bit of meat on him and his bones are of a suitable size to construct musical instruments, kitchen utensils, and perhaps some amulet/bracelet sets. Her hand moves and the HR staff close in around the unwitting victim. His shrieks are cut short by a laser honed chef’s knife with matching paring knife and sheaths available in turquoise on Amazon Prime. The HR people melt away into the shadows to feed on darkness and whispers while the true horrors begin: the crafters close in, knitted vests and quirky berets soon dripping with gore…

      2. Glen


        You remind me of when our son asked me what he should call his new pet rabbit. He did not like my suggestion of “PanFried”.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Washington’s Dangerous New Consensus on China”

    Where Bernie Sanders says-

    ‘At that time, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the corporate media, and virtually every establishment foreign policy pundit in Washington insisted…that the liberalization of China’s economy would be accompanied by the liberalization of China’s government with regard to democracy and human rights.’ what I think that he really means is-

    ‘At that time, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the corporate media, and virtually every establishment foreign policy pundit in Washington insisted…that the liberalization of China’s economy would be accompanied by the neoliberalization of China’s government with regard to privatization and corporate rights.’

    But he is quite correct about how ‘Organizing our foreign policy around a zero-sum global confrontation with China, however, will fail to produce better Chinese behavior and be politically dangerous and strategically counterproductive.’ Yeah, this is a winner-take-all approach and no matter how well it has worked for some people in their personal/political lives, trying to scale it up to international relations has a nasty tendency to result in severe blowback.

    1. hunkerdown

      Liberalism is the right word. Liberalism = capitalism. Progressivism = PMC rule. Only elites and their collaborators would be interested in more of either of those.

      On the other hand, the more I read leftypol and other Marxist activist groups, the more desirable the mutual ruin of the classes sounds.

      1. JBird4049

        Progressivism as oppose the Progressives, their movement, and their ideological heirs, right? One of the fun bits studying today’s neoliberal regime is their twisting the meaning of words to hide their own corrupt actions.

      2. Aumua

        Well now we’re getting into definitions, and when it comes to highly charged words like liberalism and progressivism (?) one should at least acknowledge that there may be different shades of meaning, if not outright different meanings that different people assign to those words, including different images and feelings that they associate with those words. Otherwise communication is already blocked before the discussion even begins.

  16. Objective Ace

    >We’re not in a real estate bubble

    I think much of this is nonsense

    What does “A house’s market price is the maximum amount that a buyer can expect to afford over the next 25–40 years” even mean? Its clearly not accurate. Many people dont like to be house rich cash and cash poor and buy less than they can afford (or they just dont want live in an 8000 sq ft McMansion)

    There’s definitely issues that the author correctly touches on. However, they are ultimately driven by wealth inequality. Fixing wealth inequality hits the issue from both ends. The uber rich have less money to invest in blackstone which is buying up homes, and the middle class has more money to afford homes.

    A simple way to help fix this inequality would be to stop directly subsidizing the uber rich to buy properties. For example, Jared Kushner received a 800 million dollar federally backed loan.

    1. Jen

      “Many people dont like to be house rich cash and cash poor and buy less than they can afford (or they just dont want live in an 8000 sq ft McMansion)”

      Until this past year where “affordable” means in need of serious updating (if you’re very lucky, it will only be cosmetic), a realtor friend of mine constantly found herself dealing with clients who were buying houses they could barely afford. According to the mortgage calculator I just played with, I can “afford” a 700K house on my salary. There are undoubtedly some people out there who would be damn fool enough to believe that. I’m not one of them.

    2. Wukchumni

      The 1,200 sq foot home in not tony whatsoever East L.A. that I grew up in cost my parents $12k in 1960, and when we moved to nicer digs in 1968 we cleared $500 profit on it, my mom related.

      It now Zillows for just under $700k, and to put in the same performance in 2081 from now, it would make it worth a bit over $40 million.

      We’ve been in a housing bubble all of my adult life, regional at first and then worldwide!

    3. anon y'mouse

      disengaged from reality long enough that they don’t know what it looks like nor how to discuss it.

      or, this translation: RE bankers want ALL YO $$$, for all time.

    4. Dirk77

      Yes, it’s inequality caused by socialism for the rich and capitalism for everyone else. It will keep getting worse until, as Chris Arnade implied, the poor realize that the ending of the social contract works both ways.

  17. John Emerson

    Our suppliers kept merging and hyphenation. I started out buying one item from Baxter-Scientific Products -Fenwall- Travenol, but later Fisher and/or Curtin Matheson ended up buying Baxter. And with every merger, a few products got lost.

    1. Oh

      Bausch and Lomb seems to be the only contact lens solution available for gas permeable lenses. I wonderr if the other manufacturers have been bought up? OR is there some collusion going on?

  18. Otis B Driftwood

    “We’re not in a real estate bubble” …. a must read and some excellent comments from readers.

    This reminds me of the place where I grew up, a planned post-WWII community in the south suburbs of Chicago.

    This article provides a history – I highly recommend anyone interested in this issue (or mid-century American history) give this a read.

    Park Forest was founded in 1948 to provide affordable housing to returning WWII vets. The article I linked to above also discusses the impact of suburban housing on inner cities and how the automobile became the focus of American life.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Should we track all breakthrough cases of COVID-19? ”

    For the love of god, yes. Because these vaccines are a lot of them experimental, you want to collect all the information that you can to make your job easier down the road. By not collecting this sort of information (except those that were hospitalized or died), that leaves science flying blind as to what it all means. I think that the CDC not collecting this sort of info merely underlines their basic disfunctionalism at this stage. And the WHO has proven themselves just as bad. Unfortunately I cannot see a strategy to reform them right now, especially when you are talking about all the money that Big Pharma can throw their way to keep them in this state.

    1. Lemmy Caution

      As I said in a long comment which disappeared into moderation limbo this morning, I believe the CDC is tracking adverse reactions and breakthrough data — they just prefer you to think that they aren’t.

      For example, I just found a CDC study of a group of fully vaccinated frontline workers in which 9% of them got breakthrough infections. Haven’t seen that study reported anywhere in the media.

      1. Objective Ace

        9 percent isn’t that bad. If Pfizer is 95 percent effective (if you get 2 shots which not everyone does) and JnJ is 75%, 9 percent breakthrough is about what we’d expect.

        The bigger issue is that presumably effecitveness wanes over time. I would expect rates much higher then 9 percent as we start getting 6+ months out from when people recieved their vaccine. Alas, we will never know because the powers to be see no reason to try to keep track

        1. Lemmy Caution

          9% of 130,000,000 fully vaccinated equals nearly 12 million people wandering around with a Covid viral load, does it not?

        2. neo-realist

          You factor in that frontline workers are probably getting exposed to enormous loads of the virus on a daily basis–So the avg person with 2 shots, without the daily exposure to the infected, maybe they have a quarter to a half of that breakthrough total?

          Very good odds for all that have been inoculated for the most part.

          1. Lemmy Caution

            That is certainly possible.

            I mentioned the 9% breakthrough number in counterpoint to the CDC talking points about the breakthrough rate that have circulated in the media for months. Namely, as of April 30, the CDC announced that there were about 10,000 breakthrough cases among about 100,000,000 fully vaccinated people in the U.S. That’s a breakthrough rate of about .01%.

            Contrast that with the 9% breakthrough rate the CDC found in this other study I mentioned. Isn’t that 9% breakthrough rate about 90 times larger than the .01%.

            Seems like quite a range. Funny how I didn’t see this other CDC study mentioned anywhere.

      2. Maritimer

        “As I said in a long comment which disappeared into moderation limbo this morning, I believe the CDC is tracking adverse reactions and breakthrough data — they just prefer you to think that they aren’t. ”
        Exactly, they have all the data, they just push out what they want the public to hear. It is an Experiment! They want all the data they can get. For instance, what about all those military who are vaccinated, easy to massage and analyse those records. Same with large HMOs that are in bed with Big Pharma. Numerous, large captured databases to use.

        And, in my jurisdiction, they test about 5000 folk a day to turn up 50 or so cases. The mantra is “Come on down and be tested for free. No Symptoms needed.” Why would they do this? To get lots of data on Covid and other health issues. Of course, all this data provided on the public dime.

    2. HotFlash

      RevKev, and the same goes for adverse event tracking. A friend remarked t’other day that she had heard from an old neighbour who now lives in Oz. Friend’s husband was having some serious health problems, many alarming symptoms including inability to walk or talk. Medicos went looking for a stroke, nope that’s not it, tumor, no; three weeks later he can walk some but still can’t talk, communicates by writing, wife is not allowed to visit. Doctors are baffled, wife is distraught.

      That rang a little bell with me. I had looked at Steve Kirsch’s website* after seeing him on Brett Weinstein’s Dark Horse podcast (Kirsch is the very excitable guy) and he mentions loss of ability to talk as an adverse effect of Covid vaccine on his landing page, but no details or cite that I could (easily) find. But inability to talk sounds very odd indeed, and I did mention it to my friend who said she would mention it to her friend. But wouldn’t it be nice if there were some world-wide health organization that could track this kind of stuff so physicians everywhere could get a handle on rare events? And maybe lay people too?

      * — I am not linking here b/c the site seems, IMHO, not very professional. The (two) links I checked went to nothing concrete, eg, one supposedly to CDC’s vaccine side effects went to a listing of three or four mild symptoms, although I eventually clicked through to two studies but could not find said symptoms — but I do not know the lingo, it could have been there. The only other cite I checked went to a religious site that looked decidedly CT and had no hard data that I could find (but urged me to start my Morinings with Sister Miriam — wha???) , so I did not pursue further.

      1. FreeMarketApologist

        Loss of ability to talk, swallow, and other muscle weakness can also be a symptom of myasthenia gravis. Person should consider seeing a neurologist.

        Any info on studies of the neurological effects of vaccines?

    3. Duke of Prunes

      Just got a call from a relative near Dallas TX who’s husband just got Covid, after being fully Pfizer vaccinated for a month or two. He currently has flu-like symptoms, and is being treated with Vitamin D and C and possibly some other vitamin. I recommended they ask about ivermectin, but I’m guessing the Dr will discount that idea (given the full page of anti-ivermectin article links came up when I googled it to get the correct spelling).

      1. Lemmy Caution

        Here is a 2-hour version of the video. I don’t know what happened to the longer 3-hour plus version. Wonder what got clipped.

        1. Lee

          If they clipped Kirsch’s interruptions, which were often disruptive to the train of thought being developed, that would account for the missing hour. Not to dis the points he raised or the video as a whole. His style was often weirdly argumentative even while agreeing with Malone or Weinstein. See my comment below on YouTube censorship.

          1. Lemmy Caution

            Yeah, agreed. But he was rarely, if ever, corrected by either of the other two participants, one of which was Dr. Robert Malone, the inventor of the mRNA vaccine technology.

    1. Screwball

      I love the hashtag #FollowTheSilence

      I truly hope this keeps gaining traction, at least enough more people see it. It will have to be done by the people as the censorship and media capture will surely not cover the potential.

      The silencing/censorship of alternative/repurposed drug treatments for COVID, to me, is one of the greatest travesties I can think of. Mind boggling at best, and criminal at worst.

  20. JTMcPhee

    If Obama had delivered on card check, and MS-NBC employees were unionized, would that mean that outlet would not be discharging the steady stream of CorpoNarrative and DemoCIAdog effluvium?

    Unions, as we all see, are no guarantee of socially beneficial goodness, nor of support for universal concrete material benefits for the mopery, or job actions to reduce the massive inequality in wealth and ownership.

    What happens to Maddow’s takings if a union is certified?

  21. flora

    today’s antidote – the fox

    “Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

    ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

    1. begob

      “Chaos reigns.”
      The Fox in Lars von Trier’s Antichrist. I didn’t get it – but I did laugh inappropriately.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “One Failed Bridge in Memphis Is Costing Business Millions”

    Good illustration of a public good here. So you have a local, State or federal government that will build a bridge. That bridge helps the local economy and the people & businesses that use it only pay a tiny fraction for it in the local taxes. It is almost a given that a government will do this and it relieves a burden from local business having to finance & build it. But, if you have a situation where taxes keep on getting cut and business try to pay little tax at all plus you have governments being shrunk leading to cut-backs on things like, oh I don’t know, say bridge maintenance, then here you see the result. Thanks neoliberalism

    Great Antidote du Jour by the way. The expression on its face is priceless. And the best thing? The woman that took this photo did it in her own back yard.

  23. ambrit

    Just reading through the Missouri post and realized that it is NPR. (Now, I am as cynical as all get out, but this pegged my metre.) There was a continuous drumbeat of “get your shots” messaging. The point was specifically mentioned seven times in the body of the article. At one point, someone “official” was quoted as saying; “That natural immunity is not the best tool. That vaccine is the best tool.”
    Another whopper was this bit of meritocratic shaming; “The thing that personally keeps me up at night is the responsibility of keeping the 40,000 people in this county alive whether they want it or not.” What a way to win over “hearts and minds” there Buckey!
    Yet another example of “Messaging” was this; “The CDC’s May 16 guidelines stating people who were fully vaccinated could engage in most activities without a mask were well stated,” Edwards said.
    Hmmm… Talk about confusion and dysfunction!
    Hunker down and stay safe!

    1. curlydan

      Good advice, ambrit!

      There is a good chunk of southwest Missouri that has above average COVID rates, and it’s concerning that the Delta variant is showing up there. Who knew that places where people like to drink, party, and not wear masks might have upticks? ;) Stop partying inside, people!

      Maybe people also ought to know that in the UK, 26 of the 73 deaths from the Delta variant were fully vaccinated people. Although Yahoo’s lede says “Just 26…”, 2 paragraphs in you get the grim news that over a third (hardly “just”) of Delta COVID deaths were fully vaccinated people.

      1. R

        Given that the UK has followed a strict age priority on vaccination and we have fully vaccinated nearly 60% of population, the fact that some people with two vaccinations are dying is a barnstorming success, given how few they are now and yet would account for 99% of fatalities unvaccinated.

        Prof Oliver Johnson of Bristol has an excellent “Corona centrist” blog that explains a lot of the conditional probability perspective required to evaluate diagnostic test and vaccination efficacy.

        1. curlydan

          Good points. I did the math based on your UK stats site, and among No Vaccine recipients, there have been 3.33 Delta deaths per million UK residents. Among at least 1 vaccine dose recipients, there have been 0.92 Delta deaths per million UK residents, or a 72% improvement. As you noted, that improvement would be better if adjusted for ages.

          1. R

            We may have some bad viral outcomes but we have some great stats!

            You can look at any city / county in England (the devolved administrations are not all contributing) and see rates, time series and, best feature, demographic heatmap time series for vaccination and cases. There are also data on hospitalisation, ventilation and death. You can also see a map that shows this data for each c.8,000 person subunit, unless there are fewer than three cases to protect anonymity.

            It’s pretty impressive for a two man band of government data scientists who put it all together on the fly. A large proportion of the UK sits down at 4pm sharp daily with that website and a cup of tea to check out the Daily Deaths….

  24. Carolinian

    Re that I-40 bridge–the last time I traveled between Little Rock and Memphis I was stuck in three traffic jams due to accidents or, in one case, a truck fire. It’s a hugely busy corridor because of the FedEx Memphis hub and the limited available places to cross the mile wide river. There is another bridge at Memphis but any impediment to the traffic flow is likely causing big delays.

    Meanwhile closer to home, upgrades to the local freeway are almost done after years of construction and the roads seem more crowded than ever. It was the same way when I lived in Atlanta. They would widen the freeways and by the time they were finally through they were just as crowded with new traffic. If you build it they will come….

    1. Ghost in the Machine

      The Power Broker about Robert Moses goes into this phenomenon. We have guessed pretty much since the beginning of freeway construction this was the case and there was solid data by at least the 70s that more freeway never solves the problem. But, the building went on. For reasons also discussed in the book.

  25. Lee

    YouTube censorship

    I find how YouTube works, or doesn’t, puzzling.

    Just checked to see if Bret Weinstein’s three hour plus discussion with Dr. Robert Malone and Steve Kirsch was still up and it appears to have been removed. As of yesterday it had over 600K views. But, if one searches, “Dr. Robert Malone on youtube”, excerpts from the Weinstein post are still up. Interestingly, an excerpt that’s up contains one of the more troubling assertions regarding mRNA vaccines. It currently has 823K views.

    Also, there is shown on my YouTube viewing history a video by Allison Morrow about YouTube’s removal of a Weinstein interview with frontline Covid clinician and ivermectin advocate, Dr. Pierre Kory. Morrison’s video is labeled “removed” but is still watchable. In addition to being appalled by ham-handed censorship by YouTube et al, I am now also confused by what appears to be their inconsistent ability to suppress views that contradict the dominant narrative of the moment.

    A wild guess: they have set their algorithms to remove any positive mention of ivermectin but not as yet to remove mention of the possible cytotoxic effects of the Covid vaccine induced spike protein.

    1. flora

      Time to break up / strongly regulate big social media and big tech. Either we – Congress and state goverments – control big tech or it will control US.

    2. begob

      I think the concern is with circulating spike protein, which would apply to Astra Zeneca as well as Pfizer. The case rests on a Japanese study of distribution of the break-down lipid particles of the Pfizer, and relies on the assumption that this indicates locus of spike protein production.

      This video rebuts the case, stating that the study tracks only the distribution of the lipid particles, and assumes that the spike protein is broken down within the cell by proteolysis. The rebuttal is strengthened by pointing out further spike protein breakdown by macrophages. Summary: the spike protein remains local to the injected muscle and is broken down; the lipid particles are 80% broken down at the muscle site, and almost all the remainder is broken down by the liver and excreted; build up of lipid particles in organs, including ovaries, is minimal, with the only probable harm to those allergic to polyethylene glycol. However, he does point out that the translation from Japanese is a bit hectic:

      1. athingtoconsider

        Summary: the spike protein remains local to the injected muscle

        Rather, the case that the spike protein DOES NOT remain local to the injected muscle is not made, which is not the same thing at all.

        Indeed, it seems absurd on its face that absolutely NO spike protein escapes via the blood supply or other means to other parts of the body whether that is yet proven or not.

        1. Cuibono

          we already have a study that shows the spike protein circulates. Albeit in very small amounts. out for weeks now

  26. Carolinian

    Re In the Heights and “colorism”–there’s an Oscar nominated documentary about Billie Holiday called Billie out on DVD. In it they tell how when, touring in the South, she had been asked to darken her lighter skin to blend in with the band–presumably to remove any taint of “race mixing,.” But it was liberals too as seen in the movie version of West Side Story where the Latinos were played by the likes of Natalie Wood (Ukrainian American) and George Chakiris (Greek American). Anything with a hyphen would do apparently for the culturally naive WASP audiences buying the tickets.

    All of which is to say that by adding hue to all the other things to divide and categorize us Hollywood is once again demonstrating its ineptitude as money making machine disguised as cultural change agent. In the movie Bullworth fictional politician Warren Betty tells Hallie Berry the only solution is for everyone to **** and produce one color–problem solved. Or we can make up yet another word: colorblindism.

    1. athingtoconsider

      and produce one color–problem solved.

      Reminds me of The Lathe of Heaven by Ursela K. LeGuin

      1. rowlf

        The joke in my extended family is which of our mutt kids has the most ticket-punches and how soon before one of us has a grandkid who can color in every block on a government form.

        We like to think we give racists and anti-racists nightmares by mixing the bloodlines.

  27. Lemmy Caution

    Here’s real doozy; Remember that emergency CDC meeting to go over the possible link between th Covid vaccine and heart problems in young men?
    The June 18, 2021 COVID-19 meeting is being rescheduled due to the observation of the Juneteenth National Independence Day holiday. The discussion will be rescheduled to be included as part of the June 23-25 ACIP meeting.
    Looks like Wokeness is beating out wellness.

    1. outside observer

      Perhaps if they had decided to pause youth vaccination in the interim, the ’emergency’ meeting would have taken on the air of a real emergency, new holidays be damned.

      1. Lemmy Caution

        Perish the thought!

        Pfizer is working on getting authorization to vaccinate children ages 2-11 next.

        I say that’s outrageous!

        What are 1-year-old kids — chopped liver?

    1. JBird4049

      Just how does YouTube know that Ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine does not work, why do they care, and why are they doing this as oppose to any other nonsense posted onsite? And just why are the “local health authorities” and the WHO given such uncritical respect and authority?

      I can as paranoid as anyone, but really, what is the point?

  28. Maritimer

    Davos is dead, and the coronavirus killed it FT (Vlade). Hot stuff.
    “The Davos crowd seek quick fixes, takeaways, action points and deliverables, rather than dwelling on the thoroughly uncomfortable reality of our condition, for fear of going into depression or becoming paralysed by inertia.”

    That sure sounds like Covid Strategy to me. Quick vax fix and then bandaid after bandaid to patch the fix up and keep it groaning along. There was and still is a more reasoned, rational approach but not quick.

  29. flora

    re: Lifting the mask Ed Snowden, Continuing Ed

    Thanks for the link. Snowden writing topically on Substack now is very welcome. This arrives at a good time; I’m looking forward to his expertise informing his comments about tech, surveillance, privacy, and democracy

    This is the reality of the fully commercialized mainstream internet: our exposure to an indigestible mass of shortest-form opinions that are purposefully selected by algorithms to agitate us on platforms that are designed to record and memorialize our most agitated, reflexive responses. These responses are, in turn, elevated in proportion to their controversy to the attention — and prejudice — of the crowd. In the resulting zero-sum blood sport that public reputation requires, combatants are incentivized to occupy the most conventionally defensible positions, which reduces all politics to ideology and splinters the polis into squabbling tribes. The products of the irreconcilable differences this process produces are nothing more than well-divided “audiences,” made available to the influence of advertisers, and all that it cost us was the very foundation of civil society: tolerance.

    For this reason, I’d like to do my part in encouraging a return to longer forms of thinking and writing, which provide more room for nuance and more opportunity for establishing consensus or, at the very least, respecting a diversity of perspective and, you know, science.

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