Links 6/20/2021

Puffins return to Calf of Man for first time in 34 years Bird Guides

Global shipping summit all at sea over carbon emissions and UN climate talks hit a wall over tensions about finance FT

The Green Revolution Is Being Built on a Very Dirty Industry Bloomberg

Behind Airbus-Boeing truce lies a common rival: China Agence France Presse

Thirty Tesla crashes linked to assisted driving system under investigation in US Guardian (Furzy Mouse).


The Risk of SARS-CoV-2 Transmission from Patients with Undiagnosed Covid-19 to Roommates in a Large Academic Medical Center (accepted manuscript) Clinical Infectious Diseases. From the Discussion: “Almost 40% of patients that shared a hospital room with someone with occult SARS-CoV-2 infection became infected.” If I understand “occult” correctly, it translates to “retrospectively symptomatic” (i..e, people can have fevers for all sorts of reasons, and later be diagnosed with Covid).

In 2nd school outbreak, 44 kids catch COVID — apparently the Delta variant Times of Israel. Commentary:

At risk of falling short on vaccine goal, Biden marks new milestone: 300M shots under his watch ABC. Deck: “At a million a day, the pace of shots is the same as when Biden took office.” As I said for months.

A beautiful idea: how COVAX has fallen short The Lancet


Flights cancelled and districts locked down amid fresh coronavirus cases in southern China South China Morning Post

Song Luzheng: Biden’s first visit, Europe is the winner What China Reads. See the note at the end: “This is an auto-translated version of the article meant for Chinese audience. A mature and nuanced reading is suggested.”

Top US general: Chinese military has ‘ways to go’ before it can take Taiwan The Hill

Behind the scenes at China TV: soft power and state propaganda FT

China is kicking out more than half the world’s bitcoin miners – and a whole lot of them could be headed to Texas CNBC

Trade War Costs Global Value Chains 3-5 Years of Growth, UN Says Bloomberg

Farmers in Australia are burning their own crops, desperate to escape a mouse plague WaPo (Re Silc).


The Revolt Against Myanmar’s Junta Can Succeed The Irrawaddy. But:

Taking solidarity action on Myanmar Solidarity Action

A chat on the beach Couchfish


G7 summit was ‘super spreading’ event for Cornwall as cases rocket 2,450% after Johnson and Biden visit INews

John Bercow quits Tories to join Labour, saying: ‘This government needs to be replaced’ Sky News

Capitol Seizure

Who Wants To Hear My Crazy, Kooky Conspiracy Theory About 1/6? Caitlin Johnstone. True, the FBI has form. But “If maybe, just maybe” isn’t evidence.

The Capitol Riot Indictments Do Not Suggest an FBI Entrapment Scheme Andrew McCarthy, National Review

Biden Administration

Bidenomics Is ‘America First’ With a Brain Foreign Policy. Continuities rather than differences….

Why Joe Biden has been forced to accept Russia and Germany’s energy relationship New Statesman

Antitrust Bills Have Some Democrats Asking Pelosi to Slow Down Bloomberg

CDC can’t regulate cruises: judge The Hill

Biden’s China strategy: a chronology Adam Tooze, Chartbook

K Street Sets Sights on New Semiconductor Policy Amid Global Shortage Truthout

The World Relies on One Chip Maker in Taiwan, Leaving Everyone Vulnerable WSJ

How America quietly lost 2,700 ships Business Insider

Democrats en Deshabille

The Man Who Loved Presidents Thomas Frank, Harpers. A pleasingly savage evisceration of Jon Meacham, Presidential historian and Biden advisor, author of The Soul of America (now on HBO).

Uber and Lyft Donated to Community Groups Who Then Pushed the Companies’ Agenda The Markup. That’s not a bug. Commentary:

“Precarious workers” who are predominantly from “communities of color.”

Trump Ethics Critics Take Rare Shot At Biden Over Jobs For Top Aides’ Kids Forbes

Jon Stewart, The High Priest Of Cultural Liberalism, Reprimands His Flock Michael Tracey

Arkansas at the forefront of the Republican attack on local control and democracy Arkansas Times

Our Famously Free Press

Meet the Censored: Bret Weinstein Matt Taibbi, TK News

BuzzFeed’s ‘Community’ Scam Is a Nightmare Come True Discourse Blog

Sports Desk

Buffalo Bills WR Cole Beasley vows to live ‘life like I want’ amid backlash to anti-vaccine remarks ESPN. Beasely to “live my one life like I want to regardless.” Not a Buddhist, then.

Why the Pandemic Turned Miami Into the New Monaco Town & Country

Class Warfare

Economic Tracker Opportunity Insights (Harvard, Brown, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). Handy chart:

The Future of the Economy is Even More Dystopian Than You Think Umar Haque

Why inequality matters? Global Inequality

What Is Going On at Yale Law School? The New Yorker. Source: “Every person I called to ask ‘How did you get this job?’ told me,’ Amy Chua made a phone call.'” It’s all about the merit. Until it isn’t.

Does Evolution Want Us to Drink? WSJ. Make mine a double. And see what the bears in the back room will have!

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. diptherio

    It takes Taibbi all of two paragraphs to get the facts of Weinstein’s Evergreen College debacle wrong. His offense was not “to come to work during an event called the “Days of Absence,” in which white students, staff, and faculty were asked to stay home.” That’s the incredible story that has been thrown around for the last four years and it’s simply not true. Here’s Evergreen prof. Peter Dorman:

    No one was required to do anything; it was all about invitation. This seems to have pushed a button for Weinstein, who responded with an email (falsely) attacking the organizers for instructing whites to leave campus, a charge he embedded in a more sweeping claim of reverse racism.

    It was his ill-considered emails that led to students demanding his resignation, not his showing up to work on one particular day.

    I don’t think he should be censored, and I don’t think the Evergreen students handled themselves in a respectable way, but I just cannot bring myself to take anything the man says without a mountain of salt. He just strikes me as being about stirring up controversy to get his name in the headlines more than anything else. If the story of Brett is supposed to show the dangers of cancel-culture, I am not moved. If the worry is about the tech platforms having undue say over the speech of their content producers, well, what’s that thing Yves always says about “if your business depends on a platform…”?

    I may well be on board with Taibbi’s broader argument, but I don’t think he’s making it very well. The focus on individuals like Weinstein only serves to personalize, and polarize, the issue, imho, and our political discourse is already infected by celebrity culture and the personalization of policy issues. I’d be more moved by Matt’s concerns if they weren’t presented as “here’s a horrible thing that happened to a kinda stetchy dude.” Just sayin’.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > No one was required to do anything; it was all about invitation

      Often, in academia, an “invitation” means “you’ll attend if you know what’s good for you.” Dorman may make good points, but that’s not one of them.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        So, should we call such academic “invitations” by the word . . . threatvitation? or extortionvitation?
        Some word that conveys the passive-aggressively hidden threat and extortion behind such invitations?

    2. Cuibono

      I read that linked piece and came away completely unimpressed with his take down of Weinstein, You can disagree with him about these issues. that doesn’t make him sketchy in my book

    3. Objective Ace

      Weinstein disputes Peter Dormans account. Supposedly he has the original emails that can confirm his account. Its a long listen, but you can find on the first Joe Rogan interview he did

    4. Peter Dorman

      Interesting to see there’s still debate about what happened at Evergreen back in 2017. In hindsight I could add a lot more, but I definitely stand behind my earlier statement about the Day of Absence. It was a thoroughly symbolic event which, yes, attracted hyperbolic emails by some of its advocates (I assume these are the emails Brett uses to support his narrative) but had only imaginary consequences. *Lots* of faculty held classes on campus that day. The off-campus location arranged by Day of Absence organizers had room for only 200 people in a college of thousands. (Fewer today!)

      The actual issue that led to the shutdown, incidentally, was mandatory diversity training for faculty, which failed to pass a faculty meeting on a close vote. This convinced activists that the college was irredeemably racist and led to more heavy-handed methods. (The famed “canoe event”, which has to be seen to be believed, turned out to be a disguised announcement that faculty consent would no longer be sought on such matters.)

      A strange coalition between a few charismatic “anarchist” students and a coalition of woke faculty and staff brought about the shutdown. The process by which Weinstein was selected as a target is unclear — it was not clear to the students I talked to who were in the room at the time — but I strongly suspect his name was given as the most irredeemable of the irredeemable miscreants. For a variety of reasons, some of his own doing, Brett was seen as vulnerable, someone who could be picked off and would not receive the support of his colleagues. This turned out to be correct.

      I would not come down too hard on Matt Taibbi, who has no way of knowing what transpired at Evergreen, since no accurate account has ever been published. Now that several years have passed, I doubt there is much interest in setting the record straight, but it proved to be a harbinger of the authoritarian turn taken by the “cultural revolutionaries”.

      In this context I should add that, contra Weinstein, institutional power was never the goal of the movement that attacked him; it was symbolic from beginning to end. (Just take a look at the demands, most of them toothless, the students threw together *after* they had brought the campus to a halt.) Real institutional change came to Evergreen only much later in response to an enrollment/financial crisis, but that’s another story.

      To repeat, the whole issue was symbolic. Only those who think social change is all about consciousness — not rules, institutions, power, wealth or any of that stuff — think Evergreen was in the grips of a revolution. Oh, and Brett Weinstein.

      1. urblintz

        I am confused…

        On the one hand you write that what happened “proved to be a harbinger of the authoritarian turn taken by the “cultural revolutionaries” and in the next sentence you write, about Weinstein, “institutional power was never the goal of the movement that attacked him; it was symbolic from beginning to end.”

        I guess I just don’t understand how forcing his resignation is merely symbolic.

        So, perhaps I don’t understand the distinction you make between authoritarianism and institutional power, which I would assume are two sides of the same coin to the protesters.

        So, it seems you agree that Weinstein was correct in warning about a coming authoritarian turn… a harbinger, as it were… but because the protest was symbolic, Weinstein’s warning about a turn to authoritarianism, which turned out to be true, wasn’t true and his forced resignation was not an authoritarian response?

        Did Weinstein ever say that Evergreen was in the grips of a “revolution?”

        If so I stand corrected, with apologies, as you certainly know more about the situation than most. But my reading is that he believed Evergreen to be in the grips of an irrational and mediocre intellectualism which fundamentally betrayed its credo of inclusion and diversity by suggesting the absence of both…

        if only for a day…

        yet now he’s absent forever…

        1. Peter Dorman

          I certainly agree that what happened to Weinstein was terrible and shouldn’t have happened. The question is whether his account of it is accurate, and also whether it matters whether his account was accurate. I think no and yes.

          Organizers of the Day of Absence were embubbled in a fantasy world of image and ritual. Their fantasies were absurd, but Weinstein argued against them as if they were realities. In doing this, he effectively joined them in fantasy land. In the real world, no one was being made to do anything. Really. And this matters because the confusion between subjective fantasy, where free floating defective consciousness is the cause of the world’s ills, and real life (rules, institutions, power and wealth) is key to what is wrong with this type of politics.

          It wasn’t the Day of Absence that got Brett booted. He was mobbed by students who themselves made few substantive demands about how the college should be run or its resources utilized but believed that exorcizing this one evil consciousness would make the college less “racist”. I agree the college went through a spasm of coercion (Brett was not the only victim), but the politics behind it was one of ritual, not institutional authoritarianism in the normal sense. In a way, it was a Shirley Jackson moment. When the wave passed, the college had adopted a new rhetoric about equity and inclusion but next to nothing in real life was different. (Except fewer students and less money.) If Weinstein would tell this story I wouldn’t argue with him.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > I agree the college went through a spasm of coercion (Brett was not the only victim), but the politics behind it was one of ritual, not institutional authoritarianism in the normal sense.

            To one on the receiving end, these may be a distinctions without differences.

            > In a way, it was a Shirley Jackson moment.

            Not all of Jackson’s protagonists would be able to “tell” a different “story”….

            1. Peter Dorman

              Lambert, please consider the politics of the situation. Weinstein claims he was the victim of a woke movement whose goal was seizing power and crushing dissent. That’s music to the ears of the Fox et al. ecosystem, and he has become a golden boy of the Right.

              Now suppose he had said, “I lost my job in an over-the-top protest spasm whose goal was to subject everyone at the college to multiple hours each year of witless ‘equity’ rhetoric. No actual political movement dealing with economic or political structure at any level was implicated in this attack.” Not so saleable.

              I keep harping on this because Weinstein has repeatedly claimed that Evergreen demonstrates that the Left has gone too far. My view is the opposite, that the Left has not gone nearly far enough, including at Evergreen. Not being able to tell the difference between politics and cultish ritual with no political content is a big problem.

              Just to be clear, the craziest woke people at Evergreen in 2017 were not affiliated with the left. I was a somewhat errant but active member of the progressive faction of the faculty, and I can say with assurance that the sets of thinkers/teachers/activists concerned with egalitarian social change and promulgators of woke rituals were almost completely non-overlapping.

  2. Cocomaan

    The Man Who Loved Presidents Thomas Frank, Harpers. A pleasingly savage evisceration of Jon Meacham, Presidential historian and Biden advisor, author of The Soul of America (now on HBO)

    Awesome takedown of meachem, who has long been a bizarre apologist for power. I have disliked him for years but Frank finally put some words to it.

    elite democrats and PMC types love meachem for the same reason they love Hamilton: it’s edgy in all the most milquetoast ways.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “China is kicking out more than half the world’s bitcoin miners – and a whole lot of them could be headed to Texas”

    HAHAHAHAHA! They must want themselves some of that reliable Texas electricity production. You think that those bitcoin miners will hook their thermostats up to the internet?

    1. EGrise

      That whole article read like someone talking their book.

      It’s particularly funny to see them touting Greg Abbott’s desire to lure in Bitcoin operators while also pointing out the rising share of solar and wind energy in the Texas grid – sources that many Texas Republicans blamed for the February debacle.

      In my limited experience, Chinese bitcoin miners either control their power source or have a close relationship with someone who does (like providing an ownership stake in their bitcoin company). As soon as they get a good look at how things work in Texas I think they’ll all look elsewhere.

  4. Brooklin Bridge

    The Future of the Economy is Even More Dystopian Than You Think Umar Haque

    Good article and very plausible description of the near future (or lack of it). Also Hague doesn’t suggest ways to fix things or make it better because he believes we have (probably) passed that point. I think he is correct, at least in terms of our current mega concentrations of everything; particularly wealth but also a wide reaching view of the structures that support it in the hands of so few. That is, what ever comes next will look nothing like it does now. It is a time we could be learning lessons, but as he concludes, “Like I said: [in the successive calamities that are now built in the good news is there are] lessons to be learned. The bad news? We’re still not really learning them.”

    1. Geo

      Umar is one of my favorite writers recently. Can sometimes be a bit hyperbolic but these are times that voices of clarity can use a bit more theatrics to get the point across and his perspective is usually spot on. Even when I disagree with his points it forces me to consider my reasons for disagreement and find a better understanding of my own views – and often in that process become illuminated on some ideas I hadn’t considered.

    2. Mikel

      When you said “fix things,” I started thinking of the the ‘right to repair’ issues…

      At any rate, the old electronics I have around, some working, some hanging on, and some not workinh may be worth their weight in gold for parts.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      I think Haque nailed it. I had not fully taken into account the impacts that the monopolization and the supply chain disturbances would have on prices. That adds one more ‘concern’ to the list of ‘concerns’ I have for the future. I feel like I am strapped into a seat on a train heading toward a cliff.

      1. Wukchumni

        Isn’t it really all about complexity?

        I’d venture to say that none of you know the inner workings of your smart phone or how to fix it if it broke, and so it goes with most all of our technology that nobody understands…

        Add in supply struggles that we seem unable to surmount, and we just might get a complex.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I believe complexity is only one component of what is happening. We could have had complexity with redundancy built in. We could have had complexity where all shared in the fruits of the Industry and specializations that helped create and extend much of the complexity.

          As for the workings of a smart phone — I doubt any one person really knows their inner workings.

          1. JTMcPhee

            That other kind of complexity you are describing calls to my mind that other realm of complexity, what most call “the natural world.” No monocultures, a riotous interweaving of interchanges and interactions at every scale, and for some reason absent “scientific” interventions and lootings it all seems to work in a kind of long-term homeostasis.

            I think the more inclusive and descriptive concept of what’s in train now is vulnerability. Are there any polymaths who have thought this notion through? So many points of failure and destructive pathways seem to have been worked into the earth’s living systems and the political economy of us humans.

            But then it gets down to my simplified analysis: “Effing stupid humans.” The ones who know and knew how to do symbiotic and negative-feedback relations with “the environment” have been crushed by greed and carelessness.

      2. Jeremy Grimm

        I failed to note a further concern that Haque pointed out. This is only the beginning of the great Squeeze. It won’t end if the Corona magically disappeared. There are too many other drivers, and one thing Haque hints at is that now that they have a taste of price gouging, our lords of Big Money will more deliberately engineer shortages and price gouging opportunities as they more expertly exploit serendipitous shortages and profit opportunities. We don’t live in an exploitative Neoliberal Capitalist system. We live in the belly of a great snake eating its own tail as fast as it can.

        1. Cuibono

          yes, that is exactly how it feels to me. But perhaps our psychotic overloads think they can evade chaos themselves.

      3. chuck roast

        I feel like that primate in today’s Antidote…I am totally freaked out by everything in my field of vision and I can do nothing about it.

    4. Glen

      I think he nailed it. I think events are accelerating. And it causes one to re-think Biden’s comment to Wall St:

      Nothing will fundamentally change.

      It’s an amazing statement – both a lie, because Biden cannot stop what’s coming, and a massive failure, because he cannot even envision what’s coming.

    5. Pelham

      Well, I’m paywalled out of Haque’s piece. But if wealth concentration is one of his main concerns, there’s a remedy. More than one actually, but I’m admittedly besotted with one that might be remotely possible.

      Scottish separatists apparently have come round to the realization that an independent Scotland will need its own currency. They certainly don’t want to be tied to the British pound, and the euro is highly problematic given the horrid way the EU has treated Greece, Italy and Spain. (Parties in Wales and Northern England are also pushing for separation from London and, I think, would be well advised to advance their cause by discussing a common currency with the Scots.)

      I’d go even further and suggest that an independent currency is the first step to any kind of formal or de facto separation. And here in the vast colonized sweep of the US subject to and beaten down by decades of betrayal by the coastal and financial elites, we have abundant justification and the means (raw materials, brain power and labor) to be largely self sufficient and separate from our overlords. What’s lacking (like the Scarecrow’s diploma) is our own currency with its own rules mandating, among other things, internal investment only, maximum income and maximum wealth accumulations, job guarantees and a livable minimum wage.

      Call this the Flyover Dollar.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          It could be digital . . . . so it can crash and evaporate when the digisphere crashes and evaporates.

          Or it could be analog . . . . so it can remain separate, free-standing and alive after the digisphere has crashed and evaporated.

          In practice, legacy “ferns” ( federal reserve notes) and coins will function as such a “separate currency” in some areas on the way down, and maybe even after the first few hard bounces.

    6. VietnamVet

      Umar Haque’s article is clear about the future facing humans. But the collapse is unlike Rome and the Dark Ages, today’s feudal lords control nuclear weapons manned by mercenaries. Most telling he leaves out the reason for the pandemic in the West in the first place, the collapse of the public health system. The alternative is China. Nations with functional governments have a chance of survival. China has done a billion jabs. Its space station is manned. Jeff Bezos can only do a 17-minute shot into space. The US Constitution and government by and for the people could be restored and the billionaire profiteers jailed.

    7. Felix_47

      Umar seems more focused on Trumpian fascist tendencies (to use his terminology) when the real problem is our “liberal” PMC rent seeker controlled government. I wish he would focus on the fact that our government and national decay is being determined by our leaders who are conciously or unconciously adjusting the system to benefit those who are paying them….the rent seekers. Interestingly, his wife is a doctor, from what his writings disclose, and he is insulated, to a degree, from the realities of the US economy because American medicine is one more example of rent seeking that is particularly egregious.

    1. griffen

      I dunno, over 140 million fully vaccinated Merikans is a pretty good threshold. I’m not in that camp quite yet.

      They promised free beers, so that carrot is still worth it to me; I do think, possibly, that the US has optimized in 6 or so months those who were already going to get their shots.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The issue isn’t whether good or bad. It’s the coverage. It’s a repeat of the Obama Era of “when Obama does it, it’s good, smart politics, or 853rd dimensional chess.”

        Then despite Biden’s Trump with a brain policies, browbeating instead of making access to vaccines easier was the main strategy for the first four months. It’s the difference between mistakes were made and not trying or lying.

        1. marym

          The number has tapered down to 1M per day, but was much higher (2-3M+) for a few months. Whether that’s good or bad, or what Trump would have done in the same timeframe are probably dependent on a lot of factors.

          1. Milton

            Bottom line is that vaccines were out the door and into arms a mere 9 months after the U.S. went into lock down, or roughly 1/2 the estimated time frame many in leadership were constantly parroting. Though there are a number of candidates that can credibly claim credit for the speedy delivery of the vaccines, I can positively aver that Biden isn’t one of them.

          2. Katy

            I’m speculating, but I think one reason people are avoiding the shot is because it’s Biden telling them to get it—even if Trump could claim credit for the existence of the vaccine.

            My Trump-loving brother-in-law did not get the vaccine until late May, which was several weeks after our Trump-loving cousin-in-law died of COVID. Both of cousin-in-law’s parents died of COVID last August. My cousin could have been among the first people vaccinated because he had preexisting conditions. I can’t say why he chose not to get it. He left behind a wife and two daughters.

            1. marym

              That’s so sad for the family, whatever the reason. I hope most people choosing not to get vaccinated have at least thought it through beyond not liking politicians.

  5. timbers

    Bidenomics Is ‘America First’ With a Brain Foreign Policy. Continuities rather than differences….

    New packaging with a lot of programs to hand out big money to rich gigantic corporations drowning in profits and spending a lot them on stock buybacks – that $52 billion to chip makers rolling in doe is 20% of reported cost of the program. Plus smaller programs that maybe Congressional folk can influence where it goes like $10 billion for technology hubs or something. And subsidies for NEW technologies like 5G…5G is new? Didn’t know that. Talk about more evenly spreading the wealth amongst all Americans – no specific benefits listed for us working folk or explanation on how that’s to be done – but no worries, they even managed to insert the word “union” in article but it’s use didn’t make much sense. So we know they really really do care about working folk.

    Biden with a Brain. That’s an interesting headline, coming just after the Biden-Putin summit.

    It must be supremely galling to our American Media folk that they had to report on a leader who is highly intelligent, educated, sane, rational, judicious, and who often quotes Tolstoy to an electorate who knows who Tolstoy is. They must be very upset they weren’t able to drive him mad to the point of filming him taking off all his clothes and jumping into a park fountain naked drinking vodka and getting drunk…if only to expose him as the truly awful man they know he is.

    1. John

      Nothing has fundamentally changed; is that not what we were promised or was that promise to those who matter and not to cattle like me?

      Whatever else he may be Mr. Putin is a refreshing change from the vapid scripted speech of all the presidents I can remember well. I do not remember FDR or Truman that clearly.

    2. Nikkikat

      Oliver Stone’s book and documentary, The Putin interviews is very enjoyable read. Stone interviews him over a couple years. Superbly interesting questions and answers. When it comes to the intellect of Putin and Lavrov, I doubt you’ll find any one in Washington that can hold a candle to either of them. It cuts through all the nonsense here in the US about Putin.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Trying to think of a western leader in his class but all I can think of are the names of people who we do have at the moment – names like Macron, Boris, Merkle, Morrison, Trudeau, Modi, Bolsonaro, Suga, Biden, etc. which is both depressing and underwhelming at the same time.

        1. flora

          Not to put too fine a point on this: Putin controls his country’s oligarchs, western countrie’s olgarchs control their countrie’s leaders. Putin gives orders to Russia’s oligarchs (something learned after the 1990s Chicago school ‘economic help’ wrt The Market), Biden et al still take orders from The Market, aka western oligarch, imo. This matters. If The Market is the superior information processor neoliberals claim there’s no need for any western pol to think too hard. They can simply wait for Market Signals to guide their choices. Joe is a near perfect pres for this. / ;)

          1. RMO

            “Putin controls his country’s oligarchs, western country’s oligarchs control their country’s leaders”

            That is probably the best way of explaining the universal demonization of Putin in the western corporate press and establishment punditry I have heard.

  6. griffen

    Cole Beasley has perhaps socked enough time and savings to get his pension. So if he wants to walk away, by all means do so. The policy he’s critical of from the NFLPA reads like you just might assume it does. If you’re still not vaccinated you may get used to alone time on road trips.

    Guys in their prime have left early for other reasons.

    1. Wukchumni

      Sales of Stickum will no doubt suffer as Beasley seemed to be able to catch anything thrown in his general direction-and Bills fans will miss him, but he was a little old for a wide receiver and would’ve been put out to pasture, er waivers.

  7. zagonostra

    >Jon Stewart, The High Priest Of Cultural Liberalism, Reprimands His Flock – Michael Tracey

    ..when he [Stewart] decides it’s time for one of those gentle-but-firm course corrections, liberals listen intently — because liberalism is underrated for its ability to adapt and self-correct, at least in the arena of public presentation. This is best accomplished by reframing its past failures as a big joke, and there’s no one better positioned to do so than Stewart.

    Tracey nails it, at least on a surface analysis. How Colbert melded into his erstwhile character and how he is a farce that I could never trust (his interview with Tulsi Gabbard was nothing less than disgusting) yet remains to be written, or at least I haven’t seen it.

    1. JBird4049

      Humor is also a very, very good method to get past people’s mental blinders, at pointing to uncomfortable truths, if that is what you want to do, which is why humor is usually at its best when being use as such; I think Stewart saw the vociferous, unreasoning denial of even the possibility of the pandemic being a human accident as folly, or silly, or maybe just unwise; Colbert, who was just as good as Stewart, appears to have gone all in with using his now degraded humor to following and guarding The Approved Script unlike Stewart.

    2. Questa Nota

      Jon Stewart has the ability to get liberals to admit that they might be wrong, while saving face. Can you still use that type of expression and still get brunch reservations?

      You could say Stewart has gravitas, or charisma or some ineffable characteristic that commands attention. Whatever it is, many of us miss his dashes of cold water mixed with humor.

  8. John Siman

    What a treat this Sunday morning to read both Thomas Frank’s *and* Michael Tracey‘s critiques of two very very high ecclesiastical dignitaries of Official Liberalosity. Post-providentially, perhaps, both of the paragons under discussion are named Jon without an h, viz., His Eminence Jon Meacham, our official liberal court historian, and His Eminence Jon Stewart, our official liberal court jester.

    Frank, a ne’er-do-well apostate from Liberalosity who was once a teenage Bible Bowl champion in Kansas, writes with a blaspheming sarcasm that borders on Hate Speech: “Political virtue, we now know, is something that flows from the top down. The prosperous, the well-graduated, the woke CEOs, the tasteful people celebrated by Vogue and NPR—these are the natural allies of the Good. They make mistakes here and there (Meacham is careful to acknowledge the racist failings of his characters), but in general, we now believe that such figures make up the armies of progress. In our modern understanding, power doesn’t corrupt; it ennobles.“

    And Tracey, who looks scruffy and lives in an uncool part of New Jersey, impiously notes that “Stewart appeared this week on the first back-in-studio taping of his protégé Stephen Colbert’s late-night show. There he issued what amounted to a new Papal encyclical. In that signature weary, deadpan delivery everyone knows and loves, he averred that the ‘lab leak’ theory of COVID origins — previously a contemptible heresy — should not just be seriously considered as plausible, but had in fact become trivially obvious.”

    At least Frank acknowledges that he has, for his sinfulness, been righteously cast out of the Liberal Garden of Moral Superiority. “It is Jon Meacham,” he writes, “not I, who has the ear of President Biden, but if I could whisper a suggestion to the man behind the Resolute Desk, it would be this: Read a different book, Joe.”

    But, O silly Tom Frank, Joe doesn’t read books. You of all us sinners should know that best. Liberals phased out that sort of dangerous impiety years ago.

  9. noonespecial

    Re The Markup Uber/Lyft

    From the Markup: “Lyft spokesperson Julie Wood said in an email, ‘Lyft is committed to working with stakeholders who are interested in advancing innovative policy solutions that make sense for drivers.'”

    My loose interpretation: We at Lyft believe that investors come first and since some of these angels prefer to operate in a dark money sim world the proles will just have to game their way out of the labyrinth built for them.

    And then the article notes, “These sorts of “gray money” groups…create a mountain of campaign finance filings to dig through to find the actual donors, making it difficult for the public to understand who is funding what races.” States’ working to implement laws limiting disclosure may have a legislator or two loading up the coffers with money from the type of PACs mentioned by the link.

    And to add to the misery, imagine if drivers *affiliated* with these pirate taxi companies experience what has happened to Shipt gig workers (Target’s delivery platform). The number of affected shoppers is very low – count of 30 listed in the Vice article – but seems like the techno mousetraps need a rework if this scam becomes common. Reliance on a platform, so much winning potential there /s/:

    “In recent weeks, personal shoppers on Target’s delivery app, which boasts roughly 300,000 personal shoppers in the United States, have been repeatedly targeted by scammers hoping to steal their earnings by phishing gig workers’ credentials from them…The scam allows a criminal to steal a Shipt shopper’s password, log into their account, change their payout information, and quickly drain their account.”

      1. jonboinAR

        Also as podcasts you can listen to in various apps if you have an Android phone. The name of his podcast is DarkHorse.

    1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      I watched all his stuff soon as it’s posted. My question is ‘why is it so important to GoogleCorp that these ideas be quashed? A previous show went into detail about Fauci’s connections to gain of function research and what are these people all up to? And why did they do this in China? Probably to deliberately incriminate China’s research establishment.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      I assume your reuters “fact check” link is intended as sarcasm. From the link:

      The 15-minute video shows three individuals discussing the COVID-19 vaccine and the spike protein is repeatedly described as “very dangerous” and “cytotoxic.”

      “Three individuals,” two of whom are scientists, and one of whom INVENTED the mRNA vaccine technology!

      The reuters “fact checkers” prefer to rely on a “pharmacologist” called sabina vohra-miller, who “produced a Twitter infographic explaining how spike proteins from the vaccine are harmless.” The “infographic” makes some unequivocally definitive statements without one single solitary citation to back it up.

      From the “About Reuters Fact Check” page under the heading “Funding”:

      The fact-checking unit at Reuters has joined Facebook’s third-party fact-checking program. Through this program, Facebook will provide funding to the Reuters fact-checking unit, in exchange for assessments of the authenticity of content on its platform.

      “Facts” purchased by facebook. Unsurprising.

      PS. Here’s another short snippet from the banned Dark Horse podcast positing that the lipids encasing the vaccine mRNA do not stay “stuck” in the deltoid muscle, but collect in the ovaries, bone marrow and lymph nodes, the implications of which are, as yet, unknown.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > the banned Dark Horse podcast

        Does anyone know if there is a transcript? That’s one of the advantages of text; it’s easier to pass the complete version around.

      2. .Tom

        > I assume your reuters “fact check” link is intended as sarcasm.

        No and yes, I suppose. No because Reuters’ literally and explicitly adjudicates the matter and declares it settled. And yes because how does a news agency get to decide what’s right and wrong in a new, extremely complicated, hard to see, hard to research question in science in which the evidence is incomplete?

        Once all this is over, will newspaper fact-checkers be in charge of the FDA, calling the shots, or will have learned something about the argument from authority?

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        I suppose I could feel bad in hindsight about all these revelations and questions. But at my age and with my co-morbidities, I had to decide whether the risk of coviditis was worse than the risk of mRNA neo-vaccinoid-itis. And I decided that coviditis posed the greater risk to my own personal self.

        So I got the two Moderna shots. ( I believe I remember reading IM Doc writing in a comment that he also got the Moderna. If I remember correctly, then he too made the best weigh-the-tradeoffs decision he could for his particular position).

        However, given all this, I do begin to think that if we are told to get booster after booster, after booster . . . after booster . . . . I may call a personal halt and simply live as shut-in a life as I can while taking all the ” underground dissident medicine” steps that I can take to stay safe-ish.

    3. QuicksilverMessenger

      Can someone comment on the Reuters debunking the cytotoxin contention? Ever since someone here (Lemmy Caution maybe?) posted that dark horse video and all of the comments that followed, my Woody Allen -paranoid- hypochondriac has been awakened. I got the vaccine and was really starting to worry. I am glad to see Reuters saying ‘false’ on this, but as Lambert has shown, fact checking is not always what it purports to be.
      If there is someone knowledgeable about this we would love to hear whether, in regards the dark horse podcast, it is true that “Posts are sharing the false statement that the spike protein in COVID-19 vaccines is cytotoxic, suggesting that it kills or damages cells. There is no evidence to support this.”
      If not, where are Weinstein et al getting there information?

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Weinstein et al. did not claim they had ‘proof’ the spike protein was cytotoxic. They pointed to the too little studied long Corona symptoms and their similarity to some of the too little studied side effects the vaccines had on some people. They also pointed to a Japanese study [no I have not tried to hunt that study down yet] that traced what happened inside the body after the vaccine. That study indicated that unlike the hopeful claims of the vaccine manufacturers the spike proteins did break away from the walls of the deltoid muscle cells where they were manufactured and did wander around the body in the blood. The spike proteins tended to accumulate in and around several organs most disturbing to Weinstein, the ovaries seemed to attract a large number of the spike proteins. A further piece of suggestive evidence points to the impacts Corona infection has long after Corona viruses have stopped replicating. This implicates something about the dead virus particles or fragments of virus particles and their interactions with the body systems.

        If you want ‘proof’, come up with the $20 million minimum required for even a small study and then look for a Corporate sponsor to assure that you study might be reviewed and published. As for proof remember that there was no ‘proof’ that wearing masks worked as a protection against getting or spreading Corona. All the same — masks did seem to work for medical personnel, and several Asian nations. As for the assertions made in the Reuters disclaimer — where is their ‘proof’? I did a quick check and didn’t spot any references to academic literature and at least one of the sources — the Vohra Miller Foundation has bona fides that do not compare favorably with any of the bona fides of any of the gentlemen in the Weinstein darkhorse discussion.

        1. QuicksilverMessenger

          Indeed. Where is the layperson to go? Here is something I found from a site called Science Based Medicine debunking three studies that contended the spike protein is a deadly toxin. Is the author’s debunking here legitimate? I don’t know anything about this stuff but we are asked to make decisions about whether to get the vax (and I am sure soon enough that some of us with children will have to make decisions about whether they should be given the shot). Who to trust? Who has the best information? Are we in a loop of debunking the debunkers? fact checking the Fact Checkers?

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              I don’t know about that. The site is an offshoot of the New England Skeptics Society. It has interesting officers but where does their funding originate? Both sites appear to be quite extensive which doesn’t come free. Are there really that many dues paying skeptics? Also the debunking at “The “deadly” coronavirus spike protein (according to antivaxxers)” conflates conjecture of possible cytotoxicity of the spike protein with wild claims by antivaxxers. From the inauspicious start captured in that title it reviews a laundry list of wild claims made by some antivaxxers.
              “As I stated near the beginning of this post, antivaxxers strive mightily, above all, to claim that vaccines are dangerous to those receiving them and those around the recipients, all with added conspiracy theories. It doesn’t matter how much they have to misinterpret or misrepresent scientific studies to do so.” — from near the tail of this very long wandering post.
              The author Dr. David H. Gorski, MD, PhD, a surgical oncologist and Associate Professor in Wayne State’s Graduate Program in Cancer Biology. He wrote a 6000+ word essay, in his spare time out of the goodness of his heart.

              So as a skeptic myself, I suppose I will credit Dr. Gorski with making a convincing case that spike proteins from vaccines are not lethal in the amounts that result from the vaccines. However, I don’t believe Weinstein et al. made any claim of that sort. They claimed there are reasons for caution regarding the long term effects of the vaccines. I don’t believe Dr. Gorski made a convincing case that there is no evidence for and no reason for caution. I think the reports on the VAERS database and the anecdotes reported are sufficient to have some concerns about vaccines.

              1. Yves Smith

                Yes, to your point, there is a ton of straw manning and ad hom, starting with depicting people who have concerns about the mRNA vaccines as “anti vax” when their issues typically relate to gaps in data, poor follow up on side effects, and refusal of officials to consider that for some populations, it might be a tossup between taking the vaccines v. maintaining other non-pharmaceutical interventions. God forfend that some buy and keep wearing N/KN95s when they leave their house!

                1. Isotope_C14

                  I came to about the same conclusion as you Yves. :)

                  Another point with these folks with a lot of time on their hands, it’s clear that some people are really getting whacked for a couple of days.

                  If you are in an hourly position, one paycheck away from homelessness, you want to risk that?

                  I knew guys with Gulf War syndrome, from a supposed “experimental” vaccine interaction. The way that was swept under the rug doesn’t give folks too much faith in new fancy vaccines either.

                  1. drumlin woodchuckles

                    When the public and the MSM and the politisphere all agree that the pandemic has been beaten, and N95 masks are just a hardware store item again, that might be the time for personally caution people to buy themselves a lifetime supply of such masks.

                  2. Questa Nota

                    We in the Nota household are still reeling from vax side effects, some (hearing loss) recurring like a bad dream and others (fog, fatigue, headaches) more like a fugue nightmare. What comes next?

              2. PlutoniumKun

                In my experience, the skeptical movement has done some great work in the past, but at its worst goes beyond challenging dubious science and becomes as ideologically rigid as its opponents. It also has a habit of becoming a gatekeeper for a particularly rigid view of what constitutes science, one that denies the real world experience of practitioners in the real world in favour of simplified models (a little like mainstream economics, now that I think of it).

                As others have observed, the article seems to be an exercise in straw manning and attributing the worst characteristics of anti-vaxxers to anyone who questions the safety of vaccines.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            I believe too little Science is being done that might help a layperson or even a Scientist make a well-informed decision about the near-term and especially about the long-term safety of the vaccines. I would feel much more comfortable if there were a more robust effort to collect data from the millions of volunteers taking part in this phase III trial of the vaccines. Vaccines so widely used as a result of a special EUA granted by the FDA. That data would also help me feel more comfortable with the Government claims that we vaccinated can and should all unmask and go about our business. The best you can do is make a best guess of the risks based on your own situation and critical reading of the best information you can find. In any event, it will take some years to discover long-term effects of the vaccines.

          2. Antagonist Muscles

            Be careful with Please see pjay and Basil Pesto’s discussion here.

            Five years ago before I knew about,, and PubMed, I was doing research at ScienceBasedMedicine for my own extremely rare disorder(s). A non-medical person (such as myself five years ago) can be easily convinced that throwing psychiatric drugs at idiopathic nervous system problems might actually work with minimal risk. SBM will almost certainly not criticize the pharmaceutical industry for essentially getting patients dependent (addicted) to psychiatric drugs. What they call “evidence” tends to have an agenda, and that’s not necessarily patient health.

            I now personally know some of the top doctors and scientists in the US who study my medical problems. I am confident that there are no drugs I could have taken for a better outcome. I stopped reading SBM some time ago when I realized they (and the first couple of doctors I saw) have complete faith in the “science” that happens to be (financially) convenient.

        2. Unfinished

          This is the Japanese study in question, obtained (through a request for information to the Japanese regulatory agency) by Dr. Byram Bridle, Professor of Viral Immunology at the University of Guelph. It is a bio-distribution study of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine. “”

        3. Lemmy Caution

          I believe Weinstein and Malone were talking about how the lipid nanoparticles — the little boxes of instructions that tell the cells to produce the spike protein — travel through the bloodstream and tend to accumulate most heavily in the ovaries and bone marrow.

          Here is the point in their conversation where they discuss a graph that tracks where the lipid nanoparticles travel once injected in the body.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            I’ll have to listen to the talk again. I recall discussions of both travel and accumulation of the spike protein, and at another point in the conversation a discussion of the migrations of the lipid particles.

            1. Lemmy Caution

              Yes, they cover a lot of ground. But they were very careful to distinguish between the spike proteins and the lipid nanoparticles. The link just above your comment is the lipid part of the talk.

          1. Ping

            As I am currently considered underweight and experienced significant adverse reaction, Robert Malone’s comments on inadequate dosage research is very relevant. How is it that a small frame lightweight person gets the same dose as the average overweight American?

            A search on dosage variation only refers to needle size. My Covid vax was a drive-thru FEMA supervised site and the syringes were pre-loaded with no discrimination as to sex or weight so I got the same needle and dose as an obese person and have often wondered if I was overdosed.

        4. Ping

          This situation reveals the entire medical and scientific structure is captured.
          Fauci holds the purse strings for NIH scientific and academic grants. Grants depend on compliance with “narrative”.

          Fauci has a history of suppressing generic drugs with long established safe, beneficial track records while advocating similar expensive patented drugs.

          The vaccines are deployed under EUA . We are still in phase 3 data stage yet due to extreme censorship and disarray at FDA and VAERS, data is not being analyzed. We have not been provided informed consent.

          Further, per Fauci’s recent announcement, MORE drugs and anti-virals are being readied also under EUA in a 1.2 billion deal with government. Reportedly anti-viral Molnupiravir which failed with in-patients, is similar molecule to Nobel Prize generic Ivermectin—over 1.2 billion doses with excellent safety and efficacy as anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic and affordable for Africa, India, Mexico etc.

          Is the public and medical/scientific community going to accept endless Emergency Authorized drugs and boosters when censorship prevents evaluation of covid vaccines and promotion of Ivermectin? I think the “safe and effective” shiny glow is going to hit the brick wall of reality.

          Personally, I experienced significant worsening neuro-inflammation symptoms from J&J vax with no conventional solutions for “vaccine syndrome”. I am half way thru a course of Ivermectin with major improvement and no discernable side effects whatsoever.

          I feel like joining a class action suit against Fauci for funding dangerous Gain of Function and for then suppressing important generic drugs to pilfer the system on behalf of outrageously expensive patented drugs, many not as effective or safe.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        In that reuters article, the “fact-checkers” cite the “experts” at Meedan Digital Health Lab ( to support their conclusion.

        Followed a few links. Apparently Meedan “Digital” Health Lab consists of “fact-checkers” who support other “fact-checkers.” From the Meedan website:

        Meedan’s public health team has been supporting fact-checkers, community organizations and local media in their coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. As health information is constantly emerging and changing, fact-checkers and journalists want to stay up-to-date with the latest science, to determine which articles (pre-print and peer-review) are reliable, and how to synthesize complex medical research. We help them do that.

        Here is the Meedan “public health team,” have yet to find any CVs, or names, for that matter:

        And here is a snip from the article the “team” wrote in support of their conclusion:

        So far, there is no scientific evidence available that suggests that spike proteins created in our bodies from the COVID-19 vaccines are toxic or damaging our organs. COVID-19 vaccines are relatively new and long-term side effects are yet to be known. However, the vaccines have met the safety standards of many government and international safety agencies.

        Several systems help us monitor vaccine safety. In the United States these include the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), The Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), the Post-License Rapid Immunization Safety Monitoring (PRISM), and the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project (CISA). These systems are used by scientists to monitor side effects and any other patterns of risks from vaccines.

        As near as I can tell, these people are stenographers who take vague paragraphs from readily available sources and reassemble them into “fact-checks.” I think I’ve posted that paragraph about VAERS “monitoring” vaccine “safety” on this board three or four times myself. It comes from the fda EUA “explainer.”

        Do what you will with this info, but I’m stayin’ on the Dark Horse train.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Here is the Meedan “public health team,” have yet to find any CVs, or names, for that matter:

          Here are the names, on the Team page. They seem to be associated with Tufts.

          I don’t have any issue with Dark Horse (though I had no idea the podcast is blowback from that ridiculous Evergreen fiasco; good for Weinstein). My impression is that with Dark Horse, nuance is lost with amplification. Such may have been the case with the toxic spike concept (of which I am glad to know the origin; I was puzzled when it started popping up).

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Took a look at the list. If the many photos are any indication, they look like a happy group.

            Lots of “board members” and apparent software types, but didn’t see any virologists or biologists listed.

            Zeynep Tufecki’s (Board Member) tweets are sometimes linked here so I duck duck goed her. Came up with this:

            Zeynep Tufekci is an Associate Professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), a principal researcher at Carolina’s Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP), and a faculty associate at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.


            Not sure I’d bet money on her if she went toe to toe with the inventor of the mRNA vaccine technology. Wait, I’m sure I wouldn’t.

            One thing is for sure. These debates should have taken place long before a mass vaccination campaign with an experimental vaccine was begun, and should have been had among qualified scientists outside of the public sphere.

            Having every tom, dick and harry with a cell phone weigh in on social media on something they know very little about in a climate of ultra politicization, paralyzing fear of the unknown and absolute distrust of pretty much all of the institutions that used to steady the population, was a recipe for disaster.

            Somebody should have known that.

            1. juno mas

              Zeynep Tufecki has never claimed to be a scientist. She is an academic who has gained fame during the pandemic for her clear presentation of what scientists are saying in their “pre-prints”. Often she points out the scientific contradictions of those pre-prints.

              She writes clear, understandable prose accessible to regular (non-scientist) folks. She pointed out the contradictions of “masking” early in the pandemic.

        2. VietnamVet

          The problem with discussing the effect of the spike protein is that it is a known unknown. The declaration that the mRNA “vaccines” safe and effective is unproven. At this time it is not known if they are safe or if they will prevent variant coronavirus transmission. Portions of the data to prove this apparently have just been submitted to FDA. But long-term studies won’t be done until 2023. What data that has been submitted has not been released to the public. There is no systematic follow-up surveillance of the half of Americans injected with the substances.

          The mRNA In Pfizer and Moderna and the DNA Gene in the AstraZeneca and J & J jabs that code for the spike protein are man-made. Codes for initiation, termination and attachment to cell membrane were added to the coronavirus spike code. The lipid capsule (lipid, helper lipid, cholesterol and polyethylene glycol) does move throughout the body and bioconcentrates. The hypothesis is that the spike protein is also moving about the body since the adverse effects seen with blood clotting in young women and heart inflammation in adolescent boys are very similar to the pathology of a COVID infection. I know of no studies proving this. If there are no studies underway using a modified PCR like analysis to see if there is spike protein in the blood and to determine if it concentrates in organs would be dereliction of duty by the regulators — the government.

      3. ProudWappie

        The following two links I saw mentioned by The Last American Vagabond, quite some time ago already, I think, which point to the spike protein itself being an issue, even without the virus:

        Article 1 – biorxiv

        Article 2 – Salk institute

        On top of that, it seems that the vaccine doesn’t stay in the location where it is injected, and that is a reason for concern, as was mentioned in the Dark Horse podcast.

      4. HotFlash

        The Weinstein et al. mention a Dr. Byram Bridle, who is viral immunologist professor in the Department of Pathobiology at University of Guelph (Ontario) and one of a team of three researchers who received provincial funding to develop a Covid vaccine earlier this year. A bit more from CBC here. So apparently neither a quack nor a crank.

        There is also this from last March:

        The only mention I could find on him WRT the Covid spike protein was an interview by Alex Pierson (who?) at this somewhat sketchy site, and apparently clasped to the bosoms of many other similarly sketchy and/or openly anti-vax sites. Which is not necessarily Dr. Bridle’s fault.

        There is also a debunking site, Byram Bridle’s Vaccine Misinformation which I also did not check out at this time but it may have more specifics of Dr. Bridle’s concerns.

          1. HotFlash

            Thank you for that, I am now watching an interview with Professor Bridle on his group’s position on Ontario’s and Canada’s official Covid response (he and some colleagues are not happy).

            OK, and hour and a half later, I have some interesting new knowledge (and he does come across as the Real Deal) but not hardly an alternative policy, still not sure what his specific beefs are. for anybody who is up for and hour and a half of deep dive.

    4. nothing but the truth

      i’m thankful to that podcast for bringing up the issue of the unknown future effects of the rna/dna based vaccines.

      it turns out that the pfizer vaccine nanoparticles seem to accumulate in the ovaries.

      i have a teenage daughter, thankfully she has not been vaccinated yet.

      i will probably make her wait till an old school dead virus based vaccine becomes available in the US.

      1. Mikel

        That begs the question: where would they accumulate in women that had their ovaries removed?

    5. Mikel

      “So far, there is no scientific evidence available that suggests spike proteins created in our bodies from the COVID-19 vaccines are toxic or damaging our organs,” experts at the Meedan Digital Health Lab ( said. (here)..

      “So far…”

      So still alot more research to be done? More samples to be taken, etc? Why act like it is not still being studied? That is what “science” is supposed to be about.

      1. Oh

        Strange, I wasn’t able to find it yesterday using various links, including the one from Darkhorse!

        1. Lemmy Caution

          If you search Youtube with the title of the talk, “How to save the world in three easy steps,” it pops right up. Weird.

        2. .Tom

          I checked a couple of times yesterday and got the notice that it had been removed for violating such-and-such. So it has been restored. I wonder what process led to that.

          1. .Tom

            My mistake, this is not restored. Somebody else reposted the video to a different account.

  10. jefemt

    Town and Country (oh my!) Miami and the New Monaco.

    you gotta read that one. Made my head spin, all the implications, plus the scrolling Banner Ads were just so much too much.

    I guess the collective-we will be building a sea-wall with carbon-intensive cement/concrete to protect the too-important-to-be-flooded

    Thank you for all of the great links!

    1. EGrise

      I loved the subtitle:

      Cryptocrats, fin-techpreneurs, and the latest titans of industry fled to this southern capital of sea, sun, and sin in the past year. Can it become a tech utopia, or will it just turn into another sunny place for shady people?

      “turn into”? As a native Floridian I can assure everyone that Miami has ALWAYS been a sunny place for shady people.

      Perhaps they meant “or will it just turn into a sunny place for a different class of shady people?” Exchanging dictators and drug lords for Peter Thiel, as it were.

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘Exchanging dictators and drug lords for Peter Thiel, as it were.’

        I’m not sure that is an improvement that. I suspect that dictators and drug lords are not so much control-freaks over other people’s lives.

    2. Gc54

      Miami sits on fractured limestone. Sea water will infiltrate under any sea wall built. That city is a guaranteed write off.

  11. SA

    On review of the Boston study, “occult” is not clearly defined, but seems to mean asymptomatic at the time of testing/admission. 39% transmission, found in exposed roommates, is similar to the rate of transmission seen in households. Preventative measures used would have avoided most or all droplet transmission. Suggestions were made for improved measures to avoid aerosol transmission.

  12. WaltD

    Re: Delta variant and kids

    God I hope this doesn’t become a huge problem. My kids have been home with me for 16 months now. Day in, and day out, it’s just me and three kids 7 years old and under, for 16 months. I would never ever send them out into danger, but I desperately need them to go back to school in August. Even if just for a few months….

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The slipping of masks and cleaning means the delta variant could be coexisting with the return of our normal array of illnesses. Kids are gross.

      1. griffen

        Not a parent myself, but I hear repeated accounts of how quickly any illness would spread through pre schools, day-care, early grade schools.

        Gives me an idea though; get dressed kids were heading to the Germ Factory! It’s the bestest place to have fun and see friends. Obviously this is a “better” idea pre-Covid. /sarc

  13. Rageon

    Off-topic but I thought the NC community might like this little anecdote about a recent experience I had with the healthcare system in Montreal, Quebec.
    Last week my right knee went Hiroshima on me (due to rapid changes in weather I’m convinced (Amfortas can maybe back me up on this)) and blew up. Swollen like a grapefruit and excruciatingly painful. There is a neighborhood clinic just up the street (a CLSC: Centre Local de Services Communutaires). A doctor is available on Mon, Tues and Thur to see patients (about ten or so per day) on a first come, first serve basis. In the COVID era, the process is now to call at 8am on one of those days, leave a message with your name, birthdate, phone number and a description of your condition (pre-COVID, people would queue in the morning before the clinic doors opened). I did so. A half hour later, a receptionist at the clinic calls me back and says a nurse will call for more info, which she does about an hour later. She does the triage, asking for more details (medication, symptoms and so forth), then tells me to come to the clinic and the doctor will see me. I limp to the clinic and tell the receptionist I’ve spoken to the nurse and am here to see the doctor. OK, sit down the doctor will see you shortly. No one asks to see any ID or other documents. About 30 minutes later, the doctor enters the waiting room and calls my name. I go into the office, my file is on the computer and after a quick look at my knee says she can drain it and inject a shot of Cortisone. Half-hour later, my knee is comfortably deflated and I’m elated. Total cost to me $0 though obviously my taxes already paid (no paper work at all, no signing any form). Without the clinic, I probably would have had to go to an emergency room and wait for hours due to the non-life threatening nature of the condition (not a cardiac arrest!). In this way, I think it works well to avoid clogging limited hospital resources, though you have to be sure to get in the queue early.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      (glad im remembered thus, after so long on the Mountain–(God is, truly, Dead….and We have killed him…))

      it is not like that at all in the healthcare apparatus in Texas.I was a part of the Board of my grandpa’s company when i was in between 8th and 9th grades, and we went to Canada, for to install…rather make the deals to install…the sound traps on the AC intakes at the airport in Toronto.
      Cleanest city i’ve ever been in.
      moseyed on up through Montreal to Quebec City….and in Montreal, i needed stitches removed from my thumb(unfortunate machete accident, cleaning grapevines for a party which i alone attended)
      located a hospital, went into their ER, and waited while they triaged a car accident, then the nurse came around….five minutes later, i’m stitch-free, and my grandad is running around with his wallet open like it’s a baby bird, trying to pay someone…..
      “have you not noticed how expensive gas is, here, sir?”

      That our healthcare system is so frelled is a choice.
      It’s made that way on purpose.
      It is NOT a thunderstorm, nor a Holy Mountain, that must be appeased, and worked around.
      It’s a purposeful CHOICE, by human beings, to make it this way.

      I reckon that I owe the people who made it nothing.
      Not my love, nor my deference, nor my loyalty.
      Fuck Those People.
      I consider them my enemies.
      I loathe them with the fire of a million suns.
      Hostis humani generis.
      The best idea to come out of the pandemic, is pouring concrete down their frelling bunkers after they’ve “escaped” what they, themselves, have wrought.
      Fuck Them.

      i dont even want to eat them anymore.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        and an update for those who are interested:
        fiddlefarted around, afraid of the task…as well as covered up by other things…but i finally have the bigass minisplit installed.
        so i call my ac guy to do the vacuum test and remove any excess R-410A(less pipe than called for)
        then called several others.
        it’s frelling June in Texas,lol.
        so vacuum pump and manifold valve, etc are ordered…and i’ll do it my dammed self.
        (“i am the Lizard King”, etc)
        Meanwhile, stepdad had pneumonia a month and a half ago…paraplegic, Da Nang, T-5, ’68.
        I finally brought wife’s pulse-ox meter over…65!
        I make the call: ER RFN.
        then to VA.
        been there ever since…both lungs collapsed, due to scoliosis, and compromised diaphragm….leading to unproductive coughs, etc.
        spirals downhill fast…touch and go….tracheotomy, ventilators, chest tubes, all manner of crazy.
        Mom is wigging…mrs controll freak is out of control….out of her depth.
        she’s realised that $5k a month is fixing to vanish, of course…and i’ll hafta teach her how to be poor,lol.
        Major upset to my world.
        and, it’s almost a year since my dad died…and stepmom(and brother) are still so fragile that we can’t do a memorial or anything…even though they need it more than anyone(and i could finally swear off going back home to Greater Houston Area for all time.
        and put all that shit behind me.
        But no,lol.
        Wife’s cancer looks good, however, per the latest scan.
        so there’s that.
        I half-assed a garden this year, due to ongoing infrastructure projects….still got greater production than my mom…which is somewhat palliative….she’s adept at letting the pig weed(amaranthus.spp.) get taller than me…seeds came in on the rotted horse and cow shit i brought from the vet’s office.
        i managed to eradicate it on my part of the place by walking past it, somehow.
        no tomatoes this year, though…because the horseshit i got from my neighbor was apparently contaminated with one of those persistent herbicides i’ve been yelling about for 10 years.
        weird weather since the february ice age event…finally hot, but humid, like living in a van just off the beach at the mouth of the Calcasieu River.
        late freezes and far too much rain beat back the grasshoppers, but also messed up the plants, good and bad and neutral.
        all around.

        >pent up rant, off.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Behind Airbus-Boeing truce lies a common rival: China”

    This may be a result of China developing the C919 single-aisle plane. The hope in China is that eventually this plane will not only out-compete Boeing and Airbus in the China market, but international sales as well. But as Plutoniumkun has pointed out in previous comments, this new plane has all sorts of engineering issues plaguing it. Of course they are well aware that having foreign components in it is a severe weakness as the supply of them can be yanked at anytime so I expect to see these being gradually phased out as the Chinese learn to make those components themselves. And just in January Trump put the airline manufacturer itself on a sanctions list. So call this plane a work in progress as they learn how to deal with the engineering problems that crop up but is sounds like Boeing and Airbus are not willing to wait.

    1. rowlf

      After all of the trade disputes like Boeing vs Airbus and Embraer vs Bombardier over development subsidizing by governments, will the COMAC C919 or similar produced airliner ever be able to be sold on the world market? Another concern is how COMAC will handle customer support, which has been a challenge of the last several decades for the established manufacturers. Boeing used to be very good at customer support but then got weak, Airbus used to be poor but has gotten really good.

    2. RepubAnon

      It’s easier to crush possible competition before it gains significant market share – which may explain why Boeing and Airbus aren’t waiting..

  15. ChiGal in Carolina

    >Not a Buddhist, then.

    Or a Hindu. Great links, I look forward to the evisceration of Meacham and as always to Thomas Frank. Of course I get Taibbi and Johnstone now in my email. And thanks for posting Continuing Ed—I subscribed immediately. I love Substack!

    And wow, uncanny antidote. That orangutan is a great visual metaphor for the rest of life on earth watching helplessly as the human race destroys the planet.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Why Joe Biden has been forced to accept Russia and Germany’s energy relationship”

    Maybe they offered Hunter a seat on their Board at $83,000 a month – with 10% going to the Big Guy of course.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Hunter Biden is now a professional artist, that notoriously financially lucrative field…

      1. km

        Axtually, that is an even better way to be a bagman than writing books and pocketing the non-recoupable advance (see: Clinton, Hillary Rodham).

        For one thing, you don’t have to funnel payoffs through a publisher.

        More importantly, the price of a work of art is entirely subjective, not tied to any metric like “likely book sales”. If the purchaser were (doubtless in good faith, of course) to decide that Young Hunter’s recent daubings demonstrate clearly a mature talent on the level of Picasso, Andy Warhol, Grandma Moses, da Vinci and that one Chinese dude, all rolled into one, well, that’s up to him and his checkbook.

        The only thing that surprises me is the shamelessness of it. That and that i didn’t think of it first. I guess that’s why Biden is president and I am not.

        1. ambrit

          “Young Hunter.” Hmmm…. I think I read a book about him by some German heavyweight once.

        2. Nikkikat

          Enjoyed your Hunter comment, I hear George Bush also does some daubing that resemble a child’s paint by number painting.

    2. Maxwell Johnston

      Sometimes intellectuals like Helen Thompson over-analyze and think too much. Germany wants to have a competitive industrial economy without coal and nuclear, therefore Germany will import Russian gas. Period. It’s great fun to be reminded about Mackinder and fin de siecle diplomacy, but this is actually a really simple situation. To their credit, Uncle Joe’s advisers figured this out and decided to blow with the wind.

  17. Acacia

    Why Joe Biden has been forced to accept Russia and Germany’s energy relationship

    When he’s not making ironic barbs or quoting Russian literature, Putin is laying pipe ;)

  18. KLG

    Jon Meacham (Parson Meacham according to Charlie Pierce, as in Parson Weems I suppose) was a featured speaker at the most recent in-person meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). That audience drawn from the very upper reaches of the PMC absolutely ate it up, especially the little story about Bush the Lesser calling Meacham an asshole out of the corner of his mouth when the Great Historian said something snarky about Texas, IIRC. Such performative transgressiveness, oh my! So thrilling in that darkened room filled with 4,000 leaders! No one seemed to notice the entire presentation was nothing but polished bullshit from start to finish, his 5- or 6-figure fee notwithstanding. But since then, these very same upper reaches of the PMC have believed CDC, WHO, NIH, Dr. Fauci, Pfizer, Moderna with the credulity of a 4-year-old listening to Linus explain The Great Pumpkin… Anyway, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there in NC Land!

  19. griffen

    Welcome to Miami. After the state government basically plotted it’s own course for handling Covid 19, it’s not surprising to see a flood of well heeled entrepreneur and investor types.

    Just one catch though, all that sun comes with a cost once a category 4 comes ashore. Hurricanes don’t really care if it’s a rich enclave.

  20. Carolinian

    Great Thomas Frank. Key graf

    Liberals only rarely talk like FDR anymore. Indeed, the situation that confronted him is almost precisely reversed: it is liberals who have brought the ruling class of America together in recent years; it is liberals who identify their fortunes with elite consensus; it is liberals who bridle at theories of economic anxiety; and it is liberals who regard the white working class as fundamentally irrational, if not reactionary.

    But one should say that it’s not just Meacham. The Ken Burnsification of US history–history as morality tale–has been going on for quite a few years now and perhaps can be defended, insofar as narrative is the sugar cube on which to place all that history lesson medicine. It’s unlikely PBS would be getting many financial pledges for A People’s History of the United States (Burns also has a great talent for digging up library materials–for doing these kind of documentaries).

    Therefore it’s surely the melding of history teaching with our current politics that is the real problem. For this we can no doubt blame the press and ask why those news shows had Meacham on 500 times.

    1. Pelham

      I’m firmly planted way over on the left on economic issues and despise the liberal PMC even though by a great stretch of the definition I fall into that class. But maybe I’m more captive to the liberal outlook than I realize because, for the most part, I really don’t see how the Ken Burns docs I’ve viewed quite parallel the questionable stuff that Jon Meacham churns out. In other words, I rather like Burns’ films and feel compelled to add at least a weak word of defense here.

      1. Carolinian

        I’d say it depends on Burns’ subject–great on the National Parks, not great at all on Vietnam. But perhaps I am being unfair to him or too fair to Meacham. I’ve only read a couple of Meacham’s books.

      2. neo-realist

        His Jackie Robinson documentary was brilliant: Emphasized his much larger life as a businessman and political activist outside of baseball, before and after 1947.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Top US general: Chinese military has ‘ways to go’ before it can take Taiwan”

    Quite true that but who says that this is a Chinese priority at the moment? They are still modernizing and updating their armed forces and are well aware that they lack any recent combat experience. As it stands, all they have to do is make a few public statements and fly a coupla dozen fighters near Taiwan and that forces countries like the US to configure their forces to defend Taiwan which can put themselves out of defensive positions and put their own units in harm’s way in case it gets real. Already, just because they are seen as a threat, this has encouraged the US Marine Corps to totally reconfigure themselves into what has been disparagingly called the “Missile Marines” which unfortunately now makes them a one-trick pony going forwards.

    1. Tom Stone

      Rev, think how different the World would be if the 1st Marine Division had been wiped out on their retreat from the Choisin Reservoir.
      If that 14 mile cross country night march in the Korean mountains in the midst of a blizzard had failed…


    2. Mikel

      The USA could never sustain itself in a long drawn out conflict. Just look at all the supply chain issues.

      To sustain itself in a long, drawn out conflict, the masses in the USA would have to be totally non-resistant, sacrificing themselves, and bearing the worst austerity imaginable because the USA refuses to produce things in the USA.
      Another level of insanity.

      1. neo-realist

        Not just the supply chain issues, but the USA might have to being willing to submit themselves to a draft (not!) once the volunteer cannon fodder runs out and the contractors figure that the likelihood of death in a long drawn out attrition battle isn’t worth it.

    3. Bill Smith

      Xi Jinping?

      Taiwan ‘must and will be’ reunited with China.

      Will happen while he is president…..

      But who knows?

    4. Glen

      The world has changed.

      Taiwan will WILLINGLY join China when it becomes apparent that the west has failed.

      1. pasha

        willingly? i think not. china’s repression of democracy in hong kong over the past year has been a clear object lesson as to taiwan’s fate should it surrender sovereignty.

  22. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

    January 6 Pantomime:

    The entire thing was straight out of the COINTELPRO manuals. The FBI hasn’t managed to come up with any new tricks in half a century now. The eagerness of the ‘acceptable’ ‘respectable’ vegetables of all the Mockingbird outlets to heap scorn on the idea is the surest testament to its veracity. Top to bottom it was a fakement. Naturally, they brought out a good crowd of pro Trump life insurance salesmen, Youtube groupies and other unwitting extras to make it look like it wasn’t just obvious undercover cops. These things come out-like Danny Casolaro and INSLAW- they come out over time but by the time internal FBI dox are leaked and it’s proven they did this to discredit Trump more than his own big mouth and limited vocabulary, we’ll have moved on to the next Psy Op

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Hard to believe Andrew McCarthy gets so far into the “technical” weeds of UCCs and CIs blah, blah, blah in making the case against Tucker Carlson: The Capitol Riot Indictments Do Not Suggest an FBI Entrapment Scheme Andrew McCarthy, National Review

      Does anyone remember Whitey Bulger, a criminal “CI” who committed multiple murders while “working for” the fbi?

      The uber-“ethical,” law-abiding robert mueller prosecuted and imprisoned four “innocent”(of those particular murders) men knowing all along that Bulger had committed them. If I recall, the surviving fall guys were recently released from prison and paid off.

      The snap second impeachment of Trump on his way out the door is really all the evidence anyone should need of massive fbi instigation / involvement in this fiasco IMNSHO.

      1. Nikkikat

        As I recall they magically located Whitey living on the west coast. Sent to prison when suddenly whitey was transferred to I believe a small non fed prison in W Virginia. Whitey was dead in 24 hours. Whitey must have become a problem.
        As usual the story never quite made sense and while few questions were asked, none were ever answered.

    2. RepubAnon

      Alternatively, there’s the simple answer: Trump loyalists in the government wanted to prevent Congress from ratifying Biden’s win, and law enforcement has been conditioned to think that only the left is an actual threat. Trump loyalists were running these organizations, the Trump Administration was still in power, and Trump himself was actively encouraging everyone to come out and “fight the fraud.”

      COINTELPRO was designed to attack groups that J. Edgar Hoover, then head of the FBI, felt were a threat… and only groups Hoover thought were “communists” were deemed a threat, and thus targeted. Hoover didn’t view the John Birch Society as a threat, and only started investigating the KKK after they started killing white college students. Neither of these right-wing groups were ever subject to COINTELPRO-type operations.

      Face it – Trump himself, with help from the right-wing media outlets and social media, stirred this up themselves. No need for agents provocateur to stir up the crowd – Trump did that all by himself.

      1. Carolinian

        You are mixing “stirring up” with a paramilitary attempt to enter a mysteriously vulnerable government building. It has been pointed out that number of guards at the Capitol that day was below what they would have had for any demonstration, much less one where people on the web were planning violence–to be taken seriously or not.

        And the real issue is the degree to which this under explained and under investigated incident is being used to foster a new wave of domestic repression against anyone who opposes the government. See today’s Caitlyn. Here’s suggesting the deep blob is a lot scarier than people in Viking hats.

        1. Yves Smith

          This wasn’t paramilitary. None of the right gear, for starters. Took them over an hour to break the Capitol Police lines with the Capitol Police being undermanned for the task. Oh, and that omits the section where the Capitol Police let the insurgents in.

      2. ambrit

        I’m beginning to think that the real “issue” here is not the actual riot, but the continuing ceaseless drumbeat of Pro and Anti propaganda tied to the riot.
        A certain Austrian corporal didn’t manage to take over a then modern nation with a debacle of a putsch attempt. Instead, he spun the resulting short prison stay he suffered as a result of that original riot into a very popular book and speaking tour. The rest is history.
        The underlying causes of the riots aren’t being dealt with. Expect more and bigger ‘riots’ going forward.

        1. chuck roast

          Popular book and speaking tour side, it must have been a major freak out to the locals, not to mention everybody else outside Berlin, that the Landwher Canal was getting clogged with the bodies of political activists of all stripes. I can’t imagine what Germany must have been like during this period. Here was a country that was widely seen as the epitome of western civilization less than a generation before. Yeah, we don’t have that far to fall.

          1. ambrit

            There is an interesting German television ‘mini-series’ called “Berlin Alexanderplatz” that deals with this time period in Weimar Germany. Worth looking for, and at.
            You could also go on back to Remarque’s book, and later a quite good film, “Three Comrades.” It covers the period from a, shall we say, more philosophical perspective.
            Or, see:
            I must agree that we don’t have far to fall ourselves. As usual, Sinclair Lewis beat us to it with his book, and later film, “It Can’t Happen Here.”
            Or, see: (There is no film version. Hmmm…. I must be thinking of the film “Keeper of the Flame.”)
            I’m betting on good old entropy to come out ahead in The End.

      3. marym

        Thanks for this comment. In the long history of FBI infiltration, entrapment, and subversion it’s odd to read speculation of these tactics being used against a white supremacist movement. They’ve made a lot of arrests though, so maybe we’ll see if any evidence of entrapment surfaces, not just speculation.

      4. The Rev Kev

        June 20, 2021 at 11:50 am’

        Sounds good but then you have to answer a few questions. Like who gave the order for the Capital Police to move aside those barriers so that that mob could get to the building itself (filmed) and who told those police to stand down and just let that mob walk freely into the building (filmed multiple times). Where was Washington’s Metropolitan Police? If that mob was saturated with FBI informants, why was the National Guard MIA until about five in the evening? That riot is like one of those Russian Matryoshka dolls as in the more you go into it, the more layers that you find.

    3. flora

      Yep. Similar to last summer’s protest in Germany. From Consent Factory last August.

      This event was the “reason” for the restrictions of democratic rights that followed from the govt in Germany.

      I think the US Congress has a similar bill restricting speech and demonstrations teed up for a vote…after an event oddly similar to Germany’s event last summer. Coincidence.

    4. William Hunter Duncan

      “CI [Confidential Informant] cannot be a member of any conspiracy he infiltrates on behalf of the FBI.”

      This is where Andrew McCarthy’s argument falls apart. A confidential informant can lead and facilitate the conspiracy to a place much further along than it ever would have gotten. Additionally, McCarthy barely even mentions the possibility of undercover law enforcement, who just as well can lead and facilitate a conspiracy far afield of where it might have been. One thing seems clear at least about the Michigan conspiracy, the CI’s and likely undercover LE, were a lot more intelligent than the indicted conspirators. Stupid generally does not lead the smart.

      1. km

        I have said all along, knowing what I do about law enforcement practice and how it works *in the real world*, I would not be surprised in the slightest to learn that the FBI informants were the initiators of the proposed kidnapping of the Michigan governor, only to develop amnesia once it comes time to testify.

  23. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Lab leak theories

    Buddy of mine forwarded me a couple articles where the corporate media is very reluctantly admitting that it’s sort of OK to talk about this now even though it’s probably not true and lots of scientists say it’s zoonotic, and they are still so infected by the Trump Derangement that they just can’t help themselves from continuing to politicize it.

    From NBC –

    From The Guardain –

    Both articles are decent regarding the facts although I’ve read far better from non-corporate media sources, but it’s the spin that jumped out at me. From the first –

    …a theory that was originally promulgated by former President Donald Trump and his followers…

    And from the second –

    …the lab leak theory – promulgated early last year by Donald Trump and his supporters…

    Quite the coinky dink isn’t it that a US and a UK publication both felt the need to place those qualifiers using nearly identical wording early on in both articles. “Promulgated” is the tell. It isn’t exactly one of the more common words in the English language – “repeated” or “promoted” would have done just fine. It’s almost as if someone had been passing around talking points ahead of time…

    Note to the intelligence community infesting the news organizations – if you’re going to keep hammering the propaganda, try not to make it so obvious.

  24. km

    Reading a debunking of “Italygate” (the notion that an Italian hacker worked with the CIA to overturn the election) two things jumped out at me.

    1. The allegations themselves are a rehash of Russiagate-type conspiracy theories peddled by the same kinds of mountebanks, just instead of ZOMG Trump Russia ZOMG! it’s Biden Italy ZOMG!

    2. Unlike the Russiagate conspiracy theory, the MSM is careful to use the words “false and disproven” at every turn, lest wrongthink ensue.

    For the record, I don’t buy either conspiracy theory, but if Italygate were self-obvious baloney, why is it necessary to keep reminding me of this, rather than let me make up my own mind? Something similar might be said about MSM coverage of COVID, vaccines, etc..

  25. kareninca

    This is interesting:

    COVID-19 might be over, but viral infections in Israel are surging
    Children and adults around the country are getting sick as it usually happens in the winter, experts say.
    The corona crisis might be over, but all over Israel adults and children are getting sick with viral infections in a phenomenon that is unprecedented for this time of the year, according to several medical professionals.
    “We have never seen anything like this,” said Dr. Tal Brosh, head of Infectious Disease Unit at the Samson Assuta Ashdod Hospital. “We’ve been monitoring viral infections in the hospital, which of course is just the tip of the iceberg of what is going on in the community, as for each hospitalized patient, there are many more out there. Since the spring, we have been seeing an increasing number of respiratory diseases, and since May there has been a surge in RSV cases.”
    RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, usually appears in the winter together with the influenza, and is especially serious for very young children and older, vulnerable adults.
    “We usually see it disappearing in the summer, but if we consider the numbers now, it looks like winter in previous years,” said Brosh. “During the winter 2020-2021, we did not see one individual case of RSV.”
    RSV is not the only virus that is widely circulating – other diseases that are currently infecting a growing number of people are a type of adenovirus, the human metapneumovirus (HMPV), and the rhinovirus. All of them are associated with respiratory symptoms and other symptoms similar to those of a severe cold. At the same time, influenza has not hit the country since the winter previous to the pandemic.

  26. Alice X

    Enlarge the antidote up to see his/her face clearly. This is a sentient being. Our dear cousin.

    But then, all of life on this earth are our relatives. moi

  27. Carolinian

    re Miami–isn’t it soon going to be underwater?….sooner than most places at least.

  28. Geo

    “China is kicking out more than half the world’s bitcoin miners – and a whole lot of them could be headed to Texas”

    I’m sure the Texas power grid will handle this influx smoothly.

  29. Wukchumni

    Something you don’t see everyday dept:

    I’m here @ the Silver City Resort in Mineral King, and one of their customers has a member of the Marmot Cong that absconded into the engine compartment of their Chrysler van, and there’s 3 employees of the resort trying to extract it out from its hidey hole, and as modern engines go there isn’t much room to get at it.

    Now comes the hard part, what do you do to coax it out?

    The people are from San Diego, and if they hadn’t noticed the hitch-hiker, it may have set a new record for distance traveled by the ‘Cong, the previous record being a long drive to Petaluma.

  30. FluffytheObeseCat

    Jon Stewart, The High Priest Of Cultural Liberalism, Reprimands His Flock – Michael Tracey

    One sentence synopsis of this piece: How dare John Stewart act reasonably!

    The piece was 3/4ths arch, petulant sneering about Stewart’s status and style of presentation….. and jack about anything the guy actually said. Almost no critique of substance; just mewling fury over the fact that the substance under discussion was coming from the wrong sort of guy. The tone and language of the piece were worthy of Maureen Dowd.

    It was followed by a propagandistic switch at the end, in which ~4-6 paragraphs centered on the heart tugging use of the name of Ashli Babbitt. Her death had jack to do with Stewart’s comments & wasn’t tied to the main topic of the piece in any notable way. His mention of Babbitt was just a closing dogwhistle, seemingly designed to give evidence of Tracey’s solidarity with the Trump faction of the culture war.

    The well-nursed, ultra-loud butthurt of the MAGA faction deserves no more respect than the snooty hauteur of their self-anointed opponents. Tracey’s seething over Stewart’s grievance-damaging ability to make sense at key points in time is sour grapes. It should be lampooned. He and his rage-soaked followers deserve just as much empathy as….. the privileged twerps who drummed that Darkhorse professor out of Evergreen College.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Tracey’s seething over Stewart’s grievance-damaging ability to make sense at key points in time is sour grapes. It should be lampooned.

      In what way does Stewart make sense?

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        He probably didn’t make much sense, except very generally, since he is still influential among liberals of a certain age. His routine may have finally helped spur some non-nutso discussion of human error as a factor in the development and spread of COVID-19. I can’t make myself click on Colbert’s stuff, so I didn’t watch Stewart’s little COVID comedy sketch.

        On this very general basis, Stewart comes out better than a chip-on-the-shoulder writer who uses culture war dogwhistles to garner ”likes” for an otherwise point-deficient opinion piece. Stewart is too smooth and self-satisfied, yes. But, Tracey’s piece lacked substantive critiques and culminated in a vicious little bit of propaganda.

        Riverboat Grambler’s main comment addressing this article is better than mine.

        1. Carolinian

          Aren’t you doing a bit of seething yourself? I took Tracey’s main point as an assertion that the left fell in love with irony and attitude during the Stewart era (some of us would say the Letterman era) and it is coming back to bite them when they are ones defending the current orthodoxy (i.e. Colbert). But then he does go off the rails suggesting Stewart is doing Blob work by pointing the finger at China. I didn’t think it was one of Tracey’s better columns.

          Speaking for myself I’d say the diff between Stewart and Colbert is that Stewart was funny whereas Colbert is/was always pandering (and sometimes funny). I’m not sure there’s much deep thinking to be done on all this.

        2. chuck roast

          Stewart, whatever one may think of him, does seem to have a way of making the tectonics shift. Back when I was still watching corporate propaganda, Stewart famously confronted Tucker Carlson for being a hack when he was on CNN, and sometime later he moved over to Fox and trashed his bow-tie. If Stewart begins discussing Ivermectin in an even-handed way then maybe we can begin taking the guy seriously…at which time he will be silenced.

    2. Riverboat Grambler

      Painting an equivalence between Babbitt’s killing and the police killings that inspired BLM as a gotcha on liberals is pretty rich.

      This guy is a total goober.

    3. John Siman

      Fluffy, you need to feed on some Aimee Terese twitter crunchies so you can see the light and ??? Michael Tracey as he deserves to be loved!

  31. Mikel

    Re: “What’s Going On At Yale Law School” “Every person I called to ask ‘How did you get this job?’ told me,’ Amy Chua made a phone call.’” It’s all about the merit. Until it isn’t.”

    Sounds like business as usual. Just the difference now may be people getting those positions are willing to admit it was because of a phone call from a connection. Was it more “meritocracy” when those calls were made by family or friends of family?
    Only so many of these elite jobs available…imagine the competition is getting stiff.

  32. Mikel

    Re: “The Green Revolution Is Being Built on a Very Dirty Industry” Bloomberg

    The article singles out steel and the coal behind it. But what about all the increased mining in general for all the elements that go into batteries?
    And all the fresh water the alleged “green revolution” will use.
    Car tires and interiors also still use alot of plastic…so drilling will remain on the agenda. Not to mention all of the other products used in goods that require petroleum.

    1. Pelham

      Not only steel. I’ve also read that the composite that wind turbine blades are made of require 17 times as energy to produce as a comparable mass of steel. They’re also really tough (and energy intensive) to recycle.

      Maybe this is one big reason that, despite the massive investment in wind and solar, we have achieved zero progress reducing atmospheric carbon in the 50 years since the first Earth Day.

      1. Nikkikat

        Pelham I think massive investment in wind and solar and zero progress on atmospheric carbon over the last 50 years was the goal. There is probably an email somewhere that spells it out.

    2. chuck roast

      You mean…naugahyde is made of plastic? I thought that it was made out of naugas. I was talking to a local fisherman the other day, and I ask what he was catching. He told me they were dragging for naugas. Maybe I’m not getting enough fresh air.

      1. ambrit

        Yes, I was disappointed too. It’s almost as bad as when I discovered that Nerfs are easy to herd. Han Solo’s gratuitous insult lost it’s sting. (But then, what can you expect from a guy who shoots first and asks questions later?)

  33. Riverboat Grambler

    Good lord Micheal Tracey is such a hack. Everyone from mainstream liberals to “bitter online leftists” speaks of Stewart with “worshipful reverence”? Speak for yourself buddy.

    I liked the interaction between Stewart and Colbert (how far he has fallen) but the writing in this article is unbearably smug and obvious in a get-to-the-point-already kind of way.

    1. Geo

      From the article: “It remains to be seen whether God can solve our mental health crisis. But the potential clinical benefits of spirituality, and patients’ desire for spiritual treatments, provide a reason to believe.”

      There’s so much in that article to unpack. Thanks for the interesting read.

      My first thoughts are more from a defensive position. I spent years untangling myself from unhealthy psychological burdens of my religious upbringing. So, personally, adding “faith” to psychology seems like a giant leap backward. Might as well drill a hole in my head to release the evil spirits.

      And, the “secular” approach doesn’t make it sound any better. I had a hobby for a while where I’d join cults to see what the allure was. A few were non-denominational and one in particular was a hybrid of new age, pagan, baptist and whatever else the charlatan leader could use to fleece his flock. He preyed on the desperate and the vulnerable using the cloak of faith as a means to manipulate and give false hope (for a price). One woman had issues with a mother in law (long story) and I got to sit in on a hex breaking ceremony. She left feeling hopeful. Did the ceremony work? Maybe in a placebo sorta way.

      And that’s my issue with the article. It mentions the most underappreciated treatments for mental disorders are “love and faith.” That’s like saying the most underappreciated form of diplomacy is winning hearts and minds. It’s so vague and undefined it basically means nothing.

      Faith in what? God? How’s that worked out over the millenia? I’ve got a book on scripture from the 1850’s that was written for slave owners to teach their slaves to help them feel better about being slaves. Did it work? Maybe the slaves felt better afterward. I don’t know. Did it fix anything at all about the situation that made them slaves? No.

      Our mental health crisis has nothing to do with “faith” and everything to do with an unwell society that is predatory, selfish, materialistic, and isolating. Faith is a bandaid for this, not a fix. That’s how it’s always been. That so many in the study seem to desire meaning through faith clearly highlights how little meaning we have as a society in our common bond, friendships, community, and work.

      As for “love”… what is this a RomCom where love means never having to say you’re sorry? A sci-fi where love is the fifth element and a force stronger than time and gravity?

      Erich Fromm wrote “Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go.”

      He stated it takes practice and constant effort and is only real if it embraces all life. Anything less is infatuation and idolatry.

      And that’s my final thought on it: it’s not that faith isn’t potentially helpful if used as a form of easing suffering. Like aspirin for the mind. But, too often faith is wielded like opioids that numb the pain but hook the user and doesn’t actually fix the root cause of the pain. It also allows the peddlers of faith, like opioids, to get very rich off selling it.

      Unless psychiatry addresses the real issues then this “faith and love” approach is nothing but a placebo effect. It’s all about looking to the heavens or to vague concepts so that the patient doesn’t have to look inward and assess the root causes of their problem. Easier to believe it’s some higher power that can fix some thing than do the real work of changing yourself and the world you live in.

      1. Chris

        “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
        – Jiddu Krishnamurti

  34. newcatty

    Thank you. You are not alone in your thinking. “All of our relations” …if respected and cared for on our planet. Imagine.

    1. Maritimer

      In my jurisdiction, an FOI request regarding Covid contracts came up empty. Emergency Gov explanation was that they do everything on the phone or ZOOM. The money being stolen in all this must be enormous. Huge amount of te$$$$ting being done here.

      As a good faith act, one of the first emergency measures would have been to establish a Covid oversight committee or a team of auditors to limit the looting.

      And, of course, now with some loot in hand, there is impetus to continue and expand the Covid racketeering.

    2. The Rev Kev

      You’d think that living near Lithuania would give them fair warning enough what happens when you go full neoliberal.

  35. drumlin woodchuckles

    Uber and Lyft donated to community groups who then lobbied for Uber and Lyft . . .

    Well, that’s what Racial Justice Wokeness is for. If you oppose the community groups, you get called racist and your objections to Uberism get dismissed and unheard. That’s how the Upper Class leverages its Racial Justice Wokeness for Upper Class power and profit.

    The electric utilities have done the same thing in Michigan to suppress rooftop solar grid hook-upping.
    Give money to Racial Justice Community Groups so they will support utility obstructionism against rooftop solar. And if you rooftop grid-hook-uppable solar over strategically purchased Black Community Organization objections , the Racial Justice Wokeness mafia will call you racist.

  36. Gulag

    Umair Haque stated “The future? Its going to be a lot like the past again, except much, much worse…only billionaires profiteering off misery, death, ruin and collapse.”

    Can the growth of concentrated power in the United States be reduced to simply an increase in the wealth and an increase in the number of billionaires?

    Wouldn’t the attempted movement toward more totalitarian control (fighting domestic terrorism) now being endorsed by the Biden administration indicate that hybrid (for example, market and state institutions involved jointly in surveillance) are more and more confident that they have the muscle to control us?

    If so-called free markets are actually unicorns, that have never really existed historically in the United States, then aren’t political visions which tend to dichotomize tensions between markets and planning and between state “intervention” and “spontaneous market activity clearly inadequate to understanding the real political architecture of American power centers?

    Wouldn’t it be more fruitful to describe in great detail how state institutions in the U.S. have forged, mobilized and ring-fenced markets?

    Shouldn’t political perspectives which endorse either the Hayekian caricature of an all-powerful group of state planner bureaucrats or a political perspective which endorses a Smithian metaphysics of self-interested economic actors magically creating superior outcomes, both be viewed as inadequate to understanding the power realities of our present situation?

    1. chris

      I was talking about this with my kids today, after they’d done their fathers day morning stuff with me. The fundamental question we’re going to have to answer as a society soon is whether someone who doesn’t want to strive hard, or increase their earnings, or go to school, or start a business, or become a key employee at someone else’s business, a person who just wants to be, do they deserve to live a comfortable life? Should this person have access to shelter, food, clothing, medicine and education?

      If the answer is no, and it seems like a lot of people right now would answer no, then we need to prepare for the monstrous decisions to come. The civil wars and the ghettos full of starving children. The climate refugees. The internal passports needed to keep the angry dispossessed underclass from the chosen Elect in the nice parts of the world.

      If the answer is yes, then we need to get on with it and stumble forward towards the goal of reducing misery. I believe governments should be asked to raise the floor of the standard of living for their citizens. In that case we need to stop cranking down on efficiency in areas where there really is no cost for being inefficient. We need to make the system more human. It can be done. For starters I’d like to see a button on Amazon to say “I’m OK with waiting for my stuff” so that warehouse workers can use the bathroom and have real breaks and aren’t working in hellish conditions all day.

      1. Laura in So Cal

        For Amazon,

        Don’t have Amazon Prime and always bunch your orders so you can get FREE shipping. Then Amazon takes their time. I normally get stuff in a week to 10 days. This probably doesn’t help their drivers, but I do seem to get my items bunched into fewer boxes/deliveries.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Are there still NOmazon alternatives in your area? Or has Amazon already exterminated them all?

          1. chris

            Not where I live. And like others who post here, even when I try to order from other places the fulfillment is still through Amazon. So let’s start with a simple thing and build from there. I’d like to take away the excuse that all of their customers expect Amazon employees to $hit in bags and assemble furniture in 5 minutes or less :/

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      A list and an analysis of the actions of the complete dramatis personae mindlessly acting to destroy Humankind will would require far more space than a brief webpost. Umair Haque focused his discussion on billionaires to give a face to villains and to contain the scope of his discussion to the price gouging and shortages that will increasingly characterize our life and times. However I very much agree that more players are involved and not all of them are motivated by pecuniary interests. There are Corporate Cartels which live as unhuman entities, but also unhuman ‘self’-interested Government entities. We are as the grass under great elephants warring for Wealth, Power, Dominion, and Privilege.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If we are the grass under elephant feet, can we learn to grow poisoned razor-blade edges to at least hurt their feet?

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          “When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”

          A few cockleburs mixed in with the grass might work, especially if they could find an ear.

      1. c_heale

        Just Facism is enough. Fascism in Italy under Mussolini was a merger of the state and corporations (or their equivalent).

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          The problem is that the word ” fascism” calls up visions of Hitler and swastikas and stuff. And the Bizniss Fashists can scoff and say ” where is the Hitler? Where are the swastikas?”

          Maybe someone could parody and mock the Bizniss Fashists by organizing a Fake Movement called the Bizniss Fascist Party and they can use armbands with a dollar sign where the Nassi Swassika would be and so forth.

  37. JBird4049

    >>>“Precarious workers” who are predominantly from “communities of color.”

    Most people here already know this. I just think this should be repeated. Ignoring the half of the precarious workers who are white, just like how the working class seems to be only white, in the neoliberal media during elections, is a good way to isolate and divide people and misdiagnose the problems and solutions.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      The half of the precarious workers who are white need to check their White Privilege and stop compaining.
      Maybe you should check your White Privilege and stop complaining.

      I don’t think you’re Woke enough. Someone should send DeAngelo over there to help you fix that.

    2. Liam

      American racism was invented in the early colonies to prevent solidarity amongst the slaves (which those days were a social class, rather than racial caste). So long as such divisions are maintained, it will suit the ruling class just fine. Your leaders are the arms dealers in the culture war.

  38. drumlin woodchuckles

    So the bitcoin miners are going to Texas? Good. Put them in Texas. Their rising demand for electricity may well drive the further development of renewable energy in Texas.

    And if the rest of America can forbid Texas from linking up to National Grids ( in case Texas decides it wants to do so in order to drain America’s electricity into Texas for mining bitcoins), then Texas won’t be able to buy gas power and coal power from outside its borders, thereby sterilizing this bitcoin activity from forcing a recovery of gas and coal in the rest of America.

  39. hunkerdown

    Surprise, surprise. God Emperor Elon’s magic satellite interwebs v1.0 isn’t global warming compatible. (Ars Technica: Starlink dishes go into “thermal shutdown” once they hit 122° Fahrenheit. Man watered dish to cool it down but overheating knocked it offline for 7 hours.) (Emphasis mine.)

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