Links 6/23/2021

Patient readers, many of you have asked about Yves. She is doing very well, and will provide a proper update in due course. Her mother, however, is still in the hospital. –lambert

IU scientists find microbe that protects bees from fungal infections Indiana Environmental Reporter (TH).

CalPERS Names Marlene Timberlake D’Adamo Chief Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion Officer MondoVisione (KW). KW: “Still no replacement for Meng yet. Priorities!”

Pathways to coastal retreat Science


Censorship is off the charts. American Journal of Therapeutics is not top-rank, but it’s peer-reviewed, published by Wolters Kluwer, and in MEDLINE:

Oxford University explores anti-parasitic drug ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment Reuters

Favorable outcome on viral load and culture viability using Ivermectin in early treatment of non-hospitalized patients with mild COVID-19 – A double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial (preprint) medRxiv (video). n = 89. “Conclusions: There were significantly lower viral loads and viable cultures in the ivermectin group, which could lead to shortening isolation time in these patients.”

* * *

Recovery of deleted deep sequencing data sheds more light on the early Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 epidemic (preprint) bioRxiv. From the Abstract: “Here I identify a data set containing SARS-CoV-2 sequences from early in the Wuhan epidemic that has been deleted from the NIH’s Sequence Read Archive. I recover the deleted files from the Google Cloud, and reconstruct partial sequences of 13 early epidemic viruses. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences in the context of carefully annotated existing data suggests that the Huanan Seafood Market sequences that are the focus of the joint WHO-China report are not fully representative of the viruses in Wuhan early in the epidemic. Instead, the progenitor of known SARS-CoV-2 sequences likely contained three mutations relative to the market viruses that made it more similar to SARS-CoV-2’s bat coronavirus relatives.” A long thread from the author on their reasoning and the implications includes this:

Tree pollen carries SARS-CoV-2 particles farther, facilitates virus spread (RM).

The Pandemic’s End Is as Messy as the Start Bloomberg


Xi’s Gamble (unlocked) Foreign Affairs

Coronavirus: how China’s closed borders have hit trade and diplomacy South China Morning Post

Elephants’ 500km-trek across China baffles scientists BBC

They Relied on Chinese Vaccines. Now They’re Battling Outbreaks. NYT. Geopolitics? However–

Coronavirus: surge of Delta variant in Indonesia threatens Bali tourism reopening South China Morning Post


Resistance Fighters Battle Myanmar’s Military in Mandalay NYT

China and the February 1, 2021 Coup d’Etat in Burma: Beijing’s Geopolitical Nightmare Asia-Pacific Journal

Russia says to boost military ties with Myanmar as junta leader visits Reuters

In Taiwan, some foreign tech workers are confined indoors to tackle an outbreak. NYT

Japan Restarts First Nuclear Reactor Since 2018 Amid Hurdles Bloomberg


Lament of the Brahmaputra riverbank The Third Pole

Miyazaki mango: Madhya Pradesh man deploys 9 dogs, 3 guards to protect world’s costliest mangoes Times of India


Saudi Operatives Who Killed Khashoggi Received Paramilitary Training in U.S. NYT. Commentary: “You wanna be the best, you gotta learn from the best.”

Afghan Says He Spied for CIA. Now That He Wants to Flee to U.S., He Can’t Prove It. WSJ

Facing global pressure, the United Arab Emirates to begin fining violators of new corporate transparency rules ICIJ

The Photos Exposing What Israel Is Trying to Hide Haaretz

Africa’s third wave: ‘What haunts me a lot is the Indian scenario FT

Exactly like the railways in the pre-Confederate South:


Finland Might Have Solved Nuclear Power’s Biggest Problem The B1M

Biden Administration

White House admits July 4 vaccine marker will be missed The Hill

The Senate’s “too-big-to-fail” plan Axios

“Something happened in Geneva.” Patrick Lawrence, The Scrum

Newly disclosed FDA documents reveal agency’s unprecedented path to approving Aduhelm STAT

Adams leads Democrats early in NYC’s first ranked-choice mayoral primary; Yang bows out NBC. Handy map:

Note: This does not reflect the result of New York’s RCV system.

India Walton Poised To Become Buffalo’s First Socialist Mayor HuffPo.

NYC Advises Orgy Goers to Get Vaccinated ASAP Gizmodo (KS). News you can use!

Our Famously Free Press

A Court Ruled Rachel Maddow’s Viewers Know She Offers Exaggeration and Opinion, Not Facts Glenn Greenwald. The judge was appointed by Obama.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Love me, love me, love me….

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Report: Nikole Hannah-Jones won’t come to UNC without tenure position ABC 11

Imperial Collapse Watch

Assessing the Value of Intelligence Collected by U.S. Air Force Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Platforms RAND Corporation

Class Warfare

‘Heartbreaking’ conditions in US migrant child camp BBC

What Quitters Understand About the Job Market The Atlantic

This one email explains Apple TechCrunch. Well, not entirely

Hey, Nintendo, What’s Up With Animal Crossing? Kotaku

Why You Hate Contemporary Architecture Brianna Rennix and Nathan J. Robinson, Current Affairs. Many beautiful and ugly photographs. Oddly, the authors focus their ire on architects, and not on the boards who commission the buildings and approve the designs (and whose, dare I say, souls the ugly building embody, or so Christopher Alexander argues).

Antidote du Jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

And: In The New York Times, A Story on Eels Achieves Headline Perfection Nieman Labs

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Raymond Sim

    Just learned via a ‘Davis Enterprise’ report dated June 17 that apparently about half of Covid cases here in town and on campus at UC Davis are now Delta.

    We’re 57% vaccinated, and pretty smug. I greatly fear that the variant’s knack for forming syncytia and killing T-cells is going to make us pay dearly.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Delta cases are creeping up everywhere, Europe and Asia included. In many countries, there is a three week or so lag before the more advanced forms of test data are available, so it might be much worse already. It spreads very fast but its rate is often hidden under declines in Alpha variant.

      While it seems from the data so far that most of the main vaccines give strong protection, its only with a double dose, so it may be too late for vaccines to hold off another wave at least.

      And now the Indian authorities have announced an even worse ‘Delta plus’ variant.….

      1. Alfred

        I had to ride the buses yesterday. Masks are still required on the bus, but a lot of the people who ride during the day are um…anyway, this guy I know who “works for the FBI at night during his dreams” wanted to sit next to me, and I said no thanks, and got up to sit in the back. The bus driver says to me, “Oh, you must be one of them who didn’t get their shots!”
        Social distancing is still a thing where I live, and I was stunned a driver would say something like this to me. I told him his faith in the vaccines was touching, and gave him my two cents on what’s real about vaccines, variants and how no one knows how long vaccines last on my way out. Most drivers are not like this, but the riders are. This is how in less than 6 months we went from 1900 cases in the state to over 25,000. Now I have to email the bus company, something I am not looking forward to.

    2. Lee

      So I looked up “syncytia ” on Wikipedia and it states:

      “A syncytium or symplasm (/sɪnˈsɪʃiəm/; plural syncytia; from Greek: σύν syn “together” and κύτος kytos “box, i.e. cell”) is a multinucleate cell which can result from multiple cell fusions of uninuclear cells (i.e., cells with a single nucleus), in contrast to a coenocyte, which can result from multiple nuclear divisions without accompanying cytokinesis.[1] The muscle cell that makes up animal skeletal muscle is a classic example of a syncytium cell. The term may also refer to cells interconnected by specialized membranes with gap junctions, as seen in the heart muscle cells and certain smooth muscle cells, which are synchronized electrically in an action potential.”

      I am still none the wiser, but I’ll go ahead and assume we’re talking about something not good.

      1. Raymond Sim

        Made you look! But the relevant bit is further down in the article:

        “Syncytia can also form when cells are infected with certain types of viruses, notably HSV-1, HIV, MeV, SARS-CoV-2, and pneumoviruses, e.g. respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). These syncytial formations create distinctive cytopathic effects when seen in permissive cells. Because many cells fuse together, syncytium are also known as multinucleated giant cells, or polykaryocytes.[11] During infection, viral fusion proteins used by the virus to enter the cell are transported to the cell surface, where they can cause the host cell membrane to fuse with neighboring cells.”

        This is one of the ways (Are filopodia a separate phenomenon?) the virus can spread cell to cell, or at least exploit the resources of multiple cells, thereby evading antibody neutralization, see:

        It gets worse, SARS-CoV-2 also uses syncytia to kill T-cells:

        And the P681R mutation found in the B.1.617 lineage enhances the formation of syncytia:

        And that’s all on top of the simple fact that the syncytia represent potentially irreversible tissue damage!

        So, how come ‘syncitium’ is still an obscure word. Hell I don’t even know how to pronounce it.

      2. skylark

        Perhaps it’s in reference to Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a contagious lower respiratory tract infection.

        1. R

          It’s a reference to the way that the viral spike protein enables the virus to merge with a cell and then, when expressed by the infected cell, enables it to merge with its neighbouring cells to form a dysfunction, multi-nucleate agglomerate cell….

          Some tissues are naturally syncitial, e.g. muscle, in body and heart. But you want your syncitia to form by design not by chaos….

          1. Raymond Sim

            Yes, I responded in some detail, but I guess it’s i
            awaiting approval?

            But yes, these agglomerates are a key aspect of Covid pathology, both in terms of pathogenesis and immune evasion, and not nearly as much discussed as they ought to be, in my opinion.

    3. kareninca

      Davis is an agricultural college and an agricultural town. There are plenty of horses, and an abundance of apple flavored Ivermectin paste. Not that I’m recommending that to anyone, although the taste is not unpleasant.

      1. Raymond Sim

        I don’t have strong views on Ivermectin, but apple flavoring?

        I suppose horses must like it, but you’d have to go old school to get the flavoring into me.

          1. Raymond Sim

            Well, given what a drag it would be to gag and drench myself every day I guess that might not be too bad.

      2. campbeln

        I’ve heard “go clear as cloudy/white has zinc and other goodies not 100% fit for humans”. Any elaboration is appreciated!

  2. John Siman

    ”It used to seem a touch o.t.t. to suggest a comparison between the American press and Pravda,” Patrick Lawrence writes in “Something happened in Geneva.” “I do not think this is any longer so.”

    I agree, but think this is a statement of feeling — of disillusionment — rather than of fact. Lawrence does, however, provide us with some very useful definitional clarity as well:

    “[O]ne reads The [New York] Times,” he writes, “not to find out what happened but to find out what one is supposed to think happened. Then one goes in search of accurate accounts of what happened. So often, we find, Times correspondents (and of course those of the other major dailies) are unable to report what happened in a given case because so much of what happens in our time does not conform to the fantastic version of reality we are offered as reality.”

    Well! Lawrence has written a fairly precise definition of Official Narrative here, has he not? For consider his last sentence with the appropriate substitution: “So often, we find, Times correspondents are unable to report what happened in a given case because so much of what happens in our time does not conform to the Official Narrative.”

    And there you have it!

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      For those wondering, as I was, “o.t.t.” stands for over the top. God, I hate it when authors do that.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Thanks for mentioning that. I agree. On-line and social media have created a scourge of abbreviations and acronyms—must be all that one-finger typing. The problem is they are often used carelessly, as in this case. The writer *assumes* the reader knows what “o.t.t.” means and thus violates the first rule of good writing: Clarity.

        I’ve encountered so many vague abbreviations on-line that I now have a bald spot on the top of my head from scratching it in puzzlement.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          The entire meaning of the sentence depends on the meaning of “o.t.t.” fer chrissakes.

          o.t.t. is 6 characters, over the top is 10, 12 with the spaces, and the guy probably wasn’t typing this on a phone.

          Hipsteristic as it is, it wasn’t worth it.

          Remember the “Evelyn Wood Speed Reading” course? I wonder what Evelyn would say about “reading” such junk.

        2. synoia

          I perceive “o.t.t” as a form of elitism. You are either in the club or an ignorant prole.

            1. Alfred

              Oh, thanks, Ambrit. That bit of knowlege just forced out of my brain some bit of trivia I may have needed later.

              1. ambrit

                You’re ‘welcome’ Alfred. But, I must protest, the Terran human psyche is not a zero sum game. So, like modern cosmology’s concept of ‘space time,’ new “space” is always opening up.
                Reading here will give one’s “sleeping memory edit function” a real workout.

        3. Chris

          To be fair, this is not really a new thing – abbreviations for the ‘in’ crowd have a long history. These, for example, from the era of the Mitford sisters, were intended to exclude the lower orders from the discussion:

          PLU – people like us
          PDLE – pas devant les enfants (not in front of the children)
          HKLDHFLP – holds knife like dagger, holds fork like pen
          NQOCD – not quite our class, darling

          and the musical hall (lower class) parody:

          NCAWWASBE – never clean a window with a soft-boiled egg.

      2. Oh

        Too many people (including some commenters) make up these initials (abbreviations) to save on typing but they’re hard to decipher.

        1. Angie Neer

          Yeah, those abbreviations signal that the writer is addressing only people who know the code. For some it’s just a lazy assumption, for some it’s intentionally exclusionary. Either way it’s bad writing.

    2. The Rev Kev

      That article mentioned ‘A Bloomberg correspondent who could not be more than 30 or so badgered Putin on the Navalny question, got nowhere, but professed delight when Biden “flashed me a toothy smile.”’

      Yeah, about that. I saw a video of that encounter and I could not hear her question at all over the other shouting reporters. Either she was making it up for Bloomberg or else it all happened only in her own mind. Either way it sucked.

      1. ambrit

        I fear to tell that young reporter that a “toothy smile” is the last thing you will see before the vampire exsanguinates you.
        Or, maybe her hair smells ‘nice.’

    3. Mantid

      Spot on regarding the NY Times. I read it only for the comments. With our NC, we get both, good journalism and good comments. If you’re bored, go to Breitbart and read the comments. I’m quite conservative on some points, but the moderation of most site comments is pitiful.

      1. Gc54

        You get good comments in the NYT? I unsubscribed largely because they were overwhelming RussiaRussiaRussia! Evil Putin/Trump I didn’t hang around for anticipated Deification of Kamala/Joe.

      2. narv

        I suggest Taibbi’s substack comments’ board for a genuine out of body, out of mind experience.

  3. Jessica

    On the map of railroads in Africa above, the red lines are Chinese investment, the blue lines are South Korean investment, and the yellow lines are Indian investment.

    1. Carolinian

      Since I need to defend Dixie many of the early railroads in the North by Vanderbilt etc lacked standard gauge and interconnection.

    2. Kouros

      Also, they don’t demonstrate necessarily the point that the one posting tries to. First, the railways have to start somewhere. Second, the contracts are likely with individual countries. Interconnectedness between African countries need to be first addressed politically, by the African nations themselves, when, and if they think necessary. Right now it looks like is everyone for itself, trying to get a leg up.

      Also, it would be interesting to see a map of modernized roads on the African continent.

      1. Darthbobber

        You’d also need to see a map of existing rail networks to understand how the new projects fit in with that.

  4. QuarterBack

    Re the Maddow ruling. A still more interesting question is: Did Maddow’s own lawyers argue the very same point? A confession to being a complete BS-er is preferable to paying out a large defamation judgment. Shows where the priorities are.

        1. Carolinian

          And the funny thing is many Dems seem to like this style of news just as much as the Foxified.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Its why I like to use “Team Blue” fairly often as it reflects a large bloc of Democratic Party voters. Outcomes and policies aren’t as important as “winning the offseason”. The celebratory mood of “one upping” Mitch McConnell when Merrick Garland was nominated for AG instead of demanding someone that wasn’t selected to please McConnell.

            Its like Red Sox fans trying to convince themselves that trading away Jeff Bagwell, Hanley Ramirez, and Mookie Betts to name a few made sense. Though they did actually win the World series in the wake of the Ramirez trade….and the Sox needed the reinvigorate their decimated farm system with Betts.

            1. lyman alpha blob

              The Sox traded Ramirez after the 2005 season and won the World Series in 2007 with Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett who they got in the Ramirez trade. That one worked out pretty well actually (but Hanley was really good in his younger years. I saw him play in the minors and he was one of those you could tell was going to make it in the bigs). The others though, not so much. I’m still wondering if the Betts trade was done because someone felt guilty about sticking the Dodgers with Crawford, Gonzales and a post-useful Beckett along with their bloated salaries several years earlier. I miss Mookie…

              Merrick Garland is how you know that the Democrat party are really a bunch of Reagan Republicans.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                A middle infield of Hanley and Pedroia for 10 years…so irritated about missing that. They taught Pedroia 2nd base, so they could both play.

                As for Mookie, he’s fun, but how much better is he than the 31st outfielder in the majors? Right field is big, but at Fenway, they can cheat as the Left fielder doesn’t cover much ground. Manny Ramirez played left field at Fenway. How hard can it be? At one point in recent seasons, they had 4 real top flight outfielders and they only needed two. They can manage road games. The Sox were losing games from huge innings given up by their bullpen, and they had nothing to call up. Dombrowski traded away too much during his run as GM.

                They did Mookie a solid with a Dodgers trade. I’m skeptical of the Sox record. Mostly I think the AL is the worst its been since the 80’s compared to the NL, and the Sox are enjoying the best manager in baseball going against the grain.

                1. lyman alpha blob

                  I saw Pedey play a little in both AA and AAA right before he got called up – another you could tell was going to make it. That short average looking guy blasted homers to dead center in both games I saw him in that year. Those two really would have been something on the same team.

                  As for Manny, ahhh the memories – hahaha

                  I think the Sox are overachieving too this year. Bigly. You probably grew up like I did though with the Sox in first place many years until basketball and hockey were over and then they’d collapse when people start paying attention. I always expect the June Swoon but I’ll enjoy the run while it lasts this year. Don’t mind the choking so much anymore. I would have died happy after just ’04 – the last three rings were nice bonuses for the long suffering fans of 1919-2003.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Would you believe that I used to visit the Daily Kos every day? No! No! It’s not what you think. I use to visit only their Comics section as they had some really good ones from time to time. The rest of the DK was rubbish. And then things changed. Back in 2016 you had the occasional cartoon on Trump and they were funny. But then one day every cartoon was about Trump. And the next day. And the next Day. This kept up for weeks so I just gave up going there.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Alex Jones was publicly erased for “it.” If you’re advocating for the same treatment for maddow, you’ll get no argument from me.

        1. ambrit

          We’re not just gingerly venturing onto the dreaded “slippery slope,” but full course tabogganing down it to a very “tropical” clime.
          I’m thinking that this policy of censorship has slipped it’s leash and has taken on a life of it’s own. It’s the sort of ‘thing’ that cannot be controlled, and will definitely come around to bite it’s suposed “masterx” in certain fundamental regions.

    1. griffen

      Oddly enough to note, that a prior case brought against Fox reached the very similar result. Carlson was only voicing opinion, in a defamation suit.

      Opinions have something in common with a particular part of the human anatomy! One sides opinion smells but my preferred side smells like a flowery meadow in springtime!

      1. ambrit

        As a recovering Plumber, I will testify that both essences are varities of the “smell of money.”

        1. griffen

          Ha! I think I’ve seen a documentary on food and large scale ag farms, and the chicken farm featured the farmer saying that. Smells like money.

          I can attest driving on I 40 towards Wilmington, NC, you will get all the smells of money off the large scale hog farms.

    2. fresno dan

      June 23, 2021 at 7:36 am
      What I’m not understanding, is that this is a defamation case – correct? Saying that someone is a communist or a mass murdered – the truth of WHAT WAS STATED, and whether that is defamatory, is the issue as I understand it with regards to defamation (I would not care if I was called a commie, but being called a mass murderer would get my dander up). A defense is the TRUTH of the statement (me a commie – hmm, debatable. Mass murder – simply factually incorrect). So why is the fact of the truthfulness of the statement as a political opinion as opposed to a news item entering into the judgement? Was the person called a Russian agent and is that defamatory? I would say yes in both cases.

      1. QuarterBack

        Fresno Dan,
        In defamation cases, the plaintiff needs to prove 3 things: 1) the defendant lied; 2) the public (or some small or large segment) believed the lies to be true; and 3) the plaintiff was damaged because the public relied on the untrue statements.

        The Judge decided that point 2 was not satisfied because it was ruled that a reasonable person would not believe that the defendant’s statements were statements of fact.

        1. Geo

          MSNBC, Fox, and so many others should be forced to show the same disclaimer movies do:

          “The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred.”

        2. fresno dan

          June 23, 2021 at 12:12 pm
          Well, is it just me, or would a reasonable person (e.g., you) believe that at LEAST a small percentage of the Maddow audience believed the alleged defamation?
          I mean, I think most viewers of Maddow don’t believe the Maddow show is The Avengers a fantasy movie. That at least some portion of the Maddow audience believes the allegations made by Maddow.

          1. Gc54

            I can concur that some of my well read but lacking in cynicism science (PMC) colleagues were convinced by Maddow’s early “bombshells” . I never followed up that line of inquiry after Mueller’s front fell off. Now they are very pro-vaccine because they simply *must* return to European boondoggling w family in tow.

          2. Geo

            I can say from my circle of friends and family that the myth of Putin pulling the strings on Trump, Fox, “Moscow Mitch”, and the GOP in general is a religious belief at this point.

            I showed someone recently the report that the Russian bounties on US military was a fraud and they had a reaction like a b-movie robot malfunctioning.

            I think the legal hook is “ a reasonable viewer would not conclude that the contested statement implies an assertion of objective fact” which gets anyone off the hook since there are no reasonable people who would ever watch MSM. Their audience is unreasonable. :)

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        The way I read it is the defense saying it wasn’t defamation because her audience knows she’s lying…err using hyperbole and doesn’t take what she’s saying as truth. Based on what I’ve seen of Madow and her audience, I would say that doesn’t track. There’s no knowing wink or sign on her part that she is anything less than 100% serious and a vocal segment of her audience obviously takes her word as gospel. I wonder if other MSDNC hosts will cover this outrage like they did wit Fox and Tucker Carlson…

        1. km

          In the real world, first the judge reaches the desired outcome, then the judge determines the legal reasoning that will enable the judge to reach that outcome.

          In other words, the judge was really thinking something along these lines:

          “Yes, but Maddow says the sorts of things that the PMC approves of, so that makes it OK!”

          1. Geo

            The judge did say “a reasonable viewer would not conclude that the contested statement implies an assertion of objective fact” so they’re not wrong. The problem is that Maddow’s audience is clearly not “reasonable”.

            Funny that it’s the same defense Trump’s lawyer used. Nice to see Maddow sinking to the depths of Sydney Powell!

    3. Pelham

      Yes! That’s what I wondered! And isn’t that potentially the most salient point? It could be the lede: “Lawyers for MSNBC host Rachel Maddow argued that the content of her show is sheer baloney and a judge agreed.” Or something along those lines.

      I’m being completely serious. I used to be an editor and I can’t count the number of times that reporters would miss glaringly obvious points, many of which could and should have been in the first paragraph and the headline. I think my sense of this came from earlier practice writing headlines when I wished I could say something punchy that would pull in readers but couldn’t because the reporter had dropped the ball.

    4. Procopius

      That was the defense Sidney Powell used in her defamation defense. I never heard if the court bought that. It sounds like something that would piss a judge off. “Wait, you say you filed a suit in MY COURT that nobody but a fool would take seriously?”

  5. doug

    So, Hanna Jones turning down $180K per year with few restrictions/demands on her time for five years. Uni life must be magnificent….

    1. griffen

      I’m not familiar with the intricacies of being offered tenure or the rescinding of that offer; but could she not tell UNC-CH to go pound dirt while seeking a tenure position elsewhere?

      Otherwise it’s all surprising what’s going on. As a former resident of the area (including Carrboro, Durham) it’s definitely not what you think. Very left leaning and not at all conservative-leaning.

      1. wol

        Carrboro/ Chapel Hill are left-leaning if you count the WE BELIEVE yard signs and BLM banners in White neighborhoods. Developers continue to gentrify poor neighborhoods and squeeze out affordable housing. The affluent can be counted on to wring their hands symbolically and publicly virtue-signal. And so it goes. Local media presents it as a power play between the conservative Board of Governors and Black faculty/Black student body President.

        1. griffen

          Thanks for the comments. I left in early 2006, in search of greener pastures for my career pursuits. So I’m less directly connected now. The nature of downtown Chapel Thrill, has changed a lot. My last visit was early 2019; it was not surprising to see former strip malls since redesigned and the influx of commercial and mixed use development.

          Traffic still sucks on game days. So that didn’t change.

      2. Carolinian

        The backstory is that the Arkansas newspaper owner who had given their J school a lot of money objected to them hiring her on the basis of her careless way with facts.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          UNC should thank its lucky stars for dodging this bullet, however it happened. hannah-jones is “journalistic” damaged goods.

          Unlike the nyt, apparently there are “newspapers” that still feel they have a reputation to protect. Too bad for all of us you have to go to Arkansas to find one.

      3. Jen

        She could certainly try. Other institutions might not be quite so eager to commit guaranteed employment for life.

      1. chuck roast

        The piece included this…”She [Cullors] also shielded criticism from some on the left who have questioned whether her ownership of four homes contradicts her ideology as a ‘trained Marxist'”. How does one become a ‘trained Marxist’? Did she go to KGB College or something? Did she take a correspondence course from Mikhail Suslov? Inquiring minds want to know.

    2. Matthew G. Saroff

      This is one of those situations where you want to find a way for everyone involved to lose.

      Nikole Hannah-Jones 1619 project was problematic both as journalism and history, but the folks on the other side at UNC are bigot Confederate apologists.

      1. Roger

        “problematic” doing a lot of work here, “incompetent and consciously misleading” are probably more accurate. Such things should negate any possibility of a tenured position, no matter what the political views are of those providing the position.

        p.s. I am a critical (i.e. left wing) scholar, before anyone wants to start with the ad hominems.

        1. Matthew G. Saroff

          I generally agree with your assessment. My point was that everyone here deserves to lose.

  6. Questa Nota

    NYT is one of many curtains behind which you are not to peek. When you do, and see the patterns, narratives and, well, lies, then you can’t unsee.

    Attorneys have a saying that the bell can not be unrung.

    Times stenographers and narrators pretend that the bull can not be unslung.

  7. davie

    RE: Architecture You Should Hate
    The sinister thing here is that it follows a long tradition of shooting down everything and anything, inherently promoting the chief conservative value of “I’ve tried nothing, and I’m all out of ideas.”
    The architecture industry and academy is full of this, and it works, because architecture is so closely connected to, another age old tradition, deriving power from the land.

    While they want to take potshots at architects as egoists, and critique the nihilist modernist take on what is aesthetic, then make weird populist claims, they wind up writing a manifesto that’s purely reactionary.
    Answers that work are: An aesthetic is how the world presents itself to us; and a building becomes architecture when it embodies the conceptions and values of the society that constructed it. These factors combined reinforce the way that all avant-garde creativity seems out of place at first, embodying and presenting a new world. Architecture, however, is inherently conservative because the amount of power involved in construction. Some architecture survives in this new world, some of it doesn’t. Aesthetic tastes change.
    The evocative thing about this ugly architecture is that it evokes a new world.
    The commendable thing about these architects is that they are imagining, and indeed building, and ultimately communicating, a new world.
    Instead of trying to live at the end of history. Duhn-Dun-Duuunnnn.

    To insist that something new that doesn’t appeal to preconceived tastes and values, on top of the way all buildings reinforce conservative power, without being able to identify what those tastes and values and power structures are, is cheap talk.

    (this was clearly written by a salty architecture grad with a master’s degree)

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Good architecture always follows one of two basic principles:

      Simple forms hiding a deeper complexity (the Taj Mahal, most Arabic/Persian architecture); or
      Comples forms hiding a deeper mathematical simplicity (most classical European architecture).

      The best modern architecture (Saarinen for example) recognises this. Bad modern architecture is usually an architect just showing off funky shapes. Or shapes driven by some commercial imperative. Occasionally a one-off ego driven piece can stand the test of time (such as Sydney Opera House, which made no sense as an Opera House but is pretty beautiful), but its pretty rare.

      1. davie

        Thanks for bringing your aesthetic preconceptions to the party.

        Let me introduce you to Angor Wat, Sagrada Familia, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, The Forbidden City, or any number of Frank Lloyd Wright’s arts and crafts projects.
        Often the “funky shapes” are about presenting the command over the labor force’s manufacturing ability, not the architect’s model making ability.
        Your criteria for judging a project represents a series of value judgements assimilated from society at large. This simplicity-complexity spectrum is a synthetic dialectic.

        Interestingly enough, most of these “good” “bad” “best” arguments assume the activities and interactions happening within the building are equally achieved, separate from the aesthetic presentation of the building. It’s even interesting these arguments usually come from a basis that one’s own reading of the building isn’t incomplete or fallible, but none-the-less moral judgement must be passed.

        1. Carolinian

          Sorry but architecture is a form of self expression that you are forcing other people to look at. Therefore you’d better be talented and able to stand up to aesthetic judgments. Otherwise mediocrity and blending in are perhaps for the best.

          Wright made the grade. Many others do not.

          1. Carolinian

            Just to add the link is a great rant even if Tom Wolfe got there first in From Bauhaus to Our House.

            One can also speculate that fashions in modern architecture are merely another version of Woke–an excuse for a new generation to shove an older generation out of the way in order to make a name for itself. But once again these architects are reinventing a wheel that the public thinks was not broken. And it is the public that is forced to look at the results.

            1. davie

              Architecture can never be an expression of the self.
              It always exists in a society, is composed of a series of compromises, and requires a huge collective action to achieve.
              It’s a reflection of liberal ideology that you think it does.
              Did you ever watch Synecdoche, New York with Phillip Hoffman?

              1. Carolinian

                I have seen it a long time ago….barely remember it.

                I’m not posing as any sort of expert on architecture but think Tom Wolfe wrote a very good book. His main point was that this new architecture pretending to be practical rather than decorative isn’t.

              2. Alfred

                Architects get paid big money to fulfill the payers will. It is in no way a huge collective action. The necessary palms are crossed with gold, (or an acceptable facsimile thereof) and hey presto, it’s art.
                Synecdoche, New York with Phillip Hoffman is a fillum

                1. davie

                  Architects do not get paid big money.
                  Architects do not construct the building on their own.
                  It’s an elaborate orchestration and constant negotiation trying to operate within the constraints. A negotation between the owner, the city planners, the nearby HOA, the engineering consultants, the contractors, and the subcontractors, the eventual tenants, there’s even office politics, and it all ultimately exists in a world where it needs to be funded by a bank that operates under certain economic constraints.
                  You really couldn’t be more wrong.

                  1. chuck roast

                    This all sounds very collaborative, and of course the obscene failures that we are surrounded by were all “collaborative efforts.” The few fabulous successes like Saarinen’s hockey rink are never remembered that way. Well, rich guys rule, and their exercises in bad taste are everywhere. Thank goodness for the rare epiphany. I’m down with Alfred on this one.

                  2. juno mas

                    Now, let’s stop the straw-man argument and discuss the projects presented in the article. Most violate the principles that the authors identify at the end.

                    Architecture is not easy, or wildly remunerative, but it is the architect who guides the basic form of a structure and must accept responsibility for the end product. (Architects know the constraints on design and construction going in.)

                    Buildings must first accommodate the basic element of human use and, hopefully, complement their setting. (The Gehry Bilbao museum works, his Music Center in downtown LA does not.) The Sydney Opera House works visually, because of its setting and scale to the waterfront—whether it works for patrons is another story.

                    As an architecture graduate (CPSLO), there are many salient insights in the article.

          2. BobWd

            The homes Wright built are unlivable. Fallingwater leaks, is moldy, and the cantilever had to be reinforced due to sag.

            It looks kinda pretty, though.

            1. Carolinian

              They fixed all that and it’s a tourist magnet now….try getting a ticket.

              I don’t think the owners have much to complain about these days.

            2. chuck roast

              Fallingwater: ceilings are too low…maybe seven feet. Almost zero closet space. Looking for a comfortable place to sit? Try lying on the floor. All the doorways are too narrow…almost impossible to get furniture in the place. I haven’t been there in 15 years, so I forgot all the other crappy features. Anyway, it’s better to look good then to feel good, dahling’.

              1. Alfred

                FLW fought with the construction engineers about the cantilever over the falls–they wanted more metal reinforcement in the concrete, and he said no. The engineers ingored him and just reinforced it the way they thought best anyway. FLW insisted the furniture be built-ins of his design so his design could not be altered. He was a raging egomaniac.

        2. Alfred

          I am fine with people expressing their creative ideas. Forcing everyone else to look at the result day after day without being able to avoid it is something else again. What is worse–creating in private behind a fence for your own enjoyment, although your massive ego may be chafing at this, or forcing everyone to have to gaze upon your ill-thought-out monstrosity every damn day?

          1. enoughisenough

            I was disappointed they are only talking about elite architectural high-status buildings, and not the scourge of the apt building boom, which are everywhere, ruining everything.

            I am seeing new ones of these every month, and they are a blot on the landscape, and are cheaply done. They won’t last a generation without falling into ruin, yet no one is regulating them. On the contrary, city councils clear the way for these ugly things.



            1. Susan C.

              I couldn’t agree with you more. Some further thoughts about modern architecture and why high-rises might not be the entirely correct solution to the way people live:

              1. Wind speed increases with height. This isn’t a problem for birds who may wish to migrate, but you might want to consider that if you open windows for some cross ventilation on the forty-second floor you may want to place bricks on any loose paper.

              2. If your windows don’t open, especially in a building with glass curtain walls, then on a hot day without power provided by cheap fossil fuels the temperature inside will rise to baking levels.

              3. Water pressure to all but the lowest floors of a building will disappear during a power outage.

              4. In a period of unaffordable energy costs, people would only be able to occupy floors as high as they could physically climb. For most people, that limit is four or five flights of stairs and may be less if you’re carrying buckets of water.

              In the long run I imagine skyscrapers might make excellent aviaries. Goodness knows, the birds could do with a break.

              1. davie

                This is a great example of people grasping for whatever excuse they can to condemn a building because they are imagining the conditions of other people who decide to live there, but really are just scared of the brave new world.

                Really? The windows don’t open? Really? Power outages?

                1. Tom Stone

                  Don’t forget earthquakes.
                  Millennial Tower is only one of several local high rises with innovative foundations.
                  It’s only a matter of time before one of our major faults lets go, the Hayward/Rodgers Creek fault is more likely to pop first and a 6.8 is about what we got in 1868.
                  Lake Oroville is near empty, it provides a substantial percentage of California’s hydropower which will soon be unavailable until the rains come.
                  Power outages are no longer uncommon in California, last year I was without power several times and expect to be without power at times this summer.
                  So, yes those are legitimate concerns for a lot of people in a lot of different locations.

        3. hunkerdown

          High culture in general doesn’t seem to have much more purpose than “presenting the command over the labor force’s manufacturing ability” for its own sake. Maybe we would be better off without another load of PMC gentry entitled to be paid to be lazy and force their idiotic ideas on others.

        4. vw

          I see you have a degree in architecture. My condolences on the loans. I’m going to tell you something your professors weren’t paid to cover:

          The human species has changed very little, evolutionarily, since we started designing buildings. “Beauty” is correlated with what is pleasing to us. There’s wiggle room within that definition, but it is strictly bounded by genetic constraints. I’ve no doubt there’s a lot of fancy words that have been drummed up to explain what “beauty” is and isn’t, and you sure did use a lot of them in your comments, but they obfuscate more than illuminate. There are rules and you can find them out on a gut level (and for free!) by studying which human constructions have been beloved the longest. Periodt.

          Trying to “push the envelope” in architecture, then, is not just usually wrong – as the hideous examples in the link given more than prove – but intensely disrespectful. After all, what is architecture for? If your answer is anything but “To positively affect the people using it and living alongside/inside it” you are wrong. Wrong, and a blazing a$$hole to boot.

          What contemporary/modern architecture is, see, is a childish revolt against “standards” and “old ideas” that has been bizarrely preserved in academia long, long past when it was societally relevant. Contemporary/modern architecture, literally according to its founders (go on, read some more Le Corbusier if you don’t believe me!) is a punishment of regular people. It actively hates them for their love of detail and traditional style and relevance. Now, in the 1920s when those foundational modern architects were suffering from PTSD from WWI, which was the catastrophic end to an era that focused on beauty in architecture as a signal of how “enlightened” they were at the “end of history”, one can at least find sympathy for their message. But what’s your excuse? What’s your professors’?

          Nowadays, most large-scale modern architecture is little more than a vehicle for some starchitect’s masturbatory, computer-generated vision. It gets built, because the governments and corporations of the world have too much money to make good decisions with it, and at its best it floats on the horizon like a deracinated mock-up of Kubricks’s 2001. Up close, of course, it is ugly and relentlessly hostile to the overwhelming majority of those who have to interact with it.

          I personally believe that constantly forcing ourselves to deal with modern architecture – both in the grand form, and in the derivative form of the modern office building and box apartment (which has been given permission to be so cheap and ugly because the Important Architecture also looks like that) – is what underlies a lot of modern anxiety, and can lead to even worse mental disorders. It’s ugly, it’s inhuman, it hates us, but we have to constantly tell ourselves not to believe our lying eyes. It’s just how buildings ARE now, you see, and there are a thousand and one reasons – which you do your due part to spread, using all those fancy words you and your professors came up with to justify your actions – why we Must Not Ask Why (for we live in the Best Possible World of course, how could it be otherwise?!) And so the cognitive dissonance chokes our senses, and we must block out the world to mentally survive.

          If you are actually using that degree of yours to make money… I beg you, try to stop digging. I know it’s not possible. I know the architectural world has rigidly conformed to hateful practices and no doubt your personal defense of the indefensible is what is allowing you to psychologically protect yourself. But what you can do, if you are brave, is to allow yourself to contemplate the banality of evil. We all contribute in our own way. We all make our compromises. But the honest life requires us to look directly at our own culpability, and that of what we have personally chosen as the Greater Good.

          If there’s a silver lining anywhere to 2020, it should be in serving to remind us of that.

          1. Temporarily Sane

            “Beauty” is correlated with what is pleasing to us. There’s wiggle room within that definition, but it is strictly bounded by genetic constraints.

            No quibbles with the first sentence or the first part of the second sentence, but how would one go about proving that human conceptions of beauty are “strictly bounded by genetic constraints”?

            It’s currently fashionable (again) to attribute all kinds of traits and behaviors strictly to genetics but the proof offered is often far from convincing, particularly when discussing abstract concepts like beauty.

            1. vw

              I’ll grant that if it has to be “proven” in the usual scientific manner it could take some time and ingenuity. But really, what is controversial about the concept that we as a species prefer things that reference safe/natural/defensible/usable environments? That we would call such things, which affirm our humanity, “beautiful”? Who should have to prove “beauty” anyway – the masses, who use the damn buildings and have made their opinion clear, or the architects who torture and defy them?

              I agree that we have to be cautious about slapping a derogative label too quickly on things we don’t understand. But I’m well past the point of deep-thinking investigations of the hideous garbage plinths that we choke on every time we leave our front doors here in America, just about. Every year that passes, we build more of this trash, and I am not certain how we escape from it other than a significant period of ruins. I can’t bring myself to be enthusiastic about what that would entail. But by god, I KNOW what insults my humanity and my sight, and what doesn’t. And if science is used to try and gaslight me out of that… I’d categorize that as a misuse, frankly.

        5. PlutoniumKun

          Angor Wat is designed on a highly geometric plan. In fact, most of the temples in the area (which are all remarkably different in design) have one thing in common, which is the mathematical rigour of their plans. Similarly with the Forbidden City with is based on bilateral symmetry with a coherent hierarchy of structures, a common feature of most Chinese influenced large scale architecture. The main foundation statement of the Arts and Crafts movement was called The Grammar of Design for a reason. St. Basils is architectural marmite.

          1. davie

            You continue to use these terms that represent positive human character traits, and insist that the building represents those values, that’s how I know you are projecting your ideas about society into them, and pulling out the bits that you want to, in order to pass judgement.
            It’s only emphasized by saying a century old miraculous and complex Russian cathedral is akin to a modern bitter Australian food paste.
            Something subjective that depends on literal taste.

            All architecture embodies the concepts and values of the society that beget them.
            To condemn some buildings on aesthetics, while insisting on your own is the real obscenity.

            1. lordkoos

              “All architecture embodies the concepts and values of the society that beget them.”

              Isn’t it more likely that it embodies the bias and neuroses of the architect?

              Most humans enjoy some ornamentation yet little if any is to be found in the vast majority of modern buildings.

              1. jsn

                An architect has very little say in what gets built, a modest say in how it gets built and generally has to try to make some awful urge of capital look good without expending anything on unnecessary labor.

                Bad clients (the majority) hire obnoxious architects to hide these facts.

            2. The Rev Kev

              ‘All architecture embodies the concepts and values of the society that beget them.’

              should read-

              ‘All architecture embodies the concepts and values of the elites of the society that beget them.’

              There. Fixed it for you. And our elites love neoliberalism so I am not surprised that we have such ugly buildings. Neoliberalism hates people.

    2. jsn

      In the author’s own words:

      “There have, after all, been moments in the history of socialism—like the Arts & Crafts movement in late 19th-century England—where the creation of beautiful things was seen as part and parcel of building a fairer, kinder world. A shared egalitarian social undertaking, ideally, ought to be one of joy as well as struggle: in these desperate times, there are certainly more overwhelming imperatives than making the world beautiful to look at, but to decline to make the world more beautiful when it’s in your power to so, or to destroy some beautiful thing without need, is a grotesque perversion of the cooperative ideal” imagines architects select their projects and, for that matter, fund them. All the architects the author focuses on negatively were those most willing to become the mouthpieces for capitalist imperatives in the man-made human habitat.

      “Where public buildings are concerned, or public spaces which have an existing character and historic resonances for the people who live there, to impose an architect’s eccentric will on the masses, and force them to spend their days in spaces they find ugly and unsettling, is actually oppressive and cruel,” for which clients select willing architects to serve the neoliberal agenda of making “public goods” alienating as justification for “privatization”.

      “Why does there seem to be such an obvious break between the thousands of years before World War II and the postwar period? And why does this seem to hold true everywhere?” because in the wake of that war US hegemony implemented capitalist production and it’s labor minimizing ideology everywhere it controlled and would control through the IMF/World Bank, AID, State Department and CIA roll out of integration into what only became recognized as “neoliberalism” in the 80s when it was reimported from the colonies to the core. In this period the prestige of the US was used to make the technocratic style of “modernism” US capitalist liked paying for a positive model for the world.

      “The architecture produced by contemporary global capitalism is possibly the most obvious visible evidence that it has some kind of perverse effect on the human soul.” Accurately summarized at the start.

  8. PlutoniumKun

    Finland Might Have Solved Nuclear Power’s Biggest Problem The B1M

    Genius solution to nuclear waste! They are burying it! In big holes! In bentonite clay! Now why did nobody every think of this before?

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      It was grimly amusing to read for anyone who knows jack about history and current practice. Their key “innovation” seems to be their ability to bury the spent fuel very deep, in unusually hard, thick shield rock. Which most of the rest of the world does not have under its feet. Absent the unique lithologic environment of the Fennoscandian Shield, this is not a great disposable method.

      1. Josef K

        The documentary “Into Eternity” from 2010 is IMO an excellent treatment of the subject.

        I point readers to the part of one interview–without being able to provide a time stamp, it’s well on into the film–where one of the people involved in the construction is pushed a bit to give a clear answer on whether this site really can be considered safe for the length of time it will take for the nuclear materials to decay sufficiently enough not to be dangerous. His answer reveals the title to be aspirational, or better euphemistic or propagandistic, which is what the filmmaker seems to intend to reveal.

        1. Josef K

          …and to use one of this site’s recurring phrases, “might” is doing an awful lot of work in that title.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        Good geology for disposal is not unknown. For example, the ideal geology exists in the UK – a series of deposits known as the London Clays. They are perfect – impermeable, plastic, and very stable, with a huge amount of data available thanks to a century and a half of burrowing through it.. For some odd reason the London government has never asked anyone to investigate its utility for radioactive storage.

        There was a famous occasion in the public inquiry into underground storage of nuclear waste in Sellafield in the UK in the 1980’s. For several days geologists appeared to give evidence of the suitability of the geology that just happened to sit under the major stockpiles. At the end, the barrister for objectors asked how the scientists were so sure the selected layers were impermeable to groundwater penetration. They informed them that they’d examined them carefully by using multiple borehole investigations. ‘So, essentially’ the barrister asked ‘you punched it full of holes?’ There was a rapid response ‘oh, but all the boreholes were sealed with concrete after sampling’. The barrister then asked for the borehole logs so could be proven. But strangely, it turned out nobody had kept the records.

        1. Josef K

          The refilling of that very long tunnel looks promising, but as the documentary points out, how can one ensure that a) any signage posted above will be sensical to whatever human(oid) beings will be around in 50-100k years, b) such signage won’t be instead an inducement to dig there (with probably much more advanced technology to do so) c) “spent” nuclear fuel won’t be valuable enough at some future time for such digging to be worth the cost. Even “spent” fuel is a long way from ore.

          Like pretty much everything associated with the use and promotion of nuclear energy, hubristic overconfidence is essential. That’s why the moment where a crack appears in the utter confidence of the scientist being interviewed that I refer to above is significant.

  9. fresno dan

    “Something happened in Geneva.” Patrick Lawrence, The Scrum
    As I have written severally over the years, one reads The Times not to find out what happened but to find out what one is supposed to think happened. Then one goes in search of accurate accounts of what happened. So often, we find, Times correspondents (and of course those of the other major dailies) are unable to report what happened in a given case because so much of what happens in our time does not conform to the fantastic version of reality we are offered as reality. This is why the foreign sections of The Times and the others are so remarkably thin these days.

    Parenthetically, I have never met an American exceptionalist who is not a dreamer, in some measure deluded, and at some level of consciousness a paranoid. Scratch an exceptionalist and you find beneath the skin a nostalgist who, like all nostalgists, cannot bear things as they are. Most correspondents, as those Americans they report upon, are reliably exceptionalist.

    1. Alfred

      Is an “exceptionalist” also someone who can just be called a creative person?

      As someone who was always drawn to the creative arts, I have noticed it is not considered “useful” and is only acceptable as a hobby or pastime after your service to society has been fulfilled. Journalists at NYT on the other hand have to be disgruntled about something, IMO, it’s their job to support a questioning narrative, and I can’t imagine any more that they are speaking from the heart. They may hate their jobs now, but their spinning is a creative skill and they are proud to be good at it.

      I remember the Enron whistleblower Sherron Watkins on 60 Minutes ( I think) saying she hoped her daughter would be a classical musician. That was the most honest and valuable profession she could think of. I agree.

      1. Temporarily Sane

        I think Lawrence might be referring to “American exceptionalists”, i.e. people who think the United States is an ‘exceptional’ nation that has a right and an obligation to remake the world in its own image, rather than to creative people who are American.

        1. Roger

          American exceptionalism is the belief that the US is the god given “Shining City on a Hill” that has been given the task of policing the world for the general good in a highly ethical manner. A task that it has carried out unfortunately with many “mistakes”, but those “mistakes” no matter how many they are do not call into question America’s pure-hearted motives. If you resist America’s striving to improve your lot then you are the devilish, heathen, Other that must either see the light or be destroyed (like the Amerindians were to free North America for God’s children). Exceptionalists tend to use words such as “unfortunate” for the many “mistakes” that the US has made, such as “the unfortunate collateral damage of the drone strike upon a wedding party”.

        1. ambrit

          I remember reading the stories that made up “City” back when I was ten or so. An eye opener. I like that he continued producing excellent fiction on into his seventies and eighties. His “last hurrah” “Grotto of the Dancing Deer” deserved the awards it got.

        2. RMO

          Chromex: Mine too – I don’t see it mentioned very often when discussion comes around to great science fiction stories though, which is a shame.

    2. km

      I can tell you want happened.

      Personnel is policy. Regardless what Biden and Putin talked about in Geneva, the personnel in the Biden White House are the same neocon ghouls that infested the Obama White House, many of whom were Bush holdovers.

      So nothing changed.

      1. Oh

        Just like Victoria Nuland (Bush appointee) who still is the ambassador (?) to the Ukraine.

  10. flora

    re:New US military training document calls socialists a “terrorist” ideology and lists them alongside “neo-nazis” amid Pentagon crackdown on domestic extremism,

    So… is Bernie now an enemy of the state?…/ ;)

        1. ambrit

          Sorry, but, just as the Reich sent ‘experts’ to America to find out how the South managed it’s “colour problem,” modern America is resurrecting the NASDAP’s Office of Racial Policy’s methodologies to apply to another “deplorable population.”
          Per that, one drop of “Socialist Thought” in your consciousness makes you all Socialist for the purposes of prosecution and suppression.
          We have already passed the “Point of No Return” and didn’t notice.

          1. Alfred

            You ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie: (from Raw Story)

            Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation requiring students, faculty and staff at Florida’s public universities and colleges to register their political views with the state as a way to encourage “intellectual diversity.”

            The state will require taxpayer-funded colleges and universities to issue surveys to determine “the extent to which competing ideas and perspectives are presented” on campus and whether students, faculty and staff “feel free to express [their] beliefs and viewpoints,” although it’s not clear what will be done with the poll results, reported the Tampa Bay Times.

            “It used to be thought that a university campus was a place where you’d be exposed to a lot of different ideas,” DeSantis said, justifying the legislation. “Unfortunately, now the norm is, these are more intellectually repressive environments. You have orthodoxies that are promoted, and other viewpoints are shunned or even suppressed.”

            DeSantis didn’t offer any specific examples of that repression but instead claimed he “knows a lot of parents” who are worried their children will be “indoctrinated” with ideas they don’t support, and a pair of state legislators complained that Florida colleges and universities had become “socialism factories.”

            socialism factories!!!! iiiieeeeeee!

            1. tvc

              there isn’t any diversity of thought in colleges anymore, it’s all far left ideology.

              1. ambrit

                “Far left????” Few here in America would recognize a ‘Socialist’ idea if it came and put them up against a wall.
                As long as no one is promoting that the State sieze the means of production, it remains a ‘flavour’ of capitalism.

              2. hunkerdown

                Lambert’s working definition of leftism is the movement that puts the working class first. If it is not putting the working class first, if it is putting some other identity interest before the working-class interest, it is right-wing. Period. Not as if there is any sense in pretending any form of class society is better or more humane than any other, as they all exist to reproduce their elites using their masses as tools.

                1. Procopius

                  I see all these assertions about what conditions are like on college campuses or in universities come from people who have not been in a classroom in thirty or more years, and haven’t spoken to a college student in that long, either. They remind me of the people who announced to me that I believe in open borders, unrestricted immigration, and lie when I say I voted for Hillary.

            2. marym

              At least he says he’s opposed to indoctrination and wants to promote intellectual diversity, though?

              Well…for some definition of indoctrination and intellectual diversity

              The governor signed two other education bills on Tuesday mandating new civics and “patriotism” education requirements in Florida’s K-12 schools, including teaching about the “evils” of communist and totalitarian governments.


          2. km

            The hegemonic classes are increasingly dependent upon ever more overt repression.

            That is not the sign of a hegemonic class that is confident that is has support and that its ideas will win it support. That is the sign of a hegemon that knows its grip is slipping and its moment is fading.

            1. Alfred

              I agree, and unfortunately this hegemonic class is a parasite that does not mind killing its hosts until it feels comfortable in its control again.

              1. Roger

                A class is no longer hegemonic if it can’t get society in general to buy into its ideology and has to use increasing repression. Then its just a ruling class.

      1. ambrit

        Please, don’t. That tee shirt has a glow in the dark target printed on the back. (The preferred method of the “Upholders of Truth (TM) and Official Values” to deal with dissidents is to shoot them in the back.)
        Hunker down and stay safe!
        (Phyl and I are planning on a Sub Urban Hull Down Strategy.)

      2. chuck roast

        They’ll just ignore you. Try wearing a People Before Profit T-shirt. Now that will get their attention.

      1. ddt

        Also Peru? Do they have anything we need? / can’t have socialists getting elected giving other countries the wrong idea

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          / can’t have socialists getting elected giving other countries the wrong idea

          This is my theory on Saudi foreign policy and the export of jihadists while being chummy with Israel. They simply don’t want functioning Muslim heavy population governments existing before their locals get ideas about what to do with the 45,000 Saudi clan members. There are about 5,000 fighting age Saudi males who don’t have enough to bug out.

  11. PlutoniumKun

    Exactly like the railways in the pre-Confederate South

    Yup. You can tell a lot about a countries economic history by just looking at a railway map. Its surprisingly often forgotten that railways go in both directions – so if you build a railway to connect, say, an iron ore mine to the coast so you can export the ore cheaply, you also make it cheaper to import goods to the area around the iron ore mine, undermining local businesses. The Argentinian railway network was a classic example of this, but similarly with the Irish one – the latter was built for exporting cattle (many railway stations are still in the middle of rural areas far from any town), and had the impact of wiping out local crafts in the mid 19th Century as it was so much cheaper to import industrial goods from England. Its been argued that the strength of local small business in France and Italy is precisely because of the relative weakness of their railway networks in the 19th Century. In Japan, they built an extensive system, but it was for people, not goods, so they had a much better spread of industrial development.

    So that railway map looks like very bad news for Africa. The continent desperately needs better railway goods interconnections to expand trade between the generally similar economies of the region. Opening them up for raw material exports with consequent imports of manufactured goods from more developed economies is a recipe for long term stagnation. Economic history is quite clear and unambiguous on this point.

    1. GramSci

      But for this to happen the various countries of Africa would have to cooperate… oh, wait, that was Qaddafi’s idea.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Basically. Also, trying to sell Europe solar energy. Biden and friends didn’t have any investment there. Though Gaddafi dreamed too big. Pan-Africanism has always been too unwieldy. Regional blocs would scale better. Its overlooked, but Africa is really big. It’s simply too many decisions with what would be an ad hoc response.

        It’s why the British Commonwealth thing never became a player or whatever the former Soviet states formed. The EU grew too fast in the 90’s, but many problems were worked out when it was just France, Germany, and the BeNeLux (how was that spelled?).

    2. Polar Socialist

      One should give some credit to the Africans, too.

      For example, overlaying this map on the existing railroad network one could see that at least three of these Chinese projects will connect two separate networks to a cross-continental network, from one coat to another.

      Most of them seem to be improvement of existing railroads, though. Maybe changing the gauge (Africa has 6 different gauges in use) to add interoperability or adding another track to increase volume.

      1. michael hudson

        There’s a reason for what you call dysfunctional railways today — and they are indeed dysfunctional.
        That reason is the World Bank. It only makes loans for projects that can earn foreign exchange to pay the U.S. engineering firms and other foreign suppliers. Hence, they are only built for exports and import trade.
        The World Bank would never lend for purely domestic rail transport, any more than it would lend local currency to modernize agriculture to become free of dependence on U.S. farm exports.

        1. newcatty

          Thank you, Michael Hudson. Modernizing agriculture, in my opinion, should include regenerative, organic farming practices for these countries. Indeed, becoming ” free of dependence on U. S. farm exports ” is a key component of sovereignty for these countries. My concern is that the modern agricultural practices are not modeled on U.S. big AG and factory farms.

    3. Astrid

      Without a map of existing rail infrastructure, overlaid with population centers and local economies and movement patterns, that map isn’t helpful beyond saying that China is funding African rail infrastructure in a lot of places. Is he saying that only new multinational rail systems would not be explicitly exploitative? My understanding is that Belt and Road projects are development projects initiated by the national governments, so I’m not sure China could start up a multinational development project even if it wanted to, unless there’s buy-in and cooperation from local governments.

      The rest of that guy’s Twitter feed makes me very wary about his analysis bent. Seems like a reflectively liberal anti-China, anti-left perspective. Not saying those can’t be right occasionally, but should be taken with a large boulder of salt.

    1. Oh

      Thanks for the link! He hit it outside the park on this one and points out the difference between wealth tax vs, income tax. He exposes the liar Warren Buffett.

  12. Tom Stone

    Here’s an offer to all NC readers.
    I’m still licensed as a Real Estate Broker in California although I haven’t been active for several years due to health issues.
    I’m still a member of the MLS and the coverage has expanded over the last two years.
    All of the SF Bay Area, North to Oregon and East to Nevada.
    I am retired due to health reasons.
    Full Stop.
    You can find my Email through the CA DRE, I hang it in Santa Rosa.
    I will send any who request it what data their MLS reports, please keep in mind that each MLS uses their own criteria and data sets while corelogic uses different criteria and data sets.
    To the best of my knowledge the data sets and criteria are internally consistent.

    It’s a thank you to NC and the Commentariat here who have done so much to enlarge my understanding of the World.

    1. Mantid

      Thank you Tom, but what are MLS reports? I’m having fun with the possibilities. Music Less Strings? Monday Lawn Service? Manipulatin Long Sequences? Just funnin, but really, what’s MLS. Respectively.

    2. Oh

      I tried to look you up as a license holder for Santa Rosa at the Ca DRE but was not successful.

      Best wishes and get well soon.

  13. The Rev Kev

    ‘Wow – every single one of them is a tap line. Zero interconnections. That’s nearly a textbook example of neocolonial investment.’

    Railways in Africa have always been important. It was Cecil Rhodes who worked to ensure that there would be a British railway line stretching from Cairo in Egypt all the way down to Capetown in South Africa which was never finished though-

    Sure this is about China making sure that they can ship African goods to China and in the comments in that Twitter link there is a lot of criticism but think about it for a moment. If you lived in Africa, which would you want more? Infrastructure like railways and ports so that you can sell your goods overseas to China and other countries? Or would you like a few western military bases, troop-training programs and yet other programs training your country’s security forces to keep a lid on opposition in your country? Myself, I would rather pick Door Number One.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is the obvious interest of a post colonial, individual African state which are structurally weak. It might be a softer colonialism but still colonialsm. People need to be aware this map is the better lifer too.

      The only way to address it is to make sure people understand what is going on. If the Chinese are building the appropriate infrastructure to support major rail, even if they are functionally short lines (I like tap lines to distinguish), laying track for other routes really shouldn’t cost that much relative to tonnage and passenger potential. This map looks like old colonial “trade” route maps.

  14. lyman alpha blob

    RE: They Relied on Chinese Vaccines. Now They’re Battling Outbreaks

    That was the top story when I just glanced at yahoo – they sure are flogging that one today. Here’s a non-paywalled yahoo link to the same story –

    Awfully short on “The Science” if you ask me – just a bunch of efficacy rate stats for various vaccines without any mention of methodology involved in producing those numbers so perhaps they were pulled right out of some NYT editor’s [family blog].

    Reading past the headline, you do find out nearer to the end of the article that health officials from the countries using the Chinese vaccines don’t seem to have an issue with them and are not clamoring for Uncle Joe to come save them with capitalist vaccines.

    1. Oh

      If Chinese vaccines are really as bad they make it out to be, China would still have a record number of COVID cases.
      China Bad! USA good!

  15. Wukchumni

    Went forward to the retreat for dinner last night, and its interesting how everybody that lives here amidst nature seems to gets it, Sister Danielle asked if i’d noticed that leaves have been falling from oak trees, something you associate with the fall, not the start of summer?

    Pretty austere survival strategy you got going on there, Mother Nature

  16. Pat

    So the court and apparently Maddow’s lawyers admit that she is essentially talking out of her hat (feel free to make that a lower part of her anatomy) most of the time and make the assumption that her viewers know that. (I can tell you that isn’t the case among most of the ones that I know.)

    In opposite news, after a rousing discussion about the useless nature of Stephen Colbert and his show in the comments here recently comes the news that the show was on the list for a Peabody award.

    Unproblematic men, they say…

    For those that don’t know, they are considered realitively prestigious. As wiki says

    The George Foster Peabody Awards (or simply Peabody Awards or the Peabodys[1]) program, named for the American businessman and philanthropist George Peabody, honor the most powerful, enlightening, and invigorating stories in television, radio, and online media. Programs are recognized in seven categories: news, entertainment, documentaries, children’s programming, education, interactive programming, and public service. Peabody Award winners include radio and television stations, networks, online media, producing organizations, and individuals from around the world.

    1. Alfred

      Where is John Oliver’s Peabody??? Oh yeah. “John Oliver explains why the Obama/Biden-backed PACE program is ‘fundamentally flawed’ Kevin Slane 1 hr ago.” &etc

      1. hunkerdown

        If you haven’t seen the 2019 Brazilian “Weird Western” film Bacurau, I recommend it very highly. I don’t want to give away too much because less foreknowledge makes a harder-hitting show, but part of the story entails a community’s marginal participation in modernity being forcibly severed by enemy outsiders. Washington, Gatekeeper of Modernity.

    1. Chris

      It’s still available at

      Minor Streisand-like effect, there. First time in ages that I’d looked at Press TV.

    1. HotFlash

      It’s said that elephants never forget. Perhaps these guys are remembering how to migrate, like the woolly old guys who walked to different continents under climate pressure.

  17. Anthony K Wikrent

    Regarding Why You Hate Contemporary Architecture:
    There are a number of books that explain the principles of creating beauty. Just a few of them:
    Harmonic Proportion and Form in Nature, Art and Architecture, by Samuel Colman, 1912
    The Divine Proportion, by H. E. Huntley, 1970
    The Geometry of Art and Life, by Matila Ghyka, 1946
    The Painter’s Secret Geometry: A Study of Composition in Art, by Charles Bouleau, 1963
    These are all available in very cheap paperbacks from Dover Publications.

    The key is the geometrical and arithmetic laws of proportion, based on the Fibonacci series and the golden mean. This has been known for a couple thousand years, as any decent history of architecture will mention. Creating beauty simply consists of designing within the confines of these natural laws of beauty. It used to be that such design was a celebration and honoring of these natural laws and their Creator. But at some point in the last couple centuries, western oligarchs revolted against the idea that there might be any laws against anything they wanted to do, and began commissioning some awful and unpleasant designs to pollute our built environment. James Howard Kunstler has written a few very good articles on this theme.

    1. Alfred

      LOL, very good. This reminds me now of a carpenter I hired to put plywood underlayment on a deck area above my kitchen, and he had cut a piece that was maybe 1/2 inch too wide. I was watching him try to force it in and asked him to go back and shave off the larger end, and he said, No, it will go in, and forced it, leaving a humped seam, and he would not be able to get it out again without ruining the board. I looked at it, and told him, “Whenever I look at that, I will think of you.” He didn’t get it. And I could not get him to fix it. (I’m a woman, maybe that’s what cocked the whole asking him to fix it thing up)
      Maybe that is part of these western oligarch’s reasoning–they will be immortal, they don’t care if it’s for a ridiculous building.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Michael Pollen has a similar tale to tell in his book ‘A Place of my Own’. He wanted his little writing cabin to be built on the Golden Rule of proportions, but this doesn’t match standard lumbar units. His carpenter thought it was wasteful to cut lumbar unnecessarily (although it sounds like your carpenter was just incompetent).

    2. QuicksilverMessenger

      I would also recommend reading (a difficult read to be sure) R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, particularly The Temple of Man, his study of Egypt’s Luxor. Very detailed about proportion, mathematics, symbol, the inner structure of the total human psyche as it is presented in the actual building itself, and about why and for what purpose ‘sacred’ art and architecture exist. Essentially, for Schwaller, places like Luxor (and I am sure one can think of many others), are built by conscious people for the purpose of consciousness, and are thus usually wrongly apprehended by the modern mind because we do not understand anything about its origins and purpose

  18. The Rev Kev

    Uh oh. There is a 32-nation exercise in the Black Sea gearing up called “Sea Breeze” and right now there are warships there from the US, the UK and the Netherlands. So the British destroyer “HMS Defender” pushed into waters that the Russians regard as theirs near their main naval base at Sevastopol. The Russian defence Ministry said that a border patrol ship fired warning shots while a Su-24m aircraft performed a warning bombing in response. The Britain’s Ministry of Defence denies that it happened and said that the shots were a coincidence from a Russian gunnery exercise. Take your pick which account that you believe-

    1. John A

      The british ship happened to have a Boris Johnson spokesperson onboard in the shape of a BBC reporter. His verbal report talks of bombs being dropped and warning shots being fired. But he also says, they are sailing through waters Britain does not recognise as Russian. Pathetic showmanship from NATO. The idiot Brits knew exactly what they were doing. And always have the gall to complain when Russian ships sail through the straits of Dover, international waters even though you can clearly see France from Dover on a clear day.

      1. ambrit

        Well, all Boris and Co. need do is to reassert England’s claim to suzerainty over Calais and then they could close an “internal waterway” to those pesky servants of the Neo Tsar.
        (Of course then, that might give Erdogan ideas.)

        1. John A

          Yes, maybe like Queen Mary Tudor, Johnson will die with ‘Calais engraved on my heart’.

    2. km

      So the “Ministry of Defense” takes a posture that could only be interpreted as a threat of aggressive war.

      War is peace, freedom is slavery, etc..

    1. petal

      The decree from my employer came down today that all employees are required to be vaccinated by Sept 1st. They are really cracking down. I am going to try to get a medical exemption. Scared as I have two autoimmune diseases. I’m a trained, working, and published research scientist in a relevant field, and this seems all wrong to me-the rush, the force by employers, no long term data, no questioning, and all the other stuff that’s been discussed here at NC. And the tech crackdown on ivermectin adds to my unease. What are they so afraid of? The tag team censorship looks sketchy and it is all starting to stink. I don’t trust anybody anymore and that’s not going to change. “Never let a crisis go to waste.” I wish I could get out of science because it’s been so corrupted but I’m stuck. I no longer want to be associated with it after what’s gone on the last couple of years. Disgusted.

      1. ambrit

        So, will no one counter sue citing the definition of an EUA? (You, poor lady, I understand the exigencies of work, could claim the possibility of eventual impregnation as a case for deferrment? [Ducks head.]) Is there a killed virus vaccine available within a reasonable day’s drive from where you are? (Over the border in Canada perhaps?)
        You are in a tough spot. Stay safe, if possible.
        This really is an example of where heartless elites are fully willing to sacrifice some portion of the population to further their own selfish ends.
        It is beginning to become apparant that the Pandemic is a major social inflection point.

            1. petal

              I hope they, and others, will be successful, but the lawsuit that those hospital employees lost the other week doesn’t bode well for employees in general.

        1. petal

          ambrit, no need to duck! Actually, if the MD I’ve emailed to see if they’ll sign a waiver for me doesn’t play ball, my next step is that very thing. I had wanted to for a long time and had undergone testing, but put it off since surgery 6 months ago because things have been crazy. Canadian border is still closed, I believe. I had thought that because it’s all still under an EUA they couldn’t force it on employees.

          I just want out. Of science, of the rat race. A disconnected life in a little cabin in the woods would be grand. I’ve had enough of being manipulated and scr-wed over by the elites just because. This stuff has been going against all of my training-it’s like knowing the sky is blue but they’re telling you over and over it’s green, or even better “There are four lights!” for the Star Trek fans out there. They’ve got so many people between a rock and a hard place now(whether it’s housing, healthcare, food, vaccines, whatever), according to plan. Never let a crisis go to waste, indeed.

          Please give my best to Phyl!

          1. ambrit

            Phyl says be strong! Here’s hoping that MD comes through for you.
            What would make me much more than ordinarily cynical here is if the school dropped the mask mandates after the vaccination ‘surge’ was over. That would be a clear sign of not only sloppy thinking, but inauthentic socio-political posturing.
            From what you mentioned, it is obvious that the actual scientists where you work are not in control. The MBA administrative nomenklatura is in control.
            Four lights. I had to think for a minute there. I never was a big fan of TNG. However, very appropriate.
            Keeping your spirits up is a Prime Directive now.
            Stay safe.

          2. The Rev Kev

            So sorry to hear what you are going through, petal. If your MD doesn’t sign a waiver, maybe find another one that has a clue. But it shouldn’t be like this at all.
            “There are four lights!”

        2. HotFlash

          In Canada? Not likely. Canada is following the Big Pharma line.
          1.) Cdn govt has a ‘public-private partnership’ with GAVI (qv)

          2.) This is a SwissCows search for Canadian approved vaccines, the Toronto Star link from May 7 is an attempt to make sense of it all.

          3.) and to top it all off, there is this from Monday’s Globe and Mail, Top public-health official defies Parliament and refuses to release documents on fired scientists. The scientists worked for National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg Manitoba and it involves transport of two viruses to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.

          I’m gonna need more tinfoil.

          1. Isotope_C14

            I’ve said it 100X before, I’ll say it again, collaborators all ship their samples around, and they are not irradiated at the borders.

            The scope of collaborators is also not reported (often). I’ve got pathogens from Canada from a lab that had no formal declaration of contact with my group. In fact, there was no other contact than I asked, and then received samples by mail.

            I sent an e-mail, samples shipped. No follow-up, no questions on why I wanted it, no due diligence of any sort.

          2. Maritimer

            Go HotFlash.
            Canada has an undeserved reputation as a touchy-feely, airy-fairy Shangrila. Not likely.

            That story about Canada’s tiein with Wuhan and Public Health stonewalling should raise alarm bells for anyone, even vaxxers.

            And from regarding an NC link today:
            Saudi Operatives Who Killed Khashoggi Received Paramilitary Training in U.S. NYT. Commentary: “You wanna be the best, you gotta learn from the best.”
            Canada, not wanting to be left out, training war criminals too:

            “Canadian soldiers complained to their commanders that the Iraqi troops they were training were war criminals who liked to show videos of their atrocities, including executing prisoners and raping a woman to death.
            But, after reporting their concerns to the Canadian military leadership, the soldiers were told to continue the training and avoid watching the videos the Iraqis wanted to share with them, according to Canadian Forces documents obtained by this newspaper.”


            Woe, Canada!

            1. HotFlash

              Oh dear, missed that one. ““I think we have a pretty good vetting process in place to screen out those potential instructors to ensure we have quality people, that they — the Iraqi government — feel confident with,” [Maj.-Gen. Dany] Fortin], then Canadian commander of the NATO training mission in Iraq] said.”

              Yeah, pretty good vetting, so how did they miss (ex) Col. Russell Williams. By the way, what ever happened to the Canadian Airborne Regiment?

      2. Isotope_C14

        So sorry petal. Always nice to read your posts – even the sad ones.

        This whole vaccine or else thing is really starting to make me wonder. Were the tin-foil hat Agenda 21 people correct?

        Totally agree with your ivermectin statements – where there is smoke there is fire.

      3. Jen

        Next comes the relaxation of the mask mandate, and our scientific leaders can’t wait. I kid you not, although I haven’t heard the head of Epidemiology weigh in.

        So far, I think the plan vis a vis required vaccinations is that those who are not exempt and don’t wish to comply will have to mask up and continue social distancing, for now. This could create a situation where anyone who chooses to remain masked will be assumed to be an anti-vaxer.

        I am definitely not looking forward to this return to “normal.”

        1. petal

          I have to be in the lab FT, and I read it as there’s no way out except for a medical or religious exemption. If you do not get the exemption, you won’t be allowed in(so essentially you lose your job). It sounds like they are going to be very picky about the medical exemptions and have a pre-approved list and if your issue isn’t listed, you’re SOL. There will be no arguing with them. Yes, if you do get approved and thus have to keep wearing a mask and distancing, they’re going to make you stick out like a sore thumb so that everybody knows.

          They are acting as if these vaccines are 100% sterilising-some kind of magic silver bullet. It’s unreal. Am even running across that mindset in PIs(even my own which blows my mind) and coworkers that should know better. Most of them are acting as if it’s all over and it’s back to normal as if it never happened. It feels like I’m in The Twilight Zone. I wish I could leave.

          1. chuck roast

            Take that gig at Vermont Castings. They make a wonderful product that everybody in New England loves.

            1. tegnost

              I was thinking the same thing.
              Do something good and let the world go to heck on it’s own.

    2. Screwball

      Thanks for the link. This is a good listen. All I can do is shake my head.

      I try to stay as open minded, and even cynical, but the data speaks for itself. I have been reading about this drug everywhere I can find (thanks to NC for allowing these conversations and supplying information as well), and even read a short book on the subject. There only seems to be one conclusion – it should be used. The upside is huge, the downside small. Why not?????

      At this point all I can think is what a tragedy. That may not be a strong enough word. Another that comes to mind – disgusting.

  19. Lemmy Caution


    The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) web cast started at 11 AM. This is the meeting that was rescheduled in recognition of the new Juneteenth holiday.

    The agenda includes a review of early reports of myocarditis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

    The slide decks used by the presenters are also available here.

  20. Lemmy Caution

    Correction for the link to all presenters’ slide decks. This is the link to all slide decks; the link in my first comment was just to one presenter’s slide deck (Overview of myocarditis and pericarditis).

    1. Laura in So Cal

      Thank you very much for posting the links. I read thru them quickly and it was about was I expected. They acknowledge the myocarditis etc. problem because the numbers are too big to ignore, but still recommend the vaccine due to the “known” benefit. Their modeling of the “known” benefit and the risks of COVID-19 in young people seems very speculative. I think part of the problem is that a significant part of the COVID mortality in young people seems to be associated with some comorbidities, but we are giving the vaccines to healthy kids. I think you can’t really compare the 2 rates. Also, I’ve seen reports of deaths, but their data doesn’t show any so it might just be timing.

      I was hoping that they would at least “pause” giving this to people under 25 as a precautionary measure, but I was too optimistic.

      1. Lemmy Caution

        That’s an interesting point you make about the comparison between Covid risks among youth with comorbidities and vaccine risk among healthy young people. Not a fair comparison is it?

        Also, during the question and answer period one practicing Doctor pointed out that the vaccine-related myocarditis cases differed from the typical case in how fast they came on with serious symptoms. She said in typical cases it is much slower onset and the symptoms aren’t sp serious right out of the gate (paraphrasing).

      2. outside observer

        Well, they did say that if you get myocarditis after the first dose, hold off on the second dose until your heart has recovered. Then by all means, go ahead and get that second dose. That’s kind of a “pause”, no?

        1. Lemmy Caution

          The data they went over today showed that the overwhelming majority of myocarditis cases in young males occur shortly after the second dose.

          For example, in a group of 18-24 year olds they tracked for 7 days after dose 1 of an mRNA vaccine, they expected* to see 1-11 myocarditis cases; they observed 41 cases.

          Tracking the same group for 7 days after the second dose of mRNA vaccine, they expected to see 1-8 cases; instead they observed 219 cases. What is that, a 27 times higher rate of myocarditis than you would expect to see?

          See slides 26 and 28 of this presentation by Tom Shimabukuro, MD, MPH, MBA,
          Vaccine Safety Team, CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force for more details.

          * Based on Gubernot et al. U.S. Population-Based background incidence rates of medical conditions for use in safety assessment of COVID-19 vaccines.

          1. outside observer

            And yet they end up with a myocarditis rate of ~12 per million doses. They combine male and female data, and combine age groups 12-39 to dilute the effect, which is concentrated in males 12-24. Nevermind the under-reported nature of VAERS and the limited amount of recent data available. Full steam ahead.

            1. Lemmy Caution

              It’s exciting to be a part of the world’s largest Phase 3 trial, ain’t it?

  21. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Newly disclosed FDA documents reveal agency’s unprecedented path to approving Aduhelm STAT

    In two meetings, on March 31 and April 7, FDA officials presented Biogen’s application to the Medical Policy and Program Review Council, an internal group that helps set agency policy. According to an FDA summary of the council meeting, what emerged was a third path: While it’s not clear that Aduhelm actually slows down Alzheimer’s, there was “convincing evidence” that it had a “robust” effect on amyloid plaques.

    The council concluded, based on the current understanding of the disease, it’s “reasonably likely” Aduhelm’s effect on amyloid is predictive of a cognitive benefit, which “supports the accelerated approval of” Biogen’s drug, according to the FDA’s summary.

    This would break agency precedent. Accelerated approval is traditionally used for treatments that haven’t yet proved themselves in large trials. In Biogen’s case, Aduhelm went through two Phase 3 studies and came up with conflicting evidence. But the council, citing federal law, concluded that the FDA had the authority to use accelerated approval on any treatment “upon a determination that the product has an effect on a surrogate endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit.” Amyloid fit the bill.

    A veritable weasel word salad.

    Apparently a financial windfall was not the only benefit big pharma reaped from the “pandemic.” Now it’s also gotten rid of those pesky, lengthy, expensive human trials that used to be required for drug “approval.”

    Not to mention the actual disease itself, which can now be defined in terms of “surrogate endpoints.”

    There used to be a website called which recommended that you never take a drug that hasn’t been around for fewer than 7 years. Now more than evah,in my opinion.

    1. Carla

      I think you meant “that hasn’t been around for more than 7 years.”

      They’re still around:

      I checked, and except for “ivermectin cream” they are otherwise silent about Ivermectin, which has been around for MUCH more than 7 years.

      I consider Ivermectin to be an acid test for Public Citizen, an organization founded by Ralph Nader that had some integrity in its day. Will they pass that test? Remains to be seen, but how much longer should we have to wait?

  22. Tom Stone

    I’m sometimes struck by how bizarre our public figures are, Elon, Hillary, the Donald, the Kardashians, Barack, and good old Sherriff Joe, the Beau ideal of Christian American Manhood who is most famous for making grown men wear pink panties while locking them in cages.
    What a show!

    1. The Rev Kev

      Actually you are quite correct with your observation. None of them are ‘regular’ people but are mostly ‘characterizations’ of people. And old Sherriff Joe was just a sign of the new cruelty. But I did see a brief story about him parading these prisoners though the streets trying to humiliate them and break them down. But as one prisoner said, we do get out – eventually.

    1. Maritimer

      That’s more bad news for Rats. Their unemployment rate is way up as it is, what with Humans having taken over their scientific testing jobs.

      Maybe back to school for a cheese tasting certificate?

  23. Anon

    In architecture; I’ve always been partial to “form follows function”. The bees inside the hive should come first – make sure the inside works – then focus on the outside. This belief was lost in the 80’s.Building exteriors became all the rage. Had to laugh at all praise heaped on Helmut Jahn – take a look at his buildings, like Thompson Center – the inhabitants despised it.

  24. Maritimer

    NYC Advises Orgy Goers to Get Vaccinated ASAP Gizmodo (KS). News you can use!
    For big families, no problem—-incest. What goes on in the Bubble stays in the Bubble.

    1. ambrit

      That reminds me of the definition of that I saw up on the bulletin board at a university I was working construction in back in the 1980s.
      Incest, def: Genetic reverse engineering.

  25. The Rev Kev

    “Why You Hate Contemporary Architecture”

    ‘One Eisenman-designed house so departed from the normal concept of a house that its owners actually wrote an entire book about the difficulties they experienced trying to live in it.’

    This one intrigued me so I went looking for it. It is called House VI and is located in Connecticut. The tiny house took three years to build and not only blew the owner’s budget but made inroads into their life savings. And yet it took serious work just to live in it as the house demanded that you conform to its needs. Here is a pdf file that talks about it-

  26. howard in nyc (old ballplayer from Davis)

    The lead comment quotes the Davis (California) Enterprise, and Dustin Pedroia, the pride of Woodland, is discussed. It is Yolo County Day in the NC Comments.

Comments are closed.