Links 6/24/2021

Atmospheric water vapor in the city of Tel Aviv is suitable for drinking (RM). See also.

California’s Drought Is So Bad That Almond Farmers Are Ripping Out Trees Bloomberg

Fire Monks’ Defend Tassajara Zen Monastery From Wildfire NYT (DL).

CBDCs now seem a matter of when not if FT (vlade). “If you already have a well functioning, retail fast payments system that already ticks the boxes in terms of serving the public interest, data governance, with all the safeguards you need on know-your-customer, then the additional mileage a national financial system would get from having a fully fledged retail CBDC, it’s not that great. If, on the other hand, you are a jurisdiction where you have a lot of very influential Big Tech companies, that are already a very large part of the financial landscape, . . . here a CBDC will be useful.” Vlade: “So instead of regulating Big Tech, you try to out-tech them? ‘Seemed like a good idea at the time’ coming shortly afterwards.” Hackers already licking their chops and sharpening their knives, because that’s where the money is.

Wirecard: a record of deception, disarray and mismanagement FT

Life sciences is poised to be Boston’s dominant industry. Has the area become the Silicon Valley of biotech? Boston Globe. Not without externalities.

Government minister ‘hopes’ cannibalism at sea no longer needed thanks to new technology Sky News. There’s good news tonight!


Experts: mRNA COVID-19 vaccines likely tied to heart inflammation CIDRAP. ACIP’s “emergency” meeting. previously cancelled for Juneteenth. Live tweets of the ACIP meeting:

But how good is the VAERS data in that table? See NC here.

What we know about the ‘fleeting’ spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Sydney ABC Australia. Commentary:

Here is a video about the “fleeting contact” incident from a New South Wales Health Department spokesperson. It’s worth watching just to see what a public health care system capable of contact tracing can do. (The Health Department report starts at 6:38, but the news reporting starting at 0:0 is good too.) I was watching to find out if the “fleeting contacts” were between masked people; I can’t find a copy of the CCTV the NSW Health Department used, which would show this definitively, but I’m guessing not, because there was no mask mandate in NSW at the time, and people eating outdoors at the time generally unmask. Worth noting that the index case came from international air travel, not Bogan in the Outback (or, in our case, Bubba from Redstatisan). When will the powers-that-be admit that international air travel is a key driver of the pandemic? How do they think that the virus goes ocean-hopping? On the flimsy wings of little fairies?

Investigation of Long COVID Prevalence and Its Relationship to Epstein-Barr Virus Reactivation Pathogens (press release). n = 68. From the Abstract: “Our aim was to first determine long COVID prevalence in 185 randomly surveyed COVID-19 patients and, subsequently, to determine if there was an association between occurrence of long COVID symptoms and reactivation of Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) in 68 COVID-19 patients recruited from those surveyed. We found the prevalence of long COVID symptoms to be 30.3% (56/185), which included 4 initially asymptomatic COVID-19 patients who later developed long COVID symptoms. Next, we found that 66.7% (20/30) of long COVID subjects versus 10% (2/20) of control subjects in our primary study group were positive for EBV reactivation…. A similar ratio was observed in a secondary group of 18 subjects 21–90 days after testing positive for COVID-19… These findings suggest that many long COVID symptoms may not be a direct result of the SARS-CoV-2 virus but may be the result of COVID-19 inflammation-induced EBV reactivation.” Ignacio: “IMO still more research is needed but it looks like an important research path.”

Covid Delta strain risks spreading ‘like wildfire’ among unvaccinated in US FT (KLG25).

Covid is already deadlier this year than all of 2020. So why do many in U.S. think the problem’s over? CNBC


Lights out at Apple Daily: Hongkongers queue for hours to buy newspaper’s final issue, as latest national security law arrest pulls plug on operations South China Morning Post

Apple Daily closes; Zhang Weiwei on telling “Chinese political stories”; Ft. Detrick and Zhao Lijian; Commodities SInocism

Experts believe that: US soft power in Southeast Asia continues to decline What China Reads. The molasses-brained Biden administration absolutely butchering vaccine diplomacy isn’t helping here.

How a cute baby elephant sheds light on China’s quest for soft power South China Morning Post

How China’s Xi Jinping app went from pushing nationalism to scamming women Los Angeles Times

How the coronavirus pandemic puts businesses at higher risk of being linked to modern slavery South China Morning Post

U.S. to Block Some Solar Materials Made in Xinjiang Region Bloomberg


Twitter surged in post-coup Myanmar, but momentum may be slowing Globe_

Indonesia’s omnibus law: a red flag for investors? China Dialogue


Modi to meet Kashmir leaders 2 years after revoking region’s autonomy FT


Boris Johnson’s ‘Sausage War’ Was Deadly Serious Foreign Policy

British lawmakers demand meeting with Amazon after video shows products being destroyed The Hill

French senators want answers from Kyiv in wake of macabre far-right event Emerging Europe

New Cold War

Russia claims it fired at Royal Navy destroyer off Crimea FT

Biden Adminstration

White House, bipartisan group agree on infrastructure framework Axios. So on the one hand the Republicans are fascists and a deadly menace to “our democracy,” and on the other hand it’s important to compromise with them. The whole world is spinning!

Biden faces growing pressure from the left over voting bill Associated Press

The Man Who Controls the Senate The New Yorker. Joe Manchin.

Biden drops AstraZeneca vaccine from latest donation Politico. “[F]ollowing problems at a[n unnamed] production plant.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warns of ‘absolutely catastrophic’ hit to economic recovery this summer if US can’t pay its bills on time Business Insider. Moar auto-kinbaku-bi, as if there weren’t already enough.

Thirty-five percent of students who are in debt have stopped repaying their loans The Hill

Trump claims credit for getting Kamala Harris to ‘finally’ visit US-Mexico border Independent. Harris v. Trump 2024? I’m not calling it because I can’t bear to think of it.

Police State Watch

LAPD launches investigation into officers’ relationship with Ring Los Angeles Times

What Happened To Defunding the Police? Washington City Paper

Imperial Collapse Watch

‘Rules-Based International Order’ Means Washington-Based International Order Caitlin Johnstone

Big US banks to employees: Return to the office vaccinated AP (KW). Yves: “This could get interesting. They don’t have a liability shield, unlike Big Pharma or the parties that administer the shots.”

Do Chance Meetings at the Office Boost Innovation? There’s No Evidence of It. New York Times. But how much of this is due to horrid office architecture? “Professor [Ethan S. Bernstein, who teaches at Harvard Business School] found that contemporary open offices led to 70 percent fewer face-to-face interactions. People didn’t find it helpful to have so many spontaneous conversations, so they wore headphones and avoided one another.”

Class Warfare

Court holds that regulation guaranteeing union access to employees is unconstitutional SCOTUSBlog. Bigger, I think, than the cheerleader case.

St. Vincent Nurses Strike for Safer Patient Care Reaches 105 Days on Sunday Making it the Second Longest Nurses Strike in Massachusetts History Massachusetts Nurses Association. June 29 Town Hall Registration.

‘People don’t want to go back to the same’: Why some think labor crunch isn’t just about pay Yahoo Finance

Can Interior Design Help Beat the Heat? This House Does It Right Mansion Global. The classism makes my back teeth itch, but there are some interesting tips buried beneath the “signature lived-in, English cottage aesthetic.”

Wild Rice Waters Places Journal

Which living thing is the best ‘mascot’ for long-term thinking? The Long-Termist’s Field Guide

Interview: Marc Andreessen, VC and tech pioneer Noah Smith, Noahpinion

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

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. zagonostra

    >John McAfee – RIP

    Crazy ramblings of an old and eccentric profligate?

    If I sucided myself, I didn’t…

    In a democracy, power is given not taken.
    But it is still power.

    Love, compassion, caring have no use for it. But it is fuel for greed, hostility, jealousy…
    All power corrupts
    Take care which powers you allow a democracy to wield.

    …after uncountable lawsuits and the reach of the FED’s I now have nothing. But inside these prison bars I have never felt more free. The things you believe you own, in reality own you.”

    1. griffen

      Talk about an interesting, ie, not boring personality. Thought he cashed out his company to Dell but it was perhaps Intel. And I think their corporate offices had been based in Plano, TX or nearby.

      Just because you think they’re after you, doesn’t mean you’re crazy. Some wild stories about him.

    2. Glossolalia

      I wonder if the prison in Spain used the same contractor for guards and security cameras as the prison in NYC where Epstein died.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Since he didn’t provide child sex-slaves to the Great and the Good of the whole Western World, I doubt he had the same kinds or numbers of enemies.

    3. Mildred Montana

      John McAfee — RIP

      But he will continue to live on. He has achieved immortality through the constant messages his eponymous company pops up on my Windows 10:

      “Your McAfee virus protection has expired.” “Your McAfee virus protection needs to be renewed.” Etc., etc., etc. Every day, at least five annoying “reminders”. Which I ignore.

      So rest in peace by all means John, but let *me* live in peace.

      1. zagonostra

        The software program name is eponymous so don’t blame him.

        John David McAfee (/ˈmækəfiː/ MAK-ə-fee;[2][3] 18 September 1945 – 23 June 2021)[4][5] was a British-American computer programmer, businessman, and two-time presidential candidate. In 1987 he wrote the first commercial anti-virus software, founding McAfee Associates to sell his creation. McAfee resigned in 1994 and sold his remaining stake in the company.[6]

      2. none

        Per reddit: of course his body was still in the cell. Nobody has ever figured out how to remove McAffee.

    4. Grateful Dude

      ha ha. Nobody suicides her/himself anymore. Now we all have to self suicide if we want to checkout early, Please don’t panic, it’s ok now to split infinitives with the object pro/noun used as an adverb. Nobody told you? Wait, what? ‘sui’ means self? and ‘cide’ means kill? ooh. So if I suicide I guess I’m dead… yes? At least I don’t have to self suicide.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Investigation of Long COVID Prevalence and Its Relationship to Epstein-Barr Virus Reactivation

    I found this connection interesting, because a colleague of mine who is suffering long Covid and lost both his parents to Covid mentioned to me that his mother suffered for decades from a post viral syndrome (I don’t know if it was Epstein-Barr), and his Long Covid symptoms were very similar to those of his mother.

    1. MD

      I need to turn off the TV. My gut interpreted this as “(Jeffrey) Epstein-(William) Barr Virus Reactivation” and I went “NOT AGAIN!!!”

      1. Geo

        Same! I was like, “they named a virus after them? Makes sense.”

        I think they should do that with viruses. So many human viruses to name these diseases after. I think the Clinton-Trump virus has a nice ring to it. Maybe also use the names of those confederate generals whose statues have been taken down and name viruses after them?

    2. TMR

      I was going to say, the Long Covid symptoms sounded a lot like the 6+ months of getting over mono after the week of acute symptoms. So if it’s related to EBV, that’s both bad and good news, bad in that there are more unforeseen consequences, and good in that the symptoms will in all likelihood wane for most people.

    3. K.k

      I believe there was also talk about the virus responsible for chicken pox which remains dormant in the body for several decades and the reactivates and results in shingles.
      Younger people do get shingles but usually happens when a people are in their sixties.
      I wonder if we will see a spike in younger people getting shingles.
      A friend who is convinced he had covid feb, 2020 also experienced long covid that lasted several months . Couple months after he got over long covid symptoms he got shingles at the age of 39.
      Im also wondering if there is any research published addressing weather sars cov 2 remains dormant in the body and then reactivates at a later point. Or do corona viruses not behave like that?

  3. HK

    Re: Marc Andreessen interview,

    Notice how the Silicon Valley types always avoid or wave off concerns about environmental issues. What good is the new “magic” , software, against such concerns?

    “Software is our modern alchemy. Isaac Newton spent much of his life trying and failing to transmute a base element — lead — into a valuable material — gold. Software is alchemy that turns bytes into actions by and on atoms. It’s the closest thing we have to magic.”

    1. Zamfir

      Another thing I noticed: he carefully avoids the issue of software monopoly, even though it’s central to his business model, and the interviewer goes along.

      At one point he touches on it, when he says that “competition will mean that the best software company will win”, note the singular. That is to say, there will be no competition. For most people, this is what “software will eat the world” means (and Andreesen knows it) – once a market has some crucial software involved, all the money goes to the people in control of that software.

      I find it telling that VC types do not like to talk about that (in a wider public setting), given how much they like to hear themselves talk. They knows that it is bad, and that their defenses of it are not convincing.

      1. jsn

        “As software redefines the product, and assuming a competitive market not protected by a monopoly position or regulatory capture, the nature of competition in the industry changes until the best software wins, which means the best software company wins. The best software company may be an incumbent or a startup, whoever makes the best software.”

        This is of course why Microsoft still dominates desk tops, everyone agrees they make top notch software 30 years later, his own stated time horizon. I hope my sarcasm was clear there.

        On this basis he goes on to complain about both parties attacking tech giants. It’s worked out well for him.

    2. sfp

      All you have to do is look at the plot showing the relative cost increases and decreases from 1998 to 2019. Costs decreased for things in or adjacent to tech, costs stayed flat where tech was only partly involved, and costs increased elsewhere. Not sure where Andreessen gets his optimism that software will make more efficient those fields whose costs don’t primarily depend on the efficiency of software. California magic, I guess.

    3. The Rev Kev

      I’m reading this a second time but he still sounds like a scam artist who is spruiking the wonders of Silicon Valley. When he talks about ‘the systematic failure of virtually all public sector entities around the world’ it is because he is not really looking at places like China, New Zealand, etc. But when he says ‘So the good news is that, notwithstanding the apparent chronic collapse of state capacity virtually everywhere in our time, the private sector can and does deliver even under considerable duress’ I am calling bs. Where exactly has his vaunted tech industry been the past year and a half? MIA? They couldn’t even come up with a standard virus app for Americans to use with confidence. That was an epic fail that and they have never been called to account for that total failure.

      And now he wants housing, education, and health care turned over to their tender mercies? For the love of God no. They would screw those sectors up radically. They want to inset themselves into those sectors as just one more set of middlemen that would have to be paid out. He also wants his industry to take credit for people being able to work from home but if they thought it was such a good idea, why did corporations like Apple build themselves a $5 billion headquarters building then? I had to stop reading before the end of this article as his idea of a world run by people – just like him – sounds like a hell dystopia.

      1. Zamfir

        Some of that dystopian image might be intentional, I suspect.

        He doesn’t need people to believe that silicon valley is a force for good. What he needs, is that people believe that silicon valley is inevitable. That makes people invest in his funds, and what makes people dream of startups for him to fund.

        It’s a threat – join us or be eaten.

    4. robert lowrey

      … yet he somehow forgets to mention the fundamental rule that every tale of magic makes apparent: Magic always comes at a price, one that isn’t always necessarily presented up-front (as you then might decide it’s not worth it). Electrons marshalled to do our bidding must always first be stripped from atoms, ie always require energy input and therefore generates heat as a byproduct (one of the biggest hidden costs of the computer industry is cooling requirements). Conjuring always involves a form of trickery or deception, and the entire computer industry uses many of the same sleight of hand and misdirection techniques of the stage magician to hoodwink their customers who, like the audience of any magician, really want to believe that the magic they know to be an illusion, is somehow real. But to succumb to the belief in magic always comes at a high cost. Even children know this.

    5. jhg

      I think Mr Andreessen’s analogy is a poor one. Isaac Newton also wrote the foundational books Principia Mathematica and Opticks, co-invented Calculus, and was the Warden of the Royal Mint. Creating another killer app is not even close.

    6. Bill Smith

      It’s software that controls the pollution control equipment on everyone’s car.

      There are two sides to that.

  4. PlutoniumKun

    Can Interior Design Help Beat the Heat? This House Does It Right Mansion Global.

    Its nice to see these being applied, but of course these principles have been known for millenia in regions around the world, whether in housing for the poor, or pretty much all houses in countries where air con is seen as a bit of a cheat (such as in the south of France or much of Italy). The complication of course is in those countries with very hot summers and cold winters. Many compensate by having furniture you can bring ‘outside’ to a balcony in summer, while retreating to a warmer core of the building in the winter. Flexibility (along with mass stone/concrete heat sinks) is the key.

    Colonialists in tropical countries were particularly adept at this mix of ‘modern’ and traditional in the 19th Century – you can see it in the lovely airy houses the English or French built for themselves in places like north India or the former Indochine. The great English architect Edwin Lutyens was particularly adept at this, such as in his New Delhi designs (now being butchered by Modi). Traditional old 19th Century hotels in the Middle East are also amazingly cool and airy in the heat of summer.

    1. vlade

      “The complication of course is in those countries with very hot summers and cold winters”
      Like here :). This winter -14C (at least, I don’t get up when it’s coldest..), warmest so far about +35C.

      We have external blinds, and they work wonders in the summer. Insulation works both in summer and winter.

      The main problem is what we had over the weekend, when the night was overcast so that the night temperature didn’t drop below 22C. Add to it no air movemennt, and you can’t ventilate that well over night, so we had internal temp 25C. That said, the lowest floor bedroom was still nice and cool, unfortunately the house design (from a century back) is such that it’s basically the guest bedroom, with all the main bedrooms at the highest point, so not that great.

    2. Carolinian

      a ceramic sink and nonporous, full-slab white quartz countertops. “Quartz is bulletproof, unlike high-maintenance marble,” said Ms. Hay. Lacquered brass fixtures, unlike trending unfinished hardware, won’t tarnish in the humidity.

      And here I was going to get marble. Not sure these tips are intended for the likes of mere Carolinians.

      My own tip for dealing with Southern heat and humidity would be to grow lots of trees. May take awhile. I’ve used no home AC so far this June.

      And re the cannibalism article–made me look. Seems the legal case going back to the 19th century is about whether you have the right to eat a fellow castaway.

      1. John Zelnicker

        June 24, 2021 at 9:15 am

        Further south here on the Gulf Coast we normally have a couple of weeks in the summer when the temperature can reach 100 degrees, along with very high humidity making it feel even hotter.

        When I was a kid, the coolest house among my friends had no a/c. What it did have was a bunch of huge live oaks shading the entire house, wide porches on three sides, big windows all around, and lots of ceiling fans.

        An air conditioner would have been almost superfluous.

      2. Lunker Walleye

        Marble is porous and it stains. They say you can seal it but it is inherently more permeable than quartz. There are quartz products that have the look of marble. Re the story itself, these are old interior decorating principles (this said from an old interior designer). However, with new technology and product availability, nice (looking) furniture, fixtures and fabrics are available in more price points than in earlier decades, making it easier to create a pleasant interior space no matter what the weather.

      3. Dalepues

        Friends had genuine granite counter tops installed in their kitchen. They complain about how easy it is to break a glass, even a plate, on the hard surface. They never had that problem with the Corian counter tops.

      4. WobblyTelomeres

        Pergolas are great as well. Have a south facing bedroom window that kept that room noticeably warmer than the rest of the house. An hour of table saw work with some pressure treated lumber (back when such was affordable) and a nice pergola was in place, basically something like this. The room is 10F degrees cooler than it used to be during summer. As a bonus, my grandmother’s hydrangeas underneath are quite happy these days.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          It doesn’t work at mid day, but they can make formerly gross outdoor areas quite nice.

          I use planters with bouganvillea’s for sunny windows.

        2. crittermom

          You were able to build something like that in only an hour? Wow.
          Wish you could have done the remodeling on this place! (I won’t even go there)

          I can see some of the benefits, in addition to being attractive.

          1. WobblyTelomeres

            I am of the belief that there are many who read this blog that could produce a similar pergola in an hour or so if given a table saw, a chop saw, a good impact driver, a box of deck screws, a box of lag bolts, a bag of readi mix, a stack of 2x4s, and four 4x4s. Oh, and two teenage boys to help carry it from the garage.

      5. drumlin woodchuckles

        How would one prevent the problem of the shade trees falling on the houses in the coming global warming superstorms of tomorrow?

        Would shade-fences of bamboo shade houses nearly as well without posing the fall-on-the-house danger which trees will pose?

        1. Carolinian

          It is a problem which is why many of the old trees in my neighborhood have been cut (and some have fallen down).

          And in a way that makes the problem worse because you remove the windbreak and solitary trees are the ones most likely to topple.

          Guess best advice is to consult an arborist about tree health although that’s no guarantee.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Perhaps cut off only the big limbs that lean towards or over the house. Leave everything else. That way every big tree is weighted away from the house and if it falls, it might have a better chance of falling away from the house.

    3. crittermom

      I read the article but wasn’t greatly impressed.
      I likened it to an aromatherapy for staying cool. There are benefits, but on a light scale, if you will.

      I was very pleasantly surprised when I moved to my current residence to discover that the tiny local town has a wonderful library.

      I had occasion to stop in there a few days ago when the temperature was sweltering hot. (Here in a high valley of southern Colorado it gets into the 90’s F during the summer, with lows 20-40F degrees BELOW zero in winter). Extremes, at 7,800′ elevation.

      Ahh… Relief from the heat! It felt air conditioned.

      It’s not.
      It’s an older, stucco building.

      I enjoyed the same result in the tiny stucco home I rented in New Mexico, with temps at least 15 degrees cooler than outside in summer. (That, and the abundance of wildlife–which I so miss, were the only good things about it).

      If only my dog could accompany me, we’d be spending much of the summer in the local library!

      In my current tiny residence, I put up blinds not only for privacy, but to keep the baking summer sun out so we (dog and I) don’t melt. They help a lot.
      I also purchased a 12″ oscillating fan that sits on the wood stove, for times when the dust wind isn’t blowing. Just moving the air around helps.

      I have never handled heat well (which is why I was very content to live at 10,000′ in the Rockies).
      I left my home state of Michigan at age 24 greatly due to the hot, humid summers.

      I had subscribed to Mother Earth News back in 1970 when the publication first began, years before I even fled the state. (It IS a beautiful state with many attributes, but I’ve no intention of ever moving back)

      While living in the west I’ve taken even more interest in Earth Ship homes and building for natural heating and cooling. There were a few of them near me high in the Rockies, but I never got the chance to go inside.

      I believe now more than ever that we should concentrate more on using materials other than the ‘stick built’ mentality that has prevailed.

      1. Carolinian

        My friend in Phoenix has stucco (Groucho in The Coconuts; “we even have stucco. Boy will you get stucco”–kidding.) It doesn’t seem to help much in the desert heat. Of course the traditional material is thick adobe but doubt this would pass the building codes these days much less the neighborhood HOA. Or you can really flip out the HOA by installing Arabian style wind chimneys.

        Brick works for me. You are right I think that masonry can be a big part of evening the interior heat.

  5. John Siman

    The curators of elite hysteria over at The New Yorker have perhaps found a workable substitute for the Trumpenstein monster in West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, whom they describe as “The Man Who Controls the Senate.” Their scary subhead: “Will Joe Manchin’s search for common ground wreck the Democrats’ agenda?”

    “Manchin …,” The New Yorker writes, “holds extraordinary power. As perhaps the Senate’s most conservative Democrat, he often breaks from the Party, which gives him a de-facto veto over a large swath of the Administration’s agenda…. Over and over, Manchin said that he was driven by a fundamental faith in bipartisanship, a belief that Democrats could and must find Republican support for their legislation — a posture so at odds with the present hostilities in Washington that it evoked a man hoisting his glass for a toast while his guests lunged at one another with steak knives.”

    My God. (Clutch your pearls!)

    Of course, we could all chip in and treat the morally superior folx at The New Yorker to a gift subscription to Glenn Greenwald’s Substack, from which they might learn that the Democrats always have a least one guy (or gal, e.g. Kyrsten Sinema) playing designated party pooper. This is their guarantee that any Sanders-style genuinely populist legislation will *always* be defeated … by one measly vote.

    Aw, shucks, lost again. (That darn party pooper!)

    The New Yorker mandarinx did get this much right though:

    “Joe Manchin’s grandfather was born Giuseppe Mancini, in the southern-Italian region of Calabria. In 1904, when he was three years old, his family immigrated to Farmington, a hill town that straddles the narrow waters of Buffalo Creek, a couple of hours’ drive from Charleston. He started working with his father in a coal mine at eleven, and later opened the Manchin Grocery Store….”

    Here in little Bolivar, West Virginia (rhymes with Oliver, but named for Simón Bolívar), the 7-11 where I buy my coffee every morning sells homemade pepperoni rolls ($4 each): a holdover from old times when the wives of Italian immigrants made them for their husbands to take for a hearty lunch in the coal mines.

    1. Pat

      I am unable to comprehend how anyone who follows politics even on a casual basis can miss the selected spoiler play that allows the Democratic shadow agenda to continually beat their supposed “public” agenda. Two things from 2008 should have put all that to bed. One was the huge Democratic majority in the Senate where they still played that game, added to the fact that “Independent” Joe Lieberman was not only not punished for going all out for McCain, he was allowed to continue to head important and deeply decisive committees that were important to him.

      Watching McConnell control his people during the Trump years should have also made it clear that the Democrats not only do not attempt to control their rogues they actively kowtow to them.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        I suspect the position manchin now occupies–I’ll call it the ” ‘Principled’ Stander In The Way” position–is as designated and coveted, albeit “unofficially”, as the vaunted committee chairmanships.

        As you say, such a role is essential to maintenance of the status quo.

        Occupancy can be passed around as circumstances warrant, and the variation of position holders keeps the same old story from getting too stale and so obviously manufactured.

        sinema coulda been a contender, but she’s a certified wacko and, rumor has it, is facing a tough reelection.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        For the people invested in the team sports aspect, they don’t care about these outcomes. CNN and ESPN are the same…ESPN is still more professional, but it’s the same thrill for the viewers. It’s about how they feel. I mean why do I care about the Red Sox. My dad cared, and I grew up too far from Baltimore to care. Going to Baltimore is such a hassle when you have to deal with the beltway. When they score a free agent from the other team, they are ares excited as sports ball fans when their team does the same thing.

        Since its pride month as demonstrated by every commercial, how many of the elites who shouted down calls for equality 10 years ago are draped in rainbow flags and are being praised by Karens? All of them. How society arrived there isn’t as important as the dopamine hit. Lawsuits in the courts not politicians were the final movers.

        Here in Virginia, local Dims are very concerned with gun control and love their senator Mark Warner, a man who earned an A- rating from the NRA after the Virginia Tech massacre. The simple reality is they don’t care and want to feel good.

      3. Dr. John Carpenter

        The 2000 election debacle was the beginning of my real skepticism about the Dems and 2008, after Obama won, cinched it. Seeing how Lieberman was treated was all the proof I needed to believe my lyin’ eyes about the rotating villain strategy. Before I’d just found it odd that the Republicans could keep in line and the Dems couldn’t. Lieberman convinced me it was a feature, not a bug. And watching the Dems get in their own way when Republicans with a similar majority would have passed whatever they wanted, finally convinced me what they say they want and what they actually want were two different things.

        1. jsn

          The Democrats are air bags that keep the GOP from killing itself in its periodic collisions with reality.

          Obama singlehandedly saved the GOPs life when it crashed everything in 2008.

          Only those blessed to live within breathing distance of the Fed bubble respirator think the system could sustain itself without artificial life support.

      4. drumlin woodchuckles

        If officeholders knew that being the designated way-blocker would cause defeat in the next election, how many would still want to be the designated way-blocker?

        If disgruntled Democrats in West Virginia all voted Republican in Manchin’s next election in order to cancel Manchin the designated way-blocker, would that show that such cancellation of designated way-blockers could be possible in other elections? Could it happen over and over until all seekers of the designated way-blocker function have been cancelled from DemParty officeholder politics?

        Is it worth thinking about?

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      I’d imagine West Virginians take great pride that their senator wields such “enormous power” in d.c., and is recognized across the land as a top tier player.

      I’d also imagine that they sometimes wonder, as they scratch the dirt for food or shelter or another opiate dose, why their always impeccably dressed and fastidiously coiffed senator doesn’t use some of that “enormous power” on behalf of his own miserably poor, pretty much third world state.

      I mean, has he even been able to get them discounted epi-pens?

    3. ex-PFC Chuck

      ” . . a gift subscription to Glenn Greenwald’s Substack, from which they might learn that the Democrats always have a least one guy (or gal, e.g. Kyrsten Sinema) playing designated party pooper. This is their guarantee that any Sanders-style genuinely populist legislation will *always* be defeated … by one measly vote.”

      Nail head, meet hammer. The irrefutable tell will be obvious for all to see when Manchin and Sinema are challelnged from the progressive left and the DNC, DSCC, et al pour funds into the coffers of the two sitting senators. But of course most of the legacy Democratic base will refuse to look at it.

  6. PlutoniumKun

    Do Chance Meetings at the Office Boost Innovation? There’s No Evidence of It. New York Times

    Much of this comes down to the obsession with control. Large deep plan offices with multiple cubicles was always designed around the principle of controlling and monitoring staff, not with promoting innovation. Some companies at least try to have informal areas for informal chats, which probably helps, although I don’t think its been quantified. A couple of years ago I had a tour of the new Irish Central Bank and it was interesting to see the emphasis on casual mixing – the justification was the belief that some of the problems with the Celtic Tiger arose from regulators being too bunkered in small areas – literally one hand of the Central Bank didn’t know what the other was doing (and the private banks benefited). Whether this actually helps or not I don’t know, but it was nice to see the importance of casual interactions acknowledged by being built into office design.

    Historically, offices were never about innovation. It was always assumed that the proven agglomeration impacts of big cities (this has been demonstrated in numerous studies) arise from informal contacts outside the office. In the 17th Century this may have been in the Coffee Houses of London or Amsterdam, or the early 20th Century private clubs of NY or the various informal hangouts around the infant Silicon Valley. Years ago, when i worked for a partnership company between several different engineering firms there was little doubt that most of the casual chats that led to the desemination of new ideas occurred in the pub on Friday night (bad news for the US partner, as they actively discouraged drinking, unlike the UK and French companies).

    1. JTMcPhee

      On informal contacts that actually make a difference in policy: For a couple of years many decades ago, I was a member of the UnionLeague Club of Chicago. Courtesy only of the fact that my ex’s father, the US Steel executive, was past President and the ex wanted the prestige and a place to entertain her friends. When I joined it was male-only, almost pure white To extend its power in recognition of changing realities, So a black female federal judge was admitted, along with other female power players.

      The Union League always seemed to me to be one of those unacknowledged power centers which have done such a good job of firming up the ruling elite’s grip on power. The movers and shakers in Chicago, top business execs, political rulers, senior and name partners in the big law firms, newspaper types and so forth all belonged. From its own blurb:

      Lunching there and watching the schmoozing was a schooling in how the “informal contacts” thing works at the upper end of the socioeconomic scale. The Club presented, in those days of increased activism in the community, a facade of moving with the times, but it was and i bet remains a real bastion of”conservatism” protecting the position of the ruing elites against substantive change.

      1. a different chris

        When you combine these two excellent comments you realize what is really going on:

        Cubes are for control.
        Schmoozing is for the upper elite management.

        Do you know how often I, as an engineer, cross paths with somebody with an Ivy League degree? Do you know how polluted our upper echelons are with people of such, um “quality”. Yeah the ratio is pretty bad. Basically never vs. almost everybody.

        BTW, as Katniss mentioned above: I don’t even know what to think of Heather Manchin/Bresch: should she be spit on as the worthless daughter of privilege she is, or should she be rather cherished as proof that all this crap is about connections. I mean not only is she not Ivy League, she didn’t even do her MBA right.

        But there she is.

      2. The Rev Kev

        There is an elite Club like the one that you described here in Oz and named the Australia Club. It was founded back in 1838 and is the oldest gentlemen’s club in the southern hemisphere. Very exclusive. In fact, a week or so ago they took a vote whether to admit women or not. The result? Didn’t even reach the 75 per cent threshold to pass the resolution so nope, no women allowed-

        1. Alfred

          Lots of fodder there:

          Dear Board,

          I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.

          Sincerely yours,
          Groucho Marx.

          “Jones, you’d better join our co-operative life insurance company before that cough of yours gets any worse.”

          “I’d like to do it, Ferguson, but I don’t believe I would pass the medical examination.”

          “That’s all right. I’m on the examination board. I can get you in.”

          “Then I won’t join it, Ferguson. I don’t want to have anything to do with a company that would take a risk on me.”

    2. David

      I think a lot of it also comes down to the obsession with “innovation.” If I think of organisations in the public and private sector that I have known in my lifetime, then they have all “innovated”, and in almost all cases the service provided has been worse, or the organisation has functioned worse, or both. I’m much more interested in organisations that work properly: the “innovation” fetish is massively over-hyped, and most people just want organisations they deal with to do their job correctly. I’m not sure that I want casual conversations among tax officials to change my tax bill, for example.
      There’s often also a confusion between “innovation” and the informal exchanges which make an organisation function properly, and which are essential in any case. These do need to be allowed for, but traditional office architecture generally did that, at least in my experience. The traditional system of separate offices, with fewer people in the same room the more senior you were, actually worked very well, because it provided natural filters to avoid busy people being overloaded. Going to see someone was an investment of effort, and forced you to ask Is My Visit Really Necessary? The answer often was no. One of the many negative effects of open plan offices is that everyone was available to everyone so that, even if you could hear yourself think, you were liable to be interrupted at any moment by someone passing through.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Seems to me that all that “creative destruction” creates is “destruction.” And a lot of bafflegab and bullsh!t and lost, or at best Brownian, motion..

        Anyone have any examples of where CD produced a net-positive, homeostatic benefit to the planet and its indigens? As opposed to just moving more resources and wealth into the grasp of the worst of us?

        Maybe I am just to cynical to be able to see any.

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          Then you have the private equity sector, which deliberately practices non-creative destruction.

      2. Michael Fiorillo

        “Disruption” and “innovation” were the buzzwords when arrogant Ivy League know-nothings were installed in the NYC public schools by Bloomberg in the early 2000’s. They were euphemisms for school closings, harassment of teachers, butchered curriculums, sweetheart contracts, and an explosion of charter schools.

        Pat your wallet whenever anyone uses those words in your presence.

    3. Dr. John Carpenter

      My last job was a place decided to go this route just for the IT department. You see, we had essentially four different, and largely unconnected, IT groups who each had their own area not directly related to the others. So they became obsessed with this idea that we were all “siloed” and needed to move everyone into the same physical area so we could collaborate more.
      Well they did. They took the area that my department used, which had held five of us, and knocked down the walls to two adjoining offices , turning room for 7 into room for 20. They also took away all our office furniture and replaced that with tiny standing desks and one central workbench everyone had to share to work on hardware (which would range from desktop computers, to servers, to networking, to telecom gear.)
      To say the least, this was “cozy”. Initially, they allowed us to chose our own desk, but since everyone self-segregated back into essentially how things were before, they switched it up and would have a telcom guy next to a network guy, for instance. And they decided, to encourage collaboration, they’d shuffle the deck and change up the seating plan quarterly.
      My first impression was that it became impossible to take a phone call. I often had to talk to customers and, in addition to the noise level, someone now seated near me had a habit of cursing like a sailor. I also very quickly invested in a pair of noise canceling headphones as I could barely hear myself think most of the time.
      I will say they got everyone out of their “silo”. However, I would say the amount of work that got done went down because there was so much chit chat and non-work conversation happening now. The amount of actual meaningful collaboration was small. Personally, I felt more often than not the additional help didn’t because they were coming from a different area than I was and anything they could have contributed was basic stuff that I’d already done. (This worked both ways, mind you.) It did make things take longer because now you had more cooks in the kitchen with less knowledge of the recipes.
      At the end of the day, you’re right. It was really about control. The moving everyone around was mostly so they could keep an eye on everyone all in one place, not that productivity was an issue before. No one felt good about it and most resented the reshuffling and felt it made things more difficult.
      Maybe it’s possible to do right, I don’t know. I work in another open air office, but I don’t have people almost sitting in my lap or random people sitting next to me. Still, it seems to me like one of those PMC ideas that they have consensus on being a good idea and they’re not going to let reality get in the way.

      (If you’ve seen any of the “pizza party” memes where management uses pizza to avoid fixing real issues, that describes my old job perfectly. The problem wasn’t that our departments didn’t talk to one another, it was that management were manipulative whip crackers! ha.)

      1. synoia

        Management had to “do something” or their lack of value would be apparent.

        How many meeting and hours of “work” did it take Management to decide on the change?

    4. Craig H.

      In The Player the upwardly mobile guy goes to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings because that’s where the most prospective face time is. Altman was that great.

      The man I admired most of all described our office to a younger colleague who needed it. He said that it may be hard to appreciate without comparison, but the wonder here is that every single office on this floor is occupied by a very smart person.

    5. Arizona Slim

      The article snippet bopped me over the head. Especially the part about people wearing headphones and avoiding each other.

      That, people, is what really drove me bonkers about the coworking space I was in. It billed itself as being Downtown Tucson’s place for community, connection, and collaboration

      Very little of that actually happened.

      I saw many people come in, clamp the headphones on, and in that mode they would stay for the rest of the day.

    6. Acacia

      Pre-COVID, I saw a model and drawings of Frank Gehry’s redesigned plan for Facebook HQ: a gigantic open-plan office with shared tables. Apparently, it was modeled on Gehry’s own office design. Managers got their own offices, but the individual workers (FB cultists) were mostly together in a vast shared space. It was extraordinary. Imagine working at benches in a single shared room with thousands of other employees. There were also “innovation” spaces with exterior seating areas surrounded by tropical plants — kind of a “nicer” Starbucks ambiance —, and these are mostly what the design magazines covered. You have to dig a bit to find pictures of the actual work space.

      Facebook bought the old Sun Microsystems campus and then rebuilt it. By chance, long ago I visited a friend working there, and the office plan was radically different. The developers each got a large office, very high ceiling, which was shared with just one other person. “You can imagine how it is here at Sun Quentin,” the friend quipped, as we walked through the hallways, “a bunch of guys working alone, chipping away at keyboards.” There were also so-called “sun rooms” which could be used by any of the employees if they wanted a more “social” environment, but the emphasis was on giving the Sun developers space to focus on their own work. The Facebook redesign couldn’t have been more different.

      As a student of architectural history, I once took a course on the work of Richard Rogers and Norman Foster. One of the important points about Rogers’ Lloyd’s building in London was its vast open office plan for the insurance underwriters. On the ground floor there stands the famous Lloyd’s clock and bell, which rang every time a ship sank. The stated idea behind this plan was to put 5000 underwriters into a single space, not only so that they could all hear this bell ring, but so the collective feeling of stress would push them to work harder.

  7. auskalo

    More about “Sausages War” by Fintan O’Toole: Tories’ appetite for farcical fodder is insatiable

    To understand what is going on with the Northern Ireland protocol we have to ask: why sausages? Why did Boris Johnson confront Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit over the weekend: “How would you like it if the French courts stopped you moving Toulouse sausages to Paris?”
    The question, as it happens, makes no sense. The Saucisse de Toulouse is made all over France, so even in the unlikely event of a blockade, Parisians would have no trouble finding some for their cassoulets.

    And as an emblem of the allegedly terrible deprivations inflicted on the plain people of Ulster by the protocol, the sausage seems, on the face of it, even less apt.

    If we go back to February 2020, we will find a very different official story: that the protocol would be great for the Ulster sausage.

    Why? Because Northern Ireland has lots of fine sausage-makers, including Karro Food in Cookstown, Cranswick in Ballymena and the wonderful Finnebrogue Artisan in Downpatrick.

    Not only is the protocol not causing a sausage famine in the six counties, it is a great boon for these pork peddlers. Says who? Well how about the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, whose Minister is one Edwin Poots.

    Boris Johnson’s gibberish may be surreal but it’s also dangerous

    In February 2020, Poots’s department exultantly pointed to the great advantage that Northern Ireland sausage-makers would enjoy because of the protocol: unfettered exports to both Britain and the EU. There is in fact a huge opportunity for them. The UK was selling £17 million (€19.8m) of sausages a year to the EU, with almost half of that going to the Republic. Now, only Northern Ireland sausages can be sold to the EU. The protocol really puts the sizzle into this export trade.

    So if you were going to pick out an object to epitomise the evils of the protocol, the last one should be the sausage. But the decision to bang on about bangers has nothing to do with ordinary logic – and that is precisely what makes this whole charade at once so ludicrous and so dangerous.

    1. John A

      It actually resonates with an old british tv comedy Yes Minister, that had a whole episode about sausages and the EU. As Brussels correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, Boris Johnson was famous for making up stories about EU bureaucracy and how ridiculous it was. He admits to making them all up. This was cue for the Yes Minister episode about sausages, here is a clip. Sadly, a great number of the British public bought into the anti EU hysteria about bananas, condoms, weights and measures etc. etc. that some people stilll believe in today.

  8. Henry Moon Pie

    Beating the heat–

    I don’t know about all that Crate-and-Barrel stuff, but some exterior plants can do a lot to stave off the heat. The biggest summer heating problems with our house are the four west windows, two on each floor. Late afternoon sun in the summer turns the two rooms with those windows into saunas.

    A few years back, I began planting Mammoth Sunflowers in front of the downstairs windows. By mid-July, I had shade for those windows that dramatically changed how hot that room got, but even Mammoths couldn’t reach the upstairs windows.

    Three years ago, I planted hops underneath the windows. The first year, they covered the downstairs windows by mid-July, just like the sunflowers, but they continued to grow and covered the upstairs windows by the end of August. This year, my downstairs windows were well-shaded by Memorial Day and the upstairs windows by summer solstice. Note that I can leave those windows open and get a good breeze through them even though the sun is almost completely cut off.

    I did set up some horizontal wires the first year, but that’s the only permanent change to that side of the house. Otherwise, I just use garden string anchored in the ground with a stake, tied to the wires at the top of the downstairs windows (more or less a mid-point), and tied at the top to screws driven partway into the upper window frame of the upstairs windows. In the fall, I cut the strings, and the vines come down for harvesting. The next spring, they explode out of the ground in early spring and quickly make their climb up new garden string to the top.

    I’m expecting to be able to get by all summer with nothing more than ceiling fans.

    We’ve used a similar idea with grape vines. We constructed a deck with a pergola five years ago and began growing Cayuga White wine grapes at the base. Now we have an always-shaded “room” with bunches of grapes hanging everywhere. Those vines also shade two south-facing windows in the kitchen, keeping it breezy and cool.

    1. Rod

      When Yves calls on Radical Conservation, I believe your solutions are encompassed.
      Thanks for the reminder of Solutions at Hand.

    2. synoia

      I lived in Nigeria from age 4 to 16. We lived in a Concrete House, with Terrazzo floors. The main design feature of the house, was no direct sun on any window or door.

      There were verandas about 6 feet wide around the house on all side, and both levels, and complete freedom of air flow on both levels. The upper level was screened, with a screened door at the top of the staircase.

      The architects were Italian, named if I recall correctly, Dys Trocca and Valsesia.

    3. jr

      I’d be cautious with plants climbing my house, some can do serious damage over time. Wysteria, for example, is a slow motion demolition team. . .

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        That’s the beauty of hops. Cut them down each fall, and they start from the ground again the next spring. They don’t attach to the house. Instead, they climb up strings.

  9. Dagnarus

    On the whole Myocarditis VAERS thing.

    1) Israel puts case of heart inflammation in men aged 16-24 at 1 in 3000 to 1 in 6000. It is very unlikely this will be different in the US. So the roughly 1 in 16000 figure suggested in the report is likely an undercount.
    2) Isn’t the data in VAERS supposed to be unreliable/poor quality/nothing to see here. Aren’t we supposed to be going off of V-SAFE data, which is so much better/more robust? If so, why are they using VAERS for the data in that report?
    3) The report suggests the risk of severe adverse event increases by roughly a factor of 5 for the second shot compared to the first. If that pattern continues when you get your third/fourth booster shot, we are in trouble.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of mRNA vaccine technology, was interviewed last night by Tucker Carlson. Not msnbs, not cnn, not abc, cbs or nbc. Fox.

      Nutshell version: cdc / fda are “overwhelmed.” They don’t have the data they are acting like they have, and are waiting for other countries–Scandanavia and israel–to tell them what’s what. They are not collecting the data that would permit “informed” vaccine decisions.

      6+ minutes.

      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        Forget about VAERS. The medical community still has a hard time believing that patients have withdrawal symptoms from all sorts of psychiatric medications. They barely listen to the patients never mind gathering the data. It was only after seeing all these Internet forms pop up with people dealing with withdrawals and learning from each other how to get off of the medication’s did they start doing anything about it. Now that is some citizen science.

      2. Lemmy Caution

        According to the ACIP meeting yesterday, a lot of data is being gathered.

        Some of the collection mechanisms they listed include the VAERS system, the V-Safe system, the Department of Defense, Medicare, and a network of private insurance companies that cover 12 million people. There may be others in addition to the countries you named.

        Whether all of these systems “talk” to each other in a meaningful way when it comes to sharing date is unknown by me. Also unknown if the various collection points document and group data the same way.

        Malone said elsewhere that when you aren’t confident in the numerator or the denominator, what data you do gather in basically useless.

        His assessment that the FDA is “chaotic” and “overwhelmed” surely doesn’t improve the situation any.

        1. JTMcPhee

          So, a lot of those data streams are really being generated for money-making purposes, I would guess. Maybe the data “sharing” only goes one way, where the UNsurance companies are happy to receive what is gathered at public or others’ expense, and close the door to any outflows especially if they might intrude on the Narrative generation and the reaping of profits by such behaviors as kicking the vulnerable off the insurance rolls…

      3. KLG

        Many will agree that Robert Malone is correct about CDC and FDA. Bret Weinstein described Dr. Malone is the inventor or mRNA vaccines. Here he is described as the inventor of mRNA vaccine technology. Dr. Malone was involved in the earliest work that showed how to transfect mammalian cells with RNA (1989, with Inder Verma, who has an interesting recent history). Dr. Malone subsequently worked on the components of the lipid nanoparticle/RNA transfection reagent. More recently he has published a few papers on rapid response to emerging infectious disease. A 2013 paper (6th of 8 authors) is entitled “Making vaccines “on demand,'” but never mentions mRNA. The paper on Zika virus (2016, 1st of 13 authors) never mentions mRNA, either. IIRC the trials of the Zika mRNA vaccine never showed a positive result. Dr. Malone’s latest published work (2021) is on famotidine (Pepcid) as a drug that mitigates COVID-19 disease. This is part of the effort to repurpose drugs to fight the pandemic, which could well be the best approach to COVID-19. But it wouldn’t make Pfizer billions. And therein lies the neoliberal rub.

        mRNA vaccines have been either obvious or ingenious for 30 to 50 years, take your pick. The technologies for using RNA as a reagent or a therapeutic agent have been developed iteratively by a cast of thousands over that time. None of these, the technology or the vaccine, has a single inventor.

    2. IM Doc

      Just an anecdotal data point.

      I have now reported to the VAERS about a dozen complications related to the vaccines to VAERS.

      One of which was a death. 3 of which were other very significant medical issues known to be a problem with these vaccines with all 3 landing in the hospital. All 3 are currently fine. The other 8 are concerning issues that may or may not have a thing to do with the vaccines – and clearly stated in the VAERS reports I filed. It was all about the timing.

      In years past – as a board-certified Internist – I would have been contacted before the day was over by a practitioner to discuss the death and the 3 hospitalizations. When I was at the big academic center I worked with recently approved pharma stuff all the time – so this happened often enough to be noticeable.

      Not a single one of the 12 reports has appeared on the VAERS website at all. I have only received initial confirmatory emails. I have not been called or contacted in any way regarding any of the hospitalizations. The one death did generate a call requesting medical records – at which time I was informed that the “intake manager” felt that it had nothing to do with the vaccines at all.

      Not another peep has occurred. They are either completely underfunded, totally overwhelmed, or purposely spiking reports. I can come to no other conclusion.

      I have called my Rep and 2 Sen offices and have been kindly told that they do not get involved in medical issues.

      1. JBird4049

        Do not get involved in medical issues? Restated, they do not want to do their jobs, which is representing the people in their district, serving and helping them. What jackasses. If you can give them a generous bribe consideration donation, maybe they will deign to do so.

        1. IM Doc

          No – the confirmation email had a number – but it is not the official database number that goes in the VAERS –
          I have been looking once a week – none of them have showed up.

          They did not call me about the death report until an entire 6 weeks or so had passed.

      2. Raymond Sim

        I didn’t notice this post till today, I wonder if you’ve seen Theresa Lawrie’s letter to the UK MHRA regarding her analysis of their ‘Yellow Card’ data?

        I’m not competent to judge her analysis, but I think it’s absolutely beyond question that the trials, and subsequent handling of adverse event reporting both here and in the UK have been scandalously inadequate, and if it’s not deliberate then the incompetence is breathtaking.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Russia claims it fired at Royal Navy destroyer off Crimea”

    The Russians are correct. I saw video showing the splashes in the water of those rounds. The UK’s Ministry of Defence are lying their faces off by saying that it never happened. And if this was a peaceful transition through a regular shipping lane, why then did they ready their missiles and guns as well as load up machine gun belts? Does that sound like a normal passage through a shipping lane? With major naval games about to start in the Black Sea, the Russian are probably wondering if this will be tried again. I doubt that they will sit down and take it. Would we?

    And there was a US spy plane above watching everything going on to see what they could learn. Apparently this is the first time that the Russians have used live fire in a warning since the Cold War. So what happens next. Maybe the Russians will up their game by banging hulls like they did during the Cold War. Or maybe Russians fighters will break the sound barrier – about 200 yards above one of these intruding ships. Who know? But the whole exercise was absolutely and totally unnecessary. Way to ramp up tensions for no purpose whatsoever.

    1. JTMcPhee

      I loved the Narrative performance by the UK warship’s captain — he hit every single one of the Imperial talking points, and did so with a straight ginger face. I wonder what expression was actually hidden behind that beard?

      That Russian Cost Gaurd vessel shown in the Big BS Corp clip was heading to do some of that hull bumping that brought the US and the Soviet Union to the brink in the Sea of Japan not so very long ago. Effing stupid humans…

      One recalls the Gulf of Tonkin “incident,” and what happens when hair triggers are moved through “unsettled” space… like the actions of one “hothead” US Captain in stumbling and bumbling into shooting down an Iranian airliner, killing 290 people, an action that earned him and his clumsy crew a bunch of awards and medals, This time, you a$$holes in the Brit military and foreign policy dorkery, the “opponent” has several thousand nuclear weapons and a very competent military to swat your faces… while you play around, of course with US imperial blessing, at prodding the bear…

    2. Bill Smith

      There is almost always a US spy plane of some sort up there.

      How close where the splashes?

  11. marym

    While complaining about Harris not visiting the border, Republican politicians have made cosplay appearances there in boats and camo gear. Probably when she does “visit” they’ll complain it was just a photo op. Which it will be. And if she does her signature giggling her fans will say it’s ok because Trump’s wife wore an “I don’t care” jacket for her photo op.

    As far as the level of crisis, here are some charts
    “Since March the number of families coming to the border has FALLEN significantly. Families made up just 24.8% of border encounters in May, and were less than half of the number who came in 2019. Thousands are still expelled every month.”

    1. William Hunter Duncan

      I don’t know what the actual numbers are, but I live in Minnesota and I met a likely-illegal immigrant family without English in our local dog park recently. They were without a dog, all sitting on a log. My dog got ahead of me, it being an off-leash park and she loves to meet everybody. When I caught up, one of these folks was feeding her macadamia nuts. First rule in a dog park, don’t feed other people’s dogs. Second rule, don’t feed them food dogs can’t eat.

      That was 4 days of severe diarrhea leading to severe dehydration and a $150 vet visit, and three weeks of a 25% of usual amount of food, “bland” diet gradually returned to normal but during which she is likely to lose weight though she is only 7months old and still growing, so I hope that doesn’t lead to further complications.

      I am getting increasingly angry as I type this. Maybe it was the hopeless feeling I had when I saw that idiot feeding macadamia nuts to my dog; mixed with a bit of hatred for those who act like illegal immigrants are more sympathetic than citizens, and for those politicians who would demagogue out of one side of their mouth while they tacitly allow illegal immigration because it is profitable for their paymasters, all who act like their is no limit whatever to how many people this part of the continent can sustain.

        1. William Hunter Duncan

          Like many a very poor family of Central America who do not generally find their way to America by legal means, as it is easier (if not easy) to cross the border illegally. But of course, what recourse is there for me to know, one way or the other? Thank you for your concern for my puppy though.

          1. The Historian

            To paraphrase Hannah Arendt: When a person becomes a refugee (and yes, illegal immigrants are refugees) they become stateless. And when they become stateless they lose their rights. In any state even a criminal has rights, but refugees do not. And when a person loses their rights, they become superfluous and can be dehumanized. And when a person is not human, anything can be done to them. We don’t want to know about their circumstances, why they left, or anything else about them that makes them human.

            I am sorry about your puppy, but aren’t you supposed to maintain control of your animal and look out for its safety, even in dog parks?

            1. Michael Ismoe

              I’m not sure why a “poor, illegal immigrant” family is feeding your dog macadamia nuts that cost $22 a pound.

              They MUST have used their “food stamps” I bet!

              1. William Hunter Duncan

                Or they were given for free the macadamia nuts by some well meaning churchgoer?

                1. Wukchumni

                  We had a macadamia nut tree when I was a kid, and they ought to make black boxes for airplanes out of the shells, quite a tough nut to crack, as you needed a special nutcracker to open them up.

                  1. William Hunter Duncan

                    These were of the Planters, shelled, roasted and salted presumably. The only edible nuts we have this far north are hazlenuts, black walnut and butternut.

                  2. Basil Pesto

                    my parents do too, and our dogs have always loved trying to get to the nuts. Mind you, it takes them quite a while to get through the shell.

            2. William Hunter Duncan

              Have you ever taken a 7mnth old puppy to a 7 acre wooded dog park? It is near impossible enough to keep a mature dog close to you. But thanks for trying to blame me for someone else poisoning my puppy – who also per the rules of the dog park was there without a permit (presumably as they did not have a dog.)

              As for dehumanizing that human, I’m more enraged at the liberal tendency to have so much humanity for illegal immigrants, while also having (not saying you do) a general hatred for America’s deplorable poors.

              1. enoughisenough

                Are you mad people fed your dog, or are you mad that you think they are immigrants?

                Does it matter what their immigration status is? Seems like a non-sequitur, unless you have an unrelated ax to grind. (which seems to be the case).

                Criticizing people for having any humanity at all is counter-productive, dude.

                Dogs off leash will eat all kinds of crap. that’s on you.

                1. William Hunter Duncan

                  Yeah, I am mad they poisoned my dog. As to their immigration status, does it not matter? If they are in the country illegally AND they poisoned my dog, then yeah I am doubly pissed. But hey, thanks again for blaming me for someone else poisoning my dog.

                  Anyway, I don’t really blame the immigrant for wanting to come to America illegally. I do blame liberals who claim to have so much humanity for illegal immigrants but who rarely ruffle their feathers about the fact here in America we do such a crappy job of taking care of our own.

                  Speaking of enough is enough, how many people in America is too many? There must be 2 billion people on the planet deserving of sanctuary in America, if the rational is that illegal immigrants should get free health care and a driver’s license, say. Eternal growth on a finite planet means eternal immigration with no distinction between legal and illegal?

                  Nothing quite like excusing labor arbitrage, btw, in this quasi-socialist forum.

                  1. enoughisenough

                    Dude, it sounds like you WATCHED them feed your dog nuts. It’s not like they stealthily poisoned your dog without your knowledge at your house, in the dead of night. Clearly, they did not know it was poison.

                    And yeah, their immigration status has nothing to do with *anything* in this scenario. Local children or non-dog owners might have done the same thing.

                    Also, why are you assuming no one cares about our native unhoused crisis? I sure do.

                    You’re creating straw men.

                    But I will raise you: since the USA is responsible for the decimation of the economies of Latin America, we have a responsibility to be compassionate. Also pay reparations, frankly. Refugees deserve to be here.

                    It sounds like you came here to yell at “liberals” and use your dog as a wedge issue. It’s totally nonsensical.

                    1. William Hunter Duncan

                      He was feeding my dog until I arrived and pulled her away. He is the first person to feed her anything without asking first.

                      As to atrocities in Latin America, I’m well aware. As to reparations, where would it end for empire America? Same for refugees. We can barely house the people we have. The whole world will soon enough be in energy decline which will mean economic decline. Every nations is going to have difficulty with that. Mass refugees isn’t going to make that easier.

                      I’m sayin’ if you really care about the “unhoused” here, advocating to add to that problem before anything is done about it is not “humane”.

                      As to creating straw men, I’m telling you what my experience was, how it made me feel and what it made me think about immigration in America in 2021. I don’t care if you don’t like it. I comment a lot here. This is the first time I took issue with a particular liberal perspective. It has confirmed a lot of my thinking about liberal thinking about illegal immigration.

      1. Mantid

        If there was a comments section 150 – 200 years ago, this might be something a person from the Chippewa or Dakota Sioux nations would have written.

        1. Williiam Hunter Duncan

          Most “Chippewa” would prefer to be called Anishinabeg, or Ojibwe. Most Dakota would prefer to go by Dakota, rather than Dakota Sioux. For the record.

          Otherwise, yeah, I can symapathize, except idiot immigrant poisoning my dog is not the same as a Dakota or Anishinabeg complaining about whites killing their family or trying to exterminate their race.

        1. jr

          Ditto, I have a 10lb. dog and even small amounts of the wrong food could kill her. Glad the pup’s ok.

          1. William Hunter Duncan

            Thank you. And I think we can both agree then, it is not ok to feed other people’s dogs without asking.

      2. diptherio

        Some people tried to do something nice for your animal companion and made a mistake. Somehow you’ve turned that unfortunate incident into a reason to be mad about immigration.

        You know, I’m gonna guess that you have pre-existing negative feelings towards immigrants (and unless you’re asking for papers, I don’t know how you would be able to tell their legal status) that have nothing to do with your dog (who I sincerely hope makes a full recovery).

        1. Alfred

          Having to foot the considerable bill for their ignorance seems to bite, also. Gee, if only they were better off.

              1. William Hunter Duncan

                Right. You dropped in with a pithy, mocking comment like I’m all uppity about them being poor, rather than addressing my arguments about immigration and not feeding someone else’s dog esp food they can’t eat.

                That’s what really got to me I think, aside from the fact that I was watching him poison my dog, but that I felt helpless, powerless, not just because it was already done, but because I am a white man, and how dare I in this deeply liberal city show anger to, to accost, to question this immigrant family? It is probably true, they didn’t know any better, they didn’t know they were poisoning my dog. I thought about calling the Park Police, so they wouldn’t poison anyone else’s dog, but all I could hear in my head was the shame, you racist, you xenophobe, how dare you, you turned this immigrant family into the police! All the judgement poured on me, and not that they might be here illegally. Anyway, whatever. I can hear it already, the mockery, you poor privileged white man….

                1. Alfred

                  LOL, not a man! If you had not brought up the dollar cost your own self, I would never have said a word about it. It so obviously is a big part of the sore point of that incident. Control your puppy–it’s for it’s own good. Teach it to only accept food from you. That is what pet owners I know do. Be responsible and you will get a better result for your dog and fewer hits at the vet clinic.

                  1. William Hunter Duncan

                    It is not the money anywhere near as much as the reason for the vet visit, I think I have made quite clear. As to training, this puppy many agree, is further along than most. No puppy at 7mnths is so well trained and obedient as you seem to think it should be, so insinuating that is my failure is not very interesting.

              2. griffen

                I did not read it that way at all. The interwebs can be like that, for good or for ill. That said owner of the pet, and the pet suffering harm but in likelihood not intentional done, is now paying up for vet expenses.

        2. William Hunter Duncan

          Mostly I am mad about the dogma of eternal growth tied to fiat currency and the notion of eternal economic growth many a liberal has attached to immigration, and the refusal to make a distinction between immigrant and illegal immigrant, as if boundaries don’t matter, and there is no limit to how many people this part of the continent can sustain long term.

          Otherwise if you were to take an indigenous family from the mountains of southern Mexico or Guatemala and drop them in a Minneapolis dog park they would stand out not unlike if you dropped me or most Americans in those mountains. And no, I don’t know for sure if they are illegal, I am just guessing, as not too many people without English from that part of the world are allowed in legally.

          1. skippy

            I understand your duress about the world as you saw it and how you see it now, albeit your statement above has some core fallacies which acerbate that condition.

            Per se.

            “Mostly I am mad about the dogma of eternal growth tied to fiat currency”

            In both hard and soft currency paradigms growth or consumption has occurred, so neither form of sovereign tokens were the imperative which drove events aka its more fundamental from a socioeconomic perspective.

            “many a liberal has attached to immigration”

            Immigration is a cornerstone to American development from day one so pinning the tail on the liberal [??? Classical vs FDR or now Thirdway] is wide of the mark and Corporate Republicans love them some cheap labour in the U.S. and abroad.

            Lastly as a dog owner you are responsible for your own at all times, more so in public. Hence making an argument about sovereign currency, ethnicity/ social ethics, carrying capacity, based on a incident with a puppy in a dog park is wobbly at best eg. there are more than enough ignorant legacy immigrants that would hand out toxic food to a dog, even if well meaning than I care to consider.

            I would only add that many new immigrants are the result of past and present economic policies driven by corporations and their investors over a protracted period. As such is it just a case of the chickens coming home to roost – ????

            1. William Hunter Duncan

              Like I suggested early on, our immigration policy seems to be set up so it is hard to get in legally but comparatively easy to do so illegally. If I am taking on the liberal perspective that is because I got quite a bit of pushback from the left perspective here. Meanwhile corporate Republicans indeed demagogue about it while tacitly allowing it because it is desirable for their corporate overlords. And yes indeed our economic policies in Central and South America are absolutely contributing to the despair that makes people try to get to America. Which then benefits those same corporations by depressing wages and benefits here. Which neither party has defended America’s wage earners against for two generations, and as far as I can tell, there remains a tacit acceptance in both political parties that there will continue to be an influx of illegal labor.

              Anyway, I am very much a responsible dog owner.

    2. Gonzalo

      “cosplay appearances there in boats and camo gear”

      More likely the Cajun Navy, volunteers who have risked their lives bringing food or rescuing people trapped in Hurricanes and at McAllen, Texas, feeding those in need. A great series of on the street, at the processing center, run by Catholic Charities and atop the wall videos and in depth interviews of real people taken along the border is here:

      1. marym

        Thanks for the link. Sounds like a brave and dedicated group. There are many organizations who try to help people – immigrants, would-be immigrants, and natural born – with sometimes differing but honorable motivations of religion, social justice, and humanitarianism. The cosplaying politicians are not that. Here’s another link.

  12. CH

    Interview: Marc Andreessen, VC and tech pioneer Noah Smith, Noahpinion

    I always love how these wealthy billionaires are portrayed as “relentlessly optimistic.” Why shouldn’t they be? Conversely, whey should the rest of us be when life gets harder and harder for us every year?

    Exactly which problem that effects the 99 percent has been “solved” by venture capitalists like Andressen?

    “Someone writes code, and all of a sudden riders and drivers coordinate a completely new kind of real-world transportation system, and we call it Lyft. Someone writes code, and all of a sudden homeowners and guests coordinate a completely new kind of real-world real estate system, and we call it AirBNB. Someone writes code, etc., and we have cars that drive themselves, and planes that fly themselves, and wristwatches that tell us if we’re healthy or ill.”

    Um, no thanks. Pretty much the nonsense I expected.

    1. Oh

      Maybe someone will write code for these squillionaires and all their holdings in the stock market will go POOF!

  13. William Hunter Duncan

    “White House, bipartisan group agree on infrastructure framework Axios. So on the one hand the Republicans are fascists and a deadly menace to “our democracy,” and on the other hand it’s important to compromise with them.”

    Wasn’t Biden’s original ask, $2.2 trillion? So I am assuming the only thing that got through was updating the old and more of the same? As in, “nothing fundamental will change”…?

    This is why for a long time I said the Repubs were nazis and the Dems were fascists, because the National Socialism 2.0 we have exterminates species no problem and kills off the deplorables with ease, in the name of eternal progress to the stars. But I quit making a habit of saying that because it is dangerous to call out evil directly.

    1. Nikkikat

      I saw an article the other day on the “infrastructure” talks. It was touting all the “bipartisan” areas…..lots of those “public Private
      Partnerships”. Translated as tax payer money for no bid contracts, shoddy workmanship and materials and complete unaccountability. Oh, yeah!

      1. William Hunter Duncan

        About what I would expect from a late stage empire degraded close to the point of collapse.

          1. Alfred

            A tenant who survived said when they heard the crash and opened their door to dust flying, they went down to the basement and found it full of water….

    2. Grant

      I am originally from Chicago. This is a pathetic bill and all of these rich frauds should be ashamed of themselves. Essentially, it is going to be the privatization of Chicago’s parking meters going national. Biden is a disaster as president and his party is going to get destroyed in 2022 and thereafter. To add, the Republicans are fascists, but we aren’t going to do anything about the context that helps fascism to grow. I better not say more though. The Biden administration and the Navy might consider me an extremist and might start tracking me. Cause I am, runs for cover, not a fan of this rotten capitalist system. The planet is burning and this is what they deliver.

  14. russell1200

    “Harris v. Trump 2024? I’m not calling it because I can’t bear to think of it.”

    I am not sure if LOL or Vomit in Mouth (VIM?) is the more appropriate response. To do both would be messy.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Harris v. Trump 2024? You’ll be lucky that it won’t be Harris vs. Pompeo 2024. The so-called Left and the Democrats will pull out all the stops to make sure that Trump does not run and I would expect to see a whole range of court cases tying him up and stopping him from campaigning. But this will have the effect of clearing the field for another contender who will capitalize on what is being done to Trump, hence Pompeo.

      1. Eric Anderson

        Agreed. Watch out for the christian dominionists.
        Pompeo is Cruz. Cruz is Pompeo.

        1. Gonzalo

          Wonderful, what a ticket, the

          Hillbilly Judeo-Theocracy

          vs the

          Identarian Ancestor Hopping Cricket

          “Harris and Biden were given the strongest Border in American history,” he claimed. “And now, it is by far the worst in American history.”

          170, 000 invited in guests, in March alone, free Covid tests, free airline and bus tickets to anywhere they want, a prepaid credit card, meanwhile Harris says “don’t you dare come!” ???


      2. Michael Ismoe

        The Dems can always impeach Trump again in 2024. It seems like the only play they have. Third times the charm. Maybe AOC can be floor manager this time. You know, like a reward for being “one of the guys” that Nancy can count on.

      3. William Hunter Duncan

        Disantis of Florida seems to be where all the big money is headed. Pompeo is too bulldog and Cruz is, well, Cruz, which is to say, a lawyer masquerading as a fundamentalist, two of the least likable things in America.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      The democrats are incapable of removing their Trump nose ring and smelling the coffee.

      The only one “VIM-ing” in 2024 will be harris, when DeSantis shows up on the debate stage.

      1. Screwball

        This is the ticket I expect. The only thing different will be Harris as the incumbent as Joe will be put out to pasture by then.

        DeSantis, in a debate with her could be a hoot, but the cackling would be unbearable.

    3. Pelham

      Just as in science fiction it’s about a million times easier to imagine and write about a thoroughly rotten dystopian future vs. one in which things turn out wonderfully or even just OK, isn’t it also true in politics that it’s so much easier to imagine presidential contests such as Harris/Trump?

      The problem is that while dreary/alarming speculation in sci-fi can be fine and even compelling, in politics it stinks. Yet in the end, voters in the US (and many other tissue-thin democracies) collectively shrug and keep plodding to the polls.

      A few years ago the New York Times Sunday magazine had a story about some guy living in a remote location who had decided to cut himself off from any news from the outside world for a certain period. I believe it was one year. I haven’t been able to get that idea out of my head ever since. I could be wrong, but the more this thought pesters me the more I think a complete news cutoff would be bliss. It might permit me to begin entertaining that rarest of all imaginings, one in which our future turns out to be tolerable.

      1. Kouros

        You should read Iain M. Banks The Culture series. He makes it look easy to write about utopian techno futures…

      2. JTMcPhee

        Milton had some difficulty generating a lot of content for “Paradise Regained,” but no problem at all filling pages with illuminating text on “Paradise Lost.” It’s a commonplace, as I recall the literature I have wandered through, that evil is so very much more interesting to delve into than the soft and gentle side. For every “It’s a Wonderful Life” there are 23 “Freddie Krueger” and “Friday the 13th” and “Christine” movies, for every dippy, hopeful “WALL-E” there’s dozens of dystopian flicks starring Kurt Russell or Stallone or Sean Connery…

        Luke Skywalker is only interesting (if that is the word0 because he flirts with the Dark Side…

  15. The Rev Kev

    “What we know about the ‘fleeting’ spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Sydney”

    Hard to write a comment here without resorting to many unchristian-like terms here. The Premier of that State – Gladys Berejiklian – is in full agreement with Scotty from Marketing that in a major outbreak, that you must keep your State borders open. Hasn’t stopped the other States & New Zealand slamming their borders shut. Already two cases have shown up in the State of Victoria. But the Premier of NSW refuses to close off Sydney, refuses to lock it down, refuses to make a general mask-wearing mandate. Hell, you can still go to gyms in Sydney so long as you are wearing a mask. And TV pundits are lauding her for ‘her courage’. I’m hoping that Sydney does not get itself into the mess that Melbourne did last year but not with decisions being made like this. She is still acting as if this was last year’s Wuhan strain and not this new hyper-Delta strain.

    This outbreak started from a limousine driver who was employed to drive international aircrews to and from Sydney airport. Was he required to wear a full body suit? Why no. A mask? Umm, no. Be vaccinated? Apparently not. Gawd, what is wrong with these people? It’s June of 2021, not 2020. We know what should be done but it is not being done. Again and again and again. Was this the first time it happened or something? No, it happened last December when a driver caught this virus while transporting a family returning from overseas to a quarantine hotel. And some returned travelers have called out the fact that their drivers were not wearing masks at all. I have said before that the Australia Coalition government (the party of Berejiklian & Scotty) is like the US Republicans and the UK Tories. It seems that this idea of open borders and keeping the economy going is now becoming an ideological position like in their foreign counterparts too.

    1. a different chris

      >And TV pundits are lauding her for ‘her courage’.

      “Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.” – Lord Farquaad from Shrek.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Quoting Lambert:

      Worth noting that the index case came from international air travel, not Bogan in the Outback (or, in our case, Bubba from Redstatisan). When will the powers-that-be admit that international air travel is a key driver of the pandemic? How do they think that the virus goes ocean-hopping? On the flimsy wings of little fairies?

      The “conspiracy theories” pretty much write themselves.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Alfred: Founded by Shunryu Suzuki, a highly influential religious figure, who wrote the classic, Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind.

  16. griffen

    For the sea-faring amongst you fine folks, how exactly does one order or rank whom is getting the treatment? Seems likely that picking on a sickened young lad is not a good option. That’s just me, not that I consider such outcomes. More like outrunning my brother in case of bears, lol.

    Does not seem like a modern day occurrence, unless I’ve overlooked a good story. But there is a legal precedent!

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Not a boat person, but in theory an extended voyage, everyone has the same germs. So sickening is less relevant, and the weak person will need more and higher quality calories to get better. So you know, dig in.

      I suppose the relative age matters too. A bunch of 30 year olds could probably just make a stew out of the fattest and be set for a bit. If they are older, they may need to consider high quality organ meat.

      Based on Looney Tunes, I imagine they draw straws.

      1. griffen

        I’d think Porky Pig would be an easy enough target…in a Looney Tunes setting.

        “We’ll miss you Porky. We thank you for your sacrifice”

      2. R

        They did indeed discuss drawing lots but the cabin boy fell into a coma and the three survivors wordlessly concluded to do him in.

        They were sentenced to death but the sentence was commuted to a few months’ imprisonment, basically time served.

        The prosecution had asked for a charge of manslaughter, which would have carried a short sentence, but this was denied to the jury by the judge. Apparently if the jury had returned a “conditional verdict”, that they only found the defendant guilty of murder because manslaughter was not offered, the judge at the appeal could have overturned the verdict, but the jury didn’t and he could not. There was to be no defence of necessity to a charge of murder (whereas the court would countenance it to manslaughter, cf, defences of provocation).

        The death sentence stood but a Royal pardon was granted some time after sentencing. The survivors were apparently very bitter about their conviction at all.

    2. R

      It being a small and amusing world, the judge in charge of the case was a family friend’s great great grandfather, Lord Coleridge. He was the great nephew of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink….

      Lord Coleridge was Lord Chief Justice (senior judge of the Queens Bench division, the general branch of the English courts as opposed to Admiralty, Chancery etc) and he later had to appear as a witness in his own courts when his son was sued for libel by his daughter’s husband.

    1. Alfred

      ProPublica is fearless, and Thiel would be a fool to waste his time and money trying to annihilate them, they are nothing like Gawker.

  17. Verifyfirst

    Re: “People Don’t Want To Go Back To the Same” (jobs), I was reminded of a Studs Terkel quote:

    “Most of us have jobs that are too small for our spirits.”

    Amen to that.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “French senators want answers from Kyiv in wake of macabre far-right event”

    They are just noticing this now? After seven years? Those night-time torch parades didn’t give them a clue? Maybe this is France’s way of getting out of financially supporting the Ukraine by saying how problematical the recipients are. There are plans for the Ukraine to build a major base on the Black Sea coastline and a whole bunch of warships and the money for that is going to have to come from somewhere. So maybe this is France finding an excuse to say thanks, but no thanks.

    1. km

      From the article:

      Furthermore, they provide plenty of fodder for the Russian government’s propaganda machine, which seizes upon such incidents to portray Ukraine as a fascist country.”

      News flash: Since 2014, Ukraine has been a de facto fascist country. I don’t need Russia to tell me that, the Ukrainian fascists damn themselves out of their own mouths.

    2. begob

      The last time the French did well out of Ukraine was 1856, when they won bragging rights over the Brits at Sevastapol and Malakoff. Thirteen years later, the Prussians turned up in Paris. Just sayin’.

  19. marym

    AZ Secretary of State’s updated list of observations at the Republican 2020 election “audit”

    A months-long Republican investigation into Michigan’s 2020 election uncovered no evidence of widespread fraud and concluded Wednesday with a recommendation the attorney general investigate those who made false claims for “personal gain.”
    37-page report from the Michigan investigation

    The Michigan report provides a debunking of various conspiracy theories about manual and machine fraud. and makes recommendations for some procedural improvements.

    It’s interesting to compare the detailed standard procedures for election security and and certification in the Michigan report and the standards reflected in the AZ SoS report with the fluid proceedings of the AZ “audit” ninjas.

    Also, from the Michigan report:

    Further, we commend the innumerable clerks, canvassers, staff, workers, and volunteers across Michigan that make the enormous complexity of elections operate so smoothly, so often. The complexity of the work and the dedication we discovered are astounding and worthy of our sincerest appreciation.

    Thank you Michigan Republicans for discovering the diligence and integrity of ordinary working people instead of accusing them of fraud!!

  20. DJG, Reality Czar

    Wild Rice Waters. The long article is worth reading, especially for its description of Ojibwe ideas and culture–which are influential across the Great Lakes–as well as for some of the peculiarities of geography of the Great Lakes (an estuary? freshwater?).

    Wild rice is esteemed across the Great Lakes. [I am thinking of the Norske Nook restaurant in northwestern Wisconsin that served me wild rice / cranberry bread. A taste memory.]

    The Ojibwe are divided up among various bands and reservations–let alone the many who live off the reservations. Yet they are a large group of people who have refused to move (they tended to ignore removal orders), and the current Line 3 pipeline controversy is directly related to the issues raised in the article. A group worth watching.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Atmospheric water vapor in the city of Tel Aviv is suitable for drinking”

    So moisture vaporator are going to be a thing? Like in Star Wars? Well, they’d better have those units in the South Ridge repaired by midday, or there’ll be hell to pay.

  22. allan

    A crucial, overlooked question on the new Alzheimer’s drug: When should patients stop taking it? [STAT]

    For families and physicians grappling with the historic approval this month of the controversial Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm, there’s no shortage of unanswered questions. But a critical one has largely been overlooked: Once patients start taking the medication, how will they know when it’s time to stop? …

    Doctors who care for Alzheimer’s patients told STAT it will be critical — and exceedingly difficult — to know whether the drug is working, and if it is, whether those effects are waning with time. …

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.
    A drug made in Big Pharma CFO heaven.

  23. Wukchumni

    California’s Drought Is So Bad That Almond Farmers Are Ripping Out Trees Bloomberg
    Terra Bella has terrible groundwater on account of the geography, and in the last drought half of the vast citrus orchards there bit the dust, as the cost of imported water became prohibitive. Its what will happen to a good many orchards in the Big Dry be it almonds or otherwise.

    An article from late 2015 during the worst of the 2012-2016 drought, an acre foot of water @ $3k! When there’s plenty of H20 it might be worth a few hundred bucks.

    Last year, Terra Bella, through expensive purchases, carryover water and exchanges, was able to find 11,000 acre feet of water. That kept most groves alive and even provided a crop for some farmers. This year, so far Geivet has been able to secure just 5,500 acre feet of water and just found another 500 acre feet of late water which might save a few orchards. That 500 feet is costly and not every grower can afford it any more.

    “You can’t earn enough a year to pay for the water,” said Wheaton. “You spend $3,000 an acre foot or more to raise a crop that won’t bring in that much in two years,” he added.

  24. petal

    CDC director says 30-40 out of 1 million teens will get rare heart inflammation from Covid vaccines – but the shots will avert 8,000 cases, 200 hospitalizations and 50 ICU stays
    Snip: “The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines outweigh the risk of heart inflammation in teenagers and young adults because the jab will reduce cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

    In an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America on Thursday, Dr Rochelle Walensky discussed the nearly 500 reports of the heart inflammation, known as myocarditis, in people under age 30 vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

    The previous day, a CDC advisory committee concluded that there is a ‘likely association’ between the two. “

    1. Ping

      In continuation of pretzel logic and outright flabbergasting official statements, this time regarding heart inflammation, there was an MSM report yesterday in effect stating that myocarditis and pericarditis should not cause alarm, the condition goes away and can be treated with antibiotics. Huh?

      5 years ago, a healthy, physically fit family member nearly died from pericarditis requiring several hospitalizations including ICU and fluid drainage from heart and lung and required several years to recover. And antibiotics were not part of the treatment.

      Re: VAERS system is broken. I can personally attest the VAERS system vastly underrepresents reporting of adverse events. As a previously healthy fit person, I am experiencing significant neuro-inflammation symptoms following J&J vax almost 3 months ago. I completed a VAERS report with the contact of diagnosing doctor for confirmation. First I received several auto replies asking for information already provided that was resubmitted. I have only received a “temporary report number” Upon email inquiry, this auto-reply email now states (almost 3 months later) that they will email me regarding a permanent report number. And I doubt most people or even doctors jump thru the reporting hoops, even if they admit/connect mysterious conditions following vax are connected due to constant messaging “safe and effective”

      Email as of yesterday:
      Thank you for contacting the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) program. The VAERS program was established under the joint administration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to accept reports of suspected adverse events after administration of any US licensed vaccine. Reports are welcome from everyone, including parents, vaccinees, physicians and other healthcare providers.

      Due to a high volume of inquiries, it may take longer than usual to receive a reply from VAERS. We appreciate your patience and have provided responses to some Frequently Asked Questions below.

      Medical Advice or Vaccine Information: As a spontaneous reporting system, the VAERS program does not provide medical advice or vaccine information.

      For medical advice please consult with your healthcare provider.
      For questions about the next dose please contact the CDC online ( or by phone at (800) 232-4636.

      Scheduling appointments for vaccine: VAERS does not help to schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Please contact your healthcare provider or local immunization program for assistance.

      V-Safe: For questions about CDC’s V-Safe smartphone-based tool please visit the following page

      Reporting to VAERS

      You do not need to register your pharmacy to file a report with VAERS
      You do not need a key to file an initial VAERS report—keys are only used to submit additional information for existing reports
      Guidance for healthcare providers on reporting adverse events for the COVID-19 vaccine are available here
      Visit our reporting page

      Copies of Reports: Once we complete processing reporters receive an acknowledgment letter providing you with the permanent case number for your records; please note this number is different from the temporary case number reporters receive during electronic report submission. You can then access a redacted copy of a report at the CDC VAERS WONDER website. You can select the option to view VAERS Report Details and enter the VAERS permanent ID for the search.

      VAERS data

      Reports received are available online on our website ( ) in case it is helpful to see what others have reported. You may sort the records by vaccine (i.e. Shingrix, COVID-19), adverse events, or medical history.

      1. Laura in So Cal

        To look at VAERS Data, try this website. They are downloading weekly and the format is much easier to use. It is unfiltered so you can see that people are reporting many effects after vaccination that probably aren’t caused by vaccination. However, if you read thru them for a while, it is instructive. One surprise was the number of reports (seemingly from nurses or pharmacist techs) of the wrong vaccine being given, vaccines given to people inappropriately (under age 12!), or issues with vaccine storage.

        1. Ping

          Thank you, this is much easier to navigate.

          However, these incidents were given permanent report numbers. Like myself there are thousands of people on FB ‘Tinnitus and Hearing Loss After Covid Vaccine” and elsewhere who are only given TEMPORARY report numbers (thus not entering the system) and often , like myself, asked to provide information already provided perhaps going back and forth several times for months still without a permanent report number for VAERS reporting site.

          FB did not delete that members only website (has reportedly deleted 200K other posts that do not comport with “official narrative”) is because a large disclaimer is posted every few posts “vaccines are rigorously tested as safe and effective” and the admin proclaims site is pro-vaccine. Many, like myself, have many symptoms beyond tinnitus and hearing loss. Although the tinnitus alone can be exhausting and maddening like cicadas with undetermined prognosis.

          As Dr. Malone (inventor of mrna) has explained (where not censored), there is no meaningful evaluation of data in this phase 3 experiment due to censorship or incompetency.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      30-40 get heart disease and 50 stay out of the ICU, and they say the benefits outweigh the risks?!? I’m no statistician, but that sounds like about a toss up at best to me…

  25. Carolinian

    This is good

    Much of the establishment rage at “conspiracy theories” has been driven by the notion that rulers are entitled intellectual passive obedience. The same lese-majeste mindset has been widely adopted to make a muddle of American history. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., the court historian for President John F. Kennedy and a revered liberal intellectual, declared in a 2004 article in Playboy, “Historians today conclude that the colonists were driven to revolt in 1776 because of a false conviction that they faced a British conspiracy to destroy their freedom.” Was the British imposition of martial law, confiscation of firearms, military blockades, suspension of habeas corpus, and censorship simply a deranged fantasy of Thomas Jefferson? The notion that the British would never conspire to destroy freedom would play poorly in Dublin. Why would anyone trust academics who were blind to British threats in the 1770s to accurately judge contemporary perils to liberty?

    America itself as a conspiracy theory–take that great unwashed with your flags hanging from every house front.

    Of course any notion that the elites are lying about conspiracy theories would itself be a conspiracy theory per Sunstein.

  26. Laura in So Cal

    I looked up the US population of people between 15-24. The US Census had 2019 numbers of 42,822,204. So if 40/1,000,000 will have myocarditis/pericarditis as a side affect, then 1713 people will be affected with possibly life long issues. I believe she is using a number that combines females & males because the issue in males is several multitudes higher than females based on the CDC/ACIP Deck I saw yesterday.

    One thing was troubling was that I didn’t see anything in the decks about why or by what mechanism this is happening. Some side effects, you understand. I think sore arms, fever, allergic reaction, are normal vaccine side affects that we understand why they happen. Heart problems (also blood clotting problems, platelet problems) not so much. Maybe yesterdays meeting was the wrong forum to discuss it, but it just seems so odd.

    In any case, using her own numbers, the risk/benefit analysis for that age group looks really awful. They need to stop giving these vaccines to people under 25 based on what we are seeing.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > One thing was troubling was that I didn’t see anything in the decks about why or by what mechanism this is happening. Some side effects, you understand. I think sore arms, fever, allergic reaction, are normal vaccine side affects that we understand why they happen. Heart problems (also blood clotting problems, platelet problems) not so much. Maybe yesterdays meeting was the wrong forum to discuss it, but it just seems so odd.

      Good catch. I would also like to know more about the exact mechanism that makes Delta so much more effective. I assume, for example, that the means of transmission has not changed (e.g., it does not spread more through feces or fomites). And I assume that ACE2 uptake is more efficient. But I would like to know why.

      1. Raymond Sim


        Seriously, if there’s one demonstrated difference with Delta that people seem not to be aware of it’s the enhanced capacity to form syncytia. SARS-CoV-2 uses syncytia to kill T-cells, among other things.

        And nobody seems to talk about the L452R mutation either. Evading cellular immunity is a big deal.

  27. Maritimer

    “Government minister ‘hopes’ cannibalism at sea no longer needed thanks to new technology Sky News. There’s good news tonight!”
    Wow, what a great victory for Technology. I have spent many sleepless nights worried about whether I would be eaten at sea. I’m sure many millions of others are also relieved. And think what a boon this is to the cruise ship industry—now the passengers need not be worried about cannibalism.

    Now maybe Technology can move onto another extremely pressing problem—How to safely serve peanuts on flights to Benidorm. Get out that Grant Loot!

    1. deplorado

      I was astounded by the question asked – does the right to life of the cabin boy trump the rights of the starving sailors? What kind of nonsense is that!

      Why can’t we affirm all humans have equal right to life, and when there is no food, this means they starve together – and at least afford each other the last dignity of not being considered a meal. End of story. Seriously WTF is wrong with these ladies and lords with the assanine “we have so much TeChNoLoGy we *hope* we never have to answer this question”.

Comments are closed.