Links 6/26/2021

U.S. begins Berlin Airlift History. 73 years ago today.

Big Fat Gypsy CLEAR UP! ‘Pentecostal’ travellers who caused four days of ‘Mad Max’ mayhem in small town finally leave after mass litter-picking exercise Daily Mail

New York’s Government Is Not Done Screwing Restaurants and Bars Just Yet New York magazine

Sudden end of booze-to-go a ‘massive’ problem, NYC bar owners say NY Post

Hotels’ and Restaurants’ Rebound Summer Held Back by Shortages of Everything WSJ

The other areas in Miami where buildings are at risk of collapse: Map from report that predicted 12-story condo collapse reveals water-logged spots Daily Mail

Henry Kissinger’s Famous Diplomacy Achieved Nothing Counterpunch

Lost memoir paints revered philosopher John Locke as ‘vain, lazy and pompous’ Guardian

The Home of Tomorrow Might Run on Pedal Power Treehugger

Rhinos to Lisbon, turkeys to Agra: Recalling the history of animal gifts in pre-colonial times Scroll

Spiro Mounds: North America’s lost civilisation BBC

A Newly Rediscovered Article by Antonio Gramsci on the Fascists’ March on Rome Jacobin


Fight over hospital’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate ends with 153 workers out of a job Ars Technica

Here’s all the data on myocarditis cases linked to COVID-19 vaccines Ars Technica

Ivermectin: Can a Drug Be “Right-Wing”? TK News. Matt Taibbi.

Covid-19 updates: Merkel warns Europe is ‘on thin ice’ as concerns about delta variant grow WaPo

Sewage sleuths helped an Arizona town beat back Covid-19. For wastewater epidemiology, that’s just the start Stat

The WHO Didn’t Reverse Its Position on Kids and Covid Vaccines Kaiser Health News


As Delta variant sweeps the West, Asia faces a choice: stick to ‘zero-Covid’ approach or learn to live with it South China Morning Post

Indonesia’s Doctors Got Vaccinated With Sinovac, and Got Sick NYT

‘Health system close to collapse’: Indonesia battling COVID surge Al Jazeera

Delta variant wreaking havoc on viral Indonesia Asia Times

The G7 Vaccine Charade Project Syndicate. James Galbraith.

Pfizer says COVID vaccine is highly effective against Delta variant Reuters. But see next link. Hard to see how both could be true.

Vaccinated Israelis may need to quarantine because of Delta variant Reuters

Delta Plus Variant: Eight States, UTs Asked to Take Up Immediate Containment Measures The Wire

Covid 19 coronavirus: Singapore’s surprising new plan to ‘live with’ virus NZ Herald: mgl: “no one has a crystal ball…maybe this experiment is some of the way we move forward…”

Brazil’s ‘Covaxingate’ Investigation Closes in on Bolsonaro and Bharat Biotech The Wire

Massive Fires and COVID Have Battered California’s Wineries Capital & Main

Historic heat wave blasts Northwest as wildfire risks soar AP

113 degrees forecast in Portland as ‘life-threatening’ heat looms AccuWeather

Biden Administration

White House scrambles to manage fallout of Biden’s ‘tandem’ remarks Politico

Harris makes highly anticipated trip to border The Hill

New Bill Would Require Biden to Declare Wildlife Extinction Crisis a National Emergency Common Dreams

What is Behind Gen. Mark Milley’s Righteous Race Sermon? Look to the New Domestic War on Terror. Glenn Greenwald

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Chauvin gets 22 1/2 years in prison for George Floyd’s death AP


Brexit at five: where are we now? Prospect

Labour bans Israel sanctions debate The Electronic Intifada


India’s COVID Warriors Al Jazeera

‘Universalise Food Distribution So No One Goes Hungry During Pandemic’ India Spend

A Patch-Up Attempt on Kashmir Will Not Restore What Is Lost The Wire

Democracy in peril: The India Story Asia Times

Trump Transition

Trump Organization Could Face Criminal Charges in D.A. Inquiry NYT

Trump returns to campaign-style rallies. Can he reach an audience beyond the GOP base? McClatchy

Class Warfare

Jayapal takes on Amazon in antitrust fight Seattle Times

Why Did Congress Just Vote to Break Up Big Tech? BIG. Matt Stoller.

Social Media Success Is Driven by Hate Inquire


Myanmar’s National Unity Government and Its Prospects for Military Victory The Wilson Center


US-China tech war: how one dumped Apple supplier’s fate shows the pain of global supply chain politics South China Morning Post

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. none

    Lost memoir paints revered philosopher John Locke as ‘vain, lazy and pompous’ Guardian

    Anyone who had to read “Second Treatise on Government” in school could have told you that about Locke, without having to see any lost memoir.

    1. hunkerdown

      The labor theory of property always did sound like something out of a precocious, spoiled six-year-old who has made a high art of shirking their due labor.

      1. synoia

        Of The English Upper class at that time, Locke 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704, nearly all of them were “vain and pompous.”

        Read the literature. I suggest Wood ford’s Diary, Diary of a Country Parson, 1758-1802 , would be a good place to start. While a century after Locke, the culture is similar.

        Or read Cromwell’s Dissolution of the Long Parliament in 1653.

        Cromwell’s speech could easily refer to today’s “Elected.”

          1. begob

            But a bosom buddy of Anthony Ashley-Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury, who headed the board of trade and hence effectively oversaw the slave trade. They came up with the model constitution for Carolina, which specifically provided for slave ownership.

            Locke’s state of nature is as lame as Rawls’s veil of ignorance, and wickedly set up to value property over people. The real ignorance is of the cruelty and corruption of a hundred plus years of Whig governments, which justified the Glorious Revolution by appeal to Locke. Even their 19thC reforms were designed to frustrate democracy.

            However, AAC did give a marvellous pen portrait of Mr Hastings, one of England’s old Tudor squires, so he’s forgiven:

            1. witters

              Locke was Shaftesbury’s “foster-father.” And Shaftesbury is worth reading if you want a nonreductive “ecological” naturalism.

              1. Harold

                I don’t know a whole lot about it, but I think the first Earl of Shaftesbury, the one who was involved with the constitution of South Carolina, was Locke’s patron. The third earl, grandson of the first (his father having died), was Locke’s pupil, “foster son,” and an important philosopher and deist who set the tone of the 18th C. Enlightenment.

    2. Dermot M O Connor

      Mary Midgley, ‘Utopias and Dolphins’ p.76

      …prolonged insistence on Enlightenment doctrines of social atomism – on the utter separateness of each individual – has systematically distorted, not just the way we think but the way we live. Egoistic individualism isn’t what we need more of. But our philosophical language still tends to imprison us in it…

      …we surely need fresh thinking about the sense in which we are not hard, discrete

      The whole idea of a free, independent, enquiring, choosing individual, an idea central to European thought, has always been essentially the idea of a male. It was so developed by the Greeks, and still more by the great libertarian movements of the eighteenth century. In spite of its force and nobility, it contains a deep strain of falsity, not just because the reasons why it was not applied to half of the human race were not honestly looked at, but because the supposed independence of the male was itself false. It was parasitical, taking for granted the love and service of non-autonomous females (and indeed often of the less enlightened males as well). It pretended to be universal when it was not.

  2. Ignacio

    RE: Covid 19 coronavirus: Singapore’s surprising new plan to ‘live with’ virus NZ Herald: mgl: “no one has a crystal ball…maybe this experiment is some of the way we move forward…”

    Looks like I was counselling Singapore on epidemic managing. I agree that rather than trying to eradicate something that would require an enormous and almost certainly futile effort to eradicate, it is advisable to manage the unavoidable and try to reduce its impact through well-thought-out and sensible measures. Vaccination is not panacea, it has to be admitted, and economical activities must go on with the best practices to reduce incidence and severity with an approach based on risk analysis. Singapore is a business hub and its economy very much depends on avoiding too restrictive measures but, IMO, this is applicable to most of the rest of the world.

    1. a different chris

      >Singapore is a business hub

      Explain? Business, at least legal business, is a matter of communication and paperwork. All that can be done, maybe not perfectly (the usual non-verbal signaling problems) but a heck of a lot better than you can screw a table together with another virtual workman.

      So I would say industry is the one with the “restrictive measures” problem. Agriculture too, although that is pretty much industry in today’s world.

      Singapore’s problem is that they have a lot of pretty buildings that people are thinking twice about cramming into, IMVHO.

      1. Raymond Sim

        Are the dormitories they cram workers into pretty? It would be a nice touch I guess.

    2. Raymond Sim

      Great, I’ll mark my calendar for two months from now and you can critique my predictions!

      I predict:

      1) A shambling non-plan (btw look up the etymology of ‘shambles’) consisting largely of propaganda measures followed by

      2) Grudging reversion to some of the measures we apparently cannot live with when mass casualties affect too many of the sort of people the ruling elite can’t ignore.


      1) The B.1.617 lineage has the L452R mutation, making it much more dangerous to persons with the HLA-A24 serotype.

      2) Check out the household attack rate for Delta in Australia.

      3) We’ve all seen this movie before.

      I’ll be here August 31 with bells on.

  3. fresno dan
    Colorado police on Friday explained how a heroic bystander who had just shot and killed a cop-hating gunman was himself fatally struck by a responding officer.
    Johnny Hurley, 40, was shopping in downtown Arvada, a Denver suburb, when he heard Ronald Troyke ambush and murder Officer Gordon Beesley, who was responding to a call Monday afternoon, officials said.
    Troyke, 59, then returned to his truck to grab an AR-15, and was holding it when Hurley — who was carrying a concealed weapon — confronted him and shot him dead, Police Chief Link Strate said in a video clip posted Friday.
    But when another officer responded to the scene, he saw Hurley holding the suspect’s rifle — and tragically mistook the good Samaritan for the cop killer, fatally shooting him, Strate said.
    NRA The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.
    I am often critical of police shootings, and I have to say, did the officer even give Hurley an opportunity to drop the weapon? However, I think most people can understand that if there are reports of an active shooter who has shot police, that anyone holding a weapon probably won’t be given an opportunity to surrender.
    Imagine a shoot out between just a couple bad guys and good guys. First, just because someone characterizes themselves as a good guy doesn’t mean they are a good guy. It would be a very confusing mess within moments of the shooting starting, and as noted the police would shoot first and ask questions later.

    1. jr

      This is the Ethical Preparedness Youtube channel, it’s hosted by a former police officer. The guy is a libertarian wingnut for sure, he refers to bullets as “freedom seeds” which is about as fundamental a conceptual perversion of what a seed is at you can ask for, but he does offer good practical advice at times. Here he discusses what to do and not to do if you have shot someone in self defense. He references the tragedy in Denver specifically. He notes that even off-duty cops who have shot someone in self defense are in danger when the bulls come busting down the doors; they come ready to kill.

    2. The Rev Kev

      It is a problem if you are a good guy with a gun. A coupla years ago there was a mass shooting at a college and two students heard the shooting, one of whom were armed. They were getting ready to go after the shooter when they realized that the police were on the way. And if the police saw them with a gun, it would be for them a matter of shooting first and asking questions after. So instead they did the smart thing and exited, stage left.

      1. Wukchumni

        It isn’t as if good guys with guns wear identifying uniforms so as to differentiate them from run of the mill hand cannon rabble, and an assault gun tends to strike more fear into the coppers as it is an intimidating weapon, no matter who is cradling it in their arms.

        1. Oh

          If you watch Korean movies, you know who the bad guy is. He’s the one with the black trucker’s hat. Maybe that’s what we need here. And bad cops can wear black hats too! /s

      2. lordkoos

        Similarly, at the Las Vegas mass shooting during a country music concert in 2017, one of the bands performing had some guns on their bus, but realized they could not use them else they would be killed by police assuming they were the shooters. At least one of the band members became a vocal proponent of gun control after what he had witnessed that night.

        1. sd

          I know someone who was shot at that concert. He was licensed to conceal carry, the whole thing traumatized him.

    3. Dr. John Carpenter

      And there was this one on the 17th: A “good guy with a gun” stepped in to play citizen cop and hold shoplifting suspects at gunpoint (why this was necessary, I don’t know) and was killed by an off duty real cop for his troubles.

      This always seemed to me to be the fatal (pun intended) flaw of the “good guy with a gun” theory. In the heat of the moment, the cops aren’t going to know you are the good guy. And as trigger happy as they are, the odds aren’t in your favor.

      1. Teejay

        The 2nd flaw with the “good guy with a gun” theory is the difference between a gg w/a gun and a bg w/a gun can be as precarious as one intense emotion away.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            In his own mind, yes.

            And he may still be bitter over not being recognized as the hero he feels himself to be.

    4. Mao "No Landlords Now" Zedong

      In this instance it sounds like a good guy with a gun that stopped a bad guy with a gun was stopped by another badguy with a gun.

      We need more good guys with guns.

      1. marym

        The cops responding to the first call, the presumed cop-hater, the presumed good samaritan, and the cops responding to the second call would all have claimed they were the good guys with the gun.

      2. John Emerson

        The second cop was just following procedure. There’s no sane way to call him a bad guy. You seem to want a Somali free for all (lots of GHWG IN Somalia, stay off the street.)

    5. fresno dan

      Along the lines of how guns make everything better
      Fresno police say a 3-year-old boy has died after accidentally shooting himself in the head.
      The incident happened on Saturday morning at about 8:30 am at Clinton and Crystal in central Fresno, according to police.
      According to police, the child’s parents were at home when the tragedy took place. The gun is registered.
      Officers are providing aid and comfort to the family but are also investigating whether there was any criminal negligence in the way the gun involved was stored.
      They have recovered the pistol from the shooting and say so far, it appears the gun was not properly secured.
      A tragedy. I remember all the things I got into as a child – my parents had no clue. Don’t people remember how they acted as children? I wonder if the parents will continue to own guns…

      1. Yves Smith

        Toddlers are in the business of trying to kill themselves. I recall jumping down a whole bunch of stairs and sticking keys into electrical sockets.

    6. Procopius

      This scenario has been predicted ever since the first “It takes a good guy with a gun …” If you’re armed and a shooting erupts the stupidest thing you can do is pull your weapon. I’ve seen it flat stated in a dozen different places, the best you can hope for is that you’ll only be wounded. The stupid, it burns.

  4. John Emerson

    I can’t link but AP reports that at this point 99% of the deaths are among the unvaccinated. (Carla Johnson and Mike Stobbe). I’m sure that will be disputed but it seems unlikely that this statistic is pure fakery,

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      The numbers cited in this report seem reasonable. I.e. of the 18,000 covid deaths in May in the U.S., only 150 were fully vaccinated persons. 0.8% of the total, and very likely most of these were people with comorbidities. The portion of the population who would have been fully vaccinated (meant two weeks post second dose) at that time was heavily skewed towards elderly and at risk individuals.

    2. Lemmy Caution

      I don’t know if it’s fake, but the CDC itself just reported yesterday that roughly 4,100 people have been hospitalized or died with Covid breakthrough infections after vaccination.

      According to the CDC, of the 3,907 breakthrough cases resulting in hospitalization, 25% were asymptomatic — or were admitted to the hospital for other reasons than Covid.

      The number of breakthrough cases resulting in hospitalization could be increasing, according to the same article.

      The CDC says that from June 7-18 — a 12-day period — 270 new breakthrough cases resulted in hospitalization or death.

      The CDC goes on to say that from June 19-25 — a 7-day period — 386 new breakthrough cases resulted in hospitalization or death.

      The same article notes that Israel is reporting that 1/3 of new covid cases are in fully vaccinated people, driven by the Delta variant. It’s not clear from the article if that number includes all breakthrough cases, including asymptomatic and mild cases, or just hospitalizations or deaths. It’s bad news either way, since even breakthrough cases with asymptomatic or mild infections can spread the virus.

      One question this brings up is, are breakthrough cases the Trojan horse that will trigger a new wave of the pandemic?

      1. Nikkikat

        It doesn’t help that CDC told people they can take off their mask, when clearly it’s a risk. I went to get hair cut the other day. Appointment first thing when they opened.
        I wore a mask and asked my hair dresser to do the same,
        She had no problem and she and I are fully vaccinated.
        By the time I left 3 different people had come in maskless.
        All were vaccinated as they were long time clients. They were all over 75 years old. These older people that trust the CDC, most likely have no idea that there are breakthrough cases.

        1. Lemmy Caution

          Yes, I still wear a mask and avoid crowded, enclosed spaces as a rule.

          I went to a small diner the other day to pick up a carry out meal. The kind of long, skinny restaurant with booths along both walls and tables packed in the center — people sitting elbow to elbow, laughing, eating, talking. Only one of the seated diners had a mask on. The other 30 or 40 people were maskless.

          I think the CDC’s sounding the all clear for vaccinated people may be among the bigger mistakes of this whole cluster(family blog), and that’s saying something. I would love to be wrong.

          1. petal

            I was just out running errands this morning(West Lebanon, NH). Tons of out of state plates(I was shocked at how many), there were some of those giant motorhomes in the Walmart parking lot along with some smaller campers, lots of traffic(incl people dragging campers), Home Despot was packed to the gills. It was nuts.

            @Nikkikat, my mother is 74 and is a true believer in the vaccine, that it’s a 100% silver bullet that causes sterilising immunity. She worships the CDC, the current admin, & Fauci, and trusts Pharma all the way, plus massive case of TDS. I think they(CDC, admin, Fauci, Pharma) could tell her to jump off a bridge and she’d do it-that’s how extensive her trust is in them. They can do no wrong, and she thinks that the vaccines are the only way to defeat covid. I try to tell her other options and she won’t have it. Working in the field plus having an extensive graduate course transcript from an Ivy in that field including virology, I’ve tried to explain to and update her, inform her of the potential ramifications, and she just will not have it. She doesn’t believe anything I say. I’ve been involved in the sausage making(research then licensing and development of a few drugs with these huge Pharma companies you all read about in the news) for more than 10 years but because I’m challenging the narrative she’s been fed, she thinks I’m a right-wing nutjob that is making sh-t up and doesn’t know anything. Same with my old middle school principal. He’s the same age/generation as her.

            On another note, our local educational institution has dropped covid testing for vaccinated people down to once a month from once a week. So, if there’s no testing, the data on breakthrough cases will be garbage to non-existent. Just ignore it and it’s not there and everything’s working grand, right? I swear I’m in The Twilight Zone.

            1. Isotope_C14

              “I swear I’m in The Twilight Zone.”

              Probably because you are more of a scout mindset, ala Julia Galef. Soldier brains are way, way more common. Our tribal nature in the past probably were benefited by a roughly 1-5% of scout brains in a particular tribal group.

              Unfortunately those that can see the problems of the future are roundly ignored, as the leadership class is currently psychopath-soldier.

              Also unfortunate that the education system of western nations makes addle consumers.

              1. petal

                That looks like a very interesting read, thanks! I will try to find a copy! Great food for thought that might help me figure some things out.

              2. flora

                Unfortunately those that can see the problems of the future are roundly ignored, as the leadership class is currently psychopath-soldier.

                What Happens When Science & Truth Are Silenced? | Bret Weinstein, utube, 4 minutes.


                As someone said: when you mix science and politics what you get is politics.

                1. Isotope_C14

                  This has happened before, and it will happen again. The “scientists” get killed first in societal collapse. My suspicion is that the Fauci’s and Shi’s and Baric’s are so psycopathic in their own self adulation that they would rather have a new dark age than admit their own failings.

                  Great link by the way – this is why science is broken.

            2. Yves Smith

              My mother is a generation older and believes none of this. Got a vaccine, has close to innate distrust of authority and has long thought the news needs to be taken with a fistful of salt (both my parents were wired this way, so at least no dinner table fights over skeptical takes). Any takes from the more aged cohort?

              1. petal

                I don’t have any takes from the more aged cohort that I had known. Maybe others do? Sadly mine have passed away over the last few years. I don’t know what happened to my mother, and I’m not going to press further in hopes of figuring it out(as much as I’d like to know out of sheer curiosity). She used to be a skeptic, critical thinker, distrusted authority. My parents really tried to instill these things in us growing up, so I’m confused.

            1. jhg

              It is being reported on the CBC news website that the FDA is now warning about myocarditis or pericarditis as a possible side effect from both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Most probable following the second dose.
              I think IM Doc had a very detailed set of posts not long ago about this very thing.

              1. lordkoos

                I may have experienced pericarditis after my second shot, I’m still not sure what happened, but a week or two after my second shot I had an uncomfortable pain in my chest and felt very dizzy. The symptoms were far outside my normal health issues and were unlike anything I’d experienced previously. It scared me enough to visit the ER, but they found nothing amiss. I’ve talked to others that had odd symptoms following their second dose. I’m still waiting for the ER bill which even with medicare will probably be around $700…

              2. drumlin woodchuckles

                I hope I am too old to be facing the myocarditis risk from the Moderna I took.

        2. Harold

          Dr Michael Osterholm was very concerned about the breakthrough cases in his recent broadcast. He felt that the decision not to do genetic sequencing when tracing cases is a big mistake.

          1. Skunk

            Unless positive tests in fully vaccinated people may somehow be artifact of the vaccines themselves. In that case, you might want to do genetic sequencing. This is probably not what’s happening, but on the other hand, there must be a reason why they did not measure positive tests during the vaccine trials.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        I don’t know if the word “fake” is the right word. “By accident” is probably more accurate since, according to the article, the cdc stopped counting breakthroughs unless they wound up in the hospital for something on May 1.

        I was going to say that I’m not sure how they’re getting away with making any generalizations with regard to breakthrough infections until I read this:

        “You are just as likely to be killed by a meteorite as die from Covid after a vaccine,” Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at the University of California San Francisco, told CNBC.

        Do you remember the last time you heard of someone being killed by a “meteroite?” Yeah, me neither.

        1. Lemmy Caution

          I believe the CDC is very carefully tracking breakthrough cases of all types; they just prefer everyone to think they are not.

          In fact, the CDC slipped up in the article by mentioning the number of asymptomatic breakthrough cases among both those that were hospitalized and those that died:

          “So far, at least 750 fully vaccinated people have died after contracting Covid, but the CDC noted that 142 of those fatalities were asymptomatic or unrelated to Covid-19, according to data as of Monday that was released Friday.

          The CDC received 3,907 reports of people who have been hospitalized with breakthrough Covid infections, despite being fully vaccinated. Of those, more than 1,000 of those patients were asymptomatic or their hospitalizations weren’t related to Covid-19, the CDC said.”

          1. Yves Smith

            How could they when many are asymptomatic?

            The only way those cases are being found are PCR tests before going abroad or hospitalization. IM Doc has had some in his hospital and CDC rejected his attempt at reporting.

      3. Katiebird

        Matt Stoller just Tweeted “No” to the CDC’s request that vaccinated people continue to wear masks. In the comments he calls masking when vaccinated an extreme measure.

        I think this is all still very new and we should wear masks around people until we know a lot more.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            Matt Stoller does not show up in the list of personnel at the Open Markets Institute. I do believe he was affiliated with it at one time. What do you know about as a source of bias at the Open Markets Institute? I read Matt Stoller at his website and I haven’t paid much attention to the Open Markets Institute after finding the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

            I have read both of Barry Lynn’s books from almost two decades ago. He directed the New America Open Markets Institute. After writings critical of Google — who funded New America — he got canned. After that he found some other source of funding to start the Open Markets Institute, presumably independent of Google. I have not been able to figure out where the funding came from. Not long after the Open Markets Institute split from New America, Matt Stoller started his website. I got the feeling Stoller and the Open Markets Institute did not separate amicably, but it is just a feeling. I have not seen anything of interest coming out of the Open Markets Institute since the break with New America.

            I do not know what to make of Stoller’s tweet. If he had made that “No” as a comment at Naked Capitalism, I suspect it would have read “No\s” — as in “No kidding!”

            1. Temporarily Sane

              Stoller is also a rabid neocon when it comes to China. He thinks muh CPP is hell bent on taking over America blah blah etc.

              He’s an idiot who occasionally makes some common sense remarks about finance.

        1. enoughisenough

          Agree, the CDC should NEVER have dropped masking.

          BTW, they still are not saying to mask. This article is on the WHO, not the CDC.

        2. Jason Boxman

          I wish those with followings, like Matt, would think before espousing opinions outside their areas of particular expertise and credibility. The precautionary principle ought to apply here with regard to masking in doors.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            He often has interesting things to say, but don’t listen to him discuss China if you want to continue thinking of him as someone with credible, legitimate ideas.

            1. Keith Newman

              Lambert posted an interview with Stoller a few days ago. He is such a whackjob on China it’s hard to take him seriously about anything else. Some of his comments about the venality of the US elite were spot on but still…

            2. drumlin woodchuckles

              Perhaps it is our Free Trade environment which has allowed China to become a “problem”.

              Perhaps the solution is not China-aimed or China-directed. Perhaps the solution is Free Trade Abolition and Hard Protectionism Restoration in order to get as close as feasible to a United States of Autarkamerica.

              And only permit trade with countries that have equal or better standards and equal or higher costs than we have. That way, we free ourselves from the Race to the Bottom.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Decades ago when the Japanese would ship cars to Europe for example, the Japanese government would pay $600 to that Japanese car manufacturer as each car left the docks. So when that car reached Europe, it would be able to drop the selling price of that car by $600 and undercut locally manufactured vehicles. So when the French found out what was going on, they put on a $600 tax on that car as it arrived for sale in France. Problem solved.

                After reading that, I sometime wondered what should have happened was an equality tax. As an example. America use to manufacture TVs until they were undercut by TVs out of other countries. It would have been difficult to administer but what if a tax had been levied on those incoming TVs to bring them up to the price of American-manufactured TVs. With the price being equal, it would then be up to consumers to decide which was the better TV and which had the higher quality to buy. But neoliberalism would never tolerate such a concept.

                1. Tangled up in Texas

                  Those U.S. made tvs worked for 25-30 years. Allow foreign manufacturers to undercut U.S. market with products that cut product longevity by 75%. Problem solved.

                2. drumlin woodchuckles

                  I wonder if that was one of the kinds protection measures which the modern Free Trade Agreements were written to make “illegal”.

      4. John Emerson

        “Hospitalized or died”. The point is that few of the ones who died were vaccinated.

        I don’t believe that anyone has ever claimed that vaccination is 100% effective, but they have claimed the vaccinated people get milder cases, and this seems to me true.

        1. lordkoos

          The efficacy of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were known to be a little over 90%, so the breakthrough cases should not be a surprise.

          1. Lemmy Caution

            On paper 90% efficacy is one thing. In practice, it is quite another thing when you think about it. If 130,000,000 are fully vaccinated and 10%, or 13,000,000, experience breakthrough infections — and can spread the virus — then we probably should continue masking, social distancing and other precautionary measures.

        2. Lemmy Caution

          The fact that vaccinated people get milder cases, or are asymptomatic, is good for the individual person, but maybe not so good for the public at large. The point is vaccinated people can still get infected and still shed the virus. The fact that so many breakthrough cases don’t even know they are reinfected is the opposite of good news.

          1. Jason Boxman

            Worse, we don’t know whether long COVID is possible, or not, if infected after vaccination. I’ve only read one account at the NY Times so far, but since the CDC has taken a see-no-evil approach, I don’t know if we’ll ever know.

            We really ought to pursue a national elimination strategy, but clearly that ain’t in the cards.

            1. Pelham

              Yes! Key point re long Covid! This is getting more attention, but not nearly enough. For instance, I’ve encountered no graphic representations of the numbers or proportions. One story I did see said that 20% of people suffering even mild Covid ended up with long-term (possibly permanent?) disabling ailments.

              Long covid ought to be subject to the same degree of media scrutiny as outright deaths from the virus.

          2. Harold

            The point is to trace the emergence of potentially dangerous new strains through genetic sequencing, according to Michael Osterholm. He says this is not being done and he seems to be quite disappointed and alarmed. I am not very qualified to comment or elaborate but consider him someone worth paying attention to. As usual, we are being penny wise and pound foolish.

          3. John Emerson

            So if someone gets COVID and dies, it’s good for the general population since he won’t be a spreader. I suppose that that is true.

            1. Lemmy Caution

              I should have said if a vaccinated people get milder cases, or are symptomatic, that is good for the individual. If they fail to continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing and other precautionary measures, then that is bad for the general population.

      5. Anonymous in Michigan

        Reuters is reporting on the issue as well. “Booster may be needed for J&J shot as Delta variant spreads, some experts already taking them.”
        From the article:

        There is no substantial data showing how protective the J&J vaccine is against the new variant. However, UK studies show that two doses of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or AstraZeneca (AZN.L) vaccines are significantly more protective against the variant than one.

        Definitely looking like a high degree of precaution is advisable about public venues like retail, concerts, restaurants, even for those who are vaccinated. I’m definitely keeping my supply of masks nearby at all times and staying away from crowded, indoor places. I’ll continue as I have been before the CDC sounded the all clear. Becoming apparent that was not such a good idea.

      6. Skunk

        Possibly they have a very low viral load, and can’t easily transmit it. However, it’s possible the threshold could be lower for getting long COVID than it is to transmit the disease to someone else.

  5. fresno dan

    Social Media Success Is Driven by Hate Inquire
    Three researchers looked at Facebook and Twitter posts from both conservative and liberal media accounts and Members of Congress. What they found was that out of all of the factors studied, the biggest predictor of whether a post would go viral was whether it was about an outgroup (meaning, in this case, a conservative talking about a liberal or vice versa).
    People liked hearing about the outgroup — which often involves some form of dunk or trash talk — much more than they liked hearing about their ingroup
    I have friends who post on Facebook (who doesn’t). But it is wearying to keep up with it, so I don’t. Every once in a while, I look in on them as a zeitgeist watch.
    And I confirm that interaction increases when people get to talk about how bad other people are. One friend posts about her volunteer work at an animal shelter (fair number of responses to pictures) and about her interest in Chinese WWII veterans (crickets), but she is a left democrat, and dunking on opponents gets – oh, I don’t know, about a 100 to one increase in responses as opposed to supporting a democratic bill or candidate. And let us just say, no nuance allowed…

    1. LawnDart

      “I have friends on Facebook (who doesn’t)…”

      Who uses Facebook?

      Best to stick with real connections in the real world, this grasping onto dead or superficial relationships has a needy or sociopathic quality to it.

      1. lordkoos

        Especially in these COVID times it’s nice to be able to keep up with friends and relatives who are not nearby. Those are still “real connections”.

    2. Alfred

      FB is one of the places I used to stalk old high school “friends” who were full of themselves enough to post a true page about themselves. When it got so weird ten years ago or so, I stopped even going to the extended family page my brother had set up for everyone. It’s draining.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Covid 19 coronavirus: Singapore’s surprising new plan to ‘live with’ virus”

    Singapore’s new public health policy: ‘It’s just the flu, bro!’

  7. Terry Flynn

    Is anyone going to mention the British Elephant in the room? I’m no tin-foil hat person but I know full well how the press and govt work.

    The footage of the Health Secretary’s “activities” was almost certainly in Boris’s possession for a while. It got released to the Sun “newspaper” for publication on the slow news day (Friday). My FIRST thought was “whilst the Daily Mail and Sun readers and others are gossipping about this, what is the REAL story that is hitting the wires that they want to keep quiet about?” Do we know? I suspect it’s something awful to do with the delta (Indian) variant.

    However, I don’t see any “under the radar” bombshells (yet) – beyond the pronounced uptick in infections here (mostly linked to kids). There MUST be something nasty they’ve intended to start drip feeding us as of yesterday. The figures for the UK clearly show that kids are super-spreaders for the next (delta) wave and epidemiologists are worried that our ability to produce new vaccines can’t keep up with a coronavirus that is mutating pretty fast. (See Guardian – links always send me to skynet for ages so I try to just say what to search for).

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Perhaps. Another alternative is this is just a release reflecting New Labour’s polling, so it can’t be an issue in two years. I doubt the Tories care that much about Covid variants. So even if Keith is replaced by a fellow Blairite who has less of a habit of insulting voters, it’s not an issue closer to an election.

    2. ambrit

      I believe that, a) there is a fairly short list of websites that automatically trip the moderation wire, and b) there is a ‘number of links placed in a single comment’ limit that also trips the moderation wires.
      Those With Inside Information (TWIIs) correct me if I err. This has been my experience.

      Then, there are the Dreaded Internet Dragons who make common cause with Skynet to cull the comments herd, so that many are not heard.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Well Hancock has gone. Boris’s backing of him now looking like another mistake by our PM.

        w.r.t. skynet – unfortunately a family member had a PC full of spyware etc when I moved back here. Although I went through a long process of “detoxifying” our IP address with anti-spam databases etc, I have not been entirely successful. I’m aware of the “trip wires” you mention. Quite often they engage in the manner and frequency you mention. However, it has been annoying when a particularly time-consuming comment of mine has gone. I know, even though I’ve not always been the best-behaved commenter, that having a post of mine guest-mirrored on here shows there are no hard feelings. I apologise when I mess up. I just get frustrated at skynet and in the early days Yves herself explained to me its arbitrary nature and people’s understandable frustration.

        1. ambrit

          The exit of Hancock is making the present day Ministry set up look like a bagnio during an outbreak of gonorrhea. Lots of leaks and intense conversations, suggesting a subtle lack of political “hygiene.”

  8. Wukchumni

    Spiro Mounds: North America’s lost civilisation BBC

    The compatriots pushed their way through the debris into a Native American mound, amazed by what they saw. Inside lay unimaginable treasure. Hundreds of engraved conch shells, thousands of pearl and shell beads, copper breast plates, large human effigy pipes and piles of brightly coloured blankets and robes. Newspapers would later call the find an American “King Tut’s tomb”.

    Wow, i’d never heard of this, and what a tragedy it all got scattered to and fro, kind of reminds me of all the good stuff from Mesa Verde NP that ended up in a museum in Helsinki, thanks to a Swedish explorer who happened to be there in the 1890’s.

    1. ambrit

      Thank the Thunderbird for that intrepid Swedish explorer, else, much of the material from there would have disappeared into oblivion.
      I have read that over 90% of the mounds left by earlier cultures in North America have been destroyed for various “civilized” reasons. As the book often mentioned here, Charles Mann’s 1491, tells, the population of the Americas before contact with Europeans, was much higher than generally estimated.
      A pretty good website about prehistoric America, among other things is:

      1. ddt

        Here in open minded Bay Area, in Emeryville the local native burial grounds were converted to a high end strip mall with an AMC theater and mixed housing (putting apartments over the stores). They did keep a few of them for show in a patch between the parking and the theater, shops… Not like that sorta find would of kept back developers.

    2. Watt4Bob

      I read a story years ago about a group that bought the rights to plunder a large mound somewhere in the middle plains, late 1800s IIRC.

      Their contract gave them a limited time to plunder, and when their contract expired they dynamited the mound to assure that no further items would survive to impact the value of those they had extracted.

    3. begob

      In England, it was fairly common to have a Sunday outing after church for a barrow digging. The Victorian gentleman would get the local rustics to dig up an old skull, which he would then fondle while delivering a lecture to the assembled ladies on the phrenologically determined characteristics of this mysterious “Druid”: two quackeries for the price of a nice picnic,

    4. Maritimer

      If I dig up someone recently buried, it’s a crime. But, if I dig up someone, usually from another culture, that’s archeology and Science. And even better if the remains can be monetized by tourism, museums, touring shows, academic papers.

      It would seem that the folks who buried the stuff wanted it to remain buried but, who cares about them and their wishes, Science must march on.

  9. fresno dan
    Around 800 employees were laid off Friday from the Internal Revenue Service location at Butler & Peach in Southeast Fresno.
    The facility is one of many submission processing sites across the country and one of several set to close permanently as more people file their taxes online.
    Many, many years ago I worked there after leaving the Air Force. I worked about a year while going to college classes at night, and finally deciding that was gonna take far too long to get a degree. I worked as a clerk in the Criminal Investigations ?branch? I processed the tax protester letters and returns – it still brings a chuckle to remember the envelopes addressed to the Infernal Revenue Service
    Bernie Sisk was the dem who got the IRS service center built in Fresno. There was a big influx of Mormons because the people with experience who were brought in all came from the Salk Lake City IRS service center. 45 years later, it seems now like it was another planet…

    1. Wukchumni

      Those 800 jobs represented some of the only occupations with health & insurance benefits in the greater Fresno area as far as larger employers go, and kicking a city when it’s down is akin to stealing candy from a baby, entirely too easy and I won’t go there today, but maybe next week?

    2. jefemt

      My mom had a special sheet of stamps to attach to her quarterlies and returns, back in the day.
      They were purely decorative, no recognized value to the USPS, but now I imagine a numismatic treasure:

      A depiction of a turnip, with drops of blood dripping down.

      Miss mom a lot .

  10. Questa Nota

    Herr Doktor Kissinger, specialist in putting 10 kilograms of scheisse in a 5 kilogram sack. He cultivated an image of vague continental gravitas and enough politicians were swayed by that to start or continue misguided policies in which real people died. The world still reels from his follies.

    1. jefemt

      Many many fat bank accounts were developed! C’mon!

      If we didn’t have a foil, we would have to create one. That cynical lens applies in many situations and circumstances… the great rationalization to defend behaviors.

      Not quite as bleak as, ‘follow the money’, but it does ‘splain a lot…

      And unfortunately not the exclusive domain of US policy influencers, or unique to our era…

    2. Zagonostra

      Could there be a better validation that only the good die young. A long lived monster given the warm embrace of HRC and the neoliberal disorder that rules the day.

    3. Carolinian

      Kissinger may not have had much effect on Vietnam–a war started by other presidents–but in Dr. Evil terms Chile was a rip roaring success that kept the country under the capitalist thumb for decades. I also think the article is dissembling a bit to suggest that the Cold War with China was all over by the 1970s and the “only Nixon could go to China” was a phrase inexplicably made up for no reason.

      And of course Kissinger’s biggest success was the adoring press coverage. Ted Koppel was a big protege. Nixon became the fall guy and Kissinger their hero.

      1. RMO

        I choked a bit on this part of the article:

        “The key to Hanoi’s ultimate success in the war lay not in launching general offensives or even winning hearts and minds in South Vietnam; rather, it resided with its world relations campaign aimed at procuring the support of antiwar movements around the world.”

        Leaving aside the ridiculousness of what it states I can’t quite tell if this is supposed to inflate the importance of the anti-war movement or to blame the veteran spitting at, commie-hippies for losing the Vietnam war, which otherwise would have been totally won by the US.

        1. Milton

          Did you know.?…
          That the only documented case of being spat on was by a conservative, slightly-older lady, directed at a veteran for peace parade marcher.

          I’m sorry, I can’t find the link but I read it in a recent article. I swear I did.

          1. RMO

            I do remember finding that out back in the 90s. I recall I first heard about that in an interview with Ron Kovic where he mentioned that the negative actions he went through after he was discharged came from right wing, war supporters.

        1. Carolinian

          I vaguely remember the “scandal” which consisted of Kissinger taking credit for everything. Of course the reason the Nixon White House had a “plumbers” unit was to plug all those leaks that annoyed the image obsessed Kissinger. Even then all about the PR?

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Because Nixon called everyone else who wanted to go there a “communist” or a “communist appeaser”.

        In one of Herblock’s books I read about how Senator Magnuson was thinking of planning to go to China for some kind of hopeful visit and when Nixon found out he kept calling Magnuson communist communist appeaser soft-on-communism until Magnuson cancelled his hoped-for trip.

        Herblock theorised that Nixon did this to make sure no one would go to China before Nixon somehow worked himself into a position to be able to go there himself and grab all the credit.
        Whence the phrase ” only Nixon could go to China”. Because Nixon made sure of it.

    4. wilroncanada

      He was also a master of disguises, often wearing clothes and makeup to fool people into thinking he wasn’t there. It got so there was a standard question whenever he didn’t seem to show up: “I wonder who’s Kissinger now?”

    5. Maritimer

      Hank was on the Board of Theranos. BSer, BSed by Elizabeth Holmes. See book Bad Blood and Netflix docu. If you aren’t a cynic now……….

  11. jefemt

    Peddle power…. made me think of one of our local bike shops and one of the stickers they handed out to splatter on a tube-set of the town bike

    50 MPB*
    * Miles Per Burrito

    The photos of that cyclists thighs took me back to seeing Eric and Beth Heiden in the Red Zinger bike race series in Crowdorado, for their counter-seasonal conditioning to speed-skating. I honestly was astounded/ shaken at their thigh girth and size.

    Made Pele seem like a piker…

    Innocence lost

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Tiny quibble. I think you meant “pedal” power.

      “Peddle” power is what made bezos a billionaire a couple hundred times over.

    2. IMOR

      ‘Pedal Power’ downside: Soylent Green
      ‘Pedal Power’ upside: the happy third of Kim Stanley Robinson’s ‘Gold Coast’ trilogy
      At this point, my money’d be on Charlton Heston getting ridiculously sweaty to power the lights and fans, rather than any more positive outcome. Spur at this time and place would be grid failure due to decades long underinvestment and rapacious pseudo-regulation.

    3. a different chris

      >was astounded/ shaken at their thigh girth

      The Heidens – hmmm was he only biking to stay in shape or were the bikers, who have always led the pack (pun not intended, seem to be making a lot of them lately) in performance enhancement drugs also helping them in that way? Also that was the period my then-beloved Steelers were hitting the pharms pretty good.

      Interesting that he became a doctor. Ah well, I actually do hope he was clean.

    4. crittermom

      Thank you! I’m going to use that.

      I’ve been trying to come up with the perfect word to describe it since returning following nine years away.

      You nailed it!

    5. lordkoos

      When visiting Manly (near Sydney in Australia) 20 years ago we ran into an Olympic Triathlete who was there training on the beach. I haven’t seen thighs that large on a woman before or since.

  12. solarjay

    The Treehugger article has it all wrong, sorry. Lets start with all those AC/DC transformers. Most all the new ones are all solid state, no transformers in there, they are running close to 100% efficiency in their conversion.

    Then lets talk about LED’s. Most use again solid state ” transformers” at extremely high efficiency 99%+, so basically no loss. All the heat you feel with a LED is the LED bulb or COBB getting hot, LED’s are very efficient but they still have loss’s which are expressed as heat.

    But the real mistake is talking about ” houses should run on low voltage DC” and with the expressed statement that this is somehow more efficient. This is wrong and every few years just comes around again without anyone understanding why its not used. Here is why. Watts = volts/amps.
    Sorry a bit of math here, but it’s simple. Lets say you have a 120 watt light bulb and its plugged into your normal house ( 120vac): 120 watts= 120volts/X. Well X = 1 amp. 1 amp x 120volts = 120 watts.
    Now lets do low voltage which generally means 12v to most people, although the article doesn’t say, they could mean 5 volts.
    120 watts= 12 volts/X amps. 10 amps x 12volts = 120 watts.

    That means the wire now has to carry 10 times the current (amps) as the higher voltage. And it is at lower voltage which means more voltage drop, needing even larger wire. Voltage drop is kinda like a hose and sprinklers. If you have a short 10′ hose, the sprinkler spray is really big, if you use the same sprinkler and have 100′ of hose the sprinkler does less spray. This is loss due to friction, same in wires or hose.

    I could get you all really lost with wire sizing etc but what it all means is that low voltage (AC or DC its the same) you need larger wire not smaller wire to power the same things, because you have larger current ( amps) which require larger wire basically its 4x larger. Larger wire means more expensive wire, more mining and copper, its not less expense and more voltage drop, meaning more loss’s all trying to save maybe 1% at the LED? Not the right path towards energy efficiency or energy reduction

    1. HotFlash

      Well, maybe. But why do you need 150 watts for a freaking light bulb, anyway? If you are running LED’s, which, I maintain, everyone should, in a 12-volt system, the draw would be less, much less. OK, here is an example: I couldn’t find a 150 watt bulb equivalent to compare, only 100 equiv watt bulb for 12v DC, which came in at 10 watts. So I will be generous and say you’ll need two of them (which you probably wouldn’t) and double that to 20 watts. 20 watts= 12 volts/1.67 amps. 1.67 amps x 12volts = 20 watts. A big diff, and quite do-able, wire-wise. Hey, look what these guys are doing!

      1. a different chris

        Also, and Solar Jay should spend some more time with wire size – the savings in copper would be incredible with a separate* lighting circuit as per HotFlash. I can’t find a 1 amp circuit breaker (didn’t try that hard, admittedly) for my closed led-light only 120v circuit. But it’s sad that I had to use all that 14gauge wire for something best measured in milliamps.

        I’m wiring an 1800 sq ft house and brightly lighting every room doesn’t get me anywhere near 1800watts (15amps*120V)

        *sorry, haven’t read the article yet

        1. HotFlash

          different chris, good sources for this kind of stuff is RV and marine supply places. IIRC, you are in the US, so maybe these guys have what you need?

          srsly, converting 12 volt DC to 129 volt AC is *stupid*. Putting your solar into the grid is *stupid*.

    2. synoia

      There are NO DC Transformers. Inverters most probably. However Inverters are either inefficient and dissipate a lot of heat (Sine wave inverters) or produce massive RF interference (Square wave inverters).

      You are absolutely correct on Low Voltage wiring.

      Transformers and Inverters are Electrical Machines – all machines have limited lifetimes, including Protoplasm based machines.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        AFIK most DC/DC voltage conversion these days is accomplished with switching regulators, which are quite efficient although I don’t have specific numbers to offer.

        One thing to keep in mind is typical homes and small businesses will still have need of electric service to high power appliances (stoves, refrigerators, etc.) presently served mostly by 120VAC. I doubt that will change any time soon, if ever, because of the century and a quarter plus of installed base legacy. Going forward low voltage wiring is likely to gain traction only if it can serve all electrical needs in large sections of the building – bed rooms etc.

        See the link for a wonky discussion of switching regulators.

        1. Grumpy Engineer

          One thing to keep in mind is typical homes and small businesses will still have need of electric service to high power appliances (stoves, refrigerators, etc.) presently served mostly by 120VAC.

          Yep. The TreeHugger article errs by focusing on lower power devices like consumer electronics and LED light bulbs. Could I run my laptop (~10 watts) and a couple of 9-watt LED bulbs on pedal power? Sure. But my air-conditioner pulls 3000 watts and will run nearly continuously on a really not day. Same thing for heat pumps in the winter. [And if the “emergency heat” kicks in? 15000 watts. Hoo boy.]

          Will the “home of tomorrow run on pedal power?” No way.

      2. Howard Beale IV

        This sounds like the wars within the audiophile community as to which amplification method (leaving out whether we’re talking about valves or silicon, which is another debate in of itself) sounds better: Class A, Class AB, or Class D. Then again, audiophiles are a rather odd lot, claiming that you should only use ‘hospital-grade’ outlets to plug your gear into while your input into said outlet is at best 16 gague copper whilst spending many kilolodollars for cables connecting your ampifilers and your speakers.

    3. Krystyn Podgajski

      I just know that the power cord for my MacBook is much thinner than the cord from my old Thinkpad. So something seems off.

      I have a 100 W solar panel i use to charge a 288Wh, 12v lithium ion battery in my van set up. It will charge my MacBook Air M1 five times and that will last me about 10 days of use.

      So maybe it’s more about the increased energy efficiency of the devices. A 60 watt LED bulb only uses About .5 amps.

    4. Skip Intro

      I think the key point that was kind of obscured is that for DC, power lost is proportional to the square of the current, so using high-current, low-voltage DC over long distances loses a lot of energy (to heating wires).

      1. ambrit

        Tesla proved the superiority of AC electric service back during his “war” with Edison during the 1880s.
        DC is limited to the distance one can usefully transmit electricity for exactly the reason Skip Intro mentions above. (Edison never forgave Tesla for being right.)
        Edison actually electrified part of Manhattan with a DC system back in the 1880s.
        The Two:

      2. Glen

        Big scale electrical grids run into the same issues, and have developed some interesting DC technology. Even AC suffers power loss during long distance power transmission, and high voltage DC transmission addresses some of those issues. High voltage DC is used for long distance DC Interties of the electrical grid:

        Pacific DC Intertie

        High-voltage direct current

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          At grid EHV and UHV transmission levels, a two conductor DC line can deliver approximately the same level of power as a three phase/conductor AC line. However there are caveats. First, unless something has come onto the market in the last couple of years I haven’t heard about yet, there is no circuit breaker technology that will reliably interrupt the continuous high DC current at those voltage levels. AC breaker tech takes advantage of the fact the current wave passes through zero 120 times per second and uses various means of suppressing the arc that attempts to re-strike after the zero cross. Therefore the fault protection for a DC line must be done on the AC side of the converter stations. And because those converter stations aren’t cheap, the applicability of DC for transmission is limited to point-to-point situations farther apart than the break-even distance when the converter station costs are included and no other factors apply. The primary such factor is when the link is between two otherwise isolated grids, where mutual grid reliability support comes into play. I suspect given the events of this past February we’ll be seeing a number of these AC/DC/AC installations popping up in substations on the periphery of the ERCOT grid.

          1. Grumpy Engineer

            Yep. Interrupting DC is a bitch, particularly on long runs where there’s a significant amount of inductance associated with the loop area. If it’s anything like I’ve seen in the medium voltage world, they’ll interrupt current on the AC side and activate a free-wheeling path on the DC side through which the current can slowly decay.

            The only time HVDC really makes sense is when connecting two separate grids that aren’t phase-locked. Or doing really long runs where wave propagation delays would cause AC stability problems.

          2. King

            A handy link to an IEEE interview on this topic
            “Peter Fairley So the Interconnection Seams Study [Seams] was one of a suite of studies that got started in 2016 at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado, which is one of the national labs operated by the U.S. Department of Energy. And the premise of the Seams study was that the electronic converters sitting between the east and the west grids were getting old; they were built largely in the 70s; they are going to start to fail and need to be replaced.”

      3. solarjay

        Hi Skip, AC and DC at voltages and frequencies of what we use ( 480vac up to 1500vdc) all behave the exact same way in regards to your correct square of the current. Its called Ohm’s law.

        The main point I was trying to make was that using low voltage DC doesn’t get you any efficiency gains. Yes I used “transformer” and not switching power supply as to make it more understandable. To get lost in the obscure electrical nomenclature is getting side tracked.

        I was trying to explain that watts are watts. It doesn’t matter if they are at low voltage or high voltage. And that in running at low voltage you have to have bigger wire for the same watts than higher voltage.
        And, how exactly do you make the low voltage? Where is it coming from, high voltage, say 120v then you are having to lower it, where you now are putting in loss’s.

        Then we have the issue of LED’s themselves, which operate on 1.8-3.3vdc. How do you make that? Solar cells operate at .5v nominally, so you could make a custom panel to operate to 3.3v. Then you need to have a battery which operates at 3.3vdc. Kinda close to a lithium battery. OK so now you have a 3.3v solar panel and 3.3v LED. Or do you use some sort of power supply or transformer to step down 120vac to 3.3v? Where is the efficiency in that?

        A 10 watt LED is going to use 3 amps ( 3.3v/10 watts = 3 amps) operating at 3.3v. To run 3.3v at 3 amps for a single 10 watt LED going say 75′ will take 1/0 wire at 1.95% voltage drop. 1/0 wire has a copper diameter of about a pencil or 1/3 of an inch with the OD The weight is .3 pounds per foot about vs #14 wire which is .01# per foot. Yea that makes sense.

        That is the reason we use higher voltage. It doesn’t matter if its AC or DC.

        The UHVDC ( ultra high voltage DC, roughly 500,000 – 1,000,000 volts) transmission wires are DC because of something totally unrelated which is that when you push the electrons in one direction ( DC) they actually are more efficient at extremely high voltages because they don’t heat the wire as much. Vs AC which they go back and forth ( alternating current) actually heats up the wire more creating more loss’s.

        So no, we are not going to go to low voltage DC for our houses.

  13. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: Biden’s tandem remarks

    He does have a habit of lying. My guess is he simply is trying to please the room at hand. It wouldn’t be dissimilar to his campaign style. It’s why he didn’t get a win in the Mittens deal (does Mark Warner count as bipartisan?). Unlike a campaign where he won’t see the people at a random gym again, what he says as president matters. Biden probably knows about his deadline.

    Also did Mayo Pete get disappeared? I suspect he’s mostly useless and has a skill set that amounts to getting old people to really like him. With infrastructure on the table, he’s curiously been absent for a guy who loves the camera. Did people catch on a small town mayor in a county board of supervisors government isn’t really that big of a job?

    1. lambert strether

      I think Mayo Pete will come in handy when it’s to sell ogf our infrastructure to private equity

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Indiana has been a pioneer in this area. The toll roads in the northern part of the state (Pete’s area) were sold to an Australian group who, I believe resold them to a Saudi Arabian firm. Now that wasn’t his call, that was Governor Mitch Daniels. But as far back as the 80s our government has been trying to sell off infrastructure to anyone who will buy. The results have been “mixed”, to be generous.

          1. Charger01

            Matt Taibbi had a very good section in Griftopia about Chicago parking and public/private infrastructure sales

            1. Pelham

              At the risk of boring everyone with the usual question, why is stuff like this legal? It seems like theft of public property by elected officials.

              1. jsn

                This is what “deregulation” during “Morning in America” was all about.

                “Deregulation” is so much easier to sell than “decriminalization” which raises questions like,”why is this criminal?”

                Which, of course too late, we all now know the answer to: because it allows the rich to legally steal and expropriate. If you pointed this out at the time you were a communist, at least that’s what I got called.

    2. The Historian

      Does anyone really think Biden will risk losing his signature piece of bipartisan legislation to appease the lefties in Congress with that reconciliation bill for human infrastructure? If so, I have a bridge to sell you!

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        The “lefties” in congress???

        Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw cold water on the notion that the House of Representatives would take up the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure deal Thursday — unless the Senate also passed the Democrats’ reconciliation bill.

        “Let me be really clear on this,” she began, “We will not take up a bill in the House until the Senate passes the bipartisan bill and a reconciliation bill. If there is no bipartisan bill, then we’ll just go when the Senate passes a reconciliation bill.

        If it was a prize fight…..

      2. tegnost

        I’m putting in a request for a public private partnership so the big guy can buy me the bridge, are there any rent opportunities, say tolls or a drawbridge, that I can put in to sweeten the deal?

        1. ambrit

          You could develop the underside of the bridge as housing for Trolls. Don’t forget the Broadband services!

        2. Tom Stone

          Repurpose any tollbooths into Starbucks and use ALPR’s for billing, or a cell phone app that would automatically pay the toll in any chosen crypto currency..

    3. Mike

      RE: Biden’s “tandem” remarks

      Two points –
      1) Biden does not lie- he brags, and this is a part of his bragging.
      2) Could it be that he does not want to pass an infrastructure bill, and this is his way of scuttling it? Maybe the banks in Delaware didn’t Ok it, ya know. Just asking’…

      1. Alfred

        If it turns out badly, which it will no matter which way it goes, then he, like all the Dems before him, can say he tried, and blame it on someone else. None of those people now will ever take responsiblity for any bad results to The People. They are like “leaves in the wind,” blown about by their donor class.

      2. Tom Stone

        Joe Biden most certainly does lie.
        My favorite is “The NAACP has endorsed me every time I ran for office”.
        The NAACP does not and never has endorsed any candidates.

      3. The Rev Kev

        Biden? Lying? Is the Pope a Catholic? From what I have seen, Biden and the truth have only a nodding acquaintance. And plagiarism is also a form of lying. In fact, one time when he was outed after doing this, he talked to his staff and told them not to worry, that the only thing that they had to fear was fear itself.

      4. drumlin woodchuckles

        When the SDS ( Subhuman Democrat Subhumans) in the Senate put ” asset recycling” into the Infrastructure Bill, they turned it into a single-minded single-purpose Yeltsin Privatization Bill.

        In which case, anything and anyone who can kill this bill is doing a good thing, even if for bad reasons.

        Giving away all the public infrastructure assets we already own to the Private Upper Class Yeltsinizers is too high a price to pay for a crappy pittance of ” infrastructure spending”, which will anyway be strictly and only our own extorted and shaken-down revenue which we would be forced to pay to drive on the roads we already own because we already bought them over the decades.

        Any SDS ( Subhuman Democrat Subhuman) which supports this bill should be removed from office in its next election at the very least.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Lost memoir paints revered philosopher John Locke as ‘vain, lazy and pompous’”

    I prefer my philosophers to be like Benjamin Franklin – lazy and smart. Franklin wrote in his autobiography that when he was young and starting in life, he always let town people seeing him rush about and being in a hurry, even if he was just on his way home to have a feed and a snooze. The towns people would see this and think to themselves that this young Franklin must be very industrious so they would give him some of their business.

    1. QuicksilverMessenger

      I thought of the quote that Lambert would sometimes offer which I have copied in my notes because it’s so good (from a German Army General I think):
      “I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent — their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy — they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent — he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief”

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘fresno dan
        June 26, 2021 at 5:02 pm’

        Maybe he should have thought about John Cage’s adage that ‘In the dark, all cats are black.’

          1. The Rev Kev

            Quite true that but that saying has always appealed to me as a reminder to not get hung up on external appearances too much. Some guys get hung up too up about having a partner that is taller than them or one that earns more than them. The fact that attitudes like that are ingrained into our culture is just a reminder to me of how immature our culture actually is.

  15. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Ivermectin: Can a Drug Be “Right-Wing”? TK News. Matt Taibbi.

    The Oxford text also says “there is little evidence from large-scale randomized controlled trials to demonstrate that it can speed up recovery from the illness or reduce hospital admission.”…

    First off, I highly recommend the Joe Rogan podcast with Weinstein and Kory if you can find it in its entirety. I listened to it on Spotify. Only clips are available on you tube. It’s Rogan #1671.

    In it, Weinstein uses a crime scene analogy with regard to the demand for “large-scale randomized controlled trials”: The best evidence in the commission of a crime is a video in which the perpetrators’ faces can be seen. The video is the gold standard. What if that’s the only evidence that was acceptable in establishing guilt? All manner of crimes could be committed without consequence if the only acceptable “evidence” was a definitive video. Which is why other, less “gold standard” evidence is considered acceptable and used routinely.

    Weinstein also makes the point that Ivermectin is not only a covid treatment, but also an effective prophylactic. Preventing covid infection is critical to preventing the emergence of variants and, if widely taken particularly by those who are vaccine hesitant, could quickly achieve an R0 of less than 1, effectively eradicating the disease. Time is of the essence, however.

    I have no idea whether this is true or not, but, as Weinstein stresses, Ivermectin is so safe and inexpensive that there’s absolutely no reason NOT to try it, and the “strange” behavior of “experts” who refuse to consider the possibilities and even vigorously suppress the information makes their motives highly suspect.

    In the end, Rogan suggests a solution which has occurred to me as well. We should just let big pharma change an atom or two in Ivermectin, claim they invented a new drug, patent it and sell it for an inflated price. Maybe they could make it “time release.” It seems like the only way we’ll move them out of the way so that we can really get this thing under control.

    1. Carolinian

      The Taibbi is only an excerpt but perhaps he will release a longer version as the topic is v. important.

      Which is to say it appears the medical establishment are abusing their power in literally life of death situations. One almost suspects their only ethical standard is often “will we get sued or not?”

    2. Watt4Bob

      Over thirty years ago, when driving taxi, I picked up a talkative drunk who told me he was a “drug designer“.

      He went on to explain that his job involved using proprietary software to model molecules with shapes similar to existing drugs in the off chance that these ‘models’ which his employers patented, would later be marketed by some other organization who his employer could then take to court for patent infringement.

    3. SB

      “In the end, Rogan suggests a solution which has occurred to me as well. We should just let big pharma change an atom or two in Ivermectin, claim they invented a new drug, patent it and sell it for an inflated price.”

      Sounds like Fauci’s recent announcement that the U.S. will spend 3.2 billion on an ‘anitviral pill’! Also Merck, holder of the expired patent on ivermectin, has a pill in phase 3 development that might be an ivermectin clone.

      1. Mantid

        Thanks Lee. Even in Odysee it seems to be hard to find and people have to keep re-uploading. Lots of powerful people and corporations don’t want “people” to listen to certain things.

    4. fresno dan

      Katniss Everdeen
      June 26, 2021 at 10:15 am
      It really does seem to me that we have gotten to the point that a person dying of thirst couldn’t be given water because there is no proof that water works as a treatment…or more accurately, no one who sells treatments could make any money off water…

  16. Andrew Watts

    RE: What is Behind Gen. Mark Milley’s Righteous Race Sermon? Look to the New Domestic War on Terror.

    The U.S. military is a racially diverse institution and — just as is true for the CIA and FBI — endorsing modern-day theories of racial and gender diversity can be important for workplace cohesion and inspiring confidence in leadership.

    Not really true. The officer corps of the US military has an institutional defect in that they aren’t representative of the American population as a whole. The enlisted ranks are predominantly non-white and/or recruited from the ranks of the proles and that could be a problem for cohesion as well.

    During the nationwide riots after the murder of George Floyd there was public calls by certain civilian leaders and institutions to invoke the Insurrection Act and have the military quell the protests/riots. What didn’t occur to the Trumpzilla, Tom Cotton, or the NY Times editorial board is that the predominately non-white enlisted ranks of the US military might not follow their white officers orders considering the circumstances. It’s even possible they could’ve joined the rioters. Since the people in favor of invoking the Insurrection Act were mostly a product of the upper classes they immediately expect their orders to their social inferiors will be followed.

    I wonder if the Joint Chiefs were struggling with similar thoughts and considering the possibilities during that time. As for “white rage” being the cause of the events of Jan 6th and the prior lockdown protests NC has made the case that it was primarily class-based. Any left-winger knows that when capital is in crisis the petty bourgeoisie is mowed down like a daisy cutter.

    1. Carolinian

      In From Here to Eternity Deborah Kerr urges her lover Burt Lancaster–a sergeant–to apply for officer training school which he treats as a fate almost worse than giving her up. James Jones wrote about the US Army from experience. Perhaps the class gulf between the commissioned and their underlings is not so great as it once was, but one doubts it as society in general seems to have become if anything more aristocratic.

      Thought this Greenwald column a bit of a pearl clutcher. Duffel Blog may have a better read on our vaunted officer corps.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>I wonder if the Joint Chiefs were struggling with similar thoughts and considering the possibilities during that time. As for “white rage” being the cause of the events of Jan 6th and the prior lockdown protests NC has made the case that it was primarily class-based. Any left-winger knows that when capital is in crisis the petty bourgeoisie is mowed down like a daisy cutter.

        Those numbers for the enlisted are roughly the same for the nation, but I also think the working class and the probably the poor as well are over-represented; I wonder if those generals are thinking of what happened when East Germany’s leader Erich Honecker ordered the paratroopers to shot the protesters in Leipzig? They didn’t, Honecker fell, and it was the start of the fall of East Germany.

        I do think that The military does have too much acceptance, but only it can only keep it, if it perceived as being not the violent tool of the elites, does mean the generals have to be very, very careful, does it not?

        People often think that it is only brute power that decides or determines a governing system’s power. Having guns does help but almost always it is its accepted legitimacy by members of a society, which gives authority, and ultimately the power to a governing system from the family to clans, bands, tribes, cities, all the way to an empire. Democracies, oligarchies, or dictatorships, it is ultimately the same path to real power.

        Just how much acceptance does the United States, or any of its individual states or municipalities, have today at any level of government? I am sure that the petite bourgeoisie or what remains of it, probably does generally support the system. However, as the American nation is bifurcating into a massive base of the poor and the working class with a small ruling oligarchy, that part of society is disappearing. I think that many of the more observant of the small bourgeoisie (business owners and local elites) class can see that our esteemed ruling credentialed class in both parties have trashed the house and are setting what remains on fire because reasons. How many, who knows?

        These discussions are interesting, but people are either missing or too focused on different aspects of the American system. What makes understanding how our country works is that it is a weird hybrid third system of a soviet style system and of a Latin American one. I can talk about and compare the current American and the old Soviet nomenklatura, apparatchiks, glitterati and the literati, their classes, economies, militaries, and governments, as well as the malaise, incompetence, and corruption that destroyed the latter is destroying the former; however, the United States is also changing into a Latin American kind of nation, with a small ruling class, a larger servant class of businesses that support them, a small slice of a middle class, and the 90% that is everyone else. The poor. A very corrupt oligarchy, a ruthless, often very violent military police state, and an extractive or rentier economy with mining, farming, or finance as the source of wealth and economy. All the needed products like washing machines are imported. Yet, we still have the appearance of a functioning, democratic, Western nation-state; It is like taking a pie and a cake and mashing them together to form our current “system” while insisting it is just a pie or just a cake.

        I do think that the remnants of the old American economy is devoured to keep the apparatchiks, glitterati, literati shilling for the current American regime. It is being done more effectively than the Soviets ever did. Once the husk is completely devoured, it will come to the security state and its death squads, which are still being used overseas, being used in the States to keep the regime in power. That is when it becomes interesting. And despite the oncoming horror, I remain fascinated.

    2. VietnamVet

      The last US people’s army revolted in Vietnam. This is why Richard Nixon withdrew, ended the draft lottery, and switched to a volunteer army. When I was in half century ago, it was a middle-class institution, the big difference was the officers believed the crap and the draftees didn’t want to be the last person to die for a mistake. Today, it is a mercenary force, the difference being between the enlisted working class with no other jobs available and the revolving door professional officers. The bottom line is that they fight for money.

      I am convinced this was why the working class in America was trashed. They aren’t needed anymore. I not sure if General Mark Milley knows this or not; the gravy train only lasts as long as the grunts stay at their officer’s side. This may be why the National Guard was late on January 6th and the DC Police reinforcements were the ones who regained control of the Capitol. Couldn’t risk the changing of sides.

      This is the astonishing part of the meritocracy’s failure to control the coronavirus pandemic and two decades of unwinnable wars. Sooner or later, it will be obvious to all that the current establishment is corrupt, incompetent, and unnecessary.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “As Delta variant sweeps the West, Asia faces a choice: stick to ‘zero-Covid’ approach or learn to live with it ”

    We are definitely not the people that we use to be. Can you imagine what would have happened if we had the same attitudes to these viruses but back in the 1950s?

    ‘Hey, according to these figures, between 1950 and 1953 there were approximately 119,000 cases of paralytic polio in the United States with 6,600 deaths.’

    ‘Meh. What can you do? We’ll just have to learn to live with this virus. And invest in iron lung manufacturers.’

    1. RMO

      Yep, learn to live with it… and sometimes die from it. I’m reminded of the strategy Zap Brannigan deployed against a horde of rampaging Killbots: he knew that Killbots had a hard-coded kill limit of 999,999 so he simply sent waves and waves of his own men at them until every Killbot reached that limit and shut down.

      Truly a leader for our times. When his men asked why they were expected to fight and die for a planet of no value whatsoever to Earth, he said: “’Don’t ask me: it’s you who’ll be dying!”

  18. Verifyfirst

    Earth is trapping twice as much heat as it did in 2005

    “The trends we found were quite alarming in a sense.”

    “In a sense”??!! In what sense were they NOT alarming??!! Although I am in no way qualified to interpret this finding, I did find it interesting this is the first time I have heard of these Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments. I wonder how far back they have measurements….

    1. Alfred

      about journalism and writing. this is from Slate regarding “the Miami building collapse is a warning”:

      Ultimately, what upsets me most about the collapse is the immediate death, the count of which is sure to grow. But I also am disturbed that my brain wrapped around this horrific event by jumping a few steps further into the future, into a world where building collapses are just another thing that journalists cautiously acknowledge as catastrophes that might be exacerbated by climate change, but we end up just dealing with them, just like we have learned to deal with the heat waves and the fires and the droughts and the hurricanes. The water is already boiling. We’re just getting more accustomed to treating the burn

      Nobody can say anything is true, it’s too raw.

      1. lordkoos

        The “this is just the way it is now” syndrome.

        Reminds me of listening to a panel on an NPR news show discussing the loss of American jobs, when one commentator dismissively remarked “We always knew there would be winners and losers with globalization” as if it was fated to occur. That was when I began to find listening to NPR insufferable.

    2. ambrit

      The CERES website, as part of NASA, says that it has been making such observations since 1997. Before that, I’ll guess that it’s back to old fashioned meteorology.
      Although very simple in design, the CERES website does have an intriguing set of ‘animated’ maps showing three of the measurements they use: downward radiation, reflected shortwave radiation, and outgoing longwave radiation.

  19. Alfred

    I bit, and looked at the Mad Max Christian festival. Hmmm. I just looked at the Redneck Rave in Kentucky a couple days ago. It’s at the NY Post if anyone is interested. There’s quite an interesting contrast in the aerial views, and… all the other stuff.

    1. John Emerson

      These Christians were Roma (Gypsies) and it may be that the problems were exaggerated by people who just didn’t want them around.

      There are a million Roma in the US but we don’t have the hatred for them that most of Europe has. Too many groups ahead of them in line.

  20. JEHR

    Re: The G7 Vaccine Charade– Charade? It seems to me that all those G7 countries are acting as if they were billionaires and had earned their own money and did not need to share vaccines with any other country. And my own country, Canada, which I always (mistakenly) thought was a level above other countries is showing itself to be worse by taking vaccine from those supplies which are supposed to go to poorer countries.

    Furthermore, I also have found out that our (Canadian) ancestors adopted genocidal policies for indigenous peoples and put children (innocent children!) in residential schools where they were mistreated, undernourished, sometimes beaten and many of their small bodies were buried in the grounds around the Churches that were supposed to “teach” them how to be civilized. Good God! Where does this all end. I thought Canada was different but it is not. Human nature has contaminated us all. At the end of my life, I find myself totally despondent at only now learning about my country’s past horrors inflicted upon other people. See Duncan Campbell Scott.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      “Human nature has contaminated us all.”

      There’s no need to ascribe to “human nature” what is instead a product of culture. Canada itself is a product of the western European “Conquistador Culture,” so it shouldn’t be surprising when Canadians or Americans or Brits or French act is if some god bestowed upon them a right to dominate everything on this planet, including the Earth itself–and that’s regardless of whether a modern-day “conquistador” believes in a god or not.

      “Human nature” strongly implies that that violent, arrogant behavior is unchangeable. In effect, it’s a cop-out. Change the worldview, change the behavior. Therein resides realistic hope.

      1. Duck1

        One statement I found interesting lately was whenever the Europeans steal anything they say they discovered it.

      2. JEHR

        Henry, I would reply that culture is a product of human nature too. I have lived long enough to know that human nature has many different aspects and most human beings act on many of these whether they be “good” or “bad.” I stick with my characterization and add yours to it.

  21. ambrit

    Ah, I just mentioned the ever hungry Internet Dragons as a source for all those disappearing comments above in a reply to Terry Flynn. Now, a separate comment I made a few minutes ago does exactly that, disappears. Anti-Providence strikes again!
    Since I do not ascribe agency to electronic systems, I will not assume that Divine Providence has moved against my febrile wonderings. Indeed, the association of Divine anything with Electronica seems more than a little blasphemous.
    So, the short version of the “lost” missive is that I observed on a platform I use for e-mail that the ads resolve well before the actual e-mails. Now I really know what I am to the big electronics empires; a piece of data to be exploited.
    Well, here goes a second time. [Crosses fingers and toes.]

  22. Glen

    The NY Times is reporting that the collapsed building in Miami had cracked columns and crumbling concrete:

    Engineer Warned of ‘Major Structural Damage’ at Florida Condo Complex

    I’m not going to provide a link – it is on the front page of the website.

    But this could have exposed the rebar in the concrete which can be a big problem:

    Does Rebar Rust?

    1. CanCyn

      This tragedy reminds me of the collapse of a mall in the small northern Ontario town, Elliot Lake. My parents lived in Elliot Lake for decades, I spent my teen years there. While not on the ocean, the collapse was nonetheless caused by corrosive salt water damage that accumulated over time. The building had roof top parking which was cleared and salted in the winter just the way roads are. The leaks allowed the salty water to corrode the concrete and its metal supports to the point where the roof collapsed one day. Two people were killed, 19 injured and many more lost their livelihoods as the building was deemed unrepairable and condemned after the collapse. Also similarly to the Miami building, many people knew or should have known how bad the problem was. It was the subject of a lengthy inquiry and report. I too am very much afraid of the shoulder shrugging, ‘that’s the way it is’ attitude of so many about these VERY preventable ‘accidents’. Shoulder shrugging, I might add, by the same people who had hair on fire reactions to Trump’s stupid Tweets. Like another commenter today, I also feel like I am living in the Twilight Zone.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The collapse of apartment buildings in ancient Rome through shoddy building practices was accepted as a part of life. But that was then and this is now. Can you imagine a future where building collapses are more common through the action of climate change? And will we be told, like with the present virus, that we will just have to learn to live with these building collapses?

  23. Jason Boxman

    Having grown up in Florida, I can appreciate the severity of heat and humidity. The heatwave in the Pacific Northwest sounds horrid. The story doesn’t mention humidity, though. With high humidity, even lower temperatures are dangerous:

    “Wet-bulb temperatures above 86°F (30°C) are rare in the U.S. As wet bulb temperatures approach 95°F, even the healthiest people, relaxing in the shade without heavy clothing and with an endless supply of water, cannot prevent themselves from overheating,” Horton said. “Even at lower wet-bulb temperatures, like 79°F (26°C), those with pre-existing health conditions (like respiratory, cardiovascular, and renal disease), the elderly, as well as those performing strenuous outdoor labor and athletic activities, are at a high risk.”

    Stay cool out there!

    1. QuicksilverMessenger

      We’re in Seattle and right now it’s 99º with humidity at 30%, so pretty dry. My place is staying relatively bearable but I created a room and bed with chairs in the garage where tonight we will need blankets to sleep in there. But hotter tomorrow and Monday so we’ll see! What is going on?

  24. Jeff W

    “Hard to see how both could be true.”

    I’m not getting that. They both obviously are true, at least from a plain reading of the articles—Pfizer says its COVID vaccine is highly effective against Delta variant and, meanwhile, Israeli health officials are empowered to quarantine “anyone deemed to have been exposed to an especially infectious variant of COVID-19, even if they were previously vaccinated”—so vaccinated Israelis exposed to the Delta variant might need to be quarantined (rightly or wrongly, immunologically speaking) based on orders from health officials—that possibility exists.

      1. Lemmy Caution

        What the article leaves out is that fully vaccinated people that become reinfected can also spread the virus. That’s kind of a biggie.

        1. Lee

          “As of May 1, 2021, CDC transitioned from monitoring all reported vaccine breakthrough cases to focus on identifying and investigating only hospitalized or fatal cases due to any cause. This shift will help maximize the quality of the data collected on cases of greatest clinical and public health importance.”

          On the one hand, Pfizer assures us there’s little to worry about:

          Pfizer says COVID vaccine is highly effective against Delta variant

          But then in the body of the article:

          ‘”We continue to synthesize viruses in our labs and with collaborators as we see new variants emerge so we can conduct testing to obtain the most information we can about our vaccine’s impact on neutralisation of emerging strains,” a Pfizer spokesperson said in an email to Reuters.’

          I hope this isn’t an example of how public/private partnerships coordinate their efforts, and I sure hope Pfizer’s lab isn’t leaky.

  25. Temporarily Sane

    Re: the Travelers rowdy religious festival in the UK

    Was surprised to learn that 1/3 of Europe’s Gypsies have converted from Catholicism to evangelical Pentecostalism. That factoid was more interesting than the non-story of a summer party that got a bit rowdy.

  26. dcblogger

    Biden Will Enact Rule Proposed by Trump That Enables Big Pharma to Price Gouge

    Under the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, which governs the transfer of federally-funded research to the private sector, the government retains “march-in rights” that allow it to seize the patents for taxpayer-funded drugs and other inventions when “action is necessary to alleviate health and safety needs which are not being reasonably satisfied” or when they are not being “made available to the public under reasonable terms” and license them to responsible third parties to provide competition. It’s one of the main ways the executive branch could address excessive drug prices without needing action from Congress, which has been deadlocked on drug pricing reform measures for years.

    1. ambrit

      Nothing will fundamentally change is not correct. If anything, the Biden Administration is making ‘things’ worse for ‘ordinary’ Americans.
      I am afraid that even in my more cynical moments I did not expect this high a level of betrayal.
      If America doesn’t get a new Lyndon Johnson or even an Eisenhower, it will eventually end up with a Neo Mussolini, (if it’s lucky.)
      The breeding grounds for support of “extreme” ideologies are in place in America.

      1. jo6pac

        I’m glad you bought up mussolini, Amerika has been slow getting there and I do believe we have finally made it. They do their crimes out in the open now:-(

    1. The Rev Kev

      You wonder if Boris was told to do this by Biden at the G7 meeting recently as a way to get in his good books. There was a Dutch warship with that British warship but it took care to remain outside that zone and may have been there to offer support – or pick up survivors. The US warship was at the far end of the Black Sea pretending it had no idea what was going on.

  27. dcblogger

    yet another sign of our imploding political system
    Texas House Democrats and legislative staffers take Gov. Greg Abbott to court for defunding Legislature
    The governor had vowed to veto the Legislature’s funding in the final hours of the regular legislative session in May after House Democrats broke quorum and left the chamber to prevent passage of a controversial elections bill.

    1. Gareth

      This is quite normal for Texas with a redistricting year followed by an election year. Democrats fled the state to prevent a quorum in the previous two redistricting cycles. They are starting sooner that usual with the voting bill, but you can be certain they will deny a quorum again when redistricting comes to the floor.

      The problem from the Republican point of view is that Democrats depriving them of a quorum leads to the Speaker having to threaten to arrest them to compel their attendance if they set foot in the state, which has poor optics. Abbot is innovating here by vetoing their pay for the next two years. The state legislature can override any line item veto easily; governors in Texas are extremely weak compared to those in other states. However, Democrats will have to be in attendance to provide a quorum to do so, which means a quorum will be present to pass the voting bill. All the Speaker has to do is order the chamber doors locked once the quorum is present.

      None of the representatives are particularly harmed by the lack of pay. Last I checked, they were only getting around $8,000 for the two year period. Almost all of them are lawyers and doctors, and they aren’t there for the paycheck. The people who will suffer are the Capitol staff, who will also go without pay. That’s a problem in a city as expensive as Austin has become. They would likely get back pay if there is a protracted fight about this, but they might miss payments, etc. in the mean time.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Any Texas Democratic legislators who are being actually harmed by not getting paid should be supported with donations from hundreds of thousands of sympathetic supporters from all over America.

        These Texas Democrats are actually trying to do something ( well . . . prevent something). Whereas the national level Democrats are trying to fake the pose of doing something in order to advance the Upper Class agenda in various sneaky ways. So money given to the National Democrats is money worse-than-wasted, whereas that same money given to the Texas Democrat Refuseniks is money invested in keeping political soldiers still on the battlefield and still fighting.

  28. fresno dan
    The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that Facebook can be held liable for sex traffickers who use the social media platform to recruit and prey on children. The court ruled in favor of three Houston civil actions involving teenage sex trafficking victims. All three victims said they met their traffickers through Facebook’s messaging functions.
    Texas Supreme Court: The majority wrote, “We do not understand Section 230 to ‘create a lawless no-man’s-land on the Internet’ in which states are powerless to impose liability on websites that knowingly or intentionally participate in the evil of online human trafficking.”
    “Holding internet platforms accountable for the words or actions of their users is one thing, and the federal precedent uniformly dictates that Section 230 does not allow it,” the opinion said. “Holding internet platforms accountable for their own misdeeds is quite another thing. This is particularly the case for human trafficking.”
    The justices explained that Congress recently amended Section 230 to add the possibility of civil liability for websites that violate state and federal human-trafficking laws. They said under the amended law states may protect residents from internet companies that knowingly or intentionally participate in human trafficking through their action or inaction.

  29. Temporarily Sane

    Four decades of ‘our’ elites implementing their neoliberal agenda while lying to the people and acting against their interests has sown widespread mistrust and suspicion of government and its institutions.

    This, combined with the overwhelming amount of information available on the internet, has locked a whole lot of people into information silos and convinced them that their POV is The Truth and that everyone who doesn’t see things as they do is a hopelessly brainwashed fool and/or conspiracy theorist.

    For-profit media egging on the factions and trolling them for clicks exacerbates the divisions and makes it almost inevitable that no matter what measures government implements, a significant chunk of the population will, rightly or wrongly, steadfastly refuse to comply.

    Even the idea of masking up in the midst of a pandemic, hardly a radical or draconian measure, quickly became a contentious political issue, thanks to already high levels of paranoid mistrust and hyper-individualistic selfishness among parts of the population. (I think this would have been the case even if the government and health officials had stuck to one story re: masking.)

    For a while the pandemic ‘skeptics’/anti-maskers couldn’t decide whether it was an orchestrated hoax, “just a flu”, or a bioweapon but thankfully the media and the CIA slightly modified the neocon “lab leak theory” and solved that little problem by conveniently projecting focus onto an external enemy both “conservatives” and “liberals” can feel good about blaming.

    Also telling is how many anti-maskers and covid ‘skeptics’ have gone all in on ivermectin outrage on the basis that it “saves lives” but, uh, so does wearing masks and keeping 6” apart which they very adamantly refused to do. Why the contradictory stances? Because the right-wing media and blogosphere picked up the ivermectin story and ran with it. Consistency and coherence are so 2003.

    (I am all for ivermectin being taken seriously as a covid treatment…my point is that it isn’t logic and “science” that drives public opinions around this issue.)

    When a society, a civilization even, can’t get its sh!t together and competently handle a comparatively mild pandemic due to ideologically mandated incompetence at the government level (i.e. neoliberalism), a media dedicated not to informing but to propagandizing and trolling for clicks (more neoliberalism), a global “health” system that puts big pharma profits before saving lives (ditto) and a citizenry that can’t agree anymore on what constitutes basic reality…well, this isn’t a minor problem that will eventually solve itself.

    The 60s and 70s had its share of unrest and upheaval but back then Western civilization was still ascending, the middle-class was at its peak etc. etc. and people generally expected things to get better. Plus there was cool music, free love, freaky drugs and a vibrant political counterculture.

    Today all that is gone. People are generally pessimistic (or annoyingly Panglossian) about the future, new music is (mostly) crap, the economy has been trashed, resources are running out, the climate is cooking off and the once mighty West is in denial about its decline, among other things, and is desperately flailing about and trying to shore up its legitimacy by antagonizing not just one, but two, nuclear armed powers in a new Cold War.

    This is what decline looks like. It’s going to be a long and unpleasant process punctuated by sharp moments of crises, both natural and political. Imagine a massive earthquake on the west coast or Mike Pompeo as POTUS…

    But humans are extremely adaptive creatures (I am reminded of Viktor Frankl’s accounts of his years in the Auschwitz camp and how the daily horrors eventually became banal and almost boring) and we will slog on regardless of what comes down the pike.

    But it’s early days and we’re still in pre-Jackpot mode so the “best” is yet to come. For now, 21st century life as a mashup of the 20th century’s greatest dystopian science fiction novels is still “fresh” enough to be intellectually intriguing and stimulating in a “hmm, I wonder what’s going to happen next?” kind of way.

    1. ian

      Temporarily Sane: Thanks for this comment. This is why I visit Naked Capitalism (nearly) every day. It seems the concept of the “boiling frog” is percolating amongst the commentariat. I’ve always thought of humans as “rational creatures” in that we will will do anything and provide a rationalization of why after action. Be well, fellow human “temporarily sane” :)

  30. jr

    Good Gravy, I’m trying to start a WordPress site. Am I alone is saying that it is one of the worst interfaces I’ve ever seen on a platform? Am I crazy? Are those questions related?

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Try a ‘disable Gutenberg’ plugin, give you a less complex interface than the block editor.

  31. kareninca

    I keep reading articles about shortages of workers for badly paid jobs that require contact with the public. I remember reading early in the epidemic that huge numbers of undocumented people from Mexico had decided to go back; that they felt that it was too dangerous to stay in the U.S. and that their health prospects would be better back in Mexico, and also their jobs were disappearing due to the hospitality industry being shut down. I haven’t seen their departure mentioned as a possible reason why there are far fewer people available for these jobs. Really I haven’t seen many articles at all in the past year about undocumented people, other than the ones presently at the border trying to get in.

    The more I think about how crazy it is to “open up” just as Delta is about to come through like a hurricane, the more convinced I am that TPTB have decided that it is so infectious that this is the strain that everyone is going to catch no matter what is done. I am working on the assumption that I’ll catch it; I’m doing all I can to not catch it (other than being vaccinated; that is out until the turn of the year), but the odds seem bad. Here’s hoping Ivermectin, zinc (in moderation), aspirin, quercetin, melatonin, D3 and C will mean it’s not a big deal.

    I’m also thinking that perhaps the U.S. decided early on that they would not bother to get good data since they could just look at the data from other countries; that that would save a lot of time and money and effort. I almost don’t mind since I wouldn’t have a lot of trust in the U.S. data.

    1. tegnost

      reading early in the epidemic that huge numbers of undocumented people from Mexico had decided to go back; that they felt that it was too dangerous to stay in the U.S. and that their health prospects would be better back in Mexico,
      I guess now we know why cali wants to pay the back rent

  32. sharron

    Are there any pre-existing conditions that would be a risk for a person using ivermectin?

    1. Yves Smith

      We do not give medical advice. Anyone who responds will have their comment removed and is at risk of being blacklisted.

      You should get a prescription drug ONLY via a Rx from your MD, who can answer this question for you.

  33. drumlin woodchuckles

    About Myanmar’s NUG and who would win total civil war . . .

    My purely layman’s feeling is that the Tatmadaw government will win any total civil war, because the RussiaGov and the ChinaGov will give the Tatmadaw government total all out military support. Whereas the West ( and maybe India) would give the NUGs and the rebels just enough grudging support to keep them barely alive as irritants to the Tatmadaws and hopefully generate some bad publicity and bad TV and video footage for the ChinaGov and RussiaGov.

    But the ChinaGov and RussiaGov are prepared to live with bad publicity in return for total victory. The best the NUGs can hope for is to make the Tatmadaw victory into a Pyrrhic one. And as a mere layman, the only way I can think of for the NUGs to do that is if the NUGs could totally burn down and destroy every single physical asset, no matter how big or how small, from which Russia and especially China could ever possibly derive any economic or natural resource benefit. The NUGs would have to make Burma poorer than South Sudan and more destroyed than an abandoned strip mine in order to make the China-Russia-Tatmadaw victory not worth having won, because there would be zero fruits from that victory for decades into the future.

    Are the NUGs really prepared to do that? Burn down and destroy the entire country to prevent the Tatmadaws from having anything worth having? If not, then the Tatmadaw-Russia-China victory will eventually be total.

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