Links 6/7/2021

Thinking Like an Octopus Counterpunch

Did Paying a Ransom for a Stolen Magritte Painting Inadvertently Fund Terrorism? Vanity Fair

The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months Guardian. A great read, albeit from 2020.

Sinkholes, Collapsing Canal Walls, Rickety Bridges: Amsterdam Is Crumbling NYT (furzy)

Acropolis makeover stirs Greek antiquity row France 24

Venice residents in environmental protest against first post-Covid cruise ship BBC

Most popular Websites Visual Capitalist (furzy)

The world saw a shark-pocalypse 19 million years ago, and we don’t know why Ars Technica

United Airlines Orders 15 Supersonic Jets Treehugger

Sri Lankans face up to ‘unmeasurable cost’ of cargo ship disaster Guardian

Oral histories from the California wildfires Believer Magazine

Peru Picks President and Mexican Voters Give Verdict on AMLO Bloomberg

Germany’s CDU gets boost with surprise victory Deutsche Welle

‘Dirty deals’ between UK banks and fossil fuel companies surged in 2020, data shows Independent


A Global Search for Vaccines Fuels a Different Kind of Tourism Afar

Spain to welcome global travelers from next week, but they must have been vaccinated 14 days previously El Pais

Covid ‘is over’ in Norway, health chief declares FT

Jab lines stretch for ‘MILES’ as Britons wait up to three hours for vaccine after NHS offers shots to over 18s in urgent race to beat Indian variant and SAVE June 21 – as Covid cases rise 65% to 5,341 while deaths drop from six to four Daily Mail

Biden’s Covid-19 Response Chief Zients Faces Next Task: Vaccinating the World WSJ

Coronavirus: Philippines stops nurses from working abroad; Vietnam PM wants eased restrictions South China Morning Post


Attacks on Fauci grow more intense, personal and conspiratorial Politico

Covid-19 Testing Could Be a Viable Long-Term Business Bet WSJ

Biden Administration

Manchin to vote against election overhaul bill The Hill

Right-Wing Disinformation Campaigns Are Targeting State Climate Initiatives Truthout

States rebound from bleak forecasts to pass record budgets AP

Class Warfare

Fixing the Cheats That Create Income Inequality Capital & Main

Jeff Bezos’ Fake News in the Newspaper He Really Owns FAIR

If it’s not enhanced unemployment benefits, why are people turning down jobs? MarketWatch

Global G7 deal may let Amazon off hook on tax, say experts Guardian

New York State to Revolutionize Antitrust BIG. Matt Stoller.

Patent Monopolies and Inequality: When We Give Rich People Money, Why Does Inequality Surprise Us? Common Dreams. Dean Baker.

Trump Transition

Five questions posed by Facebook’s two-year ban on Donald Trump MIT Technology Review

Trump reemerges on the trail and plays the hits of yore Politico

Back on stage, Trump airs conspiracies and flirts with 2024 run France 24


Positivity drive? Modi government’s Covid response is a lesson on how not to communicate in a crisis Scroll

How Reduced Scrutiny Of Polluting Units Could Lead To Industrial Disasters IndiaSpend

‘Emerging superpower’ to ‘failed state’: How perceptions of India changed drastically under Modi Scroll

How Second Wave Is Decimating Rural Economy IndiaSpend

Widening the Food Security Net: Lessons From Delhi’s 2020 Lockdown The Wire

In Lakshadweep, an unspoken crisis calls into question the fevered dreams of development Scroll

DGHS drops Ivermectin, Doxycycline from Covid-19 treatment; ICMR rules unchanged India Today


Pakistan Taliban on a renewed warpath in Balochistan Asia Times

Forget the peace process – the focus now should be on restoring civil rights to Palestinians Independent, Patrick Cockburn.

Bullets in the Mail London Review of Books


Six village administrators in Kalay resign as regime officials are targeted in deadly attacks Myanmar Now

New Cold War

Media Converges On The Narrative That UFOs May Be Russian/Chinese Threat Caitlin Johnstone

Sports Desk

Pause, rewind, play: When Spain mastered tiki-taka football to unleash an era of global dominance Scroll

The Mayweather-Paul Boxing Spectacle Monetizes Our Vices American Conservative

England supporters boo their own players taking a knee AGAIN as fans defy wishes of Gareth Southgate and voice their disapproval of Three Lions’ stance against racism before Romania friendly Daily Mail

The BBC Is Under Pressure as Boris Johnson Tightens the Screws Der Spiegel

Antidote du Jour (via):

Are yesterday Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Toshiro_Mifune

    Most popular Websites

    That’s interesting. Yahoo, a site long ago written off by a large portion of tech writers/commenters is still the #11 site

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I noticed that too – I can just assume its because of peoples old yahoo mail accounts, it still works quite well as a backup email (I use it for registering on places that I don’t want to know my main email).

      Its also worth pointing out that the main Yahoo news site is, so far as I know, still quite popular in non-English speaking countries as they translate the daily news quite well and accurately. A friend of mine used to work in Yahoo Germany/Austria and she told me (a few years ago) that going by the clicks it still ranks highly as peoples first ‘check the news and my email’ morning coffee site in Germany and Austria.

      1. Toshiro_Mifune

        I’m one of those people with a Yahoo email account. Ive had it to 20+ years now. Its one of the only email addresses most of my friends know without having to look at their contacts.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Same here. And because of having the email, I usually check the yahoo home page a couple time a day too. It’s my quick check of what’s going on in the world, at least superficially, then to NC for the real scoop.

          1. bob

            I wish they still had comments

            I find it very funny that all major news sites got rid of comments within the same time period, presumably to stop the russians? Or Trump? Dunno. I’m sure the CIA will let us know when the plebes can start talking again

            1. lyman alpha blob

              I didn’t realize they had turned off comments but just checked and they’re gone.

              I’m kind of ambivalent about it in yahoo’s case I guess. Every so often I’d just dip my toe into the comment section there and come out feeling like I needed a complete body sterilization and maybe a brain transplant. The comment section seemed to be about 50% adbots and 49% frothing at the mouth lunatics with a smattering of sensible comments from people who probably forgot what site they were on and posted them there by mistake.

              Good a time as any to thank NC for its great commentariat and the yeoman’s work the moderators do here to keep us all playing nice.

            2. GoldenState

              The San Francisco Chronicle had a lively and interesting comment section. Far better than the articles written by yokel SJW interns from Kansas which created such a massive backlash and repudiation to their ideology that they just had to turn it off.

              Most notably, their slavish adulation of Kamala Harris who keeps getting tarred by those who know her history locally.

              Like most MSM, the Chronicle has been reduced to real estate promos passing as news, data mining, and interesting tourist trivia items for the techies discovering their adulthood who have mostly gone back to Mom’s basement in other states.

              1. Wukchumni

                It isn’t unusual for a SF Chronicle story to be up online for weeks at a time until the powers that be replace it with another nothingburger story destined to last a fortnight.

                You see the same tendency with the San Diego Union Tribune.

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        Yahoo Auctions is the eBay of Japan. I think that may be the only country it’s still operating in, but eBay never had a chance there. I don’t know how much that accounts for it’s size, but most people don’t even realize it’s still active over there (if they knew of it at all.)

      3. lordkoos

        I look at everyday for stock market indices, as you can create a virtual portfolio and keep track of markets. I also use it as a “junk” email account.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Thinking Like an Octopus Counterpunch

    I’ve had plenty of calamari and takoyaki balls in my time, but the more I read about the octopus the more I think that one day eating them will be seen as something akin to eating dolphins or chimpanzees. They really are remarkable animals.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      I’ve felt some guilt about the octopus sushi and lobster dinners, but then I start wondering what the lobster or octopus would do if were a 10th of their size and scuttling along the sea floor….

      If you haven’t already read it, you might like Peter Godfrey-Smith’s book Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness. He also has a follow up book out recently that I’m in the middle of – Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind.

      Read those along with forester Peter Wohlebben’s The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate―Discoveries from A Secret World and it will be hard to eat anything guilt free again.

      1. ambrit

        The ‘guilt’ of consuming other life forms is why we have ritual.
        Don’t let the ‘Perfect’ be the enemy of the ‘Good’ tasting.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          What’s the old saw – If god didn’t want us to eat animals, then why did he make them so delicious?

          In all seriousness, I’ve given it some thought and figure I will stop eating them completely when they stop eating each other. In the meantime, moderation. Just checked my garden and there are six types of beans that just sprouted and are all coming up quite nicely.

      2. LifelongLib

        FWIW I’ve seen some no kill diets. They’re not vegetarian because IIRC they allow milk and eggs i.e. things that don’t kill the organism, and prohibit many plant foods that do. Supposedly it was Jainists that pioneered this.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I know people who only consume roadkill meat.

          My personal credo is that I will only eat what I would personally kill. That basically reduces me to fish, crustaceans and noisy dogs that chase cyclists.

      3. Yves Smith

        Octopus are smart. I’ve seen no evidence that lobsters are more that giant sea cockroaches that also are fond of getting into fights with their fellow lobsters. My uncle got a PhD in lobsters at the age of 74 (technically marine biology but his thesis was on lobsters) so I can speak with pretend derived authority (also due to lobstermen in my gene pool).

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Wasn’t implying that lobsters are necessarily as smart as octopus (although they can quite easily escape from lobster traps, contrary to popular belief that they get stuck once they crawl in), just that they would have no qualms about eating me if they could!

          Hope you recover soon and sending some good thoughts your way!

  3. John Siman

    Here’s the most useful sentence in Caitlin’s Johnstone’s new essay “Media Converges On The Narrative That UFOs May Be Russian/Chinese Threat”: “This UFOs-as-Chinese/Russian-threat narrative,” she writes, “has quickly been picked up and thrust into mainstream orthodoxy by all the major branches of the mass media, from Fox News to Reuters to The Guardian to Today to the BBC to USA Today. Whenever you see the imperial media converge to this extent upon a single narrative, that’s the Official Narrative of the empire.”

    I like her phrases “mainstream orthodoxy” and “Official Narrative” because they concisely convey the way our corporate media manufacture consent now: They do so by presenting government propaganda as dogma, and, by extension, any questioning of such dogma — let alone dissent from it — as a post-Christian form of heresy.

    1. The S

      In a corporate state, corporate news IS state propaganda. The lead up to the Iraq war and David Barstow’s 2008 Pulitzer story about corporate news & the Pentagon’s collusion to sell said war with coordinated lies showed no US for-profit news was trustworthy. Watching/reading ABC, CNN, NBC, FOX, NPR, NYT, Bloomberg, or CBS is just asking for lies. If they’d lie to kill a million people, there’s no lie they won’t tell. For-profit news will always ultimately put money over truth.

    2. David

      It’s typical of Johnstone, I’m afraid, who frequently makes elementary factual mistakes in her articles, to start from the wrong end of the argument, to focus on the “Official Narrative” rather than the subject-matter. This is a well-known trope these days, and is frequently used to discredit, for example, the idea that Covid is a serious problem (“Official Narrative!”), or that vaccines are an important counter-measure (“Official narrative!”). (You can find this any day on the Automatic Earth, where Illargi been singing this song for a while now). And of course there’s the old idea that Al Qaeda never destroyed the Twin Towers (“Official Narrative!”). The reality is that if you come across an explanation or a point of view you don’t like, it’s easy, in these post-modernist days where there are no “facts” anymore, to dismiss it as the “Official Narrative”. Except, of course, that if you actually agree with the proposition (that Apollo 11 went to the Moon, for example) you silently drop the “Official Narrative” criticism, and condemn all those who question the “Official Narrative” as conspiracy theorists. After all, it’s well known that I am a thoughtful person who seriously evaluates ideas, you are a bit inclined to rush to judgement, whereas he/she is a conspiracy theorist.

      In this case, Johnstone, who could profitably have spent a few minutes with Wikipedia, confuses advanced military aircraft (that may or may not exist) with drones (that do). If you read what Panetta says, he’s not ruling out advanced technology of some kind, but the only technology he specifically mentions is drones, and a number of other commentators have made the same point. Basically, countries with ocean-going fleets like to track and hoover up information about other nations’ navies, including their electronics. On the other hand, if you make it too obvious what you’re doing, the opposition will just switch the electronics off. Submarines and aircraft have historically been used for these missions, but they can be detected and can’t remain for long periods of time. In the Cold War, the Soviet Union famously made use of modified trawlers to gather such information, since their resources at sea were less than the US (which also had its own fleet). It is not surprising or shocking to find that Russia and China have wanted to continue this surveillance and are looking for new ways to do so. Drones are cheap and simple to operate, can be launched from some distance, linger on station for long periods of time, and be packed full of sensors. In the circumstances, I’d be surprised if the Russians, for example, hadn’t considered such a cheap and simple way of gathering intelligence. Calm down everybody.

      There is no “Official Narrative” because there’s no agreement on what the problem is, or even if there is a problem. There’s a bunch of talking heads contradicting each other and journalists writing mostly with the level of expertise you expect from today’s media. The closest I can find to a consensus is that something is going on, that a lot of it (see many technical discussions on Metabunk) is optical illusion, but that some of it may also be low-tech information gathering with drones. I’m horrified.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yup. I really like Johnson, but she is so sure of her ideological ground on every topic that everything collapses into her own narrative, even when the facts don’t really match up with the reality.

        I’ve no idea why UFO’s have become a ‘thing’, but I doubt there is any particular conspiracy going on. More likely, things were leaking out into the public domain and various parts of the government just preferred to be in front of, rather than behind, the story, and maybe saw it as advantageous to have people taking about UFO’s rather than, say, how useless the F-35 is.

        As you say, the Russians in particular have been investing for a long time in all sorts of cheap and cheerful ways to confuse the more advanced electronic systems of the west, so its not unlikely that the UFO’s represent some sort of radar/IR spoofing technology – not necessarily some sort of super fast drone. Using our old friend Occam’s Razor, its far more likely that any given UFO for which natural explanations/fakery can be excluded is likely to be some sort of cutting edge secret tech rather than little green men.

        Its not impossible that one motivation for releasing the information is to hope that someone out there in the public domain may work out what is going on if it is some sort of Russian/Chinese technology. It wouldn’t be the first time that the defence industry has calculated that crowd sourcing nerds may be a good way to solve hard problems.

        Just as one example of the above, it was archeologists who worked out why Typhoons in Gulf War I were returning with sand in their intakes (one or two crashed for unknown reasons). It was archaeologists who had been using the fact that radar easily penetrates dry sand to investigate long abandoned cities who pointed out that the Typhoons radars were not picking up the 60 metre high dunes of northern Saudi Arabia, and were following instead the solid ground underneath. This doesn’t sound a problem, until you realise that the Typhoons were designed to follow the contours at 60 metres above ground level….

        1. The Rev Kev

          David & PlutoniumKun. Sure Caitlin has her own views and they are not always correct but that is not the problem. The real problem, when you stop and think about it, is that the main stream media has become so unreliable for information which was supposed to be kinda their stock in trade. So if you want solid information on a controversial topic, who do you go to? CNN? The Washington Post? The BBC? MSNBC? The New York Times? Or do you find yourself gravitating to NC and people like Glenn Greenwald, Aaron Mate, Matt Taibbi – and Caitlin Johnstone. And before you answer that question, watch a professional CNN journalist at work talking to Jen Psaki-

          Great story about those typhoons, PK. When those pilots found out, I bet that you could have heard a pin drop.

          1. David

            I don’t think Johnstone would claim to be a journalist: she’s a blogger with very strong opinions on every issue, expressed in colourful and often violent language. She’s not a source of objective information, and doesn’t claim to be. There are many such bloggers on the internet, and whether you like their writing or not depends on whether you agree with their opinions or not, rather than the content, or the the persuasive quality of the argument. If you don’t agree with Johnstone to start with, you are highly unlikely to change your opinion after reading her. She reminds me of the baby Marxists I encountered as a student, absolutely sure that they had the correct opinion on any subject, and screaming into submission anyone who disagreed with them. I gave up reading her some time ago, because, if I often broadly sympathised with her arguments, I don’t like being shouted at, and, where I could judge, she wasn’t especially well informed. In this, she differs from people like Matt Taibbi and, in a rather different way, Freddie de Boer, who I read with pleasure, because they write on subjects where they have expertise, with passion, but in a way that might convince those who are undecided. You’re also never quite sure what they are going to say. Johnstone, by contrast, is entirely predictable, and inevitably retails the standard Counter-Establishment line on everything. Like Friedman, you could train an AI to write her articles. I entirely agree about the horror of the MSM – and thank God for NC- but as has often been said, the answer to bias is not more bias.

            Someone further down suggested that she’s on a mission to destroy authoritarianism and imperialism. If I were either of those concepts, I wouldn’t be too worried: Johnstone must alienate so many people that each of them are strengthened as a result. If she really wanted to convince people, she wouldn’t use such violent language or make so many personal attacks. It’s not clever to describe Panetta talking about possible Russian or Chinese drones as “a tyrannical, thuggish imperialist cold warrior” unless you have given up any hope of convincing the undecided and are just playing to the gallery.

      2. hunkerdown

        Johnstone’s business as a left-libertarian is destroying authoritarianism and imperialism. She believes, rightly in my opinion, that botoxing the empire’s nervous system is the best way to make space to destroy not only this empire, but to severely cripple the ability of the next one to cohere. Bourgeois liberal narratives do not have a right to exist no matter how much they say they do. So, they won’t.

      3. pjay

        I’ve been reading Johnstone since she started this gig, and I find the claim that she “frequently makes elementary mistakes in her articles” to be extremely unfair. On the contrary, unlike the “conspiracy theorists” you try to link her with, she is usually careful about making factual statements about topics on which the “facts” are legitimately contested or confused, which includes all of your examples: COVID, 9/11, and UFOs (I don’t recall her writing about the moon landing, but lumping her with the deniers here is a nice touch). The rest of your comment is strange as well. Where in this does she confuse military aircraft with drones? In fact, how does your technical discussion even relate to Johnstone’s commentary? She is not engaging in technical speculation at all. Rather, her argument is about the media converging on a “narrative” – which is *absolutely true*.

        Of course there are “Official Narratives”. There was one about COVID’s origins — it is natural, and any lab origin theory is conspriatorial bunk. That’s what all the major media told us. Then one day that changed, for whatever reason, about 180 degrees. Same with UFOs. Same with stories about Russia, China, etc. Sure some groups use the “Official Narrative” label to cast doubt illegitimately. But these days, whenever there is an obvious “Official Narrative” being manufactured, I think doubt and skepticism is the most rational reaction until the facts are in. In a world where mainstream media coverage makes it increasingly difficult to know the “truth” about *anything*, Johnstone’s approach is the sane one.

        1. JTMcPhee

          I always remember former CIA director William Casey’s dictum:
          “ We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” And Operation Mockingbird, (strike the word “alleged” from the article, and the “Cultural Cold War,” also a real thing,

          Amazing how many folks out here niggle at the fairly well demonstrated reality of manufactured consent and Bernaysian bullsh!ttery. One might wonder at their motives and affinities…

        2. Jeremy Grimm

          Yes, thank you Pjay. Ignoring the “Official Narrative” quibble I am troubled by the amount of bandwidth UFOs use up at a time when there are so many other official narratives and silences that deserve greater consideration. UFOs seem a quaint 1950s hysteria. The Fermi paradox and the distances between stars long ago settled the issue for me. The only mystery about UFOs that puzzles me is why the Government wrapped them in secrecy.

          The Biden administration is opaque and it serves a very weak tea to quench the thirst for news. The use of “Official Narrative” as a pejorative, not unlike pejorative “well-known trope” are both deserved discredits. The problem is that it has become so very difficult to discover the untailored truth that neither well-known tropes nor official narratives tell. As time passes I grow worried about what the left-hand is doing while movements of the right-hand hold our attentions. I feel we may be standing on the brink of many terrible consequences.

    3. Mikel

      “They do so by presenting government propaganda as dogma”
      Gov’t propaganda = corporate propaganda.

      Change is not possible until it is ADMITTED that there isn’t a thing the “government” is doing that isn’t according to a corporate agenda.
      What hasn’t been outsourced? Hard to think of anything.

    4. Shleep

      What’s that old Soviet-era joke? “We don’t read Pravda to get the news. We read it to know what we’re expected to believe.”

      Substitute any of our mainstream media/state-funded media (ABC (Aus.), BBC, CBC, NPR, etc…) for “Pravda”, then drop by NC/NC Comments: you’ll be well on your way to discerning between Truthiness and fact.

      Johnstone, Greenwald, and to a lesser extent Taibbi, have been making this case in so many words for quite some time now.

      1. ArvidMartensen

        The other old joke went something like
        There’s no truth in Pravda(=News in Russian) and there’s no news in Izvestia (= Truth in Russian)

  4. The Rev Kev

    “The Secret Footage of the N.R.A. Chief’s Botched Elephant Hunt”

    Maybe one of the guides could have suggested afterwards for Wayne LaPierre and his wife to go visit the hippopotamus watering hole by the river and maybe get themselves a kill. They should also be told that the best way to get a kill shot is from a shallow canoe.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I think the hippos would appreciate his rifle, it would make a good toothpick for post repast hygiene.

    2. John Siman

      Yeah, but I fear the commissars of Official Wokeism at The New Yorker a whole lot more than I fear drooling septuagenarian gun fetishists like Wayne LaPierre.

      1. CanCyn

        John S – writing after my response about elephant stomping …I happen to hate wokesterism as much as any NC reader but I din’t think ‘fear’ has anything to do with this. Unless meant in the fear and loathing sense of the word. People like Wayne Lapierre are to be feared not because they might shoot us one day but because they represent the epitome of the belief in primacy of the human species over all other species and as such are big contribution to wake up in the real sense to the impending/ongoing/coming destruction of planet earth. Of course the New Yorker is yet another MSM publication doling out the empire’s Official Narrative as you so aptly put it in your 7:31am post. I would venture that most NC readers don’t need this pointed out to them and I am staying firmly in my ‘kill those useless slimes with fire if necessary’ angry snit.

        1. John Siman

          The killing of wonderful magical intelligent animals like elephants should be illegal everywhere in the world and *severely* punished, yes, and Wayne LaPierre deserves to spend time in prison, yes, but please don’t indulge publicly in murderous rhetoric even though you are privately — and justifiably — “staying firmly,” as you say, “in [a] kill those useless slimes with fire if necessary’ angry snit.”

          And now perhaps you can better see why I fear the elite Wokeism exemplified by The New Yorker: For by it justifiable moral outrage gets souped up into preening moral superiority and that into hysterical endorsements of revenge and destruction and murder.

          P.S. My friend A____ in Karnataka State, India tells me she puts hot pepper sauce on the fences surrounding her farm to prevent roaming wild elephants from coming in and trampling her crops. Apparently they *really* don’t like spicey!

    3. CanCyn

      That tweet triggered (pun intended and word used in the old pre-snowflake sense) the most ‘want to commit violence’ reaction to any bit of news that I have ever experienced. We are currently having a gypsy moth crisis where I live. They’re in small caterpillar stage and even though I know how destructive they are, I am squeamish and reluctant to kill them… but I would pay, I tell you pay, to see those elephant killing f*ckers stomped to death by elephants – particularly the family of the one they killed.
      Thanks, NC, for ruining my day – I already knew that Wayne Lapierre is a first class evil person, this is not news I can use in any way, shape or form.

      1. jefemt

        Those of his ilk have been swarming and buying up land and politicians in my home state.
        Emulating local lifestyle and actions that have no cultural or organic relevance in their Johnny-come- lately ‘buy the experience’ me-too worlds.
        Hate is a strong word, we should never hate, yada yada. OK, I despise with every fiber

        Sanctity of life: they are probably anti-choice?!

        Gaaad. As a catholic pal used to quote from one of his Spaniard Jesuit high school teachers,

        “Ohhhh the thins you see when you don’ have your gun! “

      2. Avalon Sparks

        “I would pay, I tell you pay, to see those elephant killing f*ckers stomped to death by elephants – particularly the family of the one they killed.”

        Same 100%
        They are psychopaths!

      3. Nikkikat

        I agree wholeheartedly CanCyn. I would pay to see it and finish him off if the elephants didn’t.

    4. Ping

      Arizona, where I live, is Safari Club International’s base. Located in Tucson’s International Wildlife Museum, SCI’s competitive trophy hunting “record book” is managed among other org activities. Top honors requires killing over 320 species, including rare and endangered, with sub categories like African Big 5 etc. As an independent wildlife advocate with associates, I have documented their activities.

      SCI is about much more than sociopathic vanity trophy hunting. Decades ago SCI uniquely developed an in-house team of atty’s to litigate against the hinderances of species and environmental protection. Prior to iconic “Cecil the Lion” killing by their member (lured from a protected park and subjected to prolonged suffering), their website access was public– regularly boasting of dozens of state and federal protection laws being challenged or overturned in court.

      SCI has evolved into a very stealth political power using their expertise to eliminate species and environmental protections for corporate privatization of public lands. SCI championed and worked closely with the most destructive Interior Secretaries in recent history–Zinke and Bernhardt.

      They are very active in Arizona political structure funding and naming Oath Keeper and Jan 6th participator Paul Gosar “legislator of the year”. Paul Gosar has called public lands “socialism” . It’s the tip of the iceberg supported with documents.

      1. Ping

        I should mention SCI has paired closely with the NRA, their public relations playbook is much the same and often work in tandem on behalf of corporations.

        1. newcatty

          Ping, I wholeheartedly thank you for your advocating for the protection of wildlife. An anecdote from many moons ago:

          While living in Tucson, I worked in an environmental education position for a city and UofA program. One of my duties was to attend every environmental event in the area. One time while setting up my work table at an event, busy arranging phamlets, literature and display materials I noticed that an entity I had never seen before at such events, was setting up right across from me. The woman setting up her elaborate display with slick backgrounds and a large amount of flyers, phamlets and literature gave me a big smile. As I noticed more closely the entity she represented, it was the Tucson International Wildlife Museum. This is at an environmental fair that was to promote to and educate children, families, students, other educators, as well as any interested public about protection and conservation of wildlife, habitats and natural resources. As I took in the reality of what that so called “museum” was promoting ; it took every bit of restraint and adherence to my work responsibilities to not blow up in anger and deep cognitive dissonance. This dispicable group was actively recruiting kids, parents and teachers who came by their display to visit the “museum” to see dead wildlife, as if it was it’s objective to protect and conserve that life. Field trips were encouraged!! I did ignore the woman. She was savvy enough to feel my outrage and disgust. Luckily, I was kept busy at my table and displays. I did complain to the PTB who ran the event…no comment. Or just crickets. Interestingly, though, I never saw them again at related events. But, a long time ago…

          1. Ping

            newcatty, Interesting comment. Yes, before but especially after Cecil the Lion public relations disaster, they have crafted an image of “conservation” (we have to kill them to save them) and infiltrated the Arizona school system with programs like “Educating the Educators” including take-home curriculum, introduction to shooting sports in a state at the nations lowest for per student education funding. And developing a national model for indoctrinating kids.

            SCI controls Arizona Game and Fish who visit classrooms with taxidermy to normalize and desensitize the killing of animals for display. In Arizona (dark money state) Governor Ducey’s 2017 “austerity budget” with drastic further cuts to education, and KidsCare,—health care for children in poverty, he allocated over one million dollars for Safari Club agenda—litigating against federal species protection and expanding hunting access on state land.

            While SCI cloaks itself in hunting rights for average subsistence hunter, it’s core business betrays that– funneling money to congress to degrade public lands for extraction industries, eliminating species protections barriers and catering to the elite wealth trophy hunter who needs the decimation of species that compete for habitat with trophy species.

            Several major reporters were interested in the story while they were high profile with the Trump administration and Don Trump Jr. before other events dominated the news. In my opinion, it remains the most impactful untold story spanning environment, politics, corporate greed, elite wealth…..

      2. JTMcPhee

        I always wonder why progressives fail to achieve the same level of focus and political clout as outfits like this, and ALEC, and Grover Norquist’s “Americans for Tax Reform”?. What’s missing in progressives’ makeup? That ol’ “killer instinct?” Take no prisoners?

        Since the Rotten Right seems to be perpetually dominant, and what passes for the Left is into other much more pressing issues of idpol. Wokeism, and surrender before joining battle?

  5. zagonostra

    >Attacks on Fauci grow more intense, personal and conspiratorial – Politico

    But in an ever-polarized nation, Fauci too has fallen victim to tribalism…the attacks on Fauci have increasingly veered into the conspiratorial…Republicans employed the same attempts to divide and distract the American people in 2020…Paul [Rand] are taking Fauci’s emails out of context.

    A terrible article that does what it purport to lament, that the controversy is partisan, and then frames everything in terms of Republicans vs. Democrats.

    It would have been helpful if there was a brief bio on Fauci, what patents he holds, his relationship with Gates, the recent disappearance of Dr. Kristian Andersen Twitter account, etc…

    What is so troubling about the Media’s whole sordid coverage is it’s spill over effect on freedom of speech, I just read that Namoi Wolf’ was banned from Twitter along with the inventor of mRNA ,Luigi Warren. Something is rotten in the State of Denmark, as is evinced in their banning Bitchute.

    I couldn’t care less about the celebrity status of Fauci or his demeaner when juxtaposed with Trump. I just want to read a news piece that does the deep dive of his history and how it has affected public health policy. Something this article certainly fails to deliver on.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      It appears that fauci will need a lot more “protection” from his “tribe.” wsj published an op-ed yesterday by two researchers that characterizes the available lab origin evidence as “damning.”

      I don’t have a wsj subscription, so I’m quoting the NY Post which provided a summary.

      Apparently the genome of covid-19 contains a genetic marker commonly inserted by gain of function researchers working with the virus, which increases transmissibility and lethality, and allows the modified virus to be tracked in the lab. The sequence is not found in nature.

      “Proponents of zoonotic origin must explain why the novel coronavirus, when it mutated or recombined, happened to pick its least favorite combination, the double CGG,” they wrote. “Why did it replicate the choice the lab’s gain-of-function researchers would have made?

      Beyond apparent signs of gain-of-function engineering, Quay and Muller wrote in the Journal that the evidence “most compelling is the dramatic differences in the genetic diversity of CoV-2, compared with the coronaviruses responsible for SARS and MERS.”

      SARS and MERS, which were confirmed to be of natural origin, “evolved rapidly as they spread through the human population, until the most contagious forms dominated,” the pair wrote.

      By contrast, COVID-19 proved to be highly contagious from the point it was first detected.

      “Such early optimization is unprecedented, and it suggests a long period of adaptation that predated its public spread,” wrote Quay and Muller. “Science knows of only one way that could be achieved: simulated natural evolution, growing the virus on human cells until the optimum is achieved. That is precisely what is done in gain-of-function research.”

      PS. Apparently obama’s ban on gain of function research was rescinded in January, 2017, 11 days before Trump’s inauguration.

      1. zagonostra

        It would be nice if Ignacio chimed in. According to Yves’s comment on 6/2

        There is zero proof as of now that this virus was engineered…Our own epidemiologist Ignacio is skeptical of the lab leak theory and sees this as a preference for the illusion of control.”

        I’m not a SME on the subject and I’m struggling to disentangle the politics from the biology, maybe the WaPo story changes the “as of now” caveat.

      2. marku52

        That’s the most telling evidence to me– the unusual CCG furin cleavage site, and the lack of multiple pass throughs from host to humans in the genomic record.

        Those both argue for a designed virus. We know that Shi was working with Baric on increasing GOF of bat virus, that Baric had developed “no-see-um” techniques for invisible insertion, and that the WIV had humanized mice to pass generations of viruses through. And they were doing some of this work with no more precautions than a dentist’s office.

        COV2 can’t even infect any of the proposed hosts very well. Lab escape is the simplest
        AS one virologist put it “There are only 3 labs in the world working on corona viruses. And a novel corona shows up in the city of one of them. What would you think?”

        1. Yves Smith

          The furin cleavage was misrepresented by David Baltimore, who Nicholas Wade cited in his piece. The Nature article by Anderson et al that Baltimore relied on said the opposite, that the furin cleavage was natural, PER ITS SUMMARY: “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.”

          Baltimore stopped doing actual research decades ago. He puts his name on the work of subordinates and has been caught out as wrong as a result multiple times. He’s been running on brand fumes for a very long time.

      3. ArvidMartensen

        From research published in 2015 by Wuhan and other researchers “Construction of SARS-like chimeric viruses – Both wild-type and chimeric viruses were derived from either SARS-CoV Urbani or the corresponding mouse-adapted (SARS-CoV MA15) infectious clone (ic) as previously described-27”. A description of what and how they were constructing SARS viruses in the Wuhan lab. Authors include Zhengli-Li Shi & Ralph S Baric
        Chimeric = altered in lab

        Interesting that it was Obama who lifted the moratorium on gain-of-function research on infective viruses. Until now I believed it was Trump, for some reason.

        And for anyone with the inclination and time, here is a massive dump of Fauci emails, from an FOI request by Buzzfeed. Lots of redactions.
        Amazing to see who his inner circle was when chasing a pandemic.
        One email. On 31 Jan 2020, Fauci sent a paper to Welcome Trust heavyweights which looks like it could have been the 2015 paper referenced above.

          1. ArvidMartensen

            Emails referencing Shi/Baric study on pages 3209, 3205,
            Virus origin and structure conjecture – page 3187,
            Wellcome Trust and WHO meeting pages 3172 – 3167, 3135 – 3125 – quite a bit blocked out

      4. Oh

        As is his style Obama and his people built in a lot of loopholes that were promptly exploited by the gain of function researchers. This kind of half a**ed policy is Obama’s MO

  6. Wukchumni

    PASADENA, Calif. — Southern California faces innumerable challenges, from wildfires to homelessness to drought. And then there are the peacocks, which have flourished during the pandemic as efforts to relocate them were delayed and people were stuck at home listening to the birds’ earsplitting shrieks.

    The feral fowl, descendants of a small population imported by a wealthy entrepreneur in the late 19th century, roam free by the hundreds in Pasadena and other towns in the San Gabriel Valley northeast of Los Angeles. They often travel in packs, standing in yards, landing on roofs or strolling down the sidewalk. No one knows for sure how many there are, but they are prolific breeders, and during the pandemic they’ve become more visible. And more audible.

    Beautiful? Yes. Troublesome? Absolutely. Divisive? Most definitely.

    “They wake me up at dawn. They sound like babies being tortured through a microphone, a very large microphone. And that is probably the start of my complaints,” said Kathleen Tuttle, 68, a retired prosecutor who lives in East Pasadena.
    In some small measure, I have to thank the Peacocks for making us flee the City of Angles, it was us or them in the end.

    They’re regal and look as if they got lost in suburbia en route to a coronation where their anguished cries seemed to emanate out of the soundtrack of a bad 1950’s horror film, not that there’s anything right with that.

    Don’t get me started on their runny #2 they use as a ruse to take over by always doing their business in a place you were sure to step in it, or the damage to your jalopy while pecking away at a pseudo rival in their reflection, yes we surrendered to them by leaving, good riddance.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I can think of a possible solution but you would have to wait until the last Thursday in November to do it. They are supposed to taste something like turkey so I bet if you put a peacock in the pan with the turkey itself, they it would take up the taste. And if enough people did it…

      1. Wukchumni

        Squanto chance of that happening as all we have here is post-dinosaur relics in the guise of wild turkeys, but no warrior hawks such as Erdoğan or Peacocks.

      2. griffen

        If it tastes like turkey then dropping into hot oil and deep frying seems like another option. As the state fair of Texas shows each year, there is no limit to food that can get a deep fried treatment.

        Pair with potatoes or some pleasing greens.

            1. newcatty

              To honor the Space Force getting off the ground ( hee, hee) “Milky Ways” name will be changed to Galaxy Bars. After all, the Milky Way is not the only galaxy in the universe! Also, Galaxy Bars are the Official snack for the Space Force troopers. Like Tang instead of real juice, kids will be given the prized bars for “snacks”. State and county fair’s are excited about deep frying the new bars. The huge food manufacturing corporation that produces the bars are a main sponsor.
              Tom Hanks is in development of a new Space Academy series. He is the commander, gruff but kindly grandfather character, who hides a dark and mysterious “past” as an astronaut.

            2. Chris

              No, Synoia, the Mars Bar and the Milky Way are similar non-identical paths to atherosclerosis. We have them both in the wild here in Oz:

              Milky Way usually has a harder chocolate coating, while Mars tends to have a softer one. You will also find the Milky Way in white and blue packages, while the Mars bar comes in red and black wrappers


    2. Carolinian

      the damage to your jalopy while pecking away at a pseudo rival in their reflection, yes we surrendered to them by leaving, good riddance.

      Funny! Around here wherever there’s a historic plantation it always seems to include peacocks. Perhaps the connection to Southern aristocracy can influence LA to expel the pests.

    3. Petter

      I know nothing about Peacocks but would have thought that coyotes would keep the population in check.

          1. ambrit

            That’s Ninja quality physical control.
            Someone, somewhere is going to hire her to be their assassin.

        1. Petter

          Been thinking of a witty, face saving reply off and on for hours now. None cut the mustard as the old saying goes. Even my wife, who did a Patsy Cline Stand by Your Man Wikipedia search came up empty. I’m an idiot.

          1. ambrit

            No, you are definitely not an idiot.
            Coyotes are a near top predator. They’ll catch anything that lands on the ground.
            I’d surmise that coyotes don’t hunt peacocks because there are so many easier lunch items available. Small domestic animals for instance. (Not roadrunners though.)
            I’ll eschew the “woke” ellipsis performance and say that the lady is a “good wife” in the original definition of the phrase. (She’s got your back. You protect hers. It’s all good.)
            Y’all saty safe!

    4. Oh

      There’s neighbor two blocks away that has one of those surreal screamers. Everytime I hear their scream I feel like going over to wring its neck. I don’t know how the neighbors next door tolerate the high pitched cries!

  7. PlutoniumKun

    United Airlines Orders 15 Supersonic Jets Treehugger

    Sounds like a unicorn, in the worst sense. I doubt United Airlines are foolish enough to think this will be in the air and fully certified by 2030. From what I can see, they haven’t even developed the engine yet, this will take years and it can’t fly until it has an engine certified. They probably will not be permitted to use a military engine for export and redesigning an existing high ratio turbofan for supersonic flight would not be a cheap or simple matter.

    Its often forgotten about Concorde that it was enormously profitable for BA and Air France, even with high oil prices. They could pretty much charge what they wanted and fill every seat. But that was in the days when the time saving was literally worth it to top level business people and executives, it bought them an extra day to do work in whatever city they had to visit. But with better wifi on aircraft and better business class seating, its no longer clear that cutting 6 or 8 hours off travel time for city to city would justify a huge extra cost. You can now do a days work and/or just sleep overnight on a long haul. Anyone below CEO level would really struggle to justify this on their expenses, and CEO’s will prefer a private jet. And all this of course is assuming that business/high worth travel will return to pre-Covid levels.

    1. Carolinian

      Maybe they can partner with Bezos and start a space service.

      Yes, it all sounds like vaporware.

    2. David

      Yes, the classic argument for Concorde was that you could take (from memory) the 1100 flight from Heathrow, which would get you to Manhattan in time for the start of the working day, and you could, at least in theory, take an overnight flight back and be in the office the next day. But, as you say, this was a very niche market, and I’m not sure it really exists much more, especially with the obstacle course that airports now represent for even First Class travellers.

    3. Glen

      If you have a society that makes poor people and a 1% sliver of rich people, maybe you should assume less people will be able to afford air travel, and target the air traveler that cannot afford a private jet, but does not want to fly with the hoi polloi.

    4. marku52

      United doesn’t pay anything until the beast flies. It’s a very low cost promo statement.

      And very low risk they would ever have to pay.

      1. RMO

        The Concorde made a profit for the airlines that operated it because they were given the aircraft, a mountain of spares and decades of technical support for free by the UK and French governments. Even at that the only regular routes they could find that had enough traffic to hope to fill two planes a day were their respective transatlantic routes to and from New York.

  8. cnchal

    > Jeff Bezos’ Fake News in the Newspaper He Really Owns FAIR

    Blended in with the Post‘s banner and “Democracy Dies in Darkness” tagline, readers got text about how Amazon supports a raise in the federal minimum wage and has been paying its workers $15 an hour since 2018. A big picture showed an African-American employee and her child talking about how Amazon‘s generosity is allowing them to move to a bigger home.

    Oh oh. I smell trouble ahead for that African American employee. Statistics would indicate that within a year she would quit or be fired for being too slow on the production line. The next move is into a cardboard box under the bridge, nursing permanent damage from working there.

    Amazon shopper = whip cracking sadist

    1. flora

      an aside about Amazon: Tomorrow, June 8th, Amazon turns on its Sidewalk feature on all its smart devices – ring, echo, alexa, etc.

      opting out:

      They guarantee encrypted privacy of your data … except from Amazon’s ever present data collection sweep of course. / ;)

      1. hunkerdown

        It’s between you, Jeff, and the CIA. Pinkie swear!

        Frequently bought together:
        Amazon Ring Doorbell
        Amazon Basics Balaclava, Polypropylene, Black
        Vinyl Electrical Tape, 30m

      2. cnchal

        > . . . Amazon’s ever present data collection sweep of course. / ;)

        It is beyond ridiculous. Amazon spokespeople are on record saying Amazon must face no restrictions on “technology” and can do whatever it wants. What it wants is to eat everything else.

        Its on it’s way chewing through the workforce at the moment.

        One would not know that by being informed through the MSM. It is hard to get the MSM to understand something when accepting bribes from Amazon in the form of fatuous Amazon ads touting their superiority over all else, makes it hard to understand.

        It a perfect circle. MSM refuses to point out the inhumane working conditions, Bezos pays them off for not looking and to ensure they never look again and extreme sweat shop conditions are institutionalised as the norm. How can any one stop it?

        1. JTMcPhee

          Let us all remember that Jeffie Bezos originally planned to all his “everything store” RELENTLESS. And one of the most frequent descriptive adjectives in stories about Bezos and his monstrosity is remorseless…”

          1. The Rev Kev

            The web name is still active but watch what happens when you punch it in.

      3. Wukchumni

        HALexa 9000: I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

  9. The Rev Kev

    ‘Linsey Marr
    Here’s the final version of the paper on the outbreak at a restaurant in Jan 2020 by Yuguo Li’s team. This and the choir case convinced me, without a doubt, about airborne transmission of COVID-19. Good research takes time.’

    The news about that restaurant was in Links about last February or so. So was an article about virus spread aboard that bus in China. And then there was that choir in Washington State. And that hotel in China where virus particle were found on the air vents. Yeah, good research takes time. But we did not have that time last year. And the fact of the matter was that this evidence was ignored, especially by the WHO. So instead of doing simple observation and deduction, medicine went with what eminent doctors thought & felt. People like Dr. Fauci who is typical of this system. And because of this approach, hundreds of thousands of people died needlessly and are still dying.

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      Which makes for some bitter irony here in the U.S. The people who are currently fantasizing about him, slurping down Fauci conspiracy ‘reports’ at a rapid clip, are usually the same individuals who were most devoted to anti-mask grandstanding. The ones who spent the prior year refusing to wear them over their noses, sneering at those of us who did wear them, and insisting COVID was a hoax…..while extraordinary numbers of people died and our healthcare system nearly foundered.

      Instead of excoriating him for his actual crimes they hare after every new, content-absent story spun out each day by Fox or Newsmax. If it wasn’t Fauci they would be raging against some other political celebrity, the Antifa bogey men, or ‘liberals’. And they will be slavering over some other object real soon. Long before concentrated public anger could work to effect any changes in our elite institutions.

      1. Wukchumni

        My Kevin has been quite vocal about getting rid of Fauci, which takes away from his efforts @ renaming post offices and reservoirs.

      2. Temporarily Sane

        When it comes to passionately held beliefs, even if they were instilled by propaganda and/or ignorance, logical analysis is thrown out the window and tribalism reigns supreme.

        The same people who claim the media is wholly corrupt and never to be trusted will approvingly cite the very same media when it runs articles that flatter their particular biases.

        It’s sad but true that the very valid mistrust of the liberal PMC class and its institutions has resulted in the Republican right getting way more credit than it deserves.

        Unfortunately many American “ex-liberals” have forgotten that the right wing too has a propaganda machine and longtime Republicans simply assume they were right all along and that only the libs do propaganda.

    2. Nikkikat

      I read those same articles Rev sited. I made myself a mask somewhere around that time and wore it to the grocery I will continue to do that even as I am vaccinated. I didnt believe the “official narrative” that time nor the present. WHO,CDC and Fauci with the mask lie did indeed cause a multitude of deaths. All of this, so that the slaves would continue to risk their lives, while the wealthy could vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.

  10. .Tom

    What’s the gist of the Der Spiegel article “The BBC Is Under Pressure as Boris Johnson Tightens the Screws”? (I don’t have a sub.) Which screws did Johnson tighten?

    1. Carolinian

      The link worked for me

      More than anything, though, Reith consistently took seriously the first B in the BBC. Nothing could be allowed to shake the pillars of Britain’s global hegemony – the empire and the monarchy first and foremost.

      With its obsessive Russia bashing you could say the Beeb is still working for Empire–and way past its sell by date. But here in the US we only get the crumbs (and the great nature shows). Surely some UK commenters have more insight.

      1. R

        It’s a very PMC article. Boris the bellowing partisan dismantling the Remainers’ temple or something.

        I grew up with the BBC. As a child, there were only three channels (BBC1, BBC2 and then commercial ITV). None of them operated before late morning. BBC1 started with educational programmes (from primary to degree level) and then the News at One, then something for the housewife, then programmes for children culminating in Blue Peter, and then the news at six, and then light entertainment / sport / drama, nine o’clock news, a film and bed. BBC2 just ran educational programmes until the evening and then documentaries (Life on Earth with David Attenborough – he was originally controller of BBC2 when it launched; the Ken Clark series of Civilisation etc) and avantgarde drama. There were precisely three half hour news programmes and some very sober current affairs programmes, for Inform. The rest was Educate, with a smattering of Entertain.

        It was, in retrospect, brilliantly Spartan. Now it is a howling expansive desert of 24h news and mindless rolling bloviation. The presenters are now personalities but their opinions are lowest common denominator PMC group think. The BBC was tediously partisan on Brexit, presenting it as a Flat Earth option. The educational programmes have disappeared. The natural history programmes are much reduced and spoilt with gimcrackery and climate change preaching. The light entertainment is largely unwatchable because of its “down with the people” smugness.

        The BBC’s decline mirrors that of the Establishment. It represented the patrician values of the ruling class: high minded, cultured, uncommercial (its best children’s programmes were produced by Oliver Postgate and his collaborator, both Marxists). Auntie and the Establishment have both lost their values in favour of Mammon and identity politics. They both go to Davos.

        We watch very little television now. We watch BBC programmes when we do but always on streaming and never as part if the “National Conversation” / watercooler television. The BBC lost its sports rights to higher bidders (Sky). Our children watch a lot and we used to watch BBC programmes with them (no advertisements! And Hey Duggee is just brilliant!) but these days they watch ghastly cartoons on Netflix.

        I think this is the same everywhere. The broad church of the BBC is going where the broad church of Anglicanism led fifty years ago, into irrelevance. It is hard to see how it is sustainable in its current form. The instinct to tune in in times of crisis will survive but the organisation will have shrink back to its Reithian core.

        1. Eustachedesaintpierre

          You sum it all up very well & I couldn’t agree more although I have mixed feelings about it’s future & fear the loss of their quality drama & documentary productions. They have often had me spitting blood for various reasons & then yesterday I came across the documentary ironically featured on Netflix, called Notes on Blindness & wonder if product of such quality will eventually just disappear like the amazing Ivor the Engine & much else that are in themselves illustrations of long lost innocence & handicraft.

        2. Carolinian

          Thanks. I knew about Attenborough and Clark’s Civilisation series which was huge over here. It was made to show off their new color system.

          On our PBS we get a half hour of BBC America news which is terrible but used to be pretty good some years ago. Even here we sense the decline.

          But I still love me some Melvyn Bragg and the In Our Time radio show which we get via podcast.

        3. Anonymous 2

          Most likely Murdoch will dictate UK government policy on the BBC. I expect his goal will to be to neuter it permanently. The UK march towards soft fascism continues. Onward and downward.

    1. JacobiteInTraining

      “…Umm, I think so, Brain, but what if the chicken won’t wear the nylons?…”

      1. ambrit

        Third stone from the sun?
        Hendryx. I discovered that YouTube will not give me any ‘original’ version of Jimi Hendrix’ “Third Stone From The Sun,” only “tribute” cover versions. Well, {family blog} that. I’ll just have to go searching in my old vinyl collection for my copy of the “Are You Experienced” album and raise steam in the vinyl disc playing unit.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Lambert had mentioned not being able to find an original version of a Hendrix song not long ago. When you mentioned it again, I recalled some legal wrangling by Jimi’s family over his estate. Used to make the news from time to time when I lived in Seattle in the 90s.

          Just looked it up and they are still at it –

          The lack of Hendrix at least is not due to digital crapification. It’s the fault of capitalism’s secondary money making scheme – litigiousness.

        2. orlbucfan

          Big reason why I will not give up/sell my vinyl LP collection! BTW, thanks Jerri-Lynn for that incredible Antidote du Jour photograph.

  11. Carolinian

    Thanks so much for Dean Baker on the tyranny of patent monopolies. He’s been laying out this same truth for many years now. Meanwhile the political trends of the private versus government power tussle have all been going the other way. It seems to be a lonely struggle, therefore, but deserving of far more attention.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “England supporters boo their own players taking a knee AGAIN as fans defy wishes of Gareth Southgate and voice their disapproval of Three Lions’ stance against racism before Romania friendly”

    I don’t think that people go to games or movies just to have the troubles of the world follow them. It would be like going to the movies but before you get to watch it, you would first have to put up with a five-minute monologue by Rachel Maddow on screen. But the main trouble is that when you let politics into a game, then that is when the fun begins. So I was just reading earlier about the Ukraine’s Euro 2020 soccer shirt which has just been released. The Russians are p*ssed because it features a map of the Ukraine that features Crimea as part of that country. The Russians protested but the UEFA, the sport’s governing body, has said Nah! It’ll be fine. More to the point, that uniform features the slogans ‘glory to Ukraine’ and ‘glory to heroes’. And let’s just say that those slogans became prominent during WW2 when they were used by groups that had, shall we say, a problematical history-

    That is what I mean. You open up sports to politics and you can find yourself staring into all sorts of unsavoury cans of worms.

    1. Geo

      I think Jesse Owens, Muhammad Ali, and a bunch of other athletes would disagree. Sports are political often times. From the 1980 Winter Olympics hockey match between US and USSR to Jackie Robinson. It can be a unifier, a way to break down barriers and reach people who wouldn’t be reachable by other means. It may be uncomfortable at times, wrong at times (fighter jet fly-by’s at NFL games to celebrate the MIC) but it’s woven into the fabric of sports. The situation you’re talking about is ugly for sure. Agree with you there.

      Personally, I feel the financial greed factor (which infects so many levels of athletics) is much more destructive to sports than political issues.

      1. The Rev Kev

        There is already talk in places like Canada (Trudeau) about boycotting the next 2022 Winter Olympics because they are due to be held in Beijing. This will of course accomplish nothing but will be just used as part of the anti-China narrative. The trouble with political players is that they will trash anything and everything because they are typically sociopaths. Like when that military genius Saakashvili decided to use the cover of the 2008 Beijing Olympics peace to attack South Ossetia. Nobody saw that coming and I bet that he thought what could possibly go wrong? They will not allow even sports to go ahead without trying to politicize it and grandstand over it, even if it helps trash those sports. But if it serves a momentary advantage, why should they care?

    2. km

      Ukraine must demonstrate more hysteric displays of nationalism, since the junta has nothing to offer in the way of concrete achievements.

    3. Half Bankrupt

      I stopped going to US major league baseball games because of unbelievable amount of militaristic propaganda being shoved down our throats.
      It was bad pre-9/11 and went downhill from there.
      The national anthem. Ugh.
      Hero of the game – some poor schmuck pushed on the field in uniform for everyone to clap at. Ugh.
      The “other” national anthem during the 7th inning stretch: “God Bless America”. Double ugh.
      The camo uniforms. Ugh.

      1. Wukchumni

        The “other” national anthem during the 7th inning stretch: “God Bless America”. Double ugh.

        They had to get rid of the traditional 7th inning stretch ditty on account of the lyrics making it sound like a ritualistic suicide note sung aloud, if you’re allergic to goobers of which it makes a couple of references…

        Take me out to the ball game,
        Take me out with the crowd;
        Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
        I don’t care if I never get back.

        1. wilroncanada

          I prefer the Wayne & Schuster version:

          Take thou me to the ball game
          Take thou me to the crowd.
          Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks
          Wash it all down with a flagon of sack.

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        Not just baseball. All US pro-sports often look like military recruiting ads (and many college ones too.) While I agree with the idea that people go to these things to escape the politics and the troubles, I also think people are rather selective about which politics and troubles they wish to escape.

    4. Maritimer

      “Sports are political often times.”
      More than often, professional sports monopolies exist because of political action. Then there are all the tax rackets and stadium cons. Then all the college sports are feeders for the Billionaires Beasts. Then down to high school and below. Hard to play any sportz without having to belong to some NGO or ORG. These are populated with folk who wish to make a buck and get some gainful employment in the “sport”.

      Just look at how MLB has recently destroyed a number of minor league teams for more Loot. Then, of course, all those pols who are comped and bribed by the “home” team.

  13. griffen

    Lord of the Flies isn’t getting a rewrite, of course. But that story is remarkable.

    The captain who found and rescued them deserves to be remembered. I’d add more but then it spoils the pleasing details.

  14. Wukchumni

    AS TOM BROWN LEADS A pair of young, aspiring homesteaders through his home apple orchard in Clemmons, North Carolina, he gestures at clusters of maturing trees. A retired chemical engineer, the 79 year old lists varieties and pauses to tell occasional stories. Unfamiliar names such as Black Winesap, Candy Stripe, Royal Lemon, Rabun Bald, Yellow Bellflower, and Night Dropper pair with tales that seem plucked from pomological lore.

    Take the Junaluska apple. Legend has it the variety was standardized by Cherokee Indians in the Smoky Mountains more than two centuries ago and named after its greatest patron, an early-19th-century chief. Old-time orchardists say the apple was once a Southern favorite, but disappeared around 1900. Brown started hunting for it in 2001 after discovering references in an Antebellum-era orchard catalog from Franklin, North Carolina.

    Detective work helped him locate the rural orchard, which closed in 1859. Next, he enlisted a local hobby-orchardist and mailman as a guide. The two spent days knocking door-to-door asking about old apple trees. Eventually, an elderly woman led them to the remains of a mountain orchard that’d long since been swallowed by forest. Brown returned during fruiting season and used historic records to identify a single, gnarled Junaluska tree. He clipped scionwood for his new conservation orchard and set about reintroducing the apple to the world.

    There’s an aged apple tree on Mineral King road that must be 100-120 years old, and was good for about 30-40 small sized apples*, but sadly the main leader branch that supplied most of the fruit must’ve got snagged by a high profile fire truck last fall when we had every tom, dick & harry fire department in our neck of the woods in case the Castle Fire came calling.

    It blossomed out a few weeks ago and there might be a few apples come the fall…

    * we made an apple pie from them a few years ago~

    1. ambrit

      The best apples we ever had came from a roadside stand we visited during a trip along the “Longest Yard Sale” that started at Gasden, Alabama and wended it’s way along the ridgeline up to the environs of Chattanooga, Tennessee. A medium sized, dark yellow to orange skinned variety. The vendor said that they came from an orchard situated on the East side of the Lookout Mountain Ridge.
      We wanted to move to the ridge area but, even back in the 1980s, couldn’t afford it.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Thanks for that link, Wuk. In fact, I have now saved it permanently. It’s strange when you think about it. You go into a supermarket looking for breakfast cereals and there are scores of different brands on the shelves. And when you get down to it, they are mostly just sugar s***. But in the 19th century, our forefathers had an even more extensive choice in just apples. Apples! So was this true right across the board? Things like other different fruits like berries and also vegetables like potatoes? That not only did they have also a wider assortment of choices but that their choices were actually healthy?

      First time I went to Germany I walked into a bakery (Bäckerei) and did a double take. Instead of just the very few choices that I had growing up, there were scores of different breads for sale. It was amazing the choices. So perhaps Germany kept that bit of earlier culture whereas mine just went ‘modern’ instead. It is times like this that I begin to wonder just what have we lost in our modern version of industrial capitalism.

      Wuk, did you see that other link at the bottom of yours by the way?

  15. Wukchumni

    “Right now we have a total of 50 new Chevrolets and Cadillacs on the ground,” said Ted Nicholas, president and dealer operator at Three-Way Chevrolet Cadillac at the Bakersfield Auto Mall.

    Fifty may sound like a lot, but Nicholas said there have been times when the dealership could boast 800 new vehicles on the lot.

    “I believe we’re bottoming out right now,” Nicholas said of the reduced inventory. “Next month will be a little better and it should continue to improve.”

    But the cause of the chip shortage, he said, does not have a quick fix.

    “The chips — only 12 percent are manufactured in the U.S.,” he said. Most of the other 88 percent are made in the Far East, including China and Japan.

    “This chip crisis,” he said, “will continue into 2022.”

    We are in the throes of quite the nationwide crisis in catalytic converters being stolen (part of the reason why rental cars are so expensive-there’s also a shortage of replacement cat converters, it can take weeks or even a month to replace and repair your car) and as car dealers run out of vehicles to sell, might we see a large uptick in thefts of cars out of desperation?

  16. fresno dan

    Trump’s media attention has been so lacking, in fact, that he has broken the bottom of SocialFlow’s Trump Index — a scale that measures social media engagements on stories pertaining to Trump on a 100 to zero scale, with “100” measuring peak attention. The scale is calibrated so that a 50 represents the score Trump received during an average day during his final year in office.

    Anderson says it is a “chicken or the egg” question to try to deconstruct whether the media is writing fewer stories about Trump because people are less interested or if people are less interested because there is less reporting.
    I forget who said no publicity is bad publicity but I am coming to believe that the ONLY metric that matters in “news” coverage is amount of time on TV or volume in newspapers.

    1. ambrit

      I have seen the phrase, “There is no such thing as bad publicity,” attributed to legendary Hollywood agent ‘Swifty’ Lazar. (In reply to a question about why news stories about an actor’s run ins with the drugs squad weren’t quashed.)

      1. LifelongLib

        The references I found said P. T. Barnum or (with different wording) Oscar Wilde, but somehow I always thought William Randolph Hearst…

    2. Carolinian

      I suspect the media has become gunshy of Trump coverage given the new deep blob consensus to shut him out of the limelight (that Facebook ban).

      And btw speaking of the media, the other night I caught Eastwood’s 2019 Richard Jewell and thought this was very good. Or if you want to jump in the time machine Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole with Kirk Douglas in the early ’50s was preaching practically the same message. None of this is new.

      1. fresno dan

        June 7, 2021 at 1:00 pm
        I have seen both movies, and both are excellent. I think one thing the Jewell film hints at, is the discrimination the chubby or non photogenic face. But both movies do a superb job of pointing out what people will do to advance their careers.

        With Trump, live by the limelight, die by the limelight. It just seems to me that the schtick would wear thin after 4 years. But I don’t know, the friend who I have mentioned before seems as enamored of Trump as ever. People are for Trump because of what Trump is ostensibly against (which seems quite variable).

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Oh crap. Now they’re going to make me send back the $1400-that-we-hope-you-didn’t-notice-wasn’t-the-$2,000-we-promised, aren’t they?

    2. Nikkikat

      Of course Biden is meeting with Summers. Neera Tanden is in the White House as an Advisor. She has a little desk set up right next to Biden’s like worm tongue from the Lord of the rings.

      1. ambrit

        Hmmm…. that would be a good send up skit for SNL. Have Billy Connolly do an ‘old’ Biden impersonation. Bring back Jon Lovitz to do Tanden, (in drag.)
        “Yeah. 2000 is now, 1400! Yeah! That’s the ticket!”

  17. lyman alpha blob

    Looks like Krystal and Saager’s new show is available on the youtube –

    Don;t really grok all the social media metrics, but this says they have 205K subscribers already. I guess that’s youtube subscribers – not sure if that reflects in any way how many people paid for a subscription through substack.

    As of right now though, the first segment at the above link has just under 15K views while the first segment of their old Rising show has 3.7K views. Cue the sad trombone for The Hill.

    1. Geo

      I hope now they can have panelists that aren’t halfwit party cheerleaders. They had many good guests but any time they had a “panel discussion” I’d skip. Was always like bargain bin versions of James Carville and Karl Rove.

      They are the best formal news show I know of but sadly that’s a very low bar. Looking forward to seeing what they do with the new direction.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Yeah that was mostly why I unsubscribed to them. It seemed like more and more of their time was being devoted to the same handful of Democrat/Republican consultants and there was zero content of value brought by having them featured. I’ll be interested to see what they accomplish independently.

    2. Jen

      Having signed up for a paid subscription, I received an email earlier today saying they had over 1,000 paid subscribers.

  18. Mikel

    Re: “The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months” Guardian.

    Not uncommon for people to think how their childhood and environment that formed them is and/or should be the way of the world.

  19. synoia

    Wayne La Pierre: Botswana’s Okavango Delta, where they hoped to show N.R.A. members that they had the grit to take on a different adversary: African bush elephants..

    I’m disgusted beyond belief. Hunting with a Camera is just about acceptable.
    I’ve been chased by an Elephant, a Mother protecting her Calf. I bear her no ill will.

  20. allan

    File under Crass Warfare: But, Officer, I thought it was a large weed …

    Golden Gardens Park in Ballard hit with two incidents of tree topping this year [Seattle Times]

    Seattle officials are investigating several incidents of illegal tree topping this year at Golden Gardens Park
    in Ballard. Tree topping, the removal of branches or the top section of a tree, is prohibited within any
    city-owned parks, boulevards and greenbelts. Culprits are typically homeowners looking to improve
    their home’s view. …

    1. newcatty

      Just wow! Crass, indeed, and absolutely a perfect example of selfish, narcissistic, thoughtless, evil ,( if don’t like the word , replace your own) behavior. Where to begin, sigh. It’s a public park. Trees are to be honored, respected, nurtured by humans. Cutting off the tops of trees is cruel and criminal. Improving their “view”. WTF. It could be filed under the heading of Class Warfare. Also, Empire Collapse.

  21. Mikel

    “Covid ‘is over’ in Norway, health chief declares” FT

    “Jab lines stretch for ‘MILES’ as Britons wait up to three hours for vaccine after NHS offers shots to over 18s in urgent race to beat Indian variant and SAVE June 21 – as Covid cases rise 65% to 5,341 while deaths drop from six to four” Daily Mail

    Confusion. The virus is not over…it’s endemic with various treaments.

  22. Mikel

    RE: “The Mayweather-Paul Boxing Spectacle Monetizes Our Vices” American Conservative

    I feel good. I missed the entire thing and didn’t realize it had happened.
    Must be living right!

    1. Wukchumni

      I vividly remember Ali versus Woody Allen-it went 11 rounds, a TKO by the Greatest.

      1. RMO

        That was nothing compared to the Fred Rogers/Julia Child bout back in 1982 on “Battle Of The P.B.S. Stars”

  23. Mikel

    RE: “Global G7 deal may let Amazon off hook on tax, say experts” Guardian

    “However, its profit margin in 2020 was only 6.3%. It runs its online retail business at very low profit margins, partly because it reinvests heavily, and partly to gain market share…”

    So they are thinking of some kind of “segmentation” approach.
    But help me out, would including market share as a component for taxation battle monopolization?

  24. Jeremy Grimm

    RE:”DGHS drops Ivermectin, Doxycycline from Covid-19 treatment …”
    I read through the link twice but didn’t see any rationale provided to explain the DGHS revised guidelines. Does anyone know why the guidelines were revised as they were?

    1. Chris

      I know less than nothing about the Indian healthcare system, but if I was asked to hazard a guess, I’d say “Money”.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        In general, “money” isn’t an especially hazardous guess about what lies behind many otherwise ‘peculiar’ events. Unfortunately that guess doesn’t fully satisfy my curiosity and even if money is the answer I a curious about the rationale used.

  25. Louis

    Good to see Taibbi come out in favor of the “old ACLU.”

    A lot of comments on the New York Times piece seem to favor shifting in a new direction. These people may have to learn the hard way that you’re not going to be in power forever and when you’re out of power the very tactics you advocated, including restricting speech you find disasteful, can (and probably will) be used against you.

  26. Petter

    COVID is not over in Norway. Infection rates and hospitalizations are way down but there outbreaks and reports of the Indian – Delta infections showing up here and there and no one know what the autumn will bring.The good doctor who kicked this off with a Tweet showing a chart of declining infections and the title “Det var den pandemian” which interpreted means “That was that pandemic “ was quickly corrected and modified, nuanced, walked back by other officials, including the good doctor himself. It caused controversy and criticism from other medical personages outside the various health departments – “irresponsible” “mixed message” and so. It’s quieting down now but hopefully the honchos have scheduled a meeting to avoid this in the future.
    In other news, the conservative government is pushing through legislation for more privatization of home care nursing, in the name of patient choice. Sound familiar?

  27. ArvidMartensen

    Imho, “taking the knee” is a pompous, aggressive American term for kneeling. Promoting an aggressive response in fans. Achieves nothing.

    If the whole thing was couched in terms of – The team knelt in support of Black Lives Matter – then people might see it as a heartfelt gesture for combating racism. Rather than an aggressive “I’ll do this and you can just suck it up” attitude.

  28. KFritz

    Sorry, but I’m going to throw a medium-sized Cultural-Anthropological monkey-wrench in the “Lord of the Flies” counterstory. All the marooned adolescents–in spite of being in a pain-in-the-neck R Catholic boarding school–were Polynesians from Tonga. Whatever its other strengths and weaknesses, their culture is much more group oreinted and focussed on social harmony than our own–or the closely related culture than spawned William Golding. The young Tongans were also friends who set off on a common, agreed-upon adventure. I’d venture to guess that if adolescents from around the world wound up marooned (hello Ben Gunn!) as Golding’s fictional tribe, or the young Tongans were, there would be a significant variety of responses, with the best outcomes from cultures similar to Tonga’s.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Good point. You wonder what the result would have been if those kids were from a modern, competitive elitist school instead. Can you run such a mini-society on the principle of zero-sum?

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