Links 7/1/2021

A Crow Expert Explained Why This School Warned Everyone About Angry Crows Vice

Revealed: ExxonMobil’s lobbying war on climate change legislation 4 News (dk). UK. “Keith McCoy is a senior ExxonMobil lobbyist on Capitol Hill and has represented the company in its liaison with the US Congress for the last eight years…. Mr McCoy names 11 senators who he says are ‘crucial’ to ExxonMobil: Senator Shelley Moore Capito [R], Senator Joe Manchin [D], Senator Kyrsten Sinema [D], Senator Jon Tester [D], Senator Maggie Hassan [D], Senator John Barrasso [R], Senator John Cornyn [R], Senator Steve Daines [R], Senator Chris Coons [D], Senator Mark Kelly [D,] and Senator Marco Rubio [R].” Six Ds, five Rs lol. Worth reading in full for the breath-taking arrogance.

Earth Is Trapping ‘Unprecedented’ Amount of Heat, Says NASA Treehugger (Re Silc).

What’s a Heat Dome? Are We in for More of Them? Bloomberg

Canada and US weather: Heatwave kills dozens of people as temperatures soar to record highs of 49C iNews

I Moved to Portland Because It Seemed Like a Safe Bet in the Face of Climate Change. I Was Naive Rolling Stone

Kolyma highway in Yakutia, also known as the Road of Bones, is on fire and temporarily shut Siberian Times (guurst).

Column: Why is it still so hard for former prisoners to become firefighters in California? LA Times

Hemp “more effective than trees” at sequestering carbon says Cambridge researcher Dezeen (Re Silc).

Private equity breaks 40-year record with $500bn deals FT


Prevention and Attenuation of Covid-19 with the BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 Vaccines NEJM. From the Abstract: “We conducted a prospective cohort study involving 3975 health care personnel, first responders, and other essential and frontline workers…. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in 204 participants (5%), of whom 5 were fully vaccinated (≥14 days after dose 2), 11 partially vaccinated (≥14 days after dose 1 and <14 days after dose 2), and 156 unvaccinated; the 32 participants with indeterminate vaccination status (<14 days after dose 1) were excluded.... Among participants with SARS-CoV-2 infection, the mean viral RNA load was 40% lower (95% CI, 16 to 57) in partially or fully vaccinated participants than in unvaccinated participants.” The load is not zero, then.

Illinois summer camp didn’t require masks indoors. Over 80 teens, staff got COVID-19 USA Today

CDC director: Vaccinated people ‘safe’ from delta variant, do not need to wear masks The Hill

* * *

Inside the risky bat-virus engineering that links America to Wuhan MIT Technology Review (AB).

* * *

Identification of SARS-CoV-2–induced pathways reveals drug repurposing strategies Science From the Abstract: “Here, we present the identification of 200 approved drugs, appropriate for repurposing against COVID-19. We constructed a SARS-CoV-2–induced protein network, based on disease signatures defined by COVID-19 multiomics datasets, and cross-examined these pathways against approved drugs. This analysis identified 200 drugs predicted to target SARS-CoV-2–induced pathways, 40 of which are already in COVID-19 clinical trials, testifying to the validity of the approach.” The platforms are gonna have to change their algorithms…

Structural basis for enhanced infectivity and immune evasion of SARS-CoV-2 variants Science. From the Discussion: “Transmissibility and immune evasion are independent selective forces driving emergence of viral genetic diversity. The changes of most concern in the SARS-CoV-2 S protein would be those that simultaneously enhance transmission, augment disease severity, and evade immune recognition in previously exposed hosts. Our data suggest that the most problematic combination of such mutations is not yet present in the existing variants examined here” (B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, but not B.1.617.2 (Delta)).


Communist Party’s centenary turns into bonanza for Shui On’s shopping area as crowds flock to CCP’s birth place in Xintiandi South China Morning Post

US and Japan conduct war games amid rising China-Taiwan tensions FT. Note that the FT is owned by Nikkei, Inc.

China Is Radically Expanding Its Nuclear Missile Silos Foreign Policy

‘Unstoppable storm’: rights take back seat under Hong Kong security law Agence France Presse

It’s official: China has eliminated malaria Science


A Famous Buddhist Teacher Is Under Fire for Backing Myanmar’s Junta Foreign Policy

Deadly Myanmar mine disaster caused by poor planning, say data sleuths Nature. Blood jade.

The Koreas

Kim berates North Korean officials for ‘crucial’ virus lapse AP

Book Review: a Nuanced Look at North Korean Defectors The Blue Roof


Financial services sector set for carve-out from new global tax rules FT

Brexit and asset management – part three Charlotte Moore

COVID fraud set to cost UK taxpayers tens of billions pounds-report Reuters

Undocumented workers stage mass hunger strike in Belgium Channel News Asia

Northern Ireland Is Coming to an End NYT

Biden Administration

‘Not a healthy environment’: Kamala Harris’ office rife with dissent Politico (BC). Yikes.

US ‘Intervention Has Directly Led to the Conditions Migrants Are Fleeing’ FAIR

A record-breaking May: nearly 1 million US tourists visited Mexico by air Mexico News Daily

Groves of Academe

UNC gives Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure The Hill. The Times won Pulitzers for Iraq WMDs and RussiaGate. So the 1619 Project is on form for them.

A letter to the Chronicle of Higher Education on the World Socialist Web Site, Nikole Hannah-Jones and the 1619 Project WSWS

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

So it’s all true, then?

How Rumsfeld Deserves to Be Remembered George Packer, The Atlantic

Bill Cosby freed from prison, his sex conviction overturned AP

Imperial Collapse Watch

What the Surfside collapse means for the future of condo boards Neiman Labs. Grenfell Tower, U.S.-style.

Champlain South association leadership lacked stability before building collapse in Surfside Local 10

Champlain Towers South Apartments Were Hot Commodities Before Collapse Commercial Observer

The Dream of Florida Is Dead Slate (Re Silc).

Class Warfare

Monetary policy is not the solution to inequality Martin Wolf, FT

Farmworkers Endure Brutal Conditions During Historic Heat Wave Vice

‘At first I thought, this is crazy’: the real-life plan to use novels to predict the next war Guardian

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. cocomaan

    ‘Not a healthy environment’: Kamala Harris’ office rife with dissent Politico (BC). Yikes.

    I’ve learned that I’m a real sucker for reading about dysfunctional organizations. I need more of this kind of thing in my life.

    This one was a real treat. Toxic attitudes, brushing off of longtime donors, FOB’s (Friends of Bill, lmao).

    I smell Biden’s hand in this expose. Or rather, Biden is smelling the expose. Har har. Maybe Kamala was about to start invoking 25th amendment language after Biden’s stumbling around at the G7. Biden’s folks can get out in front of it by having her advisors stab her right in the back.

    1. The Rev Kev

      In starting to read this article, I was reminder of a 2016 article by a political player who toured Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters and who asked himself two questions. Whether the people working in that headquarters were having fun and if they were having sex. He said that from what he saw, there wasn’t much of either going on in Hillary’s headquarters. And as I read the rest of that article, it was to find that people from that Brooklyn headquarters were now working for Kamala. Imagine my surprise. /sarc

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        By 2016, what kind of person is working at the Clinton headquarters? It was Donna Brazille and relatively late in the game. To a certain extent, they attract there kinds. The people who were in it for HRC to be President as opposed to neo liberal grifting were couch surfing in swing states, even if mistargeted. It’s a room full of Pete Buttigiegs, people who pretend Ulysses is their favorite book. They are a dime a dozen in groups like YDs.

        The ’92 environment might have been different, but the newness of Bill and the expectation of 41’s two terms kept that place a bit more wild.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Also Donna Brazille suffers from the same delusion as so many people that any semblance past coolness doesn’t confer coolness for all time. I mean Bill went on MTV and Arsenio, so you know he has all the cool kids…right…they must be clamoring for Tipper Gore and Joe Lieberman’s partner in banning black people from producing music on their own to be president. Arsenio…it’s not TV, it’s HBO!

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      I will never think Kamala was Biden’s choice and it’s starting to feel like he, or his apparatus, are not intent on doing her any favors. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this article had some Bidenworld fingerprints on it somewhere.

      Also, if true, Kamalaland is running exactly like I imagined, right down to trying to deflect blame for incompetence with IdPol. Funny too that the poor babies who paid her way to where she is now can’t get a phone call returned.

      I know this is total political junk food, but I do love these kind of articles.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Biden simply made a promise he never intended to keep to impress a crowd. Harris, given Biden’s age and centrist nihilism, was the only option for Biden. I rewatched Primary Colors over the weekend, and the Bill Clinton stand in would tell folksy made up stories at campaign stops knowing they couldn’t wouldn’t be verified. Biden comes from that age.

        It’s just that there was no wiggle room on the promise and it was too simple, even local committee democrats would hold him to it. Biden simply never expected to be held to account, given his other lies.

        1. Vera

          Look at it from the top, not the bottom up, like this article tries to paper over.

          Harris is a two dimensional cardboard cut out of color for the elite
          who are becoming desperate to distract Americans from a
          collapsing economy and imploding society.

          She’s as relevant as Caligula’s horse, except instead of stepping in manure, we all could get vaporized in a nuclear war because of the Fool and the Tool.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > I rewatched Primary Colors over the weekend,

          I am so happy to live in a world where John Travolta can play Bill Clinton in a movie.

          (And I had no idea Nichols and May were involved. No wonder it was so good.)

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            He really was good, and the bit in the Krispy Kreme is really good. The Krispy Kreme in New Hampshire like not casting an actor under 5′ to play George Stephanopoulos made no sense, but that scene showed why Bill accrued such personal loyalty.

      2. Pat

        I was around an early Harris for President Harris book tour event. For every publisher representative there were numerous staffers, entitled staffers, lots of important chiefs and very few team playing worker bees. Their demands were conflicting and by the time it was over they had alienated almost everyone from the venue and from the publishing house if the conversation I heard in the ladies room were any example.

        My point being that Bidenworld may not have to do much, Harris’ staff could be doing it for them with every ignored donor, every congressional staffer who gets conflicting info, every vendor, every repair person, every janitor may have a story or two.

      3. Skip Intro

        I think Biden wasn’t anybody’s choice, but he was the only way they could even get Kamala or Mayo Pete into the WH.

    3. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      They’re both puppets anyway. At first I assumed Trump was allowed in because he makes a great fall guy for when the bubble pops. But Biden actually is better. How mean can you be to someone who should be sitting around playing dominos all day.

    4. wilroncanada

      I’m not sure it needed any particular hand. The major clue would be the number of loyal employees who would choose not to remain. I suspect the toxic workplace would include mostly other women who would, at first, give her the benefit of the doubt precisely because it is often so much more difficult for a woman to take over an office without glass-ceiling slights. But she herself, or through her manager, simple could not set up a stable office situation.
      Reminds me of the recent resignation of Canada’s Governor-General, Julie Payette. The Privy Council had to set up an inquiry (not sure how many privies they inquired into) because of so many reports becoming public of her shouting matches, her arrogance, and her public belittling of staff. Her resignation was requested. Finally after months of dysfunction she had to do her final walk into space, but not the kind of walk she did as an astronaut.
      The question now: what are they going to do with her highness, Kamala? Prince Harry is already taken.

  2. John Siman

    We read in The Hill that “UNC gives Nikole Hannah-Jones Tenure.” Apparently the University’s trustees had felt pressured to do so: “As the [University of North Carolina] faced a wave of backlash over the decision to deny Hannah-Jones tenure, the journalist’s legal team said she would not join the school’s faculty if she was not granted tenure.”

    Perhaps her legal team will next demand that she be given a dukedom.

    The kowtowing throughout academic to the race hucksters Hannah-Jones and Ibram X. Kendi is a rather devastating proof of our universities’ official rejection of their former Enlightenment mission of seeking and advancing truth.

    1. Questa Nota

      Some undergraduate may heed the call to research the impact of that tenure decision on alumni donations. The analysis will need to be structured carefully to weed out the other uni policies touching on the woke variety. With some finessing, there might be a way to qualify for federal funds due to disparate impact. /s

    2. Carolinian

      Perhaps teaching in a journalism school is an appropriate place for her given the current state of our fourth estate. She’ll fit right in.

      1. Pelham

        Actually, I wonder what they are teaching in J schools these days. Although I’ve heard that many have long since changed their title to schools of communications. That would be appropriate, since journalism as we once knew it appears to have died out.

        Still, how has classroom subject matter changed since the days of objectivity and factual reporting? Keep in mind that the great majority of journalists are working at small, local outlets and have nothing whatsoever to do with the poisonous Washington variety.

      2. Maritimer

        Here is a great journalistic milestone. Bungling BBC reporter, on site outside the Cosby prison in Philly, reports sex convict Bill CLINTON has just been released from prison!

        Keep in mind, these are the same journalistic experts constantly beating the Big Pharma Propaganda Drum after, of course, meticulously examining all the studies, research, etc.

  3. fresno dan

    Bill Cosby freed from prison, his sex conviction overturned AP
    Pennsylvania’s highest court threw out Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction and released him from prison Wednesday in a stunning reversal of fortune for the comedian once known as “America’s Dad,” ruling that the prosecutor who brought the case was bound by his predecessor’s agreement not to charge Cosby.
    First, sure helps to get your case reviewed if your rich. How many poor people laguish in prison and are the victims of far greater injustices…but gosh, the system doesn’t pay for their convictions to be examined.
    Second, why is the appropriatness, competence, and legality of the granting of the imunity in the first place NOT EVEN BROACHED??? Because the system is predicated upon the rich having endless opportunities of evading justice. Because we love our rich…

    1. fresno dan

      I really should have included this:
      But the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said Wednesday that District Attorney Kevin Steele, who made the decision to arrest Cosby, was obligated to stand by his predecessor’s promise not to charge Cosby, though there was no evidence that agreement was ever put in writing.
      OF COURSE, writing is uncessary when your exoneratng the rich…

      Funny how the legal system won’t honor my claim that I have won 12 of the highest payout lotteries merely because I don’t have any written documentation. Funny old legal system

    2. LawyerCat

      I’m taking this information from a summary comment I read elsewhere, but it squares with my general knowledge:

      You can invoke your 5th Amendment right to avoid self-incriminating testimony that would cause you to potentially face criminal charges. One way to force a person to testify is to give that person immunity from criminal prosecution. That way, the person can’t invoke the 5th Amendment because there’s a guarantee that the person won’t face a criminal prosecution.

      What I read is that the prosecutor promised immunity so that Cosby couldn’t invoke the 5th Amendment right in a civil case against him (the calculation being that they didn’t have enough evidence to convict him criminally but that, in a civil case where he could be forced to testify, he could lose).

      The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said that they can’t undermine his 5th Amendment right with the grant of immunity and later come back and prosecute him criminally.

      As vile as what Cosby is accused of may be, the idea behind the ruling strikes me as pretty straightforward and reasonable.

      I do also agree that rich people have the luxury of pursuing meritorious claims that poor people, as a function of their poverty (not being able to afford a bond in a criminal case as an example), oftentimes cannot pursue.

      1. upstater

        Well, at least he got a taste of 2 years or incarceration, unlike [fill in blank, e.g., Clinton, Trump, Prince Andrew, etc]. So there is a bit of a bright side.

          1. ambrit

            Sorry mate, but the present day “Race Card” system in American politics is exactly like the ‘race card’ at any outlet that handicaps the gee-gees or puppies.
            Basically, an American ‘race card’ is a way of calculating one’s chances of winning the contest.
            It is intimately related to the strategy of ‘idpol’, which means “idiot politics.”
            Have a nice day and vote often.

      2. cocomaan

        I wonder how the court established that such an agreement was made, without a written record. Must have been a lot of witnesses. I don’t see anyone disputing that such a record exists, merely that this is not a reason to throw out the conviction.

      3. The Rev Kev

        Won’t stop some of those women suing his a** for defamation as he called them liars when they told their stories. This is not over.

        1. curlydan

          Exactly. The other women’s lawyers need to take this rage, funnel it into a GoFundMe campaign, and keep that rapist occupied with depositions, court hearings, and hopefully more jail time for the rest of his life.

          1. ambrit

            I’m really quite amazed that Cosby didn’t receive the “Epstein Treatment” while incarcerated.
            What sort of prison did he serve his time in? Club Fed?

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              The rumor was he was paying prisoners and guards for protection. I mean he isn’t a drug user, gambler, or art collector as far as I know, so he is certainly loaded. I don’t recall seeing the Cosby house, so he probably has cash, lots of it. Hell, he’s Bill Cosby, when was the last time until recent events he paid for anything? Per Conan OBrien, he had all kinds of requests for his doctorate collection trips based on Conan’s encounter with Cosby at the Harvard Lampoon, definitely no women there. Cosby didn’t pay for it.

              Cosby attacked young women, but I’m sure he knew not to go after anyone who might fight back or wouldn’t have to weigh a relatively paltry pay out.

      4. Katniss Everdeen

        Calm, cogent and persuasive analysis.

        Still, it is worth remarking on the specific instances in which a massively corrupt, broken “justice” system “chooses” to “work,” which seems to be just often enough to keep the few unlucky, well-heeled criminals who are successfully prosecuted from being adequately punished.

        1. Oh

          It’s quite possible that Cosby had his lawyers pay off the judges who then found a way out for Bill.

      5. fresno dan

        July 1, 2021 at 8:38 am
        It is amazing how many poor people get convicted of crimes they didn’t commit, while rich people who did commit crimes have their crimes vacated.
        Google: To date, 375 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 21 who served time on death row. These people served an average of 14 years in prison before exoneration and release.
        Were all those wrongfully convicted people a victim of the law or men? I would say men – bad men using the law unjustly. A law or interpretation of a law is simply words on paper – it is how men (humans) apply reason, logic, and facts to apply the law in specific circumstances.

        We simply cannot accept the fact that prosecutors can be corrupt, and that the supreme courts in this land are vested in protecting the property before people.
        And a dissenting opinion by Justice Kevin M. Dougherty was withering in its assessment of the deal Castor made with Cosby, saying that “Castor’s view is wrong as a matter of law” and that it’s “dangerous to even implicitly suggest otherwise.”
        I no more believe the PA supreme court interpreted the facts and law logically in releasing Cosby than I believe the Supreme court’s decisions in Dred Scott v. Sanford or Citizens United v. FEC, as well as dozens of others. Again, because of our political system, we are taught to accept the legality of things that are absurd on their face, (lack of health care, homelessness, etc) and yet Americans incessantly proclaim the American system is best. The acceptance of injustice as legally necessary is bizarre.
        Legal opinions are just that – opinions. Opinions made by humans (almost always men) that are twisted to fit fairy tales – can anyone seriously look at the US legal systems rulings regarding issues related to Iraq and say those decisions were just, in accord with reality, and in the spirit of justice?
        Any objective readings of the opinons rendered during the great recession and home loans, and one sees the rendition of logic and the torture of reason, because the US legal system, for those who dwell in the land of reality, serves the interests of the wealthy.
        So I don’t accept that the only decision that an honorable court could make was to release Cosby.

        1. LawyerCat

          I can’t speak to the fact question – was the immunity actually given so he couldn’t invoke his 5th Amendment right in a prior proceeding? I was just saying that the legal reasoning seemed solid to me.

          Also, I’m a criminal defense attorney with nearly my entire client pool being poor, so I sympathize with your critique that justice for the poor is harsh and coercive, even when they’re innocent, and criminal charges simply aren’t often brought against the rich and powerful.

          1. fresno dan

            July 1, 2021 at 1:26 pm
            I appreciate your bringing up the argument of prosecutorial deals – I just retained an attorney for the first time in my life, and it is always important to know what the law is. I am in no way critiqueing your defense of the ruling or providing information to understand – I truly appreciate your posts. It is important to have all the perspectives.
            But I do take issue with the general genuflecting to the law as something that is sacred, and that the Supreme court justices are more honorable, or better or have a fine sense of justice than the average citizen or that a Supreme court ruling in anything but the opionion of a bunch of guys trying to arrive at justice. There is a LOT of complexity to the Cosby case, but sometimes its not JUST the process, but the result. And the prosecurtors and judges in such cases are not objective automans – there can be a lot of selective recall and self serving memory (maybe that is why things should be written down). We had slavery and Jim Crow under our legal system, so to me, there is PLENTY of evidence that the US legal system just isn’t that great. We should never confuse that a legal ruling is not necessarily a just ruling.
            Now, as someone who has watched TOO MUCH Law & Order the series often states that the police can lie to defendents or people in custody, and I believe the attorneys as well (or can they just shade the truth?). Is that correct?
            So my point is, why is lying to a defendent (who may be innocent), who than pleads on this purposeful lie because the alternative is so onerous, acceptable, while lying (or merely being incorrect) about immunity sacred? 7 years or 50 years. If they are willing to lie about evidence, why not manufacture evidence?
            First, as I ALWAYS note, I guess its merely coincidence that it usually helps the rich – I guess I’m just paranoid – it can’t possibly be that is worked out that way due to everyone employed in the legal system being well off or appointed by the well off.
            Second, isn’t it kind of strange that lying is acceptable….EXCEPT when it comes to breaking a deal (OMG – you CAN’T break a contract!!!!). Forgive me for becoming a Marxist in my old age, but I have a tough time understanding that lying is OK EXCEPT when it comes to deals…because deals are soooo imortant to capitalism?

      6. juno mas

        It’s not that the poor cannot afford a bond to gain their (temporary) freedom to confer with a lawyer. It’s that top lawyers don’t work on a slow moving case (Appeal) without the opportunity for significant remuneration.

        Cosby lost the civil case to Constand (the accuser) to the tune of $3.8M. Most of which went to the attorneys involved, not her.

    3. Mikel

      I just want to know if Cosby is going to resume his lectures to youth and will he talk about drugs and the dangers of Qualudes.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Maybe he can remake the infamous “scared straight” episode of Fat Albert using lived experience.

  4. fresno dan

    Big Brother Is Watching You Watch
    So it’s all true, then?
    I’m in no way ratifying or supporting the claim that NSA collected the communications of Carlson or any Fox host, simply because I don’t know.
    But what I know for sure is that this is NSA’s non-denial denial, using the same false framework they always use to mislead the public.
    — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 30, 2021
    Pardon me if I doubt that Tucker Carlson is really concerned about his civil rights being abused. When Donald Trump was president, an outrageous star chamber injustice occurred against Carter Page which resulted in real harm to Page. Trump could have instituted a REAL investigation and advocated for real consequences to the secret surveillance state – but of course, modern politics is all bitching and no action. Plus, a bunch of conservatices would have proof that Trump wasn’t conservative.* All Carlson will get is higher ratings – of course, he doesn’t want any written down reform, because restraing the police state would be liberal**
    *do conservatives really believe in limited government? Kind of hard to reconcile with all the agencies and laws enacted during Bush the younger’s term…or letting the president do pretty much anything in the war against terrorism…
    ** Floyd not withstanding, after how many years of police misconduct in democratic controller jurisdictions, how much substantive police accountability? Or all those bankers and health insurance executives shaking in fear upon the election of Obama…

    1. Aumua

      Yeah poor, poor Tucker. What a victim. I don’t believe Carlson is genuine about anything. I think everything he says is in service of a carefully constructed set of narratives, and if you think media control and censorship is bad now, wait until these guys are in control. You ain’t seen nothing yet.


      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I don’t believe Carlson is genuine about anything.

        It’s hard for me to imagine that genuineness would be a criterion for being surveilled by the NSA.

        1. Aumua

          I don’t think there is any criterion for being surveilled by the NSA. They been surveilling us all for quite a while, under Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden. It is something we should all be outraged about, of course. To echo Fresno Dan above, I’m just saying that I don’t believe Tucker is making an issue of it now out of any genuine concern about the NSA’s over reach.

  5. allan

    “CDC director: Vaccinated people ‘safe’ from delta variant, do not need to wear masks”

    Maybe someone should send the CDC a link to the Singapore Covid Case Cluster dashboard.
    (A depressing portal into an alternate reality where public health authorities do things like
    effective contact tracing and competent data collection. Albeit one with public caning for graffiti.)
    It’s pretty clear that the vaccinated can not just be a major source of of transmission,
    but actually can be superspreaders.

    1. Nikkikat

      Every time I see CDC a director double down on vaccinated people not needing a mask it’s only UNvaccinated people. She is endangering people just like Fauci and the mask lie he told.

      1. antidlc

        Why is the CDC doing this? I don’t get it.

        (Sorry if this question has been answered on NC and I missed it.)

          1. antidlc

            So we just pretend everything is “back to normal” and ignore the fact that the Delta variant is extremely contagious?

            What am I missing here?

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Biden and Trump simply aren’t that different. The backgrounds are a bit different, but it’s the same arrogance and shouting huge. They know nothing.

              Biden then too is coming off the experience of Bush and Obama. Karl Rove had his create their own reality routine. As long as Biden isn’t convenienced, he won’t care. He’s never cared about anything before. A selfish, ignorant person is President. There is nothing else to miss.

              He might change after the 4th, but his firework show is all important to him.

            2. Mao "No Landlords Now" Zedong

              The lockdown caused profits to crater and the bourgeoisie would rather millions die than experience that again.

        1. Cuibono

          doing it as “motivation’ o get unvaccinated to vaccinate. If only the unvaccinated need to wear masks etc etc

          1. antidlc

            Please explain to me how this motivates the unvaccinated to vaccinate. No one is forcing the unvaccinated to wear a mask. Do they really expect the “honor system” to work? Really?

            1. Cuibono

              “Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy.” G.O.

        2. hunkerdown

          The CDC under a Democrat administration is in the business of vaccine sales (“medical freedom” for corporations), not public health.

          1. antidlc

            Thanks for the reply, but I still don’t see how the CDC is going to get more “vaccine sales”. How is the CDC motivating the unvaccinated to get vaccinated?

    2. Krystyn Podgajski

      This from the EU Medicines Agency this morning:

      It seems that the 4 vaccines authorised in the EU Flag of European Union protect against all strains, including the delta variant. First real-world data suggest that:
      Rightwards arrow2 doses of vaccines protect against the delta variant
      Rightwards arrowantibodies from the approved vaccines neutralise this variant. #EMAPresser

    3. Mantid

      Also, she didn’t seem to read this paper in today’s links: Structural basis for enhanced infectivity and immune evasion…
      Paragraph just below the Abstract:
      “These variants not only appear to spread more efficiently than the virus from the initial outbreak [i.e., the strain Wuhan-Hu-1; (1)], but also may be more resistant to immunity elicited by the Wuhan-Hu-1 strain following either natural infection or vaccination”

      “More resistant to immunity” seems to mean it’s OK not to mask indoors according to the CDC. Such ineptitude.

  6. Carla

    “Florida is dead” — and it’s all the fault of — tah Daaaah!


    That’s right. Condominium ownership is socialism. This guy says so, right there in Slate. And he fully explains it:

    “Think of condo associations as like small-scale socialism. You all have ownership stock in this thing. You make decisions about it. You have the board, which is kind of like the Politburo. No, really, it is socialism. And the thing about socialism is that when you collectively own something, you collectively make a decision about it. Well, some of those decisions are going to be very hard.”

    Absolute genius.

      1. The Historian

        It really bothers me that a reporter doesn’t know the difference between a political system, i.e., democracy – one person one vote, and an economic system – socialism – the means of production are held in common, and that Slate apparently doesn’t know the difference either! Perhaps this is more of the PMC trying to show that they should control everything because they are our ‘betters’?

        1. cocomaan

          By this person’s logic, every business is socialism. Ownership of the company, when it’s shared, gives voting privileges.

          What a moron. And I’m not even a socialist.

      2. hunkerdown

        Of course democracy is socialism. Private property is the diametric opposite of democracy. Bourgeois democracy isn’t democracy insofar as there is private property, i.e. property exempted from democratic control. IMO it isn’t that hard to understand.

        1. Bill Smith

          Private property is the diametric opposite of democracy

          Where does that ^ come from?

          1. hunkerdown

            The usual serious definition of socialism is worker control over the means of production. Private and democratic control over the means of production are in opposition in terms of who gets the surplus and who controls production. The same contest extends to other sources of profits and rents, even personal social ones: copyright, subscriber count, reputation (see William Davies in the latest New Left Review), and to government regulations and so on. Private property is effectively removed from the reach of democratic decision-making by a superseding claim. That’s the point of the claim.

            It’s self-theory, mostly informed by Graeber with a bit of Engels looming in the background. Perhaps someone has theorized it more clearly than I have.

      3. Aumua

        Exactly, Socialism is democracy in the workplace. Everyone who works there gets a vote, ostensibly. This is opposed to Capitalism of course, which is literally a dictatorship.

      4. Kouros

        Democracy has little to do with the forms of ownership. It is just a methodology for deciding who administers a polity, the main choice being via election…

    1. Questa Nota

      With a sub-section for New Yorker snowbird owners, seasonally fleeing their co-op neighbors and boards.

    2. Robert Hahl

      Whatever you call it, the condo ownership structure does seem to have been a special danger in this situation. I wonder about all those seaside time-share buildings in which people own units for a week, and seem to be responsible for property taxes even when they can’t find anyone to sell or even give them to.

      1. The Historian

        First of all, we do not know why that building collapsed and we won’t know until the investigation is complete.
        Second of all, we do not know what the tenants understood about how serious the damage was. Were they mislead by ‘experts’?
        Third, would have anyone else have done any better? If the building was owned by a corporation instead of the tenants, would the corporation, given the same information the tenants had, done anything different?

        1. Lost in OR

          As a former purveyor of energy efficiency upgrades, it can be hard to get people to act in their own best interest. I could offer increased comfort, security, safety, productivity, AND a 3 year ROI (with utility incentives). And still, no go. Where else can you get that return?

          We don’t know what the per-unit cost for upgrades would have been. Certainly not insignificant. And this just to maintain what they thought they were getting in the first place. This would have a very hard sell.

            1. Laura in So Cal

              I lived in a condo complex during the 1990’s. It was clusters of 2 story units with 6 units in each building. Right before I bought my unit, the condo HOA had raised the monthly HOA fees significantly to buy earthquake insurance…Apparently the previous board had thought it was too expensive and let it lapse. In 1994, the Northridge Earthquake happened. There was major damage to the carports and minor damage to multiple units. Individual owners only had to pay for damage to their interiors or loss of property (my sister who lived in the same complex lost every dish in her kitchen) All the structural issues and carports damage was covered.

              The members of that board stayed in place without challenges for quite a while.

        2. Carolinian

          Legal liability may have caused different behavior in that case.

          Seems a sister tower has similar problems but kept putting off repairs and are now getting right on it. Doubtless cost of repairs may weigh on some resident owners.

    3. Carolinian

      Just reading the article and that’s not what it says. What it does say is that the local government is falling down on the job since it’s their role to certify that buildings are safe not just for the occupants but also for anyone who might be happening by.

      Which is to say condo ownership is not of course socialism since local government can require you to make repairs even as owners who bought these condos cheaply may not have the money or the inclination to do so.

      It increasingly looks like this disaster much more about poor construction and maintenance rather than sink holes or global warming.

    4. Another Scott

      One thing to remember about condo (and home owner) associations is that they are typically not democracies, where the residents make decisions. Rather it’s the condo owners (who are often absentee) who vote, some even weight the votes so individuals who own more units get a larger say.

    5. km

      So a corporation is now….(wait for it)…duh duh duh! SOCIALISM!

      You’ve got stock in the thing. And a Board of Directors, which is identical to the politburo, which everyone knows is the distinguishing feature of socialism.

      Wait until this intellectual titan finds out that Donald Trump has been a member of one of these mini-politburos. The cognitive dissonance will be a sight to behold.

  7. Tom Stone

    It appears that Willie Brown was right when he warned Harris about reaching for the Brass ring too soon.
    She’s been expertly kneecapped, which is very good news for the US and the World.
    I suspect blowback from the way she acted in the debates, Jill Biden is not a forgiving woman and she knows how things work in DC.

    1. jo6pac

      I was under the impression that biden picked her top staff. I might remembering this wrong but that would explain this. She is still an awful person.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Her day-to-day operational staff are all ex-Biden people. She was on a short leash to begin with. She’s as deep as Sarah Palin was but without the moose stuff that made Palin semi-interesting.

        1. Michael

          Yeah Palin, snicker!
          I can see California from my VP office window.
          Julia Louis-Dreyfus would do better.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Or maybe it’s just that gender, skin color and the ethnicity of your parents are not sufficient indicators of competence, and the boss should dig a little deeper during the interview.

      Unless, of course, gender, skin color and the ethnicity of your parents was all the boss was after, and thought that those who expected competence could go pound sand.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Politico isn’t a news site as much as as gossip site, though this kind of story has always followed Harris.

      With gossip site in ind…Reading the article, this is donors complaining. There was an article detailing HRC not flirting with donors and those donors going to Obama out of spite. It’s possible the departures are linked to this. Harris should in theory have a clear path, and the point of working for the VP is to work for the next president.

    4. Nikkikat

      I think Willie Brown should have said she shouldn’t reach for the the brass ring at all. But more likely the DNC will back her and double down on it if the past is any indicator.

  8. pjay

    – ‘How Rumsfeld Deserves to Be Remembered’ – George Packer, The Atlantic

    – “Rumsfeld was the worst secretary of defense in American history. Being newly dead shouldn’t spare him this distinction…. Rumsfeld was the chief advocate of every disaster in the years after September 11. Wherever the United States government contemplated a wrong turn, Rumsfeld was there first with his hard smile—squinting, mocking the cautious, shoving his country deeper into a hole. His fatal judgment was equaled only by his absolute self-assurance. He lacked the courage to doubt himself. He lacked the wisdom to change his mind.”

    Now that’s more like it! This doesn’t make up for all the other crap The Atlantic has published since 9/11. But at least someone else besides Teen Vogue is willing to state the obvious.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I can’t stand to read the Rumsfeld anything, but Bob Woodrow mentioned an anecdote in onerror of his books published after the Iraq War that Rumsfeld was griping the we’re running out of stuff to blow up in Afghanistan that could run on the 630 news. It’s too bad the intrepid reporter who was handfed so many stories missed this one.

      1. Pat

        I am shocked, shocked I tell you, when every time Woodward releases a book there is some breathless revelation that pushes sales.

        The first couple of times I really was shocked and angered because a real reporter would have reported these things at the time, and just perhaps a lot of damage could have been avoided. For Woodward they were merely selling points. Perhaps our current useless press really have based their career goals on him.

        1. chuck roast

          Am I mistaken, or did Bernstein, who knew him intimately, not lose respect for Woodward pretty quickly?

          And he died in Taos. Time for the Pueblo elders to get out the smudge-sticks and do ritual spiritual cleansing.

          1. pjay

            He died in Taos? I don’t think so.

            I think you are probably right on Bernstien’s view of Woodward, though. Bernstein’s 1977 article on the CIA and the media was a major statement, but there was (of course) no follow-up. I think he was trying to tell us something, but sort of fizzled under pressure and personal issues, ultimately defending Russiagate BS in recent years. Meanwhile, Woodward utilized his connections to become a very successful official gossip.

            Just my opinion.

          2. Duck1

            According to the Colodny revisionist history of the Nixon debacle Woodward was the Naval Intelligence mole employed by the Washington Post to help depose the president for carrying out secure channel communications in pursuit of his diplomacy with the Communist powers, which they couldn’t overhear.

  9. paul

    RE:How Rumsfeld Deserves to Be Remembered

    From mickeypedia:

    After serving in the Navy for three years, he mounted a campaign for Congress in Illinois’s 13th Congressional District, winning in 1962 at the age of 30.

    Donald Henry Rumsfeld (July 9, 1932 – June 29, 2021) was an American politician, government official and businessman who served as Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977

    Ford lost the 1976 election, Rumsfeld returned to private business and financial life, and was named president and CEO of the pharmaceutical corporation G. D. Searle & Company. He was later named CEO of General Instrument from 1990 to 1993 and chairman of Gilead Sciences from 1997 to 2001.

    Rumsfeld was appointed Secretary of Defense for a second time in January 2001 by President George W. Bush. As Secretary of Defense, Rumsfeld played a central role in the invasion of Afghanistan and invasion of Iraq.

    In his retirement years, he published an autobiography, Known and Unknown: A Memoir, as well as Rumsfeld’s Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War, and Life. He died on June 29, 2021, at the age of 88.

    1962 to 2006, and, while I respect the editors of this site to dismiss CT and DS thinking, this was the real donald.

    One thing I hesitated to ask W Mosler in one of his talks, when he justified that deficits don’t matter to ‘rummy, did herr rumsfeld keep on his rimless glasses in the sauna.

    Maybe I’ll ask the next time.

    1. pasha

      I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.
      –Clarence Darrow

    1. Arizona Slim

      It sure is!

      It shows massive monsoon activity in Mexico, which bodes well for us in Arizona. Come on up here, storms. Just cross that border. Please.

    2. Stephen V.

      Thanks jo! Forgot about these guys…as thunderstorms roll in to flyover country…

    3. The Rev Kev

      Just clicked on that site and it is showing south-east Australia. I’ll have to check this site out.

  10. upstater

    re.‘Not a healthy environment’: Kamala Harris’ office rife with dissent Politico (BC). Yikes.

    Apparently part of the Kamala dysfunction is not having access, as if this would solve the problem:

    “This is someone who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars—millions, even—for your boss and you’re just blowing them off?” the Harris friend asked. “Next time Kamala wants [them] for something, it’s like, ‘Hey, I couldn’t even get a call-back from your chief of staff!’”

    Doesn’t this succinctly summarize the rot of government at all levels?

    1. Michael Mck

      I have a connection to the AGs office in California and was told during the primary that “none” of her former staff were supporting her. That is a bad sign.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Twitter is telling me that something went wrong and I should try reloading. I tried. Several times, in fact.

      Still can’t see the tweet.

      1. hunkerdown

        I got to the tweet eventually. It usually works on the third reload, if I’m patient and let the first two failed loads settle in. I’m having trouble finding confirmatory text on Qwant or Yandex, however, as the company doesn’t seem to be releasing much press on their website lately. Here’s the alleged press release linked as an image, for those who can read Japanese:

  11. Mikel

    RE: “The real-life plans to use novels to predict the next war”

    I file this under “cautionary tales turned into dystopia creation manuals.” Not at all uncommon.

    A related musing:
    Lots of people remember the X-Files, but not many at all remember the spin-off “The Lone Gunmen.”
    It’s a shame, because the short-lived series has a pilot episode that aired March 4, 2001 (which means that it was written months, maybe longer before). The wiki summary:
    “…rogue members of the U.S. government remotely hijack an airliner departing Boston, planning to crash it into the World Trade Center, and let anti-American terrorist groups take credit, to gain support for a new profitable war following the Cold War. The heroes ultimately override the controls, foiling the plot….”
    I’ll add the specific detail that it was a flight from Boston to LA.

    Make of it what you will, but it’s already been revealed that Hollywood gets alot of its war and spy features vetted and approved by the Blob.
    Think about it: I can remember a time when spy/secret agent flicks were so rare that most people just knew 007.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Like Vince Gilligan, the creator of the series, I miss that show. No, Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul weren’t worth it. 1000% batting average…crazy.

      The “no one could have predicted” arguments were always absurd given this episode.

      1. Pat

        For those of us who were pointing out that Rice’s and May he rot in hell Rumsfeld’s testimony about 9/11 was self serving BS, this was a major talking point… along with Flight Simulator and all the anti-aircraft guns surrounding the various venues Bush and Rice were at in the months prior. But in truth none of the other examples was quite as prescient.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I saw that episode not that long before 9/11 and it is amazing how it totally got dropped down a memory hole. Nobody was talking about it in the years after though in a normal world, people would be pointing this out as an amazing coincidence. Sort of how that 1898 novel “The Wreck Of The Titan” was a virtual blueprint of the sinking of the “Titanic” in 1912-

    3. jsn

      “Predicting unpredictable crises has become the west’s great obsession in the 21st century.”

      It’s a good distraction for those well educated and lucky enough to be insulated from the real, obvious, ongoing crisies all around us.

    4. Kouros

      Still small change compared with what a well bred and educated “mentat” would be able to accomplish. Nevertheless, the Donkey in “Foundation” series and the wild genes carrying Duncan Idaho will always defy analysis.

      So one waits with trepidation the new “Foundation” TV series as well as the “Dune” movie this summer…

  12. The Rev Kev

    “China Is Radically Expanding Its Nuclear Missile Silos”

    I see that Foreign Policy is being disingenuous again. The passage talking about the number of nukes that the US, Russia and China possesses has been deliberately muddied so let’s look at the real figures-

    -The US has 6,185 nuclear warheads
    -The Russian Federation has 6,400 nuclear warheads
    -China has 350 nuclear warheads

    So ‘why have we been unable to entice China to join negotiations?’ I think that China says why should we limit the number of nukes that we have when the US & Russia have over 6,000 nukes themselves each, especially since the US is going to drop $1 trillion or two modernizing its nukes? But when Foreign Policy said ‘Russia and China have consistently made clear that they are not interested in significant arms control without real limitations on U.S. missile defenses.’ I wondered if they were actually listening to themselves. And they can’t quite acknowledge that Russia has the nuclear drop on the US if the US tries to play funny buggers. There is a desire to limit the number of nukes that China has in order to make the Pentagon’s job easier. But it does not matter if China has only 350 nukes. Even if the Pentagon intercepted 99% of them, three or four would still get through. So which three cities would the US be prepared to lose to have a war with China?

    1. ambrit

      “So which three cities would the US be prepared to lose to have a war with China?”
      Oh, spinning this “off the top of my head,” I’d suggest: Mexico City, Vancouver, British Colombia, and Nassau, the Bahamas. (Overage and all that.)

    2. David

      Well, at the moment, the US doesn’t have the capability to intercept even one per cent of these weapons. The Russians have an ABM system around Moscow which could probably stop Chinese weapons unless the Chinese threw literally all they have against that target, so it may be that the Chinese effort is, in the first instance, about meeting the so-called “Moscow criterion”, without which no nuclear force can really be taken seriously politically.
      There’s a big, and often confusing, literature on Chinese nuclear weapons, partly because of the endemic secrecy that surrounds them, and partly because of technical arguments; the most important of which is the relationship between missile numbers and warhead numbers. This FAS report is a good discussion of some of the problems of interpretation.

    3. Bill Smith

      Nobody but the Chinese knows how many nuclear warheads they have.

      And my guess is the number of missiles shot down in an all out Chinese attack on the US would likely be close to the number that malfunctioned. So not many.

  13. Randy G

    I was curious about Tina Flournoy, Kamala’s Chief of Staff, mentioned in the Politico gossip article, since I knew her only as a Democratic Party hack of some prominence.

    She is a former executive at the Philip Morris tobacco company where she worked like a little beaver to limit medical liabilities. Of course! What a lovely little country where only the noblest of the sociopaths rise to the top.

  14. DJG, Reality Czar

    Hmmm. Shades of Trump {!], who also managed by chaos, something like the Clintons {!}, who also manage by chaos.

    Unfortunately too-clear paragraph about management by chaos: “Harris’ team is experiencing low morale, porous lines of communication and diminished trust among aides and senior officials. Much of the frustration internally is directed at Tina Flournoy, Harris’ chief of staff, a veteran of Democratic politics who began working for her earlier this year.”

    Then the desperate attempt to “essentialize” it–anyone who has worked in an office knows that bad M managers and bad F managers all have the same stench-y reputation: “Harris and Flournoy’s defenders also note that women in power—Black women in particular—are subjected to standards that men often don’t have to clear. A tough and demanding office environment may be seen as a virtue for one and a sign of disorder and lack of leadership acumen for another.”


    Oh: ‘The person rejected the idea that Harris is unaware of the problems in her office. “She is the most perceptive person on the planet,” the person said. “She might not have first-hand knowledge, but it’s hard to imagine she doesn’t have a sense of what’s going on.”’

    Heck, I thought Hillary Clinton was the most perceptive person on the planet, especially after the remarks about Edward Snowden’s guilt and Bernie Sanders not being liked by anybody.

    U S of A = endless high-school melodrama

    1. km

      So Harris has supernatural power that enable her to know sense something she doesn’t know.

      Is this something like Spiderman and his spideysense? Whatever it is, I guess that’s how Kamala bagged Willie Brown, or how she was able to listen to Tupac, years before he started recording.

    2. hunkerdown

      In the novel, that staple of young-adult reading assignments, children are taught to be bourgeois Puritans and to love the melodrama that comes with forcing other people to worry about your next meal.

      Is it just me, or does high school melodrama from other eras seem quantitatively different, rather than just qualitatively? I acknowledge all sorts of biases that might color my perception here, not least my abbreviated high school career happening around 1990 or so, but it seems that there was a lot less of Mean Girls and Lord of the Flies before the original yuppies started reproducing themselves through media.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        “Not Another Teen Movie” came out in 2001 making fun of the myriad of teen movies from the 90’s, so I’ll say not much has changed. There is more serialized storytelling, but I’m not sure it’s all that different other than movies other than a Marvel movies in theatres.

        I’m more concerned about the rise in apocalyptic stories as they express a sense of decay which exists in our society.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Canada and US weather: Heatwave kills dozens of people as temperatures soar to record highs of 49C”

    You get this sort of heat in Oz but mostly only in the outback. One guy said that during a heatwave in his town, that he saw a dog chase a cat down the main street – and both were walking. Just to put those temperatures for the US and Canada into context, here are the hottest temperatures for each country in the world-

    1. Milton

      I’ve read a couple articles about excess deaths in BC with inquiries posed to the local health depts about these numbers and what can be expected normally (hence excess). For all of BC and W Alberta, figures are coming in on around 300 heat-related deaths, or so. I can’t find anything on the US side of things. Either it’s not being reported or the local authorities are not gathering the data in a timely manner.

    2. wilroncanada

      Lytton,about 200kms northeast of Vancouver, on the trans-Canada highway, for three days in a row, broke the previous record for the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada. The third, Tuesday, was 49.6 Celsius. Last night it disappeared. the town, that is. A fire suspected (by one report, too early to be sure) to have started by sparks from a passing train, last evening destroyed at least 90 percent of Lytton. That, too, is a guess because it is still too hot for investigators. Don’t know yet about any deaths, but most of the 1000 or so residents had 15 minutes or less to evacuate.

  16. Wukchumni

    Earth Is Trapping ‘Unprecedented’ Amount of Heat, Says NASA Treehugger (Re Silc).

    What’s a Heat Dome? Are We in for More of Them? Bloomberg
    I used to think as recently as a month ago that the key to avoiding heat waves was to merely get high, altitude will take care of things…

    It hasn’t worked out like I thought it would and the evaporation of surface water must have been extreme both at the source in the higher climes and more importantly in our reservoirs.

    It seems the underground movement is our best hope for survival, not that anybody is doing anything about it. Cooling centers in cities ought to be built like bunkers-not convention centers, along with storing water away from the big heat.

  17. marym

    SC further undermines the Voting Rights Act 6-3

    From Kagan’s dissent:

    “This Court has no right to remake Section 2. Maybe some think that vote suppression is a relic of history—and so the need for a potent Section 2 has come and gone. Cf. Shelby County, 570 U. S., at 547 (“[T]hings have changed dramati- cally”). But Congress gets to make that call. Because it has not done so, this Court’s duty is to apply the law as it is written. The law that confronted one of this country’s most enduring wrongs; pledged to give every American, of every race, an equal chance to participate in our democracy; and now stands as the crucial tool to achieve that goal. That law, of all laws, deserves the sweep and power Congress gave it. That law, of all laws, should not be diminished by this Court.”

    Also 6-3 against California donor disclosure requirements.

    1. allan

      The Roberts Court no longer needs to pretend it’s calling balls and strikes. The game is over.

    2. hunkerdown

      “Our” democracy, once again. “Their” democracy will never provide anything good for us, so why keep paying the odious debt.

      1. km

        Whenever I hear Obama say “let me be clear!” then I know that he is obfuscating.

        Whenever I hear I hear the words “Our Democracy®” then I know that the foundation is being laid for some kind of a con job.

        1. Oh

          And watch his eyes flutter when he talks – a sure sign he’s lying.

          “Let me be clear” – what a stupid espression!

      2. marym

        I would say 2 reasons.

        If one expects the electoral process – more or less as it currently exists – to be in any way a part of a change toward something better, it has to include all of us, not be the exclusive tool of an ever narrowing subset of the elite and their followers.

        If one hopes to achieve an economic and political system that’s inclusive of all of the 99.9%, or even mount a credible critique of one that is not, one should promote that concept as it applies to all areas of public life.

        1. marym

          adding – I wasn’t sure what “paying the odious debt” meant, so responded as if it meant something general about why care about voting

    3. Wotan

      I think you will find that the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v the Board of Education to integrate schools throughout the US, because Congress wouldn’t. When Congress would not act, The Southern Democrats controlled the Democrats so well it took the Court in 1955 and the Republicans in 1965 to break the deadlock among Democrats

      1. marym

        Congress certainly continues to fail to get around to further protection of voting rights, but in this case Kagan’s dissent seems to be saying that Congress, not the SC, has the responsibility of trashing the voting rights act if it thinks – as the Roberts opinion claimed in Shelby – that it should be trashed, and in the meantime it should stand.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “It’s official: China has eliminated malaria”

    Interesting article this. You have to admire China for their can-do spirit. Lift a billion people out of poverty? Yeah, it will take a few decades but we can do that. Eliminate malaria? Good idea, so let’s get onto it. Must be because they have so many engineers running their country instead of lawyers, bean-counters and marketing droids.

    1. saywhat?

      instead of lawyers, bean-counters and marketing droids. Rev Kev

      And banks. But give em time and they’ll subvert the Chinese government too – by holding the economy hostage – same as with the West.

      1. Michaelmas

        I don’t think the banks there will ever be allowed to get that far — the CCP have not only absorbed lessons from the fall of the USSR but also that of the US. Thus, Jack Ma’s disappearance from the scene when he got too far ahead of his skis.

        If the bankers there ever do try something like that, I imagine the CCP is still fully capable of rounding up miscreants and shooting them in the backs of their heads, then sending the bills for the bullets to the miscreants’ families.

        Kind of refreshing, actually.

      2. Kouros

        The good thing about bankers in China is that they will be able to afford to pay for their one bullet. The free mass entertainment will be made available to the whole world, just to give people ideas…

  19. flora

    From Saagars latest commentary about the total loss of community for many many people.

    How much does this personal social isolation lead to twitter mobs and cancel culture — substituting a “sports fan”-type social involvement for real community and close friendships? my 2 cents.

    1. ambrit

      Another, often overlooked aspect of the ‘virtual’ versus ‘personal’ interactions question is that, in real, physical altercations, one can get punched in the nose. That hurts! (I speak from painful experience.) In ‘virtual’ conflicts, verbiage is the main ‘weapon’ used. No one is actually, immediately damaged. The “lesson” is delayed for as long as the social and or financial repercussions take to work through the system.
      ‘Virtual’ disputes generally have a delayed feedback function. ‘Real time’ disputes often have immediate effects.
      Stay Safe into the Future!

      1. hunkerdown

        In this strange virtual world, some are protected from the laws of physics by funny blue clown noses with white check marks on them. Others are just cancelled for impiety by the Atlantic Council’s Board of Censors.

      2. Laura in So Cal

        Apparently my mother’s advice isn’t given any more. She said “Never say anything about anybody that are aren’t willing to say to their face”

        I guess I’m old fashioned.

  20. rowlf

    Game on in Georgia:
    Georgia’s top elections official defended the 2020 results. Now he’s defending the state’s new voting law.

    The bill also allows for the state Board of Elections to take over “underperforming” county election boards and replace them. Raffensperger has since targeted at the elections board in Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, for “gross mismanagement.”

    I always suspected the real gripe with GA SB 202 was the political machines losing control of the voting process. In Georgia the counties run the elections and Fulton has a long history of problems occurring.

    1. marym

      Empowerment of Republican state legislators to overrule election officials and to control the certification isn’t just happening in GA or related to particular issues in any jurisdiction.

      “Less than two months ago, we warned in a report of a particularly dangerous trend within the larger voter suppression landscape: many state legislatures are pursuing a strategy to politicize, criminalize, and interfere in election administration.

      Today, not only do we set that number at a minimum of 216 in 41 states, but 24 of them have been enacted into law

      1. rowlf

        I find it interesting to watch corrupt political factions fight over who gets to print ballots, harvest ballots, stuff ballots and count ballots. Democracy seems to be a children’s story to distract the masses from viewing the elite as piñatas.

        1. hunkerdown

          It’s more interesting to watch them fight off those the don’t want near or on the ballots. Remember, “democracy” belongs to the two-parties, not us.

          I love your one-sentence summary of my politics, with aforeseen scare quotes duly added.

          (JBird: Elites need to reproduce a worshipful mass, which is harder to do with sticks alone. Ever get work out of a piñata by offering a carrot? No, we’re the sheep and they style themselves the shepherd. Our labor is the source of all value, saith the Bearded One. Anything else is stolen.)

          1. Oh

            Yep! The two parties nominate who runs and the people vote for either one. If you don’t care for one of the two candiddates I wonder if voting makes any difference. Voting for the lesser of the two evils still results in someone evil.

  21. Michael Mck

    I’d like to add to the Hemp article that one can also make biochar from the bits of woody core in the stalk (hurds, shives are from Flax). Hemp seeds provide excellent protein for tofu etc. or for animals and oil that can be used in lieu of petroleum. The mature plant produces heavily lignified fibers so for paper or textiles they are harvested before flowering.
    My vision is Hemp fields (dual use Ukrainian strains strip cropped in rotation with several other species, of course) planted at fiber crop densities with 2/3 of the rows harvested for fiber leaving the remaining rows better spaced for high seed yield. Make char from the leftovers and turn back into the field.
    One field can sequester lots of Carbon while providing food, fuel and fiber.

  22. Maritimer

    Illinois summer camp didn’t require masks indoors. Over 80 teens, staff got COVID-19 USA Today
    NC might want to link to this tomorrow. I am posting this here since it seems very significant:
    “One of the Government’s top vaccine advisers has claimed that letting youngsters catch Covid could actually be safer than giving them a jab.

    Professor Robert Dingwall, who sits on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said children are at a vanishingly small risk of Covid.
    Whereas, in very rare cases, the vaccines have been linked to blood clots and heart issues, mostly in young people….

    Covid is now a long way from being an important cause of mortality.

    ‘A reminder: medicine cannot deliver immortality and it is profoundly damaging to society to imply that it can, if only we try hard enough. We are all going to die one day — the question is when and how, not whether.

    ‘I am particularly concerned about the calls for Covid measures to continue to reduce all respiratory infections. As Rene Dubos noted 60 years ago, humans, viruses and bacteria form an ecosystem which has evolved over millennia.

    ‘Surely we have enough experience of the unintended consequences of humans reshaping other ecosystems to suit their own ends not to rush into reshaping this one without really understanding what it would mean for human lives and immune systems.’

    I have never heard Epidemiologists mention or say they have even considered the “…unintended consequences of humans reshaping other ecosystems to suit their own ends.” Never a consideration in their endless studies, proclamations and mandates.

  23. Alice X

    Will someone explain to me what is meant or understood by PMC? Or both, as in either, and then the difference.

    1. The Rev Kev

      The Professional Managerial Class, otherwise knows as enablers. Billionaires cannot run a country by themselves so need a class of managers to run it on their behalf and it is organized so that the loyalties of that class is towards those billionaires and not the 89-90% of the rest of that country’s population.

      1. LifelongLib

        If “PMC” was only used to refer to the top 10% I wouldn’t have a problem with it, but sometimes it’s so broadly defined that anybody with a 4 or more year college degree and/or a salary (rather than an hourly wage) is included. I don’t believe the latter group has enough in common to even be called a class, but that ship seems to have already sailed…

  24. Kris Alman

    Excerpt from the MIT article, “Inside the risky bat-virus engineering that links America to Wuhan”:
    The denial rests on the NIH’s specific definition of what was covered by the moratorium: work that would have deliberately enhanced SARS-like viruses, MERS, or flu by—for example—making them easier to spread through the air.

    Does this explain why there was so much hesitation to call out aerosolized spread?

  25. Johannes

    The load is not zero, then.

    Well, it was for 81% of people with one jab and 91% of people with two: thats a pretty darn good vaccine.

    Adjusted vaccine effectiveness was 91% (95% confidence interval [CI], 76 to 97) with full vaccination and 81% (95% CI, 64 to 90) with partial vaccination.

Comments are closed.