Links 7/14/2021

Happy Bastille Day!

Giant goldfish problem in US lake prompts warning to pet owners BBC

Fintech and the digital transformation of financial services: implications for market structure and public policy (PDF) Bank of International Settlements

On the decline since Panama Papers, Malta punished for dirty money reputation ICIJ

Got an Old Power Plant Lying Around? Crypto Miners Are Buying Them Up Curbed

Okapi Resources lands ‘transformational’ US uranium deal The West Australian


Reprogrammed CRISPR-Cas13b suppresses SARS-CoV-2 replication and circumvents its mutational escape through mismatch tolerance Nature. The Abstract concludes: “[T]he recent dramatic appearance of variants of concern of SARS-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) highlights the need for innovative approaches that simultaneously suppress viral replication and circumvent viral escape from host immunity and antiviral therapeutics…. The specificity, efficiency and rapid deployment properties of reprogrammed Cas13b described here provide a molecular blueprint for antiviral drug development to suppress and prevent a wide range of SARS-CoV-2 mutants, and is readily adaptable to other emerging pathogenic viruses.” Good to finally see some focus on treatment. And CRISPR as a platform, hmm…

Coronavirus Today: Where are the COVID-19 treatments? Los Angeles Times. Waiting for the emergency use authorizations to expire, I would imagine.

* * *

Transmission event of SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant reveals multiple vaccine breakthrough infections (preprint) medRxiv (Furzy Mouse). From the Introduction: “Here we describe a transmission of a Delta variant containing SARS-CoV-2 strain, between family members associated with events surrounding a wedding with 92 attendees, near Houston, Texas. Attendance required guests be fully vaccinated and took place outdoors in a large, open-air tent. To date, 6 individuals have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, all patients were symptomatic, one patient severely enough to receive monoclonal antibody infusion treatment (Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.) and one patient has died. Encounter timings and viral sequence similarities suggest the strain containing the Delta variant was transmitted to wedding guests from two patients travelling from India [and how the hell did that happen?]. With no history of vaccine failure in these patients, our observations suggest these are true cases of vaccine breakthrough, mediated by the Delta variant.” Outdoors, too. As with the “fleeting encounters” in Australia, masking at the event is not described.

CDC says roughly 4,100 people have been hospitalized or died with Covid breakthrough infections after vaccination CNBC

Infection and Vaccine-Induced Neutralizing-Antibody Responses to the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 Variants (letter) New England Journal of Medicine. Delta. Final sentence: “[P]rotective immunity conferred by the mRNA vaccines is most likely retained against the B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 variants.”

Sinovac-produced antibodies ‘halve every 40 days’ Bangkok Post (Furzy Mouse). n=500. Study from Thammasat University’s faculty of medicine and the National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology. I haven’t been able to find the paper online. So much for China’s vaccine diplomacy.

* * *

Strategies to minimize SARS-CoV-2 transmission in classroom settings: Combined impacts of ventilation and mask effective filtration efficiency (accepted manuscript) Science and Technology for the Built Environment (DG). Includes interesting material on the Badger Seal DIY mask fitter. “Overall, the results indicate that use of mask fitters can significantly improve the observed [Effective Filtration Efficiency (EFE)].” Just in time for Delta? (“Badger,” because developed at the University of Wisconsin.)

* * *

‘Long COVID’: More than a quarter of COVID-19 patients still symptomatic after 6 months Science Daily (PG).

Tennessee fires top vaccine official as COVID-19 shows signs of new spread Tennessean


China’s Slowing V-Shaped Economic Recovery Sends Global Warning Bloomberg

Global investors’ exposure to Chinese assets surges to $800bn FT

Exclusive | Xi-Biden summit moves closer as senior US diplomat visits China next week South China Morning Post

Blinken calls out China in meeting with ASEAN bloc ministers -spokesman Reuters

The Chinese Communist Party at 100: Back to the future? Responsible Statecraft

China Deals Another Blow to Its Crypto Miners Bloomberg. It’s an ill coin…

Chinese athletes complain about lax virus measures at Olympics hotel Agence France Presse


Despite ceasefire, volunteers risk their lives to help over 100,000 fleeing conflict Frontier Myanmar. Meanwhile:


Iran-China to sign 25-year cooperation pact: Tehran Arab News

Report from the looting frontline: I am the closest I have ever been to losing hope Daily Maverick. South Africa.

South Africa’s Biggest Refinery Shuts Down Due to Unrest Bloomberg. There seems to be rather a lot of unrest about, suddenly.


Compulsory Smiling London Review of Books

New Cold War

US and Russia pledge to ‘move together’ against climate change FT

The Caribbean

Mayor of Miami on Bombing Cuba: ‘That Option Is One That Has To Be Explored’ Mediaite (Re Silc). Not inaccurate:

SOS Cuba Demonstrators Blocked Palmetto Expressway Traffic For Hours 4CBS

Homeland Security chief says U.S. will not give refuge to those fleeing Cuba and Haiti by boat CBS

What’s happening in Haiti? Open Democracy

U.S. Intervention in Haiti Would Be a Disaster—Again Foreign Policy

Several tied to Haiti assassination plot were previously US law enforcement informants CNN

Venezuela announces terrorism charges against Guaido ally after highway arrest Reuters

US border closure has caused big losses on one side, some gains on the other Mexico News Daily

Biden Administration

Senate Democrats reach $3.5 trillion deal for Biden’s ‘human infrastructure’ agenda, Medicare expansion USA Today. We’ll need to check with President Manchin on the pay-fors.

Joe Biden styles himself as a 21st century ‘trust buster’ FT

‘A Real Disquiet’: FTC Staff Attorneys Are Job Hunting Addition by subtraction.

DOD IG Omitted Evidence Of Alleged Corruption in Jedi Program, Documents Show The Intercept

G.O.P. Lawmakers Question Amazon’s Connections on Pentagon Contract NYT

GOP senators fight to preserve Biden’s war powers amid tensions with Iran Politico

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

‘Potentially a death sentence’: White House goes off on vaccine fearmongers Politico. They buried the lead. Seven paragraphs down:

Biden allied groups, including the Democratic National Committee, are also planning to engage fact-checkers more aggressively and work with SMS carriers to dispel misinformation about vaccines that is sent over social media and text messages.

When I saw the talk radio headline “DNC Wants Phone Companies To Monitor Your Texts For Vaccine Misinformation” I thought that was right-wing fever swamp stuff. Now I find out it’s worse than even they thought; DNC doesn’t merely want the phone companies to “monitor”; DNC wants to be directly involved in the monitoring process (“work with”). Sadly for the putative goal of the program, DNC, besides being corrupt, is incompetent, so presumably this Stasi-like effort will do little other than enrich whichever contractors the DNC has wired up. So there’s that. I wonder what technology they will use:

Imperial Collapse Watch

Harmony House Resort (photo essay) Abandoned America

Class Warfare

Labor Department Announces Plans To Stop Counting Jobs And Just Enjoy Economy The Onion

In Favor of Bad Takes The Scholar’s Stage

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


      1. truly

        A sign I used to carry at protests: “Why am I in this hand basket? And where are well going?”

  1. Alex

    Thanks for the article about the Michaela school. I feel really ambiguous about it, I know that would not have enjoyed studying in a place like that, and would not want my child to study there. On the other hand, I have never been in a “bad” school, and apparently a lot of people, having a choice, choose to put their children in Michaela school.

    Regarding the conditions supposedly stifling creativity and original thought, I’m not so sure. In Russia the schooling also has become more relaxed compared to the situation 50, 100 or 150 years ago, and still, those generations produced writers, artists, scientists and revolutionaries aplenty.

    1. Procopius

      When I was trying to learn how to teach, I got a translated Soviet handbook for mathematics teachers, I guess high school level. The book was very big on teaching independent thinking and encouraging creativity. The most important device for studying hydrogen fusion is the Tokamak. This was copied by the U.S. from plans in the Soviet equivalent of Popular Mechanics. Most of what we were told about government controls in the Soviet Union was lies.

  2. ProudWappie

    Now Long Covid is, very likely, a thing, but the article linked is rather disingenuous. For starters, a certain, fortunately small, percentage of patients of other viral diseases gets something similar. Also, we’ve seen a lot of discussion here about other potential causes, for example re-activation of Epstein-Barr virus. On top of that, there’s no comparison to a group that hasn’t had Covid-19. In a Swiss article, they compared two groups, and the result was, that there wasn’t that much of a difference.
    Swiss Long Covid article

    Let’s be honest here; just about everyone has been suffering in one way or another (physically, mentally, financially) because of Covid-19, and the Covid-19 measures.

    Currently, in The Netherlands, where politicians mostly ignored Long Covid so far, it is only now mentioned, since it’s convenient. And they mentioned even worse “research”, by the Dutch equivalent of the CDC (RIVM), which was so biased, that it was completely useless. What I want to see is more actual research, and a focus on treatments. Treatments in general, should be getting the highest priority to begin with, especially since it’s becoming clear that the vaccines are not a magic bullet.

  3. johnherbiehancock

    Yesterday in Houston, Cuban protestors were shutting down one of the main freeways into the city from the SW suburbs to wave their Cuban flags and honk.

    Like this is a 4-5 lane freeway in each direction, and they were creating a MAJOR jam (and a dangerous one) by stopping four across to get out and wave flags.

    I kinda questioned the wisdom of this one… I mean if there’s one thing dumb Texans in their big pickups hate, it’s having to slow down for ANY reason. and especially at rush-hour when they’re trying to get home. Seems it would reduce support for this “organic” “freedom movement.”

    it got a write up in the local newspaper, and says the police got involved, but doesn’t mention any arrests. They also
    didn’t get any reactions from locals

    when Hispanic car clubs do the same thing to take photos of their cars blocking traffic, the cops publicly threaten them with jail.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Would this be a good time and place for the NAACP and other Legal Actin Justice groups to sue all the relevant Texas persons and authorities for failure to arrest, failure to charge, failure to prosecute these clearly law-breaking Cuban scofflaws? Perhaps the National Lawyers Guild could get involved? If only as a “legal performance satire” exercise?

  4. flora

    Fact checking… right….

    Recent comment from Dr. Malone. You really can’t make this stuff up.

    here is another example of Psy-ops being deployed. Google has placed this at the top of their ranking if you search my name. Good to know. Get used to it – this is our future now.

    Googles’ fact checkers are “correcting the record.” /s

    1. The Rev Kev

      Well I suppose the good news is that if anything goes wrong with mRNA vaccines long term, Dr. Malone can say ‘Hey, don’t look at me. Google says that Dr. Katalin Karikó and her collaborator Dr. Drew Weissman are the ones responsible.’

    2. chris

      That’s amazing. 1984 gets rolled out too often by people who never read the book but that right there is literally what Orwell wrote about.

    3. KLG

      I suppose Dr. Malone’s invention of mRNA vaccines could have escaped PubMed, but here is the search with “Malone RW” as the query. There are at least three distinct “Malone RW” authors in this list; they are easy enough to identify. Our Dr. Malone and RNA first appear in #4, AFAIK the description of the first transfection of RNA into mammalian cells. A significant advance in 1989 and this did crack open the door for RNA-based therapeutics (which are still, after 30 years, mostly in the concept stage; cancer vaccines will work one of these days, though). Many of his later papers described advances in transfection reagent cocktails (e.g., #11) that made introduction of RNA and DNA into living cells much easier for molecular biologists. This work probably contributed to the formulation of lipid nanoparticles used in mRNA vaccines.

      References 44 (AS deGroot, et al., “Making vaccines on demand…”) and 48 (RW Malone et al., “Zika virus…”) seem to be on point. Neither mentions mRNA in my search of the papers. Both are freely available, so YMMV. I especially like the final two references. I use famotidine (Pepcid) for heartburn once in a while. Maybe that protects me from the SARS-CoV-2!

    4. Mikel

      I typed his name in DuckDuckGo search and saw the doctor’s own site at the top of the page.

        1. juno mas

          My understandng is that DDGo is supposedly a “trackless” version of Google. It uses the Google search engine, but anonymizes DDGo users. Meaning you get typical Google search results without the Google cookies.

          Try StartPage for anonymous searches. They’re based in Europe.

          1. ZoteTheMighty

            They’re not the same algorithm as Google, they use a combination of other search engines and they’re own crawler. For most things it works great, but I can tell you it’s definitely not the same as Google – for looking for e.g. hotels and restaurants it’s not very useful, and it’s news choices skew towards tabloids and fringe outlets. I’ve used DDG as default for over a year now but occasionally I switch to Google it I’m having trouble finding something.

    5. griffen

      The road to this particular junction was paved by the Patriot Act and all the offshoot monitoring. No wonder that northern Virginia continues it’s booming growth.

    6. Lee

      Well, they have yet to scrub evidence of Malone’s considerable contributions from other sources of information. For example:

      Cationic liposome-mediated RNA transfection


      We have developed an efficient and reproducible method for RNA transfection, using a synthetic cationic lipid, N-[1-(2,3-dioleyloxy)propyl]-N,N,N-trimethylammonium chloride (DOTMA), incorporated into a liposome (lipofectin). ..”

      If one does a U.S. Patent Office quick search of “Malone, R.W.” dozens of links come up, not as the patent holder, the assignee being Translate Bio Inc., but as an author of many papers contributing to the development of RNA vaccine technology. Obviously, obliteration will require more air brushing…

    7. Reader

      Linked In kicked him off of his paid, Premium account the last week of June and he managed to get it back in less than a week. I don’t recall a cancellation being reversed so quickly before.

  5. Rodeo Clownfish

    The idea of using reprogrammed Cas13b as a treatment seems a bit scary. That is literally a tool for rewriting genetic code. I did get an mRNA vaccine, but I would not consent to CASPR-based treatment unless imminent death was the clear alternative. How can we trust that the product does only what it is advertised to do? They could slip in genetic programming to perform unwanted changes (insert favorite paranoia here).

    1. JohnnySacks

      They don’t ‘slip in’ anything, so stop there. The uncertainty is that the CRSPR guide attaches to an unexpected area of DNA and modifies it.

      1. IM Doc

        I agree with what you are saying. The idea is not to slip in anything.

        Here is the problem from someone dealing with real-live patients all day long.

        The world population was repeatedly and vociferously assured that the mRNA vaccines were just going to stay in the deltoid. Be located in the general injection site for a few seconds and do their thing and be gone. This was screamed from the rooftops for weeks and months when these were being introduced. From the pharma companies, their paid shills, and all kinds of commenters all over the Internet.

        But yet – right in black and white, in the pharmacokinetic section of the Moderna vaccine application for the European Medical Agency – it clearly states that lipoid particles and S proteins were being found all over the body – and indeed were found in circulating plasma up to 6 hours later.


        This was not a hypothesis to be debated. This was firm hard facts right in their own material.

        And now we may have this possible new technology – and we expect people to believe a thing about it?

        That is the problem – and Big Pharma and all this dissembling is just making it worse by the day.

        1. Phillip Cross

          “Not surprisingly, everything the establishment tells us about covid vaccines has been a calculated lie. One of the biggest and most treacherous lies is that “mRNA vaccine shots stay in the arm and don’t circulate nanoparticles around the body.” Now we know that is a complete lie, as new research conducted in Japan shows that Lipid NanoParticles (LNPs) containing the mRNA code are widely circulated around the body after vaccination, reaching the brain, spleen, large intestine, heart, liver, lungs and other organs.”

          Are you the Mike Adams quoted in this article?

          1. IM Doc

            I am most definitely not.

            However – if you would look at the EMA documents – I will get it for you as soon as I have time to find it – it is clearly there.

            Things that are so easily called out like this are what cause great amounts of consternation among the populace. It is the very wellspring of conspiracy theories.

            TRUTH AND TRANSPARENCY ARE THE ONLY WAY. Until we learn that – this kind of thing will just continue to happen and get worse.

            I am afraid that as a primary care provider – I am right on the front lines of this every day – and I see and know what makes people think the way they do.

            Once you let out deceptions as egregious as this mRNA circulating one – that can so easily be falsified – you have opened the door to every kind of conspiracy theory imaginable.

            Found it –

            This is the OFFICIAL MODERNA DOCUMENTATION submitted to the EMA – for approval of the vaccine. It is a pdf – look at page 46 in the 6th paragraph down – that begins IN NON-HUMAN PRIMATES. THere are also other figures and documents detailing the issue elsewhere in the document.

            The EMA has completely different laws and requirements than we do – so quite a bit of things are found there that are not found here.

            1. antidlc

              Fauci took the Moderna vaccine. didn’t he?

              I wonder how he feels about that decision.

            2. Phillip Cross

              Thanks for the PDF.

              As far as I can tell, they are talking about a test in mice and hamsters, and it says that the s-protein is undetectable in most areas within 24 hours of the first dose, and it’s undetectable in the liver and lymph nodes within 3 days.

              I guess I never saw anyone claim otherwise, but why is this supposed to be so scary anyway?

              1. IM Doc

                Multiple concerns there –
                The most onerous of which is that it clearly crosses the blood brain barrier – indicating that it would be being taken up by neurons.
                Brain tissue is irreplaceable – and we just really do not know for certain what damage is being done by these S-proteins on the loose.

                Furthermore – and FYI – all documents like this for drug authorization and approval do all the measurements in animals – that is standard issue. This one is particularly rushed – so the human documentation will presumably be forthcoming. You can rest assured if this is happening in other mammals – almost certainly happening in us as well.

                I would not call this scary. I would call this evidence that yet again – our health officials are big liars. I have come to the conclusion that they can be trusted on very little. THAT is scary.

          2. debu

            Phillip Cross…where have I seen that name before? Ah, it’s come to me now.

            Are you the Phillip Cross of the Craig Murray Wikipedia entry infamy?

            No? May as well be.

      1. Pat

        Are recent cuban immigrants willing to work off the books for less than minimum wage in terrible conditions?

        IOW do they relieve business owners of the need to pay people and clean up the work place? If not, who cares how they will vote…if they get to.

        1. ambrit

          If I reamaber correctly, Cuban “refugees” are in a class by themselves as far as Immigration and other agencies go. I remember the ‘original’ Cuban refugees as being showered with Federal largesse and ‘favoured proto-nation’ status. For years, Cuban “refugees” had a standing line of credit at the Federal coffers for starting businesses.
          Remember, the “original” Cuban refugees were the Cuban equivalents of our elites; the Doctors, Lawyers and Indian Chiefs of Old Cuba.
          Secondly, Cuba is a highly racially mixed population. The original Cuban “refugees” were mainly the White elites. The ‘mestizos’ and ‘negros’ were left behind to work out the nuts and bolts of ‘La Revolucion.’
          Thirdly, after living in an even marginally functional socialism, why should Cubans of any stripe want to move over to America? Unless, like in 1983, they were forced out. Then, there are the industrial level greedy ones.

          1. Pat

            I was just commenting on the false idea that Cubans seeking immigration currently are unwelcome because they vote Republican. I could be wrong, but I am not seeing an overwhelming crunch of Cubans seeking entrance to the US.

            Rather I am seeing a whole lot of former Cubans and children of former Cubans wanting America to bomb the cr*p out of it so they can leave a sinking Miami and return to Cuba as conquering rulers. Sure there may be a few deluded folk who think it is about freedom, but they are not the driving force here.

            Your point that they have had favored status is also good. Apparently they are always special snowflakes.

      1. Aumua

        It certainly is controlled, but in right wing speak it’s open because there is no wall across its entirety, or because any people make it through undocumented.

      2. fumo

        It basically is. Very few Mexicans are allowed to cross into the US, but tourists going south to spend money have an easier time. And of course those tourists with US passports have no problem returning.

  6. QuarterBack

    Re monitoring of text messages “I will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States” yada yada yada…

    1. Mildred Montana

      I’ve posted this before but I hope it bears repeating. While this is not strictly vaccine-related I think it can be thrown into the same basket because it leads down the same road–to censorship. I begrudgingly give the government some slight credit for fair warning of what is to come.

      June 15, 2021 White House Press Release:

      FACT SHEET: National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism American

      The stick: “The U.S. Government will also work to find ways to counter the polarization often fueled by disinformation, misinformation, and dangerous conspiracy theories online…”

      The carrot: “…[we will do this] while vigilantly safeguarding peaceful expression of a wide range of views…”

      That carrot looks to me like it could become a stick if one’s views do not fall into that “wide range”.

      1. Frank

        –DNC doesn’t merely want the phone companies to “monitor”; DNC wants to be directly involved in the monitoring process–

        That’s already happened via the NextDoor Stasi platform. Their software will ban you from your own ‘neighborhood’ if you dare to stray from the medical standards that they have created, without a medical license.

        1. Arizona Slim

          Oh, brother. NextDoor. Here in Tucson, it’s like Bonkers Central. As in, it makes Facebook look sane.

          OTOH, I do enjoy the “Finds,” which is where stuff is offered for free and for sale.

          As for being banned from NextDoor, I haven’t been. But the cray-cray doesn’t exactly inspire me to get heavily involved.

          1. newcatty

            Southern California relative in a well known town, who lives in a “modest apartment ” in a mostly middle to upper class neighborhood ( single family homes, mostly owned by residents) is in their NextDoor group. Mostly just monitor it for noose in the hood. An interesting anecdote:

            The “porch pirates” had just begun their raids on, well, porches! This was a little before Covid inspired shopping online. Hardly a day went by without stuff arriving via “delivery” on ubiquitous front porches on tree lined streets.

            A rash of pirating thieves apparently cased out the houses and while owners away, or “occupied” swooped up the goods. It was a major upset. Eventually the culprits were determined to be all of those landscaping company workers. They were as ubiquitous as the front porches and green yards. People were pissed and stressed. Never heard what the outcome was for them. My relative did not have daily deliveries. When they did have them, their apartments were not targeted. Hmmm…
            “Bonkers” it is .

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Perhaps decoy boxes should be set out for porch pirates, containing seemingly desirable goods coated with poison ivy oil, gangrene juice, botulism juice, etc.

            2. Kendra

              People post for people to water their lawn, feed pets while out of town. Burglars love it! Women are being stalked based on nextdoor accounts, especially with that helpful picture put out for any to see.
              Chuck Roast,
              Can a corporation, after vacuuming up all the details of your life that you willingly hand to them, charge you with perjury? Read their privacy statement and you have agreed to it already by just being there.

              The utilitarian value is to the data miners.

          2. chuck roast

            I had no clue what NextDoor was so I checked it out. There is a major rezoning case down the street being heard at City Council tonight…from from R-10 to Limited Business with a parcel that is a clear spot-zone included. The neighbors are extremely annoyed. NextDoor for my section of town is featuring Babysitting and a “favorite restaurant” a mile and a half away. I’m OK with being clueless about a website with zero utilitarian value.

    2. Questa Nota

      Told to me by a politician wannabe, who went on to be a key staffer of a US Representative.

      We don’t care what the votes were. We’re going to do what we think is right.

      How many little dictators are there out running around, in DC, state capitols, corporate staffs and elsewhere? A lot!

  7. Mikel

    Re: Breathrough infections / wedding

    Wedding may have been in an outdoor open tent, but everyone shared a bathroom or two.
    Is anyone testing the bathroom(s) they used?

    And the guests from India were negative before they got on a plane. Was there follow up on the flight passengers?

      1. Raymond Sim

        Nope, it needs to be three now.

        Formerly, two week quarantine was good enough to make test and trace, with enforced isolation of infected individuals, effective for eradication, it was never good enough for someone to feel safe about visiting their diabetic granny. And it’s not good enough for control of Delta. If I’m not mistaken China has already made the change.

        By the time we get to two, if we ever do, we’ll need four.

      2. CloverBee

        I have co-workers who have gone back and forth between India and Texas (I work from home, and will for the foreseeable future) to visit sick and dying family members. The US is taking zero precautions at this point.

        Our leaders have essentially decided the pandemic is over for the US. Any attempt to re-institute restrictions is going to be met with stiff resistance by the public. The most compliant will be confused at best. I have a standard, referenced post pointing out that the vaccines do not prevent infection or transmission, and am still met with disbelief.

        For my part, I am enjoying this brief period where we can see family and friends before things get wild. I wish there were kid-sized N95s for the school year. Where is the foresight?

        1. neo-realist

          I think employers, in particular, will be resistant to having the minions go back to WFH. Can’t watch’em, can’t trust them to work hard, need to be watched like prisoners for them to be productive, even though they have been by and large while WFH. The breakthrough infections prior to availability of boosters would have to be beyond really bad for them to take the shackles off once more.

    1. IM Doc

      I have already had two distinct incidents in the past month where patients were negative at their foreign vacation area right before getting on the plane – and then were positive and sick (and vaccinated I might add) a few days later. This was in 2 countries on 2 different continents.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Chinese athletes complain about lax virus measures at Olympics hotel”

    I have no idea what the Japanese think that they are playing at. They have had the best part of a decade to organize the Olympics. Then they had an extra year to modify their preparations to take count of the Pandemic. So since when did you have Olympic teams mixing it in with tourists in some hotel when you have no idea who may be carrying what? After their events are over is another matter when it becomes a bit of a bonk-fest but beforehand? Needless to say, if one of those athletes got sick, probably all of them would get sick in a short order of time. And would that not effect their performance in their events? It would be worse if the Japanese had to announce team after team banned from competing on the grounds that they have returned a positive test.

  9. Eudora Welty

    I’ll try to have more to say, but job orientation is broken in Covid. The good news is that I have a new job.. I look back fondly on those full days of orientation, where you sat at big round tables with new hires from other departments, did ice breakers, watched videos together, had schmoozing time, drank beverages. My orientation is all on-line at home (good), but I meet no one. Once on site, my boss gave me a tour, showed me every single emergency exit door & fire extinguisher, per his checklist. Also, I am documenting how I spend my time down to the minute, with several categories to use. I was always the quiet child who needed a push to socialize, and now I am past that & do seek moments to chat, but feel paranoid about which category that chat or that thoughtful moment goes into. And I anticipate that, when annual evaluation time comes around, I will have been expected to establish good enough peet relationships so that we can be on each other’s evaluation team, but how do you do that? Thus is,a bit rambling, but something is severely wrong with what I am going through.

    1. chris

      You’re correct. We hired two people in early 2020 who arrived to the office on March 13 to get their laptops so that they could begin orientation the following week…that did not go as planned. It is one of the reasons why the people asking for more staff to return to the office have a good point to make. There is only so much you can do remotely.

      For what it’s worth, here’s a few ideas to help. Take whichever you think might be useful. Take advantage of opportunities outside the office to meet up with people as soon as possible. If your employer has a mentoring program make sure to take advantage of it and check in regularly. Keep weekly journals of work planned and accomplished and make sure to save any compliments you receive. Forward them to a boss or save them to upload to a talent manager if your company uses one. And document any conversations you have with management regarding your performance and assigned tasks.

      Best of luck!

  10. Tom Stone

    More good news!
    The Capitol Police have rebranded themselves as an “Intelligence based Protective Agency” and are opening branch offices in NY and California.
    They are also acquiring and deploying advanced persistent surveillance systems from the DoD in order to identify potential threats.
    Since the Capitol Police are exempt from FOIA they are able to maintain the operational security so necessary to preserve our Freedoms.
    Bless their hearts.

    1. chuck roast

      Why not? DC has more different cops then you can imagine. The standard array of private security cops in all the buildings. Then we have the Federal security cops in all of the Fed buildings and museums. Then there are the regular DC city police force. There is a special detachment of embassy cops…you will find them around the Israeli embassy 24/7. Standard Secret Service, FBI, Air Marshalls and Federal Protective Services for the real big wheels. It’s tough keeping them straight, and it’s a real chuckle when a bunch of them converge on an incident and they start arguing over who has jurisdiction. (this is your best time to escape)

  11. chris

    On the Pay Day site regarding strikes there was a link to an article describing the #ShutDownSTEM and #BlackintheIvory movements. Reading that article reminded me of all the reasons my wife and I left academia. She was treated horribly by her advisor and nearly extorted out of ever graduating.

    It’s tragic that people think they were treated that way because they were people of color. The truth is academia is an awful environment and if you think other people are treated demonstrably better you’re in for a rude shock. In science you’re either producing grant money or you’re not. If you’re not, well… doesn’t matter what you look like. You’ll be on your way out soon enough.

    Perhaps what some black people discover upon breaking into these supposedly white bastions of privilege is that the work is awful and they’re unprepared for how bad it is?

    1. rhodium

      All the anecdotal stories I hear about academia these days makes it sound like a declining hellhole. I work with a postdoc who likes to tell me how industry mostly ignores university produced research in engineering these days because at this point the majority of it is fluff not intended to be truly useful. They specifically target studies that are likely to be construed in ways that sound like major breakthroughs in order to bring prestige to the university, even if the practicality of it has already been thoroughly discredited. While I don’t trust industry to necessarily care about anything in science or otherwise that doesn’t produce immediate value to them, I also don’t find it hard to believe that university administrators have turned universities into a giant perpetual sales pitch, where the image is always greater than the reality and anyone who doesn’t fall in line gets stomped on.

      1. fumo

        Academic papers have definitely become less rigorous over the last two or three decades and frequently sound more like a prospectus aimed at VC vampires than hard science. I’ve noticed this in SAE (Society of Automotive Engineering) papers published too.

    2. Grumpy Engineer

      You’re either producing grant money or you’re not.” Yep. When I finished grad school, I was strongly considering a career in academia, but I knew that bringing in industry/grant dollars was more important to engineering schools than teaching effectively. And given that I’m a lousy salesman, my prospects for a successful career as an engineering professor were dubious at best. I went elsewhere.

      And I’ve gotta ask… Who in the world came up with the hashtag “#ShutDownSTEM”? From an “optics at first glace” standpoint, that’s as stupid a slogan as “#DefundThePolice”. Start with a slogan that at face value is utterly irrational, and then use people’s confusion and anger as the starting point for a more rational discussion on discrimination? Um, yeah. Right.

    3. nycTerrierist

      “It’s tragic that people think they were treated that way because they were people of color. The truth is academia is an awful environment and if you think other people are treated demonstrably better you’re in for a rude shock.”

      This! recovering academic here – Ivy humanities grad – everyone grad student I knew felt traumatized by the ‘unsupportive environment’ (huge understatement), the exploitation (of T.A.s), the crumbling job market, etc.
      It was not a warm and fuzzy experience. The university was not a family – and I didn’t expect it to be.
      I just didn’t expect to be exploited as cheap labor!

    4. Arizona Slim

      The worst workplace abuse (verbal and emotional) I ever received was while I working in academia. Been out of that racket since 1994, and I do NOT miss it.

  12. Michael Ismoe

    Joe Biden styles himself as a 21st century ‘trust buster’

    OK. You won’t buy the Franklin Roosevelt BS – how about you believe he’s Teddy Roosevelt? Franklin Pierce? Warren Harding with a really bad VP?

    1. The Rev Kev

      How about Woodrow Wilson. Would you believe it?

      If Hamilton has become the cultural icon of the American deep State, then Woodrow Wilson is the model of an American President that they would most want.

      1. JBird4049

        A deeply racist, highly educated man who created a violent, law breaking security state? Got it. However, something they would not like was his sincere, deeply felt dream of a world with no war, of nations existing together in peace without massive armies poised for slaughter.

        Woodrow Wilson was interesting. A combination of the vile, the autocratic, the dreamer, and the lover of peace.

    2. Nikkikat

      Michael Ismoe, Lol! Maybe they have the names on a big wheel they spin every few days.
      I can’t even believe how bad their gas lighting has become of late.

  13. marym

    Re: SOS Cuba Demonstrators Blocked Palmetto Expressway Traffic For Hours

    But what about that new FL anti-protest law?

    When asked about protesters shutting down the highway in Miami on Tuesday, DeSantis sidestepped the question and said what is going on in Cuba is different from protests that take place in the United States.

    Police obliged and redirected traffic. Mercifully, no one roared through the crowd in a vehicle…But, unfortunately, for the governor, the reporter’s question trapped him in the hypocrisy of his law, likely to be arbitrarily enforced.

    1. Andrew Watts

      Those laws are designed to provide legal cover for the assassination of left-wing and civil rights activists. Not state-sanctioned protests directed at undermining a foreign country that the US is hostile to.

    2. Aumua

      DeSantis sidestepped the question and said what is going on in Cuba is different from protests that take place in the United States.

      Yeah, in Cuba the protestors are fighting Communism. In the U.S. the protesters are the Communists! Duh. Silly Herald reporter…

  14. timbers

    “My name is Juan CubanLastName33883837. My country Cuba not enough Freedom please invade killing up to 20% of population. PLEASE sell exclusive right to mine nickel and manganese to American corparation!”

    See how easy and honest that is? So much clarity and tidier than WMD in Iraq, Russia downed that plan, hacked the DNC, Novichok, Assad gassed his own people, Iran will bomb Europe, Covid is a Chinese biological weapon etc etc etc. Why clutter people’s brains with complex conspiracy theories?

    On the other hand, news folk might have less to pretend to report on and write about if we make it too simple and honest.

  15. griffen

    The link for that Harmony House resort is interesting but very much a sad set of images. My mind immediately went to the Overlook hotel. Hard to find good help like that caretaker family with the “visionary” young child.

    Probably add to the list over next 15 to 25 years. Here sits the unused mall, kids, where I once shopped at a big store called Sears.

    1. Kengferno

      Looking through the photos of this I love reading his occasional comments. In this one he was getting pretty existential about the photos and what his taking them means:

      “In the meanwhile, I do truly hope you enjoy the picture. I don’t know why I hope that, or why you would, or what either thing matters when you click on something else, when you log off of your computer and move on with your life. Off this image and my musings on it go, into the netherworld of forgotten things and the subconscious. Why does the husk of the building photographed matter? Why does the moment this image captured matter? Why does it matter that you’re looking at it now and reading this?

      I can’t say. You’re on your own with that one.”

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Mayor of Miami on Bombing Cuba: ‘That Option Is One That Has To Be Explored’”

    Well of course he would say something like that. Look who is really talking to. The sort of people that blockaded the Palmetto Expressway for several hours causing chaos for all those drivers who use it. And those people wouldn’t care if ordinary Cubans die in any bombing as these people want to go back to Cuba and be placed in charge of the Cuban economy. When Fidel Castro had a health scare years ago, straight away plans were being announced in America of how they would bulldoze a lot of central Havana so that they could build all these projects that they had planned. But Castro was inconsiderate enough to come back. And of course while people in his area are talking about this, Miami’s mayor can push the background story of the Florida Condo collapse off the front pages as the fallout on how to deal with all the other buildings would require actual governing.

    1. The Historian

      Apparently those ex-Cubans, pining away for Batista, have forgotten why there was a revolution in Cuba.

      Sure, use our military to bring back the corporations, and all the graft and greed, and the inequality. It’ll be different this time…. Somehow, I don’t think that is what the Cubans in Cuba are protesting for.

      1. Watt4Bob

        I always imagine that scene in The Godfather II where Hyman Roth is telling the rest of his Mafia friends, concerning Cuba;

        “We finally have what we’ve always dreamed of, a country of our own.”

        But then Castro took power and kicked the Mafia out.

        At the very moment that Cuba’s crooked elite was anticipating organized crime to supercharge their ability to loot the country, Castro took power and they had to flee the wrath of the people.

        They’ve been carping about that ever since, sort of how Ayn Rand complained about the Russian revolution for the rest of her life, and she was a darling of the republican party too.

        1. Phillip Cross

          Yes, that scene always stuck with me too.

          It seems like at this moment there is extra stress on their society, over and above the US embargo. There has been a strong inflation in the price of imports and food because of the lack of $ remittances (Trump’s parting gift), and hardly any incoming tourist money (Covid-19). This has been compounded by the recent scrapping of their dual peso system.

          I think people are actually struggling more that usual. Hopefully they can get some help from the rest of the world.

        2. Aumua

          Another scene that comes to mind is the one in Scarface where Tony Montana is talking with the immigration cops about his criminal history. He clearly is a criminal who has no problem hurting others to get over on them, killing for money etc. but he uses Castro and Communism to justify his behavior and manipulate the Americans into giving him what he wants.

          Ironically this scene is likely to be held up as an anti-Communist screed by right wingers.

          1. Basil Pesto

            you get this with the Sopranos too, holding up ironic scenes as unironic when Tony has a screed about, idk, anything – ignoring the fact that for the most part Tony is an ignorant amoral asshole. Ditto Wolf of Wall Street, where the cretin Belfort continues to go around, without embarrassment, touting himself as the Wolf of Wall Street to presumably adoring audiences of aspiring cretins (which was kind of pre-empted by the final scene of the film).

  17. Wukchumni

    Not looking forward to the super boil held @ the heatdome arena, we knew there’d be consequences of burning all that fossil fuel as quick as humanly possible and Mother Nature is tricky with the moves, her intention being to bake everything to a crisp including the higher altitudes-heretofore a haven from heat. Hot tip: Always take the over in boil games.

    On Monday it was 106 degrees @ the turn on Hwy 198 @ 1,000 feet in altitude to go to nearly 8,000 feet in Mineral King Valley where it was 94, a paltry dozen degrees less, when the old reliable way to do it was nearly 4 degrees less per 1,000 feet gained in altitude, the difference should’ve been closer to 25 degrees cooler. I doubt any of the flora & fauna in MK Valley has ever experienced such high temps, although of course the big winner is the Marmot Cong who dwell in tunneled bunkers under granite boulders not losing their cool as they perchance are dreaming up a hit & waddle strike on an unsuspecting radiator hose in the soft underbelly and the holy grail within for which they crave, anti-freeze.

    Score so far this summer:

    3 cars have been disabled by the Cong in ambushes and Hueys were requested to air-vac them out, but in the end Valero Bros Towing came to the rescue each time.

    1. Carolinian

      Sounds like the summer I went to Canada for vacation (to cool off) and it was hotter than Georgia. 106 at 7000 ft would be bad.

      Here at 780 ft. it’s 82–a bit hotter when not in the shade. However humidity is 77 percent.

      1. ambrit

        We’re Down South at 200ft elevation. It is, at 3:15 PM, 90F at dew point of 74F. Feels like 100F.
        The local station weather website doesn’t show humidity anymore, just dew point. Go figure.

        1. Wukchumni

          I tried humidity & high heat, but all it got me was 5 showers a day and a lot more laundry to do. I frankly don’t see the appeal.

          1. ambrit

            Oh, my, a ‘realist.’
            Now that the summer weather pattern is here, we are getting thunder showers daily. When the temporary torrent comes on through, we all get down and shower outdoors with all our ‘close’ friends. The Deep South has some curious ethnology that way.
            Stay defensible, the Sierras way!

    2. juno mas

      That 4 degree (F) temp change per 1000′ elevation change is for rain/snow conditions. Without any precipitation the standard temp change is 5.4 F./ 1000′. So MK valley should have been a comfortable 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The Great Arizona Bakeoff has come to the Sierra Nevada!

  18. Henry Moon Pie

    So I got my first “Nina is the devil” mailer today. It informs me that Nina “voted against” M4A, $15/hr and immigration reform because she voted against the Dem platform in ’20. It also tells me that “Nina Turner tried to divide us” because she wasn’t a HRC endorser and her comment re: Biden and half a bowl.

    So Our Revolution is running a virtual phone bank to respond to all this disinfo, and I’ve signed up for 3 sessions with more possible before Aug. 3, the date of the primary. People could phone bank from anywhere, so here’s the link to sign up.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        To give no trust
        is to get no trust.

        Tao te Ching #23 (UK Le Guin, trans.)

        Turner is being attacked in that mailer for her integrity over the past 5 years. I’m ready to trust her.

      2. marym

        What the Dem establishment is doing to Nina Turner is an example of the challenges anyone faces trying to work within the electoral system. Do you contend that no one who supports M4A, raising the minimum wage, etc. should even bother running for office, or is it worthwhile to try to build up a bench in state or national elective offices?

        1. neo-realist

          You can build a bench with and w/o hardcore lefties. Depends on whether it is a district or state. In districts, its easier to carve out a smaller, yet significant demographic that you can rally around a lefty, e.g., AOC, Defazio, Bush, and win a congressional seat. Statewide, it is much more difficult, particularly in a big state, to run as a pure lefty and you must temper your policy positions so as not to scare people who are afraid of “socialism, communism, marxism”. But such a candidate offers enough populist economic policy to push him or her over the finish line. Build the bench with the combination of left and not so left–but with more lefties in the mix it may be easier to build a tastier sausage in legislation to satisfy constituents nationwide.

  19. John Beech

    As long as ignorance reigns, and religious beliefs trump the lives of others, we’re going to have mutations of COVID19 to contend with. Meanwhile, politicians lacking the stones er, political will, to mandate the vaccine, let us down. End result, some are dying needlessly. There will be more. Maybe you. Maybe me.

    As a businessman, I approach masking with practicality in mind. How? by encouraging my customers to protect themselves – in a similar manner to how they protect equipment! These two brief articles explain why masks work and show how to extend the working life of same.

    On the value of double filtration
    Low buck trick to stretch mask use

    Note, putting my money where my mouth is, we include a free cloth mask with orders.

    1. Pelham

      Good move. Thank you.

      Meanwhile, if Biden were serious about containing Covid he would go on TV with experts and presentations for an hour or so to explain, careful point by careful point, why the vaccine and mask skeptics and other evidence cherry pickers (Tucker Carlson, Alex Berenson, et al) are either wrong or probably wrong. After that, he’d slam shut the borders.

      Meanwhile, I’m trying and failing to imagine the public and political reaction to a scenario this fall in which the death count climbs back to the peaks that Lambert charts in his 2 pm Water Cooler. It’s too dire to properly contemplate.

      1. Watt4Bob

        I’ve posted about this before, …crickets

        I heard an NPR broadcast about the difficulty of reaching people ‘reluctant’ to be vaccinated.

        To make a long story short, nothing worked, celebrities, scientists, experts, CDC, nothing.

        Then they had Chris Christie talk, he related that he was tested daily upon visiting the White House, and yet he and a number of people caught covid 19 at a White House meeting, including some staff who took the virus home and infected two family members who subsequently died.

        Christie’s story changed their minds, put him on TV.

      2. Phillip Cross

        Some cynics have uggested the reason “the elites” kept the borders open was so they could enjoy an uninterrupted cocaine supply.

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        Probably governors of states with lower or much lower rates of coronavid will try calling out their National Guard to block car, bus and truck access and traffic from states with higher or much higher rates of coronavid. They might also look into whether they can close the airports within their states, either legally or with Governor Christie-style traffic cone studies.

        1. Yves Smith

          They can’t do that. States can’t restrict interstate commerce. Only the Feds can do that.

          Rhode Island tried keeping New Yorkers out early on and that was shot down.

          New York tried restricting entry by requiring quarantines and Covid tests. It was a joke. No enforcement.

          1. ambrit

            Covid could be a trigger for another States Rights political tussle. Meanwhile, the pygmies get trampled underfoot yet again.

    2. lordkoos

      I’ve invested in some veterinary-grade Ivermectin. I still have trouble with the idea that I cannot get it prescribed.

      1. ambrit

        We’re in the same leaky boat as you. Have done what you did, experienced the ‘elite’ disdain you did.
        Keep bailing!

      2. rowlf

        Go Team Pony Paste! Who knew that surviving a virus outside of the medical complex could be a flip of the bird?

      3. chris

        Any sites or information on how to use it? What you do if you get pony paste because you can’t get a prescription for ivermectin?

        Searching for anything close to that gives you dozens results of “DO NOT USE IN HUMANS!”

        1. rowlf

          You’ll have to do enough web searching until your math and user reports make you feel comfortable with the idea. You’ll start to see common data that syncs up. People who work with large animals have some different ideas than urban people.

        2. ambrit

          A lot of that less than usable result is driven by fear of legal liability. You see that everywhere. America is a highly ligitious society. That can cut both ways.
          The way it was explained to me was that Terran humans are medium sized animals.
          Stay safe.

        3. Mantid

          Hi Chris. This is a god one:
          The plungers have gradients of 50, 100, 150, 200 etc., in pounds. If you weigh about 200 lbs. set the gauge at 200 lbs, squirt the paste on a cracker or bread. Eat it and follow it with some strong juice: OJ, grape, as you wish. It tastes like medicine, but chasing it with a juice kills the taste right away. Get paste with only ivm on the label. Some brands have added stuff that you don’t want. IVM paste at 1.87%is real standard. mmmmmm

  20. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: Transmission event of SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant reveals multiple vaccine breakthrough infections

    6 individuals have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, all patients were symptomatic, one patient severely enough to receive monoclonal antibody infusion treatment (Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.) and one patient has died

    Read the study and it is more nuanced…

    Patient 0a and 0b traveled to Houston 10 days after their second doses of Covaxin BBV152, Table 1.

    Covaxin and only 10 days after the second shot. Patient 1 had the Pfizer shot but no data on how long after the second dose. And why is Patiet 1’s age listed as 60-66? Do they not know his exact age?

    Glad they are doing these studies but its a little early to make any assumptions on a pre-print like this.

    1. Raymond Sim

      Absent proper government surveillance for and reporting on vaccine breakthrough, a preprint like this, is more than enough evidence for sane people to operate on the assumtion that the vaccine is not protecting the population adequately.

      Just as a general principle, from the get-go till such time as we get resoundingly thorough evidence that it works we should have been operating on the assumption it doesn’t work.

      Jesus H Christ how is this not obvious?

      1. ambrit

        It is not ‘obvious’ to the mass of people who are having honest data obscured to them by clouds of gaslighting fumes and smoke and mirrors efluvia.
        Most people, I’ll aver, do not know that there is a dispute about “the science” going on.
        We have reached some sort of “Peak Orwell” when the ‘official’ fact checkers are disseminating fake news, straight faced.
        This medical industrial elite has to go, by hook or by crook.

    2. hunkerdown

      >And why is Patiet 1’s age listed as 60-66?

      Identifying statistics are often bracketed to preserve anonymity.

  21. Carolinian

    Worth a read.

    This is the manufacture of ignorance as plainly as it can be displayed. It is by way of this prevalent ignorance that the U.S. has turned itself from republic to imperial power in the course of seven decades while uttering the word “empire” is counted evidence of a deranged mind. Who? Us?

    Take note: Your Times-reading friends, all those addicted to the baby talk of NPR, the silliness of MSNBC, and the faux seriousness of CNN will proceed happily in the dark, having nothing to worry about because they do not know anything and do not want to be disturbed. No, it is the producers and consumers of independent media who are the concern of those elites defending themselves against the scrutiny of a threatening minority of people who have learned the value of thinking and seeing for themselves.[…]

    Given how lost these people are in the “woke” rubbish and all the bunkum attaching to identity politics—an ignorance of another order—our “left” is a sitting duck for those intent on leading it down harmless paths and away, far, far away from all questions to do with power.

    One could dismiss this as hyperbole except that it sounds like the description of some people I know. Of course long before “woke” was a thing those same people were happily unaware of anything to do with foreign policy or empire and it was a long time ago that Vidal talked about the “United States of Amnesia.” So perhaps it’s not so much a matter of NPR etc making the elites ignorant as that they are celebrating it. For four years Trump gave them all the raison d’etre they needed.

    As the article says, what is of more concern is that the zeal for groupthink may block information from those who have always sought to know more. That would be new and yet another blow to “a republic if you can keep it.”

  22. crittermom

    <"Giant goldfish… "

    I lived down the road from a beautiful lake in New Mexico.
    I'd been told at one point, years before, literally tons of goldfish had to be removed, yet there were still some in there. (I observed the Bald Eagles especially seemed to like them, as they were an easy catch, and huge).

    The article says that people are releasing their PET goldfish into the lakes.

    I beg to disagree, but from my understanding after talking with wildlife officers and others, it is not pets who are being released and causing the problems.

    It is people using the small 'feeder' goldfish as bait.
    In N.M. (and probably elsewhere), it's illegal to use them as bait for this very reason and you can be fined if caught doing so.

    More likely, I was told, those using them as bait would dump them into the lake if they saw a game warden approaching, or even just when they were done fishing and ready to leave.

    Yes, it's a huge problem.
    But I tend to disagree with the article on how those fish get there in the first place.

    1. jefemt

      I thought the recent influx of highly motivated a**holes to my home state was Texifloridlifornians.
      I now realize they are well-disguised goldfish.

          1. newcatty

            Sir, this replaces our farm raised fried talapia fish sandwich with the superior farm raised golden fried goldfish sandwich. It’s called the Double Golden. Would you like new Double Golden goose fat fries with that?

    2. a different chris

      That makes a heck of a lot of sense. A goldfish is not like a dog. If whoever gets tired of it, they start neglecting it, and it shortly is found floating upside down in the bowl/tank whatever. The only way it winds up in our waterways is dead and thru the sewage system. Which it actually shouldn’t make it thru, but that’s another problem.

      Nobody says “Oh Goldy, we can’t afford your food anymore, we will take you to the nearby lake and let you swim free!!”.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        “Oh Goldy, we can’t afford your food anymore, we will take you to the nearby lake and let you swim free!!”.

        I believe those are the exact words Kamala is going to use when she invokes the 25th Amendment.

        1. ambrit

          Considering who’s next in line in the Line of Succession, if I were Kamela, I’d hire more bodyguards, and private eyes to watch the bodyguards. Who does she think she is, Sejanus?

      2. crittermom

        >a different chris

        I saw this same story on MSM this morning, blaming the same cause of how they got there. (I so admire how NC comes out with news before MSM)

        What I fail to understand is why ‘those who supposedly know’ are so clueless in relation to it?

        Oh, wait. I believe those are government officials spreading what I strongly believe to be misinformation, lacking common sense.
        No surprise, then.

  23. fresno dan

    The thrice-cooked fries recipe calls for upstate Chipperbeck potatoes, which are first blanched in Dom Perignon Champagne and J. LeBlanc French Champagne Ardenne Vinegar — aged in small oak barrels — to lower the starch content for crispier fries. After cooling down, the fries are then cooked in pure goose fat from cage-free geese raised in Southwest France twice, first at 320˚F and again at 375˚F.
    I’m not getting how you can raise geese cage free twice – unless you stick the geese back n a cage, and than let them out, and you call that being raised cage free twice…

      1. Michael Ismoe

        I never realized that France got so hot. Raising geese in 320 degree temperatures is almost like living in Arizona in June.

        “…cage-free geese raised in Southwest France twice, first at 320˚F and again at 375˚F.”

        1. newcatty

          Well, IIRC, there was a bit of controversy over the definition of “cage free” raised chickens right here in USA. One huge factory chicken farmer jumped on the brand of “compassionately and humanely” raised chickens for meat or egg production. This he provided as a cage free life for the birds: The birds were in cages, but had a “sun porch” to stretch out on and enjoy their vitamin D exposure. It is so roomy that the birds get to walk a few steps and turn around in circles. This was timed…maybe some hours and then back “home” for the rest of their time.

          We buy some brands of “cage free” eggs at a local small grocery. We pay more than for “conventional ” eggs. I have no idea if the birds are really to be defined as “cage free”. We go by the rep of the store…be nice to buy at a farmer’s market, but not practical for us.

    1. fresno dan
      Speaking of gastronomy, pure coincidence that this so speaks to 200$ French fries. Glutonny is not the perfect analogy to what is happening in the economy. Going to the thesarusus, I couldn’t find a word that captured the desire for food as a Veblen good.
      From the article:
      Cage plays Robin Feld, a modern-day hermit living off the grid — a rejection of nearby cutting-edge Portland, Ore. — by supplying the city’s high-end restaurants with pricey truffles foraged by his only partner, a russet-colored pig. Writer-director Michael Sarnoski uses the metaphor for man at his basic subsistence level to reflect on coarsened modern society.
      Portland turns out to be the perfect setting for Pig’s Millennial noir. Its contradictions call for daylight exposure, as in the key scene at Eurydice, a chic molecular-gastronomy restaurant. The effusive chef brags, “It’s cutting-edge. It’s very exciting everybody loves it: Scotch Eggs with honey cream mustard!” And Robin answers, “You’re not real. None of this is real.”

    2. hunkerdown

      Twice at that temperature no less. The geese must get terribly confused when they have to switch back to Celsius.

  24. fumo

    Report from the looting frontline: I am the closest I have ever been to losing hope Daily Maverick. South Africa

    I’m getting reports from Pietermaritzburg, it sounds pretty tense, crowds are gathering to storm the big, local shopping mall, C-140s are bringing in army, but probably too few.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Pietermaritzburg is a pretty big city. Any idea if these riots are spreading to the smaller town as well? Places like up-county Dundee?

      1. fumo

        This is from yesterday- “Morning everyone. We awoke to thick smoke blocking out the sun and the awful stench of burning. We both had a restful night thanks to the Community Forum who rounded up anyone who could stand guard around our nearby supermarkets etc. and blocked off all access to this area. There is no evidence of the army up our way but despite their so called presence, the criminals managed to burn down more businesses in the outlying area nearest the road to the black townships of Edendale.
        Last night the President re-assured us he would restore calm and order but as I type this there are gunshots and explosions down in the city. I hope its the army taking a stand.”

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      The scene described in the link recalled images of Los Angeles after the 1992 Rodney King riots. More recently, a couple year ago, I saw images of a bank burned by demonstrators in the normally quiet downtown of La Mesa, California, a bedroom community of San Diego. The Government and Big Money seem clueless about the kind of bed they are making for themselves … and for us.

      I looked at some other articles by Des Erasmus in the Daily Maverick. The trigger for the rioting appears to be the arrest and jailing of former President Zuma. “Zuma is accused of receiving 791 payments, totalling R4.1-million, between 1995 and 2004 from his former financial advisor/economic advisor Schabir Shaik and Shaik’s companies, to help Thales, accused number two, secure lucrative defence contracts from the government as part of the country’s multi-billion rand 1999 armaments deal. … Zuma is facing one count of racketeering; two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud.” “Zuma pushes for Downer’s removal – says he’ll then be entitled to an acquittal”,

      The R4.1 million works out to somewhat less than $300,000. I do not condone graft but I believe that amount of graft would make a county supervisor or mayor of a fair sized city in the U.S. embarrassed for how small it is.

      A comment to one of the Des Erasmus series of articles on Zuma and the anarchy:
      “SA [South Africa] has been a social time bomb long before apartheid came to an end. To claim that the high unemployment rate is due to Zuma and his cohort is incorrect. This has been an issue for the majority of this country for generations.”
      How true might this statement be if we replace SA with US and ‘Zuma’ with any of our recent or possible future Presidents?

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Who are these looters? Zuma supporters? Long-term unemployed people taking advantage of a free-shopping opportunity? Semi-professional and professional criminal gangs who usually pursue other crime but are taking advantage of the looting opportunity while it exists?

      Are any of them pure disillusioned nihilists who want to watch the world burn?

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        Official unemployment in South Africa is 32%, 43% if you include discouraged workers.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          So a lot of it could be ordinary citizens under actual deep-deprivation brute survival-pressure.

  25. The Rev Kev

    “Abandoned America”

    If you ever want to now what our world would look like if people went away, these images would be a good example. I suppose that Roman buildings must have looked like this just after they were abandoned and before they were eventually buried. If anybody is curious, there is a YouTube channel by a guy named Seph Lawless who explores abandoned places such as shopping malls, amusement parks, asylums, etc-

    1. Mildred Montana

      Here’s some more abandoned America:,_Montana

      My namesake! Legend has it that a railroad owner named the new towns on his line after family members and one of his daughters was named Mildred.

      There are many ghost towns in northern Montana, the settlers ruined by the false promises of railroad owners and the dry climate.

      Twenty-five years ago, Jonathan Raban wrote a wonderful book about the settlement of Montana in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. It’s called “Bad Land: An American Romance”.

      In it, Raban quotes a saying about the scarcity of the region’s resources and the fragility of its topsoil:
      “Miles to wood, miles to water, and six inches to hell.”

    2. juno mas

      I suppose that Roman buildings must have looked like this just after they were abandoned and before they were eventually buried.

      I found the abandoned “resort” fascinating. Unlike Rome the structures weren’t solid stone and the climate is much more humid/wet. (The roof angle/overhang along with the vegetation indicate a sub-tropical (not Mediterranean) climate.) My first guess is this “abandoned America” resort is in Gulf Coast-ish Alabama (could be Mississippi, but that’s a much poorer state)

      It is the wet/humid climate that makes the interiors look the way they do. The particle board walls have deformed/crumpled into piles of near-soil and encourage plant growth. The mattresses in the hotel rooms have quickly become an enviable growing medium. (Note how the headboards are still straight/unbowed—they are made from Phillipine Mahogany (a hardwood).

      From the mix of outdoor “cabins”, hotel rooms. and the size of the entertainment theatre, I would think this resort was reasonably close by car to a medium sized city. (Imagine if the site had been a state park instead.)

  26. Reader

    Thanks Lambert for alerting me to the Badger Seal mask fitter in Links back in January. I’ve been using one over a folding KN95 and it’s easy to use and to clean with soap and water. It was easy to make using the instructions in the the Badger Seal DIY mask fitter link. It’s even easier to breathe through using it with a procedure mask but I’m unclear on how to judge the filtering performance.

    Does the data in the accepted manuscript really show that the Badger Seal over a cheap procedure mask performs close to an N95? (see the bottom of the web page in the University of Wisconsin link.)

    This could be really helpful for teachers, students, office workers, etc. who are returning to classrooms and offices with typical HVAC systems and underfunded and overworked building and purchasing managers.


    1. hunkerdown

      Observation: AMC was the first stock anyone seriously tried to staple onto GME’s unique coattails.

      Argument: A movie theater is functionally not much more than someone else’s TV set and warm ghee on tap.

      Contradiction: the local Rocky Horror shadow cast is scheduling shows at their home theater.

      Opinion: Art houses may be the most likely survivors, where the movies are social enough to go and socialize about. If they can keep up the rent in these plagued times. :(

      1. Carolinian

        someone else’s TV set

        Literally true. Theaters today use a more powerful version of the digital projector I have in my home.

        Plus at home if I talk during the movie I can kick myself out.

      2. Basil Pesto

        kind of ironic that the blockbusters, seemingly designed primarily for the big screen experience, are going to drive the at-home viewing habit whereas ~arthouse~ will probably keep cinemas going to some extent. Although the demise of the cinema has been predicted for some time. Maybe it will become more like theatre now – popular enough but not ubiquitous like multiplex cinemas are/were.

        I love going to the cinema – usually alone – and will never stop (although I’d note that the phenomenon of people talking during movies seems to be waaaay less widespread here than it apparently is in the states).

        1. Carolinian

          Americans are rude.

          Do British cinemas still charge different prices according to where you are in the auditorium? How about the concessionaires walking up and down the aisles?

          Here some were experimenting with deluxe theaters where attendants bring you popcorn in a bowl along with drinks. Costs a lot more.

          1. Basil Pesto

            I’m in Aus but no, not a thing here. There are various discounts available on seats for students/seniors etc. but no pricing tiers by seats that I can recall.

            ‘Gold Class’ cinemas launched here in the early 00s with larger, comfier, discrete seating and a la carte food and drink service. They seem to have been fairly successful (they still exist) but I’ve never been to one.

            Americans can also be very polite! I wonder if it’s more a question of self-awareness? I guess the two are related.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              I think its a regular thing with cinemas that they try to experiment with some type or other of premium seating, but it rarely lasts long as customers game it in one way or another (or just realise its a scam). I can remember as a kid some cinemas had super cushy seats in the back for extra prices – if the cinema wasn’t full we’d sneak up and sit there when the adverts started. Some country cinemas had double seats for (presumably) couples who didn’t intend to put their entire focus on the screen.

              I think there will be a major clearout of cinemas after Covid. One very large one near me is indefinitely closed for refurblishment, but I wonder if they will follow through. Modern home screens/audios are so good now you don’t miss much, even for big special effects extravaganzas. I’m really hoping the two smaller art cinemas in the city survive – I think one is potentially in big trouble.

              An interesting model for the future might be the increasing Japanese anime marketing ploy of alternating TV series with films focusing on a particular sub-plot (as opposed to just spin-offs). Its been spectacularly successful for Demon Slayer, which has been breaking streaming and cinema records.

  27. Larry Y

    Speaking of birds… there’s a mystery bird diease in the northeast US. Apparently started in VA, MD, and WV, and is now found in PA and NJ. Appears to be neurological and mostly affects fledglings and hatchlings. The other main symptom seems to be swollen eyes with crusty discharge.

    What can people do? Take down bird feeders, and if you find sick/dead birds, contact the state department of natural resources, state agency of game and fish, or state environmental agency. The federal agency coordinating the investigation is the U.S. Geologic Survey.

    1. savedbyirony

      You can add Ohio to the list. About a month ago, the local papers and other news sources started asking people to take down their bird feeders here because of increasing bird deaths.

  28. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    On the decline since Panama Papers, Malta punished for dirty money reputation]]

    “More than 200 countries and territories follow FATF’s recommendations on preventing organized crime, corruption and terrorism financing.”

    It is assumed that there is a certain lack of sincerity and enthusiasm in ending illicit money flows into 1st world economies, since the way to win the ‘game’ is to get rich, by any means necessary. Where, again, it is assumed that, “. . . . far from operating at the fringes of the state and economy, corrupt actors are usually enmeshed within the very structures of capitalism. I show that rather than being an aberrant process that is incidental to the economy, and works through the actions of deviant individuals, corruption is integral to economic processes, and functions through systemic interactions between actors with distinct skills and authorities.”

    Therefore, the lack of determination in ending the inflows of illicit funds is embedded in the realization that if the laundromat is either shut down completely, or if the ‘business model’, that is corruption, is significantly restricted then the impact(s) to 1st world economies would have notable and inclusive top to bottom economic consequences. See for example, “Altogether, dirty money in the real estate market accounted for an estimated 72 per cent of the $7.4 billion that the experts believe was laundered in total in B.C. last year.”

    “How China made Canada a global node for narcos and cyber-criminals”

  29. Val

    How can we trust that the product does only what it is advertised to do?

    That literally never happens in pharma or anywhere else.

    This old sequence wrangler is unable to find the complete sequences for the mRNA vaccines, is this available to we trembling masses?

    Even for experimental drugs, the structure is always available. In this case, a breezy description is offered, but the primary structure is not submitted?

    Those regions flanking spikey would be of keen interest.

    Transfection soaps were widely available by the mid 90s. Some even worked.

    Happy Bastille Day!
    Happy Birthday Woody Guthrie!

    Enjoying the comments re academia.

    1. Raymond Sim

      The regions flanking spikey seem to be super interesting, whether on the virus or off. Super interesting and consequential in unexpected ways, if my uneducated reading of the literature is any guide.

  30. jo6pac

    A little more Cuba and Amerika

    Washington’s Weaponization of Protests in Cuba Takes Its Regime Change Efforts to New Heights of Hypocrisy –

    For some reason the computer isn’t allowing to link:-(

  31. enoughisenough

    By the way, the assault on public education in the name of “crt” is not the only public institution the fascists are hoping to destroy: public libraries, too.

    As usual, the details here belie the headline. This is not about “books on racism” that is just the clickbait. They are after our commons. Other facts about slashing and burning budgets, etc make that clear.

    Public edu, public libraries, the Post Office, public parks are next, they’re probably just trying to figure out a culture war angle to get it done with.

    1. Watt4Bob

      They’ve been after the libraries forever.

      Back when my kids were in grade school, we couldn’t find a copy of Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ anywhere in the Minneapolis Public Library system even though they showed many copies in the card catalogue.

      The librarian explained the the book was the most stolen item in the library’s inventory because of right-wing hatred for environmental activism.

      1. enoughisenough

        That’s so horrible. :( But it’s so much worse now: stealing books is one thing. Crippling the budgets and firing people is next level.

        1. newcatty

          Recalls: ” Steal this book.” It was so radical, subversive, cool, and most importantly anti- capitalist that it made a point. Not paying for anything that costs money in the system ( like published books) was “UnAmerican”, Socialism, hippy degeneration , encouraging crime! But, when “our side” commits the crime it’s just the opposite! “Silent Spring” was one of the first clarion calls for the realization that we really are all connected as life on the planet. It called for “right wing haters” to face their cherished belief that “men” are the apex of life on earth. The kicker was that they were destroying their only nest. Cognitive dissonance so blaring, that it was not to be tolerated.

          If libraries are dismantled or silenced then that is a silent society and world.

    2. Carolinian

      I’d say your link is more than a bit overheated. Libraries have much bigger problems these days than whether they will be blocked as centers for sexual diversity education. What were once seen as a temples of knowledge are now having an identity crisis what with the web and the ubiquitous availability of information. In many cases they have devolved into free video stores with (fewer) books and maybe a makerspace. It could be that waning public interest is what is allowing library board takeovers by activists with an ax to grind.

      “Fewer than 2,000 people out of more than 57,000 who were eligible to vote, voted

      Since I love my library I would frankly prefer that those with a political agenda–on both sides of the cultural divide–stop trying to use the library as a battle ground. I don’t want to see it caught in the crossfire and don’t particularly regard it as a place for classrooms or instruction in any case. Leave all those homeless people and autodidacts alone.

      1. newcatty

        I always thought of libraries as above any political agendas. A source of knowledge free and open to all ( well ,with a library card if you want to take an item home). We love our library, too. It does provide us with great selection of DVDs, and , yes, books! Our interconnected local branch will search other sources for almost any book and often purchase a requested one. It’s also a beautiful place and a pleasure to visit. It’s kind of a town center. It’s fine that an origami class can meet, and so can kids for storyhours. If a Buddhist, Christian, Muslim group wants to meet, OK. No one is compelled to go, after all. Dems and Repubs have some meetings. This changed with Covid, but they still have basic services ,including bringing your items out to your car. It is slowly opening up with masks required ( yay). Will go so far as to say, if our library closed, we would seriously leave town soon as possible. Our branch PTB are great at working with the homeless, here. Compassionate, respectful but competent at management. Before Covid, one thing that was important: reservations for computer use. Welcome to our public library.

        1. enoughisenough

          yeah, the fascists don’t want us to have town centers and places for community. Seriously. That, and the control of information for profit is the point.

          1. enoughisenough

            As I said, they are after our commons. The culture war nonsense is just a weapon to do it. An effective weapon.

            Public libraries are “political” because they are PUBLICLY FUNDED. Exactly why they are after public schools. They are too democratic and taxpayer-funded.

            In my original comment: “Public edu, public libraries, the Post Office, public parks are next, they’re probably just trying to figure out a culture war angle to get it done with.”

            couple of links on privatizing land and our parks:




      2. enoughisenough

        The link is overheated because it frames it, as I tried to say, as culture war, and not the destruction of the commons, which is what it is. I said outright they are using clickbaity framing for what is really serious.

        Why should people get to read books for free when there’s profit to be made. And information to be controlled.

        The point is, libraries, like public schools, like the post office, are in the cross hairs. If you all think you can get whatever you want on the internet, you’d be wrong. Hard copy books continue to be crucial, will always be.

        Public schools shouldn’t be a political battleground either. None of this should.

        1. Carolinian

          This area of SC is about as Republican as it gets although they are “business Republicans” rather than “values Republicans.” And aren’t the latter a throwback to the 1980s? A nearby city–home to Bob Jones University–had battles over the library 20 years ago. Now the downtown of the same city is heavily populated with gays. In my own town gay themed movies have long been available at the library along with copies of The ‘L’ Word tv series with lots of explicit as well as lesbian content. Nobody complained at least that I have heard about. The Story Hour came through and both the performers and the smattering of protestors outside all seemed to be from somewhere else.

          Libraries are traditionally popular and also apolitical so there’s no reason for Republicans, if those are the fascists you refer to, to want to get rid of them. After all having a good library makes the real estate values go up. Perhaps this is less of a factor in more podunk towns.

          1. enoughisenough

            Well, if it were only about the Story Hour and LGBTQIA materials, they could have canceled that and censored* without firing people and slashing the budget.

            That’s how you know it’s not just about the culture war stuff. The firings and budget stuff.

            Good public schools are valued too, but that doesn’t stop the privatization charter juggernaut, does it? Public schools are “traditionally” popular too.

            Libraries are public commons that Republicans can monetize. That’s reason enough for them, no? I think you might be underestimating the ideological fervor of Koch types, also their greed.

            *which would be obviously horrible.

            1. Carolinian

              One of the Kochs has kicked. Are they even still a thing?

              FYI my library has a sticker next to the entrance saying “this is a safe space”. Librarians in general don’t tend to be gun toting rednecks even around here, go figure.

              I have no doubt that very small towns are library threatened. I question if that is true about cities–even ones as small as where I live.

              1. enoughisenough

                “Are the Kochs still a thing”?

                Oh, it goes way beyond those 2 individuals. Have you ever heard of ALEC?

                I guess that answers the question of whether you know what the Republicans are about right now.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Never thought about it but we should eventually see when they start going after places like Project Gutenberg because the text in some of those books is now ‘problematical’ and they need to be taken down or ‘modified.’ All for our own good of course.

        1. enoughisenough

          The Rev Kev:

          yeah, anything on the internet can be tracked, hidden, and altered. And we know how preserving Net Neutrality has been going.

          As someone who researches, I assure you searching for things I *know* are there is getting harder and harder.

          We *must* preserve books and access to books.

          And people’s access to gathering spaces like parks and libraries alike which are also under threat.

          The physical spaces of democracy are in danger. And that 100% includes schools, primary, secondary, and higher ed. All of this matters to a democracy.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I guess that some people took Ray Bradbury’s book “Fahrenheit 451” as a societal instruction manual instead of a warning. And it isn’t the goons wanting to destroy books like happened in Germany in the 1930s but our very own ‘intelligentsia’ instead who are at the forefront of wanting books silenced. Who knows? Maybe in the future there will be a secret underground of people passing books around that are on the forbidden list and book smugglers like you have with bibles and modern China.

            1. Carolinian

              Pauline Kael wrote a review of Francois Truffaut’s 60s movie version and said the film represented intellectuals’ fetishism of books rather than some kind of believable cautionary tale. She couldn’t have predicted, of course, how true that would turn out to be. These days thousands of books reside on millions of hard drives.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Books are important. They contain the stories that we tell each other and talk about what it is to be human. To a large extent, they are our culture as well as our inheritance. Even our memory. If a person has a book collection, the titles of these books will tell you a lot about what that person is like. That is what the Bush regime was demanding that librarians hand over their reader’s borrowing lists which they refused.

              2. enoughisenough

                When all the grids finally collapse, I’m sure you’ll wile away many cold nights, reading your hard drive.

      2. enoughisenough

        Textbook publishers need to be investigated and completely redone from scratch – it’s a huge problem.

  32. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    Intelligence gathering, managing perceptions, and directing the thought and action of targeted populations towards desired ends.

    “US secretly created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest and undermine government”

    It is assumed that the example of clandestine activities noted above are also directed at the unaware and unsuspecting domestic (domesticated) populations in democratic societies. As the herd is always in need of management, from the top down.

  33. Jason Boxman

    So riddle me this; There’s yet another article about fighting climate with better battery technology, but oh noes it is so expensive.

    Expensive relative to what? To a status quo of energy consumption that is probably causing a civilization ending level event?

    How absurd is that.

    What’s expensive is continuing to believe in the technology fairy while burning any future away.

    And I never ever see any Establishment piece that discusses conservation. Until conservation is a key part of any attempt to mitigate climate, it’s clear the crisis is still not taken seriously by anyone with power to enact any material change.

    They want to rule over the ashes of civilization.

    Energy Department Targets Vastly Cheaper Batteries to Clean Up the Grid

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      Back in 1979, Jimmy Carter touted conservation. Remember the fireside chat with Carter wearing a cardigan? Remember the “malaise speech” from July 1979 (pretty good speech, actually, even though Carter wasn’t particularly articulate or charismatic he did his level best)? The USA has regressed since then, methinks.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Perhaps associating conservation with malaise and guilt-tripping puritanism simply put a stench-mark on conservation.

        Perhaps if conservation could be associated with rage, hatred and revenge, it might become popular among groups who like to see conservation weaponised as a rage/hate/revenge weapon against the people and groups who threaten our survival.

      2. juno mas

        President Carter was the one that directed solar(PV) panels be placed on the roof of the White House. Unfortunately, the next President, Reagan, took them down and catalyzed the neo-liberal dogma that has led to our current predicament.

  34. Lark

    In terms of COVID breakthrough cases: I’ve followed several reddit (I know, kind of a sink) subs since early days. I saw people who talked about not getting better long before #longcovid was recognized and I saw people reporting non-standard symptoms that were only later recognized as covid symptoms.

    So now, when every single day I see multiple posts from people who are fully vaccinated but who have tested positive *and are symptomatic*, I’m pretty worried. Especially because almost all of them say something like “my wife and I plus my wife’s parents, who are all fully vaccinated with mRNA vaccines, all got COVID last weekend and we are all symptomatic”. I have seen exactly *one* post where someone says that they’re the only one who tested positive. That seems weird. If the vaccine is as effective in preventing infection as promised, why aren’t there more families where only one or two people test positive?

    Obviously a message board is self-selecting and not a mirror of the population, but I noticed the same kind of trends before long covid was recognized and before symptoms like menstrual irregularities were recognized.

    I think that the vaccines prevent infection much, much less well that we were told, possibly because the original studies were done when most people were social distancing and wearing masks.

    On a personal level, if it were just a matter of getting sick this wouldn’t worry me as much – I’m still relatively young, my family and friends are vaccinated and relatively healthy – but what about long covid? I can handle getting sick, even unpleasantly sick, for a couple of weeks, but I can’t be off work with brain fog for a year. I do not like these dice we’re being forced to roll.

    1. SteveW

      Ontario Canada has a study on vaccination breakthrough. Search for [PDF] Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 Following Vaccination in Ontario – Public Health Ontario.
      Basically the results indicate that breakthrough cases have been low. While I do not like their methodology ( I believe that one should use cases per exposure-days rather than just cases), there still seems to be a good magnitude of protection and I believe that they are generally honest about it. Not sure for how long protection wise and how beneficial vs risks involved. Seasonally also may play a factor. I would say stay alert with the good common sense protection measures that are inconvenient but not burdensome. Don’t worry overly.

  35. cuibono

    but seriously, half like of Pfizer :”Using a one-compartment kinetics model, the time to maximum concentration was estimated at 36 ± 3 days after the first dose and the estimated half-life of antibodies was 55 days (95% CI: 37-107 days) in seronegative participants. “

  36. Still Above Water

    It has occurred to me that most people think that fact check uses “check” defined as “an examination to test or ascertain accuracy, quality, or satisfactory condition.” In actuality, it’s using the other definition, “a stopping or slowing of progress.”

  37. Cuibono

    LA times article on treatments.
    I could not find mention of That one drug formerly known as Prince

  38. djrichard

    Senate Democrats reach $3.5 trillion deal for Biden’s ‘human infrastructure’ agenda, Medicare expansion USA Today. We’ll need to check with President Manchin on the pay-fors.

    from the article

    Manchin told reporters he is “open to looking at everything they provided” – including Medicare expansion – but wants it completely funded. “We have to pay for all this.”

    Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., a key negotiator for the legislation, told reporters Tuesday night that the package would be fully financed with offsetting revenue, but he provided no details.

    And the dems don’t call them out on this because the dems don’t want a world where the deficit doesn’t matter.

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