Links 7/18/2021

Florida man tries to throw live gator onto building’s roof to teach ‘it a lesson,’ police say AP

“Wither away and die:” US Pacific Northwest heat wave bakes wheat, fruit crops The Dairy Site

Colorado River Basin Reservoirs Begin Emergency Releases To Prop Up A Troubled Lake Powell KUNC

Great Salt Lake is shrinking fast. Scientists demand action before it becomes a toxic dustbin CNN

Moderna’s Next Act Is Using mRNA vs. Flu, Zika, HIV, and Cancer Bloomberg


Convincing the Skeptics National Review

About that Red State/Blue State division on vax:

* * *

Meta-analysis of randomized trials of ivermectin to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection (accepted manuscript) Open Forum Infectious Diseases. This is a second meta-study. From the Abstract: “Ivermectin was associated with reduced inflammatory markers (C-Reactive Protein, d-dimer and ferritin) and faster viral clearance by PCR. Viral clearance was treatment dose- and duration-dependent. In 11 randomized trials of moderate/severe infection, there was a 56% reduction in mortality (Relative Risk 0.44 [95%CI 0.25-0.77]; p=0.004; 35/1064 (3%) deaths on ivermectin; 93/1063 (9%) deaths in controls) with favorable clinical recovery and reduced hospitalization. Many studies included were not peer reviewed and a wide range of doses were evaluated.” Corresponding author Andrew Hill. More here.

Attenuation of clinical and immunological outcomes during SARS-CoV-2 infection by ivermectin Molecular Medicine. Hamster study. Via Institut Pasteur.

* * *

The Risk of SARS-CoV-2 Transmission from Patients with Undiagnosed Covid-19 to Roommates in a Large Academic Medical Center (accepted manuscript) Clinical Infectious Diseases. From the Discussion: “Almost 40% of patients that shared a hospital room with someone with occult SARS-CoV-2 infection became infected. The risk was highest for patients sharing rooms with individuals with very low Ct counts. Others have also documented associations between high viral loads (i.e. low Ct counts) and increased transmission risk.[6] Our study underscores the importance of isolating and testing all patients exposed to roommates with SARS-CoV-2, including those who have been discharged. The majority of exposed roommates tested positive after discharge, hence in the absence of active follow-up of exposed patients many nosocomial transmission events will be missed.” And: “In many ways patients in shared rooms are similar to household members insofar as they spend prolonged periods together in enclosed spaces, often without masks. In contrast to household members, however, patients in shared rooms have minimal close contact such as sharing beds or meals, hugging, or kissing. Furthermore, patients are >6 feet apart with closed curtains between. This is most consistent with near-range airborne rather than droplet transmission.”

SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with a Gymnastics Facility — Oklahoma, April–May 2021 Morbidity and Mortality Report, CDC. Implications: “The B.1.617.2 variant is highly transmissible in indoor sports settings and households, which might lead to increased attack rates. Multicomponent prevention strategies including vaccination remain important to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 among persons participating in indoor sports and their contacts.” The words “airborne” and “aerosols” naturally do not occur, this being CDC.

* * *

Delta variant takes hold in developing world as infections soar FT

Doctors Might Have Been Focusing on the Wrong Asthma Triggers The Atlantic (RM). Covid drove a natural experiment.


When Will China Rule the World? Maybe Never Bloomberg

Hong Kong schools prepare to include national security education in everything from English to music, physics and IT lessons South China Morning Post

Thread on electronic currency in China (and why not Bitcoin). Long:

Factory farming a greater pandemic risk than consumption of exotic animals South China Morning Post


Chinese crackdown on online fraud forces citizens to leave Myanmar’s ‘Little China’ South China Morning Post

Olympic COVID-19 cluster scare as athletes test positive in Games Village Channel News Asia

South Africa

This is us: Those trying to tear South Africa apart… and This is us: Those holding South Africa together Daily Maverick


Why England’s COVID ‘freedom day’ alarms researchers Nature

I’m no fan of face coverings, but here’s why it would be madness for us to stop wearing masks now Tricia Greenhalgh, Daily Mail

* * *

English paths and Google’s agnotology:

Floods drive climate to heart of German election campaign FT

The Caribbean

Biden’s Cuba policy is suddenly in the spotlight Vox

‘More violence’ feared in wake of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination Globe and Mail

International group of diplomats undermine Haiti’s acting leader Axios

Haiti Can Rebuild Its Economy. Here’s How. Bloomberg

Biden Adminstration

Dangerous Times: The FDA’s Role in Information Production, Past and Future (PDF) Minnesota Law Review. From 2018, still germane. From the Acting FDA Commissioner:

Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan: Monopolies Are a National Security Problem Matt Stoller, BIG

Biden’s crackdown on monopolies gave a pass to health insurers when they should have been the focus. Wendell Potter (antidlc).

The US Government Threatens Tech Companies To Push Censorship Agendas Caitlin Johnstone

U.S. Parents, Congrats on Your $300. You’re Still Getting Screwed. Esquire

Democrats en Deshabille

Three Texas House Democrats who traveled to Washington, D.C., test positive for coronavirus Texas Tribune. All “fully vaccinated.” But not wearing masks:

Our Famously Free Press

Dara Khosrowshahi, Dad of Silicon Valley Modo, NYT. Hubert Horan:

Yet another example of willfully dishonest MSM reporting on Uber. Pushes a long string of Uber PR messages on NYT readers (great business eventually, changes culture to emphasize doing the right thing, Amazon of Transportation) without a shred of evidence supporting any of them. Did not challenge obviously false claims (Prop 22 passed because of huge support from drivers, hundreds of millions in spending had nothing to do with it). Not a single sentence on Uber’s actual financial results, but multiple paragraphs on Khosrowshani’s tastes in video games and how he courted his wife.

The Bullshit Unbound

Meet the Censored: Matt Orfalea Matt Taibbi, TK News

Why Nobody Will Tell You The Truth Heisenberg Report


The Controversial Prosecutor at the Heart of the Julian Assange Case The Intercept

Police State Watch

Why are innocent people still losing cash, cars and even homes to police? USA Today. My people yearn for freedom.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Before role in Surfside condo that fell, engineer had hand in another building mess Miami Herald. Yikes. Lots of interesting detail.

Class Warfare

America’s Collapsing Meritocracy Is a Recipe for Revolt Foreign Policy

The Endless Pursuit of Better Hedgehog Review

Ill With Want The Convivial Society

Ohio Pizzeria Workers Get $78 An Hour In Surprise Profit Sharing Patch. That’s called “surplus value.”

What If the State Department of Transportation Tore Down Texas Highways Texas Observer

Antidote du jour (via):

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. clem

    Police officers throw live Florida man in custody to teach ‘him a lesson,’

    DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. — Police officers told they where “teaching him a lesson” when they throw a live Florida man they had stolen from a miniature golf course into the cell of a police station, authorities said.

  2. NV

    On the subject of proving one has been vaccinated: For an evening outdoor concert this past Friday, in Bryant Park in New York City, one had to produce a vaccine card plus picture, government issued ID; masking not required. At the nearby libraries, the Main Branch (think two lions) and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, no proof required but masking enforced.
    Subways: Masking no longer enforced, so a disturbing mix. How many unmasked talkers are also unvaccinated? How many of the many double-masked riders are asking themselves the same question? Potential of super-spreading outweighs my concerns about gun violence, Adams and Cuomo, be damned.

    1. timbers

      They ban rent collection because “public health” but no vaccine mandate? Hypocrites. If they ban rent collection they should ban their own pay and donations to themselves from their donors. Because public health.

  3. Terry Flynn

    Re delta variant now grossly dominant in UK and following on somewhat from my posting yesterday regarding shopping. Can any fellow Brit describe to me whether the covid-19 app on a smartphone gives an audible sound and if so what it sounds like, if you have been within x metres of someone with a positive diagnosis (according to their phone’s bluetooth) for >y minutes?

    I ask because I kept hearing a different “ping” to the usual default SMS/IM ones on Apple/Android phones when in Aldi yesterday. My area is pretty much in line with national average (1/95 had delta in past week) but vaccination is somewhat ahead of the national average, unlike Nottingham City – barely 1/2 a mile south of us) which is lagging heavily in vaccination. That Aldi store is not large by floor area and so tends to encourage a certain “flow” of customers compared to the Sainsburys across the road (superstore) where mum and me had done our first round of shopping and which is very very strict about social distancing and counting in and out the number of customers.

  4. allan

    South Dakota’s Noem taking swings at potential 2024 rivals [AP]

    … Noem charged into Iowa on Friday singing a battle hymn and armed with barbed comments for her fellow GOP governors. At a conservative gathering in Des Moines, she told the crowd
    she “really hates this America” under President Joe Biden’s leadership, then led them in singing
    “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” …

    But even as virus cases and deaths surged last year, she refused to urge people to wear masks in public. Instead, the state spent more in federal coronavirus funds on an ad campaign inviting tourists to visit than
    it did on public health advertising.

    As her appearances on Fox News increased, conservatives across the country began suggesting she run for president. [did not see this one coming] …

    It’s not clear how her record on the virus would play beyond the Republican base. South Dakota recorded the nation’s 10th highest COVID-19 death rate. Although some states with far more aggressive approaches to mitigating the pandemic saw similar outcomes, South Dakota had the worst mortality rate in the Midwest. But that hasn’t stopped Noem from bragging about it. …

    Of course many of those fatalities were working class people of color connected to meat packing plants.

    In videos, Noem comes across as the love child of Michelle Bachmann and Scott Walker,
    with a whiff of Leni Riefenstahl. In other words, perfect for the modern GOP.

  5. zagonostra

    >Meet the Censored: Matt Orfalea Matt Taibbi, TK News

    I first learned of Orfalea through the Jimmy Dore show. If I recall it was in the context of a video that Orfalea made for the Bernie Sanders campaign where Orfalea was hired then fired once the sage campaign advisors reviewed some previous Orfalea videos.

    It’s curious that Matt Taibbi doesn’t mention the relationship between Orfalea and Dore, at least to me. One thing that is certain is that as long as half the country is willing to allow the corporations and the gov’t to whittle away at our privacy, it will continue unabated. They (if you don’t think there is a “they,” you can just skip the rest) will keep the mass separate. The vaccinated will be outraged at the unvaccinated, people supporting abortion rights laws to be rescinded will be pitted against those who don’t, white against black, poor against rich, it doesn’t matter. If they want to promote a policy enough people will be cleaved off and used as a rationale/pretense to demonstrate that the shift in policy is for the public good and is supported by the people.

    Orfalea is not a political scientist or academic, he’s just a young man making inciteful/comedic videos, and yet his analysis as captured in the below quote reveals more about political power than watching those serious Sunday talk shows or any “analysis” coming from the likes of CNN and MSNBC, FOX and faux independent news analysis sites on Ytube.

    I think the following exchange from the article cuts to the bone of it and suggest that those in a position of power have studied their Freuds “Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego” as well as the work on mass psychology by the pioneer in the study of the subject (you could say he invented it), Gustave Le Bon.

    Orfalea: It’s funny. I’d just been looking into how China censors their internet when that #revolution censorship on Facebook happened. And there are just so many similarities. There’s Harvard research from 2013 that says about China: they actually let a lot of criticism of the government go through. That’s not their main concern.

    Their main concern is to stop anything that will lead to “collective expression.” And that’s what hashtags are. They’re a collective expression. And they lead to real-world collective action. It just seems like we’re really mimicking Chinese censorship to a “T” now.

    Taibbi: The “American Political Science Review” article you refer to says, “Some of the most highly censored events are not criticisms or even discussions of national policies, but rather highly localized collective expressions that represent or threaten group formation.” So their idea is that the Chinese are trying to prevent “group formation.” Isn’t that a fanciful read of the situation, to compare it to us? We’re not China.

    1. flora

      Thanks for this comment. You could be right the real effort is in keeping most of the voting public ‘dis-united’. An interesting coicidence (at least to me) the 2008 Great Financial Crisis (GFC) was followed by a general rise in new populist (the good kind) sentiment that govt needed to rein in predatory finance. This was followed by a sudden rise in idpol as the ‘important’ political discussion, not economics or class, and also the rise of new-on-the-scene social media platforms.

      (Although, the idpol thing is going a bit sideways for its sponsors, imo. Yesterday, listening to some NPR talk show interviewing a young poc, I heard the interviewee say “Capitalism is white economics.” uh, oh… capitalism being dissed as “white economics” … economics is entering some idpol thinking and capitalism itself is getting criticized – on racial grounds, but still… )

    2. sluggotheorangelad

      Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I’m convinced the Democrats want to emulate China minus the hyper-focused investment in localism. It will backfire on them spectacularly, as usual.

    3. Aumua

      I remember being very inspired by that Rising Up Sanders video in 2019. Watching it now sadly reminds me of a simpler time when there was still hope. These days I have no f’n hope, just a strong feeling like I need to get off this planet ASAP.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The notion that you can solve traffic by building more roads has be been disproved since (at least) the 1970’s, but it still rears its ugly head. When it comes to road engineers, they just can’t help themselves (maybe because of the old mantra ‘you can’t make a man understand something if his job depends on not understanding it’. I once asked a junior traffic engineer in my city who was very sympathetic to cycling when things would change for real. His blunt reply was ‘When *named three senior engineers* die or retire’.

      Many cities have been dismantling old highways without getting choked with traffic (and not all have good transit systems). In the late 1980’s and 1990’s Birmingham in the UK downgraded its horrible inner urban system (designed by a city engineer who, on retirement, left for Spain saying he couldn’t stand the city anymore) with great success (Birmingham being one of the biggest cities in Europe without an underground system). Seoul has turned a number of highways into very beautiful linear parks.

      If there is one good thing about Covid, its that all over the world its encouraged many cities to take lanes from traffic and give them back to people. No doubt the car and fossil fuel industry is already planning how it can reverse this.

      1. GramSci

        Alas, not in the US, where infrastructure “stimulus” means moar highways, all too long for EVs.

        1. The Rev Kev

          And if highways are not being built, then they are building bridges, even if they go nowhere. I was looking up Alaska’s bridge to nowhere as an example when I found that this is such a common thing, that it has a long Wikipedia on this subject listing scores of them in dozens of countries-

          1. Oh

            Many of the highways are so choked up during rush hour that you don’t need a bridge to go nowhere!!!

        2. Dictynna

          The flooding in Germany shows that the infrastructure need of the moment is to get water handling under control; both holding onto water to support human needs, and getting rid of it to prevent flood destruction.

      2. Louis

        The notion that you can solve traffic by building more roads has be been disproved since (at least) the 1970’s, but it still rears its ugly head.

        The days of Robert Moses building highways in New York, which was a lot earlier than the 1970’s, showed that building more highways to alleviate traffic just leads to more traffic.

      3. Carolinian

        See Michael Hudson the other day and his observation that America is all about banks, loans, mortgages, “owning” rather than renting. From the article

        If you don’t build enough housing to enable people like Lafleur to buy homes near their jobs, those people will climb in their cars and drive until they can afford one.

        Which is to say you can’t simply blame it all on trog Republicans or the oil companies and General Motors (as was done in Who Framed Roger Rabbit). If you tear down I-35 how are all those people who fled to cheaper outlying housing going to get there?

        If AGW is the primary concern them perhaps it’s the cities themselves that are a throwback to an out of date idea. After all most of them came to be before cars were even a thing and people had to crowd together to find work and amenities. Given our new Covid centric consciousness crowding together in the “New Urbanism” is looking a lot less attractive and, if a new era of economic decline looms, affordable. At any rate I though the linked article was merely saying things that have been said for decades. The public wasn’t persuaded back then to take up public transportation and here’s betting that hasn’t changed here in the US, AGW or no.

      4. fresno dan

        July 18, 2021 at 8:51 am
        When I was a child, Fresno began its great freeway building project – I can only guess it was jealous of Los Angeles. Neighborhood after neighborhood of affordable housing destroyed for freeways going to…??? Really, the freeways just crisscross the city. As downtown Fresno basically died 50 years ago, the freeways don’t even do a good job of moving cars around the periphery of the city, which is where all the action is. And all the freeway exchanges overlaid upon the existing surface steets just gums up the surface streets. What a waste. And yet at the time, it was thought of as a great jobs program.
        The notion that you can solve traffic by building more roads has been disproved since (at least) the 1970’s, but it still rears its ugly head.
        So there are traffic lights to enter the freeway now (not the exchange – the actual end of the on ramp, which means when the light turns green you have to floor it to merge with freeway traffic) So much for getting on the freeway and zipping to where you want to go…

        1. Oh

          Not to mention that idling autos create more pollution while waiting to get on the freeway. Smart idea, bozos at the EPA!

        2. HotFlash

          Where I come from (smallish city north of Detroit), urban renewal, ie, destruction of low-cost but city-central housing, walkable, close to work, shops, and services, was snidely referred to as ‘Negro removal”. The ‘removed’ residents had to find affordable housing usually miles away, needed cars to get to their jobs, shopping, and schools, or just couldn’t make it work. Coincidentally, public transit (horrible, a few decrepit sold-off Detroit Transit buses, no particular schedule, and rust-holes in the floors you could see the pavement through) was cut yet again. Purely a coincidence, I am sure.

      5. PHLDenizen

        Once read that enlarging roadways to solve traffic problems was akin to “solving obesity by loosening your belt”. Apt metaphor.

        Out here in Philly, I-76 from the Walt Whitman out to King of Prussia has been contentious even from its birth. Prior to construction, the consensus was that its original configuration was too undersized to function as expected. Proved to be true almost immediately.

        76 is hacked into the side of cliffs, which renders it impossible to widen. The engineers who designed the road were possessed with a romantic notion that it would be bi-level, carrying traffic in one direction on each level. Then there’s been talk about dropping rails for transit on top. Neither of which happened and the likelihood of either being zero. It still periodically gets washed out with rock slides. And regardless of how painful the commute is, usage trends upward.

        The willingness of humans to deliberately immiserate themselves with masochistic commute times is astounding and, well, pathetic. They gripe and gripe, yet dutifully piss away weeks of their year driving to and fro. It’s almost a point of pride.

        When I lived in Houston, I was fascinated with the countless number of freeways having double digit lane counts. Some of which shot into the sky like theme park rides. And would immediately flood under heavy rains. Seemed that everything about that place made you a hostage to your car.

        I-95 through Philly severed the city from the Delaware riverfront. It’s taken decades and grumbling, but there’s at least now a project to “cap” it, building a park over top to remedy the situation.

        I-676 did the same thing through center city. More talk that it needs to at least be covered, if not removed. Removal is a fairy tale and covering it will never get the funding.

        Philly can’t even get the old guard South Philly residents to stop parking cars they never use in the median of Broad Street, despite it being illegal and proving a major hazard. The young cats dream of an urban environment with bike paths and being pedestrian friendly. The geriatrics feel entitled to garage their numerous vehicles unmolested in everyone’s way. They also hate bikers with a passion.

        And now there’s a renewed argument to re-image the Ben Franklin parkway — lots of money for design groups and PR. Not much else. Just a reminder of how great things could be with no real appetite to change it. Dusting the corners of Hell, throwing up some paint. But it still sucks.

        1. The Rev Kev

          From your descriptions of those dodgy highways, perhaps that is why so many people are demanding to still work from home

        2. PhillyPhilly

          Not to mention the numerous proposals to fix the lethal Roosevelt Boulevard in NE Philly.

  6. Henry Moon Pie

    Ill with want–

    This is an excellent article that is another example of what appears to me a growing consensus developing around the need for deep cultural change. Several arguments are made, but here’s one very important example drawn from Ivan Illich:

    In Illich’s view, modern institutions—including, for example, education, transportation, and medicine—had the (possibly unintended) consequence of deskilling the person and generating dependence on professionalized services. “Deskilling” is my word. Illich talked about a loss of competence and autonomy (always, though, in the service of mutual inter-dependence). We must come to believe that there is, in fact, very little that we can do for ourselves. We must learn to turn to professionals and institutions for every possible need or problem we encounter. Our communities, too, must be uprooted so that we do not discover the possibility that certain of our needs might be best met by the goodwill of our neighbors, because, after all, that won’t grow the GDP. The vernacular domain, Illich’s term for “the activities of people when they are not motivated by thoughts of exchange,” must be stamped out. Indeed, we must come to believe that wanting more forever, and wanting what only others can supply for a price, is just the natural human condition rather than a culturally induced proclivity or compulsion.

    Ultimately, Illich came to believe that little would get better—for the environment, for society, for our own personal well-being—unless we could critically reconsider and overturn the dominant cultural “certainties” underwriting modern institutional and social life. And one of these certainties, crudely put, is that we need more, with an emphasis on both need and more. Illich, I believe, would have us question both the idea that we need more and that we need at all. Or to put this differently, he would at least have us think critically about the nature and source of our ostensible neediness.

    NC readers are familiar with “de-skilling” from Wendell Berry, and many will be familiar– ;) –with Lao-Tzu’s take on needing more:

    The greatest evil: wanting more.
    The worst luck: discontent.
    Greed’s the curse of life.

    To know enough’s enough
    is enough to know.

    Tao te Ching #46 (UK Le Guin, trans.)

    1. Rod

      Thanks for the Tao—quickly more centering than the article. I believe the Avetts may have paraphrased it.
      The turn to Illich was clarifying for me.
      imo—the ‘energy’ being used to keep us divided in service of the system is more than the ‘energy’ required to repair the results of our separation.
      In short, because of the articles abundance.

    2. Cuibono

      “(possibly unintended)”
      I don’t think that Illich mostly thought this was unintended.

  7. Gc54

    Thank you Texas House Democrats for your covid transmission experiment! Hopefully good data forthcoming.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        So while they are all at home in quarantine, the Republicans will pass all their voting curbs?

        But you have to admit, the Democrats put up a fight worthy of a Twitter explosion and wasn’t that really the point? “… fighting for you.” Registered trademark

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          quarantine still prevents a quorum, i guess.
          i wonder if there’s some law that prevents the texas rangers, or whomever phelan(speaker) sends to bring them back, from bringing them back if they’re in quarantine.
          repubs have gotten what they wanted in texas…no matter the proportions actually sitting in office…for as long as i have been paying attention.
          and dems lay down on the floor…or run off somewhere…and then run for statewide office on pro-choice and gun control(which merely hands gop ammo), and nothing else that matters.
          last time the county demparty out here had even a storefront…let alone a table on the square during Roundup…was like ’03.
          (i have little idea what those folks are thinking these days, because they don’t call us anymore: not since i suggested getting a keg and cabrito and venturing into the barrio to register people to vote*, circa obama’s second inaug.)

          * which, btw: the ability of ordinary folks to get deputised as a deputy voter registration person is one of the things the texgop wants to end with these bills.
          use it or lose it, i guess.

          1. Pat

            It is all about power and about getting in on the grift if you aren’t in power.
            Here in NY, the pose is different and the suppression takes different forms, but clearly voters rights are all about making sure the right thinking people get to vote and those who want change do not.

            And when change sneaks in the machinations to destroy it are a whole other lesson in power conservation.

            I can only hope that more and more the public understand that if all you do is showingly posture and pose and never manage any real concrete actions that provide more than a rain delay you aren’t really fighting….

    1. CuriosityConcern

      My first take on this news was that it seemed like scolding. How do we know they got it on the plane?
      Looking at the article and the tweet, the plane tweet was 7/12 and the first pos test was 7/16 pm, with two more on 7/17. So the timings in my layman’s opinion do make plane transmission a plausible source, without other knowledge about the individuals interim activities.
      About the “The Risk of SARS-CoV-2 Transmission from Patients with Undiagnosed Covid-19 to Roommates in a Large Academic Medical Center”, Ignacio here on the site in the earliest days was the first person I saw mention viral load and COVID transmissibility and outcome.
      About the guardian discussion yesterday and health reporting, they were the first major outlet I saw that published news about a strange new pneumonia in wuhan. Granted my media diet is limited…

      1. Yves Smith

        That was not my reaction to the photo when it ran. The photo of maskless people on a private plane (not allowed on commercial flights!!! Delta scolds you if your mask is not over your nose) exemplified PMC exceptionalism: “Oh we were good and got our vaccines! No Covid risk here!”

        So this is schadenfreude, whether they got it on that jet or not.

    1. Cuibono

      in fact, Hypertension has been shown to be a risk factor for poor outcomes last i checked. Now that is the diagnosis of HTN and did not to my knowledge look at adequacy of control, something that would be a bit harder to do but not for big systems like Mayo or Kaiser.

  8. timbers

    “Wither away and die:”

    Given the U.S. Military is one of the biggest climate change polluter, you’d think the media would be afire with reports linking climate change causing military events like Freedom of Navigation in South China and Black Seas, the Baltics, as well as military occupations in Syria and Iraq.

    Even climate change friendly articles are curiously sparse in singling out the U.S. Military.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I guess it depends on what you mean by ‘biggest’, but in global terms the US military uses about the same as a mid sized country such as Sweden or Denmark. In other words, a lot, but not as much as more mundane things like air con or driving kids to school or drinking milk.

      A few years back there was a big push in the military to try to develop cheap means to turn biomass into useable liquid fuel. Not for environmental reasons, but because it made logistical sense to find some way to make the many bases around the world less dependent on a constant external source of fuel (the Taliban had figured out that fuel trucks were the achilles heal of US bases and were specifically targeting them). I can’t quite find the link now, but during Bush II the Republicans defunded this as they claimed it was a roundabout way of funding greenies.

      1. Bill Smith

        Biomass was turned into a usable fuel and flight tested on a number of military aircraft. it was a proof of concept operation and was successful. Given the cost differential of there was no intention of using it routinely. It was more of a contingency planning operation.

        The US Marines tested out the use of solar power in a deployed infantry battalion in Afghanistan. It had pros and cons. It lowered the amount of the required fuel supplies by 90% according to one claim but was very vulnerable to disruption. Mortar rounds and solar panels don’t get along. Part of the excise did point out that a lot of fuel got wasted. And that information was useful for follow on units that didn’t try to become ‘solar powered’.

      2. rowlf

        As I followed the development of biofuels with airlines and the military in trade magazines I remember it was squashed as the military interest was large enough for it to become viable for production.

        Xin loi

    2. Lee

      “An unprecedented heat wave and ongoing drought in the US Pacific Northwest is damaging white wheat coveted by Asian buyers and forcing fruit farm workers to harvest in the middle of the night to salvage crops and avoid deadly heat.”

      Asian buyers should be the least of our concerns when it comes to domestic agricultural production shortages as they won’t be participating in food and water riots in American streets. Another indication that globalists have their heads up their a$$es.

    3. Nikkikat

      Yes, I noticed too that the US military is a horrific polluter and is never mentioned. Here and abroad. Gasoline had to be flown into Afghanistan. From poisoning people with radiation, to burn pits. Here in California when Clinton closed 2 military bases in Orange County, there was massive pollution from years of dumped jet fuel to fire retardants. At both of these bases the feds were to clean up under the superfund rules. However, Clinton did not designate any funding. Nothing was done but wait a few years and it’s all housing now. Apartment buildings, stores etc build right on top of the super dumps. Thousands of people living and working there are being exposed to poison chemicals.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      This statement from the link jumped out at me:
      “But the drought is shriveling wheat kernels and raising protein levels, making the some of the crop less valuable. “The protein is so high that you can’t use (it) for anything but cattle feed,” Kress said.”
      We cannot eat cakes and pastries made from this wheat, the uses for which it is grown — much of the wheat crop in the Pacific Northwest is soft white wheat ” used to make sponge cakes and noodles,” But maybe someone could come up with a new health food product using high protein wheat instead of turning it into cattle feed?

      1. Susan the other

        That’s a very good suggestion JG. I remember ages ago when I first went to health food. The local stores carried “fresh” (last year’s harvest) wheat. The taste of homemade bread was never ever so good. So to my thinking, if we started using high protein wheat (but fresh, last year’s harvest, or even current year) it would taste so amazingly good it would be a healthy staple of choice for our diet in no time.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          further study is required(but won’t be done, i’m sure, until after)
          changing the protein content of a given flour will mess up the recipe.
          end up with a dense flatbread.
          this is exactly why we mix in a lighter flour(even buckwheat, grown on site) to the mesquite bean flour.
          still shit like a goose.
          that said, i encourage much experimentation in this area.
          please share the results.
          just keep a stockpile of tp.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            I like many flat breads. First thoughts are chapattis or a flat bread I buy at Costco when I can. Bread is but wheat made easily chewed and ideally, easily combined with other foods. Easily combined has long included taking a bite from a bread and then a bite from onion, tomato, or other additions. I like dense flat breads. I suspect they might be useful as way-breads.

            My comment was an indirect way to suggest the farmers in the Northwest, and their wholesale markets were not terribly creative — said as “nicely” as I could.

            I remain in utter lack of awe at the way supply chains reacted to the Corona pandemic. We had supplies of meat and produce that shutdown because they Only sold into the restaurant supply chain! and they could not sell elsewhere because of — I do not know or care what!?

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              because of the law and regs, because of various and sundry deals they had made prior, and on and on.
              hypercapitalism, it turns out, is not all that resilient, or agile.

            2. Procopius

              … easily chewed …

              A few months ago I read an article stating that the reason our teeth are crooked is because we eat foods that are too easily chewed. The human jaw evolved to handle foods that were not cooked to mush. When children do not get a chance to chew hard gristle or gnaw on bones, their jaws do not grow enough. Another example of the unintelligent design of the human body. If God had not meant us to suffer impacted wisdom teeth he shouldn’t have put so many tooth roots in there in the first place.

          2. Jeremy Grimm

            I follow your comments [Amfortas the hippie] and Flora’s. Mine often echo them — but I do try to stay ahead or at least stay with you two, as best I can.

            I saw, first-hand, and very directly, how the election of Ronald Reagan changed things in the University of California system — when he was Governor. The fountains in the quad at the UC I attended, were shut off more and more often. Trash accumulated around the previously Disneyland-like environment of the UC campus. Little-by-little, the fees charged, and the costs for housing and ‘dining’ on campus, increased. I finished my education near the end of public education in my state.

            After forty years serving the Military Industrial Complex, something I am only proud of because I managed to last for so long, I retired. Many of my co-workers did not come so near Medicare age as I did. I am proud of that, although I am less proud — as I learn more in my later years — about the work I did. I can console myself knowing that much of my work had all the value of an F-35 in combat.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              i actually cooked food for the bastards….and played music for them/
              already well practiced in Jane Goodalism, due to jr high and high school…i observed.
              our elite…even down here at the local level…are vile.
              grasping, greedy, lusting after things that one shouldn’t lust after, without consent…if at all.
              bad people, to a person.
              i served them rubber chicken, or prime rib, or texas blues.
              and they are vile, i tell you.

        2. HotFlash

          Hi, Susan, JG, amfortas, and all. Never got fresh wheat as you (Susan) describe, there were wheat berries at Goldberry’s but nothing marked as to ‘vintage’. However I do recall that Francis Moore Lappe in her 1971 book “Diet for a Small Planet” said that in 19?? (some time back) Kansas wheat was 14% protein, and I am relying on old memory as cursory search through both my first and second editions and Swiss Cows couldn’t turn it up. This link to Science Direct is waaaaaay TMI, but it appears that soft white is usu 11% more or less. OTOH, hard winter wheat is supposedly coming in bumper this year but lower in protein, according to Successful Farming. Now as a sometime baker, noodle-maker, fermenter, sprouter (rarely, I find I don’t much like wheat sprouts), incl the alchemy of gluten-free, I am pretty sure that an adventurous breadmaker* and a blend of flours if required could get some quite acceptable human-edible bready-things out of this wheat.

          Cattle feed, pshaw; cattle are evolved (or, if you prefer, historically bio-engineered) to eat grass. Anything else and you have to medicate them so the gas (methane) produced doesn’t blow them up.

          Absolutely, more protein is a *good* thing. When life hands you more protein, make the staff of life.

          farmboy, if you are around, or other knowledgeable person, could you weigh in on this?

          1. farmboy

            Distinct end use and markets for the 6 classes of US wheat
            Three classes of wheat are drought and then heat stressed. Hard Red Spring wheat for bread at 14% protein, Dururm wheat for pasta at 12% protein is prized for its amber color and smooth taste, Soft White Wheat below 10.5% protein makes flat breads, noodles throughout East Asia are all going to be off by 30-50% yield. Stress of any kind increases protein, lowers yield, lowers test weight, shrinks kernel size all affecting flour yield. Millers and bakers want consistency for uniform baking, recipe stability. Blends of classes and subclasses are used to compensate for irregularities, but testing and then supply are constraints. Trade teams from Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, all importing countries come see the crops every year. It’ll be a big challenge to sort all of it out this crop year. 08 spike in Minneapolis HRS wheat futures to $24/bu, 4-5 times normal is very likely. Hard Red Winter wheat crop is yielding well with protein short from wetter then normal during grain fill.
            from earlier in the week
            “Both winter and spring wheats are curtailed by first drought and then heat in the PNW through to Minnesota. Drought maps of the northern tier of states and southern Canada have been ominous for weeks, months. Today USDA, through its survey and analysis functions of NASS, forecast the Soft White Wheat crop to be 181m/bu, nearly 53 m/bu less than last year and the Hard Red Spring wheat crop at 306 m/bu to be 225m/bu less than last year. HRS is milling wheat, for bread, the end users have been working the futures market trying to get adequate suppliers for the next year and now they will have no choice but to pay up, futures up $.35 today.
            SWW is 90% exported out of Portland and nearby ports. East Asia is the destination for the bulk of sales with China taking the biggest share. With quality issues for SWW, it’ll be tough to source what the buyers are looking for with discounts blowing out. Australian Hard White wheat is the main competitor.
            As usual when prices make these kind of historic moves, farmers have half a crop to sell.”

            1. The Rev Kev

              Thanks for this comment. I had no idea that wheat was such a complicated crop nor even the fact that there were actually six main types of wheat. Our farmers in Oz may be a competitor but we get major droughts too which affect crop yield. Checking up I see though that our crop yield is up 120% after last season’s drought. I was also reading that Russian wheat crops are up this year too so it may be a rough year for your farmers.

              1. farmboy

                Although wheat is traded worldwide, it is the CME that carries the bulk of the speculation and hedging. Commmercial trading firms typically short the market, then at harvest and cash delivery unwind their positions. Wheat is a worldwide crop, but the main exporters are EU, Russia, Ukraine, US, Canada, Australia. The 5 biggest buyers of wheat (Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey, China, Nigeria) purchased a quarter (25.2%) of overall wheat imports in 2020. Whose the biggest producer…China.

                “Among continents, Asian countries accounted for the highest dollar worth of overall wheat imported during 2020 with purchases valued at $20.3 billion or 42.9% of the global total. In second place were African importers at 27.2% while 17.7% of worldwide wheat imports was delivered to Europe.

                Smaller percentages arrived in Latin America (8.5%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, North America (3%) and Oceania (0.8%) led by New Zealand and Australia.”

                1. The Rev Kev

                  Does genetically modified wheat play much of a part in sales? I understand that a few countries refuse to plant genetically modified wheat.

                  1. farmboy

                    there is no GMO wheat available for commercial use, although Argentina is considering a release. GMO is nearly irrelevant in the current breeding environment with the advent of tools like CRISPR-CAS9.

                    1. Greg

                      Note : this is according to the FDA definition of GMO which has recently been a boon for genetic modification of crops.

                      Taking gene from organism A and putting it in plant B either by older methods or crispr-cas9 = GMO.

                      Sequencing organism A, synthesising a copy of the gene, and inserting that into plant B with crispr-cas9 = not GMO.

                      You will see this a difference without meaning, it just takes an extra short step to make an otherwise new organism not count as ‘GMO’.

      2. timbers

        Climate is changing here in Massachusetts too, not just the North East. We’re getting so much rain am wondering if Rice could become a New England product. It might, but maybe America has lost some of it’s ability to adapt?

  9. PlutoniumKun

    English paths and Google’s agnotology:

    Thanks for this, I’ve had a lifetime love of maps and the horribleness of googlemaps drives me nuts. Especially when an entire generation now thinks this is what a map should look like. Plus of course, they are dependent on crude base maps plus algorithms that even more crudely measure journeys, leading to very misleading results. There is a big problem in European cities now in that googlemaps actively encourages rat-running through quiet neighbourhoods due to its constant search for the ‘fastest’ route for drivers.

    But much more importantly, they simply don’t give you on the ground information in a way that allows you to explore. UK OS maps are objects of beauty and they are wonderful for exploring out of the way places and indicating things you might find interesting, whether its a woodland, a right of way, or an archaeological site.

    Openstreetmaps (with its related app, is much better for exploring, even if it has its faults. It also uses heat mapping, but in quite an imaginative way. I used it cycling in Japan and it was fantastic for finding backroad cycle routes (including many on unofficial roads such as farm access tracks), but did on more than one occasion lead me directly (quite literally) into impenetrable forest. But it was much better than googlemaps, which is only interested in drivers. Their ‘cycle’ or ‘hike’ options can be useful in some circumstances, but have to be taken with caution.

    Interestingly, in South Korea they ban googlemaps. Googlemaps actually have North Korea maps and directions, but none in the south. This is because the South Koreans, typically, insist on protecting their domestic mapping companies, in defiance of trade rules. The result are much better maps for general use, probably because they are based on ‘real’ surveys, not algos.

    I find it sad that a whole generation is growing up without really knowing how to use a real map. A close friend, who actually leads hiking groups, relies on her iPhone. She just doesn’t have the patience to read the high quality OS maps in her area. It works for her, but it means she misses out on the potential for off-track exploring (not to mention the risk involved if you run out of connectivity). With all my nagging, she is finally learning the pleasures of real maps, but its a slow process. The only good news recently I heard is from a hike leader I know who say that the teenagers he trains are really keen to learn old style navigation.

    1. upstater

      I think the biggest advantage of paper maps versus anyhing like Google maps is context. One has a very limited idea of the surroundings using Google maps; it is only providing a path. One has to blow it up to see street name, highway numbers, etc. Bad enough trying to look at a paper map in a car, but with Google one has to constantly manipulate the screen. My glove box still has state and regional maps.

      Our road has a very bad intersection with a state highway, which it meets at a 60 degree angle on a curve. One should never make a right turn off our road or a left turn on to it. But you can always tell if someone is using Google maps. It routinely give these dangerous directions.

      We were in Russia around the time of the World Cup. Yandex maps were far superior to Google.

      1. Oh

        I’m all for paper maps. Google maps suck and Apple maps too! It’s easier for me to use paper maps and I don’t have to scroll back and forth. Besides, I don’t have to let Google know where I am. Screw Evil Google.

    2. Sally

      You forgot to mention that if text can be censored or banned, private property social media platforms can memory hole public lands, paths or other things that they don’t like or can’t profit from.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        They can also ‘add’ as well as subtract. A nephew of mine nearly missed a job interview for Google in Dublin. He used Googlemaps to go to ‘Google HQ’. This led him directly to a well known bar/restaurant hang out for IT types. Fortunately, the real HQ was just down the road.

      2. vlade

        Errr. Yes, it can.

        During the Cold War, many maps were, especially for border regions, very deliberately wrong, even misleading.

        If you were local, you knew it , if you were tourist, you had bad luck. And that was before you got into problems with border guards if you got too close to the border in the Soviet block. When being lost might at least give you an excuse, while being right would likely tag you as either someone who wanted to run from the Soviet paradise, or worse a spy.

    3. Geo

      A map can tell me how to find a place I have not seen but have often imagined. When I get there, following the map faithfully, the place is not the place of my imagination. Maps, growing ever more real, are much less true.

      And now, swarming over the earth with our tiny insect bodies and putting up flags and houses, it seems that all of the journeys are done.

      Not so. Fold up the maps and put away the globe. If someone else has charted it, let them. Start another drawing with whales at the bottom and cormorants at the top, and in between identify, if you can, the places you have not found yet on those other maps, the connections obvious only to you. Round and flat, only a very little has been discovered.

      Jeanette Winterson, Sexing the Cherry

    4. Maxwell Johnston

      A few years back during a family road trip in Italy, I delegated the navigation (using paper maps) to our two oldest offspring. They struggled initially (got badly lost at one point) but gradually improved. I realized then that map reading had simply never been a part of their (otherwise excellent) education. Reading all sorts of maps was definitely part of my schooling back in the day (and then I got more of it ad nauseam during my army training). Online maps and navigation are nice, but there’s no substitute for paper maps.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        thankfully, iphones were not a thing until both my boys had been exposed to actual maps…including usgs maps of this area, circa 60’s, 70’s 80’s and 2000’s(all but the last, from antique stores).
        they rely on their robot girl to tell them where they’re going any way.
        with dear old dad, saying…no…that takes you right through the big city…go around it, instead….

    5. Kouros

      THX for the tip with I was not aware of them. And yes, I do like them much better than google maps.

    6. Tom Bradford

      UK OS maps are objects of beauty

      Agreed. Of course the ‘Ordnance’ part reveals that in fact we have the military to thank for them.

    7. HotFlash

      I love the old US Geological Survey maps and the Canadian topographic maps (available from the Queen’s Printer, I’ll have you know) because as a cyclist and simply as a curious person, I like to see the elevations. Escarpments! Drumlins! Eskers!

    8. Mantid

      I remember sitting in Church while the preacher went on and on about fire and brimstone. I would read and scour the maps in my bible. The Holy Land in the time of ……… the States of Israel……… King Harod’s Israel ……… Moses’ routes, etc.

      Toby Lester’s The Fourth Part of the World is a great book regarding early maps.

      Don’t get me going…..

    9. vlade

      I hate GM. I like OS maps, even though they are at quite higher scale (1:25000) that I like to trekking. (1:10k is what I like for that). My wife only very, very reluctantly moved away from paper maps (her being a trained cartographer), mostly because they are updated too slowly, unfortunately.

      I still love the old maps though. I have a Johann Homann map of Bohemia from early 18th century, and it’s a beauty. It gives you much insight to what they considered important, so you have village of a hundred people there, but maybe not a much larger one elsewhere.

  10. PlutoniumKun

    Before role in Surfside condo that fell, engineer had hand in another building mess Miami Herald. Yikes. Lots of interesting detail.

    I can’t access this site to read the article, but in general you’ll find that during building booms some architects/engineers will get a reputation for being, shall we say, more easily persuaded to sign off building works. In the Celtic Tiger era in Ireland, during the ‘crazy’ phase of 2005-2007 there were a number of engineering consultancies that were signing off buildings on sight – these companies all declared bankruptcy as soon as the chickens came home to roost (leaving many banks with some pretty horrible messes on their hands).

    About a decade ago there was a big scandal in Japanese construction world when it turned out one architect had signed off something like 10,000 structures as being earthquake compliant. He claimed he’d been forced to do this by developers but…. well. If I recall correctly, there was an architect in Spain who was similarly notorious for signing off countless small building works for a small fee (in Spain, there is a regulation that all structures must be designed by a certified architect).

    1. Watt4Bob

      He claimed he’d been forced to do this by developers but….

      Yes, those mean developers beat him over the head with bags full of money, it was painful, but a man’s gotta endure pain if he wants to get ahead.

  11. Mikel

    “The least vaccinated group – black Americans – is also the most Democratic leaning.” Matt Stoller

    Looking at this another way, according to AARP on the US population over age 50:

    “While this age cohort is still 75 percent white/non-Hispanic, 10 percent are African American and 9 percent are Hispanic.”

    So it wouldn’t be so surprising that there would not be a lot of black Americans vaccinated, especially against a virus that has largely been presented as mainly killing the elderly. While certain chronic health conditions have been associated with how sick one would get, the major impression from media coverage so far is that it kills the more elderly.

    Where people work and those conditions should be of higher concern than their race – when there is any talk of a disproportionate cases and deaths among blacks and hispanics.

    1. Mikel

      And another thing to remember: vaccinations are just getting studied, approved, and/or rolled out for younger people. To talk about large numbers of these groups being vaccinated is really to talk about vaccinating children – but the focus sems to be on their race.
      Also, many aren’t old enough to vote, but inatead of focusing on the processes involved in approving vaccines for children, the focus is on the political parties surrounding them.

    2. Yves Smith

      Two of our three black aides are not vaccinated, despite one being a CNA and the other a hospital employee for decades.

      The CNA has had too many people in her network get sick for a day or two and she can’t afford the lost work.

      The theoretically retired hospital worker is a vegan, clearly PMC adjacent in political leanings, but does not trust the vaccines.

    3. ChrisPacific

      I read one interview with a black woman in LA who was considering getting the vaccine but said that she didn’t trust the government or what she had been told about it.

      Anybody who thinks this is an idle concern for black Americans should read up on the Tuskegee study.

      1. Mikel

        This is a trust that is going to have to be earned across a broad swath of the population. But that is not being done, because of “the economy.”

        They are telling people the fix to this pandemic is that everybody might get a little sick, but you most likely won’t die.
        Lots of qualifiers there coming from an establishment that profits off healthcare. That is the only, without a doubt, 100% established fact in this entire situation –
        Somebody is going to make a lot of money.

  12. Wukchumni

    “Wither away and die:” US Pacific Northwest heat wave bakes wheat, fruit crops The Dairy Site

    Colorado River Basin Reservoirs Begin Emergency Releases To Prop Up A Troubled Lake Powell KUNC

    Great Salt Lake is shrinking fast. Scientists demand action before it becomes a toxic dustbin CNN

    Driving down from Mineral King yesterday, you couldn’t help but notice some oak trees are changing colors to the point where if I saw them w/o context of the Big Dry, i’d be adamant that it’s October-not the middle of July.

    Forget about acorn production, which means black bears which typically feast on them in the late fall before taking a long nap will go to bed hungry, along with other denizens depending on them being there.

    It would be a catastrophe for the Native Americans as well, in years like this the fallback food was buckeyes which are about the size of a child’s fist, and only have about 30% protein compared to 80% on the nutmeat of acorns, and require a ton more prep to make them edible by getting rid of the poison (the Indians typically used them to poison fish in the river) and they don’t taste all that good. Luckily no human beans depend on acorns for sustenance currently.

    My orchard is under serious stress from stressed out deer, bucks have been bending 9 foot high metal poles to get at the only greenery available thanks to my efforts. Bambi types strip fruit trees of their leaves and leave the lower sections naked as a jaybird.

    In years past this Uri Geller inspired metal bending was a slight problem, but its utterly ridiculous now, they’re famished.

    1. upstater

      You need an electric fence controller. Bambi will have one brush and then decide to go elsewhere. We could never have a vegetable garden without the electric fence. Note for deer lovers: it is a very low amperage and is harmless discomfort for a moment.

      Our problem is too much rain. 2 months worth (8 inches) in 2 weeks. Some veggies are succumbing and rotting.

      1. Phillip Allen

        In a former life I had a small practice designing, installing, and maintaining gardens. One client brought me in to salvage the mess left behind by a landscape architect who swore that he had selected only plants that would be safe from white tail deer. This property was surrounded on three sides by 380-odd acres of conservation forest land in Westchester County and on the fourth by the Mt. Kisco reservoir. This parcel was crossed by a deer trail in use for many decades.

        I explained to my clients that 1) deer are incredibly resistant to altering their habitual use of a given trail; 2) that what deer are willing to eat depends entirely on the (population pressure/available food) equation, and that lists of ‘deer-resistant’ plants are largely useless; and 3) if they wanted to have the landscape they envisioned, the only hope for success was for them to have some kind of deer fencing installed. We finally found a system that met their aesthetic requirements (chiefly to be as invisible as possible from the ground floor of the house) and that had a good track record of actually working.

        The fence worked perfectly for a couple of years, but a period of bad weather conditions led to a severe shortage of browse. The fence my clients chose was 4-5 strands of high-tension wire strung between as few cedar posts possible. If a deer can see a fence it can either crawl under it or jump over it, and adults are capable of jumping over 8′ from a standing start. Deer don’t have particularly good eyesight, so if you’re not going to build a fence high enough to really stop them jumping, you’ve got to have them blunder into something they can’t see at all well and they eventually figure out where the boundaries are. Like I said, worked perfect for a couple of years until hunger hit the herds.

        When they got hungry enough, a few deer on that land would simply push through the space between strands of wire, enduring many, many shocks, for the sake of something to eat. Served as a reminder that deer in general are pretty hard core.

    2. Mantid

      Harry Shearer had a great comment on his Le Show podcast last week. If they can build a pipe and pump oil from the tar sands, and pump water over the Tehachapi mountains into LA> why can’t they build and pipe the excess water when New Orleans floods, to LA> N’ Orlins has too much, LA too little. Funny priorities.

  13. Michael

    Re: “America’s Collapsing Meritocracy Is a Recipe for Revolt”

    Something to bear in mind about the Confucian examination system, which receives a minor and sideways acknowledgment, was merely taking the exam – even at the local level – was a sort of honor in and of itself, and often (not always) “opened doors” in contemporary Chinese society.

    Do any similar benefits, however minor, accrue in the U.S. for degree holders at any level in the present?

    1. Tom Stone

      Michael, it starts with pre school here in the USA, there are two preeminent grade schools, a number of prestigious High schools and then the big three of Harvard, Yale and Princeton.
      Stanford Law would be in the next rank, but close.
      Undergraduate work in these schools gets you the connections that are vitally important.
      Graduate/Advanced degrees are a bit different, you can add Rhodes and Schartzman Scholars to the mix.
      This brings in the best from the second rank schools and allows for the proper socialization of those who might not otherwise fit in smoothly.
      So, yes and no.
      The USA does have what amounts to a hereditary aristocracy, those who graduated from the right grade schools or just the “Big Three” are “Our Kind of People” and if you fit that mold you will do well.

      1. The Rev Kev

        A stint at McKinseys afterwards helps if you want to be a serious player. That is what Pete Buttigieg did.

      2. Michael

        Though there were “schools” (academies might be a better descriptor) that might be analogous in the imperial period, I gather the accomplishment of a university degree in and of itself is largely meaningless – absent the right connections/university pedigree – in the contemporary U.S.

        I hadn’t realized the sorting started in pre-school, much less that there were preeminent grade schools.

        1. Wukchumni

          Its worse than you know, the sorting really starts in maternity wards where those with the right connections lord over lesser babies despite none of them really being able to hold up their heads all that much. What sounds like crying is really a plea to be separated from lessers in their midst.

        2. jsn

          In NY it starts before preschool preschool with the right “help”.

          So elite kids have been learning how to discreetly place the shiv from shortly after they learn to talk.

          One can only pray for some triumph of nature over nurture in this sociopathic environment.

    2. cocomaan

      I would say that they do.

      For instance, there’s alumni networks that someone can tap into post-graduation. Last year I reached out to mine and was surprised at how robust it was. Free on-campus services, access to their job placement staff, social groups that met on a regular basis, etc. Being an alum is an automatic club and social circle. They’re usually run by the fundraising/development department with an interest toward donations, but also toward networking. If you’re single, it’s a great place to meet someone, too.

      On the more esoteric side of things, a wing of my family never earned college degrees. When one of the “first generation” college students completed school, it was a cause of huge celebration and seen as a really defining change for the whole family

    3. Mikel

      Has China ever had the obsession with youth (largely for marketing purposes) that the USA has?

      Addison Rae is about 20 years old.

      I heard a CEO the other day express interest teen-age executives.

      All of those journalism/communications graduates spent years being indoctrinated with the importance of the youth market to advertisers and now find themselves too old to get a job?

      A bit of hyperbole, but not a factor being considered.

  14. PlutoniumKun

    Doctors Might Have Been Focusing on the Wrong Asthma Triggers The Atlantic (RM). Covid drove a natural experiment.

    As a mild asthma sufferer, this reflects my experience, although I wouldn’t discount environmental pollution as this plummeted in my city during lockdown. I could feel it in my chest when traffic started getting back to normal. But certainly my main ‘trigger’ has always been mild colds or flu, so it doesn’t surprise me that a major reduction in these has helped a lot of people.

    1. RMO

      I’ve never noticed any connection between my asthma and colds/flus myself. Air quality has been the only trigger. Biggest improvement was when my Dad quit smoking. Since then I’ve had only mild symptoms, mostly requiring both bad air and heavy exercise to set off an attack – and those have been mild in my adult life. When I was a kid and my Dad (and many other adults around me) smoked on the other hand I had one attack bad enough for an ER visit, a handful requiring an inhaler and regular milder attacks when PE class forced me to run quickly for more than about 200 meters. The first time I ever watched Fawlty Towers also resulted in laughing hard enough for it to dissolve into hacking and coughing and wheezing…

      My Dad quitting smoking also led to my seasonal allergies becoming dramatically less severe and the end on the migraine headaches I had as a child and teenager.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        When I was little, I was regularly dosed with antibiotics after a cold because of the deep wheeze that wouldn’t go away. I was told I was prone to bronchitis. I later learned that this was probably the no.1 misdiagnosis at the time by doctors. I actually had asthma and only found out when at 15 a teacher made me do a 5 mile run, resulting in me having to be carted off to the emergency room.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Why England’s COVID ‘freedom day’ alarms researchers”

    The government of the UK aren’t even trying. So Health Minister Sajid Javid came down with this virus and although PM Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak came in contact with him, both refused to quarantine. It took an almighty row to force the both of them into quarantine but the message had been sent. This is gunna be like Mark Rutte’s Netherlands. He opened the country up early but when cases started to blow up in his face, had to shut down again. As an illustration, there was a festival at Utrecht which 20,000 people attended over two days. You had to be fully vaccinated, had recovered from COVID-19 or had a recent negative test before you could enter. The result? Within two weeks you had 1,000 cases of infection-

    1. Tom Stone

      Politicians are always ready to take the responsibility for their actions, but never the blame.

      1. Count Zero

        The Tory government in the UK has already set this in place. They repeatedly say that in the absence of any legal mandates they still expect people to behave “responsibly” — in other words, continue to wear masks where appropriate and maintain social distancing. So when figures for hospitalisation and death rise significantly in August we’ll find Johnson and other government mouthpieces shrugging their shoulders, rolling their eyes and pointing out that a lot of people hadn’t been acting responsibly and had ignored “advice”.

        1. Brian Beijer

          in August we’ll find Johnson and other government mouthpieces shrugging their shoulders, rolling their eyes and pointing out that a lot of people hadn’t been acting responsibly and had ignored “advice”.

          They would just be borrowing the gameplan that the Swedish government has used throughout the pandemic. It’s worked so far over here because people are willing to buy any rationalization as long as they don’t have to be inconvenienced.

          What I worry more about though is that they (in England, Sweden, etc.) are playing a long game and will blame the unvaccinated for the sudden rise in cases once there are no restrictions in place. They then will use this as an excuse to limit access to basic facilities without the pass. It is one thing to not be able to eat in a restaurant or enjoy leisure activities, but quite another to not be able to use intercity public transportation (like in France) or even to buy groceries (Cyprus) unless one is vaccinated. Public transportation is vital in most countries in Europe. In Sweden, I commute 1 1/2 hours one way using public transport to get to work. Any laws passed here, like the ones in France and Cyprus, would amount to forced vaccinations for everyone.

    2. polar donkey

      I bought a CO2 air detector for $60 to see what the air is like at the restaurant in which I work. I think it ranges from 0 to 2,000, with a color coding of green, yellow, orange, red. Outside in my backyard it read a CO2 level read about 400. At work, before customers arrived, it read 900ish. 8pm, place was full. It read 1,900. I had a mask on, using betadine nose spray I imported from Asia, vitamin D, C and zinc, plus J&J vaccine. I still think I will get Beta in an environment like that.

      1. jr

        Are you using betadine gargle? Not the nasal spray:

        Gargling with it for 45 seconds kills everything and protects you for up to two hours. I use it before I go out or after I get into a “contact” situation.

        Have you tried double masking? I wear a surgical with a cup 95 over top of it. You can even put a bandana over that. I wear that rig walking a dog in the 90 + degree heat as a character building exercise. Teaches you to regulate your breathing.

        Which is another habit I’m building: strategic breathing. An hour ago I bought a soda from the corner store. I got my money ready, checked to see that it wasn’t busy, and took a deep breath. Got the soda, paid, and said goodbye to the clerk without inhaling once. Out into the effervescent night air of Brooklyn. When I walk by people on the street, I hold my breath while they pass but still say hello etc. I time how long it takes me to walk from my apartment door to the front door and how far I can get on a breath. It’s kind of fun.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Turns out Kamala Harris will not quarantine herself after meeting with those infected Texas democrats. But she did make a trip to Walter Reed for a ‘routine check-up’. And maybe a glass of bleach.

  16. Procopius

    Not related to anything current (I’m exhausted) but ran across mention that we now spend more on our military than we did in 1997, when we had 550,000 troops in combat in Vietnam. I’ve been horrified by what has happened with the F-35 fighter and the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier. Ran across a blog, which seems to have gone inactive last year, by Chuck Spinney. One of his essays, Why the Defense Budget is Always Underfunded, gives an explanation that makes sense to me. Unfortunately, although he offers suggestions about ways to cure the problem, I think we are going to continue on this path until we are invaded and conquered by Vanuatu.

  17. Sawdust

    The Endless Pursuit of Better

    I like these critiques of the PMC as much as anyone, but I can’t help noticing that they’re written by and for members of the PMC. What, then, is their purpose? A call to slackerdom? To raise a fondness for Nascar and UFC in Blue America? I doubt it.

    1. Wukchumni

      Tractor pulls can be intellectually stimulating if you bring a good book along to read, I can’t say enough about Candice Millard’s Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President which weaves a hell of a tale in regards to James Garfield, his would-be assassin and a team of doctors who disdained using anything antiseptic, probably causing his death.

      1. wilroncanada

        Tractor pulls would be the perfect time to write John Deere letters, But your writing might become Massey. (sorry, just finning.)

    2. sfp

      For all the ink spilled trying to reconcile the incongruities between vaguely conservative PMCs and vaguely liberal PMCs, I can’t help but feel that the author missed the forest for the trees. But then again, the author is an academic who has decided that the hill they’re going to die on is explaining politics through the lens of elite cultural capital, so that’s not much of a surprise.

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        sfp: Indeed. In the middle of the middle of the article, she argues for a kind of moderate oooshyness:

        “Yet most people are more comfortable with the quieter middle.8 As recent research shows, the majority of Americans don’t feel strongly about politics at all.9 The conservative-leaning family patriarch doesn’t want to get into a debate with his liberal son-in-law at Thanksgiving dinner.”

        What is this supposed to mean? The counterargument would be that while Americans aren’t feeling strongly about politics, a social class (the upper-middle class) has been looting and pillaging the country. Are we collectively supposed to feel good about not paying attention, even as it is all to easy to see how much infrastructure, public works, and daily life have deteriorated in the last forty or so years?

        1. flora

          Or, the counterargument could be Americans know their politicians don’t represent their interests, so why get riled up about another person’s political views?

          “The opinions of 90% of Americans have essentially no impact at all.”

          This isn’t indifference to politics, it’s more a practical assessment about how much to spend one’s limited time on the subject.

          Maybe the 10% PMC class’s interests are represented, but the rest of us… not so much. / ;)

          1. flora

            adding: the old soviet joke “they pretend to pay us and we pretend to work” can be paraphrased here as: “they pretend to represent us and we pretend to believe them.” / ;)

    3. ambrit

      I’ll suggest that the PMC writers of such articles are trying to get out in front of the mob and call it a parade.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        yeah. safaris to the hinterlands are still a thing.
        i’ll give this one the benefit of the doubt, until i finish my chores.

        a portion that leapt at me:”…. Anti-intellectualism and anti-elitism can also be weapons against condescension, double standards, and lack of choices. Moral superiority and cancel culture only further alienate the people already excluded from meritocracy and elite cultural capital….”

        i see this…a lot.
        the condescension and snobbery of the pmc…whom these folks identify as wholly demparty…is a ready reason to loathe them.
        and yet, as i keep saying, it’s the local upper middle, and above, who are to be found at county gop home tours(yes, this is a thing).
        the poor, or newly precarious, don’t have time for all that…no matter how they vote.
        (and most of the latter 2 don’t vote at all)
        the local dems are,in fact, and to a person, of this snobbish, nose in the air set….which just confirms what the ordinary local hears from tucker, et alia.

        (for instance, after g. floyd, a few of the dems tried to gin up a BLM rally at the courthouse.
        we have all of 2(two) black people here….the cops are after (poor)hispanics, and po white folks…(of course, when the visiting black cousin of our 2 black folks burned down the courthouse, a bunch of righties wanted to lynch him..which will cost the county buku to try him elsewhere)
        so it would make more sense to everyone out here…even pro-LEO people…to rally about police assholery in general. might get a lot of people on-side, that way…and my informal surveys indicate that a lot of people hereabouts don’t like the way local leos do their thing)

        1. marym

          “…the cops are after (poor)hispanics, and po white folks….so it would make more sense to everyone out here…even pro-LEO people…to rally about police assholery in general. might get a lot of people on-side, that way…and my informal surveys indicate that a lot of people hereabouts don’t like the way local leos do their thing)”

          Where abusive policing is a problem beyond the black community, those in the beyond also have some responsibility for doing the rallying and the getting of people on-side.

          (This isn’t meant to defend the actions of the Democrats or the cousin in this case)

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            the abuse is background to the local worthies….at least until recently.
            happened forever
            sheriff, before i got here, coming in uninvited, sitting at the kitchen table, informing the brown people therein that they would not be going to the polls.(this was in the 80’s)–switched to mostly drugs, and their debris field.
            our last sheriff…local good ol boy, grewup right here cheek by jowl with mexicans,…was really good about all this.
            much less drama and bullshit.
            new guy is from houston PD…we’ll see how he does.
            it should also be mentioned that, these days, most of those worthies have a relative who married a mexican, etc.
            changes the field a bit.

      2. newcatty

        From article:

        The conservative-leaning patriarch doesn’t want to get into a debate with his liberal son-in-law at Thanksgiving dinner.

        Hmmm…How original. All in the Family (1971) was funny and considered hip in the context of the time. Archie and Meathead were the prototypes for the American divide between each other’s Political IDs at the time. To bring up the old stereotyping is lazy and verges on plagiarism. Of course, maybe young PMC writer’s count on readers who don’t have any idea of 70’s Tee vee content. If they see Meathead it’s on some junk show like Bill’s.

        1. The Rev Kev

          My wife has been watching a lot of the old “All in the Family” episodes lately and it now seems strange to watch. I found that sure, he was prejudiced, but there was nothing evil there and seemed more to be to do with his upbringing. When I see how the actor that played the Meathead turned out after all these decades, I sometimes think that Archie Bunker was quite astute.

      3. Darthbobber

        It is each generation’s equivalent of the pmc that has both the leisure, the education, and the motivation for theorizing. For good or ill. Capital wasn’t written by a 19th century steelworker, or anti-Duhring by a weaver.

        Lenin was a scion of petty aristocrats, trained for the law.

        1. LifelongLib

          Well, in a just society leisure and education (as well as money) would be more widely distributed, so we might well hear what steelworkers and weavers have to say…

          1. The Rev Kev

            I don’t know about other places but in 19th century Scotland, weavers were some of the most politically active and astute workers on the scene.

    4. cocomaan

      Such obliviousness grates on those who understand but lack the increasingly hereditary advantages that ease ascent into the meritocratic ranks. That obliviousness is all the more problematic when the progressive outlook that so many meritocrats embrace is about confronting and (to some degree) undoing systems of privilege, though not necessarily those that may challenge their own privileged position.

      Is it just me, or is this piece overwritten? Author needs to take heart to the White/Strunk lesson: be clear and say what you mean.

    5. shinola

      Btw, today’s Cup race is at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Live at-the-track TV coverage scheduled to start 3:00 pm(eastern). IIRC, I’m not the only regular NC reader who’s also a NASCAR fan..;)

    6. gulag

      It may be a mixture of things.

      One is to possibly feel better about one’s own PMC background/bias by pointing out to this general faction that an almost guaranteed way to not win potential political allies is to look down on those whom you might be interested in mobilizing, although the alternative political, vision, whatever it might be, is usually not specified in that same article.

      Another could be to point out that the primary political narratives across the political spectrum tend to be extremely simplified. Many people probably are yearning for “a quieter middle,” and want to stress potential satisfaction with their situation rather than anger or resentment.

      This may be especially true if the psychological consequences of such resentment are accelerating anxiety and depression and a greater sense of helplessness, in the absence of genuine political alternatives.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        in my experience, few people actually want to be all pissed off all the time.
        most would rather just do their thing without being scolded, or otherwise interfered with…from either “side” of the singular but schizoid authorities…whether elected, and thereby allegedly accountable…or from some otherwise influential cohort…whether the youtube ‘influencer’, the president, or the mayor of my tiny little town.

  18. Tom Stone

    I was talking to a lifelong Dem yesterday who was denouncing the deplorables for not getting vaccinated.
    This is someone whose career required critical thinking but who none the less contracted a severe case of TDS.
    This is someone who acknowledges that Trump’s “Warp Speed” produced vaccines in a surprisingly short time and who is convinced that Trump has been controlled by the Kremlin since 1987.
    Doesn’t this imply that the push to vaccinate the populace is part of an insidious Russian plot?
    I’ll bring it up next time we meet.

    RUSSIA!!! has been America’s favorite Dog whistle since the First World War and it shows no signs of losing popularity.

  19. Mikel

    “Why Nobody Will Tell You The Truth”

    “…The legacy of post-financial crisis monetary accommodation is, in part, the extent to which it inflated the value of financial assets disproportionately concentrated in the hands of the wealthy…”

    “…The rich will get richer as asset prices continue to soar, butpoliticians (half of them anyway) will work simultaneously to right various societal wrongs, retool the world’s largest economy and reengineer capitalism so it “works for the people” as opposed to the other way around…”

    Just a pause in reading this article to reflect on something heard in the financial press ovee the last year or so, as it pertains to stock assets especially. It has been said that the rocketing, high prices imply a pulling forward of future earnings into the present.

    No one is certain how long this can go on, but that asset wealth is largely held by older generations.

    Probably a good indicator in itself as to how long the bubbles will be blown?

  20. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: Stoller’s observation about Team Blue strategy

    Why does he have sure much faith in Team Blue? Pretending “defend the police” has been an electoral problem is very much connected.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “What Do Addison Rae’s Critics Have in Common With the Taiping Rebels”

    I saw an article about this a coupla days ago and going by the images, I can see why the UFC thought it a good idea to hire her for this gig. You can see why it wasn’t going by the tweets in that article but didn’t the White House do similar when they brought in social media celebrity Olivia Rodrigo the other day?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Even minor reminders that television personalities aren’t licensed tellers of truth but picked for the purpose of hawking the agenda of the owners or selling the advertised products is upsetting for too many people, so they need to pretend this is an outrage. What if George Stephanopoulos is just a PR hack and not a defender of truth? The UFC interview process must be protected. If sports journalism is entertainment, what else is?

  22. Richard Needleman

    Hamsters, Covid, Meta-analysis

    About the hamster studies: One should be aware that while hamsters do show lung damage from the virus ( , they lack ACE2 lung receptors( So the hamster studies do not rule out a direct effect of IVM on virus replication, though they obviously strengthen the evidence for the anti-inflammatory effects of the drug.

    About the new Hill study: They still recommend more studies. An Emergency Use Authorization only requires the determination that a treatment may work. Can Hill et al. and the rest of the medical establishment claim that IVM does not more than satisfy this requirement? In addition to the meta-analyses there is a review which discusses the evidence for multiple modes of action of this drug(, It contains this statement: “The probability that an ineffective treatment generated results as positive for the 55 studies to date is estimated to be 1 in 23 trillion (p = 0.000000000000043). The consistency of positive results across a wide variety of cases has been remarkable. It is extremely unlikely that the observed results could have occurred by chance”.

    This reminds me of an old Yiddish story: A man thinks his wife is cheating on him so he follows her to a hotel. Through an open window he sees her and a strange man. She begins to undress but pulls down the shade. He says, “Always to wonder, never to know”.

    Probably 30% (MDs please use your own estimate) of common medical practices are not based on trials of any kind. Isn’t time to stop pretending that the evidence is not at least at the level of ‘may help’ and start saving lives?

    1. Skip Intro

      In the US, I believe, IVM is already OK’d for ‘off label’ use. It doesn’t need an EUA to be used for covid. This may be the reason for such strong pushback from the drug cartel’s shills and orifices.

      1. Richard Needleman

        You are right, a doctor could use IVM in Covid. She could also use Viagra, but in doing either so she will likely incur the wrath of the MBAs in charge of her practice. It seems relatively rare for a doctor to be able to prescribe based on her best analysis of the situation. Physicians able to prescribe IVM without blowback are fortunate and rare.

        On the other hand an EUA, or a grade B recommendation, affords a measure of protection in doing doctoring. Recommending for rather than allowing drug use makes a big difference.

        1. Yves Smith

          My NYC MD is in a solo practice (and has prescribed IVM on the “well it can’t hurt” theory) but you don’t see many in the rest of the US.

    2. IM Doc

      Probably 30% of common medical practices are not based on trials of any kinds ——

      Botox is not approved for about half of what it is used for.
      Gabapentin is not approved for the vast majority of its current usage – and has a horrible side effect issue.
      All kinds of hormonal therapy in men and women are not approved for what they are used for.
      Use of anti-depressants for pain are not approved but are widely used.
      Statins are not approved as “anti-inflammatory” after a stroke but are almost universally used for such.
      Multiple blood pressure meds are used for congestive heart failure “remodeling” but have never been approved for such.
      Multiple seizure drugs are being used for depression and were never approved for such.
      Multiple antibiotics are used repeatedly for the treatment of H pylori and GERD but were never approved for such
      Multiple antibiotics used in AIDS patients for secondary infections were never approved for this usage but are widely used in such infections.
      Multiple anti-depressants are commonly used for insomnia – but were never approved for that usage.

      Shall I go on? I could probably do so for a very long time…..

      How many of these other usages have RCT backing them up? Some, I would dare say the minority – but are used by medical practitioners without a blink of an eye. In each and every case, there is solid experiential evidence and strong signals from non-RCT data that they help.

      The cognitive dissonance has become overwhelming in my profession.

      1. fresno dan

        There has never been a clinical trial proving that setting bones is efficacious…because there doesn’t need to be and it would be detrimental to the health of the patient. The Mutter museum in Philadelphia has a display of broken limbs not set that then healed – one can only imagine how painful and disabling that would have been.
        On the other hand, people (i.e., physicians and scientists) can come up with all sorts of theories and rationalizations for what they do, even though there is no evidence that they are of any value and may even be harmful
        Management of hypertension has evolved considerablyover the last 70 years. In the mid-1940s, a reasonable systolicblood pressure was 100 plus the patient’s age. Physiciansassumed elevated blood pressure was the body’s normaladaptation to stiffening and sclerotic arteries, and thus abeneficial compensatory mechanism to maintain organperfusion.1To imagine the cardiovascular unawareness justseven decades ago is startling. Most physicians, includingthose prominent in the cardiovascular field, largely dis-missed early data the American Society of Actuaries pub-lished in 1928 linking higher blood pressure to prematuredeath.2At the time, cardiovascular disease was consideredan inevitable consequence of aging.

        Or the belief that “stress” caused most ulcers, instead of H. pylori. There really are a multitude of examples. But clinical trials alone are not the final say on a drug. Who would have thought (well, actually it does make perfect sense) that a dentist would discover the downsides of using osteoporosis drugs – osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ)

      2. cpm

        Re: Gabapentin
        Prescribed like advil from pain by many docs.
        I think it’s a dangerous drug and most prescribers are not aware of side effects.
        I believe it has put my wife in hospital in stupor several times. Hospital docs can’t understand what’s going on.
        Many doctors are prescribing blindly based on Pharma propaganda.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i prefer valerian root….whence the synthetic gabapentin is derived.
          only side effects for me is vivid dreams that i can remember when i awake(which is weird for me).
          as for fresnodan’s quip on broken bones and not setting them…that’s what my left ankle looks like on an xray. i always have to help the Docs….even the osteo guy who did my hip…interpret those xrays.
          broken it so many times since the initial wreck 30 years ago made into gravel with a 1/2 pound of metal tacked on each side, that it’s hard to tell what, exactly, is going on in those images.
          i’ll apparently have to go to Cuba to get it fused….or amputated, more likely.
          for the couple of years i was on medicaid, after i finally got the hip replaced, i searched all over texas for an ankle guy who took medicaid.
          as in cold called doctor’s offices with that sort of thing in their brief.
          regular doc…known him 25 years and consider him a friend…said to get with him and he’d let me know when a bone dr was working the ER, so i could have an “unfortunate accident”…like jumping off the roof, or “dropping a chainsaw”.
          “path to”
          “access to”
          “we ain’t doing M4A, we’ll just incrementally fix obamacare”
          “skin in the game”
          etc etc
          πάθει μάθος

      3. Yves Smith

        Oh, so now I know why my mother was on statins….after a stroke in 2003 or so. I took her off them. She only uses an inhaler for COPD and takes an adult aspirin, plus dietary supplements (not as many as I do but of course Vit D and zinc and an endothelium supporter). MDs can’t get over how great her blood work and EKGs are despite her being the ultimate couch potato and loving fried foods.

    3. IM Doc

      I would also add that this issue does delve into “sacred cow” territory.

      There are several examples to choose from – so I will just talk about one.

      The use of hormonal therapy to abort puberty in transgender teenagers and children.

      Here is the sticky wicket. These hormonal agents that are used for this process were originally approved for medical problems such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and also profoundly uncommon hormonal deficiency problems.

      Not a single one – not one – was ever approved for gender transition. Not one was ever approved to give to a child or teenager. Indeed, the entire process of hormonal abortion of puberty or gender transition has never been fully elucidated in any type of RCT to assess long term efficacy and long term risk.

      Here is the problem for the proponents of this therapy and several others that use off-label drugs. If the FDA does decide to go after just one “off-label” drug such as Ivermectin – it will open the door for all of these other usages to be stopped as well. Indeed, the safety profile of Ivermectin does not include depression and suicide in its list. The use of these hormone therapies in kids absolutely has both problems documented in its usage.

      I know from colleagues – if the FDA goes after any off label usage, the lawsuits are already planned to go after multiple others such as gender transition hormones in kids. Therefore any regulators who have in mind to prevent usage of off label Ivermectin absolutely know they will be opening Pandora’s Box.

      1. newcatty

        This is a Pandora’s Box that I am concerned about with regards to the outcome for children being given hormonal agents to” abort puberty”. I do not have any research science background or medical training, but I do have some background in child development. The first time I read, or heard, about gender transition I was just immediately shocked to realize that children were being subjected to not only off-label hormonal “therapy”, but without any approval or long term research on its “efficacy and long term risk”. I will leave this comment here.

        1. Acacia

          Reading about this practice also really startled me, especially in a context of school counselors getting involved and organizing it without informing a child’s parents.

          My next thought was “this sounds like somebody’s cash cow for a lifetime of ‘gender therapy’ when the hormone treatment inevitably prangs.”

      2. HotFlash

        Holy moley. I have three step-grandchildren, formerly granddaughters, but currently one granddaughter, one grandson, and one ‘they’. No idea what level chemical or surgical ‘therapy’ happening as their mother, divorced several years now from my stepson, not actually all chummy with us. I am gobsmacked, not that they are ‘charting their own course’ or whatever, but that they are *so young*. Jeez, people, I have never even gotten a tattoo because what would I do if I didn’t like it in three years? I have known several trans-folks over the past 50 years, and in some cases I rejoice for them, it is definitely a correction of an oopsie at birth and shortly became totally unremarkable. For others, it just didn’t seem to work. It wasn’t believable and, much more importantly, it didn’t make them as happy as they hoped and believed it would. Some were much sadder than before.

        For very young people, I think it is a fad? At my new ‘grandson’s’ age I desperately wanted to be a Carmelite nun — which would not have worked out well, as I now know. Added to IMDoc’s note about chemically suppressed puberty, which I think has been done w/ my grandkids, let alone surgery, which I understand is sort of reversible, but really, it’s not like piercing your ears!

        I t is also my observation that many of my friends and acquaintances who are seriously into altering themselves (diet, cosmetic surgery, identity reassignment, gender reassignment, religious nuttery, obsessing over weight, etc etc etc) are at root so unhappy with themselves and ain’t no physical/pharmaceutical change that is gonna fix.

    4. jrkrideau

      Meta-analysis of randomized trials of ivermectin to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection (accepted manuscript) Open Forum Infectious Diseases. This is a second meta-study.

      If we check the list of papers we have the Elgazzar et al. retracted paper again. The authors are looking at a big revision. For those not following the fun

      Pubpeer is not too impressed either.

      Isn’t the NHS doing a large RCT?

  23. Mikel

    RE: “The Bullshit”

    I would put it this way:
    The biggest difference between news today and the news in the past is that today the news is often about the discussion of news.

  24. Allentown

    I really can’t stand how stupid this nation’s politics have become. Every issue, no matter how small, is immediately taken over by the extremists.

    And so we have the Wi Spa controversy where a biological female alleged (note my careful use of the term “alleged”) that a transgender female exposed her male genitalia to other biological females in the women’s section of the spa. I have no idea if this really happened or not – it’s entirely possible that it happened but that the accuser wasn’t able to capture the moment on film, and it’s also possible that the accuser made it up for political purposes, and it’s also possible that the spa has evidence of some sort but is choosing not to release it. We may never know the truth. But the issue has now been co-opted by the extremists which means that we can never trust any reporting on the issue ever again.

    “LAPD arrests dozens and fires rubber bullets after being attacked during violent transgender rights protest where members of Proud Boys and Antifa clashed outside of a Koreatown spa”

    1. Soredemos

      A lot of this kind of thing has to do with the fact that the media and the Democrats spent all of the Trump presidency hyping up the largely fictitious threat of some burgeoning American fascism. This in turn fueled the rise of self described ‘anti-fascists’ who, having a very hazy understanding of what fascism even is (since any understanding of a difference between economic and social issues has been systematically purged from the American psyche, ‘fascist’ basically just means “person I deem to be bad because they have wrong-think about some social issue”), seem to genuinely think that coming out and shouting at crowds of overweight ‘mega-patriots’ flying “don’t tread on me” flags makes them (antifa) the brave modern successors of the Rotfrontkampferbund. For the sake of antifa actual fascism had better never come to pass in this country, because if it ever does one of the first things that will happen will be a lot of antifa kids getting their brains splattered across the pavement when whatever is our equivalent of the SA emerges.

      You’re right that it’s stupid. Everything about this is stupid. Everyone on both sides is an embarrassing idiot, and the sane response would be to treat them all with ridicule and social shaming, the same way that in more sane times groups like the Westboro Baptist Church were treated with ridicule. Their existence was lamented, yes, but they weren’t dignified as representing some nascent political force, because they obviously aren’t one. They were treated as the fringe group of sad weirdos that they are.

      1. Aumua

        For the sake of antifa actual fascism had better never come to pass in this country,

        Well yes you’re right, one of the first things the fascists like to do when they seize power is get rid of or kill all of the Socialists, Communists and Anarchists. So we should all probably hope that doesn’t happen. Unfortunately in the past few years especially, the possibility of a new American form of fascism rising up seems less ‘fictitious’ than ever, in my opinion. And I consider groups like the Proud Boys to be proto-fascist in intent and methods. Such groups (and the more extreme groups for which they are a front) are always actively recruiting online, especially young susceptible minds. And the liberals are pushing the kids right into their arms, too.

        the sane response would be to treat them all with ridicule and social shaming, the same way that in more sane times groups like the Westboro Baptist Church were treated with ridicule.

        I absolutely agree with this as one of the best ways to deal with these kind of extremists.

        1. Basil Pesto

          the sane response would be to treat them all with ridicule and social shaming, the same way that in more sane times groups like the Westboro Baptist Church were treated with ridicule.

          I absolutely agree with this as one of the best ways to deal with these kind of extremists.

          here’s a classic of that particular genre

        2. Soredemos

          What I’m saying is that those original (actual) anti-fascists were prepared for a real fight. What we have right now are a bunch of LARPers showing up to yell at other LARPers. What I’m worried might one day happen is that the right will start to produce actual Nazis, and when that happens the antifa crowd, who are also often the same people who insist that ‘words are literal violence’, are going to discover to their cost that no, only literal violence is actually literal violence.

          The Greensboro massacre in the 70s, where a bunch of idiot Maoists went looking for a fight and found it, is the type of scenario I’m thinking of.

          1. Aumua

            Yeah I’m sure some people would like to see that happen. I kind of think if one side pulled out guns these days then the other side would produce guns too though. The real problem occurs when the cops start siding with the Proud boy types, like they did in Kenosha and arguably also on Jan 6.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Thanks for that link as it was very revealing. You can already guess what the investigation is going to find. Somebody cut corners not putting rebar in and probably pocketed the difference while selling off the “surplus” rebar. Looks like they will have to thoroughly investigate any building that Breiterman ever touched.

      1. Mikel

        “Breiterman, who died in 1990, and his firm, Breiterman, Jurado & Associates, which no longer exists, is the only overlap between the Champlain Towers construction and the Public Safety Building at 2801 Salzedo St.”

        Not saying they can’t still investigate them, but…well…

        1. Maritimer

          Thanks for the paywall bypass.

          Golly Gee, lucky day, the Miami Herald chosen Scapegoat is dead, gone, non-suable, case closed. (Lee Oswald, Jack Ruby for starters.) Could it be possible that the esteemed Miami Herald might have a desire to protect FLA’s building industry? Surfside case closed, solved, move along. One off, the Rotten One in the Pure Barrel is gone. Buy that condo, now!

          On the subject of rebar, out of interest I read up a bit about it. There are numerous grades of rebar, there is even stainless steel. So, depending on rebar cost, there may even be counterfeit rebar, that is cheap rebar passed off and used as a higher grade. So, the rebar may be there but not fit for purpose.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > So, the rebar may be there but not fit for purpose.

            It you read the article, you will see a photo where there are two bars of rebar. Four were specified.

            1. Bill Smithb

              In addition to the missing rebar, rebar in those days wasn’t likely coated with anything so it was less rust resistant than the epoxy coated stuff that started coming out later.

              1. juno mas

                Epoxy coated rebar is a relatively new attempt to reduce the implications of corrosion in rebar steel used in reinforced concrete. The coating reduces the “grip” between the rebar and the concrete mix, and building codes require a 20% INCREASE in rebar length (contact area) to offset this condition.

                When moisture reaches rebar embedded in concrete the rebar begins to corrode (rust) and expand. This expansion can be as much as 6 times. That is why inspectors look for spalling concrete. It is a direct precursor to a weakened structure.

          2. Jen

            If you have a long memory going back to, say, hurricane Andrew, or are familiar with Carl Hiassen’s oeuvre, “building code violations + lax enforcement” would immediately come to mind upon seen the condo collapse.

  25. The Rev Kev

    “The US Government Threatens Tech Companies To Push Censorship Agendas”

    This week has seen massive changes that have mostly flown under the radar. It has been blatantly obvious for years now that Facebook has become the new public square. There were complaints at how people were being censored or cut off altogether but demands that Facebook be regulated because of their dominance were met with the oft reply that they were a “private company” and so could do anything that they wanted. I think that this censorship issues has helped lead to Substack. But here we are. This is not some soccer mom complaining to Facebook about posts that they do not like but the Federal government telling Facebook who to censor. So now we know. Facebook is not a private company after all but is in partnership with the federal government by their own admission.

    But wait, there’s more. Now the Federal government is saying that if you get banned from one social media platform, you should get banned from them all. So suppose you said something that Twitter did not like. Bang – you’re gone. But now so are you from Snapchat, Facebook, etc. And if you run your business or a club through Facebook or keep in contact with your friends & family through Facebook as well. Well that is just tough You got knocked off Twitter so now you lose ALL social media. That’s like talking about the-drug-that-shall-not-be-named over the telephone one day so not only is your phone line cut but your mobile services and mail as well. So after all these years, not only has the main stream media been neutered, but now social media as well. Trained poodles all of them.

    Speech, for the better part, has now been regulated instead of the corporations that transmit it. Over thirty years ago a book came out called “The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students” so pretty soon I would expect a new book sequel to come out called “The Closing of American Speech.” The only problem is that such a book will never be able to be published in the US and so would have to be published overseas. Books and articles get censored too by just being unable to be published in the US. If you want proof of this, ask yourself where all the tell-all books are about the life of John McCain now that he is dead.

    1. fresno dan

      The Rev Kev
      July 18, 2021 at 10:45 am
      You make very good points and I mostly agree with you.
      But I would ask you this:
      Does the US government de jure censor the NYT?
      Does the US government de facto censor the NYT?
      Does the NYT ever report something contrary to what the US elite consensus espouses (of course, the NYT’s courageous exposure of the weapons of mass destruction manufactured delusion in Iraq is a prime example of a FREE press in action – do I REALLy have to put a sarc tag???)
      Is the US government really gonna make Facebook NOT publish something Facebook wants to publish, or PUBLISH something Facebook doesn’t want to publish? Hmmmmm. I’m thinking Facebook (as well as Google, Amazon, etc censors the US government more than the US government censors the tech giants). If we use the analogy of the town square, Facebook is happy to let us rant and rave….20 miles from the town square…on Facebook farm property – you can rant and rave at the cows all you want.
      As I noted yesterday, just because reporters claim they were manipulated into reporting the Steele dossier, doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have LOVED reporting about the Steele dossier without manipulation. Nobody censored them from reporting the Steele dossier was nonsense…other than themselves.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The NYT is a special case. Several years ago I read an article by a west coast reporter who had gone to work at the NYT. He wrote that on the offices on the upper floors, management would fix on a “narrative” for the day. Then editors on the lower floors would sort through articles or have them written that would support this narrative. You can see how this would have worked twenty years ago when the narrative became ‘we must attack and invade Iraq before they do the same to us.’ And that is how you had a Judith Miller fit into the NYT.

  26. Wukchumni

    We got a look at a pending Tokyo Olympic event in Humordor yesterday, baseball combined with target shooting, a squeeze play on the trigger activated by an index finger, causing fans to flee en masse.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I can just see them in court explaining to the judge what happened but I don’t think that it will fly-

      ‘Yes sir. We were firing into the air when we suddenly began to notice lots of deceased people.’

  27. chuck roast

    So, I clicked on THE BULLSHIT. A tasty treat indeed. There are a few pure nuggets in this pile that you can really get your teeth into. He describes the alt-info environment as akin to the early days of Punk when all the hip kids wanted to do fanzines. Then I thought, “Who is this guy?” Another Substack guy. Perfect, Substack the new Maximum Rock & Roll.

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      One of the best pieces of writing I’ve seen in quite some time. Concise and fluid, with great content. I’ll be looking for more stuff from Walter Kirn. He’s good.

      1. Carolinian

        According to him we’ve been having his stuff for years via Time Magazine (if no more).

        Of course even in his recalled time of more normal news there was a looney taint. Luce was a piece of work. But without a doubt some of us used to view the press as a check on corporate America and feel bitter as it has all turned to nonsense.

        1. Michaelmas

          Kirn is also a fairly decent novelist. A book of his, UP IN THE AIR, got made into the film starring George Clooney, for instance.

  28. diptherio

    The $78/hr for the pizza shop employees was due to the owner sharing not just the profits, but the entire gross revenue for the day with them, if the original reporting from Fox is accurate. To wit:

    …the shop had 220 orders with $6,300 in sales and $1,200 in tips. He said the $7,500 equaled $78 an hour for his employees that day.

    So obviously he’s not accounting for cost of goods sold.

    Basically the owner’s returning a small portion of the profits he’s earned over the years to his employees by taking a loss for one day. One. Family blogging. Day. He will now, however, reap the benefits of increased sales and community goodwill from this good press for all of the rest of the days going forward. Not nearly good enough, in my book.

    Have the employees form themselves into a nascent worker co-op, give them Shared Capital’s url ( so they can become a member of the CDFI and get hooked up with a low-interest, non-extractive loan (i.e. they only have to pay it back if all the workers are getting a living wage out of the business) and technical assistance to buy the business from the owner. That way, the essential workers, the actual creators of value, will get all of the profits from the joint every day, forevermore. It won’t be $78/hr, because they’ll have to pay for the ingredients and overhead, but it would certainly be more than they’re making now…aside from all the other benefits, psychologically and socially. #GoCoop

    1. juno mas

      Yes, the Employee Day was good PR for the owner. Probably a substitute for the Xmas Bonus.

      Service employees are being squeezed. My grocery store is attempting to squeeze checkout clerks with “self-serve” docks. I refuse to use them. It’s a solidarity thing…certainly appreciated by the clerks.

  29. Wukchumni

    Goooooood Moooooorning Fiatnam!

    The VC were a ruthless foe, always willing to invest in any harebrained scheme no matter the merit. It was easy to get caught up in the excitement, especially when Silicon Valley announced that they had perfected software that could dig foxholes all the way to China, I mean what grunt wouldn’t want to invest in that, aside from the little matter of magma en route.

  30. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The Controversial Prosecutor at the Heart of the Julian Assange Case The Intercept

    Is there anyone who doesn’t know that, if the u.s. REALLY wanted Assange “extradited” to “stand trial” on “espionage” charges, he’d have been here months if not years ago? Saying that when the u.s. says “Jump” the uk says “How high” grossly understates that “upstairs, downstairs” relationship.

    Doesn’t anyone remember the mileage robert mueller got from his infamous twelve “indictments” of super scary, nameless, faceless Russian election “interferers” until one of them decided to hire a lawyer and show up in court? mueller had to go mum and drop the “charges” because he couldn’t even produce a shred of evidence in discovery.

    Letting Assange wither and die across the pond while the noble brits “protect” him from the evils of the american carceral system is the only tolerable “solution” to this problem. Too many myths will be busted should he ever be allowed to confront his accusers in the american “justice” system, not the least of which is the sacred freedom of the press.

    The kabuki is the story. Assange can never be given the opportunity to defend himself.

    1. fresno dan

      You may be right. But you have much more faith in the integirty of the US legal system than I do. If Assange was extradited and the US wanted him convicted on “national security grounds” Assange would be convicted on national security grounds. I mean, where were all the profiles in courage among US judges regarding torture at Abu Ghraib and detainment at Guantanamo Bay detention camp? To read those opinions is to see words, logic, and reality twisted beyond what even Orwell imagined…

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      i didn’t learn of julian’s plight util later, because it happened during one of my non-doomscrolling the newsfeed periods.
      when i first learned of it, i said to my wife, “think of the Discovery!”…by which, i had to explain,i mean the legal process.
      i was looking forward to that.
      reckon that’s the main reason he still languishes in limbo…much like snowden.
      Machine can’t allow a trial…because enough of the hoi polloi would expect it to be searchable and public, like any other trial(you can look up mine for that accidental hot check in austin 32 years ago).
      a trial would also focus spotlights on the underlying issues…which MSM would tutt-tutt and eyeroll away, but which would still be out there in the pesky altmedia/twitverse.
      i’m interested to learn the maximum number of shiny balls that can be rolled though the usa of romper room and still be a sufficient distraction…surely there’s a point of diminishing returns…

    3. Carolinian

      It’s often difficult to know which side of the Atlantic is wagging the other but kabuki without a doubt. You can throw in the Swedes too of course for that fake Assange sex scandal.

  31. Wukchumni

    Remember when the housing bubble started eh
    And you got on my nerves and begged me
    to buy before prices go berserk?


    You left me to my own devices and
    Then the euphoria got worse and worse
    And now you see values have gone completely
    out of whack, might need an XXXXXXXXL stack


    They’re coming to take me away,
    Haha, they’re coming to take me away,
    Ho ho, hee hee, ha ha,
    To the funny farm
    Where life is beautiful all the time
    And I’ll be happy to see
    Those used house salesmen
    In their Century 21 coats
    And they’re coming to take me AWAY,

    You thought it was a joke,
    and so you LAUGHED, YOU LAUGHED
    When I had said that losing out
    Would make me flip my lid,


    You know you laughed.
    I HEARD you laugh, you laughed
    You laughed and laughed
    And then you left,
    But now you know I’m Utterly Mad by missing out.

  32. fresno dan
    Reports this past week of the death of a Chicago police officer from a self-inflicted gunshot reminded me of a sadly startling statistic: Police in recent years have been more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty.

    As much as some people tout the “defund the police” slogan, I find that a lot more of us want to improve the police as well as the services they provide and, let us not forget, the services they themselves often need — including mental health services.
    I probably have linked to more articles about police misconduct than anyone, but the point isn’t that I think all police are bad, but just like our legal system is way over solicitous of the wealthy, and the same applies to police officers. Somehow, the system can’t figure out Epstein and some dirty cops are bad, bad people.
    But its hard to imagine that stressed out police benefit society, and ignoring police mental health strikes me as a sure way for police abuse to continue.
    And with regard to the legislation and police wearing body cams, to paraphrase what police say about talking to police without a lawyer, if you have nothing to hide, why would you be afraid of being filmed?

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i second all that.
      and that’s coming from someone who hates all cops…until the individual cop proves himself worthy(their culture, as applied to myself(sticks, gun to head,chased, etc), did this)
      but that would have to include the stoppage of the hiring preference for vets of forever wars…which would naturally require that we stop making so many vets of forever wars, and therefore never give them ptsd and other assorted craziness to begin with.
      but that would require wisdom, forethought and a willingness to tell enormous and powerful egregores to go pound sand.
      better to scratch the whole policing model as locally as you can, and start from scratch…with inputs open and only lightly moderated. don’t forget to figure out a comprehensive mission statement, enforceable by public lashings.
      according to the bio’s i looked at recently, all our deputies are vets from forever wars.
      in fact , i can’t think of a single deputy out here for the last 26 years who hasn’t been a vet from the sandbox.
      this presents a moral conundrum, for me…i do loathe cops…but i have much sympathy for vets…stepdad for 4/5 of my life, who’s trying to die atm in the va, was shot in the back on July 4th, 1968.
      and i knew a bunch of homeless vets in austin…a travesty beyond imagining.
      we shouldn’t put people through that shit…makes em morose, or squirrelly, or both.
      i suppose cop-work can make one squirrelly, too…the part of the job that invenes in the worst of human behaviour…but it’s all the other stuff they feel like they hafta do…shake down ‘suspicious’ persons, and the like…that causes most of the ire.

    2. Aumua

      Defunding is not about individual cops, and whether they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’. It’s about systemic problems with policing in the U.S. as an institution. Such as: bloated and ever ballooning police budgets, militarization of the police, rampant steroid use, secret (white supremacist in some cases) gangs within the departments, and powerful police unions that stand in the way of any meaningful reform. I can’t say this enough because it just doesn’t seem to stick in people’s minds, and the discussion is dragged away from this central relevancy again and again.

      1. fresno dan

        July 18, 2021 at 7:42 pm
        I agree with you 100%. But the average person doesn’t read political blogs, and get into what a phrase means – they take it at face value. If the point is to rectify all the wrongs of how police departments, in conjuction with the legal system act, than make that point. Saying there is gonna be less money for police is just a losing strategy.
        And I would make the point (see Amfortas the hippie July 18, 2021 at 3:07 pm) – how many cops act bad because of mental health issues? This means treatment and more stringent mental health examinations prior to hiring. Oh, and BTW, that is gonna take money.

        1. Aumua

          I hear you. I just don’t personally care much about optics or what the average person thinks. I want solutions that are going to make a difference. I want the police to be there when they are really needed, and otherwise not to be there. I want less unnecessary encounters between police and the public. I want less policing in general – a lot less. I’m fine with making help available to the cops we do have for dealing with the stress of the job, but I don’t think many of them would take advantage of it as it would be perceived as weak.

          So how do we get there? It seems to me the straightest path has to do with money and budgets. I mean money talks and b.s. walks, right? Reform has been proven not to work, again and again.

        2. Procopius

          I still think that slogan was put out there by one of the police spies in the BLM leadership.

  33. Andrew Watts

    RE: America’s Collapsing Meritocracy Is a Recipe for Revolt

    I don’t want to sound unsympathetic because this is why I think millennials are a lost generation. As a whole we’re directionless, subject to an environment beyond our control, and increasingly resentful about it. But I think the humiliated and demoralized veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are a much bigger problem.

    Combat veterans who suffer from PTSD would be more than willing to answer a call to violence. In contrast the people who went to college and racked up a lot of student debt are the kinda people who are passively waiting around for things to magically get better or they’re in standby mode waiting for a secular savior to rescue them from perdition. The only thing these college graduates are doing is complaining on social media or rioting.

    This is especially true in a political environment where the dominant minority no longer commands the respect or admiration of the people. The relatively small number of people comfortable with violence is why I don’t rule out a military coup in America’s future. People seem to forget that aristocracies have their origin in their willingness and capability to do violence.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      we already have an ensconced aristocracy.
      but they are not, as yet, all on the same page with all the details of what they want…and Douthat’s Decadence has long ago rotted their brains: far too comfortable in their laurel bed, not noticing the smell of smoke all around them.
      (bay laurel smoke is enticing, after all)
      we’re not watching the emergence of an elite, but the decline of one.

  34. Andrew Watts

    RE: When Will China Rule the World? Maybe Never

    This is just an incentive for the People’s Liberation Army/Navy to go to war with the US at some point. If China is unable to find a satisfactory level of co-existence with the an American sphere of influence than the world’s oldest method of problem solving will be increasingly attractive.

    It’d be a good way to solve the economic growth and demographic issue too. Baby booms usually follow a successful war and a larger sphere of influence, at the expense of the Americans and possibly the Europeans, would go a long way in solving the growth problem.

    How many wargames has the US military held where blue team lost against red team?

        1. The Rev Kev

          Hi Andrew. I think that you misread my comment accidentally. The war games against countries like Russia and Iran usually end bad for the US unless bizarre sets of conditions are imposed. During the 2002 Millennium Challenge for example, the red team were ordered to turn off all their radars and to pull back from their defensive positions on the beach and all sorts of other moronic changes-

          The reason why the war games went so badly here for the blue team was that they made the mistake of putting a combat vet from ‘Nam in the shape of a USMC General in charge of the red team. But these sort of shenanigans still go on so that the Pentagon can report that the blue team “wins”.

    1. Bill Smith

      If the US side won a lot of the war games it played out it would defeat the purpose of the war games. I think real purpose of most of the simulations that get / got run is misunderstood. Which is to understand your weakness so that you might do something about it. Look at what the US is doing in on Guam, Wake, Tinian, etc. based on losing war games against China.

      1. Andrew Watts

        I think they’re actually creating new problems for themselves. Deploying a land-based Aegis system to Guam alongside THAAD shouldn’t require the US losing a few wargames. The problem is still the same; saturation bombing via land, sea, and air. The last article on the matter that I read quoted a military officer where he stated that the US was losing quicker with each successive wargame. There are probably a few reasons that went unstated for this outcome and it isn’t hard to speculate about given the circumstances.

        When you disperse your forces in the face of superior firepower and the enemy knows where you’re repositioning to you’re gonna have a really bad time. You’re essentially isolating yourself into an even weaker position and potentially ceding the initiative to the other side in the hope that you’ll take fewer casualties. Against an adversary with peer capabilities this is suicidal. Which is to say nothing of the necessity and problem of re-concentrating your forces for an offensive.

        China can play defense all day in an armed conflict and can afford to make a few costly mistakes. The US on the other hand will have close to no margin of error.

        1. steelyman


          The USA seems to be playing directly into China’s strengths by investing more and more in land based military installations with extended lines of communication. There may be some debate re the accuracy and efficiency of China’s targeting systems as it applies to moving targets like a CBG in the middle of the Pacific but close to zero when it comes to attacking a fixed target on land.

  35. HotFlash

    Matt Stoller doesn’t know how to convince people to get vaccinated. National Review can’t figure out how to get ‘skeptics’ to be vaccinated. One thing that might encourage me to reconsider would be cancellation of the waivers of liability for the mfrs.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      and while they’re at it, they can release their patents, and at least pretend that they’ve heard of Salk…or Hippocrates.
      (i like the Oath of Maimonides better:

      Oh, and that Caduceus on all those signs in front of doctors’ offices and hospitals? it’s the sign of Hermes…a trickster god of Commerce…..NOT the same thing as the Rod of Asclepius, who was the god of healing.
      His had just one snake.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        Sir Knight, so glad to see your many comments today. I worry when we haven’t heard from you in a while, and I miss you!

        You’re right, of course, about the confusion between the Rod of Asclepius and the caduceus. The misuse by the medical profession is mostly the result of a mix-up by the U.S. Public Health Service in the early 1900s, and while the AMA did adopt it for a while, it has gone back to the Rod of Asclepius, as have many other medical organizations. It might be tempting to argue that the caduceus suits them better, for the reasons you cite. However, my interpretation is that both symbols are warped by the patriarchal values of classical antiquity, especially in the case of Asclepius.

        We know that the whole myth of Athena springing fully formed out of Zeus’s head was a propaganda campaign to kill the vestiges of earlier religions in which healing powers came from the earth — and the earth was personified as a goddess. The snake as a symbol of healing predates written history. Not coincidentally, earlier depictions of Athena often show her wearing the aegis, sometimes with the head of a Gorgon and ringed with snakes. Also not coincidentally, an alternative to the snake and rod story of how Asclepius acquired his power to bring the dead back to life is that Athena gave him the blood of Medusa; the blood from her right side could restore life, while the blood from her left side could destroy it. The Gorgons themselves sometimes were depicted with snakes entwined around their waists. Which does rather suggest something significant about two snakes …

        Hermes was the only deity who could come and go to the underworld at will. In his role accompanying souls to the underworld, he was called Psychopomp. According to some of the classical writers, Hermes used the caduceus to induce sleep or waking. I could write a ton about this, but for how will just add that anyone who has experienced the hypnagogic and hypnopompic states has at least a glimmer of understanding of the potential for subconscious healing. It’s not hard to imagine why the mythology of the “first doctor” ascribed that power to him.

  36. Susan the other

    Wendell Potter on Health Insurance. The medical insurance behemoth corporations are making more money than small countries. How did all that profit that happen? Consolidation. aka Monopoly. The age old story: as economies progress and populations increase profit becomes harder to find so efficiencies are created. Competition is a model for finding efficiencies first and then killing off all other competition. The trajectory goes like this: Profits lessen, competition takes off, also a competition in accounting as many benefits to society are usurped for the corporation – creating lots of nonsense rationalizations about profit and capitalism, etc; when no more costs can be socialized competition is forced to consolidate for a larger playing field – more loot – and soon monopolies are bigger than some countries – and powerful. They interfere in government by paying large bribes. The legislators are the ultimate Cheshire cat – they won’t write any legislation that will make them guilty of anything. So monopolies become veritable rackets – and an insurance monopoly is a racket within a racket because the original product is much like selling “protection” – it is based on creative extortion and then the corporation uses its immoral gain to effectively extort government. And here we are. This is why nobody believes in “choice, competition, the free-market” and other nonsense. All we get are higher prices, crappy services and advancing poverty. It is chronic social destruction, with a toothy smile and a big backslap. Health Insurance is nothing more than an oxymoron.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      if i remember right, health insurance was excluded from antitrust legislation starting long ago….like the 40’s?

  37. enoughisenough

    Did you all see this?? Admission of wrongdoing, almost! (not from Fauci, of course)
    Except I don’t buy his equivocating on “the science at the time”:

    *that Feb. 2020 interview with Trump by Woodward made it clear they already knew the virus was airborne and “not touch”. Where did Trump get his info from, if it wasn’t them??
    *In China, they were already masking. Why should we be less cautious? That has NEVER been justified.
    So him saying “the science at the time” does not hold up with the timeline of events and evidence. Sorry. It just takes a modicum of deductive reasoning, layperson, or not.

    Do you all think the CDC will listen?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      A contrarian view is that if Trump had said “Covid is airborne,” the reaction would have been orders of magnitude fiercer than it was for HQ, supported by the CDC and WHO, and censored by the platforms. As a result, we’d still be treating hygiene theatre as effective, and the paradigm shift to aerosol transmission would never have taken place. So we dodged a bullet, no matter how it happened.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        that;s depressing,lol.

        think i’ll rob the graveyard(for a big roach).
        kpft out of houston does zydeco early sunday, blues all day, then bluegrass in the evening:

        as a sort of palliative.

      2. enoughisenough

        Well, I guess I’m suggesting St. Fauci and the all the CDC people, who **must have known this** should have been the ones to say it.

        Immediately and without equivocation. And told everyone to wear homemade masks. And explained the process and the science.

        That was their JOB.

        It’s possible Trump would not have contradicted them? I don’t know. We never found out, because they just were his lackeys, instead of taking the reins themselves.

        I also don’t think I understand what possible reaction you’re referring to? What is the alternative history, other than the facts being known, and the spread slowing down?

        I’m sorry, I just don’t follow: “the reaction would have been orders of magnitude fiercer than it was for HQ, supported by the CDC and WHO, and censored by the platforms.” I might be missing something?

        How did we dodge a bullet by Fauci lying to us, when we would have masked up sooner had he told the truth and explained it?

      3. skippy

        Sorta like this Lambert ….

        “Last year Tony Fauci and I famously, prematurely, & wrongly advised against masks. I felt it was the best call at the time, but now regret it.”

        “I’m worried the CDC also made a similarly premature, misinterpreted, yet still harmful call on masking in the face of [rising] delta variant.” – Former Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams

    2. Jen

      From the twitter thread:

      “CDC was well intended, but the message was misinterpreted, premature, & wrong.”

      Umm, what exactly about “If you are fully vaccinated, you don’t need to wear a mask” was misinterpreted? Fully agree about the premature and wrong part.

      FWIW, my 87 year old dad noted that mask wearing is on the increase again where he lives (about an hour east of me in NH). I encouraged him to mask up and don’t share the air.

      1. enoughisenough

        totally agree. The CDC has been wrong and *reckless*. Heads need to roll.

        His VERY belated but otherwise admirable mea culpa is watered down with that kind of hedging. :/

        I hope my 74 yo mother is being safe and masking up again. I’ve started pleading with her to.

  38. flora

    From The Atlantic magazine about the FDA:

    The FDA Is a Melting Iceberg

    an aside: so many stories about things ‘going wrong’ in pharma or finance or health insurance or increasing monopoly power all mention in passing something like ‘this problem started in the 1980’s ‘. Though it’s never directly stated, that was the beginning of the rise of neoliberal US economics and govt assumptions about markets. That was when Milton Friedman’s neoliberal economic “because markets” ideas gained ascendancy in the Reagan administration as the way forward to prosperity. my 2 cents.

    1. Jason Boxman

      The intellectual edifice for this started much earlier (like 30 years), as documented in Matt Stoller’s excellent book.

  39. Randy G

    In the interest of keeping an open mind, I decided to check out a video of one of the ‘major’ Cuban opposition figures — a ‘rapper’ who has even impressed some of our faux “leftists” in the fraud squad, including AOC and Ilhan Omar. (In fairness to AOC, she did TWEET disapprovingly of the sanctions — sending right-wingers into paroxysms of derangement.)

    As this ‘opposition figure’ goes by the nom de guerre of ‘Pitbull and he’s a ‘rapper’ to boot, I’m expecting a formidable looking dude, maybe somebody like one of the great Afro-Cuban boxers. Instead there’s a guy speaking in English, naturally, a dude that doesn’t remind me of any pitbull I’ve encountered.

    With some truth in advertising, the guy would have chosen to call himself ‘Angry Chihuahua’ or ‘Nasty Hamster’ or something more along those lines.

    But this is nitpicking on trivial stuff — what does this major opposition spokesman have in mind for Cuba once the revolution goes into the dustbin of history? The plan is brilliantly simple: billionaire benevolence. He’s calling on Jeff Bezos, well known for his love of the poor and downtrodden, to take over Cuba and fix it.

    Heaven knows the billionaires have already ‘fixed’ large swathes of America and Puerto Rico so the idea of turning Cuba into a giant Amazon warehouse has merit. Soon the entire population will be peeing into bottles on their 5-minute breaks.

    So this is the credible opposition, a dude that makes Juan Guaidó — or Biden, for that matter — sound like Aristotle?

    Speaking of Aristotle, who was no friend of the uncontrolled Demos, oligarchy is a highly toxic form of governance. Aristotle understood class war a couple thousand years before Marx (although some ‘conservatives’ seem to believe ‘class war’ didn’t exist before Marx invented it).

    “Where some people are very wealthy and others have nothing, the result will be either extreme democracy or absolute oligarchy, and despotism will come from either of those excesses.”

    So the richest of the oligarchs, in their infinite wisdom and goodness, will fix Cuba? No democracy on tap, just oligarchs gone wild.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Here is a description of what Cuba was like before the revolution-

      ‘Brothels flourished. A major industry grew up around them; government officials received bribes, policemen collected protection money. Prostitutes could be seen standing in doorways, strolling the streets, or leaning from windows. One report estimated that 11,500 of them worked their trade in Havana. Beyond the outskirts of the capital, beyond the slot machines, was one of the poorest, and most beautiful countries in the Western world.
      — David Detzer, American journalist, after visiting Havana in the 1950s

      Throughout the 1950s, Havana served as “a hedonistic playground for the world’s elite”, producing sizable gambling, prostitution and drug profits for the American mafia, corrupt law-enforcement officials, and their politically elected cronies. In the assessment of the Cuban-American historian Louis Perez, “Havana was then what Las Vegas has become.” Relatedly, it is estimated that by the end of the 1950s the city of Havana had 270 brothels. In addition, drugs, be it marijuana or cocaine, were so plentiful at the time that one American magazine in 1950 proclaimed “Narcotics are hardly more difficult to obtain in Cuba than a shot of rum. And only slightly more expensive.” As a result, the playwright Arthur Miller described Batista’s Cuba in The Nation as “hopelessly corrupt, a Mafia playground, (and) a bordello for Americans and other foreigners.” ‘

      And Cuba knows that if they fall, this is what will happen to them again.

      1. Susan the other

        And here’s an historical irony I’ve never quite resolved: How did Cuba go communist? (sorry can’t cite but several indications) – Ostensibly the whole reason we backed Fidel’s movement, allowed a revolution to happen, was because Batista was hobnobbing with the European elite who were by then all “socialists.” More like fascists, as was Batista. But it was the cold war and everybody to be fought was by definition a pinko. The French were getting their tentacles into Cuba in the 50s, Edith Piaf was sent to mesmerize them, no doubt there was a big “french connection” going on. And by then the CIA had realized it had to have black money if it wanted to perform black ops. So the swarm of stories has a certain current. Of ratline politics on a global scale. What the current connections are I have no idea. But we dethroned Batista, virtually installed Fidel (I remember the TV coverage of an exuberant Fidel speaking to Richard Nixon with smirking secret service agents surrounding them.) and then, clearly, allowed Cuba to go communist. It would seem obvious to me that putting Cuba under strict communism was a good way to control the drug trade, but what do I know? This is all speculation. Apologies. And then just a few years later we allied with the French in Vietnam to muscle in on the opium trade there. And etc.

  40. Kouros

    We know for sure that the disappearance of the Aral Sea in Central Asia was due to communism. Who can we blame for the Great Salt Lake vanishing?

  41. ArvidMartensen

    On the disease of perpetual wanting. Maybe our billionaires have this disease in spades. When they own $20,000,000,000 it just kills them that they don’t own $50,000,000,000… etc.
    And competition. It also kills them that another billionaire owns more billions.

  42. Cuibono

    it should be noted that the Hill meta-analysis seems to include the discredited Egypt study.
    I think it will need to be redone

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