Links 7/2/2021

Yves apologizes for the dearth of original posts. Rehab, her mother in the hospital, and Naked Capitalism add up to 36 hours a day with 24 available, and something had to give. –lambert

Single bee is making an immortal clone army thanks to a genetic fluke Live Science

City of Bees Plough

No One Imagined Giant Lizard Nests Would Be This Weird The Atlantic

Farmland Investing: Impact Beyond Returns Worth

COVID Delta variant worries bubble to the surface in some asset prices Reuters

How Last Century’s Oil Wells Are Messing With Texas Right Now Bloomberg

Fire clouds spark 710,117 lightning strikes in western Canada in 15 hours San Francisco Chronicle. Handy diagram:



NIH study suggests COVID-19 prevalence far exceeded early pandemic cases (press release) NIH. Yikes:

“In a new study, National Institutes of Health researchers report that the prevalence of COVID-19 in the United States during spring and summer of 2020 far exceeded the known number of cases and that infection affected the country unevenly. For every diagnosed COVID-19 case in this time frame, the researchers estimate that there were 4.8 undiagnosed cases, representing an additional 16.8 million cases by July alone. The team’s analysis of blood samples from people who did not have a previously diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infection, along with socioeconomic, health, and demographic data, offers insight into the undetected spread of the virus and subgroup vulnerability to undiagnosed infection…. “The estimate of COVID-19 cases in the United States in mid-July 2020, 3 million in a population of 330 million, should be revised upwards by almost 20 million when the percent of asymptomatic positive results is included,” said senior co-author Kaitlyn Sadtler, Ph.D., chief of the NIBIB Section on Immunoengineering. “This wide gap between the known cases at the time and these asymptomatic infections has implications not only for retrospectively understanding this pandemic, but future pandemic preparedness.”

Pleasingly understated. We seem to make making the same mistake, if mistake it be, all over again by refusing to track asymptomatic breakthrough infections in the vaccinated.

* * *
Coronavirus: anti-parasitic drug ivermectin is hot property in Indonesia, Malaysia, India as Delta variant spreads South China Morning Post

Ivermectin as an adjunct treatment for hospitalized adult COVID-19 patients: A randomized multi-center clinical trial Shakhsi Niaee M, Namdar P, Allami A, Zolghadr L, Javadi A, Karampour A, et al., Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine (Hainan Medical University; peer-reviewed; Wolters-Kluwer. Iranian authors). From the Conclusions: “Ivermectin as an adjunct reduces the rate of mortality, time of low O2 saturation, and duration of hospitalization in adult COVID-19 patients. The improvement of other clinical parameters shows that ivermectin, with a wide margin of safety, had a high therapeutic effect on COVID-19.” Lambert here: Given that SARS-CoV-2 mutates, I don’t see how “living with it” is possible without well-understood treatment, making it all the more curious that our public health establishment is fighting treatment candidates (underline “candidates”) like Ivermectin tooth and nail. Shouldn’t they be overjoyed that people who are sick could be given a fighting chance?

* * *
Ultrapotent antibodies against diverse and highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants Science. From the Discussion: “Our results show that highly potent neutralizing antibodies with activity against VOCs was present in at least 3 of 4 convalescent subjects who had been infected with ancestral variants of SARS-CoV-2 (Figs. 1 and 2 and figs. S3 and S10). Furthermore, our structural analyses, the relative paucity of potential escape variants in the GSAID genome database, the identification of public clonotypes (27, 28) and the fact that each subject had mild to moderate illness all suggest that these antibodies were generated in subjects who rapidly controlled their infection and were not likely to have been generated due to the generation of a E484 escape mutation during the course of illness. Taken together, these data establish the rationale for a vaccine boosting regimen that may be used to selectively induce immune responses that increase the breadth and potency of antibodies targeting specific RBD regions of the spike glycoprotein….” I’m not sure what “vaccine boosting regimen” means. Plasma?

Accelerating the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 – a risk of combining dexamethasone and tocilizumab for severe COVID-19 (accepted manuscript) Journal of Infectious Disease. From the Abstract: “Generating a pool of hosts with genetically diverse viral populations while introducing new selective pressures in the form of vaccination-induced immunity, could accelerate the process of antigenic drift in SARS-CoV-2. However, clinical trials to date have largely disregarded viral outcomes, and data on viral kinetics in response to immunomodulation is scarce. Co-administration of antiviral agents with immunomodulation could serve as a potential strategy to aid viral clearance and reduce the risk of genetic diversification.”

* * *
New Long-Haul COVID Clinics Treat Mysterious and Ongoing Symptoms Scientific American

Confronting Our Next National Health Disaster — Long-Haul Covid NEJM

* * *
Lessons from America’s vaccination story FT

Millions to get THIRD Covid vaccine from September: Up to 32million over-50s, key workers and Brits with underlying health conditions will be double-jabbed with flu and booster coronavirus vaccine Daily Mail (nvl).

* * *
Experts question if WHO should lead pandemic origins probe AP. Jeffrey Sachs: “The idea that China was behaving badly is already the wrong premise for this investigation to start. If lab work was somehow responsible (for the pandemic), the likelihood that it was both the U.S. and China working together on a scientific initiative is very high.”

The Case Against the Covid-19 Lab Leak Theory Lindsay Beyerstein, The New Republic

* * *
Report Shows that N.C. K-12 Schools Reopened Safely, Paving the Way for Schools Nationwide to Limit COVID-19 Spread in the Classroom Duke Health. Good news, or would be if the Biden administration and Walensky hadn’t wussed out on masking.


The newest MAGA app is tied to a Bannon-allied Chinese billionaire South China Morning Post (which has a “content partnership” with Politico (!)).

Pacific Fleet Commander Says He Has a Duty To Prevent Seizure of Taiwan Sea Power

Private Equity Gears Up for the Siege of Japan Inc. WSJ

MOH to stop giving details of Covid-19 community cases and Living normally, with Covid-19: Task force ministers on how S’pore is drawing road map for new normal Straits Times

Covid: How Delta exposed Australia’s pandemic weaknesses BBC. Once again, international air travel was the vector.


Will More Ethnic Minority Organizations Join Myanmar’s Revolution? Foreign Policy

Divide and rule in Kachin State Frontier Myanmar. Meanwhile:


Heroic, given the circumstances; these are not people with “In this house….” signs on their front lawns. (Interestingly, from a Korean photographer.)

How palm oil became the world’s most hated, most used fat source The Counter

The Koreas

Kim’s reshuffles serve to keep North Korea elite in line as crises mount The Rappler

Don’t Allow Another U.S.-NATO Libya in the Horn of Africa Black Agenda Report (Re Silc).

New Cold War

Why Ostpolitik with Russia runs along East-West Euro divide Responsible Statecraft

Biden Administration

‘Unlike anything I’ve seen at the FTC’: Biden’s chair makes her public debut Politico. The deck: “Under Biden nominee Lina Khan, the agency met in public for the first time in decades — and split along party lines on an aggressive enforcement agenda.”

US to share tens of millions more Covid-19 vaccines this summer CNN. Molasses for brains.

Trump Legacy

Tax fraud charges: The pressure’s on Allen Weisselberg to flip on Donald Trump USA Today. I know this is the genetic fallacy, but we’ve heard “the walls are closing in!” so many times before, from the same people, with the same intensity, with the same incentives. I think I will wait for some serious analysis from a tax expert. Here is the indictment. It took awhile to find Weisselberg’s lawyer: Alan Futerfas (more; more).

The case against Trump’s company: ‘smoking gun’ or ‘nothingburger’? FT. “[S]ome experienced defence lawyers, who declined to speak publicly, were underwhelmed by the much-anticipated charges. ‘I realise that fringe benefits add up over 15 years but this is just part of the American fabric,’ said one, concluding: ‘If this is an attempt to flip Weisselberg — and they can’t make a secondary case without flipping him — that’s deeply problematic.'” I’m really quoting this because “part of the American fabric” is so, so good.

Health Care

The Alzheimer’s enigma: Why is the incidence falling at 16% a decade in the world’s richest countries? El Pais

Our Famously Free Press

Is your friend an extremist? Facebook is asking some users about exposure to content. USA Today. “You may have been exposed to harmful extremist content recently.” “Extremist” is such a useful word. So is “exposed.” Categorizing political differences in terms of contamination and disease always ends well. Anyhow, as long as Facebook can roll out functionality like this, its monopoly is surely safe. So there’s a bright side.

A new form of the revolving door:


Sort of amazing, but not, that Sullivan presents this without comment, but that is where we are.

What happens in Vegas is not covered in Vegas:


Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

A trade show of hidden cameras and hidden camera detectors. Audio, too:


If you stay in hotels a lot, one of those detectors might come in handy. Sounds like an arms race, though.

Guillotine Watch

Pioneering female pilot will fly to space at age 82 on 1st crewed Blue Origin flight ABC. So awesomely performative, it makes up for everything else Bezos has done.

Richard Branson poised to beat Jeff Bezos into space FT. Are we letting them come back? Why?

Realignment and Legitimacy

Did the Supreme Court gut voting rights or back election security? The Narratives Project

Court upholds Arizona voting restrictions, limits cases under Voting Rights Act SCOTUSblog

Class Warfare

A Homeless Amazon Warehouse Worker in New York City Tells Her Story Vice

Moving beyond induction and deduction Lars P. Syll

Facebook is Other People Kevin Munger

Antidote du Jour (TK):

TK writes: “This is Puff, the yard patrol officer on my brother’s farm in Iowa. Don’t be fooled, he’s ferocious.” Ferocious, besides being cool.

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. Alice X

    Dear Yves – take care of yourself first and foremost, you’ll be no help to your mother, or anyone else without that. I speak from experience. My love to you both.

    1. Geo

      Yes to this! And Yves never needs to apologize. What she and the NC crew do here is beyond valuable and any breaks they take for any reason are well deserved.

  2. John Siman

    Lambert asks this fundamental question as in intro to the study “Ivermectin as an adjunct treatment for hospitalized adult COVID-19 patients”:

    “Given that SARS-CoV-2 mutates, I don’t see how ‘living with it’ is possible without well-understood treatment, making it all the more curious that our public health establishment is fighting treatment candidates (underline ‘candidates’) like Ivermectin tooth and nail. Shouldn’t they be overjoyed that people who are sick could be given a fighting chance?”

    The ugly answer to Lambert’s question would seem to be that our public health establishment is hostile to the public. Their masterplan seems to be (1) the institution of endless windfall profits for Big Pharma and (2) the pursuit of ongoing flirtations with arbitrary and totalitarian power.

    1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      Doom Meisters Whitney Webb and James Corbett have been saying much the same (In more florid terms) from the start. Brett Weinstein and his wife got cancelled from Youtube for talking about it. Scientists talking to scientists about it. The centralization of power and the hoovering up of wealth. Naomi Klein basically predicted it. Now all we need’s a great power war.

    2. Robert Hahl

      I think “Go home and sleep it off” will remain the preferred advice about Covid for poors.,just like most other medical conditions.

      1. Eclair

        No, no! Here in Jamestown, NY, we have an even better solution than Universal Health Care: a 7′ by 7′ plastic pod will be installed in the local library, to provide telehealth access for ‘low income people who don’t own a computer.’

        Feeling poorly? Come into the library, squeeze yourself into the Pod, and dial up a health care provider. Or a reasonable facsimile.

      2. Geo

        “Go home and sleep it off… unless you’re an essential worker, then get back to work you lazy bum!

    3. HotFlash

      Another important question relates to the NIH study suggests link. If so many 10’s of millions (give or take) of people were infected earlier but not diagnosed, is it not reasonable to assume that those people already have antibodies? Not an immunologist for sure, but have read some claims that a ‘natural’ immunity as good as and may be better than immunity acquired by vaccine. If so, why is no one seriously testing for antibodies before vaccinating people? I mean, would not such persons already be doing their bit to achieve the Holy Grail of herd immunity and do it cheaper, sooner and without the risks of vaccination? I add that the risks are unknown beyond the very short term and not being tracked well if at all, ditto the actual effectiveness of the vaccine wrt new strains, re-infection, and ability to transmit. Oh, and treatment, too. Are they trying to kill us all?

        1. hunkerdown

          So that the vaccine (actually a high-ticket cancer cure they’ve been heretofore unable to test in humans) can take credit for the disease’s work. KPI gamers gonna game KPIs.

      1. Laura in So Cal

        Also if the number of Covid-19 Cases is much larger, all the “statistics” like Case Fatality Rate, Hospitalization Rate, Long Covid-19 Rates etc. are MUCH Lower than is currently being published. I have commented multiple times that we had many people sick with a weird illness in my local community in late December 2019 and January 2020. Most people didn’t go to the doctor and those that did were testing negative for the flu. Several people did get really sick (2 pneumonia cases at my husbands job). None of these people were counted as COVID cases. In addition, during the “surge” here last winter, of the dozen people I knew personally who had COVID-19 only 1 went to the trouble of getting tested. These were mostly younger people (under 50) or kids. None of those people got sick enough to go to the doctor.

      2. Maritimer

        Related to your post:
        “One of the [British] Government’s top vaccine advisers has claimed that letting youngsters catch Covid could actually be safer than giving them a jab.

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

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

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

        ‘I am particularly concerned about the calls for Covid measures to continue to reduce all respiratory infections. As Rene Dubos noted 60 years ago, humans, viruses and bacteria form an ecosystem which has evolved over millennia.
        ‘Surely we have enough experience of the unintended consequences of humans reshaping other ecosystems to suit their own ends not to rush into reshaping this one without really understanding what it would mean for human lives and immune systems.’

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

        1. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

          “But Professor Dingwall urged people not to ‘panic about infection rates’. He said Covid was no longer a significant cause of death and science should not aim to ‘deliver immortality’.”

          I am quite confident that at least some of the individuals perched at the outermost region occupying the very top of the economic food chain would disagree with Professor Dingwall, as the goal of immortality has been an enduring obsession for ultrawealthy men, over the course of human history. It is the perennial dream of the ultimate status quo, unending, never changing..

          In the meantime, “Growing old is not made easier by hucksters and charlatans who sell all kinds of products that claim to alleviate the ageing process or extend life expectancy.”–“Who wants to live forever?”

          Because, being rich and being associated with and being fleeced by the ever present hucksters and charlatans that seek to exploit that same gullibility are not mutually exclusive, as one never wants to appear to be “out of fashion”, or not part of the “current trend”. If one has endless amounts of discretionary income, then one can afford to dabble in the most expensive recreations and amusements, set the current “fashions/trends” for so called popular culture, and then be fleeced accordingly.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      It’s long past time we all acknowledge that “management” of this “pandemic” from an actual HEALTH perspective has been so incoherent and nonsensical, something very different must be going on.

      From the suppression of information on existing drugs like Ivermectin and the refusal to share “vaccine” technology globally, to maskless “reopening” as the Delta variant supposedly rampages, and everything in between, it’s no stretch to conclude that the “pandemic” has been, and still is, “useful” on several levels and must continue.

      I think the pursuit of “arbitrary and totalitarian power” is one part of the explanation. I think “legitimizing” and “normalizing” the use of gene editing technology, which some bioethicists have called modern “eugenics,” as well as obscuring the meaning of “emergency use,” is another part.

      An aside: In the 3 hour Dark Horse podcast referenced here many times recently, one of the problems with the mRNA vaccines cited is that it seems to travel around the body instead of remaining at the delivery site as expected and intended. Delivering other CRISPR–gene-editing–drugs to the target tissues has emerged as a “challenge.” Coincidence?

      “It’s largely because the technology comes at a moment when there’s enormous demand for genome editing, as well as a lot of knowledge about genomes,” Doudna said at the recent CNBC Global Evolve Summit in mid-June.

      While the technology has continued to advance, the task of getting the edited molecules to travel in the body to the cells in the areas where they are needed remains a challenge.

      “This is especially an issue in clinical medicine where being able to edit brain cells, heart cells or muscle cells has incredible potential but right now we don’t really have the tools to introduce the editors into those cells,” Doudna said. “We have the editors; we just don’t know how to get them where they need to go.”

      1. chuck roast

        Words matter. There is no “public health establishment.” Members of the “public” seek “health” care in a variety of ways, but it is disingenuous in the extreme to say that there actually exists in the US a “public health establishment.” If I just landed here from the moon and heard the words “public health establishment”, I might think that there is some benignly formidable group looking after the health and welfare of the general public. Any such presumption would be entirely inaccurate.

        Rent seeking monopolists might be a little more accurate, but it’s a mouthful. I got a mouthful Wednesday from the dentist. There are two dentists on the island that do root canals. So, I guess we could modify that to rent seeking oligopolists. Let’s do the numbers $1,450 later. Say, four patients/day, four days/week…46 weeks/year…over one million bucks/year.

        So fah, so good. I’m in there because the incompetent I had two dentists ago put a crown on an infected tooth. But, who calls out the incompetents? Precisely what establishment weeds out these knuckleheads? That would be the same establishment that embraces them to the point where incompetence morphs into the kind of mendaciousness that we discuss every day on this forum. Saints preserve us. Medical cartel would seem a more appropriate descriptor to me.

    5. ilpalazzo

      It appears as if this drug was just too good. Too many ricebowls might get smashed if it were allowed to get to the public.

    6. Mantid

      Oy, it makes my blood curdle. The article just above Lambert’s question: “Coronavirus, Ivermectin hot property in Indonesia….” sums up what infuriates me so much. Anyone with an ability to critically read an article can see that the peace is hogwash. An example: “There’s a lot of misinformation around, and you may have heard that it’s OK to take large doses of ivermectin. That is wrong,” (the FDA). That statement is incorrect. I wish like hell that reporters would ask follow up questions such as, can you please site the well written study that response is based on? It doesn’t exist.

      I’m going to stop now. Oy!

      1. Yves Smith

        Ivermectin is arguably the best tolerated drug on the planet.

        And there is no need to take higher than normal dose. That was based on an animal or in vitro study and was found to exaggerate the needed dosage for Covid.

    7. Pelham

      I’ll second that sentiment. As with the opioid crisis, offshoring, NAFTA, PNTR for China, tech transfers and going all the way back to the Hart-Celler Act that flung open the doors to immigration, we have a lengthy series of calamities that are never, ever fixed. Therefore I think it’s not only permitted but actually imperative that we ask ourselves who benefits and what the motives might be.

      What appear to be screwups may well be intentional with Covid, as evidenced by the CDC’s long refusal to focus on aerosol transmission and, now, the iron-fisted attempt to shut down any consideration of ivermectin and other possible prophylactics. The focus on vaccines to the exclusion of everything else may never, ever be fixed. So I like your No. 1 possibility and certainly can’t rule out No. 2. I hesitate on the idea of elites accumulating totalitarian power, however, as I don’t quite see what they might do with it.

      Still, the main point is that raising questions about motives — whether conspiratorially pursued or not — is legitimate and necessary. Maybe we’ll eventually find sheer stupidity and cupidity rather than a master plan or convergence of interests. But if we don’t ask, we won’t find anything. In the meantime, the safest thing is to assume the worst.

      1. Cuibono

        “Maybe we’ll eventually find sheer stupidity and cupidity rather than a master plan or convergence of interests.”
        Seems to me the two are not mutually exclusive

    8. Danb

      I worked in public health from 2001-2013 and my conclusion was that its response to decline -meaning the 2008 crisis and the relentless decline of funding for real public heath, failure to be prepared for a pandemic, neoliberalism, etc.- was this: Public health’s administrative response to decline is loyalty to the 1%, the well-being of the public does no longer matters.

      1. Michaelmas

        Public health’s administrative response to decline is loyalty to the 1%

        Of course. I don’t know why the thinking and actions of the people who run the US are ever a surprise to anyone.

        In the real world, the UK’s NHS is slightly more than 9 percent of UK GDP last I looked and delivers better outcomes than the US, while the US ‘healthcare system’ eats 17 percent of GDP, which means that 8 percent of US GDP is consistently being siphoned off — looted — by the elite who own healthcare-insurance assets.

        And that’s because that’s how the US was set up to work. The country started as a slaveholders’ kleptocracy and, excepting the interregnum of the New Deal, it has continued as a kleptocracy.

      2. Maritimer

        I will expand on your sentiment a bit. I felt early on that “flatten the curve” meant that the health resources available might run out for the 1% and their minions. So, they were not worried about the “public” but about themselves and their human infrastructure. Just think for example how many relatives, supporters, cronies, financial contributors, Governor Cuomo is beholden to. If Covid health is not available to them, then political disaster.

        Thus, “flatten the curve” means saving existing healthcare capacity for Them. This, by the way, is even worse in a Public Healthcare System, like NHS or Canada, where the system is publicly funded and even more subject to political influence and interference. Just imagine all the Government bureaucrats, police, firefolk, military, healthcare personnel themselves, etc. who are going to belly up to the healthcare trough way before Joe Taxedout gets in the Emergency door.

    9. drumlin woodchuckles

      . . . and what about (3) doing their part to help the Overclass kill 7 or so billion people over the next hundred years while making it look like fate, bad luck or an accident?

  3. NV

    New York City bee keeper Andrew Cote has written a wonderful book. If you are in New York, he, his honey, his human friends, and the book are at the farmers’ market Union Square. (I think the Tim of the article might have appeared in the book.)

    1. Carla

      Title: Honey and Venum. Available new in paperback for $17 + tax from Free shipping. Hardcover edition also available.

      Better World Books is the un-Amazon. I always recommend it to those who lack easy access to a local, independent bookstore.

      1. lordkoos

        Powell’s Books in Portland OR is another great resource, they do online orders.

    1. Dirk77

      She’s not BIPOC. More subtle white supremacy and I’m not falling for it.

      Btw, thanks Lambert for the contrasting definitions of Liberal and Left.

      1. Jonhoops

        I have a bad feeling about this. Reminds me of when NASA was promoting Christa McAuliffe the Teacher in Space just before the Challenger disaster.

        1. Yves Smith

          I do too. What if it isn’t a mechanical disaster but a medical one, like a stroke, since I assume these flights have at points elevated G forces?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      A few years ago I was at a talk on fracking and one speaker mentioned how he was talking to an academic known as one of the top experts on the environmental impact of fracking. He asked him what he thought the biggest environmental problem with fracking would be.

      Without hesitation he said that the biggest problem will arise in a couple of decades when we realise that there are thousands of leaking boreholes with interlinked subsurface fractures leaking methane into the atmosphere and who-knows-what into groundwater aquifers.

  4. John Beech

    Lambert in part . . . Shouldn’t they be overjoyed that people who are sick could be given a fighting chance?

    Well, duh! Money.

    Lambert, why is it, do you think that I, a reliably Republican voter since 1980, switched voter registration this year to Democrat? This was entirely to do with supporting Senator Sander’s run, and his position on M4A, and not some belief in the rest of the woke hooey being peddled.

    If Sanders runs again (big if), I’ll vote for him, again. Note, since the Democrat-machine defenestrated him in the primaries (I braved COVID19 to presented myself in person), this freed me to vote for the orange one once again in November. Not out of a belief in Trump, per se, but more along the lines of protest to the brain dead left of center establishment.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        No kidding. What do I have to change my registration to so I can vote for Abraham Lincoln if he runs again?

    1. km

      He won’t run so the point is moot, but even if he did, what makes you so sure Sanders won’t roll over again for the DNC like he did in 2016 and 2020?

      If anything, Sanders was even more supine the second time around.

      1. Pelham

        I can understand why Sanders abandoned his “immigration is a Koch brothers idea” stance in 2020. He needed allies somewhere, and they were to be found only on the idpol left. But his lamb-like climbdown after being cheated out of the nomination the second time around was indeed lamentable.

        Why can’t we have a party that’s hard left on economics but moderate or conservative on the cultural stuff? Is it mandated somewhere that the left must always sprinkle its menu of material benefits with idpol arsenic?

        1. workingclasshero

          if it’s not “idpol arsenic” on the hard and center left,it’s a demand on the right that we must prepare the american psyche to confront china at all costs along with obligatory economic austerity aimed at entitlement spending.every avenue of political action is a poisoned chalice in the u.s. it seems to me at times.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Howabout a Political Economic hard left party that’s purely “individual free range” on the cultural stuff? A P-E Left party that Does Not Care what position any individual officeseeker holds on abortion or drugs or guns or any other cultural issue? That way, the Hard Left Party could run pro-gun people in pro-gun areas, pro-choice people in pro-choice areas, pro-drugs people in pro-drugs areas, anti-gun people in anti-gun areas, anti-choice people in anti-choice areas, anti-drugs people in anti-drugs areas.

          That way they could maybe win all those areas. And ALL those elected officeseekers would be P-E Hard Left.

      2. Yves Smith

        Making Shit Up is a violation of our written site Policies. I am really tired of all of the total garbage asserted about Sanders.

        Did you forget that Sanders was not a Democrat? That the condition of him running was that he agreed to support the winner if he wasn’t the party nominee?

        I trust you will find your happiness elsewhere on the Internet.

  5. jr

    re: fireclouds

    It will be interesting to see what new kinds of D&D monsters the 21st century will spawn. Murder-hornets, rainbombs, pyro-nados, drone swarms, heat domes, blizzard bombs…tons of material. . .

    1. Wukchumni

      We have another heat dome coming in a week’s time and one of the long range forecasts calls for as much as 125 degrees in Sacramento, gonna be a lot of CalPERSperation going on…

      …would it be too much to ask for our old weather patterns instead?

        1. heresy101

          About 25 years ago, I visited my parents in Yuma, AZ over a July 4th weekend. I was so miserable because it was 125F, but my Dad said “not to worry because it’s a dry heat.”

          1. JCC

            Living in the Mojave Desert, all my friends back East make it a point to ask the temp and then remark, “at least it’s a dry heat.” I usually give them the same answer, “just like the rent, the temp is too damn high.”

            After living in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, SoCal, and parts of the northeast and southeast U.S., all places where it can get really hot… high humidity or not, I’ve come to a very obvious conclusion… anything over 98.6 is too hot.

        1. Wukchumni

          I read it on Daniel Swain’s blog, in the comments.

          EPS and GEFS are pretty much in total agreement for another major heatwave, but further south. GFS also showing 130 F again in the Northern Sac Valley as well. Don’t really see this ridge trending farther north again, but a lot can happen in 10 days.

      1. Lee

        Here in 94501, just 85 miles from Sacramento, our forecast is for gray, drizzly mornings and temperatures 20 to 30 degrees cooler. I’m wondering if our marine layer is being amplified by nearby regional heat domes. We tend to get heat waves later in the year, even into October—something to do with a seasonal change in temperature differences between land and sea, causing to prevailing winds to shift from on to off shore preventing the inflow of fog off the ocean.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        We can ask for them all we want.

        But if we truly want them back, we will have to earn them.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Pacific Fleet Commander Says He Has a Duty To Prevent Seizure of Taiwan”

    That’s strange that. I would have thought that that was the job of Admiral Liu Chih-pin, the current Commanding-General of the Republic of China Navy.

    1. Blue Duck

      “Pacific Fleet Commander Says He Has a Duty To Prevent Seizure of Precious Bodily Fluids”

    2. David

      If you read the story he doesn’t say that. I assume that one of the missions he’s been given by the political leadership is to assist the Taiwanese if they are attacked. That’s it.

      1. The Rev Kev

        If you put together a list of all the places that the United States has promised to assist if they are attacked, I suspect that it would be quite extensive and would include places that most people could not find without the aid of a search engine. ;)

        1. Geo

          There’s a parking lot by a friend’s place I use when visiting them that occasionally has a few young men hanging out and they offer to watch your car to make sure nothing happens to it for $5. I always pay because I assume if I don’t something will definitely happen to my car.

          I also assume this is what the US means by “protection”.

          1. Oh

            You’re smart to pay. If you don’t you’ll come back to a number of scratches on your car with the windshield broken and some wheels gone.

            Japan pays a lot of money annually to have US bases on their land in addition to outrageous prices for weapons supplied by the US to their “self defense” forces!

  7. Blue Duck

    re: US Delta Variant

    Anecdotally, west coast hospitals are reopening covid wings as covid cases begins to mount again. I’m heading to Costco today to restock the deep pantry. It’s going to hit young Americans hard – I’d stay away from Fourth of July parties this year.

      1. Geo

        J&J – the same company that put asbestos in baby powder, formaldehyde in it’s baby shampoo, and it’s adult shampoo makes your hair fall out. Their vaccine may be super effective but I wonder if we’ll find out in ten years they distributed it with extra mercury or something?

        1. Yves Smith

          Pfizer’s rap sheet is worse. IM Doc sees red when anyone mentions Pfizer.

          Start with Bextra, one of the top five worst recalls in recent history:

          Pfizer and its subsidiary, Pharmacia & UpJohn, were fined nearly $1.2 billion. It is one of the largest criminal fines imposed on a U.S. drug company.

          See here for more suits and recalls, including the settlement of other criminal suits:

          By contrast, while the DoJ opened a criminal investigation into J&J baby powder in 2019, I don’t see any links that suggest it led to an indictment or a settlement of criminal charges.

          BTW, J&J was urged to take the plant, which had not been their facility, that wound up with quality problems. Cynics wonder if the fix was in against J&J.

          Oh, and Pfizer’s newest Covid plant has a history of recalls:

    1. harrybothered

      The real story of Batley and Spen isn’t George Galloway: So, “None of the Above” actually won the election there. Similar to the US Presidential elections in 2016. None of the above won the Presidential race here then too.

  8. Eustachedesaintpierre

    Interesting & positive trial results for Covid involving Budesonide, which came about due to the authors noticing while treating Covid patients that unexpectantly people who should be vulnerable due to already having a respiratory disease were underrepresented as patients.

    This led to them wondering whether it could be something to do with the widespread us of Glucocorticoid / Steroid inhalers, leading them to doing a study.


    & drbeen in a short video for him walks through it.

    Good news for asthmatics anyhow.

    1. IM Doc

      The same thing happened earlier with fluvoxamine an anti depressant.

      This drug came on the radar because it is widely used for antidepressant in institutionalized patients.

      In multiple locations last year outside the USA most notably France, it was noted that when the Covid surge hit, the docs and staff all got sick. The patients not so much.

      We seem to have forgotten our medical history as a profession during this entire madness. These kinds of accidental observations are to be found everywhere you look in the medical history literature. The fact that we are suppressing this kind of thing is a complete tragedy. It will come with a big payment due soon enough.

      1. fumo

        I’m frankly skeptical of AI as being overhyped snake oil but here looks like a perfect application for it, poring through voluminous medical data looking for unexpected or anomalous correlations and results that might suggest novel treatments based on existing medications or correlations between disease and lifestyle variables. Of course cynical me looks at how this might not be an exciting prospect to a system built on and funded by profit-seeking rather than medical outcomes. A generic or off-patent drug or a lifestyle variable no matter how efficacious or revolutionary as a treatment has no utility at all in a profit-driven system.

        For-profit medicine is the perfect storm of perverse incentives.

        1. hunkerdown

          That is so very true. Consider the EUA for the COVID vaccines being contingent on no other effective treatment existing, and the world-scale dirty tricks and saturation propaganda mobilized to prevent such a thing from being found, tested, and ultimately accepted as a treatment, lest their confabulated-into-existence “asset” become worthless before the world’s people have risked their lives to provide free testing. Total abstinence from a product created under such conditions is eminently rational.

      2. HotFlash

        Let’s see, wasn’t there some doctor who noticed that milkmaids didn’t get smallpox?

      3. Shonde

        Also in France I remember reading that doctors were shocked that smokers seemed to be more able to evade the virus than non-smokers. I also remember reading that stores could not keep nicotine patches on their shelves after that information was made public. Haven’t heard anything more about this since.

        I guess the virus does not like black lungs.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          glad you brought that up.
          so i didn’t have to.

          i smoke…both tobacco and marihuana….go on and chase me from the public sphere, i’d rather be on the farm anyways.
          lots of the former, a joint a day(more or less) of the latter…and the latter joint laced with loose tobacco.
          my household…wife and 2 teenage boys…got covid in january….
          and here i am, all up in their bidness…and negative, all three times i was tested.
          how is that even possible with a novel virus for which i assume i have no antigens?
          of course, i get a lot of sun during the warmer months(nekkid), and we immediately started the vitamin protocol when they tested poz….high dose D and B complex, melatonin, echinacea, elderberry, and high dose C.(had all this ready to go in a box, just in case)….so, too many variables, even in my household, to point to protective things.
          i’m the only one who smokes anything(eldest smokes pot rarely, and will have a cigar or cig when drinking with his buds…he dips pretty regularly, though…but still tested poz, and had zero symptoms)
          we forget how weirdly this disease presented, in a lot of cases.

          1. Duke DeGuise

            Frequent, long term cannabis smoker here, who read those same reports about infection incidence and smoking. My theories were divided between vilii being too gummed up with tars for the virus to do any damage, or the virus being too stoned to function normally…

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              “Tar” is protective, apparently.
              even more anecdotally, of all the folks i know who tested positive…including those who died from it…none of them were smokers…tobacco or pot.
              but this goes against a previously existing tenet of the Narrative: smoking=Bad=>=Smokers=Bad people…whom it’s OK(even required) to shun.
              the more datapoints i gather and integrate into the in-progress cognitive model i’ve been constructing all these years, the more i hate my country.

              1. Wellstone’s Ghost

                Remember to smoke additive free tobacco. That other to Tobacky is whacky.

                1. Amfortas the hippie

                  “skydancer…black” is what i tell the lady at the beer/cig/gas store.
                  but those aren’t available everywhere.
                  like in san antonio…so if i forget to bring enough, i’ll go to winston reds as an alternative(twice the cost). they at least try to distingish themselves on the purity thing.
                  other indian cigs(american spirit) are too dern expensive.
                  i’ve accepted this particular fetish/addiction
                  i’m NOT gonna stop, and all the passive aggressive pseudonazi nonsense they roll out to get me to, will just trigger my innate antiauthoritarianism, and be…therefore…counterproductive.
                  Liberals made this a civil rights issue in the 90’s.
                  like a test run for IdPol and “cancel culture”

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Why Ostpolitik with Russia runs along East-West Euro divide”

    Poland and the Baltic states are driving a lot of the anti-Russia rhetoric – aided by people like the Netherland’s Mark Rutte. The European Parliament has also gone full neocon so they are not much use. After all, you negotiate with people that disagree with you, not ones that do. It may be that different countries will now have their own talks with Russia – countries like Germany, France, Italy & Hungary. But you wonder if this is local politics driving Poland and the Baltic States or Washington goosing them. About a decade ago Putin was envisioning “the creation of a harmonious economic community stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok” but that idea is now dead and Russia has no real official open channels with the EU anymore-

    1. BlueMoose

      Right. I think this is mostly Poland’s fault. I’ve lived here for 15 years. I know the history, I get it. As long as the current gov’t (PIS) is in charge, nothing will change. It would be better if Poland just moved on. They have apples to sell to Russia, they need gas. Poland does not need LNG from the USA!

      1. km

        No lie. I know the Polish mentality well (speak Polish at home).

        Foaming at the mouth russophobia doesn’t begin to describe it

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        especially when there’s LNG right there to the east.
        is russian gas any different from texas gas?
        i look forward to the USA! no longer being an empire.
        the Brits undid theirs more or less sanely…per Chalmers Johnson, at least.
        we will do it as stupidly and destructively as possible.

        1. Anonymous 2

          You say the Brits undid their empire more or less sanely, but remember both World Wars were in a sense fought to protect the British empire.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            chalmer’s trilogy blew me away at the time.
            kind of stuck, i guess.
            and both efforts failed at that task.
            his argument is that they had a choice…empire or “democracy”, and that they “chose” the latter.
            deeper political considerations reveal that they merely receded from public view….hence all the weird conspiracy theorising around Bush the Younger being Queen Lizz’ cousin, or whatever…and all the rest about “The City”..Fabians and anecdotes attributed to Cecil Rhodes…
            i’m not anywhere near the kind of social status one would need to be to actually know, definitively, about such matters….but i’ve bumped up against the bottom of those yachts, at times.
            our ontological, existential and even teleological view of the world is at least somewhat determined by what we’re standing on at the time.
            as well as all that went into making us who we are, right now.

          2. Tom Bradford

            but remember both World Wars were in a sense fought to protect the British empire.

            I can forget it because I don’t think it’s true. WW1 started as a local spat in the Balkans into which a cascade of treaty obligations, misunderstandings and opportunism fed disaster. Britain in fact had no need to become involved – Germany in fact believed she’d stay out of it – and ‘the Empire’ was never seriously threatened by anyone.

            In the run up to WW2 Hitler again tried to keep Britain out of it by making it clear he had no designs on her Empire – he saw a Germanised Europe, including Russia, co-existing with the British Empire. Protecting India and her Far Eastern Empire did draw Britain into the war with the Japanese but the alternative was to let them become part of Japanese Empire, something even the Imperial Possessions did not want having seen how the Japanese had treated China.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              i luvya, Tom.
              you’re at 30,000 feet.
              i’m on the rickety porch of a tarpaper shack, by the Hill of Picard, overlooking the Mare Crisium.
              I hafta squint.

  10. Tom Stone

    The fires have started in California and the 4th of July weekend is here.
    I live in a little enclave near the Russian River ( Creek this year) with a private beach and every 4th the HOA puts on a BBQ.
    Hot dogs, Hamburgers, beans, potato salad.
    On the beach and the river side, in a canyon.
    The crowd will be small this year, maybe 250-300, but there will be people floating by in every kind of craft and float you can imagine.
    Thousands of them only feet apart from 10 AM until 5 or so.
    And they come from all over, it’s a big tourist attraction.
    No masks.

    1. Rod

      —private beach—
      Just a general point—from a boater—that that would be ‘Public Beach’ right up to the ‘highwater’ mark.
      Common misperception of a fact that can cause some friction.
      Point on staying out of the crowd on the 4th is well taken. Enjoy.

    2. fumo

      I have it on good authority that the annual Bohemian Grove party is a go this month after a one-year Covid hiatus. I’ll resist the urge to snark about it but please don’t let that stop anyone else.

    3. Blue Duck

      The delta variant is already running wild in SoCo, it just hasn’t shown up in the stats or the press yet. SoCo hospitals have seen a spike in covid patients, and are gearing up for more. It’s strange that the Press Democrat isn’t reporting on it (maybe they don’t want to scare away the tourist dollars that will roll in over the weekend).

      Young adults and older kids are particularly at risk, and no doubt the RR flotilla are going to be young folks. Personally, we’re gonna hide out here in west county this holiday weekend.

  11. QuarterBack

    Re the NewRepublic article, making the case for natural origin of COVID, It does not help the credibility of the thesis to preamble with rhetorical gimmictry of an infomercial. Lab leak arguments and descriptions have an excessive use of quotation marks, but not for the natural original points. This implies some ‘so called’ incredulousness to the former. The reference to Tom Cotton is an ad hominem trick that deflects from what is supposed to be perceived as a scientific argument. It is also a red herring to argue whether lab leak evidence is new or not. Why would that matter? They are facts or not facts. Their temporal characterization has no bearing. I was hoping to learn more about the natural origin case, but instead, found mostly arguments picking at the edges of the lab leak thesis as the foundation of the article.

    1. hunkerdown

      Well, yes, the gentry’s role in the Puritan class system is that of moral exemplar: to teach their inferiors how and who to believe, say, feel, and obey. That they are playing the role expected of them by their peers, their superiors, and their portfolios, is not that surprising.

      For the authoritarian, credibility reduces to whose narrative you submit to.

    2. t

      Whether or not there is new data directly relates to the nature of the “mounting evidence” and “what we know now means we cannot ignore” narratives.

      Lab leak theory discovered by a mom – doctors hate her! That’s about the scope of it.

    3. Isotope_C14

      Agreed QuarterBack.

      Seems to me the author doesn’t know what they are talking about.

      The Case Against the Covid-19 Lab Leak Theory Lindsay Beyerstein, The New Republic:

      “They’d be a nightmare to clone in by hand, and there would be no reason to do so.”

      You don’t need to – you can use hydroxylamine-hcl – this will give you all kinds of point mutations.

      There are probably a lot of other straw men statements in this New Republic article that I won’t bother with since I’m trying to get out of work :) – Perhaps I’ll add more later.

      PS Yves – Hope you can slow some time down and get some R & R for you and your mom this weekend!

      1. lambert strether

        Dude. That link is from 1965 and does not demonstrate an effect on SARS-CoV-2, despite your cheery assertion. Did you paste the wrong link?

        1. Isotope_C14

          Chemical mutagenesis has been around forever, this is how you might start with that RatG backbone. There are likely more than 20 other ways to do this, with more modern mutagens. You can even use UV. Pretty simple, (GO) grow up precursor virus, purify, UV the viral suspension, return to GO and keep going until you get something interesting. Its messy, but if you want to produce something fast, this is one way to do it.

          Hydroxylamine is nasty stuff. Works on bacteria, virus, and people. SARS cov 2 is nothing special here.

          1. Isotope_C14

            Right now I’m searching the literature to determine if anyone is doing specific ssRNA (single strand) chemical mutagenesis. The bacteriophage in that ancient paper is ssDNA, but hydroxylamine should still work on the G to A substitution. I don’t know if it would make the C to U substitution (in RNA), while it does the C to T (DNA).

            They might not advertise it – as you’d only have one reason to do it. Ebola is -ssRNA, so is influenza, but that already mutates enough.

            Imagine a lunatic doing something like this with smallpox (dsDNA) or something.

            This is pretty cool – you can just inject sequenced viral DNA (S13 bacteriophage) into e.coli and away you go:


            Great resource for the newer mutagenesis methods, nitrous acid at first glance would likely work on ssRNA, but I’ll have to dig into it.


            1. Amfortas the hippie

              (ive been rewatching the show “Fringe” of late…wherein Science has outstripped our collective ability to even keep track of it all, and a group of neoterrists perform public proof of concept experiments in a kind of competition with each other…because they can. this is the long awaited “singularity”, and it will be much worse than the hypertech/transhumanist cheerleaders think.)

              1. Isotope_C14

                Hi Amfortas!

                Love to hear your take! I agree with you, I’ll rewatch fringe sometime. I found something that suggested someone indeed used the mutagens I posted about to mess with a ssRNA bird virus.

                Our species is clever, but not wise, at least in the numbers of wise needed to offset all the dangerous clever ideas.

            2. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

              1. “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”

              2. “We knew the world would not be the same,” he later recalled. “A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent.”


              3. “Next generation agents (synthetic agents): Emerging threats and challenges in detection, protection, and decontamination” —- ‘Synthesis of SARS-like coronavirus’

              “The authors also fear that replication of the acquired knowledge related to virulent genetic loci and assembly of designer pathogens is possible and might be utilized by bioweaponeers for construction of more deadly viruses and designer pathogens that confer efficient transmission among humans.”


              4. “Some authors have argued that the skills and abilities developed over the course of a career in the biological sciences are not available to the amateur and that this may hinder the widespread use of synthetic biology for the development of biological weapons. While this argument may be true for some of the more complex techniques in biochemistry and molecular biology, the techniques used to propagate bacteria and viruses and to cut and paste genetic sequences from one organism to another are approaching the level of skill required to use a cookbook or a home computer. As technology increases and spreads, those with a simple home laboratory system may be able to manipulate bacterial and viral genes without expert training or years of experience.”


              5. “Upon the instruments of death the sunlight brightly gleams. When every man is torn apart with nightmares and with dreams,”

              1. Amfortas the hippie


                …i’m reminded of that time, somewhere in the northwest, where a grad student stopped the sterilisation of the planet.
                —some genetically engineered soil bug, jiggered to produce ethanol from detritus…fixin to go to “field trials”..until he blew the whistle.
                i read about it in SciAm or Popsci or something, pre-internet(early 90’s), and haven’t been able to find it since(that physical magazine must have escaped my usually comprehensive curation…because i’ve looked)

                I actively avoid knowledge about CRISPR, lest i never sleep again.
                the Late Rummy was right about one thing: the unknown unknowns.

  12. flora

    re: Facebook is Other People – Kevin Munger
    Midway through reading this I thought he was edging up to calling for more “control” of the internet content. He didn’t go there. He finished by calling for more awareness and care for everyone, especially the people having a hard time of it who we don’t normally see.

    I think calling for more “control” of the internet to make it “safe”, to “protect” us, can be left to WEF stuffed shirts like Schwab and Big Tech. (promising us the eternal sunshine of the spotless “mind”) / ;)

    1. flora

      adding: oh look! the opening sentence of the WEF doc linked above reads nearly word for word like Biden’s Domestic Errorism bill. What a coincidence.

      With the growing challenge to counter health misinformation, violent extremist and terrorist content, …

      1. Brian (another one they call)

        When the intelligency offers maxims and minims that amount to an advertisement for George Orwell’s fears, you know that things have gone past due date.
        There doesn’t appear to be an innovative mind associated with government any longer. There is no benefit coming up with an idea that can’t be understood by you boss class. That makes them suspicious of you and your days are numbered.
        “expert texperts choking smokers don’t you think the joker laughs at you?”

        1. flora

          FDR quote, October 31, 1936. Madison Square Garden, NYC.

          “We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace – business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me – and I welcome their hatred.”
          Franklin D. Roosevelt

      2. Carolinian


        Categorizing political differences in terms of contamination and disease

        Life as metaphor. I somehow doubt, though, that the general public is nearly as worried about the evil of thinking. If the elites really want to go full Orwell they will have to start blocking sites the way the Chinese do. The fact that so many Americans are declining the vaccine shows that the contamination of alternative information is getting through.

        Perhaps we should be celebrating this even if you think the vax avoiders are wrong.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          amen to that.
          freethink absolutist, here…i’ve been on the wrong side of orthodoxy for most of my life…having arrived there by my own steam.
          the child molester gets due process…otherwise, my due process is threatened.
          the frelling Klan gets to yell and march down the street and publish their idiocy….lest my analogous Rights get trampled.
          everyone….especially people i hate…gets the benefit of the doubt…”innocent until proven guilty”….lest i be bundled off in the night for Wrongthink.
          it shouldn’t be this difficult to make this case in our society

      3. Jeremy Grimm

        I have noodled around on the WEF site a little but I have not been able to understand much from their reports and web posts. I tried to find the infamous: “Welcome to 2030. I own nothing, have no privacy, and life has never been better”, the agenda item associated with the Great Reset but the old link: is gone. I tried reading about the Fourth Industrial Revolution but the briefing paper was so full of happy buzz words my skin started to itch: “agile governance”, “more adaptive, human-centred and sustainable policy approach”, “thriving environment for creative economies in the digital era” “creative economy”, “disruptive business environment”. From the conclusion of the brief: “…traditional regulations will not effectively address the issues arising in these creative industries. Instead, the public and private sectors must work together to proactively address the new challenges. To ensure the sustainable and healthy development of the creative economy, they must leverage each other’s complementary capabilities to build trust and cooperation, and co-design innovative policy and governance frameworks.”

        Wandering this site is like wading through a swamp of bullshit and buzzwords. What little sense I get of what the WEF is up to really gives me the creeps. I sense their invisible hand behind more and more of what I perceive as a growing strangeness in U.S. politics — like the WEF echoes in Biden’s Domestic Terrorism bill.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            Thanks! I will go to the link you provided.

            I reported the disappearance to point to how quickly the WEF deep-6s materials that ‘play’ badly when pressed upon the populace. The Great Reset and especially that vision for the future did not ‘play’ well. The WEF website appears to me as a giant aggregation of materials collected from various sources in the Neoliberal Thought Collective. Materials at the WEF website get a trial appearance and will quickly disappear or morph in response to the public response. It is a giant machine for testing and tailoring the narrative.

              1. Jeremy Grimm

                Your link takes me to an article from the Atlantic “The Internet is Rotting” … not “the Internet is a collective hallucination”, although I am not sure that really matters. Link rot can occur for many reasons. I am concerned about deliberate link rot that cleanses narratives as the need for such cleansing arises. I did not see the legal reference issue that you refer to mentioned. I am concerned that the rules for fair use of copyrighted materials have been as blurred, unreasonably constrictive, and punitive as they have become.

                1. skippy

                  Its at the point where someone new comes into the office and then searches the person they replaced company computer … regardless of this persons persona as new and improved – over its predecessor … some in the office notice the likeness to the past predecessors but … authority has a new plaything and anything that interrupts that pleasure will suffer for it …

                  Said as much to new next door neighbor, she related, office admin, point out the rewarming of a plan not 5 years ago that fell on its face to team. No one blinked and all were locked and loaded to pull the trigger anyway …

  13. TomDority

    Farmland Investing: Impact Beyond Returns Worth
    This article/advertizement is slanted and produced by FinTech promoters – like investing in farmland might produce more sustainable farming and offers more stable income and protection against inflation —
    Scary to me…
    So I run this scenario – lets say your Bill Gates (who owns more farmland than anyone) and practices terrible dead end farming — so, by accident (or on purpose – sorta like that gas pipe line shut down) your seed costs for your crops go up and you have a shortage due to poor seed quality at harvest or your aquafer is done or your droughted out – like everyone else around – so as an investor – your price at market goes up and is a delightfull hedge against inflation – your asset (farmland) goes up in value…why it’s win win.
    What could go wrong with bidding the cost of farmland up and up. To me, any product of that land will go up in price and any farming advances that may raise input costs will be avoided to the highest degree because of the investors need for a return on investement higher than all the other shills offering investements in farmlands — a race to the bottom to extract highest returns that will, and has already, increased the cost of production and at the store and to the detriment of sustainability and the farmer and farmworkers whose margins are squeezed even tighter

    If a man earns his income by producing wealth nothing should be done to hamper him. For has he not given employment to labor, and has he not produced goods for our consumption? To cripple or burden such a man means that he is necessarily forced to employ fewer men, and to make less goods, which tends to decrease wages, unemployment, and increased cost of living.
    If, however, a man’s income is not made in producing wealth and employing labor, but is due to speculation, the case is altogether different. The speculator as a speculator, whether his holdings be mineral lands, forests, power sites, agricultural lands, or city lots, employs no labor and produces no wealth. He adds nothing to the riches of the country, but merely takes toll from those who do employ labor and produce wealth.
    If part of the speculator’s income – no matter how large a part – be taken in taxation, it will not decrease employment or lessen the production of wealth. Whereas, if the producer’s income be taxed it will tend to limit employment and stop the production of wealth.
    Our lawmakers will do well, therefore, to pay less attention to the rate on incomes, and more to the source from whence they are drawn.

    1. Mildred Montana

      “…Bill Gates (who owns more farmland than anyone)…”

      242,000 acres or approximately 380 square miles, to be precise. I hope that Bill’s in farmland ownership for altruistic reasons, because there are no huge profits in sustainable farming.

      Just ask my brother. He farms 40 acres organically, drives a solar-powered tractor (Yes! An actual solar-powered tractor! How rare is that!), and practices crop rotation and diversity, carbon-sinking, and responsible irrigation. Of course, being an organic farmer, he eschews pesticides and commercial fertilizers.

      But there’s not much money in it. It’s a labor of love–and conscience—for him, and his wife has to work a couple of days a week to supplement the family income.

      He lives in an area where agricultural land is protected from urban encroachment and development by a 1973 law enacted by a socialist (gasp!) government so the element of speculation in farmland has been effectively eliminated. He ain’t gonna get rich selling his land.

        1. Mildred Montana

          I did! I’ve emailed it to my brother who I’m sure will enjoy it too. Thank you.

      1. cnchal

        > . . . I hope that Bill’s in farmland ownership for altruistic reasons, because there are no huge profits in sustainable farming.

        Bill has enough money to drown his land in chemicals to wring “profitability” out of it.

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          Gates continues to be lauded for the billions his foundation has “given” to education, and I can assure you from personal experience that not a penny of it was given for reasons other than personal, corporate and/or class interest.

          The best that could be said is that they’re so clueless and incompetent that much of that money is wasted (overwhelmingly on what is essentially a jobs program for arrogant Ivy League know nothings), so that their projects are largely failures. Still, a lot of damage has and will be done…

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            (overwhelmingly on what is essentially a jobs program for arrogant Ivy League know nothings),

            so Turchin’s Elite Overproduction.
            means we’re some ways down the right hand curve of civilisational entropy.
            it’s still gonna take a wholesale collapse to dislodge those problem people.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      “Like gold, farmland acts as a store of value in turbulent economic times. It performs well in a recession and can be used as an effective hedge against inflation. Unlike gold, however, farmland offers investors two sources of income: price appreciation when the underlying asset is sold and passive income from periodic rental and crop payments.”
      We should also suppose that the invisible hand of the Market assures “sustainability” [buzz word I believe may be displacing “disruptive” or even the old favorite “innovation”].

      This next quote echoes passages I skimmed scoping the WEF’s Forth Industrial Revolution: “… with proper management and by incorporating high-tech and sustainable approaches, farms could very well be able to satisfy the needs of the growing population.”
      For “proper management” read “data-driven regulation” and for “high-tech” read “data-driven technologies” and you are ready to step aboard the WEF’s Fourth Industrial Revolution’s bus for a magical mystery tour of the future. I fear now — may be much later than I thought.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        “‘incorporating high-tech and sustainable approaches…'”…
        is an oxymoron, when laid beside what actually happens where your food is grown.
        “tech”, coupled with “More!” and “Get Big or Get Out”(earl Butz), is why we’re in the predicament we’re in.

        decree parity pricing for agriculture, and smash conagra, et alia into a billion little bits.

        the WEF folks have only been to those “farms(tm)” that will have them.(i’ve posted recipes for such creatures for decades, now…they’ll never come here)

        when confronted with a WEF approved “farmer(tm)”, look at his/her/their(r) fingernails.
        the tactile surfaces of their hands.
        (the teeth are a dead giveaway, as well…as are the state of their toes.)

        1. Anonymous

          > when confronted with a WEF approved “farmer(tm)”, look at his/her/their(r) fingernails.
          > the tactile surfaces of their hands.
          > (the teeth are a dead giveaway, as well…as are the state of their toes.)

          Those are the tests that the Khmer Rouge used, along with the wearing of eyeglasses.

          (And it should go without saying — but, alas, doesn’t, nowadays — that simply making this observation does not mean that one agrees with everything the Khmer Rouge did.)

  14. The Rev Kev

    ‘Margaret Sullivan
    She was an intelligence analyst at the CIA. Now she writes about the dangers of ‘fake news.’ – New column by ⁦@alanmillerNLP⁩ via ⁦@Poynter’

    Ordinarily I would say something like this being a case of a poacher being made the gamekeeper but I suspect that there is really no such animal as an ex-CIA worker, merely one on detached service.

    1. jsn

      I’m always confused when a spook objects to disinformation, is it because they agree or disagree with it?

    2. Procopius

      From the very vague pablum in the advertisements the links take you to (including the “column” at Poynter), this seems to be an effort to revive Russiagate, or at least collect some grift off the most extreme TDS sufferers. Oh, and she’s also writing a Young Adult novel on the topic.

  15. NotTimothyGeithner

    So 2024 looks wide open

    The above linked tweet says it all

    Though i wonder if HRC fancies a third time is the charm run. Neera is in the White House too. Perhaps Harris has done insufficient genuflection before Harris? Letting Harris’ husband visit the Dodgers yesterday was one of the most one deaf items I’ve seen. Just baffling. I know they are stupid, but yeesh, even for Team Blue.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I suppose this is what Pete Buttigieg has been up to instead of mugging for the cameras.

    2. Troy

      Whereever she goes, pissed off staff, criminality and chaos.

      Want this creature’s finger on the launch button for nukes?

      “This week, the three people were charged with impersonating police officers. They are David Henry, who told Johnson he was the police chief, Tonette Hayes and Brandon Kiel, an aide to state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris.
      It turns out Henry, Hayes and Kiel had allegedly introduced themselves to police agencies across the state, though it is unclear why. A website claiming to represent their force cites connections to the Knights Templars that they say go back 3,000 years. The site also said that the department had jurisdiction in 33 states and Mexico.”

      1. jsn

        Maybe this is why Klain is sanguine about the midterms: he knows Ds will lose and 24 will be Republican and he’s down with that.

        I prefer the idea he intends to stuff through another $3-4T in reconciliation, but that remains to be seen.

        An arm of the Democratic Party interested in holding power and governing over a time horizon of more than a few months would be a novelty in this century.

      2. ObjectiveFunction

        Before Irish and Italians (Cathlicks!) took over most police forces, it was pretty bog standard for senior police officers to join the local Masonic lodge.

        Hence the allusions to the Templars and the Temple architects (masons).

    3. tegnost

      I know they are stupid, but yeesh,
      It’s way worse than that…
      They’re stupid but they think they’re smart

  16. The Rev Kev

    As hospitals in Las Vegas full up with COVID patients again, and the area leads the nation in cases, COVID is completely absent from the front page of the state’s biggest newspaper. It’s barely mentioned on TV news. No wonder elected officials are doing nothing: zero pressure’

    Las Vegas? Wait a minute *checks internet* yep, Carolyn Goodman is still Mayor. People may remember her from Links about last April 2020 when she was saying that she wanted to reopen Las Vegas’s casinos and hotels with all the workers forced to attend but when asked, said that the procedures to protect visitors had nothing to do with her but were up to the individual businesses. And then it came out that she had no plans to go down to the strip itself but was hunkered down at home due to “medical” reasons.

    1. Maritimer

      Why would Las Vegas and Nevada be exempt from the pressure of Big Pharma, CDC, WHO, WEF? There seem to be few jurisdictions that will go against the MSM Covid messaging.

      I do note that Florida and Texas seem to have also been straying off the Covid Reservation.

  17. Tom Stone

    A supply chain anecdote.
    I lost the low beams on my 98 Tacoma ( 315K miles) three weeks and 4 days ago, my mechanic determined it was the switch and had to backorder one.
    No estimated date for delivery.
    A few days ago the high beams went out and my Mechanic said he’d try to find a used switch online.
    He’s still looking.

    1. fumo

      Check ebay. I recently found a cold start valve for a VW microbus that has been out-of-stock at all the distributors for probably a couple of decades. Used, pulled from a wreck, but works just fine. Junkyard pickers know what people are looking for somehow.

      1. Laura in So Cal

        A few years ago we found a used wiring harness on-line for a 1990 F-150. The old one had succumbed to a fire caused by a rats nest, and new ones weren’t available any more for that engine. It was thru a network of junk yards and worked perfectly until we sold the truck a few years ago. Google something like “online junk yards”

    2. heresy101

      Ten years ago, a part failed on one of my cars and it was going to be over $1,000, so I went to the junk yard website ( – which is searchable) and got one from a wrecking yard in Tennessee for around $100 and the part worked great. If I need a part/wheel/window/etc, this is one of the sites that is checked besides independent auto parts suppliers.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Covid: How Delta exposed Australia’s pandemic weaknesses”

    Airlines brought in these new cases but it was people not doing their job which let it escape. If somebody had asked me to design the protocols for the people driving passengers from the airport to the quarantine hotels, I would straight away say full bio-suits. No ifs, ands and buts. But what did they do? Use people with no suits, no masks and who did not even get a vaccination. They are treating this Delta virus as if it was the original virus that came out of Wuhan. Gaachh! But today it got worse. Much worse.

    So Scotty from Marketing stepped out of quarantine to announce a four-phase plan for Oz to get out of the pandemic, with an eye to the federal election next year remaining unsaid. In short, he proposes to turn us into America and the United Kingdom pandemic-wise. And the key to it will be ‘magic’ vaccines. So what are some of the highlights of this plan? Returned vaccinated travelers will be able to quarantine at home for only 7 days, rather than 14 days in a hotel. Lockdowns would only occur “in extreme circumstances” but would be eventually banned. Vaccinated people will be free to go wherever they want because they are protected from getting infected. Open doors for all vaccinated travelers, international students and likely tourists too. No quarantine for vaccinated visitors. He actually said by the end, that we will treat Coronavirus just “like the flu” and go back to the old normal. But wait, there’s more.

    I said that the key are these ‘magic’ vaccines and this is what the unsaid message is. We are going to completely open up the country so you had damn well better get your vaccinations. I have heard two different reporters on TV give their reports on vaccinations today and if you listened, the message was that if you did not get a vaccine, then you deserve everything that you get. They did not use those words but the message was there. It was almost aggressive and our trained-seal media lately have been attacking people and States that opt for a more cautious medical approach. Too many people want their old lives back again and want their annual trips to Bali again and are not going to have vulnerable people stop them because obviously those people are being selfish. It’s gunna be an unholy mess here by next year-

    1. RMO

      Lax quarantine requirements, reopening things prematurely and lack of vaccinations is what got BC into the mess that we are only just pulling out of now. The border controls in Canada are still a joke (“You got covid?” “Nah” “You gonna quarantine” “Yeah, whatever” “Go on through”) but in BC we’ve reached 70% of the total population having at least one dose and are progressing quickly with second doses. In stores around here masking is still 100% and daily cases are finally down to under 50 a day consistently (population just under 5.2 million). Australia has been doing things so well by comparison to most of the world. Remarkable achievement really especially as it is in the face of dingbats like Scotty continually trying to undermine things. I swear he’s the sort of person who would bail out of an aeroplane that is going down in flames, pull the d-ring on the chute and get a perfectly deployed canopy and then say to himself “Things seem fine now, I’m barely even falling… I don’t need this stupid parachute anymore…” Not a perfect analogy as he’s really trying to remove other people’s parachutes.

      I’m suspicious of all the vaccines myself due to general mistrust of the pharmaceutical industry but I just got my second dose today. By tomorrow all three people in my household will have been fully vaccinated. Out of the 50 0r so people I know who got vaccinated the worst reaction so far was my cousin (care home worker so she got vaccinated early) who got mild flu like symptoms for a couple of days after her second dose. I only know one family that aren’t getting vaccinated and they are opposed to any vaccinations at all.

      I still can’t help but get angry when I consider that with a competent global response to covid the whole thing could have been largely contained in the first place.

    2. Brian Beijer

      the message was that if you did not get a vaccine, then you deserve everything that you get

      Long time reader, but I’ve never dared to comment before. I did not get a decent grade in my university Logic course, and I lack the time to find sources for all of my statements. I feel compelled to reply to your statement though because this was exactly what I was speaking to my wife about yesterday… and we live in Sweden.
      This country is determined to “open up” and do away with the few guidelines that were “suggested” by the FHM (Swedish CDC). One could strongly argue that Sweden never really closed down. My boss is determined that everyone returns to the office full time by the end of summer. With the Delta variant almost certain to dominate here along with everywhere else, most of those who are vaccinated are likely to think that they only have a cold if they come down with Covid. They are highly unlikely to get tested with mild symptoms and equally unlikely to stay home because of “just a cold”. Already, people come to work untested with headaches, runny nose and coughing because of “just allergies”.

      After reading many of the comments here and watching Dark Horse, I’m among the vaccine hesitant and haven’t gotten vaccinated. I would prefer not to. So far, masking and social distancing have allowed me to successfully fight off only two bouts of Covid. That’s pretty good considering most people here do not mask nor social distance. I feel like that governments everywhere have decided to “nudge” the remaining vaccine hesitant into getting the shots by placing you in a situation where you’re almost certainly to face hospitalization or death if you don’t get vaccinated. Of course, Ivermectin as a prophylactic is unheard of here, and there is no way any doctor would prescribe Ivermectin without government approval. Long story short is that when Fall arrives, if one isn’t vaccinated; you risk having a very short life span. The tin foil hat side of me can’t help but to think that it’s almost as if this is the intention.

      1. The Rev Kev

        These governments are going for ‘herd immunity’ – one way or another. And at this stage they are bored with dealing with the pandemic and want it to all go away so that they can go back to business as usual. And over our dead bodies.

  19. 430MLK

    On fire creating weather patterns:
    About 20 years ago, I read a great book called Young Men and Fire by Norman Maclean, the author of River Runs Through It. He goes back and revisits a 1940s-era fire in his native Montana. Part of that book goes into the evolving science (1970s/80s era) of fire fighting as a way to help him explain the fire. He talks about how massive fires create their own weather systems. Super interesting and, I guess in our new world, important too!

    1. diptherio

      Second that recommendation. Great book. I’ve been to the places where it took place…would not like tobe trapped in a wildfire there. Remember, when all else fails, light your own fire and lay down in the ashes!

  20. marym

    Re: Did the Supreme Court gut voting rights or back election security? The Narratives Project

    The supposed “narrative” on the right:

    “the laws apply equally to all people”[same argument used for Jim Crow laws]

    “At least, these laws will increase the confidence in election results after the chaotic 2020 election”
    [chaos created by people making and responding to unsubstantiated claims of fraud]
    [odd justification for a decision related to laws passed prior to 2020]

    “At most, the new laws are necessary to prevent future elections from being stolen”
    [“Thanks to Brnovich, a state can now assert an interest in preventing fraud to justify a law without proving that fraud is actually a serious risk, but at the same time, minority voters have a high burden: They must show that the state has imposed more than the “usual burdens of voting.” (Link)]

    “changes that don’t make voting much harder”
    [If this were an attempt on the part of Alito etc. to secure elections against historically and currently non-existent fraud or prevent politician-generated chaos, would it be the contention that the people on whom restrictions “don’t make voting much harder” are the most likely – in the absence of evidence – to perpetrate fraud?]

    1. allan

      “Narratives”: Rule #1 is to project and play victim (for example NC fave Kimberly Strassel’s WSJ op-ed
      concerning yesterday’s decision is titled A Supreme Blow to Intimidation. LOL.)

      There will be many more such “narratives” in the coming years.
      Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern looks at SCOTUS’s end-of-term decisions
      to hear cases next term or decline to. Next term will be a horror show.

  21. Industrial Culture Handbook

    Allen Weisselberg allegedly used his off-the-books compensation to open a Keough IRA (for the self-employed) in addition to his TrumpOrg 401k. He also created a spreadsheet to keep track everybody’s off-the-books compensation. So much for “off-the-books”. (Al Capone had tertiary syphilis, what is Allen W’s excuse?) “Tuition payments” made out-of-pocket is conspicuous. Federal indictments are probably on their way given the IRS refunds, fabricated W-2’s, and unreported income.

    This isn’t about flipping someone against Trump because there is no need. This is about a.) the jeopardy in which Trump’s sons are placed, as they nominally ran the show, of late. And b.) a company with indicted officers is probably defaulting on their loan agreements. Liquor licenses can be pulled for moral turpitude. State certificates of good standing can be pulled. Is Trump capable of dissolving his current businesses and transferring authority to people he can trust who also haven’t been compensated off-the-books? Otherwise, his businesses are paralyzed.

  22. fumo

    The Alzheimer’s enigma: Why is the incidence falling at 16% a decade in the world’s richest countries? El Pais

    I can’t quite understand the prominence of “lack of education” as a primary risk factor for the disease. It seems likely to be somehow causative rather than simply correlative. Are there any other disease processes that education might be prophylactic against? And how on Earth would that work?

    1. Laura in So Cal

      My Mom has Alzheimer’s so I’ve done a lot of reading. There have been studies (there is a Nun study is the most well known) where education negatively correlates with Alzheimer’s. In addition, there have been some autopsies where an individual’s brains seemed to have Alzheimer’s, but the individual didn’t show any signs of dementia.

      Here is the theory of causation: Your brain is not static and changes throughout your life adding and pruning away connections, processing power, memories etc. People who are highly educated and especially people who are constantly pushing their brain by learning new things, processes etc. create and keep more connections. Even if they develop Alzheimer’s disease, their brain is so much more resilient with all the extra connections that they continue to function without dementia for some length of time. It probably delays onset until the brain is overwhelmed, but they might die of something else before the Alzheimer’s becomes apparent. This theory is behind the push for elderly people to do brain training, puzzles etc.

      My grandmother (98 and on the other side of my family) shows no signs of dementia at all. Genetics do play a part in susceptibility so maybe that is the reason, but I can’t help but think that years of being a ruthless bridge player (she was still playing bridge in multiple groups until COVID shut it down) might have helped.

      1. fumo

        That’s funny, my grandmother was still razor sharp on her 100th birthday—and still a dangerous bridge player as well.

  23. Glenn F May

    Forget Ms. Sullivan tweeting the CIA-to-watchdog story without comment.
    The obsequious and completely face-value acceptance of the CIA’s Ms. Otis as a savior riding to the rescue against fake news speaks volumes about the corruption of Poynter and the writer, Mr. Miller. (Never did trust “journalists” who feel compelled to add the middle initial for an easy shot of faux gravitas.)
    No worries about a CIA agent becoming a trusted voice in media crit?
    That is truly the sign of the times when so many spooks now serve as “analysts” throughout our servile corporate media.

  24. Duck1

    Regarding the herpetologist digging up monitor burrows in Australia, if he has actually destroyed dozens of viable egg caches, one has to ask how many need to be destroyed before he is convinced that, indeed, this is how monitors lay eggs? This is science?

  25. chuck roast

    The Alzheimer’s enigma: Why is the incidence falling at 16% a decade in the world’s richest countries?

    They took lead out of gasoline?

    1. R

      Having run an Alzheimer’s biotech company, my guesses would be:
      – statins
      – hormone replacement therapy (if initiated early enough before the oestrogen receptors vanish and the neuroprotective effect with it)
      – female education and work

      The first two are potential cell cycle modifiers in the widest possible use, which are, on some theories of AD, expected to reduce neuronal abeta/tau pathology.

      The last is a clear change since 1920’s – but if it were the cause, we would expect to see a sex difference in the rate of change, adjusted for mortality changes.

      Leaded petrol is also a possibility but it was only removed relatively late and seems to have strongest impact on development neurobiology of foetus and infant and on rates of male violence / impulse control issues. It is hard to see how it helps elderly in 1988.

      UK data would be interesting because we removed lead from petrol a long time after USA (leaded petrol was available throughout my childhood) whereas we banned lead from paint decades ago.

      If course, there are darker explanations – what if the AD-susceptible population has been culled by increasing mortality from other diseases (diabetes, cancers)…?

      1. tegnost

        You’ve stated previously that you’re in venture capital so when you say you’ve run a company, what role did you play in the running?

  26. The Rev Kev

    “A Homeless Amazon Warehouse Worker in New York City Tells Her Story”

    While reading this article, I wondered how it would appear if it dropped down an event horizon and appeared back in 1980. People reading it would be unsure of terms like ‘cell phone’ but the changes in American life would be so vast that people back then would wonder how it came to this.

    1. Michael

      And we thought s+*\ was bad then!

      Oh, foolish hearts…

    2. jsn

      I was watching in the 80s when sunny Ron deinstitutionalized the insane, inventing American’s homeless problem.

      Corporate media instantly fell in line, blaming the homeless for being lazy and difficult.

      Having let this sleight of hand go, we’re now completely desensitized to the suicidal insanity that neoliberal capitalism has degenerated into.

      1. Tom Stone

        Saint Ronnie dismantled California’s mental health system when he became Governor by beating Pat Brown.
        Reagan was a very strange Dude, not just jellybeans and calling his wife “Mommy” he was a wannabe communist in the late 30’s then both an FBI informant President of the Screen Actors Guild at the same time during the McCarthy era.
        There are several good biographies, my favorite is “Ronald Reagan, MCA and the Mob”.
        I found him repulsive, more so than I do Trump.

  27. thoughtful person

    1. Lambert re NIH: “Pleasingly understated. We seem to make making the same mistake, if mistake it be, all over again by refusing to track asymptomatic breakthrough infections in the vaccinated.”

    2. Singapore MOH no longer to report case details, living with Covid19, the new normal…

    3. Las Vegas hospitals filling up, front page of paper- no story. Also Blue Duck above on anecdotally West Coast Covid wings in hospitals. Also UK hospitalizations on the rise.

    4. Recent posted story about ogoing decline in life expectancy in USA, since ~2010, much greater impact on black and Hispanic (and probably working class)

    Re #1, along with no breakthrough case tracking, the US CDC has also said vaccinated people no longer need worry about testing. Thus I guess the data on new cases should be looked upon as even more of an understatement than the NIH reports. Is case data now worthless as a reflection of whats happening as far as spread?

    Re#2, Singapore seems to be following the US lead in giving up on contact tracing and trying to eliminate the virus. All chips on vaccination, and living with covid19 (to bad for people with comorbidities etc)

    Re #3, As Delta arrives and hospitalization picks up in various places, it would be useful to have accurate data on how many of these cases are breakthrough! Also note that the story is not reported, “new normal” in USA anyway is “Covid is over”

    But is it over? Even for vaccinated: If I recall correctly the UK health service did a recent study on Delta and vaccine efficacy. I believe that the hospitalization rate was ~5% (79% no infection or 21% had an infection, 88% no symptoms or 12% had symptoms and I believe they reported 5% or so got seriously sick, this was results for Pfizer in recent UK study, they did not have enough data for morbidity).

    And how many vaccinated will end up with long haul?

    Re #4, The lack of a public health care system means the solution to the various epidemics (Opioid, covid) and to the effects of the increasing poverty of the precariate is, indeed, “go die”

    My conclusion:
    The powers that be have decided that covid19 Plus vaccine = just like the flu. With the flu, we don’t have news about hospitalization and deaths each season, we just ignore them.

    But if with Delta, which is much more infectious and will be dominant variant very soon (a couple weeks everywhere in US, probably Asia, EU as well), if we indeed see 1 in 20 cases are hospitalization, and that’s the vaccinated, we think worse for 50% not yet fully vaxed, thats gonna fill up those beds quick. And eventually might be hard to ignore, once we find out about deaths.

    It’s quite a gamble.

    I suspect that collapse is coming sooner than we would like and sticking head in sand is not likely to change that.

    1. Lemmy Caution

      Best way I’ve found to get a sense of how bad the breakthroughs are is from local reports. Here’s one from Oregon’s Salem Statesman Journal:

      About 8% of the 7,241 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon in June were in people who were fully vaccinated.

      One in 10 of the 63 COVID-19 deaths in June occurred in people who were fully vaccinated.

      That last sentence is worded weirdly, but I take it to mean that 10% of the Covid-19 deaths in June occurred in people who were fully vaccinated.

      That’s the news from Lake Wobegone…and it ain’t good.

  28. diptherio

    We had a nice cooling rain yesterday evening here in NW Montana, which was much appreciated after a couple of 100F+ days. Didn’t see any lighting, but heard lots of thunder. It’s only 70F right now, which is about 10 degrees cooler than yesterday at this time.

    My own natural AC trick, lacking the hi-tech variety, is to take my shirt off and replace it with a wet towel (well wrung out) draped over my shoulders. It works wonders, especially when combined with a box fan near the desk. A wet ball cap works well too.

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      An ice pack, wrapped in a wet towel and tied, tonsure-style, around the crown of the head or from forehead to base of the neck, with a running fan, will do an excellent job of keeping the brain pan from overheating…

  29. R

    Lambert, a vaccine boosting strategem means any or all of:

    – heterologous boosting, e.g. one vaccine as primary and a different one as booster
    – varying the interval between primary and booster
    – multiple boosters, e.g. third shots.

  30. Wukchumni

    88,000 claims of abuse by all grown up now Boy Scouts, and a $250 million kitty = about $3000 per claimant if my math is correct.

    Not exactly a big wahooza, and i’d guess 90% of the claimants saw the aspect of free money as quite the attractant, and were never abused…

    The Boy Scouts of America reached an $850 million settlement with tens of thousands of former Scouts who claim they were sexually abused while in the organization, a major step toward resolving a bevy of lawsuits that led to the organization’s bankruptcy last year.

    The settlement includes up to $250 million for a trust to compensate survivors of sexual abuse from the BSA national organization, $500 million to the trust from local council groups of the BSA and an additional $100 million for a separate trust coming from the group’s pension fund. The money will come from the organization’s cash reserves and the sale of art and property, among other sources.

    1. Tom Stone

      As to false claims of abuse in the BSA case, I’m sure there are some but I doubt there are many.
      This is a Predator/Prey relationship.
      If your preferred prey is young boys, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are a nice place to hunt.
      You need time, some money and a good front to blend in, just as you do to coach youth sports.
      There are always predators and they can always be found where their prey is abundant.
      Ask a Catholic Priest if you don’t believe me.

  31. Raymond Sim

    Re the prevalence of Covid-19 infection: I’m going to seize the opportunity to repeat myself.

    The data we’ve had has always been completely consistent with prevalence twice what has typically been treated as an upper bound. Arguments for lower prevalence have been based on unfounded and/or unexamined assumptions.

    The notion that prevalence might be very high was initially ‘right wing’ (hence refutable sans evidence) because it meant herd immunity was nigh for those of us not already in Covid Valhalla (Or Longhalla). I can’t emphasize enough everbody, liberal and conservative alike, thought this way. Or everybody who was anybody at any rate. Most still seem to. This should be kept in mind whenever someone like Walensky opens their mouth.

    The second Manaus outbreak should have been the occasion for all modeling to include scenarios with previous incidence of 70% and up. I don’t see much evidence for that.

    But an unresourced nobody like me, with a semi-relevant education, forecast the general course of events in India! Predicted that the hot new accessory for Fall would be vaccine boosters!

    My point is this: All along the people in power have easily been able to have at their disposal accurate predictions of what’s coming. If competent, they are unspeakably evil. If merely ordinarily evil they are incompetents on the level of Maurice Gamelin.

  32. Raymond Sim

    “Ultrapotent antibodies against diverse and highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants”

    Haven’t looked at this yet. Anybody know if they touch on cellular immunity?

    Have the “Infection is best!” crowd started touting it? The title sounds like something a dimwit eugenics-inclined type would grab and run with.

  33. Cuibono

    “Shouldn’t they be overjoyed that people who are sick could be given a fighting chance?”
    sure seems like ” shouldn’t” is doing a lot of work there.

  34. Cuibono

    “vaccine boosting regimen” means booster doses of a novel vaccine to target different regions

  35. Gaius Gracchus

    A friend’s wife is an ICU nurse in Vegas. She can’t get shifts. The ICU is pretty empty. Maybe it is just her hospital. She was working 7 days straight with huge hourly bonuses last year.

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