Links 7/22/2021

Land of Smoke and Fire: Documenting California’s Endless Season of Heat (photo essay) Literary Hub

The Climate Change and Infrastructure Crises Are Interconnected Katie Porter, Teen Vogue. The email teaser had a better headline: “Our Country Isn’t Built to Withstand the Climate Crisis.”

This Cult Classic Buy Signal Isn’t to Be Trusted Bloomberg

Are American Companies Better than European Ones? Albert Bridge Capital

Robust and Resilient Finance John Kay

Michael Rees: how a private equity chief turned the tables on his finance peers FT

#COVID19

‘I’m sorry, but it’s too late’: Alabama doctor on treating unvaccinated, dying COVID patients AL.com. I don’t trust myself to comment on this one. On intubation, see here, here, and here.

‘A form of brainwashing’: why Trump voters are refusing to have a vaccine FT. I really need to push back against this pervasive talking point, which has somehow made its way into the FT:

Even if you accept the framing that partisan divisions are all, shouldn’t the Democrats be (as they say in Alchoholics Anonymous) keeping their own side of the street clean?

* * *

Viral Load of SARS-CoV-2 in Respiratory Aerosols Emitted by COVID-19 Patients while Breathing, Talking, and Singing (preprint) medRxiv. Conclusions: “Fine aerosols produced by talking and singing contain more SARS-CoV-2 copies than coarse aerosols and may play a significant role in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Exposure to fine aerosols should be mitigated, especially in indoor environments where airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is likely to occur. Isolating viable SARS-CoV-2 from respiratory aerosol samples remains challenging, and whether this can be more easily accomplished for emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants is an important enquiry for future studies.”

Household Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from Children and Adolescents (letter) NEJM. “This retrospective study showed that the efficient transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from school-age children and adolescents to household members led to the hospitalization of adults with secondary cases of Covid-19. In households in which transmission occurred, half the household contacts were infected.”

The introduction of a mandatory mask policy was associated with significantly reduced COVID-19 cases in a major metropolitan city PLOS One. From the Abstract: “Introduction of mandatory mask use on July 22, 2020 during a resurgence of COVID-19 in Melbourne, Australia created a situation that facilitated an assessment of the impact of the policy on the epidemic growth rate as its introduction occurred in the absence of other changes to restrictions… Themandatory mask use policy substantially increased public use of masks and was associated with a significant decline in new COVID-19 cases after introduction of the policy. This study strongly supports the use of masks for controlling epidemics in the broader community.”

* * *

Effectiveness of Covid-19 Vaccines against the B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant NEJM. Results: “Effectiveness after one dose of vaccine (BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) was notably lower among persons with the delta variant (30.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 25.2 to 35.7) than among those with the alpha variant (48.7%; 95% CI, 45.5 to 51.7); the results were similar for both vaccines.” Conclusions: “Only modest differences in vaccine effectiveness were noted with the delta variant as compared with the alpha variant after the receipt of two vaccine doses. Absolute differences in vaccine effectiveness were more marked after the receipt of the first dose. This finding would support efforts to maximize vaccine uptake with two doses among vulnerable populations. (Funded by Public Health England.)”

SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Effectiveness in a High-Risk National Population in a Real-World Setting Annals of Internal Medicine. Pfizer; Moderna. Setting is the VA. Conclusion: “Currently used vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 infection are highly effective in preventing confirmed infection in a high-risk population in a real-world setting.” Limitations: “Predominantly male population; lack of data on disease severity, mortality, and effectiveness by SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern; and short-term follow-up.”

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As US ‘Drowning’ in Unused Doses, WHO Chief Laments ‘Horrifying Injustice’ of Covid-19 Vaccine Inequity Common Dreams

Sitting In Limbo Stethoscope on Rome. Good round-up.

China?

China’s Drowned City Is a Bleak Sign of a Changing Climate Foreign Policy. A thread of images and videos:

China blasts dam to divert floods that killed at least 33 EuroNews. A natural experiment in hydraulic despotism?

Chinese hackers stole Mekong River data from Cambodian ministry – sources Channel News Asia

China rushes to set up bailout funds for indebted state-run firms FT

Myanmar

Russia working closely with post-coup Myanmar on military supplies – exporter Reuters. Unsavory.

Chinese Casino City in Myanmar Recruiting Despite COVID-19 Crisis Irrawaddy. Yet more unsavory. This seems related:

Yunnan Sees COVID-19 Spike as Myanmar Slides Toward ‘Super-Spreader’ State The Diplomat. Worth noting that Myanmar borders both China (population 1.398 billion) and India (1.366 billion), hence 36.4% of the world population (7.674), using 2019 figures. Crematoria a good proxy:

Myanmar also provides an enormous migrant labor class to Southeast Asia.

Vietnam makes test batch of Russia’s Sputnik V jab New Straits Times

India

Covid May Have Claimed as Many as 5 Million Lives in India Bloomberg

Guwahati, A Planned Smart City, May Be Underestimating Its Garbage Problem The Wire

Syraqistan

Ben & Jerry’s to stop sales in Israeli settlements in occupied territories BBC

UK/EU

Germany, US strike Nord Stream 2 compromise deal Deutsche Welle

Empire 2.0 The Baffler. Imperial nostalgia in the UK.

Chinese tycoon gets go-ahead to build vast central London ‘palace’ Guardian

The Caribbean

The Assassination of Haiti’s President The New Yorker. “‘The only part I believe is that the President is dead,’ a pregnant friend in Port-au-Prince said.”

Haiti’s opposition, civil society distance themselves from new PM Agence France Presse

Company Implicated in Moïse Assassination was Involved in Attack Against Maduro Orinoco Tribune

Biden Administration

“President Biden says getting vaccinated ‘gigantically important'” WBAL. From the transcript: “You’re not gonna you’re not gonna get covid if you have these vaccinations.”

Biden is lying. Breakthrough infections exist, and not as a theoretical possibility, but out in the general population where people can see. I can only think that the PMC in the person of Fauci, and here with a President from the party that represents them, believe so deeply in the Noble Lie as a way of “nudging” people into behaving according to their sought policy objectives that they can’t consider alternatives (for example, telling the best truth we know about the odds). It certainly hasn’t worked so far; being liberal Democrats, they are doubling down on fail.

Infrastructure deal’s Democratic opposition Axios. The party the Democrat leadership constructed acts like the Party was constructed to act.

Inside the Flint water crisis cover-up: Top officials’ missing phone messages and Rick Snyder’s legal war against prosecutors Detroit Metro Times

Health Care

Medical debt overtakes nonmedical as largest source in collections. COVID-19 may be making it worse. Health Care Dive

Sanofi, Lilly, Novo and a trio of PBMs face racketeering claims over pricey insulin drugs Fierce Pharma

Sports Desk

How bad can it be? LRB. Does cheating in sport matter?

Imperial Collapse Watch

An immigrant living through American decline Yasha Levine. Part three of a series; part one, part two.

Mercenaries Are a Growing Labor Pool Slate

Class Warfare

People Want To Work, They Just Don’t Want To Work For You Ed Zitron. The focus is solely on WFH (i.e., not on “essential workers,” who also “don’t want to work for you”) but interesting nonetheless.

“We’re Not Allowed to Hang Up”: The Harsh Reality of Working in Customer Service Pro Publica

These 115 Workers Helped Keep New York Alive in Its Darkest Months NYT

Ideas Have Consequences: The Impact of Law and Economics on American Justice (PDF) Elliott Ash, Daniel L. Chen, Suresh Naidu. Propaganda works.

Slavoj Žižek: Last Exit to Socialism Jacobin. “To escape into the comfortable modesty of our finitude and mortality is not an option; it is a false exit to a catastrophe. As universal beings, we should learn to accept our environment in all its complex mixture, which includes what we perceive as trash or pollution, as well as what we cannot directly perceive since it is too large or too minuscule (Timothy Morton’s ‘hyperobjects’).”

History As End Matthew Karp, Harpers (Carolinian). Well worth a read, a careful read.

Andidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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

194 comments

  1. a different chris

    >that they can’t consider alternatives (for example, telling the best truth we know about the odds).

    Huh? How do you know they haven’t considered that? And likely found, after consulting a boatload of historians, that the answer is that telling the truth to the American Public doesn’t and hasn’t worked at all since Reagan and was iffy before that.

    What do you think this is, Finland? :D

    Reply
      1. fresno dan

        BTW
        the link:
        Ideas Have Consequences: The Impact of Law and Economics on American Justice (PDF) Elliott Ash, Daniel L. Chen, Suresh Naidu. Propaganda works.

        doesn’t seem to work.

        Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      While it may be comforting to partisans to cower behind their corporate narratives that allow them to feel better than the other team, a lot of other people prefer a reality-based intellectual milieu. It would make far less positively useless analysis to understand that neoliberal epistemology is designed to derange, and that it works, and that the Ayn Randian “I am stronger and better than the mass” conceits only embarrass those who would deploy them. The strategy of noise is laid out in some detail by Mirowski here.

      Reply
  2. upstater

    File this one under Imperial Collapse Watch

    The F-35 Continues to Amaze and Astound in Its Ability to Be Everything Except a Functioning Airplane

    Close to 15 percent of the planes are reportedly without engines, which are considered by most experts to be vital to powered flight.

    Then Russia claims to have a new stealth fighter more advanced and 1/3 the cost ready for production:

    Weapon of the future, today: Russia unveils ‘Checkmate’, new 5th-generation lightweight stealth fighter, unmanned version in works

    Obviously the US needs to accelerate the F-35 replacement program immediately!

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      All fun and games and profitable for the people involved. Look on the bright side, I’m sure it won’t negatively impact Lockheeds share price.

      Ironically the F-35 problems have their roots in one of the few attempts to save money in the programme – by developing just one engine rather than having a second in development as a backup, as used to be common practice. But they were overconfident that it was no possible to develop a new engine with little risk.

      The Sukhoi looks impressive, but the proof of the pudding is getting an aircraft like that into service, making a cool looking model for an airshow is the easy bit. Russia has had its fair share of flying turkeys too, we just tend not to hear so much about them. Sukhoi failed badly with its Superjet and the Su-57 is still struggling – ironically with engine problems (although at least they have a back up engine).

      Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      ‘Obviously the US needs to accelerate the F-35 replacement program immediately!’ Agreed. But where it all falls down is that that replacement fighter would be built by the same sort of people that brought you the F-35 in the first place. Pepe Escobar did a write up about this fighter but a hurdle for any future foreign sales would that the US would punish economically any country that purchased this Russian fighter in lieu of a US-manufactured fighter. That law is on the books already and has been used several times. The US wants those countries to buy a reliable US fighter instead. Like the F-35-

      https://asiatimes.com/2021/07/checkmate-fighter-puts-russia-ahead-of-the-game/

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        The notion that the US needs to “replace the F-35 fighter” with what, another manned White Elephant, is in my opinion idiotic. At least if one tries to figure out what the mission for such a suck on the economy would be. The MIC’s “mission,” writ large, is not to protect the nation but only to enrich the corporate entities and senior officers and Congresscritters that are in on the scam.

        Fighter aircraft these days are just trucks to carry missiles into any kind of air-to-air combat, the end game of the “development” that started in WW I where the ideal in combat was to sneak up behind the opponent and shoot bullets, and now missiles, up his ass. When was the last time any Major Power’s Air Force engaged in Top Gun “Lufberry combat” with other hostile aircraft? The idea is to stand as far off as possible and squirt missiles up the enemy’s ass, a job that will be done (despite the best ifforts of a tiny cadre of hot shot fixed-wing pilots to preserve their cachet and perks) by unmanned aircraft that will increasingly be tricked out with autonomous brains.

        Stealth is just another bogus hype, the F-35 becomes unstealthy if one of its many access panels gets installed even minutely out of perfect alignment.

        There is no honest case to be made for fighter aircraft as the whole idiotic “Battlespace” and “peer-to-peer” threat-creation foolishness continues to wind up the process of draining the wealth of nations in pursuit of some illusive “hegemony” and “control of the skies.” Hey, the major “US” sIt’s just “tradition” and economic interests of a few bad actors that keep sending the rest of us down this rathole.

        Reply
      2. Pelham

        Shouldn’t some of the blame for the F-35 be placed on the military’s demand for a single plane that can do everything, including supersonic flight and ground support?

        Reply
      1. chuck roast

        This is a terrific idea for the Next Gen US fighter. We spend a few bazillion on a fighter that is so stealthy that its very existence is questionable. But that’s OK. Because the usual suspects get all the vig a-la MMT, no resources are wasted and best of all, in the end no innocents get blown up. In my estimation, a case where truly nothing can go wrong.

        Reply
      1. RMO

        Yeah, I’m not an aeronautical engineer but just a glance at the aspect ratio and wing loading of the F-35 tell me that it would make a terrible sailplane so not much chance of launching it to fifteen hundred feet via winch and then making use of thermals, ridge lift and wave to go about it’s business. :-)

        I’m actually surprised the F-35 works as well as it does, by which I mean works as an aeroplane- some of them have managed to fly after all. When you think about it there are huge incentives for everyone involved in a project like this to produce the biggest, most expensive and utterly useless heap possible. Think about it: if they build something that really works (e.g. the B-52) the planners at the Pentagon would have to start searching for another way to boost their careers, the manufacturer would make a bunch of stuff for a while and then their income would drop when there was enough on hand – and if the thing works reliably the manufacturer no longer has as big a spare parts and support income stream. And to really put the boot in it will probably be quite some time before an order for a successor comes along. Make a steaming pile of an aeroplane (or anything else for the Pentagon) and the bureaucrats keep meeting, the manufacturer gets paid to constantly re-engineer things claiming they’ll solve the problems, and when in the end it becomes obvious it’s a disaster, they get paid to make something that they swear will really work this time. And no one gets punished for the failure, rather they fail upwards.

        They would have to be nuts to produce something that really succeeded as a piece of equipment. Failure is the far more remunerative option.

        Reply
    3. Maritimer

      The F-35 Continues to Amaze and Astound in Its Ability to Be Everything Except a Functioning Airplane
      *********
      Covid Vaccines Continue to Amaze and Astound in Their Ability to Be Everything Except Functioning Vaccines
      Or
      The War Racket (see USMC Major General Smedley Butler) replicates in Medicine.

      Reply
      1. rowlf

        Well said, although I like to point out that successful vaccines typically have a longer development and testing period than the 737 MAX did.

        Reply
  3. zagonostra

    >‘I’m sorry, but it’s too late’: Alabama doctor on treating unvaccinated, dying COVID patients – AL.com

    I’m seeing this story all over the place in my morning news intake. On one side (I won’t call it the “Right” because it doesn’t apply even though attempts have been made to pin it on what that label) it’s been trashed and viewed as propaganda, on the other side it is emotionally compelling. That so many outlets have picked up on this in such a short time is suspect when there are numerous accounts of vaccines having a negative outcome that don’t get picked up on.

    The article states that:

    In the United States, COVID is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated, according to the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    From what I’ve been reading people who have received the vaccine can also get it again. In fact yesterday there was a story about some Pelosi’s staff members who received the vaccine and were re-infected. So how can they make that statement?

    Whatever you think of getting a CV19 vaccine, the imposition of “passports,” digital verifications, and other mechanisms of discriminating between those who took the vaccine and those who haven’t has me troubled.

    Unlike Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton who did take the vaccine, is pushing back. He announced he would not play in any venue where the vaccine is a requirement of entry.

    https://www.rt.com/uk/529881-eric-clapton-vaccine-pass-protest/

    Reply
    1. BeliTsari

      I’d gotten a VERY ickky deja vu feeling over this. Remember the extended conversations the CNN celebrity Inhalation Therapist was having with doubting deplorable Trumpists, mysteriously able to speak… immediately before intubation as to, “Bit, they dun’ TOLD me, it were all FAKE NEWS?” The repetitive, facile nature of these tropes makes the obvious, underlying tragedy of this situation a lot more depressing. It causes MORE dubious eye-rolling skepticism that could easily cause lots more totally unnecessary deaths! I’m pretty sure this happens hundreds of times a day. But, it’s almost like media’s trying to be counterproductive?

      https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2020/11/16/south-dakota-nurse-intv-newday-vpx.cnn

      Reply
  4. Noone from Nowheresville

    ‘I’m sorry, but it’s too late’: Alabama doctor on treating unvaccinated, dying COVID patients

    wow. just wow. not judgmental at all. Always the failure of the individual, never the system or the calculation of those who maintain and run the policies.

    I do think this doctor should have check herself and her money. Her state may have lower vaccination rates but it’s only 10ish% lower than the average. How many people in her state don’t have primary care doctors? How many people in her state can’t use Shipt to have their groceries delivered? Does she personally talk to the Shipt delivery people to find out about their vaccination status or their health care needs or their co-workers and everyone’s families? Or are Shipt workers nothing more than interchangeable widgets in the system which allow her to not go to the grocery store herself? etc., etc., etc.

    Yes, this article struck a nerve.

    If ever there was an article to promote shaming and blaming the victim, this article is it in spades. I hope the journalist promoted a very biased view of what this doctor said.

    Reply
      1. Juneau

        So true. It reminds me of how so many people blamed the victim when HIV started (IV drug users, gays, Haitians…at least they overlooked the little hemophiliac kids). No matter whether the patient brought it on or not every dying patient deserves kindness and compassion. Unfortunately, more vocal doctors are angry at people who won’t or can’t take the vaccine based on my reading of Facebook blogs. Shameful. Every day doctors see people who made mistakes and are in pain, sick and need help as a consequence. This type of shaming, blaming of families and patients is incredibly destructive and sadistic/vindictive.

        Reply
        1. flora

          Unfortunately, more vocal doctors are angry at people who won’t or can’t take the vaccine based on my reading of Facebook blogs.

          I wonder if they’re the doctors who don’t get purged by fb. Collating fb commentary on hot topics to find a ‘consensus’ only finds a fb-approved concensus, imo.

          Reply
      2. FluffytheObeseCat

        The thread above does not seem to bear much relationship to what this young doctor actually said.

        From the article: ”[Dr.] Cobia also had a personal experience with the virus, contracting it in July while 27 weeks pregnant with her second child. Her symptoms were mild and the child, Carter, was delivered early out of caution but suffered no serious complications.”

        As a hospitalist she was most likely made ill by exposure to COVID patients. While pregnant. The article implies it occurred before vaccines were widely available but does not state such. She found herself putting her life and her child’s life on the line serving people who would rather follow the lead of a Facebook demagogue than speak with a doctor (or anyone in a medical office) about the vaccine. Do not tell me it’s overworked poor folks who beg her for a vaccine just before intubation; that is much more the magical thinking of the entitled.

        All adult Americans who are not incarcerated or mentally incapable have some degree of personal agency. The only complaint I have with her words as quoted in the article is she is criminally naive about the lack of access to doctors in the general population. And the cost to speak with one. They may consult her for free but they’ll make you and me pay for a 15 minute phone call and she seems oblivious to how much of an impediment this is to transmission of knowledge. However, nearly every adult knows that Internet prattlers are not reliable. They choose to “believe” them for reasons that are not honorable, not wise, and they should not get a continual pat on the back here for being self-absorbed and then pleading for vaccinations minutes before being intubated.

        This young doctor, with small kids, is facing reinfection with the newer variants every day at work. In large part not just because the feds are both complacent and self-satisfied but because the people she’s serving are likewise. She works in an urban hospital and most of the patient population could have readily obtained vaccines by now, at a Walgreens after 6 pm if needs be. They just didn’t. And many then bragged about it, and their contempt for masks, for most of the past year.

        Displaying this much wounded pride and outrage over the fact that she struggles with emotional charity and balance in the face of all the prideful, loud, self-aggrandizers she’s likely cared for during the past few months is……. frankly ridiculous.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith

          I should have run this down before.

          This woman is a fabulist.

          https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-e&q=alabama+covid+deaths+%22jefferson+county%22

          There has been an average of ONE Covid death a week since mid June in JeffCo.

          Grandview also serves Shelby County, which has had ZERO Covid deaths since May:

          https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-e&q=alabama+covid+deaths+shelby+county

          Jefferson County has four major hospital systems. Grandview is only one of the four. UAB and St. Vincent’s have more beds than Grandview. St. Vincent’s even has more than one hospital in Jefferson County. See here for the list:

          https://www.countyoffice.org/al-jefferson-county-hospitals/

          That includes a VA hospital.

          And she certainly wasn’t the only hospitalist treating patients at her hospital.

          So it is IMPOSSIBLE for her to have intubated multiple dying patients recently. She’s highly unlikely to have seen even one.

          Alabama was seeing high numbers of Covid cases in July 2020, and hospitalizations but the hospital system was not overloaded. The summer peak was way lower than the fall-winter levels.

          And if we are going to go the personal responsibility route, she was the one who chose to continue to work with Covid patients then. Her presence was no doubt helpful but not essential.

          And you are full of shit regarding the population. Birmingham is heavily black, nearly 43%. Blacks have the lowest immunization rate of all groups. 2 or our 3 black aides have not gotten the vaccines because they can’t afford to miss work (not just with us but other clients).

          And I told you how hard it was to get a vaccine here. Stores that advertise walk-ins on their sites in fact do not offer them. Took 3 hours, including aide time to run back and forth to get past the impossibility of walking in or setting up an appointment on their broken site: https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2021/05/a-neoliberalism-meets-covid-vignette-barriers-to-getting-a-vaccine-publix-edition.html. Our aide was at least being paid while she sorted this out and got a shot while accompanying my mother, a condition you won’t see anywhere else.

          Reply
      3. Soredemos

        No, she isn’t. What a ludicrous thing to say. Did you actually read the article?

        I’m going to echo FluffytheObeseCat about how many people do have at least some degree of personal responsibility in all of this.

        I have first hand knowledge of the kind of cluelessness of many doctors about the reality that some people simply can’t get the vaccine, either from lack of access or lack of time in their work schedule. Literally the reaction is a kind of Homer Simpson blinking non-comprehension. Class elitism is very much a factor here; almost no one who can become a doctor in the US comes from a working class background in my experience.

        But there are also people who could get vaccinated and simply don’t. Many doses are simply being thrown out every day unused.

        There are people who still insist that isn’t real, or that it’s ‘just the flu’, or that it just kills old people, etc. There are many factors involved in why this is the case, and a lot of responsibility lies with the government and medical industry. But there really is also an element of personal responsibility. The US has quite insanely managed to turn a pandemic into another front in the culture wars, and there are people who would literally rather die (insisting with their final breaths that it isn’t COVID) in the name of not bowing to ‘liberal tyranny’ in the kulturkampf (I personally know a guy who insists this is “all about fear”. It’s just a fake disease scare by the government to do…something or other nefarious). I’m at a total loss as how to reach such people. Berating them as idiots isn’t going to get us anywhere, nor is parading out elitist credentalism. Once I would have said it would take them being hit with tragedy personally, but we’ve already been through people scoffing at the idea that they might endanger grandma, and are now at the point where some people will die insisting it isn’t ‘kung flu’ that’s killed them. So I’ve got no idea what to do.

        The vaccines aren’t perfect, and they may cease to work entirely in the coming months against new variants. But as of right now they are largely effective. I can definitely understand the immense frustration of being a doctor or nurse and having to see day after day new patients come through, some of whom end up dying, and knowing that many or even most of them didn’t have to end up this way.

        Reply
        1. tegnost

          There are people who still insist that isn’t real, or that it’s ‘just the flu’, or that it just kills old people, etc.
          I don’t think that’s a complete list of the universe of reasons to not vaccinate, and “etc…” is doing a heavy lift as a result.

          Reply
          1. Soredemos

            Since that isn’t the lift it’s doing at all…I’m very clearly talking about people who have nonsense reasons in that part.

            Reply
          1. Soredemos

            I’m not inclined to just accuse some random doctor of lying.

            But regardless, everything else after my first sentence holds true.

            Reply
    1. SE

      I wonder if we are going to see articles about vaccinated people in the hospital whose last words before they get intubated are, “Biden said I wouldn’t get Covid if I were vaccinated.”

      I kind of thing we won’t.

      Reply
      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        I wonder if the White House Department of Misinformation is aware of Biden’s statement?

        Reply
      2. JC

        We won’t, but not for the cynical reason you’re thinking of. Most of those vaccinated won’t get the virus, and most of those who do won’t get severe symptoms. You’ve had at least thousands of the unvaccinated under intubation, but I’ve not had any success finding reports about anyone vaccinated getting a severe enough case to be intubated. If you are aware of any reports (from credible sources), I’d be interested to see them.

        Reply
        1. Duke of Prunes

          I mentioned this above, but the full comment is in moderation. Hopefully, this excerpt doesn’t hit any tripwires.

          My wife’s cousin had heart surgery yesterday to fix an infection of his heart valve that showed up a couple weeks after he had a “break-through” case around the 4th. Had his shots in March, but had covid again this month. He said the covid was similar to a bad flew and had him knocked out for a week, started feeling better, but then worse. Many tests later determined his heart valve (and brain) are infected. We’re not sure if the covid caused the infection, but the timing certainly is suspicious.

          I realize this isn’t intubation, and, the covid could be a red-herring – maybe the infection was brewing in his heart valve all long and covid had nothing to do with it, but maybe not.

          Please be careful everyone.

          Reply
        2. me

          Just had a vaccinated covid patient die, so there you go. Bunch of unvaccinated day labor type people, no insurance, + covid and symptoms not too bad. Vaccinated wife took care of unvaccinated husband at home who was +, he didn’t need hospitalization, but she got sick & here she is coughing her brains out on high flow oxygen.
          Turn off the news, get some sun, vit d, vit c, zinc, loose the belly, stop stressing and I think you will live

          Reply
      3. MrQuotidian

        Just want to jump in with a short anecdote.. my mother had both her vaccines and so was convinced by my aunt to take a fun trip with her to see a concert in Vegas (coming from CA). Long story short, my mom gets home feeling sick and tested positive for covid, after having a meal with my sisters family (which includes an unvaccinated child). Luckily my moms symptoms are mild, though she still can’t smell or taste, and she did not transmit to anyone that she knows of (they all have been tested). We’re very thankful that things are not worse, and my whole family now believes me when I tell them this thing isn’t over, and that frivolous travel is not a good idea.

        Basically, I now have first hand anecdotal evidence that the double vaccine is not 100% effective, just like sources here on NC have been saying. The choice to make masking optional and treat vaccines as all we need is criminal. Staggering to see Biden out there lying through his teeth. Where are the fact checkers now?

        Reply
            1. orlbucfan

              I and my hubster live in central FL. Enough said. We are both fully vaccinated (Moderna). We follow full protocol: masking inside and no way do we go near heavy tourist areas. We are both in our late 60s and virus free. I still can not figure out how a disease gets politicized??

              Reply
        1. Phillip Cross

          In UK 15% of adults are unvaccinated, and yet they make up 60% of those in hospital.

          The vaccinated group contains almost 100% of the over 50s, who had previously accounted for the vast majority of hospitalisations.

          This sample of 54m adults suggests that the vaccine works well against the Delta variant, but it’s not 100% effective in all cases. Much, much better than nothing.

          If you are in the high risk group for Covid, you’d be wise to get vaccinated.

          Reply
        2. Aumua

          I don’t think that very many vaccinated people are requiring hospitalization with COVID. But clearly some do, and without good data… it’s just hard to say what the truth is.

          Reply
    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      I’m noticing in my small social media sphere a lot of lefty, pro-worker, anti-capitalist types I know and follow are falling into this mindset. This specific article was shared approvingly yesterday by a photographer I follow who regularly posts things dunking on the typical liberal/Democrat mindset.
      I’m probably preaching to the choir, but the reality is, it’s not just as simple as people rejecting getting the shot because they read something on Facebook. For instance, my partner, who has many serious medical issues and is severely immunocomprimised, didn’t think they would be able to get it because of their medical issues. And we played out a scenario where, if they still lived in the tiny rural place they came from, the vaccine wouldn’t be easily available, especially not if one had to get two shots. Of course, there are plenty of other reasons here too, as have been discussed here.
      It’s aggravating to watch this happen, especially as it’s looking like people who got the shots are still getting infected. Then you have Biden straight up lying, not a gaff, about how you won’t get COVID if you get a shot. I’ve felt we are in the eye of the hurricane for a while now and I’m convinced the other side is going to be worse. It doesn’t help when people who’ve been able to see the game for what it is thus far succumb to it.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        We will also have to deal with everything else we blocked with cleaning and other measures.

        Reply
      2. QuicksilverMessenger

        CNN Fact Check alert! It seems like Biden actually said three different things about covid and the vaccines:
        1) If you’re vaccinated you won’t be hospitalized, not going to the ICU, not going to die.
        2) If you do catch it, you are not likely to sick.

        3) (I guess he just threw in the towel here) “You’re not going to get covid if you get these vaccinations.

        CNN verdict: The first and the third are “inaccurate”. Second claim, they say, is accurate.

        Reply
      3. Aumua

        It could also be that this is just Biden’s sincere but mistaken belief, rather than a lie per se. As far as getting people to take the vaccines well… you know what really convinces people? Money. Pay them $1000 for it and you will see a large increase in vaccinations, I guarantee it.

        Other than that, quit trying to manipulate people altogether I say. Just lead by example, play your public service announcements or whatever and let people do what they’re gonna do.

        Reply
      4. Anders K

        I hope your partner will be able to get the vaccine and not have any bad reactions to it.

        Really sad to see the office of the President be misused for disinformation, especially with the previous incumbent, as it’ll destroy social cohesion even more. :(

        Wish you the best, though!

        Reply
    3. flora

      The source for this story is her fb page, not a family coming forward with a complaint or a reporter asking questions. I wonder if she embellished to make a point, (people have been known to exaggerate for effect on fb posts), or if this actually happened at all. If it did happen exactly as she said then she doesn’t belong in medicine.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        The story itself is suspect several different ways but it does bring up an interesting scenario. So imagine this. The doctor is about to intubate a patient when the patient grabs her hand, looks into her eyes, and says-

        ‘Doc, give me some Ivermectin. At this stage it can’t hurt.’ whereupon she says

        ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let’s not go start getting crazy here. It might not work. Right! Tube in!’

        Reply
        1. flora

          heh. Maybe the said young doc was trying to get with the Sunstein ‘nudging’ program. / ;)

          The WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Behavioral Insights and Sciences for Health is chaired by the celebrated behavioral economist Cass Sunstein, who has suggested overcoming ‘coronavirus vaccine phobia’ by tackling issues of convenience, complacency and confidence.

          Sunstein suggests offering ‘vivid warnings, including truthful narratives about deaths and serious illness among those who are young, healthy and tough’. ….

          https://spectatorworld.com/topic/vaccine-incentives-coercive/

          It’s certainly a vivid tale.

          Reply
        2. JTMcPhee

          Assumes a lot of facts not in evidence, certainly not from this article. And it’s getting more likely that doctors are offering ivermectin and other off-label remedies in an effort to relieve the disease.

          Reply
    4. marym

      There are many reasons people are rightly skeptical of vaccines, or willing but unable to get them. The elite liberal establishment is deeply at fault for much of that, as well as for offering little to nothing in mitigation (like paid medical leave for side effects, etc.) In the quote I read from the article about the doctor she said patients were saying they thought the disease was a hoax, or that people not-like-them were the ones getting sick. That’s a problem created by the elite right wing establishment.

      The doctor may be (and many pro-vax liberals certainly are) unconcerned about the working conditions of delivery workers but many vaccine-skeptics have also been mask refusers unconcerned about grocery store workers or their fellow customers.

      Responsibility for a lack of adequate medical care is shared by liberals and conservatives – for example the liberal offer of an expansion of a flawed but useful Medicaid, and the Alabaman refusal.

      Shaming by liberals is counterproductive to building solidarity and finding solutions, but so is expecting and justifying no more from the rank and file on the right than angry individualism.

      Reply
      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        IMO, shaming is worse than that. It’s an I told ya so superiority, I deserve to rule attitude combined with I need to do nothing to build trust, to prove leadership worthiness or problem solving ability policy because hey, I’m right … and.. I told ya so.

        eta: therefore there’s no need for policy solutions beyond what’s already been provided.

        Reply
      2. QuicksilverMessenger

        They have been offering leave for vaccinations. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave made changes in effect between April and September 30. “Employees may take EPSL to get the Covid vaccine and recover from any related side effects”. Up to 10 days/ 80 hours at full pay up to $511 per day.

        Reply
    5. JTMcPhee

      It’s discouraging to read some of these comments, speaking of judgmental and unfair. We have a social problem of immense proportions, and the reactions get down to the level of castigating someone who is apparently doing the work of caring for the sick and dying. How special is that?

      This woman doctor got the disease herself while running herself into the ground trying to keep people alive. So it’s a thing now that anyone telling people they need to be just a little personally responsible for avoiding behaviors or taking steps that will reduce their likelihood of contracting and spreading an often fatal disease is a social no-no? And where is it apparent from this article that the doctor does not share the disgust and anger at the system that leads to people buying onto the carefully propagandize mindset that leads so many (including, interestingly, large numbers of Democrat-supporting blacks) to refuse to get vaccinated. In a construct where these “vaccines” don;t even comport with the given definition of “vaccine” in that they do not “immunize” a person against getting the disease:

      Immunity: Protection from an infectious disease. If you are immune to a disease, you can be exposed to it without becoming infected.

      Vaccine: A product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease. Vaccines are usually administered through needle injections, but can also be administered by mouth or sprayed into the nose.

      Vaccination: The act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease.

      Immunization: A process by which a person becomes protected against a disease through vaccination. This term is often used interchangeably with vaccination or inoculation. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/imz-basics.htm

      And what did she dare to report? That people about to succumb to the disease were now asking if they could just get a magic dose of the vaccine (which we learn, of course, is no magic bullet even when given before infection,) and that she honestly had to inform them that it was too late? This is blaming the victim, and she should “check herself and her money”?

      And yes, there is a widespread failure of the regime we live under to provide for public health and a decent life, and that drives people into the kind of desperate hand-to-mouth existence in the absence of realistic medical care that leads to meat packers and nurses and even doctors with all their money dying by the tens of thousands. I don’t get the mindset that wants to excoriate a person who is “on the front lines” providing care for the sick and dying, who has to go through the trauma of attending dozens or hundreds of deaths and who gets the disease herself in the process. How dare she have her groceries delivered by people that it’s assumed she does not “personally talk to,” and lays on her the failures of the regime to provide for the general welfare?

      Somebody might want to “check” their own judgmental sense of the moment, and this little vignette as reported by the writer of this article…

      Reply
      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        okay, that’s fair. I’ll read the article again a few times, consider it more carefully, checking myself and attitudes before responding.

        Reply
      2. fresno dan

        JTMcPhee
        July 22, 2021 at 12:37 pm
        I agree with your analysis.
        And a question that hasn’t come up – which is odd, as NC is such an espouser of people wearing masks – how many of these patients were face mask wearers? Would that have prevented these infections??? Hmmm, just like vaccines, maybe face masks aren’t perfect…
        So if a person gets covid and doesn’t wear a face mask, do they have any responsibility for getting infected? Shouse they be upbraided for not wearing a face mask? Or is it Biden’s (i.e., the government’s) fault that he can’t convice them to wear a face mask? This site makes a big deal of how foolish the West Wing was in thinking the president could make a magic speech. You know what – there are a significant amount of people who will do the opposite of what Biden says just because it is Biden saying it – maybe we could call it….give me a minute – Biden insanity syndrome… nah, how about Biden crazy syndromw…nah. Maybe someone else can come up with a catchy phrase for this derangement… Well, what ever we call it, sometimes, just sometimes, problems can’t be fixed by ever more carefully worded press releases. There are people who will not get vaccinated, some for plausible reasons, some for obnoxious reasons, and the same for mask wearing.

        Reply
        1. TA

          Regarding masks not being perfect… duh? It is widely understood that this is a protective measure, not a silver bullet. And just like a “bullet proof” vest is only going to stop most bullets, but not all of them, and not when used imperfectly, a mask does the same thing. I’ve known plenty of police officers, and none that refused to wear the bullet proof vest just because it wasn’t actually foolproof against bullets.

          Reply
          1. fresno dan

            TA
            July 22, 2021 at 3:22 pm
            Regarding masks not being perfect… duh
            DUH – did I assert that masks should be perfect? So what is your point? FOCUS
            Were the people who are not vaccinated wearing masks? The whole contention is that people not vaccinated should not be critiqued for not being vaccinated. How about for not wearing masks? If people choose not to wear masks OR get vaccinated, and get covid, my point is that maybe its not the governments fault. AND if the doctor truthfully tells a patient in the hospital that getting vacinated than will not help, I do not see that as some kind of disrespect – I see it as the truth.

            Reply
            1. Count Zero

              The big problem with masks is this. If I wear a mask I get some protection. But if you wear a mask and I wear a mask we are each much more protected from each other. Your supposed right not to wear a mask, in other words, puts me at greater risk of infection.

              Aren’t our rights dependent upon the rights of each other? I am free to do anything as long as it doesn’t infringe the rights of others to do likewise. You are free to smoke a cigarette and I am free not to. But your cigarette smoke infringes my right not to inhale cigarette smoke. So we work out how to have spaces where smoking is forbidden and spaces where it is permitted — so that both our rights vis a vis cigarettes are protected. Also, I am old enough to remember how in Britain a person in company would often say, “Do you mind if I smoke?”

              It seems to me that wearing masks might usefully be considered as being similar to smoking and no smoking. There should be public spaces where masks are not required. And essential public spaces — like public transport — should require a mask. We all have rights and they need to be negotiated in a spirit of cooperation and good will. And people might even venture, “Do you mind if I take my mask off?”

              You know what the real problem is! Not me and not you! It’s the damn virus that is the problem! Let’s not forget that and try our best to help each other.

              Reply
              1. fresno dan

                Count Zero
                July 23, 2021 at 6:59 am
                I agree with everything you say. The world would be better off if everyone wore a mask. AND the world would be better off if practically everyone got vaccinated.
                And if we’re not to point out that if you don’t get vaccinated OR wear a mask, you have a chance of getting covid to people who do not get vaccinated or wear masks, I feel that it becomes just a ploy to discredit government.
                I do feel pretty credulous and naive for believing the story now about the doctor, and the FB post. Which just shows the power of the unedited internet to rile people up, and that a lie can travel one thousand miles before the truth puts it’s boots on.

                Reply
      3. Josef K

        Thanks for posting this comment, well said.

        We should all check the very strong impetus in this day and age to pull on any thread we can find to unravel someone’s thought proces post hoc in order to critisize and judge them. US culture has gotten very “gotcha” and pile-on with holier-than-thou pronouncements.

        Reply
      4. Yves Smith

        See my comment here:

        https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2021/07/links-7-22-2021.html#comment-3577621

        The FB post and related story is a fabrication. Al.com didn’t bother tracking down her truthfulness. And Grandview was probably happy to be associated with a pro-vaccine account even if it was made up.

        And in heavily black Jefferson County, where many of the elites here are also Dem-leaning, non-vaxxers are far more likely to be unvaccinated for economic than ideological reasons, as in they can’t afford to miss a day or two of work if they have a reaction.

        Reply
    6. Glen

      Perhaps this has been discussed, and i missed it, but i cannot help but wonder how different the vaccine acceptance would be if everyone had access to their own doctor by something like Medicare For All.

      How many of the people that are not vaccinated have no doctor and do not normally chose to interact with our insane medical system.

      Reply
      1. RMO

        Well, here in B.C. we are at over 50% fully vaccinated and more than 80% with at least one dose. We had a much later and initially slower vaccine rollout in Canada compared to the U.S. and have been supply constrained and my guess is that if it weren’t for that we would probably be at well over 80% fully vaccinated by now. Universal health care probably has a lot to do with this.

        Reply
      2. Yves Smith

        I do not know how many times I have said that the big issue I see here in the South is not denial but not being able to take time off to be sick for a day or two. And word has gotten out that that happens pretty often. For higher income workers, it’s denial and they get coverage in the press, not lower income workers that elites assume will do as they are told.

        Reply
        1. RMO

          Protections for workers when it comes to taking the time to get the vaccination and protections that help with time off if they get hit by the most common side effect and need a day or two off are also considerably stronger here – this also would seem to be a factor.

          Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      The dams are mostly about flood control. Its unlikely they have made things worse unless they badly got their calculations wrong, which is rare in China when it comes to dams, they’ve several millennium of experience with this.

      But there is little you can do if you get intense rainfall far outside normal design parameters, as seems to have happened (the flooded railways more or less proves this). This is the crucial issue with climate change and infrastructure – all dams, ditches, bridges, power lines railways, pipelines, roads, sewers, etc are designed to perform within certain assumptions on temperature, rainfall intensity, etc. When the latter changes, then even the best built infrastructure is in real trouble.

      Reply
      1. Larry Y

        I wonder if the subways and tunnels were designed with floods in mind. That involves things like raised entrances to the subway (you can sees some upgraded NYC entrances where you have to go up a few feet then go down) to gigantic flood gates. Obviously these defenses can be overwhelmed, and flood gates/barriers need to be closed ahead of time.

        Reply
          1. Dikaios Logos

            These once-in-x-many years stories need to end.

            Henan (Zhengzhou is the capital) has a monsoon. Most of a year’s rain falls in July+August.

            Building a subway seems foolhardy, IMO.

            Reply
            1. The Rev Kev

              There is actually a difference between surprised and shocked you know. If something happens that you know can happen but aren’t expecting it, then you are surprised. If something happens that you don’t know can happen but does, then you can be shocked. Big difference.

              A personal example. About a decade ago there were major floods in my region. One part of these floods swept the city of Toowoomba. Thing is, this city has an elevation of 691 meters (2,267 feet) and is a steep drive to go up to. The idea that a flood could slam this city was a shock to most people because they had not taken into account the plains on the plateau it sits on.

              Reply
              1. Josef K

                Mean annual rainfall for the city of Zhengzhou is 640mm (25 inches) a year.

                I was there once, in the ’80s. It looked pretty grim; Henan isn’t the cheeriest part of China, people who can tend to move elsewhere.

                PK, I don’t share your confidence in China’s control of their waters (or much else, frankly). Pell-mell “development” for decades now. To my eyes, while visiting frequently over a 10-year period approx 2009-2019, and comparing with two decades previously, it was exemplary levels of mal-development most everywhere. Most is chimeric, or superficial.
                Like “development” here, but even more so–externalized costs (to the Chinese Ruling Class or China as a whole), and what-me-worry kick-the-can attitudes toward the inevitable pushback to 10% “growth” for decades. Nature bats last and carries a particularly big stick in a country living on the edge ecologically for a very long time.

                I’ve seen denuded low mountains stretch to the horizon in Shandong, and thick polluted air hours from a small city in Guangxi, one of the least developed provinces. Water just happens to be the current way nature’s acting out in that country’s greatly human-impacted environment.

                Reply
                1. PlutoniumKun

                  I agree that the quality of development is awful in China, I’ve seen enough terrible buildings all over – and much of the development is uncontrolled. I’ve never been to Zhengzhou, but I imagine its not much different from any other Chinese city.

                  But the one thing they do pretty well is flood control, since the entire country is pretty much built on a series of unstable floodplains, and the whole raison detre of a huge centralised state there is to control the two main rivers.

                  There are however indications that to some extent the whole hydro engineering business has gone out of control, a little like in Japan, where even the most innocuous streams have been engineered out of (natural) existence just to keep up the profit stream for well connected concrete pouring companies. This could be an element at work, but on current evidence, I think this was simply a rainfall episode that fell outside the normal design range.

                  Reply
                  1. Josef K

                    Yes, we’re really talking about two different things and I should have made that distinction clear: small(er)-scale flood control, and OTOH large to gargantuan hydroelectric power dams.

                    Considering the control the latter give over downstream countries (SE Asia), the dangers are manifold. Mark my words and watch this unfold in the coming 5-30 years.

                    Reply
              2. ObjectiveFunction

                Yes, my first reaction on looking at the photo was, ‘never mind the flooding, look at the air!’ Of course that haze could also be rain or fog. Or not.

                Reply
              1. PlutoniumKun

                Taiwan will regularly get intense rainfall at that level, and sometimes much higher. They deal with it through massive scale engineering, which i once discovered personally when I accidentally cycled into a roadside drain at night (it was bigger than the road).

                Ironically, Taiwan is suffering from not having these intense rainfalls, as it is dependent on intense bursts of rain to fill its reservoirs. It may be that climate change is moving some rain patterns away from the coast inland, which is bad news for coastal islands, and even worse new for inland cities like Zhengzhou.

                Reply
              2. Josef K

                Zhengzhou is in an “arid” part of China due in part, I am certain, to deforestation and over-use of the land to a degree hard to appreciate in a country (USA) that’s been ecologically exploited at scale for “only” a couple hundred years.
                I suggest a look at this part of China on satellite view or with google earth; it’s human habitation (cities/villages) and farmland with very little undisturbed land and minimal forest cover anywhere. An unnatural but understandable state of affairs with such a long history of human habitation, so no surprise the water cycle is becoming greatly disturbed, just exacerbated by global warming. Too many people and not enough trees, this is what I’ve seen.

                Reply
                1. Anony

                  To be sure, that part of the Yellow River plains had been unnatural for a very long time. Still, to think that any kind of tree cover or urban planning can handle that volume of water in such a short timeframe is absurd. Just look at the flooding in “green” parts of Germany and Benelux, with much less than 8″ per hour or 24″ within one day.

                  The world record for 1 hour rainfall is 12 inches in an hour and happened somewhere in Iowa, not in a city with many millions of people in a river plain famous for its propensity to flood disastrously. It’s possible that Taiwan and Japan have built infrastructure to handle those volumes in their high mountains, where the interaction of the mountains with Pacific typhoons can be extreme. But I’m willing to bet that if that amount of rain fell in Osaka or Taipei, it would be a terrible mess (I remember seeing images of flooding and landslides from Japan that attest to this) with substantial casualties.

                  Saying the Chinese cities are poorly built or located in poor ecological systems misses the point. No city in the world would be ready for such a weather event and yet we’re likely to see many more such events in the near future. Pointing out how the Chinese are doing it wrong while overlooking the eye popping amount rain involved just increases the chances that your “deserving” city will be caught flat-footed when the freak weather event happens locally.

                  Reply
                  1. Josef K

                    Yeah I wasn’t saying such a rain would have no or a tiny impact. Looking at the long term, the deforestation (and spread of urban areas) exacerbates climate and weather.

                    I’ll leave the rest, you’re projecting a fair amount of intentions and attitudes on to me. The general lack thereof in conversations on this site is one reason I comment here.

                    Reply
    2. Larry Y

      One aspect that was hinted it was the paving over of the countryside. Replace fields and forests with non-permeable surfaces like roofs, parking lots, and roads, and that just funnels the water faster to bottom.

      Reply
  5. Terry Flynn

    re London Palace: I don’t think it means much. Within 60 years most of central London will be under-water at the rate we seem to be breaching the “points of no return” with climate change. The capital will have moved north. Plus I don’t think the remaining Brits will be in a hurry to reimburse foreign owners of land.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      I find it interesting that he’s being so high profile about this, most property billionaires in China prefer a personal low profile for obvious safety reasons. It can’t have evaded notice in Beijing that he is throwing so much cash around in London. Plus, you don’t get rich in property in Chongqin as he did without having some serious high up CCP connections. It might be interpreted that he (like a few property tycoons) are cashing in on the Chinese property market, perhaps reading the runes. Or perhaps they are happy to see a certain amount of hedging going on.

      Reply
      1. begob

        Following the lead of Roman Abramovich – Look at me on TV at Stamford Bridge, week in week out, while maintaining my tax domicile in the Motherland!

        Reply
        1. JohnA

          Not sure he has been to Stamford Bridge much recently, he was refused a visa to enter Britain some time ago. The CL final was in Portugal. He has a huge house in New York but his primary r esidence is Israel these days, I think.

          Reply
  6. griffen

    Cheating in sport. Sounds like a fun discussion! Here in the US, cheating at the amateur sport of college football has a splendid, colorful and at times revolting nature. To date, SMU of the mid 80s is the lone program to get the hammer of a death penalty. To be certain, they were caught, told to stop and just made it worse once caught again.

    I digress. Unfortunately I’ll quote that American winning machine, Ricky Bobby. If you’re not first you’re last!

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      I noticed a few years ago that most everything I like to do doesn’t involve any scoring and its difficult to cheat yourself or others when hurtling down steep embankments with a pair of planks attached to your boots, or plodding uphill towards a grail on the trail.

      About the only way you could pull it off is to exaggerate your accomplishments-which isn’t really cheating in the usual way where everything depends on chicanery in the heat of the moment.

      Reply
      1. griffen

        As a much younger adult learning to play golf, my dad / brothers were frequent opportunists of using the mulligan after a bad tee shot. With improved effort and practice I came to understand that a mulligan is not really a thing(!)

        Golf is unique in the requirement to call out your mistake and pay for that mistake via the higher score. Most days now I’d rather hike for about 2ish hours and not spend 5 hours in the summer sun on the course.

        Reply
        1. Basil Pesto

          the key is to go when it’s quiet, usually later afternoon, but that seems a bit hard in America where courses are invariably busy (unless it’s one of the super exclusive clubs). I walk exclusively and rounds take me 3-3.5 hours. I take a lot of mulligans but I play by myself, so every round’s a practice round! Better golfers can smash out a round in 2-2.5 hours but that’s definitely beyond my capability. I like playing 9 holes too, especially in winter in the afternoon (though I know winter golf is not a thing in a lot of the US) – makes a round less of an undertaking in terms of time and half the exercise is better than none, I figure.

          Reply
        2. QuicksilverMessenger

          Ah the mulligan! Perhaps you are also familiar with the “foot wedge” and the “gimme putt” from 4 or 5 feet!?

          Reply
    2. Maritimer

      Sport is just a vehicle to sell consumer products, booze, drugs, gambling, etc. Amateur, Olympic, Professional, high school, college. And these sports run top to bottom, that is from the lowest level to the highest, they are regulated, managed, monetized. They usually have exclusive rights granted by government and, in turn, bribe governments with goodies, votes by the fans, supporters. And don’t forget those subsidized, tax ripoff stadiums-or-else. And the ownership of sport by billionaires and oligarchs.

      Shame on the wordsmiths at LRB for not understanding the multiple meanings of “sport”.

      Reply
  7. Dikaios Logos

    Zhengzhou (China) flooding, climate change, and infrastructure

    One disturbing confluence of these three issues today’s links engage is that Zhengzhou has only built it’s subway since 2011, with some lines that suffered badly being built no earlier than the last 5-6 years. Zhengzhou is near the Yellow River, aka ‘China’s sorrow’, which is legendary for its flooding. Yet they still built giant underground tunnels.

    Furthermore, that region has a pattern of getting 1/3 or more of annual precipitation in July and another 1/3 or so in August. That is to say they have a monsoon.

    Beyond simply being sensitive to carbon use, we probably need more thinking about how our infrastructure in many regions can’t work with our past assumptions. I really hope someone investigates why Zhengzhou built a subway so recently. Though I think it’s more likely that it was unapologetic Chinese industrial policy and so will be ignored.

    Reply
  8. Carla

    Somebody please tell this to Yasha Levine, and a whole bunch of other Substack writers:

    “The free Substack strategy

    This tip blew my mind. Most of your Substack letters (emails) should be free.

    “Your best content should remain free, and open to all” was the advice I was given. This is counter-intuitive. Normally you are told to put your best content behind the paywall. Not with Substack.

    Your free content is how you build your audience. Your free content helps readers fall in love with who you are and your view of the world. Once they love you, they will happily pay you to see 10% more of you.”

    https://entrepreneurshandbook.co/the-way-to-make-money-on-substack-is-completely-misunderstood-128b2fcdfa02

    Reply
  9. Michael

    Without intending to downplay the severity of the disease, I still have to ask: why does the Alabama doctor’s story remind me so much of an updated version (now with vaccines) of the South Dakota nurse’s?

    Reply
  10. flora

    Tried to post a comment with a link to FLCCC weekly update video. Commen went to mod land. Seems to happen a lot lately.

    Reply
    1. Eustachedesaintpierre

      All gone very quiet there with no weekly updates for about a month. Also noticed that more of their vids have been deleted by youtube including Dr. Jackie Stone’s compelling story of her experience in Zimbabwe. The last time I saw Dr Cory was with Brett Weinstein on the Joe Rogan show by way of some short clips on youtube edited from Spotify. Dr Eric Osgood was also featured on drbeen about 5 days ago, which I have not had chance yet to watch.

      Reply
  11. Wukchumni

    Notes from the field:

    Back from car camping @ the beach in San Clemente with 20 friends mostly from SD, the lowlight being the glorious 77/66 temp, and the highlight being the first time we’ve done this since Covid, a good time was had by all.

    My wife & I noticed in our wanderings around the place Bebe Rebozo made almost famous that there was no drought awareness whatsoever in a place that gets its water from the Colorado River largely, and on our perch above the Pacific there was certainly no shortage of the salt infused varietal as far as the eye could sea, which was oddly reassuring to us as we’ll be going chapter 86 sometime next month in our cabin community, account overdrawn.

    We took a nice drive one day and signs are all around, seemingly damn near every restaurant had help wanted signs, and every new car dealership sported hastily erected notices that stated boldly ‘We Buy Used Cars’, because markets.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      p.s.

      I was surprised to see the 6 teenagers in our midst playing chess, with nary a video game to be seen. Was this an aberration on account of our group being an outdoorsy set, or the new old normal?

      They’d obviously played heaps, one of them was quite good and beat me 3 out of 4x

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        My calculus class played chess as the teacher ran it like a low elementary grade class with little groups as opposed to a class on the board. I think chess is perfect for that.

        Now that I think about it, chess sets were at my school, so its probably something the nuns instituted and was carried on.

        Reply
      2. megrim

        Last year Netflix put out a miniseries adaptation of The Queen’s Gambit, and it set off a chess craze.

        Reply
    2. Milton

      Why were the temps a lowlight? The marine layer and those temps are glorious. Hopefully, you ambled down the path towards the various Trestles breaks and checked out the local rippers there.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        A ‘lowlight’ coming off of too many 110 days in hell here, ha ha. It was glorious, as you say.

        Yes, friends had e-bikes and we rode towards the grand tetons and the surfing culture around the Trestles was quite something to this Angeleno who grew up 40 miles from the ocean, our straightest shot being Huntington Beach. Everybody was zipping around with at least one board on the side of their mostly e-bikes, some with multiple boards, others on skateboard, a surprising many barefoot.

        Reply
    3. John k

      We retired here in the 00’s, been a good pick, though Orange County a bit conservative vs most of ca.
      Ca farming uses 80 % of water assigned to humans, imo they’re gonna take the big hit, already begun. Won’t be exporting as much almonds, alfalfa to SA and rice to Asia from this desert as before.

      Reply
  12. R

    Flooded subway – seems a failure of design. Even the ancient London tube has flood doors and a flood control room that will lock off the river tunnels in the event of flooding.

    Stethoscope on Rome – this American doctor is prejudiced and playing with fire. It is not the case that AZ does not work, it is effective in clinical practice against all variants (and Pfizer much less effective than its 95% clinical trial data); the EU decision not vaccinate young people is insane given they are prescribed the contraceptive pill with higher clotting risks: the Covishield vaccine is not an Indian knock off if AZ, it IS AZ, manufactured in India, the world’s largest maker of vaccines and generic drugs.

    The perfect is the enemy of the good….

    Reply
    1. Procopius

      I think few Americans know how large a manufacturer of generics (and knockoffs) India is. One of the reasons medical care is so cheap in Asia is because every country gets its medicines from India, except for what they give tourists. [/slight exaggeration]

      Reply
  13. Watt4Bob

    WRT Matthew Karp’s History as an End;

    Our obvious need for reparations for the evil done those living, is being denied and obscured by the demand that we hold our tongues and divert our attention to the past, in the same way that obscurantist trolls attempt to obstruct our discussions here at NC, doing every thing they can to prevent our formulating a cohesive, and clear-eyed view of our collective economic health, and its trajectory in the present.

    What is required now, is tangible, material relief for the damage done in our life times, and continuing at this very moment.

    We must understand that in a very important sense, the present call for reparations due to historic damage done to a subset of the people, is only being discussed in order to obscure and avoid altogether the discussion of reparations due to all of us for the recent and on-going predations of our psychopathic elites.

    Michael Hudson has explained quite convincingly that the solution to our present, collective economic misery is the forgiveness of debt.

    We must resist the efforts to distract us from discussing the here and now.

    Our situation can be remedied by addressing the behavior of living people, and make no mistake, it is these same people who are encouraging us to focus our attention elsewhere.

    Reply
    1. Watt4Bob

      Shorter, I believe the economic damage done by the neo-liberal breakout since 1980 or thereabouts is quantifiable, and we the living deserve recompense.

      With that as a starting point for negotiations, allow the 1% to argue us back to agreeing to be refunded the amount stolen since 2008, along with forgiving student loan and credit card debt.

      Reply
      1. enoughisenough

        100%!!!!!

        And medical debt. This needs to happen immediately, a total debt jubilee.

        I was thinking this yesterday, too, about how the past is used as a distraction for the present – Deb Haaland is investigating past atrocities (which are very grim, of course) of residential schools, but has YET to comment on, or even visit the site of Line 3, even though the activists keep begging her to, which will soon displace Native Americans *now* *in real time*.

        Reply
  14. Sutter Cane

    A lot of commenters seem to be missing the fact that the Alabama doctor’s comment “It’s too late” was in response to already-hospitalized covid patients asking about getting the vaccine. At that point, yeah, it is too late. What would you have had her tell them?

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      No one missed the point the doctor was trying to make. It was so obvious, no one thought it was worth mentioing.It’s the rest of her attitude that’s problematic and part of a larger failed strategy and ignorance about the state of the US Healthcare system.

      Reply
    2. urblintz

      No one is missing anything. A doctor telling a patient “it’s too late” while thinking “it’s your fault” in an article designed to shame is ghoulish.

      Reply
      1. ArvidMartensen

        I have been extremely uncomfortable reading today’s comments because of all the pc comments about how she should be checking all her privileges. And yes, she has some.

        All people commenting negatively on her article. Were you going into Covid infested hospitals in the past 18 months to help the sick and dying while in an immuno-compromised state yourself (ie pregnant)? With the fears of not only losing your own life but damaging a dearly wanted and loved life not yet born? I imagine she was.
        And if I was her, I would be frustrated by people who wilfully take no preventative measures. I imagine watching people, especially young people, die of a disease that they refused to accept/ took no steps to avoid, must be heartbreaking, even traumatic.
        If her article got at least a dozen people to change their ways then that is a dozen lives maybe saved. Maybe that is her intention. Ham-fisted or not. Privileged or not.

        This doctor has been judged and has failed the sainthood test. Her certificate is not in the mail. But maybe she deserves a consolation prize of some sort. Even if she is not entirely right(eous).

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith

          See below how her story is a fabrication. Notice the Al.com account shows no attempt to verify.

          Another tell is her claims as a hospitalist to be comforting families. She’s a hospital doc. Hospitals allow only 2 people up to see a patient at a time. She acts as if she’s doing broader counseling when she wouldn’t see enough family members to do that.

          Birmingham has a blue pocket and MDs are more likely to be members than pretty much any other group. This is Team Dem party line being inflicted on the dying.

          Medical professionals also strenuously object to depicting pregnant women as immunocompromised:

          The generalization of pregnancy as a condition of immune suppression or increased risk is misleading and prevents the determination of adequate guidelines for treating pregnant women during pandemics. There is a need to evaluate the interaction of each specific pathogen with the fetal/placental unit and its responses to design the adequate prophylaxis or therapy.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3025805/

          If she is worried about her risk, she could cite CDC guidelines and insist on a different assignment. The fact that she’s allegedly intubating patients (the fluids!) says she doesn’t perceive much/any risk.

          https://www.uchealth.org/today/pregnancy-and-coronavirus-experts-advise-precautions/

          Reply
          1. ArvidMartensen

            Yes the immune response during pregnancy is complicated and some functions enhance and others are suppressed. Reaction to vaccines can be suppressed for example.
            Also, pregnant women have an “increased susceptibility to infectious diseases during pregnancy, particularly in later stages and during the early postpartum period.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8020511/

            I don’t know that we have enough info to say that she was blase about the risks she was personally taking. True, she could have asked for a different assignment. Why didn’t she? I don’t know. Was it even an option? I don’t know.

            She told patients it was too late to have the vaccine when they asked. That is a true statement.
            She asked patients why they had not had the vaccine. That is insensitive, yes.
            But if her words on the vaccine to those left behind got even a few more vaccinated, then maybe she saved some lives. Vaccination is not perfect, but considering that any alternatives have been effectively banned, it is all we have.

            If insensitive doctors were banned, my neck of the woods would have have a gaping hole in health care. When I see a doctor, I get riled by insensitivity. But if s/he cures me, and the sensitive doctor hasn’t, then you know which one I will keep seeing.

            Reply
            1. Yves Smith

              No, that is not a true statement. Her story is a fabrication. Go look at the Covid deaths for Jefferson County and neighboring Shelby County. Less than one a week for the last six weeks in JeffCo. Zero in Shelby County since May.

              Both counties are chock full of hospitals. Her hospital, Grandview isn’t part of the biggest system. UAB and St. Vincent’s have more beds.

              And she sure as hell isn’t the only hospitalist at Grandview either.

              There is no way she’s intubated multiple dying patients recently.

              Reply
    3. Jesper

      Maybe that doctor could have asked if the patient if would be willing to try another, also experimental, treatment? Here is one story how that might go:
      https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-elmhurst-hospital-covid-ivermectin-lawsuit-20210503-odktw5zntnarhnyvdemjbr2xfy-story.html

      Or some quotes from fact-checking relating to experimental treatment:
      https://www.thejournal.ie/factcheck-ivermectin-covid-19-5385782-Mar2021/

      Professor McLachlan warned, “There is absolutely no credible evidence that might suggest that ivermectin was more effective than the current COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved for human use by major international regulators.”

      Professor Owens says that if he was severely ill with Covid-19, he would enter an ivermectin trial. But he is emphatic that “this is not a substitute for an efficient, safe vaccine”.

      Who knows if an experimental treatment might have worked. Maybe Ivermectin does not work against COVID but maybe it does.

      Reply
    4. Yves Smith

      Repeating a comment above:

      I should have run this down before.

      This woman is a fabulist.

      https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-e&q=alabama+covid+deaths+%22jefferson+county%22

      There has been an average of ONE Covid death a week since mid June in JeffCo.

      Grandview also serves Shelby County, which has had ZERO Covid deaths since May:

      https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-e&q=alabama+covid+deaths+shelby+county

      Jefferson County has four major hospital systems. Grandview is only one of the four. UAB and St. Vincent’s have more beds than Grandview. St. Vincent’s even has more than one hospital in Jefferson County. See here for the list:

      https://www.countyoffice.org/al-jefferson-county-hospitals/

      That includes a VA hospital.

      And she certainly wasn’t the only hospitalist treating patients at her hospital.

      So it is IMPOSSIBLE for her to have intubated multiple dying patients recently. She’s highly unlikely to have seen even one.

      Reply
  15. Pat

    I was told about the “too late” story by a friend who is kinder than I am regarding the misinformation used to push vaccination.

    I believe the “Biden lied” version of the story is coming in the next weeks. Breakthroughs are becoming so common and in such prominent company they cannot be ignored. The other flaming pile of horse manure story told by our supposed public health services that you also cannot spread Covid is going to fall apart soon after that. The only thing delaying this is that the vaccines DO lessen the severity off the infection if/when you do get it.

    The really terrifying time line factor is that many of those who first got vaccinated are going to be going back into classrooms and schools just as those vaccinations are expected to wind down. AND parents around the country not only want their children in classrooms, they want them unmasked in those classrooms.

    Theaters reopening and big events coming back may scare me, but the classrooms horrify me, as they are the overflowing Petri dishes of infection sending little germ laden humans out into the world. I am sure the answer will be booster shots, but IM Doctor’s experience tells me that TPTB will avoid lockdown and even quarantine until it is too late. And that will destroy public trust in “science” and “public health”. Not sure who the brain trust will try to blame then, but I don’t think the information shut downs will happen soon enough to make it work.

    We will see.

    If the scenario I imagine plays out.

    Reply
    1. HotFlash

      The only thing delaying this is that the vaccines DO lessen the severity off the infection if/when you do get it.

      If only there was a cheap, safe, treatment that could be given after onset, or even as a prophylactic.

      Reply
    2. Wellstone's Ghost

      The American Academy of Pediatrics(AAP) while advocating for in person learning, made the statement this week that they “…continue to recommend that all staff and students who are 2 years or older wear face masks unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit there use.”
      Any parent who disregards this advisement is guilty of child neglect and abuse.
      I would really like to see Dr. Fauci make this assessment without turning it into a convoluted word salad like he always does.
      President Biden also needs to make an address to the nation BEFORE LABOR DAY that this mask policy in schools will become Federal Law.
      It is every bit as important as the vaccine requirements children ALREADY follow in order to attend school.
      We cannot expect all parents to know about this advisement.
      It must be given as a national emergency announcement.
      Public Health Officials, you’re turn.

      Reply
  16. Wukchumni

    Land of Smoke and Fire: Documenting California’s Endless Season of Heat (photo essay)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    After our close encounter with particulate matter in the Castle Fire last fall, you could see that some people got religion in getting ready for a second coming by cleaning up the land to better withstand something wicked this way rages-the closest representation of hell as far as we know, brimstone notwithstanding.

    That said, I drive by so many oak trees with bone dry fire ladders in the guise of fallen angles emanating from the first story, an odd fill-in for a noose hoisted over the rafters, but everybody acknowledges there aren’t many ways for a tree to commit suicide.

    As far as the state goes, very little was done in preparation for this year’s festivities, kudos to the BLM movement though, which pulled off prescribed burns in the winter, taking advantage of scant snow in a drought year and the potential it promised, why didn’t the rest of Cali do the same?

    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Bakersfield Field Office plans to conduct prescribed fire operations at Case Mountain Extensive Recreation Management Area, southeast of the town of Three Rivers in Tulare County. Pile burn operations are scheduled to start the week of Jan. 19 and may continue periodically through the spring.

    The prescribed fire is designed to improve landscape health and to remove hazardous fuels that could feed wildland fire at the recreation area. Crews plan to cover 271 acres by the end of spring. Burning will take place only when weather and fuel moisture allow for safe and successful burning.

    Case Mountain encompasses approximately 18,500 acres of BLM-managed public lands and supports many sensitive plants and animals, important riverbank ecosystems, areas of cultural significance, and a 400-acre Giant Sequoia Complex with six distinct giant sequoia groves.

    https://www.blm.gov/press-release/bureau-land-management-oversee-prescribed-fire-case-mountain

    Reply
  17. The Rev Kev

    “Chinese tycoon gets go-ahead to build vast central London ‘palace’”

    ‘In Westminster did Cheung Chung-kiu

    A stately pleasure-dome decree.’

    Reply
      1. RMO

        Push a button, things happen. A scientist becomes a beast. Don’t even get me started on feeding soda pop to the thirsty pigs…

        Reply
  18. Michael Fiorillo

    I’ve watched Matt Karp on YouTube and appreciated what he has to say, as I did the Haper’s article, but he made an overly charitable mistake in describing Ibram X. Kendi as a historian, rather than an entrepreneur.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Next thing you know AIPACkage deal will claim the names Ben & Jerry are anti-Semitic.

      If I was them, i’d come out with a new flavor that reeks of sour gripes in honor of the middle eastern cabal that lords over the halls of Humordor:

      La Kosher Nostra

      Reply
      1. Brunches with Cats

        Claiming Ben is an anti-Semitic name would be skating on thin ice; Cohen and Greenfield, skating on water.

        Reply
        1. chuck roast

          Yeah, the #1 smear simply doesn’t stick to Jews. So, then they switch to the #2 smear: “self hating Jew.” Let’s see if that pops up.

          The mechanics of the whole thing are confusing to me. A multi-national corporation owns Ben & Jerry’s. But Ben & Jerry’s has an independent board. The Zionists will apply the full court press. I don’t see this as ending well for the independent board.

          Pardon me while I go buy a pint of Phish Food.

          Reply
          1. Procopius

            Sure, it sticks to Jews. The cabal just calls them “Self-Hating” Jews and compares them to the concentration camp prisoners who were made to empty the gas chambers, or acted as police in the Warsaw Ghetto.

            Reply
          2. HotFlash

            Unilever, B&J’s current owner,says they are down with not selling in the West Bank, so there you go. They will have to eat Häagen-Dazs.

            Me, I stand with B&J and support them and BDS, but I will have to delegate the actual ice-cream eating to Mr. HotFlash as I don’t like the stuff (cold, creamy, sweet — yuck). I will be boycotting Pepsico, too, until they make the KC workers happy, and I do (used to ) consume a lot of Tostitos. Guess I will have to learn how to make the darned things and decent salsa.

            Reply
  19. The Rev Kev

    “Ben & Jerry’s to stop sales in Israeli settlements in occupied territories”

    That single decision has really gotten Israel’s knickers in a twist. Here are some headlines that I have seen today-

    ‘Ben & Jerry’s: Israeli president accuses ice cream company of ‘new kind of terrorism’

    ‘US states’ fully baked anti-BDS laws could put the freeze on Ben & Jerry’s’

    ‘Ben & Jerry’s: Israel-backed app urges ‘troll army’ to criticise company’

    ‘Oklahoma Senator Calls on His State to Ban Ben & Jerry’s’

    ‘CEO Says Unilever ‘Fully Committed’ To Israel Amid Ben & Jerry’s Backlash’

    Can you imagine what would happen then if Washington told Israel that they aren’t going to give them all those billions annually? That they are going to spend the money on healthcare in America instead as Israeli already has public healthcare?

    Reply
    1. doug

      Is there a condom or some other minor mfg who could quit selling in Israel?
      Stopping selling there now could get max publicity.

      Could B&J’s go back to selling there after announcing ‘all proceeds will go to Hama’ or something similar?

      Reply
    2. Daryl

      Tacking onto this comment because I am curious for some knowledge from the commentariat. Is there a historical parallel for the relationship between the US and Israel? Like, a country becoming so “patriotic” and obsessed on behalf of another one that like, a company not selling ice cream in parts of that country triggers such a strong reaction?

      I’m aware that alliances have cascaded into large wars, particularly empires getting dragged into various wars over history. But at least as far as I’ve read, it’s never been accompanied with such slavish devotion to the point where… again… not selling ice cream in a country is seen as a grave crime.

      The funny thing is, I imagine Mr. Senator from Oklahoma would probably have been arguing for the right of businesses not to serve certain people not so long ago.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Check my link above. That OK senator is so dumb he doesn’t even know what his own state’s law says. It empowers the state govt not to buy from Ben and Jerry (still probably unconstitutional) but not to block their products in toto.

        And this situation is really a testament to how money has corrupted our politics. It turns out our politicians are very easily bought–especially on issues where they figure the voters won’t notice or care.

        Reply
    3. fresno dan

      The Rev Kev
      July 22, 2021 at 10:32 am
      I protest, you protest, we all protest for ice cream. Gee, just doesn’t seem as catchy…
      you know, considering how full of fat and sugar Ben & Jerry’s product is, one could make a pretty good argument that the Israelis in the occurpied territories would live longer and more vigorous lives without that ice cream. And if Ben and Jerry’s sent the occupied territories brussels sprouts to make up for the lack of ice cream, it would be a surreptious way of actually supporting Israel while placating Ben and Jerry’s liberal following. That would be if humans were logical – but considering humans as they are, I’m sure Vermont would get nuked…

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s pretty funny. When I went on the factory tour, I noticed Israel was listed as part of Europe per the Ben and Jerry factory.

        Also factory tours are fun.

        Reply
    4. Kouros

      Israel got the extra billions as a soap from Obama, to pacify them for the JPCOA. But in the end they got the money as well as the cancellation of the agreement. How is that for you American suckers….?

      Reply
  20. Amfortas the hippie

    the Matt Karp thing in Harpers was great.
    using Foucault against them was a nice touch.
    and again, all this woke/1619 nonsense doesn’t really gore my ox in real life, due to where i live.
    here, it just hands a bunch of incendiary devices to the local righty lunatics(only a handful more of those around here than there are woke/1619 types…and just as ignored by the majority, who have other, more pressing, concerns.)

    similarly, locally, and in the little bit broader radius that i roam in, i’m much more worried about persistent herbicides ….and the apparent demise of physical menus in restaurants(now they have that weird barcode-like thing in the middle of the table, that you wave your fone over(if i had a fone that would do that…making this trend a class issue, as well as a stick in the eye to those who don’t necessarily want to get the latest several hundred dollar device in order to be able to go out to eat once in a while))

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      We noticed a lot more lawsuit settlement billboards along the freeway on our 300 mile drive into the wilds of SoCal, and a smattering of the newer electronic ones that hit you with 3 different messages en route, but nothing like Phoenix, where we first saw the trend of every kind of lawyer you could imagine hoping to represent you: burn lawyer-265 pound weightlifter attorney-medical malpractice lawyer-husband & wife law team-big truck wreck lawyer-accident lawyer-just because you did it doesn’t mean you’re guilty lawyer-ever argued with a woman? divorce attorney-In pain? call Wayne, etc.

      The goods are odd, but odds are good in a race to the bottom where ‘hitting the lottery’ requires you to be in cahoots with an unsavory ticket seller…

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        I-10 from around Welfare, Texas(yes, really), all the way in to as far as we go into San Antonio, is littered with those kinds of billboards…as are just about every San Antonio bus i’ve seen:
        serious looking lawyer dudes with sledge hammers and axes and even a few dogthe bountyhunter lawyers with intimidating glares.
        one with a well dressed and rather sexy older latina…also with a menacing demeanor…for all those disappointed social climbers on the better half of humanity(right outside the Dominion, no less(rich people neighborhood i’m not even allowed to enter,lol)
        the best one is of a big bullfrog with a crown, with the caption: “…for when the fairy tale ends…”.

        like furniture stores from time immemorial(ie: their double fullpagers in newspapers have always befuddled me), somehow these lawyer types can afford to plaster their mug everywhere at trumpian scales.

        Reply
      2. Carolinian

        My town is covered up with lawyer billboards–obviously fans of Better Call Saul. Some of these eyeball pokers are at least witty.

        Reply
    2. hunkerdown

      A bunch of WordPress consultants must have gotten a nice little burst of business out of the fomite scare. COVID sure is providing a lot of excuses for useless bureaucrats to do what they were going to do anyway.

      The older few-hundred-dollar devices would work well enough to view an online menu. But the one-color paper photocopy menus para llevar are even cheaper and still a good offer.

      Reply
    3. fresno dan

      Amfortas the hippie
      July 22, 2021 at 10:41 am

      and the apparent demise of physical menus in restaurants(now they have that weird barcode-like thing in the middle of the table, that you wave your fone over(if i had a fone that would do that…making this trend a class issue, as well as a stick in the eye to those who don’t necessarily want to get the latest several hundred dollar device in order to be able to go out to eat once in a while))
      ==========================
      Probably the best thing ever written and the crux of all the world’s problems. I believe people with flip phones are almost the most oppressed people in history…

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        My state park has a parking lot with a sign and qr code so you can use your phone to pay a parking fee online. Supposedly if you can show the ranger you don’t have a phone it’s free.

        Yet another reason not to carry a smartphone! (My state park used to be free for everyone.)

        Reply
    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      I haven’t gone to restaurants much lately ( or at all during the lockdown period). When I see the little squarecode barcode I say “I don’t have a cellphone because cellphones cause cancer” and could I have a paper menu? So far, I have been given a paper menu every time.

      If restaurants get to the point where the funny little barcode is the only way to “call up” the menu, then I won’t be going to any restaurants any more.

      Reply
  21. allan

    Death by rankings:

    Responsible research assessment faces the acid test
    [Nature]

    A leading UK university has become mired in a public dispute over how it is assessing researchers’ performance. The evolving situation at the University of Liverpool is being watched closely by concerned academics around the world — and is raising questions about whether more needs to be done to ensure that universities assess their researchers equitably. …

    Liverpool wants to cut 32 posts from its Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. To keep their jobs, academics above the grade of lecturer need to demonstrate research income comparable with the average in their discipline for the 24-member Russell Group of research-intensive universities, to which Liverpool belongs. Candidates must also show a “substantial contribution” to two out of four additional categories — “world-leading” publications, commercial or consulting income, teaching, and research impact.

    Many scientists are angry. Liverpool’s criteria for assessing its academics do not represent the reality of how research is done. They do not include contributions to peer review, PhD supervision, mentoring or collaborations. Instead, the university is putting weight on criteria that mirror those used in rankings and measurements of research performance — notably the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF). …

    If Liverpool chooses to replace what it sees as underperforming academics with those who have more substantial research profiles, it is likely to attain a higher REF score. That would come with more government research funding — but it would also come at a cost to careers. Moreover, there are aspects of the process that are clearly unfair. The university has said that deans, heads of departments and researchers who sit on external committees — for example, REF peer-review panels — will not be assessed for possible redundancy. …

    Sort of like Amazon’s rule for culling the herd by 6%/year, but `academic analytics’ sounds so much classier.

    Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      “On you.”

      That’s what kind of statement that is. Pure neoliberal divorce of fortunes from the collective.

      Reply
    2. griffen

      Thanks for the clarification. Can’t watch that guy anymore…Hayes that is. Yep it’s on me. I am the unwashed (!)

      Not vaccinated yet. The proverbial other shoe is apparently dropping. Fortunately my elders are since deceased and I do not hang out much at indoor settings. Feel like I’m inevitable to get the shot before fall. And also kinda certain I got exposed to positive cases in the last 9 to 10 months as it is.

      Reply
  22. antidlc

    Re: Medical debt overtakes nonmedical as largest source in collections. COVID-19 may be making it worse.

    https://wendellpotter.substack.com/p/nyt-medical-debt

    The $140 billion the New York Times says Americans owe in medical debt is just the tip of the iceberg.

    The number doesn’t even include the billions we’re putting on our credit cards to pay for health care because of insurance deductibles we can’t possibly meet.

    Reply
    1. newcatty

      Credit cards to pay medical debt… this is a “canary into coal mine ” of the corrupt and avarice of the Medical Industrial Complex in this country. Not only do millions of Americans put insurance deductibles on credit cards, they also put a lot of costs not covered by the insurance they have on credit cards. Example: the costs of surgery, such as Cataract eye surgery. Discussed by Sanders, the dilemma of dental care, vision care/ correction( glasses and contacts) and hearing aides not covered by Medicare. Let’s see: having functioning and intact teeth is a luxury , being able to see accurately is a luxury, being able to hear well is a luxury? This is also one of the classic examples of Class Warfare in the nation. Do people with economic means to pay for excellent care and services concern themselves with people who either don’t have credit cards, or have maxed out credit, care if people are not receiving care for basic necessities in living a healthier and fulfilling life? Many here who read NC do.

      Another interesting observation: There are people who don’t concern themselves with medical care and it’s accessibility and cost. Military personnel and their families. Veterans. This is not to begrudge them their “earned benefits”. Also, many costs for dental and vision care and services are covered in most Medicaid government plans. We have very hard working Americans who either have expensive health insurance with high premiums and deductibles that do not cover their needs. The credit card or go without care and services. It’s starting to be noticed by many people. Few people don’t want health care for poor people. Many are noticing though that they know, or know someone who does know under the table workers who are adept at being poor( under fed poverty guidelines) and so qualifying for state Medicaid coverage. Some of these “folks” own houses, drive reliable or nice cars, enjoy eating at nice restaurants, children participate in extra activities with discount or free fees, travel, and enjoy those uncompetitive sports. This is real Class Warfare. This affects many poor economically underclass ,as well as the truly poor. The conflating racial discrimination with social and economic inequality is a key component of divide and conquer the people strategy. Much deserved attention is put into people of color living in poverty or in lower economic places. Poor people and lower economic class people are not “just” mostly people of color. As more and more people are joining the ranks of the newly economic underclass and poor, what will be a societal outcome?

      Reply
  23. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    Company Implicated in Moïse Assassination was Involved in Attack Against Maduro
    July 14, 2021 orinocotribune

    “Jorge Rodríguez referred to a report published on July 11 by the American newspaper Miami Herald to assert that the Colombians implicated in the murder of Haitian President Moïse, hired by the security firm CTU Security LLC, based in Miami , Florida, were also involved in the attack against the Venezuelan president.”

    “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.”

    The web of covert action, ambiguous warfare, hybrid/non-linear warfare, and plausible deniability coalesce and become accepted policy and the background steady state; which, is apparently substantiated by past involvements and its uncontained blowback [“The unintended although not unsurprising fact was that because of U.S. policy, the security forces became more militarized and brutalized Colombian people.”]:

    1. “Take Colombia. In the name of fighting drugs, the CIA financed new military intelligence networks there in 1991. But the new networks did little to stop drug traffickers. Instead, they incorporated illegal paramilitary groups into their ranks and fostered death squads. These death squads killed trade unionists, peasant leaders, human rights, journalists, and other suspected “subversives.” The evidence, including secret Colombian military documents, suggests that the CIA may be more interested in fighting a leftist resistance movement than in combating drugs. The secret Colombian order instructed the military to maintain plausible deniability from the networks and their crimes.”

    https://www.franksmyth.com/the-progressive/still-seeing-red-the-cia-fosters-death-squads-in-colombia/

    2. “The operations also resulted in many civilian deaths, similar to those in Guatemala and El Salvador in the 1980s. Often, Colombian military sources shared the intelligence gathered by the CIA and U.S. Defense Department with right-wing paramilitaries that committed numerous atrocities, including against human rights and labor activists. “The military was able to outsource violence to the paramilitaries,” Winifred Tate, author of a critical history of Plan Colombia, told The Post in 2016. “So they were not directly accountable, but it was still a fundamental part of counterinsurgency strategy.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/06/08/us-war-drugs-helped-unleash-violence-colombia-today/

    Reply
  24. Jason Boxman

    I hate this horrible phrase “pandemic of the unvaccinated”, which is apparently now the official line. Because obviously if you get vaccinated, the pandemic is over, eh? But reality has a way of intruding upon fantasy. The pronouncement also implies the opposite of the spirit of public health, in that once vaccinated you’re entirely apart from those that are not; but however hard liberal Democrats might wish it, they can’t transport the “vaccine resistant” to some other land. We all live here, we’re all Americans, aren’t we?

    Reply
  25. LawnDart

    Smoke at the chimney hasn’t stopped in this past week in Yangon’s cemeteries due to deaths from COVID-19 suspected patients.

    F#@%, I hope that they were more than suspected deaths before they fed the flames…

    Reply
  26. a fax machine

    re: remote working

    People have a right to refuse work they don’t want, but Remote Working is won’t be the norm for a while yet. Those that choose not to return will be given pay cuts or layoffs. All RW jobs can be readily outsourced, and there is a ready and willing outsourcing industry (& software) for this. I suspect that many “tech” engineers will discover this over the next year as their companies finish their evolution into Wall Street’s accepted standards. If companies are willing to divest themselves from entire domestic factories & specialized mechanical workforces, they will also divest from domestic offices & specialized office workforces such as software programmers. They are already global and can just print visas from other countries, if it is truly necessary.

    Anecdotally from people I’ve talked to locally here in SF, it’s still half-and-half. Companies that have better transit access have a much better time at getting employees back into offices because they can physically get in. Companies that didn’t, predominately ones within SF, have a much harder time because nobody wants to make the commute anymore. The highway jam is a bigger deterrent than Covid especially with the Covid transit reductions. While irrelevant now, it perfectly demonstrates how useless the new Eastern Span is and why it was stupid to build vs reinforcing the old bridge and building a second full-sized rail tunnel. SF choose otherwise twenty years ago, and now here we are with nobody wanting to return because they don’t want to risk their sanity in traffic.

    On both sides of the equation, it doesn’t work. Can’t have a business if the process of getting to the business is so bad where nobody wants to do it. Simultaneously, RWers have to accept that anyone can connect to the internet therefore their value is ranked alongside other internet workers worldwide and not regional software workers as they are used to. Just as American factory workers were ranked (and lost) fifty years ago.

    Reply
  27. Amfortas the hippie

    Zizek has a standing invitation to come hang out around my fire.
    i think he’d be a hoot.

    in this, he’s right on it, as far as dismissing the whole “we’re a prt of nature” thing.
    that may have had some positive, prophylactic effect 50 years ago, had it been adopted wholesale….but it doesn’t, any more.
    but while he seems to be at least amenable to human intervention at scale, i am not so sanguine.
    we’ll just screw it up, and likely make things worse…because we’re not as smart as we think we are.
    should have never abandoned metaphysics in the West…Thaumazein(Wonder) is missing from us…driven out of our souls by the dog-eat-dog received wisdom of the neoliberal order, that has penetrated even families.

    and this struck me, given what i’ve been dealing with the last few years:
    “By this time, however, it was too late: with no sparrows to eat them, locust populations ballooned, swarming the country and compounding the ecological problems already caused by the Great Leap Forward, including widespread deforestation and misuse of poisons and pesticides. ”

    Hay Farmers started using some newfangled pesticide around 7-8 years ago…killed off a lot of the birds(the one’s that stay around during winter, specifically)…and the grasshopper population exploded.
    birds finally returned 2-3 years ago, but the problem/imbalance persists…if, admittedly, at a lower level.(on the morning 200′ walk to tend to the chicks, i collect 2 pickle jars of grasshoppers, smash their heads to disable them, and feed them to the chicks—i admit that i derive an especial glee from watching the aftermath of this daily exercise)

    (also insert my now familiar doomsaying about persistent herbicides contaminating manure and mulch…also due to the Hay Farmers.)

    Reply
    1. Acacia

      Agree on this reading of Zizek’s article. He proposes:

      A much stronger executive power capable of enforcing long-term commitments will have to be combined with local self-organizations of people, as well as with a strong international body capable of overriding the will of dissenting nations.

      Which are qualified as somehow not “a new world government” and absolutely involving voluntarism, egalitarianism (i.e., “global solidarity, health care, and a minimum of decent life for all”), as well as “limitation of many personal freedoms and new modes of control and regulation”. At some level it sounds logical, but the overarching feeling is “you can’t get there from here”, because what he proposes is pretty clearly against the wishes of libertarians, oligarchs, PMC, and PMC adjacent.

      Zizek is one of the few public intellectuals who still writes about some variety of socialism/communism as a desirable goal and hasn’t gone all-in on idpol. He’s also written extensively on the analysis of ideology. The odd thing about the Zizek of this article is that it doesn’t bring together his many insights on ideology with an attempt to understand a way out of our current predicament. I would humbly submit that we’re not going to get even the egalitarianism that Zizek hopes for until the deep ideological divisions of the current social order are somehow addressed.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        agree…”if i knew the way, i would take you home(la da da dah…)”
        when the run of the mill human i run across(texas) believes in their heart that biden is a communist, how the hell can we even begin?
        multiply that by a million other misapprehensions of observable reality, multiplied by almost 8 billion individual humans, with thousands of years of muddleminded and myriad systems of control and oppression…ain’t no way.
        the kind of “solution” Zizek puts forth, here, would take the very one world government my neighbors fear..just with humanity’s best interests at heart.
        i’m sure many of the PTB sincerely believe that what they are up to is in the best interests of the species and planet…but they are all mere humans, too…subject to the same muddleminded systems of belief as the rest of us….just with perhaps a cleaner windshield, and better connected steering wheels.
        the obvious solution(sic) to the numerous, gigantic, existential problems facing this little world is fewer humans, making much less garbage.
        I’m sure as rain that this “solution” is bandied about at Davos, etc…either solemnly, or over drinks.

        but, as it’s said, “you first.”.
        lol.

        Reply
      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        That “strong international body” would have to be awfully strong to override the will of a dissenting nation if that dissenting nation is China. Or Russia. Or America. None of which will permit the creation of that strong an international body.

        Now, of course, if that “international body” is really just a cover for China . . .or Russia . . . or America . . . to override the will of a small and weak dissenting nation . . . then the “strong international body” will be brought into existence.

        We are running out of time and options to the point where a Zizekian movement should be given time and space to make its case alongside the other movements making their cases for their approaches.

        Reply
    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      In a purely mechanistic sense we are part of nature. Whatever we do into nature is what nature will do back into us.

      If Zyzek means that we are not ” saintly green Ewoks of Endor ” , that is something other than being not part of nature.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        nah…meaning that we’re not “merely” a part of nature, but something else, too.
        we’re animals…mammals…but we’re also sentient(most of us…some of us?lol)…and even more, have, collectively, developed the ability to actually cause changes to the planet on an unprecedented scale.
        dogs and squirrels don’t have nukes, for instance…nor do they burn millions of years worth of fossil sunlight in sufficient quantity and within a small enough space of time to actually change the entire planet.
        we’re also alone…as far as is known(for sure, at least)…in another, more profound way:Zizek:”…it means precisely that we are what Marx called “universal beings,” as it were, able to step outside ourselves, stand on our own shoulders, and perceive ourselves as a minor moment of the natural totality.”

        Bob the Cat, right here on the pillow next to me can’t do anything of the sort.
        neither , as far as i know, an ant colony, however sophisticated…or a forest…or the biosphere, itself.
        i like the part of the Gaia Hypothesis that we’re the consciousness of the planet…but that means we’ve got drunk on the job and failed miserably,lol.

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I circled back and read the article itself and I think I understand what Zizek means. We are a part of nature with the power to function as a force of nature, and to say otherwise is a bunch of aw-shucksing humble-pride.

          So we should use our knowledge to direct our force in such a way as to guide other forces acting through nature to re-upbuild natural system functioning. Something like a present day version of the Amazon TerraFormers of the past.

          Reply
  28. Geo

    Here’s a fun story to both laugh at and make you want to brush up on recipes for Rich People Stew:

    Rapper Lil Uzi Vert becoming ‘first human to own a planet’
    https://metro.co.uk/2021/07/22/rapper-lil-uzi-vert-is-legally-buying-a-planet-according-to-grimes-14974064/

    The “news” was “leaked” by Elon Musk’s girlfriend who said the paperwork is almost complete. So, I’m assuming this dude is buying the planet from Musk – which would be absolutely hilarious. The he thinks he is buying a planet is funny. That someone is going to get real money for it is even funnier. Hopefully Elon’s buddy Branson will send him on a spaceship to go live on that planet after the sale is completed. :)

    Also, can we tax these people into oblivion yet? Maybe a “Dumb Celebrity Tax” where for every PR stunt press release that is published they are taxed $1M? After the latest Bezos “space” flight and the avalanche of press on it that would easily be a billion dollar tax bill.

    Reply
  29. newcatty

    Maybe Lil Uzi is an ego maniac, deluded and imagines he’s a Little Prince. “Humans” of a feather flock together.

    Reply
  30. drumlin woodchuckles

    RussiaGov and ChinaGov helping the Tatmadaw Regime. Unsavory. But surely not surprisery?

    The RussiaChinaGovs will give all the serious help the Tatmadaw needs to crush all resistance. The outside world will not/dare not give the NUG rebellion so vastly much more help than that to enable it to actually crush the Tatmadaw.

    So the Tatmadaw will win, as Tatmadaw defines winning.

    The only thing the NUGies can do is to destroy everything in Myanmar which is of value to the Tatmadaw and to RussiaChina so totally and thoroughly that the Tatmadaw/Russia/China coalition decides to realize that the victory was not worth having won. That means every physical asset in Myanmar which could produce any physical value for Tatmadaw/Russia/China would have to be so physically destroyed that it would be un-rebuildable for several decades to come.

    Would it be worth it, as a Final Act of Vengeance by a Free Myanmar? That is something no one but the Myanmarese Peoples and persons can decide.

    Reply

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