Links 7/25/2021

Walking Shadows Lapham’s Quarterly

On the Trail of a Mysterious, Pseudonymous Author New Yorker

Harry’s deal is for FOUR books – and one won’t be released until after The Queen has died: Duke oversaw bidding war of up to ‘$40m’ and Meghan will write a ‘wellness’ book as part of mega-deal Daily Mail

Scents and Science Mingle in ‘The Joy of Sweat’ NYT

On Janet Malcolm n + 1


In Castoria Justin E.H. Smith’s Internet


What the UK’s flood of covid alerts means for exposure apps MIT Technology Review

Rick Dennison out as Minnesota Vikings assistant after refusing COVID-19 vaccine, sources say ESPN

Why haven’t you been vaccinated? With COVID-19 raging, people explain what took so long LA Times

“Don’t You Work With Old People?”: Many Elder-Care Workers Still Refuse to Get COVID-19 Vaccine ProPublica

Under-30s reluctant to take Covid vaccine cite fertility and side-effect concerns Guardian

Concerns about missing work may be a barrier to coronavirus vaccination WaPo

Anthony Fauci Tells Anti-Vaxxers to Sit Down and STFU as COVID Cases Surge Vanity Fair. Bald statement of PMC POV. Needless to say, this is not the way to win over hearts and minds.

Delta Dysfunction Insight. Insight. Zeynep Tufecki.


St. Louis, St. Louis County to reinstate mask mandate, some of first in US St. Louis Post Dispatch

The Case for Masking Up Again Indoors in New York City New Yorker. I’ve never stopped wearing a mask. And I continue to hibernate and avoid nearly all social interaction – except for the occasional quick trip to the corner store.


Covid-19 kept families and caregivers out of hospitals. Some doctors think that shouldn’t happen again Stat

Israel says Pfizer Covid vaccine is just 39% effective as delta spreads, but still prevents severe illness CNBC


Thousands in Italy protest against tougher regulations to contain coronavirus South China Morning Post

Clashes in Paris over Covid measures BBC

Covid-19 Vaccine Holdouts Face Restrictions in Europe as Delta Variant Spreads WSJ

Thousands protest amid global anger against COVID restrictions Al Jazeera


Boris Johnson is a comic opera prime minister whose mistakes have killed tens of thousands Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

Catastrophic Flooding Spotlights Germany’s Poor Disaster Preparedness Der Spiegel

Germany: Storm warning issued as country reels from floods Deutsche Welle

Apocalypse Right Now NYT. Even MoDo notices climate change.

Californians tired of doing their part during triple-digit heat Politico

B.C.’s rare inland rainforest at risk of collapse, international scientists warn in new study Narwhal

Nuclear power’s reliability is dropping as extreme weather increases Ars Technica

Biden Administration

Surge of covid delta variant poses new political threat to Biden and his agenda WaPo

The New Recruits Tampa Bay Times

Class Warfare

Opinion: It’s easy to hate billionaires. But they can fill voids. WaPo

Rare FAA rules change means Blue Origin crew may not get official ‘wings’ UPI That’s a damn shame.

Gushing Coverage of the Billionaire’s Space Race Fair

SF Bay Area restaurants are still struggling. Returning customers don’t see that. SF Gate

With workers in high demand, teenagers are filling the void AP

As Housing Crisis Grips Minor League Baseball, Non-Union Players Win Victories Through Organizing Payday Report

A Teacher’s Summer Is No Cakewalk American Conservative. I’ll say. Until he became a guidance counselor – which was treated as a quasi-administrative function and therefore came with an eleven and then twelve-month contract – my schoolteacher father always had summer jobs. Otherwise, no pay checks. One summer, it was painting houses. Another, IIRC he worked as groundskeeper at a private school.

The Trillion-Dollar Lie TK News. Matt Taibbi.

Health Care

Why the FTC Should Consider Size in Drug Mergers Promarket

California Expands Access to Health Insurance for Undocumented Immigrants Capital & Main

Senate panel votes to make women register for draft
Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

‘Somebody Has to Do the Dirty Work’: NSO Founders Defend Pegasus Spyware The Wire

Imperial Collapse Watch

Wake up, America: The world just isn’t that into you Asia Times


The lights begin to wink out in India’s democracy Scroll

Pegasus scandal shows that intelligence gathering urgently needs parliamentary oversight in India Scroll

Rescuers in India hunt for survivors as monsoon death toll rises to 115 South China Morning Post


How the Milk Tea Alliance Is Remaking Myanmar The Diplomat

The Caribbean

What’s Really Going on in Cuba Counterpunch

US Regime Change Echos in the Caribbean Consortium News. Vijay Prashad.

FBI Using the Same Fear Tactic From the First War on Terror: Orchestrating its Own Terrorism Plots Glenn Greenwald

Antidote du Jour (via):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Cocomaan

    Apocalypse Right Now NYT. Even MoDo notices climate change

    … and spends the entire time talking about Republicans.

    Do democrats not use air conditioning to live at a steady 72 degrees for their entire lives?

    I have a former boss who is vociferously stating that work from home is bullshit, insisting that the only way for work to get done is for everyone to get into belching fossil fuel cars to travel to an office. She talks about the dangers of climate change all the time and considers herself a democrat for life.

    Dowd always manages to miss the point.

  2. nycTerrierist

    Yikes, the teacher who wrote that piece in The American Conservative
    sounds quite depressed.
    Seems he’s internalized some nasty stereotypes he needs to work through.
    Loved ones should keep an eye on him…

    1. Acacia

      The comments on that article are kind of shocking in their own way. “Get a real job”…? Just… wow.

      1. nycTerrierist

        ugh, that’s terrible.
        hope the author doesn’t read them – last thing he needs!

    2. Jackiebass63

      I’m a retired teacher who retired after 35 years of teaching. Until my last 10 years , I either worked or was taking college classes. I had a variety of summer,and night or weekend jobs. Painting houses, construction work, and working in recreation. I even taught summer school for a few summers. My first year pay was $4200. When I retired I was making just under $50000. That was with a masters degree and 35 years of service. You don’t go into teaching for the money. After being retired for 28 years, I occasionally run across former students. Talking with them makes you feel good to see what they have become. Especially some of my more challenging students. If people think teaching is an easy job, I challenge them to try it. I don’t have current stats but 2 out of 3 new teachers quit within the first 3 years.

      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        I was one of those quitting teachers. (Secondary Education and American History). I thought I would change the schools from the inside. Ha! But I was just 24 and naive as all get out. It only took a year to realize that at best no one cared if it changed. My first attempt was to try and incorporate “A People’s History of the United States” into the curriculum which was sternly refused. When the head found out I talked about Anarchism for half a class period he lost his lid. Needless to say the conversation started as a dispute between two of my students.

        I loved the kids and they seemed to like me. The parents and the administrators though…

        1. Keith Newman

          I too taught in high schools in the province of Quebec, Canada. As pointed out a number of years ago by John Taylor Gatto, former New York State and New York City Teacher of the Year, the purpose of school is not education. It’s to train children to be employees and consumers, to obey reflexively, and to docilely accept boredom.
          Take a look at “Against School – How public education cripples our kids, and why” at

        2. Jackiebass63

          A writer named Studes Turkle wrote a book called The History Of America By The People Who Lived It. It was a very informative enjoyable read. Unfortunately the history taught in schools is the glossed over version.

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        Where I live, that’s because towns like mine want to spend education money on brand new utterly unnecessary (better than the town next door) incredibly expensive buildings which even the most educated residents seem to agree is a far better proof of our concern for our children than good teachers with good pay and the skill (and latitude) to inspire learning rather than regurgitating.

        Note: Towns like mine want to because they are brain washed by giant construction companies that send propaganda and ‘guilt’ specialists to town meetings, over and over, to work at us til we get it right in our minds that anything less than a full tear down and rebuild of a large complex would mean beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are miserable parents out to indenture our kids as parking lot attendants for the rest of their lives. (I probably shouldn’t say ‘us’ because I’m past that point now, but I was part of it not that long ago and with the same “strange” attitude that venu doesn’t equal love of learning. Now I just pay for it.)

      3. Kurtismayfield

        Yep.. two part time jobs this summer, and a grad class. Sure I get a lot of time with my kids during the summer, but I am not sitting here and stewing and doing nothing. And I have done the math, the hours that I work during the school year (60+ a week for 38 weeks) make up for the 10 weeks of summer.

      4. dcblogger

        I worked briefly as a substitute teacher in Richmond Virginia. I was terrible. Teaching is NOT an easy job. And the whole charter school movement has made it worse.

      5. Procopius

        I understand the number of early quits is even higher at charter schools. They’re often Teach for America kids (because they get paid even less).

    3. Cocomaan

      according to BLS, the median annual wage for high school teachers was $62,870 in 2020. The summers are a perk.

      This guy needs to get a grip. It’s a respected profession, pays well, and is funded by taxpayers each year whether they like it or not.

      He would be singing a much different tune working in, say, an educational non profit relying on donations, like a public library.

      1. KLG

        “The summers are a perk.”

        Yes, while taking classes on your on dime to keep current and get to that median annual wage.

        1. cocomaan

          Is this different from other occupations? I’ve had to spend plenty of my own money to advance in a career. And I’ve never had a career with a ten month appointment. Most people never will be able to take more than two weeks off at a time until they retire or die.

          1. bob

            ” Most people never will be able to take more than two weeks off at a time until they retire or die.”

            And for that we should all be thankful. And thankful for you for reminding us of that.

          2. KLG

            And neither should teachers be on a 10-month contract. They should also get paid during the essential time taken to “advance their careers.” You might have spent your own money, but you were also getting paid. Let me guess, instead of “public school” you say “government school”? And do you have to buy your own office supplies, as teachers so often spend their own money in this benighted land to provide their students with essentials? It was a long time ago, but I remember my parents paying a “supply fee” of $3 per year to my public elementary school. But it wasn’t required. Everyone got what s/he needed in the way of pencils and paper. And no one went hungry in the lunchroom. No. One. The ladies (all ladies, yes) who cooked the food every day, instead of thawing and warming the swill off the supply truck, would not have countenanced such a thing

          3. Rod

            Cocoman–you said this:
            It’s a respected profession after you said this:
            The summers are a perk.
            perhaps you did not think the dissonance was showing?

            then you came back and said:
            Is this different from other occupations?

            Well, yes it is (imo)—-Teaching is focused on improving and shaping the future of those being taught, and by extension, those closest to those being taught, and by extension, our future world.

          4. Basil Pesto

            this thread: another volume in the ongoing series of “why the revolution is going to be cool and fun” – the internecine bickering about whose work is more arduous and important.

            1. tegnost

              There’s not going to be a revolution.

              Another volume in the series “why we hate berniebros”,

              I hear it a lot from dems scorning bernies supporters, speaking of internecine squabbles

              1. Basil Pesto

                There’s not going to be a revolution.

                I know, but in the unlikely event it does, it’s going to be pretty stupid.

                  1. Massinissa

                    You mean like the folks on the 6th? Those were reactionaries all right, but they weren’t nearly as violent as anyone really expected. Or as well organized, for that matter. Its a farce that the Dems pretend the 6th was some defiling of liberty when nothing really happened at all but get a few dems scared. What we got was preferable to some possible alternatives of a more militant right wing.

                    1. Lambert Strether

                      No, the Capitol rioters were clowns (those of them who were not in the FBI ha ha).

                      I’m thinking of the Freedom Caucus types, who strike me as quite militant, and who also are organized.

                    2. drumlin woodchuckles

                      Have patience and give them time. The Republican Party and Trump Movement and Fox News Industrial Complex and etc. are patiently working to widen and deepen the belief base in the ” dolchstosslegende” ( “stab in the back myth”) about how Trump’s voters were denied the Trump victory they actually won in the election.

                      The Republicans and Conservatives are patiently Weimarizing America from their end further than it already is and are awaiting their takeover moment.

          5. Brooklin Bridge

            Most people never will be able to take more than two weeks off at a time until they retire or die.

            I, for one, am definitely going to take some serious time off after I die. :-)

          6. Jason Boxman

            And the race to the bottom continues! Why should required job education be “own dime”? That makes no sense, unless it’s above and beyond what’s required to remain employable at current wages.

          7. Dr. John Carpenter

            You ever had to spend your own money on supplies for a classroom of 30 children? I’m not talking frivolous stuff. I’m talking paper, pencils, folders, etc. The basic stuff that this taxpayer funded job should be providing. I come from a line of teachers and I remember school shopping with my parents where we would be buying for me, my sister and mom’s classroom.
            Also, I guarantee the money you’ve spent advancing your career earned you back more than the money my parents spent advancing theirs.
            And the time off? Fun fact: they aren’t actually paid for that time. Both of parents took summer jobs to make ends. Hell, my dad also had an evening job until I started school. I’d also add my parents did more “off the clock” work such as grading papers, creating lesson plans, etc. than I’ve ever had to in a professional job.
            Respected profession? Are you serious? Talk to a teacher whose had a parent teacher conference.
            I’ve not taught myself, though I have worked in public schools. Raised by two public school teachers and it goes back a way. We always had enough but my parents talked me out of following in their path. Having the summers off (unpaid) wasn’t worth the extra BS.

          8. Chris

            Most people never will be able to take more than two weeks off at a time until they retire or die.

            You speak as if the rules governing paid employment have been handed down from on high, chiseled into stone. There are other options.

            I worked for 37 years for an Australian state government. Thirty-eight hour week, four weeks’ annual leave on full pay, three months’ long service leave on full pay after 10 years, four weeks’ sick leave each year on full pay. These are pretty much standard conditions for government employees (including teachers), and set the bar for the public sector.

            You USians have the conditions that you (collectively) impose and accept. I guess you might benefit from better unions, and better parties to vote for.

      2. JTMcPhee

        The median once again obscures the reality. I know teachers with years of experience who do have to find a summer job (and maybe a part-time gig during the school year, and buying school supplies out of their own money) to survive. Love the condescension, judgment and kicking down. That’s why we mopes will never have nice things, or even a bare sufficiency. Echoes of Reagan resound through the ages…

      3. Verifyfirst

        Well if you are working in a Charter school (where many of the jobs in teaching are now) you’ll be making more like $40,000 a year, no pension, no employer money to your 401K, and “health insurance” that starts with a $6,000 annual deductible, including for prescriptions.

        But yah, live it up.

        As far as being a respected profession, you’re joking right?

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          One of the purposes of charter schools is to de-professionalize teaching, and turn it into temp work.

      4. Pelham

        I doubt that high school teachers are very respected these days. But they should be. And given the importance of what they do, I’d venture to say they should be making about double that $62,870 that you mention — or maybe a good deal more.

        Consider: The vultures who run hedge funds and private-equity scams make many millions of dollars stripping assets and tearing down the US economy bit by bit. Teachers, OTOH, are constructive, contributing enormously. Those idiot hosts on cable news typically haul in 8 figures annually, as do stars in the NBA, NFL and MLB. These people are next to worthless by any rational accounting, and yet after just half a year of so-called work they’re set for life. And, as Lenny Bruce once correctly observed, what did Zsa Zsa Gabor ever do to merit a pointless lifetime of luxury?

        Why should teachers be valued less?

        1. Lee

          I might well owe my life to a high school teacher who talked me out of volunteering to fight in Vietnam. As a U.S. history teacher, and a political progressive, she opened my eyes about a lot of other things as well. She’s retired now, having finished her professional career as a hospice counselor.

        2. ilpalazzo

          I work at a primary school as a custodian/handyman, my mother is an early school teacher now retired. I consider teaching a performance art. It is hard and exhausting work that requires a lot of social competence.

          1. Procopius

            I gotta say I have utmost respect for early school teachers. It takes special skills and enormous strength to deal with children of that age and teach them to be cooperative human beings. I am sure I would never be able to do it.

      5. Carla

        @Cocomaan, who said “He would be singing a much different tune working in, say, an educational non profit relying on donations, like a public library.”

        Here in Ohio, where I live, our pubic libraries are funded by tax dollars raised when citizens vote for library levies. That’s what “public” means.

        Non-profits supported by donations (and foundation grants) are private institutions. For example, our art museum is a private, non-profit corporation.

        1. Chuk Jones

          People should make better use of education resources, like schools and libraries. Especially those public ones.

      6. PHLDenizen

        Public schools are a public good. Local funding, particularly in the wealthier suburbs, has been an unmitigated disaster. School boards are tiny fiefdoms and I have yet to see any — at least in the richer Philly suburbs — ever, EVER say no or ratchet down the stupefying property taxes they control. Taxes that have a profound impact on housing policy and affordability.

        Teaching should be a civil service job funded at the Federal level, akin to the Post Office. It’s a disservice to kids all over the country, particularly ones who were unfortunate enough to be born into broke ass, hopeless circumstances. No human being in the US should be subjected to creationism as anything other than a curious fantasy, covered as a broad survey of religiosity.

        SALT exemptions already function as subsidies for “public” schools that operate as de facto private school. Lower Merion school district is a good example. It’s a “great school”, access to which requires enough income to cover the school taxes. My parents pay 18k or so just in school taxes alone. That’s about half the tuition of private school I attended, which is absurd.

        Medicaid is controlled at the state level, which makes residents hostage to the whims of whichever libertarian or conservative sadist is in office. Texas sets content in textbooks due to their purchasing power, which makes every school district hostage to whatever the fsck is going on in Texas at the moment.

        Making charter schools ineligible for any public funding eliminates that loophole. The Post Office, despite attempts to obliterate it, has managed to hang on in enough capacity to continue to serve the public. Neoliberals gonna neoliberal, but I’m relatively optimistic enough of it can get sorted to create a public education system that truly provides an education for everyone in the US.

      7. lordkoos

        Teaching does not pay well, especially for those teaching in cities where the cost of living is high. As for “respected”, the right has been casting shade on the profession for decades and has tried to demonize teachers’ unions.

    4. marym

      Conservative teacher-bashing and gender stereotyping pretending it’s just a little humor among friends. Imagine the messages he’s conveying to students, even if he happens to work in a setting where people TAC’s about page calls “nasty cultural revolutionaries“ may not let him say them out loud.

    5. chris

      After the last 2 years, most teachers I know are depressed. I expect to hear quite a few aren’t returning this fall. Some will be missed. Some won’t. But all will need to be replaced with the overcrowding issues we have in my area. We pay really well but any salary doesn’t look good next to the bankers, lawyers, tech entrepreneurs, consultants, etc. Who send their kids to the local schools. Teaching is a profession but it’s not one that seems like a good deal where I live.

        1. newcatty

          A tale of two cities: but actually morphed into one tale. For years, I worked in various capacities for a large southwestern city and an adjacent county for public schools. It literally was like working in first world and third world milieus . In the third world districts many of the schools only had old evaporative cooling in classes( there is a reason they are called swamp coolers). Some teachers were “allowed” to bring in a fan. Most directed it at their desk. Everyone just sweat a lot. One middle school teacher actually told her students( round 180 daily , as she taught 5 periods of her subject) that they were “growing up now”. Everyone of them needed to start wearing deodorant. Now, of course, 9 year olds do and the ones , who have parents or relatives with the means, get manicures, pedicures, great haircuts,etc.

          Back to narrative: First world schools all had AC, smaller teacher to students ratios, shaded patios and playgrounds. Lunch often was “catered”: pizza, hoagie sandwiches , salad bars and desert trays. Geared up computer labs, actual science labs and latest AV equipment. Cool lesson plans were encouraged: one science teacher showed films like “A Perfect Storm” to study weather events. Sign-up to bring in popcorn for film day!

          The time that I saw the ” lunch ladies” refuse to feed a child, except for a white bread peanut butter and jelly sandwich, was at the First World elementary school. I’ve related thus story here before, but think it bears repeating. The child was, to be frank, one of the few children of color in the whole school ( upper class East Indian, Asian or middle eastern students were welcome). This little child was not upper class or even middle. As I watched the exchange, I heard the child tearfully say: I hate those sandwiches. The child walked out of line and ran outside by the patio area. I stared at the “Lunch lady” and asked are you going to let that child go hungry, now? She looked nonplussed and was quickly joined by a teacher on lunch patrol. The teacher took me aside and whispered in a conspiratorial way: You know × is one of the new people who are moving into our district. They are moving into apartments just so their kids can attend our wonderful schools. × ‘s mother is a single mom. I was just there to observe and it wasn’t the time to answer that class warfare stance. I reported to the Principal. Crickets and a heartwarming thank you for bringing this to our attention. Have a great day!

          Lunch ladies at third world schools in other districts cooked every day for the kids. No one would imagine any child turned away for a plate. It would have been shocking to give a child something different from any other child.

          This is a tale from many moons ago. Have things changed that much? I do not know, as we moved away long ago. I would make an educated guess(OK) that these types of scenarios are not just in this one state. BTW, need I state the pay for the first world teachers was, for the region, quite a bit higher than the other districts? Many teachers came to realize that they were often expendable. Can not imagine the stress of Covid on them. “Good teaching jobs ” were very competitive. Now, teacher shortages reflect the neglect of public schools. Don’t blame any teacher of integrity, who can, from quitting or retiring .

    6. Utah

      The fact that he referred to himself as a Manny of his own two children tells me that he has definitely internalized some negative stereotypes.

      I’m working on a master’s in teaching so that I can have summers off. I applied to many different jobs over the last year and realized that I’m never going to have many vacation days in the field that I’m in. So I’m going to get a master’s at a really affordable university, I’ll make about the same amount of money, and I’ll have holidays and vacations paid, basically. And I can take a summer job if I want, but school districts now give us the option to stagger pay out to 12 months instead of 10. And I’m going to teach biology and chemistry (my major and minor), so maybe I’ll make some bit of difference.

  3. zagonostra

    From Fauci telling me to STFU, world-wide protest on CV restrictions, flooding in Germany, billionaires in a space race, trillion-dollar lies, Cuba in the news, FBI creating it’s own terrorism plots, and the Senate contemplating legislation that would require my daughter to sign up for the draft in today’s links I don’t know if I should go back to bed or have another cup of coffee.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Join me at the virtual NC bar, zagonostra! I’m going to be having some homemade mead. What’ll the rest of you be enjoying?

  4. fresno dan

    Wake up, America: The world just isn’t that into you Asia Times
    Calm down, everyone. After Donald Trump imposed sanctions on firms laying the Nord Stream 2 pipe across the Baltic Sea, the Russians sent their own ship, and the work is finished. The Germans will go ahead regardless, so the least humiliating thing that Biden could do was to acknowledge reality and stand down.
    No one in Europe really cares what Washington thinks about Nord Steam 2 (and a lot of other issues). Once upon a time, about five years ago, America was going to be the new Saudi Arabia, providing Europe with liquefied natural gas to replace Vladimir Putin’s product—at a higher price, to be sure, but wrapped in the blessings of liberty. Trump demanded that Europe eschew Russian gas and buy American LNG instead.
    Maybe time to move on, but I can’t help myself. Trump was not Putin’s boyfriend – Trump was like most presidents, the boyfriend of the American oil companies. The media, as usual, is too lazy to look beyond what Trump says (and ignores anything Trump says that would undermine the Putin/Trump bromance) to examine that the US continued the right wing anti Russian policies.

    1. JohnnyGL

      ‘America was going to be the new Saudi Arabia, providing Europe with liquefied natural gas’*

      *for the next 5-10 years, and that’s it!

      You forgot the asterisk on that one. Once you put it back, it’s clear the industry delivered on its promises!

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      – Trump was like most presidents, the boyfriend of the American oil companies.

      And even more so, most presidents are the boyfriend of the FIRE sector. Witness Obama and the pitchforks.

    3. Procopius

      I find the stereotype and language of the Centrists portraying Trump as the minion of a pervert deeply offensive. In some ways the kindergarten playground insults presented as if they are witty are worse (“he’s a big stinky poopy-head”). The first type are viciously homophobic and both distortion and diversion. The last five years have been stressful. I don’t particularly favor Trump, and I’m glad he’s gone, but I have to say I think TDS has been the greatest danger to the Republic in the recent past.

  5. fresno dan

    FBI Using the Same Fear Tactic From the First War on Terror: Orchestrating its Own Terrorism Plots Glenn Greenwald
    The below is an example of the FBI entrapping an individual in the war on terrorism and NOT the Michigan case, but it serves to show that entrapment is standard operating procedure for the FBI.

    The judge began by noting that Cromitie “had successfully resisted going too far for eight months,” and agreed only after “the Government dangled what had to be almost irresistible temptation in front of an impoverished man from what I have come (after literally dozens of cases) to view as the saddest and most dysfunctional community in the Southern District of New York.” It was the FBI’s own informant, she wrote, who “was the prime mover and instigator of all the criminal activity that occurred.” She then wrote (emphasis added):

    (JUDGE’S OPINION) The Government indisputably “manufactured” the crimes of which defendants stand convicted. The Government invented all of the details of the scheme – many of them, such as the trip to Connecticut and the inclusion of Stewart AFB as a target, for specific legal purposes of which the defendants could not possibly have been aware (the former gave rise to federal jurisdiction and the latter mandated a twenty-five year minimum sentence). The Government selected the targets. The Government designed and built the phony ordnance that the defendants planted (or planned to plant) at Government-selected targets. The Government provided every item used in the plot: cameras, cell phones, cars, maps and even a gun. The Government did all the driving (as none of the defendants had a car or a driver’s license). The Government funded the entire project. And the Government, through its agent, offered the defendants large sums of money, contingent on their participation in the heinous scheme.

    Additionally, before deciding that the defendants (particularly Cromitie, who was in their sights for nine months) presented any real danger, the Government appears to have done minimal due diligence, relying instead on reports from its Confidential Informant, who passed on information about Cromitie information that could easily have been verified (or not verified, since much of it was untrue), but that no one thought it necessary to check before offering a jihadist opportunity to a man who had no contact with any extremist groups and no history of anything other than drug crimes.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      They pulled the same thing in Cleveland with three, semi-homeless teenagers. First, the informant gave them a place to live and plenty of beer and grass. When they sat around BS-ing about how they would knock a bank sign off the top of a 1,000 ft. building, the informant steered them to the idea of blowing up a bridge on federal property. When they had no car to meet the “bombmaker,” the informant provided a car. When they had no money to pay the “bombmaker,” he basically gave “the bomb” to them. When they had no car to take “the bomb” to the bridge, the FBI not only helpfully provided one but even drove around for hours looking for one of the “conspirators” who had ditched the whole thing.

      But who turned the FBI onto these kids? The PMC-ers from NGOs and the Democrat Party who took over Occupy and were embarrassed to have these three poor white kids around.

      These kids are all in prison now for decades. Society should have issued an apology to all three for doing such a lousy job of providing for their care and raising, but instead they made easy pickings for an ambitious U. S. Attorney looking for some “terrorism” cred.

      1. Lambert Strether

        I’m too lazy to find the link, but I seem to recall the case where the FBI offered to find a Black nationalist splinter group uniforms….

        It goes back to the old saying: “The first one to propose violence is always the cop.”

    2. cnchal

      The U.S. federal judge who sentenced Cromitie to decades in prison, Colleen McMahon, said she did so only because the law of “entrapment” is so narrow that it is virtually impossible for a defendant to win, but in doing so, she repeatedly condemned the FBI in the harshest terms for single-handedly converting Cromitie from a helpless but resentful anti-government fanatic into a criminal.

      Dangling a $250,000 inducement in the face of a starving man is not entrapment. The law is an ass.

      Defund the FBI. There are jawbs aplenty for them in Amazon warehouses.

    3. CoryP

      I wonder what WSWS (which I have almost stopped reading) will have to say about the Whitmer stuff. FBI malfeasance would be an irresistible topic for them given the extensive history but they’ve spent a lot of time hyperventilating about the fascist plot (and of course Jan 6)

    4. Bob

      Hmm, How about defunding the FBI.

      These folks cannot make a single large heroin interdiction even though they seem to be able to break into the cartels message system even to the point of helping OZ set up a major sting.
      These folk blew off the abuse of underage Olympian gymnasts that went on for years, The FBI ignored Jeffery Epstein and his operation even though they assiduously scoured the planet for Epstein’s incriminating sex tapes, These folks arranged the murder of Fred Hampton while he slept. (and note there is no statute of limitation for murder in most jurisdictions). These folks ignored the Ohio State wrestling scandal, pulled a cloak of fog and darkness over the Kavanagh appointment, fail to even look at the doings of Leo Lenard (sp). No investigation of the scheme to use the mails and wire to defraud and foreclose on 10’s of thousands of home owners in the crash of 2008,

      In short these FBI acts as a political / secret police who hide behind the poison legacy of Edgar J.

      Since the FBI cannot deliver even a modicum of law enforcement , they should be defunded.

      1. lordkoos

        Wasn’t the FBI linked to the assassination of Malcom X (and possibly MLK as well)?

      1. fresno dan

        ex-PFC Chuck
        July 25, 2021 at 11:36 am

        here you go:

        But whenever Hussain asked Cromitie to act on those sentiments—make a plan, pick a target, find recruits, introduce the CI to like-minded brothers, procure guns, and conduct surveillance (GX 104-E2, 105A-E3, 106 (Defense Clips 331, 332, 333, 334, 335), 108-E-2, 109-E2, 109-E3, 110-E1, 112-E1, 112-E2, 1120E3, 113-E1, 113-E2)—Cromitie did none of the above. Hussain tried to coax Cromitie into participating in a jihadist event by suggesting that he would be rewarded in the afterlife. But the promise of Paradise proved insufficient to get Cromitie to take any affirmative steps toward planning a jihadist attack. On December 10, Hussain pointed this out to Cromitie (GX 112-E1, Tr. 1702-04); defendant responded, “Maybe it’s not my missions then. Maybe my mission hasn’t come yet.” (GX 112-E3, Tr. 1705).

        Toward the end of 2008, the Government began adding more worldly inducements to Hussain’s offer or paradise. In December 2008, Hussain promise to give Cromitie his BMW—a car Cromitie greatly admired— but only after Cromitie had completed a mission. (Tr. 893-94, 988). Hussain first offered Cromitie cash incentives for doing jihad during this period as well. (Tr. 1708-09). Cromitie did not rise to the bait.
        I just find if sad that radical religious fanantics have to be bribed with used BMW’s c’mon man, get yourself a Mercedes…a new one.

      2. fresno dan

        ex-PFC Chuck
        July 25, 2021 at 11:36 am
        One other thing – seriously, the FBI couldn’t figure out this was a big mouthed stupid guy?? They put how much time and resources into this guy? They didn’t have ANYTHING more worthy of their time???

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          IIRC hundreds of agents were pulled off the financial beat a few days after 9/11. Maybe it’s time they be sent back. And thanks for the link!

        2. Procopius

          … the FBI couldn’t figure out this was a big mouthed stupid guy??

          Of course they could, that’s why they picked him.

          For some reason I think of a statement by some bond salesman, probably in Liar’s Poker. “I can’t wait to rip a customer’s face off.”

    5. fresno dan

      The arrest of an FBI agent would always be newsworthy. Richard Trask of Kalamazoo has gone from making cases to being a case for prosecution. He faces up to ten years for allegedly assaulting his wife with intent to do great bodily harm. However, Trask was also key to the arrest of men in the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
      Notably, Trask was charged by the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office in Kalamazoo County District Court, not federal court. Those prosecutors may not be unduly concerned about his testimony in the federal case. However, federal prosecutors may be interested in reducing his exposure to keep him from becoming a liability in a major case. Federal and state prosecutors often confer on such cases.

      The problem is that the allegations are pretty dramatic and serious — and there is no entrapment issues. Trask and his wife were reportedly returning from a “swinger’s party” at an Oshtempo Township hotel when they argued over his wife’s saying that she did not enjoy the party. Once home, Trask is accused of jumping on top of his wife in bed and slamming her head into the nightstand. She reportedly resisted and he choked her. She says that she was able to force him off and seek aid. Police describe her as covered in blood and bruises. He was arrested but then released on bond.
      Merely FYI. I would never try and constrain our God fearing, upright, and moral FBI agents from attending swinger’s parties. And I certainly hope the defense doesn’t introduce this superflous and prejudcial information for the defense…

      1. pasha

        he was a member of the wolverine watchmen, and then became an informant. he wasnot not an fbi agent. there is a significant difference

        1. hunkerdown

          Detroit News has claimed otherwise for almost a week.

          FBI spokeswoman Mara Schneider said the bureau is cooperating with the prosecutor’s office. Trask’s job status was unclear Monday.

          “In accordance with FBI policy, the incident is subject to internal review, and I cannot comment further at this time,” she said in a statement.

    6. Maritimer

      For corrupt things FBI, take a look at Whitey Bulger of Boston. Start with the book BLACK MASS and then the Johnny Depp movie. Just incredible stuff. (Bulger actually went to family dinner at his FBI handler’s house. Bulger won the MA LOTTO with a ticket bought at his liquor store! On and on…….)

      And I would say Boston just the tip of the berg.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Opinion: It’s easy to hate billionaires. But they can fill voids.’

    At last. A headline that I can get behind. Sure billionaires can fill voids – voids such as potholes, trenches, shafts, pits and furrows. But the supply won’t go far as there are only about 3,000 of them in the world.

    1. Mikel

      They leave out the part that so many voids were created in the first place by the worship of billionaires.
      Imagine the voids, or even black holes, that are going to need to be filled with the creation of trillionaires….

      1. michael Ismoe

        Isn’t a newspaper’s job to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted? It’s going according to plan.

    2. lance tingquist

      there is a 100% correlation that free trade is fascism

      In 1996 there were 423 billionaires

      was it free trade that created all of these billionaires, you bet it
      was. In1996 there were 423 billionaires most people who are fascist, don’t even know they are fascist In 2019 that number rose to

      when fascism came to america, its was sold as free trade spreads
      democracy, and eradicates poverty

      Billionaires constitute just 0.00003 percent of the world population,
      but they currently own the equivalent of 12 percent of the GWP (gross
      world product) and a much larger percentage of the total wealth of the

  7. Steve H.

    Leading with Shakespeare! For a fine and likely image of the contemporary audience, may I suggest the opening of “The Life of Henry the Fift.”, from the movie “Anonymous.”:

    As well, Tiffany Stern is a scholar reconstructing the method of performance of the time. Far different than Stanislavski’s year in rehearsal, the actors only had a couple of days together before the first show. More like a comedy show/poetry slam than our own ways.

    “the division between high and low culture hadn’t ossified quite so completely yet.”

    To which I note the historical relevance of the Astor Place Riots, which our commentariat may find of note. I would suggest the work of David Crystal on original pronunciation should give the lie to the Received English Whitegloves, and give the higher proof to the groundlings.

    1. Zzzz Andrew

      Several interesting leads here, thank you (have already watched the Anonymous clip and read up on the astonishing Astor Place Riot; bookmarking the rest for later).

  8. Mikel

    Just taking some time to go back over text messsges with friends since March 2020 and articles.

    Remember all the people that had to be talked down about “herd immunity” when:
    1) People were already catching it more than once. And it was evident early on..
    2) The virus was already mutating. Reports were coming globally and people wanted to treat mutations like they were an urban myth.

    Now, people are talking about this is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

    No, this is a pandemic of the “herd immunity” fools and the “we don’t know if the virus is mutating” fools. That’s exactly what viruses do…mutate…and I had to debate people about that.

    Now, the hype is on vaccines. Authorities believe telling the truth loudly about their waning effectiveness is more a threat to public health than people wandering around not protecting themselves or others as the months pass since they fist got the shots for treatment.

    1. campbeln

      I read a tweet earlier today about “the quieting of the Karen’s” on Facebook re: “Just get vaccinated”.

      I have to wonder how many of the “advocates” over the last few weeks of terrible vaccinated infection numbers out of Israel (and basically everyone but the CDC) are real. There’s some introspection going on methinks (mehopes).

      Mix that in with IM Doc’s missives from yesterday’s links and I’m starting to hope more and more people are “smelling the fart” of the “noble lies” (such as ZERO breakthrough cases in LA which IM Doc reported as laughable on it’s face within the industry).

      A disenchanted American can hope, at least…

      1. Phillip Cross

        Even in Israel they are finding that the vast majority of vaccinated people avoid bad outcomes. If you think you’ll be fine without the vaccine, go without.

        Do as thou wilt. Nobody cares if you get sick, or not. …but please spare us the ill informed speculation!

  9. lyman alpha blob

    RE: SF Bay Area restaurants are still struggling. Returning customers don’t see that.

    As a restaurant worker for a decade back in the day, I have long felt that all adults should have to provide verification that they have worked in a restaurant for a minimum of six months before being allowed to eat in one.

    1. chris

      Or work in any kind of service position really. Too many people take too much for granted when it comes to interacting with other people in a retail or service environment.

      1. Mildred Montana

        I worked in the service industry for eight years but never had the courage to use a zinger like this:

        Obnoxious customer to waiter: “This food isn’t fit for a pig.”
        Waiter: “I’m sorry sir, I’ll bring you some that is.”

        The temptation to retaliate was sometimes great, but I usually just put up with the rudeness. Every so often, however, it was too much and I stopped serving him or her or them. I was never fired for that.

        In the business, I had what I called the 3% rule. Out of an average of 30 customers per night one would be a complete jerk. Ergo, 3%. I found that to be a tolerably low number, which is probably one of the reasons why I lasted eight years.

        1. PHLDenizen

          My girlfriend and worked in the front of house a long, long time ago and, worse than the rude customers, were the ones who would corner her and try to pick her up due to her being attractive and friendly. Even dudes who were there with dates or girlfriends or wives would sneak off to pester her for her phone number.

          I’ve heard similar stories from bartenders. Patrons who looked at bagging the woman tending bar as some kind of challenge, the trophy being “I tapped that”. Never occurred to me to harass women in the workplace, but apparently I’m naive and failed to appreciate the scope of it.

          As a bystander, I’ve often intervened when some rude @sshole was berating or otherwise making a service or retail employee uncomfortable. Pharmacies, restaurants, stores, public transit, wherever. Narcissism seems to run amok.

          If you’re 6’2” and your big 3 lifts sum to over 1000 lbs, might as well use your “swole privilege” to do some good. The fact that my natural disposition is measured, calm, and unflappable in the face of whatever meanness and $hit people throw at me helps immensely.

        2. remmer

          Based on my experience as a bartender many years ago, Mildred, I think your 3% rule is just right. And congratulations for lasting more years than I did.

          1. Mildred Montana

            I should have mentioned this in my initial post, which was sort of negative: Let’s not forget the 97%! Those decent people—the vast majority—who just want to enjoy a pleasant drink or meal or whatever.

            Overall my experience in the service industry was a good one, with many heart-warming compliments and (occasionally) tips so generous that I had to ask the customer if he was making a mistake. (I am trying to forget the regular customer—a prominent public figure no less—who unfailingly tipped exactly 40 cents for a $12 bill—on a credit card!)

            The fairly rare instances of rudeness weren’t the reasons I quit. I was bored with the job and left to work in a tree nursery. I found all the trees to be very easy-going.

    2. farragut

      Hear, hear! Having worked as a waiter on-and-off during high school and college, I can say without reservation, the experience was hugely enlightening, and gave me valuable insight into how people should be treated.

    3. Pelham

      Good idea. I am genuinely — and I do mean genuinely — puzzled by this surge in hostility to wait staff and customer-facing employees in other industries, notably airlines.

      If I had given it any thought (I didn’t), I would have expected returning customers to be at least as civil as they were before and probably more so out of gratitude for being able to once again eat at a restaurant or fly to a destination. And perhaps out of sympathy for employees being forced to brave a possibly hazardous situation with prolonged exposure to Covid.

      Instead, the opposite behavior is now well documented. It’s inexcusable, detestable and puzzling.

      1. TalkingCargo

        “… I am genuinely — and I do mean genuinely — puzzled by this surge in hostility…”

        You don’t think it may be caused by the lockdowns? I have this picture of people confined to home, ordering home-delivered junk food, watching the scary Covid news on the TeeVee and listening to all the mixed “official” messages (masks not needed, then they’re needed, it’s not airborne, 2 weeks to flatten the curve, etc, etc). And the unstated implication of this is that catching Covid is a death sentence. Seems to me this is enough to fill a lot of people with high anxiety and cause them to react in emotional ways that they normally would not.

        Of course, maybe it’s just a coincidence that violent crime stats jumped in 2020 and are continuing high. Maybe it’s a coincidence that we’ve seen a marked increase in mass shootings and riots during this period. But I’ve got a feeling that there’s a connection.

        1. Aumua

          watching the scary Covid news on the TeeVee and listening to all the mixed “official” messages (masks not needed, then they’re needed, it’s not airborne, 2 weeks to flatten the curve, etc, etc). And the unstated implication of this is that catching Covid is a death sentence. Seems to me this is enough to fill a lot of people with high anxiety and cause them to react in emotional ways that they normally would not.

          Yeah and maybe it’s also the “other” media a lot of folks are listening to, that is telling them COVID isn’t real, lockdowns are fascism, masks are oppression etc. So when they encounter people who are not acting like everything’s fine then they get a little offended.

        2. Geof

          maybe it’s just a coincidence that violent crime stats jumped in 2020 and are continuing high. Maybe it’s a coincidence that we’ve seen a marked increase in mass shootings and riots during this period. But I’ve got a feeling that there’s a connection.

          According to this, it’s probably not the pandemic on its own:

          the pandemic was a global phenomenon and yet nowhere in the world other than America experienced huge surges in violence of this nature. Mexico saw a 0.4% decrease in homicides over 2019; Canada saw a 0.6% increase. Most of Europe stayed about the same or saw slight increases or decreases. Absolutely nowhere else saw historically unprecedented surges in the vein of 29%

          That post argues that BLM “anti-police agitation” is responsible for the spike in homocides. But I don’t see how that would explain poor treatment of service workers. My first (evidence-free) guess is that the ramping up of “everyone else is an NPC” polarization, combined with “we’re a failed state,” might be factors. Narcissism is spiking, social trust is disintegrating, and institutions are visibly failing. The pandemic might be the immediate trigger, but in America in particular the rot was already there.

      2. Riverboat Grambler

        In my experience many of these people feel like they are the ones who “put up” with the most crap from the pandemic. They had to stay home for awhile, socially distance, and (ugh) wear a mask in public. Like one guy said to me after I asked him to pull up his mask over his nose, “come on man, give me a break.” No, you give ME a break and just wear the mask I gave you for free. I’m the one dealing with random members of the public all day during a pandemic. Who do you think has “put up” with more, the customers who need to wear a mask or the workers who have to wear a mask as well as enforce it on the general public?

        It’s just petulance and entitlement for many.

      3. WhoaMolly

        In my weekly trip to grocery store I’ve noticed same thing. People are especially rude and angry.
        I’ve had two strange run-ins since the lockdown lifted. One in which a woman got in my face and insulted and yelled at me because I was “too close”.
        Another in which a woman charged at me with a 300 lb motorized shopping cart because she wanted to jump the line.
        I’m an old, friendly white guy. These days I get the feeling I’m a target when I go out. Maybe old people are easy, low risk targets for simmering aggression.

      4. Anthony Noel

        Hmm I don’t think it’s puzzling at all. I put myself through university working in a call centre for one of Canada’s largest telecommunications company, Rogers. I was verbally abused at least once a day for the whole 4 years. Some just what I considered standard condescension and rudeness and other things that were horrible, like wishing my mother would get cancer and die slowly because I would not refund them something like 10 dollars in long distance charges.

        The thing I always told newbies when they came in for training was that you had to understand that in 99% of the cases you are the only person that the other person feels they have any sort of “control” over. They had a crap day at work, someone cut them off, someone was rude or mean to them. They have no outlet, no release but you, you are a “faceless” thing they can let loose on, reassert some sense of control in their lives over.

        Considering the near complete lack of control most people feel in their lives right now I can totally understand why people are reacting the way they are against the service and retail people they’re interacting with. It’s one of the few ways they feel they can take back a feeling of control in a world that has basically pulled all foundations out from under them.

      1. Maritimer

        Early on in Covid, there was a Hamptons community that restricted access to RESIDENTS ONLY. Well, one can see where that could go. Only wealthy people allowed in town, thanks. Somewhat like what Venice it trying to do: cherry pick the clientele, no riffraff please.

        Michael Moore did a great stunt off a Greenwich private beach years ago, cruising back and forth off it with boats filled with the riffraff. So, maybe time for busloads of urban trash to daytrip to Hamptons beaches and mingle with their non-taxpaying overlords.

        As for restaurants, at a certain price point, part of the experience is “I’ve made it” and lording it over the service folk. It ain’t the food.

        1. newcatty

          I’ve noticed over the years that the lording over service workers is not just found among the Hamptons “folk”. The social classes in this country are clearly delineated almost in every town, hamlet or city. Example: While growing up and throughout my adult life, I have seen people who find pleasure in being snobs, or jerks, to all kinds of service workers. The worse was at restaurants. There were many what would be called lower economic class people who, probably didn’t have that much more income then the service workers , who at a restaurant were smug at best, and talked to the wait staff like they were their personal servants. I often got an evil eye, or subtle eye roll, when I actually thanked a wait staff for service. Even more mortifying, if I actually smiled and asked how are you? I enjoyed pissing off the jerks, but it was also a disruption to my dinner. How many people in this country are actually not so much due to narcissism, as its a pitiful way to have some sense of self-worth and empowerment? With the lockdowns and the stress of the virus spinning their little world’s, they need to feel “justified” in their worlds.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Harry’s deal is for FOUR books – and one won’t be released until after The Queen has died: Duke oversaw bidding war of up to ‘$40m’ and Meghan will write a ‘wellness’ book as part of mega-deal”

    Rumour has it that Harry is still kicking himself for not filming his wedding night so that he could put the video up for sale. Seems that they are not intending visiting the UK any time soon as all their belongings in Frogmore Cottage have been packed up and put into storage. But Prince William will always have Harry off in the background doing stupid stuff in the same way that President Jimmy Carter always had the antics of his younger brother Billy Carter to put up with.

    1. WhoaMolly

      “Harry is still kicking himself for not filming his wedding night so that he could put the video up for sale.”

      Are we *sure* that footage isn’t archived for a future deal?

    2. Maritimer

      “Rumour has it that Harry is still kicking himself for not filming his wedding night so that he could put the video up for sale.”
      Daily Mail reports that some of H’s ex military pals might not take too kindly to H’s blowing them up.

      Given the M/H total blowup of parents (M mom excepted) parents of the future, yes, might want to take photos, videos, records for later use if offspring get too rambunctious. Keep a bit in the Blackmail Tank. I’m sure there are a lot of regrets in this regard in Ole Blighty.

      Additional rumour has it that the working title for H’s first scribblings is “HARRY MARRY”.

      Lastly, will someone please send Tommy Markle the phone number of a good Hollywood shark lawyer who can blow H&M sky high.

  11. Robert Hahl

    Speaking of the “New Yorker,” what has happened to the cartoons? I flipped through the July 26th issue at a friend’s house. The first two seemed normal but all the others were far below the old standard. I mentioned this finding to the owner of the magazine, who agreed that the cartoons don’t seem as good as they used to be.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Robert Hahl: If you think that the cartoons in the New Yorker have been deteriorating, you should read the poetry of the last couple of decades. Snoozalicious. Most of the poetry is of the really long sentences that run on and on and have no sense of rhythm of the language but seek to

      dazzle with

      weird enjambments
      excessive groovy ampersands

      {Well, any use of ampersands is excessive, and I doubt that it makes me T.S. Eliot to write that.]

      1. tegnost

        one of my all time favorites…

        These lacustrine cities grew out of loathing
        Into something forgetful, although angry with history.
        They are the product of an idea: that man is horrible, for instance,
        Though this is only one example.

        They emerged until a tower
        Controlled the sky, and with artifice dipped back
        Into the past for swans and tapering branches,
        Burning, until all that hate was transformed into useless love.

        Then you are left with an idea of yourself
        And the feeling of ascending emptiness of the afternoon
        Which must be charged to the embarrassment of others
        Who fly by you like beacons.

        The night is a sentinel.
        Much of your time has been occupied by creative games
        Until now, but we have all-inclusive plans for you.
        We had thought, for instance, of sending you to the middle of the desert,

        To a violent sea, or of having the closeness of the others be air
        To you, pressing you back into a startled dream
        As sea-breezes greet a child’s face.
        But the past is already here, and you are nursing some private project.

        The worst is not over, yet I know
        You will be happy here. Because of the logic
        Of your situation, which is something no climate can outsmart.
        Tender and insouciant by turns, you see

        You have built a mountain of something,
        Thoughtfully pouring all your energy into this single monument,
        Whose wind is desire starching a petal,
        Whose disappointment broke into a rainbow of tears.

        1. Kouros

          If the Odyssey would have been composed this way, nobody today would have known of Odysseus…

  12. ObjectiveFunction

    From “Walking Shadows”: For the first actors, performance wasn’t just business, it was an entire lifestyle, and for men like Jonson, Dekker, and Shakespeare, the play was perhaps less the thing than the stage itself was.

    Fascinating to think of Shakespeare reediting his plays to suit the talents, or perhaps at times the ad lib inspirations of, his leading actors.

    While not an anti-Stratfordian CT type (or indeed much of a Bard scholar at all), I am intrigued by some of the newer analysis using antiplagiarism software to show just how extensively his work drew on other sources and authors. Such imitation being widely practiced and not viewed as plagiarism back then; indeed, plays themselves were rarely saved.

    ….It is possible that Shakespeare’s true literary genius was not so much as originator, but more as integrator; he gleaned and wove so many thousands of ideas, observations, natural philosophy and current events into the often ribald and raucous format (and sharp-elbowed commercial enterprise) of the stage play.

    1. Anonymous 2

      Also the possibility that he edited his plays to suit the audience and the messages he wanted to give particular people. This would explain the textual problems with Hamlet – different versions for different audiences?

    2. David

      It’s only relatively recently that originality has become a virtue in literature: think of Greek Tragedy, for example, telling stories that the audience knew by heart. The problem isn’t with Shakespeare, who lived in an age when playwrights routinely borrowed from each other and from elsewhere, but the fact that serious Shakespeare criticism got started in an era when the literary world was still befuddled by Romantic ideas of the original creative artist pouring their heart out. Shakespeare, to put it mildly, wasn’t like that.

    3. Harold

      Imitation “Mimesis” was standard creative (and pedagogic) practice for millennia, though usually you were supposed to imitate something great in the hope that some of the divine afflatus would rub off and not improve something inferior. (Also, the copy was not supposed to be slavish, but to resemble the original “as the son resembles his father.”) cf. T. S. Eliot: “A good poet does not borrow, he steals.”

  13. tegnost

    From whappo…billionaires can fill voids…
    But Bezos, whose curiosity is boundless, has become the person everyone loves to hate

    I’m think ‘ll need a citation for that one
    I see nothing in bezos that makes me think he’s “curious” about anything, unless you mean something along the lines of “curious about how much control or money he can get” He certainly is decidedly uncurious about global heating.
    Yes, billionaires can fill voids…but what if they get cremated?
    My wealthy friends do not hate it’s nice to know they are not part of “everyone”…

    1. eg

      “Yes, billionaires can fill voids…but what if they get cremated?”

      “To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may
      not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander,
      till he find it stopping a bung-hole?”

  14. Mantid

    Regarding Fauci telling the non-vaccinated to STFU in the Vanity Fair article, what rubbish! Once again, more yellow journalism, hyperbole, fear mongering, etc. with the opening sentence including “conservatives’ refusal”. Then a bit later “putting the pandemic behind us, i.e. get the damn vaccine”. I wish these “reporters” would do their “damn” research. She quotes and links to a Wa. Post “study” (which is not peer reviewed, does not include it’s source documents, nor is a double blind & randomized study – ergo “Ivermectonized”) and exclude any other studies or stats indicating otherwise.

    And, by the by, she never actually quotes F’i saying those words. Click bait at best.

    As a teen would say “w’evah”.

    1. PHLDenizen

      This stood out:

      Fauci, of course, has been the right’s arch nemesis since the very start of the pandemic, thanks to the fact that he represents all the things they despise (science, multiple degrees), and not only told people what to do in the midst of a global health crisis, but displayed a treasonous level of disrespect by not blindly agreeing with every single thing Donald Trump…

      The framing of credential skepticism as a lack of morality, intelligence, and “common sense” is tiresome. Fauci is credentialed out the @ss and uses them to excuse his appeal to authority, not to actually manage the Covid response in an honest and helpful way.

      The inability to STFU about Trump is tiresome. Trump’s been out of office for months and this is now Biden’s show. I guess Trump will forever erase the agency of all Democrats from now until the heat death of the universe.

      Yes, Fauci told people what to do, but what did come out of his mouth made it worse. He’s no better than Trump. Curiously, “treasonous” is a virtue when standing up to Trump. Which reads as the PMC’s refusal to accept they lost 2016, instead seeing it as the ascension of fascism. Eyeroll.

      The same hypocrisy is on display with Ivermectin, in line with IM Doc’s discourse on the tyranny of EBM and RCTs. To wit,

      Most notably, he dramatically loosened HIV-drug clinical trial requirements so that a far greater number of desperate patients could try new compounds (an approach called “parallel tracking”), expanded research on HIV/AIDS and its treatment in underrepresented women and/or people of color, and gave activists and people living with HIV seats at the table of the planning committee of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG).

      Fauci also played a key role in getting the federal research apparatus to incorporate those recommendations, in what amounted to perhaps the first time that federal health bureaucrats acceded almost fully to community and activist demands.

      Ivermectin seems to be a good candidate for such an approach, but “deplorables”.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The 1980s was a long time ago, but my memory is that Fauci spent the AIDS years obstructing, preventing, denying the sorts of drug trials you praise him for supporting for as long as he could, and it took years of very nasty public demostrating by ACT UP aimed at Fauci personally to beat and defeat him into finally permitting this approach to drug research which he never ever wanted to permit.

        What he is doing against Ivermectin now is exactly what he was doing against all kinds of experimental prospective anti-viral drugs in the age of AIDS for as long as he could get away with it.
        That is my memory. After 35 or so years, is my memory wrong?

  15. Mikel

    Katniss E. wrote this yesterday:

    After 16 months of this shit–statements made one day and contradicted the next; massive, deliberate abuse of statistics, percentages, and visual representations; threats and vilification for non-compliance; relentless accusations and blatant censorship of “misinformation” and “disinformation,” without legitimate corroboration, by “omniscient” and omnipotent social media techies–there’s only one thing I know for sure.

    For me, fear of contracting a serious or fatal case of “the virus” is now taking a definite back seat to deep suspicion of “authorities”– in media, “public health,” and government–who are using their power to confuse and disorient the public to, what I can only conclude, is some nefarious end….”
    What is being revealed?
    The level of mass death “acceptable” to global populations and what can be sacrificed to preserve an economic ideology.

    1. VietnamVet

      Joe Biden’s ratings fell 20% since May. 55% of Americans are pessimistic about the future. “Gee. I wonder why?”. Blaming the unvaccinated and the deplorables just about covers everybody, except the corrupt Overseer Class whose incompetence caused the pandemic to encircle the globe in the first place.

      The aristocracy never feel the weight of gravity until it is too late.

  16. tegnost

    It’s not the earthquake californians fear most, it’s the lack or cheap labor represented by undocumented workers that will make the state fall into the sea.

    ” not just immigrants, not just black immigrants, but all of us — that’s really the big idea. And that’s going to take some work because right now the system is still pretty much stacked against the little guy. The people who have been in the lower rungs of our society and our economy, they’re still pretty much stuck there.”

    No mention of how undocced immigrants help stack things against the little guy…
    Also there are immgrants and there are undocced immigrants, they’re separate groups

    1. JBird4049

      Which Californians? I have seen most the trade jobs, the restaurant work, and the lower end retail jobs before the pandemic lose all the native labor. Jobs that my high school classmates and I also did. It is the upper class California that fears the lack of cheap, disposable, and controllable help.

      This displacement of the native, lower class labor took forty years, but it is almost complete. Flood the state with undocumented, often desperately poor people from countries that the United States destroyed. Then get rid of all the good jobs but coding, banking and other high end jobs requiring a very expensive college education, while simultaneously replacing the employees of those positions with temp workers from India.

      This makes the lower eighty percent of Californians’ lives ever more desperate. Of course, if I was to say that in some places, I would be denounced as a racist or someone who hates the undocumented with no acknowledgement made of the truth of the matter.

      But nuance gives understanding and power to the masses, while the simplified narrative gives that power to the elites.

      1. tegnost

        Agree completely…my whole family lives in SD (PMC) but I gave up on it as hopeless (gardener/nursery/hardscaper)

    2. lordkoos

      There was a 1998 movie called “A Day Without A Mexican”, set in Los Angeles, the premise being all Mexicans disappearing for a day and the ensuing chaos. The film didn’t get a lot of attention but I found it highly entertaining and funny.


  17. Michael Ismoe

    “…and Meghan will write a ‘wellness’ book as part of mega-dea,”

    “Grab the Meghan Markel book, dear, It’s sitting right there next to the Hunter Biden hanging on the wall.”

    I’m glad I’m old. Dying doesn’t seem so awful anymore.

  18. Mikel

    “Israel says Pfizer Covid vaccine is just 39% effective as delta spreads, but still prevents severe illness” CNBC

    It was only a few months ago when:

    “…Weirder still, one vaccine in particular—from Pfizer—has somehow become the cool vaccine, as well as the vaccine for the rich and stylish. Slate’s Heather Schwedel recently discussed the “Pfizer superiority complex” at length. As one source told her: “One of my cousins got Moderna, and I was like, ‘That’s OK. We need a strong middle class.’” On Twitter, the vaccinated are changing their usernames to reflect their new personal identities: There are Pfizer Princesses and Pfizer Floozies and Pfizer Pfairies and at least one Portrait of a Lady on Pfizer. “Pfizer is what was available when I signed up,” Jagger
    Blaec, a 33-year-old podcast host told me, “but it’s no coincidence every baddie I know has Pfizer and not Moderna.” Isn’t it a coincidence, though?…”

  19. chris

    Thanks for posting the article about California proposing to expand health care to undocumented immigrants. This will be interesting to watch. IMO, one of the significant barriers to implementing single payer health care nationwide is the idea of the “other” being given health care. I’m still not sure how we actually make it work without real immigration controls and real enforcement on employers but if we can win the battle in the minds of the people that’s a good start.

    1. lambert strether

      > expand health care to undocumented immigrants

      They’re expanding “health care” and not “access” to health care? The rest of us should be so lucky!

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Senate panel votes to make women register for draft”

    Could it be that the military have realized that over time, so many possible future recruits would have been damaged in this pandemic by the virus, that there is going to be a future shortfall of soldiers to serve the empire? Already they are refusing to take recruits if they have ever been hospitalized by it. So with this probable shortfall, what better way to replenish the supply than to start to push women to join the services? The idea of having them register for the draft can be written off by saying that it is all a matter of equality and so normalizing the idea of women joining the military more. As it is, only about 15% of the active military in the US are women.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      It’s a move toward fuller equality. The rate of combat-related PTSD among women is way too low in this country!

      And somebody will think it’s a great idea: “Wait until some of those Congressmen have to think about sending their daughters into harm’s way.”

      Like that’s gonna happen.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        “The rate of combat-related PTSD among women is way too low in this country!”

        According to the VA, women are more than twice as likely to suffer from PTSD than men (10% for women versus 4% for men). Although fewer see combat as often as their male counterparts, they are far more likely to have PTSD from sexual assault and harassment. The notion that you get PTSD only if you’ve seen combat — or, worse, that if you have PTSD and haven’t seen combat, you’re a [family blog] — is a damaging misconception. When asked whether I saw combat during my (barely) post-Vietnam enlistment, I respond, “Every day in the office was combat.” And, I have PTSD.

        More than “just” a mental health condition, PTSD has lingering physical effects that make one more vulnerable to disease and early death. There is no easy or fast cure, and it’s cumulative. In other words, if you’ve already got PTSD and experience subsequent trauma, the physical symptoms accumulate. I liken it to a back injury; once you’ve done major damage, even if it was when you were young and resilient, you are vulnerable to re-injury for the rest of your life. All it takes is one ergonomically incorrect lift of an object that’s not even that heavy to lay you flat for weeks or months. Likewise, with PTSD, something as common as being stuck in a traffic jam can trigger an episode, and it can take weeks or months to resolve.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Women are already fighting for the “right” to join the elite fighters and go kill brown people for the Empire. All in the name of proving what, that they are equal to men? I thought, from my liberated-male past learnings on feminism, that women are supposed to be *better* than men. Now for some diseased version of “better…”

      Stupid effing humans…

      1. Brunches with Cats

        Just a reminder — I doubt you need it, but for others who might: The commanding officer in charge of prisons in Iraq during the torture and abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib was female. As was one of two soldiers found guilty of the worst atrocities and sentenced to jail. “Equality” of the sort you’re disparaging has already happened. Since they were military, they even got equal pay for equal work.

    3. Massinissa

      Personally I find it doubtful there will be a draft in the next few years. I’m not sure the hawks are wanting a war with China THAT badly.

    4. Brunches with Cats

      COVID has little or nothing to do with it, Kev. And it clearly is about “equality.” As the linked article noted, the Supreme Court last month declined to hear a case challenging the constitutionality of male-only draft registration. The justices argued that it’s up to Congress to decide — and, in fact, it’s been considering the question since before the pandemic.

      The original reason for the male-only draft was a guaranteed supply of cannon fodder, and women weren’t allowed in combat, so drafting them was pointless. That changed in 2013, when the Pentagon lifted the ban on women in combat. More on the that and the SCOTUS decision here, if you’re interested:

      You are right about the “shortfall of soldiers to serve the empire.” But, again, this has been a problem for years. According to the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, 71% of today’s youth don’t qualify for military service because of “obesity, drugs, physical and mental health problems, misconduct, and aptitude. Getting the remaining 29% to sign up has been problematic, leading Pentagon types to call for reinstating the draft. I doubt we’ll ever know how many more will be disqualified due to COVID-related physical problems. The most we can do is monitor future data for increases in the percent disqualified and extrapolate using the civilian population.

        1. Brunches with Cats

          Figures are from USAREC website:

          Presumably there is supporting documentation. I just didn’t look for it, sorry. Apologies as well for forgetting to close the quote after “aptitude.” The rest is from other sources.

          (This is a recreation of the first attempt to reply, which vanished into cyberspace and may show up eventually.)

      1. neo-realist

        Didn’t we draft people back in the day even if they did have “obesity, drugs, mental health problems, misconduct, and aptitude issues? College matriculation, severe health problems, homosexuality, and parenthood usually got you out of service……and being in the top 10-15 percent in your graduating class and or political connections got you in the national guard. Sounds like the pentagon just getting more picky nowadays?

        1. Brunches with Cats

          “Sounds like the pentagon just getting more picky nowadays?”

          Yep, gotta weed out the Chelsea Mannings and Bowe Bergdahls.

        2. Procopius

          No, people were not drafted if they were obese. It would be too time consuming and require too much close supervision to get most obese people fit to keep up “on the march,” as the Foreign Legionnaires used to say. If you fell out of formation because you were exhausted I don’t think you had a good chance of straggling into the base camp hours later. Drugs, mental problems, and aptitude issues usually didn’t show up until later, and that was why we had Undesirable, Bad Conduct, and Dishonorable discharges. As evidence McNamara was disconnected from the real world, he ordered the services to accept, both through recruiting and the draft, 100,000 soldiers who tested as Cat V, a score that usually showed a person was too mentally challenged to be able to do any routine job in the military. Project 100,000, it was called. It did not work well, but I don’t know if he was ever told.

    5. Brunches with Cats

      Regarding women, the overall percentage in the U.S. armed forces is up slightly, to 16.5%. However, while recruiting more women has been an issue, the attrition rate may be even more problematic. According to one of many studies of women in the military, women are 28 percent more likely than men to leave early for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is sexual assault. As a U.S. Army enlistee in the late 1970s, I witnessed firsthand the challenges for women, although back then, there was no quitting before your enlistment was up. There has been some positive change over the past 40 years, but not nearly enough has been done to prevent the glaring discrimination that still exists. That, plus my personal experience, convinces me that the Pentagon really doesn’t want more women in uniform. As far as they’re concerned, we’re a pain in the @$$. A May 2020 GAO report more or less confirms my observation:

    6. Riverboat Grambler

      Somewhat related but on the topic of US military recruitment I’ve noticed the military is now blatantly advertising enlisting as playing a real-life first-person-shooter video game. Saw an ad with guys clearing a bunker with the tagline “WE DON’T LIKE CAMPERS EITHER”, campers being a term for players who only sit in one spot and bushwhack other players in shooter games. I imagine the British had similar complaints during the American revolution, as well as US troops in Vietnam and the Middle East.

      Another ad had a row of different types of soldiers arranged like a character-select screen; “WHAT’S YOUR WARRIOR?” This on top of official Army E-sports teams and even Army recruiters streaming games calling people “my guy” and Army Twitter going “uwu”, good lord. I know AOC tried to introduce legislation to stop that but I don’t know if it was successful.

      I’ve been a gamer and a shooter fan my whole life and I find it disgusting. In real life when someone pops out around a corner and shoots you in the face there’s no respawns, and if you survive combat the highlight clips that will forever play in your head probably won’t elicit fun memories.

      Every controversy ever stirred up by a video game pales in comparison to the military intentionally blurring the line between fantasy and reality so they can target underprivileged teenagers.

        1. Riverboat Grambler

          Yeah baby, turn me into Gray Fox from Metal Gear Solid. That guy turned out just fine.

        2. rowlf

          From 1982, The Lords of the New Church: Open Your Eyes

          Video games train the kids for war
          Army chic in high-fashion stores
          Law and order’s done their job
          Prisons filled while the rich still rob
          Assassination politics
          Violence rules within’ our nation’s midst
          Well, ignorance is their power tool
          You’ll only know what they want you to know
          The television cannot lie
          Controlling media with smokescreen eyes
          Nuclear politicians picture show
          The acting’s lousy but the blind don’t know

          Open your eyes, see the lies right in front of ya
          Open your eyes, see the lies right in front of ya
          Open your eyes, see the lies right in front of ya
          Open your eyes

          They scare us all with threats of war
          So we forget just how bad things are
          You taste the fear when you’re all alone
          They gonna git ya when you’re on your own
          The silence of conspiracy
          Slaughtered on the altar of apathy
          You gotta wake up from your sleep
          ‘Cause meek inherits earth six feet deep

          Open your eyes, see the lies right in front of ya
          Open your eyes, see the lies right in front of ya
          Open your eyes, see the lies right in front of ya
          Open your eyes

          1. LawnDart

            Had friends do a cover of “The Lord’s Prayer” at a church function when we were teenagers… the set wrapped up early, like mid-song early.

          1. Riverboat Grambler

            I remember that, and it was a strong sign of things to come, but the advertisements on TV and YouTube have become so much more brazen in terms of linking games with enlistment. I miss the old generic “be all you can be” ads narrated by my personal saint Keith David.

          2. Basil Pesto

            America’s Army was exclusively a US army project, developed solely with the aim of being a recruitment tool. It’s always been a pretty fringe game, compared to the big guns. There are no other games funded by the army, though as with Hollywood they may offer technical assistance on certain projects.

            1. The Rev Kev

              The Pentagon has their fingers in all sorts of games over the years. I cannot say how it is for games but when you mentioned that they also give technical assistance for Hollywood, it is way, way more than that. They have a veto on the scripts and can have them changed if the think that it will reflect better on the US military.

              The other day I was reading about their relationship with the 1996 film “Independence Day”. Because the producers refused to pull mention of Area 51 in that film, the Pentagon pulled all support which is why a lot of that film depends on CGI so much. But when that article listed all the changes that still made it into the script, it was fairly substantial in terms of characters and background stories.

              And if you want to see how the Pentagon wants film done showing the US military, try the 2011 film “Battle: Los Angeles” which would explain why that film gets so hoaky from time to time when showing American soldiers.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        Beyond disgusting, it’s outright perverted — especially in light of the “Collateral Murder” video. When it was released, there was a lot of commentary on the attitude of the helicopter crew, like they were playing a video game and not shooting real people. Defenders of the crew said they were doing “exactly what they were trained to do.” So now DoD’s looking for “pre-trained” recruits?

        Anyway, I haven’t seen those ads and obviously haven’t been paying attention, because a quick search tells me this has been a thing for a while. If NC has posted links, I’ve missed those, too. Top search returns included the following July 2020 article in The Nation. Among other things, it mentions recruiters interacting with 13-year-olds online. “Perverted” isn’t the only P-word that comes to mind.

        1. newcatty

          It’s said that the PTB often telegraph their Next moves. Anyone else think that the Senate voting to make women register for the draft is just opening the door for ” bringing back the draft” for boys, as well including the girls? It’s because of “equality” and “inclusiveness” .
          That’s it.

          1. Brunches with Cats

            A lot of the current discussion stems from a March 2020 report by the National Commission on National Military and Public Service, established by Congress in 2017 to review the Selective Service System and to make recommendations for increasing not only military service, but also non-military public service. Due to the timing, the report was overshadowed by the pandemic, and so we didn’t hear a lot about it until more recently. By definition, the draft (as opposed to registration for the draft) is part of the discussion, and it has its proponents. As far as I can tell, however, there’s no major, high-profile support for it, not now or anytime soon. It would take a “national emergency” bigger than 9/11 for that to happen.

            1. Procopius

              The Defense Establishment adopted policies after World War II that inevitably lead to a death spiral. Since no new weapon will be adopted unless it is the newest technology, every new weapons system will be (much) more expensive than the one it replaces, so as the older ones are retired they can’t be replaced one for one. I can remember when the Navy was begging for funds to restore us to a 600 ship navy. The looters are taking it while they can, because we will never be able to fight a war against China or Russia, which have not adopted this suicidal policy. That’s OK because they have no desire to conquer North America. The logistics would make it unprofitable. Unfortunately the lunatics will probably attack them and thousands of young people will die as their equipment fails (vide Afghanistan and Iraq).

            2. Jason

              It would take a “national emergency” bigger than 9/11 for that to happen.

              The next American Reichstag Fire is in the drawer waiting for its opportunity to shine.

  21. Petter

    Re the Zeynep article: Two points – FDA approval of the vaccines and the involvement of OSHA. Zeynep writes that it’s time to get full approval for the vaccines, the safety data is there and has been for two months now. I’m not going to get into whether she’s right or not, the question of whether the vaccines should be approved. The issue for me is the efficiency of the FDA. On the Darkhorse podcast, Dr. Robert Malone stated that he was in touch with the FDA and the feedback he was getting from the people he spoke with was that the FDA was overwhelmed and couldn’t keep up (he wasn’t referring to vaccine approval, it was some other issues.) Then a day or two ago, on the Sam Harris Podcast, Dr. Eric Topol was also talking about the need for the FDA to give full approval, citing that the safety data was in but that the approval was delayed. It should have been have been approved in June but it’s now looking like next January. Why the delays? I’m assuming that amongst the reasons one must be that they don’t have enough personnel, that the FDA has been bled like other agencies and institutions.
    Then there is OSHA. Zeynep writes that OSHA needs to step up with better workplace rules. Where has OSHA been? Why hasn’t OSHA been more involved in COVID and workplace safety? (I actually posted that question last year.) Has that agency been gutted too or would mandating better workplace rules step on two many toes, cost too much, or what?

    1. Samuel Conner

      I wonder whether granting of full authorization to the currently EUA vaccines would prevent the issuance of EUAs for low cost therapies, such as Ivermectin, or high cost therapies that are in the Pharma pipeline, and that is a consideration being weighed by FDA. If the former, good on the FDA; if the latter …

    2. Lois

      My understanding is OSHA had worked up rules for all workplaces, and then the Biden admin top brass told them to do healthcare only. So I believe your “step on too many toes and cost too much” suggestions is what is happening.

      1. IM Doc

        Anyone who states with a straight face that “the safety data is in” on these vaccines should be immediately disregarded and laughed out of the room.

        I have had more patients with DVT and PE in the past 8 months than I have had combined for the past 9 years.
        I keep very detailed records of diagnoses on computer databases for just such occasions.

        Take one guess that fits together with all but one of the patients in the past 8 months.

        It will only be the passing of some serious time and the evaluation of morbidity and mortality tables before we know the safety of these vaccines.

        I could spend all day reciting the list of medications the FDA has approved and then years later has to pull because these facts become obvious. The difference now is the facts are actually obvious now to anyone with eyes to see.

        1. Petter

          I’m with you here but assume there is a lot of pressure on the FDA to get the vaccines approved. I know, well actually read, that the FDA’s worst nightmare is another Thalidomide. Still, both Zeynep and Dr. Topol say the evidence on vaccine safety was established two months ago (if so we missed it and don’t even understand how they can assert it), but if they represent establishment opinion (no matter how absolutely wrong), the FDA still can’t do it on the timeline required by whoever the powers that be want it done. Why not?

          1. HotFlash

            Why would the FDA be afraid of that? FDA never approved thalidomide, it was their heroic moment and the FDA doc (Kelsey) who wouldn’t approve got a medal from JFK. The covid vaccine is not merely a new med but a new tchnology. It has not been tested to usual FDA stds (normally takes abt 3 years, so I have read). The Phase II was perfunctory and the Phase III — the n is impressive but the record-keeping is abysmal. Results therefore inconclusive. Waiver of liability is also highly unusual.

            1. rowlf

              Ouch. When my coworkers ask my opinion (since I apparently knew Christ when he was a senior NCO):

              Is it a bad idea? Yes.
              Is there a lot of money involved in the decision? Yes.
              Is it unpopular among the rank and file? Yes.

              It will likely be implemented or approved.

    3. Basil Pesto

      This only answers one of your questions, but iirc OSHA was crimped quite severely by the Trump admin, as reported by David Sirota. I’m going by memory though, so someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

  22. antidlc

    So Gottlieb goes on TV and says this:

    “The virus levels that you develop early in the course of the infection are significantly higher with this Delta virus than with the old strain,” @ScottGottliebMD
    says. “That’s why people are more contagious. That’s why this is spreading more rapidly.”

    The CDC should be screaming for people(vaccinated or not) to wear masks.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Yours Truly continues to mask up before entering an enclosed space. It’s just how I roll.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        The problem is that everyone needs to roll the way you do for it to be really effective. With masks, the degree of protection is measured by reflection. While Americans have a streak that seems to contradict everything about such an idea as, do unto others…, they are by in large just as generous and capable of it as other peoples. But they desperately need to be reminded, for the American canon, has been the polar opposite now for two generations.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Facemasks are a filter medium. I remain unconvinced the simple facemasks we drape from our ears somehow manage to filter in one direction only — with the exception of some workshop mask designs with their exhale blow hole. The inside of a mask has a layer of material for dealing with moisture accumulation from exhalations. The middle layer contains the plastic fiber filtering material and a third layer presents to the world — I suppose it helps keep our hands off the filtering material in the middle of the sandwich. A “selfish’ person could choose a mask rated for filtering particulates from the air. As far as I know the paper shop masks are made of the same materials.

    2. IM Doc

      His hypothesis about the delta variant causing the higher loads may be correct.

      There is also another hypothesis now out there gaining some signal every day. Many people I know with expertise discussing it. And that is the increasing evidence that viral loads are much higher in the vaccinated. Since we have so many vaccinated now, it would make sense that the overall viral loads are higher. This elevation may have nothing to do with “delta”.

      Again, just another hypothesis out there looking for evidence.

      Funny how a board member of Pfizer neglected to mention that alternate hypothesis.

      Why he continues to be carted out on national television in his obviously conflicted status is all the proof I need that our media is corrupt to the core. How much did Big Pharma pay CBS in ad revenue last year?

      1. antidlc

        Oh, I cringe every time I see this guy, given his background.

        IM Doc:” His hypothesis about the delta variant causing the higher loads may be correct.

        There is also another hypothesis now out there gaining some signal every day. Many people I know with expertise discussing it. And that is the increasing evidence that viral loads are much higher in the vaccinated. Since we have so many vaccinated now, it would make sense that the overall viral loads are higher. This elevation may have nothing to do with “delta”.”

        If there is evidence of higher viral loads, then regardless of what is causing the higher viral loads, the CDC should be recommending everyone to mask up. So sorry. I am just livid that the CDC still hasn’t changed their mask recommendations.

        I keep asking myself, “WHY?? haven’t they changed their mask recommendations?”

        Are they afraid of death threats? Are they afraid they will look ridiculous, backtracking on their guidance? Do they want people to get sick or die? I keep shaking my head, wondering.

        We need a coordinated, well-communicated national response, and all I see is chaos.

        1. Petter

          Norway followed the CDC mask recommendations on no need to for masks any longer. It’s like we’d been in an air raid shelter and gotten the all clear. Not everyone is buying it though. My wife reports that about a third of the customers in grocery stories still masks (she does all the shopping and wears one). As for my GP’s multi physician office, no masks. Same for my cardiologist’s office.
          The tune is starting to change though in areas with increased infection.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Sounds like you and your wife are smarter than your GP’s office and your cardiologist. Have they not heard of the precautionary principle? Keep safe and don’t let your guard down.

      2. Brian Beijer

        IM Doc- I was watching John Campbell’s latest videos and in one he discusses the decreasing efficacy of the Phizer vaccine in Israel (41%) and why, accroding to him, they differ from the efficacy of the vaccine in the UK (86-92%). He hypothesises that it is due to the length of time between the two doses. If I remember correctly, the time between doses in Israel was 3 weeks and the time in the UK was 12 weeks. He conjectures that the US will see similar uptick in cases because they also had a shorter wait between the two doses. Is this something you’ve heard others discuss? Is there a consensus that time between doses makes this big of a difference in the long term efficacy? I can’t understand how time between doses could impact the long term efficacy to such a degree.

        1. Isotope_C14

          I think the time between doses at this point isn’t the relevant component. It might simply be time since last dose. Also there was quite a lot of AZ used in the UK, there are a number of parameters that make a comparison difficult.

        2. CoryP

          I’ve been wondering about that too, being in Canada where almost everyone (aside from top-tier priority) had to wait 8-16 weeks for a 2nd shot of mRNA.

          Is Dr Campbell suggesting that it is time-from-last-dose that determines the effectiveness, or does he think there is still a difference when time-from-last-dose is held constant?

          I got my 2nd shot about a month ago, so it seems logical to me to assume my protection will have decayed less than someone who’d gotten the 2nd dose in March.

  23. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

    Re: Californians tired of doing their part during triple-digit heat

    Interestingly, not a single regular Californian is asked why they don’t want to subject themselves to austerity while electric companies make billions and refuse to upgrade the grid, because you know, it’s not profitable.

    1. Wotan

      There’s no evidence electric companies refuse to upgrade but there’s evidence the bureaucrats who tell the companies how much they can earn refuse to authorize the companies to pass on their cost of upgrading. In other words it is the politicians and their friend bureaucrats that are penny wise and pound foolish.

      1. Milton

        What in heck are you talking about? Scores of articles abound re: CA utility companies not making needed upgrades or repairs (here’s one: while still enriching shareholders of parent corporations (I’m looking at you Sempra). The fact is, in CA at least, the insurance commissioner’s office has been neutered and has failed to rule in the public interest for almost a generation now. My thoughts, I know, but I call ’em as I see ’em since I’ve been paying the bills for 40 years now.

        1. Nikkikat

          No kidding! I just left California. The utilities OWN the place. I didn’t have a monthly bill in the last 20 years that did not have an announced request in the envelope for an increase. Every month year after year with out fail. These crooks pay for nothing out of their own pocket; ever. The calif Public utilities commission is corrupt. There have been numerous scandals regarding board members taking thousands in gifts and payola. Their failure to keep equipment repaired is infamous (see the cause of several Calif. fires)

          1. JBird4049

            It is not that bad. From what I understand, this little bit of corruption with both the legislature and the utilities acting together has only been around since before the Great Depression or even longer as in right before or right after the Great War. That’s only a century, if it’s rounded off. /s

            But the water wars here in the state are even more corrupt and for far longer. As a native Californian, I really should know more, but do they not cover this at all in the classes on the state’s history. Not. At. All. Isn’t that strange?

            Also, maybe even as a history buff, I just do not want to know just corrupt my state is. It is easy to read about states, and the cities in them, like New York state, New Jersey, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Michigan, or even Washington state, never mind D.C., as it is often fun reading about the shenanigans over there. But when it is my state, county, and city with their own colorful histories, not so much. What that says about me, maybe I also don’t want to know.

            I really am going to have to do some digging as I do live here and pride myself on supposedly being informed. I’ll just need a barf bag handy.

            And while we are talking about maintenance issues, check out PG&E gas explosion in San Bruno that took out a neighborhood in 2010. IIRC, the company had pocketed the extra money given to them for examining such pipes and done nothing.

      2. Glen

        I don’t know about upgrades because PG&E is rather well know for just reducing required maintenance to bare bones even as the maintenance crews were warning that this would lead to massive problems.

        PG&E’s Lack of Power Line Maintenance Found to be Cause of the Paradise Wildfire

        In my company management wanted to implement “run to failure” as the maintenance goals on large parts of our factory and equipment despite our warnings that the failures could be catastrophic.

        For the people running these companies it’s all about figuring out how to reduce costs to bare bones because it is tied to huge bonuses for the executives.

  24. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    Gushing Coverage of the Billionaire’s Space Race Fair

    “Now that billionaires can go on joy rides into space, we’re apparently one step closer to solving the climate crisis, wealth disparities, worker exploitation, human slavery, mass starvation, access to clean water, state violence and all of the other structural inequities that plague society.”

    “And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should”, that is, towards a more perfect thralldom.

    Even as we collectively and individually take one step at a time, because as we all know and as we are always told by certain obnoxious PR agents, the plebs and the serfs are merely jealous and envious of their betters, because again, as everyone knows, everybody has the same opportunity and desire to achieve the only advertised goal that matters, to become fabulously, obscenely, in you face, conspicuously wealthy. The fact that you choose not to do so is simply because you are lazy. Therefore, go forth and do great things by becoming a reality TV star and starting your own cosmetics company, for example.

    “Kylie Jenner | Car Collection | Her $14 Million Car Collection (Ferrari, Bugatti, Maybach & More)”

    But once again, all is not so simple, because “you are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the effort of men who are better than you,”

    Sorry Kylie, but you are not a man, at least not yet. As for the thralls, learn to grovel and supplicate as is both required and necessary, as the whips of institutionalized hunger, force, power, authority, dominance, and violence exist for a reason.

  25. LawnDart

    Nightmare fuel:

    Taibbi’s “Trillion-Dollar Lie” again reminds me of those responsible for the suffering and hopelessness fostered by the 2005 bankruptcy bill– bipartisan bankster whores to include Biden, Bush, and Clinton. We can cheer for little wins here and there, but until the predatory system of student loans is scrapped and full bankruptcy protection restored (not that there should be any need for such protection) millions of us are still totally screwed… …exposed to clouds of bloodsuckers without bug-spray or even a shirt to protect us.

  26. Carolinian

    Re Lapham’s Quarterly on Shakespeare’s actors–echos of today’s dominant art form?

    At the height of their careers, men like Burbage and Alleyn, Kemp and Armin, were more celebrated than the playwrights who crafted their lines.

    Ticket buyers for the just out Black Widow–a modest hit apparently–probably all know who Scarlett Johansson is and no clue about Cate Shortland, the person Johansson reportedly picked for director (not the other way around). And in the higher art film realm it’s hard to imagine a genuine auteur like Ingmar Bergman being remotely as good without his superb actors–even if he mentored many of them.

    So let’s hear it for the cattle* of our modern day, totally collaborative, narrative form. If we “lost it at the movies” they are the ones we lost it to,.

    *apocryphal Hitchcock. He quipped in reply that he meant “actors should be treated like cattle.”

    1. LifelongLib

      IIRC Kenneth Anger in “Hollywood Babylon” says that the first movie makers thought actors would be interchangeable, that audiences would only be interested in the stories. But they started getting feedback from the theaters showing that moviegoers were following certain actors from movie to movie and not caring much about the plots. Hence the birth of the star system.

  27. a fax machine

    As an American I need someone in Britain to answer: why would Prince Harry make a book deal when in theory all companies within the Commonwealth are chartered to his mom, and will become his property when she dies? He can just order them to print his book, mail it to everyone in the country, and make a test on it a required civil service exam to obtain employment.

    And, more to the point, what would the book even be about? Coventry-area husbandry, dog breeding, shooting sports (but not scary, improper modern guns or “gangster” guns, been through this with several people I know in real life), 17th century marine navigation and Proper table coaster design? What else would the royal family be reasonably into (besides money and grifting, that is).

      1. antidlc

        The Heiress, the Queen, and
        the Trillion-Dollar Tax Shelter

        In addition, Jersey hosts a branch of Coutts Crown Dependencies, the global offshore wealth manager that is private banker to the queen. Prominently, the queen herself was exposed by the Paradise Papers, as the leaked records showed her partaking of her far-flung offshore empire as Duchy of Lancaster. The monarch’s representatives were forced to admit for the first time in 2017 that she not only was investing in offshore financial vehicles but was well aware of it.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Harry is sixth in the line of succession these days. I’m not sure how the law changes affecting female royal inheritance work as I think they only apply to kids born after a certain date, but Harry’s path to being king requires William dying before Charles. If Willy becomes king, Harry is behind Will’s kids.

      Edit Alert! I just checked there are laws on the books. Willy’s kids are still ahead of ole Harry.

    2. antidlc

      The Heiress, the Queen, and
      the Trillion-Dollar Tax Shelter

      In addition, Jersey hosts a branch of Coutts Crown Dependencies, the global offshore wealth manager that is private banker to the queen. Prominently, the queen herself was exposed by the Paradise Papers, as the leaked records showed her partaking of her far-flung offshore empire as Duchy of Lancaster. The monarch’s representatives were forced to admit for the first time in 2017 that she not only was investing in offshore financial vehicles but was well aware of it.

  28. flora

    CDC announcment:

    After December 31, 2021, CDC will withdraw the request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel, the assay first introduced in February 2020 for detection of SARS-CoV-2 only. CDC is providing this advance notice for clinical laboratories to have adequate time to select and implement one of the many FDA-authorized alternatives.

  29. Alex Cox

    Re Lapham article about Shakespearean clowns, there is a wonderful book by Michael Green called The Art of Coarse Acting which contains good advice for actors cast in the dreadful role of Launcelot Gobbo…

    1. Carolinian

      Olivier’s film version of Henry V starts and ends at the Globe and he tries to give an impression of what the broad comedy playing was like. This is one of my favorite films, but I often find myself wishing he had cut out more of the comic relief. Those heroic speeches, however, never!

  30. Jason Boxman

    So because Google is useless, I cannot find any evidence of this, but several years? ago there was a story about discharging student loans in bankruptcy, and the short of it was that it is very difficult to prove undue hardship and so it’s rare that a student loan that meets all the proper criteria for being considered as such can be discharged in bankruptcy.

    So I appreciate what Taibbi is saying about loans purporting to be student loans that are nonsense, much like exotic financial products from the early 2000s. But unless things have changed, for loans that meet the legal qualifications required to be a student loan, discharge remains a challenge.

    I did come across this, and not being a lawyer myself it sounds legitimate at least: Brunner Test: Discharging Student Loans in Bankruptcy

    But to summarize, the Brunner Test is subjective and it is entirely up to the judge if you meet the test and can discharge your student loan.

      1. Procopius

        I’m not sure what you mean by, “… nobody has mentioned Joe Biden’s part …” Maybe we just haven’t mentioned it in today’s comments, but I’m sure I’ve seen it discussed here several times, or at least mentioned. I’m sure all the regulars are familiar with it. Maybe we’re just jaded. I’m sure he will continue as the Senator from Mastercard to squelch any effort to amend the statute, and for reasons beyond my understanding the demand for debt forgiveness is just used as a diversion from the more achievable goal of allowing discharge in bankruptcy, which I think would be more just anyway.

  31. Harold

    Imitation “Mimesis” was standard creative (and pedagogic) practice for millennia, though usually you were supposed to imitate something great in the hope that some of the divine afflatus would rub off and not improve something inferior. (Also, the copy was not supposed to be slavish, but to resemble the original “as the son resembles his father.”) cf. T. S. Eliot: “A good poet does not borrow, he steals.”

  32. Sub-Boreal

    Thanks for including the link to The Narwhal’s article on the inland rainforest of east-central British Columbia. This little-known gem needs all the friends it can get!

    The northern portion of this zone, which extends as far south as northern Idaho, starts about 100 km east of where I live in central BC. Just last week, I took a small group of students out there for a field trip, and although the mosquitoes were ferocious, we had a splendid day of looking and learning.

    More images here:

    1. Kouros

      The end of the article, is disheartening. The clearcutting of interior rainforests in BC has been going apace since forever. I worked four or five summers 20 years ago in the area, taking samples to calibrate a software from the US Forest Service, and it was, for someone trained in the European old school for silviculture, heart breaking.

      1. eg

        I never saw a clear cut in my life until I motorcycled through the BC interior on a cross-country trip back in the summer of 1990. It looked even then like a harbinger of the apocalypse …

  33. antidlc

    RE: St. Louis, St. Louis County to reinstate mask mandate

    Missouri attorney general says he will sue to stop mask mandate in St. Louis, St. Louis County

    Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said he will be filing a lawsuit on Monday to stop a mask mandate in St. Louis and St. Louis County.

    Schmitt, a Republican, said in a tweet that he intends to file a lawsuit to “stop this insanity.”

    St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, both Democrats, announced the new mandate Friday, saying it would take effect on Monday.

    1. flora

      Masks can’t hurt, might help.

      My state’s former gov has gone farther… over the edge, imo.

      TOPEKA — Former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius generated political blowback by comparing people rejecting COVID-19 vaccinations to individuals who brazenly threatened the health of others by driving while intoxicated or by fouling air in public spaces with cigarette smoke.

      Sebelius, who also was President Barack Obama’s health secretary, said on CNN the U.S. surge of hospitalizations and fatalities linked to the Delta variant’s aggressive attack on the unvaccinated should prompt limitations on where vaccine rejectionists could go in public. It’s not fair, she said, for the unvaccinated to carelessly endanger others.

      1. flora

        I expect this drumbeat to grow and intensify over the next 4-6 weeks. I voted for the former gov twice. She’s changed, imo.

          1. flora

            Not yet. And at least the former gov didn’t use the words “cleanliness” or “lice” in her comments.

            1. Petter

              Maybe mandate a marker on their clothes so that they can be recognized and so avoided,
              “History doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes.”

              1. The Rev Kev

                Well for the unvaccinated, a marker should be yellow as that was the old colour of quarantine flags. And if you want to appeal to patriotism you should make that marker in the shape of a star. Yeah, that sounds right. So that would give you a… errrr, nevermind.

      2. Nikkikat

        While she makes millions duping elderly people into buying her crappy Medicare advantage plans. This woman is despicable along with Obama and most all of his corrupt administration. Take a look sometime at how many of his administration are running Medicare scams and or nursing homes.

      3. Lambert Strether

        > TOPEKA — Former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius generated political blowback by comparing people rejecting COVID-19 vaccinations to individuals who brazenly threatened the health of others by driving while intoxicated or by fouling air in public spaces with cigarette smoke.

        It seems insane to me that one the one hand, liberal Democrat factions (and Big Pharma) are pushing mandates that will force the injection of drugs that are still experimental, according to the regulatory system, and on the other hand, the same factions don’t push mask mandates, which are cheap, proven, and have no medical harms. In fact, they seem to have abandoned Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions in their messaging entirely. It’s vertigo-inducing.

  34. fresno dan
    It’s why so much effort was spent denouncing “economic anxiety” as code for racism, why Hillary Clinton accused both Jill Stein and Tulsi Gabbard of being foreign assets, why the New Yorker ran a story arguing Glenn Greenwald’s criticism of Russiagate was rooted in his disdain for “the ascendance of women and people of color in the [Democratic] Party,” why Cenk Uygur is accusing “alt left” enemies of being “paid by the Russians,” why Current Affairs went after impossibly congenial podcast host Krystal Ball by accusing cohort Saagar Enjeti of being a human gateway drug to Hitler, why critics went after Substack by claiming it was racist and transphobic (or, most amusingly lately, “bad for democracy”), why former New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet was ousted for putting the lives of black staff “in danger” by running a Tom Cotton editorial, and, yes, why Andrew Weissman went after Carlson by saying sowing distrust in the NSA is “un-American.”

    As any married person knows, there are certain words you never say in a fight, because you’ll still be living together when it’s over. Americans, like it or not, are married to one another. That’s not accommodationist talk, it’s just fact. The people we disagree with aren’t going anywhere, and it makes more sense to talk to them than not.
    I would say anyone who trusts the NSA is un-American. But that is just a debating rejoinder for display among like minded people. But the truth of the matter is that the NSA exists and it is highly unlikely that it would ever be abolished the NSA would never be abolished – one could only hope for strict oversight, acknowledge of actual NSA abuses, pointing out to “conservatives” that the NSA spies on Americans and if this is in accord with “conservatice values” and so on. And to do effective NSA oversight would take a reliable majority in both houses. Moralistic cable TV shows I would equate to the religious wars in Europe – there wasn’t any progress until people stopped having wars about the invisible guy in the sky, and dealt with what were they gonna do about sewage.

    1. Temporarily Sane

      Enjeti isn’t a gateway to Hitler but he is a Hudson Institute neocon in populist’s clothing, if that kind of thing still matters.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > As any married person knows, there are certain words you never say in a fight, because you’ll still be living together when it’s over.

      Still thinking back to the way Obots smeared anyone who didn’t support Obama as racist in 2008, generally as their first or second rhetorical move. I still haven’t forgiven that party faction, nor am I likely to. Then Clintonites did the same thing in 2016. I haven’t forgiven that faction either.

      Of course, “woke” wasn’t a word then, but for some of us, those two campaigns definitely poisoned the well. Why, it’s almost as if liberal Democrats treat these two important issues in a purely instrumental fashhion, and then the tools have served them, they get dropped!

  35. fresno dan

    OK, so I’m just wandering around the intertubes before dinner, and by sheer coincidence I come across this which seems what Taibbi is talking about:
    Throughout the pandemic, Carlson has cast doubt on Covid-19 vaccines, saying falsely that perhaps the shots don’t work and that thousands of people have died after having been inoculated.

    Well, I think its fine that people don’t like Tucker Carlson, but if you think he is the worst person alive, your really poorly informed. So I hit the first link in the article supporting that contention:
    Tucker Carlson falsely claims COVID-19 vaccines might not work
    Well, I decided to look at the clip in that link – IMHO Carlson did not say that at all. Apparently, he was only talking about the J&J vaccine and the issue of blood clots. But I encourage who ever is interested to see for themselves and I would hope they share their viewpoint of wheather the “fact” check was fair, accurate, and objective. I can see a great conflagaration in our future if we keep making so many straw men…

    AND one final thing: Tucker, its 2021 – get a haircut!!!

    1. The Rev Kev

      Hey man, longish hair is cool. I still remember seeing decades ago TV talking heads sporting buzz cuts. In my high school books from the seventies, everybody had longish hair – the teachers included. But the seventies was a more relaxed time.

      Funny story. About twenty years ago in Oz our primary school had a teacher that was American and who was the T-ball coach. The guy always sported a pony tail which literally nobody cared about. But then he decided that he wanted to go back home to live and one of the first things that he did before leaving was to get a haircut and lose the ponytail.

      I thought that was just him until I heard that Tom Hanks copped a lot of flak for having longish hair in the film “The Da Vinci Code” about the same time.

      1. Petter

        Longish hair but not Lynyrd Skynyrd hair to cite one example. Anyone remember the term “helmet heads.”

  36. kareninca

    I live in Northern CA in a 1068 sf. condo; we are three adults and a dog. We do not have air conditioning (we are on the bottom floor and it stays cool if I keep the curtains shut), and we only use space heaters in the winter; it is true that the 95 y.o. needs to be warm in his room. We have a small stand alone freezer, and electric lights, a fridge and a stove and three computers and three air filters (for allergies and wildfire smoke) and two fans. I hang up clothing to dry when I can.

    Our electric bill averages about $200/month. We can afford it, but I still think it is unreasonable. I don’t think we use much power. We were sent a letter that gave us an option to use electricity mostly at some particular time (I forget what time). It would have saved us about five dollars a month. It is not worth my while to keep track of for that small amount of money day after day. I am all in favor of not wasting resources, but I don’t really know how we could use less. I expect higher bills in the future.

    1. LifelongLib

      The only thing that comes to mind is hot water usage. It scales with the number of people in the household (bathing, laundry, dish washing etc.) while other uses of electricity tend to stay flat. Just a thought…

      1. kareninca

        The hot water is covered by the monthly condo association assessment; it isn’t part of our electric bill. We don’t use much hot water in any case.

        Looking at what we use our power for it looks like a household in a developing country. And the funny thing is that we are starting to have outages like in such a country.

        1. LifelongLib

          I live in a townhouse in Hawaii. Electricity is expensive here too (average about $150/month for my wife and me). Our water is also covered by the maintenance fee, but each unit has its own waterheater so that’s part of our electric bill. No AC but fans going all the time (and computers/TV during the day) which I guess sucks up some juice. Solar gradually being added to the grid but power mostly from oil-fired generators.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > I still think it is unreasonable

      Not to put work on your desk, but I suppose it would be possible to make a spreadsheet for each of those items including the kWh used and the total for each over time (I don’t know what kind of computers you have, but if you’re a bitcoin miner, for example, the computers would be on all the time and that would a lot of power).

      Then match the kWh total from your spreadsheet to the kWh in your bill… If the variance is great, there could be a “mistake.”

      1. kareninca

        I bought a kill-a-watt measurer years ago but couldn’t figure out how to use it despite a number of attempts. So I don’t know how I could figure out the usage of specific items. Our usage does go up a lot in the winter when my father in law keeps his room warm; the bill is proportionate to our use (taking the tier system into account). We are definitely not doing anything like bitcoin mining; we have Macs and use them to read stuff online and to write papers.

        I just checked and our bill is right around the average: “For comparison’s sake, in January 2021, the average monthly PG&E gas and electric bill was $188.22. After March 1, it will be $196.95.” (

        The tier system is complicated; the time-of use options even more so: The tiers are such that adding an extra air filter (for instance) can make a really big difference. Or having the wrong air filter – we had a great Honeywell but it raised our electric bill by about $70/month, and that was ten years ago. I got rid of that thing pretty fast.

  37. The Rev Kev

    The Onion nails it again. The other day there as an Onion link about an Israeli soldier complaining that he could not eat his Chunky Monkey while patrolling Palestinians anymore. So today I see this – ‘ IDF soldier SUES Ben & Jerry’s for pulling his ‘preferred’ ice cream from occupied Palestinian territory.’ The best part is that it is being filed by his mom. Twitter was not kind to him-


Comments are closed.