Links 7/29/2021

A Dire Evolutionary Timeline by ‘Blu’ on the Streets of Italy Colossal (Chuck L)

Watch: Vegan leather made out of mangoes Boing Boing (resilc)

Astronomers have spotted x-rays from behind a supermassive black hole MIT Technology Review (David L)

‘Warping space’: For the first time, light has been spotted from behind a black hole USA Today (David L)

The physics of climate change was described in the 1800s by scientist Eunice Foote PhysOrg (Robert M)

A Soil-Science Revolution Upends Plans to Fight Climate Change Quanta (Robert M)

Exhibition tells story of Spanish children used as vaccine ‘fridges’ in 1803 Guardian (resilc)


COVID-19 breaking news: NSW cases reach new high of 239; Tough new rules for hotspot Sydney LGAs; Victoria records six new local cases; Infectious backpacker in Brisbane has Alpha strain 9News. Hoo boy.

Norway Unseats the U.S. as Best Place to Be in Covid Bloomberg (resilc)


Pfizer Data Suggest Third Dose of Covid-19 Vaccine ‘Strongly’ Boosts Protection Against Delta Variant CNN. Help me. Based on 23 people when IM Doc says based on intel from local investigators that Pfizer has been running trials on boosters…yet per Reuters its official trial started last Monday. That suggests the earlier trials were likely aborted. So why should we trust this? Smacks of cherry-picking.

No Increased Risk Of Blood Clotting After Second AstraZeneca Shot, Study Finds Forbes

COVID Symptoms May Linger In Some Vaccinated People Who Get Infected, Study Finds NPR


London’s Largest Taxi Firm Says Freedom Day Was a ‘Damp Squib’ Bloomberg

UK’s economic recovery from Covid stalled in June amid ‘pingdemic’ Guardian


Here in a blue pocket of Alabama (my ZIP is in the top 100 in the US in BAs per capita; many medical, finance, and law professionals; many many more Doug Jones than Tommy Turberville signs within a 15 minute drive in pretty much every direction), no change in masking behavior, based on a short foray to the local shopping area, including, shockingly, among CVS employees. And masking here was pretty good until the CDC pissed all over it.

From square coats. Please circulate!

I saw this sign at the veterinary services counter when I was stopping in today to get my cat her new medical diet. I asked the woman who was helping me if I could take a picture and she said of course and told me that one of the nurses who works there took the pictures at home with her own dog. I thought it was such a sweet way to promote mask wearing and have trouble imagining anyone getting angry about it (though I’m sure they’re out there somewhere…). I only intended to share it with my mom but she happens to be a totally avid nc reader and thought I should submit it for an antidote du jour, so here it is (post-file compression! )! Happy if it makes it onto the site somehow or just to hopefully spread at least a few smiles.

New Vaccinations Are Rebounding in the U.S.’s Covid Hot Spots Bloomberg

Biden’s new weapon against Covid-19: Don’t call it a mandate Politico. Pathetic. Continued fixation on narrative management.

Google Delays Return To Office, Mandates Vaccines Associated Press. See related Facebook action further below.

Twitter announces it is closing its New York and San Francisco offices indefinitely and pausing reopening of other locations following updated CDC warnings about the COVID Delta variant Daily Mail

Media Promotes Fake “Vaccine Hesitancy” Narrative To Justify Coercion And Scolding Michael Tracey. Glenn F: “As he explains in the post, using many prominent Republican examples, there hasn’t really been a shift by the elite Rs. They are just getting some notice now. The hesitancy is bi-partisan.”

White Evangelicals Resist Covid-19 Vaccine Most Among Religious Groups Wall Street Journal

Whistleblowers: We were told to downplay Covid spread at kids shelter NBC (Kevin W)


The Cruise Industry Stages a Comeback New York Times. Resilc: “These people, and the person who wrote this, are crackheads.”

Warren, Schumer & Pressley Urge Biden: Pause Student Loan Payments Until March Truthout. Another cliff effect not getting as much attention as rent/mortgage moratorium expirations.

And while on this sorry topic: Pelosi disputes Biden’s power to forgive student loans The Hill. UserFriendly: “Utter bullshit from the worst people alive.”

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back in the Struggle Against Anti-Democratic Corporate Trade Rules Foreign Policy in Focus


HK banks may soon need to choose between US and China Asia Times (Kevin W)

Chinese businessman who challenged Beijing jailed for 18 years Financial Times

Why China should fear the EU’s carbon border tax Bruegel

Old Blighty

The Queen Got Herself Exempted From Scotland’s Climate Laws Gizmodo (BC)


We’re Ben and Jerry. Men of Ice Cream, Men of Principle. New York Times (David L)

Biden isn’t withdrawing troops from Iraq, he’s relabeling their mission Responsible Statecraft. Quelle surprise!

Americans evenly divided on whether Afghanistan War was a mistake: Gallup The Hill. Resilc: “Dumbassistanis.”


Three questions from the Nixon era for Joe Biden Gillian Tett, Financial Times. Debt scaremongering.

White House Calls on America’s Most Critical Companies To Improve Cyber Defenses Reuters. Tryigng to close the barn door when the horse is in the next county

The Justice Department Puts States On Notice About Election Audits And Voting Changes NPR (Kevin W)

Plan to honor Trump with banquet becomes flashpoint at one of America’s most elite golf clubs NBC (furzy)

Joe Manchin Makes $500K a Year From One of the Dirtiest Coal Plants in West Virginia Vice (furzy)

Police State Watch

Boston Dynamics Unveils New Robots Able To Realistically Behave Like They Under Researchers’ Control Onion

Our Famously Free Press

Facebook Warns Growth To ‘Decelerate Significantly’, Mandates Vaccine For US Staff Reuters

Tesla Model 3’s “boat mode” videos are frightening and amazing at the same time Teslarati (Dr. Kevin)

Car production hit by ‘pingdemic’ and global chip shortage BBC (Kevin W)

Microsoft: Component Shortages Not Going Away Any Time Soon ZDNet

Investigation: How the Meat Industry is Climate-Washing its Polluting Business Model DeSmogBlog

Everything Is for Sale in George Floyd Square American Conservative :-(

Who Actually Gets to Create Black Pop Culture? Current Affairs. UserFriendly: “Important!!!”

Academentia: the Organization Insanity of the Modern University Counterpunch

Bernie Madoff earned $710 in prison after Ponzi fraud conviction CNBC (resilc)

Uber slides over reports SoftBank selling 45 million shares BBC

Credit Market Pain Seen Potentially Spreading From China to U.S. Bloomberg (furzy)

Fed moves closer to decision on ‘tapering’ massive stimulus Financial Times

Class Warfare

300 Video Game Workers Strike Over Sexual Harassment – Teamsters Win on 2nd Try at Dr. Pepper – Glen Ford Dies Mike Elk

Antidote du jour. Tracie H:

This is my brother’s pet, Princess Pig, dressed for the holidays. It was taken back when she was a spry young pig. She is now 12 years old and just had surgery last Monday at UC Davis to remove a tumor that weighed over 40 pounds. We are holding good thoughts for her that it was benign and she can fully recover.

And a bonus. Bob H: “Betsy finds a mysterious obelisk on the Maine coast.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. zagonostra

    >Google Delays Return To Office, Mandates Vaccines – Associated Press.

    Google’s Wednesday announcement was shortly followed by Facebook, which also said it will make vaccines mandatory for U.S. employees who work in offices. Exceptions will be made for medical and other reasons.

    Other reasons? My that’s a big category you have grandma. Typically you would see “religious” in place of “other.” Can’t wait to see the fine print.

    1. Timh

      Other reasons perhaps include, as Yves has pointed out before, from FDA website “FDA must ensure that recipients of the vaccine under an EUA are informed … that they have the option to accept or refuse the vaccine”.

      So actually refusers *should* be able to legally argue WFH or testing as alternatives.

      Interestingly, I mentioned the “option to accept or refuse the vaccine” issue with my HR Director yesterday, and she was very aware of it. So Google, FB etc are doing an interesting dance.

  2. zagonostra

    >Americans evenly divided on whether Afghanistan War was a mistake: Gallup – The Hill

    Of the Americans polled that year, 49 percent said the U.S. made a mistake sending troops into Afghanistan, while 48 percent said it was not a mistake.

    I’m reminded of an anecdote I recently heard. Students had a pet turtle in the classroom and the question of it’s sex came up. Nobody knew how to tell if it was male or female. So they decided to take a vote.

    1. t

      It’s not possible to determine the sex of a younger turtle by physical exam. They have to be sexually mature.

    2. FluffytheObeseCat

      I’ll bet that if the Gallup poll question were phrased so as to separate out our initial entry and actions prior to Tora Bora from our ensuing two decades of slow-fail occupation the percentages would tip heavily towards “mistake”.

    3. Josef K

      Here’s an anecdote from Japan. I was eating a salad during a lunch break at a meeting. All Japanese people at the table aside from me (all of us teachers at a junior college). One remarked “so, are tomatoes one of your favorite vegetables?” I replied that I like them, and as an aside, they’re actually botanically a fruit, not a vegetable. This provoked surprise and disagreement; after some back-and-forth, the others decided to take a vote. “Vegetable” won, and the person next to me just turned to me and said “see, it’s a vegetable,” without a hint of irony or awareness. Consensus trumps science.

      1. juno mas

        Well, botanically a tomato is the outgrowth of the flower of a plant. The tomato is actually a berry as it contains the seeds that can create a new tomato plant. Vegetables are parts of plants (tuberous appendages, or leaves (salad), etc. which don’t derive from the flower of a plant.

        In the kitchen (chef’s) the tomato is considered to be a vegetable; even though botanically it is a fruit (as is a cucumber—which most people consider a vegetable).

  3. Nikkikat

    Really sad how humans throw everything away, including dogs and cats. All of my dogs and cats are rescues. The most beautiful creatures, full of love and loyalty. I just moved across the country. We drove and took our two cats with us. Both of them rescued after their humans left them behind rather than hassle moving with them.

    1. timbers

      When I bought my first home, I rented a truck to move my stull. My dog of course had to remain in the apartment as friends and I moved things into the U-Haul. As things steadily disappeared while he remained, he started to freak out as he began to fear he was to be left behind. Which of course he was not.

      1. roxan

        My cat acted similarly when I sold my house. Everything was gone and I was doing the final cleaning. I left him until last. Poor fellow meowed and sat on his carrier which he hated and wouldn’t usually get in, with a look that said, ‘you’re not leaving me behind, are you?’ I must have moved 15 times after that, some long distance moves, too. He was a good traveler.

    2. The Historian

      We recently drove with my two cats- both of them rescues – from Idaho to North Dakota and it really was no problem. The cats had to stay in their cat carriers for about 12 hours a day but they had no accidents. They did immediately hit the litter box when we got to the motels though!

      I was very concerned about how I was going to transport them especially since one of my cats has a lot of medical problems, but I wasn’t moving without them. We finally decided that the car was better than trying to fly with them in under the seat carriers since they are such large cats.

      I know there are situations when you can’t take your pets with you but it is so sad to see so many animals abandoned! I wish people would think more about how their lives could change and what they would do with their pets BEFORE they adopt them. Owning a pet really is a major committment!

      1. Ping

        It’s symbolic and one of my greatest disappointments in government and society that puppy mills for retail outlets and online sales aren’t outlawed with other breeding restrictions especially pit bulls and breeds that flood the shelters.

        Years ago in Arizona, the Humane Society tried to put such a proposition on the ballot. But of course the “freedumb” club objected so the proposition was watered down to meaningless and the shelters are constantly overflowing with most who will never leave there alive.

        It’s not rocket science and we can’t even do that right.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      20 years ago I moved from the west coast back to the east and couldn’t find anyone to take my two goldfish and a kuhli loach so I put them in a five gallon bucket in the back seat of my car while my cat rode under the front passenger seat and all of my worldly possessions took up the rest of the car.

      They made it the whole 3,000 miles in the bucket and I set them back up in their tank as soon as we arrived at our new place. When I came home later in the day, after all the effort I took to save that damned loach’s life, it had managed to jump through the feeding slot on the top of the tank and I found it dead on the floor. Talk about your ingrates…

      1. Eustachedesaintpierre

        We moved with Jones our moggie 5 times in all, once by car then ferry over the Irish Sea of which the boat bit gave us a rest from his Chinese torture like version he always did while travelling of something between a miaow & a howl about every 30 seconds, which occasionally had our sedated golden retriever Jesse briefly looking up over the back seat before slumping back down while I occasionally contemplated strangulation.

        I don’t believe in dumping members of the family & I would not have anything to do with anyone who would, like those shallow creatures who soon get fed up with Christmas puppies & kittens. Having said that in these precarious times, I suppose that losing your income & or house might force people to do such a thing.

        One of the saddest things that I ever saw was a sickly looking homeless woman sitting next to an ATM in Grafton Street Dublin one early April about 6 years ago who was holding a small dog. About a month later I noticed she was no longer there & never saw her afterwards during that time when I was regularly in the city. I later got to know a fella who organises meals & clothes for the many Dublin homeless who remembered them, but had no idea of their fate – most likely long dead he said.

        1. newcatty

          We have moved numerous times with our two cats. They are in many ways different in how they behave in the world. One is very mellow and calm. One is very assertive and voices her desires( mostly for treats) or for some time for sitting on laps. Quelle surprise: outgoing cat does the constant meowing or howling for hours. She hates the crate and car traveling. The mellow girl ignores her, side by side on back seat in their crates. Poor unhappy cat only had one accident in crate…many hours in car. We did have to grin( grimace) and bear it. They are both older now. Would we go through it again, if needed, of course.

    4. Lobsterman

      People aren’t throwing pets away, they’re getting evicted and don’t have places to keep them.

      Not thrilled about the disinformation here.

      1. Timh

        Yes, they are throwing pets away.

        You are simply giving a reason why.

        And that reason doesn’t make the behaviour more humane.

      2. newcatty

        Think your comment is too harsh. Perhaps “throwing pets away”, is harsh in your eyes. There is no “disinformation here”. Pets are being taken to shelters in some places in greater numbers. One can make a point, valid and relevant, that the evictions of pet owners are contributing to this tragic state of affairs for the people, and their pets, without the put down of people who are actually speaking up for the pets.

        1. Eustachedesaintpierre

          I imagine that there are people out there who have no choice out of desperation, which depending on it’s level can result in the most desperate acts. Leningrad in 1941 / 2 – first they ate the rats & their pets after the horses & livestock had gone, then some ate each other, but still around 800.000 died mainly due to starvation.

  4. timbers

    Car production hit by pingdemic & chip shortage / Microsoft: component shortage not going away

    Wished someone at the Fed press conference yesterday had asked Powell why he thinks giving $80 billion/month to the financial industry and Wall Street is going to increase chip production or any production other than grift or transform the equity markets into gambling casinos. Or asked him why he thinks giving the housing loan industry $40 billion/month is NOT going to dramatically raise the cost of housing INFLATION to young folk who at one time might have hoped to own a house. Or maybe someone could be bold enough to say it a way they will never be asked again to attend a Fed press conference: “Mr. Powell, haven’t in fact your polices BROKEN the equity and capital markets?”

    Watching a bit of Fed Chair Powell’s press conference yesterday, was struck by how openly Powell is saying he wants to increase inflation on the one hand and saying it is as low as it is on the other (it is not low at all of course). This is very striking, because fighting inflation is one of the Fed’s major mandates codified by law, if I’m not mistaken. (note: I am not an inflation bug).

    Also…he really is staining when he says how awesome the economy is doing on the one hand, then insists so much more progress is needed and that is why all this “extraordinary” “temporary” “emergency” life support to the very wealthiest of us must continue essentially for ever and ever because he lays down markers that might never be attained.

    1. Mantid

      It’s funny (and sad) how so many people think of inflation as prices going up when in reality it’s money being tossed about.

    2. Mildred Montana


      Jerome “Wimpy” Powell: “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

      Of course Wimpy never shows up on Tuesday.

    3. Mikel

      Nothing gave credence to the narratives of decline as much as bailing out the compulsive gamblers first during a healthcare crisis. Got to rescue all of those fantasy finance derivatives!
      FED meetings and their pronouncements are an exercise in cynicism.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Not just cynicism. The reader wonders how many times the Fed can say the same thing in different ways and then laughs at the redundancies and repetitions. Fed pronouncements today can be a source of comic relief, as it tortuously tries to say it might do something while intending to do exactly nothing.

        A few selected quotes from the FT article:

        “…not yet sufficient to merit any policy action right now.”

        “…a move that could come later this year or early next year.”

        “…more “ground to cover” before it acts.”

        “Fed still needed more time to look at the data…”

        This is creative stuff! Just typing these quotes has brought a smile to my face. Thank you, Fed, for being so (unintentionally) funny.

    4. Oh

      Powell, like his predessors is acting on the orders of the FIRE sector. The Fed doesn’t really give a hoot about inflation. The Fed needs to be abolished. Buying worthless pieces of paper from corporations is not monetary policy.

  5. Sam Adams

    RE: Pelosi disputes Biden’s power to forgive student loans
    This hardly surprising. The geriatric Democratic leadership has no real interest in winning elections or passing on a viable political party to the next generation. They are solely interesting in periodic finger-wagging at the bad republicans, fundraising and most importantly protecting their personal and familial political grift fiefdoms. Biden promised loan forgiveness. Failure to follow through means the further disengagement of the next generation or its movement away from the Democrats.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That is some Level Three Evil in that video. She has now drawn a line in the sand. She will fight against student loan forgiveness in the same way that she has fought against healthcare for all over the past thirty years. And she is insisting that only Congress has the power to do that as she knows that it can be killed there whenever the subject comes up. And that means that not only will the Democrat party line up behind her but any progressive elements in Congress as well. You will have student loan forgiveness over her dead body and even if the idea came up to make student loans interest free, she will kill that idea as well. This is really vile behaviour.

        1. Grumpy Engineer

          I hate to defend Nancy Pelosi (whom I truly loath), but in this particular instance, the “vile woman” actually has a point. Joe Biden’s proposed $10k of student loan forgiveness will make a LOT of people unhappy.

          Who will it make unhappy? Well, many people who object to the entire concept of loan forgiveness and say “you should pay what you owe“. Others believe loan forgiveness creates “moral hazard” by rewarding those who were most financially irresponsible.

          And then there are people who received student loans many years ago. Many of them scrimped and struggled and saved to finally pay off their loans, and now they’ll get squat. Other were unable to make payments, and the resulting fees and interest charges have resulted in current loan balances far larger than the original principle. To offer $10k now is “too little too late“.

          And then there are future borrowers. My niece will enter college next year, and if current trends hold, she and her classmates will borrow about $50k each to finance their educations. Will they receive $10k in student loan forgiveness? Inquiring minds want to know. Seriously. People are trying to make plans. Can they count on this?

          So in short, Biden’s proposal of a $10k forgiveness is really only of benefit to recent college graduates. It does nothing or too little for most long-ago graduates, and it does nothing at all for future graduates. And most significantly, it does absolutely nothing to address the relentless climb of college tuition rates, which is one of the prime drivers for this mess in the first place. It’s bad policy.

          Even worse, this could come back to haunt the Democrats. I can just see the debate stage now, with Republicans saying, “Wait a second… Joe Biden forgave billions of dollars in student loans back in 2021, and now you’re saying that it didn’t really fix the problem and we have to do it AGAIN? Can’t you guys fix anything right?

          Now there are many potential things that could be done to address the student loan crisis: direct federal funding of colleges, implementation of lending standards, price controls on tuitions, and (please oh please oh please) restoration of bankruptcy protection. But Biden is discussing none of these. All he’s offering is a one-time limited-effect “band-aid” for a problem that will continue long after he’s gone.

          1. Old Sarum

            “You should pay what you owe”?

            So you wouldn’t allow limited liability corporations?

            Seems revolutionary to me, and very Un-American.


          2. Procopius

            There was an article at Credit Slips recently (linked here) that pointed out one think the President could indisputably do is direct the Department of Education to stop opposing all requests for discharge due to “undue hardship.” The DoE doesn’t get any benefit from doing it, any money recovered from those cases goes to the collection agencies, not the government, and usually very little is going to be recovered at that point anyway. Let the courts decide themselves. The [family blog] Law and Economics golems may actually be more compassionate than the Department of Education has been for the last twenty years.

      1. CanCyn

        And of course piling on with the divide and us vs. them BS by asking if others really want their taxes to help those deplorable student loan welshers. Pelosi so much worse than Trump. I. Can’t. Even.

          1. Charger01

            Still waiting on my $600 Biden owes me. Still waiting on the billions tax dodgers Gates, Bezos and Buffett owe us all.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          It’s always charming when Democrats use actual Republican arguments straight off Fox News to tell us why we can’t have nice things.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        So the Team Blue positions for this week are:

        -more funding for cops
        -eff education and student debt relief

        It’s still Thursday.

        1. tegnost

          Remember that “fiscal cliff” in the unaffordable care act? Gee, shouldn’t something be done? No. the insurance payments of that 40,000/year (worker?employee?serf?, don’t know what to call them) are funding the care of the wealthy hypochondriac (I need counseling because TRUmp!) Taxes, Nancy, don’t fund student loan forgiveness, they fund payments to the grifters who own student loan debt. In a free market they would take the hit for investing in unpayable debt, I mean isn’t that why the yield is so high? Risk? No….

          1. paul.w

            I think the simplest answer to student loan debt is to make it dis chargeable in bankruptcy. Individuals can assess their situation and decide for themselves. Since bankruptcy is available to everyone they wouldn’t make a special class.

              1. hunkerdown

                It would also make the PMC less beholden to capital and further free them to exploit the working class.

            1. John k

              The prohibition is there by an act of congress (thanks, joe!), it would take another one to change it. Can Biden ‘forgive’ some portion? Don’t know. But IMO if he doesn’t the debtors will remember in 22 and 24.

      3. The Historian

        I’m glad I don’t have a twitter account – I might have been tempted to flame her after seeing that video!

        Evil indeed!

        We all pay taxes for things we don’t get immediate benefits from. I pay taxes for the roads in the South that I never drive on. I pay taxes for social services for people I’ll never meet. And I do it gladly because that is what ‘public good’ is all about. Perhaps someone should explain that to Nancy and remind her of what her job is supposed to be. Strike that – she’d never understand. Perhaps someone should explain it to the people that voted for her and put her in her position.

      4. Tom Doak

        Was her evil in doubt anytime recently? Don’t sleep on the possibility that she is playing the markets at the same time she is making these statements.

      5. Susan the other

        The way around Pelosi and other disgusting fake “legislators” is direct spending by the Treasury/Fed to pay off all student loans. Maybe Nancy’s rich friends will take 50cents on the dollar? Maybe not. In any event it is now beyond absurd that creeps like Nancy Pelosi tell the rest of the country to just shut up and live with it. It is long since time for Nancy to leave. She doesn’t understand anything. Because it is in her own financial interest not to. No mystery here.

        1. newcatty

          IMO, that she really does understand exactly what she’s doing. It’s always been to promote, protect not only her financial interests, but her “friends in high places”. George C. told us long ago: It’s a club and we are not in it.

        2. Oh

          The student loan sharks should get 0 cents on the dollar and the government should NOT bail them out. Eff ’em.

    2. LawnDart

      The Dems and Repubs know that if they keep doing the bidding of their overlords that they’ll get tastes of the cake, and they really don’t seem to care ’cause what’s a voter to do?

      The student-loan racket is really sick eat-the-young stuff: “good” families provide for their offspring, so no worries there.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Personally, i’m not convinced pelosi has donors and lobbyists whispering in her ear over student debt.

        My gut tells me she’s just feels like scolding borrowers. Her position in congress is very secure, she faces no major challenges to her leadership or on any particular piece of legislation.

        She just likes having the peons squirm and suffer.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          She’s part of Cheney’s Gang of Eight. The reason we haven’t investigated torture is it would implicate Democratic Party leadership. She got away with being briefed on “enhanced interrogation” techniques.

          1. Michaelmas

            I see her as a Margaret Thatcher wannabe.

            Margaret Thatcher had more in the way of moral principles. I’m afraid.

      2. QuarterBack

        I not convinced there ever was an intent by the political power players to forgive student debt. The plan all along was to leverage the very popular voter desire to do so. Then, when the time was right, unveil a host of reasons for “while we would want nothing more, it turns out we can’t.”

        If Government stepped in (as was campaigned to do so) and “made whole” all the lenders, it would put an abrupt stop to the gift-that-keeps-on-giving money machine generating the ongoing interest, fees, and penalties. Further all this unpaid debt and cash flow can be traunched up to make tradable securities. There are too many power broker fortunes and dynastic legacies hitched to that wagon.

        You know, every single time I drive past Sally Mae headquarters off I95 in Delaware, I hear little voice in my head calling out “the scene of the crime.”

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          It’s worth considering what would happen, “going forward,” in the event that they actually DID forgive all student loan debt. Would they just start ladling the same excessive amounts back onto the current students and restarting the same destructive cycle all over again?

          The “business model” of “higher education” would fall completely apart without the student loan “industry.” Each enables the other. No way in hell either biden or pelosi doesn’t understand that.

          Both biden and pelosi have been in government for the decades during which this abusive situation developed. As far as I’m concerned, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that they’re responsible for it, and neither one has ever suffered electorally as a result. It was delusional for “voters” to fall for the idea they had any intention of changing it. Anyone who believed it was suckered.

          What pelosi has done here is what she and her ilk always do–change the subject. Now we can read reams and reams of blah, blah, blah on whether biden does or doesn’t have the “power” to do anything, while yet another school year starts, outstanding balances grow, interest and fees accrue, big bucks are made, and lives continue to be crushed.

          And the next time pelosi runs for speaker-of-the-house, every “progressive” dem will vote for her, including AOC, because she’s a good “fund-raiser.”

          1. QuarterBack

            The linchpin that holds the student loan industrial complex together is the non-dischargeable Government guaranty for the full loan amount. Because the schools and financial institutions accept zero risk, it is in their best interest to drive the cost of education through the roof.

            My pet peeve is buildings, stadiums, and “student life” investments. A walkthrough of modern campuses have little resemblance to 30 years ago. Universities and even community colleges are plush with high end architecture and accoutrements, which all drive up the cost of education and therefore the loans that new students sign up for. The cost of education now exceeds any reasonable practical ability to pay it off in a reasonable time after graduation.

            If student loans were split into two parts, one of which covered only the direct education and facilities (labs, lecture rooms – not stadiums, dining, and living quarters), and another the covered everything else, then the education portion on could use many of the same Government guarrentees, and the latter would be eligible for bankruptcy, then that shifting of risk would have a measured affect on rising education costs. The educational and financial institutions would have to bear the risk that many of these overpriced loans would go bad, and be eaten by themselves alone.

            1. Grumpy Engineer

              I’d go even further and prohibit federal loans for anything beyond the actual cost of the education. If colleges and universities want to overcharge their wealthy foreign students and “legacies” to pay for fancy frills, I’m not terribly offended. But I greatly object to schools demanding that students go even more deeply into debt to pay for the “high-end architecture and accoutrements”.

    3. Darthbobber

      And her logic points directly to the premise that nobody should pay taxes for anything they don’t personally benefit from.

      Perhaps everyone’s 1040 should be accompanied by a schedule listing all budget items, and every taxpayer would specify which parts of their taxes should go to which items, and which they’d personally prefer to zero out.

      But the logic, if we are willing to dignify it with that name, gets applied most selectively.

    4. NotTimothyGeithner

      Pelosi was a pos twenty years ago. This is just her yelling a got the kids now. Advanced age probably shouldn’t have so much responsibility, but like Biden, she’s always been a monster. Age is a red herring.

    5. djrichard

      From the rest of that video clip

      “But you know what, we want all of our kids to reach their fulfillment to the extent that they want to go to college. We do not want them to be prohibited from doing that for financial reasons.”

      There but for the grace of our loans go the students.

    6. djrichard

      Surprised Kelton didn’t attack “pay fors” directly. Either from an MMT perspective. Or from the perspective of Nancy adopting the position that the deficit does matter.

    7. Carolinian

      Didn’t Pelosi promise to retire from Speakerdom, like, years ago? When is that ever going to happen?

      Speaker Clyburn will be so much better.

      1. juno mas

        Nancy said she would step away from leadership after the mid-terms (2022).

        (I hope she isn’t trying to outdo DiFi (in the Senate) for stick-around-ness.

    8. Glen

      If i was President I would just suspend payment for 100 years, and call it good.

      So question, who has caused more damage to America given the length of their public service careers? Pelosi or Trump?

      My money is on Pelosi by a country mile.

    9. Adam Eran

      I wonder what would happen if all the commenters bitching and moaning about Pelosi would write her…not to swear at her, but to remind her that the Federal government can’t “tax and spend.” It would be impossible. Where would taxpayers get the dollars to pay taxes if government didn’t spend them out into the economy first?

      So sovereign, fiat money creators (like the U.S., not like Greece) are fiscally unconstrained. They don’t have to wait for tax revenue before spending. In fact, they must spend first! It’s spend first, then retrieve some dollars in taxes. The taxes make the money valuable; they do not provision government programs. (“Taxes drive money”)

      And what do we call the dollars spent, but not retrieved in taxes? Answer #1: the dollar financial assets of the population (i.e. their savings). Answer #2: national ‘debt.’ It’s analogous to your bank account which is your asset, but the bank’s debt.

      What are we owed for a dollar? Answer: a dollar’s worth of relief from taxes.

      …Or words to that effect.

      It’s important that outrage and insult not be part of the communication. I just have this fantasy (OK, I’m naive) that if Pelosi’s office were to receive say 20 mails saying that, she might just wake up from her zombified state.

      …Just a thought.

  6. Randall Flagg

    Don’t worry about those robots and any other robots coming down the line. I’m sure Asimov’s 3 laws have been embedded into them LOL!!

    1. Robert Hahl

      I showed this photo to a friend, who spoke of Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment.”

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Chinese businessman who challenged Beijing jailed for 18 years”

    I don’t know the financial scene in China much but don’t they have the saying over there “Don’t fight the (Chinese) Fed”?

  8. diptherio

    Rest In Power, Glen Ford. His voice (both literal and figurative) will be greatly missed.

    1. Carolinian

      Bruce Dixon is gone too. The Black Misleadership Class they talked about may be relieved.

    2. .human


      That booming voice of his, with conviction, always went to my heart.

      A modern-day Frederick Douglass.

  9. Jeremy Grimm

    I feel as if I were waiting in the eye of a multi-wind Hurricane watching its advance — the Delta Corona virus; end to moratoriums on evictions, foreclosure, student loan debt; unreal real estate and stock markets; Government failure; proliferation of contradictory ‘science’ reported in major journals … and light is dimming as the storm approaches, as at twilight.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Or like a giant — tens or hundreds of kilometers wide — bolide strike. First is the impact itself, then the continent scale fireball, then the shock wave, then the impact debris fall, then the tsunami, and finally the “nuclear winter”.

      1. JacobiteInTraining

        I wonder if the intelligent insectoid life that evolves in the far far future in the geographical region currently occupied by the US will have health care provided by their government.

        1. newcatty

          We just watched a remarkable documentary: “Fantastic Fungi ” on Netflex. We consider it a must watch, and it could be a good bet that they will inherit the planet.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Norway Unseats the U.S. as Best Place to Be in Covid”

    Wait, what? Not somewhere like New Zealand? And I can’t see the US being the best place to be in the middle of the present pandemic. I don’t think that I will have many people disagreeing here on that point. So how did they work this idea out? The article says they use ‘a monthly snapshot that tracks 53 economies’ performance in Covid containment, quality of healthcare, vaccination coverage, overall mortality and—as of last month—progress toward restarting travel and easing border curbs.’ Ah, now I see. Best place to be here means fully opening up the economy and having open borders with other Covid hotspots. The deaths and illnesses are just collateral damage so long as the economy is doing OK. Understood then. No taking into account anything beyond this financial quarter. *Stupid Bloomberg*

  11. Samuel Conner

    random thought: perhaps it’s past time to rename the “Department of Defense” back to its original name, which I think I read was the “Department of War”.

    1. farragut

      How about the more apt “Department of Selling Cost”?

      Long ago, A. Ernest Fitzgerald, an Air Force cost management official fired in 1969 on the direct orders of President Richard Nixon for revealing a multibillion cost overrun on an air force contract, explained that the basic business of the US defense industry was not selling weapons, but ‘selling costs’. Since their profits were guaranteed as a percentage of the cost, the more the programs for which they were contracted went up in price, the greater their profit. In essence, despite much touted ‘acquisition reforms’ little has changed, except that the sums involved have gotten larger and the corruption more egregious“.

      Excerpted from the alternately depressing & infuriating article found here:

    2. .human

      Even simpler “War Department.”

      Secretary Stanton spent hours into the night, alongside his telegraph operator, conversing with his field general U. S. Grant. The first war to be prosecuted “online.”

      1. LifelongLib

        Strangely, the first information received in Washington about the Gettysburg battle didn’t come through the War Department, but from a reporter. The Confederates had tried to destroy all the telegraph equipment in the area, but the reporter found an operator with a working apparatus and got some men to fix enough wire to get a message through to his friend Gideon Welles, Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy.

    3. Steven A

      To quote a passage from the Introduction to “The Limits of Power” by retired Army colonel and professor of International Relations Andrew Bacevich:

      “A political elite preoccupied with the governance of empire paid little attention to protecting the United States itself. In practical terms, prior to 9/11 the mission of homeland defense was unassigned. The institution nominally referred to as ‘The Department of Defense’ didn’t actually do defense. It specialized in power projection. In 2001 the Pentagon was prepared for any number of contingencies in the Balkans or northeast Asia or the Persian Gulf. It was just not prepared to address threats to the nation’s Eastern Seabord.”

      A reasonble reponse would have been to begin a process to refocus DoD’s attention back to protection of U. S. soil. Instead it created a brand new money pit and called it “The Department of Homeland Security.” I don’t recall anybody asking, “So what is the Department of Defense for?”

      1. newcatty

        One idea is that many people know, or if pressed to answer, that the Department of Defense was actually always the Department of War. Reality is what “We create”. Now, The Department of Homeland Security has been created to defend the fatherland. When we reinstate the military draft for our “nation’s defense and American values” we will be “inclusive” and create the drafting of our young people to include women, as well as men. Well, you know there will be “exceptions “”. They refined this duplicity from Vietnam. They are capable of “learning” when they want.

        Did anyone else notice a recent news story that the Senate convened a panel to discuss requiring women to register for the military draft? Portend ?

        1. newcatty

          An update lyric might be to a CCR, 1969 song:

          Lord. It ain’t me, it ain’t me, it ain’t me, I’m no fortunate one. It ain’t me , it ain’t me, I’m no Senator’s daughter or son.

  12. Chromex

    “Biden’s new weapon against Covid-19: Don’t call it a mandate Politico. Pathetic. Continued fixation on narrative management.”

    Narrative is all they have

  13. t

    When examining the California political mafia it is important to keep in mind that there are two powerful factions, the “Newsome” faction is old money( Getty’s, Guggenheims, Pritzker’s…), the “Aristocrats” of California politics and the other faction is the Willie Brown/Kamala Harris/London Breed faction.
    Pelosi and DiFi ( What’s left of her) are definitely among the Aristo’s.
    It’s not a perfect split but you can see the results of some of the infighting in the tasks Harris has been assigned because that split is mirrored across the rotting expanse of the Dem party.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Plan to honor Trump with banquet becomes flashpoint at one of America’s most elite golf clubs”

    If you stop and think about it, this should be a non story. The logical solution would be to have all those who want to honor Trump at a banquet at his golf club to simply hold it as scheduled. Those who do not want to should let their feelings be know by boycotting that night. Then everybody keeps going along with their lives and forgets the whole episode. The problem is where one part of this club is trying to tell the other part of the club what they can and can’t do. And doing stunts like this only stokes the flames of resentment and increases the divide in day to day life – even if it is a millionaire’s golf club. Trump hasn’t been Prez for six months now so it’s time to build a bridge and get over it.

    1. tegnost

      I had a group of visitors a few weeks back…Trump remains the get out of jail free card for the true blue.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Or, as I like to call him in a hysterical voice, “Tru-u-u-u-ump!”

        It’s especially fun to do this while raising my hands over my head.

        Call it Slim’s way of owning the libs.

    2. Prairie Bear

      And doing stunts like this only stokes the flames of resentment …

      That’s the whole point, isn’t it? The “news” media desperately want to get back the ratings gold of Trump stories. There are plenty of others as well who benefit from people raging at each other over nonsense while the world burns.

  15. DJG, Reality Czar

    A Dire Evolution mural. Well, as beautiful as it is, it also gets right to the point.

    Blu, the artist, is an Italian in the Banksy category. He may have been born around 1980 in the region of the Marche. Or not. Evidently, he painted the Dire Evolution mural by rappelling on the wall–no use of scaffolding. The sheer physicality of his work impresses.

    Here is another, from Campobasso in Molise, that doesn’t “mince words.” The Cuccagna was a cruel custom of the nobility of the Kingdom of Naples–a calculated food riot. Again, this is gorgeous and insightful. Here, Blu points out how the malign Cuccagna makes our world go round:

    The irony is that the cruel contest of the Cuccagna is named after a mythic Cuccagna, a paradise in which everyone would have enough food.

  16. Morgan Everett

    Just had to say that the Current Affairs article about the creators of Black Pop Culture was a great one.

    1. Geo

      It is a great article in many ways but it seems to imply that class is only a problem for black pop culture when the majority of voices creating our pop culture are the voices of the affluent.

      Recently the announcement of a new film directed by Spielberg’s daughter, written by Stephen King’s son, and starring a few kids of famous actors and producers, made some buzz and was jokingly referred to as “Nepotism: The Movie”.
      (It’s only a short film but because of the names attached it was getting tons of press even before the “controversy”).

      So often (the majority of the time) when you look up the bio of a new “star” you see they came from wealth and privilege.

      The reason for this is simple: it costs a fortune to create art that can compete at the “pop culture” level. It takes connections to get anyone to notice it. And it takes decades of practice to acquire the skills (being born into a family that provides top-level experience helps).

      The few people I know who have broken through without those connections have struggled with poverty for decades before their first “break”. Most give up after 5-10 years because it can feel impossible to even get noticed by any of the “gatekeepers”.

      Was chatting with a producer years ago who was developing a few films. She was talking about all the rewrites the screenwriters were being made to do. These were just spec scripts so they weren’t being paid for this work. I asked how they had time to do all that and she said they didn’t have jobs, they had rich parents, so they could treat writing like a full time job.

      It’s hard for anyone not of wealth and privilege to have a voice in pop culture. For marginalized groups it is even harder.

      If we want to see more voices of the marginalized and non-privileged class in pop culture we need to support independent arts. And not “independent” as the industry terms them but truly independent artists. Musicians on Bandcamp, films with no “stars”, etc. Dismantling celebrity culture would be ideal but not sure human psychology is capable of it. And there is a ton of bad indie art out there but some real gems too if you search for it. No algorithm will direct to it though!

      1. lordkoos

        Certainly now it is possible to upload your short film to youtube, or put your music online, which does bypass the traditional gatekeepers — record companies, film studios etc. Especially with music, it is now possible to record high resolution audio onto your laptop, and people have made movies with the cameras on their cell phones. It’s the constant hustle of promoting your work that is the challenge.

        Similarly to your example of screenwriters, if you want to get your music recorded by someone significant, you are expected to submit a fully produced demo recording at your own time and expense, so that if the artist like it, all they have to do is sing or rap over your recording. If they reject your work, you’re out of luck. At one time people were paid to produce demos but that was back in the pre-digital dark ages…

        1. ivoteno

          the stage is set for something akin to punk rock to happen. and it won’t be on youtube or facebook. i have no idea what it will look like. but i bet it will be classified as the new improved domestic terrorist du jour once it gets going.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “The Queen Got Herself Exempted From Scotland’s Climate Laws”

    Maybe she had a quiet word with the Scottish Parliamentarian.

  18. DJG, Reality Czar

    Current Affairs, Bertrand Cooper, Black Culture.

    This is a long and insightful article that brings a class analysis to how pop culture operates in the U S of A. As Cooper notes, it isn’t as if things just spontaneously percolate up from some authentic “populace.”

    There’s too much money to be made in the thick class of middlemen and middlewomen in U S culture–the producers, the agents, the scouts (scouts? yes, still another layer), the foundations + their employees.

    In many of the arts, the MFA, its network of connections, and its esthetic dominate. Ask any writer to identify MFA poetry (the telltale ampersand will help), the MFA novel (usually about glossy exteriors plus lots of contorted contractions: shouldn’t’ve /// all y’all)

    From the article: “At the same time, Black creators are being financially remunerated for the loss of Floyd’s life via the granting of opportunities to work within popular culture’s most prominent and lucrative spaces. These transactions between white-owned institutions and Black creators would not occur if Floyd were with his family right now.”

    Or as I have been discussing with some friends and colleagues in the arts, we’re talking here Flavor of the Month. Next year, many of these creators are going to be nudged out the door by the organizations that all of a sudden wanted to be profitably BIPOC-adjacent.

    Class matters in the art world. But in the U S of A it’s hidden by résumé-building and Twitter fights and the impenetrability of many arts organizations and foundations.

  19. antidlc

    RE: Housing market

    I just came across a couple of articles on the dallasnews website. They are behind a paywall, but the headlines tell you all you need to know: builders are putting up lots of new homes for rental.
    Dallas area is a top market for new rental home communities

    Demand for housing is fueling a boom in building of single-family rental homes in North Texas and across U.S.
    Dallas’ Invitation Homes teams up with builder Pulte for thousands of new rent houses

    Invitation Homes already owns more than 13,000 rental properties.
    Tennessee builder will construct hundreds of D-FW rental homes

    Kinloch Partners plans its first community in Royse City northeast of Dallas.

    1. GF

      I was wondering how many home builders are owned/operated by the big hedge funds and financial services companies in a vertical integration setup? If homes can be “purchased” at cost, rents can make lots of money for investors.

  20. antidlc

    So I went to our local bagel place that has had a booming drive thru business throughout the pandemic. They are now open for inhouse dining, but I’m sticking with the drive thru.

    You can place an online mobile order through their app. This week there was a message about supply chain issues and some items may not be available.

    Anybody seeing similar issues?

    1. Meg

      Starbucks stores in Salem, Oregon are out of items which Starbucks says won’t be restocked until sometime in the fall. Example their passion guava something or other drink.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Tesla Model 3’s “boat mode” videos are frightening and amazing at the same time”

    Wouldn’t want to try that going over a bridge. A foot of water will float your car and push it over the edge of the bridge itself. It is why here they have a regular campaign warning motorists that “If it’s flooded, forget it!”- (30 secs)

    1. polar donkey

      You aren’t supposed to buy a used flood car. You probably really shouldn’t buy a used electric flood car.

    2. Carolinian

      A neighbor has a Model 3. I haven’t seen any parts fall off. It looks nice, actually, but SC was rated one of the worst places to own one because of lack of charging stations and prohibitions against direct auto sales (neighbor apparently bought his in North Carolina).

      1. juno mas

        Tesla 3 is rated 33rd out of all EV’s. They were early in designing an attractive, powerful vehicle. They just don’t have a lot of experience manufacturing the whole car. The battery and drive train seems to be working as promoted. It’s the other stuff (doors, windows, accessories,etc.) that owners complain about.

        1. RMO

          It’s the interior, instrument panel and controls that turn me completely off Tesla (well that and the often poor build quality and jaw dropping kludges that turn up on their cars now and then… and Musk of course). Instead of getting better at those things they seem to be doubling down on trying to be faux-edgy. The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation of automobiles. The top end Model S now has a yoke instead of a steering wheel (and no they didn’t implement any sort of variable steering ratio system that could have made this less of a bad idea) and a software to guess what gear you want ans select forward, reverse, neutral or park for you. Unfortunately instead of putting workable and more traditional controls and instruments in their electric offerings many of the other car companies seem to be trying to do things the Tesla way. Look at the Mustang Mach-E, VW I.D.4 etc. for examples.

          1. The Rev Kev

            ‘The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation of automobiles.’

            Hah! And when you sit in a Model S Tesla, will it emit a self-satisfied, smug sigh? I was looking at images of that yoke setup that you were talking about and reading how Musk says that they are here to stay and was just thinking. Now I do not know if this will work or not but they might decide to get rid of the accelerator and brake foot-pedals down the track. So if you were in a future model Tesla and want to go faster, you pull the yoke back. If you want to put the brake on, you push it forward. Tell me that they will never do something like this.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “COVID-19 breaking news: NSW cases reach new high of 239; Tough new rules for hotspot Sydney LGAs; Victoria records six new local cases; Infectious backpacker in Brisbane has Alpha strain”

    A pretty mixed bag here. Both Victoria and Quensland are experienced with hunting down this virus and are very aggressive in doing so. Like other States, they use the “Go in Early and Go in Hard” doctrine. My former State of New South Wales is something else altogether and is in lockstep with Scotty from Marketing’s ideas. His idea is for places to go into lockdown as a very last resort and just today referred to NSW setting the “gold standard” in doing so. And you know that I am not making this up. The Premier keeps on lying to people and is refusing to say obvious things like the fact that they will be in lockdown for months more. As it is, only some areas of Sydney are under lockdown. But because the building industry had a whinge, she is letting builders work on outside these areas. She demanded that all Australia’s vaccines be sent to NSW but all the other Premiers shot that idea down real quick. Yesterday the numbers for NSW was about 170 but today it is about 240 and I expect the numbers to go higher until she eventually – maybe – takes this virus seriously. She is going to run NSW into a helluva mess and none of the other States will open up to them until they get things back under control. As it is, all the financial gains form the recovery have been wiped out already and it is not over by a long shot. If they had had a snap lock-down five weeks ago, they would be opening up by now probably. As it stands, they will be lucky to get out before Christmas. Gaaachhhh!!!

  23. Lee

    This, if true, is disappointing.

    Pro-Sanders group rebranding into ‘pragmatic progressives’ KKTV

    “But after another defeat in 2020, the 79-year-old Vermont senator is unlikely to run for president a third time. And the organization centered on his fiery brand of politics is undergoing a rebranding.

    Rather than insisting on “Medicare for All” — Sanders’ trademark universal, government-funded health care plan — or the climate-change-fighting Green New Deal, Our Revolution is focusing on the more modest alternatives endorsed by President Joe Biden. Those include expanding eligibility for the existing Medicare program and curtailing federal subsidies for fossil fuel companies.,,”

    1. Shonde

      I wish there was a way to take back every cent I contributed to Sanders. I felt like I was contributing to a cause. Now with Our Revolution taking multiple steps backwards, I am feeling duped.

      Wanna thank Square Coats for submitting the vet clinic mask poster. It was the only thing in today’s Links that made me laugh.

      1. John k

        I gave him more than I ever have to anybody, both in 16 and 20. I’m of course bitterly disappointed he couldn’t overcome the combined might of the dem party, Obama, the two-party oligarchs and msm.
        But frankly, I don’t see what else he could do other than making his best deal with the dems; he has budget chair, he’s influencing legislation and joe. Meanwhile 15/hr was becoming reality in many places, not least Amazon, even before the labor shortage. There’s a decent chance Medicare will be expanded down to 60 and maybe improved.
        Who has done more for the working class since fdr?

    2. CoryP

      From what I remember of the timeline, that organization started to go downhill pretty quickly after 2016. Nick Brana spilled some tea on Twitter within the last year, giving more detail on how OR turned into a kind of bait and switch. That said I am skeptical about Brana’s new gig too. It is all very depressing.

    3. Dr. John Carpenter

      Pop quiz: Who said it?

      “I think we are rooted in a bold, progressive vision, but we’re also pragmatic progressives.”

      A) Hillary Clinton, failed 2016 Presidential canidate
      B) Joseph Geevarghese, Our Revolution’s executive director

      1. Samuel Conner

        Perhaps it’s like a Rose — robust wild type root with delicate beautiful blossom-producing canes grafted on top.

        Unfortunately, the source of nutrition provided by the root doesn’t have much influence on the character of the fruits produced by the in-grafted canes.

  24. lyman alpha blob

    RE: rona breakthrough cases and weasel words

    Just ran across this from ESPN about 12 people from the WA Nationals organization testing positive – 11 had already been vaccinated:

    NC readers are well aware of breakthrough cases but the interesting thing was this-

    Sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan that a number of the breakthrough cases came from those given the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

    First of all, what reason is there for the source to remain anonymous?!?!? And secondly, “a number” of them had taken the J&J shot? Well what is the number? Was it 11, or had some taken a different unnamed vaccine and still tested positive? Or did a big number like 11 just make the math too hard to figure out for this unnamed source?

    Maybe I’m just being too cynical, but it sure seems like there is an effort afoot to throw shade on the J&J vaccines. Perhaps the ‘sources’ for this little factoid were the C Suite at Pfizer.

    1. voteforno6

      I don’t think there’s any malicious intent here. This may be about all the information that they could release on this. After all, we are still talking about people’s private health information, and since pro sports teams do provide medical services, they may be subject to HIPAA requirements. As for the J&J shot, if I recall, the Nats had a number of players get those shots while they were on a road trip (in St. Louis, I think). That just happened to be the first one that became available to them.

    2. Ping

      I have observed an obvious campaign to throw shade on J&J from the start amplifying media coverage of J&J’s adverse events while minimizing or eliminating reporting of proportionally vastly more adverse events (per VAERS) of mRNA types.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      The comments to this opinion piece, those I read in the first page-load of comments were all over the place. I noticed comments hectoring for the FDA views of Ivermectin as a lethal treatment for Corona somehow found their way near the top. We live in strange days.

  25. Louis Fyne

    re. vaccine hesitancy

    Mass., the bluest blue state, is only at ~63% vaxxed.

    NYC,the bluest blue city, is at only ~55% vaccinated.

    Vax reluctance is not a purely MAGA hat issue. And the media is making things worse by spinning it as a partisan issue

  26. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    And a bonus. Bob H: “Betsy finds a mysterious obelisk on the Maine coast.”

    Where the mysterious obelisk is definitely in the eye of the ithyphallic beholder and the subtle and not so subtle connotations that the obelisk invariably invokes in the perceiver. See for example, (because to begin the journey one has to start from somewhere)

    “A discourse on the worship of Priapus, and its connection with the mystic theology of the ancients”
    by Richard Payne Knight

    Or, maybe just listen to “Dogfight Giggle” by Todd Rundgren.

    1. jsn

      Okay, now the Democrats revulsion with the actual exercise of power is once again clear.

      The use of reconciliation earlier this year made me think someone in there actually intended to govern for a while, but this will not only hand the midterms to the Republicans, now the unashamed party of slavery (end-unemployment! the slaves aren’t desperate enough to come in to work) and human sacrifice (well, this applies to just about every policy they support), but significantly disrupt the Democrats own voting base. Add this to what the Repiublicans are going to do with redistricting and you can see the strain of sprinting away from power by the Crats.

      It appears Brazilianization is the end game the RepubliCrats are aiming for: to force everyone outside the corporate and oligarchic walls to fend for themselves to ensure a sustained availability of human beings as an extractive resource at no out of pocket cost. This is actually and “improvement” on formal slavery where the “owners” felt obliged to feed their slaves, in the Brazil configuration everything is the slaves’ responsibility/fault.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I have feared things could get really rocky really fast for a long time now. I believe this pandemic has been handled as a tool for implementing a major shift in the structure of the US economy. I have believed that since the CARES Act was passed. The danger with really rocky really fast is the inchoate anger that might manifest.

    3. Daryl

      It’s fascinating to me that the Supreme Court allowed it to continue to the end of the month. So it is currently constitutional…but it will not be next week I guess?

  27. roxan

    My cat acted similarly when I sold my house. Everything was gone and I was doing the final cleaning. I left him until last. Poor fellow meowed and sat on his carrier which he hated and wouldn’t usually get in, with a look that said, ‘you’re not leaving me behind, are you?’ I must have moved 15 times after that, some long distance moves, too. He was a good traveler

  28. truly

    “No Increase in Blood Clots after Second AZ shot”,

    I had the Moderna on June 17 and July 9. I started feeling fatigued, achy, and generally weak within days of the first shot. I lead a rather physical lifestyle and thought I maybe was just overworking myself. A three hour stint unloading hay bales made me way more tired than I thought it should have. Digging in the garden left me exhausted. I thought maybe just the heat was too much for me?
    Anyhow, fast forward, I continue on with more and more fatigue. Start wondering about chronic fatigue. Then last week on a vacation I thought I got a bad cramp in my leg. Turns out it was a blood clot and I ended up in ER early this morning. The last three days, besides my leg hurting bad I could hardly keep my eyes open. Even though I was sleeping 8-12 hours per night for the last 7-10 days!
    I asked my ER doc to enter my event into “the system”, such as VAERS, to be reported as a possible or probable side effect of vax. She didnt want to as there were no reports of blood clots with Moderna. Well maybe there are no reports because no Docs want to report them? I pushed harder and she will consider it.
    Not sure what the burden of proof is needed to consider a blood clot to be a side effect, but the timing alone makes it seem worthy of reporting.
    A friend who is an excellent internet sleuth found several things about Moderna and blood clots. However, none of them were very old. Making it appear that the internet is being scrubbed on a pretty regular basis.
    I rarely ever go to FB but am tempted to tell my story there just to test the system of censorship and suppression of information. How long would they leave that post up?
    Thanks again NC for being such a great resource for all information, Covid included.

    1. jhallc

      I recall IM Doc mentioning a couple of days back that Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) was something he was recently seeing more of than normal in his patients.

    2. dday

      I too had the Moderna. Exactly two weeks after my second shot I ended up in the ER after a night of chest tightening, etc. My heart stopped in the ER and I subsequently had angioplasty and a stent. My cardiologist said that I had a 95% blockage in my Right Coronary Artery. Otherwise my arteries looked good.

      I should add that there is no heart history in my family, I have been a runner for over 50 years, my cholesterol has always been in the 160 range, and I’ve been eating veganish for the past five years.

    3. Ping

      “Re: No Increase in Blood Clots after second AZ shot”

      From personal experience I can report that the VAERS system is vastly underreporting adverse events. As a previously fit and healthy person, I experienced significant symptoms of neuroinflammation after J&J. I reported it to VAERS including corroborating doctors contacts and have yet to receive a permanent report number despite inquiries. My ENT was not able to submit a report online and did not get a report number however my PC did manage to get a permanent report number with my urging.

      Many people on the few sites not censored have reported the same experience of not being given a permanent report or VAERS keeps asking for information already submitted.

      According to the VAERS site, health care professionals are either encouraged or required to submit adverse events to the reporting system. I would guess if CDC, FDA and Pharma really wanted to evaluate safety of jabs, it would be an easy reminder alert to medical practices for submissions of adverse events but it seems it is controversial to ask them to do it for Covid vax.
      ENT practices are seeing alot of tinnitus, head pressure, dizziness, vertigo, balance issues and hearing loss– often permanent– as those nerves are sensitive to toxicity.

      Reportedly dermatologists are seeing a trend in large rashes and other skin disruption.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        You are earning disinformation demerits, big time. The first comment was about clots from Moderna, and so was on point. You cited the article and then misrepresented it.

        The AZ study had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with VAERS. NOTHING.


        One more bullshit comment like this and your comment privileges will be revoked.

        1. Ping

          I was actually replying to Trulys comments describing personal experience with VAERS who used that subject line in quotes. I should have referred to Truly then and not their subject line.

  29. Susan the other

    “Most models of the soil don’t include microbes.” Am I reading that link correctly? We have misunderstood the soil’s ability to sequester CO2 completely. We now understand that the micro biome breaks down carbon in the soil and releases it into the atmosphere. Great. And not only that, microbes are more active in the tropics and northern boreal climates – so what we study here in our temperate climate is not very accurate for other places. And worse: a warmer climate causes microbes to thrive and proliferate. So the organic farming theory I heard long ago – that you do not disturb the soil unnecessarily – as in broad-swath plowing and digging – makes very good sense.

    1. juno mas

      That soils article was likely more nuanced than imagined. The “soils model” they are referring to is a “climate change model”. The point of the article is that the carbon in the soil is NOT necessarily stored in the soil for long periods of time. The soil organisms (bacteria/microrganisms) are constantly consuming the soil carbon (if it is accessible). I had a class in Soils in the 1970’s and the concept of “trapped” soil carbon (humus) was prevalent. Today, as the article points out, our understanding has changed.

      It’s important to recognize that there are many ways to store carbon in the soil. Root mass is one, humus (however transigent) is another. The article indicates that the climate models don’t include the function of microbes in the soil. Microbes consume carbon particles and release CO2 as a byproduct. Just like you and me. Excluding microbes from a climate model could give you erroneous results (GIGO).

      Tropical soils are very different than those in N. America.

  30. Maritimer

    “Exhibition tells story of Spanish children used as vaccine ‘fridges’ in 1803 Guardian (resilc)”
    Thank you Guardian for that feel-good story about child orphans being used as refrigerators to innoculate 300,000 people against smallpox. Of course, the vaccine was free! It would probably be safe to assume that those 300,000 people were Spanish or their minions since the atrocities Spain committed against indigenous peoples are well documented.

    Great lessons here for Big Pharma and Vaccine Pushers: children are a target market for your products. Go for it!

  31. Soredemos

    >300 Video Game Workers Strike Over Sexual Harassment

    They’re striking in support of workers at Activision Blizzard, which is now being being sued by the state of California following a two year long investigation. NC doesn’t seem to have covered this story any, though it did cover recent accusations against Ubisoft.

    The findings of the California investigation are insane, even by the standards of the video game industry. Blizzard is apparently run like a parody of fratboy culture. Here’s a decent rundown of what the state is alleging:

    The part where they (allegedly) drove a female employee to kill herself marks Blizzard as literally the worst offender in the entire industry. Nobody else can stack up to that.

    1. ChrisPacific

      Latest revelations are talking about a ‘Cosby room’ way back in 2013 (as bad as it sounds). Clearly this isn’t just an Activision problem.

  32. a fax machine

    re: Activision & sexual harassment

    Irrelevant to most NC uses but perhaps an amusing anecdote: this has created a problem for the remaining marks that are still subscribed to Activision’s hit game World Of Warcraft. WoW became *almost* gambling at least five years ago, and criticism of this was deflected by Activision by claiming all their critics hated women, hated diversity, and hated their new designs made by diverse women. This was expanded much further with Activision’s other big game, Overwatch. This has now been revealed to be the fraud it always was, and I take a tiny bit of smug satisfaction in being proved right.

    Of course, I say “tiny”. This downplays the real human suffering that has occurred here in the service of gambling addiction. It has also enabled the absolute worst on the right, who are exploiting this and savoring every moment of it. It is fuel for their fire, and I truly wish this path was not chosen. The future of videogame politics will only become more putrid as Activision settles or outright looses it’s lawsuit brought by California, and this will ultimately not repair the damage done to the female employees or to the people who ruined themselves leasing trading cards from Activision. Videogames as a whole have become a service now thanks to Activision’s actions during this period, the corrupt behavior by employees mirrors the company’s corrupt business plan and the industry’s entire corruption of videogames as products and videogames as hobbies. It is rotten to the core; if you know anyone who actively subscribes to WoW I would encourage them to not subscribe any further (or purchase any Activision services, either).

  33. dcrane

    The Cruise Industry Stages a Comeback , New York Times. Resilc: “These people, and the person who wrote this, are crackheads.”

    Tbf, it does say they’re “staging” the comeback…

  34. campbeln

    Official Scottish data is showing 74% of the deaths between July 8 and 15 were FULLY VACCINATED, while a further 13% were PARTIALLY VACCINATED.

    Only 5 unvaccinated people died (13%) despite accounting for 77% of cases in the previous 4 weeks.

    Do the math yourself between the 2 tables of official Scottish data:
    (see page 35)
    (see page 41)

    As these are week-over-week numbers, subtract the July 8 numbers from the July 15 numbers to get the numbers for the week of July 9-15.

    Full credit to for making the connection (search for “Because if we go back to their previous Covid-19 Statistical Report published on the 21st July…” for their breakdown of calculating the numbers):

    Background on the website/organization:

    The above is very likely related to this:

    White House chatter is that lockdowns for delta variant all but a done deal. Virtually all blue states are cooperating with WH / CDC. They’re aiming for late 2nd week of August, per WH official

    87% of the DEATHS came from 23% of the CASES.

    If these numbers are even only a little bit true, we may be weeks away from CIVIL UNREST when this comes to the public consciousnesses that their governments led them so very far astray.

    I, for one, hope these numbers are WRONG!

    PLEASE, PLEASE hoist this from the comments! This and my parent post need greater exposure! I tried to catch IM Doc late in yesterday’s Water Cooler :/

    1. dcrane

      If almost everyone is vaccinated and the ppl who are not are very young, you can get this just because there are almost no deaths among the very young for covid to begin with, while the old remain partly vulnerable even if vaccinated.

      We need numbers for vaxxed vs unvaxxed of the same age.

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