Links 7/6/2021

All Coral Cells Grown in a Dish for the First Time Scientific American

Mind-controlling parasite makes hyena cubs more reckless around lions National Geographic

Americans Eagerly Check To See If They Got Any Emails Today The Onion

Alcohol unleashes homo economicus by inhibiting cooperation PLOS One

Boy Scouts of America reaches $850M agreement with victims AP. Well, at least they’re no lizard people. So there’s that.


Science, not speculation, is essential to determine how SARS-CoV-2 reached humans The Lancet

Assessing the Association Between Social Gatherings and COVID-19 Risk Using Birthdays JAMA. Findings: “This cross-sectional study used administrative health care data on 2.9 million households from the first 45 weeks of 2020 and found that, among households in the top decile of county COVID-19 prevalence, those with birthdays had 8.6 more diagnoses per 10 000 individuals compared with households without a birthday, a relative increase of 31% of county-level prevalence, an increase in COVID-19 diagnoses of 15.8 per 10 000 persons after a child birthday, and an increase in COVID-19 diagnoses of 5.8 per 10 000 among households with an adult birthday.” From the NYT: “[T]he study found that birthdays led to increased Covid infections by similar levels in Republican and Democratic areas of the country. This suggests that although Democratic-leaning households may have been more likely to wear a mask while walking the dog, they may have differed less than Republicans in their comfort having a trusted friend over to visit.”

Transmission event of SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant reveals multiple vaccine breakthrough infections (preprint) medRxiv. “In the current study, the scientists have described the transmission of delta variants among family members who were attending a wedding ceremony with 92 guests. The wedding events were held outside in a large open-air tent, and all guests were fully vaccinated.”


Alibaba joins local government to bail out China’s Suning FT. “Suning’s restructuring this week reflects Beijing’s new strategy of deploying private companies alongside state lenders to bail out debt-laden conglomerates in a bid to soften the risks from financial instability and job losses.”

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam pledges new laws to shore up national security after Beijing sets issue as city’s top priority South China Morning Post

Hong Kong Arrests 9, Including 6 Students, Over Alleged ‘Car Bomb’ Plot Bloomberg

Now China buys up our top microchip maker: Britain’s biggest producer is to be sold to Chinese-owned technology firm despite security fears Daily Mail


FOCUS: ASEAN deadlocked in selection of special envoy to Myanmar Kyodo News. Some damn thing in the Shans….

Myanmar military adopts ‘four cuts’ to stamp out coup opponents Al Jazeera. Predictable and no doubt predicted.

Junta steps up phone, internet surveillance – with help from MPT and Mytel Frontier Myanmar. Investment in these firms from Vietnam and Japan.

Virus-hit Indonesia orders oxygen for jammed hospitals France24

Dicky Budiman – The Worsening Covid-19 Crisis (podcast) Talking Indonesia


India third wave anxiety mounts as Maharashtra reimposes restrictions FT

Poorer Indian Women Lost More Jobs, Ate Less Amid the Pandemic Bloomberg

Twitter loses immunity over user-generated content in India Reuters

Year 12 students at St Joseph’s College given Pfizer vaccination Sidney Morning Herald. “NSW Health allowed about 160 year 12 students at St Joseph’s College at Hunters Hill to be inoculated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer vaccine, even though the program has only officially been rolled out to people aged 40 and above.”

The Koreas

Coupang faces probe over alleged manipulation of search algorithms FT. First World problems!


Israel Says Pfizer Vaccine Less Effective in Preventing Delta Variant Infection Haaretzd

Turkey’s plastics ban: Where does the UK send its waste now? BBC

Captured Ethiopian government soldiers reach Tigray capital – in pictures Guardian

Ethiopia begins next phase of filling Nile dam, angering Egypt France24

Madagascar ‘caught in a cycle of droughts’ Deutsche Welle


Boris Johnson to announce lifting of England’s COVID restrictions for July 19 Politico

Considerations in implementing long-term ‘baseline’ NPIs, 22 April 2021 Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, GOV.UK. If BoJo’s wrong, this is what critics will point to.

Trish Greenhalgh: Freedom Day, but at what cost? Tricia Greenhalgh, British Medical Journal

Surging Covid and unlocking: does England risk being a variant factory? Guardian.The UK has form: B.1.1.7 was “manufactured” in Kent.

Unequal pandemic, fairer recovery The Health Foundation

Revealed: UK troops ‘secretly operating in Yemen’ Declassifed UK

New Cold War

Seeds of Trust. Why the Results of the Russian-American Summit Exceeded Expectations Valdai Discussion Club

Russian Warships to Reinforce Black Sea Forces Amid U.S.-Led Drills Moscow Times

Biden Administration

The time to end the war on drugs is long overdue The Lancet

Whistleblowers Expose Corruption in EPA Chemical Safety Office The Intercept

Senators Want to Pay for Infrastructure With “Asset Recycling.” That’s Just a Fancy Term for Privatization. Mother Jones. AFAIK, “asset recycling” is still on the table, though nobody’s talking about it.

Inside Operation Warp Speed: A New Model for Industrial Policy American Affairs

Democrats en Deshabille

An Ugly War Among Leftist YouTubers Shows Two Common, Toxic Pathologies Plaguing U.S. Politics (video) Glenn Greenwald. This should calm things down.

Groves of Academe

Paul Krugman’s gadget version of Keynesianism Lars P. Syll. Ouch! Great fun, and well worth a read.

Our Famously Free Press

What I Heard about Iraq LRB. From 2005, more germane than ever.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Former Navy SEAL Gallagher says new book reveals realities of special operations work Stars and Stripes

Class Warfare

Four-day week ‘an overwhelming success’ in Iceland BBC (Re Silc).

‘Alarming rise in theft’ forces Target stores in San Francisco to shorten hours KTVU

A $500,000 Home On The Northern Plains To Hide From The Future Defector

Where people are migrating in, and out of, the West High Country News

Antidote du Jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. K.k

    Roughly 150 marchers part of the Patriot Front from Texas went out to Philadelphia to march but were swiftly sent on their way by the residents of Philly. It looks like it was spontaneous mobilization by passerby’s and not an organized counter action by anti fascists. I wont lie, I chuckled especially at the pictures of them packed like sardines in there getaway moving trucks after they were pulled over by leo.

    1. Jr

      There are dumber things than marching in a White Power parade in Philly but they are on the order of sexing a Great White in the middle of a feeding frenzy or attempting to “soup up” a Cessna’s engine mid-flight…

    2. fresno dan

      July 6, 2021 at 7:26 am
      I wont lie, I chuckled especially at the pictures of them packed like sardines in there getaway moving trucks after they were pulled over by leo.

      You can legally transport people in moving vans? I thought moving vans were ONLY for couches, tables, big screen TV’s. I’m guessing it may be legal if you have tie downs and they are strapped in??? But what with the heat waves, maybe you would have to use a refrigerated truck? I’m not sure about the meat hooks…

      1. Arizona Slim

        Interesting that they’re from Texas. Know what periodically happens in border states like Texas? Well, I’ll tell you.

        Periodically, the trailer sides of tractor-trailer trucks are found, filled with people who are, shall we say, from south of the border. Actually, I should say “were,” because by the time these trailers are found, the people have died.

  2. skippy

    Krugman deploying the Austrians was quite the jaw dropper after giving Keynes the middle finger @Lars blog … whoboy …

    “Surely we don’t want to do economics via textual analysis of the masters.”

    Now hes promoting Agnotology.

    Per the breakthrough cases in the U.K. Boris and the Tories are way over their skis on this one and makes the mash that is Brexit look reasonable in comparison … and they call it a plan … speechless[.]

    1. Wukchumni

      Seeing as Austrians were directly tied to starting a couple of worldwide depressions circa 1870’s & 1930’s, does it make any sense to follow their suggestions when deploying that moniker, it’d be like relying on the SD Padres to win a World Series, well maybe not that dramatic.

      1. skippy

        Thing is Wuk that Hicks said that the IS-LM was a crude symbology of what Keynes was banging on about, stripped of all its nuance. That’s not to mention neo/new Keynesian is seen as bastardized Keynesian [American/yank] version and more accurately a synergy with neoclassical, not that neoclassical has more in common at a fundamental level with AET than any other school.

        Yet here is Krugman defending this totem, that everything else get bolted onto, whilst simultaneously becoming the very thing he berates of others. This is the dialectal styling of the Austrian where the goal posts rest upon shifting sands IMO.

        That’s not to say Krugman has not done solid work in other areas and should be summery dismissed, but the idea that the IS-LM is above introspection and textual analysis of thoughts which underpin such views is a waste of time … wellie what are we really talking about here … Sunday school – ????

        1. Michaelmas

          That’s not to say Krugman has not done solid work in other areas and should be summery dismissed,

          Disagree. Someone — that is, Krugman — who is either too stupid to learn or else too dishonest to admit how money is created in our system and how banks work can be very summarily dismissed.

          Look up Steve Keene or Michael Hudson on this score.

          1. skippy

            Quite aware of both for a few decades, not to mention a boat load of others, yet, I don’t dismiss anyone in toto due to their lack of expertise in some areas e.g. agree that Krugman has issues with sovereign currency/private credit. I understand some have a plank in their eye or stakes driven irretrievably into the ground but arguments need distinction as Lars has done here and not broad sweeping statements.

            Marx was banned, do we need to go through all that again.

          1. skippy

            Money is debt … so the question is what is it purpose … that is an administrative drama.

  3. fresno dan

    Movie review
    Follow a heroic team of journalists at the Sports Gazette in a gripping exposé as they uncover shocking corruption in the Romanian national healthcare system. After an explosive fire at a Bucharest nightclub, the mysterious death of the owner of a powerful pharmaceutical firm, and the quiet resignation of a health minister — seemingly unrelated events — the intrepid reporters uncover a larger political scandal. Take an up-close look as the Gazette team methodically discovers layer upon layer of unbridled fraud and criminal malfeasance.
    If I didn’t think I’d find this documentary interesting, I wouldn’t have put it on my queue, but I didn’t think I’d expect it to be this good. Among the remarkable things is that the investigative journalists are writers for a sports newspaper, not a team as in Spotlight. And what they uncover is shocking–shock upon shock, in fact, including the ending, which I won’t give away.
    I know what you are thinking, “A documentary about the Romanian health care system? How could I go wrong?” Well, you will go wrong if you miss this fascinating film. You get an astonishingly inside look at the workings of a national scandal, as told by journalists and then politicians and government workers. As a viewer from the U.S., I have to say that, if I’d watched this film five years ago, I would have probably thought “Those crazy Romanians. That kind of thing could never happen here.” Color me biased (or whatever), but four years of Trump made me understand how undermining the legitimacy of a country’s institutions can easily happen.
    The film is named after a nightclub “Collectiv” in which there was a horrible fire. The number of killed was due to the lack of exits, due to corruption. The number of survivors that succumbed was due to corruption in the health care system, and when I say corruption, it starts with fraudulently diluted disinfectants (by BOTH the manufacturer and hospital), corrupt hospital management, corrupt medical accrediation, and of course, political corruption. At one point, a mayor demands that lung transplants – which are done in Austria due to the lack of capability of Romanian hospitals – Romanian lungs transplanted in Romania!
    When the driving force is only money, everyone involved in health became tainted. Yesterday’s post about Medicare Advantage – see this documentary and you will see the inevitable result of making money the end all of medicine.

    1. Maritimer

      “…the mysterious death of the owner of a powerful pharmaceutical firm….”
      Same in Canada. The bizarre murders of Barry Sherman and his wife still unsolved after three and a half years. Sherman was head of a billions generic drug company certainly not popular with Big Pharma. It would certainly have been interesting to hear him on Covid and repurposed drugs.

      And unlike Romania there will be no “…gripping exposé…” on the Canadian public healthcare system. The Canadian Government is actively engaged in either buying off the media or censoring it via two new media censorship bills.

  4. fresno dan

    An Ugly War Among Leftist YouTubers Shows Two Common, Toxic Pathologies Plaguing U.S. Politics (video) Glenn Greenwald. This should calm things down.

    Maybe being an old, OLD fogey causes me to see things this way, but I have a tough time calling someone who uses McCarthyism, liberal (or progressive or left). Unfounded accusations of treason, subversion, is not designed to further debate in a search for truth, but to stifle debate and the truth.
    Not being too familar with the You Tubers, do they themselves, call themselves leftists? Can they do that with a straight face wheninvoking the tactics of McCarthy???

    1. The Rev Kev

      I have been following this online fight the past few weeks but Glenn Greenwald helps put it into perspective. Greenwald was saying that there are two common tactics deployed by the left. Accusing someone being in the pay of the Kremlin which Cenk Uygur accused Aaron Maté of being. And accusing someone of being a sexual predator which Ana Kasparian accused Jimmy Dore of being. It was then that the penny dropped. This was what was done to Bernie Sanders last year. First he was accused of having his campaign financedr by the Russians by a ‘reporter’ at an airport. And then Elizabeth Warren accused him of being a sexual predator live on TV during the debates. How about that.

      Now if you will excuse me, I will wrap myself in Aaron Maté’s Russian blanket which I borrowed.

      1. Nikkikat

        Excellent comment Rev Kev! The young Turks have been horrible for years. Like some others out there, they are shills for the Democrat establishment. This gets them tiny commenting spots on CNN or gets them invited as Press for conventions. It’s always the Democrats good, the Republicans bad.

      2. Objective Ace

        Dont forget Tulsi Gabbard. I realize she didnt have a reasonable shot of winning, but there wasnt a peep of outrage against Hillary Clinton for such outrageous slander.

      3. Basil Pesto

        And then Elizabeth Warren accused him of being a sexual predator live on TV during the debates.

        not what happened

        1. The Rev Kev

          You know, you are right. It was Warren saying during the Debates that Sanders had said in a private meeting that a women can never be a President and refusing to shake his hand after the Debate was over to reinforce that accusation. Yes it was misogynistic but I read an undertone of him being accused of being sexist and a liar.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            It wasn’t mysogynistic if it never even happened. What I remember reading is that Warren fabricated that fake quote and plotted to ambush Sanders about it on Live Camera CNN. Sanders declined Warren’s kind invitation to have a fight on TV.

            That was when numbers of people suspected Warren of being a moral and ethical Clintonite. A Hillarrhoid, specifically.

        2. Fern

          It’s more likely that Elizabeth Warren is a Cherokee than that Bernie Sanders told Warren that “a woman couldn’t win.” In 2016, Bernie had waited until Warren decided not to run before he threw his hat in. Why would he have deferred to her if he thought that “a woman couldn’t win”?

          Bernie also was well aware that public opinion polls consistently, over the years, have shown that voters were slightly less likely to vote for a generic Jewish candidate than a generic female candidate, so employing identity criteria would have worked against Bernie.

          There’s no way Bernie said that.

          1. Aumua

            Maybe it was something taken completely out of context. Who knows? Either way it should be obvious to just about anyone that Bernie’s not a sexist much less a sexual predator, ffs. It was Warren stabbing him in the back, plain and simple. I hope she continues to fade into obscurity now.

          2. Basil Pesto

            I’m inclined to agree, but Warren never accused Sanders of being a sexual predator (lol)

    2. urblintz

      I suppose one could say that Uygur and Kasperian emerged from the “left.”

      Unfortunately they kept going and proceeded all the way to batshyte crazy, AKA the 21st Century Democratic party. It is said partisanship makes one stupid, but those two are way beyond stupid. They are ensconced, firmly, in vile.

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        “And when you go far enough to the right you meet the the same idiots coming around from the left.” — Clint Eastwood

    3. Geo

      I wonder how much of this is related to recent links here on NC like this one from yesterday on how “anger” and “moral outrage” are the biggest drivers of social media virality:

      In the Youtube economy having an ongoing beef with another popular YouTuber is marketing gold. Makes me wonder how much of this is real and how much is cynical posturing to build viewership.

      I remember the first time I saw TYT I couldn’t stand Cenk (the main host) because his blustering bravado reminded me of Rush Limbaugh. Many of these leftie Youtubers seem to have adopted the shtick of rightwing shock jocks. Maybe the outrage is real, but the effect is glaringly obvious and very ugly. The (online) left is so busy tearing itself apart they’ve forgotten why they’re even fighting or who the enemy is. Differing opinions are now unforgivable betrayals and villainous treachery. It’s melodrama at its dumbest.

      1. begob

        Time to insist that the liberal tradition that grew out of the English Whigs and Locke is a private property cult and has nothing to do with the left.

        1. hunkerdown

          Nailed it. Regretfully, Marxism grew out of (and/or in reaction to) that very same private property cult and its gentry class, and inherited many of its ideological disfigurements and contemporary conditions, most notably and disappointingly the notion that bourgeois republicanism (i.e. a ruling elite with no enforceable debt to the mass) can be democratic.

          IMO, even though it undermines the more vanguardist end of the worker’s movement, which I’m 100% okay with, the most critical area of operations is Capt. Johnstone’s, of the relentless social undermining of obligations invented by the shirking, manipulative moochers of our creditor class for their own purposes. The more of a break we make with the “Anglo-Saxon” system of socioeconomics (as the fash calls it with pride) and its table of virtues, the better off we will collectively be.

          1. Mao "No Landlords Now" Zedong

            Bourgeois republicanism is more democratic than reactionary feudalism but that’s as far as Marxism will extend its benefit of the doubt.

      2. Jeff W

        I remember the first time I saw TYT I couldn’t stand Cenk (the main host) because his blustering bravado reminded me of Rush Limbaugh.

        I couldn’t stand Cenk either. (I also disagree with him on some aspects of policy, as Jimmy does.)

        That said, while Glenn Greenwald admirably places this episode in a broader context, I wouldn’t minimize the narrower context to just “melodrama.” Baselessly and falsely accusing an award-winning journalist of being “paid by the Russians,” and “working for” unnamed dictators, on the one hand, and weaponizing a seven-year-old incident as sexual harassment to punish another YouTuber for airing his criticisms of those accusations, on the other, are both actions about which the journalist (Aaron Maté) and the YouTuber (Jimmy Dore) can be—and apparently are—justifiably aggrieved, whether or not the respective content creators are keeping an eye on their view counts.

      3. The Rev Kev

        Caitlin Johnstone nails it again-

        ‘Caitlin Johnstone Hourglass with flowing sand
        Imagine if all the people yelling that it’s time to move on from TYT smearing @aaronjmate
        as a secret agent of foreign dictators had from the very beginning just spent all that energy telling Cenk and Ana they need to retract and apologize for a disgusting and unacceptable act.’

    4. Arizona Slim

      I’m getting a lot of these leftist fighter videos in my YouTube feed. Y’know, TYT vs. Jimmy vs. Kyle, and, oh, look is that another one?

      Know what I’m doing with them? I’m ignoring them, that’s what!

      I encourage others to do the same.

      OTOH, YouTube is a very good place to learn how to fix or make darn near anything. That’s where it really shines.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        That, and access to all kinds of music, a lot of it not easily accessible elsewhere.

    5. The Historian

      This is just more of the leftists’ circular firing squad. Nobody can be ‘pure’ enough for some of them. I’m going to ignore this latest tempest in a teapot!

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        I don’t think taking issue with TYT literally accusing Aaron Mate of being paid by the Russians is “a tempest in a teapot” or a purity test. The drama is a smokescreen to distract from the actual issue here. Greenwald does a pretty good job of explaining that.

        1. JCC

          I agree 100%, and it’s been obvious for years to anyone paying attention.

          I highly recommend Matt Taibbi’s Hate Inc. to get a good “big picture” view of what has been going on for a very long time.

        2. The Historian

          I don’t have to agree with everything commentors say. I have my favorites but I often disagree with them too! That is life and it doesn’t have to be blown up into a media circus. I sometimes agree with Dore and I sometimes agree with Cenk – and both of them are known to go to extremes sometimes, like they are doing now. So what? Do I really have to prove my loyalty to everything they say to be ‘on their side’?

          1. Geo

            “Do I really have to prove my loyalty to everything they say to be ‘on their side’?”

            Yes! Don’t be a traitor!!!

            Seriously though, you’re spot on. Putting one’s faith into any one commentator is inane. Heck, I don’t even agree with myself all the time.

            This quarreling left needs to take a timeout, watch/read the MSM, and then ponder if these leftie ideological differences and personal skirmishes are that big a deal when we’re all up against billion dollar behemoths that brainwash the masses into neoliberal conformity.

            They’re calling each other out for not being “left enough” while outside their bubble everyone to the left of Kamala is considered a dangerous radical that will “turn America into Venezuela.”

            Maybe building bridges instead of remaining isolated islands would be a better approach?

            But, that doesn’t generate online engagement. Better to just stoke moral outrage and get those subscribers fired up so they send in more $$$.

            1. nycTerrierist

              “They’re calling each other out for not being “left enough” while outside their bubble everyone to the left of Kamala is considered a dangerous radical that will “turn America into Venezuela.”

              You make many great points here. Policy, not (cult of) Personality, please!

              just to clarify: TYT’s smears, however baseless, have put Dore and Mate in the position of having to clear their good names. Otherwise, these smears might confuse people who aren’t better informed.

              I totally agree with second part of your statement (above).

      2. hunkerdown

        Cenk’s progressive, not left. Pro-PMC, not pro-working-class. Terminology is important.

        1. Geo

          Wait? Progressive is bad now? Wasn’t Dore an “aggressive progressive” not too long ago? Is he a PMC guy too? Is “left” an actual political ideology now and not just a reference to where an ideology is on the political spectrum?

          Sorry I can’t keep up.

          Is there a regularly updated dictionary of leftie political pronouns you can give me a link to so I can stay on top of which terms mean what? Thanks.

          1. nycTerrierist

            Yup, among the worst things accomplished by parties like Cenk: total brand confusion re: what is ‘progressive’. ‘Progressive’ now means ‘not Republican’.
            Doesn’t Pelosi call herself ‘progressive’?
            the overton window creeps along…

          2. Aumua

            Language seems to be breaking down these days. I kinda don’t even want to try anymore to pierce through 6 layers of B.S. to get my point across. It’s easier just to troll or ignore.

          3. fresno dan

            July 6, 2021 at 12:30 pm
            I agree with you. It would be a better use of my time distinguishing species of Curculionidae than keeping up with the typologies of so called American politics.

          4. hunkerdown

            Ambrose Bierce has been dead for far too long. I wish there were a compiled dictionary because there may not be enough time to write one. But the Ehrenreichs’ PMC paper makes the case for Progressivism’s historical association with scientific management, and you can see today when and which particular Democrat politicians and acts are styled by the Party under the non sequitur term “progressive”. Single payer = not progressive. Hiring lots of “Marketplace Navigators” and credentialled adjusters and managers = progressive. Warren = progressive. Harris = progressive. Sanders = not progressive. Even Buttigieg was progressive, notwithstanding the white malehood. It’s an eerily predictive model of how the Party defines it, and shows that their use of the term is in bad faith, knowing of the positive popular sentiment for the term. I don’t know what else to do about it.

            If Dore fancies that “progressive” means “soft left-of-centrist”, he would be ignorant or indifferent to the historical meaning of the term which one party establishment still adheres to in practice, or he would be in voluminous company who are unfortunately playing into the domination of an opinionated liberal (capitalist) PMC and helping to mystify political history rather than end it. I don’t know, the only ideology that comes to mind that hasn’t been completely corrupted, subverted and caution-taped and still has some reasonably hopeful outlook and program without anything too objectionable is humanism, maybe autonomism.

            1. Skunk

              Ambrose Bierce hasn’t yet actually hit the water, and all the occurrences you think you’ve experienced in life have happened since his unfortunate fall from the Owl Creek Bridge.

    6. Grant

      I have issues with TYT, Dore and other YouTube personalities. I think this is all a huge waste of time and energy. I didn’t like TYT’s attack on Mate, have issues with them generally and I don’t like Dore. I like many of his followers even less. I find any political commentator to be useful to the extent that they help to raise awareness and help to push for the changes we really need. All of the YouTube talking heads make a minimal impact as is, and when they go to war with each other they get personal and take focus away from issues. I like Briahnna Joy Gray a lot, Chapo is entertaining and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Not a huge fan of TYT or Dore. Cenk and Dore both seem to be narcissists.

    7. Nikkikat

      They call themselves “progressives” New code word for rich liberal Democratic Party supporter. I call myself a leftest. I am way to the left and I never ever vote for Democrats or of course a Republican. I have always been a Peace and Freedom party member in California. They are Socialist. Unlike Bernie and his Democratic Socialism.

    8. Aumua

      Honestly this “war” was completely under my radar until today. That’s how much I care about it. I don’t particularly like TYT, Jimmy Dore or Glenn Greenwald lately so have at it I guess. Whatever.

    9. Astrid

      I think they learned from experiences of Corbyn, Sanders, Salmond, and Assange. No matter how ridiculous and false the accusation, if you don’t fight it vigorously, you will be permanently tarred with it. Mate and Dore absolutely must fight it hard early on to change the narrative and prevent future useful idiots from repeating it as fact.

    10. drumlin woodchuckles

      McCarthyism is a technique. Anyone can use it.

      If the Liberals and also the Left are the people using McCarthyism now, then we have a McCarthyist Left and McCarthyist liberals.

    11. Glenn S Olson

      A popular accusation on Facebook is “You’re not real!” Instead of addressing your comment they say you’re using a fake name to hide your identity so you can say BS without getting caught. I get this all the time and I use my real name.

      In my opinion this is just part of the more global “Lies are OK.” attitude which permeates the very fabric of American society, possibly the whole world. When I extend this trend into the future I see a complete loss of trust between individuals and a novel way for civilization to collapse.

  5. fresno dan

    Americans Eagerly Check To See If They Got Any Emails Today The Onion

    I guess this started happening 6 months ago – maybe a year – or more? My email had primary, social, and promotions. Somehow, probably by my clicking “agree” to something, the marketers have gotten access to my primary email, and what a disaster. Dozens of emails daily. So, so useless – after I have bought a watch, I’m innudated with come ons for other watches. Or looking at wine glasses has gotten me emails from every glass blower who has ever walked the earth.

    1. Katiebird

      About a year ago some other katiebird started using my gmail address as her default address for everything from fly-by-night businesses to car warranties and college applications. So my gmail got flooded not just with my promotional c**p but hers (oh, I get her receipts from Michaels and Joannes) ….

      I’ve been trying to get family to use the address tied to my cable account but gmail is so easy to remember they mostly use that (although not always). So I have to keep an eye on it. I need to figure out how to forward stuff I want to my private account but haven’t taken the time.

    2. griffen

      But they know you need those glasses! They just know. All of it is increasingly intrusive, and the gradual creep is no longer that gradual.

      I sorta miss deleting emails that will never get the proper attention…very lol. Setting the spam filter to auto pilot!

        1. griffen

          It’s like in the original Ghostbusters movie; I avoid crossing the streams.

          One account has been a dedicated account since, well for ever. Junk gets through but much less. It’s differentiating and no one in my small orbit of contacts sends personal information to the non primary account. Lastly, the non primary account just became near useless & all the garbage messages go there. I use this non primary email sparingly, like ordering Dominos online.

        2. JCC

          You mentioned you use gmail. So do I. What I have found is that the more you check the box next to the email and click SPAM, the less of these come through. I’ll give gmail algorithms some credit here (and I’m one of those that never bother checking the SPAM folder in case something “important” was mis-directed)

          When I first started getting receipts or confirmations for others (a few years ago) I would reply with “You’ve got the wrong email address” and would get a Thank You in response. Now I see so many (many with “do not reply” return addresses) I have to believe they are spam/fishing attempts and I mark them as such. And they stop, at least from that particular vendor or spammer.

          If people are too dumb to properly enter their email addresses, then they deserve to miss things like airline confirmations, AirBnB confirmations, or receipts. And if the vendor catches hell from the intended recipient, well, that’s just too bad. That’s what they get for switching to full automation of everything.

          One thing I do, though, is check my credit card more often after these sorts of spam, which, of course, I should be doing anyway :-)

          1. Chris

            As I understand it, Gmail ignores punctuation in email names, so fredjones, fred.jones and f_redjones are all seen as the same address, even though they’re used by different people.

            1. harrybothered

              @Chris – That’s interesting and weird. I started getting gmail for a kid on the east coast and his username was similar to mine, but not identical. It was more than punctuation that separated us.

              He wrote me once after I forwarded some of his messages to him and when I hit reply, MY gmail address was inserted. We both complained but nothing changed.

            2. square coats

              I’ve wondered what was going on because for years I’ve gotten various clusters of emails here and there that don’t seem like phishing spam and do seem to be addressed to a particular person who isn’t me (obviously I don’t click any of the links and just ignore them or mark them as spam anyway), but usually it has seemed like the intended recipient conducts a lot of their online doings in a language other than english or in a region of the world where english is used as a shared language but isn’t the first language for most people. My email address is more like a collection of syllables than any word(s) in english so I’ve thought about the possibility that maybe google hasn’t got its unicode character sets properly delineated or something and so someone with an email address in a different alphabet that would “sound like” the syllables of my email address is getting their email mixed up with mine.

              Any conflations like these on google’s part seem like glaringly obvious security flaws to me that a responsible company upon whom so many rely would notice and fix quickly, but alas, google……

            3. Katiebird

              Yes, I’ve also gotten messages addressed to I think gmail lets people create these email addresses but then their server ignores the punctuation. Gmail is a mess and I wish I could get my family to stop using that address.

    3. fresno dan

      And since I’m in ranting mode, I just returned from my biyearly poke to draw blood. After insurance card check, ID check (even though I have been going to this lab for YEARS), filling out an electronic form with all sorts of redundant information they ALREADY have, after my blood is drawn, I have to sing in duplicate some more forms (I have no idea of what it says – I have just been poked, I’m axious to GO). So…this is to stop people faking being me, having their blood drawn, than going to my doctor, and again, faking being me, to get the results of that blood draw??? Seems…implausible.
      Despite all the electronic gizmos, western civilization will collapse when we run out of ink to sign all the imbecilic papers we have to sign…

      1. freebird

        Pretty sure this is one component of ‘vaccine resistance’. If I’m already leery of what the pharma companies have cooked up, do I really want to spend hours finding a supply point, making appointments, waiting in line or cough-filled waiting room, filling out forms, having my health data tracked for the rest of my life, possibly having copays though they SAY no, then deaing with side effects, hoping mine aren’t the few serious ones?

        1. Katiebird

          Plus those horrible stock clips of awkward jabs into “arms” …. Anyone afraid of shots might look at those clips and shudder away from getting one themselves.

          1. orlbucfan

            A lot of people hate those needles, I for one. god forbid, you get jabbed by an incompetent.

          2. Nikkikat

            I noticed the needle looks 5 inches long in those clips! I’m not needle averse but those clips must terrify those that are afraid.

      2. JCC

        And the most fun thing about this, for me, is then spending hours on the phone with the pokers and insurance company fighting the bills that were issued on the supposedly “free” health check. Seriously! It happens every time.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      Once it was clear how much our email was being surveiled I started subscribing to several email feeds just to fill up my mailbox. I even open several at random. I did create a Save directory with probably gives away more than I would like but most of it is order and shipment confirmations. If we cannot get rid of the panopticon the least we can do is give it too much random information and let them sort out the chaff. So far the DNC and its affiliates is by far the worst spammer. I guess I should sign up for some Republican feeds for balance.

      1. Wukchumni

        I’m always careful not to spill the beans of how I plan for global conquest & world domination in an e-mail. I recommend an IBM Selectric typewritten message on a 8 1/2 by 11 inch format, and please sign in ink to show the recipient how old school multi-tasking you are. The only trail left is the ribbon, 86 it.

        1. sgr2

          Hmm, you might be mistaken here Wuk. Speaking from the experience of a secretary in a past life, I believe you would have to go back to the IBM “Executive” style typewriter to encounter an actual “ribbon” you could dispose of. My recollection is that with the introduction of the “Selectric” style IBM typewriter they went to using a “type ball” instead of a ribbon.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Former Navy SEAL Gallagher says new book reveals realities of special operations work”

    Yeah, you too can become convicted of war crimes and still get off. The Pentagon flubbed his prosecution and Trump gives him a get-out-of-jail-for-free card. In WW2, it would not be that unusual for such specimens to meet with an accident in combat as they were so dangerous. And with Gallagher, he actually did threat to kill his fellow SEAL team mates if they reported his crimes. In a podcast last month, he basically admitted that he did kill those prisoners but the Navy said that they did not want to know-

    Meanwhile, he has been great for recruiting purposes for the insurgents in Iraq and they probably still tell stories about him to hype up new recruits.

  7. griffen

    Book by the former SEAL. Not likely to find that in my summer reading list; but I never was drafted nor did I volunteer to enlist. So my comment reflects my experience from the armchair and not at the front of any enemy line.

    20 years, nearly, since 2001 and just now we’re figuring how to leave Afghanistan. A generation of men and women, likely with repeat deployments. I hope that most of them return & find normalcy.

    1. JohnnySacks

      Same here, nothing to see to warrant the investment in time and effort, just glad he’s still in one piece and hopeful that he still retains his sanity. Hermann Goering summed up military service enough for me 70 years ago:

      “Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

  8. In Vino Veritas

    Alcohol and homo economicus. Funny stuff that

    I came to think about the fact that when Sweden joined the EU, one of the first things they did was to allow the swedish EU-politicians (not the plebs though) to import humungus amounts of booze. At the time you could bring in 1 liter of hard liquor and 3 bottles of wine per person or something like that. The politicians could bring in some 30 liters.

    Moreover among the swedish upperclass, alcohol is a daily thing and it is seen as good to be able to down a lot of alcohol without being impeded.

    Both camps are inflicting a homo economicus economics on the population that is not even half as drunk as they are. It all makes sense now.

    We are run by homo alco-economicus.

    1. enoughisenough

      I stopped reading that when the abstract made it clear they were going to invent 2 strawman types of people with totally invented and unjustified neologisms, and just make a Procrustean argument to fit their made-up categories.

      Is this a real academic journal? Cripes. I hope it was satire.

    2. Maritimer

      In my jurisdiction, one of the first things the Dear Medical Leader did under Covid Emergency was to, for the first time, allow takeout booze! All medical experts know that booze is a wonderful treatment for all medical afflictions. Follow that Science!

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Russian Warships to Reinforce Black Sea Forces Amid U.S.-Led Drills”

    Makes sense this. Right now you have NATO’s Sea Breeze military exercises going on in the Black Sea with warships taking part from all over the world. There is even a warship from the Pakistan Navy taking part. Why is a ship from the Pakistan Navy doing in the Black Sea? Don’t know. But the Russians just upped their game. President Vladimir Putin just approved a revised version of Russia’s national security strategy that envisages “symmetrical and asymmetrical measures” in response to foreign states’ “unfriendly actions that threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Russia. That is the Crimea that they are talking about. What does that mean? It means that they will not put up with any more crap like NATO warships sailing off their main naval base in the Black Sea. What form will it take? Who can say. Russia may have hoped that things would settle down after the Geneva Summit but when the British & Dutch navy sailed a warship straight towards Russian waters a few days later, the Russians must have realized that nothing had fundamentally changed.

    1. JohnnySacks

      As if Russia would ever assume anything would fundamentally change. A similar analogy would be if Russian warships were performing naval drills with Venezuela and Cuba in the Caribbean. Can you imagine the heads (and likely more) exploding?

  10. Geo

    “Alarming Rise of Theft” was an interesting article to read between the lines. Seems to be feeding into the crime wave narrative yet states that theft is “creeping back toward pre-pandemic levels”. So, there’s less theft than before the pandemic but they’re writing this as if it’s some kind of Wild West scenario.

    Also, at the end they have this great quote from the mayor:

    San Francisco Mayor London Breed said the retailer should look to expand staffing rather than limit hours.

    “It is sometimes disappointing to see maybe one line open and hardly any employees working at the register or even at the doors,” Breed said. “So, I think part of it is a combination of us working together, and them having the right security and the right staffing in order to make sure there’s a better customer experience.”

    Despite the sensationalized headline, what the article is actually saying is: theft is still less than pre-pandemic levels and Target should hire proper staffing. But be afraid anyway!

    1. Arizona Slim

      I live near a store that used to be a Walgreens. It’s been closed since for about a year and a half.

      According to the ever-efficient neighborhood grapevine, the place closed because of rampant shoplifting and rent that was too darn high.

      I would also argue that a lack of business put that place under. It never, ever was very busy.

        1. Geo

          Amazon: the embodiment of the “Invisible Hand of the Free Market” pillaging the planet. Out of sight, out of mind!

      1. Geo

        There was another quote from a shopper that said the community should provide more food and clothing to those in need. Was good to see that message in the article too. That maybe all the shoplifting isn’t bad people doing bad things but often are desperate people just trying to survive.

        A close friend resorted to shoplifting on and off for a year or so when going through a rough stretch. He felt guilty about it, and didn’t take from small/local stores, but also needed to eat. I never reached that stage but have been close a few times.

        Of course, also known a few kleptos and petty crooks too. Some do it for thrills, some because they are already social outliers and have no respect for a society that has never valued them, and one in particular who was just an outright *familyblog*hole.

        I do get a general sense that post-lockdown there are more people in all those categories. Been a lot of social fracturing, nihilism, and antipathy building the past year or so. Only way I see to counter that is more efforts to show kindness and build some social outreach to help those in need.

    2. Keith

      Part of the problem is they are not prosecuting the shoplifters. When thieves can do what they will without punishment and/or being segregated from society, what is the shopkeeper to do?

      1. DelRey

        The problem is the district attorney’s office in San Francisco.
        No matter what the police do, if the cases are not prosecuted, what’s the point?

        Starting with the ipol mediocrity of Kamala Harris, the D.A.’s office has been a disaster.
        “San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris’ office violated defendants’ rights by hiding damaging information about a police drug lab technician and was indifferent to demands that it account for its failings, a judge declared Thursday. Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo stopped short of granting a request by more than 40 drug defendants that their cases be dismissed because of prosecutorial misconduct, saying that decision must be left up to the judges hearing their cases. But in a scathing ruling, the judge concluded that prosecutors had failed to fulfill their constitutional duty to tell defense attorneys about problems surrounding Deborah Madden, the now-retired technician at the heart of the cocaine-skimming scandal that led police to shut down the drug analysis section of their crime lab.”
        She then moved on to bigger and worse failures as state A.G. i.e. immunizing Mnuchin from prosecution.

        The current disaster is Chesa Boudin: A social justice-minded reformer who campaigned on a platform of decarceration, ending cash bail and seemingly, based on what’s happening on the street, giving criminals a get out of jail free deck of cards.
        Dead bodies piling up, not just stolen objects. More fentanyl deaths in S.F. than Covid deaths.

    3. Geo

      That article made me curious to learn more since it was such a bizarrely written piece that seemed to be insinuating one narrative while unintentionally telling another. Found this piece from a Criminal Justice organization that may be of some interest:

      “The New York Times fabricates a nonexistent shoplifting wave in San Francisco, then wrongly blames it on criminal justice reforms”

      “The SFPD’s (2021) own reports show no increase in shoplifting, nor in the broader categories of theft that include shoplifting. In fact, property crimes have been plummeting in the city for nearly 30 years, as have violent crimes.”

      Worth a read. Considering SF is currently reallocating a small portion of police funding into other community resources and outreach and is laying off some officers it isn’t too crazy to think this might be a manufactured scare campaign to turn public sentiment around.

  11. Wukchumni

    Nature notes:

    Walked to beautiful White Chief Canyon yesterday and had Mariposa lilies nearly all the way to the canyon, hundreds & thousands. My favorite Sierra wildflower, very showy.

    On the drive down saw a most unusual black bear @ mile 14 on Mineral King road or thereabouts in one of those 4 second glimpses, about 175 pounds with splotches of light rust & brown giving it a full camo appearance. They’re onto us.

  12. Cocomaan

    Not to sound like a troglodyte nationalist, but how did the delta variant get to the United States? Has anyone tracked it down?

    Oh wait, there’s no more contact tracers. Someone I know very well just got laid off from their tracing job.

    If delta is truly taking hold, I want to know why the hell it did.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Same here. I would also like to know how prevalent it is among vaccinated people vs. unvaccinated people.

    2. cnchal

      Still Flying = Total Fail

      On the news before the holidays, one air traveler in an interview shown on national Tee Vee claimed that being vaccinated was like wearing a suit of armor.

    3. petal

      Received notification yesterday that masks are no longer required for vaccinated people on our research floors at the hospital, and they are only being tested once a month. I’m pretty ripped, and this morning reminded my group they can still get it and transmit it, but they have decided to go maskless anyway. What could possibly go wrong?

          1. jr

            It is surreal. Here (NC) I get hard data and best estimates, all of which point to masking, gargling, and continued taking care.

            Out there (the rest of the universe), it’s Whoopee! time. Hard to blame them personally as the general public had been lied to etc. but it keeps me on edge.

    4. Pelham

      Excellent question that needs to be answered. Relatedly, international airline flights should be shut down for the duration.

      Separately, I moved to Kansas last month dreading that I would find near-zero mask wearing. I was pleasantly surprised at Walmart and a few other places to find perhaps 40% of people wearing masks. Until the holiday weekend, when it fell to about 5%. Were people picking up vibes from Biden about the Fourth somehow marking a time when Covid would be over?

  13. Wukchumni

    Where people are migrating in, and out of, the West High Country News
    Heard a friend’s well went dry last week in Three Rivers, and that doesn’t bode well as we had few sucking air in the 2012-16 drought for we are on a different aquifer and there’s really no ag grown here aside from an organic farm & a small citrus orchard, while down on the Central Valley floor wells were crapping out all over the place, exacerbated by heavy use of the wells to keep orchards alive.

    Its a different kind of drought, the Big Dry. We’ll soon be in the throes of our 4th heat wave of the young summer, a 6 day stanza of around 110 in the shade, evaporating what little surface water there is in a frenzied air fry.

    None of this news would really mean anything to the 35 million in the state surrounded by concrete & asphalt who rely upon imported water from far far away, but it should.

    We’re going to see one hell of an exodus to the east of the 100th Meridian if this keeps up, and i’m talking just another year or 2.

      1. Pelham

        Hmm. I just moved to northeast Kansas (which is supposed to be drying out) and I have to say it’s some of the lushest grassy countryside I’ve ever seen, comparable only to intensely green stretches of Georgia, in my experience. On that score NE KS easily beats out my last home in upstate New York, near Ithaca. In a month here we’ve had two severe rainstorms, and there was one stretch of rainy days that beat a century-old record. Humidity is pretty thick too, but maybe that’s because we’re near the Missouri River.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Revealed: UK troops ‘secretly operating in Yemen’ ”

    You wonder what other countries have cadres of troops in Yemen. The US? Maybe France? A year or two ago I checked out the Yemen war on Wikipedia and was surprised to find an retired Australian officer employed directing that campaign. I think that doing stuff like that is illegal under Australian law so he must have been there with an official nod. I suspect that the Yemen war is one where you will find that every man and his dog was taking part in it but you probably won’t read about it for decades-

  15. sfp

    The infographic at the top of “Where people are migrating in, and out, of the west” is awful. Spending some time scrutinizing it is a surefire way start to questioning your sanity.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I agree! They could have tried using two arrows — one for inflows and the other for outflows instead of whatever they were attempting with the bicolor flows. I would also prefer just using the thickness of the flows to indicate their size instead of a difficult to read color thickness.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Should have written – I would prefer using the thickness to indicate the size of flows in and a separate arrow indicating flows out, also using thickness to indicate size. I cannot tell much at all from the color gradations.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I am also fond of Sankey diagrams. They can be very informative. The diagram you pointed to is a classic, referenced in Tufte’s book on diagramming. I have a framed copy of the diagram.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Captured Ethiopian government soldiers reach Tigray capital – in pictures”

    Doesn’t matter from which era it is from, there is not much of a sadder sight than a defeated army. Their faces tell the full story.

  17. Wukchumni

    Our Chief Executive has been really working out trying to make the Olympic Spelunking team, and I just know he’ll do us proud in Tokyo as Joe will cave on anything, he’s that good.

    1. flora

      From the linked article:

      What struck me while looking at how United fared financially in 2010 compared to 2020 was the fact that the company has pulled off spectacular growth during those 10 years despite losing more than a million of their individual customers. In fact, had it not been for a very generous Uncle Sam and United’s aggressive marketing to attract new enrollees in its Medicare Advantage plans, the company’s membership growth would have been so anemic over the past decade that it might not have even cracked the Fortune 100 this year.

      You should care about that because, even if you are not enrolled in a United health plan, you as a taxpayer are contributing to the company’s growing profits.

  18. Wukchumni

    One of the cabin owners is in a race to be a year older than me and so far-so good. She’s a treat to be around and can hike you into ground, my kind of woman, except for the evangelical umbilical cord firmly attached, that is.

    Her family led what I thought was a most reckless life last summer in going to a 185 person wedding in Texas of like minded doubters of the same dogma pound sans masks, ye gads I thought at the time, they’re just asking for it, the hereafter-bring it on!

    But alas nothing happened nor has any of their family suffered from Covid, for her its still a myth.

    Must have heard god & lord a few dozen times interspersed between lesser words in our talk, if anything she’s more strident in her lack of belief in more people dying from Covid, than all of our servicemen killed in all of the 20th century wars.

    1. Carolinian

      Hikes (and therefore presumably not overweight), gets plenty of sunshine and vitamin D, also presumably not over 70…..why would she get Covid?

      I’m not saying she’s right but she may be a little right. I’m not religious myself but one might describe it as an extreme form of “keeping an open mind.”

      1. Wukchumni

        By dyeing her hair she can pass for 45, so she’s got that going for her, which is nice.

      2. FluffytheObeseCat

        Based on one of Lambert’s links from last week, she probably had it and was never symptomatic, or was so mildly affected she discounted it. The blood serum study he linked to indicated another 4.8x beyond the diagnosed total were seropositive in July 2020. We now have over 33 million diagnosed cases in the U.S. If the multiplier from that study is still valid, then 161 million more people had a brush with it and did not present with symptoms. For a total of 194 million. We’ve been vaccinating since January so that is probably a high end estimate.

        I have a friend who is an organ transplant recipient, and another who is a recent cancer survivor. I find the cavalier attitude this woman shows off to be ugly and contemptible. Those who are lucky, who are healthy, robust, young, type O, etc. can infect the fragile quite easily. More easily when symptomatic but likely when we aren’t as well. Bragging about ones own lack of concern, and then exhibiting contempt for efforts to protect the vulnerable – things like masking and vaccinations – is not Christ-like. It’s a Pharisee stunt and it deserves fierce criticism, irrespective of whether some Fauci types are self-dealing weasels or not.

        For too many good people this disease is not “a hoax”. People who claim it is are claiming hundreds of thousands of our healthcare workers are liars, and that the dead never existed. They lack all honor and righteousness, and it’s way past time they were called on it by someone other than PMC mouthpieces, who are incapable of speaking in term of honor or righteousness.

        1. Laura in So Cal

          I guess I feel the need to respond to the harsh tone of this comment.

          Behaving in a way that doesn’t take into account the safety of other people is pretty standard in our society. Some know they are doing it and don’t care. For example, 10,000 people a year are killed in auto accidents involving Drunk drivers. However, most people don’t even know they are doing it. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to deal with situations that could kill my severely peanut allergic kid.
          People eating peanuts on an airplane who complained when I asked them to stop. Well meaning people handing out candy with peanuts in it at Halloween and bringing treats that contain peanuts to a potluck with no ingredients labels. As far as I know, I’m the only parent who even asks about food or pet allergies when I’ve had kids over to my home. I’ve had to teach my son to be forthright about asking about peanuts in any food he receives, to avoid “treats” from others, and even grill servers in restaurants. BTW, there is nothing cuter or more pathetic sounding than a 4 year old asking “do you have any candy without peanuts?”

          I don’t know how much food poisoning happens because someone wasn’t careful in their food prep or how many hepatitis cases are transmitted because someone doesn’t do a good job washing their hands or how many STD’s are transmitted because someone didn’t use a condom.

          Our assumption is that other people (especially ones we don’t know) who are allergic or immuno-compromised need to take care of themselves. This is thoughtless, and our society would definitely be a better place if we ALL protected others. However, I guess I feel like we all live in a glass house in some way and throwing stones doesn’t help.

          1. Astrid

            Spreading COVID is quite a bit different from the potential peanut allergy issues you’re describing. It’s more akin to if you were spraying aerosolized peanuts into a public space, after being repeatedly told that doing so can result in deadly peanut allergies in yourself and others, but you keep doing it because you don’t believe in peanut allergies. Other people can wear masks and avoid public places, but this is a far greater burden than being careful with Halloween candy once a year (or not trick or treating) or asking a flight attendant to stop the peanut eater in the row ahead of you.

            1. Laura in So Cal

              I’m sorry but you don’t seem to have any idea.

              We have to be careful with every food item and every topical item 100% of time every day for the rest of my kids life. Both individuals and corporate entities are totally careless about labeling food that could kill my kid. Labels on a Deli Cases that say “items contained in this case may contain peanuts” or packaged food that says “Items manufactured in a facility that also manufactures items containing peanuts” are not helpful. Every restaurant visit or gathering that includes food is a mine field. You learn to navigate the issues, hedge your bets, but there is ALWAYS a chance…..

              People KNOW that peanut (or other food) allergies kill and hospitalize AND STILL store the peanut cookies right next to the ones that don’t contain peanuts. My kid threw up all over the cart in Whole Foods when he was 4 because a cookie that DID NOT contain peanuts apparently had touched a peanut cookie somewhere in the process. We never buy stuff from open bins or food openly stored next to peanut containing items. I will say that ice cream parlors are the only places that are really good about it. When you say you have a peanut allergy kid, they will take one of their scoops to the sink and wash it with hot water and soap before using it for your kid.

              I’m a total control freak and am very lucky my kid hasn’t been in a hospital (yet!). The 2 urgent care visits were enough. We spend $$ every year so we can carry epi-pens just in case. I have a close friend who’s son has been hospitalized 3 times for anaphylaxis. He is 12.

              The World really doesn’t care. I understand individuals being clueless. I try to be kind about the cluelessness which was the genesis of my comments above.

              1. FluffytheObeseCat

                I understand individuals being clueless. I try to be kind about the cluelessness which was the genesis of my comments above.”

                A peanut allergy killed the 13 year old daughter of colleagues of mine. It’s no joke, nor is it false. I hope we can eventually find a therapy to combat it, and save lives.

                Now, regarding “harsh tone”: How many people do you encounter who not only complain, but insist to your face that deadly peanut allergies are a hoax? And while saying so, smilingly imply that the very idea is put forth only by the Godless and unAmerican? This may have happened to you at some point, given how many jerks there are in this world. But, it’s unlikely they’d receive much support from any others around you if they condescended to you this way in public.

                Not so the anti-mask and anti-vax constituencies. The character Wuks described above is not unique or alone in her conceit. She likely has a Facebook account linked to fellow believers who can and do support her to the max in dismissing COVID entirely because it didn’t manage to kill them or their closest kin. Beyond a certain point, choosing to ignore a good likelihood of danger is not merely cluelessness, it’s malicious. Pointing this out bluntly is not too harsh given the stakes involved.

  19. Briana

    That owl reminds me of Harris who camouflages,
    shape shifts and sounds like whatever group she’s around to her advantage.

    No insult implied to the owl, a noble and honest creature.

    1. Wukchumni

      There’s a loathing in your eyes all the way
      If I listen to your lies, would you say
      I’m a woman (a woman) without conviction
      I’m a woman (a woman) who doesn’t know
      How to sell (to sell) a contradiction
      You come and go, you come and go

      Kamala, Kamala, Kamala, Kamala, Kamala chameleon
      You come and go, you come and go
      Going to Guatemala to squash American Dreams
      Stay put unless you’ve got green, long green.

      Didn’t hear your wicked words every day
      And you used to be such a toker I heard you say
      That my love (my love) was an addiction
      When we cling (we cling), our love is strong
      When Joe goes (he goes), he’s gone forever
      You string us along, you string us along

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      The owl in today’s antidote appears to me as if it were the spirit of the tree it stands in front of. Its downward cast eyes tell of the tree’s misery and anger.

  20. a fax machine

    re: SF Target theft

    As cited in other articles, there are many reasons but the recent wave is due to the hotel Covid shelters ending and homeless being put back on the streets. Suddenly they need bare necessities, storage (shopping carts) and cash again. Any sort of unguarded retail is a target, including Target. There is also the organized looting which affects all of the Bay Area, but SF the worst as the Attorney Gen. won’t prosecute. This is distressing when many of the people doing it are clearly being stepped on by some larger mafia, but the police cannot intervene because nobody will talk and the AG won’t pressure individuals to do so. Drugs relate directly to this as many are strung along by it as their mob boss is also their dealer whom they are indebted to. I think there’s a word for that which starts with “s” and ends with “y”.

    This is why retail is moving to nearby San Mateo Co, because the AG there does prosecute and there’s less of a chance of a getaway into a safe zone (SF city limits) as there’s only 3-4 roads plus BART into SF. On that point, BART’s relation to these problems thwarts expansion of it’s system and is why San Mateo residents still cling on to their local Caltrain operation, because Caltrain hires union conductors @ $125/hr to do fare enforcement and thus prevent the onboard drug use, sleeping, defecating, etc that is common on BART. To wit, it’s not even 9am yet and I’ve already seen people do all of that on the BART train I took to work. The desperate situation at most BART stations is why Uber and company shuttles exist. It’s also why everyone is relocating to places south and west – trains that service those places do not permit this behavior.

    1. Carolinian

      A conservative is a liberal who has a homeless tent in front of his house?

      The article says across the border in “liberal” Santa Monica the tents are rousted.

      Movie buffs know Venice’s main claim to fame is being the location for Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil (they have a giant Touch of Evil mural on the main plaza). Back then it was a failed housing development, then hipster paradise, now tent city.

  21. Mildred Montana

    Re: $500,000 home on the northern plains

    I’m confused. I’m not sure if this article is serious or satire. Here are some sample quotes:

    “In the living room we have big windows.” “[In the dining room] there is a beautiful big window.” “…on the landing there are more fancy windows…”

    “Imagine having the money to flee to this house which is close to the private airport for your private plane.”

    “[The three-car garage] has lamps. It has windows outside. The [owner’s] document tells us the floors are heated so you’ll never have to be in a cold car!”

    After reading the article closely I’m still confused. The comments seem to suggest it’s serious. But this house is in northern Michigan. Is it a great idea to escape global warming only to continue contributing to it with large windows, heated garage, private plane, etc?

    I did like this however, which I am quite sure is serious:

    “This house does not offer the post Covid curse of an open floor plan in which private space for work and activities is limited,” [the owner’s document] says. “It offers multiple spaces for family activities together and apart.” While I personally blame HGTV and Trading Spaces for the true pandemic of open floor plan housing, this is absolutely correct. Open floor plans suck. They are hard to heat and cool. They are too loud. They are filled with wasted space! I don’t actually want to hear the television when I’m in the kitchen and I don’t want you to pretend to be in the kitchen with me when really you are watching television. Let everything be it’s own room! It’s better!”

    Thank you, owner of $500,000 house! Open floor-plans are an abomination and should be outlawed for the sake of the sanity of the human race.

    1. Mark K

      Also, by no stretch of the imagination is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan part of the northern plains. Canadian Shield is more like it. Totally different landscape.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I read about that yesterday. In the middle of the night they turned out the lights which was followed by the sounds of an aircraft taking off. Two hours later the Afghan army came looking to see what was going on and found nobody home except for a few early looters. Masses of gear and vehicles abandoned. You think that at the very least they could have left them money for cab fare.

  22. Mikel

    “In the current study, the scientists have described the transmission of delta variants among family members who were attending a wedding ceremony with 92 guests. The wedding events were held outside in a large open-air tent, and all guests were fully vaccinated…”

    Lots of hugging and kissing at weddings, even when held outside. Not to mention the dancing and moving in close for photos.

  23. Dr. Robert

    YouTube autoplay took me down a strange rabbit hole last night that led me to the celebration of the centenary of the CCP. I was surprised to see a historical summary of the CCP presented through Jiang Qing’s revolutionary opera being performed live in front of senior CCP leadership in the Olympic stadium. Jiang’s rehabilitation is a shocking lurch leftward by the CCP. She was basically erased from history following her trial at the end of the Cultural Revolution. It seems the CCP is eager to mobilize at least the propagandistic trappings of Maoism in a rebuke to the reformists and liberals.

  24. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    Paul Krugman’s gadget version of Keynesianism Lars P. Syll.

    “There is, I am convinced, a fatal flaw in that part of the orthodox reasoning that deals with the theory of what determines the level of effective demand and the volume of aggregate employment …”

    Seemingly contrite admissions/observations of “a fatal flaw” by the high priests of economic orthodoxy have had zero influence on the trajectory of the larger economic ecosystem, thus far. In fact, the admissions have only seemed to reinforce a stubborn faith and doubling down in both the dominant belief system and the toolkit(s) that enables its very survival, along with advancing the pecuniary self interest of the ruling class. The words themselves are meaningless, the actions and who they ultimately benefit are all that count. It is the only scorecard that matters.

    [[“I have found a flaw” in free market theory, Greenspan said under intense questioning by Representative Henry Waxman, the Democratic chairman of the Government Oversight Committee of the House of Representatives. “I don’t know how significant or permanent it is,” Greenspan added. “But I have been very distressed by that fact.”

    In his testimony, Greenspan rejected the notion that he was personally responsible for what he called a “once-in-a-century credit tsunami.”

    Pressed by Waxman, Greenspan conceded a more serious flaw in his own philosophy that unfettered free markets sit at the root of a superior economy.

    “I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms,” Greenspan said.

    Waxman pushed the former Fed chief, who left office in 2006, to clarify his explanation.

    “In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working,” Waxman said.

    “Absolutely, precisely,” Greenspan replied. “You know, that’s precisely the reason I was shocked, because I have been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”]]

    “You can spot a bubble. They’re obvious in every respect. But it is impossible for the majority of participants in the market to call the date when it blows. Every bubble by definition deflates. But when that deflation occurs, it requires a point at which the vast majority of market participants do not expect it to happen. In other words, a necessary condition for a bubble to be toxic is debt or leverage.” Or, maybe not, “Just a few weeks after Volcker’s speech, Greenspan testified before Congress, saying “Bubbles generally are perceptible only after the fact. To spot a bubble in advance requires a judgment that hundreds of thousands of informed investors have it all wrong. Betting against markets is usually precarious at best.” And that is certainly the case when markets are directly propped up by central bank purchasing activities. For example, “BoJ’s dominance over ETFs raises concern on distorting influence”, and

    Finally, last, but not least,

  25. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “Inside Operation Warp Speed: A New Model for Industrial Policy”
    I am no one has commented on this so far. I confess I only read bits and pieces of it. It is quite long, and my allergies to P.R. speak started acting up. Warp Speed is become a poster boy for Public-Private partnerships. This chimes an eerie echo with some of the World Economic Forum’s paeans to the 4th Industrial Revolution. Oddly it also eerily echos some of the content in a phone survey I ‘enjoyed’ a few days ago — ostensibly for test campaign assertions. In some of the statements presented for my favorable/unfavorable response, were statements embedding this notion of the Corona vaccine development as a wonder of what Government working with Industry could accomplish. I suspect the “success” of the Corona vaccines will survive long after they fail as the miraculous panacea Government and and Big Pharma have pushed.

  26. ProNewerDeal

    The wedding breakthrough case story is alarming. IIRC a prior study that only 0.1% of COVID cases were transmitted outdoors, & that study presumably occurred during a timeframe where there was no or limited vaccination, & Delta was not yet extant or rare. Now this wedding occurs outdoors where all are vaccinated, & Delta transmission occurs.

  27. VietnamVet

    Private/public partnerships work to assure that private rentiers get a steady stream of public money at the lowest possible cost. Operation Warp Speed funded up at least two and maybe up to eight brand new billionaires, as intended. Except without a functional public health system, the vaccines became Plan A with no alternative. The mRNA gene therapy was injected in over half of all Americans without reproduction or long-term health studies and no data on their effect on the transmission of the virus. In highly vaccinated Israel after reopening, the Pfizer jab, was only 64% effective at preventing infection. The outdoor wedding super spreader event where all were vaccinated documents that gene therapy does not sterilize virus transmission. Despite the PR and denial, the pandemic is not over unless miracles still happen.

    The 30 to 40 percent of Americans who are unvaccinated are in an untenable position. The purveyors of the vaccine partnership will blame them for the mRNA’s failure. Literally any person not wearing a mask could be shedding the virus as long as the virus remains endemic in the population despite what the marketing campaign says. There is no universal testing, contact tracing, or safe paid quarantine facilities in the USA. Americans are on their own. The US government failed spectacularly to do its primary function of protecting its citizens against the plague. Tragically, it is not alone, the USA is followed by Brazil, India, Mexico, Peru, Russia, UK, Italy, France, and Colombia with total deaths in the millions.

    There are two options; chaos or do what China is doing.

  28. Skunk

    Not really. There was talk of possible boosters from the beginning. Boosters seem to me like a vehicle for a “steady stream of public money” like you talked about. Wouldn’t Big Pharma be delighted to manufacture the boosters?

    I think you’re right about the testing. During the vaccine trials, they didn’t want to report data for the actual rates of infection. Something was being glossed over there. So they probably don’t want to test vaccinated people now, for the same reason.

    Still, the vaccines seem to prevent serious illness and hospitalization, so that’s important.

  29. Pat

    I have often believed that it was good idea to have a separate kitchen. Oh sure you can have an eat in one with a table or nook, but open to the den or living room…no.

    I finally had the penny drop in the last few days. I grew up with open kitchens. My grandparents kitchen was essentially the large open hallway. My parents first home, a three bed/1 and 3/4 quarter bath maybe 1000 square foot early 60’s tract house, had a kitchen that was open to the den. I figure it was really supposed to be the dining room but not in our family. Sure there was a counter and some upper cabinets, but anyone in one of the rooms knew what was happening in the other.

    I may not sit down to a nice dinner, holiday or other, often but I have always known what a distraction the inevitable mess that is produced by the cooking and the dinner has on at least some of the participants. When you cannot close the door on it, remove it visually, one or more of the diners will be drawn away before it is over to start cleaning up. Usually they will be female, and often some of the most interesting people gathered for the dinner.

    I can think of multiple architectural styles that have open kitchens besides the HGTV mega mansions. And sometimes closing them off defeats some logical reason for the design. So I can never say never, but IMO doors are a good thing for many reasons. So if I win the lottery any house hunt I undertake will not include open floor plan on the wish list.

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