Links 8/17/2021

Near-Death Experiences Can Scar Animals for Life Atlantic (Paul R)

Ten Observations on Lullabies The Honest Broker (Anthony L)

Imagination is such an ancient ability it might precede language Aeon (Anthony L)

Forgotten island with ‘open coffins and bones’ emerged from Kent river: ‘Like horror film’ Express. Kevin W: “Climate change at work.”

If your coffee’s going downhill, blame climate change Reuters

A year after fire, burned Santa Cruz forests sprout with new life but growing takes time Santa Cruz Sentinel (David L)

Flora, Fauna, and … Funga? The Case for a Third ‘F.’ Undark (Chuck L)

Win–win denial: The psychological underpinnings of zero-sum thinking. PsycNET (resilc)

How to do philosophy Lars P. Syll. A wee tale.


Opinion: One simple principle: No vaccine, no go Globe and Mail (Dr. Kevin)

Coronavirus: More than 1 million Israelis vaccinated with third dose i24 News (resilc)

South Africa Sees Covid-19 Fourth Wave Starting in Early December Bloomberg


Antibody cocktails to treat Covid take off as Delta surges Bloomberg

Study Shows Covid-19 Can Be Detected In A Single Asymptomatic Person Through Wastewater Surveillance Forbes



NIH Director says unvaccinated people are ‘sitting ducks’ as the Delta variant continues spread across the US Yahoo. Help me. As are the people who got the Pfizer vaccine early and seeing their immune response decay.

‘We are on fire’: Five U.S. states set new records for Covid cases as hospitalizations rise CNBC

Coronavirus health disaster in Los Angeles looms with reopening of country’s second largest school district WSWS

Biden Administration Expected to Call for Covid-19 Vaccine Booster Shots Wall Street Journal

Antivaxers Think Their ‘Pure’ Semen Will Skyrocket in Value Vice (resilc)

‘Tainted’ blood: Covid skeptics request blood transfusions from unvaccinated donors Kaiser Health News


Pfizer Gang Is Pfinished Atlantic

‘New York vaccine mandate could destroy my restaurant’ BBC


The Sexism Behind China’s Population Crisis Foreign Affairs

Syraqistan. The frisson is impressive.

The Strategic Consequences of Western Defeat in Afghanistan Tipping Point (Colonel Smithers)

The Day After Heisenberg Report (resilc)

Anger and fear grow as US defends Kabul pull-out BBC

This Video of Afghans Desperately Clinging to a US Plane Is Horrifying. We’ll All Forget About It Soon Enough. Esquire. Funny how we don’t care much about all of the women and children in the Middle East we droned into pink mist.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan back with a bang Asia Times (Kevin W)

Resilc: “MSNBC hero and war monger”:

GOP Scrubs Webpage Touting Trump’s ‘Historic’ Taliban Deal Gizmodo (Dr. Kevin)

Taliban Checkpoints Blocking Access to Kabul Airport for U.S. Residents and Allies Intercept

Why is Afghanistan falling to the Taliban so fast? Guardian (vlade). From late last week, still germane.

The MSM is admitting to it too: Billions spent on Afghan army ultimately benefited Taliban Associated Press

Pakistan says US Afghan troop withdrawal is ‘logical conclusion’ Al Jazeera. Resilc: “But Taliban say on to Islamabad.”

The New Competition Over Afghanistan Is Just Beginning National Interest

Turmoil in Afghanistan binding China and Russia even closer South China Morning Post

‘The US should be held accountable’: Guantánamo survivor on the war on terror’s failure Guardian (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Climate Change Is Already Disrupting the Military. It Will Get Worse, Officials Say Defense One

Empire or Humanity? Tom Engelhardt


Growing Share of Migrants From Outside Mexico, Central America Poses Challenge for Biden Wall Street Journal

Biden administration confirms it will boost food stamps by record amount Reuters

The Radicalization of Clarence Thomas New Republic

Federal lawsuit challenges California recall as unconstitutional Politico. Huh? Gray Davis was recalled. That’s how California got the Governator.

The First-Ever Colorado River Water Shortage Has Been Declared. What Does That Mean For Colorado? CPR (Kevin W)

Obama Bash Backlash

The smooth compromise: how Obama’s iconography obscured his omissions Guardian (vlade)

Our Famously Free Press

Chris Cuomo’s ethical troubles at CNN highlight rise of ‘info-tainment’ Guardian. Resilc: “Unlikely the NYT and WAPO I gather.”

T-Mobile Apparently Lied To Government To Get Sprint Merger Approval, Ruling Says ars technica

Analysis: Benchmark of Big Oil on methane emissions shows ‘significant gap’ between reality and reporting Reuters. More lying.

US opens formal probe into Tesla’s Autopilot technology Financial Times

Tesla Autopilot investigation takes ‘bloom off the rose’ for investors: Analyst Yahoo Finance (Kevin W)

Data machine: the insurers using AI to reshape the industry Financial Times (David L)

My Years on Wall Street Showed Me Why You Can’t Make a Deal on Zoom New York Times

Lumber Prices Menzie Chinn

Guillotine Watch

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin sues NASA over lunar lander contract that went to SpaceX CNet (Kevin W)

Class Warfare

Starbucks baristas say they’re fed up with complex custom drink orders that can verge on the ridiculous. Business Insider (Kevin W)

Antidote du jour. Bob H seems to travel in a circle of felines who are particularly adept at posing in flattering settings. This is Harry, although by putting his stomach so on display, he’s at risk of having his snooze interrupted by a belly rub:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Henry Moon Pie

    A useful study of the Limits to Growth, commissioned by the Club of Rome in 1972, has been published by–of all sources–KPMG. There’s a review on that notes the reviewer’s original skepticism because of the source and his pleasant surprise that the study was not another piece of neoliberal propaganda.

    What makes the review worth the time cost of reading it are four projections of our future in the form of time charts that are based on four different models:

    1) Business as Usual, the “nothing will fundamentally change” scenario:

    2) Business as Usual 2 (BAU (Slight Return));

    3) Comprehensive Technology with lightning-quick technological advancement in reducing pollution and increasing the efficiency of resource use;

    4) Stabilized World which is a no-growth or degrowth option with fundamental social and cultural change.

    The time graphs included in both the book and review are a real prize. They project that Business as Usual will lead to rapid resource stock declines and rising pollution with the shocking (to me) drop in food and other production well before 2050. Those declines are followed in short order by huge population declines resulting from massive death by starvation, etc.

    The graphs were not produced by the KPMG study but instead bear the mark of environmentalist, author and systems thinker Donella Meadows. (Meadows is the author of Thinking in Systems, a book we’re reading in our Common Earth course.) These graphs were done for Limits to Growth: the Thirty-Year Update in which Meadows was a participant.

    The KPMG study takes Meadows’s projections and checks them against the subsequent data. What it finds is that we are very much on-track with Business as Usual 2, i.e. we’re headed for a fall far quicker than most think. Moreover, the rate of technological progress on the relevant fronts for the Comprehensive Technology scenario is a fraction of what was required for those relatively optimistic projections.

    The one piece of good news is that both the KPMG study and the reviewer contend that there is still a little time left for us to come about (as opposed to an accidential gybe) and set out on the Stablilized World course.

    1. Sawdust

      Does anyone here think there’s the slightest chance of deliberate and sufficiently large-scale degrowth happening?

      1. Louis Fyne

        US and European and East Asian native-born (of all races) population growth hovers around zero.

        Population growth in the West is driven by inbound migration and higher fertility of recent arrivals.

        and high fertility in developing countries correlates in countries with high religiosity

        Ask your favorite search engine to confirm this assertion

          1. Vandemonian

            To be fair, Henry, that’s not completely accurate. From the Resilience article:

            The SW scenario assumes that in addition to the technological solutions, global societal priorities changed from a certain year onward (Meadows et al., 1972). A change in values and policies translates into, amongst other things, low desired family size, perfect birth control availability, and a deliberate choice to limit industrial output and prioritize health and education services.

            (My emphasis)

        1. Milton

          There’s a huge difference between population growth and economic/resource usage growth. Though W. Europe has mostly been stagnant as far as pop. growth for the past decade, or so, resource usage–as measured by annual CO2 emmissions–continues its steady rise, interrupted only by the occasional economic recession. As long as economic growth is the backbone for any “successful” society, we will never get away from any BAU scenario no matter what technophiliacs will sell you.

      2. hunkerdown

        Option 4 is short for the Great Reset, of course, and they’re working very hard on it in the West.

        1. elissa3

          Not necessarily true. I’m now 1/3 through Danny Dorling’s Slow Down, which makes a case for the stabilized scenario. It’s too early (in my reading) to have a strong view on his theses and projections, but so far there is an optimistic tone, and one that suggests the resetter types are irrelevant to the larger historical and social trends. There is, perhaps, an underlying suggestion that there may be a “change of consciousness”, not in the woo-woo sense, among the populations of richer nations. And maybe covid will turn out to be a catalyst. Bottom line: I’m open to at least considering these ideas in an attempt to avoid succumbing to a despair narrative that seems to be everywhere.

          I’d be interested in hearing from any one of the NCers who might have finished Slow Down.

        2. Henry Moon Pie

          Can I ask you what “Great Reset” means to you, and why you find it objectionable (I’m inferring here).

      3. Pelham

        Not sure about the scale but I can lay claim to a profound personal contribution to degrowth.

        My dad on a single income could support a family of 4 in a 3-bedroom house, 2 or 3 fully-paid cars in the driveway (one was always a new Buick), a 24-foot pontoon boat and cabin and bi-level dock at the lake and one annual vacation, plus he was able to pay off the mortgage on the house by age 60 and retire comfortably at age 70.

        My wife and I, on the other hand, barely support a family of 3 on two incomes, are still paying on a 30-year mortgage past age 60, have one Chevrolet (leased) and, in my case, no vacation and no prospect of retirement.

        Looking ahead, our 24-year-old daughter is still looking for work after graduating from an Ivy League school, cannot afford to buy even a used car and despairs of ever being able to acquire property, even a condo.

        Degrowth is thriving!

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          That’s been the case for many former middles, mine more drastic than yours.

          And yet GDP goes up and up and ecological destruction right along with it. As those charts demonstrate, continued growth will hit a wall before very long. Can you imagine our lives then?

          We need to pull off a trifecta:

          1) Bring global GDP growth (while working on better measures) to at least a halt;

          The EN-ROADS similulator is a nice demonstration of how changing the growth rate changes the rate of increase of CO2 in the air as effectively as any “lever” in the model–and that’s when EN-ROADS doesn’t even allow zero growth.

          2) Switch from industrial agriculture that’s one of the biggest carbon contributors at the same time as it poisons our increasingly scarce fresh water to a permaculture approach that builds soils and cleans waters rather than destroying and polluting them;

          3) Radically redistribute income both within and across nations.

          The American middle class was an aberration born of being the last industrial nation that wasn’t bombed nearly to oblivion along with the absurdly cheap energy in the heyday of the Texas oil patch. Those days are over. We can re-orient our goals, indeed our understanding of what life’s about, or we will be pretty miserable in the coming years unless we’re one of those people who are the biggest contributors to this complex of problems. I don’t want to be among the latter (not that it’s an option ;) ) and misery is no fun. The sources for guidance to a new way of thinking are many and varied. I quote frequently from my favorite here.

  2. zagonostra

    >Divorce à la U.S. Medical “system”

    It won’t be long before they shore up the ability of married couples to get divorced to protect assets. As anyone who has looked at how that “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money” works knows only to well.

    Those with money hire estate planners to protect assets from end-of-life healthcare well before the typical 5 year “look back” period that Medicaid uses to assess eligibility. For those who live life one day at a time, just staying ahead of the debt devil nipping at the heels, they aren’t so lucky. And so the intergenerational disparity between those economically well situated and those not so fortunate will persist, as designed.

    1. Anon

      In case anyone missed the memo, estate planners have become “wealth management advisors”. Gawd.

    2. Sy Krass

      That “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money” quote is too limited to Goldman Sachs, it has to be put on our (global) civilization’s tombstone…

    3. MK

      Something is missing about this scenario. Bankruptcy is designed for this very scenario – I suspect Medicaid planning is the real reason (AKA pay a few months at a nice fancy long term care facility, then run out of assets and have the taxpayers ala Medicaid takeover).

      1. tegnost

        Pretty sure getting divorced is cheaper than bankruptcy…they’re just being rational actors.
        It’s innovative.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Medicaid-level “nursing home” and “long-term care” totally sucks, so your comment about consequences to taxpayers needs a little more granularity. When or if you get to that point, you may get to “enjoy” it for yourself.

        And bankruptcy does not let the debtor off the hook until his or her assets are pretty much exhausted.

    4. JohnnySacks

      Is she sure that all it takes is a simple divorce to free her from her husband’s debt obligation? I can’t grasp that it would be that procedurally simple and hope they consulted a lawyer before all the effort, the justice system minimally represents us wage serfs and I’d think our debt overlords would have figured out how to prevent this action.

  3. Pat

    Am I missing something?
    The Queen is in residence at Balmoral. A Balmoral staff member has tested positive. But the BBC wants the Possibly exposed Queen, and entourage, to leave Balmoral, rather than remain.

    According to my understanding, the Queen recognizes what should be done and is following protocol, and the BBC either doesn’t or is upset that doing so is much easier for the Queen or both.

    1. bob

      Inbred hick finds out that uncle daddy has lice, tries to steel pa’s pickup truck and go to walmart

    2. Terry Flynn

      Yeah a cursory reading suggests the Queen understands what the vaccine does and doesn’t do better than the BBC et al. *IF TRUE* then she gets some kudos.

    1. amfortas the hippie

      theres a turkish film on netflix ive been intending to watch(maybe a series now that i think about it) regarding gobekli tepe
      that is a rather revolutionary find
      im not holding my breath for the revised pregistorical narrative hoever
      just look how lobg it took for gimbutas

      1. LifelongLib

        If civilization (settled agriculture/animal husbandry) really was humanity’s big ecological wrong turn, it’d be interesting to know if any other arrangement could have provided some of the benefits civilization does have. I like e.g. literature and science but wonder if those things require taking everything that came with them…

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Paleolithic hunter-gatherers had time to create some striking cave art employing a technique I thought had been invented in the Renaissance.

          It might be a tougher call with literature and art. The latter requires language, and before long, we began to confuse word and thing, acting as if we had captured the spirit of the thing by speaking its name, a very old element in a lot of myths.

          Ah, and Science. What fun we’ve had with it, rising at least to the rank of Destructor God.

          1. newcatty

            Ah, words have power. Names are words. Words are used with respect and dignity by those who have those elements in their consciousness. Consider many of our Native American peoples. The animal relations were used for many reasons to provide food, shelter, clothing and more. The deer, for example, was given gratitude and respect, as it was killed for the people’s needs. Now, deer are seen as “pests”. Or killed for “sport”. Yes, some hunters actually kill for food, today. Just saw some headline that Wyoming, Idaho ( maybe some other states) are thrilled that 1000’s of wolves will be slaughtered. No regard for their place in ecosystems. Even compensating some of the ranchers for lost livestock, killed by wolves ,was not enough to stop the bloodlust. Became a rant. Apologize. We need to get back to our sacredness. As George asked:
            ” Why didn’t they tell you”? Harrison

          2. LifelongLib

            Does knowing about the atom inevitably lead to the atom bomb? That’s how it worked out for us but I wonder if it could have been different. Although even (say) ancient astronomers were also astrologers trying to make predictions about human events, so I have to concede that science has never been only disinterested inquiry about nature…

    2. Soredemos

      Noah’s Ark has never been found, because it never existed. The ‘Ark’ found in Mount Ararat photographs is a patch of glacial ice and snow.

  4. Pat

    In the past week I have encountered outraged pontification from Kagan, Clinton, and Liz Cheney. I got to miss Petraeus. Most of these walking infections can be considered responsible for policies that have obviously failed. Liz has her position because of her family blog father so consider her position also legacy.
    I think they underestimate the public’s lack of interest and in many cases outright antipathy to their MidEast adventures. I think they also underestimate that public’s ability to add 2and 2 to get 4.

    If American policy and strategy in Afghanistan was “working” it wouldn’t have taken two decades to be so successful that it collapses in a matter of weeks.

    The only reason they are all bloviating and pointing fingers at the decision to leave is to attempt to pass the blame from their greed and opportunism and complete failure, and their continued support of the situation as nothing but a money making and influence expansion exercise to those who saw it as the failure and waste it is and pulled the plug.

    I am sure the fact that it was good member of the club Biden who did the right thing really hurts. That and the fact it happened before they were dead and buried. We can all be sure none of it is fueled by compassion or concern for the people of Afghanistan, or about what is best for America.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Back when the wooly mammoths were still grazing at the sides of the roads and I was still in single digits age-wise, I stepped off the curb without looking and had the s**t scared out of me by screeching tires. Looking back on the experience a few years later I realized the car could have easily stopped in time quietly, but the lesson had been learned and I’ve looked before stepping ever since. Several times during the intervening decades I’ve similarly stopped with a screech when I clearly didn’t have to hoping some kid would take to heart a lesson like was taught to me back in the day.

      1. Late Introvert

        I live in a college town, and last week a girl was crossing against red on her bike, no helmet, while staring at her phone. I honked long and loud and hopefully taught her something. The look on her face was priceless.

        1. juno mas

          My local college has new students arriving every day the last two weeks for Fall semester. In my town the cell phone absorbed bike rider would have been creamed by a cell phone absorbed driver. (Santa Barbara has the highest per capita rate of auto/bike/pedestrian collisions in the whole state of California.)

          I still ride, but with full attention to my surroundings during off peak traffic.

  5. Michael

    “Near-Death Experiences Can Scar Animals for Life”

    Now we all have a good reason to brake early for animals (especially dare-devil squirrels) that cross our paths while driving.

    1. Anon

      It’s a very good article. Helpful reading for people who suffer from PTSD or have family members who do, as well as people who care about animals.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      They found this effect on grey squirrels in Ireland. The greys are an introduced species and rapidly displaced the native red squirrels. But a few years back the reds started coming back and the grey squirrels went into rapid population decline in a clear west to east pattern across the country. Someone noticed that the decline exactly matched the spread in population of the nearly extinct, but now recovering, pine marten, a major predator of greys (reds are smaller, and they can climb to high branches that martens can’t reach).

      The problem with the theory was that there were not nearly enough pine martens to account for the decline, but the statistical match was very clear. Closer observations showed that it wasn’t grey squirrels getting eaten that was causing the decline, but that fear of the martens had driven the greys to spend longer time in the trees, and less time eating and reproducing.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, PK.

        Pine marten numbers are slowly, but surely recovering on this side of the Irish Sea, too, especially in the south.

    1. hunkerdown

      But they’re the only kind of evidence that creates new private property, so only they matter. /s

    2. ripple

      I don’t post often I apologize if this is off topic or put in the wrong place:

      OMG! I can’t keep up. I have up to this point chosen not to be vaccinated. After learning about Ivermectin and possible benefits, I looked into the safety profile as best a non medical/scientist/statistician can be expected to. It seemed to me that the risk/potential reward favored trying it. I made the mistake of sharing this with a brother who has history in laboratory bio-chem drug discovery. He now works in business development for a large firm that supplies services for drug development companies. He is smart, brilliant really, and I have always trusted his insights. His response was an immediate scoff of FLCCC for asking for donations, and he vaguely alluded to “problems” with the histories of the physicians who started it. It seemed to me he only did a very brief inspection of all this. He then started going on how Iver is not a benign(which I never claimed) drug and that it was dangerous to take it as it had not been studied well. Non of this jives with my own research at all. So now I quietly do my Iver protocol and it is nobodies business but mine as far as I am concerned.

      Now! I am suddenly hearing a lot about Regenerons monoclonal antibody treatments. EUA given, studies quoted, free (paid for by Gov), and apparently widely available. How did this happen? The way it is discussed is very similar to what I have read about Iver. Initial studies show potential, it seems safe, might as well give a try because it is better than nothing. The difference being, Regenerons treatment is given the blue check of approval, and Iver discussion seems to be repressed. I am not planning on jumping from one treatment to another haphazardly, but I do want to keep looking out over the treatment landscape to understand the options.

      I am beginning the long slow slog of researching what I can about Regenerons treatment for Covid. I thought I would ask those of you here who understand this better than I if this monoclonal treatment has been studied better than Iver, is there a clear safety profile? It must show more promise and safety than Iver if it has been given an EUA, and is currently being provided widely and without cost to patients? I would appreciate any thoughts, and as well any leads to where I can begin my search into this treatment option.

      I am mostly a lurker, and have only contributed once, (i have my flaws) but you have no idea how much I appreciate NC, Yves, Lambert, et al. The Commentariat is absolutely amazing . . . I learn, I laugh, I am informed . . . daily. Much Love to you all!

      1. Michael McK

        I bet monoclonal antibody treatments are patented and very expensive. Just the thing to be subsidized up front and made available on the people’s dime. I think, like mRNA vaccines, the technology is able to be tweaked for a different target for the next pandemic with a high setup cost but cheap per dose if you make 100s of millions of doses.
        Prophylactic Iver costs 10 to 20 cents a month, more for tubes of horse wormer.
        I don’t know what the side effects are for antibody treatments and am sure I would want them if I were severely ill with Covid but from a public health perspective I suspect Iver is worthy of more attention, especially as a prophylactic during times of high local prevalence, while traveling and for at risk populations.

        1. lordkoos

          Ivermectin prescribed by a doctor for COVID prophylaxis (not covered by medicare unless it is prescribed for parasites) costs $150 a month around here. If Ivermectin were covered by medicare it would be about $5 out of my pocket monthly.

          1. Michael McK

            I got my 10 cents a pill number from this Indian research.
            I should have phrased it as costing 10 to 20 cents a month in a country without a strong pharma lobby. They use 2 pills at first then 1 a month. I read something else (FLOCC?) suggesting a wee bit more.
            If the government owned a few surplus generics factories and we had a well maintained public health system… well, hmmm, I guess its horse wormer for me.

          2. Michael McK

            I got my 10 cents a pill number from this Indian research… which posting a link to seems to get me lost in moderation land. Please trust me that you can find research out there from an Indian hospital which paid $0.1 per pill for their supply.
            I should have phrased it as costing 10 to 20 cents a month in a country without a strong pharma lobby. They use 2 pills at first then 1 a month. I read something else (FLOCC?) suggesting a wee bit more.
            If the government owned a few surplus generics factories and we had a well maintained public health system… well, hmmm, I guess it’s horse wormer ($5 to $10 for 8ish doses) for me.

            1. Michael McK

              Oops, my bad, they use twice as much. an 80kg person cost them 40 cents the first month and 20 cents thereafter.

          3. Yves Smith Post author

            I told you to go look at GoodRx. There is no way it costs that much if you use a pharmacy discount.

            Here in Al, net of discount, $37 for 20 3mg pills. That is MORE than enough for the first month, which includes a loading dose, if you weigh 260 lbs or less, and will cover 9 weeks after that.

            In NYC, $36.

            If you want to overpay, I can’t feel sorry for you.

          4. neo-realist

            Finding a doctor who will prescribe it so that one can take advantage of the discount price is troublesome.

      2. Mantid

        You Go Ripple. a couple things…… a few recent vaccines got an rushed EUA and they are a double edged sword, some are helping but some are killing. Ivermectin has killed no one after over 4 billion doses though it’s helped millions.

        Follow the money: Regeneron is ~ $1,500 a pop, and it’s manufacturer makes load of money. Ivermectin is pennies to a dollar, off patent, and nearly any chemist can make it.

        Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida is touting Regeneron’s effectiveness and his state has one of the highest case and death rates from Covid.

        My suggestion – though I’m not a medical doctor and no one should pay attention to me – is wait and see. While waiting, stay the path with IVM.

        Lastly, I have a brother too. Until he can show you data regarding anything he “says”, he’s only a brother, but worst. He’s wrong.

        Peace Out!

      3. Robert Hahl

        One reason for resistance to Iver is the lack of any obvious mechanism of action. If we knew how it worked the medical-industrial complex would have a harder time dismissing it. Until we have that it will be regarded as quack medicine by many doctors.

  6. Mikerw0

    Re: the FT article on insurers and AI

    To me this is semi nonsense. There are a bunch of Insuretechs claiming for a variety of reasons they can “disrupt” the industry. They imply that the existing industry doesn’t know how to use data. The truth cannot be further from the truth. The insurers are pioneers in all forms of data mining against robust databases that the new companies don’t possess. The new insurers cited in the article are capital destruction machines, that were pushed by VCs, that can’t tell you how they will ever make money.

    1. Mikel

      They have to make something up to do other than annoying and often useless updates to existing software – just shuffling features around.
      So like leeches and parasites they lock on to industries with zero respect for the knowledge of others.

  7. ObjectiveFunction

    “My Years on Wall Street Showed Me Why You Can’t Make a Deal on Zoom”

    He wielded his absolute power through a wink or a nod to lesser Lazard partners or ignoring some of them with a stony stare. I learned to watch for those signals closely.

    By watching my mentors press an advantage or bluff an opponent, I absorbed their deal-making wisdom.

    Hey, thanks for the dealmaking gold there, Donald. Lemme know when your book comes out.

    What a fkn yutz [chin flick]

    1. Anon

      I read that as “Lizard partners”. Hmm.

      Obviously, I am not one of the sophisticated people. I need to start attending important meetings (aka poker parties) and pay very close attention to my betters. When to wink. When to nod. When to ignore. When to stare. This is how we learn. This is how we succeed. Got it.

  8. tegnost

    So I see we are raising food stamps, so I was wrong when I posited the the SALT deduction would be funded through a food stamps cut. So I go to look at the article and see this…reportedly gleaned from the venerable NYT so you know it’s true…

    “the change would result in average benefits rising more than 25% versus pre-pandemic levels.

    Under the new rules, average monthly benefits, $121 per person before the pandemic, will rise by $36 starting in October, the newspaper reported, adding that all 42 million people in the program would receive additional aid.

    At the same time, a temporary 15% increase in benefits as part of pandemic relief is set to expire Sept. 30. The $3.5 billion boost approved earlier this year provides about $27 more per person, per month, or over $100 more a month for a household of four, in additional food stamp benefits.”

    So it’s really a 10%increase masquerading as a 25% increase, unless I am mistaken, again…

      1. PHLDenizen

        As he’s the President from MBNA, does he not also owe us gratuitous late fees and usurious interest on the 600.00? It’s a late payment and far outside the grace period. 22% APR and $39.00 late fees seem congruent with the Biden Doctrine.

  9. zagonostra

    >Biden Could Still Be Proved Right in Afghanistan – Thomas Friedman

    I haven’t read the NYT in a long time, but since this is an historic moment I thought I’d peruse it today. The Mustachioed Sage did not disappoint.

    For the last 20 years, America tried to defend itself from terrorism emanating from Afghanistan by trying to nurture it to stability and prosperity through the promotion of gender pluralism, religious pluralism, education pluralism, media pluralism and, ultimately, political pluralism…That theory was not wrong

    When the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001, iPhones, Facebook and Twitter didn’t even exist. Flash forward to today: Afghanistan is not only much more connected to the world, but it’s connected internally as well. It will not be nearly as easy for the Taliban to hide their abuses from the world or from fellow Afghans

    1. Louis Fyne

      lordie, briefly forgot that Friedman still had a career. the West is intellectually stagnant…same pundits from 25+ years ago writing the NYT which is still editorially controlled by the same family, same DC politicians running around.

      real life “Groundhog’s Day” the movie of political economy suck

    2. The Rev Kev

      Eeww. I felt dirty just reading it – like it was some sort of written wet dream. The Taliban should keep Washington on speed dial for help? Really? Only places like the New York Times or the Washington Post could ever print such garbage opinions.

    3. Henry Moon Pie

      “Biden Could Still Be Proved Right in Afghanistan” — Tom Friedman

      We’ll know for sure in six more months.

    4. PHLDenizen

      Maybe Friedman has a future as a diplomat of sorts, jawboning the citizens of Afghanistan into choosing the Lexus over the Olive Tree. Although poppies, not olives seem to be their preferred crop.

      With the Sacklers escaping their wonderful and profound contribution to deaths of despair, they can pull a Bernanke and drop bales of cash in Afghanistan to seed nascent entrepreneurship. The Sacklers have both the capital and expertise to industrialize the artisan heroin economy into a world-class exporter of death and misery that rivals the US. But since it would be bloodless, Afghanistan would be transitioning to a clean economy that shames our own dirty one, dispensing with the need for planes, bombs, guns, and drones.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “This Video of Afghans Desperately Clinging to a US Plane Is Horrifying. We’ll All Forget About It Soon Enough.”

    Not only did three people fall to their deaths from that USAF taking off, but human remains were found in the landing gear after it landed. There is footage of one person’s body dangling from the plane apparently taken from inside the plane itself. An Iranian newspaper compared those falling to their death to the 9/11 jumpers in that they were all innocent civilians caught up in events beyond their control. But you know what this cluster-f** at Kabul airport reminds me of? Evacuation day which is probably mostly forgotten.

    Back in 1783 as the American forces moved into New York after the war ended, the British were not only evacuating their own forces but also more than 29,000 American Loyalist refugees as well as 2,000 Black Loyalists as the Americans were so hostile to their presence. They were taken aboard transport ships and most ended up in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in Canada. For those not familiar with this event, here are some pages talking about it and what it meant for generations of Americans-

    The British did have some revenge. They left the Union Jack flag flying but removed the halyard so that it could not be lowered and greased the pole so that it could not be climbed. It took a few frantic efforts before the flag could be replaced by an American flag to save the embarrassment of Washington seeing this.

    1. Milton

      Good stuff. I love how the father of our country has again* taken a position that is the wrong side of history and where his British counterpart is the more humane and progressive leader:
      In response to Washington’s request to return stolen property—including slaves—to the Americans, [Sir Guy] Carleton asserted an obligation of honor to protect the freed slaves. A proposal that the British would pay American slave owners was ultimately accepted.
      *For his repeated atrocities against native peoples and more specifically the Iroquois, he was given the moniker Conotocaurius–devourer of villages.

  11. Wukchumni

    The First-Ever Colorado River Water Shortage Has Been Declared. What Does That Mean For Colorado? CPR
    There is an interesting parallel with the war in Afghanistan, in that the Colorado River started dwindling @ about the same time we invaded.

    The idea that they are purging smaller reservoirs north of Lake Mead & Lake Powell in order to keep things going really tells you the endgame is approaching, as they’ve run out of Plan B’s now.

    This essentially means Las Vegas is finished, the whole kit & Kabul.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Las Vegas has a population of about 650,000 people. How does the country absorb so many people if that city is really finished.

      1. Randy

        Probably very poorly, much like when sea level rise inevitably starts driving in refugees from the susceptible coastal areas.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Indeed. Quoted populations from “the usual sources” are becoming increasingly misleading in the age of suburbs/exurbs. I find myself having to give detailed explanations for the “wrong” population of Nottingham, England. I just copied the following from Wikipedia:

          In 2020, Nottingham had an estimated population of 330,000. The wider conurbation, which includes many of the city’s suburbs, has a population of 768,638. It is the largest urban area in the East Midlands and the second-largest in the Midlands. Its Functional Urban Area, the largest in the East Midlands, has a population of 919,484. The population of the Nottingham/Derby metropolitan area is estimated to be 1,610,000.

          The third figure (just under a million) is the most “realistic figure” when it comes to such things as work/commutes, shopping/commerce and the scope of integrated public transport. I don’t live in “Nottingham City” but it is ridiculous that Nottingham was allowed to become a “unitary authority” (essentially allowing the “City” to secede in most respects from the wider County despite the fact 2/3 of the people rely on City Services but don’t live in it). Population statistics are a minefield these days and can horribly understate/overstate the degree of problems that are now emerging. For example I’d estimate that half the 330,000 residents of “The City of Nottingham” will be underwater given the nasty climate change trajectory we are in fact on. Yet the other 3/4 milliion of “Nottingham proper” are on pretty high ground with access to good transport links and agricultural land and even “big” sea level rises won’t affect them – I’ve played with those online interactive maps.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            Yes, city population statistics can almost never be comparable, because its entirely arbitrary as to where you draw the population. there are few cities these days with clearly defined boundaries. And plenty of cities are pretty notional in the sense of how to define them – London obviously is a hazy concept when you try to decide which towns it has encompassed are really ‘London’ or somewhere else.

            When I was little, on our annual holiday trip to the west, I’d anxiously look out the car window trying to see what the edge of Dublin looked like. In my imagination there must have been a clear line, or a wall. But of course no matter how hard I concentrated, the city just seemed to merge with the countryside in a gradually loosening scatter of shops and warehouses. It didn’t make sense to me that a city couldn’t have a ‘start’ and a ‘stop’. This baffled me for years, especially as every map I saw in my school class seemed to show a line between the grey for the city and the green for the countryside.

            The only cities that I’ve encountered that have a clear boundary are in Korea, where they have very tight zoning laws. You see high rise apartment blocks and factories suddenly stop at a swathe of fields. In Japan of course, cities just flow through ever available piece of flat ground, seemingly in an unending chain all around the country. The Japanese are pretty ruthless with borders, they don’t hesitate to merge or demerge cities out of existence for administrative convenience. This was the fate of Kokura, the city fortunate enough to escape the atom bomb that went on to hit Nagasaki. It was wiped out instead by a Tokyo bureaucrats pen.

            1. R

              The UK has fairly sharp edges to its cities in planning terms but the charming villages beyond the town are just dormitories….

              Mr Flynn’s point is purely political, that the polis is being defined in defiance of the flows or men and materiel to keep it running. Aka the Hamptons are not a defensible position.

              Ireland does good uncontrolled building. A bungalow here, a bungalow there….

            2. Terry Flynn

              Thanks PK. Yes my mum has remarked on this, particularly with growing up in a seaside village/exurb of Dublin. I believe there should be some middle ground between the status quo and what Japan does. Nottingham has people voting on important stuff they don’t pay for and others paying for stuff they have no control over. Since, unlike the national government, the lower tiers of power must “balance their books” this leads to all sorts of oddities and downright inequities.

              The City of Nottingham should not have been allowed to “secede” before some profound changes in city boundaries to reflect “facts on the ground” had been enacted. In the mid 1980s (before seccession), Notts was a Labour stronghold, but not absurdly so. But enough that a “loony left” faction gained control and created havoc. On a school holiday week off they pushed through a law that “no pupil from an Independent school can keep on attending one of the three or four county music schools from the next term” – a crucial set of institutions to promote music and arts (good in itself) and begin to address the growing perception that us “latch-key kids” of the 80s should be allowed to do something “interesting” to us but which was more supervised.

              Unfortunately for Labour, (1) Nottinghamians hated this and rebelled, plus (2) The Falklands made Labour toxic. The Tories took Notts for first time in a century. A compromise was reached on music schools etc but the Tories were never going to hold Notts long-term. Thus when we had to downsize, we lived for a few years in the ward represented by “the only communist politician in GB” and he held the balance of power at County Hall for several years. Best governance Notts ever had! Unitary authorities have upended everything and have effectively strengthened gerrymandering with Labour votes piling up in the “too small” Nottm city whilst they are too thinly spread outside, aiding the destruction of the “red wall” in the “outer donut” of Notts. Reform from the ground up is needed, particularly since climate change will have profoundly different effects upon “Nottm City” (drown most of it as it is around the river Trent) and Notts County (largely high up and carrying crucial rail lines and roads and farmland.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Are there still lots of vacant and abandoned houses in Detroit? What kind of work ethic can be attributed to Afghans? Would they make good yard jockeys? /s

        2. mary jensen


          “…the city of Cleveland is now begging for Afghan refugees…”

          So is Albania, half of its population having moved to Suisse two decades ago.

          “Mars Needs Women”? Sorry.

          None of the Afghans I’m acquainted with can abide Albanians. There’s always ‘that’.

      2. Paradan

        Can’t wait for the moment when, after three days of no water causes the death toll to hit double digits, and the MSM is covering it round the clock, a bunch of celebrities and gonna step up and save the day by donating a few pallets of bottled water.

    2. Carolinian

      There was some squawk about this water pipeline proposal but it apparently has fallen through

      Honestly do we really need a Las Vegas now that tribe casinos dot the land? They are even building one on the SC/NC border for a tribe that most people never heard of.

      1. hunkerdown

        Are the tribes offering drive-up weddings and ladies of negotiable affection? There are more sins than gambling in Sin City.

    3. Nce

      That’s not true. Pat Mulroy saw to it that Las Vegas had an intake installed near the bottom of the reservoir, so their straw will be functional long after everyone else’s runs dry.

    4. neo-realist

      The idea that they are purging smaller reservoirs north of Lake Mead & Lake Powell in order to keep things going really tells you the endgame is approaching, as they’ve run out of Plan B’s now.

      This essentially means Las Vegas is finished, the whole kit & Kabul.

      Maybe the NHL will return to Quebec after all if the Golden Knights can’t get any water to freeze into ice for the hockey arena.

  12. Mikel

    “Today’s COVID aerosol transmission between children update…”

    I’m still going to jump up and down about shared bathrooms at school. Are they even sampling the air in the bathrooms? The toilets?

    Kids play touchy feely games and are directly in each others faces.

    1. Arizona Slim

      It isn’t just the young ‘uns.

      In this morning’s email, I found an invitation to a Post-Pandemic Pool Party.

      Yup, that’s right. Pandemic’s over. It’s time to party.

      The party is a good distance away from the Arizona Slim Ranch, so I won’t be attending.

  13. Carolinian

    Re Pfizer Gang is Pfinished–nothing like infantilizing a public health crisis to make it all better–sort of like planting Mommie’s kiss on a boo boo.

    Oh wait.

    Up next on Reddit: the fun side of the plague.

    1. Mikel

      When I first heard about that childishness months ago, I knew it would blow up in their faces.
      And I think pharma companies encourage and invest in that kind of social media marketing.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Climate Change Is Already Disrupting the Military. It Will Get Worse, Officials Say”

    ‘In terms of current operations, we have National Guardsmen, we have active-duty soldiers, we have active-duty airmen right now participating in firefighting support efforts. So these are…folks who are not doing a primary job.’

    The guy does not get it. With Climate change now here, every country’s military will have to reconfigure themselves so that dealing with things like firefighting, floods, etc will be one of their primary duties. After all, they have the manpower and the equipment. For the United States, perhaps it would be wise to keep all those National Guard formations at home instead of sending them to all corners of the empire. Have the US Coast Guard back home guarding the American coastline too for that matter. Then train these National Guard formations in firefighting, flood evacuation, food and water distribution, medical distribution and anything else connected with disaster relief. Make that their primary duty and have them deployed overseas only when there is an officially declared war by Congress. I think that this will have to be the way that it will be moving forward.

    1. amfortas the hippie

      i admit i was a tad nervous about getting my vax from the texas national guard
      antiauthoritarian antijackbooted thugs doing civilian work and all
      but i found them all amiable and competent
      and went for the second shot with no misgivings at all
      but then again, i have something of a fetish for competence
      looking from my mountain fastness at how the rest of our civilisation is being managed, well…. i just dont know any more

      related: at the truckstop we always stop at on way to sanantone a brinks truck was parked accross 3 out of 4 handicap spaces… a visial representation of what really matters in this country

      1. newcatty

        Interesting. NE Ohio welcomes Afghan refugees. Apparently there is an already established population of Afganis in Cleveland. It is absolutely good ,and to be lauded, that the Afghan refugees be given settlement in the U.S. IIRC, some 22000 placements for refugees are set -up in our U.S. military bases with all basic necessities provided.
        The U. S. Has some half a million homeless every night, mostly in cities. We have some “shelters”, but still countless homeless every night and day. Will it be pointed out that there is certainly the will and the way to provide a home and services for these refugees, but not for homeless citizens and refugees from other places? Its not “aboutism”. Too often it is portrayed as, for example, the government can provide assistance for the Afghan refugees (for whatever laudable reason), but there just isn’t enough”resources” to do that for the country’s homeless. Its a national shame.

        1. Carla

          You are correct.

          Apparently refugees attract better advocates than plain ole American homeless people do.

          In the meantime, people with choices (or at least people who perceive they have choices) don’t seem to elect to move to the rust belt, where climate change is not nearly as immediately life-threatening as it is in many other (most?) more popular American locales.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Maybe they can get a whole bunch of American homeless off the streets, dress them up in Afghan clothing, and fly them into a place like Ohio and make out that they are Afghani refugees who have just escaped Kabul. And when people ask why they speak such good English, explain that they are all translators who have been working with Americans for years.

    1. Darthbobber

      It would be really strange for any force stepping into the Kabul power vacuum to take control not to set up a bunch of checkpoints.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Antivaxers Think Their ‘Pure’ Semen Will Skyrocket in Value”

    Maybe somebody should suggest to them that they should do an NFT on their, ahem, output.

    1. AE90

      Sperm contains DNA, does it not? They may not think they are passing anything on with their “no-vaccine” purity, but I personally would think more than twice about what else it may contain. Full family medical history, please…

      1. AE90

        Today I feel I must explain my POVs. If you wish:
        Lest anyone think I am being discriminatory in any way, I want to relate that, back when family doctors were allowed to give good advice, a doctor told me that because of patterns of disease in my family, I would have to watch my weight and diet and curtail alcohol in order to not end up in the same boat. I took his advice to heart, and to date am not on any meds and beyond physical wear and tear have escaped coronary bypasses and diabetes, etc. and am fully able to care for myself, and live blessedly alone in my elderly state. I think a lot of people think I am weird for considering these things, but I never had kids just because of the state of the world. I don’t expect others to follow, but being proactive never hurts.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Coronavirus: More than 1 million Israelis vaccinated with third dose”

    It may be that the Israelis will be our canary in the coal mine for us. If they are getting vaccinated with their third dose right now, it will be very interesting to see how things are going for them by next February. But if a new strain supplements Delta, then all bets are off. Come to think of it, isn’t there a saying that it is the pioneers that get the arrows in their backs?

  17. marcyincny

    Off Topic but does anyone else here not have a Twitter account? I don’t but follow some Twitter links/account and as of yesterday I can’t access anything other than the first page. Seems like a big change.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Same for me. Only the first three “replies” available then full–“Sign Up”–STOP.

    2. ambrit

      We don’t ‘do’ Twitter either. Too little time in a day.
      This is big if true. I had gathered the idea that Twitter was a modern version of the ancient Greek agora; the place where the public life is carried out. Now that “public” life is being privatized.
      Similarly, I found out the hard way yesterday that Nextdoor comments are agressively ‘curated’ to maintain that oh so nice middle class PMC “serious” air. [No ‘outside the box’ humour allowed. Not obscene or violent, but ironic and/or sarcastic.]
      The Ministry of Truth has been outsourced to a public/private partnership.

      1. Wukchumni

        My twitter feed has been going strong this morning, generally limited to a dozen characters with a lot of repetition.

      2. Carla

        There’s public money in Nextdoor? Did I miss something?

        Can things actually be worse than I thought?

        1. ambrit

          I’m coming at this from the “dispersed network” side of functionality. Effectively, entities like Venture Capital funds act like quasi-public bureaus. Their basic focus on profit keeps them constrained to a channel of activities that support and enable the continuance of the Capitalist Extractive Method. Neoliberalism in action. Corollary #1 to Rule #1 of Neoliberalism: Do anything that supports Markets.
          Several large Venture Capital Funds have invested in Nextdoor. Benchmark Capital. Shasta Ventures. Richard Barton (Zillow.) The company announced this year the intention of doing a reverse merger deal with Khosla Ventures.
          Wikipedia on Nextdoor:
          Finally, as recent history shows, ‘things’ are always worse than we think.
          Stay safe.

      3. lordkoos

        Is anyone else totally creeped out by Nextdoor? After twice being invited to join I did some research and did not like what I saw — it seems to enable not only some serious locally targeted data collection but seems to empower and encourage snoopy neighbors.


    3. Akash

      I do not have a Twitter account and now I also see this same restriction, viz. the inability to access anything other than the first page. Pretty sad, but sadly not unexpected.

      1. marcyincny

        Thank you. Just wanted to make sure it wasn’t me or some cookie I had to go looking for. Still not a good sign.

      2. Alan Masser

        I see the same thing today. I’ve begun a new personal policy: never click a twitter link. There are too damn many of them. Better for a site like NC to copy/paste and summarize the content along with the link, which this site increasingly (I think) does. With a clue to content, there are other ways to search for it and avoid the nasty little bird.

  18. The Rev Kev

    ‘Guest on msnbc just said the taliban have “our biometric database” of everyone who worked for US and are using it at checkpoints. When / how did that happen? Was that a massive story at the time or wtf? They used AF as a testing ground for biometrics and this is how it ends up?’

    Years ago I saw how US troops would enter a village in some backwater, dusty village and just take everybody’s biometric data such as their images, their iris scans, etc. And those villagers had no say in the matter. I thought at the time that at least for future Afghan genealogists in the decades to come that It might be a rich source of information on their ancestors but it looks like that it will have a more sinister purpose first.

    1. antidlc

      EU looking into new possible side-effects of mRNA COVID-19 shots

      Three new conditions reported by a small number of people after vaccination with COVID-19 shots from Pfizer (PFE.N) and Moderna (MRNA.O) are being studied to assess if they may be possible side-effects, Europe’s drugs regulator said on Wednesday.

      Erythema multiforme, a form of allergic skin reaction; glomerulonephritis or kidney inflammation; and nephrotic syndrome, a renal disorder characterised by heavy urinary protein losses, are being studied by the safety committee of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), according to the regulator.

      Further down in the article:

      It disclosed the new assessments as part of routine updates to the safety section of all authorised vaccines’ database and added menstrual disorders as a condition it was studying for vaccines, including those from AstraZeneca (AZN.L) and J&J (JNJ.N), after the EMA’s update last week.

  19. Wukchumni

    After the success of the Masked Singer & Masked Dancer, I hear Fox is coming out with a new tv show called the Masked Danger.

  20. allan

    From the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, lessons learned:

    … reconstruction missions in conflict-affected countries:

    1. They are very expensive. For example, all war-related costs for U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan over the last two decades are estimated to be $6.4 trillion.
    2. They usually go poorly.
    3. Widespread recognition that they go poorly has not prevented U.S. officials from pursuing them.
    4. Rebuilding countries mired in conflict is actually a continuous U.S. government endeavor, reflected by efforts in the Balkans and Haiti and smaller efforts currently underway in Mali, Burkina Faso, Somalia, Yemen, Ukraine, and elsewhere.
    5. Large reconstruction campaigns usually start small, so it would not be hard for the U.S. government to slip down this slope again somewhere else and for the outcome to be similar to that of Afghanistan.

    If only the czar talking heads and pundits knew.

    1. amfortas the hippie

      excellent, as usual
      pepe remains my favorite on the ground in exotic villages journalist

      id like to be a bug on the wall in the basement at foggy bottom

    2. AE90

      Thanks, I am glad he is still going. I’ve been searching him out in different places for a long time.

  21. Mikel

    “Antivaxers Think Their ‘Pure’ Semen Will Skyrocket in Value” Vice

    I’m not prepared to laugh at them. Because the value may end up being scientific rather than monetary.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      That’s wonderful. So beautiful. And I meant to thank you for the links, the jazz discussion and personal story yesterday. I enjoyed them all very much.

      1. urblintz

        Thanks! Both yesterday’s and today’s essays by Ted Gioia inspired me to share and I’m so glad you listened.

    2. judy2shoes

      Thank you, urblintz. The musical interlude you provided is a beautiful counterpoint to (and a welcome respite from) all the craziness that surrounds us. I appreciated the three pieces you provided yesterday as well.

    3. The Rev Kev

      I still find it stunning that lullabies are not a field of study as they constitute a core part of early human learning across different eras and different civilizations. They are like a foundation stone and yet this articles says that studies of them have been neglected? How can this be?

      1. urblintz

        Good question. It might be they haven’t attracted a writer like Gioia – and there are few as erudite and accessible as he. A big problem in academia, where I spent many years, is clumsy articulation which is ignored or read past by the insiders, who can make sense of it no matter how awkwardly presented.

        Barbara Tuchman might have done a splendid job… it’s human history.

        Then again, maybe erudition misses the point. Chomsky says there are good reasons to imagine that we sang before we spoke. Could lullabies be the first human manifestation, songs without words?

  22. Wukchumni

    Goooooood Mooooorning Fiatnam!

    When it was finally wheels up on the C-17 and we were in the clear, the platoon took time to reflect on what we could’ve done better to lose less money in the ‘stanbox, but nobody could come up with an answer, as wretched excess had always been not enough it seemed.

    The real pisser was we had hoped that Afghanistan would become one of the main purchasers of UST’s, and now we might have to rely on the Cayman Islands to double up on their buys.

  23. zagonostra

    >Press: Afghanistan was wrong from start to finish – The Hill

    You can really see how transparent the The Hill is in shilling for their Blue team. Yes, it’s my fault, I’m fickle. If only I was more vocal in my anti-war protestations I’m sure the Ruling Elites would have given up on making their billions in war profits.

    “If anything, we Americans are fickle. Take Afghanistan. For 20 years, we complained about the war in Afghanistan…In true, fickle-American fashion, Biden gets slammed for doing the right thing. Biden was dealt two bad hands: one by Donald Trump; the other, by U.S. intelligence agencies

  24. YPG

    “How to do Philosophy”

    If anyone wants to see Robert Paul Wolff tell the parable himself, check out his excellent course on “The Critique of Pure Reason” on YouTube. I think it’s the very first lecture. One of my COVID goals has been to read and understand that book and Prof. Wolff’s Kant course has probably been the most helpful aid in that process. Plus he’s a charming and humorous lecturer.

  25. Maxwell Johnston

    Re “One Simple Principle: no vaccine, no go”

    My understanding is that the Covid vaccines are not sterilizing; hence, being vaccinated or not has no bearing whatsoever on one’s ability to pass the virus to others. Am I not understanding something, or is Theresa Man Ling Lee a pinhead?

    1. Maritimers

      More blather from Canada’s MSM Globe and Mail, aka Mop and Pail. As usual with all these vaxx-pushers totally ignores the legal records of Pfizer, AZ and JJ. I have never seen this subject addressed by any of the pontificating, preaching vaxxers. Speaks volumes to their ignorance and intentions.

  26. DuncanW

    Glomerulonephritis, one of the possible side effects of covid vaccines being studied by the EU, is often or even generally an auto-immune disease. As I mentioned at Water Cooler, I contracted the disease after strep throat when I was 15.

  27. Maritimer

    Starbucks baristas say they’re fed up with complex custom drink orders that can verge on the ridiculous. Business Insider (Kevin W)
    I would hope that the House Sub-committee on Barista Working Conditions will have a full hearing on this Grande subject. It should be addressed immediately before it metastasizes into other sectors of the vital Fast Food Industry.
    Imagine, for instance, someone in line before you ordering a Big Mac with arugala, organic horseradish ketchup, etc, while you are on your .5 hour lunch. Horrendous, a real drag on GDP.

  28. nothing but the truth

    “Why is Afghanistan falling to the Taliban so fast?”

    leadership was in the consulting business (ex world bank no less, what did you expect?)

    client disappeared, consultant took whatever he could and disappeared.

  29. john sweeney

    Starbucks: I am a lifelong coffee junkie, having lived over 40 years in several countries in Central and South America that grow coffee beans, including (of course) Colombia. When I returned to the USA for good in 2010, I tried Starbucks coffee briefly for about three months that year, buying twice daily at different Starbucks in the Orlando area. This was after a friend sang the praises of Starbucks so I thought I’d do my own field test. Not the ridiculous (to me) preparations offered, but simply coffee – black, with caffeine, no sugar or sweetener. My conclusions? Too pricey, for starters. I could find a lower-priced, better-tasting cup of coffee at a Waffle House diner than at Starbucks. The quality of the basic ingredient – coffee – simply was not that good at the Starbucks I visited. Also lacked consistency from one Starbucks outlet to another. Frequently the same blend on offer on any given day either was too weak or too strong at different outlets, suggesting (to me) that the people preparing the coffee didn’t really know what they were doing, or perhaps they just didn’t care as they were always packed with buyers requesting zany concoctions. Quite often it was also too hot, resulting in the coffee having an unpleasant burnt aftertaste. Maybe it has improved since ten years ago, but I wouldn’t waste a penny to find out.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Starbucks coffee has a reputation of being a beverage that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike coffee.

    2. ObjectiveFunction

      Their reserves can be ok and (surprise!) the stuff they serve in Jakarta coffee shops is really good. (Coals to Newcastle)

      ….But the story is, ‘Charbucks’ wants their basic coffee to taste bitter, so you’ll order a bunch of milk and syrup to cover that taste. They also used to roast their beans over sugar to offset the taste. So they should do just fine with robusta beans.

      The genius of Starbucks is that there’s always one exactly where you need a place to meet someone or kill some time. They are geniuses on locating. Otherwise, I wouldn’t set foot in one and always choose an alternative if there is one (but Bux is often the reason there isn’t).

  30. Jon Cloke

    According to the US Census Bureau, the non-Hispanic white population of the US fell by 8.6% since 2010.

    Interesting, the distribution of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) deaths in the United States as of August 4, 2021, by race, shows that 60.8% if COVID deaths have been non-Hispanic white people…

    Could it possibly be that (overwhelmingly white) mask-refusing, Trump-voting Republicans are busy eliminating themselves?

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Sanders ( and maybe the young Sanderistas) tried offering the (overwhelmingly white) mask-refusing, Trump-voting Republicans a reason to live.

      The pink pussy hat Clintonites are pleased to see the (overwhelmingly white) mask -refusing, Trump-voting Republicans dying back some. In fact, part of what the pink pussy hat Clintonites hated so much about Sanders is that he would have pushed policies which would have had the effect of lowering the Deplorables’ death rates. And the pink pussy hat Clintonites want to keep those death rates up. And then push them higher.

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