Links 8/21/2021

Pattaya mahouts put elephants online, hoping for food donations Pattaya Mail (furzy)

Tokyo robot cafe offers new spin on disability inclusion France 24 (furzy)

A billion children at ‘extreme risk’ from climate impacts – Unicef Guardian

Baby Teeth Collected Six Decades Ago Will Reveal the Damage to Americans’ Health Caused by US Nuclear Weapons Tests Antiwar (Kevin W)

The Teenage King’s Historically Bad Sex Education Narrtively (Anthony L)


Croatia and Austria set expiry date on holidaymakers’ vaccination status Which? (resilc)


Infection with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta Variant is Associated with Higher Infectious Virus Loads Compared to the Alpha Variant in Vaccinated and Unvaccinated MedRxIv

Fears of ‘violent’ delta offshoot arise in Israel with 10 new cases of AY.3 reported i24 News. GM has been warning of this variant.

Israeli doctors find severe COVID-19 breakthrough cases mostly in older, sicker patients Reuters

Highly Vaccinated Israel Is Seeing A Dramatic Surge In New Cases NPR (David L)

India approves world’s first DNA Covid vaccine BBC

The eradication of COVID-19 is the only way to stop the pandemic WSWS. WSWS and our GM are on the same page.


9,000 Covid cases linked to Euro 2020 games in mass events scheme Guardian (Kevin W)


The CDC Only Tracks a Fraction of Breakthrough COVID-19 Infections, Even as Cases Surge ProPublica (resilc). So now it’s official.

Maker of Rapid Covid Tests Told Factory to Destroy Inventory New York Times (Kevin W)

Child Covid-19 hospitalizations soar, filling pediatric wings, data show NBC (furzy)

Orlando urges residents to conserve water because of surge in covid hospitalizations Washington Post

F.D.A. Aims for Full Approval of Pfizer Covid Vaccine on Monday New York Times. Lambert: “No confidence builders here IMSHO. Regulatory approvals are not ‘paperwork.'”

Biden’s no-jab-no-job order creates quandary for nursing homes Quartz (resilc). You heard it first here! But at the end of this piece, evidence that the order is virtue signaling:

In practice, nursing homes rarely are thrown out of the Medicare and Medicaid programs for violating the government’s conditions of participation. The government generally gives facilities multiple opportunities to correct violations before proposing termination, even when facilities have repeatedly flouted the rules.

These NFL Teams Are Requiring Proof Of Vaccination From Fans This Season Forbes

Quinnipiac University rolls out fines and Wi-Fi restrictions for unvaccinated students CNN (furzy)

Florida To Yank Funding For 2 School Districts That Imposed Mask Mandates—Unless They’re Lifted Within 48 Hours Forbes (resilc)

Taliban’s return in Afghanistan ‘boosts morale’ of militant groups in Southeast Asia South China Morning Post (resilc)


Wealth gap sparks Xi’s call for ‘common prosperity’ Asia Times

Beijing avoids Hong Kong showdown by delaying anti-sanctions law Financial Times

China To Launch Uncrewed Cargo Ship To Tiangong Station Guardian

New Cold War

RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 19 AUGUST 2021 Patrick Armstrong (Kevin W)


The Ides of August Sarah Chayes (Chuck L). Important.

In Afghanistan, Americans were the fools who tried to hustle the East Turcopolier (Chuck L)

Pentagon contradicts Biden MINUTES after his fumbling speech by saying Americans HAVE been attacked by the Taliban on the way to Kabul airport and al-Qaeda IS still operating in Afghanistan Daily Mail

The Trillion Dollar Illusion: The Entirely Predictable Failure of the West’s Mission in Afghanistan Der Spiegel (resilc)

Tariq Ali, Debacle in Afghanistan New Left Review (Anthony L)

Please read the thread:

US airlifts Americans from 200m beyond Kabul airport perimeter, after US general allegedly ‘embarrassed’ by British rescue ops RT (Kevin W)

Biden ignored Boris Johnson for 36 hours as Afghan chaos grew: report New York Post (Kevin W)

Why Afghanistan’s Panjshir remains out of Taliban’s reach DW (resilc)

Senators now investigating Biden’s withdrawal were mum on ‘Afghanistan Papers’ Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

Trucks rolling across Afghanistan border as trade resumes Reuters

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

More on Apple’s iPhone Backdoor Bruce Schneier

The T-Mobile Breach Is Much Worse Than It Had to Be Wired (Chuck L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

US failure in Afghanistan: What lessons for Africa? DW

The All-American Base World TomDispatch

The census shows that vast stretches of America are shrinking. Almost all of them voted for Donald Trump. Slate. Resilc: “So what, they still get two senatorzzzzzzzz in each Trumpistan.”

Police State Watch

Senators question DOJ funding for AI-powered policing tech Associated Press (David L)

Google Says Geofence Warrants Make Up One-Quarter Of All US Demands TechCrunch

US dairy farms grapple with high feed prices, drought Al Jazeera

United Airlines tells employees not to duct tape unruly passengers The Hill. So flight attendants will be equipped with more discrete zip ties?

Top talent departs Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin as NASA lander fight escalates CNBC

Class Warfare

We will do anything to get you to work for us except pay you enough McSweeney’s (Paul R)

Judge Rules California Ride-Hailing Exemption Is Unconstitutional Associated Press (David L)

The Typical U.S. College Professor Makes $3,556 Per Course Blue Book Diaries (resilc)

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. zagonostra

    >Lake Mead

    I didn’t make it very far down the links today. The photo of Lake Mead 1983/2021 just kind of stopped me in my tracks. What jumped out immediately was its metaphorical signification. In the study of medieval exegesis, Henri de Lubac is know for his “four fold” method of interpretation: Allegory, typology, tropology, and anagogy.

    At the basic level you see side by side two reservoirs, one flowing with water, a rainbow refracted on the left lower frame, the photo on the other side depleted, not generating any movement with its bare bones exposed. How much of that can you trans-literate into the state of the United States. Will the water rise again, is history cyclical, must a storm shake the clouds and create a deluge first?

    You shouldn’t put images like that at the top of the links, too much metaphysical information too early in the morning.

    1. The Rev Kev

      When I saw that image, I was thinking of that Ernest Hemingway quote about first slowly, then all at once.

      1. Nce

        Well, that’s what almost happened to Glen Cyn Dam in 1983. It isn’t fair to compare the record year of 1983 rainfall to today. Glen Cyn Dam was completely full and the spillways cavitated to the point of almost taking out the dam- you can see the spillway blowing chunks of concrete in this unintentionally funny old video:

        It’s one of three parts, if you’re interested in the engineering that goes into these massive, critical structures.

        1. Greg

          Thanks so much for this link, it’s an absolutely incredible watch. Simultaneously awesome and depressing at the lost competence that it makes evident. Listen to some of the timelines they talk about and imagine trying to get a *contractor* to achieve that today.

    2. LaRuse

      Glad it wasn’t just me. I had just gotten back from a 9 mile run, sat down to cool off and catch up with NC. Boom – Lake Mead images. I closed my browser and decided a shower and a longer cool down were necessary because I was too fragile for existential doom after my run.

    3. PHLDenizen

      Much like the places in MENA we fight wars, the US West’s desert isn’t something you really conquer. At best you’re inhabitants making an uneasy truce with it. And, much like Afghanistan, you eventually need to retreat.

      When those delusional occupiers begin talking about enormously expensive and enormously crazy-pants ideas like piping water from Canada or draining the Great Lakes to preserve the beachhead of civilization in places like AZ, UT, SoCal, it’s time to leave.

      1. Randall Flagg

        Could not agree more. Too often we do not take a look at the environment around us to give a signal as to if it’s a good place to live and set up shop.
        I am reminded of a link posted not to long ago about a mega dairy in Arizona. Is it a good idea to to set up an enterprise that needs huge amounts of water for cows and crops in an arid climate? What’s the plan, bleed the aquifer dry then move on like a bunch of parasites when the wells go dry?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          What I read in Cadillac Desert and elsewhere is that the plan was to put so many people and so much money in the SouthWest that when the water ran out, all that many people and money would be an irresistible lobby-force for extorting water from the Great Lakes, from the Pacific Northwest and WesterCoastal Canada, maybe even from the Mississippi; that the people of those well-watered regions would not be able to stop the water-grab and water-transfer to the Desert West.

          Two, Three , Many NAWAPAs.

          Pray these plans all fail. Pray that no water is transferred. Pray that the desert water parasites live out the meaning of their lives and civilization right there in place with zero water input from anyone anywhere else.

    4. Wukchumni

      We have kayaked for about 20 years on the Black Canyon stretch of the Colorado River, putting in about 1/2 a mile below Hoover Dam and have been watching Lake Mead drain out all the while, so maybe i’m not as shocked as some, and also if there’s going to be a fair amount of water still in the lake, it makes sense that it’d be @ that end.

      What you really never see too many photos of is the areas of Lake Mead to the north, where boat launching ramps might as well access the Aral Sea, it being oh so very far from water and not that close to the Vegas strip, so i’ve found few denizens of sin city really know how dire things are, they just keep on keeping on, oblivious.

      Thinking about the debacle in Afghanistan, i’ve oft mentioned the similarity in the USSR & USA falling apart, albeit in a Bizarro World fashion.

      The ongoing retreat from Kabul and disregard for the situation there seems reminiscent of the rather sudden fall of the Berlin Wall, and we might just find that Lake Mead all of the sudden won’t be able to produce electricity for Las Vegas et al, and its game over at that point.

      The idea that a couple of smaller reservoirs north of Lake Powell were purged of their water just a fortnight ago to allow it and Lake Mead to continue operating, is a clue the end is near.

      Losing LV wouldn’t really matter all that much, Native American casinos have been stealing their thunder for some time now, and if you want adult entertainment, its no further than the tips of your fingers on a QWERTY.

      Their ace in the hole was conventions, and now that we’re trapped in an ongoing infection rut, of what use is a cavernous building in which tens of thousands of people mingled too close together, once upon a time?

      Legalized casino gambling was born in the depths of the Great Depression in 1931 when Nevada legalized it. We have a great chance to do away with it, as gambling has become a way of life for far too many, even if it’s somewhat cloaked by ‘investing’ in Wall*Street products or used homes and the like.

      1. PHLDenizen

        Forgot about the conventions! Bezos will have to have built (as billionaires never spend their own money on such things) a LV sized convention center for all AWS re:Invent events. The reason LV keeps hosting is because there is no other locale capable in terms of infrastructure, accommodations, and exhibition space. Would not surprise me if Bezos lobbied the US government to subsidize LV as an arm of Amazon, regardless of how impossible the feat became.

        And speaking of Lake Powell, there’s the issue of salinity. That’s true for any water storage reservoir with high evaporation rates and dissolved salts. Water evaporates, salinity spikes, and the saltier water get discharged downriver. Hundreds of millions spent on projects to control it. Causes problems for farmers in the CA valleys. And Mexico gets hosed when their allocation of the Colorado reaches it.

        1. Wukchumni

          There’s also the issue of upriver users, and if push>meets<shove and you're running on empty, are you just going to watch the Colorado River flow by and abide by the edict that you can't have any of the largess?

          These 4,500 senior water right holders in Cali just got cut off, are they all going to play ball under the new aegis…

          Thousands of water rights holders, including farms and cities, were ordered to stop drawing water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta by the State Water Resources Control Board on Friday.

          Under the order, 4,500 of the Delta watershed’s 6,600 rights holders were told to halt drawing water in order to protect drinking water supplies, prevent sea water from pushing into the Delta and to minimize the drought’s impacts on fish stocks and the environment, according to Water Board officials.

          1. Nce

            First of all, let’s not confuse these Central Valley senior rights-holders facing cutbacks from the state with CO R senior rights holders in the Imperial Valley. What you didn’t mention about the Delta that water mgrs don’t say too loudly in public is that if those Delta pumps start sucking salt water for SoCal, well… I don’t think they give a damn about the (extinct?) Delta Smelt. Good quality water for parts of the Bay Area and SoCal? Now that’s different because water is $$$$$$.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        I would like to see a comparison of how much water goes to America’s Temple City of the Fun Gods versus how much water goes to aqua-subsidy agriculture throughout the Desert West. I feel confident that aqua-subsidy Desert Agriculture gets more water but how much more water?

        I went with a friend to Las Vegas once in the summer for a convention. I would like to go in the winter sometime. Las Vegas went out of the Adult Entertainment business many years ago. Now it is compulsive gambling and also Family and young tourist fun time having. I personally would be willing to give up luxury vegetables from the Desert West in order to preserve America’s Temple City of the Fun Gods.

        1. juno mas

          Las Vegas consumes a miniscule quantity of water from Lake Mead. Most of the water from Mead goes to SoCal cities. Calif has first dibs (rights) on the Colorado River supply up to 4 million acre feet.

          California agriculture consumes 75% of the water from the statewide water system. Total uban use is 11%. Fortunately those mellons at the grocery store will help slake a thirst.r

    5. Howard

      Somewhere in the last week or two I read an article stating basically what the photo illustrates, but then there was a twist at the end. It said basically (can´t recall exact words), “yeah, yeah, this has happened before, things go up, things go down, get a grip, etc. etc.” That photo doesn´t look like business as usual.

      1. Mantid

        A good example of why Republicans, Democrats, and corporate leaders push the term “climate change” as opposed to global warming or climate crisis. Things change, get over it.

  2. Jackiebass63

    I believe to change the number of senators from each state would require a change to the constitution. Because this is very difficult it is unlikely to happen.

    1. Robert Gray

      I think the number of senators is a red herring. What is far more serious is the House. With the power of modern computers it would not be that difficult to draw districts that are both fair and rational, rather than the current gerrymandered mess, which is continually exacerbated re-apportionment after re-apportionment. I expect there are politico-demographic-geographers modeling various alternatives as we speak. But that won’t happen because of the power of the vested interests.

      1. Eureka Springs

        The U.S. Senate should be abolished. Unless a House Representative is bound to represent something like a specific set of issues/platform… it too should be abolished. And please, no more “code is law” – computer drawn districts.

        1. Robert Gray

          > The U.S. Senate should be abolished. Unless [x, the] House … too should be abolished.

          Don’t want much, do you? :-)

          1. PHLDenizen

            Supreme Court is already fairly easy to abolish. Require decisions to be unanimous and/or consider them non-binding and simply advisory in nature.

            Given the way the legislative branches have outsourced any and all legislative duties to the Supreme Court, the SC has already encroached on the functions of representative bodies by being the de facto legislative body. The House and Senate write laws that are vague and never enforced until some well-heeled force escalates it through the “pipeline of (in)justice.”

        2. Dermot M O Connor

          Combine 5 house districts from 5 one-seaters into a single five seater with single transferable vote (vote 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 in order of preference). Ask Ireland how that’s done. Gives smaller parties actual representation, which in the US would allow good and bad in, but hey, democracy and all that.

          Speaker of House is de facto PM.

          Keep the Senate, but make it a House of Lords / Irish Seanad talking shop, Can slow down bills or send them back for a second reading, but that’s it.

          President becomes largely ceremonial, like UK monarch or again, Irish Prez.

          Ain’t gonna happen of course – the old joke about Americans always doing the right thing but only after pursuing every possible alternative blah blah.

      2. t

        Indeed. If city and county lines need divisions within, we could do them by lottery. Some cities already have open council districts.

      3. Darthbobber

        And interestingly, because of the increasing effectiveness of gerrymandering, a larger fraction of Senate races than house races have been competitive in recent decades. Purely because states have fixed boundaries.

      4. lance ringquist

        also lift the lid on how many representatives serve in the house. that lid was put in in the early 1900’s i think.

        no way can one person represent people in such large ungainly districts. even if you made the lines nice and neat, still way to many to represent for one representative.

        1. Mildred Montana

          “…lift the lid on how many representatives serve in the house…”

          Right on. In 1789 when the French revolutionaries were establishing their first constituent assembly, they allowed for approximately 1100 representatives. This for a nation of only 25 million, but they saw the wisdom of preventing the formation of parties.

          I say triple (or quadruple or quintuple) the number of representatives in the House. That should bust up the current two-party one-party system pretty damn quick and pretty damn effectively, not to mention lead to better representation for individual districts.

          And then go to work on the Supreme Court, a doubling of the justices would probably work just fine The SC is getting a little complacently political, it could use some packing, a la FDR’s threats in the ’30’s.

      5. Amfortas the hippie

        Robert Gray:”…With the power of modern computers….”

        see: Article the First, too…to go with all that:

        currently, any random US House Representative “represents” 700,000+ people.
        this would be impossible, no matter their intentions, sense of service and honor, etc.
        only reason we don’t have many more Representatives, and thus a bunch more smaller polities, is because of the Uniparty wanting to hang on to Power.
        my US Rep lives almost 200 miles away, in and around Midland.
        his field offices are unmanned more often than not.
        to get a call-back, one must be either pretty extreme in one’s rhetoric(my method, so far) or write a check….otherwise, it’s safe for him to ignore his ordinary constituents, because they are so many.

        and yes, this is a dead horse i like to flog whenever anybody mentions fixing the First Branch of the Fedgov….and this wouldn’t even take a Constitutional Amendment….it’s just waiting there to be ratified.

        usually, when i get to flogging this, the Libertarians are almost certain to emerge from the crevice and yell,”Not MOAR Gubmint!!!???”
        but if you want something to function in a manner that lives up to it’s name(House of Representatives), it’s generally good to structure it in a way that makes that possible…or even easier than not.
        right now, it’s easier for those people to ignore their constituents.

        1. JBird4049

          IIRC, Representative Ocasio-Cortez is know for her field office’s effective constituent services, which will probably protect her from the Uniparty’s attempts to get rid of her.

          1. Pat

            Anyone paying attention in NY knows that is the ultimate job protection, see Charlie Rangel’s almost entire history. And AOC learned that lesson well.

          2. Amfortas the hippie

            aside from around 4 years in Lloyd Doggett’s district in Austin, i have only lived in places that had a republican rep.
            and 26 years out here, all “my” congresscritters, state and federal and local have been gop…so i have to yell and threaten to raise all kinds of hell to get any attention, at all.(like threatening to go to cuba for my hip, pre-Michael Moore, and putting it all over youtube(congressman’s chief of staff called me that afternoon,lol))
            who cares what that crazy hippie socialist guy in the hills thinks?
            sure as hell ain’t gonna cut them a check/bribe….which, i have on good authority, is a sure and certain method of getting even facetime with the man himself.

            my point in the above, previous comment is that if the polities were much smaller, we’d each have a less diluted voice, and a better chance of getting in their ears and heads.
            for representative government to work, it must be possible, at the very least, for the representative to actually represent their constituency.
            i admit readily that having 2000 or more reps in the US House would engender it’s own problems,lol…to say the least…but it would also likely be a pretty large rock thrown in the PTB’s pond.

          3. Milton

            AOC is not going anywhere as she is the Mama Bear’s prized cub. Sure, she’s been chastized a few time for testing the boundaries of the party but she has mostly fallen in line. As Mr Dore would describe, she is nothing but a sh@! lib and nothing good can be expected to originate from her office.

            1. Pat

              Even if I have on occasion considered her a disappointment, I will wait on declaring her “Mama Bear’s prized cub” until I see who is on her primary ballot. Because if you looked and saw who was getting the money last time, she sure as hell wasn’t a favorite of anyone at the DNC and DCCC.

      6. Sawdust

        But how do you decide what counts as fair and rational? You could probably draw the lines so that each district has a 50% chance of going D or R, but that just turns the election into a coin toss rather than a representation of the public will.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          at this point on the downhill slope, is a coin toss much worse than what we got?
          i got a jake turkey that would represent me better than my current guy.

      7. Robin Kash

        Iowa has a good redistricting system. Whether Republicans will embrace its enduring virtues this year remains to be seen.

    2. SufferinSuccotash

      Can’t do that. It’s the one provision in the constitution which can’t be changed. The only way to abolish the Senate is to enact a new constitution.

      1. Eureka Springs

        Not sure that’s true. An amendment establishing direct election of Senators passed and failed the people miserably for decades. A nearly 250 year old Constitution, never put to a vote by the people should be rewritten, ratified or not, with a vote by the people as well.

      2. Terry Flynn

        That was my impression but I’m a Brit and not fully versed in what bits of the constitution can’t be amended. Although I despair of the current setup of the Senate (like the people who have to live under it), in idle moments contemplating UK electoral reform I keep wondering about a second chamber which is VERY loosely based on the principles of the US Senate.

        In the UK our “states” would be broadly based on the 11 or 12 “counting regions” currently used purely for administrative purposes in referenda. If these became “guardians of the Union” with strictly delineated powers (perhaps pertaining to climate change policies and stewardship of distinct regions), multi-member proportional representation modeled on the Republic of Ireland with (say) 100 members topped up with 50 “experts” like the director of SAGE, President of the Royal Society then it would be obviously be at most semi-democratic….. But less vulnerable to the kind of shenanigans we see in the US Senate.

        1. John

          In government completely captured by oligarchs, it seems distracting and irrelevant to discuss tweaking forms of the old republic. Deck chairs. Titanic.

      3. Sy Krass

        Per some of the suggestions above about the House and Supreme Court, increase the number of Senators form each State to 4 instead of 2. Dilute each Senators’ power instead of their constituents. Also- wouldn’t that mean more jobs for politicians? They would love to support any constitutional amendment increasing their number of jobs. While we’re at it, why don’t we think outside the box and use the principles of MMT to increase their salaries to say $500,000? Link anything of the actual greater good to them getting more would be a greater good for the citizens.

      1. Pat

        I live in a state dominated by my supposed party and even I know that they could easily choose Senators far worse than what we have. Sure it is hard to imagine worse than Chuckie Schumer or former Senator Hillary Clinton by choice but there is no chance for better and Albany excels at promoting sociopathic corporate toadies.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Quinnipiac University rolls out fines and Wi-Fi restrictions for unvaccinated students”

    Quinnipiac University officials are aware that unvaccinated students can’t spread the virus over a Wi-Fi, aren’t they? I mean it doesn’t work like a computer virus too or anything. Well, not so far that is. But the bit where the university will fine students weekly for failing to provide their vaccine documentation is not good optics. It might make students think that University officials are really only interested in the money and not the students themselves. But it does have a bit of a dodgy history in any case-

    1. PHLDenizen

      Well, the virus indirectly spreads because what travels over WiFI? Misinformation and conspiracy theories, of course! And what leads to rejection of vaccines, hmm?


  4. Ian Perkins

    For the past 20 months, experts in Aerosol transmission of respiratory viruses have been conducting studies that prove #COVIDisAirborne. These experts have called for Airborne mitigations (ventilation, filtration and respirators), but we have not heeded their calls. Why? (tweet)

    This researcher took a deep dive, eventually tracing the 5μm idea back to some 1940s and 1950s work on TB, the results of which were misinterpreted and became part of medical received wisdom. A key paragraph from a rather long, but fascinating, article:

    “What must have happened, she thought, was that after Wells died, scientists inside the CDC conflated his observations. They plucked the size of the particle that transmits tuberculosis out of context, making 5 microns stand in for a general definition of airborne spread. Wells’ 100-micron threshold got left behind. “You can see that the idea of what is respirable, what stays airborne, and what is infectious are all being flattened into this 5-micron phenomenon,” Randall says. Over time, through blind repetition, the error sank deeper into the medical canon. The CDC did not respond to multiple requests for comment.”
    (Apologies if NC has already discussed this!)

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I can’t recall the sources right now, but there has been quite a lot written on the weird history of modern medicines aversion to aerosol dispersion as an explanation for disease. It goes back to the rejection of the ‘miasma’ theory of disease. A classic case of a paradigm shift resulting in a baby getting thrown out with the bathwater.

      Its surprisingly common in science to find quite arbitrary ‘facts’ being transmitted through generations of students without anyone bothering to go back to see if the ‘fact’ stands up to detailed scrutiny. Needless to say, economists are by far the worst offenders, but you can find examples even in the hard sciences.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Good grief. The second paragraph of your comment triggered something I read a long time ago. Back in 1921 a scientist named Theophilus Painter reported that there were 48 chromosones for humans and this became established wisdom after his observations were repeated. It was not until 1956 that two other scientist came out with a paper saying that no, there were actually 46 chromosones, not 48. How was that missed for 35 years?-

        1. Terry Flynn

          Unfortunately my primary PhD supervisor – not one of the “gods” of medical statistics but thorough and highly regarded – gave me an anecdote on day one that makes this totally unsurprising. He chased up a “taken as read” result that he was distrustful of when doing HIS thesis. He had to go through 6 rounds of referencing to get to the original obscure statement.

          The VERY FIRST reference to this got it wrong – not intentionally in his opinion but bad all the same – and it stuck. That stuck in my mind from that day forward. I always went back to find the original reference from then on.

          98% of citations to my “big paper” are incorrect. I know this because there’s a minor (not important to main results but still irritating) error in my paper and my hastily published, deliberately open source followup correcting this gets virtually no attention. So only 2% of people running these studies understand how to and why they must run the study THIS way. I long ago turned off citation alerts in disgust and despair.

          1. grayslady

            This reminds me of our final lab experiment in college chemistry. We were supposed to prove the results of a particular equation, but my lab partner and I didn’t obtain the promised results. I knew we had measured our ingredients carefully, followed the recommended protocols and all the rest; so in writing up the results I was feeling stumped. Then I decided to go back to the beginning by just looking at the equation itself and, lo and behold, the equation in the textbook wasn’t balanced! An experiment based on an unbalanced equation should never have worked in practice, and I always wondered whether the textbook authors had deliberately included this as the last experiment to see if students had really learned anything after a year of study in order to catch the mistake. So yes, always start at the source.

        2. Procopius

          I remember that was taught in my 1953 high school biology class, but the teacher said the revised count was rather recent, so I guess it was after 1945, but certainly before 1956. Certainly it was a shock to some of my classmates that science might be subject to amendment.

      2. Ian Perkins

        The article mentions the miasma theory:
        Langmuir had been brought up in the Gospel of Personal Cleanliness, an obsession that made handwashing the bedrock of US public health policy. He seemed to view Wells’ ideas about airborne transmission as retrograde, seeing in them a slide back toward an ancient, irrational terror of bad air—the “miasma theory” that had prevailed for centuries. Langmuir dismissed them as little more than “interesting theoretical points.”
        When I heard COVID was supposedly spread by droplets, not aerosols, I spent an hour or two online chasing papers, books, citations and references – and drawing a blank. I concluded it was probably just an unwarranted assumption that had been passed down through time, but Linsey Marr went the whole hog, spending several months at it, using a lot more than Google, before finally – she thinks – pinning it down.

        1. Eustachedesaintpierre

          Getting to be a shame that those old sturdy & airy Victorian hospitals were not renovated rather than demolished to be replaced by crap, as in the case of seven hospitals who have discovered that concrete support planks or beams are not fit for purpose, resulting on a ban on anyone over 19st walking on them. The Gov states that it is up to NHS trusts to sort it out which would be very expensive for them & could result in large hospitals being closed which would put even more stress on an already massively under pressure system.

        2. Jeff W

          In a more formal paper, “How Did We Get Here: What Are Droplets and Aerosols and How Far Do They Go? A Historical Perspective on the Transmission of Respiratory Infectious Diseases” (linked to in the WIRED piece), Linsey Marr and others say this:

          In an early paper the Wellses [William and Mildred Wells] note that some rejected a theory of airborne transmission because the term “revive[d] the ancient and exploded theory of miasmas.” They clearly recognized the perception that a theory of airborne transmission could be viewed as regressive, re-embracing obsolete ideas of “bad air.”

          [footnote number omitted]

            1. Jeff W

              Yes, although counter to the etymology, malaria is not spread by aerosols, of course, but is vector-borne, spread by mosquitoes.

              I really like that paper because it goes into a bit more detail, more than the WIRED article, about how the binary dichotomy, based on droplet size, between “droplets” and “aerosols,” unsupported by current scientific knowledge, developed, based, at least partly, on the “relationship [of particle size] to the potential for inhalation, penetration, and deposition in different regions of the respiratory tract,” a different issue than how particles move through the air.

      3. Stillfeelinthebern

        YES! This is an important part of the history and practice of science. Would that it is understood that the scientific method is a collaborative process that involves many people doing the same studies/experiments over and over and over to validate and build a base of solid information. Sometimes this goes wrong.

        In my first research job, I was tasked with reproducing the purification of a substance following a procedure from a recently published paper. I never accomplished that task after 6 months of working on it and consultations with many many knowledgeable experienced scientists. Sure learned lots in that process and this was only possible because of research funding from the federal government.

      4. Raymond Sim

        “It goes back to the rejection of the ‘miasma’ theory of disease.”

        I think ‘miasma’ served much the same purpose ‘anti-science’ has more recently, i.e. as a cover for rejecting measures that would cost rentiers money (in the short term). I didn’t start the pandemic as any kind of free-market true believer, but learning the history of the utterly unsubstantiated ‘droplet’ theory’s use in suppressing the thoroughly validated (and correct) aerosol theory of transmission, and coming to recognize the pernicious compounding effects of this false narrative, I’m chagrined at the thought I may ever have said anything positive about capitalism.

      5. pasha

        an example of such a “fact:” scientists first publishing electron-microscope photos of human chromosomes counted 24 pairs, totaling 48. iirc, it took nearly a decade for someone to go back to the pictures and recount them; there are actually only 23 pairs, or 46 total

  5. Ignacio

    The salmons seem to know very well what is that enormous body having a bath in there. Or may be not and they would do the same if a man swims or a manatí (obviously not known to them, but similarly massive) for that matter. Whatever, those pics are great.

  6. PlutoniumKun

    The Ides of August Sarah Chayes

    A fascinating article, although for me it raises more questions than it answers. For one thing, why is it that ISI seems to have been completely immune to US pressure? It’s hardly been a secret that it has been working for years in ways that were against US intelligence interests. Is it a Saudi connection? Or was Washington always too worried about the consequences of destabilising Pakistan?

    Another point that occurs to me is that ISI is sometimes painted as an all powerful organisation. It seem weird that such a dysfunctional and corrupt country as Pakistan could have an intelligence service that seemingly can manipulate and outwit everyone else. Or is there something else going on?

    I do wonder about the writers implication that the strategic brilliance of the Talibans move against Kabul was all ISI’s doing. I’m sure the Taliban have their own ideas. And I’ve read reports over the years that the Taliban itself has been split between the more pro-Pakistani wing and a more nationalist wing (although I’ve no idea how accurate this is). It seems a bit simplistic to think that they are simply puppets for ISI and some mysterious cabal of Karzai associates.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Richard Armitage did tell Pakistan’s President ‘Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the stone age’ if Pakistan did not cooperate with the Bush effort in Afghanistan so I am sure that the Pakistanis would not have felt any loyalty to the US. But I agree with your idea that it was a Taliban campaign not designed by ISI or anybody else. The Afghans have spent over forty years in a Darwinian selection process to have the most capable and smartest people arise in the ranks. The rest were culled. And if Pakistan was given a lot of leeway, it may be that Washington was worried that they might ally themselves too closely with China if pushed too far. After all, Pakistan and China share a 596 kilometer (370 mile) border together.

    2. David

      I agree: it’s a good article. In particular, it underlines the almost unbelievable level of corruption in successive Afghan governments, and the anger that this caused among ordinary people. (I know there are those who believe that nobody except the US can be corrupt, but believe me they can).

      ISI is a formidable organisation, and its officers are very well trained, often abroad. Many, if not most, of the top PAF commanders have gone through it at one time or another, and it’s the crown jewel of the military. Its political power is such that it gets the resources and the people it wants. In my (limited) experience, the Pakistani military is the most functional part of the government system, and ISI has the best of these people.

      Don’t forget that in the 90s, after the Soviet withdrawal, there was chaos in the country, and the Pakistani government was deathly worried both about that instability spreading, and the Indians taking advantage of it. So creating a movement under their sponsorship which would unite and pacify the country, and which would also be religious and patriotic, wasn’t a difficult idea to come up with. As you say, there are indications that this relationship has developed and become a lot more complicated since, and there are certainly factions less keen on the relationship with Pakistan. But my feeling is this is a question of degree: even the doubters aren’t going to spurn aid from Islamabad if it helps them retake the country. And I think we might be overdoing the brilliance of the Taliban operation. What it was about, effectively, was planning, identifying leaders in advance, and carrying out a political rather than a military strategy, using bribery and persuasion. My impression is that such techniques are actually quite well-known and well-established in the area. A few competent staff officers from ISI could have helped them turn that into a coherent plan.

      I don’t pretend to understand the intricacies of the US-Pakistan relationship, and I’m not sure who does. But it does exemplify the fact that actual relationships between large and small powers depend very little on relative size and power. The Pakistanis (like some others it might be said) have learned how to manipulate the US to get what they want, even if they are publicly subordinate. And Pakistan has had a close alliance with China for, what, thirty plus years now, and the Chinese have never betrayed them, as the US did over the F16 sale twenty years ago. (“China is our only completely dependable ally” say the Pakistanis, pointedly).

      1. JTMcPhee

        Israelis long ago figured out how to suborn the US governmental and political structures. Supranational corporations have too. The US still generates enormous if extraction and feudal-oppression based and apparently close to fizzling out. It’s seemingly not all that hard to find a Charlie Wilson or McCain or Cheney or Pelosi to provide the leverage to wag the dog. So many plots and stratagems, so few of which are about restoring some kind of homeostasis. But there’s no money in stability and prudent maintenance — no BIG money, at least — nor is there enough opportunity for ambitious and lean and hungry men and women to f3ck things up for large numbers of other humans and the rest of the biosphere…

      2. Procopius

        Clausewitz said that generals had to be politicians as much as soldiers, because war is all about getting your opponent to do something you want or not do something you don’t want. I don’t understand why it is that American generals have no talent for this. They seem to have an aversion to learning. Petraeus wrote some plausible sounding stuff about counter-insurgency, not as well stated as the Marine Corps Small Wars Manual, but then didn’t follow his own writings.During World War II we had generals who were good at it. And then we had generals like Georgie Patton.

    3. Paradan

      They can sneak a nuke into any city in the world. Think of all the real estate and plane and ships that the Saudis own, all the shell companies, all the special privileges. Truth be told though, they’re not the ones I worry about.

    4. saywhat?

      For one thing, why is it that ISI seems to have been completely immune to US pressure?

      Because Pakistan has nukes?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The idiot offspring of Kissinger simply don’t do the small stuff to maintain relationships. As Rev Kev noted, the Taliban types who weren’t up to snuff were culled. It’s the opposite in US MIC. The MIC can only be failed by politicians and voters, not fail. There is no way we haven’t been treating the ISI as anything other than “little foreigners”.

        1. Eustachedesaintpierre

          Maybe the Taliban have changed their spots but according to Dr. Mike Martin who speaks Pashtu & served as a Captain in Helmand, before resigning his commission to write a book so critical of the British performance that the MOD tried to stop it being published gives I believe a more nuanced view – published March 2nd 2021 :

          ” But what if this dynamic wasn’t actually what was generating most of the violence? For most of the violence in Afghanistan today is driven by hyper-local issues, such as land disputes, access to agricultural water, fights over drugs, generational feuds and abuses of administrative power. Indeed, when the Afghan communist party, heavily supported by the USSR, took power in a coup 43 years ago and precipitated a civil war which has been raging ever since, it unleashed a series of pent-up tensions in the country between conservatives and progressives, the educated and non-educated and, most importantly, between various local interest groups — mostly based on kinship — desperate to control their territories.

          This same multifocal civil war continues today, with most of those people fighting the Government doing so for personal or local reasons. Perhaps they have had their land stolen by a warlord. Perhaps they are the victim of predatory behaviour from a local official and need to fight back to maintain their honour. Perhaps they are trying to sell their drugs, or protect their village, or enact a feud. The reasons are endless, but all of them are exacerbated by the fact that Afghanistan has nothing resembling a central government that adjudicates disputes and sets rules that apply to everyone. In fact, the Afghan government is as riven by local factional motivations as the Taliban.

          What those on both sides do share, though, is a willingness to accept weapons from anyone — including, but not limited to, the Americans, the Russians, Pakistan and the Taliban — in order to pursue their own personal aims. Importantly, because of the strength of local issues in driving the conflict, the degree to which all these sponsors are able to control the on-the-ground actors is highly questionable “.

          1. Ian Perkins

            This recent piece, by a couple who “did fieldwork there as anthropologists almost fifty years ago,” has this to say about the Taliban and conflict resolution:
            “Over the last decade the Taliban have offered two things across the country. The first is that they are not corrupt, as they were also not corrupt in office before 2001. They are the only political force in the country this has ever been true of.

            Critically, the Taliban have run an honest judicial system in the rural areas they have controlled. Their reputation is so high that many people involved in civil lawsuits in the cities have agreed that both parties will go to Taliban judges in the countryside. This allows them swift, cheap and fair justice without massive bribes. Because the justice was fair, both parties can live with it.

            For people in Taliban-controlled areas, fair justice was also a protection against inequality. When the rich can bribe the judges, they can do anything they want to the poor. Land was the crucial thing. Rich and powerful men, warlords and government officials could seize or steal or cheat their way into control of the land of small farmers, and oppress the even poorer sharecroppers. But Taliban judges, everyone understood, were willing to rule for the poor.”
            I found it a very useful article, as the authors seem to not only know Afghanistan, but to have known it longer than five minutes, unlike some!

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              that is a fascinating take on the situation….taliban providing legitimacy, however brutal to our eyes…in a world rife with illegitimacy.
              i’m saving it to plug into my What Comes After Model for the Imperial Core.

              1. jr

                There was a sci-fi novel back in the 80’s that described how the Mafia became a public service in NYC after some kind of societal collapse. Cannot recall the title.

                1. Amfortas the hippie

                  or stories of various gangs and other assorted organised crime outfits stepping up in emergencies/disasters to sort of fill in for the absent state.
                  hence, my expectation of warlordism, if/when usa falls to bits.
                  the mexican cartels do this as a matter of course.
                  “organisation” is the keyword, here.
                  and Lenin’s(and others’) ideas about Parallel Institutions(see: Black Panthers, for a ready example)

                  1. The Rev Kev

                    Last year, didn’t the gangs in the barrios of Brazil step up and help fight the pandemic with things like aid and mask discipline? Maybe that is how a government proves legitimacy to its people – by helping them in times of need.

              2. saywhat?

                I guess “pie in the sky” (or 76 virgins) and/or the fear of Hell can really motivate righteous behavior? Even when no other human is looking?

                I’ve read that Mormons are popular as Las Vegas workers because they typically are honest and don’t steal.

            2. Jeff W

              “This recent piece…” linked to in the “Links” just yesterday. (Credit to our indefatigable link aggregators.)

                1. Jeff W

                  You’re welcome! I’m sure you’re not alone. It’s nice to know to avoid that nagging feeling of having seen it “somewhere.” (And, again, credit where credit is due.)

    5. Shonde

      In the comments, many compliment Sarah Chayes on a PBS Newshour segment she did on Friday night. I had read her essay yesterday and was receptive to considering what she was saying. After reading of her Newshour appearance, all I have are big question marks in my mind.

      Considering that many commenters on NC refer to PBS as Propaganda Broadcasting System, does her appearance on Newshour bother anyone else? Are we being given a new official narrative?

      My trust level is at an all time low.

      1. Lee

        Every now and then one finds a kernel of wheat there amidst the chaff. I particularly like the Work Shift segments extolling the virtues of skilled manual labor. They appeal to my blue collar roots and my favorable inclinations toward making stuff with one’s own hands, industrial policy, and a greater degree of national autarky than is now the case.

      2. KLG

        Back when I listened to PBS and NPR, “This is Sarah Chayes in Paris” was the one end to a story that ensured what you had just heard was the closest to the truth that one gets in broadcast or any other kind of journalism. Her two books on (mostly political) corruption are very good, too.

      3. Andrew Watts

        I share your skepticism of Chayes’ reporting for whatever it’s worth. The idea that the Taliban lacks any agency, or that the ISI controls their every action, is something I categorically reject. It’s the same Iranian-controlled politicians/militias narrative we’ve been fed for years with regards to Iraq.

        The idea that Pakistan is responsible for everything is probably going to become quite popular though. It’ll take the heat off of American intelligence and the military for their failures. As well as the neocons and other imperialists in Washington. The search for the perfect scapegoat is an ongoing process.

      4. Darthbobber

        Chayes gets to the edge of what COULD be insights, but balks at drawing the conclusions.
        And we only make mistakes, never having malice.

        It seems obvious that the corruption was the ONLY glue holding this venture together, whether in Kandahar or Washington. Remove it and what’s left is what’s left of an onion when all layers are peeled.

        She’s at pains to absolve the military of any responsibility for failure, insisting that all the “mistakes” were over in civ-land. But

        1) there was no aspect of this that the military and it’s spook cousins didn’t stick their noses into
        2) Pushing the surge nonsense as a substitute for a political settlement was a military initiative.
        3) Surely even she would agree that accurately assessing your opponents’ capabilities and tactics, and countering them effectively is a core military function.

        She’s gone pretty heavy on the military apologetics before. After Bales flipped out and slaughtered what was it-16- Afghan civilians, mainly women and kids she had an LA Times article that somehow lumped him in as a victim, albeit a “tarnished” one, along with various Afghan actual victims.

        Some of her stuff is pretty blobesque. Putin successfully waging hybrid war against our homeland, need to counter that by impeaching Trump and hardening our defenses.

    6. Darthbobber

      We’ve defined the Taliban as cartoon neanderthals.

      So by definition, even a ploy as obvious as this one MUST have been the product of someone else’s thinking.

    7. drumlin woodchuckles

      The Pakistan Army and ISI may well work together to keep the rest of Pakistan just functional enough to keep supporting the Army and ISI . . . . and keep it too disfunctional otherwise to housebreak and domesticate the Army and the ISI.

      I have read/heard bits and scraps from many directions down the years about the ISI role in inventing the Taliban and “suspicions have been raised” about the ISI role in planning and supporting the 9/11 attacks in America. Pakistan’s role in proliferating nuclear weapons to North Korea should be better known than it is.
      But the DC FedRegime is very attached to its Pakistan, dating back to when India chose USSR as its ” big Ally”. So DC FedRegime chose Pakistan as its beloved junior partner.

      How beloved? When American forces first broke up Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, the ISI and its Pakistan were flying out hundreds of ISI personnel from Mazar e Sharif back to Pakistan. Indian intelligence gave US realtime minute-by-minute warning about it. ” There goes a planeload of ISI! There goes another one! There goes another one!” The American forces could and should have shot all those planes down in order to exterminate all those pro-jihadi-terrorist ISI people in flight, but the ” Deep State” part of the DC FedRegime supports jihadi terrorism all over the world in general, and therefor cherishes the ISI and its role in global jihadi terrorism, and was not about to honor an Indian request to “do something” about all the escaping ISI terrorist-masters.

      Here is an interesting little article about Pakistan’s true nature and true involvement in jihadi terrorism and murderism, from Rigorous Intuition 2.0

      If the AfTaliban ever decide to liberate their Pashtun brothers behind Pakistani lines from Pakistani oppression, I hope someone helps them enough to succeed. It would be some small vengeance for all Pakistan has done to the world.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Re those planes allowed to fly out. That’s like when US forces had Osama bin laden corned in Tora Bora and were closing in, when word came to knock it off as forces had to redeploy for the upcoming invasion of Iraq. And just a few months ago (forgive me for not having the precise details on tap) the US was actually demanding that a major ISIS operative be released by some African nation to be let go. This guy was senior enough that he should have been given a one-way trip to Club Guantanamo Bay but no, Washington had other plans for this guy. And don’t ask me how many times I have read about unmarked helicopters landing to evacuate ISIS commanders and their families from some besieged ISIS force in Syria.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Yes. bin Laden did not escape from Tora Bora, he was escaped from Tora Bora.

          Just as Jeffrey Epstein did not suicide in jail, he was suicided in jail.

          1. LifelongLib

            Always wondered if it would have been embarrassing for Osama to be killed/captured on GWB’s watch — their families were in business together. Maybe Bush deliberately left it for the next guy to handle…

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              I am more bitter and suspicious than that. I think they escaped him partly as a reward for a ” job well done” and also to keep him active in the field as a “scare symbol” to keep the American public scared and obedient.

  7. lambert strether

    > Biden ignored Boris Johnson for 36 hours as Afghan chaos grew: report

    Shows good judgment, Why stop so soon?

  8. Ian Perkins

    The All-American Base World

    I’ve tried pointing out the USA’s 750-odd overseas military bases to people who worry about mounting Chinese aggression and all that, and for reasons I can’t fathom, I might as well have told them how many McDonalds or Starbucks there are outside the Fatherland. The very idea that these bases might not be a wonderful and benevolent gift to the world seems utterly deluded to them, despite their own country having been carpet-bombed by the same USA.

    1. ex_zakly

      I have this same exact experience, except only when talking to people above my age group. My millennial and below peer group are all pretty much on the same page that the military sucks, empire is bad, hundreds of bases make us less safe. Global US military hegemony is taken to be the ‘neutral’ state of affairs for the older crowd, which makes me think that decades of cold war propagandizing was firmly cemented with GWOT propagandizing into an impossible to dissolve mental blockage. I take great pains to point out the complete lack of foreign military bases on any US soil, and compare that to the hundreds of bases we have all over the world, and what that reveals about our relationship to the world, but it’s either dismissed outright or they change the topic to China. Frustrating and depressing beyond measure.

      1. Randy G.

        ex_zakly — You are probably tilting at windmills if these older people absorb any U.S. corporate TV and radio — including NPR and PBS. By absorb, I mean actually believe that the highly politicized perspective reflects reality.

        I’m one of those “above your age group” — and probably escaped this mindset by reading books and being very critical of the First Cold War. Reading people such as Bertrand Russell in high school (NEVER an assigned reading, of course) was a big boost in thinking critically about war and militarism.

        If any of your older crowd read books, I would highly recommend Chalmer Johnson’s series on ‘blowback’ and ‘Empire’. Johnson, an expert on East Asia, was an academic who supported the First Cold War, even doing some research at the behest of the CIA.

        So he is not a typical ‘leftist’ in the mold of a Michael Parenti or Noam Chomsky. You might be familiar with Johnson already, but to the ossified crowd you are describing, he might be more palatable than someone such as Media Benjamin (even though she is a national treasure, in my opinion).

        Johnson forcefully argues that the American military Empire, consisting of bases all around the world is unjustified, immoral, and destructive, and will eventually corrode the United States as a democracy, leaving only a failing military Empire and oligarchy in its wake. (Seems we are there.)

        Johnson basically predicted that debacles such as Afghanistan will be the rule as the rot of imperial overreach sets in. Good luck!

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          Democracy Now! turned me on to Chalmers Johnson around the time of the second invasion of iraq.
          that trilogy is essential reading if you’ve ever wondered why “they” hate us.
          I’d hate us, too.
          “walk a mile”, and all.

        2. Milton

          Funny, I was recalling his books during the Reagan presidency and how this young 20-something thought it was slightly subversive and put me on a path seeking more material that could cast light on the dark pathways on which the ruling elite walked. Only it’s the wrong Johnson. Haines Johnson was the author to which I thought you were referring. Anyways, his opening in Sleepwalking Through History paints a scene that truly shows the haplessness of Jimmy Carter and the forces, not only he or the Democratic party, were up against but the entire world and how gov’t for the greater good would soon be swept aside.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            aye. Haines Johnson is on the shelf in there in yonder library, as well…like most of the collection, obtained pretty much at random from garage sales, estate sales and public and school library sales/giveaways.
            all my cool stuff like that(Marx, Adam Smith, Wallerstein) comes from the estate of a lawyer who grew up on a farm here(no running water) and practiced on the square for 50 years…a die hard yellowdog FDR/LBJ Dem.
            his son is literally an Orange County Republican who hates government, believes government can’t do anything right, and got elected to the city council on his dad’s good name to prove it.
            i ran off with 4 tightly packed tomato boxes of books like that that nobody else even wanted to look at,lol, for like $10.

    2. PHLDenizen

      Reminds me of a few lines from HBO’s Generation Kill mini-series. Based on the book by the same name and follows First Recon’s foray into Iraq after W declared Operation Iraqi Freedom. David Simon of The Wire fame was behind it. Worth checking out and free from all the usual cinematic tropes of war movies.

      Sgt. Espera is talking to Evan Wright (Rolling Stone reporter who wrote the book) and says:

      See, that’s what this is all about, dog. The U.S. should just go into all these ****ed up countries, Iraq, Africa, setup American government and infrastructure – McDonald’s, Starbucks, MTV – Then just hand it all over. I mean, how else we gonna make these hungry mother****ers want to stop killing everybody? Put a McDonald’s on every f***in’ corner. If we gotta blow up the corner, then build the McDonald’s- so be it.

      And, IMHO, that basically encapsulates the entire purpose of US foreign policy. “Gentrifying” the world through the export of capitalism, one bomb or one CIA black site or drone delivered missile at a time.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Just because 750 American bases are a “real thing” does not mean that Chinese aggression is not a “real thing” as well.

      But Chinese aggression is economic based and uses economic and trade weapons mainly, and is purely pragmatic, not ideological.

      People who support Free Trade with China deserve to become homeless for the rest of their lives, and I hope they do become homeless for the rest of their lives. ( It would not be nice to say what I actually would like to see happen to those traitors who support Free Trade with China, or with anyone else either).

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        “People who support Free Trade with China deserve to become homeless for the rest of their lives”

        scared off the barcats and the library chickens with the outburst of laughter at that.
        from your lips, to the goddess’ ear.

        let them instead live out their days making mudbricks in iraq…in a pit…in the sun…and carrying their own damned water.
        the Culling i think is necessary is not the same Culling that they think is necessary.
        Eat Them.
        Their time in power has brought us to the brink.
        there should be consequences for that great crime.

      1. Ian Perkins

        In 2019, the International Court of Justice, the U.N.’s highest court, affirmed in an advisory that the Chagos Archipelago is part of Mauritian territory. The same year, the U.N. General Assembly echoed the court’s view in a sweeping vote.

        In 1966, at the height of the Cold War, the British handed over Diego Garcia [largest island in the archipelago] on a 50-year lease to the U.S. for a military base. The agreement was further extended unilaterally by London in 2016 for American use until 2036.

        1. Brunches with Cats

          USA and UK have dismissed the U.N. decision as a non-binding “advisory.” Note that this article was published before Biden was inaugurated; did you happen to read to the end quote by the poor deluded Mauritius ambassador to the U.N.?

          “If they [US] want to exercise soft-power in the South China Sea, then they have to correct this contradiction,” said Koonjul. “I presume that under the Biden government rule of law will have a different meaning than the one the U.S. has now.”

          Fifteen years is plenty of time for the US to determine where it needs to spread the graft and corruption to keep what it sees as a vital strategic base in that part of the world.

          Meanwhile, the impression I get from reading various articles (note caveat) is that Mauritius mostly just wants the rental income. Right now, the US has the run of the place, rent-free. There are even hints that Mauritius isn’t planning to allow the evicted inhabitants to go back to their home (the British threw them out before leasing to the USG), but rather is planning to relocate them to a different island in the archipelago.

          Here’s a WaPo article from a couple of weeks ago. Surprised to see it there, but maybe it’s because it’s not a headline grabber and so without official talking points … yet:

  9. Henry Moon Pie

    Dry lakes and pyrocumulus–

    Frifjof Capra, physicist, systems thinker and author (The Tao of Physics) is interviewed (transcript) on He talks about many things, but among them is the coming change in paradigm:

    Nature’s principles of organization, or principles of ecology, have enabled her to sustain life on Earth for over three billion years. This wisdom of nature is far superior to human knowledge and technologies. At the heart of the current change of paradigms, we find a profound change of metaphors from seeing the world as a machine that can be dominated and controlled by humans to understanding it as a vast living network — the web of life — in which humans are fundamentally embedded. This deep ecological awareness is urgently needed today. The survival of human civilization will literally depend on it.

    Or as Thomas Berry puts it:

    The universe is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects.

    Capra also lists three essential characteristics of a leader in these times:

    1) a knowledge of systems thinking;

    2) ecological literacy;

    3) a “moral compass” (from Havel).

    These are three of the four components of the Common Earth course I’m taking:

    1) systems thinking from the Kauffmans and Meadows;

    2) permaculture; soils; storing carbon; forest types and characteristics;

    3) a “moral compass” tracing back to Thomas Berry quoted above.

    The fourth element I’ll call mindfulness training because it’s closer to that than anything else. I hear a lot of Alan Watts and Lao-Tzu in what I’m learning.

    On one hand, the world’s systems are coming apart at the seams, at least for the narrow ranges we and our society can tolerate. On the other, there’s a coalescing of thought around the need for deep cultural change and an entirely new paradigm of existence.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      “The fourth element I’ll call mindfulness training because it’s closer to that than anything else. I hear a lot of Alan Watts and Lao-Tzu in what I’m learning.”

      during the depths of my hip disability, when i was barely even a househusband, wife moonlighted as a waitress, some nights.
      boys, then small, would pile into dad’s bed and we’d watch monty python movies, Kurosawa, and Italian Neorealism from Criterion.
      (to give an idea of their “this is normal” context at the time)
      when the movie was over, i’d put on some youtube thing from Alan Watts(or Alan Frelling Ginsberg,lol) and we’d go to sleep with that.
      both boys inherited my insomnia…but sleep was at that time expected, so they’d pretend to be asleep, and absorb that stuff!

      i kept no records, of course…but i’d say that the overall effect of this, and other heterodox kid cultivation methods(radical honesty,ask me anything at all,and the like), has made a difference.
      a common reminder/admonishment around here is “you’re being mindless”…as in Be Here Now(Ram Dass was the failed sleep agent, sometimes, too)
      first time my youngest said that to me(he was right), i practically flew apart in a flash of light.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        That’s a great story…and kids with a real head start in life.

        I don’t ever remember hearing of Watts. Probably too woo-woo for me at the time. A few years ago, I set out to approach things as if we had taken a wrong path somewhere along the line, and the first place to look was the Sixties. And back there in the Sixties with my old Jefferson Airplane favorites, Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” and the Merry Pranksters was the Houseboat Summit.

        The rest is history. ;)

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          mine was some late-70’s version of the Whole Earth Catalog.
          set me on a path to hippiedom.(
          my folks, especially, my mom, hid that part of themselves from my brother and i.(9 year old(?)me snagged that catalog because i knew they didn’t want me exposed to that)
          but the Roots of it were perfectly on display in their parents…WW2, Great Depression, etc…had molded them in such a way as to make the later fumblings of their children all but inevitable.
          my grandparents would look at the world today, and say..”wallp…thayres yer prollem right thayre”…and point at the bosses with their middle finger.

      2. Ian Perkins

        Alan Watts did nothing for their insomnia; they only pretended to sleep.
        Who, I wonder, would be the most potent soporific?

          1. Ian Perkins

            Well, I never thought I’d see Miles described as soporific.
            But I’ll try it next time I’ve got kids who need putting to sleep!

        1. Mantid

          I remember Alan Watts on the radio at night. One evening he interviewed the actor James Coburn. James C. was into meditation and played a few pieces of music on gongs. Really nice sounds. Then I discovered the music of Bali/Indonesia, gamelan. Oh my, a great inspiration for Debussy – who’s picture used to be on the French 20 Frank note. Imagine a British pound having a picture of Sir McCarthy or a U.S. dollar with Duke Ellington on it. We coulda been contenders!

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Debacle in Afghanistan”

    Debacle is right. And also familiar. The same complaints that were echoed in this article about the Taliban – ‘But who are the bad guys, where are they?’ – is exactly what grunts said in ‘Nam. In a book I have, a group of them are out in the field talking together about what weapon would be needed to enable them to win the war. Some said this type of gun or that type of bomb but one guy said what would win it was a scanner. You would only have to point it at a Vietnamese and it would tell you if they were a friendly or an enemy. So yeah, nothnig changed.

    Would you believe that over 775,000 US troops have fought in Afghanistan under ISAF since 2001? And if you think that that is something, take a gander of all the forces sent by the rest of the world. The Taliban basically were fighting nearly every country on the planet-

    But who knows? Maybe in twenty years time you will have an ISIF-Taliban Reunion between the troops of those nations when they all have gray hair. Vets will take package tours into Kabul and share stores of old fights. It has happened in Vietnam. And in the same way you had the musical “Miss Saigon” come out only 15 years after the end of the Vietnam war, that by 2035 we will be going to the see the musical “Miss Kabul.”

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      The Yankee troops took a pretty dim view of their allied “fighters”. Their interpretation of ISAF with respect to them was: “I suck at fighting.”

    2. Darthbobber

      “775,000 US troops have fought…”

      For some value of fought. Those actually going about dangerous tasks are a fraction of that.

      And of course there are x number of Buttigiegs.

  11. Otis B Driftwood

    Just got my California Governor recall mail-in ballot. I don’t like Newsom, but I’ll be voting “hell, no!”.

    46 unknown candidates on the ballot if you decide it’s a good idea to find someone else. Unless you count Caitlin Jenner as someone worth knowing about.

    The right wing is very good at exploiting the system. If this thing succeeds, the winner will be whoever had the most advertising directed at gullible voters.

    Idocracy, California style.

    1. Fiery Hunt

      I’m voting “Hell, yes!”. Don’t care which clown takes over…

      Newsome thought it was a good idea this last week to have a performative “clean-up” of a HUGE homeless encampment under a freeway over pass. All they did was scatter the crazies into neighboring streets. Had to call the cops twice last week, once after one of the “unhoused” tried to break thru my shop’s locked front door in the middle of the day on a busy street.

      I’ve had enough of the “tax the middle class, fine ’em if they can’t afford health insurance, bash the White oppressors!…but coddle the feral, celebrate reverse racism, and welcome the illegally immigrated!”

      If it’ll short-circuit a Newsome run for President, I’m in.

        1. Fiery Hunt

          Haven’t decided…Probably Kapelovitz but I’ll look harder at it tomorrow (when I finally take a day off.)
          It really doesn’t matter…anything to throw a wench in Corporation Demos plans works for me.

          Short list of reasons to vote recall that guy…

          1. Reinstating the non-health insured penalty…cost me $1,200 during a FLIPPIN’ PANDEMIC when I would have LOVED to have insurance.

          2. At the same time I was getting dinged over a grand for not having insurance, Newsom gave undocumented immigrants both access to government-funded health care AND stimulus checks.

          3. Absolutely political and hypocritical mismanagement of Covid response(s). See French Laundry party, re-opening schools this week, haphazard mask mandates.

          4. Despite having a Super-majority in the CA legislature, not securing public health insurance for all Californians.

          5. Hasn’t suggested to Di Fi (very forcefully!) that she needs to retire.

          6. PG and E (hat tip to heresy101 for the bitter reminder…see below).

          7. The homeless issues in the state.

          8. The housing issues in the state.

          & so much more…

          The worst part? I used to call him “Gavin the Good” when he was SF mayor.
          Just another Hope and Change kinda guy.

          1. neo-realist

            5. They’ve suggested she step down numerous times, but she’s just a stubborn old coot who likes the power.

      1. MonkeyBusiness

        The man had an affair with his secretary and was once relegated to a mostly ceremonial role as Lieutenant Governor.

        Give it a few years and he’ll bounce back, first as Vice President and then President. America can’t resist a handsome face. And no, I don’t like him either.

    2. Michael Ismoe

      They are unknown because the Dems forced other Dems to not run (just like they manipulated the election laws in 2020 to get the Green candidate kicked off the ballot).

      I would vote to recall Newsome just to screw up their little plan but, thankfully, I don’t live in California. Make them fear the voters, not ignore them.

      1. Otis B Driftwood

        Nonsense. They are unknown because, as shitty as it is, a normal election cycle includes things like campaign appearances, debates, town halls. So voters at least stand a minimal chance of understanding what they are voting for.

        This recall process is about removing even those threadbare elements of democracy. Like Prop 22 all over again, the guy or gal with the best manipulative advertising wins.

    3. Michael

      Not all are completely unknown.
      Kevin Falconer was Mayor of San Diego and was just endorsed by LA Times.
      Baby steps after getting rid of Newsome will need to be tolerated.

    4. cgregory

      Darrell Issa showed California how one wealthy man could likely become governor by paying signature gatherers per signature. So, he had addicts and the severely underemployed getting signatures from people who either they lied to about Gray Davis or who didn’t give a hoot. With those in hand, Issa figured he would be a shoo-in, but Ahnuld jumped in.

      California needs to outlaw payment for signature gathering and put it back in the hands of the politically, not financially, motivated.

    5. heresy101

      This voter is going to vote yes to get rid of Newsome, who kept that murder PG&E alive, among other disgusting actions. While the author of this missive says vote No, if you vote Yes, vote for Dan Kapelovitz as the Green Party candidate.

      Two decades ago, we got rid of that crooked supporter of PG&E (Gray Davis) and it is time to get rid of Newsome. If a large number of the left vote for Dan Kapelovitz (Green Party), we can get a real governor for a change. Share the article with your friends and neighbors.

      Even if some idiot right-winger wins, every one of his actions will be challenged or overturned by the Assembly/Senate.

  12. Carolinian

    WSWS–here’s their formula for eradicating Covid

    The key elements of containing and ultimately eradicating the pandemic are universal testing, contact tracing, the safe isolation of infected patients, the imposition of strict travel restrictions, and the shutdown of all schools and nonessential workplaces. Vaccine production and distribution must be rapidly expanded to quickly inoculate the roughly 5.8 billion people who remain unvaccinated worldwide.

    Sounds easy, eh? Of course this may not take in the whole picture including the apparent fact that Covid can exist in animals even if, unlike the plague (which is still with us), a route back into humans isn’t entirely clear. Guess we’ll have to dart all those deer with vaccine.

    The real question is why a site supposedly devoted to socialism and labor disputes is posing as an authority on disease. They also have some interesting opinions about the harmlessness of sexual harassment.

    1. Lee

      I would say they have expertise regarding the social factors affecting disease control. A degree of expertise that transcends and is superior to the neoliberal framework in which we currently operate wherein the concern for profits generated from non-essential labor trumps public health. Or, rendered graphically:

      1. Ian Perkins

        Their vision probably is superior to the neoliberal framework, but putting it into practice would first require the global overthrow and replacement of neoliberalism – which should therefore be the first of their “key elements of containing and ultimately eradicating the pandemic.”

  13. JEHR

    What if the United States turned over a new leaf and decided to use all its intelligence, armed strength, ingenuity, leadership, and courage to support all the conditions and actions that would prevent Climate Change. It would be such a worthwhile endeavour. So many countries of the world have cooperated with the US in helping to fight so many wars that were eventually lost, think about how grateful and cooperative everyone would be with something so positive and life-promoting.

    1. Dftbs

      I fear the concept of the “United States of America” is categorically limiting to such action. For the USA to do such a thing it couldn’t be the USA anymore, and if the USA did such a thing it wouldn’t be the USA anymore.

      We see these limits in the myriad of ways our system, our “democracy”, delivers the opposite of what we want. Everyday our society becomes more physically degraded, politically disenfranchised and materially dispossessed. But our only conceivable solution remains reformation through the existing institutions. Give your $27; vote for the senile rapist and not the orange rapist. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

      If we want to actually move forward we may need to leave the notion of America behind. Unfortunately I think we are going to suffer more before we arrive at this conclusion.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>I fear the concept of the “United States of America” is categorically limiting to such action. For the USA to do such a thing it couldn’t be the USA anymore, and if the USA did such a thing it wouldn’t be the USA anymore.

        >>>If we want to actually move forward we may need to leave the notion of America behind. Unfortunately I think we are going to suffer more before we arrive at this conclusion.

        Oh, no. My response might become… hyperbolic or at least overwrought, but I am pushing back here.

        What part of the Republic of the United States of America our we talking about here?

        First, there is the nation or people called America.

        Second there is the metaphysical country called the United States of America, the system of ideas, beliefs, even customs embodied in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights that helped create the nation or people called America.

        Third, there is the Republic itself, and the various parts of the political and legal framework under the control of the various governments, institutions, and organizations at federal, state, and municipal levels that supposedly govern it.

        Fourth, perhaps, there is the physical country called the United States and the separate, semi independent states (not provinces) with their own people, institutions, governments, and militaries that comprise this country. In the past, people were often more loyal to their state, then they were to the country, which could happen again.

        Unless I completely misunderstand this, which is certainly possible, I must say dissolving the whole that is the Republic of the United States of American is crazy talk; the United States of America used to be know for doing things, many things. The very creation of the country. Actions like the Moon Landings for instance. Or the Progressive Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, or the creation of the civil service in the late 19th century. How about the creation of the country’s industrial capacity as well as its educational system over two centuries of effort? The railroads or the Golden Gate Bridge? Heck, the Civil War itself. Any of the various reforms, movements, and efforts that made the country.

        It is that the corruption, the incompetence it created, the hollowing out of society as well as the institutional capture for the welfare of the relative few over the many has gone on for so long that people have forgotten this.

        We are so use to the diseased and dying version of our country, the nation-state itself, that having it be a functioning, healthy one has become frightening. Abandoning the idea of America, of being American is committing national suicide for the benefit of the corrupt, the greedy, and the psychopathic. In a way, that is just what those in power want as it is furthers the disintegration of our national society and the disempowerment of regular Americans, making them even easier to control and exploit.

        Now, if you were to say abandoning the Democratic and Republican Parties and creating new ones, or focus our efforts on collective efforts on dissolving the power of the elites and their servants, that I could get behind.

        Yes, we do need new ways of thinking, of acting, of solutions, and this I truly believe. This does not mean dissolving our nation although dissolving our current government is probably necessary.

        1. Dftbs

          Take the example of the “Russian nation”, the present Russian federation is a different political entity than the Soviet Union and the Empire and principalities than came before it. But there is a historical (not immortal) consistency to the Russian nation and its peoples. The same can be said of many European and Asian nations, where the state is the present avatar of the people, but the people would exist without the state.

          Can the same be said of the North American people living in the polity known as the United States of America? I’m not saying that it can’t, it is an honest question. My inclination is to agree with your sentiment, that underneath the corrupt and decaying institutions there are a “United Stater” people and nation. And these people, this nation, exist beyond the perpetuation of the “republic” (although we may have crossed the rubicon to our imperial moment long ago)

          But there is also a train on thought that there is no United Stater people, but a United States as a ideological state. I think this view is held in practice by many US citizens. In this view the dissolution of the idea state would mean the dissolution of the People and nation. There is no Soviet man, there are Russians, Ukrainians, Tajiks and so on.

          IMO, for those who believe that dissolving the government means dissolving the “nation”, change becomes impossible. Since the two are categorically synonymous, then reform becomes an existential threat. I believe we’ve already crossed into this stage, hence my characterization of electoralism as insanity. You can vote for whom ever you want, it’s not going to change anything, because if it would, then it would already have.

          So in order for “United Stater” society to become one like JEHR described, we need to get out of the ideological box that is the United States of America. Whether the “republic” is dissolved, or the empire comes crashing back on us, that’s up to the Zoomers or whatever generation is the chaperone of history at that time. After all, the present generation of young US citizens is the first that will be materially worse off than it’s predecessors. What then for loyalty to a system?

          That’s not to say I think they or any of us should be a bunch of Guy Fawkes. But perhaps we should all be mindful of our Krondstadt moment when it arrives.

        2. Amfortas the hippie

          “We are so use to the diseased and dying version of our country, the nation-state itself, that having it be a functioning, healthy one has become frightening. Abandoning the idea of America, of being American is committing national suicide for the benefit of the corrupt, the greedy, and the psychopathic. In a way, that is just what those in power want as it is furthers the disintegration of our national society and the disempowerment of regular Americans, making them even easier to control and exploit.
          Now, if you were to say abandoning the Democratic and Republican Parties and creating new ones, or focus our efforts on collective efforts on dissolving the power of the elites and their servants, that I could get behind.”

          words i can get behind, even if i hold little hope of anything like that, going forward.
          legitimacy requires not only that you talk about a thing, but that you actually do it.
          The “Shining City on a Hill” of Reaganism, now hopefully dying, MEANS something to the people i am surrounded by and embedded in.
          Hence their hostility to any talk of Us being the actual Evil Empire…Objectivity be damned.
          But the rot…not only at the top, and top-middle, but in the minds of ordinary people…is too deep…to divergent from what they see right in front of them.
          and maintaining that dissonance for all these years has driven them mad.
          a better argument can’t compete with righty radio and gateway pundit(nor Msnbc/Kos, it tuns out).
          combined with the fact that the folks possessing something like a steering wheel for this moving edifice of amurkin civulusayshun are all pretty much on the same page as far as what really matters: power and wealth, as currently distributed….and that they also possess the most noisome megaphone in history….and i still(as i pretty much always have) think we must likely descend into fiery chaos before we’re able/allowed to do things differently.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      The pro-Green zones will have to figure out how to co-ordinate their own de-warming actitities with eachother to pool these activities into an impact the size of a “middle power”.

      The pro-Fossil zones excercise a rigid veto against any America-wide de-warming policy. Such policy will never happen until the Merchants of Fossil have been exterminated first. Who foresees that happening soon enough to make a difference?

      So the wannebe-Green zones will have to figure out how to function together as a sort of “distributed United States of Renewistan”, creating their own renewable economy and cutting involvement with the Fossil Economy Zones to zero.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “United Airlines tells employees not to duct tape unruly passengers”

    If they are not allowed to tape down passengers who go berserk inside an aluminium tube at 20,000 feet, then perhaps they could do a DBC on them as in D. B. Cooper. Take them down the back of the plane, strap a parachute on them and then boot them out the door. There – problem solved!

    1. Synoia

      I believe it is Difficult to open the Aircraft doors, because of pressure differentials.

      However, I have no desire to test this.

        1. Carolinian

          I don’t think there are too many passenger services still using the venerable 727.

          Maybe airlines can install a brig in the luggage compartment. That’s usually accessible in flight according to the thriller movies I watch.

          1. RMO

            Sadly there are almost no aircraft in passenger service in the US which are equipped with an airstair door these days and that is the only setup that would allow that tactic.

            727s and DC-9s with ventral airstairs are used for mass formation parachute jumps. I know a guy who only recently quit skydiving due to advancing age and he has done quite a few of these. You can find videos of the jumps online and it’s quite something to see.

            1. rowlf

              The 727s have a beefy tail airstair that also serves as a tailstand when the aircraft is empty or being loaded. Lowering it in flight is possible due to the size of the hydraulic actuators but puts a huge drag factor on the aircraft.

              The Skydive Perris DC-9 solves this by removing the airstair, so no drag. Or you can go Hollywood and pop off the tail-cone after disabling the escape slide.

              Flight test airliners have escape chutes installed for test crew egress.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        There could be a “pressure-lock” chamber. Keep it at aircraft cabin pressure. Put parachutee into it. Seal it off from aircraft cabin. Open “parachutee-bay” door and “drop parachutee”. Pressure-differential problem solved.

        Or maybe a Marlin Perkins-style Wild Kingdom wildlife tranquilizer gun. Tranquilize the unruly passenger with a tranquilizer dart.

        1. Late Introvert

          Come one now, you people are triggering my fear of heights big time. That is the first time I’ve used that word as a verb, and I think it’s pretty legit usage.

    2. Ian Perkins

      Presumably the ruly passengers are duct taped to their seats first, so they’re not sucked out when the door is opened and the plane depressurises.

    3. Milton

      How about doing a Jetsons deploy? Push a button and watch them descend somplace inside an acrylic pod.

  15. bassmule

    Krugman pretty good this morning:

    To say what should be obvious, getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public spaces aren’t “personal choices.” When you reject your shots or refuse to mask up, you’re increasing my risk of catching a potentially deadly or disabling disease, and also helping to perpetuate the social and economic costs of the pandemic. In a very real sense, the irresponsible minority is depriving the rest of us of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Furthermore, to say something that should also be obvious, those claiming that their opposition to public health measures is about protecting “freedom” aren’t being honest.

    Most notably, ever since masks became a front in the culture war it has been clear that many opponents of mask mandates aren’t merely demanding the right to go unmasked themselves — they want to stop others from acting responsibly. Tucker Carlson has called on his viewers to confront people they encounter who are wearing masks, and there have been scattered reports of violent attacks on mask-wearers.

    Also, it’s striking how quickly supposed conservative principles have been abandoned wherever honoring those principles would help rather than hurt attempts to contain the pandemic.

    For decades, conservatives have insisted that business owners should have the right to do as they please — to hire and fire at will, to deny service to whomever they choose. Yet here we have Abbott threatening to pull the liquor licenses of restaurants that ask for proof of vaccination, even as Texas runs out of I.C.U. beds.

    Conservatives have also championed local control of education — except, it turns out, when school districts want to protect children with mask rules, in which case MAGA governors want to seize control and cut off their funding.

    So the friends of Covid-19 aren’t motivated by love of freedom. I could offer some hypotheses about their real motives, but understanding what’s driving these people is less important than understanding how much harm they’re doing. That goes double for politicians who are cynically playing to the anti-vax, anti-mask crowd.

    The Quiet Rage of the Responsible

    1. Fiery Hunt

      Just a quick question…

      Did you know vaccinated people might be a huge part of the reservoir of potential future infections?

    2. salty dawg

      >To say what should be obvious, getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public spaces aren’t “personal choices.” When you reject your shots or refuse to mask up, you’re increasing my risk of catching a potentially deadly or disabling disease

      To say what should be obvious, what is it about the covid vaccines not preventing transmission that seems so hard to understand? It’s not rocket science, and even a Nobel-prize winner like Krugman ought to be able to figure that out :).

      I don’t really understand organized/political opposition to wearing masks.
      But conflating opposition to wearing masks with resistance to taking experimental vaccines that don’t prevent transmission doesn’t help anyone.

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        Outside his narrow field of expertise, Krugman is way out of his depth.

        As for Covid, TBTB are still reluctant to admit that it’s spread by aerosols. And that fomites are seldom a factor. It will take them even longer to admit that the “vaccines” are not sterilizing. Testing, tracing, and treatment are the way out of this pandemic. But that takes hard work and good honest government.

        1. salty dawg

          That’s a good point, the reluctance to admit aerosol spread indicates how much reluctance there will be to admit the vaccines are not sterilizing.

      2. Milton

        He’s not a Nobel prize winner and being an economist (orthodox, bleach) he has as much expertise in this area as you or I. He is misinformed and needs to be called out at on it.

        When I had my shots in April/May, I assumed I was taking one for the team, so to speak. I had no idea the vaccines were totally useless in the prevention of spread (sort of its main purpose) and its only benefit was a reduction in severity of illness (good enough for me I guess). But now that I know the nature of the vaccines, I will not begrudge anyone for not taking them and instead will respect their choice.

        1. salty dawg

          In April/May, there wasn’t nearly as much evidence of spread by the vaccinated. The CDC had just defined away the possibility of vaccinated spread by not tracking “rare” breakthrough cases unless they resulted in hospitalization or death, so there wasn’t much evidence of vaccinated spreading then.

      3. FluffytheObeseCat

        “ I don’t really understand organized/political opposition to wearing masks

        I’m not sure how you can slide out of understanding this. It’s political tribal posturing so extreme and vile it makes the coastal elites’ disdain for ivermectin – sans dispositive data – look reasonable.

        Despite Krugman’s unsuitability on this topic, he’s pretty much on the money about anti-mask zealots. And he’s on the money about the fact that they are most often “vaccine hesitant” in tandem with anti-mask. His other, prior failings and overly high regard for his own class do not magically make his current arguments wrong.

        “… Testing, tracing, and treatment are the way out of this pandemic. But that takes hard work and good honest government.”

        And when half of our political elite are climbing their party ladder by banning local mask mandates, banning social distancing regulations, and working even more careful than money-grubbing Democrats to keep ventilation and air cleaning mandates from ever surfacing even as a talking point… how exactly are these policies to be implemented?

        While the little Lords of the Right are issuing press releases proclaiming they defend freedom by forcing legions of underpaid women to babysit your kids in schools with no masks allowed, how do demands for adequate testing or tracing even get an audience? They don’t. Public discussion of such communitarian ideas begins and ends with furious declamations about how they would infringe on “freedom” and be unacceptable to all real Americans*.

        *(No one in our media uses that term; they only allude to it by defining the opponents as ‘rural’ or ‘Christian’.)

        1. salty dawg

          >>“ I don’t really understand organized/political opposition to wearing masks ”
          >I’m not sure how you can slide out of understanding this. It’s political tribal posturing so extreme and vile it makes the coastal elites’ disdain for ivermectin – sans dispositive data – look reasonable.

          Nothing makes the disdain for ivermectin look reasonable. Any treatment that may work needs to be tried and tested with an open mind.
          Masking (at least with good masks) has been shown to reduce transmission, and there’s nothing reasonable about condemning their use, either.

          >And he’s on the money about the fact that they are most often “vaccine hesitant” in tandem with anti-mask

          So what if the anti-maskers are often also vaccine hesitant? Masking reduces transmission, the non-sterilizing vaccines don’t.

          >“… Testing, tracing, and treatment are the way out of this pandemic. But that takes hard work and good honest government.”

          I’m glad we’re at least in agreement about this, even though it sadly doesn’t look to be something that’s happening.

    3. Lee

      “Tucker Carlson has called on his viewers to confront people they encounter who are wearing masks, and there have been scattered reports of violent attacks on mask-wearers.”

      Have these people never heard of masked gunmen? I will if I must pry my mask from your cold, dead hand.

      1. Milton

        What a tool. Confront and do what? About 3 weeks ago, my wife had been told, by some stranger, that she’s some sort of sheep for wearing a mask. Nothing physical but an unwarranted confrontation nonetheless. Now I do all of the shopping in the household and I’m in stores mostly every day and I’ve never had so much a look of disdain from anyone. I bet what is being bantered about is nothing more than typical cyber-warrior bluster with confrontation best decided on the comment boards.

    4. Zagonostra

      Krugman and the mustaschio’d sage, there’s a pair for you. I’m sitting at a crowded bar restaurant typing this in Central PA and I can give you a first hand report. Not a single person is wearing a mask. They must of missed K’s opinion piece.

      No one is practicing social distancing, no one asked me if I was vaccinated. I’ll be back down in FL next week and I suspect it will be pretty much the same.

  16. jr

    Re: So you thought you knew feral hogs?

    Watch the embedded video, it’s pretty incredible how smart those things are. Note the older, jet black sow who never, ever enters the trap but rather patrols around outside. The narrator actually admits to screwing up; the trappers waited too long trying to get the whole “sounder” or herd inside and for some reason they just stopped showing up:

    Assault rifles are not the answer because the survivors just move on and make more babies. It takes very carefully and patiently monitored pen traps to catch the whole sounder. Escapees will never return to that trap. Dispersing different kinds of traps and baits etc. only provides the hogs with a “PhD” in avoiding danger. The narrator specifically warns against “educating” them.

    1. Milton

      That seems to be an apt metaphor for our attempts at wrangling in Covid with vaccines. Vaccine use only seems to result in a stronger more learned virus. Eradication is a fool’s errand.

    2. Ian Perkins

      how smart those things are

      I’ve watched domestic pigs trying to take down a post and rail fence. Four or five worked on adjacent posts, excavating the soil around them, then, on some porcine equivalent of “Now, One, Two, Three, Go,” they all stopped digging and heaved against their respective posts. Each time they repeated this the middle post leaned out and down another 10 degrees or so, and I’m pretty sure they’d have succeeded if we hadn’t intervened. I’ve never witnessed such teamwork among any other farm animals.

      1. Raymond Sim

        I had a dog who spent months going to school on the gray squirrels who moved into our neighborhood. Perfectly still, perfectly silent, just watching. Finally one day he made his move, and got one.

        From then on the squirrels always double-teamed him. His two brothers they were sometimes more lax with, but they never gave the killer another chance.

      2. witters

        A friend had a pig. Looking out the window, he saw it run – and start sqealing as if in pain – right through the electiric fence and away. It knew what was coming, and where it wanted to go, and it went for it.

  17. Stillfeelinthebern

    Thought this was a good article with stats and info on pregnant women and COVID. Clips below.

    “The virulent Delta variant which is spreading quickly throughout the globe is putting increasing numbers of pregnant women in the ICU. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of Friday August 20, a total of 18,262 pregnant women have been hospitalized from a known 107,532 total cases. More than 14,500 have been placed in intensive care and 10,003 of those have been ventilated. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths among pregnant women stands at 128.

    Vaccination rates among pregnant women are alarmingly low with the CDC reporting on August 11 that only 23 percent have received at least one dose and some 77 percent of expecting women remain un-vaccinated.

    Only as of last Wednesday, August 11 did the CDC update its guidelines to strongly recommend all pregnant women get vaccinated in light of rising numbers of unvaccinated pregnant women becoming seriously ill. The agency now warns that pregnant women who contract COVID-19 are more likely to have a severe infection, be hospitalized, and require a ventilator. The updated CDC guidance follows a recent analysis of data on 2,500 pregnant women who received at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine prior to 20 weeks of pregnancy. It found no effect on miscarriages which remained within the normal range of 13 percent.

    A week prior to the CDC announcement the two leading organizations representing physicians and scientists who specialize in obstetric care—ACOG and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine recommended that all who are pregnant get vaccinated.”

  18. Bazarov

    “The eradication of COVID-19 is the only way to stop the pandemic” WSWS

    Given that the virus has a holdout in wild animals (deer, mink, rats, raccoons, etc.), can eradication succeed even if we assume a program with all the resources, worldwide coordination, and expertise necessary? It’s unlikely that we can eradicate the virus in its natural fortress, from which it can bide its time and sally once the eradication effort’s more draconian measures are lifted. Is there a case of eradication that has succeeded for a virus with promiscuous animal affinity and in the absence of a sterilizing vaccine?

    I’m of the opinion that humanity’s efforts should turn rapidly toward the discovery of effective covid treatments, if indeed the virus’ animal reservoir precludes eradication (and even if this is the case, treatments should still be vigorously explored).

    1. Raymond Sim

      The fact that you will likely never absolutely completely wipe out the organism doesn’t mean a program structured to attempt eradication isn’t the best option.

      This is true for a lot organisms – cockroaches and nazis for instance. And nazis provide a good example of what half-assed dicking around will buy you.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      If you can eradicate it from people, then you can at least control peoples’ contact with other animals.
      And if a cluster of people get it from other animals, eradicate it from that cluster of people so it doesn’t spread to more people.

      That’s what we do with ebola. We don’t presume to try to eradicate ebola from its animal reservoir. But we try to eradicate every outbreak in people.

      1. Bazarov

        Ebola is way less contagious than covid in that you must come into contact with contaminated bodily fluids to catch the disease–it’s not airborne.

        I also believe it’s the case that an infected person spreads ebola once they become symptomatic. You can shed covid well before it’s symptomatic.

        Apples and oranges, I’m afraid.

        1. Ian Perkins

          And ebola doesn’t already have multiple footholds in most countries around the world, many of them as yet undetected.

        2. Raymond Sim

          Ebola outbreaks have featured a lot of mass spreading events, that were typically characterized as being due to Africans being all touchy-feely with their dead. Having seen the greatest minds in Infectious Disease expounding on transmission of Covid, I now regard those explanations as extremely suspect.

  19. Jason Boxman

    But Israel paid a price for the early rollout. Health officials, and then Pfizer, said their data showed a dip in the vaccine’s protection around six months after receiving the second shot.

    lol whut?

    No, Israel paid a price for buying into the vaccine magic pony and discontinuing all other mitigation measures when it was surely known a priori that immunity to corona viruses wanes over time from natural infection.

    “We have a very large fraction of our population who are paying the price for a small fraction of the population who did not go to get the vaccine,” said Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science, who advises the Israeli government on COVID-19.

    Unvaccinated people helped fuel the rapid spread of the virus while the country remained open for business in recent months with few serious restrictions.


    “The most influential event was so many people who went abroad in the summer — vacations — and brought the delta variant very, very quickly to Israel,” said Siegal Sadetzki, a former public health director in Israel’s Health Ministry.

    So, surprise, Delta came from travel abroad, but those that haven’t gotten vaccinated are at fault?


    1. Raymond Sim

      It hasn’t been emphasized anywhere that I’ve noticed that the incentives the Israeli government offered to encourage vaccination were irresponsible in the extreme, given that there was no real-world evidence that the vaccine would prevent transmission. Add in the significant chunk of the Israeli population going unvaccinated, and the Israeli approach was pretty clearly doomed to fail.

    2. Fiery Hunt

      Ah, but the Righteous Vaxxed are not to be judged for They are the Judges! Even if they’re the most likely to vacation and travel and amuse themselves with Glorious (birthday) Parties and Destination Weddings….

      Here’s hoping South Hampton and Martha’s Vineyard are wiped off the map…
      I’m definitely Team Hurricane Henri.

    3. The Rev Kev

      The situation in Israel is a bit of a worry for us in Oz. The Israelis are about 80% vaccinated and yet things are blowing up in their faces. And newer variants are making the situation worse. But here in Oz our politicians are buying into the magical vaccines theory and their plan is that when we reach 80% vaccination, that we will throw our borders open to the world and let ‘er rip. But what is infuriating is that none of the media are asking any questions of the PM or others about this parallel as a) they have bought into the magical vaccines theory and b) they don’t seem to read the news.

  20. Jason Boxman

    As summer neared, the White House signaled it was time for the vaccinated to celebrate and resume their pre-pandemic lives.

    Trouble, though, was looming. Outbreaks of a new, highly contagious variant swept India in the spring and soon began to appear in other nations. It was only a matter of time before it struck here, too.

    “The world changed,” said Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, “when delta invaded.”


    It invaded? How, exactly? I guess writing “international travel” is banned in the press?

    Only a matter of time before it struck! I guess introspection burns.

    1. Ian Perkins

      Whether you write ‘invaded’ or ‘international travel’, keeping this virus out of a country is proving rather difficult. New Zealand was doing fairly well until recently, but their latest outbreak is currently at 72 confirmed infections. Even North Korea seems to have succumbed. ‘Anti-globalisation’ is one thing, but zero international travel seems a little impractical.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Here is a question. This virus is still evolving and each variation is worse than the one before it. So suppose that next year a new strain develops but has, say, a 20% death rate. So what happens then? Do our leaders still say learn to live with the virus? Will we still pretend that the present generation of vaccines will save us all? Will people still gather to protest about restrictions? Will severe restrictions on international travel still seem unreasonable? Now at what death rate would a severe elimination strategy become the only viable option? I would say that it would be the one that actually threatens those in power bu that is just me being cynical – or realistic.

        And New Zealand’s 72 confirmed infections is not bad out of a population of 5 million people. They still have the will to eliminate this infection. And may I remind you that the reason that they are dealing with an outbreak is the same exact reason that Aussie States like NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Canberra, etc are dealing with one. Because the leader of one State decided to switch from an elimination strategy to a suppression strategy (aka learn to live with the virus). And just yesterday this leader was telling the States that we may as well live with it and open up to her State again. Neoliberals will kill us all.

        1. Ian Perkins

          I guess if a new strain develops with a 20% death rate, many will refuse to believe it.
          And while New Zealand’s outbreak (small so far) may have been due to an Australian change of strategy, I think New Zealand’s has remained the same. NZ still has a good chance of eliminating it (until next time), but do countries like the USA, India or Brazil, where infections are lurking and spreading, often undetected, in almost every city, town and village – even assuming the competence and will to do so?

          1. The Rev Kev

            If a new strain spreads to countries like the USA, India or Brazil, i am going to bet that it will do so via private jets rather than mass transit.But by the time it is obvious what a new strain is capable of, it would already be spreading fast.

      2. Raymond Sim

        “‘Anti-globalisation’ is one thing, but zero international travel seems a little impractical.”

        Oh horseshit. In the first place what’s ‘zero’ travel, and who’s advocating any such thing?

        And in any case it all depends on what alternatives are doesn’t it? Is the alternative a thousand dead children? Then fuck yeah, shut it all down for six months.

      3. Jason Boxman

        But we keep seeing this movie and how it ends. How much international travel is truly essential? And quarantining and testing is a tried and true approach, even if it isn’t 100% effective, given the stakes, it seems essential to at least try.

  21. ptb

    re: “Maker of Rapid Covid Tests Told Factory to Destroy Inventory”

    The other ill-fated rapid test from Abbott, also via their Allere acquisition, was the “ID Now”. For that one, I’m told they not only stopped making it, but removed all the equipment from the factory and permanently transferred or laid off everyone working there after just a couple months’ operation. The facility was refurb’ed almost from scratch, starting with a huge abandoned industrial building, all cleanrooms, brand new everything, one-of-a-kind tooling, all built in unprecedented record time, gold plated to the max). Ran for maybe 2 quarters. Probably still made money.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      if it was me doing it, this type of behavior would be almost enough to run me out of town on a rail, at best.(looks like destroying evidence, from the headline(too much to burn to care,lol–way behind on yardwork)
      Our Betters want us to look up to and idolise them…
      Aspire is the motto we’re effectively indoctrinated with.
      are there not laws?
      are those laws not supposed to be equally enforced?
      we’ve been in carl schmidt’s state of exception for quite a long while, now…although few could see it(“They Live!”).
      “the rich are ….different ,from you and me…”

      1. ptb

        My guess (don’t actually know) is that the extra effort to destroy product has to do with how they detailed the minimum-quantity part of the manufacturing contract. Didn’t want to leave them on the market for whatever reason.

        And yet I would have happily paid $50 for the Binax test a couple weeks ago when I had a little scare (very unusual rash and swelling), except none of the pharmacies I went to had one. Now we know why. Bleh.

      2. Ian Perkins

        Aspire is the motto we’re effectively indoctrinated with.

        Aspiration: The action or process of drawing in, out, or through by suction; esp. the drawing out (of fluids, gases, etc.) by means of an aspirator.
        In other words, sucking.

    2. ptb

      update: checked again today 8/22/2021.
      BinaxNOW test is again available locally in pharmacies, $22 retail. Mfg lots from 5/2021

  22. Hiroyuki

    Regarding abnormal menstruation article I found this striking: “Is it so wrong to talk about this?”
    How did we get to a place where discussion of side effects of an experimental drug is shameful?

  23. Maritimer

    Croatia and Austria set expiry date on holidaymakers’ vaccination status Which? (resilc)
    Any rational vaccine passport system must set an expiry date for the vaccine since it has been proven efficacy diminishes over time. It also varies according to manufacturer and variant. Then there is the thorny problem of reinfected vaccinated people. Then calculating boosters.

    Looks like a tall order—great, keeps-on-giving job for some lucky IT folks.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        We’ve recommended repeatedly against using veterinary ivermectin. Prescription ivermectin when taken in “normal” dose under MD guidance has a great safety record. Self medicating is asking for trouble.

    1. Tom Stone

      The FDA has also issued a similar statement “You are not a horse or a cow”.
      How many are they prepared to see die rather than investigate and accurately report on treatments for Covid 19?
      Perhaps these attacks will invoke the “Streisand Effect”..
      David touched on some of the political effects of losing the Mandate of Heaven/Consent of the Governed yesterday.
      So have others, including myself.
      It’s happening very quickly and it is one heck of a show.

      1. Mantid

        I saw that tweet. What BS. Who would pay attention to a supposedly reputable gvt. agency that issued such pronouncements? Seems as it was written for a grade school audience. Very professional and scientific /s

  24. Riverboat Grambler

    Purely anecdotal but I have an ex who got the Johnson vaccine and said she noticed her periods have gotten weird in the months since then. Different timing, consistency, etc. She also said she’s been shedding her hair at an unusual rate. The stuff about the vaccine messing with women’s periods is something I heard about but the hair thing? Yikes.

    Not trying to spread disinfo or anti-vaxx sentiment, I’m vaxxed myself and obviously there could be many reasons for her shedding hair not related to the vaccine but still, it’s got her (and me) kinda spooked, and it doesn’t help that talking about things that you think might be side-effects seems taboo and official sources have been less than forthcoming. We both got our shots as early as possible and don’t wanna be seen as spreading disinfo but a cursory search of official sources says nothing about hair loss or changing periods, the latter being corroborated by a fair amount of women for months now. Again, correlation is not causation,it could just be an aging thing that coincidentally started after she got the shot, but if even one vaccine starts to get associated with hair loss… Well, public trust is way too low as it is.

  25. Amfortas the hippie

    i got up at 4, as usual, and had coffee and a hogleg out here at the bar, and wrote an outline of The Vision i have for this place…because mom finally thought to ask for the rhyme and reason behind my activities.
    her newfound amenity to my opinions and thoughts is due to the financial asteroid my stepdad’s death next week represents to her(we’ve been wrong many times in the last 3 1/2 months of ICU=>Rally+Rehab=>crash=>ICU)…he’s a tough old bird)
    i’ve had the plans laid out…even written down…thoroughly researched, for decades.
    so anyhoo…I did a bunch of yardwork…this side and across road…burning a bunch of (native, all but useless)sunflowers and stickerburrs…and then turning that into an oakwood bed of coals for fajitas.
    ran the string trimmer, chased rattlesnakes with the 357 on my hip with ratshot…all practically naked…a sarong/loincloth, i am as a siddhu, but ravenous in my weed-destroying hunger(“Hey, Kalaa”,lol).
    and this sort of Sufi(the Quakers of Islam) and Baul(!!) music is what i’ve been jamming in the trees since before “Rosy Fingered Dawn”:

    1. Howard Beale IV

      The Sufis exist in all belief systems, but call Islam its home.
      Makes me wonder what Mullah Nasruddin in would think of today’s world….

      1. QuicksilverMessenger

        ‘Isn’t it all one to the poor flies how
        they are killed? By a kick of the hooves of horned devils,
        or by a stroke of the beautiful wings of divine angels?’

  26. skippy

    The Bernays knob is getting more than a bit wobbly …

    ***there’s more than one kind of immunity.***

    (1) Internal immunity protects the inside of the body, including the lungs. This occurs by release of antibodies of the Immunoglobulin G type, or IgG, into the blood and production of T-cells. Vaccines injected into our muscles are highly effective at stimulating internal immunity.

    This largely protects vaccinated people from being overwhelmed by the coronavirus, unless they have an immunodeficiency or are exposed to an unusually large amount of the virus.

    Vaccination will dramatically reduce your likelihood of serious illness or death if you’re exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

    (2) In contrast, mucosal immunity provides the first line of defense by protecting the nose and mouth, and by doing so also reduces spread to others.

    The mucous membranes secrete a particular form of antibodies of the Immunoglobulin A type, or IgA.

    But vaccines injected into our muscles—including all the approved inoculations against Covid—are largely ineffective

    at stimulating the secretion of IgA into our noses that occurs after actual infection with a virus.

    As a result, vaccinated people can contract a Covid-19 infection confined to the mucous membranes.

    They may get the sniffles but can spread the virus to others even if they are asymptomatic.

    That’s why it makes sense for them to wear a mask under some circumstances.

    (3) Better-controlled data
    from the Mayo Clinic suggests that efficacy of the vaccines against nasal infection, including asymptomatic cases, has fallen from the original level of around 90% to 76% for the Moderna vaccine and 42% for the Pfizer

    vaccine since Delta’s emergence.

    (4) Vaccines administered via nasal spray exist for other ailments, including polio. They’re under development

    for Covid-19 to supplement existing shots with mucosal immunity.

    In the meantime, herd immunity may prove difficult to achieve unless more people get infected and develop natural immunity of both types.

    Given the dangers of infection, officials are rightly reluctant to encourage actual infection, and loath to mention its benefit in conferring mucosal immunity.

  27. Pat

    For anyone paying attention and listening to lone voices in the wilderness like IM Doctor it has been clear for a very long time that the majority of the power holders in this country have determined that going about business is the most important thing, after that is that anything meant to deal with disease itself SHALL be a money maker and no one will question or provide any alternatives that are not or might challenge those profits.

    Thus we have the following:

    Vaccines are the answer!!! This despite the fact they are largely untested and it couldn’t be hidden that they are non-sterilizing. We will weaken the mechanism meant to record and alert us of side effects and will not follow up on any reports unless we need to quash fears.
    We will not record any breakthrough infections unless it cannot be avoided (hospitalization.
    We will blame any out breaks, if we have them, on the unvaccinated, regardless.
    Aerosols, it must be droplets
    The media will reject any alternative treatments, and if foreign use becomes too obviously effective we will use political carrots/sticks to get their governments to dis count them. We will also get ngo’s run by invested billionaires to fund studies where expensive limited treatments have favorable parameters which hide their weaknesses, and cheaper safer drugs have less favorable parameters.s.
    We will lie repeatedly to the public to control the story. We will only backtrack when backed into a corner. And we will double down on failed policies.
    Due to not being logical, not being consistent and lying, we will destroy faith in public health. We will divide the country further and we will make it harder for people who are trying to act sensibly in a pandemic to do so.

    All because god forbid to do otherwise is to admit that our capitalist society and corrupt government are both sociopathic and inept, and making money for the right people does little good. We cannot allow acceptance that the lives of the all people matter more than keeping them whole.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Indeed, it’s been my position since March of 2020 that they’re going to leave everyone to die. Even the farce of bending the curve to save hospitals has long since passed. An entire generation of care providers has been decimated; I hope no one needs to seek care any time in the next decade or more, particularly in an emergency.

  28. Tom Stone

    Pat, you pretty well nailed it, except that “Let ‘er rip” is going to have consequences, especially with our homeless population about to grow 4 or 5 fold.
    And a slew of dead and crippled kids.
    US Society depends on the ACTIVE cooperation of the populace to function and that cooperation is based on mutual trust.
    Destroy that trust and our Society will cease to function.
    It’s a process, “slowly and then all at once”.
    We seem to be mighty close to that “All at once”.
    It’s going to get real messy when the time comes, I’d bet on this Fall/Winter…

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Is there a way to co-operate with eachother while non-co-operating with the upper classes and the OverClass? Targeted massive-passive obstructionism? Obedience without compliance? Uncivil obedience?

      If non-cooperation means non-cooperation of everybody against everybody, then everybody dies. Can non-cooperation be controlled and targeted and directed?

      1. Mantid

        I spoke about this same concept this morning with a sibling. I proposed that in the past, one could “non-cooperate” with the larger public, perhaps starting a co-op for example. Now times are different. If one non-cooperates, a person can much easier be controlled, found by drones, tracked via your phone, forced to act (vaccinate for example), or whatever due to the prevalence and control of humans by technology. China is a good example with their social scoring. Even now in the U.S. an airline (and many other corporations) will charge you based on your zip code, i.e. income level. Uber is a great example of “flexible” pricing. Judges even sentence the convicted basing their “judgement” on IA and software. All-seeing, it’s hard to avoid being seen.

  29. Expat2uruguay

    Matt Taibbi has sent out today new email he titled “activism, uncensored: the Great American fist fight” that contains this video documenting Street violence between the left and the right at protests on the West Coast. Even though the protests have been about different issues, opposing sides are meeting up to get physical about the culture wars.

    1. Robert Gray

      Huh? What’s with this age — credit card — ID verification?!? Do people actually give this information to Google just to watch a video clip? No thanks!

      1. Mantid

        Robert, I’ve seen that too as I (seldom) use my old gmail account. Ignore it, go back one page, and then it’ll open …… at least a gmail email account. Not sure about a given article.
        The brazenness of high tech and people’s infatuation with it amazes me to no end. Kudos to you for being a refusenik (sp?).

    2. Acacia

      Once you get past the ID check BS and watch a few minutes of this liberal version of fight club, the YT comments are worth browsing too.

  30. eg

    Not sure if others have had this distasteful experience, but my browser just vomited forth a video of an interview with Larry Summers at the top of this page. Gross.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Got the same on my tablet a little while ago. Why would they interview him? He has never been right about anything.

  31. drumlin woodchuckles

    Here’s a happy uplifting story by someone who got very good appliance service through a local non-chain appliance store with a primitive little website. The moral appears to be that there are still some local thingfixers-thingsellers who do good work and helping oneself by helping them is an uplifting expression of economic combat against the megacorp sector.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      those guys are to be cherished and coddled when you come across them.
      as part of the brainstorming/noodlesonwall phase of getting the Vision for this place down on paper for mom, something along these lines keeps bubbling up:
      there is a serious lack of anyone who works on small engines in these parts.
      there’s a guy in town who does it as a hobby…never answers his phone, and can generally not be found at all, unless you have a pioneer name.
      otherwise, it’s 60 miles one way, and 100 miles the other, to find someone who can fix yer lawnmower.
      that looks suspiciously like a wide open market, to me….fueled by need, not desire.
      so under the outline heading “farm products and services” that could potentially make us enough jack to pay the property taxes, I’ve included a potential Small Bidness Incubator section, which contains a small engine shop.
      i already have all the tools, just need a rainbarn with a slab…and a small engine guy who maybe is tired of flipping burgers or working for tractor supply, and wants to make a deal….i’ll even throw in a cabin in the woods,lol.
      and free eggs and veggies.

      of course, when i ran the outline by the boys, they immediately fixated on this little part, and pooh-poohed all over it,lol…i had to reassure them that i do not intend to force them into small engine repair.
      and, as i said, i haven’t researched this, at all…i just know that small engine repair and maintenance is one of my least favorite things i am currently responsible for…and there’s nowhere to go for this service short of an expedition two counties over.
      I imagine parts would be an issue…given how long one of those far away small engine places is taking to fix my tiller(i accidentally overfilled the oil, and one of my workers ran the hell out of it and busted the head gasket(sigh))

  32. The Rev Kev

    “Top talent departs Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin as NASA lander fight escalates”

    Imagine that you are an engineer working in the space industry. You grew up reading the masters like Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, etc. and you were rapt in movies like “2001” and “Star Wars.” So you studied hard and worked hard until you had made yourself a valuable engineer in the space program. But then one day you found yourself working for Bezos or Branson or Musk and that point, you would realize that instead of working to make mankind a space faring species, that all that you were doing really was working on carnival rides for billionaires so that they could brag to their friends that they had been in “space”.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      What if you were such a brilliant engineer that you could find a way to make the billionaire vehicle fail to re-enter properly and never ever be caught?

      Moral dilemma time!

      What would you do?

  33. Terry Flynn

    I don’t feel proud when I feel schadenfreude and my whole (pro vax but most with some key comobidities) family discussed things based on NC alerts before getting AZ jab, but I reluctantly admit to schadenfreude or karma when reading this on waking :

    Meanwhile 30-something friend in Sydney finally got first dose vaccine Saturday…. Pfizer…. And he’s annoyed it was that particular vaccine.

    1. Ian Perkins

      The ‘UK risks being relegated to “the second division of global powers”.’
      Someone else in obvious cognitive decline, or did he always harbour grandiose illusions of Great Britain still being ‘up there’ with the US and China?

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I’ve noticed even the Guardian/Observer is full on with its attacks on Biden. Apparently its even stronger in the right wing press. I hope history vindicates his decision.

Comments are closed.