Links 8/23/2021

Ratty comes home: water voles thrive again on Hertfordshire riverbank Guardian

How the Cuttlefish’s Robust Memory System Defies Old Age Wired

Ten Observations on Lullabies The Honest Broker

5 Commonly Used Idioms in the Tech Industry gitconnected

Back from the wilderness Times Literary Supplement.

The Turning Point review – how Charles Dickens built Bleak House Guardian

Has an Old Soviet Mystery at Last Been Solved? New Yorker

Toddler girl, 1, survives three nights in thick forest with bears and wolves Daily Mirror

Intrepid brewer risks scalding to recreate recipe for long-lost medieval mead Ars Technica

A Famous Honesty Researcher Is Retracting A Study Over Fake Data Buzzfeed News


In Los Angeles, This Covid-19 Surge Is Different From Earlier Outbreaks WSJ

‘I believe in your freedoms, but I recommend you take the vaccines’: Donald Trump is BOOED at Alabama rally while encouraging his supporters to get COVID-19 shots Daily Mail

Mississippi COVID-19 patients who refuse to self-isolate could face fines, jail time The Hill

Mask, vaccine conflicts descend into violence and harassment AP

US sees jump in vaccinations amid devastating delta surge Ars Technica

Vaccine resistance in the military remains strong, a dilemma for Pentagon as mandate looms WaPo


As Delta Variant Surges, Faculty Urge Their Colleges to Change Course Chronicle of Higher Education

‘It’s impossible’: Lack of Covid safeguards overwhelm school nurses NBC (furzy)


FDA Issues ‘You Are Not a Cow’ Warning After Livestock Drug Use Bloomberg

The FDA Is Begging You Not to Take Horse Dewormer for Covid-19 Rolling Stone


Remote Work May Now Last for Two Years, Worrying Some Bosses WSJ


Javid unveils crackdown on private Covid-19 test providers FT

Covid: Antibody tests offered to public for first time BBC


Confusion Reigns in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam Weekly

Notice only those serving are masked:


Pentagon Orders Airlines to Help With Afghan Evacuees as U.S. Weighs New Exit Deadline WSJ

Afghanistan: Tony Blair says withdrawal was driven by imbecilic slogan BBC

Nosedive in UK-US relations is another casualty of Afghanistan’s fall Guardian

Britain to push for sanctions on Taliban at G7 meeting -sources Reuters

The US and UK got things so wrong in Afghanistan because they do not understand the Afghan way of war Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

The Taliban may pretend to show moderation – but the murderous reality is far different Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

The Taleban’s rise to power: As the US prepared for peace, the Taleban prepared for war Afghanistan Analysts Network (David). Hoisted from comments.

The Taliban plans to ban drugs in Afghanistan. That could change the world for the worse Independent

U.S. Banks and Money-Transfer Firms Tread Carefully in Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan WSJ


Taliban fighters dressed as US troops to mock America in propaganda videos NY Post (The Rev Kev). Hoisted from comments.

Taliban photo appears to mock Iwo Jima flag raising in latest propaganda push Marine Corps Times

Ear to the Ground Sarah Chayes (Stillfeelinthebern). Hoisted from comments.

How Afghanistan’s National Museum Survived the First Week of the Taliban’s Return to Kabul The Wire

Afghan takeover reminds Europe: It has no unified refugee plan Politico


The Political Fix: What the Taliban’s sudden success means for India – and Indian politics The Political Fix

When algorithms dictate your work: Life as a food delivery ‘partner’ Entrackr


Chinese astronomers want to build an observatory in the Tibetan Plateau MIT Technology Review


Meet the New Scourge of German Politicians: Plagiarism Hunters WSJ

Ukraine insists Nord Stream 2 is ‘dangerous’ despite German reassurances Politico

The Caribbean

Haiti earthquake death toll rises as gangs attack aid convoys France 24

Biden Administration

Kamala Harris to meet Singapore’s leaders on first day of Asia trip South China Morning Post

Class Warfare

Recent Unemployment Cuts Made People Poorer Without Increasing Employment Jacobin

High Crimes And Misdemeanors American Conservative. The deck: If the consequences are big enough, like an opioid crisis ravaging America, they let you do it.

Waste Watch

Dead white man’s clothes ABC (Australia) (moss)

Moving inland, storm Henri drenches Northeast US AP

Flooding in Tennessee destroys rural towns, leaving at least 21 dead, more than 20 missing Tennesseean

Greece plans to name heatwaves in the same way as storms Guardian

Landslides in Himachal Highlight Adverse Impact of Large Hydel Projects in the Himalayas The Wire

Poachers, Climate Change Are Endangering Succulents Treehugger

Health Care

Hospitals and Insurers Didn’t Want You to See These Prices. Here’s Why. NYT

The New Ozymandias: Twilight Reflections on the Obama Presidential Center Counterpunch

Antidote du Jour (Robert):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

    A welcome piece of good news that, as if I ever get to retrace my childhood steps which were accompanied by many plops followed by the sight of small heads heading for the opposite bank – as hopefully by that time they might have re-colonised the Wiltshire Avon. Old Mr. Sawyer the then river warden who patrolled the banks in search of trout poachers told me in no uncertain manner of their value & that they were in fact not rats & not to be thrown stones at.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I once saw a heron casually stab and eat a young rat that unwisely wandered along the bank of the Dodder River in Dublin. You could tell it was a rat as the tail was the last bit to get slurped in. I wonder if voles are a little better at dodging herons.

          1. anonymous

            A wonderful bird is the pelican.
            His bill can hold more than his belican.
            He can hold in his beak
            Enough food for a week,
            But I’m damned if I see how the helican.

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        I don’t know as I can’t recall seeing any herons in Wiltshire, but I have to admit to knowing that the voles dive when under attack but I’m sure that if the trout were under threat from just about anything, Sawyer would have mobilised the officer’s mess which overlooked the river to shoot it – something which they would have gladly done as they were the fly fishers & just generally like any excuse to shoot something.

        I got away with a bang on the ear.

  2. Toshiro_Mifune

    Nosedive in UK-US relations is another casualty of Afghanistan’s fall

    So there’s no excuse not file charges against Prince Andrew now?

    1. Ian Perkins

      I heard there’s a group of UK Paras at Kabul airport charged with watching the US troops for signs of their suddenly scarpering without telling anyone.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Those many French who remember what happened at Dunkirk must be quietly smirking at this.

        1. ambrit

          A third of the troops evacuated at Dunkirk, 123,000, were French.
          If Hitler hadn’t stopped the Wehrmacht from finishing the BEF off quickly on May 25, 1940, the war would have been quite different. At least, the evacuated British troops became the core of an “Army in Being.” Operation Seelowe would not be a walkover if attempted.
          The great majority of the French troops evacuated from Dunkirk were sent back to France, roughly a week later, this being before the capitulation, to continue fighting. Only about 3000 later joined the Free French army, under de Gaulle.
          However, I cannot wax triumphant. There is plenty of blame to be spread around. No one is innocent in war, which was codified by the introduction of aerial saturation bombing of civilian areas.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I’ve found it interesting just how strong the UK response has been to the withdrawal – even the supposedly anti-Tory newspapers have been very critical of Biden. What seems often to have been forgotten in the UK is the general disgust among certain circles in the US at the very poor performance of the British army in Basra and Helmand. The days when Washington even bothered to pretend that they believed Britain to be an important ally seem to have gone. Or perhaps they know Johnson is on the way out so like most in the Tory party, they are waiting to see who the new face in charge will be.

      I did assume that Brexit/the Irish border would be the issue where Biden would prove very unpopular with London – this may perhaps be a sign of the UK getting its retaliation in first in the event (as seems likely) that Washington moves its focus from the UK to the EU.

      I may be wrong in this, but I’m not sure anyone, including members of the Royal Family, care about what happens to Prince Andrew. He seems to be almost universally considered an embarrassment. Charles must be happy as he is looking better and better by the day in comparison to his siblings.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Re Charles and his image. Agreed. Though those many million who watch “The Crown” and/or are aware of what Princess Anne did when some nincompoops tried to kidnap her must be thinking “the House of Windsor seems to produce much better women than men”

      2. Pate

        “I did assume that Brexit/the Irish border would be the issue where Biden would prove very unpopular with London”

        I have interpreted (disguised as populism) Brexit to really be the corporate/neoliberal capture of Britain – eg privatization of NHS – and a distancing from the EU because it does a relatively better job of regulating and reining in big business, protecting workers, data privacy etc. In other words, too much “social democracy”. Am I misguided?

        1. PlutoniumKun

          There is no doubt that the most extreme Liberal (i.e. before neoliberal) and libertarian wing of the right is most in favour of Brexit. Many just thought it was a good idea to junk all sorts of institutions to see what sort of profit could be made. A lot was simple nostalgia. But there is also a small left wing pro-Brexit movement (generally known as the ‘useful idiots’).

          I think its true to say that what we think of neoliberals were actually against Brexit, as they saw UK membership of the EU as a means of spreading the neoliberal infection around Europe – its was actually quite successful at this. Much of corporate UK was anti-Brexit, or at least ambiguous.

          But yes, the EU was a major impediment to carving up much of the State for profit, so that was undoubtedly an incentive.

          1. Pate

            Thank you.
            I have also thought of Brexit as a tightening of McKinder’s “Island Empire” as the “American Century” comes to a close – a sort of circling the inner wagons of anglo capital (and language/culture). Any thoughts?

            1. PlutoniumKun

              I think that the origins of Brexit are so complicated that you can pretty much back up any theory you want as to its origins. Probably the best analysis of it that I’ve read is by Fintan O’Toole. He goes right back to the 18th Century and the Act of Union. He sees it as essentially an English nationalist rebellion against what is seen as centuries of compromises with Celts and various Europeans (I simplify of course, but I think he has identified at least one truth).

              I also think that there is a myth among many English right wingers about a golden age of jolly public school educated entrepreneurs sailing around the world making deals and building huge amounts of wealth for everyone and building up a beautiful empire full of grateful natives – a vision brought to its knees by half a century or more of social workers, welfare grubbers, parking wardens and people who cycle while wearing woolly socks.

              Add to this a genuine belief that anglocentric capitalism is inherently more virtuous and efficient, and should be let loose upon the world without those French shackles and…. well, you end up with Brexit.

              1. Pate

                “people who cycle while wearing woolly socks” lol
                I will hang my hat on “anglocentric capitalism”

                1. Pate

                  Adding: Spent the ‘75-76 school year in London. First reaction: where are the British? Seemed like a city of immigrants then. Can only imagine now. Immigrants were rare in the American heartland then; not so now.

              2. David

                I’d put the ultimate historical origins of Brexit back at the Reformation. From then onwards, the English were scared stiff of being opposed by a united, Catholic, central Europe, initially through a rapprochement between the Emperor and the French King. Later, it became a process of trying to prevent one nation militarily dominating the Continent, first France, then Germany, then perhaps even the Soviet Union. This was also why Ireland and Scotland were so important to the English, since they could be used as bases for invasions.

                So the British always tried to frustrate a united Europe, right from the first proposals, in the 1930s. They snubbed the Treaty of Rome, created EFTA instead, and only joined the EEC when the balance of power in the Tory Party eventually changed to favour the City and Industry. Even then, they were always trying to divide Europeans among themselves, and use the US link to balance the Europeans (they weren’t alone in this but they were the main practitioners). But in the end it didn’t work, and as Europe expanded and deepened the British felt that their worst nightmares had been realised, and that they had to leave. But this meant confronting a united Europe, and to do that you need to form alliances with anyone you can. It won’t work, but it’s pretty much what the British are reduced to now.

                1. Pate

                  I think mackinder would agree. A school of history explains both world wars as the island empire preventing Germany from consolidating the continent (eg Preparata’s “Conjuring Hitler”). Ah Germany- too big yet too small.

      3. Harry

        I just assumed there were plenty of British noses in the Afghan trough. I was also stuck by the UKs call for sanctions. Remind me of the other non-mother in the Solomon judgement about the baby. Afghanistan’s welfare may not be uppermost in UK officials minds.

  3. Samuel Conner

    It’s nice to see that the FDA is advising people against anti-COVID interventions that have not been exhaustively tested for safety in humans.

    Oh, … wait

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I heard about two people who sound like they have symptoms. They tested negative, but the one I spoke too tested too early. Both had their shots, but the case I didn’t speak to had her shots in the first group. She’s past the six month mark.

      2. Lee

        A Moderna vaccinated friend of ours, in his mid-thirties, is in his sixth day of a breakthrough case. He’s weathering it at home with body aches, mild fever, fatigue, but without respiratory distress so far.

    1. Pat

      And just hours before it anoints the Pfizer vaccine after the extensive testing and exhaustive examination of the carefully collected data of side effects and hours of public comment.

      Oh, …wait

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        About that “exhaustive” study thing:

        Mott was one of about 650 volunteers who took the experimental Moderna vaccine at a company called Johnson County Clinical Trials in Lenexa, Kan. Dr. Carlos Fierro, who runs the study there, says every participant was called back after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the vaccine.

        “During that visit we discussed the options, which included staying in the study without the vaccine,” he says, “and amazingly there were people — a couple of people — who chose that.”

        He suspects those individuals got spooked by rumors about the vaccine. But everybody else who had the placebo shot went ahead and got the actual vaccine. So now Fierro has essentially no comparison group left for the ongoing study.

        “It’s a loss from a scientific standpoint, but given the circumstances I think it’s the right thing to do,” he says.

        Not to mention, from last June:

        First off, the agency indicated that it will require the vaccine be at least 50% more effective than a placebo in preventing COVID-19.

        Oh well, no placebo control group saves time.

        And with regard to the forthcoming “approval” of the pfizer vax, shouldn’t that render all other vax EUAs null and void since EUAs only apply if there is no officially “approved” treatment?

        The fda is breaking all of its own rules. Swim at your own risk.

      2. Shonde

        Pat, it has now been “anointed” and renamed Comirnaty.

        The FDA website press release states, “The vaccine is effective in preventing COVID-19 and potentially serious outcomes including hospitalization.” If anything, that sentence made me less likely to believe anything the FDA now says about the Pfizer vaccine.

        1. Lee

          What in their world does “preventing COVID-19” mean? Clearly not what just about anyone else in the world would reasonable take it to mean. They should just stick with reducing the probability of serious outcomes for some as yet to be determined number of months.

    2. Sawdust

      Meanwhile, I just got disinvited to a party for choosing to remain in the control group of the big experiment. It’s like a rerun of TDS.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Had to git ‘er done post haste. In another month it won’t be effective at all. That would’ve been a tough sell.

        1. cocomaan

          What’s funny is that I said, back in July, “In a year’s time the vaccine won’t be effective at all.” And now I’m thinking your timeline is way more accurate.

          Also, good find above about placebo group. What a mess.

  4. Ian Perkins

    The Taliban plans to ban drugs in Afghanistan. That could change the world for the worse

    I think The Independent is somewhat misleading when it says, “Afghanistan’s been a heroin hotspot since the Soviet invasion of 1979.” So far as I can make out, Afghanistan mainly exported raw or semi-refined opium until the US-led invasion.

    1. .human

      The Taliban had nearly eradicated opium production pre US invasion with the use of alternate crop incentives and education.

      Opium production post-invasion returned and surpassed pre-invasion exports due to the loss of these incentives.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        If a major producer of illegal drugs goes offline, what happens to prices across the board?

        1. Ian Perkins

          I don’t think Afghan cannabis or methamphetamine are a major part of global supply, and fentanyl’s already displacing heroin in the US market, so I guess Europe’s likely to follow suit if the Taliban do stop or severely curtail opium production again.

          1. jefemt

            I all seriousness, who supplied the Sacklers and their peers? Is oxycontin a synthetic?

            The cynic in me says the planes did not come back empty.

            1. Ian Perkins

              I think oxycodone is made from thebaine, from the opium poppy.

              21 countries currently grow opium poppies legally for processing into medicines for the domestic and international medical pharmaceutical markets.1 Most legal production harvests the poppies whole, using combine harvesters, and then uses an industrial extraction method known as the ‘Gregory process’ in which the whole plant (pods and stalks) or ‘poppy straw‘, is harvested, processed into Concentrated Poppy Straw (CPS) before the alkaloids are recovered via acid-base extraction, and purified.
              The Sacklers may have imported from Afghanistan, but they had plenty of legal sources available.

        2. TimH

          Don’t forget that heroin has a major use for post-op PCA (patient-controlled analgesia). It’s simply called diamorphine.

        3. Maritimer

          I have often wondered what the hiring/security practices are at Big Pharma warehouses. A lot of possibilities/opportunities there. Bernie Kerik, pardoned felon and Don Giuliani goombah, had associations with Oxycontin producers. For starters, who tracks inventory?

          (Kerik was standing next to Rudy at the famous Four Seasons Landscaping presser.)

      2. Oh

        You mean “Opium production post-invasion returned and surpassed pre-invasion exports due to higher demand and exports by a well known 3 letter agency”

        1. Ian Perkins

          I’m not sure what .human meant exactly, but I meant heroin was not an export, or was possibly a very minor export, prior to the invasion. Opium had previously been exported raw or semi-refined.

      1. Ian Perkins

        That article seems to blame Afghan opium and heroin for heroin addiction in the USA, without explicitly saying so. There may be something to that historically, but most of the USA’s heroin is thought to come from Mexico nowadays, and Oxycontin and related drugs probably have a lot more to do with the USA’s opiate and opioid crisis than Afghanistan.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “The FDA Is Begging You Not to Take Horse Dewormer for Covid-19”

    Here’s an idea. They want everybody to take up vaccinations, right? And they don’t want people to take “horse-paste” either. So how about everybody that gets a vaccination also receives on the spot a one-year prescription for human-grade Ivermectin. The government will be happy as vaccination rates will probably go up and people will be happy for those that want to take Ivermectin for things like, oh I don’t know, saving their lives? I’d call that a win-win.

    1. JTMcPhee

      The PMC can never fail, it can only BE failed…

      Soon to prove once again how “a foolish consistency I’d the hobgoblin of little minds…”

        1. Pelham

          Ever notice how many people drop the “a foolish” from “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”?

          1. ambrit

            Yes, I do wonder about that. The mangling of “famous” quotes does seem to be a very popular pastime. That and misattribution.
            Emerson, and before him, the Puritan Divines are fascinating reads.
            Emerson is still a ‘questionable’ thinker, probably due to his strong independent streak.

    2. jsn

      I’m pretty sure the issue here is that people increasingly KNOW that any toe they put into the Medical Industrial Complex pool will be devoured by piranhas and is likely to have the foot attached grabbed by a vampire squid, pulling them from precarity into full-bore personal collapse.

      Horse pills look safer from this perspective, they know where they stand in that food chain.

      1. polar donkey

        My friend a week ago Sunday tested positive for covid. He is very overweight and has arthritis. Took his first dose of ivermectin about noon Monday. Had a rough night Tuesday into Wednesday morning. Hard time breathing. Felt much better by Wednesday afternoon and was right as rain Thursday. No one is going to convince him that ivermectin doesn’t work and kept him out of the hospital.

          1. Pelham

            I wonder, as a general rule, whether it would be too much to ask one’s primary-care physician to prescribe Ivermectin as a prophylactic. Has anyone had experience with this?

            I have an initial appointment with a new PCP this week and I’m contemplating this, my only hesitancy being that it might mark me as a right-wing nut. (I am kind something of a nut, but I’d rather keep that under wraps).

            1. JTMcPhee

              I asked my PCP today “what he thought about ivermectin.” The instant snap reply was “it’s a toxin. I will not prescribe it.”

              Did not try to probe into his source for that flat conclusion or offer any kind of rebuttal. Maybe I need to try to find another doctor, but that is such a crap shoot I’m loath to even think about it…

              1. Oh

                Your PCP has been served with copious amounts of Med propaganda. If I were you I’d change my PCP because he’s too opinionated.
                I had a PCP once who couldn’t diagnose frozen shoulder, while another doc was able to do so instantly.

            2. Anonymous 2

              My private GP here in the UK said he treats some of his sick patients with Ivermectin, depending on the variant of Covid but did not want to prescribe it as a prophylactic. I wonder if there are political/supply issues at work here? There seems to be a lot of demand for it around the world so maybe the thinking is ‘we need this for people who are ill so cannot give it out to people who are not’.

              NHS GPs cannot prescribe it as it has not been authorised by the NHS for use against Covid.

              There is a resounding silence from the medical authorities who have been asked to opine on Ivermectin.

              My worry is that it will be agreed eventually that Ivermectin did give benefit to patients affected by the earlier variants but that it may prove ineffective against later ones.

            3. Temporaryreality

              Like JTMcPhee, my PCP is disinclined to prescribe ivermectin (though less vehemently). I wrote him a carefully worded email so as to avoid sounding like I’d swallowed somebody’s Kool-Aid, but it seemed prudent to at least ask. Interesting that the expensive option is preferred in my locale…

              He wrote, “I reviewed a summary of the studies looking at pubmed for prevention or treatment of Covid and its various stages, mild/moderate or severe disease. It appears that most studies were small enough in size but it is hard to extrapolate whether this treatment is truly beneficial to the general population. Additionally some of the studies were poorly designed.

              As I have never prescribed ivermectin in oral form, and with some rare hepatotoxicity potential to it, especially at higher doses that were looked at in some clinical trials, safety and efficacy concerns remain.

              Hope that helps.

              Keep in mind if you have symptoms, our urgent care can test and arrange monoclonal antibody treatment which does have a good track record of shortening the disease course and severity.”

              Personally, I’d rather have the thing that could keep me from having to see a doctor at all…

    3. jr

      The articles above highlight the trend I pointed out yesterday, namely that there is a concerted effort to paint Ivermectin solely as an animal medication. It’s global history is pretty much ignored or sidelined in favor of smears about the ignorant taking horse meds. Some articles provide more background than others but they all have misleading headlines and first paragraphs in common.

      It’s a crystal clear manipulation of public perceptions and one that is instantly disproven by a cursory internet search. This will alienate at least as many people as it attempts to “inform”, I suspect. No one trusts the media or our medical establishment anyway. My own doctor told me Ivermectin’s safety is unknown. I like him but he is obviously misinformed. Like in so many other ways, this leaves me to my own devices. So it goes.

      1. Mantid

        Yes, I’m with you on all points. I’m just trying to decide how assertive I want to be, not with friends and family, but with doctors, and friends who are docs and vets. I’m thinking of memorizing a few data points and facts regarding its safety. After a 2 – 3 sentence explanation of the safety then I may turn the tables on the doc. So, Jane, “can you provide any studies or stats that disprove the safety if IVM”? I’m gonna work on a succinct presentation. People say “elevator speech” now a days.

        1. jr

          My GP get’s a bit defensive when I ask about alternative treatments for COVID. (Does a standard treatment even exist?) Ivermectin was summarily dismissed. He sent me multi-vitamins and Vitamin D3 but was like “Well, I guess it can’t hurt.” more or less. Definitely not enthusiastic about my questions about this, which is not normal at all for him.

          My shrink was more open to discussion but when I recommended gargling to her she seemed a little irked I was offering advice. No matter that I mentioned all the readily available studies supporting it’s use, I was crossing a line. It’s literally information that could save her life.

          I think the pandemic has huge numbers of people looking into their health with some intensity. Naturally this leads to questions for their doctors, which can be perceived as a kind of power play on the part of the patient, a sad state of affairs. Throw in the misinformation and competing numbers and all the non-COVID related B.S. and it’s easy to see why there are trust issues.

          I told my partner that the time for reliance on old assumptions and ideas is over. We have to be proactive about our health and we cannot rely on the info we get from the mainstream to be accurate or without an agenda. This includes our personal doctors. She resisted such thinking for a while but now I see her ingesting these ideas much more readily.

    4. Daryl

      The sudden onslaught of messaging is interesting. I found the language the FDA used a little odd, of course, since many medical providers use medication off label for all sorts of things, and none of those have prompted an FDA press release so far as I am aware. It seems like the most harm reductive thing would be to educate people about the difference between human and veterinary grade medicine and about dosages being different between animals, including the human animal, but ah…

      In fact, I just googled up the FDA’s advice about off-label medicine use:

      > From the FDA perspective, once the FDA approves a drug, healthcare providers generally may prescribe the drug for an unapproved use when they judge that it is medically appropriate for their patient.

      > You may be asking yourself why your healthcare provider would want to prescribe a drug to treat a disease or medical condition that the drug is not approved for. One reason is that there might not be an approved drug to treat your disease or medical condition. Another is that you may have tried all approved treatments without seeing any benefits. In situations like these, you and your healthcare provider may talk about using an approved drug for an unapproved use to treat your disease or medical condition.

    5. Soredemos

      They can’t do that because the entire point of vilifying Ivermectin is because if it actually works that severely undermines the need for the new drugs pharma is developing to treat covid. Even if it doesn’t work (which at this point is very hard to believe, given the amount of anecdotal evidence, and yes, anecdotes can in fact be valid data points, as well as smaller scale studies that indicate it is doing something), it is an incredibly safe drug that is perfectly reasonable to give out even as just a placebo.

      The way our ‘public health’ institutions are now just openly colluding with big pharma to gaslight us is breathtaking. It isn’t just a ‘horse dewormer’; it’s been approved by the FDA itself for use in humans. If they don’t want people unintentionally taking too large of doses intended for animals, then stop lying to us and saying it isn’t safe for humans and convincing GPs that they shouldn’t prescribe it to us. And then they wonder why no one trusts them and their ‘science’.

      When this is all over, however long it takes, no one is ever going to believe or listen to a credentialed medical professional again for at least a generation. We’ll all go back to witch doctors and medieval herbalists. You think the growth of pseudo-science like ‘chiropractic’ (I’ve always hated this stupid name. If it had been actual medicine and not founded by a lunatic, wouldn’t it have been called something like chiropracty?) was bad before? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

      1. Mantid

        “openly colluding”. Nope. They’ve been downright bought. The pleasant term is “public/private partnership”. It sounds so nice and fluffy yet it means bought outright by large corporations. The CDC now uses a revolving door with pharma and the WHO is over 60% funded by pharma. “They may not always be right, but they’re always the boss”.

    6. Maritimer

      I am not a hoss. I do, however, eat oats, apples, carrots, sugar cubes, plants, etc. Good enough for a hoss, then good enough for me. And, FDA, don’t those thoroughbred hosses get better med care than me? So, I’m ok with the hosspaste which arrived last week. Gotta giddyup now.

  6. PlutoniumKun

    Landslides in Himachal Highlight Adverse Impact of Large Hydel Projects in the Himalayas The Wire

    Correct link here.

    The article usefully highlights that its often the construction roads that do a lot of damage, not just the dams.

    Its a pity that the Indians seem to be ignoring the precedent of Bhutan, which has banned large dams and focuses instead of run of the river schemes. Ironically, most of those schemes are built by Indian contractors. They are more expensive, but are far less damaging if built correctly.

      1. Aviva Rahmani

        These techniques to verify the effectiveness of secondary forestation are brilliant. The stats are devastating. It sure puts the lie to the “plant a tree” propagandized panacea and highlights how critical conservation is. I’m very anxious to see what might come from COP26 and have been working towards creating coalitions for the satellite acitivities. Therefore, grateful for this ammunition. People seem deaf & blind to the huge implications of this information on forest loss. I can’t understand why the Hague can’t move faster on making Bolsonaro accountable for ecocide except that, as Naked Capitalism says in the About page, the forces of the status quo don’t give a flying f— for anything except retaining the death grip on hope that they have secured.

      2. Chas

        About 40 years ago a friend who was a hydraulic engineer (the late Doug Smith of Orange County, Vermont) went to Nepal with a group of scientists and engineers to study options for utilizing the substantial hydro power of the area. When he returned a year later, he said the group concluded the best option was to build small, temporary dams meant to last a year. The expectation was that they would be washed out every year and then rebuilt. That approach would have worked with nature to a large extent, instead of against it.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I’ve never heard of that approach, I would have thought building dams for destruction would be pretty dangerous as it would exacerbate flooding. And I don’t see how you could generate power from it, unless the temporary dams were some sort of low weir used to divert water into existing overflow pipes.

          In Bhutan, I’ve seen them use very low weir impoundments so deep into canyons they are almost impossible to see – the turbines would be many miles downriver, sometimes close to the Indian border. They were very low, but those rivers have very good year round flow – but this may fail as the glaciers melt, so they would need much larger dams.

          1. JP

            The energy that can be derived from water goes up with the square of the head. If you live in the mountains a small turbine working with high pressures is way more efficient then a large low dam with a big lake and huge turbines.

    1. John

      Unfortunately Nepal has followed suit in the Kali Gandaki Valley destroying the old trekking trail that brought great prosperity to that region. The old jeep road gently followed the terrain while the new monstrosity has undercut the steep slopes. The whole mess us littered with first world heavy equipment. And of course the landslides causing river back up and flooding. Neoliberal boondogle.

  7. zagonostra

    > Donald Trump is BOOED at Alabama rally while encouraging his supporters to get COVID-19 shots Daily Mail

    ‘Anyone looking for the edge of Trumpism just found it: Trump recommends the #COVID19 vaccine to a massive Alabama rally crowd, only to get shouted down with boos from the audience.

    This may come as a surprise to people but Trump isn’t popular because he “leads” anyone. He just happens to know, up till now, how to ride existing popular sentiment. The moment he steps out of that range of angry and distrustful sentiment embodied by his supports he will be dropped like a lead balloon. He may dress up his rhetoric with flag and church, but many see right through that.

    Over the weekend there were huge protest in Europe and Australia over vaccine restrictions, I was even surprised at below from CNN. A total surmise on my part but I’d say 20 -40% of people will never submit to forced vaccination.

    Your own stance on how far the gov’t should be allowed to exert its monopoly over the use of force and how far it will allow its proxies in the private corporate world to mandate employees get vaccinated, will depend on your own experience and the information ecosystem you live in. For me, it’s strange being “left/progressive” all my political life and on this subject siding with those who booed Trump.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I always thought he was the stand in for “none of the above” not the GOP primary which is why Cain and her name escapes me had brief stints as front runners. When Jeb’s sheepdogs started saying Trump was fooling people, it changed because the GOP base hates 41 a day hates Jeb.

      The nonsensical attacks by Team Blue only served to strengthen Trump. On his own he would just be an ahole who golf’s. All the awful stuff is obvious.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Agreed with both of you. The idea that Trump originates his ideas is pure TDS. He is perceptive enough to see the parade and he jumps out in front with a bullhorn. And that’s his appeal. He’s amplifies the sentiments of the unwashed masses, not that he’s putting the ideas in their heads. I’ll be kind of surprised if he pushes vaxs again.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Waking up in respiratory distress (as I did two nights running in Feb 2020) is enough to really change minds. Even that of Trump I’ll bet. I’m not sure he’s really gonna push the “push through it” line. I could be wrong but I honestly think the germaphobe in chief got scared and won’t follow through.

          It’ll be someone more competent. Which is even more scary.

        2. wmkohler

          On this, I don’t think Trump is going to change. He considers the record-time delivery of the vaccines as one of the crowning accomplishments of his presidency, and promotes the vaccines in almost every public appearance he’s made – see his recent interview on Hannity for another example.

    2. marym

      Trump didn’t suggest a mandate. His followers are booing more than that. Somehow it’s always the left/liberals who supposedly have failed to build issues-based coalitions with people who may disagree on other issues. However, Trumpists have protested every mitigation measure except personal medical care if they get sick.

      Whether it’s unmasked Trumpists at a rally or Pelosi at a party, whose side are they on?

      1. zagonostra

        “His followers are booing more than that.” Exactly. And that where it becomes interesting, because the “Trumpists” as you call them has a very disparate make-up. It’s certainly not what you think if you listen to MSNBC and it’s not what you think if you listen to FOX. They both give you a fraction of the truth, making sure that the whole, composite picture is never clearly put in foucs.

        I have friends with PHDs and others who never made it past getting their GED, both camps are Trump supporters. You will never be able to see past the glass darkly If you get trapped into a view of “deplorables” or “patriots.”

        1. marym

          Trumpist seemed like an ok general term for people who attend rallies and protests with signs and flags that say “Trump.” In my defense I often used the term Obamabot back in the day, which seemed much more judgmental.

          Anyway, they should wear masks if they want some credibility for other aspects of mitigation that they reject.

    3. Darthbobber

      Shouted down is apparently an exaggeration. The article I read was headlined that way, but in the actual text it was reduced to “some boos could be heard”, which isn’t exactly the same thing.

  8. Terry Flynn

    Re making up data. The “inverse funnel plot” came from my colleagues to show publication bias. So simple yet so profound. My colleagues should have got Nobel Prize for that.

  9. Amfortas the hippie

    from yesterday, i think…something i feel pretty strongly about:
    Regarding long covid

    I have been worried about this, since I first heard about it:

    “To understand why long Covid represents a looming catastrophe, we need look no further than the historical antecedents: similar postinfection syndromes. Experience with conditions such as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia, post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, chronic Epstein–Barr virus, and even the 19th-century diagnosis of neurasthenia could foreshadow the suffering of patients with long Covid in the months and years after infection. “

    my wreck, 30+ years ago, predisposed me to arthritis/pain…but aside from the obvious original; sites(r. Hip, L ankle, both knees)…as well as the known sites i’ve subsequently damaged, due to compensation for the former, or new injuries(neck, back, fingers, elbows, jaw(from bruxist tenacity))…my pain has presented weirdly, at times…weather events, like hurricanes or big cold fronts really kick my ass….and has never really fit into mere “arthritis”.
    So i’m diagnosed officially as arthritis and fibro.
    I practically had to teach my regular doctor(and friend…known him for 20+ years) how to think systemically, and from a remove, rather than the narrow “organ model”, referenced here.

    “Equally unsurprising has been the medical community’s ambivalence about recognizing long Covid as a legitimate disease or syndrome. Extrapolating from the experience with other postinfection syndromes, the varied elements of the biomedical and media ecosystems are coalescing into two familiar polarized camps. One camp believes that long Covid is a new pathophysiological syndrome that merits its own thorough investigation. The other believes it is likely to have a nonphysiological origin. Some commentators have characterized it as a mental illness, and those embracing this psychogenic paradigm are reluctant to endorse a substantial societal focus on research or to follow traditional organ-specific clinical pathways to addressing patients’ concerns. “

    this was the worst part…after the pain, itself.
    Disbelief…and even a preference for believing that I was faking it(from SSI to Medicaid to Disability, to medical professionals(pain is entirely subjective), to practically everyone in the community who hadn’t had a debilitating illness(proportional to their right-wingedness, notably)).

    Both Fibro and CFS are notorious for having this effect on people.
    It was apparently easier to believe that I was Drug Seeking, Didn’t Want To Work, or “Just wanted to get on the dole”…

    I sincerely hope that at least the medical profession can avoid this kneejerk assumption…take it seriously…and figure out a way to help those so afflicted.

    and thank y’all for the sympathy for stepdad.
    not sympathy trolling, i swear…but it’s the personal stuff that is often lost in our usual discourse, leaving our political economy-thinking arid and not as useful as it could be.
    (i’ve developed lots of hypotheses about what the long covid folks are fixin to experience, for instance)
    i also think of y’all as part of the broader “people i run with”…yet another, as yet, inadequately examined phenomenon,lol.

    1. Terry Flynn

      Always amazed at how you fight through all these things. “Weather related” joint pain is something so many rheumatologists and orthopods dismiss. But is real. My mum is best weather forecaster I know (double knee replacement).

      My former “big boss” was Paul Dieppe – wrote the book on rheumatology. Debunked Cox2. Got publicly chucked out of US medical organisations. Then got medal when proved right! Was on the infamous BA flight that landed at just the wrong time in kuwait during Gulf War 1. With predictable consequences. His experiences made him a brilliant crusader for patients rights. Always open to theories about these chronic conditions and the need for docs to think more holistically and out of the box.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        it was Katrina crossing Florida into the Gulf that proved it, to me.
        I had suspected all along, but there was no definitive correlation until that storm.
        I felt it from 2500 miles away…a different quality of pain, that felt different, and manifested differently that pain from…say…digging a ditch.
        Then Rita and Wilma(lowest pressure ever recorded).
        during my 6+ years of progressive immobility waiting for the hip, i obtained several barometers, and began an experiment, wherein i would not look at weather forcasts(avoiding bias)…and when that kind of pain presented, i’d look at the barometers, first. local pressure doesn’t precipitate it…there’s some other mechanism.
        my favored hypothesis is it’s perturbations/ripples in the local/regional gravitational field(at LIGO, they have to filter out just such phenomena in order to see the signal from black holes…they sent me their trash data, back then, but I couldn’t make heads or tails of it,lol) (

        1. The Rev Kev

          It is always strange when you talk about how your injuries have made you a human barometer. This effect has been know for centuries if not millennia and you see references in books, movies, etc. so it is in popular culture. It may be that I have missed it but I have never heard of modern medical science doing studies on this well known effect to see how it is done and what it all means. I have the impression though that any work on such would be delegated to the far-off shelves – the ones with the studies of ESP on them.

          1. Terry Flynn

            Paul Dieppe always knew (from years of observation of patients in Bristol area) that weather (probably humidity or pressure levels) gave loads of his patients ability to be human forecaster.

            Unfortunately, and despite being proved right about Cox2 meds, he annoyed too many people in power and got shunted off to positions where he “couldn’t make trouble”. I followed his example. … Then got same fate. Sometimes you just have to shrug and watch funny cat videos on YouTube or you’ll go mad.

          2. Mantid

            In a way, this discussion relates to my comments off and on about tech: phones, GPS, software reliance, etc.
            Modern humans have learnt a lot but have forgotten so much more. Very little memorization of simple maths for example because of the calculator.

            With people relying on GPS to inform them where they are people may “know” where they are but don’t “understand” where they are. When crossing a river in a car, if your windows are down you can feel the dramatic difference in temperature and humidity. You can also feel where that river is from miles away if you look at the fauna, breath the air, and feel/sense the environment around you.

            We’ve lost so much, but gained a bit, though I “feel” we’ve lost much more than we’ve gained. Take global warming for example, our biggest loss from reliance on fancy tech and easy answers.

            Great discussion.

    2. .human

      As I, cautiously, attend the local Ag Fairs, ’tis being the season, I am pointedly reminded by the militaristic types in their “Pain is weakness leaving the body” t-shirts why I hate them so much. Tell that to my wife and her mother (a Women Marine!) who both lived with chronic rheumatoid arthritis and sciatica.

    3. marieann

      When I was in nursing school I was taught the patient’s pain is whatever the patient says it is… if they tell me it’s 10 out of 10 then I medicate them appropriately.
      When I got out into the real world of hospitals etc. that lesson seemed to fall by the wayside.

      I will say I became an advocate for getting proper pain medication prescribed……I wonder if my own aches and pains(arthritis etc.) played a part in my persistence.

      Now at 72 I find myself on the receiving end of the “eye-rolls” when I talk about my aches and pains.

      Amfortas…I’m sorry you had such difficulty with chronic pain and pain control.

      1. Tom Stone

        I was hit head on by a drunk driver 30 years ago and went to the wrong chiropractor 28 years ago.
        And yes, I have noticed a correlation between barometric pressure changes and my pain level, especially sudden changes in pressure.
        My reaction to the Moderna Vaccine increased my background pain noticeably along with my sensitivity to Caffeine.
        After 5 months I did get an MRI and a neurological exam resulting in a prescription for a transdermal opioid patch.
        Which after 3 days is helping, I can straighten my right arm without as much discomfort (I don’t have to consciously breathe to fully extend it).
        It’s nice to be more functional.

        1. lordkoos

          Your reaction to the Moderna vaccine is very interesting. After getting the Pfizer shots in March, my occasional arthritis pain has also increased. I generally suffer from it more in cold/damp winter weather (typical for arthritis) and it is not normally a big issue for me, but this summer (which has been extremely hot and dry), I’ve had a lot more pain in the joints of my hands. For some time I’ve suspected the vaccine somehow is related to it. I borrowed some arthritis salve from my 94-year-old mother and it has helped. Diet can play a big role with inflammation as well so I’m also looking at making changes there.

          We’re all guinea pigs in a giant experiment.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        its one of those things that people can’t get their head around, until they’ve experienced it.
        texas protocol says my doctor should send me to “pain management”…and i begged him not to…explaining that, because of the drug war hysteria and inertia, they would immediately test me for pot use….and then label me a “drug addict”, because pot is a necessary part of my regimen, and deny me the hydrocodone* i require to be in any way productive.**
        steering me, instead, into CBT and other maybe nice but nonsensical performative(and unaffordable) interventions…because that’s the way Texas has set up “Pain Management”:punitively, and with a default assumption of bad faith and criminality.

        luckily, my doc listened.

        (* i understand the risks of this medication. I have never once caught a buzz from it.
        I also take it upon myself to do Drug Holidays, every 2-3 years, where I go cold turkey for a month or 2, thereby resetting the receptors, and start over at 5mg.
        then work my way, based on tolerance, to the 10mg i’m on now(the max). I can’t move up the opiate ladder, to oxycodone, because it makes me itch, and knocks me on my butt. that it remains more or less effective after 15 or more years should be a testament to the efficacy of my efforts. I’m also rather hardcore about it…if i can’t remember if i took a pill at 4am, i’ll just deal with the pain until time for the next dose…and if i have more than 4 beers, I’ll skip 2(due to hepatoxicity of the tylenol that every pill contains(due to DEA mandate, in order to punish anyone who takes it recreationally with liver failure))…i can go on and on,lol)

        (** for a cripple, i get an awful lot done…as i’ve related with all the yeoman farmer stories…but only so long as i can keep to my regimen, avoid long drives, work smarter not harder, pace myself…and lay in bed all day when i need to(which bosses frown upon, btw))

    4. wol

      You’re one of the posters here I learn the most from. I notice when you’re otherwise occupied. Myself am one generation removed from dirt-floor Appalachia, grandfather from such got his PhD from Columbia. I now live outside an affluent college town on a PMC road, in the house without a WE BELIEVE yard sign.

      In that spirit, my first elementary school in a town noted for its lawlessness (books have been written about it, a movie network included it in a documentary), about 5-10% of my classmates had fetal alcohol syndrome. When I went to the county elementary school the same percentage of kids were excused each fall to help their parents in tobacco. I went to bed with warm toes and a full tummy but haven’t forgotten those who didn’t.

      Sorry for your loss. Platitudinal but heartfelt.

    5. Lee

      Well, the good news is that with millions more suffering from these related ailments, a stronger market signal will be sent. If there’s money to made, all things are possible. The bad news being that there will be millions more suffering. Have you tried low-dose Naltrexone? It effectively replaced opioids I was using to control ME/CFS related back pain. If currently taking opioids, best to gradually wean off of them prior to taking Naltrexone. Failure to do so will result in amplified withdrawal symptoms.

  10. Tom Stone

    Pelosi’s party is typical of what I’m seeing here in W Sonoma County.
    I drove past the local farmer’s market yesterday and it was crowded,
    Most vendors wore them, so did a very few patrons out of several hundred, lots of people dancing to the live band.
    It’s back to normal, party on!

    1. Blue Duck

      We live close to Occidental and there is already a covid outbreak at the elementary school after only 5 days. The schools attitude toward covid is similar to those in the farmers market – let’s wear our masks because then we can pretend everything is fine. There’s no improved ventilation and no social distancing even when the kids are eating with masks down.

      I love west county but a lot of people here have their heads too far up their own behinds.

      1. Tom Stone

        Duck, I have noticed that a lot of folks here in West County should wear sunglasses when they poop to avoid being dazzled by the reflected light.
        It’s going to get ugly in a month or two, dead and crippled kids get people’s attention, when it’s their kids.

      2. Zephyrum

        Can’t resist saying hi to my neighbors here. I live in Occidental and have noticed the same things. The Friday Farmers Markets are a festival of denial, but at least they are outside. Tom, your comments here are hilarious. Just as they were on Calculated Risk back in the day. I’m sorry to hear of your medical challenges but I’m glad you’re managing to stay afloat.

        1. Blue Duck

          Love this part of the world. Cant think of anywhere else I’d rather raise my children during the apocalypse lol

    2. Michael

      Looks like Charles Krug. They have done tastings on the lawn parties for decades in St Helena. Typical Napa Valley party/fundraiser.

    3. jr

      Lot’s of irrational mask use here in Brooklyn, half-masking, taking them off for conversations, “Masks required except when eating and drinking!” indoors, and a definite majority of totally mask-less imbeciles on the streets. They might put one on to order a slice but then sit for an hour outside chatting with whoever, sucking up exhaled air. No one seems to be aware of Delta’s power to spread. There seems to be an even mix of this across class, race, and gender lines. I get funny looks because I double mask.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        I’m one of those totally maskless imbeciles on the streets. Because there has been very little evidence of the virus spreading through outdoor contact and reams of evidence that it spreads through prolonged indoor contact.

        1. jr

          I’m sorry to hear that. Incidentally, I’m referring to city streets with very high concentrations of people, including large family groups, people sitting in outdoor cafes, lines at stores. Groups of people clustering on street corners or talking while waiting for buses.

          My understanding is that Delta has been been proven to be transmittable at short distances and short exposure times. Here is some evidence from Australia:

          If you can get it walking in a mall, you can get it in the scenarios I’ve described. Airflow varies from minute to minute, even outdoors. One good sneeze in your face as you inhale…it’s that simple, I would think. Maybe not but who wants to find out?

          And last but not least, it’s a freaking mask in a time of plague, is it really that onerous? Compared to spending your life semi-lobotimized by brain fog? I’d wear a bio-hazard suit around first.

    4. Glen

      Do you think the DC elites like Nancy are starting to wake up to the fact that your governator might be in trouble in the upcoming recall election?

    5. ObjectiveFunction

      I couldn’t be arsed with the video, but the expressions of the mainly sleek, good looking affluent front row kids in the still image really struck me. Absolutely nobody is having a good time. All utterly self conscious, self-important and awkward.

      Seriously, it looks like old photos from the Stalin era where the delegates engage in Prolonged Thunderous Applause.

  11. Mikel

    ‘It’s impossible’: Lack of Covid safeguards overwhelm school nurses” NBC

    From school nurses to hostipals and beyond, I’m beginning to think there is a concentrated effort to drive people (humans) out of healthcare to bring on all types of automation crapification. Y’know… cheap for the greedy administrators and deadly for the rest of us.
    This virus is still more treatable than a host of other deadly pathogens and it is out of hand because of the greed festering in healthcare systems and life and death matters. Cuts to this and cuts to that for some degenerate’s bonus.

    But when I think of people with serious health conditions, it is exactly care from people with emotions that is needed.

  12. Amfortas the hippie

    regarding Big Healthcare ignoring the order about posting prices:
    during the 6 1/2 years(!) i slogged through the institutions trying to get a hip replacement, in despair i called the bidness office of the nearest hospital and asked:”If i came in there with a great big bag of cash, how much would you charge me for a boring, not fancy hip replacement?”
    and nobody knew…and all were reluctant to even say that it was possible to find out…and got all cagey when i persisted(i was bored a lot back then)
    I finally got a number, that they insisted they couldn’t be nailed down on:$300K.
    I compared this to the posted prices in Cuba…including a private nurse and a bungalo on the beach for recovery:”$15K

    all this led to the epiphany:

    if there are no pricetags…then it ain’t a Market.

    Ergo, Healthcare, as practiced in the USA is not “Market” oriented, based or related.
    it’s extortion.
    This narrative has proven very effective in convincing otherwise rabid teabillies that healthcare should be at least mostly socialised(using acceptable euphemisms for things like “socialised”, of course)

    1. Sawdust

      Bingo. What we’ve got is even worse than laissez-faire capitalism. Every hospital should have a sign over the door that says Your Money Or Your Life.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      and, just now, and germane to the unmitgated evil of privatised medicine:
      just talked to the funeral guy…the private specialty rehab hospital that the VA sent stepdad to dropped the ball, again.
      no A/c when we arrived yesterday..generator clunky/obviously ancient, and main power was out…so they were (rightly) in a hurry to get his body someplace else(it was 80 degrees on the icu ward).
      but texas considers all fatalities involving in any way a gunshot wound as a “homicide”, until proven differently.
      stepdad was shot in viet nam in 68…but there’s the entry and exit wound scars right there.
      so the hospital was supposed to first call the local medical examiner to see if, given this patient’s records, they felt the need to investigate.
      Instead the hosp. sent him right out the door, and 100 miles to Kerrville, where our local crematorium is(60 miles from us)…this was the plan we had with our funeral guy.
      only then did the Bexar County ME become aware.
      so hospital’s ball dropping and careless hurrying, due to cheap equipment failure and bottomline focus, sends us down a branch of the protocol decision tree that will prove to be a hassle, at best.
      that gunshot law i’m sure has the best intentions…but the only foul play i see here is the skulduggery and purposeful incompetence of the corporate hospital.
      it’s crazy.

      and this, right here, is why i talk so openly about such things…i’m sure we aren’t the only ones who run into such craziness…but we are trained to keep it secret, so as not to upset those who matter.
      when i can move around again, manana(the driving-” i am a pair of ragged claws…” ), i’m gonna see to the mowing and tree trimming in the front pasture, by the beehive, under some spreading oaks, where our family cemetery will be inaugurated.
      already got 2 high school kids who have agreed to build a wrought iron fence. VA will do the marker.
      ashes will be scattered, and we’ll have a picnic out there when the time comes.
      all this to avoid any further bureaucratic entanglements.

    3. Phil in KC

      Brilliant conclusion!

      Also it ain’t a marketplace if you don’t have the means to shop: The ambulance will take you to the nearest ED, not the cheapest.

  13. JTMcPhee

    On that apparent mocking of the “iconic” Iwo Jima image, let us remind ourselves that the photo was a staged event, a do-over for Associated Press war photographer Joe Rosenfeld. Not to diminish the horror of modern war that led to GIs atop Mount Suribachi that day in February 1945. But as with the Taliban trolling, the symbolic notation of defeat is well focused.

    I can remember lots of places in Vietnam where the US flag was hoisted in triumph over this or that bit of territory, the bloody ‘taking” of which by the Imperial invading military was “the key/turning point/beginning of the end, the herald of the inevitable US/Coalition (Australia, South Korea et al) “Victory…”

    1. Phil in KC

      These jokers are just playing around with themselves. They didn’t storm a beach and fight their way to the summit of Suribachi. It’s their own dam country, and I don’t give a fig what they wanna do. I’m not buying into the outrage game.

  14. Brian Beijer

    Thanks for posting the Nancy Pelosi video. It so clearly reveals the prejudice and disdain that the wealthy have for the working class. I am making an assumption here, but I can imagine that a server would had to have shown proof of vaccination before being allowed to work at the event. That means that the chances of the servers being infectious are equally as likely as the chances of the guests attending the event. Yet the guests are sat inches from one another without masks for what? 1 1/2- 2 hours maybe?, whereas the servers seem to be required to wear masks despite having the briefest of interactions with the guests. Of course, Nancy isn’t wearing a mask despite giving a speech to everyone, meaning she is most likely projecting her voice even with though she has a microphone, thereby projecting her exhalations to all those nearby. But no one needn’t worry about that. She’s the richest of them all.

    Videos like this give me an understanding why there are those that believe Covid is a fabrication. It beggars belief that we have leaders who are so full of hubris that they believe the laws of nature don’t apply to them. The rules for thee do not apply to me.

    Perhaps though, the masks are to protect the servers and not so much for the guests. After all, the guests can all afford a regimen of Regeneron and the servers would just be told to stay home…

    1. polar donkey

      If you listen to what Pelosi is saying, she is talking about young people. The only young people there were wearing masks and serving these geezers.

      1. lordkoos

        Democrats care so much about young people, but they refuse to get serious about climate change or cancelling student loan debt.

        1. pasha

          department of ed just cancelled student loans of over 300,000 people with disabilities. only a first step, but in the right direction

          1. tegnost

            Some might call that an increment, I call it a crumb.
            Commenters earlier in the week pointed out that disabled people could discharge their loans, if so it just provides a talking point.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      The wealthy don’t dress as well as they used to – there’s nary a tie in that photo, much less a top hat and monocle – and it’s often hard to differentiate them from the working and middles classes when they’re out in their khakis or yoga pants. The mask theater now allows the rich to identify their peers while keeping the plebes in their place. Wouldn’t want to accidentally strike up a conversation with one of the poors!

  15. The Rev Kev

    “The Taliban may pretend to show moderation – but the murderous reality is far different”

    Yeah, I guess that twenty years of raids, drones and B-52s will do that to you. Make you want to do a bit of pay-back. But their discipline seems to be holding. Want to know who else was outraged and horrified that the Taliban took over Afghanistan? ISIS, that’s who. Seriously. As far as they are concerned, the Taliban are damned heretics and are far too moderate. If the west backs off, the Taliban should be able to go in and mop up those ISIS forces without western interference

    So Kabul is basically peaceful and calm – except for the airport that is. You have several thousand soldiers from different countries there, mostly US troops, and they are surrounded by the Taliban. So it is just like Fort Laramie, right? Well, no. I am thinking that that ring of Taliban is actually there to protect those soldiers and the airport from ISIS forces and indeed this worry has been mentioned by western leader. There was mention of an attack at the airport but there was no blame attached to the Taliban.

    You may have Republican politicians demanding that the US tells the Taliban when they will decide to leave but as I said in a previous comment, those western forces are only there at the sufferance of the Taliban. I would not be surprised to learn afterwards that there is a lot of intense coordination going on behind the scenes as it is in both party’s interests to clear everybody out of that airport so that the Taliban can get on with much more important matters- like forming a functional government. As tragic as events are at Kabul airport, they are a sideshow.

    1. Rod

      Good insight—imo too, without the Taliban’s involvement this could go pink mist in the blink of an eye.
      I know the ‘short straw’ Grunts we sent know this.

    2. Carolinian

      Their murderous reality is a lot worse than our murderous reality. Sez Patrick Cockburn?

      I don’t think ordinary Americans really want America to run the world. The media see their role as defeating this attitude lest Father Coughlin make a come back. And the not so funny thing is that they have mostly succeeded at this so far. Partly it’s because the Pentagon did learn their Vietnam lesson and have kept the cannon fodder to volunteers.

  16. Mikel

    “Ear to the Ground” Sarah Chayes

    The author discovers there is more than one way to divide and conquer.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Toddler girl, 1, survives three nights in thick forest with bears and wolves”

    Not really surprising this. It’s Russia. She probably rode the bears in the daytime and cuddled up with the wolves of a night-

    And one day that little girl will grow up to be a tough Babushka – a Russian granny – who takes cr*p from nobody.

    1. Wukchumni

      I survived a not so close call with a mama bear and her cub about an hour ago, saw them for the briefest time on Mineral King road @ about mile 15, my 5th & 6th encounters of the Ursus kind this year.

  18. Blue Duck

    Our sons started second grade last Monday after being home for 520 days. Well, it only took 5 days before we had a covid case in their classroom. Their classroom only has an open door for ventilation, and there is no social distancing, even at lunch when masks are down. We are keeping them home the next few days to see if any other cases pop up in their class. It’s so hard to know what to do, when to keep them home, when to send them. We knew the risk in sending them back to school, but I can’t believe it only took 5 days for covid to land in their classroom. Makes me wonder if we shouldn’t just resume home school.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s a tough position you and your family are in. The problem is that the Delta variant has a taste for children which its predecessor last year did not. Better make sure that you have your sons tested soon, even if they do not seem to be sick, but I would not be surprised if you do not go with home schooling before too long which is going to be tough. No easy answers here.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      You can make up learning. You can’t replace kids. It’s second grade. I know it’s development and everything. Taking them out of school is normally monstrously unfair, but if you have your kids’ attention and can replicate the discipline school provides (routine matters), home school. If you can’t, it’s 520 days without school.

      I’ve heard stories. Whole groups of kids are just in a place where they aren’t ready for work load and minimal expectations. As far as what was going on in school last year academic wise, be skeptical about anything. Teachers, normally overworked, had everything dumped on them with no support or guidance.

      My mom had three kids of different levels of academic achievement. Mom said if she had to make this decision she would keep me out, send my older sister back, and fret over what to do with my little sister.

    3. Amfortas the hippie

      if you’re able, migh not be a bad idea to homeschool for a while(for young ones, i recommend Socratic Method, just my 2 cents,lol)
      my wife(fully vaxxed, but with cancer) is back in her HS spanish classroom(kids are respectful and don’t have to be told to wear their masks in her room, etc)
      and youngest son(15 also fully vaxxed) is back at school/football full time.
      he wears a mask all day, and dares anyone to challenge him on it(no one does, because wife is well respected, and her cancer experience is local legend by now)
      if we were in some other, more populated and more anonymous place, both would likely be at home right now.
      neither would enjoy the respect and deference that a tiny, close-knit town provides in such matters…even with the rampant presence of “it-ain’t-real” and other antimask idiocy.

      I will also stress: don’t keep quiet about your concerns and critiques…let the superintendent and principal and school board and anyone else relevant know, in no uncertain terms, just how you feel about all this.
      the pretense they operate under is “service”…ie: they work for you just as much as they work for the maskless yelling people.
      it’s their job to listen to you gripe, too.
      hold them to it.
      and remember, pulling the kids out deprives the school of money, per diem…which is what really gets their attention, even if they are loathe to acknowledge it.
      also, and because of the money, expect whatever passes for truancy apparatus in your area to come a’calling.
      know your rights ahead of time.

      1. ambrit

        Also, as we found out, expect to be denounced to the Child Welfare authorities as child abusers. The School Board is a classic bureaucracy. It has no lower bound of behaviour and absolutely no shame.
        Keep study logs and open text books lying around at all times. As Monty Python says; “No one ever expects The Spanish Inquisition!”
        As amfortas says above, there are significant amounts of federal funds involved. Every home schooler is a threat to the School Board’s “bottom line.” (Follow the money.)
        Good luck. Home schooling is a full time job.

        1. jr

          This is all terrifying. I have a lot of people in my life are returning to school soon.I’m preparing for any bad news as best I can. Mentally and spiritually, as well as pragmatically by preaching “Protocol!” from the rooftops.

          I think it’s sad that no one that I’ve seen, outside of NC, mentions home schooling in a time of quarantine. There is a lot of resistance to the idea, just as there is a lot of resistance to people taking a more active role in their health. And the bureaucrats and I hate to say it but even teachers don’t make it easy. I’ve heard it said that homeschooled students, no matter how successful they are on tests etc., will never get an “A”.

          Of course, the time-harried and deeply politicized public presents a lot of problems in it’s own way. I would go so far to say there is a cultural dis-inclination towards education as well; I wonder about which subjects would be neglected or even ignored. How many curriculums would draw from Youtube videos? The answer is a metric $#!+ -ton of them. We can’t get people to put masks on their children. Who’s going to teach them evolutionary theory or the fact that George Washington wasn’t seven feet tall? A minority, I believe.

          1. ambrit

            “….no one that I’ve seen, outside of NC, mentions home schooling in a time of quarantine.”
            That is indeed a troubling observation. It speaks to the continued “dumbing down” of the American people.
            The biggest positive we encountered from home schooling our children was that they all learned how to learn on their own. They also imbibed the ethos of continuous education. They did not become Philosopher Kings, but then neither are they slavish followers either.
            The flip side of the “..they will never get an ‘A’.” quote is that hopefully the home schooled children will not be obsessed with “making good grades” and worry more about having a satisfying life. (We can dream, can’t we?)
            Keep preaching “Protocol!” The life it saves might be your own.
            One of the hard things about being a parent is accepting that your children will have to make their own mistakes. If you raise them well, then at least they will be able to learn from those mistakes.

    4. Glossolalia

      My kid goes back to school in a couple of weeks. I am definitely expecting cases pretty much right from the get-go, but I’m hopeful that it will be a temporary spike as people return from traveling and generally settle in to a more stay-at-home routine once school starts.

      1. QuicksilverMessenger

        Yes, my third grader returns next week. I’ve asked Seattle schools what their plan is if cases pop up in the classroom. Basically I want to know if they are going to quarantine kids and staff etc. They can’t, or won’t tell me. I can see a scenario that within a week there will be cases, and most likely quarantines, and then what are all of these kids and parents (especially single parents like me with no other parent available) suppose to do? Will there be remote school options (we had to return our devices so not sure how that’s going to work)?

        It will be far worse to have tried to go back to school as if it were ‘normal’, have cases break out all over the district, sick kids, and then quarantines etc., than to have just continued with remote “learning”.
        But then again, how many parents, kids and families out there suffered from having to accommodate that? I hope I’m wrong but this could get ugly

    5. Medbh

      We decided to homeschool our younger kids this year. Our thinking was if they go to school…they’re getting covid. Everything in the news about school outbreaks and the number of breakthrough cases shows what happens when you put groups of people together indoors. So the question we asked is “are we ok with the kids getting covid?” It’s a different phrasing of the same issue, but it seemed a more accurate representation of the situation.

      Another factor I found helpful was the recognition that “regular” school is the anomaly, even if that’s the default decision in the U.S. right now. For most of history, kids weren’t packed into buildings with 1000+ students, isolated by grade level, or made to sit in a desk for hours every day. Kids can learn and become well-socialized adults via homeschool, self-study, or small groups. It’s not a radical method, it’s more a returning to the norm.

  19. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Jerri.

    Further to Blair’s comments, when I heard that, I thought of the two country estates he owns nearby. Having studied at Oxford, you may know the border with Buckinghamshire.

    The family built a rural and urban property empire from the favours they cashed in. The rural estates are in Buckinghamshire, my home county. The urban estates are in university towns like London, Bristol and Manchester. The elder son has also built a vocational training business that sucks from the (Tory) government teet.

    The above are separate from their fortune now managed by JP Morgan. The family fortune was managed by Lansdowne Partners, but these funds have been wound up.

    The Blair foundation has recruited many former civil servants in the past year as it wishes to emulate the Gates, Clinton and Omidyar foundations and get a piece of the government aid action.

    To conclude, it’s the Blair family pockets talking.

    1. Carolinian

      Yes but does he have a 230 ft tower? I think not.

      At least you English have the good taste to dislike Blair and not give him candy. But then maybe he hasn’t yet met Michelle.

    2. R

      A relative left their spooktacular civil service career to design and run Blair’s post-PM private office structure, include the Windrush and Firerush structures. He was very proud of the opacity he achieved.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, R.

        A former colleague turned regulator authorised the Firerush structures at then FSA. He later became a regulator in Qatar and Abu Dhabi, where he came across the same investors.

  20. The Rev Kev

    ‘The New Yorker
    David Petraeus on why he believes the U.S. should have remained in Afghanistan, and the five major lessons we can take from the last 20 years of war.’

    David Petraeus is saying this? That we should have stayed in Afghanistan? And giving us his military advice? And after having our collective a**** handed to us by the Taliban? Frankly, I would rather take military advice from Paula Broadwell.

    1. Ian Perkins

      I haven’t read the article, but couldn’t he stow away on a flight to Afghanistan and refuse to leave?

    2. Cas

      Aaron Mate, reporter for The Nation, now working independently, interviewed two veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan on his PushBack show. Their comments on Petraeus, indeed, on the military and political players, are fascinating. Lies upon lies for the public and profits for the players. They also speak of the poppy fields flourishing everywhere, treatment of women, etc.
      this is the youtube link:

    3. Darthbobber

      Atlantic Council (natch) has an interview with him in which he blithely advocates an occupation with a 50-80 year timeframe, with objectives that now don’t include “victory” over anything definable or tangible

      1. hunkerdown

        They aren’t going to come right out and say “just long enough to steal all the minerals”.

    4. Maritimer

      We should get a great American, General David Petraeus, out of retirement to manage a Covid Vaccine Surge like the one he masterminded in Iraq that worked so magnificently.

  21. Pat

    So are the increased failed government agencies and media attacks on Ivermectin the result of increased public acceptance of it as a treatment OR that an expensive and potentially profitable treatment, monoclonal antibody, even if early reports make it seem to be more limited over the life of the infection. Or could it be both.

    I am probably more sensitive to the subject, but there does appear to be an increased desperation in the reporting that must be coming from somewhere.

    1. Mantid

      Yes Pat, the general public is slowly getting wise to IVM. I’m hearing passing comments, positive ones. The mail person noticed my home made bumper sticker and said “Oh good, you know about IVM too”. We had a short chat. Actions speak louder than propaganda (sometimes). Sort of like in Afghanistan.

    2. ObjectiveFunction

      I mostly skim my NC (praise be upon them) to stay up to date on matters pandemic and rarely deep dive into the tech details, but I’m curious: if IVM is some kind of low cost therapy, even if not a magic bullet, why wasn’t it deployed widely in India, and now Vietnam (and China)? Or has it been? I honestly don’t know.

      And while I accept regulatory capture as an explanation for the West, I just don’t buy the notion that Pfizer or some other cabal has paid off or hoodwinked the Vietnamese or Indonesian governments. Their credibility is getting monkeyhammered at home. Right now, they’d do pretty much anything to get their people back to work making crap for us.

      Anyone have a view on this?

      1. Foy

        I thought it was deployed in India just before things peaked, which resulted in India’s situation improving dramatically. I wish I could find better news sources but it seems to have been blacked out and not discussed much… I remember IM Doc saying that sooner or later TPTB will have to face up and explain why ivermectin is working in India

  22. Kent

    Harris goes to Asia

    What, except for growing up in Montreal, isn’t this like her second trip out of the United States?

    What an insult to Asian leaders to send this creature with zero military, economic and real world experience to “reassure them.”

    Forget Taiwan, the Chinese could take this country with one arm tied behind their back due to the political and cultural dysgenics that we are seeing take over our politics and economy.

    1. Glossolalia

      What an insult to Asian leaders to send this creature with zero military, economic and real world experience to “reassure them.”

      In that sense is it any different than sending Trump, Obama, Bush, or Clinton?

  23. Eclair

    Matt Stoller: I’ve never seen such a coordinated media-military attack on a President for asserting civilian control of the military.

    I do remember the media outrage when Truman fired McArthur. But, I’m a lot older than Matt.

    The ‘liberal’ media flood of outrage over Biden’s actions has given me neck pain from the whiplash. Last month, Biden was returning us to ‘normal’ and my neck was barely returning to normal after the whiplash of the Bernie to Biden primary switch. (Yeah, I was at the Bernie rally in Tacoma in February 2020, along with 14,000 other screaming fans. And, then ….. Biden!)

    Did I wake up in an alternate universe? Did I have a major senior moment, resulting in a large chunk of intervening events just disappearing from my memory banks? I feel disoriented, like I arrived late at the party and maybe didn’t get the first round of little pills. I’m outside, looking on. Again.

    On Afghanistan. No one has mentioned (or I missed it) Osama bin Laden’s apologia of why 9/11: US sanctions on Iraq, resulting in the deaths of thousands of civilians, including women and children. The US military bases in Saudi Arabia, near the Muslim holy place of Mecca. US support for the government of Israel, occupiers of Palestinian land and attackers of Muslims in Lebanon. US support of attacks against Muslims in Somalia. Apparently, the US has the right to occupy other countries, mainly those populated by brown or black people. And, those brown and black people simply have to accept it, because ….. we are the exceptional nation.

    Yes, the 9/11 attack was a horrific. From the banks of the Hudson, my daughter, two-week old granddaughter and I, watched the towers burn. A funeral pyre for my daughter’s friends and neighbors. Even on that day, a niggling thought burrowed into my brain: we had brought this on ourselves.

    A few months later, I read of the capture of John Walker Lindh, a US citizen, born in DC, raised in California, convert to Islam, student in an Afghan madrassa. A ‘traitor.’ I remember the description of his treatment by US forces, vividly, as if I had seen a photo. They stripped him naked, diapered him, taped his hands and feet, blind-folded him, put him in a metal box and shipped him off to prison. And a plea bargain and prison.

    I was raised on the Hollywood version of US military forces: nice young men, with backpacks filled with chocolate bars and cigarettes that they distributed to the conquered populace. Now, apparently, the backpacks were filled with duct tape, zip ties, and adult Pampers. I thought we had learned lessons in Viet Nam, courtesy of the screaming, napalmed girl and the last helicopter from the Saigon embassy roof. But, we were back with a vengeance. A few years later, in Iraq, the iconic photo from Abu Ghraib was shocking, but not a surprise. We had become the Evil Empire.

    And, now, the entire MSM is screaming at Biden for trying to extract us from this morass, for trying, maybe, to remind us of our better selves, that shining city on the hill, that ‘republic.’ We may be too far gone as a nation, our systems coursing with such an enormous viral load of greed and hubris, our hearts and minds riddled with the toxins of forever wars, that we cannot recover. We’re on life-support and perhaps our chances for survival depend on (forgive the mixed metaphors) launching life boats. I really don’t know. But, my cervical vertebrae can’t take much more.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Defending Biden burns, but this isn’t a case of rats turning on each other. It’s like a Shrub family reunion. All the villains are out.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Side note – I lost my normal cynicism briefly in Feb 2020 when I saw this:

      I even got a copy of the poster. Then Barry and Clyburn stuck the knife in Bernie’s back and he was a dead man walking before the March 1 rally even happened. I still have the poster but have never had the heart to put it up. It just mictorates me right off even thinking about it. But I do have my normal cynicism restored at least, so there’s that.

    3. Mildred Montana


      “…minds riddled with the toxins of forever wars…”

      Well said. And when did mass shootings begin with heart-breaking regularity in the US? I place the time as 1966 (the height of the Vietnam War–coincidence?) when Charles Whitman climbed the stairs of the University of Texas clock-tower and shot to death fourteen strangers. My knowledge of US events is fairly good and I don’t remember a single mass shooting before that. I do stand to be corrected on this but please don’t mention gangland slayings and the like. I’m talking about the slaughter of innocents.

      A nation cannot be perpetually militarized and weaponized, its population riddled (to use your word) with veterans of war and those preparing for it and expect to be psychologically healthy.

      1. Eclair

        I, too, remember the U of Texas clock tower. And perceptive of you to make the connection with the Viet Nam debacle. At the time, it seemed to be a one-off. Who knew it was the start of decades of mass shootings of innocents. A mirror image of what the US was doing in foreign lands: mass shootings (and bombings, and drenching with agent orange) of innocents.

        1. JBird4049

          The earliest mass shooter that I am aware of is Howard Unruh in 1949. A World War Two vet, who fought in Europe and for whatever reason, one day after breakfast got his handgun and killed thirteen people. There are supposed to be a couple of even earlier mass shooters, but who, what, and when, I don’t know.

          I would also add the increasing stresses in our society. The increasing atomization, the sheer amount of work with lack of money, and the general abuse by the system is also a reason. If you look at all that, the worse it has gotten in the past thirty years, the more mass shootings. The availability of guns may enable them, but the United States, and a few other societies, often violent ones, have always been well armed, but just who has the mass school shootings and when did they start to happen?

          1. chuck roast

            I wonder if Unruh inspired Thomas Pynchon? Many years ago I was wandering around library stacks at my uni and came upon a section full of a Cornell University literary periodicals. I picked one up and it opened of its own accord (clearly I was a late arrival) to a short story by Pynchon who was then a student. He narrated a rather boring scene at a university gathering (Greek party) that ended in an ex-GI committing a mass murder. Just a niggling prep for Gravity’s Rainbow.

        2. newcatty


          I thought we had learned lessons in Viet Nam…

          “We” choose to view the past wars with darkened glasses. When “our” perception of U.S.A., as the Exceptional Nation, is tied to controlling the entire planet then there is no learning from past experience. The warmongers know exactly what they do will have “consequences “. By now, it is clear that their hubris and greed are supported and applauded by the PTB. Old guard is back, with some token new ones. People with a conscience learn from past mistakes and miscalculations. A mistake is to think the “deciders” have any morality. The despair of the people became crystal clear when the innocence of the peoples’ world view was shattered by the evil killings and mutilations of civilians in that war…and others. Appreciate your, and Mildred Montana’s, insightful comments.

          Homeschooling: Predict it is here, or back, again. A caution, though, if schools come to the point of “lock downs” and shut doors to their local communities, then what will be the consequences for parents, caregivers who don’t have the option of having an adult at home to home school? Have noticed more and more extended families coalesing together to care for kids. It goes hand in hand with many grandparents raising , or helping to raise, grandkids. What about the kids who are in families or caregiving situations, whom don’t have the good fortune for homeschooling? For some working parents, scrambling for ” baby sitters” has been the norm. Baby sitters are not often versed in providing any educational learning for their charges. Many older people are not well enough, or comfortable with, being “teachers”. We had “latch key kids”. Now, what? Then , to bitter the pot more, many children git “free meals and after school care” at their schools. There are poor school districts that have provided clothing for kids. They have quietly installed washing machines and dryers in their school. The divide and conquer narrative has many different chapters in America.

    4. Darthbobber

      I don’t know where Matt was these past 4+years, but I saw a pretty concerted media assault whenever the then-elected civilian leader attempted to exert any control over the military.
      Or the intelligence agencies.
      Or foreign policy period.

  24. Carla

    Dr. John Campbell’s video from August 21 is certainly intriguing. The gist seems to be: fully vaccinated should not boost unless severely immunocompromised — plus, mild Covid-19 disease sustained by fully vaccinated people boosts immunity better than further boosters. I think I got that right. Would love it if some of the experts in the commentariat would weigh in this:

    1. Sutter Cane

      I am not an expert, but I also watched this vid. I have been grateful for Dr. Campbell’s channel, it is nice having this stuff explained in a calm and measured manner by your kindly Brit grandpa.

      His point about mild post-vaccination infections possibly providing a broader range of immunity than vaccination alone was reason for optimism. However, recent discussion of long-term effects of covid even for vaccinated people with mild cases makes this seem less optimistic.

      1. Mantid

        Another non-expert here, but I’ve follower Dr. Campbell for a while. A bit sad how he interviewed a few docs who showed the efficacy of Ivermectin (Korey, Lawrie < and a few others) …. yet …… he has his award for X amount of "likes" from youtube on the shelf behind him and now there's nary a peep about IVM. Sad, but telling, or perhaps, not telling.

        1. Jeff W

          “he has his award for X amount of “likes” from youtube…”

          That’s the YouTube award for the number of subscribers (100k in the the case of the award behind Dr Campbell—he recently got the award for having one million subscribers, which is larger and gold-toned).

  25. lyman alpha blob

    Since you brought up the subject, here’s my favorite lullaby from Tim Minchin accompanied by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

    Not for the faint of heart and definitely do NOT play this for a small child :)

      1. Edgar, not Edmund

        And the lovely final zinger:

        MLF will scare Brezhnev.
        I hope that he is half as scared as I!

    1. juno mas

      The 10 observations on Lullaby’s was meant to be serious discussion (I think).

      Unfortunately, it makes assumptions about the lullaby that are mostly western (civilisation). The lullaby is meant to be simple AND colloquial to all the worlds babies—including those that don’t ascribe to western musical scales. A lullaby in India is very different than it is in France or China.

      The lullaby is tonally simple because it is sung by an ordinary mother to their ordinary child. The child recognizes (and likely soothed) by the mother’s familiar voice, no matter the harmonic scale or conformity to cadence.

      The Brahm’s lullaby is simple music made interesting through orchestration. As we get older the lyric, melody, and harmony of the music we enjoy changes to become more interesting (like the Classics or Jazz). There is no shame in that.

  26. The Rev Kev

    “The New Ozymandias: Twilight Reflections on the Obama Presidential Center”

    It may be that in future times, that this building gets neglected if not abandoned. So I was looking at the image of this complex and imagining how it would look as if it appeared in that old “Life After people” series. The whole area would be over-run with new growth and the area flooded by the lake. There would be green mold going up the sheer walls with the windows long ago popped out of their frames. The inside would be hollowed out and then collapse under its own weight. A very satisfying line of thought that- (1:50 mins)

    1. chuck roast

      Everybody laughs at what a con-man Trump is even his own supporters. But really, he is but a carny-barker next to the incomparable Obama. Humility never made an appearance in their cribs, and how the little cages contained their monumental egos is beyond me. O-B can polish a turd like no other, but this extraordinary obscenity may well be beyond even his top-of-the-pops reputation for obscurantism.

      The Romans famously built larger and larger public monuments as their empire became smaller and smaller. Visit the WWII Memorial abusing the National Mall for a contemporary rendition. And it’s complete with Roman triumphalism. Unfortunately, this blight on the landscape seems due to proceed with all possible haste. I would like to attend the opening…all the swells in the Pelosi video will be there congratulating themselves on being so wonderful. Alas, the small fortunes required for even balcony seats will be far beyond the means of us great unwashed.

    2. Count Zero

      Aye: “spiders weave the curtains in the palace of the Caesars,” — as the Persian Poet put it in the 1450s, walking through the ruins of Byzantium.

  27. EBRiddick

    More reading for everyone, on the failing legitimacy of the PMC

    I like the article but I don’t know if I agree with it. Bad, incompetent kings could rule for decades without anyone questioning the legitimacy of monarchy (say hello to English Henry the 6th) Only when a second sort of social organization (the vile bourgeois) grew beside the old feudal aristocracy could there be a legitimacy crisis. Today even the PMC despises the PMC, but the limited liability corporation or NGOs aren’t going anywhere, and so the PMC remain with us always. Maybe if the cult of shareholder value went away, corporate structure & the PMC itself change.

    Also here is Angela Nagle on how Chinese political theorists saw America in the late 80s

    1. Daryl

      > Also here is Angela Nagle on how Chinese political theorists saw America in the late 80s

      A fascinating read, thank you.

  28. Michael

    “Has an Old Soviet Mystery at Last Been Solved?”

    So you’re saying the nuclear missile wielding Yeti driving a UFO around the Urals explanation still has a chance?

    1. Soredemos

      For anyone who found it tl;dr, basically: the hikers expertise killed them. They unknowingly placed their tent in a bad spot. A large slab of snow broke off and buried their tent. In reality that was the end of it, but the hikers understandably feared it was the start of an avalanche, so they fled, then couldn’t find their way back in the dark and in a bad snowstorm. Everything that came after makes sense in the context of them trying various textbook survival strategies. Bits of flesh high on a tree are from one of them climbing up to get branches that weren’t covered in ice for firewood, the burned skin on two of them was from them shoving themselves into the fire in an attempt to get warm, etc.

      The mysterious radiation is explained by one of the hikers having helped with clean up of the Kyshtym disaster less than two years before, and another having lived in the contamination zone.

      1. The last D

        Maybe they thought they were walking out on a sick system. As hard as it is to think, patients come and go, some get well, some don’t, others die, but the system goes on and on. And that system is american capitalism, and it hardly cares if you get well or not; if you do, fine, if not, too bad. That system is killing us, and the world we all- sorry, I almost said ‘share,’- the world the capitalists own.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        No kidding.

        Not much “respect” for “healthcare” workers who prefer to stand in the parking lot while ignoring ivermectin. Who are these ridiculously unaware people anyway?

        1. Mantid

          I’m gonna check that link, thanks urblintz. But what if the doctors went out in the parking lot and handed out Ivermectin????

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      joe scarborough and nbc/comcast are well-known for a “balanced” perspective on all things regarding Ron DeSantis’ state. I’m surprised joe could calm himself down enough (!) to get through the segment.

  29. Big River Bandido

    Matt Stoller’s Twit post is indicative of the utter lack of historical memory on the part of elites.

    After firing General Douglas MacArthur for insubordination and ineffectiveness — one of the most important and courageous steps he ever took — Harry Truman was subjected to months of self-righteous indignation from all of the same corners (excepting of course Democrat “liberals”). It was not until much later that general opinion was revised and the episode was correctly seen as upholding the principle of civilian rule. We are now back in Truman territory. All bets are off as to whether we get principled action this time.

    Stoller ought to know better.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I’ve never seen such a coordinated media-military attack on a President for asserting civilian control of the military.

      Matt Stoller is 42.

      1. JBird4049

        The older I get, the more I realize how little I do not know about anything, and that the same is true of most everyone else, if it happened before we were adults.

        Between the deliberate elimination of institutional memory, knowledge, or competence, as well as the apparent hatred of these things called books by our “educated” I am surprised we remember how to walk, chew gum, and/or talk at the same time.

        Just how much of this is particularly American and how much of this is human in nature. Or is this part of neoliberalism’s hatred of anything not immediately, profitably stealable?

  30. Stillfeelinthebern

    Apologies if these have been posted before.

    CIA point of view by Douglas London, he retired from the CIA in 2019 after 34 years as a Senior Operations Officer, Chief of Station and CIA’s Counterterrorism Chief for South and Southwest Asia.

    Ambassador point of view by P. MICHAEL MCKINLEY, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan in 2014–16. He has also served as U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, Colombia, and Peru and as Senior Adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

    If you want to know how getting people out of Afghanistan was going on before it hit the national news, the blog has great insight. Specifically this post from July 21st

    QUESTION: Can you talk about the others in the program and where else they might be going, and how long it will take to get what was originally estimated as as many as 70,000 people, including families, accommodated because obviously their lives are right now in danger? Thank you.

    SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: So the total number of applicants to the SIV Program number just over 20,000, but about half of those have not yet completed the initial stages of the application process, so we’re not in a position to move forward with their case until they do so. So I’m not sure where the 70,000 number comes from. The 4,000 number and their families, they would be targeted for the next phase of bringing people to third country locations, and that process in the third country would take longer because they’re not as far along in the screening process as those who we will bring to the United States.

  31. zagonostra


    I haven’t seen any NC links or comments on India in a while. I just read below from comment section on another web site. I am curious if anyone has been keeping up with status of corona virus there. It seems like last reporting I viewed coming from U.S. sources was bodies piling up and having to be burned, and then India just disappeared.

    India’s death rate has been steadily falling for the last month. Now 0.32 deaths per million people per day = circa 1.5% of total daily deaths. Wouldn’t even be noticed in normal circumstances. Most Indian states now using Ivermectin. I believe two still not. With Ivermectin there is no pandemic and certainly no “emergency”.

    1. Raymond Sim

      There’s been a big scandal over official underreporting of deaths. I hope it’s huge in the news there, it sure deserves to be.

      In concert with attempts to accurately assess deaths there’s been a very important effort to get sound numbers for overall incidence and the fatality rates under various circumstances.

      Much important work, done by many unsung heroes, ongoing midst the grief and fears for the future, even as less savory people, some of them dangerous people to cross, try to pretend not merely that it’s all over, but even that it never happened.

      1. Mantid

        I’ve been following this so called “big scandal” and see little proof of under reporting. No more than the U.S. surely. I see very few films or news clips of people in hospital hallways or refrigerator trucks waiting to be “processed” after death.

        There is no shortage of O2.

        The numbers coming from most states in India are astoundingly small – cases have dropped like a rock in a pond. They are using Ivermectin across nearly every state and their vaccination rate is still quite low. Uttar Pradesh, in the north, with a population easily larger than the U.S. has, literally, a few deaths a day.

        Now, how’s it going in Texas?

    1. Mantid

      You want spoons? Check out Artis the Spoon Man. He came out of the Country Fair tradition out in Oregon. Look up his “New World Order has an Old World odor, and I can smell it, I can smell it from here”. I dare say he’s the cream of the crop.

  32. David

    There’s been a lot of palaver, including in Links recently, about the supposed or hoped for “moderation” of the Taliban after the fall of Kabul.
    Let me make just one observation that I have been waiting for others to make.
    The Taliban grew out of organisations of religious students at Madrases in Pakistan. They are holy warriors, not political extremists. The believe, very sincerely, that God created the heavens and the Earth, and spoke, through the Prophet Mohammad, and the commentaries on the Koran, and provided them with a book of rules for the organisation and running of all societies everywhere. They actually believe this, and so they conform to the western definition of religious fanatics, which is that the believe in the literal truth of their religion, and act accordingly. We are so used, in the West, to religion being a lifestyle choice or a minor sub-variant of liberal humanism that we actually can’t get our heads around the idea that some people think that their religion is literally true. The Taliban are a self-selected group that by definition excludes “moderates”, who either don’t share their rigorous interpretation of Islam, or believe it’s acceptable to make compromises with secular laws. That’s why they are the Taliban: “moderates” in their view are apostates, and enemies of God. The West is simply incapable of understanding people who think and act as though this world was simply part of a supernatural order, and human beings were required to act in certain ways by their creator under threat of eternal punishment.

    So there’s no point in looking for “moderates” in such a context. It would be like looking for Knights Templars who were cool with the Muslims keeping at least part of Jerusalem. Political ideologies, no matter how unbending and extreme in theory, are often forced to adapt to realities. Their leaders often make compromises, may become corrupt, and sometimes even change sides. It’s hard to see that happening here: “moderates” in the western sense will probably just be purged, maybe terminally. But the western mind is so obsessed with the idea that every group contains a spectrum from “radicals” to “moderates” that it will see things that don’t exist, or that if they exist are not important.

    None of this rules out, of course, the idea that over time there will be splits, defections, ideological disputes and departures of groups who have allied with the Taliban for tactical reasons. But the West has so frequently and so horribly screwed up over do many decades thinking it can identify and support “moderates” that one can only pray (as it were) that it doesn’t happen this time.

    1. Ian Perkins

      the western definition of religious fanatics, which is that the believe in the literal truth of their religion

      Mightn’t that apply to Pence and Pompeo, and a whole lot of others in the West, perhaps especially in the USA?

      1. David

        I think the US is simply too much of an outlier to be included in any comparisons of this kind. With trivial exceptions, the rest of the world is not like that, and if you read the planning documents of international donors, the World Bank, the EU, the UN, NATO etc. etc. it’s aggressive liberal secularism all the way down. That’s what we’ve been trying to force on Afghanistan (and other countries but that’s a different story) and we can’t understand resistance to it.

        In every international crisis I’ve ever been involved with or seen at first hand, the cry has always been “find the moderates.!” So completely sold is the international community on the Liberal political idea of spectrums of opinion and interest that can be cultivated, that they assume somewhere in there must be “moderates” and even better “pro-western moderates”, whom we can “work with.” Sometimes this is just delusion, other times it’s locals learning to parrot our own words back to us. Embassies and international organisations, as well as the media and NGOs, incessantly fall into the trap of believing what these people say, and building them up as major political figures: Navalny in Russia is a good example. Western liberalism is just about the worst possible ideological mindset to bring to an understanding of people like the Taliban (“they can’t mean that, can they?”). It assumes that anything it disapproves of is objectively wrong, and only a fool could support it. Therefore, such questions as religion have no importance, and can be disregarded.

        Maybe, on reflection, we should send a few religious fanatics from the US to negotiate with the Taliban. At least they’d be speaking the same language.

        1. LifelongLib

          Several years ago I heard an interview with IIRC a German Christian missionary who was taken captive by a Muslim group in Afghanistan shortly before the U.S. invasion. Asked by his captors why he had come there, he replied something like “God commanded me to.” He had the sense that they immediately knew what he meant. After some time with them he felt that they (from a religious perspective at least) understood him better than his secular German friends did.

        2. Ian Perkins

          I nearly wrote, “Mightn’t that apply to Pence and Pompeo, and a whole lot of others in the USA?”
          The US may be an outlier, but it’s led the war on Afghanistan right from the start, with other nations basically tagging along, often rather symbolically, for whatever reasons.

    2. Raymond Sim

      Are you sure we’ve ever really been looking for moderates?

      Anyway, I’m old enough to remember what Maoists were, and still are for that matter, depending what part of the boondocks one finds oneself in. I’m pretty sure that, if we have any competent diplomats left, it would be good to have them try to identify and, at the very least sound out, ‘moderate’ elements in the Chinese power structure.

      I heard, or at least I think I heard, that we are honest-to-God sending Rahm fucking Emmanuel to do diplomacy with China? I don’t know how much actual interest we have in foreign moderates, but I also don’t think foreign extremists are exactly a top 10 problem of ours either.

    3. Eclair

      “We are so used, in the West, to religion being a lifestyle choice or a minor sub-variant of liberal humanism that we actually can’t get our heads around the idea that some people think that their religion is literally true. ”

      David, I would guess that you have not lived in Salt Lake City. Or had one of your hapless, long-dead ancestors ‘baptized’ because one of their descendants had become Morman and wanted to insure that the whole family was together in Heaven for eternity. Granted the Latter Day Saints ‘warriors’ wear white shirts and ties and ride bicycles, but they are relentless in their pursuit of converts to their faith.

      I don’t want to leave out the ultra-orthodox Jews of Williamsburg in Brooklyn and Orange County, NY. Or the Amish. But these two religions don’t go for converts, preferring instead to swell the ranks of the faithful by growing their own.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      I would imagine a more precise term for those you might do a deal with are the ‘pragmatists’. Nearly every wave of religious fervour gives way to a new generation who are perhaps willing do deals, even if they sugarcoat them in one way or other for the true believers. ‘Paris is worth a mass’ as was once said – perhaps there is a mirror image saying for the religious.

      If there is a hope for Afghanistan, it is that years of the Taliban making deals will mean that they have more pragmatists at a high level. They may decide that playing the ‘moderate’ for outside eyes (and for Afghans who aren’t sold on them) will give them a longer term hold over the country.

      Only time will tell.

  33. Raymond Sim

    Hypothesis: In order to drive a dangerous pathogen into relatively benign endemicity one must undertake a campaign of eradication.

    E.g. Cholera (See also: Grizzly Bears)

  34. Harold

    I found myself annoyed by the condescending tone of Ted Gioia’s article on lullabies, which seemed to disparage them as “humble”, while at the same time as jocularly urging others not neglect them.. No one writes about them, true, but who today writes about folk and traditional music period, at least in the popular press, and classical music is hardly a headliner. Also Gioia himself doesn’t seem very interested in what a lullaby is.

    While it is true in the late 19th and early 20th century much more was written about folk ballads, believe me, lullabies and dandling songs worldwide have been extensively collected and studied by ethnomusicologists.
    The most traditional are in litany form with a rising pitch at the end, similar to keening, or songs mourning the dead, another archaic genre. (Later lullabies can be strophic, as more usual in especially European folk material). The verbal content of lullabies, often alluding, directly or indirectly, to the sinister dangers that threaten the baby, is also fascinating.

    In classical music, the lullaby form is known as the berceuse (or rocking song, made famous by Chopin). In triple or 6/8 meter, it is very well known, as countless examples on YouTube attest. The rhythm is the same as that of the barcarole or boat song. Many Christmas carols take this form. for obviously reasons.

    1. Andrew Watts

      The author doesn’t seem to know that the lullaby is still used in modern music. They make awesome riffs in punk rock songs. They’re relatively simple melodies and easy to play on the guitar for beginners.

      Listen to the opening riff of Blink 182’s song Dumpweed as an example.

  35. KFritz

    Re: The US and UK Got it Wrong…

    A big “Thanks!” to Alexander Cockburn for his brilliant analysis and summation of the current situation in Afghanistan. And thanks to Jerry-Lynn for posting it. If such entities exist, the spirits of Sun-Tzu, Machievelli, and von Clausewitz are smiling down on both of you.

    One corollary to Cockburn’s analysis of potential opposition to the Taliban: the only currently declared opposition to the Talibs is based in Panjshir. The geography of the Panjshir Valley makes a successful attack against it almost impossible. The same geography will make it easy to starve it into submission. It can easily be cut off from resupply on any significant scale. Including military supplies.

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