Links 8/24/2021

Los Angeles school gets unexpected visitor as coyote walks into classroom on first day of school USA Today

The Incredible Secret Science of Ants’ Underground Cities: How Ants Build Amazingly Complex and Stable Structures SciTech Daily (Chuck L)

Filmmaker Ami Vitale Tells the Story of Kenya’s First Community-Owned Elephant Sanctuary Nuvo Magazine (David L)

The Grand Canyon Is Missing a Billion Years’ Worth of Rocks. Scientists May Know Why Science Alert (Chuck L)

Why Are Farmers in Senegal Creating Gardens That Look Like Crop Circles? Atlas Obscura (resilc)

Researchers rediscover coffee plant that could thrive in a warmer world Yale Climate Connections. The world is going to hell, but coffee addicts might be protected for a bit.

Climate Change Powered Tennessee Floods NPR (David L)

Dead white man’s clothes: How fast fashion is turning parts of Ghana into toxic landfill ABC Australia

This AI Can Spot an Art Forgery IEEE Spectrum (David L)

Spanish volunteers remove eucalyptus in bid to prevent wildfires Al Jazeera. They go up like torches in Australian bushfires.

#COVID-19. Some of these were also in today’s Covid post. The duplication here is because I saw them as particularly important.


Israel starts Covid-19 antibody testing for children aged three and older France24 (resilc)

NIH begins study of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and postpartum National Institutes of Health

What’s causing long COVID? Naked Scientists (guurst)

Third Pfizer dose 86% effective in over 60s, Israeli HMO says Reuters. GM is not impressed:

86% protection is not a win at all. That is what they are starting with fresh off the 3rd shot. It is going down from there, as it did with the second shot. That is just not compatible with full reopening.

Wuhan lab leak theory: How Fort Detrick became a centre for Chinese conspiracies BBC. As we’ve said repeatedly, China has made a huge domestic push to depict the US as the source of SARS-Cov-2. So any China origin, be it zoonotic or lab leak, is very damaging politically. Hence the refusal to cooperate in investigations.

First US COVID Deaths Came Earlier Than Previously Thought Mercury News


Biden urges vaccine mandates for workers after Pfizer jab approved Financial Times. That was the point of the rushed approval, as if you had any doubt.

Vaccination Mandate Battle Awaits Kathy Hochul as She Ascends to Governor THE CITY. A friend in New York City is leaving permanently as a result. And this individual works at home and is very much isolated in the normal course of events.

Would It Be Fair to Treat Vaccinated Covid Patients First? Wired. OMG I cannot believe that this idea has gotten out of the swamp. It was repudiated in less than 12 hours despite having been circulated in a memo. First e-mail from an MD in Texas outraged when this original story went live:

My retired ethics professor emailed me today. He long ago quit the panel they are talking about in the article – “it has been taken over by the non-profit corporations. It is no longer about ethics – it is all about the money and placating the Twitter mob. I grieve for medicine. It has become evil. Why is John Wiley Price not all over this?”

FYI – John Wiley Price is a long time black county Judge in Dallas. Very very vocal civil rights type guy. And I have no answer to his question.

Let me make this straight to you all – the “ethics” committee of the North Texas Hospital Association led by Dr. Fine, the leading ethics doc in all of Dallas has decided that when the ICU beds run out, vaccine status will be in the triage mix. HOW IS THAT GOING TO LOOK TO ALL THE AFRICAN AMERICANS and LATINOS who are not getting vaccinated because of their cultural past? Are they going to exempt them all and just apply this to Bubba? What about all the people who cannot be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons?

Later e-mail from the same Texas MD when the hospital system went rapidly into reverse:

1) I do not think it was John Wiley Price, but members of the black community did apparently immediately contact the administrations of these hospitals – and were informed that any attempt to pull this kind of stunt would immediately unleash the BLM Kraken on the hospitals.

2) You know things are not going well for the narrative when the 1st question out of the chute from the reporters in a conference call was something like the following – “You have been saying for weeks that less than 1% of the ICU and critical care patients are vaccinated. So, if that is true, why would you be having to come up with mandates like this? You can see that does not really make much sense right? Why would there be this kind of mandate, if vaccinated patients are not even involved in the critical care issues?” —— There was apparent dead silence for several seconds followed by the usual redirecting answer that never even touched the substance of the question. Hilarious.

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson hospitalised with COVID-19 Al Jazeera. Subhead: “Jackson, who is vaccinated against the virus…”

Pike County first of Alabama districts to temporarily close schools due to COVID-19 cases Montgomery Advertiser. Notice this bit:

The district reported 45 positive cases among its five schools, with two of those cases among adults, according to data posted Aug. 16 by the district on its website. The largest percentage of positive cases were among pre-K through third grade students, representing about half of the total. In addition to the positive cases, another 124 students and two staff members were in quarantine.

Come on. Pre-K through third grade children will quarantine, as in stay isolated in their bedrooms, have parents put food outside their door and retrieve their dishes later, and have a bathroom dedicated to their use for 11 days? Never gonna happen.

How the U.S. vaccination drive came to rely on an army of consultants Washington Post

Workers Can’t Wait to Return, but Delta Variant Upends Plans New York Times (Kevin W)


Can slow-building democracies compete with China? Asia Times (resilc)

China passes new privacy law aimed at protecting users’ personal data The Verge (Kevin W)

New Cold War

Nord Stream 2 pipeline ‘dangerous geopolitical weapon’: Ukraine Al Jazeera (resilc). Help me. It was Ukraine that pulled the cute stunt of cutting supply to Europe via a pipeline through Ukraine. Now they are mad at being cut out because unreliable?


Gen. Milley regrets not including Vietnam War history book on reading list Duffel Blog

Biden’s US-first approach leaves NATO in the lurch Asia Times. Kevin W: “Holy f*ck. Read the first two paragraphs. They did a Bagram on their own allies.”

Taliban will get International recognition The Saker

How climate change helped strengthen the Taliban CBS. BC” “Seriously?”

Barbara Lee Was Right About Afghanistan in 2001. We Should Listen To Her Now. Esquire

Twenty Years After 9/11, Are We Any Smarter? New Republic

Afghanistan Fiasco Raises Hard Questions for Europe New York Times. Resilc: “Cheap to do if you are not running around the world invading and staying for years. EU will say bye bye.”

One last mission: American veterans scramble to save Afghan interpreters left behind by US withdrawal Independent

Peeling The American Onion Michael Moore

See also: 3rd July 1979: President Jimmy Carter authorizes $500,000 to aid the mujahideen in Afghanistan YouTube (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

A Misused Microsoft Tool Leaked Data from 47 Organizations Gizmodo (BC)

Apple Has Been CSAM Scanning Your iCloud Mail Since 2019 9to5mac. Quelle surprise

Imperial Collapse Watch

DARPA’s ‘guided bullets’ are a sniper’s dream Asia Times. Resilc: “We have no chips for cars and refrigerators, but guided ammo, noooooooooooo problem.”

USAID’s Samantha Power Reaches New Summit of Cynicism About International Criminal Court Intercept (resilc)

Resilc: “Should be the national anthem”:

Meet the Imperial Feminist Baffler (Anthony L)


Hundreds clash in Portland as Proud Boys rally descends into violence Guardian (resilc)

The January 6 corporate accountability index Popular Information (resilc)


House delays vote to advance Biden’s economic agenda as centrist Democrats derail Pelosi’s plans CNBC

Can Newsom resignation stop the recall? Orange Juice (Paul R)

Patagonia boycotts Wyoming ski resort over owners’ GOP event Associated Press

Police State Watch

What More Needs to Happen before Something Happens? notesfromdisgraceland (resilc)

Cops Threaten Illegal Kickball Players With Child Abuse Charges Reason. dk: “Not the Onion.”

Open-Source Insulin: Biohackers Aiming For Distributed Production Hackaday

Boeing Employees’ Safety Independence Under Scrutiny by U.S. FAA Bloomberg. Awfully slow in coming…

GM expands Chevy Bolt EV recall for fire risk, will take $1 billion hit Reuters

Class Warfare

The Whole Country is the Reichstag Adolph Reed (fk)

AV Club

‘Future Of Work’ PBS Series Showcases The New ‘Precariat’ – People Who Go From One Gig To Another– Digital Nomads And Other Fast-Growing Job Trends Forbes. Oh, so the PMC deigns to notice> Or perhaps a few here and there have noticed the desperate condition of their grad student kids?

Antidote du jour. Bob H: “Monarch caterpillars, on a milkweed patch in Maine.”

And a bonus of sorts, from guurst:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Ian Perkins

    Biden’s US-first approach leaves NATO in the lurch

    I mentioned this a day or two ago, but couldn’t remember where I’d seen it. Dated August 20:
    Interestingly, a contingent of the 900 British Paras has been tasked with keeping an eye on the Americans, in case they decide to make a quick exit and leave them behind.
    “Things are so bad between US and UK forces at Kabul Airport, #Afghanistan, 2 Para have been tasked to observe US forces in case they leave at short notice,” Tiffin continued.
    The US and UK troops are also at odds over the latter’s ventures outside the airport, which the former fear will antagonise the Taliban.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Re your last sentence. A report says that-

      ‘Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue has told his British Army counterpart, a high-ranking field-grade officer of the British army’s 22nd Special Air Service Regiment, that British operations were embarrassing the United States military in the absence of similar U.S. military operations, according to multiple military sources. I understand that the British officer firmly rejected the request.’

      Probably the SAS officer told him to sod off.

      1. Bill Smith

        The US has been doing rescues beyond the fence too. Some of which have been discussed. Some of which have not beyond saying they happened.

        In addition, did anyone hear any details where that C-130 landed that made a stop after leaving Kabul and before getting to the Gulf?

      2. dftbs

        The fighting abilities of the British have been tested, and deemed deficient, a number of times during the GWOT. Moreover, it’s been noted even on this site, that the UK government and media reaction (histrionics) to losing the war indicate that the conflict was more fundamental to their self-perception than it was to the US self-perception (not that our establishment isn’t freaking out, just not as much as the Brits).

        These reports of British dashing and American sloth seem to be planted to burnish the image of wannabe Double-ohs. The War is boring link only quotes British sources; and the Washington Examiner story is by UK born Tom Rogan, who if I remember correctly was trying to the the Royal Navy to invade Crimea a month ago.

        That’s not to say the US is behaving valiantly, I wouldn’t know and certainly wouldn’t expect that. But there is a bit more grace to their silence than the buffoonery on display by UK, who in a move more revealing than all this bluster, has already admitted they can’t stay without the US.

        1. St.John Stephen

          Sounds about right to me – the British were whipped in Helmand some time ago – military prowess is an integral part of the current regime’s ideological fascia – the humiliation is very, very hard for them to take and anything is worth saying and supposing that might avert their own gaze, and the gaze of others from this almost destabilising damage to their shared cultural capital.

          1. Pelham

            I’ve read similar accounts of British incompetence in Afghanistan — although it might be unfair to blame the Tommies. If I were a UK grunt thrown into that pit I can’t imagine I’d be very gung-ho.

            Generally re the pique of these US allies: Yes, the US should have consulted and given warning. But why is that such a big deal? Are these allied troops so dependent on American protection that they’re not even capable of taking care of themselves in a hostile theater?

            However, the story does aptly note Europe’s heavy dependence on the US to keep from being overrun by the same folks Europe buys its natural gas from. (It’d be fun to watch the reaction if a seemingly chastened Biden gave, say, a generous week’s warning before pulling all US troops out of Europe.)

            1. Procopius

              If you were a GI, would you feel very motivated to take a chance that the Taliban are not a danger to you? Frankly I don’t think they are, but I don’t think I’d want to walk out the front gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport to a Taliban checkpoint and tell them to let some people through. I might be pretty upset if I was their commanding officer, but he doesn’t seem to be all enthusiastic about doing it himself.

        2. The Rev Kev

          Guys, those weren’t regular soldiers but British Special Air Services soldiers. Probably more than a few of them speak Pushtan and so can get around the streets more easily. They are the elite and not your typical “squaddies” and they probably know Kabul very well from all their deployments.

          1. rowlf

            I hope they can live up to the brochure. They are in a community that likes to protect their image and hide mistakes.

      3. Eustachedesaintpierre

        That explains my confusion from a few days back when viewing photos from the Daily Mail showing Brits who were obviously outside of the airport in an urban environment.

  2. Mikel

    “Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson hospitalised with COVID-19”

    He received first dose in January. We have age info and then personal, professional, and some health background. Celebrity breakthrough cases like this may produce the most detailed information we’ve had about breakthroughs.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Not a true indicator that simply because so many of those guests jumped back on private aircraft and went back home. Thus the number would only show up where they lived. And as it would be obvious that they got it from Barry’s party, the pressure would be on to shut up and not have it mentioned on their social media.

      1. Mikel

        So he had been travelling internationally, tested negative before he came back here, and suspects exposure could have been anywhere from grocery store to gym to airplane. (alot of the celeb cases will involve travel).
        Not getting the impression he did a lot of masking. And testing negative before getting on the plane doesn’t totally rule out having caught the virus in another country.

        Despite his age and seemingly good health, he feels he has to attribute all of his recovery to the shots. It’s kind of a “shout out to the shots, but thank goodness I’m young and healthy” type of vibe to his interview/story.

        On another note, doesn’t a specific type of test need to be done to determine what variant is infecting a person?

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Not getting the impression he did a lot of masking.

          About a month ago, when the cdc abruptly changed its mind and said that the fully vaccinated should still wear masks, Saagar and Krystal, both vaxxed, were pissed. That was back when there were supposed to be “rewards” for taking the vax, and the filthy unvaxxed were to be identified and shamed as such.

          Krystal went so far as to concede that, given her vax compliance, the only reason she would consider masking was to “protect” children who were ineligible for the vax due to age.


          (Tried to find a link to the segment, but I can’t figure out how to navigate the site. Would have been at the end of July.)

      2. Mikel

        I also doubt he got his shots as early as Jackson. Unless he jumped the que, he wouldn’t have been able to get shots until around April /May maybe?
        Jackson – about 8 months for breakthrough
        Enjeti – about 4 months for breakthrough

        Now we are at the point where in the coming months there will be data about how long immunity lasts after a getting the virus after vaccination.
        When will there be breathroughs after breakthroughs and what can this data tell us about how to rate the effectiveness of a booster shot.

        1. Richard Needleman

          A major argument against booster shots is that overall vaccine efficiency is not as important as the ability of the vaccine to prevent hospitalizations and death. This leads to people with breakthrough infections saying without evidence, “My case was mild and would have been much worse if I hadn’t been vaccinated.” For those without breakthrough infections it is “If relatively low efficacy vaccines protect against hospitalization and death, I see no need for a booster even if it does increase my protection against acquiring Covid 19.”

          It is clear that vaccination does protect against acquiring disease, but the question is, whether once one has Covid the probability of hospitalization and death decreases. This question seems to be confused in the general population with the question whether or not the vaccines “work”. They do work in preventing disease, and do decrease hospitalizations and deaths, but what if the reduction in hospitalizations and deaths is simply due to their ability to decrease the number of infections? That is, once you are infected the vaccines have no effect on your future course.

          A simple numerical analysis, and you can do this yourself from the published data-as Casey Stengel would say, “You could look it up”¬¬¬–but it is better to take advantage of the excellent work of “Dr.” Rollergator:
 and in

          I will grossly simplify the articles while remaining truthful to their message: For people aged under 64 years old, there is no difference in death rates once you are infected regardless of vaccination status. It is not completely counter intuitive, since the syndrome leading to hospitalization and death takes place when no active virus is present. However, one might have hoped that the vaccines sufficiently decreased viral load to ameliorate the inflammatory response in these stages. But it is possible that there is a threshold for viral load that causes the cytokine storm and that this trigger is not highly dependent upon viral load once a certain concentration is reached.

          I am scientifically literate but do not pretend to a specialized knowledge of epidemiology. I can however do arithmetic and follow statistical reasoning, and I find these articles convincing. Your millage may differ.

          If true, the conclusion is that for people under 64 years of age (excluding children) vaccines only decrease cases and do not affect severe disease and death. So as the vaccine efficiency fades with time, so does its rational for its administration. It is an argument for booster shots, but there are many other arguments to the contrary.

          Vaccination remains a very partial solution to Covid 19. This audience know what needs to be done……

          1. Mikel

            “A major argument against booster shots is that overall vaccine efficiency is not as important as the ability of the vaccine to prevent hospitalizations and death. This leads to people with breakthrough infections saying without evidence, “My case was mild and would have been much worse if I hadn’t been vaccinated.”

            This argument is on repeat so much that it has almost become like chanting.

            And the one possible way to make this even more of a self-fulling prophecy (for lack of a better phrase) is to try to make sure there are few as possible unvaccinated people for comparison.

          2. Hiroyuki

            partial solution indeed. but have you seen ANY official acknowledgement of that? I mean besides we still might need masks?
            I have not heard a peep about what IS the new strategy now that we know that vaccines are NOT going to get us out of this completely?

      3. Pelham

        The thing about Enjeti: Before coming down with Covid he apparently went on vacation in Paris (two long flights) and then came back and visited the gym. Isn’t that running quite a risk, given the well documented ineffectiveness of the vaccines against contracting the delta variant?

        But Saagar’s a good guy. I wish him the best, and he does appear to be recovering rapidly.

  3. Ian Perkins

    How climate change helped strengthen the Taliban

    I don’t know why this link has the comment “Seriously?” beside it. Droughts and floods probably make the prospect of employment by the Taliban more enticing, and I think they have a reputation for paying salaries, unlike the old government forces.

    1. QuarterBack

      I dunno, seems like a pretty sketchy linkage to me. If you are going reach that far, I’ll bet coalition bombing contributed more to global warming than global warming contributed to the Taliban rise.

  4. zagonostra

    What’s causing long COVID? Naked Scientists (guurst)

    However, vaccination may not guarantee a person from not getting long COVID. In fact, there is some evidence that’s arising that shows that people who are fully vaccinated can get long COVID from breakthrough infections…
    Chris – So it’ll be interesting to see what happens with the forthcoming flu season.
    Akiko – Yes, it’s a great opportunity, actually, to monitor how long haulers might respond to flu jabs and whether that could be helpful, and if so, why.

    I’m still learning about what long COVID is and stumbling my way through all sorts of differing perspectives on vaccines, their efficacy, untoward symptoms, etc.., and most importantly to me, it’s justification for the imposition of mandates restricting people who choose not to get vaccinated. Why people don’t get vaccinated varies greatly, Michael Tracey had a good article the other day linking “hesitancy” to class and where one stands in relation to future promotions within an organization.

    The main point for me, as I’m learning, and wending my way through the literature, podcast, Ytube videos and this article is that there is very certain uncertainties. When in the dialogue/article above Akiko states “we have yet to discover which of these hypotheses are true” it underscores that there is no “science” that you can definitely invoke. Science is a process of testing hypotheses that evolve and change over time as more data points and unifying theories emerge.

    Where I got my britches twisted up in a knot is when Akiko states that these uncertainties provide a great “opportunity” on how “long haulers might respond.” That’s great if you’re studying mice, but these are individual human beings. If you are going to force me to make a choice between keeping my job and feeding my family and yet science is still “testing hypotheses” I’ve got problem with that.

    There are more than enough medical professionals with credentials that know much much more than I can glean if I had the next 20 years to study immunology that have “hesitancy.” It is clear to me, though not members of my own family, that the freedom to choose should be left up to the individual unless there is a “clear and present danger” that she will harm others, and, importantly, there exist proportionality with respect to restrictions, penalties, and actions taken by the authorities. That sine qua non has not been demonstrated as this article makes clear with respect to understanding the impact of vaccines on “long COVID.”

  5. Ian Perkins

    Walking on the Streets of Kandahar City (video – after the Taliban takeover)

    Very, very few women to be seen, but plenty of men and boys out and about, shops and stalls open for business, and life appearing to go on as usual (though I don’t know what things were like previously). And little sign of the Taliban themselves, at least armed and identifiable. Not exactly a picture of a terrified and terrorised city living in fear.

    1. Icecube12

      I looked through his channel, and he’s got videos up from almost of the beginning of the year so it’s possible to compare Kandahar then and now. I watched the one linked here and another one from April, and they seem to have about the same amount of women. As far as I could tell, they were all wearing burkas both then and now. In the current video, there seemed to be more women when he walked around certain areas, especially around what he called the “women only market,” which he briefly filmed and then left. The main visible difference in this video seems to be, as he says, that it’s not as crowded.

      It’s a really interesting channel and I am grateful to be introduced to it.

  6. Toshiro_Mifune

    Cops Threaten Illegal Kickball Players With Child Abuse Charges

    Reading the article at Reason as well as the CSIndy article Reason sources from I’m not too sure if the cops are the bad guys in this one. It’s hard to tell if the police are being overbearing or if the people organizing the kick ball game are just being jerks and blocking a busy street (according to some of the comments).
    From the article this isn’t just 6-7 kids playing in the street. They had at least 25 when the reporter was there covering it and by their own admission had had whole soccer teams come out previously to play in addition to the local kids.
    The police chief in the article didn’t sound unreasonable. His basic line was – If your going to have this many people out is the street please either take it to a park or get a permit.

    1. Ian Perkins

      Snyder had actually tried to get a permit.
      “The person got back to me and basically said there’s a 14-day waiting period for this and we’d have to go and get signatures from everybody [on the block], every single time we had to do it, so it’s not practical for a kickball game that lasts an hour and a half,” said Snyder. “Plus you’d have to rent $300 worth of barricades each time, you can’t put up your own barricades. It wasn’t a practical solution.”

      In some countries, local neighbourhoods, with varying degrees of cooperation from authorities, regularly block their streets to traffic for such things – sometimes games, sometimes just hanging out and getting to know each other, often for the first time. Prioritising cars over kids and community is not civilised, if you ask me.

  7. hemeantwell

    Re precarious future work, Michael Eby has an excellent article at New Left Review Sidecar, “Agile Workplace,” that describes the development of the organizational models behind software industry precarity. It’s the first piece I’ve seen that treats gig work at the level of analysis set out by Harry Braverman back in the 70s in Labor and Monopoly Capital. Eby’s discussion of the differences between the rigid Waterfall and fluid Agile production team models clarifies the logic behind the high rate of exploitation workers suffer in these open, unstructured settings. The Agile model makes a simple piece rate system look humane.

    1. R

      My wife is having to grapple with HMG (ab)using Agile methodologies to create post-Brexit regulatory policy….

    1. Tom Stone

      Rev, you can also expect a lot of resignations in the lower ranks of the Officer class.
      Military career counselors ( There are many thousands of them ) have for decades warned about the dangers of too much time with the troops, and especially too much combat time if you want to reach high rank.
      You might make Colonel if you pick up enough shiny gongs, but that’s as far as you will go unless you have been playing the political game very well throughout your career.
      It’s been that way for several decades.
      The first to leave will be those who genuinely care about their troops.

      1. ex. PFC chuck roast

        “The first to leave will be those who genuinely care about the troops.”

        In my experience the Captains were the guys faced with…”Do I really care about the troops or do I really care about my career?”

    2. Darthbobber

      But only one vaccine. Which confers a monopoly on Pfizer for as long as that is the case.

      1. Nikkikat

        Earth bobber, I think it’s been clear from the beginning that the winner chosen by the Washington elite is Pfizer. Could be because half of congress and no doubt people like Dr Fauci are heavily invested in it. Their stock portfolio is more important than killing people. Telling people they must be vaccinated with a drug that they know works maybe 4 or 5 months over and over again with no data to back it up is insane.
        I am thinking it will be a long time if ever before any other vaccine is allowed.

        1. tegnost

          My feeling is that the entire blob sees mrna tech as the self driving car of pharmaceuticals and there is no better way to test it, making years worth of progress (what they consider progress) in a short period using the tried and true disruption method.
          Now just like with self driving they can’t imagine a computer can’t do it better even though the lowest bubba can drive a car with minimal instruction, they can’t see that the human body is more complex than they plan on it being. Money. That’s it, well with shaming and social control as sweeteners…
          It’s a giant no risk experiment that will continue to shower money on wall st adjacent gee whiz in pharma, academia and silly con valley especially.

          1. Mikel

            “they can’t see that the human body is more complex than they plan on it being”

            Like economics, some aspects of science is so 19th Century: man as machine.

      2. Tom Stone

        Monopolies are good because greed is good!

        More seriously, can you imagine a worse time to mandate vaccination?
        Or to rush through the final approval of a vaccine?
        When trust is gone all that is left is force and the threat of violence.
        David spoke to this a few days ago, as have others.
        Our Society is simply too complex and too fragile for a slave society to be even moderately functional.|
        The likelihood of societal collapse in the USA is becoming more likely by the day and when it comes ( Not if, when) it will happen quickly.
        Dead and crippled Kids get people’s attention, much more so when they are the Children of people who assume they matter.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          When I was learning to drive, as a tight spot like a bridge approached, my focus drew closer and closer to the nose of the car with the result that I was making sine curves back and forth on the highway. After a while, I learned to keep my eyes well ahead on the road, and my path toward my destination was much straighter.

          Mounting crises and the intractability of Covid are making our institutional leaders act like they’re just learning to drive.

          1. newcatty

            At the other end of driving experience was accepting that it was time to hang up my keys. When I could see that I could not drive safely due to a couple of years dealing with vision problems that were eventually solved with continual medical intervention, I stopped driving. I was retired from working and fortunate enough that my spouse still drove our car. I got flak from many people. My favorite passive aggressive attempted attack was: It must be nice to be soooo spoiled! Really? Reminds me of : “First do no harm “. With exceptions, the medical elites have forgotten, or ignored, that ethical admonition.

      3. Hiroyuki

        Not sure i see what you are saying. This approval does not limit ht other EUA out there. Are you saying for mandated shots only?

    3. Carolinian

      This has some info

      In 2003 the Pentagon tried to force anthrax shots on troops and lawsuits resulted because of the shot’s emergency authorization. Then the FDA officially approved but a judge said they cut corners on the approval. When the FDA finally overcame the judge’s concerns the military backed down and only required the shots for certain missions.

      Reportedly some troops are trying to sue now but their only real option may be to quit or get Biden to change his mind. The argument is that they signed up to follow orders and of course there are many ways they then are put in danger that don’t have anything to do with Covid. In our system the only way to fire the order giver is through elections. Here’s suggesting that the Bidenista’s cavalier approach to “the consent of the governed” is not going to work out well for the Dems.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Old roommate of mine was subject to this. He was not the sharpest tool in the box, and one day he told me when he was in the military around 2000 give or take a year or so they made everyone get anthrax vaccines. I had to tell him they were using soldiers as guinea pigs.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        No idea whether this is true or not, but from today’s Automatic Earth (can’t cut and paste, so a transcription):

        If your job is mandating the shot, don’t worry. Here are some places you can work that currently don’t.

        1. The White House
        2. The CDC
        3. The FDA
        4. Moderna
        5. Pfizer
        6. The WHO
        7. Johnson & Johnson

        While you’re there, check out the covid “studies,” like the several on myocarditis and pericarditis with “study completion” dates like December 31, 2022, and October 31, 2025. No mention of whether these “studies” will have actual control groups.

        1. mikel

          I can’t help but think the people in those 7 organizations speak fluent technocractese. Those who can’t explain objections in the language of the technocratic are ignored.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      This really ought to be turning some heads. This is another case of the government using private companies to do their dirty work for them. Same as using Twitter and Facebook to censor views that the establishment frowns upon but can’t censor themselves due to that pesky 1st Amendment. Where is the line between public and private anymore? I’d argue that for the elites, there really isn’t one.

  8. Ian Perkins

    3rd July 1979: President Jimmy Carter authorizes $500,000 to aid the mujahideen in Afghanistan YouTube

    Younger readers might also want to see Zbigniew Brzezinski, US National Security Adviser, addressing the Mujaheddin in 1979. Not a woman in sight, and not a mention, or even a hint, of women’s rights, which are now almost being presented as the reason for US intervention in the first place. “That land over there is yours,” he told an exclusively male audience. (1 minute)

    1. orlbucfan

      Brzezinski was another Henry Kissinger: foreign born, RW, and corrupt. How these yahoos weasel their way to the top has always escaped me.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        They have an ” international man of danger” accent which makes them sound very smart to monolingual anglophone Acela-class Americans.

    1. Kevin

      I recently heard Vancouver is in the midst of its third-longest dry spell.
      I would guess the Coyote’s food sources are probably drying up as well, forcing them into more aggressive behavior.

      1. lordkoos

        Fires have been raging all over British Columbia for months, that might have something to do with it as well. The animals are perhaps being pushed out of the wilderness by the smoke and heat. Stanley Park is very large and no doubt a decent habitat for coyotes.

        My niece lives in suburban LA and hears coyotes when she walks her dog.

        1. Carla

          We have coyotes in my inner-ring suburb of Cleveland. No wild-fires, no drought. But as sprawl has overtaken areas that used to be wild, the wildlife has apparently decided that turn-about is fair play. Deer, coyotes and other critters come to our parks, and soon move into our backyards.

    2. Wukchumni

      A backcountry ranger in Sequoia NP told me that black bears have been much more aggressive this summer in attempts to make off with picnic baskets, er backpackers food.

      Usually there’s water just about everywhere in the High Sierra, you can reliably expect to come across a creek every few miles, but so many of them have dried up in the midst of our punishing drought, and like human beans, animals need H20 and can’t go too long without it.

      Thimbleberries are typically ripe about now, and I had a few near a spring-fed creek the other day. They were 1/3rd of the normal size and few and far between, most had dried out before ripening to a blood red color.

      Same thing with blackberries, they’re tiny.

      1. lordkoos

        Similarly, we went out looking for huckleberries two weeks ago, most plants that had no fruit at all and on the ones that did, they were mostly small and shriveled. After several hours we had picked maybe two quarts at best, whereas in a normal year we might come home with several gallons.

        The heat has been extreme the last few summers, and in my judgement eastern WA is on its way from a being a semi-arid climate to being more desert-like. If not for irrigation from the dams on the Columbia along with underground aquifers (which are being depleted fairly rapidly) regional agriculture would be in a sorry state. If/when global warming gets to the point where the glaciers in the Cascades begin to shrink and can no longer dependably fill the resevoirs, the water supply will become a serious issue, yet at the moment there is no policy of conservation. During the first heatwave in June of this year, three feet of snow melted off of Mt Rainier in a week, leaving only 18 inches, on a mountain that has an elevation of 13,000+ feet.

        1. Wukchumni

          During the first heatwave in June of this year, three feet of snow melted off of Mt Rainier in a week, leaving only 18 inches, on a mountain that has an elevation of 13,000+ feet.

          That was also the case here during our worst heatdome yet, it was 106 @ 1,000 feet and then 94 @ nearly 8,000 feet, a paltry 12 degree difference in temp. Luckily we didn’t have any snow to melt off, ha ha.

          That is remarkable with Mt. Rainier though, so much went away so soon @ an altitude not known for those things to occur, because in theory using around 4 degrees cooler for every 1,000 feet gained, there’s almost no way that could happen under the old climate we used to know.

          Don’t get me started on the germ’ans schvitzkreig advancing on all fronts in a Delta pattern…

  9. Questa Nota

    Zbig, with his zsmall ideologue approach.
    That is another cautionary tale for history books, as if the world needed one even if it does need those books.
    What current day readers may see is that yet another sole person, in the right circumstances, can have undue influence that lasts for, or ripples through, generations.
    See also Charlie Wilson.
    A citizen could ask about oversight, accountability, checks, balances and other notions that are recalled only due to their rarity.
    Non-answers are to be expected from DC, media and the usual allowed opinions.

  10. Tom Stone

    Those so called “Smart Bullets” are pretty much vaporware.
    A .50 Caliber 700 grain bullet is the smallest package you can cram the guidance system in at this point and it is going to be a fragile system at best.
    It may be worthwhile to use these in a dedicated autonomous system where you can control the environment ( Heat, cold, humidity, mud…) if you are using it to protect a very high value target.
    Otherwise it’s just a very expensive toy.
    Even using additive manufacturing for the projectile body won’t bring the cost down enough.
    Those vanes have to deploy reliably and those sensors have to be rugged enough to handle the G forces involved in being accelerated to 3,000 FPS in a fraction of a second.
    In all conditions, reliably.
    At a reasonable cost.
    Pull the other one, it has bells on.

        1. KommieKat

          “Runaway” (1984) featured “smart bullets” fired at Tom Selleck by Gene Simmons. Prescient about robotics in many ways as well.

    1. JohnnySacks

      But pimping these stupid toys to someone with zero budget restrictions pays off in silver dollars for the military tech grifters. How many times must we be taught a lesson – all the tech in the world – useless against an enemy entrenched on it’s own territory willing to do whatever it takes to deliver misery to the occupying force. I fear Iran will be the one who finally hands us a significant body count, not your average untrained army running around in sandals and AK-47s with Korean war vintage missiles.

      1. Procopius

        Minor quibble: The Taliban always had a refuge available in the “ungovernable tribal areas” in Pakistan. In fact, from the maps I’ve seen, about half of Pashtuns live in Afghanistan, half live in Pakistan, so they are not Afghans (just as Tajiks are not Afghans and Baluchis are not Afghans and Turkmen are not Afghans), they are Pashtuns.

    2. jhg

      You can buy rifle scopes with built in ballistic computers that allow the shooter to make consistent 1000 + metre shots. I don’t think “guided” bullets are neccessary although I can see marketing them as the next great battlefield neccessity would make a lot of money.

      1. Bill Smith

        The target can’t be moving with the Tracking Point rifle. It is also a rifle, not just a scope. It had a pretty short battery life when I saw it a few years ago.

    3. R

      Devils advocate thoughts:
      – high G semiconductors exist, see fighterjets and missiles
      – no vanes required, could piezoelectric deformable materials reprofile the airflow enough to steer?

      Very expensive bullets all told though.

    1. Geo

      This is a very odd part of that article:

      “Enough has been said about the Democratic Party’s obsession with putting white Americans in their proper place, which is some deep hole where they can be ignored and berated as necessary. Purges are already taking place at the Pentagon and at the Justice and Homeland Security Departments. But Warner’s stated “priority” to engage in the rebuilding of an intelligence community that has seen its budget grow year after year comes as somewhat of a surprise. Perhaps it needs the extra cash to root-out those pesky whites.”

      I don’t think the kente cloth photo op and the bill for National Hip Hop Day can be construed as white erasure. Frankly, anyone who thinks the Dems are anti-white is a raging lunatic. Conflating IdPol virtue signaling with some sort of anti-white pogrom makes the author come off as a simplistic zero-sum fanatic merely out to peddle fear and division, not any truths.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        “If your political party pulls out all the stops for Joe Biden, it ain’t anti-white, jack.”

      2. hunkerdown

        As if the bourgeois liberal PMC doesn’t make business and personnel decisions based on ESG values informed by successor ideology, and does not use their class position to dispense morality. Pull the other one.

      3. Procopius

        My opinion is that anybody who thinks there’s going to be any kind of “purge” at either the Pentagon or the State Department is a raving lunatic. Even now somebody at the Pentagon is designing a new medal for the Afghan Evacuation Campaign, to be awarded to everybody serving on active duty from January 21, 2021, to September 2, 2021.

  11. Tom

    Re Chevy Bolt recall. Would love to hear from anyone who has experience with a recall. I leased a 2020 Bolt last December. I live in a detached house with a garage, but no driveway or street parking. (It’s urban infill where they jam a bunch of houses into a small space.) GM’s “guidance” so far is to charge and park outside. Not an option for me. The car still works, I just can’t use it it any normal way. AZ lemon law says if the car is out of service for more than thirty days, the dealer/manufacturer has to replace or refund. From everything I’ve read, GM’s fix will take many months once they have replacement batteries, and no one really knows how long it will take to get the batteries. I’ve spoken with a GM electric vehicle concierge (that’s really what they call them) and was told that someone will call be back this week.
    Any advice on how to proceed?

    1. HotFlash

      Steve Lehto, the Lemon Law lawyer, just did a youtube on this recall, in which he mentions at a warranty incl damages. AZ may have something specific WRT collateral $$ and most likely something specific as to timeliness. In your shoes, I would ask the ‘concierge’ (whose job, btw, is to
      upsell you), call daily, be very polite, explain your situation (at length) every time, give them no cause to retaliate, apologetically complain abt the inconvenience/illegality of keeping your bolt outside, yada yada. Ideallyy, they will move you to the front of the line to get rid of you.

  12. The Rev Kev

    ‘Guardian news
    NSW Covid update: mask-wearing and vaccine passports may be needed for years as 753 cases recorded’

    There is a Sherlock Holmes maxim that in explaining something, that ‘When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.’ So I have been trying to work out what is behind some of the decisions that the NSW State and Federal government have made as well as the intent of the Doherty Report which is supposed to ‘guide us out of the pandemic’ and make us ‘leave our caves’ and have come up with only one reasonable explanation. I can only conclude that the real plan is to make this virus endemic to the population and this may be true of the US and the UK as well. At that point, Australia can open up their border to traffic from all over the world as few countries will be better than the other. So tourists, ocean liners, international students and cheap labour can come back into the country again. And they probably used examples like the great flu pandemic of a century ago to guide them in this.

    In fact, that is the stated aim of the final part of the Doherty report – to open up the borders which when you think about it sounds like an odd thing to say for a Pandemic plan. The PM has said several times that at this point we will treat it like the flu and accept that some people will get sick from it. And by that what he is really saying is that this will be something to be managed because that is what you have a Professional Managerial Class for. So, it will be herd immunity by another name. What will stop the mass deaths will be the vaccines (AstraZeneca, Pzifer & soon Moderna) and people are running off to be vaccinated because they can see this virus being allowed to run rampant. Then come next year’s election he can go to the polls saying that he made Aussies free again of this virus. In this context, a lot becomes clearer on why certain decisions are being made.

    1. Tom Stone

      Rev, I’m in agreement that TPTB are going to”Let ‘er Rip” on the assumption that herd immunity will result without too much disruption in the lives of the people who matter.
      They are the smartest guys and gals in the whole wide world and everything is under control…surely this Virus isn’t so ill mannered that it will ignore the wishes of our glorious elites…

    2. Basil Pesto

      I think relying on the Doherty modelling is a huge mistake, but I don’t think the report is anywhere near as shabby as the impression of it given by our politicians. Consider this on page 4:

      Given the time horizon, transitions to later phases (C and D) will be associated with greater uncertainty because of:
      • Likely emergence of new variants within Australia or internationally exhibiting one or more of heightened transmissibility, severity or immune escape;
      • Changing global epidemiology of COVID-19 affecting the risk profile of travellers from different countries and regions;
      • Waning of vaccine-derived and natural immunity over time;
      • Development of new vaccine products (eg multivalent or specific VOC vaccines) and schedules
      including administration of booster doses to high risk subgroups or whole population;
      • Population fatigue and the potential for declining compliance with restrictions;
      • Potential for future development of readily bioavailable therapeutics that might be used for
      either or all of transmission reduction, prevention of disease progression and life-saving therapies.

      (phase D being the ‘open all borders’ bit that you mentioned)

      These are all issues that gave come up in NC discussion. The question is how alert is the institute to developing knowledge, how prepared are they to update their assumptions accordingly, and how much do politicians care even if they do change their advice? (this, incidentally, is Doherty’s twitter). Morrison said the 70% freedom target was his ‘deal’ with Australians, and the uncritical buy-in to vaccines, a sort of proportionate inverse to the intellectual laziness of anti-vaxxers, is immense, even with our erstwhile zero-covid advantage and ability to observe what’s happening in heavily vaccinated territories in the rest of the world. Political expediency and shortsighted stupidity are well-acquainted old friends.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Hi Basil. I believe that it was you that linked to that report the other day and which I read. There are an awful lot of assumptions in that report and already the appearance of Delta has caused some of their recommendations to break down in the face of reality. I have seen two interviews of people from this Institute but not with a reporter who will say, for example, ‘Hey, what about Israel. They are at 80% and look at them.’

        In a sense, it is not a report about dealing with a pandemic but one with ‘normalizing ‘the economy which is why it’s own stated fourth stage is to open up all the borders. Based on how Delta is going, Australia does not have the medical capacity, the nurses or even the ICU beds to cope with this strain. No idea if we get a worse strain but it could easily happen. And that is yet another factor that they did not crank into their models. Their models seem to be based on the Alpha strain.

        1. Basil Pesto

          In a sense, it is not a report about dealing with a pandemic but one with ‘normalizing ‘the economy which is why it’s own stated fourth stage is to open up all the borders.

          That’s not out of the question, but it’s not really in evidence from the report itself, which remains pretty technical. I don’t know what Doherty’s politics are. He insists the institute is not a policy shop, even if the politicians are making it seem like it is by making promises based on the contents of the report. That’s all nice in theory, but I think he/the report have critical blind spots. I don’t think the fact that stage 4 is the final stage aimed for where we can ideally open borders speaks to an economic aim of the modelling, rather than a desire for, and ultimate goal of a return to the degree of pre-pandemic normalcy that everybody wants, but which nobody seems to understand is so far away. It has to be the goal at some point thoigh, right? Even if nobody seems to have a grasp on what that’s going to take (hint: not these mRNA vaccines)

          No idea if we get a worse strain but it could easily happen. And that is yet another factor that they did not crank into their models.

          No, because how can they? That’s why they mentioned it in the ‘uncertainties’ section I highlighted from page 4. I can only reiterate:

          The question is how alert is the institute to developing knowledge, how prepared are they to update their assumptions accordingly, and how much do politicians care even if they do change their advice?

          Some of their responses to date, and their dug-in response in the grauniad article you linked to (whose conclusion is essentially ‘moar vaccines!!’ – two of the authors are economists, after all), suggests the answer is “not very”.

          You’re also right about their approach to delta, they carry on assuming that due to lack of evidence thus far it’s basically functionally alpha:

          Given recent emergence of Delta variants, there is presently very limited evidence of their severity relevant to antecedent strains. While early reports from Scotland and Canada suggest clinical outcomes might be worse than for Alpha variants, it is important to note that infections in these settings are skewed towards unvaccinated population groups in whom other risk determinants may also differ, potentially confounding and inflating early estimates of severity.

          On this basis we will assume that the severity of Delta strains approximates Alpha strains. Again, given the limited evidence of clinical outcomes for Alpha relative to the much more extensive literature on original ‘wild-type’ strains we draw our starting assumptions regarding disease progression from wild-type. We then apply age-based risk multipliers as indicated based on observations of the Alpha variant.


    3. bwilli123

      Rev, an obviously unstated purpose of the neo-liberalism behind the Tory decision making process around Covid is to break the common will (or what’s left of it)
      ‘There is no such thing as society,’ after all.

    4. The Rev Kev

      New modelling has found that Australia could face 25,000 deaths and 270,000 cases of long Covid if lockdowns and public health restrictions end once 80% of the adult population is vaccinated. Scotty from Marketing instantly dismisses it because it does not match his plan to win next year’s federal election which the Doherty report supports-

  13. ChiGal Outta Carolina

    The third Pfizer dose 86% link seems to go to a different article—nothing there about an Israeli HMO?

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      William Burns. Not Ken. William Burns is actually one of the brighter bulbs in the USA’s PMC, was a competent ambassador in Moscow. He pops up a few times in Wikileaks, usually coming off like a bright and observant fellow. Burns does not look good in this NY Post photo. He has aged considerably. I guess working for idiots and trying to make sense of a nonsensical foreign policy will tire out even the best of us.

      1. JTMcPhee

        So we should be pleased that Burns is chatting up the pro team head of the Taliban? I think I read that for the time being, the Taliban (if the T can be treated as a monolith?) is ok with selling poppy paste for income, maybe needed since the other sh!ts in the “policy establishment” have seized Afghan assets, cut off financial aid, and are busily drafting “sanctions” that in another age would b considered a casus belli.

        Biden has definitely kicked over a few apple carts. When Jesus upended the tables of the money changers, I wonder if he had a plan as to how that would work out, or was just doing the right thing and forget the consequences… Will us mopes ever get to see the workarounds that the MICIMATT is deploying to keep the (planet-killing) Game in motion?

        1. rowlf

          I think I read that for the time being, the Taliban (if the T can be treated as a monolith?) is ok with selling poppy paste for income,

          My vibe also on the visit.

          Crapgame: Make a deal.
          Big Joe: What kind of deal?
          Crapgame: A deal deal. Maybe the guy’s a Republican. Business is business, right?

          Kelley’s Heroes (1970)

  14. The Rev Kev

    “The Incredible Secret Science of Ants’ Underground Cities: How Ants Build Amazingly Complex and Stable Structures”

    An amazing article this. So they can build those tunnels, even though they do not really know what they are doing, because they use an ‘behavioral algorithm.’ Makes you wonder if we humans also use behavioral algorithms that we are not really aware of.

    1. Lee

      If ants are building “complex and stable structures” perhaps their algorithms are better than ours. And how do these researchers know just what ants are or are not aware of? Maybe they observe humans with a sense of their own evolutionary superiority. And so, perhaps, they should.

    2. TimH

      Humans are pre-wired for all sorts of stuff. Think of the instant auto-response to motion at periphery of vision, and the entire sexual attraction thing.

      1. Lee

        Not to mention all our billions of cells, themselves complex systems within other complex systems, on the job 24/7, without input from the conscious portion our beady little brains. Quite amazing actually. IIRC, it was Camus who held that super natural miracles were superfluous to his sense of wonder, for the primary phenomenon, existence of the natural world, was miracle enough for him.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Beautifully put. And yet those beady little brains have enough hubris to believe that they can manage and control major parts of those processes without bad consequences.

  15. Stillfeelinthebern

    What if Covid-19 was an act of bioterrorism?
    What if some group/person unfavorable to the United States released COVID -19?
    How SHOULD we react to this kind of attack?
    Has there ever been a bioagent release that was a virus? Do we have a reaction plan?
    How would framing COVID 19 as a bioterrorism change the messaging/discussion/response?

    I know Trum* and others want to blame the Chinese. So if it is them and it was on purpose, has it not been extraordinarily successful at disrupting the US?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Doesn’t work out. If the Chinese were going to launch a bioterrorism attack, why would they attack their own homeland first? And once you release something like this in the wild, it will evolve and it will come back to get you. It would be like using a flamethrower in a telephone box.

      1. Isotope_C14

        Unless you have a vaccine already made that you know works, and only give that to select folks…

        1. Michael

          Setting aside the “severe illness and hospitalization” pablum, did anyone have a vaccine that “works”? Does anyone now?

      2. Michael

        Rev, this doesn’t take into account an accidental release, and the unfailing ability of humans (especially of the military sort) to believe they exercise a level of control over their world completely out of line with reality.

        All that said, a bioweapon with a <1.5% fatality rate is also probably the worst bioweapon evah.

    2. Lee

      An economic system largely driven by profit-seeking through the production of non-essentials will find itself in dire straits when constrained to having to produce only the essentials. This should be less of a problem in a country like ours, which is capable of a high degree of autarky. But this way of thinking is anathema to our current crop of elites. Too bad for the rest of us.

      1. lance ringquist


        The tariff is the cheaper system, because the duties, being collected in large parcels at a few commercial points, will require comparatively few officers in their collection; while by the direct tax system, the land must be literally covered with assessors and collectors, going forth like swarms of Egyptian locusts, devouring every blade of grass and other green thing. And again, by the tariff system, the whole revenue is paid by the consumers of foreign goods, and those chiefly, the luxuries, and not the necessaries of life.

        By this system, the man who contents himself to live upon the products of his own country, pays nothing at all. And surely, that country is extensive enough, and its products abundant and varied enough, to answer all the real wants of its people. In short, by this system, the burthen of revenue falls almost entirely on the wealthy and luxurious few, while the substantial and laboring many who live at home, and upon home products, go entirely free.”44

        Lincoln’s number 2 issue after slavery. As he put it in 1847,
        Give us a protective tariff, and we will have the greatest nation on earth.

        Lincolns comment on”free trade” was, “If I buy $1000 of steel from abroad, we have the steel, but foreigners have the $1000. If I buy the steel in America,
        we have the steel and Americans have the $1000.”

        no one will debate this guy for obvious reasons, its why there is all this distraction about trump

        Franklin argued, the American manufacturers could not survive unless they were protected from low-wage competition

        GDP in america under protectionism was far superior for workers than nafta billy clintons poor GDP performance

        To sum up, the free-trade/market policies are policies that have rarely, if ever, worked

        Few countries have become rich through free-trade, free-market policies and few ever will.

        Dr. Ha Joon Chang plainly through historical records proves that free trade is bad for the poor and democracy

        Saturday, April 4, 2015
        Free-market policies rarely make poor countries rich by Dr. Ha-Joon Chang
        Thing 7
        Free-market policies rarely
        make poor countries rich
        Dr. Ha Joon Chang
        (Book Excerpt from 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism)…

    3. BondsOfSteel

      What is Covid-19 was an prelude to an attack by aliens?

      It makes sense that the Martians are upset with Elon’s plans to colonize the planet and would react negatively.

      I mean, you can’t prove it wasn’t.

      1. Count Zero

        Well, there are two theoretical perspectives on this — & you don’t have to go to some philosopher of science, it’s voiced by Philip Marlowe in Raymond Chandler’s last novel. There are two ways of making sense of things, he says. The first is because there is evidence, facts. But there’s a second — and the one we all use most of the time I think. That if something is true then nothing else makes any sense. It’s a coherence theory of truth, I suppose.

        So, if Covid is a prelude to Martians invading earth then that makes everything I know meaningless. That’s proof enough for me.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      What if it was an act of biojokerism? Made and released by a group who simply want to watch the world burn?

  16. TimH

    “Apple Has Been CSAM Scanning since 2019”

    So where are the arrests based on this, since there’s a duty on detection to pass it on to authorities? After all, Apple said that their systems werea major CSAM vehicle.

    Again, something missing here…

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Open-Source Insulin: Biohackers Aiming For Distributed Production”

    An interesting article this. It did give me an idea. What if one day all those drug gangs south of the border start manufacturing drugs for the US market. But drugs like insulin, Ivermectin and all the others that are being priced out of American’s pockets. Can you imagine? I can see it now on the news. The FBI would be announcing that they had seized an illegal shipment of insulin and trying to do so while not making them out to be total jerks. Stuff like cocaine is still illegal and gets you credit for busting an operation but insulin? At least the street value would still be high.

    1. Kouros

      The TV Show New Amsterdam has the medical director setting up a lab to manufacture insulin. Back down in the end…

    2. Procopius

      India already does that for Asia. One of the reasons medical care is reasonable here in Thailand.

  18. Bob White

    A Misused Microsoft Tool Leaked Troves of Data From 47 Organizations
    “Microsoft’s Power Apps, a popular development platform, allows organizations to quickly create web apps, replete with public facing websites and related backend data management…incorrect configurations of the product can leave large troves of data publicly exposed to the web…including governments, large companies, and Microsoft itself…”

    The first “misuse” is to use a Microsoft product for anything web-based.
    Second, Microsoft is notorious for creating products that are wide-open by default… and sometimes it is difficult to secure them at all, without the use of another product (like Linux).

    Let’s put Bill Gates in charge of vaccines, as he is quite familiar with viruses… :-)

  19. Synoia

    There are two possibilities for the current US policies Covid policies:

    1. Stupidity
    2. Malice.

    It is the general trend to point to Stupidity of our Leaders.
    However, we should consider all possibilities, until one can be eliminated by evidence.

    I point to the decisions in Afghanistan where the US did not include its allies in its plans. In the context of NATO, that appears as malice – not informing one’s allies about decisions and plans.

    AKA: Let our allies become targets for the Taliban while we run away.

    This analysis also applies to Covid, One horrible solution to our overcrowded resource limited world is to reduce the population level.

    It is next-to-impossible to determine if our leaders are malicious or benign, without clear evidence.

    I lean towards malicious, as reducing the population level of the world would provide a more comfortable world for the fewer.

    At this time our leaders have some benefit of the doubt. However, the behavior of the US in its Afghanistan planning towards its allies while retreating points to malice.

    The unexplained behavior of the US to outsource biological weapons from the US labs to China, especially what has the appearance of a biological weapons program, by a set of our leaders appears significant, as deliberate plan to subvert US Law — but to what end? Warfare or population control?

    1. saywhat?

      There are twp possibilities for the current US policies Covid policies:

      1. Stupidity
      2. Malice.

      Another possibility is 3. Tragic inevitably.

      On other grounds, it’s been established that we have an unjust, therefore sick economic system and lo and behold Covid comes along to confirm that diagnosis.

      1. Mikel

        Tragically inevitable – especially looking at hospitals and clinics facing the same dire issues that they did at the outset of the pandemic. All other ways to mitigate the fragility of the healthcare system other than “magic shots” has been ignored. They can’t stop cost cutting for bonuses for administrators.

      2. Hiroyuki

        “Covid comes along to confirm that diagnosis.”
        yes but to make the system even more unjust and sick. Kaching!

    2. Pat

      Stupidity is an easier answer, you don’t have to figure out the target.

      Regarding the US not informing their Allies : who would be expected to formulate the plans, who would then be expected to be in contact with the allies, and who would be harmed most by the decision to leave them out. While your malice scenario is possible, I think the more probable answer is a multipronged scenario. Those in charge of the retreat were not in favor, they want it stopped, their plans have been remarkably ineffective. Not informing the Allies does two things. It eliminated feedback from others who might want this to go smoother AND it guaranteed that the the other governments would be pissed which meant more pressure on the President telling them to stuff their disagreement with the policy and get on with it.

      Regarding Covid, it is harder to determine the targets. I lean to stupid and greedy rather than malice, no matter how harmful the stupidity is. Frankly I just don’t see enough concern on the part of TPTB about excess population to think that is it. And they really do not seem protected from heir worst decisions unless they have some secret treatment we do not know about. But as things change I may see things differently.

      1. Hiroyuki

        “And they really do not seem protected from heir worst decisions”
        actually the evidence on that one is quite clear. they have been protected and even made rich by it.

    3. TalkingCargo

      If you assume that the CDC’s goal is to protect the public by reducing the number of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths, it is hard (for me at least) to explain most of their actions. It can be difficult sometimes to tell the difference between stupidity and malice, but in this case it seems you have to postulate a whole lot of stupidity. Not sure if anyone can be that stupid.

      OTOH, it may be more greed and corruption (mixed with stupidity) rather than actual malice.

      1. hunkerdown

        Only within the ideology of bourgeois supremacy would greed or corruption be seen as something less than malice.

      2. Hiroyuki

        there seem to be no good ways to untangle greed stupidity and malice.
        are they not all closely interwoven?

    4. Vandemonian

      Let our allies become targets for the Taliban while we run away.

      Does that mean the US can start calling those fried potato things “French fries” again?

  20. Wukchumni

    In Roughing It, Mark Twain related accidentally burning up a swath of Lake Tahoe, and now the Caldor Fire has given Tahoe the worst air quality in the nation, as the conflagration continues its march towards South Lake Tahoe, which is quite the warren of lack of planning in terms of squished in homes everywhere, kind of a mountain ghetto with far too many pine trees in and around residences, sort of a bigger better Paradise.

  21. John Steinbach

    “The Whole Country is the Reichstag Adolph Reed (fk)”. Reed is arguing that the “ultra-right” is poised to implement a putsch primarily via anti-voting legislation and anti-government propaganda aimed at a long litany of dispossessed. He is extremely opposed to “red/green” or “left/right” collaboration, seeing this as a way to trash left wing organizing (For example, Sanders = Trump).

    He gives Biden pretty much of a pass, and attacks Rand Paul for insulting Faucci.

    He does talk briefly about bi-partisan neoliberal policies bringing society to this point, but the overwhelming focus is on the threat of “the ultra right.

    I like him better when he talks about class conscious, working class organizing & criticizes ID based politics.

    1. Chris S

      Whether you want to hear him talk about it or not, I don’t see how he’s wrong. It’s possible to despise the neoliberal establishment AND recognize that what the far right is doing is extremely disturbing. Especially the anti-democratic voting bills they’re pushing, which will serve as a dragnet to disenfranchise large numbers of the working class.

      1. tegnost

        That was my take, too. Everything I saw was pretty spot on as usual for Reed. It just makes it that much darker, our putative future

    2. Daryl

      I had a similar reaction. I enjoyed the article overall, and agree with him that we are in a very dangerous and fragile state, but I was surprised that he dismissed “right-wing populism” out of hand. It is always co-opted in this country for silliness like the tea party of course, but I think there is something there if the shared economic interests of 99% of this country could be teased out into the open rather than buried under idpol/religion/etc…

    3. Carolinian

      I just read this and was fairly astonished at such hair on fire stuff coming from the normally sensible Reed. I had to check the author note at the end to make sure it was really him.

      While it’s quite true that you can find similar attitudes at sites like Counterpunch or WSWS, the notion that the Republicans are secret Nazis just waiting for their big chance strikes me as absurd. If Trump is Hitler then it would be the Hitler as played by Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator–in short a clown. And yes some people laughed at Hitler himself until they didn’t but historical analogies are way too glib when one is making such grandiose accusations.

      Republicans are not Nazis. They are what they always have been–rich people for the most part. Yes most of the populism is fake but it is arguably less fake than the populism wielded by today’s PMC Dems. Wall Street is our real problem, not Lindsey Graham.

      1. Soredemos

        My reaction to fear-mongering about an imminent permanent Republican takeover of much is the country is “…so what?”.

        In all seriousness, how would that be hugely different from how most Democrats already (mis)run their continuances?

        Just yesterday I listened to the latest episode of The West Wing Thing, where they spend a fair amount of time trying to convince California listeners that no matter how much he sucks, they need to vote against Newsom’s recall, lest a thuggish Republican become Governor with some ludicrously small percentage of the vote. But they list many reasons why Newsom is himself a thug (they admit they did a poor job of justifying voting for him). He’s literally man-slaughtered thousands of old people. He’s currently doing effectively nothing in regards to protecting children from covid. Some number of children WILL die as a result of his dereliction of duty, more will suffer a lifetime of health problems, and a much greater number of non-children will be endangered as the kids act as carriers.

        He’s similarly terrible on a whole host of issues people on the left care about.

        You can say that the GOP is worse, but Democrats have already set the bar at floor level. They may be worse, but it’s the difference between getting punched in the face and getting kicked in the balls.

        1. Carolinian

          I think both parties are out of ideas and simply going through the motions. As long as they have their safe incumbent seats they don’t care about results except insofar as they need to keep their donors happy. Doesn’t Joe Biden scream placeholder? “Nothing fundamentally will change.”

          And you can’t just pluck “fascism” out of its 20th century context and pretend it is always there in the shadows, exactly like it was before. The rich and powerful don’t need a revolution because they are doing just fine thank you. Personally I think demagogue Huey Long got closer to the mark. “When fascism comes to America it will be called anti-fascism.” For modern day USians it’s all about the PR.

          1. Soredemos

            I’m increasingly convinced fascism was a specifically early 20th century European phenomenon, born out of Romanticism and rising nationalism after WW1 shattered the old order. It was a thing of a specific time and place, the conditions of which are not replicated today. We can find echoes of it today, but not the full thing itself. Right-wing politics today might vomit up something that is fascism-ish, or fascism-adjacent, but which will have meaningful differences from the fascist regimes of the past.

            And even then, given that the neoliberal impulse is to label any challenger a populist and/or a Nazi, I don’t know to what degree something like, say, the National Front/National Rally can be genuinely described as fascist-adjacent. Being against unrestricted economic migration doesn’t automatically make you a Nazi. Are they fascists? I don’t know; I’m not familiar enough with French politics to comment. My point is that just because a neoliberal claims something is ‘bad’ doesn’t magically make it so.

          2. lance ringquist

            when fascism came to america, its was sold as free trade spreads democracy, and eradicates poverty.

            nafta billy clinton opened the door to FASCISM. if we do not reverse his disastrous policies, more trumps to come


            Ripe for Fascism: A Post-Coup d’Trump Autopsy of American Democracy

            By Nolan Higdon – Mickey Huff

            “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”

            – Lao Tzu

            “we must all face is that Trump is a key symptom, not the cause, of declining democratic culture in the U.S. Trump would not be able to undermine the pillars of democracy if they had not already been in shambles. This is crucial to understand because a return to the “normal” politicians will do little if anything to slow the corrosion of democracy. The reality is that Trump’s fake news epithet was effective because the news media had traded journalism for profiteering, partisanship, and political grandstanding decades ago. Trump’s faux populist derision of elites found a sympathetic audience after policy failures such as NAFTA, the bogus justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the pre- and post-2008 economic collapse response, and their polling and analysis about the 2016 and 2020 elections. Worse, the so-called party of the people, the Democratic Party’s (and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC) shifted their appeal to educated elite rather than the working class, as Boots Riley recently noted. This helps explain why 100 million Americans refuse to vote because they feel that neither party speaks to their needs. In fact, “non-voters are less educated, poorer, and more likely to be minorities, single and women.” By the 2014 polls showed the DCCC had its lowest approval rating ever resulting in the party holding less seats under President Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi’s leadership than any time since 1920. It is no wonder that in 2020, Pelosi proved to be such an effective bogeyperson for GOP attack ads that the DCCC lost seats in the House of Representatives (where she is the Speaker). If the U.S. hopes to avoid another, and more sophisticated version of Trump, the neoliberal behaviors, attitudes, policies, and politicians of the last forty-years must be sent to the dustbin of history and studiously avoided moving forward.”

    4. Pamina

      I think that Professor Reed is just being pissy about the right because he hasn’t been invited on to the Tucker Carlson show to talk about his efforts with the Debs-Jones-Douglass Institute over the past 25 year or so to organize workers. In recent months I have heard Reed speaking on various left podcasts about efforts in 2020 to get workers in South Carolina to commit to single payer health care. Reed is just upset that the right doesn’t want to hear him prattle about all of his pet issues like concrete material benefits for working people. BORING! – labor stuff just doesn’t deliver that same visceral adrenaline rush that owning the libs does for some people. Of course the likes of MSNBC and CNN sure as heck won’t platform a guy like Reed, but it’s kind of strange how some of the alternative right media won’t either, considering that this left/right alliance will deliver us from our neoliberal hellscape. Why are leftist like Reed so unreasonable? /s

      1. Carolinian

        Of course–not sarc–some claim the unions are the reason we don’t have single payer because health benefits once served as a powerful organizing incentive. Meanwhile one thing the WSWS does constantly complain about is the corruption of current large US union leadership. On a personal level I once was a member of a union and a more rightwing assortment of comrades you’d rarely meet.

        I can’t claim to follow Reed’s stuff very closely but I’ll stick with “off the wall” for this latest.

      2. Pamina

        I share Reed’s skepticism about the right. I apologize for going on about this but I have a bee in my bonnet about this issue right now especially because of recent experience. I have been having extensive but relatively basic restoration work on my teeth at the satellite clinic of the state university dental school over the course of the past few weeks. No new cavities, just replacing all of the fillings that I got when I enlisted in the army 25 years ago. Umm so… I guess there is no HIPAA requirement in dental care (???), because I could hear what all of the other patients talk about with their assigned dental student while I was sitting numb in the chair. From what I have observed, a few of the patients want to donate their teeth to medical education but most are low-income or disabled and desperate, though not the poorest or the most desperate because those people are either too poor to get any treatment at all, or have to go the main university clinic so that they can get more advanced procedures. The patients often end up telling the dental students a significant portion of their life stories. One lady’s story really got to me. I guess she was in her late 40’s, about my age. I could hear her telling her student dentist that before she lost her job in March 2020 she had gone to a dentist and got an estimate of $30,000 to fix her teeth. Since then one of her teeth has cracked further and now she can barely chew, can’t taste anything and is depressed. She was only at the clinic to get another estimate but I suspect that even the advanced school will be too expensive for her. I wonder what impression these patients make on the dental students. Of course they are probably all drowning in debt themselves. To top it all off, I figured out that cracked tooth lady was the same skinny black lady that I saw earlier in the morning in the parking lot by her 15 year old beat up car (alas, not a brand new Lexus that she bought with her way too generous socialist Democrat welfare benefits) struggling to figure out the parking payment machine that ended up taking/stealing ten dollars from her that she couldn’t afford. The only thing I have in common with the right, even the ones who aren’t Nazis, is hatred for liberal democrats. For me, owning the libs fulfills a psychological need brought on by the despair of my powerlessness. For that reason ranting is a reasonable way to expiate the guilt, not white guilt, just guilt, that I have that my situation isn’t as dire as that of most people. But other than numbing my late capitalist angst, crapping on liberals does nothing to help people with cracked teeth, get relief from their pain. I think that only universal government programs could address the most immediate needs people have, but right wingers seem to only go on about how government is bad, often in a racialized context that is every bit as nauseating as anything the woke crowd spews forth. I, like every single person who reads NC in good faith, am first and foremost worried about people, all people, including rural people. I suppose that this is why fixating on Nancy Pelosi’s ice cream or fancy Napa wine COVID super spreader fundraisers just doesn’t give me the fix that it used to –well ok, it does still give me a bit of a righteous twitch in my soul. The latest news about how the squad sold out and AOC f***** us over is good to know but if that’s the whole shtick, it just isn’t enough anymore. Regardless of how many Republicans answer polls saying they support medicare-for-all, the only substantive material issues that right wingers I know want to talk about is how black people just want to play the race card to get free stuff from the government and how the illegals are bringing in COVID. Heck the only comment a conservative relative of mine, who happens to be a very nice person and with whom I share a visceral hatred of snotty liberal elites Wall Street and tech monopolies, could offer regarding a white woman she saw on the side of the road who was being evicted a few weeks ago was “oh that’s sad, maybe she [the evicted lady] doesn’t know how to spend her money wisely”. So about this left/right alliance that I am too closed-minded too embrace, maybe I am just stupid, but I am having a difficult time finding all of the wonderful right wing candidates and groups that are organizing workers or even supporting single payer healthcare. Were they in South Carolina helping Professor Reed get workers to sign cards committing to single payer healthcare, and he just didn’t notice? In my view there is a limit to how much I can unite with the right if they are not placing the policies that would make the lives of ordinary people less miserable at the center of their movement. We don’t share the same vision for what needs actually be done to the make life in this country better for ordinary people.

        1. Carolinian

          Perhaps Professor Reed should go to Congress and get those citizens–starting with Pelosi–to sign cards. Then they need to sign cards pledging government controls over health care costs because Medicare for All is really just a bandaid if privatized profit takers are twisting the Congressional arm at every opportunity.

          I have a lady friend who is somewhat rightwing–not rabidly so–and i’ve heard her say that maybe the Russians were onto something with their state healthcare system. I believe people like her–working class people (and white)–would support his efforts. But the whole point of our current system is to make sure voting makes as little difference as possible. Therefore when the Dems make exaggerated accusations about GOP voting laws it’s mostly to distract you. Nothing will fundamentally change.

          1. Pamina

            From what I understand, Reed was involved with the Debs-Jones-Douglass Institute in 2020 doing outreach to workers of all colors. Reed is listed as an organizer for DJDI Working Group on Policy in the Public Good on their website. Medicare for All is one of the organization’s top issues. In addition to pontificating from the professorial pulpit he’s been organizing like this for decades. Those of you who have been following him longer than I have please correct me if I am wrong. I am posting this quote from the website because I am not affiliated with the project and I don’t want to risk misrepresenting their work:

            More than 16,000 voters signed our “I’m a Medicare for All Voter!” pledge card. “I’m a Medicare for All Voter” billboards and radio ads helped draw attention to the issue. DJDI continues it educational work on the state of health care in South Carolina via op/eds, presentations, and webinars, and in coalition with Medicare for All-SC.

            Again, I haven’t found anyone on the right that has any interest in joining him or anyone else on the left who is doing this type of work. From following him for a few years I get the impression that Reed would be the first to admit that cracking electoral politics is practically impossible. So I guess that he thinks that this type of work promoting concrete policies which would benefit the working class is a productive use of his time and that allying with populist right winger is not. From what I understand Reed wasn’t trying to form a union or work on behalf of any union affiliated Democrat toadies. My apologies for leaving the impression that he was involved with a union. Although I should note that the designers of the website were CWA.

            When I mention workers and labor issues I probably use the wrong terms. I was raised in rural Iowa by self-employed family farmers who barely survived the farm crisis in the early 1980’s. My parents are very nice people, but have become more conservative over the years and after having struggled to keep the farm business going for over 5 decades, they resent anyone who doesn’t know what it’s like to live and die by the grain markets, especially the multitudes of lazy workers who receive regular fixed wages. Well that is particularly harsh. I have a more benevolent view of the working class. When I think of workers I think of the 20 something-year-old waitress down at the Pizza Ranch working for tips or the lowest educated LPN at the local nursing home cowering under her brutal administrator boss. I understand that obnoxious big city elites think that all of those low wage workers are rabid racist right wingers, but I wish that reasonable leftists wouldn’t perpetuate the myth that they are all Republicans or Conservatives, or even that many of them vote. Perhaps they are primarily small “c” – conservatives, but divorce rates suggest that they have a nuanced interpretation of family values. Actually the only people in my community who were ever known to vote in primaries or participate in party politics where union members from the long gone railroad or John Deere’s, and the local petit PMC types like anyone who went to college, especially teachers, who were and still are mostly Democrats. On the other side there are the big farmers, a relatively small group of individuals who often inherited thousands of acres and thought that they were the most superior people on the face of the earth, religious conservatives, and small business chamber of commerce types including bankers, who were and probably always will be Republicans. Both sets of local elites regarded, and as far as I can tell from what I have seen recently continue to regard those workers in our area with almost as much contempt as the coastal libs. How on earth would the Pizza Ranch waitress fit in with either of those groups? If she goes to a caucus her franchise boss might see her. Again, I am saying that one shouldn’t assume that those rural workers are owned by any organized right wing entity or that they are political at all. I don’t think that trying to appeal to them like Reed and his group are trying to do the the south is the same thing as allying with the populist right. My 2-cents, for what it’s worth, is that there are some younger and middle-aged workers, from my old stomping ground in over-ag-industrialized farm country who aren’t political at all but could be persuaded to support a concrete proposal like Medicare for All. I have no illusions that electorally in the area that I grew up, given the overwhelming proportion of older Democrats who have been in secure jobs as state employees, teachers, and former union workers who have all had relatively decent healthcare throughout their working lives that there is much of a chance that a Medicare for All supporting candidate could get nominated. And I am still waiting for someone, anyone, to identify that champion of universal healthcare from the so-called populist wing of the Republican party in any state, so no luck in the foreseeable future with them either. I realize that electoral politics is passé at best and more likely an exercise in futility but I just can’t figure out how we get healthcare for everyone without passing it in Congress. And if the GOP isn’t running those candidates then where do they come from? We are stuck with the party that cheats and stacks the deck in it’s primaries Is there another way that I haven’t thought of? Yes, Pelosi and the geriatric DNC nomenklatura will oppose it until the last breath of their unnaturally long lives. Well heck I plan to stick around the Dems and be an annoying pest who won’t go way. Meh pointless, I know. So maybe the Debs-Jones-Douglass Institute project of getting potential voters in places like South Carolina to commit to voting for Medicare for All candidates in whatever party they run in (probably not the GOP) is a better way to waste time and effort than doing nothing at all, in which case nothing will fundamentally change anyways. Of course there’s always the “post left’s” idea of allying with the right wing populists, in which case things will change, possibly like Reed’s hair-on-fire piece suggests, but even in the best case I doubt that we’ll get universal single payer health care with that route either.

  22. Pumpkin Spice Ammo

    Third Pfizer dose 86% effective in over 60s, Israeli HMO says Reuters. GM is not impressed

    I’m seeing this initialism used here lately as if it were obvious what it refers to, and that’s generally a bad assumption when using initialisms or acronyms. What/who is “GM” in this context?

    1. Mikel

      I think 4th shots have been tested in some places and they are even less effective. The implication from context being: possible diminishing returns with each “booster”.

      1. saywhat?

        The implication from context being: possible diminishing returns with each “booster”. Mikel

        The problem being that the immune system begins to target the delivery systems for these “vaccines” – since they themselves infect cells?

        Gimme that ole time vaccination …

  23. Ranger Rick

    I’m not even reading the articles about the Afghanistan withdrawal, but the headlines are making it pretty clear that one of two scenarios is playing out: either the military had no plans for an orderly withdrawal or they’re doing the classic union “work to specification” protest tactic of doing only exactly as directed — withdrawing US military forces from Afghanistan — but nothing beyond that remit, i.e. destroying equipment, organizing an orderly transfer of responsibilities to civilian authorities, other allies etc. It occurs to me that they may not have had a choice in the matter, and that this ongoing chaos is the result of a spectacular budgeting failure either by the military or Congress. The hearings (if we’re ever going to get an investigation into why this is happening) ought to be interesting.

    1. Pablo Sanchez

      The US military has had more than a year to plan for this withdrawal. It is either complete arrogance in thinking the borg would never let them pull the troops out, or complete incompetence in its implementation.
      I’m of the opinion its a bit of both….
      On the plus side, the Taliban have been left with lots of shiny new weapons and toys and there is now no possible way we would even consider another intervention there, right?

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I note that the American establishment and the foreign establishment G7 leaders are all demanding that Biden order the troops to keep staying in Kabul beyond Aug. 31st. I also note that the Taliban has said there will be “consequences” if the troops stay past Aug. 31st.

        Who wants to bet that the American and the G7 establishments are conspiring together to browbeat Biden into keeping troops there into September . . . . in the HOPE that the Taliban will attack those troops so destructively and so insultingly, that American weariness will revert to American rage, and the American establishment and its G7 co-conspirators will send America’s Big Army on a Go Big mission into Afghanistan, to do it all over again and ” do it really really right” this time.

      2. LifelongLib

        Over my head here, but I’ve seen it stated elsewhere that U.S. military equipment quickly becomes useless without expensive contractors to maintain it, so maybe it’s not as big a problem as it seems?

    1. Soredemos

      “This is the only explanation of their solicitous behavior toward right wing terrorists”

      Cool polemic. Stop elevating these idiots by dignifying them with impressive labels like ‘terrorist’.

      I cringe every time these opposing bands of LARPers clash in the streets. It’s just embarrassing.

    2. martell

      Are guests allowed to sigh? If so, then Sigh. The pattern here isn’t white supremacist, not even objectively. Consider the way the Red House was handled. No arrests, to the best of my knowledge. That was the left, right? Armed men and women and undecideds took over a city block for about a week, threatening to burn it all down. Local state functionaries like the mayor held the police back, negotiated, and let the offending parties go on their merry way. But things were different when the same group, or elements thereof, or ideologically adjacent groupings targeted the Pearl District, home to many a well to do, newly arrived resident of Portlandia, as well many an over priced restaurant and shop. Hammer came down, correct? And then Wheeler et al did nothing about the rumble in low rent Parkrose and declared victory. What’s the pattern here? Some combination of fecklessness and classism

  24. Rod

    Thank you for this, today

    Operation Never Mind — James McMurty

    Thanks Reslic–if not the National Anthem it at least should be sung at all NFL games for the next 20 yrs

    In 2003 the A Vets started showing up at our Comm Col. in our Tech Programs(a Special Campus with a unique Faculty composed of many Vets teaching that Tech in order to have a better life going forward).
    My first was a Marine deployed for the A’ Advance at a year short.
    2004 I got my first I Vet.
    Veteran Faculty began talking and Identifying to offer Community, at least–having limited solutions to offer
    2006 I met SSgt. Derek L–freshly promoted and rotating from Active Duty into the Army Reserves.
    Two tours–Iraq first to fill in the Invasion–PH
    Then Afghanistan to ‘Keep Order’–BS
    He was a ‘Mountainer’ and proud ‘Billy’ and i really liked him. Didn’t Drink. Cried at his wedding a year later. Loved his step child and the fact it was a ‘package deal’.
    He found the Reserves problamatic after 12 years of Active Duty with three Combat Tours and resigned rather than reinlist.
    We had spoken about it a number of times–as we did PTSD.
    The Contractor Community found him with an offer no country boy could resist.
    Back to Afghanistan.
    I saw him briefly at the beginning of a thirty day break–he was troubled and his clear head was clouded and it all was so FUBAR–way beyond his first two visits. We talked around it gingerly. He knew his God.

    He took himself home some days later— rather than return to what he understood too well.
    Only a short, cryptic obituary. No Funeral–no Military Rites.
    Took me two weeks to track down his Mom, who was hosptalized, to a convalescent home. I gave her what we had collected and the card with the 14 faculty signatures.
    The College set up a Vet Center that year.

    I hold all this tight to me.
    I have given myself permission to cry as necessary, and carry on.

    1. Stillfeelinthebern

      Thank you for sharing. I cry with you, never understanding how the blob just goes on and on and on, while the people suffer.

      1. Soredemos

        It will continue until a significant portion of people demand it stops. They go on and on because they see that they can do it and get away with it.

        For any nerds out there, a line from the original Mass Effect, given in a very different context, has always stuck with me:

        “You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it.”

        How many of these PMC freaks are there, really? A few hundred thousand? A couple million? In service to, what, a few thousand people who can really be meaningfully described as ‘elite’ and in charge?

        All this stuff, all of it, the wars, the homeless encampments, the lie that ‘we can’t afford to pay for that’, all of it ends tomorrow, if the mob could credibly show the ‘elite’ there are consequences for their actions.

    2. Edgar, not Edmund

      Thank you, Rod, for sharing SSgt. Derek L’s story, and all the good work you and the faculty have done. One of my pandemic panaceas has been the live streams James McMurty started doing last year. He is an extraordinary songwriter and storyteller, and wound up previewing the whole album in those sessions. When I first heard “Operation Never Mind”, I couldn’t wait for the album to finally drop and add this jewel to the pantheon of anti-war anthems.

      With live shows still off in the distance, he’s still doing the live streams on Wednesdays @ 9pm EDT, and Sunday @ 2pm EDT. Highly recommended, and being solo acoustic, you can really hear the lyrics and marvel at his guitar work, which he rarely highlights on the albums.

    1. Zamfir

      That is in line with the standard numbers, I think? Someone should check my calculation.

      A rough calculation:
      The article mentions vaccination level of 80% for those 65 and older, where the risk are concentrated.

      They mention 28% hospitalizations are vaccinated, and 16% of deaths

      Using those numbers, as simplification: 20% of the people result in 72% of the hospitalisations , and 80% of the people result in 28%.

      The rate of hospitalisations in the unvaccinated group is then 10 times higher than in the vaccinated group
      ( 72/20)/(28/80) = 10.3

      That would be an effectiveness against hospitalisation of slightly over 90%

      Same calculation for death (using 16%) gives 95% effectiveness.

      Of course, a better calculation would use data on all the patients with their age and other risk factors, and separate vaccination rates for all those factors. But the rough calculation shows that 28% hospitalisation is not particularly weird, even if the vaccines are over 90% effective against these bad outcomes.

      For an another view: suppose that vaccination rates were approaching 100% . Then the hospitalisations would also approach 100% vaccinated.

      1. Hiroyuki

        yes except that this misses an incrdible amount of confounding that these back of the envelope calculations hide.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      As I understand Zamfir to be saying, in essence . . . if an area being studied had 100% of its inhabitants double-vaccinoided for coronavid, and any of that 100% got coronavid badly enough to go to the hospital, we could truly say that 100 % of the hospital-severity coronavid cases in that study-area happened to double-vaccinoided people. And what would such a figure tell us about anything worth knowing, all by itself?

      Figures lie when lairs figure. Figures true when truars figure.
      We should try to be true and seek truth in our figuring.

    3. neo-realist

      Looking at the bar graphs, I suspect many of the vaccinated people that are presently hospitalized were probably inoculated earlier in the year–January and February–the rates of hospitalization go up dramatically in June and July. That would confirm a roughly six month window of good protection from the vaccines against the virus if that is the case.

  25. Wukchumni

    Today would seem to be an especially ripe time for collapse for we have fashioned ourselves to be a Neo-Roman Empire, as there is precedence with Vesuvius blowing it’s top and more importantly, also the day the Visigoths overran Rome, essentially the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

    1. TalkingCargo

      And oddly enough an anagram for Cominarty is Roman City. I hope it’s not referring to Pompeii.

  26. Dan

    “Dead white man’s clothes:

    Oh bullshit! Live white women buy the majority of fashion, slavishly aping once a year what other women are wearing.

    Most white men wear out clothing or buy, trade, exchange used with their friends, apart from the techbros in the cheap suits and $100 T-shirts.

  27. antidlc

    If anyone is interested, here is the FDA letter to Pfizer, dated yesterday:

    I don’t think this has been posted. If so, my apologies.

    Not sure what this means:

    On August 23, 2021, FDA approved the biologics license application (BLA) submitted by
    BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH for COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) for active
    immunization to prevent COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 in individuals 16 years of age and

    On August 23, 2021, having concluded that revising this EUA is appropriate to protect the public
    health or safety under section 564(g)(2) of the Act, FDA is reissuing the August 12, 2021 letter
    of authorization in its entirety with revisions incorporated to clarify that the EUA will remain in
    place for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for the previously-authorized indication and
    uses, and to authorize use of COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) under this EUA for
    certain uses that are not included in the approved BLA.

      1. antidlc

        But it mentions two different vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) .

        1. Hiroyuki

          yes there are officially now two pfizer vaccines.
          one is the one on the shelves. That is the EUA one. There are millions of doses out there.
          the other is the new and improved one aka a new package that wont say “Under EUA’
          that is not out there yet.
          ask a lawyer for details on liability

  28. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    “Dead white man’s clothes”

    Late stage capitalist productive efficiency dictates that, “The same year, H&M reported an unsold global inventory worth more than $5 billion.”; where, “An estimated 85 per cent of all textiles go to the dump every year”, because “A major survey in the UK six years ago found one in three young women considered garments “old” if they had been worn just twice.”

    Suggesting that the frenzied experiment in economic bathos continues to be a failure on multiple levels, yet the delusional animated cadavers ruling this planet demand even greater growth and consumption.

  29. Gulag

    The recent essay by Adolph Reed “The Whole Country is the Reichstag,” is powerful representation of the bankruptcy of strategic social-democratic thinking in the United States.

    Just a couple of brief examples:
    Reed states at the beginning of his analysis that “The right-wing political alliance anchored by the Republican party and Trumpism coheres around a single concrete objective–taking absolute power in the U.S. as soon and as definitively as possible.” If he would have also stated that the liberal-democratic political alliance anchored by the Biden Democratic party and the hybrid public-private surveillance/narrative apparatus of big tech monopolies and our intelligence communities also cohere around a single concrete objective–taking absolute power in the U.S. as soon and as definitely as possible, he would at least captured more accurately, in my opinion, the present polarized political atmosphere in the country.

    What Reed calls the “reactionary authoritarian tendencies,” are not unique to the Republican party and its political base–these same authoritarian tendencies are on display among liberal democrats and their political base.

    Reed goes on to say that he has no idea how extensive the consciously putschist tendency has been among the right (and their certainly is such a tendency) but forgets to add any discussion/evaluation about the consciously putschist tendency among liberal democrats.

    Unless Social-Democrats begin to grapple with this historical reality–that every culture is built around some kind of sacred order–the moral vacuum now existing in our country will continue to accelerate. Organizing strategy can no longer be purely economic–such a strategy does not touch the true depths of our contemporary despair.


    1. neo-realist

      At least the liberal democrats don’t want to lock up and bankrupt the left under the RICO statutes as Trump and Barr were looking to do in a second term. The liberal dems also don’t want to deny the franchise on a national level as the republicans want to do. Granted the dems attempt it in select primaries in a few states to knock off feared lefties.

      I think Reed was getting at the fact that the elite faction backing Trump and Trump wannabes are of a much more dangerous and fascistic nature than the elite factions backing other republicans and democrats. They want to bury the left under the prisons. They want them dead, dead, dead, or at least 100 percent neutered from the American political scene. The federal officer round-ups of demonstrators in Portland, NYC, and Chicago was a small sample of the kristallnacht they would bring to the left if a Trump or Trump type got into the oval office.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I begin to think this is exactly correct. And when people point this out, they get accused of Trump Derangement Syndrome. But I begin to think that many left-of-Democrat people have drifted into a Liberal Democrat Derangement Syndrome because of their richly earned and well-placed hatred for Democrats after so much Democrat betrayal. The “DDDS” leads them to think that anything the LDs call a threat can’t really be a threat because the LDs say it is one. It also leads them to think that anyone the LDs hate and fear and despise must be good in some way, or the LD bad-people wouldn’t hate and fear them.

        But it is a big country with many groups and tendencies, and some of them can be very bad without making others any better by default.

        Given that we are seeing more FascisTrumpanon mobs invading school board meetings, other venues, etc., in a deliberate attempt to make those institutions shut down and cease functioning, I have lately begun to think that several million FacisTrumpanons at least are being deployed to make more and more parts of American society ungovernable, with an end-goal of making America ungovernable in general. And the RepublicaNazi Party is introducing race-based voter suppression systems of law in as many states as possible. And an underdiscussed aspect of these law-clusters has to do with giving RepublicaNazi state-level authority “legal” cover to annul every local-level election or election-result they feel like in order to re-announce a set of results more to their liking as engineered by their own election commissars.

        Lambert Strether has noted that the Redeemer Movement to destroy First Reconstruction could be called America’s and maybe the Western World’s first fascist movement. But he doesn’t want to see the current RepublicaNazi Redeemer Movement as a current fascist plan to destroy the Second Reconstruction we achieved a little bit of. I think this is due to Liberal Democrat Derangement Syndrome. But if I become johnny-one-note-pony on this point, saying it over and over and over again till I am invited to leave, then I will have achieved nothing good.

        So I will conclude by saying . . . . don’t be surprised if the RepublicaNazi FascisTrumpanon Party-Movement doesn’t send armed mobs to likely Democrat majority polling places to stamp out balloting in those places. Don’t be surprised if the RN FTs begin threatening poll workers in order to keep them from working polling places . . . . and maybe assassinating a few of them in order to convince the others to stay away. And don’t be surprised if the RN FTs begin threatening, harrassing or even assassinating uncooperative election officials ( State Secretaries of State and so forth) in order to control and secure their desired election outcomes in a number of RN FT states.

        We’ll know in a year, and especially in 3 years, if I am right or wrong about this. If I am wrong both times, those are two opportunities for the commentariat to have a good laugh at my expense.

  30. Deltron

    Worthwhile read from a Marine’s perspective…

    I served in Afghanistan as a US Marine, twice. Here’s the truth in two sentences

    What we are seeing in Afghanistan right now shouldn’t shock you. It only seems that way because our institutions are steeped in systematic dishonesty. It doesn’t require a dissertation to explain what you’re seeing. Just two sentences.

    One: For 20 years, politicians, elites and D.C. military leaders lied to us about Afghanistan.

    Two: What happened last week was inevitable, and anyone saying differently is still lying to you.

    1. Maritimer

      Gen. Milley regrets not including Vietnam War history book on reading list Duffel Blog
      General Milley, you should read War Is A Racket by a highly decorated military predecessor, USMC General Smedley Butler. It will show you who you have actually “served” these many years.

      Hopefully, an esteemed medical expert will soon be publishing Medicine Is A Racket. They will certainly be in distinguished company with General Butler.

    2. Brian Beijer

      Damn. Smedley Butler would be proud of that marine. Does a Smedley Butler Medal of Truth exist in the military? It should.

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