Links 8/3/2021

Yves here. Be sure to check out and circulate our post on Pfizer’s consent form for a clinical trial for its Covid-19 vaccine booster shot. Needless to say, it’s revealing, and not in a good way.

Spanish cave art was made by Neanderthals, study confirms Guardian (Kevin W)

How Does the West African Talking Drum Accurately Mimic Human Speech? Smithsonian (resilc)

Louisiana researcher says she was fired for blowing whistle on project that killed hundreds of dolphins The Hill (David L)

Slowdown in Earth’s Rotation Could Have Affected the Oxygen Content of the Atmosphere SciTechDaily (Kevin W)

Heatwave causes massive melt of Greenland ice sheet PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Carbon offsets going up in smoke as company-linked forests burn Financial Times. Carbon offsets were alway a scam…

And while we are on fires: A video response to Representative Tom McClintock’s description of wildland firefighters as “unskilled labor” Wildfire Today (Chuck L)

In the US, Life Cycle Emissions For EVs Are Already 60-68% Lower Than Gasoline, Study Finds ars technica

Nearly 5 mn fewer girls to be born worldwide over next 10 years: study Malaysia News


Pair of endangered snow leopards that caught COVID-19 at San Diego zoo last month are showing signs of improvement Daily Mail (John B)

Covid-19 Cases Surge in Africa’s Biggest City as Doctors Strike Bloomberg


S.Korea detects its first two cases of Delta Plus COVID-19 variant Reuters

Over-the-counter COVID-19 tests make big promises. Do they deliver? C&EN (JTM)


China’s Wuhan to test ‘all residents’ as COVID-19 returns Al Jazeera. The US lacks the testing capacity, the operational chops, and the institutional will to do anything remotely like this.

Delta puts China on brink of a new Covid crisis Asia Times (Kevin W). GM pointed out by e-mail:

One very curious thing about China is that they basically stopped reporting deaths for the last 12 months, even though there have been enough cases since then to make it statistically impossible that none of them died.

So it was very clear the numbers are faked.

I don’t doubt they have managed to control it, even if the official numbers are a fiction.

Now we will see how well their system works I guess. I am keeping my fingers crossed — if they cannot control it, nobody will be able to and there is indeed no hope.

The Covid-19 gravediggers of Indonesia Asia Times. Kevin W warns: “Godawful images.”


France makes life difficult for unvaccinated DW


Provincetown’s Covid Outbreak Shows ‘It’s Nowhere Near Over’ New York Times (UserFriendly)

US Sen. Graham Tests Positive for COVID, Says ‘Flu-Like Symptoms’ Would Be ‘Far Worse’ Without Shot Sputnik (Kevin W)

Bases Bring Back Mask Mandates as Coronavirus Variant Sweeps Through Unvaccinated Parts of America

As Cuomo Orders Vaccinations for MTA, Some Workers Push Back THE CITY

In other words, if we have another crisis in hospitals, it’s due not just to Delta but also rule by MBAs:


Delta cloud over world economic growth WSWS


Tokyo Olympics: Chinese nationalists turn on their athletes BBC News (furzy)

Tencent tanks 10% after Chinese media calls online gaming ‘opium’ as regulatory concerns mount CNBC

China’s campaign to regulate Big Tech is more than just retaliation Nikkei

China out to boost food security with 13-storey ‘hog hotels’ that protect pigs from viruses South China Morning Post (resilc)

China in the middle of Nile mega-dam feud Asia Times (Chuck L)

5 ways the EU’s democracy crisis could end Politico

New Cold War

US Asks 24 Russian Diplomats to Leave By September 3 (Kevin W)

Putin posits Russian veto over Ukraine sovereignty Asia Times (Chuck L)


Afghanistan: Street fighting rages as Taliban attack key city BBC (furzy)

Israeli Supreme Court tells Sheikh Jarrah residents to ‘reach agreement’ with settlers trying to displace them Mondoweiss

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Pentagon Believes Its Precognitive AI Can Predict Events ‘Days In Advance’ Engadget

Israel begins investigation into NSO Group spyware abuse MIT Technology Review (David L)

Pegasus Spyware Found On Journalists’ Phones, French Intelligence Confirms Guardian

Imperial Collapse Watch

Air Force warns of ‘Martian air superiority’ gap after NASA repeatedly flies helicopter on Red Planet Duffel Blog


The Big Money Behind the Big Lie New Yorker (furzy)


Bidenizing the Democrats Washington Monthly (resilc)

Analysis: Biden is following a script that once doomed Black voters and made the rise of Jim Crow possible CNN

George W Bush should shut up and go away Al Jazeera (resilc)

Sarah Palin Apparently Wants to Return to the Senate and Our Lives New Republic (resilc)

His Conviction Was Overturned Amid Evidence of Innocence. The Supreme Court Could Throw It All Out. Intercept (Chuck L)

Our Famously Free Press

Twitter works with news sites to tackle disinformation BBC (furzy)

Still think they’re not a publisher? Twitter teams up with Reuters & AP to ‘elevate credible information’ RT (Kevin W)

Why Have Advocacy Journalism When You Can Have Just Advocacy? Jonathan Turley (Chuck L)

Woke Watch

AMA faces backlash after opposing putting sex on birth certificates Calls for Removal of ‘Sex Designation’ on Birth Certificates Fox

Revealed: the true extent of America’s food monopolies, and who pays the price Guardian (resilc)

EXCLUSIVE Citi, HSBC, Prudential hatch plan for Asian coal-fired closures -sources Reuters

Theranos Patients: The Emerging Wild Card in the Trial of Elizabeth Holmes Wall Street Journal

Tesla big battery fire in Victoria under control after burning more than three days Guardian (resilc)

Class Warfare

Wall Street is buying up family homes. The rent checks are too juicy to ignore CNN (Paul R)

America’s Billionaires: Borrowing Their Way to Ever More Fabulous Fortunes Counterpunch

NLRB official says Amazon violated labor law in union vote, recommends new election, according to union Business Insider

Australian Court Rules An AI Can Be Considered An Inventor On Patent Filings The Register

Antidote du jour. Tracie H: “A pair of happy Painted Turtles at the Irvine Regional Park in Irvine, California.”

And a bonus (Chuck L):

And I can’t embed this Instagram video, but you have an idea from the still below, and you can view it here (Peter D)

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. vlade

    Re China outbreak – it’s IMO clear that China can’t control it, because the cases they found were all over China, which suggests that the virus is already circulating widely, and that only some are coming up for testing.

    TBH, I suspect that the smaller number of infections detected, especially in vaccinated populations, are that there are many people who are infected, but with vaccinations (often recent), many of those will have no or just very mild symptoms so won’t get tested.

    For better or worse, I do not believe we’ll be able to eliminate the virus anymore, and I am not even sure we were ever in the position to do so w/o some help from the virus.

    Yes, it may mean a Spanish-flu like pandemics in the wings when it gets more deadly, killing order(s) of magnitude more than CV killed so far.

    But short of closing literally everyone on the planet into their bubble for a month or so, which is totally impossible, I don’t see how we can eliminate it.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      GM has argued that it could have been done but we weren’t willing to take a few measures that would have seemed drastic early on but compared to what we are doing now would have entailed way less pain: a hard initial lockdown of international air travel with any hotspot, quarantines with teeth, and contact tracing. Those work when infections are kept to a low level (see South Korea and even Thailand, which looked like a Covid winner until recently), But the US and the UK have set out to be Covid reservoirs, making it well nigh impossible for other countries to do enough to keep that from eventually reaching them.

      1. Lupana

        Is it possible to still do those things you mention now – kind of start over? I’ve noticed that it seems a lot of outbreaks start with some form of air travel so why not just shut down international air travel? I honestly at this point have no idea what we’re doing ..

        1. chris

          The steps needed to do what we need to are not only unpalatable they’re effectively impossible for most places in the US.

          For example, if we really meant to lock down, we need to control international travel, interstate travel, and intrastate travel. Ideally, everyone is contained within the borders of their neighborhood. The state provides supply drops. People are also provided whatever medicine or vitamins are needed to help with immunity boosting. All loans and debts are automatically placed in forbearance. Company payrolls are covered by the government. The stock market is frozen. Those without jobs are paid to stay home. No one is evicted. No one is billed for anything. No exceptions for “essential workers” to break the restrictions. You’re either on the government team distributing goods and aid or you’re not. If you’re not, you stay home. If you’re unhoused, we house you. Police and security services would maintain curfews day and night. There would be multiple road blocks. Attempting to break quarantine or restrictions would put you in jail, at your own expense, until the lock down was over. And we’d need to keep this up for about 8 weeks.

          Now before you start to tell me the color of the winged porcine angel that would necessarily be flying out of my posterior if any of that were to happen, I’ll tell you that I know it can’t happen. States like NY with metro areas like NYC get too many of their essential goods from other states and areas farther away to ever let interstate and intrastate travel be curtailed like that. You’d hope that would make them keen to help the places with the Amazon warehouses and power plants get through this quickly but obviously not. Instead we have people in places like LA, DC, Chicago, and NYC mocking those people in the rural areas for not doing everything they need to do during a pandemic while also serving the entitled jerks in the big cities.

          There is simply no political will to do what has to be done if we want to lock down. There is massive resistance at all levels of society against it. The steps to do it would also be interpreted as violations of our laws and freedoms. Yves has said that if municipalities wanted to lock down they could do things like pull business licenses from the recalcitrant owners to make it happen. That is true. Casting aside whether I’d want to live in a country where that was something we did for those purposes, can you imagine what would happen in the media in response to such an action? Whoever was in power and supported those kind of actions would be pariah for a very long time.

          So yes, we could choose to lock down again now and really mean it this time. But we won’t. And to the extent we do try to it will be met with massive resistance across the political spectrum and from people of all classes.

          1. Mikel

            International travel would be a start. Then each country can quantify where they are at, what variant is dominant, etc.
            You have to know where you are to know where you are going.

      2. David

        I’m sure you’re right about the measures that could have been taken, and when (and if) histories of this period are written, there will be a lot of finger-pointing. So why didn’t it happen? I’d argue it was because of the correlation of forces in the parts of our society that make and influence decisions. I’d suggest two things.
        First, these are not medical measures in the strict sense, they are measures that everybody can understand and everybody has an opinion on. Pundits and politicians may know nothing about medicine but they understand travel bans. Moreover, they and the PMC they serve, are disproportionately affected by, for example, an embargo on international travel. As a result, the few arguing for restrictive measures on health grounds ,were massively outnumbered and outgunned by the many arguing against measures they could understand, and that inconvenienced them. In addition, non-medical measures like this give all sorts of lobby groups a chance to jump in: for the freedom of movement lobby it’s an unfair restriction of human rights. For the civil liberties lobby it’s an unacceptable curtailment of freedom. Such groups are large, influential and well-funded, and they were able to successfully rebrand the crisis as being about an area where they had expertise.

        Which leads to the second issue. These ideas (free movement, human rights, internet privacy etc), whatever their merits or demerits, have completely captured the PMC and their subaltern classes in politics and the media to the exclusion of all others. At the beginning of the crisis, the PMC and media reaction in Europe to the idea of travel bans was one of incredulous amusement. How could people even think of banning travel and closing frontiers? It was beyond their ability to comprehend that there might be circumstances where such measures might be needed. (Remember “viruses don’t have passports?”)

        Given this correlation of forces, I seriously doubt whether any of these measures was actually practicable, politically.

        1. marym

          “…the many arguing against measures they could understand, and that inconvenienced them…

          …non-medical measures like this give all sorts of lobby groups a chance to jump in…”

          Much of this paragraph seems equally applicable to masking, though the class alignment of proponents and objectors has been different in the US.

        2. Phillip Cross

          Those in the halls of power needed to keep the borders open, so that they could continue to get their “powdered imports” at a reasonable price.

          The Spice must flow!

          1. lance ringquist

            correct. the outrage at any hint of curtailing free trade(aka “GLOBALISM”) was shot down right away last spring.

            it reminds me of the towering intellect(snark)gordan brown of the u.k. when the worlds economy was blown out yet again in 2008 by the same quack economics of the 1920’s he said “we will not make that mistake again of reverting to protectionism”.

            the towering intellect should have studied the u.k.’s response to the 1929 depression when they wisely pulled out of free trade and only had a mild recession compared to other european countries.

        3. kareninca

          It’s also the case that ordinary individuals see particular things as extraordinarily important to them, and that those sorts of lockdowns could very likely make them unobtainable. My dog can only eat one specialized food; it is broken down to the peptide level; without it she will die. Of course I stock up ahead, but it doesn’t keep forever. The sort of lockdowns described could easily prevent my being able to get it; there have already been supply problems as is. I’m not the only person in this situation; multiply me by millions. It isn’t a PMC thing; it isn’t an “inconvenience.” I’m not asking for anyone to agree with my priority, or agree that I’m right that a lockdown would be a certain problem. But you have to understand that people will fight tooth and nail for the things that matter to them.

      3. vlade

        I’m not sure, really. The UK, maybe. US has massive fairly permeable borders, and most developing countries (cf India) would not go into effective lockdowns, so they would act as reservoirs.

        The problem here is also that there are many spreaders who are asymptomatic, so detecting hostpots is pretty much post-facto thing.

        In either case, I doubt that those things would fly politically, and, either way, we are where we are.

        1. c_heale

          The US (ignoring islands) has two borders neither of which seem particularly permeable. They could have been shut down but this would have had to been a political and societal choice. Both Trump and and Biden (with the Indian variant) made the opposite choice. The other issue is contagion through the movement of goods and the people associated with this. This is harder to control.

          1. vlade

            Continental US borders are 7000 miles long IIRC. Most of it in areas that are not exactly inhibited.

            Soviet block tried to make an imperemeable border, including mine fields, guard dogs, night vision equipped guards with shoot-to-kill orders, movement-restriction zones and it still was defeated again and again (not often, but was – and it took pretty desperate people even to try).

            If there were serious money to be made (like getting refugees to the EU from North Africa), or desperate enough populace, even Trump’s wall (which can right now be defeated with a ladder, so never mind serious professional efforts like tunneling, common in Ukraine/Belarus->EU smuggling) would not help.

      4. GM

        The US, being the global imperial center, dictates the pandemic response elsewhere, except for China, which is independent, and a few other isolated special cases.

        If the US was not going to eliminate, and that became clear in April 2020, because the downwards wealth redistribution that is needed for that to happen is an absolutely heretical thought in modern US Politics, the rest of the world had a choice — block travel from the US or let it rip. Or rather, that was the choice in the abstract, in reality few of those countries are actually independent, and they were forced to let it rip by the policies of the imperial center.

        This is an aspect of the story that is almost never mentioned.

        For example, Eastern Europe had nearly eliminated it in the first half of 2020, some countries actually did, yet in the second half of 2020 the whole region let it rip.

        Most likely because there was never going to be a world in which NATO and EU countries are blocking travel from other NATO and EU countries.

        Finger pointing is very much needed, but that should be just the beginning.

        What happened and continues to happen is monstrous enough, and also entirely deliberate, that a very serious discussion has to be had about putting up the leaders of government of let-it-rip countries and corporate heads that dictated to them what to do on trial in the Hague for crimes against humanity.

        Otherwise even worse will be done in the future.

        There are actually core human rights UN conventions to which all countries are parties to (except for the US, of course), that very clearly define a “right to health” and state that countries have the obligation to prevent epidemic disease. And very clearly most governments are in blatant violation of those obligations.

        Problem is at this point it is the governments of most countries, and multiple sides of the political spectrum in many of those countries too, that would have to be sentenced accordingly, so this has precisely zero chance of happening — it has to be initiated from somewhere, and there is no such source of initiative right now with any teeth. Unless some benevolent very powerful aliens have been watching the whole shitshow from above and decide to hand out justice..

        1. Cuibono

          “What happened and continues to happen is monstrous enough, and also entirely deliberate, that a very serious discussion has to be had about putting up the leaders of government of let-it-rip countries and corporate heads that dictated to them what to do on trial in the Hague for crimes against humanity.”
          You mean like Sweden? Who just happens to be doing pretty well compared to many other European nations (though not to Nordic ones)

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Stop the bullshit with Sweden. That’s been debunked repeatedly. Repeating narratives that have been REPEATEDLY disproven in comment is agnotology as well as “broken record” Both are grounds for banning.

            The relevant comparison, demographically and population-density-wise, is to their neighbors, and there death rate has and continues to be way out of line compared to them. And we haven’t gotten to morbidity. The fact that you slip that in at the end confirms that you are making a deliberate bad faith argument, a third violation.

      5. Cuibono

        but you have to also note that by and large international public health dogma was that such measures were thought to be wrong. Note i said “thought to be wrong”

        1. c_heale

          If countries had deferred to public health measures against plagues we would be in a much better situation. But private health and neoliberal economic dogma took priority. How else can you explain no patent free vaccines, no liability for the manufacturers, no consideration given to alternative treatments, the very idea of herd immunity without vaccination, poorly implemented lockdowns that started too late and finished too soon, almost no international coordination or cooperation, underfunding of health services, overwork of unprotected health workers. People so inconsiderate that they won’t wear masks to protect their fellow citizens. This comes down to a fundamental lack of respect for others and basic morality, and to greed and corruption. If we as a species can’t deal with this we have no chance to deal with global warming and that is an existential threat to the human species.

          1. Cuibono

            not so fast. the major playbooks of most major international PH orgs were long on record against lockdown, masks, travel bans etc

      6. Skunk

        I agree with GM. It would obviously have entailed much less total pain and economic cost to have just taken decisive early steps. It has long been known that there is a short window of time to prevent an emerging infection from becoming permanently established. Usually, you need to catch the emerging pathogen while infections can still be contact-traced.

        The most relevant model was the earlier SARS-CoV-1 outbreak. SARS was barely contained, but it did not become permanently established in human populations. Granted, SARS was easier to detect, but the lesson of SARS was that when the international community acts quickly and cooperatively, emerging infections can sometimes be contained. It was a lesson that was ignored.

        All the knowledge was there to prevent a pandemic, but leaders did not act on it.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I think we are seeing a tragedy unfold whereby those countries that did most things right are going to suffer because of those countries that did everything wrong. The UK in particular, as a major aviation hub, seems to be the main superspreader of Delta around the world. Myanmar also seems to be a major source.

      One economist I follow on Twitter has been almost triumphant in seeing Covid return to ROK, Taiwan and China, in a sort of ‘i told you so, it couldn’t be controlled, we shouldn’t have done anything last year’ tone. I’ve already seen comments that the UK and USA were ‘right’ to focus on the vaccine and are now in the lead and will recover faster. It’s a little like climate deniers first blocking any moves to stop emissions, and then declaring that its too late and too expensive to do anything now that its out of control.

      I suspect you are right that Delta is just too infectious to control even with Chinese levels of restrictions and may already be loose there and in ROK. It’s already looking like we are facing further waves into 2023. Only the sheer randomness of the way this virus changes and spreads could let us all off the hook.

    3. ex-PFC Chuck

      My apologies in advance for being partially off topic: Late Sunday afternoon IM Doc posted a lengthy, insightful comment that many NC regulars may have missed. Here’s the link.

      1. johnt

        Thank you, Chuck.

        That was thoughtful of you.
        I found that comment of IMDoc especially moving.

      2. LawnDart

        Wow– I have found many of IM Doc’s postings informative, but this rises to another level entirely.

        Thank you for re-posting, ex-PFC Chuck, and thank you IM Doc– that comment of yours needs to be shouted from the rooftops. We are lucky to have you.

      3. Krystyn Podgajski

        Thanks for this, both of you. All I have is suspicion and intuition but I have not been able to feel close to well ever since I was vaccinated. Not only has my mental health been harder to manage (Sorry Yves, et all) but my joint pain and Ankylosing Spondylitis have not been able to settle down using my usual methods that worked in the past 100% of the time I had a flair up. I am in a group of people who were deemed higher risk of bad covid outcomes, so was I at higher risk for side effects? Not only was it useless to get a non-sterilizing vaccine like IM Doc says, but for me it possibly did more harm than good.

        I saw the Bill Maher episode, it was awful but for that woman. PMC communicator Maher explains how he feels about the poors here:

        1. chris

          Jimmy Dore just did an interview with Joe Rogan where he talks about his health issues post vaccine. He’s apparently been ill with complications for months after his vaccination. You might want to listen to Joe Rogan’s podcast #1687 and see if any of what Mr. Dore said applies to you too. His doctor has apparently prescribed medication that is helping him with his post vaccine symptoms.

      4. Carolinian

        I had missed that comment.

        Last year someone told me that almost all the people dying locally–and they got this from their doctor–were morbidly obese. Of course as we know the elderly are also at high risk. At the height there would be an ambulance almost every time I drove by nearby retirement home.

        But it’s almost as though this connection between obesity and Covid was being concealed from the public. Since we have an obesity epidemic to go with the Pandemic perhaps all those TV stations and news outlets simply didn’t want to offend their viewers/readers.

        However it also seems undeniable that the politicization of the coverage has taken the narrative in preferred directions of blame–all Trump’s fault or evangelicals in their churches or rightwing websites. These obvious biases have caused some of us to tune out the MSM altogether.

        So thanks NC and thanks Doc.We are here to learn.

      5. Carla

        My gratitude, ex-PFC Chuck. I had missed IM Doc’s impassioned and important (!) comment from yesterday afternoon.

      6. thoughtful person

        Thanks ex-PFC Chuck, IMDoc always worth a read and I had missed it.

        I’ve been extremely dissatisfied with the US CDC from day one of Covid19 and especially since the “forget about wearing masks decision” when we knew we had a non-sterlizing vaccine from UK data at that time! Crazy and/or extremely anti public health (not surprisingly given the normal “go die” approach here in the USA).


        I’m certainly not trained in anything, relevant, just reading articles mostly here. But, my 2 cents, it appears that the vaccines do reduce the incidence of hospitalizations (and worse). They only last ~6 months, at least for mRNA, and pFizer is down to 39% effective against infection in Israel (where inoculations started in Jan). However I just read this am on Dr Eric Fenghi-Ding (spelling?)’s twitter feed that all intensive care beds in Oklahoma are full of covid cases! Obviously wering masks should never have been stopped but vaccination (AND Masks!) could help keep hospitals from overflowing now, correct?

        Personally I am open to getting a booster, but maybe it will be Abdala, which was 92.28% effective in Recent trials.

        “Cuban vaccine is neither a vector vaccine nor does it work with mRNA technology. Instead, it’s a so-called protein vaccine. That means it carries a portion of the spike protein that the virus uses to bind to human cells. It docks onto the receptors of the virus’ own spike protein, thus triggering an immune reaction. The scientists are using yeast as a receptor-binding domain…”

    4. Amfortas the hippie

      i’d have to think about the possibility today(doubtful. at best)…but in march 2020, a simple cost-benefit analysis said that it would be far cheaper…as well as less disruptive…overall…to make a 2 month lockdown happen.
      rather than to do a partial lockdown while otherwise letting it rip.
      troops delivering care packages door to door may have also made clear to many otherwise reluctant disbelievers to the seriousness of the situation.
      this crisis would have been over with by june 2020.

      and this is me, mr libertarian socialist saying this.
      40+ years of scifi disaster porn has taught me that yes, sometimes strong measures and states of exception are indicated…with the obvious follow on problem of putting all that back in the box when the crisis has passed.(analogous to me putting on my General Hat when we have extreme weather, and my teenagers still want to run off)
      this would have contained it’s own difficulties…given the 50 year erosion of trust in our institutions and universalised confusion of tongues engendered by the Mindf**k…but still.
      now, we’ll hafta just deal with it…mostly at an individual level.
      It Ain’t Over, and that’s a testament to the failure of neoliberalism as an organising philosophy.
      ….which says to me that , if it gets as bad as it looks like it’s going to, this could be a lever to move things farther to the left…and claw back some Universalism/All In This Together from the dividers and sh*t-stirrers.
      how we do that should be contemplated and discussed.

      1. Cuibono

        and as many have chimed in: had we done that successfully everyone would have said” see, there was nothing to worry about”

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          …and that would be acceptable.
          bad us, for making it a nothingburger.
          i would have accepted that.

    5. The Rev Kev

      I think that you might be right about this virus now being wide spread in China, vlade. I am thinking of all those trips that Chinese take between the country and the cities which would be a perfect way to spread this near and far. And when it came out recently that the Chinese vaccine was not that crash-hot either, I wondered at the time how that would play out in China. I guess that we have our answer now. I do have one forlorn hope however. That with all their expertise, that they may be able to develop all sort of tests and treatments that could spread to the rest of the world. It would be great, for example, if they could develop a test that could test if a person was infected or not and give positive confirmation on the spot with only a delay of seconds. That would be a game changer that.

      1. Fritzi

        Being not beholden to western big pharma, there would for example be nothing to keep the Chinese authorities from applying Ivermectin on the largest possible scale, and inform the world of any success.


        1. The Rev Kev

          If Ivermectin became an outstanding success story in China dealing with this virus, it would become a reason in some circles in the US to not to use it.

          1. Mantid

            Unfortunately, the US and it’s pupetmasters are able to create many reasons not to use nor promote IVM. The MSM pounds the “never IVM” lie and the public take the bait hook line and sinker. However, there are some cracks in the dam opening up – such as the recently positive Wall St. Journal article linked a few days ago in NC.

        2. WendyTX

          As a corollary to that, if the PRC doesn’t make widespread use of ivermectin as a treatment it will confirm that it was never a viable treatment for Covid. China have no incentives to suppress effective treatments for political reasons.

          1. Cuibono

            you sure about that? Seems a mighty bold claim. What goes on in the PRC is never transparent

            1. vlade

              If IVM was an effective treatment and/or prophylaxis, what would stop China from using it? IT surely wouldn’t be Big Pharama, it would have to be a CCP decision.

              If CCP was able to offer widespread treatement/prophylaxis, it would score massively in the population AND would get plus points from many developing countries.

              I cannot see a downside for CCP actively NOT using IVM _if_ it was working.

              That doesn’t mean IVM is _not_ working, but it surely puts a large question mark out there. I’d also note that IVM use was widespread in India before Covid, so surely there should be plenty of data on how IVM-heavy areas coped with Delta vs. areas with less use of IVM.

              I don’t have answers, but have plenty of questions.

            2. PlutoniumKun

              I’ve been curious about whether the Chinese have used or tested ivermectin, but there seems almost nothing published out there. I have no idea why this is, but it should be said that while the Chinese public health system has proven pretty good over Covid, the Chinese hospital system is terrible, with poorly paid staff, low quality training and the widespread use of fake drugs. So any data from treatment should be treated with a large pinch of salt.

              There may also be a political element – from what I’m aware, most ivermectin in Asia is manufactured in India, and the Chinese may be reluctant to become too beholden to Indian suppliers. It should be said that while China makes a lot of base compounds for medicines, the Chinese pharmaceutical industry in general is not particularly strong, its never been a core focus of their economy.

    6. Dr. Robert

      Testing in China is often done at the city and district level, not based on individuals presenting with symptoms. They also do extensive contact tracing using cellphone location data and an app. Even so Delta might be too contaigous for even these most thorough measures.

    7. cnchal

      Still Flying = Total Fail

      When the Delta variant was raging in India and starting to show up here I was listening to a reporter / journalist do an interview with three politicians and in exasperation at the deflection and bullshit coming out of the mouths of the politicians he asked “why are we still flying and letting flights from India land here without any testing or quarantines. The virus didn’t hop in a canoe and paddle over”.

      There was radio silence after that.

    8. fresno dan

      August 3, 2021 at 7:12 am

      A Florida school district has dropped its mask mandate for schools after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) issued an executive order that would cut off funding to schools that did so.
      Broward County Public Schools said Monday it “intends to comply with the Governor’s latest Executive Order” but that it will “strongly encourage” people in its schools to wear masks and advocate for all eligible students to get vaccinated.
      Two days later, DeSantis signed an executive order to “protect parents’ freedom to choose” if their children should wear masks at schools, a direct rebuke to districts that imposed mask mandates despite his public attitude against the measures.
      I agree with you. We seem to forget all those people at the beginning of the pandemic who said that covid was no more harmful than the flu (not to mention those that didn’t believe covid even existed). And even countries that did so well at the beginning, e.g., Vietnam, are now having flare ups. Humans behave against their own interests and own health all the time…

      1. zagonostra

        “Humans behave against their own interests and own health all the time…”

        As evidenced by voting for political parties that don’t provide universal healthcare for their citizens that leads to >50K deaths annually and bankrupts >500K per year.

        1. fresno dan

          August 3, 2021 at 1:41 pm
          As evidenced by voting for political parties that don’t provide universal healthcare for their citizens that leads to >50K deaths annually and bankrupts >500K per year.
          I was going to add that as an example…
          There is a Simpson’s episode that is a takeoff on Hansel and Gretel where the witch has them, and Bart is ladeling cooking juices over himself, and Lisa tells him, “at least quit basting yourself.”
          I feel the American public is self basting…

      2. Shonde

        You just brought to mind something that happened to me back in early 2020.

        I went to my regular ENT appointment fully masked and gloved since I read NC. A nurse, escorting me to the procedure room, asked how I was doing probably wondering why I was masked. My response was a simple, “I’m scared. She asked why. I told her (the virus) and her response was “Oh, we’ve been told that’s no different than the flu. Nothing to worry about”. I was the only masked person in the clinic.

        This was at a branch clinic of the famous Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

    9. Jeremy Grimm

      This thread appears to reflect a noticeably greater depth of pessimism about the Corona pandemic. I am curious about its origins. The news about the Corona pandemic has either been depressing, transparently mendacious, or fantasy for as long as the pandemic has been a topic. The articles in top journals have shown a similar range in the message of their conclusions and in their quality. What is different now? Did anyone really expect the Biden administration or the vaccines would bring an end or even a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ to the pandemic? I sense some kind of tipping point has been tipped.

  2. Toshiro_Mifune

    Wall Street is buying up family homes. The rent checks are too juicy to ignore

    I know that we’ve seen lots of reports of “Wall St” via various guises buying up residential property to then rent out. I have no idea if this is true or not but is certainly believable.
    However… isn’t buying up large amounts of suburban housing, especially SFRs just dumb as a long term prospect? I mean, anyone here who owns a house knows that the long term carrying costs are pretty high; maintenance, taxes, etc. That’s all stuff that adds up.
    Its one thing to have a large apartment building with 36 units and another to have 36 individual houses. If you have a bad storm and the roof has a leak on that apartment building that’s only a shingle roof that needs repair, albeit a large one. If you have 36 SFRs in a place that gets hit with a bad storm you potentially have 36 roofs that need repair. Same thing for air conditioner units, heating units, water heaters and so on. I just can’t see how this pays off in the long run.
    I suppose they could be buying nothing but brand new houses and thus deferring some of the big ticket maintenance for 10-15 years, but that’s not what we’re seeing in the various storied that are coming out. They’re just buying everything.
    What happens when they stop their buying spree and housing values revert to whatever the median income can afford? For that matter how much rent extraction do they really think they can get in the long run before they essentially price everyone out of a certain area?
    Everything about this strikes me as a recipe for a disaster, including the inevitable tax payer bailout of Black Rock or whoever when the whole thing crashes.

    1. Sam Adams

      A little attorney lease-drafting magic, Lobbyists and some legislative changes will solve all the problems of carrying costs, maintenance, taxes ….
      Its home ownership without the equity!

    2. John

      Unregulated and unrestrained, capitalism gorges on anything that appears to fatten it. There is no limit as there is never enough. It knows no limits. It cannot be satiated; when the destruction is total, the last capitalist will gorge on the ruins. An apocalyptic view? Yes, but what is there to gainsay it? If climate change can be waved aside in the interest of profit or business-as-usual or “freedom” or any other excuse for rhetoric followed by inaction, why should lesser depredation not be simply the norm?

    3. Tom Stone

      Pulte homes has partnered with Blackrock to build subdivisions exclusively dedicated to rentals.
      Short term these SFR rentals look profitable, long term the costs of maintaining them ( After about 5 years depending on climate and build quality) make them unprofitable.
      Which is fine, you show investors the returns over the first two or three years and unload them on the suckers, like CalPers for a fat profit and a sweet management contract.

      1. Toshiro_Mifune

        you show investors the returns over the first two or three years and unload them on the suckers, like CalPers for a fat profit and a sweet management contract

        Yeah, thats what I’ve been thinking as well.

        1. Tom Stone

          Toshiro, I managed small income properties for about 15 years, income properties are about cash flow and “Estimated remainder value” after a certain number of years.
          Which can be gamed seven ways from Sunday…

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        “..and build quality..”
        yes…this is overlooked.
        my brother’s $1/2-3/4 million dollar house in Kingwood, Texas is shoddy and made of crap materials.
        the sheds and such i build out here from ACTUAL TRASH will be standing and fit for purpose long after his expensive trashpile has crumbled into it’s footprint.
        my Dad’s house in Clear Lake is the same.
        less expensive subdivision homes are, necessarily, much worse.
        mom recently had the VA tack on a roll in bathroom/shower for stepdad(the original VA built one was a wreck after only 15 years…so he dealt with it for another 15 years while the VA wriggled and hid)…with their institutional weirdness about who is a qualified contractor as well as material standards, i was shocked at how crappy it ended up being. Looks nice right now…but it will not last.
        this built in shoddyness looks pretty widespread, to me.

        1. jr

          Years ago when living in Philly, someone began to build an apartment complex in the Northern Liberties then went broke or something. The shell of a building that was left behind quickly became a favorite hangout for the neighborhood kids. A coworker who lived nearby said the kids loved it because if you ran and jumped hard enough you would literally break through the walls like the Hulk etc…

          1. LifelongLib

            Yes. It’s the result of the economy being controlled by absentee investors who only care about rate of return, rather than by founders/owners who actually care about the things their enterprises do.

        2. Procopius

          It’s built into capitalism. Information asymmetry. When we lived in hunting bands of 40 or 70 people, everybody’s reputation was known. If somebody was particularly skilful at chipping flint everybody knew. I guess in a town of a thousand people reputation still was widely known. There was a reason people used to worry, “What will people think?” In a city of a hundred thousand it’s pretty unlikely you’re going to know who is a trustworthy merchant and who has two sets of weights. Most people do not know what to look for to judge the quality of a building. Lots of people have to rely on a firm handshake and looking you in the eye to judge a stranger’s honesty.

      3. Katniss Everdeen

        It’s almost impossible to overestimate the amount of control over tenants that can be exerted by landlords, over and above the relentless annual rent increases and various other profit enhancing shenanigans like deferred maintenance, particularly when the landlord is a corporate behemoth like blackrock.

        Quick recent story: A friend, who was between jobs, needed a roof over her head for about a month. She was hoping to stay with her brother, a family man and long-time renter. His lease specified that there were to be no overnight guests for longer than three nights. (Consider the ramifications for holiday visits, as an aside.) The landlord was small time–he had lived in the house previous to renting it out. The next door neighbor was a busybody who knew the owner, and was known to tattle on the family. The brother and his family were scared to death that they would be “reported,” and felt they couldn’t jeopardize the roof over their heads, so they refused.

        So many “quality of life” aspects of community life–from infrastructure to education–depend on property taxes which are paid by property “owners,” and, in a mass, concentrated, single family home rental business, would be operating expenses subject to ruthless minimization, with all the implications for the community at large.

        Not to mention the mess “securitization” makes of actual ownership of the properties, and thus the responsibility for the property taxes, as demonstrated in 2008.

        Not to mention the destabilizing effect of a high population of renters not materially invested in the health of the community. (Condo complexes have long recognized this issue, often limiting rentals or preventing them altogether.)

        And isn’t blackrock a private equity business? What happens to the community when they decide to bankrupt the entire endeavor and move on? Think ToysRUs expressed as community blight.

        IMNSHO, towns and villages should get a clue and move fast to preempt their becoming deteriorating profit generators for faceless wall street megalomaniacs who can never have enough, and don’t care whom they destroy to get it.

    4. Krystyn Podgajski

      And speaking of not being able to afford rent and just in time for the eviction moratorium running out, the extremely “liberal” town I am in right now just put up “No Overnight Camping Allowed” signs in pretty much the only place to get a quiet sleep in your car. This was enacted under this overly broad municipal code that lets the chief of police decide.

      I have to say, it has been abused this year compared to the last two by people pulling their $200k RV’s in there for a few nights. The world keeps making me more angry and more depressed.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        you got a spot 11 miles north of Mason, Texas, Krystyn
        i even have a bar that’s open 24/7
        i will put you to work, though.

    5. Jeremy Grimm

      The investors who seemed ready to purchase the duplex where I rent have disappeared. I am guessing they hope to find places where the numbers look even better with the end to rent and foreclosure moratoriums. I also expect they will be back to this duplex later, for a second look at least. The Corporatocracy behind the WEF seems intent on achieving their vision of a brave new world. I am ready to blame that Corporatocracy for the CARES Act and the restructuring of the US economy that appears to be taking place before our eyes. What a wonderful world we live in.

      1. HotFlash

        anyone here who owns a house knows that the long term carrying costs are pretty high; maintenance, taxes, etc.

        Any chance the current tenants, or perhaps tenant(s) plus an outside investor could buy the place? I have bought a house (four flats) with my other-three-flats-neighbours. My friend Tiss and a total stranger bought a lovely Victorian 3-story on my street that neither of them could have comfortably afforded alone and they didn’t really need all the room anyway. The two ladies, one single-ish mom (divorced, joint custody, child’s father lived a block and a half away), the other a single lady. They had it legally severed into two separate units, like a condo, except they owned *and* ran the ‘mgmt’ co. After 10+ yrs when child went to uni they sold, new owners un-severed.

        Five or so yrs ago I was helping a friend in her general store, a customer we had known for some time came in, looking somewhat stunned. He was a super in a nearby hi-rise, maybe 100 units, and he needed 100+ copies of a key. It was the key to the laundry room, a new lock b/c new owner. The bldg now belonged to Akelius and the employees and the residents were stunned. I asked why the residents hadn’t gotten together to buy it first, he told me, “We had no idea it was for sale.”

        The moral of the story: If we don’t organize we are doomed, b/c they already have. But we are many, they are few.

    6. lyman alpha blob

      You’re right of course but I doubt Wall Street is thinking about it the same way.

      Maintenance costs can be avoided by not doing maintenance. One of the largest landlords in the most populous city in my state has gotten very wealthy by doing just that so I’m sure wall Street wouldn’t hesitate to follow suit.

      For taxes, all those rent flows could probably buy a favorable city councilor or two who would only be too happy to decrease taxes on Wall St-owned neighborhoods.

      And as to the long term viability, Tom Stone already nailed that one.

  3. m

    I work at two different hospital chains some city, USA. Maybe a month back college age person rainbow hair comes in with syncope, during conversion kid states got 2 dose mrna V for work. Last night at other hospital where I will finish out this month and quit/fired for V hesitancy, saw same rainbow hair kid wheeled out of covid unit to ICU on heated hiflo 02. But we need to get the V cause we won’t get super sick? Time to drop out

    1. zagonostra

      >As Cuomo Orders Vaccinations for MTA, Some Workers Push Back THE CITY

      But some workers told THE CITY they won’t get the shots — and would quit if ever forced…
      “If they’re having trouble making service now because of manpower shortages, just wait until they mandate employees to take a vaccine they don’t want to take,” said Canella Gomez, a train operator who has not been vaccinated. “Lots of people still aren’t going to take it.”

      1. Lee

        The Noble Lies of COVID-19 Salon

        How noble lies, the article provides examples in detail, undermine public trust in experts and authorities. Hardly news to folks who frequent this site. Given the persistent gaslighting to which the public is subjected, it’s no wonder so many of our fellow citizens’ exhibit a range mental states between informed cynicism and flat out batshit crazy. If, as Lambert has noted, the rise of Trump has been “clarifying”, then Covid has been even more so. I don’t know how much more clarity I can take.

        1. Maritimer

          Noble Omissions may do more damage than Noble Lies.

          In my jurisdiction, there is practically no data available as to what is going on. As an example only, there are apparently clinical trials going on regarding treatments but there is no public information. One would think that the good news that there might be effective treatments would be loudly announced by Public Health but instead total silence. They only publish basic data and even that is just what they want the public to know.

          And, also in my jurisdiction, a lawyer has reported that it took 4.5 years to get a Freedom of Info Request back. And then it was redacted, back to legal process. So, no effective way to find out what the Noble Omissions are.

          So, I am far more concerned about Omissions than Lies. To me, these Omissions are more telling than the Lies.

    2. Questa Nota

      Matter of time before many hospitals will need some National Guard or similar reinforcement as nurses, and docs, continue exodus. That may conflict with similar call-ups for different skill sets to reinforce the dwindling, defunded, police forces.

      COVID-driven martial law next, not as far-fetched now, is it?

      Once upon a time, people went into public service with goals including the help of their fellow human beings.

      1. IM Doc

        It is not really the RNs and MDs that are refusing vaccination – although that is happening to some small degree..

        It is all the ancillary staff – the CNAs, the receptionists, the orderlies, the housekeepers. All right in the middle of patient care. Many of the legion of desk jockeys in health care are also refusing but their absence would not be so critical. It may actually help things out.

        If this ancillary staff begins to walk out en masse, and I have very good information that it is already happening to some degree in some places, we will have way more of a crisis on our hands than a COVID surge would ever be. You can count on it.

        Nursing homes and rehab centers are already feeling the pain everywhere.

        Unlike the RNs and MDs, these employees take no oaths. They have been shat on by the MBA crowd for the past decade. The ones I have personally spoken to are finding the pay much better at the local grocery store and they do not have to deal with all the crazy in the hospitals.

        This is indeed an emerging problem. In some places, these employees have to wear Scarlet Letters – UNVACCINATED or get to eat their lunch in the broom closet. Brilliance! And I see all of those in charge just doubling down. The problem just simply does not exist to them. But if they are not careful, it soon will.

        1. zagonostra

          “…these employees have to wear Scarlet Letters – UNVACCINATED or get to eat their lunch in the broom closet…”

          I wonder if they deliver lunch to broom closets in NYC:

          New York City will become the first U.S. city to require proof of vaccination for a variety of activities for workers and customers — indoor dining, gyms and performances — to put pressure on people to get vaccinated, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday morning.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Oh, the indoor dining mandate will collapse quickly. It won’t be observed. I guarantee it.

            Remember yours truly traveled to and from NYC when there was a supposed testing and quarantine requirement. Even with Laguardia being an easy choke point, the enforcement was all theater.

            1. Pat

              I pick up takeout often. The temperature, contact sheet requirement was only observed at one place in my neighborhood. And that only for the first weeks inside dining returned.

              Yeah, it will be a sham there.

        2. Dandelion

          The young female staff at my mother’s assisted living facility have not had their fears assuaged regarding the vaccine’s possible harms to their reproductive systems. Since they’re young and know their likelihood of suffering extreme illness or death from covid is rare, and they also know that the residents are all vaccinated, they’re choosing not to gamble their fertility, especially for the amount of work they do relative to the pay.

          I don’t see how they are wrong in their cost-benefit calculations.

        3. Yves Smith Post author

          And at least here in the South the quality of care at even supposedly good hospitals sucks, because the RNs and LPNs won’t provide hands-on care, like helping a patient to the toilet or emptying a bedpan, even if they are free and all the CNAs are busy. So patient care in many hospitals will go from bad to medieval.

      2. FluffytheObeseCat

        “ That may conflict with similar call-ups for different skill sets to reinforce the dwindling, defunded, police forces.”

        Heavens. We may have to call units back from abroad if things get that bad.

        We should pay CNAs and similar better, and treat them with greater respect. Then we would not be facing a problem. The same leaders who scoff at both protective gear (masks) and vaccinations however, are the ones most likely to chisel them on pay rates, childcare benefits, flexible work hours……. the Republicans are most overt in their contempt for fair wages. Democrats merely pass legislation and regulation that favors the private equity lords who dictate substandard wages and work conditions, while mouthing pious platitudes about personal behavior.

        Of course, we elect these self-dealing scum into office. Our worthless leaders are demonstrative of some real flaws in the people.

        Case in point: we should all be masking up in all indoor public venues. Never should have stopped. But the same chest thrusting whiners who make (some legitimate) critiques of vaccine mandates are the ones who sneer most aggressively at any and all public conduct mandates. Yet, masks are the best option for reducing spread of aerosol virus. Healthcare workers have worn them for years in operating rooms and other places that require sterile conditions. None of the tens of thousands of healthcare professionals who’ve masked up daily for hours seem to have been damaged by the practice.

        We. Should. Wear. Masks. Together with social separation it’s the only good transmission preventative we have right now.

        1. m

          Vaccine whiners, you realize that some people are having immediate adverse reactions and are left on their own to deal with it. Go check out the gofundme and OPENVAERS. People with parkinson like tremors told they are having anxiety. Who knows what will happen down the road.
          This isn’t Trump vs dem, this is that our healthcare system has failed. Care protocols come from these vacillating figure heads at NIH/CDC that appear to work for big pharm and not “the science.”
          I just tried to call out cause I don’t feel like waking up early to get a PCR test, I was told come anyway don’t worry. I also got a bunch of emails for crisis rate contracts where I am. Guess when those travelers come the hammer will come down.
          I feel like we are being played for suckers, they are clearly fudging data and information, not sure what the goal is.
          Passports, online education, digital currency cause cash has covid, who knows, but like Rahm said never let a good crisis go to waste and I think his brother wants people dead by 70 as a cost saving measure.

      3. K.k

        Dwindling , defunded police forces? Lol!
        Yeah the State will be disarming itself any day now. In the meantime Chicago p.d has a budget of nearly 1.7 billion! Nypd has over 5 billion! Thats bigger than military budgets of nation states. I for one will not be cheering for “reinforcements” for this coercive , violent arm of the State to firmly keep its boot on the neck of the working class, and the poor in particular.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I feel the same about the police. They are not intended to serve and protect us and seldom do — indeed — quite the contrary.

    3. Dr. Strangelove

      Your single data point is truly stunning science. Are you a Nobel Prize winner? Sounds like it.

      But seriously, please compare the number of unvaxxed in hospitals across America with the number of vaxxed. You’ll find something surprising.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I trust a single data point from a comment on this blog more than I trust the ‘science’ in many of the journal articles I have seen in what I had regarded as premier journals. As for your suggestion to “compare the number of unvaxxed in hospitals across America with the number of vaxxed” — you should take your own suggestion and examine the data for the Delta variant in some country where all but a few people have been vaccinated and where reliable data is actually collected.

        1. Mantid

          Jeremy and Dr. Strange. Then after examining those numbers, examine the numbers from Uttar Pradesh in India. They have massive use of Ivermectin and quite little vaccine uptake (< 10% of population). As of 7-31-2021 UP had cases, up 37. Active cases, down 55. Deaths, 1 (yes one death). All this in a place with a population nearing 500 million.

          What are the US and Western Europe doing chasing these nonsterilizing vaccines? It's a near waste of time, energy, and needless death. But, man alive, the money to be made! Party on Garth!

          1. steelyman

            I don’t know where this 500 million figure for Uttar Pradesh originated. This is the 2nd time I’ve seen it used on an NC comments thread. Per Wiki the pop of UP is 200 million. It is the most populous state in India but those CV figures still look good even with this lower figure.

      1. Aumua

        Anecdotes should be treated with a high degree of skepticism, but they can also provide insights. You just gotta be careful what you accept at face value when it comes to that. All the time, especially online, people:

        1) Lie
        2) Exaggerate the truth
        3) Misunderstand what they’ve seen
        4) Jump to unsupportted conclusions

        And also no matter how qualified, well vetted and possibly reliable someone’s anecdotal evidence and opinions are, we should strive to avoid becoming too dependent on one single person’s data point(s) for a balanced analysis of the situation.

        1. kareninca

          Those are all problems with online anecdotes. However, it is presently the case that some official providers of online “data”:

          1) Lie
          2) Exaggerate the truth
          3) Misunderstand what they’ve seen
          4) Jump to unsupported conclusions

  4. BillS

    Regarding the use of sex selection to favor male offspring: any species that selects against its females is in the process of collective suicide..on top of the other suicidal behaviors of the human species. As Arnie the Terminator says in one of his inimitable lines: “It is in your nature to destroy yourselves”.

    I try to remember that we are not all like this.

  5. polar donkey

    Someone my wife knows on Facebook had to go to the emergency room for non-covid related issue yesterday. Place was packed. Almost all covid related. Staff looked overwhelmed. The hospital was in Memphis suburbs in north Mississippi.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      stepdad down at the san antonio VA, and 2 of their contract specialty hospitals…scuttlebutt from a few doctors we’ve known for a very long time is that University Hospital there is closed to visitors…and that VA, itself, is on “lockdown” in various parts of it(like MICU).
      other scuttlebutt from one of stepdad’s long term home healthcare nurses is that in her orbit, from brady, texas all the way to san antonio, it’s back on again, and the suits in healthcareworld are tripping at what’s just over the horizon…because of the worker shortage…the lack of support, if not open hostility, from idiot abbott’s state gooberment… and the continuing resistance by so much of the public to doing anything to head it off.

      last friday when i was down there hanging around…taking wife to chemo, and mom to deal with the failure of corporate medicine…i roamed around a bit outside of the medical center area.
      just from the car, cruising around, very few masks were to be seen entering or leaving all manner of stores and such…but at the bus stops, practically everyone was masked up(the buses require a mask, per federal orders…drivers won’t let you on without one…..and that message flashes on the marquis in between streets and the like)

      i am ashamed of my state and my country that it appears that, 18 months later, we’re gonna do it all over again, having learned nothing.

    1. Mildred Montana

      Not crass at all, but not good enough. Flooding will not interfere with the views or the yachting.

      The now apparently defunct Cape [Cod] Wind Project (2009-2017) was torpedoed by a minority of Massachusetts people, including environmentalist-hypocrite Robert F. Kennedy Jr.:

      “Year round and summer residents expressed concerns over the location of the project: some claiming that the project would ruin scenic *views* from private properties as well as *views* from public properties like beaches, as the turbines would be only 4.8 miles from shore and therefore would decrease property values, ruin popular areas for *yachting*….” (from Wiki, emphasis mine)

      Giant runaway icebergs would be better.

  6. Tom Stone

    Rev, I’m having a hard time not wishing Obambi’s 60th birthday party turns into a superspreader event.
    Lots of powerful sociopaths will be showing up, the succession battles if enough of them get very sick or die would be illuminating.

      1. chuck roast

        Having puked on just about every ferry in New England I was good at dreaming about them. Many years ago I had a dream that I was taking the MV ferry from Woods Hole. Henry Kissinger was standing at the rail with a couple of his cronies. I siddled over next to him and pretended to view the horizon while surreptitiously whipping it out and peeing on his leg. Fortunately I did not wet the bed. One of the most satisfying dreams of my life.

  7. Tom Stone

    I looked at the pics of Obama’s Turkeyland monstrosity.
    I have seen hundreds of high end homes over the years I have been in Real Estate and that is one ugly and nearly unlivable MoFo of a “Home”.
    I have seen as bad a couple of times, but that is in the top 1% when it comes to expensive crap shacks.
    It’s offensive inside and out, from every perspective.

    1. Screwball

      Looking at that place and knowing how he came to own it should make everyone’s blood boil. Then the hubris of this party… In the middle of, and not far from a super spreader event no less. Oh, brother!

      Yet, when mentioned online by Greenwald,the PMC types (and I read this yesterday) go nuts defending the guy. Even had a map with an arrow going from Martha’s Vineyard to Providence (or wherever that SS event happened) showing how far away it is and how Greenwald and his followers were so crazy, stupid, dumb, and hateful on St. Barry. Of course this is the same people who screamed Russia, Russia, Russia for the last 5 years.

      And to be honest, I’m getting tired of being called a dumb stupid redneck hick because I don’t buy into every nugget of BS these people willingly digest on a daily basis.

      Then they wonder why people don’t trust .gov, the CDC, WHO, Dr. Fauci and the propaganda organs who feed us BS on a daily basis.

      Enough. Just quit. Where do I get off this sickening ride?

    2. Mildred Montana

      @Tom Stone

      I just looked at the interior pics too. OMG, blinding white everywhere. Cold, cold, cold.

      I hope the Obamas intend on doing some re-painting. If so, I would suggest more cream, beige, and butter yellow to make the house warmer, cozier, and more livable. (You’re welcome, Barack and Michelle, the decorating advice is free.)

      Of course, the homes of the rich are not intended for comfortable living. They are more like museums for displaying the owner’s artifacts of wealth.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        I don’t give a shit what it looks like.

        It’s that the last real job he had paid 400 grand a year for 8 years and he could still “buy” it. Along with a couple more in d.c. and Hawaii.

        Where do I get me some of that magic multiplying money?

      2. ilpalazzo

        Well the building itself is a run of the mill Arts and Crafts inspired mansion but the white interiors are bad. OTOH it may reflect inhabitants character rather well.

      3. LifelongLib

        If I had that kind of money I’d buy something like Collinwood from the old Dark Shadows series. Now that was a house…

  8. The Rev Kev

    ‘Sarah, RN
    We told you this would happen. The mass exodus of nursing staff came in waves, month after month. Now this sudden, debilitating, exponential growth of sick people needing care in our communities, & they have no one. YOU didn’t listen, YOU thought travel rates would “normalize.”’

    Said last year that they should have organized abbreviated courses for nurses to learn their trade when it became obvious that this pandemic was not going to be a one-year wonder and more nurses would be needed over time. All those new nurses would be coming into the system about now to replace those nurses who retired, who quit, who got sick and who even died. Give them decent wages and also a pathway forward so that later on, they can acquire the additional training modules to be fully qualified nurses. But nothing like that ever happened and so here we are. One more wasted opportunity.

    1. jr

      Let’s see how many teachers join those RN’s in dropping society’s problems to the ground and leaving to take care of their own

    2. c_heale

      The UK has an almost identical problem with truck drivers who deliver to supermarkets. Poor wages, terrible working conditions. Suddenly Brexit happens, so most of all the European drivers, and their employing companies switch to Continental routes only. UK is now down 100,000 drivers (astonishing numbers), and the current government due to laziness, incompetance and greed (characteristics of our upper classes), has also shut down testing and training for new drivers during the Covid epidemic. Now the supermarkets and other food distributers are offering massive signing on bonuses, better wages etc. The government has extended drivers working hours (completely unsafe and likely to lead to more burnout and early retirement), and is starting up training and testing again. But it’s not gonna make any difference. The drivers just aren”t there. And due to the hostile environment (a home office policy to make life difficult for imnigrants, legal or not) they aren’t going to come back. The only solution is to stop the hostile environment and go back on Brexit. But this is the core of the current government’s policies and likely to lead to a collapse in support. But the alternative is worse. When people have a shortage of food they tend to get really pissed. They are screwed both ways and they completely deserve it.

  9. IMOR

    re: Palin.
    Ah, the latest New Republic roster provides some continuity with the previous iteration’s laziness and predictability. Sarah’s really ‘dumber’ (more crap-ignorant than, if I parse the writer’s use of ‘dumb’ correctly) than Rick Scott, Tom Cotton, and Tommy Tuberville (all taking office with or since R. Johnson)? Of course, the beltway/Acela geniuses don’t pay much attention beyond caricature to the states those men purport to represent, but the author did after all find Wisconsin. Perhaps he also believes “that hopey changey thing” worked out great.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Tokyo Olympics: Chinese nationalists turn on their athletes”

    The Chinese should worry. They are on top of the medal tally at the moment with 32 Gold so some of them should chill out more and get their hand off it. And it is not like seppuku is a Chinese custom or something. Meanwhile, in the Antidotes-

    That poor cat in that basket full of chicks. If the other cats ever heard of this, they would never let him live it down. I think that he is actually pinned down the poor thing. And as for that encounter with that bobcat, as one person said-

    “On your left!”

    1. chuck roast

      It would be almost worth it to have Sara Palin elected president just to see the Sara Palin Presidential Library…almost.

  11. fresno dan

    “The independent investigation has concluded that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so violated federal and state law,” New York state Attorney General Letitia James announced in a press conference.
    The attorney general’s office spoke with 179 people for the investigation and reviewed more than 74,000 pieces of evidence, including emails, texts, photos and audio files. The evidence painted a “deeply disturbing yet clear picture” that Cuomo sexually harassed female employees, many of whom were young women, James said.
    how long does Cuomo last? Or does he leave at all?

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Did Letitia James also announce her gubenatorial bid in the same press release? Remember how hard Cuomo’s organization worked to make sure Zepher Teachout never saw the inside of the Attorney General’s office? Oopps!

    2. Dandelion

      you’d think condemning thousands of elderly to death would have done it for Cuomo, but I sense in the choice of sexual harassment as the means to bring him down the long knives of Khive clearing the path. I bet Newsom’s next.

      1. Pat

        My guess was Cuomo was toast as the face of that debacle but the pivot to sexual harassment limited fallout. Allowing a full examination of the corruption that fueled the various Covid decisions that were deadly might take out more people of importance.

  12. Andrew Watts

    RE: Pentagon Believes Its Precognitive AI Can Predict Events ‘Days In Advance’

    In other words, they want to outsource their strategic and tactical thinking to an EVA. Personally, I’m not that impressed with what I’ve seen so far of AI. When Lee Sedol beat AlphaGo he used a stratagem he called “the triangle”. In military terms this is called a pincer attack. The overreliance on technology explains a lot about the outcomes the US military achieves in any wargame or armed conflict.

    “After the fall of Saigon, I went to Saigon and I saw the operational section of the American forces there. I saw a lot of modern military equipment and electronic weapons and so I said to myself; They have their own logic because they own a lot of modern state of the art military technology.

    That logic is fundamentally incorrect. We have the human factor and that’s the decisive factor. It’s like Sun Tzu said, “know the enemy and know yourself and you’ll win one hundred battles.” – General Vo Nguyen Giap

    1. rowlf

      1973 Saigon after the US withdrew US military forces or 1975 Saigon after the US diplomatic support evacuated? It is popular to conflate the two events.

      1. Andrew Watts

        Presumably the latter case. I can’t envision a scenario where General Giap would get a good look at the American headquarters in Saigon without it being after the diplomatic evacuation.

        I could be wrong though.

    2. c_heale

      Humans can’t predict what will happen in a war and they have a deep understanding of how other human think and behave. This AI cannot have this understanding so how can this possibly work.

      “I know he’s a good general, but is he lucky?”
      Napoleon Bonaparte

  13. Anthony K Wikrent

    Re tweet by SarahRN: So if Samuel Hazen of HCA Healthcare took a paycut and received only $3 million instead of $18.13 million last year, HCA could give its employees up to $15 more an hour?

    Probably not: SarahRN’s employer was probably much smaller than HCA. But, she should have asked how much the CEO was paid.

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