Links 9/10/2021

Why the world still loves 1970s detective show Columbo BBC

Art, terror and erections show VR potential at Venice France 24

‘A Loveable Anarchist’: The Oral History of Mr Blobby Vice

Wingwalker to the Rescue Air & Space


The unlikely protector against Bangladesh’s rising seas BBC

World’s First ‘Climate Change Famine’ Devastates Madagascar TreeHugger

‘The climate crisis is a reality for all of us’: Africa’s unreported summer of extremes Independent

Life in the heart of B.C.’s brutal summer drought The Narwhal

After Ida, small businesses face uncertainty on many fronts Independent

NASA is going to slam a spacecraft into an asteroid. Things might get chaotic. MIT Technology Review

Smart Glasses by Facebook and Ray-Ban Mix Cool With Creepy WSJ


‘Your refusal has cost us all’: Biden declares war on the 80M unvaccinated Americans in speech ordering mandates on two-thirds of ALL workers and insists: ‘This is not about freedom’ Daily Mail

Sweeping new vaccine mandates for 100 million Americans AP

When a Virus Strikes, Can the World Pause Its Wars? The Wire

‘I will not stay silent’: WHO chief seeks moratorium on Covid vaccine booster doses till end of 2021 Scroll

Expertise Unheeded Inference

New Zealand Prime Minister Not Mad Just Disappointed in Covid-19 Patient Having Sex at Hospital Gizmodo

Novavax begins early-stage trial for combined flu/Covid vaccine NBC

WA Budget reveals $5.6 billion surplus but no border reopening date, delays to infrastructure ABC News (Australia)

The Race to Vaccinate Vietnam Weekly



The smoking gun on Anthony Fauci? The Spectator

The Caribbean

COVID-19: The Money That Never Arrives in Cuba Consortium News

Class Warfare

Counterfeit Capitalism: Why a Monopolized Economy Leads to Inflation and Shortages BIG Matt Stoller

Fed presidents Kaplan, Rosengren to sell individual stock holdings to address ethics concerns CNBC

Calls for Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin to Dump High-Interest Loan Firm Stoersck as He’s Sworn In The City

What would the NWO do? Carl Beijer (RK)

German finance ministry raided in money laundering probe Reuters

Health Care

House Democrats unveil proposals on drug prices, Medicaid expansion The Hill

Bernie’s New Plan: Add Dental Benefits to Medicare Jacobin

Progressives Want Justice Stephen Breyer To Retire. His Response? Not Yet NPR

Stephen Breyer calls Supreme Court decision on Texas abortion law ‘very, very, very wrong’ CNN

Biden Administration

Justice Dept. sues Texas over state’s new abortion law  Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Democrats Eye Taxing Stock Buybacks and Partnerships to Pay for Agenda NYT

France to offer free birth control to all women up to 25 AP


How 9/11 and the ‘war on terror’ tore the Arab world apart Responsible Statecraft

Afghanistan’s Corruption Was Made in America Foreign Affairs. Sarah Chayes.

How elite US institutions created Afghanistan’s neoliberal President Ashraf Ghani, who stole $169 million from his country Grayzone

Afghanistan: First flight from Taliban-controlled Kabul lands in Doha Deutsche Welle


China determined to build iron ore hub in Africa as Australia goes Quad Nikkei Asia

China’s Hydropower Plan on the Brahmaputra The Diplomat

US, China dueling for power on the Mekong Asia Times

The Triumph of Environmental Activism in China Der Spiegel


Foreign Governments, Experts Urge Peace After Myanmar Opposition Announces Mass Uprising The Diplomat

Environmental activist ‘well-hated’ by Myanmar junta is latest to be arrested Mongabay


As the Pandemic Casts Its Shadow, Diwali Spending Not Expected to Fully Recover in 2021 The Wire

Women Farmers Are Losing Jobs, Earnings, Savings Even As Agriculture Booms India Spends

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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    1. paul

      I was glad the article noted this, the callous nature of the PMC was at its heart.
      Ruthless psychiatrists, publishers and art flunkeys.

      The star trek crossover is strong, shatner, nimoy and koenig, the golden age of the small screen, and always finding time for real headcases like Timothy Carey.
      Most notable was his affinity with Patrick MacGoohan.

      Favourite villian, Jack Cassidy (father of david).

      Proud owner of the entire DVD collection.

        1. Implementor

          The Prisoner is by far the best television series ever made, No Joke. Start at episode one and work your way through…you won’t be disappointed.

          Discovered it at age 10. Made a huge impact on me

    2. Kevin


      An approach shared with the Three Stooges and the Marx Bros – all of their comedic foils were rich folks.
      I guess it’s more satisfying watching rich people getting a pie in the face than some poor bloke on the street?
      If only the Stooges were alive today to light up the set of “Real Housewives of_____” with a raucous pie fight.

      THAT, I would watch.

      1. lordkoos

        Lampooning the rich was stock in trade during the great depression, along with casting the wealthy as villains.

      2. johnherbiehancock

        Better yet… light up the set of West Wing, or a Games-of-Throne-type blood & gore fest with a raucous pie fight.

    3. The Rev Kev

      It was an interesting era for TV detectives. Today it is mostly hot babes and hunky guys but it was all sorts in the 70s. You could have a fat guy (Cannon), a guy in a wheelchair (Ironside), a cowboy detective in New York (McCloud), a blind detective (Longstreet), a bald detective (Kojak) and even a guy with a wonky eye in a ruffled trench coat – Columbo. In Columbo, you did not have helicopter chases & stunts, blazing gun fights, knock out brawls but just one guy using his wits and intelligence. And with suspects he certainly had his own style. His own very annoying, baffling, aggravating style- (4:33 mins)

      ‘Oh, one more thing…’

        1. neo-realist

          Vague memory of Mannix–lots of action:) fistfights and gunfights galore. Ordinary but tasty, like a burger and fries.

      1. jonboinAR

        But one thing all action shows in the ’70s had: If a car had a wreck, it blew up, period. I was so glad when that “meme” ended, that and, in the aftermath of Bonnie and Clyde and the Wild Bunch, the extreme over-use of slow motion.

        1. Oh

          Who could forget “Bereta” the cop who lectured the law breaker in a long boring speech until he confessed.

      1. Wukchumni

        At the very same time Kent cigarettes were the unofficial currency of Romania…

        BUCHAREST, ROMANIA — “It was my last resort,” an American tourist said in a tale of his frustrating search for a taxicab here. Car after car barreled past him down Calea Victoriei before he finally pulled it from his pocket, stopping a driver dead in his tracks.

        In Romania, a pack of Kent cigarettes can work wonders.

        This socialist country’s unofficial currency, Kents have been used not only to grab cabs in heavy traffic, but to buy an endless range of other goods and services, including a hospital operation, a massage and a decent cut of meat.

    4. Mildred Montana


      I used to enjoy Columbo but lost interest many years ago. I couldn’t suspend my disbelief any longer, the way he chatted amiably with the suspect (there was always only one) about evidential details. A major investigative no-no, besides others like contamination of the crime scene and search without warrants. And never ever once did the the suspect say, “I’m not talking, talk to my lawyer.”

      It was good TV, until I became more knowledgeable about real criminal investigations.

    5. Maritimer

      “Column: Six decades ago, Newton Minow called TV a ‘vast wasteland.’ It’s even vaster today”
      And that’s in the LA Times, home of Hollywood!

      A lot of the mindlessness of which many complain can be laid at the TV/Entertainment(?) Industry. Mining human consciousness for both Fun and Profit.

      Numerous books on the origins, development and immense harm caused by TV. Amusing Ourselves To Death by Neil Postman is just one of them.

      The Internet is just TV on steroids with new, ever more powerful mindshaping bells and whistles.

      1. lordkoos

        Yeah there are a lot more shows now, and a lot of dreck, but there are also some excellent series being produced. I find it the quality is much higher than when it was limited to the three networks.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Really? The Internet is just TV on steroids? Naked Capitalism is part of the Internet, and Naked Capitalism isn’t even TV at all.

    6. Skunk

      And the murderers are arrogant, initially judging Columbo by his not-so-formidable appearance. They assume he will easily be defeated because of his beat-up car and even more battered-looking raincoat. Part of the fun is watching the arrogant be bested by Columbo and seeing their preconceptions dismantled.

  1. timbers

    Fed presidents Kaplan, Rosengren to sell individual stock holdings to address ethics concerns CNBC

    Ethics concerns? People who work at the Fed board have ethics?

    Isn’t that like Satan saying he will no longer wear red clothes so as to address ethics concerns?

    As long as anyone at the Fed has money or resources, all they have to do is buy assets, because the Fed’s official policy of maximum inflation of asset prices (at the expense of savers and retires) affects all/most assets which are mostly owned by them and their rich friends.

    It doesn’t have to be stocks.

    1. praxis

      “After goosing a massive equity bubble Fed presidents are ready to be the first ones out the door” is a more accurate headline. It’s a plutocracy.

    2. griffen

      Reached in Hades for a response, Satan has replied that he favors black almost exclusively in today’s latest fashionable dress. Red is just very BC, after all.

      Don’t fight the Fed. Should be a rap tune set to that. Or something by Anthrax with a catchy riff.

    3. Nikkikat

      Timber’s, we had a really good chuckle regarding your comparison of the Fed and Satan not wearing red clothes. Loved it. Thanks we will take all the laughter we can muster.

    4. Mildred Montana


      What about Kaplan’s and Rosengren’s family and friends? What about the other ten Fed presidents and their family and friends? Are they divesting also? Somehow I doubt it.

      Looks to me like the Fed, as it falls into disrepute, is making some cosmetic changes by putting some lipstick on a couple of its hogs.

  2. cnchal

    > Counterfeit Capitalism: Why a Monopolized Economy Leads to Inflation and Shortages BIG Matt Stoller

    Around 2012, Uber and Lyft came into the market, and for the next seven years, it got even better, with cheaper Uber fares within minutes. At the time, everyone knew that Uber, and its tech economy cousins, were heavily subsidized by investors, with Uber losing up to $1 million a week. But the cheap rides were too good a deal to pass up.

    Uber is sinking a 3/4 Nimitz unit annually. Round numbers here but Uber is losing $8.25 million per day or roughly $60 million per week.

  3. timbers

    Why the world still loves 1970s detective show Columbo BBC

    The complete collection of ALL Columbo movies/episodes can be purchased at Amazon, Japan. It comes in a very handsome high quality package – a “box” that’s actually some sort of sturdy cardboard type of product. I think it is the only collection that contains every episode. Just shy of 70 episodes or so.

    Hated Columbo as a child. Now I appreciate him. Every major star you can think of makes an appearance, either as the episode guest star or supporting cast. There is something for everyone.

    And notice this: The huge impact of Russian/Polish Jews in American cinema. Peter Falk and his first 2 starring guests – Gene Barry, Lee Grant (she’s still alive in her 100’s) have Russian Polish Jewish backgrounds from Brooklyn (if I recall). Doing quick lookups of each quest star can be fun. Lee Grant’s career being destroyed when placed on the McCarthy Communist list for ridiculous reasons and her later comeback are good reads. Almost every major star you can think makes an appearance. Even a young Jamie Lee Curtis briefly as a salty waitress. I especially like the first 2 episodes, and also the one with Ruth Gordon playing a Agatha Christie like writer.

    If you have a favorite actor/actress, you’re certain to find them in a Columbo episode.

    1. paul

      One of the regular directors gave his daughter Katy a bit part to get her into the actor’s union. So we have him and columbo to thank for ‘married with children.’
      Boris Sagal from memory, which sounds eastern european/slavic to me.

    2. begob

      Lee Grant was also in Mulholland Dr – the crazy lady in the apartment complex who knocks on the door at night: “Someone is in trouble.”

  4. griffen

    Ty Webb to Danny Noonan: this isn’t Russia is it ?*

    With the mandate commanded from the President, well it’s hard to say that’s not a little overboard ala Soviet mandated policy.

    Getting in line for my vaccine, I double swear. Meanwhile, I’ll keep my social distancing and adhere mostly to the mask wearing. I’m not uber-Calvinist I guess about always wearing if I’m quickly in and out (gas station, beer run).

    *Intoning a dialogue from Caddyshack.

    1. Silent Bob

      What does vaccinated mean these days? Two shots? Two shots and a booster? Awful lot of lines on those COVID cards. And iffin’ they decide they need to goose they profits and mandate yet another round you better comply, or YOU’RE FIRED! Sigh. I’ll wait for them to fire me so I can collect unemployment.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        You may want to check your state unemployment laws. If you can be fired for not adhering to a federal mandate…I wouldn’t bank on being eligible for unemployment.

          1. ambrit

            Don’t worry so much. There’s an “indentured servant” from Oriental Deploristan ready for you to teach your job to before you go. [Wait for it; the Feds will soon mandate shock collars for all “displaced” workers until said displacees train their replacements.] The “replacements” will be bought in under new ‘W&C (Whips and Chains) Work Visas.’

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Train them subtly wrong. Train them so that they do the job superficially right but make little mistakes here and there which will cumulatively destroy the company over time.

    2. Carolinian

      The new FDR to the American public–I’ve lost my patience with you people. Perhaps it’s inevitable that anyone elected to the highest office in the land will feel a bit grandiose, but to say it out loud is not exactly “first rate temperament.” Biden is the anti-FDR. One new poll has his approval down in the thirties.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        I predict he will make W look popular before he goes (one way or the other). The Dems won’t see the White House again till 2036, Thanks Obama

        1. lordkoos

          At this point in history I can’t see either party electing a president who can maintain popularity for long. Things are going to continue to worsen no matter who is fronting the operation. Perhaps if they had allowed someone like Sanders it would have been different, but that’s not happening.

          1. Wukchumni

            As per Orlov’s writings on the aftermath of the Soviet Union, all of the sudden nobody paid attention to leadership, and I dare say we’re 80% of the way there already in agreement that our politicians do nothing for us, if anything they only contribute by consistently doing things to our detriment.

            I wonder how many of ‘My Kevin’ constituents such as yours truly, are aware that about the only legislation he has introduced which was made into law, was the renaming of 3 post offices in Bakersfield, and the renaming of the Success* Dam on the Tule River

            *it really needed a name change in all honesty, as it’s seismically suspect.

            The USACE found in 1999 that the alluvial deposits that form the foundations of the dam were unstable and that the dam would be at a high risk of failure in the event of an earthquake. In 2006, new regulations were passed that limited long-term water storage in the reservoir to 28,800 acre-feet (0.0355 km3), 35% of capacity. (Wiki)

      2. Cuibono

        if anyone had any doubts about whether or not we are actually serious about Covid as a public health issue, they were laid to rest by his speech. Was there ever a more unifying moment in American history?

  5. Ian Perkins

    US, China dueling for power on the Mekong

    The article makes much of China’s dams on the Mekong, and mentions others, including a map of their location. It appears to gloss over the numerous dams, built or planned, on the river’s tributaries, which also have downstream effects (and some upstream, as with fish migration).
    This map shows the status of more than 200 dams (larger than 15MW) planned, under construction or completed in the Lower Mekong basin portions of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Already more than 100 are completed on the Mekong tributaries and 2 on the Mekong Mainstream in Laos (Xayaburi Dam and Don Sahong Dam).

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Isn’t the point of all those dams to make electricity? If so, where does the electricity go? Where will it go?

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Wingwalker to the Rescue”

    Barnstormers! They are talking about barnstormers. After WW1 there was a surplus of aircraft plus young men who had been trained to fly them. So in the 1920s you had many of them earning a living going around the country doing stunts and charging people to fly as passengers in their planes. Charles Lindbergh was one once. And it wasn’t only just men either. Here is a short video showing a bit what this era was like and which has been colourised- (3:25 mins)

    And here is a link that talks about this half-forgotten era-

    Of course a major reason why those pilots were able to pull of this stunt was their aircraft – the Curtiss JN4 and known still as a “Jenny” which sounds like it would be a sweet plane to fly in. To get a feel for this article, here is a clip of one flying- (6:01 mins)

    1. JacobiteInTraining

      ooooh, neat…right up my alley. I feel like today, on my day off, I’m ready to go down an old-timey biplane youtube rabbit hole. :)

      I’ve often felt that if I was a squillionaire, i wouldn’t waste my filthy lucre trying to go to Mars, I would fund a startup whose purpose was to build the classic planes from the 20’s-40’s new, from original templates if possible, but with all modern materials, processes, and safety mechanisms. (like carbon-fibre, 3D-printing, etc…oh and also outfitted w/those plane-parachute things that kick in if a plane loses power and starts plummetting.)

      Honestly, I’ll bet there is a market for rich peeps to buy a brand new Jenny, Fokker Dr.I, Spitfire, P-51, Zero, possibilities are endless.

      My ultimate vanity project would thus be a Caproni Ca.60 – – and once complete i would fly it around the world dumping sacks of krugerands on the poors.

      No, wait, that would hurt…and probably be lawsuit fodder. Maybe $5 Amazon gift cards instead…?

      1. drsteve0

        Just dump out those five suitcases of C-notes our boy Ghani left on the tarmac. They’d flutter down harmlessly.

  7. polar donkey

    Yesterday I went to my 7 year old’s school to have lunch with him. He and I sat at a separate table from the other children.
    Here’s what I saw. Cafeteria had 8 long narrow tables with bench on each side. Around 25 kids sat at a table. Teachers sat at center of table. About 5 or 6 of the tables out of 8 used. I saw a handful of kids with masks, my son being one of them. No adults with masks. No ventilation upgrades or open windows. Either kids don’t seem to be big spreaders of covid or the kids have been incredibly lucky. School has been open 5 weeks and no big covid outbreak. This school is in Mississippi so there has been plenty of covid floating around. Everything I saw is what not to do in a time of covid. Not sure what to make of it all.

    1. Jackiebass63

      I think your statement that kids have been incredibly lucky, hits the nail on the head. I suspect if behavior at school doesn’t change, it is only a matter of time before they have a problem. Even though I a’m vaccinated, I decided I would still practice safe behavior. It improves but doesn’t eliminate my chance of getting infected.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Given polar donkey’s other observations about his neck of the woods, it’s reasonable he’s in a sweet spot of people who have immunity from a prior infection and the vaccinated, reducing transmission points. I think it’s why we are having these outbreaks and things looked up in the spring and early summer.

        There are outbreaks near me, but it seemed like everyone went away last month along with bad behavior, but everyone who was sick last winter won’t have antibodies any more along with the nature of the vaccines.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I can’t imagine groups of kids together in that environment. It’s crazy. My sister’s highschool had outbreaks last year among the science and math department because those departments ate lunch together. She also heard the other high school in the system has tried to close but the superintendent won’t allow it.

      The mortality rate was hideous among the 65+ crowd, so it’s more likely the kids are vectors for grandparents and teachers/staff. Not to ignore the tragedy of kids getting sick, but it’s where the go that will be the problem.

    3. Glossolalia

      Is there any testing happening to verify that there’s no covid going around at school? It may be largely asymptomatic or mild symptoms which parents are ignoring.

    4. Yoghurt

      We have mask mandate in our schools. Still, you can’t eat with a mask on. Ventilation and air changes per hour are key, but the CDC is still allergic to the word aerosol, so little movement on that front.

      As for infections, I think the percentage of active cases in the population at any given time is pretty low. And it should be “bursty” in that a spreader event infects multiple people at once. My feeling is that it is OK until suddenly it’s not. After all, you can’t literally see or smell the covid in the air. There is no warning of the danger – it just arrives out of an innocent looking scene.

      1. Ian Perkins

        After all, you can’t literally see or smell the covid in the air.

        Perhaps someone, kids or teachers, should let off stink bombs in school now and then. The resulting rush to open doors and windows might help make a point about how they could equally carry COVID away.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          They’d better not get caught. If caught, they would face years of prison for various ” terroristic related adjacent-type” offences.

  8. Tom

    Vincent Racaniello: Viruses and Vaccines | Lex Fridman Podcast

    Long, interesting conversation about viruses, vaccines, ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, etc, etc. Racaniello is a great guest. Also available as a podcast on pretty much all podcast platforms. I listened over a few days.

    Vincent Racaniello is a virologist, immunologist, and microbiologist at Columbia. He is a co-author of the textbook Principles of Virology and co-host of This Week in Virology podcast.

    1. endeavor

      They are fortunate. Now they have a level of natural immunity while providing the same for the students.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Which will last for only six months and leave several of them with long-Covid. With the later, you literally get better odds playing Russian roulette than just getting this virus.

        1. Wukchumni

          When playing Russian roulette the fact that the first shot got off safely is little comfort for the next.


          1. The Rev Kev

            The Israelis are mostly double-vaxxed with Pfizer – something like 80% – and are currently deploying a booster shot for their most vulnerable before moving on to the rest of the population. Even that hasn’t saved them though.

          1. tegnost

            It seems to me the goal posts have been moved. Now it’s get the vaccine, then get a “mild” infection, then be immune… To my knowledge there’s still no real testing of vaccinated people so it’s still don’t measure what you don’t want to know, and the vaccines are ok but not great.

          2. Ian Perkins

            It appears that natural immunity may be the real deal (but vaccination remains vital)

            There’s also this:
            Breakthrough infections are less likely to lead to long Covid, a study suggests.
            “People who experience breakthrough infections of the coronavirus after being fully vaccinated are about 50 percent less likely to experience long Covid than are unvaccinated people who catch the virus, researchers said in a large new report on British adults.”
            The large new report in question:

    2. Laputan

      I’m a little suspect about the sourcing of that article. If you follow the breadcrumbs far enough you’ll find that this originated from an email sent by a teacher that eventually made its way to a Facebook group ( It’s certainly possible but given that this email refers to an “official letter” from the school that never came, this definitely has a Rolling Stone, “people taking horse paste are clogging ERs in Oklahoma” feel to it.

  9. Wukchumni

    How could Juvenal not be mentioned, lotsa mirth going on there in his satires, practically dripping with it?

    This passage sounds completely familiar with our times, no?

    And when was the flow of vice fuller? When did the palm

    Open wider to greed? When did gambling arouse greater

    Passion? See, they don’t flock to the gaming tables now

    With their purses: they place the family treasure and play.

    What battles you’ll see there, the croupier bringing forth

    Warriors! It’s quite mad to go losing a hundred thousand,

    Surely, and yet to begrudge a shirt to a shivering slave?

    Who of our ancestors built such villas, dined in private

    On seven courses? Now the paltry handout-basket sits

    On the doorstep, snatched at by a toga-clad mob,

    As the patron first takes a nervous look at the faces,

    Lest they’ve come to make false claim in another’s name:

    Known, and you’re in.

    1. begob

      The only Latin joke I know is from Derek Jarman’s film Sebastiane, where two guys are squaring up for a fight, and one says to the other, “Age, Oedipus!” The subtitles translate as “C’mon, MTFer!”

    2. The Rev Kev

      The guy never mentioned too how Roman humour was very raunchy & earthy to the point of almost being pornographic.

    1. Ian Perkins

      The research that won the Economics prize seems at least as valid as most of that discipline’s ideas:
      “Pavlo Blavatskyy, for discovering that the obesity of a country’s politicians may be a good indicator of that country’s corruption.”

  10. Questa Nota

    Biden went Postal, with that exemption of 644,000 USPS employees. His action won’t survive likely court challenges about that and in light of how the States are lining up to sue. In the meantime, craven politicians jostle for airtime to tell all and sundry what is best for us.

    1. Gareth

      Postal workers are not classified as federal workers, which is why they are exempt from Biden’s order regarding federal employees. Instead, they are covered under his order to OSHA. Hence they will be required to be vaccinated or pay for their own weekly testing. I doubt USPS will pay, but the union might prove me wrong.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        “Postal workers are not classified as federal workers…”

        I’m sure that will come as “interesting” news to the taxpayers who pay their salaries and fund their and their families’ “healthcare” and retirement, which are often far more “generous” than those same taxpayers receive in the “private” sector.

        1. The Historian

          The one thing I can never understand is why people begrudge government employees who have a better retirement system than some in the private sector. Shouldn’t their anger be directed to the private sector who have gutted their employee pension programs just for profits?

          Seems to me that begrudging what government employees get is just another form of ‘corporate capture’.

          1. flora

            That shows how far the private sector jobs have fallen in terms of pay and benefits over the last 40 years. Oncest upon a time, govt jobs – local, state, federal, were considered lower tier in terms of pay and benefits compared to the private sector, and sometimes much lower tier. 30 years ago I was hearing successful, private practice lawyers in mid-career say they’d like to take the Bench but can’t afford the pay cut. If that was true then of higher tier govt employment, imagine what it was like for lower level employees. Decent benefits, not extravagant, were offered to compensate for lower wages than the private sector offered. But now these same govt jobs and benefits are seen as extravagant? sure… right…

          2. FluffytheObeseCat

            “… why [do] people begrudge government employees who have a better retirement system than some in the private sector.”

            Susceptibility to intense anti-worker, anti-government propaganda and a personal penchant for whining. Your “spoiled government employees” meme lover is most commonly not actually all that hard done by. People who’ve had real tough luck in this life don’t b*tch as much as modestly endowed middle class types who are peeved that they aren’t living on Easy Street.

          3. skippy

            Back in the day before neoliberalism market markets everything seeking price the deal was one could get a public service job that payed the bills and one could have a nice holiday here and there, private sector was for those that sought the brass ring and all that came with it.

            Then came the crowding out trope w/ a side of EMH which only resulted in monopolies and long lines of information that are now going boom due to international supply shocks [like waves in water] all with the bonus that equity replaced earned wages.

          4. Oh

            Instead of begrudging govt employees we should be calling for at least the same level of benefits – sick leave, vacation, retirement benefits, paid health care, etc.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            “Strange outcome,” maybe, but also handy if you’re a politician taking a position you promised the union not to take, while depending on millions of mail-in ballots to get yourself into office and keep you there.

            Or so “some people” are saying.

        2. Nikkikat

          Postal workers are NOT part of the federal govt. Post office workers pay for their own healthcare and pensions 75 years in advance. Taxpayers in the private sector have social security. Postal workers have a pension. They do not get social security just like teachers.

            1. Gareth

              USPS is supposed to fund itself, true, but it got a $10 billion loan from the treasury last year, which was converted to direct funding with no obligation to repay last December.

              We could just dispense with the fiction that it is independent and fund it properly, or we could let it be truly independent and offer postal banking. Either would be preferable to its current state of being independent when Congress doesn’t want to deal with its problems while being under its thumb when they get angry letters from constituents or bank executives.

                1. Gareth

                  Whether it’s the $10 billion they got or the $75 billion they asked for, it makes no difference: they took the money. Persephone only ate six pomegranate seeds, but the damage was done. USPS can no longer hang the sign that reads “We are not supported with federal tax dollars,” above the service desk.

          1. Efmo

            Actually, they do get social security now. That changed in 1983. There was a separate system in place for those hired before 1984 (I believe that is the date.) For those hired after, there’s social security deductions and for the Thrift savings plan (which is similar to a 401k). They still have to pre-fund retiree health benefits as of 2006 which helps ensure they operate at a loss and help make the case for privatization, though.

        3. drumlin woodchuckles

          How much Postal Service revenue comes from taxes? As against how much comes from postage payed to get packages and letters sent? Any facts and figures on this?

          And when did adequate healthcare and retirement become “generous”?

          Is this an underhanded pitch for abolishing the Postal Service and privatising the profitizable parts of the wreckage?

    2. jimimy cc

      it maybe modified, but I am willing to bet dollars to donuts it largely stands.

      he has exemptions and an opt out with testing. Federal contractors, it will depend on the contract I suppose.

      Union members will have a better case, and most fed workers are union, but Biden has an opt out with a testing provision instead of the vaccine mandate for them.

      and the Supreme Court case everyone was dismissing yesterday, was used this year, to uphold an employer vaccine mandate.

      Contact your lawmakers, a judge probably wont save you.

  11. Questa Nota

    Stoller does it again with another terrific article dissecting the systemic problems in supply chains and concentrated ownership. Leave it to Krugman, as one of many economists soapbox pundits, to wave their hands and spout platitudes about issues and solutions that are inane to anyone outside their bubbles.

    The Jackpot seems a few steps closer now.

    1. Glen

      Indeed, the Jackpot. We have spent over two decades creating an industrial supply chain of single point failures waiting to happen all while we were supercharging the climate’s ability to produce massive climate events leading to industrial supply chain disruption. How did this happen?

      It’s all due to capitalism’s failure to have failures. What should have happen in 2008 was almost all of the Wall St banks should have failed and declared bankruptcy. What bankruptcy generally does is force out the old leadership of the institution, and break it down into smaller more manageable pieces with a fresh start. So we end up with many smaller, more manageable, and one hopes better run banks. The same has been happening in our industrial base. The Fed no longer allows any real bankruptcies to occur so we get the exact same people making the exact same crappy decisions which should have resulted in the company going bust, but instead the Fed just steps in and says TBTF. The result has been consolidation into many single points of failure all being run by the elites the are best at sucking up taxpayer dollars instead of running a real robust business. We have continued to prop up the very worst leaders in banking and industry with massive multi trillion dollar bailouts while losing our opportunity to have many, many competing small businesses, spread out and diversify our banking and industrial base.

      A colossal failure of capitalism by stopping capitalism’s key corrective mechanism – corporate failure.

      1. tegnost

        It’s all due to capitalism’s failure to have failures. What should have happen in 2008 was almost all of the Wall St banks should have failed and declared bankruptcy. What bankruptcy generally does is force out the old leadership of the institution, and break it down into smaller more manageable pieces with a fresh start. So we end up with many smaller, more manageable, and one hopes better run banks.

        That’s why it’s not capitalism, or free market for that matter, and that can’t be pointed out enough, imo. Funny, or not, about the frequent use of mandates in the present day to force the population to come to heel.

      2. YankeeFrank

        One issue w/ Stoller’s piece is his conclusions, which contain this bit:

        “The scariest part of this whole saga is not that a bunch of malevolent monopolists run our economy, inducing shortages for profit. Indeed, these shortages are not intentional, any more than the financial crash of 2008 was intentional.”

        We as a society already knew from the first half of the 20th century (at least) that monopolies are not just bad for supply chains and robust infrastructure, but are also terribly harmful for human health, safety, fair employment and democracy itself. The last 50 years have been a case study in ignoring our own recent history in favor of flimsy justifications for consolidation and criminal looting in every sector. Too many of us seem all-too willing to give a pass to those who created this massive disaster when we should be outraged. “Nice people” do terrible things. It doesn’t mean they’re not guilty. Are we really allowing the “I didn’t mean it” defense?

        1. Ranger Rick

          You never know when the next intentional shortage is around the corner. The financial wizards that brought you the 2008 Global Financial Crisis are engaged in commodity trading these days.

          This is leaving aside the electronics industry, which seems to go from strength to strength when it comes to price fixing various components.

    2. Cat Burglar

      Another example for Stoller — the shortage of cross-country skis after the Fischer factory in Ukraine burned down. Not only did it manufacture most of Fischer’s skis, but it also did contract work for other brands.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “WA Budget reveals $5.6 billion surplus but no border reopening date, delays to infrastructure”

    There is a reason why he is not keen on opening up the State. According to WA Treasury advisers, a six-week lockdown would cost 30,000 jobs and would wipe $5.6 billion off the domestic economy which would put the State in the red. Also, there is not the medical capability to cope with a pandemic there. Meanwhile, Scott from Marketing says that State and territory leaders must hold their nerve on opening up, getting their medical arrangements in order and to be ready and push through so that ‘we can all reconnect and be one again.’ Remember how an economist will say ‘Assume a can-opener’? Same here. He is saying assume thousands of ICU beds, nurses, doctors, etc. We. Don’t. Have. Them. Before the pandemic we would simply recruit them from other countries but that is not an option now. By my count, 166 people have been killed since they let this virus spread so it is all on Gladys and Scotty those deaths.

    Since I am talking about Oz, a few updates. Australia’s drug regulator – the Therapeutic Goods Administration – has banned medical practitioners from prescribing the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin for “off-label” uses, such as for treating Covid-19 because it might make the vaccines look bad. You can now only get it for things like scabies and certain parasitic infections. “The Australian” (the local equivalent of your WaPo or NYT) is saying ‘Good leadership is guiding the way out of pandemic’. As NSW turns into a real s***show, Gladys the Premier says that she is no longer going to do her daily briefings as she can’t be a*****. But some people are finally starting to notice-

    1. Wukchumni

      Scotty from Marketing:

      And lets go see the
      Man who spread it. (Gladys)
      When we met in his science
      Experiment – it (Gladys)
      Made me give you the eye
      And then panic. (Gladys)
      Now I’ve one thing to say
      And that’s Dammit, Gladys
      I love you

    2. Basil Pesto

      I don’t think I’m being partisan/biased here when I say that I truly believe Berejiklian will go down as one of the most infamous figures in Australian history, probably moreso than Morrison. Her misleadership is astonishing. She seems to have no awareness of this possibility.

      1. The Rev Kev

        As 174 people have died since she opened up her State to this virus, I am saying that all those deaths are all on her which makes her a mass-murderess. And this is just the start.

  13. Questa Nota

    The New York Times has been consuming too much of its own supply if it is surprised by China’s crackdown and control actions. The Grey Lady Person Figurehead mouthpiece may as well apply for more Pulitzers to go on their shelf by Duranty’s and a few others.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Maybe the US Air Force can send Boeing C-17 ‘Globemasters’ to Beijing Capital International Airport to safely evacuate all those endangered Chinese billionaires to freedom – at a price that is.

  14. haywood

    Regarding Employer Vaccine Mandates

    What’s the mechanism of enforcement here?

    Aside from the neoliberal Obamacare-ification of this vaccine mandate – policy implementation through private employers – I wonder if this plan is at all workable in practice?

    Will it be run through OSHA? Company HR checks the vaccine cards of employees and sends a weekly list to the feds along with weekly test results of the unvaccinated? Is there a federal database of vaccinated Americans to cross-reference?

    Will the perpetually understaffed OSHA be able sort through millions of businesses’ vaccine records and then lodge formal complaints and enforcement proceedings?

    Or is this all just bullshit?

    1. Glossolalia

      I’m going to guess largely bullshit. One thing Biden and Trump and Obama, et al. have in common is the announcements of sweeping decrees that have no funding or enforcement mechanisms. They’re mostly to keep the headlines coming for the base.

    2. jimmy cc

      Let’s think this through.

      Do large employers want you to take the vaccine?

      That will depend on if the amount of people quitting is greater than the amount of people out with the virus. They’re betting on that number being smaller.

      You can’t exploit people if they are under quarantine, you have to take care of them instead.

      Enforcement? biden gave most of them what they wanted.

    3. Nikkikat

      I was wondering the same thing with regard to how do they follow up on these vaccinations. I am now wondering about a lot of things. 1) why are the MRNA vaccines being pushed so hard from the beginning and not the J&j? Why are we not seeing much regarding any new vaccine? 2) the incredible screw ups with testing from the get go. Why would Abbott destroy their entire stock of test and now we have a shortage. 3) why did the CDC tell everyone to take off their mask? Why did Fauci lie about mask in the first place?
      Why do officials continue to act like the vaccine confers any immunity when it does not?
      4) why were break though infections ignored and not even counted. 5) why has the ACLU decided it is okay to force people to be injected. Why are so called libertarians also going along with insane plan? I and my family were vaccinated with the J and J. I will not be vaccinated with the others available. No one should be forced to take a vaccine that confers no immunity. At first I thought that the elites were trying to cover up how horrible our medical system. The only reason that seemed clear. Now it seems there is a pattern of trying to take away ALL mitigating factors masks, test etc. allowing superspreader events. The intense push back on ivermectin. Something seems to be going on here.

      1. Cuibono

        fallowing up is simply a matter of a unified global vaccination passport.
        standards already promulgated. should be the law within months.

        1. griffen

          Is that really gonna be a law, like how is that passed exactly? And I presume you mean that the US Congress is passing that.

          I have to disagree. Or I’ll walk this earth without until I’m forced to.

          1. Cuibono

            like perhaps the same way the mandate was just passed?
            look, we obviously cant trust these pieces of paper. So easily faked. I doubt we can trust any old app either. Best we link all this to finger print or eye print tech.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Progressives Want Justice Stephen Breyer To Retire. His Response? Not Yet”

    Yeah, the Progressives don’t want him to do a Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Breyer is enjoying being in a position where people have to pay attention to him, even if he is 83 years-old. But I am seeing a flaw behind the reasoning here. Progressive activists want him out so that there will be a place for a younger nominee who holds their values and views. Maybe someone in only their sixties. But this whole idea is predicated on the idea that Biden and the Democrats will get their act together and get behind a candidate of their choosing. With their history, is that wise? They are more likely to buckle & break and negotiate with the Republicans for a ‘compromise’ nominee who will be to the right of Ted Cruz.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      The Supreme Court needs to set an official retirement age and make it effective immediately. Breyer is older than Biden for God’s sake. And they have to keep bringing Uncle Joe back to Delaware every weekend so that he can get his bearings.

      1. YankeeFrank

        The way in which the current generation is holding onto their careers and pretending they’re never too old or going to die is extremely narcissistic, distasteful and destructive. Biden is just the most obvious example of someone clearly past whatever prime he ever had doing a job he has no business doing. One of the reasons our government is so ineffective is people refusing to make way and let the younger generations step up: instead we get incompetence and inaction on every important issue with almost no new thinking, etc. I don’t recall the WWII generation doing this. These people are caricatures. And I’m not saying older people have nothing to offer society. On the contrary, where would be without the wisdom of experience such as we find here at NC… though I can’t say I’ve see any evidence of any wisdom in congress or from our beneficent overlords for quite some time. And I’m not saying I have any real faith in my generation (X) at all. But perhaps we might see some cracks in the rotten structure sooner (and time is most certainly running out) if the current crop of narcissists would just go.

        1. Oh

          These greedy people in Congress and the SC need to call it quits. Looking at both parties there are quite a few of those ‘ancients’ there.

      2. neo-realist

        Unlike Ginsburg, he’s not suffering from recurring bouts of cancer, so his condition is not touch and go like she was. At least he’s of sounder mind than both Trump and Biden.

  16. Wukchumni

    I call our torrid summers here ”the hundred days of 100 degrees’ and there’s a bit of hyperbole going on, as I count anything from around 96 on up in the count.

    Haven’t heard from fresno dan in close to a fortnight, hope he’s ok.

    Now that i’ve brought up Fresno, yes i’ve done it again, and the old record for most days of hitting the century mark was 62 of them and even though i’m loathe to share a commonality with the 5th largest Cali city, we occupy the same temperature zone.

    So, Fresno is up to 64 days of triple-digits already, probably gonna blast through the 70 mark, not dissimilar from steroid users messing with Mother Nature and hitting that many dingers, making a mockery of Maris.

    1. griffen

      Hey now, it was just innocent dosages of the clear, and the cream, and buckets of flax seeds. Or I heard that somewhere, sometime…and ignore that creepy guy from the Balco company.

      I don’t envy that level of consistent, summery heat.

      1. Wukchumni

        The easy tell was to look at their baseball cards from each year and watch them plump up into bobbleheads having ‘yard scale’ contests. Nobody ever took steroids to be like Rod Carew, the ultimate singles hitter.

        It’s Hell here during the summer when the tourists come & go en route to Sequoia NP, and everything that was so green and full in flowers from January to April has all died off into a uniform flammable tan.

        Every place has their time to shine, and we get too much sunshine in the summer, but it’s heavenly from October to June.

        I do it like the Wukchumni before me, and vamoose to the higher climes as the hundreds descend on the foothills, but i’m one of the lucky few who can choose from the Hades & the Hades not.

    2. tegnost

      Haven’t heard from fresno dan in close to a fortnight, hope he’s ok.

      yes, concerning to me as well considering he mentioned some health issues before his recent extended absence…

      1. Nikkikat

        I have also noted Fresno dan’s absence. Sending him my best wishes and prayers. Hope we hear from him soon and all is well.

    3. lordkoos

      We had a little under a month of over a 100 degrees this summer, but the fires… right now the Schneider Springs fire is about 40 miles away and is over 100,000 acres at 17% containment. It’s no threat to where we are and small potatoes compared to the monster fires in CA I guess but it’s still awful. We are blessed to have some rain today, the first heavy rain since spring, which will help.

  17. Tom Stone

    I’ve been thinking a bit about tribalism this morning and how powerful and pervasive it is.
    It came up because yesterday evening I was once again told “Tom. you can’t believe that” on a controversial subject.
    When I tried to run down the reasons that I did believe in my position it got sticky..
    Asking for a list of things I wasn’t allowed to believe did not help.
    If you are a “Liberal” or a “Conservative” you apparently have to take certain positions as a matter of faith, questioning them is heresy.
    No matter how illogical or irrational those beliefs are.
    I’m a skeptic, I was born that way and more than six decades of life has only reinforced that attitude.
    I question authority reflexively, sometimes I end up agreeing with the “Acceptable” beliefs after I have thoroughly looked into the matter.
    Often I do not.
    Being told that if I support a woman’s right to choose means I can’t support the 2nd Amendment is one example.
    Another is not approving of censorship when it is in a “Good Cause”, like suppressing the debates about the effectiveness of Ivermectin by the media.
    I’m sure many commenters here can think of other examples, they are numerous on both the “Left” and the “Right”.
    It’s human nature, being apart from the herd ( or school of guppies) is extremely uncomfortable for most people.
    And death is preferable to being shunned or cast out of the tribe for many, as Jim Jones so memorably demonstrated.
    It’s who we are as a species, as sad as that is.


    1. YankeeFrank

      Yes, it is sad. And social media seems to aggravate it mainly through the way it promotes simplistic narratives; though I tend to think most people pay as little attention to that noise machine as they can it has an effect similar to air pollution. And apparently the MSM gets all their fave “scoops” from twitter.

      For more on herd thinking I found this piece interesting:

    2. lordkoos

      Naked Capitalism is a wonderful refuge for those of us who no longer fit the narratives of right and left, liberal or conservative etc and I’m very grateful to our hosts Yves, Lambert and Jerri-Lynn for providing a space where curiosity, reason and truth rule over partisanship. It’s rare these days.

    3. Tim

      Social Media big data has siloed everyone into two schools of thought. A or B. It’s binary.

      Once they pick your group (perhaps based on a single area of interest only) you get barraged with all the pre-decisions made by those within either group A or B about what is right and who is wrong, and the confirmation bias, and group think is force fed ever after.

      It’s the only explanation for such inconsistent application of logic across large sections of society down to the individual level.

    1. ambrit

      You are ‘training’ an algorithm to ‘see’ you as a spammer.
      My experience on multiple sites has been that there are lists of words and phrases that trigger moderation algorithms. (Most sites set their own lists of ‘trigger’ words. Such lists being tailored to the site and it’s interests.) Then we have to wait for actual ‘wet wired’ moderators to review the “moderation list” and release the mistaken culls. My advice is to wait. Being agressive just pisses off the site administrators. Remember that we are “guests” on every site that we try and comment on. As such, we have no “power.” Patience and resoluteness are the optimal strategies.

    2. Temporarily Sane

      My comments rarely got flagged until about eight months ago and last spring it got so bad that many of my posts never showed up at all.

      I tried using different words, shortening lengthy posts but nothing worked and more often than not my comments would end up in moderation or disappeared.

      On a whim a few months ago I tried using a newer email address from gmail as I was using an old, but valid, Hotmail account for my NC email. That fixed the problem and my posts very rarely get sent to moderation now.

  18. Camelotkidd

    Stoller seems to believe that the bottlenecks caused by monopolization are not sinister but I would point him to the Powell Memo, that Yves has flagged at NC numerous times, as a rebuttal

    1. YankeeFrank

      Agreed. As I wrote above, we’ve known about the pernicious and destructive nature of monopolies for over a century. Yet all of that hard won knowledge has been ignored for decades in favor of paper thin rationalizations to justify greed and consolidated power.

  19. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: ‘Your refusal has cost us all’: Biden declares war on the 80M unvaccinated Americans in speech ordering mandates on two-thirds of ALL workers and insists: ‘This is not about freedom’ Daily Mail

    From biden’s speech:

    “We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated coworkers.”

    A ringing endorsement for “vaccine efficacy” if I ever heard one. Also too for the concept of “us all.”

    1. Tom Stone

      “Us all” refers to “Real People”.
      Not the Others, who aren’t “Real People”.
      And can thus be ground into dust both happily and profitably.

      1. ambrit

        As per the old nursery rhyme:

        “Fi, Fi, Free-dum,”
        “We smell blood,”
        “The time has come.”
        “Be they live,”
        “Or be they dead,”
        “We’ll grind their bones,”
        “To make our bread.”

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now we’ll need to deal with those snot-nosed unvaccinated little school kids who put every adult in harm’s way by needing to eat lunch and needing to breathe while doing it.

    2. Wukchumni

      We have a number of evangelical christians in our cabin community and to a one of them when I asked in various roundabout ways whether they’d been jabbed yet, none had. This was in June.

      In the past week, a woman in her 50’s who was part of the Covid Coven’ ,…died of it.

      I really try to be scrupulously neutral with my evang neighbors, never casting judgment as we’re all friends. I’ll have to make inquiries.

    3. Basil Pesto

      less than a year after promising to try and “unite the country” in an election campaign

      which is of course the ultimate vacuous political cliché, but hopefully now more people will realise that once and for all.

    4. flora

      Biden is still cribbing speech notes from other, older pols.

      ” [This] is not a question of ideology, it is a matter of cleanliness….”

      I forget who said that.

  20. Wukchumni

    I was part of the SoCalist movement this week in visiting my mom @ her assisted living place in Whittier, and she looks pretty good well past her 3rd Logans Run. She related that 95% of the residents are vaccinated, whereas the ever changing of the guard young employees was around 50%.

    Whittier, like a good many cities in our country has flying from lamp posts the names of local citizens who have enlisted in the armed forces, the presentation being that they are heroic figures who should be held high on a pedestal-its something I remember seeing it in LA after the Dodgers won the World Series in 1981, there were a number of banners in congratulation.

    The Whittier version has a couple of old glories festooned above cartouches of names & services of each enlistee, and on my last visit 3 months ago, couldn’t help but notice how faded a number of them were and how shoddy they looked, but never fear-they were all new looking this time, instead of pulling them down, the safe thing was to just keep on keeping on, patriotism being the last refuge of a scoundrel.

  21. Glossolalia

    Progressives Want Justice Stephen Breyer To Retire. His Response? Not Yet NPR

    Maybe Breyer has inside information that Hilary is going to run again in 2024 and win!

  22. Tom Stone

    I realize that I’m not going to make it to Heaven unless I believe that men and Women have a different number of ribs, that the earth is 6,000 years old and that homosexuality is both unnatural and evil.
    The first two are easily refuted by either a casual examination or science ( Astronomy, Geology..) as to the third…
    Queer cows, fag fish and gay seagulls for a start.

    And I’ll never be a Liberal unless I accept that “Gun Violence” is a problem, that a certain class of mechanical objects has achieved agency and is possessed by evil spirits.

    Pull the other one, it has bells on.

    1. Wukchumni

      Index fingers pull off the deed and the sad truth of the matter is that even if you chopped off that digit along with 2 others and left the pinkie intact, the perp might still be able to get a shot off, see-there is nothing we can do in regards to gun violence, including draconian actions against those who killed & maimed others while using a gat.

    2. hunkerdown

      Exactly. Why would anyone want to “be” the ideal of someone who doesn’t reciprocate and doesn’t even know me, anyway? The whole mimetic relation is just infantilizing.

  23. Temporarily Sane

    “VR potential at Venice Film Festival”

    Lol…the big VR revolution is just around the corner, and has been for the last quarter century at least.

    Besides, do we really need more mindless entertainment “options” (controlled by monopolistic behemoths) that replace actually-existing reality with hyperreal simulacra that drain life of meaning and joy?

    1. ambrit

      Actually, the “media” conglomerates are trying to monetize “meaning and joy.”
      “They” are trying to make this “The Atomic Age” in more ways than one.
      As for, “fusion powered VR,” I’ll just observe that my cynical side predicts that all VR usage will be channelled to a “Fusion Centre” for analysis by an algorithm, with attendant after effects: visits from ‘regulators,’ mandatory reeducation courses, and, if nothing else works, rendition. (The Three ‘R’s: Regulation, Reeducation, Rendition.)

    2. Ian Perkins

      I don’t know about VR for entertainment, but it seems to have its uses. I read of some chemistry professors who played with VR molecules, buckyballs I think, bashing and squeezing them and watching how they wriggled and vibrated in response. They were all pretty sceptical beforehand, but agreed the experience had been very illuminating, giving them insights they hadn’t got from years of working with the equations.

  24. Alice X

    So as of my reading of all of the comments up to #33, there was no mention of Bernie Sanders action:


    Bernie’s New Plan: Add Dental Benefits to Medicare

    By Michael Lighty

    Bernie Sanders is pushing to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 60 and add dental, vision, and hearing coverage through the budget reconciliation plan in Congress. It would be a huge win for health justice.

    I’m 72 – on Medicare and Medicaid. The former does nothing for dental, vision, and hearing and the later does a minimum.

    For me, and I’m sure for millions of others, such an expansion of Medicare would be more than welcome.

    I haven’t been to my dentist for more than two years. Hearing aids are in order and I’m wearing fifteen year old glasses. I can’t a read book and soon I won’t be able to drive (my 23 year old car).

    Expand Medicare please. Best of course for everyone, but for now, at least for some, as it would be a start.

    1. Oh

      The American Assn of Dentists are against it because they will be paid less. They’ll be gifted a ready made market of new customers but they’re greedy. They want MORE!

  25. Tom Collins" Moscow Mule

    “How elite US institutions created Afghanistan’s neoliberal President Ashraf Ghani, who stole $169 million from his country Grayzone”

    1. A first-class, outstanding ethical choice. All of the previous training paid off handsomely.

    2. “What Did the U.S. Get for $2 Trillion in Afghanistan?”

    3. “Much of the billions lavished on huge infrastructure projects went to waste, the U.S. inspector general discovered. Canals, dams and highways fell into disrepair, as Afghanistan failed to absorb the flood of aid. Newly built hospitals and schools stood empty. Without proper oversight, the U.S. money bred corruption that undermined government legitimacy.”

    4. Is this the same crowd that is going to be responsible for solving climate related issues? If so, there should be plenty of good times ahead as the bank accounts of the global sociopathic managers and administrators grow even fatter due to unrestrained looting, even as the turd that is the Anthropocene continues to circle the great cosmic bowl, awaiting the final flush.

  26. RockHard

    Thanks for the Stoller piece on Counterfeit Capitalism. This is fermenting in some ideas, but broadly, I want to focus on Venture Capital and what it’s done to the economy in the last 20 years. I’m thinking back to the browser wars in the late 90s where Microsoft crushed Netscape by making IE too hard to ignore. At the time, the opinion was that MS had a great revenue stream and they could simply “drain the pool” by giving away a product – never mind that you could get jail time for installing Windows or Office without a license. Seems that Weyerhauser did the same thing with logs, and it’s happening all over.

    The one problem with this strategy: you have to have money to support the business while you drain the pool. With Uber and really every one of these disruptors, you have to ask “where does the money come from?”. Sure, there’s some revenue, significant revenue even, but it’s not enough to support the business. Mostly, the money comes from venture capital – either wealthy individuals who use their own money to set up a VC (YCombinator) or take a chunk of money and give it to a VC firm to invest on their behalf, or large banks that do so for their clients, or even corporations who do it in lieu of what used to be an R&D budget. Throw enough money at a business and they can busily drain the pool and create a monopoly where none existed before – or even better, where there’s a state-sanctioned quasi-monopoly, like with taxis.

    There’s lots more but that’s the general gist.

    Note to the editors: I noticed that the Links sidebar has Matt Stoller’s Tumblr site which hasn’t updated in 6 years.

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