Links 9/16/2021

Saudi Arabia camel carvings dated to prehistoric era BBC

Animal House: Ferrets, Guinea Pigs, Lizards Accompany Students to Campus WSJ

The world’s most expensive animals BBC

Outcry over killing of almost 1,500 dolphins on Faroe Islands The Guardian (David L)

No escape: Prince Andrew is seen with Fergie at Balmoral hideout after High Court agreed that he WILL be served court papers in Virginia Roberts rape case – meaning royal could face having to give evidence in US court Daily Mail

Prince Andrew: Settlement agreement protects me from Jeffrey Epstein victim’s lawsuit McClatchy

Psychologists Are Learning What Religion Has Known for Years Wired (David L)

The Best Photos Taken Through Microscopes Will Blow You Away Buzzfeed News (David L)

The Godmother of the Digital Image NYT (David L)

More Fun Than Fun: The Underground Architects and Engineers of the Ant World The Wire

A Massive Subterranean ‘Tree’ Is Moving Magma to Earth’s Surface Quanta (David L)

Recent Ebola outbreak emerged from someone infected 5 years earlier Ars Technica


MTA Yanks $500K COVID Death Benefit From Unvaccinated Transit Workers The City

White House praises Fox for its new Covid policy, encourages network to ‘convey to their audience’ why it’s effective CNN

LA County to require proof of vaccination for indoor bars, nightclubs, breweries Fox 11

U.S. has weighed vaccine rule for international fliers San Francisco Chronicle

Our Most Reliable Pandemic Number Is Losing Meaning The Atlantic (BC)


FDA Says Covid-19 Vaccines Remain Effective Without Boosters WSJ

Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine protection wanes, makes case for booster Reuters

U.S. Booster Policy Is in Flux as Studies Add to Dissent NYT


The Changing Virus Der Spiegel


Counting the cost of Vietnam’s Covid meltdown Asia Times

Covid-19: What data about excess deaths reveals about Mumbai’s class divide Scroll


US court overturns murder conviction of police officer who shot Justine Damond Guardian (The Rev Kev)

Will US military failures touch off a ‘revolution from below’? Responsible Statecraft

Number of states with high obesity rate nearly doubles since 2018: CDC The Hill

Class Warfare

George Packer’s Center Cannot Hold New Republic (AL)

Recall Totaled: Newsom Survives, But Will Journalism That Matters Prevail? Capital & Main

Revolt of the Delivery Workers New York Magazine

Priciest Food Since 1970s Is a Big Challenge for Governments Bloomberg

You Really Can Fight Poverty With One Weird Trick: Giving People Money Jacobin

An Epic Takedown Appears to Be in the Works Little Green Footballs (RH)

Facebook Tried to Make Its Platform a Healthier Place. It Got Angrier Instead. WSJ

Democrats in Disarray

Democrats Swoon Over George W. Bush, In Match Made in Hell TK News. Matt Taibbi.

Moderate Democrats sink Pelosi’s aggressive drug pricing bill in key committee vote STAT

Growing Uncertainty in the Central Valley New Yorker

Drought puts 2.1 million Kenyans at risk of starvation The Guardian

The Supremes

Abort the Illegitimate Court: End the Filibuster and Pack it Counterpunch

The Roberts Court is Dying. Here’s What Comes Next. Politico

Cameras Installed At All NYC Subway Stations Patch

Old Blighty

Boris Johnson lays groundwork for general election with ruthless reshuffle The Guardian


 China’s ambassador Zheng Zeguang banned from UK Parliament BBC (The Rev Kev)

Were the US and China really on the brink of war last October? Responsible Statecraft

US, UK, Australia announce ‘historic’ military partnership in move likely to anger China South China Morning Post

US builds bulwark against China with UK-Australia security pact FT (The Rev Kev)

Australia Continues Its Plunge Into Authoritarianism And Military Brinkmanship Caitlin Johnstone

Declining Anglo-Saxon Powers Intensify Alliance Consortium News


Diplomatic Pact to Block Myanmar’s Junta From United Nations – For Now The Diplomat


Women Farmers Are Losing Jobs, Earnings, Savings Even As Agriculture ‘Booms’ India Spend

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here:

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  1. jr

    Good to know MTA has installed cameras in every station. Now we won’t miss a single exciting moment as the infrastructure collapses…perhaps literally.

    1. YankeeFrank

      I’ve been waiting 5 months for my unemployment insurance to kick in. The New York State DOL’s system for processing claims has totally broken down. People are broke and desperate since the lockdowns began and crime is spiking all over the city. Apparently there’s always money for more cameras, cops and beating down the poors but of course we can’t just give people money directly to stop the misery. The US is a failed state and failing more every day.

      1. BeliTsari

        Read that (WAY too late) GrubStreet story, about 1099 delivery app cyclists. Funny, which laws are enforced, for whom? I’m curious why NYPD isn’t laying in wait for protesters “rioters,” strikers “looters,” or dissidents “insurrectionists” who’s & phone’s IMEI were mined since 2010? I’m just guessing, it’s easier to flip serendipitously vacant rent-stabilized apartments from excess fatality records, than typical cop asset forfeiture scams, for the last couple years?

      2. jr

        I’m with you, I managed to get most of my money but due to an error on their part, my last five payments are frozen. Being a veteran, I get my own UI advocate, fortunately one who actively cares. She recently gave me this number:

        alternate claims number: 888-581-5812

        She also recommended getting the Claims fax number and send in letters. It’s on that Stone Age website you file on, top right side. For the fax, she recommended sending an image of my photo ID and SSN card. Also, on the top right side of each page include your name and SSN. The best time to call the near worthless 8214 number is on Thursday and Friday afternoons.

        As for spiking crime:

        This is the carbine, they now have a pistol version that’s better for short range home defense. With practice you can get off 6 shots in around 5 seconds, 4 if you are good. The pistol version, 35 lb. draw, is less powerful but fast as heck and it will still bury a bolt 5 to 6 inches into a thigh. You can mount a scope, a laser sight, and a red-dot sight as well as a tactical light. There is a speed loader and you can upgrade the carbine’s arm to a 90 lb. draw from a 50 lb.

        This guy, Jorge Sprave of “The Slingshot Channel”, has tested them and has even had the company make some improvements. He knows of what he speaks. He was able to put a broadhead deep into a lump of ballistics jelly with (simulated) two shirts and a leather jacket over it: (6:33)

        Those are the broadheads he’s using. They come with practice bolts but you can get penetrators as well. The penetrators, or bodkins, will punch through thin steel. FYI, don’t purchase the original Stinger, it has major design flaws. Also, the strings wear out fast until the metal smooths out so it pays to lightly sand down the track the string follows to extend it’s life.

        I’m torn between that and this monster:

        All are legal in NYS and most surprisingly, NYC. Pricey but it’s all going to go on VISA for now, I’ll worry about paying them later. And a note to those who would argue the risks of having a weapon in your home outweigh the risks of assault, well, that is very context dependent.

        1. YankeeFrank

          Thanks jr, amazingly helpful! And sorry to hear about the tied-up payments. Hopefully your advocate can get that fixed… Perhaps with Cuomo gone NYS might start to clean up its act (not holding my breath). I actually spoke to a live human at the DOL yesterday and if all goes well I should start receiving payments in a couple weeks (also not holding my breath). My online account is so messed up — they have all the wrong info, from the pin number to my mother’s maiden name to, I kid you not, my ss#. I’m asking them to delete it and I’ll only deal with the phone going forward.

          So far my neighborhood is relatively safe though I do tend to walk around it with two beagle mutts (25-35 lbs). I’m always amazed at the way thug-types are intimidated by even small dogs… and I only walk half a block to the supermarket. But I’ve seen two angry shouting matches in the market over the past couple weeks and things are just gonna get worse I fear.

          I’m amazed those goguns are legal in NY. I was actually arrested about 8 years ago for carrying a telescoping baton in my construction pants leg pocket. I only carried it to protect my dogs from the neighborhood pit bulls who had bitten my very gentle boy twice and I’d forgotten I was carrying it when a cop saw it. It was a really nice one too — very lightweight with smooth action. The cops admired it… one of em’s probably still carrying it. So I got a bench warrant after a couple hours in lockup, lawyered up and since I had no record the whole thing was erased. Good thing too or I might have never found another job (I program devil machines a/k/a puters).

          But the difference is between carrying versus in the home I guess. The cops here don’t want us to protect ourselves on the streets because they assume it will be used against them, which makes a kind of sense. For them anyway.

        1. Yves Smith

          I prefer this sort of thing. They assume you are smaller, slower, and weaker than your assailant.

          And cops have found that a perp can get to you if they are within 25 feet before you pull out and aim your weapon and get off a shot.

          Plus having grown up in a family that owned guns, we NEVER had them out. Guns and ammo locked separately.

          1. jr

            I think you were responding to me, Yves, sorry if I am wrong. That course is interesting, I’ll look into it.

            The bow will be part of a layered home defense. I have an alarm and various other noise makers and flashing, blinding lights, plus my pup to give me a heads up. I sincerely hope I never have to fire itand I think making a ruckus should drive away all but the desperate.

    2. Glossolalia

      Installing cameras is one thing. Monitoring and maintaining them so that they’re actually functional when you need them is another.

      1. juno mas

        The cameras that my tourist town installs at the entry to ALL its public facilities are connected to the Internet. I imagine they have software that reports on the working status of each.

        In any case, the proliferation of these cameras has encouraged me to wear a hat/hoodie. I think I’ll keep wearing a Covid mask for the rest of my life.

      2. Yves Smith

        Cameras are a staple of crime shows. I don’t think the point is monitoring but having a record in case Something Bad happens, then they can pull the tape. But yes, if camera broken…

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Rev and Jerri.

        One wonders what David makes of ‘Australie perfide’, French reaction and France’s options.

        I was tempted to ask on French blogs what they expected of a country that polishes cricket balls with sand paper.

        1. Synoia

          1. The Crickets do not like their balls being sandpapered
          2. That’s cheating. I’m sure the Eton Boys would not so cheat (/s)

          1. Skunk

            Regarding 1., this must be what happened in Trinidad to Nicki Minaj’s friend. It wasn’t the COVID shot after all!

        2. Maxwell Johnston

          The Russian government is laughing at this Aussie-French submarine episode, because it recalls what the French did several years ago when they reneged on delivering Mistral warships to the Russian navy (but they did at least give the Russians their money back, don’t know about penalties though). I’m sure the French have a pithy equivalent to “what goes around comes around”, or even “hoist by your own petard.”

          1. The Rev Kev

            Australia will have to pay the French contract penalties so that mean a coupla billion going for nothing. But good reminder of the Mistral episode.

    1. Basil Pesto

      I think it’s a reflection of the fact that much newsmedia coverage of China is hysterical and cliché. The question mark invites the reader to consider whether the stories that follow under the header are serious analysis or more bullshit. That’s my take, more or less.

    2. Anon

      Perhaps the uncertainty surrounding whatever conclusions can be drawn from the halo of dis/misinformation inherent to our Western perspective, and Eastern apprehensions.

    3. shinola

      Under the “China?” section, check out Caitlin Johnstone’s article “Australia Continues Its Plunge Into Authoritarianism…”

      The Good Ol’ USA, at its thuggish best playing the role of The Godfather, basically telling Australia:
      -You are either with us or against us. If you choose the “wrong” side… Well, sure is a nice country you have there; it would be a shame if something happened to it…

    1. The Rev Kev

      Myself, I reckon that the one marked ‘A 40-million-year-old gnat in Baltic amber, 10X objective lens magnification’ is the winner.

      1. Eustachedesaintpierre

        I would find it very hard to choose & first thought that one was actually Covid – the white fungus is very beautiful at that level of perception & maybe it also applies to the other senses which might explain what dogs with their incredible sense of smell, seemingly find attractive about what comes out of their rear ends.

        No idea whether he is correct but I am intrigued by Donald Hoffman’s theory that we are not wired to see the reality of things – at our normal range of perception anyway.

  2. Ahimsa

    Psychologists Are Learning What Religion Has Known for Years (Wired)

    Atheist: “prayer doesn’t change anything”

    Believer: “prayer can change everything”

    Practioner: “praying changes me”

      1. Kevin

        True dat, and He gave us free will for a reason, no matter how hard some men try to take it away. (Texas!).

    1. jr

      That article is a tangle of confusions, starting with the title:

      “How God Works: The Science Behind the Benefits of Religion”

      These are two separate things, it should be titled “How Religion Works” and even there the scientist is on shaky ground.

      “Like many scientists, I assumed it (religion) built on opinion, conjecture, or even hope, and therefore irrelevant to my work.”

      All of those things are part and parcel of science, unless the author proposes that scientists aren’t humans. I’ve had my doubts about a few I’ve met.

      “I’ll admit that we’re unlikely to learn much about the nature of the universe or the biology of disease from religion.”

      That’s funny, I thought that was the point of writing this article. Unless human religious practices aren’t a part of the universe. Oh, he’s a materialist, he must be referring to magical Number-Land, that wonderous place of whirling 5’s and 7’s and whatnot that we supposedly never, ever get any glimpse of except for a crude, corresponding simulacrum provided by our senses. You know, the imperfect simulacrum that is then used to found a grand, overarching Theory of Everything. The one you cannot ever prove fully corresponds, by it’s own arguments. That one.

      “It’s by talking across the boundaries that usually divide us—science versus religion, one faith versus another—that we’ll find new ways to make life better.”

      He got that part right. Why not do away with faith completely? Practice ritual Magic! You can become an “independent operator”, if you will, needing neither faith or faith in the emptiness of faith, only experience as your guide. Set aside the Wooby-blanket of belief! Carve your own path! Walk with the gods and the angels! Wrestle with demons! Wear robes, thrift store jewelry, and build an Arts ‘n Crafts altar. Burn incense, wave your arms about wildly, and intone ancient rituals while your partner shakes her head and draws the blinds so the neighbors don’t see!

        1. jr

          Agreed, although it is TIRED after all. I guess they are ok when reviewing gadgets and crap but I don’t look for spiritual truth from them.

      1. Soredemos

        What you’re describing, that numbers are a real thing that exist…somewhere, in some form, is a view you’d be pretty hard-pressed to actually find anyone holding these days. Math is a tool, invented by humans, nothing more.

        1. jr

          Thank you, this has sent me on a bit of a roam. I found this video by Sabine Hossenfelder asking whether math is real:

          which I need to digest. I’m thinking I was thinking of a Platonic notion of mathematics but don’t quote me there. Sabine mentions this fellow, Max Tegmark:

          which I have yet to watch. He asserts that mathematics is real, which Sabine doesn’t cotton to. For her, math is real because it describes observations. For Tegmark, it’s really real.

          Incidentally, the Platonic solids play a role in Magical symbolism, but I’m not familiar with those applications.

          1. Soredemos

            I can somewhat appreciate the Pythagoreans figuring out the crazy stuff they could do with math, and then being convinced they’d discovered the language of divinity, or whatever (the specifics of their mystery cult are lost). But ultimately it’s just a tool, one that on occasion completely breaks down (Pi just giving an infinite string of numbers is the example I immediately think of).

    2. JP

      Well, praying means asking for something as opposed to worship. The practioner above is still a believer. A non-believing practitioner would say “positive thinking changes me”. Belief is an impediment to rationality. One doesn’t need to believe in reality for it to exist, say gravity for instance. The way humans believe is largely assuming some canned viewpoint. These viewpoints have evolved a great deal in the past 10,000 years but mostly have their roots in the primitive fear of the deadly nature of every day existence. So to defeat deadly nature we invented magic.

      1. jr

        Not me, my friend. And thank you for your comment.

        I don’t believe in gravity, I experience it. I don’t believe in Magic, I practice it. I don’t ask for anything when I pray, in fact I am forbidden to do so. No love spells, no flying carpets, no magic missiles. I pray to experience it, to alter my consciousness and make open it to more experience. My rituals are layers of prayers, designed to whip my mind into a mild frenzy so as to break through mundane perceptions. The robe, funny hat, and tools are Props for the theater of the mind.

        Belief locks one in. Belief is an imbalance. Faith is an imbalance. Uncertainty is the Middle Path between the Pillars of Boaz and Joaquin. And believe me, there are experiences out there to had.

        I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Starships on fire off the shoulder… ;)

        Magic does more than chase off the Boogey-cave bears. It allows one to approach the Veil between Universal Consciousness and our own. (I am an Idealist btw.) Ever see a Jungian archetype? I have, as clear as your keyboard is to you. Ever felt the age of the Cosmos? I have, to the extent a mortal can. Ever seen an Angel? I think I did once and it was old school, lots of eyes. Fortunately not in corporeal form. Ever feel a thought slide through your mind like a fish through water? I have, and I mean that literally.

        Illusions? Phantasms? Maybe. But then what are those things? Under Materialism, mere shadows. But under Idealism, where our minds touch the Infinite, the No-thing that is Everything, those thought constructs assume a very different stature.

        1. JP

          The original meaning of pray is to ask. But not to nitpick. So magical thinking is broadly covered by what I called positive thinking above. But you probably know that to actually experience reality requires not thinking and therein also lies the path to magic.

          1. jr

            Yes, thank you for that clarification, I guess I do ask for something in a sense of seeking experience. I make a distinction between magical thinking and Magical thinking, to be clear. Lower case magical thinking is stuff like “Oh, if I ignore that lump in my chest, it will go away.” or “If I whistle three times at a crossroads at midnight I’ll get that job.” Let’s call it wishful thinking.

            Upper case Magical thinking is trying to get to a point where you remain serene no matter what the lump or the job turns out to be because you know that it, and you, are part of an unfolding evolution of Consciousness and that you are playing your part as it comes to you.

            But could you expand on what you mean by positive thinking? I get the sense I’m missing something, I suspect it’s not the positive thinking one find’s in corporate training seminars…

      2. Wukchumni

        I have been in rather constant 1-way contact with Hephaestus this week, asking for assistance in his field, and while we’re at it, what happens to old school Gods such as him, that go out of favor?

        A good many Greek & Roman Gods are more recognizable in that luxury goods sport their monikers now. (Hermes et al)

        1. ddt

          Terry Pratchett has a theory about what happens to forgotten gods in his book “Small Gods”

          It was my first discworld novel and I’ve a soft spot for it.

        2. ambrit

          Fritz Leiber had a disquietion about the Fate of Gods in one of his Fafhard and the Grey Mouser stories. Lankhmer, the city where the two decidedly anti-heros usually hang out, has a Street of Gods, where the temples etc. congregate. Roughly, gods are dependent on the belief of adherents for their very existance. Once people stop believing in a god, that god fades out to Nothing.
          You may want to send a missive Zeus way. He’s the one in control of storms and rain.
          You could use this tetradrachm to conjure with.

          1. Wukchumni

            I rubbed the pixels on my laptop screen numismatic simulation when summoning Zeus, who rudely blew me off in what could be construed as Greco-Roman-Valley talk…

            ‘dude, i’m busy elsewhere’.

    3. Wukchumni

      Morality is doing what is right, no matter what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told, no matter what is right.

      H.L. Mencken

    4. Maritimer

      “I’ve realized that much of what psychologists and neuroscientists are finding about how to change people’s beliefs, feelings, and behaviors…” ends up in the hands of Governments, Oligarchs, Gigicorps, the Bad and Evil, to manipulate, dumbdown and destroy Human Consciousness.

      Please, Scientists, stop improving me and stop doing it on my taxpayer dime!

      See: Psychologists’ Involvement in Torture and the APA

      Maybe years from now we will hear what their involvement was in Covid Propaganda and vaccine threats and intimidation.

    1. Wukchumni

      Nice article, but the key point the writer misses is the food forest for the trees, which has to be maintained, lest the farmers get a decade behind the game in planting new hires that will only cost them time & money until they start paying their way. There are very few non tree crops around these parts.

      If i’m growing tomatoes and water & the market isn’t there, you grow nothing, but not so on trees which must keep up appearances,

      Devin* y Kevin managed to wrangle over $200 million from PPP late last year when nobody was looking to fix the Friant-Kern Canal-a private concern, which has suffered much from subsidence, but i’d wait on the fix, as there is gonna be so much more subsidence, because every last one of the 666 million trees is being treated to H20 from the same milkshake down under, shift happens.

      * the clown has banners along Hwy 99 that scream ‘Say no to Socialism’ as he embraced it.

      1. upstater

        A neighbor up the hill had his Trump lawn signs and Trump flag (properly displayed under the Thin Blue Line US flag) well into January. Then a simple all black flag appeared.

        Now there is a blue Trump-like flag that says “Socialism Sucks”. There are wingnuts everywhere…

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Cameras Installed At All NYC Subway Stations”

    You mean that they don’t already? Now that does surprise me that. New York spends about $5 billion on the NY Police Department each year alone so you figure that this would have been done a decade or more ago.

    1. Tom Stone

      Rev, a lot of that money goes to lawyers and plaintiffs who have sued NYPD.
      When one of New York’s finest pulls out their gat they hit the target one time out of five.
      The other four bullets go singing down the street until they find a home.

  4. griffen

    Covid vaccines and booster shots. So good to see a coherent grouping of headlines off major news outlets. \sarc

    Been leaning towards the Moderna two shots+no chaser since mid year. Next week I’ll take the dive, more than likely. I’d like to think I live an isolated life, but really I’m just doing my best hobbit impression.

    1. YankeeFrank

      From what I know not being a doctor, its best to avoid double shots of vaccine in a short amount of time if possible because the second shot increases the risk quite significantly. Also the mRNA vaccines are using risky/experimental tech while the J&J (one shot) is not. If I had to get the vaccine I would take the J&J. Of course do your own research. Oh, and if you do decide to go with the mRNA the Moderna is preferable to Pfizer so yeah, good choice.

      Oh, and John Campbell, that doc on youtube, has discussed evidence suggesting that getting the 2nd shot later, say at 3 months rather than 2, may lead to longer infection protection as well. The data for this comes from the different UK and Israeli dosing schedules.

      1. griffen

        Good points, thanks…and the two shot plan all along has been to adhere with the guideline for receiving the 2nd shot (should I proceed with Moderna).

        Should I have any possible adverse reaction to shot #1, it will be shared.

        1. LifelongLib

          My Moderna shots were 4 weeks apart, but I don’t know if there was a medical reason or just availability/scheduling.

      2. Nikkikat

        Thank you yankee frank, I have found similar info as you.
        I also, hope people look at J & j before diving into booster shot I would tend to hold back. They could not possible have real data other than Israeli and those people are heading toward Forth shot. Please use caution.

      3. Anon

        I got the one shot J&J thinking it was safer since it is a more traditional type of vaccine. I developed neurological problems that I am still dealing with months later. You take your chances whatever you decide. I will not be getting a booster.

        1. Yves Smith

          According to GM, the J&J shot is very much like a one-dose AstraZeneca shot, but J&J was tweaked to make it a bit more effective. So you can look to the much greater base of AZ safety data to check on possible issues. Clotting seems to be the biggie. I was super cautious and cut back on all my dietary supplements that had an impact on clotting (either way) for a week before and two weeks after.

        2. YankeeFrank

          Oh no. I’m sorry to hear that and I do hope it resolves. We’ve had some very difficult long term medical issues in my small family and I know what a difficult experience that can be. I have heard about adverse reactions like blood clots with the J&J but I guess I was hoping that it would be safer with one shot and no mRNA. I know someone who essentially got long covid (according to his doc) from just the mRNA shots. It would be nice if there was comparative data on the dangers with the different shots but from what I’ve seen the VAERS data does not distinguish the different makes.

          Yves, I’ll definitely check the AZ safety data you mentioned, thanks.

      4. Skunk

        Someone please correct me if this is wrong, but I think there is one difference that could be relevant. Supposedly mRNA does not enter the cell nucleus. On the other hand, the adenovirus does enter the cell nucleus.

    2. Katiebird

      One of my sisters got a third Pfizer shot yesterday. And I think one of my brothers will get it today. I need to ask them what they’ve read to make that decision. Have they even decided what the dose should be? It seems way too early to me.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      This morning, two cnbc anchors wondered if the to-boost-or-not-to-boost question was a replay of fauci’s early noble lie about masks–were americans being told that boosters were not “needed,” in order to save “vaccine” doses for those around the globe who haven’t had any yet?

      They agreed that americans should be told “the truth,” and “the truth” most likely is that boosters are “needed,” so why all the dinkin’ around.

      (becky quick is also chompin’ at the bit to get the ok to “vaccinate” her younger children. They are all aboard the mRNA train at cnbc.)

    4. JEHR

      Here in New Brunswick (Canada) most citizens had mix and match vaccinations: some got AZ with moderna, some got AZ with Phizer, some got Moderna with Phizer, and some got two matching vaccines (except for AZ). Any combination seemed to work. (We didn’t use J&J). However, because of the long time between getting the various vaccines we waited longer than the eight weeks between first and second doses (as long as 20 weeks, I think).

      1. S

        IIRC, a longer wait between vaccine doses improves the outcome. I think Canada started out using a “first doses first” strategy with a long time between doses simply because we were behind on vaccine deliveries, but it may turn out to have been advantageous.

  5. Henry Moon Pie

    Psychology and religion–

    The author is learning what Eliade, Lincoln and others who study ritual have known for decades:

    The surprise my colleagues and I felt when we saw evidence of religion’s benefits was a sign of our hubris, born of a common notion among scientists: All of religion is superstition and, therefore, could have little practical benefit. I’ll admit that we’re unlikely to learn much about the nature of the universe or the biology of disease from religion. But when it comes to finding ways to help people deal with issues surrounding birth and death, morality and meaning, grief and loss, it would be strange if thousands of years of religious thought didn’t have something to offer.

    So this psychologist says religion has some utility at the personal, psychological level. And sociologists and historians have recognized social utility in religion’s myths and rituals. What if the religion was not based on the musings of Iron Age prophets with their Potter’s World worldview but instead on what humans have learned in the last 100 years or so about the origins and nature of the cosmos along with what anthropology, biology and psychology have learned about us?

    Fritjof Capra, who began his explorations of this topic with the Tao of Physics nearly 50 years ago, prefers “spirituality” to “religion” because he considers religion to be an attempt to contextualize direct spiritual experience. Here’s what he has to say about spirituality, religion and science:

    The awareness of these subtle relationships between religion and spirituality is important when we compare both of them with science. While scientists try to explain natural phenomena, the purpose of a spiritual discipline is not to provide a description of the world. Its purpose, rather, is to facilitate experiences that will change a person’s self and way of life. However, in the interpretations of their experiences mystics and spiritual teachers are often led to also make statements about the nature of reality, causal relationships, the nature of human consciousness, and the like. This allows us to compare their descriptions of reality with corresponding descriptions by scientists.

    In these spiritual traditions – for example, in the various schools of Buddhism – the mystical experience is always primary; its descriptions and interpretations are considered secondary and tentative, insufficient to fully describe the spiritual experience. In a way, these descriptions are not unlike the limited and approximate models in science, which are always subject to further modifications and improvements.

    In the history of Christianity, by contrast, theological statements about the nature of the world, or about human nature, were often considered as literal truths, and any attempt to question or modify them was deemed heretical. This rigid position of the Church led to the well-known conflicts between science and fundamentalist Christianity, which have continued to the present day. In these conflicts, antagonistic positions are often taken on by fundamentalists on both sides who fail to keep in mind the limited and approximate nature of all scientific theories, on the one hand, and the metaphorical and symbolic nature of the language in religious scriptures, on the other. In recent years, such fundamentalist debates have become especially problematic around the concept of a creator God.

    Spirituality has utility. It enhances our ability to put life’s events in a broader context, lessening pain, healing wounds, providing a broader perspective. The rituals and myths of religion have social utility. Yuval Harari even claims that it is not possible for large groups of humans (larger than 100-150) to cooperate without a unifying myth. If we are to respond efficaciously to our multiple crises, individuals will need the ability to put the incoming pain in a broader context, and our societies will need something beyond the love of Mammon to sustain us and pull us together.

    Bonus for the bold: Rupert Sheldrake, Terence McKenna and Ralph Abraham discuss these same issues in 1992 at the Esalen Institute.

    1. Lee

      “In these spiritual traditions – for example, in the various schools of Buddhism – the mystical experience is always primary; its descriptions and interpretations are considered secondary and tentative, insufficient to fully describe the spiritual experience.”

      Some examples come immediately to mind.

      “Those who speak, do not know; those who know, do not speak.” —Lao Tzu

      The Buddha’s wordless flower sermon.—Zen origin story

      “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
      Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” —Keats

      “To see a World in a Grain of Sand
      And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
      Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
      And Eternity in an hour”

      “Bach is God.” —Fictional character, Professor T

    2. Mildred Montana

      @Henry Moon Pie

      “Spirituality has utility.” It certainly does, as emphasized in my recovery meetings. And happily, there are many paths to spirituality. For me, it was reading about cosmology. After ten or so such books, I gained a broad (universe-al?) new perspective on life, the world, and human destiny.

      Apropos, I’ve always like this quote by Martin Amis: “Cosmology will tell you that the universe is far more bizarre, prodigious and chillingly grand than any doctrine, and that spiritual needs can be met by its contemplation.”

  6. Wukchumni

    Goooooood Moooorning Fiatnam!

    Operation Rolling Blunder was an attempt to bond the Fiatnamese back into the 18th century when the only Law was John’s, ink jets would take off on a run and occasionally we’d lose one, when we ran out of cartridges and/or toner..

    1. Ian Perkins

      I noticed a couple of somewhat controversial statements in that. I’m not sure everyone would agree with “a positive RT-PCR test, which is extremely unreliable, as everyone knows by now.”

      Reading on, there’s this: “people without acute symptoms will not spread the severe disease COVID-19 in public (10– 12),” and this: “The viral load that a person can release into the out-side world without symptoms is too small to endanger other people in public.”

      Reference 10 contains this line in the abstract: “Our findings provide population-based evidence for transmission from persons with presymptomatic COVID-19 infections.”

      Reference 12 casts doubt on a previous study’s conclusion that “44% of secondary cases were infected during presymptomatic stages of disease,” but doesn’t refute the idea that presymptomatic transmission is possible.

        1. Ian Perkins

          No, but from a quick skim through, they seemed the most egregious. I particularly distrust a piece where the references undermine the very claims they supposedly justify, as with reference 10.

      1. m

        These results are consistent with previous reports on epidemiologic characteristics of 72,314 COVID-19 cases in China (8) and suggest that household-based isolation should be cautiously implemented for persons with asymptomatic suspected cases. We also noted that persons with asymptomatic infections appeared to be less effective in transmitting the virus. However, this finding should not discourage isolation and surveillance efforts.
        Reference #10
        Wow, you guys really went to town on this one, why?

  7. griffen

    Sports desk commentary, from the cheap seats. I’ve noted a few baseball fans amongst us all, most more devoted than myself. ESPN had a 4-hour documentary series premiere this week about the Mets. While I missed much of part 2, the others were pretty entertaining.

    I have to say this, beating the Red So in that fashion remains incredible. Just the sheer luck of it, and the inept Boston manager’s mistakes that compounded the bad outcome of game 6. It wasn’t all Buckner’s fault!

    1. griffen

      This is World Series in 1986. Boston led the series 3-2, and was winning game 6 at Shea Stadium; Mets were down to their final out.

      The curse eventually lifted in 2004 for the Sawx.

    2. neo-realist

      Apparently, you can go on line to the espn website, search for the documentary and watch the episodes on-line with your cable provider log-in.

      Things were falling in just right for the Metsies during that 86 season to bring about that eventual outcome. Not just the World Series, but vague recollections of the 86 NLCS were there were plays that were called in the Mets favor but upon further review should not have been, plays that might have made the difference in them going to the World Series.

      Overall, the core that made up that championship team disappoints me for it had the talent to potentially win at least 2 more pennants. But I think the excessive drugging and drinking took something out of them and didn’t allow them to play up to their full potential.

      1. juno mas

        …it’s baseball for chris’ sakes! Talent on the field is only a part of a successful team. Pitching dominates (mostly) in the playoffs, but the home-plate umpire is a fallible factor, as well. (See: Texans vs. Cardinals–Molina was “struck out” but called ball four with bases loaded; run scores!)

        Luck is a huge element in baseball. The only game where the defense controls the ball (action). Barry Bonds was intentionally walked with the bases loaded many times; better one run score than four!

        1. neo-realist

          Vaguely remember the Texas vs. St. Louis World Series–speaking of pitching dominating in the playoffs, when it came to dominating after Texas took the lead in game 7 (Hamilton HR?), Darren Oliver and few others couldn’t dominate when they needed to and let the redbirds win. Yes it is a game of inches and calls, but that choke, as I recall, was clear cut.

          1. juno mas

            Pitching, amazingly, did not dominate in games 6 &7 of the 2011 WS. Errors and missed calls by the plate umpires calling balls and strikes were the deciding factors. Molina’s “walk” would have ended the inning. Instead, the plate umpire continued to “squeeze” the Texan’s relief pitcher (Ogando) yet again as the following batter walked on a “borderline” 3-2 count. (“anything close” is a strike in that situation.) Two runs scored on “strikeouts”.

            My point is that baseball is a game of inches, and “rules” that seem to have fudgeability. Talent be damned. Rejoice when your team wins; it may not happen again.

      2. griffen

        It’s a good point, no guarantee that one team can or will dominate their division on a consistent annual basis. Dynastic organizations in US team sports, pro or college, are atypical. Yes the Yankees but historically that is very unique. Also, the Celtics or the Minn/LA Lakers.

        Maybe the Patriots will once the resident grump, hoodie adorned head coach retires but that still seems way off in the future.

        As to the Mets, Dystrka sounds almost unintelligible. Really a mess of the English by any reasonable stretch. Ron Darling is still on TV I think.

  8. PlutoniumKun

    US, UK, Australia announce ‘historic’ military partnership in move likely to anger China South China Morning Post

    Oddly enough, this may have deeper repercussions in Europe than on China or the Pacific. I doubt if the Chinese give a damn about the UK and Aus sending the odd submarine over. But this deal cut the French out of a massive ongoing submarine deal – its clearly seen by the French to have been negotiated in bad faith, and it will cost thousands of French jobs. Politically, this will make Macron far more likely to take a hard line in trade deals with the UK (and these are indirectly tied to UK deals with Australia, as it is cheap Australian food getting into the EU via the UK that European farmers are most suspicious of). Plus, it is quite a firm poke in the eye to follow up the poking over Afghanistan.

    I suspect this will greatly speed up moves in Europe to form a more independent military/foreign policy, the wedge between the Anglosphere and Europe will grow much deeper and faster I suspect than anyone thought likely. This is, of course, assuming Europe can get its act together.

    1. Bill Smith

      There have been problems reported for the last year or two on the French Barracuda sub project with Australia. This just didn’t drop out of the blue sky. Both significant cost increases and time delays had been reported.

      Now they can start from 0 and do both all over again :)

  9. JohnA

    Re US, UK, Australia announce ‘historic’ military partnership

    This will surely hasten the withdrawal of Europe from NATO. Germany is already peed off about the American threats concerning Nord Stream 2 and sanctions on Russia. Now France is furious with the perfidious anglosaxons.
    The question will surely be which way will Poland and the Baltic States jump? The Baltic states have been drained of young people while Poland is on the EU/US naughty step for slowness to embrace all the rainbow flag wokeness. Maybe there will be a new Franco-German-Russian-China pact, with Nato keeping the rump of begging bowl states and desperate to join but horribly corrupt and bankrupt Ukraine and Georgia.
    Interesting times ahead.

    1. Ian Perkins

      A new Iron Curtain, this time round with the US and UK supporting Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states to keep western Europe separated from the rest of Eurasia?

      1. Kouros

        Such a curtain will be ripped to shreds. One needs to remember that Poland was partitioned several times in its past… I am not saying that such a thing will happen again, just that there are more levers that Germany, France, Russia, China can put on Poland and ilk that the US could counteract…

  10. PlutoniumKun

    Counting the cost of Vietnam’s Covid meltdown Asia Times

    This is actually a real tragedy. Vietnam did everything right in 2020 and protected their economy and their peoples health in an exemplary manner. But they took their eye off the ball and now Delta appears to be unstoppable – they’ve pretty much admitted that it can’t be stopped and its now becoming endemic.

    Its not just a human tragedy there – Vietnam is increasingly a central nub in world supply chains. It could have very significant implications for many key products.

    1. Kevin

      To your point, it can take companies 6-7 years upon moving to another country to set up necessary supply chains – and only 6-7 days for it all to blow apart.

    2. lordkoos

      Thailand supply chains are in danger as well, and they make a lot of stuff there — cars, computer drives, etc etc.

  11. The Rev Kev

    ‘The latest example is one of the most egregious: @SenWarren & Rep. @AdamSchiff demanding Amazon remove or suppress books on COVID:’

    No surprise here as I have read over the years of American writers having to publish their – sometimes – controversial work in a semi-obscure publication overseas as no publisher in the US would touch it. I think that this has happened to John Mearsheimer but am not sure. So it is not like censorship so much as publishers knowing where the line is drawn as far as what they can print. Hey, how about that. Censorship under modern capitalism has actually been outsourced.

    1. Lee

      In case you missed it in yesterday’ Water Cooler, the linked article in the following comment gives a great blow by blow description of bone-headed propagandizing and censorship at the New York Times.

      Another Scott
      September 15, 2021 at 2:46 pm

      Sean Wilentz eviscerates the 1619 Project and ensuing controversy, including the involvement of the World Socialist Website. Note that this is not published by an American organization.

      The entire thing is worth a read, but I think this is the money quote:

      “It required no advanced knowledge of American history to understand the perversity of The 1619 Project’s lead essay’s treatment of the Revolution. If it were a high school history paper, that discussion alone would have been grounds for failure. It’s rare, after all, to read a student get every single stated fact perfectly wrong, in support of a proposition for which there is no other evidence cited, on two of the most important topics in all of U.S. history, indeed, all of modern history, the causes of the American Revolution and the origins of antislavery.”

    2. Maritimer

      The Nazis (can they be mentioned?) are, of course, famous for their Book Burnings. Vilified by Western Democracies for this activity.

      So, what is so different if the Government and Elite prevent publication?
      Why is censorship, so approved by so many today, not a type of Book Burning? Particularly after the material has been published, put in the Public Sphere.

  12. Wukchumni

    A pair of wildfires burning in the Sequoia National Forest in California ballooned in size this week, threatening famous giant sequoia trees and prompting new evacuation advisories for the area.

    More than 300 firefighters were working to control the KNP Complex Fire, which includes the Paradise and Colony fires. The blazes, sparked by a lightning storm late last week, grew to 7,039 acres by Wednesday with no containment. Firefighters struggled to contain flames burning in hard-to-reach areas, and had to predominantly rely on aircraft to spread fire retardant.

    What sort of skills must a reporter for a prestigious fishwrap possess these days?

    Sequoia National Forest is about 50 miles away from the KNP Fire, which is in Sequoia National Park in entirety. Even if you knew nothing about the area, a map of the conflagration would inform even a simpleton of it’s location.

    1. JP

      We seem to be getting all the smoke down here on the Tule. Can’t you do something about that? Many times I have stood on Moro rock and looked south at that ridge and thought that was some mighty rough and steep terrain. I guess it will be easier to explore next year.

      1. Wukchumni

        Sorry about the smoke, we’re @ 518 as far as AQI goes and i’m enjoying the great indoors.

        CCC built trails to every Sequoia grove, and in the aftermath of the 1988 Buckeye Fire near Moro Rock, it revealed a trail from the Middle Fork up to Moro Rock and all the rockwork was perfectly intact, and the trail was completed just in time for CCC to disband in 1942 and Mother Nature covered it all up with groundcover in the meantime.

        The fire is going hot and heavy now on the Marble Falls trail…

      2. Wukchumni


        A friend e-mailed me this missive:

        a firefighter posted this on a fire intel board regarding the KNP Fire’s lack of resources:

        “OES has been trying to round up resources for the past 36 hours, but with little luck. Given the Dixie, Caldor, etc., the burnout factor is significant. I work for a LG fire department. I did 32 days on the Dixie, returned straight to work and covered the station for many days while we sent resources to the Caldor. I have a standing invitation to go out as a STEN, but a long season lies ahead. Bigger, earlier, longer fires coupled with far, far fewer firefighters than 20 years ago is taking a toll!”

        B. K. Chisholm, Fire Captain with Olympic Valley FD. STEN qualified
        TFLD-T, DIVS-T

  13. Tom Stone

    Is there any aspect of the US response to this pandemic that hasn’t been screwed up?
    I see that Marin County is now mandating that school children aged 5-12 be vaccinated before they are allowed to attend class.
    With a non sterilizing experimental “Vaccine” with unknown long term side effects.
    In a County where half the adult women are named Karen.

      1. Wukchumni

        Sad to say that hyperbole seemed to have stepped on the truth, en route via rumor.

        Only Marinfidels over 12 must be vaccinated in order to be allowed attendance.

          1. JBird4049

            Marin County has put together a plan to start vaccinating children Oct. 30 if the Food and Drug Administration approves the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 to 11 by then.

            So they are planning to use what can labeled as the most problematical vaccine on children? Why?

            If anything goes wrong, and it likely will, it will give the anti-vaxxers both incentive and ready made propaganda to question all vaccines including the safe, effective childhood ones. Just great.

      2. Gregoire

        The mandate was already in place for start of school this year that students have to be vaccinated or provide a weekly negative test. Then of course the schools have to police that mandate which of course they can do with all the extra money they have floating around.

  14. Samuel Conner

    The thought occurs, only half in snark, that patients denied standard of care treatment due to inadequate capacity could be sent away with a dosing schedule of human formulated ivermectin. At worst it might have a beneficial placebo effect.

    I wonder if the PTB would object to administration of sugar pills, disguised as something beneficial, for their placebo effect.

    1. Arizona Slim

      But-but-but that stuff is a horse drug! In the latest news from Tucson:

      BTW, during yesterday’s weekly FLCCC update, there was a lengthy discussion of how to talk back to pharmacists who won’t fill prescriptions for the drug that must not be named. Yesterday’s update isn’t up on the site yet, but it soon will be. Link:

      1. lordkoos

        I’m getting confused. First, I heard that Ivermectin makes men sterile, now Nicki Minaj says that the vaccine makes men sterile. What’s a conspiracy theorist supposed to in a case like this?

      2. The Rev Kev

        Just had on the TV here in Oz some professor dismiss the stuff as horse-wormer but not to worry. We are getting in more imports of Remdesivir. Jee-zuz.

    1. David

      The embargo is not against Lebanon. As the story says, it’s intended to stop the Iranians selling oil to anyone. The Lebanese economy is in such a state that they need all the help they can get. The West has conditioned aid on political reforms which the kleptocratic and corrupt ruling class of the country is not prepared to make: the “new” government announced a week ago is just a reshuffling of the chairs among the corrupt elite.
      The Iranian initiative, though welcome, is also, and perhaps mainly, a move in the diplomatic game between Iran and Saudi Arabia for influence among the majority Muslim population in Lebanon which has been going on since Syria was taken out of the equation after 2005, and especially after 2011.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I think this is one to watch. Cheap Chinese batteries crowded out much superior German and Japanese batteries in the last decade, but as its such an important strategic area the Europeans and Japanese and Koreans are investing huge sums in domestic production, and there are plenty of private companies doing the same in the US. Its not even certain that the near future will be lithium either, there are some allegedly very promising alternatives promised (although these claims always have to be taken with a large grain of salt).

      I suspect the Chinese won’t have everything their own way in this area – if anything we may see a huge over investment worldwide which could have all sorts of unforeseen consequences.

    2. Carolinian

      There’s the foreign policy problem–if that is a problem–and then there’s the batteries keep catching on fire problem. Chevy has recalled all the batteries on the Bolt (for replacement) because of a manufacturing error that has already caused some cars to burn.

      On the other hand the high highway mileage that I enjoy with my current car wouldn’t be true without government mandates. And many of our emissions features came about because the giant state of California demanded them (due to their giant LA pollution).

      In the end it may be like vaccine mandates–useful if you are demanding something good and not simply engaged in political posturing. That may be a big ask from our current politicians.

      1. juno mas

        Actually, it wasn’t just the size of California that brought about it’s control of serious air pollution in the 1970’s. Texas is larger in area, and nearly as large in pop.30M to 40M. California does have more total vehicles than Texas, but it was the health consequences of air pollution that steered the CAQB to demand stricter state standards than required (at the time) by the Feds.

        California is smarter than Texas. (As anyone can see.)

    3. Rod

      Yes, ‘Playing well with others’ has been our shortcoming for a long time now:

      It is clear that electrification of the U.S. economy and its transportation system will mean the “Chinafication” of these important parts of our economy.

      But we have developed some interesting ‘Financial Instruments’ while they were developing the Strategy your Link illustrates.

      So there is that.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “No escape: Prince Andrew is seen with Fergie at Balmoral hideout after High Court agreed that he WILL be served court papers in Virginia Roberts rape case – meaning royal could face having to give evidence in US court”

    So I guess hiding behind his bodyguards and mommy’s skirt did not work out after all. So I wonder what happens if the US wants to extradite Randy Andy back to New York. The UK-US extradition laws are written so that the US can get anybody they want extradited to the US while the UK finds it hard to extradite someone from the US back to the UK. If Andy is extradited, it is a good thing that the prison that Epstein died in – the Metropolitan Correctional Center – has been shut down for now. Maybe he can be allowed to rent that place in New Hampshire that Ghislaine Maxwell was hiding out in.

    Hard for him to claim that the settlement agreement protects him from Jeffrey Epstein victim’s lawsuit though. That would imply that he was actually guilty of something. And even though there is a photograph of him hugging Virginia Roberts with Ghislaine Maxwell in the background, he is still saying ‘Nope. Never saw her before in my life.’ So this put me in mind of the lyrics of a song which I dedicate to him- (3:55 mins)

    1. JohnA

      At least he can’t be sweating about extradition. Allegedly.
      Another rendition flight via Shannon or Prestwick?

    1. Ian Perkins

      Can’t wait for a huge online gambling industry to grow around their races, complete with digital doping.

  16. Tom Stone

    Good news and bad news for us Californians.
    There’s actual coastal drizzle this morning and a possibility of light rain for the Northern part of the State this weekend.
    The bad news?
    The fall shift in wind patterns has begun which will bring offshore Diablo and Santa Ana winds for the next few months.

    Unless we are very lucky indeed the Dixie fire won’t be the largest of the year much longer and a lot of major urban areas are at serious risk.
    I’m not feeling lucky, thanks all the same.

    1. Randy G


      The true tragedy is that if it’s not this year, it’s coming soon to the Golden State. Climate catastrophe is accelerating globally, and California, of course, is just a small piece in the jigsaw puzzle.

      In the meantime, 37 billion more for the Pentagon next year, and ever more delusional plans to confront, harass and surround China. Trillions wasted on horrific and pointless invasions, killing a million or two innocent people, turning tens of millions into refugees, and accomplishing little more than pumping up Raytheon stock and making military contractors wealthy.

      We would need a WWII level commitment to addressing the causes of climate catastrophe, and the longer they stall, the worse the prospects of success.

      The oligarchy is incapable of responding sanely to the most dire threats as it might limit their wealth extractions and threaten their portfolios.

  17. PlutoniumKun

    The world’s most expensive animals BBC

    My farmer friends in the lovely county of Wicklow here were all agog a few weeks ago when someone local bought a ram for 40,000 euro. It was apparently a local farmer – sheep farmers aren’t rich here, so this was a massive one off investment (for the local horse breeders, its loose change). Hope the ram is up to the job so to speak.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “US, UK, Australia announce ‘historic’ military partnership in move likely to anger China”

    This is one of those stories where you have to keep on peeling it back so where to start. A few days ago there was a story titled ‘Biden Doctrine abating US tensions with China’ but that has been trashed now as this is an anti-China alliance (an Anglo-Saxon Alliance?). As Biden helped do the dirty on France through the loss of that sub contract, it is a signal that for the US, Europe is now a backwater and the Asia-Pacific is the main theater now. In fact, the French feel so betrayed that they say that what Biden did was what Trump was doing. So I guess that the Pacific will now be the battleground of the future. This is a major geopolitical shift this.

    With the US, it is starting to remind me of the Roman Army. When they went into battle, they not only had their own Legions but also formations of Auxiliaries. These were troops that were non-Roman but who were similarly armed like their Roman counterparts and also included specialized troops and these were commanded by Roman officers. So why the similarity with the US? The UK has gutted their military to build two large aircraft carriers and one is already in the Pacific with a USMC squadron aboard. So whose political interest will they serve those carriers? Australia is going to build nuclear subs and will pay the US/UK billions for that privilege. But whose interest will those subs serve? I suspect not Australia. So in the future, Australia and the UK at the very least will be the Pentagon’s Auxiliaries using the UK’s carriers and our subs.

    And for Australia? Here is our Defence policy explained- (1:31 mins)

    And people wonder why I despise Scotty from Marketing so much. Going on holidays in Hawaii while half the continent is on fire, undermining international efforts at climate change, letting a virus run rampant among a population when he never had the vaccines to protect them from this fact, and now after years of ramping up tensions with China – our major trading partner – he is now putting Australia into China’s gunsight for, uhhh, reasons. How will that work out for us?

    ‘Australia, Go At Throttle Up.’

    1. Wukchumni

      I was in NZ in the 1980’s when they put the kibosh to ANZUS and the end of visits of US warships, and under Wall*Street lackey PM John Key seemed to veer a bit back into the old auspices, but no way would they be involved in the new deal with PM Jacinda Arden, because an acronym would be really awkward, the only thing I can think of would be ZANUUKUS.

    2. Ian Perkins

      But whose interest will those subs serve? I suspect not Australia.

      Caitlin Johnstone reckons the subs and so on aren’t to protect Australia from China, but to protect it from the USA, as in another coup or something like that.

  19. Michael

    Contra Costa County (E SF Bay area) has instituted vaccine/ ID check reqs for restaurants, bars & gyms. SF too. Health official says final decision on grocery stores will be made next week. This is for indoor sit down dining only. Take out exempt.

    My restaurant owner says finding reliable help who will show up every day is the industry’s biggest challenge. In his Hofbrau style, he works behind the line and would have to hire someone to do the ID/Vaccine check. At $20/hr and hope they show up every day. Can’t afford it. Not taking a salary now trying to survive.

    He believes the work crews who make a big part of his lunch biz will head for drive thru fast food rather than share a couple of tables if forced to show ID and Vaccine status. State of CA now has an online app with your vaccine info uploaded already. Easy access on your smart phone but then there’s the ID part. And the employee.

    1. Glossolalia

      The who/why/what/when/how of vaccine mandates are just annoying details that TPTB don’t have time for. But I imagine the local governments all have hefty fines for establishments found to be breaking the rules and an army of inspectors ready to seek them out.

  20. JTMcPhee

    On that “reliable pandemic number losing meaning:” I’ve been getting VA medical care for many years, including hospitalizations. I worked as a nurse in hospital and clinical settings, spanning the conversion from paper charts to “electronic medical records.” Determining policy based on EMR hospitalization records is maybe not such a wise idea. My own VA EMR is full of errors, in medical history, recording treatments and meds received, all part of the “permanent record” which good luck getting any of the errors corrected. Found the same thing in charting (and coding, of course) in both hospital and clinical settings.

    “With Covid” or “because of Covid”? Given all the coruscating incentives and systemic failures in the US medical train wreck, it doesn’t look to me like this study/article helps much to understand what is happening with the spread of this disease.

  21. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

    Re: George Packer -> Fabianism (in the US we call this ‘champagne socialism’) is a dead end and its advocates, after nearly a century in the ascendant are up against it at last.

  22. Annieb

    Thanks for linking to Revolt of the Delivery Worker, which is on Curbed not Grub Street. An excellent article, in depth with pictures! And enlightening in the way journalism can be when it focuses on people who are attempting to solve an important problem in an inventive and courageous fashion.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Thanks – they’re both part of New York Magazine so I changed the attribution to that.

  23. Wukchumni

    Three Auckland essential workers have been arrested in Ōhakune after travelling to Turoa Ski Field.

    The three men were arrested after ski field staff became suspicious of the documentation they used to obtain a ski pass.

    The men travelled to Ōhakune on Wednesday after they used genuine essential worker passes allowing them to travel through the southern checkpoint.

    I remember going through the ordeal of an hour and a half Covid presser by Trump in April of 2020 where all he wanted to do was conquer and divide the country via falsehoods, and on the same day watched a 15 minute speech regarding Covid by Jacinda Arden who stressed how important that the team of 5 million could handle the pandemic if they all did it together, and they prevailed for a time, and now are being dead serious about banishing Covid once again from the land of the long white cloud.

  24. jr

    Kulinary Korner:

    Quick Pickling!

    So get yourself a Mason jar or a clean sauce jar. I fill mine 1/4 apple cider vinegar, 1/4 rice wine vinegar, 1/4 sherry vinegar, 1/4 white wine AFTER I add the vegetables. A touch of sugar, more salt, peppercorns and a bay leaf. I did some peppers last night and added some some slices of lime on top. Then into the fridge to marinate. Incredible fresh flavors and total cost excluding the jar is like +/- 3$.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      I’ve been getting good results using a simple 4% sea salt solution, the vegetables, and some combination of herbs and other ingredients: bay leaves, peppercorns, chipotles, chiles, garlic, lemon grass, ginger, citrus zest, maybe a touch of lemon juice. No vinegar or wine, although for some things, I do add a small amount of honey.

      I really like doing cherry tomatoes like this; they become effervescent and really pop in your mouth when you eat them. Takes about a week.

      1. jr

        Mmmm. I do “kitchen sink” blends sometimes, grabbing whatever tickles my fancy. Red wine and curry seem to go well. Another yummy vege to pickle are water chestnuts. And cauliflower is awesome too.

        Try the lime wedges, they taste wonderful!

      1. Wukchumni

        Scotty from Marketing would be an absolute whiz in the CVBB, where he’d fit in with the stateside version of happy clappers who share his beliefs, but no way am I giving up my Kevin unless you throw in one of those lab coats the ref wears in Aussie rules football, and a two-up kip.

  25. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    “Psychologists Are Learning What Religion Has Known for Years”—-Wired

    Or, what has been known, to some, for years, through direct personal experience . . . .

    “In mystic states we both become one with the Absolute and we become aware of our oneness. This is the everlasting and triumphant mystical tradition, hardly altered by differences of clime or creed. In Hinduism, in NeoPlatonism, in Sufism, in Christian mysticism, in Whitmanism, we find the same recurring note”.,_a_study_in_human_nature.djvu/435

    “. . . . mystical experience, is often felt and described by mystics, themselves, in terms of being in love, and their lives are a love affair with the all-embracing reality that permeates and surpasses mundane existence. Mysticism, then, is the perception of the universe and all of its seemingly disparate entities existing in a unified whole bound together by love.”—-“Mystical Discourse in Wordsworth and Whitman: A Transatlantic Bridge” By D. J. Moores

    Noting that the current state of intellectual rigor is arriving at similar conclusions, once again, that is,

    “there is only cosmic consciousness. We, as well as all other living organisms, are but dissociated alters of cosmic consciousness, surrounded by its thoughts. The inanimate world we see around us is the extrinsic appearance of these thoughts. The living organisms we share the world with are the extrinsic appearances of other dissociated alters.”

    “The Universe in Consciousness”—-Bernardo Kastrup—- Journal of Consciousness Studies, 25, No. 5–6, 2018, pp. 125–55

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