Links 9/19/2021

Bruce Is a Parrot With a Broken Beak. So He Invented a Tool. NYT

From Reviled to Adored bioGraphic. From February, still germane.


Signs Point to Sears Closing Brooklyn Store, Its Last Outpost in New York City The City

Flocculent and Feculent London Review of Books

Body composting a ‘green’ alternative to burial, cremation AP

What does the writing of Constitutions have to do with wars? Plenty, as this book proves Scroll

Iceland’s volcanic eruption the longest in half a century France 24



An International Agreement on Pandemic Prevention and Preparedness JAMA

CDC study finds Moderna vaccine is best at preventing Covid-19 hospitalization Politico

Religious exemption to vaccine mandates may be difficult to obtain, as Amish case shows The Hill

The Fake Vaxx Card Next to You New York Magazine

Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms The Hill (The Rev Kev)

A New Covid Testing Model Aims to Spare Students From Quarantine NYT


France Suspends 3,000 Health Staff as Europe Targets Vaccine Refusal The Wire

The Covid Crisis Is Now a Garbage Crisis, Too DNYUZ

Health Care

A solid black eye’: Drug pricing reform advocates scramble to reset after setback in Congress STAT

‘I can’t think of anything’: Obama told Trump he couldn’t recall making a singe mistake, new Bob Woodward book claims Daily Mail

Kill Me Now

How Does Don Jr. Roll? The New Republic

California Oil Industry Continues to Thwart Climate-Related Bills Capital & Main

A Wildfire Investigator Searches for a Spark New Yorker

Help Us Understand Pacific Northwest Salmon and Treaty Rights ProPublica


Criminal indictment imminent for former Boeing 737 MAX chief technical pilot, report says Seattle Times

Tequila Bottles Found on New Boeing Air Force One Jet WSJ (BC). Moi: Oops!


Corporations Control Canada’s Infrastructure — But the Major Parties Won’t Confront Them Jacobin

Where Canada’s federal parties stand on three big climate and environment issues ahead of the election The Narwhal

Ahead of Canadian Election, Bernie Sanders & Rashida Tlaib Endorse Jagmeet Singh Truthout


Brazil: Stunning revelations about Bolsonaro in Brazil: Book review Socialist World

Five Eyes In Latin America: Australia’s Secret Role In Chile’s Coup Brasilwire

Likely Assassination of UN Chief by US, British and South African Intelligence Happened 60 Years Ago Today Consortium News

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street at 10: What It Taught Us, and Why It Mattered The New Republic

Occupy Memory New York Review of Books

Class Warfare

Revisiting the Attica Riot in Real-Time 50 Years Later Marshall Project

Yes, We Can! The Lens. Stephanie Kelton. Important.

How Accounting Giants Craft Favorable Tax Rules From Inside Government NYT

Sports Desk

How Clemente Got the Players’ Union Behind Curt Flood Payday Report

A visit to FC Sheriff: Champions League upstarts from an unrecognised land Guardian (Basil Pesto). Hoisted from comments.

Biden Administration

Trumpism and Bidenism have much in common when it comes to letting down allies Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

The Supremes

Justice Thomas Is Shocked And Saddened At Suggestion SCOTUS Is A Bunch Of Ideological Hacks Above the Law


Apology ‘not enough’, say survivors of US drone attack in Kabul Al Jazeera

Many of Germany’s Local Hires Are Still Waiting To Be Rescued from Afghanistan Der Spiegel


Let a thousand Solar Parks bloom! Business India

No committee report, no talks with Centre, no court hearings: Where is the farmers’ protest headed? Scroll

Court Pulls Up Police for ‘Lackadaisical Approach’ in Prosecuting Delhi Riots Cases The Wire

In South India, minor rain fluctuations (and not extreme weather) caused famines under British rule Scroll

Ford wakes up badly burnt from its India dream Reuters


Is French fury at US over new UK-Australia pact a chance for Beijing to improve relations with Europe? South China Morning Post

Iran looks east after China-led bloc OKs entry France 24

France attacks Boris Johnson as an opportunist ‘fifth wheel on the carriage’ and says Britain has ‘returned into the American lap’ in extraordinarily bitter outburst after losing £30bn subs deal Daily Mail

China Defends Tech Crackdown in Meeting With Wall Street Chiefs Bloomberg


Myanmar’s All-Out War in the Making The Diplomat

Pareidolia is the tendency to interpret a vague stimulus as something known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds or even happy faces in craters, like this one on Mars captured in January 2008, by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Context Camera

Antidote du Jour (via):

And a bonus stork (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. fresno dan

    Body composting a ‘green’ alternative to burial, cremation AP
    If I had my druthers, I would prefer to be eaten by bears or wolves. But I would settle for vultures…

    1. farmboy

      Gobekli Tepe in Turkey put their dead on megaliths and the vultures distributed parts far and wide. Closer to heaven with an assist from a vulture until we started farming, putting seeds and fish heads in the ground to spring forth like easter, mixing metaphor for daily living.

      1. Skunk

        I think it’s called a “sky burial” in some parts of the world. Not sure it’s a good idea to give large birds or animals a taste for human flesh, but maybe a lot more eco-friendly than embalming and coffins.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          I wonder if we could narrow such “training” down to just politicians, lawyers, and Supreme Court justices? Oops, forgot Private Equity Plunder execs. On the latter, perhaps, the birds should be taught not to be too fussy about mortality status (/end snark, they are the living dead anyway)

          1. Oh

            Excellent idea regarding using politicians. lawyers and judges + Wall Street Grifters. Add corporate execs too!

        1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

          At one time, this was true. Mumbai’s Parsi community left bodies at the Towers of Silence and vultures quickly devoured them.

          Alas, the system no longer works as it once did. Vulture populations have plummeted throughout India, as a consequence of the widespread use of the drug diclofenac on cattle. This drug poisons vultures when they consume carcasses. The decline in vulture populations has led to a spike in feral dogs, which now feed on the cattle carcasses instead.
          A quick search turned up this 2015 Al Jazeera article: Without vultures, fate of Parsi ‘sky burials’ uncertain, which provides further details.

          1. Oh

            I believe that the Parsi population has also declined over the years. They used marriages to relatives to help stem the decline but there were too many birth defects that didn’t work out too well for this practice.

            1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

              The Parsi population has indeed declined – the Al Jazeera link I posted immediately above also discusses why that’s been the case.

          2. coboarts

            My understanding is that the dead were set to the elements (and critters) to be cleaned. Homes found in Catalhoyuk, nearby, had raised beds that were graves. They buried their dead there until the homes were overwhelmed, then new family accommodations were created. A similar sort of thing existed in the homes in ancient cities of the Maya. This latest info from the course, “Cities of the Ancient World” (Professor Steven Tuck) -Great Courses. Or perhaps I should just stick to porn

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Costner’s movies are always beautifully shot and don’t have any trendy elements or an attempt at style. “Desperado” where he was part of the cast has a washed out look and is a bit sterile. Older, established buildings that are empty. Kostner’s movies look clean where we can see, but not sterile. People live in the buildings. He doesn’t have any overt problems like the James Bond series. I’m sure you can go over them with a fine tooth comb and fine stuff linked to the culture we live in, but there isn’t a hidden Mel Gibson there

          As an result, the movies aren’t going to reveal flaws. I can’t think of anything that stands out about his movies as anachronistic. 13 Days was updated, but JFK was a TV president when TV broadcasts were terrible. So I think it’s fair to update the look. He avoids some controversy, but 2 hour movies aren’t necessarily the best medium. And his historical fictions don’t make up stories ala Braveheart. Or ignore issues when they can’t be ignored such as slavery in “The Patriot” where the heroes plantation was staffed by free blacks not slaves. No really, that was part of the movie.

          The problems with his movies are obvious on day one, see Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

      1. Eric F

        Yes, a silly movie with some excellent ideas.
        I love the scene where Kevin C. is refurbishing a disposable lighter!

        Except that he didn’t need to dive for it – they float.
        And if the whole world gets covered in water, any remaining high, dry spots would be covered with people who walked uphill.

        1. Milton

          Knowing there is only 60-80 meters of sea level rise locked in ice and thermal expansion, I can’t even enjoy the movie as escapism due to it implausible plausibility. Much bigger fan of ‘Wolves and Field of Dreams.

            1. newcatty

              Anyone else watching Costner’s “Yellowstone” series? It seems to be a modern response to “Wolves”. Its also a series that , imo, gets better as the story unfolds. Its a modern Western saga and holds up well.
              We got the DVD set from our great city library.

              1. griffen

                My brothers indicated I should watch that. I got through season 2 and became distracted. Might have to breakdown and download the required app to stream season 1 to 3.

                I like most of the character developments thus far, they don’t seem that boring. I understand season 3 improves. Plus the Neil McDonough character adds some intrigue.

        2. ChrisPacific

          I loved the premise and some of the story elements. If they had made it a proper sci fi movie and not an action move (lower budget, no Kevin Costner) it could have been excellent.

          I don’t particularly mind the implausibility of the premise – if the story idea is interesting enough then I’d just file it under science fantasy (compare the setting of ‘Hothouse’ by Brian Aldiss which requires you to ignore most of the laws of physics, but still makes for a great story).

          1. ambrit

            What pisses me off about “Waterworld” is that, allegedly, it scuppered a science fiction film about sea level rise by Stanley Kubrick with story by Arthur C Clarke. The plot was ready, etc.
            I read about it years ago, but Google, you know, recognizes nothing cultural over two years old as existing. Google, our modern Ministry of Truth.

              1. ambrit

                I don’t know about “The Deep Range,” a book I read as a pre-teen. Even then I recognized it as a pro environmental slash technocratic “message” story. From my admittedly deplorable memory banks, I remember reading that the film was to chronicle the submersion of coastal cities. “The Deep Range” was a quite different plot.
                Agreed about Clarke’s life long interest in the sea and diving. His book about finding the Mogul wreck off the shore of Ceylon, “The Treasure of the Great Reef” is excellent.
                A good friend from Louisiana sent letters to Clarke in Ceylon back in the day, asking the usual questions. My friend typed it double spaced since Clarke usually answered all of his correspondence personally. Clarke would scribble answers in the intersices, copy the missive and send it back.
                With “normally” typed letters, Clarke would scribble answers to questions in the margins.
                There must be an immense trove of Clarke epistles waiting to be collated and mined for ideas.

                1. drumlin woodchuckles

                  I remember just once hearing something about why Arthur C. Clarke went to Ceylon on a program on one of the semi-good TV channels in the early years of the Cable Explosion.

                  Apparently during the speculative phase of Star Wars Brainstorming in the early Reagan years, Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke were both among the “outside brains” being consulted in some meeting or other.

                  Clarke noted the basic silliness of the Star Wars concepts and Heinlein accused him of being a foreigner and not an American and not possibly patriotic and having no rightful standing to say a single thing.

                  So Clarke gave up on America and moved to Ceylon.

    2. HotFlash

      I figure that taking my place in the food chain would only be proper gratitude, but being mulched in is prohibited in my jurisdiction. So, this is my choice for ‘after-care’, although I’d rather be pushing up tomatoes than daisies. Economical, too.

    3. griffen

      Instead of worms what about that sand pit creature from Return of the Jedi? You know, after the fact & semi-embalmed it won’t hurt as much to be digested for 1,000 years.

      Left to my choice, I’d choose a healthy 12 pack and a 1/5 of our finest whiskey, Crown, or Jack. Optional on the Coke or jack.

    4. Mildred Montana

      Natural burial for me. I like the idea of my remains being turned into lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, etc. Probably best to keep the vegetarians in the dark as to where their (my) salad came from.

      On a related note, ten years ago an English town floated (pardon the pun) an idea for energy efficiency:

      “The Redditch Council wants to warm its Abbey Stadium Sports Centre, including its swimming pool, with renewable energy from its neighboring crematorium.”

      Don’t know what happened to the plan, but it would be a shame if it wasn’t carried out because of a few fiery protesters.

    5. The Rev Kev

      There was a proposal I heard some time ago. People would be buried in biodegradable body bags but there would be no marker to say that you ever existed. Instead, the place that people would be buried would have sheep roaming on it too keep the grass down and relatives would be given an exact latitude & latitude and would be able to use their mobile phones to locate the spot that you are buried in. Ummm, no.

    6. Jon Cloke

      If your body can be sent off for internal organ disposal unless you sign a warrant, why not send them for slurrying?

      I’d make it a law. I can understand your rellies needing somewhere to come and remember you, if they have to, but why do your remains have to be there?

      Where I live there’s an arboretum where you can buy a tree to plant, with a plaque, to go visit with a picnic/dog, which seems great to me.

      I’d just want to make sure my slurried remains were dumped on a community-/publicly-owned plot, not sold on for manure to some corporate plantation-owning scumbags..

  2. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “An International Agreement on Pandemic Prevention and Preparedness” article at-

    I doubt that anything will come out of it as the present pandemic has taught us, if nothing else, that the politics will always trump the science. Just ask the third world how their vaccination programs are going as an example.

    1. Ignacio

      I would say that given the profound impact of Covid something might be done and signed by most countries but it would be watered down on its way to approval and loose efficacy. To start with, all the nonsense with the lab leak will debilitate any regulatory effort to prevent zoonosis. There are already regulations about labs and biosafety and what is sorely lacking is a regulatory framework aimed to reduce the chances of zoonosis. An epidemic surveillance protocol is not mentioned but I think it is something that could be implemented when any risk activity is implemented.
      For instance, sanitary checks mandatory in any activity that involves wild animal trafficking for meat, scales, fur or whatever.

  3. Ian Perkins

    ‘I can’t think of anything’: Obama told Trump he couldn’t recall making a singe mistake, new Bob Woodward book claims
    He described what happened in Libya as a s___show. Is he saying it was no mistake to turn the country into a failed state?

  4. Random submarine

    I’m surprised that the links to French anger over US duplicity and UK poodleism on submarine contracts are filed under ‘China’ and not ‘America is Back’ or some such. Although you’re ahead of the august NYT which doesn’t even mention the story in this morning’s online, at least here in Europe.

    (Also, the link to the SCMP article is missing an ‘h’ on the https)

    1. ArvidMartensen

      Or even Australia since it is copping the heat.
      IMO the contract should have included the French in some small way.
      Then the Aussies would have had the FAUKUS deal of the century.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Australia is in some sort of negotiations for a free trade deal with the EU at the moment. With France only being given about one hour’s notice about the deal being broken and Scotty from Marketing being totally dismissive of France’s feelings, think that those negotiations will still go well? And I would not blame France for blowing up those negotiations.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Likely Assassination of UN Chief by US, British and South African Intelligence Happened 60 Years Ago on Saturday”

    This article ends with the following sentence-

    ‘Also unexplained was why Mr. Hammarskjöld’s body was the only one not burned and why a playing card, possibly the ace of spades, was found tucked in the collar of his bloodied shirt.’

    Yeah, about that. During the Vietnam war, US soldiers would leave the ace off spades cards on dead VC bodies and scattered around the area. And this was just a few short years after Dag Hammarskjöld was assassinated. Not a fan of coincidences myself- (with video)

    1. skk

      Still available on BBC IPlayer is a great, IMO, documentary under their StoryVille imprint:

      Murder in the Bush: Cold Case Hammarskjöld
      A Storyville documentary. Mads Brügger and Göran Björkdahl investigate the mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjöld, the United Nations secretary-general killed in a plane crash in 1961.

    2. David

      As the article admits, these stories are not new and are being recycled now to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the incident. There’s not much in the stories if you take out the sentences with “possibly” “probably” “likely” “perhaps” etc. I think there’s a strong possibility that the crash was not accidental, but other than that, we’ll probably never know. Everyone will nominate their favourite villain, as they usually do.

      Those interested might like to check to Ludo DeWitt’s book on the assassination of Lumumb, though, written from declassified Belgian and UN files, which shows how strongly Hammarskjold distrusted that individual, and how deeply the UN was involved in the plot to send him to Katanga to be killed by Tshombe’s people. The UN saw Lumumba as a threat to the peace and security of the whole of Africa, so Hammarskjold was actually on the same page as those who are alleged to have ordered his assassination, all of which seems, to say the least, unlikely. Probably. Possibly. Maybe. But then again who knows?

    1. The Rev Kev

      I can understand why George Soros is so bitter and is on China’s case now instead of Russia. He became famous when back in 1992 on ‘Black Wednesday’, he shortened the British pound causing it to be de-valued. The UK Treasury lost £3.4 billion while Soros himself made over $1 billion and causing him to be named as “the man who broke the Bank of England”. And he has tried this on other countries too. I would say that Soros was hoping to one day to shorten the Chinese Renminbi as well and earn himself a coupla hundred billion but now they have shut that possibility down, George is spitting chips. Probably the Chinese should send him a message-

      ‘Thank you for playing, Player One.’

    2. bassmule

      from Hudson:

      In the language of nouveau-Western diplomacy, “democratic” has become a label for any pro-U.S. regime, from the Baltic kleptocracies to Latin America’s military dictatorships. Countries using state power to regulate monopolies or to tax rentier income are denounced as “autocratic,” even if they have elected heads of state. In this new Orwellian rhetoric of international diplomacy, Boris Yeltsin’s kleptocratic Russian regime was democratic, and the popular move by subsequent popularly elected governments in Russia to stop the corruption and depopulation is called “autocracy.”

      I find myself thinking of a recent NY Times editorial that feared China would be “hounding the rich.” Like it was a bad thing.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Remember when Yeltsin shelled the Duma in 1993? It was crazy how that was portrayed in the West. It’s not even a case of subsequent governments. Yelstin literally shot the democrats for not giving him dictatorial powers.

    3. Mikel

      “The present economic stagnation, debt burden and locked-in zero interest rates are a policy choice by the West, not a product of inevitable technological determinism.”

      Last line is the clincher and could lead to another essay about the brainwash happening in the US.

  6. Henry Moon Pie

    MMT and the Green New Deal–

    There is no question the tide is shifting on MMT. Many among our elite recognize that we can no longer afford the silly “government budgets are like family budgets” myth when governments around the world are desperate to be able to spend just to keep up with ballooning climate catastrophes, pandemics and social dissolution. The old Pete Peterson constraints, used for so long as an excuse to avoid social spending, are crippling governments to the point they’re dysfunctional.

    (My Common Earth course is another example as we read Kelton’s The Deficit Myth right along with Gabe Brown’s Dirt to Soil and Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics.)

    Nowhere is that more true than the Green New Deal. It would be insane to respond to the existential ecological catastrophe we’re facing with, “It would be great to avoid the end of civilization, but we just can’t afford it.” No wonder so many who had rejected its unorthodoxy earlier are now more open and accepting MMT. That’s the good news.

    The bad news is that there’s still another constraint that makes the Green New Deal difficult to implement successfully. Tim Jackson, in his book Prosperity Without Growth, exposes another barrier to addressing our ecological issues realistically: the Decoupling Myth. In short, the Decoupling Myth claims that economic growth as measured by the traditional GDP can continue even as we bring the rate of growth in carbon emissions down to zero. The OECD claims, for example, that its member countries (essentially the rich countries) managed to cut the material intensity (quantity of material inputs divided by production output) of their production by 42% between 1980 and 2008. When skeptical investigators examined this claim, however, they found it omitted material inputs from imported goods. All the OECD was demonstrating was the great success of neoliberal policy of offshoring production from the rich countries. When imports were included, the “material footprint” of the rich countries had increased by 50% as their GDP increased by 53% in the same period. There was no decoupling. Similar results and analysis holds for the more narrow criterion of carbon emissions.

    Absent some deus ex machina like cold fusion, economic growth and avoiding ecological catastrophe are fundamentally incompatible. Moreover, transition efforts like the Green New Deal front-load carbon emissions because the transition itself will be performed largely with fossil fuels. The atmospheric bathtub will be overflowing with CO2 before the benefits of the transition ever appear.

    There is no way to avoid broad and deep declines in living standards in the rich countries. The question is whether these declines will be equitable or a survival of the richest scenario. The longer we remain distracted by dreams of decoupling, growth, rising living standards, etc., the more likely that money and power will determine who survives what’s coming.

    1. Skip Intro

      Since GDP also counts unproductive rents as positive rather than negative, it should be possible to raise GDP indefinitely by cycling a fixed sum through as many layers of rentier middlemen as needed, with only marginally increased inputs for each layer.

  7. Tom Stone

    Obama is right, when it comes to feathering his own nest he didn’t miss a trick.
    And I’m not alluding to Bridge…

    1. Nikkikat

      Tom Stone, Obama feathering his own nest. He must have spent all of his time on that feathering because it has been masterful. I also think the fact that he could claim to have never have made a mistake as proof. If the name had been left off of Obama’s statement, I think anyone reading it would have thought it was a Donald Trump statement. Those two have much in common, giant EGO.

      1. Darius

        Having people like Larry Summers and Tim Geithner around him wasn’t a mistake. It accomplished exactly what he wanted, except the part about Trump beating his chosen successor.

  8. Samuel Conner

    re: Prof. Kelton’s “Yes, We Can” ‘blogpost, I suspect that there is some concern in the political class about popular anger at the unnecessary suffering that the political class has accepted as the cost of keeping the public in the dark about the actual nature of the constraints on government action.

    1. Dftbs

      I feel there is almost something quaint about MMT proponents in 2021. Like people shouting that the Earth is round long after Megellan’s ships have returned to Sanlucar de Barrameda.

      The people in charge of this country have known about MMT for decades, at least they’ve ran the country as if they were faithful believers. It is rather like Professor Kelton hints at, what they have wanted to do is very different than what we have wanted to do.

      As a matter of fact they were such faithful empirical practitioners of MMT and used it to such an extent that we are running up against the actual constraints of an autarkic sovereign issuer. That is we are experiencing inflation (or stagflation really).

      I think that rather then shouting the “earth is round,” or sovereign currency issuers can’t go broke in their own currency, they should propose something more extraordinary. Something with perhaps enough cultural and political resonance to flank that cabal of media and orthodox economists. They should use the fact that the Federal government can “afford” to do what it wants to rightly claim that it doesn’t need taxes to fund itself. They should step away from the illusory table of American “red blue” politics to demand lower taxes. To say that the Federal government doesn’t need to tax the peoples’ labor via income taxes. That it’s power of taxation should be limited to maintain the common welfare by limiting inflation.

      1. Samuel Conner

        > That it’s power of taxation should be limited to maintain the common welfare by limiting inflation.

        There are other reasons to tax, too. I have read, I think in the MMT literature, that the central government risks repudiation of its currency if the tax “burden” falls too low. If one thinks that growing inequality is bad for the welfare of a society, and I think there is evidence of that, one might want to use taxation to flatten the income distribution (of course, there are alternative ways, such as government provision of services).

        I think at the present juncture, what may be holding the attention of at least some MMT thinkers is the problem of flawed thinking (or political posturing under the cover of false rhetoric) getting in the way of the massive concerted efforts required to manage the climate crisis. COVID is just a warm-up. Stasis (funny how that term in English, which currently denotes “no change”, is identical to an old Greek term meaning “uprising”) under the cover of unaffordability is a recipe for calamity.

        1. dftbs

          I agree there are other reasons to tax, internalizing externalities of “economic” behavior; incentivizing or disincentivizing “pro” and “anti” social actions. I also think that “capital gains”, profit, should be taxed. But a rose by any other name, so I think “repudiation” of the currency is inflation, whether it’s brought about by internal or external political or economic pressures.

          I suppose what I was trying to get at is that MMT proponents are bringing knives to gun fights. Their opponents, despite what comes out of their mouths, already operate under the rules of MMT. So they should be more bold in their assertion of what MMT allows us to do, even if those proposals (lower labor taxes via lower income taxes) seems counter to their temporal (team blue raise taxes) political inclinations.

          One final note, I do think we are in stagflation, the Fed having done all in its power to bring corporate earnings from the next decade forward into present corporate returns. So it may be that raising both taxes and interest rates may be the only solution. But if I knew for certain, I’d likely have something better to do with myself than post.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Short of some kind of violent event of large scale, taxing is the only way to force the rentiers to disgorge their current deadly piles of loot and to direct the political economy toward some more sustainable set of behaviors.

        That’s why the rich have spent so many years and dollars to “own” the legitimizing power of the government, to give them the tax structure they want. Aiming, far as I can see, at also using taxes to strip wealth from the lower orders and destroy competition in their markets and other cancerous preferences.

        Nicely stated argument in favor of the Grover Norquist-Lewis Powell doctrine, no taxes for the rich (“or the poor working man, see, I really mean only the best for all of us”). Which if your preference succeeds, the end point is something pretty deadly for the species. And love the arch invocation of “inflation” as a result of what, “autarkic impulses,” as opposed to shortages from incompetence and perverse policy choices favoring the few in the looting of the commons.

        But then ‘Apres vous le deluge,’ right?

        1. dftbs

          The Flood is already here mon ami.

          I hate to respond to you under the possibly mistaken impression that you are trying to ruin my Sunday evening by suggesting I’m a plant from the Chamber of Commerce or some such non-sense. I’ll ignore that insult and instead try to bridge the gap of misunderstanding between us, or sharpen the contrasts, either way a good dialogue is always best for moving ideas forward.

          Going back to the start, the insight provided by MMT is that sovereign money issuers can’t default in the currency they issue. No disagreement here, but the world already operates under that assumption. IMHO proclaiming that insight, as MMT proponents do, is an anemic political strategy since their opponents may not concede the point rhetorically but operate under that reality. They spend, just not on the common welfare; that is unless you think the US budget is money well spent?

          MMT proponents should use that insight to move beyond the stale (unless you think there are avenues for political progress in the American system, but that would be a separate discussion) formulations present in the “kayfabe” of red-blue politics. A proposal they should adopt is to lower or eliminate taxes on labor; the most prominent of which is the income tax. Of course this appears distasteful if the whole of your class politics can be summed on the back of a gown at the Met Gala. But nowhere did I say there should be no taxes. I believe I identified “capital gains” or “profits”, and djrichard used Hudson’s term “surplus”, as the place where tax burden should fall.

          Now keeping within the philosophical boundaries set by MMT, which I don’t see as an economic theory of class conflict, the purpose of that tax burden wouldn’t be to lower inequality but to avoid what djrichard called the “repudiation” of the currency, which IMO is inflation. That is not to say that I personally wouldn’t favor more directly redistributive policies, but I think that falls outside the scope of possibilities presented by MMT. For those remedies we’ll have to wait and see how the best Marxist economists and regulators synthesize labor and market theory of value over in the People’s Republic of China. It appears they’re being very innovative about that, even putting some billionaires against the wall.

          Finally, I think we may have a misunderstanding about the meaning of the word autarkic (economically self-reliant), as I’m not sure what you mean by “autarkic impulses.” What I meant is that despite the insight provided by MMT, about sovereign currency issuers and default, there is a constraint represented by inflation (repudiation of the currency). Nowhere would I invoke the specter of wage inflation, I’d call that progress. But I think a quick survey of your bills would probably give you an inkling that something is amiss in the price action we’ve seen over the past year if not the past three decades. Now a smaller sovereign currency issuer would have reached this constraint sooner; but it is dreadful and indicative of criminal mismanagement that a nation that should be an autarky has, IMO, reached this boundary.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            The ( or at least a) reason to tax the Upper Classes and the Overclass back down to a Middle Class level is to break their political power down to a Middle Class level.

            I am not interested in talk of further lowering the already too low taxes on the Upper Class.

      3. djrichard

        If the idea is to remove the inflationary effects from the economy, it might not be just the rich that get taxed. I believe Michael Hudson got into this some time back when he identified the need to tax the home-owning (and want to be home-owing) class so that they don’t use their surplus to drive up the prices of homes.

        At the time he wrote that, I tthink he was thinking of inflation more broadly, not just due to Fed Gov spending, but basically due to that other fountain of inflation: the Fed Reserve liquidity spigot. So if we have full employment and the labor class is thriving, going into debt to drive up asset prices (homes), then tax their surplus. In the case now, where it’s not the middle class that is thriving, but other playahs (private equity) that are driving the surge in home prices, then I think his thinking would be laterized to target them. And IIRC he generalized his thinking to other inflated assets as well, e.g. inflated stocks, etc. Tax the surplus that drives that. And of course, as always, tax the rent – rent on money lending, rent on home rentals, rent on land more broadly, etc.

      4. djrichard

        On a related note, I saw an article on trying to revive the platinum coin idea again. I trust the Dems will not go there because they don’t want to own that.

        But the dems have another option to own something like this, a better option. The GOP won’t vote for the debt ceiling, saying they want the dems to own it. The same way the dems are willing to own the $3.5T spending bill, let the dems own the increase in the debt ceiling unilaterally as well – that’s basically the message of the GOP.

        Which is a brilliant ploy by the GOP. Because the end-game here ultimately is to get the dems to shrink from grabbing the brass ring: that being the dems taking the GOP up on their offer and being bold about it, explaing that since the deficit doesn’t matter then we’re more than happy to unilaterally increase the debt ceiling. The GOP can already declare success as the dems have not made any moves in that direction. Hence the subtext is that the deficit does matter and therefore business as usual needs to continue, a la “pay fors”.

        Now it’s just a question of how they climb down to get back to the usual game of small ball. Do the handlers of the GOP get them to do the “right thing” and concede to raising the debt ceiling with hands joined with the dems? Or do the dems “do the right thing” and raise the debt ceiling unilaterally for the “good of the country”. Or do the dems capitulate and join hands with the GOP in down-sizing the $3.5T spending package. As Biden said, nothing will fundamentally change.

        1. Dftbs

          I agree that the optics of the platinum coin are perhaps too ridiculous within the present political context. After all it’s in the best interest of all the “decision makers” to keep the curtain drawn over the thundering voice of the wizard.

          My preference would be for drama. For Treasury to issue away; let them arrest Yellen, she can be a prisoner of conscience, a liberal martyr on “Robben island.”

          1. Samuel Conner

            > Treasury to issue away

            The Fed has to cooperate by (through the fig leaf of the Primary Dealers) monetizing the issues. One can hope they would, but I don’t know how certain that is.

            1. dftbs

              I apologize, I was being slightly sarcastic. Yellen in an orange jumpsuit because she upped 6mo bills for 60 to 100 billion would be funny.
              The Fed shed the fig leaf in response to covid. While it does seem their stated preference is to “taper”, they are more than operationally ready to do whatever the Treasury would need.

        2. Samuel Conner

          There needs to be a re-branding of the term “Debt Ceiling”.

          Call it the “Government imposed upper limit on non-governmental ownership of net financial assets.”

      5. Gulag

        I would suggest that there also may be something deeper that has to be discussed and dealt with.

        Both the heterodox Keynesians and many of the MMT partisans would probably agree with Keynes when he argued:

        “I see us free, therefore, to return to some of the most sure and certain principles of religion and traditional virtue–that avarice is a vice, that the extraction of usury is a misdemeanour, and the love of money is detestable, that those who walk most truly in the paths of virtue and sane wisdom who take least thought for the good morrow. We shall once more value ends above means and prefer the good to the useful. We shall honor those who can teach us how to pluck the hour and day virtuously and well, the delightful people who are capable of taking direct enjoyment in things…but beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to everyone that fair is foul and foul is fair, for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little while longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into day light.”

        What an astonishingly optimistic and naive sentiment by Keynes. Is it really possible that a society which centers itself around avarice and usury will somehow suddenly drop those vices by simply choosing the appropriate policy moves of MMT or even heterodox Keynesians?

        1. Dftbs

          I’ve never thought of Keynes as a moral philosopher, thank you for sharing that passage. I know he is begrudged from all angles in contemporary western politics. But we live in the world he created, with some adjustments, and I think the passage you shared confirms this.

          The expediency with which he dismisses his noble sentiment; the schizophrenic about face at the end of that statement, and no less seeing the necessity of being ruled by avarice for a century!

          He makes a con man like Obama appear as a paragon of principle. Keynes truly was a man for all seasons!

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            Reading only this passage, it doesn’t strike me as hypocritical. Keynes believed that capitalism brought growth, and that growth was necessary so that there would be no shortage of essentials for anyone. That’s his “economic necessity.” You could call it “trickle down” in a way.

            He wanted to preserve an evil system for what he considered a higher immediate goal. Little could he imagine that not only was capitalism never going to deliver anything but misery to the poor but also that growth he craved would lead us to the precipice.

          2. Basil Pesto

            the end of that quotation reads more than a little ironically. More context is needed to determine for sure whether that’s the case

        2. Kouros

          Maybe because the banksta/gangsta cartel does have black operatives that can reach you and yours anywhere, in very discrete, non-suspicious means… So regardless, you end up playing their tune…

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            But if hundreds of millions of tiny little people each did hundreds of millions of tiny little things to degrade and attrit banksta/gansta revenue streams and power without any one individual becoming visible to the black operators, could they succeed?

      6. Susan the other

        This is probably too far off base, but it seems to me that for the whole of the 20th century our accounting used linear exponentiation when it fretted about “inflation” (because how on earth do you calculate geometric interest and other things?) when it was totally irrelevant. Because population explosions are not linear when it comes to consumption and the use of resources, the measured use and rational use of resources – when the population increases from 2 billion to 8 billion over the course of a century you need an new accounting dynamic asap that can accommodate 4 times the use of money, if not more. Because it is a geometric exponentiation of everything and if it goes underfunded civilization withers along with the irrational exploitation of the planet. Thank god for Stephanie Kelton. I think she is a paragon of intellectual patience and clarity and this link was good enough to warm my old heart. thank you SK.

      7. philnc

        I always thought that Job 1 for MMT advocates like Kelton was deprogramming a public propagandized on the myths of classical monetary theory, and especially the ‘horror” of inflation driven by increasing wages. What I don’t think they accounted for is the utility of those myths have for people whose life focus was now to “get theirs” even if it meant trampling others (“Not us, ME!”). Those myths excuse all sorts of callous indifference, and even actual violence, towards anyone who might get in the way of that goal (like minimum wage workers). We didn’t all become socialists in 2008: instead, many were transformed into self-centered nihilists who live out the depraved, soulless, outlook of the owners.

  9. John Steinbach

    “Revisiting the Attica Riot in Real-Time 50 Years Later” According to John Boncore Hill (Dacajeweiah), one of the uprising leaders an convicted of murdering Quinn, Quinn was accidentally killed when the main gate fell on him & not beaten by prisoners. His sentence was later commuted by Carey after Ramsey Clark took over Dacajeweiah’s defense from William Kunstler.

    “Dac” became a leader in the American Indian Movement.

  10. The Rev Kev

    ‘Glenn Greenwald
    The scary MAGA protest which DHS, CNN and MSNBC spent weeks were hysterically warning could be another 1/6 and that (the newly massively funded) Capitol Police cited to install maximum security.’

    These days with facial recognition cameras/software, a whole crowd can be surveilled and identified which is why there were hardly any arrests that day. That crowds looks large but as it turned out, there were hardly any Trump supporters actually there. Who were they all then? Why they were agents from the Department of Homeland Security, the Capitol Police, the Washington Metropolitan Police, the DC National Guard, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of the Treasury, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, the Department of Energy, Army, Navy, Air Force & Marine Corps Intelligence, the Coast Guard Intelligence and Space Force Intelligence. In fact there were only four Trump supporters that were there, all of whom were detained. But then as it turned out, not only did one of them have a gun but also a badge-

    1. tegnost

      Department of Homeland Security, the Capitol Police, the Washington Metropolitan Police, the DC National Guard, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of the Treasury, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, the Department of Energy, Army, Navy, Air Force & Marine Corps Intelligence, the Coast Guard Intelligence and Space Force Intelligence.

      All the people who were conspicuously absent the first time around…

    2. griffen

      I see a refresh of an early X-Files theme here. Get Mulder and the Lone Gunmen on the phone pronto!

      Seriously what the heck is going on. I saw more Trump supporters on sn episode of CBS ‘Sunday Morning’ today. Koppel was visiting the actual
      Mayberry of ye olden times, in Mt. Airy, North Carolina. Home to Andy, Opie, Barney and all.

    3. Keith

      Facial recognition? Advantage masks. Dark glasses and hats destroy FR tecnology. As to your unique gait, a pebble placed in a shoe will force a limp that blows that.

    4. FluffytheObeseCat

      ‘Glenn Greenwald
      The scary MAGA protest which DHS, CNN and MSNBC spent weeks were hysterically warning could be another 1/6 and that (the newly massively funded) Capitol Police cited to install maximum security.’

      My first reaction after reading Greenwald’s scathing language in his tweet was to respond: “Oh, noes!!” The middle-aged white right has been treated just like they were BLM fans! What a screaming injustice!”

      Arguably it may be. But, he and many others professional opinionators would have been equally scathing in tweets and op-eds if a larger, unruly protest had been under-policed. They certainly were when the January 6th protest turned into a low grade riot.

      After the organizational screw up of January 6th, 2021, an overreaction in staffing was to be expected. I don’t see any news reports about an overreaction in policing response however. Which suggests there wasn’t much overly aggressive policing observed during this event*. Which means men who are or who have become part of the right wing media culture are….. reduced to complaining about the simple presence of too many security personnel. A rather BS complaint in light of their vocal contempt for the federal security apparatus’s absent or lame response earlier this year. That was the tenor of the Carlsonesque opinion brigades then, that the problem was all inadequate crowd control, rather than inadequate self-control on the part of their flag-wrapped flock.

      *(Please tell me if you really think that would have been the case if this were a BLM gathering, and a BLM protest had devolved into a riot at the Capitol 9 months ago.)

      1. Geo

        I have a vivid memory (and photos) of walking through Union Sq in NYC back in 2014 amongst hundreds – possibly thousand(s) – of police officers lining the streets, riding around in scooters, with helicopters flying overhead. There were black “school buses” lines up for mass arrests. And not a single BLM protestor in sight. They didn’t come that day, or the next, or the next.

        My GF at the time asked one officer what they were all doing there and his curt reply stuck with me: “We’re protecting the property.”

        Similarly, I have strong memories of the RNC protests in NYC back in 2004 and the caging, “free speech zones”, mass arrests… and the lawsuits that were buried on page 78-z of the newspapers that showed undercover cops had instigated the “riots” used as reason for the mass arrests.

        It is odd how one right wing event that is over policed becomes an outrage but when it’s lefties we need video of them cracking the skull of a 70 year old white guy and letting him bleed out on the sidewalk for anyone to care about overpolicing for 15 seconds.

      1. newcatty

        Well, an old song comes to mind:

        I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now ,and still somehow, I really don’t know clouds at all. Nod to Judy Collins.

        One of my favorite pastimes is to watch clouds.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          And please don’t forget to give credit for the song’s writing to the prophet and songwriter Joni Mitchell.

  11. Questa Nota

    Some journalists stenographers may be called farmys as they spend time on the Farm, get tended to, are sprinkled, fertilized, then sprout and produce desired crops.

    In addition to their bucolic experiences, they also get shown pictures of Kompromat or get plied with substances or whatever may be needed to assure their ongoing performativity. That is until they outlive their usefulness. The lucky ones get a book deal.

  12. Michael Ismoe


    Vanity Project would be a better term. I can’t imagine any problem in the world that couldn’t be solved by a bunch of NYT columnists. LOL

    1. Nikkikat

      Kristof is another columnist that has never been right about anything including how smart he apparently thinks he is. Lol

    2. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

      I find Kristof shallow and moralistic, not moral. He’ll probably win. Which doesn’t make me happy as a resident of Oregon.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Is there a single voter outside of Portland that would vote for a NY Times columnist for governor?

        I have a feeling that this campaign might be deeply embarrassing for the PMC, which will receive quantitative evidence of the contempt people hold it in.

        Oh, and as a public school teacher who suffered through Kristof’s attacks on the public schools and his fawning coverage of charters a decade or more ago, I can say with confidence that the man is an unmindfully ideological idiot.

        1. LifelongLib

          I don’t find “PMC” to be a very useful concept. It seems to be a grouping based more on vague cultural affinity (4+ years of college) than on economic status. By some definitions it includes public school teachers. Are public school teachers really in the same boat with tenured professors, Wall Street law partners, and corporate upper managers?

          1. Yves Smith

            You are looking for a demographic definition. As I have said, it’s psychographic. Its members believe in meritocracy and have a Panglossian faith in rule by elites, which is usually defined by education and acquisition of credentials, but the less educated who manage to acquire the right experience (status markers, supposedly self made rich always welcome) can also win the approval of this bunch.

          2. John

            I perceive PMC to perform the function of the overseer in large plantation economics. They are the group that train and indoctrinate. They organize and manage. They are considered beneath the class of the owners and often lived near or among the enslaved. They consider themselves superior to the enslaved. They are the facilitators of the goals of the plantation owners. They act as adjudicators and mete out punishment. They decide who works the fields, who works the kitchen.
            They often used trustee enslaved to facilitate their work just as our Gulag system uses
            trustee imprisoned to make the prison work. Technically, public school teachers and graduate teaching assistants at university, because they are so poorly paid, fall into the class of compliant trustees subservient to the overseer class.
            The borderline between the PMC and the wage enslaved is probably what is causing your confusion. Hope this helps.

          3. Lambert Strether

            > Are public school teachers really in the same boat with tenured professors, Wall Street law partners, and corporate upper managers?

            Class is always dynamic. (I can remember, a decade or so ago, that there was resentment toward teachers in small towns because of their union salaries, so the perception of class is affected by context, too.) As it happens, both teachers and tenured professors are heading downward toward precarity. Administrators are heading up, toward upper management.

            To my mind, this is the best explanation of the social groups, both economically and psychologically; see Predatory Precarity.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “How Does Don Jr. Roll?”

    It’s funny this. No real surprises here but when I read it, it is almost like reading the MO of one Hunter Biden. You know, maybe they should get both of them together and in business. They would have so much in common. But zero points for anybody that says that they belong to different political parties. You could say that they both are ‘Green’ with their beliefs.

      1. Nikkikat

        Don and Hunter are typical of rich elites children. Inherited money, more stupid than the parents and huge cocaine and alcohol problems.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Doubly worse so now. There was a time where a guy like Hunter would be dumped as a movie producer or some other innocuous job where they couldn’t do much damage as there once was a veneer of accountability. They let Shrub run the Rangers. He was cruel and made terrible baseball decisions. I blame his rise. He really made it open season for promoting idiot kids.

        2. Soredemos

          Hunter is ultimately no less a scumbag than any of the other elite failsons and faildaughters, but there is also something genuinely sympathetic about him. Chapo Trap House has done a deep dive into him before, and he comes across as rather pitiable. He’s a complete trainwreck of a person, and can’t seem to do anything right. The episode where he tried to join the Navy is especially sad. He joined when he was already in his 40s, maybe out of some genuine sense of patriotism, or because he thought it would give him respectability and boost his public image, or because he knew he needed to get his life in order and thought the military would help him do that. Regardless, he joined and almost immediately got kicked out for testing positive for cocaine. The guy is an omnishambles. He’s had a long history of struggling with addiction, which plenty of people can relate to. He’s a lifelong screw up, and is almost certainly well aware that he’s a screw up. He’s still corrupt, likely habitually so, but isn’t particularly good at it, and probably simply doesn’t know any other way to live either. He’s sympathetic in a way someone like Meghan McCain absolutely isn’t.

          Yet another reason the rich shouldn’t exist as a class: all the excess wealth is bad for them and their kids.

          1. Lambert Strether

            > Yet another reason the rich shouldn’t exist as a class: all the excess wealth is bad for them and their kids.

            We should, in fact, protect the children of the rich by taxing the great bulk of inherited wealth away (even if Federal taxes do not fund Federal spending).

            1. eg

              Precisely. The purpose of taxing the rich is not for revenue but to prevent plutocracy from undermining democracy.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “A Wildfire Investigator Searches for a Spark”

    Fire investigation can be more art than science. Sometimes a glass bottle by a road will found to be the cause of a fire because the glass was concentrating the rays of the sun. And sometimes you never find the cause. Was reading a book about firefighting and it told how this guy in the UK who came home after a few days away, found several burn marks on his wallpaper but in curved lines. He called out his local Fire brigade for advice and it was found that the cause was a small mirror on his dressing table. As the sun came through his window in the morning, it hit that mirror which was at a right distance to concentrate those rays into a small burn mark which shifted with the sun. The firefighter told the guy that he was lucky it was a winter sun as if it had been a summer sun, it would have set his wall on fire and nobody would have ever discovered the cause of that fire as it would have all burned down.

    1. Wukchumni

      We watched a good many giant sparks from the sky a couple Thursdays ago, and it was an uh oh moment when it happened, Mother Nature was the perp and if caught will do time.

      There is for all intents and purposes an information embargo on the KNP Fire here, as Sequoia NP is closed and overflights not allowed by the media, and even cheek by jowl as I am. i’m clueless aside from maps that are out of date minutes after they come out once or twice a day.

      The feel is that of following WW2 when you’re on the home front, and news of battles are skewed, more so in the ones you lose, omission accomplished.

      Right now the Giant Forest is ablaze, and to what extent who knows, but from the latest indicator doled out, the fire’s march to the tree named Sherman hasn’t advanced, but things look grim today as winds aloft will get gusty with 40 mph efforts at times…

      Tulare County Fire Department has procured enough of this stuff to protect 75 cabins/structures in Mineral King, so we’ll be gelling.

      Fire retardant gels create a fire protective gel coating that completely repels flaming embers and is extremely effective in cases of emergency in protecting structures from the flame fronts typical of most wildfires.

      During a fire in the Black Hills National Forest, “nearly all homes coated with a slimy gel were saved while dozens of houses nearby burned to the ground.”

    2. Lee

      A fire ignited by sunlight reflected from a mirror was the murder weapon in a locked room mystery in the episode “Christine” from the series The Last Detective.

      I think this recollection makes me eligible for today’s Trivial Pursuits award.

  15. dcblogger

    I have been thinking about the sanctions against Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and whatever other sanctions we have. Sanctions always produces winners as well as losers. So who gains from these sanctions? I mean narrowly, which corporations gain? Which lose? Because I suspect right before these sanctions went into effect our lovely elected representatives re-balanced their investment portfolios. How could I document that? I am retired, so I have the time. But I don’t have the least notion as to how to document my suspicion.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      We tend to grant waivers as issues come up, but the effects of sanctions have been known for decades now. It’s really just “we’ve always been at war” propaganda to avoid domestic questions when at quick “we’ll be home by Christmas” can’t be argued. And it serves to strengthen the target regime keeping a public enemy in power the sanctioner can always blame for internal woes.

      South Africa is basically the lone exception, and that was a long term private citizen boycott before governments got on board. And then everyone was on board. Even pigs like McCain knew the US couldn’t hold out with Israel.

      One problem is much of this is done in a reactionary manner. There are certainly early advocates, but they tend to be minor players when it gets to the White House when it enters into the hands of people like James Carville, then reviewed to make sure we don’t lose any pressing parts (see NASA and the Russians).

    2. Dftbs

      There are really no geopolitical benefits to sanctions for the US. And really a tremendous amount of disadvantages, particularly since we’ve forced our geopolitical competitors to cross the rubicon into creating parallel global systems.

      But there are tremendous amounts of benefits to our leveraged financial system and to the merry-go-around of graft. Take for example sanctions on Venezuela. The PSUV government’s power position hasn’t been damaged nor has its political position changed. For instance their negotiations with the Opposition go on despite the sanctions not because of them, and their negotiating position is the same as it was before we sanctioned them: having the Opposition participate in the electoral system. The FANB defense capabilities are stronger today than at the start of Chavismo, and they’re more clearly aligned with Russia (our rival) than they were two decades ago as a reaction to our policy.

      But sanctions allowed us to seize Venezuelan assets and bestow them on the Guaidó regime. Sometimes people wonder why we go on with the Guaidó charade, bad joke it has become. Well that puppet government signs on the dotted line whenever we need it to. Want to re-hypotheticate Venezuelan gold, where Maduro would require a market rate Guaidó only wants to get his beak wet. Want to pay for all manner of toys for Colombian Mercs or Bolivian Falangist use seized Venezuelan assets, after all combating communism is in the Venezuelan national interest as defined by Guaidó.

      The best kind of theft is legal theft.

  16. urblintz

    Here is a report from ABC (yeah, I know) about inaccuracies in the counting of covid deaths:

    (it’s the first segment and lasts about 12 min.)

    – coroner says 2 deaths by murder suicide attributed to covid, governor agrees it’s a mistake but will not change the numbers. same coroner finds 2 deaths listed for persons still alive. another death by cancer attributed to covid as well.

    The facts as presented seem clear enough and there will never be any way to truly know how often this occurs, but when combined with past reports questioning the “died with” versus the “died of” categories and what we now know of the inaccurate PCR test results, with some suggesting between 30% and 40% false positives…

    The dimensions of the pandemic s%#$show are ever expanding. Other than knowing covid is very real and can lead to serious illness and death, all other conclusions are suspect.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Without the “benefit” of “inaccuracy,” it’s tough to generate lasting hysteria, and you’d have to deal with statistics like this:

      So, let’s review the statistics again.

      Uttar Pradesh:

      largest state of 240 million people
      roughly 20 cases a day
      193 active cases — 33% with one dose of vaccine (and near zero when cases were going down in the spring)
      universal ivermectin use


      33 million people
      65% of all current cases in India
      186,000 active cases
      67% with at least one vaccine
      banned ivermectin

      Just sayin’.

    2. farragut

      Thx for the link. Early last year, I recall seeing an Off-Guardian piece raising the alarm about inaccurate & inflated COVID death counts among Western nations, which aligned with my suspicions about the dying with vs from COVID issue. Unfortunately, my circle of family & friends are fans of Fauci and thus, I had no one with whom to share/discuss the issue.

      The same article recently resurfaced in response to the recent Atlantic article on misleading counts for COVID hospitalizations (pretty sure the Atlantic article was shared on NC). I don’t think I’ve seen it on NC (apologies if I missed it), but it’s well worth a read:

      As a final thought, note the dates of the Atlantic & Off-Guardian articles: Sep 2021 vs Mar 2020. For 18 months, the alternative media (derisively called the fringe media or conspiracy nuts by the govt, the MSM & the chattering punditry) has been on the story and has been proven correct.

    3. FluffytheObeseCat

      Full Measure News is a right wing opinion product of Sinclair Broadcasting Group: It may break stories of legitimate interest, but always does so with an ultra right social/political goal in mind.

      I have a close cousin in his seventies in Louisiana who got a fairly severe case of delta Covid despite having been fully vaccinated. In hospital with Covid, on supplemental oxygen, he had a heart attack. He’s in hospice now, still on oxygen and is unlikely to ever fully recover. His death when it comes will likely be attributed to heart failure or some other cardiovascular event, not Covid. Yet, any honest assessment of his trajectory would include Covid as a factor in his illness and death.

      There are many others like him in this country who are being categorized as ill with something other than Covid, and/or dying of something other than Covid. Somehow people like him never seem to receive any coverage in Sinclair venues. They are accounted for occasionally in “excess deaths” reports…. which are published either in limited-circulation academic journals, dry government websites, or bastions of “liberal” thought like the New York Times. Which means most of this nation never sees them. However, every over-attribution of Covid mortality is well touted in venues like the one you linked to.

      1. BeliTsari

        Speaking as a potential statistic, 18 months back; NYT was ALMOST accurate, despite itself (and paywall free, about COVID). With editors, skedaddled out to the Hamptons, upstate (or New Zealand); interns were publishing clinicians, first responders, reefer-truck drivers’ horror stories, while Gothamist & Johns Hopkins started to include excess fatality statistics of terrified victims who’d been sent home, infected or feared death by cursory intubation; who’d died in idling ambulances a week later, called for arrest, stroke, multi-organ failure or pneumonia. As this exceeded “verified” statistics by 250 to 350 a day and a couple hundred National Guard volunteers were collecting the dead from cold dark apartments (some with dead cellphones, beside them & their spouse), it exceeded Cuomo’s COVID deaths by 40% and you can see outrageous, blatant corrections on Johns-Hopkins’ charts from April/ May. This wasn’t Trump. They’d even arrested a guy for drone videos of the mass graves and forbade cellphones, of exposed clinicians in garbage bags, improvised face shields, crusty weeks-old lethal PPE and corpse truchs, once body bags ran out. It’s a big city. 24-29 deaths a night would be typical. Not 790 + 250.

      2. urblintz

        i didn’t realize the link was not to ABC news and probably would have looked for another… I just clicked on the video. Thanks for the heads up about FMN. That said, the ABC report seems on the up and up and not edited in any way so it looks like the story is genuine. Maybe I’m too suspicious of the numbers and indulging confirmation bias… then again, maybe the numbers are BS. Will we ever know?

  17. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The Fake Vaxx Card Next to You New York Magazine

    O. M. G.

    The medical “community’s” handling of this pandemic has been so transparent, honest and incorruptible from the outset, I just don’t know how this fake vaccine passport thing could have ever happened!!! Such unprincipled “healthcare” profiteering, virtually unheard of in the annals of american “healthcare,” is shocking. Oh, wait…..

    Working off Alan’s forecast, he and his anonymous boss began reaching out to “the doctors” in late spring, soliciting access to blank cards and the state’s immunization system where people’s names can be added, initially charging $150 a pop and later upping the price to $250 as demand swelled. An apparent catch-all for medical professionals, Alan seems somewhat aggrieved by “the doctors.” It’s the doctors, he tells me, that insist on being paid in bitcoin and keep upping their prices.

  18. BeliTsari

    Re: the “Moderna’s better” link, I’d cited previously. Just got subcutaneous blood spotting, three weeks after my long -delayed 2nd shot (I’d been awaiting a “targeted booster” for ~5 months). Apparently, for those of us with PASC, this is simply another scary symptom, nobody told us about? We’d been given NO support website, social networking link or updates as to what’s significant, scary, or when to seek any available diagnostice. “Well, since YOU’VE had it, you know as much as anybody? Your research seems accurate. It’s a new virus and we’re still learning.” That was 17 months ago. I’m sure glad, I’d not been FORCED into a 2nd mRNA dose, earlier (my: LPR, POTS, diverticulosis & O2 saturation, inflammatory side-effects were much worse, than during active infection & I’ve still only had VERY cursory testing, diagnostics & imaging.

    1. Yves Smith

      As I said multiple times, our aide got a bad case of vasticulitis, which is what it sounds like you had, lower legs only, after J&J, which does have known vascular issues. She is a cancer survivor and says she is still glad she got the shot. But yes, I have seen nothing of the sort about this result aside from your report and that of our aide, yet I can’t believe it’s rare (more likely “uncommon”).

      1. BeliTsari

        I’d mentioned the Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) to both, my Dr (who’d a equally mild case, a month after my partner and myself) and a dermatologist (who had suggested giving up 5-HTP, but not aspirin, NRPT or nitric oxide precursors; due to “mask rosacea.” Only one, out of ~7 physicians we’ve seen, disagreed with my delaying the 2nd shot (we’d checked spike protein & ELISA IgG first) & several had some inflammatory PASC issues (personally, their families or patients) seem to improve after vaccination, only to return subsequently? I’m just loathing our betters, for exposing schoolkids, teachers, staff, loved-ones & bus drivers to these new variants! Thank YOU, for the candid forumn; none of this pandemic’s experiences scared me as much as the dead-eyed, sneering sociopathic DENIAL we’ve seen among brainwashed neighbors, many with advanced degrees & empirical experience of our system; kvetching directly into each other’s faces, maskless. Oblivious to consesus reality, clinging to blatant lies and obvious obfuscation like the opening sequence of every stereotypical disaster movie. So many Prop’RNot conforming lefty blog-aggregator has simply forbidden contradictory links or shut down comments (even after CDC admitted Israeli, Mayo & Cleveland Clinic, NEJM & U of Penn studies, dating back to February were correct). Going to be an interesting winter?

  19. Roberta

    Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms

    Sounds like a winning strategy when almost half the voters refuse to
    be injected. And blacks, largely unvaccinated? Think they’ll flock to the polls for you?

    Democrats, controlled by their pharmasters, are really going to force this mandate?

    The New Jab Crow?

  20. Randy G

    Is the Democratic Party self-organizing its own Bataan Death March heading into the 2022 elections?

    Not supporting either corrupt party, mind you, just trying to grasp the plot here in Grand Guignol USA.

    According to ‘The Hill’, the Democratic Party swells with confidence over vaccine mandates after Newsom’s win in California. So vaccine mandates is the golden gift to their “base” voters?

    Isn’t it more likely to energize hostile voters nationally than swooners?

    It seemed reasonable that the Democratic Party, once they took the White House and Congress, would at least offer some of their desperate base an increase in the minimum wage. However, even that simple ‘gimme’ was a bridge too far for their donors.

    So voters receive instead:

    1. An end to the [reduced] stimulus checks

    2. An end to many unemployment benefits

    3. An end to eviction moratoriums

    4. Massive inflation in housing and living costs

    5. And NO end to the Covid craziness

    No affordable healthcare, and not even a minimum wage increase, but voters are giddy beyond words over vaccine mandates?

    And the 2024 election? Is the enfeebled and unpopular Biden going to run?

    Or is it Kamala, an opportunist who checks the IdPol boxes, but— for those outside the Blue State cults — has all the charm of a tarantula?

    Democrats might even lose the popular vote against Trump or one of the other chest-thumping troglodytes of the Republican Party — despite the support of most of the corporate media and the Silicon Valley overlords.

    Is the Democratic Party now reduced to snorting their own supply of hopium?

    No matter: the donors will continue to write the checks, win or lose, and that is ultimately all that matters in American politics.

    1. John k

      Outside the blue state cults…
      She didn’t win a single delegate in 2020 inside or out of the blue states. I suppose she would get ca in a general, plus dc, not really clear where else. Imo she made the ticket bc bank money, not bc she brought any votes.
      In the absence of any material benefits it’s hard to see joe winning in 2024 with her, maybe with anybody. Unless he then gets credit for ending the pandemic? Otherwise… 2020 was already closer than 2016… joe would never have had a shot without Covid… maybe needs a shot of hopium. Swap Kamala for AOC? Course, the banks would go for the elephant… regardless of the rider…

    2. Jason Boxman

      We seem to be running out of off ramps. 18 months ago it wasn’t impossible that Sanders could win the nomination, or that the Biden administration wasn’t going to be so odious, or that the pandemic might force some actual introspection by the political class.

      But it seems the elite have emerged essentially unscathed and unchastened by a disastrous pandemic response and lip service to climate change, effectively dodging and appropriating every opportunity for any real change. And yet the staying power of this system seems rather incredible.

      Kind of disappointing.

    3. Lee

      Continuing in the spirit of depressing takes on our current situation:

      The investor/donor class keeps us well hemmed in so far as policy options are concerned. No matter what the nature of our increasingly numerous and dire crises, they make gains while most of us tread water or lose ground. Both of the major parties are engendering existential fear of the other among their respective bases, at times promoting significant policy changes that raise expectations. But when the election dust settles gridlock ensues and the status quo remains largely unchanged as the upward transfer of wealth continues apace.

    4. Michael Ismoe

      These people are so out of touch that they think that they can hold onto the House of Representatives by talking about mask and vaccine mandates and “the insurrection” of January 6th. They are totally delusional.

      The only thing that has me confused is when Nancy will decide that she cannot retire in 2022 after all because the country (and insider trading accounts) “need her”

      1. Brunches with Cats

        Yep. Inslee and staff don’t believe that state employees threatening to quit over his mandate will actually do it. We’ll find out shortly, as they have to have both shots (or one J&J) by Oct. 4 to be “fully vaccinated” by Oct. 18 or be fired.

        Whether or not it’s for political points, it could backfire big time if personnel shortages cause cutbacks in public services. It’s already happening within the ferry system, in part due to workers out sick with the virus, but there have been rumors that some are calling in sick in protest or refusing to accept overtime to cover for sick coworkers. As a result, many sailings are being cancelled, leaving passengers stranded on the dock for hours.

        State troopers also are in an uproar over a reported blanket refusal to grant religious exemptions within the division, on the grounds that there’s no way to accommodate them. The gov’s proclamation includes the legally required exemptions for medical or religious reasons, but even if granted, they have to pass the “reasonable accommodations” test.

        Because they’re truly delusional, they’re requiring employees to register with a third-party vaccination verification program, which means signing an odious 50-page EULA before sending personal and medical data off to the Microsoft cloud. According to one of my ferry contacts, union reps responded to their concerns by saying they had been “addressed” with management, period, and BTW could they help out HR by uploading their documentation by the end of this week.

    5. newcatty

      Perhaps instead of the amazing tarantula spider who lives in her natural ecosystem, another spider would be a better fit. The black widow spider.

    6. Skip Intro

      The last thing the Dems can abide is haveing WH, house and senate at the same time. It makes their excuses ring hollow, and really puts pressure on the villain du jour, whether Manchin, or Synema or one of the other loyal tools.

    7. Darthbobber

      Leaving aside her numerous defects on policy and principle, Kamala Harris is pretty darned lacking in the skill set of a good electoral politician. In a 2-party state, I doubt if she could have gained a statewide office of any kind.

    8. Frank Cerasuolo

      The united states of amnesia has one party, the property party with two right wings, republican and democrat.
      Gore Vidal

    1. Wukchumni

      Cumbre Vieja is the volcano that supposed to start a gnarly un-ridable 400 foot wave with just one break… surfs up, dude.

      1. JacobiteInTraining

        That name, I have heard it before.

        Oh….right! THAT ‘Cumbre Vieja’ !!! lol…that’s the one that is just waiting to slough off a chunk of island big enough to smash the East Coast of the US w/an insanely sized tsunami, aint it?

        rapture index going up indeed! :)

  21. Tom Stone

    Tarantula’s actually make decent pets, at least my Daughter thought so when she was 9 years old.
    You compare a quite lovely and predictable Spider to Kamala Harris?

    I consulted the late 3D Eddie ( He got too close to his God and had a divine madness) in regard to Ms Harris’ spirit animal when she became Attorney General.
    “Banana Slug” was his judgement.

    1. newcatty

      We are always happy to see a taranula about once a year. One appears on our driveway. Beautiful spider, indeed . She slowly walks across the way to the other side. She is one of the reasons we keep a close eye on the driveway. We call it quail, and other wildlife, crossing. Our most amazing guest was a huge gopher snake. Just curled up on warm cement. Not poisonous, of course, but this one was a record breaker ( we think). Finally left on his or her own recognizance. Fortunate to live in a place that still has wildlife in its place. We have lots of pollinating plants, too. A favorite for butterflies and bees this year, lavender.

  22. Tom Stone

    Banana slugs have a sickly sweet smell, it pervaded Dracaena Park in Piedmont when I was young.
    Lots of dog walkers who did not pick up after their animals allowed to population to grow and many individuals to achieve a large (7″-9″ plus) size.
    Many were quite colorful, oranges, red, shades of yellow and brown as well as green.

  23. Braindead Symbols

    France and recalled ambassadors: does this mean amything outside the realm of symbols? Will it change anything in terms of french/european vassalhood? My guess is not: the political leadership in EU are all voluntarily suffering from Stockholm syndrome, selling out european interests to the US.
    Macron has said exaclty one correct thing throughout all these years “NATO is braindead”. One could only hope that they leave but neoliberals like Macron are also braindead and wouldn’t be able to think or act differently even if their lives would depend on it.

  24. farragut

    “Russia’s Central Election Commission has voided ballots from the Kemerovo polling station featured, and the top local election official has been dismissed. The same measures have been taken at seven other locations: including three in Bryansk.”

    From Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) on Twitter [a must-follow for Russian related issues]

    MacDonald’s account also has two videos of alleged ballot-box stuffing, which are comically inept, almost to the point of raising suspicions they’ve been done with the intention to get caught…?

    Example one:

    Example two:

    If the election results are not favorable to the West, get ready for accusations of election fraud from Tony Blinken, Jen Psaki, Max Boot, et al.

        1. Newcatty

          We are in AZ. Please make it all go away, now. Its always good to remember ( remind) one that not all Arizonans are an embarrassment of shallow, greedy, opportunistic, players. A ridiculous performative theater that accomplished nothing, but suck up to their base. Things are changing. Not enough republicans to be the only game in town ( mostly city and some rural and small towns, too). But, dems run DINOs , so until that changes. No offense to the dems who actually have constituents’ best interests.

          1. marym

            I’ve been following a number of local journalists (AZ Republic, Mirror, tv reporters) on-line for audit news. Their coverage has been outstanding. AZ may have some awful politicians, but they’ve got some great reporters, in my [outsider’s] opinion.

  25. Terry Flynn

    Learnt something today that was quite sad. Those knowing my background know I hesitate to quote anecdotes unless there are some non-negligible number of cases that might suggest there is a real relationship.

    Cousin (father’s brother’s son) is antivax. Wife is BAME. Cousin had insisted they don’t be vaccinated and they had suspected (but not clinically confirmed) case of SARS-COV2 during her third/4th month of pregnancy. She miscarried. No problems with first kid 3 years ago.

    Lung issues are clinically documented in genetic screens of my father’s family. Grandad and his sister both died of it (I’m on a wild goose chase with NHS to establish if I carry the gene). I find this very sad. Cousin now reversed course. They’ve had first vaccination dose and will get 2nd in due course. I don’t report this to be all “I told you so” but merely to add to the stories about how badly covid vaccination etc has been described. I’m constantly having to repeat definition of “sterilising vaccine”.

  26. JEHR

    Today, I was very happy to see three articles about our election tomorrow. I have already said that I hoped Jagmeet Singh, the NDP leader, would win. I think he will have a large part to play in the new (minority?) Parliament that will be elected. These articles prove to me that the NDP are the right party for Canada now.

    1. CoryP

      It would be nice if you were right, if the NDP gains some power and doesn’t turn out to be our new Liberal party.

      We have like 4 or 5 liberal parties lol.

      Spoiled my ballot. No CPC candidate in my riding.

    1. Acacia

      …which evidently he doesn’t view as mistakes. Carrying water for the Empire got him a mansion in the Vineyard, after all.

  27. Pat

    I realize that the vaccine is mostly about Pharma profits and making sure the hospitals are not overwhelmed. I also recognize that even though the latter is looking shakier and shakier, the vaccines do help on that. I also recognize that you can make a case that the dangers of the vaccines are minor compared to the dangers of the disease, even if I think that is premature evaluation as many problems may only reveal themselves over time.

    That said, I am having a very hard time wrapping my head around the idea that the leaders of this country, political, social, and corporate, have so little regard for the people of this country that they do not care that mild cases of Covid can cause lasting damage and that the vaccines do not guarantee anything, including that you might not still die if you get Covid. Besides the debacle of the vaccine rollout and announcement, the stupidity of the treating the vaccine(s) as totally protective, and the clear attempt to ignore and bury any issues with them, there is the clear problem that they didn’t have a clear knowledge or their capabilities and limits.

    But now with the vaccine mandates…what the hell are they thinking!?!?!?! Or are they thinking?

    Besides the problems with the mandate, legally and psychologically, it continues to spread a huge lie by infering that this will keep people safe. IT WON’T!!!!

    Why, in God’s name, aren’t they providing multiple fast covid tests from the government to every citizen of this country, and making that mandatory. You MUST have proof of a negative Covid test in the last 24 hours to go to a game, bar, grocery store…etc.

    While not perfect that is at least closer to keeping people infection free than any vaccine mandate in a world where the vaccinated can be infected and are almost as unprotected as the unvaccinated after a period of time.

    Clearly we aren’t important. And I for one want to scream whenever I hear the bullshit coming out of most people’s mouths about these vaccines. Failure to recognize their limitations is going to kill or maim people. We don’t need a friggin’ vaccine mandate, we need to test, test, test!!!!! And then we need to pay people to stay home if the test is positive. But no, jabs in arms and boosters and the right info on a stupid hackable app is more important than people’s safety.

    It won’t be the first time I weep for my country and our callous and cruel behavior but this keeps up none of us will know if it won’t be the last.

    1. Cuibono

      Surely you are not saying that this is not about safety or that this is not about vaccines but that this is about divide and conquer and compliance to authoritarian rule?

    2. Skip Intro

      Knee-jerk neoliberal autocratic response: force ‘customers’ to buy your shoddy product. It increases state/corporate control of workers, employs and empowers gatekeepers, provides new flavor of idpol othering, and helps their pharma portfolio.

  28. Cuibono

    Fake cards article could not be more clear. Time has come to retire these silly cards and move to fully digital certification brought to you by none other than Checkpoint. ““The first way to combat this is by enacting policy that requires digitization of proof of vaccination. Added levels of security is the step after that.”

    And what might those added levels be one wonders?

    1. Brunche with Cats

      “And what might those added levels be one wonders?”

      No need to guess, Cuibono. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, Washington State’s vax mandate for all state employees, contractors, and healthcare and education workers requires that employers obtain and provide acceptable proof to the state for every employee. The governor’s proclamation spells out what’s “acceptable” and allows employers to exceed it.

      At least one agency, the Department of Transportation, has done just that, ordering its 6,800 employees to use Med+Proctor, a third-party app used primarily by universities to verify student vaccinations. Once users register and sign a ridiculous 50-page EULA, they receive forms to fill out and upload into the vendor’s database, stored in the Microsoft Azure cloud, possibly forever. Vaccination cards are accepted as proof, but WSDOT says all cards are cross-checked against the state vaccination database and warns that submitting fake cards will get employees in deep doo-doo, including federal charges if they’ve forged a CDC vax card.

      My on-the-ground contacts tell me that even vaccinated employees who aren’t necessarily against the mandate itself are plenty PO’d for being coerced into giving an outside contractor their personal and medical data, which is near certain to be compromised (my assessment, based on vendor’s privacy policy, “how we share your information,” etc.), if not outright hacked. Moreover, the agency evidently contracted with the vendor with no prior notice to bargaining units, keeping it secret from ferry workers even while negotiating an agreement for union members’ compliance with the governor’s mandate. The day after the deal was signed specifying that union members’ vaccine information would be stored in their confidential medical files only, HR advised employees that everyone would be required to use Med+Proctor, even if they’d already submitted proof. Apparently some employees contacted their union reps to object, and within short order were told that their concerns had been “addressed,” that their information was safe, end of discussion.

  29. chris

    Hey commentariat – I have exciting tidings to share on the topic of COVID scams! I’m sharing to hopefully educate others and to see if anyone has advice for fighting what I believe to be illegal billing practices…

    My family just received bills for the state mandated COVID testing we had in December 2020 as part of the mandatory contact tracing program with the local health department. We are being charged $280 per person for a “new patient fee” that was allegedly incurred when we had drive through COVID testing. That amount adds up quickly for a family of 5. The location we received testing at was a location we were told to go to by the county we lived in. We did not see a doctor for a consultation after the testing. We did not contact the organization after receiving our test results.

    As far as I can tell, this is illegal. It is a scam.

    The good news is we have insurance and the means to fight this. If we lose the fight, we have the means to pay it too, without it impacting any of our lives. But! I can think of no greater harm during this pandemic than a medical organization actively engaging in billing practices like this. It discourages people seeking care. It discourages people seeking testing. It will inevitably hurt the poor who do not have the resources to fight this kind of billing. It breeds further distrust among the citizens who are already fearful of the medical establishment. It is, in my opinion, absolutely awful. Even worse that they sent us the bill to receive it on a Saturday, and marked the fees as 120+ days past due which means they will almost certainly be put into collections. If they have not been already.

    I have already contacted my local representatives to name and shame this business. Our insurance company and perhaps a lawyer will hear about this on Monday. Any further actions you all can recommend would be appreciated.

      1. chris

        Quality First Urgent Care, which is a member of the Urgent Care Association.

        Not sure who owns them. Probably some hedge fund?

        1. Lambert Strether

          > Quality First Urgent Care

          One of my rules is never to do business with a company that has “First” in its name. It’s a variant of the “Never eat at a place called Mom’s” rule.

          1. chris

            Sad that we have to think like that. This was a business that had been vetted by the county and advertised the tests as free at point of care with no insurance required. Why would anyone have thought differently?

    1. Skip Intro

      Did you get a bill through the US Postal Service? That might open up nice mail fraud charges … IANAL. If not, maybe you can request one ;-)

    2. flora

      Contact your state insurance commissioner to report this and ask if this is a legal bill or a scam. That’s where I’d start first. If it’s a scam (and it sounds like it might be) the insurance commissioner will tell you to ignore it and will add your complaint to a no doubt growing pile of complaints.

      Lots of scams and fraud out there right now.

      1. chris

        That article is useful. The way it describes the interactions with the providers and how they are offering a service that is supposed to be free, but appending charges to it that are not optional for services that weren’t rendered is exactly what happened here. And because we went in without providing insurance cards (which we were told was acceptable) we got a bill. If we had given the insurance information, our insurer would have received the bill and we would never have know. That is diabolic.

  30. ArvidMartensen

    Re the Amish problems in being taken seriously. You only get the measure of a person / boss / organisation / ideology when they are in charge. Everyone is pure until they get their hands on the levers. And then?

    The “liberals”, out of power for so long in the US, are now running the show thanks to Google (Don’t Be Evil) and Facebook (To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected)

    Google is banning anything it doesn’t like, deranking sites, removing any utube videos it wants with no explanation. Early last year personal clips of overrun Chinese hospitals and terrified Chinese people were all over utube. Try looking for the western equivalent on utube now. Crickets. Now all we get is curated media snowjobs “on message”.
    And Facebook manipulates its ad customers, bans topics and pages, and does everything possible to NOT give people the power to share.
    Says it all about the new Liberalism. Just like the old Conservatism. The same dictator coin, different sides.

  31. jr

    Introduction to Western Esotericism

    This is the wonderful Dr. Justin Sledge, a historian of esotericism. He produces extremely informative, interesting, and even humorous videos. Check it out! There will be a quiz. If you fail, you will be turned into frog.

  32. Jason Boxman

    LOL. File this in the department of hardly a surprise. Liberal Democrats think they can use the issue of abortion to their electoral advantage, rather than, say, passing a law legalizing it.

    With Abortion Rights Under Threat, Democrats Hope to Go on Offense

    Warning of Texas-style laws nationwide, the party believes it can use the issue to turn out suburban women in the Virginia governor’s race this fall and the 2022 midterms.

    Because nothing passes a law like “hope”.

  33. Wukchumni

    Bruce Is a Parrot With a Broken Beak. So He Invented a Tool. NYT
    Keas are definitely Mensa material, and the only alpine parrot on this orb as an added bonus.

    Did a walk up to Avalanche Peak in Arthur’s Pass NP, and on the top there’s a couple of them distracting you by striking a photogenic pose while the other was seeing what was available of yours on the ground, fun to watch in action.

    I’m not all that into the flapper craze but if I were, NZ is a bird world country, where they held sway for around 20 million years, except for humans the last 900.

    Everything is so docile, and the real treat for a birder is Stewart Island, south of the South Island, out of Invercargil.

    Rabbits, stoats & Aussie possums did quite a number on the bird population in the North & South Islands, but the 4 legs bad invasive species never got to Stewart Island.

      1. Yves Smith

        Because it was a poor use of AOCs’ bully pulpit. She should have gone full Lady Gaga and worn a gunny sack converted to a sheath dress (would probably have to be lined not to be too irritating) with a rope for a belt and heels. AOC could pull that off.

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