Links 9/3/2021

Dolphins Alert Rescue Crew To Save a Lost Swimmer Who Was Stranded at Sea for 12 Hours MyModernMet (David L)

The 2021 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Have Just Announced Their Finalists, And Here Are 40 Of The Funniest Photos Bored Panda (Kevin W, furzy)

Going up: Birds and mammals evolve faster if their home is rising (Kevin W)

Ghostly Satellite Image Captures the Arctic ‘Losing Its Soul’ Atlas Obscura (Chuck L)

California’s massive wildfires are doing something no wildfire has ever done before Salon (David L)

Hurricane Ida Reversed the Course of the Mississippi River Gizmodo (Chuck L)

High-speed German train inches its way through floods Boing Boing (resilc)

Climate crisis likely creating extreme winter weather events, says report Guardian

US attorney details illegal acts in construction projects, sealing the fate of the “nuclear renaissance” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (guurst). I would not be so confident about outcomes, but an important development nonetheless.



Third COVID Vaccine Dose Could Be the Last MedPage Today. OMG, cray cray. Ignacio:

By the end, the very same article says it clearly: It’s crystal-ball gazing. I would add wishful thinking. Longer immunity duration, provided this really occurs, migth result in different outcomes depending on behavioural changes and changes in mortality rates. The following paper strongly suggests that the really important thing is isolate, isolate, isolate.
Evolution of Human Respiratory Virus Epidemics NIH


E.U. Removes U.S. from ‘Safe Travel’ List—What That Means for Travelers CNN (J-LS)


Americans will ‘likely’ need 3rd Covid shot to qualify as ‘fully vaccinated,’ Fauci says as booster battle rages at FDA RT. Kevin W: “Fauci shifting the goal posts again.” Moi: Ahem, so a J&J shot is chopped liver?

These CDC-authorized KN95 masks come in 4 colors and cost less than $2 each SFGate (JR)

Florida chiropractor signing hundreds of medical exemptions for kids to not wear masks at school Boing Boing (resilc)

Today’s observation from GM:

There is something very curious right now — people with COVID in ICUs are at record highs nationwide (not just in the South) yet officially deaths are still 1/3 of the winter peak.

So either:

1. Deaths will catch up eventually
2. Survival rates in ICU have improved greatly, by at least half (I doubt it though)
3. A lot of people were dying not in ICUs but at home in the winter and were still recorded as having died of COVID (possible)


4. Something isn’t right with the numbers


Don’t expect an easy life and be ready to struggle, Chinese President Xi Jinping warns officials South China Morning Post (resilc)

O-RAN an also-ran to Huawei 5G Asia Times (Kevin W)

WTO backs U.S. in solar cell case brought by China Reuters (resilc)

China Is Hoarding Crude Again, And That’s Great News For Oil Prices OilPrice. As we explained in real time in 2008, China hoarding diesel pre-Olympics was a big driver of the price increase then.

China calls for boycott on ‘overly entertaining’ entertainers and ‘sissy idols’ in continued purge of popular culture industry South China Morning Post (resilc)

Old Blighty

Brexit Impact Tracker – 28 August 2021 – Immigration, the British Growth Model, and a Chaos Theory of Brexit Gerhard Schnyder (guurst)

New Cold War

Putin calls for launch of regular cargo shipments via northern sea route next year Reuters


How Will the Taliban Govern? A History of Rebel Rule Offers Clues. New York Times (Kevin W)


If you have the stomach for one more article about why the Taliban won so quickly, read this. It’s a little bit technical but well worth a few minutes.

The key point is that Afghanistan has a very low population density, so military operations have low force-to-space ratios, as the military call them. This means positional warfare (the stuff with arrows you sometimes see) is very difficult, because just finding the enemy is a challenge. Low FSRs favour irregular forces which can move quickly, hit hard and reappear elsewhere. The ANA made the situation worse by withdrawing to major cities and letting the Taliban have the countryside, so the cities were cut off and strangled. Trained by the US, the ANA was waiting for an frontal attack, which they hoped to defeat, US-style, with massive firepower. But the Taliban were playing a different game, even if they seem to have been taken aback by their own success.

The Violent Logic of Humanitarianism Boston Review (Anthony L)

Money Down The Toilet In Afghanistan American Conservative (resilc)

The GOP’s Staggering Hypocrisy on Afghanistan is Now Its Midterm Election Strategy New Republic

Top U.S. diplomat during Kabul evacuation tests positive for Covid Politico

Imperial Collapse Watch

Welcome To Hegemonic Decline — It Ain’t Pretty Michael Tracey (Glenn F)

Lawmakers pave way for $1.2 trillion in new military spending over next 10 years Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

The Evolving Geography of the U.S. Defense Industrial Base War on the Rocks (resilc)

Why I Won’t Support Spending Another $3.5 Trillion Joe Manchin, Wall Street Journal

California’s State Pension Invests Millions in Chinese State-Owned Companies Free Beacon (JR). A conservative rag, but the key point is CalPERS thought Chinese stocks were a one way bet, and now investors like Soros are whinging, presumably from pain. And also, per Kevin W, also made the San Joaquin Valley Sun, so getting around.

What the Texas abortion law means for Roe v. Wade The Hill

Supreme Court Rejects Injunction of Texas Abortion Law . . . Media Erupts With Roe Obituaries Jonathan Turley (Chuck L)

Judge launches search for leaker in huge case pitting 9/11 families against Saudi Arabia Florida Bulldog

New York City declares state of emergency after record rainfall BBC

EXPLAINER: How Ida can be so deadly 1000 miles from landfall Associated Press (David L)

Click through, many many clips (Tom H):

Tennessee this time (dk):

Our Famously Free Press

Meet The Censored: Ivermectin Critic David Fuller Matt Taibbi

Owning The Bulls (By Losing Money) Heisenberg Report (resilc)

Former Deutsche Bank Executive on Green Investments: “The Sustainability Propaganda Got Completely Out of Control” Der Spiegel

GM, Ford halt some production as chip shortage worsens Associated Press

Guillotine Watch

Executives at hedge fund Renaissance to pay $7bn in back taxes Financial Times (David L). Guess doing a Marc Rich and fleeing to Switzerland (or now Panama) was deemed not a great option.

Sackler family wins immunity from future opioid lawsuits France24

Food-Delivery Workers Out Amid Historic NYC Flooding Grub Street (J-LS)

Class Warfare

For 97% of human history, equality was the norm. What happened? aeon (Chuck L)

Louisiana Black-out: Not an Act of God, an Act of Entergy Greg Palast

The “solar cavalry” is coming to the rescue in New Orleans Quartz (resilc). Means tons of people not expected to get their old power restored any time soon.

Walmart will give 565,000 employees a dollar raise, bringing average hourly wage to $16.40 Seeking Alpha (resilc)

New York Extends Eviction Moratorium, While Letting Landlords Push Back THE CITY (J-LS)

Cutting Unemployment Benefits Does Not Increase Employment Big Picture. As the Economic Policy Institute loudly said but no one wanted to believe because hate the poors.

Brazil’s Vale launches self-driving trucks at its largest iron mine Carajas Reuters

Antidote du jour (Dr. Kevin):

And an anti-antidote. But this got enough views that the stupid people will hopefully fry too. Harassing gators is against the law.

Another bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Synoia

    For 97% of human history, equality was the norm. What happened? aeon (Chuck L)

    Cannibals and Kings: Origins of Cultures by Marvin Harris, has a very different view.

    The hunter gatherer groups postulated in the post are questionable, given the relative strength of Humankind and Animals (Humans are weak),. Humans in Africa hunt in groups, and have social hierarchies.

    1. The Historian

      Cannibals and Kings was written in the 70’s before the knowledge explosion in paleoanthropology fostered by DNA and other scientific improvements. He had to work out his theories based what he saw in present day hunter gatherers. We now have much better evidence about how pre-historic humans lived, and no, they did not necessarily have low-carbohydrate diets – they ate grains and many other wild plants too. I don’t know that we will ever know what their social structures were like, but archeological evidence (i.e., bone analysis, teeth analysis, etc. which fails to show an elite class existed) points to the fact that they had to be more egalitarian than today’s hunter-gatherers, and certainly more egalitarian than the farm societies that rose up.

      1. JTMcPhee


        And then, potlatch ban:

        The potlatch ban was legislation forbidding the practice of the potlatch passed by the Government of Canada, begun in 1885 and lasting until 1951.[1]
        First Nations saw the law as an instrument of intolerance and injustice.[2] “Second only to the taking of land without extinguishing Indian title; the outlawing of the potlatch can be seen as the extreme to which Euro-Canadian society used its dominance against its aboriginal subjects in British Columbia.”[2]
        Though often ignored and circumvented, the ban remained in Canadian legal codes until 1951, when Section 149 was deleted from a revision of the Indian Act. Arrests for charges under the Act were few until 1921, when a raid on the village of Memkumlis held by Chief Dan Cranmer saw the arrest and charges laid against 45 people; of these 22 were given suspended sentences (three were remanded on appeal) and 20 men and women sent to Oakalla Prison in Burnaby. The sentences were two months for first offenders and three months for second offenders.

        97% sounds about right.

        “We” don’t understand/can’t agree on how the present inequality arrived, and pretty clearly “we” have no ideas on how to undo it…

      2. Peter "The Lot Wins" Kropotkin

        Everyone has to sleep some time, and without the resources to pay someone to guard you at all times, well, a big enough rock is a great equalizer.

    2. hunkerdown

      Hierarchies don’t have to determine remuneration or rights. In many such tribes, hierarchies had little to no material impact. Certainly not the priority claim that it is in the Roman social order we reenact today.

    3. Ian Perkins

      Chimpanzees have social hierarchies, despite not relying on food storage, which the article suggests is necessary for inequality to take off. Whether bonoboes have hierarchies seems less certain.

    4. Henry Moon Pie

      I found this to be a valuable overview of where things are at in the study of humans and hierarchy:

      If this picture of the road to inequality is right, it leads to four expectations. First, inequality depends on a prior establishment of an economy of storage and an expansion in social scale. Second, transegalitarian communities emerge from forager communities with clan-based organisation. Third, transegalitarian communities emerge from forager communities where the normative and ritual life is in the hands of a small group of initiates. And finally, such communities emerge in regional contexts with intermediate levels of intercommunity violence, contexts in which violence is a risk, but one that can be managed.

      This summary of causes is built on an extensive list of sources that I look forward to checking out (literally from a library) myself. Following the above paragraph is a rather hopeful final paragraph assessing our chances of re-creating egalitarian society and the even more challenging task, for the reasons outlined in the article, of keeping it.

      One thing I did find amusing was the third element that may have brought down egalitarian society: normative and ritual life in the hands of a few. Murray Bookchin is a guy I respect for his many insights about the CNT and anarchism in Spain, his proposal for “libertarian* municipalism” and his writings about social ecology. He was raised in what I’d call an old-fashioned Red household in 30s NYC, and it was to that kind of hardline atheism that I attributed his theory that hierarchy among humans had originated from the role of shamans. So here is more recent anthropological research that might back him up.

      *Bookchin always refused to call Randians “libertarians.” After all, they could care less about human liberty, Their worship is directed toward property rights, and Bookchin calls them Propertarians. He refused to surrender “libertarian” to them.

    5. Morgan Everett

      That Aeon article about inequality has a shockingly weak ending. It’s practically a non-sequitur.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        I took that as a call to do more investigation and thinking about this, and that’s a good thing. We look around and see what hierarchy and inequality are doing to our society. We even see the Chinese recognizing that they don’t want to travel any further down our path than they already have.

        The problem is that there are plenty of people, some in good faith and some not, who basically argue TINA. “That’s just the way that humans are.” This article reminds us that that argument is BS, but there’s still a lot to learn about how a stable egalitarian society can be built in our era.

    6. Dandelion

      When the essay talks about equality in social groups, is it including women? Or is the essay actually only talking about equality of men vis a vis men in social groups and airbrushing away half the human population? There is one reference in the essay to a trade in second wives, but other than that no reference at all to the status of women, and yet all of human history, so far and worldwide, demonstrates that males use physical strength advantage to enforce female submission, and that female human beings, esp. prior to reliable birth control, are at a disadvantage to men not only because of physiological difference but also due to the vulnerabilities of repeated pregnancy and childbirth followed by long years of nursing.

      As much as Engels and Garda Lerner wrote that the “world historical defeat of women by men” occurred with the dawn of agriculture, the rise of property, and the need to ensure patrilineal inheritance, I find it hard to believe that social groups pre-agriculture still didn’t involve males wielding might-makes-right advantage to enforce the sexual and reproductive submission of women. Pre-agriculture, women themselves, their very bodies, were still exploitable resources.

      1. hunkerdown

        Whig Theory is not a serious mode of historical analysis, not even if Marx needed it to construct a movement. Why do you need that narrative to be true?

        It is an error to project present ideas onto people who died eons before those ideas existed. Particularly, it isn’t appropriate to assume even the very perception of paternity onto cultures that have no material need for it, and in fact may already actively unrecognize paternal bonds, in much the same fashion as English Protestants sending their children to work in the houses of their betters. Where, exactly, is the property that makes male domination possible? It is in the child, and these cultures already had more salient relations for that child to be in.

  2. Mikel

    Was.pondering the traveling nurses stories of the.past couple of days. Somebody talk me down, but how is nurses working with Covid patients and traveling around not a super spreader event? Vaccines are still non-sterilizing. Testing is not foolproof.

    1. Lee

      It seems we’re entering “let ‘er rip” mode when it comes to Covid-19 disease prevention. With schools and other venues opening up or champing at the bit to do so, and variants of concern popping up and spreading, traveling nurses are probably one of our lesser concerns. Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group opines, “everyone will meet the virus at some point, and scientists still don’t have anything that will completely stop that transmission.” In other words, the virus will become endemic for some unknown period of time.

      1. John

        I have had covid symptoms this week so called local hospital emergency care center for test. They told me the wait time would be 3 hours, but come along if you want to wait. Let her rip.

      2. ChiGal

        Indeed. My sister teaches astronomy at UNC-Chapel Hill and informed me today she tested positive. Her second jab was in May and until being forced back into the classroom she was VERY conservative. The only person who came into her house besides her husband was me and that only started after we were all fully vaccinated. They had groceries delivered and saw or two friends at a time outdoors only.

        She used a Wayre (cloth with high quality filtration) mask because she had to be intelligible to a classroom of 200+ undergrads. One of her colleagues was going around with a CO2 monitor and said it was off the charts in the lecture hall where she was. Last I heard the administration was being very opaque about what if any improvements to ventilation they had made.

      3. lordkoos

        A friend of mine went to a several rock n roll shows in the space of a few weeks — he was fully vaccinated but got extremely ill with COVID, presumably the delta version. He finally went to the hospital and was given a regeneron treatment, said he felt much better the next day. Luckily for him, his family has money and I’m sure he has excellent health coverage.

    2. albrt

      Traveling nurses would tend to spread unique variants geographically, but I doubt they add much to the contagiousness of any given hospital full of COVID patients.

      1. JTMcPhee

        As we are finding out, with R greater than 0, it only takes one reservoir (person) slipping through the failed efforts at isolation to set a new variant loose.

        “I have the Constitutionally guaranteed God-given right to travel or do whatever I want, and you are not the boss of me!”

        Traveling nurses seem to be a necessity for “proper allocation of labor as a scarce resource,” since there’s a nursing shortage, aggravated by deaths and debility of nurses getting infected and burned out/just up and quitting due to overload and the horror of having to preside over and process horrible deaths, vaccinated or not.

    3. JeffC

      My daughter is a travel nurse working daily in the ED (ER to laypeople) with Covid. Currently she is on the US east coast, but during the epidemic she has also worked in the deep south, the Pacific northwest, and the desert southwest. Traveler contracts run typically 13 weeks, with options to extend fairly common.

      Her hospital has a powerful ventilation system and requires staff and nonoxygenated patients to be in N95s. Nurses are tested for mask fit. Once diagnosed with Covid, patients are moved to a negative-pressure area. She is of course vaccinated (as required), and she gets a booster this week.

      Outside work she masks the same way for necessary stops like grocery stores and simply does not make unnecessary indoor stops. No restaurant dining in. She lives with another travel nurse (ICU/Covid), who is equally careful. They have worked with Covid in the US deep south, the Pacific northwest, the desert southwest, and now on the east coast, always 13 weeks or more at a location. They both get RT-PCR tested now and then (incl yesterday) and have never tested positive. Her rare visits with friends or family she goes through several days of self-quarantine followed by a negative RT-PCR test, and people to visit are chosen VERY carefully to stick with other hypercautious sorts.

  3. Sam Adams

    RE: Why I Won’t Support Spending Another $3.5 Trillion, Joe Manchin WSJ

    Hello Chuckles, Why does Joe Manchin have any committee chairmanships? Hello Biden, Why are bases in WV not closed?

      1. polar donkey

        As I have gotten older, I have realized the total lack of shame is a superpower. Manchin and Sinema possess no shame. Other politicians with merely an ounce of shame must look upon those two with a sense awe.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Biden sent the Delaware Senators to vote with Manchin and Sinema on the minimum wage. Outside of twitter, they are still msnbc darlings and so forth. There has been no shame. Sinema is griping about how she needs a trip to wine country.

          Not that SNL is relevant, but is Sinema being associated with Mittens “binders full of women” anywhere? There has been no shame. Have DLC approved “feminist” groups hit her for association with loyal voters for the GOP court agenda? Nope.

          1. jsn

            And capitalism is the perfect system to select for it.

            Really “propertarianism” as mentioned upthread, but capitalism is the metastatic expression of it currently burning up the world.

      2. Nikkikat

        This is the same game always played by the Dems. They always have 10 senators who will not vote for anything for the people. I don’t understand why we let them play us this way. This bill was NEVER going to go through. It doesn’t matter whether it is Joe Lieberman of Obama care fame or Warner or Manchin. This is same crapola. Over in the house it’s the same game as the Senate.
        We will get nothing! Meanwhile the so called progressives will tweet about how terrible they are and how they must do this or that and bill dies out on the stairs of the capital building.

        1. Wukchumni

          When you figure out the mechanics of the inner workings of the Donkey Show, it is so very revealing.

  4. Ian Perkins

    O-RAN an also-ran to Huawei 5G
    or, How the US shot itself in the foot – again?

    The irony is astounding. O-Ran is “the US industry umbrella organization that’s promoting a software-based alternative to Huawei’s state-of-the-art 5G infrastructure,” and according to the article,
    “Nokia dropped out of the O-RAN Alliance this week in response to an American decision to put some of Nokia’s Chinese partners on the entity list that sanctions Chinese companies whose activity is deemed threatening to US national and security interests.
    Nokia was concerned that continued collaboration with the O-RAN coalition in the US could expose it to American sanctions because of its business dealings with sanctioned Chinese companies.”
    (Not that O-RAN sounds like a winner anyway.)

      1. .human

        My perfectly adequate, secure, and enjoyable to use CDMA Blackberry will no longer be supported at the end of this year.

        I have been researching options for two months. Nothing is comparable. My nearly ten comfortable years using this phone are coming to an end.

        I do not need/want the media cababilities of a slab phone nor 5G. Crapification indeed.

      2. lordkoos

        From what I understand, 5G requires there to be many nodes/towers as the frequencies cannot travel far. A node would be needed in practically every neighborhood. I’m guessing that these locations will be perfect for gathering data on everyone in the vicinity — mounting hidden cameras and microphones on them could (will) be easily done. I’m more worried about the surveillance aspect than I am health concerns.

        1. Maritimer

          A node would be needed in practically every neighborhood.
          Non 5G neighborhoods may increase in value or not depending on the populace’s preferences. The real problem will come with 6G which I imagine will be total Earth satellite coverage, now in progress (?). NO escaping that.

          Total Resource Control, all Earth resources of any value completely tracked and digitally monitored. Anyone remember Total Information Awareness of post 9/11 power grab fame?

          1. norm de plume

            Yeah, TIA. Poindexter wasn’t it? Part of Full Spectrum Dominance, itself part of the Project for a New American Century… great days

            1. Late Introvert

              Let’s get more Bezon satellites up there pronto. Maybe the Kessler Sydrome (thanks for the tip) will be our savior against the 2001: A Space Odyssey scenario of nukes in space.

        2. chuck roast

          In my neighborhood all of the cell antennae are on the top floor of the local hospital. The highest place around. This floor used to be known as the Psych-ward. They will be rockin-out with the the new 5G.

        3. Skunk

          Yep. Also, RFID tags are being embedded into many items, such as shoes and car tires. As you pass by readers, data can also be gathered. RFID tags have also been found in clothing. The “smart city” designs feature all kinds of information-gathering systems, and without more legal protections, this problem will just get worse. It’s a good idea to be informed about smart city designs and RFID.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Could a neodymium magnet ( or a sharp hammer blow delivered exactly on target) destroy some of these Rfid chiplets?

        4. drumlin woodchuckles

          Though marinating 24/7 in the 5G multinode broadcasters’s e m radiation fields could generate health effects worth worrying about.

          5G should be banned from America. Let China marinate its population in 5G waves for 50 years. Let America spend those same 50 years free from 5G e m contamination. See if China has different health effects from marinating its population in 5G waves.

  5. zagonostra

    >Antidote du jour (Dr. Kevin):

    Who needs to go to another planet to find alien life forms…I’d like to see the pair do a ritournelle (triple time with four legs!)

      1. airgap

        They are blinged out versions of those wise cracking, alcohol drinking, cigar smoking insects (?) in the Men in Black movies. Turns out they are real after all.

    1. lordkoos

      We often find mantises around our house and garden in spring and early summer, despite their being larger than most insects they seem quite benign.

    2. Milton

      A have a feeling those poor mantis’ are in the same predicament as many of those rain forest frogs in that they are tethered and bound in whimsical positions with the evidence ‘shopped out in post-processing. Very sad if this is the case here.

  6. timbers


    Suddenly, the internets seem to have decided it’s bad when Biden drone bombs innocent people. Am seeing lots of headlines I didn’t see for a long time about very bad drone bombing.

    It was ok for 20 or so years when Bush, Obama, Trump did it. But since withdrawal, it’s now bad.

    Maybe if we invade someone else it will be ok again to drone bomb.

    1. ambrit

      But the Military Industrial Complex is invading “someone else,” the Homeland.
      I fully expect some domestic law enforcement agencies to ‘deploy’ a “pursuit and immobilization” drone force in the near future. My best guess is that the first deployment of ‘active response’ drones by Law Enforcement Organizations in America will be flying platforms with small Electro Magnetic Pulse devices to remotely ‘turn off’ automobile engines during high speed chases. From there, the sky’s the limit.

      1. Tom Doak

        That’s what will happen if you don’t let the manufacturers continue to sell them to the Pentagon — they will have to find “another domestic market”.

      2. Glossolalia

        And the Texas abortion bill contains a distinctly “precrime”-like provision, so that can be quietly become a norm, too.

  7. FreeMarketApologist

    “China Is Hoarding Crude Again,”

    I’ve read through the article, and it’s unclear from the text how China is ‘hoarding crude’. The article talks about their COVID response, the fact that demand for oil in China is increasing, and that the government is reining in their independent producers, but it’s unclear how this has any relationship to the headline.

    1. John

      How is China hoarding crude different from the USA’s strategic reserves or whatever they are called … must be a three-letter obfuscation for it?

    2. The Raven

      You are right to question the article which fails to state where and how it is stored since, once lifted from the ground, it is very very hard and expensive to store and while stored it evaporates and turns into tar unless in a vacuum. What is really scary about China is the fact that, like Japan and Germany in 1940, it has no domestic oil to fuel its oil-based war machine

  8. zagonostra

    >ACLU Says The State Forcing People To Take Vaccines Is A Victory For Civil Liberties

    Tweet from Greenwald yesterday (note it’s irony)

    Having the state force citizens to inject their bodies with a medicine they don’t want is a victory for civil liberties actually, says the ACLU

    — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) September 2, 2021

  9. The Rev Kev

    “US attorney details illegal acts in construction projects, sealing the fate of the “nuclear renaissance” ”

    Sounds like South Carolina avoided the fate of being the only State in the Union to glow in the dark. So ‘for SCANA, parent of utility South Carolina Electric and Gas, to gain a federal production tax credit of $1.4 billion, essential to the financial viability of the project, both units had to be finished by December 31, 2020.’ Right there you can see an incentive for mobs like SCANA to cut corners and undermine safety protocols in order to finish a project in time to earn that tax credit. They might have used corn-flakes instead of gravel to make up their cement and used aluminium foil as shielding instead of lead. About the only thing in South Carolina’s favour was that that State does not sit near any major fault lines for them to build the nuclear reactors on.

    1. The Historian

      Just another example of a corporation killing its golden goose for fast money. Hyman Rickover understood that he had to have safety as Job 1 no matter the cost, because any nuclear accident, no matter how small, would end his dream of a nuclear navy. He planned for the future, and we still have a nuclear navy. Westinghouse, on the other hand, went for cheap profits at the expense of safety, and probably have pretty much killed off the using of nuclear energy in this country and future profits from the US. How many bankruptcies can Westinghouse have? Maybe they can get in on China’s nuclear program.

      1. John

        Lambert from 2014: In this brief post, I hope to clear the ground by proposing two simple rules to which neo-liberalism can be reduced. They are:

        Rule #1: Because markets.

        Rule #2: Go die!

        I see there application daily.

      2. Maxwell Johnston

        Rickover was really something. Classmate at my MBA program was an Annapolis grad, entered the submarine fleet, and was personally interviewed by Rickover (as were all officers entering the sub fleet back then). His interview began with the usual crisp salute, “please be seated”, but the chair was a three-legged stool with one leg removed. Rickover wanted to see how a scared young officer would react. Once upon a time, not so long ago, the USA produced leaders who kept standards up.

  10. zagonostra

    >Biden’s Brain

    I remember when Karl Rove was supposed to be Bush’s Brain, who is Biden’s Brain? I haven’t read any account that suggest that a single person has a disproportionate influence on Biden’s thought processes, assuming there is one of course. It can’t be Jill, she doesn’t have the background to help him navigate the colossal byzantine apparatus of gov’t, and though he’s lived his whole life in that stagnate cesspool, I don’t think he is in his devious prime. The blob, cabal, ruling elite is too amorphous, it certainly isn’t the VP, Bilken, I doubt it…

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        When Biden lied about Obama supporting gay marriage, as if Obama cared enough to have an opinion, I think it showed a certain amount of independence, though reactionary to fallout from statewide referendums and OFA inaction. Biden challenged the Great One. The real problem is his laziness and general rightward tilt, but I don’t think he’s Shrub.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s possible there isn’t any. Biden has usually just been a guy to go browbeat the leftier elements and not much more other than play a “tough guy” on TV. There is no one to direct, so he’s listless but not necessarily beholden. No one might be in his ear sufficiently enough, he might make the occasional decision based on the hear and now such as Afghanistan where has a deadline. Some of his regulators. Trump and Shrub clearly repeated the last thing they heard for the most part. Obama obeyed the edicts of the richest, waspy type in a room. Biden was the Senator from Delaware, so he carried water for state interests. Now he’s President, not a Senator from a collection of mailing addresses. There is no interest than can really demand the President’s attention the way Biden is used to being told what to do or knows what to do. I think this leaves Biden on his own. And he has also always been lazy but known for cramming. He’s likely learning about anything basically for the first time every time when it comes up, meaning there are no plans or ideas of ideal, good, acceptable, unacceptable outcomes. $1,400 and now $300 per kid might be fantastic bar Covid, but if it’s being eaten up, it’s not the panacea he hoped as anecdotes about the White House believing this would be huge in future elections. Again, he’s lazy. After the 1400, he likely thought he could go back to being a ceremonial Vice President or work as hard as Obama.

      He does have two long time staffers with divergent views.

      1. John

        Biden is doing it on his own. Biden is listening to the last person he spoke to; It is two close aides or one or six. In what way do any of these change the policy, the speech, the action, the outcome?

        Either he is up to the job or he is not. I, for one, hope he is because I have seen nothing that persuades me that the vice President would be an improvement.

        I voted none of the above in 2016. I was tempted to do the same in 2020. Living in New York one vote in a national election changes nothing. I voted for Biden-Harris because it was not Trump-Pence and that would lower the volume. That, at least, has been accomplished, but it does not diminish the feeling of tip-toeing blindfolded through the proverbial minefield.

        1. neo-realist

          Trump walked through minefields looking for mines to step on and he did, e.g., late notification on the danger of covid-19, more right wing supreme court judges, destroying institutional knowledge in the government, and assassinating a top Iranian General, nearing setting off a wider conflict in the ME.

          I’ll take Biden’s tiptoeing and stuttering with trying to spend some coin on infrastructure and pulling troops out of Afghanistan.

          1. Late Introvert

            So sorry to burst your bubble, but Trump ended the war and tied Biden’s hands. Biden gets credit for refusing the General’s* attempt at an endless retreat. He was all, OK you didn’t prepare for it after all this time? Good luck with that.

            *Lying Losing Generals Who Always Fail Up

  11. Lupana

    “Third dose may be enough..”
    If the reason the conclusion is that the third dose may be enough is because a longer spacing between the second and third dose leads to more robust immunity then why not just increase the spacing between the first and second dose? I really think at least in the US it’s not just vaccine uptake that’s the problem. We have no coherent national public health policy. Messaging is all over the place making it hard to know who or what to trust so everyone is left to use their own intuition of what is best to do with vaccines, masks, testing, isolating, everything.. I hear criticisms of ‘totalitarian China’ and how the only reason they can contain Covid is because they can have their freedom taken away with lockdowns, etc unlike us. Well how much freedom really exists in a dysfunctional system where you’re pretty much on your own and no one everyone trusts seems to be leading? Fauci? Really?

    1. The Rev Kev

      By my count, that article had six ‘may’s, three ‘could’s and two ‘probably’s. That is an awful lot of qualifiers for such a short article. I’ll wait for the peer-reviewed article before even considering the idea that third shot’s the charm.

      1. Lupana

        Exactly. You would think they would wait to have their story and facts straight before they put things out for the public. Otherwise what are you supposed to make of it? To me it seems the only way the vaccines will work is if we consider Delta it, get it under control and shut the border then mass vaccinate the world. Otherwise what’s the point of all the focus on Delta if Mu, Lamda and God knows what else are on the way?
        Along the same line, while the message is for the public only N95 masks will work, my daughter who is a 3rd year Med student working in a large urban hospital is being sent in to see unmasked patients with only a surgical mask for protection. So the grocery store is more dangerous than a hospital..?

          1. Lupana

            I’ve been listening to Dr Osterholm and Eric Feigl Ding (who admittedly is a bit of an alarmist) regarding masks. I guess again – lots of opinions and who to believe? Thanks for the articles!

            1. Ignacio

              It all depends on the exposure level (time and virus concentrations) and in most instances ordinary masks will work. Better N95 if working long hours in office space, commercial space etc.

          2. haywood

            That study found surgical/cloth masks provide NO protection for populations under-50 and some moderate protection for those over 50.

            Results across all ages show no infection benefit for cloth/surgical mask mandated villages compared to villages with no mandate. Only through stratifying the results by age did the authors find statistically significant results and, of course, that’s how the results are being pitched by public health PR people.

            Digging down in the results, I saw that mask mandates actually increased social distancing practice by people over 50 compared to the non-mandated over 50 population so it’s entirely possible that this secondary effect is responsible for the drop in transmission rate, rather than the mask’s filtering.

            Anyway, it’s actually quite a good study, one of the only high quality randomized field experiments on mask usage. Too bad everyone is being told the opposite of its findings.

            Get better masks, people!

          3. Basil Pesto

            This is excellent, thank you!

            The one limitation they don’t mention is that the data collection is pre-delta, and increased transmissibility means surgical mask efficacy alone is probably reduced now. It would be great to see similar studies for KN95 or better, surgical masks with braces, and double masking, though I know that’s extremely unlikely.

            Still, this bit is important:

            In the intervention group, 7.62 percent of people had COVID-19-like symptoms, compared with 8.62 percent in the control group. The researchers collected blood samples from nearly 11,000 participants, and found that the intervention reduced symptomatic COVID-19 infection by 9.3 percent.

            “Our results should not be taken to imply that masks can prevent only 10 percent of COVID-19 cases, let alone 10 percent of COVID-19 mortality,” the authors wrote in the paper.

            That’s because the intervention only led to 29 more people out of every 100 people to wear masks. “The total impact with near-universal masking–perhaps achievable with alternative strategies or stricter enforcement–may be several times larger than our 10 percent estimate,” they wrote.

            1. Ian Perkins

              Yes – which leads me to wonder if, on a society-wide scale, more mask wearing, even of cheaper types, might be more effective than N95 masks for those non-frontline workers who currently wear masks.
              I haven’t read the whole paper yet, but I think I noticed that over-50s were more likely to wear masks, which may account, at least partly, for haywood’s observation above that ‘That study found surgical/cloth masks provide NO protection for populations under-50 and some moderate protection for those over 50.’
              Overall, and despite haywood’s reservations, it does seem to confirm that even ordinary masks work, though on an individual level, better masks would be expected to provide more protection. I look forward to more analysis from NC’s commenters!

              1. Basil Pesto

                And you might have seen that I’ve been banging this drum about the situation in Melbourne in recent weeks, where the standard of masking is generally really bad (just saw a guy at supermarket checkout with mask below his mouth chatting away to the cashier. I’m triple masked with a t-shirt I have that has a bandana sewn into it lol). That study gives me a bit more belief that I’m on the right track in taking about this. Again keeping in mind that it’s always going to be a bit more complex than “masks work”/“masks don’t work” – whether and how they work exists on a continuum of probabilities, and depends on scale as well.

                I also think it gives us a reason to look more seriously at the question of zero covid. I know some people here are
                dubious of it and I completely understand that but I don’t see a reason to give up on it yet. First it’s important to break the question of zero covid in two, and realise that they’re completely separate

                1) is it technically possible?
                2) is it politically possible?

                Regarding 1), I am thus far convinced that it is, and for a start we need to War Keynes the shit out of mask supply, exactly as we are with vaccines in fact. I know it won’t be easy and requires a lot of co-operation (and, potentially, I’m sorry to say, heavy-handedness)

                2) is harder to answer obviously. But then, making the politically impossible, possible, is part of the job of politicians.
                I think it’s a mistake, though, to look at the whole global situation and give up. It’s a problem we would have to start small, looking at individual jurisdictions, then countries, then building up from there.

                1. Ian Perkins

                  a bit more complex than “masks work”/“masks don’t work”

                  Yes. When I say more ordinary masks work, I mean they seem to reduce the number of infections and so on, which the study appears (and haywood may be right to disagree!) to confirm. I do not mean they totally prevent all transmission! I think Ignacio’s right to say, “It all depends on the exposure level,” but my guess is that even at a high exposure level, ordinary masks are better than nothing, though for individual protection, N95s would be better still – and essential for the likes of those working in ICUs.

    2. zagonostra

      Enough for which? Today there is the “MU” variant, yesterday it was Delta, Lambada, and C.1.2 (South African), did I miss any? I predict the “Universal Jab” will soon be rolled out…

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        There is also the Gamma variant in Brazil which is reported as being more lethal than Delta, but fortunately nowhere near as infectious as Delta which is now taking over, so hopefully it will stay put.

        The typo cheered me up – Lambada was a short term Latin dance craze during the 80’s – I doubt anyone wants to purposely Do the Lambda.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Turns out it was a galactically stupid idea to conduct a drug trial on such a massive scale with a rabid media hanging on every twist and turn for dear life and represent it as solid, settled “science.”

      Whether the issue was panic that their gain of function cover was blown, maniacal pursuit of a financial windfall, or a “vaccine” fervor bordering on the religious, the decision to approach covid in this totally unproven manner showed spectacularly poor judgement which continues to this day.

      The “authorities” seem curiously oblivious to the damage to societal cohesion they are causing, and even to the damage they are doing to their own reputations, and that is probably the most disturbing thing of all. With every frantic policy zig and zag it becomes more and more likely they haven’t the faintest idea what they’re doing or where this is all headed.

      The comparisons to 20 years of lies, deception and wheel-spinning in Afghanistan pretty much write themselves, and the chaos with which that debacle ended is terrifying to think about in a “public health” context.

      1. Mikel

        Each death is a new death, bringing it closer home to more people.

        Some are hard-headed and acting like losing a family member is the cost of doing business! But a hell of a lot more do not take it that way.

      2. John

        From the Department of the Painfully Obvious (hereafter DOPO) this observation. Viruses mutate constantly. It is part of being a virus, hence going viral as a signifier for tales, rumors, misstatements that have a rich afterlife. It’s like the game of telephone.

        Round the clock media by its nature demands something new incessantly. It is a glutton that will consume anything then turn around and tell the world about that meal with an uncertain understanding of just what it had eaten and no real sense of what was palatable and what was poison. (Too much metaphor?)

        My remedy is abstain from nearly all offerings while wearing my mask and keeping my counsel.

        1. Mikel

          “My remedy is abstain from nearly all offerings while wearing my mask and keeping my counsel.”

          That’s why the propaganda is so desperate and crazy. This fragile global economy depends on mass participation that is “on” at all times. Even the gung ho “let’s take off the masks and put on the blinders set” is not enough to keep it firing on all cylinders.

    4. Vandemonian

      It’s also possible that the world will eventually comes to the realisation that one dose of vaccine is enough. One dose every year. One dose of a vaccine targeting an updated mix of three or four of the current variants of interest.

      As some conspiracy theorists started shouting early on: “It’s just like the flu!”

      Sinovax or Sputnik, anyone?

  12. The Rev Kev

    ‘ASB News / MILITARY️
    US military left behind dozens of service dogs in Afghanistan.
    The nonprofit org ‘Veteran Sheepdogs of America’ are working to evacuate the animals.’

    The US military did leave dogs behind but apparently not the ones that you see in those cages. You would think that if a US transport plane could be crammed with over 800 refugees, that a normal plane load of soldiers could take along the remaining dogs. Just ask for volunteers to grab a dog and take it aboard with them until they hit the other end. Instead, you had service dogs being turned loose so when the Afghans turned up, there were all these dogs roaming around. Apparently the Afghans rounded them up in the hope in the hope of putting them back into service eventually but working for them-

    1. Wukchumni

      Well, you know how persnickety airlines have gotten about allowing ‘service animals’ on board as of late, with service peacocks, ducks, goats, et al.

    2. Randy G

      The Dogs of Kabul….

      The CDC has recently decreed (July 2021) that rescued dogs from a long list of countries will no longer be allowed to enter the country because of an alleged rabies threat. This seems to have been triggered by a couple of rabid dogs from Egypt that entered with fake vaccination certificates. However, rather than just ban dogs from Egypt, the CDC banned dogs entering from dozens of countries that have no history of faking certificates or exporting rabid dogs.

      There are numerous dog rescue group working around the world who have perfect track records with their dogs, but they are now blocked due to this sweeping prohibition.

      I have friends who rescue abandoned and street dogs from Turkey, and find them homes in the U.S. They have never had a case of a rabid dog entering the U.S. or a history of faking certificates. They are extremely careful with their protocols, working with a network of veterinarians in Turkey. The dogs are all treated, quarantined, and observed for behavioral problems, before they are flown to the U.S. with volunteers.

      Nonetheless, even with an unblemished record, Turkish dogs are now banned from entering the U.S. without special bureaucratic permits and waivers from the CDC. These, naturally, will be nearly impossible to obtain without a team of lawyers and several months of free time on your hands.

      The CDC, with its stellar record on Covid, is now directing its benevolent gaze to protecting us from rabies, a disease, admittedly horrible, that is already widespread in the U.S. (Favored nations, such as the EU countries, Israel, and Mexico are not banned.)

      Afghanistan is also on the prohibited list and evidently it was the CDC that blocked the 125 or so crated dogs at the Kabul airport from getting on one of the flights. There was room for them in the cargo holds. It’s questionable if the dogs were trained for anything or were simply rescues. Probably a mixed group as some belonged to contractors and some were rescued street dogs.

      The dogs were released by the departing Americans at the airport, and it’s uncertain what will happen to them. Russian journalist Murad Gazdiev took photos of the dogs and their empty crates, and said he had not seen the Taliban kill any of them. So far. He also discussed the dogs with some of the Taliban, and was told they were going to take care of them and maybe ‘employ’ them.

      The Taliban, however, are not well established in the international dog rescue scene, and may not be entirely reliable as pet rescue ‘partners’. Here’s hoping the new Taliban are putting ‘dog whisperers’ in their updated resumes.

  13. bob

    “On day 4 of Ida recovery, Entergy still can’t say when most of New Orleans will get power restored ”

    At a briefing on Thursday, Entergy New Orleans CEO Deanna Rodriguez said the utility hopes to have finished its damage assessment by the end of the day and then might have a timeline for when the power can be turned back on to significant numbers in the city.

    Rodriguez and May didn’t take questions about when that station would actually be able to supply significant power to New Orleans customers.

    ” As the Company’s Chair of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Rodriquez will be paid an annual base salary of $330,000 (“Base Salary”), and will be eligible to receive an annual cash bonus under the Entergy Corporation (“Entergy”) annual incentive program targeted at 40% of her Base Salary and to receive awards of performance units, restricted stock and stock options under Entergy’s 2019 Omnibus Incentive Plan or any successor plan. The grants and awards to be made under these programs will be determined in conjunction with Entergy’s normal annual compensation review process and at levels consistent with her seniority and scope of responsibility. Ms. Rodriquez will also participate in other compensation and benefit programs generally made available to other Entergy executives from time to time.

    As CEO – Entergy Louisiana at ENTERGY LOUISIANA, LLC, Phillip R. May Jr. made $1,196,794 in total compensation. Of this total $389,016 was received as a salary, $407,922 was received as a bonus, $77,376 was received in stock options, $294,183 was awarded as stock and $28,297 came from other types of compensation. This information is according to proxy statements filed for the 2019 fiscal year.

    Again, for those who missed it in the story-

    “Entergy executives said Thursday that they still have no idea how long it will take to get power back to the vast majority of New Orleans customers, as residents in the city endure a fourth day without electricity.”

    1. bob

      At least 5 days…..could be more, but don’t quote us on that…

      “At least five more days for power restoration in metro New Orleans – Entergy ”

      The very highly paid executives confirmed they are having communication issues–

      “As of Thursday morning, the French Quarter had some power back, but the map said it did not.

      Entergy officials did not address why the map appears to show areas as having power that do not. They focused on the potential for areas to show as not having power for a period of time after the power is restored. ”

      They’re getting ahead of it, fighting the next battle with an app that they admitted doesn’t work. What do you want from them? “WE’RE TRYING TO MOVE FORWARD! NOT BACKWARD!

  14. Tom Stone

    California is entering its traditional wildfire season and we have a month and a half (At least) to go.
    Both the Dixie and Caldor fires may be eclipsed before the year ends.

    Longer term, California Farmland will be reduced by at least 50% over the next few decades due to aquifer depletion and soil degradation.

    And the predicted 6.8 quake on the Hayward/Rogers Creek fault will result in massive fores and massive pollution, which will either poison the Ocean or Farmland depending on wind direction.
    That fault pops every 140 years on average, the last time was in 1868.
    Earlier this week NC had a link to a study of SF Highrises that predicted that between 30 and 40 of them will collapse when a major quake hits either the San Andreas or Hayward/Rogers creek faults.
    The disaster coordination center for the Bay Area was built in the 1950’s to withstand Atomic Bombs, it is located across HWY 580 from Eden Hospital, in the fault.
    The Bridges across the Sacramento River will be unusable, the Bay Bridge too.
    The Caldecott tunnel will be down and HWY 580 severed.
    All this is well known and has been for many years.
    Nothing substantive has been done or will be done to prepare for the inevitable, it is not politically feasible and the cost would be astronomical.

    1. Wukchumni

      Most are aware of Marc Reisner’s opus Cadillac Desert and he wrote another seminal work: A Dangerous Place: California’s Unsettling Fate in regards to the Hayward Fault in particular.

      A similar earthquake as the 1868 version would wreck the jury-rigged levee system on the California Delta, allowing salt water intrusion, and it would be game so over for SoCal, cutting off the lions share of their water source from the huge dams up north.

      What’s a bitchin’ beachfront pad in Malibu worth without water?

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        It would also be “game over,” literally, for U Cal football for a while. The Hayward fault runs directly beneath their stadium in Berkeley.

    2. Glossolalia

      Other than that Mrs. Lincoln Mr. Stone, how did you enjoy the play do you enjoy living in California?

    3. MCreedman

      In disaster, opportunity. Gavin Newsom, PG&E, The Carpenter’s Union, the breastbeating Equity housing now loudmouths, the corrupt affirmative action political hiring practices that make it impossible to be a teacher, in city, state and local government, it all fits with profits now, profits tomorrow and tapping the sucker taxpayers.

  15. Wukchumni

    California’s massive wildfires are doing something no wildfire has ever done before Salon
    This of course is on account of the drought and drying up of the Sierra Nevada, there’s scant moisture in the higher climes, which was never the case previously.

    During the 2012-16 drought I did quite a bit of research on the 1976-77 drought in Cali, which was the worst one in recorded history of Americans having settled the land, and one thing I found was there was hardly any fruit & nut trees compared to now, a total of less than 23,000 acres back then, compared to around 3,000,000 acres now, with almonds leading the way with 1,600,000 acres in production.

    Look on page 31 to get orchard acreage numbers:

    This 23 minute video from 1977 is kinda comical, a new well is being sunk 60 feet deeper than the old one, it isn’t uncommon for failed Ag wells here to be drilled 1,000 feet deeper in search of ancient non-replaceable fossil water these days.

    Probably the most interesting part is how tv news stations tried to get the public involved in helping out by saving water, you don’t see that today, nor does MSM have the reach it once did, either.

    Enough of all that downer vibe though, here’s something much more uplifting…

    When Dave Turner pulled off this amazing feat about a decade ago in his paraglider, he flew over Sequoia NP and landed here near Three Rivers, and en route over Moro Rock, NPS law enforcement got into high gear in decidedly slow speed chase as it is illegal to have taken off within the confines of the National Park (which he didn’t) and were all set to arrest him for the ‘offense’. It’d be like Paris cops arresting Lindbergh upon arrival, the absurdity of the situation…

    First Complete Crossing of California’s High Sierra

    1. Carolinian

      Uh one of those paraglider guys–actually it was a wing suit–slammed into a cliff while doing this in Yosemite. Also many National Parks are controlled airspace.

    2. Laughingsong

      Yup, lived through that, and remember pretty well. We would:
      -put a brick in the toilet tank to displace water
      -kept a tub of gray water in the sink to soak dishes
      -capture gray water from the washing machine to water flowers (not lawns!)
      -flush only for #2 ( I remember Chronicle columnist Herb Caen calling it PeuDeau Pinot).

      No one washed windows or cars either. During this time a lot of public drinking fountains were turned off and not reinstated.

      1. Milton

        We adhered to the following in regards to toilet flushing (reminder, this was the 70s):
        If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown flush it down.

      2. Ian Perkins

        I find it hard to imagine public drinking fountains accounting for much water use, though turning them off would probably have quite an impact on the homeless and other ‘undesirables’.

    1. skk

      Man, I really wish I hadn’t ‘followed’ Glen Greenwald’s twitter stream. I had absolutely no idea that these twitter fights on GG exist. But I like to think its “sound and fury signifying nothing”.

        1. Skk

          Thanks. Like GG said: no good deed goes unpunished. Let’s hope this is the end of that and Chelsea goes and bothers someone else.

      1. Aumua

        After reading through those twitter comments I kind of want to side with Greenwald on this, and I’m usually quite critical of him and his pandering to the hard right of late. Can we not be critical of people’s actions without utterly demonizing them any more? I mean those people are just slinging crap, calling him a fraud, a sociopath, all kinds of other names, saying he isn’t a journalist etc. it’s just gross.

    2. skippy

      It never ceases to amaze me when people figure out what Libertarians are really – all about – underneath all the deductive-axiomatic method pops out atomistic individualism from the fog, and then applies it with general distribution on all it purveys.

      Its akin to a ideological parasite that seeks to infect any other threatening outlook on reality, invariably it takes over the host, and when that is accomplished you get to see the real totality of its banging on about.

      1. pjay

        Let me suggest another candidate for “ideological parasite”: elite paternalism (in any of its guises). Meaning, belief that the world would benefit if a wise elite of philosopher kings/fearless leaders/tech corporations/liberal academics/’objective” media pundits, etc. etc. controlled what we are able to know and say. Yeah, let’s “deplatform” neo-fascists like Carlson, or Donald Trump. Let’s make sure only defenders of Truth get to be heard… say, a John Brennan or a James Clapper!

        Careful what you wish for. Most of us are aware of the contradictions of libertarianism. There are other “parasites” that are just as dangerous.

        1. skippy

          I did not advance any group think which is dependent on worshiping some classes as you define, above, not that the outcome of the libertarian notion of a “market place of ideas” and authoritarianism by winners is an own goal, because everything is a market and within it a commodity to be bought or sold.

          AET was pushing the perspective you decry before and right up to the GFC all added and abetted by a host of rightwing think tanks and lobbyist groups.

    3. hunkerdown

      Chelsea has joined the Woke Party and adopted its postures of mystical harm by gaze. It was bound to happen eventually, if she wanted to stay employed in tech.

      1. skippy

        Feeling dirty by accepting – money – which one later finds out has ethical concerns is now a woke thing?

        And how does GG or anyone lay some claim on another by past donations of money?

        Do you see how this works in the libertarian mind set?

        Are we back to simple facts like Milgrams coke?

        1. hunkerdown

          If she were not by her own admission actively involved in an explicit anti-TC political crusade adjacent to a political machine famous for celebrating “moral entrepreneurship” and cynically weaponized pathos, I might feel differently. As it stands, her concerns are #Democrats concerns.

      2. Aumua

        In Manning’s defense, as a trans person she might naturally be a little closer to and possibly sensitive to issues of systemic oppression, privilege, bigotry etc. than someone who hasn’t been directly impacted by those things.

  16. Blue Duck

    Don’t expect an easy life and be ready to struggle, Chinese President Xi Jinping warns officials

    Xi has once again reached into my bag of fatherly advice for my kids:

    1. Video games are terribly for growing brains
    2. Life is hard, prepare to struggle

    Jokes aside, it is refreshing to see a world leader being honest with his people. The road ahead for us all is going to be rough and we must be strong and persevere. Any leader who promises you a return to the good old days, or that dangles the false joys of comfort is lying to you and hates you more than you could ever know.

    I’m beginning to like Xi more and more…

    1. mistah charley, ph.d.

      I too find that some of what Xi is saying makes a lot of sense. Other aspects of how the People’s Republic of China is governed, and deals with those who disagree, seem rather less congenial, however.

    2. Wukchumni

      I’ve oft felt that video games were a leading cause in turning young minds into vegetables (sorry if i’ve insulted any rutabagas or kohlrabi) and I applaud China’s action, even if it might have the opposite effect, in that when you are largely forbidden to do something, the yearning only tends to grow.

    3. hunkerdown

      Good enough about video games, but any leader that promises you unnecessary struggle intends to steal your surplus and share it with his henchmen. Never grind for someone else’s profit, especially not in a socialist (if only nominally) value system.

      1. Blue Duck

        Never grind for someone else’s profi

        That’s literally how I’ve spent every weekday since I finished HS…

    4. neo-realist

      I know a few successful High Tech professionals who devoured video games in their kidhood and continue to do so (one of them is a game developer). I have to think that the games do something to positively wire the brain for people like them.

    5. Basil Pesto

      Xi has once again reached into my bag of fatherly advice for my kids:

      1. Video games are terribly for growing brains

      Let me rephrase this hypothesis and see if you agree:

      games are terrible for growing brains

      Do you agree with that, or not?

      If not, what – fundamentally – is the difference?

      (If you’re not really sure, then please don’t blag and bullshit as though you are)

      (Let us also set aside for the moment that, textually, many – but not all! – videogames are atrocious. But then, that’s also true of, say, Thomas the Tank Engine, or the nouvel vague of “anti-racist” childrens’ picture books, or childrens’ games played in the schoolyard that use racist themes and motifs, like “classical” eenie-meenie-miney-mo or, when I was a kid, playing “Ching-Chong-Cha” instead of “Rock-Paper-Scissors”)

      One difference of course is that many games are played outdoors and involve an element of outdoor exercise, whether it’s tag, golf, soccer, whatever. That’s great! I love all of these things.

      It’s clearly not true of all games though, most obviously chess and all the other boardgames, sudoku, crossword, pictionary, charades, hangman, whatever. I also freely concede that most videogames are nowhere near as ludologically elegant as chess.

      In conclusion, I’ve played videogames since I was about three. I think, very broadly speaking, that they tend towards being pretty dumb and mediocre for a number of reasons, and I’m not proud or anything that I play them (I don’t consider myself a “gamer”). I also think there are lots of games that are really good and interesting, and that like the aforementioned examples of non-videogames, it’s pleasant entertainment. Pleasant entertainment is good actually. I have long thought, and still do, that the “(video) games rot childrens brains!” line of thinking is reactionary nonsense, and in fact far more likely to be wrong than right (think, for example, of Karl Groos’ “Pleasure at being the cause”, as related by David Graeber in ‘Bullshit Jobs’)

      If I’m considered a mental vegetable here, then by all means ignore this post and I will cheerfully withdraw

      1. Ian Perkins

        I think various studies have found video games have a positive effect on children’s hand-eye coordination.

  17. Wukchumni

    World War 2 really got going today, 82 years ago.

    The youngest GI Joe to have seen action is now a spry 94…

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Perhaps it was GI Nigel, or whatever is a very common first name in the UK. The USA’s GI Joe didn’t get officially involved for another two years, two months and four days.

      1. Wukchumni

        The youngest UK GI Nigel to see action would also be 94 years old, as we’re talking about 1945, not 1939.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “GM, Ford halt some production as chip shortage worsens”

    Over the years there has been a huge increase in thefts of catalytic converters and this has been mentioned on NC several times in the past. I wonder if we will start to see cars stolen not so much for their parts as for their computer chips. I’m actually surprised that this is not a thing already.

    But I have been thinking about what sort of cars will be needed in the coming decades. Probably one that are mechanical in nature but have the capability of slapping in computerized components as ‘extras’. We are not there yet but if there was an announcement that there was a popular movement to buy cars based on the design philosophy of the 1944 Willys Jeep but upgraded with 21st century luxury design requirements, I would not be surprised-

    1. petal

      A friend had taken theirs apart and it was in single pieces on their garage floor for refurb. Got everything fixed up nicely and then they put it back together themselves. Nothing fancy, and was it fun to ride around in. We need to move back to being able to do that.

        1. petal

          hahaha that was fun, thanks! Yep, that’s about what the garage floor looked like. All the different pieces were pointed out to me. It was neat. I was amazed and pleased by the simplicity and efficiency. It didn’t go real fast and was a bit bouncy, but it was fun zooming around the hills in it. It got us where we needed to go.

          1. John

            Simplicity indeed. Look no farther than the F-35 to see what not-simple produces.

            Since automobiles once an without computer chips are chips necessary or convenient, and once-upon-a- time available?

            Regarding “21st century luxury design requirements”: Isn’t a ‘luxury requirement’ an oxymoron?

            1. Wukchumni

              A friend has a 1970 or 71 Ford Boss Mustang. You open the hood and everything is accessible, go ahead be your own shade tree mechanic…

              Another friend has a 2013 Ford Boss Mustang that looks pretty much just like the earlier version on the outside, but pop the hood and what little you can see of the engine compartment practically screams, stay the {family blog} away!

              Complexity is the route to evil…

              Could any of you ‘fix’ your smartphones if they broke?

              1. chuck roast

                I had a ’65 Mustang in 1972. Three speed, straight-six, floor shift. I paid $500 for it. Best car I ever had. The floor was rusting out. The only bad feature of those machines. My driving was similarly bad. I ran it into the back of a Mercedes, and I was back in the saddle of my Peugeot U0-8.

            2. Mildred Montana

              @John: “Isn’t a ‘luxury requirement’ an oxymoron?”

              Not quite. A luxury sampled often enough soon becomes a requirement. Think TV remotes.

    2. grayslady

      They already built those cars a long time ago. My 33-year old Mercedes 190e 2.6 only had “computers” for the fuel injection and the ABS brakes. In spite of its somewhat boxy shape (which I love–primarily for the great visibility), the drag coefficient is only .3, well within the range of the best numbers for drag coefficient today. All the parts I need are still available–many from the OEMs–and at a fraction of what current car owners pay for parts. The only electrical problem I’ve ever had was with one of the power windows. The master brake cylinder lasted 185,000 miles. One of the best investments I ever made.

      Also goes to show that engineers could solve the problems effectively without computers if they wanted to. The main reason (so I was told by some owners of independent shops) that manufacturers went to onboard computers is that the dealers couldn’t find enough mechanics who really understood automobile diagnostics; ergo, let the computer figure it out for them.

      1. Carolinian

        I think you mean fuel injection and emissions controls. And these days the high gas mileage of current cars also depends on computers which now control the automatic transmission as well as the engine timing to optimize fuel economy.

        The truth is there’s no going back to the fifties nor should there be.

        1. grayslady

          Actually, I meant what I said. Cars manufactured in the late 1980s and early 1990s only had “computers” for fuel injection and ABS brakes. My car also came with an O2 sensor and, of course, a catalytic converter. Even so, my gas mileage is as good or better than today’s non-hybrid SUVs. No one is suggesting going back to the 1950s when automobiles used carburetors instead of fuel injection. Fuel injection was the real breakthrough in gas economy, and it requires its own “computer”. Everything else, such as lighter weight materials is just tweaking around the edges. A well-engineered transmission and a well-maintained vehicle can make up for a lot of what onboard computers provide; but those things cost more than chips.

          1. Carolinian

            No offense but there’s a ton of emissions sensors in cars both now and cars of your vintage (and I’ve owned one). The computer not only controls the mixture but also serves the important function of telling you if one of those sensors isn’t working (the famous check engine light). Better regulation of emissions was one of the big reasons for the switch to fuel injection.

            And more to the point if your car needs to depend on one computer to control the engine (and it does) then it might as well depend on others to control burglar alarms and security, auto transmision, lights and other functions. Using multiple processors also allows a simpler wiring plan since they communicate digitally.

            Since computers are indeed necessary this is the source of my remark about the fifties. And I’ll say that when I did own a car only a little newer than yours the computer was the one thing that never gave trouble.

      2. hunkerdown

        On the one hand, that expropriation of skill and knowledge is exactly what the PMC were created by capital to do, so the narrative has a grain of truth behind it and can’t be ruled out entirely. On the other hand, independent tradesmen with an obsolescent skillset would say that, wouldn’t they, (-Mandy Rice-Davies) to preserve their air of mystery and tradition and title. Frankly, any working tech who’s had to troubleshoot any kind of intermittent problem ought to pray every car has a retrospective, reliable witness built into the drivetrain.

        On-board diagnostics were put in place to monitor the drivetrain, particularly the health of its emissions components, during the 99% of the time the car is NOT at the mechanic. When emissions components fail to control emissions, the driver is directed to visit a mechanic, so that the manufacturer’s commitments to environmental roadworthiness can be assured. Even today, ECUs only indicate which of its expectations were violated, perhaps recording a snapshot of the offensive readings.

        > Also goes to show that engineers could solve the problems effectively without computers if they wanted to

        This is exactly the managerialist problem that a recent commenter identified, that third-parties oblivious to engineering take finished designs and presume to “optimize” them to serve some cross purpose. Kindly leave engineering to the engineers, or be willing to have you and everyone else pay for what you want them to deliver to you.

    3. lordkoos

      I bet it’s a lot more difficult to get chips out of a car than it is to remove a catalytic converter.

  19. Mildred Montana

    Idea for an Onion spoof:

    “Biden Finally Does Something About Climate Change; Declares Mother Nature a Terrorist.”

    Said Biden: “We will hunt her down and make her change.”

    Mother Nature was unavailable for comment.

    1. griffen

      We need a new Avengers movie, but with an unexpected new super hero of non human origin. Or an update for The Day After Tomorrow.

      Call the first the Avengers: Endgame for Our Dumba**es …or for the latter An Apocalypse Fortnight after Tomorrow

    1. Sn0wman

      Can’t say it is foolproof nor will the search results be in chronological order but try using ‘IM Doc’ in either DuckDuckGo or Google for a list of many of his comments (or mention of his name in other persons’ comments).

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Money Down The Toilet In Afghanistan”

    I know that the writer of this article has more than a few conservative axes to grind but man, that video was full-on cringe. The shock over how quickly Afghanistan fell is still keenly felt in some circles causing articles like this but I am going to guess that by next year, most voters will consider it a good development and will turn their minds more to other things that Biden has not done – and Roe v. Wade will be on a lot of people’s mind. But I did see a good tweet that sounds so close to what the truth will be that I will give it here-

    ‘Writer of strongly worded letters
    The Democrats failed to deliver a $15 minimum wage, allowed the rent moratorium to expire, and are losing Roe v. Wade but when they are decimated in the midterms, CNN will say it’s because Biden withdrew from Afghanistan’

    1. Wukchumni

      I like me my historical parallels and the sudden collapse in Afghanistan is eerily similar to the fall of the Berlin Wall-all of the sudden it happened, and then shortly thereafter, Communism was relegated to the historical garbage heap.

      1. Glossolalia

        Reminds me of the line from The Sun Also Rises

        “How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.
        “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually, then suddenly.”

        How did we lose Afghanistan? Gradually, then suddenly.

      2. lordkoos

        Communism and socialism among younger people seems to be trending judging by what I see on twitter. I think we are heading back to the 1930s in that regard – my dad once told me that when he was in school in the early 40s it was extremely common for college students to be communists or at least sympathetic to the ideals of the party.

        1. Aumua

          Far left and far right ideologies seem to rise together as a dipole. Somehow they feed off each other. Some have said that Fascism is the reaction of Capitalism when it is seriously threatened, and certainly Communist ideas are a threat to it.

    2. George Phillies

      The observation was made, somewhere up above “The ANA made the situation worse by withdrawing to major cities and letting the Taliban have the countryside,…”

      Conveniently forgotten here is there detail that this was the strategy advocated for years by our military leadership. Control of terrain was said to be of no importance, because we controlled the cities and hence most of the people. (Actually, the cities are a minority of the population, but no matter.) Control of isolated points meant that the ANA could be defeated in detail a few provinces at a time. The collapse should have been no surprise, because it almost happened last December. In Kandahar, note SIGAR report, the ANA abandoned 300 posts without a fight and fled, the Taliban only being stopped by heavy American air attacks.

      The significance is that our military leadership failed to identify a truly terrible strategic plan as being a wa-rloser, a situation likely to repeat in our next war. What Biden needs to do is to relieve of command a considerable number of flag officers, more than absolutely necessary, pour encourager les autres.

    3. Maritimer

      “Money Down The Toilet In Afghanistan”
      Would that it did go “Down The Toilet”. Unfortunately, it does not. Much of it goes to money laundering centers like NY, London, Panama, etc. Some of it will be put to “work” in new rackets, schemes and crimes. See Wall Street Bailout 2008.

  21. Geo

    With everything going on that merits concern and even some level of fear, it has been a fascinating week or so interacting with my MSM “informed” circle.

    Just a few days ago I had to talk my Fox News addict neighbor down from hysterics because she was convinced Antifa was going to launch terrorist attacks imminently. She was scared to the point of having forgotten her keys and was crying while rambling about how they’re taking over and what they did to those Americans left behind in Afghanistan they’re going to do to us.

    This is a woman who grew up and as a child fled Soviet rule, lived through the La Riots in the 90’s (our street was one of the main ones where the action happened), and much more, but the news now has her debilitated with fear.

    On the “other side” a family member who watches CNN is freaking out about Qanon/Trumpist revolutionaries waging a violent civil war any day now talking about 1/6 and the Whitmer kidnapping plot as the first stages. It’s basically all she talks about. Except when she’s getting teary-eyed about Afghan women and children.

    She’s in her 70’s and has been through the Vietnam War protests, assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK & Malcolm X, OK City bombing and so much more.

    I have tried to alleviate their fears by walking them through these much more dramatic times in history then ask them why they think this time is worse considering no event on the level of those has happened. If, maybe, it’s the news they’re watching that is peddling fear-for-dollars that is freaking them out?

    Then, on the topic of Afghanistan I’ve asked both if they were this troubled by the Kurdish allies we’ve abandoned in Syria and Iraq numerous times, the Iraqi allies we left to Isis in 2014 and Saddam in ‘91, the Libyans and Somali we’ve left to warlords, and so many others whose nations we’ve turned to chaos? If not then, why now? Could it again be their news manipulating them to use for war (and profit)?

    These are anecdotal of course but fascinating to me. With all the issues to be rightfully freaked about it’s truly amazing what our MSM has its viewers freaking about: “Fear your neighbor and perpetuate war!”

    If either were to read NC it would be like an alien world to them. There are times I catch up on the news and feel nihilistic or fatalistic due to the state of affairs but it’s a whole different type of neurosis than what our MSM news consumers seem to be taking on.

    Anyone else been seeing this or is it just my little circle of paranoids?

    1. petal

      It’s happened to my mother. She’s in her early 70s and totally on board with mega TDS, convinced that the Jan 6th riot was a full-blown coup attempt, the evil republicans are out to get her and are “anti-Science”, Fauci & CDC et al are gods and can do no wrong, etc etc, and no one can convince her otherwise. It causes her anxiety and paranoia daily. She only gets her news from NBC, CNN, apple news, etc. I’ve tried to lure her to NC with a few articles but it hasn’t worked. She will say “good article” but it pretty much stops there. It’s weird, most of the time it’s like trying to talk with an alien. Facts don’t matter. She’s really lost the plot-the manipulation is complete.

      1. Glossolalia

        TDS is a real thing, but are you implying that it was not a full-blown coup attempt? Maybe just a half-blown coup attempt? I mean, if he had succeeded in preventing the certification of the election he’d still be President while supposedly pursuing election fraud investigations.

    2. Wukchumni

      My 96 year old mom still gets the LA Times (the dead tree version sadly looks like an inmate @ a concentration camp who was systematically starved in the hope that they would pass away and not be a food burden anymore) Wall Street Journal, San Gabriel Valley Tribune and Whittier Daily News, as its where I get my information infatuation from, the apples not falling far from the tree.

      She watches the telly too, and is firmly, happily stuck in the old guise of news gathering-not that there’s anything right with that. From conversations with her, the internet seems mainly used for e-mail and Facebook postings by other family members.

      Oh, the things she’s seen transpire in her long time on this good orb~

    3. Socal Rhino

      I think everyone needs to remain continually on guard against settling into the comfort of thinking their preferred source of news has given them access to the truth of things.

      1. Wukchumni

        I shouldn’t castigate old school fishwraps, but it seems the criteria to become a reporter in their employ is the ability to go a page deep into Google when researching a story.

        1. LifelongLib

          I saw an account by someone who was a reporter c. 1900, describing how a colleague when assigned to interview a celebrity would just go to the library and fabricate it from other newspapers. So all that is nothing new…

      2. John

        I have in recent days turned on the TV for a baseball game or to see how bad “the remnants of Hurricane Ida” were going to be here in the northeast and prepare accordingly. For me not too bad. For too many others, awful. But, Fox News? No. CNN? No. General American MSM? No. I do my best to stay out of the alternative universe on the left and that on the right, because if all you ever hear, see, or read is one point of view you will definitely see “Monsters on Maple Street.”

      3. Geo

        An old poem by DH Lawrence called “Search For Truth” reads: In the search for truth the first question to ask is “How great a liar an I?”

        Thanks try to consider this with any strong opinion I have then work outward from there. :)

    4. Carolinian

      An AP poll showed news trust at an all time low (it was highest among Democrats) but that doesn’t mean they aren’t watching. Roger Ailes said you are nothing if not on television and sadly that seems to be right for the vast majority (one might have to include Youtube).

      The reason of course is that in our atomized and alienated world TV also provides companionship to many. And that’s been true for a very long time–long before the internet.

      1. Geo

        Very good point. Does seem to be older people I know falling into this trap. Long days at home with the TV to be their companion. Unfortunately that companion is a maniac making them lose their minds.

    1. mistah charley, ph.d.

      She begins the clip by saying she is a ten-year Navy surgeon – which differs from what the person who has tweeted this clip says, “Army Doctor.” She makes assertions about harm being done by the vaccine being greater than that produced by the virus itself. At the end of this clip she says, “In my opinion, I think you have to look at your world view. And this is my new thing – when I talk to people I say – If you think we’re fighting a virus, you’re going to act like a victim. If you think we’re fighting a war, you’re going to act like a warrior. And my argument is, we’re in a war. Now we’re going to have to determine – it’s a fifth generation, uncharacteristic, unrestricted war – but we have to determine who the enemy is.”

      As you say, we don’t know the context. But the assertion that “if you think we’re fighting a virus, you’re going to act like a victim” immediately gets my spidey-sense tingling. And going on to assert that it is not a virus we’re fighting – “we’re fighting a war” leads me to conclude – this person has a paranoid attitude. Of course, it’s true that even paranoids have real enemies. I wish the clip had been identified with who this person is, and the audience being addressed, and the identification by the speaker of who the real enemy is. Maybe she’s right – but my best guess is that she’s not.

    2. zagonostra

      If you follow Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, this won’t come as a surprise. The good Doc has an impressive CV (he is not a Medical Doctor) but sometimes he seems to be going farther out on that fragile limb than I am comfortable following.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      If the vaccines have serious side-effects — as numerous, under-reported and unstudied as in the VAERS database, for example — that should be sufficient cause to question a blanket vaccine mandate.

      1. juno mas

        I guess that depends on what is considered “serious”, “numerous”, “under-reported” and “unstudied” after ~200 million people in the US have been vaccinated. Oftentimes the percentage of side-effects are not caused by the vaccines, but are in line with expected, non-causal occurrence.(Coincidence.)

        1. tegnost

          It’s a drug trial with no follow up. 200 million have not been vaxxed, and if they were no one asked them how it affected them. As a result you cannot claim causal occurrence, which is the reason to not ask about negative outcomes. It’s right up there with self driving cars and self flying planes. How are those working out, I was told definitively that they were going to take over 10 years ago.

    4. Ian Perkins

      A Navy doctor says the vaccines have killed more soldiers/sailors/airmen than covid itself.

      I don’t think that is what she’s claiming. She says there were only 20 recorded COVID deaths in the US armed forces in 2020, but she gives no numbers for deaths from vaccines, other than speculating that such things as myocardtis and leukemia arising from vaccines may result in future deaths (and, while some at NC dispute or qualify this, there seems to be a greater risk of mc from COVID than from vaccines).

  22. The Rev Kev

    “What the Texas abortion law means for Roe v. Wade”

    This is great news about Roe v. Wade – for the Democrats that is. Can you imagine the funding possibilities? How much money that they will be able to raise off the back off of it? What a money-spinner. Imagine the appeals to women to donate to the Democrats who will promise to do something about it when they finally have power. It would be better for the Democrats not to stomp on this as fast as possible but to let it fester from now until next year’s midterms of course. They will be able to raise more money that way you see. Having the Supreme Court abandon their responsibility by not hearing an appeal about this would have been the icing on the cake for the DNC.

    1. John

      There is no problem with the so-called shadow docket when the issue is procedural. Abortion politics is high profile. The announcement from the court looks like a sidestep, a dodge, and act of judicial cowardice. The justices who want to overturn Roe would not see it that way; surely they have sound legal reasons to underpin their beliefs. And maybe it is just a stall awaiting the already docketed Mississippi case, but they do themselves no favors as an institution in the eyes of a majority.

      Turning the issue of abortion over to the states insures that safe medical abortion will be available only to those who live where it will be permitted or have the means to travel. It was never sound policy for it to be dependent on a court. Courts change their collective mind. So do legislatures, but political issues need to be addressed politically and not before the bar. And the Supremes should keep in mind what Andrew Jackson said, “John Marshall has made his decision now let him enforce it.” (May not be an exact quote; best I could recall.)

  23. diptherio

    Re: Taibbi article on Rebel Wisdom.

    …involving a well-known investigative site that was not-so-humorously misidentified as adult content…

    If this isn’t a reference to NC, I’m going to be pretty surprised.

    1. Carolinian

      You sent me after the full quote

      The first involved Canadian broadcaster Paul Jay, while the second was a bizarre story we ended up not running (I’ll leave the convoluted explanation on that one for another day) involving a well-known investigative site that was not-so-humorously misidentified as adult content.

      NC…..maybe. Guess we’ll find out “another day.”

  24. Josef K

    All y’all youse guys and gals must have noticed that, of late, when clicking on a twitter thread, a popup blocking further reading and offering a sign-up option to continue started to appear. It happened a number of times to me, and my reaction to it was to close the tab. I’m just not curious enough about 99% of the online articles or twitter threads that ask me to sign up or pay to read, to do so, so I just close the window.

    I’ve discovered there are much more interesting things in life than reading others’ opinions on the internet. Crazy, I know, but there are flowers, birds, trees–wonderful stuff!–out there; never mind chocolate.

    So, low and behold, this morning I click on a twitter thread provided here yesterday, and no popup, the whole thread appeared. Did Jack Dorsey catch wind of my utter indifference to seeing what’s on his platform? Or was it just another ghost in the machine? Curious minds (mine) want to know.

    1. Fiery Hunt

      If you re-load the page without clicking on anything, that pop-up reappears but if you then close it, the thread will be accessible.

      My guess? Two-fold strategy…the first being to drive sign-ups and second, to drive up “clicks” for future earnings reports.

    2. hunkerdown

      “Sharing links” are not the same as permalinks. I’ve had better luck avoiding their nagwall when I remove the sharing tags from the tweet URL before hitting Enter. That said, Twitter always has the right to change their own website behavior to be as un-chocolate-like as they wish, but other Twitter clients and gateways such as Nitter do exist.

  25. Wukchumni

    That alligator eating the drone was a good start, but I worry that most of them hover too high for supper.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I’m concerned that that alligator is now fried alligator. That smoke is from the lithium battery coming in contact with water. More water just leads to more reaction. Lithium “burns” at a super high temperature.

  26. enoughisenough

    “Ahem, so a J&J shot is chopped liver?”

    Exactly – anyone know if one can get a J&J instead of a 3rd Pfizer?

    Has any research even been done? I hear nothing about this.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Since no one is keeping track, any place that administers J&J. Just act like it’s a first shot.

      J&J immunity appears to last ~8 months, per J&J and IIRC even an independent study.

      I’m less worried re lack of testing on second J&J shot because GM says it’s basically the same as AstraZenaca, with only a tweak to make it a little more effective. Since AZ was done as a two shot regime in the UK, we already have a pretty good idea re safety.

      You can see here who offers various types of vaccines.

  27. RockHard

    Just got off the phone with a friend in TX. While he’s worked up about the abortion law, he let me know about another law that just went into effect – full permitless open and concealed carry. No permit, no background check (even though convicted felons can’t legally own a gun there, I guess they figure that part out after you commit a crime), no training required.

    Texas Tribune overview

    I dislike the abortion bill intensely but I predict that that the permitless carry law will have a bigger impact on most people in TX.

    1. Wukchumni

      Isn’t it humorous that hand cannons have more freedom than women in the loan star (lotsa pawn shops there, lemme tellya) state?

    2. Clark

      Permitless open & concealed carry here in Tennessee, too. It went into effect July 1. And, given the mindset of our General Assembly, I’m sure they can’t wait to get back in session to reproduce (sorry) the Texas abortion bill.

  28. Tlev

    RE: These CDC-authorized KN95 masks come in 4 colors and cost less than $2 each SFGate (JR)

    Actually, these masks ARE NOT CDC-authorized, as per the CDC website:

    Regarding the linked masks:
    “Chengde Technology Co., Ltd. is misusing NIOSH test information regarding WWDOLL model CD9501B KN95 Foldable Protective Masks. The product package indicates it meets Chinese standard GB 2626-2019 and was submitted to NIOSH under an International Respirator Assessment request. It is being marketed using results from the assessment. As stated on the NIOSH website, these results are not to be used by manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and importers to make claims about their products and/or to influence purchasers and cannot be used to make claims that the product meets NIOSH approval requirements. Chengde Technology Co., Ltd. is not a NIOSH approval holder or a private label holder.”

    1. Basil Pesto

      Thanks for this. Alas, if the federal government were supplying masks to all residents as they are with vaccines, the problem of fraudulent masks would be virtually non-existent

  29. SD

    Roe v. Wade has for many years been effectively overruled in many states that are served by only one, two, or a small handful of abortion clinics. What good is a right without a remedy?

    If you’re poor, if you don’t have reliable transportation, if you are isolated without people to help you, if you can’t take time off work, etc., then abortion hasn’t been available to you for many years in North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, and Mississippi. Memo to liberals: This was going on well before Trump.

    The people who rule us, our home-grown oligarchs–and that includes many, many politicians–only care about this issue to the extent it affects their ability to hang onto their money and power. The misery of the poor and slipping middle classes only registers as a means to make a profit, or, at the very least, to deepen inter-class animosity. Wealthy and powerful people will always be able to get the medical services they need, including abortion.

  30. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    “The Violent Logic of Humanitarianism–FAISAL DEVJI–Boston Review”

    “The result was a Ponzi scheme in which public money was shifted to private companies and consultants to garner the military a larger share of the federal budget at no political cost, despite those killed and wounded. Afghanistan was only a relay in these transfers, with both the funds and the profits repatriated to the West. Interestingly the country’s chief commodity, heroin, plays a similar economic role, the bulk of its profits made in Europe and the United States where its external contractors and customers live.”

    And yet, the self interests of the criminally self interested are not to blame, as the temptations should not have been offered up in the first place. At least, that is the explanation offered up by certain individuals in the political class. See for example (toward the end of the interview),

    “Omar Zakhilwal – Former Afghan Finance Minister–BBC–HARDtalk–24 minutes”

    “Stephen Sackur speaks to Omar Zakhilwal, former finance minister of Afghanistan who has been involved in talks with the Taliban. Will pragmatism or zealotry prevail as the Taliban grapple with the realities of ruling a broken country?”

    There is little doubt that corruption continues to remain a central pillar in the capitalist economy and the self interested take every opportunity to line their pockets and “get rich or die trying” by any means necessary. As they have been both socialized and taught to do.

    “Former Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen, who served as the principal watchdog for wrongdoing in Iraq from 2004 to 2013, said he suspected “the fraud … among U.S. military personnel and contractors was much higher” than what he and his colleagues were able to prosecute. John F. Sopko, his contemporary counterpart in Afghanistan, said his agency has probably uncovered less than half of the fraud committed by members of the military in Afghanistan.”

  31. Cuibono

    “Something isn’t right with the numbers”

    well there is also: when does someone get into and out of ICU level care? Do they need to be intubated? No right? Are they staying alive longer due to younger age?
    there is NO easy way to sort this out but I am hearing of younger ages

  32. Soredemos

    >China calls for boycott on ‘overly entertaining’ entertainers and ‘sissy idols’ in continued purge of popular culture industry South China Morning Post

    There was some speculation that the weird reference to masculinity in that article the Party was recently pushing was the result of bad translation. Apparently not.

    A focus on machismo (which is always in crisis and under threat, apparently) seems weirdly right-wing and reactionary for a nominally communist country, but then again this is the culture that invented yin and yang, claiming gender as a metaphysical absolute, and then quickly took to claiming that one must be subservient to the other, rather than a truly equal, complimentary relationship.

  33. Conrad Schumacher

    That flood video is incredible. Ten minutes from some puddles on the lawn to cars floating down the street.

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