Links 9/4/2021

Researchers Have Finally Observed These Crafty Cockatoos Making ‘Cutlery’ in The Wild ScienceAlert (David L)

Workers Rescue A Cow Trapped In A Tree After Hurricane Ida NPR (David L)

Thousands of kilometres from anywhere lies Point Nemo, a watery grave where space stations go to die Guardian (Kevin W)

Ancient DNA from a teenage girl reveals previously unknown group of humans CNN (Chuck L)

Hydrogen development strategies: a global perspective Bruegel

Scientific fraud vs. art forgery (or, why are so many scientific frauds so easy to detect? Dynamic Ecology (dk). Because incentives!

#COVID-19

Science/Medicine

Israel fighting record breaking surge in Covid-19 cases despite high levels of vaccination News.com.au (Kevin W). So much for Pfizer….

Staying power: does Moderna’s vaccine have edge on Pfizer? Financial Times

India’s DNA COVID Vaccine is a World First — More Are Coming Nature

Blood Donor Study Estimates Over 80% of American Adults Now Have Coronavirus Antibodies Gizmodo. (Dr. Kevin) Not at all a random sample.

The CDC is finally listening to women about vaccines Quartz. As in menstrual issues.

US

Will Hurricane Ida cause a spike in Covid-19? BBC

Some nurses are choosing to get fired rather than get vaccinated Business Insider. As we predicted.

Inmates Weren’t Told They Were Given Ivermectin Instead Of COVID-19 Medication NPR (resilc). So now a sudden outbreak of pearl-clutching on behalf of inmates?

Largest Study of Its Kind Finds Face Masks Reduce COVID-19 Berkeley

Health Officials Advise White House to Scale Back Booster Plan for Now New York Times

American and Alaska Airlines will end paid pandemic leave for unvaccinated employees who become sick with COVID-19 Daily Mail

Finance/Economy

Poor US jobs growth shows Covid Delta variant impact BBC

Jobs report disappoints — only 235,000 positions added vs. expectations of 720,000 CNBC

China?

City of Beijing Said to Seek Taking Didi Under State Control Bloomberg

Biden gives green light to US-China thaw Asia Times (Kevin W)

India’s joint South China Sea drills show concern about Beijing, experts say South China Morning Post

Beijing is having trouble selling its citizens on a partnership with the Taliban Quartz (David L)

Japan’s PM Suga falls on his sword Asia Times (Kevin W)

Old Blighty

Labour’s lost future: the inside story of a 20-year collapse New Statesman (Colonel Smithers)

Syraqistan

Afghanistan: Fate of Panjshir Valley in balance amid heavy fighting BBC. Oops, a few hours later: Afghanistan news – live: Taliban claim to have taken Panjshir Valley as UK leaves asylum seekers in limbo Independent

Outrage after US Military leaves 46 dogs, 30 million Afghans, behind Duffel Blog

Why the Taliban still can’t form a government Pepe Escobar (MJ, Kevin W)

U.S. Wrestles With Taliban Sanctions as Afghan Crisis Looms New York Times (Kevin W)

Victims of US Drone Strike in Kabul Want Answers Antiwar (resilc)

Biden’s Question in 2009 Exposed Folly of Afghanistan War Intercept

Proposals for an EU army re-emerge after Afghan pullout – but many remain ‘hard to convince’ France24

Israeli officials cautioned Biden against heavy criticism of Egypt, Saudi Arabia Times of Israel (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Pwned! The home security system that can be hacked with your email address Naked Security (BC)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Top defense firms spend $1B on lobbying during Afghan war, see $2T return Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

“Rogue Nations” and “Failed States”: America Doesn’t Know the Difference Counterpunch. A feature, not a bug.

Biden

Biden orders FBI to review classified 9/11 records for public release Florida Bulldog (Chuck L)

Congress Moves Closer to Making Women Register for the Draft Military.com

Madison Cawthorn: behold the rotten fruit of extreme Republican gerrymandering Guardian

Texas judge hands narrow win to abortion providers fighting new 6-week ban The Hill

Democrats rush to find strategy to counter Texas abortion law Guardian. Resilc: “Always reactive, to everything.”

‘Unconstitutional chaos’: Biden vows ‘whole-of-government’ response after Texas abortion decision NBC (furzy). Team Dem is so unserious. Give TX abortion MDs emergency access to VA hospitals, including surgical privileges. Have the National Guard provide transportation. Dare Texas to try to sue the VA. I am pretty sure sovereign immunity would apply. Or if VA facilities are overloaded because Covid, give emergency VA licenses to abortion facilities.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Ex-prosecutor indicted for misconduct in Ahmaud Arbery death Associated Press

California legislature passes bill that would end qualified immunity for police officers, sending it to governor’s desk Business Insider

Remington Subpoenas Report Cards of Five Children Killed in Sandy Hook Shooting Vice (David L, resilc)

Caldor fire smoke and ash are clouding Lake Tahoe’s famously clear water Los Angeles Times (David L)

US aviation regulator grounds Branson’s Virgin Galactic DW

2021.09.01 – Catherine Austin Fitts – Le Go-vide n’est qu’un écran de fumée pour cacher le coup d’état financier des banques Odysee (Chuck L)

Green National Accounting Project Syndicate (David L)

Class Warfare

Approval of Labor Unions at Highest Point Since 1965 Gallup (resilc)

Tyson Foods Strikes Deal With Unions on Covid-19 Vaccines, Sick Pay Wall Street Journal. Tyson is a nasty company, so any deal is an accomplishment.

Apple Faces Probe From US Labor Board Over Complaints of Hostile Working Conditions engadget

Antidote du jour (mgl from Andy Warneford):

Bonus antidotes courtesy guurst:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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299 comments

  1. Savita

    I’m not American but the following will be of immense interest to most commentators here. A structure based in law for reconveying your jurisidiction and correcting your lawful status thus regainiing rights as a National. Established and supported by a genuine Judge, Anna von Reitz, who reminds me of Yves a great deal . Once you’ve completed the process it is applicable internationally. It’s also possible in every country, but this is the US version which is the original. Not for profit, doesn’t cost anything outright. https://tasa.americanstatenationals.org/ The American States Assembly. ‘ Your Government is supposed to be staffed by you.
    It’s decisions are supposed to be made by you. It’s primary responsibility is to protect you and your property assets at all costs and against all comers.
    That’s why governments exist. And that is the only reason for any government to exist, ever. But what if your government doesn’t protect you? What if, instead, your government preys upon you, threatens you, harasses you, and makes you miserable and fearful?’

    1. The Historian

      No Anna Von Reitz does not remind me of Yves at all. For one thing, Yves is legit and does not claim to be a ‘judge’. And as far as I can tell, Yves is sane.

    2. hunkerdown

      Karentarianism is a value system that prioritizes personal status and physical comfort over existing social relations. (For what it’s worth, Cairn Terrierism is much more adorable.)

      Ms. Von Reitz seriously misunderstands the nature of social reproduction and needs to read a book. She can start with Engels’ On the Origin of Family, Private Property, and the State, Graeber’s Debt, or Michael Hudson’s And Forgive Them Their Debts.

      1. Wukchumni

        (For what it’s worth, Cairn Terrierism is much more adorable.)

        I dismantled about 10 of them en route to Eagle Lake the other day, a lot of cairnessless activity on my part.

    3. Clark

      A cursory glance at this webpage tells me that it includes many tropes used by “Sovereign Citizen” adherents. Didn’t see anything about a yellow-fringed US flag indicating “maritime jurisdiction” in courtrooms, but I’ll bet there’s an allusion to it somewhere. Total crackpot stuff.

    4. chris

      I have this image of hopeful conspiracy minded sovereign citizens coming out of the woodwork, like innocent bunnies. They’ve seen all the skepticism about COVID and think, “Now is our time!”

      And then they $hit post on sites like this find out that just because people are skeptical of what’s going on doesn’t mean we’ll buy the barely warmed over excrement they’re selling…

  2. QuarterBack

    Re the Ghislaine Maxwell order, how long before a white shoe law firm submits an amicus filing calling for appeal of the order on behalf of anonymous parties?

    1. QuarterBack

      After reading the Judge’s order, it is more limited in that it only requires coconspirator names to be released that the Gov intends to refer to (or also presumably call to testify) at trial. So, if the DOJ doesn’t refer to, or call to testify, (INSERT NAME HERE), then they don’t have to release that name under this order. However it does have the effect of limiting individual coconspirators from being referenced or called to testify to only those disclosed.

      The full Judge’s order can be found here:
      https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/feds-must-disclose-identities-of-any-unnamed-co-conspirators-to-ghislaine-maxwell-trial-judge-rules/

  3. Henry Moon Pie

    John Michael Greer is the latest to reconsider the Club of Rome’s 1972 Limits to Growth, authored by a group led by Donella Meadows. He argues that the Limits to Growth projections, deemed by an article yesterday as the “most successful econometric projection ever made,” are not just temporary but are instead the manifestation of the Limits to Growth model’s projection of Peak Production coming well before 2050.

    He begins by reminding us that the Meadows model offered us a choice nearly 50 years ago:

    The point of The Limits to Growth was that we as a species, and as a community of nations, had a choice. We could rein back on economic growth ourselves and embrace the promise of a steady state future in relative balance with the global biosphere, or we could ignore the limits to growth until we slammed into them, and topple over into a long ragged decline ending in a new dark age.

    That was the choice. It’s crashingly unpopular these days to suggest that we could have chosen the former option, but that’s just sour grapes talking: we didn’t make that choice while we could, and so it’s emotionally easier for a lot of people to insist that it was never an option at all. I remain convinced that it could have happened. We had a window of opportunity; between the total failure of our managerial elite in the Vietnam war, the trauma of the 1973 oil embargo, and the revelations of government corruption and abuse of power that followed Watergate, enough people in the United States had been shocked awake, and we could have made the necessary changes while there was time for them to matter. The US Bicentennial in 1976 brought us close to that choice—closer, I think, than ever before or since—as a great many Americans thought about what we’d lost in our frantic quest for empire overseas and excess at home.

    The hippies were right along with Meadows and the Limits to Growth. But that choice is behind us. We opted for “Morning in America,” Big Macs, even bigger McBoxes to live in, and Hummers to drive 50 miles back and forth to work.

    So the data continues to track Meadows’s worst-case scenario, and that brings us to the shortages of today which Greer sees as follows:

    I’d like to suggest that the decline in output predicted in this chart [Greer reproduces Meadows’s famous time chart projection in his essay] is an essential part of what’s driving the cascade of spot shortages at present. Given the nature of today’s global economy, groaning as it is under the burdens of dysfunctional centralization and excess complexity, a flurry of seemingly unrelated shortfalls and delays is exactly how a contraction in industrial output would show up first, as marginal producers of components and raw materials fail to contribute their quotas to the manufacturing sector.

    If this is correct, we have reached the point at which the decline in resource availability and the increase in the total pollution load on the environment and economy have begun to throw monkey wrenches into industrial output. If that’s the case, and the Limits to Growth model continues to be correct, the torrent of consumer goods that has defined so much of life in the world’s industrial nations is coming to an end in our time, and a cascade of other changes will follow in turn.

    Along the way, Greer explains why Meadows’s model has proven so accurate contrary to the ridicule and outrage it precipitated upon its release half-a-century ago.

    Familiarity with the Limits to Growth projections and the systems thinking that produced them are essential not only to understanding how we go to this point of failure but also to grasp just how quickly things are likely to unravel well before we ever break the 1.5 degree mark.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘the torrent of consumer goods that has defined so much of life in the world’s industrial nations is coming to an end in our time’

      If so, that might be reflected in a diminishing amount of choices that we see locally. So you might see well-known brands disappearing from the shelves and maybe only having twenty varieties of breakfast cereal to choose from instead of fifty as an example. Or maybe equipment-wise, some gear will no longer be stocked locally and you may have to travel to a place that carries it or even order it online.

      1. Wukchumni

        The shortages won’t really become noticed until people willingly line up to procure cans of Underwood Deviled Ham-which odd for canned foodstuffs, comes gift wrapped in paper and all you need is a festive bow to create a much desired xmas gift exchange item, and don’t forget, it’s pre-masticated for easy chewing.

      2. Kurtismayfield

        Already am seeing my choices disappear at local stores. Because of limits to distribution/production, I have been given only a choice of 1-2 brands at my market and local box store.

      3. albrt

        Unfortunately, it is hard to tell whether the reduction in breakfast cereal brands is the result of a decline in output, or the result of some brands being willing to pay the supermarkets more for shelf space.

        Although I guess corruption in the distribution system under late stage capitalism could be considered one of the mechanisms for disruption and decline in output.

        Of course, the decline in output due to fewer cereal brands doesn’t necessarily show up in tonnage of food-like material consumed. It seems like it would mainly show up in loss of compensation for services associated with the brands and platforms themselves.

        Won’t somebody think of little Madison, child of the ad exec who worked for the less successful brand!

        1. polar donkey

          About a week and half ago, two coca-cola reps came to where I work. Proceed to tell me within the year come will not be delivering soda to us any longer. Will have Sysco deliver our coke orders. A couple days ago, a friend went to Walgreens. No coke products at all. Walgreens employee told my friend come has delivered anything in a month and not sure when will again. Obviously, coke has massive logistical problems and doesn’t think they can be fixed. That’s a big fall for a company that’s distributed its own products for decades

          1. Lambert Strether

            Walgreens isn’t exactly Walmart, though.

            I can see some sort of retrenchment due to supply chain issues; they’re cutting off the small branch lines, just as the big railroads to (all they want to do is move enormous trains of containers from point A to point B).

            Can any other readers confirm?

          2. Jeremy Grimm

            I think Coke needs kola nuts. Coke shortages might result from climate change in combination with the Corona’s logistics impacts.

      4. HotFlash

        Don’t ever fret about brands of breakfast cereal, most of them are made by 3 or 4 companies — eg. Kellogg’sproducts, similar for General Mills, Post Foods, and Quaker Oats (owned by Pepsico). Buyers for retail grocery stores and ‘distributors’ (the services that sell to smaller stores) are attracted to variety and they are BigFoods actual customers, not mere us. The number of varieties on the shelf do not greatly increase the total quantity sold/resources consumed — how much cereal can a person eat?

        OTOH, cars, plastic pkging, toys, fast fashion, slow fashion, most of the stuff and gadgets we consumers seem to ‘need’ do consume addit’l resources. What would they do if everyconsumer just said no? A hint: vaccine passports.

    2. Chad Thundercock

      >”We” opted

      I don’t remember opting for something more than thirty years before I was born.

    3. JTMcPhee

      Forgive the physical analogy, the current piecemeal crapification and dysfunctionalization remind me of one of the more horrible ways to die (now happening to some Covid sufferers): “disseminated intravascular coagulation.”

      Underlying disease leads to both micro clots choking off peripheral circulation, and uncontrollable bleeding at multiple sites. Any medical interventions often just accelerate the processes, leading to organ failure and death. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disseminated_intravascular_coagulation

      The looters have set us to a pretty tune, and so many have blindly danced along.

    4. Glen

      This – nice comment.

      People have truly underestimated the damage done to America by allowing Wall St and the mega corporations and the PMC to “manage” America’s industrial base and effectively set America’s industrial policy. They have taken an industrial base which was mostly a legacy of WWII, and made it a world class example of how NOT to structure your economy to prepare for our perilous future.

      And I don’t think recovery from this is done quickly or easily. It starts by taking every MBA that has been taught or lives by “Just-in-time” and “workers are replaceable widgets”, and putting their heads on the chopping block, and swinging down hard. By figuring out how to turn Wall St back into a actual market rather than a giant vampire squid clamped onto your real economy, and the Fed into something useful rather than a money printer for every sociopath that climbed into America’s elites.

      1. lance ringquist

        we must enlighten. just as thomas paine and ben franklin, enlightened.

        if we do not expose who did what to whom and why, the clinton/blair types will skate, and the damage will be permanent.

        they must be made to pay.

        if they skate, they have divided us so much, we might sink into a bloodbath all over the world.

        this is what we need so that people do not blame each other. the clinton/blair types need to do the perp walk.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_commission

        what we need is more of the below, its history repeating itself, and it should be required reading for anyone to understand what was done to the world in the 1990’s, and if we do not do something about polices that never worked in the past, proven to have only enriched a few, to the detriment of man kind, but keep cropping up by those whom are very good at mental gymnastics, then history will repeat itself.

        the best education was the percura commision,

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pecora_Commission

        and the nuremberg war trials, which matched names and pictures, with their crimes against humanity.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_trials

        The Truman Committee proved to be one of the most successful investigative efforts ever mounted by the U.S. government

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truman_Committee

        it worked, the ike administration is considered socialist compared to the clinton/obama abominations.

        sunlight works. it will turn clinton/blair/obama types radioactive, that is no one will want to touch them.

        if you shine a light on them, we get to see who their advisors were inside and outside of government, and their financial backers were.

    5. Jeremy Grimm

      Thank you for the link to Greer’s “Prayer for Nonbelievers” [It is also posted on ecosophia.net]. I look forward to his monthly posts but sometimes miss his not monthly posts.

      The “Limits to Growth” reports the results obtained from a relatively simple model of resources, industry, and consumption …. The conclusions derived from that model are straightforward and — I believe — robust. I disagree with statements in your comment: “hippies were right”, we ‘chose’ “Morning in America” and big consumption. I was a teenager in the 1960s. There were some good things about the hippie movement, and a lot of silliness. Watch “Easy Rider” again, or “Woodstock”, then ask whether hippie rhetoric has utility today, and whether it had utility then. [I believe the utility of rhetoric is measured by its ability to convince the hard-to-convince unconvinced.] When Jimmy Carter ran against Ronald Reagan, the media had wrapped the Oil Crisis, stagflation, and the Iran hostage situation around his neck. In this age of market propaganda and choices limited to the choices Cartels chose to offer I wonder how much agency or ‘choice’ ‘we’ truly have in choosing McMansions or Big Macs.

      Greer’s “Prayer…” tends to treat “Limits” almost like a book of Holies, as does your comment. There is no need to claim “Meadows’s model has proven so accurate”, and that opens the rhetoric to counterarguments about the accuracy of the models. The models are simplifications. If they get the date wrong or make a bad prediction, that does not invalidate the models or their conclusions. Those conclusions hold within the domain of the model. I believe the models are robust to many adjustments and changes, but could contain errors without categorically invalidating their overall conclusion. In its essence the model gives some measure to the simple common sense truism it confirms. “Multiply neither Angels nor Devils beyond what is strictly necessary.” alternately: “Entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity”.

      Greer’s rhetoric lumps the costs of externalities with pollution and caps that with: “… ‘pollution’ as a category includes, among many other things, the dumping of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and its impact on the economy includes the costs of drought and other results of climate change.” I am not sure the modelers who constructed “Limits” were thinking of climate change, as we are experiencing it, as part of their variable ‘pollution’. I also believe it is a rhetorical misstep to suggest or implicitly claim such prescience on the part of the “Limits” model — it is unnecessary.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Good points all re: my comment and more generally, Greer.

        A few responses:

        ““Woodstock”, then ask whether hippie rhetoric has utility today”

        We are stardust (billion year old carbon).
        We are golden (just got caught up in some devil’s bargain).
        And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the Garden.

        Joni Mitchell, “Woodstock”

        I think it’s pretty difficult to come up with a statement both concise and rich in imagery and allusion that does a better job of stating where we are now. And that’s a lyric more than 50 years old.

        More broadly, the counterculture movement was like an ellipsis formed from two foci: a demand for peace and a rebellion against consumer culture. How different things would be if those had become central aspects of our culture. Was the counterculture persuasive? It persuaded me, a kid on a farm in the middle of the country. Did it persuade my parents and grandparents? Not even close, but is that so surprising? When I was 18, I thought that the “changes we waited for love to bring,” as Jackson Browne calls them, were right around the corner. When that turned out not to be the case, there was tremendous disappointment and disillusionment, but that was a product of my youth. Now I am grateful for the poets and prophets of my youth–Slick, Prine, Dylan, Crosby, Winwood–and filmmakers and scriptwriters like Hopper, Terry Southern, Mike Nichols, Hal Ashby–for they liberated me and my mind from the stifling and wrong-headed conformity of that era. And if they are now anachronisms, then it will take new artists with some of the same traits to help lead new generations out of the insane rush to bury ourselves under more and more of George Carlin’s “stuff” while, at the same time, spreading violence around the globe.

        As to the exaltation of the Limits to Growth, it is very true that it’s never a good idea to oversell, but the effort, including the “forest” approach taken by Meadows that lumped things together to the max making the model more robust, was extraordinary from our perspective. Because of that, the hope–my hope–is that people will take the projections of that model into our future more seriously and understand that degrowth is not a choice. Degrowth is coming. The question is whether it will completely overwhelm us and our civilization or whether we can adapt and buttress and thereby minimize suffering.

        1. Wukchumni

          An interesting book by one of my favorite authors came out during the Summer of Love, written by Berkeley professor George R. Stewart

          It’s incredibly prescient and who else was talking about ecology & sustainability back then?

          The title is: Not So Rich as You Think

        2. Jeremy Grimm

          I have no problem with hippies. I like Joni Mitchell and listened to Joan Baez endlessly as a young teen. I like the poetic and mysterious. But I am growing genuinely alarmed at what I see happening around me right now. I believe Humankind is very near a frightening reckoning with the Earth. I want our champions like Greer to make better designed arguments and use rhetoric designed to move more than the pious already sitting in the ‘choir’. Do not hug a tree and argue for endangered species when trying to convince a lumberjack. Argue that lumbering is temporary and the local mills are all closing down, because the logs are being shipped to cheaper mills far far away. Even knowing that, the lumberjack may have no other way to earn a living. The sorrowful fate of a dicky bird will receive small sympathy from a lumberjack in arrears on rent or behind on truck payments.

          I feel I should expand on the problem I have with the model in “Limits”. The model is a linear systems model for a non-linear system. The ‘Limits’ model, like the IPCC’s climate budget, suggests we should be prepared for a smooth transition to a horrific outcome. It does not require a tremendously complex nonlinear system to obtain some very interesting behaviors — the motions of a triple pendulum for example.

          Further, I believe neither the “Limits” nor IPCC budget models include features of the complex human systems that our Civilization depends on and are impacted by “Limits” and climate. I fear Society does not have until 2050 before the interplay of resource limits and climate chaos catastrophically impact the increasingly fragile human networks and systems supporting our Civilization — our transportation, communication, electric power, goods distribution (goods including food and fuel among other things), water, sewer, systems and other systems too often invisible until a failure outlines their presence. Related to this line of argument I disagree with Greer’s attempt to link some of the current supply chain problems we are seeing in these Corona years, to resource “Limits”. I do not believe that is case, so far, and I believe even the suggestion is needlessly provocative. It opens Greer to too many counter-arguments which can be used to obscure his point — the coupling between systems. It is similar to trying to argument that a particular weather event is a consequence of Climate Chaos. I suppose it can be done in some cases, but not easily.

          1. drsteve0

            You’re right about lumberjacks, or loggers as we say here in the South. But it doesn’t take a well crafted, nuanced argument to convince most people in jobs that are exploitative of the environment to go for a cleaner, greener job. Just give them an opportunity to make as good a living doing something else. Oh I don’t know, say like a New Green Deal hiring millions to retrofit houses and other structures or if you really wanna go crazy, large public works programs to prop up our garbage infrastructure.

            I worked as a logger when I was young dumb and full of you know what. Faced with self financing college and professional school, didn’t take long to ascertain the quickest route to accumulating lotsa cash (besides dealing drugs) was to work dirty, dangerous jobs. Worked as a feller-limber which requires being a limber fellah. Cut down machines have since automated that job away. All the guys I worked with (only one lady, truck driver) were older than me, married with kids, and would gladly have worked as store clerks or in an office if it paid as well. They didn’t romanticize their jobs, with at best a high school diploma it was the best way to achieve the ‘murican dream.

            It’s hard to romanticize sweating and sweltering thru Georgia summers, freezing in winter, especially when it rained, fighting briars all day when you’re not stuck up to your thighs in mud. Don’t even get me started on the bugs, the snakes and the poison ivy. Nobody that’s really logged would honestly glamorize it. Most strippers don’t cherish their line of work either, but it pays well.

            Seems I’m wrong. There is at least one line of work where even the low level grunts believe the romanticized BS blather about their industry. Unless you cherish the idea of spending a day or two picking your teeth out of your excrement, never try and convince a coal miner they’re not some sort of folk hero.

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              Your comment is consistent with how I imagined lumberjacks might feel about their work. I worked in an office, but I did not come home with clean hands. I accepted my unclean work for much the same reason you worked as a feller-limber. I sweated also, but sweat of a different kind than you.

              I am troubled after watching parts of “Planet of the Humans” again and listening to Chris Hedges interview with the authors of “Bright Green Lies” — again. Perhaps the first question I should ask is who are the appropriate audiences for arguments and rhetoric in our Society and where is the forum where sway can actuate redress? Do those who decide these matters still have ears that listen to argument and rhetoric? The Populace is a sea of lumberjacks and office slaves. That makes me think of Sparticus. The problem is, it is so very hard to tell Sparticus from Napolean.

              1. drsteve0

                Didn’t mean any offense, hope none was taken as I wholeheartedly agree with you, except for the Napoleon bit. I’d take the little Corsican over Nancy Pelosi any day of the week.

                1. Jeremy Grimm

                  Sorry! I appreciate your comment and took no offense whatsoever. I was trying to suggest that our jobs though very different were also very similar. I worked at my unclean job much longer than you at yours — leaving more stains on my hands — stains like the blood on the hands of Macbeth’s wife. I hope you found more fulfilling and ‘cleaner’ work once you got out of college. I like to believe I take offense at very little, and then take but small offense. I do enjoy argument.

                  I almost referred to Caesar instead of Napolean and deliberately avoided references to characters from ninety years ago. I wanted to suggest the difference between a liberator and dictator, benign or otherwise. I think Nancy Pelosi as most kin to the Nero who followed Claudius [at least in I Claudius]. She is completely incommensurate to Napoleon.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            The only argument which might attract a lumberjack is . . . “society is interested enough in saving the spotted owl that society is willing to tax itself enough to pay you lumberjack pay and a lumberjack retirement if you will become a spotted owl ranger instead”. And that will only work if “society” really is interested enough, and if society really can “show lumberjack the money”.

            If it is just owl-supporting individuals, I don’t know what pro-owl individuals could say to a lumberjack to gain his interest.

            Perhaps if several million environmentalists were to raise enough private money to be able to “buy out” each lumberjack with as much money as he/she would make lumberjacking? And keep doing it till there were no lumberjacks left un-buy-outed?

            Otherwise, all society can say is . . . ” since the land belongs to society-in-general, and society is interested in preserving the spotted owl, and also eleventeen hundred other species which live only in the ancient forests, plus the relationships between all these species which make up the forestness of the ancient forest, we society have decided that welfare logging will be banned on our societally-owned ancient forest public land.”

            That’s the like-it-or-lump-it argument.

            And perhaps society might say that ” for every lumberjack job we kill by stopping welfare logging, we save a salmon fisherman’s job by not killing off the free-for-the-catching salmon runs. We would rather have salmon forever than welfare logging for a few thousand trees more.”

    6. Lost in OR

      I read that book in my freshman year of college (’74) and it had a profound impact on my thinking and life. The logic was laid out clearly and was irrefutable.

      Something that is interesting to me is how I absorbed that book whereas so many did not. Very similar to how we still “follow the science” only when that science fits our narrative. At age 18 and since, my narrative was not at all like my parents. Where did that narrative come from? Compared to the many who are willfully ignorant of the Limits to Growth, my narrative has not been all that good for me.

    7. John Zelnicker

      Thanks, Henry for the link to Greer’s piece.

      I was involved in the Zero Population Growth (ZPG) movement in college just before Limits to Growth came out and found it’s logic almost unassailable.

      Growing up, I had learned that nothing is permanent, nothing is eternal, and nothing can keep growing forever.

      Sadly, it may, indeed, be too late for effective change.

  4. Ian Perkins

    Bigfoot

    The video says: “The Bigfoot in this video looks very real and you can even make out the heavy build and all the muscles which is hard to replicate using a fake suit…
    It looked thoroughly unconvincing to me, with a very human-like gait – and is it that hard to replicate a heavy, muscular build?

    Plus who in their right mind would rent or buy a suit just to pull off a hoax?
    I can imagine plenty who’d do it just for a laugh, and who says they’re in their right minds anyway?

    It continues: “This simply can not be a man in a suit only because there is so much detail in the body and it looks MASSIVE in size.”
    Massive in comparison to what? I didn’t notice anything of a known size in the video with which to compare it.

    And in this promo video, they claim to have DNA from bigfeet – where is it?

    1. The Historian

      Look at the legs – Bigfoot is wearing boots! I think someone would have noticed him in a store buying them!

        1. Michael Ismoe

          I’m pretty sure that’s Hillary Clinton trying to uncover a route into the Biden Administration.

    2. jr

      I’m all for keeping an eye open for “cryptids” as a matter of first philosophy but please, this isn’t the Boggy Creek era. Some clever high schoolers, some 3-d modeling, some synthetic fur, plus the biggest guy in town and you could pull this off.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Was just watching a Godzilla movie on TV a few minutes ago and I can see why the insurance companies hate him.

    3. B flat

      Looks like Sasquatch has a bit of smartphone neck too! And I believe people who live close to nature look ahead, not down.

      1. Eustachedesaintpierre

        It looks very human to me & as there is nothing to compare with in relation to scale, he could be one of those stocky perhaps bodybuilding short fellas, an opinion that would be backed up by his head size being large in relation to his height.

        The clip is very short for no apparent reason unless it was a case of Oh there’s Bigfoot, but now I’m bored or I had better get the hell out of here – Homer Simpson was I think more convincing.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlaI0OlV8VI 3.20 mins

        1. Brunches with Cats

          “The clip is very short for no apparent reason . . .”
          Gotta give ’em credit for turning a 2-second shot into a 30-second video. The “reason,” I imagine, would be that those 2 seconds were all they got where the only giveaway was the boots (hats off to Historian). If indeed it was some teenagers’ idea of a practical joke, it had to be disappointing that after going to all that trouble to set it up — if indeed it was set up and not just a digital prank — that all they got was 2 seconds.

    4. Wukchumni

      A fellow in our cabin community has a game cam and is always prattling on about a deer he caught in action or a bear that passed by, and a few years ago another cabin owner had a friend that had a bigfoot costume and he borrowed it and made an appearance in the winter, and it worked like a charm when the cabin owner saw the footage a few months later in the late spring.

    5. ambrit

      Ahem! [Clears throat magesterially.]
      The late Ivan T Sanderson wrote a book about it back in 1962, “Abominal Snowmen.”
      Sanderson has been pilloried and smeared for years. Even his Wikipedia page seems to have been ‘edited’ by a detractor.
      See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_T._Sanderson
      Anyway, Sandrson theorizes on there being several sub-species of “Yeti” spread across the globe. One of his statements was that the State of California had scat samples related to “Bigfoot” sightings. This being from the 1950s and earlier? If so, this material would have DNA in it and be worth testing. This might be the source of the claim today about DNA samples being held. (Real biologists please correct me if I err.)
      Sanderson was a true eccentric, had a scientific education, and was good enough to be used by the British military during WW-2 to keep an eye on German activities in the Caribbean.
      As for the ‘Bigfoot’ film… Alas, these days, phaquing something on video is so easy. I would need literally solid evidence for proof: hair, skin, blood, scat, and perhaps a signed copy of his, her, or it’s drivers license.

      1. Ian Perkins

        NatGeo or Discovery channel used to have a series in which Bigfootists went out into North American forests armed with all manner of hi-tech cameras, microphones, infra-red sensors and who knows what. Yet the best they ever seemed to manage was a dark fuzzy shape that could easily (to my untrained eye) have been a deer or bear clambering over a fallen tree, or a sound which they swore blind could only have come from Bigfoot, but sounded to me like it could equally have been an animal caught by a predator, or boughs bending and straining in the wind. In short, not a lot, despite the effort and enthusiasm they put into it.

        1. ambrit

          Semi valid criticism. I would imagine that any ‘program’ which was motivated by money, such as ratings, advertising revenue, and merchandise sales, would be a prime candidate for “embellishing.” “Hey! Where’s the FX guy?”
          One point Sanderson made in his 1962 book was just how much of the Americas had never been visited by Terran humans. Google is so degraded now, I just scrolled through ten ‘pages’ of suggested links after typing in the question, “How much of California has been surveyed?” and found nothing of any use. Caltrans rights of way seems to be the most frequent return. (The same link came up at least three times over the ten pages.)
          Anyway, America is big and has large areas of truly wild country. Any self respecting Sasquatch could hide forever. Add in that such would be wild creatures and thus able to hear any video teams coming a mile away.

          1. Wukchumni

            When i’m traipsing around in the High Sierra, sometimes i’ll think to myself looking around off-trail in the distance, ‘has anybody ever been there?’ and probably not.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Here is a whole bunch of images relating to that book by Sanderson . . . Abominable Snowman, Legend Come To Life.

        ( It looks like Yahoo now fills the top row of its image collection with links to commercial ad images. But the next rows of images are still legitimate. And each image has its URL and some of those URLs lead to interesting sources or addresses or blogs.)

        https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0geK.JIJDdhJ0EAnz5XNyoA;_ylu=Y29sbwNiZjEEcG9zAzEEdnRpZAMEc2VjA3Nj?p=ivan+sanderson+abominable+snowman+legend+come+to+life+book+images&fr=sfp

  5. JMM

    2021.09.01 – Catherine Austin Fitts – Le Go-vide n’est qu’un écran de fumée pour cacher le coup d’état financier des banques Odysee (Chuck L)

    That video looks so close to pure conspiranoia it hurts. Admittedly, I could only watch a couple of minutes, but when the guy says “there’s something going on” I tuned off.

    1. rob

      except that what catherine austin fitts SAID…. is /could be true…
      . the beginning did look kinda “new agey” for me…..but after the host spoke(don’t know who that is/was)don’t care..
      but catherine austin fitts did accurately describe the body financial as it is… naming no names though..
      and the video of the guy from the bank of international settlements, was what was really scary… cause that is true…
      And the thing about the US budget not actually being audited except in the way of that she described…I recall something along those lines,, but is that still the case? Which would just put a “date” to the last time there was even a semblance of reality in what is the current picture of the US financial system presented to the public… by the people behind the curtain…
      that sounds about right… it’s been 20 years of all propaganda, all the time..

      1. Pelham

        If I understand what Fitts is saying, there’s basically a $21 trillion deficit somewhere in the system that’s unaccounted for. And that’s basically money that central banks are handing over to private equity to buy up housing stock to turn us all into renters while, in parallel, Big Pharma and the Covid crisis are ensuring that we’ll all need vaccine passports that in turn can be paired with electronic currencies to enslave and control everyone. Am I missing anything?

        OK, I don’t necessarily dismiss any of that. But the near-term key that will test the validity of these theories is the vaccine passports. Right now, I doubt that we’ll see much of this. I could be wrong, but the concept appears to be a lead balloon. The digital currency, however, is more ominous. If Fitts had concentrated on that alone, I would have found her a bit more credible.

        1. Cuibono

          the passports are here already in many places. Not sure what you are seeing.
          People were called conspiracy nuts for suggesting we would have them Now they are called conspiracy nuts for saying there is anything wrong with them

        2. clarky90

          I like Catherine Austin Fitts!

          King Midas created endless wealth, by touch. Midas foreshadowed the computer keyboard at the FED. Hey presto……heh heh heh………!

          Having access to infinite gold. Midas could easily pay 100 tons of gold for one cup of coffee.

          Now, in (Not-Mythology!) 2021 (the real world) if interest rates are at 0.00%, than it cost nothing to be in debt, no matter the amount. A $100 debt cost the same as a $1,000,000 debt ($0). If interest rates are at minus (-1.00%), then if one was one trillion dollars in debt, he/she would earn $10 billion ($10,000,0000,000) pa. A nice return on nothing!

          Conversely, if she/he had $10,000 debt on their credit card, at 22% interest, the debt would compound to $28,470,378.00 in 40 years.

          I wonder if Black Rock et al are in the process of buying up everything (lock, stock, barrel, judiciary, governance, forth estate……) with infinite “money”?

          With infinite money, what else is on the table? Infinity itself will never be cheaper! so FOMO!

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      I haven’t linked to her before because she often takes her conclusions beyond her facts. But it’s a holiday weekend and I thought you might have fun with her.

    3. Ian Perkins

      Perhaps the link could have made clear that the video is in English! I skipped it at first, imagining it would overtax my limited skills in French. I’ve still skipped the second half, even on double speed, as the message appears to be “Something negative’s happened, which proves a conspiracy.”

      1. Questa Nota

        Looking around for Fitts-related material I saw that she was mentioned in an article in The Philosophical Salon about pandemics and simulations.

    4. Mikel

      1) There is no immunity from vaccines and catching it is not like catching the chicken pox. It’s not catch it and be immune….that’s as temporary as the alleged protection from the shots. So there is no herd immunity. It’s not like amallpox or chicken pox. Get that thru thick %&!$ skulls!!!
      2) Did they say “central banks print money”?
      I’m pretty sure the US Treasury is still printing money.
      3) 21 Trillion figure of “missing money”. Kind of remember reading about that figure before. Then it was in relation to Afghanistan/Iraq misadventures.
      4) The overall picture of some cabal wanting to take total control of the money or credit supply and do away with any semblance of people power or representative government has been the struggle now for hundreds, if not more, of years. Only people not realizing it as a struggle that has been ongoing think of it as a conspiracy.
      5) You can’t fight this with boycott of a few companies. Most may not even know the real names of the companies involved in the most heinous activities. There is a whole scale ideology or way of life that has to be “boycotted”

      1. HotFlash

        I disagree. Cull the herd enough and you just might be left with enough ‘cattle’ who are genitically immune, fertile, and able to pass their immunity to (at least some of their) progeny to continue the race. Good luck with that, I guess.

    5. Maritimer

      Much to her credit, Catherine Austin Fitts has drawn up a Covid Informed Consent Form. In my jurisdiction, the Government has yet to publish any such form on their website. Her consent form is at:
      https://pandemic.solari.com/family-financial-disclosure-form-for-covid-19-injections/

      Click on the PDF and then scroll down a bit and you will come to the Informed Consent Form which is long and detailed as it should be for any experiment. As it certainly should be for a procedure which for far too many has proven to be a life altering event. I wonder what kind of Informed Consent Form there is at the drivethru, free something or other injection center.

      Ms. Fitts is the only person I know of who has gone to the trouble and care of compiling an Informed Consent Form. I have never seen any such document from Public Health Officials. Many thanks, CAF.

    6. drumlin woodchuckles

      I watched a minute and had to stop. I wonder if this guy is just trading on the Catherine Austin Fitts name.

  6. ChrisFromGeorgia

    The Alaska/American policies seem guaranteed to backfire. Taking away paid pandemic leave just means some workers will show up sick, spreading the disease. People who have no choice but to work will work sick.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>People who have no choice but to work will work sick.

      Which seems to be the point. It is not about dealing with the pandemic which threatens the lives of us all; Covid is Fill-in-the-Blank, but those lazy, overpaid, self-entitled workers, they need to get to work! Apparently, this is the natural order of things. Perhaps the new illness is just a convenient new whip.

      I don’t want to put Wolf Richter in the spotlight, here, as I like his site, and this non-expert thinks he does go work, but he, like so many other smart and observant people, has an extreme blind-spot; income for most Americans has lagged behind inflation for decades, especially for the lowest classes and for housing.

      For my entire adult life, and perhaps a bit before, it has always become harder to pay for my shelter. No matter how hard I worked, no matter how many jobs, or the kind of work I did. Today, it is no longer possible to square that circle. Work itself no longer pays enough for transportation, housing, and food. Maybe two of three, but not all for an increasing number. Then add death or permanent injury from the new disease in a country with Mr. Richter’s Greedcare for a healthcare system. If I ever want confirmation, I can just take a short drive and find the latest new, or newly moved, encampment. Any county in the Bay Area. Well, maybe not Sonoma. They tend to hide in the hills up there.

      Funny enough, the extra money people got from the strengthened unemployment and stimulus had their income briefly start to approach the effective poor class income level of from two generations ago. For a short time at least. Not enough still to pay for the rent, but still better.

      It seems to me that too many of our supposed higher and educated classes think of most people as near-mindless beast of burden, without morals, ethics, morality, or really any worth except as those beasts of burden; they may not think it, or consciously believe it, but their words and actions show what they truly, deep down, believe. At best, they are the deserving upper classes while the lower classes should respect and obey their betters.

  7. Ian Perkins

    Hydrogen development strategies: a global perspective

    From the article, “Hydrogen appears to be the perfect complement to renewables in the path to decarbonisation, but only if produced via electrolysis based on electricity from renewables themselves.”

    A recent BBC Science in Action programme (starting at 8:50) says there are substantial underground reserves of hydrogen, with one company, Natural Hydrogen Energy LLC, already producing 97% (IIRR) pure hydrogen from one well – and existing oil and gas technology can be used to extract it. (The BBC presenter was surprised to learn of this; he happily ate his words from a few episodes previously.) It’s also often associated with helium, which is in short supply.

    Any comments from those more knowledgeable?

      1. JohnnySacks

        Always chasing the easy money while the real muscle gets to deal with the difficult reality. You’d think the Saudis would have invested their oil riches into putting all that desert area to work producing H2 continuously every 365 sunlit days a year.

    1. Ian Perkins

      I’ve listened to that piece again, and it was 98% pure hydrogen, from a well – or wells- in Mali, maybe operated by another company, Hydroma Inc.:
      After eight years of an experimental phase, Hydroma Inc., the precursor of natural hydrogen in Mali, is moving up a gear. The natural hydrogen wells operated by this company will now be used to produce clean electricity on a large scale to meet the energy needs of Mali and even other countries on the African continent.
      The ingenious and innovative energy adventure that the people of Bourakébougou have been enjoying since 2012 will soon bring happiness to others across Mali and even the African continent. In this small village located about 60 kilometres north-west of the capital Bamako, natural hydrogen sources are being exploited for the production of electricity. This energy is then distributed free of charge to the local population by the Malian company Hydroma Inc.

      https://www.afrik21.africa/en/mali-hydroma-inc-launches-industrial-production-of-hydrogen-based-electricity/
      And the guy in the BBC thingy says this underground hydrogen, or ‘white hydrogen’, is widespread and plentiful, and can be extracted cheaply on industrial scales.
      Again, any NC experts care to demolish this as marketing hype?

    2. Paradan

      Hydrogen leaks like mad. It’s really difficult to contain over a length of time. Seems like a pipeline(or large tankers,etc.) would be a bad idea.

      1. jr

        Just a late morning high-load caffeine/THC induced fancy but would it be possible to design an extraction plant that immediately transmogrified the hydrogen in electricity instead of shipping it? This is ignoring all the other stuff like infrastructure etc., I just wonder if you could skip the shipping/long term storage part somehow.

        Not you personally, I don’t like to tell people how to live and all.

        1. chris

          They developed new materials to do the work for them. The best example of which was the skin of the gas cells used in the Hinderburgh zeppelin. Since the germans couldn’t get helium (because the US had a monopoly on it) they developed a 3 layer skin for the gas cells using cotton that had been saturated in grease. That material, combined with efficient valving to relieve pressure if it became too high, resulted in a design that kept the hydrogen needed for lifting in the gas cells during a flight.

        2. Skk

          The outermost rigid skin was a combo of aluminium and copper plus two other things. Inside were multiple gasbags, later ones were made of goldbeater s skin, the outer skin of cattle intestines.

      2. Ian Perkins

        I thought it leaks like mad, yet there’s much talk lately of adding it to the gas in existing pipelines, including domestic ones, apparently with little or no modification. I wonder what that’s about.

        1. Ian Perkins

          Sounds like that’s exactly what they are doing in Mali, but hydrogen can also be used to make steel without coal – and steel production accounts for something like 7% of global CO2 emissions (not sure if that includes mining ore).

    3. Zamfir

      There is indeed some hydrogen that can be collected in nature, but the amounts appear to e trivially small. Perhaps there is some point somewhere in the world where some hydrogen can be pumped up at a reasonable cost, but no one has yet found that point. Even if they do, it will be miniscule compared to hydrogen consumption.

      There is currently a lot of new interest in hydrogen, but that has nothing to do with “natural” hydrogen.

      The falling cost of wind and solar power, and the falling cost of electrolyzers, is now vaguely putting electrolyzed hydrogen in the cost ballpark for regular use. It’s not quite there, but close enough to warrant large-scale pilot projects. At least in Europe and China, there is now a boom in electrolyzer installations.

      Regarding leaks: most parts of a methane network can be used for hydrogen, but it takes extra work I have seen estimates that you can repurpose methane infrastructure for hydrogen at something like 20% of the cost of new. The numbers might be overly optimistic, but interesting enough to explore

  8. timbers

    Biden’s Question in 2009 Exposed Folly of Afghanistan War Intercept

    Hillary Clinton:

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, said that the dilemma was whether to focus on adding troops or better governance. “But not putting troops in guarantees we won’t achieve what we’re after and guarantees no psychological momentum. Preventing collapse requires more troops, but that doesn’t guarantee progress.” She added, “The only way to get governance changes is to add troops, but there’s still no guarantee that it will work.”

    She understood everything in 2009 that anyone needed to understand to arrive at the right decision.

    Someone should make a movie with scene of her and Obama in the same law course at Harvard, feeding off of each of their kiss-arse classroom comments to their professors.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Let’s not deny Yale Law the credit due it for both Hillary and Bill. Harvard Law has garnered enough shame from Obama to DeSantis to Cotton.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Yale also gave us Gene Ludwig, who I think might even have been in their class. He did even more to advance bank deregulation than Alan Greenspan did, first as Controller of the Currency and then creating what was effectively a shadow bank regulator.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          I shouldn’t leave out some of the stellar products of my law school alma mater, UVa:

          James Clark McReynolds–one of the infamous Four Horsemen of SCOTUS who invalidated laws banning child labor on “substantive due process” grounds along with the National Recovery Act of the New Deal

          Woodrow Wilson (attended but didn’t graduate)–fan of “The Birth of a Nation” whose administration destroyed the IWW in the Palmer Raids

          Robert Mueller–go-to guy for the Blob for a generation

          And in the OMG category:

          Jerry Falwell Jr.
          Laura Ingraham

          1. bassmule

            Hey, don’t forget Duke Law! Richard Nixon, Stephen Miller, Ken Starr. (Then again, Zephyr Teachout is also a graduate.)

      2. timbers

        Do admit to just a bit of creative license…but only to put good use of Jerri-Lynn Scofield’s amusing recollections of Obama’s stuffed-shirt succ-up questions and classroom statements aimed at his professors at Harvard Law. Imagine if Hillary were in the same classroom? Endless possibilities.

    2. enoughisenough

      Yeah! A satirical remake of The Paper Chase would be amazing! The protagonist in that movie was a suck-up too, even manipulating the professor’s daughter on his way up, iirc

        1. ambrit

          At the end of the movie, a much older “hero” has the professor thrown into the ocean from out of a military helicopter.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Afghanistan news – live: 17 reported dead in celebratory gunfire as Taliban claim to have taken Panjshir”

    It might be better if this place did fall to the Taliban. I have seen opinions online how the west should help these hold-outs with weapons and ammunition. In addition, they should drop in special forces teams who will be able to call in long distance strikes and help the locals fight the Taliban. Set up bases and arm these people with ATGMs and manpads too. In effect, make it a no-go zone for the Taliban so that it can become a focus of resistance and, like in Syria, a place where terror attacks can be launched from to attack what is now the government forces. That way the war could go as it would be a continuous bleeding wound. Unsaid is the fact that before the Chines and Russians allow this depravity to happen, that they would probably send in their own “technical experts” and arms to hep the Taliban neutralize this pocket of resistance. In any case. Afghanistan is land-locked and none of the neighbouring countries would have the slightest incentive to keep that country on their border destabilized. All of them want a peaceful, stable country with a government in control of the country no matter who they are.

    1. Ian Perkins

      “China is our most important partner and represents a fundamental and extraordinary opportunity for us, because it is ready to invest and rebuild our country,” the Taliban spokesperson was quoted as saying in the interview.
      He said the New Silk Road – an infrastructure initiative with which China wants to increase its global influence by opening up trade routes – was held in high regard by the Taliban.
      There are “rich copper mines in the country, which, thanks to the Chinese, can be put back into operation and modernised. In addition, China is our pass to markets all over the world.”

      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/2/afghanistan-taliban-to-rely-on-chinese-money-spokesperson-says

    2. Lee

      I recommend Sarah Chayes’ interview on Afghanistan and about her book, On Corruption in America: And What Is at Stake. Nobody’s yelling, the available transcript is in all caps.

      Sarah Chayes from the interview:

      “AND THERE WAS A CONSTANT REFUSAL TO ADDRESS THE MOST IMPORTANT NATION BUILDING ISSUE, WHICH WAS THE INTEGRITY OF THE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT AND HOW MUCH IT WAS ACTUALLY ACTING IN AFGHAN CITIZENS’ INTERESTS AS OPPOSED TO THE PERSONAL INTEREST OF MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THEIR CRONIES.

      SO I HAVE TO SAY I DIDN’T FEEL A LOT OF NATION BUILDING, AND THAT’S ALWAYS WHAT WE TOLD OURSELVES.

      BUT, IN FACT, I MEAN, I HAVE TO SAY IT’S DISTRESSING TO ME TO LOOK AT IT THIS WAY, BUT, YOU KNOW, IN THE UNITED STATES WE HAVE A LOT OF TOP EXECUTIVES, FIRMS LIKE DEFENSE CONTRACTING FIRMS AND PHARMACEUTICAL FIRMS AND FINANCIAL INVESTMENT FIRMS, AND REAL ESTATE MAGNATES AND FOSSIL FUEL MAGNATES, AND THEY CYCLE IN AND OUT OF GOVERNMENT.

      AND LOOK AT THE POLICIES THAT THEY HAVE PROMULGATED, RIGHT, IT’S LIKE TWO LOST WARS, A CLIMATE CRISIS, A FINANCIAL MELTDOWN THAT ALMOST BROUGHT DOWN THE WORLD ECONOMY.

      AND FAILURES LIKE THAT AND I GUESS UNFORTUNATELY I WOULD SAY YEAH, MAYBE WE DID REMAKE AFGHANISTAN IN OUR IMAGE.

      BUT THAT’S NOT AN IMAGE THAT I’M VERY PROUD OF, AND AFGHANS CERTAINLY WERE NOT HAPPY WITH IT.”

      Given Christiane Amanpour’s priors as regards U.S. interventionism, I’m surprised she had Chayes on her show.

      1. Bart Hansen

        The interview was cut off after two minutes. Sarah Chayes must have left the narrative Amanpour wanted.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>AND FAILURES LIKE THAT AND I GUESS UNFORTUNATELY I WOULD SAY YEAH, MAYBE WE DID REMAKE AFGHANISTAN IN OUR IMAGE.

          This. One of the reasons the United States did so badly in the probably unwinnable war in Vietnam is that our government kept supporting the corrupt South Vietnamese government. Ultimately, it did not matter if people supported the Communists or not. They supported the least corrupt first and last.

          Five decades later, we do exactly the same with Afghanistan. And who says that only the Bourbons never forgot and never learned anything?

  10. farmboy

    As the planet warms, temperate zones move north. Previously productive cropland begins desertification and stored carbon releases. Russia is the breadbasket of the world of the future. In the US, making Conservation Reserve Program the backstop to declining productive ag lands is the best outcome, get as much farmground into the program and roll it over at every expiration. Make the program 10x bigger over the next 10 years. Lenders will take a refi on a steady gov’t payment stream no matter the amount of debt. “Yet, in Russia, climate change is opening up new frontiers for more agricultural usage of land in the north with the melting of permafrost. To an extent, this offsets droughts in the south.”

    1. Eloined

      Partial credit to the Economist for at least noting, “Soil matters as well. The best quality stuff is most commonly found at lower latitudes, not far-northern ones.”

      Over the past twenty years I’ve seen myriad rosy assessments that farmland will migrate north with climate change, with scarce mention of limiting factors including, but not limited to, thin topsoil, meager sunlight in early spring and fall, and heightened vulnerability to frost-date volatility already affecting production in the breadbasket areas of today.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        On top of that, the boreal forests have been a balancing loop that keeps atmospheric carbon levels in check. The melting of the permafrost turns them into carbon emitters, the same thing that is happening with tropical forests. It’s a tipping point just like the loss of the ice-albedo effect as ice in the Arctic Ocean, Greenland, etc. melts, at least in summer.

      2. JEHR

        Right on. If you look at the tundra/taiga area of the north, you will spot lots and lots of lakes and muskeg and moss and rocks and not much soil to grow stuff in. That’s why most Canadians live about 200 miles from the border and not in the far northern areas.

      3. Lambert Strether

        > Partial credit to the Economist for at least noting, “Soil matters as well.

        I was going to mention this. It’s frightening when even the Economist gets it. And I would hazard a guess that the measures needed to build good topsoil are 180° opposite from what those who would exploit the unfrozen “permafrost” would want to do.

        I remember in grade school going to a presentation on permafrost from the local university; no indication that the frozen state would not be permanent that I recall. Things change fast!

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      As the planet warms — I doubt the temperate zones will simply or slowly drift to higher latitudes. Even if they did, we are already experiencing variability in weather patterns and the frequency and violence of extreme weather events. I think it is too early to tell whether the higher latitudes will become the new temperate zones. I doubt temperate zones as we currently know them will exist anywhere on this planet.

      I do not agree with you that “…making Conservation Reserve Program the backstop to declining productive ag lands is the best outcome…”. I am jumping to the conclusion that the Conservation Reserve Program is a program that buys up agricultural land — declining productive ag land — and puts into a reserve of fallow ground. I believe that program would only serve as yet another conduit for flowing Government money into Big Ag. Before even considering the Conservation Reserve Program or similar programs I believe there are many Government subsidies that must be ended first. Those subsidies helped draw land into agricultural production, even land that only yields through high applications of fertilizers. If the declining ability of land to support agriculture is your concern — it is one of my concerns — there are many current farming practices that should be halted and should be halted as soon as possible. How much rich soil has been converted to lifeless dirt by relentless mono-crops, weedkillers, and fungicides? As the aquifers dry up how much ground are farmers salting with brackish residues — sow salt into their own soil?

    3. ex-PFC Chuck

      From the September/October, 2021, issue of the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, put out by the states’ Department of Natural Resources:

      “Tree adaption to weather trends is a thousands-of-years process,” says David Abazs, executive director of the University of Minnesota’s Northeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, which is based in Duluth. “But the speed at which changes are occurring doesn’t give them the opportunity for a slow transition. This is our attempt to maintain a forest canopy,” he says, “Because right now it’s not heading toward a forest canopy. It’s heading toward grasslands.”
      Seed saving will play a key role in preserving Minnesota’s wild as the climate warms, says David Remucal of the plant conservation program at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The arboretum has a seed bank where it’s preserving about 60 of Minnesota’s 300 endangered plant species, and it has applied for funding to preserve more.

      “If a species disappears from a particular landscape, and you’ve already preserved the land, there’s not a whole lot you can do. We view seed banking as a failsafe for the rare species, and a complement to land preservation. In the future, we may regret that we aren’t saving more seeds. Our landscapes could look very different if we don’t have enough seeds saved up.”

      Good to know some of our institutions are looking ahead.

    4. Skunk

      Not necessarily. Russia is increasingly on fire. Lots of permafrost that’s now thawing, so all it takes is lightning to set the methane alight.

    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      Wandering heat domes will visit Russia just like they visited Canada. Russian land which will be breadbasket for a few years will be burn barrel every so often.

      And as permafrost thaws and melts, it will “sink down” Much permafrost is 50% ice by volume. So if a hundred feet deep of permafrost permamelts, it will subside by 50 feet. If 500 feet deep of permafrost melts, it will subside by 250 feet. If permafrost subsides as ocean rises, at what point do the two curves cross and a few million square miles of Russian permafrost disappear under a new shallow sea?

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I don’t know if this still applies, but it was an article of faith a few years back among the Russian right wing establishment (including Putin advisors), that climate change would be a major boon to Russia. I think the huge forest fires around Moscow a few years ago may have put a dent in that theory, but sometimes these beliefs can defy evidence. Its not a good omen if the country with some of the biggest fossil fuel reserves of all think that climate change is something to be desired.

  11. Ian Perkins

    Inmates Weren’t Told They Were Given Ivermectin Instead Of COVID-19 Medication

    I’m strongly against using anyone as guinea pigs without informed consent, but the article’s title, ‘Inmates Weren’t Told They Were Given An Anti-Parasite Drug Instead Of COVID-19 Meds’, wilfully ignores IVM’s “demonstrated antiviral activity against a number of DNA and RNA viruses“(though admittedly this activity hasn’t been satisfactorily proven in vivo).

    1. Carla

      Still, calling it “an anti-parasite drug” is at least accurate if incomplete, and is a damned sight better than calling it “horse paste.”

      1. Brunches with Cats

        Exactly. They couldn’t call it horse paste and were forced to admit that it not only is approved for human use but that it has been proven to be safe. So now the story has to be, “inmates used as guinea pigs and lied to about it.” And lest readers forget that it’s horse paste, they got an indignant “I am not livestock” quote from an inmate. Well, unless they made it up; not like he’d know the difference.

        Whether it actually was working was my first question, too. That there was no mention of it was undoubtedly intentional.

        Still, NPR showed a wee bit of constraint, compared to other outlets. The Guardian’s lead graf:
        Inmates at a north-west Arkansas jail have been prescribed a medicine for treating coronavirus that is normally used to deworm livestock, despite federal health warnings to the public in exasperated tones.

        Washington county’s sheriff confirmed this week that the jail’s health provider had been prescribing the drug.

        The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the federal drugs regulator, issued a warning via Twitter last weekend.

        “You are not a horse,” it said. “You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”
        https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/26/arkansas-jail-dosing-inmates-ivermectin-covid

        1. HotFlash

          I am not a horse? I am not a cow? Indeed? Then why are They seeking ‘herd immunity’ (for us)?

          BTW, the prescription antibiotic amoxicillin is widely available without prescription as an antibiotic and anti fungal for fish. Preppers know this, I assume that they would be stocking up on ‘horsepaste’ also.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              They are not seeking herd immunity. They are lying about seeking herd immunity. They know there is no immunity to this or any coronavirus. So what is their real motive for dangling before us the shiny squirrel object of herd immunity?

      2. Ra

        Not to necessarily recommend it but I have been dosing myself with horse paste since last December. I did do the math to figure how much extrusion was an appropriate dose. I took two the first week, then once or twice a month since.

        So thinking back after each dose I ask myself were there any symptoms at all after a dose?

        Answer: nay, or maybe neigh.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Nice of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, the American Medical Association, the American Pharmacists Association and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists to try to stop those prisoners getting an effective medication. Ordinarily none of those groups would give a rat’s a** about any prisoners.

    3. B flat

      Treating a captive population with ivm and lying about it is awful and sounds actionable, but I want to ask the forbidden question: how effective was this course of treatment.

      1. HotFlash

        Treating a captive population with ivm an unproven ‘vaccine’ and lying about it is awful and sounds actionable, but I want to ask the forbidden question: how effective was this course of treatment.

    4. Brian Beijer

      I find it interesting that the article didn’t say anything about the results, or at least none that I saw. One would think that if IVM had been ineffective, the headline would have been “Horse de-wormer kills hundreds of inmates” instead of focusing on their non-consent. It would be interesting to find out how many of the inmates report that their symptoms had been alleviated after a day or two.

      1. Arizona Slim

        They have a weekly update on Wednesdays. Very worthwhile. It’s on Zoom and I think it’s best handled with a happy hour beverage.

        Gotta keep that morale up!

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Proposals for an EU army re-emerge after Afghan pullout – but many remain ‘hard to convince’”

    For Europe, having at least a joint brigade would not be a bad idea. It could serve as a ready force to dispatch to somewhere that it might be needed. I would be even better if it was outfitted so that it could conduct operations to help out in emergencies. So if there was a fire in Greece or an earthquake in Italy or flooding in the Netherlands, it would be available to supply aid, transport, medical needs, manpower, food delivery in the first few days when it is vitally needed.

    The only people against this are people like neocon German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer who would like to see Europe’s military as well as foreign policy outsourced to Washington. In the meantime, I see that France, Germany have launched a joint tactical air squadron and training center which I would not be surprised to see develop into a wing down the track-

    https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2021/09/02/france-germany-launch-joint-tactical-air-squadron-and-training-center/

    1. David

      The article is quite well informed, for once, and, as it says, this is an old story. The Franco-German Brigade is now 30 years old, and the EuroCorps, with its HQ in Strasbourg, is nearly as old. But there have been a series of consistent reasons why these sorts of initiatives haven’t got very far.
      One is simple lack of interest: for most EU states, defence is not a priority, and few of them have any experience of, or political support for, military deployments overseas, except in a UN context. For many, Russia is a bigger problem than Afghanistan.
      Another is suspicion of Franco-German domination: many small EU countries are happy to keep the US as a counterweight to political and economic domination by major European nations, and so prefer to work through NATO.
      And finally, such units and deployments require a permanent HQ if they are to be effective. So long as the UK was part of the EU it was able to frustrate any such initiative, because it feared the undermining of its influence in NATO. Now it’s gone, things may move a bit faster.

      All this is a shame, because there are some really serious problems coming Europe’s way in the Sahel, and when they arrive, there will be no structures of forces to deal with them.

    2. Count Zero

      ‘For Europe, having at least a joint brigade would not be a bad idea. It could serve as a ready force to dispatch to somewhere that it might be needed.”

      I suppose this is the logical conclusion of the project to create a European state. Sole legitimate source of violence, etc. But this army would be under the control of precisely who? Who decides where it is needed and when this armed force is to be deployed. I can’t see how it would have any democratic accountability — like much of what goes on in the Brussels oligarchy. It’s not just German neocons who might feel some unease.

      1. Anonymous2

        Well, it should be the Council of Ministers working with the Parliament. Whether that’s how it would work in reality is another matter.

      2. Polar Socialist

        In European context military is not the “sole legitimate source of violence”. EU already has mechanism to distribute border guards (see Italy, Latvia) where needed, and also for the law enforcement to do joint cross border investigations and even pursuits.

        And these work quite well already: you ask, and you shall receive. In some cases, you don’t even ask but merely just notify the local law enforcement that you’re in a hot cross-border pursuit and unless specifically told to cease, you automatically gain temporarily the legal status of a local law enforcement officer to continue the pursuit.

        In other words, when it comes to sharing institutions of state violence, EU is progressing with huge steps in some areas, so the phenomenal lack of progress in all issues of military is, in my mind, telling of phenomenal lack of interest in this area.

        An argument can be made that for those in need of dysfunctional, binary state military security mechanism, NATO is filling that need. But for countries that require a way to handle crisis with nuance, with control of the level of pressure or aggression, with dynamic diplomacy, for those countries neither NATO or an EU army is a good option.

  13. Tom Stone

    Up until the 1980’s if the CDC,FDA, NIH or WHO made a statement regarding the safety or efficacy of a drug or the danger of a pathogen I could assume it was made in good faith.
    It might not be correct, but I could assume good faith.
    This is no longer the case.
    Money talks, but it seldom wastes its breath.
    They no longer have anything to sell now that their credibility is gone.
    And it is gone, the problems with the vaccines and the efficacy of Ivermectin are going to leave too large a lump under the rug to go unnoticed.

      1. trhys

        “While money doesn’t talk, it swears
        Obscenity, who really cares
        Propaganda, all is phony.”

        Dylan

    1. The Rev Kev

      Not just America that this stuff was and is happening. Plenty of other countries has the same sort of stuff going on. Was sitting back earlier thinking about the lessons-learned for the present pandemic and came up with two straight away. Here are those two-

      -Never take the government/experts word for anything but independently verify what they say yourself.

      -Act as if you will be on your own and will have to depend on your own actions and resources.

      Twenty months ago I never thought that I would be typing such a thing but in 2021 here we are.

      1. Ian Perkins

        I’m surprised if you of all people mean the first lesson, “Never take …,” is new to you. I took it for granted from the beginning that anything governments or their appointed spokespeople said about COVID was suspect, likely as not designed to lull us into thinking they know what they’re doing and it’s for the greater good.

        1. Jason Boxman

          It takes time and a critical eye and sometimes outside help to start to notice that all might not be what you’re told. Growing up we watched News Hour on PBS nightly, and I’d bought into the idea of West Wing World, long before that show even existed. Serious people on TV doing serious things as states-people for the benefit of society. I hadn’t realized that my values are most definitely not the values of the Establishment. But it’s a pretty and comforting fiction to believe. By 2006 I’d been thankfully disabused of that notion.

        2. Vandemonian

          That’s true, Ian, but in the before times my thinking differentiated between “governments or their appointed spokespeople” and “experts”. I had the sense that there were organisations staffed by experts, as well as individual experts, who held themselves at arms length from government and would at times speak out against bad policy. These included professional associations, prestigious medical journals, and even FDA, CDC and the VA. I was able to accept their pronouncements with a degree of qualified trust.

          Things have degraded recently to the extent that they now seem to behaving like politicians, just spouting the endorsed talking points of the day. Skepticism and cynicism have become my standard response.

          Maybe the old me was deluded; maybe I’ve learnt a bit more; or maybe they’ve all sold out.

          1. norm de plume

            I don’t think most have ‘sold out’. Some, even many perhaps, but not most. Most people in any field just find themselves in a particular place at a particular time and accept the authority and basic decency of the hierarchy of their profession without demur, and even when they have qualms are very unlikely to take action, knowing full well the personal and professional cost.

            ‘Things have degraded’ indeed, but we need to pay more attention to the ‘things’ rather than the people, who after all are interchangeable over time. I think there are probably still lots of ‘individual experts’ who would demur, but the superstructures of their professions now are much larger administrative bureaucracies which tend to stifle and even, as we’ve seen, actively suppress unwelcome scientific evidence and argument in ways unimaginable in past eras.

            The fact that any countervailing evidence, the actual stuff of scientific progress, is even considered unwelcome gives a clue to the real problem. Which is that medical science, like everything else, has been ‘colonised by capital’, which by creating the superstructures and the narratives (the ‘things’) gradually renders everything to Caesar by stealth. The statements made by outgoing editors of the NEJM and the BMJ about the scandalously poor standards and outright fraud in Pharma sponsored trials and studies is relevant here.

            All this occurs at the tippy top so that most of the great and loyal herd below, good yeomen and women of the professions, if they do become aware of a dissonance, generally do so too late don’t want to be the first in this climate to air it. Look at the treatment afforded to those who have so far. You can’t blame them.

            If you’re as old as me you grew up in era where all those alphabet agencies were trusted implicitly, partly because they were owned and operated by the member countries only.

            Follow the money they say, but where to?

    2. urblintz

      They have “boosters” to sell: the answer to non-sterilizing vaccines that “work” is more non-sterilizing vaccine…

      because they didn’t.

    3. PhillyPhilly

      Ivermectin Ivermectin Ivermectin Ivermectin Ivermectin Ivermectin.

      Sheesh sometimes it feels like this site is nothing but Ivermectin comments these days. It’s getting annoying.

      1. Mason

        It’s weird but I feel like I have to join team ‘Pony Paste’ at this point. No I don’t recommend veterinarian drugs but the spectacular levels of misinformation about Ivermectin are starting to drive me crazy.

        Just typing it up on google news and seeing 90%+ negative coverage just raises so many red flags.

        To see the coverage become even more negative on a day by day basis adds to the urge.

        Watching a hysteria go to DEFCON I.

      2. ObjectiveFunction

        Just sing along in your best Elmer Fudd opera voice:

        “I-iwermectin, Iwermectin, I-iwerMECtin, I-iwermec!!!”

    4. Lois

      You know what I keep waiting for? For it to be said out loud in the MSM that Biden is *doing a bad job* on COVID. But it seems to be the thing that must not be said.

      Biden is not “following the science” at all, between the mask missteps in the Spring and the plan to only use non-sterilizing vaccines as a route to “end the pandemic”. To me, he has the same tendencies as Trump, wanting a silver bullet solution that allows our exploitative economic system continue as is. I think it is clear by this point that we don’t really have an “adult in charge of the pandemic now” but no one will say it out loud. Is it just too discouraging for the PMC types that assumed this thing was about over?

      1. Screwball

        Totally agree. They have the (some) people convinced the shots are the silver bullet and TINA. I read it everywhere everyday. The very same people who they have convinced are following the science, would go ape $hit crazy if you told them Joe was, in fact, NOT going by the science. While they mock everyone who even brings up the “horse paste” and call anyone who doesn’t worship Fauci anti-science. It’s like we live in alternative universes.

        I ran into a high school acquaintance the other day. Her and her husband stopped by as I was sitting in the garage having a beer. Haven’t talked to them for years. I know they are big liberal democrats as they were part of the local DNC party with my wife (I was not).

        I avoided the virus/vaccine topic on purpose, because I had a hunch what their take would be. But sure enough, just as they were leaving she said “did you hear about those people taking horse paste?” Oh boy, how am I going to answer this knowing I have the drug that cannot be named in my cupboard?

        “Yea, I did” I answered, “but I understand why they are.” Which got the expected deer in the headlight look of OH MY GOD, WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY! I went on to say there is some pretty good evidence it has made a difference for a lot of people, and many cannot get it, they are desperate and that’s what they turned to.

        They were still looking at me like I had two heads. They she kind of snarkily said “or they could just get the shot.” You mean the “Trump vaccine?” I asked?

        They couldn’t get in the car and out of the driveway fast enough. I’m guessing they won’t come visit again.

        Unfortunately, this is where we are. By design, while people become more polarized, more hateful, and seem to get even more dedicated to their beliefs.

        What a $hit show we are living in. Will any adults ever step up? I’m losing hope, and fast.

        1. Jen

          Yep. And I, for one, can easily imagine an alternate dimension where, if Trump had won, these self same folk would flee the “trump vaccine” and embrace the horse paste.

          1. Screwball

            You are no doubt correct. I can’t find it, but I wish I could. Maybe another reader might, but there was a video I saw a while back that was a bunch of clips pasted together of Biden and Harris talking about the “Trump Vaccine” and how it hasn’t been appropriately approved, there wasn’t enough time to develop it, and data showing it works, and at the end Harris flat out sad she wouldn’t take it. I suppose it has been scrubbed from YouTube if in fact that is where it was.

            What I don’t understand, the most fervent jab silver bullet people I know are highly educated, and anything non-jab is considered Alex Jones propaganda. Because how DARE YOU not trust the science.

            I do, but I don’t always trust the scientists, and what they tell me. Why is that so hard to understand? Why can’t these so-called highly educated people go outside of that narrative when the facts on the ground are so obvious?

            I think it’s something else entirely – denial. Denial in the fact their Emperor, which in their case is people like Fauci, Biden, and the democrats, have no clothes and they can’t come to grips with admitting it. So the blame must be put somewhere else.

            1. Arizona Slim

              Denial is not a river in Egypt.

              And, Screwball, if you lived near me, I would be bringing the beer for a socially distant happy hour. We have them in my neighborhood and they are FUN!

              1. Screwball

                Couldn’t agree more Slim.

                I have a few people who stop by and we solve the problems of the world. It is a lot of fun. It’s good to know and talk to your neighbors (and old friends). Cheaper too!

                Think of the laughs we could have today. I could put a TV out there and turn on a college football game and we could watch 80,000 people crammed in there screaming and yelling, and we know they are all vaccinated, right? /s

                Given the numbers in the US, a little more than half, so there are 35+ thousand who are not. That’s following the science! Oh, my.

                I don’t go anywhere but the grocery store, the gas station, and school. I teach at a state college (masks mandatory at all times on campus) and a local vocational school (no masks required). I wear a mask there, even though I don’t have to, and myself and one other person are the only people who do. They look at me like I’m nuts. I don’t care. I don’t see it ending well but we’ll see. I don’t have to do this, but I do for the extra money, because I like it, and these people need good teachers (don’t get me started on that).

                At this point, the experts can take their advise and put it where the sun don’t shine. I will do what I think I need to do. I don’t know what else I can do.

                But you know what, we are lucky. We can do that. Many others do not have the ability to do so. This is where it drives me nuts that a CHEAP, potentially effective treatment for the virus is so demonized by TPTB and the “follow the science” people.

                WHY would anyone be against something that could save countless lives and help many others against something we seem to know so little about? I don’t get it.

              2. Basil Pesto

                I must say, that is evocative. Some physically distant cold ones in the Arizona sun sounds very pleasant right about now.

            2. Foy

              “I can’t find it, but I wish I could. Maybe another reader might, but there was a video I saw a while back that was a bunch of clips pasted together of Biden and Harris talking about the “Trump Vaccine” and how it hasn’t been appropriately approved, ”

              Here it is Screwball. More gold…. quite unbelievable what they are saying when you think about it given what they say now. Shows how upside down everything is.

              https://twitter.com/thejimjams/status/1422712900192391171

        2. Sardonia

          Ivermectin is the new Trump. A symbol for stupid people to use for virtue signaling and solidifying their membership in their Tribe. They slip it into conversations, both to show friends that they still “belong” (and upon getting confirmation from their friends that they, too, still belong, they all then enjoy savoring the superior odor of each others’ farts), and to occasionally be shocked when a friend disagrees with them, at which point they end the friendship.

            1. Basil Pesto

              read again (I had to), I don’t think that post is a dismissal of Ivermectin, rather than an observation that Ivermectin has become a foolish and unthinking cause célèbre, as Trump himself was. As opposed to a topic guided by any kind of useful epistemology or basic rhetorical soundness.

              1. ambrit

                I take your meaning. In-Group thinking underlies the pro and anti-Iver—— campaigns. “Good thinking people, (that’s us, the special people, you know,) are ‘smart.’ As far as the above argument is valid, it is valid for both sides of this controversy.
                I’ll admit that the framing used in the referenced comment does ‘bring out’ biases. Indeed, it is almost nihilistic in it’s implications.

        3. Basil Pesto

          Hi Screwball,

          You might find this post of mine useful from a couple of days ago, talking about how I discussed Ivermectin with some friends in an online group chat

          An update to it based on a couple of points I made in the chat yesterday (and please someone correct me if I’m wrong on these):

          1. you might share with me all these articles saying “there’s no evidence that Ivermectin works in the treatment of Covid 19 in humans” – I would say, flip this around, because I can share with you all manner of articles saying that it does: “there is comically abundant evidence that IVM is functionally better than placebo when it comes to treating C19”
          2. It remains indisputable, incontestable, that the safety profile of IVM, after 40 years of clinical use (and over a year of clinical use for Covid, which has not presented any covid-specific contraindications as far as I’m aware), is superior to that of any of the newly developed vaccines, after less than one (to say nothing of Remdesivir).

          [someone in the group stans heavily for the vaccines so I wanted them to think specifically about this point. If he disagreed, he would need to show evidence that I’m wrong, which I don’t think he’d be able to]

          I didn’t have to state the conclusion that flows from those two points, which almost writes itself: “what’s the harm?” – more stridently: “what possible justification could we have for driving poor, desperate people to seek black market veterinary medicine to take without the guidance of a physician or pharmacist, instead of just prescribing the damn pill?”

          I have to admit that I’m lucky enough to have a lot of time on my hands to carefully write those things in an online group chat. As well as that, I think good, believable, and fully trustworthy persuasion is probably only achievable in writing, not in speech*. I would probably become hopelessly flustered and incoherent if I had to say all that irl without notes and practice. Anyway, hopefully my experience is useful in some way.

          *formal debating is the exception to this**, but then writing is an invaluable tool to the debater’s art, I believe

          ** presidential debates are the exception to this

          1. Screwball

            Good stuff Basil, and good for you attempting to change minds. I wish I had that talent but I don’t. I hope the tide is turning and people’s lives can be made better. That’s all I want.

  14. Ian Perkins

    Biden gives green light to US-China thaw

    It sounds like the US, under Biden, is finally realising it’s not only no longer undisputed hegemon of the world, but it’ll likely fare much worse with China as a foe than an ally.

    Suffice to say, Kerry has gone beyond discussions about global warning and Beijing is making it clear that it welcomes a broader discussion. The South China Morning Post reported that on Thursday morning Kerry held talks with Politburo Standing Committee member and Vice Premier Han Zheng, who carries overall responsibility for China’s domestic economy.
    Significantly, Kerry also held talks with Politburo member Yang Jiechi, China’s most senior diplomat. It does look already that a confrontational approach toward China may have become highly improbable during the Biden presidency. The geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific region is on the cusp of change.

    And I’m sure I heard somewhere, a week or two ago, that Kerry would only be discussing climate change!

  15. Sailor Bud

    Approval of labor unions highest since 1965: Anecdata or no, one traditional TP I’ve certainly seen disappear or shrink to rarity in the last decade is the old “ labor unions served their purpose, but now they’re unnecessary” line. Haven’t personally seen it in years, tho I’m sure it’s not buried-dead.

    1. rowlf

      Some of the rural IVM users who spend a lot of time outside working with large animals have noted blood sucking insects don’t like them anymore after they have been taking IVM. This may be useful against getting infected by Zika, West Nile and Lyme disease. The observations make a distinction between internal use versus being accidentally splashed by dip while working.

    2. Eustachedesaintpierre

      drbeen mentioned the possibility a while back in relation to one of his video lectures on how Epstein Barr virus works, in that it hi-jacks the B & T cells which basically means that they then continually replicate reproducing EBV, very much like that which occurs with cancer. It can also send the hijacked cells to lie dormant in the bone marrow & there is a strong possibility that Covid is waking them up leading to long haul. Ivermectin according to the study below stops both mechanisms.

      EBV lies dormant in about 95% of the population & is mostly caught as a kid with symptoms such as a sore throat or glandular fever.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8233978/

    1. The Rev Kev

      Wow. That’s what I get for relying on Google. I hope that none of those faults were under those planned nuclear facilities. They could still be finished one day you know.

      1. Tom Stone

        Rev, the New Madrid fault is still live, and if you like supervolcanoes take a look at the activity at the Long Caldera.
        What a time to be alive!

        1. The Rev Kev

          If the Long Valley Caldera ever went off, I think that I would have to let you guys build a tent city in my paddock down in the Antipodes. North America would cease to be a place to live in for a very long time.

          Heard a true story about the Yellowstone Caldera. The Rangers there knew that there was a caldera in the region but could not find it in spite of all the geological evidence in the western States. It was only when NASA sent them a complimentary satellite image of Yellowstone that they realized that the park itself was the caldera. It was that big.

          1. rivegauche

            We’re all doomed if Yellowstone goes. Have an old friend from childhood whose daughter and son-in-law are Yellowstone rangers.

            1. Lee

              “The volcano hasn’t blown for 70,000 years, which suggests to me that the Big Belch is overdue. And when the volcano blows and Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah and Nevada go 30,000 feet into the air and drift east to become part of the Midwest and Eastern seaboard, you will be able to watch it on Google Earth until the boulders start dropping on your roof and fifty feet of topsoil and the power goes out and you lose your Internet connection and all your Facebook friends disappear and you must now bang on the pipes and hope the rescue parties hear you.”

              Garrison Keillor

      2. rivegauche

        Most earthquakes here have been minor. Many are hardly felt. A major fault line runs from Charleston. Several years ago, I was sitting in bed one night and my walls started to shake. I heard a noise, too, but assumed it was one of the Navy planes or a large commercial passenger plane. Nope, earthquake felt in and around the capital city which is about 100 mi. fm Charleston btw.

    2. KLG

      And there is this. Apropos of nothing, but doesn’t anyone read history any more? Rhetorical question.

      In the mountains of North Georgia for a peaceful weekend with family. Happy Labor Day, everyone! This was a big holiday back in the day when my father was a proud member of the International Chemical Workers.

      Funny thing…the cabin, which is in the middle of the middle of nowhere has 5G.

      1. Carla

        IMHO, Labor Day was a big holiday when it was the last weekend of summer, and school started a day or two afterward, NEVER before.

        1. Michael Ismoe

          “The first Labor Day parade in the United States was held in New York City on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882. More than 10,000 workers marched. It was organized by the Central Labor Union, a body representing 60 unions and over 80,000 people. The CLU was a secret lodge of the Knights of Labor, the major national union of the time.”

          Maybe they need to run the parade around and through that Amazon warehouse

      2. Janie

        Lucky you. North Georgia has it all – gorgeous waterfalls, touristy Helen, historic Dahlonega and of course Babyland, home of the cabbage patch maternity ward (actually in a house/doctor’s office where he delivered babies).

      3. rivegauche

        Love the north GA mountains. My great-great-grandparents were from the Hiawassee area and moved nearer to Atlanta. Some family still in the mountains and, coincidentally, 2 friends from h.s. in Atlanta now live in Hiawassee homes on mountaintops.

  16. noonespecial

    Re Counterpunch link

    From Counterpunch:

    “U.S. leaders mendaciously hide their decision making failures from the American public and exaggerate threats to justify policies that rely on increased defense spending and use of force…Cold War warriors in and out of government are already arguing that the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan allows the United States to direct its planning and materiel toward countering Chinese power across Asia.”

    Adding this link for further consideration on the empire’s focus on projection of power and promoting (its version of) freedom. The blob is consistent: send the bombs and boys ’cause isolationism is not on the menu of options.

    From https://harpers.org/archive/2020/03/the-old-normal-united-states-addiction-to-war-andrew-bacevich/

    Quotes:
    1. Addressing the graduating cadets at West Point in May 1942, General George C. Marshall, then the Army chief of staff, reduced the nation’s purpose in the global war it had recently joined to a single emphatic sentence. “We are determined,” he remarked, “that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other.”

    2. Writing in Foreign Affairs in 1992, General Colin Powell, arguably the nation’s most highly respected soldier since Marshall, anointed America “the sole superpower” and, quoting Lincoln, “the last best hope of earth.”

    3. President George W. Bush took his own turn in speaking to a class of graduating cadets (at West Point). With splendid symmetry, Bush echoed and expanded on Marshall’s doctrine, declaring, “Wherever we carry it, the American flag will stand not only for our power, but for freedom.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      4. President Barack Obama, who in 2014 told a U.S. Military Academy commencement ceremony-
      “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it is our willingness to affirm them through our actions.”

  17. Michael Ismoe

    Jobs report disappoints — only 235,000 positions added vs. expectations of 720,000 CNBC

    Every week, on Thursday, we find out that 400,000 more people signed up for unemployment benefits (initial claims) yet every month we get job statistics that say we added 235,000 jobs AND the unemployment rate is lower. Seems like you can come up with any number you want – just call up the Department of Labor.

    1. Objective Ace

      Considering 800k+ weekly UI were being added to the UI rolls this time last year and they’re steadily rolling off the UI rolls this is what you’d expect. 400k added and 500k or so removed will result in the unemoyment rate declining.

      Not everything in the government is fraudulent

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Remington Subpoenas Report Cards of 5 Children Killed in Sandy Hook Shooting”

    Just reading the title made me feel like I had to go take a shower. Is Remington going to claim that those kids had it coming to them for getting shot to death because they weren’t good students? And what about those teachers? What is pulling their records supposed to prove? And that document says that they want to interrogate the families of those dead children too.

    Apparently Remington is now owned by Vista Outdoor – ‘an American designer, manufacturer, and marketer of outdoor sports and recreation products.’ If they go through with this threat against the families of the dead children and teachers, I predict an almighty boycott of any and all brand products from Vista Outdoor. And they will learn that the internet can be an unforgiving place.

    1. judy2shoes

      Rev, the first question that popped into my mind is, “Is Remington trying to prove the existence of the 5 children, the teachers, and the parents of the children?”

      The reason I wonder is that, IIRC, there was a ton of conspiracy theories running about the internet with regard to the whole thing being staged and crisis actors playing the part of the students, teachers, and parents.

      Just spitballing…

      1. The Rev Kev

        Wondered the same myself. Maybe the lawyers wanted to see all the kiddie photos and videos to see if those kids actually existed. They haven’t asked for exhumations though – yet.

        1. judy2shoes

          They haven’t asked for exhumations though – yet.

          Ack! I hadn’t thought of that. I would guess the CT types are having a field day with Remington’s requests, but I haven’t checked – yet.

    2. FluffytheObeseCat

      I predict an almighty boycott of any and all brand products from Vista Outdoor.”

      That would be nice. It won’t happen. No one who might care will ever read enough about it in the news to pull a boycott together. It certainly won’t be flogged on any Fox or Newsmax sites. Nor any Clear Channel stations. And the “liberal MSM” will be too busy hyperventilating about some more recent, largely fake, group hysteria target to keep covering acts like this one over a period of days and weeks. You want outrage and boycotts you need 2 things: continuous news coverage of what the malefactors are doing, and 2) coverage of what brands they actually own, what they actually sell, and which outlets carry their products.

      https://vistaoutdoor.com/brands/

      Most of their brands are hunting & weaponry related. However, they own Camelbak, which is sold to every backpacker in the U.S., often in venues like REI. They might be susceptible to boycott, but it wouldn’t have much impact on this weapons retail conglomerate.

    3. CitizenSissy

      Shake my head. There’s a lot of performative excess this week which, IMHO, will not turn out as well as counsel intended. Being an a***(family blog) is a tactic best used judiciously, and does not include targeting dead children and heroic school personnel. Is there a lot of bear poking this week, between this nonsense and Texas?

  19. Ian Perkins

    Beijing is having trouble selling its citizens on a partnership with the Taliban

    China’s citizens don’t elect a new frontman, or woman, every few years. The CPC makes foreign and economic policy decisions, and it not only has an eye on Afghanistan’s location and mineral reserves, it wants the East Turkestan Islamic Movement eliminated. The US says the movement doesn’t even exist, or isn’t a terrorist movement if it does, but the UN seems to disagree, reporting last year that around 500 ETIM fighters were in Afghanistan, and may have joined forces with the Taliban. But, as the article concludes,
    “Will the Taliban really abandon their brothers that they’ve been fighting alongside?” Yau said. “One way or another, they need someone to fund them in order to hold onto power. This is for sure.”
    And my guess too is that holding onto power will trump giving the ETIM permission to launch or plan attacks on China from Afghanistan.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘The US says the movement doesn’t even exist, or isn’t a terrorist movement if it does’

      Strange that because the US had that organization on their terror list and only removed them last December. As this was not the only terrorist organization removed from that list so that it could be financially backed by the US, I am sure that the Chinese drew their own conclusions-

      https://www.voanews.com/extremism-watch/uighur-diaspora-hails-removal-etim-us-terror-list

  20. The Rev Kev

    “The CDC is finally listening to women about vaccines”

    If the CDC is listening, it is probably because it had no choice. If they had been taking in the data for reactions to these vaccines from day one, they could have been on top of it before it became an issue. But any bad issues with these vaccines were hidden or the information was not recorded on purpose. Sometimes that information could not be hidden. Like that time when they first brought out the vaccines and they gave it to a young nurse – who quickly went down like a sack of potatoes on camera. Not a confidence builder that.

    Why they are not having this listed this effect on periods as a possible side effect warning I have no idea. Unless they think that it will worry some women about the effect of having babies down the track. Now that would be a real worry. I did see a tweet that mentioned recently that there were tens of thousands of women in the UK complaining about period problems after taking a vaccine so it was becoming a big problem. I guess that the CDC thinks that pretending that there is no problem and hiding or ignoring evidence is the way to build confidence in these vaccines. Such tactics work in DC after all.

    1. Ian Perkins

      But any bad issues with these vaccines were hidden or the information was not recorded on purpose.

      As I recall, there were no questions about menstruation during the clinical trials, hence very little data collected. Which, in turn, has given those predisposed to pooh-poohing women’s concerns the excuse that the trials showed nothing of the sort.

    2. Jason Boxman

      Well we learned from Trump that if you just keep saying the same things over and over, true or not, or about Russiagate, that people will eventually believe it. Or IVM.

      But it’s harder to hide a thing when experience of it becomes widespread.

      Liberal Democrats are all about better optics and messaging, until reality cannot be ignored.

  21. Lee

    “Israel fighting record breaking surge in Covid-19 cases despite high levels of vaccination News.com.au (Kevin W). So much for Pfizer….”

    To be fair, according to the linked article and other sources, while the vaccine does not prevent infection or transmission of Covid-19, it does decrease incidents of serious illness and death….for now.

    We know that the asymptomatic infected can develop long Covid. To what extent vaccinations reduce the chances of developing long Covid is unclear for lack of tracking testing for and tracking of asymptomatic cases.

    “While breakthrough cases of Covid-19 in vaccinated individuals remain rare, early research shows that a small number of those cases lead to “long Covid,” in which Covid-19 symptoms persist for weeks or months.

    Why data on breakthrough infections and long Covid is so limited?

    Research suggests that between 10% and 30% of adults who test positive for the coronavirus will go on to develop long Covid. The condition can arise even in those who develop only mild Covid-19 or are asymptomatic, the New York Times reports.

    However, most research relates to Covid-19 in unvaccinated individuals. So far, there’s little research on how often breakthrough infections lead to long Covid.

    Zijian Chen, medical director at the Center for Post-Covid Care at Mount Sinai Health System, said, “It’s too early to tell. The population of people getting sick post vaccination isn’t that high right now, and there’s no good tracking mechanism for these patients.”

    According to the Times, one reason for the lack of data is CDC’s decision to track only breakthrough infections that result in hospitalization or death.

    “It’s very frustrating not to have data at this point in the pandemic to know what happens to breakthrough cases,” Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale School of Medicine, said. “If mild breakthrough infection is turning into long Covid, we don’t have a grasp of that number.” Advisory Board Daily Briefing, 8/19/21

    1. IM Doc

      For what it is worth –

      This is considered to be a total joke diagnosis by many Americans. You just have to trust me – it is most definitely not. Both the NEJM and the ANNALS of INTERNAL MEDICINE have just in the past few weeks had large preliminary articles about patients suffering from this problem. We do not have a handle on how common it is or how long it will last. Things are just too new.

      I am seeing LONG COVID symptoms in vaccinated breakthroughs at what seems to be the same level as the unvaccinated cases although I do not believe enough time with Delta has passed to be really sure. But I am definitely seeing this in vaccinated patients.

      LONG COVID symptoms are mainly 2 big groups.

      1) There are the neuro issues that are the vast majority of these cases – headaches, chronic nausea, chronic malaise, severe and disabling fatigue, brain fog, memory/recall issues, and a very difficult symptom to pin down – “feeling that something is wrong.” Severe depression and to a lesser degree suicidal ideation in folks who have never had that before is also present.

      2) Also happening in many vaccinated breakthroughs are the lung issues. This is usually but not always reserved for those who are really ill and have X-ray changes of ground glass while they are in the hospital or very ill at home. This often leads to a long lasting but not necessarily permanent pulmonary function decrease. In many of the unvaccinated patients from last year, this has largely resolved but certainly not for everybody. I will be interested to see how this plays out over time for the vaccinated as well. They are certainly getting it just as bad as the unvaccinated patients did last year. And please note, these types of problems do not just happen with COVID. This kind of thing happens with so many other infectious disease that leads to ARDS. This will hopefully end up being like our experience in the past with non-COVID infections where with time and exercise this does seem to get much better over time.

      #2 is very concerning – because it is happening at a large incidence in many many breakthrough cases as well. They may not feel sick enough to be in the hospital, but they are hypoxic and clearly having lung issues even at home while acutely ill with COVID. And they very often have these crippled lung issues for weeks/months after their infection. This is happening to healthy patients but is way more common in patients who are not active, who are smokers (including marijuana) or have medical problems like asthma.

      There are other issues that happen with acute COVID, mainly blood clotting events but many others, that are also happening with breakthrough vaccinated patients. These almost always resolve after a time and seem to cause no long term issues. But we have in no way had enough time to really fully evaluate what the long term issues may be. The big concern with these issues is what happens acutely – as in strokes, pulmonary emboli, or sudden cardiac death. I have also seen with acute COVID big blood clot problems in very unusual places, such as splenic vein thrombosis. Once you get through the acute setting, these issues tend to be very manageable.

      1. Lee

        Having developed symptoms of ME/CFS 15 years ago, and currently under treatment at Stanford Medical CFS clinic, I know well that long term post-viral illness is no joke. It was probably triggered by a severe respiratory illness I had in the first quarter of 2006.

      2. Mikel

        “There are the neuro issues that are the vast majority of these cases – headaches, chronic nausea, chronic malaise, severe and disabling fatigue, brain fog, memory/recall issues, and a very difficult symptom to pin down – “feeling that something is wrong.” Severe depression and to a lesser degree suicidal ideation in folks who have never had that before is also present…”

        Maybe not only the long term effects of the disease should be considered, but also the long term effects of the psychological trauma and/or disorientation of the entire pandemic, from the way it’s been politicized to the way identies are being formed around what is believed about it…and the way grief is processed.

      3. lordkoos

        I would think that some of these symptoms such as depression, fatigue, malaise etc could be hard to separate from the feelings many people are experiencing from the general stress of living with the pandemic.

        1. IM Doc

          I have been doing a great deal of research about a past pandemic which I have never spent much time investigating – the Great Russian Flu of the 1890s. This has always been thought to be an actual influenza – but recent genetic and virologic studies are showing us that this was very likely the introduction of Coronavirus OC43 to the world.

          Many many physicians at the time were chronicling that the symptoms of this “flu” were different than any other influenza had ever been. Even Sir William Osler, in written statements in his textbooks of Internal Medicine, was of the notion that the symptoms exhibited by patients during that pandemic of the 1890s were really not like the normal flu. His books were written in the decades immediately leading up to the “real” influenza pandemic of 1918. And the one symptom that over and over described by numerous physicians that were writing at the time, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was depression. This just does not happen to any degree in true INFLUENZA and many remarked on the difference.

          It must be noted that the word “depression” is a rather modern word and a modern construct. This construct is from our very reductionist, form-filling out, check the boxes modern medicine. “Depression” today is a drop bucket of multiple different diagnoses of the past. FYI, there are many things like this in medicine, not just depression.

          Conan Doyle and Osler would have used more prominently the diagnosis “melancholia” to describe what we commonly use as “depression” today. But interestingly enough, contemporaneous medical writers of the 1890s often used a completely different word with a completely different diagnostic meaning to describe what they were seeing in patients of that pandemic. That word is ACEDIA. I have seen it used repeatedly in my research of the pandemic of the 1890s.

          The difference is completely lost on us today – but it is actually a very important distinction. ACEDIA is an old medieval concept which is very difficult to describe. Basically it means a depression of the soul. A SPIRITUAL depression. While melancholia was more of a behavioral depression. Mainly having to do with living with consequences of behavior or reaction to events in a patient’s life.

          Interestingly, when I am really talking to these POST COVID patients today – it is indeed more consistent with the spiritual and soul exhaustion of ACEDIA – and not behavioral or reactive like most depressions are. I have occasionally seen this ACEDIA type of depression before, but it is now just one patient after the other. I am also seeing ACEDIA like depression repeatedly in patients who have never had COVID. It is a sign of the times. In the days of Osler and Conan Doyle, they had no way to test patients for the presence of the virus and just assumed everyone had been infected by the miasma. I think today I am seeing this in POST COVID patients and non-infected as well.

          The writers of that era in the 1890s were unequivocal in what they were seeing in their coronavirus pandemic – an epidemic of ACEDIA in those who had had the illness. I find it profoundly fascinating that the exact same type of thing is happening in our coronavirus patients and our COVID world today.

          1. jr

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2021/09/04/climate-change-mental-health-hurricane/

            “We are all psychologically unprepared to face the accelerating existential crisis of climate and ecological change that will further deepen other destructive fault lines in our society,” Belkin wrote in Psychiatric News in February. “The future will extract enormous social and emotional costs and suffering and require enormous social and emotional strengths to combat. We must sound that alarm and put our own house in order.”

          2. Lee

            Bartleby the Scrivener comes to mind.

            Trying to activate a cell phone, I’ve been on hold for closing on an hour. I imagine those who would answer such calls to be sitting there considering whether or not to pick up and saying, “I would prefer not to.”

            1. Skunk

              At least they don’t claim “Your time is important to us” or “We value your business” while you hold for an hour.

          3. Jeremy Grimm

            I had never heard of acedia before. Investigating its meaning further, it appears to be a word well-suited to denote feelings which perhaps are appropriate to the trends of our times.

          4. Brian Beijer

            Acedia- Thank you for teaching me this word. It is a word with powerful meaning, which is rare in today’s world. Even though I am an atheist, it’s definition of being a “spiritual and soul exhaustion” instantly resonated with me. I have had Covid, but I wouldn’t attribute my own feeling of acedia to the disease. It is more my “soul’s” response to the state of the world that we’ve created, or allowed to be created through our passive aquiescence.

          5. Cuibono

            colleague fully vaccinated Pfizer broke through. was an avid walker. now says it feels like he had not had exercise in a year. day by day trying to improve

            I too am seeing this Acedia more and more. Some long haulers. Some post vaccine .Some breakthrough. Some none of the above. Not sure what to make of it. I only know that these terrible divisions being sown are not helpful!

          6. JTMcPhee

            My guess is that one way acedia breaks out is in our modern version of “running amok,” rendered these days often as “going postal:”

            The word derives from Southeast Asian Austronesian languages, traditionally meaning “an episode of sudden mass assault against people or objects usually by a single individual following a period of brooding that has traditionally been regarded as occurring especially in Malaysian culture but is now increasingly viewed as psychopathological behavior”.[2] The syndrome of “Amok” is found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV TR).

            In 1849, amok was officially classified as a psychiatric condition based on numerous reports and case studies that showed the majority of individuals who committed amok were, in some sense, mentally ill.[7] The modern DSM-IV method of classification of mental disorders contains two official types of amok disorder; beramok and amok. Beramok is considered to be the more common of the two and is associated with the depression and sadness resulting from a loss and the subsequent brooding process. Loss includes, but is not limited to, the death of a spouse or loved one, divorce, loss of a job, money, power, etc. Beramok is associated with mental issues of severe depression or other mood disorders. Amok, the rarer form, is believed to stem from rage, insult, or a vendetta against a person, society, or object for a wide variety of reasons. Amok has been more closely associated with psychosis, personality disorders, bipolar disorder, and delusions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Running_amok

            Current political-economic conditions sure provide lots of ways to get into the kind of anomic depression that leads to “running amok.” Good thing the Proud Bois and such are so ineffectual… Nobody still apparently has any idea what led Stephen Craig Paddock to kill 60 people and wound 867 there in Las Vegas…

          7. Ian Perkins

            What you say about Coronavirus OC43 arriving in the 1890s could be good news in the long run, though not directly for old fogies like myself! Some NC commenters will probably want to jump down my throat for mentioning it, but it has been suggested that natural infection, rather than – or after – vaccination, offers the best immunity to COVID, and the young seem to be at much lower risk of illness than adults. (Yes, I’m well aware they’re not 100% immune, and there are delta and MIS-C and the possible complications of long COVID to consider, but in terms of COVID itself, they don’t seem anywhere near as vulnerable as the elderly – on average.)

            My point being, if this has happened before, with a coronavirus sweeping the world as a deadly pandemic before settling down to become a common cold, perhaps because we all get exposed as children and develop immunity, might it happen again? But like I say, that’s a long term view, with probably little bearing on what we do now, today – and some will no doubt continue to insist eradication is possible, which it may yet be.

            1. HotFlash

              Herd immunity requires some culls. What was the death rate from the 1890 Flu? 50 to 60% infection rate, 3-4% death rate, so I read. So that’s alright, then. Bangs head on desk.

              1. IM Doc

                If indeed it was OC43 the infection rate is now 100%.

                It sweeps over the earth and we all get it every other year or so.

                That is what the concept of endemic status is.

                Endemicity isn’t necessarily a good thing. Many endemic infections still kill millions yearly malaria and AIDS being the ones that come to my mind instantly. There are many others.

                We should obviously try as hard as we can to limit casualities. But at some point, we as humans will need to come to grips with the fact that these pandemic introductions are one of the costs of the privilege of living here. It is part of life.

                There is possibly nothing we can do about it. We have repeatedly tried in both human and animal outbreaks and have never been successful even once. I have my doubts we will succeed this time. It will however eventually calm down and behave like its cousins like OC43.

                Unlike the mantra of modern neoliberalism, we as humans are not in charge.

                When you read contemporaneous writing from politicians and medical people both in the 1890s and 1918 flu you instantly realize that they were doing their best to make citizens understand this simple concept. The hubris approach of modern times that we are in charge would have been unthinkable then. We will see how it all plays out. I have my opinion that they were much more wise during those earlier pandemics.

              2. Ian Perkins

                @HotFlash –
                I’m not saying “So that’s alright, then.”
                I am saying maybe today’s under-tens might grow up getting SARS-CoV-2 every year or two without much fuss – if we’re (they’re) lucky.
                In the meantime, I’m all for doing our best to limit COVID casualties.

            2. Skunk

              Consider that it might have become a common cold because those who survived passed down resistant genes to their descendants.

          8. Basil Pesto

            I’ve always found it interesting to read literature that pre-dates modern medicine and psychiatry in particular. You see signs of depression in ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’. I’m seeing it in snatches in Emma as I reread ‘Madame Bovary’ (which is very funny on what might you might want to call “bourgeois science” – Flaubert’s father was a surgeon, and his museum in Rouen is a joint literary/medical museum).

            There’s also the ongoing debate about whether King Lear suffered from dementia. I sort of reject the framing of the debate – dementia didn’t exist then, because it had not been classified. King Lear’s mental state was wholly invented by Shakespeare, albeit doubtless informed by some kind of real world experience, some kind of knowledge, pertaining to a certain kind or kinds of senescence. It’s an interesting case study, medically, but do we gain anything classifying an illness that only truly exists in the mind of its readers and writers. Should authors now be discouraged from inventing new diseases given that we assume that we have a thorough grasp of modern medicine (and I don’t mean inventing a disease that is in itself purely functional as a plot conceit, like in dystopian/disaster fiction). I’ve mentioned once before in comments that I had a case of akathisia. I never would have imagined until then that such unbearable suffering could even be possible. Perhaps there are lots more anguishes yet to be imagined, or discovered.

            Would you say those with acedia experience a ‘sense of doom’ as a symptom? or is it a bit less urgent or acute than that?

            1. Skunk

              There are many references to “sweating sickness” in Medieval accounts. No one knows what it was, but it seems to have been prevalent.

            2. IM Doc

              There is absolutely a sense of doom in many of them. But that is a common symptom in all kinds of depression.

              Being grounded in medical history has been a lifesaver for me all through my career.

              And yes there are so many things that are very clearly described in the past, that we have absolutely no idea exactly what they were.

              Look up St Vitas’ Dance – one of the most amazing medical outbreaks in the history of mankind – and to this day we have not a clue what exactly happened.

              1. Cuibono

                I had a young man with this condition 25 years ago. His grandma thought he was trying to pull the wool over her eyes and stay out of school. Turns out he had Rheumatic Fever.

    2. Ian Perkins

      People who experience breakthrough infections of the coronavirus after being fully vaccinated are about 50 percent less likely to experience long Covid than are unvaccinated people who catch the virus, researchers said in a large new report on British adults.
      https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/01/health/breakthrough-infections-long-covid.html

      The Lancet report in question:
      Risk factors and disease profile of post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection in UK users of the COVID Symptom Study app: a prospective, community-based, nested, case-control study
      https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(21)00460-6/fulltext
      I haven’t looked at it yet, but any comments from Ignacio, GM, IM DOC and so on?

      1. Greg Taylor

        It’s an observational study with self-reported symptoms – subjects weren’t randomly assigned to vaccine and control groups. Since subjects chose their vaccination status, you don’t know if the vaccines caused reduced long Covid symptoms or other confounding traits which were not measured. The data collected appears to be mostly pre-Delta and within 3 months of vaccination. The study doesn’t mention how the vaccine effect on long Covid changed over time or with the Delta variant. Since other measures of vaccine efficacy are reduced post-Delta, we might expect the 50% reduction in long Covid found in this study to be overstated, especially for those infected several months after vaccination.

        That said, it’s still among the best sources of information we’ll be likely to get on factors associated with long Covid. Clearly, vaccinated people are at significant risk of long Covid after breakthrough infections. They may have less risk than the unvaccinated infected at least in the first few months after vaccination.

  22. Mikel

    “Why the Taliban still can’t form a government”

    Because not being able to form a govt overnight after a change in power in a country is unheard of?

    History (and not so distant history) is littered with examples of this…from all parts of the world.

  23. Dee

    The antidotes du jour are really hitting the spot for me.

    I am in the middle of a month long online yoga retreat and the cat doing plough position is just too much for me. That sleepy seal is beyond adorable. And the Momma bear ….I…just…can’t…..! :-)

    Thank you!

    1. ChrisPacific

      We get the seal pups around here maybe once every couple of years or so. I have a photo of one taking a nap on a big concrete slab near the waterline just below a big office building. Unfortunately it’s not a very good photo (you aren’t supposed to get too close to them) but it’s always nice to see them.

  24. tommy strange

    You all have done great coverage over the evictions looming, PE and etc buying up houses, can you do a batch to update us all? Also how little money that has been spent from CARES?

  25. Mildred Montana

    “Jobs report disappoints — only 235,000 positions added vs. expectations of 720,000 CNBC”

    A bad outcome for the macro-economists. Their learned cogitations came up with a prediction that was 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 about 70% wrong.

    Meanwhile, in Canada:

    “Real GDP declined 1.1% (annualized) in the second quarter, well below consensus expectations for a 2.5% expansion.”

    https://economics.td.com/ca-real-gdp

    Another blow for the macro-guessers. This prediction went so badly awry I can’t even calculate the % error.

    Four questions:

    1. Why do macro-economists bother making predictions?
    2. Better yet, why do they have jobs?
    3. Do they know their profession (sic) is a fraudulent one?
    4. And the most important question of all: Where can I get a job that pays me a couple of hundred grand a year for useless predictions?

    I think I can answer the first three, but Question #4, about that $200,000 a year job, that’s got me stumped. I’ve so far been unable to find an employer who will pay me for my guesses—about anything.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      They’d try a new “model,” but there’s a dart board shortage.

      Seriously, thanks for making me laugh all the way through your comment.

    2. Synoia

      It is very obvious from you clear questions that you are not suited to become a macro-economist.

      If you want to improve your chances, I recommend watching Dr Fauchi on TV as a peer in the word-sdalad-no-clarity practice.

      /s

  26. orlbucfan

    I want to thank both Yves and Colonel Smithers for that excellent article on the collapse of the British Labour Party. That kind of quality is the reason why I support this site. Many grateful thanks again!

    1. lance ringquist

      agreed. and as you watch the labour party sink like the democrats, and refuse to admit its the policies stupid, both parties appear to be in the twilight of their existence.

      what do dip free traders nafta tony blair, and nafta billy clinton have in common?

      both said free trade was inevitable, sovereignty was quaint and we should have open borders.

      both said to laid off desperate workers, why don’t you learn how to code? both said the jobs of the future would re-employ the deplorable.

      both said we will be the knowledge based economy.

      both said that the voters had no where else to go:)

      both lost 50% of their voter base, radicalized their workers and are viewed as sellouts to the rich.

      both did far far more damage than thatcher or reagan ever could.

      both were warned that their disastrous policies would ruin their nations, and they did.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Hillary should be parachuting in at any moment – if for no other reason to make you grateful for Gavin Newsom.

  27. Stillfeelinthebern

    Sarah Chayes on how to help the people of Afghanistan.

    “Many of you want to help. For that, I and my Afghan friends are immensely grateful. I have been slow to come back with a list of organizations. I did not want to steer you astray.”

    https://www.sarahchayes.org/post/resources?postId=7430e2e6-d063-4a3a-a0ac-02a651923ba2

    She also links to articles on those who have profited, linking to today’s WP article on the generals and says:

    “Equally instructive might be a parallel article on their civilian counterparts, such as Ashton Carter, Richard Cheney, Hillary Clinton, Tom Donilon, Michael Flynn, Robert Gates, Stephen Hadley, James Jones, John Kerry, James Mattis, Leon Panetta, Colin Powell, Condolizza Rice, Susan Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Rex Tillerson…”

    1. Lee

      Don’t know if you saw mine above re Sarah Chayes. Given what she had to say, I was more than a little surprised to see her interviewed on Blob booster Christiane Amanpour’s program.

      1. Stillfeelinthebern

        I did see it, but could not watch the video at the link. Is this the same interview? Facinating. Sarah is outstanding. She advised our government…too bad they didn’t listen.

        https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2021/09/01/amanpour-taliban-afghanistan-sarah-chayes-corruption-united-states-biden.cnn

        Maybe Amanpour cares about truth. I don’t watch televison, so rarely see her interviews, I like the long form and no commercials and they seem informative. She asks good questions.

  28. Cuibono

    “Notably, however, officials said there was not much evidence that the vaccines were working less well in protecting against severe disease. The New York study, for example, found that vaccine protection against hospitalization remained at 92% or higher for each week analyzed. And another MMWR report, which drew on hospital information from 18 states, found the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines stayed 84% to 86% effective in preventing hospitalization for 24 weeks.”

    https://www.factcheck.org/2021/09/scicheck-bidens-controversial-covid-19-vaccine-booster-plan/

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Funny how FactCheck finds data so much at odds with a VERY large scale study at Mayo and even larger scale data out of Israel (the latter mainly Pfizer). I will have to track it down, but Eric Topol posted a chart showing falling efficacy v. severe disease, IIRC at 25 weeks.

      1. Ian Perkins

        The FactCheck piece is quite long, and doesn’t really say ‘nothing to worry about’ (see bold type towards end of this comment). It mentions the Mayo study and Israeli data, and has more to say about the MMWR report which cuibono mentions. A few snippets (there may be more appropriate bits, but like I say, it’s long!):

        An MMWR study of a more vulnerable population — U.S. nursing home residents — found that the effectiveness of the mRNA vaccines against lab-confirmed infections fell from 75% in the pre-delta era to 52% with delta.

        An unpublished study of patients in the Mayo Clinic Health System compared the two mRNA vaccines and found the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine began with an effectiveness of 76% against any kind of PCR-confirmed infection in January that fell to 42% in July. The drop for Moderna was smaller, from 86% to 76%.

        Officials mentioned data coming out of Israel to bolster their case, but did not cover it in any detail until a press briefing on Sept. 2. Israel has fully vaccinated almost 63% of its population, as of Sept. 1, and has used the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for nearly all of its citizens.
        In the Sept. 2 briefing, Fauci noted the rising number of COVID-19 cases among the vaccinated in Israel and reviewed two unpublished papers, posted to preprint servers, documenting the effects of a booster dose in the country.

        “The available data make very clear that protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection begins to decrease over time following the initial doses of vaccination, and in association with the dominance of the Delta variant, we are starting to see evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease,” the statement reads, referring to the coronavirus. “Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death could diminish in the months ahead, especially among those who are at higher risk or were vaccinated during the earlier phases of the vaccination rollout.

        1. rowlf

          Your last paragraph makes me imagine what the reviews would be like if the Pfizer vaccine was being sold on Amazon.

    1. ambrit

      Since the creatures in question are “mythical,” their Terran human ‘enablers’ should be “mythical” too. This can be clearly seen on YouTube, and cable television. The “run of the mill” cryptid ‘expose’ has so many laughably fake elements in it that they should be included in the Emmy Awards under Best Special Effects or Best Original Drama.

  29. buermann

    “if VA facilities are overloaded because Covid, give emergency VA licenses to abortion facilities”

    Then you fall afoul of Mr. Hyde.

  30. Richard H Caldwell

    “Give TX abortion MDs emergency access to VA hospitals, including surgical privileges. Have the National Guard provide transportation. Dare Texas to try to sue the VA. I am pretty sure sovereign immunity would apply. Or if VA facilities are overloaded because Covid, give emergency VA licenses to abortion facilities.”

    I wish I could think that creatively – bravo!

    1. wol

      Thanks. The sentiment reminds me of the dance scene in Zorba the Greek after the engineering catastrophe.

  31. Lambert Strether

    > American and Alaska Airlines will end paid pandemic leave for unvaccinated employees who become sick with COVID-19

    So, we can’t have paid leave to get vaccinated, but we take away leave if you’re not vaccinated. What a country!

  32. Acacia

    Point Nemo … where space stations go to die

    And here I was thinking of not James Mason as Capt’n Nemo, but rather the spaceship graveyard in the Space 1999 episode Dragon’s Domain

  33. polar donkey

    About a week and half ago, two coca-cola reps came to where I work. Proceed to tell me within the year come will not be delivering soda to us any longer. Will have Sysco deliver our coke orders. A couple days ago, a friend went to Walgreens. No coke products at all. Walgreens employee told my friend come has delivered anything in a month and not sure when will again. Obviously, coke has massive logistical problems and doesn’t think they can be fixed. That’s a big fall for a company that’s distributed its own products for

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