Links 9/5/2021

Will it Be Enough? Sidecar

The mysterious disappearance of the world’s longest shrubbery BBC Future

How Ida dodged NYC’s flood defenses MIT Technology Review

Satellite Images Find ‘Substantial’ Oil Spill in Gulf After Ida NYT (Dan K)

Let Your Fridge Go Off for an Hour to Save Our Power Grids NYT. RM: “$70/hr. to turn down/up my thermostat? Wish we had it in Chicago!”

Good news for the Atlantic bluefin but pity the Komodo dragon FT

Invest in biopharmaceutical companies — our veterans depend on them The Hill. I leave it to you, dear readers, to shred this.

Mexico Bans Animal Testing for Cosmetics Treehugger

A Former Leftist Icon Turns to Science Fiction Der Spiegel

Gavin Newsom recall election is turning into landslide, poll shows SF Gate


US now has more than four times as many cases of COVID and twice as many in hospital as this time last year with deaths up 80% – despite 62% of population with one shot amid Delta surge: Mu is now in LA Daily Mail

Mu Covid Variant: Los Angeles Officials Say First Cases Of New Strain Have Arrived Deadline

DeSantis still fights masks—despite COVID surge, court loss, expert advice, etc. Ars Technica

Florida grapples with COVID-19′s deadliest phase yet APCoronavirus can spread among vaccinated people, so officials urge cautious Labor Day Yahoo News

Arizona on pace of reporting over 3,000 virus cases per day AP

You aren’t legally allowed to know which variant gave you COVID-19 in the US, even if it’s Delta Business Insider


What Links the Covaxin Scandal in Brazil and Kumbh Fake-Tests Scam in India? The Wire Science

China not ready to ease strict Covid-19 controls, says senior health official South China Morning Post

Sweetgreen’s CEO Thinks Salads Work Better Than Vaccines New York Magazine

Coronavirus Epidemics first hit more than 21,000 years ago University of Oxford (guurst)

How the Covid-19 Threat Could Help Us Breathe Easier at the Office WSJ

Tom Brady says he contracted COVID-19 shortly after Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl parade ESPN

Licenses of doctors who spread harmful COVID-19 information should be at risk The Hill (Dan K).

Class Warfare

Some prison labor programs lose money — even when prisoners work for pennies Marshall Project

Higher Pay for Low-Income Workers Undercut by Years of Wage Stagnation and Rising Inflation Capital & Main

Imperial Collapse Watch

“Guardian”: British Secretary of Defense hinted that “the United States is no longer a superpower” What China Reads

9/11 wasn’t the Pearl Harbor of our generation Responsible Statecraft re Šilc: “usa usa is so easy to play. doesnt take genius.” Moi: Today’s Brexit

How a Great Power Falls Apart Foreign Affairs


A depressing anniversary Brexit & Beyond (guurst)

Biden Administration

Biden wants Afghan exit to end US global cop role Dawn

Texas Ban May Spur Tele-Abortions: Virtual Visits, Then Pills  Bloomberg


Corporate boards, consulting, speaking fees: How U.S. generals thrived after Afghanistan WaPo

Opinion: I was a combat interpreter in Afghanistan, where cultural illiteracy led to U.S. failure WaPo (Dan K)


Nationalization Is Coming to China’s Data Centers Bloomberg

The Curious Case of the New Chinese Ambassador to Thailand The Diplomat

China rejects blame for sharp rise in US fentanyl overdoses South China Morning Post

Waiting for Biden Dawn

Pakistan’s Support to the Taliban is One of the Greatest Feats of Covert Intelligence The Wire


How Women Farmers In Eastern India Are Supporting Families By Cultivating Nutrition Gardens India Spend

Kerala’s traditional home gardens offer a natural way to mitigate climate change Scroll

The Ghost Crop of Goa Orion



Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Ignacio

    DeSantis. Nowbody likes being masked, moreover, child masking is a pity, isn’t it?. But then there are now circumstances that make this a necessity considering the epidemiological situation. This is a case were a small sacrifice by all children at school yields a wider benefit for all as the article above discuses. Besides the reasons stated above (saving needless children suffering, limiting disease spread that in turn would cause lot of damage in all other age cohorts even if vaccinated), we can add that we don’t want to exhaust all the greek alphabet letters in more or less dangerous new variants. Yet DeSantis seems to consider these below the greater liberty of going maskless and has gone into an anti-mask crusade. Think twice, this is risky business on your side DeSantis. You might be politically responsible for many deaths. Wouldn’t you need some scientific and legal advice for this or do you really feel immune to that? Is it just that you don’t care at all?
    My guess is that DeSantis doesn’t care at all except he will need to ban also testing so that the spread routes cannot be identified and the Governor can feel safer with his crusade.

  2. Arizona Slim

    The article about coronavirus spreading among vaccinated people really bopped me over the head. Why? Well, I’m up early and HAD to check my email.

    Yeah, I know. It’s awfully early to be activating the email checking mechanism.

    In my early Sunday morning batch of emails is way-too-cheerful one from my university alumni group. I was tempted to start singing “Happy Days Are Here Again.”

    Highlights from this email:

    There’s a football game watching party on 9/11! In an indoor bar with questionable ventilation and NO windows! (Slim’s staying away.)

    And happy hours are also back! They’ll be at the same place, a nearby bar and restaurant that does offer outdoor seating, but this alumni group tends to favor the indoor seating. (Which means I’ll be staying here at the Arizona Slim Ranch.)

    Oh, the evening card games? Featuring a game called euchre? Oh, they are back with bells on! At a sports bar! (Do I detect a theme here? Something having to do with bars? Yours Truly doesn’t play cards, so, once again, I’ll be staying home.)

    1. John Beech

      At this point in time, these University of Alabama alums are staying home. We love flying to games and taking them in in person but I agree with you, Slim, not right now!

      So, instead, I watched on television yesterday – from about 3PM through 10 o’clock last night – and the one thing, which struck me was how few folks in the crowd were masked. I fear for our nation because we’re busy riding herd on superspreader events like Sturgis while ignoring these events which see folks congregate at stadiums, with parties before the game and parties after.

      This whole pandemic thing has been, in my opinion, politically mishandled. E.g. such that the positive will to work together for the common good by staying home and masking up has given way to the ‘fed up with this’, crowd. Foolish leaders have squandered the opportunity.

      I’m reduced, despite being vaccinated, to hoping I’m not amongst those that pays the price.

    2. griffen

      What about “Sunday, Monday, happy days..”! Watching a lot of football this full slate weekend. Stands are packed yet again.

      A prominently known head coach from the SEC is out for his teams Monday night game. That coach was fully vaccinated but now tested positive, and will be in quarantine.

      1. Captain Obious

        One thing that really stands out watching major league baseball this year is that full or almost full stadiums are very rare (maybe for games like LA vs SF, or Milwaukee and Chicago) and the number of unsold seats is usually staggering, if the camera shifts to the areas farther from home plate and the infield. Used to be lots of pan shots to show off the crowd and break up the camera sequences… not so much anymore, and I don’t think it’s covid. My guess is that nowadays 9 out of 10 games are way under-attended (lots of games streaming on MLB; great to watch west coast games late at night from back east). I think this may be the first sport to go… Of course the $20 beers at the stadium don’t help. Now I’ll go check statistics and discover I’m way out in left field.

    3. The Rev Kev

      I think that you might have been wise to dodge those invites as nothing short of ticking time bombs. It reminds me of the classic conversation-

      ‘Come on in!’ they said. ‘The water’s fine. No, there are no crocodiles in this creek.’

      (Jumps into water)

      ‘No. Not since the sharks cleaned them all out.’

    4. Ian Perkins

      Are they alumni, or alQaeda, hoping for a twentieth anniversary attack, with aerosols instead of aeroplanes?

        1. Synoia

          When I loved in ZA, MJ grew as a weed. I did not know that Cannabis plants could grow over 6″, such was the harvesting.

          1. ambrit

            You should see them when they are ten feet tall. Gorgeous. (Happier days down in the swamps of Louisiana, forty years ago now. Today is infinitely worse than back then. Something essential changed in the American psyche.)

            1. chris

              I agree. When trying to help my teenage children and their friends I note a number of differences from what used to be and what is now. This sense of anxiety coupled with the fear of failure is destroying a lot of kids right now.

              1. Captain Obious

                My kids are grown and gone, but I wonder if combatting hopelessness is now a parents greatest task.

          2. Brian Beijer

            Back in my college days (30yrs ago), my roommate got a call from one of his friends who had just bought a house. She had found 4 6 ft. tall MJ plants growing in her back yard and wanted them gone immediately. We were at her house with an axe within 10 minutes. We stuffed the plants into several large garbage bags and made our way home. We dried the plants by hanging them along every inch of wall in our small apartment. Those 4 plants lasted us the entire fall semester. Needless to say I flunked that semester, but totally worth it. Looking back, I shudder to think how many decades in prison we would have gotten had we been pulled over by a cop that day.

            1. ambrit

              When something similar happened to me, I followed the instructions of an old landscape gardner and pulled the plant up by the roots and hung it upside down for a week. Supposedly, gravity pulled all the volatiles out of the roots and into the leaves. I got out of that “scene” when people started to carry guns to deals. When the love of money becomes paramount, morality goes by the wayside.
              Be safe.

        2. Henry Moon Pie

          “It’s sad when people can’t get enough marijuana.”

          It certainly is in this day and age. They should learn to grow it.

    5. Randy G

      @ Arizona Slim
      According to an article on Sputnik News with an accompanying video, we had a fleet of UFOs over Tucson last night. I was out a couple of times in the evening but did not see them.

      Mask usage pretty spotty here in Tucson now when I venture into stores. About 50% in Trader Joes, CostCo, and Sprouts, although most of the staff are back to wearing them. I still try to exercise a bit at the Planet Fitness gym but go at times when there is sparse attendance as mask use has dropped to about 5%. I have not gone to an indoor restaurant, music venue or bar since our little viral plague started, and probably not a good time to start now as ‘mutants’ spread and outfox the humans.

      If those UFOs are taking on refugees from Planet Crazy, I am ready to go. (Hoping my dogs can accompany me and will not be left behind on the tarmac due to interstellar regulations.)

      1. JTMcPhee

        Any assurances those UFO pilots don’t just plan on “dining in” on the humans they beam up? Homo sapiens: “A good source of protein.”

      2. Laughingsong

        Okay, I know this will seem weird, but my husband and I were sitting outside last night, and we too saw something very like this: we only made out 2 of them, not a fleet, but they were moving together very fast and were across the night sky from our backyard in about 7-10 seconds.

        We are in western Oregon.

      3. lordkoos

        What people saw are most likely Elon Musk’s satellite launches. My wife was out early one morning and counted 50 of them.

      4. ambrit

        Could it be connected to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base at Tucson?
        I remember that Roswell Air Force Base was the only air base at the time where nuclear bombs were stored and deployed by the Strategic Air Command in the 1940s and 1950s. Disc craft had a particular interest in that place. Or was it because ‘security’ was, of necessity, extraordinary there, and so, regular disc craft activities were soptted more frequently?

        1. Wukchumni

          I think the aliens are attracted to Arizona because of it’s Byzantine politics, I mean who would willingly visit our version of hell (it’s a dry one, yeah I get it) in the summer?

          1. ambrit

            You have a point. But, if the ‘greys’ are an offshoot of the ancient reptilian lifeforms, then a high ambient temperature would suit them fine.
            A new Fraternal Order; The Assiduous Association of Aficionados of Arizonan Politics. [Bring your own chairs.]

          2. Randy G

            @ Wuk —

            I won’t try to explain or defend Arizona politics but it’s been anything but a dry summer — it’s been raining like crazy here this monsoon while you folks in the Golden State shrivel, dry and burn. Feels more like we’re in the Okefenokee Swamp.

            It’s actually quite green and about 10 trillion pesky insects have popped up to enjoy the cornucopia. Fortunately, many are beautiful butterflies, but many are biters and bloodsuckers that view humans as slow-footed lunch wagons. Even mushrooms have popped up in unlikely spots.

            Deserts can be a challenge for amphibians, but there’s so many baby spade-foot toads on the trails near the normally parched Rillito River that you have watch to avoid stomping on them.


            1. Wukchumni

              I’ll admit to more than a little aqua envy in Arizona, and this summer’s monsoons more than made up for the last couple of no-shows in summers past.

              In terms of appeal to unregistered aliens emanating above the Van Allen Belt, which of the so far to the right of right politicians would they be attempting to make contact with?

    6. Lee

      Our previously mentioned 34 year old, Moderna vaccinated family friend came down with Covid after an evening with friends in a local bar. He recovered after 10 days of being as miserably ill as he’s ever been. He says he now feels fully recovered. But having crap insurance, he’s hesitates going to the doctor for financial reasons, so getting checked out for post-viral organ damage is unlikely at this point.

    7. lordkoos

      Our town hosts the annual labor day rodeo and county fair. The rodeo is a big deal nationally as it pays the cowboys top prize money… thousands of maskless people sitting side by side in the grandstands and packed crowds milling around the fairgrounds. Even though it is mostly outdoors, I have to say no thanks…

      1. petal

        Students were dropped off by parents Friday. Traffic was awful-tons of out of state plates from all over the country including Kentucky(dogs and I were almost hit by a minivan from PA when we had the walk sign), and now there are tightly packed groups of 10-12 students walking around unmasked. Going to get interesting around here over the next 2-3 weeks.
        I am still carrying a low grade fever and lost 4 lbs. Good fun. Still tired and don’t feel like myself. Can’t imagine what a booster would do to me. Take care, all.

  3. BrianC - PDX

    About the comparison of 9/11 with Pearl Harbor:


    In 2005, van Creveld made headlines when he said in an interview that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was “the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 BC [sic] sent his legions into Germany and lost them”, a reference to the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. His analysis included harsh criticism of the Bush Administration, comparing the war to the Vietnam war. Moreover, he said that “Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial.”[*]

    [*] – Original Source as noted from the wiki entry:

    1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      Creveld is in the enviable position of inventing defenses of orthodoxy. You don’t get cancelled or marinalized for writing book length ‘strategic theory’ that makes Isreali hegemony seem ‘inevitable’ or their power anything less than total.

  4. DJG, Reality Czar

    Warschauer, Responsible Statecraft, today’s must-read.

    This is the insight at the center of the article by Warschauer. ‘Karl Rove, Bush’s ever-present campaign guru, said later, “Sometimes history sends you things, and 9/11 came our way.” The President and his advisors wouldn’t allow this “Pearl Harbor” moment to be wasted.’

    Why did this stand out for me? Because the reason that the U S of A fell into the trap is that of all modern nations, the U.S. elites are the least competent at reading history. “Don’t know much about history” isn’t just a song in the U S of A. It is a mentality, a way of life.

    As a writer (especially as a writer for the theater), I know that when one ventures out into the world emotionally and observationally, the world does indeed send things. But the world sends things to wake us up. People like Rove just wanted their view of history–history as the ordained ascension of the USA to the pinnacle of power–to be confirmed.

    So you have the “don’t know much about history” crowd who didn’t know the difference between Sunni and Shiites (let alone Sufi!) bumbling into the Middle East, some of whom didn’t / don’t know anything about Iran’s long, long history as a non-Arab power, and the result is what?

    Breaking some things. Ahh, creative destruction. Yeah, sure, creative destruction was grand till the war came home. And now the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are, oh, somewhere over Missouri.

    1. Ian Perkins

      Maybe bin Laden announced it after September 11 2001, but he was pretty clear and explicit about his strategy – “a holy war, calculated to draw America into a generational, grinding conflict; one that bled us of our money, our soldiers’ lives, and our national reputation” as Warschauer puts it. Whether they knew this at the time or not, the USA didn’t fall into the trap so much as leap into it headfirst.

      1. Synoia

        Yes, and willingly aided and abetted by our Rapacious MIC, and MIC bought “Leaders,” both elected, and paid by the “news” industry and welshing off well funded “think tanks.”

    2. David

      What I find depressing about this kind of article is that, even now, It’s All About Us (the US in this case). But the US twenty years ago was only collateral damage, a piece to be taken off the board to enable Bin Laden and co to get on with the real job of re-founding the Umma, beginning with the overthrow of the corrupt Saudi regime. Bin Laden argued that that required getting the US out of the game first – thus the attacks, which were designed by their targets (the White House, the Pentagon, Wall Street) to decapitate the US, and, at a minimum, to keep it so preoccupied that it couldn’t spare any effort to support the House of Saud. I don’t suppose Bin Laden regretted the outcome of the attacks, with the endless wars, but that wasn’t the original idea.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I marvel at your penetrating insights into foreign affairs — no sarcasm. Thank you for your comment. Your explanation makes sense to me as Osma Bin Laden’s initial motivation for the 9/11 attack. The “holy war, calculated to draw America into a generational, grinding conflict; one that bled us of our money, our soldiers’ lives, and our national reputation” sounds like Osama’s effort to get in front of the parade as events progressed.

        1. Ian Perkins

          I can’t really see how the attacks could have decapitated the US, to use David’s term. Totally obliterating the Pentagon and Wall Street might have gone some little way toward that end, but there was never any chance of that from four planes crashing. Destroying the White House might have meant installing a new president, something the US does every few years anyway. Demoralisation could conceivably have been a result of what did happen, but wasn’t. Instead, calls for action, revenge, eliminating the enemy and so on were the order of the day – what David calls keeping the US too preoccupied to defend the Saudi royals, and I referred to as holy war designed to draw the US into a quagmire. (Though I notice from Google that bin Laden appears not to have made those claims about his strategy; others interpreted his actions thus!) In short, I don’t see how bin Laden could have hoped to decapitate the US, but goad it he certainly did.

          I do definitely agree with the first half of David’s final sentence: “I don’t suppose Bin Laden regretted the outcome of the attacks, with the endless wars,” though I’m not entirely convinced by the second half, “but that wasn’t the original idea.” It sounds to me a bit like a difference of wording, with a slight touch of reading between the lines on my part.

          1. David

            As you suggest, I don’t think the strategy of decapitation was ever feasible but, that said, all that matters is that Bin Laden thought it might be. After all, he wasn’t exactly an expert on the US, and I suspect he massively overestimated the effect of the attacks if they succeeded. But if he was right that the stability of the House of Al Saud depended on US support, then his strategy, no matter how flawed, does at least make a kind of sense.

            1. ambrit

              Bin Laden might have been applying the norms of his culture of origin to America. A decapitation strike might have worked against a monarchy like the House of Saud.
              Whatever his motives, Bin Laden’s strategy worked. The old America self destructed with the Patriot Act.

            2. Ian Perkins

              I watched the attacks on the twin towers from a minute or two after the first plane hit, and they seemed overwhelmingly symbolic to me. (The Pentagon plane and the one that crashed featured much less on the cable news reports I saw.) A US acquaintance asked in bewilderment why anyone would do such a thing, and I found the answers all too obvious, from the phallic supremacist nature of the towers, reaching skywards toward the gods, to their nominal centrality in the system of world economic domination, to the simple fact that the US wasn’t immune from the death and destruction it had so wilfully meted out to other countries.

              At no point did I get the impression the US was about to be decapitated, as in have its ruling class suddenly removed or some such, and I find it hard to imagine bin Laden envisaged such an outcome either. He was, after all, no primitive tribesman, ignorant of the US and its ways – he was a member of the Saudi elite, whose family hobnobbed and did deals with President Bush himself, and indeed were on the few planes allowed to fly in the following hours as they left the USA. A similar attack on the KSA might have decapitated the regime there, but was bin Laden naive or deluded enough to think the same of the USA? I suspect he was enough of an expert, having studied his chosen enemies, to think otherwise.

              1. Keith Newman

                Didn’t bin Laden deny he had anything to do with 9/11 initially then take credit later when it cemented his reputation as an international hero to millions? And of course he did mange to take down three towers in NYC with only two airplanes… A pretty remarkable feat.

          2. Bill Smith

            Given all the many, many tens of billions of dollars the US has spent to be able come through a nuclear strike and still have enough continuity of government to exercise command and control, decapitation was a pipe dream.

            Instead we got the Osama tax.

            1. JTMcPhee

              And that surviving rump of “government” would in no way be anything even remotely like a representative democracy. “Command and control,” yes indeedy. Over what kind of shattered landscape, under what kind of sky? What “legitimacy” would such a “continued” government have, other than that old thing about power comes out of the barrel of a gun? “America the Beautiful” would be well and truly over and done.

              And given the priors, and who fills out the policy and power places in the Empire, seems to me the most likely trigger for that kind of “exchange” of WMD, destroying pretty much everything of value to us mopes, would most likely be some asinine “doctrine” and “strategy” cooked up by the RAND group and other ninnies. Who have studied ways and means to decapitate “nuclear adversaries” for generations now. Or some whoopsie in some delegated autonomous system that maybe just got tired of taking stupid orders from puffed up people…

              One would hope that survivors who managed to do so outside the deep bunkers reserved for the Elite might just kill the rump “government” that surfaced to sweep up the spoils, as just deserts for setting up a scenario (MAD, LoW, first-strike capability) that led to devastation on that scale.

              To the winner ‘gone’ the spoils, long gone indeed…

      2. Soredemos

        If that was the initial AQ goal, what an incredibly dumb plan. The White House and Congress were quickly evacuated, and you’d have to hit the Pentagon with about a dozen planes to do meaningful damage (IIRC in the event they did effectively no damage because the place they hit had just been renovated and was mostly empty). The loss of the WTC disrupted Wall Street quite a bit but it quickly and totally recovered.

    3. hunkerdown

      They read history and confabulated their own on top of it, to their own ends. That’s a decent level of understanding. Americans “don’t know much about history” because they don’t want history, they want a moral narrative arc, i.e. a religion, which is ridiculous. And this is why Whig theory should be banned in public discourse.

      “Creative destruction” is a mystification of conquest, that’s all.

    4. griffen

      Cheney, Rove, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld…with advisors in your ear like that of course the US was going “all in” for the war on terror. I know Powell as well catches blame, deservedly so, but he always seemed (to me) to really question the rationale before committing our troops to action on 2 middle East fronts.

      Probably discussed here previously, but Bush 41 chose not to prolong the Iraq war to the chagrin of the military & Schwarzkopf ( please edit or correct if I have this wrong ). So clean up an old beef with Saddam and simultaneously declare that Bin Laden is US enemy number one.

      1. The Rev Kev

        It only took about a decade for the Powell Doctrine to be deep-sixed by people like Bush, Cheney, Rove, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and the rest but can you imagine how history would have unfolded if it had become the basis of American military doctrine? It only had eight considerations-

        1. Is a vital national security interest threatened?
        2. Do we have a clear attainable objective?
        3. Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
        4. Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
        5. Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
        6. Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
        7. Is the action supported by the American people?
        8. Do we have genuine broad international support?

        1. Craig H.

          The Augustus doctrine after the German disaster is shorter and more practical.

          1. What are we going to get if we win?
          2. What are we at risk to lose?
          3. If (1.) ain’t a lot bigger than (2.) stay home.

          At least there are oil fields in Iraq. What is there to win in Afghanistan?

          1. Polar Socialist

            Trough Afghanistan one can keep the Central and South Asia unstable and spawn violence into all neighboring Stans, Iran and China.

            What’s not to like?

          2. Pookah Harvey

            According to the International Business Times;
            -rare earths in the country(Afghanistan) were estimated to be valued between $1 trillion and $3 trillion last year. An internal Department of Defense memo in 2010 called Afghanistan “the Saudi Arabia of lithium.”-
            Any wonder why there is such push-back on Biden leaving.
            By the way the headline of the article is – Biden Lets China Grab World’s Biggest Lithium Deposits With Botched Afghanistan Exit-
            The new slogan for all the MSM.
            All the news that fits what oligarchs want to print

          3. JTMcPhee

            The giant open question in that formulation is who “we” is. KBR, Halliburton, Lockheed “We never forget who we are working for” Martin, MBoeingA, career Brass…

            Sure as hell not the Mopes of America ™…

        2. JTMcPhee

          Powell apparently read, and understood, the words of Sun Tzu: The victorious general determines if he has Heaven on his side…

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Schwarzkopf despised Rumsfeld and said he didn’t know what happened to Powell at some point after the 2003 invasion. I think he was caught off guard by the Air Force’s “Turkey Shoot”, but the only thing I can find about finishing the job is there was a rejection of a Soviet proposed cease fire, largely because his view was Iraq had too much offensive equipment and could simply roll back into Kuwait when the coalition left.

        The whole bit about clear goals and achieving goals came out of his office in 1991, and I’ve always thought Powell, a black Republican, had more of a PR push than Norman and was given more credit than Norman as a result. Not that Norman wasn’t a GOP type, but he lived a quiet life, so there was no point in investing in him from the RNC perspective.

        The Air Force were villains.

    5. farragut

      I suspect a primary reason US leaders are unconcerned with accurate reads of history is largely due to the unbelievably (but not really, now that I think about it) arrogant attitude conveyed in Dick Cheney’s quote: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.

        1. kees_popinga

          Ron Suskind, in his 2004 New York Times Magazine article containing the “we’re an empire now” quote, attributed it to an unnamed official in the Bush administration. Suskind has never subsequently named the official; Rove denies he said it. It’s powerful folklore, though. I’ve always assumed it was Scooter “The aspens turn in clusters” Libby — it seems pretentious enough.

        2. Field Marshall McLuhan

          Rove has frequently and vehemently denied being the source of that quote. Nobody believes him

        3. Synoia

          Rove asserted “We Create our own Reality,” but never discussed from which Human orifice the result was expelled, neither the long tern consequences for the US nor or the immediate effects on the recipients of the US’ Creation of “our own realty.”

          The word “Misguided” appears to summarize all of the actions, Including the kinetic ones.

      1. LifelongLib

        I’m half convinced that the main thing that holds the U.S. together is (as IIRC Gore Vidal said) our ability to forget everything that happened before last Tuesday. If we remembered our history the way people in (say) the Middle East remember theirs, we’d be at each other’s throats.

      1. Mildred Montana

        One of those PNAC/Bush Doctrine cretins was Charles Krauthammer. A sample quote from him:

        “America is no mere international citizen. It is the dominant power in the world, more dominant than any since Rome. Accordingly, America is in a position to reshape norms, alter expectations and create new realities. How? By unapologetic and implacable demonstrations of will.”

        “…unapologetic and implacable demonstrations of will.” That sounds to me like nothing more than the behavior of a spoiled child.

        Krauthammer’s only defense is that his ideas, though cretinous, were expressed well. If he is remembered at all (died 2018, age 68), it will be for his pen, not his mind.

  5. Ian Perkins

    Licenses of doctors who spread harmful COVID-19 information should be at risk

    This sounds extremely dodgy. While I’d be quite glad to see the back of Nanny Boots and Granny Phoxide (hoping to evade moderation there!), I see advocating a certain equine vermiceous treatment is one of the things listed as a potential reason for revoking a doctor’s licence.

    Some COVID ‘information’ is pretty clearly ridiculous, but who would decide over issues less clear? And what would happen, if, say, the upcoming PRINCIPLE trial of one controversial drug finds it effective, after doctors have been debarred?

    1. The Rev Kev

      If this becomes general practice I can see all sorts of situations developing. So, what would have happened to a doctor who told his patients not to wear a mask as they were not only ineffective but could also be dangerous about 16 months ago. But then when that advice was reversed a few months later, they decided to yank the license of that doctor on the grounds that they had ‘spread harmful COVID-19 information.’ Would it do that doctor any good to say that he was only following the advice of Dr. Fauci? How about a doctor last year who insisted this virus was spread by aerosols and not by fomite transmission? Remember that both the WHO and the CDC sided on the side of fomites and I think that the WHO still might. The truth of the matter is this idea is just a mechanism to keep all doctors in line so that the Narrative is not challenged and is probably being done on behalf of the vaccine manufacturers.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      Even vitimin D was in the villainous list.

      The only way to deal with doctors who reccomend vitamin D: MAKE ORANGES ILLEGAL!

      1. The Historian

        Don’t you mean fortified orange juice or maybe fortified milk? There is very little Vitamin D in oranges.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Um, er, I’m trying to snag a job at the CDC? Details Shmetails?

          Actually I did look it up before posting and found some sites that claimed oranges, the fruit, had vitamin D, for instance, but on second review, most sites indeed refer to vitamin D in oranges as a commercial addition to the juice.

          Dang it, you can’t get away with anything at NC… (psst, thanks Ambrit, for trying to rescue me below).

      2. bsun

        There’s a pattern I’ve noticed in all of this talk of “COVID misinformation” where the authors connect something like ivermectin, and in this case vitamin D, to a wholesale rejection of the entire mainstream medical consensus regarding COVID. The doctor mentioned in this piece recommended ivermectin and vitamin D, but he ALSO said that masks and vaccines were ineffective. Lots of people trying to get ivermectin ALSO refuse to get vaccinated. Eventually these connections don’t need to be explicitly made because in everyone’s minds, a person who wants to use ivermectin = an anti-vaxxer, or a doctor who recommends vitamin D = a doctor who recommends only vitamin D.

      3. Dr. John Carpenter

        They’re going to have to call Mr. Burns to block out the sun if they want to go this route.

      4. ambrit

        Think big Mr. Bridge.
        Since Trump has been maligned as “The Orange Haired Demon,” I’d say, MAKE THE COLOUR ORANGE ILLEGAL!
        Hope you are doing well up there.

      5. polecat

        This is why there is a Complete Lack Of TRUST – save for the many naive BlanchedCovidians out there – in our once vaunted institutions.

        .. polecat ducks behind useless plexiglass shield ..

    3. ambrit

      What struck me hardest about that ‘article’ was:
      First, the baltant appeal to authority in the prominant self citation of the “credentials” of the ‘author’ of the op-ed;
      Second, outright lies trotted out and reinforced by underlining; “98 percent of [bad outcomes] are in the unvaccinated;”
      Third, the demonization of the dissidents; “the vast majority” versus the “vocal outliers,”
      Fourth, the deployment of a classic double edged sword argument, said out loud with no sense of irony;
      “Welcome to the current era, where science is often trumped by politics when it comes to responding to a rampaging, deadly virus.”
      That argument cuts both ways. Unfortunately, it is the public that is bleeding to death as a result.
      Stay safe! Do your own research!

      1. judy2shoes

        I had one tiny victory yesterday which I think others here will appreciate. It started when I walked across the street to a neighbor’s house and sat on her front porch with her to chat. My neighbor is a nurse practitioner, and it wasn’t long before the conversation turned to ivermectin and her griping about one of her unvaccinated patients requesting an rx for it. After hearing her out (including the horse-paste nonsense), I managed say (calmly!) that I was confused by the well-coordinated attack on, and demonizing of, ivermectin when the NIH has a neutral position on its efficacy in treating C-19. My neighbor countered by saying that it was an anti-parasite drug. I said that many drugs have off-label uses that they weren’t initially approved for and that doctors around the world and in the U. S. have been successfully treating C-19 with IVM, which has an unparalleled safety record. I said that it had been shown in vitro to have anti-viral properties. At that point, we disengaged and went our separate ways.

        I know my neighbor pretty well, and I figured (and hoped) that she would check out my claim about the NIH.

        This afternoon, I received a text from her saying that she had checked the NIH, read through some meta-analysis studies, and had come away impressed with IVM. She said she will be asking a few questions of the infectious disease peeps at the hospital where she works. I told her I expect she will get loads of pushback.

        I have been swimming against the tide my whole life, and for once, if only for short while, one of the fish has turned around to swim with me.

    4. Objective Ace

      >but who would decide over issues less clear?

      Exactly. Even Fauci — genuflects — is guilty of expressing skepticism of Vaccine effectiveness since he suggested people will need booster shots. Anyone who thinks having this law on the books won’t be used to suppress political rivals hasn’t been paying attention to history. (Not to mention sometimes crazy fringe theories are right.. see microbes and hand washing)

      1. JBird4049

        Even in the United States, there have been quarantines, very strong ones with a much more severe limitations on who could move about. Of course, I really don’t think that they lasted more that a month or two, but would need to read up on it again to be sure. It did help that quarantining meant quarantining. They certainly could lockup, quarantine really, people like Mary “Typhoid Mary” Mallon.

        That is the problem isn’t? I grew up my entire life with the CDC and the NIH as agents of a higher power, perhaps God, and the New England Journal of Medicine as authoritative. Of course, my Mom was a nurse, which helped. :-)

        Were they human? Yes. Were they expected to make mistakes? Yeah. Were they supposed to be Janus like propagandists of the whoever is supposedly running things? No.

        I have been having to somehow unlearn what I thought I knew, what I believed about them. It has been a shock to understand just how hollowed out, corrupt, ineffective, incompetent, and even just stupidly foolish they are now. Throwing away most of the remaining honest trust that they had, of everyone but the fanatics, just for immediate gain of something. Whatever that something must be, I hope that they got some real benefit.

        If someone like me is in a daze trying to adjust to this. I’m trying to adjust to having to not trust “the experts,” not because they aren’t experts, whatever the Hell that means nowadays, but because they chose to through out the accumulated three centuries of respect and trust that the general medical establishment had, both public and private. Yes, with the crapification done by the neoliberal establishment there was already a lot lost; that still did not affect the trust, at least by people like me, of the public institutions and of individual doctors and nurses.

        Now, knowing I will have to filter everything said to me, for the rest of my life, through cui bono is both enraging for obvious reasons, and liberating because I understand that I’m not going crazy, that it really is “them.” I will have to make sure that I do not start believing that the Lizard Folk of Cetti Alpha IIIB rule the world or that the aliens from the move They Live are not fictitious. Although I can still believe that having more of the evil fugitive in The Hidden could account for some people. Juuusst saying.

        However, when this pandemic probably gets much worse, it will be like the CDC is crying wolf.

    5. Lambert Strether

      > one of the things listed as a potential reason

      Suppose we were in March 2020, when Who, Fauci, et. al were saying masks were ineffective and should not be used (even they are low cost, and have minimal harm).

      Should a doctor who advocating masking in March 2020 have had their license removed for propagating disinformation? How about a doctor who explained about aerosols to a patient? Same deal? Leave it at “dodgy”, I would say.

      > equine vermiceous treatment

      You don’t get away with propagating lies by using fancy words (though given how our political and professional classes do their jobs you can be forgiven for thinking so.) As is well known to those who follow the science — and is surely well known to you, if you can use seventy-five cent words that well — Ivermectin is a WHO Essential Medicine, won half of a Nobel Prize for a scientist from Merck, has antiviral activity, costs pennies per treatment, is well tolerated at high doses, ended river blindness in Africa, and has been given to millions of humans.

      1. Ian Perkins

        equine vermiceous treatment
        You don’t get away with propagating lies

        I think you’ve misunderstood me, unless that’s /s.
        I used the phrase because using its standard name usually seems to lead to a spell in moderation (the same reason for the pantomime names; I trust readers can figure what I meant). I’ve posted several comments pointing out its antiviral activity, and the upcoming/ongoing PRINCIPLE trial – as in the comment in question! I’m not a ‘believer’, but I’m most certainly not against it. I agree entirely with it “is a WHO Essential Medicine, won half of a Nobel Prize for a scientist from Merck, has antiviral activity, costs pennies per treatment, is well tolerated at high doses, ended river blindness in Africa, and has been given to millions of humans,” and hope the Oxford trial will find it effective for COVID, clearing up the doubts and adding another proven treatment that poorer nations can afford..

        1. Basil Pesto

          The problem now is (and you can see this coming from a mile away), the PRINCIPLE trial is just going to be interpreted according to the prejudices of those who read about it.

          If it’s “Ivermectin = no bueno”, the Ivermectin advocates will say “no! Oxford is in bed with big pharma and they can’t be trusted!!” (and maybe they’re right). Many in the comments here have pre-empted this when the study was announced, assuming the Oxford work would function as a hatchet job. Maybe, maybe not?

          If it’s “Ivermectin = bueno”, well, good luck. Do you really think the likes of NPR, the guardian, NYT, et al are going to back down overnight from mocking horse paste desperadoes and the likes of Joe Rogan and Alex Jones?

          FLCCC and David Gorski will continue to trade blows. The rest of us will all still be flailing around in the epistemic tar pits. In which case I, personally, will have to come back to this heuristic:
          1. Is Ivermectin a relatively safe drug? (it’s certainly safer than the other drugs I take daily)
          2. Is there an abundance of evidence that Ivermectin is functionally better than placebo in treating C19? yes

          So let’s (carefully and diligently and respectfully) crack on with it

          1. Ian Perkins

            Do you really think the likes of NPR, the guardian, NYT, et al are going to back down overnight

            They’ve all seemed happy enough to reverse their positions on masks and other matters overnight! But yes, if the trial finds it ineffective, many will be quick to point out, if they haven’t already, the dose was insufficient or wrongly timed or whatever – and they may be right.

            Still, it was the same Oxford group that found dexamethasone effective over a year ago – hardly something they’d have done if in bed with Big Pharma, determined to find against cheap, off-patent treatments (though I have seen arguments, rather feeble in my view, for why they did although they were).

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Sweetgreen’s CEO Thinks Salads Work Better Than Vaccines”

    Now if that had been the CEO of a brewery, I might have been more inclined to listen.

    1. BeliTsari

      Humulone, lupulone, xanthohumol, terepenes & isoflavonoid polyphenols act synergistically with alcohol to counteract drunked-up, hive-minded maskless nincompoops mouth-breathing mutant microbes, directly into each others’ face? I’m pretty sure, countless arguments were going on about wine vs ale, to fight breakthrough variants were enjoyed, by soaking wet Central Park concert refugees and folks fleeing Ida. I’m waiting to see, how media obfuscates the results?

  7. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Jerri.

    Further to the Syraqistan links, readers may have heard of former UK PM John Major’s criticism yesterday of the withdrawal from Afghanistan as “very stupid and strategic mistake and moral stain”. This was echoed today by the former head of MI6. Please note that Major was chairman of Carlyle Europe and remains a shareholder in and lobbyist for Carlyle. The former head of MI6 is also involved with the MIC as with most of the former leadership of British intelligence and top brass.

  8. Brooklin Bridge

    Licenses of doctors who spread harmful COVID-19 information should be at risk -The Hill

    Here is the first example in the article of a doctor who’s license should be at risk for, ahem, “misinformation.”

    In one case, a physician became a viral sensation for claiming that vaccines and masks are ineffective and that vitamin D, Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine are effective remedies. Science and field experience indicate he is wrong on all counts. Over 98 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are occurring among the unvaccinated.

    Note the interesting combination of assertions used to support limiting what doctors can and can not say about medical issues such as COVID-19. In one fell swoop, it bundles as misinformation not only criticism of vaccines and masks, but also support for vitamin D, Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine as being helpful against Covid. So if the reader agrees that vaccines and masks are good, he or she must also agree that vitamin D, Ivermectin, and Hydroxchloroquine are bad (“Science and field experience indicate he is wrong on all counts.”) to such a point that the doctor who says something contrary out loud should have his or her right to practice medicine put at risk.


  9. Ian Perkins

    The Curious Case of the New Chinese Ambassador to Thailand

    That new consulate in Chiang Mai is going to be ginormous, and as the article suggests, likely to be there for rather more than processing visa applications – “It appears that Washington is seeking to use Chiang Mai as a base from which to spy on southern Chinese provinces amid escalating strategic competition between the two superpowers,” with ‘spy on’ being used rather euphemistically, I wouldn’t be surprised.

    1. Lambert Strether

      South East Asia has been dealing with their giant neighbor to the North for many centuries. They’ve been playing great powers off against each other quite successfully since the colonial era, if not before.

      My hope is that the United States, as a great power and as a matter of realpolitik, accepts this — viewing the occasional tilt toward China with indulgence, knowing that the wind will blow another way soon — as opposed to doing something really stupid like trying to create a second NATO on China’s borders, which China would absolutely never tolerate. Since I’m long stupid on our imperial decline, I think we’ll do the stupid thing, but it will take awhile to play out.

    1. Ian Perkins

      Some would say having to pay $4.5 billion out of their $10 billion odd is a price, but I’d profoundly disagree. Having 5 billion instead of 10 billion can’t make the slightest material difference to their lives, only to their ranking among fellow billionaires.

    2. farragut

      Just another disheartening sign post of the rampant corruption found in the slow-motion train wreck of late-stage Empire we are seeing in the US (today’s examples also include the FinCEN whistleblower & generals cashing in after service stories).

      I forgot who posted it in the comments section a few days ago, but the transcript of the Orlov talk comparing the fall of the USSR to the looming fall of the US was an enlightening read; thanks! I’m boosting it again for others who may have missed it:

      1. Wukchumni

        Its gonna get messy once collapse sets in, and the borders will be closed up tight as a tick, leaving us to our own devices when the Glock strikes midnight and the cylinderella story comes to an end, war on our shore, propagated against an adversary ready to shoot first and ask questions later.

    3. Nikkikat

      Obama and Holder decided that white collar criminals should get off Scott free. The best method for that was for the Govt. to extract a small fine. No jail time; no nothing. While the poor and minorities could spend years in jail or prison. This is his legacy among many that was directly responsible for the Sacklers to walk free. Of course, they will not be allowed to name any buildings after themselves for ten years, which I am sure will be apt punishment for a family of psychopathic killers.

  10. Mason

    All the journalists had to do was call the local area hospitals or look at this neat little chart. Go to… (American Association of Poison Control Centers, look for the Covid bulletin.)

    According to their count, they received 1,143 cases of Ivermectin poisoning.

    1% had a significant effect. No fatalities. I would want to know if moderate effect meant hospitalization.

    Our press, just making crapola up.

    1. Carolinian

      Jim Jones is a Vietnam combat veteran who served eight years as Idaho attorney general (1983-1991) and twelve years on the Idaho Supreme Court (2005-2017).

      With his uninformed certainties sounds like he is practicing medicine without a license. There definitely is a law against that.

    2. rowlf

      I can imagine the accused doctors … but but, this was the official COVID-19 information last week! I even printed it out! What did I do wrong?

  11. jr

    NYT smear piece on Ivermectin:

    The usual confabulations and pi$$-poor writing one has come to expect from the “Paper of Record”. For one thing, if you are going to claim this:

    “though ivermectin has undergone more clinical trials which have so far repeatedly shown that it failed”

    you really should link to more than one 500 person study, in my opinion. But this next bit is what really sent up a flag:

    “ The podcasting giant Joe Rogan listed ivermectin this week among the treatments he was given after contracting the virus. The conspiracy-monger Alex Jones, who has been banned from Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, took out a box of ivermectin pills during one of his trademark rants and popped two tablets live on the show he still manages to stream.

    Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance, a nonprofit group of doctors, promotes ivermectin as a “a core medication in the prevention and treatment” of Covid-19.”

    Yep, a mere paragraph break separates Rogan, Jones, and the FLCCC….a mere “non-profit group of doctors” according to the writer. And the blurb about the FLCCC is just kind of there, it could have been inserted into the bigger paragraph by accident, no context, utterly deliberate.

    1. Basil Pesto

      man, I remember being taught in year (grade) eight how to critically read newspaper articles. Have our critical reading capabilities really reverted to those of 12 year olds?

      Then they wonder, blinking and aghast, why the great unwashed no longer trusts them. They are so, so foolish.

      again, I’ve been lightly
      sceptical/questioning of ivm all year. I don’t yet believe it’s a “miracle cure”. I believe it helps, and would take it if I was diagnosed. This plainly deceitful backlash makes me more inclined to think favourably of it.

      In another sense, vax vs. ivermectin is a red herring. Good masking practice remains, afaik, the most effective way to eliminate SARS2 in any given community, which is surely what we all want. Getting that across is that hard part, and one that no one is talking about.

  12. Mason

    If the ‘journalists’ who keep reposted the IVM poisoning stories went over the American Association of Poison Control Centers, they could look at the national case studies.

    This year, there have been 1,143 reports of Ivermectin poisonings. 1% had serious effect. I’m guessing that means hospitalization? Zero deaths.

    There is no way this is overwhelming hospital systems across the country.

    1. Yves Smith

      No, poisonings likely mean calls or ER visits. Actual hospitalizations are another category. By contrast, my pet peeve, that acetaminophen (Tylenol) is sold OTC:

      Acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause for calls to Poison Control Centers (>100,000/year) and accounts for more than 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations, and an estimated 458 deaths due to acute liver failure each year.

      This was in 2004. With population growth you can assume a proportional increase, (293 million v. 330 million now) or about 13% more.

      1. Basil Pesto

        At the same time as well though, 2004 – 2021 use of Tylenol has surely been more widespread than Ivermectin in the USA in that time, no? (I still think Ivermectin is very safe)

        I also wonder how many of those Tylenol overdoses are suicide attempts? (though there are probably better drugs to attempt suicide with? idk. sorry to be morbid)

        But I’m guessing your point as well is that Tylenol shouldn’t be OTC because it’s actually pretty risky?

        1. Yves Smith

          No, it is very easy to OD on Tylenol.

          The maximum recommended within 24 hours is 4 grams, and anything more than 7 grams is considered a severe overdose.

          I am lucky in that I have very high pain tolerance. However, the few times I have had really terrible pain, I have had to resort to 2x the normal frequency of OTC pain pills (opiates and synthetic opiates do not blunt the pain and make me feel like crap). I am highly confident people suffering from toothaches often go this route while they are waiting to get in to see a dentist.

          That level of dose if it were Tylenol is asking for an ER visit and maybe worse.

          Even hospitals regularly give out too much acetaminophen:

          One of our aides who used to work in a nursing home said the patients who’d been long term acetaminophen users for pain (as in no one had told them aspirin or ibuprofen or naprosyn might be a better idea for daily use) had symptoms similar to alcoholics, as in not great liver function.

          Plus it kills cats.

      2. drsteve0

        Oh, it’s worse than that. Acetaminophen, that ‘harmless’ OTC pill, has for years been the #1 cause of acute liver failure.

  13. Tom Stone

    Labor day is the last Holiday of Summer.
    I live in an area of Summer Homes that has a private beach and this year the crowds are impressive, cars parked wherever there’s a wide spot in the road and large groups sharing vacation rentals.
    The place next door has 12 people staying in a 1,600 Sq Ft 3/1, ages from a babe in arms to mid 40’s.
    Lots of family groups walking up my road ( I’m 4 houses from the end of the road).
    No masks.
    At all.
    The end of the season party was last night, held at the beach.
    I drove to where I could get a good look about 6 PM and there were no less than 500 people on the beach.
    No masks.
    This is gonna hurt, big time and soon.

    1. Wukchumni

      In past years we’ve had 3 mile backups on Labor Day to get into Sequoia NP, not this go round though apparently.

      A friend told me the backup was maybe 1/4 mile yesterday. We have one small wildfire on the periphery of the NP and a bit of smoke, and I think the reason being guilt by association, people hear the Sierra is on fire, not realizing the range is 400 miles long, along with Sequoia National Forest being closed along with 16 other National Forests in Cali.

  14. Wukchumni

    Would calling it ‘Ivanamectrin’ demonize it even further, or make it socially acceptable to 70 million who voted for the teetotalitarian who nabbed the silver medal in the quadrennial games?

  15. CoryP

    Regarding the NHS Sequoya thing… I am so frustrated that I almost want to cry. I’m not even convinced the drug works for Covid but I know a psyop when I see one.

    I am so exhausted of this.(And also from work because apparently a pharmacy’s primary function is to do Covid vaccines and swabs with zero extra staff.. instead of you know, the thousand prescriptions we still do every day! Make it end, dammit. )

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Corporate boards, consulting, speaking fees: How U.S. generals thrived after Afghanistan”

    I was wondering at first why any corporation or university would hire leaders who so totally in the end failed in their mission as seen by the debacle in Afghanistan a fortnight ago. But then I thought about it and realized that perhaps they are the ideal leaders that corporations nowadays need. So many modern corporations and universities are money suckers who are on an unsustainable trajectory and who quite often need massive amounts of government money to bail themselves out from their own folly. As that was the situation in Afghanistan for all those years, who else should be role models of leadership to show how to keep the whole circus going and looking like you are successful without the punters catching on.

    1. Gc54

      The once useful now odious Guardian has the Dr in Oklahoma “hordes at hospital dying from ivermectin overdose” horse-$.. t as lead story in its Corona virus section. This tale has been completely debunked by the hospital which you will find barely noted at the very bottom after the entire concocted tale runs on for many paragraphs. The Dr hasn’t visited in months and is not on staff. What is going on with journalism here? Stupidity or a plan?

    2. Wukchumni

      In the aftermath of Communism collapsing, one of the items frequently seen for sale in the marketplace in these United States was East German & Soviet military accoutrements, all of the sudden you could buy a USSR general’s uniform for a pittance, or other trappings including dirt cheap ammo, which I think fueled the gun nuttery that really didn’t exist during the Cold War.

      Instead of ours going overseas, I think it’ll supply the various warlord groups that will pop up in the vacuum of our defunct and gone away military.

      1. VietnamVet

        A new problem is that Georgia, Connecticut, North Dakota, California, Washington State, Hawaii, Maine, and Louisiana will not give up nuclear weapons stationed there after the succession of the States. During the first Cold War, the Strategic Air Command set Minuteman ICBM launch codes at 00000000 so no one would forget to launch doomsday. Silicon Valley, Research Triangle Park, DC and Boston Beltways plus Redmond WA will figure out the current nuclear codes. Why else build quantum computers?

        Note to corporate elite; after the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons since it couldn’t break the Russian codes.

    3. Geo

      Over the years I’ve done lots of video work for a variety of major fashion brands. While I’m just the lowly video person I’m often in the room with top execs from the companies and get to overhear lots of chatter about the business. And, you’re spot on with your assumption. They are run almost exactly like the generals ran that war. Public facing lies of success (even to their staff) while behind the scenes omissions of impending doom for the company while they cash out.

      Watched for over a decade as one major brand was used like an ATM by their share holders and turned from a status brand name into a product you would only use scrub floors with. Just recently GBG filed for bankruptcy and is liquidating brands like Frye (boots), Aquatalia (shoes), Ely & Walker (western wear), 7 Jeans (denim), and tons more once notable brands that have been turned to husks. Last year it was Lord & Taylor that collapsed after years of hemorrhaging money and staff.

      Have watched as loyal underlings get shafted while the top brass cash out and make millions.

      I’m not an expert on this stuff but just from watching it seems that the way the generals ran that war is very much how corporations are run now days as well. The top brass (and VC firms) pilfer all wealth while the minions toil under worse and worse conditions until one day the rug is just pulled out from them and they’re left wondering what any of it was even for.

      1. Ian Perkins

        I’m reminded of Titanic, with the rats piling into lifeboats, cattle class locked below decks, and the band playing as the ship goes down.

    4. chuck roast

      Yeh…all the strum und drang about a failure of leadership, geo-political positioning, power vacuum, etc. is basically a lot of baloney. Think Occam’s self-licking ice cream cone…everybody’s gotta’ have one, but please don’t call it that.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Opinion: I was a combat interpreter in Afghanistan, where cultural illiteracy led to U.S. failure”

    Back in WW2, American servicemen arriving in the UK were given a booklet called ‘Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain 1942.’ This was so the GIs would have an easier time learning what the go was with the English who were so different to the Americans. I have no idea if there was a publication done for Afghanistan but from the sounds of this article, if there was one it did not stick. And yet if they had been properly indoctrinated, they could have saved more lives and not offended so many Afghans leading them to throw their support to the Taliban. Here is a page with excerpts from that 1942 publication that I was talking about-

    The same happened in Iraq and I always remember one description of how it went down there. So you would have an Iraqi street with normal life going on until an American vehicle on patrol would hove into sight. As it moved down that street it would be in its own bubble and as they left that street, Iraq closed in behind them. Very eloquent and also very revealing. They were in Iraq but were rarely part of it living in their huge bases behind the wire and only venturing out in fully armed patrol that Iraqis would steer clear of.

    1. Eustachedesaintpierre

      It was likely the biggest factor according to Cpt. Mike Martin with the Brits in Helmand & he resigned his commission in order to write a book about it, which the Ministry of Defence tried to block. He basically stated that their intelligence was useless, people who they were told were good guys were the opposite, many due to feuds reported people as being Taliban who were not & turned out to be Taliban themselves & none of this was helped by one large government militia swapping sides to join the Taliban effort.

      ‘An Intimate War’ tells the story of the last thirty-four years of conflict in Helmand Province, Afghanistan as seen through the eyes of the Helmandis. In the West, this period is often defined through different lenses — the Soviet intervention, the civil war, the Taliban, and the post-2001 nation-building era. Yet, as experienced by local inhabitants, the Helmand conflict is a perennial one, involving the same individuals, families and groups, and driven by the same arguments over land, water and power. This book — based on both military and research experience in Helmand and 150 interviews in Pashto — offers a very different view of Helmand from those in the media. It demonstrates how outsiders have most often misunderstood the ongoing struggle in Helmand and how, in doing so, they have exacerbated the conflict, perpetuated it and made it more violent — precisely the opposite of what was intended when their interventions were launched. Mike Martin’s oral history of Helmand underscores the absolute imperative of understanding the highly local, personal, and non-ideological nature of internal conflict in much of the ‘third’ world “.

    2. Michaelmas

      I have no idea if there was a publication done for Afghanistan but from the sounds of this article, if there was one it did not stick.

      Even if there was one, US servicemen in Afghanistan would also have needed to be able and willing to read such a publication, wouldn’t they?

      The problem is, 54 percent of U.S. adults 16-74 years old – about 130 million people – lack proficiency in literacy, reading below sixth-grade level. And 21 percent of adults in the United States — about 43 million — are functionally illiterate. Nearly two-thirds of fourth graders read below grade level, and the same number graduate from high school still reading below grade level.

      On a personal note, I’ve encountered second-year (sophomore) university students who cannot construct a sentence with a subordinate clause and sat across from middle managers who move their lips when they read. At MIT, most of the faculty and administrative staff send their kids to private schools, which means paying $50,000-plus a year per child — and almost all of them still hire Russian maths tutors (who are themselves merely the products of normal public education in the Russian Federation/former USSR) because even the ‘elite’ private school maths teachers are fairly awful.

      The US really has become the country of Kornbluth’s ‘The Marching Morons’ and of ‘Idiocracy.’

      1. jr

        My sister, a middle school teacher here in NYC, has had students fail her class only to show up the following year for the next level. When she complained, she was told they had been promoted for “cultural” reasons. The concern was they would fall behind socially if held back.

      2. farragut

        Thx for this link. Shameful state of affairs in the Greatest Nation Ever(TM), but not unexpected given our leaders’ disdain for those who cannot afford large donations to their PAC.

    3. Tom Bradford

      As to that I, as a very young journalist, was attached to ‘our’ English county regiment when it did its tour of duty in Northern Ireland in the early ’70s, and it was very noticeable from the back of a Land-Rover that certain streets would fall eerily quiet and still as we drove down them.

  18. Wukchumni

    Tom Brady says he contracted COVID-19 shortly after Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl parade ESPN
    Why’d the GOAT keep it secret?

    Think of the influence he could’ve had in public awareness along the same lines of Magic Johnson getting AIDS, but no.

  19. Wukchumni

    Gavin Newsom recall election is turning into landslide, poll shows SF Gate

    If Gav romps by a huge margin, will it bolster his pretty boy android chances @ the Presidency in 2024?

    The Donkey Show has got nothing, as evidenced by that tired pol in the White House @ present.

  20. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    “US now has more than four times as many cases of COVID and twice as many in hospital as this time last year with deaths up 80% – despite 62% of population with one shot amid Delta surge: Mu is now in LA Daily Mail”

    And, “The World Health Organization (WHO) warned Monday that another 236,000 people could die from COVID-19 in Europe by December 1, sounding the alarm over rising infections and a stagnating vaccination rate on the continent.”

    Now, it is interesting to note carefully that certain platitudes have been completely demolished for the self serving political rhetoric that they are. But, is anyone listening, or in this case reading?

    “‘We are all in this together!’ Covid-19 and the lie of solidarity”

    Perceived threats to the status quo social order always demand a reversal back to cynical beliefs in shared interests and mutual dependence. That is the self interested are supposed to temporarily suspend their self interests until the crisis has passed, even though that is never the case, as the current economic arrangements and power relations that serve the dominant ruling class remain in force. Perhaps the refusal to vaccinate is a passive aggressive stick in the eye of the ruling class(es). In a pointless, meaningless universe whether an individual at the bottom of the socioeconomic heap lives or dies is of little consequence. And it is of even less consequence for all those occupying positions of wealth and privilege at the very top of the social order.

    It is also noted very keenly that threats, no matter how insignificant are uniformly dealt with by a very heavy hand and very harshly by the apish ruling class in each and every political/economic fiefdom across the globe (i.e., the iron fist in a velvet glove).

    See for example,

    And finally, Chris Hedges on the Occupy Movement, see for example:

    ‘American Sadism’ and ‘Q&A on American Sadism’

  21. Pat

    I never get into the Building 7 and controlled implosion theories regarding 9/11, but I am firmly in the LIHOP camp. I may not think that they knew how big the attack was going to be, but they knew one was coming. It was all to be able to go into Iraq. The plans were on the table, they had been trying to whip up support and were failing since the inauguration, they needed an excuse. Sure they had to detour to Afghanistan, but that was declared a limited success and was left to the profiteers and contractors ASAP.

    While Iraq was the major goal, they did ramp up their wish list with the Patriot Act and Department of Homeland Security. What hasn’t been said in all of this was it wasn’t just the Bush/Cheney Republicans and their backers who got the goodies. There is a reason why impeachment of that administration was off the table, top Democrats and their chosen donors were up to their necks in the slop.

    That they could be participating in their own self destruction was never a consideration.

    Every once in a while, one of the principals doesn’t bother with keeping up the front. But whenever the curtain slips too much, and the expensive pointless destruction could become clear and the public might demand it end and we would get either some new attack or upped lectures throughout the media of the good and important reasons we had to stay the course. Now that Biden has ripped massive holes in the curtain turning it into mesh…

    Despite the occasional articles now making clear some of the ulterior motives fueling demands for staying the course, this is yet another walking vampire “program/position” that can rise from the grave. One of the nicest side effects of the lockdown was that last year the 9/11 anniversary was low key, closer to what it should have been for at least a decade. This year, I am dreading it. Figuratively rending our garments on the “grave”as we mourn the deaths of people, who are ironically largely nameless for the public even though the names are endlessly read, is too good an opportunity to bemoan the rise of the Taliban. The Taliban we went to Afghanistan to avenge these dead are back and can now once again blow up our homes.

  22. skk

    Re; The mysterious disappearance of the world’s longest shrubbery BBC Future

    Thanks huge for picking this link. I read the book about the salt-tax hedge by Moxham ( “The Great Hedge of India ) at the turn of the century, very soon after it came out – the research process was impressive as is the surprise that its also completely disappeared. One knew about the salt tax of course, and of how oppressive, uncaring, cruel the taxation system of British colonialism was – but it struck me how much cost and effort it needs:

    ” It was guarded by 12,000 British officers ( ??? small number of Brits, rest being Indian guards surely?), at an annual cost of 1,620,000 rupees (£162,000 or $220,716, based on the exchange rate today) … needed 10 men guarding it in shifts for every mile…”

    The article contains good info on later research and links to newer authors and researchers.

  23. Wukchumni

    I’ll admit to a bit of ‘waterlust’ seeing all that horrible flooding on the right coast, it is so very bone dry here not just in the higher climes, but the whole state.

    Perhaps the strangest drought-related phenomenon in the national parks system is happening in California where bark beetles are attacking Giant Sequoia trees.

    The tiny insects have killed nearly three dozen mature Sequoias since 2014, something that had never been recorded prior to California’s last multiyear drought.

    Taxonomists still disagree about which beetle species to blame. But one reason researchers are paying so much attention is drought. Beetles fare better in warmer, drier climates while Sequoia trees fare worse.

    “If those beetles are responding to a warming climate while the sequoia is getting more stressed, they could become a big issue in the future,” said USGS Research Ecologist Nate Stephenson.

    As the Traveler reported this spring, beetles are among the litany of threats confronting sequoia trees like never before in their ancient lifespans. And ongoing research estimates suggest that wildfires have burned more acres of sequoia ranges since 2015 than in the previous century combined, according to multiple park ecologists.

    “I’ve heard an estimate that two-thirds of all grove area has burned in wildfires (since 2015),” said Stephenson. “That’s like a fifty-fold uptick over the previous century. It’s a huge uptick.”

    Stephenson’s research shows that during California’s drought between 2014 and 2016:

    ● Roughly 70 percent of large sugar pines between 5,000 and 6,000 feet in elevation died.

    ● About 50 percent of large ponderosa pines at the same elevations died.

    ● Overall tree mortality in that elevation range was slightly greater than 20 percent.

  24. Gregorio

    Re: Invest in biopharmaceutical companies — our veterans depend on them
    Shouldn’t The Hill have disclosed that this article, suggesting that it’s somehow our patriotic duty to invest in biotech, was written by a big pharma lobbyist who also sits on the board of pharmaceutical companies?

    1. lordkoos

      From what I can tell The Hill is a major propaganda outlet, Politico as well, although perhaps less so.

      1. hunkerdown

        They’re both big propaganda workshops, where components are assembled, assemblies tested, and laborers and forepersons mustered. Consider everything posted in either one a pitch for work.

    2. Nikkikat

      Oh, but didn’t you love the part of the bio article that explained that our poor service people need the help of big Pharma to save them from the toxic exposure they endured in our wars? Was that when they were intentionally exposed to radiation or was it the burn pits? This article should have been on the Onion web site.
      These people must be doing God’s work. Snark snark
      It had to be a lobbyist that wrote the article, The Hill is a tool.

  25. Pelham

    Re the general subject of Afghanistan: I wonder whether the discussion ought to be about two things instead of one. Those two things would be 1) the idiocy of trying to nation-build or thwart terrorism that can be concocted in anyone’s basement, 2) the status of the US as a superpower.

    The US failed at No. 1 and probably would have failed even if it had applied 10 times the resources. But does that tell us anything about No. 2? What should a superpower be able or expected to do? Perhaps defeat another power in a battle for major territory or resources? For that, honest war gaming would be more telling. (And I understand that these games don’t always bode well for the US, partly due to too many sitting-duck, mega-bucks aircraft carriers.)

    Separately, I’m having trouble understanding our allies’ displeasure over the pullout. Haven’t we all known for months that this was happening? Are allied militaries not capable of at least taking care of themselves?

    1. Ian Perkins

      I think the allies’ displeasure is easy to understand, though it is false and feigned. They are incapable of taking care of themselves, as in remaining in Afghanistan without US support. So long as the US remained, the inevitable ignominious retreat could be delayed. Now the US has left, it is, in a way, responsible for the inevitable. The allies naturally don’t want to admit all this, it being far easier to simply blame the US for leaving, as if they would have stayed if only they hadn’t been deserted in their (or Afghanistan’s?) hour of need. Privately, they’re no doubt glad to wash their hands of it all, but the US is a convenient scapegoat for the ensuing shame and expected waves of refugees.

      1. Pelham

        That does sound about right, particularly for the UK. I suppose it will all blow over eventually because doing something about it — by developing a credible European and UK military — would cost a lot of money.

        1. JTMcPhee

          What, exactly, would constitute a “credible European and UK military,” and what would be the missions of such a beast? Other, maybe, than to replicate the creation of another more compendious MICIMAC there, beyond the already huge arms industries in many EU countries and the UK? What interests might what’s left of nations be served by creating that kind of force, beyond NATO and its already screwed-up notions?

          There is a common enemy, and as Pogo observed, “they is us.” Time to stand down the military machinery and get on with the process of de-growthing and rendering more homeostatic the human presence on this planet. As if anything like that is possible, let alone likely, other than via the Great Collapse (which the US military planners are planning to control and profit from…

    2. KFritz

      Not exactly a reply, but still on the subject of Afghanistan. Since the blundering US withdrawl and the Taliban’s dramatic, rapid accession to power converged in the last few weeks, NC has posted a mosaic of various, intelligent commentators, each adding a slightly different perspective to an understanding of the situation–with a shoutout to Sara Chayes. Today’s WaPost article by the Afghan-American Baktash Ahadi continues the pattern, from the POV of daily personal-cultural interactions.

      I think Mr. Ahadi is mistaken about what ISIS and Al Qaeda can accomplish in Afghanistan, in terms of the sorts of large scale attacks in the Developed World that might prompt a return of troops from the Developed World. The current unstable situation won’t allow the logistical planning necessary for large scale attacks. The Taliban and its ISI allies/handlers will also work to prevent the ultra-fanatics from realizing their epic-scale aspirations. They’ve seen the sort of attention big events attract, and they don’t want a repeat of it.

  26. chris_gee

    Some of the figures quoted eg in TAE today ex the CDC are wrong arithmetically. eg Survived 99.997% Died .00003%.
    And recently NV admissions rates 30x V rate. 30x??. Checking the tabled figures gives 3x. It is hard enough to interpret solid information but impossible when disinformation is accepted without question.

      1. griffen

        Never did see that film you’ve listed*, but I did see Heston in another dystopian set film “Soylent Green”. I digress no more as I know we can find the similarities for good or ill out of that movie.

        *Did enjoy the Will Smith version when that was released. Sad when he loses his canine companion.

    1. polecat

      The Omega 20year+

      ‘Never give up my insistence. Never ceed my cushy position’
      ( to which I’m accustomed ..)

      Commander Fauci

  27. Lambert Strether

    > How a Great Power Falls Apart Foreign Affairs

    Actually interesting, even if from the heart of The Blob, or whatever a blob has in place of a heart. Here, from the last two paragraphs:

    He offered a technique for suspending one’s deepest political mythologies and posing questions that might seem, here and now, to lie at the frontier of crankery.

    This method won’t reveal the secret of political immortality. (Remember those goats in the Forum.) But in working systematically through the potential causes of the worst outcome imaginable, one might get smarter about the difficult, power-altering choices that need to be made now—those that will make politics more responsive to social change and one’s country more worthy of its time on the historical stage. The powerful aren’t accustomed to thinking this way. But in the lesser places, among the dissidents and the displaced, people have had to be skilled in the art of self-inquiry. How much longer should we stay? What do we put in the suitcase? Here or there, how can I be of use? In life, as in politics, the antidote to hopelessness isn’t hope. It’s planning.

    Interestingly, I would place “The Blob” between “the powerful” and “the lesser places.” Anybody else read this piece of a piece of self-reflection by the national security/foreign policy class, with “pack a go-bag” as the subtext?

    1. farragut

      I’ve had that attitude since the GFC, much to the exasperation of my long-suffering spouse. ;-)

      The comic Steven Wright had a great short bit (among all his short bits) saying something like, “You know that feeling of leaning back in a chair and momentarily losing your balance as if you’re going to fall backwards just before you catch yourself? I feel that way all the time.” Me too, Steven. I firmly believe our society is headed to a place from which we’ll all wish we could grab our go-bag and do exactly that: go. It’s just happening a lot more slowly than I expected…which I think makes the anxiety worse (eg, it’s going to happen, I just don’t know when or in which form). Fortunately, the anxiety is not debilitating. I continue to live a fulfilling life & preparations have been made (in as much as they can be for something like this).

      I freely admit I have a very skeptical view of humanity & the future and this provides an ample source of affectionate humor from my wife, my sons, and close friends who know this about me–largely since the ‘collapse’ hasn’t happened yet (as if it’s a binary event in their minds). The writing on the wall is clear: our elites are *this close* to losing what little control they think they have; examples abound. Since I’m certain our gentle hosts do not wish NC to become yet another doom porn blog, I’ll refrain from listing them all.

      1. Jeff W

        “I have a large seashell collection which I keep scattered on the beaches all over the world. Maybe you’ve seen it.”
        —Steven Wright

    2. pjay

      – “He offered a technique for suspending one’s deepest political mythologies and posing questions that might seem, here and now, to lie at the frontier of crankery….

      “The powerful aren’t accustomed to thinking this way.”

      When I read this conclusion I immediately thought of last week’s idiotic comments by Richard Haass, longtime President of the Council on Foreign Relations – which publishes Foreign Affairs. It was striking to see this article, addressed as it is to those “in the lesser places, among the dissidents and the displaced”, published in the Blob’s top journal. I’m still not *quite* sure what the author was advocating.

      Here’s another somewhat surprising example from Foreign Policy, which tends to be dominated by the liberal interventionist branch of the Blob: ‘Afghanistan was a Ponzi Scheme Sold to the American Public.’

      Anyone with power or influence reading these things?

      1. Lambert Strether

        > “He offered a technique for suspending one’s deepest political mythologies”

        That’s a very good quote, especially that throwaway “political mythologies.” Immediately after that comes this:

        … the difficult, power-altering choices that need to be made now—those that will make politics more responsive to social change and one’s country more worthy of its time on the historical stage. …

        You reminded me that this is where I started to think the article was “off” in some way (“off” like — I apologize for too much information — a carton of milk stored too long in the fridge goes “off”).

        Does anybody really believe that The Blob (“you go to class war with the classes you have”) thinks this way? IMNSHO, the hard lives that come from “Hard Choices” are never lived by those making the choices (“the weak suffer as they must”). Does The Blob really have “power-altering” choices in mind that will make “politics more responsive”? Is there evidence for this? (The dominant reaction by the political class to Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal would argue not.) Is The Blob really about making “one’s country more worthy of its time”? Is there evidence for this? (Our utter failure to catalyze global vaccination would argue not.) Or is it about the board seats, the appearance fees, the chats with one’s peers in the Green Room, the consulting contracts, the logrolling, the backscratching, the reach-arounds?

        What I’m really wondering is if the above sentence is the one that translates, to those who know the lingo, to “pack your go-bag, the pitchforks are coming.” Certainly the people who are buying land near Amfortas believe this, and they’re probably mere local gentry….

    3. albrt

      I very much enjoyed the article, but rather than “pack a go bag” I took from it that portions of the blob may be in the very early stages of bargaining, after a couple decades of denial and anger acted out upon some of the poorest nations of the world.

    4. Rainlover

      This piece is an excellent accompaniment to the Dimitri Orlov lecture linked to again by Farrar above at 10:01 am. IMHO the views of those who lived through the Soviet collapse and those with foreign policy experience in that area help me make sense of my own experiences in these tumultuous times.

      As for packing a go bag, just where can one go to escape the consequences of human folly? Off planet with the billionaires? I will stay with my friends and family so we can face this with our combined strength. And of course with the most excellent people at NC as long as the internet lasts.

  28. The Duck of Death

    Gavin Newsom recall election is turning into landslide, poll shows. Same polls that predicted landslide for Hillary?

    1. KFritz

      Not the best analogy. Hillary did win the popular vote, though not by a landslide. I can’t speak to the particulars of polling in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, where the electoral count was decided, but to reiterate, Ms Clinton won the popular vote–as predicted

      1. tegnost

        Trump won the popular vote in your three mentioned states… polls?

        This one is good, not one of the polls got it right…

        sometimes best to let bygones be bygones…

  29. enoughisenough

    Saving the power grid:

    Not ONE word in there about stopping bitcoin and NFT mining.

    That stuff needs to be shut down. I cannot believe it’s allowed, at all.

    1. cnchal

      Less demand at your house and thousands of others would free up power to meet demand elsewhere on the grid. It sounds better than firing up another gas-burning power plant, no? Better yet, this kind of grid management has the potential to get even smarter.

      Know what we need moar of? Power sucking data centers to store the zeros and ones generated by all the continuously spying digital devices that almost everyone has. Moar chips too, to generate an infinite amount zeros and ones to be digitally mined for one nefarious reason after another, and because these data centers suck so much, they get a massive discount on the power they use instead of being charged triple retail to discourage their use.

      Everybody, listen up. Shut your lights off and sweat in the dark so Bezos can have moar.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > That stuff needs to be shut down. I cannot believe it’s allowed, at all.

      It’s almost as if we want to enable criminal behavior, and will set the planet on fire to do it.

  30. LawnDart

    Covid: is it OK for medical staff to not treat the unvaccinated?

    Well, a fat old guy like myself who’s been known to scarf down a bacon cheeseburger for breakfast really isn’t putting medical staff at any additional risk for this particular unhealthy behaviour: I got a couple of jabs of Moderna a few months ago, which means that I am less likely to end up in the hospital with the highly-infectious covid as the cause of my ails.

    Yes, medical personel (and others) should not be forced to expose their own selves to harm from those whose actions helped create such risk of harm. In my case, should I collapse to the floor from chest-pains, none should attempt to load me onto a gurney until a small crane is available in order to lessen the risks of hernias or back injuries.

    Swim across crocodile-infested waters on a dare? Could one really expect others to jump in to try to rescue them if toothy beasts start swimming in their direction midstream?

    1. Objective Ace

      >Yes, medical personel (and others) should not be forced to expose their own selves to harm from those whose actions helped create such risk of harm

      So no treating vaccinated individuals who left their house to socialize either, right? Just confirming consistency

      1. LawnDart

        How about “reasonable care” or taking reasonable precautions to avoid infection? And what is “reasonable”? Maybe we can get some lawyers and linguists to take this chum of a comment as a reason enough to square-off in bloodsport.

        I get that people with autoimmune disorders, persons with a history of bad reactions to vaccines, or women of childbearing years, don’t want to roll the dice on RNA witches brew, and that to me is a perfectly good reason not to get jabbed– conditions beyond their control. And kids… we were used as pawns back when I was a kid– it’s only gotten worse. And thus, it would be wrong to refuse to provide care should they catch a dose of CV.

        But fear of microchips or anti-science/anti-vax “justa-flu” “only affects old people (f-em)” refusals? I ain’t jumping in the crocodile-infested river to save your nutjob arse (although I might root for you if I got $5 on the square marked 0:12 seconds– how long you might out-swim and fight off the hungry reptiles).

        I disagree with Doc: you’re free to jump into that croc-filled river on your own free will in order to save those who have taken extreme risks/behaved with utter irresponsibility, but others do not have the right to compel you to do so.

        To those in the field of medicine, past and present, who have put themselves at risk of injury for the sake of others, thank you for your service.

        1. Objective Ace

          Lumping people into 2 groups — those you consider to have valid reasons to not get vaccinated and those whose reasons you disagree with — does make ones view of the world pretty straightforward.

          I’d ask if you think everyone else shares (or should share) the exact same set of acceptable reasons as you? I’m also curious where you would put people who do not really fit in either of your stated groups: the 16-19 year olds no longer considered children; those concerned or with a history of blood clotting; or those with heart issues who are susceptible to myocarditis; etc

        2. Basil Pesto

          like, “women of a childbearing age” is a *lot* of people. I’d understand your point to some extent if the vaccines were better than they are, but do you hold such strident views about, say, people who aren’t vaccinated with the annual flu vaccine? If not, why not? (acknowledging, of course, that Covid is far more serious than the flu)

    2. IM Doc

      Here is the problem. The very fact that there is an article like this is profoundly disturbing to me.

      I guess you could call me old school.

      I did my residency and internship when a previous pandemic – AIDS – was raging. Panic and fear was palpable. We were doing all kinds of procedures as novices where one false move could have infected us for life. Multi drug resistant TB was everywhere in hospital rooms.

      I was taught by some of the brightest and best internists of the 20th Century. The very first thing that came out of our Chairman’s mouth on the first day – “You are now a doctor. That means something. We do not run from pandemics. We run into them. Never forget that.” And I have not.

      I can only imagine what these bright stars of Internal Medicine would think about these constant statements of denigration toward the unvaccinated – and the refusal to treat them. If I would have dared say a word like that around or about an AIDS patient I would have been smacked in the head and fired within hours.

      I can guarantee all that there are some serious RPMs going on these doctors’ graves now.

      I can scarcely believe what is happening to my profession. It is breathtaking. There are many days that I fear that myself and the old guys like me clearly do not belong. What keeps me going though is the knowledge that just like so many aspects of AIDS, this is going to all detonate very soon – and my profession is going to need old folks like us to pick up the pieces.

      And I love taking care of and being around my patients. There is no more noble profession. I have way too many people depending on me to cut and run. And those worried about people being fired or de-licensed. There is simply not nearly enough of us in primary care to even begin contemplating doing anything like that except for the most egregious unethical behavior. And that has always been and will be in the immediate future not related to COVID. It is also a complete non-starter in every red state in this country. The torrential flow of physicians and NPs and RNs leaving the blue states this past year has also been something I would never have seen coming.

      1. JBird4049

        Ah, AIDS, where too many thought of it as only infecting (God’s Will perhaps?) sexual and moral degenerates along with dope fiends. You know, gays, sex workers, and addicts. Those designated as disposables. That a virus has no agency and that the sick always have family, friends, loved ones did not seem to matter to the “good” people.

        Only when it was their children, their friends, their loved ones, and acquaintances also started to die did this seem to matter to them. Who knows how many hemophiliacs, how many surgery patients died once the blood supply was infected because the suppliers did not want to their reputations, nor most importantly their profits, hit with the warnings and testing that would be needed to keep people safe.

        And now we again have so-called morality being used to condemn others and profits being used to stop prevention or treatment. My, how the times haven’t changed.

        At least with HIV/AIDS we truly did not know what was killing people at first, which explained some of the emotions. An untraceable, unknown disease that killed slowly, horribly, and painfully was killing people. Once it was known, finding ways to effectively treat it took some years more. Yes, the terror and the BS excuses and explanations of some were very understandable. Trust me.

        Not so much now.

        1. Shonde

          Two sons of neighbors 20 years ago were hemophiliacs who became infected with AIDS due to blood not being properly tested. One died and we moved and lost touch with the other. They told me the blood suppliers knew there was a possible problem, but as you said, the bottom line was more important so testing was not done.

      2. lordkoos

        The torrential flow of physicians and NPs and RNs leaving the blue states this past year has also been something I would never have seen coming.”

        Wow — I had not heard about this before. I would like to find more info on this trend if possible. Where I live all they would have to is move to a different part of the state, but then not everyone likes living in a small town or rural area. We could sure use more medical talent around here…

    3. Cuibono

      “Yes, medical personel (and others) should not be forced to expose their own selves to harm from those whose actions helped create such risk of harm”
      I hate to break the news to you, but we do every day.
      You could well have HIV. You could have Hep C or B. And even If you come in for an MVA I am thereby exposed to risk from your actions!
      Guess those folks “actions never helped to create the risk of harm”? Guess again.

      It is what we do. We take care of people. All people.

  31. Eustachedesaintpierre

    It appears that the Indian Council of Medical Research have reversed their May 2021 decision to ban Ivermectin, likely due to the wishes of the WHO & have now reinstated it onto their national list of essential medicines ( NELM ) for use against Covid-19. They are also slashing the prices of 39 drugs used for various serious ailments including Covid while attempting to ensure quality & a plentiful supply.

  32. Geo

    I don’t know how but for some reason I’m on the Terry McAuliff email list and while at first I was annoyed I’m actually enjoying it at this point. Today’s email came in with the subject reading: “Falling off a cliff!” followed up by how dismal the campaign is going and how fundraising is flatlining.

    They’ve also sent messages pleading for help from esteemed losers Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams, and Tim Caine. Inspiring stuff! And, almost every email focuses on Trump (is he still president? Did I miss something?) and fearmongers about Trumpism.

    Anyway, just figured I’d share the good news. Even if I don’t want the GOP to gain any more seats, at this point it’s also nice to see the old guard of the Dems floundering and failing. I wonder if the Dems will ever try the strategy of “don’t suck”?

    1. albrt

      Sucking ’til you lose and then cashing in is the core brand identity of the current democrat party. Winning is an accident that happens only because the republicans are not any better.

      If the democrat party ever tried not to suck, I think we would have to classify it as a new party using the democrat name.

    2. Jason Boxman

      Oh come now! Liberal Democrats are all about sucking up that money. You ask a leopard to change its stripes!

  33. Wukchumni

    Let Your Fridge Go Off for an Hour to Save Our Power Grids NYT
    That the NYT would publish a ‘guest essay’ such as this, tells me we are on the verge of blackouts the likes of which we’ve never seen before, and how’s it going down under in the Big Easy, now a week into sans power?

    1. ambrit

      The benighted denizens of N’Awlins have had a mini-scandal about oldsters dying off in powerless “assisted living homes.” No electricity, mainly for air conditioning down here during summer, and a especially acute shortage of “trained help” has “assisted in the demise” of at least five people this past week. Large parts of the area are still without electricity.
      A secondary effect of the hurricane is the idling of eight of the twelve oil refineries in the state. Those eight account for ten percent of the nation’s refining capacity. The disruption will be a three or four week rolling affair. First is the clean-up, and second is the restarting of the plants.
      It’s a fragile old world we live in.
      The Feds have opened the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to make up for the lost Gulf of Mexico production. That doesn’t happen every day.

  34. urblintz

    ICMR Includes Ivermectin for COVID-19 Indication in National List of Essential Medicines

    “The Indian government recently slashed the price of 39 important drugs covering a range of therapeutic drugs from cancer to COVID-19 as part of the revised Indian National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). TrialSite reports among the commonly used drugs prominently on the list are ivermectin indicated for SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19. Reported in PharmaBiz among others “Interestingly, the additions in the list include drugs including Ivermectin, which has been touted by many as an effective drug to treat Covid-19 virus, though some experts deny any such effect on the same”

  35. a fax machine

    re: Tucker and Fox News talking with Greenwald about the failed US-Afghan war

    Using Team Aqua logic, it’s obviously a right-wing, almost fascist, statement to claim that the US government is not omnipresent, omnipotent and omnicapable. To admit less would be to admit that the government and the corporate society is upholds can fail on it’s own merits, and this is unacceptable wrongthink. America is always right always, even when America fails because our failure is from individuals not trying hard enough. This can be solved by throwing more money down the sink and adding more tires to the tire fire. Or to quote CCR’s Fortunate Son, “when you ask ’em, “How much should we give? / They only answer, “More, more, more”.

    This logic works fine until the logical consequence of this logic occurs and Texas arrests doctors for providing healthcare or, god forbid, a police officer intentionally murders a black person. Then it’s a few months of funny colored flags, kneeling and creating a new holiday for people to celebrate and nothing more. Or, even worse, President Comancho decides to use tactical nukes to save Ukraine from the big bad evil Russians. Which is why this group had to admit climate change was real and make some attempt to consider it, because climate change is resistant to political messaging. Same for radical Islamists, and increasingly true for hispanics who don’t consume English media especially as it goes off the rails with replacing their language with a “safe” white people version. As America becomes less white, and the big networks less relevant because of the reduced English usage, we’ll see a sea change in how topics are discussed.

    This is how fascism begins, of course. The old, rotting center assumes more powers and leverage in a vain attempt to shore up political support. This fails, and the new guard uses the power more aggressively. And this is no affirmation of Fox News or Mr. Tucker, of course.

    1. lordkoos

      Another thing that inconveniently resists political messaging is COVID. I admit that I do take some perverse pleasure in watching politicians act as if they are in control of the situation.

    1. judy2shoes

      September 5, 2021 at 7:49 pm

      Thanks for the link, urblintz. From that link, I went down the rabbit hole of Michael Capuzzo’s 3-part series “The Drug That Cracked Covid.” In part 2, there was this paragraph:

      In an impassioned, nine-minute testimony, Kory implored the Senate and the NIH to read his scientific review, later published in the American Journal of Therapeutics, that presented a “mountain of data” showing that Ivermectin stopped all phases of COVID-19. The peer reviewers, including three senior career scientists, two at the Food and Drug Administration, supported Kory’s conclusion that Ivermectin “should be systemically and globally adopted…for both the prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19.

      I have to wonder if the two career scientists at the FDA are the ones who resigned last week.

      Link to part 1 of the series for those who are interested (have coffee at hand – long read):

  36. Tom Stone

    The Ivermectin saga is becoming more interesting by the day, bringing in Maddow is ( to me) a sign that the Blob is losing control of the narrative.

    These deplorable nations that refuse to sacrifice their populations for the greater good (Profits) of big Pharma are crapping in the punchbowl.
    If doubling down doesn’t work I’m sure that the Blob will try harder, a lot harder.
    It’s going to be quite a show.

      1. Tom Stone

        Thank you, Lambert.
        Pulling in Rachel Maddow is to me a “Tell”.
        She is to many progressives a Goddess of Truth who exposed Trump as “Putin’s Bitch” and questioning her is akin to questioning a Papal Bull.
        You MUST believe or be cast out of the light.
        Further politicizing what should be a scientific question..
        Cui Bono?

  37. juno mas

    RE: NYC flooding

    There are very few options for correcting the inability of current flood control infrastructure to handle increased rainfall intensity in New York City. Storm water engineering sizes pipe diameter and slope to a predictable rainfall event. Climate change storm events will be unpredictable.

    Roof gardens and infiltation greenswards Do Not have the capability to diminish peak storm flow. They can handle maybe an inch of rainfall and then saturate. This only slows the Time of Concentration of rainfall into storm drain systems. They do not reduce peak flow, if the storm event is unusually intense (like Ida).

    Most of NYC’s storm drains are engineered for a pipe slope that begins at the ocean (or river). As sea level rises a backwater condition is created and flooding simply moves uphill, as the capacity of the storm pipes are reduced.

    A solution would be to remove streets that slope to the sea and create natural-like greenspace that have useful function most of the time, but serve as a “river system” during all types of flood events. This would allow for infiltration AND mass water flow. However, nearby building foundations could be compromised with increased groundwater from increased infiltration.

  38. Jon Cloke

    Let Your Fridge Go Off for an Hour to Save Our Power Grids?

    They tried that in Texas and all they got was no grids and a fucking huge bill….

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