Happy Labor Day!
This Labor Day, We Remember Our Essential Workers Capital & Main
Heron becomes NYC icon after being pictured devouring rat for breakfast in Central Park Independent
Theology’s Invisible Hand Commonweal
The Publishing Ecosystem in the Digital Era: On John B. Thompson’s “Book Wars” LA Review of Books
HOW THE FRENCH CONNECTION REINVENTED (AND EXPLODED) THE POLICE PROCEDURAL Crime Reads
How American Environmentalism Failed The Wire
Wildlife ‘Red List’ a grim tally of extinction threat Phys.org
River of life: zoo’s yearly count finds seals thriving on Thames Guardian
Why won’t TV news say ‘climate change’? Columbia Journalism Review
Hurricane Ida’s death count rises to 63 nationwide while 600,000 still lack power as search continues for two college students whose car was swept away Daily Mail
Defensive, Not Aggressive London Review of Books. Andrew Cockburn.
Rats, drought and labour shortages eat into global edible oil recovery Reuters (re/silC)
Guinea coup: Soldiers detain President Conde, dissolve government Deutsche Welle
The G20 Must Recommit to COVAX Project Syndicate
Virus czar calls to begin readying for eventual 4th vaccine dose Times of Israel (flora): Hoisted from comments
The UCSC team building COVID-19’s evolutionary tree of life Santa Cruz Sentinel (David L)
How Will Ho Chi Minh City’s Lockdown End? Vietnam Weekly
Cuba’s vaunted health system straining under Covid Asia Times
Both Government and International Community Are Failing Tunisia Amid COVID Spike Truthout
What Links the Covaxin Scandal in Brazil and Kumbh Fake-Tests Scam in India? The Wire
Poll: 70 percent of unvaccinated Americans would quit their job over exemption-less vaccine mandate The Week (re/silC)
Why some US Blacks and Latinos remain COVID-19 ‘vaccine deliberate’ ABC (The Rev Kev)
Each COVID-19 surge poses a risk for healthcare workers: PTSD Reuters (re/silC)
Religious exemptions to vaccine mandates could test ‘sincerely held beliefs’ NBC
A new study of dorm rooms shows how ventilation curbs virus levels. NYT (RM)
At least 1,000 US schools have closed due to Covid since late July: report The Hill
Chicago just forced 70+ school bus drivers – 10% of its entire fleet – out of work with vax mandates, leaving working class parents of special needs kids w/o rides
Mayor Lightfoot told families to rely on Uber, which will cost them thousands a month. https://t.co/WVU1kwiG5t pic.twitter.com/WG8dEFymQ7
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) September 5, 2021
18) Just how damn bad is #COVID19 deaths in Florida & Texas & rest of conservative South right now? It’s so severe per capita that it even shows up in global comparisons. Hope @GovAbbott @GovRonDeSantis at paying attention. ?
Figure by World Bank economist @fibke. pic.twitter.com/smo4301lcF
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) September 6, 2021
So this is how humanity falls pic.twitter.com/VFKCQ9EYyS
— Benjamin Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon) September 4, 2021
Yet another achievement! With more than 180 million vaccine doses administered in the month of August, India leaves a mark on the Global map of leading its way in vaccinating its population on priority. #LargestVaccineDrive pic.twitter.com/ftvdHVIWMk
— MyGovIndia (@mygovindia) September 5, 2021
Jobs report adds fresh concerns over Monday’s unemployment cliff The Hill
Progressives’ Tax-the-Rich Dreams Fade as Democrats Struggle for Votes WSJ
JOE MANCHIN’S DIRTY EMPIRE The Intercept
Chicago Claims DoorDash and Grubhub Misled Customers on Fees Wired
Meet Altos Labs, Silicon Valley’s latest wild bet on living forever MIT Technology Review
Giants Ballpark Workers May Strike Sat – Nebraska Foster Care Workers Strike Striking Utah Theater Workers Win Raises Payday Report
Biggest Crypto Coin Sale Fueled by ‘Pump’ Scheme, Research Says Bloomberg
“People Will Lose Their Lives”: Texas Isn’t Doing Enough to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Deaths, Critics Say ProPublica
DARK MONEY GROUP HARASSES SCHOOL BOARDS ACROSS CALIFORNIA Left Coast Right Watch (chuck l)
Big Brother IS Watching You Watch
Bosses turn to ‘tattleware’ to keep tabs on employees working from home Guardian
Brazil v Argentina abandoned five minutes after kick-off after visiting players accused of Covid violation BBC
Trump takes credit for Supreme Court not blocking Texas abortion law NY Post
After 9/11: how China saw a chance to crack down at home in global fight on terror South China Morning Post
Is a cold war still possible in an overheating world? Responsible Statecraft
Govt revises NLEM: Slashes prices of 39 common drugs India TV (Eustachedesaintpierre). Hoisted from comments.
ICMR Includes Ivermectin for COVID-19 Indication in National List of Essential Medicines TrialSite News (urblintz). Hoisted from comments.
Rooftop solar is a better bet for India than large-scale renewable energy projects Scroll
OP-ED: Why is Bangladesh so prone to floods? Dhaka Tribune
The Soviet Water Legacy in Central Asia The Diplomat
Afghanistan Was a Ponzi Scheme Sold to the American Public Foreign Policy (pjay). Hoisted from comments.
How elite US institutions created Afghanistan’s neoliberal President Ashraf Ghani, who stole $169 million from his country Grayzone
Data-Driven Defeat: Information versus Interests in Afghanistan American Affairs (chuck l)
Pakistan’s Support to the Taliban is One of the Greatest Feats of Covert Intelligence The Wire
U.S. presses Pakistan as Afghan crisis spirals, leaked docs show Politico
Panjshir resistance leader says ready for talks with Taliban Al Jazeera
Washington has devised a way of waging war that inevitably leads to American failure Independent. Patrick Cockburn.
Does the NYT Editorial Board know the difference between “the American dream” and American exceptionalism? For centuries, the former has generally been held to be upward social mobility. Re-making the world in the national image is American exceptionalism. pic.twitter.com/Hwp6czqOBG
— Sam Haselby (@samhaselby) September 5, 2021
Antidote du Jour (via):
And a bonus video (furzy):
And a second bonus video (chuck l):
Great Bustard (Otis tarda)???️?❤️ pic.twitter.com/oxPdSK3uin
— World birds (@worldbirds32) September 5, 2021
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.
Working link for “Theology’s Invisible Hand” article at-
Fixed it – thanks!
RE yesterday’s link on Arizona’s 3,000 daily CoVid-19 cases — As usual, South Carolina leads the race to the bottom AND leads the nation with 5,500 daily cases averaged.
We’re led by (Trump ally) Gov. McMaster. Sad! And the SC Supreme Court just shot down the City of Columbia’s mask mandate issued by Mayor Steve Benjamin.
WLTX.com: South Carolina leads the nation in COVID-19 infections.
When forced to shop in crowded stores for food and household essentials, I see only a few others with masks.
Son’s gf is a first grade teacher (public school using Montessori method). When the county school district issued a mask mandate recently, the majority of parents claimed outrage at this infringement of their “freedom” and the district caved to their demands. Son works for OSHA and says almost no one is masked on SC sites he visits.
SC only has 5 million people. It doesn’t lead the nation in anything. There’s a high infection rate now but over the course of the epidemic we are about at the national average. As for masks, there was no mandate last year either and I know an elementary teacher who said masking was up to the individual teachers. Some studies suggest that when it comes to Covid in schools any child infections are more likely to come from the teachers (or their parents) rather than vice versa.
And the stores where I shop and my library have put their mask signs back up. Compliance is less than before but perhaps you can blame that on Biden who said at the beginning of summer that vaxxed people can take off their masks. He actually does lead the nation and doesn’t seem to know what he is doing.
Good point about the RATE of infection in S.C. These big state totals that are coming out are deceptive for the reason you suggest. Elsewhere, for example, I’ve read that heavily vaccinated Vermont has one of the worst infection rates while the rates in Florida and Texas are about average, although those states are typically highlighted as infection hot spots. I’m not particularly sympathetic to so-called Bubbas, but they may not be the problem.
Of course the Upstate and especially Greenville County, so worldly in their Industrial Attractiveness, continually leads the State in infection rates.
On average, each person in South Carolina with COVID is infecting 1.16 other people. As such, the total number of cases in South Carolina continues to grow.
Nothing to defend here.
FWIW—track emerging infection rates from that SuperSpreader Clemson-Georgia fiasco in Charlotte this past Saturday. (Impossible with SC/NC statistic gathering protocols).
I worked the ESPN Gameday Production(99% unmasked Staff) and by 6:30 was surrounded in an unmasked hoard of unconscious stupidity.
Rod, there are steps you can take to try and better protect yourself. I speak of nasal lavage (your sinus cavities). Here’s the info I’ve shared with friends and family. Too much trouble? Dunno, your risk, not mine.
First, here’s the exact nasal lavage bottle I use.
I bought mine without any mixes for like $8 but now they’re $15. Also, instead of the store bought saline-mix, I use a formula I found after researching the internet. Consists of 3 tbsp non-iodized salt mixed into hot water (large pot of 4-5 qt) brought to a boiled to preclude the possibility of amoeba in the water.
Works out perfect to fill a 2L after what’s lost boiling and spilling. As for amoeba, the odds are quite low – but – what the heck it’s not that much trouble.
Note; I make up two 2L bottles of the mix to begin and keep them in the kitchen beneath the counter (I’ll mix up a new one about every week, or so once (usually begin thinking about once we start on the 2nd bottle).
The lavage bottle is 500cc but I usually only go half-full (250ml). However, when I am headed to a doctor’s visit or know I am going to be around people, then I hork out with 250ml before I leave and again, following my return, but this time with the full load of 500ml. Note; hork is my term for washing out my sinus cavities. Anyway, a 2L/person lasts about a week.
Second, I’ve taken to irrigate my nasal cavities with the salt water mix to which I’ve added 20cc of Betadine (the stuff you use to scrub before surgery). There are lots of scholarly articles showing from 0.5% to 1.25% solution is safe in the nasal cavities. I add 20cc to a 2L (so it’s 1.0%). This solution doesn’t bother me at all, Lynn finds it stings a little bit. The technique is to hold your breath like you’re dunking under the water in a pool before giving a good squeeze. Basically the same as using a Neti Pot but faster.
Note, the only reason I don’t do ‘all’ my nasal lavages with the Betadine mix is I find I begin to sense a slight, what I call, phantom smell over time. Anyway, occasional use doesn’t result in the sensation but after 5-6 straight applications in a row, it does.
By the way, once I figured out what was going on I dropped back to using it only after high risk behavior – like after a visit to the machine shop, where I may well slip the mask off because the machine cells are 10-15′ apart. However, as soon as I get back – no exceptions – I hork out with the Betadine mix.
So that’s me, you do whatever you want. Note; I purchased Povidone Iodine solution off Amazon:
Over the last week, South Carolina has averaged 5,445 new confirmed cases per day (105.7 for every 100,000 residents).
South Carolina has higher vulnerability than most states, with 32% of the population in a high vulnerability area.
Rate of Infection 1.16
Positive Test Rate 14%
Nary a County one to brag on.
But the Upstate, for now at least, can divert to the Coast.
I’m not bragging about anything but I don’t think infections “over the past week” qualify as “leader of the nation.” Quite a few states have higher deaths per million–some 30 percent or more higher–and in the South Mississippi seems more likely to be the poster child for the current wave. Their deaths per million just passed NY–quite an accomplishment.
Please also note that Latinos for various reasons are a high Covid group and I believe there are more of these in the industrial upstate. I’m saying lets not go broad brush based a few selective statistics.
I do live in the Upstate and don’t particularly sense any giant rebellion against health measures although, as I said above, there is a slacking off which seems to be more a nationwide phenom. Checked out that Obama B’day party?
Put another way–It’s the state with the highest rate of infections per 100,000, shown in one of the graphics in this link:
“Leads the nation” is actually correct, y’all… “per capita”, which is in the first sentence from my original link from WLTX.
Reading the news post and not just the headline helps.
Cases per 100k population, SC is #1 in the USA at 105.7, followed by:
And so on. Anyone see a pattern? I see a pattern.
I see a very similar pattern as last summer.
It is after all the same virus but different variant this time.
The southern states got lambasted first in the summer/fall wave. Next came Arizona followed a few weeks later by the northern Rockies one of which is already in this list the others like Idaho are already deeply in trouble.
If things play out like last year it will very soon spread to the northern plains followed closely by California and the upper Midwest. And then finally New England. By that time in October/November last year the whole country was bad but the northern states and west coast were really bad.
A big outlier in this years pattern is Oregon which is way more affected than it was last year at a similar time during the wave.
I am assuming that is the pattern you are seeing as well.
A mechanism that makes sense to me is southerners tend to cluster inside in the summer, and northerners hide inside in the winter.
I was thinking of a different pattern, a political one: the highest-rate states tend towards lower rates of mask-wearing and vaccination, with the former being the major factor in the increases.
The pattern you point is interested, no doubt valid, but there’s no causality stated; would you agree it’s the reasons (predominantly at least) I put forth, or others (in place of them or in addition to them)?
Gee haven’t heard that theory–except constantly.
Believe it or not lots of people around here still wear masks in stores including me.
But right after the CDC/White House’s ill-advised “if vaxxed no mask” decision, masking dropped precipitously–in these parts–for a few weeks, and now is up again due to mandates, but less than before that debacle.
And, as we all know, every COVID metric has gone up a lot since then (see Water Cooler on any given day).
Here’s someone making the seasonality argument (with no implication whatsoever by me that this is the same as IM Doc’s suggestion)
By this way of thinking the disease went down in the spring of this year because it did the same last year and the vaccines merely took the credit. The author says the vaccines are really mostly needed for the elderly and vulnerable and in the end most of us will get Covid (lots of people are saying that). And for all the hue and cry today about SC’s “casedemic” the death rate is not keeping pace with that of late last summer. One big reason may be that it is now appearing in younger people who are more likely to survive and many of the most likely elderly victims have already passed on.
His blog states on his “about” page:
“Conspiracy theories, unserious speculation, and other intellectual fog that will not pretend to be better than the official snake-oil you’re sold every day.”
So there’s that. The old saw about war and truth comes once again to mind…it’s opinion against opinion. One had best choose carefully.
no. it is a seasonal pattern. and it is largely replicable around the globe.
No. It’s not just a seasonal pattern.
There are many kinds of seasonality. Last year Trump and the Republicans were eager to declare the pandemic over in time for the summer. This year Biden largely did the same.
Last year the worst of it (for most of the country) stretched into fall and winter, the traditional flu season. That may prove the same as well.
Your prejudice is showing.
Mayo puts Florida in the highest vaccination class, same as Maine and Minnesota. Kentucky and Texas are is in the second best category, same as Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Utah, Kansas, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
…higher than Al, Arkansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota and Missouri which are not on the list.
And Idaho is so bad that Mayo gives it its own color!
Indoor air could be dry or very dry. Dry enough to dry out upper respiratory mucus membranes and compromise their ability to direct mucosal membrane immune artillery against viral invaders.
Thank god for I’M Doc’s long-term, data-driven view of the situation, which never quite fit the ideologically-driven folks on either side.
But I’d love to know if anyone is really drilling down into the infection rates by doing a close look at a sample: house/room size compared to number of people in the household; weight/body mass; previous medical history; regions within states to give us some urban/small town/rural numbers… the list of potential variables is long but managable. Or is this sort of data-driven approach in direct collision with special interests and American political reality. If I’M doc or others know of interesting public health/epidemiological links, I’d love to see them.
I’m not suggesting “blame the victim”; I’m suggesting “identify the victim”
Data? Are you serious? In the US?
We aren’t even testing systematically. The only country that is is the UK, with its Imperial College tests of ~100,000 every five or so weeks.
And even if we were testing 100,000 regularly, we don’t have any reliable means for collecting any other data. I’ve look at Zillow for houses I know and they have room counts wrong and square feet off. New York City doesn’t let you count a room as a bedroom unless it has windows. Etc.
It doesn’t even rise to the level of special interests. We are a failed state. We can’t do things like you suggest. I saw this when I was in Japan. MITI made companies provide revenues by narrow product segment. You could get rock solid data on things like two burner gas stoves v. four burner and the sales of the top 10 companies, by company name. We don’t believe in having government data collection like that.
And we’ve written regularly about electronic health care records. Garbage.
Not only New York, many places do not allow a windowless room to be counted as a bedroom. The idea being that if there is a fire, a person should have a way out, at least that’s the case here in WA.
Of course if you are on the 5th floor that doesn’t make much sense…
I see that annual geographic pattern for sure. And we are currently 2x last years numbers. I worry what late Fall and Winter will bring this year. It doesn’t look good.
How are these stats calculated?. I assume theyre based on the positivity rates? If thats the case I suspect (although I have no proof) that people in liberal areas who are taking this more serious also get tested much more. If the people in the south are only getting tested when theyre sick vs people like me who get tested everytime I visit family, thats obviosly going to influence and skew those infection rates.
Republican governors and state legislature majorities?
All southern states, too
Yeah, I mean it looks that way, doesn’t it? Ojective’s Ace’s points are also well made.
I have zero interest in playing politics with this. I’m a die-hard DSA-type who would like to see Bernard Sanders in the White House, with Nina Turner as VP and AOC, or better Tlaib or Jayapal, as speaker. If only! And I don’t have much positive to say about the death-cultish GOP. But politicizing this pandemic is a bad idea, say I.
And if there is a political pattern, it’s not in opposition to what IM Doc pointed out, whom I’d defer to, obviously, in a matter of public health, especially after reading his posts (i.e. I don’t just worship MDs or think they know it all). It’s a multi-dimensional phenomenon with many causes and possible outcomes.
But those politically-red states do look COVID-red too.
WA state is very divided politically, Volvo-Democrat Seattle and to some extent Puget Sound, but otherwise pretty much F250-Republican. Here in the West Sound, it’s about 2/3-1/3 Dem-leaning. And masking up follows a similar ratio. So I conclude politics probably plays a part.
> Some studies suggest that when it comes to Covid in schools any child infections are more likely to come from the teachers (or their parents) rather than vice versa.
It sounds plausible.. but could you link to those studies?
It’s too bad SC Rep Clyburn, who happens to be the Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, isn’t as good at dealing with the COVID crisis as he was at dealing with the Bernie crisis in SC. Maybe instead of using his clout to get-out-the-vote against Nina Turner in Ohio he could have been using it to drive SC residents to get vaxxed?
Have they tried calling the virus a socialist? That might scare his constituents enough to wear masks and get vaccinated.
His constituency is the Democratic Party machine. The voters are a means to an end and their desires are only relevant for manipulating them to produce “greater” truths (which is a fancy way of saying “whatever elites want”). This is what the shepherd model of society calls for. Western society must reject the Calvinist narratives if it ever wants to be anything but livestock, and it isn’t necessarily clear that it does.
Defeating Nina was 2nd only to defeating Bernie and took precedence over defeating SC’s infection rate. Interesting– Our Revolution SC’s Facebook page (page — not the Facebook group) has a livestreamed video of their march to Clyburn’s Columbia office a couple of weeks ago, joined by DSA-Columbia, SC members of the Poor People’s Campaign, Physicians for a National Health Plan-SC, and other local activists. They were there to seek Clyburn’s public support on progressive issues. While quietly posing for a group photo in front of the steps of the building, he charged out the door, yelling at the group. Continues to yell the entire time. Not the best quality video, though.
South Carolina does, in fact, have the highest rate of CoVid-19 infections per 100,000 persons. Can’t dispute that! More on that in this link:
No mention of slavery. Tawney didn’t duck the subject. Adam Smith was of the view that only a despotic government in the American colonies could abolish the practice, which is entirely at odds with the self-celebration of Calvinists.
I wonder if the book addresses the influence of evangelicals in the UK government over the outcome of the Irish potato famine – not much trust in the goodness of mankind evident in their policy.
I’m not sure that article was making much of a point. It could be religion merely reflects the societies where it exists rather than leads them. For example here in the South the Southern Baptists found passages in the Bible to try to excuse slavery. Their somewhat tardy apology has followed recently.
But if one accepts the thesis then surely Catholicism has had the greatest influence even up to the present day where they have led the fight against birth control and are a major presence among the more intellectual rightwingers.
“…surely Catholicism has had the greatest influence even up to the present day where they have led the fight against birth control and are a major presence among the more intellectual rightwingers.”
Not sure there are any right wing intellectuals still around – Buckley was probably the last. And 6 of 9 of the Supreme Court justices are Catholic.
Go check out The American Conservative. They are mostly Catholics. And the Federalist society is heavily Catholic.
Judging by the review itself, perhaps ecumenism is informing the historical perspective, since it leaves the impression of Calvin-on-Tiber. I took that as its point. That severe inclination has already had its day in the Catholic Church in 18thC Jansenism, the repression of which was followed by the return to favour of the Jesuits – are we seeing another reversal of polarity? Casuistry out, determinism in?
Israeli “herd immunity” in two months according to this article:
They have lost their minds.
Agreed, I don’t believe it for a second.
Yves, hold that thought.
Yes, the advocates of “Herd Immunity” have quite literally lost their minds.
They have a lot of company, watch the videos of the College football crowds in today’s links.
Those still alive and functional in a year’s time will have to deal with the consequences as best they can.
Herd immunity is like full employment. Something unachievable with the tools politicians pick, buy or try. They don’t understand the constraints to such achievements, even don’t want to understand them, yet they claim those to be their objectives.
My best layman’s understanding of what I read is that the “herd immunity” concept is useful for things like measles, whooping cough, etc., whose vaccines actually make the recipient unable to “catch” the virus in question. If a high enough percent of the population is vaccimunised against measles, there is not enough people to spread it to an unvaccinated person even if a virus were trying to reach such a person.
If my understanding is correct, then there is nothing wrong with the concept when applied correctly. Applying it to a virus like coronavid for which there is no such thing as “can’t catch it” immunity is applying it incorrectly. And trying to invoke the dream of “herd immunity” for coronavid is indeed a politically motivated dis-use of the “herd immunity” concept.
Exactly, to borrow Ignacio’s example, granting that Full Employment is achievable, getting there for a brief moment hardly means for the rest of time the economy will be at full employment. Same thing with herd immunity–even if we did get there for a moment it wouldnt last. Herd immunity with Coranavirus would be tantamount to eradication, and probably eradication from all humans wouldnt even be enough. If it can pass from humans to animals it almost certainly can be passed back
Ya, I believe in herd immunity, but you get there by dropping Rt below 1, hopefully with the virus at low levels. You aren’t getting there with just a non sterilizing vaccine with a virus as contagious as Delta. A highly effective sterilizing vaccine could theoretically do it, but stamping it out like a fire with mass testing and lockdowns and contact tracing and travel bans or at least travel quarantine periods is the only way to do it with current technology I think.
Before the vaccines for what were called the childhood diseases, they occurred cyclically. When there was a large enough cohort of say 8 to10 year old children chicken pox or measles would infect most of them and when there were too few to sustain the chain of infection it would subside only to recur within a few years. Adults had mostly had the diseases. Herd immunity. It is similar to, for example, an increase in a prey population followed by a peak in a predator population.
It is time we learn to live with this disease using the tools available and those yet to be developed to intervene medically and for realistic and sensible behavior in the face of it. Neither “freedom” nor politics has the least effect on a virus.
John, A big difference is that you can potentially be re-infected with COVID, whereas usually being infected with one of the childhood diseases conferred lifelong immunity.
I turned on the Penn State vs Wisconsin game and was agog at the stadium jam-packed to the rafters with fans, and nary a mask in sight.
America is insane.
“According to a Channel 13 news report, those who have received a third dose are 96% protected from being infected with COVID-19, starting a week after receiving the shot. The report claimed that those who have just two doses are currently just 42% protected from infection.”
This is a bit confusing given that I thought it has been found that the vaccines are not sterilizing, and that sooner or later everyone will become infected, whether vaccinated or not. The difference will not lie not in susceptibility to being infected but in resistance to disease. See statements by Andrew Pollard in Delta variant renders herd immunity from Covid ‘mythical’ The Guardian.
They never discuss methodology, and I believe (someone please correct me) the only was to determine if a vaccine truly stopped infection would be to conduct challenge trials at intervals following vaccination. Anyone know of any studies doing that for COVID vaccines currently?
Gee, where have I heard that 90+% efficacy rate thing before… oh yeah those were the initial claims of the vaccine manufacturers.
IM Doc exploded the bullsh*t efficacy claims a few weeks ago by pointing out how Pfizer et al gamed the statistics to make the vaccines look much more effective than they actually are in the real world.
well sure they can. for the same time they had “herd immunity” last year more or less.
4 shots all the talk now but i think most of us know this will be at least an annual affair: likely fly covid combo
When the virus has mutated enough to find a reservoir in insects, perhaps we will have fly covid.
Portland mayor wants to ban Texas:
Yet he has no problem with China.
Why should he? Chinese can maintain a sanitary society, unlike lolbertarians who can’t maintain anything but their own unwanted and unwarranted presence in society.
The new Texas Abortion Law is a Brilliant step on jurisprudence and Governance.
It needs to be expanded. I want the ability to sue polluters, makers of plastic bags, employers who gouge employees, and especially Public Figures who tell lies.
Also I want to be able to sue people who speed, jump red lights or make too much noise.
And defense contractors who charge too much, or continually overrun budgets based on the back of low-ball bids.
People (That’s you Elon) who mess up the sky with constellations of satellites.
Politicians who filibuster, or take too large a contributions from anyone, or don’t deliver their promises,
I embrace this litigious mommy state with outspread arms.
The Texas Politicians who invented this “sue on a whim” system are brilliant.
Let the rule of suing anarchy begin, as we rush into our Libertarian Future, with freedom for all to Sue on the Drop of a hat. Sue-per!
And I yearn to see my new, IT Monopoly, “ Sue Nation”, become the largest High Tech Company in the known Universe, by on cashing a mere 25% off the top of all lawsuits (The volume will be too large for any but IT Systems, so we will not need courts and Judges.)
And if you disagree with me, I will sue you on the spot.
Please don’t ban me:
Not as far-fetched as you might think! Life imitates art: Lawyer sued by a guy he sued (successfully) many years ago.
Texas did not invent it.
I accept your correction, and seek further enlightenment.
This is such a great comment that I’m thinking of reposting it elsewhere. But I’m afraid you’ll sue me for theft of intellectual property.
Do what you will. It is a gift to all..
Unless you want to fund the business plan. /s
I haven’t watched the link. I see it is a Fox news link. So I have to pre-emptively ask whether this is real news or Foxanon fake news. Did the Portland mayor even really want to do that? Could he even if he wanted to?
What the mayor wants is not to “ban Texas”. ( Imagine a little city like Portland presuming to “ban” a big state like Texas). He wants to gain a resolution banning City Government from spending any City Tax Money on business with or travel to Texas. That is rather narrower.
Still and all, I hope that the Mayor of Portland and all other like-minded elected-heads of jurisdictional-area units of government start to granularize their thinking in order to surgicalize their target selection. A minority of Texas districts elected OfficeHolders to the Texas Legislature who were against the Fugitive Uterus Law.
A majority of Texas districts elected OfficeHolders to the Texas Legislature who were for the Fugitive Uterus Law.
Perhaps the Mayor of Portland can narrow down that resolution to sharpen its focus strictly and only against those parts of Texas which support the Fugitive Uterus Law. And let the City of Portland keep right on doing business with those parts of Texas which oppose the Fugitive Uterus Law. Because those are not the parts of Texas which need weakening, attriting and degrading. The parts of Texas which support the Fugitive Uterus Law are the parts of Texas which require attriting, weakening, degrading, impoverishing, depopulating, etc., in order to make those parts of Texas less of a threat and a menace to our survival.
I hope opponents of the Fugitive Uterus Law can narrow, fine-focus and surgicalize their thinking to focus on the hostile parts of Texas. The friendly parts of Texas need our support, not our boycotting.
A new study of dorm rooms shows how ventilation curbs virus levels.
From the article,
“Ventilation is really important, and I think we’re just starting to realize how important it is,” said Leslie Dietz, a study co-author and researcher at the University of Oregon.
It truly baffles me why anyone’s just starting to realise the importance of ventilation. Aerosols have been officially admitted, by the likes of the WHO and US CDC, to be a major route of transmission for over a year now. What do people usually do when there’s a bad smell in a room? If ventilation reduces or removes offensive odours, why on earth wouldn’t it do the same for infective aerosols?
The community center I visit frequently bought expensive air cleaners for every room.
Early in the pandemic I suggested just propping doors to the outside open and opening windows and they looked at me like I had four heads.
I’ve gotten the same reaction here. The village uses an old elementary scool building for their offices and the senior center. Last summer they did a cheap redo of the HVAC and installed new windows that DO NOT OPEN! People just can’t understand why I’m not coming back!
” just starting to realise the importance of ventilation”
I think a lot of people realized a while ago how important is was, and how little they would be able to do about it. Lots of indoor space, including most importantly schools, would have to be extensively retrofitted to get any sort of effective ventilation. It would cost a ton of money and take a very long time.
We need these kids back in school! Lets only talk about masks.
Why only masks? There is a lot of resistance to masks and although they help they are not 100% and compliance is a problem, esp with younger kids, who forget, and older kids, who ‘forget’. Not to mention lunchrooms.
Filtration is easier to do, more comprehensive, and less invasive. I doubt that many people would hold their breath rather than breathe filtered air*, and DIY air filters can be cheap (approx $130 for the school year per classroom) and effective. For instance, these home-made MERV filters. Parents can make/donate one for their kid’s classroom, kids can make their own as a science project, schools could have a bake sale to fund or hit up local businesses. There, done!
* They generally start breathing again once they pass out anyway.
I think that he was making fun of the only talk about mask people, because masks are cheap, and ventilation takes work and competency.
Masks are cheap. Opening a window is even cheaper.
Our daughter often works in school buildings where the windows physically cannot be opened. This is an artifact of late twentieth century air conditioning design.
Opening a window is not cheap. Heat and AC are both very expensive. And opening a window might not do anything, depending of the design of the window, outdoor temperature, the room, or the HVAC system.
All of these things can be modeled into new designs, but “opening a window” is nothing more than a performative palliative measure that also wastes lots of energy. It’s not cheap.
The problem is without any sort of official backing by CDC or some other authority the people pushing ventilation improvements can be framed as some nut job and “not following the science”. Both sides can then pile on the poor person who is at worst wasting money and at best making it safer.
Speaking of not following the science, I told our HVAC people about the 2500 ppmv CO2 level that I measured and logged in a large, noisy meeting room across the hall from my office (which itself hit 1800 from infiltration). I pointed to industry standards but they rebutted “that standard is for odors, CO2 is 5000 ppmv” (because it is odorless? Duh, it’s a proxy. ). They won’t acknowledge that this junky old building at this institution has inadequate ventilation. I was told not to open my office window because it would unbalance their pathetic system, which I did anyway to drop the level below 700 ppmv.
Duh, it’s a proxy.
I think 2500 ppmv CO2 is in the realm where it can lead to headaches and so on, and there’s research showing that lower levels than that can affect concentration and cognitive skills – possibly exactly why they aren’t interested, their thinking having been slowed to a crawl by the CO2!
What levels of CO2 should we start to be concerned about COvid wise? I just bought a monitor and have been experimenting with it–I dont have much of a baseline for what’s good or not though
In any given indoor environment, when excess CO2 levels double, the risk of transmission also roughly doubles, two scientists reported this week in Environmental Science & Technology Letters.
A CO2 level of 1,000 ppm, which is well above outside levels of about 400 ppm, could be relatively safe in a quiet library with masks but not in an active gym without masks.
But in each indoor space, the model can illuminate “relative” risk: If CO2 levels in a gym drop from 2,800 to 1,000 ppm (~2,400 above background levels to 600), the risk of COVID-19 transmission drops, too, to one-quarter of the original risk. In the library, if an influx of people makes CO2 jump from 800 to 1,600 (400 to 1,200 above background), COVID transmission risk triples.
“Wherever you are sharing air, the lower the CO2, the lower risk of infection,” Jimenez said.
These photos ended child labor in the US
thank you, powerful stuff
dog bless Lewis Hines et al.
next: factory farms….
In many states, it is now illegal to film at factories that raise animals.
Farms they are not.
Cowschwitz, sowschwitz, etc.
Along with slavery, one of humanity’s great shames.
You swearing off meat? Supply and demand. You demand, someone will supply. Do you shop or the most expensive or the least? Inquiring minds.
What about your politician? He/she vote against this? No? You still voting for him/her? Bet a milkshake you are/will.
Me? Voted for DeSantis. Won’t again. Not ever.
If just enough people are ready to pay a shinola price for shinola beef raised on multispecies pasture and/or range, that will at least keep a few shinola ranchers in business against the day when the rest of the sector catches up to them.
It is actually a function of perceived standard of living. In China, I have read, “average” people equate higher meat consumption with higher socio-economic status. It might be a universal Terran human attitude.
Why this is so is the sixty thousand calorie question. Change people’s attitudes toward types of food consumed and social status and we might get somewhere.
The other factor I see in America is the equation of the consumption of “tasty” food and psychological satisfaction. A lot of people over-eat as psychological compensation.
Since grassfed shinola beef costs several times more than GMO cornsoy-feedlotted shitbeef, being able to pay for grassfed shinola beef would bespeak higher personal standard of living. Or at least higher standard of personal living.
So the trick is to get shinola beef once a week something to be bragged about and aspired to. And to get shitbeef once or three times a day something to be mocked and ridiculed and despised. Getting back to Mark Ames’s ” Elite versus Elitny”.
Me, yeah, I am no vegan, but we have cut our meat consumption down a lot. The money we save by eating (mostly) vegetarian/vegan saves us enough so that when we do eat meat, we can get grass-fed and organic from Field Sparrow Farms. The critters there live well until that Last Bad Day, which is what I hope for myself. YMMV.
Great link, thank you for posting.
Thanks for the link. Some moving photos in the vid.
Someone should really tell all those migrant children working on fields on farms throughout the country to this day that child labor has ended in the u.s.
Lewis Hine: Photos taken by Lewis Wickes Hine for the National Child Labor Commission and its report to Congress — at Shorpy
Impressive to click “View Full Size;” many old photos are very high resolution.
Thanks for the “French Connection” link, at the time 750 Lbs of pure heroin was a huge seizure ( It later disappeared from the NYPD property room along with @ 1,500 Lbs of other hard narcotics), in these days of multiple 40,000 Lb seizures of pure coke it seems laughable.
Hollywood has on many occasions been willing to do the work of Government.
French Connection 1971
Nixon declares War On Drugs 1971
“In a new article for Harper’s magazine, journalist Dan Baum reports that President Richard Nixon’s domestic policy chief, John Ehrlichman, admitted that the war on drugs was designed to have precisely this impact on the Black community.
In a 1994 interview, Mr. Ehrlichman said, “You want to know what this was really all about?” He went on:
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and Black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or Black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and Blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
1971: dirty Hippies, Conscientious Objectors, African Americans.
Today: The Unvaccinated. “…vilify them night after night on the evening news.” among other punitive measures.
Fifty years later, the Beat goes on.
So does the Beat Down.
‘Chicago just forced 70+ school bus drivers – 10% of its entire fleet – out of work with vax mandates, leaving working class parents of special needs kids w/o rides. Mayor Lightfoot told families to rely on Uber, which will cost them thousands a month.’
Portmanteau comprising the words “sh*t” and “lib.” Used in leftist political discourse as a perjorative, mocking the spinelessness, stupidly, hypocrisy, and willful ignorance of American liberals.
e.g. ‘Vote blue no matter who! You’re probably a Russian bot trying to get Trump re-elected. No school buses? Get an Uber.’
And DISNEY, ‘splaining why uppity essentials won’t risk losing all of their hellish & terrifying virtual share-cropping gigs to “get a jab,” having mostly survived their infection, chronic PASC symptoms (and side-effects, often worse than active infections?) ABC’s didactic Disney denial, kinda reminds one of “White Wilderness?” Terrified lemmings were forked to the “circling sharks,” by day-labor natives, I believe? I’m betting, they’ve repeatedly blamed Russia? Is Lori still held harmless, over Lollapalooza SuperSpreading?
Labor Day, and every day for that matter, provides an opportunity to reflect on prior generations. Empathy, condolence and wistfulness may get jostled by ire, outrage and disgust at times.
Who were those individuals deciding that people became objects, were assigned to or could not escape being in the lower orders, were abandoned to lives nasty, brutish and short, were likely do die victims of others red in tooth and claw?
There are untold stories of those who sent people down the coal pits, into the satanic mills and elsewhere into environments likely to maim, if not kill, while consciously squeezing out what precious little humanity remained. Where are the memorials to those stellar individuals, those exemplars of the species about whom paeans may be penned and odes crooned?
Are they out behind the country houses in the Midlands, tucked away in private reserves in the Loire Valley, hidden in the woodland game preserve, on a dune by that Hamptons beach or on display on 5th Avenue? They weren’t in the Killing Fields, or the Camps as those would be too gauche.
But I’m sure the mayor will personally make sure all those Uber drivers transporting kids are fully vaccinated, right?
If I weren’t so sure all those liberal goodthinkers had the public health as their main concern, I might suspect this was a cynical attempt to break a union…
Lightfoot reminds me of Kamala Harris, she is a liberal which translates to stupid right wing and out of touch with all reality. living in California, we can tell you stories all day on these idiotic politicians. Such as the one from a wealthy district that continues to this day to want to solve the “drug” problem from opioids by taxing every single hydrocodone. Cancer patients be damned.
According to the Chicago Sun Times – “CPS is offering families $1,000 upfront and $500 monthly for a travel reimbursement until the problems are fixed.”
Hmmm – maybe families could just pocket the cash and use it to hire one of the laid off Chicago Public School teachers as a tutor.
Perfect way to destroy the Commons, huh? Funnel public money to a private corp. This is disaster capitalism.
Same as school vouchers – exact same method.
Goodbye public, unionized jobs.
This woman Lightfoot’s words are today’s version of “Let them eat cake”. She must be from the Obama school of thought. Once she got elected she doesn’t care for any of the poor. She channels Rahm Emmanuel well.
I read somewhere that there is a Black American saying . . . ” Skinfolk ain’t kinfolk”. I wonder how many Lightfootiform Obamazoid betrayals it will take before Black Americans apply their own saying against upper-class-wannabe black polltical hustlers like Lightfoot and Obama.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse in Afghanistan, behold, it is. Sit down for a bit and read this article, because for once it’s not about the US or who lost the war, but about the Afghan people themselves, in a country which is heading rapidly for economic and social catastrophe.
The obsession of the western media with military conflict and the international dimension has obscured the fact that Afghanistan is a country whose economy has only survived at all thanks to massive long-term transfers of civilian aid from donors. As the article says, nearly half of Afghanistan’s GDP, and three quarters of its state budget, are directly funded by donors. To that has to be added the hundreds of thousands of jobs that depended on western aid directly, and many more that came from selling goods and services. For an economy that imports practically everything, and whose only real export is opium, the departure of NGOs and donors and the suspension of aid and development programmes is a genuine catastrophe.
The problem would be easier to resolve if the Taliban showed signs of getting to grips with it. But they don’t have the technical expertise, nor even really the interest, to take control of the economy. It’s striking that in twenty years, and unlike almost every other resistance movement, they never developed a political wing, nor any kind of effective government in exile. With the best will in the world, the problems of the country look to be too difficult for them to manage, even they accept international help. And they may not have the best will in the world.
I only noticed two brief mentions of opiates in that rather long article. Yet they have accounted for up to half of Afghanistan’s GDP, as well as providing seasonal employment and income for a significant proportion of the population. The Taliban have said they intend to stop the industry; if they do, the economy will suffer even more, and if they don’t, international cooperation is even less likely. I don’t know how this might play out.
And you end your comment with “And they may not have the best will in the world,” referring to the Taliban. The same may apply to Western donors. The article says,
The various donor countries and international organisations … are now scrabbling to reconfigure their programmes and funding. … It could be that both sides have an interest in turning the taps back on and averting a total and rapid collapse: neither are interested in compounding Afghanistan’s humanitarian needs and both have incentives to find ways to meet the critical needs of the population.
It could be that the West does wish to avert a total collapse, but the examples of Libya ad Syria suggest this may not be the case. While it would be sheer stupidity, as well as crass cruelty, to allow this, stupidity and cruelty appear to me the hallmarks of much recent Western foreign policy.
I wouldn’t disagree. I think that though even if we assume a western desire to help at least to relieve immediate suffering (pictures of starving children all over your TV) the Taliban simply don’t see things the same way that we do. Western-dominated aid agencies, whatever their willingness in principle to help, aren’t going to be on the same wavelength as the new government. Yes, the Taliban have all the weaknesses of insurgent groups suddenly arrived in power, but they also appear to have done zero preparation, and are just not that interested in the mechanics of government. My fear is less of deliberate sabotage by the West (since the consequences would be horrific for everyone) but of a dialogue of the deaf.
Russia, China, Iran and perhaps even some of the Central Asiastans might want to stabilize Afghanistan faster than the West can collapse it.
If so, they will jointly craft genuine stabilization measures, including anti-famine food assistance, for each player to do its own part of, in order to stabilize Afghanistan fast.
Part of that fast stabilization will probably include helping the Taliban conquer and rule the internal society within Afghanistan’s borders so fast and hard that outsiders are left with no counter-Taliban insurgents to assist. ISI-stan will probably use its air power, spy power, training and supply power to make that internal conquest very fast, very hard and very unquestionable.
Send Larry Summers!
Does he have room in the luggage for Jeffrey Sachs and Andrei Shleifer?
Ooh, looks like Dougie Feith’s available!
Sachs at least had the grace to apologize for his bad works.
I’m not familiar with his earlier stuff, but of late, Dr Sachs been a vocal critic of the way our country is being run. A few examples:
He’ll need his own plane with pallets of USD piled up high. He’ll probably take the money and run.
Was recently reading about the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and how, after ascending to power they were ill-equipped to run a country ravaged by war, sanctioned by the US, and with a political party lead by people from rural backgrounds with no real political experience.
Seems it is often the case in revolutions – much like a dog chasing a car and finally catching it – that managing a fractured and complex situation is not in the skill set of those who have honed the skills necessary for revolution. And almost any time a transition to power is made through conflict it is messy and often lead by the people better suited to conflict and not governance. It also doesn’t help much when the US/Western nations sabotage those fledgling governments due to our disagreement with their leadership.
Considering how ill-equipped most politicians seem to be to run countries that are not war ravaged I’d venture a guess it’s more about after evolution there being so many groups investing in the system not working that the task is almost impossible.
Issues that in an established systems are just papered over and everyone carries happily on trusting that in general the system works will be used to destroy a political system that is not supported by enormous majority of the population.
And even popular uprisings usually result either in a some sort of compromise or a dictated system that most don’t like.
Taliban aside, it’s been a hand out/corrupt economy, different than welfare or entitlements, since we invaded. This was always the outcome. There is no there, there to work with. It’s like the former Afghan army. It’s dependent on US GPS, gun ships, special forces, supplies, and so forth to function. And Afghanistan is off the beaten path.
Biden is reputed to have asked in regards to the Afghanistan surge what difference the number of troops will make if the government is still corrupt. Even Biden could see the problem.
If I read the same article as you, one of the conclusions was that the United States was the single most corrupting influence in Afghan governance. Nonetheless, the generals pressed their case.
Agreed. And so much of the money spent was recycled to private persons in the USA.
The size of the US embassy in Kabul like the Green Zone in Baghdad is mute evidence of the intention to be there permanently. Anything not in line with geopolitical goals was eyewash. A base in Central Asia effectively between China and Russia with Iran enveloped from east and west. Afghanistan was the sweet spot, but if that is your intention you must go about your business realistically and not mess with the customs of the country, have people who speak the languages and understand the “way things are done.” It still would have been dicey, but working with instead of dictating,lording it over, and showing your contempt is a better tactic. The USA consistently fails in that regard. The notion that the rest of the world wants to “be like us” is foolishness on the grand scale.
I don’t think any serious analysis of the historical record would say the Sandinistas were ill equipped for governing. But all 20th century revolutions, theirs included, had to spend the vast majority of their state resources fighting American led counter-revolution.
Here’s an interesting thought that applies to the Sandinistas, and in some regards to the victorious Taliban. Did the regimes they replace display any acuity in governing ability. The Somoza family did a great job enriching themselves and their cronies, and it seems to me that the Afghan government we supported did the same. Both at the expense of the the people they subjugated (they certainly didn’t govern those people).
I think the fears of humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan are overblown. The truth is Afghanistan has been in a humanitarian crisis for the better part of 42 years. However distasteful the Taliban may be to our political sensibilities, their victory injects the key ingredient for the long term well being of Afghans: stability.
Certainly the Afghan “economy” and those Western and Afghan individuals and institutions on the dole will miss the “humanitarian” aid. I’d be hard pressed to believe that aid actually did what was intended. Where it the case that we ran a just and effective administration in Afghanistan, one that improved the lives of its people, the Taliban wouldn’t have been able to find such broad support and reconstitute itself under our noses.
I don’t think we can dismiss the possibility of western sponsored Afghan “contras”. It certainly is within our historical DNA to sh*t on dinner tables we are asked to leave. But as opposed to Nicaragua, which had easily mined harbors. Afghanistan’s neighbors have displayed a variety of actions that show their interest to be in the long term stability of that land locked nation. Not least of which was the diplomatic entente that kicked us out of Central Asia.
I have a comment in moderation (for some reason) which gives a link on the economic situation. Around half the population only survives because of food aid.
Are you referring to Nicaragua? That is complete bullshit. You are pathological in your support of the neoliberal viewpoint. Only CR can boast of a higher standard of living for the middle percentile populations in the region and can only be ascribed to the fact they have no standing army. Let’s try to leave a country to its own devices before judging them on whether they are equipped to govern. God knows the damn country I live in can hardly be called “equipped” to govern.
What on earth makes you think I’m talking about Nicaragua? I wouldn’t, because I know nothing about the country. As you’ll see from the comment below I was talking about Afghanistan.
Perhaps they could farm or herd or something, if they weren’t in daily danger of being blown up?
The Afghans have managed their economy before without the intervention of others in their affairs and they will do so again. The interventions against both Cuba and Nicaragua have never stopped since their revolutions – they must be forced to be failures so that they are not the threat of the “good example” as Chomsky put it.
It’s generally the case that people who have the skillset to run a successful military insurrection do not have the skillset to form a competent and diverse political government after the insurrection is over. Both of these are very difficult achievements. There are perhaps some notable exceptions where the same group did both.
The situation is worsened when the ousted power continues to fight a rearguard action, deliberately sabotaging the economy, funding insurrections, starting wars, and using the media to undermine the new leaders in the hope of reversing the victory.
A successful insurrection usually just means the conflict has shifted into a new phase, not that it is over.
I don’t think this is true at all. And within the limited dataset history provides, you’d actually see most successful revolutionaries (internal or colonial) do indeed govern effectively if given the strategic space to govern. I think your statement minimizes the violence inflicted on revolutionary states and confuses their struggle against this violence as failure of governing.
For instance the fighters of the Sierra Maestra became the administrators that lifted millions of their countrymen and women from illiteracy and poverty. They helped liberate the southern part of Africa from Apartheid, and last year their heirs sent an army of doctors across the world to save countless lives. All the while fighting seven decade existential struggle against the US.
Similarly, those that took the Long March set the foundations for the state with the largest and most productive economy, which has lifted more people out of abject poverty than any others.
And of course you can’t neglect the revolutionaries that fought off genocidal American wars in Vietnam and North Korea. Who founded states that still exist despite our best efforts.
Chavez governed so effectively after his failed insurrection that the PSUV continues to win at the ballot box. And the Sandinistas continue to get the electoral approval of their population.
Of course there are the murdered Ben Bellas, Allendes, Sankaras and countless others. Murdered by whom, it must be asked. But where it not for external interference perhaps they would’ve displayed the “skill set” necessary for governing.
And while it has been a while, there was a day when America WAS the revolution against the nobility and parasitic aristocracy. Certainly not perfect, but they did great things, and made a big splash.
It does raise the question though of how much those floods of aid actually helped the economy, and how much damage it did. Large amounts of aid money can result in something akin to the ‘Dutch Disease‘ where it distorts the domestic economy so much that it does more harm than good. Especially if it flows out as quickly as it flew in, in the form of imports of BMW’s and weapons.
Presumably, the Taliban, in as much as they have an economic philosophy, would be to focus on local production of food and basic goods, and keep hard currency for essential imports only. This would be catastrophic for the urban wage earners of the country, but I doubt the Taliban give a moments thought to them (and as they are a small minority they can safely be isolated and ignored).
Once upon a time Afghanistan had a very organised and resilient agricultural system. Maybe if the Taliban succeed in rebuilding it they can be successful. Afghanistan has of course been very poor for centuries as all it had was its location at the edge of the Silk Roads for trade. So perhaps they’ll simply revert back to the historical mean.
Of course, if it turns out they cannot grow enough food for themselves, then they really are in trouble.
Don’t know much of what is going on there but it is possible that part of the talks of the Taliban with Pakistan, Iran and China might include economic agreements while the West, being in such a different wavelength in incapable of agreeing with the taliban on anything.
Some “warn” that China might be interested on rare earths extraction, for instance.
I guess it’s alarming to the elites of a global hegemon for them to organized their economy in concert with countries with which they share borders rather than with an imperial nation state on the far side of the globe. Localism may yet prevail.
This has been much talked about, though I think PK pointed out that actually extracting minerals would be hugely complicated and costly. Unless you see it, it’s hard to comprehend just how hostile much of the country’s terrain is, and how appallingly difficult it is to get around. In the short-term, I think all of these countries will be more interested in basic security issues.
China itself has ‘warned’ of its interest in Afghanistan’s rare earths and other minerals, though as David points out, security would have to come first, and the terrain doesn’t make matters easy – but if it decided to, I guess China could have a road or railway and mine up and running in next to no time.
‘GT Voice: US in no position to meddle with potential rare-earth cooperation between China and Afghanistan’
“ if it decided to, I guess China could have a road or railway and mine up and running in next to no time.”
Building rail transport across southwestern China into Afghanistan is doable, as a demonstration of political will. It is not something that can be done “in no time”. It would not be cheap, easy, or quick. As David noted above and PK often notes, effective, functional physical infrastructure is costly to build and maintain. It is more costly in rugged terrain where there is little preexisting infrastructure.
If the reward for building the railroad is sufficient, it will be built.
By next to no time, I didn’t mean months. China has built a high speed (160 km/h) rail link to Vientiane in Laos in about five years, due to open in December I think, over – and through – some very rugged terrain. It could probably do a road to a mine in Afghanistan for trucks in much less time – trucks can manage gradients and bends that even slower trains cannot. Yes, it would be costly, but Afghanistan’s mineral reserves are extremely valuable, as well as ‘strategic’ (lithium, cobalt, rare earths), and when China decides to do infrastructure, it does it, and fast compared to most.
According to the UN the situation is pretty disastrous already:
“Even before the current upheaval, some 18 million people, or half the population, depended on emergency aid to meet their basic needs. A $1.3 billion funding request from earlier in the year has so far netted less than $400 million.”
And it looks as if donors will be trying to impose conditions – on “gender equality” for example – in return for releasing aid, and it’s not clear that the Taliban will fold easily.
I think it’s fairly clear that all the aid did distort the economy, because it created an entire parasitic class who were often hired because they could speak English and/or had been educated abroad, and who worked as drivers, interpreters, factotums and NGO assistants, without necessarily being given any real responsibility. Ministers, as in many similar countries, tended to be chosen because they spoke and thought “like us.” And because there was no central coordination, different bits of the political system and different bits of the economy were funded by different people. A lot of donors were looking for cheap, easy projects to fund that would earn them praise from their national parliaments, even if they weren’t what the locals needed or wanted. Some parts of the system only existed in the first place because of donor funding. I met a visiting delegation from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs some years ago, and their CVs were all of women educated at western universities and having worked for western NGOs. Without donor funding the Ministry would not have existed at all – and if it’s still going, I doubt whether it, and its numerous direct and indirect employees, has much of a future.
I met a visiting delegation from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs some years ago, and their CVs were all of women educated at western universities and having worked for western NGOs.
It looks like the two women who wrote the article belong to the same kind of organization. All they talked about was banks and banking. I tried to look up their backgrounds but there was none. Maybe the CIA wrote this article for them so than they can start the flow of oodles of again into Afghanistan again and corrupt more people.
“Even before the current upheaval, some 18 million people, or half the population, depended on emergency aid to meet their basic needs.
Perhaps due to the previous upheaval?
Oh I think they’ve at least been interested in Afghanistan’s economy for quite some time – https://www.counterpunch.org/2002/01/10/bush-enron-unocal-and-the-taliban/
And a second bonus video (chuck l):
I notice the bird towards the end can not only cry like a baby, it cries in a different way when asked to cry one more time (1:24 on) – first a “Waaah Waaah,” with distinct Ws, the second time without, just “Aaah, Aaah”! Which strongly suggests to me it’s grasped the idea of crying, not merely the sound that gets a reward.
Thank you, though I’m not sure of the connection with vocalising birds!
Haven’t seen this posted here but it seems relevant to the Covid discussion:
Dr. Malcolm Kendrick blog post
oh for god’s sake. Give me a break with this childishness. MD fails to have even the slightest grasp of the concept of complex systems and throws his hands up in despair, thinks you should too.
I would remind all NC readers that this post has aged extremely well (or, uh, poorly, depending on your point of view)
“ If you can’t know what will happen next because you can’t oversee the multitude of variables involved, and there are no models that can do so either, the best -only- thing you can do is to halt the growing complexity as soon as you are able to, in order to create a situation, an environment, which the epidemiologists and virologists DO recognize, and can work with.”
Thanks for the link. Now I have a term for that thing that I am not seeing anywhere but NC.
Thanks for the reminder, such a pity that at the time it seemed that some in the media and public health community were listening to Taleb, but then this was rapidly forgotten.
I found this bit informative, perhaps it’s a useful guide for commenting on medical issues here:
“ However, I do know how to play the medical regulations game. Don’t make a statement you cannot reference from a peer-reviewed journal. Don’t give direct advice to people over the internet. Provide facts, and do not make statements such as ‘vaccines are killing thousands of people.’ Or suchlike.”
“Faced with a situation where there are almost no facts that can be relied on, from anywhere” sums up the problem nicely.
I have learned to my regret that WHO, NIH, FDA and CDC have all been corrupted to the point that nothing they put out can be relied on.
The best information seems to be coming from the FLCCC and IM Doc, and the attacks on their credibility increase my confidence in those two sources.
The official narrative seems close to collapsing under the weight of reality, which will have consequences both short and long term.
“Caveat empire” might be appropriate nowadays.
Coronavid will be the collective elites’s extended Chernobyl moment.
Um, per Tom Stone
“WHO, NIH, FDA and CDC have all been corrupted to the point that nothing they put out can be relied on.”
“attacks on their credibility increase my confidence in those (…) sources.”
I would recommend Kendrick to stick to the scientific literature to check facts and unknowns. This is complex but helps.
It strikes me how some potential treatments are discussed without general agreements after data from clinical trials come massively. We become partisans of this or that other drug because we saw this result and ignored that other result when it is even possible that results that look divergent are indeed compatible. My opinion is that the medical establishment tends to focus on the hard clinical stuff: how to treat an inpatient suffering SARS in hospital, but tends to forget on what can be done before hospitalization. Covid goes through phases and some treatments might work early while doing nothing or being counterproductive in later phases (and conversely). We want to say invermectin is good or invermectin is harmful but it can be both, depending on when and how it is administered and depending on how the trial was designed you might find different apparent outcomes. If you examine the scientific literature you must be sure you are comparing apples to apples. Not that I have made such exhaustive search on ivermectin or others but I have learnt not to give credit to any claim unless I do the analysis by myself or find someone that has done it legit.
Maybe the third time will be the charm. Here is a link to a ivermectin meta-analysis:
Jobs report adds fresh concerns over Monday’s unemployment cliff The Hill
From the article:
1). More than 9 million Americans are set to lose their unemployment benefits and millions more will see their weekly incomes plummet…
2).Three programs covering a combined 12.1 million people will end on Monday…
3)….there are still 5.4 million gig workers, contractors and others not covered by traditional unemployment insurance who will lose their weekly benefits early next week…
4). Another 3.9 million Americans receiving extended aid will see those payments disappear on Monday as well….
5). On top of that, the August jobs report released on Friday showed a significant slowdown in the rate of hiring, indicating a tougher job market in September.
Gee, wonder when the Fed is going to begin mircoscopic reductions of it’s “emergency” “temporary” Quantitative Easing (QE) program giving free money to it’s rich friends and the financial industry? If the Fed couldn’t even think about tapering in the Good Times how is going to in bad times? The coming months should produce prime headlines to fuel explosive increases in Stock and assets, because Wall Street knows how the Fed will react to all those bad headlines.
Funny how that works.
Oh…and just don’t call that inflation.
Am I missing something? (1) through (5) are all deflationary events.
What you’re missing is similar or almost identical to what our official measure of inflation misses or more accurately deliberately excludes: asset price inflation – homes, assets, thing wealthy folk own. That’s inflation. Just like you missed that Russia admitted Crimea in a totally legal manner and any other action would have been bad not just for Crimea but also for Russia and the world.
Dont forget hedonic adjustments also misconstruing what is really being measured by inflation
I was kind of hoping you would explain the connection you were making between deflationary events (1) through (5) and inflationary event QE. But thanks anyway for expressing your opinions on a wide array of topics.
The Fed is not only buying any kind of paper (whether credit worthy or not) and provides cash in exchange for it. That’s their QE. The corporations turn around and buy their own stock and then issue more debt to exchange it for cash! Nice deal!
Re: Crypto bezzle
Randomly watched a video by scammer-hunter Jim Browning last night. He had a giftcard-refund scammer flip on his boss and help Jim get access to the guy’s computer, so he could see directly what was happening to the gift cards, once the marks had delivered them. And guess what is essential in the laundering process? If you guessed Bitcoin, take a bow.
The scammers get people to buy gift-cards and hand them over to them. They then sell the cards for bitcoin, and then exchange the bitcoin for local currency on a site called Paxful. This giftcard–>bitcoin–>cash transaction isn’t cheap, and costs the scammers about 50% of the face value of the giftcards.
I would not be surprised if eventual forensic accounting of the bitcoin “ecosystem” shows it to be largely composed of criminal activities like this.
> The scammers get people to buy gift-cards and hand them over to them.
What is the incentive to buy a grift card and then hand it over to anyone else?
I admit to being naive about these scams and assume everything is a scam until proven otherwise.
What is the incentive to buy a grift card and then hand it over to anyone else?
I guess the incentive is a payment for each gift card, in addition to refunding the cost. Those thus employed probably have limited use for hundreds of cards entitling them to perfumes, books, electrical goods or whatever, and plenty of use for cash or Bitcoin, which I gather is the preferred method to purchase on the Dark Web.
One version of the scam is “Hello grandma? Remember me? I got mugged on vacation and I don’t have money or a ticket to get home, can you send me a gift card? Thanks, grandma!”
 Ian demonstrates that I’ve somewhat conflated scams, so many to keep track of!
“Let this sink in—if even elephants have the instinct to jump to save a kid in danger of death… why can’t ….”
Well, clearly those dumbos are neglecting to conduct the cost-benefits analysis.
Cost benefit analysis in government decisions in the US was introduced by Reagan in the 1980s, we have never looked back ….
Perhaps rescinding “cost-benefit analyses” from government decisions would be part of a New Deal Restoration.
Reagan’s definition of cost-benefit analysis:
It must cost a lot to the govt. It must not benefit people, only yuuge corporations.
Thanks for the link.
The link goes to “Ivermectin: a multifaceted drug of Nobel prize-honoured distinction with indicated efficacy against a new global scourge, COVID-19” a journal article from an Elsevier [New Microbes(?)] . The article is open-access and can be downloaded as a pdf file.
I am sorry if I seem pissy (bad sleep?) — links without context irritate me.
I might try and do better next time. I try to get that type in comments here but they don’t make through filtering system and no one will take out for me.
Keep seeing headlines about ongoing shipping port jams. The U.S. can’t unload the stuff it buys from other nations fast enough to get thru supply chains. Biden has even appointed a new person to fix the problem.
Wouldn’t one solution be to make more stuff right here in the U.S. instead having to import so much? Why that might even help fix some other problems, too. Things like more jobs at better wages and less climate stress from using so much fuel to move things around the planet.
Instead of appointing a new Shipping Czar and people in government who’s job is to figure how to import things from other nations faster, how about:
Biden Appoints Made In America Czar
First thing the Made In America Czar might do is end all those tax subsidies to relocate US business in foreign nations…for starters.
Never let a crisis go to waste:
Forget Finance. Supply-Chain Management Is the Pandemic Era’s Must-Have MBA Degree [Business Week]
Which is hilarious, since for decades business schools have been pushing the financialization of the economy
and have marginalized and downgraded operations research and operations management departments.
Let a thousand Jensen and Murphys bloom.
And now that the damage has been done, they want to cash in on the injuries they’ve inflicted.
Withdrawing America from the Free Trade Agreements, Organizations and Treaties would give such a Made In America Czar some policy space and protection within which to operate.
Perhaps Free Trade Abolition and Protection Restoration might be something a New Deal Revival Party might run on.
Goooooood Mooooooorning Fiatnam!
The American Dream of buying an overvalued tired old used home on a 30 years to life sentence was what the unit was fighting for, the greatest generation of money. It was agreed that saving money in the bank instead, was strictly for losers.
Tim Jackson puts it pretty well:
(Quoted in Raworth, Doughnut Economics, p. 50)
In the wilderness, money is just ballast and won’t buy you a thing, although a Nickel can come in handy for opening a Garcia bear canister, so it isn’t a complete loss.
RE: “So this is how humanity falls”
Apparently one of the only constants in the american “experience” that covid has failed to destroy is hyperbole.
Having said that, it would seem that “humanity” falling would be more suitably applied to lori lightfoot’s decree that disabled children should suffer since some bus drivers refuse to obey.
Pathos goes back to Aristotle, and performative garment-rending further back still.
Still, let-them-eat-Uber moments like this… does Lightfoot not recognize that she (by which I mean her political machine and its slush funds, as political bosses are all property, no substance) doesn’t get paid if kids don’t show up, and that fines that can’t be paid, won’t be paid?
The boss is watching and rise of “tattleware” installs. This is not surprising at all, not in 2021. As millions resigned earlier this year, they will return shortly if not already. Being able to track where you go on the interwebs has been available for quite some time already.
Here’s a riddle however. Whose role is it exactly to watch all the remote employees and monitor productivity levels? It sounds like a devious HR position.
We could do with some guerrilla software to monitor management via their own security cameras, webcams and phones, seeing which fancy restaurants they spend their extended ‘working’ lunchbreaks in ratcheting up huge bills on expenses, snorting powders in the C-suite bathrooms, sexually harassing their support staff, and so on. I expect any such app or program would prove wildly popular.
I would like to listen in on a few directors meetings and after meetings to get the skinny on when and how big the next share buybacks will be.
This isn’t new: lots of IT contractors have to agree to use spyware in order to land a contract.
Sounds like a marketing opportunity for the merchants of AI Algorithm filters or hunters or whatever we call those things.
My sister told me a McDonalds in Moab Utah had a sign offering $19 an hour for new hires.
Its an interesting bit of inflation, that.
In the most excellent tome: The Great Depression-A Diary the writer of the diary-Benjamin Roth, related that when FDR opened the floodgates of money leading to higher wage jobs, it was pretty much offset by an equal or greater increase in prices of consumer goods.
I think we have the same situation going on now…
Yes, it’s a pity one can’t sit on a hoard of needlessly expensive fiat and have it grow in real value via looting the young* and via free-riding on the enterprise and risk-taking of others. /sarc
Not that FDR did not (though with expressed serious reservations) sign into law government guarantees of privately created bank deposits – a blunder of monumental proportions.
*via a fiat supply that does not keep up with population growth.
Supply and demand works? $19 is the market clearing price?
Visited Moab once two years ago, my brother dragging us along for his soon to be 50 birthday. I enjoyed the visit, given time constraints I did not take full advantage of what the location offers.
That is not a cheap tourist spot. I enjoyed Hurricane, UT a little more.
With one crucial difference: FDR unleased the floodgates to pay for infrastructure. This iteration the floodgates are opened to line banker and lobbyist pockets
” How American Environmentalism Failed”. Interesting read.
I am unconvinced Wilderness is the problem. I’d lay it on the number of humans, and their technological trajectory, values, patterns of behavior and unaligned disparate choices.
I am glad we have a few sacred spaces where wildlife may find refuge and persist beyond our species, to then re-inhabit our wasteland.
https://www.alternet.org/2021/09/civilization/ Sobering reflection on where our labors have ‘gotten us’
Highly recommend, “The World Without Us” Alan Weisman https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/248787.The_World_Without_Us
It is relevant to the post I think that in nearly all countries the environmental movement tends to have a distinct philosophy depending on its origins. In much of South and Central America, for example, the environmental movement is much more bottom up, presumably because it arose from the real concerns of rural communities. In European countries it is often associated with educated urban radicals, which doesn’t help much when it comes to persuading rural or working class communities to join in.
Astute observation. India’s packaging initiatives came out of the Populous as I recall.
Important for any Resistance and Organizing.
Both 350.org and XR are focusing on Public Awareness of the Public Costs being transferred from Private Profit Centers to the Public.
Sam Haselby’s tweet on the the NYT Editorial board losing the meaning of “The American Dream” is spot on.
I would also ask the question: how is it that the ‘American Dream’ transformed from stories of millions of middle class families raising children, owning their home, and living better off, and longer, than their parents to stories of reality show Angel Investors blessing hundreds of business pitchers and house flippers so they too can waterski with dolphins?
At most, Haselby is complaining about the elite PMC saying the quiet part out loud. Liberalism more than any other ideology depends on keeping the quiet parts quiet.
A better question is how has aspirational nonsense, such as these fantasies of consumption and debt, become a “dream” in the first place. It goes back to religious orders and their belief in their right of forcible imposition (and therefore realization) of their false values on others. If we just called and responded to these impositions as the aggressions that they are, and not only when “our” elites don’t like the outcome, we would be a much better, saner species.
“fantasies of consumption and debt…goes back to religious orders and their belief in their right of forcible imposition (and therefore realization) of their false values on others.”
I agree wholeheartedly with your characterization of the American
NightmareDream, but I’m having a problem making the connection to monasticism. While I’m happy to blame the Enlightenment in part on Christianity, it’s tough for me to see the connection between the Madmen and the Franciscans. Please explain if you would.
The connection between the two is that both involve oligarchs dictating the rules, then picking the winners and losers. Submit, and be rewarded with being allowed to live in their vision, or be crushed with the other losers. Halesby spoke to the condition on the world stage, and I was bringing it back to the home front. I imagine that the ‘Ugly American’ sentiment in far away cultures is received much like how struggling family farmers and coal miners feel watching celebrity aristocrats belittling contestants for not having “enough killer instinct” or for not being “hungry enough”.
Oh, and Happy Labor Day.
No disagreement that oligarchies are an affront to our sense of fairness and justice, but my question was directed at hunkerdown’s tying “fantasies of consumption and debt,” a nice, concise characterization of the American Dream, and religious orders. Orders like the Franciscans were called mendicant orders because they had taken a vow of poverty and were dependent on the generosity of others for their daily bread, hardly a fantasy of consumption and debt. It’s true that the Dominicans, another mendicant order, turned out to be quite entrepreneurial with the whole indulgences scam, but that was a matter of hypocrisy and corruption, not a direct product of the original intent.
Maybe we might consider jettisoning the American Dream for the time being. We must somehow bring human consumption levels down–way down–while still taking care of sisters and brothers needing things like clean drinking water. Vows of poverty, with or without the context of religion, might be just the thing in the global North.
Agree with you on consumption being out of control, especially in our Western Cultures. As I watch the world go by in the America that I grew up in, what I feel the greatest loss for, is the loss of community.
Community offers its own rewards by being part of each other, with an unspoken requirement to be for each other too. Community has a moderating effect on consumption. Conspicuous consumption is judged unseemly, and disrespectful to others. Without community, people become isolated and can easily become hungry for stuff to fill the void, and to hope that having enough stuff will make us more desirable; also to end the isolation. Unfortunately, we are increasingly taught to be obedient consumers. I believe that we will ultimately awake from this destructive delusion.
For a good idea of the endgame of a consumer society read Fred Pohl’s Space Merchants and/or The Merchants War. Neither was written recently.
Since no effort will be made toward a sustainable economy, the future looks nasty. I am too old for it to do much to me, but neither do I want my grandchildren to pay the price of their forebears greedy behavior.
To call the Knights Templar a religious order is a stretch, I suppose. :) I meant orders (as in social hierarchies) that are religious. Please pardon my misuse of the term. (Would that Trump had had the cojones to pull a Philip IV on his neocons, though!)
The trouble with vows of poverty is they don’t actually guarantee that the elite starve alongside you, and will therefore run for longer and kill more than is absolutely necessary. I’m pretty sure you would agree that a grand or small narrative based on reproducing inequity at all cost is entitled or deserves to reproduce…
What a pity that Elizabeth Holmes will probably be too busy to join the board…
“Religious exemptions to vaccine mandates could test ‘sincerely held beliefs’ “NBC
Israel (a theocracy) seemingly ready to do monthly shots if cases still keep rising – because I guess that it what you have to do if a vaccine is “working”?
Then this in the USA with religious exemptions because I guess nothing should interfere with the rapture?
Well, there will be large control groups for the experiment…at least there’s that.
I once saw a heron do exactly this on the Dodder River in Dublin. I saw him stab into some rushes and swallow something rapidly – the wiggling tail disappearing down its gullet revealed it to be a young rat. It reminded me a little of someone slurping their spaghetti.
I had to laugh as I read that headline as; “Heroin becomes NYC Icon.” My first thought was; “It always has been. What’s changed?”
Gives a whole new meaning to the present day exhortation; “Get the jab.”
Clyburn is a crook and doesn’t care about Black people only himself.
What will it take to get Black people to not care about Clyburn?
It will take the “passing” of an entire generation of Black Church Leaders.
Don’t they raise up entire generations of younger Black Church Leaders in their image?
And isn’t Clyburn raising up a whole younger generation of Clyburns in his image?
“Funeral by funeral” won’t bring any progress to this March along the Moebius Strip of futility.
Something will have to break the cycle in a very disruptive way.
Perhaps a sad realization by huge chunks of non-Black America that the plurality and perhaps the majority of Black America is really deeply reactionary at the cultural level and therefor reactionary at the political-economic level, and will seek to destroy every Sanders figure or even Sanders-figure-lite which dares to emerge.
Perhaps pro Social Democracy supporters among Young Black America will have to leave
Black Church America behind on its iceberg and let it drift out to sea.
So I’m trying to get an emergency food larder together. A few observations:
1. I’m going to go with flour over rice or other dried grains looking for that complete protein. For one, it takes a lot less water to make a small dough-ball than a cup of rice. Bread cooks faster too, especially in a pan.
2. I’m going with shortening as a source of fats. We all remember that can of Crisco in Grandma’s kitchen. She may still have it, the stuff lasts, it may have outlasted Grandma.
3. Lots of dried herbs and spices.
4. I’m packing my fridge with dry essentials and buying small quantities of fresh food as I go. Most folks don’t think of their fridges as a cupboard but they work just fine. Pull out the crisper drawers to make room to stack stuff if needed.
5. Tea bags over coffee. The smell of coffee carries and I don’t want under-caffeinated mobs storming my patio. And tea without milk is bearable, not so much coffee. Plus, less mess.
6. Forget the baking yeast! Forget the wild yeast! Flatbreads are the way to go!
7. Bucket o’ multivitamins!
Any suggestions are appreciated. Off to price semi-automatic crossbows!
I once found myself sitting by an Asian-American professor of nutrition. I asked him, since everyone knows brown rice is better for you, why do Asian cultures use white rice?
He said brown rice is most healthy for Americans because they get so little fiber but traditionally Asians got plenty of fiber from a vegetable based diet. What they needed was calories villages could store (and armies can move with).
All stored grain will be found by bugs eventually. White rice does not have enough nutrition to allow the bugs’s larvae to develop so you do not get an infestation. In brown rice they can reproduce and you will lose it all to an infestation but in white rice you need only pick out a few adults who can only cause a bit of damage.
So, don’t try to store whole grains for emergency use. If you do, it’s an emergency so I guess you won’t mind eating wevils. Learn wild plant foods for fiber and vitamins in the mid term.
Thank you very much for this information, it’s good to know. I’m storing around 20 lbs. of whole grain flour which sounds like a weevil-target. I keep it in my fridge but I’m going to seal it in plastic bags as well. And I will eat the little fu(|<€rs if I have to.
I going to try an experiment later. I’m going to take the juice from a can of beans and see how much bread I can make with it. I figure there is at least a 1/4 cup. That, 3/4 cup flour, 1 tsp of shortening, and 1/2 tsp of salt will make a dense but nutritious dough. This way, an emergency meal would require no input of fresh water.
I try to rotate my grains and whole flours (often in jars) through the freezer to kill any critters that got in. If well sealed and done often it works well.
Legumes are harder to bug proof without modern tech. I suspect the hulled orange lentils may store better (from a bug perspective) than ones with skins but there is so much goodness in a lentil bugs might not need the skin.
With freezing and good jars or seal-a-meals storing grains whole might be better than as flours since the oils etc start to go bad quickly one the natural packaging that is a seed is destroyed. All you need is a grinder, which can be a pain in the elbow. A bonus is you could grow the seeds out if they are open pollinated and were somewhat locally sourced or at least from a similar climate.
You might want to get into making Kimchee type stuff. Good as a nutritious stored vegetable. Just keep the water seal full. get a couple crocks or have a pottery friend make them. You want un-iodized salt for that.
Unfortunately weevils can eat through plastic bags:
I just freeze any rice/beans that come into my house. I dont think weevils are natural to the area here so I wouldnt expect one slip in from outside
Drained chickpea juice can replace eggs. It’s a win win if you want to be able to bake.
Brown rice isnt more nutritious for you when you consider the arsenic in it (unless you can find some sourced from outside the US)
I heard it was because food processors found a way to extract rice oil to the bran and then marketed the remaining white rice to the upper classes and it percolated through society.
However agree completely about the vegetables. Here in Korea, the traditional diet involves a wider range of vegetables than many Western European diets.
This is one reason why Golden Rice failed imo. I wonder if the yields and lack of adaptability to differing environments were also problems.
We discovered an alternative to brown rice called Haiga rice that we like very much. It cooks in 20 minutes like white rice but nutritionally is closer to brown rice as the germ is not removed. https://chicorice.com/haiga-mai
If you’re fortunate enough to be near an asian market, many of them carry it.
I have read that small amounts of diatomaceous earth mixed through an amount of stored grain can prevent weevil or other insect eggs present from hatching into a successful infestation because the sharp edges of the diatomaceous earth particles scratch/cut the waxy cuticle of the larvae causing very fast death by dehydration before the hatched larvae can grow.
I wonder if there are dried herbs/leaves which are insect repellent enough to keep insects out of stored grain. But I don’t know.
The various Asian rice-growing societies had to store whole unaltered rice-grains long enough to be able to plant them again next planting season. How did they do that?
Don’t forget dried lentils (easy to soak to minimize cooking time) and cooking oil. Salt.
Thanks! I’ve got them and dried black beans, approximately 12 pounds. I’m starting to stock up on canned ones now. I’ve got iodized salt but I’m going to use shortening cause it lasts forever, even opened.
Nuts (assuming no allergies). Not cheap, but very compact. Besides the protein and calories,
assorted mixed nuts contain a range of naturally occurring vitamins and micronutrients.
Since the oils eventually go rancid, only useful for short- and mid-term zombie apocalypses.
Nuts are correlated to longevity I hear. Makes sense as when you eat nuts and seeds you’re eating life itself, in a way.
Crisco shortening ingredients:
Soybean Oil, Fully Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Palm Oil, Mono And Diglycerides, TBHQ And Citric Acid (Antioxidants).
If it outlasts grandma I think it may not be food.
I’d rather try digging a cold cellar in the back yard and keep sealed tubs of ghee. At least, it seems to me that ghee lasts longer than butter.
Agreed, it’s not optimal to say the least but it is a food adjacent shelf-stable source of fats. From what I’ve read it will long outlast any oil and it’s denser therefore requiring less space. I’ve got a tub of organic shortening that is “best” before January ‘22, I’m going to see if I can get something a bit sturdier without descending to the depths of Crisco. As to cold cellars stocked with ghee, I don’t really like it that much and I have an apartment building in my back yard. I use olive oil when I make Indian food.
My grandmother used lard. It was my WW II generation mother who switched to Crisco. It appeared around the same time as Wonder Bread. Plastic, fantastic food.
Marty Balin, “Plastic Fantastic Lover”
Coconut oil lasts the longest before going rancid (like a year and a halfish), and you can get refined coconut oil if you don’t want everything to taste like coconuts. And honey lasts forever.
I love bread of all kinds but I would absolutely be down with this. Plus there’s a surprising amount of diversity in flatbread.
One bullet and a reliable gun.
Hard liquor, chocolate, and .22 shells for barter.
This path… OMG…
And don’t let anyone outside the immediate family know that you have these items for as long as possible. When bartering such items, try to do so in locations where you are not known. Then try hard as H— not to be followed to your lair. Anything worth bartering is also worth stealing.
In a book about the rolling epidemics of European diseases that ravaged the Amerindian populations, starting in 1492, there was a plate showing a picture book history from a Plains Indian of the 1800s. It documented a wave of what was probably small pox that decimated a village. It showed social conditions degenerating so badly that it pictured a person defecating while holding a bow and arrow at the ready. A bit hyperbolic? Who knows?
The veneer of civilization is easily cracked by disaster to show the tribal savage beneath.
Spices and condiments, totally! Starving to death is bad, but being bored to death may be worse.
Re food storage: Stored grains, beans, etc., may develop pantry moths and other pests etc even if sealed in glass. Even things not so affected by pests will go stale, eg spices, coffee, tea, etc.. For best longevity, vaccuum seal all perishables and you don’t even need electricity to do that. For us wheat gluten is a problem so no flour for us, but bulgar might work for you (you don’t cook it, you just pour boiling water on it and let it sit). I do have a wide range of whole grains and legumes stored in 1.9l jars, vac sealed, for cooking, grinding, or sprouting. Dried veg, esp leafies, boughten, gifted, home-grown, or foraged, is dried (I use my microwave, can’t be bothered w/dehydrators) and vac-sealed in Mason jars.
For food preparation, I have a manual coffee grinder which I love :) (there are advantages to drinking it black!) plus canned milk and powdered milk and creamer for Those People. I have a manual food processor, a mouli-mill, a hand-mixer, and others, next up is a Wonder Mill Jr (wheeeeee!) A good source for manual tools and appliances is Lehmann’s, a Mennonite and Amish supply house.
A little bit of electricity is nice, a couple of panels on your roof, balcony or backyard running 12-volt DC (no need to transform or any of that stuff) will run a few 12V lights, recharge computers and phones, and maybe run a water pump or even a fridge or cooler. There are a ton of 12volt DC devices available, see ones for cars, trucks, boats, and RV’s, if you have room for the panels. Solar cooking is an option on sunny days, of course, and barbecue!
You will need safe water, and boiling won’t always cut it. I *love* my Berkey water filter, and there are many other good ones out there, from large family size to ones the size of a travel mug. Learn about rocket stoves for heat and cooking, they will burn about anything incl leaves twigs. We made our two, but you can buy them as well.
We will have to shelter in place if TSHTF, our housebound BFF who lives here is not portable, so we have dug in based on that. “Shelter in place”, that’s the ticket for us. I also try to consider that my neighbours may need help, too.
Best of luck, and let us hope we never have to use this stuff.
Oh lucky you! A Berkey! (I balk at the price, since we don’t have that much “disposable income.”)
Got the rocket stove. Bloody thing runs on just about anything that doesn’t try to run away.
If you don’t have a farm to bug out to, “Shelter in Place” does just about cover the bases.
We do consider the possibility of a “Slow Crash.”
Be safe, hull down!
Berkeys are a fine drip water filter, but can only filter 5,000 gallons of water versus 39,000 for a Katadyn Ceradyn drip filter for about the same money.
This is the bestest commenteriat.
I don’t know anything about Berkeys or Katadyns, but you might want to check these out. They’re cheap and they work – just don’t drop them or bash them with hard objects. You almost certainly can’t buy them in the USA, but you might be able to adapt the technology to churn out similar stuff!
This is great. A simple, efective “low tech” method. Just goes to show that “newer” isn’t always “better.”
I’m a big fan of mason jars, the half gallon ones for bulkier things. And I have a vacuum sealer that has an accessory attachment, and I have the wide mouth mason jar accessory. Stuff sealed in a vacuum in glass seems to last basically forever, no oxygen for rancidity or bugs. It lets me buy 50 lb bags of flax seeds and lentils and rice without worrying about it going bad, and they are reusable (sometimes they will lose their vacuum if they aren’t heat sealed, but usually not, especially with the ring on.). I think that if they are sealed hot enough that they might even not need to be refrigerated, but I usually freeze them if they are soup or creamed corn, they can break, but very rarely do as long as liquid isn’t too near the shoulder. I freeze ramps in jars like that and just take them out of the freezer and dig the frozen ramps out with a fork directly into the pan, then put the rest back in the freezer. A chest freezer is good. I would think that ghee or coconut oil would last a very long time even without refrigeration in a vacuum. Sunlight is strong stuff that can penetrate jars.
Flour goes bad faster than whole grains do. What if you were to get a hand-grinder for turning the grains of your choice into flour as needed?
Thank you all for the comments! Processing…
I can’t recommend Red Feather brand canned butter from NZ enough, it has a shelf life of 10 years and tastes better than most fresh butter, that good!
In my experience whole grains–of whatever type–keep better than flour. I would not try to keep flour for more than half a year. I have kept whole grains–mainly rice–several years without problem.
Get a mill and grind the flour as you need it.
I like glass jars for storage. Bugs do not get in–or out!
I have a fair amount of experience with food storage for long sailing voyages (my longest voyage without any resupply was 3.5 months).
I see a lot of good suggestions already, so will only add a couple of comments:
1) Between flour and rice, I’d stock up on both. I love fresh bread, and make it daily at sea, but variety is very nice.
I leave the flour in the bag it comes in (small bags make this easier), and store the bags of flour in a ziploc freezer bag with a bay leaf or two to discourage weevils. For reasons I don’t understand, there don’t tend to be weevils in flours bought in North America, but there certainly are in flours bought elsewhere.
6) Dried yeast keeps for years (though is really finicky about temperature, so can be difficult to use depending on your heating/cooling systems), sourdough starter is easy to make, and both give variety over flatbreads/bannocks/soda-breads.
You didn’t mention sprouts. They’re an easy way to get some fresh food.
“Meet Altos Labs, Silicon Valley’s latest wild bet on living forever MIT Technology Review”
2030: Jeff Bezos and Yuri Milner announce that their research has been successful, an anti-aging immortality drug has been synthesized, and they are now both going to be young and live forever.
2031: Jeff Bezos atomized in horrifying rocket-ship crash, Yuri Milner squashed by asteroid impact in Russia. Technicians were unable to re-assemble their million bits and they were both pronounced permanently dead.
It seems one cannot live forever, no matter how hard one tries.
Years ago I read a sci-fi tale in which the author described the development of an age-reversing treatment whose main drawback was that when a significant number of it’s recipients looked in the mirror afterwards, they were moved to suicide. They became hopelessly depressed at the thought of having to live life all over again knowing what they now know. I doubt Bezos is that reflective but the notion of “living with” immortality always gave me pause.
“I doubt Bezos is that reflective but the notion of “living with” immortality always gave me pause.”
Well said. Gives me pause too. I scratch my head in puzzlement whenever people like Bezos express a desire to live forever. Have they read nothing, have they not pondered the question of mortality? Do they not know that death is the very natural end to life, that everything—everything—dies eventually, including the earth and all life on it, the sun, and in the cosmologically distant future even the universe itself?
There’s no escaping death in the long run, and faith, philosophy, and acceptance should be one’s consolations, not mad pursuits after the chimera of immortality.
If you want to live forever, you haven’t lived yet.
Qin Shihuangdi, the first Han emperor, pursued immortality. He also constructed an elaborate tomb with an army to protect it. Conflicted?
Tiresias was granted immortality by the gods. He did not reckon on growing older and more decrepit for eternity.
Midas wanted gold. He got gold.
The theme of overweening desires is a staple of literature. It never ends well.
On Quin Shihuangdi (The First Emperor). Here is how one of his stele (carved up there in the mountain, so everyone could see) ends:
One followed receptively His sage intent.
The multitude of officials recited His merits,
Asked to carve (this text) into stone,
To express and transmit the constant model.
The “constant model”, like his mausoleum, is still there, “all-under-heaven” (tianxia).
Swift had something to say about the folly of the “live forever” crowd with his Struldbrugs.
“The con is the oldest game there is. But it’s also one that is remarkably well suited to the modern age. If anything, the whirlwind advance of technology heralds a new golden age of the grift. Cons thrive in times of transition and fast change, when new things are happening and old ways of looking at the world no longer suffice. Technology doesn’t make us more worldly or knowledgeable. It doesn’t protect us. It’s just a change of venue for the same old principles of confidence. What are you confident in? The con artist will find those things where your belief is unshakeable and will build on that foundation to subtly change the world around you. But you will be so confident in the starting point that you won’t even notice what’s happened.”
The modern day search for the fabled ‘fountain of youth’ and/or various magical elixirs that grant immortality [The historical and cross cultural origins and their basis in myth are explored in the following
The Fountain of Youth–E. Washburn Hopkins– Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society , 1905, Vol. 26 (1905), pp. 1-67
appears to be a (Or just one more?) very technologically sophisticated Silicon Valley confidence trick. Noting very carefully that it is hardly coincidence and hardly surprising that “The rich people are defining the terms of the longevity conversation and have enhanced access to these technologies,” and “There are people who want to consider aging a disease for the purposes of going to regulatory agencies and having a specific drug able to treat a specific symptom, which you can only do if it’s recognized as a disease.”
It is probably unnecessary to add an addendum to my comment above, as everyone is most likely already intimately familiar with the basic background assumptions. That is,
1. The desire to develop anti-aging, or immortality elixirs is strictly a Silicon Valley profit making business proposition that feeds off of multiple ‘negative’ realities, such as the human fear(s) associated with aging and death. The MSM PR is both free advertising and an advance marketing agenda for the idea that aging as a ‘disease’. That is, it is advertising that is already focused on both a target audience and one more incredibly vast and willing market that is ripe for exploitation. Perhaps it is even the case that the words and the accompanying displays of mock benevolence and altruism are only in the eye of the avaricious billionaire beholder, as they are meant to be.
2. The Smithsonian Magazine notes that, “There’s already a huge disparity between the life spans of rich and poor Americans, and critics of the new longevity research worry the gap may only grow wider.” A fairly confident assumption would be, that those without deep financial ability will not be freely indulging in the consumption of costly (to research and develop.) immortality, anti-aging, or life extending elixirs. Why might that be the case?
3. It has been said that, the personality of an individual and their real intentions are honestly exhibited through their actions and not their words. For example, a sample of the public record states that:
“We’re not treated as human beings, we’re not even treated as robots,” one former employee says in the above scene. “We’re treated as part of the data stream.”
Supposing that people like Bezos succeeds. Have they really thought it through? So the human race continues to slowly evolve while Bezos and their friends stay the same. Give a few tens of thousands of years then our descendants will regard them like we regard the Neanderthals right now and will probably laugh at them as a joke with bad punch line.
Singapore has vaccinated 80% of its residents, and yet they are seeing this: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/singapore-2000-new-daily-covid-cases-october-lawrence-wong-132318306.html?.tsrc=fp_deeplink
What’s next? Herd immunity like Israel? ;)
it is pretty obvious by now that the vaccines do not stop cases to any significant degree. Iceland, Israel, many others are illustrative.
They DO seem to prevent deaths though the numbers are likely not quite what they seem…i am still amazed that there has been no adjustment to this “new reality”. You might ask yourself…
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”
Many politicians have “links” to big pharma.
So far coronavirus transmission is human to human by breathing in the airborne virus. No exposure to viral contaminated air — no virus transmission. If two persons come close together but are not shedding the virus, no transmission. The problem is the infected person shedding the virus.
mRNA vaccines including J & J that use the Wuhan spike protein to induce immunity are non-sterilizing. They have no effect on transmission. Indeed, the higher levels of the Delta variant found in the vaccinated could actually help transmission. A possible reason for the high number of COVID cases in highly vaccinated nations like Israel/Singapore/Iceland. Vaccinated or not, if an infected person comes in contact with others, vaccinated or not, transmission is possible and likely. The delta variant is so contagious. Crowds invite super spreader outbreaks. Herd immunity is impossible using mRNA vaccines alone. Vaccine mandates and passports are pointless.
Public health measures cut transmission by finding and isolating persons shedding the virus. Despite cleaning theater, fomite transfer of coronavirus so far is minimal. Masks and social distance mitigate transmission. They lower the risk of going out in public if one must. School and work ventilation and air filtration also lower transmission
Of all the glowing initial claims made for mRNA vaccines, preventing death and severe illness is all that is left. Yet, I have not seen any reports documenting this. One would think that the death rate of hospitalized vaccinated and unvaccinated COVID-19 patients is the most basic kind of data that hospitals and public health officials would be collecting but apparently not.
By depending only on mRNA vaccines, and giving up on good public health practices; the US government, no matter how many for-profit booster shots are injected, is intentionally letting coronavirus rip through the nation so that pharmaceutical companies can increase their profits.
Yet, China, Taiwan and New Zealand are combating the delta variant to a standstill by using every tool available; in particular, proven public health measures.
This is not correct. A new paper says effective viral loads of the vaccinated are lower (as in the virus is somewhat attenuated in the vaccinated) but as our GM said, the practical difference isn’t worth touting. 2.0 v. 1.8.
You might not have meant to imply that J&J is an mRNA, because it’s not. Yep, vaccination is but one in an array of tools needed to control this virus, which in my opinion, had all nations taken it as seriously as some Asian nations did, may well have been controllable. Too late now. For whatever reason, every time Tony the Fauci and Walensky reach into their tool bag of tricks they whip out the same rusty old hammer, vaccination, even though there are many other tools in the bag.
As far as vaccinated vs. unvaccinated, it makes sense that unquestionably the vaccinated are sheddin’ and spreadin’ the virus but perhaps at a somewhat lower rate. However, I’m far more afraid of the vaccinated amongst my acquaintances not due to their vaccine status, but their changed behavior. They’ve shed their masks, not isolating or social distancing and partying like it’s 1999. The Labor Day weekend has been a nightmare. I try to explain why I’m still playing the Hermit to no avail, the propaganda has been spread too thick and people are just tired of this $h!t. My fear is great that this winter will be worse than last. Lest there be any doubt, I’m vaccinated (J&J) and a vaccine advocate contemplating a booster, but know vaccines alone ain’t gonna get her done.
I attribute any confusion to old age and an excellent propaganda (marketing) campaign.
The mRNA code that assembles the Wuhan coronavirus protein spike is substantially the same for all three COVID vaccines being injected the USA. Except, the J & J vaccine is a human bioengineered gene (dual stranded DNA code) that is incorporated into an incompetent adenovirus. The Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines instead have a lipid capsule that protects them and carries the mRNA into human cells. The gene modified J & J vaccine does what virus do; gets inside human cell nucleus but instead of writing viral mRNA it produces spike protein mRNA. The J & J mRNA passes from the nucleus into the cell and acts there the same the encapsulated mRNA.
Yes, the CDC is confusing. “They [CDC] found that the amount of virus in the noses and throats of vaccinated infected people was nearly “indistinguishable” from what was found in unvaccinated people, confirming what some experts have suspected. The increased viral load associated with the Delta variant appears to make vaccinated people equal spreaders of the virus.” This implies that Delta Variant increases the viral load for the vaccinated compared to earlier variants. Except the original Wuhan, European, and American Variants are all long gone; out competed by the Delta (Indian) variant. Vaccination now has no effect on coronavirus transmission, if it ever did. Vaccination mandates and vaccine passports are pointless.
CDC still states “COVID-19 vaccines protect people from getting infected and severely ill, and significantly reduce the likelihood of hospitalization and death”. Only, today, is there a slightest hint of a downturn in COVID hospitalizations and deaths. Otherwise, current graph spikes has been identical to the ones before the introduction of the mRNA vaccines. This downturn just may be due to the mRNA vaccines. But so far there has only been marketing, no proof.
Do we need humans for that job? Automation booms after COVID
When the energy needed to run the automation machinery runs down and then out, the automation machines will run down and then out.
Then labor will be much more by hand again.
In the meantime, people biased towards labor might buy from real-live-employee-staffed companies instead of robotised ones, when they can. And go through a real-cashier line, not a robo-checker line, at the supermarket. etc.
Well somebody’s gotta maintain el roboto. Nonetheless, I hate automated checkout and no way am I getting fast food from a robot. Who do I complain to when the bag reveal shows a fish sandwich instead of the double beef burger I ordered? My first question now at the drive through is gonna be, ‘are you a robot?’
Oh, those uppity workers again. Gotta rattle their cages a bit so they stop asking for the signing bonuses. (It’s a good time to be in the market for a public-facing service job, if you have some reason not to worry about COVID.)
That might explain why so many fast food chains seem to be rationalizing their menus in quick succession.
Mischevious trolls could figure out how to give all the fast food robots a Stuxnet infection.
Regarding employers use of surveillance software to monitor the activities of employees working from home during this terrible pandemic, it would be useful to know the motivations of the employers and managers who use these tools; to limit the specific types of information that can be collected; establish the necessity of Why it is being collected; and how that information is being used, protected and retained. Besides profound privacy and other civil rights concerns, I suspect those doing the monitoring are frequently confusing employees’ actions with performance results. Seems to me the default assumption is misplaced and there is a clear need for strict regulation of these corporate surveillance activities, compliance audits, and strict employer liability for abuse or failure to protect employees’ personal information.
Related article a couple of week ago by Alysha Love on the New York Stock Exchange website that included information some might find counterintuitive. Salient extract:
“… Around 9 in 10 (87%) workers have put in longer hours during the pandemic, averaging an extra two hours a day, according to Asana’s Anatomy of Work Index 2021. Over the course of a year, those employees are effectively putting in dozens of additional workdays — likely at a detriment to their well-being.
The world’s knowledge workers are also averaging less than seven hours of sleep each night, according to the global survey of 13,000 professionals. All of this likely contributes to less balance between work life and home life, diminished well-being and a rise in burnout.
“It’s no wonder workers are burned out,” says Alex Hood, chief product officer at Asana. “Employees have been trying to balance the demands of their home lives, which were completely upended by the pandemic, with the fuzzy boundaries, constant pings from email and chat, and lack of clarity about what needs to be done at work. Businesses need to be proactive to take care of their teams.”
That burnout may be steering the workforce toward a negative outcome for companies in 2021: loss of productivity.
“Unfortunately, the burnout numbers we have been seeing have been steadily rising since May 2020 and are likely to have a massive negative impact on businesses,” says Sahar Yousef, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley”…
If you are going to be finished with that company, then on the wall behind where you are working online hang your collection of shrunken heads and see if anybody mentions them.
Great Andrew Cockburn on the Cuba missile crisis. Those who think the mainstream press used to be more sober need only look at the Kennedy hagiography of the sixties. Both LBJ and NIxon seem it have spent a lot of time obsessing over it.
Treat people with respect, give them a chance, and they will work miracles for you.
Maybe the snoopy managers should try this.
And pay them well enough!
More developed nation gloating over those coup d’etat undeveloped nations and their undemocratic traditions.
Guinea coup: Soldiers detain President Conde, dissolve government Deutsche Welle
Ontario CA coup: Public Health Officials capture Premier Doug Ford, dissolve government
See link below(start at 3:40) where Premier Doug Ford elected ruler of 13.6 million people admits his capture and capitulation to unelected Public Health Officials:
“I’m gonna be very frank, there’s no politician in this country, that’s gonna disagree with their chief medical officer, they just aren’t gonna do it, they might as well throw a rope around their neck and jump off a bridge. They’re done. I’m telling you the facts. It is very simple.”
Canada has Big Big Pharma connections amongst other Global things. (By the way, does Doug look like a prisoner in Stockholm?)
In talks with my brother in law who works for a huge trucking firm, he tells me that most all the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Level Sensors are made in Malaysia, and the factory is shut down there, and this is a part which needs to be replaced about every year or so, and an ungodly amount of big rigs are down for lack of a nail, er sensor. The same sensor is used on buses & RV’s, which are also down for the count.
Free Trade strikes again.
Thank you for the article by N.C. Asthana in The Wire, an Indian publication, concerning the ties between Pakistan’s ISI and the Taliban. So many layers in this hall of mirrors, including the actions of the ISI’s counterparts in the U.S., India and other nations, that it’s difficult to know where to even begin to discover the truth. In any event, I am grateful that after so many years of conflict our current president had the political courage to end our military involvement in Afghanistan. I remember Pat Tillman.
Michael K Williams, who played Omar in The Wire, has died ?
very sad news. he created a memorable, enduring character.
Saw that earlier, very sad. Best acting of ‘The Wire’s many good actors. Had seen several interviews with him, seemed like a decent guy in real life as well.
Oh H—. The “Enforcement of Conformity” has commenced. At the end of the short statement is a link button to “Submit a Violation.” In other words, snitches, credentialled ones.
The use of informants is a hallmark of a police state. Dissent is now criminalized.