Links 10/18/2021

Britain is now facing a pie crisis amid ‘perfect storm’ of foil tins running low due to rising global aluminium prices, labour shortages and inflation Daily Mail. Oh no! Running out of pie.

Dormice favoured by Italian mafia seized in drugs raid BBC. Reminds me that Francois Mitterrand ate ortolan for his last meal in 1996. See this NPR account, Francois Mitterrand’s Last Meal.

Jet Fuel Made From This Crop Could Cut Emissions by Up to 68%, New Analysis Proves Science Alert (chuck l)

Less ‘Prestigious’ Journals Can Contain More Diverse Research The Wire

9/11 Cinema: The Antiwar Film Audiences Were Never Supposed To See The Dissenter

Revealed: more than 120,000 US sites feared to handle harmful PFAS ‘forever’ chemicals Guardian

Mistress of the macabre Times Literary Supplement

What Is Econyl? Uses and Impact of This Sustainable Fabric Treehugger

Self-driving Waymo cars gather in a San Francisco neighborhood, confusing residents NPR (Bill B)

Lex in-depth: does Uber deserve its $91bn valuation? FT  (KLG25)

The proof’s in the poop: Austrians have loved beer, blue cheese for 2,700 years Ars Technica

Biogen drug for rare form of ALS fails pivotal study — another setback for fatal disease with few treatments STAT

Next step in the ongoing arms race between myxoma virus and wild rabbits in Australia is a novel disease phenotype Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (gurus)


Next Covid-19 test? Diagnostic blind spots stir visions of bleak midwinter South China Morning Post

Reimagining our pandemic problems with the mindset of an engineer Technology Review

Coronavirus outbreaks, poor vaccine access, weak policy pushes IMF to downgrade global economic outlook South China Morning Post

Nearly 40% of California state workers are unvaccinated against COVID despite Newsom order The Sacramento Bee

Sydney to end hotel quarantine for foreign visitors Asia Times

Will New Covid Treatments Be as Elusive for Poor Countries as Vaccines? NYT

FDA advisors recommend J&J boosters for all as agency eyes mix-and-match doses Ars Technica

Psychosis cases soar in England as pandemic hits mental health Guardian

Biden Ordered Federal Contractors to Get Employees Vaccinated. Universities Have Begun to Comply. Chronicle of Higher Education

Class Warfare

California Fair Housing Advocates Say Banks Should Hold Problematic Landlords Accountable

Thousands of affordable UK homes ‘won’t be built because of safety crisis’ Guardian

Refreshingly Honest Billionaire Says Media Purchase Will Be Used For Propaganda Caitlin Johnstone

Our green royals – saving the planet one helicopter ride at a time Guardian

This is what happens when Lake Tahoe hits a critically low water threshold SFGATE

What to expect from California’s wetter-than-average October weather forecast The Sacramento Bee

Build back solar: the Puerto Ricans who see sun as key to resist climate shocks Guardian

Sordid Advantage: America can’t avert Climate Hellhole because Manchin, Sinema are Corporate Hired Mercenaries Informed Comment (RK)

Cop26 corporate sponsors condemn climate summit as ‘mismanaged’ Guardian

Woke Watch

Virginia dad vilified for defending daughter shows rot at heart of system: Devine NY Post

The day of “colour revolution” seems to be running out. The mechanics are noticed and countered, Patrick Armstrong writes. Strategic culture Foundation (chuck l)

Big Brother IS Watching you Watch

Facial recognition cameras arrive in UK school canteens FT  (The Rev Kev)

DHS seeks to track biometric data of workers in order to improve their ‘health and wellness’ Just the News (chuck l)

EXCLUSIVE Facebook to change rules on attacking public figures on its platforms Reuters (The Rev Kev)


Facebook Dangerous Individuals and Organizations List (Reproduced Snapshot) The Intercept (furzy)

Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State Matt Taibbi TK News


German Politics: Confused, But Self-Righteous Consortium News (flora). Hoisted from comments.

Julian Assange

What Baraitser Thought About the Plot to Kill or Abduct Assange Consortium News

The Caribbean

American missionaries and family members kidnapped in Haiti by ‘400 Mawozo’ gang, groups say WaPo (furzy)

January 6 Riot

A Florida Anarchist Will Spend Years in Prison for Online Posts Prompted by Jan. 6 Riot The Intercept (furzy)

Civil Liberties Are Being Trampled by Exploiting “Insurrection” Fears. Congress’s 1/6 Committee May Be the Worst Abuse Yet. Glenn Greenwald

Biden Administration

Men ‘cleared’ for release from GITMO is a cruel, twisted joke Responsible Statecraft

Biden struggles to rein in Saudi Arabia amid human rights concerns The Hill


The Scissors Gap London Review of Books

How to save the world (from a climate Armageddon) Responsible Statecraft

Milestones show path of Xi’s transformation drive Asia Times (The Rev Kev)


Pentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability The Hill


You can switch off Siri, but not the State Indian Express

Moving to a higher altitude Business India

At least 19 dead in Kerala as heavy rain triggers landslides Scroll

Is Delhi’s Heavy Surveillance Making Women Safer? The Diplomat

India Embraces Stock Investing as Local Market Surges WSJ

Invoking a DMCA Complaint: Is This a New Way to Harass Editors? The Wire

Black Lives Matter

How Lili Taylor, Actress and Birder, Spends Her Sundays NYT

Antidote du Jour (via):

Jerri-Lynn here. A favorite bird of mine.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. zagonostra

    >You can switch off Siri, but not the State – Indian Express

    In the absence of these protections, the state will continue its deep learning about us and harvest what makes us human and defines our personalities — our personal data.

    I like the sentiments that motivated this article, but disagree with the concluding sentence. My personal data does not define me.

    A related article written by Edward Curtin I read this morning starts out with a quote from Dante and is an absolutely brilliant summary of how we reached this critical inflection point that Menaka Guruswamy is warning us about.

    1. Anon

      Much like photographs don’t define you; you still think them accurate enough to hang on your walls. Extended to the agency, resources and legitimacy of government, a live, dynamic snapshot of you in your environment can only become more detailed, and more contentious. Maybe enough so to hang you on a wall, or at least out to dry.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Jet Fuel Made From This Crop Could Cut Emissions by Up to 68%, New Analysis Proves”

    This is why I rail so much against the present accounting system that we use and which hides all sorts of massive costs. Growing jet fuel? Already at the moment, about 40% of all corn grow is turned into ethanol for cars rather than food. So if you are growing jet fuel, it must be at the cost of other foods that you could be growing. Will third world countries be ‘encouraged’ to grow this crop for export while their bellies press against their backbones? Even when you grow this stuff, you are going to have to harvest it, refine it and distribute it which will take enormous resources in itself.

    As for growing it the southeastern states in the winter months so it won’t directly compete with other crops, it will still be sucking water and nutrition out of all those farmlands which will have to be replenished. So rather than letting soil lie fallow, I bet that a lot of farmers will again be ‘encouraged’ to grown this stuff in off season. So instead, how about putting a sky high tax on jet fuel to make corporations conserve it – and make sure that those increased taxes cannot be deducted as necessary business expenses so that private and corporate jets have to pay their way too. So in the end, I agree with this article as it is a no brainer.

    1. Lee

      Or maybe the world could just slow the [family blog] down. I’ll be curious to see how Covid’s endemicity, breakthrough cases, and viral mutations will affect airline travel going forward.

    2. griffen

      Since you’ve listed corn above, and in the US growing corn was boosted by the ethanol rules that went into place in 2007 (maybe). That subsidy proved to be a boondoggle, and the consequence of the boondoggle was to increase ag-based and nutrient runoff through and into the lower Mississippi river delta. I’m certain I have read about this before.

      Laws of unintended consequences and so forth. I have doubts about the university researcher’s proposal.

      1. Oh

        I read a long time ago that gasahol (gasoline + ethanol) results in miles per gal compared to using gasoline only.

    3. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

      Whenever I see people advocating for bio-fuels I think: You do realize your talking about burning topsoil?

      1. Grateful Dude

        burning (except hydrogen fuel) for energy releases carbon. These fuels are called sustainable, but how can releasing carbon into our atmosphere be sustained? It can’t, without somehow removing the carbon.

        So the whole argument is mispremised.

    4. Naomi

      Thought exercise: Imagine ethanol made from corn: The tractors that plow and harvest the corn use ethanol, the trucks that haul it to the plant use ethanol, the plant runs on ethanol to generate boiler heat to make electricity and process heat. The trucks that haul the ethanol from the plant to a refinery for blending, or the pipe pumps to the refinery use ethanol. After all that, how much ethanol actual makes it to gas tanks?

      1. Randall Flagg

        Actually most of those machines run diesel, not ethanol. But to your point, biodiesel can be made from soybeans. All in all, if you’re lucky it’s a wash in the grand scheme of things.
        And it’s unlikely that ethanol will ever go away, the major crop grown in Iowa, yes, the first contest in any presidential election.
        Though Ted Cruz had the balls to campaign there saying he would end ethanol subsidies. Not sure many others have the guts to do that

    5. lance ringquist

      we have been through this before with cotton under free trade in the south, india is going through it right now, paraguay and brazil also.

      yes tax them.

      The tariff is the cheaper system, because the duties, being collected in large parcels at a few commercial points, will require comparatively few officers in their collection; while by the direct tax system, the land must be literally covered with assessors and collectors, going forth like swarms of Egyptian locusts, devouring every blade of grass and other green thing. And again, by the tariff system, the whole revenue is paid by the consumers of foreign goods, and those chiefly, the luxuries, and not the necessaries of life.

      By this system, the man who contents himself to live upon the products of his own country, pays nothing at all. And surely, that country is extensive enough, and its products abundant and varied enough, to answer all the real wants of its people. In short, by this system, the burthen of revenue falls almost entirely on the wealthy and luxurious few, while the substantial and laboring many who live at home, and upon home products, go entirely free.”

    6. jonboinAR

      I agree. The best way to mitigate whatever use of jet fuel we decide is too much is to increase the price. Surely increasing the price of flying will make it less popular. That will decrease the use of jet fuel. Easy, in concept, I think. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth, certainly.

    7. drumlin woodchuckles

      If the only thing extracted from the brassica carinata were to be the oil from the seeds, and the seedmeal, leaves, stems, etc. were to be composted and returned right back to the soil, then all extracted nutrients would be returned right back to the soil, and zero nutrients would be extracted from it. The oil itself would contain only carbon and hydrogen worked up into diesel-usable oil. Or jet-usable oil.

      Some farmers are finding that leaving soil fallow permits all the soil life to starve and die in the absence of living roots injecting sugar root-juice into the soil to feed favored bacteria, mycorrhizae, and such. So growing this brassica in the nothing-grows-otherwise winter could be a way to keep soil microbes and fungi fed and alive and keep soils loose for planting next spring . . . IF everything but the oil is returned right back to the soil this crop is grown on.

      Or so it seems to me. Any other thoughts or debunkings?

      1. anon y'mouse

        i thought letting land lie fallow was covered over with nitrogen fixing cover crops?

        if not, it should be.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          My understanding of “letting land lie fallow” meant to plow the soil and then leave it bare and unplanted for a set period of time. The belief was that this allowed soil-moisture, nutrients, etc. to ” re-build back up” over that period of time. This article I will link to appears to support my understanding of what “fallow” is.

          Deliberately planting a legume or mixed-including-legume cover crop over the wintertime otherwise-growing-nothing season would not be leaving the land bare. It would be planting something on purpose to grow over that otherwise-left-fallow time. So I think it would not be considered “fallow”.

          I think the belief in “fallow” is getting superseded by the concept of having something growing with live roots in the soil at all times or at least as much time as possible. Gabe Brown ( what – him again?) lists ” always have living roots in the soil at all times” as one of his 5 basic soil protection and restoration principles. And some other farmers who have to make a living are taking up this approach, saying it lessens the wind and water erosion from soil that would be vulnerable to both if left unplantedly bare and fallow.

          Back to the Brassica carinata . . . if it were grown with just enough mixed-in legumes that nitrogen was fixed but the amount of Brassica oil yielded was not pushed down towards merely-break-even levels, then that could perhaps be done. If the Brassica planting has to be a Brassica monocrop, then returning all the rest of the plantmass back to the soil after strictly and only the oil has been extracted from the seeds would at least result in zero nitrogen and mineral nutrient removal from the farm. And the living root mass would keep the soil more fluffed up and humusy than a zero-plants fallow period would keep it.

          But I am just an amateur science buff and tiny backyard gardener. This is only the best of my strictly layman’s knowledge. This might be a good place for working farmers and/or agronomists and/or soil scientists like sub-boreal to say something about all this.

          If we were to ban petroleum products from being used to fuel jets, and forced the airplane flying industry to rely only on winter-grown Brassica oil from already-agricultural land, the amount of plane flying would be savagely reduced. ” Is this flight necessary?”

      2. SES

        A pretty big if, and of course, if the scheme can be gamed, it will be. Remember what has happened to the use of “waste wood” for wood pellets.

  3. vlade

    “oh no, running ouf of pie!” – how typical, a misdirection from a much more important item! Who cares about pies, the lack of Al tin foil will substantially reduce availability of tin foil hats, which of course is the whole point of the aliens controlled governments.

    I hope you have got a good stash of your hats, if not, I’ll be happy to provide at tf-hats-are-us for an entirely reasonable price!

      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        Don’t know. Don’t use disposable pie plates – or any disposables, for that matter. I inherited some reusable pie plates from my godmother, who had acquired them when she got married. That bakeware dates from the ‘40s – at minimum.

        1. Pate

          “Don’t use disposable pie plates – or any disposables, for that matter”
          Does no tin foil (for hats) explain last week’s absence?
          Happy that you are present and accounted for and hopefully just fine and dandy (quoting Gump).

      2. marieann

        My pie pie plates are coming up on 50 years and they get a good workout every week.

        My family loves my pies…I have never used a tin foil one “work ‘o the devil” as we say in our house

        1. ambrit

          My guess is that we are talking here about old Pyrex glass “pie plates?”
          We have a set of mixed Pyrex and Fire King glass pie plates in a graduated range of diameters. Older than dirt and twice as strong. Phyllis will not use aluminium bakeware, nor pots. She even looks askance at me when I make aluminum foil ‘tents’ for casseroles and fowl baked in the oven.
          Don’t know about your pie adventures, but Phyl uses a “home ground” mix of oats and quinoa for her crusts.
          Keep the Homefires burning!

      1. Pate

        As I am apparently a pie-brained alien (according to mum) I will need both the tf hat and the velostat. Keeping it real in Oklahoma is tougher than a pine knot. My neighbor keeps asking if’n I know Jesus. Not something one asks a humble pba.

        1. ambrit

          My reply to the “Do you know Jesus?” question is to counter with; “Funny that. Jesus asks me the same thing about you.”
          Another answer to that is to say; “I don’t know anymore. Jesus seems to be suffering from Split Personality Disorder lately.”

          1. Pate

            IIRC it was Plutonium K or the Rev or maybe even Arizona Slim who suggested the following response: “why do you ask?” Of course there is always using fire to fight fire (“judge not lest you be judged”). Lots of apparently unrecognized self- righteous cultishness in these parts – a fear (and underlying insecurity I suppose) that others may not think as you. I mostly counter with a silent, serene look nine months pregnant with those thoughts. These people don’t seem to grasp that they are at least in some ways not unlike the religious radicals we like to demonize when it suits our purpose to do so.

              1. ambrit

                Ah. The best way to ‘get rid of ‘Jehova’s Witness’ importuning one on one’s familial fane is to ask that very question about personal information concerning the Nazarene Prophet. It worked for us.

              1. ambrit

                Yep. This has your biometric data points all over it.
                Hmmm… Points, or lines?
                I’ll give it a whorl.

            1. ChrisPacific

              ‘Yes, he’s a historical figure who was crucified by the Romans and became the focus of a major religion. Why do you ask?’

              Faux-naif literalism has its uses sometimes.

        2. griffen

          I can’t recall which comedy special it’s from, but Jim Gaffigan does a few segments on religion, Catholicism and also Jesus and the Apostles. It’s not for everyone; found that the difficult way.

          He is not a profane comedian. Maybe it was King Baby…

      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        And Australians. A special pie shop opened up in Whistler, BC years ago to cater to the Aussie market. Don’t know whether it’s still in business.

    1. lance ringquist

      free traders will go to any extreme, any to make it look like dumping free trade will lead to armageddon and the end of the world.

      i am sure the u.k. can still make glass, even we do.

      then they can use shaped and lined cardboard to hold the pie inside a cardboard box, they might even still make cardboard.

  4. Wukchumni

    What to expect from California’s wetter-than-average October weather forecast The Sacramento Bee
    The Castle Fire burned through the South Fork of the Kaweah River last year, and the KNP Fire laid waste to the Middle, Marble, East & North Forks, a clean sweep of the steepest vertical drop of any river system in the country.

    I saw some of the damage done in a drive-by the other day, and were talking moonscapes where nothing is left aside from a foot of grey ash, the byproduct of 146 years between blazes and not unlike a hoarder with a household full of stuff, there was quite the accumulation of ready to burns amid scraggly understory and did it ever.

    I was walking through a similar moonscape on the Ladybug trail on the South Fork a few months after the Castle Fire had torched a forest thick with fire ladders a plenty and the ground heavy with fuel previously, and each boot step plunged 8-12 inches into ash that had no give whatsoever, doing my best Buzz Aldrin impersonation.

    All 4 forks coalesce into the Middle Fork and Lake Kaweah reservoir, and seeing how there isn’t anything to hold those steep slopes in place anymore throughout the mozaic of burn zones, that ash wholly has to go somewhere considering the gravity of the situation when 3 inches of rain is coming this weekend, resulting in one hell of an ash Wednesday if the weather forecast is to be believed.

    1. Raymond Sim

      I saw some pictures from up near Susanville that were similar. Nothing like any burn scar I’ve seen before. It strikes me as more of a post-volcanic eruption scenario than normal forest succession.

      1. Wukchumni

        Methinks the insurance companies have noticed, just got our renewal for home insurance in the foothills and it went from $3100 last year to $5800 this year, making a mockery of the usual prattle about inflation being 2%, tops.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          If your insurance company claimed “inflation” for the premium increase, then they are just prattling. But if they are citing ” greater danger of burndown in our new hotter world” , then they are not prattling about inflation.

    2. JBird4049

      Oh, goody, just what I am worried about.

      Normally (formerly?) if rained, it would be over a three month period from first rain, which would fall sometime during December through April. Never, ever in the Summer and hardly at all before Winter. Now, who knows?

      Maybe it will be just a very light rain, which would get some green going. Grass, if nothing else, which then would give some anchoring to ground throughout the state. I suspect that the area that Wukchumni is describing is just gonna flood. There just cannot be any seeds left in that area or plants/trees healthy outside, but close enough to deliver them.

      But thinking on this, thirty years ago when the roads, freeways, even the mountain passes would be blocked because of rain and snow, a day, two days, maybe even a week would just be an annoyance. The North Bay could be cut off from the South Bay or Nevada from California or more likely some small communities in the hills or mountains. Then the rains or snows would at least slow down and CalTrans would get the roads repaired. A patch job at least and out would come the snow plows elsewhere.

      I live in a state where extremely heavy rain and prolonged droughts happened, are expected, and planned for, throughout the entire state. From past experience, I would expect the emergency services to just repair, or at least get functional the roads, the electrical grid, the broken sewers and water mains. I also expected my government to handle Covid competently, or at least enthusiatically, from my past experience.

      Normally, the different parts of the state would get hammered sequentially. The poor emergency workers would just be shifted to different areas over the days, weeks, even months. This was routine, or even normal, and merely some excitement when talking to family or friends.

      Now? Who knows? In the past there was always some problems, some unexpected glitches, as it is a gigantic state, and Mother Nature can be very violent, even murderous. However, I use to expect, when sitting in dark, without phone, water, or heat, that in a day, maybe two, unless it was truly horrific out there, I would have it all back. But, again, today, who knows?

      Has CalTrans funding been kept up? Are all the agencies fully staffed to handle the unexpected, which always happen. Has maintenance been kept up on the state water system? Has all the money allotted even been used and not diverted, which happened in the state’s higher education? Looking at Cal Fire’s problems, I am not sanguine. I certainly do not think Kamala Harris’ solution of enslaving more prisoners would work.

      So, I find myself having a weird desire to not have have the rains comeback, or at least have a very mild season.

  5. Nikkikat

    According to articles written lately concerning the American bumble bee going extinct in 8 states and massively declining other states. The 8 states with near or zero bumble bees are the states grow corn and soy beans. These 2 crops are regularly sprayed with pesticides that kill bees.

    1. Questa Nota

      Honeybee die-off is observed by me all too often on daily walks. The culprits are herbicides and mainly insecticides that people use seemingly indiscriminately. If it were just one yard, that might be less harmful, but when it smells like entire neighborhoods are spraying away then bad things are really going to happen.

      Readers have recommended alternatives to spraying, like use of diatomaceous earth for the ever-present ants. A routine outdoor clean-up around slabs, windows, foundations, conduit penetrations, eaves, vents and similar points of entry is also useful to supplement interior cleaning to keep all those two-, four- and other -legged creatures happier.

  6. CH

    I wonder if the dormouse custom is a tradition left over from the ancient Romans:

    OXFORD, England — A starter of stuffed dormouse, anyone?

    The dish was a delicacy in ancient Rome. It was prepared by gutting the mouse, filling it with pork mince, and baking it. The dormouse had previously been fattened in a special jar that had tiny ledges molded inside, so it could run around before it was slaughtered. One such jar is on view in “Last Supper in Pompeii,” a new exhibition that runs through Jan. 12, 2020, at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

    1. diptherio

      And now I finally understand that Jefferson Airplane lyric:

      Remember what the dormouse said / Feed your head.

    2. JacobiteInTraining

      Fascinating, thanks for the link!

      I have rodents in my cabin, and although we tend to maintain an uneasy peace – particularly during times such as now when they are finding the best warm/dry places to sit out the winter…and keep their presence and noise JUST below my level of annoyance (and I have grown too lazy to set traps) but part of me wonders if I have the moxie to go all ‘Never Cry Wolf’ on them.

      With Garum sauce. :)

      BTW – non paywalled archive link of same article:

      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        I didn’t know the Romans ate dormice, but Peruvians still consume cuy – guinea pig – and lots of it. Tastes a bit like chicken, with thicker, rubbery skin. One has to take care not to fixate on the cute little feet, which convey the impression they were waving at you before the critter was deep fried. They’re also roasted.

        One construction worker I knew had has sister-in-law prepare cuy for me when I mentioned I’d had it before. So it’s possible to source supplies in the NYC area. There was also a Peruvian restaurant in Cobble Hill or Clinton Hill. Don’t know whether they served cuy or whether they’re still around.

        1. JacobiteInTraining

          I’ve never eaten cuy before, but I did once have to change the channel really quickly on some random Anthony Bourdain TV special filmed in, well probably Peru – the kids watching had guinea pigs as pets and were….horrified! :/

        2. Raymond Sim

          Squirrel stew was the favorite dish of several of my elders.

          Here in CA’s Central Valley people seem to regard the idea of eating ground squirrels as loathsome, but archaeology indicates it used to be a main ingredient in the ‘free lunch’ at Sacramento bars.

          1. Pate

            One would be NUTS not to enjoy squirrel. No hormones, antibiotics, feedlots. Mom had a Sheridan 22cal pellet rifle. We got .25 cents per kill and kept them out of the attic to boot (these little electrical wire chewers would get stuck in the wall cavities and start to stinking after a while). Raised on an Indiana farm she would tack their lifeless paws to the picnic table and harvest the protein. Tastes just like chicken as they say in these parts.

          2. Vandemonian

            My daughter spent a year on student exchange with a First Nations family in South East Oklahoma, just where the Trail of Tears ended at the state border.

            Sometimes the family meal was squirrel and dumplin’s with white gravy. Her host Pa would walk across the road with his gun to get the meat.

          3. JP

            My cat lives in the central valley and loves ground squirrels. I find way too little meat on them bones and find grey squirrels more to my satisfaction. The wood rats have bigger haunches but they are exceedingly ugly although plenty good enough for the cat. I find bunny rabbits much easier to catch. However we have tons of quail and they are quite delectable.

        3. Ian Perkins

          Guinea pigs are (or were) common in the altiplano, where they serve the same purpose as chickens elsewhere – easily kept, gobbling up food scraps, I guess insects and so on, and generally keeping the place clean, before being eaten.

      2. jr

        Best mousetrap I’ve ever used: a baguette bag with some crumbs in the bottom. The little guys crawl in at night and when you approach, they assume they are safe. Then you can scoop them up; I prefer to dump them outside.

        1. CanCyn

          Never Cry Wolf was a favourite book of mine as a kid. I have a first edition copy (rec’d as a gift when it was published, not ‘collected’). Apparently the author, Farley Mowat, made up some of his escapades but nonetheless it is the book that first raised my environmental consciousness. I learned as a young teenager that there is/should be room for all animals on the earth. It is one of the familiar books I keep on my bedside table. I keep a pile of familiar books Nearby for nights when I can’t sleep – if/when I do get sleepy I know them so well, I can just put them down so that I don’t feel the urge to fight sleep and keep reading.
          For a laugh, I highly recommend Mowat’s The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be. Book form only – unless animated or with use of CGI, I don’t know how they could make a movie of that one.

        2. Lost in OR

          I enjoyed many of Farley’s books in my youth. After making it part way through “Sea of Slaughter” I put him away. A most depressing book detailing early America’s assault on once abundant birds, fish, and beasts.

    3. petal

      CH, was thinking that, too(leftover from Roman times). Seeing how it was prepared made me feel like retching, though. Mice are our disease models, and the smell of a gutted mouse makes me sick-when I read your excerpt that’s what did it.
      Jerri-Lynn, I’m glad you are back and doing okay! I could never eat guinea pig. My little buddy of 6 years passed away early this summer and he was like having a third dog. He certainly thought he was one of the dogs. Some student had let him loose before graduation 6 years ago and he was living in a brushy area just off of downtown burrowed under a bush. A person living nearby saw him and posted on the College board that someone could come try to catch him. It was nearing winter and I thought why not, he’s either going to get eaten or freeze to death shortly so I went and bought a have a heart trap and spent 45 minutes on a Sunday night chasing him around before he finally made the wise decision to run inside. When he passed, the vet said he was 7 years old. I miss him a lot.

      1. Avalon Sparks

        I enjoyed your story of your little friend Petal. I am sorry for your loss of a fur baby. I could never eat a guinea pig either.

        1. Naomi

          “Fur baby”?

          There is something kind of sick about that concept, with thousands of children in foster care and millions of women unable to conceive.

          1. petal

            Um for a lot of us that do not have children for one reason or another, yes, they are our fur babies. There is nothing sick about it.

          2. Yves Smith

            Pets are much lower maintenance than children plus you don’t need to worry about them needing years of therapy later if you don’t do the best job.

            The fact that someone is good with pets does not mean they would have been good with kids.

      2. John Beech

        You’d never eat a guinea pig? Not ever? Me? I bet they taste good. This as a former owner/caretaker of hamsters and squirrels who once wanted one as a pet. Taste like chicken, you say? Hmmm, hmmm, good!
        Just teasing petal. Sorry for your loss. Like a 3rd dog, eh? Never imagined they’d have that much personality. Live and learn.

          1. Swamp Yankee

            My friend in college had a pet rat, a sweet little girl named Jelly. She was a dear and wonderful little creature. She did live longer than 2 years, but not a lot longer. She rescued Jelly after she was abandoned by 2 male roommates after they moved out.

          2. ambrit

            My middle sister had a White Lab rat she named Basil, after the Fawltey Towers character as a pet when she attended the Kansas City Institute of Art. Evidently, Basil was a lab survivor. She once said that she would judge the “suitability” of male companions by their reactions to Basil suddenly appearing on their shoulders on the livingroom couch.
            My favourite reference to the critters is Conan Doyle’s mention of the “Giant Rat of Sumatra” in the story “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire.”

          3. Raymond Sim

            Gosh, only two years? When we moved into our house I was suprised to discover an enormous white rat living in an enormous burrow in our backyard.

            My attitude towards rats was formed on farms. I’m reflexively hostile. But if I’d realized he was a short-timer I might have taken a live-and-let-live approach. The burrow was really rather magnificent. He’d had a rather long real-estate slump to make it nice.

    4. Procopius

      I wonder if dormice (sp?) were still being eaten regularly in Victorian England. Otherwise, what was the motivation for Lewis Carroll having one at the table with the March Hare and the Mercury-poisoned Hatter?

      1. ambrit

        There is a school of thought that treats “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” and the follow up book, “Through the Looking glass” as disguised primers on sexuality for young girls. In Victorian times, and later, “mouse” was slang for female genitalia. (At the least, it was so used in my misspent youth.)

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Or his gift from the Saudis, but it wasn’t unethical because he received the gift just after he retired.

    2. griffen

      I have to assume that Dick Cheney is still with the living. Or more specifically, a motorized / mechanized version of himself.

      My secondary thought – and yet the Kardashians are with us. I wish it were sarcasm,

        1. JBird4049

          Ah, Cheney and especially Kissinger, two mass murderers who seem to be without heart or soul. That condition seems to be conducive for a long life, which is regretful. This almost makes me almost wish there was an afterlife in which they have to deal with their actions; if, somehow, I find out otherwise though, I won’t complain.

          1. Procopius

            I wonder why I never see Condoleeza Rice named along with Cheney and Rumsfeld. She surely was as culpable as them and lied as much as they did.

      1. Maritimer

        Hey, easy on Dick—-at least he had the dignity to fade away into the Western Sky. Unlike Boss Bush, Kissinger and others—-get out the stakes and garlic.

        1. ChrisPacific

          I am noting a clear discrepancy in the Powell career retrospectives between US and international media. In a nutshell, both Americans and Iraqis are sorry he is dead, but for Americans it’s because he was a ‘great man’ while for Iraqis it’s because they never got to put him on trial for war crimes.

        2. Oh

          He has no dignity. He’s just fading. He can’t make public appearances. A mass murderer with a new heart provided by Medicare.

    3. Josef K

      OK, it’s time someone brings up his purported crucial role in the “handling” of the Mi Lai massacre. That was the beginning of his ascendancy to power.

  7. Samuel Conner

    On the downside of econyl, a quick web-search suggests that it is not biodegradable. To the extent that it does slowly break down by oxidation and UV exposure, it might increase the microplastics pollution problem.

    I think it’s not that hard to engineer biodegradable linkages into polymer formulations. I suppose that might bring its own set of problems, but superficially, it seems to me that these would be less severe than what we actually did. Perhaps non-biodegradable polymers should be reserved for specific long-service products that cannot tolerate unexpected failure.

    But for many products, such as clothing, it seems to me to make no sense to make them from materials that will long outlive their users.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Alongside that microplastics issue, remember that nylon is extremely uncomfortable. So not ideal for making clothing. And there’s certainly that longevity issue to bear in mind.

      1. Raymond Sim

        Lol – it occurs to me that if nylon were comfortable, and its longevity weren’t in the form of a zillion tiny bits, then it would actually be a good thing to make textiles from, assuming we could revert to a more pre-industrial attitude towards cloth and clothes.

        Oh, but my wife informs me that’s a bad idea, super-durable fabrics are a bitch to sew, and we should leave the oil in the ground.

  8. jr

    Good gravy, yet another Batman movie!! There is something wrong with this. How many do we need? How different can it be? This one is dark and gritty, unlike all the other which were lighthearted and airy.

    I know it seems trivial but I think it points to a bigger problem. Companies that rehash the same product because they have trained their audiences to consume the same crap over and over. Dreck.

    1. griffen

      Old ideas are never, ever really gone. Just dust them off every few years.

      I have my doubts about this version. Can’t be worse than the Clooney effort with Ahnold as Dr Freeze,or can it!

      The bigger problem, they can’t help it. Analysts with spreadsheets are ruining big budget films. I’d call it the Marvel + Disney impact.

    2. .human

      I’ve never seen a complete Batman movie. I watched a few scenes of one once and found it disturbing. But, then, I find the Alfred Hithcock Suspense series eminently entertaining, and at some 350 half hour episodes, I will be watching them for some time yet.

    3. Fiery Hunt

      Good people can disagree but …

      Batman, like Godzilla, is one of the iconic characters that make up modern mythology! One of the very few non-superpowered superheros (ignoring the fantastic wealth!), the Batman is also one of the most complicated and emotional rich characters in the modern myths. Created in 1939, he’s been a detective, a vigilante, antihero, and mentor to generations of younger heros.

      I for one really look forward to another trip through Gotham’s underbelly!

    4. Bazarov

      The greatest Batman is 1960s campy Batman, which was a satire of the ultra rich. Adam West’s Bruce Wayne/Batman believes he’s a genius but in fact is rather stupid and owes his success to all those toys he’s able to acquire with his billions (including Robin, his “boy toy”). Even the fighting is ridiculous.

      The whole point was to laugh at rich people’s ridiculous hubris and excess. I revisited the show recently and found it to be hilarious. “The Batusi” is a particularly good episode:

      Of course, the 1960s were a different time. Now, the ultra rich are in total control. Since the 1980s, Batman has been transformed into a Dirty Harry style “he’s our only hope!” fascist vigilante. It’s very grimdark, and Bruce Wayne is represented as a kind of ninja/statesman/philosopher king. Despite all the solemn trappings, the films still betray Batman’s inherent ridiculousness in that all the philosophizing’s about as sophisticated as an edgy 15 year old who’s recently discovered Nietzsche.

      Die-hard Batman fans hate the Adam West incarnation, but those fans are mostly precocious kids or adults who never outgrew their adolescent fascination with right-wing edgelordistry. The same road that leads so many to Elon Musk worship leads also to 1,000 grimdark Batman movies.

      That old satiric spirit persists, oddly enough, in the Lego Batman comedies. But they’re not quite the same–I would love to see a scathing, riotous, billionaire-bashing, live-action Batman film to suit our age. Maybe one where Bruce Wayne flies to space, Bezos style, in a giant phallus called the BatRocket.

      1. Fiery Hunt

        Being a symbol for incorruptibility and an ever vigilant crusader against the corrupt and criminal…dishing out retribution for the preyed upon…

        I would thing that kind of story would speak volumes for our times.

        BTW Whatcha got against Dirty Harry? (jk)

  9. fresno dan

    COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for police officers even though members of law enforcement were among the first to be eligible to receive the vaccine, CNN reports, citing data from the Officer Down Memorial Page.
    Nearly 476 police officers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, compared to the 93 deaths as a result of gunfire in the same time period, according to ODMP and CNN.
    Gunfire and automobile crashes, vehicular assault, and heart attacks are other major causes of death, but Covid dwarfs them all.
    I can remember being mocked in my younger days for ALWAYS wearing a seat belt – people are just bad at assessing REAL risks.

    1. zagonostra

      Is this the same CNN that has been completely discredited in their reporting of Ivermectin? You know the news cable company that sent their head Medical guy on the JRE who admitted that CNN lies only to go back like dog with his tail between his legs and try to back peddle…forgive me my skepticism and concern over the Police Officers’ well being.

      1. Pat

        Not for nothing but this is from the beginning of the pandemic. I know Covid cut a very wide swath through the fire department where I have connections, it would not surprise me if the police also got hit hard. For me the real question is the when. How much of this was from early on? Did deaths drop with masking? Increased protocol knowledge? Vaccination?

        I may believe it is possible, but still think the data can be and probably is being manipulated to sell a predetermined story.

        1. zagonostra

          So why is the Chicago police union urging officers to defy vaccine mandate? You would think they would have the best interest of their members in mind.

        2. Questa Nota

          Business model: Keep the viewers advertisers happy. Not mentioned, truth. Conflict Narrative Network.

      2. Ian Perkins

        The Yahoo article is based on a CNN piece which gets its data from the Officer Down Memorial Page. Here’s their numbers for 2021:
        Total Line of Duty Deaths: 365
        9/11 related illness1
        Automobile crash16
        Duty related illness2
        Gunfire (Inadvertent)1
        Heart attack15
        Motorcycle crash3
        Struck by vehicle12
        Training accident1
        Vehicle pursuit2
        Vehicular assault17
        Weather/Natural disaster1

        and for 2020:
        Total Line of Duty Deaths: 374
        9/11 related illness14
        Aircraft accident1
        Automobile crash19
        Duty related illness5
        Gunfire (Inadvertent)5
        Heart attack7
        Motorcycle crash4
        Struck by vehicle8
        Vehicle pursuit2
        Vehicular assault13

        1. The Rev Kev

          ‘Ian Perkins
          October 19, 2021 at 1:16 am’

          I note that in 2021 that 1 person died of an 9/11 related illness whereas in 2020 that number was 14. Could it be that in 2021 a dozen or more cops died of Covid as their systems were weakened by a 9/11 related illness and who, in a normal year, would have died of a 9/11 related illness itself? If so, that is bad news for anyone that has an illness caused by the aftermath of 9/11.

  10. Eduardo

    I ask all the great pharmaceutical laboratories to release the patents. Make a gesture of humanity and allow every country, every people, every human being, to have access to the vaccines. There are countries where only three or four per cent of the inhabitants have been vaccinated.
    In the name of God, I ask financial groups and international credit institutions to allow poor countries to assure “the basic needs of their people” and to cancel those debts that so often are contracted against the interests of those same peoples.

    In the name of God, I ask the great extractive industries — mining, oil, forestry, real estate, agribusiness — to stop destroying forests, wetlands and mountains, to stop polluting rivers and seas, to stop poisoning food and people.

    In the name of God, I ask the great food corporations to stop imposing monopolistic systems of production and distribution that inflate prices and end up withholding bread from the hungry.

    In the name of God, I ask arms manufacturers and dealers to completely stop their activity, because it foments violence and war, it contributes to those awful geopolitical games which cost millions of lives displaced and millions dead.

    In the name of God, I ask the technology giants to stop exploiting human weakness, people’s vulnerability, for the sake of profits without caring about the spread of hate speech, grooming, fake news, conspiracy theories, and political manipulation.

    In the name of God, I ask the telecommunications giants to ease access to educational material and connectivity for teachers via the internet so that poor children can be educated even under quarantine.

    In the name of God, I ask the media to stop the logic of post-truth, disinformation, defamation, slander and the unhealthy attraction to dirt and scandal, and to contribute to human fraternity and empathy with those who are most deeply damaged.

    In the name of God, I call on powerful countries to stop aggression, blockades and unilateral sanctions against any country anywhere on earth. No to neo-colonialism. Conflicts must be resolved in multilateral fora such as the United Nations. We have already seen how unilateral interventions, invasions and occupations end up; even if they are justified by noble motives and fine words.

    This system, with its relentless logic of profit, is escaping all human control. It is time to slow the locomotive down, an out-of-control locomotive hurtling towards the abyss. There is still time.

    Pope Francis (via twitter)

    Text of Speech

    1. JBird4049

      The United States Congress, by itself, could get much of this done tomorrow, if it cared to, but money of course is more important than the Earth or even human beings. And this “God,” isn’t he Mammon?

    2. chuck roast

      So, this means that all the Catholic priests around the world will read this text as a sermon next Sunday? Pardon my skepticism.

  11. Raymond Sim

    Am I just pre-coffee, or does that Guardian article talk about a 75% in new instances of psychosis without mentioning that Covid is almost certainly the direct cause of much of it?

    And when they talk about ‘stress’ they’re not talking what it’s like to be in icu are they? Or that feeling you get when you’re passing out because you can’t sustain the effort of breathing?

    I bet it’s even more stressful to see that happening to a loved one right?

    1. Anon

      Was an interesting choice of dates… a full 8 months, prior to the pandemic, is accounted for… so one can only assume the trend became noticeable then.

      Correlation does not make causation, though the pandemic is the likely culprit.

  12. DiFi Password

    Re the Waymo swarm in SF— I was in SF in August and it was crazy how many Waymo vehicles were crawling the streets, like they were constantly passing each other going opposite directions. They don’t offer the ride service there so it is presumably advanced recon for the intention to at some point. If driverless cars can successfully navigate the labyrinthine streets and hills of SF, they should be able to handle any (snow-free, at least) city in the US.

  13. John Beech

    California wants banks to hold landlords accountable? Hahahaha! Let’s see those advocating this raising their hand to be amongst the first to reduce ‘their’ pay. At least ‘then’ they’ll be on the moral high ground with regard to lecturing others about a free market. What a crock!

  14. Arizona Slim

    Key point: The sole reliance on vaccination as a primary strategy to mitigate COVID-19 and its adverse consequences needs to be re-examined, especially considering the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant and the likelihood of future variants. Other pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions may need to be put in place alongside increasing vaccination rates. Such course correction, especially with regards to the policy narrative, becomes paramount with emerging scientific evidence on real world effectiveness of the vaccines.

    1. urblintz

      “Such course correction… becomes paramount with emerging scientific evidence on real world effectiveness of the vaccines.”

      quelle surprise

      un peu tard

    2. Klärchen

      Just to clarify, the title, and substance, of the above paper is the following: Increases in COVID‑19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States

      Pretty spectacular results.

    3. Maritimer

      My spouse and I are not now, nor have we ever been Epidemiologists. Yet while sitting in our comfortable armchairs watching the Covid Dog ‘n Pony Fear Show, we figured out about a year ago that, yes indeed, “Other pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions may need to be put in place alongside increasing vaccination rates.”

      Must be something in the armchairs.

  15. Anon

    Refreshingly Honest Billionaire…

    And so went the Bolsheviks… to whom should we pledge allegiance? My money’s on Elon.

  16. Raymond Sim

    Regarding the story of Myxoma in Australia: It’s striking that some of the only real field data supportive of the idea that a novel virus will evolve towards lower virulence turns out to from a study that was ended too soon for such conclusions to have been drawn.

    When the rabbit population had almost no resistance less virulent strains emerged, but the rabbits were, of course, being heavily selected for resistance, and as the population became more resistant eventually it was no more Mr. Nice Virus.

    Now the rabbit population is highly resistant and the virus appears to produce immune collapse. Note that in this instance the population immunity is a result of culling by the virus, not naturally acquired immunity in individuals. This is what endemicity looks like.

  17. Laputan

    RE: A Florida Anarchist Will Spend Years in Prison for Online Posts Prompted by Jan. 6 Riot

    It would be naive and ahistorical to hope that the U.S. government would draw a moral distinction between militant acts carried out in the service of genocidal white supremacy on the one hand and militant resistance to such acts on the other. Even a week after January 6, when it seemed that racist Trumpians had made undeniable their singular role as an extremist threat to this country’s already diminished democracy, the government once again doubled down on its baseless two-sidesism.

    When did the Intercept become a low-rent college newspaper?

  18. Wukchumni

    Kamala is going to be @ Lake Mead today and initial reports have her repeating a similar mantra in Guatemala in perpetuating the drought, she reportedly will hector potential water resources to stay put by repeatedly saying: ‘Do not come, do not come’.

  19. Soredemos

    >American missionaries and family members kidnapped in Haiti by ‘400 Mawozo’ gang, groups say WaPo

    I’m having a real hard time mustering any pity for the missionaries.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      There is and has been a long-standing catastrophic shortage of round tuits instigating and driving floods of other shortages.

  20. Susan the other

    Responsible Statecraft. Michael Klare. The US and China must come together now in a combined effort to save the planet from climate change. This was a pretty simple premise – that we have to cut carbon emissions by enormous amounts – both of us. That’s a given. But the sleeper is this: China and the US could literally redesign the global economy and keep it functioning throughout the long haul while we quit petroleum as much as possible and focus on environmentally sound practices. There’s no need for any kind of trade war; no need to race to the bottom. Just rebalance where we put value – a restored and healthy planet with a cleaned up atmosphere and clean water; an ocean system that is healthy again… so many wonderful and valuable things to take to the bank. The economy we are currently promoting is most definitely not valuable – but we manage to put prices on all the products that keep the economy from crashing. Nutty, very nutty.

  21. drumlin woodchuckles

    Running out of pie? In olden times, people used to bake their own pies in their own heavy glass pie pans.

    Graduates of the Great Depression were known for carefully washing their sheets of tinfoil and their tinfoil pie pans for use and re-use and re-re-use over and over and over again.

  22. drumlin woodchuckles

    Sinemanchin . . . Sinemanchin . . .

    If the DemParty Senators permit the Sinemanchin Bill to pass the Senate, the ” green new deal” well will be poisoned for decades to come by passage of the Doublecross Bill . . . . just as “health care reform” has been poisoned for decades to come by Obamacare.

    Assuming the DemParty Senators all collaborate to pass Sinema-Manchin, it becomes up to the House DemProgs to prevent its passage by defeating the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. If West Virginia and Arizona have anything in the Biparty Infrastructure Bill, let them lose it and not get any trace of it until Manchin and Sinema are both gone from National-level public office. Hold Arizona and West Virginia hostage to Sinemanchins’ hostage-taking behavior.

    If the DemProgs are willing to defeat the Infrastructure Bill in order to defeat Sinema-Manchin; the proper next step, which the Senate Dems will not take, unfortunately, would be to eject Sinema and Manchin from the DemSenate Caucus and remove them from all committees, subcommittees, and anything else they may be on. Let them caucus with the Republicans and see how valuable they remain, or not. And let the DemSenators be the Obstructionists.

    And let the DemProg Representatives kill and destroy every bill which Manchin and Sinema vote for.

    1. lance ringquist

      100%! let the debt limit kick in, down goes the whole shebang with a boom heard around the world.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “Virginia dad vilified for defending daughter shows rot at heart of system: Devine”

    I feel sorry for that father seeking justice for his daughter. Are those police sure that they are arresting the right person? Two factors stand out here. Just like those priests caught fiddling with kiddies whose only punishment was to be transferred to another parish to do the same again, so the same happened here where that rapist was transferred to another school – only to do the same again.

    The second factor is what is disturbing and that was the crowd that was supporting that teen rapist. In the same way that parishioners would close ranks (Catholic, Protestant, ultra Orthodox, etc.) behind the rapist priest and oust the victims, the same is true of this crowd. So for the people to feel comfortable about their beliefs, the rape of several teenage girls is a price that they are prepared to pay.

    I have seen mention of this Virginian County before. Earlier this year they wanted to cancel Dr. Seuss books and after that, they put an elementary school gym teacher on leave who could not be reconciled with the new policy allowing students to use gender pronouns of their choice as it was against his beliefs-

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