Links 10/24/2021

Sea Otters Are Adorable Stewards Of Underwater Sea Grass Meadows HuffPo

Flooding could leave billions of US municipal debt under water FT. From last week, still germane.

Al Gore urges overhaul of global finance to cut greenhouse gases FT

A Quartet of Warnings Highlight Climate-Related Threats Defense One

Google’s Biggest Moonshot Is Its Search for a Carbon-Free Future Bloomberg

Defend the deep Aeon


In Major Shift, NIH Admits Funding Risky Virus Research in Wuhan Vanity Fair

NIH grantee in Wuhan faces questions, deadline for more information on research Roll Call

* * *

Severity of Disease Among Adults Hospitalized with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Before and During the Period of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) Predominance — COVID-NET, 14 States, January–August 2021 Morbidity and Mortality Report, CDC. From the Abstract: “Analysis of COVID-NET data from 14 states found no significant increases in the proportion of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with severe outcomes during the Delta period. The proportion of hospitalized unvaccinated COVID-19 patients aged 18–49 years significantly increased during the Delta period…. Lower vaccination coverage in adults aged 18–49 years likely contributed to the increase in hospitalized patients during the Delta period. COVID-19 vaccination is critical for all eligible adults, including adults aged <50 years who have relatively low vaccination rates compared with older adults.”

No Significant Difference in Viral Load Between Vaccinated and Unvaccinated, Asymptomatic and Symptomatic Groups When Infected with SARS-CoV-2 Delta Variant (preprint) medRvix. n = 869. From the Abstract: “We found no significant difference in cycle threshold values between vaccinated and unvaccinated, asymptomatic and symptomatic groups infected with SARS-CoV-2 Delta. Given the substantial proportion of asymptomatic vaccine breakthrough cases with high viral levels, interventions, including masking and testing, should be considered for all in settings with elevated COVID-19 transmission.” Layered defense once more.

Mask Effectiveness for Preventing Secondary Cases of COVID-19, Johnson County, Iowa, USA Energing Infectious Diseases, CDC. From the Abstract: “we matched exposure information from COVID-19 case investigations with reported test results and calculated the secondary attack rates (SARs) after masked and unmasked exposures. Mask use by both parties reduced the SAR by half, from 25.6% to 12.5%. Longer exposure duration significantly increased SARs. Masks significantly reduced virus transmission when worn by both the case-patient and the contact, but SARs for each group were higher than anticipated. This finding suggests that quarantine after COVID-19 exposure is beneficial even if parties wore masks.” So, a layered defense. And: ” In addition, on the basis of evidence of airborne transmission (6), JCPH classified persons as close contacts if they had spent >2 consecutive hours in the same enclosed space as a case-patient.” So, we’ve redefined “close contact” from droplets to aerosols. Well done. It’s like turning a supertanker. When the bridge doesn’t know what it’s doing.

* * *

Box Fan Filter Mass Production (list) @DavidElfstrom. Here’s one of many examples:

Pretty amazing, given that the CDC doesn’t encourage Corsi boxes, nor does the Biden Administration, nor does our famously free press.


Xi’s ‘resolution on history’: 3 things to know Nikkei Asia


Human rights catastrophe feared in Myanmar as troops mass in restive regions France24

The Deadly Stalemate in Post-coup Myanmar International Crisis Group

Two Power Plants in Myanmar’s Biggest City Shut Amid Coup’s Financial Fallout The Irrawaddy. Chinese-owned.

Indonesian Band Voice of Baceprot to Perform at Wacken Open Air 2022 Tempo. Indonesian metal (!):

Not my genre. Apparently, I should already have heard of them, which shows you how behind the times I am!


‘For a fuller understanding of modern India, we must also investigate the princely states’

In India, Facebook Grapples With an Amplified Version of Its Problems NYT

The Koreas

Commentary: Squid Game violence has crept into online content targeting young children Channel News Asia


Turkey’s Erdogan declares 10 western ambassadors ‘persona non grata’ FT


UK says substantial differences remain with EU over N.Ireland trade Reuters

‘If it feels like an unsafe environment, leave’ warns CMO as 2,466 new cases confirmed Irish Examiner. Well, that’s helpful!

Luxembourg legalizes growing of cannabis in EU first Deutsche Welle

Decision-Making under Uncertainty Verfassungsblog

The search for the new era in Chile has two important avenues People’s Dispatch\

Biden Administration

Biden’s safe-space CNN town hall attracts small audience, as poll numbers plummet The Hill

Democrats narrow scope of IRS proposal amid GOP attacks The Hill. Shocklingly, it emerges that new IRS checks on bank accounts with over $600 “in deposits or withdrawals” are a revenue-raising measure for “Build Back Better.” More: “[Republicans] expressed skepticism that the IRS would focus enforcement efforts related to the proposal on taxpayers making over $400,000, as the administration has indicated.” And rightly. You can bet those taxpayers move more than $10,000 through their accounts in a year. So why not raise the limit from $10,000 to, say, $100,000 by statue, instead of relying on an IRS press release to make policy? It’s a backdoor tax increase on the working class, which Biden promised not to do.

Democrats Set to Scale Back Drug-Price Ambitions in Biden’s Bill Bloomberg

Obama fires up Virginia crowd for governor’s race he calls a U.S. “turning point” Reuters. Commentary:

Capitol Seizure

January 6 Wasn’t a Riot. It Was War. The Atlantic. Well, naturally. HBO wouldn’t be making a movie about it if it weren’t a war

Imperial Collapse Watch

Booster rocket failure scuttles hypersonic test Defense News

Generally, “Abandoned America” is not quite so direct:

My Father, the Hitman D Magazine

Groves of Academe

Howard Housing & Corvias, the Shady Private Company Behind It @ChuckModi

A Chicago museum ‘fired’ its volunteers. Why diversity consultants say it was the right move. USA Today

Class Warfare

The Great Resignation may lead companies to offer employees financial wellness benefits CNBC. I don’t wish to seem churlish, but why doens’t “financial wellness” imply a raise? Meanwhile, “The Great Resignation” seems to have been coined in the same scriptwriters room that emitted “Striketober.” Averages conceal class:

And averages conceal regional differences:

* * *

‘Rust’ crew describes on-set gun safety issues and misfires days before fatal shooting LA Times. “Hours before actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer on the New Mexico set of “Rust” with a prop gun, a half-dozen camera crew workers walked off the set to protest working conditions.”

IATSE Strike Tentatively Averted After Deal Is Reached — But Some Union Members Aren’t Happy People. We’ll see whether the rank and file does what the UAW locals did at Deere.

How IATSE got strike ready Tempest

* * *

Why Buying a Second or Even Third Home Is Becoming More Popular Than Ever Bloomberg

The problem with America’s semi-rich Vox. “There’s a space between that 0.1 percent and the 90 percent that’s often overlooked: the 9.9 percent that resides between them. They’re the group in focus in a new book by philosopher Matthew Stewart (no relation), The 9.9 percent: The New Aristocracy That Is Entrenching Inequality and Warping Our Culture…. They’re also terrified. While this 9.9 percent drives inequality — they want to lock in their positions for themselves and their families — they’re also driven by inequality. They recognize that American society is increasingly one of have-nots, and they’re determined not to be one of them.” As Steve Waldman has urged, but in a less nice, more concise, and more powerful way.

* * *

Where are the workers? Cutoff of jobless aid spurs no influx AP

The Barely-Managed Heart in Zero F*cks Given Blind Field

Why California is the capital of fake meat LA Times

Are Vegetables Winning? New York Magazine

Lego trafficking scheme of stolen sets worth thousands busted ‘brick by brick,’ Seattle police say NBC

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus Antidote:

Too meta!

See yesterday’s Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. PlutoniumKun

    The Pigeon Antidote reminds me of BF Skinners attempts to build a pigeon guided anti-ship missile. It worked on a very similar principle. Perhaps fortunately for the pigeons of the world, it never went into production.

    From Wikipedia:

    One to three pigeons, trained by operant conditioning to recognize the target, were stationed in front of the screen; when they saw the target, they would peck at the screen with their beaks. They were trained by being shown an image of the target and each time the pigeons pecked the image some seed would be dispensed. [2] As long as the target remained in the center of the screen, the screen would not move, but if the bomb began to go off track, the image would move towards the edge of the screen. The pigeons would follow the image, pecking at it, which would move the screen on its pivots.

    The sensors would detect the movement and send signals to the control surfaces, which would steer the bomb in the direction the screen had moved. As the bomb swung back towards the target, the pigeons would again follow the image, bringing the screen back to the centered position again. In that way, the pigeons would correct any deviations in the course and keep the bomb on its glide path.

    1. Craig H.

      Rupert Sheldrake has great pigeon dope. Last report is pigeon-ologists still do not have a clue how they find their way home. Reliable. Fast. Way better than any Silicon Valley robot car GPS google machine could dream of.

    2. Maritimer

      Proves once again how dumb and stupid pigeons are. A failed species.
      Humans would never believe anything they saw on a two dimensional digital display screen. Never!

  2. Henry Moon Pie

    The semi-rich precariat–

    So I hope that the toney nursery schools, the elite prep schools and the Ivies will restructure their curricula to prepare our meritocratic fledgings for the lovely new world their parents are working and consuming so hard to bring forth. It looks like we’re headed for 2.5 degrees C of heating just about the time children born today will themselves be having children. If that’s where things are at, there won’t be that much need for all the gussied up readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmatic currently taught in those hallowed halls. Better make sure they’re up to speed on all the Mad Max skills.

    Or maybe their parents are just trying to make sure their kids get a ride on Elon’s Mars Express.

  3. The Rev Kev

    Re the Antidote du jour-

    That feeling that you get when, after a hard night out, you wake up and realize ‘This isn’t my tree.’

    1. griffen

      Not my tree, and where exactly did I leave the car?

      On second thought, pants would also prove useful.

    2. Pate

      I’m thinkin’ its “whoa , where’d she come from?” (deepest apologies for being gender specific – blame it on perspective))

  4. Dave

    My kids already prefer highly processed grain, nut, and soy based packaged foods, rejecting any whole foods we put in front of them. I imagine transitioning to fake meats will be natural for them, and that will be a boon for industry and (I guess) the climate. I have a hard time finding such items at all appetizing and will most likely keep up furtive, guilty meat and dairy eating as long as possible. Or just switch to beans and nuts in their unprocessed form.

    1. .human

      “Highly processed” and a “boon for the climate” are mutually exclusive. Consider the externalities; transportation, manufacturing facilites, marketing, shipping…

      Just call it Soylent and be done with it.

      1. Ian Perkins

        I often wonder about the amount of water used, carbon footprint, and so on involved in fake meat. Does anyone know of studies comparing the environmental impacts of fake meat and plain non-meat?

          1. coyotemint

            Grass-fed mob grazed can put carbon in the ground, if managed correctly and is also incorporated into regenererative agriculture practices. “It’s not the cow, it’s the how,” is said. Meanwhile fertilizer emissions self-reported, an attempt to correct that in this paper:
            Someone tried to ref Gabe Brown here, and Lambert said he wasn’t looking up some youtuber, not realizing these are soil science conferences for farmers/ranchers.
            C and N loss from tillage is also huge and never mentioned.

    2. Lee

      Whatever their comparative nutritional deficits, processed foods are typically more easily digested and quickly metabolized than are foods in their more natural state. They are more “efficient” in the delivery of calories. It is reasonable to assume this is a genetically determined adaptive trait.

      At least this is one hypothesis I’ve read in a study accounting for such preferences among the bears with access to human foods. At the risk of being labeled a meanie, may I suggest that you adopt an approach used with bears: deny them access to their currently preferred food-like substances. Eventually they’ll get hungry enough to eat what you put before them. Some day, perhaps decades from now, they will thank you.

      1. TimH

        “more easily digested and quickly metabolized”, so, for carbs a heavy insulin hit followed by hypoglycemia then?

      2. Matthew

        The issue is that they start to become “hangry” without having the cognitive development to understand why and the situation generally spirals down into a hysterical screaming nightmare that does not involve sitting down and eating a nice meal.

    3. Pelham

      I wonder how this transition to vegetables will play out. Most of the world’s land that can grow anything is good only for growing grasses, which are indigestible by human beings. Grazing is how we turn that grass into food for us.

      A chart of agricultural land use in the US reveals that grazing accounts for about 80%. About 15% that could be used for vegetables instead goes to corn and soybeans, which are principally used as feeds to “finish” the grazers. That 15% could conceivably be used to grow vegetables, but would that be enough to feed everyone once the stuff is processed? I don’t know, but that would leave as nonproductive the 80% of land now used for grazing.

      On the face of it, that seems like a massive waste. But maybe the grazing land could be returned to the natural state of grasslands that once supported vast herds of buffalo, some of which could be sustainably harvested as boutique meat for those stubborn consumers (like myself) who insist on remaining carnivores.

    4. Adam Eran

      May I suggest “Dr. Praeger’s” as the best non-hydrolized-soy replacement for burgers. They’re really good. The super-processed “can’t believe it’s” burgers are worse than meat…which is (sorry, this is controversial) pretty bad.

      For the complete account, see Colin Campbell’s The China Study, an account of, among other things, the largest study of the connection between diet and health, commissioned by Cho En Lai as he was dying of stomach cancer. Campbell himself was a Columbia biochemist, famous for discovering aflatoxin, a mold-based carcinogen. He was raised on a dairy farm where he ate plenty of meat and mil. After he completed work on the China study, he’s been traveling the U.S. promoting a vegan diet. (Whole foods, plant-based)

      1. griffen

        I frequently will have some of the Morningstar* products; I find the vegetarian products mostly okay as a substitute. But it ain’t the same; you can taste the fillers and what not. The sausage patties are tiny hockey pucks but less than 100 calories.

        Now I recently made a crucial mistake, and purchased their* 100% vegan burger products. Oh no, there is no going that far. The taste and texture, is just nothing worthwhile.

    5. Janie

      When I was a kid we often had primarily vegetarian meals in the height of summer vegetable season. NC had a post about real veg versus fake foods a couple of months ago. I wasn’t crazy about the collards, but I liked everything else. Maybe the veg, fresh from the garden that morning, were better then (especially tomatoes and corn), and there was cornbread or biscuits. It was eat what’s served or go hungry, and there were no processed foods. Meat was rationed during the war, and winter meant canned veg, so people looked forward to summer’s bounty.

    6. drumlin woodchuckles

      If the meat and dairy you eat are strictly pasture-and-range carbon-capture meat and dairy, you don’t have to be guilty and furtive about it. You can be loud and proud.

    7. drumlin woodchuckles

      The problem you are having reminds me of a Jerry Clauer joke I once heard on the radio. Two old guys talking about their hound dogs.

      Guy1 : ” So what do you feed your dog?”
      Guy2: ” I feed my dog turnip greens.”
      Guy1: ” Turnip greens!? Why — my dog wouldn’t EAT turnip greens”.
      Guy2: ” My dog wouldn’t eat them either . . . for a month.”

  5. timbers

    Democrats narrow scope of IRS proposal amid GOP attacks The Hill.

    $600 thresh hold to report to IRS what the peasants do in their bank accounts? I have a better idea:

    $600 thresh hold for bank accounts, stock, Mutual Fund, 401k/IRA trading by members of Congress and members of the Federal Reserve and all their staff.

    And that $600 thresh hold for Congress and Federal Reserve would not just be reported to the IRS but an automatic trigger for a full scale audit by the IRS, the Just Us Department, and FBI.

    It’s only fair we practice Equal Application of the Law and expect that everyone in Congress, the Supreme Court, the Fed, President, Corporate leaders, etc live under that same laws we peasants live under.

    1. griffen

      I hope this bad idea gets pummeled into the ground where it belongs. Expand the amount to a more reasonable balance; perhaps it is also indexed as “2x” or “4x” the median US income as measured every 5 years or so forth.

      Many of the report and monitor mechanisms to do so are already +/- in place for banks and credit unions. Talk about layering in compliance on top of already layered compliance. I think in prior discussion, one of our venerated site hosts put it succinctly as “Forget the poors”.

      1. Skunk

        The Orwellian part of it is that they are simultaneously claiming that higher taxes on the wealthy will pay for the programs. Meanwhile, all of the actual plans seem to target the middle class. Sleight-of-hand.

      1. Eustachedesaintpierre

        I have no idea of what type of person Bobby Kennedy Jr is, but wiki has him down as anti vax & a conspiracy theorist, which sounds bad, but then again they are labels not hard to get if you don’t strictly walk the official walk, Anyhow he has a book out titled The Real Anthony Fauci which I suppose could be interesting & perhaps contains much in the way of truth.

        It used to be a lot easier to know who to trust but now except for here, the truth or at least nuggets of it can it seems rather confusedly come from any direction. The reviewers on Amazon some of which are MD’s appear to be mainly positive, but seeing as I have not the foggiest notion who they are it doesn’t help very much. I also suppose that it would be a shame if valid information was lost because it was easy to discredit the supplier of it.

        Confused Limey now hopes for tolerance of potential faux pas.

    2. chris

      I would love to see this idea get eradicated but I doubt it will happen. The opportunity to create even more bureaucracy, plus hurt poor people, while shooting themselves in the feet, is something no honest Democrat can resist. I’m waiting to see them find a way to means test the minimum wage. Considering that means testing of community college benefits is something that is hanging up the current proposed bill, as if so many wealthy people are going to abuse the system to send the children to community college, the Democrats have completely lost the plot and have no idea what they’re supposed to do other than appease donors and mouth sounds about “build back better.”

    3. flora

      The Dem estab is still p.o.’ed Sanders raised all than money from thousands of tiny donations in 2016. They can’t risk THAT happening again. They look petty and vindictive.

      End this idea of IRS/bank account reporting. Banks already report individual transactions $10k and above.

      1. chris

        According to Ryan Grim and others, the Dems are excited about what they saw from Sanders. It’s the validation of their “suburban parents” as donors strategy. The Useful Idiots had a good podcast discussing it the other day.

    4. Wukchumni

      Luckily 40% of Americans have less than $400 in cash reserves, so they can laugh @ the $600 IRS threshold.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        As I read the coverage, the law is the total amount that passes through your account (like FATCA), not the current amount, or the monthly average, or the highest amount. The total amount.

          1. Skunk

            Seems like one, Ambrit. If this law passes, presumably next year every purchase or withdrawal you make in your bank account will be reported to the government. Obviously, this is not something most Americans would ever agree to directly or accept willingly. Perhaps the best response is to begin insisting that all public officials, including senators and IRS officials, wear bodycams that broadcast their working activities over the Internet. After all, they were hired to perform “public service.” We have to be sure they aren’t cheating anyone, so we’ll have to monitor their working activities.

            1. ambrit

              That task has, in all probability, been privatized. I’m sure that the “donors” who hold the purse strings of the American Political Class keep a very close eye on what their “bought and paid for” politicos are up to.
              The real kicker here is what will be declared “permissible economic activity” and what will be deemed “subversive and treasonous” in the economic sphere. Whoever makes such decisions will be the real “rulers” of the State.
              A real conspiracy theory floating around is the Strict Authoritarian Currency issue. If physical money is done away with in favour of a purely electronic medium of exchange, the opportunities for mischief will be well nigh endless.
              The only bright spot in all this is the truly, abyssmally ludicrous incompetence of any government. All “real” Authoritarian ststes that I have read about rely to a great extent on the willing cooperation of a core cadre of “True Believers.” While not necessarily a majority of the population, a sufficiently dedicated cadre of this nature can carry out the tasks necessary to enable and maintain even the most repressive of regimes.
              America is in the grip of one such system. A purportedly “two party” political system; run through misdirection, (see the present Democrat Party Administration,) kabuki, (see the last few decades of American electoral politics,) and plain grift, (just look around you,) fits the bill for a Shadow Authoritarian Regime.
              However, the Neoliberal Dispensation is essentially Globalist in nature. As a result, the former Middle Class in America is being immiserated. Once that former bulwark of the Post Depression Consensus is finally disabused of their faith in the extant socio-political system, all bets will be off.
              Stay safe! Hull down.

        1. MichaelC

          I probably passed the late 60’s $ equivalent thru my account from my paper route proceeds.
          Unemployment payments will trigger this reporting requirement as well as every paycheck for every citizen.

          Is the IRS just stepping in as ultimate backup for banks monthly statements?

          Effectively the govt gets full access to most all banking transactions.


        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Maybe it is intended to keep the IRS staffers so busy that they will have zero time to audit a single upper class or Overclass person.

          It may also be designed to create deeper existential permafear in all non-rich people, fear of what the IRS ” might think” about the over-$600 worth of activity which will take place through their accounts over the course of a year. And it might put people into deeper fear of offending somebody with government. Or it might drive people to realize that there is no legitimate national government in this country, that the DC FedRegime is an enemy occupation government, and it might drive some people to the hopeless extreme of “living in truth” as Vaclav Havel put it, while driving others to get more and more guns, ammo and training.

      2. Ranger Rick

        I believe this is more about the fact that people are starting to sidestep the banking industry entirely — whether by exchanging money via crypto or through unregulated services like Paypal (famously not classified as a financial institution and not subject to banking industry rules). I wouldn’t be surprised if “unbanked” these days also means “not using traditional means to transfer and store wealth“. The IRS can only catch this stuff when it enters and leaves people’s bank accounts. What’s really interesting is that it’s only the IRS that’s interested in this and not the FTC, because these unregulated activities appear to be actively exploited by data brokers and sold to advertisers, or anyone else with the cash.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Is it even the IRS that is even interested in this? Or is it the Joemala Administration and the Inner PermaGov which is interested in this?

          The IRS people themselves would probably just try treading water in the sea of data smog this would generate.

          The DC FedRegime would have its special in-house paranoid schizophrenics ready on command to connect whatever dots they are commanded to connect into whatever picture the DC FedRegime Lords decide they want painted and framed up.

          1. Skunk

            Have you ever been audited by the IRS? The incredible minutiae involved in the process would lead you to change your mind.

        2. Yves Smith

          Huh? Paypal provides 1099s on receipts that are required to be reported, as in $600 or more a year. If you are selling personal stuff on Paypal (say unloading a bunch of personal things before moving), the income is still not taxable. Sales of personal property are not taxable events (you probably lost money anyhow!)

          It is if you are engaged in a business.

          Many accountants will insist Paypal receipts be treated as income which is technically incorrect, Paypal is not a bank, any money you leave there is not guaranteed, so they are an unsecured creditor. The lack of deposit insurance = “not a bank”.

          Paypal receipts become income ONLY if and when transferred into a bank, provided you don’t taint the tax treatment and use Paypal to pay expenses.

          The IRS is all over Paypal so this isn’t what this is about.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Rust’ crew describes on-set gun safety issues and misfires days before fatal shooting”

    Some stories are starting to surface over the competency of the head armourer – Hannah Gutierrez-Reed. One source said that ‘She was a bit careless with the guns, waving it around every now and again’ and two people said that she once handed a gun that wasn’t properly checked to a 11-year-old child actress. I may have to give credence to these stories based on the fact that it should have been her job to personally hand over weapons to actors on set for a scene but that she did not that day-

    1. Wukchumni

      Every day in the USA over 50 people are killed by gun violence and unless there are a fair number murdered by 1 assailant, we generally don’t care all that much, it not being newsworthy.

      Lots of Americans are careless with their hand cannons, but it never gets reported until now, in a high profile accidental death by perforation.

      1. clarky90

        Re; merely “…a high profile accidental death….”

        I’m sowwwwwwwyyy Moooooomy. I’m so sowwwy about the dead kittens! I won’t stomp on kittens everrrr, everrr again! I really really pwomise! It was an accident!!!!!!

        Can we go to McDonalds now????

    2. DJG, Reality Czar

      The Rev Kev:

      The question of the day, though, is this: What was she doing with a live bullet? Her box of ammunition should only have held blanks. How did the live bullet, seemingly randomly, end up in the gun?

      Even if she was careless about handling the guns, there’s something strange about the “appearance” of live ammunition where there should be none.

      1. Ian Perkins

        It appears ‘live’ in movie making refers to a gun not being empty:
        “A source close to the union said Local 44 does not know what projectile was in the gun and clarified that “live” is an industry term that refers to a gun loaded with some material such as a blank ready for filming.”

        1. sd

          This is correct. Something went very very wrong. And unfortunately, can’t yet rule out deliberate sabotage.

          1. John Beech

            Sadly, this thought also crossed my mind. Sure seems like there were plenty of sources sharing information about past discharges, and how crew left the set in fear. Almost like the stories were already written.

            Add to it, regarding the the horrors of driving 50 miles instead of getting per diem for a hotel. Really? Like you wouldn’t drive 50 miles from that set location, anyway?

            So I hate this has happened, and I hate the loss of life, and I pray it doesn’t turn out sabotage played a role. After all, it’s not like violence isn’t a tool of those on strike. But it’s no unheard of for films to be made on a shoestring. Suspect it’s far more often the case than for someone to be showered with millions to make a film. Sigh.

            1. Michael Fiorillo

              Not everyone is as tough and awesome as you, and willing to drive fifty miles after working twelve to sixteen hour shifts, only to return less than twelve hours later… and do it again… and again.

          2. Ian Perkins

            The actor Brandon Lee was killed by a gun loaded with a blank. I’m thoroughly unfamiliar with guns and ammunition, so I get lost with talk of blanks versus dummy rounds, casings, primers and powder charges, but it seems there was something in the barrel, which shouldn’t have been there (“a dangerous condition known as a squib load”), propelled out when the blank went off. From what we know so far, it seems something like that could have happened here, with no ‘real’ bullets being involved.

          3. Pat

            IF Guttirez-Reade had been doing her job sabotage would not have been possible. IF the producers had done their job, she would never have been hired or would have been replaced when the crew walked out AND all filming requiring weapons would have been rescheduled until an adequate Armorer could have been hired. And if Baldwin, not an unintelligent or ignorant man, had insisted on following protocol, the Armorer would have been called to set, the gun handed to them. And because it had been out of their control and presumably out of their sight, they would have had to check the gun and all of its chambers confirming it was empty before it was handed back to Baldwin.

            And for anyone saying he couldn’t have known, please check IMDB and realize how many shows he has done where there would be gun handling. AND that he was also a producer.

            If someone set up a situation where how unsafe the set was would be shown, they also deserve blame. But that does not absolve Gutierrez-Reade, Baldwin, and the other producers of this movie from responsibility for the negligent homicide of the DP.

            (And sad as I am to say this, it would not surprise me if Baldwin is more shook by the knowledge that a different scene, different day might have meant he was at the end of the barrel of an improperly handled and mislabeled gun. I am quite sure it is everyone elses’s fault he shot people, starting with that 1st? 2nd? 3rd? AD.)

            1. Pat

              I do have to correct one thing, since learning new information. FIRST AD David Halls SHOULD also hold blame. He has extensive experience and should never have been the one to hand out a weapon AND should have known it. And if he was going to take on that responsibility, he absolutely should have done the due diligence of checking the gun.
              But the more that comes out about this production, the more it sounds like one massive cluster* being done on the cheap with little or no concern of working conditions and protocols. I realize that Producers can be strictly financial to hands off filmmakers who really do put the production together and oversee it. This film appears to be filled with a whole lot of the former and not much of the latter.* Which probably means the people running the actual production were underlings with little or no power and no directives except to keep it on budget.

              *My favorite IMDB entry bio from among the executive producers makes it very clear what they are about: “Emily Hunter Salveson is an American film financier, producer, and the CEO and co-founder of Streamline Global Group. Established in 2015, Streamline Global Group, formerly EHS Media Capital, is a company that provides tax equity financing to the film industry by bringing in investors who enjoy substantial returns through tax savings.”

          4. chris

            The first thing that went wrong was an untrained individual pointed a gun at someone and they did not/could not verify that the gun was unloaded. Mr. Baldwin really screwed up there. Whether there is any kind of contributory negligence is something we’ll learn about as the matter progresses. But the first and foremost point is Alec Baldwin broke the cardinal rule of gun safety and someone died because of it.

            1. sd

              This is not correct. The entire set was notified that the gun was ‘cold’ that it was not live, meaning no blank or load.

              When a live gun is on set, it’s announced clearly and loudly to everyone on set. When an actor is handed a live gun, it’s not unusual for the actor handling the gun to have already requested hearing protection which will have been prepared in advance so as not to be seen on camera. Even small load blanks are still loud.

              It’s not just pick up a prop gun and just start shooting. There are well established procedures that involve multiple departments.

              Something went terribly wrong and it’s clear not all of the facts have come out.

              1. clarky90

                “…..If, as appears evident, he intentionally pointed the weapon at the cinematographer, and pulled the trigger, outside of a requirement to “shoot” at someone while filming was being rehearsed, or was actually taking place (e.g. he was pissed off for some reason and that’s why he pointed the alleged “cold gun” at her and pulled the trigger) then I argue depravity is arguably present as well, AND that’s Murder 2.

                Baldwin must be arrested now. There is no reasonable means to claim this is an “accident”; Halyna was (1) first the victim of felony assault with a deadly weapon when a firearm was pointed at her without lawful purpose and then (2) was killed when, through an intentional act, it was discharged…….


                1. clarky90

                  … Alec Baldwin is Pro Union!…….. He even says so, convincingly…. and with “real” passion!


                  “Rick Rexer
                  So this is the guy who employed a non-union crew after the union crew walked… & then shot two people? SNL will be fucking epic this week!
                  · Reply · 1d

                  John Flavell
                  Rick Rexer he was supportive of the strike.
                  · Reply · 1d

                  Rick Rexer
                  John Flavell & then he employed scab workers…
                  · Reply · 1d

                  Rich Ferrat
                  That’s just the tip of this iceberg
                  · Reply · 1d

                  Anthony Esquibel
                  Rick Rexer guaranteed it was a union member that loaded a round in that gun
                  · Reply · 1d

                  Rick Rexer
                  Anthony Esquibel That doesn’t change the fact that he stated he supported the union position & then basically indicated that he didn’t actually give a fuck about the union.

                2. Ian Perkins

                  Do we know that he pointed it at the cinematographer? I’ve read he was practicing taking the gun from its holster, not quite the same thing.

              2. chris

                You haven’t said anything about the point I made, which is, again, the cardinal rule of gun safety. Assume any weapon you’re handed is loaded until you verify it isn’t. If anyone on that set told me or anyone else that it was safe, it’s still on the person who handles the weapon to verify it is safe. There is no such thing as “someone told me it was safe.” If that person is incapable of verifying the condition of the gun, they’re incapable of handling the gun.

                1. Ian Perkins

                  That would presumably rule out 11-year-olds handling guns on set, which may not be such a bad idea.
                  ‘Another unnamed crew member said considerably less attention had been paid to gun safety on ‘The Old Way’ set compared to his previous movies.
                  The most alarming incident, which was mentioned by both sources, occurred when Gutierrez-Reed allegedly handed a gun that wasn’t properly checked to 11-year-old child actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong.
                  “She was reloading the gun on the ground, where there were pebbles and stuff. We didn’t see her check it, we didn’t know if something got in the barrel or not,” another source claimed.’

                  It’d certainly seem unreasonable (to me) to hold Armstrong responsible if anything had happened.

          5. clarky90

            Or did Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins talk back to (was not sufficiently subservient) to “The Big Guy”?

            1. Basil Pesto

              Alec Baldwin is not going to murder an insufficiently deferent DoP just for the hell of it. Have a word with yourself.

              1. clarky90

                There will be a thorough investigation, and justice must prevail! Society will not/NEVER tolerate wealthy, powerful men just randomly killing/murdering women for no discernable reason!…..


      2. The Rev Kev

        I can only guess that either she or somebody else was using that replica to fire off a few bullets for fun and when they returned it to the armoury, it still contained live rounds. Normal procedures should have discovered them but did not. I am guessing that that Hannah Gutierrez-Reed is going to wear this eventually as it was her job to be in charge of weapons. So, criminal negligence leading to manslaughter perhaps?

      3. Robert

        Yes, what was she doing with real bullets? And how can a person loading a gun make a mistake in choosing a real bullet for a blank cartridge? I believe the shells would look different from each other. The real shell would consist of a brass cartridge with a lead projectile pressed into the end. The blank shell would be the brass cartridge containing the powder charge but no lead projectile attached.

        1. sd

          Producer credit usually means the above the line talent are deferring some of their pay to the back end. So Baldwin was likely receiving SAG minimum as his upfront pay as a means to help with funding the project. It’s not at all unusual on a low budget project.

          1. Yves Smith

            My understanding is producers only raise money (and/or put in their own money).

            Executive producers are the one who are the run the show and hire the people in the key positions.

            1. Basil Pesto

              I think it’s typically the other way around. My Dad was once offered an executive producer credit in exchange for capital investment. He declined. (I think he was offered an investment opportunity in the original Matrix – filmed in Sydney – way back when, heh)

              I can’t speak to sd’s observation about actor-producers which is very interesting, but in my experience and from producers I’ve heard speak about their work in Australia, they typically work hand-in-glove with directors to keep the ‘business’/enterprise/undertaking running, ideally freeing the director to worry mostly about artistic considerations (and the 1st AD is the one that does this on set, dealing with the day to day logistics of the shoot, functionally serving as a kind of director’s lieutenant). This is a model often employed in student productions, here anyway. Of course directors will often take a producer’s credit as well (they become so involved from the pre-production stage that they can’t not be functioning as a producer in some way), but I think it’s unheard of that they’re ever the sole producer.

      4. drumlin woodchuckles

        One wonders if someone was jealous of the cinematographer’s growing career and wanted to set up an “accident” to remove the cinematographer from existence.

        1. savedbyirony

          Did you listen to that video Baldwin put out to the stage hand union members? Seems more likely someone in “management” set him up.

      5. Skunk

        I agree, Czar. The question is how the live bullet got into the gun. To some extent the question of who handed the gun to whom is just a red herring.

    3. Janie

      I cringe when I read “the gun went off” or “the pistol discharged”. No human involved? The gun jumped off the rack and fired itself? The pistol has a self-unlock on the trigger lock?

    4. The Rev Kev

      Things are not looking good for that assistant director that handed Baldwin that gun too. Complaints include ‘a disregard for safety protocols for weapons and pyrotechnics use, blocked fire lanes and exits, and instances of inappropriately sexual behavior in the workplace.’

      Unanswered too is the question why it was he who handed Baldwin the gun and not the armourer.

  7. griffen

    My father was a hitman, with possible ties to the mafia; that was a good read. It has to be pretty sad to learn your father was gunned down like that. That said, it’s almost like reading a script before Scorcese has taken hold of the plot to create another mafia inspired period piece.

    Change the author’s last name to Hill, and it becomes believable. Breeding and dog fighting is still, or was last I knew, pretty big in Texas with plenty of open spaces away from big cities.

    1. Ian Perkins

      I was interested to read that Doc Dolan’s final home contained “syringes and ampules of scopolamine, a powerful hallucinogen sometimes used in kidnappings in Latin American countries.” I’d heard of this drug (the active ingredient in datura) being used to facilitate crime in South America, but never before in the USA. (It’s not the kind of thing anyone’s likely to be addicted to or use repeatedly themselves.)

      1. JacobiteInTraining

        scopolamine is given a prominent role in the plot development in the early 60’s movie ‘The Guns of Navarone’.

        I only know this because I watched it again last night. :)

    2. philnc

      Finished 3 Corsi (4 filter “Compretto Cube” variant) boxes this weekend for under $100 each. The 20x20x2 MERV 13 filters (by the case) were the most expensive part. Took about an hour mostly because my inherent clumsiness required going slow when cutting the shrouds. A little more than a roll of duct tape was consumed and the family dog had her first encounter with large sheets of cardboard. They’re louder than I hoped (I think the newer platic blades vibrate a lot more the old steel or aluminum ones we used as “air conditioners” back in the day), but tolerable if running in another room.

  8. LawnDart

    My Father, The Hitman

    The author mentions a counterfit counterfitting machine that his father claimed to have invented. Chances are good that his father learned of that con while in prison.

    Last year, either in an article posted or found here in this comments section, I recall learning of “The Rumanian money box” used by Victor Lustag in the 1920s on at least a few select marks.

    Lustag was quite open about his profession, and his life as a con-man does make for some interesting reading, and one could take note of his “Ten Commandments of The Con.”

    So this may be a repost, but here’s another “true crime” read for this Sunday:

    1. Ian Perkins

      Commandment number three:
      Wait for the other person to reveal any political opinions, then agree with them.

      Sounds like political party focus groups.

      1. LawnDart

        I agree! And isn’t Lambert the oh so sexy stud in that blue evening dress that he often wears for Halloween (and other special occasions)?

        [Commandment #3 & #5 at play]

  9. The Rev Kev

    “In Major Shift, NIH Admits Funding Risky Virus Research in Wuhan”

    The National Institutes of Health & Fauci are like one of those rocks that you pry up and all sort of creepy crawlies start to scuttle their way out of the daylight. This knowledge of the NIH funding risky research in a foreign country like China is already know. But today I read about another project conducted by the NIH that was investigated by the same people that revealed the Wuhan connection and House members were shocked to discover this other research funded by them.

    In this case, “Our investigators show that Fauci’s NIH division shipped part of a $375,800 grant to a lab in Tunisia to drug beagles and lock their heads in mesh cages filled with hungry sand flies so that the insects could eat them alive.” It gets better. “Some of the dogs had their vocal cords removed so scientists could work without incessant barking.” So an experiment that probably could not be conducted in the US without bringing down the wrath of all sorts of rights groups was outsourced to another country so that it would be out of sight and the NIH & Fauci would get to keep their hands clean. Link below with picture of experiment. Sometimes profanity is not enough-

    1. Screwball

      Funny, nothing of this story on the CNN website when I looked a little bit ago. Curious if it made the Sunday morning shows as well since I won’t watch them, maybe someone did. I expect this to get the same treatment that so many other stories get they don’t want to talk about – nothing to see here, move along.

    2. chris

      That’s atrocious. I have no idea why an IRB or ethics review would have allowed that kind of thing even if it was proposed to be done in another jurisdiction.

      And yeah, I expect that kind of story to continually be in the news for middle America and absent on the coasts. If you really want to take Biden down, hamstring him by pointing out he’s surrounded by horrible people, and then force voters and viewers to see him handle stuff by himself. With someone like Fauci, he really doesn’t have an option to distance his administration from him. So making Fauci look bad is an easy way to attack the president.

      1. IM Doc

        From an IRB chairman for more than a decade –

        In general – IRB ( institutional review boards ) are only applicable to research involving HUMAN subjects. In any research, there are usually multiple animal trials early on that are not under the guidance of the IRB. Once the research makes it to patients and humans, the animal research is certainly applicable and ALL OF IT is made known to the IRB in every detail they demand.

        This type of gain-of-function research to my knowledge was never intended to be used for patient care. This was being done for viral research in a broad population manner – as in to see what we can create to kill the most humans – or what can we create that our side can vaccinate quickly, or let’s see what the enemies are doing, or let’s prepare for pandemics with this XYZ virus. Gain of function research on viruses in general is not really applicable to health or alleviating disease. I suppose a case could be made for mutating viruses for cancer therapy or somesuch but that does not appear to be what they seem to be mainly doing. As you can see, this type of thing is clearly not in the purview of a local IRB. It is also fraught with moral problems as evidenced by the actions of recent Congresses and the Obama Administration.

        It absolutely SHOULD be under the purview of the Ethics Committee at the NIH or the NIAID or whatever government agency funded the research. Obviously, it would be somewhat difficult to take to the NIH Ethics Board that which has been explicitly forbidden by Presidents and Congress alike. Of course, one has only to look at who exactly is the head of the Ethics Department at the NIH to realize that we have an enormous conflict of interest. One that I have yet to hear a peep this entire 2 years from ANY mainstream media source.

        Whether or not COVID-19 came from a lab or not, there is now available such overwhelming and incontrivertible documentation that Fauci, et al, seemed to be involved in things that were directly opposed to guidance provided from both the Executive and Legislative branches of our government that a full investigation is warranted and must be done. In Congress. In front of everyone. Look at what this virus has done. Given the toll that any novel virus could promulgate on our planet, especially one genetically altered to maximize damage, to not investigate this at this point would be a crime against humanity. Put COVID aside. It is still unclear whether COVID was a lab leak or not. But just imagine the menagerie of beasties that could be out there somewhere ready to escape.

        It is my considered opinion that we will get nowhere as a country with this pandemic until we have medical leadership that can be trusted by all Americans. With all of this going on with EcoHealth and the NIH, it is very clear to me that whatever happened, Dr. Fauci needs to be fired right now. And then a full investigation into this mess needs to be immediately convened in the US Congress.

        1. chris

          Was not remarking on the Gain of Function research, but the abuse of puppies story. I spent way too much time doing research in grad school. I worked next to the people doing biomechanics work. The IRB process was usually tied to the IACUC for research involving vertebrate animals.

        2. flora

          Yes, I agree. Dr. Fauci repeatedly … uh… misstating facts to Congressional committees this past year about funding the research even indirectly is another point of contention.

          Of course, one has only to look at who exactly is the head of the Ethics Department at the NIH to realize that we have an enormous conflict of interest.

          The head of the Ethics Dept at the NIH is Dr. Fauci’s wife, Dr. Christine Grady.

        3. ArvidMartensen

          Perhaps this was referenced by an NC reader but I can’t recall where I found it.
          Certainly the science looks ok. Though I am no expert in this field.
          But one other thing that jumped out at me was that the Fauci funding of Wuhan via Eco-Alliance was dwarfed by the Defense funding of the same virus experiments via EcoHealth.
          This might be the reason why Wuhan/Baric/Sheng Li were doing “gain of function” and not “loss of function” where the experiments would not only give similar levels of knowledge about coronaviruses but keep human beings infinitely safer.
          If the aim was to make lethal human viruses for US “defense”, this knowledge will be kept secret forever.
          Follow the money almost always works though.
          And this might also explain the blanket misinformation campaign that has gone on for 2 years almost. And the involvement of the Brits (Wellcome Trust).
          But the campaign against treatments to protect against hospitalisation and death? My brain has a very hard time even going there. It would mean we are being governed by sociopaths and therefore will never understand it.

          1. Ian Perkins

            At the end of that piece:
            This is taken from a long article. Read the rest here:
            Near the end of that linked article is this:

            “This was then used by the utterly depraved and psychopathic aristocratic class who rule over us as an excuse to coerce people into accepting an injected poison which may be a depopulation agent, a mind control/pacification agent in the form of injectable “smart dust”, or both in one.”

            and more along similar lines, which sounds familiar and highly dubious to put it mildly.

            1. ArvidMartensen

              I was surprised by this Ian, went to my link and you are right. It directs to something that seems to be misleading. Should have read to the end and realised this explanation of the paper was dubious. Apologies.
              I have found the original paper now which is here and has far more info without dubious links to misinformation.
              I don’t necessarily subscribe to all the content, but the references are amazingly comprehensive and seem to check out, or at least the ones I did for some sort of confirmation of accuracy.

              1. Ian Perkins

                Have a look at the bottom of page 12 and the top of page 13. Also, the same section I quoted above is still there, at the bottom of page 13.
                Naturally a lot of it checks out – Spartacus wouldn’t gain much traction claiming SARS-CoV-2 is made of cream cheese and concrete. Some of it is decidedly dodgy or downright nonsense, eg the first reference at the top of page 39.

                1. ArvidMartensen

                  Yes, the author might have a couple of few weird ideas, which I have the right to ignore, but most of the links are professional and check out.
                  In this age of rampant misinformation, and I include the Peter Daszak letter in the Lancet early last year as misinformation, it is up to every single one of us to weed out the crap from the information.
                  All those conspiracy theories, like to one about NIH funding virus genetic modification at Wuhan, seem to be moving from propeller head territory to fact, as evidenced by NIH’s own documentation.

                  1. Raymond Sim

                    Came to this thread late. Starting back in early 2020 I began convincing acquaintances I was a propellerhead, by pointing out that Fauci appeared to be a genuinely sinister figure. That was on the basis of the public domain information of the sort Richard Ehbright has so relentlessly and admirably refused to shut up about, and on Fauci’s own statements and behavior.

                    Precisely because of this I’m extremely wary of anything remotely like dishonest accusations against him. As long as the media backs him these work to his advantage, not against him.

                    People who mix legitimate assertions with crazy unprovable stuff are typically practitioners of Gish-Gallopery and related techniques. In my experience most people are far more susceptible to these than they realize. One result being that they don’t recognize the degree of dishonesty at work.

        4. Raymond Sim

          It is my considered opinion that we will get nowhere as a country with this pandemic until we have medical leadership that can be trusted by all Americans.

          I think you can leave out “with this pandemic” – none of the various messes we’re in are likely to be fixable by a country that tolerates leaders like Fauci, Walensky, Messonnier et al.

          With all of this going on with EcoHealth and the NIH, it is very clear to me that whatever happened, Dr. Fauci needs to be fired right now.

          It’s been true for at least a year. A competently corrupt bureaucracy would have slid the old man out of sight a long time ago. The U.S. deep state seems to operate more like a Three Stooges tribunal.

      2. KLG

        Late to the party. I will have to travel more to places without internet connectivity to maintain some semblance of sanity…

        Having applied for and received IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Used Committee) approval for research using vertebrate animals (mice and fish), there is no way on earth that beagle-sand fly “experiment” (as described above) would ever be approved in a university or other legitimate research setting. Period. Even if as I assume the point was to study Leishmania, which are scary parasites spread by desert sand flies. A sketchy project at the equivalent of a black site? Sounds like a “yes”?

        1. petal

          I agree with what you said, KLG.
          20 years ago I helped a post doc study Leishmania in a mouse model. It was horrible enough then and I won’t go into it. I was a poor, young, research tech at the time and desperately needed the job. If I didn’t help this person, I’d get sacked. Can’t pay off one’s mega student loans without a job. After doing that, I drew a mental line in the sand as far as what I would do and what I wouldn’t do. To put dogs through this-I’m appalled. They seem to be shopping out the atrocious stuff that would never fly(no pun in tended) here in this case, and the Ecohealth case, and god knows what others over the years. I fear to find out what else has been going on.
          There was a beagle farm(Marshall Bioresources I think they are calling themselves these days) in the county I grew up in and I’m disgusted they’re still at it. I don’t care who shines a light on this stuff as long as a light is shined. I pray some day I can walk away from research. These last couple years, it’s made me feel dirty and disgusting and evil just being in the field. I haven’t worked with mice in years, either.

  10. Helena

    I admit to being confused. Why isn’t ‘transgender’ just considered a separate gender now, because it has to be mentioned to define -woman or -man? Just give transgenders their own facilities and let them hash it out among themselves. I identify as ‘asexual’ but don’t deny my lady parts. I also don’t mention it unless I’m telling men to quit bothering me.

    Home Secretary Priti Patel orders ‘woke’ police forces to stop recording offences by trans women in female crime statistics
    By Glen Owen
    Secretary Priti Patel has ordered ‘woke’ police forces to stop recording offences by trans women in female crime statistics.
    Home Office officials are working with police forces on a new procedure for officers to record the sex of criminals to ensure crime statistics are ‘more accurate’.
    The ban follows cases where violent and sexual offences by men who call themselves female were recorded as being committed by women, prompting concerns that the practice is warping official data.
    Earlier this year, The Mail on Sunday highlighted the case of Zoe Watts, who was jailed for a string of offences including building an improvised bomb.
    Watts was born male but identifies as a woman.
    Lincolnshire Police recorded the crimes as being committed by a woman, meaning they will appear in national female crime figures.
    But research suggests that statistics on traditionally male crimes such as rape are being skewed because of current practice.
    In law, only a male can commit rape, but analysis by Professor Alice Sullivan of University College London shows that between 2012 and 2018, a total of 436 people prosecuted for rape were recorded as women.
    The Home Office confirmed that police forces are to be given new instructions on recording the sex of criminals more accurately.
    The change was revealed in an official response to feminist campaigners calling for an overhaul of the rules.

    1. JBird4049

      Politics and more politics being part of the whole Woke ideology. Changing what are recorded as facts to make what they think the world appear to be what they believe should be instead of accepting what it is, which has arisen from post modernity thought. Really, innstead of a person’s social gender, they could use a person’s biological sex, although in the West both are almost synonymous in social usage.

    2. ArvidMartensen

      I agree. There are now bathrooms for people who can’t/don’t want to use the regular bathrooms where I am. Very handy when the regular lavatories are full too, usable by anybody of any gender whatsoever. Maybe signage could be tweaked and problem solved.
      There appears to be a surfeit of testosterone in this whole argument. Are people who were born female and who transition to males creating as much publicity as the other way around? I don’t know the answer.

      Had never heard of Dave Chappelle until the last week (duh me, but I generally prefer UK comedy like Ross Noble). So went to see some of Chappelle’s stuff online to find out what the fuss was. Wow. He is indisputably right when he says that every single human being on earth was born of a female member of the species though. But I believe that statement is now inflammatory. Someone is losing perspective here.

      The other issue is whose feelings are paramount? If trans women with certain appendages insist on using the women’s restrooms, do their feelings sh*t all over the feelings of the many women who have been assaulted and abused by males and find sharing this private space traumatic? And if so, why?

      1. Helena

        Thailand is way ahead of the rest of the world in letting their people hash things out and live together.

        Kathoey cannot officially change their birth sex on birth certificates or passports

        I really loved the John Burdett Bangkok 8 series of books. All kinds of spooky.
        People need safe spaces from physical assault, that is clear. I think those big bathrooms are creepy, myself. Give me a one-holer every time. Good thing I don’t travel or go to malls any more, lol.

  11. BeliTsari

    The idea that we’re giving millions of kids chronic PASC and auto-immune symptoms; with no mention of repercussions, only cursory diagnostics for even the rich & THEN hurriedly inoculating them, as variants unquestionably end-run even our better vaccines and CDC has simply lied or obfuscated us essential workers’ loved-ones into cherry picked excess fatality statistics, and ignored, belittled or demeaned long-COVID victims, righteously indignant at being sacrificed, lied-to and preyed-upon as churlish “anti-vax” anti-science malingerers. Just imagine the long-term profits, if DNC™ LLC can depend on their geriatric yuppies and Creative Class Millennials LOTErs?

  12. Michael Ismoe

    RE: The Great Resignation

    The darkest states are also the ones with the lowest minimum wage (except Nevada which is a classic case of tourism delays making workers adapt). I am sure that is just a coincidence.

    If you are going to make squat at the end of the day, there’s no reason to kill yourself. Maybe if we all vote for the Democrats in 2022 they’ll raise the minimum wage to $15. Honest.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I’m not sure, but there was an article Biden’s town hall ratings. It’s not the season of course, but given access to Obama especially in the 2nd term when he spoke only with Jonathan Chait, one would think the President would draw attention. Then it’s put up time.

      Without stark improvements, pleas will fall on deaf ears.

    2. Pelham

      And how about immediately, rather than in stages over so many years that inflation will whittle that $15 down to $10 or so? Better yet, let’s raise the minimum to what it would be if it had kept up with inflation for the past 40 years. That would be $26 an hour — right now.

      Of course, we’ve dug ourselves into such a deep hole that I doubt any substantial wage increase is possible without heating up wage inflation. I’m a big believer in MMT, but (I think) what it tells us is that boosting income at the lower and mid-levels of the distribution is likely to generate an undesirable degree of inflation. What justice demands is what the economy may not sustain, unfortunately.

      1. John Beech

        Brings to mind Billy Preston’s lyrics for Nothing from Nothing . . .

        Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’
        You gotta have somethin’ if you wanna be with me
        Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’
        You gotta have somethin’ if you wanna be with me
        I’m not tryin’ to be your hero
        ‘Cause that zero is too cold for me (Brr)
        I’m not tryin’ to be your highness
        ‘Cause that minus is too low to see, yeah
        Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’
        And I’m not stuffin’, believe you me
        Don’t you remember I told ya
        I’m a soldier in the war on poverty, yeah
        Yes, I am
        Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’
        You gotta have somethin’ if you wanna be with me
        Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’
        You gotta have somethin’ if you wanna be with me
        That’s right, ha, yeah
        Gotta have somethin’ if you wanna be with me
        You gotta bring me somethin’ girl
        If you wanna be with me

      2. Glen

        Signs are TPTB are getting ready to do almost the exact opposite of trying to raise minimum wage.

        Why put the IRS in the loop on amounts as small as $600 in bank accounts – because you assume people that have dropped out of the “normal” minimum wage economy are getting money some other way – the “underground” economy, and that has to be stamped out fast!

        The irony is that much of this economic distortion has been caused by the “Wall St underground economy” which is the trillions of dollars handed out by the Federal Reserve. Where does it go? What is it buying? Who has it? It sure isn’t people making minimum wage. Remember when Congress was asking for information from the Federal Reserve and got nothing? That involved trillions handed out to the largest financial institutions in the world.

        But now you gotta know about some schmo in Palukaville that got 600 bucks.

        1. JBird4049

          >>> the “underground” economy, and that has to be stamped out fast!

          Thereby driving more people even deeper into the underground economy. Stupid is as stupid does.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “January 6 Wasn’t a Riot. It Was War.”

    No it wasn’t. If it is war, you call out the troops. If it is a riot, you call the cops. Let me explain. You call the Fire Department about a fire and fire trucks are rolling out the door within about 80 seconds. You call the Pentagon about a threat to the Capital Building and it is several hours before they finish their laundry list of procedures and have troops arrive on the scene. But suppose that they could have been as fast as firefighters to respond. The first on the scene would have been a recon unit who would then contact headquarters with a sitrep. Can you imagine how that would have went for January 6th?

    ‘General! We made contact with our on-scene recon unit. They’re on line two.’

    ‘Son. What do you see? How many hostiles are we going to be dealing with.’

    ‘Uhhh, about several hundred, General.’

    ‘Say again? Did you say several thousand?’

    ‘No sir. About several hundred.’

    ‘Well, what sort of weaponry do they have? Any heavy weaponry that we have to worry about? Any ATGMs?’

    ‘None sir. I can’t even see so much as a sling-shot. Some disposal store tactical gear but that is about it.’


    ‘Lieutenant. What is the condition of these hostiles? Do they look lean, mean and ready to fight?’

    ‘Actually General, most of them look old and fat. Beer bellies galore in fact. One of them looks like my racist aunty. Wait – something is happening. Yeah, one or two of them have collapsed and maybe stroked out or had a heart attack.’

    ‘OK, Lieutenant. I have the picture. Return to barracks. I am cancelling the call-out. Hey, does anybody here know the number for DC’s Metropolitan Police Department?’

      1. lapidopterist

        serious insofar as it was yet another pseudo-event arranged by elements within u.s. intelligence to further ‘their’ agenda.

        serious insofar as it was yet another tendentiously constructed fantasy insinuating itself into the public imaginary.

        serious insofar as it was yet another spectacle that has captured even those minds supposedly immunized against such blatant propaganda.

        1. marym

          Participants should own their participation and not blame it on someone else. If a provocateur throws a rock or looters damage property or cops over-react — which happens at many different protest events — we still don’t get to discount the seriousness of all the participants, the seriousness of the cause they believe in, or their agency for their own actions of disruption or civil disobedience.

      2. marym

        Beyond an assessment of the seriousness of the rioting itself, some elements of seriousness are unclear. We can only speculate what would have happened if rioters had encountered Congresspersons (were some of them serious in their intention to attack?). We don’t yet know enough to assess the extent to which people other than the rank and file participants had a role in planning or funding.

        An extremely serious aspect of the event is that the rioters were supporting and trying to participate in the broader and very serious effort to nullify the presidential vote of tens of millions of their fellow citizens.

        1. Big River Bandido

          A very serious effort indeed. Aside from making attempt to commandeer media communications or take over the military. No apparent plans to do anything, really, other than pose for selfies for posting on social media. Oh yes, these were a seriously dangerous bunch of buffaloes.

          1. marym

            As I tried to say, it’s not the riot but the larger attempt in court cases, political pressure on federal and state and officials and more-than-apparent plans going forward to cancel the votes of the people they disagree with that’s serious. The rioters saw themselves, and people with more political power saw them, as part of that.

  14. cnchal

    > Where are the workers? Cutoff of jobless aid spurs no influx AP

    Indeed, the pandemic appears to have caused a re-evaluation of priorities, with some people deciding to spend more time with family and others insistent on working remotely or gaining more flexible hours.

    Those containers floating on the ocean better be unloaded soon or a lot of people will realize they can get by just fine without the crapola on board.

    The buck you don’t have to earn is moar valuable than the one you do.

    1. wilroncanada

      Unfortunately, at least two of those “crap” containers are full of toxic chemicals. The containers may sink, or they may crash onto the shore, probably of Vancouver Island. Both are the kinds of outcomes we on Vancouver Island can well do without.

      1. cnchal

        When I wrote that comment I did not know what happened off the coast. I meant that the longer they are floating on ships and the contents are not delivered that eventually the end customer would realize they can do without the stuff in them, which would be even scarier to the greed is god crowd than the big quit.

        The latest I heard is that 40 containers went overboard during rough seas and that two containers on board are on fire. Criminal negligence is the operating principle when it comes to ocean transport.

        Globalization is a disaster no matter where one cares to look.

  15. Glossolalia

    Re: The Problem With America’s Semi-Rich

    That’s coupled with another one of the traits of this class, which is a lack of imagination. The source of the fear is also this inability to imagine a life that doesn’t involve getting these high-status credentials and having a high-status occupation. This life plan looks good, and it certainly looked good in the past when the odds were more sensible. But it’s not a great deal. It’s something that isn’t just harmful to the people who don’t make it, it’s also harmful to the people who get involved and do make it, in some sense.

    I definitely live amongst these people and my wife and I comment often on the lack of creativity. They all drive a luxury SUV, they all live in beige 4,000 sq. ft. houses that look identical, they all wear essentially the same clothes. And judging from how aggressive they are on the roads they are ANGRY.

  16. Questa Nota

    Safe space town hall, where kayfabe merges with kabuki kabull****. And they wonder why ratings have fallen so low at the clueless narrative network.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Biden’s safe-space CNN town hall attracts small audience, as poll numbers plummet”

    Funny this. By my count, it is only 278 days since Biden became President which is not that long out of a four-year term. And yet, not only has his ratings dropped into a toilet, people are getting insulting about him in public which would never have been accepted at the beginning of the year. The first 100 days have come and gone and the gloss of trying to label him as the second FDR quickly evaporated. But the Democrats just can’t seem to get out of their own way and get stuff done. Here is an article talking about this change of attitude-

    Going to take a guess here. I think that most Americans want change because they can see that their country is heading towards rocks and shoals. But no matter who is elected President, the policies are the same – neoliberal at home, neocon abroad. A lot of people voted for Trump hoping that he would shake things up but things stayed the same still. Obama was the worse as he promised hope & change but under him, nothing fundamentally changed. The only luck that America has had is to have a Biden who is addled with age. You would not have wanted a Biden from 20 years ago in his prime running the country. Tough times ahead I am afraid.

    1. Pelham

      Agreed. Increasingly I find my political self absolutely crushed by the notion that no matter whom I vote for at the federal level, the result will be nothing short of toxic. I feel as if we’re being held hostage, shackled, abused. Bill Maher a few weeks ago expressed something in the same vein when he noted this country can no longer undertake anything of significance, saying that every project is either a scam or a boondoggle before it can even get started.

      There’s talk about secession these days, somehow splitting the country apart. The divisions proposed, however, are driven by hatred and hostility, which probably leads nowhere good. But maybe an argument can be made for a cognitively diverse rump-America, one whose only objective is to start afresh with brand new governing institutions cleansed of all the possibilities of corruption and capture that we’ve learned about so painfully. The first lesson to be applied would involve the institution of both a minimum income and a maximum for incomes and wealth accumulation, thus taming the historical inevitability of great wealth being used to exercise great power.

      1. Janie

        Maybe John Michael Greer could be chief consultant; he’s given our descent a lot of thought. Btw, Robert Kagan has another long essay in Wapo editorial section today (sorry can’t link). Some would say it’s too pessimistic; I say realistic about possibilities. It’s that Robert Kagan and I never thought I’d be in agreement with anything he says, but recent essays have been good. (Translated, he agrees with me lol)

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        There could be interstate compacts for this and that, something like the Great Lakes Compact for Great Lakes protection.

        Some high population states-regions could have an interstate rail compact for creating real rail service within their own area.

        Interstate compact for renewable-energy-only economics and society.

        And so forth.

    2. John Beech

      I have this filter in my head, which warns, when reading something by FOX, as an example, that the slant is guided by Murdoch. Meaning he’s who purchases the barrels of ink for the organization. Or when reviewing information provided on MSNBC, that the guiding hand may be Mr. Soros, or similar, on the left.

      For this reason, when pointing to RT, I believe it pays us all to be aware of who is providing their funding (Russia) and to try and discern why.

      We all have learned how subtle propaganda can be. And how powerful (effective) it is, especially when shared by friends and family (the holy grail of propaganda, surely, is for those close to us to do the heavy lifting). Thus, when those amongst us do the deed of spreading said information we should be doubly careful because there’s enough good stuff there to have caught there attention. The question is, what harm is there, also?

      Not saying someone sharing such a link a useful idiot, just a reminder to all of us sharing information on NC to be aware there’s a motive behind every single source of news. That, and, how it is incumbent upon us to engage said filter (if it exists in our heads), and to be cognizant of the source and to wonder at the purpose.

      It’s said Hollywood is soft power for the USA as it shows off the good and bad in American life, e.g. the way things work here. And how Hollywood engenders envy for our way of life. Love it or hate it, our movies nevertheless gives the world’s citizens a glimpse of how even our poorest likely have a car, a flat screen television, running water, food, electricity that is reliable, justice such as it is as part of law and order, corruption and how it’s rooted out, etc. Meanwhile, anyone who has traveled knows how rich our poorest are (if they have half a brain) in comparison to Mexico’s, or Nigeria’s poor. And even a half baked attempt at informing yourself regarding our courts and American-justice reveal justice means several different things in different parts of the world.

      But soft power is also one that can be deployed by the unwitting. I sometimes like what I read at RT. And when I do, I then wonder . . . why? Point being, I am always hyper alert regarding the hidden message on RT (pravda if you will), and what the purpose is, ‘and’ whether I will be playing a role of useful idiot when spreading it (sharing links). Note; I don’t know that I have ever pointed someone there. Why do I ever read it? Simple, it’s because it reliably informs me regarding what Russia wants out there on the interweb, meaning circulating amongst we the people.

      Examples include doubting the good our our nation by spreading information about its evils. Doubting our country isn’t perfect isn’t the issue, only God is perfect, but spreading news where we’re not good also does damage to our ideal. Does this make sense? Point being, I find value in learning where Russia sees our weakness and in discerning what it is they want from me.

      So please, the only point of my comment is to remind you to raise your shields. Put another way, don’t stumble on the Klingon trap and do the bidding of others.

          1. GramSci

            Yes, for example Putin says, recounting the various present threats: “Not to mention some truly monstrous things when children are taught from an early age that a boy can easily become a girl and vice versa.”

            I think *Putin* is an orthodox bishop.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I’ve noticed that RT has a bent to the right. Last year I figured that Russia would have a hard time dealing with the Pandemic as the attitude in their articles was ‘it’s just the flu, bro-sky.’ Having said that, they carry articles that you will not see in main stream media and I value this. I take the truth where I find it. Hell, I found one of my greatest insights in a Hagar the Horrible cartoon script once.

      1. Nikkikat

        If you watch any shows on RT you will find a decided bent to the right. Several such as chris hedges program or several others would be far to the left. Seems you have been watching a lot of MSDNC. Incidentally, I doubt Russia would need to run propaganda about how horrible our government is on every level. Our government seems to do a great job on their own of alienating us without any help from Russia.

    3. fresno dan

      The Rev Kev
      October 24, 2021 at 11:02 am
      But no matter who is elected President, the policies are the same – neoliberal at home, neocon abroad.
      I’ve said it many times – the Dem and Repub parties agree on far more than they disagree on. Yet, Americans refuse to contenance 3rd parties because Americans say* that is throwing your vote away. Throwing your vote away is voting for a dem or repub.
      *it really is disturbing that “winning” and not being a “loser” is SUCH a part of the American psyche that it completely stultfies American politics.

  18. Questa Nota

    Precarity, that mental state with some curious characteristics.
    Where the footsteps of fraud-hunters, or your subconscious, may be heard getting closer.
    Where following the notion of making your boss look good to your boss’s boss makes you realize that it doesn’t involve anything tangible, productive or in any value-additive.
    Where the cost of keeping up keeps going up, resulting in suppressing more and more urges to chuck it, or just upchuck.
    Where watching Dirty Jobs or similar shows for a guilty pleasure just turns out to be guilt-inducing for the sense of hollowness when seeing people with actual skills.
    Now, when is brunch, that reward for participating in what amounts to a giant, soul-crushing mental multi-level marketing scam?
    Milo Minderbender talked about how everybody got a piece of the action, so where is yours, or anybody’s you know?

  19. Nel

    That interfluidity article:

    “Nobody “needs” to live in…San Francisco. No one’s kid “has” to go to private school…It is extraordinarily expensive to be both comfortable and some facsimile of virtuous.”

    OK, just try sending your child to school in a decent or neighborhood public school in S.F. They will be shunted across town to at best mediocre and worse ghetto school, little guinea pigs for sociological hallucinations of the FBI indicted school board, meaning one parent is 20 trip a week chauffeur. So much for car free living. Put them unguarded on a public bus? That’s child abuse. Private schools are scarce and hideously expensive.

    “You’ll never see as many rainbow flags as you see in Marin County.”
    The biggest hypocritical Wokestan in America. The crypto conservative white homeland for Bay Area parents, who love the safe, high quality schools, put up Black Signs Matter posters and live the good life.

    1. Mark Sanders

      I haven’t lived in S.F. in years, but are there really any ghettos left in the city? My understanding was that due to gentrification, all the blacks and latinos were forced across the bay to Oakland (and then north to Sacramento or thereabouts after not-so-rich S.F. whites went there and gentrified that city).

      1. lordkoos

        A friend of mine had a gig in S.F. this weekend. He had to get a Lyft car ($26) instead of taking a 15 minute walk to the venue because everyone told him if he walked through the Tenderloin he would 100% get mugged. That sounds pretty “ghetto” to me.

        1. Mark Sanders

          I usually associate the word ghetto with ethnic or racial aspects. The Tenderloin traditionally was not a black, latino or any other kind of ghetto, rather it was where the “bums” lived and hung out, bums in the sense used when I was growing up — people who were drunks or druggies, without money or jobs. Like I said, I moved out decades ago, so I have no idea what it’s like now.

          I may be wrong, but I suspect there are no public schools in the Tenderloin.

          1. Yves Smith

            Here’s a pretty recent video:


            This looks not much worse than Harlem above Central Park North or Times Square in NYC in the bad days. If you are a guy of average height or taller, walk briskly with a hand in your pocket as if you are carrying, you’ll be OK in daylight. Or a pretty tall woman bigger than a size 4 who again is not so porky that she is or could be presumed to be reasonably fit. I carry a bludgeon at all times.

            Gun laws are tough in SF so you are more at risk of intimidation than physical harm, like a guy or perhaps several guys harass you at once. The risk in NYC in the old days was adept pickpocket (streets way more crowded, someone could bump you at a corner to distract you from sticking their hand into your bag).

            If you move like a target, that’s another matter.

            1. Robert Gray

              > If you move like a target, that’s another matter.

              And never, ever, stand on a street-corner looking at a map! Of course, nowadays a lot of maps are apps, on mobile phones — but then there are street-corners where you don’t even want them to see your phone, especially if it’s fancy.

  20. Jason Boxman

    It is this alternative worldview, resistant to carrot or stick, that helps explain why 21 percent of eligible adults in the country have not gotten a single vaccine dose, threatening a nationwide goal of achieving herd immunity.

    No, what really threatens us is incompetent, willfully ignorant leadership on what steps to take to save lives and minimize risk. The herd immunity magic pony ain’t it. How, at this late a date, can anyone even seriously promote the fiction that herd immunity is possible when neither infection nor vaccination confers sterling immunity.

    Insanity. I fear what year 3 is going to bring us.

    1. Yves Smith

      No, note how even more than 21% have had one dose but not two out of a two dose regime. Suggests they had a sufficiently bad reaction to the first dose they won’t take a second.

  21. fresno dan

    South China Morning Post
    A group of pigeons in southern China’s Guangdong province gathered and started pecking at a smartphone screen when their owner played an old video of herself feeding the birds.

    From the screen: One pigeon was so hungry it nudged another one away to secure its spot
    I’m not gonna say people with their smartphone act the same…I’m gonna think it, just not say it….but I am typing it…

    1. Ian Perkins

      I wonder what pigeons are making of the video of pigeons pecking at a smartphone video of pigeons pecking corn. If they gather round and peck at the screen, will they do the same for a video of them doing that, and so ad infinitum?

  22. jr

    re: Four Horsemen at the Capitol

    Wow, that Atlantic article about the “war” on the Capitol is pathetic. First off, I propose a regulation against journalists offering aphorisms, a task best left to philosophers, spiritual leaders, and myself:

    “Language is sticky; it clarifies and obfuscates the truth depending on who’s wielding it.”

    Yawn. In other words, language is language. Was anyone unaware that words have impact and they can be used to both reveal and conceal information? Nothing new here, which begs the question “Why bother?”

    “Four Hours at the Capitol isn’t as analytical, or as thorough in its parsing of all the information that’s emerged. But its immersiveness offers something else.”

    Given all the thoroughly analytical takes on the January 6th hi-jinx provided in the media, it must have been a breath of fresh air for the writer to come across something as wildly non-objective as this bit of propaganda. Someone had done most of the work for her! What better way to glean insight into that day of infamy than the images of the slack jawed morons who kicked off the party and the understandably terrified centurions tasked with protecting their masters? Is it any surprise that the “invaders” glorified their stunts as warfare? And heaven knows law enforcement is always happy to exaggerate their travails. That’s one reason why they murder people and get away with it on the regular. The film’s immersiveness offers many things, in fact: an easy write up, an easily digested bit of $hit-lib agit-prop, an energizing jolt to the totalitarian state, and a chance for HBO to profit off of this farce. It’s a win-win-win-win!

    “Four Hours lets its subjects speak without interjection or correction, a decision that seems to respect its audience’s ability to reason out the logical gaps.”

    Yes, more “immersiveness”, respecting it’s target demographic’s ability to fill in the blanks with their own comical set of assumptions, prejudices, and hyperbole. Carefully whipped into a frenzy by mopes like the author. If anything has become clear in the last ten years or so, $hit-libs are as lousy with logic as any Trumpanzee.

    “The breadth of people Four Hours includes adds emotional texture to its presentation of events.”

    “Emotional texture”, sigh. It’s a nice to the The Atlantic let’s graduate students contribute to their publication. And it’s not “breadth” to include the targets of the mob, as if that was somehow a leap of inclusiveness. “Breadth” would have dug into why the mob was there, why the Capitol police were so unprepared, what complaints were being held against the hucksters hiding in their offices. But then, that might have been too “analytical” and “thorough” and heaven knows we don’t need more of that.

    “what might have happened if the hordes screaming Nancy Pelosi’s name had gotten to her”

    Gee, that’s something to consider……………………………………………………………………

    “But what Four Hours at the Capitol captures is impossible to deny: Pro-Trump forces went to war against the American officers charged with defending democracy.”

    Really? Ask one of the veterans of the debacles in Iraq or Afghanistan who were mentally and/or physically maimed by their service if it counts as war, you entitled hack. Sent there to defend corporate interests by the targets of the “hordes”, their lives ruined as a result. Left to wither and die by those same targets when they got home.

  23. Michael Fiorillo

    The article about the docents at the Art Institute of Chicago confirmed my growing sense that much of the “disruption” taking place over issues of diversity and “equity” (the meaning of which these people don’t seem to understand) is in reality sublimated/disguised inter-generational warfare and back-stabhing, conducted by young PMC-ers in increasingly precarious industries (i.e. media, academia, etc.), who opportunistically use this rhetoric and accompanying guilt-tripping to make way for their own advancement. The case of science reporter Don McNeil at the Times is another example.

    The problem, aside from the dishonesty and nastiness that accompanies it, is that it beautifully sets the table for Trumpian backlash

    1. flora

      I wonder how many of the fired docents and their friends have changed bequests in their wills; how strong will the art museum’s fund raising results be going forward? / ;)

    2. jr

      All this posturing isn’t going to result in any equitable distribution of unpaid labor positions, that much is certain. What will happen is the continued scheme of cherry picking from the handful of people of color etc. who can talk, act, and think in ways the mostly white and privileged directors and managers of such institutions approve of. When I worked in museums in Philly years ago the prejudice against those who weren’t able to mimic the bosses was palpable. One young Temple student who was seeking a career in museum science was bluntly told by the director, an entitled white PMC academic from UPenn, that if she was unable to modulate her voice when addressing people she could pretty much forget her plans. This was an unsubtle way of telling the young lady that she wouldn’t be getting a recommendation from her.

      Museums are nests of privileged parasites. They will defend that privilege at all costs, even to the detriment of the institution itself. I never would have been hired by the moron who took over the position from the person who took me on, the new gallery manager made a point of only hiring art history graduates such as herself (for a museum of science) in order to insure that she a. had a bit of a clue what they were talking about and b. held their future plans in her hands due to her connections in the art museum world, insuring her control over them. Her hires were worthless in the galleries of fossils and stuffed creatures, constantly making mistakes and then compounding them with wordy babble in an effort to appear competent.

      The manager was no fountain of knowledge herself. This was a woman who once pointed to a sabre-tooth tiger’s femur and told a group of schoolchildren that it was a dinosaur’s bone, only to have the entire group of children loudly say “No it’s not! It’s a mega-fauna bone!” She hated me because I was infinitely better at her job than she was and eventually she was able to get me fired by falsely accusing me of theft from the till box. The fact that I hadn’t been working that day seemed to have no bearing on my case.

      It’s true that the vast majority of the docents I worked with were wealthy white women who could have just as easily been basking on the beach in Cancun as milling about the galleries. But this dog and pony show none-sense will only reinforce the class privileges of the wealthy and powerful at the top of the heap with a patina of moral superiority. And reinforce the heightened social status of those historically repressed people talented or lucky enough to have gathered together the necessary class markers to be allowed into the foyer of the tent.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Wow. That is a good insight to what goes on in places like this. Thanks for that. So you are saying that competence in such a place is what will get you fired – to the detriment of that institute.

        1. jr

          Competence will get you used in such places, until such time as that competence threatens the public image of your superior or some other need arises. My boss relied on me to handle guests such as Freeman Dyson, Charles McCullough, and other dignitaries because she would have made a braying a$$ of herself if she had tried to lead a tour. She literally had no idea what the exhibits were nor the ideas behind them. None. Then, when it suited her, she smeared me with a petty crime, probably so she could insert one of her art history winged-monkeys, like the one who nervously explained to a group of visiting historians that some of the specimens had been collected in the 19th century when, you know, Hitler was in power. The docents were nice enough but basically just told people where to put their coats and where the bathrooms were. It’s the careerists you had to watch out for.

          It’s a world of back-stabbing, status addicted elite mediocrities who cannot cut it in the relatively even handed and equitable realm of academia so they attempt to burnish themselves by proximity to actual ideas and talent. They make a living pointing at things. It’s why they refer to themselves as gallerinas .

          1. AW

            What you describe reminded me of this article from 2007. It has been a while since I read it; it is a large and complicated topic. The subject ought to have been elaborated substantially (I haven’t checked; it’s not my field) in light of the recent fashion for absolute subjective reality.

            (To mods: first post … long lurk. I know I’m late to the conversation: apologies. I toyed with elaborating but since the article is open access, decided to leave it as is. My own experiences with this phenomenon are long and varied.)

          2. Raymond Sim

            I’ve never read cleaner, clearer depiction of the natural trajectory of institutions.

            That the whole field of public health has turned out to have so much in common with the Franklin Institute has been a kind of ongoing shock for me. But postwar, what with antibiotics and most of us drinking clean water, I think the main difference was the amount of money to be made.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Perhaps we should spare a moment of hatred for the left wing intellectuals who invented this rhetoric and these concerns to begin with. Perhaps we should spare a moment of hatred for the Social Justice Warriors who first invented “safe space” and “triggering” and other words and accusations invented as tools to extort rituals of self-abasement from people accused of violating “safe space” and causing “triggering” and so forth.

      If the original inventors of these evil concepts had never existed, the “PMC” would never have been able to co-opt and exploit them for their own “PMC” purposes.

      Perhaps we should spare a moment of hatred for Audre Lord.

  24. Bart Hansen

    On music: “Not my genre. Apparently, I should already have heard of them, which shows you how behind the times I am!”

    Who among us can keep up? We reached Peak Celebrity some years ago. Now for each celebrity death, scores are thrust upon us.

  25. Carolinian

    So no link to the key story of the day? There’s going to be a World Series in Smyrna, Georgia.

  26. flora

    Matt Taibbi’s latest on cancel culture. Public excerpt, no paywall:

    “White audiences couldn’t get enough of laughing at institutional racism as described in Chappelle’s Show, but The Closer is something different. Here we’re not talking about meathead cops who shoot your dog, or fat-cat white collar lawyers, congressmen, and federal investigators who kiss the asses of corporate thieves, i.e. the type of character he roasted in bits like “Tron Carter’s Law and Order.” Everyone hates those people, so you can beat on them all you want. They long ago stopped being taboo targets. The Closer goes after racism we’re not yet allowed to discuss.”

    1. CanCyn

      Love the Dilbert strip. So glad to be retired and out of the land of pointy haired bosses…
      As for Chapelle, third time I’ve seen this come up on NC this week. I have watched the show, Chapelle is not a hater. I don’t always love his kind of go for the shock/offending remark humour but the trans community’s criticisms of him are not legit. Anyone who can make up a story about a giant black man who can’t be physically hurt by bullets but whose heart breaks every time he is shot is clearly a caring soul. He says at one point that it is more acceptable to shoot and kill a black man in America than it is to hurt a gay man’s feelings – he is right and that is very sad state of affairs. He also tells a story of a woman who follows him through a mall and finally greets him to criticize his humour – he asks her if he followed her to her home and did his show in her driveway – in other words, who is forcing these people to pay attention to him? Who is forcing anyone to pay attention to any comedian or anyone else saying something they find offensive? Best laugh out loud line for me? Someone tells Dave “they is out to get him” he asks “Just one or lots of them?”

  27. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    “My Father, the Hitman D Magazine”

    For all those individuals interested in hitmen, gangsters, drug cartels, and crime drama more generally and who would rather watch than read, one of the best documentaries that I have seen is “Cocaine Cowboys Reloaded”

    You can watch it for free and scratch that itch at the same time, if you are so inclined and have the spare time available:

    Additional background information can be found here:

    ““Cocaine godmother” Griselda Blanco gunned down in Colombia”

    1. Wukchumni

      We’re in a hurry up and wait gig with the deluge hitting hard tomorrow.

      I took a hike today on the Ladybug trail in the south end of Sequoia NP which didn’t disappoint, there must’ve been 50,000 of them glomming on downed logs and in nooks and crannies everywhere. We found that a number of them had succumbed to the Castle Fire last year, a friend showed me a black clump of about 200 of them he found, exhibited in the palm of his hand.

      We passed through much of the burned slopes from the Castle Fire and really precious little grew in the past year, so the South Fork of the Kaweah is in danger from debris flows, as are the East, North, Middle & Marble Forks from this year’s KNP Fire.

      Everybody has known the current storm about to bear down on us was coming for the past 10 days, and once again we’ve missed out on a golden opportunity to do constructive fires as opposed to destructive fires, by not setting up a ton of prescribed burns all over the middle to the northern parts of the state.

      If we had set them up (no easy task, and it would’ve employed perhaps 100,000 people over the course of the past year) and lit them up yesterday or the day before in the far north, they would’ve burned hot and created oh so many fire breaks before Mother Nature put them all out with 5-10 inches of rain coming in, hell it was a no brainer to do it, but all we do is react to wildfires with no consideration of going about it differently.

      This has to change…

  28. drumlin woodchuckles

    Layered Defense against covid is one of several things not openly named in any majority mainstream venue. Probably the only way to get things like this forced into majority mainstream venue exposure is if a major political party made it a major focus of overt and specific agitation and demands. The 2 brand name parties exist to prevent such overt specific public focus.

    Some groupload of people would have to start the difficult work of growing a few-simple-things movement to be the base for building a legitimate political party on. It would have to be devoted to a few basic material survival things. It would have to be honestly named enough that people would have an idea what they were looking at just from the name.

    I would suggest something like Lower Class Survival Party or Lower Class Majority Party or some such thing. It would have to limit its Party goals-list to a few basic decent existence and survival things. On everything else, any and every member would have to be free to think and do anything. The only way to unite a lot of people in defense of their own Lower Class Survival would be to not demand that any of them be pro-abortion or anti-abortion or pro-gun or anti-gun or any of the other culture-war objects of contention which are deliberately engineered on purpose to never ever be won, lost or settled.

  29. drumlin woodchuckles

    “Where are the workers” ?

    Perhaps they are in a state of sullen sit-down stay-at-home revolt. In their millions. Pray that millions of middle aged adults are letting their young-adult children live with them for long enough to increase the pressure against the “McJobs” sector.

    Pray that sector either makes its McJobs into good jobs at good pay with good conditions, or else goes all the way extinct, never to reappear.

  30. Ping

    Corporate media and government aversion to legitimately investigating the virus origin is clearly covering-up for the fact that there is no accountability for what is being researched.

    If I were queen, Fauci would be imprisoned for the complicity of turning people’s lives and the world upside-down.

    Like a gargoyle with monstrous ego, protecting the medical/research institution’s house of horrors while constantly posing as the public’s health care representative from his rotten pedestal perch.

    At least there can be bi-partisan objection to cruel, needless experiments on dogs and puppies, by the NIH, confining dogs to be eaten alive by sand flies and severing the vocal chords of puppies so they can’t cry. A pointless cruel exercise funded 375,000 in part by NIH.

    Fauci is monstrous as the highest paid federal employee and his focus is bio-weapons aka bio-defense as pharmaceutical/political operative. Public health my ass. If I were queen….

    We now have Pfizer and big pharma dictating public health “standard of care” while designing trials for desired outcomes with Fauci out in front. Pfizer’s contracts with Israel, turning that population into a giant experiment under secrecy are becoming public while demanding state assets of Central American and eastern European countries for vaccine.

    It’s monumental corruption that will dwarf the mortgage/real estate 2008 corruption.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles


        So should I, and so should others. More time to sleep each night might become a social demand all by itself.

        Stay rested, Citizen.

        And remember . . . Tune out, slow down, slack off.

  31. VietnamVet

    Dr. Anthony Fauci is a great symbol for the current corrupt western leadership for his funding of dangerous Gain of Function research and incompetent handling of the HIV and Coronavirus Pandemics. At 80, he is a money driven manager with no morals or empathy. Better messaging is his only goal. He will never be fired. He’ll die on the job unless a third party is elected that does a clean sweep. Even the top 10% global jet-set are desperately treading water to one up each other. There is nothing to compromise. They will keep doing what they are doing right now and blame the adverse effects on unvaccinated deplorables.

    Meanwhile millions are migrating north trying to reach safety. The Washington Post says the electricity rates must be raised to pay the cost of hardening utilities to keep them from failing due to climate change; ignoring that most Americans are deeply in debt and only the 0.1% have the wealth to remake America.

    A blank cannot kill the cinematographer then severely wound the director. Alex Baldwin was handed a gun with a live round in it. Union members had walked earlier. The “Rust” shoot is the very definition of an unsafe workplace. Those responsible must be jailed for manslaughter but thanks to Eric Holder no CEO has been jailed for their crimes since the Obama Administration.

    A simple proposition is that humans learn to share, obey the law, and work together to prevent our extinction.

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