Links 10/27/2021

These fuzzy lemurs have a human-like ability to sing on beat Popular Science

Life above the waves! Ocean Builders (furzy). This seems totally cool until you get into wee issues like provisioning and storms and repairs. Island living but more so. Not an easy drill.

How an Oregon battle between human and nature inspired Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ OPB (furzy). Haha, I’ve been to those dunes!

From cradle to grave Washington Post. On climate change in the Middle East.

COP26: How every country’s emissions and climate pledges compare Financial Times (David L)

From Chuck L: “A per capita chart would look very different. Also, where’s Russia?” Reader Martin O says in Europe, but not clearly presented….and Russia does not = Europe.

A Physicist’s Journey International Review of Science (Anthony L)

Hegel today aeon


Manufacturing our consent for medical apartheid? ‘Libertarian socialist’ Noam Chomsky comes out in support of a two-tier society RT (Kevin W)

Income support during lockdown didn’t just battle poverty – it might have helped combat Covid too Scroll (J-LS)


Study reveals how COVID-19 can directly damage brain cells NewAtlas (Kevin W)

Millions of USED nitrile gloves – some stained with blood – are being redyed then shipped to the US amid spike in demand caused by COVID Daily News (Kevin W)

1 in 4 COVID patients hospitalized while vitamin D deficient die – Israeli study Times of Israel

Horse hyperimmune antibody may help the fight against COVID-19, study finds MedicalXpress


Federal judge rejects Southwest Airlines pilots’ request to block vaccine mandate CNBC

From Chuck L. Noteworthy for the Twitter disclaimer:


U.S. backs Taiwan re-entering United Nations 50 years after expulsion UPI (David L)

China launches world’s fastest programmable quantum computers South China Morning Post (J-LS)


Indian households cutting back on spending: Report Asia Times (J-LS)


UK exporters fall foul of post-Brexit trade rules Financial Times

British scientists being ‘frozen out’ of EU research due to NI row, claims MP Guardian (Kevin W). A bit late to this, but help me. We said that the EU had plenty of ways to retaliate for the UK’s bad faith behavior in addition to formal mechanisms.

Do click through to read the whole thing:

Plus Ça Change Wolfgang Streeck, New Left Review (Anthony L). On the collapse of the left wing parties in the recent German elections.

New Cold War

NATO not ready for equal dialogue, Russian defense minister says as German counterpart warns bloc ready to deter Moscow with nukes RT. guurst: “What is wrong with these people?”

Moldova: Russia threatens gas supply in Europe’s poorest state BBC


“The Government Currently Being Formed Is Finally Going to Act” Der Spiegel (resilc)


Biden administration steps up war threats against Iran WSWS

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

China is accused of exporting authoritarian technology. But the west has done so, too, more covertly The Conversation (Kevin W)

Apple’s Privacy Rules to Blame For Facebook’s Lower Than Expected Quarterly Growth, Says Zuckerberg


Meet Ray Epps: The Fed-Protected Provocateur Who Appears To Have Led The Very First 1/6 Attack On The U.S. Capitol Revolver (Heidi’s Walker via Chuck L)


Biden makes 2 key, boundary-breaking FCC nominations NPR (Kevin W)

Democrats haggle as deal comes into focus The Hill and Dem hopes for infrastructure vote hit brick wall The Hill

Versus….White House enters ‘hand-to-hand’ combat stage of negotiations Politico

Corporate Minimum Tax Resurfaces as Democrats Hunt for Money Wall Street Journal

Adversarial Front Line Caused by Forest Service Ineptitude Moonshine Ink. Chris S: “Sent to me by a friend who lives in Plumas county and had to evacuate at least twice from the Dixie fire. She has lived in Plumas county for over twenty years.”

Police State Watch

The Early Signs From the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Are Not Promising Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

‘Let’s try something different’: Minneapolis residents to vote on ballot measure to replace police department NBC (furzy)

Our Famously Free Press

Do we really want TV shows to mention the pandemic? Guardian

Non-mainstream news sites erode people’s interest in politics, study finds Nieman Lab (TF). A outlier study (as in contradicts other findings) of only 500 people (chosen how?) in Austria that found that alternative media are bad for democracy is touted by a US journalism site. I see.

Despite the many warning signs, Facebook has not done enough to fix its hate-speech problem in India Scroll (J-LS). One has to wonder if the legal sanctions for hate speech are as tough in India as here.

Supply Chain

How a supply chain shortage hurts local businesses BBC

Ubisoft Pestering Far Cry 6 Players For Not Playing Enough Kotaku (Kevin W)

‘We Are In An Exciting New ‘Era Of Hyper-Innovation’ Forbes. Resilc: “How about cheap false teeth for poor people?”

Blue Origin, Boeing chart course for ‘business park’ in space Reuters

Tesla Becomes Lowest-Revenue Company to Hit $1 Trillion Market Value Bloomberg

Tesla pulled its latest ‘Full Self Driving’ beta after testers complained about false crash warnings and other bugs The Verge (Kevin W)

‘The Billion Dollar Code’: A David vs Goliath Battle That Shows the Tech World’s Evil Side The Wire (J-LS)

Zillow’s Zeal to Outbid for Homes Backfires in Flipping Fumble Bloomberg

Bitcoin is largely controlled by a small group of investors and miners, study finds TechSpot (David L)

Class Warfare

Judge sides with John Deere strikers in case over tactics The Hill

5,000 Philly Transit Workers Authorize Strike – VCU Health Nurses Walkout – Florida School Bus Drivers Walkout Mike Elk

McDonald’s Workers Join ‘Striketober’ and Walk Out Over Sexual Harassment Common Dreams

Amazon software glitches reportedly firing workers who apply for medical leave New York Post (Kevin W). Looks like a feature, not a bug.

Where we embrace socialism in the US: Parking Lots City Observatory (guurst)

This year’s Thanksgiving feast will wallop the wallet Seattle Times (J-LS)

Antidote du jour. PJH: “In this pic you can see my cat patiently and beautifully waiting in front of the cupboard, where her food is.

And a bonus (furzy):

Another bonus (Leroy R):

See yesterday’s Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    ‘From Chuck L: “A per capita chart would look very different. Also, where’s Russia?”’

    Russia is at the bottom left of that yellow block and is running at 1.7 billion tonnes which is equal to 4.7% of the total. I wonder if this chart may be a bit misleading though. What I mean is that China is responsible for 27% of total emissions for example but when you think about it, I bet that most of that was generated in the manufacture of stuff for shipment overseas. So I wonder how much of what was generated in some countries should be properly assigned to other countries that were the ultimate beneficiaries.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The percentage of Chinas CO2 for manufactures for export is smaller than you might think – I’ve seen various estimates, but its generally around 13-15%. The primary reason China has such high pp emissions is its heavy reliance for coal, expecially for the domestic construction industry (i.e. lots of concrete and steel production). The best thing China can do to reduce its emissions is to stop covering its countryside with concrete and empty apartments. Unfortunately, the latest indications are that Beijing is yet again falling back on a boost to the infrastructure sector to get them through the next 12 months.

    2. Zamfir

      I’ll try to dig up a good source if you want, but to my best knowledge this effect is fairly minor. China has been on a decades-long construction boom. It makes half of all concrete in the world, half of all steel, mostly driven by domestic construction of buildings and infrastructure. Their grid is very coal-based, so anything electric generates more CO2 than in other countries.
      And most Chinese production of any kind is simply for domestic purposes. There are a lot of people in China, and they are not poor anymore. Exports are about 20% of GDP nowadays (from a peak of over 30%), against imports something like 15% (with carbon emissions that are not counted fro China.

    3. HomoSapiensWannaBe

      Beyond a per-capita measure, with a population less than half of North America, Russia’s emissions look even better considering it’s massive land mass and quickly thawing Siberian tundra/permafrost which is emits much methane.

      Regarding China and other countries that export manufactured goods and food, if we add the “ghost acres” or true ecological footprint represented by this major economic/ecological activity, then the USA and other recipient countries’ true emissions are much higher than these graphs indicate!

    4. Rodeo Clownfish

      I wonder why Russia is grouped with Europe and not Asia. Most of its land mass is in Asia. And relations with its Asian neighbors seem to be better than with its European neighbors.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Its thought-leader elites long aspired to be recognized as part of European Civilization. But after the last few Clinton and post-Clinton years of betrayal and rejection and pure nastiness from the EUramerican West, Russia’s thought-leader elites have given up on “EuroWesterness” and are beginning to figure out how to craft their own Great Eurasianicity.

    5. Henry Moon Pie

      Nice chart here showing who’s a net “importer” of carbon emissions and who’s a net “exporter.” Another chart on the same page lets you see how a country’s production-based carbon emissions compare to its consumption-based emissions.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Does anyone have or make a chart showing which country emits what amount of skycarbon per set-export-cash-value-amount? So we can see which countries have the most carbon-efficient export sectors? And which countries have the most carbon-intensive export sectors?

        Also, does anyone have or make a chart showing which country emits what amount of skycarbon per set-domestic-production-for-domestic-consumption amount? So we can see which countries have the most carbon-efficient domestic production for domestic consumption sector? And which countries have the most carbon-intensive domestic production for domestic consumption sectors?

        Also, does anyone have or make a chart showing how much skycarbon the shipment itself of stuff between countries emits? Either as an overall amount or even better per unit-value of stuff shipped between every possible combination of specific country A and specific country B?

    6. lordkoos

      There is a per capita chart there if you scroll down the twitter post a bit. Saudi Arabia is #1, the USA is #2.

    7. drumlin woodchuckles

      ” So I wonder how much of what was generated in some countries should be properly assigned to other countries that were the ultimate beneficiaries. ”

      Those other countries are not ultimate beneficiaries. Those other countries are ultimate victims. Our societies have been degraded or destroyed. Deaths of despair, disease and drugs run rampant. The shinola products we used to make for ourselves no longer exist at all. Instead we are offered the toxic waste radioactive booby prize of container ship loads of cheap China crap. All at higher carbon emissions than what we would have had by up-efficiency-izing our own production for our own consumption, as Germany, Finland, others, somewhat have.

      Instead, we are forced to pay China to emit more carbon per unit of shit-production than what we used to emit per unit of shinola production, plus we pay the shippers to emit even more carbon by shipping the cheap China crap all the way from China to America. And what do we get for that expense? More skycarbon, more sky-mercury, more this , more that . . . . and as close to All Shit No Shinola as the International Free Trade Conspirators can possibly bring us.

      And I am supposed to feel carbon-guilty? I fail to feel it.

      Ban Free Trade.
      Restore Protectionism.
      Re-shore what little production we still can in tomorrow’s carbon-skydumping-constrained environment.
      Strive for a balance of zero imports and zero exports.
      Some imports and exports will still be necessary and unavoidable. But we should not feel good about

    1. jsn

      It’s stuff like this that makes my blood boil when people talk about cowardice on the left.

      The actual active left has been very effectively targeted and harassed for my entire lifetime in a way the right never experiences.

      If there were actual left media remaining in North America, Donziger, Murray and Assange would be heroes. As it is, you have to read NC to even hear about these abuses.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        I’m pretty sure I first heard of Donzinger on Chapo Trap House, where they did a lengthy interview. The story is so heartbreaking. I wish I could say the silence from the so called left media and politicians is surprising, but it’s exactly what I expect.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Life above the waves! Ocean Builders (furzy). This seems totally cool until you get into wee issues like provisioning and storms and repairs. Island living but more so. Not an easy drill.

    This reminds me of the old saying beloved of house boat owners that ‘a houseboat is a hole in the water that you throw money into’. Living on or under the sea has been a stable of science fiction and radical architecture for at least half a century. But it very rarely makes any sense when you come to the practicalities.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I actually bookmarked that site so that I could slowly examine it over a cup of coffee. The illustrations are good and when you look at it all, it would be a great lifestyle to lead if you had the money. It looks like something out of a future scifi story and looks like a dream. It looks like one of those fancy novelty hotels. But would it work?

      Like PK, I too have serious doubts. For one, the sea plays rough from time to time and is always to be treated with respect if this is where they are to be built. Also, sea water is corrosive over time so I remain uncertain how those pods would be able to deal with the resultant wear and tear and rust. But if it was built in a lake, then it would have to cope with any winter chills as well as the wear and tear. How well would those fiberglass exteriors go against the environment? What about the steel & concrete foundations?

      But a smart ring to rule it all? Seriously?

    2. paul

      I remember seeing an article about this bunch a while ago, a rather humiliating collision of crypto-lib think and reality. Lots of people keen online, interest evaporating on actually doing it offline (to the founder’s bewilderment).

      This isn’t the article I remember and it doesn’t really capture the comical aspects of their travails with second hand cruise ships and their demands, but it notes the embarrassing denouement.

      That fact was underscored in late October when Ocean Builders announced it had acquired a cruise ship (at a cut-rate price, thanks to the COVID-19–related decline in travel). The team planned to anchor the boat off Panama and use some cabins as quarters for the laborers building their homes. They’d sell the rest as condos: the Crypto Cruise Ship, they called it, where bitcoin would be the currency of choice. “We want seasteaders filling as many roles as possible on the cruise ship. From the ship officers to the business owners,” Elwartowski said in a Seasteading Institute press release. He tells me that this was another effort to make seasteading financially accessible; cabins would cost just $25,000. Nonetheless, demand proved weak: after only 10 rooms sold during a November auction, Ocean Builders decided to sell the ship for scrap.

      Here’s the one I remembered:
      The voyages of the satoshi

      1. Procopius

        Thing that caught my eye, “water storage 1600 liters.” We recently moved into a new house. Because we’re at the very end of the pipe, water pressure is very low, so we had to install a water storage tank to have decent pressure on demand. The tank has a capacity of 2,000 liters. There have been periods when the water was cut off to install new pumps at the treatment center. 2,000 liters does not last a day. Of course we had six adults living here at the time, but I think anyone who thinks 1,600 liters is a lot is misled. We can order a truck to come fill it up from the water department for about $3, but I wonder if the people in those pods can do the same.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The joke I heard was that the two happiest days of a “boatie” is the day that he buys a boat – and the day that he sells that boat.

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          Back in the day an old sailor friend told me the best way to simulate the experience of sailing is to stand fully clothed in a cold shower and tear up $100 bills one after another.

        2. Milton

          A co-worker, who is part owner of a winery likes to quote the old adage: “If you want to make a small fortune, buy a winery. You start with a large fortune …
          I’m sure the same goes with boating related activities.

    3. chuck roast

      My first thought was, “Where’s the launch?” My second and third thoughts were, “Did they air-brush the mold and the fungus?” And on their planet they never have nor’easters.

    4. Lambert Strether

      > This reminds me of the old saying beloved of house boat owners that ‘a houseboat is a hole in the water that you throw money into’

      Correct, but can be generalized:

      a houseboat is a hole in the water ground that you throw money into

      At least in the part of the country where you have basements. In the rest of the country, I suppose you pile the money up on the slab.

  3. Henry Moon Pie

    CO2 emitters–

    I think we’ll be seeing a lot of these kinds of charts in the coming days and years. It’s an attempt to shift the blame for our ecological catastrophe onto “those people” using some pretty obvious statistical tricks like lumping all of Asia together, using totals emitted rather than per capita figures, ignoring historical emissions and focusing on production-related rather than tying emissions to consumption.

    Here’s a per capita chart based on consumption rather than production. Charts based on production will show the highest emitting countries to be those engaged in resources extraction and manufacturing even if those countries consume little of what they produce. It’s the USA, Canada and Australia who look especially bad.

    Here’s another relevant consideration: contribution of CO2 to date since the dawn of the Industrial Age. The U.S. is truly the exceptional nation.

    The real purpose of these kinds of distortions is to continue distracting the American public from its duties and responsibilities to reduce consumption levels. And we’re not talking about the poor. They’re not the one emitting much carbon. Worldwide, it’s the top 10% who emit 45% of carbon. Two eye-opening points from an Oxfam report:

    *Someone in the richest one percent of the world’s population uses 175 times more carbon on average than someone from the bottom 10 percent.

    *Someone in the richest 10 percent of citizens in India uses on average just one quarter of the carbon of someone in the poorest half of the population of the United States.

    The United States is the core of the problem, not even counting the disservice American culture has done by spreading our consumer virus around the world. The billionaires demand return on their capital, and that means the media they control will continue sending the message they always spew out: Keep on shopping!!! Get yourself out to those bars and restaurants!

    1. vlade

      Well, yes and no. You also need to adjust for quality-of-life in a way. It’s easy to emit almost nothing if you’re a subsistence farmer in India or sub-Saharan nation, you have no choice.

      On that measure, the US still remains the main culprit, but it also drags China (and Russia) in, as they, to achieve the same qol, generate way way more CO2 than they would have to. As mentioned above, in China, the problem is less manufacturing, and more the decision to solve all internal economics ills by pouring more concrete, which is _extremely_ CO2 inefficient.

      Also, looking at the historical data (emissions) can give you a good idea who should contribute the most to the costs of fixing the problem, but doesn’t give you any indication as to who should reduce it the most int he future.

      The reality is, that say if the EU reduced its CO2 emissions by a quarter (either by consumption or production), it’d still be peanuts compared to the China. I.e. the EU has a third of the population of China, and say the average CO2 consumption would be say 8t/person (probably less, but let’s go with this). Reducing it by quarter would get it at par with China’s per-person, but China would still produce 3 times as much CO2. And the atmosphere doesn’t give a toss whether it’s EU or Chinese CO2.

      That doesn’t mean the EU should not try to reduce (and the US even more, especially by consuming less, that’s really the low-hanging fruit of the action on climate change), the CO2 by whatever it can, but we can’t be going “ahh, evil west, they need to reduce first before we do!”. Or, people can, but then we get nowhere. _Everyone_ needs to reduce, but not all reductions are equal.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        I don’t understand what you’re proposing re: a “quality of life” adjustment.

        Here are the numbers I’m looking at. You’re exactly right about the relationship between Europe (including the EU) and China. Europe, at a little less than 8 tonnes per capita, would have to cut emissions by 1/4 to reach China at around 6.

        And I’ll agree strongly with you that “consuming less, that’s really the low-hanging fruit.” With 45% of the emissions coming from the richest 10%, we could cut our problem nearly in half if we just got rid of overconsumption and conspicuous consumption. No one needs to die or even suffer (“My life is ruined because I can’t fly to Europe for vacation this year!?!”). Just quit living like the barons and duchesses of yore.

        But when you say that the USA doesn’t need to start first, I can’t agree. Above we were talking about the EU at 8 tonnes and China at 6 tonnes. The U. S. per capita emissions are at nearly 16 tonnes–twice Europe’s per capita emissions. If we started tomorrow, it would still take years before we’d reach even Europe’s way too-high level of emissions.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      While its important to know who the main offenders are, this type of argument looks increasingly to me like survivors of a shipwreck clinging to a lifeboat surrounded by sharks arguing about who made the decision to book the cruise tickets.

      The reality is that no country has clean hands (unless you want to mention somewhere like Bhutan or Costa Rica), and everyone will suffer. All that matters is that everyone starts paddling as fast as they can in the same direction, you can sort out blame later.

      1. CanCyn

        Thanks for this PK. You are so correct and you have provided the perfect response to the “But China…” argument that always comes up.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        It’s not a question of blame. It’s a question of equity going forward. No one in the United States has standing, in my view, to point fingers at China or India while our per capita carbon emissions sit at nearly 16 tonnes compared to 8 for Europe and 6 for China and less than 2 for India. It’s a dodge so the U.S. can keep paddling toward the Island of the Eternal Party.

        These are very uncomfortable numbers for us Americans. Any just solution requires a radical readjustment in the way Americans live.

        1. Count Zero

          It might be more accurate to say: “a radical readjustment of the way SOME Americans live.”

          It’s all very well calculating by national aggregates. But we also need the numbers for different socio-economic groups. I am sure there are many Americans who contribute little to CO2 emissions and some that contribute a lot!

          That’s where the real politics has to start — disaggregating the “we” that’s bandied around by environmentalists and various interest groups.

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            This was in my original comment that began this thread:

            Worldwide, it’s the top 10% who emit 45% of carbon. Two eye-opening points from an Oxfam report:

            *Someone in the richest one percent of the world’s population uses 175 times more carbon on average than someone from the bottom 10 percent.

            *Someone in the richest 10 percent of citizens in India uses on average just one quarter of the carbon of someone in the poorest half of the population of the United States.

  4. Jason V

    Regarding the reused nitrile gloves, when the pandemic first got going in China, short videos and memes went around warning people to cut up face masks that they threw away so the masks could not be resold. I’m not sure how much of that was actually happening, similar to the fake alcohol, reused oil, etc.

    1. Brunches with Cats

      Well, consider that the article isn’t from the Daily News but the Daily Mail.

      That said, if the story is even partially true, they probably got the used gloves from restaurants and not hospitals, in which case the blood stains would be from meat — if they even were blood. Lots of spices leave permanent stains, also soy sauce. Gotta hand it to them for the “innovative” reuse and recycle concept.

      Seriously, though, who in their right mind would pay $2 million for medical equipment sight-unseen from a company named “Paddy the Room?”

  5. zagonostra

    >Federal judge rejects Southwest Airlines pilots’ request to block vaccine mandate CNBC

    “Requiring Southwest employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will likewise improve the safety of air transportation, efficiency of Southwest’s operations, and further the [collective bargaining agreement’s] goal of safe and reasonable working conditions for pilots,” U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn wrote in her Tuesday ruling, denying the union’s restraining order request and dismissing the case.

    This tells me nothing with respect to constitutionality of vaccine mandate. My reading of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, and it’s judicial history, inclines me to thinking that someone who has protection against CV19 due to having contracted and recovered (we can argue the details of relative protection) has standing to sue SW and other companies enforcing what is currently just a POTUS edict.

    Here is a small excerpt from a legal Scholar who wrote on the equal protection clause in a different context but whose analysis I think fits the moment.

    The doctrine of discriminatory legislation-in essence a demand
    for purity or integrity of purpose or motive-though meaningful
    enough in many contexts is poorly adapted to the task of judicial review.
    Yet there are “viruses”–anti-oriental and others-to which
    legislatures are not immune and to which a ban on discriminatory
    legislation seems a partial antidote.

    Is there a lawyer in the house?

  6. Watt4Bob

    Is there anything more clarifying than the story of Ray Epps’ involvement in 1/6?

    Is there anything worse than having to endure living in this bizarro-world where nothing is as it seems, and you’re constantly bullied/gaslighted for believing your lying eyes?

    We’ve discovered our politics is largely kafabe, and now ‘they’ are making our participation unavoidable.

    FBI probably invented the ‘pussy-hat‘ ffs.

    1. HomoSapiensWannaBe

      Along these lines, I have long suspected that Cliven Bundy and his sons are FBI-controlled opposition to corral the anger of struggling small cattle ranchers and other PO’d frontier/militia types. The Bundy’s are a very wealthy family. I think the cases against them have been thrown on purpose so they don’t have to go to jail.

      Smoke & Mirrors, indeed!

    2. GramSci

      The story should be sufficient for Biden to pardon the “insurrectionists” like Harding pardoned Debs. But he probably won’t be allowed to do so lest Hunter go to jail.

    3. voteforno6

      Are we supposed to pretend that Trump didn’t attempt to overthrow the results of the election? Was that all part of some FBI sting operation as well? Are we supposed to act like the riot happened in a bubble, and not look at the big picture of everything else that was happening?

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        The question that troubles me is whether the FBI’s purpose with all their infiltrating is to stop bad things from happening or to provide more cannon fodder for prosecutors. Here in Cleveland, remembering the Cleveland Five, it was definitely the latter.

      2. jefemt

        Something tells my gut hat Epps would have been brought in to Trumps innermost circles. To what ultimate effect, who knows?

        DeeCee is like peeling an onion, other than the common denominator motivations are greed, power, money. Not a spec of altruism.

      3. Katniss Everdeen

        Of course not.

        We’re supposed to pretend that Hunter’s laptop was a Russian “disinformation” attempt to influence the election, and “the big guy” getting 10% of the Burisma extortion money was NOT “president” joseph robinette biden.

        (And that campaigning from a delaware basement will get you the most votes evah in any presidential election in history evah, even with the two most unpopular candidates evah on the ticket.)

      4. Watt4Bob

        Not at all.

        We are surely capable of understanding Trumps actions and those of the FBI as being completely separate issues, though so inter-twined as to confuse all but the most determined efforts to decipher.

        Trump tried to overturn the election, AND the Deep State, in what ever agency, deployed agent provocateurs to ensure the most excitement resulted.

        I would guess that Trump didn’t intend for things to get out of hand, maybe he did, but I would assume that the agent provocateurs were there to insure they did.

      5. MG

        No and someone like Ray Epps is a non-sequitur. Jan. 6 was a slow-moving coup that was a lot more thought out and directed with a multiple-tiered strategy. The mob that attacked and occupied the Capital was just one of those strategies.

        The only thing that it really lacked was military cooperation although former GOP officials and Secretaries of Defense were so frightened by that possibility that they specifically made a joint statement that the military had no role but to ensure a peaceful transition of power a week before. Each branch of the service also sent out communications to armed services that echoed this same message in the same time period.

        What happens next time if say Youngkin as the VA Gov activates the VA National Guard/State Police though on behalf of Trump.

    4. marym

      It’s not unreasonable to think there were law enforcement at the riot who were already infiltrators in some of the groups that participated at the Capitol; or informers; or both law enforcement and, on their own time, sympathizers and members of the groups. The questions should always be asked.

      For now though, this particular story is just people sympathetic to the effort to nullify the 2020 presidential vote effort generally and to the riot claiming that a participant who hasn’t been charged is not only a protected FBI asset, but evidence that the riot itself was an FBI project.

      The latter seems absurd, although probably not for the prominent politicians and media on the right who would prefer that it not be seen as a part of their project.

        1. Eureka Springs

          Double sigh. The long train of abuses by FBI/police in this country of playing both sides against each other could not be more damning. As long as such activity is legal, not tantamount to treasonous levels of usurpation… rule of law, free and fair elections, peaceful assembly to address grievances will remain a joke.

          1. marym

            Sure, as I thought I said in my first paragraph. Doesn’t mean people in Congress and social media who support the multi-faceted effort to nullify the 2020 electoral vote, including the rally that turned into a riot, have made a good case yet that this guy not being arrested means they’re the aggrieved party.

          2. ambrit

            I go all the way back to J Edgar Hoover and his policy of getting evidence against one and all with political power, or the possibility of so obtaining. The FBI has always been an independent power player in Washington politics. They hew to no particular ideology.
            Start viewing the Alphabet Gangs of Washington as Careerist Opportunists and much becomes clear and understandable.
            I know I am almost an Ur Cynic, but I fear that America is sliding into the conditions that guarantee that, when “peaceful assembly to address greivances” is demonized fully, the opposite, “violent assembly to redress greivances” will be the result.

    5. Randy

      I don’t know what I’m supposed to be drawing from the Epps story. The FBI is simultaneously so brilliant they’re playing 4D chess listing an informant on a wanted list and so incompetent they immediately change the list in response to a random online article?? I’m familiar with the FBI’s infiltration of many groups and I still don’t see enough evidence to conclude this guy was a plant, most of the arguments look like desperate coping.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Especially loved the bit where it said-

      ‘Tara McGowan, a former Democratic strategist who worked on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s 2012 and 2016 campaigns – and ran a progressive nonprofit called ACRONYM that spent a whopping $100 million on a digital ad campaign to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 – has been put in charge of the venture.’

      So clarifying.

      1. Big River Bandido

        Note: that’s the same Tara McGowan who ran the company that “designed” the IA caucus “smear app”.

        Grifters gotta….

  7. bob

    Apple’s Privacy Rules to Blame For Facebook’s Lower Than Expected Quarterly Growth, Says Zuckerberg

    Once again Apple trying to use ‘privacy’ as a sales talking point.

    Google pays apple $15 biilion a year for access to you and your data. They don’t have any problem letting 3rd parties make a laughing stock of ‘privacy’. They want to get paid for it.

      1. bob

        Read the link. Google paid apple 15 billion dollars to be the default, then apple decided it should be google.

        You probably don’t even have $15 billion dollars. You don’t get any say in any of this.

  8. griffen

    The dog video antidote is a nice diversion. Is that intended for training purposes for pet owners? Leaves me a little confused. Which isn’t really too hard when it comes to dogs or cats.

    1. Helena

      I thought about that vid. It seems to me that the thing is that the dogs saw the puppets ‘die’ from eating the food, so they spit theirs out. The last one with the two cuties, the one on the left was too dumb, and his pal gave him a paw to say, “hey, spit it out!”
      It seems contrived to me, but what do I know. Don’t eat your food unless your ‘taster’ lives?

      1. lordkoos

        What seems contrived is that some of the dogs seemed to have been trained to hold the food in their mouths without swallowing it. It has to be difficult to train a dog to do that.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “This year’s Thanksgiving feast will wallop the wallet”

    We don’t have Thanksgiving in Oz of course but I was thinking that if this is going to be such a great problem in America due to the high costs of food, perhaps each person going to a Thanksgiving meal should bring a large bowl of food so that it is a more communal meal. I would not be surprised to learn that the original Thanksgiving meal was done this way and, if so, it would be a return to an old tradition again.

    1. steve

      Well, in the days of yore, my childhood that is, communal Thanksgiving meals were the norm and quite the event. It involved extended family and friends and would easily number 30 or more. Many would have traveled some distance to attend, others within walking distance. Some brought prepared dishes or the makings for one, others brought just their appetite.

      The most fascinating thing to me was watching the ‘womenfolk’ run the whole affair. The day was a training exercise for the younger girls and it was always fun to watch how that played out. I was always a little envious because the boys participation in the whole mess was restricted to staying out of the way. Sorta a training exercise in its own right.

      1. Mantid

        Yea, Thanksgiving. It’s my second favorite holiday here in the US. Halloween is the best: no guilt; no cost; or high cost(ume); and high commitment (tick/treating) with children. Over here you can go crazy, party on, etc. Or, hide in a back room and watch a scary movie.
        Favorite Thanksgiving food story. We have a large family (9 siblings) and yes, we all get together and it’s a “pot luck”, everyone brings a dish. One sister, who’s know as a cheap skate, was to bring the “bird” – the main course, 20 lbs. turkey for the feast. At least 20 people were at the table ready to go. She comes in with a huge tray, lifted the lid, and it’s a Cornish Game Hen, about a 2 lbs bird. We all about cried with laughter. She brought the real bird in a few minutes later. Great holiday and perfect opportunity for debates and visits.

      2. ambrit

        One tradition that I learned about from friends from ‘Up North’ was “Mischeif Night,” the night before Halloween. All sorts of “goings on” happened that night. Halloween proper was reserved for the little kids. There is just about nothing so much fun as escorting about some five and six year olds in costumes from candy laden door to candy apple festooned door.

      3. Still Above Water

        My mother’s aunt had a farm on the Ogeechee river, where we went for Thanksgiving several times back in the 70s. The men and most of the boys over 6 would show up before dawn, and we’d fan out through the bottomlands by the river to spend the morning shivering and waiting in hope that a buck would wander within range of our shotguns. Around noon, we’d walk back to the house, where the womenfolk had set out a large spread of covered dishes in addition to the feast Aunt Dorene had prepared. I would heap a plate with food, and eat while watching the unlucky deer being dressed (I would have been laughed at for being a “city boy” if I’d been squeamish). I’m guessing there were 50 to 100 people, many of whom I didn’t know – probably my aunt’s husband’s kinfolk. Those were the days…

    2. griffen

      Best to start planning now, and if possible get ahead of the game. I’ll cross my fingers that nearby family will allow some of us to coalesce around the bird and limit our gripes to pro football and college sports. And probably the cost of gasoline to travel to where we wound up, be that North Carolina or Georgia.

      If we’re lucky in this part of the southeastern US, the weather complies for an afternoon to hike or maybe some mountain biking. We’re usually fortunate on the weather.

    3. Wukchumni

      My mom revolted against cooking Thanksgiving for 7 around the late 70’s, so for the next 25 years our family all met for a Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant or hotel in LA, pretty much a different smorgasbord every year, in our pilgrimage around the City of Angles.

    4. Arizona Slim

      On Thanksgiving, I’m planning a long bicycle ride with me, myself, and I. Planning on enjoying the day to the fullest!

    1. savedbyirony

      I like the way the woman who set the cat free tries to get the cat to move off but the cat won’t go until she can check out the scent of her rescuer.

  10. Mikel

    ” China is accused of exporting authoritarian technology. But the west has done so, too, more covertly” The Conversation

    Even when people are making good points about technology usage, the language used still hints at transferring agency to machines/objects.
    It really does matter to emphasize that technology is not “authoritatian”…people are “authoritarian.” People make the policies around usage, programming, and even mandates that force others to use a specific kind of technology.

    It’s clunky sounding but important to emphasize the agency and responsibility of specific people.

  11. JohnA

    Re Moldova: Russia threatens gas supply in Europe’s poorest state BBC

    The gas contract with Moldova has expired. The market price has gone up but Moldova wants a massive discount despite owing hundreds of millions from the old contract, and Russia offering a long term contract in the spring at the then much lower price. The Moldovan government has move towards the anti-Russian camp. Why should Russia keep supplying gas to Moldova. None of the above points were mentioned by the BBC stenographer.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Apparently the original contract was signed when gas was cheap and the terms were for the gas to cost $200 per 1,000 cubic meter but present market prices have upped it to $790 per 1,000 cubic meters. Moldova has the additional problem in not having much storage capacity which gives it no buffer against market forces. Gazprom was offering the Moldovans a 25% discount on the present market rate, but that the Moldovans was seeking 50% so the talks broke down.

      The Moldovans are now buying their gas from Poland but I would be curious about the source of that gas. A coupla years ago when the Ukraine wanted gas from Russia but did not want to pay for it, the Ukrainians got it from neighouring countries to teach the Russians a lesson. The only problem is that those neighbouring countries were getting their gas supplies from Russia and were diverting some to the Ukraine, in spite of being not allowed in their contracts. I think that those countries got bilked too but that is another story.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The EU decided it would be best for their member States to buy gas on the spot market – which has blown up spectacularly in their faces the past few months as prices have sky-rocketed. On the bright side, I bet that a lot of traders on the gas market made a lot of money so bully for them.

  12. The Rev Kev

    That is one gutsy woman in that bonus video. Yeah, she has what appears to be a purpose-built, metal shield to protect herself but still, that cat could do a lot of damage if so inclined. As it is, when it was released from the trap it looked kinda confused more than anything else. Kudos to that women for a job well done.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      My father took up trapping in his retirement. Totally redneck! But he was asked by a friend who had a sheep farm and the baby sheep were getting eaten by coyotes. He used humane traps and then shot them.

      One time he caught a Rottweiler. Was nervous about releasing it since it was the back leg that was caught.

      One the dog was freed, she wanted to go home with my father.

    2. Helena

      It seems like after she got the shield in place, she made long eye contact with the cat, and they came to an understanding. She did do an excellent efficient job!

      1. saywhat?

        Yes, a perfect rescue. I loved the way she pulled the cat’s paw forward – a reassuring (showing confident competence as well as good intent) as well as practical move before removing the snare.

        And the cat showed its appreciation by not running away but simply sitting down to acknowledge he/she was in good company.

        1. Ignacio

          More than appreciation the cat or lynx looks so shockingly and positively surprised that she doesn’t exactly know how to react and stays nearly motionless in disbelief.

      2. jefemt

        I was pondering the whole scenario… baited trap set, gal in a camo vest, with an ingenious contrivance for release… is she an ecowarrior, or compassionate trapper (?)

        Round these parts, you screw around with a trappers traps, them’s grounds for a sitiation

        1. Helena

          Yes, here too, but if it’s private land and it is posted, or out of season or illegal animal, no ‘sitiation’ will stand up. Fish and Wildlife and Humane Society do rescues like this with people trained the way she looked to be.

  13. JIG

    Re: Where we embrace socialism in the US: Parking Lots

    Lotsa luck finding free (or affordable) parking near a large metropolitan medical center!

    1. griffen

      I’m kinda wondering which part of the US he speaks. Parking lots for empty strip malls and former Wal-Marts, Sears or K-Marts certainly.

      Instead of socialism, I think of Darwinism. Best be on your toes, pedestrians have the right to be front ended even in a crosswalk on the way into a store. Oh and the Red Line generally means don’t park on it (some in this part of South Carolina seem to think it).

  14. Mikel

    “Era of Hyper-Innovation”

    I’m seeing the end coming to the “Golen Age of Woek From Home.” The seeds are in this article. Now consultants and other corpo cheerleaders feel they need to get more “innovative” about “optimizing” remote work.

    And this:
    “The stock market hit record highs, so did real estate prices. Instead of being dour, forward-looking optimistic people invested in cryptocurrencies, NFTs and meme stocks, all thinking that their holdings would increase in value, as the future looked bright.”

    Alot to unpack here, but there is enough commentary on investing sites of all types to show it wasn’t only “forward-looking optimistic people” involved in this tyoe of investment. The criminal element in crypto is off the charts and meme stock investors…well, they’re just trying not work at Wendy’s anymore.

    But that’s all known here in the real world.
    I guess I need to decipher exactly what this article is trying to sell.

    1. Wukchumni

      “The stock market hit record highs, so did real estate prices. Instead of being dour, forward-looking optimistic people invested in cryptocurrencies, NFTs and meme stocks, all thinking that their holdings would increase in value, as the future looked bright.”

      Alot to unpack here, but there is enough commentary on investing sites of all types to show it wasn’t only “forward-looking optimistic people” involved in this tyoe of investment. The criminal element in crypto is off the charts and meme stock investors…well, they’re just trying not work at Wendy’s anymore.

      The 7 judges last night presiding over juries of 9 and a defendant at the plate, were all dressed in identical black uniforms with each sporting an MLB badge, and a couple of FTX badges that were actually larger in size than the organizational acronym, funny that.

      There’s a well oiled push going on to make cryptocurrency front and center, and what if when things finally come a cropper, it was all about finding a fall guy for Wall*Street?

      You blame it on something that never existed, tiptoeing through the tulips.

  15. zagonostra

    >Lets go Brandon Rap song banned from Ytube

    interview with rap song creator on RT.

    “YouTube banned Gray’s track on October 21, saying one of the lyrics contained “medical misinformation” about the coronavirus. They gave him a second “strike” soon thereafter, but said they would respond to his appeal. Facebook-owned Instagram deleted the music video as well.”

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Thanks – hadn’t heard of this song and probably never would have if they hadn’t tried to ban it. Well done youtube!

  16. TroyIA


    Roadside fatality involving UAW protestor

    A UAW protestor was hit and killed on the picket line early Wednesday morning.

    The reported incident occurred around 6:00 a.m. at the intersection of Rock Island Milan Parkway and Deere Drive outside of the Milan Parts Distribution in an area where dozens of picketers were gathered. The protestor was reported to have been hit and killed by a moving vehicle.

    Black Hawk Fire Protection, Milan Fire and Moline Police Department units are on the scene. The Traffic Investigation Unit is at the location, and the intersection has been shut down completely.

    1. griffen

      That is pretty horrible. Unfortunately the link above failed to update for me. I did find the article elsewhere.

      Seems that poor lighting could have (perhaps) played a part on this untimely death.

  17. zagonostra

    >Hillary Clinton’s message to UK Prime Minister: “Introduce vaccine passports”

    Why is HRC inserting herself into UK politics?

    Former US Secretary of State and former Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has waded into UK politics and has said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson should enforce vaccine passport mandates. She made the remarks in an appearance on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Hillary Clinton…..Hillary Clinton….. Wait wasn’t she the one who was so concerned about foreign countries interfering in US government activities?

  18. Wukchumni

    On the Port of LA supply chain kerfuffle thread a few days ago, we were lucky to have an old sea hand really explain the skinny on what’s what, and he modestly made a plea to have a gander at his writings on his blog, and i’m enthralled with the ‘sea stories’ in particular, an insider’s grasp of something an outsider such as me has no idea about-the everyday life on a ship at sea or port in detail, yet written for the layman.

    Charlie Sheldon’s STORIES MADE US HUMAN

    1. Old Jake

      Wuk, thank you for this link. Charlie is now living about 30 miles from me (and closer still to Tegnost) and writing about what he sees and knows of the area. Another treasure discovered (I’ve been here only five years). I wish I was about 20 years younger to have the energy and physical ability to take better advantage of the hiking trails and other outdoor activities here. I’m just blessed to have discovered this place in time to spend my last years here.

      1. Wukchumni

        I wish I was about 20 years younger to have the energy and physical ability to take better advantage of the hiking trails and other outdoor activities here. I’m just blessed to have discovered this place in time to spend my last years here.

        Charlie’s soujourns sound similar to mine here, in better know a forest…

        78k out of 88k of the KNP Fire was in Sequoia NP and encompasses nearly the entire frontcountry of the NP, and many a trail was constructed especially during the CCC era, only to go unmaintained as the CCC disbanded in 1942 and once you give a trail a 5-10 year head start, Mother Nature takes over and before you know it, there you’d never know it was there. One thing the CCC did here was make trails to every Sequoia grove in the NP, one of them being the Castle Creek grove out of Redwood Meadow. The trail hasn’t been maintained in 70+ years and the only thing evident after the unchecked inferno that burned hot will be the rockwork the trail builders did way back when. It helps to have an old map showing where the trail went, too!

  19. Cat Burglar

    As a Lutheran Surrealist I knew — the son of a professor of physical education — said, “Hegel is the team everyone wants to play against.”

      1. Soredemos

        Hegel is effectively an elaborate troll. Centuries of people arguing over what his obscure gibberish *really* means. Even Marx and Lenin got suckered into thinking his dialectic stuff was anything other than words games and nonsense.

  20. Jason Boxman

    long-COVID watch: Another Struggle for Long Covid Patients: Disability Benefits (The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation estimates that three to 10 million Americans may have long Covid.)

    Since she tested positive for the coronavirus in April 2020, Josie Cabrera Taveras has found herself sleeping for up to 15 hours a day, stopping in grocery store aisles to catch her breath, lapsing in and out of consciousness and unable to return to her job as a nanny.

    She believes that she is one of thousands, possibly millions, of Americans who may have a condition known as “long Covid.” The Biden administration has said people with the condition could qualify for federal disability protections and benefits, which can include health care, housing and unemployment benefits.

    But like many others who may have long Covid, Ms. Taveras, 31, has had a hard time proving it.

    Two brain M.R.I.s, several heart ultrasounds, dozens of lung X-rays, two stomach endoscopies, one colonoscopy and multiple CT scans have all provided the same results: Everything looks normal. “It’s something doctors can’t explain yet, what’s happening to me,” Ms. Taveras said.

    With no direct medical evidence of her condition, she has been turned down for disability coverage twice.

    Much like most state unemployment systems, I imagine the original intent is to deny, deny, deny. So I imagine this system is working as intended.

    Nowhere does it mention how all these tests were paid for. Perhaps she qualifies for Medicaid? I imagine most people cannot afford the series of tests necessary to even attempt to prove long-COVID.

    1. JBird4049

      Even with the proper, detailed records from multiple doctors, yes, the tactic is deny, delay, evade, even lie. And this from “liberal” California. Just like with the unemployment system, staffing is short and has been long before Covid. Then add that any paid work, even a single hour, is an automatic disqualification and with the often years long process of getting approved…

      I think most people who apply can get it, if they can stay alive that long. That can be tricky.

      Depending on the state (and the individual states have a lot of control on the process), I think they will either slow move the process so that people with give up or die, or just zip it through, simply because most of them do not have enough resources to adequately process claims except for doing either extreme.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      The medical industry is terrible at diagnosing and treating fatigue. Took years to concede Chronic Fatigue Syndrome existed. And if you don’t fit in its schema, good luck.

  21. Jason Boxman

    “Let’s vote both of them out at the same time, and I would even be willing to vote the BIF and then three hours later the reconciliation bill as long as we have full agreement from everybody — everyone on the House side, everyone on the Senate side,” Jayapal told reporters.

    That’s silly. Liberal Democrats aren’t agreement capable. How about instead the Biden “agenda” is passed first, and then the BIF. Why is that so hard? If the latter is so wonderfully bipartisan, it’ll pass straight away after the former bill passes. And no opportunity for another betrayal.

  22. MonkeyBusiness

    Water wars thanks to Big Tech?

    “THE DALLES, Ore. (AP) — Conflicts over water are as old as history itself, but the massive Google data centers on the edge of this Oregon town on the Columbia River represent an emerging 21st century concern.”

    “Dawn Rasmussen, who lives on the outskirts of The Dalles, worries that her town is making a mistake in negotiating with Google, likening it to David versus Goliath.

    She’s seen the level of her well-water drop year after year and worries sooner or later there won’t be enough for everyone.

    “At the end of the day, if there’s not enough water, who’s going to win?” she asked.”

    1. lordkoos

      I don’t understand why water used for cooling in these data centers cannot be recycled and re-used?

  23. Deuce Traveler

    Your Hated Libertarian Lurker here,

    Two things I noticed in some of the links. The first was about Biden’s ‘historic’ FCC nominations. I was expecting to find that they were historic due to some important beliefs or stated goals, but instead the article seemed to focus on their identities (one a woman, and the other LGBTQ+). This just seems like lazy journalism to me, with the only sentence of any importance that stood out being that they seek to return to Obama-era net neutrality rules. A lot of the rest just seemed beltway jargon that went out of its way not to inform the reader.

    The Kotaku article focused on people getting heckling e-mail for those that quit playing Far Cry 6 (which, by the way I’m hearing is not a very good game). The article focuses on the junk e-mail piece, but this seems to be a privacy issue to me. We should be talking about how unethical it is that Ubisoft has access to the user’s IP, playing time, and other information and has no shame in showing that information off to the user. It seems everyone is a bit too non-concerned about a corporation knowing how people are spending their time.

    Anyway, just some observations about our decaying culture I took away after a quick reading of the articles.

    1. Ranger Rick

      The key word for the videogame angle is “telemetry”. It is a very, very common practice in software development, ostensibly as part of the continuous improvement methodology, to obtain involuntary feedback from the use of software. This doesn’t show up in just videogames, it is near-ubiquitous everywhere software appears: your cable box, your cell phone, your operating system, your web browser, and so on.

      One of the consequences of the rise of digital storefronts for software is that they provide a convenient, inescapable interface for this telemetry as the storefront must be accessible online in order for the software to run.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      This bit didn’t exactly fill me with confidence about the great things they would do –

      Rosenworcel has also worked to combat illegal robocalls …

      Another FightinFor but Never Winning Democrat – I’ve been getting a handful of robocalls every day for years now with no letup in sight.

      Like most of of Biden’s other “historic” nominations – whoop de [family blog]ing doo.

  24. Lemmy Caution

    The FDA’s Covid Vaccine Advisory Panel voted yesterday to okay the Pfizer vaccine for kids 5-11.

    I watched as much of the panel’s 7-hour discussion on the benefits and risk of the vaccine for young kids as I could, including most of the discussion of myocarditis risks.

    The panel noted that myocarditis is traditionally very rare among kids 5-11. However, the high rate of myocarditis that unexpectedly appeared among teenagers 13-18 who received the mRNA vaccines had some of the panel concerned.

    Panel member Dr. Matthew Oster, a pediatric cardiologist, gave a presentation about what is known about the myocarditis risk, how well children in general recover from what he called “classic” myocarditis (cases of pre-Covid myocarditis. He also covered what little is known about how vaccine-induced myocarditis may or may not differ from “classic” myocarditis in terms of severity, outcomes, long-term effects and so on.

    During a Q&A with other panel members, Oster was asked by Dr. Eric Rubin:

    “What do we know from the small amount of biopsies and pathology material from the cases in children that might tell us anything about the underlying mechanism and might make us more comfortable with the predictions you can make from the classic myocarditis cases?”

    Dr. Oster replied that there was basically no information from biopsies or pathology because virtually none had been conducted on the teenagers who developed Vaccines-induced myocarditis, as far as he was aware. Watch here for the complete exchange.

    For the record, I am not anti-vax — I think parents should have the option to give their kids the vaccine. There just seems to be a real lack of interest among the public health institutions of, you know, doing their job.

    1. savedbyirony

      Yes. Not that they are being under fed at all, but when we feed our dogs they do not pause before eating it all down, accept for the occasional look round while chewing.

  25. vidimi

    the sham trial of julian assange resumes today. covering it live are kevin gosztola, richie medhurst, and stefania maurizio, among others.

  26. Regulus regulus

    A. Twitter called it correct. The special agent was real and deceased. But any connection to vaccination is misinformation reiterated by bots.

    B. Russia supported a losing candidate for Prime Minister who attempted to overthrow the Moldovan Parliament in 2019. Sounds familiar… Anyway, then Russia claimed Moldova was overrun by oligarchs, but not the kind who import energy for Russia. At the same according to Russia, Moldova’s Democratic Party had usurped power. Then Russia pushed to have the Constitutional Court president replaced, presumably to usurp power.

    I see why Moldova is embracing closer economic ties to the EU. Brussels doesn’t run black ops against Chisinau while Moldova suffers crushing poverty. The Soviets taking the country via the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact kinda undermines Russia’s historical authority, not a great way to establish mutual trust.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘Brussels doesn’t run black ops against Chisinau while Moldova suffers crushing poverty.’

      No, but they ran black ops against countries like Yugoslavia, Libya and the Ukraine to destroy them for their own benefit. And right now they are using financial blackmail against countries like Hungary and Poland because they won’t toe the line. Dealing with a major power like Russia can be problematical to say the least but don’t imagine that the EU is a better proposition. The UK may have gotten themselves out but for everybody else it is Hotel California.

      1. Anonymous 2

        Are you sure the Poles are the good guys here? I am no expert but I read reports from third parties (i.e. non-EU sources) that the Polish government is undermining judicial independence and the rights of asylum seekers. I am pretty keen on both judicial independence and the rights of asylum seekers, just in case I need them some day.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Not a matter of good guys and bad guys but a demonstrated inflexibility on the part of the EU in how they demand member States behave and what they do. This started to come to the fore when Germany let in over a million unidentified refugees a few years ago and used the EU to demand that all the other member States take in “their share” of these refugees. Some of those countries, particularly in the less developed east, said ‘Hey, we did not sign up for that’.

        2. vidimi

          the polish government is very nationalistic and xenophobic so the stuff about refugee rights is true, but the outcry over judicial independence is tosh. brussels would like unlected neoliberal aparatchiks to appoint judges whereas in Poland the elected government wants to do it.

    2. Lemmy Caution

      RE: But any connection to vaccination is misinformation reiterated by bots.

      You seem pretty sure about this statement. What is your source?

      1. vidimi

        the comment piqued my curiosity as well so i looked into it (briefly) and it very clearly seems that it was a vaccine-related death as it is registered as such on his death certificate and a VAERS form was filled out

      2. davie

        I agree this spat is pretty ridiculous to highlight.

        Even if every singular fact in the post is true, it is still trying to be misleading by drawing correlation.
        Even if he died directly related to an adverse reaction to vaccine itself, and the causation is there, it’s still misleading because it could have said that instead of being vague.
        Even if they said that, it’s still misleading because a 1:1000000 chance anecdote is no reason to assume the vaccine is dangerous, which is exactly what that twitter account is trying to convey.

        What’s worse is when Mike says it’s an “experimental injection” because unless the agent was in a trial group for something we don’t know, it’s no longer an experiment.
        So that’s provably false (and misleading.)
        Even if he died before the FDA non-emergency approval, it’s still not an experiment.
        And it’s still not not misleading.

        1. vidimi

          i think there’s a point to be made that the vaccine can be more dangerous than covid for certain demographics.

          of course, even if he died from complications from the vaccine (and it seems that he did), who knows if he would have survived covid had he contracted it.

    3. Polar Socialist

      But the “energy crisis” is all due to closer economic ties to EU. Moldova can’t negotiate for cheaper gaz anymore, now that it’s trying to implement open markets insisted by EU, which it cannot afford. It can’t even pay it’s bills from the cheap gaz era.

      Why Russia would care enough about Moldova to try to get anybody replaced, I don’t quite get. I’m neither Russian nor Moldovan, so I may need some educating here.

      I do know that Russia took the “country” from Romania, which had annexed it 20 years earlier. From Russia. In a way that required Romanian army to suppress some uprisings. It’s almost like Moldavia exists only because of Russian Empire and then Soviet Union. Otherwise it would have been split between Romania and Ukraine long time ago. Still not a great way to establish a mutual trust.

      1. vidimi

        yeah, it shouldn’t even be a country. the majority of the people are romanian with the northern part of the country being majority russian. romania is doing a soft annexation by giving romanian moldovans romanian citizenships. don’t know whether russia is doing the same for the transnistrians.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            The only thing I know about Moldova is that their exported mafia are not very bright. A few years ago a splinter of the Moldovan mafia in Dublin decided to have a fight to sort out some dispute what they thought was a deserted carpark just outside Dublin.

            The carpark actually belonged to the Garda (police) golf club (the signage was in Irish), and every single person using the carpark was a policeman. The fight didn’t last long and apparently every single member of the local Moldovan mafia was arrested that day with the only blip being a few delayed golf rounds.

            1. Kouros

              Were they Romanian Moldovans or Russian/Ukrainian Moldovans? Romanians don’t have the propensity to form gangs….

      2. Kouros

        Russians took half of the historical principality of Moldova in 1812, while the country was under Turkish sovereignty. In 1918 they voted to get reunited with Romania. The Ribbentrop-Molotov pact provided for Russians to re occupy again the eastern half of Moldova (which was now part of Romania, since 1857 or so). Ukraine was never in the picture.

    1. flora

      adding: not to put too fine a point on it,

      Gates’ logic seems to be:

      1. we can’t get our normal life back until everyone in the world gets the shot.

      2. we’ve never been able to give shots to everyone in the world before, so we have to push hard on that and still might fail.

      (and, my addition to point 2, the US doesn’t recognize as valid the Ch or Ru shots given to millions of their citizens.)

      3. Therefore….

  27. Lemmy Caution

    Rich Haridy, the author of Study reveals how COVID-19 can directly damage brain cells, goes a little too hard for the hoop with the use of the word “directly” in the headline and lead paragraph. Astute readers who make it through to the third paragraph will encounter this passage:

    However, it is still unclear whether the SARS-CoV-2 virus enters the brain and directly causes damage, or if neurological symptoms are generated by systemic immune responses to the virus triggering some kind of neuroinflammation.

    A more accurate headline may be something like “Study fails to clarify whether Covid-19 can directly damage brain cells.” But hey, I’m just a singer in a rock ‘n roll band I’m just a commenter on a blog.

    1. Deltron

      Understood, but the relevance of this distinction depends on the audience. For a medical researcher to understand how to solve the problem, it needs to determine whether it was COVID directly or through an immune response to COVID triggering neuroinflammation. For just about anyone else, the point is COVID can give you brain damage.

  28. divadab

    Re: Esquire article “The Early Signs From the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Are Not Promising”

    Esquire all-in on Rittenhouse as guilty white supremacist, apparently. I’m adding this tidbit to my list of which media outlets are part of the problem – along with all the “horse dewormer” fakery, and rampant censorship, this apparently includes all the corporatist controlled media. Quite a disconcerting conclusion! Less reliable than Pravda…….

    Mighty happy to have NC as antidote to the filthy lying propagandists – many thanks!

  29. The Rev Kev

    ‘NATO not ready for equal dialogue, Russian defense minister says as German counterpart warns bloc ready to deter Moscow with nukes”

    You can see why the Russians shut down their NATO mission. There is nobody really there to talk to. They weren’t even allowed into NATO HQ to have meetings with their counterparts. Relations with the EU have almost been zeroed out as well though they have good relations with several European countries. Russia is giving up on a reasonable relationship with Europe and is turning eastwards instead. The worse of it is that Europe is giving up on hundreds of billions worth of euros of revenue from Russia as well as good relations that would make a stable Europe in exchange for what exactly? And to whose benefit?

    1. Kouros

      What is tragic in all this is the fact that in the 1970s-80s there were a lot of anti-nuclear missile protests in Europe, which ultimately led the US to enter in some treaties with the Soviets and retreat The nuclear rhetoric is ramping up, with German MoD mentioning nuclear weapons to hit Russia and nobody bats an eyelid in Europe any longer. Ou sont les neiges d’antan?!

  30. Carolinian

    Re Chomsky

    To justify his extreme position, the much-lauded ‘great thinker’ then made a quite ludicrous analogy. He compared the unvaccinated to people who don‘t want to stop at red lights at traffic junctions.

    Since red light and stop sign runners are my pet peeve and practically everyone in my neighborhood does it–vaxxed or no (but not me)–I hereby agree with Noam and feel they all should be deprived of access to grocery stores except on an “emergency basis.” We can go even further with the Modest Suggestion of re-education camps for the Failure to Yield. In high school we called these Driver Ed.

    It’s possible though that Chomsky is merely suffering from deplorable phobia contracted via his stated habit of scanning the NY Times every day looking for obscure back pages stories.

    1. Helena

      Hah! He does not surprise me saying this because for the whole time this has been going on I have heard people complaining about anti-maskers and how they have to wear seat belts and get their cars inspected so why do they think they can do any damn thing they want? So now they are going to try to make it illegal not to get the vaccine and use the public safety argument. I wish them luck.

    2. zagonostra

      Chomsky did unrepairable damage to his legacy. I’ve been reading various stories today based on the interview in question and it ain’t pretty. Sad that in his waning years he sullied his reputation.

      But, then maybe not. I am having to reappraise my former knee-jerk respect for what he has to say and will be approaching his work and statements more critically. I read Tom Wolf’s The Kingdom of Speech a couple of years ago and dismissed it as a hack job on Chomsky’s foundational theories in linguistics. I want to re-read it, maybe I was too much influenced by Chomsky’s reputation and anti-imperialism tracts.

      1. Greg

        The halo effect works both ways (and is wrong in both ways too).

        I don’t know why anyone would care what Chomsky thinks about vaccination, or why they would think he knows anything useful about it.

        I also don’t know why his opinions on vaccination should affect the value of his critiques of modern imperialism.

        Maybe if he was asked specifically about the relationship between vaccine mandates and ur-fascism, or the way language has been contorted around the covid response. That might be interesting. Otherwise he’s just Joe Q Oldguy, who cares what he thinks.

      2. Jeff W

        “…dismissed it as a hack job on Chomsky’s foundational theories in linguistics.”

        Then again, there are linguists—or maybe former linguists—whose “dislike for Noam Chomsky’s linguistic theories and, still worse, his effect on the field” go back at least roughly two decades.

        As I’ve mentioned before, personally, I regard Chomsky’s famed—or, perhaps, infamous—1959 attack on B.F.Skinner’s Verbal Behavior as itself a hack job. Chomsky managed to confuse, among other things, classical conditioning with operant conditioning, taking what was a then-over-30-year old version of behaviorism as the state-of-the-art in the late 1950s.

        And then there is Chomsky’s 1971 NYRB review of Skinner’s Beyond Freedom and Dignity in which he writes

        Consider Skinner’s claim that “we sample and change verbal behavior, not opinions,” as, he says, behavioral analysis reveals (p. 95). Taken literally, this means that if, under a credible threat of torture, I force someone to say, repeatedly, that the earth stands still, then I have changed his opinion. Comment is unnecessary.

        That’s beyond ludicrous. Chomsky, a renowned linguist, can’t parse a simple phrase. “Taken literally,” according to what Skinner clearly says, you’re changing the person’s verbal behavior, not his opinion. Whether you call that verbal behavior an opinion or a coerced statement depends on the circumstances under which that behavior takes place.

        In later correspondence, referring to that review, Skinner wrote

        I have never been able to understand why Chomsky becomes almost pathologically angry when writing about me but I do not see why I should submit myself to such verbal treatment. If I thought I could learn something which might lead to useful revisions of my position I would of course be willing to take the punishment, but Chomsky simply does not understand what I am talking about and I see no reason to listen to him.

        Whatever value Chomsky’s work in the political/anti-imperialism realm has—and it might be considerable, I guess I’ve never had the same sort of knee-jerk respect for him.

        1. Ping

          RE: Chomsky’s disastrous recent interview. The theme in most of his historical books is the neocon quest for power and plunder of nations and populations by whatever ruthless means necessary with “manufacturing consent” describing media techniques and message saturation for public compliance.

          So there is one word to describe why he is now unmoored and doesn’t understand Covid is being used as Shock Doctrine to implement extreme controls and eviscerate civil rights: Dementia

          He looks like he’s been living in his basement too. Too bad.

    3. Maritimer

      Those two videos, perfect arguments for there being “something else” in the gene therapy. These videos should make the rounds of BITCHUTE, ODYSSEY and all the other Media Lepers. I am quite happy to be disassociated from people like Chomsky, might even lose a few pounds.

      Hang around MIT long enough….

    4. Anthony Stegman

      One must take into consideration that Chomsky is in his 90s. He is likely a bit addled at this stage of his long life. The messaging from the powers that be is simply that whatever risks the vaccines themselves may pose short or long term, those risks are lower than the risks of contracting and being hospitalized by COVID. The assumption being that the vaccines will protect you (at least most of you) from contracting and being hospitalized by COVID. Chomsky seems to concur with this messaging. Time will tell who is right and who is wrong.

  31. Tom Stone

    For those that are curious, my home was red tagged last Friday.
    Interestingly it was not tagged due to the failing cesspit, instead it was for the unpermitted addition of a bedroom, bathroom, Kitchen and deck and the illegal conversion to a duplex..
    I called and spoke to the code enforcement officer and he told me that since there were no floating turds on top, just a foul smell and some subsidence it was a judgement call.
    Which he will revisit on 11/21/21.
    Which gives me until that date to remove my possessions and find an affordable place to live instead of RIGHT NOW.
    I’d have reported earlier except that my laptop died Saturday…
    Here’s how the costs escalated, $250-$300 to fix the leak, $2,500- $3,000 to deal with the cesspit and leak combined,
    At least $25,000. not counting the hit to the value of the property.
    Which is a lot, the difference in value between a 3/2 and a 2/1 in this area is substantial.
    And no response to phone calls, texts or emails to my LL and his Son.
    The next step is a pain in the ass but profitable lawsuit that won’t go beyond deposition stage before summary judgement or settlement.
    I had my first long talk with a competent lawyer from California Rural Legal Assistance yesterday and after going into some of the details I have not mentioned here he was confident of a positive resolution.
    Those details are of a “No one in their right mind would do that” nature and my LL freely admits to having done them
    I wonder what the annual costs of Dementia are in the USA?
    This is sad, I’ve known him for a decade and rented from him for 5 years, I’ll miss the garden and the quiet
    I took out 12 small trees initially, brought in 4.5 yards of gravel, 7 yards of redwood mulch and planted 8 tree ferns an 70 plus native ferns to go with what’s here…and quite a bit of other work as well.

      1. Eustachedesaintpierre

        Good luck Tom may you find a much better place. –

        It sounds as though the official reaction to all that stuff built without planning permission is different than the UK’s, as I’m pretty sure that over here when such like is discovered it gets bulldozed. Back in 1991 an old guy in England was filmed shooting a council official dead due to a bungalow he had built that was due for demolition. I don’t think dementia had anything to do with it – just your average nutjob. He is now in a care home I presume minus his WW1 gun.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > I took out 12 small trees initially, brought in 4.5 yards of gravel, 7 yards of redwood mulch and planted 8 tree ferns an 70 plus native ferns to go with what’s here

      Well, the trees will live on (I hope) so you have done a good thing regardless. I hope things go well.

  32. diptherio

    I think this headline is probably a bit misleading: ‘Let’s try something different’: Minneapolis residents to vote on ballot measure to replace police department NBC

    While the ballot measure does say “replace”, it sounds more like in practice it would just do some administrative shuffling and make some changes about who the police chief reports to. From the article:

    The ballot measure says the new department “could include” police officers “if necessary.”
    Council member Cam Gordon, who represents eastern Minneapolis, said the biggest problem the measure would address, if it passes, is oversight of the police department and who gets to determine police policy.
    [Police Chief] Arradondo, who has been with the department for more than 30 years, has criticized the proposed amendment, saying the appointment of a new public safety commissioner who reports to the mayor and City Council “would be a wholly unbearable position for any law enforcement leader or police chief.” [emphasis added]

    I’m all for trying something really different to address community safety needs than the traditional full-time, professionalized (and militarized) police force, but I don’t think this is that. It doesn’t sound like it will be “replacing the police department” (in anything other than name), so much as just placing them under a larger agency.

  33. NotTimothyGeithner

    And Joe Manchin is a no on the billionaires tax. Why did Team Blue types even pretend he would be anything else?

    Clearly Manchin is more annoyed about the plebes questioning him than anything NY pressure from the caucus or from Biden who is openly concerned people think Manchin isn’t a good man. These people get their rewards through msm appearances and donors. They can only be reached through sticks.

  34. chuck roast

    New Left Review on the German election:

    “…the near-death of the Linkspartei stands out.” I’m guessing that the Linkspartei is the hard-left party? Pardon my ignorance, but there was little discussion about what the Linkspartei platform was in an ostensibly “Left” publication. This may well be a great analysis concerning the various neoliberal bourgeois parties squabbling over the spoils, but I wanted to understand what happened to the actual “hard-left” parties. Maybe another time.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>The Overtone window has been moved to the right… And Centre has become Left…

        Well, that’s been true in the States since the 1970s, maybe the 60s after the purge of communists, socialists, and really anyone someone slightly right of Bernie Sanders, and the center has just kept on moving right.

  35. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. backs Taiwan re-entering United Nations 50 years after expulsion”

    There is no way in the world that this will end well. The status quo has worked pretty well between China and Taiwan to the profit of both countries. Now Washington is coming in to blow up the whole thing just so that it can what? Get a dig at China? Stir up tensions? Throw some more gasoline around the place? A coupla years ago Russia said that they felt like firefighters running around trying to put out the fires that Washington kept starting.

    1. ObjectiveFunction

      …Or just perhaps, through their own hard work and ingenuity since the deaths of Chiang and his son, the Taiwanese people have earned the right to their own country. Just as Canada quickly became more than a British protectorate propped up by the Royal Navy. Would you have supported a US invasion of Canada in 1890 because it is the mandate of Heaven that every North American owes natural allegiance to the Republic?

      Taiwan is an amazing society. It is quintessentially Chinese, but who said that means they have to accept rule from Beijing? I don’t have any special ties there beyond friendships and business contacts, but I personally enjoy every moment I spend there, both inside and outside Taipei. One can only hope that the mainland eventually becomes more like it, not the other way around.

      That doesn’t mean we need to start WW3 for their sake, but at this point in the evolution of the miltech offense-defense balance the Taiwanese are actually quite capable of defending themselves, with a little support from allies. Right of self-determination. As far as I am concerned, they are the good guys and Beijing has not earned any loyalty from them.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Actually I agree with what you say and though China may rattle the Taiwan-is-a-rebellious-province meme every now and then, the two countries have learned to live with each other – and profit from one another. What they do not need is a Coalition of countries to come in and ramp up tensions while turning Taiwan into a missile base capable of wrecking havoc on the Chinese mainland. Look how badly the US freaked out in 1962 when they realized that there were missiles in Cuba and how the world almost ended in WW3 over this. Would not China feel the same here?

      2. JBird4049

        It is not what the United States, the United Nations, or Taiwan wants, but what the economically troubled totalitarian, powerful conventional military with bonus nuclear arms Chinese Empire wants. The one doing a cultural genocide of two other nations, the Tibetans and the Uygurs? Much more than the American ruling regime, the Chinese Communist Party has staked its authority to absolute control, including the elimination, or at least the severe diminuation of any perceived threat, no matter how tiny, including mere words, to what it has claimed is its territory, which includes the entire former territory of empire under the Qing Dynasty.

        That the three nations of Tibet, the Uyghurs, and Taiwan have been independent, often for centuries, even millennia from the Han, with their own completely separate languages, religions, and cultures is irrelevant. That all three nations want to exist peacefully with China is also irrelevant. That trying to conquer by force Taiwan quite possibly means the economic destruction of China itself is almost irrelevant as well. That the Taiwanese really do not want a war and would happily work and trade with China is also likely irrelevant to the ruling party as long as the Taiwan maintains even de facto, forget de jure independence because the ruling party believes that a perceived independence a threat to their control of China.

        Think of it as the pre-revolutionary war period of 1763-1775 between the American Colonies and the British Empire; the American position of all but its small extremist minority of Patriots was not to be independent of British control or even sovereignty. It was the regularization of rule by the central government including taxes, trade, and representation. The details were being argued over by the Americans and some of the British, but not independence.

        To really, really, really oversimplify it, after the Seven Years War, the British need money to pay off the war debt and build new forts and man for the colonies’ defenses, which meant getting more revenue from the American colonies, which got sucked into the colonists general complaints. The colonists would protest, the British would respond badly, which was followed up by more complaints with efforts lobbying or petitioning, which got followed with more bad responses… The British government demanded that the colonists surrender (politically at first) without listening to the complaints. When the colonists would respond with “we are not leaving or rebelling, we just have some complaints, which was meant with demands for surrender, which got more responses, now hot, of “we are not disloyal”… Lexington Green and Concord Bridge were more of a mutual oops than deliberate acts. The militia at Lexington Green were standing there to make a statement and not to make a fight.

        But that is the point. To some, appearances must be kept or else they will lose their power, especially if their power is based on obedience, not mutual respect. Almost nobody (aside from the more deluded Americans in politics) is trying to start a war. But each player is acting to their own internal agenda, not what is rational to the external viewers, which means that what seems a rational or irrational choice is not the same to all the participants.

      3. Lambert Strether

        > the Taiwanese people have earned the right to their own country

        That’s not how international relations works. State sovereignty isn’t earned. It’s taken by force, and maintained by force against other states.

        If The Blob thinks we can outspend the Chinese in an arms race, as we did with the Russians, they are sorely mistaken. One reader pictured a locust-like swarm of Chinese drones coming over the horizon; that’s pretty much where I am.

        1. ObjectiveFunction

          ‘Locust like swarms of Chinese drones’

          So is this the high tech version of the ‘screaming Asiatic hordes’ of ancient Western folk memory? Do they come with MIDI bugles blaring (like the Stuka sirens) to terrify the capitalist running dog KMT?

          Drone swarms:

          1 …. do not sweep sea lanes clear of mines

          2 ….do not pave the way for seaborne invasion by mechanized land forces in division strength, which is what is necessary to actually conquer Taiwan. Just as massive artillery and later air bombardments did not blast the Germans out of their holes in either WW1 or WW2, or the Viet Cong/NVA in 1968-72. Defenders simply hunkered down, then emerged ready to fight.

          We aren’t living in Terminator world yet. Tiny ‘swarm’ drones lack the range to be anything other than a one time smart bomblet once they’ve crossed the Straits, so they are a one off. Predator knockoffs with the necessary loiter time can be shot down like any other aircraft, and the PLA will run out of drones before the Taiwanese run out of missiles.

          2….Especially not an advanced technology being employed for the first time ever by a PLA that, whatever its distinguished combat history, has not conducted an army-fleet level combined arms operation against a real enemy army since 1979. (the Himalayas stuff is small units, and neither side has done well logistically)

          3….and whose commanders’ focus from 1992 – 2012 was largely real estate speculation and contract manufacturing. Xi has put a lot of effort into turning that around, but they are a long long way from pulling off an OVERLORD or even a GALVANIC (aka ‘Bloody Tarawa’).

          4. Even for a highly professional army and general staff with first call on the best and brightest of the population (which the PLA absolutely does NOT have), it takes trial and error to perfect the art of the offensive.

          The vaunted Blitzkrieg combined arms tactics of 1940 were a complete clusterf*** when they were first tried (against no opposition) in the Austrian Anschluss of 1938, and also performed very badly in Poland against a badly overmatched Polish army deployed too far forward. By 1940, the Generalstabs had absorbed these lessons, but even then Guderian was nearly cashiered for ignoring orders to ‘wait for the infantry’, and his panzers were repeatedly attacked by the Luftwaffe. And that was over dry land against shockingly uncoordinated Allied forces.

          TL:DR There’s no cheap and cheerful tech fairy solution that restores offensive dominance to the Chinese and makes force projection across water against a high tech defense a winning bet, any more than there is for us.

  36. drumlin woodchuckles

    One hopes that “this Black voter” is still presented with things worth voting about at the strictly local level or perhaps regional level as well. Initiatives, referrenda, local electeds, etc. And then leave all the national federal things and people unvoted about, if that is what seems indicated.

    For example, here in Michigan I voted yes on the referendum item about making marijuana state-legal. And enough other people did so that now it is state legal. This has led to a dramatic reduction in legal persecution against marijuana users. And that is a real benefit.

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