Links 10/28/2021

Officials Put A Tracker On A Dog Using Public Transportation And Learned He Traveled 30 Km Every Day Animal Rescue (David L)

Iceland’s Orcas Will Do Anything to Avoid a Pilot Whale The Atlantic (mgl)

How to Map a Fly Brain in 20 Million Easy Steps New York Times (David L)

The story of a tiny fossil that solved an evolutionary puzzle The Lighthouse (Kevin W)

An Ultra-Precise Clock Shows How to Link the Quantum World With Gravity Quanta (David L)

The Brain Processes Speech in Parallel With Other Sounds Quanta (David L)

Green tea discovery upends ideas about its health benefits Futurity (David L)

A physician and a philosopher on curating ‘a good death’ STAT (Dr. Kevin)


Deadly US Sanctions Are Exacerbating the Pandemic Globally Truthout

State Department and USAID Officials Testify on Global COVID-19 Response C-SPAN


Antidepressant Significantly Reduces Covid-19 Hospitalization Wall Street Journal. My e-mail to the Covid brain trust: “Does not smell right.” Reply by microbiology prof KLG: “Utterly stinks.” Hope to have more detail. Study here: Effect of early treatment with fluvoxamine on risk of emergency care and hospitalisation among patients with COVID-19 Lancet. KLG who did basic science on viral infections from the AIDS onward may be reacting due the past studies on SSRIs as antivirals. On a quick pass, the study was not controlled for vaccination status. The rationalization that only a minority of patients had gotten vaccinations doesn’t cut it as an excuse. The most impressive finding was the reduction in deaths (1 in the trial group v. 12 in the control) but those numbers are lower than the total vaxxed (86). It wouldn’t have been hard to parse the findings out so why wasn’t it done? The other improvements in results weren’t anywhere near as impressive.

Uh oh (guurst):

Not age stratified. But shows time decay:


Coronavirus infections at U.S. meat plants far higher than previous estimates -House subcommittee Reuters. GM: “So this was the price that was paid for resolving the meat shortage problem back in May last year. Of course it’s only coming out now. There were stories about outbreaks in the beginning, and then the media decided to just keep silent on the topic,”

Immunocompromised May Need a Fourth COVID-19 Shot, CDC Says CNN


COBOLing Together UI Benefits: How Delays in Fiscal Stabilizers Impact Aggregate Consumption Michael Navarrete, University of Maryland – Department of Economics (resilc). It’s the IT’s fault!

COP26/Climate Change

Schwarzenegger: ‘Nothing is getting done’ at U.N. climate summits Politico (David L). Quelle surprise!

COP26: Doomsters, deniers, deal-makers, dreamers | David Wallace-Wells, Time Literary Supplement (Anthony L)

Fossil fuel executives set to testify on climate disinformation at House Oversight hearing CNN (David L)

Citing Climate, New York Nixes Two Natural Gas Power Plant Plans Vice

City Eyes New Push to Buy Out Flood-Prone Houses as Climate Change Hits Home The City


Evergrande is just the tip of China’s debt iceberg Quartz (David L)

Chinese missile launch very concerning, says top US general BBC

China on verge of recognizing the Taliban Asia Times (Kevin W)


PM vows to hit back if France breaks post-Brexit fishing agreement Guardian (Kevin W)

New Cold War

Big Oil’s Exodus From Iraq Is Great News For Russia OilPrice

EU under pressure to fast-track Nord Stream 2 Asia Times (Kevin W)


Becoming Typical Mideast Dictatorship, Apartheid Israel Declares Palestinian Human Rights Groups “Terrorists” Juan Cole

Imperial Collapse Watch


Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Dilemma of a Conflicted Civil Servant Texas National Security Review (Colonel Smithers, guurst)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Anonymity No More? Age Checks Come To the Web New York Times

Here’s the FBI’s Internal Guide for Getting Data from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Guardian. Note that cell phone tower derived location is too approximate to use in court to put a suspect at a particular location.



Wall Street Journal Prints an Entire Letter Trump Wrote Continuing to Push Election Lies Mediate (David L)

Thinking the unthinkable Crooked Timber. KLG:

I stopped paying attention to Crooked Timber (the shades of Immanuel Kant and Isaiah Berlin should sue for misappropriation) when one of them called me a moron for making the argument that many people who voted for Trump in 2016 had good reason and that the road to Trump was surveyed by Carter, cleared by Reagan and Bush I, graded by Clinton and Bush II, and then paved with polished granite by Obama…I see this particular post as the more genteel strain of TDS exhibited by the PMC. And a bit precious. Do these people ever leave their bubble? Rhetorical question.


Paid Family Leave Dropped From Biden Economic Plan Bloomberg. Profiles in courage.

Today’s must read. No surprises on what happened but describes how bodies were buried:

And progressives to be told to bend over:

New York’s attorney general said to be planning run for governor Politico. Expected but also sets up Zephyr Teachout to run for AG.

Reported yesterday but worth not forgetting:

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Did Last Summer’s Black Lives Matter Protests Change Anything? New Yorker (Kevin C)

Supply Chain

Exclusive: Congested Port of LA receiving empty containers from Gulf, Southeast FreightWaves. BC: “Current supply chain breakdown = Death by a thousand cuts.”

Ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles to issue surcharge to ocean carriers whose cargo lingers at terminals Fox (Kevin W). So cargo has agency?

Semiconductor crisis wipes €500m off Volkswagen profits Financial Times

Our Famously Free Press

People Aren’t Meant to Talk This Much The Atlantic (John Siman). PMC proto-fascists show their true colors. The subhead: “Breaking up social-media companies is one way to fix them. Shutting their users up is a better one.”

Facebook tells staff to preserve documents amid heated inquiries Guardian

Woke Watch

‘We did not sic the FBI on parents’: Attorney General Merrick Garland defends school memo USA Today. A right winger I know says McAuliffe will lose the VA gubernatorial race over the Loudon rape backlash, that having Biden and Harris make visits was a sign of weakness. Obama calling concerns “phony trumped up culture wars” the day before the perp was found guilty of “nonconsensual sex” with the first victim was a big own goal. Barkley Rosser, in VA comes to the same conclusion, but for not entirely the same reasons: Is Virginia 2021 Election Going To Look More Like 1980, 1994, 2010 Or None Of The Above?

Postcard from San Francisco #2 Yasha Levine: “Conservative family gender roles are still very much in play in this great progressive civilization on the Bay.

CFPB’s new leader is putting big tech on notice American Banker

Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes accused of bilking Betsy DeVos’ family out of $100 million Salon (Kevin W)

Class Warfare

Capitalism Is Violence Caitlin Johnstone (David L)

Warrior Met Coal’s New PR Strategy: Smearing Striking Miners Kim Kelly. dk also sent:

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

And a bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. The Rev Kev

      Don’t think that the EU will protest too much. Have been reading for years how the EU will fund some sort of infrastructure for the Palestinians such as an array of solar panels or a clinic or something else. Then the Israelis will come along and deliberately go out of their way to destroy it, knowing that it was paid for by the EU. The EU then has a bit of a whinge and then things go on as normal. Unless the EU takes active steps to punish Israel like trade sanctions on some of their products or suggesting that the Israeli representative to the EU take time off to spend time with his family back in Israel, then nothing will fundamentally change.

  1. voteforno6

    Re: VA Gov. Race

    McAuliffe may very well lose, but Obama was right in this case – the Republicans managed to get their BS spin out over what happened in Loudoun County before anything resembling the truth came out. The Republicans have been leaning very hard into some golden culture war classics over banning books. These off-year elections can be tricky, as it can be hard to motivate people to vote, especially coming off the 2020 election – I think that voter exhaustion can explain this more than anything. The Republicans are playing to their base, while the Democrats have been trying to hang Trump around Youngkin’s neck the whole time, because that would motivate their base. So, we’ll see if Trump actually goes to Arlington for a rally (which is a very odd place for him to go). That may very well motivate some Democrats to go vote, more than Republicans.

    1. Sam Adams

      The Democrats haven’t delivered anything to their constituants. They are losing because of this simple fact, for no other reason. They have demonstrated they can’t govern.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        “The Democrats haven’t delivered anything to their constituants. They are losing because of this simple fact, for no other reason. They have demonstrated they can’t Don’t want to govern.
        Fixed it for ya.

        1. Wukchumni

          The Donkey Show always titillates when in the act of making promises it can’t come through with in the end, and you have to wonder if it exists only for the exorbitant tips?

      2. TimH

        A theory for y’all: Die-hard Republican voters require hard results, while Democratic ones can be be fobbed off with “We tried our best, but it just couldn’t happen”. Example: Obama promising M4A to the public while doing a deal with the industry that it wouldn’t happen.

        1. Pavel

          I’ll never forget how Obama:

          — Promised that there would be a Public Option and that the negotiations would “be on C-SPAN and not in smoke-filled rooms with lobbyists” (my paraphrase)

          — Broke both of those promises

          — Had the nerve to deny that he had ever made them.

          Bah bloody humbug. And McAuliffe is the worst of the Clinton gang apparachiks (perhaps apart from Podesta) (or Rahm). If the Dems lose VA it will be entirely their fault.

          1. jonboinAR

            O’bummer was the worst president ever,…except for Clinton,… or Bush(Shrub),… or Trump,… or Reagan,… Tricky Dick? The jury is out for me with the current WH denizen. I must give him MAJOR props, though, for extricating us from the Afghan debacle. I do not care about exactly why he did it, or any associated messiness. He did it. Major props!

      3. Nancy

        “They have demonstrated they can’t govern.”

        But they sure can fundraise…

        “Ask not what your party can do for you, but rather what you can do for your party”

        I send back their postage paid envelope with all the other junkmail I got that day, a fat blob held together with tape. Must cost them at least a dollar or two.

    2. John Siman

      I have been teaching Classics in Loudoun County for almost a decade and know some of the players in this drama personally. I am also a lifelong liberal Democrat. The topdown bureaucratic promulgation of Critical Race Theory and of trans activism in Loudoun borders on the criminal. I pray that McCauliffe gets humiliated in the gubernatorial race. Obama’s cameo role in this debacle has been predictably disgraceful. The Republicans are almost entirely in the right on this issue. This is tragic, but this is the new reality.

      1. Carolinian

        It’s probable that many voters thought they were sending a message to the Dems in 2016 by voting for Trump. But the Dems took or concocted the opposite message–that the country’s problems were all the fault of the Repubs and of course never anything to do with them.

        One would hope a Virginia loss would wake up the Biden crew but doesn’t seem likely.

      2. Grant

        So a nonsense fake controversy over CRT, which most of the right doesn’t understand at all, is a factor in the election? Trans activism?! Given the state of society, the environment, infrastructure, isn’t this nonsense a sign of how little these parties, and these individuals in particular, offer? Basically, elections come down to whatever nonsense coordinated right wing propaganda pretends are big issues. Okay, a right wing Republican wins and passes laws about CRT (dangerous). Will that help people pay the rent? Healthcare? Lessen inequality? Fend off the environmental crisis? Would Howard Zinn be considered CRT? Guaranteed any right winger that reads him would say so. What a disaster this country is.

        1. MK

          Okay, a left wing Democrat wins and passes laws about CRT (mandatory K-12). Will that help people pay the rent? Healthcare? Lessen inequality? Fend off the environmental crisis? What a disaster this country is.

          1. Grant

            Did I say that? Who is calling for such a thing? The right is flipping out about this, most of them have zero idea what CRT is, it isn’t actually being taught in schools and any idea that they don’t like that is even mildly critical of capitalism and anything that analyzes structural racism, inequality, or class will then be “CRT”. Look what these same people have done to the teaching of Howard Zinn in places like Indiana, the teaching of labor history in the south, BDS, or Texas now banning books that have ideas they don’t like. It is a propaganda war and you are pushing it or a victim of it. Likely both.

            A left wing politician (very few Democrats are on the left) wins and they would push for long overdue structural changes that would benefit working people, the poor, our democracy (including workplace democracy), which would require them to take on the right wing oligarchs that are funding right wing organizations to create nonsense propaganda about CRT. What a nonsense, ridiculous comment.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              I suggest you see the comment in the thread about how VA schools have stopped teaching advanced math because equity. I’d be besides myself if I were a parent or student. I was a math nerd and this would have hurt me.

              1. Grant

                Yeah, that is illogical and horrible. But, it isn’t CRT. In fact, is Virginia not very friendly to neoliberal Democrats? Krystal Ball talks all the time about Virginia being dominated now by Democrats and at the same time being one of the most anti-labor states in the country. I worry that these types of things will be called CRT, and a critical analysis of capitalism and actual structural racism will be CRT (which would be more accurate) and then it becomes a catch all phase, similar to “socialism”. There is no analysis of root causes, no real structural analysis at all, or they wouldn’t be doing that stuff.

                The commenter above talked about mandating CRT and said the person doing that is left wing. Why shouldn’t we challenge that framing?

                1. Yves Smith Post author

                  Siman is close to the schools and has sent me messages about what is being taught. There does seem to be a lot of hating on whites in it. He has this second hand from parents but direct quotes and citations of material. He was planning to firm up what was happening in Nov when he had time.

          2. Grant

            You’re kidding right? CRT (which the right largely doesn’t understand what so ever) isn’t taught in schools. The right has done a lot to bar the teaching of Howard Zinn, goes after BDS, they have banned a number of books in Texas simply because they don’t like the ideas in the books, they simply don’t teach labor history in places like the south. In the future, any left wing idea will become “CRT”, or something similar. Why say such a thing when that wouldn’t happen, and when we see people getting worked up about something (CRT) they don’t even understand?

            The Democrats don’t elect left wingers, the most they offer are social democrats. But, a left winger would support a wide range of policies that would benefit poor and working people, the environment and would address things like housing as well.

            Yes, the country is a disaster when society is in this shape and people don’t get worked up about things that matter and focus so much on reality-less culture wars.

        2. Rottentott

          >Okay, a right wing Republican wins and passes laws about CRT (dangerous).

          What’s dangerous about banning that bourgeois brain rot

    3. jsn

      In the midst of watching everything Democrat voters voted FOR be gutted publicly to maximize humiliation of everyone who fell for the Democrats BS less than 2 years ago.

      They really think their voters are stupid.

      1. vidimi

        that’s because they genuinely, really are, and that is saying without any snark. you can’t beat the republicans if you don’t first get rid of the republicans within the democratic party. you first need to get a seat at the table if you’re on the left and that requires getting rid of the principal obstacle.

        1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

          The Democratic Party is liberal, not left. Saying that, I still couldn’t define exactly what “liberal” in this case means. It clearly contains elements of classical liberalism (markets, limited government, etc.), but it also contains elements of classical conservatism such as protecting institutions, particularly the institutions of late stage capitalism and meritocracy. Aspects of social liberalism are emphasized by the party to split the electorate along non-class lines in order to garner votes, since we still play the election game every few years.

          Someday in the future (maybe), historians will have terms at their disposal that weren’t established in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries to describe what’s going on in the early 21st century.

          1. jsn

            This is so far beyond ideology raising ideological questions borders on miss direction.

            There is no interest in governance whatsoever and interest in institutions only to the moment of the payoff they facilitate.

            Look at the Ilhan Omar tweets: this is bald, unashamed graft.

            1. skippy

              Both legacy parties are beholden to old school Corporatism and just like Covid is a late stage variant extenuated from it original ideological strain.

              Best bit is anyone that challenges its social narrative gets labeled an anti freedom and liberty totalitarian sort with broad brush and all the indoctrinated, from birth, start to vibrate at high frequency. Yet its sorta like the link on fractured churches over non theological grounds, back to the virus thingy and evolution.

              Anywho in skippy land I’ll be working the long weekend to sort out my neighbors mates place after reno on half the inside so the floor sander can come in on Monday. Total mission creep … started with new ceilings only [quick job], next wallboard sealer on new wall, and now everything after his wife did her back in …. had too head it off at the pass … called and asked will this by any chance end up an à la carte experience because its lower cost and better finish if its one and done … ummmm we didn’t want to ask due to the long weekend.

              Yet in reference to the first issue above I’ve been broad brushed a commie socialist by all the neoliberal fractions like forever … yet due to covid is like a ideological wax museum on fire and their all to high[tm] to notice their melting …

              1. jsn

                Enjoy that scope creep!

                I know an architect who built her practice from 16 staff to 60 on scope creep from a single project, almost 9 years worth.

                We’re keeping warm this winter off the wax museum fire. I know better than to let my politics slip out except in the most elliptical ways, everyone’s information feed is like the waterways in the UK now, so you have to judge them by how they are in the world despite the political coprolites they keep burping up.

                1. skippy

                  Aww its not like I had to do it and its more a neighbor favor, after that its my nature to get things done well and in good time, especially as its just been done and you only get one go to set a good base for the future. Silky oak windows from the 70s with some DIY paint jobs since, lovingly sanded with festool and ready to spray with air cap/conventional devilbiss gear and ready to last another 15/20 years with care.

                  Walls/ceilings are all graco sprayed and back rolled to final cut and roll.

                  Per the convos about politics/ideology I just bypass all that with basic economic historical facts i.e. there is more than one school of economics, not a science, don’t confuse basic rules of thumb with tautological cookie cutters with no sense of time or space and what is the methodology used to arrive at those conclusions, et al. Have had great personal success in framing it that way, give any group a serve if its bad policy or functional economics.

          2. lance ringquist

            american liberalism was a different animal than european liberalism. american liberalism was born out of the enlightenment, and was for self governing by people, sovereignty, nationalism and protectionism.
            that’s all dead and gone now that nafta billy clinton buried it, and they are now european liberals.
            much more in common with the austrian school of whackos!

            1. skippy

              I disagree with the American perspective over the definition of what constitutes people as its not inclusive in historical perspective, save the brief FDR period and Europe had a much stronger social imperative until neoliberalism became the dominate economics driven by largely Germany [ordoliberalism] and the U.K [AET/neoclassical] hence why Hayek wrote two books – one for across the pond and one for the U.S.

          3. vidimi

            the point is, the democrats are the ones occuppying the left’s seat at the table so the fact that they are not really left is irrelevant, or indeed, the source of the problem. since societies will only be as far right as the left-most credible party, this is why you live in a neoliberal hellhole that imposes its ideology on the rest of the world. unless the democratic party is destroyed and replaced with a left party or taken over by the left, then there is no hope. keep on voting for them and you ensure that this cannot happen.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      Nonsense, the parental rage over a student who had been reported for a rape being moved into another school where he is alleged to have raped a second school is real and fierce. Students walked out yesterday because they don’t feel safe. Board members flat out lied when asked point blank months ago if there had been any reports of sexual assault.

      1. NotThePilot

        A lot of my family is totally inside the Fox News / talk-radio bubble so when they mentioned this story, I automatically figured something was getting twisted around.

        Based on what I could find though, it did happen and the head of the school board did flat-out lie about it to the father of the one girl. So I can’t really blame the father for flying off the handle at the board meeting.

        That said, it’s obviously a weirdly partisan logic that the governor of VA is somehow uniquely responsible for it. If the Democrats were smart (I know, all signs are they aren’t), McAuliffe would throw the Loudon Co school board to the wolves. Then he could calmly say if Glenn Youngkin is so single-mindedly focused on education, he should run for the school board. Even offer to support him to the extent he cleans things up.

        They’re both nihilistic in their own ways, but the Republicans seem to have reached a point where they can’t even do anything superficially positive. The best thing the Democrats could do is calmly and insistently keep judo-throwing the Republicans back into “hypothetically governing”. For example, force them to say how they would teach US history in detail instead of just letting them rave about CRT or whatever the outrage is this week.

    5. Chris Smith

      Obama was wrong. The school board should not have tried to cover up the rape. And then shuffling the rapist to another school to assist the cover up was a big mistake because the rapist allegedly raped another person. What the school district did was depraved.

    6. tegnost

      These off-year elections can be tricky, as it can be hard to motivate people to vote, especially coming off the 2020 election because the dems do nothing but shovel money at rich people

      there, fixed! Maybe making it all about trump won’t work? Maybe Biden and the manichema mechanism will inspire many dems to sit out?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I also think the expectation that the “moderate Republicans” were locks for Terry Mac was a mistake. It meant they didn’t need to work and would coast. Terry likely expected a huge war chest to dump on Clintonistas in 2022. Terry did at least restore voting rights to many felons in a sharp departure from Kaine’s time as governor.

        Youngkin has that TV politician extra look Republicans love. He isn’t slovenly. And this isn’t a case where the election could bring someone eager to move defense spending to other states, threatening housing values.

        Back in December 2008, the democratic leader in the state senate held a conference to go over strategy for 2009 for the legislative races. He was convinced people didn’t want to hear about policy just nice stories about for 2008. My sense is Terry fell into the same trap but without running against a crippled GOP candidate both by personality and using the central committee to avoid a primary instead opting for a closed convention. Youngkin isn’t publicly Ken Cuccinelli and won the GOP primary fair and square.

    7. pjay

      I have been purposely watching how the MSM cover this story. Even NBC News couldn’t spin this one. They did try voteforno6’s line: the Republicans are exploiting this for political reasons. Well, of course they are! Why wouldn’t they? And when I saw Obama parachuting in to ridicule the deplorables’ concerns, I found myself sharing John Siman’s prayer that McCauliffe gets humiliated. It doesn’t matter that I am fully aware of the Republicans’ cynical hypocrisies. All this juxtaposed with the Dems’ predictable retreats on the spending bill, of course, nicely explained by Omar’s twitter thread above.

    8. Grant

      How is offering nothing outside of opposing Trump going to motivate their base? Society, the environment are coming apart, the Democrats are all wealthy and corrupt, offer next to nothing on policy, have not followed through on much of anything. In this instance, focusing so much on Trump highlightes how utterly worthless they are, how little they have to offer. I wish both of these parties, all of their propagandists and mouth pieces, and all of the institutions they control went away. I used to say that we resemble the USSR in the late 80s. I now think we are close to Colombia in the late 40s, right before Gaitan was assassinated.

    9. Pelham

      The rape story is complex, but the Republicans aren’t entirely wrong. If what I can glean from frenzied media coverage is correct, it appears the school did allow the alleged offender to use the girls’ bathroom. That’s a legitimate point of contention regardless of all the other factors.

    10. Objective Ace

      Vaccine mandates may come into play too. While McAuliffe seems to have backed off that talking point somewhat, initially he was very strongly in favor of mandates for various groups. My pediatrician told me she assumed if he is elected there will be child mandates for children to attend school like California. (which she vehemently opposed)

  2. Skunk

    Regarding the Quanta Magazine article, parallel speech processing makes a lot of sense if you consider vowel harmony, alliteration, etc. I’ve always found it interesting that writing fails to capture many prosodic features. Despite the overwhelming benefits historically of the printing press, there’s also a certain impoverishment to writing as compared to the spoken word. For example, the written word record could be the noun with the stress on the second syllable, or the verb with the stress on the first syllable. The written form is missing a set of data versus the spoken form. Possibly this could be due to some sort of processing differences in the eye as it moves across a written page versus the auditory system.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I recall mention in a DVD extras interview, that the late Alec Guinness had his own written notation for describing how he wanted to perform certain lines of his dialog. The accent of written language is described for English in our dictionaries, but that still leaves omits capturing a written form of the special accents of particular speech acts which can give different meanings to the same series of words. I remember reading a tourist guide or language introduction guide, some decades ago mentioning how Japanese and Korean dictionaries did not indicate how words should be accented further complicating learning to speak those languages. As I write, I am troubled by the lack of punctuation or some other way to clearly indicate how I want my words to come out. In addition to accent, I miss an ability capture the rhythm of delays and pauses in a sentence. Less often I miss a way to indicate the speed or tonal qualities of a line.

      Perhaps someone else could comment on the current state of the art of computer generated speech. I suspect recreating prosody remains an area of research. As far as I know, voice recognition systems make little or no use of prosody.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      This sentence from the link seems most pregnant: “Much of the prevailing wisdom about our perception of sounds is based on analogies to what we know about computations performed in the visual system.” I wonder how much of what we ‘know’ about computations in the visual system should be reexamined. I think there was a notion something to the effect that the ultimate test for a theory of visual processing was whether a computation based on that theory, could — given the inputs inferred for an aspect of our brain’s visual processing — duplicate the outputs inferred to be produced by visual processing described for the eye. Partitioning a complex process like hearing or like vision into a set of sub-processes may help its study progress. But assembling a construct of a complex process, like hearing or vision, from a hierarchical assembly of the supposed sub-processes seems more useful as an exercise for a limited application and implementation of artificial intelligence than as a description for how biological systems structure and perform a complex process.

      I believe Science has reached a certain high point of advance, but lingers at the edge of further advances — held back by too strongly clinging to old truths generalized beyond their reach. And, I grow sad contemplating the ways Neoliberalism has succeeded in bridling science as a servant to its pursuit of Wealth.

    3. Jeff W

      “Possibly this could be due to some sort of processing differences in the eye as it moves across a written page…”

      I’d think it’s just another indication of the orthography of English having, well, limitations. English could, in theory, reflect the difference in stress pretty easily, e.g., récord vs. recórd (or something similar).

      Oh, I guess your point is about how or why we tolerate (or are able to tolerate) the impoverishment in writing of many prosodic features found in speech. I’d surmise the answer is because we can—we are probably on the side closer to the bare minimum because, I’d guess, writing evolved, not surprisingly, from more “rudimentary” styles, which still worked. (Classical Greek and Roman didn’t really even use spaces between words, as far as I know or not much.) It seems we’re really good at figuring out what is said even in the case of having less than all the cues—to the point of “hearing” phonemes that might be actually missing in speech (i.e., phonemic restoration)—and that carries over when reading (although, of course, there is sometimes confusion).

  3. Biologist

    From earlier this month, but this is too good to not share here:

    It’s a variation on a certain rainbow-coloured yard sign I spotted a few years ago on a visit to the USA, but this one is so much better:

    never call or talk to cops
    don’t snitch to the landlord
    don’t call the city on unhoused people
    share our resources
    clean up our dog shit
    shop at long standing local businesses
    don’t install these f***ing ring cameras or other surveillance devices

    1. TimH

      The first one is a sad comment on society, but the remainder are the behaviour I expect from people.

      Then some stupid nextdoor message comes through about “suspicious people spotted”, and I get reset and remember that so many people are !@#$.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      My son attacked and injured me. I deeply regret talking with the police who showed up within an hour of initial treatments of my injuries at a local hospital emergency room. In my state, the state prosecutes domestic violence, with and without support of that prosecution by the victim. The state and its minions have no regard for the humanity of their laws and actions. As for serve and protect, I am sad to report that the police, prosecutor, and state were far less concerned about serving or protecting the interests of my son, the victim of our schools and lack of opportunities for the young, or me, the victim, or of Society in their prosecution of my son. I found out later that the lead officer in the investigation received a promotion shortly after my son was indicted. The actions of the police and state resulted in my suffering substantial monetary losses, losses of time, and the loss of my only son. [My son is not dead — but based on my assessment of our conversations in his recent phone calls — he is lost to me.] After that, even though my son went directly to the state mental hospital following his arrest, it took two years and more money than most people could afford — than I could really afford, to finally have my son placed back into the state psychiatric hospital. However, I am sad to report how little the state’s mental health system has been able to help my son after these many years. Worse, I am sad to observe his condition deteriorate in the winds of budget cuts blocking any chance of his timely return to the world and Corona constraints on visiting him. I fear his mind is more badly broken now, than it was when he attacked me. I have trouble believing this did not result from his ‘treatment’.

      What saddens me to tears, is recalling the numbers of individuals I saw in proceedings in the county court while I waited for my son’s hearings. I saw so much anger, madness, despair and desperation. Based on my experiences of how my son’s case was handled, I suspect few, if any, of the mentally ill — mentally ill to my untrained eye — found their way into the state mental hospital. It was state prison for them. I do not want to be in the neighborhood when some of them find their way back into the world outside. Our Society is building countless time-bombs. Chris Hedges recent essays greatly upset me [e.g. an excerpt form Hedges new book — the Call. That is one book I will not and cannot read for the great sadness I fear it would invoke in me]. I cannot contemplate how prison could affect those whose criminal acts were motivated by other than madness. Some of the prison population may be sociopaths or psychopaths. I am not sure how Society could deal with them — just as I am appalled by how readily our Society tolerates and richly rewards their wealthy counterparts.

      1. CuriosityConcern

        Jeremy – thank you for the link, it was superb. As to your own situation, take it from a random internet commenter, no one can ever know the long term consequences of even the smallest of our actions.

  4. The Rev Kev

    ‘Libs of Tik Tok
    Twix sponsored this Halloween ad’

    I do believe that that term ‘Libs’ is missing a short descriptive word in front of it. Saw this ad earlier today and gave up on it halfway through. So to distract myself from it and being reminded by that young witch in that ad, I thought of a series of Videos on YouTube I came across the other day. So, does anybody remember little Wednesday Addams from the Addams family? Ever wonder how she turned out? (3:51 mins)

    1. griffen

      My interest in consuming those branded candy bars just might suffer after seeing that commercial. What exactly is the point of the commercial; being different means having a cool Wiccan for a nanny, perhaps.

      It’s memorable I suppose. Just not the Clydesdale horses for Budweiser or polar bears for Coca Cola memorable.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Sex doesn’t sell, resulting in what was once 1/3 of commercials looking for new ideas. Weird is popular now.

        The polar bears are targeted at young moms. Got to get the coke when I shop for the kids.

        I think most ads not pitched directly at seniors are meant for young women anyway as they are most likely to switch brands.

      2. Anthony Noel

        I’m slightly more worried that it basically states that if you do not receive instant and unearned acceptance of your ideas or identity then those who do not accept them are bad and physical violence can be perpetrated on them and this is a good thing.

  5. griffen

    Theranos bilked a lot of wealthy families out of their investment funds. This is called grifting, or in this case Theranos delivered “something tangible” which really was a ruse all along.

    Cue my weeping and tears for the Devos’ and similar fortunes for taking a hit. You hoped to find a next Facebook, Google, or comparable returning investment. Instead you gets, but alas no sock puppet.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Agreed but the fact that she targeted certain very rich investors who knew squat about the medical industry I assume is to establish that she wasn’t a visionary but a very high end con artist.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Probably she targeted them for the same reason that Willie Sutton robbed banks – “Because that’s where the money is.” It has never ceased to amaze me that she managed to sucker in so many members of the establishment and can only think that those people were over-riding the advice of their money managers. As an example, Tyler Schultz tried repeatedly to warn his grandfather former SecState George Schultz that she was a crook but was disowned by him and thrown to the wolves. George Schultz eventually lost $700 million.

      1. diptherio

        Agreed…or at least more likeable. She ripped off a lot of the people who richly deserve it, and made fools of everybody with her hilarious deep voice routine. Just wish she’d have been nicer to her employees while doing it.

      2. Milton

        Can you imagine if Holmes had the foresight to rip off Trump? She would be a Resistance hero and most certainly unconvictable (if that is a word).

        BTW, it seems the NC rss feed is not updating. It’s stuck on yesterday’s Water Cooler.

        1. John Zelnicker

          I didn’t receive any RSS feeds from NC this morning.

          I don’t know if it’s the NC servers, WordPress, Cloudflare, or Google feeds, but I assume our hosts are working on it and will, hopefully resolve it soon.

          1. John Zelnicker

            Just received all the NC RSS feeds from this morning.

            Looks like the problem has been solved.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          You misunderstand the Resistance. They didn’t like Trump because he exposed them. They would protect him for the same reason they never produced his tax returns. He’s still one of them. If it’s Trump, it could be anyone. It’s like putting Schiff in charge of impeachment. It was all a farce at that point. Or Lieu’s love of the space force. Trump just made it crass, but that’s the end of their hatred.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Maybe Betsy can take out a contract on Holmes with her brother Erik Prince’s killers-for-hire. Our modem day Borgias.

    3. Maritimer

      Poor Elizabeth Holmes. She must be saying, in the midst of the Great Big Pharma Covid Ripoff: “Why me?” Indeed, why her?

      One great unexplained but important item: how did many of the Elite (Schultz, Kissinger, etc.) fall for this scam? Stupid or drank their own Koolaid? Same question applies to their view of Vax.

    1. Wukchumni

      Was voyeuring the antics of a swanky swingers club on tv yesterday, and occasionally the announcers would exclaim that the gambling odds on a given player getting a hit was this or that, with accompanying text graphics on screen of what looks like a smartphone parroting what the talking heads just said, and totally premeditated.

  6. Steve H.

    : A physician and a philosopher on curating ‘a good death’ STAT (Dr. Kevin)

    Linked in the article:

    > Society’s opinion about what it finds to be cruel continues to evolve. But it should primarily take into account the sufferer, not those who are watching.

    ‘Cruel.’ From a post I made in the off-hours yesterday:

    > But [my father] might blame the hospice care. While we’re in the ER with him, the worker looks at us and says “You can put him in (In-house Hospice Care Center) if you want to go to Vegas!” Then the only time they spent time with him at home was to sell him on same WHILE SLOW-WALKING HIS PAIN MEDS. Here’s what he made sure to say when he came up for air from Painworld: 1. I love you. 2. Trust the lawyer. 3. This is a cruel system.

    The article says this:

    > At the bedside of someone who is dying, families and friends are increasingly welcomed to be present, to accompany a loved one in their last moments. This is a good thing, as it returns death and dying to the realm of the home and community so people do not have to die alone.

    This is what Janet did when she was a hospice nurse, and exactly the opposite of what the corporate hospice workers did with us. To be clear, we are in the ER room with a man who has just said that he is ready to die, and the hospice worker third-persons him to sell to us. From the article:

    > The danger that the SILENCE trial presents is the risk that hospitals will curate the dying experience for the sake of loved ones

    They didn’t just curate, they capitalized. Vegas, ffs. Read the room.


  7. urblintz


    Democrats agree to shore up the social safety net proposal in Biden’s BBB bill by including free Blockbuster Gift Cards – good for one whole month if applicants pass the mean test to qualify. Cards will be valid from date of application. Allow 3 weeks for delivery. Proof of vaccination required.

  8. Wukchumni

    “Even containers from Port Rupert [in British Columbia, Canada] have made their way down to Los Angeles via rail,” said one trucker who requested anonymity. “This is making a bad situation worse. There is a finite number of slots to return empties. How can we pick up empties if we can’t unload our chassis?”

    …the TEUfel is in der details, but for want of a slot a container was lost

    1. wilroncanada

      It’s OK Wuk
      Prince Rupert is going to get some of them back, sailing solo, part of the 120 odd accidentally dumped off the west coast of Vancouver Island. At least 2 of the containers have already come ashore near cape Scott, the northern tip of Vancouver Island. And they’re full too, of what we don’t know (at least 2 of the missing containers are filled with toxic chemicals used in the mining industry). Cape Scott is already half-way from where they went into the ocean, toward Prince Rupert.

    1. diptherio

      Just training. I strongly doubt the US military is dumb enough to pick a fight with China over this. And President Tsai Ing-wen should have a look at the history of how we treat our allies once they no longer serve our purposes, before she relies overmuch on the US coming to her rescue. The US is maintaining its official “ambiguous” stance so it doesn’t have to eat too much crow when they eventually do the inevitable and back down over Taiwan.

      1. Louis Fyne

        most people at grade O-5 (Lt. Colonel) and below I think will share your view. Above? yes, many of them are that dumb/smug./indoctrinated in the full-spectrum dominance of the USA.

        And the civilian leadership? in a world where many self-described, good “progressives” are just as trigger happy as Curtis LeMay, the US can easily stumble into a totally avoidable war with China

      2. Rottentott

        > I strongly doubt the US military is dumb enough to pick a fight with China over this.

        They were dumb enough to spend twenty years in Afghanistan, dumb enough to spend twenty years in Vietnam, dumb enough to spend trillions on a plane too fat to fly and a boat too fat to float. The military is run by idiots more interested in sitting on the board of Raytheon than fighting a war and staffed by white trash too stupid for community college.

        Give me a break my man

    2. The Rev Kev

      There are not many US troops there and are mostly trainers and various other detachments so this is more bluster than anything else. But up until 1979 there was actually a substantial US presence on that island called the United States Taiwan Defense Command which commanded-

      ‘a total of about 30,000 troops, including 9,000 infantry troops drawn from Army and Marine battalions, including an airborne battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division, 3 attack submarines, 4 navy frigates, 7 navy missile boats, a naval air wing comprising a Marine bomber squadron of 18 Douglas A-4 Skyhawk ground attack aircraft, 21 transport and SAR helicopters, 12 Kaman SH-2 Seasprite ASW helicopters and nine Lockheed P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft; a joint Army-Marine artillery group comprising a brigade fielding 203 mm and 155 m self propelled and towed guns plus one battalion of MGR-1 Honest John rockets and MGM-29 Sergeant surface-to-surface missiles, and two Marine tank battalions fielding the M48 Patton tank.

      The USAF component included 4 squadrons (72 aircraft) of North American F-100 Super Sabre and Republic F-105 Thunderchief air superiority fighters, After 1972, there were two F-4 squadrons transferred from Kadena Air Base to Ching Chuan Kang Air Base,a Squadron of Nine Lockheed AC-130 ground attack aircraft, three KC-130 aerial refueling tankers, a EW and recon wing of a lone Lockheed RC-130 Hercules and a lone Boeing RC-135 aircraft. and a squadron of three Lockheed C-141 Starlifter heavy strategic airlifters and six Lockheed C-130 Hercules tactical airlifters.’

    3. MonkeyBusiness

      At the same time, nowadays Taiwanese males will only need to do 4 months of mandatory military service. That’s down from 14 months back in 2007.

      That tells me:
      1. They are not expecting any conflicts with China for the foreseeable future.
      2. They know they are not going to win if a conflict occurs.
      3. They think Uncle Sam will do most of the fighting.

  9. Watt4Bob

    Blaming COBOL, a programing language, for dips in consumption during the pandemic, because it is somehow key to delays in processing UI claims?

    Anyone with half a brain understands that UI claim processing is a complicated universe with a lot of diversity as concerns regional politics, ie, how easy do we want to make it for people to ask for, and receive, government monies.

    COBOL is buried deep in the stack of processes that enable those systems, and determining the extent to which COBOL is a dominant, or even significant factor in perceived delays is a difficult, if not impossible task.

    IMHO, this study, wherein the author admits using COBOL based UI processing systems as a “proxy” in his analysis of the UI processing delay’s impact on consumption, amounts to an effort to obscure rather than clarify the source of the delays.

    So while we’re at it, why would it not make more sense to use the state’s dominant political party as the “proxy” upon which to build or analysis?

    IOW, maybe how fast you can get your UI check is greatly impacted by your state’s political environment?

    If you want to enlarge your understanding of COBOL’s place in the world’s economic systems, you might start here, it’s an easy read and covers most of the topic.

    1. Divadab

      Yup. I learned cobol in 82 and competent cobol programmers are still in demand for legacy systems. Legacy systems that are still processing millions of transactions.

      The article is effectively providing cover for the real problem- incompetent management.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I believe COBOL, the language, has little or nothing to do with dips in consumption or any other problems with the present day computer systems. I believe COBOL is just one of many proxies for the accretions of bad management and penny wise software development which afflicts our Society. I would trace a preponderance of software problems back to the refusal to pay for proper documentation of the software that was and is written. I also believe software documentation is a special art that requires specialists no less skilled than the programmers who write the code. The clever ideas of making programmers and software engineers document their own code, or worse still the clever ideas of ‘self-documenting’ code will too soon bear far more bitter fruit than they have so far.

      As programming goes, I remember when 32 K bytes of core memory ran the stores management, operating systems, and ballistics on an F-16 fighter bomber.

      1. Socal Rhino

        Yeah, there is still COBOL at the center of mission critical systems in the financial industry, despite the evergreen 5-year replacement plans. I would like to think the last 10 years of Windows and IOS updates might make the “old bad, new good” argument fade away.

    3. synoia

      Let us suppose that one is writing and modifying COBOL code for 60 years.

      That one has no writ to abandon the code and write it in a new language.

      Assume the code has consumed 1% of expense fir the 60 years, so the sunk investment is now 60%.

      How can one possibly even propose replacing the COBOL system?

    4. Grebo

      Very few if any new systems have been implemented in COBOL in the last, say, 30 years. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to me to use extant COBOL as an indicator that there may have been underinvestment in IT. This is no reflection on the merits of COBOL itself.

  10. Lee

    Preprint from MedRxiv, BMJ Yale:

    Breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections in 620,000 U.S. Veterans, February 1, 2021 to August 13, 2021

    This study, impressive in its scale and promising in its capacity for follow up, shows rapid and significant waning of 3 vaccines’ protection against infection, but then we’ve known for some time that the vaccines are not sterilizing.

    It is not yet clear whether reductions in vaccine protection against infection will translate into similar reductions in protection against hospitalization, death, or prolonged post-viral morbidity. Let’s hope not. What it does appear to indicate is that community transmission is likely to persist and continue to cause illness among the susceptible, as well as offer mutational opportunities for the virus.

    Protection against infection:

    March, 92%
    August, 3%

    March, 91%
    August, 64%

    March, 95%
    August, 50%

    1. griffen

      As of this week I am partly vaxxed with the Moderna dose 1; dose 2 will follow the week of or shortly after Thanksgiving. I was hesitant on the timing but this fits into a good timeframe for myself. Headed into winter months and such.

      Painful in the left arm where the shot was given. Otherwise no complaints or observation to add.

  11. Jason Boxman

    Wow, so tell me the headline writer didn’t intend this to sound like obstinacy and mistaken policy: Why China Is the World’s Last ‘Zero Covid’ Holdout

    Subhead: The government has staked its political legitimacy on controlling the virus better than other countries, especially its geopolitical rivals.

    But elimination is the only sensible policy. I, for one, don’t begrudge them for keeping people safe in this, and reducing the available population within which future mutations might arise. It seems at least in the United States, there’s no government legitimacy to protect, so no loss there it seems!

    1. Chas

      Will the progs agree to all the flesh being removed from the bone and then vote to pass the skeleton? Or is their some point where the progs will say “No, we’re done compromising. We no longer support the bills and we’re killing them both.” The progs are poor negotiators. Never once that I’m aware of have they threatened to kill any of the programs the 1% want in the infrastructure bill, such as making presently free highways into toll roads, unless Manchin/Sinema support some of the programs for the 99%.

      1. curlydan

        Until the progs are vilified and demonized by the rest of the Democrats, they will make no progress or get what they want. Once Jaypal, AOC, Sanders, et. al. are being roasted and called all types of bad names, then the progs will know they are making progress in more than name only.

        Manchin and Sinema are being spat upon, and their goals are being met.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Yes and no. The original compromise would cement him as the best President since LBJ. Its a low bar. Even Biden could get that. There are easy levers to pull. Manchin isn’t fighting a good fight. The genuine smallness of Biden is surprising even to me.

        Money? Fear drives donations, not past loyalty. The Clinton grift didn’t bring a cent until HRC had an open lane to tge Whote House.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        i allowed myself a small modicum of Hope…but that was only between may and september, when my chaostime was at full bore, and i therefore couldn’t really scrutinise the news environment.

        now, of course, my ur-cynicism has returned to it’s normal level.
        i loathe the demparty even more than i hate the goptea spittle flingers.
        i told the former, almost 30 years ago(and a bunch of times, since) ,that bringing all those homeless moderate repubs into the “big Tent” was a mistake.
        sinema is merely liebermann 2.0
        we’ll continue the decline, i’m afraid.
        that’s what i continue to plan and prepare for, fer sure.

      3. lordkoos

        I don’t have a clear idea of who is actually running things but Biden seems like a barely functioning mouthpiece with little agency.

  12. BeliTsari

    Since we’d known all along, where Reconciliation & COVID 3.0 were heading. I’d tried to find coverage of the Assange pillory & crucifixion, yesterday. First, they came for the JOURNALISTS, whistleblowers & cranks. We don’t know what happened after…

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Did Last Summer’s Black Lives Matter Protests Change Anything?”

    Not a lot I would guess. And why should it? The 2020 election is long over so they are no longer needed. Those protestors have served their purpose. So what changed? Some members of the BLM movement cashed out big, a coupla statues were removed, confederate flags were removed as well as other cosmetic changes. But have the police been demilitarized? Has all that military equipment that they receive been halted? Have there been any systematic reforms? Has the black caucus made any serious moves and demands for reform? Sorry, but I think that those riots were allowed to go ahead for the political purposes of removing Trump from office and and when that was done, it was all over.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Well, downtown Portland, OR is a boarded up shell of it’s former self, and 22 Walgreens have closed in SF, so there’s that.

    2. Watt4Bob


      The Minneapolis police force is now 1/3rd the size it was last year.

      Next week’s election ballot includes a vote on whether to de-fund the police department and replace it with a public safety department that ‘may’ include police officers.

      I’ll let you know how that goes.

      It also seems to me that the disturbances of the last year have clearly included the efforts of agent provocateurs from both government agencies and right-wing groups. Those efforts have been reported on more widely than I can remember in my life, due mostly to people in the street having cameras and paying attention to the ‘instigators’.

      These agent provocateurs used to get away with hardly anyone noticing.

      I’d call that progress by itself.

      1. The Rev Kev

        These agent provocateurs still seem to be getting away from it. We all know that there were a whole bunch at the Capital Building riots and they were trying to stir up trouble. We know what they are by the fact that they have never been arrested or paid attention to by the authorities in spite of being identified. To my mind that is deliberate entrapment but what do I know? I’m not a lawyer.

    3. Nikkikat

      I think you did a pretty good analysis there Rev. In that this is typical of the inside game played by elites.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      I still see increasing numbers of Black Lives Matter (BLM) signs around my little town. Even though the the BLM movement may have been co-opted and sputtered, the consciousness it coalesced has not subsided. I am not black, but my consciousness has been awakened beyond the somnolence I had before. I am now too much aware how the BLM causes transcend race in our dying Society.

    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      Black Americans are buying more guns than they used to, to use as working self-defense tools if or when necessary. The more Black Americans buy more guns, the harder it will be to impose White liberal racist gun control in this country. So that is a real change following on from Black Lives Matter.,lockdown%20orders%20and%20in%20support%20of%20White%20supremacy.

      Sometimes I hear my Black co-workers discuss their personal arsenals with deep and granular knowledge and my gunless self is very impressed. People who believe in gun control should try disarming my Black co-workers and see what happens.

  14. timbers


    Paid Family Leave Dropped From Biden Economic Plan Bloomberg. Profiles in courage. Everything has proceeded as Democrats planned years ago, when they essentially decided to make McConnell the real President. Yet as a casual observer it seems Dems did a lot of quick folding recently (“not a penny of new taxes on corporations or the rich”) and giving up on social programs.

    1. Lou Anton

      Who’s got some spine in the House progressive caucus? Guess we’ll see. 422 sitting reps at the moment, 212 republicans will vote no. I believe ties mean a bill fails. Will at least 4 of the 40 in the CPC vote no? Omar seems like a no. Who else?

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      And fossil fuel companies are getting subsidies. They aren’t incompetent, just actively destructive.

    3. Henry Moon Pie

      We’ve been worse than Liebermanned.

      If we looked under the hood, I think we’d find Bernie’s bill for the people has been reduced to a series of giveaways:

      1) money for the ACA–meaning more subsidies to the health insurance industry;

      2) money for pre-K–noble idea, but I’m wondering who the Neil Bushes are who have this wired already

      3) money for climate–see above, probably a huge carbon footprint

      4) money for hearing aids–a voucher no doubt, probably just enough to buy some crap from Walmart

      And of course, there’s the foolishness about $200 billion going to reduce the Medicare “deficit.” Do you suppose they laugh when they’re sitting around in a room making this crap up? Like those guys at Enron?

      I cannot believe they cut the child tax credit to one year. With just that, it might be considered something. But now we have not one but two Billionaires’ Bonanza Bills.

      And it’s exactly the plan to focus on Manchin and Sinema. I’ll give this to Sinema. She seems to be making the point that her job is a joke. How true. Those two were just the old villains-of-the-day extended throughout the process. It’s the people with money and power calling the shots, and this is just how inexhaustibly greedy they are.

      I agree with Lao-Tzu that greed’s a curse. The problem is that while it’s getting them, it’s making us ever more precarious.

  15. Mikel

    RE: Anti-depressant and Coivd

    Pharma was bound to try to squeeze behavior modification drugs onto the table of drug mandate mania.

    Crisis of legitimacy? Modify the behavior and thinking of the population on a mass scale.

    I wonder what’s the going rate to buy the politicians and establishment players to get a product or service turned into a mandate?
    And mandates for any SERVICE make no sense. If someone actually needs a service, you don’t have to force them to use it.

  16. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: TerryMac

    I tend to think of Loudon County as populated by right wingers who watch Ellen. I think the real problem TerryMac has is Youngkin has that GOP safe look that Corey Stewart didn’t have, always angry. Then Gillespie was a weenie, but he was 10,000 votes away from toppling Warner. This should be seen as a bigger deal, as the other state wide wins, were in light of Trump or in 2012 when the black vote was crazy high. Gillespie proceeded to do nothing until he ran again, so he was trounced. As Team Blue directed resources to winning Never Trumpers, they ignored minorities and younger people and squeezing votes. The people who are embarrassed by Trump and Stewart aren’t going to be embarrassed by Youngkin.

    I see Terry is now promising “big, full plans”. It’s pretty apparent Terry’s strategy was to run on once having been governor and winning the Never Trumpers. The guy restored voting rights which likely elected Northam, but nary a peep about this from Terry Mac. They are both promising the “biggest education budget either and teacher pay increases.” It doesn’t matter Terry’s is based in a semblance of reality and these are promises akin to promising to have a balanced budget, effectively meaningless as virtually everyone would achieve these ends. Terry let Youngkin claim this mantle. Everyone “cares” about education.

    “Sleep when you are dead” is his cry over the last month, and to me, it’s are indication they fell on far behind organizing they woke up to bad internals. Everyone was likely trying to figure out how to flip a job in the new administration into a good job, ignoring that Trump’s style turned Republicans off, not his policies.

    1. DanP66

      As a person who lives in NOVA….I think your way off. This has to do with what the democrats have done in the state to alienate their own voters.

  17. DanP66

    I think people are underestimating the full impact of what has been going on and how it has created divides between democrats in this state.

    1. The VA Dept of Ed eliminate all advanced math classes until junior year of HS. They made the announcement in the name of “Equity” and used a graph showing Asian students at the top and black students at the bottom in terms of math performance. I mean they just could not have more clearly said that they want to keep Asian and White kids back from getting further ahead of the Black kids. A WHOLE LOT of Asian and Indian parents were really upset. Northern VA, the dem stronghold in the state has a very large Asian and Indian population that lean liberal. This ticked off a lot of democrat parents in this key area of the state.

    2. The state has moved to eliminate merit based admissions to the magnet schools. Again, they announced it and pretty clearly stated that it was because there were too many Asian, Indian and White students in those schools and not enough Black or Latino students. Well, see my above comment. Fairfax County moved to do this with Thomas Jefferson HS, the number one rated HS in the country. Well, as you might imagine, that did not sit well with all those parents there who are HIGHLY educated and push their kids hard to succeed and who LOVE to make the argument that they got to where they are based on MERIT.

    3. The democrats, once they got control of the house of delegates AND the governorship, passed a bill that essentially says that nobody can be denied access to educational opportunity or public facilities based on the gender they identify as. Well, that sounded good and very progressive and made a lot of democrats happy UNTIL…well…it actually went into effect in their kids schools. THEN…the democrats made it worse. When a 9th grade girl was sodomized by a boy wearing a skirt in the girls bathroom at the HS, the school tried really hard to cover it up. They went so far as to first try to convince the girl to not have a rape kit done. THEN, they told the family they wanted to deal with it as an internal issue and they transferred the boy to another school where he assaulted another girl. Eventually, the boy was arrested on rape and forcible sodomy charges and was convicted yesterday. In between however, the Superintendent tried to cover it up and went so far as to deny that it happened. THEN..when the girls father stood up and called him out at a school board meeting he was attacked by trans activists and arrested at the insistence of the school board. To TOP it all off, the school board then used the father as a prime example of parents as “domestic terrorists” and he was highlighted in the letter the NASB sent to AG Garland asking for FBI support. Well, needless to say, all parents expect to be able to send their kids to school and have them be safe. This very very liberal school board in a very liberal county seriously violated the trust of the parents and the safety of their kids in the name of trans rights. SO…that was another bunch of parents/voters who are largely democrat and liberal who have had just about enough.

    In short, Youngkin is likely to win on education and he is likely to win because the democrat voting base in Northern VA is not thrilled with what they have been getting.

  18. Samuel Conner

    Poking around Automatic Earth today, I see an item (at a site I don’t recognize; did not click through) about recent adoption in Japan of IVM. “1point3acres” tracking site indicates current new confirmed cases are ~300/day, down 60-fold from the prior peak.

    I can’t find anything about this at MSM sites in searches and I’m a bit reluctant to click through to sites that I don’t know anything about.

    Are there any Japan-watchers with access to Japanese media who have seen information about public-health policy changes there?

    1. Basil Pesto

      it was mentioned here a couple of months ago that a Tokyo association of doctors recommended it as part of treatment peotocol. I’m not sure whether it was a government body or not but if it was I don’t think it would have applied beyond Tokyo. I’m not sure if there’ve been any developments since then.

      1. lordkoos

        The governmental head of medicine for the city of Tokyo recommended Ivermectin as a treatment back in August. That was the only news I’ve heard, if there is new information I’d like to know more.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Chinese missile launch very concerning, says top US general”

    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley also said in an interview with Bloomberg News that he needs more money for the Pentagon to counter these magical Chinese planes and that if he did not get that money, then he would never be offered a place on the Board of Raytheon Technologies.

    Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin agreed with this assessment and stated that Raytheon Technologies promised to keep his office open for his return after his stint in government but this would not happen unless he too arranged for a few tens of billions of dollars worth of contracts be sent their way.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Perhaps, instead of giving the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) more money, the u.s. might reconsider its first strike policies. That would have significant implications to the u.s. ‘defense’ budget.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        We would need to run a political party on that explicitly stated concept, and win it overwhelming power throughout the government. Then we could consider it.

      2. Maritimer

        The Military Industrial Complex guys must be looking in horror as the Medical Industrial Complex guys steal their business model. They had it soooo gooood all those years, but some consultant finally pointed out to the Meds: “Hey, you can do that too!”

        Now, of course, the problem is you can only print so much money to support these Complexes and then……

  20. Milton

    Not one Assange extradition article appears in today’s Guardian UK site.Maybe a search will bring up a commentary or some social post but definiteely there is nothing front and center. I guess when you have your primary person that had been covering the case in prison it makes it difficult to get dispatches on the regular.

  21. zagonostra

    >Long Covid

    The link on the subject of “Long Covid” confuses me. Several times I commented on natural immunity being as good or better than available vaccines only to be corrected that there is still “Long Covid” that has to be taken into account because natural immunity is not as good as preventing it as a vaccine.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Say that once more and you are asking to be blacklisted.

      Natural immunity is not superior. It has a very big price that all of the touts overlook. You have to get a case of Covid with all of its mortality and morbidity risk. If you get vaccinated, you have immunity and have not gotten Covid as the price of that. I never never never want to get Covid and anything that treats contracting it is as desirable is disinformation and dangerous.

      There is a very strong case to be made for giving people credit for having had Covid in the vax mandate regime. But that wasn’t the point you were making and your formulation is a hazard to readers’ health. It’s the same logic behind teens having Covid parties over spring break.

      1. zagonostra

        Thanks for the course correction. I’ll have to be more careful.

        It seems the more I read, and I read from a very broad spectrum of sources, the more I veer into dangerous shoals.

        I’ll keep my confusion to myself in the future lest I put anyone in hazard.

      2. Ken Murphy

        Now I’m confused. Looking at the report cited (which I see is a study of studies, something I’ve never been too fond of), the symptoms listed for “long Covid” seem awfully generic, things like “anxiety/depression”. Seriously? In a country as crappified as the U.S. it would seem to me that anxiety/depression is too meta to be linked to “long Covid”.

        My experience is only anecdotal, but having had Covid I am totally okay with my natural immunity. I manage a popular retail store, so have been on the front lines of exposure since the beginning. I stopped wearing a mask about a year ago, and distinctly remember when the delta variant swept through East Texas. I was never really sick, and my body was done with it in about 24 hours. That being said, I am someone who works their immune system all the time and doesn’t shy away from dirty tasks.

        So I honestly don’t get the focus on vaccinating every single person. I’ve had the disease, I survived, and I’ve fought off the succeeding mutations. Does this make me a bad guy for not toeing the mandated line? Am I evil for not wearing a mask in a retail environment? I don’t begrudge those who are masked and maintain adequate distance from them; I’m even okay with my staff wearing masks if they so choose, and specifically request they mask up when their outgassed illness assaults my mucous membranes (I almost always feel it in the eyes first).

        I would cherish a real debate on the topic of natural immunity. It just seems that there’s so much absolutism in modern discourse, and those not toeing the line being told to hush, that I doubt there ever will be.

        1. Basil Pesto

          which I see is a study of studies, something I’ve never been too fond of

          Any particular reason?

          1. Ken Murphy

            My training and work as an analyst has taught me to rely on root, source data, and to distrust summaries of other people’s analyses. Two levels removed from the data is just too squishy for my OCD Aspergers. I want to see the underlying facts and draw my own conclusions, then compare them with the conclusions of others. I let the data tell me it’s story, while I try to avoid things that might influence the way that I see that data and the story it is telling.

  22. Mikel

    “People Aren’t Meant to Talk This Much” The Atlantic

    Remember, “corporations are people too.” Yeah, they aren’t meant to talk this much!

  23. Pat

    While Holmes targeting and taking in rich jerks like the Devos does make her more sympathetic to me, it is likely the only reason she is being prosecuted as well.

    And frankly that depresses me. How many of our rich businesses and their owners guilty of billing and defrauding many more people than Holmes and Theranos did that are now not only walking around rich and free but get a very real active say in how our country is run?

    It is to weep.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      She also embarrassed a host of other people. Obama used her as a prop to show a young mythical entrepreneur and tsk at young people for not being more like Holmes. She was really popular in the pull up the bootstrap circles.

  24. Mikel


    “…For Chipotle workers who assemble burritos and taco bowls in front of customers at restaurants, as well as for customers who order online, that has meant increasingly tough conditions. MarketWatch spoke with current and former workers in five states and reviewed hundreds of Chipotle worker complaints on Reddit, documenting food and supply shortages, inadequate space at stores, problems with staffing, and unrealistic online customer order times.

    Through the third quarter, the company’s overall revenue is up 27% since the same period last year, while its employee count has climbed just 8% higher. In other words, Chipotle is churning out a lot more burritos, but the number of people making them has not risen anywhere near as much.

    As a cashier, Rodriguez said the pace can be dizzying, especially because online orders have become part of a crushing new reality.

    “It’s like being ripped into two,” Rodriguez said. Because his location is so understaffed, he said there’s a person on the digital-make line, which handles online orders, while he often is solo on the main line that serves in-store customers. That means preparing orders and handling the cash register by himself….”

    Yep, food and money in the same hands.

  25. fresno dan

    Our illustrious medical system – Part 7
    So, the hospital calls me and tells me I need a covid swab for my upcoming procedure (puting a stent in).
    I say that is fine, but you do know I have been swabbed twice at the hospital in the last 3 months, intially negative, and then positive on September 10??? By the way, I was called for a covid test for my last procedure done a couple of weeks ago, and it turned out I didn’t need ANOTHER covid test because of the previous covid positive and the intervening 3 weeks without symptoms. You have these records – Correct? The person calling didn’t know about my covid test history because…
    It was done in the hospital lab, by hospital technicians, for hospital doctors.
    I only hope that don’t get me mixed up with the sex change patient…

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      “I only hope that don’t get me mixed up with the sex change patient…” — You could use a marker pen to write a warning over or on the area of concern to warn off any unhappy surprises resulting from your surgery.

      May your surgery be both uneventful and successful in achieving its intended improvements to your health and well-being.

    2. griffen

      Best of luck there. What an incredibly complex system of organizations, providers, and independent processes.

      Best. Healthcare. Ever.

    3. Ana

      Dan, I have unfortunately been the recipient of a number of necessary surgeries over the years. May I pass on a recommendation given to me by one of the better surgeons? Use a black permanent sharpie and write on yourself what is to be done. Large letters on the limb or body part involved. And if a limb is involved, write on the opposite limb, NOT THIS ARM/LEG.

      I also now write on my chest DNR because that is my personal choice. Evidently my surgeon had seen the wrong procedures performed on people (mixed up unconscious patients/paperwork) including the wrong leg being amputated in one case.

      Assume that the people in the room with sharp implements do not have a clue what they are really there for or that you, now all draped and unable to identify, are the right person they should be working on.

      Having said all that dreadful stuff, I know that stents are now not typically a major issue and know that I wish you all speed in your recovery.

      Ana in Sacramento

  26. Mikel

    “Did Last Summer’s Black Lives Matter Protests Change Anything?” New Yorker

    Wealthy corporations are spending more money to advertise to black people. That much is confirmed.

  27. Mikel

    More on Chipotle workers strike:

    “…Yet his hours have been cut to about 15 to 17 hours a week from about 32 hours a week, because he said the location’s general manager is trying to save money.

    Chipotle workers are not unionized, but Rodriguez and his colleagues got support from the Service Employees International Union for Wednesday’s walkout. In a news release, the union noted that Chipotle is already facing a lawsuit filed by New York City earlier this year, accusing it of violating the Fair Workweek Law, which requires that employers give workers a good faith estimate of their regular schedule as well as a two-week notice of their set schedule….”

    So, as suspected, a lot of this “worker shortage” is not being able to find enough workers to keep enough people at part time with few benefits. Forcing onlyt the option of part-time work at low pay and pumping the price on all necessities from food to housing…is warfare.

  28. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Thinking the Unthinkable

    Wow, that is some stage 4 TDS right there.

    There’s no obvious reason why they [the Trumps] couldn’t rule for decades as Putin and others have done.

    Someone needs to tell this guy why Garfield and McKinley and Lincoln and Kennedy never finished their presidential terms.

  29. NotTimothyGeithner

    Pelosi is asking Reps to not embarrass Biden before he flies in Air Force One to the Climate conference. The rest of the world really needs to recognize the threat the US is and isolate us.

  30. David

    Out of curiosity I took a look at the Crooked Timber link to see whether things had improved since I last looked at the site. They hadn’t. As I recall I was driven off the site by insults after making much the same comments on Brexit as you obviously did, and trying to educate the readership about the background to the 2015-16 terrorist attacks in Europe. I gave up after that, especially given their post-Trump policy of 100% comment moderation to ensure no naughty things were said.
    What I find depressing is that this is Quiggin, who as an economist actually wrote some sensible articles. Much worse was Chris Bertram, who claimed to be a Professor of Philosophy, and who was obsessed with the Kantian categorical imperative that anyone should be allowed to live in any country they liked, without restrictions. I got savagely attacked for pointing out that there would be social questions and economic costs that would need to be addressed: the answer, in true Kantian fashion, was that these objections were irrelevant. Not much has been heard of Bertram since Covid forced a realisation that people carry viruses. I see nothing has improved.

  31. drumlin woodchuckles

    ” Becoming Typical Mideast Dictatorship, Apartheid Israel Declares Palestinian Human Rights Groups “Terrorists” Juan Cole ” . . .

    I remember when anti-colonialists were condemning Israel for not “integrating itself into its region” by “refusing to become Middle-Eastern”.

    Well, now Israel is integrating itself into the Middle-East region by becoming a typical Mideast Dictatorship.
    So what’s the problem? Honestly, there’s just no pleasing some people.

    And once Israel completes its Typical Mideast Dictatorship transformation process, we won’t feel like we have to give it any more money or any more special respect. So its all good.

    1. John k

      No, no, they’ll get more. We’ve always been quite fond of dictatorships… well, except the social ones, of course.

  32. JBird4049

    On today’s and earlier Woke Watch snippets…

    There is bigotry, and honest, real hatred of all sorts in our society and the struggle never ends, but the creation of an extreme form of trans rights and transphobia and then merging it with the greater struggle is a problem. It is now going into blaming the designated baddies Deplorables and the bigots. Denying the problem and then victim blaming makes it even worse.

    This wokeness is going to cause people to awake some years from now and realize that centuries long battel against racism, occasionally with real guns, and the decades long one against homophobia, often against police batons and public scorn was lost and human rights will then in retreat. All because some want to use past evil to ram fantasy down our societal throat, often for social power, political gain, or to feed a grifter’s appetite and not to struggle against often murderous bigotry.

    I remember, albeit barely, how it was a thing to beat men and women who did not dress, talk, and act according to the rules of “proper society.” Do not fool yourself into thinking that this is from long ago, in a strange, violent land. Unless you think the San Francisco Bay Area into the 1970s was such, you would be wrong. It would be nice not to see it again. But since throwing out the baby with the bathwater is a common metaphor…

    More, I think that most of our “leadership” is composed of grifters, sycophants, opportunists, and fools who would not recognize honest belief, dissent, or ideology, if it bit them on the nose, unless Mammon and money was invoked. Everything thing they touch turns into manure.

    Meanwhile, the homeless, and those living in shacks or slums, and people getting sick from or dying from diseases treatable a century ago, are still with us while we focus on wokeness. Because reasons. How interesting that is.

  33. Soredemos

    >Schwarzenegger: ‘Nothing is getting done’ at U.N. climate summits Politico

    I mean, he’s not wrong.

    But what does Ja Rule think?

  34. Soredemos

    “This is not due process of law. Nor is it justice.”

    Oh just hand over the laptop and documents the federal court ordered you to, Steve, you disbarred drama queen.

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