Links 11/1/2021

The Real-Life Whale That Gave Moby Dick His Name Smithsonian (MJ)

A Literary History of Witches Literary Hub. Missed this yesterday.

Machine-learning system accelerates discovery of new materials for 3D printing (chuck l)

American Airlines cancels more than 600 flights on Sunday CNN

LUCKY STRIKE Science (chuck l)

‘Every Turn in This Case Has Been Another Brick Wall, and Behind It Is Chevron’ FAIR


U.S. spy agencies say origins of COVID-19 may never be known Reuters

NYC COVID vaccination rates jump by 10,000 in one day NY Post

Facing Mandate, 15,000 NYC Municipal Workers Get COVID Vaccines. But Twice As Many Holdouts Remain Gothamist

Sheriff warns vaccine mandate causing ‘mass exodus’ among personnel LA Times


Price of flights to the US soars after lifting of ban on vaccinated adults… and parents face forking out for THREE Covid tests if they want to travel to the States with their children Daily Mail

CDC says unvaccinated young foreign travelers do not need to quarantine Reuters

CDC plagued by confusing messaging, critics say Yahoo


Coronavirus: India records 12,514 cases, PM to review low vaccination coverage in over 40 districts Scroll

Kill Me Now

Class Warfare

Billionaires Are Not Morally Qualified To Shape Human Civilization Caitlin Johnstone

Health Care

U.S. bid to force drug makers to offer discounts to some hospitals was ‘arbitrary and capricious,’ judge rules Stat

The Burnout Crisis in Historic Preservation Preservation Leadership Forum (chuck l)

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

‘Cloak and dagger’ military-intelligence outfit at center of US digital vaccine passport push Grayzone

L’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

Staley to step down as Barclays CEO following Epstein investigation FT

The biggest gamble of Prince Andrew’s life will either save him… or sink him: In exposing his accuser’s alleged past, even the Duke’s supporters were lamenting the absence of any sign of remorse, writes RICHARD KAY Daily Mail

Julian Assange

Why the Julian Assange case is the most important battle for press freedom of our time Salon. Chris Hedges.

Our Famously Free Press

What Happened to Matt Taibbi? New York Magazine

The “Let’s Go, Brandon!” Freakout Goes Next-Level TK News. Matt Taibbi.

Journalists Venture Beyond Their Newsrooms to Try to Cash In WSJ

COP26/Climate Change

How Climate Change, Geopolitics Are Linked to the Tragedy of a Pakistani Fisherman The Wire

G20 backs stronger climate action, but won’t end coal use Politico

Climate change: Extreme weather events are ‘the new norm’ BBC

Can carbon capture facilities reverse climate change? Al Jazeera


Biden ‘disappointed’ by Xi, Putin absences at G20 as leaders promise effort to limit global temperature rises, but fail to offer firm commitments South China Morning Post

‘Hopes unfulfilled’: G20 fails to agree on climate change goals Sydney Morning Herald (The Rev Kev)

EU climate chief: ‘We need to be more ambitious’ Deutsche Welle

Cop26 summit at serious risk of failure, says Boris Johnson Guardian

Cancelled trains cause travel chaos ahead of COP26 climate summit FT


Owners of British trawler impounded in Normandy are ordered to pay £125,000 ‘deposit’ to the French before vessel will be allowed to leave and return to Britain – after Macron told Boris to ‘back down’ on fishing row Daily Mail

Déjà vu as Brexit overshadows UK’s moment on world stage Politico

UK-France stand-off over post-Brexit fishing rights deepens FT (The Rev Kev)

Waste Watch

Searching for solutions to a crisis decades in the making Ars Technica

High aluminum prices, supply chain issues create ‘best of times and the worst of times’ for recyclers Waste Dive

Biden Administration

McAuliffe, Youngkin tout national stakes in final Virginia blitz Politico

Democrats face ire of women over loss of paid leave The Hill

Rivals on World Stage, Russia and U.S. Quietly Seek Areas of Accord NYT (KC)



Epidemics End. Eventually. Sort Of. The Wire

Net-Zero Deadline Or Not, Here’s What India Must Do To Cut Emissions India Spend

The (final) Political Fix: Why you cannot understand Indian politics without examining the media Scroll


USTC researchers claim quantum breakthrough Asia Times (The Rev Kev)


LDP beats the odds at Japan’s election Asia Times (The Rev Kev)


India’s Adani Ports scraps Myanmar container terminal plans Reuters

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. zagonostra

    What Happened to Matt Taibbi? New York Magazine

    What is far more of an endangered species is the bold investigative reporter with enough time and money to produce the kinds of stories that terrify politicians and shift the Zeitgeist — the reporter that Taibbi used to be.

    They are endangered because spineless publications like the NY Magazine spend time attacking journalists like Taibbi instead of doing all they can to to bring attention to freeing Julian Assange. Maybe the NY Magazine should look in the mirror and realize they as an institution have “enough time and money to produce the kinds of stories” they are bemoaning we lack. But truth be told – and it’s not at the NY Magazine – they don’t want to shift the Zeitgeist, they know it would mean their end, and they fear it.

    1. Yves Smith

      Another proof of Lambert’s and my strongly held belief based on moderating >1.6 million comments at NC alone: concern trolling is never done in good faith.

      1. FriarTuck

        Yves, do you think that trolling is more common now as opposed to before the internet?

        It seems like concern trolling, and trolling in general, has become a conflagration generated by 24 hour news networks, an explosion of news outlets with a thin veneer of respectability, and unmoderated comment systems.

        1. Yves Smith

          Thanks for noticing and I agree.

          One manifestation is the passive/aggressive PMC version, and concern trolling is classic, particularly “Gee you were so much better back then, what happened to you?” BTW this is a game unhappy spouses play too. It’s like telling a war photographer who is now documenting urban blight that you liked his old oeuvre better…when there’s no war on now!

          It’s funny NY Mag is picking on Taibbi since he nailed the origins in Hate, Inc. Media outlets discovered that emotional engagement produces more intensely engaged readers/viewers. And there aren’t enough legit “If it bleeds, it leads” stories. How often do you have real controversies that involve real gore, like the George Floyd video? Oh, and there were disincentives against that particular vein of content (police whacking citizens) because some advertisers don’t like alienating conservatives.

          And recall that FB has made a dark art of manipulating emotions and most news outlets are very traffic driven (they’ll do more of stories that they think performed well) so you have really bad feedback loops.

          That’s before the Trump era being used as an excuse for more open aggression. Neera Tanden, the Hillbots, and the cancel culture types are the supposedly acceptable Dem reflections of Trump eyepoking.

    2. Helena

      I don’t think that was such a bad article on Taibbi. His reply to your above quote:

      It’s a notion Taibbi, prone to more self-reflection than his public persona suggests, considers. “Obviously what I’m doing on Substack is different than what I’ve done in my career. I’ve spent most or all of that time, 30 years, doing the slogging investigative or pseudo-investigative kind of reporting,” he said. “I’ve earned a little time to not do that for a year or two.”

      NYMag can go ahead and ponder that there’s a Zeitgeist-shifting emergency and try to lay it on his shoulders. Pffft.

      1. albrt

        At the risk of being labeled a concern troll, I’ll note that the lure of an “opinion column” sinecure has always been an important means to blunt the impact of investigative journalists who were too good at their jobs. Substack has the potential to be that on steroids.

        I hope Taibbi really will only take a year or two off from substantive reporting. I also hope some of the other Substackers work out business models that involve something more than just blathering for a clique of admiring subscribers.

        1. Helena

          I agree, and I also see a bit of a smell of “Hey, stay in your lane, Taibbi!” from NYMag gathering all of those complainers together. Who knows where he might bust out with some truth or credible opinion next? Horrors. It’s good to know what they are thinking.

    3. Wukchumni

      This month marks the golden anniversary of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream and what a ride it was coming off a prior engagement with the Hells Angels @ the height of their existence in the Haight…

      Hunter went on to write a few more fine tomes before the mind played out. He’s practically unreadable from the 90’s on, but for a decade once upon a time he was the classic outsider on the inside looking out for something everybody else missed, pointing in another direction to a nation divided against itself.

      Matt seemed to pattern himself after HST in writing, but always came off as a different person in person. I remember having read some of his stuff and then seeing him the first time trying to reconcile in my mind that this the source of well thought out & teased whimsy… hmmm

      Back to Fear & Loathing…

      I was 14 when I first read it, and probably the only controlled substance i’d ever consumed was Sanka, and it was tantamount to word drenched drug porn, something ingested every third page to keep the manic mantra going en route to destination unknown, hopefully not North Las Vegas.

      1. tawal

        HST’s NFL articles in the 90’s were coherent and spot on. (N.B. Gpapa went to 49ers with HST in the ‘66-‘67 era; HST brought his own 6 pack, no sharing. Gpapa says the 6’5” HST had the bruises to prove his stomping by ‘Hells Angels’.)

    4. Robert Gray

      The author of that piece, Ross Barkan, is apparently another one who believes that ‘liberals’ and ‘the left’ are the same.

      1. Alex Cox

        Conflating liberals with leftists is an interesting confusion which invariably affects the MSM. Amusingly, for a “leftist” who has turned against Taibbi, Barkan dredges up… Doug Henwood!

        1. Buckeye

          It is NOT a conflation or confusion. Conservatives view anyone not on their side as “leftist” and liberalism is hated for it’s freedom of the individual and support for the general welfare of society, so that makes it “socialist” and therefore “leftist” and therefore evil.

          What DOES irritate ME is how liberalism is conflated with neo-liberalism. Neoliberalism is just a cute right-wing word game created a century ago to hide the fact that conservatism/capitalism is the REAL enemy of liberal values. But “liberalism” was highly regarded 100 years ago and conservatives were (justifiably) denounced as elitist, status quo dictators with delusions of aristocracy.

          Right wingers “rebranded” capitalism/conservatism as “neoliberal” to hide their same old hideous, hateful, destructive ideology under the well-regarded umbrella of “liberal”.

          Leftists and Rightists who hate “liberals” hate freedom, equality, prosperity-for-all, and the individual rights with social responsibility that has been the hallmark of “liberalism” as espoused by Thomas Paine.

          Lefties and Righties are in fact both right-wing authoritarian scumbags. It’s just that the Leftists have melodrama, atheism and no style sense. Right-wingers have slick marketing, phony faith, and fine clothes, so they win all the time.

          1. Telly

            So, when the Liberal party of Canada uses the courts to block Ingenious people from reviving compensation for being abused by the federal government that’s protecting Indigenous rights?

    5. Carolinian

      What happened to Taibbi is that he decided he no longer cared what people at New York magazine and similar outlets think about him. In other words he “investigated” the matter and decided much of the country is correct in their low opinion of the current fourth estate.

      1. flora

        Taibbi has pointed out the many failings of the MSM to look seriously at the mistakes the Dem party made since O’s election, sweeping all serious questions under the “Russia done it” and “r*cism” rugs.

        The MSM is not ready to hear that criticism. So, we headlines like “What Happened to Taibbi”? A better question they might ask is “What Happened to Us”? My 2 cents.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Perhaps it may be said that Taibbi shows them a mirror and they mistake it for a window.

    6. russell1200

      It’s a very weird piece. It has all sorts of rather nasty slants. It shoots out that he defends Tucker Carlson as if he was defending Tucker Carlson in totality, when he was being rather specific about his complaints as to being spied on by the NSA.

      Obviously this isn’t a good place to go, if you want to stay in the good graces of the establishment liberals, but that is exactly the point.

  2. JMM

    Allow me to use this thread to mourn CJ Hopkins’ conversion. I enjoyed his writing, but he has drifted somewhere beyond playing contrarian at this point.

    1. kees_popinga

      I think if CJ were living in Central Texas rather than Berlin (covid authoritarian central), his writing wouldn’t be so “harsh.” That said, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum aren’t using covid to turn you into a serf.

    2. Carolinian

      Perhaps a link should be included so readers can decide.

      And I don’t think he’s changed at all. His previous satire of Trump=Hitler has merely transferred to satire of the seeming belief by some that Covid=the plague. Perhaps they don’t really believe that but when Buttigieg is blaming the port crisis on the unvaccinated some form of satire seems to be called for. I’m not sure it’s Hopkins’ form, which can be a bit heavy handed and in this case perhaps too assertive about what the current crisis is and isn’t about. But being too assertive about the unknown is quite common among our all too humorless elites.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        … His previous satire of Trump=Hitler has merely transferred to satire of the seeming belief by some that Covid=the plague. Perhaps they don’t really believe that but when Buttigieg is blaming the port crisis on the unvaccinated some form of satire seems to be called for…

        Some satire certainly DOES seem to be called for, especially when young, unvaccinated foreign travelers shouldn’t have to self-quarantine because “it would harm international tourism if children had to self-quarantine upon arrival.” (From the reuters link above.)

        Yeah. The plague. Now get that american 5-year-old jabbed twice before she kills her teacher, grandmother and octogenarian congressperson. And on to the 2-year-olds, as long as they’re not foreign tourists.

    3. djrichard

      I think before his “conversion”, CJ Hopkins was about making sure we were at least witness to how reality was being manufactured. Now there’s no avoiding witnessing it; we’re not being allowed to escape this manufactured reality. Not quite “life during wartime”, but we’re getting closer.

      I’m reminded of another short comedy skit (as it so happens another one my brother sent me). Watch to the end, it’s short and sweet. Initially it’s a story I can identify with, “I might still be able to find a way to simply be left alone”. Shades of the article that Lambert linked to on the 2pm thread today about “The Men Of The Manosphere Who Want To Be Ghosts”.

      But there’s a twist at the end, which I can identify with as well, which is “Even during wartime, one can find peace and joy, you just have to transcend the situation”. Control what you can and let go of the rest? Doesn’t seem sufficient. More like don’t get too wrapped up in the reality that is being manufactured for your consent.

      But easier said than done. If we were able to ignore the madness, I don’t think we’d be be posting on NC much less reading NC. More so for CJ; he’s been laser focused on decoding the narrative.

      In which case, if it’s “life during wartime” and you can’t escape, then it’s just a matter of picking sides. CJ’s picked his side. Which I can identify with too. And that’s what I mourn as well, that this is no longer a spectator sport for most of us. The thing is, it’s still a spectator sport for the elites, and that I think is why CJ Hopkins is beyond … the pale.

  3. Ignacio

    The deposit for UK vessel: Surely the amount asked must be in concordance with French and UE legislation both of them probably mandating those to be proportional to the damage. European legislation establishes for vessels involved in illegal fishing fines that might be 5 times the value of fishes on board for first time offenders to 8 times the value for repeaters. I don’t know the French legislation on this and they might have rules that allow for higher fines depending on conditions. Whatever the rules, the Daily Mail seems not to be in position to say whether the fine is excessive or not according to law and not inclined to discuss this issue.

    1. Ignacio

      In any case venturing to fish in waters where you don’t have the special permits and quotas required in both sides after Brexit is particularly risky business these days. Wouldn’t be clever decision for any captain.

    2. JohnA

      The Daily Mail is a very populist anti-EU pro-Brexit rag. Do not expect to find rational reporting in that particular topic. Plus one of their ‘star’ writers is the currently divorcing ex-wife of Michael Gove, tory MP and arch brexiteer, famous for claiming during the referendum campaign, that when it comes to negotiating brexit ‘we [ie britain] holds all the cards’.

        1. Yves Smith

          Come on. It has excellent reporting on the royals and actually broke some important stories during Brexit.

          And believe it or not, its science reporting is very good, It provides accurate yet layperson-friendly writeups of new papers.

      1. Anonymous 2

        The wife also famously emailed Gove after the Referendum result to say ‘you were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off’ (a reference to a line from the Italian Job). She then went on to say that Murdoch distrusted Johnson and required Johnson give undertakings to Murdoch before he was prepared to see Johnson become Prime Minister. The email was sent accidentally (supposedly at any rate) to a contact who leaked it to the press.

        Shortly thereafter, you may remember, Gove, who was running Johnson’s campaign for leadership of the Tory Party, held a press conference where he announced that (after knowing Johnson 30 years) he had decided Johnson did not have the necessary qualities to be Prime Minister and he (Gove) would run instead. This of course led to May’s arrival in Number 10. Gove now of course has had another change of mind and seems to think Johnson does have the qualities to be Prime Minister as he is serving in his government. How convenient.

        This episode to my mind reveals a great deal and more about the governance of the UK than most others – that is to say, it shows it to be a complete and damaging farce.

      1. ProudWappie

        Interestingly, a way more environmentally friendly way of fishing; the pulskotter, has been effectively blocked by the EU. This was invented in The Netherlands, uses less energy, and doesn’t disturb the seabed as much. It uses electrical pulses instead of mechanical force.

    3. Biologist

      The vessel has a Dutch name. Does anyone know if that’s common for British fishing boats, or is it likely a Dutch fishing company registered in UK?

  4. fresno dan

    Another Halloween, and not one small goblin, hobgoblin, ghoul, ghost, or superhero appeared at my door to demand tribute. Did the end of Halloween as a holiday for children protend the end of civic trust, America’s faith in the goodness of one’s neighbors as parents fear of razor blades in apples (apples!? c’mon man – CANDY) ended the tradition? The end of generosity to unknown fellow neighbors as treats are dispensed with no forms filled out or income limits to get the tooth corroding delights, with DC or Marvel costumes treated equally. Maybe the end of Halloween wasn’t the specific cause, but it sure corralates well with where we are now…

    1. Wukchumni

      Bah humbug to the great lack of pumpkin in Fresno. We have one suburb here in tiny town and that’s where all the Halloween action goes down in Cherokee Oaks where it’s flat as opposed to the rest of real estate here where inclines come with the territory. Nobody’s walking up long steep driveways for a bite-sized Snickers.

      Went out with friends and their kids last night and saw 2 families who were on high alert for peanut ingredients, dad was johnny on the spot to verify said candy was ok, not long after acquisition by his son & daughter-both goober intolerant.

      I’d imagine in Hell for Halloween, all they give out is candy corn.

    2. CuriosityConcern

      In our neck of the woods which is about 2-3 hours from you as the crow drives, the elementary school had a trunk or treat shindig on Friday where at least 200 becostumed youts got a decent candy haul.
      Last night, about 1 in 3 houses had the porch light on and I probably saw about 100 parents and kids about on the three small streets we ventured out on.
      Some of the houses that didn’t have the porch lights on were still decorated and a handful also had a sign apologizing for not doing candy this year.

      1. CuriosityConcern

        Forgot to add, we only had one trick or treater at my house despite all the activity on adjoining streets.
        I did overhear some older kids talking about going to the wealthier town right over the fence.

        1. Gareth

          This is similar to what happened to us. We had one trick-or-treater compared to the usual seven or so, but this morning’s news reported that the city’s wealthiest neighborhood saw traffic jams. Residents were estimating that between 1,000 and 1,500 children visited their homes. It is not unusual for that neighborhood to get kids from all over the city, but they have never seen activity so concentrated. There are some neighborhoods with slightly less old money that used to pick up some of those kids. I will ask around at work today to see what the turnout was for residents there.

    3. JTMcPhee

      Our little neighborhood saw hundreds of kids and parents (and older “kids” in the teen years out for one last haul) wandering our quiet streets with costumes and (optimists) pillow cases to gather in the loot. Nice night, so neighbors sat out to distribute the loot and also to visit with each other. “All comity is local, I guess.

      1. wilroncanada

        Sounds like our little neighbourhood on semi-rural southern Vancouver Island. The village did not have a Hallowe’en shindig at the local community centre this year. As a result, we had at least double the normal ‘candy-snatchers’ down our street. We’eners were two neighbours across the street, a couple 3 doors west, and a lady 3 doors east. Lots of neighbours with little ones my wife knows from walking our dog. Even a few teenagers, one 18 (wife knew her). Many parents, mothers and fathers, dressed up as well: three elaborate dinosaur outfits looking like those “entertainers” at baseball games on TV–you know, the ones that fall over dumping their inhabitants on the ground just before reaching the finish line.
        It was about 5 degrees celcius, so we dressed appropriately for the 2 hours or so. My left hand still turned white–Reynauds syndrome.

    4. Samuel Conner

      Participation (both in terms of “number of t-or-t-ers” and “number of tribute givers”) has been declining for years in my location.

      CV anxieties must be reinforcing that at least a little.

      I’ve been walking with young relatives in recent years, but next year I think I’ll stay home and distribute N95s (my current fave’ is the 3M Aura 9205/10) along with the tooth-rot. I’ll probably wear an N100 myself during that interval.

    5. NotTimothyGeithner

      Between Covid and long term efforts to promote other activities, it’s not a surprise. I run by a church near me, and they were blasting Thriller around 4pm when I went by. The mall was advertising for a huge event. My friend works at parks and rec, and they were slammed for their activities. Sticking kids in costumes and having them wander around at dusk is not a great idea. Also it’s Sunday. There were events, so unlike Friday and Saturday, there isn’t a recovery day, or like the week, when there is no competition with events. With the plethora of events, I’m astonished anyone was trick or treating.

      I guess it was 2019 or 2018, but my parents were down to giving out 10 bags, a far cry from the 130, the last year before the basement flooded wrecking the Halloween stuff. That neighborhood is exceedingly safe. Roads that would be expected were built because of hills, so it’s like having a dead end without the dead ends. The streets are accessible without through traffic. Their neighbors decorate. They aren’t multiple year local news station worthy or anything.

      The saddest thing I saw was a family of boys taking photos with the boys and father dressed as Dick Van Dyke and the mom dressed as Mary Poppins. The boys were clearly too old for that. Let them pick their own costume.

      1. Glossolalia

        What’s the problem with sticking kids in costumes and having them wander around at dusk? Isn’t that the very definition of trick or treating?

    6. Glossolalia

      In my neck of the ‘burbs, ever year that Halloween isn’t on a Friday or Saturday night there’s invariably an email that goes around on the neighborhood listserv asking how people feel about kids trick or treating on the Saturday before or after the 31st, because presumably their precious little tots won’t get in to Harvard if they’re out a bit later on a school night once a year. Thankfully it always roundly dismissed. But as the neighborhood turns over from modest homes built in the 50s to 5000 sq. ft. McMansions maybe that will eventually come to pass.

    7. MT_Wild

      Here in a yet undiscovered part of central Montana, there was “trunk or treat” at the high school. The ranch houses are so far apart everybody converges there to hand out candy from their car or truck. Probably 100 kids, hot choclate, and a bonfire. Outside with a 5-10 mph breeze, hopefully it won’t end up being a superspreader event.

    8. Buckeye

      We had about 10 to 12 kids in the first hour. Then it started raining and all the witches melted!

    9. CitizenSissy

      Lots of trick-or-treaters last night, which was great fun. While the snack-sized pretzels packs were,a bigger hit with parents (with bonus leftovers to the office), the funsized dog treats were HUGE in my very doggy neighborhood. A welcome and joyous moment in an otherwise crap month.

    10. Anthony Noel

      I guess it’s where you live. When I asked my Mom today, she said they had around 40 kids. I live in a basement apartment, and my landlord upstairs must have had roughly the same. Alas none came around back to the apartment. As such I now have 184 various mars mini bars… so I guess I did real well this Halloween.

    11. Yves Smith

      Not only do we do Halloween down here, but for Halloween, they shut most of the streets in and out of the nearby shopping district, which is right by the Town Hall, police, fire station, and most important, elementary school, so houses nearby trade at a big premium to be within walking distance of that school.

  5. Ignacio

    Denmark declared end of Covid restrictions by week 36 in 2021 with an 14d-incidence of 105 and falling. It reached 80 in week 38 and then started climbing to 235 in week 42 (latest data available). Will we stick to waves or just admit high infection levels as long as hospitals aren’t overwhelmed?

    1. The Rev Kev

      I suspect that the government and the media will tell people that the Pandemic is over now so jump on that jet-liner for a well deserved holiday. Sure you will have stories about victims, about people suffering with long covid, about overwhelmed hospitals but if you want to be brutal about it, it will be like the coverage on the opioid deaths before the Pandemic started. I mean, some 40,000 people were dying every year in the US alone and everybody knew the cause behind it and the people involved – particularity one notorious family – but it was allowed to play out for years with minimal effort to shut it down. With the present pandemic, governments will simply say that it is a natural virus so what can you do? It’s just nature at work – and wash their hands of the matter.

      1. Lee

        My ex wants our adult son and his SO to join her on her annual jaunt to her condo in Mexico at the New Year. Since he and his SO live with me, and I am considered high risk, we’ve got a lot to ponder between now and then.

        Just spit balling here, and please correct me if I’m wrong. Assuming the incidence of serious illness are reduced ten-fold by vaccination that would, on an average annual basis, reduce deaths from Covid to roughly equal to those from the annual flu. Add to that the effects of long Covid, and we are currently at twice the risk from death and prolonged illness from recurring waves of infective respiratory illness. Happy days are here again.

        1. John Beech

          This is easy, they enjoy Mexico with your ex, and upon their return do 10-days quarantine, easy peasy! Or, in the alternative, you roll the dice and risk death for their spot of fun with the ex. Not a difficult decision in my view. Note, daughter and grandsons came to live with use 3 months ago after husband of 14 years sent her a text saying he wanted a divorce because he’d met someone else. We were glad to have her but for reasons to do with me being high risk (asthmatic), they couldn’t come unless they did the 10-days at home with no exposure (like zero going out) before loading the kids and coming to live with us. Similarly, a friend’s adult son, wife, and kids are moving in with him and his wife. They arrive today from Hawaii. No clue regarding the circumstances by which this came about (nor is it germane to the events) but he too is making them quarantine.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Sheriff warns vaccine mandate causing ‘mass exodus’ among personnel ”

    The articles here show this to be a problem from LA to New York. And in a lot of cases, these are people that cannot be easily replaced which may tend to white-ant the organizations forcing them out to a point of making them semi-ineffective. The USAF has about 12,000 holdouts which has caused the Pentagon to wobble a bit on how to push this through without degrading whole units and if civil organizations force out these people, either they won’t be able to do their jobs or the remaining workers will burn out covering for those that were forced about-

    1. zagonostra

      >Employees of JPL and Alhambra Unified are planning to protest the Vaccine Mandate on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021.

      Your typical ignorant and uneducated Trump supporters stirring Sh&t up.

      “A group of JPL/NASA employees will be protesting from 7:00 am-12:00 pm at the entrance to JPL (corner of Oak Grove Drive and Foothill Blvd). They are urging JPL management to re-evaluate the terms of their Vaccine Mandate and square them with employee rights, honor employee’s religious freedoms, expand COVID testing to all employees, and more.”

      1. Milton

        PHDers are the most anti Covid vax therapeutic takers among us. They must be onto something. Something like a yearlong UK study showing that those with Covid shots are equally likely to spread the disease and a minimally better chance of actually getting Covid (though the outcomes are so much better if you have had the shots).

  7. Cocomaan

    The Burnout Crisis in Historic Preservation Preservation Leadership Forum (chuck l)

    I ran a historic site for a year, a private non profit. “Burnout” was not the problem, the problem was a lack of funds. Donors just do not find preservation projects all that sexy. Many of these sites were established in the 70s or 80s and unless they put together endowments, now face receivership.

    I left when the money dried up. The place is now quickly becoming a ruin, with zero funds left to hire someone to replace me. It’s a shame.

    The place relied for a long time on schools sending children on field trips. That simply doesn’t happen anymore. Schools get one field trip a year and they like to go big, and history isn’t STEM.

    1. Wukchumni

      I volunteered for a few years at our museum, and you want to know a dirty secret?

      Nobody really cares about history. I’d guess maybe a dozen visitors came in altogether who seemed to have an interest.

      Kids and young adults in particular couldn’t give a damn about old stuff, as really nobody collects anything anymore aside from likes.

    2. The Rev Kev

      You don’t want kids studying history. They will get to learn that nearly everything they see has been done before. Hell, if you had kids study about what life was like in America in the 1970s, some of them might start asking some awkward questions. Like how we got from then to now – and who was responsible. And how come education was so much better back then and higher education cost so little. Don’t want kids going there. Better – and safer – to steer them into STEM instead.

      1. cocomaan

        Leave it to Wuk and Rev Kev to be the buzzkill LOL!

        Alright fair enough. I was an idealist then, not so much now. I went back to my job making far more money doing far less work.

  8. Martin Oline

    I thought that Caitln Johnstone’s piece on billionaires was related to the Mark Ames tweet that appears below it. It was not but is an excellent opinion on world hunger and the disengagement of billionaires from the human condition.
    The Mark Ames tweet with Paul Massaro’s opinion is that the West has reaped corruption for it’s investment in a capitalist Russia. This is probably the main reason Great Britain is so obsessive-compulsive about Russia today – the Oligarchs fled Russia for London and bought into the ruling class. I suspect they have changed the economy for the worse for the average Englishman in terms of the cost of living and crime. They also seem to exert a strong influence on the foriegn policy of that country, although that may be a British norm. I wonder it the influx of Russians is at all comparable to the large numbers of wealthy American brides who married into the impoverished titled classes 150 years ago? I would greatly appreciate any information or opinion from those who are natives of the isles on this subject.

    1. Anonymous 2

      Catherine Belton’s book on the Russians is well worth a read. According to her, a number of senior Tories have been taking Russian money. It is pretty clear from a variety of sources that Putin helped finance the Leave campaign in the Brexit referendum. So, yes, it looks as though Russian influence on UK policy may be significant.

      I cannot remember if Belton makes the point specifically but it looks as though the USSR sought to destabilise the UK in the 1970s by recruiting sympathisers on the Left to provoke strikes. This had only limited success but by turning to the UK Right and trying to corrupt them Russia may have had much greater success. After all, the UK may yet disintegrate, and if it does Brexit will doubtless be among the causes.

      1. Martin Oline

        Thanks. It looks as though Putin’s People was published in 2020 so it should be somewhat relevant. Willl have to check with the library.

        1. JohnA

          I suggest you check John helmer’s website. dancing with bears for a sober assessment of that book. Belton is being sued for libel by some Russians and they appear to have a very good case. The book is more about smearing Putin than investigative reporting.

          1. Anonymous 2

            Thank you for the reference to Helmer’s site which makes for an interesting read. The problem I have in this area is that there are so many people involved who cannot be trusted to be truthful that it is pretty well impossible for a non-expert like me to work out what is true and what is not. Given that at least some of Belton’s sources are unreliable, it is fairly inevitable that some of what she quotes is going to be false. Whether everything in her book is false, I honestly do not know, though I would be surprised if that was to turn out to be the case.

            It will be interesting to see what happens in the case with Abramovich. The relevant sections in the book look to me to be quite carefully worded so that Belton appears to withhold from passing judgement herself. The problem is that there are people involved on both sides whom I could not trust to be honest witnesses. Is the book more about smearing Putin than investigative reporting? Well, maybe, I do not have the expertise to judge, though I cannot say, from what I think I know, that Putin is a good man. He seems a nasty piece of work to me.

          2. Martin Oline

            Thanks John, I had assumed that to be the case but I read a lot and it won’t do any lasting damage (I hope) to read an anti-Putin book. I go to Dancing With Bears and the Saker regularly. To ex-PFC Chuck – Hmmm, “she was continually mispronouncing” the names of sources? I have heard that the Russian language is musical but then there are some prople who can’t carry a tune.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Margaret Thatcher was UK’s Prime Minister long before the influx of Russian Oligarchs. Didn’t she engineer the permanent burndown of Britain’s thingmaking economy? In order to exterminate Britain’s industrial unions?

    3. VietnamVet

      Ahh! The good old days of robber barons and nobility before WWI. The bastards let the Russians in. Indeed, they let the whole world in; Oil Sheiks and Brahmins too. Thanks to the AK-47, straightforward colonialism didn’t work after WII (i.e. Vietnam and Afghanistan). Instead Wall Street and City of London became financial centers, the bankers for the world, and stored all of the big men’s wealth, every last penny.

      Unfortunately, Elite psychosis, utter incompetence and corruption are bringing the inequality and unrest of the otherworld right back home to the first world. Blaming the unvaccinated, is not going to work.

  9. allan

    Looks like November 1, 2021, is DOW 36,000 day.
    Sure, not 36,000 in 1999 dollars, and 22 years late, but why be churlish?

  10. Wukchumni

    LUCKY STRIKE Science (chuck l)
    A fun tale of riches from heavens above, and as it turns out the ne plus ultra of meteorites as an added bonus.

    Funny that small chunks are worth a bloody fortune, and yet a gigantic one the size of a small city would be the end of us.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “CDC says unvaccinated young foreign travelers do not need to quarantine”

    So if I got this right, unvaccinated kids will not only be allowed to enter the United States, they will not even have to quarantine? And at the same time, they want to push for young kids in America to get one of these vaccines into their system? I can just imagine what some people will be saying about this in the media, especially vaccine critics.

    I have noticed that people will accept harsh rules just so long as everybody has to obey them. But when the rules are inconsistent, that is when the trouble starts. Such as the government forcing people to get vaccines or to lose their jobs. But Senators and their staffs can get a free pass from getting a vaccine if they want to. It all comes down to a matter of lost trust.

    1. Glossolalia

      I signed up to be a mentor family for Afghan refugee families being relocated to my area. During the orientation meeting someone asked if the refugee families will be vaccinated and we were told that there is no requirement for them to be. So yea, if you’re an American citizen you can get fired from your job for not being vaccinated, but if you’re an illegal alien or otherwise someone that we’re graciously allowing to enter the country its your personal decision ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      1. Michael McK

        Most Afghans who served the West were not in danger of reprisal. That aid worker and his family were not droned as they fled to the airport (though, like many rational people, they did want to live in California instead of Afghanistan). If you were a member of our death squads, translated torture sessions or got rich you might need to flee and we rolled out the welcome mat. Vax status is the last thing I would worry about.
        Someone I catered with this summer has his easiest job ever, getting paid $500 a day to reheat food at a huge Afghan refugee camp a few hours away from New York where the halal food is made. I heard of a wall of cooler/oven units of the size which I recently priced at 18K without the heating capability. Imperialism’s gravy oozes far and wide.
        Meanwhile the victims of our decades of economic and military violence drown in the sea or burn in the desert. Some are lucky enough to be indentured here in the US, freeing the locals to qualify for food stamps.

  12. Lee

    “The great tragedy of the post-Cold War is that corruption has come west rather than democracy going east”

    Aw c’mon man, the corruption was already institutionalized here, as was the U.S. support for dictators abroad and the practice of faux democracy at home.

  13. JWP

    An interesting observation was made in a class the other day from the professor. She remarked in less than 5-10 years, students have gone from overwhelmingly wanting to be doctors, engineers, and scientists, to overwhelmingly wanting to go into the FIRE sector. There was a noted fear that our generation, despite social media saying otherwise, is so afraid of our future (in the PMC that is upholding the same standard of living as our parents) that we will abandon fulfilling and helpful careers to make money.

    1. Questa Nota

      Echo of those bleeding edge MBA students not that long ago going to Wall Street or Big Consulting instead of to manufacturing. That accelerated many maladies and dysfunctions.

  14. Milton

    AA flight Cancellations
    According to the flight cancellation database, over 1000 AA flights were canceled totaling 36% of airline trips. The next closest major US airline (Southwest) had 5% of routes canceled. I don’t recall vaccine mandate blowback being mentioned in the article though an innocuous mention of staffing shortage was slipped in alongside the always trotted out severe weather.

    1. Gc54

      Ground level winds at DFW never topped 12 mph over the weekend according to Maybe there was shear on descent.

  15. Raymond Sim

    Regarding Covid and festivals in India, I had been struck that Durga Puja seems to have produced such a modest bump in cases. I was on the verge of being on the verge of getting my hopes up. But per the Scroll article, apparently local train service was still suspended in West Bengal, since six months prior? That sounds like a pretty huge ongoing nonmedical intervention.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      I noticed that detail about local train service in West Bengal as well. I had no idea that was the case; none of my friends had mentioned that fact in recent ‘phone calls.

      I agree it’s worth thinking about why Durga Puja produced only a modest bump in cases, given the crowds that assemble. Thursday is Diwali, btw.

  16. Ping

    Re: Image of reverent Fauci merchandise

    I’m looking for Fauci dart board, Fauci pooper-scoopers & Fauci vomit bags for airlines.

    1. jr

      Hopefully soon Fauci-abilia will be rotting in a warehouse somewhere next to the “Cuomosexual” mask that were so popular in Manhattan just over a year ago.

      1. Helena

        I always wondered if he wasn’t doing this so nobody would see he is laughing. I wonder if he gets a percentage of sales on all this stuff. Has he copyrighted any and all of his representations?

        Somebody thinks they can make a buck, anyway.

        1. Nikkikat

          I wouldn’t put it past him to have copyrighted himself. That lying sack is all about the Benjamin’s.

        2. Ping

          Fauci merchandise proceeds should go to orgs defending animals against
          sadistic experiments and champion laboratory oversight and accountability.

    2. Kfish

      Notice the symbolism? Fauci’s cradling a Covid-19 molecule to his chest. In the Mother Mary icon that this is based on, that’s where Mary’s heart goes and where her power radiates from. In this symbol, Fauci’s heart and source of power IS Covid.

  17. antidlc

    American Airlines cancels 250 more flights

    American Airlines has canceled another 250 flights on Monday, continuing a days-long chain reaction of cancellations that started last week.
    American says it canceled 1,058 flights on Sunday, or roughly one in every five of its originally scheduled flights. That was on top of the 548 flights it canceled on Saturday and 343 flights on Friday. Overall about 10% of its mainline flights have been canceled over the four-day period. The canceled flights have stranded tens of thousands of passengers.

    1. doug

      I think he has already replied, saying he would rather be a billionaire than liked….
      I hope they don’t build that dorm. At some point, someone has to say ‘the emperor is not an architect’…

  18. Pat

    Interesting information from eavesdropping and conversations with mild acquaintances, it boils down to the opinion that even if every NYC cop and fireperson got vaccinated both would be in trouble as retirements are at least ten times normal rates. Similar to the circumstances in Rev Kev’s link this is across all levels and leaves some very clear holes.

    This matches information we have gotten about medical workers. I would bet it plays out that way in other jobs where the stress level has become so great.

    I don’t think the brain trust directing our policies have a clue what they have helped wrought.

  19. jr

    re: The Intelligencer-ish on Taibbi

    What a heap. You don’t even have to analyze what the article says about Taibbi, it fails on it’s own merits:

    “unconventional leftists like Chris Hedges, Adolph Reed, and Dennis Kucinich.”

    What in the “F” is a conventional leftist? Hillary Clinton? Leftists by definition should be unconventional. If you’re not unconventional, you aren’t a leftist. Maybe a liberal. The author is just regurgitating the same tired idea that actual leftists are waaaaaaay out on the fringe and implies there is a more acceptable, perhaps mainstream, brand of leftism in the US. There isn’t. They’re liberals and they are far closer to the conservatives and libertarians.

    ““I think that our business, for being packed with so many radicals and liberals, is inherently conservative,” said Jack Shafer, Politico’s media columnist. “When somebody does something differently, it rankles people.”

    Then you must have a ton of friends, Jack.

    “Lately, he has blasted away at NPR and other left-leaning media, the “vaccine aristocrats” who shame the unvaccinated, popular anti-racist authors like Robin DiAngelo, and those who hope Facebook and Twitter will take far more aggressive action against lies and hateful rhetoric spread by the far right.”

    Only in the liberal delusion zone can NPR be called left-leaning, anyone shaming anyone over the pandemic is by definition wrong, Robin DiAngleo loves, loves, loves her some racism as it’s her bread and butter, and trusting corporate behemoths to take “aggressive action” against propaganda is moronic when they a. engage in it themselves on behalf of their chosen political interests and b. it’s censorship no matter how you cut it.

    “FiveThirtyEight, the high church of bloodless empiricism, recently lashed Taibbi for promoting the “baseless conspiracy theory” that a drug called Ivermectin can treat COVID-19.”

    Here’s what count’s as a lash at the Intellygencer:

    from fivethirtyeight
    “The journalist Matt Taibbi wrote an article suggesting that a discussion of ivermectin’s potential was being censored by reporters and social media companies who didn’t want to challenge official positions.”

    Ooof. What a lashing. Taibbi suggested that the media might be censoring information and this is promoting Ivermectin? This is a smear on behalf of Silver and the author of this piece.

    Oh, except Barkin immediately reels it back in:

    “(Taibbi successfully won a correction, with the website conceding it “mischaracterized” his stance.)”

    Then why bring it up? Then:

    ““One of a crew of a dozen white guy contrarians in media,” said the journalist Wesley Lowery.”

    Huh? So what? Oh, right, looks like Lowery is a Wokel racism hustler who was hacking for WaPo and now for CBS. Got it.

    “Taibbi’s reputation these days is inextricably tied to Substack”

    A useful association to promote whereby a writer can be condemned by virtue of guilt by association.

    ” but the platform has attracted numerous media dissidents — including Bari Weiss, Andrew Sullivan, Matt Yglesias, and Greenwald”

    Wow, a real list of media outlaws: an apologist for babykillers and a professional homosexual top the list. Yggles I don’t know where to place, seems he’s changed a bit from mainstream knob-bobber. I like Greenwald’s work, I think he is the only real dissident here.

    This is followed by a long bit which can be summarized as “Trump came along and journalists lined up to toss out the “textbook” and become propagandists. Taibbi saw a bigger picture, the dangers of journalists becoming propagandists. Because he was openly critical of this dynamic, everyone accused him of being a Trump supporter.”

    Then this gem of illogicalism:

    “The way that the mainstream media has erred, in Taibbi’s view, is by growing too overtly ideological — by becoming, in at least one important respect, too much like Matt Taibbi.

    Here is an example of what I am going to start calling “The Scalpel”. It’s the point in an article when a writer thinks they have sliced deep to reveal some fundamental problem but in fact they are really only fooling themselves. Taibbi just got done explaining how he is inspired by old-school journalists like Mencken to “skewer sacred cows”. This is an ideology only in the sense that any collection of human thought is an ideology. This is an ethic.

    “A lot of my readers are people who talk about how they can’t read the Times or listen to NPR or watch MSNBC because they’re so tired of the leaden messaging,” he said.”

    Again, nothing remotely ideological here. You could be a monarchist, a radical hippie, or a Christian vegan Furry and say that statement without exposing your ideology. Puffery.

    “Taibbi’s tortured relationship with the media, swerving between its golden boy and one of its fiercest antagonists, is his birthright.”

    Something tells me Taibbi doesn’t see his relationship as tortured. He probably sees it as an evolving relationship. That’s a weasel word the author slipped in.

    Wow, the “Hungry Duck” sounds like it would have been fun when I was in my thirties!

    Then, another Woke hustler:

    “Elizabeth Spiers, a longtime media observer and founding editor of Gawker, argues Taibbi’s experience with Me Too precipitated his fierce attacks on the left.”

    Wow, what a profound leap of logic. So, Taibbi comes under fire for things he wrote in the past and realized as he dealt with it that there was more going on. What shattering insight on the part of Spiers. The obvious is no mystery to her.

    “It tapped into some white male grievance things he has,” Spiers said. “If you look at his critiques more recently, they’re knee-jerk, on the other side whatever the left is interested in right now.”

    Her confused writing seems to equate “knee-jerk”ism with being on the other side of what her jaundiced vision of the left might be. The ideas are not necessarily related. Is she hazarding there is no knee-jerking on her side?

    The fact that in her world it’s cool that the left’s interests are a question of what they are “interested in” speaks volumes. The left has some very basic demands. It’s not that hard to grasp. Only PMC keyboard jockey’s find it so, perhaps because it reveals they are about as left as their right hand.

    Back to Barkin:

    “It’s more a matter of how one of the most talented reporters of his generation should wield his formidable powers in this uncertain age.”

    This is the wormy nut of it and displays a total disregard for anything that Taibbi has said about himself and his view of modern journalism. He should wield those powers by being a reporter. He doesn’t seem to want to find his place in the hierarchy of things. This should be obvious as he said that over and over again. But that’s an impossible height for this author to survey. He’s ensnared in the notion that using one’s position in the media, by definition a political stance, is part of a journalists job. It’s not.

    1. Helena

      Unconventional leftists like…Dennis Kucinich. I remember Bill Moyers doing a hatchet job on Kucinich during an interview he invited Kucinich to have on his show when Kucinich was a presidential candidate. It was clear Kucinich was not the right kind of Democrat for Moyers. So for me, it boils down to two categories now: right kind, and wrong kind. Everything else is just mental mast*r bation.

      I couldn’t stomach Bill Moyers after that. I can’t stand his son either who I used to run into at the local cafe. He’s exhausting.

      1. Carolinian

        I’ll defend Bill Moyers who was once–barely–allowed to be a saving grace of PBS opinion shows. Our blog host was once on with, yes, Taibbi. But without a doubt he has always had one leg firmly planted in the Dem establishment, once worked for Lyndon and likely has no qualms about his CFR membership.

          1. ambrit

            He worked inside LBJ’s White House, yet, won’t write about that time. Has anyone exposed any secrets from those days? McNamara sounds like an American Speer in his books. Did Operation Paperclip wholly corrupt the American elites?

  20. jr

    Weak-tea analysis from the Hill on the loss of paid leave for women:

    “Democrats risk disappointing female voters by cutting out a major expansion of paid family and medical leave from a compromise social policy bill.”

    Disappointing?! How about derailing, enraging, abusing, lying to, polarizing, or losing forever?

      1. jr

        It’s terrifying: either they don’t know what’s coming or don’t care. In any arena: ’22, COVID, shipping, the list goes on and on. I lean towards the latter. It seems so intentional at this point. Jackpot.

  21. allan

    Stoller: Hearing Aid Cartel Corrupts Build Back Better

    … Their goal isn’t just to stop over the counter hearing aids from undercutting their pricing power, but also to control the new Medicare benefit for hearing loss that Bernie Sanders has put into the Biden legislation. To that end, the Hearing Network Alliance, which is one of the front groups, has made a number of key recommendations to Congress. The easiest one to explain is that Starkey wants to block Medicare from paying for over the counter hearing aids. … And sure enough, the legislation released by the House last week includes such a limitation … The cartel also wants hearing aids exempted from competitive bidding requirements. … And sure enough, here’s the legislation. …

    Now that’s constituent service and concrete material benefits.
    For some definition of `constituent’.

  22. jr

    re: NYT/Russia-gate relations

    Fortunately, I was blocked from reading the entire article and can safely duck out with having read just the lede:

    “There have been a series of beneath-the-surface meetings between the two countries as the Biden administration applies a more sober approach to relations with the Kremlin.”

    Sober? The NYT’s should be banned from using the word in any article about Russia. It’s about as good a judge of sobriety as the Friday night drunk tank in Manhattan taken collectively. The stones

  23. Jeremy Grimm

    Unrelated to any of today’s links:
    “We did a huge amount of data science to target this specific reaction,” Cernak said.
    “Zhang navigated through more than 1,300 failed reactions before she found the one that yielded the carbon-carbon bond.”
    “Researchers invent chemical reaction that could accelerate drug discovery”

    What I infer from this little report is that Science knows far less than she likes to claim. This fall back on data science and brute force may hearken to Edison but not to methods Science likes to claim for its bedrock. I confess to rapidly losing interest in Organic Chemistry when it became apparent that mastering nomenclature occupied a considerable portion of introductory study. I am fond enough of words, but organic chemistry could cure me of all my interest and fondness. Knowledge of the chemical bond seems more like alchemy than what I hoped to discover as the basis of chemistry.

    Immunology is different than organic chemistry, but how different in its present state of knowledge? Short of coercion, getting a Corona booster will be a most trying decision. I did purchase a P100 mask, and I stopped worrying about the exhalation valve.

    1. Watt4Bob

      I am fond enough of words, but organic chemistry could cure me of all my interest and fondness.

      I long ago had it explained to me that organic chemists died from the effect all those solvents they use in the lab.

      Having one’s liver, or kidneys dissolved is a bad way to go.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I never had an interest in becoming an organic chemist. I believe deep knowledge about chemical bonds, especially carbon bonds is crucial to distant future energy resources. There is plenty of undirected heat energy dissipating into our surroundings. ‘Directed’ — it might be stored as chemical energy, not unlike petroleum. Infrared light can be directed, as can phonons — to some extent.

      2. Kfish

        My physics professor said that organic chemists had a life expectancy of 58 – shorter by a few decades than their colleagues in other fields.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      I remember from my University student days that Organic Chemistry was principally intended to discourage wannabe-premed from continuing with premed studies. It was a Darwinian filter course.

      For genuine chemistry fans and near-geniuses, there was something called ” analytical chemistry”, I think.
      That one was organic chemistry for wannabe organic chemists.

  24. George Phillies

    Afghan Collapse started much earlier than our Officer Corps reported.
    Buries in the report, on page 67. note the final paragraph. The rout under pressure mode of the Afghan military was actually seen last December.

    Checkpoint Reduction

    RS has long identified the need for an orderly reduction or elimination of the most vulnerable (minimally manned or unsupportable) checkpoints, as well as to consolidate personnel into patrol bases (the new standard fight-ing structures for the ANA).

    In November 2019, the Afghan government in coordination with CSTC-A estimated that the ANDSF had over 10,000 checkpoints nationwide, with an average of 10 –20 personnel at each checkpoint.155 Coalition TAA efforts in 2020 helped the ANA develop its Checkpoint Reduction and Base Development Plan (CPRBD) for this year.

    However, some checkpoints were not eliminated by plan, but abandoned to the Taliban. Nearly 200 checkpoints manned by the ANA’s 205th Corps in Kandahar Province were abandoned to the Taliban during December 2020. According to Kandahar provincial leaders and security personnel, the ANDSF and the Taliban have clashed regularly in Kandahar Province since October, and the recent checkpoint abandonment let government weapons and ammunition fall in Taliban hands. Following the retreat, CSTC-A said that representatives from the MOI, NDS, and the MOD general staff were debriefed by the Kandahar governor, soldiers and commanders from the 205th Corps, and provincial and district chiefs of police. A lack of ANDSF cooperation, 205th Corps personnel shortfalls, adversarial relation-ships between the 205th Corps soldiers and Kandahar citizens, and the lack of adequate fuel and personnel reserves for 205th Corps checkpoints contributed to the collapse.

  25. Mantid

    Regarding the short article Coronavirus: India records 12,514 cases ….. The article stated there were 251 deaths in a day in India. It’s so sad that the article, though short, is all about vaccinations. India’s vaccination uptake has been very low – yet in the US where the vax rate is quantitatively and proportionately higher, so is the daily death count. The US has over 1,000 deaths per day with less than half the population of India. Of course, no mention of the Indian state Uttar Pradesh with 2/3 the population of the US. They have been passing out health kits with Ivermectin and various vitamins, zink, etc that are free to the public as well as rigorous contact tracing by medical volunteers. There is a very low rate of vaccination and guess how many people died there yesterday from Covid. Zero! Simple enough, high vax rate, high death rate. Low vax rate, low death rate. High Ivermectin and other preventatives, low death rate. Low Ivermectin use and no preventative guidance, high death rate. I kinda see a pattern here.

    1. Mark Sanders

      Actually, the U.S. has only one-quarter the population of India, which makes the former’s numbers even more alarming.

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