Links 11/15/2021

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On the trail of The Beatles in India, a reminder of the paths that led them here Scroll

Surreal photos show the aftereffects of the eruption of Spain’s Cumbre Vieja volcano WaPo

Iceland Skewers Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse With New Tourism Ad Gizmodo

The UK village that lost its cheese BBC

3 snow leopards with COVID-19 die at Lincoln Children’s Zoo AP

#COVID-19

COVID-deniers and anti-vaxxers threaten German doctors Deutsche Welle

Covid: Austria introduces lockdown for unvaccinated BBC

Vaccine mandates are spreading. Italy shows what to expect. WaPo

***

Covid is surging in Europe. Experts say it’s a warning for the U.S. NBC

With COVID Hospitalizations At Year-Long High, Doctors Urge Minnesotans To Get Vaccinated; ‘We Are Essentially At 100% Capacity’ CBS Minnesota

Former FDA head warns of post-Thanksgiving spike in COVID-19 cases NY Post

Schools Embrace More Covid-19 Testing Over Quarantine to Keep Kids in Class WSJ

***

Coronavirus Hong Kong: tough new quarantine regime for Cathay Pacific aircrew puts flights at risk South China Morning Post. A friend of mine is a Cathay Pacific cargo pilot. I’ve followed  his travels throughout the pandemic. IIRC, he flies between HK and the US.

***

8 lingering questions about the new Covid pills from Merck and Pfizer Stat

‘The Nutmeg’s Curse’: Amitav Ghosh links the colonial desire for profit to neoliberal gluttony Scroll

Hundreds of Toxic Chemicals Are Coursing Through Our Tap Water, New Report Says Truthout

COP26/Climate Change

COP-26: UN SG Blasts Climate Agreement Consortium News

Business calls for more action after COP26 deal is watered down FT

Volvo Calls for Swifter Transition to a Fully Renewable Electric Grid Treehugger

COP26 leaves too many loopholes for fossil fuel industry Asia Times

Glasgow Climate Pact Has Loopholes So Big an Oil Tanker Could Get Through Them Gizmodo

India criticised over coal at Cop26 – but real villain was climate injustice Guardian

Why India Did Not Commit To Coal Phase Out India Spend

To be resilient against the climate crisis, Canada needs to protect its Prairie wetlands The Narwhal

African nations miss out on climate funding Deutsche Welle

How Workers Are Inadvertently Propping Up Fossil Fuels Daily Poster

Class Warfare

Canadians Need to Replace the Debt Economy With a Living Wage Jacobin

Spain takes on private equity landlords as cost of housing soars FT

Thousands of military families struggle with food insecurity AP

What Does Inflation Mean for American Businesses? For Some, Bigger Profits WSJ

Obama’s Failure to Adequately Respond to the 2008 Crisis Still Haunts American Politics Jacobin. From October, still germane.

Health Care

More turn to abortion pills by mail, with legality uncertain AP

Largest psilocybin trial finds the psychedelic is effective in treating serious depression Stat

Old Blighty

NHS patients dying in back of ambulances stuck outside A&E, report says Guardian

RALPH NADER: Congress should act to improve postal service Albany Herald

Biden Administration

Biden Administration Will Hold US’s Largest Offshore Drilling Auction Days After COP26 Truthout

Biden-successor chatter grows and Harris isn’t scaring off anyone Politico

Economic discontent, criticisms of Biden lift GOP to record early advantage: POLL ABC

Inflation raises focus on Biden Fed pick The Hill


Waste Watch

[Explainer] The life of plastic: born a hero, dying an outcast, resurrected a monster Mongabay

The Tragic Cycle of Bottled Water Truthout

Supply Chain Crisis

Crunch at Ports May Mean Crisis for American Farms NYT

Why the chip shortage drags on and on… and on Ars Technica

Migrant Watch

Europe’s Migration Crisis, Born in Belarus New Yorker

At Poland-Belarus border, people decry ‘weaponisation’ depiction Al Jazeera

EU readies sanctions for ‘human trafficking’ over Belarus border crisis France 24

Belarus is the latest country to use migrants as pawns. The West is guilty, too.  WaPo

Groves of Academe

Tenured, Trapped, and Miserable in the Humanities Chronicle of Higher Education

Can Universities Defy the New Nationalism? Project Syndicate

Gunz

‘Ghost Guns’: Firearm Kits Bought Online Fuel Epidemic of Violence NYT

L’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Ghislaine Maxwell tells all from inside her US prison cell: Heiress says ‘I am weak, frail, tired and don’t even have shoes that fit… guards feed me rotten food and one apple had maggots in it’ Daily Mail

Employee on Jeffrey Epstein’s private island delivers bombshell evidence against Prince Andrew 7 News Australia

Syraqistan

How the U.S. Hid an Airstrike That Killed Dozens of Civilians in Syria NYT

US Coverup Of Syria Massacre Shows The Danger Of The Assange PrecedentCaitlin Johnstone

The Big Business of Future Wars Daily Poster

India

Supreme Court Says New Delhi Air Pollution Situation Is ‘Very Serious’ The Wire

Meet the women who have made the cello an ‘Indian instrument’ Scroll

China?

Advising both Chinese state companies and the Pentagon, McKinsey & Co. comes under scrutiny NBC

China’s nuclear build-up: ‘one of the largest shifts in geostrategic power ever’ FT

Why China is still trying to achieve zero Covid BBC


Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

 

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153 comments

  1. zagonostra

    >Covid: Austria introduces lockdown for unvaccinated – BBC

    Chomsky’s CV19 policy proscriptions implemented in Austria.

    Unvaccinated people will only be allowed to leave home for limited reasons, like working or buying food.

    > COVID-deniers and anti-vaxxers threaten German doctors – Deutsche Welle

    Perfect: Open with the “Bad/Evil” threating civilization/civitas and then the redeeming ending where the “Righteous/Good” redeem our faith in humanity and giving hope to the citizens of Gotham.

    Opening sentence to the article.

    German doctors are reporting increasing abuse in their clinics and more threats of violence by mail from anti-vaxxers across the country

    The Closing Sentence:

    “Most patients are very thankful to get the shot,” he said.

    Reply
      1. Eustachedesaintpierre

        It does seem to be evident that the higher the levels of vaccination the higher the cases, as in just one instance TrialSiteNews by video has reported that the state of Vermont hits both of those highs. If that is true then presumably if Austria achieved a 100 % vax rate then cases would also rise, but without having the unvaxxed to blame for it.

        https://www.boston.com/news/coronavirus/2021/10/31/vermont-covid-spike-despite-high-vaccinations/

        Reply
        1. Duke of Prunes

          So far, the explanation for high vaccination rate / high case rate that I’ve read focus on the unvaccinated children. If only we could get all of the children vaccinated!

          Note that there’s probably some truth to the “children are the vector” (seems like there’s been some articles here about this) with children spending hours daily in poorly ventilated schools… although I don’t know how a vaccine that doesn’t stop infection is going to fix this. They’ve identified the problem, but I don’t necessarily agree with the solution.

          Reply
          1. Eustachedesaintpierre

            It is hard to know much for sure & I imagine that kids are a factor which was the case for a friend who got it, brought home from school by his 6 year old who shrugged it off while he & his wife had 4 days of dbl vaxxed hell. On the other hand another friend didn’t get it from his 2 kids but rather ended up in hospital on oxygen after attending a wedding reception & partying like it was 1999, as to all intents & purposes during that night Covid was no longer considered as a threat.

            Maybe the Austrians don’t know that the fully vaxxed can still spread it, but anyone acting like the above is basically being irresponsible if they know that they are still likely to be infectious or whether they are unvaxxed & also don’t give a shit.

            IMO there is too much that we don’t know about the vaccines, like this below covered by pro-vax drbeen in one of his videos. Perhaps it’s nothing but it would be enough for me to not want to inflict it on healthy kids with strong immune systems who unlike myself have hopefully a long time to live & in any case would still be able to pass it on.

            https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4915/13/10/2056

            Reply
    1. marym

      Protesters showing up maskless and screaming, acting out a willingness to spread disease in other people’s workplaces, and harassing the workers isn’t the best way for anit-vaxxers to build credibility for their cause.

      That irresponsibility detracts attention from reasonable concerns, shared by some of the people who made the decision to get the vax, about vaccine safety and mandates.

      Reply
      1. zagonostra

        Below link you will see peaceful Austrians protesting. I don’t think these folks are “acting out a willingness to spread disease” they re exercising their right to assemble. Many are not “anti-vaxxers” – a shibboleth designed to misdirect.

        Many people who have taken all the precautions, masks, social distancing, receiving the vaccines, are still against lockdowns and vaccine passports. Indeed, I just watched a Joe Rogan interview of Ben Shapiro (can stand the guy) who is pro-vaccine but anti vax mandate/passport, is he an “anti-vaxxer?”

        As for the Deutsche Welle article, it was transparently written to evoke the exact response you made. People acting “irresponsible” are per se unreasonable and suspect, on this I agree.

        https://youtu.be/NyEOV706yak

        Reply
        1. marym

          I agree that there should be a distinction made between anti-vax and anti-mandate issues.

          I also agree that the presentation in the German article was skewed toward anti-anti-vax. However, the anti-worker tactics exist and should be criticized.

          I don’t know about other countries, but in the US harassment and threats of violence toward workers is being used as a tactic in protests against pandemic mitigation requirements, election outcomes they don’t like, schools teaching things they don’t want their kids to learn, and the provision and choosing of abortion and other reproductive care. It’s anti-working class and its acceptability and legality is being promoted by the conservative wing of the bipartisan elite.

          Reply
          1. judy2shoes

            in the US harassment and threats of violence toward workers is being used as a tactic in protests against pandemic mitigation requirements,[etc]

            Presumably the threats of violence** toward workers is being perpetrated by other workers who are sick and tired of the sh9t sandwiches they’ve been served over the past 40+ years. The fact that they are punching within their class is by design, isn’t it? It seemingly shows that deflection works, and, as is often said around here, everything is going according to plan.

            **I’m not in favor

            Reply
    2. ProudWappie

      The media don’t even try to talk to, or reason with, people who are anti-Covid vaccine, or critical of the measures. I’ve attended two rallies, and the way they smear us is beyond disgusting. What I encountered was a very diverse group of people, and no raving lunatics. The media is so obviously acting as propaganda mouthpieces, it’s almost cringe worthy.

      The ease with which they claim the vaccines work, and are the only way out of our current problems is also astonishing. There’s no way that claim can hold, now that we see a pandemic of the vaccinated in Europe (figures in Belgium, and the UK are really showing that, The Netherlands is getting there as well). The article about the vaccine mandate in Italy totally ignores weeks of protests. Also tell me how people react to this type of force being used by a government. Tell me how you are going to fix that, when this thing is over?

      Meanwhile, in The Netherlands, our hell minister has literally threatened to impose stricter measures, if the parliament doesn’t allow him to push through 2G (only vaccinated or recovered). That’s literal blackmail; he doesn’t have any arguments, and he is the weakest link in all of this. What is wrong with these people? Really, how much collateral damage are they going to cause, just to force everyone to take the jab?

      Reply
    3. Maritimer

      Canadian anti-vax Professor giving an MSM platform:

      “An infectious disease expert has voiced his disapproval of COVID-19 vaccine boosters becoming available for all adults in Canada.

      Dr. Neil Rau, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, said on The Roy Green Show on Sunday that Canada has to be “pragmatic” when it comes to how we distribute the boosters.

      He argued that the current vaccine offers one to three months of preventing transmission of the virus before the “immunity starts to wane,” therefore one booster wouldn’t prevent spread for too long of a time.

      “You can’t have a situation where people aren’t current every three months,” he said. “You have to be pragmatic here.””
      https://globalnews.ca/news/8373612/neil-rau-covid-19-vaccine-booster/

      Why are disease spreading people like this allowed to speak in public and even be mentioned on Canadian MSM?

      Reply
  2. The Rev Kev

    “Employee on Jeffrey Epstein’s private island delivers bombshell evidence against Prince Andrew”

    They have been talking about this guy on the news the past coupla days with a voice clip added. And the whole point of this is so that Prince Andrew can be arrested and thrown aboard a New York-bound jet where public prosecutors are salivating at the career-boost personally of nailing his hide to the wall.

    Does Randy Andy deserve this treatment? Absolutely. But Andrew has been fighting this extradition for years with his latest defence being that she signed a non-disclosure agreement. You know – for all that underage molesting and stuff like that. No wonder he does not want to be extradited. But I have a question.

    They have been years trying to extradite him to the US on all those charges. If they were so keen to nail Epstein’s associates, why not another big wig? One that is already living in the US. I can think of one. I won’t reveal his identity but for shorthand, it is B. Clinton. No, wait. That is too easy to guess. OK, how about Bill C. instead?

    Reply
    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Perhaps, “they” could scoop up Harvard Law alum Alexander Acosta, he of non-prosecution agreement fame, while they are at it?

      Reply
      1. Adam Eran

        First of all, welcome back! First Wobbly comment I’ve seen in a bit.

        …also, Assange, who we must extradite (originally for sex crimes in Sweden) seems an instructive contrast.

        Reply
      1. MartyH

        Hey Bob,

        Not liking Bill C. is not necessarily liking Trump.

        Just sayin’

        A question of equal justice for all and all that. Presumptions of guilt? Remember?

        Reply
      2. Geo

        On the flip side: “Epstein admired Trump’s T Models agency — which represented Slovenian model and future first lady Melania Knauss — and wanted his new agency, MC2, to be just like it, Vasquez said he told her at MC2’s opening party.”

        https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article238351108.html

        My tinfoil-hatter thought is the primary way an “outsider” like Trump (as opposed to a “insider” like Bill Clinton) could continue failing his way upward is by having dirt on people. My guess is it wasn’t Trump’s agency Epstein admired (it had a notoriously mediocre talent pool by fashion standards with had no notable agents or stars), nor even the sleaze factor since Casablancas’ Next Models (Trump’s inspiration and one he hosted “boat parties” for where rich men would go out on the seas with young girls to party) would have been the one to admire for that, but the side-purpose of the agency: to get blackmail on powerful men.

        Obviously I have no proof of this and only have the various reports stating Epstein was inspired by and admired Trump’s agency – which again, was a very mediocre agency by all known measures. For a guy who was perpetually losing money, scamming others, and not skilled in making dependable friendships, there had to be some way Trump could keep getting bailed out and never face any consequences for anything.

        Probably where Bill and Don became “friends” (Bill was the guy Trump called before deciding to run for president, was at his wedding, etc).

        Thanks for indulging my conspiracy. I’ll take off the tinfoil hat now and go back to discussing verifiable stuff. :)

        Reply
        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Because no discussion of anything is complete without an off-topic, gratuitous, “obviously-I-have-no-proof-of-this” Trump reference.

          Reply
      3. lance ringquist

        the rise of trump is 100% connected to the disastrous policies of nafta billy clinton.

        don’t like trump? then you better not like or defend nafta billy clinton.

        study after study links trumps rise, to nafta billy clintons disastrous policies

        Lost Jobs, Lost Democrats, the future looks bleak for nafta democrats

        factory town after factory town are turning red, along with minorities who also worked there

        https://inthesetimes.com/article/democrats-electablity-heartland-midwest-factory-manufacturing-obama-trump-elections

        Reply
        1. Adam Eran

          I’d add that “doormat” Barry Obama sealed the deal. War crimes from Bush / Cheney? No prosecution! Supervised torture? You’re promoted! Blow the whistle? You’re prosecuted!

          And don’t forget 10 million foreclosures and no prosecutions, instead settling for dimes on the dollar of the financial predators’ loot. Frank Luntz says the Obama administration was the first time he saw people in his focus groups weep (I’m guessing with anger and frustration).

          Obama, the garbage president no one bothered to take out…part of the deep bench of grifters from the corporate D’s.

          Reply
          1. lance ringquist

            what empty suit hollowman obama did was to make sure there would be no new deal. he bailed out nafta billy clintons disastrous policies, then doubled down on them.

            Reply
    2. Michael Ismoe

      Who do you think told the FBI about Andrew? Remember Bill’s meeting on the the tarmac with Loretta Lynch? Now you know what he said.

      Will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend the court proceedings every day. in a show of support? You can pick your friends but not your (royal) family.

      Reply
    3. Acacia

      What if it’s not about nailing Epstein’s associates, but about getting other concessions under threat of dropping the hammer? There’s a lot of incriminating evidence that hasn’t (and probably won’t ever) seen daylight.

      Reply
      1. Michael Ismoe

        If Joe Biden can use the FBI to find his grand-daughter’s diary then Bill can use them to find those damn tapes. And you wonder why the Blob gets a say in who becomes president?

        Reply
        1. Acacia

          Yep, but many things (e.g. Weiner and Hunter’s laptops) are found and somehow remain out of view. Funny how that works.

          Reply
    4. Questa Nota

      Re Ghislaine Maxwell: in years past, news stories about bad jail conditions would have led to justifiable outrage and demands for investigations, punishment and relief.

      Now those are tempered by notions that maybe her team is getting out ahead of news before the next damning revelations.

      I still reject maltreatment, and have expanded that to include news consumers.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The complaint about shoes is a bit of a tell, but the people who went to jail from 1/6 seemed to be in shock by the lack of amenities found in the fantasies of conservatives about how good jail is.

        Reply
        1. Michael Ismoe

          Every cause needs martyrs. If Joe Biden were wise, he’d wait until the trials were over and then pardon each and every one. It would get him more votes than BBB ever will

          Reply
        2. newcatty

          Heiress: I am weak, frail, tired and don’t even have shoes that fit …guards feed me rotten food

          Oh. Would imagine that the young women ( mostly teenagers) she “befriended” from mostly poor and often abused or neglected backgrounds were weak(vulnerable), frail ( still not fully grown), tired ( especially after their “services “) and until decked out to please the “clientele ” did not wear designer shoes. Food provided while “entertaining” her and Epstein’s friends was rotten to the core, from its source. Do not conflate her pitiful treatment, which should not exist in prisons and jails, with any sympathy for her depravity.

          Reply
      2. diptherio

        “in years past, news stories about bad jail conditions would have led to justifiable outrage and demands for investigations, punishment and relief. ”

        I’ve been reading such stories non-stop since forever, and while there are the occasional demands from someone with some actual political sway to “do something” about it, very little gets done. In practice, our prison system has been a horror show for as long as I’ve been alive.

        https://nypost.com/2021/10/21/photos-inside-rikers-island-expose-hellish-deadly-conditions/

        The stories about Maxwell should be headlined “Ghislane complains about being subjected to the US prison system” because that’s all that’s going on here. There are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people being subjected to the same and worse all across our country. Yes, we should be outraged about it. Yes, we should demand change…but not for the sake of Ms. Maxwell, imhsho.

        Reply
        1. WendyS

          I watched a CLE that talked about the terrible conditions in some prisons. During 2020 and the Covid outbreak one prison in Texas had a 6% overall death rate.

          They talked about trying to get dying people out of the the system only to fail. One inmate said he was having trouble breathing and they told him he was lying. He told the people around him that he couldn’t breath and fell to his knees. The other prisoners tried to get the attention of the guards but they did not check on him for over 30 minutes at that point he had died.

          Reply
    5. Geo

      It is convenient the one person they are trying to hold accountable is also the one person barricaded behind the protection of a monarchy, major world power, and our closest ally.

      Or is it on purpose to give the illusion of justice without having to actually enact justice? As you said, there are so many people that are tangled in this. Why is Andrew the only one they’re hounding?

      If this was a local drug operation they’d have every person who’d been in the house in jail right now (or just shot them) but we’re to believe the untouchable prince is the only one they have dirt on?

      Reply
      1. Robert S

        Well, it could be because (1) he’s been identified and named by Virginia Giuffre and (2) there is a corroborative photograph.

        There might be plenty of dirt they would rather not rake up, but in this case the public identification plus photo makes it hard to avoid.

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          All that and from the little I know, he has no redeeming virtues, and no one really likes him at all. If some big cheese is going to be fed to the mob, someone like him would be the one.

          Reply
  3. allan

    Former top state health official: Cuomo administration hindered COVID-19 response in NY [Lower Hudson.com]

    Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration allegedly hindered New York’s COVID-19 pandemic response by blocking the state Department of Health from collaborating with local health officials, a former top state health official testified.

    That explosive claim, as well as accusations of Cuomo fueling a toxic workplace for state employees, came to light during testimony delivered by Dr. Elizabeth Dufort, the former director of epidemiology for the state Health Department.

    Dufort’s revelations were included in thousands of pages of transcripts from interviews with Cuomo and his accusers. New York Attorney General Letitia James publicly released the documents, three months after issuing a report concluding the Democrat governor harassed 11 women. …

    While many of the interviews focused on harassment allegations, Dufort’s testimony detailed how Cuomo’s heavy-handed political style contributed to the resignations of dozens of top state health officials amid the pandemic.

    At one point, Dufort said state health officials “would continue to try to do public health work, but it would never be approved, it would never get to the healthcare providers, the public or the local health departments.” …

    “So generally, so not being able to collaborate with them in the way we normally would really hindered our ability to perform our jobs we felt,” she said. …

    Dufort, who resigned last year, spoke to investigators in part because Cuomo made comments about her physical appearance during a COVID-19 press briefing in May. …

    So, this has surfaced only because Cuomo was a serial harasser. Would it have otherwise?

    Reply
    1. Geo

      It would have surfaced (other like it have for over a year now) but know one would have cared and would have called you a Maga-loving conspiracy theorist for pointing it out.

      It was a strange time when calling a NY Governor corrupt was seen as crazy-talk since corruption and NY go together like pizza and rats.

      Reply
  4. Fran Obre

    Something that seems to go uncovered and unmentioned in the news these days:

    The extraordinarily large amount of vacation taken by Senators and Congressmen this year despite the fact that the Democrats control the calendars, and despite the massive backlog of legislative work sorely needing to be done. It’s outrageous.

    In contrast, in 2018 Mitch McConnell cancelled the Senate’s entire August recess just so that the Republicans could confirm more judges.

    No wonder no one is very enthusiastic about the Democrats…

    Reply
      1. fresno dan

        Carla
        November 15, 2021 at 10:01 am
        I see your “no one is very enthusiastic about the Democrats”
        and raise you one:
        “Inside Kamala Harris’ frustrating start as vice president”

        Reply
    1. Geo

      Good point. It is bad optics when nearly every story about some stalled legislation is ended with “they’ll be on vacation for the next 52 weeks and won’t be able to do anything useful for the remainder of our planet’s habitable lifetime.”

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The Biden legislative agenda is a highway reauthorization bill which will be forgotten in two years as it doesn’t have the kinds of projects to be noticeable and largely represents more of the same and a holdover stimulus bill. That is it. No one ever cares about highway bills. They get passed all the time. It’s never benefited the President’s party. In WV Byrd paved over the state, but Manchin didn’t even deliver that kind of result.

        Oh and people need to sign up for automatic payments for education loans when they restart. I can’t believe Biden isn’t more popular.

        The legislative acumen of Pelosi ends with her early 2007 wins. ACA is continuously in need of fixing.

        Reply
    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      Manchin and Sinema have really been earning their paychecks sucking up all the air in the news as the reason why we can’t have nice things while the rest of the Dems total lack of urgency to accomplish anything is uncommented on. Aside from Mayo Pete’s maternity leave (a luxury the Dems are working to deny the rest of us) I see little mention of their leaves at all. I’m not sure where it stands on more or less or the usual, but it strikes me as another watch “what they do, ignore what they say” instance.

      Reply
  5. The Rev Kev

    “Can Universities Defy the New Nationalism?”

    I am going to say no. The example here is of the Chinese scholars being banned because China are now a peer competitor. This may have been a Trump initiative but I have not heard anything about old Joe reversing it. In fact, I would not be surprised to see a law passed by Congress spelling this ban out. But can you imagine what the effect on America would have been if this had been done to American students? So in the 19th century the British empire was ascendant but they could see America rising. So suppose back then that the British Parliament passed a law forbidding American students access to British universities like Oxford, Cambridge, etc. I think that the Americas would have said to hell with that and would have made their own universities the best in the world so that there was no need of any British influence. But I think that both countries would have been much poorer for this split.

    So how will the Chinese react? I would expect the same based on recent history with the International Space Station as an example. In 2007, China expressed its willingness to participate in the International Space Station. In 2010, the European Space Agency suggested that Chinese astronauts participate in the International Space Station, but it was rejected by the United States. In fact, in 2011 the US banned NASA from cooperating with China with the US Congress passing a law forbidding China’s participation to back it up in law (thanks, Obama). So here we are 10 years later and the Chinese said to hell with that and built their own space station. And when the ISS is done with its service life and has to be brought down, there will be the Chinese space station still there-

    https://www.quora.com/Why-is-China-not-part-of-the-ISS

    Reply
    1. lance ringquist

      the free traders just can’t figure it out. they let this free trade mess go for way to long. it was obvious it would never work. it was collapsing before nafta billy ever left office. so now americans are becoming radicalized, once that happens, most likely its to late.

      the left: An organizing framework for the community option was succinctly outlined in 1933 by economist John Maynard Keynes: “I sympathize, therefore, with those who would minimize, rather than with those who would maximize, economic entanglement among nations. Ideas, knowledge, science, hospitality, travel—these are the things which should of their nature be international. But let goods be homespun whenever it is reasonably and conveniently possible, and, above all, let finance be primarily national.”

      Reply
  6. Mikel

    “Why China is still trying to achieve zero Covid” BBC

    The article danced around getting into discussion of China’s main point for not “letting it rip” like a psycho – the virus is NOT completely understood.

    Then on we move to Dr Haung Yanzhong, from the New-York based Council on Foreign Relations who denies the existence of sterilizing vaccines for anything in the world in order to make these shot therapies going around look better:
    “They’re not confident about the effectiveness of the vaccines – the ability to prevent infections,” he told the BBC, “because actually even the best vaccines can’t prevent infections – but the zero-tolerance strategy says we can’t accept even one single infection.”

    And overall, the reporter didn’t bother to fund and interview any scientist there that is in support of the zero Covid policy.

    They then find think tank doctors/scientists (the CFR?!!?) to go into depth about why China should learn to love the body count.

    Reply
    1. K.k

      Yeah, cmon China, we in the u.s are taking it on the chin for the only cause worth a damn , capital accumulation. Buck up, we have no problem with averaging around 1000 covid fatalities a day for nearly the past three months with over 80,000 deaths. Get with the program Chiiiina.

      Reply
  7. curlydan

    “Why China is still trying to achieve zero Covid”. After reading this article, I got the feeling I was listening to zombies saying, “Join us, join us!” to China.

    China’s policy has saved thousands (maybe a million+) lives, yet they’re being criticized.

    Reply
    1. outside observer

      If GM’s hypothesis that multiple reinfections with covid will cut your life short, then within a few decades China wil be the big winners. They do seem very effective at the long game. Inherit the earth, so to speak.

      Reply
      1. tegnost

        …and our long game, such as it is, is to send the hoi polloi to space warehouses leaving garden earth for the worthy billionaires…odd, isn’t it, that both countries see the surveillance state as the best path to their goals? I’m guessing the epstein model (pardon the pun) will be the go to when the randy billionaires need to copulate. Gives new meaning to the phrase “down to earth”

        Reply
        1. William Shitener

          There simply isn’t enough rocket fuel to send all the hoi polloi into space. They will be left to wither on the vine, whilst the genetic prerequisites for healthy hard workers and some surrogates will boldly go forth and multiply.

          Reply
          1. tegnost

            The plan is actually to have them be born in space, and stay there, conveniently out of the way…but working of course

            Reply
    2. PKMKII

      There’s only two ways the mainstream press cover a China policy initiative: If it fails, that’s presented as evidence of the fundamental shortcomings of the Communist/State Capitalist economic system. If it works, then hand-wringing of “Well at what cost!?”

      Reply
    3. Tim

      Articles like this pop up frequently and are really published to support and validate Western policies and choices. And by taking China as an example (as opposed to f.e. Taiwan), the argument can be framed as evil CCP vs science.

      Reply
        1. VietnamVet

          This is more like the Chinese on the Mainland and Taiwan are trying to save their civilization and ultimately rule over the only one left on earth. Unlike the West which is profiteering off the pandemic and not saving its people’s lives which inevitably will lead to chaos and destroy it.

          Reply
  8. Jason Boxman

    So liberal Democrats discover redistricting, again, as they do every decade after the Census occurs and they’ve lost enough seats that they have no control over redistricting plans in states where the legislature decides.

    Republicans Gain Heavy House Edge in 2022 as Gerrymandered Maps Emerge

    On a highly distorted congressional map that is still taking shape, the party has added enough safe House districts to capture control of the chamber based on its redistricting edge alone.

    I wanna know how to be a liberal Democrat strategist. These people apparently just collect checks and do little of value. What a great job if you can get it!

    Ignoring redistricting ought to be political malpractice. This is like the absolute minimum in terms of basic competence.

    Reply
    1. Geo

      If you’ve developed Object Permanence you’re not qualified to be a Dem strategist. If you want to confound a Dem strategist just play peekaboo with them and watch them lose their mind in bewilderment at how you keep disappearing.

      Reply
        1. newcatty

          Object Permanence is one of the developmental milestones in most baby’s first year of life. Peekaboo! I see you! Dem strategists play peekaboo with voters and constituents. It’s a cruel game of peekaboo, they don’t see you. They see donors ‘ support and funds. It’s like they are developmentally delayed as “adults” in their development of empathy, morality and maturity. Peekaboo! They play at seeing voters, constituents and the people in the country. Look over here, not there. Guess it could be called strategy.

          Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Be from a very safe seat, and likely have money to support ones self in DC, where the GOP doesn’t compete, hence there is no real survival lf the fittest or part of the Clinton inner circle after the 1994 Wipeout, overseen by Clinton hacks, when guys like Carville were the only people in town for Team Blue.

      They killed the 50 state strategy because it pointed out the strategists were gigantic wastes.

      In 2000 and 2016, the DNC pulled money and organizers out of electoral college states and moved them into high population safe districts and states to run up the popular vote score. It’s not just that Team Clinton is perfidous and right wing, but how stupid they genuinely are.

      Reply
    3. Darthbobber

      They always forget that gerrymandering produces its best results under static conditions of trench warfare between the parties. Also that maximizing total seats does that at the cost of reducing margins for each one, lessening the necessary shift to overcome it.

      The two biggest party realignments (under FDR and Reagan) succeeded in the teeth of massive gerrymandering by the previously dominant party. Because the science of gerrymandering is based on voters behaving in accordance with past patterns. Anytime you succeed in changing that pattern, the gerrymander immediately becomes much less successful. But Democratic leadership seems constitutionally incapable of doing anything that might plausibly either shift allegiances or bring in new voters.

      That said, their devoting virtually no resources to legislative elections for a second redistricting cycle in a row says a lot about their competence. A fraction of the money squandered on Fighter Pilot Lady’s doomed Kentucky effort alone would have made a difference if spent on anything sane.

      Reply
      1. lance ringquist

        because according to nafta billy clinton, we have no where to go. nafta joe understands that. its why he is performing as predicted.

        Reply
  9. Mikel

    “NHS patients dying in back of ambulances stuck outside A&E, report says” Guardian

    When people talk about returning “to normal” and risks inherent in daily life, should’t they also admit people weigh those risks based on expectations and assumptions about the availability of healthcare, medicines, treatments, etc?

    Lack of basic services and care is enough to put a person on self-imposed restrictions.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      In all seriousness, I think that the license plate of those ambulances should be marked as the place of death on those death certificates instead of just writing in the hospital. When this is all over years down the track, it will be much easier to see who died waiting to get into a hospital and who actually died in the hospital itself. Of course for that reason they will never do that.

      Reply
  10. Carla

    Sharing with NC readers a neat website that is updated weekly, with free subscriptions to your in-box if you choose to sign up for them:

    https://realdemocracyhistorycalendar.wordpress.com/

    “The REAL Democracy History Calendar provides 1-4 listings per day sent by email every Monday morning of activities, events, quotes from prominent individuals and/or other occurrences (both past and recent) on the themes of democracy, human rights, corporate power and rule, and wealth in society (especially in elections).

    This Calendar is a production of Create Real Democracy (createrealdemocracy.wordpress.com). Much of its original content came from the research and writings of individuals connected to the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy (POCLAD: http://www.poclad.org) and the former Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). It’s currently updated by Greg Coleridge.”

    Reply
  11. BillS

    Re Biden:
    I know this is a burning question, but I’ve been hearing stories that the Prez let fly a ripper in front of Bonny Prince Charlie and Camille. Is this true? It made the news here in Europe and the comedy shows were having a field-day – greenhouse gasses and all that.

    Reply
    1. Geo

      As usual, Dems are GOP-lite. Ripping one in front of ornamental monarchs is nothing compared to upchucking on a Prime Minister like Bush Sr. did.

      Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      I heard that Camilla inquired of Joe in what some would call a posh tone of voice…

      “President Biden, are you going to let that asshole speak for you?”

      Reply
  12. The Rev Kev

    “China’s nuclear build-up: ‘one of the largest shifts in geostrategic power ever”

    They don’t give up, do they? No, not the Chinese – the military-industrial complex. This article has the line ‘And could this enable China to win a conflict with the US over Taiwan by neutralizing the threat from American nuclear weapons?’ by I am guessing that China’s goal is the second half of that line. Just to make sure that no nut-jobs in Washington get the bright idea of doing a first strike. That is why China has also brought Russian S-400s and are getting more.

    But the money line (literally the money line) is when General Milley says “We need to act with urgency to develop capabilities across all domains — land, sea, air, space, cyber and our strategic nuclear forces — to address this evolving global landscape. We have to act now. Otherwise, we risk condemning our future generations to failure.” Get it? The Pentagon contractors are going to need hundreds of billions of dollars to keep America safe – and some people very wealthy.

    I came across a video earlier about how to spot scams by the guy the movie “Catch Me If You Can” was based on and his first marker was a demand for money and it had to be right now. Isn’t that what Milley is doing? This FT article does not do it but for context, here is an article of who has nuclear weapons and how many-

    https://www.visualcapitalist.com/which-countries-have-the-most-nuclear-weapons/

    Reply
    1. NotThePilot

      I already joked about it some in response to the one military link yesterday, but I don’t take it as a good sign, for the US, that Milley seems as committed to Full Spectrum Dominance as we’ve ever been.

      I have no idea why esoteric military theories are the sort of thing I spend free time thinking about, but I have. And the more I think about it, the more Full Spectrum Dominance seems inherently brain-damaging & self-defeating. Encouraging a global nuclear re-armament instead of trying to tamp it back down would be a clear example of that.

      Even setting aside the moral argument, that it corrupts society to settle for nothing less than a form of supremacy, we’re now centering our entire concept of war on these abstract “domains”. So we’re already de-emphasizing a holistic view of strategy & the importance of decisive particulars in a conflict.

      But wait, there’s more! We’re going to lock in plans & commit insane amounts of resources, far in advance, trying to control these domains potentially. So anything we imagine any adversary ever possibly doing, we’re going to bankrupt ourselves trying to counter. Then the punchline to top it all off: we’ve become so narcissistic as a society, we can’t actually put ourselves in anyone else’s shoes anymore, so an actual adversary will probably use almost none of these imagined “threats” we’re planning for.

      Reply
  13. Carolinian

    Re the ABC/WaPo poll story–perhaps another sign of the times is on cable TV. CNN is moving to new ownership and the future CEO is said to want to dump many of their high profile talking heads and go to straight news coverage. On MSNBC Brian Williams is stepping down and it is said that Madddow, whose ratings have crashed, will leave her daily show in the spring and take on a less frequent role. Seems for the Dem leaning outlets the departure of Trump was blow number one and the recent election further handwriting on the wall. Will even the NYT and WaPo jump Biden/Brandon’s ship? Nobody likes to be unpopular.

    Reply
    1. fresno dan

      Carolinian
      November 15, 2021 at 10:20 am
      Remember when those guys motto was Reality based, reality based community, and/or reality dies in darkness? Karma is a b*tch…

      Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Trump was their salvation. They were always doomed from cord cutting. My parents have cable because mom is legally blind and has memorized the channels and so forth. As for the NYT and Wash Post, newsroom cuts and a lack of focus on the metro sections, effectively means they don’t do much other than preach to the choir.

      But like anything, its the same clowns from 20 years ago. How many times does David Gergen have to bemoan the lack of comity in DC before its just the same? Or how many shows do they launch with a hip, young person from the Shrub administration before ratings drop?

      Reply
  14. jsn

    The Western response to Covid has provided Xi a perfect “othering” opportunity.

    How much more threatening can you make foreigners when they self selected to let a lethal virus that mutates quickly run loose in their societies while vilifying your hardworking locals for providing all the worlds goods.

    I thought Noah Smiths thesis on Xi’s incompetence interesting, but we are handing him tools left and right to solidify his position. While the West is trying to figure out how to make maximum profit from Covid, the Chinese are the only ones left, apparently, taking eradication seriously. This will impact the paths of research their Pharma pursues making them more likely to find a true sterilizing vaccine to eradicate the virus. If they get that, soft power will overwhelmingly shift to China, regardless of Xi’s competence.

    Reply
  15. Brooklin Bridge

    Since you got back, I haven’t expressed gratitude (but I’ve felt it) for these wonderful shots of birds, and Mr. Wise Indian Eagle Owl (tks Denverrockindiva) today pushed it over the edge. Just wonderful and thank you Jerri-Lynn!

    BTW, for anyone interested, following the “via” link today shows off an amazing bottomless scroll parade of awesome photography, breathtaking and too cute to be true pictures of birds, animals and nature.

    Reply
  16. Randy

    If China had pursued the same Covid strategy as the US they’d be looking at millions dead and constant disruptions to daily life. Instead Covid is just something the vast majority of Chinese read about on the news as they pursue their normal lives. The US elite seems desperate to shame them for this, probably because they’re aware on some level that their approach has failed. They don’t feel guilty for all their dead and suffering fellow citizens of course, they’re just offended at being shown up. So off to the presses to frame China’s success as failure.

    Imagine what would happen though if China did listen and let ‘er rip, or if their approach ends up failing. You think that supply crunch looks bad now? How about when millions of Chinese workers are dead or otherwise not reporting to work producing cheap crap for Americans? I can almost laugh imagining the ensuing financial apocalypse were American pundits to get their way. They should actually be begging China to take even more authoritarian measures if that’s what it requires to salvage Christmas for the gun-owning masses.

    Reply
    1. jsn

      It was really telling in that article when the famous doctor talked about cost, he was talking about deaths as a cost.

      In the West deaths are apparently seen as profit opportunities, not quite as good as prolonged ill health though.

      These comparative values offer a very clear “right & wrong”, it is a marvel of propaganda that’s obscured this for the last 18 months in the West.

      Reply
    2. Regulus regulus

      The Economist reports China suffered 1.7 million excess deaths. — There is a tradition of “legalism” in China’s philosophy of governing which dictates it is the people’s duty to harmonize themselves with the beliefs of leadership. Doing so perpetuates heaven’s mandate; recognizing a flood as a true disaster jeopardizes that mandate. In which case, warlords step up and claim more modest mandates — It seems like fantastical thinking to Westerners just as some Western givens seem like shared delusions to Chinese mainlanders.

      Reply
      1. Randy

        Have you looked at the Economists “graphs” for their reporting? Like this one: https://imgur.com/a/AkS4ZZu ? China has either had millions of excess deaths that would surely be noticed, much as it was noticed in India when they had to burn people in the streets because the crematoriums were full… or NEGATIVE excess deaths. The Economist’s “numbers” were cooked up by “machine learning”, or in other words, cooked up by the assumptions and inputs they baked into the AI. Surprise, didn’t come out looking great for China.

        Reply
        1. jsn

          As the Economist is essentially the amygdala of the Neoliberal Thought Collective, I discount everything they print.

          I had a subscription until 2008 when reality intruded. Strangely (or not), that’s when I discovered NC!

          Reply
          1. synoia

            I gave up the Economist in the 90’ss, when I decided it had changed its editorial policies from informing oneself to one of propaganda..

            Reply
              1. barefoot charley

                Blair was the beginning of the end of its independent reporting, and Clinton was the end. Amazing how quickly TINA took over.

                Reply
            1. chuck roast

              I first discover The Economist at uni in the ’60’s. The thing that I most remember about it were the wristwatch ads on every other page. It seemed to be directed towards the incipient bourgeoisie in the neo-colonies. Buy a nice timepiece and attach yourself to the metropole.

              Reply
  17. zagonostra

    >Gerontocracy

    I love how NPR starts a story on Grassley’s re-election with:

    “Grassley, an avid jogger, made the announcement early Friday morning, a week after his 88th birthday.”

    On CBS Sunday Morning with Ted Koppel (I thought he died) Fauci says he’ll stay in his job “until this COVID-19 outbreak is in the rearview mirror” and he is not willing to step down and hand the “baton” to someone else as his 81’st birthday approaches.

    And I betcha anything that Kissinger at 98 is still chilling with his good friend on both sides of the isle, an isle that they should put handrails on.

    Am I getting paranoid, it seems to me that the MSM is writing stories with subtle attempts/framing to mold my response. A spritely jogger of 88 years running for re-election?

    “Come on Man.”

    https://www.npr.org/2021/09/24/1040414196/sen-chuck-grassley-reelection-senate

    Reply
    1. tegnost

      “Fauci says he’ll stay in his job “until this COVID-19 outbreak is in the rearview mirror””

      Well that should be good for another few thousand points on the dow

      Reply
    2. Randy

      I’m already seeing a four years older Biden vs Trump rematch with Pelosi and McConnel on the sidelines and wondering how long this can last for. What’s going to happen when these ancient, grasping creatures who’ve been clinging to party leadership like their souls depend on it finally go to whatever’s next? The seventy year olds finally get their turn?

      To be less harsh, I don’t expect the elderly to just quietly disappear or become walmart greeters or soylent green. But in the case of congress critters, they’re almost all millionaires who can do whatever they want and will remain powerful and connected even after they retire from politics. Wish I could understand their desire to stay at all costs.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Wal*Mart dispensed with greeters decades ago and now has ‘exiters’ who dutifully make sure that you paid for everything in your shopping cart, by comparing items to those on your receipt.

        The truth is they do a half-arsed job of it, bored out of their minds being way too close to potential Covid transmission for the crummy $12 an hour they’re pulling down.

        Rarely are they older than about 40, and the ones i’ve seen around these parts tend to have lots of tats.

        Reply
        1. Maritimer

          I’ve heard rumors that a number of the Hells Angels are working as exiters and that gang members shop at Wally often. Think of it as financial engineering gone local and ,CC correct, sustainable.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Yeah. Hiring the Hell’s Angels to do your security is a really bad idea. Anyone remember the concert at Altamont? 1969. Gimmie shelter.

            Reply
      2. Procopius

        To them, participating in politics is joyous. No other activity can equal it for fun, for those who are really into it. The money is nice, but they just love wheeling and dealing and winning. Even losing can be fun. My father’s business partner became a congressman, and after a few election cycles he lost one, but decided to stay in Washington as a K Street lobbyist, because the atmosphere was so enlivening.

        Reply
      1. Geraldine

        Compared to Feinstein?

        “Dianne Feinstein Has Filed Initial Paperwork to Run Again in 2024. The Senator will be 91 years old in 2024.”

        Just who millions of young Californians living in their cars or parent’s basements need to represent their interests.

        “Dianne Feinstein has profited for 26 years from ethically challenged deals that have netted her and her crony husband tens of millions of dollars, enriching themselves at the expense of the US taxpayers.
        According to investopedia, she and her husband are worth somewhere around $94 million dollars. Her salary is under $200,000 a year.”
        https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/the-feinstein-files-where-did-feinstein-make-her-fortune/

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          There are people who are quite capable past the century mark, but Senator Feinstein seems to increasing be a mental waste of space.

          If her handlers were at all decent people, they would get her to retire and spend the rest of her life trying to keep her mind together and enjoy what’s left of her life.

          In the right environment and medical care it could be done. But, no, they have to keep the zombie around for her votes all while hastening her decline.

          Reply
        2. JBird4049

          There are people who are quite capable past the century mark, but Senator Feinstein seems to increasing be a mental waste of space.

          If her ghoulish handlers were at all decent people, they would get her to retire and spend the rest of her life trying to keep her mind together and enjoy what’s left of her life.

          In the right environment and medical care it could be done. But, no, they have to keep the zombie around for her votes all while hastening her decline.

          Reply
        3. Dr. John Carpenter

          Has anyone told her she’s running again?

          Ahh, it seems it wasn’t so long ago stories from inside her camp were planted…I mean leaked about how concerned those around her were that she’d taken leave of her facilities. Everyday I feel we are closer to Futureama’s sentient Nixon head in a jar.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Actually, she has taken ownership of the Post Office’s facilities. That’s what her ‘handlers’ are really interested in. If she and her husband are worth so much money now, imagine how much their “friends” have raked off.
            Corruption. As American as guns and cherry pie.

            Reply
    3. Sawdust

      There is a silver lining to the gerontocracy: it makes things easier for those of us who resist being fully digitized. Once we’re ruled by people who’ve lived their entire lives through their phones, the ability to do otherwise (e.g. pay a bill with a check) will go bye-bye.

      Reply
  18. Frances

    “8 lingering questions about the new Covid pills…”

    9. How does it compare in effectiveness, and safety and price with Ivermectin?

    10. How much will each course of treatment cost?

    Reply
    1. PKMKII

      Regarding 9, it’s worth noting that one of the two COVID pills, molnupiravir, is manufactured by Merck, who also discovered and manufactures a significant chunk of the Ivermectin made today. So, despite the economic incentive to avoid the R&D costs, they’re considering molnupiravir more effective than Ivermectin.

      Regarding 10, the article stated:

      Merck’s agreement with the U.S. works out to about $700 for a five-day course of molnupiravir. Pfizer is still negotiating contracts but is expected to set a similar price for Paxlovid.

      Reply
      1. Basil Pesto

        I think you might be missing the full picture, as Merck essentially gave away the Ivermectin IP when it became apparent that the countries that most needed it as an anti-parasitic en masse couldn’t afford it. I believe it’s now generic, although iirc IM Doc has in the past suggested that Merck has means at its disposal, in the way of obscure technical legal chicanery, of making more money than it currently does from Ivermectin. That said, the R&D cost of a new anti-viral is surely a drop in the ocean of vast potential profit for a viable and effective anti-viral treatment for a virus that we’ve allowed to become endemic and that apparently has the potential to re-infect over and over again.

        Merck earlier this year in a press release said that Ivermectin’s shit for Covid. The next day they came out with a press release saying they were working on a hot new anti-SARS2 anti-viral (now Molnupiravir). That’s not dispositive with regards to Ivermectin either way, but it’s about the most straightforward textbook example of a conflict of interest you could hope to find.

        Reply
      2. Anonymous 2

        IIRC the Japanese scientist who discovered Ivermectin (and got the Nobel Prize for it) suggested in April 2020 that it might be useful against Covid. The Japanese authorities requested Merck to organise a randomised double blind control trial to test the idea. Merck refused. I believe they have sufficient control of the supply to prevent anyone else doing anything in scale.

        According to John Campbell a course of Ivermectin would probably cost about $3 – it is a bit of a hobby-horse for him.

        Reply
        1. Splashoil

          Ivermectin is manufactured in India and Querétaro Mexico as well. It is a popular drug here in Puerto Vallarta where the cruise ships fill the Marina. Sidewalk signboards advertise it. Here the genie is out of the bottle. Thanks Lord.

          Reply
      1. ProudWappie

        Jimmy Dore was covering this clip as well. He has become very outspoken on this, after suffering from vaccine damage. I’m still surprised YouTube lets him get away with this.

        Reply
  19. synoia

    I read today, that Royal Dutch Shell has decided to become Royal Shell and drop the Dutch part.

    I infer that this a move is to avoid the ECs’ rules on climate change, avoid climate mitigation, and bribe its continued practice of damaging the planet under the UK’s rules.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If that is so, it should be possible to avoid buying anything from Royal Shell in particular by name. It won’t reduce the amount of oil used, but it may destroy Shell in particular for playing this game.

      Reply
  20. Maxwell Johnston

    “Europe’s Migration Crisis, Born in Belarus”

    Once upon a time, the New Yorker was worth reading for its erudite articles on culture and literature (and the hilarious drawings with their subtle humor). Nowadays, we have the likes of Dexter Filkins regurgating the latest line from DC. Times change.

    Maybe I’m cynical, but this Poland-Belarus border kerfuffle amuses me. First, because a 10-year-old could look at a map of Belarus, see the many pipelines and highways and railroads passing through it, plus the fact that it shares a long and heavily forested border with 3 EU nations, and realize that Belarus has a strategic location. Did nobody in Brussels or Washington foresee that Lukashenko could retaliate (or even threaten to retaliate, basically the same thing) against the endless sanctioning? Or are the EU and USA so used to getting their own way that they are constantly flat-footed when someone actually pushes back? Second, the Poles are displaying incredible chutzpah by demanding EU aid to fortify their borders, whilst simultaneously telling the EU to buzz off re any laws that Poland doesn’t like. Even I respect that degree of shamelessness. Thirdly, the notion of Frau Merkel asking Herr Putin to help regulate the security situation on the Polish frontier brings back memories of 1939. Isn’t that ironic?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/10/polish-pm-blames-vladimir-putin-for-belarus-border-crisis

    Reply
    1. Zephyrum

      Ah hah! Finally we have identified the culprit. It is Belarus that has caused the European migration crisis. Lukashenko really should have foreseen this before all his warmongering in the middle east. Invading Iraq was bad enough, but his twenty year occupation of Afghanistan flew in the face of history. Graveyard of empires. He should have known better.

      Reply
      1. chuck roast

        As an aside, every day the column inches in the pink paper get longer and longer on the impending Russian “bombs away” on poor Ukraine. Antony (what happened to the ‘h’?) Blinkin giving us the daily low-down. I read this rag so you don’t have to.

        Reply
    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well . . . it is fair to say that this little tiny-so-far crisis is midwifed by Lukashenko, who is getting even for the EU sanctions against him and his government.

      But he didn’t create the conditions which make these people want to leave their countries. He is merely opening a new gateway for them to leave through.

      Reply
  21. Carolinian

    Re ghost guns–back in the West Side Story era gangs used so-called “zip guns” consisting of a piece of wood for the handle, a bit of plumbing pipe for a barrel and a rubber band and a house key with a filed end as a firing pin. It was single shot (and not even that if it blew up in your hand) but good enough to intimidate people.

    Of course the ingenious will always find a way, but it’s likely that criminals who like to go around shooting people aren’t that smart. Therefore the paint by numbers version of a gun should surely be banned. And if the NRA argument is that it really is a gun then it surely shouldn’t be allowed to be sold by mail order.

    Reply
    1. chuck roast

      In my neighborhood it was a chopped down Cadillac aerial attached to a handle-stock with elastics. Loaded a .22 bullet. Use a nail for a firing pin.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        You should see the guns floating around “on the street” in our half-horse town. Most of the firearms ‘recovered’ from gangsters by the police here are stolen 9mm or .380 calibre semi-automatics. I gleaned this from the indictments presented to the Grand Jury this year. ‘Felon in Posession of a Firearn’ is a very “popular” charge. The information about getting guns we were given by the police was that a 9mm could be bought on the black market for as little as $200 USD. Even High School punks can raise that amount nowadays.

        Reply
  22. Wukchumni

    With COVID Hospitalizations At Year-Long High, Doctors Urge Minnesotans To Get Vaccinated; ‘We Are Essentially At 100% Capacity’ CBS Minnesota
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sitting on 46% double vaxed here in Tulare County with about the busiest hospital in the state, with a good chunk of the local population really wanting the rapture to come take them away to their eternal reward, some a bit hastier than others to be fitted for wings.

    Reply
  23. Darthbobber

    Kamala, Kamal, Kamala…going about as a small child with average reasoning powers could have predicted. Besides the Politico piece, there’s a collection of “telling tales out of school” trainwreck pieces up on CNN today.

    The following is a laugher from the Politico piece: “Harris’ two main agenda items are voting rights and migration stemming from the Northern Triangle countries in Central America. Both are thorny topics with few easy solutions.” (well, we did send her off to make nice with the French post-AUKUS, so now she’s been to Europe.) Given the current state of affairs, and the limits to what Democratic leadership is willing to do, what exactly does the Biden administration have on the table that ISN’T “a thorny topic with few easy solutions”? And its one thing not to “solve” a thorny topic, but when you leave it thornier than you found it that says nothing for your skills.

    This is what constantly emanates from her team. She wants the ball, but only for uncontested layups. What policy areas are there that Harris seems particularly qualified to deal with? And whose fault is that?

    She seems to need to “build a portfolio” because she’s the first VP in my lifetime to come into that position with literally NO area of competence or bloc (other than donors) that she helps deliver. Even Pence had a defined function as the guy to reassure the religious zealot faction in the GOP of the Trump Admins’ reliability. Biden, Chaney, and Gore all came into the VP office knowing more about how the national government worked than their respective Presidents. Even a lightweight like Quayle was in his second term as a Senator.

    As a public-facing politician (as opposed to just a machine functionary of the California Brezhnev era), she’s of dubious competence and seems to prefer surrounding herself with those of equally dubious competence. That was on full view during the Gabbard debate exchange, among other places. Leaving aside substance, that was such an obvious line of attack that it was almost shocking that there wasn’t a prepared response.

    To take another item almost at random, the FIRST thing I can remember her people finding it worth their while to complain to the press about post-election was no policy or substantive issue at all. It was a question of her personal comfort, and moaning about the delays in having her official residence fully ready. (Though Blair House counts as pretty good temporary digs by most people’s standards.) Even if these are your priorities when taking the number two spot in a crisis-ridden nation, how utterly stupid and tone-deaf do you and your people have to be to make that fact public?

    None of the situation gamers have covered one possibility: That Biden runs, but with a different VP candidate. At least then he’d finally be doint something that merited an FDR comparison.

    Reply
      1. JBird4049

        As a public-facing politician (as opposed to just a machine functionary of the California Brezhnev era), she’s of dubious competence and seems to prefer surrounding herself with those of equally dubious competence.

        VP Kamala Harris was in the Californian nomenklatura, but I think the state is slightly more functional than the national government, plus it’s a state, not a country; her being a cruel, shallow, and generally incompetent shell of a human being was easier to miss. She was able to use identity politics and her staff to hide or make excuses.

        Now, being where everyone can see her mess up everything she touches makes her unavoidably nauseating. President Joe Biden looking like he might need replacing, certainly by the next presidential election, makes this darkly amusing to me. I will probably get poisoned by whatever polished Joe Manchin – Mitch McConnell – Kyrsten Sinema style poisoned chalice that gets elected, but the squirming of the governing class will be entertaining.

        Reply
          1. JBird4049

            Gee whiz, I said slightly, slightly. Just enough to better camouflage its bottom feeders like Anthony Fauci. Or maybe he just has an excellent press team. Seeing his hagiographic merchandise, makes me ill. I mean what with seeing the CDC and the rest of the federal government simply doing its marvelous job on Covid. That is not really an endorsement, now is it?

            Reply
      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        I always thought the secret reason for picking Kamala was because she immunized and impunified Steve Mnuchin for all his alleged and very triable crimes in California. Picking her was a message to Wall Street, that they could go ahead with their next planned crash and ripoff, and Kamalabama would protect them.

        Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      But to make the comparison to FDR real, he would have to find a VP running mate who would be an even worse person than Kamala. Who would that be? . . . in this scenario? Probably Boot Edge Edge.

      Reply
  24. ProudWappie

    When we talk about sustainability and environment, we tend to forget about the bad things fast fashion has wrought upon us. Justine Leconte completely destroys the awful fast fashion brand Shein in her most recent video. There is so much wrong with this company, that it doesn’t deserve to be in business at all:
    – Poor quality, which just causes more textile waste in general, as covered in recent links here. Also the articles she tested were shedding micro plastics, yikes.
    – Bringing down prices, which can only be done by using unsustainable and unethical practices, both materials being used, as well as labor.
    – Blatantly ignoring IP, ripping off designs from other people.
    Link:
    Justine Leconte destroys Shein

    Reply
  25. juno mas

    RE: Antidote

    Ah, yes, the Great Horned Owl. While the big eyes are mesmerizing, it is their feet (talons) that are the most impressive of owl species. The Great Horned’s talons are about the size of a full grown human hand and have greater crushing power than the strongest man. Golden Eagles do not mess with this bird.

    The soft “Hoooh-hoo-hoo” that you hear in a dark night walk is this lurking raptor.

    Reply
  26. NotThePilot

    Re: “Thousands of military families struggle with food insecurity”

    I’m really glad to see someone actually reporting this. On top of everything else US military policy chews through, I don’t know if people realize all the ways it repeatedly stomps on the people who do sign up for it.

    While I think a lot of Americans (especially vets) see through it, I always thought the simplest evidence that 99% of the “Support Our Troops” rigamarole is phony was to go into any commissary & notice all the WIC stickers.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If a Social Democrat or a ReNew the Deal Party were to run on ” Support Our Troops – Pay them a Living Family Wage ” . . . . would that interest some military people? Especially if such a political party-movement gave real evidence that it really meant it?

      If a party-movement is ready to lose based on giving an honest message honestly intended, and ends up winning anyway, it may feel itself to have an actual mandate to act on the honest message.

      Reply
      1. NotThePilot

        So I was never personally in the military myself, but I’m a military brat (not my entire childhood though), and by circumstances, I’ve always been sort of military-adjacent.

        Conservatives have been able to monopolize a lot of mind-share there, but I have no doubt there are a lot that would support an FDR-type, maybe even an open socialist. I could be wrong but I thought when Bernie was running, military members were some of his strongest individual donors.

        There are lots of interesting tendencies between parts of the military & how the average member compares to the overall population. But if you’re trying to appeal to military people as such, there are probably several things you could do, and just like you said, results would be a big one of them. I do get the vibe military people may have a more practical attitude about a lot of things: you have certain principles, but within those bounds, whatever works.

        I’m going to have to call it an evening, but I could probably think of several more if it comes up again.

        Reply
  27. drumlin woodchuckles

    If Amitav Ghosh wants us to view the nutmeg gluttons of 400 years ago as neoliberals, and if we decide to agree with that assessment, then perhaps we should call them . . . paleo-neoliberals . . . because it was 400 years ago.

    Reply
  28. Armchair Philosopher at Large

    Death throws of US democracy/federation:

    Is there anything a state cannot make illegal? The SCOTUS deemed abortion legal yet states have been allowed to nullify that with all sorts of work-arounds. Further, Texas has made illegal the receipt of abortion drugs through the mail. What next, stopping mail trucks passing through the state so they can be inspected, abortion drugs confiscated, and the drivers imprisoned? Searching through air mail bags on every plane that stops in Texas? Or forcing aircraft to land and be boarded for inspection? Searching all cargo and passenger planes? Crossing state borders to arrest anyone who sends abortion drugs destined for Texas?

    This is not far-fetched. About a year ago Idaho stopped a truck with hemp traveling from Washington to Montana, in both of which it was legal but Idaho said they had a right to stop interstate transportation through their state, confiscate the load, and imprison the drivers. So, yes, states can and do write their own laws that can extend well beyond their own borders.

    But the real problem is that the US is definitely not a democracy nor a federation. States thumb their noses at the US Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, the SCOTUS, our legislative body, and the President himself. Every other nation on Earth can see that our form of government is a sham and that the US is unraveling at the seams. Other countries don’t have to conquer us, we’ve already done that for them. All the US rhetoric about Russia, China, N Korea, et al is for domestic consumption to keep the public from seeing the internal scum-pond that is the US. We’re the Poster Child for why other nations should avoid democracy.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Also, if you foresee the US unravelling, I assume you mean unravelling into smaller geographic parts and pieces. Any thoughts on what some of those pieces might be? Are there any pieces you would want to escape from if you found yourself in them? Are there any pieces you would want to escape into if you had to escape from where you are?

      Reply
        1. ambrit

          “And what happens to the nukes?”
          What happened to the nukes in the ruins of the Soviet Union during the 1990s. Many will disappear. Then Russia will have to sponsor an organization that tracks down and “neutralizes” as many American nukes as it can. Washington will be all in on this. They will be very worried about a rerun of the War Between the States, with the Family Atomics in play.

          Reply

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