Links 11/18/2021

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The Best Touchscreen Gloves to Prevent Frostbitten Fingers While Texting Popular Mechanics (resilc)

Two Forever Chemicals More Toxic Than Previously Thought EcoWatch (David L)

New mRNA anti-tick vaccine may protect from more than just Lyme disease New Atlas (David L)

We are all frail Aeon


JAB RAGE MMA fighter who called himself the Unvaccinated Assassin ‘stabs doctor to death with animal bone in row over Covid jab’ Sun (resilc). ‘Roid rage on top of, um, strongly held views?

Getting a foothold in global opera: the cost of COVID openDemocracy


Antibody protection after mild COVID-19 may not last; an estimated 100 million people have had long COVID Reuters (resilc)

Identification of LZTFL1 as a candidate effector gene at a COVID-19 risk locus Nature Genetics

The impact of COVID-19 critical illness on new disability, functional outcomes and return to work at 6 months: a prospective cohort study BMC. Published. n=274.


Europe Becomes COVID-19 Epicentre Again, Countries Look at Fresh Curbs – The Wire (J-LS)

Profit instead of science: The German government’s COVID-19 policy WSWS (Micael T)


Hospitalizations rising among fully vaccinated in U.S., Fauci says NBC (furzy)

“Nothing has changed” – Syracuse hospitals and EMT’s still in crisis mode ahead of winter CNY Central


Lufthansa pays back German bailout early Agence France-Presse (Micael T)

COP26/Climate Change

Glasgow: a clearer sense of direction but with no hard numbers Bruegel

Gains and disappointments from COP26, and now to tend to the gaps Yale Climate Connections

The Biden administration sold oil and gas leases days after the climate summit NPR (David L)


Biden-Xi summit: An impotent gesture before the danger of war WSWS

The founder of Evergrande has used $1.1 billion of his own money to pay down company debt, pledging mansions and selling art to raise funds Business Insider. Why do I suspect that he was leaned on, big time? Flip side is this sort of thing doesn’t happen in the Anglosphere.

China’s Belt and Road chugging along in Central Asia Asia Times. Kevin W:
Check out the two paragraphs starting with ‘The main hitch…'”


Hazardous Pollution Forces Delhi Into Partial Lockdown As India’s Capital Battles Worsening Smog Forbes

New Delhi suspends coal-fired plants and closes schools indefinitely amid ongoing air pollution ABC Australia (Kevin W)


An Unlikely Threat to the Western Alliance Atlantic. Wowsers, overlooks multiple issues: 1. EU offered many concessions on the supposed sticking point, intra UK trade, exempting that don’t or are unlikely to wind up going from NI to the EU. EU has every reason not to allow NI to become a backdoor for evading EU rules. 2. The GFA was never EU’s problem to solve, yet Barnier went further than needed in offering the UK three options in December 2018; 3. The UK has made clear that it won’t be happy until it is free of the jurisdiction of the ECJ over certain issues….which so far have not come into play. So the EU expects the UK to keep retrading the deal bit by bit if it doesn’t make that ask now; 4. Northern Ireland will do worse economically than under current arrangements.

Old Blighty

Coming to the US:

Decathlon halts canoe sales to curb English Channel migrant crossings BBC (resilc)

Latin America


Bolivian President Luis Arce on Country Recovering from US-Backed Coup & Latin American Unity Orinoco Tribune (Micael T)

Cuba Faces CIA’s Most Complex Cultural Warfare Operation TeleSUR (Micael T)

Indonesia’s top cleric suspected of terror links DW

New Cold War

Frozen Deutschland Pepe Escobar (Micael T)


Why Marib’s liberation will break the Saudis and shake West Asia The Cradle (guurst)

John Pilger: The Great Game of Smashing Nations TeleSUR (Micael T)

Arab Rapprochement With Syria’s Assad Works for Israel Too Haaretz

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Exclusive: LAPD partnered with tech firm that enables secretive online spying Guardian

Another Intel Chip Flaw Puts a Slew of Gadgets at Risk Wired. Resilc: “Oh noooooooooo, someone could hack my Internet connected bird feeder.”


Biden, top officials spread out to promote infrastructure package The Hill. Smacks of desperation and disconnect. Once you’ve passed a spending bill, voters want to see results, not more talk.

Sen. Sanders on ‘No’ Vote to $778 Billion Defense Budget YouTube (Kevin C)

GOP Clown Car

Marco Rubio Is Burnishing His Nihilist Credentials in a Political Party Gone Mad Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

Jarring GOP divisions come back into spotlight The Hill

California Plans for a Post-Roe World as Abortion Access Shrinks Elsewhere Kaiser Health News

‘The woods next door’: U.S. community forests take root Reuters (resilc)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Protesters Are Already Clashing While Jury Decides Rittenhouse’s Fate Vice (resilc)

Convictions will be overturned for pair in 1965 assassination of Malcolm X, raising new questions in killing, sources say Daily News

Woke Watch

Hochul pledges hire of new Italian-American Affairs director amid backlash New York Post (resilc)

Supply Chain

Morgan Stanley says the semiconductor chip shortage for the auto industry is nearly over Fox (resilc)

Right to Repair

Apple will sell you iPhone parts to fix your own phone at home The Verge. Resilc: “Next John Deere I hope.”


CalPERS Board Selects New Asset Allocation for Investment Portfolio and Adding Leverage SWF Institute (Kevin W)

California public employees’ pension bill to go up after CalPERS lowers market expectations Center Square (Kevin W)

CalPERS Announces More Leverage to Increase Investments E21

Ranked: The Best and Worst Pension Plans, by Country Visual Capitalist (Micael T)

The Bezzle

‘Where’s the Scam?’ – Inside the Viral ‘Plant a Tree’ Instagram Trend Vice. Resilc: “I do about 300 a year in Vermont. Depending on rain late spring, I keep maybe 50% over next winter.”

Report: Technical debt makes 51% of engineers think about quitting VentureBeat

Visa Tumbles on Amazon Ban in U.K. as Fight on Card Fees Expands Bloomberg. Vlade: “Hahah. Amazon vs Visa fight (so far, in the UK). Let’s get out the popcorn…”

Class Warfare

Drug overdose deaths top 100,000 annually for the first time, driven by fentanyl, CDC data show CNN (resilc)

Caught On Camera: DoorDash Driver Seen Using Brentwood Lobby As Toilet Los Angeles CBS Local (resilc). Don’t blame me for the scatological turn of the news….

Dirty dollars: how tattered US notes became the latest street hustle in Zimbabwe Guardian (resilc)

Justice Dept Sues Uber for Price Gouging the Disabled With “Wait Times” US News (Eric the Fruit Bat). Two minutes??? Most NYC cabs don’t start the meter until the passenger tush is in the seat.

Antidote du jour. Bob H: “Low tide in Maine”:

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. ArkansasAngie

    Gee ,,, must bias be interjected in everything? Nobody cares?

    Example from vice article

    “Gaggles of his right-wing supporters, including at least one waving a giant “Let’s Go Brandon” flag, which is a conservative meme making fun of President Joe Biden”
    “Meanwhile, activists, including some who were wearing T-shirts saying “Fuck Kyle,”

    1. Wukchumni

      The best t-shirt i’ve seen worn was one in what some might describe as a nationalistic color scheme of red white and black with the words:

      ‘Seek Kyle’

      On another angle, some guy was toting an AR-15 near the courthouse, and I don’t know if said exhibitionists get their inspiration from middle east suicide bombers, but they sure look the part wearing what looks to be a bomb vest. No self respecting suicide bomber would ever draw attention to themselves by carrying a bullhorn though and we’ll have to deduct style points.

      The coppers weren’t so much upset that he was armed and dangerous, they were much more concerned that he was within 1,000 feet of a school, which is against the law in Wisconsin.

      In the twitter video linked, a black lady taunts the exhibitionist as he is escorted away by the coppers with a phalanx of phones attached to people’s hands documenting the gunman, who very much resembles what Kyle would look like in his 30’s

      “All that attention you didn’t get in high school, now you get all the attention you want, isn’t that so cute?”

    2. ambrit

      Re. Gee…It’s Tradition!
      The ‘bias’ is constantly injected into the public discourse to enable and maintain the “Divide and Conquer” strategy of the Elites. This has been going on since at least the time of Gilgamesh and Enkidu.

  2. zagonostra

    >Covid19 Vaccine Mandates

    – Steve Forbes: Why Biden’s Vaccine Mandate Will Be Struck Down ‘And Rightly So’

    Not a fan of oligarchs, but sometimes you have to take Beelzebub as an ally in order to fight the other six.

    1. Mikel

      I laughed when I heard him mention “Biden’s” executive order was hundreds of pages.
      Sleepy Joe just rubber stamped some BS.

    2. Mantid

      If vaccine mandates are struck down and one thinks that the mandates will be lifted for health care workers, teachers, librarians, gas station attendants, theater popcorn passer outers…. (seems like everyone has vaccine mandate mania) you’ve got another thing coming. The US public has been so duped by the media, all media. Even Democracy Now pooh pooh’s Ivermectin and other non vaccine approaches. My guess is that even most judges have been duped by non scientific vaccine theater. The train of vaccine mandate surveillance is too juicy for the overlords for it to be suspended.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Meanwhile, back on the democrat “constituency” ranch,

      Several of the nation’s largest labor unions are suing over President Joe Biden’s vaccine and testing requirements, not to overturn them, but to expand them to cover more businesses.

      …SEIU 32BJ President Kyle Bragg told CNBC in a statement Friday that his local wants the mandates expanded to include all businesses.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “California Plans for a Post-Roe World as Abortion Access Shrinks Elsewhere”

    Not so fast. When Ireland had their strict anti-abortion laws, Irish girls would jump a ferry to England to get their abortion. As I understand it, the Irish government then brought in strict laws to stop these pregnant girls and women from traveling outside the country until it was to terminate the pregnancy. What is the bet that a State like Texas would not try to pass a similar law?

    1. Chas

      Something I’ve been wondering about is why no effort is being made in congress to codify Roe v. Wade. Democrats control both houses of congress and the presidency. Even if the effort were defeated the ones voting no could be targeted at the next election. Americans don’t seem to care if the right to abortion is lost.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Probably find that the Democrats will be happy about this development. It will be something that they can campaign on and raise contributions from in 2024. They will say that if they are re-elected, that they will codify Roe Vs Wade into law. But based on the past twelve months, if they are re-elected and try to actually do something about it, either Joe Manchin will oppose it and stop it dead or else the Parliamentarian will rule that this cannot be done. A reason will always be found for doing nothing.

        1. Charger01

          A reason will always be found for doing nothing.

          Woohoo. Plus Dems can fundraise to protect “choice” until the cows come home. Pelosi noted as such about a year ago during a interview with a female podcaster that stated as much.

        2. Steve D

          This ^
          Democrats have zero interest in codifying Roe. If they did, they could no longer run (and fundraise on the “threat” of a Roe overturn.

      2. Jason Boxman

        It’s impolite and embarrassing to point out that the emperor has no clothes. I do wonder what liberal Democrats will run on if conservatives accidentally do slay Roe v. Wade. This is a “fight” where both sides are probably happy with an ongoing inconclusive outcome.

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        What would they run on? Roe is the last panic campaign of every Team Blue cycle. “But the Supreme Court” was a mantra of the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was everywhere. It gets money out of donors and so forth.

        Hillary’s own record on abortion is suspect to say the least.

        I wouldn’t say Americans don’t care. The problem is too many Democratic voters don’t know how awful Team Blue is and think they will be protected. Abortion isn’t a regular occurrence for individuals and usually occurs under stress anyway, so even people would have had abortions may not make the best rationalization about access and “access” to abortion providers. In the end, it’s an issue we don’t talk about, and so it’s not addressed outside of the theoretical.

        As for the elite, do you think Chelsea wouldn’t be able to get an abortion if she wanted one? What else do Democrats have to offer women? Some vicarious living for the PMC, but…

      4. XXYY

        why no effort is being made in congress to codify Roe v. Wade

        The Dems have done nothing on this for literally decades. I assume it’s one of those things where the disease is much more valuable than the cure. That is, you can raise funds forever by shouting about how “the Republicans are going to take away your right to choose!!!” Who among us hasn’t got a hundred of these appeals over time?

        If the right to an abortion was a guaranteed, a lot of donations would dry up.

    2. Jen

      “What is the bet that a State like Texas would not try to pass a similar law?”

      Well, geographically, Texas is not an island so good luck enforcing it even if they did. The biggest rate limiting factor for women seeking an abortion even today is having the means to travel to obtain an abortion, and since that presents no barrier to the elites, they are quite happy to do nothing. Same for the Hyde amendment. They don’t need medicaid to pay for their abortions and feel no need to support those who do.

    3. Randy

      Not that it would really stop the ideologues in Texas, but the right to interstate travel is a lot firmer than the right to an abortion. That may be why they haven’t tried yet (to my knowledge). However, it’s already clear that a lot of female Texans are fleeing the state to get abortions, as seen by a recent article I think was posted here about an Oklahoman provider saying most of their patients were from Texas. I will guess that if the SC backs up Texas’ recent bill then their next step probably will be to clamp down on abortion tourism.

    4. Carolinian

      Yes Texas and Ireland just alike??? I’m not sure even the evangelicals in super evangelical Texas have the sway that the Catholic church had in Ireland.

      Also while poll majorities of Americans favor abortion rights there seems to be considerable ambivalence about the matter in the general public. I believe even Hillary Clinton felt the need to favor abortions as being “legal but rare.”

      And finally one must bear in mind that abortion is for the Republicans what “deplorable” is for the Democrats–a way of painting your opposition as villains. They don’t really want to eliminate it, at least not for their own daughters when needed.

    5. juno mas

      Texas could pass such a law. But like the current abortion law it would be found to be un-Constituional. The US is a federation of states, but freedom of movement into and out of them is guaranteed by the Constitution.

  4. PlutoniumKun

    An Unlikely Threat to the Western Alliance Atlantic.

    For all the reasons Yves outlines, this is a shockingly bad and confused article. The writer seems have phoned a few random politicians and cobbled something together without having bothered establishing any facts, and added in a few fashionably contrarian tweeks. The reality is that so far as Northern Ireland trade is concerned, the agreement has worked very well. NI has not suffered the shortages that have affected much of Britain, and cross border trade is still active. There is zero – zero pressure from Northern Ireland businesses for any change to the agreement. The only pressure is from UK based retailers who are having difficulties – entirely based on their own incompetence.

    1. Darthbobber

      And “threat to the western alliance” is just a ridiculous oversell. Even the hyperventilated about (and unlikely) scenario of a return to the Troubles would not, in and of itself, have any impact on the UK/EU/US alliance against the evildoers of the moment.

      Will be interesting to see how the Assembly elections go this coming spring. Thus far the DUP/UUP posturing about the Protocol seem to be doing them the opposite of good. Sinn Fein stands to pick u several seats by basically doing nothing and letting the Unionist posers make fools of themselves.

  5. zagonostra

    >As G.O.P. Fights Mask and Vaccine Mandates, Florida Takes the Lead – NYT

    So here is how the NYT opens up the article, first sentence:

    Early this year, Gov. Ron DeSantis crisscrossed Florida promoting coronavirus vaccines, visiting retiree communities and hospitals, and celebrating people who got their shots.

    The author, Patricia Mazzei, seems to not understand that you can promote vaccines, especially where they will be most beneficial, the old, obese, and with comorbidities, and still be against government forced vaccine mandates. I say seems because more than likely she damn well knows this sentence is designed to set-up the piece to “guide” the reader to a pre-determined end.

    Words like “anti-vaccination activist”, “vaccine skeptics,” “jarring scenes”, “hijacked by extremes” are all designed to evoke emotion and not deliberative thinking.

    There is just too much journo subterfuge to list all the ploys used. But the beginning sentence is a good book end to the ending sentence for this article and demonstrates if any is needed that MSM is no longer in the business of Manufacturing Consent (Chomsky) or Inventing Reality (Michael Parenti – published two years earlier)

    Does this bill really truly attempt to keep Floridians safe?” said Representative Angie Nixon, a Jacksonville Democrat, who contracted Covid while she was pregnant last year. “Or was it crafted to kick off a presidential campaign for our governor?

    1. zagonostra

      Should read “is still in the business” instead of “is no longer”

      In addition, this is where things are heading. “The French government has announced that health passports will be automatically deactivated for over 65s who don’t get a Covid vaccine booster when eligible.”

      There will be no end to the intrusion of gov’t into your movements, transactions, interactions. Snowden’s warnings were a precursor…the fact that Assange is still laquishing in jail is another. I’ve heard that 200K of the CV19 deaths are attributable to lack of health insurance (I’ll need to find the reference)

      1. Screwball

        According to my Twitter feed, and what looks like official releases, DeSantis is have a presser to sign bills limiting mandates. In Brandon Fla. I admit, I laughed.

        Yea, he’s running.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      From the nyt:

      “No Floridian should be losing their job over Covid shots,” Mr. DeSantis, who has taken to dismissing the vaccinations as “jabs” or “injections,” said on Tuesday. “That’s a personal decision that people should be able to make.”

      “We’re getting to this place where nuance is lost on everyone,” he [House Speaker Chris Sprowls, a Palm Harbor Republican] said. “You can be for a vaccine or for the opportunity for people to get a vaccine and still not support a massive government-forced vaccination.”

      That there is some unreasonable shit. No doubt about it. Sure don’t want people who talk and think like this running government.

  6. Eduardo

    Re: Rittenhouse. Before the trial started, I did not pay much attention to it and I had a number of mistaken beliefs. Because of some of the rhetoric about the case I thought it was another white man shoots black man case. I thought the defendant was obviously guilty. I thought … well, a number of things that were not accurate.

    I have now followed the case a bit and would be surprised if Rittenhouse is found guilty on any count. I expect either all not guilty verdicts or maybe a hung jury on some counts.

    I think this piece from Politico does a reasonable job of explaining why I expect that and what I believe is the core legal issue in the case: Provocation.

    Self-defense laws usually limit when someone can provoke an attack and then claim self-defense.
    Opinion | How a Vaguely Worded Wisconsin Law Could Let Rittenhouse Walk.

    One key piece of evidence for (or against) provocation may be a video which is now the subject of a motion for a mistrial as the prosecution did not provide the full resolution version of the video to the defense. But, again, as the Politico article lays out, it may not matter.

    It now looks like the defense can have its cake and eat it too as the Judge will apparently only rule on the mistrial if the jury returns any guilty verdicts.

    1. mike

      I think the reasoning behind letting the jury rule firsts before the judge rules on mistrial is because the prosecutor appears to be attempting to get a mistrial on purpose in an attempt to get another bite of the apple and retry the case. let the kid have his name cleared rather than get off on a technicality. I have watched a bunch of the trial and it looks very clearly like self defense to me. This poor kid is being persecuted in a political show trial.

      1. marym

        If the laws in this case lead to his exoneration, we have this situation: Someone can create a situation where they are reasonably perceived as a danger. If someone else then responds to the perceived danger, the law favors the provocateur not the responder.

        As far as this “poor kid” being persecuted in a show trial, we should note that he’s also being lauded as a hero by right-wing politicians and media. The latter are glorifying vigilantism in public perception, as it is also being codified in law.

        1. MK

          “If someone else then responds to the perceived danger, the law favors the provocateur not the responder.”

          Call the police instead. You are listing a scenario where someone takes the law into their own hands and, just as Kyle’s actions prove, turned the dead felons from responders to attacking Kyle, who then has to defend himself from their attacks on him regardless of whether or not the dead felons were trying to do something heroic or not.

          1. marym

            As I said, the law may well exonerate him. The police, of course, were already there and knew the armed vigilante was there.

            1. ambrit

              Vigilantism as a force multiplier for the Organs of State Security has a long and ‘honoured’ history in America. What else are the old Pinkerton’s or today’s BlackOps crowd but quasi-legal vigilantes?

              1. marym

                I’ve often wished protesters were better at identifying and containing provocateurs – whether state actors, fringe members of the movement not in synch with the general tactics of the protest, trouble-makers from the “other side,” or looters. Though I oppose the cause of the Capitol rioters, when they tried to claim that the destructive and violent aspects were instigated by state-aligned provocateurs, I thought it was at least question worth asking.

            2. drumlin woodchuckles

              Didn’t the police support the vigilante and support him for being there and even give him some bottled water earlier?

              Those are the police you are going to call if a vigilante provocatizes you?

      2. lyman alpha blob

        He may get off, but he is not “poor kid”. “Poor kids” have their dog run over or drop their ice cream cones – they don’t travel across state lines with illegal assault rifles to join a riot.

        1. Lemmy Caution

          Incorrect. He didn’t travel across state lines with an assault rifle. The rifle was purchased, stored and used in Wisconsin.
          Furthermore, the misdemeanor gun charge was dismissed because under Wisconsin law, Rittenhouse was legally able to carry the rifle.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            It was deemed legal on a pretty slim technicality. And in a non-insane nation, nobody would be allowed to tote these weapons in public, but obviously that is not the nation we live in.

            As far as it being purchased, stored and used only in WI, your own link states that “Little is publicly known about the firearm’s history…” so I’m not sure how they can be so certain where it came from, and it still begs the question of how did a 17 year old get his hands on it to begin with.

            The kid may walk, but only because the US is a banana republic.

            1. Lemmy Caution

              As written, the law says he could legally carry the weapon. If you want to call that a technicality, go ahead.
              As far as your other point, this is what the article says about what is known about the weapon:

              “Lake County, Ill. State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim’s office said in a statement that an investigation conducted by local police “revealed the gun used in the Kenosha shooting was purchased, stored and used in Wisconsin.”
              That is a statement of fact.

              Here is the full quote you excerpted from that includes the bit about the firearm’s history:

              “Little is publicly known about the firearm’s history, as the Chicago Tribune points out, so it is unclear if the teenager or another person would have faced charges in Illinois if investigators had determined Rittenhouse had possession of the gun inside state lines.”

              That sounds like a hypothetical question about what legal consequences there might have been if it turned out someone possessed the gun inside Illinois.

              1. lyman alpha blob

                I admittedly haven’t read or watched as much on this topic as I have on other subjects, but what did cross my radar briefly about the weapons charge was that it was considered legal because hunting rifles are legal, or something to that effect – as if an assault rifle is needed for hunting.

                The article also says he supposedly got the gun from a friend, or at least this is what his lawyer claims. Again, I haven’t watched closely enough to see if there was any actual evidence for those claims. I’m assuming the “friend” was also a minor and that’s why no name is given, but maybe I’m wrong there.

                My point is that while Rittenhouse may walk, he is still in my mind a morally reprehensible human being. The parents don’t come out looking very good either. While I don’t think he should be locked up forever for this since he was a minor when the shootings occurred, there ought to be some consequences for his actions when two people are dead because of them. If he hadn’t gone there as some Rambo wannabe to begin with, obviously none of this would have happened.

                1. MT_Wild

                  If rioters hadn’t shown up to committ arson, none of this would have happened either. The guy who had his arm shot off was carrying his concealed firearm illegally, admittidly commiting a felony, and was only shot after pulling it out and pointing it at Mr. Rittenhouse. So clearly at fault as well.

                  The other dead dude, who perhaps started the whole series of events, molested 5 boys ages 9 -15, but was recently released. Longer mandatory sentences for pedophiles could have also prevented the situation. Maybe we should blame that? Or the absolute lack of treatment for those incarcerated? The whole thing is a shit show and just another example of how our nation’s collapsing.

                  If the authorities had done their job, and allowed for peaceful protesting but then drew the line at rioting and arson, none of this would have happened and those folks would still be alive. But of course no elected officials seem to be doing their actual jobs.

                  It’s interesting to think what exactly a “fair and impartial jury” means in the context of social media and tribal politics. Not saying they ever existed, but they certainly seem to have gone the way of the dodo in our current environment.

                2. Lambert Strether

                  > the weapons charge was that it was considered legal because hunting rifles are legal

                  Heavily qualified because I haven’t mastered the detail, but–

                  I believe the statute for the weapons charge was poorly written, and the weapon had to be a certain length to be illegal. But IIRC the prosecution didn’t enter the length of the gun into evidence.

          2. orlbucfan

            What is this young cretin doing with an AK-15 assault rifle? Those weapons are designed for one purpose only: to kill as many human beings as possible quickly. They are military weapons and the civilian ban on them needs to be reinstated. If they want to nail him for manslaughter, fine. He needs to be punished. He’s no 6 year old kid with a plastic toy gun.

    2. Lemmy Caution

      If you go by the video evidence and witness testimony, it appears that it was Rosenbaum who was the provoker.
      “…witnesses testified that a “hyperaggressive” Rosenbaum angrily threatened to kill Rittenhouse that night and that Rosenbaum was gunned down after he chased Rittenhouse and lunged for the young man’s rifle.”

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Apparently it was the video evidence and witness testimony that tanked the prosecution’s case, and precipitated this last ditch effort to establish “provocation” as a way to strip Rittenhouse of his right to defend himself, which he was very obiviously exercising. Not to mention the dropping of the gun charge when it was determined that Rittenhouse was not, in fact, in violation of the cited law.

        The defense pointed out in closing arguments that this claim of “provocation” was nowhere to be found at the start of the trial.

        While the defense did not say it, this seems to be a canard tossed in to muddy the waters.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>TBF, I guess its not exactly the same, in Chicago it was black people who were defending themselves…

          Yeah, whatever one’s position on guns, or self defense, or Kyle Rittenhouse, if you are White, or right wing, or middle class, the same laws are applied to you differently than if you are Black, or left wing, or poor; the former usually means you will get some benefit of a doubt, while the latter means not so much. Your guilt or innocence is pre-decided by who you are, rather than what you did.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > Rosenbaum who was the provoker.

        Again heavily qualified because I haven’t mastered the detail, but–

        I believe the most important of the altercations took place when Rittenhouse was in the shadows between two cars (if I recall correctly from the Briahna Joy Grey podcast). So the video evidence is grainy and bad, and subject to interpretation. I don’t envy the jury on this.

        1. Procopius

          I saw a remark today that the prosecution had refused to show (give?) a (much?) higher definition tape to the defense. I’m a little curious why the judge is so pissed off at the lead prosecutor. I have to wonder if the guy has conducted previous sleazy prosecutions, under this same judge. Of course, he may just be an asshole — I believe he was appointed by a Republican.

            1. Procopius

              That pleases me. I lost all admiration for prosecutors back when I read that the feds prosecuted Clarence Darrow for jury tampering. Reading Radley Balko’s column didn’t raise any of them up. Thanks, Lambert. I should have looked it up myself.

    3. Carolinian

      I would hesitate to join “Politico” and “reasonable” most of the time since they do have a party line.

      And while all open carry of firearms is provocative most would tend to believe that going around burning and smashing with a chain is also provocative and not automatically deserving of a “benefit of a doubt.” Obviously a trial of this type is at least partly about state of mind but among the participants, not us.

    4. Screwball

      I wonder what the jury thinks? No matter what they rule, I expect some bad things to happen – hence the National Guard already on alert. And do they feel safe as well?

    5. Pelham

      I agree the visual and other evidence points to acquittal. But I sure wouldn’t want to be on that jury. If they do acquit, it’s likely to trigger another fit of violence, much of which could be directed against the jurors themselves. Evidence, schmevidence. I’d be tempted to cough up some sort of guilty verdict to satisfy the mob and avoid having my home burned down.

      1. Sardonia

        Given that as a juror you would be tempted to render a verdict, not based upon the facts and the law, but based upon your preference to avoid being attacked by “the mob” – can we infer that “the mob” is conducting jury intimidation?

        If so, it wouldn’t be hard for evidence to surface – social media posts of people threatening action against jurors for a ‘not guilty’ verdict would seem to suffice as evidence of a crime.

    6. Eduardo

      I don’t if this will be moderated / posted / seen at this late date, but I was mistaken about determining provocation being important. I think.

      Re-reading the article and some of the jury instructions, Rittenhouse had a right to self defense and could not lose that, as a matter of law, because he was not doing anything unlawful (in the context of this trial). The right to self defense in Wisconsin is lost only if the defendant is doing something unlawful and provokes the attack. He is not charged with anything unlawful (gun possession, curfew violation, etc) prior to the first shooting. Provocation is a red herring.

      The key point then becomes whether his actions were appropriate self defense given the situation. And, the withheld full quality video is still evidence for that.

  7. Michael Ismoe

    Hochul pledges hire of new Italian-American Affairs director amid backlash

    Hey, He’s tanned, rested and ready. Bonus points because he thought “The Sopranos” was a documentary. You may not want to leave him alone in a room with your Nonna since old people have a tendency to die around him. Oh, and your daughter might have some fingerprints on her if she gets too close. Otherwise he’s the perfect choice.

  8. Steve H.

    > Identification of LZTFL1 as a candidate effector gene at a COVID-19 risk locus Nature Genetics

    Not an easy read, and I must express my wonderment at current analytic technique. GM gives hints in his comments. We are such a brilliant and foolish species. On that note:

    “The 3p21.31 risk haplotype, which arises from Neanderthal DNA12 and is currently unexplained with regards to the causal variant(s), causal gene(s) and specific role in COVID-19, confers a twofold increased risk of respiratory failure from COVID-19 (refs. 9,10) and an over twofold increased risk of mortality for individuals under 60 (ref. 13).”

  9. Mikel

    Syracuse hospitals:

    “He said COVID-19 is the difference maker, but it’s not necessarily COVID patients filling ambulances. He explained that in 2020, people who put off doctors’ visits or trips to the hospital in hopes of avoiding COVID-19 are now making emergency calls in high numbers.”

    How many hospitals/clinic have gotten a clue about well ventilated waiting rooms? And air filters in waiting rooms?

    1. Louis Fyne

      to properly filtrate large spaces, one needs refrigerator-sized units. I doubt that there is enough a fraction of the manufacturing capacity to outfit just NYC’s most used public spaces before spring 2022.

      Now if someone made pumping out such purifiers a priority in April 2020 or January 2021….but I imagine that Big HEPA money is dwafed by Big Pharma money.

    2. saywhat?

      He explained that in 2020, people who put off doctors’ visits or trips to the hospital in hopes of avoiding COVID-19 are now making emergency calls in high numbers.”

      And how much is “vaccine” damage”?

      When we have world-class athletes dying soon after vaccination that largely rules out preexisting conditions to my mind.

      But of course, we don’t want to know about injuries from the “vaccines” lest that discourage anyone from immediate compliance. Call it “Noble ignorance.” /sarc

  10. Tom Stone

    “The Democratic party as HR Department” had me laughing because it is so apt.
    So how’s the “New Green FDR” doing these days, aside from expanded oil and gas drilling in the Gulf, tax cuts for the wealthy and a drive to enact a “Domestic Terrorism Bill”?
    The “Public/Private” censorship thingy seems to be working out well, perhaps that can be built on to enhance
    precrime enforcement and be paid for with expanded asset forfeiture…
    Isn’t it wonderful to have the “Adults in the room in charge?”
    They know how to “Git ‘er done”, you betcha.

  11. mistah charley, ph.d.

    re “Dirty Dollars – Tattered U.S. Notes” – spouse is from a South American country and from time to time takes or sends [via visiting relatives] cash to her family of origin. She insists that the money be as pristine as possible, and rejects even just ordinary wear and tear. Obviously this relates to the question of acceptance in the destination country. But it always has struck me as illogical – a fifty dollar bill with some wear on it has successfully changed hands multiple times, while a “like new” note may not have passed even one close inspection. But this is how people are.

    And speaking of possibly ungenuine notes, the only time I’ve seen one rejected in person was while waiting in line at a dollar store. The customer was politely but firmly told it would not be accepted, but – a little to my surprise – the cops were not called. Now that I think about it, I realize the merchant did the prudent thing.

    1. Wukchumni

      When I worked for a large firm that did physical foreign exchange in LA in the 80’s & 90’s, by far without a doubt the filthiest paper money on average was Mexican banknotes, it was as if damn near every note was caked with dirt.

      No other country’s currency was even close in terms of being dirty money.

      1. Tertium Squid

        I lived in Brazil a generation ago and the currency was immaculate, since they were printing it so fast.

        1. Wukchumni

          Brazil changed the name of their national currency three times in the 80’s and 90’s in an attempt to ward off hyperinflation unsuccessfully, so by issuing completely new currency every few years, i’m sure it was resplendent.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Frozen Deutschland”

    Back during Cold War One, the Reagan regime went nuts when the Russian built a pipeline to Europe as they believed that Europe would become hostage to Russia. Well, here we are nearly forty years later and it never happened. Of course back then there was only the European Common Market who was all about integrating the European economy and doing a fair job of it, all things considered. Now? We have the European Union which has a political bent to it that is more expansive and determined to sideline the European people in ruling it. The obsession that the European Parliament has with Russia is more worthy of the Baltic countries and they have only succeeded in burning nearly every bridge that there is between the Europe and Russia for no discernible purpose. And here is the latest example. With neoliberal beliefs, they believe that all gas should be purchased on the spot market and prices are high enough now to become a hazard to the International Space Station. Of course there is a pipeline full of gas ready to go but they are determined to slow-walk it and obstruct it no matter the chaos caused in prices and economic dislocations. They had better hope that it is a mild winter – or else.

  13. Bacon

    “Oh noooooooooo, someone could hack my Internet connected bird feeder.”

    This is actually rather serious, as it invalidates many of the defenses implemented on laptops to prevent the data on stolen ones being decrypted which are relied upon by the majority.

  14. Mikel

    “Technical debt makes 51% of engineers think about quitting” VentureBeat

    I thought the article was going to be about engineers, jokes in me.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Technical Debt: The corners cut in the design and engineering of a product in order to meet external cost and schedule mandates.

      1. Bill Smith

        Not always. It could just be that your product is successful and time has passed. The stuff you used to build it is now longer easily available. I’m sure there is still some MS-DOS software out there running somewhere… And COBAL?

        1. Synoia

          COBOL rarely runs in any privilege state, and on IBM mainframes has no privaliged access, I can recall.

    2. curlydan

      Developers, engineers, data “scientists”… eh, whatever you want to call yourself these days seems fine

    3. MonkeyBusiness

      As an engineer, I will take a reasonably messy codebase at a fast growing company over a clean codebase at a company growing like a snail. Even Google had to do a major rebuild back in 2008. Some technical debt is always inevitable because one can’t perfectly see the future. Also, you can only have technical debt if the company is alive. All this talk about clean codebase totally ignores the economic reality of companies having to earn money to employ engineers. Thanks Federal Reserve?

      Once the bubble bursts, there will be a line of engineers applying to maintain COBOL programs.

      1. NotThePilot

        Looking at the big-picture, I totally agree with you.

        At the same time though, of all the times I’ve wanted to throw my work computer through a window, technical debt is a pretty common cause. Maybe the only two worse things are:
        1. Cringe-worthy failures in a review / coordination process
        2. Being reminded that I’m not paid nearly enough

        I think the real issue comes out in this sentence from one reply (my emphasis):

        “As a developer, I want to join an organization with a clean, logical codebase. If I get an opportunity, I can also take a messy, chaotic codebase and make it a good one. That’s a long battle, but a worthwhile one,” said cloud application architect Brian Richardson.

        The real issue is arguably that business enterprise has ultimate control over even the technical processes. I think a lot engineers love quality & are totally down to do quality improvements to internal systems if they’re given the time.

        But it’s better for the bottom-line (until you’re suddenly obsolete & no longer competitive) to run that rusty, lumbering codebase into the ground because it’s already paid for, depreciated, and therefore supposedly has no cost.

      2. YankeeFrank

        A “reasonably messy codebase”. But let’s assume one, as the economists say. With a fast growing company in a few months reasonable turns into total chaos, largely depending on how well the company manages its growth. That’s something I still stump every interviewer at a startup with when they ask me if I have any questions for them. I ask “what’s your plan to manage your plan to double your engineering staff over the next 3-4 months?” They never have an answer, and most act as if its the first time they’re even hearing such a question. Its like no one has read the book or even grasped the mythical man month concept.

        Salesmen hype and coders pretend to create what was promised. That’s our current “development pipeline” in the vast majority of firms. Theranos only got caught because they were actually building medical tech. And as for google, gmail still sends me emails for other recipients, apparently because it occasionally parses out periods or other non-alphanumeric chars from the address — I assume — because they have my name, but they ain’t me.

        Most code is a disaster of one kind or another and if its not it will be soon. If we built anything real the way we build most software everyone would die. One big danger is when the sloppy methodologies of the startup world bleed into systems on which lives depend.

        1. MonkeyBusiness

          I don’t need to assume. As I said, Google had to rebuild a lot of their stuff back in 2008. And no system is perfect. You don’t want bugs? Don’t write any software. Their stuff is competent enough, and their papers on Distributed Systems and Machine Learning show that they are not content just resting on their heels.

          I also have a couple of friends working at Dropbox. Let’s just say that a lot of people aren’t exactly enthusiastic working on the company’s core codebase, because of “massive technical debts”. In fact, they hired Guido (the creator of Python) away from Google, hoping he could work some magic. But so what? The job pays well, and their stuff gets used by millions of people around the world. For some people, that also matters more than a “clean” codebase.

          Disaster? For whom? A mess made by a software engineer or two or three probably means a number of other engineers will be hired to fix it.

          You also aren’t addressing the economic aspects of software development. Either way, someone’s gotta pay for it. You want competent people working on critical systems? Then it’s even more important to stress the economic aspects of the discipline. Good stuff costs money and time.

            1. ArvidMartensen

              The big, quick money is in the flashy new system that your salesman talked some CIO into on a flight to somewhere. Using the latest Gartner buzzwords, with a big serve of hope and the promise that the CIO will look like a hero to the CEO and get a big bonus.

              That does just enough of what it’s supposed to do during the warranty period. Before the schmucks realize it’s not compatible with new tech, it’s not easily debugged and nobody on staff understands how it really works.

              And, oh, it is devilishly hard to add new functionality to when the need arises. Or it’s a straightjacket re processes so that the org now has to change the way it works to fit in with the new software.

      3. BillS

        As a hardware design engineer, I have spent time trying to convince “sales engineer” types and managers that the laws of physics set certain fundamental limits on the systems they want designed. Another fun task is telling customer (usually purchasing managers) that super-duper requirements mean a super sized price tag. Startups are the worst in some sense, because they want to make a splash in the market. This means that the sales guys promise extravagant performance to the customers at a bargain basement price and then tell you to build it..needless to say, disappointment ensues as reality sets in and the share price tanks when the tech development doesn’t match expectations, since the promises were made on vaporware. Smart engineers see this early and bail out before everything heads south..or (better) avoid such projects from the start.

        The best place to work is where engineering culture is also present in the management and executive layers. Any investor in a tech company should look for this as well.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Is there a name for The Bezzle that occurs between the first shipment of product and the time that technical debt kicks in?

          (That said, has a company ever died because of so-called technical debt?)

      4. Vandemonian

        I’ve never worked as a coder, engineer or architect, but I’ve worked with and managed a few. I’ve always been quite taken with the Foote/Yoder narrative of the “big ball of mud”:

        Long story short: as the organisation and its supporting software systems grow, the software becomes more complex as little bits are added to cope with new eventualities. Eventually the software grows to be just within the comprehension of the senior architect. Then the software grows to be a bit more o plex, and the senior architect departs…

        1. Shleep

          I read that shortly after becoming a programmer/DBA 20-some years ago.

          It has always guided me, and I have always insisted that my co-developers keep that firmly in mind as our applications have grown in number, complexity and inter-dependence.

          Every now and then, I put my foot down and we reign in some of the “bits of code [that] are added to cope…”. Hard to justify the time, because no-one outside of the developers notices.

  15. JMM

    “Hahah. Amazon vs Visa fight (so far, in the UK). Let’s get out the popcorn…”

    I have the same amazing feeling I had when they tried to create that “Soccer Superleague” and the entire thing fell apart and you had soccer club presidents blaming each other. Beautiful.

  16. Ghost in the Machine

    The impact of COVID-19 critical illness on new disability, functional outcomes and return to work at 6 months: a prospective cohort study BMC.

    “At 6 months, 43/160 (26.9%) patients died and 42/108 (38.9%) responding survivors reported new disability.“

    It is not clear how many never left the hospital and how many left and died before 6 months. A lot of people have been hospitalized, and if these numbers are generalizable then this seems like something that should show up in death statistics. Does a death 3 months out from the hospitalization count as a COVID death?

    1. pasha

      certainly in the u.k., deaths occurring more than thirty days after covid-19 confirmation are not counted as official covid deaths (there is a separate accounting of those who die later, not readily available to the public).

      many u.s. jurisdictions have done the same. some no longer even maintain a pretense of reporting (for instance, miami-dade county in florida has not reported a new covid death in over seven weeks!)

  17. Jason Boxman

    “What we’re starting to see now is an uptick in hospitalizations among people who’ve been vaccinated but not boosted,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, said Tuesday in an interview. “It’s a significant proportion, but not the majority by any means.”


    “I wouldn’t be surprised that sooner or later, you’re going to see the data indicate that it’s also going to be very important for [younger] people, when they have boosters available, to get the booster shot,” Fauci said.

    And the drumbeat to get everyone “boosted” has begun in earnest!

    Let it ride, baby, let it ride!

    Still, it’s not clear how many breakthrough hospitalizations there are. Although the CDC has been tracking the rate of hospitalizations among fully vaccinated people, its website shows data only through Aug. 28.

    Well, naturally. This is the CDC we’re talking about here, after all. Why collect data that might be counter to the narrative?

    The CDC didn’t respond to a request for new numbers.


    1. Carolinian

      Fauci as character in Invasion of the Body Snatchers: “Just go to sleep and you’ll feel much better in the morning.”

      Haha. Vaccine is nothing like that (?). Of course the great 50s scifi film wasn’t really about aliens but about a Cold War society that had given itself over to conformity. Is the mandate really more about social control than medicine?

      1. Lemmy Caution

        He reminds me more and more of Jon Lovitz playing his “Tommy Flanagan, Pathological Liar” character.

        Just one more booster … yeah … that’s the ticket. Just one more booster — two tops — and you can all go back to your normal life.

      2. Petter

        I preferred the 50’s version to the 70’s remake. My youngest daughter, who was resistant to the vaccine because of potential fertility issues (she finally gave in and guess what, missed a period) was creeped out by all the unquestioning vaccine enthusiasts who seemed to her to be in some sort of hypnotic state. I called them The Pod People, in reference to the movie. She told me that Pod People nailed it.

        1. Carolinian

          Hear hear. The 70s version rather pointless since the optimum version already existed.

          And as I said above I think the movie very much tied to the fifties (which some of us experienced) and perhaps to now.

          1. lance ringquist

            when i was a kid(alert, long time ago), a local t.v. station every new years eve showed a double feature. the original thing from another world, and the original invasion of the body snatchers.
            the best of the cold war flicks, that were not cold war flicks. went well with my training i received in grade school for getting under my desk, in case of a atomic bomb attack.

    2. outside observer

      I’m puzzled by the acceptance of transmission as a matter of course, when every transmission carries with it the potential for mutations and more dangerous variants. These vaccines are just not good enough, for long enough, even with boosting. Go back to the drawing board! In the meantime, masks, ventilation, ubiquitous cheap rapid tests, and INCOME SUPPORT to isolate. Until they come up with an actual vaccine, a sterilizing vaccine, I will not be going back to living life like it’s 2019.

      1. YankeeFrank

        And 4000-10000 I.U. of D3 w/ supplemental K2 per day, especially in the winter months and if you spend most of your time indoors. The studies show your immune system just ain’t gonna work very well otherwise. In fact, an important study John Campbell recently discussed on youtube suggests that the best way to avoid dying from covid is the above. Fauci supplements with D3, though he doesn’t seem to care if anyone else does.

        Do your own research. Unless you have a smart, independent doctor who actually cares you just can’t trust the medical establishment. After 15 years navigating our medical system with a family member with epilepsy I can honestly say I don’t trust any medication that’s come out in the last 15-20 years w/o doing intense research first and never trust a hospital to do what they say they’re gonna do, or even do the right thing in the first place.

        1. Basil Pesto

          I don’t reallllyy want to be the guy that shits on ‘do your own research’ – because on the one hand it speaks to a certain resistance to ‘appeal to authority’ and certain other weak forms of thought, which is important when you consider how many mistakes the authorities have made in this whole thing.

          But in another way, that in itself speaks to the vague inanity of the slogan, which is probably why it’s co-opted by so many ratbags. The fact remains that doing good research and analysis takes skill and diligence, among other qualities, and not in trivial amounts.

          Yves and Lambert can and do do their own research. So, presumably, does Joe Rogan, to take another example. So do any other number of like-and-subscribe tossbags on YouTube (“and by the way, have you seen *links to video of a lonely looking man in glasses with a Big Serious Microphone gazing with an uncomfortable level of intensity at the camera*? very interesting stuff I’m sure you’ll agree”).

          Yet there’s a reason that I trust Yves and Lambert (et al) and not the latter. It’s because they’re better at it – evinced by their excellent track record (and don’t forget the fundraiser, everyone!). At the same time, I think Yves and Lambert themselves would probably point out that if you trust and accept their arguments immediately and automatically, that you’d be doing yourself a disservice.

          Anyone can do their own research. But doing so on fraught and complex topics can and will undoubtedly lead to any number of Dunning-Krugerisms that will mislead you or those who listen to you. It can even be simple things like misunderstanding one technical term in a paper – maybe a word with an ordinary meaning that in one field has a very specific, quite different technical meaning (to take one vague but hopefully demonstrative example)

          While it’s truly bad that you don’t trust the medical establishment, and should be an unending source of shame and embarrassment for them, it’s also, I think, obviously not a good prejudice to carry when you’re trying to form a sound, robust episteme regarding the pandemic.

          Moreover, who do we define as “the medical establishment”? Dr Fauci, the WHO, the FDA sure I get that. But what is the line, and where is it drawn? Does it encompass or exclude IM Doc, for example, an august doctor who commands the respect of both online and irl communities, who, if I remember correctly, went to a good school and was taught by titans of the medical profession?

          Does it include John Campbell? On the one hand, he’s an NHS teaching nurse with a PhD, which sounds rather establishmenty to me. On the other hand, he’s just an OAP with a garden and an enthusiast hobby channel that kinda got out of hand, and did so – here’s the kicker – because he did his own research! His doing so meant that he was on top of the pandemic very early, and continues to have fairly good command of all the issues. He’s also made some mistakes.

          Pierre Kory, somewhat amusingly, likes to put forward a biography claiming a place… somewhere in the medical establishment firmament (he’s the best doctor of emergency medicine evah!! he did a textbook!!) while at the same time seemingly revelling in the role of being attacked by said establishment.

          So, if ‘medical establishment’ remains a term that is definitionally vague in terms of being able to immediately recognise what its constituent parts are, we might also tentatively conclude that almost all of the good information shared on NC has in fact come from the medical establishment in some form – while at the same time pushing back against other parts of the medical establishment in other forms! What I’m getting at is, it’s not exactly like Yves and Lambert are getting their extremely germane and up-to-the-minute covid updates from Larry Summers, or Elon Musk, or a taxi driver in the Friedmaniac style, or any other irrelevants, is it?

          (Though I should also point out that trusting the medical establishment in terms of doctors and hospitals etc. as a patient is a bit more fraught and slippery for citizens of the US, where the profit motive reigns supreme in medicine more than it does in any other country, I think it’s fair to say. Trust is presumably quite low across the board as a consequence).

          So, I guess do your own research, but at the same time be very careful – I find a socratic/joe roganic perspective – constantly reminding myself “I’m an idiot and don’t know anything” – quite helpful personally in this regard )the difference between Socrates and Joe Rogan being that the former didn’t have a massive podcast with staggering reach, of course).

          1. PlutoniumKun

            Yup, you’ve outlined the problem very well. I used to say ‘follow the science’, more recently I’ve taken to saying ‘follow the data’, and now I tend to say ‘follow the data, and ask Occam what he thinks’. I’m not sure if anything really works. As you say, the great thing about this site is that there are genuinely rigorous thinkers here, even though that itself is not always enough given the vast mountains of misinformation out there.

            In my career I’ve always been more of a generalist than a specialist, but I’ve always been intrigued by how people with different training can come to when faced with the same problem. I’ve long come to the conclusion that the best answers to problems come when you mix the widest perspectives possible, and try your best not to let the loudest voices dominate. And always, always, have the intellectual integrity to admit when you are wrong. Its easier said than done of course.

            What we’ve seen with Covid have been repeated epistemological failures by the public health profession (as defined in the broadest way). I find it deeply disturbing as if you’d asked me two years ago what would happen if a disease like this hit us, I would have predicted that politicians would f**k it up, but eventually good medical and scientific practice would prevail. Now, I can see that I was far too optimistic and naive.

          2. Lambert Strether

            > Moreover, who do we define as “the medical establishment”?

            There is no aspect of our society that is not riddled with contradiction. No aspect. None. It may indeed be the conflicts that define establishments.

            Thank you for this excellent comment.

        2. QuicksilverMessenger

          What is mass-hypnosis? What is suggestibility? Can we truly see the medium in which we are swimming? My mom comes up and helps me out with my child every week. She is an avid watcher of MSNBC so in the evening it is on most of the time. Has anyone else watched MSNBC for a period of time? Every commercial break has at least one ‘pharma’ add, sometimes more than one. It’s rampant. I had no idea. Then the segment I heard yesterday while the TV was on was about the fentanyl crisis and the ‘expert’ was opining that we need to get people off fentanyl and on the drugs that will help them. More drugs! And MSNBC is the mouthpiece/ temperature gauge for our current covid ‘policy’: Vaccination, drugs.
          And now look at our society- every corner of every town now has a pharmacy/ drug store. And if a Walgreen’s goes up on one side of the road, there will be CVS coming soon across the street, just down the block from the Rite Aid. Some are open 24 hours a day. Some have drive thrus! Add to this that almost every grocery store now has a pharmacy in it. To me, it’s complete madness. A totally medicalized world where people actually get sicker and sicker. It’s almost like that is the point. Everyone is sick! Drugs everywhere for everyone, including children. And it’s making some people incredibly rich. Insane

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            Take the same reasoning and apply it to fast food. Fast food joints are big vacuum hoses sucking money and life out of my Cleveland neighborhood, spreading their poisonous food and paying none of the costs of their pollution. Perfect capitalism. On the supply end of things, they’re among the biggest contributors to the CAFE mess, Amazon deforestation and Big Ag in general.

            The only people benefiting are the franchisees and -ors. That’s where all the money sucked up by the vacuums is going.

            It is absolutely insane.

          2. Oh

            I’ve seen the same scene in Spain and S. America – every corner has a pharmacy, sometimes two. The drug companies have created the drug culture around the world it seems.

            1. Wukchumni

              I mentioned it last week, but i’m quite an outlier in that I take no Rx drugs expect for the occasional aspirin, weird eh?

              When I was a kid growing up in LA in the 60’s it wasn’t uncommon to have 2 or 3 gas stations at intersections with signals, and a good many of them have been replaced by drug stores, often set in a cockeyed layout different from any other retail buildings that play the usual straight & narrow as far as placement goes, why’s that?

      2. Procopius

        They already at the drawing board(s). I read this morning that there are something like 150 new vaccines being developed around the world, most of them for deployment in poorer countries, and most of them hoping to be more effective than the current ones.

    3. Milton

      Bless me Fauci for I have sinned, it has been 6 months since my innoculation.
      Fauci: What are your sins my son?
      Sinner: I’m reassessing my need for the booster. I think this will result in an endless spiral with positive outcomes ever diminishing.
      Fauci: That is quite the sin–slightly more than venial. Do you have others, my son?
      Sinner: Uh I think so… I have some qualms regarding the blanket vaccine mandates that have been enacted and further proposed. I believe public health is best served when citizens are given the facts and they…
      Fauci: The pandemic has necessitated mandates! I too once believed the role of public health was to provide the most current information and let the individual decide what was best for themselves…
      Sinner: What changed father?
      Fauci: The orange man has been replaced by the sleepy one. Also, don’t interrupt me! I was saying that Bubba’s complete disregard for science has required that we impose our will on these rubes. You, my son, are getting close to committing mortal sin–that is, being an anti-vaxxer.
      Sinner: No no, father! I believe that vaccines are important in public health, but when the vaccine in question is non-sterilizing and does very little to nothing in controlling the spread of Covid, I have my concerns. Besides, why aren’t treatments that are readily available like Iverm…
      Fauci: ENOUGH! My poor wayward lamb. You have been led astray by the fascist left and right, Russians, and Glenn Greenwald. The mortal sins you have committed are unforgiveable. You, my son, are most assurably to be cast as one of the deplorables–forever shunned and marginalized. Your concerns bear no merit and are ridiculed. Be gone from the land of blue forever.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        I had a lot of fun laughing my way through that. In the day, Murray would have been Fauci and Ackroyd the Sinner.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > I too once believed the role of public health was to provide the most current information and let the individual decide what was best for themselves…

        That’s really not true. Public health has always had a police power component to it, as in quarantines.

        The issue is not with police power as such, but that those who are imposing coercion (a) cannot credibly claim to have done so as a last resort, because of obvious measures not taken, and (b) are a lying sack of weasels who wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them in the ACE2 receptors.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Hazardous Pollution Forces Delhi Into Partial Lockdown As India’s Capital Battles Worsening Smog”

    It may be nothing more than coincidence but all these reports of smog started just after the festival of Diwali which was written up her in an excellent post. During this festival, the post mentioned the massive amounts of fireworks let off which causes a lot of smoke in their own right and which could force people indoors. Could it be that the smog from the recent fireworks triggered a tip-over effect with smog in this city when added to the normal amount?

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Decathlon halts canoe sales to curb English Channel migrant crossings”

    What’s next? Stopping sales of rubber duckies? If the British authorities are not careful, some of those migrants might get some boats and technical advice from Cambridge & Oxford on how to cross the Channel. I can just see them now rowing up the Thames with Customs boats in fast pursuit while being cheered on by supporters- (56 secs)

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Raising interest rates makes money more expensive, meaning people will be less likely to be throwing it around and overpaying for goods and services when it isn’t really necessary.

      Mortgages are a good example of this and low interest rates are a prime cause of skyrocketing home prices. If you don’t have to pay as much interest to the bank, that means you can supposedly afford a higher price for a house. And when the seller of a house gets more money than they would have had rates been higher, they may also go out and splurge, paying more because they can, causing prices to rise.

      When money is cheap, it leads to rampant speculation and lots of dumb money sloshing around in an economy. Then people do dumb things – like investing in Uber or bitcoin.

      1. R

        Somewhere on NC or linked from here, I read a revisionist history of inflation saying that Volcker most reduced US inflation by lowering interest rates (having raised them). The price level includes the price of money. Possibly something Mosler or Galbraith Jr wrote? I feel this apercu may be important….

  20. Mikel

    “Caught On Camera: DoorDash Driver Seen Using Brentwood Lobby As Toilet” Los Angeles

    That kind of seemingly uncontrollable bowel movement is often a sign someone is sick. One can only hope it was just “something they ate.”
    Something else to consider….

    1. Mark Gisleson

      I wonder how long the home delivery system would last if laws were passed mandating that people ordering food must let deliverers use their bathroom upon demand?

      Safety concerns could be alleviated by using only bonded drivers.

      1. ambrit

        Or do like Austria and have such a mandate be translated into home owners putting a simple bathroom in their entrance atrium? So, an ‘Outer’ front door with a lockable ‘Inner” front door. Works just like an old castle with it’s gatehouse.
        [As far as trying to look up anything not business associated is concerned, Google is s—.]

    2. Wukchumni

      Keep in mind they are increasingly very few places in a city setting where you can do your business on account of Covid, thus shit happens.

      It was almost like an epidemic here in Sequoia NP with people avoiding bathrooms and going off in the woods, and these weren’t folks familiar with best practices in the backcountry, so you’d see TP festooned all over the place. Much more of an issue in 2020 than this year.

      We were @ Santa Anita racetrack around the turn of the century in the clubhouse waiting for an elevator with another couple when an elderly black man peed into a nearby trashcan and all 4 of us saw him in action and once we got into the elevator, I attempted a little levity by mentioning that it was the sport of kings, after all.

        1. Wukchumni

          Just curious, what does his color have to do with it?

          Nothing whatsoever, it was just so odd the whole sequence, and once you seen something, you can’t unsee it.

          1. Janie

            Just as I recall the Frenchman adjusting his suit trousers as he emerged from the bushes by Les Invalides, site of Napoleon’s tomb, in Paris.

  21. Jessica

    Another Intel Chip Flaw Puts a Slew of Gadgets at Risk Wired. Resilc: “Oh noooooooooo, someone could hack my Internet connected bird feeder.”

    Couldn’t help picturing a roomful of squirrels frantically trying to hack into the bird feeder.

    1. YankeeFrank

      The danger isn’t that they’ll hack your birdfeeder. Its that they’ll gain access to your private home network via your very hackable birdfeeder.

      1. Grumpy Engineer

        Yep. And they’ll bypass all of the firewall functionality of your router in the process.

        I’ve been avoiding IoT appliances whenever possible because of this. And even with that policy in place, I cannot trust half of my devices that do require Internet access. Do I trust my Linux systems? Yes, very much so. Do I trust my cell phone, video game system, and streaming video player, even though they get regular firmware updates? Not so much. And do I trust my aging printer and Blu-Ray player that haven’t seem firmware updates for several years? Very little. And a random IoT device that never gets firmware updates? Not at all.

        The sad thing about this is that it forces me to treat my LAN like the unprotected Internet. Even between “secure” Linux system, communications must now be encrypted to protect against packet sniffing. My peer-to-peer backup routine consumes much more CPU power because of this, but I don’t see that I have a choice.

  22. zagonostra

    >Bruce Springsteen is Democratic Party royalty. Is he also a symbol of its decline? – LA times

    The article ends with:

    In “Renegades,” Springsteen outlines the slow but authentic path he took, starting in a small town where patriotism was synonymous with saluting the flag, and moving toward an understanding that patriotism isn’t about the flag, but about the ideals that flag represents.

    No it’s not about what the flag represents it’s about policies that help ordinary people, it’s about legislation like social security, Medicare, family leave, retirement benefits, minimum wage, environmental laws, etc…all codified and embodied in laws. You can not eat ideals, although Keith Olberman does a nice job draping himself in the flag.

    I was big fan in the early days…still like many of his songs, dislike his politics, disdain his affiliation with Obama.

    1. YankeeFrank

      That video was great, and a solid lesson in “trust your gut”. Attia knew blood tests require significant amounts of blood (so should any first year lab dork) and barring Holmes explaining how her tech overcame that hurdle, which she didn’t (he even signed an NDA in order to meet with her), he walked. Its not about “smart”. Its about trusting your instincts.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Its a great interview as always with Rogan. The first time I read about Theranos it sounded fishy to me. I’m not a biochemist or anything close, but I know enough about lab work to know that any such device would have required a whole series of major scenic and technology breakthroughs, both on the biology side and the hardware and software. It just didn’t seem credible that someone came out of the blue with it, especially as there were no explanations whatever as to how it worked.

      It does seem that quite a few people were suspicious, but it perhaps says so much about the way the world works now that it was years before anyone stepped up to call her out on it and demand real data. Everyone I guess was too busy working out how they could profit from it.

      1. Oh

        The greedy VC’s in SillyCone Valley trampled over each other to get a piece of the action and that’s what got everyone else in including the Famous Nobel Prize winner and Fighter of Peace and Freedom (sarc) Dr. Henry Kissinger. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!

  23. Questa Nota

    Yves and Lambert,
    Given the extensive treatment on NC about Covid and related topics, you may be interested in reading Scott Alexander’s substack post about Ivermectin studies.

    1. YankeeFrank

      Yep. The other day I linked to John Campbell’s video about how effective, in multiple ways, ivermectin is at beating covid. Far better than the new pfizer and merck meds. Sad. Actually an effing travesty of public health corruption. Neoliberalism is death and profit.

    2. IM Doc

      I want to thank you for putting this link here. I have been directed to this article earlier today and have already read through it.

      A very comprehensive discussion of the major trials on Ivermectin and their strengths and weaknesses. I found this very fair and very much in the tradition of vigorous medical debate.

      I also greatly appreciated the writer’s take on the politics issue.

      I will still tell everyone to this day, in my practice we are using ivermectin. In the very early stages of the disease, rapid deployment of the drug does seem to make a difference in keeping patients out of the hospital. My own data and my own eyeballs have come to that conclusion after treating multiple dozens of patients. It is a safe drug – one of the safest there is. And based on long-standing medical ethics principles, given its safety record and its seeming ability to keep people out of the hospital – even now it is unethical to withhold it.

      I am looking forward to trials – fairly done – to see if indeed this holds up. Obviously – if more refined data start to come in, I will reconsider using it. This is called science. I do not need Rachel Maddow and horse deworming screeds to tell me what the principles of science and medicine are.

      I have 1 major quibble with the line of thinking of this writer. And that is the toxicity of the vaccines. VAERS, as unreliable as it seems, is screaming at us that this is likely the most toxic vaccine ever introduced. I have certainly seen more problems in my own patients, including 1 death, than I have ever had in any other vaccine. “The completely safe and effective” line is not really holding up as we go on. And it is certainly not a few myocarditis cases here and there as this writer suggests.

      Accordingly, it is very very difficult as a rational thinking physician how to exactly address risk benefit ratios when talking with patients about these vaccines. Especially when many of them in increasing numbers seem to have stories of family and friends affected with side effects. As I have repeatedly stated, my job is to convince people to do the right thing – NOT COERCING them. And this spectre of side effects looms large – not the least of which reason is the authorities seem intent on completely ignoring the problem. A foolish thing to do – that behavior leads to more angst an distrust.

      So, I have been doing all I can to get those in whom the risks are obvious – older age, co-morbid problems, to take the vaccine. Many of these people also would like ivermectin prophylaxis – and it is not going to hurt them so we do it. I try to engage everyone at their level.

      But so much of the political distrust and backlash in this whole COVID experience is the reflection of our public health officials ignoring people’s concerns – and God forbid literally making fun of them – don’t take horse pills y’all – and shit like that.

      Interestingly – it is not mainly the MAGA people in my practice demanding ivermectin – it is the more well-to-do PMC types. And they demand it vociferously.

      And as I have repeatedly stated – once the vaccinated have a breakthrough case – and are indeed really ill – further vaccination is not an option. The Joe Rogan and Aaron Rodgers models of throwing everything at it acutely – Ivermectin, monoclonal antibodies , everything at it – and that seems to be working magnificently as well.

      I think my profession has forgotten the entire history of medical therapeutics. When you engage patients at their level, and do not deride them – and work and cooperate with one another – things often work so much better – a calm cool mind in a patient often leads to a calm cool medical course.

      We now have physicians dictating all terms – NO IVERMECTIN FOR YOU – you moron – not seeing unvaccinated patients, writing all kinds of nasty grams about the unvaccinated on their facebook and all kinds of other behaviors.

      When I was in medical school – the first day of medical ethics was the tenet that PATERNALISM as a provider is not ever going to work. You must recognize the patient’s autonomy – and you must work together. I have endeavored my whole life to do that.

      We have flushed all of that down the toilet as a profession the past 2 years. It will not be forgotten. It is time the whole medical realm has a refresher in medical ethics.

      1. Alex

        What is your opinion about Scott Alexander’s hypothesis that the effect of ivermectin is due to its deworming properties rather than treating covid per se (the Synthesis section of the linked article)?

        1. IM Doc

          I can only speak anecdotally –
          None of my patient have worms – and it seems to help them not to be in the hospital.
          There are all kinds of confounding issues in all kinds of drug trials – not sure fishing around like this is appropriate.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          We have said before that biomedical prof KLG, who was one of the many on the front lines of early AIDS research, has said that Ivermectin is the advanced stages of several clinical trials outside the US for use against AIDS and doing well. So it does have anti-viral properties.

          1. Basil Pesto

            A reminder for commenters of this pre-covid paper, if they haven’t already seen it, from the journal of antibiotics – Ivermectin: enigmatic multifaceted wonder drug continues to surprise and exceed expectations. It speaks to a number of possible uses for the drug beyond anthelmintic.

            Regardless of what the last word on Ivermectin and Covid ends up being, it seems like a wonderful medicine that should be celebrated. I’m a bit sad I didn’t know more about it pre-pandemic.

        1. IM Doc

          I could scarcely believe my eyes when I saw that this AM.
          After all the claims of total transparency about the COVID vaccines.
          I must say it is completely unsurprising behavior on the part of Pfizer – probably one of the most compromised Pharma companies there is. The very fact they were involved is what caused an enormous amount of my initial skepticism. Never underestimate how low that company can stoop.

      2. zagonostra

        There was a time when people knew who Ivan Illich was, in fact he was something of a celebrity. But like Marshall McLuhan once he died, he seems to have been forgotten.

        Ivan’s book Medical Nemesis published in 1975, foresaw the decline of the Medical profession due to the same phenomenon of institutionalization that he defined in De-schooling Society.

        1. IM Doc

          Illich was required reading for every student of mine for 30 years. His Medical Nemesis has proven to be one of the more prescient books on the course of medicine as a profession over the course of my life.

          I would recommend it to all.

    3. Tom B.

      Spoiler: Starting with a list of IVM studies, he weeds out those with more dubious methology and finds that among the credible remainder, there is a small, but statistically significant benefit to IVM use. He notes that the benefit seems correlated with human parasite prevalence in the region of the studies and speculates that the parasite infection acts as a co-morbidity for Covid-19. Further research recommended.

    4. rowlf

      It would be interesting to see Scott Alexander take the same approach to the J&J, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines studies to see if they lived up to supporters claims. I admit I really like NC’s skepticism about everything and taking nothing for granted.

    5. CoryP

      Thanks for bringing this up and thanks to IMDoc for replying. I was happy to see this from Scott in my inbox today.

  24. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Drug overdose deaths top 100,000 annually for the first time, driven by fentanyl, CDC data show CNN

    Opioids continue to be the driving cause of drug overdose deaths.

    If you happen to have Hulu, I can highly recommend a new limited series called Dopesick. It’s a dramatization of the book by Beth Macy with the same name.

    The series covers the sacklers and their strategies to poison the planet with oxy, as well as some stories of actual people who were sucked in by the lies about its addictiveness.

    But what has been striking for me is the willing participation of the fda in causing this unfolding catastrophe, and its steadfast refusal to intervene to ameliorate it despite warnings from people “on the ground.”

    How anyone trusts the fda today to be providing truthful, untainted “guidance” on the safety of these experimental mRNA vaccines while the fallout from their last big pharma sellout is still escalating is way beyond me.

    1. Philonius

      I read Dopesick and am watching the series. While the only common thread between the two seems to be they’re both about oxy, you are spot on about the role of the FDA as portrayed in the filmed version. To me, it explains a lot about the resistance or ambivalence about mRNA vaccines.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Haven’t read the book yet–just put it on hold at the library. But it’s really eye-opening to see the disparate “calibers” of people getting sucked in to the oxy lies in the series. (I won’t say any more so as not to spoil it.)

        As I’m watching the series, I keep hearing Dr. Robert Malone, Bret Weinstein and Dr. John Campbell, among others warning that all may not be as “advertised” by the fda with these “vaccines.”

        As some “expert” was quoted here the other day, “You can’t get unvaccinated.”

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Anecdote on that addictiveness from before opioids became a national crisis. Many years ago my wife’s doctor sent her to the ER for something fairly minor. She tells the doctor that pain is a 2 on a 1-10 scale. Someone comes back with a bottle of Oxycodone – it was a long time ago so I don’t remember the position of the person who brought the meds, but if they weren’t a nurse they were still a hospital employee at the very least. I said “Isn’t that very addictive and does my wife really need this when her pain isn’t all that bad?” She said “You must be thinking of Oxycontin, and this is Oxycodone, so it’s not addictive”. I was pretty sure they were both highly addictive, but didn’t want to start a fight in the ER so we went home with the pills. I looked it up, found out I was 100% correct and we tossed the pills without taking any. Someone still got paid for dishing out the bogus prescription though. Ka-ching!!! This presumably went on at hospitals all across the country for years before it ever made it into the public eye.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > She said “You must be thinking of Oxycontin, and this is Oxycodone, so it’s not addictive”


        Oxycodone and Oxycontin are essentially the same substance, but the main difference is that Oxycontin is a long-acting form of oxycodone. Oxycontin releases oxycodone slowly and continuously over 12 hours and only needs to be given twice a day. Oxycodone is short-acting and relieves pain for about 4 to 6 hours so needs to be given four to six times a day to provide all-day pain relief….

        Oxycontin may also be called a controlled-release or extended-release tablet. It has been designed so that the active drug, oxycodone, is released in two phases. The first layer allows for the initial rapid release of oxycodone from the surface of the tablet, providing pain relief within about 20 minutes. The inner layer slowly releases the remainder of the oxycodone over 12 hours.

        The decision to prescribe oxycodone and Oxycontin should not be taken lightly because these medications have been associated with long-term physical and psychological dependence, even when prescribed for conditions as innocuous as dental pain.

        Yikes. I wonder where the nurse got that idea. A pharma salesman?

    3. IM Doc

      I was there on the ground through the whole thing.

      It was willful blindness on the part of my profession. Not unlike today, it was shocking how the vast majority just rolled over.

      They started by telling us we were mean for not giving pain meds, even going so far as making pain a 5th vital sign and making sure many patients were already addicted before DC from the hospital.

      It took 20 years- but it finally detonated. And in its wake were the livelihoods of several US states and entire regions and many many graves.

      How the vaccines play out will be another 20 years – we will see how things look at that time.

      Very shameful that we just keep allowing this to happen.

  25. GuerrillaPlanter

    Plant a tree scam, no need for an app;
    just do it yourself.

    “Cut the top 1/4 off one-quart paper milk cartons. Punch fork holes in the bottom and along the bottom of the sides for drainage. Fill the cartons to about one inch from the top with a good mixture of your local soil. Gather seeds from trees native to your area.

    Soak seeds for several days then dry and then soak the seeds until they start to swell up and sprout.

    Place seeds about 1/4 inch deep into the soil at the top of the cartons. Water them every few days until they measure about 3 to 5 inches high and are then ready to plant.” –find location, cut bottom off carton, place in hole in ground. It works.

  26. zagonostra

    >Media NC Rubric links, whither hast thou gone?

    Google partners with PBS to launch a media literacy program to “combat misinformation”

    US public broadcaster PBS and its Student Report Labs (SRL), as well as the News Literacy Project (NLP) and the Poynter MediaWise program have been chosen as partners in this latest endeavor, where Google is positioning itself as the teacher of media literacy, via the Google News Initiative (GNI), which is framed as a way for the tech giant to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs in order to “help build the future of media.”

  27. lordkoos

    From the article on PFOA and PFOS pollution:

    “The new draft documents will be used to develop enforceable drinking water limits for PFOA and PFOS, something the EPA has promised to do by 2023. They include the finding that exposure to the chemicals can reduce the efficacy of vaccinations…

    Well, that’s great news… /s

  28. jr

    Rising on Biden purchasing 10 million Pfizer COVID pills:

    There is an interesting talk about the idea that Ivermectin is helping lower mortality in 3rd world countries not by attacking COVID but by killing the parasites that weaken COVID patients.

  29. NotThePilot

    “The founder of Evergrande has used $1.1 billion of his own money to pay down company debt, pledging mansions and selling art to raise funds” Business Insider.

    Why do I suspect that he was leaned on, big time? Flip side is this sort of thing doesn’t happen in the Anglosphere.

    The Chinese government can definitely have a ruthless sense of accountability, and I think their system leans heavily on that. I couldn’t find a clip on Youtube, but I still think the #1 take on this from an American (has to be a decade old now, at least) was in the kickball episode of The Boondocks cartoon.

    The Chinese billionaire goes on about all the horrible things that happen to you in China if you lose a billion dollars… “but in America, they just give you another billion dollars!”

  30. Find the right G-spot

    In Germany more and more places are implementing what they call 2G = geimpft (vaccinated) or genesen (recovered). Before we had 3G = with the third G being getestet (tested)
    Does 2G makes sense at all? Does it make sense to make life hell for unvaccinated?
    Vacccinated are still spreading the disease. The effect of the vaccine is also fading with time.
    Also not all unvaccinated end up in hospital.

  31. Sutter Cane

    Antibody protection after mild COVID-19 may not last; an estimated 100 mln people have had long COVID

    While it is understandable that people are tired and want to be done with it, the general consensus in my neck of the woods seems to be “it’s over” despite a continuing number of cases/hospitalizations/deaths that sure seem like the pandemic isn’t over to me. Lingering symptoms from even mild cases don’t seem to enter into anyone’s thinking. A friend who caught a “mild” case of the classic version, pre-delta, still has a nasty cough some months later.

    I’m going to keep wearing a mask and avoiding crowds for the foreseeable future.

  32. Alex

    One good thing that Netanyahu has done (or rather has *not* done) was not get getting us involved in the Syrian Civil War. Now it turns out that he even counselled others against supporting “moderate rebels” (see Haaretz article)

    1. The Rev Kev

      Well except for the coupla thousand bombings the past few years of Syria and the supply of equipment and training for Jihadists and helping evacuate the White Helmets when they were cornered and giving covering fire for Jihadists attacks while interfering with Syrian Army communications when doing so and treating Jihadists in Israeli hospitals until they could return to the fighting. Otherwise Netanyahu kept Israel out of the war.

      Two things stand out for me about Israeli-Jihadist relations. One was a photo of Israeli soldiers and jihadist warriors getting real friendly in a border post as captured by film. The second was when the Jihadists accidentally bombed Israel so Israeli launched a strike on them. Immediately a delegation of jihadists went to the Israelis and apologized for the misguided attack. That is a sentence I would never expect to have to write a coupla years ago.

      1. rowlf

        There was a Lebanese video group making comedy shorts about the Israelis and the Jihadis in Syria working together. Good stuff but I can no longer find the videos.

      2. Alex

        Well, it makes a lot of sense to be on speaking terms with insurgents who pop up near your border (and there were plenty of internal reasons for the insurgency), if only for your intelligence to know who is who. No one knew who would win the war in early 2010s. The article talks about this assistance and the strikes by the way.

        Anyway all of this is not news, what is news is that Netanyahu tried to dissuade Western leaders from intervening which is kinda hilarious.

  33. Alex

    Wow, apparently we have the 4th best pension system in the world. I’m a bit skeptical considering that one of their recommendations is “including more employees in private pensions systems.” What I don’t like personally is the need to shop around to get low fees (and therefore having the nagging feeling of having chosen the wrong thing) and the two-tiered system which means that I need to make two sets of decisions: one about the government-guaranteed part and another about the extra part.

  34. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    “JAB RAGE MMA fighter who called himself the Unvaccinated Assassin ‘stabs doctor to death with animal bone in row over Covid jab’”

    “His talents were undeniable and impeccable,” said a hospital statement. MMA fighter JJ Ambrose said that Khozhiev “was such a great person – until he wasn’t”.

    Regarding steroid use and the entertainment industry more generally, since it was mentioned, there are, of course, larger social and societal/personal/inerpersonal dynamics in play that are not readily apparent, unless they are actively sought after and deconstructed, such as, but not limited to body dysmorphic disorder, pecuniary advantage/self interest, perceived social isolation vs. fame, marketing, perception management, the fame industry, ect. Noting that I have found no articles linking Khozhiev and steroid use; although, steroid use is not unknown in MMA circles; where, “The UFC and MMA in general is a steroid epidemic,” Rogan said on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. “They’ve started this really stringent testing, and everybody is getting popped. They’re just getting popped left and right. It’s one of the things fighters have been saying for a long time, that everyone is on steroids, or a huge percentage. The number (is) 50, 60 (percent), whatever it is.”

    1. The incident in the story above is reminder of the following incident, “According to reports, Saito and Patera wrestled in an event in Watertown that night and then took a plane, owned by legendary wrestler and promoter Verne Gagne, into Waukesha ahead of another show in Stevens Point the next night.”

    “Looking for a late night meal, Patera walked from the hotel (a Holiday Inn that was where CarMax now is) to McDonald’s, 2340 E. Moreland Blvd., around midnight. When he was denied service after it had closed, police say he threw a 30-pound rock through the restaurant’s drive-through window, according to Milwaukee Journal archived stories. He denied it was him, according to court testimony.”

    “It took 13 officers to pin and ultimately handcuff the two wrestlers, according to the 1984 Journal article. Lt. Robert Ireland of the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department said in the article it took two sets of handcuffs and six officers to restrain and get the handcuffs on Saito.”

    “The violent attack sent four officers to the hospital, the 1984 Journal article said, with Dillon and Hibbard suffering the worst of it. Police said at the time, according to the Journal article, that Hibbard was held in a headlock, punched and repeatedly slammed against a wall.”

    “Masa Saito was a popular figure in the wrestling community. He was also known in Waukesha for his high-profile trial in the 1980s.”

    2. Again, what are some of the larger social issues? They deal with a calculated and deliberate perception management and the marketing and selling of a pseudo reality to the vulnerable, the gullible, and the impressionable, especially adolescent males. Again, how is that so? It is made so by carefully designing a fantasy world that defines perfectly certain cultural standards or ethos that are actively being sold to the public in the 21st century, as ideals of individual perfection/beauty as a part of a larger cultural mythology. Along with the ideals of strength,power, and virilty as dominant alpha male virtues, as opposed to the teachings of Lao Tzu: “The weak overcomes the strong. The soft overcomes the hard. Everybody in the world knows this, still nobody makes use of it.” In any case,

    “For male actors especially, getting a part in action and especially superhero movies is the way to become a star. With a few rare exceptions, that means your body has to look superheroic: abs so sharp and defined that their valleys could catch water, torsos like pyramids turned upside down, shoulders that look more like boulders, butts that have their own gravitational pull.”

    “The public notices the gains. There are entire sections of BuzzFeed devoted to ogling male stars’ bodies, but the media also turns to concern and shaming when stars get a little too big for their taste; speculation about how stars beef up runs rampant among fans as well. “I’ve been amazed when I watch movies that famous actors are very muscular in. They’ve got more muscle mass than some athletes who have been training for years. “Actors are trying to get on camera and blow everyone away,” Williamson said. “Everyone’s just maxed out, doing everything possible to look superhuman.”

    “These physical metamorphoses are themselves a selling point for movies. Big blockbusters have traditionally been accompanied by stars appearing on covers of men’s fitness magazines, touting the workouts (usually lots of abs and arms) and diets (vegetables, egg whites, chicken breasts) that got them there. Big, bold letters will proclaim how you too can go from zero to hero. After transformation, a lot of those stars are also implicitly supposed to maintain some semblance of their physiques in their next projects.”

    Now, the real point and what should be noted carefully is, “None of this happens in a vacuum. PED-enhanced bodies trickle down into our psyches, pushing and pulling our sense of “normal” and tweaking our sense of desirability. “I think the saddest thing is that I spent most of my physical life being like, ‘What am I doing wrong?’” Timothy, the TV actor, tells me. “I did the exercise. I’ve been going to the gym since I was 15. I wish I just had known this is actually not possible through hard work, determination, and merit.”

    Again, “I wish I just had known this is actually not possible through hard work, determination, and merit.”

    “The open secret to looking like a superhero:How performance-enhancing drugs helped create the new male body standard.”

    3. In a (post) modern, highly technologlically advanced society, the only way to avoid the soul crushing realization that, “There was a time when no one knew who I was, nor gave a —-.”, is to become not only famous, but Hollywood famous by reinforcing the myth that recreates the heroic struggles of the lone individual in a pointless and uncaring, indifferent universe that acheives socially defined ‘success’ by pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps with no outside assistance involved. So we are told, over and over again that, I did it all on my own and therefore, so can you, if only you possess, or acquire and then apply the proper work ethic. Now, either go forth and realize the ideal by becoming both rich and famous, or go back to the reeducation camp.

    “Dwayne Johnson Lets Down His Guard”

      1. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

        That may be the case, for you, but it still seems to be the case that a deliberate creation of a successfully marketed and marketable pseudo reality is itself a representation for the necessity of maintaining a ‘false consciousness’ in the larger public mind (Where the myth of merit, hard work and determination is a necessary supporting dogma in the larger dominant economic system.); and where, “Members of a subordinate class (workers, peasants, serfs) suffer from false consciousness in that their mental representations of the social relations around them systematically conceal or obscure the realities of subordination, exploitation, and domination those relations embody.”

        Further, “A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably.”, because images of steroid fuelled, insanely huge and muscular men hold the gaze captive (the capturing of eyeballs),

        for at least a large subset of the population. The image and its idea becomes embedded in consciousness (personal and public), whether you will it or not. If that were not the case, the industry behind it would have ceased to exist, long ago. Remember “Muscle Beach Party”?

  35. Maritimer

    Justice Dept Sues Uber for Price Gouging the Disabled With “Wait Times” US News
    Very encouraging to see the Department of Justice going after Big Hanging Fruit like this. It shows they are willing to take on all the Big Issues. Hats off to the Federal Crime Fighters!

  36. drumlin woodchuckles

    In another thread IM Doc wondered how his profession had created the atmosphere where “anti-vaxers” are unwelcome at Thanksgiving gatherings.

    I think that is blaming the wrong profession. I think part of the blame goes to the stealth mass-democidal bureaucracy-leaders like Fauci and CDC who have suppressed all relevant disease-containment as best they could in order to force supercharge the spread of covid.

    The other part of the blame should go to the Republicanazi Fascistrumpanons who have driven anti-social aggression against vax-accepters and mask-wearers to the point of violence on the way to the mass-violence they hope to create around this issue. The little story of violent scum like this . . . is part of why decent people don’t want their anti-vax relatives within germ-spreading distance of themselves. And in cases where these relatives are/were Limbaugh worshipping Fox News venerating
    screaming toxic family gathering ruiners, it is understandable that nice polite families who are too self-sacrificingly polite to protect themselves from their toxic members for political reasons . . . . would take advantage of a “medical and health reason” to ask the walking carrion to stay away.

    What normal person wants a Typhoid MAGA Foxanon at the table?

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