Links 11/20/2021

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DogPhone Will Let Dogs Use Phone Gizmodo (Dr. Kevin)

A millionaire German shepherd is selling a 9-bedroom Miami mansion previously owned by Madonna, with an asking price of more than $30 million Yahoo (David L)

The Never-Aging Ants With a Terrible Secret Atlantic (dk)

#CheetahCubdate 8: Little Home on the Grasses Smithsonian (furzy). So sweet your teeth will hurt.

Low Earth Orbit Visualization LeoLabs. Chuck L: “Space craft & debris visualization.”

Steve Wozniak’s startup Privateer plans to launch hundreds of satellites to study space debris Space (furzy)

NASA spacecraft will slam into asteroid in first planetary-defence test Nature (furzy)

Avoiding Data Disasters FastAI (dk). From earlier this month, still germane.

First electric autonomous cargo ship launched in Norway TechXplore

One Day Robots May Be As Smart As Ants NOEMA (David L)

The Brain Can Recall and Reawaken Past Immune Responses Quanta Magazine (David L)

Antibody Breakthrough in Mice Could Lead to a Vaccine For Alzheimer’s Disease Science Alert (Chuck L)

Oedipus on his Life’s Path Antigone Journal (Anthony LO


China has given 76.3% of population complete COVID-19 vaccine dose Reuters (resilc)


Mask Wearing Cuts New Covid-19 Cases By 53%—It’s The Best Public Health Measure Against The Virus, Study Finds Forbes. The study: Effectiveness of public health measures in reducing the incidence of covid-19, SARS-CoV-2 transmission, and covid-19 mortality: systematic review and meta-analysis BMJ

SARS-CoV-2 could be lurking in animal hidey-holes The Economist (Dr. Kevin)


Covid Resurgence in Europe Brings New Records — and Restrictions Undark (David L)

Covid in Scotland: John Swinney urged to scrap vaccine passports The Times


CDC advisory committee recommends broader Covid-19 vaccine booster eligibility STAT (Kevin C)

COP26/Climate Change


Sources: Brazil withheld deforestation data ’til COP26’s end Associated Press (David L)

Connecting the dots between B.C.’s floods, landslides and the clearcut logging of old forests The Narwhal (Chuck L)


US, China commence ‘responsible competition’ Asia Times (Kevin W)

Peng Shuai: WTA prepared to pull out of China over tennis star’s disappearance Guardian (furzy)


Ryanair to quit London Stock Exchange in December over Brexit Guardian (Kevin W)

France fishing row: Paris ‘will not yield’ to UK in Brexit disagreement, Macron says Sky

Old Blighty

Read the entire tweetstorm (guurst):

‘A betrayal of the north’: Tory MPs frustrated at downgraded rail plan Guardian (Kevin W)


Iran Seizes Vessel Carrying Smuggled Fuel Off Its Southern Coast Bloomberg

Saudi-led coalition targets Houthis’ military sites Middle East Online

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

A Chinese firm was harvesting millions of Amazon customers’ data and selling it to Amazon’s own third-party sellers Business Insider (David L)

Porch Cameras and Facebook Groups Are Turning Streets into Surveillance States The Walrus (David L)


Julian Assange & the Crisis of British Public Service Consortium News (Micael T)

Imperial Collapse Watch

As US Troops and Families Go Hungry, They Don’t Trust the Pentagon for Help (Kevin W)

Alcibiades and the Pitfalls of Personality Politics Antigone Journal (Anthony L). Instructive.


Biden’s health condition revealed RT (Micael T)

Cannabis bust on Indigenous land highlights legal divide Associated Press (David L)

The Boy Scouts Are Abusing the Bankruptcy System Adam Levitin, Bloomberg


Kyle Rittenhouse Acquitted on All Counts: Live Updates New York Times (furzy)

The Rittenhouse Verdict Glenn Greenwald

The Rittenhouse Verdict is Only Shocking if You Followed the Last Year of Terrible Reporting Matt Taibbi

Family of man shot by Rittenhouse: ‘We are heartbroken’ The Hill

Read President Biden’s Statement on Verdict in Rittenhouse Trial White House (Kevin C)

Our Famously Free Press

NYT in Translation: Democrats Shouldn’t Challenge Oligarchy Consortium News

Woke Watch

Manhattan school to sort kids by race during social justice discussions New York Post (JS). MLK would be spinning in his grave.

Lionel Trilling against cancel culture Spectator (furzy)

CalPERS sets target for stocks below 50% for the first time in decades Sacramento Business Journal (Kevin W)

Sleep Apnea Device Recall From Philips Causes New Worry Wall Street Journal (fk)

McKinsey investment fund fined $18m by SEC for compliance lapses Financial Times

Get Used to Expensive Coffee. And It’ll Probably Taste Worse Too Bloomberg. Um, it’s already tasting worse.

The Bezzle

A CNN reporter tried Tesla’s Full Self-Driving in New York City. It kept trying to turn into oncoming traffic Business Insider (Kevin W)

Tesla ranks almost dead-last on Consumer Reports reliability list SFGate (Kevin W)

Tesla drivers left unable to start their cars after outage BBC (resilc)

Electric SUVs Rank Lowest In Reliability: Consumer Reports OilPrice (guurst). IMHO SUVs are a pestilence.

Class Warfare

Can a Vastly Bigger National-Service Program Bring the Country Back Together? New Yorker (furzy). It is a given that children of the 1% will not participate.

Corporations are using inflation as an excuse to raise prices and make fatter profits — and it’s making the problem worse Business Insider (Kevin W). Quelle surprise!

An Inflated Sense of Inflation (w/ Stephanie Kelton) Michael Moore (furzy)

CVS closing hundreds of its drugstores over the next 3 years New York Post. Kevin W: “Drug store deserts?”. Moi: Drugstores started thinking they could compete with grocery stores and that led to bigger footprints. I hazard they went too far in that direction.

Antidote du jour. What I wish I were doing. Bob H: “Henry’s favorite habitat”:

And a bonus (guurst):

A second bonus (Bob H):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. DJG, Reality Czar

    Thanks for the links from Antigone Journal. This article about Lucretius shows why he always matters (at least to me). Epicurean thinking, which is atomistic thinking, led to many far-reaching and “modern” ideas. And the article doesn’t get much into “the swerve” (as Stephen Greenblatt calls it in his book of the same title) although the article ends with Epicurean ideas of free will and morality.

    On the Nature of the Universe is worth reading if you get the right translation. I like the jaunty translation in twelvers (alexandrines), which is not how Lucretius structured his verse because Latin poetry isn’t based on syllable count. But A.E. Stallings pulls it off in her delightful, insightful translation.

    1. begob

      “because Latin poetry isn’t based on syllable count”
      I always thought it was – dactylic hexameter and all that. What am I misunderstanding?

      1. wsa

        It’s based on patterns of syllable weight. A dactyl – a heavy syllable followed by two light syllables – can be replaced in most places by a spondee – two heavy syllables. (Heavy syllables have long vowels in them, or end in a consonant; light syllables are open and have only a short vowel.)

        There are all sorts of refinements, but in general the theoretical time of each line is the same, the number of syllables can vary.

    2. zagonostra

      I read the Swerve but I haven’t read this article yet. For some reason I’ve been steering away from “modern” ideas and going back to some of the pre-Socratics (I think many wrote in verse and only small fragments survive); Parmenides, Heraclitus, Pythagoras, and especially Empedocles were on my bed stand a couple of months ago. But as usually is the case, I keep going back to the Middle Ages, Hugh of St. Victor, Siger of Brabant, Thomas Aquinas, and especially Dante (700th anniversary this year).

      Boetius, if I remember correctly had much to do with the familiarity of Lucretius’ De rerum natura becoming so prominent in Early Christian Europe (I hate the term “Dark Ages.”

      Anyway I wish there was an app that could read NC while I do my weekend choirs…I know there probably is software available that does that already.

      1. Lunker Walleye

        I listen on my old Mac laptop. If you have a Mac: Highlight text. Two finger click. Speech. Start speaking. There’s also a speaking feature on my mate’s pc.

      2. Harold

        I‘d be very interested in knowing more about role of Boethius in dissemination of De Rerum Natura. Is it mentioned in Consolations of Philosophy?

        1. zagonostra

          I believe I heard it In Giuseppe’s Mazzotta’s course on Dante over at Yale Open Courses. Or maybe it was in a preface to Consolation of Philosophy.. I wish I could put my finger on it, but it seems not to come up in a perfunctory google search.

          As an aside Professor Mazzotta’s Dante’s Vision and the Circle of Knowledge is an excellent read. I just order Mazzotta’s prequel, Dante, Poet of the Dessert. I let myself indulge since It is his 700 anniversary.

  2. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “Can a Vastly Bigger National-Service Program Bring the Country Back Together?” article at-

    Of course this has nothing to do with the fact that so many potential recruits are now ineligible because at one point or another they have been hospitalized with Coronavirus. And even those that weren’t, so many are suffering from “Long Covid” that they too are ineligible. And because this is ongoing and is heavily effecting rural areas where the US military draws many recruits from, well, the pool of potential recruits is getting smaller and smaller all the time. But hey, if they want to go with ‘national reconciliation’ that’s cool, m’kay?

    1. ambrit

      The Army can go all ‘Traditionalist’ and begin “recruiting” from the prisons again. That place is a long standing pool of potential killers after all. This frees up the PMC adjacents for filling the myriad ‘managerial’ positions such a vast undertaking will require.

      1. juno mas

        Hmmm, Bureau of Prisons (BOP) indicates that only 4% of inmates are incarcerated for homicide, aggravated assault. 20% for weapons, firearms violations. 46% for drug offenses.

  3. .human

    Autonomous navigation will require a new set of regulations that do not exist yet.

    Once again the call is to alter human behavior to accomodate robots. Is this article about the “non-polluting” ship (I’d love to see it’s lifetime carbon footprint) or it’s autonomous capability and that of the future?

    If the only advantage is the removal of “crew fatigue” why not just supplement the staffing (rhetorical question)?

  4. Otis B Driftwood

    From the Hill article, a statement from Anthony Huber’s family:

    “It sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street. We hope that decent people will join us in forcefully rejecting that message and demanding more of our laws, our officials, and our justice.”

    But yeah, let’s focus instead on the crappy role the media played in this tragedy. Taibbi and Greenwald have become boring and monotonous.

    1. Pat

      Unfortunately for Mr. Huber’s family, Civilians do have the right to show up at protests and ridicule, yell at, deride, mock, etc the protesters. In an open carry state they have the right to do it armed. I am not saying there isn’t more to this nor am I a big fan of open carry, Iwish it were different. But counter protest is one of those uncomfortable parts of free speech, it is just as legal as the protest.

        1. curlydan

          Unfortunately, a long term effect of the Rittenhouse trial will be to signal that is in indeed OK to bring AR-15s to protests to “protect” whatever you think needs protecting.

          Soon, I expect to see both sides having many AR-15 toting protesters and counter-protesters patrolling protests. What could go wrong?

          Rittenhouse apparently had his gun charges dropped due to a technicality about “hunting” guns and barrel lengths.

          And if historical trends persist (and why wouldn’t they?), Lord help the black man when he fires his AR-15 for “protection” or other reasons. While the police might spend a few moments wondering if the young white guy is “defending” himself, I expect no pause when the black man fires.

          Even when we get past the trial in the court and in the realm of public opinion, we’re still left with another cluster in a (to borrow a phrase) cluster[bleep] nation.

          1. Objective Ace

            >I expect to see both sides having many AR-15 toting protesters and counter-protesters patrolling protests. What could go wrong?

            In retrospect, given the legality of guns in this country it was only a matter of time. Surprising it took this long really. With the amount of phones/cameras everywhere I’m actually optimistic about blacks and whites finally being treated equal when it comes to self defense. A decade ago Chauvez would be walking free right now. Its not so easy to lie in the courtroom anymore–the facts will come out as they did in the Rittenhouse case

        2. YankeeFrank

          The facts of the case being distorted and falsified are the reasons Taibbi and Greenwawld focus on the media’s role. The facts are much of Rittenhouse’s family, including his father and grandparents, live in Kenosha, which is 10 miles from the state line across which he lives and crossed. Rittenhouse did not fire first nor did he fire the most shots. One of the men who attacked him and died was a five-time convicted pedophile mental-health patient. They were all white. Rittenhouse had no connection to any militia. The outright lies and distortions made by the media incessantly over the past year are outrages against morality and journalism all to provide cover for a pernicious movement that seeks to do away with due process and free speech, joined with some of the worst rioting and property damage in the nation’s history.

          I’ve been a labor supporting lefty my whole life and I still am. What the liberal class has been doing since Trump was elected is beyond anything I’ve seen from the right and poses a far greater threat to our civil liberties and basic freedoms. Its a horror show and I only hope the vast majority of the American people perceive the threat properly and neutralize it at the voting booth.

          1. orlbucfan

            What you are describing is neither “liberal” nor “left.” It’s corporate right wing. My complaint is why can’t the assault rifle ban be reinstated? It expired during Cheney-Bush. (If I am wrong here, someone please correct me, thanks.) An AR-15 is designed for one purpose only: to kill as many human beings as possible in a short period of time.

            1. Robert Gray

              > An AR-15 is designed for one purpose only: to kill as many human beings
              > as possible in a short period of time.

              Erm, no. If that were the case, it would be (selectably) fully automatic, like the military version. But it specifically is NOT.

              Don’t let hysteria carry you away.

              1. orlbucfan

                Then, what is its purpose? To allow super near-sighted, almost legally blind humans to hunt? I wouldn’t call my words “hysteria.” Plus, you didn’t read my entire comment. Doesn’t AR stand for Automatic Rifle?

                1. farragut

                  AR stands for ArmaLite, the company which originally developed the gun.


                  Whether a gun is a) fully automatic, b) semi-automatic, or c) single-shot or bolt-action can be confusing topic–even to long-time gun owners. In a fully automatic gun, you can press and hold the trigger and bullets are fired out of the barrel as fast as the action can cycle (think of your typical machine gun), until your magazine is emptied. In a semi-automatic gun, you can press and hold the trigger…but only one bullet will fire–until you release the trigger, then press it again (ie, you have to pull the trigger each time you want to fire a bullet). Skilled shooters can press and release the trigger pretty darn quick and it can often sound like a lazy machine gun.
                  Finally, in a bolt-action gun, the shooter manipulates the action with the help of the bolt (ie, the silver crooked & knobbed arm just above the trigger). In a full auto or semi-auto rifle, part of the gas from the fired bullet moves/cycles the action; bolt-action rifles force the shooter to cycle the action manually.

                2. Grumpy Engineer

                  No. “AR” stands for “ArmaLite Rifle” (the name of the company that originally designed them). And it is a semi-automatic weapon, where one pull of the trigger yields one shot. It is not a fully-automatic weapon, where one pull of the trigger yields a continuous stream of bullets.

                  The military version of the weapon (the M-16) is a “selectable” weapon, where it can be switched into semi-automatic mode (one pull yields one bullet), burst mode (one pull yields three bullets), or fully-automatic mode (one pull yields continuous bullets). Sales of the M-16 are very heavily regulated.

                  [And I see that somebody has already answered the question above. Feel free to post or skip as you wish.]

                3. PlutoniumKun

                  The IRA loved the Armalite so much they used to sing songs about them.

                  My Little Armalite

                  Also made famous by the Stiff Little Fingers lyric ‘I love you so much I want to set your armalite’.

                  They preferred it over the AK47 as they found its light weight and accuracy made it better for sniping in urban warfare, plus armour piercing rounds were more easily available. They were very effective at forcing security forces to keep to their armoured vehicles and prevented ‘normalised’ policing, perhaps a lesson some US secessionists may wish to note.

              2. Lost in OR

                Allow me to reframe the question and then provide some possible answers. Here it is: If not for maiming living things, what is the purpose of the AR-15?
                1. Hunting- the AR-15 is chambered with the NATO 5.56mm cartridge. Back when I was learning to fire the M16, we were told that the 5.56 was designed to wound, rather than kill its target. A wounded enemy requires significant resources to treat/evacuate. This is NOT a good hunting round.
                2. Target practice- this round is frequently available in bulk/discount prices. It is also frequently not available at all. If it is available, this makes target shooting semi-affordable. Depends on the nature of your practice. Affordability and your love for rapid fire are inversely proportional. The .22 and .17 calibers are excellent options; they don’t carry the baggage of the 5.56mm; and rifles chambered for the .22 or .17 are (can be) significantly less expensive than the AR-15.
                3. Maiming living beings: We have a winner here. This light-weight, high-speed round is perfect for self-destructing as it enters living flesh. For larger, tougher game animals, this is not (of course this is debatable) sufficient for clean, one-shot take-downs.

                Note- I am NOT anti-gun. I own several and would not hesitate to use them if threatened. None of them are of the AR-15 variety.

                Note 2- The correct question here is NOT should we institute gun control, we already have gun control. It is already illegal for me to own an M-60 or a stinger rocket. The correct question is whether existing gun laws further the best interests of the majority of citizens. Good luck with that one.

                I hope I don’t come off as being in sole possession of the ultimate truth. People are selecting only the facts that fit their previously cemented narrative. I like to believe I’m at least a little open minded.

                1. rowlf

                  In the US you can legally own an M-60 machine gun and a Stinger rocket if you pay the fees, file the paperwork correctly and pass the background check. You will also be a very high profile person to the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which sounds like the name for a fun store to go shopping at.)

                  Last time I checked prices on full auto firearms, crappy 9mm submachine guns sold for around $8k and actual M-16s were about $16k. There is also a cut-off year of 1986 for the year of manufacture. A firearms dealer can purchase newer full automatic firearms if working with a police agency for evaluation.

                  Full auto firearms are not very popular due to price, but suppressors are very popular. You still have to pay the fees and submit lots of paperwork, and you are now very visible on the ATF radar.

                2. orlbucfan

                  Thank you. I do not own firearms, but my husband does and is licensed. We live downtown in an urban area that is gentrifying. We have Open Carry legal here including in bars. My deal is banning assault weapons which went down in this country until Bush-Cheney. The ban expired and was not renewed. Why can’t it be renewed?

                3. Tom Stone

                  This is not your daddy’s AR15.
                  Ar’s are availablein calibers from .17 rimfire to .50 beowulf,at least 45 different calibers.
                  As to the .556 NATO chambering, fast twist ( 1 in 7″) barrels easily stabilize 77 grain all copper bullets and this is a favorite load with feral hog hunters who take 300Lb porkers at ranges of 250-300 yards humanely.

                  The videos of pro hunters taking them at night using thermal sights and sound suppressors at such ranges are impressive,they sometimes take down the whole sound of pigs.
                  It’s called the”Modern Sporting Rifle” for good reason,there are more than 12,000,000 of them in private hands in the USA.

                  1. Robert Gray


                    1. > As to the .556 NATO chambering …

                    NATO chambering is 5.56 mm which is a far, far cry from .556 calibre.

                    2. > 77 grain all copper bullets …

                    Copper is very soft. ‘All copper’ bullets would be much too fragile. The projectiles are typically lead (or steel) with a thin copper jacket, which eases them through the barrel. Some rounds also have a copper core — but none are ‘all copper’. Also, 77 grain is much too heavy for a military 5.56 projectile. It is sometimes used — by hogkillers and others — in the .223 Remington cartridge, which, while similar, is not the same as 5.56.

                    3. > … take down the whole sound of pigs.

                    Sounder. It’s called a sounder.

              3. steelyman

                The weapon was designed for use by the US military. Its singular purpose is to wound or kill another human being. Whether it does this on fully or semi automatic is totally irrelevant.

                1. Count Zero

                  Yes, in fact the whole debate here seems irrelevant — to somebody living outside the USA.

                  Nobody should be walking the streets with any kind of gun. Ever. It is insane.

                2. Maxwell Johnston

                  You are absolutely correct about the purpose of the M16/AR15. On my third day of army basic training (many moons ago), our drill sergeant introduced us to the M16A1. I still remember his saying that it wasn’t designed for killing bambi or bunny rabbits; it was specifically designed to kill or wound humans. BTW, in combat you don’t want to kill the enemy, you want to wound. Killing one enemy takes one guy off the battlefield. Wounding one (badly) takes 3 off the battlefield: the wounded fellow, plus two others to drag him to safety and perform first aid. Plus you set off a whole chain of medevac logistics that impose heavy costs on your enemy. That’s also why on newer versions of the M16, after my service time was up, they introduced the 3-burst switch (between single-shot and fully automatic); the idea is that three bullets hitting your enemy target almost simultaneously produce shock waves inside his body that wreak havoc with the internal organs. The actual M16 bullet is designed to “roll” once it enters the body, leaving a small entry would and (ideally, from the military point of view) a gaping exit wound, plus lots of chopped up internal organs. Not much use in hunting animals that you might want to eat afterwards.

                  I don’t live in the USA and have no wish to wade into any discussions about gun control or the Rittenhouse trial. But I cannot see any good reason for the M16/AR15 to be available for civilian use.

        3. marym

          The problem in this case wasn’t that a teen-age vigilante didn’t have the right to show up armed with a deadly weapon. The problem was that he did, and that this wasn’t grounds for potential targets to “fear for their lives” and respond with aggression. Then when they did respond, it was the provocateur who had the legal right to self-defense

          It depends on when and for whom the “justified in responding to a threat” clock starts ticking.

          1. Objective Ace

            > The problem was that he did, and that this wasn’t grounds for potential targets to “fear for their lives” and respond with aggression

            Where was this ruled? I suspect had they shot Rittenhouse they also would have been acquitted for self defense. You’re speculating a bit too freely here

            1. marym

              > I suspect had they shot Rittenhouse they also would have been acquitted for self defense.

              That may be true. The problem is that permissive gun laws, the disinterest of the cops in trying to prevent (maybe try thanking the kid wanting to “help” and suggesting he go home?) or de-escalate, and cultural norms on the right that celebrate vigilantism encourage such situations and leave little protection against the threat posed by the vigilante. The right to self-defense depends on when and on behalf of whom the starting “threat” is defined.

              1. Fiery Hunt

                Everyone seems to forget the hundreds of millions of dollars lost to riots, arson and theft that summer.

                The purpose of an Ar-15 is to DEFEND against threats to life and property.

                Rittenhouse would not have shot anyone if he wasn’t attacked.

                The problem here isn’t the gun or the fact a kid was trying to prevent damage.

                The rioters and attackers were the problem.

                If rioters feel like now they’re a little more circumspect about rioting….good.

            2. Darthbobber

              Yes, we seem to be into “duels on the streets” territory, with self-defense claims available to the survivors of whichever side.

            3. FluffytheObeseCat

              “I suspect had they shot Rittenhouse they also would have been acquitted for self defense.”

              Why on earth would you “suspect” this? Some guy whose life had already been destroyed by getting cast as a “pedophile” for sleeping with a teenage girl around 2 years younger than him, over a decade prior, who went on to go crazy…. you claim he would have been acquitted for self defense if he’d fired on a local boy in Kenosha….

              Have you never lived in the center of this country? In any town run by those whose great-grandparents settled thereabouts? The kinds of places where the state line doesn’t matter if you’re from the right kind of people?

              There is no rational reason to assume that an outsider, one with a record, would have been treated as reasonably as young Mr. Rittenhouse. Irrespective of right and wrong, these two very different types of young men would not be accorded the same degree of due process anywhere today, even absent civil unrest.

              Particularly not – I must say – in the immaculate north. Where local big shots and good old boys of the north woods persuasion have gotten away with waaaayyyy too much unexamined self-dealing for decades. Self-dealing of a degree and kind that has (rightly) gotten southerners lambasted throughout the same decades.

          2. Eric377

            I don’t really buy what your trying to sell here, but it does support my contention that civil authorities were horribly feckless in this instance. Governor Evers seemed to think ending the riots would have too controversial in that they were “sponsored” by BLM. Not looking like opposing BLM seemed to be the reason he did not simply send in 300 National Guard to end it after the first night. Hard not to have noticed that when these tragic events sort of forced his hand and the Guard did deploy, the violence immediately ended.

            1. marym

              Definitely not trying to sell the idea that if other people had done other things there would probably have been other outcomes. That’s often the case.

        4. Soredemos

          Sorry, but none of that is true:

          And even if it was, it wouldn’t change the fact that he was pursued and attacked, including having a gun drawn and pointed at him. This case is an incredibly straightforward one of justified self-defense, and woke liberals look both incredibly stupid and downright petulant by attempting to turn this into a cause celebre. And they look even worse by continuing to throw hissy fits after the verdict. I can assure you that basically no one in or around Portland, Oregon has much good to say about the couple hundred idiots who went out in the streets downtown to smash windows last night.

        5. Eric377

          The trial evidence did not include evidence of vigilantism. An armed security contingent is not synonymous with vigilante. Vigilantes act to enforce law without civil authority to do. Rittenhouse was never attempting to arrest his victims, nor was he pursuing any of them with the intent to bring them to justice.

          1. marym

            I’m not making a legal case. The legal process exonerated him. I think it’s an adequate term in a vernacular sense.

            The earliest use of the word in English was to refer to a member of a vigilance committee, a committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily, as when the processes of law appear inadequate. The word may often be found in an attributive role, as in the phrases “vigilante justice,” or “vigilante group.” In this slightly broadened sense it carries the suggestion of the enforcement of laws without regard to due process or the general rule of law.

        6. Mike

          If the police aren’t there to protect these cities from being burnt by rioters, then perhaps the vigilantes you speak of are needed. Rioters looting and burning in force unfortunately have to be stopped with force. The rule of law, a pillar of civilization, requires to some extent an application of force. It’s easy to see the police are less willing to do this in urban areas for obvious reasons. At some point people will defend their way of life from anarchists, in force.

      1. Pelham

        From what I know about the Rittenhouse case, he wasn’t counterprotesting. He was, allegedly, trying to protect businesses and, with some kind of first-aid kit, offering to help people who might need medical attention. In all this, he probably had an inflated sense of self-importance, but that in itself certainly isn’t a crime (especially for the average 17-year-old) and probably paled in comparison with the self-importance of the three loopy white men who took it upon themselves to pursue and attack him.

        Rittenhouse’s big mistake was taking an assault-style rifle into this mix. In counterpoint, though, if his stated purpose was to protect property that the authorities for three nights running were flatly refusing to protect, what should he have equipped himself with? The prosecution stated that it’s not permitted to take human life in defense of property. Really? Since when? Why, for instance, do Brinks armored-car guards hold unholstered magnum revolvers in their hands when they load their trucks? Why do night watchmen carry weapons? These are trained professionals, you might say, but that makes zero difference if the rule is that deadly force may NEVER be used in any circumstance to defend property.

        This case has brought right- and left-wing ideological venom to a high boil but also holds the potential to be instructive and clarifying. But what are the chances that any kind of clarity will emerge from the venom vat?

        1. Lemmy Caution

          Rittenhouse was also there to put out fires, and was seen running with a fire extinguisher toward fires set by arsonists.

          According to Nellie Bowles, a New York Times reporter who visited Kenosha after the riots:

          “The part of Kenosha that people burned in the riots was the poor, multi-racial commercial district, full of small, underinsured cell phone shops and car lots. It was very sad to see and to hear from people who had suffered. Beyond the financial loss, small storefronts are quite meaningful to their owners and communities, which continuously baffles the Zoom-class.”

          The arsonists and looters weren’t just dangerous to buildings and properties. One 70-year-old man who attempted to chase off looters and put out a fire in his friend’s mattress store was hit in the face with a concrete-filled water bottle, which broke the man’s jaw and dropped him senseless to the pavement.

          The mattress store was completely destroyed by the fire.

        2. JBird4049

          >>>But what are the chances that any kind of clarity will emerge from the venom vat?

          Is clarity what many want or do they want to show their bona fides? To virtue signal?

          It looks like an army of trolls are taking the story away from everyone else and making it a tool to push their rage de jour. The four men central to the story instead of being allowed their humanity are now becoming icons to be carried forth in The Struggle™.

    2. Socal Rhino

      I’ll add that Kevin White, AKA “Popehat”, and other lawyers who followed the trial, predicted this outcome early on and also commented that people who based their opinion on media coverage would be misled.

      I find Naked Capitalism repetitive and boring at times in coverage of CALPRS. But I find the education value outweighs any faults in entertainment.

    3. chris

      Decent people, unlike those who were rioting like the people Mr. Rittenhouse shot?

      The violence that created the situation during which this occurred keeps getting washed away in all the accounts of what happened.

      1. Soredemos

        Everyone involved in the situation was an idiot, but of the four, Rittenhouse was the least stupid. He isn’t the one who decided to try and chase down and assault a guy clearly armed with a rifle.

        1. marym

          He was the one who walked into a situation armed with a deadly weapon and expected that no one would be scared or angry and try stop him. He may have legal rights that cops and courts may or may not have extended to someone of a different demographic doing something similar, but, despite his love of property, he was neither smart nor responsible.

    4. chris

      When we’re dealing with further violence and other problems because part of our country believes that Kyle Rittenhouse is guilty of murder, because so many talking heads have told them he is even though that evidence was always weak at best, will you still find Taibbi’s coverage of media failings boring?

        1. Objective Ace

          My understanding is there’s already plenty of violence in Portland. One of the side effects of the city’s refusal to prosecute crimes. As much as I despise the mass media its tough to put all the blame on their feet for this..

          1. Soredemos

            Yes and no in regards to Portland. The ‘violence’ over the last year and a half has been almost entirely confined to three specific city blocks, and mostly consists of lots of graffiti. You can literally be a block or two away from the epicenter and have no idea anything is happening. It’s mostly a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

            Hasn’t stopped the right from portraying it as a city being burned to the ground by rampaging hordes of anarchists, of course.

      1. Josef K

        KR showed up at a protest with an AR-15, ostensibly to protect property (as if shooting people who are looting a business–as reprehensible as that is–is justifiable; that’s what we have police and courts for). Yet none of his gunplay involved protecting property, rather protecting himself, in his own mind, from a guy chasing him without any visibile weapon, whom he shot four times rapidly at close range with a high-powered rifle (not large caliber, but high-powered). That shooting lead to others chasing him, two of whom he was then further obligated to shoot in order to further protect himself….because he shot someone. I guess if 80 people had been chasing him because he just killed someone, he may have just had to kill all 80 in justifiable self-defense.

        If you look at this or any street gathering of the righties and the lefties, you can’t help but notice that the ratio of high-powered assault rifles favors the righties by a huge proportion.

        So now that a legal precedent has been affirmed, you can show up to a street demo/protest/fight with an assault rifle, and if you then shoot a few people with inferior weapons (skateboards, plastic bags, handguns) you’ll be OK.

        What to do? Well, since guys-with-Ar’s are now potentially that much more dangerous to peaceful citizens then they were, virtually having a green light to increase the chance of violence by their well-armed presence, then use those arms in “self-defense.” So the only repsonse seems to be for the lefties to arm up as well. This should lead pretty rapidly to an arms race, and then perhaps time to just get it on–again–and get it done. Civil war 2.0 just got that much more likely. Ain’t it grand.

        1. Soredemos

          The whole thing is literally on film. Rittenhouse didn’t start anything; it started when people decided to try and chase him down. He then tried to run away, only firing when Rosenbaum lunged for the gun, at which point Rittenhouse fired and killed him. Rittenhouse then resumed running, only to be assaulted again, this time by Huber, who also attempted to take the gun before being shot. Then Grosskreutz pulled a gun on him and got shot for his efforts.

          It’s really about as clear cut a case of self-defense as you can imagine. There’s not even any ‘stand your ground’ factor, since Rittenhouse repeatedly tried to simply flee from a confrontation.

          Again, the whole thing is on video. There’s no ambiguity involved.

        2. Mike

          Why is not logical for citizens to respond to the violence of these protests with violence of their own? If your business was burnt to a crisp, and you had to be dragged through courts and litigation with insurance companies for several years, meanwhile not making a living (remember your business burnt down), maybe that would change your perspective? For general civil obedience I agree citizens should show restraint and rely on the court systems, but the level of rioting is turning into a cancer at this point. And for what? I think most readers of this site are familiar with the actual problems we face as a country such as the prison industrial complex, war on drugs, not on a misdirected national effort to save what is a handful of unarmed black men being shot. We were bound to have a level of forceful response from citizens who feel they need to take matters into their own hands at some point.

    5. Kurtismayfield

      So if people try to apprehend a shooter, self defense or not, is it considered self defense to shoot the people trying to apprehend the shooter?

      This is my problem with this case. The first shooting seems to absolve Rittenhouse with any responsibility for the following shootings.

      1. Josef K

        Yes, this is a significant point which I also raised becasue I haven’t seen it mentioned enough. Even the omniscient Glen Greenwald somehow missed it.

        Walking around in public with an assault rifle is already escalating the situation; using it even more so.

        Moral of the story, kids with ARs are freaking dangerous; that includes the middle-aged-guys with arrested development, which is really hard to spot without talking to them a bit, so best to just ban bullies with assault rifles from the commons.

        1. Josef K

          My point is, you can’t legally make your assault rifle full-auto. So a line is already drawn; gun rights aren’t unlimited. The question is where do you draw the line, and I merely propose that line be drawn between hunting rifles and assault rifles, as to the legality of appearing in the commons with one (and ammo, lots of ammo).

          The other–current–road leads inexorably to more frequent and more wide-spread violence.

          1. Count Zero

            I think you could draw the line where nobody can appear anywhere in public with a gun of any kind.

            If I may quote Brecht: if these things are utopian we have to ask WHY are they utopian.

            A kid like Rittenhouse posturing with his gun thought he was being a man. Where did he get that idea from?

      2. Soredemos

        He wasn’t a shooter until people started to chase him and tried to seize his gun. Maybe don’t attack armed people, and the armed people won’t shoot you?

      3. ACPAL

        The recommended action when seeing an active shooter is to a) run away, b) hide, and c) if you can’t do either only then do you attack the shooter. Those who were shot chose the latter even though there was no imperative to do so. Therefore they attacked an armed person who was no obvious threat to them.

        As for those who called his AR an assault rifle they are quite incorrect. The only clear definition of an assault rifle is the military’s definition (there are more than one) that an assault rifle must have a full auto selection, something an AR does not have. Laws banning assault weapons are red herrings because once the law is passed the politicians constantly change the definitions in ways that are nonsensical. California adds things like handgrips and other “scary” features to their definition. One California politician wanted to include all semi-automatic guns as assault weapons. Because the definition is so fluid they could include BB guns, slingshots, and steak knives as assault weapons. For all their rhetoric about assault weapons their real goal is to harass law-biding gun owners into giving up their guns and scare the masses into fearing all guns. That unfounded fear is obvious in many of the comments here and across the internet.

    6. Janie

      The Conversation has an article up about five legal standards of self-defence: proportional response, imminent harm, reasonable person, no first aggression, duty to retreat (Harvard law professor).

      Also, civil suits to follow? Cf O J Simpson.

      1. Josef K

        Some KR supporters are saying “Seek Kyle.” It took me a few minutes to get it, I’m slow. But not too slow to recognize they’re unsheathing a double-edged sword with that one.

          1. Josef K

            Can’t recall, but saw it twice…twitter?

            I like when dog-whistlers show their hand, pardon the mixed metaphors.

    7. Sue inSoCal

      Personally, as an old retired lawyer, I paid more attention to the kangaroo court and the disregard for the rule of law. This judge wasn’t just biased, he threw the rules of evidence and procedure right out the door. (Look at Arbery case. That judge could have waited to get a satisfactory jury if he wasn’t happy, but denied he could do that. Oh please. He should have!) These cases should have changed venue and/or sequestered the jury. (Definitely should have happened in Chauvin case as well.) I’m not a criminal lawyer, but evidence and procedure is pretty standard.

    8. Eric377

      So what is “it” here? Is the “it” the acquittals in the Rittenhouse trial? The Huber family statement is emotionally understandable, but frankly incorrect. The evidence at the trial was strong that Rittenhouse did not incite anyone. He was not even engaged in the now detested “stand your ground” behavior. Every person who did not attack Rittenhouse also did not get shot. It was a terrible tragedy and if Wisconsin prosecutors resisted the pressure to maximally charge Rittenhouse, but instead charged what they could prove, there might have been a different verdict. Much of the media was very lazy here in a case that now I guess many of them want to say was critically important for assessing justice in America. But I don’t think “lazy” is quite the right word to describe why much of the trial evidence was a big surprise to so many news consumers.

      1. Robert Gray

        > Every person who did not attack Rittenhouse also did not get shot.

        It is known that Rosenbaum had serious mental illness. His behaviour as seen in the various compiled video clips is perhaps psychotic. I wonder if the tox screen from his autopsy has been made public? Was he pumped up on some strong drugs at the time he attacked Rittenhouse?

  5. jr

    The article about Tesla’s turning into oncoming traffic may be evidence of a highly involved intelligence. Think about it. Upon experiencing NYC traffic, the car immediately attempted to take it’s own life, which seems to indicate self-hood under the hood.

    1. griffen

      I viewed the similar link, about drivers unable to unlock or start their vehicle because of a software issue with their app. Cue up the diversion from the company. “It’s only temporary; please wait while our tech and IT quickly address the issue & make corrective actions.”

      What about a backup option….like an actual key? I realize that’s what passes for old tech.

      1. cnchal

        > What about a backup option…

        There is one. It has to be with you to be usable, however tech bros think their crapola is infallible, so forget about it.

        The app is not the only way to access the cars though, Stuart Masson, editor of The Car Expert website, told the BBC.

        “There will be a secondary mechanism to get in or out of the car beyond the app, the difficulty will come for drivers if they are not carrying it,” he said.

        . . . and from – Electric SUVs Rank Lowest In Reliability: Consumer Reports OilPrice

        The problem with the SUVs when it comes to reliability isn’t the batteries or the electric motors, according to Consumer Reports. It’s glitchy electronics—including climate controls and power equipment. Because these SUVs tend to be considered more of a luxury vehicle due to their lofty price tags, they often come with all the bells and whistles—bells and whistles that apparently can run amok.

        Further disappointment for those concerned with their carbon footprint is that owners reported more problems with 8, 9, and 10-speed transmissions—transmissions that are designed for fuel-efficiency.

        Its crapola all the way down. So what if your 7000 lb road hawg ekes out an extra .1 mpg. That $15,000 transmission bill is going to eat that and then some.

        I am sticking with my forever car, an 01 Accord 5 speed standard, runs great, doesn’t break, fun to drive, sips fuel, maintainable by myself and bought for used go kart money. Status seekers look like idiots to me.

        1. Pate

          Brother inherited and still driving and self-maintenancing Dad’s ‘86 Accord. My forever a non-digital 2010 Tacoma. Great vehicle!

      2. Oh

        I pity the fools that buy this piece of junk on 4 wheels – screens go blank, can’t open door, auto pilot goes awry etc. but they can go from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds. Wow!

      1. jr

        I should clarify as an idealist I don’t think a microchip can be conscious but the joke didn’t work without a materialist interpretation. ;)

  6. Tom Stone

    I guess “Support Our Troops” has gone the way of “Me Too”.
    Which is not a surprise.
    The rot in the US Military has rapidly progressed ( It’s been there since the Vietnam years, at least ) since Bush was appointed Prez on a 5-4 vote.
    There’s plenty of Money for Ford class aircraft sarcophagi and F-35’s that kill pilots, but not enough $ to feed the enlisted ranks.”31% food insecure” is the reported figure, does anyone assume it’s accurate?
    The casual brutality of our “Leaders” seldom surprises me,but this is beyond stupid.
    Unintended consequences for $100, and a free pitchfork.

    1. praxis

      I reckon that the rank and file are patiently available for a ‘disruption/shake-up’ that redirects a modest increase of society’s largesse their way.

    2. Pat

      Support our troops coming from a politician has about as much meaning and sincerity as “fight for”. Oh sure there are one or two exceptions, but they are just that exceptions. And it has been that way for well over two decades.

      Anyone remember back in the first years of the Iraq war when families were scrambling to send their children body armor because the government wasn’t providing it. Meanwhile Rumsfeld was waving off the concerns with meaningless platitudes. Good times.

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘Anyone remember back in the first years of the Iraq war when families were scrambling to send their children body armor’

        I remember when families were buying Dragon skin body-armour for their kids in Iraq as it was superior to what the US Army was using. So the US Army went into a huff and told their troops that if they were wounded while wearing that armour, that they would not be entitled to any benefits at all-

        1. Pat

          Cripes I missed that one. The disdain for the non-coms never ceases to amaze me. (I may be wrong in assuming that the top like Petraeus had the good stuff, but I would lay money on it.)

          But it is all a parcel of those who count and those who don’t that permeates our society.

    3. Oh

      Instead of the rah, rah about “Support the troops” with coaches dressed in fatigues and fighter aircraft flying overhead etc. etc. maybe the NFL should pay for housing and food for the troops. Roger Goodell are you listening?

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Saudi-led coalition targets Houthis’ military sites”

    That can bomb all they want. They are still losing the war in Yemen. The only surprise about this article is that after several years bombing, that they can still find targets worth dropping a bomb on. The difficulty here for the Saudis is that by fighting the Yemeni so long, they have taught them all about how they wage war. And so the Yemenis are fighting an asymmetrical warfare game using drones and the like and raids into Saudi Arabia itself. And if nothing else, the Taliban victory in Afghanistan has shown the Houthies what is possible. But the longer the Saudis attempt to stay, the more payback that the Houthies will extract form them. And as we all know, payback is a b****.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The article doesn’t explain why, if they knew about those ‘military targets’, they hadn’t already bombed them. The Saudi’s hardly need an excuse.

      From what I understand, the Houthi’s are very close to taking the strategic city of Marib, If they do, this splits those areas controlled by anti-Houthi forces – its essentially the end of the road for the Saudi’s, at least as far as having any real presence on the ground in Yemen.

    1. Lemmy Caution

      This article is riddled with inaccuracies. For example, the author states that:

      “The video the prosecution has shown (again) today of Rittenhouse killing Rosenbaum is evidence of murder. Rittenhouse is shown pursuing Rosenbaum and making his first or four shots far from arm’s length.”

      The video shows the exact opposite. Rosenbaum pursued Rittenhouse as he tried to run away. Rittenhouse fired the first shot when Rosenbaum caught up to Rittenhouse and grabbed the barrel of the rifle — something that could only be done by someone within arm’s length.

      This article makes many of the same false and inflammatory statements as the mainstream media has for the last year. Taibbi, Greenwald and Bari Weiss (!) examine just how grossly misleading coverage of this incident has been from the beginning.

      1. Carolinian

        The author is Paul Street whose ravings St Clair features on a weekly basis in Counterpunch. Making things up would be par for the course.

        While the late Cockburn said “keep your hatred pure” I believe he also would have said “keep your facts straight” because he was a true journalist.

      1. CanCyn

        The video is certainly clarifying. A few thoughts though.
        As a Canadian who can’t imagine open carry or seeing a young adult at a protest with a semi automatic gun, I find it appalling that are no consequences for this young man. Surely a better prosecution strategy could have led to him being guilty of reckless endangerment causing death? Arguably anyone who totes a gun to an event like that has intentions of using it. And even in the US where guns abound, I think that people seeing Rittenhouse with his gun would be provoked – as the unfortunate Rosenbaum was. Imagine, if you will, that Rittenhouse did not have that gun. Would Rosenbaum, who clearly had some mental health problems, even have paid attention to him? Or if he had, no doubt Rittenhouse would have just kept running. Maybe a fist fight would have ensued at the worst?
        And worse, imagine if Rittenhouse were black. Do you think he would have been found innocent?
        Let’s not kid ourselves that any form of justice has played out here. Perhaps technically from a legal perspective, Rittenhouse is innocent. Guns and lax gun laws are the problem. I know it is probably too late for America where guns are concerned. I remain shocked by these incidents, not surprised but shocked.

        1. Louis Fyne

          One has to ask the local prosecutor, who delegated the trial to his assistants. I am not familiar with any on-camera interviews of him.

        2. t

          I live here and I am deeply disturbed. At the very least some of the charges based on negligence or wrecklessness – doing stuff like going into that situation with a big gun – should have struck.

          And as many people on Twitter have pointed out, with a variety of examples, there are women who had fled abusers, where stalked by the abuser, and the shot at him, who are serving long sentences. How does that plat into the idea that being a white boy had nothing to so with the verdict? So many other people, people who were minding their own business or trying to keep safe sas the law treat them differently.

          And there’s not much focus on where this kid got the idea that a “medic” is first and foremost heavily armed.

          1. ambrit

            Keep in mind that America is not a monolithic system. It is a federation of quasi-independent State and Local authorities. Too, juries, by design I imagine, represent the locality from which they are drawn. Mores concerning everything under the sun differ according to the dominant culture of the locale.

          2. Sailor Bud

            Totally agree. Without knowing a single detail, I predicted exactly this result here a few days ago. Indeed, the reason I did was because I was curious why the best commentariat was acting like the result was in any doubt and arguing about it. It felt about as bold a prediction as saying the sun would rise in the east tomorrow morning.

            All I had to do was say to myself “white, right wing teen in the United States (so called) with civvie assault rifle” and that’s it. He’ll be just fine, I said, because I knew he would be.

            It’s disgusting to think that it is in any way normal or acceptable to walk the streets armed like that, especially a teen.

            This boy will now be hoisted and trained to be the voice of conservative zoomers, and will get himself a job on Fox, some media gig online, or a political office in the next few years.

        3. Robert Gray


          > Arguably anyone who totes a gun to an event like that has intentions of using it.


          1. CanCyn

            Well, I did say “arguably”. I am simply trying to point out that had the prosecutors tried a different strategy, there may have been some legal consequences. I am not a lawyer and probably shouldn’t be putting legal strategies forward.
            I maintain that had he not had the gun, no one would have died. And repeat that lax gun laws and the fact that Rittenhouse is white are reasons that he is free today.

            1. Robert Gray

              > I maintain that had he not had the gun, no one would have died.

              Well, you can take that thinking all the way to the reductio ad absurdam

              Had that copper not emptied his pistol into Jacob Blake’s back, there wouldn’t have been any rioting two nights later.

              1. Cancyn

                Indeed. So I concede, nothing wrong here, trial couldn’t have turned out better. Kudos to all involved! Is that what you’re looking for? Because I tell you what, I’d rather take my absurd magical thinking all the way back to what things would be like if the US had acted the way the Australian gov did decades ago and changed their gun laws significantly in reaction to a mass shooting. Guess what? No mass shootings since then! You stick to your satisfying legal technicalities if that makes you happy. I’m gonna stick to my absurd belief that allowing 18 yr olds to walk around with assault rifles isn’t a great idea. No need to discuss what might happen if things were different. No need to imagine a better world. Hell, you don’t even have to imagine it, just observe what goes in in most other countries in the world.

                  1. Basil Pesto

                    Once you’re done watching, don’t forget:

                    Grab your Blue Light Blocking Glasses at
                    Use Code “JP” for 15% Off!

                    Why you would trust a word these unfunny charlatan axe-grinders have to say is beyond me. This idea that our Covid response somehow proves that our gun buyback scheme was a mistake is breathtakingly stupid beyond words.

                1. Katniss Everdeen

                  In this country, “prosecutors” are employees of the people, who are obligated to pursue, in court, those who violate the law as written. They are not empowered to employ “strategies” to satisfy demands of screaming (national) mobs in contravention of state law; they are expected to be a bulwark against such hysteria.

                  If a “prosecutor” does not agree with a law, s/he should quit and become a lobbyist.

                  When head jerk of abc nightly “news,” david muir, asked the network’s legal “analyst” on Friday night what he thought the “turning point” of the trial was, the answer was succinct–“The video.”

                  This case never should have been brought. The video evidence was incontrovertible. The “prosecution” was bullied into the courtroom by a mob, seemingly bent on intensifying division in the country, for reasons known only to those who refuse to let this nation know peace.

                  1. Cancyn

                    Katniss, I agree that in many respects what we’re arguing is just more noise and distraction and discord. Keeping the 90% at each other’s throats and not paying attention to the ‘real problems’.
                    But Allowing a guy (of any age) to show up at a protest and shoot people with an automatic gun whether in self defence or not is a recipe for peace. Surely that is not what you’re saying? Gun violence and lax gun laws are part of the bigger picture problem don’t you think? If I were allowed to fix the US, I think my ranked list, starting with the most important, would be: universal public healthcare, housing, job/income guarantee, free college, new gun laws

                    1. Katniss Everdeen

                      However you, or anyone else, feels about it, Rittenhouse was where he was lawfully. He had the gun lawfully. If that’s what “allowed” means, well OK.

                      Whether what happened next was self-defense or murder is a judgement to be made by a jury. They made the call. For better or worse, it’s the way the system is set up.

                      You don’t get to condemn someone based on what you think the law SHOULD be. It just doesn’t work that way.

                    2. eg

                      To Katniss above — which is why we are reduced to observing merely that your country is, in many ways, a ridiculous place best avoided.

                  2. Cancyn

                    Adding, I am sure that last that lawyers indeed strategize and undertake political ploys all the time. Everything is political after all.I think someone made this point in the other thread here discussing this case. And someone linked to an article yesterday that theorized the political motives for bringing this case in the first place. Sorry, can’t find that link.

                  3. rowlf

                    A neighbor loaned me a book on the history of murder cases in the rural/suburban county I live in in Georgia. One of the themes prior to the 1950s was the sheriff moving accused murders of any race to jails outside the county to avoid lynch mobs.

                    To me this matches with observations in the early 20th century of leaders acknowledging and trying to suppress animal spirits in the community.

        4. YankeeFrank

          Yes the US legal system is a travesty. That doesn’t mean Rittenhouse is guilty of anything more than defending himself. These facts do not contravene each other.

          Its not an argument in favor of Rittenhouse’s guilt to say a black man, etc would have been found guilty. This fuzzy thinking, and all the people pre and post judging the jury’s decision, would do well to hope for three days of conscience and thought from their own jury if they were subject to criminal trial.

          1. Sailor Bud

            Does ‘The argument’ have to be in favor of Rittenhouse’s guilt? I suspect the whole “black guy” bit is more about your hypothetical jury deciding differently when the case isn’t a broadcast media spectacle with political ramifications, in an inherently kangaroo court system, where making odious and questionable things legal then can be pushed into “well, he was acting within the law.”

            I don’t object to the verdict according to the law. I do object to the law, but whatever. I also like butter pecan ice cream.

            I think this kid sucks for bringing a gun out into the streets like he did, legal or not. I think his parenting is trash, and very obviously he and his family could all do with a full year – at least – of media withdrawal, because that is undoubtedly the origin of the kid going to “protect” anything.

            I think these things should be first and foremost on our minds after all we’ve seen, not the verdict, which I considered sewn the moment I saw the story even cursorily like I did.

          2. flora

            Its not an argument in favor of Rittenhouse’s guilt to say a black man, etc would have been found guilty.

            Each case should be adjudicated on its own merits. That’s what we should strive for, imo. That was the point of the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Anything else, anything having the whiff of revenge for earlier injustices in earlier cases, leads to a “Hatfields and McCoys” endless feud, imo.

        5. Polar Socialist

          What I keep thinking is that the message sent by the court is that if Rosenbaum had shot Rittenhouse instead of trying to take Rittenhouse’s gun, he would be alive. And maybe even also found not guilty. For the very same reasons.

          In other words, if you take a gun to a protest: shoot first, shoot close.

        6. Alphonse

          Also Canadian. I find the idea that he should be punished because he is young utterly backwards. Only in an upside down world is the naivete of a minor a reason for his greater guilt.

          No, he should not have been in that situation. But the situation should not have existed in the first place. By far the greater responsibility lies with the “adults in the room” – who are not 17 years old, and who created the conditions for this riot and then allowed it to happen. The primary failure is not his, it was not even the law’s: it is political.

          When individuals make their own justice, the result is vendettas and group violence. The concept of crimes as against the state instead of against individuals is less about justice than peace. By taking on the role of the party offended against, the thirst for revenge is redirected from vendetta to law. When the state abandons that that responsibility, the consequences are predictable. Who actually commits the deeds is almost accidental.

          But for all the talk of systemic-this and systemic-that, people don’t like to blame systems. Indeed, they would rather find someone to blame than something to fix. So they choose scapegoats, as did the loudest voices on each side in this case. Sometimes the scapegoats bear some responsibility, sometimes not: but they are saddled with all of the guilt as a way of absolving others – and more importantly, preventing change. The law is sometimes little more than a less destructive way of doing this, serving up scapegoats to preserve the existing order.

          We saw this with the protests and riots last summer. The very real problem of violent militarized police was displaced from systems (e.g. the empire bringing its weaponry and practices home) onto individuals, and onto mystical properties like “blackness” and “whiteness.” The systems and their owners (“our democracy”) remain aloof. Police keep their weapons and their violence.

          The American concept of race was invented to divide and rule. As a Canadian who grew up virtually without the idea of race, I find belief in it as bizarre as any religion. Like religion, its imaginary essence must be created and recreated with every generation. Whether you blame white or you blame black, you’re playing the same game. Nothing changes. Why change it when it works so well?

        7. Procopius

          Let’s not kid ourselves that any form of justice has played out here.

          Justice has nothing to do with it. This is a matter of law.

      2. Oh

        I watched the video but it was really hard to tell what happened. What was so glaringly bad was how the police completely ignored a guy with a rifled running around in a riot scene. A black or brown person would have been shot by the police in an instant.

        I felt that the video was totally biased. How is it self defense to shoot and kill someone who wants to kick and take away the gun??

  8. expr

    Re: Antibody Breakthrough in Mice Could Lead to a Vaccine For Alzheimer’s Disease
    The article below discusses two new potential Alzheimer’s treatments one of which may be the one in the article.
    People are less confident the amyloid is the cause of Alzheimer’s after many failures of amyloid treatments in the clinic (including one approved by the FDA to raise Medicare costs)
    Working in mouse models does not mean working in humans or not having bad side effects in humans
    The only way to find out is human trials which are long and costly

  9. The Rev Kev

    “DogPhone Will Let Dogs Use Phone”

    Somebody tried to come up with a CatPhone but all that happened was that cats would call their owners at work just to mock them while they were stretched out at home.

    1. griffen

      There must be a Scooby-Doo joke in here somehere.

      Scooby Snacks! You promised me. Oh look it’s that post office fella, I’m chasing that truck for sure today.

  10. jr

    re: Rainbow Fascism on the Hudson

    The article from the Post about the Manhattan school breaking up kids into groups based on their race is a bit chilling. Everything is so manipulative:

    “ That cluster will enter with discussion asking “Why are we even talking about racial identity?” according to the message.”

    What about if you want to talk about race but just not be intentionally separated from your friends while you talk about it? It’s literally racially divisive. But to question the method is to question the problem for principal Douglas.

    “ “abundantly clear to both students and parents that anyone can opt-out of this two day celebration if they desire.””

    So those students and parents who hate having fun have had plenty of time to publicly identify themselves. Why don’t they like fun?

    and closes with:

    “ “I know that RACE is a complex issue for us all to address,” she wrote in the email.”

    And non-compliance indicates you don’t want to address RACE. And that you don’t like fun. You get your own affinity group of racist weirdos who don’t like fun.

    That father nailed it, this stuff is insidious. I’ve come to believe that passive aggression is not just the sign of a manipulator. It’s become a political weapon. It’s also a kind of cultural marker, for certain groups of people it’s just the way you communicate, it’s done reflexively.

    1. Duke of Prunes

      Here’s my hopeful racial story for the day: my daughter is a 2nd grade teacher with some very challenging students. Her opinion is they are kindergarteners in 2nd grade bodies because last year’s remote schooling really was a bust. Anyway, one of her troublemakers called another black student a “stupid n****r” . The troublemaker was swiftly dealt with, and then my daughter took the other child aside as asked how was he doing. The kid said he was upset because the other kid called him “the s word”. I’d call this progress when a youngster is more upset about being called stupid, than the n word.

    2. chuck roast

      One of the reasons I like being a mongrel is that there is no fixed place for me…at least not one anybody else would ever care to be in.

    3. The Rev Kev

      It’s a marvelous new system for raising children fit for our times. So these kids when growing up will judge people from the get-go by the colour of their skins rather than the content of their character. So they will see a Kamala Harris or a Barack Obama and see that they have the ‘right’ colour but without really looking at what is underneath that skin. A great system that. Raising superficial kids for superficial times. Of course this completely ignores and shunts to the side out of sight all mention of class but isn’t that the point?

      Want to know the worse of it? Noam Chomsky is still honoured because he tells people to vote Democrat for real change. Martin Luther King, if he was still alive (and who was born about the same time) would have been cancelled by now for being anti-war and telling people to see people for who they really are.

    1. jo6pac

      The other way to look at this is they have forced all the small local drug stores to close. This is the walmart plan.

      1. Hungry hungry harry

        The cvs near me became one such clinic. Came down with a bad cold earlier this year and used it. Awful experience with a confusing appointment process, uncomfortable waiting area with dreadful chairs and no trashcans or tissues, and very little in the way of patient care.

        1. newcatty

          A couple of years ago, I went to a chain drug store clinic after a long flight home from a trip. I first had a cold, but it developed into a sinus infection. I had them before and was prescribed antibiotics. I am loathe to take them, but after had previous experience of “toughing it out” and caring for myself with vitamin C and lots of liquids and rest, I knew that it was better to nip it in the bud. There were conditions at the clinic, like described above in the comment. After finally getting into clinic , the nurse practitioner abruptly stated, “We don’t give out antibiotics like we used to for colds”. I said, well, this is not just a cold. She literally glared at me and stated ,Take an oc decongestant. I said OK, but from last experience I have benefited from them, and I really don’t prefer to take them. Are you saying that you will not prescribe one for me? She glared at me again. She actually said that I could go to an ER, if I wanted. By then I was so exhausted and miserable that I just sat there for a minute. She then suddenly said, Here is a script. This may not be relevant, but she was a very tall and large woman and. oozed hostility. It all just made it an awful experience. Then I had the thrill of getting script filled at the pharmacy window. If this is an example of providing health care, it is terrible for the peons. Luckily, I have not had even a cold for many years. I am on Medicare and can access a doctor at a doctor’s office. Yes, we need Medicare 4 All.

  11. The Rev Kev

    ‘Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) presses Biden’s pick for currency comptroller Saule Omarova about “you used to be a member of a group called The Young Communists.”’

    Needles to say, Twitter was not kind to the good Senator from the great State of McCarthyism-

    I hope that everybody here that was in the Boy Scouts or the Girl Guides remembered to send them a letter of resignation when they aged out or Kennedy might get onto your case.

    1. griffen

      I’m hoping there are more probing, deeper questions than that salvo. Then again this is Washington after all. This nominee has presented some pretty consequential positions and thoughts on the banking system.

      I don’t want my financial accounts moved without my say in the matter. Doubtful anyone really thinks that will fly.

    2. Louis Fyne

      I knew Saule way back when! Very nice person, her husband too.

      Politics aside, she has the bog-standard, marginally left-of-center PMC (professional management class) background and is no more Che Guevara than Al Gore. for better or worse.

      1. Torstein

        You raise an interesting question about the fitness for government office of persons raised to maturity in a foreign country operating under a different political system and foreign educational system. Presumably they are less familiar with our country than those raised here. Could it be they are fitter for office than those raised here? How can we know? How can we be sure? Is being nice all that is important?

    3. outside observer

      But can you just imagine how the comments would have read if she had been Trump’s pick for comptroller of the currency? Actually, how all media coverage would be right now if the same current events were held constant but Trump were in office.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        That’s a remarkably informative article for the Daily Maul. It contains a whole slew of reasons why camera hogs like Cotton, Kennedy, and Toomey have gone after Omarova. Most notably:

        “She’s advocated for moving Americans’ financial accounts from private banks to the Federal Reserve and for forcing banks to lose leverage on federal subsidies by becoming ‘non-depository lenders.’ … It would diminish the stature of the institutions she’s supposed to regulate.

        Well! We can’t have that, can we? And!!!

        “Omarova called Wall Street’s hedge fund-dominated culture a ‘quintessential a**hole industry.”

        The horror. The horror. Thank God we have good, Christ-like Republicans in Congress ready to defend us from evul commies who might endeavor to claw back power from the banks, and who speak ill of that bastion of virtue, the hedge fund industry.

        The Lords Temporal of the FIRE industries are pushing this stagy, anachronistic little attack because Omarova is not the perfectly subservient tool they require in the comptroller’s seat. The Daily Mail was very careful to avoid any mention of her qualifications for the position. Which likely means they are excellent. Hence the smear campaign.

    4. Sailor Bud

      Sad that her response to Kennedy couldn’t be a nice, blithe, “so what if I was or am a communist?,” even if she wasn’t and isn’t.

      1. griffen

        Thanks for the above links. I was unaware of the charge for shoplifting. Maybe there is more to it, as I want to be somewhat rational, but what serious minded Democrat believes that would not gain traction?

  12. Bob

    Wait a minute !!

    Is the CALPERs article correct ?

    “CalPERS sets target for stocks below 50% for the first time in decades”

    1. griffen

      Interesting to read what their plans are, target date by mid-2022. Increased exposure to private equity, currently at 8% going up to 15%; and exposure to private debt, currently nil but going to 5%. They must model lower expected returns for equities (strictly making a guess), perhaps.

      They’ll be doing well in nearly any economic climate. I didn’t say that, a spokesperson said it (again from the article).

  13. Pat

    I love the tease we get with just a glimpse of Henry’s toe beans.

    The snow leopards and teeny marsupials are nice too.

    1. griffen

      Thanks for the linked video. Pretty humorous update on a classic SNL sketch. From reading the article I picked out the following quote: “if you can’t put in literal gates, put up virtual ones”. I can’t fathom using the technology owned by amazon so broadly, knowing their very liberal policies towards privacy. But I really do not use modern online shopping, and all that conveys (for good or for ill).

  14. IM Doc

    There have been a few links on this site this week about ivermectin. Including a very well done discussion of the most important extant trials.

    I would like to add a few things from my own experience about this drug. And where we are right now. In my area, we are again having what appears to be the early stages of yet another surge of COVID. This time, it is clearly involving many fully vaccinated and even boostered patients. And they are very ill. This is not a joke. In these patients, the vaccines have clearly failed in their mission. Seeing the tide coming in, even Dr. Fauci had to admit as such this week.

    We supposedly have the new Pfizer drug (more on that in a second) and we now have the monoclonal antibody therapy. Unfortunately, the supply of the Pfizer drug is non-existent. And we have very limited supplies of the antibody drug. That drug is reserved for only patients that are high-risk and already very ill. Just so you can understand the magnitude of this issue – 68% of the patients who received the antibodies this week in my area were fully vaccinated, many boostered (I do not have that exact %). The other 32% were the unvaccinated. Again – the vaccinated patients are now getting sick enough to be in the “high-risk” group to get antibodies.

    I do not believe anyone anticipated we would be in this situation with a fairly significant majority of the population vaccinated – but here we are. And now because of the severe staffing shortages and other issues, it is very important to do all we can to keep people out of the hospital safely.

    As I have stated repeatedly, my experience in previous surges with this infection have demonstrated to my own eyes that Ivermectin is very capable of doing this. That is pretty much the only area in which I use it – patients who are positive whether ill or not get started on it immediately in addition to all of their primary contacts. Despite the months of propaganda from MSNBC and the CDC ( don’t take the horse dewormer y’all) , I have yet to have a single person have one issue with this medication. The same cannot be said for the vaccines. However, as is the case in every single viral infection in human medicine, once people are sick enough to be in the hospital, almost nothing works well. One of the agents we have been using, remdesevir, seems to do absolutely nothing beneficial that I can tell and often damages the patients. To be brief at that point of hospital admission – it is 100% support. It is critical to deal with patients early and strong in their illness.

    I will say again – I was a very young doctor in the AIDS crisis working in an inner city hospital surrounded by dying AIDS patients at every turn. A very similar story was playing out at the time – and I guess WISDOM is the ability to learn from the mistakes of the past and never let them fool you again.

    Pneumocystis carinii – the scourge of AIDS before we had effective anti-virals is the agent that killed the vast majority of my patients back then. Often abbreviated PCP. It causes a severe pneumonia. This bug is most definitely NOT a bacteria. In the 1980s it was thought to be a protozoa like ameba – however now we consider it more like a fungus ( I am not going into that here – suffice it to say it is NOT a bacteria). Interestingly, there were all kinds of agents in the 80s and early 90s for this agent that were actually doing far more damage than good to people – IV and inhaled pentamidine is the most common. And this drug was making mountains of cash for Big Pharma. From the front lines, various docs across the country started using a very old patent-expired ANTI-BACTERIAL called BACTRIM. 2 cents a pill. This had been used for decades at the time mainly in the treatment of urine infections. And docs all over America noticed how well it was working for PCP. All anecdotal – but vigorously shared. We had all had one too many cardiac arrests with the pentamidine. Some papers here and there appeared. All minimal studies because that is all you could really do as a lone wolf at the time. But overwhelming efficacy and minimal safety issues were noted. And then Dr. Fauci sent out the wolves. He and others were very busy promoting vaccine research, and antivirals that were very toxic, and keeping the pentamidine money train going. I sat through one conference after another deriding the use of BACTRIM as a pee pill by NIH experts sent to quell the rebellion. “How dare you use a bacterial agent against this protozoan fungus – the drug is not even in the right class”. The ridicule coming from these people at times was overwhelming. All kinds of papers and statistical manipulation was belched forth to try to subvert the evildoers. But the drug actually worked. And the doctors using it noted it. And persisted. And over the next few years, despite the NIH, Bactrim became the drug of choice for PCP – and still is to this day. I have not written a prescription for pentamidine in decades. Not even sure they still make it.

    Therefore, was born an innate skepticism of Big Pharma and indeed of Dr. Fauci, in an entire generation of young doctors in this country.

    One huge difference back then is we did not have the odious presence of the pathological liar Rachel Maddow and the morons at the NYT to poison the medical discourse. We did not have Big Pharma owning our entire media landscape with their ad dollars ( that did not start until the mid 1990s hat tip to the assholes Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton). We did not have facebook and twitter and youtube to censor anything that was said about bactrim or pentamidine. We had ourselves, our colleagues, our wits, and our experience and our intellect. It was a much better world.

    Unlike so many on both sides of the ivermectin issue which appear to be religious zealots, I came by my usage of this drug by doing a deep dive into the actual science. I was initially quite skeptical. But reading the basic science and some of these clinical trials made me feel very comfortable in trying it. The safety profile is so good that using it in this kind of crisis would be unethical. I am not alone in that assumption. Despite what the talking heads say on TV, every medical ethics conference I have been to about this topic, EVERY SINGLE ONE, to this day continue to state it is UNETHICAL not to use it.

    Earlier this year, I attended a few conferences where the pharmacodynamics were discussed and the clinical trials discussed. It was there I learned from a PharmD that I know and trust that Big Pharma was starting their anti viral trials for COVID. And the candidates he had seen HAD EXACTLY THE SAME COURSE OF EFFECT ON COVID AS THE BASIC MEDICINE TRIALS WERE TELLING US ABOUT IVERMECTIN. Let me say that again – at least some of the Big Pharma agents being evaluated had the exact same effect on COVID as Ivermectin. I could not believe that at the time. Because this research is proprietary, it was unavailable to be looked at. But I did share this with the COVID brain trust back then. But here we are – on the verge of having this released – and indeed – THE PFIZER DRUG INHIBITS EXACTLY THE SAME PROTEASE INHIBITOR AS IVERMECTIN. The only difference is that ivermectin seems to be active against multiple other parts of COVID that this new Pfizer drug does not touch.

    And where do the American people get to learn this? From Rachel Maddow? Sean Hannity? Chris Cuomo? The Paper of Record the NYT? The New Yorker? – Our elected officials? NO TO ALL – We get to learn this from a retired nurse in Great Britain and a comedian in his garage studio –

    Please note – the discussion that the nurse gives is the Cliffs note version of what I have been hearing for months. He makes it very easy to understand.

    We are a corrupt and unserious nation. That includes my profession. They have managed to propagandize this issue for long enough now that the very word ivermectin is now radioactive. And just in time for the new 800 dollar a course Pfizer drug to hit the market – and there are others from other companies right behind them. Pigs feeding at the trough.

    Where are the promised trials? I have been waiting all year. As a non-zealot, I would love to know one way or the other what the efficacy of ivermectin is……Will likely never know at this point. The cash register is just 2 steps away.

    If you are high risk, get vaccinated. If you feel you are sick with COVID or are newly positive – get in touch with your doc. At my practice, we are now hitting it with all we have. I now have many patients demanding this approach. The Joe Rogan and Aaron Rodgers screeds from the MSM have done nothing but profoundly increase this desire. Antibodies if available. Ivermectin and fluvoxamine. And all the usual OTC. If you are vaccinated, do not assume there is a halo of protection – there most certainly is not. Continue to be diligent. Lose weight, sleep well, do all you can to decrease your stress level. Protect your vulnerable.

    1. Carolinian

      Perhaps you can link to official sources that those of us could point our physician to should we unfortunately get Covid. I have no idea whether Ivermectin is allowed in my state but it would be helpful to at least have some ammunition to request a second opinion or access to someone who could write a prescription. I find your personal witness on this compelling but what are people to do when the medical establishment, or at least some of it, is trying to stymie a medication that is both legal and safe? Do patients have any right or say in the manner?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        The problem is physicians are receptive or they aren’t, so medical literature won’t persuade someone whose mind is made up. My MD was willing to prescribe me some initially but the anti-Ivermectin view is particularly strong in NYC so she’s backed off.

        1. Dave in Austin

          A bit tangential but probably of interest. There are now demonstrations and riots in the Netherlands about the lockdown. From the videos, most of the peaceful demonstrators are young and white. Here is the breakdown of who is dying of Covid in the Netherlands from

          “As of November 8, 2021, the coronavirus pandemic in the Netherlands had resulted in 18,612 deaths. However, the distribution of deaths due to COVID-19 differed greatly by age. “ Here are the stats:

          Under 50 years old 162 deaths
          50-59 years old 440 deaths
          60-69 years old 1,464 deaths
          70-79 years old 4,691 deaths
          80-98 years old 8,032 deaths
          over 90 years old 3,823 deaths

          There are 17.4 million people in the Netherlands. 2.2 million cases have been reported with an overall death rate of .94%.

          The data file at suggests that younger age men are slightly more likely to get Covid and in the younger age groups (under 60) are slightly more likely to die of it. This is counterbalanced by the much higher death numbers among females in the oldest groups. For the “over 90s”, three times as many women are dying but that is probably a reflection of the fact that many more women than men live to be 90.

          Back when I was young in the early 1950s, my Irish Catholic grandmother in Rhode Island used to call the flu “the old man’s friend” because it rapidly took the old men in ill health. Most died quietly at home after the priest had arrived, heard thier last confession and administer extreme unction, the last rights of the Catholic Church. As children we routinely attended open casket wakes and I’m sure most of us did what I did once kneeling for a prayer before the casket- we touch the body to see what it felt like. In retrospect, I’m sure the adults knew, but nobody tried to stop us, as long as it was done just once out of a sense of curiosity… and maybe awe. Death was treated as a matter of course; a fact; inevitable. My grandmother and my father were both at peace with this. They didn’t fear death because they thought they were simply moving to a new, better home. I (and I suspect most of the NCers and other people today) do not have that consolation. Death for us is the end and thus a much greater tragedy to be ignored and avoided at all costs. Oddly enough, the young Dutch going into the streets probably feel the same way I do. Thus the conflict.

      2. Orca

        You can find information about (IVM) treatment protocols and obtain prescriptions at the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance website (look for Quick Links) –

        Dr. Pierre Kory, former Chief of the Critical Care Service and Medical Director of the Trauma and Life
        Support Center at the University of Wisconsin and a Master Educator, tweeted that his colleagues have prescribed hundreds of IVM treatments to congressional staff.

    2. Pate

      “The safety profile is so good that using it in this kind of crisis would be unethical. I am not alone in that assumption. Despite what the talking heads say on TV, every medical ethics conference I have been to about this topic, EVERY SINGLE ONE, to this day continue to state it is UNETHICAL not to use it.”

      “The safety profile so good that (NOT) using it in this kind of crisis would be unethical” ?

      You correct the apparentl typo in the last sentence.
      Thank you for your contributions to this site!

    3. Carla

      Thank you, thank you, thank you, IM Doc. My internist retired with no notice a year and a half ago. I tried another whom I did not care for, and since then have just about giving up looking for a PCP. Therefore, I’m considering calling one of the physicians on the FLCCC web site who can prescribe in my state. But even if at considerable expense I can secure a prescription, I dread wrangling with the pharmacists in my area to get it filled.

      In the meantime, I watch John Campbell (the U.K. nurse) videos regularly and have just ordered Vitamin K2 to add to a regimen of greatly increased Vitamin D3 supplementation thanks to two of his most recent presentations.

      If any of the NC medical brain trust have time to consider the new research Campbell cites and share your reactions, that would be most welcome:

      For NC readers who don’t have time for the 40 minute video, you will also see that it is immediately preceded by a 10 minute one that just gives the gist.

    4. JBird4049

      I kept thinking about this post and wondering why (aside from the usual) it nagged at me. I did not know anything about pentamidine, but I remember the mocking of the AIDS patients just fine. Back when it was “the gay disease.” And later when drug addicts, then prostitutes, hemophiliacs, and finally surgery patients where added. Lastly, middle class sons and daughters who had partied carelessly. Of course, by then even the hardcore deniers, after the real (to them) people became sick, realized that a disease is just a disease, too late to truly contain.

      The delaying and denying of the blood supply’s contamination by the suppliers because money. The ostracization. The fear, the anger, the greed, and the stupidity. It is all coming back to mind. Of course, for a few years we had no idea just WTF it was that will killing in such unpleasant ways, which makes some of the fear understandable. How do you fight what you can’t find. Then how do you cure what cannot be killed. Finally, how do you accept that this time, it is a death sentence when all the other STDs or even other more socially acceptable illnesses at least had treatments, even cures.

      Let me leave you with this memory that I think caused this annoying nagging in my head: IIRC, on one of PBS Frontline’s several episodes on AIDS had a section on the early years of the epidemic during President Ronald Reagan’s administration. One of his aids, a conservative Christian Republican believed in the whole children of God, caring for the sick, feeding the hungry, the whole thing. They showed clips of him over time getting louder, and louder in his demands that they actually do something to help the AIDS victims. Again, IIRC, the last clip shows him actually shouting into a room full of laughing (about the gays) members of the Reagan Administration to help the sick.

      Kinda reminds me more than a little of the liberals mocking the dying COVID patients. Actually, I’m not really sure that there is any difference. Just shows how far we have (not) come.

      1. Basil Pesto

        thank you for these reflections. The AIDS crisis was a bit before my time but I’ve learned about it here and there over time particularly regarding the enormous toll it wrought in NYC in particular, and how it cut short the lives of artists like Arthur Russell and many others (not that Artists Lives Matter more than anyone else’s. All Lives Matter obvs). My mother who, bless her, is a reactionary nitwit, still calls it ‘a/the gay virus’.

        I’ve been wondering for a week or two whether the ongoing Covid crisis can be conceived as a reiteration of the AIDS crisis, writ large. I mean in terms of 1) the nature of the mistakes being made 2) the consequences of the disease burden. To that end, does anyone know of any good critical histories of that crisis? (I’m yet to read the AIDS chapter of Honigsbaum’s ‘The Pandemic Century’).

        I should add that the point of making such comparisons is not to induce fear or panic; rather to allow us to reckon adequately with the nature and scale of the problem, and respond appropriately. A bit utopian, maybe, I realise.

        1. Derfius

          RFK Jr’s brand new book, The Real Anthony Fauci, has a few deeply-referenced chapters on HIV/AIDS. Basically, it was Fauci’s dress rehearsal for the narrative control and pharma pimping we’re seeing now. The parallels are most striking regarding Fauci’s “cancelling” of Peter Duesberg in 1987 for suggesting that the HIV is neither necessary or sufficient for AIDS. Duesberg was arguably the world’s pre-eminent virologist at the time, and his arguments, published in 1987 have never been refuted, only ignored, ridiculed, and gaslighted. It boils down to this: many (tens of thousands) HIV positive people never got/get sick, and many AIDS syndrome people test HIV negative. And in the late ’80’s to early ’90’s, Fauci’s handpicked cure-by-fiat was the toxic chemo drug AZT, which killed upwards of 300,000 people. Fauci snatched AIDS (originally associated most closely with Kaposi’s sarcoma in young men) from the National Cancer Institute, and he’s controlled the country’s drug and vaccine development pipelines ever since.

          You, everybody, should read RFK Jr’s book. He’s begging for a lawsuit from Fauci and scores of accomplices, but so far…crickets.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            If that is what the book says, RFK discredited himself.

            Fauci’s role on AZT is disgraceful and should be publicized.

            However, I know more than I would like to know about HIV and AIDS by virtue of having had three good friends in NYC who have it, and being my typical consultant self, quizzing them at length about treatment and transmission.

            If RFK claims that no one has disproven Duesberg as if his views are not accepted, that’s false, current conventional thinking fully acknowledges that people who are HIV positive don’t necessarily have AIDS.

            It is now also well accepted that there are HIV “slow progressors” where it can take 10 to 15 years for them to develop AIDS. Slow progression also occurs with syphilis. I can give you a shaggy dog story from one of these friends but I will spare you the details.

            And there are many ailments that can cause AIDS-type symptoms, including other STDs. It is also now known that HIV is not highly transmissive, so it typically takes many exposures to contract HIV. And the sperm recipient is most at risk. However, as one gay male friend put it, “If straight people knew how much sex we have, they would kill us.” He was in his early 40s, considered in his circle to have a low sex drive. He’d had over 600 sex partners. So early on, particularly if you were the sperm provider, you could have had sex with someone diagnosed with AIDS, be very worried you’d contracted it, particularly if you were having AIDS-like symptoms, when you actually weren’t statistically at much risk and the symptoms were due to other STDs or other ailments entirely.

  15. William Hunter Duncan

    “A CNN reporter tried Tesla’s Full Self-Driving in New York City. It kept trying to turn into oncoming traffic Business Insider (Kevin W)”

    So, like what CNN is trying to do to America with their “journalism” on Russiagate, warmongering, corporatism, income inequality and esp race?

    Or, maybe there is something called Artificial Intelligence?

  16. JEHR

    Re: Parasitic Worms are somewhat reminiscent of other parasitical beings:

    “The worms’ MO is subtle and ingenious. They are agents not of disaster, but of an insidious social sickness that sets reality only slightly, barely perceptibly, askew. Infected workers get a taste of invincibility and status, swaddling themselves in youth and the benefits it brings. They also form resource sinks that sap the energy of those around them. They become echoes of the microorganisms they harbor. They are, in the end, parasites themselves.”

  17. Paleobotanist

    Earlier this week, someone linked to a podcast of Chris Hedges’ on the destruction of feminism by the trans movement. I have trying looking for it in Links and Water Cooler and haven’t found it. I have tried the search function to no avail. I don’t have time to go thru all the comments. Please, can someone help me out here?


      1. Lee

        Thanks for the link.

        I had no idea that transgender women, some of them violent offenders, were being placed in women’s prisons or that transgender women were “identifying into” women’s shelters. Call me old fashioned, but this strike me as an appallingly bad idea, as does the interviewee. I suppose we could ask women how they feel about this but according to the theory upon which the practice is based, there’s no such thing as a woman, so no one before whom a question need be put. Problem solved.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I have been reading how lesbians are getting a pretty raw deal because of transgender women. It has gotten to the point that if a lesbian refuses to sleep with a transgender women (who is still packing the gear) that they are denounced for their ‘prejudices’ on social media and are being labelled as a TERF. It is actually being called “lesbian erasure” because it is so pronounced-

          1. JBird4049

            Back in the 80s it was disputed by some gays and lesbians that bisexuals were real; if you were a switch hitter, you were somehow fake or not “committed” and your emotions and desires were somehow not valid.

            I remember thinking then that this previous had been said to the same gays and lesbians now saying that bisexuality was false or unreal, that their being homosexual was only not just unacceptable or wrong, but it was also possibly false. This leaving aside the morality, ethics, or legality of the act of living, as oppose to just existing as homosexual.

            Rather like how women in the 19th century sometime could escape being lesbians, unlike their male counterparts, in Western society because it was assumed that they did not have the sexual agency to be so; you don’t exist because you don’t fit what we say is reality. Just the evil shit to say and do to people who often already have a hard time excepting their very existence including their feelings to themselves.

            If you’re white, you must be racist.
            If you’re black you must be bad, dangerous, or criminal.
            If you’re poor, you must be stupid or lazy.
            If they are not like us, those desperate, angry Americans must be disposable deplorable.
            If they are successful, that must be because of their merit, not because of their privileges.

            Our society spends a lot of time denying the existence of the other person especially if they don’t comport with our preconceived notions. If their thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and concerns do not exist, we do not have to spend the effort to understand and relate to them. They are just cardboard. This is bit solipsistic of us.

            We have meant the enemy and he is us.
            —-Walt Kelly

  18. elissa3

    “IMHO SUVs are a pestilence.”

    This is way too broad brush. Our 2005 CRV (213,000 miles) is essential for the dirt road we live on. All wheel drive is mandatory here and the space to haul bulky stuff from Home Depot once a month is necessary. I can see where an SUV in suburbia, as a substitute for a van or station wagon (do these still exist?), may be superfluous, but in the country they are quite useful.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Well, as I recall back in 2005 these were smaller than today; I don’t even recognize the CRVs I see on the road today they’re so huge. Even my favorite Camry is ginormous today, relative to the late 1990s and early 2000s variants I owned. It seems every vehicle is mc-sized now.

    2. Jen

      Seconded. I had a 2000 CRV (199K) and a 2008 CRV (247k). They were awesome in the mud and snow, and absolutely mandatory for dump and lumber yard runs. When I was building my chicken coop I made several runs up to the local lumber yard for supplies. The first time owner asked me if I wanted them delivered. I declined saying they’d fit in the 2008 CRV. He was skeptical, but fit it all did. On the second trip he was still a little skeptical. By the third he said: “I know you’re going to get it all in there, I just want to see how.”

      However, these little work horses are a far cry from suburbans and tahoes and escalades that will never be off pavement. Those are a pestilence.

      1. rowlf

        My son worked with one of my friends to install a Japanese CRV engine pulled at 60k miles in his mechanically sound US CRV. Look around for the Japanese engine importers. My friend was management and inspection, my son was labor. A very successful engine-ectomy and better performance with the foreign market engine.

    3. LaRuse

      I owned a 1999 Ford Ranger that was invaluable to me. Small, very fuel efficient in spite of a 6 cyl engine, very very dependable, and utterly necessary for me and many of my friends when we were all young 20-30 somethings moving from apartments to homes and settling into being adults. I wish they still made small trucks like that. The Rangers they brought back in the US a couple of years ago are garbage.
      80% of the pickups and SUVs I see on the road today are status symbols akin to a Mercedes or BMW.

    4. polar donkey

      I have a 2005 Mercedes station wagon and 2003 Chevy Astro. My kids love riding in both of them, especially the van. Hate riding in my wife’s Camry. They can’t see anything when being driven around.

  19. Hepativore

    I propose an income-adjusted national service program…only the 1% would be made to do it. It would be less of a military service thing, and more along the lines of doing community service with a slight twist.

    What if we made the children of the 1% move into spartan apartment complexes where they would then work at fast food, retail, or Amazon warehouse jobs for two years after they are done with high school as part of this national service plan? They would be able to visit their homes and parents on holidays, but hopefully they will be able to understand what conditions are like for the non-1% and they might be able to have some degree of empathy after their “service”.

    1. Mildred Montana

      I like your ideas but I would extend them to the 10%.

      Also, an idea my brother and I came up with in one of our change-the-world chats:

      All high-school students in first-world countries should be required to make a field trip to a third-world one and stay in a dumpy hotel or bunk with the locals. No fancy digs, no fawning staff, no five-star restaurants, and no taxis, just a ride in a cart behind a donkey. What a great way to get to know the life of the people in that country and come (hopefully) to some understanding and tolerance.

      We propose this compulsory course be called “Mind-Broadening 101”.

      1. Vandemonian

        We hosted an anthropology student from a liberal arts college in upstate New York a few years ago. She and her fellow students were engaged in just the sort of learning experience you describe, although I’m not sure this is quite the impoverished destination you were thinking of*. She settled in with us quite easily, and we’re still in touch. The other students, though, travelled together in their own cultural bubble, and seemed to have a touristic “just passing through” attitude. The fact that our student was the child of parents who fled Iran when the Shah was deposed certainly gave her a broader world view.

        *Sometimes, when I tell people from other countries that I’m from Tasmania, they think I mean ‘Tanzania’.

        1. witters

          I like being able to respond to “Where you from?” With “I’m from Tasmania.” Usually a slightly puzzled look, then back to them.

  20. Katy

    A Chinese firm was harvesting millions of Amazon customers’ data and selling it to Amazon’s own third-party sellers Business Insider (David L)

    It looks like what happened was, Amazon gave sellers limited access to customer analytics. Then a third party aggregated it and sold it back to sellers so they could improve their rankings.

    Amazon has been harvesting the sellers’ sales data for years in order to boost its own products and rankings.

    From the sellers’ perspective, turnabout is fair play.

    1. cnchal

      Amazon is a shit storm, internally. The article makes clear this doesn’t apply to AWS but I bet it’s a shit storm there too.

      From a link yesterday,

      A more fundamental problem facing Amazon, as Gagnon sized it up in his memo, was this: “We lack visibility into the data we are charged with protecting,” he wrote. “We do not systemically know the data flows and storage locations of sensitive data.”

      In security terms, the implication was obvious: If the team didn’t know where all the data was, how could they make sure it wasn’t leaked, stolen, or manipulated inappropriately? But Gagnon also saw another giant hazard on the horizon. In April 2016 the European Parliament had passed the General Data Protection Regulation, a sweeping consumer privacy law that would go into effect in 2018. After that, firms operating in Europe would be allowed to use people’s data under a stringent set of conditions, and sometimes only with their consent. Companies would also be required to make it possible for customers to have their data deleted. “I don’t know how the hell we’re going to deal with that,” Gagnon remembers thinking, “because we have no idea where our fucking data is.”

      But these kinds of privacy concerns didn’t seem to be high on the company’s list of priorities either. When Gagnon went to David Treadwell, the vice president in charge of Amazon’s retail technical infrastructure, to ask how the company was going to handle getting itself into compliance with GDPR, Treadwell’s reply, according to Gagnon, was: “What’s GDPR?” Gagnon says he was later told not to worry, that the company had hired lawyers to get Amazon ready for the law. “When I brought this up, one of the lawyers from the legal department came into my office and told me to completely back down,” he says.

      It wasn’t that executives like Wilke didn’t care about keeping customer data safe, Gagnon says. “They did what they thought was enough,” he says. “They’re making a ton of money. Their stock is going up … They had no indications that any of the cyber stuff was going to affect their business.” Or at least, it hadn’t yet.

      Wilke is also known as “The Sniper”. As the general manager of the warehouses, he would hide in the shadows and pick off the slowest workers and fire them on the spot at the end of their shift. Great place for a psychopath. A killing field right in the warehouse.

      By now everyone knows Amazon is horrifically abusive to exploitees, yet the whip gets cracked every time the buy button is pushed and governments the world over continue to subsidize that abuse.

      Amazon shopper = whip cracking sadist

    1. Oh

      From the article:
      President Joe Biden, who supports postal banking, has an opportunity to nominate members to the Postal Service Board of Governors before December who could form a majority to fire DeJoy. But he hasn’t announced his picks for the positions, and incumbent Ron Bloom, an unabashed supporter of DeJoy and his controversial service slowdowns, could well be reappointed.

      It doesn’t look like FBJ is any nearer to firing DeJoy.

      Let’s go Brandon!

      1. The Rev Kev

        DeJoy is needed in place for the bipartisan plan to privatize the US Postal service to go ahead. It’s a standard plan-

        1) Have the government run a government service down to the point that it cannot function anymore through starving it of funds and installing people who hate that service.

        2) Have the government criticize that service for not being able to do it’s job. Say it is time to privatize it as the market will make it run efficiently again.

        3) Sell it to buddies on the cheap who will reward those people in government with cushy jobs, etc. e.g. when the UK’s Royal mail was sold into the market place, it was done so at only half its real value and taxpayers lost billions because of this.

        4) Have the market turn that service into a boutique service at prices and locations that only the 10% can afford anymore. Success!

        1. John Zelnicker

          @The Rev Kev
          November 20, 2021 at 9:07 pm

          Another component of the privatization plan is the law from 15(?) years ago requiring USPS to fund the next 75 years of health and welfare benefits for retirees.

          The result, of course is a huge pension fund. Back in 1980’s with all the LBO’s, if the target company had an over-funded pension, it could be rolled over to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Company and any excess over the minimum funding required by PBGC could be used by the acquirer to fund the acquisition. PBGC paid only about 60%, on average, of the originally promised benefits meaning that the cost to the company was only a portion of the fund. (PBGC doesn’t require 75 years of funding, either.)

          If this is still allowed, the post office could pay for itself to be privatized.

  21. NotThePilot

    I meant to post about this when I first saw it, but didn’t get around to it. For your consideration, an interesting take by Zeynep Tufekci, which I happen to agree with, on why California’s plan to emphasize stats in place of calculus could end badly:

    California wants to replace calculus with statistics and “data science”???

    Whenever these math curriculum debates come up, it seems like almost everyone (for or against) immediately focuses on how it makes kids competitive in our so-called “society”. Looks like most of her replies are looking at it that way.

    It’s much rarer that somebody points out some ideas can be genuinely hard, and if taught badly because of naivete and shortcuts, can have real social consequences. Just think of how much damage has been done to America by teaching everyone to parrot a few hot-takes from mainstream economics as fact. If California’s not careful, they’re going to do the same thing to core concepts of epistemology & scientific knowledge.

  22. Jason Boxman

    A Power Struggle Over Cobalt Rattles the Clean Energy Revolution.

    Mistakenly conflates state-backed Chinese corporations with American multinational corporations that operate in their own interest rather than the people of the United States. This also demonstrates what happens when “the market” decides upon resource allocation. So due to failures as far back as the W. Bush administration and continuing through Obama and Trump, we’ve got limited access to cobalt reserves. Fun times.

    The day-late-dollar-short Biden administration is hardly a force to be reckoned with in reversing this trend.

    There’s also a guest appearance by Hunter Biden in this!

  23. drumlin woodchuckles

    ” We tried to warn you! New deal leftism wins, milquetoast neoliberalism loses even to idiot republicans yelping about big bird ”

    Really? That just showed that the DNC’s evil plan worked. New Deal Leftism was prevented from winning the primaries and milquetoast neoliberalism was able to prevent a New Deal resurgence long enough to turn government back over to the Republicans for 8 more years of preventing it some more.

    All according to plan.

  24. petal

    Former coal power plant on Seneca Lake being used for mining cryptocurrency

    snips: “The Greenidge Generation plant has more than 15,000 computers, buzzing 24/7, to verify bitcoin transactions.
    …The company has been welcomed by some local politicians, and groups including the Yates County Farm Bureau and I.B.E.W., an electrical workers union.
    …Bitcoin is a digital currency. There is no physical coin. Its own users take the place of banks, validating transactions on computers with specialized chips that compete to be the first to solve a mathematical puzzle. Every successful validation comes with a payoff, a bit of bitcoin. According to company filings, the Greenidge plant mined 729 bitcoins last quarter. A single bitcoin today is worth about $57,000.

    …About 45 people work at the facility in Dresden, mostly to maintain and keep watch over the 15,300 computers there. Greenidge Generation plans to double the number of mining computers to 30,000 by the end of 2021.

    Opponents are concerned that the Finger Lakes region and western New York could become a hub for “proof of work,” the kind of crypto currency mining that they say is most dangerous to the environment.

    At the Dresden facility, water from Seneca Lake is used to cool the plant, then returned back to the lake at a warmer temperature. Further, the natural gas used to power the plant emits greenhouse gases that opponents say are doing irreparable harm to air quality.

    They are asking that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation deny renewal of the plant’s air emissions permit. They are also asking for a moratorium on future crypto mining until its environmental impact can be studied.”

    1. Glen

      So burning up energy, driving up the silicon shortage, and accelerating climate change is quite litterally creating money.

      This stupidity makes the Fed creating money out of nothing and giving it to the crooks that sank the world economy with fraud look smart

  25. jr

    J.Dore talking about a school district that shut down because the staff had negative reactions to booster shots:–rJDs

    Significant numbers of booster recipients reported negative reactions. Dore mentions the teacher shortage in the state isn’t helping.

  26. jr

    Account of Captain Ray Bowyer, an experienced and respected commercial pilot, of the two titanic UFO’s he and his passengers witnessed while flying off of Alderney. They claim there were two ships approximately a mile in length out over the ocean. There were anomalous radar readings by local airports and corroboration from another aircraft:

    @ Late Introvert : this is one reason I don’t think it’s just some budget op on the part of US intelligence or the military. It’s too widespread.

    1. Late Introvert

      I need more than that, but hey thanks for the reply. How did you know I would be reading comments late at night?

      I did tell my wife the story about the UFOs showing up at nuclear missile sites and allegely disabling them, and she visibly shivered with delight. It’s a good story.

      1. jr

        Cause you’re an NC’er! ;)

        There is a lot more than this, civilian accounts of encounters that is. Here is a brief bit on the Westall school encounter in Australia where 200 students and teachers saw UFO’s that had landed in their schoolyard:

    1. allan

      The mother of all pre-existing conditions.
      And if you do come down with some expensive malady, how do you prove that you never had Covid-19
      and so didn’t lie to the insurance company when you signed up?

      1. Carla

        Here we are, in the only country in the world where people have to ask that question. American exceptionalism indeed.

  27. The Rev Kev

    Something for the end of the day. When you have billionaires move into your neighbourhood, that is the time to beware. So a story from Oz. Two billionaires moved into a quiet rural town an hour’s drive from Melbourne. So they then brought the local shops which might have been expected. But what was not expected was them forcing those shops to close by having the rents be jacked up to world class prices and thus gutting that town. Why? Don’t know. As it is a working class town, perhaps they want to force most locals to move so that they can buy up the properties and turn that town into one that is exclusive as well as high priced-

    1. cnchal

      To be clear, they didn’t buy the shops, they bought the properties the shops were renting and are tripling the rent as leases expire. As for why, do you really need to ponder the question?

      Some days, justice, to me, looks like a five pound jagged rock smashed into the faces of billionaires with every ounce of strength a person can muster.

  28. Basil Pesto

    I’m a little disappointed that no China apologists have tried to spin the developing Peng Shuai story – I’d’ve thought we’d at least be good for a “she’s probably just chillin somewhere on Hainan and turned all her socials off”, which is at least kinda plausible

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