Links 11/21/2021

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Invasive lake trout have been decimating native fish populations for decades. Residents of the Flathead Reservation in Montana have a solution. The Counter

How Facebook and Google fund global misinformation MIT Technology Review. “An MIT Technology Review investigation, based on expert interviews, data analyses, and documents that were not included in the Facebook Papers, has found that Facebook and Google are paying millions of ad dollars to bankroll clickbait actors, fueling the deterioration of information ecosystems around the world.” One hand washes the other.

The Spac machine sputters back to life after dramatic meltdown FT

How Delaware Became the World’s Biggest Offshore Haven Foreign Policy

Climate/COP26

COP26 focused on long-term climate goals. But what does this decade hold? Open Democracy

What’s Driving Global Deforestation? Organized Crime, Beef, Soy, Palm Oil and Wood Products Counterpunch (RH).

Modi praised for climate reforms then upset Glasgow Pact Asia Sentinel

Coal cold shoulder intensifies Hellenic Shipping News

#COVID19

Short-term and Long-term Rates of Postacute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection JAMA. From October, still germane. Findings: “In this systematic review of 57 studies comprising more than 250 000 survivors of COVID-19, most sequelae included mental health, pulmonary, and neurologic disorders, which were prevalent longer than 6 months after SARS-CoV-2 exposure.” Mike the Mad Biologist comments: “[E]ven if we assume that four or five percent of people who have had COVID and didn’t need to go to the hospital still have cognitive impairment over half a year later, that’s a lot of American Carnage. We possibly could be looking at a couple of million disabled adults, maybe more.”

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

Dr. Fauci says he expects babies and toddlers will have a COVID-19 vaccine by spring 2022 (interview) Business Insider

China?

South China Sea: will Aukus affect Asean’s code of conduct talks with Beijing? South China Morning Post

Exclusive: Marriott refused to host Uyghur conference, citing “political neutrality” Axios

Myanmar

Growing Chinese investments in Myanmar post-coup Observer Research Foundation. Australia. Meanwhile:

As with all digital “open source” researchers, proceed with caution. That said, the chart sourced to the NUG is interesting. The Tatmadaw has a well-worn playbook for brutalizing ethnic verticals (e.g., the Rohingya). It is not obvious that they have a playbook or experience for dealing with a national insurgency.

Companies struggling to exit Myanmar ventures face prospect of investor flight FT

India

Nodeep Kaur Has Nothing To Lose Lux

Farmers win on many fronts, media fails on all People’s Archive of Rural India

Scientists mystified, wary, as Africa avoids COVID disaster AP

Slavery is alive in Mali and continues to wreak havoc on lives Al Jazeera

UK/EU

A pause to reflect Brexit & Beyond

COVID-19 situation worsens in Europe — Netherlands, Austria imposes full lockdown Business Insider.

Vienna brothel offers vaccines and free entry Reuters

The Caribbean

The Three-Act Tragicomedy of the Venezuelan Opposition Venezuelanalysis

Picking Up Where Bush, Obama, and Trump Left Off, Biden Extends U.S. Campaign to Crush Venezuela Covert Action

Biden Administration

McKinsey affiliate agrees to pay $18 mln to U.S. regulator over compliance failures Reuters. Meanwhile, the FTC shows signs of life:

Ethics Guidance to Protect the Public Trust and Detect Revolving Door Misconduct Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Biden’s OCC pick faces bipartisan grilling in contentious Senate banking hearing Banking Dive. Saule Omarova.

* * *

How the Democratic Child-Care Proposal Hurts Families Matt Bruenig, The Atlantic. Designed by Neera Tanden’s CAP with the ObamaCare exchanges as a precedent, and so including complex eligibility requirements, including workfare.

Democrats en Deshabille

Pharma Dems Saved The Drug Industry Half A Trillion Dollars The Daily Poster

Two Democrats kill chances of reforming outdated hardrock mining law High Country News (Re Silc).

Health Care

Scientists report finding a second person to be ‘naturally’ cured of HIV, raising hopes for future treatments STAT

Boeing

Boeing Built an Unsafe Plane, and Blamed the Pilots When It Crashed Bloomberg. Even worse than it looked at the time.

Gunz

Man spotted with AR-15 outside Kyle Rittenhouse trial confirms he is a fired Ferguson police officer Chicago Tribune

Revisiting the Messy Language of the Second Amendment JSTOR Daily. From 2018, still germane.

Feral Hog Watch

Hong Kong declares wild boars fair game after animal attacks ABC

Rittenhouse

Kyle Rittenhouse’s Defense Was Strong Eric Levitz, New York Magazine. Key paragraphs:

Rittenhouse’s self-defense claims boast legal plausibility. But they also illustrate the difficulty of reconciling mass gun ownership and expansive rights to self-defense with the rule of law.

Rittenhouse’s killing of Rosenbaum may have been lawful. But that was scarcely self-evident to the bystanders who heard gunshots and then saw a killer holding an AR-15. The group of protesters who proceeded to chase and attack Rittenhouse could have reasonably believed that killing the armed teenager was necessary to save others from imminent bodily harm. If Rittenhouse had a right to shoot Huber and Grosskreutz in self-defense, the latter had a similarly legitimate basis for shooting Rittenhouse dead.

Put differently: Once Rittenhouse fired his first shots, he and his attackers plausibly entered a context in which neither could be held legally liable for killing the other. Whether one emerged from this confrontation legally innocent or lawfully executed hinged on little more than one’s relative capacity for rapidly deploying lethal violence. Rittenhouse had a more powerful weapon and a quicker trigger finger than Huber or Grosskreutz. Thus, he walks free, in full health, while Huber lies in a grave and Grosskreutz gets by without the bulk of his right bicep.

Which is absurd. But here we are!

Rittenhouse lawyers’ trial playbook: Don’t ‘crusade,’ defend AP

Rittenhouse 2.0: Threats of New Litigation Fly in the Aftermath of Rittenhouse Verdict Jonathan Turley

Kenosha, I Do Mind Dying Ill Will

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Travis McMichael admits Ahmaud Arbery never pulled out a weapon or threatened him NY Post

Imperial Collapse Watch

What Was the Iran-Contra Affair? A Political Scandal That Engulfed the Reagan White House Teen Vogue. Iran-Contra.

Grenada, the Evacuation of Afghanistan, and the Future of War War on the Rocks

Where Did All the Public Bathrooms Go? Bloomberg

When Do You Shower? Plough

Class Warfare

Turns out, Harvard students aren’t that smart after all Guardian. “43% of the white student body was admitted on criteria other than merit. Those 43% are ALDCs: athletes, legacies, dean’s interest list (children of major donors) or children (of Harvard faculty). Three quarters of ALDCs do not have the grades to be admitted to Harvard on their own merit.” A wretched hive of scum and villainy.

COVID-19: Amazon workers were left ‘terrified and powerless’ after it concealed coronavirus cases, California says Sky News

Fiscal Muscle Stephanie Kelton, The Lens. The deck: “How was it ever in doubt?” A fully justified happy dance on the bloated yet still-opining corpse of Larry Summers.

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

225 comments

  1. The Rev Kev

    “Boeing Built an Unsafe Plane, and Blamed the Pilots When It Crashed”

    Even after all this time, it is still sad to read about what those pilots in Indonesia and Ethiopia had to face in their cockpits. But what Boeing did was unforgivable. By listening to Wall Street instead of their engineers, not only did they kill all the passengers and crews on those two airliners but they also killed the company as well. No country can afford the expense of a plane that is so unreliable, that it will crash every now and then through a compromised design fault that Boeing not only knew about, but refused to tell pilots about either. Yeah, Boeing says that it is fixing this plane but it is too late. Because of this story, others have surfaced of how quality control has gone out the window as Boeing seeks to substitute a qualified, experienced union workforce with a bunch of ex-MacDonalds employees in North Charleston that they can grind down on. So now not only is the Pentagon getting jack with the dodgy work that its current workforce is producing but NASA gave them the boot on the same grounds. Seems that knowledgeable travelers may avoid Boeing planes going forward with the new catch phrase – “If it’s Boeing, I ain’t goin'”

    Reply
    1. John

      For nine years I took a group of students to and from China each spring. That was the sum total of my time on airplanes. The China trips are, sadly, a thing of the past, but were they not, I would board anything built by Boeing with a degree of unease. The revelations of recent years have cracked, if not quite shattered, my trust and Boeing “management” sabotaged itself.

      Reply
    2. Robert Hahl

      When people used to ask why airframe manufacturers don’t just build them like cars, the standard answer was always “Airplanes are different.” I think the main attraction of having a southern factory was not breaking the unions. It was to employ a workforce which doesn’t know that airplanes are different.

      Reply
        1. Robert Hahl

          I was friendly with Don Douglas, Jr., near the end of his life. He said that during development of the DC-4, he flew across the Atlantic several times, and never made it without shutting down at least one engine on fire. I don’t think anyone on the board of Boeing today really has a clue what it takes to do their job.

          He also said that three years before the merger with McDonnall, they came to him proposing a merger to be called Douglas-McDonnall, but he turned them down. I don’t recall why, but it possibly had to do with poor manufacturing practices. They were only building aircraft for the government, after all.

          Reply
      1. Robert Hahl

        If you like books about airplane development don’t miss “The Sporty Game” by John Newhouse, about the Lockheed L-1011.

        Reply
    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Perhaps we should informally rename the company in the public mind to Mcdonnell Boing, to get people thinking about how the Mcdonnell Douglas virus invaded Boeing and gave it Corporate Long Covid from within, and from which it cannot recover unless every Mcdonnell person who infected Boeing, and every new replicant hired into Boeing by Mcdonnell-Douglas-related people is purged from Boeing.

      And then shut down all possible operations outside Seattle and move all thingmaking and assembly back to Seattle, as well as the Corporate Headquarters.

      Otherwise, Boeing will probably go into roach motel liquidation in the slow fullness of time.

      Reply
      1. Josef K

        I would reckon a fair amount of institutional knowledge and skill has disappeared with the retirement/laying off of experienced assemblers. It must be nigh impossible to recreate that skill and knowledge base without rewinding the clock–decades.

        Reply
  2. Sawdust

    Funny, the Iran-Contra piece doesn’t even mention Bill Casey, the CIA director who oversaw the whole thing. He died right before the Congressional hearing opened, which is probably why it never got anywhere.

    Reply
    1. William Beyer

      A recollection from Ray McGovern, chief of the CIA’s Soviet Foreign Policy Branch in the 1970s, regarding a statement made by CIA Director William Casey in 1981:

      “At the very first meeting of Reagan’s cabinet, Casey openly told the president and other cabinet officials: ‘We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.’”

      I think we’re there, people.

      Reply
        1. junez

          There seems to be good evidence for it:
          On Sep 21, 2014, at 8:59 PM, Barbara Honegger wrote:
          > Seriously — I personally was the Source
          > for that William Casey quote. He said it
          > at an early Feb. 1981 meeting in the
          > Roosevelt Room in the West Wing of
          > the White House which I attended, and
          > I immediately told my close friend and
          > political godmother Senior White House
          > Correspondent Sarah McClendon, who
          > then went public with it without naming
          > the source …
          https://www.quora.com/Did-CIA-Director-William-Casey-really-say-Well-know-our-disinformation-program-is-complete-when-everything-the-American-public-believes-is-false?share=1

          Reply
    2. Eloined

      Nor does it mention the October Surprise, i.e. the alleged conspiracy of the Reagan campaign and CIA working ‘back channels’ to ensure that US hostages in Iran were not released before the 1980 election.

      The Frontline episode in 1992 based on Robert Parry’s research is not in Frontline’s digital archives (see https://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-64gmtqmd).

      The proof of the conspiracy hinged on a meeting that Casey supposedly attended with Iran hardliners in Madrid. Casey denied the meeting, saying he was in England at a conference. The Frontline episode featured the host of the meeting changing his story from no, Casey was not at the conference that morning, to oh yes, he was after all.

      Parry claimed to have found the Madrid proof in archival research, which document is the subject of a long-punted FOIA request: https://www.rcfp.org/bird-october-surprise-foia/.

      The contemporary kicker of the affair is that the Reagan’s campaign alleged liason to the CIA is one Stefan Halper of Russiagate fame: https://www.nytimes.com/1983/07/07/us/reagan-aides-describe-operation-to-gather-inside-data-on-carter.html.

      Arms sales to Iran are framed in the Frontline episode as part of a quid pro quo.

      Reply
      1. jsn

        If you have former CIA Director Bill Casey running your election campaign and he’s not meeting the Iranians to prevent a last minute heroic success for Carter, we’ll, he’s just not doing his job. Being in London while that meeting happened so near would have been dereliction of duty.

        Reply
  3. Eustachedesaintpierre

    Perhaps people are already aware of this site as featured by Dr. Mikolaj Raszek, which in his video he does a run through of the info available at gisead.org that monitors new Covid strains. It is interactive & features a video that replays the march of the variants worldwide all the way back to the beginning in horrible detail. Delta perhaps due to a delay in information from India first shows up in Turkey – maybe a site worth keeping an eye on.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig_FjVVHS00 – 14.15 mins.

    Reply
      1. Eustachedesaintpierre

        And thanks for your link – hopefully they will both become very boring, I also forgot to mention that it’s also tracking flu variants.

        Reply
    1. griffen

      That’s gold, Jerry. To quote Kenny Banya, from Seinfeld. Just think of all the marketing catch phrases! This is a family blog so I’ll refrain from further debauchery.

      Reply
        1. Appleseed

          I found the last line significant:
          “Only around 65% of Austrians are fully vaccinated, one of the lowest rates in western Europe.”
          In Friday’s Water Cooler Lambert reported: 58.9% of the US is fully (doubly) vaccinated (CDC data, as of November 18.)

          Reply
  4. zagonostra

    >Austria CV19 vaccine protest

    If you watch video clips of Austria you will be inspired by the spirit of these people protesting.

    If you read the NYT article you will be deflated by the MSM propaganda here in the U.S.

    From the NYT:

    The populist Freedom Party, which has vociferously opposed the government’s coronavirus restrictions over the past 18 months, helped organize Saturday’s protests, attracting far-right groups and conspiracy theorists from across the country and neighboring Germany

    The video clips on Ytbue that I browsed all minimize the size of the crowed. The only reason I even watch clips to begin with is that a sibling who lives in Europe sent it me. If you gauge the time spent on Rittenhouse and on Vaccine Mandates you’re you would think that the former is more important than the latter.

    If you did not read IM Doc’s post yesterday, you should, it’s very important.

    From IM Doc:

    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.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/20/world/europe/austria-lockdown-vaccine-mandate-covid.html

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2021/11/links-11-20-2021.html#comment-3637468

    Reply
  5. griffen

    Biden administration’s nominee to head the OCC. Thanks for linking to an article that is not demanding or paywalled, even. It will be interesting how this progresses, as per the article she is receiving pushback from even the mild to milquetoast Dems, like Warner. I do think it’s ludicrous, some of the questions about her communist upbringing.

    Reply
    1. Oh

      The communist (red scare) propaganda has been going on for so long and it sunk our chances for government (single payer) health care in the 1900’s. Now these politicians are trying to sink a nomination because they’re afraid she migt do her job. In the meantime we have government funded (to huge corps) subsidies to the medical-pharma-complex and wholly paid for mega $$$ to the military-industrial-war complex besides other largesse to peivate industry. What hypocrisy!

      Reply
      1. PHLDenizen

        The “red scare” is political theater. The US government is happy as a pig in shit to turn a blind eye when it comes to commerce and trade with China.

        For instance, Zentalis pharma (US) conjured a separate entity called Zentera, living in China because China is the “second-largest pharmaceutical market in the world, establishing a joint venture in China is the first step toward advancing our product candidates on a global scale.”

        My hunch is some or all of Zentalis’ R&D comes from US taxpayer subsidized work.

        China also eliminated drug price controls in 2015, which explains its appeal — larger population, likely higher cancer rates due to a significant amount of its workforce working with nasty chemicals used to manufacture electronics for export, no ceiling on drug prices, less strict regulatory environment. Lots of money to be made with far fewer risks to profits. Baycol may have had a far longer run or just been rebranded to something else and kept on the market.

        So where are all the anti-communist politicians on this matter? Probably building large additions on their houses with all the campaign donations.

        As an aside, an acquaintance of mine who works in pharma discovery has run into lots of data quality problems with fraud and manipulation of clinical studies in the US, but orders of magnitude worse with China.

        Another “red scare” would be the FDA reaching some accord with China whereby they accept at face value the results of all studies from China. Or embracing China developed drugs with zero oversight. The FDA can’t even get the inspection of foreign manufacture of generics worked out. India is just as bad.

        Apparently no one remembers China doping infant formula in 2008 with melamine to boost nitrogen levels to pass lab testing. Killed and severely injured lots of infants.

        Reply
          1. ambrit

            It also showed that China will be “forceful” when necessary. The head of the company involved got life in prison and two underlings were shot.

            Reply
  6. fresno dan

    Man spotted with AR-15 outside Kyle Rittenhouse trial confirms he is a fired Ferguson police officer Chicago Tribune

    Kenosha County sheriff’s deputies told Kline, who drove to the courthouse in a Maserati with Illinois plates, that he could not have the rifle there because he was within 1,000 feet of a school if he did not have a permit.
    ….
    Reached later by phone, Kline told the Tribune he had been fired from the Ferguson force because of the criminal charges. He said the case was dropped and later expunged from court records.
    =============================================
    I wonder if non residents are ever issued gun permits? And are gun permits issued in one state valid in another state??? And although his arrest record was expunged, I wonder if in issuing gun permits records of termination for criminal behavior could be considered in issuing gun permits…

    Reply
        1. farragut

          If only we could vote into office “Good Democrats” who’d overturn this travesty! True-blue Good Democrats who work for the people, such as Manchin or Sinema….

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Instead we get an “Axis of More Effective Evils.”
            When it comes to ‘The Best of the Worst,” move on over Kim Jong-il, here come the Americans.

            Reply
            1. John

              How might we expect anything other than varieties of whimsical, insane, meretricious, servile, and self-serving behavior from a Congress genuflecting to the lobbyists and openly accepting translucently veiled bribes? I have no faith in either body of Congress. There are a few individuals who appear to have at least the shreds of integrity, but they are lost in the crowd.

              Reply
    1. Tex

      I wonder if non residents are ever issued gun permits? And are gun permits issued in one state valid in another state? Yes, numerous states issue non-resident carry permits. Some are actually sought after due to wide reciprocity with other states. Nearly all state permits carry some reciprocity.

      And although his arrest record was expunged, I wonder if in issuing gun permits records of termination for criminal behavior could be considered in issuing gun permits This is the difference between a “may issue” state and a “shall issue” state. In a shall issue state, essentially if you can pass a NICS check you can get a carry permit although some training may be required. In a may issue state arbitrary questions like yours can be raised and potentially limit permit issuance. New York state’s may issue language is currently under review by SCOTUS.

      Interesting enough, in Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware, one can open carry a handgun with no permit of any type required and very few limitations. If you can pass the NICS check, you can open carry.

      Reply
        1. Tex

          Thanks ambrit for calling that out. I tend to reference Constitutional Carry with the ability to carry concealed without permit, not open. Some states clearly distinguish between the two, others do not.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Yes. We live in Mississippi, which has a pretty much Wild West carry ethos. I see people wearing their “Personal Protective Devices” occasionally. Most carry concealed. As in the woman at the local grocery store who took a pistol out of her purse at the check out line while searching for her wallet in the bottom of said purse. (I saw this a year ago.) Most that I see carrying out in plain sight fit the stereotype of “Evil Prepper” or “Good Old Boy.” A form of Right-wing “virtue signalling.”
            Speaking of the Wild West; I remember reading that, in general, back in the day, if a person was carrying a firearm, shooting them, even in the back, was considered “legitimate homicide.” You got in trouble for shooting an unarmed person.
            We seem to be circling back around to that earlier ethos.
            O tempora, o mores!

            Reply
            1. LifelongLib

              Don’t have a link handy, but my understanding is that a number of “wild west” towns actually banned firearms. You turned your gun into the sheriff when you entered the city limits and picked it up when you left. Anecdotally I’ve heard that ranchers were the only people who routinely carried guns (to protect cattle from predators); other people mostly didn’t. The idea that everyone back then walked around with a gun on their hip is untrue.

              Reply
              1. fresno dan

                LifelongLib
                November 21, 2021 at 1:37 pm
                I agree with what you say. I think if you look at the trials back then, it was just impossible to tell the instigator apart from the victim – everybody had a plausible claim that the other was going to shoot. Which was the impetus for the idea that everyone armed is not a “polite society” but a violent society…and therefore laws that there should be no public carrying of guns.
                We are regressing

                Reply
    2. farragut

      Going from memory here, so apologies in advance, but my inference was he was asked to leave or safely store the rifle due to his being within 1000 feet of a primary or secondary school (ie, “Gun-free Zones”), and not so much due to needing a concealed-carry permit (the only general license or permit pertaining to guns of which I’m aware, outside of owning a suppressor or fully automatic weapon). Even if he had a CCW permit, he’d still have to avoid the 1000-foot perimeter of the school (some exceptions, but none applied to his situation).

      Forgive me, but I just assumed the Tribune reporter or officer either mis-communicated or misunderstood the situation resulting in the way the article’s sentence was written.

      Reply
    3. fresno dan

      fresno dan
      November 21, 2021 at 8:33 am

      One point, uh, to myself. (people accuse me of having Dissociative identity disorder but thats unpossible because a plurality of me don’t think its true…)

      Something like 106 people are murdered PER DAY in the US.
      I can’t find anything on how many are killed per day due to self defense, (not even taking into account claimed self defence, legally accepted self defense, etcetera) or how many lives (again, documented versus claimed) were saved by someone showing (or brandishing, they are words) a gun.
      There are about 330 million people in the US. The fact that one young man injected himself into a violent situation should not be all that surprising. That there could be confusing and conflicting interpretations goes without saying. And it Rittenhouse shouldn’t have been there – well, if I’m honest, a good number of the people there were less than stellar examples of 1st amendment practictioners.
      I would be curious about how much open carry there actually is. I have never in my life (other than historical re-enactments, police, and military) seen a civilian in a urban location carrying a weapon. Is it actually newworthy, or are we all just falling for clickbait?

      Reply
      1. Pelham

        I’ve seen an open-carry instance in an urban setting precisely once in about 40 years of urban life. It was a middle-aged guy on Michigan Avenue in Chicago a few years back when then-President Obama was in town on a visit many blocks away. The guy had a small revolver holstered on his hip and was tailed by two police officers as he walked up and down from the latitude of the Walgreens down to about the Tribune Tower. I guess he was making a statement of some sort.

        Reply
      2. marku52

        I’ve seen it frequently here in SW OR. In fact, the post office put up a note saying weapons were not allowed. that’s one of the places I saw it.

        Reply
      3. eg

        When I visited New Orleans in 1992 I saw a fellow in a diner at breakfast with a pistol jammed into the band of the back of his jeans.

        As a Canadian I can assure you that such a sight was a novelty.

        Reply
    4. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      “drove to the courthouse in a Maserati ”

      Let’s just swell on this a moment. A fired Ferguson police officer. How can he afford a Maserati? Cops don’t make Maserati salaries/wages. Did he get a big payoff for unlawful termination that he blew on a car?

      Reply
      1. farragut

        While it’s easy to ‘torque on the marque’, we’d need to know more detail. For example, prior to the current insane market for used vehicles, it was quite common for plebes like me to buy a 10 – 15 yr old used luxury car to have fun with. Just before COVID hit, I paid cash for a 2007 Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 AMG convertible with middling mileage for $20,000 (a normally aspirated V8 producing 475HP; a no-brainer for me). It retailed for ~$100,000 when new! I’d never squander that much an a car. It’s even easier if Kline’s purchase (new or used) …in the grandest American tradition…was financed.

        Reply
      2. Gareth

        There are several 8 to 12 year-old Maseratis with 20K-30K miles selling for $20-40K in my area. They depreciate like any other vehicle. If you have suitable mechanical skills, they can be a fun daily driver.

        Reply
      3. PHLDenizen

        Maseratis have one of the highest depreciation rates of any luxury car — something like 72% over 5 years. Without any context, it’s hard to determine how much he actually paid or what the source of income was. I guess civil asset forfeiture is a possibility. They usually just steal your cash.

        Check out Vinwiki’s YT channel for episode with Ed Bolian. Luxury car enthusiast who worked as a sales dude at a few luxury car dealers in ATL. Funny as hell with funny stories and goes into detail about how luxury car enthusiasts with decidedly non-luxury incomes and assets manage to own and drive Ferraris, etc. well worth your time.

        One of my favorite episodes: https://youtu.be/RYj3lhXfyk4

        Reply
  7. Eclair

    RE: Kyle Rittenhouse.
    “… he and his attackers plausibly entered a context in which neither could be held legally liable for killing the other.”

    Sounds like a definition of “war.”

    Reply
    1. YankeeFrank

      The sleight of hand Levitz uses, where he substitutes the arbitrary perspective of those near the first shooting for the actual evidence of who attacked whom on the videos in evidence, is a nice try but fails. Sure, in the moment people nearby may not know who the initial aggressor was, but that doesn’t then give them the right to just shoot someone. And it doesn’t mean that whoever is left standing then simply becomes the arbitrary innocent self-defender. Actions matter, and who did what first matters. Its not simply up to the people on the scene to decide who dies next and then walk free.

      I once prevented a woman being raped in an elevator in my building, more by not knowing what was happening than anything heroic. We were watching a war movie when my wife turned to me saying she heard screams from the hallway. We ran out and I tapped the half open elevator door to make it open all the way at which point a raging man jumped up from the woman he was on top of and lunged at me, motioning as if he was going for a gun in his belt (I don’t think he had one but in the milliseconds I had to act I couldn’t be sure). I jumped back instinctively and he fled down the staircase and was never found. The police arrived and told me I did the right thing because in the moment I had no idea who this guy was and what the actual situation was (I thought I did the right thing by not getting shot). I knew what the situation was, or so I thought, as the air was thick with it. And yet, if I’d had a gun and shot the guy would I have been guilty of murder? It may have depended on a few facts which I could not know in the moment, and so getting out of the way and letting him escape was the right move even though I let an attempted rapist get away.

      If someone is trying to get away from a violent scene that isn’t clear, even if those present think it is, its not up to them to decide whether they live or die. They can perhaps try to disarm/capture someone they think is guilty (not advisable either), but not just kill them. That’s not self-defense. Its potentially murder and the facts in evidence matter.

      Reply
    2. Pelham

      The men Rittenhouse shot appeared to be either mentally unstable or possessors of violent criminal records. So I’m curious about the conclusion that they were heroically trying to stop an “active shooter,” particularly when Rittenhouse’s shots — only eight in total — weren’t the first to be fired in the area.

      As we’ve seen in mass shootings, the rational response is to run for cover or try to shield others and pull them into safe spaces. Typically you don’t chase a shooter (especially one who hasn’t fired yet) wielding a skateboard, swinging a chain and threatening to kill him.

      Reply
      1. Kurtismayfield

        So people who are bad always do bad things. Instead of the mob knowing that he just shot someone and they are trying to stop him, you automatically assume their negative intentions because of their record.

        And there have been armed responses to shooters by civilians before. The church shooting in Texas comes to mind.

        Reply
  8. fresno dan

    Kyle Rittenhouse’s Defense Was Strong Eric Levitz, New York Magazine. Key paragraphs:
    I have posted the below article several times. It is interesting who gets to carry, and WHO doesn’t get to carry….
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/09/the-secret-history-of-guns/308608/
    The eighth-grade students gathering on the west lawn of the state capitol in Sacramento were planning to lunch on fried chicken with California’s new governor, Ronald Reagan, and then tour the granite building constructed a century earlier to resemble the nation’s Capitol. But the festivities were interrupted by the arrival of 30 young black men and women carrying .357 Magnums, 12-gauge shotguns, and .45-caliber pistols.
    …..
    Republicans in California eagerly supported increased gun control. Governor Reagan told reporters that afternoon that he saw “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” He called guns a “ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.” In a later press conference, Reagan said he didn’t “know of any sportsman who leaves his home with a gun to go out into the field to hunt or for target shooting who carries that gun loaded.” The Mulford Act, he said, “would work no hardship on the honest citizen.”

    Reply
    1. pjay

      As usual, Caitlin provides some relevant thoughts:

      “If your opinion about a legal case would be different if the political ideologies of those involved were reversed and all other facts and evidence remained the same, then it’s probably best not to pretend your position on the case has anything to do with facts or evidence.”

      https://caityjohnstone.medium.com/war-vaccine-mandates-and-other-notes-from-the-edge-of-the-narrative-matrix-862a5760677b

      It is instructive to contemplate the reactions on all sides if Grosskreutz would have shot Rittenhouse first.

      Reply
    2. Tom Stone

      FD, I lived in the Blue Heart of California when the Rumford act passed.
      SLAVE REBELLION!!!
      Was the emotional reaction of the true blue liberals I encountered.
      And no, that’s not an exaggeration.

      Reply
  9. GramSci

    Re: Clickbait Farms

    I’m having a hard time distinguishing the MO of Cambodian clickbait farms from the CIA-NYT-WaPo-MIT clickbait farm. Hence, perhaps, the MIT prescription:

    “Allen proposed one possible way Facebook could do this: by using what’s known as a graph-based authority measure to rank content. This would amplify higher-quality pages like news and media and diminish lower-quality pages like clickbait, reversing the current trend.”

    Reply
    1. GramSci

      Specifically, the MO at issue is: using “algorithms [i.e., business plans] [to] boost whatever is engaging to users, they’ve created an information ecosystem where content that goes viral on one platform will often be recycled on the other to maximize distribution and revenue … [understanding that] they need to understand neither a country’s local context nor its language to turn political outrage into income.”

      I don’t know if the NYT or WaPo get money from AdSense or Facebook’s ad services. If they do, it’s probably not much, allowing the NYT and WaPo to see themselves as virtuous non-profit organizations.

      Reply
    2. lambert strether

      Just eliminate ranking. Make the feed whatever the user subscribes to, in date order, newest first. Also eliminate algorithmic recommendations.

      Reply
  10. jr

    re: long COVID

    I can already hear the whining and snide remarks targeting the long COVID victims: managers snorting at requests for time off, doctors shrugging off complaints, friends and family rolling their eyes because they have heard it a million times already. “Must be long COVID, hmm?” Time to blame the victim, American style! I wonder how long before I hear someone dismissing someone else’s symptoms as malingering…

    Wasn’t there a similar dynamic when cancer became really popular back in the 1940’s? I seem to recall reading somewhere about how some cancer patients were ashamed of their diagnosis. The prospect of an incurable, deadly disease seemed somehow un-American when the US had obviously solved all the rest of life’s problems AND beaten Hitler.

    Reply
    1. Basil Pesto

      Yep, this was an immediate concern to me as soon as it became apparent that Long Covid was ‘a thing’. It’s an august tradition. If it’s any consolation (it isn’t) this is nailed on to happen in Australia too, where blaming ‘dole bludgers’ and frivolous worker’s comp claimants for society’s ills ranks somewhere between rugby and surfing as a popular national sport. Thanks Rupert!

      Reply
      1. jr

        Long COVID is only partially on people’s radar here anyway. They’re too busy trying to suppress the reality of short COVID in their minds. It’s going to be real easy to dismiss it as an individual failing when half the population is barely aware it exists.

        Reply
          1. Jason Boxman

            The entire population needs housing and food and that’s been ignored since forever. I wouldn’t expect much more about long COVID either, a challenge that’s infinitely more difficult.

            Reply
  11. DJG, Reality Czar

    FBk kindly offered me this “memory,” a quote that I published there on 21 November 2016. Yes, five years ago.

    And it turns out to be timeless:

    Lambert Strether at Naked Capitalism, on just how enlightened the Democrats have been:
    “I think this is the eternal question: “Are they stupid and/or evil”? No question being stupid and evil gives a fine account of our current Mediterranean/Black Sea Policy; in fact, just being stupid does. On the other hand, if you believe our policy goal is simply to sow chaos, because (1) that ties down Russia, (2) a military protectorate (Europe) bears most of the costs, i.e., refugees, not the “homeland,” and (3) ka-ching for arms merchants and mercenaries and shouting heads and fear-mongering generally, then smart and evil gives a fine account, too. (Note that (1), (2), and (3) all work as a self-licking ice cream cone; the worse things get, the better. Ditto for (4) moving the Overton Window right domestically. It’s beautiful in its own way, really.)”

    Reply
    1. pjay

      Thank you for this quote. Timeless indeed.

      Most post hoc analyses of our foreign policy “failures” in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, etc., etc., pretend that establishing stable governments that work for “the people” is our ultimate policy goal. Any analysis that does not consider “sowing chaos” as a *goal itself* is obfuscation at best. Sometimes the analyst is stupid; sometimes smart. The result is always evil.

      Reply
    2. fresno dan

      DJG, Reality Czar
      November 21, 2021 at 8:48 am

      thanks for that
      3) ka-ching for arms merchants and mercenaries and shouting heads and fear-mongering generally, then smart and evil gives a fine account, too.
      =======================
      The fact is, the 2 parties are in lock step on most things, because the rich* want them to be. Indeed, the fact that we are constantly indoctrinated to have only two Potemkin (i.e., fake opposition) parties is one of the reasons why the system so successfully perpetuates itself…

      *it is an absolutely amazing thing that the rich getting richer has been sold (irony alert) to many as something good for most people.

      Reply
  12. John

    Re:Africa covid. I remember hearing that off label use drug which shalst not be named is widely used in Africa for other reasons. Coincidence? Can’t have anything compete with Big pharmas new pills. It would be a sin to leave millions on the table (vrs in the plebs pockets)

    Reply
    1. William Hunter Duncan

      “Scientists mystified, wary, as Africa avoids COVID disaster AP”

      Quick! Get them vaccinated on humanitarian grounds! It is only a matter of time! [Before they figure out there are alternatives to these vaccines for most people and our honey pot dries up!]

      Reply
    2. David

      Well, there’s the obligatory “Africa is not a country, it’s the most diverse continent in the world” comment to make first, I suppose. It’s hard to see what, say, Namibia, Sudan and Sierra Leone have in common that might explain lower rates of transmission. But then the story only really concerns itself with Zimbabwe. If there’s a common feature, it’s lack of urban infrastructure, air conditioning etc. by comparison to most western countries. In most parts of Africa, people live outside, or in buildings with windows open, to a far greater extent than we do. It may come down to something as simple as that.

      Although malaria is endemic in may parts of Africa, and Iver****** is one way of treating it, I really doubt that it has had much influence, especially as it isn’t being much used yet. In practice, malaria is pretty rare in the higher altitudes, and anyway few African countries have the infrastructure or money for mass treatment. The basic precautions against malaria are still nets, sprays and, for those with the money drugs like Malarone. Perhaps Africa’s greatest contribution to conquering the disease will be to remind us to open the bl***y windows.

      Reply
    3. Nikkikat

      I had the same thought while reading article pretending not to understand how there was no covid cases in Africa. It was portrayed as a real head scratcher. Some sort of magical thing going on over there. Never said anything about that one drug given in Africa to a large part of the population……hmmm

      Reply
    4. Samuel Conner

      In the spirit of the Harry Potter universe, in which “He who must not be named” was usually referred to as “You know Who”, I propose that “the antihelminthic medication that must not be named” be customarily shortened to

      “You know What”

      Reply
    5. Robert Hahl

      Sorry to just shoot from the hip, but it seems much more likely to me that the explanation would involve ventilation differences.

      Reply
      1. John k

        LA times today carried this, saying the least Covid was in malaria regions.
        The secret drug is widely prescribed in those areas.
        Regarding ventilation… warm and humid malaria regions might have the worst venting, windows closed to keep bugs out and ac in.

        Reply
        1. Susan the other

          The Zimbabweans think it is not so much ivermectin, but malaria itself which changes the human immune system to be more resilient against Covid – apparently without overreacting and causing cytokine storms – at least that was my read. Of course, ivermectin probably makes it possible for the human immune system to be more resilient to malaria, etc. I’m thinking the new word should be “resilience”. (Remember the story about the mice with high iron counts in their blood who were resilient to the point of not getting sick at all because they “shared” their iron with their bugs.) But this stuff is contradicted by South Africa, on Zimbabwe’s southern border, which was clocked by Covid in spite of a population taking not just malaria drugs, but HIV and TB drugs as well – all of which are said to be effective against Covid. So where does all this leave us? I’d like to see a graphic of various remedies – not just outbreaks. And speaking of iron: I remember the first accounts of Covid were calling it a “blood disease” because the virus attacked and devoured hemoglobin in blood cells, leaving the detritus of the rest of the cell to clog up lungs and cause patients to suffocate. and etc.

          Reply
          1. David

            This report discusses the great progress made recently in eradicating malaria from Zimbabwe. But the methods were generally the classic ones of spraying and using mosquito nets. For treatment, as opposed to prevention, it says that “Artemisinin-based combination therapy was used to treat malaria following chloroquine resistance in 2000, and sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine in 2004.” No mention of you-know-what.

            As I said above I think the most likely main reason is the way of life. South Africa may be “on Zimbabwe’s southern border”) but this is Africa we are talking about, and the area of the country is comparable to that of Western Europe. It’s also by some distance the most advanced state in Africa, so that means air conditioning in the summer, lots of tall office and apartment buildings, lots of restaurants, cinemas pubs and shopping malls. Joburg is about a thousand kilometres south of Harare, and Came Town as far south again. In Joburg in their winter it’s often chilly – you see frost on the ground in the morning. So it’s not surprising they’ve been hit harder.

            Reply
      2. newcatty

        It could be likely be that there could be that more than one explanation is valid. “You know what” could be effective, as well as ventilation. Perhaps some synergy with the two, as is often the case.

        Reply
    6. Basil Pesto

      That link was posted a couple of days ago and somebody raised this issue in the JAQing Off style then as well, which I addressed at the time (with, I hasten to add, no particular technical expertise on my part)

      tl;dr: Zimbabwe, one of the countries discussed in that article, to the best of my knowledge has not been part of the mass ivermectin distribution programme in Sub-Saharan Africa, and so Ivermectin cannot be an explanation for their Covid outcomes to date. Nigeria, on the other hand, is, and is also doing well if the figures are to be believed – which they aren’t, but oh well. Complex systems are complex.

      Reply
    7. Yves Smith

      That article is just plain wrong. Our GM already debunked it by e-mail. Only place in Africa that is doing well is West Africa, where even the seropositivity is freakishly low.

      Reply
  13. The Rev Kev

    “Hospitalizations rising among fully vaccinated in U.S., Fauci says”

    Dr. Anthony Fauci: ‘What we’re starting to see now is an uptick in hospitalizations among people who’ve been vaccinated but not boosted.’

    That scraping sound that you can hear is the sound of the goal-posts being once again shifted by Fauci. So now if these people are getting sick, it is not because they have been double vaccinated but because they have not gotten their booster shot on top of their double vaccinations. And by the middle of next year, if people start falling sick, he will blame them because they have not gotten their second booster shot. What a guy. Recently somebody had a go at him for being inconsistent with his mask-wearing and without blinking, said that he used a mask depending on who he was with. I guess that ‘sophisticated’ people don’t carry the virus.

    Reply
    1. Louis Fyne

      Fauci is the Pied Piper who is going to lead the Democrats to ballot box ruin in 2022, 2024. for better or worse.

      my 1 cent prediction, ymmv.

      Reply
      1. zagonostra

        I’ll wager you that will never happen. There is new book about Fauci out by a well known personality/author that is heading up the Amazon charts. I guarantee you that if a fraction of the people in this country get a whiff of what’s inside this book, it’s over for him and anyone associating with him. The repercussions will carry through the decades…so I’ll see your 1 cent and double it.

        Reply
    2. The Historian

      Well, the ‘sophisticated’ people can afford to be tested as often as they want – and at home. They can afford the tests and someone to come to their house as often as necessary. Not so for the rest of us. If we home test, we still have to go out somewhere to have it verified. And when they call their private doctor, they are going to get treated immediately. They aren’t going to be told to self isolate for 10 days and call back if the symptoms get worse which, as I understand it, puts people outside the window for the most effective treatments for Covid. I’m sure Fauci, as one of the ‘sophisticated’ people, doesn’t even understand this.

      What also bothers me is that there seem to be no drivers to develop an adequate vaccine. Boosters are such money makers – why would anyone even want to put an end to them? Certainly not Fauci!

      Reply
    3. Nikkikat

      Fauci is also talking about vaccinating babies. Next he will start talking about herd immunity again. And no the crowd he associates with doesn’t wear masks and eats out restaurants a lot.

      Reply
      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        I feel like they’re still working off the herd immunity playbook already, even if they aren’t saying it so much these days. There was a link here a few days ago about the recent run of Phish shows being superspreader events. I follow someone who went to a couple and, sure enough, she got Covid. Looking at the pics she was posting from the shows, all I could think was what madness this was. If the powers that be don’t still think we’re just all going to get it and then it will be ok, I don’t know how else to explain what’s going on.

        Reply
          1. ambrit

            Perhaps “shrinking the herd” is one way. Eventually, only those with superior resistance to viral infection survive to propagate. The cynic in me imagines that this could be an ‘organic’ happening that is being given a “healthy dose” of “benign neglect” to speed the change along.

            Reply
          2. Vandemonian

            One thought which occurred to me is that we may be watching some genetic pruning going on, with variations in particular sequences of DNA leading to wide variations in susceptibility to COVID.

            Did the Denisovans and Neanderthals die out because they mr a virus they didn’t like (or that didn’t like them?).

            Reply
            1. Maritimer

              “One thought which occurred to me is that we may be watching some genetic pruning going on, with variations in particular sequences of DNA leading to wide variations in susceptibility to COVID.”
              ***********
              Another thought. They can query the captive databases at large cooperative organizations like Pentagon, Kaiser and many others for the results of injections. Then, if they have the DNA, they can start matching up with effects. The Experiment can then move forward. It would seem obvious that they must be doing this. No wonder they do not need VAERS, they have something much better.

              I am hoping a Manning or Snowden will come forward if BP, WHO, etc. are doing this. It is also a reason for anyone being coerced to take these injections to register and meticulously document their objections. At the very least, the Covid Contrarians should be taking a close look at this.

              This is not a one-off cashgrab; it is the first step in reengineering the human immune system.

              Reply
        1. Robert Hahl

          “…how else to explain what’s going on.”

          When I was a young chemist working for big pharma, I wondered why there was no vaccine against the common cold (coronavirus). IIRC it had been attempted a few times, and it worked, but the effects only lasted two months. Nobody would take a booster shot that often to avoid catching an occasional cold.

          Now we face a more deadly coronavirus and have launched a vaccine, hoping that this time is different. The effects will last longer. Why? No reason given. And the clinical trials were not designed to show it. Then Israel starts giving boosters after five months. Presumably they didn’t reach that decision without due deliberation, such as noticing that the effects were fading (three months?), waiting to see if this was real (another month), then deciding what to do and implementing that (one month?) = five months.

          The Biden/Fauci administration opted for six-month boosters. Why? No reason given. Presumably there was not political support for five-month boosters, and certainly not for two-month boosters, but it looks to me like that is what we need and they just won’t admit it.

          Reply
      2. Mikel

        And then boosters for babies. See where this is going?
        They are working their way to more precedents for mandates to force people to buy products. Yes, I said buy because these therapeutic shots are not going to remain “free”…
        But even now, I’m sure the cost is being shifted.

        You havd to wonder about Fauci and all of these alleged stats with govt and healthcare industry participants who are extrememly “tight” with each other.

        With the level of greed, the moving goalposts is making me really think about the effect that is trying to be made with the info being put out.

        What will the shots really do people’s immune system long term? Not in lab or experiment settings and not on trials of a handfuls of people in the larger scheme of populations?

        And now they’ve set a new low bar and standard for meeting approvals for drugs, when the standards here were already sus!
        And they have bought and paid for elected representatives to do their bidding to force people to buy certain products or services?

        Reply
        1. clarky90

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          Reply
    4. Lee

      From the article:

      “Still, it’s not clear how many breakthrough hospitalizations there are. Although the CDC has been tracking the rate of hospitalizations among fully vaccinated people, its website shows data only through Aug. 28. According to the latest data from the CDC, an unvaccinated person is at 11 times greater risk of dying from Covid than a vaccinated person.

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

      Dereliction of duty or by design?

      Reply
      1. antidlc

        “Although the CDC has been tracking the rate of hospitalizations among fully vaccinated people, its website shows data only through Aug. 28. ”

        So does this mean the CDC has the data since Aug 28 but is not posting it on its website?

        Or does it mean they stopped tracking the data after Aug 28?

        Reply
      2. Lee

        FWIW, New York City, has breakthrough case data through November 15, 2021:

        “151,316 laboratory-confirmed breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among fully-vaccinated people in New York State, which corresponds to 1.2% of the population of fully-vaccinated people 12-years or older.

        9,636 hospitalizations with COVID-19 among fully-vaccinated people in New York State, which corresponds to 0.08% of the population of fully-vaccinated people 12-years or older.”

        Nothing on ICU or deaths that I could find.

        “Role for Additional Protective Measures: Because vaccines do not offer 100% protection, additional protective measures, such as mask wearing, and social distancing will provide additional protection. Please read the CDC’s interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people.”

        No mention of ventilation.

        Pop quiz:

        Using the rates cited in the article, and assuming a population that is 100% vaccinated. If Covid puts 0.08% of vaccinated persons in the hospital during the six month period of May through August, then what will be the annual disease burden of Covid-19 going forward. For extra credit, compare and contrast with the flu that produces annual hospitalizations ranging from 140K to 710K.

        Reply
        1. Mantid

          Lee, does your state site give the % of total cases that are breakthroughs? In Oregon, it’s up to 25.5% of all cases are b’throughs. That percentage is slowly rising. Also, the median age of those breakthrough cases is 45 years.

          Reply
          1. Lee

            Here’s the link: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-breakthrough-data

            They have a table that compares weekly recorded daily rates of vaccinated and unvaccinated cases. A quick look indicates unvaccinated to vaccinated cases running at about 10 to 1 during the period May through October, with vaccine effectiveness dropping from 91.8% to 79.4% for diagnosed cases. For hospitalizations during that period the vaccine efficacy rate has remained >90% except for one week in June when it dropped to 89.8%.

            I’m thinking maybe we should rely more on data from other countries to get a more accurate picture of what’s happening. I have the impression that the U.K., Israel, Denmark, and I assume some others are doing a better job.

            Reply
          2. Lee

            From JAMA:

            “As of October 21, 2021…35% of the 519 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Massachusetts had been fully vaccinated. Furthermore, multiple reports have documented that if fully vaccinated individuals do become infected, their viral loads may be as high as the levels seen in unvaccinated individuals.”

            The paper goes on to claim that there is evidence to suggest that the vaccines reduce the period of viral shedding and viability of viral particles transmitted. I guess our high hopes have been reduced to having to accept small comforts.

            Reply
        2. Objective Ace

          >If Covid puts 0.08% of vaccinated persons in the hospital during the six month period of May through August

          I would note that many of the fully vaccinated included in the numbers here were not in vaccinated that entire 6 months. Also, we know that immunity wears off quickly after 2 or 3 months so this percentage is way too optimistic longterm (unless we keep getting boosters ad infinitum)

          Reply
    5. Lee

      I’ve had to spend time with strangers in enclosed spaces lately for medical diagnostics. I contact each facility prior to my appointment and the first thing I ask them about is building ventilation—I’ve become something of a ventilation zealot (Thanks, Lambert). In each and every instance the first thing each person has said in response to my question regarding ventilation is…..wait for it…..”We are all vaccinated.”

      Reply
    6. Mildred Montana

      @The Rev Kev

      Pharmaceutical theme song:

      “Where government’s buyin’ big profits we’re findin’
      “South to Atlanta, we’re goin’ south the rush is on.”

      (Hat tip: Johnny Horton, “North to Alaska”)

      Reply
  14. Carolinian

    So New York Magazine condemns Rittenhouse using exactly the same reasoning (perceived threat) that cops cite when they shoot black people–the very thing the Jacob Blake protestors were protesting. Absurd indeed! Perhaps the real beef against the internet is not “fake news” but that it is making educated people dumber. Not here at NC of course….

    Whereas yesterday’s post on nonviolence got it right. Violence begets violence and–sorry apologists–riots are violence.

    Reply
  15. tegnost

    re bathrooms…
    What? Bloomie, now that gig workers are crapping in their lobby, decides that maybe there is such a thing as “society” after all? Or is it just a new opportunity for a place to harvest another toll?

    Reply
    1. Tex

      My thoughts exactly, only now we can replace the old dime slot on the stall door with a credit card swipe with variable rates depending on surge. Imagine the income.

      Reply
        1. griffen

          Per the wisdom of real estate developer, Al Czervik, who opines that “golf courses and cemeteries are the biggest wastes of prime real estate…”

          Naturally, the above is not a real person but Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack.

          Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “Picking Up Where Bush, Obama, and Trump Left Off, Biden Extends U.S. Campaign to Crush Venezuela”

    To be expected. It does not matter who the President is as Washington establishment’s neocon policies always stay the same. Proof of this is that the present President is a geriatric old man showing signs of dementia while the previous President was a game show host that had less interest in the outside world than George W. Bush. And yet US foreign policy has been fairly consistent all that time whether you are talking about, Iran, Venezuela, Russia, etc.

    Reply
  17. LawnDart

    The latest case of rampant vulgarity started this fall. Fans at a NASCAR race began chanting “[expletive] Joe Biden,” but an announcer misheard the chant and reported that the crowd said “Let’s Go Brandon,” to support driver Brandon Brown.

    OK, most of us have seen the video. But here we have the Post-Gazette Editorial Board telling us that what we saw isn’t what happened: misheard the chant? Oh, bullxxxx…

    This is another example of the contempt in which they hold us, of the nonchalant use of lies and gaslighting in an effort to sway opinion in a direction favorable to them.

    Distrust of mainstream media is a consistant theme on this board. Why do we distrust the media? Because they lie to us, constantly! And what are the effect of these lies?

    To name and shame, as instigators of dischord, please allow me to share this link to an editorial piece authored by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial Board:

    https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2021/11/20/Let-s-go-Brandon-isn-t-clever-it-s-vulgar/stories/202111200013

    Reply
      1. LawnDart

        True. How presumptious of me to speak ill of our betters– I am no deNiro.

        Ah, well… I gotta go eat some horse-paste and snort some bleach to try and pre-empt the China flu. Gonna go rub elbows with the unwashed, drink some beers, catch the game and take my mind off of this garbage for a bit.

        Reply
    1. Louis Fyne

      couldn’t read the article per paywall…..my bet is drugs.

      my area has (relative to the national average) less drug problems, unlocked public bathrooms in all decent sized public places.

      But traveling to other areas of the country with more opioid problems, bathrooms are key/code-restricted or nonexistent—even in well-manicured middle class areas.

      Reply
      1. TimH

        My my Dad lives in a small town in northern NSW, Oz, there are large individual public toilets on the main downtown streets with washing and needle disposal facilities. The clever bit is the automatic timer.

        Reply
  18. YankeeFrank

    “McKinsey affiliate agrees to pay $18 mln to U.S. regulator over compliance failures ”

    I actually worked as a contract software engineer at MIO for a brief spell about 5 years ago. The place was a fancy garbage scow: littered with greedy, lazy and incompetent managers and a dispirited, disorganized tech staff (welcome to the tech world sure, but this was worse). They boasted about their insider ability to determine worthy investments though I remain unconvinced McKinsey’s partners wouldn’t have done better with an index fund rather than paying around 100 staff and midtown commercial real estate rates. But hey, I guess its their money to burn how they wish, and I imagined they had drunk at least half their own kool-aid, probably 3/4, it is McKinsey after all. As long as the dough keeps rolling in…

    Anyway, the only wall I ever saw was the rather arbitrary one dividing contract employees from staff. It was an awful place and I was glad to leave.

    Reply
  19. Carolinian

    Re right to bear arms–it isn’t really that ambiguous and means what it says which is that militias were the original defense against George III and those militia members used personal guns that they kept at home for other uses. Scalia was using a new version, a creative interpretation, just as liberals did with the abortion right to privacy which wasn’t in the Constitution either. Clearly these days to the extent we have “well regulated militias” they don’t use their own guns and if they did we’d be having Civil War 2. So both left and right are taking a “have your cake and eat it too” stance by opposing one interpretation while championing the other. It could be we have a functioning democracy problem even more than a gun problem and need to do more reasoning together rather than shouting. Depending wholly on the judgments of nine old men/women to settle things is not very democratic.

    Reply
    1. David May

      “It could be we blah, blah, blah need to do more reasoning together rather than shouting.”

      🤣 Yeah, like that’s going to happen. Americans are now legally entitled to shoot each other down in the streets like dogs. The country is sliding like a great big turd down the toilet bowl of history. More reasoning together. Yeah. Most Americans don’t even know who George Washington was. Get out while you can is my advise.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        I didn’t say it was going to happen but i’ll say it now or at least say that the current absurd bickering will end on the basis of Dr. Johnson’s “knowing that you are going to be hung in a fortnight concentrates the mind wonderfully.”

        For the last few decades we have been in the grip of grifters and bunco artists but I believe the country can do better if it has to. Will that be too late?

        ?????

        Reply
  20. Alex Morfesis

    Marriott politically neutral ?? The same Marriott that claimed it’s operator was independent and refused to cancel the 125th anniversary event for the statue people aka the sons of confederate veterans in St Augustine at the PGA complex…even after the PGA offered to reimburse the operator for any revenue losses ?? THAT politically “neutral” Marriott…pfffttt….

    Reply
  21. Mildred Montana

    Revisiting the Messy Language of the Second Amendment

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    I often wonder why nobody (including the author of this article) ever mentions that two hundred and thirty years ago the phrase “the people” was a singular term and was often capitalized, as in “The People is sovereign.”

    In this light, I think the writers of the amendment might have been using it in this way and saw it as a protection of a 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 right, not an 𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘶𝘢𝘭 one. Thus, the People—singular, collectively—has the right to keep and bear arms, but only in the form of a 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭-𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 (important word!) militia. I don’t think for a minute that the drafters intended it as an invitation for every person in the country—the people plural—to arm themselves to the teeth.

    I confess I am no skilled parser of the Bill of Rights, unlike the late Antonin Scalia, who had the uncanny ability to accurately read the thoughts of men two-centuries dead. /sarc

    Reply
    1. flora

      To give a controversial response here: I’ve heard many times the 2nd Amendment is what guarantees the other 9 Amendments from govt over reach. I can’t read the Founders’ intent. They did win a rebellion against England, the then ruling govt. See the long list of grievances against the Crown’s govt in the Declaration of Independence. My 2 cents. Note I’m not against gun laws. We have lots of gun laws. I would, however, make common cause with organizations I don’t normally have any interest in if there’s an attempt eliminate the 2nd Amendment for individuals. “The Right of the People….” etc. (Oh man, I can’t believe I’m writing this. Strange times we live in.)

      Reply
      1. Pate

        Remember too that the Jeffersonian antifederalists who insisted on a bill of rights were states’ rights guys leery of a too powerful overreaching central government. Thus the state militias (and most assuredly not individual carry) – they were the political left that believed the best chance for democracy existed at the state level where government could be kept close to the people ala Montesquieu

        Reply
        1. Pate

          And yes. States rights (and state militias) also meant the ostensible protection of slave power and the slavery system, among other considerations. Does saying such make me a 1619er? Things are so complicated these days.

          Reply
            1. marym

              > Was slavery contentious so early?

              It probably was for the 700,000 enslaved people. But yes, for the ruling class it was contentious in terms of political and economic interests. Three “compromises” in the Constitution address the areas of contention; the 3/5 compromise for representation (although for enslaved peoples it was really 0/5ths since their interests weren’t represented), the postponement of Congress’s authority to ban the importation of people to be enslaved, and the fugitive slave clause.

              From the perspective of justice and morality here are some links concerning the anti-slavery movement in the colonies:

              https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/journey-emancipation-germantown-protest-1688
              https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/vermont-1777-early-steps-against-slavery
              https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/african-american-odyssey/abolition.html

              Reply
    2. Joe trying to be helpful

      In the 1700s passengers on stages were sometimes required by law to be armed to disincentive persons who might be tempted to hold them up. Check it out yourself.

      Reply
    3. VietnamVet

      In the context of the American settler colonies, militias were necessary to defend villages and towns from native Americans, pirates and other Europeans. In 1814 they successfully defended Baltimore City. 97% of the Civil War Union Army was state militias. Switzerland’s mountains and militia system kept it out of WWI & II.

      A well-regulated militia is not a 17-year-old carrying an AR-15 to a riot. It is the opposite. It is the purposeful local defense force formed to prevent gangs, tribes and outsiders from ransacking their homes and towns.

      The USA is now an Empire propped up by mercenaries. Gun rights are being used by Imperialists to divide and rule the American population. Unless The People’s government is restored, identify politics will bring about the secession of the Union which the Constitution was originally written and adopted to protect and a war was fought to preserve.

      Reply
  22. petal

    Sorry, I can’t find it again to reply to, but there was a recent comment about a travel nurse getting $250/hr. Can confirm-childhood friend just said she works with a travel nurse getting $10,000 a week, and my friend(very experienced nurse) can’t even get double time. There is a meme going around of Kate Winslet from Titanic nekked with the necklace on(when he is drawing her) and it says “Pay me like one of your travel nurses”. Friend said the regular employee nurses are really angry but no one has the balls to call for a strike right now.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      What is not stated is whether the nurse gets all of that “Big Payday,” or if the staffing agency skims. (My experiences with staffing agencies, in construction no less, is that they often get as much of the total billed amount as does the worker.) So, cut that $250 USD per hour in half to get a better idea of the amounts going to the working nurse?

      Reply
    2. jm

      But does a travel nurse have a guaranteed 40-hour week 50 weeks a year? Or even any assurance of some number of hours per month, year-round? Typically a skilled professional is not going to give up a steady job for one with some element of risk unless the potential compensation is adequate to make the risk potentially worthwhile. Also, travel isn’t much fun nowadays even if you’re not in the position of needing to care for someone so I’ll as to need a travel nurse

      Reply
      1. Onjective Ace

        Half a million a year assuming full hours (and why wouldnt you–hospitals are desperately in need of workers) with a skillset that will always be in demand when this stint ends is pretty good compensation to make up for whatever risk a travelling nurse sees vs a regular one

        Reply
  23. ObjectiveFunction

    > 43% of the white student body was admitted on criteria other than merit.

    Merit. Yeah…. and the rest of that screed gives me a pretty strong idea that the author’s idea of ‘merit’ doesn’t mean what most of us think it means.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith

      In my day, Harvard had an explicit policy of 25% of the class not being admitted on merit, because the year after the on-campus riots (1971), they admitted a class 100% based on merit and had the highest suicide rate they had ever had.

      That 25% was called the “Happy Bottom” and was to make the hypercompetitive smarties feel better.

      Reply
  24. nechaev

    some tantalizing tidbits….from a too-short review of several books I’ll be looking for (also want to read the reviewer’s works on Cold War Modernism / James Laughlin [New Directions press] & Ezra Pound…]. I vaguely remember reading Ramparts magazine’s expose of Tom Dooley…]

    The Truth Shall Make You Free: Catholicism and the CIA

    …the CIA’s early approach to intelligence-gathering drew upon a burgeoning scholarly field of the 1940s and 1950s: the academic and anthropological study of “world religions,” which was developing symbiotically with the area studies that American universities and foundations were underwriting to prepare the United States for world leadership. The OSS was full of academics such as Yale’s Norman Holmes Pearson (whose biography I am currently writing) and the Harvard Americanist Perry Miller, whose 1956 study of the Puritans, Errand into the Wilderness, lends Graziano’s book its title.

    The first such institution to be studied was the Vatican itself, which was, in Graziano’s words, “foreign enough to be worthy of study but familiar enough to be interpretable.” Operating under the cover of the deep persuasive power of the Church, the OSS mobilized European populations against their Nazi (and later Soviet) occupiers. The agency also collaborated with the Catholic International Press, through Belgian priest Felix Morlion, in what it called “Operation Pilgrim’s Progress.”

    American spies sincerely and naïvely saw themselves in league with the priests because “American analysts often assumed that Catholic interests — and the Vatican’s more specifically — squared neatly with US aims.” In fact, once the Agency began encountering other world religions over the course of the Cold War — Shintoism in Japan, Buddhism in Southeast Asia, and especially Islam in Iran — it took for granted that “the United States and the world’s religions [were] natural allies” in the struggle against atheistic communism. They were not always right, especially in Iran, where they suspected communism, not Islam, was the force trying to topple the Shah.

    Central to the CIA’s use of Catholicism was a man named Tom Dooley. Though the name is largely obscure today, in 1961 he placed third in Gallup’s “Most Esteemed” man in the world poll. Dooley was a Navy doctor who provided care for South Vietnamese refugees fleeing the chaos after the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. His 1956 best seller Deliver Us from Evil, as well as countless articles and media appearances afterward, “justified American intervention in Vietnam and presented Vietnamese Catholics as sympathetic subjects.” He was a central-casting missionary, and the persecuted Vietnamese were precisely the kinds of people Christ charged Catholics to serve. But he was writing CIA-sponsored propaganda to build domestic support for Vietnam, and his stories weren’t “strictly speaking, true.”…

    Reply
  25. antidlc

    ACS Risk Biomarkers Significantly Increase After mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine

    https://www.thecardiologyadvisor.com/home/topics/acs/acute-coronary-syndrome-acs-biomarkers-mrna-covid19-vaccine/

    The risk of developing acute coronary syndrome (ACS) significantly increased in patients after receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, according to a report presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2021, held from November 13 to 15, 2021.

    The study author concluded that “mRNA [vaccines] dramatically increase inflammation on the endothelium and T cell infiltration of cardiac muscle and may account for the observations of increased thrombosis, cardiomyopathy, and other vascular events following vaccination.”

    Reply
      1. ambrit

        The truly karmic aspect of this, if true, is that the “after effects” will strike and decimate the compliant parts of the population, the PMCs and PMC adjacent. The “deplorables” might well end up with an evolutionary advantage. The “deplorable” high risk population will be culled, leaving the “fitter” members of the ‘deplorable’ class to predominate. The PMCs will have “shot themselves in the foot,” and the lungs, and the coronary and vascular systems, etc. etc.
        The law of unintended consequences hits with a vengance.

        Reply
  26. nechaev

    as follow-up to the 19 November NC post titled: “New, Radically Different Covid Variant Getting Footholds Now…”

    Is Delta the last Covid ‘super variant’?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/21/is-delta-the-last-covid-super-variant

    … the alternative is the sudden appearance of a completely new strain, with game-changing transmissibility, virulence or immune-evasive properties. Ravi Gupta, professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Cambridge, refers to these strains as “super variants” and says he is 80% sure that another one will emerge. The question is when.

    “We’ve got a Delta pandemic at the moment,” says Gupta. “This new Delta Plus variant is relatively wimpy compared to the kind of thing I’m talking about. It has two mutations from the Delta strain, I don’t think they are that worrisome and it hasn’t taken off in a big way in other countries. But it’s inevitable that there will be another significant variant in the next two years and it will compete with Delta and it may out-compete Delta.”

    Reply
  27. Pelham

    In the JAMA article on Long Covid there’s this: “In this systematic review, more than half of COVID-19 survivors experienced PASC [Long Covid] 6 months after recovery. The most common PASC involved functional mobility impairments, pulmonary abnormalities, and mental health disorders.”

    There’s the lede! And this is what maybe half of us will be sentenced to if we swallow the official line that, oh well, the pandemic is now endemic, zero-Covid is a fool’s errand, China is nuts to set zero as a goal, back to business, Freedom Day, etc. etc. Note as well that these symptoms aren’t necessarily limited to six months. They could be lifelong.

    Given the evidence that continues to accumulate, zero-Covid HAS to be the goal. But given the imperatives of the donor class and our commercial media, that’s the last thing we’re likely we’re likely to hear — coming right after the next-to-last thing, which is ventilation (expensive!) as a major preventative (as NC frequently notes).

    Reply
    1. Jason Boxman

      Indeed,

      In this systematic review, we evaluated the temporal progression of clinical abnormalities experienced by patients who recovered from an infection with SARS-CoV-2, starting with a mean of 30 days post–acute illness and beyond. The results suggest that rates of PASC are indeed common; 5 of 10 survivors of COVID-19 developed a broad array of pulmonary and extrapulmonary clinical manifestations, including nervous system and neurocognitive disorders, mental health disorders, cardiovascular disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, skin disorders, and signs and symptoms related to poor general well-being, including malaise, fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, and reduced quality of life. Short- and long-term rates of PASC were similar, highlighting the potential for pathological sequelae long after exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

      (emphasis mine)

      America isn’t the place to have any chronic medical condition.

      And also this,

      Furthermore, persistent symptoms (>6 weeks) have been reported in 19% of fully vaccinated individuals.

      So we don’t have all that much data yet on whether vaccination at least reduces the incidence of long-COVID. I sincerely hope that it does, because the Establishment bet the farm completely on vaccination efforts, and nothing else.

      Reply
      1. LifelongLib

        Pure speculation on my part, but I wonder if “the Establishment” is as dumb as some commenters here think, or if it’s desperate. Maybe covid (like the common cold) really can’t be contained. Or the means of doing so (e g. lockdowns, massive retrofit of buildings for better ventilation, truly effective masking with medically mandated masks) are so politically/economically disruptive that they are practically impossible. Come to think of it, the Establishment being dumb is the least bad of those alternatives….

        Reply
        1. Jason Boxman

          I don’t know, I think coming up with some kind of comparison of these possible universes is difficult, to say the least. We can’t A/B test in the real world.

          It’s certainly possible that America in fact cannot do these things, that the west cannot do these things. That our time has passed. I don’t know. Maybe it’s wishful thinking. But we do seem to have plenty of money available when it’s time for tax cuts, be it marginal rates or SALT caps, or military spending. Granted that’s a lot of financialization, and building physical things requires a sort of competence we might no longer have as a society.

          Nonetheless, it’s true that some things are manifestly possible. We could send a dozen N-95 makes to every family in America. Without a doubt. We’ve seen multiple reports over the past months of American manufacturers of N95s, nearly in the game because of our historic need, going out of business because hospital GPOs won’t buy. They prefer the cheaper, known commodities from China instead.

          And we known masking works. It saves lives. It does make a difference.

          So, yes, perhaps elimination isn’t possible with Delta. Perhaps universal paid sick leave and other material support for quarantines and lockdowns is incompatible with neoliberal sensibilities.

          But masking is the minimum bid here. And they’ve failed. Worse than that. They’re actively scornful of masks, seemingly as much as conservatives! Otherwise, the guidance that a mask is not required if you’re vaccinated would never have seen the light of day.

          So I don’t know, even if it’s the “least bad” having a stupid Establishment, it’s quite bad. Like lazy and indifferent bad.

          Reply
  28. griffen

    Invasive trout article, pretty interesting. Not shocking to read that a native, endangered species is or has been at risk. Pretty convenient method to reduce or manage those numbers of the lake trout. Catch with nets! Feed the locals.

    I don’t think nets would work on the southern feral hog population.

    Reply
    1. JacobiteInTraining

      Enjoyed that article, I’ve only fished Flathead Lake once when i was a little tyke but it was a memory for sure! :)

      Invasive species mitigation strategies sure can run the gamut – from mass poisoning such as at Diamond Lake (Oregon) some time ago – https://www.oregonlive.com/outdoors/2016/10/celebrating_the_10th_anniversa.html

      To bounty programs – and I imagine if one had the time, skiff, and expertise to dedicate to it…some of these bounty programs are more then just novelties. One can make a modest but real income, seasonally: https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/reports/creel/pikeminnow

      I think I wouldn’t want to try that though. Not too sure i would want to turn a fun occasional fishing hobby into actual work. :)

      Reply
    2. Pate

      One (at least until more recently) endangered species saving another endangered species. So much good we can learn from the first inhabitants if this land. Maybe they can save us too.

      Reply
    1. Samuel Conner

      Not sure what grounds she could have for concern. Endemic SARS-Cov-2 seems likely to work wonders for the “long-term solvency” of all current social insurance programs and any others that progressives might somehow manage to get enacted.

      What was that ‘2nd law of neoliberalism’, again?

      Reply
    2. Aumua

      Tulsi flashing her true hard right domestic stance colors lately. I won’t be surprised to see her pop out as a Republican or some kind of “patriot party” candidate soon.

      Reply
      1. IM Doc

        Yes indeed. And this liberal former Democrat is looking very hard at voting for her and supporting her financially.

        She seems to be one of the only national politicians who has a clue. And has the audacity to be authentic.

        I can never thank her enough for the smack down she applied to Kamala Harris during the debate. That is when I knew she had the balls for national politics.

        Interestingly, my wife and her Democratic friends are all avid supporters of her as well. My wife has basically been a grass roots Dem operative her entire adult life – and can instantly spot those who could actually win – and govern – and build a coalition. She and her entire committee are all in for Tulsi if she chooses to run. She could not do worse than the slimeballs that are up there now.

        I truly believe the national Dem party’s constant denigration of the only authentic viable politician they have left may be yet another sign that the end draweth nigh. If you think you know of another who is both authentic and viable – I am all ears.

        Reply
            1. Aumua

              I don’t know about viable and/or authentic. I’m just saying that at least when it comes to domestic stuff, Gabbard appears to be very much a right winger.

              I’ve always thought as many people here, that her foreign policy statements have always been more attractive. But she ain’t seemed to have said much about that lately.

              Reply
        1. Hepativore

          The Democratic Party strategy since the Third Way paradigm took over has been to basically find people that they can prop up for leadership positions that can maintain the illusion of being a leftwing party while actually being center-right in practice.

          Obama was the perfect example of this. He was great at causing people to project onto him whatever they wanted to see and hear but when it came to his actual policies, he was a Reaganite Republican.

          In a way, Obama was like a more dishonest version of Chance the gardener from the 1979 movie, Being There. People read into Obama’s speeches and statements as having some deep and profound wisdom and truth when they were empty slogans and platitudes in which Obama and the Democratic Party was more than happy to string people along with while continuing most of the policies of W. Bush.

          The same thing happened with Biden during the 2020 election. The Democratic Party leaders only needed to sell the idea of Obama nostalgia and normalcy (third-way neoliberalism) long enough to get Biden into office. Now people are having buyer’s remorse but come 2024 they might try to drag zombie Biden across the finish line again or we will get Kamala and Sneaky Pete.

          The Republicans will probably slaughter the Democrats in 2022 and 2024, but that does not matter to the Democratic Party nearly as much as fundraising, then they can go back to playing the part of the pawl in the rightward-shift of the political ratchet while using Republican bogeymen to fill their coffers with donor money.

          How can you pressure a political party like the Democrats that do not care if their policies cost them elections?

          Reply
      2. zagonostra

        She’s not perfect, but I’d transfer my activist cookie jar contents to her in a heartbeat. I gaveto Bernie in 2016 and 2020 and I could see doubling what I gave. When I first sent links of her to friends and family no one knew who she was. I think, I hope, things are different if she runs on a 3’d party. I don’t know how much I would back her if she ran within the Dem Party, assuming they would have her on the ticket, which I don’t see as happening.

        Reply
        1. outside observer

          I tend to agree. The Dem party has fully become the party of the sociopathic CEOs, so best to look elsewhere if we want to move in a different direction.

          Reply
        2. Screwball

          Agree. I gave to her last election which is something I have never done. She seemed to be the only one that made sense.

          I am disappointed with some of her recent comments, and how they were worded. I’m not sure what her real ambition might be. I wouldn’t blame her for fleeing the democratic party, but at the same time I don’t know how much to trust her given this recent change in tune.

          That said, a DeSantis/Gabbard ticket would be a slam dunk winner at the ballot box IMO. Not saying I’m in with that, but I think enough people could be. I wonder if some of her recent comments are fodder for that.

          Stranger things have happened, we did have Trump.

          Reply
        3. Martin Oline

          I gave to Bernie in 2016 and voted for Trump. I gave to Tulsi in 2020 and voted for Trump. I don’t care where she comes down on your political litmus test, she speaks her mind about her beliefs and (horrors) she probably doesn’t care what you or the Democrat party loyalists think of her. When I was young I used to wonder what kind of person could be fooled ‘all the time’ as Lincoln said. I believe it is the Democrat faithful who are ignored and continue to vote party line anyway.

          Reply
          1. Basil Pesto

            it’s not clear to me why ‘speaking ones mind about one’s beliefs’ is a desirable quality in a politician when what they speak is arrant bullshit, as Gabbard’s pablum is, for reasons that NC readers are well familiar with. Thus we can see that Gabbard’s politogenesis as far as the economy goes amounts to little more than presumably regurgitating mainstream economic bullshit that her parents and the press hammered into her growing up.

            The choice between arrant bullshit from
            someone who genuinely believes it, and arrant bullshit from someone who really believes something else, is no choice at all, no matter how they say it, and whose toes they crunch underfoot along the way.

            Reply
  29. Sarah C Henry

    Re: those Harvard students…

    My late father Aad van Ballegooijen, a solar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, taught a single undergraduate course at Harvard sometime in the late 90s. I think it was an introductory astrophysics course designed for physics majors. He came home after the 1st day of the semester and said to my mother, “These kids are So. Stupid!” Apparently they didn’t have rigorous enough math & basic physics backgrounds to approach the subject appropriately. Quelle surprise!

    He had “Harvard lecturer” on his CV until his retirement, but unsurprisingly he never taught another Harvard class.

    Reply
  30. Soredemos

    “The group of protesters who proceeded to chase and attack Rittenhouse could have reasonably believed that killing the armed teenager was necessary to save others from imminent bodily harm.”

    The fact that Rittenhouse repeatedly attempted to flee and avoid confrontation kind of puts a hole in this thesis.

    Reply
  31. Jason Boxman

    On “How the Democratic Child-Care Proposal Hurts Families”:

    To satisfy the activity test contained in the child-care legislation, at least one parent needs to be engaged in work, job-search activities, job training, drug rehabilitation, or mental-health treatment, among other things. According to the Congressional Research Service, this test will make about 5 percent of children ineligible for benefits. And those 5 percent will be among the poorest and most vulnerable kids in the country.

    Wow, another program that isn’t universal. And one that punishes children that had the misfortunate of being born to the wrong parents. Liberal Democrats truly are scumbags. Full stop.

    When confronted with these design problems, many political observers will no doubt respond that, although the program is not perfect, something is better than nothing. But in many places, the result of this legislation actually will be nothing, because it allows state governments to choose whether or not to participate.

    (emphasis mine)

    LOL!

    So this “historic!!” bill in the end is really just air cover to raise the SALT cap. Well played liberal Democrats!

    Reply
  32. fresno dan

    Our illustrious medical system – Part one-half of infinity…
    So I get three bills (on Saturday, I have lost count of the total number of bills over the last 3 months)
    So I get this bill from “vituity” which is for when I was in the emergency room on 8/7/21.
    99291 – critical care $1,391.00
    93010 – ECG with 12 (count ’em – TWELVE) lds I&R $54.00
    99053 – $46.00
    Carrier Payment $196.45
    Carrier adjustment $1,213.90
    Carrier adjustment $46.00
    What I owe $34.65
    So I pay that on line with no problem

    So the next bill is from the hospital (Uh, I don’t know why the biller for the hospital emergency room is different from the hospital cardiac department – makes gouging easier???)
    Total charges $ 88, 978.61 (I like the one cent at the end – shows the green eyeshade guys are right on top of all the costs…)
    Payments/Adjustments $88,683.41
    Amount I now owe $295.20
    So I pay at the hospital online site, and I don’t realize until I click on submit, that the charge for paying through the hospital online site is $8.95 OK hospital, from now on, I am paying by check through the US postal service…

    So the next bill is also from the hospital.
    Total charges $ 443.00
    Paymenst/Adjustments $427.27
    Amount I now owe $15.73
    ===================================
    Sooooo….one of the things that is suppose to be so wonderful about Free Markets is the transparency of the prices, so that economically efficient decisions can be made.
    How is it, that a price of $88, 978.61 can be reduced by about 99%??? Who had access to that price PRIOR to the procedure, and how was it that the “price” was reduced by such an amount.
    NOW, I am grateful to my insurance company that I don’t have to pay almot 90K for my hospitalization. But how much is the insurance company ACTUALLY paying? It seems to me the cardiologists are doing pretty well, so it seems they got more than my paltry $295.20. So what DID they get? Hmmmm….does the IRS know???
    ADDENDUM
    somehow, Medicare Part A plays no part in this because….despite being in the hospital, I was not admitted to the hospital

    Reply
    1. Louis Fyne

      no staff will intervene (obviously-understandably). and no police officer will risk their pension engaging in a high-speed chase over handbags (understandably)

      just the reality.

      Reply
      1. Lee

        John Q (Film)

        “Story centers on a man whose nine-year-old son is in desperate need of a life-saving transplant. When he discovers that his medical insurance won’t cover the costs of the surgery and alternative government aid is unavailable, John Q. Archibald (Denzel Washington) takes a hospital emergency room hostage in a last-ditch attempt to save his child.

        Reception

        On Rotten Tomatoes John Q. holds an approval rating of 23% based on the 131 reviews [Hah! The audience rating is 78%], with an average rating of 4.5/10. The site’s critics consensus reads, “Washington’s performance rises above the material, but John Q pounds the audience over the head with its message.”[6] Metacritic gives the film a weighted average score of 30 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating “generally unfavorable reviews”.[7] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “A” on an A+ to F scale.[8]”

        Reply
    2. MonkeyBusiness

      When it’s a Walgreens or a CVS that gets robbed, no one gives a rat’s ***, but the proles better lay off the shops their betters like to shop in, otherwise ……

      Now the SF police is restricting car access to Union Square. Pretty soon every high end downtown area around the Bay will be ring fenced from surrounding areas. Gotta make sure Black Friday goes smoothly ………..

      Reply
  33. Wmkohler

    Not a lawyer, but the Atlantic piece on Rittenhouse’s defense seems to contain a self-contradiction with respect to the key paragraphs cited by Lambert above. In particular:

    “It is legal in Wisconsin for a 17-year-old to openly carry an AR-15, as Rittenhouse did. Thus, to nullify his eligibility for self-defense, Rittenhouse likely would have had to provoke Rosenbaum through some concrete act. And yet, under Wisconsin law, the privilege of self-defense ‘lost by provocation’ may be regained if one ‘withdraws from the fight.’ Given that Rittenhouse was running away from Rosenbaum before their fatal encounter, any preceding provocation would seem immaterial.”

    The key difference between Rittenhouse and the protestors he shot was that he was continually attempting to flee and get away, only firing when directly attacked or threatened. Thus, it seems spurious on its face to argue that, had one of the protestors killed Rittenhouse, they would have an equal claim to self-defense. Likewise, the killers of Ahmaud Arbery should have difficulty arguing self-defense, because rather than making an effort to flee the conflict, they were doing the exact opposite, actively pursuing Arbery.

    If any lawyers are out there, I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts on this.

    Reply
  34. Basil Pesto

    An interesting video of a conversation for the ‘World Health Network’ moderated by Yaneer Bar-Yam looking at three pandemic response case studies: Australia, Taiwan, and India. Part of a longer online conference on ending pandemics, with an intro video here (with Taleb, Feigl-Ding, et al)

    The Australian bit is pretty good, the talk is given by an OzSage doctor. But the curious thing about OzSage is how much they carry on about the vaccines while at the same time acknowledging that the vaccines are “not enough”, although I would use phrasing more along the lines of “manifestly inadequate” and “[disastrous] public health red herring”. I wonder if they are just semi-true believers or if they are coming out a bit more strenuously as pro vaccine to avoid being slandered as ‘anti-vax’. On the other hand I’ve mentioned before the idea that I’ve seen from doctors that I trust, broadly speaking (affiliated with OzSage, I now suspect) who are pushing this idea of the vaccine as a three course vaccine (she mentions this in the video). Again, that may or may not be the case, it’s certainly above my paygrade to opine on at this point, though I must admit that I am heavily sceptical. The point is, if you do want to make that your current crusade (and I think it’s a waste of resources given the other more important public health precautions we could and should be taking) you have to be extremely goddamn humble when you do it, given the numerous errors of credentialled would-be health experts so far. Humility is in order.

    But yes, I find the “vaccines are not enough, and by the way, have we told you how important vaccines are?” messaging to be a bit inept, to be honest. The very best, simplest messaging on the vaccines has come from Bar Yam himself (paraphrasing, you’ll find the actual line somewhere on his twitter): “if you do not think you can avoid getting infected with covid, get the vaccine”. Straightforward and sound advice, and that’s what I’m doing, but it’s not really public health advice, is it? It’s individual health advice. That’s not on him of course – that we’ve made a tool that benefits individual health somewhere in the range of predominantly to exclusively the sole focus of our public health policy response of course gibes with policymakers in this late neoliberal era. it’s every man for himself now, baby!!

    And again, these people who are very smart, very well informed on medicine, and pro-vaccine generally, as I am, can’t see the vaccine forest for the trees: If you like vaccines, in general and in principle, as I do, then consider: when people have been told over and over again how important vaccines are, that we’re now in a pandemic of the unvaccinated, how we need a vaccine-plus strategy (my conception of the vaccines since July is that they are and should be the last line of defence against covid – the airbag you rely on when everything else has failed, whether you’re using masks, vitamin D, ivermectin, all of the above, or spend most of your time living alone naked in the woods – and absolutely nothing has happened in the intervening months to weaken that personal little vaccine hermeneutic. So why vaccine-plus, and not, say, N95-plus? Let’s take the initiative, instead of being reactive to the public health policy that is untrustworthy in the first place – sorry, long digression), how vaccines are (a literal quote from an inexcusably small amount of months ago from our state Premier) “the road out of the pandemic” – when people realise, as they undoubtedly will from experience, as we know from so much anecdata, that this was all bullshit in this instance, will this a) improve the layperson’s attitude to vaccination per se? b) worsen it or c) make no difference?

    [ b). It’s b).]

    When the next vaccine comes along, and let’s say for the sake of argument that it’s important and necessary, all that trust will have been squandered, and it will become that much harder a sell. Theoretically, for such a vaccine, if the ultimate aim was elimination or eradication in the technical epidemiological senses of those words, I would support mandates. But that trust, too, has been squandered. Your first shot at mandating a major medical intervention of this scope and scale has to count, has to stick, because any subsequent attempt is surely going to be that much harder. Instead we’ve squandered it on these deluxe flu vaccines. It is so foolish.

    The other thing from that video that vexed me is bringing up the pre-June/pre-Delta vaccine policy of the federal government, when the Prime Minister et al said that vaccine supply was “not a race”. Now, I have no doubt ScoMo said this out of complete self interest, because he realised he cocked up vaccine supply. While this is yet another stick to beat our second rate mouthbreather of a prime minister with, in fact the point was absolutely correct. And while many understood the intrinsic limits of these particular vaccines in December last year (for Australians, check Robert Clancy’s article in – ugh – Quadrant), the perfectly, beautifully scientific thing to do would have been to use our advantage to look from afar and see how the vaccines actually worked as a public health measure before allowing covid to establish a beachhead and turbo-driving the vaccine supply in a way that was always going to be a catch-up exercise, a policy that borders on the criminally negligent (while of course failing to update our guidance on masking with an emphasis on respirators/good masking, ventilation, explaining airborne spread, etc.). It was obvious by July (thanks NC!) that they weren’t going to be good enough, anywhere, anyhow.
    I also don’t see how a Zero Covid country thinking itself entitled to vaccines that were in fact irrelevant as long as Zero Covid was maintained (and it could have been, for a lot longer), when there were so many more jurisdictions clamouring for the vaccines is anything other than straightforwardly unethical. But nevermind, here’s a guardian article on the noble plight of Sudanese drag queens instead.

    Meanwhile, our state health minister recently shared this unctuous braindead crap. What the hell are they thinking?

    The end of restrictions in Melbourne last year as an unambiguous victory achieved with real, meaningful community solidarity, and the months of relatively carefree freedom we then enjoyed along with the rest of Australia – summer christmases with our families without having to worry about infecting them with the death virus, that sort of thing – were our prize. Until the vaccines came along and we were instead told “no, actually, you don’t have to be successful, you could be failures instead. You can use a quick non-fix to give people the illusion of solidarity and let people think they’ve done their part for the community with two easy shots, then usher in the mother of all false dawns”. The lifting of restrictions this month has been a desperately tragic nadir that would bring tears to the eyes if I wasn’t already pretty much dead inside.

    Reply
    1. skippy

      As far as I can discern its all political, labour ALP states vs liberal/national LNP, hence why bin chicken forced the issue before taking a powder e.g. its all about the next election.

      Reply
    2. Lee

      “… all that trust will have been squandered…”

      I’m not sure the pluperfect future is the tense you’re looking for here when the past tense would suffice. As I am fond of repeating, in my living memory alone the government has been getting away with lying to the public with horrendous effect since the Gulf of Tonkin incident. What, if anything, is changing is that an ever growing number of people are catching on. As to just what the solutions might be, tastes differ—often radically.

      Reply
      1. Basil Pesto

        I guess that varies from country to country but also I was speaking more to trust in public health in particular rather than government in general, which I think are different things and, in the past, public heath is generally treated in many countries with the benefit of the doubt at the least. I submit that that trust has been eroded.

        Then consider the case of India from the first video I linked, and the public health response seems pretty darn impressive. Notably, Modi is not contradicting that response which suggests that he has a degree of political savvy, or at the very least the ability to see past his nose, that a lot of western politicians don’t (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it), and even when the rest of his politics is shit.

        Reply
  35. roxan

    I tried to get tested for Covid last week–seemed difficult to arrange. The drug store phone bots worked poorly, and all insisted I could only make an appt online, but their websites were down. All the messages agreed they gave no ‘proof’ of your results, no QR code or card. So, it’s about the same as a year ago. I did a home test, but doubt their accuracy. Wonder how they guess at actual numbers, outside of hospital cases?

    Reply
  36. skippy

    I think this link represents the entirety of how public perception PR has rolled during the Covid Experiment[tm].

    https://fortune.com/2021/11/16/enochian-biosciences-ceo-predicts-vaccine-resistant-covid-variant-in-2022/

    I mean just a few paragraphs in ….

    “Dybul, who is currently the CEO of Enochian BioSciences and a professor at Georgetown University Medical Center’s Department of Medicine, didn’t make this prediction lightly when speaking at the Fortune CEO Initiative conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. He noted that since the beginning of the pandemic, the U.S. has lagged about a month behind Northern Europe and Israel, areas that are highly vaccinated but still experiencing rising rates of infection, hospitalizations, and deaths. On the bright side, the U.S. is offering booster shots whereas those regions are not—so we might catch up, but the forecast for the holiday season doesn’t look great.

    “The faster we get boosted, the better off we’ll be for the next couple of months,” he said. “Sadly, every prediction I’ve made has pretty much come true. I hope I’m wrong this time, but I think by March, April, May, we will have a fully vaccine-resistant variant. There’s simply no way you can have such low rates of vaccination around the world with the virus ping-ponging between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. I’m an immunologist. The probability of us seeing a vaccine-resistant strain is very high.”” – snip

    So firstly we are treated to the opinions of someone that nightlights as a professor at Georgetown – when his bread is buttered by his CEO incentives first and foremost. Next we have a conference of CEO clones engaging in what could only be described as bias seeking distillation as they all position themselves for market share in whatever consensus they arrive at and call it a public health policy. All followed by the caveat that ***I told you so*** with regard to failure too vaccinate would usher in a “vaccine-resistant strain”. [spastic arm movement] – there is no and never will be any resistance full stop, only minimization of symptoms with in X months e.g. the same dynamic he wobbles on about occurs regardless of vaccinations. More so the PR surrounding vaccination = pre Covid normality_is_the driver for what he prophecies and then leverages this perception to the hilt for more vaccinations post haste.

    Best bit is when that flops he and his have laid the foundations for their indemnity in the public mind.

    Flaming Goat … its like the old days at some industrial coatings shed where people don’t ware or take off their PPE safety glasses/masks because its hot and uncomfortable and then watch them all at the end of the day walk off like zombies. Better yet the observation of someone cop a glob of heavy zinc primer to the eye whilst mixing it up, with a high powered air tool, headless chicken screaming, taken to eyewash station which was inop, told to go to doctor, did not want to for fear of losing job, have you ever see an eye try to pop out of someones head like its trying to run away …. after its swollen twice the size of the other … what part does the CEO/Professor not grok about uncertainty and risks – ????

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      I haven’t had the “pleasure” of having the zinc primer in the eye trouble, but I have had a cut across my cornea from top to bottom due to an “elastic” vine springing a bush blade back at me when cutting a line for surveying. (Back then, no one wore goggles while cutting brush.) I screamed and then promptly asked a mate if he had a joint, for the pain synesthesia effect. D— if no one that day had any painkillers available. The crew leader made me go to the doctor, which I had to pay for. Why, I do not know to this day. I’m guessing that I feared to lose the job by filing a Worker’s Comp claim. The doctor gives me cocaine gel for my eye, and a patch to cover the injured member. I groked the uncertainty and risk, but, due to financial necessity went back to work the next day. Everyone about me treated me like a bomb waiting to go off. Silly kids, I was stoned to the max just to be able to function. That cocaine gel only got me so far.
      The “lesson” of this word salad is that people will subject themselves to any number of difficulties and pains when they are financially insecure and or powerless. The “Narrative” creates a false world view that skews a person’s perceptions towards self-defeating actions.
      Boy, I have done some stupid stuff in my day, and lived to tell the tale.

      Reply
      1. skippy

        I get the precariat aspect and yes admin is responsible for compliance, but things are a bit different here in Oz. Per se over here if someone is injured you make sure work cover is notified because not only is the fine punitive it takes the investigation to another level that you don’t want.

        BTW this is the gear: https://www.duluxprotectivecoatings.com.au/products/ranges/zincanode/zincanode-402/

        Now put this stuff under 4K+ PSI through an airless sprayer and get flesh near the fan and its gone or you get a liter pumped under your skin – remedy is cut open to bone and washed out with wire brush and still have toxicity dramas.

        Anywho the CEO above will not suffer any risk related dramas so he’s not concerned about uncertainty, not that it won’t be broadly distributed between everyone else in attendance at said conference.

        Reply
        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Anywho the CEO above will not suffer any risk related dramas

          “But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends….”

          Reply
          1. Acacia

            Hey, I could warm up to some darkness, decay and a bit of the ole Red Death holding illimitable dominion over a couple of CEOs.

            Reply
          2. skippy

            Its in the vein of what Keynes was banging on about, how that effects government polices/market perceptions w/ a side of Veblen.

            Then again I can’t get the thought of green/yellow food hard tack futures being discussed from an industry supply and demand perspective and how to profit the most from it … not that the consumers have any choice …

            PS. it might interest you that it has come out the ex NSW PM bin chicken Emails proved what we all suspected, that she ignored the health advice from Kerry Chant in her covid responce.

            Reply
          3. skippy

            My take is it would be more apt to say she relegated its importance below other burning priorities… by the more important people effected …. and how that might effect her future income [self interest].

            Reply
  37. Soredemos

    >Kenosha, I Do Mind Dying Ill Will

    So, uh, if the intent of this piece is to make me side with the ‘rebellion’, it does a really poor job. I don’t particularly care when big chain establishments are damaged, but it’s hard too look at all the destroyed vehicles and small businesses and think this was worth it. Great job, lumpenproles, you set a garbage truck on fire. I’m sure it wasn’t going to be used to provide a public service later in the week or anything.

    I particularly like how the Rittenhouse militia types are described as LARPers, but the black bloc arsonist types implicitly aren’t.

    Reply
  38. bob

    ” I’m sure it wasn’t going to be used to provide a public service later in the week or anything.”

    How can you be sure?

    Reply
    1. Basil Pesto

      Nice, thanks for the link. tragic that this has to be presented in Nov 2021 like it’s a gentle, tentative exploration of a paradigm shift instead of a statement of the bloody obvious, but we are where we are, and I’m sure Herr Kampf (😰) knows his audience

      Reply
  39. Dori

    “Criminal law in America is racist and cruel, but that is no excuse for the oppressed to be cruel or selfish.” Randall Kennedy with some excellent insights:

    Reply

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