Links 11/23/2021

Dear patient readers,

Thanks so much for your generous responses to our 2021 fundraiser! And for those of you who aren’t yet Naked Capitalism addicts, thanks for putting up with the extra programming. We hope you noticed that our fundraising pitches were in addition to, and not at the expense of, our regular roster of posts.

The Pigeon Puzzle: How Do They Figure Out Their Impossibly Long Routes Home? The Walrus (Anthony L)

Just like how humans recognise faces, bees are born with an innate ability to find and remember flowers The Conversation (David L)

Mammoths Lost Their Steppe Habitat to Climate Change The Wire (J-LS)

Beaver Dams Mean No Love Lost for Canada’s Emblematic Animal New York Times

California Reckons With the Hard Truth About Plastic Recycling Sierra Club (David L)

Humans Have Broken One of The Natural Power Laws Governing Earth’s Oceans Science Alert (Chuck L)

Just Because You Don’t Believe in Conspiracy Theories Doesn’t Mean You’re Always Right New York Times (David L)

Albrecht Dürer was a 16th-century Andy Warhol The Spectator (Anthony L)

Strange Rumblings: The Prickly but Productive Friendship Between Hunter Thompson and Oscar Acosta Los Angeles Review of Books (Anthony L)


The JFK assassination is still an event that binds the entire planet Dallas Morning News

In Memory of JFK: The First U.S. President to be Declared a Terrorist and Threat to National Security The Saker (Chuck L)



Detection of SARS-CoV-2 spike antibody using electrochemical biosensing based on hydrogen bonding (Kevin W)

Counting the neurological cost of COVID-19 Nature (guurst)

COVID gets airborne: Team models delta virus inside an aerosol for the first time PhysOrg (David L)


Covid: Can UK avoid a Europe-style return to lockdown? BBC. Summary on landing page: “Good vaccine uptake and natural immunity, coupled with public caution, has put UK in a strong position.” Read against Progressive Farmer story in the US section.


Why India’s private sector wants to give booster shots – and what this reveals about flawed policy Scroll (J-LS)


About 60% of the US population has reduced protection against COVID-19, CDC data shows Business Insider (Kevin W)

Covid Rebound in U.S. Is as Bad as Last November’s in Some Spots Bloomberg (J-LS). Not in the Land of Bubba…Case count here still falling. Mind you, I don’t expect this to hold, but we are close to not exposed to international travel, and spread from those hubs has taken a while to get here:

GOP Embraces Natural Immunity as Substitute for Vaccines Progressive Farmer (resilc)

COP26/Climate Change

England Will Require All New Buildings To Have EV Chargers Jalopnik (Kevin W)

Coal-Fired Power Plants to Close After New Wastewater Rule Associated Press (David L)

Ted Nordhaus on how green activists mislead and hold back progress Economist (David L). “He would say that, now wouldn’t he?”

Explained: Why Air Cooling Technologies Are Heating Up The Earth India Spend (J-LS)

Boston mayor divests vulnerable city from fossil fuels Associated Press (David L). What kind of headline is this? As if fossil fuels will follow Boston into a dark alley and beat it up? Later they sorta explain but the headline as written is pretty poor.


Chinese scientists want to add wings to bullet trains to make them even faster South China Morning Post (J-LS)

Beijing’s messaging on #WhereIsPengShuai mixes creepiness and cutesy Quartz

Old Blighty

UK invites south-east Asian nations to G7 summit amid Aukus tensions Guardian (Kevin W)

New Cold War

Arc of encirclement appearing around Russia Asia Times (Kevin W)

The ‘House of Graz’ – For the First Time, a Communist Elected Mayor in Austria’s Second-Largest City Defend Democracy


String of pearls: Yemen could be the Arab hub of the Maritime Silk Road The Saker

A Procedural Win in Palestine’s Quest to Seek Justice for Israel’s Apartheid Regime before the CERD OpinioJuris

Imperial Collapse Watch

In first, US added to annual list of ‘backsliding’ democracies Al Jazeera. Resilc” “Add the 100k of overdoses and the loss in Afghanistan, as i’ve said before, we are in full USSR mode.”

Joe Biden Said He Was Against Endless Wars: But His Defense Secretary Is for Endless Entanglement Antiwar


Biden, Radical Leftist, Sticks With GOP Investment Banker At Fed Heisenberg Report (resilc)

Powell’s Nomination for Second Fed Term Signals Biden’s Desire for Policy Continuity Wall Street Journal. Lead story. “Nothing fundamental will change.”

Biden Asks The World For Help Easing The Global Energy Crisis OilPrice (Kevin W)

Biden faces tougher sell on spending bill to Sen. Manchin as coal prices hit 12-year high (resilc)

From Bush Through Biden, U.S. Militarism Is the Great Unifier Intercept (resilc)

Democrats en déshabillé

What ‘The Squad’ Tells Us About Progressives’ Ability To Win Voters Of Color FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

Democrats are pushing tax breaks for the rich. They’ll cry when voters punish them David Sirota, Guardian. Um, the Democrats didn’t cry when they hemorrhaged representation under Obama.

Texas grid vulnerable to blackouts during severe winter weather, even with new preparations, ERCOT estimates show KBTX (Kevin W)

Police State Watch

Granny, 63, and granddaughter, 6, are kicked out of hotel by POLICE after she gave bad review Daily Mail (J-LS)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Ahmaud Arbery killing trial: Attorneys deliver closing arguments in case of jogger’s shooting CNN

Four Black Men Wrongly Charged With Rape Are Exonerated 72 Years Later New York Times (Kevin C)

National Parks Service site reminds us of America’s violent history Washington Post (furzy)

Woke Watch

Thomas Jefferson statue leaves City Hall after 187 years New York Post. John S: “It seems to me the point of all this is to antagonize regular Americans.”

Supply Chain

Cost of shipping a container from Asia jumped over 500% since last year, Traeger Grills CEO says CNBC (Kevin W). But not to worry! Things are getting better!

India’s Akasa Air to buy 72 Boeing 737 Max planes – Asia Times (J-LS)

The Bezzle

Uber to sell cannabis to customers in Canada Financial Times (David L)

Crypto Bros Who Failed to Buy U.S. Constitution Would Like to Give You a New Token Instead of a Refund Gizmodo (Kevin W)

El Salvador President Announces Bitcoin Tax Haven With UFOs and Fireworks Vice (resilc). Confirms our take that the use cases for Bitcoin are criminal activity, tax evasion (a subset of criminal activity) and speculation. El Salvador has just end run the UK on its psot-Brexit quest to become a financial buccaneer.

Modern Monetary Theory Isn’t the Future. It’s Here Now. Wall Street Journal

Guillotine Watch

Summers Humbly Assigns Numerical Odds To Unknowable Future Heisenberger Report (resilc). A reminder that Larry Summers is not going away quietly.

JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon and Tesla’s Elon Musk Feud Behind the Scenes Wall Street Journal Godzilla v. Mothra.

Class Warfare

Tim Draper, Who Tried to Break Up California, Now Wants to Break Up Unions New Republic (resilc)

San Francisco’s out-of-town shit Yasha Levine (Chuck L). While we are on the topic of Larry Summers, this is a domestic variant of his notorious “Send garbage to Africa” recommendation.

It’s devastating’: how fentanyl is unfolding as one of America’s greatest tragedies Guardian. Resilc: “And heard on NYC news weed found laced with it.”

Hedge fund known for cutting journalism jobs is seeking to buy more newspapers CNN (Kevin W)

Hunger Action of Los Angeles v. County of Los Angeles. Over failure to process urgent applications for CalFresh (formerly known as food stamps) on a timely basis.

Philosophers with no clothes: A Review of ‘The War Against Marxism’ MR Online (Anthony L)

The Greedy Doctor Problem Jan Hendrik Kirchner (resilc). Today’s must read. Ignores another approach: do a lot of homework and maybe tell your doctors you are working on getting an MD (or alternatively, have a child/close relative working on said degree….). Before my surgery, my being buzzword compatible led both the internist assigned to my case and the MD on the orthopedic team who saw me the day my surgeon always works in CT to ask if I was “medical,” meaning somehow in the biz.

Antidote du jour. Carla: “In my NE Ohio inner ring suburban backyard, late October 2021. I was about 15 ft from this fellow.” Moi: Nice rack, and also pretty porky for a supposedly wild deer. Too many tasty gardens and not enough running from predators.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. zagonostra

    >In Memory of JFK: The First U.S. President to be Declared a Terrorist and Threat to National Security The Saker (Chuck L)

    To my mind the keystone sentence to this article is:

    [T]he American people will only be able to rise above this if they choose to ask those questions, if they choose to want to know, to want to find out the truth of things they dared not look at in the past for fear of what it would reveal.

    Unfortunately and especially in view of Russiagate, the answer, for the nation as a whole, I think is rather gloomy.

    1. Ghost in the Machine

      I suppose we will have an adult conversation about JFK’s assassination when the US has it’s inevitable Soviet Union type collapse. Hopefully our arrogant, deluded, and childish leadership doesn’t do anything rash with the nukes when that happens. Obviously, the JFK files are continuing to be held back because they embarrass institutions as well as dead people. Honestly, I am shocked anything incriminating hasn’t been destroyed.

      1. Pelham

        Maybe incriminating documents have been destroyed. Or non-incriminating documents fabricated. Fifty-eight years is plenty of time for anything.

        I think that past a reasonable time limit — say, 5 or 10 years after the event — with documents still not released, the safest and most sober conclusion that could and should be drawn is that the very worst scenario involving military and intelligence collusion in the murder is true.

        Some may quibble with that time limit. But otherwise, am I wrong?

    2. Susan the other

      The Saker link was a walk down memory lane. All of the international post-imperialist intrigue going on in the 60s. And depressing. The connections to NATO, iirc, were proposed by both Peter Dale Scott and Oliver Stone in their turns. It is useless to regret being unable to find the killers. They were organized by very powerful people. So it is more appropriate to regret that there are very powerful people at all. This latest flap about releasing the JFK documents will go nowhere. Secrecy protects ongoing policy. If the documents are ever released, untampered with – and that’s a big if – it will be because the people behind the JFK assassination and their descendants have become too toxic for modern civilization to tolerate and we, as a country along with other countries, are cutting them off. We will do that when we do not need them anymore and when our own accomplices have all died and gone to hell.

  2. griffen

    Love the sign. As a teen from the mid-late 80s, I am most familiar with Sacramento’s rock band, Tesla, and their 5-man acoustical jam cover of the tune.

    And the sign says you got to have a membership card to get inside. 2022 version, the sign says you have reached your limit of monthly free articles. Please sign up for a subscription!…\sarc

    1. Louis Fyne

      My 1 cent bet….the owner or manager who made the sign is a long-haired “freak” too. society needs more people who can make a joke at at themselves.

          1. Laughingsong

            I had the poster by dint of working in the bookstore at the time.

            I should have known that the NC commentariat would remember “Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign”. This is an amazing place, a little oasis of the intertubes..

              1. RA

                Signs — Five Man Electrical Band, 1971
                There’s a wiki page for it. I didn’t look but probably on youtube somewhere too.

                1. John Anthony La Pietra

                  Well, I suppose we could acknowledge them with part of another song of theirs:

                  “. . . you were
                  Absolutely right, you’ve been
                  Right all along —
                  You’re absolutely right,
                  And I was wrong. . . .”

  3. Wukchumni

    Wages of tier:

    My buddy lives in Tucson and hits the road once the high temps set in there and this summer he was in the PNW and a good many National Parks throughout the west car camping and related that even in small towns, he was frequently seeing $20 an hour offered up as a starting wage by desperate businesses trying to lure in new employees.

    And by the way, the Soaring Quits would be a great name for a band.


    I didn’t bid on the Constitution, for my Kevin sent me a pocket-sized version on the house, see-he does stuff for his constituency!

    “For 234 years, our Constitution has served as the bedrock of American democracy, while also inspiring the pursuit of freedom and justice across the globe. If you are interested in obtaining a U.S. Constitution, please contact my Bakersfield office.”

    1. Louis Fyne

      guessing that in addition to everything else…PNW “Subaru-Patagonia” territory real estate has gone bonkers as city folk buy 2nd homes-AirBnBs.

      If anything $20/hr probably isn’t enough unless one is living at the local RV park and intend to be in the area only for the summer

      1. lordkoos

        That would be an accurate guess. I live in WA state, 100 miles from Seattle and property values here have shot up in the last two years as the wealthier types flee the city or buy second homes as a back-up plan. The pandemic accelerated what was already a strong trend. I have a friend who is a real estate agent in the upper country and he’s been busy year round for the last 2 years and has made a ton of money selling houses and land.

    2. Eclair

      Could be used as a fire-starter, to ignite pile of scrapped furniture pieces, when grid goes down. Or, if one has managed to score a few bottles of sriracha sauce to use as a condiment, it might provide a spicy snack that would fill an empty stomach for a few hours. Your congressional rep has your welfare at heart.

    3. The Rev Kev

      From what you say abut your Kevin, you had better make sure this his copy of the U.S. Constitution is in agreement with what is in the real one. I would not put it beyond him to get ‘creative’ with some bits of it.

  4. bassmule

    Re: Pigeons. From James Gould: Animal Navigation: A Map for All Seasons

    from the text:

    “A series of telling anomalies suggested more than 30 years ago that the map sense of mature pigeons is based in large part on measuring the total strength and inclination of the earth’s magnetic field at the release site and then comparing those parameters with the values at the home loft 4, 5. Under special circumstances, pigeons may be able to use odors [1], acoustic beacons [6], or other cues. To use a bicoordinate magnetic map, the bird must not only have measured the absolute values of the two components at the loft, but more importantly, the direction and rate of change of their gradients. This would permit the animal to extrapolate from its limited home range to distant release sites, infer its own location and set course home. Learning (or calibration) is essential.

    That animals might utilize magnetic cues, to which we are entirely blind, measure gradients to a better accuracy than portable human technology could (at least until recently), and employ a non-orthogonal set of coordinates to place themselves accurately even hundreds of kilometers away, seems fantastic. Equally incredible is the inferred precision of the pigeon map, based on how close visually impaired birds get to their loft after homing: about 5 kilometers [7]. But, as usual, a shortfall in human imagination does not seem to have limited the potential of natural selection to fashion solutions to life-or-death challenges.”

  5. zagonostra

    >Vaccine Mandates

    Republicans fighting President Joe Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandates are wielding a new weapon against the White House rules: natural immunity.

    They contend that people who have recovered from the virus have enough immunity and antibodies to not need COVID-19 vaccines, and the concept has been invoked by Republicans as a sort of stand-in for vaccines.


    The new Florida law prohibits employers from enforcing strict vaccine mandates, allowing employees to choose exemptions that include health or religious concerns, pregnancy or anticipated pregnancy, and having had the virus and recovered from it

    1. Lee

      EU and Israel’s COVID passes are better than US vaccine mandates The Hill

      “But the requirements for the Green Pass are changing, in keeping with evolving science. If you have had COVID in Israel, your natural immunity will be accepted as covering you for six months per the new requirements, and then you will only need one shot of the Pfizer vaccine for your Green Pass to continue to be valid for another six months. If you never had COVID, two shots will qualify you for six months and a third shot for an additional six months.”

      If natural immunity wanes about as quickly as it does immunity from vaccination, I guess people will have to keep getting reinfected or get the jab repeatedly into the indefinite future to be eligible for these passes. In the meantime, the virus will keep picking off the susceptible, including some number of those who are vaccinated.

      1. Eloined

        Hegelian-dialectical theories of conquest by the administrative state. Just what the doctor ordered.

        Also, “This strategy is in keeping with the science showing a ten-fold increase in neutralizing antibodies with one shot after infection.” Wonder how that response compares to antibody production upon actual re-exposure.

        1. Lee

          The problem with antibodies is that they wane and are a temporary indication of protection. After they wane, the more difficult to measure long-term protection may or may not have been established.

          It currently appears that neither vaccines now available nor infection confer long-term protection. Will that change after multiple vaccinations and/or reinfections? It appears for the moment that nobody knows. Or maybe one of the ~200 vaccines currently under study will do what the current ones don’t. Or maybe that’s just more hopium. The more I learn, the less I know.

          1. Eloined

            If it “appears for the moment that nobody knows,” then why the equivalency of a six month grace period whether from jab or infection? Is this based on best available science — the Hill article did not deign to describe such science — or merely the latest nudge to get everyone, especially the most credible dissenters (the previously infected), onto the state program?

            I appreciate your humility. I feel similarly ignorant about vaccination science, but well-supported in anticipating quasi-reasonable nudge upon quasi-reasonable nudge from the experts. Now waiting for a winter of high case counts and curtailment of cilvil liberties of the unvaccinated in Europe to evolve into a narrative of, if case counts are already this high with the unvaccinated forced to the margins, then heaven forbid we let them back into the fold or else the situation would get much worse!

            1. Lee

              The impression I get from news of Europe is that, if it is too much to say that all hell is breaking loose, one can reasonably state that things are not going well and show signs of worsening. Ditto for here in the U.S. no matter how high the stock market soars, or how much the advertisers and MSM promote phony holiday cheer.

              1. polar donkey

                It seems as though fauci and the CDC have learned to use the Friedman unit from the days of the Iraq War. Everything good is just 6 months away.

    2. marym

      It will be interesting if conservative proponents of employers being legally empowered to force employees to do or not do anything in accordance with an employer’s business or religious preferences will also support employers not being allowed to force employees to get vaxxed.

      I’m skeptical of the religious exemption in FL law, as it’s entirely too widely used in the US to pursue a secular political and social agenda, but the other exemptions seem reasonable.

      1. fresno dan

        November 23, 2021 at 9:54 am
        I can remember when republicans and democrats (I no longer use ideological designators, because it seems to me that they are useless as far as being ANY kind of an indicator of consistent philosophical leanings – let’s just acknowledge that people will be SHAMELESSLY inconsistent when arguing for what they want) believed in injecting unapproved vaccines…

        1. marym

          Thanks for the reminder about that controversy. I’ve always been pro-reproductive choice and not opposed to public health mandates, including vaccines. The current issue of mandates for these particular vaccines made me pause and think about where these lines should be drawn. I’m sure many people on different “sides” have had a similar pause. However, anti-mask/vax/mandate advocates are in the streets with “my body my choice” signs as a gotcha to the libs, and the libs are on twitter informing us that pregnancy isn’t contagious, and here we are again. Which is to say nowhere good.

  6. PlutoniumKun

    The Greedy Doctor Problem Jan Hendrik Kirchner (resilc). Today’s must read. Ignores another approach: do a lot of homework and maybe tell your doctors you are working on getting an MD (or alternatively, have a child/close relative working on said degree….).

    As the article intimates, modelling this type of problem into a series of binary questions is sometimes very misleading. These problems are rarely binary in nature, but try telling that to any economist. But interesting nonetheless.

    As Yves says, one of the best ways to get good treatment from doctors is to let them know someone more expert is watching. When both my parents were seriously ill, I noted that when a family member – a prominent academic physician – turned up to visit, the tone from the specialists treating them was very different. Partly it was professional courtesy, but I think they also realised that they had to be very precise in communicating with the family, knowing that they could be ‘called out’ if anything was less than by the book.

    I also witnessed this in a different type of context. Years ago I was an observer in a public hearing for a potentially polluting development where there was a lot of uncertaintly over the impact on groundwater due to disputes about the nature of the geology. Both sides had called a range of specialist witnesses.
    The regulatory body turned up with a professional outside adviser to give ‘independent’ input. Whether by accident or design, the advisor was an academic who had lectured the various geotechnical and geology experts called by both sides in the dispute. The change in tone from both sides when they realised their former professor was in attendance was really quite amusing to see. Both sides rolled back from many ‘certain’ statements they’d made previously. It was a very effective way to stop the consultants from twisting the data to suit their clients.

    1. Lee

      Tangentially related: An interviewee, a young New Yorker, who worked for an NGO promoting access to healthcare for the poor, during the height of the pandemic, came down with Covid symptoms. She stated that wore her Yale sweatshirt to the ER so as to indicate that she was “a person worth saving.”

      Sorry, this was a while back and I can’t recall where I saw the interview and can’t provide a link.

    2. Zamfir

      This makes me wonder, what happens if all patients show up with a medical professor family member?

      Does this raise the overall quality, as the doctors have to be sharp on every consult? Or does everyone go back to average treatment?

      I suspect that there is some amount of zero-sum game involved. Intimidating patients do not just encourage the doctor to try harder, they also (or mostly) encourage redirection of effort and attention away from less intimidating patients.

      1. HotFlash

        Intimidation works both ways. Staff is stressed for time and attention units so will triage accordingly. If visitors show up often, make efforts to cultivate and/or closely question low-level staff, your friend will get better care from the nurses, aides, and other staff who do the actual work. But they will take cues from higher staff and the MD types. I look kind of ragged but (ahem) possess a formidable vocabulary plus had a nurse boyfriend while he went through his training. I learned a lot about what nurses are trained to do, and whose interest they are supposed to represent (ie, the patients). When I took my BFF to Emerg after a head-cracking encounter with a revolving door, The Authorities told me, “You can’t go into the interview with her.” They are, legitimately, afraid I whacked her, but still. I responded, “Ask your patient.” They did, because they had to, she said she wanted me with her, and so it was.

        Now same lady is pretty well gaga and when we met with her new Dr this summer (old one retired), I made sure her degrees (plural) were hung up in a highly visible place and selections from her library of academic references (ancient languages, 5 of them) just happened to be on the bookshelf. I then conferred later with the doc, a lady, and told her some background, including anecdotes which stressed my friend’s smartness (now, former, alas), her sense of humour (still functioning!), her treatment in the Groves of Academe, which was pretty shabby, but typical for women graduate students. I knew I’d made my case when the doc said ruefully, “That’s still true.”

        Another friend, a retired school teacher, always dresses ‘high class’ and puts on airs when visiting hospitalized friends, and my social-worker neighbour agrees, “Yeah, the staff is so classist, especially immigrants.” Many of them come from countries where class is SO much more out in the open than here in ‘classless’ NA, and they are attuned even where we insist everyone is equal.

        Drs and charge nurses have to be intimidated directly. I got good mileage from correcting the charge nurse who wanted to know if I was the power of attourney. I explained, as haughtily as I could, that “power of attorney” was a document, a piece of paper, which I possessed, and that piece of paper empowered me to act on her behalf in health and medical matters, and that I was therefore her attorney and not a piece of paper. I hope that made her think I was a lawyer, but it established a different power dynamic for sure. Got similar response from the ‘attending physician’ when I asked her what was going on. Never got a straight answer from her but she backed down on insisting on a DNR order before they would release her. Surprise!!! Found out that a DNR order was signed! By the ‘attending, physician’, apparently, which is unethical and possibly illegal. Her GP looked shocked when I told her, and said she’d get it recinded — following up with her now. I will delight in sending the hosp and her attending a lawyer’s letter.

        1. Maritimer

          “…one of the best ways to get good treatment from doctors is to let them know someone more expert is watching.”
          I heard an interview of a Doctor by Sam Harris some months ago. Harris is no slouch. He actually asked the Doc how you keep your Doc on the up and up. So, here a scientist and celebrity, is in the same medical jam. Stunning.

          And, for the now persecuted unvaccinated, “someone more expert” may also become “someone legal”. Already the unvaccinated are discriminated against in healthcare. As this goes on, this will only get worse. And a lot of discrimination is opaque, nudge-nudge-wink-wink, behind-the-scenes. So, lawyer up, maybe the ambulance chasers will now rent offices in the hospital lobby.

    3. Basil Pesto

      A similar dilemma I’m anticipating in the near future is how I’m going to request the person administering my second injection of AZ vaccine to aspirate the syringe, because I’m about 99% certain I’m going to cop an attitude (“have you been reading things on the internet?”). Instead of replying with snark (“as opposed to stone tablets?”) I’m thinking of just lying and saying my imaginary girlfriend’s father is a vaccinologist who said it couldn’t hurt and sounds like common sense. Because I’m in some fairly liberal inner suburbs I might even say it’s my boyfriend’s father for extra brownie points.

      1. Michaelmas

        Basil Pesto: ‘A similar dilemma I’m anticipating in the near future is how I’m going to request the person administering my second injection of AZ vaccine to aspirate the syringe, because I’m about 99% certain I’m going to cop an attitude’

        I got my third Moderna injection a couple of weeks back.

        Interestingly, I asked the administering nurse right beforehand if she was going to aspirate. She said that she normally would as a trained nurse, but that the instructions from the CDC had been specifically NOT to aspirate with the COVID19 vaccines.

        I let her go ahead as instructed and have had absolutely zero signs of reactogenicity, just as I didn’t with the two previous shots.

        But interesting. Nasal prophylactic sprays can’t come soon enough, as far as I’m concerned.

        1. Basil Pesto

          Interestingly, I asked the administering nurse right beforehand if she was going to aspirate. She said that she normally would as a trained nurse, but that the instructions from the CDC had been specifically NOT to aspirate with the COVID19 vaccines.

          whaaaa? is there an actual reason, or out of spite? That is a worry

        2. Carla

          When I got my booster, I asked the nurse to aspirate. Perhaps because English was not her native language, she did not understand the term. When I explained what it meant, she, in a good-natured way, agreed to aspirate the needle. I watched, and she did not, yet she insisted she had done so. Then she asked where I had worked as a nurse! I told her that I am not, and have never been, a nurse, but there are nurses in my family. In fact, my cousin had a 30-year nursing career before retiring just a few years ago. When I asked if she had aspirated when giving injections, she said “Absolutely, always! That’s Nursing 101.”

  7. PlutoniumKun

    San Francisco’s out-of-town shit Yasha Levine

    I’m always in favour of local power and control wherever possible. Unfortunately, there is one fundamental problem that always arises – it is simply too easy for a city or local or regional or national government to solve a problem by exporting it outside the boundaries and declaring the problem solved. The most obvious manifestation of this is waste – any kind of waste. Dealing with it is always a headache which is why public authorities will always try to export their waste to willing takers (i.e. someone poorer or more corrupt). Only layers of regional, national and international regulations can stop this.

    1. The Rev Kev

      New York City, I believe does, the same. After Trump was elected back in 2016, some New Yorkers found to their glee that the sewage from their city was being loaded aboard railway tankers & containers and taken to Red States like Alabama and Georgia where they were parked and then dumped later-

      A federal law is needed where sewage must be take care of where it is created.

      1. Carolinian

        NYC has always done that and I believe one of their dumping grounds was in my state. It’s a simple economic proposition given that landfill land is a lot cheaper in SC than in the crowded Northeast.

        And of course they are somewhat hypocritically relying on weaker environmental regulation in remote rural counties. However states like mine are urbanizing and gentrifying (in part from Northern transplants) fast so New York may have to adopt the Summers plan and send it all to Africa.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        New York used to dump everything in the sea off Long Island. I remember when I was growing up there was an old (1960’s) set of World Book Encyclipedias in my home that had a long article explaining just what a clever idea this was. Then after that came the wonderfully named Fresh Kills Landfill.

        One problem with big cities looking after their waste can be seen in Japan. The usual approach was to incinerate everything and then use the ash for land reclamation (i.e. building out into the sea). This was great for creating lots of new land for development, but as they found with the Kobe earthquake, ash isn’t exactly the best foundation material when everything shakes.

        1. ambrit

          I seem to remember reading about an artificial island in Tokyo Bay called ‘Nightsoil Island.’ Now, Google, as is the ‘New Normal,’ only offers “upbeat” boosterism links and informational links about the ‘subjest’ of nightsoil.
          Not even a reference to Terry Pratchett’s ‘little book’ for kids on the subject of how nightsoil is handled in Ankh-Morpork: “The World of Poo.” It is a picture book, but, alas, no scratch and sniff. (I believe that John Waters beat Sir Terry to that in one of Water’s films.)
          See (Safe For Work):

          1. PlutoniumKun

            I can’t say I’ve ever heard of night soil island. Japan was surprisingly late to providing sewers for its population, they only constructed them on a large scale from the 1960’s onwards. Night soil was a valuable resource in Japanese agriculture up to that time (this is one reason why salads were never part of Japanese cuisine).

            For a lot more than you ever wanted to know about the history of toilet use in Japan, this is an interesting little historical essay.

            1. Robert Gray

              > Japan … only constructed [sewers] on a large scale from the 1960’s onwards.

              Well noted. I lived in Japan for about six months in 1971 and in my mid-sized city there was a ‘binjo ditch’ — basically an open sewer — running alongside the streets and laneways in many residential neighborhoods.

              1. Dictynna

                I also lived in Japan in 1970-73, and I remember the benjo ditches. A few people told me they saw some of the citizens using them casually as a toilet.

    2. lordkoos

      “…it is simply too easy for a city or local or regional or national government to solve a problem by exporting it outside the boundaries and declaring the problem solved.”

      The classic example of this which has been going on for years — municipalities putting homeless people on a bus and sending them to points south.

      1. ambrit

        In Florida, ‘they’ ship ‘them’ North. That’s what happened in Dade county one year just before the Super bowl gam was played there. The homeless were rounded up, put on a bus, and shipped up to the fort lauderdale County line.
        “Keep heading North and don’t let us see you again, or there will be trouble. Get me?”
        My Dad worked for Dade County near the end of his life and, according to his testimony, the people running Dade were that cruel and heartless. After all, it’s the place that gave us the Brooks Brothers riot.

    3. Anthony Stegman

      San Francisco also dumps its dead bodies elsewhere. There are no cemeteries within city limits. There may be no crematoria either.

        1. CuriosityConcern

          Sorry, on overnight reflection this feels like too much of a drive-by. I definitely wasn’t trying to troll or inflame, but the comment is based on a story from awhile back: sure if link will work cause I tried to cleanup the major advertising conglomerate wrapping).

          I still remember how disillusioned I was by this. Didn’t live in the city but it was disappointing.

  8. PlutoniumKun

    England Will Require All New Buildings To Have EV Chargers Jalopnik

    There are already a lot of local regulatory changes at local, regional and national level to ensure that all new-build dwellings will have vehicular access to chargers. There are also EU level regulations in the pipeline. The big problem however is existing residential, as the turn over in new build is obviously far too slow. And in a lot of European countries, curtilage car parking is not the norm – many people live in terraces or urban apartment where parking is on the street. There is already a problem in my neighbourhood with people doing ad-hoc charging with power cords from their homes over the footpath.

    1. Synoia

      The chargers on the street will have a much higher re-charging cost than an electric cable draped across the sidewalk

      Chargepoint is the largest street charging company in the US, and they are firmly embedded in the flow of (apparently high) payments.

      I could not use their chargers, they did not work,, and their tech support was unable to resolve the issue, DC charging.

      One of their techs asserted I was not at one of their charging stations, and hung up.

  9. PlutoniumKun

    India’s Akasa Air to buy 72 Boeing 737 Max planes – Asia Times

    For all Boeings travails, the 737 is still very attractive to many buyers – cheaper than the A320, and still trusted more than China’s Comac (which tells you a lot about what even Indian discount airlines think of Comac). But one can only wonder what sort of backroom ‘incentives’ were given for this deal.

    I think the key deals to look out for are not those with airlines, many of which are closely tied in with Boeing and have little real choice – Ryanair being an example. Its the leasing companies which have longer perspectives and are less tied to ongoing maintainence deals. So far, I’ve not seen any of them making big orders.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        The MC21 isn’t certified yet in most countries. The travails of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 probably was enough to put most customers off buying Russian for now. Its probably more of a competitor to the slightly smaller A220 than the A320/737Max. But its possible I think that if Irkut get the MC21 right it could knock out the Comac as its potentially a much better aircraft at a significantly cheaper price.

        Building commercial jets is very, very hard. The Japanese have more or less failed (the Mitsubishi Spacejet) and both the Russians and Chinese are struggling to come up with something viable. Airbus could find themselves a monopoly at the quality end while Boeing ends up fighting a price war at the bottom. Thats not going to be a good place to be in a world flooded with cheap used aircraft looking for buyers.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Thomas Jefferson statue leaves City Hall after 187 years”

    And this is where wholesale statue removal ends up. So one councilor said he wanted the statue gone because it doesn’t represent contemporary values. I would hazard a guess and say that it would be quite an achievement to live by early 21st century values in the late 18th century as well as displaying incredible foresight. People aren’t perfect whether now or a coupla centuries ago. The ideals that people like Jefferson pushed are still alive and even if they are more honoured more in the breach than their observance, they refuse to go away. For example, Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech is really a call to the unfulfilled promises of that ‘all men are created equal’ ideal of Jefferson. You have to ask yourself who could still be honoured from this early period of American history as all of them are ‘problematic’ according to some people’s standards. You do, however have to recognize both their faults and achievements to learn from them. But as has been often said, if you do not learn from this past you will end up repeating the mistakes of the past.The advantages of history sometimes is that when you make a mistake, you recognize it as such from when it was tried in the past.

    1. Wukchumni

      We were @ Solana Beach with my sister and her family from SD on Labor Day, and we got to talking about canceling out history based on today’s mores, and my brother in law pointed out that every woman on the beach that afternoon would’ve been arrested for public indecency circa 1900, on account of the scandalous way they were clothed.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I’ve been to beaches where every woman on the beach would have been arrested on account of not being clothed at all. Come to think of it, nude bathing in rivers was an accepted practice at the beginning of the 19th century but it had changed to be illegal by about 1900. And that was all done within one lifetime. But would you believe that it was illegal to swim in the daytime in the 19th century in Sydney? And Sydney gets as hot as California can. The law can be funny when you talk about beaches and bathing-

    2. marym

      I agree that’s not a good reason for removing Jefferson’s statue. It’s as counter-productive to understanding either history or our own times as presenting him as a founder of democracy without acknowledging that he was an enslaver even of his own children.

      As far as the comment above about antagonizing “regular Americans,” as far back as I can remember hard hat, moral majority, tea party, flyover, maga “regular Americans” have considered themselves “antagonized” by most movements for peace, legal and economic justice, the environment, and multiple iterations of identity-oriented equality.

      Maybe the devolution of left/liberal activism into ever more narrowly defined identity performance is a result in part of having themselves been “antagonized” on most other issues by “regular Americans.”

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        As far as the comment above about antagonizing “regular Americans,” as far back as I can remember hard hat, moral majority, tea party, flyover, maga “regular Americans” have considered themselves “antagonized” by most movements for peace, legal and economic justice, the environment, and multiple iterations of identity-oriented equality.

        Suffice to say, if the deep divisions being cultivated by a privileged few in this country for pure political expediency and total economic domination are ever to be resolved, anyone making such a comment should not be considered for membership on the negotiating committee.

    3. Pat

      That councilor should have been told that whenever he felt uncomfortable he should remind himself that without Jefferson and other flawed men like him, that room and his position would not exist.

      I was over the cancellation craze pretty early, largely because you have to cancel the good with the bad, rather than keep the good and learn from the bad. It is sort of like trying to clean your room by sweeping everything under rugs and furniture. The view is good but eventually things start to smell.

    4. John Beech

      I rather liked the comment about how woke goes so far it makes the rest of us dislike them. Counterproductive, don’t you think? I believe the word was antagonize and that definitely describes my feelings when learning a statue of the great citizen with clay feet who authored so much of what I hold dear is dismissed by what I perceive as his lesser fellow citizens.

    5. Carolinian

      Re Jefferson’s “values”–he was fully aware of the hypocrisy involved in slavery and one of his original bullet points against England in the Declaration was that it “brought slavery to America.” Other delegates shot this down.

      But many Virginians thought they already had enough slaves and that bringing in more would increase the threat of rebellion and massacre. Jefferson like others also thought the institution would simply die on the vine which it may have if not for the cotton gin.

      All of which is to say that history is not a morality tale and one wonders whether all those financial sharks plastering their names on NY buildings and various stadia will have their own honors unceremoniously erased.

      1. Carolinian

        His wife owned slaves. I haven’t heard the slave trader accusation. Apparently like the other founders he had spoken up against slavery even while entangled in it. U.S. Grant’s wife owned slaves as did most of the earlier presidents.

        Perhaps we should think of slavery as the 18th century’s AGW crisis. In a vast and underpopulated (with Europeans) country their labor shortage economy depended upon it–especially in the agricultural and malarial South. Could be the founders weren’t rabid racists and Bible quoting defenders, like the later 19th century Southerners, but thought of slavery as some think with AGW, “can’t live with it, can’t live without it.”. They shoved it off into the future just as our generation is doing with AGW. And you might say in that respect we are even worse since the future of the planet is at stake.

        Whatever their rationalization the country paid the price in the 1860s.

        1. urblintz

          Hamilton’s involvement in the selling of slaves suggests that his position against slavery was not absolute. Besides marrying into a slaveholding family, Hamilton conducted transactions for the purchase and transfer of slaves on behalf of his in-laws and as part of his assignment in the Continental Army. In 1777, before he married Elizabeth, he had written a formal letter to Colonel Elias Dayton, relaying Washington’s request that Dayton return a “Negro lately taken by a party of militia belonging to Mr. Caleb Wheeler.”[6] Hamilton, Washington’s aide de camp during the revolutionary war, remained close to Washington throughout his life. He served as his first Secretary of the Treasury and drafted some of his speeches, including the farewell address. Hamilton probably would not have wanted to offend Washington, who owned slaves, and he would have followed his superior’s orders. Although the available evidence is silent on Hamilton’s feelings toward performing this particular duty, his action suggest, at the least, his complacency. After his marriage, Hamilton intervened to retrieve his in-law’s slaves. In 1784, his sister-in-law Angelica wrote to her sister Elizabeth explaining that she wanted her slave, Ben, returned. In response, Hamilton wrote to John Chaloner, a Philadelphia merchant who conducted business transactions for Angelica’s husband, and stated, “you are requested if Major Jackson will part with him to purchase his remaining time for Mrs. Church and to send him on to me.”[7] In addition, Hamilton also handled Angelica’s husband John Barker Church’s finances because the couple spent most of their time in Europe. Hamilton deducted $225 from Church’s account for the purchase of “a Negro Woman and Child.”[8] Hamilton wanted to be part of the upper class and his relationship with the Schuyler family and with George Washington made his wish possible; it was more important to Hamilton to cultivate these relationships than to make a stand against slavery. To be fair, it should be noted that if Hamilton had adamantly opposed slavery enough to refuse aiding the purchase of slaves or the return of slaves, he would not have been able to maintain such influential friendships; consequently, his stand on slavery would have had little impact on the abolition of slavery.

    6. David May

      Thomas Jefferson was a slave-owner who enslaved his own children and violated his property/maid. The question is, “what kind of a sicko would want a statue of such a degenerate?”

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        Oh, that would be wonderful. Then we could erect statues to Dennis Hastert and Newt Gingrich in some heartland locales to even to score, and make everyone happy.

  11. griffen

    Levine article and where large CA cities compost and dump all their biosolids and waste. For some reason, I’m reminded of the film Soylent Green. When the many trucks are driving into the plant, dumping their content (dead people) and heading back out.

    Instead of dead people it’s a caravan of toxic human waste. Big guy dunking on little guy, to use a basketball analogy.

  12. PlutoniumKun

    Chinese scientists want to add wings to bullet trains to make them even faster South China Morning Post

    I’d be very sceptical of this. The limitations of speed on any given HSR line are complex – the article implies its simply a matter of the energy required to move the ‘weight’ of the train on the rails. At higher speeds, it is aerodynamic drag which matters far more than the power required to move the weight, or the frictional drag on the rails. There are also limits set by aerodynamic noise, although this is less likely to be an issue in China where people are more likely to be just told they’ll have to put up with it.

    It may be that this is a response to a rumoured major issue with the stiffness of Chinese railway structures – in the early days of construction the Chinese used what was claimed to be very substandard concrete in order to speed up development. I cant find the links at the moment, but going back more than a decade there have been several detailed arguments in the technical journals suggesting that in the long term Chinese lines would have to be speed limited as the structures weakened.

    1. ProudWappie

      There’s a term for that; Tofu Dreg construction. I’ve seen a number of videos on that topic, although I have the impression, that it’s not the most objective source on China. The clips shown are pretty frightening though. The problem is that the construction companies have very tiny margins, and including some palm greasing, there’s an incentive to cheat, to recoup costs.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        There certainly is a lot of tofu dreg construction in China, but the specific issue with HSR construction is that in the late 1990’s to 10’s there was an active policy for ‘China only’ specifications. For most concrete, thats fine, but a lot of HSR requires quite specialist concrete types that were not available to China at the time.

        Having said that, the sources I read could have been western suppliers disgruntled at getting cut out of contracts (my employer in the late 1990’s was unceremonially cut out of a huge construction project – the Shanghai underground – once the local contractors decided they’d learned everything they could from them). But it is possible the Chinese are now trying to work out a patch up for weakening structures, and this could be a lighter design of rolling stock. Its just a guess, there is very little published on this for obvious reasons, the Chinese keep this kind of thing very close to their chest.

  13. Jen

    “Democrats are pushing tax breaks for the rich. They’ll cry when voters punish them David Sirota, Guardian. Um, the Democrats didn’t cry when they hemorrhaged representation under Obama.”

    By “cry” he meant fund-raise.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      By “cry” he meant “breathe a sigh of relief”

      Like the dog who caught the car, they had no idea what to do with the power that they had when they won the trifecta in 2020.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        The Dem establishment doesn’t want to decisively win the trifecta. If they do win it they prefer it to be a close run thing such as in 2020, when they can plausibly play their revolving villain game. Their preferred outcome is to control the presidency and one house of Congress. Then they can blame their failures hidden agenda achievements on the Republicans.

        1. ivoteno

          i don’t ever remember hearing of “the senate parliamentarian” until it allowed the current crew to disavow a whole mess of campaign promises. maybe i wasn’t paying close enough attention and it happens all the time?

          i’m guessing the pachyderms did one senate seat worse than the polling showed.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Grandmother, 63, and granddaughter, six, are kicked out of Georgia hotel in the middle of night BY POLICE after she gave it a 3 out of 5 star review on”

    I don’t think that that manager thought things all the way through. After using the police to kick a women and her granddaughter out of that room using the police, he has guaranteed that this story will have legs. In fact, it has gone international as the Daily Mail is a UK publication. That Georgian law that was used as justification sounds like it is a blank check if a hotel guest can be evicted for any ‘action by a guest.’ Better that he would have kept on top of maintenance and cleaning instead. It could have been worse. Can you imagine what would happen if it was Gordon Ramsey filming an episode of ‘Hotel Hell’ instead? (3:56 mins) – Some swearing (hey, it is Gordon Ramsey after all)

    1. fresno dan

      The Rev Kev
      November 23, 2021 at 9:03 am
      How is it that the police involved, as well as the chief of police, are not fired? What law or statue is broken by writing a bad review? (uh, the police don’t know about the 1st amendment???)
      Maybe just a good example of reality – police are the enforcers, and only the enforcers, for the rich.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        Baymont is a Wyndahm property, an umbrella that includes Days Inn, Super 8, La Quinta as well as other lodging brands. This incident should be propagated far and wide on Twitter, FB, etc.

      2. The Rev Kev

        ‘fresno dan
        November 23, 2021 at 10:31 am’

        The law is actually quoted way down that story where it say-

        ‘Georgia law says guests can’t be kicked out before the time they paid for runs out, but it carves out an exemption for ’cause,’ defined as ‘failure to pay sums due, failure to abide by rules of occupancy, failure to have or maintain reservations, or other action by a guest.’

        That last bit makes it a blank check. There is even a link to the law itself-

  15. Jen

    COVID update: after new cases in the single digits at my “small liberal arts college,” and sometimes even zero through most of the fall term, new cases among our undergrads in the last 7 days: 50. Positive tests went from 10 approximately 2 weeks ago to 69 in the last 7 days.

    We’ve had an unusually warm fall here – temps were still regularly in the 50s until a couple of weeks ago. Winter is finally coming, and people are moving indoors, with entirely predictable results. Fall term ended yesterday, and the vast majority of undergrads are decamping until after the first of the year.

    I do wonder what this portends for the winter term. The undergrads have been chafing at, and in some cases openly defying the indoor mask mandate. Maybe the climbing case count will persuade them. On the other hand I work with scientists who don’t always grasp the cause and effect relationship between the mitigation tactics we have in place, and low case counts.

    1. petal

      Was at a rugby game 3 weeks ago and a group of undergrads were sitting behind me. They were asking one about him having just “gotten out of jail” (isolation) and he was laughing about how he had been a super spreader. They were also talking about getting it on purpose so they could go home earlier, or just get it over with.
      Winter’s going to be awesome fun.

      1. jr

        That’s shocking but not surprising. What I keep hearing and seeing around me is that it’s time to “get on with life”. The prospect of maintaining protections to protect that life is apparently what is chaining down that liberty. It’s a question of freedom. The prospect of spending the rest of one’s life with a bleeding brain is either unknown or ignored.

        1. petal

          It’s physically and mentally exhausting being constantly at the mercy of the stupid (willingly or otherwise)and/or corrupt. It’s all a joke to them.

          1. jr

            My estimation of the human race, never in five star territory to begin with, has dropped considerably during the pandemic. From the big to the small, the social to the personal, we seem to be surrounded by morons. I try to avoid othering because I’m inclined to it and it’s not good for my mental health but it’s hard some days not to.

            1. ivoteno

              my estimation of the human race mirrors yours.

              however, resist the othering. nothing good happens once you go in that direction.

          2. Skunk

            The joke may be on them. They assume that mild cases won’t have long-term consequences. Sometimes they do.

      2. Kouros

        The transfer of wealth from one generation to the next has been curtailed and that needs to be dealt with…

    2. lordkoos

      Not sure what has been going on lately but in the last week or so I’m seeing more and more people here not wearing masks when they shop for groceries. Most are middle aged and I’m also seeing a lot of moms with kids. Some are in high-risk categories, older, overweight etc. The Republican plan seems to be to sicken their constituency. Wonder how big a spike in cases there will be after Thanksgiving.

      The local university has been pretty strict about mitigation so I’m not seeing too many younger people without masks.

      1. outside observer

        Perhaps your area is like my county that recently said we don’t need to mask indoors anymore since our numbers looked so good. Within a fortnight they reinstated the indoor mask ordinance since the numbers had, surprise surprise, crept back up. Good times.

        1. lordkoos

          Our numbers have been very low, one of the better counties in the state, but officially WA state mandates have not been lifted.

  16. Craig H.

    El Salvador President Announces Bitcoin Tax Haven With UFOs and Fireworks

    This is a great story and that El Salvador guy has got some moxie. ACDC You Shook Me All Night Long? Personally I am partial to Black Sabbath but can not knock ACDC.

    Regarding John Kennedy’s murder. 1. Lee Harvey Oswald had almost nothing to do with it. He was working for the agency that day. His job assignment was to be there for Alan Dulles and J. Edgar Hoover and Earl Warren and Lyndon Johnson to point their finger at and claim he did it. I doubt he pulled a gun trigger even once that day in Dallas. 2. The CIA files which are legally obligated to be released are still locked up. They must be pretty embarrassing. To dead people!

    Anybody seen that Pompeo youtube where he laughs about “we lied and we stole and we cheated”? Very funny.

    He omitted:

    we murdered
    we kidnapped
    we tortured
    we raped
    and a few hundred other despicable crimes.

  17. PlutoniumKun

    String of pearls: Yemen could be the Arab hub of the Maritime Silk Road The Saker

    As so often, Escobar sees western plots where much simpler explanations suffice. Yemen does have oil and gas and mineral reserves, but nothing to make it particularly strategically important for China or the US, or anyone else who isn’t Yemani. It has a strategic military location due to the chokepoint on the Red Sea (and so the Suez Canal), but its hard to see what any harbour would offer that China couldn’t already obtain with its Djoubouti facility, or anywhere else such as in Iran or Oman. The costs of trying to rebuild Yemen would vastly outweigh the benefits for any major power – China or anyone else – hoping to profit from its gold and gas deposits.

    The Saudi’s and other Gulf States intervened for a simple reason – they have always feared a unified Yemen for historic and religious reasons. Their intention was to create a weakened client state, not sieze its resources. Yemen is far too much trouble for the US, China or Russia to want to take on as a client. Only Iran really benefits from having a friendly government there. The war there is mostly internal, but driven by the Saudi’s neurotic obsession with its neighbour.

    What is particularly sad is that Yemen – like another failed state, the Lebanon – was a relatively speaking a politically open, prosperous and stable nation (well, two nations) just half a century ago. The reason for its failure is partially due to internal reasons, and partially malicious interventions by its immediate neighbours (with the big colonial nations looking on, usually with the worst of intentions). Between them, Israel and the Wahhabist tribes of SA have done enormous damage to the region, its no wonder they are such close friends.

    1. Craig H.

      The reason for its failure is partially due to internal reasons, and partially malicious interventions by its immediate neighbours (with the big colonial nations looking on, usually with the worst of intentions).

      In Dorrit’s MI6 book he says the first time an MI6 agent died on duty after 1945 was in Yemen when Britain was playing around there in 1962 or so. The killers paraded his head on a pike after.

      Crikey his book is dull. All authentic agency books are stupifying compared to James Bond and John LeCarre.

  18. jr

    Interview with Kathleen Stock, a philosopher and former professor at Sussex University who left her position due to pressure from trans-“activists”:

    She was shocked by the numbers of her colleagues who got on board with the campaign against her. Her union failed her as well. Also, the thuggish behavior of the mob who literally said anything and everything about her in an attempt to smear her. And how men have used “self-ID” to colonize safe spaces for women and children.

    There is an interesting bit about a kind of conversion therapy on the part of trans ideology in which homosexual children are no longer gay or lesbian, they are “other-gendered”, erasing their homosexuality.

    She notes the passive-aggressive framing of her in the media, where her “defenders” opined that she had a right to be a trans-phobe. And the constant use of shaming. Constant armchair moralizing. Passive-aggressive behavior again, it’s a feature of the Woke mob. I think it’s an attempt to maintain the cloak of moral superiority of being the reasonable party while still attacking those they disagree with. Until of course their righteous fury gives them the right to physically threaten and hurt their targets.

    Stock has a book out: “Material Girls: Why reality matters to feminists” that sounds interesting. She points out that there are huge logical gaps in the trans-ideologues thinking. But I don’t think logic is the province of cults.

    1. B flat

      Thank you for this. People losing careers, suppression of dissent – there’s such turmoil in the world right now; still, this topic seems verboten.

      1. jr

        I’m glad you found value in it. I think this topic is extremely important. While the Right and it’s Schweinehunde run amok, the Left is divided and held back by these Rainbow Fascists. It’s not even remotely about trans-gender rights, it’s about mostly straight, white men exerting their power over women. I had no idea that the majority of “self-identified” trans women are cis-males. I’m sure a fraction of them are non-binary and those people do deserve recognition and protection from discrimination but the bulk of them are just power hungry ideologues who found the cudgel du jour. Anyone with a chip on their shoulder or a hunger to dominate can suddenly discover their gender doesn’t match their junk and play the victim role. Find some rabbit-holes on Twitter or Reddit to crawl into and get lost in the babble. The establishment’s acceptance of this insanity reflects a desire for another means of social control rather than any deep concern for people who don’t feel as if their gender is defined by their sexuality.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          the bulk of them are just power hungry ideologues who found the cudgel du jour

          And you know this how?

          1. JBird4049

            Can we agree that some people are using the issues du jour as tools to gain power? I would add that the growing levels of the stupid that is drowning us all is the result of this. Ideas, facts, the very meanings that words or labels use to have are distorted or eliminated by ideologues and partisan hacks. Not to mention the deliberate memory-holing of even the most recent history. And this has been going on for decades.

            I can use myself as an example. Forty years ago, I would have been considered a member of the economic left wing of the Democratic Party who was socially very, very, very liberal or leftist.

            Today, the leadership of the same party would be comfortable labeling me a communist, and probably a Stalinist, although I am a slightly more leftist socialist today. Although I would be to the left of Bernie Sanders. Socially, too many Democrats and the PMC would call me a homophobic, transphobic, sexist, racist bigot even though I was more liberal that almost all of the Democratic Party of the 1980s and have become even more pro civil rights on everything since thing.

            It is not that I have changed much aside from some listening, reconsidering, and tinkering, but the meanings given to words have not only been changed, but have become so malleable that they mean whatever the speaker, party, or movement want them to mean. A kind of “We have always been at war with Eastasia.”

            It is a neat way to have people become apostates and cast out from the One True Church Party for both political parties. Just move the boundaries of the correct orthodoxy without explicitly telling anyone and then get rid of those of insufficient alertness and mental malleability. It does make it hard to discern who is being power hungry and those who are just scared for their rice bowl or even safety.

          2. jr

            Through their actions. Their displacement of women and children from actual safe spaces, the use of shaming and smear campaigns to destroy the reputations and careers of their victims, their anti-intellectualism that shouts down opposing points of view, and their physical threats and intimidating behavior. It’s about power and manipulation.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I’ve always found it really odd how many mainstream feminists haven’t realised how much the current trans narrative so deeply undermines so many feminist victories over the past few decades. Judith Butler has done more damage to women progress than a few armies of angry white males.

      1. jr

        The video Lee kindly re-linked below talks about both Butler’s dire influence as well as Foucault’s role in creating a world where identity is reality.

        1. Count Zero

          Not sure how anybody can justify the claim that Foucault’s work was anything to do with “creating a world where identity is reality.” Oh, unless they haven’t actually read anything by Foucault.

          Foucault was a complex thinker and his work across thirty years in several disciplines points in different directions. But he was always interested in dissolving identities.

      2. Tom Stone

        Having worked with several Trans people I find it interesting that there is no differentiating between those who have the original plumbing and those who have fully transitioned from one sex to another.
        It’s a big difference, physically and emotionally.

    3. Bart Hansen

      I saved this quote a few weeks ago:

      The trans backlash on [Margaret] Atwood shows that while women have been freed from the control of men, they’re now controlled by men in dresses 

    4. Elsie

      Not all trans people follow these ideologies. We only want the right to exist and to be treated with dignity. It’s unfortunate that some trans rights activists are do narrow minded and bigoted. We deserve the right to exist no matter what you think.

      1. jr

        No one here is denying you that and I agree fully with the sentiment. This has gone way beyond some honest struggle for rights and recognition, however. It’s become a political weapon in the hands of people who have their own agendas, large and small. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see a reaction form that seeks to cement gender roles back into their “proper” places, a setback for the transperson.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          I believe that the “this” you are referring to (that “has gone way beyond”) is a really insular dialogue/argument between a handful of prominent advocates that is more or less irrelevant to the lives of the vast majority of actual trans people, who are not “power hungry ideologues” and are just trying to live their lives as they choose. You certainly can’t be suggesting that the “honest struggle” for trans rights has been won. Right?

          1. Basil Pesto

            I believe that the “this” you are referring to (that “has gone way beyond”) is a really insular dialogue/argument between a handful of prominent advocates that is more or less irrelevant to the lives of the vast majority of actual trans people

            yeah I still can’t really gibe with the “this is really important” angle with regards to these charlatans. It all seems a bit Russiagatey to me in terms of the hysteria levels. Perhaps it’s different in America and perhaps I benefit from not being at university but this insular back and forth is something I find very, very easy to ignore and not take seriously, and I suspect most people do too. When I don’t ignore it, I just think it’s funny – satirical material there for the taking (of course, when satirical material is so obvious that it’s there for the taking, it makes it that much harder to do the satire well.)

            It’s probably important in the sense of the ongoing phenomenon of pointless internal divisions over dumb and arcane issues distracting from people’s actual material problems, but this is the latest iteration in a long line of that, and something I suspect we’ll be looking at in 20 years like “ha! remember when…?” as opposed to goose stepping through the streets chanting “all hail our trans overlords. heil she/her hitler!”. Rainbow fascists? Maybe, but they might as well be playing The Sims for all the actual, meaningful power and authority they’re ever going to have.

            Meanwhile, as you say, not being pricks to actual, normal trans people is important. Of course, that’s going to be that much harder to do when you think a brownshirt cabal of ultra-intense trans ideologues is just around the corner ready to cut your dick off or supply you with your new, mandated grey gabardine dress or whatever. What was that about divide and conquer?

          2. jr

            “I believe that the “this” you are referring to (that “has gone way beyond”) is a really insular dialogue/argument between a handful of prominent advocates that is more or less irrelevant to the lives of the vast majority of actual trans people,”

            Please. This none-sense is informing corporate, military, and government policy both here and in the UK, probably elsewhere. Stock talks about how children are being shuttled into gender reassignment therapy, to their detriment, essentially due to ideology and the ka-ching! Men are invading shelters for homeless women and children because they “self-ID” as a woman on the paperwork. Men, violent offenders, are being placed in women’s prisons on the basis of this self identifying!

            I have no doubt it plays almost no role in the lives of the average trans person. It’s not about them. Just as the BLM leadership isn’t about BLM. Please stop downplaying the situation.

            “who are not “power hungry ideologues” and are just trying to live their lives as they choose.”

            No one here is saying anything like that. No one is denying anyone the right to live their lives as they see fit. This is a separate question. You seem to conflate the two.

            “You certainly can’t be suggesting that the “honest struggle” for trans rights has been won. Right?”

            Right, and the “prominent advocates” aren’t helping. Neither are the hustlers running the non-profits and selling training seminars to Corporation Inc. Or the faculty who uses the cause of the moment to push their own careers forward.

            Here is a question for you: where is the internal criticism in the trans-movement? I’d love to read a trans-person’s critical take on their movement. Where are those voices?

      2. fringe

        In the Ms Magazine commentary community I spoke of above there were a great many trans women that I got to know and absolutely loved. I want for them to be able to live as women without danger or difficulty of any kind.

  19. fresno dan

    Global Warming
    So I saw the movie The Blob last night – yeah, I got it for Halloween but with all the stuff going on I just got around to seeing it last night. Note – Steve McQueen was billed as Steven McQueen. Also, he played a teenager (coincidentally named Steve) in the movie, but was 28 (and I’m not gonna say he looked like he was 33).
    Ending scene of the movie:
    Sheriff: Nice work, Steve. You okay?
    Steve: Yeah, I’m okay. Dave, listen, I wanna…Well, I wanna thank you for getting us out of there.
    Sheriff: You know, for a while, I didn’t think we were gonna make it.
    Steve: That makes two of us. What are they gonna do with that thing, Dave?
    Sheriff: Well, the Air Force is sending a Globemaster in. They’re flying it to the Arctic.
    Steve: It’s not dead, is it?
    Sherrif: No, it’s not. Just frozen. I don’t think it can be killed. But at least we’ve got it stopped.
    Steve: Yeah, as long as the Arctic stays cold.
    !!! Premonition????

    1. fresno dan

      its always amazing to me how this documentary is never cited to support global warming initiatives. Its like people want the Blob to return….

    2. griffen

      Unrelated to your angle on global warming, the singular talent of Ralph Macchio was aged 21 years when cast as Daniel in the original Karate Kid. I’m now shocked, I say shocked, to learn Macchio recently turned 60(!).

      Back to the topic, the article on coal plants shutting down is an unsurprising response to strict regulations. It gets expensive when plants can no longer dump the resulting waste into streams or rivers. Engineering is not my forte, but treating the waste byproduct must be a loser in a cost benefit analysis.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The studios have to provide education to children actors in some fashion if it’s during the school year/day. The show “Freaks and Geeks”, besides the ratings, was canceled because they were effectively running a whole school due to having so many child actors. Costs and logistics soared. For bit parts, kids get used in large casts because they can avoid school problems. One tutor for a TV show is easier to handle as they can handle the logistics and shooting schedules.

        So when dealing with teen characters, it’s easier to hire adults, and in the case of Beverly Hills 90210, they used AARP members.

        1. Pat

          Not only are they required to provide “schooling “, they are limited in the numbers of hours a child can be on set, and the timer starts at call. IOW, unlike adults who can be on set from 14 to 16 hours, younger actors can only be there a fraction of that time and a significant portion of their limited time must be spent with a tutor or a class. It really really requires the producers and directors to plan carefully and use their time wisely, skills not generally seen in most.

        2. griffen

          That brief run for the above-named Freaks and Geeks was unfortunate. The talent from that show went onto many big things (Rogen, Cardellini, et al). One of the younger characters looked, and behaved much like a close friend in those pre-teenager years.

          Thanks to shows such as Beverly Hills 90210, we can be inundated in modern times with all the Kardashian(s) that a person can handle.

    3. Steven A

      I saw The Blob as a pre-teen and believe it was my first sci-fi movie. IIRC, at the end it showed a tranport place drop a large crate and the movie ended with a big question mark on the screen, as if the screenwriter was having doubts. Please advise if you noticed that. The years could have rearranged my memory.

  20. Basil Pesto

    What I’d really like to know about that stupendous lung imaging is whether the patient was vaccinated or not. That the patient donated his lung to science suggests a certain sympathy with those on the vanguard of medical research, and therefore perhaps being amenable to getting the vaccines. I guess it also depends on when he died.

    I don’t want to know for the sake of Making A Point On The Internet, but because my Dad has COPD and PAH. He’s double vaccinated and will get a third shot, but if an infection takes hold he is a goner and I am very worried. He knows (and I think he understood independent of my ranting and raving to him on the subject) that the vaccines are not enough on their own to protect everyone all the time for very long.

    But actually what I really love is the study linked below it, which suggests the structure of a virus within the structure of an aerosol. A month or two ago while trying to find some information that could point to how aerosols behave in the intermask-space in double-masked people, I found this pre-covid paper: Physico-chemical characteristics of evaporating respiratory fluid droplets. I found it quite interesting and a good demonstration of how little we know.

    The pertinent questions surrounding this for me are: how do aerosols behave in relation to relative humidity?; and: how does evaporation effect viability of the virus in an aerosol (I note with interest in today’s article the tentative hypothesis between the transmissiveness and tenacity of Delta variant, and how this might be related to its interaction with mucin.)

    It looks like the researcher quoted in today’s piece is making questions like this part of her follow-up investigations, which is great, and could lead to some real and weighty breakthroughs in managing aerosol contagion. I also like to think that the authors of the paper I read a couple of months ago are very pleased by this research development. It would also be cool to see some computer modelling looking at how the virion behaves within the aerosol over time with respect to evaporation of the aerosol. Great stuff all round.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Unfortunately, I can’t remember where I saw the link, but there is some research out there on the impact of humidity indoors and it concluded that the virus is far more transmissible in buildings with air humidity below 30%, which is typical indoors in mid Autumn in Europe (hence the strength of the current surge). It recommended simple measures to raise humidity indoors such as hanging up wet towels. From what I recall, it was speculated that this was related to nasel mucus drying out, but I suppose its possible that there are other mechanisms at work. It had occurred to me that humidity levels could be the missing variable to account for why the models have been so bad at predicting the rapid ebbs and flows of Delta.

      1. Mantid

        Good call. I imagine that with higher humidity, the air is heavier. The aerosols would possibly drop to the ground faster in a humid environment. Light humidity may have the ability to suspend the particulates longer. I’m imagining how jets can’t take off in Arizona on real hot and dry days. Perhaps the concepts are related? “Is there a doctor in the house?” …. ok, maybe an engineer? AZslim?

  21. Carolinian

    Re Russian encirclement–Blinken is a menace. One could almost forgive Biden, given his age, if he hadn’t surrounded himself with the likes of Blinken, Klain etc He might as well bring back Pompeo.

    As for

    France has vowed to defend Ukraine if Russia attacks it.

    it is to laugh. When did the world’s upper crust become so infested with baby Napoleons?

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      So, if I’m understanding C.J.’s argument correctly, Ron DeSantis is my ally in fighting the roll out of the totalitarian New Normal. Presumably also Trump. Friends of the common man.

      1. flora

        Of course they’re not friends of the common man. On the other hand, I didn’t see any Dem pols at the Deere strike talking to striking workers.

        1. marym

          Don’t know if any them are friends of the common man but IA and Michigan picket lines had some visitors
          Iowa – Deere
          IA Senate minority leader, IA US Senate candidate

          Thank you, [IA State Rep] @ross_wilburn and the other @iowademocrats elected officials who literally stood with @uaw workers from day one.

          [IA State] Rep. Jennifer Konfrst @KonfrstForHouse ‘The overnight shift deserved a little extra coffee tonight since they have a bonus hour on the line. @iowahousedems will stand with our @UAW brothers and sisters as long as it takes. #Solidarity

          “I’m out here supporting my union brothers and sisters,” said [IA State] Rep. Phyllis Thede, D-Bettendorf

          Michigan – Kellogg
          “Trevor Bidelman of the BCTGM Local 3G executive board said state Representatives Jim Hadsma ([D] Battle Creek), Terry Sabo ([D] Muskegon) and Julie Rogers ([D]Kalamazoo) have all come out to support the strike workers, along with Attorney General Dana Nessel and state Senator Shawn McCann (D-Kalamazoo) and Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit). Biddleman said US Senator Gary Peters (Democrat of Bloomfield Twain) also sent messages of support, and US Senator Bernie Sanders Pizza and his supporters to the class, along with a large donation.”

          Walsh (Labor Sec) visited Kellog and VIlsack (Ag Sec) visited Deere

          Of note: [Friend to the common man but not-a-Dem] Bernie Sanders: “You’ll recall we raised more than $150,000 in small-dollar donations to support the strike funds helping John Deere and Kellogg’s workers maintain their strikes.” (email)

  22. John Siman

    Albrecht Dürer was a 16th-century Andy Warhol? Sure he was, and Queen Elizabeth I was a 16th-century Kamala Harris.

    1. Josef K

      Like DaVinci was a 15th-century Damien Hirst.

      Like Bach was an 18th-century John Williams.

      Is web-based writing essentially two-dimensional, or is it the culture it arises from? Rhetorical question.

    2. chuck roast

      It’s actually a good book with no mention of Warhol, but it seemed that Albrecht did run quite the little factory. Any decent print auction will have a couple of Durer lots.

  23. Carolinian

    Re beavers–I’m not sure why Canadians get to claim them since the original Virginia settlers reported nothing but beavers out to the horizon. The indigenous people farmed around their ponds and used them for transportation.

    But they are destructive and indifferent to civilization except insofar as trying to hide from it. We had some at a local park and while the damming was welcome the bark chewing and felling of trees apparently was not since I never see such telltale evidence any more. And yet elsewhere when their dams get torn out they come back. Sunny SC is very much beaver territory.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I’ve often wondered why the North American beaver is so much more aggressive in its dam building than the Eurasian variety.

      Maybe something to do with there being more big predators around. Britain is re-establishing a population of beavers (the eurasian variety) with some significant success.

    2. mistah charley, ph.d.

      The university I went to as an undergrad has the beaver as its mascot – “nature’s engineer” – the school class ring is gold with a beaver as the emblem where many rings would have a stone – it is called “the brass rat”.

      As to Canada getting to claim the beaver, although one sees the industrious rodent across North America, the trade in beaver fur was much more economically important up north.

  24. Jason Boxman

    So the dig was lost on me until recently, but there’s a small manufacturing facility close to here with a banner out front for the past 6+ months that says “sign up for bi-weekly stimulus checks here”. I can’t decide if that’s supposed to be hilarious or contemptuous of the relief payments earlier in the pandemic, but given the area I suspect the latter.

    I hadn’t realized, but we’re also in the midst of a year long nation wide liquor shortage. The shelves were particularly bare last night, relative to pre-pandemic when ever shelf was completely full, so I finally noticed. There’s been spot shortages of whiskey and scotch for months, but I didn’t think much of it. (I haven’t noticed any shortage of name brand generic wines or wine in general really.)

  25. Mantid

    With regards to the interesting article Humans Have Broken One of The Natural Power Laws Governing Earth’s Oceans, they are ignoring the whale in the room, pollution. The authors note the extraction, especially industrial scale of fisheries, but don’t include pollution nor temperature and acidity rise. Of course, not a critique as it may not have been their focus. I give the ocean, seriously about 5 years, 10 at the most, to be essentially dead. Soon there will be nothing edible for us to pull out of the powerfull mother of us all. Have you seen the numbers on the fish stocks and spawns of the Sacramento river? Dutch Harbor in Alaska? I’m sure the problem is elsewhere too but we don’t hear about much it. Any observations from fellows down in Australia, Britain, South America?

  26. Mantid

    I haven’t read the article but it’s such a quinky dink that the US is about at a 60% vaccination rate and the title of the article is “About 60% of the US population has reduced protection against COVID-19”, CDC data shows. I guess we can now argue against “success”.

  27. martell

    The article on Marx and the philosophers is disappointing. I was hoping to read about philosophers who’ve criticized Marx and Marxism. But McKenna (author of the book reviewed) goes after self-proclaimed Marxists in philosophy instead. If the reviewer is to be believed, McKenna asserts, again and again, that so-and-so (Horkheimer, Adorno, Althusser, etc.) is hard to read and therefore deliberately obscure and elitist. Of course, criticisms of such people along those lines are nothing new. But I think it ludicrous to repeat such things while also championing the work of the young Lukacs. “Pot, allow me to introduce you to Kettle. Kettle, this is Pot.”

    I myself am no longer interested in Frankfurt School “Critical Social Theory,” so cheap shots directed against those people don’t interest me either. But I’ve come to believe that Althusser made a quite valuable contribution to the study of Marx’s thought and to Marxism generally and so I think it’s a shame that both author and reviewer chose to lump him in with the rest. Also, there seems to be some misunderstanding of what Althusser was saying about subjectivity and ideology. This is certainly not the place to explain in detail the point at which he was getting, but it seems to me that it has to do with the subject of thought and action as typically conceived by philosophers from Descartes to Sartre: as subjects we are, each of us, spontaneously acting sources of whatever order we find in our lives. Whereas the ancient Greeks sought for the arche (or archai) without, the moderns “find” it within. Althusser’s point with regard to such theoretical subjects was, I take it, twofold: first, this is an illusion (though not, for all that, without real effects); and second, each of us is invited to entertain such illusions by the institutions we inhabit: schools, churches, and state institutions generally. Perhaps Althusser was wrong about this. Or maybe the claim is so vague as to be theoretically and practically useless. But it doesn’t strike me as the sort of view that merits dismissal without argument. Perhaps McKenna supplies the necessary argument in the book. Given only what’s said in the review (over and over again), I have no way of knowing.

    1. hemeantwell

      With the idea of “interpellation” Althusser seemed to be trying to reduce the social psychology of institutions to a very simple model of identification: in his example the cop “hails” you as a “citizen” and so you respond in those terms. To me this was redolent of what a sociologist — Dennis Wrong, iirc — regarded as turning subjects into “sociological dopes,” one dimensional constructs composed to fit in with whatever institution sociologists had in mind. I guess if you wanted to get less dopey you could talk about subjects being hailed by multiple institutions more or less simultaneously, which would put you in the ballpark of poly sci types talking about “cross-cutting allegiances.”

      In contrast, the Frankfurt School insisted that subjects were more complex and this could be thought of not only via the psychoanalytic concepts that are usually highlighted. They left Louis in the dust on that score.

      The McKenna book sounds like a rehash of complaints that are often leveled against the Frankfurters and which have been often rebutted. What’s worth quickly underlining here is that they were living in a remarkably dismal period. During the 50s and early 60s many writers on the left were struggling to come to terms with
      1. the aftermath of Nazism, especially the shock of the Holocaust. (It was the Nazi experience, I believe, that ran Adorno and Horkheimer over the guard rail in the Dialectic of Enlightenment)
      2. the continuing dominance of Stalinism, which brought its own shocks
      3. and the apparent success of a Keynesian approach to managing the core contradictions of capitalism, which seems to have made real the worries of people like Bukharin and Grossman who believed that a kind of superimperialism might evolve that was capable of a coordinated exploitation of a world system. Most of the left — not just the FF school, but also Baran, Sweezy, Galbraith — perhaps with the exception of some Trotskyists, had come to this conclusion. Thus for some the turn to students and the third world as revolutionary agents, for others the “strategy of hibernation.”

      In retrospect they can be faulted, but really that’s just saying that we need to appreciate the conjuncture they were writing in and to what extent the situation is different now. McKenna seems to think that such an historical appreciation risks leaking some of their resignation/pessimism into current discussions. I would worry that his approach — I like his retrieval of Lukacs, but that can quickly become formulaic hooey — would leave us again baffled by the questions the FFs were trying to address in their studies of “authoritarian” workers in the 30s.

  28. zagonostra

    >Dollar Tree hikes prices 25%. Most items will cost $1.25

    That’s one heck of a jump in a very short period of time.

    I predicted that the Dollar store would have to raise their prices when the CAREs act passed. You can’t print trillions out of thin air not expect repercussions to the purchasing power of the currency – at least I think so.

    The U.S. economy is not making any sense, this does makes sense. But I’m not an economist, and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn last night so I won’t even pretend to know what I’m talking about.

    1. griffen

      Related to your above linked article, but a different retailer. Past weekend trip to the local Dollar General, which I frequent several times a month for basic goods / beer, the cereal / breakfast aisle was practically barren. I think some random offerings could still be had, but most boxed cereal was gonzo. This store has typically remained well stocked.

      Thankfully for me, the supply of items (yes, including beer) I wanted to buy were in better shape.

    2. saywhat?

      You can’t print trillions out of thin air not expect repercussions to the purchasing power of the currency zagonostra

      Well, part of the problem is that the DEMAND for US fiat is suppressed in that ONLY private banks may use fiat in account form and not (at least) ordinary citizens.

      I’d call that an elitist system …

    3. Basil Pesto

      You can’t print [sic] trillions out of thin air

      and yet, you have to, because for the state, that is how millions, billions and trillions come into being.

      Of course, the state could also allocate those millions, billions, trillions in a way that makes the existence of stores like Dollar General utterly superfluous and unnecessary. Alas.

    4. vidimi

      sure you can. you can print trillions, give them all to elon musk and bill gates, and not a penny more will go into the economy since they can’t already spend their fortunes if they lived a thousand lives. and this has pretty much been the american approach for decades.

  29. Tom Stone

    A housing update for those that are interested.
    Someone I’m acquainted with from my years of volunteer work heard about my situation and gave me the name and number of someone at the County who handles emergency housing for the elderly poor at risk of homelessness.
    I called and “Oh, you’re a friend of David’s, how old are you,what’s your health like and what’s happening with your living situation?”
    Less than a week later I’m quarantined in a single room at the BW Inn in Healdsburg awaiting the results of a PCR test, if negative I’ll be in a single room in the Holiday Inn at Windsor CA until the end of the year when the funding runs out.
    I have a safe place to stay for a Month which gives me some very welcome breathing room.
    Doing volunteer work can pay off in unexpected ways.

    1. sporble

      Great news, Tom!
      Hope you’re negative – and are able to stay healthy.
      These are definitely not the easiest/best of times…

    2. sporble

      First reply disappeared, trying again:
      Great news, Tom!
      Hope you’re negative – and stay healthy.
      These certainly aren’t the easiest/best of times.

  30. polecat

    About that antidote du jour ..

    Carla: “OMG! There he is Again!”

    Wickedly Pointed One: “Nice edible garden ya got here … must be such a shame to see me & mine devour it all ….”

    Deer – otherwise known in polecat lexicon as .. Hooved Rats!
    … still, a yuuuuuuge step above those other notorious pests – the DemoRats!

  31. juno mas

    RE: In Memory of JFK

    When Garrison got a hold of the original film it was discovered that the head shot had actually come from the front. In fact, what the whole film showed was that the President had been shot from multiple angles meaning there was more than one gunman

    –The Saker.

    I was a student at UCSB (1968) and invited to a clandestine meeting with a few professors and Gil Toff (videomaker). Toff was presenting evidence that Oswald did not assassinate Kennedy.

    Here’s a link to an upgraded version of the Zapruder film taken on 11/22/63:

    It clearly shows Kennedy being blasted from the front.

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