Links 11/25/2021

A calm and contented Thanksgiving to our readers! –lambert

Georgia politician stands by giant topiary chicken that got him ousted as mayor CBC

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

The bright new age of venture capital The Economist. Includes potted history. Handy chart, albeit long:

What does machine learning say about the drivers of inflation? Bank of International Settlements

The McDonald’s Ice Cream Machine Hacking Saga Has a New Twist Wired

The Human-Machine Game The Shape of Reality


Thanksgiving food rankings 2021: I ranked them all best to worst so you can tell me how wrong I am Mass Live. Yes, the rankings are all wrong. Pecan Pie below Dinner Rolls? Really?

How to celebrate Thanksgiving while debunking the myth World Economic Forum

Turkey or Tofurkey? Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis

Protect Yourself From Salmonella This Thanksgiving Pro Publica

Meat Is Hard for Hungry Families to Come By. Enter These Deer Hunters. DNUYZ (Re Silc).


Earth Alienation As A Service The Convivial Society

Fun, Games, and Extractivism The Baffler

In dispute over groundwater, court tells Mississippi it’s equitable apportionment or nothing SCOTUSblog


Two-meter COVID-19 rule is ‘arbitrary measurement’ of safety “The researchers say that while the two-meter rule is an effective and easy-to-remember message for the public, it isn’t a mark of safety, given the large number of variables associated with an airborne virus. Vaccination, ventilation and masks—while not 100% effective—are vital for containing the virus.” I have helpfully crossed out the non-pharmaceutical interventions that the Biden administration opposes (ventilation) or does not actively support (masks).

Why A Universal COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Is Ethical Today Health Affairs

Pfizer says former employee stole trade secrets on megablockbuster COVID-19 vaccine Fierce Pharma

The Pandemic Is Ending With a Whimper The Atlantic. Former Obama DHS Assistant Secretary offers out-of-box thinking on our increasing case count.

‘Our Hospitals Are Full’: Boston Doctors Warn of COVID Surge Amid Bed Shortage NBC Boston


China blocks access to shipping location data FT

Chengdu Becomes First China City to Ease Rules for Builders Bloomberg

How Price Hikes Help Chanel Maintain Its Allure Jing Daily

China bars celebrities from showing off wealth and ‘extravagant pleasure’ on social media, saying pop stars must comply with ‘core socialist values’ Business Insider (Re Silc).


Myanmar opposition raises $6.3 million on launch of ‘revolution’ bonds Reuters. Even that amount goes a long way in Myanmar.


One in six VLCCs has carried Iranian or Venezuelan oil over the past two years Splash 247

Ethiopia: The West’s Diplomats Meet in Secret to Decide How to Help the TPLF Jeff Pearce. Zoom video, oopsie.


Second lab owned by scandal-hit testing company facing allegations of misconduct Independent. The company: Immensa. Not Mothra? Godzilla? Immortan Joe? Who would be crazy enough to give money to a firm with a name like that?

Deutsche Bahn whistleblowers alleged fraud at Germany’s biggest infrastructure project FT

The Hooded Cloak John Ganz, Unpopular Front. France in the 30s.

New Cold War

Feeding the Bear: A Closer Look at Russian Army Logistics and the Fait Accompli War on the Rocks

What war with Russia over Ukraine would really look like Responsible Statecraft. More pointedly on the Twitter:

British High Court Judge Rules Against Catherine Belton, Harpercollins in Double-Barreled Blast John Helmer, Dances with Bears

Biden Administration

Biden Will Spend Thanksgiving Week At Private Equity Billionaire’s Nantucket Home Forbes. Checking in with the boss….

Biden Aims to Quash Nord Stream 2 Sanctions in Defense Bill Foreign Policy

America must prepare for war with China over Taiwan David Sauer, The Hill. Intelligence community goon, said to be “retired” (as if they ever can or do).

I’m Feeling Optimistic About the Fed Claudia Sahm, NYT

Biden criticized for hasty and sloppy withdrawal from War on Christmas Duffel Blog

Supply Chain

California ship pileup still piling up — but out of sight, over horizon Hellenic Shipping News


Structural Issues Still Slowing 787 Production Rate American Machinist. “Premature aging of the airframe.” Oh.

L’Affaire Jpffrey Epstein

Jeffrey Epstein denied having any suicidal thoughts and prison staffers made litany of errors prior to his death, prison documents reveal CNN. Then again….

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Georgia Defendants Convicted in the Ahmaud Arbery Case Jonathan Turley

Ex-prosecutor charged in Ahmaud Arbery case booked at jail AP

Charlottesville rally organizers found liable by jury The Hill

Zeitgeist Watch

my employee refuses to lie to customers — but that’s our policy Ask a Manager

Imperial Collapse Watch

Peace without Empire Perry Anderson, London Review of Books

Class Warfare

This Year I’m Thankful for the Revolt Against Two-Tier Labor Notes

Get back on the job, essential workers!

How Music Created Silicon Valley The Honest Broker. The deck: “The tech titans couldn’t have built their empires without songs—and now they are destroying the cultural ecosystem that made them rich”

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus (Dr. Kevin). Yves said her father said wild turkeys are smart; it’s the domesticated ones that are dumb as dirt.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. RA

    Sorry, this isn’t about today’s links
    I’m thinking in this smart crowd there may be some PBS NOVA program fans.

    NC has shared many thoughts about crapification. I think the recent NOVA multipart series fits there. So…
    sent to WGBH NOVA ‘contact us’

    Universe Revealed disappoints


    Some praise and a whole lot of criticism of your recent programs.

    I have been a big fan of NOVA since shortly after I discovered it in the late 1970’s. It presented great coverage on a wide array of science-related subjects, and the level was informative to most people who might care but accessible in sharing the exoteric crux of complex topics without getting too esoteric on the details.

    One show in particular that I remember was your coverage shortly after the Mt. St. Helens eruption/explosion. Then, some others related to CERN and then Higgs Boson. Many others related to aspects of mankind’s trajectory to destroying life on our planet through global warming, climate change, or whatever the current term is. Too many good ones, I’m not going to try to list them.

    So it pains me to write this criticism. I have tried to watch the several shows in your “Universe Revealed” series. I found them somewhere between infuriating and sleep inducing. Due to: almost constant whoosh-boom sound backgrounds, screen almost continuously filled with generated or enhanced graphic imagery, and slow overly melodramatic narration. Even with the occasional break to expert talking heads, they seemed to be hyped up and vague or too terse about whatever they were presenting.

    Boo-hiss. Not my way of learning.

    Some thoughts about current trends:
    So about 20 years ago I got my first access to the wide array of cable channels. There were a few that seemed like they might give me more access to smart programming like I occasionally found on PBS. Look at the names, Science, Nat Geo, History, the Smithsonian. I think for a while they did actually present some content that was related to their names. The Smithsonian is the only one, in my opinion, that still has some smart programming, though a lot is becoming the cheap to produce stuff like drone coverage of “Aerial someplace”. The others are filled with only infotainment fluff. Sheesh, even ghost hunting and UFOs. One thing many of these programs share is the almost constant whoosh-boom background sound tracks. Of course there must also be some kind of melodramatic narration. Usually there is a nonsensical plot too.

    I lament how far we have fallen when there is almost no intelligent content on virtually any TV channel now. Will our young be learning that science, geography (the world) and history are not based on facts but mutable to our whims and opinions.

    So NOVA — please hear my plea.
    Stop emulating your infotainment brethren. Lose the almost constant whoosh-boom background sound track. Temper the super generated or enhanced graphic imagery. Save it for some interspersing where it really helps tell the story in context. Go back to narrators who speak at a normal cadence and aren’t emoting. Stop emulating the hyperbolic presentation of the other infotainment, fluff filled, TV channels.

    Sheesh. A few days ago CNN aired The Hunt for Planet B, largely about the Webb space telescope. Granted, I think they bought the rights rather than producing it, but I watched it. I remember thinking how much clearer and more watchable it was than the NOVA “Universe Revealed” episodes I had seen.

    Please stop making infotainment fluff that isn’t even good at presenting its subject matter.

    1. Carolinian

      I believe it’s only in the last year or so that Nova started adding music to their documentaries. I share your puzzlement.

      But they still have some good programs and Nature, the show that precedes it on Wednesday nights, is still excellent. Originally, long ago, most Nova shows came from the BBC. Many episodes of Nature still do.

        1. griffen

          Truth in advertising! The Chevrolet no go. Has a slightly improved ring compared to say, the Ford Pinto.

          1. Eric The Fruit Bat

            My best friend’s wife has a Chevrolet Bolt, and loves it. It also gave us a great idea for a gag gift called “My Muffler”, where it mounts on a electric vehicle and makes all the noises and can even generate coal-rolling smoke!

    2. Martin Oline

      I once loved these shows but it seems many try to stretch 10 minutes of content into an hour. I call the History channel the Hysterical channel for its coverage of idiotic ideas and the exploitation of the gullible masses. They would run The Blair Witch Project as a documentary. It must be working because it is still on.
      A few weeks back a commentor reccomended watching the DefraggedHistory productions that are available on the internet and the Youtube channel on some cable subscriptions. I have watched all of their offerings and I think they are well done and worth a look to any so inclined.

      1. barefoot charley

        I’ve also enjoyed the Defragged History of the Anglo-Dutch wars and the rise of the Dutch Republic, though it has the pop-history curse of moving so briskly that the evolution of things becomes the shuffle of guys’ names doing them. Also (this is big), it’s yet another history of the first financial republic on earth that doesn’t *mention* the key institution of Dutch stability, the Bank of Amsterdam, which modeled the Bank of England after William of Orange took over Britain. To be fair, it shares this distinction with my 1200-page “Dutch Republic: It’s Rise, Greatness, and Fall 1477-1806,” published by Oxford U P. Economic illiteracy, like fishrot, starts at the head.

    3. Brooklin Bridge

      Agree, as it is, one learns more from Sesame Street … and what ever else you do, don’t, please don’t put back scientists (real or otherwise) acting as comedians to make the program bounce along ‘with humor.’ It’s utterly horrible.

      1. jr

        I find a lot of the presenters in science oriented videos on Youtube to be unbearable to watch and listen to. The “NPR” style of voice modulation and the gestures/body language of an elementary school assembly presenter stick in my craw. Over produced.

      2. Icecube12

        I recently had a baby and decided to check out what Sesame Street looks like now. I don’t think anyone would learn too much from it anymore. It’s been produced by HBO for the past handful of years, and man has it gone downhill. The educational aspects are pretty much gone, and all that’s left are the muppets bopping about singing about friendship and such. Friendship is a fine thing to sing about, but I went back to old Sesame episodes on Youtube and they were just so much richer in their content. Not so much now.

    4. Andrew

      I call it the “Isn’t science fun” cadence. Makes me want to shove hot pokers in my ears.
      What a contrast to Sir David Attenborough’s meditative narration of “Nature”. I think you have won the “rant of the day” award hands down.

    5. Susan the other

      Thanks RA. I thought maybe it was just me getting old and cranky. I think Universe Revealed is absolutely nauseating. There is virtually no content whatsoever. How did that crap ever, ever get put on Nova? Nova should apologize to us all. There should be fines and punishments for broadcasting something that annoying. Like they have to pay to get back on PBS and do some serious public service to make up for “Universe Revealed.” The only thing that is revealed to me is a big, phoney production intended to be awesome, done entirely with cheesy cheap special effects and sold certainly for an awesome price to Nova or PBS, all for profit. Talk about inflation. This is the definition. Look no further; no space telescope needed.

      1. Carolinian

        Wow you really didn’t like it.

        Maybe the “David Kock Fund for Science” hasn’t been kicking in as much money as they used to do.

        But Nova has done some excellent shows in the past including the fairly recent past. That said, it seems to be much less consistent in its program sources than Nature.

    6. Louis Fyne

      the quality of BBC Horizon (NOVA’s spiritual parent) and the BBC’s other science programming stinks too….funding, quality, and number of episodes fell off a cliff in the mid-2010’s and accelerated in the 2020’s. IMO. YMMV.

  2. Eduardo

    Thanksgiving food rankings 2021: I ranked them all best to worst so you can tell me how wrong I am

    Turkey is not number one? For Turkey day?
    I don’t eat any animal products and our meal will feature a stuffed, roasted cauliflower (not on the list at all!) but seriously?
    Incompetence or malice? This could only be malice. Is this article part of a Russian plot / clickbait farm?

    And don’t get me started about cranberry sauce at position 26? (BTW, you can make your own from actual cranberries pretty easily).

  3. bassmule

    For me, it’s not Thanksgiving without Calvin Trillin’s explanation of the holiday:

    [The following has been shamelessly excerpted from “Third Helpings,” by Calvin Trillin. (These passages are quoted from Trillin, C., The Tummy Trilogy, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux: New York, 1994, pp. 259-67.)]:

    In England, a long time ago, there were people called Pilgrims who were very strict about making everyone observe the Sabbath and cooked food without any flavor and that sort of thing, and they decided to go to America, where they could enjoy Freedom to Nag. The other people in England said, “Glad to see the back of them.” In America, the Pilgrims tried farming, but they couldn’t get much done because they were always putting their best farmers in the stocks for crimes like Suspicion of Cheerfulness. The Indians took pity on the Pilgrims and helped them with their farming, even though the Indians thought that the Pilgrims were about as much fun as teenage circumcision. The Pilgrims were so grateful that at the end of their first year in America they invited the Indians over for a Thanksgiving meal. The Indians, having had some experience with Pilgrim cuisine during the year, took the precaution of taking along one dish of their own. They brought a dish that their ancestors had learned from none other than Christopher Columbus, who was known to the Indians as “the big Italian fellow.” The dish was spaghetti carbonara—made with pancetta bacon and fontina and the best imported prosciutto. The Pilgrims hated it. They said it was “heretically tasty” and “the work of the devil” and “the sort of thing foreigners eat.” The Indians were so disgusted that on the way back to their village after dinner one of them made a remark about the Pilgrims that was repeated down through the years and unfortunately caused confusion among historians about the first Thanksgiving meal. He said,

    “What a bunch of turkeys!”

    1. TiPs

      About four years ago we decided to mix “iT” up a bit by making an Indian-style (the real ones, not the Pilgrims’ guests) Thanksgiving–everyone loved it (turkey curry and tamarind duck for the mains)! We’re going with something new this year, Paella (my guess is we’ll be back to Indian next year :-).

      Note, we still cook a “traditional” turkey breast because everyone still likes those “leftover” sandwiches…

      Happy Thanksgiving all

    2. JohnA

      That is the theme of the Oscar winning Danish film Babette’s Feast, who prepares a wonderful banquet in thanks for the puritanical local community taking her in as a refugee after the French Revolution. They are determined not to enjoy the food, but as they get more and more drunk on the amazing wines, they begrudgingly become more cheerful and complimentary about the food.

      1. fringe

        Love that movie and the story it is based on. The dinner guests do more than become complimentary too. They change from bickering and holding grudges to becoming loving and light hearted. Outside after supper before they go home they hold hands making a big circle and dance around in the moonlight.

        1. JohnA

          You are quite correct. I was a bit concerned about spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t seen it. I love the way Babette integrates with the community, makes sure she gets the best fish from the fisherman, then unquestioningly listens as the sisters tell her how to cook the fish in a very boring way, and then practises to herself the Danish phrases they use.

  4. Steve H.

    We cancelled our Wednesday rehearsal for ‘King John’. People are stressing with the number of gigs they have, commitments they have, and the false dawn of reopening while covid is still bubbling. I had someone tell me that two of his relatives that died of covid in the last month ‘deserved it, they weren’t vaccinated.’ That sounds like civil war around the hearthstone. So we went off-schedule, so our players could better prepare, and I sent this email:

    Gentles all, I have never seen before
    Such hope and fear in the Holiday time
    And so I beg of you, breathe deep and rest
    Avidly pursue all its joys and loves
    And go over your lines.

    All love, Steve

    (It does scan, with a caesura after ‘lines.’ And directors are only operatively sentimental.)

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I had someone tell me that two of his relatives that died of covid in the last month ‘deserved it, they weren’t vaccinated.’

      Propaganda really does work. It’s amazing.

      1. ambrit

        Propaganda, Media’s version of the Jedi Mind Trick.
        “These aren’t the ‘Truths’ you are looking for.” So much for the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.

  5. zagonostra

    Why A Universal COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Is Ethical Today – Health Affairs

    First let’s get this out of the way

    Health Affairs received financial support from the following organizations in 2021:

    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    The SCAN Foundation
    The Commonwealth Fund
    The California Wellness Foundation
    Blue Shield of California Foundation
    New York State Health Foundation
    The California Healthcare Foundation
    W. K. Kellogg Foundation
    Ford Foundation
    The Physicians Foundation
    Arnold Ventures, LLC

    Secondly, I find the statement that:

    A public health mandate should also only be instituted after robust public debate, in which there has been an opportunity for all people to voice their opinions. This has already happened. Indeed, social media have enabled all voices to be amplified and heard, sometimes over and over again.

    The article does not engage in a real, serious, or philosophical engagement into the ethics of a “Universal Vaccine.” But I’m glad it was posted if for no other reason than to better understand the reasoning that will be applied by the other side when UV will be, as some have claimed, rolled out eventually. The CV19 mandatory vaccination is a precursor of what is yet to come.

    1. Robert Gray

      Health Affairs

      > A public health mandate should also only be instituted after robust public debate,
      > in which there has been an opportunity for all people to voice their opinions.

      This sounds an awful lot like ‘Give him a fair trial, then hang him’. I think they’ve missed out the key clause:

      … and only if the result of the robust public debate is a clear consensus that such a mandate is desirable.

    2. Maritimer

      A real Ethicist:
      “Julie Ponesse, a Professor of Ethics at the University of Western, Ontario, has been fired because she chose not to take the COVID vaccine.
      She has posted multiple thought provoking videos that outline the direction our society is heading when it comes to ethics.”

      Recently, she did a very moving interview with an RCMP member of the PM’s security who refused to be injected.

      1. Basil Pesto

        Is she a real ethicist because you agree with her conclusions? Is any ethicist who disagrees with the conclusion condemned to not be a real ethicist in your estimation?

        fwiw I disagree with the current mandates – but only for these vaccines and not per se. If a vaccine could help us get to elimination (of the virus, ahem), in the technical sense of the word the. I would approve of a mandate, but it would have to be implemented in as compassionate a way as possible, and not with scolding and anti-vax vs. pro-vax tribalism.

        But I disagree with the premises of her ethical argument, which I quote here:

        “This is my first and potentially last lesson of the year. Ethics 101: in the spirit of Socrates, who was executed for asking questions, this lesson will consist of only one question, the answer is multiple choice, please listen carefully. When a person has done the same job to the satisfaction of her employer for 20 years, is it right or is it wrong for them to submit to an unnecessary medical procedure [1] in order to keep their job. In this case the procedure is an injection of a substance that has not been fully tested for safety. It has not yet been shown to be effective [2]. It has been designed to prevent an illness that poses little threat to the employee [3]. The employee is not allowed to ask questions, she may only submit to the procedure or be fired. To my first year students, is this right or is this wrong? I already know the answer.”

        [1] necessary in what sense? And if the ethicist is not taking other precautions not just for her own sake but for others – and given her smug and blasé tone I wouldn’t be surprised but maybe I’m just an asshole – then in what sense can that be said to be ethical, or moral? The fact remains, the strongest ethical case for a mandate argument for these current vaccines is that, as we have seen, they keep hospitalisation rates down in the short-to-mid term, making them a useful tool. This is not, I don’t think, a controversial statement – although it is clearly insufficient in and of itself to bring SARS2 to heel. The hospitalisation risk can of course be mitigated with other precautions: masking, distancing, ventilation, potentially vitamin D if you’re so inclined, potentially ivermectin if you’re so inclined. But if the employee and her vaccine-hesitant fellow travellers take no precautions at all because they think they know best (see below), and they then occupy hospital beds leading to a sizeable and possibly preventable drain on resources, to say nothing of the burden on healthcare workers, I don’t see how that’s ethical at all.

        2. Effective in what sense? It is now surely indisputable based on the totality of the best evidence available: if you are infected by SARS2, you are better off with the (limited, yes) protection that these vaccines confer, in terms of short term health outcomes at least. That is a kind of effectiveness, and not a trivial one, even if it’s now safe to say that the vaccines do not stop transmission and infection. This is why I personally conceive of the vaccines as a “failsafe” (not sure if that’s the right word) or my personal last line of defence. I analogise it with the multilayered systems of safety measures in aviation: If all my other safety and prevention systems fail to stop me from getting covid (in my case: masking, double masking, modifying my behaviour, PVP-I gargle and spritz after I’ve been in crowded poorly ventilated places like the supermarket, HEPA air purifiers, Vitamin D etc.,) then at least I have the (partial) protection of the vaccine to hopefully give my body the best chance of fighting off the worst consequences of infection.

        3. Aha. Here, perhaps, is the nub of the issue. Define “threat”. Define “little”. People under 50 are threatened by covid. The primary disease burden of covid, it has become clear over the last year, is morbidity, not mortality. Nevertheless, she is at risk of both. Long Covid is real and has been extensively documented in a way that shows there is more signal than noise as far as the Long Covid question goes, and the myriad deleterious effects that covid can have on the body, even after mild infections, have been clinically and repeatedly observed for a long time now in people of all ages, including children. That, to me, constitutes a threat, and not a remote one. It is true that we don’t yet have a very clear picture of the evidence of the extent to which, and for how long, the vaccines protect us from Long Covid – if they do at all. But that was not the case she was making.

        I would like to know the epistemic and evidentiary framework she is relying upon to pronounce with such confidence that Covid poses “little threat” to her. I actually would because if it’s convincing, I can adopt it for myself, as I really do miss making out with strange women and dancing away the small hours in bars and clubs as I did in the before times, and would like to get back to it without having to fear for my own health as soon as possible. But I suspect her framework is weak and misinformed, even if she did look beyond the inadequate ~MaInStReAm MeDiA~ boogeyman for information.

        Thus, she seems more interested in public crusading than meaningful and ethically serious and responsible anti-covid action. Straight in the bin with her, along with the ones from Health Affairs.

  6. The Rev Kev

    ‘@LievenAnatol: Only the most insane of US politicians and commentators actually want to go to war with Russia in Ukraine.’

    Some of the articles in Links are worried about a Russian invasion of the Ukraine or even the Baltic states but I doubt that that will ever happen. Why would Russia do so? They would then be faced with the task of occupying a bunch of hostile countries who, like back in the days of the USSR, would be nothing more than a drain of their economy. Back in 2008 when the Georgians attacked South Ossetia and also killed a number of Russian peacekeepers on purpose, the Russians went on the offensive and occupied enough of Georgia to make it plain that they had been defeated while disassembling their military. They then returned to their borders but making sure that Georgia had now lost both the republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia for good.

    So if the Ukraine, with US and EU encouragement, once more invaded the Donbass the Russians will not let them be defeated and Putin came out and said this a long time ago. But forget the idea of waves of Russian tanks charging over the border and going into battle. Not going to happen. The Russians have the capability of using stand-off weapons that are actually located in Russia itself. It may be that they will take out not only the command & control centers, but also blow the ammo/supply dumps as well as the fuel depots and wait for that Ukrainian offensive to die due to lack of supplies. But it would be the Ukrainians who would once more be faced with the casualties of such an invasion – one behalf of other countries geopolitical aims – when I suspect that the average Ukrainian would prefer to kiss the Donbass goodbye and get back to a more peaceful country again.

    1. jo6pac

      Yes to what you have written. The only thing Russia will send over the border is arms for Donbass and they have no need to cross into Donbass themselves. If there is war it will last about an hour because unlike Georgia they are already there and heavy armed. If the attack happens it will be when V. Putin is in China for the Olympics Then like Georgia Amerika will not aid them and the ukraine will only send young under trained troops and not the well armed and trained Nazis.

      I always ask why would Russia want to have broken down countries like the ukraine, poland. or the baltic states back. They’re doing just fine taking care of the Russian people

      1. Polar Socialist

        Some Russian papers are reporting a concern from Centre for Analysis of World Arms Trade (A Moscow based arms trade think tank, I guess) that Ukraine being as corrupt and dysfunctional as it is, it’s “highly likely” any advanced weapons (like Stingers) delivered there will soon disappear and later surface at the hands of some terrorist or extremist organization. Those weapons have much more value on the black market than in the defense of a half-destroyed nation.

        Other fear seems to be that of Western special forces training nationalist Ukrainians to infiltrate Russia trough Donbass and for example attack the civil aviation using the aforementioned manpads.

        Threats, fears and paranoia everywhere doesn’t improve the situation.

      2. timbers

        Sounds like a reasonable guessimate. But what would probably follow might be why the US may want this to happen: cancellation of Nord Stream 2 and more funding and expansion of NATO. Even if it looks like another US defeat and China also sees it that way, it would still add profit from military sales in both Ukraine and Taiwan theater. And that is the most important thing of all in US policy. Lossing face with China a lessor consideration.

        1. JohnA

          The only terroritory worth having there is Crimea, that the US wanted as a naval base to kick Russia out of the Black Sea. That is now heavily fortified and the local population are so overwhelming pro-Russia that it is de facto Russian territory now, whatever the US/NATO/Ukraine post coup regime claims.
          There was talk of fracking by the Clintonites but fracking in its entirety is now a dead duck in Europe (except for pockets in Tory England) and talk of the famous fertile soil being sold off for Monsanto style GM farming but again, GO is also a dead duck in mainland Europe (again except for pockets in Tory England).
          So all in all, nothing for the US to fight for in Ukraine, other than to irritate russia and move missiles closer, Moscow is only 300 km or so from Ukraine for example.
          But as long as the US can persuade the nutters in Kiev and Lvov (which would revert to Poland were there a war) that they will fight to the last Ukrainian, trouble will continue to brew. As it is, Russia has what it wanted, Crimea, and is now only concerned with keeping the Russian speaking population in Ukraine safe from persecution.

    2. Soredemos

      The War on the Rocks piece explains at length why the Russian army is ill-suited to conquer and hold territory, but then never draws the most obvious conclusion: the current Russian government doesn’t have any interest in conquering and holding territory outside its borders, and so hasn’t designed its military to be able to do so. It also uncritically accepts the false premise that there is a Russian build up on the Ukrainian border (in fact Yelnya is 150 miles from the Ukrainian border).

    1. Katiebird

      Happy Thanksgiving, cocomaan — and all NC family, friends & lurkers! And thanks to Yves & Lambert & Jules (and the rest) for making Naked Capitalism the great blog it is.

      1. Mantid

        Yes, Happy Thanksgiving to all. Trying not to comment for a few days to lessen the load on the staff and moderators, but who could moderate against “Happy Thanksgiving”? Most people understand the basics of over the counter Thanksgiving, but it’s a very flexible holiday. You can do nothing special because there are no requirements or go “whole hog”. Some people consider it a day of mourning, some a day of celebration, some of American football. Whatever your view point, have a good one!

  7. Judith

    Regarding the Atlantic piece about the pandemic ending with a whimper. The author, Juliette Kayyem, is, according to wikipedia, a senior advisor to the Israeli NSO group, best known recently for its Pegasus spyware.

    1. BeliTsari

      Thank you. Kinda FIGURED it’d be something like that? Last year, a number of us posted various hippy-dippy snake-oil we’d tried while infected in NYC; along with William Borroughs’ greetings from beyond. We’ve added: black elderberry, loveage, fennel, garlic, dill, Mexican oregano, red & purple beets, TART dark berries & brightly colored greens.

  8. upstater

    re. Meat Is Hard for Hungry Families to Come By. Enter These Deer Hunters

    I’m all in favor of people eating more deer! They have become habituated to humans (and cars) and are a vector for Lyme disease and now COVID. Several municipalities cull urbanized deer here and hundreds of deer are processed for food banks and shelters. I have 23 acres of wild foods for deer and maybe 0.05 acres of vegetable and flower gardens. For some reason they prefer my stuff and not their’s.

    1. Craig H.

      A dog will eliminate these parasites. Also they do not cost much to feed &c and most dogs are better company than most humans!

  9. floyd

    >Why vaccination mandate is ethical

    “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”

    The medical industrial complex certainly is capable of convincing themselves of such an effort but the unintended consequences of this should be considered by others. For example, Donald Trump 2 or worse could very well be the result.

    1. Noone from Nowheresville

      For example, Donald Trump 2 or worse could very well be the result.

      That’s funny because Donald Trump and his Operation Warpspeed initiative gave us the vaccines to begin with. Just for a silly thought experiment and not to pick a side, imagine what forms the storycraft around vaccines, and the pandemic in general, would have taken / been deployed if Trump had won reelection.

      1. BeliTsari

        A very astute observation, l’m guessing that an awful lot of folks drawing a blank right now, used to spew the term “cognitive dissonance” pretty frivolously, during the Tea Bagger era? If we called ACA, DoleCare or KochKare? If we’d seen gas canisters or Toyota trucks Daesh got or cluster munitions we’d gleefully managed to palm off (and high-five over, unencrypted). We could step back, clear our heads of conditioned response and… wait, there’s a happy little drone swarm flying into the steamed-up window. Kiki is telling me to open the door and assume the position?

        BTW: I’ve just been spammed, with a €40 discount for a “Mindfulness” symposium… REALLY!

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      They made the “vaccine” a “vaccine” by changing the definition of the word.

      The only way to make a “vaccine” mandate “ethical,” is to change the definition of the word “ethical.”

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The only way to make a “vaccine” mandate “ethical,” is to change the definition of the word “ethical.”

        In general? I disagree (measles. etc.). This vaccine, coerced by these people? Problematic.

      2. Still Above Water

        From the CDC – “Vaccine: A preparation that is used to stimulate the body’s immune response against diseases.” I’m taking D3, Zn, Quercetin, and horse paste to stimulate my body’s response against diseases. By their definition, I’m vaccinated!

    3. Lemmy Caution

      After reading Why A Universal COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Is Ethical Today I was convinced this article shouldn’t be set aside lightly – it should be thrown aside with great force. (h/t Dorothy Parker or whomever).

      First of all, when beginning their arguments for why a broad vaccine mandate is ethical, the authors deftly side step a thorny problem with sweeping mandates:

      “Of course, any mandate should exempt people who cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons, but this is remarkably rare. And there are legitimate practical arguments about the impact of mandating vaccination for individuals with documented prior infection or who can prove some level of prior immunity, which we will not take up here.”

      My question to the authors is if you’re not going to take it up here, when are you going to take it up? Cause that’s a pretty big loose end to leave unaddressed.

      A study published in the journal Nature estimates that 103 million Americans, or 31 percent of the U.S. population, had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 by the end of 2020.

      That covered a period up to the end of 2020 – nearly a year ago.

      In a study that was presented in early November, 2021, federal scientists at the CDC estimated that as many as 40% of children ages 5 to 11 have already been infected with Covid.

      40% of the roughly 28 million kids in that age group means about 11 million have already had an infection.

      More and more studies, such as this one published in the Lancet, have shown that people who have recovered from Covid have a very low rate of reinfection.

      So what to do about the roughly 115 million people (or more) in the U.S. who fit in this category? Don’t ask the bioethisists, cause they’ve got other fish to fry.

      So let’s move on to the main thrust of their argument for sweeping mandates.

      “In terms of limiting people’s choices about vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must consider whether one person going unvaccinated today is likely to cause harm to other people. Nearly all people interact and come into physical contact with others on a daily basis, and a person with COVID-19 can infect several others even before showing symptoms. The risk of one person harming many others, even inadvertently, provides ethical justification for limiting the choice to go unvaccinated during a pandemic.”

      If the vaccines stopped individuals from catching Covid and spreading the virus, this might make sense. But they don’t. Vaccinated people do get infected and they do spread the virus. One could quite accurately revise one of their key sentences in the above quote to read:

      Nearly all people interact and come into physical contact with others on a daily basis, and a vaccinated or unvaccinated person with COVID-19 can infect several others even before showing symptoms.

      This is a true statement and actually supports mask wearing, social distancing, improved ventilation, etc., precautionary steps that the authors don’t really seem to support:

      “For some, being mandated to take a vaccine might seem to be more of a restriction on personal liberty than other existing measures, including mandates to wear a face mask in public, stay at home, or stand six feet away from others. Yet, the harmful effects that these other measures have had on the economy, effective education, and mental health all indicate that mandatory vaccination is a less harmful way of minimizing death and destruction from COVID-19 than other strategies for limiting its spread.”

      There’s lots more to unpack in the article, but that’s as much as I could take.

      1. Alphonse

        I had a similar reaction. It never engages seriously with objections. The give-away is that the authors make no effort to find the limit of their claims. What could the public god not justify? The arguments are so generic that they could justify nearly anything.

        At the article’s heart are bad comparisons and rhetorical sleight of hand. First, the bad comparisons:

        choices have consequences. In particular, some personal choices have the potential to harm others. When one person’s choice might harm others, it can be ethical for that choice to be limited. That’s why we have speed limits and stop signs; both limit your right to drive as you might wish, but they are necessary for public safety. If you choose to drive recklessly and put others at risk, you should expect to pay a fine, possibly lose your license to drive, or maybe even go to jail. Other examples include laws about smoking in airplanes, firing a gun in an urban area, or shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater and causing a panic.

        All of these are examples of actions: speeding, smoking, shooting, shouting. The authors argue that it is legitimate to stop someone from doing something. They give no examples of prohibiting inaction – of forcing someone to do something.

        This is the fundamental distinction at the heart of the trolley problem. In most cases people are reluctant to kill one except to save many. We have a sense that acting to cause harm is very different than remaining inactive and allowing harm to happen. As bioethicists, the authors cannot be unaware of this. They never address it. Ironically, a comment brings it up, comparing compulsory vaccination to a military draft. This is a much better comparison. They didn’t think of it.

        Speaking of the draft, the “fire” in a crowded theatre decision jailed a man for distributing literature opposed to the World War I draft. It was later partially overturned. If anything, it reveals the oppressive mentality behind their argument. As ethicists I would expect them to know this.

        Rhetorical sleight of hand: In the passage above, coercion hides behind “choice,” transmuting coercion to have something done to you into a mere limit on your choice. Taken to the limit, imprisonment by this reasoning is merely a restriction on one’s ability to choose where to go. An honest argument would confront the problem of force openly, and balance it against competing goods. The authors instead conceal that reality behind anodyne language of choice.

        In a democracy, the people or their elected representatives are specifically authorized to pass laws and enact regulations that limit individual freedoms. People who disagree can pursue legitimate ways to protest and get laws changed. Many Americans presumably agree that a democracy, even if it’s not perfect, is still the best system for making decisions about the collective good.

        Perhaps the most important challenge in democracy is the tyranny of the majority. The authors don’t even question it. But accepting ethics as just the will of the majority reveals their argument to be nothing more than after-the-fact justification of a predetermined outcome.

        By “coercion,” we do not mean that anyone is going to be strapped down and jabbed with a needle against their will, or that this should happen. There is still a choice not to be vaccinated, but because that choice imposes substantial burdens, risks, and possible harm to others, it is reasonable for it to carry significant costs.

        They lack the courage to take a clear position. Having outlined no limits to their argument, they back off anyway. They simply assert that in this case, “substantial burdens,” never assessed, are reason enough.

        Which brings me to the most crucial issue: what are the broader implications? A substantial minority refuse the vaccines. Which leaves you with a choice: back down, or enforce the mandates. How far are you willing to go? And at what cost? Nurses are being fired. Does this practical outcome matter, or are we only concerned with the ethereal realm of theory? If you really think mandates are justified, why not force needles into arms? If you truly support mandating universal vaccination, you must accept the logical progression that follows. If, like me, you object to holding someone down while they get the shot – if you are unwilling to embrace force – then you should not start down that path in the first place.

        Even if you think force is narrowly justified, you have just set the precedent that physical restraint (or segregation) of innocent people is justified to protect the public good. In fact, previous vaccine mandates were used by U.S. to justify forced sterilization. It seems to me that the precedent of this policy is much more important than the policy itself.

        Finally, there’s hate. Death wishes. Segregation. The fracturing of families. We are seeing a tearing apart of society. You can disagree with the unvaxxed, but that’s a reality: and the mandates and many of their proponents are encouraging it. What kind of ethical policy destroys the community to save it?

    4. Noone from Nowheresville

      @floyd silly refers to me and my silly thought experiments. the funny bit is because well I have an odd sense of humor and irony. Plus I remember statements about vaccination hesitancy prior to the election results. I realize that what was clear to me in my own mind would not have made it on the page.

  10. urblintz

    Dr. Campbell considers many possibilities as to why Japan has seen a most dramatic drop in covid, including genetic aspects of both the virus and the Japanese people themselves, a cultural affinity for masking and treatments where other fine scientists fear to tread. He also mentions vaccines, briefly:

      1. Lee

        Quite interesting. One bit I found rather confusing concenrs the mutation leading to a fatal flaw in the replication process.If a mutation renders a virus incapable of replication of viable offspring then how is it surviving to pass the flaw on. A lethal mutation by definition cannot be replicated. Could they mean non-viable in the sense that it renders it’s viral descendants harmless?

        Alternatively, and this would work, not through individual viruses replicating, but would be a feature of a whole group of extant viruses, could it be that previous mutations have set the limits and direction of future possible mutations, for all Delta viruses for example, and a mutational misstep is sending the virus down the rabbit hole of extinction? Wouldn’t that be nice? But as I’ve said before: the more I learn, the less I know.

        As for searching “Japan and Ivermectin” one gets pages of links to the usual ant-ivermectin screeds, and weasel worded disclaimers.

        1. Objective Ace

          >If a mutation renders a virus incapable of replication of viable offspring then how is it surviving to pass the flaw on.

          This isn’t about viruses, but there was a link on NC awhile back about how mutations in elephants made the females more likely to survive (they didn’t have tusks that poachers would kill them for) but that same mutations caused a male to die in the womb jeopardizing the future of African elephant species entirely.

          Probably not relevant to viruses.. but maybe somehow?

        2. Procopius

          Richard Dawkins, among others, has pointed out that in the evolutionary process, almost all mutations are fatal, i.e. fatal to the reproductive process. The analogy he presented was to making random modifications to a transistor radio.

      2. Lee

        Quite interesting. One bit I found rather confusing concerns the mutation leading to a fatal flaw in the viral replication process. If a mutation renders a virus incapable of replication of viable descendants then how is it surviving to pass the flaw on. A lethal mutation by definition cannot be replicated. Could they mean non-viable in the sense that it renders it’s viral descendants harmless?

        Alternatively, and this would work, not through individual viruses replicating, but would be a feature of a whole group of extant viruses. Could it be that previous mutations have set the limits and direction of future possible mutations, for all Delta viruses for example, and previous mutational missteps are sending the virus down the rabbit hole of extinction? Wouldn’t that be nice? But as I’ve said before: the more I learn, the less I know.

      3. diptherio

        This is the same guy who’s been fear-mongering about accidental intravenous injection of the vaccines based on a study of 6 mice, which screwed up their (minimal) data so bad that they showed the same picture of a tissue sample labeled as being in both the control and the experimental group. This guy is not who you want to be getting information from. Just sayin’…

        1. Lee

          Didn’t you state the same thing recently and didn’t someone post a response citing a number of other studies related to needle aspiration?

          In any event, Campbell covers a range of topics, I think quite well, from molecular biology, to the latest epidemiological data from various countries, which make up the bulk of his presentations that I have watched. Have you watched any of these? If so, what do you think about them?

          1. Mantid

            Personally, I think Dr. Campbell’s video lessons are spot on. He covers his information by supplying all associated links. He’s essentially a codifier of information and paraphrases well. Often, people, writers, commenters, podcasters have little to back up what they say or think. He’s also willing to change his mind as I saw him due regarding Ivermectin in his first interview of Dr. Tess Lawrie way back in early March of this year. He wasn’t initially impressed until her data started adding up. By interview’s end, his comport is quite bouncy. It’s worth the hour to watch as they intersect.

            1. Kevin Carhart

              Campbell isn’t spot on and he isn’t essentially a codifier if you mean he’s dispassionately paraphrasing scientists for the layperson. He’s irresponsible and tendentious; I will argue how. I’ve commented about him before but where’s the rebuttal? Campbell comes up periodically and the rebuttal usually doesn’t.

              On the August 24th post [1] the commenter samhill linked to Campbell on the 21st [2] and then said, “he’s standing on his head here suggesting maybe it’s now best for all of us vaxxed to go out and get covid.” Two hops down, GM describes Campbell as engaging in an implicit promotion of Great Barrington Declaration strategies and that his affable manner “lulls people into voluntarily submitting to the slaughter even if he himself does not realize it.”

              Here is part of what samhill links to. There are no easy transcripts with Campbell so at the risk of overdoing it, I wrote up a couple of minutes so that at least I can argue it based on direct quotes.

              Campbell is referring to an article in Nature[3] and says, “…This is interesting, so what this is saying is that people who have had the natural immunity, that have had the natural virus, this is the key point really, are less susceptible to variants of concern. We don’t get the reduction in immunity that we do get with the vaccines which were originally made originally for the wild type virus. I know it’s quite complicated but it’s quite powerful thoughts really. … [reading from paper] Similar to or greater than the neutralizing activity against the original Wuhan Hu-1 strain. So what this is saying is that people who have made their own immune response by being exposed to the virus, their level of immunity against the new variant is basically as good as it was to the original virus. Whereas with the vaccines we know the immunity’s not as good as it was to the original virus for which the vaccines were designed to combat.”

              But this is based around a peer-reviewed article. And he gives you the link to the original. So is he essentially a codifier and does the use of journal articles take the Campbell out of it? No, it doesn’t. Because he shapes and molds, plays up, plays down, into tendentious observations like this:

              “So, current questions… is natural exposure to the virus after vaccination significantly preferable to an extra booster dose of vaccine because you’re going to get more polyclonal response including the protection of the mucous membranes? I think the answer to that is probably yes at the moment. Do children need vaccination at all or does a lifetime of ongoing exposures to the virus build up a good immune defense? Well we know that exposure to virus builds up a good response…. Ongoing exposure to the virus is going to give ongoing generation of immunity.” Ongoing exposure to the virus is a variant factory, and the aftermath of Campbellism is 529 and 640 which are just beginning. I know there is some back and forth and it is perilous to rely too heavily on one assiduous reader of the literature with “a smell-of-burning-rubber resume,” but GM, and Leonardi and others, refer to a lifetime of ongoing exposure as a one-way ratchet of ongoing physical damage — neuro, lung, multiple organ, brain fog — which in itself is a comorbidity in case of future Covid. And NOT as the source of a good immune defense. Would the people who grant Dr. Campbell infinite teflon month after month please consider incorporating this?


              1. Yves Smith

                I appreciate you doing this hard work. I have wanted to caution readers about Campbell since he is too often wrong, but since I don’t follow him and can’t search his work (I do NOT have time for YouTube, I regard it as a terrible and self-serving way of conveying information), I can’t readily cite past examples of error.

              2. Basil Pesto

                I know we’ve had our disagreements about Our Lord & Saviour JC in the past but I consider this is an excellent example and analysis of his limitations (regardless, I hope you consider these disagreements friendly!). Some respectful points and counter-arguments I would raise in reply:

                (an aside before I begin: I know this is childish of me but the ‘Dr John Campbell’ thing shits me. Yes we all know he’s a nursing PhD by now and there’s nothing at all wrong with that even if it may lead to some analytical Dunning-Krugerisms – such as when he opined over-optimistically last year or earlier this year on Memory T and B cells and Yves, quite rightly as it transpired, wasn’t having any of it. But the courtesy of ritual title recitation is hardly a courtesy that all commenters extend to public figures with PhDs or professorships or whatnot. I find that curious.)

                So is he essentially a codifier and does the use of journal articles take the Campbell out of it? No, it doesn’t. Because he shapes and molds, plays up, plays down

                Actually this is very good and I don’t have a counter-argument to make. I would just add that while linking to the original papers and urging people to read them for themselves is a very reasonable and decent thing to do, we all know it isn’t going to happen. It takes time and it’s hard. Why read the papers when you can listen to (Dr!) JC opine. It reminds me a bit of tech company terms and conditions of innumerate pages. 99.5% of people aren’t going to bother. This is why the quality or lack thereof of his analysis is so important in the first place.

                Similarly, a willingness to admit when and how you’re wrong is admirable, and I don’t know what more he can do in that respect, but by then, the damage is done. YouTube or not, it’s still the internet. Tendentious and dishonest actors can cherrypick the videos they like and ignore subsequent corrections. Or viewers might just be completely, innocently ignorant of subsequent corrections, given the way that videos are presented by algorithm and not chronology, and the limits of the daily 20 minute video update form in general.

                If the argument is that he is shaping and molding with malicious intent, then I disagree. If the argument is that interpreting covid information and policy poorly can have malign consequences, per you and GM, then yes I certainly do agree, but not enough to the extent that I’m going to ignore and resent JC completely: that I have him and his homespun operation as what I would consider to be a viable 2nd tier resource of covid information and lines of inquiry – ranked more or less slightly above the mainstream media, quite a way below NC and various scientists I trust – is, I think, more a reflection on the miserable state of journalism in 2021 than the inherent value of JC’s work. While I often disagree with him on important aspects of policy, it won’t do to pretend he’s completely without value – much of what he says is more or less concordant with what comes up on NC.

                I share your and Yves’ intrinsic distrust of YouTube personalities pretending to be journalists. I don’t think video, or little lectures or addresses delivered by video per se is automatically a bad way of conveying information. But that technique is automatically corrupted when there’s a monetised incentive and that’s why we see the introduction to most videos by such people, often charlatans, are little screencaps from the main videos with portraits of awful simpering goons overlaid on top and some clickbait headline in a revolting and chunky typeface. Which of course JC doesn’t do, and it seems to me goes to some length to avoid doing. So he seems to recognise some of the pitfalls too.

                Ongoing exposure to the virus is a variant factory, and the aftermath of Campbellism is 529 and 640 which are just beginning.

                Yes (and, tangentially, I note an effort is underway to blame emerging variants on the unvaccinated rather than the unchecked circulation of the virus. I despair.) but to call this Campbellism is, in my opinion, uncharitable in the extreme. John Campbell does not drive or shape policy. He has opinions, he shares them and yes some people take them at face value more than they should but the idea that John Campbell has been a significant force in selling Great Barringtonism to the extent it can be renamed Campbellism is ridiculous and unfair. That said, I wish he would talk to more eliminationists, and there are plenty of good British ones out there. That he doesn’t is a shortcoming and quite a suspect one, really. That’s an argument that needs to get out there as much as or more than any beneficent and open-minded opinion on Ivermectin. Too often he seems to accept the manufactured fait accompli that “the virus is going to be here for quite some time, I’m afraid” uttered in vaguely dolorous tones. It should never be lost sight off that that is a political decision, not a scientific inevitability.

                I still don’t agree with the idea that he should be dismissed out of hand, and so I still don’t, although I do pay less attention to him now than I did in early 2020 and only have a gander when there’s a subject that I think might pique my interest. I maintain there are useful lines of inquiry there, but I consider them starting points at the very best. But yes, at the same time I’m not very likely to preface a comment here with “According to this video from Dr John Campbell…”

                All that aside, he’s a very interesting (meant sincerely) figure/phenomenon in this whole covid saga, in spite of himself (by which I mean, as far as I can tell, he’s just a very ordinary, normal person albeit with a bit of insight into medicine and public health). Hence these little interesting and spirited recurring debates :~)

        2. Carla

          @diptherio — Needle aspiration is “Nursing 101” according to my cousin, a career nurse here in NE Ohio who retired just a few years ago. Well, apparently not anymore. She can’t imagine why it changed. Or why anyone would defend the change…

          As Mantid points out, Campbell provides links to relevant research to support the positions he takes. He is also quick to correct any errors in his presentations when he is made aware of them.

          1. m

            “Aspiration is not recommended before administering a vaccine. Aspiration prior to injection and injecting medication slowly are practices that have not been evaluated scientifically. Aspiration was originally recommended for theoretical safety reasons and injecting medication slowly was thought to decrease pain from sudden distention of muscle tissue. Aspiration can increase pain because of the combined effects of a longer needle-dwelling time in the tissues and shearing action (wiggling) of the needle. There are no reports of any person being injured because of failure to aspirate.”


            1. Carla

              Thanks, m. Appreciate the info. Although I could not find a publication date for the online 14th edition of the Pink Book, I see that Amazon sells the 13th edition, which was published in 2015. Wonder if the recommendation not to aspirate was included in the 13th edition or is just brand-new, like so many other things since Jan. 2020… The CDC has taken a huge hit to its credibility, in my opinion and that of many others, since then.

    1. VietnamVet

      At least Dr. Campbell is pointing out Japan’s lowering of the number of new coronavirus cases down to next to nothing. I have a feeling that the lethal mutation theory is a bright shiny object under the street lamp. At least, it is not the corporate media smearing China for controlling their outbreaks; or ignoring Taiwan’s success. Or, failing to report that Australia is starting to let it rip.

      The world today is truly “what is up is down.” All that matters in the West is profits. Things that cost money, like fast-track comprehensive screening for effective off-patent treatments, contact tracing, healthcare for all, and accurate free in-home tests are ignored. Not one fact-finding mission from the West has been sent to China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan or New Zealand to determine what they are doing right and what the West is doing wrong.

      The nine brand new billionaires made by addressing the pandemic with only Plan A Warp Speed “vaccines” will likely cost over a million American lives before the virus adapts to the survivors.

      1. Yves Smith

        Sorry, I don’t buy lethal mutation even remotely and in any event a super nasty new variant, potentially SARS-Cov-3, makes that irrelevant even if true.

        Japan has fetishistic obedience to authority. They were huge mask wearers even before Covid. They are clean freaks. They believe talking much is rude (they think American levels of conversation are horrifically self-absorbed) and talking spreads virus. They have great health care, the average person in Japan sees his MD 10x a year.

        There is probably a lot of povidone iodine gargle use too:

        We’ve also seen drops after spikes all over the world and no one know why. The best guess is people distance more and cut down on how many they see.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “China bars celebrities from showing off wealth and ‘extravagant pleasure’ on social media, saying pop stars must comply with ‘core socialist values’”

    So I guess that Cambridge University students burning £20 notes in front of poor people living on the street would not fly in Beijing then. I read that if you wanted to belong to the Bullingdon Club at Oxford – which old Boris belonged to – you needed to have more class. So there you burnt £50 notes in front of beggars. Yeah, maybe the Chinese are onto something.

    1. Anonymous 2

      Do Cambridge students burn £20 notes in front of poor people? I am an Oxford man myself and always believed/hoped that people at the other place were saner if duller than our lot. That was the reputation at any rate. Supposedly full of brilliant scientists and mathematicians plus the occasional actor.

      But now I have googled and seen that one Cambridge man did just that. He obviously went to the wrong place. I on the other hand, in retrospect, would have gone in the other direction if I could. As I recall, it was said of Newman that he might have had a happy life if he had gone to Cambridge rather than Oxford. These decisions made when in one’s teens can affect the whole of the rest of your life. Hey ho.

      1. LifelongLib

        Living in the U.S. I always thought of Cambridge vs Oxford as being something like Harvard vs Yale. But since I’ve never been to any of those places I welcome correction…

  12. GramSci

    Re: Mandates ethically justified

    The “Association of Bioethics Program Directors (an organization representing more than 90 bioethics centers in the US and Canada), … have concluded that broad vaccine mandates for COVID-19 are ethically justified at this time.”

    The vampire clones of Ezekiel Emmanuel.

    1. Daryl

      I notice these “bioethics” people tend to pop up when convenient, but have nothing to say about whether for example, a healthcare system based on squeezing people for profit is bioethical, or having med students work 24 hour shifts, or…

        1. clarky90

          “All of the authors are members of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors (APBD)”

          According to the ancient Widdershins decoding formula; turn “Association of Bioethics Program Directors (APBD)”, upside down, and then inside out, inorder to decrypt the secret message contained within.

          Something like, a “collusion of murderous….machete wielding …….souless……demons … “?

          I think that this is fairly close?

    1. Devora

      ‘Our Hospitals Are Full’: Boston Doctors Warn of COVID Surge

      Are not hospitals always full at this time of year from seasonal flu???

  13. Dftbs

    That BIS paper would be better titled “Machine learning, a neologism that allows us to keep our failed models in place and ignore the root causes of inflation.” Garbage in, garbage out. Much of the problem with the current inflation “surprise” is that it depends on analysis of garbage variables and purposeful stupidity. Take CPI ex food and energy. Well if you feed this garbage input into a model you may be able to develop a trading strategy around US Treasury TIP breakevens; but you won’t know anything about inflation in the real world. As to the stupidity:
    The current US regime believed that delta forced people to buy more goods at home than services outside. They thought Americans were going to eat those hamburgers out rather than in, and economic transubstantiation would thus keep the price of hamburger down!

    War on the Rocks is definitely disappointing, a lot of words not on “the rocks” but spilled on the proverbial mattress in a display of wishful military eroticism. Perhaps the Russians don’t have the equipment to invade and occupy Europe beyond their borders because it is not in their plans (just read their doctrine). You can’t conquer Europe w/conventional hypersonic stand-off weapons and shock armies. But you can light up NY in minutes and capture some forward deployed GIs in Warsaw to parade down Red Square.

    This article was partnered with a “realist” Quincy institute missive that was premised in the same fantasy of Russian invasion and suggested Russia could trade LDNR sovereignty for Kosovo. Ignoring the Serbians (and forgetting the extent of the damage they inflicted on combined NATO years ago) is the sort of thing you’d expect from an Atlantic council pinhead; perhaps Lieven should change think tanks.

    Finally as we head into the holiday season here in the US it’s heartening to see more calls for war because Taiwan is of vital strategic importance to the US. Certainly it’s of more importance to Americans then their ability to pay for food, or gas, or gifts for their kids at Christmas. Obviously the people that run the MIC don’t consider the welfare if their own nation to be of strategic importance. Winter war with China means no heat, no Christmas, no victory. Summer war would mean no AC, no Bbq and no victory.

    It’s almost as if these people have been getting paid to prevent us from finding solutions. The economists keep justifying the bad policy that got us here; and the MIC strategists keep us from defining our national goals and interests and developing strategies to promote them.

    And don’t even get me started on “being optimistic” about the Fed. There’s nothing to criticize in the content but there is no content.

    Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate today. Don’t forget to get some exercise before you head down the tryptophan highway. I’m thankful for this site and our wonderful hosts!

  14. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Thanksgiving food rankings 2021: I ranked them all best to worst so you can tell me how wrong I am Mass Live. Yes, the rankings are all wrong. Pecan Pie below Dinner Rolls? Really?

    Wait. Macaroni and cheese and chocolate creme pie make the list, but green jello mold is nowhere to be found???? It’s a travesty, I tell ya.

    Green jello gets a bad rap, but there’s nothin’ like a bite of turkey with a bite of green jello ( mixed with sour cream and pineapple in a tupperware mold) to make your taste buds sing. Turkey plus sweet green stuff was ambrosia in my childhood neck of the woods (midwest, south of Chicago) and remains so today.

    PS. I thought I invented the “second turkey.” I didn’t know it was a thing, but I really get it. With enough leftovers, you don’t have to cook or grocery shop for the better part of a week, and then there’s soup.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Agree on the jello mold. My better half just unveiled her latest creation, although it’s red and not green. We’ve had all the colors at one time or another though – I remember enjoying orange in years past too – and we go for the whole fruit cocktail and not just the pineapple.

      We USians eat a lot of crapola that the rest of the world finds abominable, and I generally agree with them, but I will not apologize for Thanksgiving jello molds. **chef’s kiss**!!

      1. Pat

        No forays into the whipped versions?

        For me it is the marshmallow coconut mandarin salad from the seventies known as ambrosia in my circle. I make no apologies for loving and have whipped it up for doubting thomases who have never tasted it. I also like a bit of the canned cranberry “sauce” on leftovers turkey sandwiches although for the hot meal I prefer the supposedly classier made from scratch version with recognizable cranberries.

        Jello molds depend on the jello and the recipe.

      2. griffen

        Two thumbs up for chilled jello with the fruit cocktail!

        I had trouble with the chocolate creme pie rating so high. Just personal preferences and all.

      3. HotFlash

        My great aunt Anna used to make a great jello mold for all family gatherings — cherry Jello with a can or two of sour cherries, but instead of the cold water she used red wine. As a child, I always made a bee-line for that one.

        Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who are celebrating, or even just observing, today, and special thanks to Lady Yves and her lady mother, Lord Lambert, Dame Jerri-Lynn, Squire Jules, and all of us citizens.

      4. Jen

        I don’t remember which holiday feast it was, but one of my step family showed up with a Mountain Dew jello mold. There were also marshmallows involved.

    2. Maritimer

      Had a Mother in law who used to trot out the jello with fruit cocktail for Thanks and Christmas. The TV would also be on for viewing during din-din. If not already written, I would imagine one of the great books of Marketing would be the Jello Story, How Millions Were Made From Animal Offal.

      Here’s an inkling:
      “His product- jell-O brand gelatin (patented 1845), is just one of the many everyday items invented and originally manufactured on our troubled newtown waters. One of New York’s greatest men, Cooper’s factory was nevertheless a gigantic animal tissue distillery which was spewing a plume of grease and acid directly into the Newtown Creek. Dead animals were collected all over the greater New York area (these were the horse and buggy days) and loaded onto barges headed for Furman’s Island.”

      And the FDA says hoss paste if bad for you!

      1. Janie

        Makes me think of the cockney jockey who came so close to winning the big spelling bee. He missed “auspice”.

    3. mistah charley, ph.d.

      With regard to Katniss’s last paragraph, there is a story that, one Thanksgiving dinner, as the maid carried the turkey into the dining room in front of the assembled guests, she tripped and dropped it on the floor.

      The lady of the house immediately said, “Marie – take that back to the kitchen now, and bring in the other turkey.”

    4. skippy

      Thanksgiving for the extended family kids back in the late 60s early 70s of my youth was all about Billy Berry’s aka cranberries soaked in Jim Beam for a few weeks in his refrigerator. That with the view out the picture windows, out of my grandparents holiday house, over Oak Creek in Sedona Arizona was just epic. That with trout fishing and wandering up and down the Oak Creek was a young boys nirvana.

      Just as you enter Sedona and across from the Rock Church, right on the Creek, windows were actually 20′ above and just over it. Sigh now its an enclave ….

  15. The Rev Kev

    “The Pandemic Is Ending With a Whimper”

    I have no idea what this woman is talking about. Is it because she used to work for Obama that she has adopted the idea that you only need to throw lots of PR at a problem go away? As she says, about 800,000 Americans are dead already which is bad enough. But checking online, I see that 1,594 people died yesterday and 1,461 the day before that. That does not sound like something that is finishing to me. It does not even sound like it is spluttering. Call it a slow, hard burn and rather than trying to pretend is is over like this person wants to do, I think that in all honesty you can only say that it is year Two of the Pandemic.

    1. Tom Doak

      She did forget the axiom, “All politics is local.”

      With hospital beds overflowing from COVID patients in my region, local politicians would have a hard time right now declaring that the pandemic is over. Then again, our Republican legislature has done a great job over the past year in stopping our Governor from doing anything that would harm Business.

      The true nature of the political calculation here is that government has decided to tell the citizens, “You are on your own.”

      1. Objective Ace

        Great idea that hopefully will take off everywhere–a sad day in America that we need to rely on Amazon for public health initiatives though

    2. Lee

      I think we’re going to have a heck of a Covid holiday hangover this year. Should provide a lot of useful data on vaccine effectiveness, means and patterns of transmission and so forth. Oh, wait, this is America.

      I notice that some of the experts featured on PBS, BBC, and NPR are starting make mention of the importance ventilation during holiday gatherings. In this context it puts the responsibility on households not on settings such as schools and workplaces.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Importance of ventilation? Check.

        I’m going to an outdoor picnic here in Tucson. And we are having a windstorm today.

        I think we’re going to be just fine.

        Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

    3. Screwball

      North central Ohio. Article in the paper today – local hospital full. Cases rising, deaths rising.

      We are still in school (out on break until Tuesday). No mask requirements at the school. Some classrooms are very small with I assume not to good ventilation, and the doors are closed and locked.

      One kid on Tuesday came in with a mask on. His normal teacher told me he had been around someone who was covid positive so he has to wear a mask.

      What can possibly go wrong?

      Didn’t Biden campaign on getting rid of the virus – because Trump! WTF have you done Joe, other than create more hate and division because all you have is “the shot.”

      It is worse now then when they pulled us out of our classrooms on March 16, 2020, yet we can all walk around with no mask on, no temperature checks at the door, and put a mask on someone who should probably be quarantined because they were in contact with a C-19+ person.

      What a $hitshow!

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          If that phrase takes hold any deeper, people will be able to say ” Go Brandon yourself” and the hearer of that phrase will know exactly what is meant.

  16. LawnDart

    Why a universal Covid-19 vaccine mandate is ethical today

    I guess I’ve been snorting too much bleach, having erased any stain of education from my mind. For the life of me, I do not recall having seen or heard of any evidence that these “vaccines” prevent transmission of the disease. And yet this belief that the shots do protect others by preventing transmission is tearing apart friendships and families.

    How can it be ethical for Health Affairs to publish misinformation? Or did I completely misinterpret the article?

    1. Chris S

      The vaccine isn’t an on/off switch when it comes to transmission, but it does reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus:

      “These studies only show a similar peak viral load, which is the highest amount of virus in the system over the course of the study.

      But vaccinated people clear the virus faster, with lower levels of virus overall, and have less time with very high levels of virus present.

      Therefore, vaccinated people are, on average, likely to be less contagious.”


      1. Lee

        The impression I get from the article is that there is still a fair degree of uncertainty as just how much the vaccines reduce transmission. Is it really enough to dispense with other disease prevention measures? Given the resumption of mass travel and gatherings for the holidays, and the high degree of confidence being displayed by the general public in the vaccines’ effectiveness, I figure we’ll know a lot more than we do now in a couple of weeks.

      2. Basil Pesto

        The vaccine isn’t an on/off switch when it comes to transmission, but it does reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus

        This is why I think the real world case study of Gibraltar right now is so interesting.

        Quite so on the former part of your post I quoted, but the latter? Well, maybe – hopefully! – but for how long?

        Maybe I’m oversimplifying the nature of research of this kind but this would seem to be a limitation of these kinds of studies when compared with (or ignoring) both clinical evidence, and population wide data as in the gibraltar vaccination numbers vs. case rates data. The latter two types recognise that things are dynamic and in flux. The former is not really capable of factoring in this reality: hence, conclusions are drawn from papers whose data was out of date well before the analysis was actually published and overconfident conclusions were settled upon.

        1. Yves Smith

          The vaccines did reduce transmission of wild type and likely other variants at least in the initial months. But Delta has such high brute replication that the vaccines don’t do much to reduce its transmission. That’s one reason why geographically there is no correlation between vaccination levels and Covid cases.

      3. Mark Sanders

        However, my understanding is that vaccinated people who get the virus can still pass it on to others for at least a day or two before either symptoms appear or the body begins to fight the virus.

      4. HotFlash

        Again, I don’t have a ‘study’ to back me up, only a bit of logical deduction from the facts as currently understood.

        1.) Vaccinated people can still get covid. What percent is not known for sure since universal testing, or even sampling, is not done in the US or Canada, but more exhaustive studies in Israel indicate it’s a fair few and that the vaccines becomes less effective over time; hence the need for boosters.
        2.) Vaccinated people can still transmit covid..
        2.) Vaccinated people who do get covid seem to get a milder form and therefore require hospitalization less frequently and die less often. It is reasonable, therefore, to conjecture that a larger proportion of vaccinated people who contract covid are asymptomatic than of The Unvaccinated.

        Therefore, I suggest that vaccinated people who contract covid (‘breakthroughs’) are *more* likely to infect others, esp in places where non-pharm mitigation measures (eg., mask-wearing, ventilation, distancing, quarantine) are not observed.

        Am I wrong?

        1. ChiGal

          You are exactly correct. Any focus on vaccination without corresponding calls to use effective masks and ventilation, and discourage large, crowded indoor gatherings is survival of the fittest.

          Get a vaccine or else cuz I’d rather you die than me have to wear a mask—I’m vaccinated!

          No thanks. I’m vaccinated but I want no part of keeping up the spread. Some people I know who are vaccinated just don’t give a family blog. Either I wear a damn good mask or hang with only vaccinated people or I stay home.

          1. BeliTsari

            Sneering pontification, kvetching virons directly into uppity essential’s faces, as our unmasked Creative Class™ sneeze, cough, drunkenly scream at each other in bars, restaurants, mindfulness symposia blaming chronically PASC servers, Uber & taxi drivers, DoorDash & Amazon folks, who’d been forced to work sick 19mos back, infecting loved ones & coworkers? It’s like “Hygiene Theater” last year. Silly facade to force us back to our machines, 26 million kids into chancing death, life-long disabilities or infecting vulnerable teachers, staff, drivers, family, care givers.

          2. Basil Pesto

            You are exactly correct. Any focus on vaccination without corresponding calls to use effective masks and ventilation, and discourage large, crowded indoor gatherings is survival of the fittest.

            Succinctly put, I think, although that’s still a bit dark for me and I prefer “every man for himself”, although that’s splitting some fairly gnarly hairs. One would perhaps like to imagine (and grimly predict) that there will be a reckoning once this particular penny drops, but who really knows at this point. People seem awfully stubbornly resistant to even the idea of change and improvement (thanks, Obama! destroy those souls!). Maybe it will be a slow-motion reckoning, a further erosion of trust in the debased press, a slow-burn loss of trust in the once uncontroversial public health institutions in the west, etc.

          3. drumlin woodchuckles

            Well, if the officeholders and the MSM and even some of the health agency Bureau Commanders told them that the mRNA para-vaccinoid will prevent them from getting the virus ( and all those people told them that), then they will naturally think that if they can’t get it, that means by definition that they can’t spread it to others, because you can’t spread what you can’t even catch.

            So if all these people believe that because they have been instructed to believe it, then they will naturally resent being told to wear a mask anyway, and interpret it as a domination ritual attempt.

            So maybe the officeholders and the MSM and the Bureau Commanders will have to spend several months admitting to their big “vaccine keeps you from getting it” lie, and spend the same several months saying what suite of layered approaches might slow the spread enough to let the virus burn out and die for lack of a stable supply of victims.

            This is not meant to excuse the vicious rats and pigs who make a point of coughing on people, etc.

    2. AndrewJ

      I’m right with you, in a regular state of not being sure that I’m either missing something, or if my head really should feel like it should be pressurized and explosion-adjacent at this endless talk of mythical vaccines that prevent transmission. As far as I remember, in real-world published studies, the shots we actually have may provide a small reduction in transmission – somewhere on the order of 20%? Certainly not pandemic-ending.
      It really does feel like either I’m in a fantasy universe, or they are.

      1. Mantid

        I must comment. The vaccinated do not reduce transmission at all. This is important. With so many hints and passing comments from MSM, CDC and all the other pushers of vaccines, remember (or find out) that the current vaccines were not intended to limit transmission one iota.
        Here are two studies confirming that:

        “We found no significant difference in cycle threshold values between vaccinated and unvaccinated, asymptomatic and symptomatic groups infected with SARS-CoV-2 Delta”

        And this one:
        “….shows no significant difference in viral load between vaccinated and unvaccinated people “

        1. AndrewJ

          That’s what I thought as well, but while those are true statements, the rate at which the virus clears after peak load does appear to be different. If we’re looking at possible exhaled viral particles over the course of infection, a “vaccinated” individual should have shed fewer total particles over a shorter time. It may not be much, and I suspect that without other interventions it is not enough to move R0 to extinguishing levels. Even with other interventions it may not. It seems our leadership prefers not to know.
          I think we’ll see some research coming out that will shed some light on the question of real world effects, well after this winter is over. Hoocodanode, right?

        2. TimmyB

          Those studies do not support the claim that “the vaccinated do not reduce transmission at all.”

          The first study states that for those who self select to take Covid tests and test positive, vaccinated or unvaccinated, have the same viral load.

          The second states that vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections of the Delta strain have the same viral load as unvaccinated individuals infected with the Delta strain.

          Both studies excluded vaccinated individuals who have not contracted Covid. As a result, if a Covid vaccine prevented 80% of those vaccinated from having any Covid symptoms, that data would not appear in either study as only those who suspected they had contracted Covid or know infected individuals were made part of either study.

          To support your claim, a study would have to, at a minimum, include all individuals who received vaccines, not just those with breakthrough infections or those who suspected they had breakthrough infections. In sum, the studies linked to show that vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have the same viral load as non vaccinated individuals. They tell us nothing about the effectiveness of the vaccines in doing what they were designed to do, which is preventing infections.

          1. tegnost

            a study would have to, at a minimum, include all individuals who received vaccines, not just those with breakthrough infections or those who suspected they had breakthrough infections

            In the us we don’t measure what might negatively affect wall st

  17. fresno dan
    FROM the article:
    The Cantillon Effect is an economic concept on the distributional consequences of new money creation created by Irish-French economist and philosopher Richard Cantillon in a 1755 paper.

    In simple terms, the Cantillon Effect says that the flow path of new money matters—those closest to the source and entry point of the new money benefit first and most handsomely.
    Imagine you live in a tiny, enclosed island society.
    One morning, you wake up to find a small package on your doorstep. You open it up and gasp—it has $1 million in it.
    Great! But now what?
    No one else knows you received this package. You now secretly have $1 million new dollars. Naturally, you start spending it (and maybe investing it) quickly. Prices are still low, because no one knows these new dollars exist yet!
    Your standard of living improves rapidly. You buy yourself the nicest house, the most beautiful clothes, and a bunch of land.
    But now, the other island inhabitants start to see and feel this new money flowing through the system. Prices begin to rise as demand surges but supply has yet to “catch up” to the new consumption. It takes time for supply to ramp.
    So while the money improved your life, it didn’t benefit others in the same way:
    The sellers of the goods—who received your cash—now face rising prices when they consume.
    The workers who produced the goods—who earned wages from the sellers—similarly face rising prices (despite stagnant wages).
    You benefitted materially from the new money, but they didn’t. There were distributional effects—the flow path of this new money mattered!

    1. eg

      Time is also a factor with this effect, because those who get the money FIRST obtain assets that climb in value as those who get the money later spend it.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Can you imagine the effect if next year a new variant took hold they blew past the main vaccines as if they weren’t there? Do we go back to lock-downs for all? Do we get serious about ventilation? Do international borders close again? People are rioting all over the world about the present restrictions but if we had to go back to square one again, I have no idea how that would play out.

      1. LawnDart

        From the tweet-thread Kevin posted:

        “Almost all recent samples from there have been this new variant taking over from a background of Delta and C.1.2 (also a concerning variant,).”

        Rev, it sure looks like that varient you mention is but a couple of flight-legs away from our respective doorsteps.

        On the bright-side, at least this will render the whole vaccine debate-thing moot.

          1. LawnDart

            Yep, seems their shorts filled with Hershy-collored liquid and they’re hitting the big, red panic button over this. I’d wager a lager that we’re back to square one come March, if not sooner.

            “Experts in South Africa have said the variant is “very different” to others that have circulated, with concerns that it could be more transmissible but also able to get around parts of the immune system.”

            This is really going to tear the hell out of USA– society is so fractured already and trust in public institutions cratering (do we trust that “leaders” and newsreaders will quit lying to us?), things will really get wild as predominant narratives collapse.

            Yeah, time to restock on meds and add to the mask collection. Probably will add some more provisions to the stocks because I don’t think that the next round of lockdowns will be the candy-ast versions that the previous were– be surprised if they ultimately aren’t backed by lead because in gun-happy USA, what is the choice?

  18. Tom Doak

    You can totally believe that inmate that wasn’t in the cell next to Jeffrey Epstein, because there is no way he could think he has anything to gain by supporting the Official Narrative /s

    1. t

      Still trying to figure out what it sounds like when some neaby tears up paper sheets. Truly different from the sound of paper sheets rustling when you’re struggling to keep warm while waiting for the doctor?

  19. polar donkey

    While reading links at my dining room table here in Memphis Tennessee, I am enjoying a cool glass of Claiborne water. Suck it Mississippi and Happy Thanksgiving.

  20. David

    I more or less gave up on the Ethiopia article when it referred to the TPLF as a “terrorist group.” But I persevered and needlessly sacrificed several minutes of my life.
    Of course the West is talking discreetly to the TPLF. They’d be stupid not to. Irrespective of exactly how the pointless conflict that Abiy has blundered into will finish, there will have to be a settlement and a coalition government of some kind. “Whoops, sorry, we invaded Tigre and killed lots of people because we didn’t like you holding elections, but can’t we just be friends?” isn’t a plausible basis for a settlement now.
    In reality, the West was completely taken in by Abiy, Nobel Peace Prize and all, and must now realise the nature of its mistake. The EPRDF dominated regime had its faults, certainly but it brought stability to a war-torn country, which Abiy has squandered in a few years. It’s hard to see how he can stay in place.

    1. Bazarov

      Abiy, in keeping with his evangelical messiah complex, has announced he’s going to lead troops from the capital to the front lines!

      Perhaps an errant bullet or bomb, directed with some aid by foreign intelligence services, will take care of the problem–if indeed Abiy is stupid enough to go to the front like he’s Napoleon or something.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I was wondering about that article, I don’t know about the writer – a very different take from War Nerd (and I’d usually trust War Nerds take on conflicts like this).

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      The most amazing thing about Epstein is that he had all his houses wired for camera and sound, and yet never seems to have recorded anything. What a strange character!

        1. Screwball

          And the trial of Maxwell will not be televised. I would have bet my house and every last penny of my worth on that.

          “It’s a big club and your not in it”

  21. Tom Stone

    The sub head of that “Atlantic” article….
    ” The decision to move on the the recovery phase need to be made by Politicians,not Scientists”.
    Are you sure that’s rain?
    It smells funny.
    And why is only one leg wet?


  22. mikel

    “How Music Created Silicon Valley” The Honest Broker.

    “In each key area of technology—semiconductors, storage, handheld devices, video displays, test equipment, etc.—funds to launch and grow the tech titans came from the entertainment industry, and especially the music business…”

    They don’t call the organizations academies of recording and motion picture arts and sciences for nothing.

    Much more could have been appreciated about the links with science if they televised more of the technical awards during the awards shows.

  23. Felinagonzalez

    Biden Will Spend Thanksgiving Week At Private Equity Billionaire’s Nantucket Home receiving his orders

    Harris will spend Thanksgiving Week giving orders to her billionaire corporate lawyer husband…

    Pelosi will spend Thanksgiving Week at her 100 million dollar winery…

    The average American will spend Thanksgiving Week with a reheated Walmart dinner plate at a shitty corporate job…

    1. Hepativore

      I honestly do not know why Thanksgiving has not been made a two-day holiday occurring on the last Thursday as well as the adjacent Friday of November. I think that we should give people the courtesy of a long weekend.

      I know that retailers will balk at the idea of having to close on “Black Friday” but as an increasing amount of people do their Christmas shopping online it would spare retail employees the misery of having to deal with mobs of angry Karens that day, not to mention that it is rather awkward having a national holiday in the middle of the week. Plus, do people REALLY like going shopping on Black Friday? It seems that they would be saving themselves from the chaos as well.

  24. Brooklin Bridge

    Speaking of, “Turkeys are smart,” PBS’ Nature series had a repeat last night of a guy bringing up a brood of Turkeys from the egg to adulthood. As surrogate parent for over a year, he got to be intimate and able to communicate with his brood and emphasized over and over again just how remarkably intelligent wild Turkey’s are.

  25. Socal Rhino

    Re cargo ships backup off Long Beach/LA

    While several new outlets were reporting how various solutions were already correcting this, reports came in locally that the line of ships was now visible off the coast of San Diego. If memory serves, the ship count was up 50% from the day of Biden’s presser.

  26. lyman alpha blob

    RE: What war with Russia over Ukraine would really look like

    Good take on the situation and inadvisability of a war with Russia. But I couldn’t help noticing this howler –

    “As for the United States and NATO, most probably they would not intervene — as they failed to intervene to help Ukraine in 2014 and to help Georgia in 2008, despite much talk of American commitments to these countries. ”

    US facing media is still extremely reluctant to acknowledge the US-sponsored coup in 2014 that ousted the more pro-Russian leader for one more amenable to US demands. They sure want that to go down the memory hole but unfortunately we have the ‘[family blog] the EU’ tapes from the noodle brained Nuland that some of us have the temerity to remember.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That is a howler that. I have read Russian sources (translated into English) talk about American ‘advisors’ killed in the early years of the fighting while helping direct Ukrainian attacks. Come to think of it, these same sources were talking about Americans captured during the Russian-Georgian war back in 2008 whose release had to be quietly negotiated afterwards. One Russian source talked about seeing black soldiers fighting on the Georgian sides and at least one was captured and featured a photo of him sitting on the ground. As these are Russian articles, you have to decide for yourself if they are telling the truth or not but I tend to give them some credence.

    1. LawnDart

      “Worst variant ever”

      Nah, our half-arse mitigation efforts will help us breed back better virus until one finally emerges that scares TPTB enough to get Chinese-serious about it.

      Until then, as Lambert might say, the spice must flow.

        1. LawnDart

          How about “worst variant yet“? Or maybe “to date”? “Ever” strikes me as the wrong word to use, not unless we were looking at this thing in the rear-view mirror.

          I lack the optimism that Nu will be the worst, but other regular commentators are far more qualified than I to give flesh to these nightmares, and I expect that you’ll start hearing from them in a few more hours.

          1. skippy

            Covid19 as a unique novel various has a playbook that responds to environmental factors which many or may not be triggered by ignorant ideological or political agendas to the contrary.

            CWA by the aforementioned makes it all more enjoyable …

  27. Jason Boxman

    JOHANNESBURG — A concerning new variant of the coronavirus, whose mutations evidence a “big jump in evolution,” is driving a spike in new Covid-19 infections in South Africa, scientists said on Thursday.

    In the last 36 hours after observing an increase in infections in South Africa’s economic hub, the Gauteng province, scientists detected the B1.1.529 variant. So far, 22 positive cases have been identified in South Africa, according to South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

    It’s a good thing we quarantine all incoming air travelers. Oh, wait…

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. The Rev Kev

      Look at the bright side, LawnDart. If it is actually effecting the stock market, then the government has to take it seriously.

  28. John Anthony La Pietra

    Pfizer says former employee stole trade secrets on megablockbuster COVID-19 vaccine Fierce Pharma

    In (I’m sure) a totally unrelated(/s) story previously reported by NC News, the FDA is asking a court to let it slow-drip its response to a FOIA request for Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine licensing data so that the data will all be out by 2076! . . .

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