Links 11/28/2021

Kongthong: The Indian village where your name is a song BBC

It’s Been 30 Years Since Freddie Mercury Died. His Music Is Still the Soundtrack of Our Lives The Wire

From the Harem to the Bath House Literary Review

Albrecht Dürer was a 16th-century Andy Warhol Spectator

Being in a building Aeon

A Brief Scientific History of Glass Smithsonian

Bee gold: Why honey is an insect superfood BBC


It is high time we start preparing for future pandemics Al Jazeera. Gordon Brown. No argument here. Except maybe we should deal with this one first?

Countries shouldn’t invoke the Nagoya Protocol to avoid sharing pathogens and genetic sequences Stat

How the $4 Trillion Flood of Covid Relief Is Funding the Future NYT


South Africa’s response to travel restrictions imposed by several countries Republic of South Africa website

As Omicron Variant Circles the Globe, African Nations Face Blame and Bans NYT

South Africa Asks J&J, Pfizer to Stop Sending Vaccines Bloomberg


Covid: Two cases of new variant Omicron detected in UK BBC

COVID: Germany confirms first two cases of omicron variant Deutsche Welle

Covid: Netherlands enters partial lockdown amid surging infections BBC

COVID variant spreads to more countries as world on alert AP

Australia confirms two cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant Reuters

Compulsory Covid PCR tests for arrivals to UK is ‘huge blow’ to travel industry Guardian

Exclusive | Coronavirus: British Airways temporarily suspends passenger flights to and from Hong Kong South China Morning Post

Israel bans foreigners from entering country to stop Omicron variant Jerusalem Post


‘It’s coming’: New York governor declares state of emergency over new Omicron variant Independent

Coronavirus cases at Karnataka medical college rise to 281 after 99 more students test positive Scroll


Drugmakers race to test vaccines against new coronavirus variant FT

Cuba’s Vaccine Could End up Saving Millions of Lives Jacobin

Iowa hospital administered wrong dose of COVID shots to kids Daily News

Covid-19 Vaccines or Infections: Which Carries the Stronger Immunity? Wall Street Journal

COP26/Climate Change

Deep Adaptation: Could Climate Change Lead To Societal Collapse? The Wire

Coalitions and Emissions Thin Ink

How a new global carbon market could exaggerate climate progress MIT Technology Review

India’s Road to Net-Zero The Diplomat

Infographic: The 100 most polluted cities in the world Al Jazeera

It’s time to fear the fungi Ars Technica

Biden faces new pressure from climate groups after Powell pick The Hill

Closer to Home The New Atlantis

Class Warfare

Infiltrating Amazon: What I learned going undercover at the corporate giant The Breach

Workers’ paradise? Portugal’s new teleworking law takes flak AP

HOW DELAWARE SOLD THE GREATEST, MOST INSIDIOUS FINANCIAL SECRECY TOOL THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN Crime Reads. Just contacted my bookseller and ordered this book. More anon.

Corruption’s War on the Law Project Syndicate

Our Famously Free Press

Billionaire Bill Gates Uses Money to Shape the Media Jacobin

Kill Me Now

‘Nobody’ in Biden’s West Wing is shutting down chatter of Buttigieg as a potential presidential successor: report Business Insider

Imperial Collapse Watch

Tom Wright On The ‘Fat Leonard’ Scandal And Corruption In The US Navy The Browser

Impeachment probe confirms: yeah, Cuomo’s book deal was shady. Literary Hub

L’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

The trial of the century: Ghislaine Maxwell ‘is prepared’ to take the stand to save her life’ amid child sex and trafficking charges Daily Mail

The Revelations: What Prince Andrew Faces As His Old Friend Ghislaine Maxwell’s Trial Begins Forbes


Maximum fissures: Iran nuclear deal talks head toward oblivion Politico


Dark money network pushes pro-UAE/Saudi policies from New York Responsible Statecraft

Taliban Covert Operatives Seized Kabul, Other Afghan Cities From Within WSJ


Historic Decision By Argentinian Courts To Take Up Genocide Case Against Myanmar Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK (BROUK)


Turkish Economic Woes Fuel Speculation of Early Elections Der Spiegel

Turkey’s currency crisis textbook monetary mismanagement Asia Times


Lula v. Bolsonaro London Review of Books


The Indian Farmers Defend the Rights of Farmers Everywhere Counterpunch

Modi’s Repeal of Farm Laws Isn’t Enough, Say Indian Farmers The Diplomat

Farm Laws Repeal: The Constitutional Design Of Factor Market Reform In India BloombergQuint

An impossible founding Global Intellectual History

Explained: Why India’s Offshore Wind Energy Potential Remains Untapped India Spend

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to visit India on December 6 for bilateral meeting Scroll

Julian Assange

U.S. stonewalls probe into security firm that allegedly spied on Assange for CIA, says Spanish judge Yahoo News

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. svay


    I see the article’s about a book titled “AMERICAN KLEPTOCRACY: How the U.S. Created the World’s Greatest Money Laundering Scheme in History”. I’ve read much the same claim about the UK’s web of onshore and offshore banks and so on, ie. that it’s the world’s greatest money laundering scheme. Which would NC’s readers consider the greatest, as in the worst, and why?

      1. barefoot charley

        It’s a field of endless innovation. The latest: US law now prohibits all global jurisdictions from concealing true ownership from us, if we ask. Except in the US, where we won’t let your stinkin’ government know you’re hiding your money here in our several states now imitating Delaware’s innovations. The problem is, Americans’ money can’t be hidden from our government, hence there’s some use for England’s colonial litter of pirate isles still–they’re better than nothing.

        All this relates to our current accounts conspiracy dating from the 1970s oil crisis: We will always afford huge trade deficits,the logic goes, so long as foreign capital compensates by fleeing to our safe haven of robust legal structures and property rights. We’ll see how that turns out.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      How does American money laudering compare to British money laundering in terms of percentage of their respective countries’ moneyconomy? Does America do more moneylaundering per GDP or does Britain do more money laundering per GDP? Which country has the more money-laundering-intensive moneyconomy?

      ( I have decided to start saying ” moneyconomy” when we are discussing the monetized money economy and ” UnMoney CounterEconomy” when we are discussing the biophysical reality-based UnMoney CounterEconomy.)

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Australia confirms two cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant”

    Well at least that means that we now have our own samples of Omicron to be used for study. So I was listening to the evening news a few hours ago and you could have predicted it. New South Wales said that it will not effect the planned opening up of their State, a plea for everybody to go get themselves vaccinated as well as the booster shots so that they can be protected against this new strain, a vow to keep flights coming in from countries other than those that have the infection of Omicron, incoming passengers hugging loved ones before having to go off to quarantine (yes, you read that right), the NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet saying the pandemic wasn’t over and ‘living with COVID-19 also meant learning to live with new strains.’ Normally I am a pretty calm sort of person but when I see this potentially lethal form of propaganda like this at work, I have an irresistible urge to crawl through the TV screen to choke the everloving s*** out of people that push this line of bs.

    1. SomeGuyinAZ

      Humanity, across the board for the most part, is really stepping up and leaning into earning the Darwin Award we seem to be shooting for with all of the repeats of past failed playbooks for this virus/pandemic. Good job humanity…. /sigh

      1. saywhat?

        Humanity, some at least, will survive. It’s the current economic system that’s on trial and, as it deserves, is failing.

    2. Mikel

      “a plea for everybody to go get themselves vaccinated as well as the booster shots so that they can be protected against this new strain…”

      With ZERO proof that the current therapeutic shots, devoloped pre-Delta even, will do anything to stop the new strain. Un%^&*ingbelivable….

      PMCers detachment from reality, globally, never ceases to amaze me. They are always worried about appearances. This dogma around “shots will solve everything, it’s all we got” is part of keeping up the appearance that they are doing something. And following orders as usual.

      1. Greg

        At some point we managed to transition into “This is the only solution we can think of to the immediate problem” being the same as “This is the best possible solution to all problems”. It’s uh, going well as policy.

        TINA = Everything is Awesome!

    3. The Historian

      Not to worry! Pfizer and Moderna are coming to save the day! Both are claiming that if the OMGodicron variant is resistant to their vaccines, they will have another booster, for sale, of course, within about 100 days!

      Now everyone can calm down and go back to business as usual and we wealthier nations can all get our monthly booster shots as variants appear in places where people can’t even get one vaccine shot, because ain’t Big Pharma wonderful!

      1. drsteve0

        OMG, two years in and this is the best we can do? It looks like one of those Weekly Reader thingies from childhood where you had to count how many screwups were in the picture. No distancing, numerous mask failures, that lady behind the plexiglass somehow thinks she’s AOK. We’re doomed. As I type this Tony the Fauci is on the radio calling for more vaccinations.

        1. Pelham

          Maybe someone should launch a Covid-anon Survival Cult, like Qanon but one that requires every member to take a layered approach in defense against Covid. These would include vaccines (as many as you can get plus boosters), povidone gargling, handwashing, N95 or KN95 masks at all indoor venues, plenty of ventilation and Corsi boxes at home, Amazon Prime or Walmart to have all essentials delivered, and then top it all off with a secret elbow bump or hand signal.

          This could work with at least a large fraction of understandably confused and frustrated Americans where all else — noble lies, haranguing, pleading, science, hard evidence — has failed. I’ve already signed up and I’m working on the elbow bump and hand signal.

          1. IMOR

            With the right name/label, this genius adaptation would work! In addition to its own name, need to associate it from start with one of the most positive stops along the connotative line from ‘associatoon’ to ‘cult’. Guild? Team? Project?

            1. Greg

              If you name it after the swiss cheese approach to defensive layering, your iconography and memes are easy

          2. a fax machine

            This is logical but the place where Qanon was generated vehemently believes Covid is a hoax, isn’t real, and even if it was posed (past tense!) no threat to anyone except the fat, the old and the weak who all deserve to die. Attempts to convince them otherwise instantly short circuits into unsolicited comments about The Jews, because these same people beilive Covid is nothing more than a “Jewish medical autocracy”
            [sic] on their otherwise perfect Aryan society. The sort of people who want Voter IDs, but get upset when they are carded for their vaccination status. The sort of people who can’t remember when their public school required them to get a yearly flu shot and are flabbergasted that they might have to get a yearly flu shot AND a yearly covid shot.

            It’s infuriating because, in any other circumstance, they would actually do as you say and society would be better off for it. But because the place Qanon originates is full of low IQ contrarians, they are willingly walking into death because they truly beilive they are invincible. Same, the lockdown/prison planet/great reset they supposedly fight against is the exact sort of prison they want for the world’s nonwhites and which already exists in many respects.

            (apologies for the low value comment but I regularly bump into these people a lot, and unfortunately the covid conspiracy hole has only grown deeper as time goes on)

          3. svay

            And for Amazon and Walmart workers, and those who fill their ‘fulfillment centres’ – a few half-hearted pleas from the PNC for their protection, or Lambert’s Principles of Neoliberalism?

    4. FluffytheObeseCat

      In reply to the entire thread, and with regard to the tenor of comments on this kind of topic over the past few weeks and months:

      1) Hospitals have always been “on the list”. At the head of it in fact, and long before Covid. They are incubators of infectious disease for many of the same reasons that immunocompromised individuals are incubators of mutated virus.

      2) Given that the omicron variant has been identified in Europe, Australia, and possibly Hong Kong already the statement that we “need to learn to live with it”, while potentially glib and self-exonerating is also accurate. I’d need to read or hear that statement in context before I assume perfidious self-interest on the part of the speaker.

      3) Reflexive and routine outbursts of contempt for all leadership on this or any issue are not valuable contributions to, well, anything. This type of thread – a trail of one furious yet self-admiring post after another, with no discussion of alternatives, just complaints – has become too common. The routinized in-group snarling is, at this point, simply dysfunctional.

      Keep patting all yourselves on the back so much and so often…. and you’ll likely end up with a self-inflicted rotator cuff injury. But, you won’t improve your lives, or anyone else’s, by wallowing in peevish group therapy sessions every day.

      I’ve got to assume a large portion of the long time lurkers just blow past every thread like this one. Because it’s devoid of new information, and the only reason to beat one’s way through the overt fear and snarling is to learn something.

      1. ambrit

        As to your complaint about the tenor of the ‘complaints’ about the “leadership,” (point 3,) this is a logical and, dare I say it, compensatory action on the part of those who so comment, snarl, and show contempt. The facts, as we see them, and indeed, Your Mileage May Vary, show us that the Elites “in control” are either incompetent and or malicious. The Chorus of Complaint you disparage is the prelude to a cleansing of the Augean Stable that is our Western Political Apparat. These are not Q-anon ‘nutters’ opining from way out somewhere, and that ‘somewhere’ can be in any direction one chooses. This is a fairly well educated and stable group of people. They are not prone to delusional thinking. When a group such as this begins to act in such a manner as you decry, be certain that either you are seeing the effects of a genius level information control program, or that there is something seriously wrong.
        Be safe!

      2. CoryP

        I don’t think that anybody or any website is immune to groupthink 100% of the time. I don’t know what to believe about most of this, but I’m seeing what you’re seeing.

      3. Yves Smith

        I don’t like having to come down on a long-established commentor, but the flip side is we don’t play favorites and you ought to know better by now.

        You are completely out of line in trying to censor comments. If you don’t like a line of discussion, like the readers start talking about sports or beer-making tips and those aren’t your thing, you are expected to be mature enough to skip over them.

        “We need to learn to live with it” is pro-business propaganda. If you can’t see that, I don’t know where to begin. I refer you again to this article:

        Moreover, your attitude amounts to refusing to hold anyone accountable. So we should also ignore the looting and massive transfer of wealth in the wake of the global financial crisis? Not name the bankers who should have been prosecuted or at least fined and barred from working in the industry? How about the massive chain of title abuses that resulted in millions losing their homes to foreclosure because the Obama Administration wasn’t willing to be prosecuted?

        Similarly, by your logic, no one should be held accountable for opioid abuses….I could go on.

        And your premise is also wrong. Eradication was possible. China has Covid tamped down to a very low level. So had New Zealand and Australia until each of them threw in the towel.

        But with some large countries, notably the US, Brazil, the UK and Sweden, adopting a no/inadequate intervention policy, they assured there would be a large reservoir of infection that would pull other countries trying to do better down. The US etc. posture also greatly assisted business communities in countries who were upset at the impact on strict enforcement of protections, quarantines, and quicker-trigger lockdowns on their profit in successfully pressuring their governments to go easier.

        There have been many obvious failed actions. Even here in supposedly retrograde Alabama, the top epidemiologist in the state, who has a national reputation, said the first wave of lockdowns were ended ten days too early. As a result, we could never execute contact tracing; there were too many cases for it to even be a sensible policy. We said that the Biden Administration May 2021 “Mission Accomplished” was premature and would be reversed; even worse was their de facto trashing of masks and continuing to ignore the importance of ventilation (a UK study has confirmed that masking is the most important mode of reducing transmission). We also said they were nuts to open up international travel on November 8 right as a predictable fall Delta wave was getting headway, and there were spikes already underway in many European countries?

        And you say you just don’t want to hear about this? Fine, then just don’t read the site.

        The officialdom could also have taken more forceful measure to protect hospital staffing, the same way they bludgeoned nursing homes and hospitals to vaccinate staff, by threatening to withhold Medicare and Medicaid funds. They could also have mandated hazard pay of $X an hour or y% of their normal pay when Covid test positivity in their state rose over a certain level.

      4. CoryP

        On an individual level I certainly have to learn to live with it, since the PTB have decided this is how it’s gonna be.

        Just as I have to learn to live with climate change.

      5. Basil Pesto

        3) Reflexive and routine outbursts of contempt for all leadership on this or any issue are not valuable contributions to, well, anything. This type of thread – a trail of one furious yet self-admiring post after another, with no discussion of alternatives, just complaints – has become too common. The routinized in-group snarling is, at this point, simply dysfunctional.

        To be honest, I sort of agree with you here up to a point, but you’ve picked a bad hill to die on. Perottet was and is truly atrocious.

        Here’s one timeline:

        Wednesday: Independent scientists and researchers – including GM’s own – sound the alarm about Omicron nee Nu. Keep in mind the more detailed post GM wrote about what’s coming down the variant pipeline about a month ago. Keep in mind as well that people, even more mainstream figures than GM, have been banging the drum about the potential harms of unchecked new variants for nearly two years now.

        Thursday: I see a post in comments linking to iirc a BBC video drawing attention to the new variant – first I hear of it. This would have been a reasonable time for Australia to close its borders if we care about health outcomes, but we don’t, and we’ve just made a big show about *opening* our borders first the first time since 2020, so that was a political non-starter (Perottet is a state politician who belongs to the same party as that of the main governing party, the business forward centre right-to-right party)

        Friday: NC has a long, robust post about this new variant ready to go which far surpasses – even now, three days later – any other press report I’ve seen. Concurrently, Australia says it has no plans to close borders with anyone

        Saturday: Australia closes its borders with various southern African countries. It doesn’t do so as far as I know with, say, Israel, or Belgium (Schengen) where cases had already been detected

        Sunday: Cases of Omicron are confirmed in Australia, although the confirmed cases are in traveller hotel quarantine. Australia’s hotel quarantines, of course, have a tendency to leak, although we can hope the purpose-built Queensland facility will remedy this. It won’t be ready until next year. The minimisation begins. The “we need to learn to live with it” canard is deployed.

        Contrast this to our responses in 2020, before the vaccines came along. Not flawless by any means, but a damn sight better than what we seem resigned to doing now. Of course, Australia has been called “The Lucky Country” in the past. That our luck would run out during a crisis of this magnitude seems inevitable to me.

        If it hasn’t become clear by now, the “learn to live with it” this is a pernicious idee recue. What we need to do, in fact, is get rid of it. This is possible, especially considering Australia’s advantage as far as an international border goes. It bears repeating: we (Australia and its sub-jurisdictions) have got rid of the virus already in the past, multiple times in fact. It can be done. Moreover these methods can be improved over time to hopefully become less disruptive. Other countries can do this too because, I assure you, Australia is not special (the Americas, after all, are surrounded by Ocean, are they not?). Of course, that would require taking border control and the concept of quarantine seriously. Managing the virus in this way is only going to get harder and harder as new variants develop if those variants become more transmissible which, it appears, Omicron is.

        People like Perrotet ignore this past success because they want a return to the business-frotting status quo ante, without realising that this status quo ante cannot be attained by doing what he’s doing: pretending the problem isn’t real and serious and shrugging that “there’s nothing to be done” and that the vaccines alone are sufficient to manage the problem. The alternative requires solidarity, pan-class cooperation, government fiscal support, etc. All concepts which are anathema to him.

        There is no “living with” this virus. By the time any such equilibrium with the virus in the human population is attained, the toll on human life and health and much else besides will be enormous to the extent that the health consequences won’t be the main issue, but the political ones will. We are facing a problem, it seems to me, of near-climate change level seriousness, yet we still get “like the flu” false analogies. That we have to [learn to] live with it is a political choice that has been made for us based on an efflorescence of utterly misleading and duplicitous propaganda (which is not a word I like to use, but sometimes one has to call a spade a spade), not a scientific fact or fait accompli. Much of that propaganda comes from big business, to whom Perrotet is in thrall. He is another pseudo-moral god-botherer who is making life-ruining political choices for the sake of ~The Economy~ without even understanding that the choices aren’t just bad for public health (if he even cares; people of Perottet’s class in Australia, which includes me I should add, will probably be fine) but civic freedoms and the economy as well. He’s an irremediable close-minded second-rate cretin.

        1. MarkT

          NZ closed the borders when there was already a superspreader event underway, and went into a hard national lockdown. UK/US media decided we were far away.

      6. Lambert Strether

        > .we “need to learn to live with it”, while potentially glib and self-exonerating is also accurate.

        Accurate except for 1.402 billion in China, whose government is still pursuing eradication, with some success (and would probably have an easier time of it if the governments in the West, especially the US and the UK, weren’t constantly creating new sources of infection).

        As for the rest of your comment, your concrete suggestions for leadership change — which at this point would amount to a purge of the entire public health establishment, for starters, IMNSHO — are always welcome. Although I am actively pursuing a state of non-bafflement on this point, I confess myself, so far, baffled. Whether that be peevish or not, I cannot tell. Perhaps at this point all we can expect is some verbal dexterity, until the openings for more concrete solutions appear.

      7. MarkT

        The last paragraph says it all: this is a post intended to stir.

        Fluffy sounds very well fed. Eloquently well fed.

    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      Now that Fauci ( and all the other Faucis of all the other governments) and the WHO have been able to succeed in making sure that Omicron has reached every continent, Fauci will no longer object to symbolic and performative flight bans to and from selected countries.

      Jackpot Design Engineering!

  3. Jen

    COVID anecdata – my neighbor’s sister in law works in a little hospital about 30 miles north of me. Several nurses there have turned up positive with COVID after being fully vaccinated and boostered.

    Not feeling the hair on the back of my neck standing up at all.

    1. ambrit

      We are exhorted to avoid “gatherings” like bars, sports stadiums, restraunts, etc. etc. This anecdote suggests that we add hospitals to the list. That really is a bummer.
      Be safe everyone!

    2. Samuel Conner

      > Not feeling the hair on the back of my neck standing up at all.

      Mine’s been standing up so long I don’t notice it any more.

      I agree with ambrit; this Winter is not going to be a great time to fall ill or get seriously injured. Even leaving aside the worrisome concern about ‘nosocomial COVID’, there will be no spare capacity in many local facilities or systems. One doesn’t want to require emergency care under such circumstances.

      Stay safe, all.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Live a small, slow, narrow, semi shut in sort of life, as much as possible.

        Buy and stockpile as much of your must-have and will-use food and non-food staples as you can now, so that you can avoid shopping for several months when the Omicron starts really raging. And buy everything you can in person now so that you can boycott Amazon and the other online sellers during the dare-not-go-shopping emergency when it hits.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > Live a small, slow, narrow, semi shut in sort of life, as much as possible.

          If you live in a part of the country with snow and ice, make sure your shoes and boots are non-slip.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            As I re-learn, over and over and over again.

            Next time I will ask if any walking shoes even are slip resistant.

        2. Samuel Conner

          It’s not too early to order seeds. There may be another rush or other disruptions in early 2022 as there was in 2021. Fedco, for example, shipped very slow due to COVID mitigation measures in their fulfillment operation.

          If your circumstances permit, consider sowing some of them (even annuals; see below) early in starter trays and leaving the trays out of doors in the weather. I use a shallow water retention tray (so that the starter cells are taller than the water level in the tray) to avoid water overflowing the cells and washing the seeds out. This kind of seed preparation is essential for certain species, but might be helpful even for others that, strictly speaking, don’t require it.

          This year, I’m going to do this ‘outdoor controlled-sowing cold treatment’ even for annual flowers and vegetables that ordinarily have adequate (40-50%) germination rates without treatment on the theory that ‘experiencing winter’ may improve the germination rate even of annuals that ordinarily don’t require cold treatment.

          Some varieties probably don’t need this — tomatoes and peppers in my experience germinate at 80+%. Salvia splendens, on the other hand, is only at about 50%. Perhaps cold treatment could wake up most the remaining seeds.

    3. Andy

      Getting vaccinated doesn’t prevent a person from catching or transmitting Covid but it does significantly lower their chances of getting seriously ill and dying if they do catch the disease.

      But the vaccines were never going to be a panacea that wipes out Covid and the “messaging” around this from the media and health authorities has been atrocious.

      The desperate drive to get everyone from young children to the elderly vaccinated, regardless of their health status and life circumstances, is an incredibly hackneyed and counterproductive approach to fighting and managing the pandemic.

      Putting people under immense pressure to get jabbed using a carrot/stick approach of impossible promises and threats of social exclusion only increases mistrust and skepticism and creates a boy who cried wolf scenario that could have disastrous consequences down the road.

      The botched response to the pandemic, doubling down on policies that don’t work and treating the public like a group of particularly idiotic creatures has also helped boost the more irrational forms of anti-vaxx sentiment.

      The Covid pandemic will go down in history as the moment western society’s decline first became evident to ‘normies’ across a broad spectrum of the population.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The messaging you refer to has been designed to ” give epidemic a chance” and “keep Covid alive” as per the Jackpot Design Engineering prime directive.

        In my tinfoil opinion.

      1. ambrit

        This could be a “chicken or egg” situation.
        Are the medical personnel tested regularly by their work place?
        Are they tested irrespective of their vaccination status? Jen says that “several nurses there have turned up positive with COVID.” How many of these are vaccinated versus those not vaccinated?
        Would they be tested only after showing symptoms, ie. already being obviously sick?
        More data is needed.

        1. Jen

          Agreed, which is why I called this anecdata. My neighbor reported that her sister in law said several nurses she worked with were covid + despite being fully vaxxed and boostered. Did not have a chance to quiz her on whether or not they presented symptoms.

          This information is interesting to me for a couple of reasons: 1) The “small liberal arts college” that I work for experienced a spike in cases right before the end of the fall term, and right after the weather finally turned cold, sending everyone indoors. Our undergrads are slated to return right after the new year, at which point it will, one hopes, still be very cold, and people will be spending more time indoors. If the answer to the dilemma is “boosters boosters boosters,” well, not sure that will work out, even absent omicrom. With it? Oy. 2) Although my little town is 15 miles north of said college, and this hospital is located even further out in the boonies, we are, as a realtor noted in advertising a $5M house in my town, “conveniently located near an airport accessible by both helicopter and private jet. IE, well positioned to have people bring that crap here.

          I’ve mentioned at least once that a guy who works at a the local lumber yard told me he had COVID – described the symptoms to a T – and was ill in December 2019.

          We shall see.

          1. ambrit

            Hmmm… Could the fellow working in the lunber yard have caught it from one of those “private flyers?” That would be the class of person to pursue more ‘home improvement’ projects than the average “deplorable.”
            Per the above; is there a Chinese “professional class” presence in your region? A contact point between Wuhan, (asuming it really is the original source of the C-19 virus,) and your region would be enlightening.
            Be extra vigilant! Stay safe!

  4. Lou Anton

    Re: Turkey and currency. Thanks for both articles, Jeri-Lynn.

    Both contain fairly boilerplate, Summers-esque reactions to Erdogan cutting interest rates (note: from 16% to 15%). Warren Mosler has been supportive of what Erdy is doing, as Mosler has consistently called high rates “welfare for the rich.”

    Spiegel article goes into detail on the Turkish opposition party. Reads a little like historical fiction (we know he won’t win, but what if he did…or see Royal Tenenbaums clip here starting around 25 seconds), but good background article nonetheless.

    1. Wukchumni

      I’ve noticed that countries with prior episodes of hyperinflation are definitely more susceptible to it happening again, and to give you an idea of how bad it was just 20 years ago, a taxi from the airport to the city center in Istanbul was about 25 million Lira, or about $20.

      The Guinness Book of Records ranked the Turkish lira as the world’s least valuable currency in 1995 and 1996, and again from 1999 to 2004. The lira’s value had fallen so far that one original gold lira coin could be sold for T₤154,400,000 before the 2005 revaluation.


  5. zagonostra

    >The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health

    It’s currently #1 on Amazon. I would love to hear an official NC review or one from the commentators. I wasn’t planning on reading it, but maybe I should. I did see an interview that RFK gave recently where he gives an interesting account of who he thought murdered his uncle in addition discussing to the main focus of the book.

    One thing is for sure, this country continues the process of dividing into two sections that began in earnest under Trump. The frame of reference and ideological assumptions of these two camps are completely at odds with each other. Consensus seems at this juncture impossible. And maybe that’s by design…and then again, an external enemy can always “bring the country together again.”

    1. Anna

      I preordered the book and have been reading since Nov 16. I’m only on page 155 because I actually find it a bit depressing, but I also very highly recommend it. RFK Jr has extensive references and even some dialogue. To me, it leaves no doubt that there was collusion to halt the use of off label drugs to prevent or treat covid. RFK Jr is not anti vax as many say. He is anti corruption. He advocates for vaccine safety and because Big Pharma has no liability for vaccines, and there isn’t enough testing for safety. The section about AIDS is also interesting. Too many lives lost because Fauci was fully committed to toxic AZT and wouldn’t consider off label drugs.

      1. Basil Pesto

        I can’t speak to this book and frankly I have no interest in reading it as I don’t trust the author but:

        RFK Jr has extensive references

        is a book-reviewer’s cliché that belongs in the bin, in the sense that it can only speak to the number of references, not the veracity or precision of the argument, which would in fact require checking most if not all of said references. At which point having a disproportionately high amount of them can in fact become suspect.

        This can be obviated among layreaders to some extent by the level of trust one has in the author, and the author’s professionalism. As a layman, I’m not inclined to second-guess the footnoting in Crashed or The Sleepwalkers for example (if I was a scholar in those fields obviously I would be duty bound to pay closer attention to the sources). Someone of the ‘Vaccines cause autism’ school? eh, life’s too short, though I’m sure there’s a good Fauci critique to be written.

        1. Yves Smith

          I understand that Robert F. Kennedy has been on the wrong side of vaccines generally. But even Donald Trump, who is a much more dodgy character, more than occasionally has landed very solid punches about US policy failings.

          More generally, this is ad hominem and you know that sort of take is beneath you. You need to deal with his book.

          1. Basil Pesto

            That’s fair, I’ll try to keep an open mind and wait for even more better informed and honest takes which I hope will be forthcoming. I would still stand by my point about the “lots of footnotes” line more generally, albeit without being able to speak to that point in this specific instance.

    2. Screwball

      I would love to read it but I don’t know anything about RFK Jr. Seems he is hated by some and loved by others. I don’t really care about that; but can I trust what he says?


      1. t

        Look up any of his various articles about vaccines causing autism. That was his brand in the mid-2000s.

        IIRC, he was so far out there that he claimed autism was new and a consequence of thimerosal. In teensy amounts. In vaccines, including vaccines that did not contain that preservative.

        He’s a moron with an ego as big as all outdoors.

        “We just want vaccines to be safe” basically means “bleach enemas cure autism!”

        1. Anna

          I couldn’t disagree with you more about your criticism of RFK Jr. From the intro (page xv), this is the general theme of what the book has been about so far: “From the moment of my reluctant entrance into the vaccine debate in 2005, I was astonished to realize that the pervasive web of deep financial entanglements between Pharma and the government health agencies had put regulatory capture on steroids.”

      2. zagonostra

        Well I don’t know to much about RFK Jr. either but it looks like “t” thinks he is a “moron with an ego as big as outdoors” and is a figure that should be scorned and ridiculed. I did a quick google search and it seems that “t’s” is the accepted and consensus view based on top results of said search.

        However I don’t think I can be so dismissive. In addition to Anna high recommendation, at the very least, based on the interview I watched, outside his speech impediment, he seems cogent, clear, and anything but a “moron.” Is he misguided? Motivated by ego? Does he have ulterior motives? I don’t know, I do know the book is highly referenced and researched, over 2K footnotes according to interview.

        Anyway, one thing remains unchanged. Views are split, and not just down the middle. Fundamental differences exist, and I predict, will continue to widen with ever more strident voices taking one side or the other.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          ” He is a moron with an ego as big as all outdoors” sounds like an implanted establishment opinion designed to be part of the Cone Of Silence dropped over people with views threatening to the establishment’s desired Consensus Design Engineered consensus.

          Who shot Senator Kennedy? Why, Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone. Hey! . . . he shot President Kennedy, didn’t he? Acting alone, of course.

      1. zagonostra

        You are quite right. Trump did not invent “divide and conquer” that oligarchs routinely use. He did, I think more than “heighten” or exacerbated it. There were/are friends I had/have with whom I could could always argue the efficacy and desirability of various economic/historical/political policy positions, even though we were on different ideological sides of what the gov could or should do. Now there doesn’t seem to be any discursive interaction possible, or at least the inclination to seriously engage, seems spent and good will at its nadir. Lines are hardening and becoming obdurate.

        I haven’t read a Chris Hedges article in a while. TruthDig used to be one of my daily watering holes. He’s been very silent on passport mandates. He made an appearance on the Jimmy Dore show a month or so ago but I can’t recall much of the interview outside his telling us that he was vaccinated, like JD is.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Clinton and the Pink Pussy Hat Clintonites worked as hard as Trump to create and deepen this particular divide from her/their end.

          So now we have two cult movement gravity wells at either end of the population trying to attract more members from the population in the center into one or the other gravity well.

    3. Yves Smith

      It is a very fat book with tiny margins and tons of footnotes.

      I have only read the intro and find he is overegging the pudding. He has a rant about the restrictions on freedoms, as in the lockdowns, school closures, presumably masking requirements and then segues into Fauci.

      What about public health crisis don’t you understand?

      Does everyone forget WWII? Americans had even more restrictions on their vaunted freedoms even though the US had to goad Japan into an attack to bolster the notion that our territory was threatened. We had mass conscription. We had rationing of food and critical materials (as in diversions from the private sector to munitions-makers). We interned Japanese nationals. FDR declared an unlimited national emergency in May 1941, as in before Pearl Harbor:

      And consider the War Powers Act, passed in December 1941:

      The act gave the President enormous authority to execute World War II in an efficient manner. The president was authorized to reorganize the executive branch, independent government agencies, and government corporations for the war cause. With the act, the President was allowed to censor mail and other forms of communication between the United States and foreign countries. The act and all changes created by its power were to remain intact until six months after the end of the war at which time, the act would become defunct.

      Three months after passing the first, the Second War Powers Act was passed on March 27, 1942.[2] This further strengthened the executive branch powers towards executing World War II. This act allowed the acquisition, under condemnation if necessary, of land for military or naval purposes. Some provisions of the Hatch Act of 1939 were also suspended which reduced naturalization standards for aliens within the U.S. Armed Forces. In addition, it created methods for war-related production contracting along with adjusting several other aspects of government affairs.[1] The Second War Powers Act repealed the confidentiality of census data, allowing the FBI to use this information to round up Japanese-Americans.[3]

      I am not saying all these measures, particularly the mass internment of Japanese or the censorship, were warranted. I am saying that Kennedy makes it clear that he does not accept the premise that restrictions are justified. He appears to be falling in with extreme “Let ‘er rip.”

      And rapid response was key to containing the Spanish Flu:

      One of the persistent riddles of the deadly 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic is why it struck different cities with varying severity. Why were some municipalities such as St. Louis spared the fate of the hard-hit cities like Philadelphia when both implemented similar public health measures? What made the difference, according to two independent studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was not only how but also how rapidly different cities responded.

      Cities where public health officials imposed multiple social containment measures within a few days after the first local cases were recorded cut peak weekly death rates by up to half compared with cities that waited just a few weeks to respond. Overall mortality was also lower in cities that implemented early interventions, but the effect was smaller. These conclusions — the results of systematic analyses of historical data to determine the effectiveness of public health measures in 1918 — are described in two articles published online this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

      This article was from 2007, so not written to inform Covid responses.

      Perhaps this perspective is limited to his opening remarks. But if not, it would undermine his critique of Fauci.

      1. Anna

        I agree with you about the intro. He shouldn’t have focused on lockdowns, masks, etc because he will lose some readers. It gets better.

      2. zagonostra

        I hope you give us additional comments as you make your way through the book. I don’t know if I’ll read it, so I appreciate your take.

        I did not see IM’s comments/review in previous links, I must have missed it.

        Apropos War Powers Act, you could even go back earlier to the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 where making “false statements” about the gov’t was codified in law. No doubt the power the gov’t wields is frightening. And of course there was the suspends the writ of habeas corpus during Civil war among other restrictions on liberties. All these historical events makes Giorgio Agamben’s “Sovereignty by Exception” so compelling in understanding the history of putatively democratic countries.

      3. Soredemos

        I know this is a digression from the topic, but we didn’t ‘goad’ the Japanese into attacking us. Their actions in China were completely unjustified and indefensible. Our embargo was the minimum we could do. The Japanese had a choice between empire and peace, and they chose empire. They started that fight, and we finished it.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I partially agree with what you say. But suppose that the world put an oil embargo on the United States until it gave up its overseas empire. What would the United States then do?

  6. bob

    Impeachment probe confirms: yeah, Cuomo’s book deal was shady. Literary Hub

    He didn’t do his homework assignment, the worst thing that anyone can do. He cheated and had some of his staff write it.

    The stuff about the dead people? That’s the fault of the staff and visitors at the homes.

    Lets get back to the real threat to our democracy- cheating on your homework!

      1. bob

        Who’s talking about sending him to jail?

        I think 57k dead of covid in NY is a much bigger deal, but you agree with everyone that matters- It’s more than not doing your homework, it’s FRAUD

        lib brain

        1. Pat

          I think most of us can agree that the mishandling of the nursing homes is a much bigger crime, but both are crimes. Unfortunately the will to nail Cuomo on his Covid failures is barely alive.

          I will take fraud and prison for the book rather than a few civil suits for the harassment, and or nothing at all. Sadly I do not think there will be justice for the unnecessary deaths Cuomo caused.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Well, the Legal Enforcement System couldn’t get Al Capone on murder, but it could get him on Tax Evasion.

        If the Legal Enforcement System can’t , or doesn’t want to, get Cuomo on mass geronticide, maybe it can get him on book contract fraud or gender harassment.

    1. Wukchumni

      …ode to Parry (quit pro) Cuomo

      Don’t look so sad
      I know it’s over
      But life goes on
      And this world will keep on turning

      Let’s just be glad
      We have this time to spend together
      There is no need
      To watch the networks with news churning

      Lay your head (lay your head)
      Upon my liplock, sweet baby
      Hold your warm (and tender body) and tender body
      Close to mine
      Feel the whisper of unwanted advances
      Blowin’ softly against my torso
      Oh, late at night
      (Make believe) make believe you love me
      (Make believe) one more time
      For the good times
      For the good times

      I’ll get along
      And I’m sure you’ll find another Governor
      But baby, please remember
      I’ll be here (I’ll be here)
      I’m gonna stay right here
      And if you should ever find you need me, yeah
      Don’t say a word about tomorrow
      Ahh, forever and ever and ever and ever

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Cuba’s Vaccine Could End up Saving Millions of Lives”

    No it won’t. The big pharma corporations will see to that. How will they do it? As an example, the Russian Sputnik vaccine has still to be approved by the European Medicines Agency although it was one of the first on the scene. Why is that exactly? The same will happen in western countries and it will not be approved for use or it will even be illegal to import the stuff. In reputation, it will be lumped together with that horse-paste and will be labeled as dangerous and ineffective. It may be that the US/EU will lean on countries not to allow its use in the same way that Trump leaned on Brazil not to use Sputnik but to use the ‘approved’ ones instead. The Lancet will come out with a dodgy article proving that it is ineffective and it will not matter that the articles has more holes in it than a piece of Swiss cheese. Maybe the New England Journal of Medicine will also do an article supporting any such Lancet article. It will probably do quite well in the third world where it is actually needed but if it proves even more effective that the Pfiza or Moderna vaccines, that is when the daggers will really come out.

    1. svay

      Cuba’s already exporting its two main vaccines, Abdala and Soberana 02, to Venezuela, Vietnam, Iran and Nicaragua, so it may end up saving millions of lives with or without WHO approval. On the other hand, they’re based on the RBD of the spike protein, presumably the original Wuhan strain’s spike protein, and that’s acquired around fifteen mutations in the new omicron variant, so it might lose some efficacy along with many of the other vaccines around today.

    2. urblintz

      Put Pfizer and Moderna on an island, isolated from most of the world with little or no money?..

      they’d have produced nothing, especially since what they did produce with all that money (which made their ceo’s and scientists rich) is close to nothing.

    3. Tom Stone

      Rev, this is a Win/Win, thinning the herd one deplorable at a time and making serious bank while doing so.
      What’s not to like?
      Really,what could go wrong?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Said it before and will say it again. Going by how we have handled the present pandemic, its a good thing that it is not a zombie virus or else we would all be stumbling around & moaning by now.

        1. Lee

          Long Covid might qualify as at least zombie adjacent. ME/CFS in the worst cases or during flare ups among those with milder cases certainly does.

          1. Andy

            Zombies are, by definition, dead. Long Covid/CFS is terrible for the sufferer but it generally doesn’t kill them.

            If I’ve understood The Rev Kev correctly (and apologies if I haven’t) he’s saying that if Covid had turned out to be as virulent and deadly as, say, bubonic plague and we’d handled it as ineptly as we’re handling Covid, there would be bodies piling up in the streets.

            I’d add that the botched handling of the pandemic, and the refusal of governments, media and health organizations to recognize this and adjust their approach accordingly, has radically lowered trust in public institutions and this creates the potential for a dangerous ‘boy who cried wolf’ scenario that could have very serious consequences should a ‘zombie plague’ ever become reality.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      There could well be a lot of “clean vaccine” tourism to Cuba. Cuba’ “clean vaccine” could well become a huge moneymaker.

  8. Bart Hansen

    On the Politico article on the JCPOA, there is no reference to the justification of Iran’s increasing its enrichment of uranium. Article 26 of the JCPOA grants a party [e.g.,Iran] the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by other signatories. When we dropped out of the Plan and continued with our sanctions, we were in non-compliance.

    Also, there is no mention in the article about Iran dropping its missile development, which has been one of our longstanding poison pen preconditions. There is no way Iran will effectively disarm by doing so.

    1. ambrit

      The Persians are not fools. Putin et. al. put it perfectly when they described the American State as “not agreement capable.”

      1. Louis Fyne

        and the US has zero leverage…even when “all options are on the table”.

        If war is diplomacy by other means, well the US establishment is incompetent in diplomacy and incompetent at winning wars…even when facing an opponent with zero tanks, zero navy, zero air force.

        and only the most deluded chicken hawks think that Iran is on the same level as the Taliban….but spoiler, those deluded chickenhawks are running Foggy Bottom and running their mouths on CNNmsnbc.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Lavrov said it, so it wasn’t said accidentally or devoid of diplomatic context that might come from a politician or American. Behind the scenes, Putin and Xi likely have been saying much worse for significantly longer. Lavrov was likely announcing policy more than anything that agreements with Americans are worth the paper they are printed on. Cooperation can still be done but it will have to be done in the here and now.

        Biden by not immediately reversing Trump on Iran, a particularly heinous move praised by both parties, established “America is back” amounts to demands Americans must be praised more often by little foreigners.

        1. ambrit

          Good point about Lavrov saying it.
          The American attitude of the rest of the world being populated by “little foreigners” will come back to bite US in the fundamentals.
          Stay safe!

      3. Andy

        When Trump ripped up the JCPOA in 2018 Putin predicted that Iran would come to be accused of not adhering to the deal and nobody would remember it was the US that backed out of it.

        He has been proven correct.

        The US and its vassals want to fight a three-front global war against Iran, Russia and China? Yeah, good luck with that.

    2. Chas

      The USA doesn’t really care whether Iran develops weapons grade Uranium. All the USA wants is sanctions on Iran and especially to keep their oil off the market so as to increase the profits of the major oil corporations and other donors. The USA already has what it wants. The European countries in the JCPOA reportedly want Iran to allow the return of inspectors from the IAEA, but they aren’t offering any carrots for Iran to do that. One carrot they could offer would be to help Iran avoid American sanctions. Actually, I think that would do wonders to change the USA’s attitude toward the talks.

  9. Wukchumni

    It’s Been 30 Years Since Freddie Mercury Died. His Music Is Still the Soundtrack of Our Lives The Wire
    My first rock concert was in December of 1977 and I was a newly minted hellion on wheels with a manual transmission puke-green (the manufacturer’s claim being it was avocado colored) 1974 Pinto in which 4 teenagers rode to the Fabulous Forum to our assigned nosebleed seats to see Queen, and I can still glimpse in my mind Freddie Mercury in harlequin outfit prancing around the stage…

    Showing up @ high school on Monday wearing a t-shirt from a concert the weekend before was very much a rite of passage in those days when music was a most important thing in a young person’s life, is it still that way, I wonder?

    QUEEN White Christmas December 22, 1977 Audience Recording

    1. Laughingsong

      On-off relationship with Queen….first heard them in I think early ‘75…. A friend’s older brother has his own small one-room shed for a bedroom and he always bought Brit imports, and he had just bought Sheer Heart Attack, which I didn’t like at all. He also introduced us to Bowie, Sparks, Genesis, and a bunch of other Brit rock in the 70s.

      Later on there were some songs I liked from Queen but not enough to buy an album.

      Agreed about the Monday t-shirt glory, especially for a concert that was hard to get a ticket to, like Floyd, the Boss, or Steely Dan.

      My first concert was 1972, Boz Skaggs, at Marine World, when it was in Redwood City.

      1. newcatty

        Well, I will meet your first concert with a cool memory, as well as reveal my age. While a college freshman, ’69-’70, living in a dorm, I walked a lot on campus. One day noticed a large tent.
        Curious, I checked it out. A hand made appearing sign stated something like : 1o’clock concert. $1.00 ticket. Talking Heads

        My head was spoken to and expanded.

        1. QuicksilverMessenger

          Are you sure you have your dates correct? Or perhaps it was another band? Talking Heads first show was in 1975, opening for the Ramones.

  10. bassmule

    Not bad:
    “For years, a large portion of the Democratic base has been waiting for substantive help from the Democrats, and it has not arrived. Indeed, the perpetual delay is part of why rebellions and uprisings have roiled the U.S. since the Obama Administration. While the Republican Party prepares to remake the country to its liking, the Democratic Party warns its members to slow down and be sure not to offend. It’s no surprise that one party is enjoying record turnouts and the other is wondering what just happened.”

    Wokeness is not the Democrats Problem (New Yorker)

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s good, but it takes thugs like Carville at face value. The kind of political spending called for by more progressive types wouldn’t go to his Republican wife’s mansion from hell. Terry McAuliffe lavished money on the people behind the Iowa debacle, and they couldn’t even hold serve. They knew so little about Virginia they didn’t even run on the good stuff Democrats did in the state.

      Team Blue had no ground game to speak of which is how they won in 2005 (Warner was a fluke in 2001), 2006, and 2008. Kaine of course helped dismantle those operations as DNC chair. Money goes to his buddies, not field organizers.

  11. wol

    Regarding the Durer/Warhol article, haysoos ****ing cristo. No Country for Old Men, Ed Tom and Uncle Ellis, from memory–

    Ellis: What you got ain’t nothin new. This country’s hard on people. You can’t change what’s comin. The world ain’t waiting on you. That’s vanity.

        1. ArvidMartensen

          Sure is Meep, Meep.
          Beep, beep indeed!
          From an after-school Roadrunner groupie, back in the day

      1. ambrit

        Snark alert!
        To avoid needless legal entanglements, we should properly notate that as being “democracy (TM).”
        Be safe! (And legal.) [The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.]
        Snark off.

  12. The Rev Kev

    ‘Tellingly, there was only one place on all of television where one could go to denounce and work to end the greatest attack on press freedom in years: the persecution of Julian Assange for the crime of publishing highly relevant documents.’

    Anybody think that apart from Tucker Carlson on Fox, that you will also be seeing Julian Assange’s father & brother on CNN or MSNBC anytime soon? Just goes to show you. You have to take the truth where you find it.

  13. Mikel

    ‘Nobody’ in Biden’s West Wing is shutting down chatter of Buttigieg as a potential presidential successor: report” Business Insider

    I was looking for some background to finally appear for my “theory of the $&1#-eating grin”.
    Presenting again:
    Buttigieg Smiles Creepily Instead Of Talking To Reporters About Iowa

    Cut to the chase at 2:58 into the clip. Is that not the look of a man that has been told a secret in some back room deal? Like the cat that ate the canary?

  14. NotTimothyGeithner

    To be fair, why shut down the presidential chatter for a 5’8″ man? It’s not happening. His support was with seniors in Iowa who said they felt betrayed, finding out he was guy. Obama speech affectations work when you look like Obama, remember the Obama beach photo? Pete gets mocked openly in way Obama never did when Obama said the same stupid stuff. Obama was harder to pin down.

    I suspect he’s just pulling a legacy scam on gay donors with aspirational tendencies.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Every first term congressperson looks in the mirror and sees a future president, Pete has no reflection. He’s a chimera. A Cheshire cat without the smile. The Front Row kids love him and he will make Hillary look warm and motherly in comparison. He is devoid of emotion and empathy. He is our first AI president.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        There are 5’9″ front row kids without lying about height. Pete is like a Marco Rufio except he will never win statewide. He’s too lazy to be a Gingrich, and his base of support is…probably the people who approve of Harris. He had no youth support…people under 40. He skipped town already and is so obviously phony. He can’t even play the part.

        1. flora

          He’s one of the selected (2019) young leaders of the WEF’s educational program. / ;) (longer comment in mod land) See their alumni list which includes many recent and past heads of state, many of whom don’t seem like the brightest light bulbs in the box, but all seem to share an ideology.

        2. John k

          He’s got far more support than Harris, remember he won substantial delegates while she didn’t win any at all despite being best funded – which is why she was picked, dems having a keen eye for the bottom line.
          He was a driver and small town mayor with good press… maybe the best that dems can or will muster these days. Course, Trump will do very well against anybody the dems would support unless there’s a sea change of some sort.

      2. Charger01

        The west wing thing podcast did an excellent summary of the Mayo Pete docudrama. Chapo kids did a shorter version as well. Pete is truly an empty suit, a one trick pony for ID politics with nothing else to offer.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Clyburn is a 1000 and only backed people with nostalgia appeal to older cable new viewers. You can’t transfer that.

        And lets stop pretending Hillary wasn’t pitching “not one of us” when she went to the South.

    2. Bart Hansen

      Are you suggesting that his handlers should not put him in a military tank, peeping out wearing a helmet?

      1. newcatty

        Handlers could just gin up his driving the jeep for his bosses in his exemplary “service ” in ? Afganistan. He is a “hero”.

    3. ChrisPacific

      Nowhere in the article did I see voters mentioned, except for one reference to ‘the Black vote’ in relation to Harris. The whole thing reads like the West Wing staff expect to be able to hand pick Biden’s successor.

      Perhaps they aren’t wrong – we’ve seen that the real action is in the primaries, which are only democratic to the extent that the party permits them to be (i.e., up to the point when the ‘wrong’ candidate stands a real chance of winning).

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If Clyburn instructs the Black vote to vote for Harris, is there any Black voter who will do otherwise?
        And if there is, will further instructions from Obama take care of that little problem?

  15. Carolinian

    Re infiltrating Amazon–every day the workers strap on a monitoring device themselves become a kind of industrial robot but one that is capable of thinking and making decisions–in short a cyborg. This is why Bezos hasn’t been able to fulfill his original dream of replacing humans altogether. Warehouse work involves packing and sorting.

    The expectation of every worker was to hit 300 items per hour for the entirety of the shift. Working with such speed with various items—ranging from books, cat litter, BBQs, and even large ergonomic chairs—created immense pressure. Of course, we were told constantly to move things safely, that our health was a priority, never to run, never to lift items too heavy. But these recommendations began to feel like a joke, because the bottom line was that our rates were everything. If we became too slow, boxes would pile up rapidly and cause a nightmare at the end of the line. According to my calculations, keeping on top of it meant moving a box about every six to eight seconds.

    The great speed is necessary to keep mail order as cheap as possible so it can compete with in store retail (i.e. Walmart among others). Of course assembly line work has always had a robotic aspect to it and that’s one reason for the rise of unions to keep the Taylorism under control. The Amazon square peg/round hole system by contrast could only exist during a period of rightwing union suppression and labor surplus. In the long run it’s about as practical as Bezos’ tourism rockets and depends heavily on tax evasion and a frothy stock market.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      What if all the hundreds of thousands of Amazon warehouse workers all had a vulcan mind meld and could all slow down to the exact same slower speed together without any visible sign of coordination and communication for Bezos to scapegoat and persecute?

      The Pueblo revolt against Spain achieved from a Spanish perspective the functional equivalent of that sort of all-Pueblo vulcan mind meld so that every Pueblo person rose up in revolt at the pre-appointed hour.

      What if all the Amazon workers all around the world could find a way to vulcan mind meld and all begin their slowdown at the appointed second of the appointed minute of the appointed hour of the appointed day? Well . . . . someone would have to put a communication out there on the internet for all to see. it would have to be someone with no traceable Amazon connection. And that someone or someones would have to create visible co-ordination/mind-meld tests first, to see if the method could work. Tests like . . . . every Amazon worker wear socks of a particular very unusual color at the appointed time. Run that test enough times to see if every Amazon worker either did that , or never would. If a “wear this color of socks” test could achieve near unanimous success rate, then a future date with a countdown leading up to it could be selected for The Great Slowdown. And when it was almost Slowdown Time, the not-Amazon-traceable communicator could post something like . . . Friends , our Popay Moment has arrived and starts at exactly this Zero Hour. And if it really worked with unanimous support, Amazon could be either tortured into obedience, or exterminated from existence in a matter of weeks.

  16. Michael Ismoe

    The trial of the century: Ghislaine Maxwell ‘is prepared’ to take the stand to save her life’ amid child sex and trafficking charges Daily Mail

    Seems an odd headline to use with a suspect who had a partner who “officially” committed suicide. Are they sending her a message to Talk or Not Talk?

    Either way, I suspect she might be soon joining her mentor – probably on a kibbutz in eastern Israel.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Do you really think the people who wanted Epstein silenced would risk allowing him to live on at a kibbutz in eastern Israel? Or anywhere else?

      Why would they risk leaving him alive like that when just suiciding him in jail was so much simpler? Do you really believe such a silly thing?

      1. Objective Ace

        What if Epstein had strategized far enough ahead that x video wouldnt be mailed to the press if he didnt show up at a certain place at a certain time. And he had dozens of these scenarios set up over the next decade plus?

        I’m not saying this is likely, but hypothetically he could have set things up where the risk was greater to have him dead

  17. The Rev Kev

    “A Brief Scientific History of Glass”

    A fascinating article about glass in archaeology and well worth the read. Thanks for including it in Links, guys.

      1. jo6pac

        Thanks I learned glass blowing a long time ago at Pilchuck Glass School. I could never afford to do on my own so I did Neon.

        1. Joe Renter

          That reminds me of the bummer sticker that was seen around Seattle,
          “Recycle Cuichuly”. A classic.

    1. Basil Pesto

      I think I’ve recommended this book before but in Mark Miodownik’s ‘Stuff Matters’, glass is the focus of one of the chapters (bonus: the chapter on chocolate is great too!)

  18. CH

    Does anyone not think that Fox is running with the Assange story because he hurt the Democrats? Or that if he had leaked stuff harmful to Republicans Tucker would be calling for him to be burned at the stake? Greenwald is a useful idiot. I just don’t understand this site’s obsession with him.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “Technically,” it was the democrats who hurt the democrats. All Assange did was make people aware.

      If democrats are “hurt” when people find out about what they’re doing behind closed doors, maybe they just shouldn’t do it.

      PS. If you watched Tucker with any regularity you would know that he comes down just as hard on those he considers to be vichy republicans.

      1. Aumua

        The fact that Tucker is further right than both Democrats and old school Republicans and attacks them both from that position is no mitigating factor for me. But you can go ahead and ignore that and fill your head up with the crap he is spewing, I don’t care.

        1. Carolinian

          I don’t watch him because I don’t have cable but the library has his book and i’d say it’s only half crap and the other half can be pretty sharp. Which is to say he’s still a conservative but in the kingdom of the blind…

          Please don’t ignore all the crap that comes from the other side.

          1. Aumua

            Please don’t ignore all the crap that comes from the other side.

            Truly, I don’t. But also I might ask “What other side?”

            From my perspective I see right, and further right, as far as representation and actual power in our government currently.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          And you can “go ahead and ignore” that this left / right “crap” has been dead since the clinton 90’s, and has been flipped 90 degrees to a top / bottom paradigm.

          It’s made as plain as the nose on your face on this site every single day, fer chrissakes.

          You gotta be stuck pretty deep in propaganda quicksand to think that defending Assange is a “far right” position, regardless of who takes it.

          1. Aumua

            Dualistic limitations aside, just because a lot of people are confused about what ‘left’ and ‘right’ mean in a political/economic sense these days doesn’t mean that the terms are meaningless, or dead. There’s just a lot of smoke and mirrors misleading people, with most of it coming from the right imo.

            to think that defending Assange is a “far right” position, regardless of who takes it.

            That’s not what I said, so don’t put words in my mouth please.

            1. neo-realist

              I think if Assange had been released to go back to his birthplace of Australia, Tucker and other conservatives would be maligning him as a traitor for undercutting the Bush/Cheney war in Afghanistan. Since he knows he’s doomed, Tucker has no problem playing the role of an iconoclast (when he’s not busy sounding his white nationalist alarm over “the great replacement”) in giving Assange a platform to speak on.

      2. Andy

        You know perfectly well the only reason Fox and Carlson make positive noises about Assange and Wikileaks is because some of the leaks they released helps them “own the libs.”

        As for “Tucker” he’s a typical neocon Republican in populist drag. Look into his history and his politics over the decades and compare to his sudden ‘populist’ conversion.

        The dishonesty and partisanship of Democrat adjacent media doesn’t automatically make Fox News and Republican adjacent media honest, principled and objective.

        The internet makes learning to read between the lines and examining all media critically and with a healthy sense of skepticism much easier than it used to be.

        If you’re interested in cutting through media spin, gaslighting and propaganda and getting closer to the truth, rather than credulously and uncritically following one side or another, you might want to consider trying it.

        1. Schmoe

          “As for “Tucker” he’s a typical neocon Republican in populist drag. ” Say what you want about Tucker, but he is about as much of a neocon as Pat Buchanan.

      1. jim truti

        In order to have free press, you need to have free speech. Does free speech really matter?
        For the majority of working people, things that matter most are personal safety, feeding their family, paying the bills and enjoying life with their friends.
        They dont care about freedom of speech or other abstract rights they never get to exercise for the simple reason that most people have nothing interesting to say.
        When they are free, they repeat what they hear.
        Original thinkers dont need freedom of speech laws, they write books and have done so for millennia.
        But I would speculate that what we call freedom of speech in the West is a very recent phenomena dating with the advent of internet media.
        We will see how long it will last before the government regulates it.
        In the past, (pre internet) you could exercise your freedom of speech by going to public square and scream your lungs out at the elected officials, but no one would give you a platform on newspapers or TV to reach the majority of people, nobody cared unless what you had to say fit the elite’s narrative and they could profit from it somehow.
        Things are different now as your tweet / post could go viral and reach millions and we seem to have reached conditions for almost true freedom of speech.
        We will see how long the governments will allow it as efforts to curtail it are already in process everywhere. Power doesnt like free speech.

        1. Martin Oline

          I remember when newspapers (paper) would print letters to the editor. In order to be printed in the paper, a letter had to be signed by a person (not an imaginary friend or alias) that was in the phone book (also paper) for that town or city. It cost the sender postage and their time. It also helped tremendously to have a little humor in the letter because it amused the reader. Today we are overrun by trolls with ficticious names and the newspapers (electronic) no longer allow letters to the editors because the process has been co-opted by spam.
          Forums such as Naked Capitalism are the exception to this modern rule.

    2. MP

      Both are true: Tucker is cynically playing populist about a figure that Trump himself didn’t even pardon, but it is absolutely true that the Assange trial has cataclysmic consequences for free speech.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Um…I know history started in November 2016, but wikileaks has leaked plenty of documents damaging to Republicans. I know George W Bush went on Ellen, so it’s hard for partisans Team Blue types to remember. George Bush was a very bad man with much of his nefariousness exposed by Assange.

      China, oil companies, and the usual list of bad guys are all there.

      1. Basil Pesto

        so it’s hard for partisans Team Blue types to remember.

        or Team Red, for that matter, which is presumably why Carlson feels comfortable in discussing it. It’s tawdry ultracynicism.

        It’d perhaps be worth it if in the end of it leads to Assange’s release, but my suspicion is that bringing attention to it in “deplorable” circles in a world addicted to ad hominem argumentation and inane mainstream tribalism is probably going to be counterproductive, sadly

    4. Mark Gisleson

      The Democrats hurt the Democrats. The worse the things the Democrats do, the less necessary it is for Fox to lie about them.

      Greenwald is not hard to sort out. He can be petty, vindictive, opinionated and very hard to take. But the more important the issue, the more accurate his reporting. Don’t like his big stories? How is that his fault if he’s reporting the truth? Is the truth only for idiots?

    5. sd

      Wikileaks really got off the ground when they published banking documents showing unsecured loans to the rich and connected in Icelands banking collapse. The ordinary Icelander was then expected to payoff the debts while the rich and connected, including members of parliament, were going to be allowed to walk away. A national referendum squashed that.

      One of the most extraordinary nights I’ve ever seen on tv news was when legal authorities put a gag order on the reporting of Wikileaks publishing the banking documents. In response, the newscasters said they had prepared a story they weren’t allowed to present. They then sat there silently with the Wikileaks URL on screen. Needless to say, everyone in Iceland was soon downloading the docs.

      What does this have to do with Republicans and Democracts? Nothing, and that’s my point.

      1. Mantid

        Very good point. With the narrative shift to dem/repub, the divide and conquer technique is in full force, and working. Hear much about the Panama papers and it’s recent follow up? I can’t even remember the “name” of the recent money laundering disclosures without duck ducking it. Working pretty well. Here’s a fun 3 minutes on obfuscation featuring ma and pa Kettle: especially good for those interested in math.

      2. Basil Pesto

        What does this have to do with Republicans and Democracts? Nothing, and that’s my point.

        wikilieaks’ work doesn’t; the tendentious and cynical exploitation of Assange by holding him up in a villain/victim role – depending on who is doing the exploiting and at what moment in post-wikileaks history – does for sure.

    6. Andy

      I’d have to agree with that.

      Greenwald was never as profound and principled as his admirers claim he is but prior to 2016 his stance on civil liberties and free speech was at least fairly consistent. He became embittered during the Trump years after the establishment media’s animosity towards him for his Russiagate stance and he’s never recovered.

      His duplicity has only increased since then and “owning the libs” has became his sole raison d’être.

      It’s very clear that he’s perfectly happy cashing in on the ‘populist’/neocon right’s love for dissident “leftists” like himself who validate their politics and worldview.

      Unfortunately there are huge blind spots here and elsewhere re. the agenda of Fox News and other right wing media.

      1. Pat

        And obviously a few blind spots regarding the agenda of the “moderate” and “left wing” media. Most of it might as well be paid advertisements for someone’s agenda or cheerleading squads for it. Finding the rare kernel of truth is practically a full time job. Sadly Carlson and Greenwald have provided more honesty in the last few years than Maddie or Friedman or Behar or Cooper or…

        That the info is critical of Obama or Clinton or Biden or any Democrat doesn’t make it less true.

        1. Aumua

          Yeah the left has such a strong foothold in mainstream media. That’s why we’re always hearing class analysis perspectives on all the major networks, and criticism of Capitalism.

          1. Pat

            In a world where the the last two Democratic presidents were ideologically to the right of Nixon, left is now defined by how gender fluid friendly you are. Woke not Class!

            Having turned our federal and state legislative houses into bordellos and with the media owned by same buyers it is amazing how often we get look at the monkey regardless of what network or paper we view.

    7. Dr. John Carpenter

      “Assange hurt the Dems” is the “Nader cost the Dems the election” of 2016. Nice spin to avoid responsibility but the evidence doesn’t support the claim.

      1. orlbucfan

        Nader did not help the cause in 2000 in Florida. jeb! (remember him?) Bush was governor and the Bush Crime Cabal knew how close the election would be. Nader’s staff could smell the stink a mile away and pleaded with him to withdraw. He refused. There was money involved but it was more Nader’s ego. Guess he figured Dumbya-Cheney was as bad as Gore. Well, history is ruling on that decision. It’s not good. Take it for what it’s worth.

    8. Dftbs

      Greenwald is an incisive journalist, which can be seen in both his writing and in-person interviews. And he is highly principled, upholding these above the charade of US politics, which often drives manichaean liberals into a frenzy of harrumphing.

      The “useful idiots” are the ones that believe Democrats or Republicans hold any moral high ground on the other. If Tucker is bringing Assange to the forefront to “hurt the Democrats”, then so be it; who cares about the Democrats?

      In the spirit of Henry IV, if Paris was worth a mass, Julian Assange’s freedom is worth the Democratic Party.

  19. Katniss Everdeen

    Several days ago, there was some wondering here about why “vaccine” makers were not required to read out the possible side effects of their products on commercials like other drugs.

    Found this today in an article at The Automatic Earth, in which the (vaccinated) author considers whether or not to vaccinate his 6-year-old daughter.

    Moreover, by not advertising their vaccines by name, Pfizer-BioNTech and other drugmakers are not obliged, under current FDA regulations, to list the risks and side effects of the vaccine.

    The whole article is well-reasoned and does not succumb to the typical pfizer sponsored hysteria usually found in legacy media.

    1. ambrit

      Ah ha! Loopholing! A Corporation lawyer’s favourite game!
      I’ll just say here that I ‘lean’ towards one of the more “conspirational” theories about the mRNA “vaccines,” and leave it at that.
      Be safe!

    2. Objective Ace

      Dr Malone has lost some credibility (in my eyes at least). He initially misstated that Japanese FOIA data showed that spike proteins from vaccination travelled throughout the body and ended up settling in at very high concentrations in the ovaries (and spleen I believe). Turns out the FOIA data actually said nothing about the spike proteins, but rather it was the lipids (fat cells used in the vaccines) that congregated and it really wasn’t that high of a congregation.

      This is all stuff that is useful to know and should have been followed up on–to my knowledge it still never was. But the fact remains that Dr. Malone either intentionally lied or misinterpreted data a scientist of his caliber should have been able to understand easily. There’s plenty of other data and sources out there I would prefer to focus on

      1. Yves Smith

        *Sigh*. That data was misleading. It was from a day or so after injection when the antibodies would be BY DESIGN spreading around your body. There’s no “settling” involved.

  20. Lemmy Caution

    The media and public health officials have nearly perfected their hysterical fear-mongering with Omicron, the latest Covid-19 Variant of Concern.

    CNN’s article World is put on high alert over the Omicron coronavirus variant breathlessly reports examples of high-alert precautions countries around the world are taking, including more testing, more quarantine for those testing positive, more restrictions on travel, more mask wearing, more vaccinations, more boosters and on and on.

    It’s not until you’re 30 paragraphs in til you come to this nugget:

    “But while WHO designated the Omicron a “variant of concern” on Friday, it stressed that more research is needed to determine whether the variant is more contagious, whether it causes more severe disease, and whether it could evade vaccines.”

    Got that? No one knows whether Omicron is more contagious, more deadly or more resistant to vaccines, but what everyone seems to agree upon is that it is time to PANIC!

    Of course, perhaps you could check in with South African public health officials, who were the first to identify the new Covid-19 strain. The Chair of South African Medical Association says that Omicron presents “unusual but mild” symptoms:

    “It presents mild disease with symptoms being sore muscles and tiredness for a day or two not feeling well,” Coetzee explained. “So far, we have detected that those infected do not suffer the loss of taste or smell. They might have a slight cough. There are no prominent symptoms. Of those infected some are currently being treated at home.”

    Jeez. That’s kind of a buzz kill.

    Of course time will tell if Omicron ends up being far more dangerous than early reports. Obviously it needs to be studied and understood.

    But there’s no doubt that the media, public health officials and politicians have already jumped on the Omicron hobby horse and are giddy about how far it might take them.

    1. Yves Smith

      If you keep misinforming readers, you will not be welcome here. We have presented data as to why this variant is serious and is more contagious than Delta and all the indicators, based on the its mutations, is that it will on average do as much or more damage than Delta to someone who gets infected. Scientists, as opposed to captured public health officials, are deeply pessimistic. The only claim otherwise was cherrypicked from the remarks of an RSA doctor and she has since objected to how the press distorted what she said.

      The WHO has been in the pocket of business during this entire coronavirus crisis, which means among other things either entirely refusing to back scientifically established evidence, like on aerosol spread, and late to back interventions like masks.

      1. bassmule

        So what are we to make of this?

        “I cannot overemphasize how valuable this is, and what a gift they have given us.

        Thank you, thank you, thank you, South African scientists, medical workers, public health employees.

        But an early warning on what? Ah, that is the beauty of it. The earlier the warning, the less we know. I’ve done my best to keep up on all the information being shared by scientists on this (amazing! so much open science!) and my current conclusion is that everything is on the table, including that this just fizzles out or turns out to be a catastrophe.”


      2. Lemmy Caution

        Sorry. I wasn’t trying to cherry pick…I just didn’t research deep enough. My mistake. Dr. John Campbell has a new video looking at Omicron and he too is very concerned.

        1. Lee

          Yeah, there are two conflicting reports out of South Africa he discusses: one from Coatzee and another from Dr. Rudo Mathivha reported by ABC news.

          Also, Coatzee is against travel bans, which in spite of her impressive credentials, makes me wary of her judgment.

          However, she and others do have a point about South Africa not receiving the support it deserves given their contribution to the world through their surveillance and genomic testing regime, which far surpasses what we’ve been doing in the U.S., much to our national elites’ shame.

    2. lordkoos

      There was at least one physician on this site commenting that vaccines will not protect against Omicron strain due to the way the spike proteins have mutated.

    3. Anonymous 2

      Covid hospitalisations in Gauteng province have gone up from a little more than 100 to about 800 in the space of a few weeks. I doubt that they are hospitalising people with mild cases of the disease.

      1. Eloined

        Tenuous logic; what is your source?

        Here are Gauteng hospitalizations: Clearly numbers are up a tic in the wake of the lowest trough since the onset of COVID-19. However, as of Nov 22 this year ICU admissions appeared as low as they’ve been since spring 2020.

        Is this RSA-backed reporting aggregator whitewashed? Do you have access to better data?

        1. Anonymous 2

          What is tenuous about arguing that hospitalised cases are unlikely to be mild?

          re the figures to look at, given we are early on, we surely need to look at hospitalisations rather then ICU admissions.?

          For sources see:

          Figures supplied by GM in comments thread on Yves post on Omicron.

          Note your figures only go up to 22/11. Numbers in hospital have gone up significantly since then. It is not the current level that is causing concern so much as the fact that they now seem to be doubling every week or so and you only need a few weeks of doubling for numbers to become significant.

          1. Eloined

            Thank you. I missed that figure in the comment thread but just found it. I say tenuous because, at least here (not South Africa), I’ve not gathered that case hospitalization data is necessarily tied to virulence — and can depend on factors including including prevalence testing and COVID-hospitalization definition.

            In any case, here’s a related article from a short while ago:

    4. Lee

      Conversely, from ABC:

      We’re seeing a marked change in the demographic profile of patients with COVID-19,” Rudo Mathivha, head of the intensive care unit at Soweto’s Baragwanath Hospital, told an online press briefing.

      “Young people, in their 20s to just over their late 30s, are coming in with moderate to severe disease, some needing intensive care. About 65% are not vaccinated and most of the rest are only half-vaccinated,” said Mathivha. “I’m worried that as the numbers go up, the public health care facilities will become overwhelmed.”

      It’s early days yet but given the rate of transmissibility, we’ll likely know a lot more about this variant in very short order. Maybe we’ll get a bit lucky and we’ll have a virus that is more contagious than Delta and less pathogenic, maybe not.

      1. Objective Ace

        >Young people, in their 20s to just over their late 30s, are coming in with moderate to severe disease, some needing intensive care

        I’d like to see the actual data. of course some people in there 20s and 30s are in intensive care. How many? Relative to which groups? Relative to which time period–a year ago? A month ago?

    5. eg

      Um, maybe we learned something from prior variants? I prefer that we act quickly to apply public health measures, including travel restrictions, while this one is studied further.

      1. Basil Pesto

        To that end, while I’ve sent a particularly egregious link with quotes from Australia’s former deputy chief health officer, this link has some encouraging quotes from South Australia’s AMA. South Australia was more or less Covid free until last week when the state borders swung back open (my family all live there and I had been planning on going there for Christmas – not sure what I’m going to do now). Encouragingly sensible noises from the SA AMA though.

  21. Wukchumni

    Gooooood Mooooorning Fiatnam!

    The unit had been selected as the honor guard in previous ‘smash & grab’ crimes where free money was doled out to the right people or companies from on high by the mouse clique, but no way were we ready to be stationed at mall entrances to fill in a similar role in helping balaclava clad freedom fighters make off with gotten gains, the reserve currency unit being of no use in facilitating such transactions.

    1. Gareth

      These disruptive innovators are creating new ways to get holiday shopping done quickly while reducing transaction costs! All they need are VCs with mob connections and they’ll be on their way to becoming the hottest new startups. You may object that what they are doing is not new at all. However, it involves cell phones and social media, so you are wrong! We’ll be launching an ETF in a few weeks.

      Jokes aside, gas hit $4/gal this weekend in my area, which is the highest I have ever seen it here. $60 to fill up the tank versus $30-$40 over the last year. Housing prices are up 25% in the last year.

      Groceries bills are a mixed bag. Mine are 33% higher than last year, with much of the increase coming from meats, dairy, deli, cereal, soft drinks, paper goods, and cleaning supplies. Some of that could be offset if I had time to travel to three different stores or if I was willing to use the store brands which have expanded to fill most of the shelves now at my main store. I think my store is trying to price competitors to its store brands off the shelves to increase margins, which would make sense since they were acquired indirectly by a large private equity firm three years ago. They also have begun badgering customers to pay with debit cards versus cash or credit cards, which is new and odd for a chain their size. I don’t think the 1% is worth alienating a customer, but they do. Toilet paper and paper towels were mostly gone on Friday, which is the first time I have seen that in a year. The stocker on duty said the truck that was supposed to arrive on Wednesday was only one-third full instead of fully loaded like it was supposed to be. There was no explanation given to staff at the store regarding where the missing items were or when they would be expected to arrive.

      Yet, I am told inflation is transitory and a mere 5-6% per annum.

      1. Wukchumni

        On the left coast bottom pocket, gas is now @ $5 a gallon or thereabouts and it’ll run you a Benjamin for a fill-up.

        I last went grocery shopping locally about 3 weeks ago, and prices had risen across the board on everything I bought by 10-25% in just a fortnight from the previous foray.

        You can’t hoard gas, but by buying quantities of foodstuffs/sundries @ present prices, that’s where consumers make out, which will cause future shortages of many items, as an added jolt to an already stressed ‘adjust in time’ economy.

        I’m afraid of the new Covid strain as much as the next person, and i’ll be limiting indoor appearances in public. i.e. grocery shopping, meaning i’ll be doing de facto hoarding by buying twice as much per visit in only going once a month instead of twice.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Well, maybe that will price-torture people into driving less and driving more conservationally.

          Here is something from the ” Ran Prieur Advice Archive” section of the Ran Prieur blog.

          “June 29. Fuel Economy Tips. I consistently get 43 mpg (18.3 km/l) in my mom’s 1990 Honda Civic. And I once got 16 mpg (6.8 km/l) driving over the Rockies in a Ryder truck. Here’s how:

          1) Unless you’re fleeing a volcanic eruption, or merging into aggressive highway traffic, never step down hard on the gas. I don’t even touch the half of the accelerator range next to the floor. This means when you start from a light, it will take you a while to get up to speed. I usually compromise with the drivers behind me and step down more than I want to — if there were no other cars, I could probably get 50 mpg.

          2) Use the brakes as little as possible. Every time you brake, you have to make up for it by burning more gas. The unattainable ideal trip would not use the brakes at all — you’d make every light and coast to a stop at the end. Unfortunately, car repairs cost even more than gas, so not braking always has to take second place to not hitting other cars. But there are ways to minimize braking:

          3) Leave a long gap between you and the car in front of you, so if it slows down, you can slow down by taking your foot off the accelerator instead of braking. Be patient with the short-sighted drivers who pass you to fill that space. They don’t know it, but you’re actually saving gas for the vehicles behind you. Here’s a great page about how a single driver can smooth out traffic jams and possibly save thousands of gallons of collective fuel.

          4) Try to time lights so you slide through without stopping, or ideally, without even braking. Look up the road as far as you possibly can for the next light. When it turns yellow, immediately take your foot off the gas. Sometimes, when I know a red light will turn green before I get there, I’ll pre-emptively brake to slow myself to a speed where I can coast through, instead of getting there too soon and having to stop completely. You can also speed up if you think it will get you through a green light before it changes.

          5) Keeping an even speed is good, but keeping an even pressure on the accelerator is better! You’re most efficient going slow uphill, fast downhill, and fast around curves.

          6) The best speed varies between vehicles. Typically it’s 35-45mph (56-72 km/h). Another good rule is to have low RPM’s in the highest gear.

          7) Other drivers will not appreciate what you’re doing and you’ll have to waste some gas and money to not piss them off too much. Keep in mind that hard accelerating/braking is the best substitute some people have for feeling alive. Bill comments:
          The sensation of acceleration eases the anxiety of not being at the destination. We can sense acceleration, but not coasting, so a strong conscious effort is required to overcome the anxiety of just allowing the car to coast.

          8) Keep the windows rolled up at high speeds to reduce air resistance. Research has shown that windows open and air conditioner off is more efficient under 50mph, and windows closed and air conditioner on is more efficient above 50, but it’s best if you can do neither.

          9) If you have an automatic transmission, shift into neutral while waiting at lights. The longer the light is, the more likely you’ll save gas by shutting the engine off and restarting it. It depends on how much gas your particular car burns while idling or starting.

          10) There is some debate about what gears you should use if you have a manual transmission. I’m going to go with Bill, who says that multi-speed bicyclists would have an intuitive sense of the most efficient gear.

          11) Keep your car in good repair and your tires firm.

          12) Driving for fuel economy requires at least as much mental focus as driving for speed. Some of these tips are dangerous if you’re not paying close attention. When I have another person in the car, or anything to take my attention off driving, I mostly ignore fuel economy and just go with the traffic.

          13) Everyone knows you get better mileage on the highway than in the city. Conveniently, most stuff in the city can be done by bus or bike. If you can arrange your life so you only use your car for highway driving, you’ll save a lot of fuel, and probably also reduce stress and be in better shape.”

          And here’s a link or so about ” hypermiling”

          1. cnchal

            Those are great tactics. I routinely coast for hundreds of yards.The car I have rolls so easily, on level ground just leaning on it moves it. A small child could push it. Another thing I do is use the cruise control as much as possible. In urban traffic it reduces the odds of the speed climbing into ticket territory and allows me to hover my foot over the brake when driving and keep a steady speed.

            I am judgemental about other drivers and when I see stuff I don’t like, whether they are stopped or moving, I trust they will do something stupid and keep my distance accordingly. An example would be stopping behind a vehicle and positioning myself so I can sight down the side. If I can see a face, I know the driver couldn’t be bothered adjusting their mirrors correctly. Never get into that driver’s blind spot, because they simply cannot see you. With properly adjusted mirrors there are no blind spots. Paying attention pays off.

            Making it last is another tactic. When I get in it I turn the ignition on but don’t start it right away. This give a bit of time for the electronics to warm up before cranking so I put my belt on and then start it.

            When shifting (standard transmission) between gears, pausing slightly as you go through neutral and applying slight pressure on the shifter towards the next gear gives the synchros time to match gear speeds, before completing the shift. The result is eliminating transmission failure.

            I am on my second Gen 6 Accord (01) and that car is much greater than the sum of it’s parts. The first one went over 300,000 miles on the original clutch, transmission and engine and was still running when scrapped. Rust finally got it. The one I have now has 140,000 miles and runs better than the first one.

            A newish car festooned with digital crapola and a fragile eight or ten speed automatic transmission is not a dream, but a nightmare.

            1. rowlf

              2001 Accords are the Keith Richards/cockroaches/AK-47s of the car world. Amazing vehicles. Newer junkyards have websites that let can alert you when one comes in once you set the notifications.

          2. jr

            “ Keep in mind that hard accelerating/braking is the best substitute some people have for feeling alive.”

            This bon mot is painfully insightful.

          3. flora

            Thanks for that. It’s a reminder of the driving tips I first learned back in the day when OPEC first drove up oil prices and thus drove up gas prices at the pump. Back then we called it “war driving”. Not sure why it was called that. War against high prices? It did improve my gas mileage per gallon of gas.

            Adding: using brakes as little as possible has the added benefits of 1). brake pads and rotors last longer, and 2). in winter, avoiding coming to a complete stop on icy roads makes accelerating again much easier without sliding or spinning the wheels, and 3). in winter, makes it more likely you won’t slide through a snowy or icy intersection (risking getting hit) since you’re slowing carefully well ahead of the stopping point in hopes you can avoid a complete absolute stop.

          4. svay

            For a while, I had a woman motorbike taxi driver (quite a rarity here) take me to work most days. She followed most of those tips applicable to motorbikes, and while I can only assume she got good fuel efficiency and less wear and tear on her machine, I definitely know the journey was smooth, comfortable and relatively stress-free. Most of her male counterparts, on the other hand, drove on the tail of the vehicle in front, constantly peeking round and accelerating and braking, which did indeed make me feel alive, but in the sense of reminding me of my mortality, as well as jerking me back and forth all the time and generally unnerving me. And they got me to my destination no quicker!

            BTW, tip 8 may need reconsidering in COVID times with passengers.

  22. KLG

    Greenwald is a useful idiot.

    But, but, but…we are better than Republicans, can’t you see the obvious?

    One of these is just like the other.

  23. Michael Fiorillo

    Freddie Mercury and Queen are only “the soundtrack to our lives” if (per “We Will Rock You”) you get off on Cold War supremacy/National Football League-type anthems. Otherwise, among the worst…

    1. Aumua

      What, it’s not their fault if their anthemic music has been co-opted by bad actors who have run some songs into the ground. Really, it’s extraordinarily original and amazing sounding. And it truly rocks.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        We’ll have to disagree on that: to me it sounds innately chauvinistic, almost as if it was eagerly written to be appropriated by those bad actors.

        I’m all for musical anthems – try Odwalla by the Art Ensemble of Chicago for a transcendent one – but the fact is that most of them suck, and fwiw I think We Will Rock You is among those, even apart from its ugly cultural baggage.

    2. Mantid

      True That. Very poor “song” but with its unending repetition, anyone will come to like it – especially young teens with little discretion. About the time that Queen hit the scene was also when musical corporate media really gained its stranglehold on what was to be heard. Early MTV was out and Queen was pushed like a piston yet Art Ensemble of Chicago and so many other groups were to be held back, not promoted because they didn’t fit the support for military, commercial and high tech loving populace that corporations needed to stay alive and avoid scrutiny. In other words, keep the sheeple singing “Yummy Yummy Yummy I Got Love in my Tummy” While Regan and Thatcher were dangled by their puppet masters – the ones that control us via the CDC, WHO, and other private/public partnerships today.

      I was well alive in those times and did not buy records from the pop world because of it’s inanity. However, one could not escape hearing these Queen type bands. I even knew the words of these songs – somehow (corporate media knows how). Along with your mention of Odwalla (the “break tune” for our current band) I encourage people to check out “Um Allah” by Pharoah Sanders for another, well hummable anthem.

    1. Juanholio

      I think that TAE has gone so far if the rails during this pandemic, that reading it feels like it is damaging my mental health. However, I just can’t resist reading all the regular wackadoos in the echo chamber comments section. Are they for real? How can people get through the day with such a toxic mental model of the world?

      1. flora

        I found TAE from links here at NC. I appreciate the counterbalance they provide to the current johnny-one-note MSM reporting (if that’s the right word). ymmv.

      2. flora

        This part is interesting:

        After promising “full transparency” with regard to COVID-19 vaccines, the FDA recently went to court to resist a FOIA request seeking the data it relied on to license the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, declaring that it would not release the data in full until the year 2076—not exactly a confidence-building measure.

        55 years from now. Isn’t that how long the Kennedy report was embargoed (and still not released)? Of course, the Kennedy report was about a crime, so maybe a long time delay was warranted back then. What’s Pfizer’s excuse?

        1. Jen

          A minor point of clarification: it’s not that the FDA is saying they won’t release the data until 2076, they’re saying that because they need to scrub the data of “confidential trade secrets” and “personal private data,” they can only release ~ 500 pages per month, which will take 55 years to complete. Apparently they have only 10 people who can work on this and multiple other FOIA requests to process.

          This was probably linked to previously and contains no end of howlers:

      3. saywhat?

        That opinion piece sounds very reasonable to me but then again I don’t follow MSM at all.

        How can people get through the day with such a toxic mental model of the world?

        It’s seeing the truth that allows me some confidence that I won’t repeat the mistakes of more naive folks – not that I haven’t paid my own dues to misplaced trust in younger years.

      4. Carla

        @Juanholio — I agree, it’s hard to read the TAE links every day, but I scan them because every once in awhile there’s a good article I haven’t run across here or elsewhere, as in the case of the father’s op-ed linked above.

    1. flora

      Wonderful! Is this a parole release? Glad he’ll be out and at home again. None of his trial or charges made legal sense to me.

    2. ambrit

      Heavens, since St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, is this a “Sign” from on high?
      It would be wonderfully ironic to see Murray appointed as Ambassador to the Court of St. James by an independent Scotland.

    3. paul

      Here is Craig’s statement prior to release.

      Hopefully won’t have one last strip search as he leaves.

      Yes, they strip searched a 71 year old non violent offender with no criminal record (he is a civil prisoner, the reason he could not be released early) before hospital visits, of which he will have required quite a few.

      I think they* expected him to die in there. He is a tough old bird.

      *They being the westminster and holyrood governments.

  24. cnchal

    > Infiltrating Amazon: What I learned going undercover at the corporate giant The Breach

    Before training begins, the operations manager makes an extra effort to dispel negative media about working conditions for Amazon employees. One of the first things he tells the group of dozen trainees is that rumours about employees having to resort to peeing into bottles during long shifts are “just wrong.” We can take bathroom breaks anytime, he insists. In the weeks following, there will be an extra emphasis on health and safety—including daily ritual stretches where we watch a video of a cartoon robot doing some squats while holding an Amazon box, and imitate it.

    But during my month as a so-called associate at Amazon, it will become clear to me that this is window dressing for dangerous conditions and employee surveillance. Amazon has shown that it won’t only go to great lengths to pressure workers not to organize for their rights, but it will also do whatever it takes to remain the only game in town. If there’s anything that sets the company apart, it’s the ability to foster a myth of job security and belonging while becoming a monopolistic force that methodically exploits workers.

    The Amazon Effect has transformed our economies. It holds sway over the types of jobs that are lost or created. And it has amassed unimaginable wealth for Jeff Bezos—thanks to the dire state of hundreds of thousands of its workers across its warehouses.
    – – – – – – – –
    The delivery station where I worked north of Montreal is different from the stadium-like fulfillment centres that many associate with Amazon. These delivery stations, introduced across the continent, are part of Amazon’s strategy to dominate e-commerce by creating its own last-mile logistics system. No longer relying on FedEx, UPS, Purolator, or Canada Post, it can now manage last-mile delivery for its own products and also for third-party sellers.
    – – – – – – – –
    The expectation of every worker was to hit 300 items per hour for the entirety of the shift. Working with such speed with various items—ranging from books, cat litter, BBQs, and even large ergonomic chairs—created immense pressure. Of course, we were told constantly to move things safely, that our health was a priority, never to run, never to lift items too heavy. But these recommendations began to feel like a joke, because the bottom line was that our rates were everything. If we became too slow, boxes would pile up rapidly and cause a nightmare at the end of the line. According to my calculations, keeping on top of it meant moving a box about every six to eight seconds.

    On the warehouse floor line, our device and scanner clocked every box or package we touched, then the sorting bag that it went into. If we placed the item in the right bag, we would be rewarded by a green light; if it was wrong, red. The device also told us which delivery route we needed to prepare, and which packages to pick.

    The device isn’t only guiding you—it becomes your supervisor. Not only are you monitored during the work tasks, but the periods taken up by your Time Off Tasks is a metric that affects your rates. The longer you aren’t signed in or are logged off, the poorer your standing with supervisors. That can lead to audits and meetings, making workers anxious and insecure.

    The repetitive and fast-paced nature of the job quickly took its toll on my body. I was working on my feet for ten hours a day, constantly scanning, lifting, moving—all in the middle of the night. Usually, the physical pain increased during the shift as the pressure went up. As managers, our fundamental responsibility was to get all the packages out the door at 9 a.m. That might mean our breaks were delayed, leaving people working for four to five hours straight. The only way to seek reprieve was to hide in the bathroom for a few minutes.

    As 9 a.m. loomed, with workers getting pressured by supervisors, assistants, and managers, we would scurry to stow faster, lifting heavier and heavier bags, finding whatever way to meet our quotas. It didn’t matter that the work was ultimately now unsafe—the point was to meet our precious, all-important deadline.
    – – – – – – – – –
    At Amazon, the almost omniscient power of technology is always in the background. At first, no one speaks of it, and no one tells you how the existing system works and how you are surveilled. As an employee I eventually learned that my bosses could in real-time monitor my every movement, my metrics, and the number of boxes I was stowing. This is when I began to realize that almost half of the workers at Amazon, once they are promoted, must constantly monitor and audit employees below them.

    The most insidious form of surveillance inside the warehouse comes in the form of artificial intelligence cameras. Since they are visible everywhere, at the beginning of each shift we would be reminded of Big Brother watching us. Amazon claims the benefit of these cameras was to ensure that we followed COVID-19 protocols. Similarly, Amazon in the U.S. justified the addition of AI cameras inside their delivery vans by claiming it was to monitor and detect risky behaviour to ensure the safety of drivers.

    But the artificial cameras only ensured our obedience. Every six minutes, the AI cameras analyze every worker and the distance between them, generating a report at the end of the shift. The use of big data artificial intelligence shows that even management is not themselves in control—they are simply there to enforce algorithms and predetermined tasks.

    In true Amazon spirit, the company has also found a way to profit from this, by marketing their own labour management technologies. Amazon calls this new service Amazon Business Analytics. This subdivision allows other companies to rent the metrics platform they use to manage workers. Companies realizing they do not have the resources to compete with Amazon can simply rent its platform to become successful. The implications are clear. The Amazon model of work may soon be exported across sectors and workplaces. The question then becomes: why would we accept a type of surveillance in our workplaces that we would not accept in public or in our neighbourhoods?
    – – – – – –
    Personally, after a month of working in the Laval facility, I had seen enough. To give my resignation, I called a 1-800 number and spoke to an employee service representative who simply updated my file. It was impersonal, and seemed like a fitting end—I’d experienced what it’s like to become a cog in Amazon’s giant machinery, squeezed of every possible ounce of human energy. The sheer fatigue of workers by the end of the shift allows little time for much—for me, I barely had energy to talk to anyone but my family, let alone participate in activism or organize meetings.

    That all levels of government subsidize this grotesque monstrosity directly by paying Bezos to locate his torture chambers there and then grossly overpaying him to store their zeros and ones, where one dollar out of three is profit is an unexamined government crime spree.

    As a bonus to society, the worse than Chinese slave labor working conditions prevalent at Amazon is being sold to your exploiter, so all you whip cracking sadist are going to feel your own lash sooner or later.

    Were working condition humane, Amazon would be wildly unprofitable despite the government subsidies, but the torture endured by Amazon exploitees has Mr Market put a high price on Amazon stawk confetti, which is the actual source of Bezos riches.

    Amazon shopper = whip cracking sadist

    1. JEHR

      So it becomes perfectly obvious why Amazon never wants to have a union in their workplaces. Why does the Canadian government allow such abuses?

      1. cnchal

        Allow? The Canadian governments are whip cracking sadist, fully supporting and subsidizing Amazon. It’s why we need huge immigration, to feed Bezos’ satanic mills.

    2. a fax machine

      Call me cynical but none of this is new to me personally. I’ve worked in a lot of warehouses and all of this has been standard for years now. I recall 15 years ago when I stopped to check a printer, and the ‘boss got on the intercom to scold me about it while my beeper (device that scans items into pallets) had it’s inactivity alarm go off. Everyone then decided to blame me for the ~20 minutes overtime we had to do. Similar equipment was installed on trucks – if the vehicle was stopped in any place but the designated rest point an alarm would go off and I’d get a call from the dispatcher over why I was wasting their time. Nice part was the relatively short days, only 7 hours 50 minutes of driving because anything more and the government requires a 1-day rest break a few times a month. I would rarely get it, instead the boss would just remotely reset my device so I could go forever. Other guys lost an extra 5% of their salary leasing their trucks from the boss, but got first pick from dispatch.

      Anyway, my point is that logistics jobs have always been crummy. These companies exist on a 24/7 schedule; either the dispatch is competent and drivers drive literally every day and laborers never have break time or the dispatch is bad and everyone just works whenever and must be on-call at all times.

      In another era, it’s why Longshoremen gangs were the first to Unionize as marine shippers deal with this problem more extensively. In our era, it’s how the terminals attempted to replace workers with machines until covid shut down all the equipment factories.

      I don’t think it can last – with the new rules and insurance rates for new truckers, and the lack of wage growth or accommodating schedules, the supply of new drivers is low. No longer is there a military draft ensuring a steady supply of military-trained truckers, these days most teens don’t even want a driver’s license. Those that bother to get into the industry do so as a way to find work in high income states without the buy-in high value areas require.

    3. ivoteno

      300 boxes per hour is one every 12 seconds, not 6 to 8 seconds. i still think this is unconscionable, but the reporter’s math is a bit on the wrong side. must be a recent graduate.

      then again, maybe they are factoring in the occasional peeing in a bottle ;-)

  25. ambrit

    With site admins anti-animadversions.
    Mini Zeitgeist-on-the-Farm Report.
    Your’s truly has been using “the drug who’s name must not be spoken” (herinafter known as “The Drug”) recently to fight off a mild virus like assault on my corporeal integrity. Due to both access issues and financial constraints, I have been using the thrice demonized “large animal vet” formulation. So far, the only noticeable side effects are that the flu like symptoms are in abeyance, and that my mane and coat are noticeably silkier.
    But I digress.
    I weaseled around the Internet this morning to find a source to restore my depleted supply of “The Drug.”
    The site where I originally purchased the substance was out. [The site product page mentioned 1290 sold, 0 in stock.]
    Falling back on e-bay, I soon found that simply putting up “The Drug” in the search box yielded just books about “The Drug.” (I know from earlier experience that e-bay has vet formulas in which “The Drug” is the sole active ingredient on the site.)
    Second try was to type in “Horse Paste” in the search box. I should have known; almost all of the one hundred plus items listed were of ‘horse paste’ with different active ingredients, and for different purposes as well. (There are formulas to tranqulize horses, mainly herbally based. Etc.) To find the products with “The Drug” in them, I had to make a list. First, I checked items by brand name. This eliminated most of the items listed. To so eliminate those items, I had to open a page for an example of each brand name item and scroll down to the list of ingredients.
    Third try was to search for products not on ‘the list.’ This was done by scrolling down the lists of products listed, visually searching for the required syllables. Bingo! One or two items out of hundreds.
    This is a classic example of an opportunity cost. I can see the twisted logic behind this policy. The “Deplorables” have nothing but time on their hands, for various reasons, not the least of which is their criminal adversion to “compliance” with the dictates of their natural and G– appointed Betters.
    Ah well. At least, since we do not want cable television polluting our infospheres here at “The Mini Farm,” (aka The State Farm for the Criminally Non-compliant,) we have lots of time available to “waste” in searching for those ‘out-of-the-way’ items and information nuggets.
    Be safe all!

    1. lordkoos

      In a similar situation here. I now see some serious price-gouging from sellers on ebay and Amazon. The last time I saw the stuff priced cheaply I stocked up and bought a bunch of it. Some vet supply sites still have it for the regular price but people on the sites I mentioned are asking $25-40 for a single tube.

      I gave up on the non-veterinary pharmaceutical version after paying $6 each for a pill that the WHO sells for less than a dime.

        1. Juanholio

          Why are the fake news MSM always going on about people using “horse paste”? Nobody does that, do they?

        2. WobblyTelomeres

          Re Tractor Supply.

          Suggest one avoid the “+” versions that contain clorsulon, used to treat liver flukes.

    2. judy2shoes

      I noticed 8 or 9 months ago that the price was going up fast in my local feed store. One place I’ve ordered from is Chewy. They were out of stock when I first looked, so I put my email in to be notified when back in stock. I jumped on that email as soon as I saw it because I suspected that they would run out fast (they did). I ordered 10 at $4.99/ea. for a particular brand. It’s now up to $7.95/ea for that brand, but others are a little less expensive. They are all showing (today) as out of stock, so get on the notification list if you like what you see. Jump on it ASAP when they respond.

      Good luck!

    3. Samuel Conne

      It’s as if the public health authorities’ stern advice to “don’t medicate like a horse” is stimulating responses opposite to what was intended.

      What a shame that the population didn’t respond in that way to the “OK to remove your mask, if vaxxed” counsel from earlier in the year.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > It’s as if the public health authorities’ stern advice to “don’t medicate like a horse” is stimulating responses opposite to what was intended

        The Streisand Effect. One would think that the master communicators in our public health establishment would understand this.

      1. Screwball

        Yes, they do. There are other places as well.

        Crazy ain’t it? Here we are, how many months into this pandemic, which still seems to be kicking our ass, while we have a known safe and partially at least proven drug (that cannot be named) that “could” be helpful in saving lives at a much cheaper price than the alternatives.

        Yet, the drug is censored by many, called “horse paste” by the media and experts. We have pharmacies that will not fill, doctors who won’t prescribe, while the serfs turn to the animal version and spend hours trying to find out where to get it and how to dose it – while people continue to get infected and die – even after getting the jabs. It’s no wonder people are trying to self medicate – their scared and desperate.

        Nobody claims it is a miracle drug, but it sure seems to have some potential to help at least some people. It’s on the list of WHO essential meds, safety profile better then Tylenol, nobel prize in 2015, given to billions worldwide, sold over the counter in some countries, but even saying the “word” will get you the Tin Foil hat award.

        WTF kind of country are we living in? Combine this with the other NC article today on the opioid crisis it is not much of a reach to conclude death for profit is in fact a business model.

          1. Lambert Strether

            > the worm turns

            We don’t know the results yet so that worm has not turned.

            I have said, and will say again, that I don’t regard The Drug as anything like “clinically proven” — and don’t @ me on that, I know the literature — but it’s very low cost and very low rish with enormous potential benefits, and I’m vaccinated, too (and happy to avoid hospitalization and death, even if the vaccine is not sterilizing).

            All this seems like a no-brainer, to me. Why is this so hard…

            1. Lee

              As one who takes three prescribed off-lablel medications to good effect, I have been very much open to and interested in the possibility that we might have safe, low cost, existing medications (there sure are a whole lot of them) that would prove helpful. The Bubba bashing horse paste campaign I find detestable. The smugness, it burns.

    4. svay

      I’m intrigued as to why NC apparently thinks The Drug may be of use against COVID, yet usually – though we never know the reason for sure – sends any comment mentioning it by name to moderation.

      1. Lambert Strether

        One reason might be that however worthy of consideration The Drug may be, there are also plenty of lunatics whose advocacy exceeds all sense (and could also tend to pollute the comments section with poor sourcing).

        1. svay

          Thank you. I’d guessed it was something along those lines, and the comments are generally free from lunatics and poor sourcing!

  26. Dave in Austin

    The Amazon article: is worth a reading if you have an industrial engineering or time-and-motion-study background. This is a cross between Charlie Chaplin in “Modern Times” and the Diego Rivera “Ford River Rouge” mural now in the Detroit Museum, which portrays the hard working conditions but at the end shows the men (all men) walking out into a parking lot filled with the new cars they own. Purgatory has its rewards.

    A few details:

    The author (apparently a Syrian refugee/union organizer in Canada) says he does 250-300 packages/hour but also gives worker/package ratios which seem to say that is the total number of packages/ 10 hour shift. This means each package is handled 10 times in the sorting facility.

    This place is a meritocracy in the same way that a college football offensive line is. Incredibly hard work and dedication make for success and the weak fall by the wayside. They don’t allow walk-ons at MIT but they do at the MIT Crew dock. This benefits hard, resolute immigrants and poor people. The only place civilians like me get to see an operation like this is from a right window seat behind the wing of every SouthWest flight- the baggage handlers rythemically lifting and packing 25-68 lbs bags on a trolley. Few women (but the ones there look like the ones I meet in the gym); no overweight guys; many Blacks. And they like the jobs- no BS; no supervisor leaning over your shoulder; get the job done and we leave you alone.

    The Amazon benefits are real and really good, like Ford in the 1920s. But you earn them.

    Ther automation is amazing and like the time-and-motion world of 1920 updated with cameras and automated data collection. My bet is that Amazon is minutely examining every stage of the “10 hands handle each package” and slowly building systems to reduce the nunber of hands- just like the process which went from Ford’s first assembly line in 1908 (?) to the much less labor-intensive lines which overwhelmed the Axis in 1940-1945.

    The rules are hard; the work is hard. But there is little room for favoritism by the supervisors. I’ve done those jobs and I’ve got to say, I understand why Unions have made little headway and also why the system needs to be watched carefully.

    1. ambrit

      Good primer on workplace exploitation.
      “This place is a meritocracy” followed by “and the weak fall by the wayside.” I have been on similarly run jobs in construction. The essence of that ethos is exploitation. Any society that optimizes for “the weak fall by the wayside” deserves to die out. It is not a society in the classic sense. It is an elitist aligned h—hole.
      The other little problem with the “the weak fall by the wayside” ethos is that people wear out. Eventually, everyone becomes weak in one way or another.
      I will suggest that one reason that Unions do not make much headway at such organizations is that, when parts of the workforce become worn out enough to need accomodations, the hallmark of a good Union, they are purged and replaced. The Union’s natural base is systematically removed from the organization.
      Agree wholeheartedly that these systems need to be watched closely.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > The Union’s natural base is systematically removed from the organization.

        I believe the workflow is also designed to atomize the workflow and minimize interactions between workers; that is the effect of the computer storing items randomly all over the warehouse. You don’t get people working together in sections on the floor. There are no sections.

        Perhaps Dave in Austin can comment on this?

  27. Samuel Conner

    A thought inspired by the Portugal story:

    Socialism aspires to a ‘workers paradise’

    Capitalism has given us a ‘porkers waradise’

    While recent public health developments dim this hope, I cling to the aspiration that I (and they) will live long enough to read the memoirs of some penitent D insiders dishing on the seamy undersides of the 2016 and 2020 D primaries. I have a candidate title for one of these: “Sanders Sandbagged”

  28. zagonostra

    >Vaccine Passports/Mandates Protest

    Austrian Police Officers Taking The Side of The People

    Austrian German Protest Against Vaccine Mandates Restriction | Unvaccinated Lockdown

    Protest in Frankfurt yesterday too, but it seems there is a blackout on reporting this topic. I have to dig to find news or rely on friends sending me links.

    1. Mantid

      Very cool. I notice in the Police march, 90% of people are wearing masks, with many being n95 level. Can’t call them Bubbahs as they seem to care about themselves and their community. Thank you for a glimmer of hope.

  29. Jason Boxman

    On COVID relief funding.

    Infrastructure, conjuring as it does images of potholes and rusted water pipes, often goes overlooked; politicians would rather be associated with cutting ribbons than maintaining systems. Paradoxically, that has meant the great leaps in American infrastructure often come from moments of great lack: the greater the crisis, the larger the possible investment. The Great Depression led to the New Deal, which established the Federal Housing Administration and brought electricity to the rural United States; the Great Recession led to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which directly funded improvements to 2,700 bridges and 42,000 miles of road.

    LOL. I wouldn’t say the New Deal and the ARRA belong in the same paragraph together, but that’s just the NY Times giving a big assist to Obama.

    Indeed, the New Deal reoriented free market capitalism; The ARRA just tossed an insufficient amount of money around while leaving the status quo intact, which is what Obama was elected to change in the first place.

  30. Retaj

    The robot remote control on each associates arm is something out of an updated corporate 1984. The offering of the metrics algorithm to other companies is just awful. But don’t worry – they take the health of their workers very seriously.

    I’m so glad that I quit buying from Amazon.

  31. Jason Boxman

    On the Fed.

    The Fed vice chair of supervision is the board’s point person for regulation, bank oversight and financial stability — in charge of everything from ordering stress tests and scenario analysis to setting bank capital requirements. The position was created through the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law but sat vacant until Trump appointed Randal Quarles to be the Fed’s first vice chair of supervision in 2017.

    So Obama couldn’t have done a recess appointment? Not that any kind of reform was on the Obama agenda, but for argument’s sake. I didn’t even remember this position had been created.

    The role “is extremely important, possibly even more important than the chair” when it comes to the kinds of actions that can help insulate the financial system from the risk of a changing climate and energy sector, said Ilmi Granoff of the advocacy group ClimateWorks.

    But of course. Probably why it’s been empty.

    During Quarles’s term, he and Powell presided over a deregulatory push. They loosened and streamlined several Dodd-Frank rules over the objections of Brainard, including cutting capital requirements and deferring stress tests.

    Biden loves him some deregulation!

    An ideologically broad range Fed officials, including Powell, also ruled out any actions that could be perceived as the bank picking winners and losers.

    By rescuing banks engaged in systemic fraud, under Obama and W. Bush the Fed did pick winners. This whole fetish about not picking “winners” and “losers” because markets is bizarre. Corporations should at a minimum not infringe upon the general welfare. Limited liability must come with stipulations when conferred by the state. Or we get the free for all we have now.

  32. JohnJohn

    I understand that it is likely that the omicron variant evolved in an immuno-compromised individual. I also understand that 1) it is not recommended that immuno-compromised individuals get vaccinated and 2) that those non-immuno-compromised individuals who are fully vaccinated still transmit the virus. I hear many outlets (of course not NC) reporting some version of, “if only vaccines had been rolled out in Africa, there would be no omicron variant”. However, given #1 and #2, I don’t understand how higher (non-sterilizing) vaccine rates would have stopped omicron, or will stop future variants from evolving because the vaccine does not keep COVID from circulating in populations and therefore is not protective of immuno-compromised individuals. Given measures available to us now, it seems that the only effective way to slow the rate of mutation to new variants is to reduce circulation of the virus in the population with measures such as masks and other strategies (e.g., HEPA filtration) designed to keep people from transmitting the virus through aerosol pathways.

    I am no expert, so would appreciate any corrections where my understanding is incorrect.

    1. Yves Smith

      No, immunocompromised individuals are on the top of the list for getting vaccinated. They have a different vaccination sequence, much the same people over 65 get a different flu shot that is stronger:

      Receiving an additional primary dose only applies to moderately to severely immunocompromised people who have received an mRNA COVD-19 vaccine primary series (Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna). Currently, moderately to severely immunocompromised people ages 18 years and older who completed their Moderna vaccine primary series should plan to get an additional primary dose 28 days after receiving their second shot. For people ages 12 years and older who completed their Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine primary series, they should also plan to get an additional primary dose 28 days after receiving their second shot. This includes people who have:

      Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
      Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
      Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
      Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
      Advanced or untreated HIV infection
      Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

      And the vaccinated are transmitting Delta, so that is a separate issue.

  33. Carolinian

    Interesting fungi article. It says the only reason we aren’t keeling over from fungi rather than Covid is that our body temperature is too hot for the fungi to survive very well. It suggests that as the world warms up fungi will become a lot more of a threat to warm blooded animals At the moment they mostly predate on reptiles and the like.

    And if we do fall prey to a fungus there are very few treatments at the moment. Perhaps Fauci and Pfizer will create a vaccine…..

    1. Foy

      From the article

      “Scientists assumed that the spread was due to human travel, but when they sequenced the cases, they were surprised to find that these strains weren’t closely related at all. Instead, scientists were seeing multiple, independent infections of an unknown fungal disease, emerging around the world, all at the same time.”

      It’s very interesting that that description of spread is eerily similar to Rupert Sheldrake’s idea of morphic resonance and morphic fields. Sounds like another example to add to his list.

      1. Steve H.

        There’s a simpler explanation:

        “Climatic conditions transformed a usually harmless bacterial infection into a dangerous outbreak that killed more than 60% of the world’s saiga antelope. More than 200,000 saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica tatarica) in Kazakhstan died of a virulent infection over a 3-week period in May 2015.”


        iirc, the dieoff happened faster than viral transmission would allow. A similar sequence happened with starfish, where a pathogen that had been present for decades suddenly triggered due to environmental conditions.

  34. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    “Deep Adaptation: Could Climate Change Lead To Societal Collapse?”

    The game, it seems, is one of choosing and maintaining the proper narrative, i.e., the narrative that is best suited to the maintenance of ‘business as usual’, in the sense of what constitutes normal life for 1st world managerial elites and their citizen clientele. So, even though the IEA states that “from now on there should be “no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects, and no further final investment decisions for new unabated coal plants.” . . . .

    . . . . It has also been stated that, “No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there”.

    The apparent dichotomy in outlook, narrative, and objectives is stark. Which one (or both?) is the real way forward for global decision makers?

    As stranded fossil assets risk becoming worthless, a potential outlook is one where, “The low-carbon transition could lead to a period of global financial and political instability due to the combination of deep structural change, widespread financial loss and reorganization in financial and market power worldwide.”

    Noting that “a period of global financial and political instability” and societal collapse are not the same thing; even though, a period of prolonged ‘instabilities’ and an overall loss of public confidence in scientific/technological solutions and ‘the power to direct evolution’ could lead to a severe reframing of current economic practices and a ‘revaluation of all values’, i.e., the morality and practice of materialism and uninhibited acquisitiveness as a modern religion.

    Finally, for everyone who happens to be both self isolating and in need of a selfish family friendly diversion and/or respite from dour prognostications, short term therapy might possibly be found by either watching, or rewatching: ” “Alone in the Wilderness” is the story of Dick Proenneke living in the Alaska wilderness. Dick filmed his adventures so he could show his relatives in the lower 48 states what life was like in Alaska, building his cabin, hunting for food and exploring the area.”

    “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.”–Thoreau

    1. Lambert Strether

      > No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there

      No country would find a billion tons of radioactive waste in the ground and not release it into the air….

      Probably true. On both counts. I think at some point we need to define greed (the desire or lust to accumulate for accumulation’s sake) as a mortal sin*, and in practice oppose all projects driven by it. And if that means all projects, so be it.

      NOTE * And if current religions don’t make that judgement, we’ll need a new one. Adding, I wonder if some theologian can tell me whether greed is distinct from other sins in that greed is algorithmic (“more” of x, whether x be kleenex boxes or capital).

  35. drumlin woodchuckles

    So some “staffers of color” feel that talk of Buttigig for next President is disrespectul of the First BlackAsian Woman Of Color Vice President in all of American history? Well . . . Adolph Reed might find a better way than I can to analyse that as a display of PMCOC ( Professional Managerial Class Of Color) privilege on display, and just one more example of Pink Pussy Hat Clintobama Wokeness on parade.

    I bet they and the Buttigig backers will solve it by offering us a UVA ( Unified Victims of America) ticket featuring Harris and Buttigig on the one same ticket. Harris and Buttigig will have a boxing match or an arm wrestling contest or something to decide which one gets to be the PrezNom and which one has to be the Vice PrezNom.

    Assuming that is what happens ( and that is the easiest-to-imagine scenario I can imagine for the DemParty ticket in 2024), then I will vote in the Republican primaries for the possible Republican President I could live with and vote for that one. If that one gets the RepubliNom, then I will be free to vote for the Third, Fourth, or Fifth party ticket of my choice.

    But if the RepubliParty gives me only Republikkklan Trumpanon candidates to vote for, then I will vote for the anti-Buttigig anti-Harris PrezNom wannabe in the Democrat primaries, if there even is one. And when the DemParty fraudulates the primary process to give us Harris and Buttigig regardless of what people may want, then I will swallow my bile and vote for Buttis-Harrigig . . . to buy a few more years of semi-peace and semi-quiet for people to organize and prepare for the Republikkklan-Trumpanon future to come after 4 years of Buttis-Harrigig.

    1. Massinissa

      I’m not sure Harris/Buttigieg would be that superior to another Trump ticket. At least Trump wouldn’t be able to run for reelection: 8 years of Harris sounds pretty abysmal.

      If Biden runs for reelection, I’ll probably vote for Rand Paul. That would be less terrible than most of the other options, I think.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        They might not seek to “deconstruct the Administrative State” the way the TrumpAdmin sought to.
        And if the Trumpo-Republicanons get another chance to, they will “deconstruct” it so that it stays “deconstructed”

        They will try re-instituting ” The Jungle” levels of food safety and worker safety and so forth.

        There is every chance that a Harrigig Administration would not. A Harrigig Administration could grant us 4 years of semi-peace and semi-quiet, time enough for Greenist Separate Survivalists to get their Separate Survival preparations semi-in-order. Including 4 years to get armed up and slightly ready to protect themselves and eachother from the Intrumpahamwe Militias which a Trump Term Two will set into motion.

        The DemParty knows that is a reality-based concern, so takes advantage of some peoples’ concern about that to scrape the bottom of the septic tank to give us aged ripened feces like Harris or Buttigig or maybe Michelle herself.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Harris and Buttigeig are really the best candidates on offer? It’s like they’ve got a line-up of .200 hitters they’re calling Hall of Fame material. Some may actually believe this, not just the rubes. If they think I’ll vote for either of those two, they’re out of their minds.

    1. Yves Smith

      The doctor herself has already objected and said her remarks were taking out of context.

      A widely-shared quote from a South African doctor, saying Omicron causes only mild symptoms, is being taken out of context. She was referring to a small group of young, healthy people and warned of severe disease in other groups.

      Hospitalizations are rising in tandem with the Omicron spike:

    2. Lambert Strether

      If some public-spirited institution were tracking all the passengers on that flight into Amsterdam (~600 passengers, 13 testing positive for Omicron*), we would have a plausible first cut on transmissibility and severity in the next two weeks. I would love to hear that this is happening, so somebody please tell me it is….

      NOTE * Which is pretty odd. 61 positive for Covid, only 13 Omicron. How on earth did they get on the plan in the first place? And is only 13 for Omicron a testing artifact?

    3. jr

      Sorry guys, I didn’t realize that was the doctor that had been mentioned earlier. How God d@mned irresponsible that article is! There is a bit of Reuters video on Youtube that doesn’t even identify the doctor, it’s literally just a blurb of her saying it’s “mild”. There must be millions of people telling themselves and others that this morning. More distrust of media and medical authorities down the pipe. And of course no one’s tracking the passengers, why would anyone do that!? Comically tragic. It’s so depressing.

  36. VietnamVet

    PBS Weekend Newshour interviewed Dr. Sallie Permar pediatrician-in-chief at New York Presbyterian Hospital on covid vaccinations for children as young as five:

    “This is one of the most scrutinized vaccine processes that we’ve ever seen roll out in all of history. And because of that, we actually know it’s one of the safest vaccines that we’ve ever had available to us and the most effective vaccine.”

    This is the full flowering of the professional managerial class. Simply to reach the pinnacle of meritocracy; science, the truth, must be abandoned. The corporate oligarchs’ divide and conquer rule has so corrupted and split American society that the Biden White House has done away with all non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) measures. Democrats and Donald Trump are wedded to mRNA Warp Speed “vaccines” being the sole means of controlling coronavirus. It simply does not register that mRNA treatments do not stop viral transmission and have proven side effects that may get worse with repeated injections. To promote more jabs and increase pharmaceutical profits, vaccinated persons are told to go to Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners. Mask-less while eating indoors they’ll continue the familial spread of the virus. This is worse than medieval. The mutating virus will determine the length and severity of the pandemic. The US government is worse than useless.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      How do I know ” it does not register” that mRNA para-vaccinoids don’t stop the virus from spreading? Why shouldn’t I suspect that deliberately spreading the virus on purpose is part of their plan?

    2. Skunk

      Vietnam, I agree with your comments about the impact of the professional managerial class. The seizure of power by this class is one of the most overlooked historical changes of the past half-century. Although they supposedly bring “efficiency” to various sectors, this is doublespeak for their methods of siphoning off the wealth of competent professions.

Comments are closed.