Links 12/15/2021

Rare fossil reveals prehistoric Melbourne was once a paradise for tropical pig-nosed turtles The Conversation

Adored and endangered: the complex world of the Japanese eel Bangkok Post (Furzy Mouse).


Wall Street Is Close to Triggering a Climate Financial Crisis Bloomberg. Deck: “And just like 2008, the biggest losers will be those least responsible for it.”

The Scramble for EV Battery Metals Is Just Beginning WSJ

Winter without snow is coming High Country News


Shorter Tedros: Biden’s Vax Vax Vax is a failure:


Unfortunately, WHO has form. First, this is probably an indicator lagging far behind the spread. Second, Tedros will not pronounce the word “airborne,” and puts ventilation (backed by science) on a par with handwashing (not). Ruling elite failure all the way down, and that’s being charitable.

Aerosol scientist discovers political economy. Brilliant thread:


* * *
The airborne hierarchy of needs:


* * *
Scientists see a ‘really, really tough winter’ with Omicron Science

Omicron now makes up almost 3% of U.S. Covid cases, according to the CDC CNBC

Mild Omicron could still be bad Politico

Omicron and Delta may strike people at the same time and COMBINE to create an even worse Covid variant in the coming weeks, Moderna boss warns Daily Mail. Which has good science writing, so don’t @ me.

Pfizer Says Its Covid-19 Pill Likely Works Against Omicron WSJ. Paxlovid. Here is Pfizer’s press release.

* * *
Assessment of a Hotel-Based Protective Housing Program for Incidence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Management of Chronic Illness Among Persons Experiencing Homelessness JAMA. “In this cohort study of 259 [persons experiencing homelessness (PEH)], a significant reduction in SARS-CoV-2 incidence was observed during the study period among PEH provided with protective housing compared with PEH in shelters citywide. Improvements in hypertension and glycemic control were also observed; 51% were successfully housed at departure.” CIDRAP notes: “[Protectively] results were compared with those of people staying in shelters, which the authors noted may house as many as 400 people in open rooms.” I can’t find the 400 figure, but it’s well-known that shelters are congregate settings where PEH share are. Hence, it’s remarkable that the article doesn’t mention ventilation; surely that should be a baseline for the sort of NGO-funded operation the article implicitly recommends?

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards adds COVID vaccine to required school shots, joining California Shreveport Times


China Sets Stability as Top Priority for Next Year’s Economic Work Caixin Global. Commentary:


Chinese scientist hits back at Wuhan market coronavirus origin paper South China Morning Post

Why will it take China’s Yutu 2 moon rover so long to reach lunar ‘mystery hut’?

Pakistan Wanted Gwadar to Be the Next Singapore. China’s Role Didn’t Help. Foreign Policy


‘Silent strikes’ against military gov’t empty Myanmar streets Al Jazeera. As here:


Myanmar public urges gas sanctions to stop military funding AP


Small farmer, big heart, miracle bike People’s Archive of Rural India

The Koreas

SKorea sets new virus record as officials plan restrictions AP

South Korea’s Green New Deal: Myths Versus Realities Foreign Policy in Focus (Re Silc).

How armed drones may have helped turn the tide in Ethiopia’s war Al Jazeera


United Arab Emirates Threatens to Pull Out of $23 Billion F-35, Drone Deal With U.S. WSJ

Once a World Leader, Israel Lags Behind on COVID Vaccinations Haaretz


How did the UK reach 200,000 Omicron infections in one day? FT. Clean living. It pays off every time. –Elmore Leonard

France Approves Controversial Plan to Renovate Notre-Dame Cathedral Smithsonian. I was prepared to hate this, but I unironically like the idea of Louise Bourgeois in Notre Dame very much. I have seen several exhibits of her installations, and she’s terrific (in all senses). Twentieth Century (High) Gothic.

The Caribbean

Edward Bernays: Propaganda and the U.S.-Backed 1954 Guatemalan Coup Covert Action Magazine

Leftist Lula maintains dominant lead in Brazilian election, poll shows Reuters

How Taxes Can Support Growth and Reduce Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean International Monetary Fund. Of all places.

New Cold War

The West’s nightmare: a war on three fronts Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telegraph

Murmansk-BN systems turn F-35 fighters into scrap metal near Russian borders Pravda (Re Silc).

Biden Administration

FDIC board members spar publicly as rift deepens American Banker

Hey SEC! Looking for a way to make hay with a SPAC peddling stablecoins? Francine McKenna, The Dig

Biden: U.S. has ordered enough Pfizer anti-viral pills to treat 10 million Americans Reuters

Supply Chain

Rolling blackouts possible in New England this winter, regional grid warns Boston Globe

L’Affaire Joffrey Epstein

Ghislaine Maxwell’s ‘black book’ of contacts thought to include Prince Andrew will not be released during her sex-trafficking trial Daily Mail. “[T]he defense and prosecution in her trial have agreed.”

‘Money is no object’: Ghislaine Maxwell trial shines light on class divide FT

Capitol Seizure

House Votes to Hold Mark Meadows in Contempt in Defiance of Jan. 6 Probe NECN. Still unclear to me why Merrick Garland is missing in action on all this.

Health Care

Oregon wants to get out of covering drugs like Aduhelm in Medicaid STAT

The Commodification of the Wellness Industry Jezebel

Imperial Collapse Watch

Death, drugs and a disbanded unit: How the Guard’s Mexico border mission fell apart Army Times

Guillotine Watch

Dick Moves London Review of Books. Musk. Now do Bezos.

Class Warfare

SF Burger King Franchisee Owes $1.9M In Wage-Theft Case San Francisco. Crime in San Francisco is getting really, really bad.

Fast food workers are using 911 call logs to draw attention to a hidden “crisis of violence” The Counter. Welcome to Assholistan.

A victory for the NewsGuild of New York:


Solidarity Economy – a first step Grassroots Economic Organizing

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “How armed drones may have helped turn the tide in Ethiopia’s war” article at-

    I read that the US and Europe have been backing the Tigray and suggesting to them that they occupy Ethiopia’s capital. So this opened the door for China, Iran and perhaps Turkey to enter the war on Ethiopia’s side by supplying them with equipment enough to turn the tide. More about this important story here-

    1. NotThePilot

      I’m still skeptical for now that drones are a total game-changer here. I know they were decisive in the Artsakh-Azerbaijan war, and I’m sure they’re damaging to the Tigrayans. I’m not sure the Tigrayans have the same weaknesses the Armenians in Artsakh did though.

      It’s interesting that at the media level, this Ethiopian war is almost like a 180-degree turn from Syria. In Syria, at least until the rebels lost most of their foreign backing, all sides spammed reports & videos, which at least revealed who aligned with whom. Here though, nobody in the public seems to know for sure if & how the foreign powers are involved, or what’s even happening beyond a lot of misery. I think the one, big variable in this war that nobody discusses is the GERD:

      Wikipedia: Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

      I don’t see any reason Turkey wouldn’t back the central government and sell as many of its drones as they could. While they’ll probably do it quietly and not too ideologically, it would be consistent with China’s behavior elsewhere too.

      I’m more skeptical that Iran is getting involved in Ethiopia just because “power vacuum”. It doesn’t clearly match their MO & all of these articles’ claims for one Iranian drone trace back to Bellingcat. Very sus. It’s still possible though, especially if they’ve been offered something strategic in return or believe Abiy’s actually right about the West backing the Tigrayans.

      The flip-side is that these articles downplay the UAE, and that Asia Times article doesn’t give any actual evidence that they’ve backed off or been brushed off. Outwardly supporting the government while cultivating their own factions within the govt side would also match what the UAE did in Yemen to a tee. At the same time, both Egypt & Sudan don’t want filling the GERD to proceed and could be nudging the UAE away from the government.

      The US is the interesting one because you could read support for either side into certain things. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if, like in Syria, different bureaus have picked different sides & we’re in another proxy civil war with ourselves.

  2. griffen

    Maxwell trial, supposedly it has not been ruled out that the lady may take the stand (probably not gonna happen). There is a remarkable comment in one article, that 35 potential witnesses could take the stand as called by the defense. It’s a friends and family show.

    Paint me in glowing terms, and that I’m a classy person. I like puppies and rainbows \sarc

    1. The Rev Kev

      Maybe Maxwell has told the court that if they go heavy on her, that she will fire her defence attorney, opt to represent herself and then proceed to call Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew to the witness stand. Can you imagine? If Maxwell pulled that stunt, she wouldn’t have to worry about stepping onto a small plane. I’m pretty sure that a small plane would ‘accidentally’ crash into that court instead.

      1. ambrit

        If only that theoretical small aircraft managed this feat while aforesaid pedophile malefactors were in the room. What a win for humanity!

      2. Questa Nota

        Maxwell and those in her orbit act as though there is a two-tier system of justice. Imagine that. How did she ever get that idea? /s

        One theme in matters such as l’affaire Maxwell that I find particularly disturbing is the ongoing decline in accountability accompanied by a rise in sociopathic behavior. In prior times, that could’ve been ascribed to an Id idding, while the Superego is sidelined, with any excesses or spillovers gushing haphazardly into an Ego. Not a Freudian, just looking at a handy characterization, so pick some variation on that. Maybe shamelessness?

        1. ambrit

          From what I have seen over the years, that class of person only responds in a meaningful way to perceived credible threats to their own well being.
          So, the Class War eventually becomes a shooting war, out of necessity.
          Alas, it is generally the “lower classes” that suffer the bulk of the malign outcomes from such a situation. A Pragmatic will “take comfort” in the thought that, when the SHTF, the pain is spread to all levels of the society.
          I take note that: Pandemics Are Equal Opportunity.
          Stay safe.

        2. jsn

          It’s been a problem going way back. I post this periodically when it comes up:
          “For no society of men whatever can persevere its unity and continue to exist, if the criminal element is not punished, since, if the diseased member does not receive proper treatment, it causes all the rest, even as our own physical bodies, to share in its affliction, because when the wrong-doers have power they become more daring, and corrupt the excellent also by causing them to grow dejected and to believe that they will obtain no benefit from right behavior. For wherever the insolent element has the advantage there inevitably the decent element has the worst of it; and wherever wrong-doing is unpunished, there self-restraint also goes unrewarded. For it is not by any characteristic of birth that what is friendly is distinguished from what is hostile, but it is determined by men’s habits and actions, which, if they are good can make that which is alien like unto itself, but if bad can alienate everything, even that which is alien. Julius Caesar. Dio’s Roman History trans. E. Cary (1916)”

          1. RubiconLib

            Interesting quote!
            Goes to show that perverse modernity has it backwards.
            Attributed to Caesar: Veni, Vidi, Vici
            Tagged to Epstein, et al: Vidi, Vici, Veni

  3. Mikel

    Re: “Omicron and Delta may strike people at the same time and COMBINE to create an even worse Covid variant in the coming weeks, Moderna boss warns” Daily Mail

    “Researchers have warned that these events, scientifically called ‘recombination events’, are possible but they require very specific conditions and the coincidence of mostly uncontrollable events.”

    Good thing we control most events around us…oh, wait…

    But overall, good to see some more reporting about variants and the evolution of the virus.
    Most reporting since omicron has been “the hopeful search for mild symptoms”.

    It still exists and is still evolving and they are still trying to figure it out.
    That’s the state of things.

    1. The Rev Kev

      What happens next year if a new variant develop that is just as infectious as Omicron but has a, say, 20% death rate which is immediately apparent? As far as I can see, the political leaders and high up medical authorities are only pretending to do something about the arrival of Omicron right now – if not lifting mask mandates, quarantine times, etc. But if a deadly variant evolves, will they try to cover its deadliness up? Will they slam borders shut and do lockdowns again before it gets out of control? Do we have to wait until we see mass graves being dug for victims like happened in some American cities a hundred years ago? If nothing else, the warp speed spread of Omicron has given us a time line of how quickly a new variant can spread and how much warning we will have i. e. not bloody long at all.

      1. Brian Beijer

        My theory is that Western governments will do something when they’re left with no other options. Reading the comments on-line (not here on NC) and seeing the vast majority of people where I live not wearing masks, keeping distance, etc., I would say that most governments have many months, if not years, before they are forced to take this seriously and do something for real. There’s still lots of mileage they can get out of “boosting” and blaming the unvaxxed, Then mandates will be enacted forcing everyone into the same boat. This will give Pfizer and Moderna enough time to tweak the vaccines and call for a whole new rollout of double shots. That will take them into fall of 2022. I wouldn’t count on the death toll to bring about any real change. Bodies are easy to hide and cause of deaths even easier to manipulate… especially with a willing public. Of course, I have no evidence that this will be the plan going forward, but if history is a guide…

        1. Geo

          Agreed. At this point the narrative has been so lost I doubt there’s anything they could do to sort it out – even if they wanted to.

          I intentionally follow a wide variety of accounts online and it’s incredible how entrenched the various factions are. Just yesterday there was a popular post calling for “mostly peaceful” protests if kids are forced to wear masks, a diehard lefty calling a pro-vax proponent a fascist, and the same hostility toward anti-maskers and anti-vax people from opposing perspectives.

          In the non-online world I’ve seen much the same thing – just more civil.

          It’s all become an identity circus at this point. No one trusts any source that deviates from their beliefs. The recent outrage at Trevor Noah for doubting the words of a Pfizer CEO was a good example. Similar to when Trump was booed at a rally for recommending the vax.

          At this point our best hope is for Jesus, MLK, Reagan, and Mao to descend from the heavens/accend from hell and release a TikTok PSA hosted by the Kardashians.

      2. Keith Newman

        @The Rev, 9:51am
        Not an expert on this, but don’t epidemics die out quite quickly if the death rate is high (e.g. 20%) because the spreaders are dead and not spreading the disease?

        1. thump

          SarsCov2 tends to get around to killing its hosts, to the extent that it does, long after transmission has occurred. Infected are even transmitting before symptoms, long before death two weeks (or more) later. Selection pressure for this virus is on transmission, not lethality.

        2. Vandemonian

          True in part, Keith, but there’s a timing issue. If the virus can spread to others before the first victim dies, it will prosper. Omicron seems to have a longer period between infection with virus shedding and the appearance of symptoms. Bronchial infection rather than lungs, as noted above.

          It’s a cunning little devil…

          1. Expat2uruguay

            Could you be more specific? I can’t find the previous mention of bronchial infection. Was it today, or another day? I’m pretty interested in what you’re saying, but well I still have questions

        1. The Rev Kev

          I was actually thinking of MERS when I typed that comment as it has a death rate of from 20% through to 35%.

      1. ambrit

        Man, I sincerely don’t want to “box” that triple play at the track. Racetrack touts would call that a “Wooden Box” bet.

    2. Hank Linderman

      So, vaxed and boosted, masked, distanced, mindful of ventilation, also taking zinc, NAC, vitamin D. I’m recalling that Delta could still get into nasal passages, allowing the vaxed to spread the disease. So, should I consider Zicam (zinc nasal spray) when I need to travel? Or anytime I need to be in public?


      1. ambrit

        I’m not a doctor, but, from what I’ve been reading here, I’d say just jump to the top right away and go with the Povodine spray.
        More enlightened comments? I’m thinking on a similar track concerning local shopping trips, etc.
        Stay safe. Follow the (crowdsourced) Science!
        The amount of misinformation and outright dissembling going on in today’s “Official” Medico-political sphere is really amazing.

        1. Hank Linderman

          I knew about that years ago, will look again. I used to use the stuff and had no problems but losing any one of my senses would be less than optimal.

          Looks like the particular products involved have been removed from the market, and no cases of loss of smell proven.

          Will keep looking before I use it, although I did order Povodine spray.

    3. thump

      I have been wondering about this possibility, since Omicron and Delta have relatively quite different lineages, and I am glad to see it addressed in this article. However, I (not in any way an expert on this subject) am not reassured by the statement here that his has happened only very rarely. It may not have happened, to use their example, with Alpha and Delta, because Alpha simply did not have mutations absent in and useful to Delta. With Omicron and Delta however…

    4. Pelham

      And we’re learning more about what Covid does to the body and brain. There’s evidence of spongiform damage to the brain (sounds like Creutzfeld-Jakob disease or the variant, essentially robbing people of mental capacity) and severe scarring of the lungs. Then there are reports that horridly debilitating long Covid afflicts anywhere from 20% to 57% of those who suffer any degree of initial severity. It’s unclear how long these symptoms last — weeks, month years?

      On the other hand, the “Omicron is mild” line is officially being spooled out, and maybe there’s something to it. But golly, given the priors and just because it’s being played down, I’ll bet Omicron is the worst yet and we’d all be well advised to batten down the hatches. Meanwhile, to the extent that any of us have any capacity to elicit actual answers from our betters, we should be asking why they haven’t stamped out all international airline travel. Personally, I’m weary of jet-setting doofuses merrily bringing back deadly diseases.

  4. Pat

    That kitty is too stubborn for it’s own good. Their dominant paw is bleeding and they still go after that spiny porcupine. Porcupine is very good at keeping their deadly backside to their predator.

    1. cocomaan

      I’m thinking that must be a young cat, because it really is not understanding the lost battle.

      Here in PA we have native porcupines but I’ve only ever seen their dens by accident, or seen them as roadkill. The dens are super lazy, too: basically a shallow hole in mountainside embankments, with lots of scat all around.

      Apparently the porcupine numbers went down significantly when fishers were reintroduced after statewide extirpation earlier in the 20th century. The fishers and bobcats will try to flip the porcupines over to get at the defenseless belly. However, getting that spiny critter flipped over without getting a face full of quills has to be difficult.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        late old man who used to own the mountain(sic) behind us ran goats back there(the tending of which was my source of beer money til he died.)
        he also kept donkeys as guard animals…against coyotes, mainly…a donkey, once it adopts a herd of goats or sheep, will attack and even kill any other smallish animal that threatens “their” herd.
        anywho…donkeys are very inquisitive….and smart.
        learn how to open gates, turn faucets, etc.
        so the native porcupines would come out at night and go do their thing…which involved eating the tasty dung beetles that would follow around the goats.
        so the donkeys would sidle up and sniff them, and get a snout full of quills.
        generally the younger donkeys…they learned after a time,lol.
        so i had to carry around a pair of needlenose pliers, for to pull out the quills from donkey snouts.
        they are barbed, of course…and don’t extract easily.
        the donkeys so afflicted would express shame(yes, really…not quite blushing) and acknowledge their foolishness, and allow me to pull the things out, and slather some bag balm on the wound.

        interestingly, perhaps…in almost 30 years of being a wild man/Ghan-Bury-Ghan in these parts…out at all hours in the woods and fields, investigating the sundry manifestations of Nature, as it goes about it’s secret purpose, i have only once seen a live porcupine.
        they use old armadillo dens, mostly…and i know where those are. I can identify them by the tracks and scat, as well as the stink(they exude a pungent musk during mating season)…so i know we have loads of them.
        but i’ve only seen one.
        this means that they are even wily-er than the Ringtail(Bassariscus astutus) or the Whip-Poor-Will(an invisible, groundnesting night bird, part of the Nightjar family of birds).
        because i am preternaturally quite stealthy when i’m making my rounds…often walking right up on deer or whatever.

        1. meadows

          They are quiet, often far up a tree eating bark… the easiest sign (at least in the PNW) is fresh chewing on the side of a dead tree. Also nocturnal and veeery slow, hence the roadkill. In New England, for decades, some states paid a bounty if you brought in a tail. I had a neighbor that killed some with a pitchfork!

          1903 to 1979 in NH, which according to the Manchester Union Leader was “…overrun with porqupines….”

          1. Mel

            They’re not essentially slow. There’s a sense of entitlement, and the feeling that “An automobile would not dare take me on; I’m trouble.”
            There was one that was chewing up our porch in the night. I went out with a flashlight and a straw broom and poked it a few times. It didn’t believe it, swatted the broom a bit with its tail to drive in some quills; the broom didn’t care. After a few more pokes it slid slowly down the porch pillar and walked off in a huff, projecting the attitude that I’d be feeling excruciating pain, if I weren’t too styooopid to realize it.
            After a couple of returns I’d had enough, followed it down the porch, fixed in the flashlight beam, and poking it whenever I got close. It got down on the lawn and waited for me to go away, and I followed it, and it retreated to the top of the well cover and waited for reality to return, and I followed it. A few hard pokes later it panicked, and set off in a frantic lumbering sprint across the lawn, up the embankment, across the road, and into the woods, faster than I’d ever seen any other rodent that size move.
            So it’s just a matter of motivation.

              1. Wukchumni

                I’ve lived the most sheltered of lives, never having seen a porcupine in person, the critters being scarce in Cali.

        2. tongorad

          A work colleague here in the outskirts of San Antonio TX had to put down both of her dogs because they messed with the wrong porcupines.
          This was the second encounter for the unfortunate canines – they didn’t learn the first time.

    2. Michael Ismoe

      That looked a lot like Kamala and Mayo Pete jockeying to check out Old Joe’s vital signs.

      “My turn! No, my turn.”

  5. Victoria

    Re: Merrick Garland MIA–he isn’t, yet, as I understand it. The House has to vote Contempt of Congress to refer the case to DOJ. Or at least that is the explanation given.

    1. cocomaan

      The modern DOJ is designed to be always missing in action. I can’t think of an attorney general that did anything that A) wasn’t evil or B) wasn’t useless, in the last 20 years.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Good Lord. Merrick Garland is now the new saviour? I guess we burned all our Meuller candles by now.

        1. ambrit

          s/ I hear through the Grapevine that the Stonewall Collective wants to make J Edgar Hoover a Saint. As per Monty Python, that was a “real flying man!” /s

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Garland was Obama’s nominee to please McConnell. Besides neutering the potential of the DoJ, this was a pick for Karens who thought McConnell would have a sad. Being a do nothing Republican type is who Garland is until he proves otherwise.

  6. Gumnut

    Re: Aerosol scientist discovers political economy // The airborne hierarchy of needs

    Even without the litigation angle (unsafe workspace), it is beyond great bearded one clear that aerosol mitigation options 1-4, maybe even 1-5, are not in the profit-seeking interest of the vast majority of business (factory or office alike, planes, you name it). No surprises why only option 6 is pushed all around.

    I tell elderly relatives (the young ones are vax-drones) that the covid transmission threat model is like cigarette smoke = if you could smell a person in that setting smoking, they are able to infect you if harbouring a virus.

      1. Basil Pesto

        We’d put it: if you can smell fabric softener or boy perfume through your mask; maybe, it’s time to leave?

        Not necessarily; as I understand it, odour molecules are on average approx 1/10 the size of the aerosols that the virion travels in. The latter are for the most part blocked by KN95+ masks, the former aren’t.

        1. AW

          The carbon–carbon bond length in organic molecules is typically just under
          1.5Å (Angstrom). An octane molecule (petrol, but comparable to other aromatic
          molecules) would then be around 10Å or 1nm (nanometre). SARS-CoV-2 is quite
          large as far as viruses go at 50–250nm or 0.05–0.25μm (micrometre or
          micron). A 1μm respiratory droplet (which is 1000 times larger than the
          average aromatic hydrocarbon and up to 20 times larger than a virion) could
          therefore contain a significant number of virions (remember volume goes as the
          third power of the radius). The confusion around aerosols is tremendous, even
          (or perhaps especially) in the literature describing aerosols and masking over
          the past two years (droplets over 10μm are definitely not aerosols and should
          precipitate out of stagnant air in a matter of minutes according to Stokes’
          law when equated to the gravitation force, which thus relates the speed of a
          droplet to the square of the radius). Physicists usually speak of aerosol
          particles up to 1μm; 3μm max. Masks generally become effective for particles
          from about 0.1μm (they are meant to be tested with particles this size), but
          most analyses use particles of around 3μm (smaller particles are more
          difficult to measure: 0.6μm is the wavelength of red light, so this is
          approximately the cross-over between Rayleigh and Mie scattering when optical
          detection methods are used). Estimates of the ratios of droplet size in
          exhaled breath vary wildly in the literature: some estimate up to 90% less
          than 1μm, others 90% greater. My impression is many researchers simply choose
          whatever suits the results they are trying to prove.

          Floppy surgical masks probably leak up to 50% of aerosols around the edges.
          N95 masks when not shaped to the face perhaps 20 to 30%. Most leakage occurs
          by the nose, so double-sided tape across the bridge is recommended besides
          proper shaping. Bottom line is that getting general conformity to effective
          masking in the general population will be extremely difficult and it should be
          assumed that most peoples’ masks are going to be about 50% effective; if
          you’re lucky. Anything more than nothing will of course help, but when in an
          enclosed environment with someone wearing a token mask it will likely not make
          much difference to the time period required to inhale a transmissible dose.

          Sorry about the length of this reply, I thought it would be two sentences. I
          should probably also include about ten references to back it all up (all of it
          is off-the-cuff). I will comply if asked; but that will be in about 18 hours.

  7. Bandit

    Murmansk-BN systems turn F-35 fighters into scrap metal near Russian borders

    As if the F-35 didn’t have enough problems from its inception….it looks like the Russians are going to turn it into flying junk as well as disabling the US war ships ability to function as nothing more than floating ducks.
    Flying junk and floating ducks
    managed by moron warmongers
    and delusional dumb fu*ks

    1. PlutoniumKun

      A story from a Russian source quoting a Chinese source quoting unsourced chatter from US pilots is hardly a good indicator of anything.

      If the BN system can bust the F-35, there is no way the Russians would be using it on the border now, they’d be saving it up as a surprise in a real conflict. You don’t give up your trump card weapon for a cheap newspaper headline. Apart from anything else, the F-35 would be monitoring BN emissions for data gathering purposes. Thats precisely why you would fly F-35’s close to the Russian borders, just as the Russians buzz Nato aircraft for the same reason. Its a game thats been going on for decades.

      1. svay

        I understand your point, but how would Russia know its Murmansk-BN system works without testing it? Saving it for a real conflict might prove an unwelcome surprise for Russia.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Nobody ever knows these things until they are tried, but you certainly don’t test it out in a situation where you are giving away your own strengths (of course, there could well be double and triple and quadruple bluffs going on). If they were going to test it, they’d probably try in Syria with Israeli F-35’s, where it could be to some degree deniable, and if they brought a plane down they could destroy the evidence of how they took it down.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Actually, a few years back (2019 or so) Norway blamed Russia for spoofing GPS in the Barents Sea coast area. No commercial flights were diverted in the area, though, nor did the Finnish authorities notice any anomalies in Lapland, but after some pressure from Norway Finland also blamed Russia.

            Oddly enough, this was at the time when Norwegian F-35’s were declared operational. So in this light the story kinda has some legs. It can also be cover for glitches in the complicated software in F-35. Maybe it was not “calibrated” to work north of Polar Circle or something clever like that…

            1. Bill Smith

              There are been plenty of widely documented occurrences of the Russians messing with GPS. It’s not hard to figure out where the messing about is coming from.

              I think the jamming was back in 2018 and Norway’s air force received their first F-35’s in 2017. However they are stationed in southern Norway and the first public mention of the F-35’s being used to intercept Russian aircraft was in 2020. That was a handoff from F-16’s in the north to the F-35’s in the south.

              It is true that GPS doesn’t work as well in the far north. GLONASS works better up there. This has to do with the satellite orbits. Early on, based on where the US and Soviet Union had more real estate, design decisions where made.

              1. Grebo

                GPS is easy to jam. It takes some sophistication to spoof it. Recall the Iranians claimed that’s how they captured that US drone.

                The effects here and in the Black Sea a while back seem to go far beyond GPS nobbling though. If the Russians can really disable ships and planes electronically they may calculate that the deterrence effect of revealing it exceeds its surprise value.

      2. Basil Pesto

        A story from a Russian source quoting a Chinese source quoting unsourced chatter from US pilots is hardly a good indicator of anything.

        Who needs Pravda on the Potomac when you have….. literally Pravda.

    2. Samuel Conner

      I think I read not long ago (but, it being pandemic time, my sense of time passage is not reliable) that these capabilities were part of the Russian intervention on the side of the State of Syria, and IIRC there were some instances of unusual things happening to US assets deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean.

      Whatever one thinks of the character of the Russian government and its principals, I think one has to admire their ingenuity in identifying and developing key technologies for offsetting Nato economic and military “numerical superiority.”

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Murmansk-BN systems turn F-35 fighters into scrap metal near Russian borders

        I’m pretty sure that Northrup Grumman beat them to it. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a tank with wings.

      2. DataHog

        ​Reports like this one where Russian cyber warfare systems disable or neutralize US and Israeli military hardware have been appearing in many sources since Assad invited Russia into Syria.
        I didn’t keep records so I can’t cite the sources, but I agree with S. Connor’s comment.
        A list of examples I’ve seen reported include one where a US Navy ship was totally disabled and had to be towed to port.
        One report had the Israeli military attempting to shoot down a drone flown into Israel’s air space from Syria. Two missiles and fighter jets failed to bring it down. It returned safely to Syria.
        One report covered a US General explaining to a Congressional committee that not only can Russian cyber capability neutralize the US command and control communications systems that the US hardware depends upon, he explained the Russians also can take over those systems to fire on targets that they choose.
        Remember those two large salvos of cruise missile that were launched into Syria. Remember neither salvo hit their targets.
        The list goes on…
        I like to follow blogs written by ex-intelligence officers. Some of those reports that I read were in their blogs.

      3. Andy

        Russian government adjacent media is very good at trolling NATO and giving the impression that Russian weaponry is all around superior to NATO’s lethal offerings.

        But these “my weapons can destroy your weapons” dick swinging contests need to be taken with a grain of salt. After all, it’s easy (for both sides) to make grandiose claims about advanced weapon systems knowing that they can’t be tested until a shooting war breaks out between them. It’s passive macho fronting for military nerds and propagandists.

        One of the funniest participants in this exercise is the Russian blogger Andrei Martyanov who very confidently claims that Russian weapons and military doctrine are so advanced that the US/NATO doesn’t stand a chance against them.

        This is just the flip side of American claims that its military is the best ever and forever unbeatable. Yeah, sure it is.

        One can only hope that actual American and Russian military commanders are intelligent and sensible enough to understand the limits of their weapons and tactical capabilities and act accordingly.

    3. Wukchumni

      It’s an odd situation, as if KIA felt threatened by market share of the Pontiac Aztek… (is that an insult to the F-35 or aforementioned lemon?, but I repeat myself)

    4. Bill Smith

      “Murmansk-BN systems turn F-35 fighters into scrap metal near Russian borders Pravda”

      Assuming that what is written is just not filled with typos, It is pretty clear that whomever wrote the article is clueless. For a start, someone want to look up the frequencies that are commonly used by aviation radios?

      1. Grebo

        Yes, it is simply not credible that any such system could work over 3000 km. 3000 m maybe. Are they flying F-35s within 3000 m of the Russian border?

    5. Alex Morfesis

      Yup…Russia the great military machine that was saved by metaxas delaying Barbarossa and FDR greenlighting operation torch…but please don’t tell fearless leader raz putin who might cry when faced with reality… remember, Germany almost lost WW2 in Poland with almost 25% of the junkies flying for the vermaxxxt losing their equipment in the first few weeks until Russia invaded Poland…black and white Lani referstyling cut and paste Flix on the herstory channel does not bend reality…

      Our useless overpriced weapons will still take down their flawed military manufacturing capacity…all rockets look great until you use them…two guys punching codes on the back of a truck are somehow going to be precise but if a butterfly farts in Miami rocket flights with a few dozen mission control people need to be cancelled at Canaveral…

      Film at 11….

  8. Mikel

    RE: UK/Omicron
    “If we have a million infections a day, even a very small proportion of those individuals requiring hospitalisation will put significant impact on healthcare,” Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at UKHSA, told MPs on Tuesday.

    All over the world, the same thing. Still.
    Basically, centuries of advancement in medicine and science goes down the drain because of delivery delivery systems and economic ideologies.

    1. Vandemonian

      …and meanwhile, in Australia, most travel restrictions have been lifted in time for Christmas, with Omicron cases starting to rise. I’m betting on a hospital cases kicking upwards around New Year’s Day.

  9. Wukchumni

    Winter without snow is coming High Country News
    In a future tense, yes there will be less snow.

    Every couple years we get an inch or so, usually overnight and it melts out by noon, yesterday was only the 2nd time it has snowed in the foothills during waking hours in nearly 20 years. Looks to be close to 5 feet of snow in the higher climes where I was hiking only a week ago.

    We have another small system coming in and then a week from now 4 more days of storm potential, which seems great on the surface after such a punishing drought, but what if the storms have no let up and just keep coming for the next few months, ala 1861-62, or a not quite as catastrophic winter but the standard bearer for the 20th century in terms of snowfall, the 1968-69 version?

    We are very much in an age of extreme weather events, and due for a massive deluge (hopefully not like the 1605 epic which was much bigger than the aforementioned 1861-62 precipitation-fest which turned the Central Valley into one big lake from Bakersfield to Sacramento {kiss all the fruit & nut trees goodbye if that happens} and beyond) one of these winters.

  10. KD

    Cannot fathom the Climate Change narrative. There is a set amount of energy demand. If you reduce the level of investment in energy production, especially “dirty” sources, then the prices of energy will go up. As the price goes up, the money will invest in resources like coal because you increased the payoff.

    There is no coherent plan to change the grid to renewables because of reliability and storage issues which everyone claims are going to be solved but haven’t been. Plus no one pays attention to the role of fossil fuels in fertilizer production and the fact that current food yields are totally dependent on modern fertilizers. Not to mention plastic. . .

    You can tout nuclear fission (I would) but here traditional fission plants have issues with meltdown and waste production, and new designs are untested and undeveloped and will take years, even if they are feasible and reduce safety issues and produce less waste (and there will still be waste and proliferation problems).

    Instead of a coherent plan, I have learned oil and gas are bad, and coal is very bad, and we should have some more subsidies for solar and wind, and EV is good. However, in the USA, the electrical grid cannot support a transition to EV, EV is expensive and getting more expensive due to the not-so-carbon-neutral metals involved in battery production. The puritans tell me I should walk five miles to work in the cold and then eat rice with bug meal for protein, but that is not a plan that anyone is going to get on board with unless it is a monastery.

    Its completely incoherent, although I suppose there is a good marketing opportunity for morally righteous coffee mugs and other merc sales on AOC’s webstore. My “deep” ecology perspective: if the world is going to end because of global warming, then the world is going to end, because there is no coherent plan to make the world carbon neutral, and no political will to make it so even if it did exist. Its just virtue signaling and merchandizing all the way down.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      These are all things to think about.

      Perhaps I can set your mind at ease about the “modern fertilizer” problem. I assume you are talking about Haber-Bosch nitrogen fertilizer?

      There are commercially successful farmers who claim to be getting the same food yields as their Haber Bosch neighbors without using any Haber Bosch Nitrogen at all. Gabe Brown is one such. Garry Zimmer is another. Mark Shephard is another. (There are still so few that I could remember every single one by name if my memory were powerful enough). Still, they claim they are doing it and their claims have not yet been debunked. There are many ways to bio-fix sky-Nitrogen. Not just legumes who harbor nitrofixing rhizobia, but several non-legume plants who harbor non-rhizobial nitro-fixers. And not only that, but also free-living soil-borne bacteria who can also fix Nitrogen . . . . azotobacter, actinomycetes ( going on memory), possibly others.

      Oh, and . . . near a small Mexican village in Oaxaca State has been discovered a particular corn-type the villagers grow which fixes its own Nitrogen. Corn breeders wonder if they can breed this talent into other types of corn.
      ( In my own little garden I grow hickory cane corn. I have seen small amounts of this root-snot on the prop-root buds of a few of my plants. I just assumed it was to keep the prop-root tips moist and protected until they could reach the ground. Now I wonder if it is a vestigial expression of the same talent this Mexican corn has.)

      So the food production problem is solvable without Haber Bosch Nitrogen even at current world population.

      I am too tired to think my way through your other points of concern.

  11. Wukchumni

    Anybody else weirded out by the prospect of a family xmas get together that will correspond perfectly with the spread of omicron only gaining ground in the next 10 days?

    There will be a dozen of us from 14 to 96, and i’m loathe to kill my mom or other members of the clan over a potlatch-less (we don’t exchange gifts anymore) event, but don’t want to be that nervous nelly who negates the potential of the opposite of a nativity scene.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      aye. my brother and his brood are coming up for almost a week…from Kingwood, north of Houston.
      the good part is that they are nervous nellies/hypochondriacs…and generally afraid of other humans.
      so they mask all the time and bathe in hand sanitiser and avoid human contact…as much as one can, that is, while living and working and schooling in such a place, where everybody lives in each others’ pockets.
      nevertheless, me and mine will avoid hugs and spend as little time at mom’s as possible*…and all interaction otherwise will be outside(like at the Wilderness Bar).
      Wife’s cancer is a great excuse for keeping them away from our house.
      prior to pandemic, they would always bring the flu out here…almost killed mom, one year….so bad and so predictable that i’d feel his girls’ foreheads as soon they pulled up.
      so my bunch was already well schooled in the whole swiss cheese model and such….because the flu sucks, and it’s better to avoid getting it.
      for years…since brother and i both had kids…i’ve advocated that we do xmas/thanksgiving in june or july, for this very reason…but to no avail.

      *interestingly, pandemic has infected my bunch with my scroogeism,lol….the pretentious happyhappyjoyjoy platitudes of “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” irk them…something i never expected, and that they merely accepted and endured in me in the beforetimes.
      (i loathe this time of year: cold is painful and means extra work… cityredneck hunter people invading my dirt road isolation, gawking at the hillbillyhippie like i’m a zoo animal…frelling football…rampant communicable diseases…”Cedar Fever”…Seasonal Affective Disorder and the anniversary of my big wreck(12-17-1990)…and ubiquitous green and red and that shiny plastic thread stuff that gets everywhere and jingle bells and cinnamon smells and enforced happiness…the xmas music sticks and plays, unwanted, within my head…..
      i hate it all,lol…but i’ve tried to keep it to myself, as best i’m able…plead painday, etc so i can just stay home)

  12. Michael Ismoe

    Here’s a blast from the past:

    “Just a few hours ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the CDC — announced that they are no longer recommending that fully vaccinated people need wear masks. This recommendation holds true whether you are inside or outside.”

    Joe Biden
    May 21, 2021

    The Old Man is going to see favorability ratings that rival Bush the Dumber.

        1. MP

          There’s a lot of ink to be spilled about how the AIDS pandemic primed the pump as neoliberal kicked off to have ready-made eugenicist answers for collective problems.

    1. Pat

      I see where Pfizer is still trying to declare their vaccine with booster as effective against Omicron. If things go the way it looks like it is going to go a whole lot of people and groups are going to have lots of spoiled egg on their faces. Pfizer, the CDC, Biden and Fauci, WHO, and most of the so-called adults in the room have ignored the details and lied their *sses off. The problem is that after lying over and over, trust in leaders and our public health system will be less than tatters.

      Despite my problems with the vaccines, it was the idiocy of going all in with them with so little real evidence that was my biggest problem. Apparently the idea that if these experimental treatments didn’t work as promised you were going to lose your authority with people never entered our leaders’ minds. I know some of it is the stupid belief they all have that any debacle can be buried with better PR, but honestly this is just basic human nature. Despite the harrumphing there was really no downside in continuing mask wearing as the standard. I get it was supposed to be the carrot, but that’s like saying the digitally controlled train car doesn’t need a manual emergency brake in case of internet failure… just let people go to work and meet up but masked. And admit that is all experimental and this is to the best of our knowledge, but we are learning as we are going.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        But Biden wanted to smell hair again. “America is Back”. Biden’s basic campaign message was that all was well until Trump, but the signs of Trumpdom have to go, even if they made sense like masks. We didn’t wear masks under the Great Obama. For the non Fox cable news audience that is Biden’s base, this is how they see it.

        I should also stress he brought Neera Tanden into his circle preceeding this. She’s another fine example of Clinton trash. These people are all PR.

      2. Tom Doak

        I would like to understand better how Pfizer got into the position of running the government’s pandemic response and their p.r. being accepted as unquestionable gospel, even after so much of it has been proven to be somewhere between wishful thinking and outright lying.

        They didn’t even make the most effective mRNA vaccine, theirs was second out of two!

  13. cocomaan

    Looks like Yves earlier post a few weeks back about dismal Black Friday sales was right on: 0.3% rise in sales in November.

    Pretty bad look. Inflation may be finally blowing out consumer wallets.

    1. John

      The Bidenpression has already arrived.

      The number of people, including young teenagers, seeking any kind of work on social media, and from wealthy neighborhoods, is staggering.

      Saw several obviously white boys standing with the Hispanic day laborers in front of the paint store. First time ever in 35 years since the first guys started lining up there.

  14. Tom Stone

    It seems that the concept of exponential growth is hard for humans to understand.

    The results won’t be.

    1. BeliTsari

      That’s why I’d thought “Green New Deal” seemed a typically un-ironic contradiction in terms? Keynes, FDR, Ken Galbraith… Dixiecrat’s New Deal (blatant white flight suburban metastatic consumerism) CAUSED AGW in our time. Race-to-the-bottom importation of sweat-shop junk (running on coal, oil, nuke…) is not market driven. It’s neoliberal oilgarchy at work? Koyaanisqatsi might not be a commercial, Naomi Klein a cookbook writer, but… Kleptocracy is just a symptom and Catastrophe Capitalism only one tired out old schtick?

  15. fresno dan
    A man allegedly taking selfies with a gun at Fresno’s Fashion Fair Mall was arrested Tuesday, according to the Fresno Police Department.

    Officers say they received a call for service at around 4:20 p.m. about a man not brandishing or threatening anyone with the firearm – but taking photos of himself with the firearm outside the food court.
    I just don’t understand why he wasn’t taking selfies next to the mall Christmas tree…unless it was part of the war on Christmas…

    1. Wukchumni

      Wonder if he got busted for having a ‘ghost gun’ or was it the employees of Hot Dog On A Stick, felt threatened by his erstwhile Kodak moment with a steely dan?

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      i like to think that legal brothels are part of the answer.

      i’d make an awesome Madame.

  16. fresno dan
    Two zebras that escaped from a Maryland farm four months ago have returned to the property and reunited with their herd, officials said Tuesday.

    The zebras, which had been roaming “at large” since August, returned to the 300-acre private farm in Upper Marlboro last week, the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment said in a news release.
    So convicts wear that striped clothing to make spotting them easy…or somethin’
    Anywho, how tough can it be to find a striped horse in Maryland?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      How hard is it to see a zebra where it’s not supposed to be?

      My little sister was four, maybe three, on a trip to where I was born in New Hampshire. She started screaming about seeing a baby moose, near the old house. We were visiting next door neighbors. There aren’t in any moose in Virginia where she had lived her whole life. My parents assured her she didn’t see a moose aren’t sure do they werent in town during that time of the year. The kid was a adamant.

      We get to the old neighbors, repeating the moose sighting as we go in, and our old neighbor produces a news paper about the moose and baby moose that had settled in town and all the sightings. They were living on the property my parents owned adjacent to the old house.

      I’ve seen two moose on little trips there over the years, so they aren’t rare. But it was the wrong time to see them, especially a calf (?). My sister wasn’t prone to tall tales or the outdoors, so saying she saw a moose should have been a red flag.

  17. Flyover Boy

    The Crapification of Google that Lambert has referenced seems to keep creeping.

    In recent weeks, when I use Google’s YouTube, the flood of commercials has become more and more relentless. They’re doubling up now ahead of even not-terribly-popular videos. You can’t always bail out of them after 5 seconds, and even if you do, sometimes you’re hit with the second one and have to bail out again.

    Heaven forbid you watch a 20 or 30 minute video — now it’s interrupted every 5 minutes by a break with 2 commercials in it. If you’re trying to skip through a long video, every single time you try to move the cursor forward — even a few seconds forward — it triggers 2 more commercials.

    If you’re watching an album of music, full albums on one video are now almost outlawed. Instead, each song must be a separate video, with (you guessed it) a commercial break after each.

    It’s a complete pain in the ass that renders the site all but unusable. Which clearly is the goal; they’re trying to arm-twist every viewer into a paid membership, exactly the same way Amazon deliberately sits on your order for a day before shipping it if you have the nerve to not pay for Prime.

    1. Questa Nota

      Try an ad blocker extension on your browser. Some may be built in while others are optional.

      You may need to customize the extension settings to allow ads for some sites where that ad presence is fairly unobtrusive and supports delivery or viability of the service as with non-profit or similar sites.

    2. Lost in OR

      Somebody here recommended using Brave as the browser. I’m liking it a lot. Pretty much eliminates utube ads. Sure beats Safari and Firefox.

      1. Andy

        Firefox with the uBlock Origin extension doesn’t “pretty much” eliminate YouTube ads, it eliminates all YT ads all of the time.

        Brave is ok at blocking ads but nothing beats Firefox + extensions when it comes to comprehensively blocking almost all ads across the board.

        1. Late Introvert

          Agree with @Andy, and will note that in the past I recommended that same advice serveral times and had the comments nuked, so good on the mods if they are letting this very useful tip through.

          My job pays me to help seniors navigate tech, and I’m a former web dev. YMMV of course, and Brave is a 2nd best option, make sure to turn off all the weird stuff.

  18. Lou Anton

    UK infections are soaring. I like the layout of the official site (here), in that you can see the trend of infections, deaths, and hospital admittances all side-by-side. And the trend is always infections leads admittances leads deaths.

    The infections are way up, the admittances are trending up, and now sadly waiting to see if the last part holds true. If omicron is ‘milder’ (I’m using it to mean “less deaths” here), we shouldn’t see the deaths trend pick up.

  19. ambrit

    Just a bit of “local colour” related to the Louisiana Vaccine Mandate for school children.
    Louisiana has a big and fairly well organized homeschool movement. Mainly, still, centred upon the Evangelical cohort, it none the less includes many outriders and disparite elements. (We were one such “outlier” back in the 1980s and on.)
    This vacine mandate will drive many of the “fence sitters” in the vaccine wars into the welcoming arms of the more ‘radical’ Evangelical groups.
    No matter what the ‘theoretical’ reasons for vaccine hesitancy being promoted are, basic outcomes will drive the narrative at the ground level.
    If this Pandemic is, as it appears to have evolved into, a giant medico-socio-political experiment, please do consider the so called “anti-vaxxers” as a ‘control group.’

  20. lordkoos

    Pfizer Says Its Covid-19 Pill Likely Works Against Omicron

    Just, wow. The word “likely” is doing a huge amount of work here…

  21. allan

    Mariana Alfaro @marianaa_alfaro:

    Pelosi, says lawmakers/Capitol staff shouldn’t be prohibited from trading stock:
    “This is a free market, we are a free market economy, they should be able to participate in that.”
    11:28 AM · Dec 15, 2021·

    L’économie, c’est moi.

      1. The Rev Kev

        There. Right there. Can you imagine a film clip on YouTube of the “West Wing” theme song but splicing in contemporary Republicans instead like Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, etc. instead of those actors? It would drive some people nuts.

  22. jsn

    Louise Bourgeois @ Notre Dame:

    She tells a story about when she was a child. Her mother worked at a fabric company that manufactured embroidered fabrics. Her job was to cut out the genitals from the figures and stitch fig leaves where they’d been for exports to the US market. She kept the genitals and stitched them together on her own time to make an embroidered fabric for use at home.

  23. LawnDart

    Why not Hillary?

    Biden’s picked up from where Trump left off, and no doubt, Hillary will do the same, as would any member of the duopoly.

    2022 midterms are shaping up to be a slaughter; 2024 could be the coup de grâce to the democrat party that so many of us are praying for– and Hillary could be the bullet.

    Worst case: she wins.

    How bad could that be?

    1. Screwball

      It would no doubt make many PMC type happy – because she deserves it.

      Otherwise, would it really matter who is the Captain of the Titanic?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        She had virtually no votes under 40 last time matching her virtually no votes under 30 8years prior. Her voters are dying. Her primary appeal was misplaced nostalgia.

        The break in support matches the introduction of Title IX to schools. She was meaningless.

        1. Wellstone's Ghost

          They couldn’t give away the tickets when she and Bill hit the medicine show tour circuit.
          Michelle packed the ladies in something fierce.

    2. Sutter Cane

      I thought seeing Biden vs. Trump again had to be the dumbest thing that could possibly happen, but I was wrong. Hillary losing to Trump (again) is the stupidest possible future, and now I am afraid that it is destined to be our fate. It’s simply too stupid NOT to happen!

  24. Randal

    It’s like the commentariat here either doesnt believe iver mectin works or are too cowed by their corrupt evil overlords to use it as prophylaxis. I see lots of handwringing and talk of maskwearing nasal rinses etc but nothing about using vitamin I proactively. Strange … folks just cause the first world govt-pharma complex wont admit it works doesnt mean it doesnt!

    1. Grebo

      I think many of us are using it, and more would if they could get it. Whether it works or not is still uncertain but when more data arrives I’m sure we’ll discuss it at length.

    2. lordkoos

      Not sure where you’ve been, but in the last year or so there has been plenty of discussion of IVM here as well as some advocacy for it.

    3. Basil Pesto

      It is not “handwringing” to talk about masks/respirators, one of, if not the the most effective and proven known interventions to protect from C19, particularly when used across a whole community. Nobody should be using Ivermectin as a substitute for KN95+ respirators (assuming they are able to use the latter).

      Ivermectin is discussed here on a daily basis, seemimgly even if the post is about something completely unrelated like climate change.

  25. Bill Smith

    “2022 midterms are shaping up to be a slaughter”

    There is certainly a lot of media hype on that which supposedly sells adverting, but we are a long way from November 2022. A lot can change. Russians in Kiev, for instance :)

  26. Carla

    Wow. This looks even worse than the things Cleveland does. At least in Kansas City, one courageous councilwoman voted against this grift:

    Headline: Kansas City overwhelmingly OKs millions for company moving a mile into luxury offices

    From the story:

    [Councilwoman Ryana] “Parks-Shaw said the Council should stop awarding excessive incentives to big businesses at the expense of public schools, libraries and mental health services, which are all funded by property taxes. ‘I am concerned about the fact that we are continuing to do this,’ she said.

    No kidding.

  27. Tom Stone

    I would like to see a Trump/Clinton rematch in 2024, it would be vastly entertaining.
    I’d like to see Hillary lose again, to Trump.
    Because I despise her more than I despise Trump.
    Trump is likely the less effective evil and he might send along the $600 that cheapskate Joe still owes me…

    1. sbarrkum

      The largest species of porcupine is the third-largest living rodent in the world after the capybara and beaver.

      The word “porcupine” comes from Latin porcus pig + spina spine, quill, via Old Italian (Italian “porcospino”, thorn-pig)—Middle French—Middle English.[2][3] A regional American name for the animal is “quill-pig”.(In SL people eat porcupine, illegal though)

      A baby porcupine is a porcupette. When born, a porcupette’s quills are soft hardened hair. They harden within a few days, forming the sharp quills of adults

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