Links 12/18/2021

Brilliant Christmas Tree Ideas For Lazy People EatLiver (fresno dan)

Woman trying to stop bear hunters unleashes dog, and an attack ensued, VT officials say The Tribune (resilc). This woman has no clue as to how lucky she was. There was a case in Maine maybe a decade ago where deer hunters killed a woman on her suburban/exurban woods-abutting property. The hunters said they mistook her white gloves for a deer tail. Many locals suspect she’d argued with them for hunting too close to her property (actually legal given its location) because she had kids, and they’d popped her.

The fight to save horseshoe crabs from the biomedical industry The Verge (David L)

Australians warned against surge in snakes and spiders DW

This Footage From The First-Ever Probe to Touch The Sun Will Leave You Speechless Science Alert (David L)

Tardigrade is first multicellular organism to be quantum entangled New Scientist (David L)

How does extreme weather impact marine ecosystems? (Kevin W)

Newfound type of storm is a 1,000-km-wide puddle in the sky New Atlas (David L)

Univ. of Washington AI protein folding discovery wins ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ award from Science Geekwire (David L)

Richard Porson: A Man of a Different Class Antigone (Anthony L)

How to pray to a dead God aeon

Small Mercies: Magic Mushrooms Helped Me Regain Control of My Brain Jezebel (David L)



No saying GM has a monopoly on worst case scenarios….and this isn’t necessarily worst case:

More channeling GM:

‘No Evidence’ That Omicron is Less Severe Than Delta, Say Imperial Researchers Reuters

How Omicron Evades Natural Immunity, Vaccination, And Monoclonal Antibody Treatments Forbes (Kevin W)

Omicron largely evades immunity from past infection or two vaccine doses Imperial College London. Resilc: “Gee, yesterday it was ez/pz.”

Omicron could bring the worst surge of COVID yet in the U.S. — and fast NPR (David L)


Coronavirus: Hospitality venues in Ireland to close early BBC (Kevin W). Weak tea.

Covid-19: Omicron spreading at lightning speed – French PM BBC

Listen to This Article: Led by Jeremy Corbyn, the British Left Opposes Vaccine Mandates as Anti-Worker and Repressive Glenn Greenwald


New York Hits Covid-19 Case Record as Omicron Looms Wall Street Journal. Lead story.

With Omicron, U.S. Testing Capacity Faces Intense Pressure New York Times

America Is Not Ready for Omicron The Atlantic (resilc). Two years squandered….

Federal appeals court reinstates Biden administration’s business vaccine and testing mandate CNBC (Kevin W)

Pfizer to test Covid booster dose on infants, young kids RT (Kevin W)

Is It Going to Be Like This Forever? New York Magazine (resilc)

Anti-Vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s House Party Guests Told to Get Vaccinated Before Coming Daily Beast (resilc)


Central Banks Bet Economies Can Tolerate Omicron, Not Inflation Bloomberg (Kevin W)

COP26/Climate Change

Collapse of Florida-sized glacier may happen soon, raising sea levels and threatening coastal cities USA Today (David L)


U.S. blacklists world’s largest commercial drone firm for surveillance of Uyghurs in China Axios (resilc)

US accuses China of developing ‘brain control weaponry’ Financial Times (Kevin W)

Special Report: Amazon partnered with China propaganda arm Reuters (furzy)

China: We’ll make US pay the price for sanctions Asia Times (Kevin W)

DIANA JOHNSTONE: The Growing Franco-German Estrangement Consortium News (Chuck L)

Old Blighty

Boris Johnson ‘gone in a year’ unless he cleans up act, senior Tories warn Guardian. Kevin W: “A year? So they are not serious then.”

New Cold War

Putin and Xi plot their SWIFT escape The Saker (Kevin W)

Russia issues its list of demands Guardian (vlade)

Looks likes someone did not like this tweet (follow this link, we took a screenshot rather than embedding). Notice dramatic change in headline, which you can also verify from article URL (see here for story):

A Lesson In Real Realism Andrei Martyanov (Chuck L)

A Domestic Newspaper Warns of the Russian Space Program’s ‘Rapid Collapse’ ars technica

The 30th anniversary of the fall of the USSR Brookings (Kevin C)


Israel and the Gulf States Are Becoming Closer. But It Won’t Make Biden’s Life Much Easier Politico (Kevin C)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Facebook Bans 7 ‘Surveillance-For-Hire’ Companies That Spied On 50,000 Users NPR. Only 50,000?

The Log4J Vulnerability Will Haunt the Internet for Years Wired (Dr. Kevin)

Anti-5G necklaces found to be radioactive BBC (David L)


GOP blows off Trump’s bid to oust McConnell Politico (resilc). Not smart. Concrete evidence of how much Trump’s star has waned, despite the MSM constantly pumping him up.


The clip above also demonstrates why Kamala has no hope of becoming the Democratic party Prez candidate, let alone winning. She can’t take any heat. Getting scold-y, a display of ego, and a misaimed smear in close succession are not a good look.

Police State Watch

The Roots of Rage The Plough (Dori M)

Schools Across US Cancel Classes Over Unconfirmed TikTok Threats The Verge

Woke Watch

Our Famously Free Press

Politico’s Defense News, Brought to You by Northrop Grumman Mint Press (Kevin W)

US Regulators Flag Climate Change, Stablecoins As Potential Systemic Risks Reuters

Supply Chain

Our supply chain woes didn’t start with the pandemic The Hill (resilc)

Class Warfare

Worker Protection Bill Blocked Before Tornado Disaster Daily Poster

Kellogg Says It Has Tentative Deal With Union as It Faces Mounting Pressure Truthout

Kellogg Celebrates Weak Tentative Agreement – 1/4 of Americans Quit Their Jobs in 2021 – 5,000 Fred Meyers Workers Strike Mike Elk

Antidote du jour (Christopher J):

And a bonus (Robert M). The dogs are very very good but the cat behaving so well is impressive:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. svay

    ‘No Evidence’ That Omicron is Less Severe Than Delta, Say Imperial Researchers Reuters

    This link leads to ‘U.S. study suggests vaccines may be ineffective against Omicron without booster’, which appears to make no mention of omicron’s severity in individuals, except insofar as existing vaccines seem to offer less protection, nor of Imperial researchers.

    Might this be the intended link?
    “We find no evidence (for both risk of hospitalisation attendance and symptom status) of Omicron having different severity from Delta,” the [Imperial College London] study said, although it added that data on hospitalisations remains very limited.

    1. Mikel

      They are just really figuring out how fasst this thing spreads, but they “know” an extra therapeutic shot of a NON-STERILIZING vaccine is what is providing people with protection.

      What they also do not say or know id how long the alleged booster protection works.
      Thet throw around the word “immunity” until it’s meaningless at this point. There is NO immunity. Temporary protection that is not the same across the board for everyone.
      It’s not even the same for healthy people.

      So we go through the same dumb@$!#ery with these pharma salesmen saying “one more shot” and then two months later they come out and talk about “immunity” with another booster?
      I’m disgusted and boiling angry about it!

      1. jefemt

        Should it no longer be classified as a vaax, but a ‘shot’ , like a shot for the flu?

        It seems we are now in a chase-the dominant strain, after-the-fact concoction, sort of like police clean–up AFTER the crime. Hopeful but imperfect predictive modelling…

        And if the Vaaax is like a flu shot, will flu shots become mandatory, or might we go the other way with covid Vaax, rename it a covid ‘shot’, and actually reform the Narrative with a bit more honest and useful message and preventative meaures , such as airborne spread mitigations, possibly even mentioning effective symptom-lessening ubiquitous and cheap meds widely used in the third world for other problems? ?

        I don’ thin’ so…

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          You would need a political party-movement to run candidates on doing those particular things in order to get them forced into the mainstread discussion against mainstream opposition to discussing them.

      2. curlydan

        The Forbes Hazeltine article linked above summed it up nicely: “Notably, Recently released data shows that sera from people who received the third dose lost almost ninety percent of its potency against Omicron after two weeks. After three months, most third-dose sera failed to neutralize at all. This data confirms the epidemiological observations that most fully doubly-vaccinated and triply-vaccinated individuals, including those with prior infection, are susceptible to infection by Omicron within three months of the last boost.”

        1. Mikel

          That’s REAL talk.

          And whether one gets two days, two weeks, or two months protection is dependent not only on individual health, but environmental conditions that can vary over time and place for each person. Environmental conditions could be anything from pollution to presence of other bacteria or viruses.

        2. Mikel

          The weaker and smaller benefit from additional shots makes a bad reaction outcome from shots less worth the risk.
          And all of these injections in masses of people have not passed the real test of time.

          One year is not the long-term thinking needed here. Insanity to think anyone know what the ling term effects if all these injections will be after one year.

        3. giantsquid

          ” Recently released data shows that sera from people who received the third dose lost almost ninety percent of its potency against Omicron after two weeks.”

          Does this make sense? Supposedly, it takes two weeks for the vaccine to provide maximum protection, so how can there be a ninety percent loss of potency at the same time? Perhaps the Forbes article should have read “two months” rather than “two weeks?”

            1. giantsquid

              In the paper you linked the authors show that, for omicron, as compared to delta, there are 37.0-fold and 24.5-fold reductions, respectively, in neutralization efficacy of sera taken from people who had received a booster either 0,5 months or 6 months previously. The figure in the paper shows a loss of neutralization potency at 6 months post booster compared to 0.5 months, but the authors fail to mention that in the text (or I somehow missed it).

          1. chris

            I believe it’s referring to the sample period. Not that it reduces over that period. It’s just that the omicron strain hasn’t been around long enough for them to do a 6 month follow up on the in vitro study.

        1. notbored

          I don’t even see how the current boosters, being obsolete wrt Omicron, can work except perhaps for the adjuvants that boost the immune system in general.

  2. hemeantwell

    Best antidote ever! Suppressed our Thwaites-omicron angst for a full minute after its end, though our cat is dismayed by the apparent advance in brainwashing capabilities.

  3. Terry Flynn

    The lack of awareness of the symptoms of omicron is scary. I’m pretty well up on covid issues but I may already have had omicron without knowing. I’d been suffering with the classic “cluster of autoimmune condition flare ups” following suspected but not clinically diagnosed wild covid infection back in January 2020 (encountering people buying our PPE equipment our family business retooled to produce) – my antibody test as a REACT study member was interfered with by someone in the Royal Mail and I got an inconclusive result. I’m under ongoing secondary care for one of the conditions.

    I have a slipped disc and aforementioned IBS autoimmune flare up so a sore throat requiring a recent day off work was shrugged off as just one of the many common cold viruses now roaring back to life here. Then I read that these are classic omicron symptoms. Too late now. Though my lung capacity is definitely further compromised and am not looking forward to having the new one/two secretaries joining me in my currently “me only so open window and drop the mask” office soon.

    1. lupemax

      Some very important up to date information here from Dr. Malone (the developer of the MRNA vaccine, who btw is vaccinated) on Omicron.

      you also might want to read this one by Dr. Malone:

        1. DG

          In late 1987, Robert Malone performed a landmark experiment. He mixed strands of messenger RNA with droplets of fat, to create a kind of molecular stew. Human cells bathed in this genetic gumbo absorbed the mRNA, and began producing proteins from it1.

          Realizing that this discovery might have far-reaching potential in medicine, Malone, a graduate student at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, later jotted down some notes, which he signed and dated. If cells could create proteins from mRNA delivered into them, he wrote on 11 January 1988, it might be possible to “treat RNA as a drug”. Another member of the Salk lab signed the notes, too, for posterity. Later that year, Malone’s experiments showed that frog embryos absorbed such mRNA2. It was the first time anyone had used fatty droplets to ease mRNA’s passage into a living organism.

          Those experiments were a stepping stone towards two of the most important and profitable vaccines in history: the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines given to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Global sales of these are expected to top US$50 billion in 2021 alone.

  4. svay

    Omicron largely evades immunity from past infection or two vaccine doses

    I don’t know why Resilc says, “Gee, yesterday it was ez/pz.” This study finds higher infectiousness, greater risk of re-infection, and reduced vaccine effectiveness, confirming and putting numbers to earlier, more anecdotal, reports (Overall, 196,463 people without S gene target failure (likely to be infected with another variant) and 11,329 cases with it (likely to be infected with Omicron) were included in the SGTF analysis, as well as 122,063 Delta and 1,846 Omicron cases in the genotype analysis.) Nothing very ez/pz there, yesterday or today.

    It does say no evidence of reduced severity was found, but cautions that relevant data are limited:
    The study finds no evidence of Omicron having lower severity than Delta, judged by either the proportion of people testing positive who report symptoms, or by the proportion of cases seeking hospital care after infection. However, hospitalisation data remains very limited at this time.

    All that seems to have changed since yesterday is a failure to find evidence of decreased severity for individuals, but that seems the least certain of the study’s findings, and was one of the least certain early findings from South African and other data.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I don’t this resilc is talking about science but the press. There was a ton of trying to talk up the “mild” meme until cases exploded among media types in NYC.

      1. Pat

        Not just the media, I’ll add in the party line meme from our leaders “of just get boosted” AND Pfizer’s PR of how effective their booster was against Omicron into the destroyed to smithereens presentation of Omicron as important but not really any big deal ez/pz by the usual suspects.*

        *but only as sarcasm at NC, which never shirks from the big picture no matter how distressing.

    2. Mikel

      It’s going to evade protection of ALL non-sterilizing vaccines.
      A third or fourth shoy is not going to make anyone immune.

      People will have varying degrees of protection for varying amounts of time under about 6 months. Maybe.
      That’s it.

      If people are going to make informed decisions about how to keep themselves and loved ones safe, straight up, non-spin is how this will be overcome or better dealt with.

    3. Mikel

      And the mutations of this variant are severe enough to mark a turn in the evolution of the virus.
      They still have more studies like this to be done.

      I’m also disgusted with the “oh, it’s mild” BS when the studies of this variant are just now getting started.

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      The problem with air travel during Covid isn’t the airplanes themselves (99.97% seems a tad optimistic, but the filtration systems are in fact very good). The problem is what happens before and after the airplanes: long crowded lines of stressed out passengers in security, passport control, boarding, and (my favorite) the bus that takes you from the terminal to the airplane (with everyone packed in like sardines). I wear my mask in a window seat, put on headphones, and go incommunicado (and no airplane food or drink). So far, so good.

      1. Joe Well

        But also the fact that you will inevitably breathe the air of the person crammed next to you no matter how good the ventilation. It blows my mind that the media repeat the ventilation talking point without mentioning this obvious fact.

        1. Jason Boxman

          How common is this? We don’t have a functioning public health system in the US, so I guess there’s no way to really know how frequently people get infected on planes, queuing through security, or egressing the airport. Would be useful to know, though.

          I’ve always been uncomfortable flying anyway, so if nothing else the pandemic ended air travel for me, probably for the rest of my life. Oh well.

          1. expr

            a friend’s son came down with covid shortly after sitting next to a coughing person on a flight from Denver to NYC
            why not require covid tests + temp check before boarding
            (I know less passengers and profits)

          2. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

            I stopped flying about 15 years ago. Haven’t missed it a bit.

            Working on the conception of “suffering of change” (viparinama-dukkha, in Pali/Buddhist parlance) as a natural consequence of an inherently delusional conception of life has been immensely helpful to me as I have let go of the “rewards” offered to those who compete in the Western system.

            I’ve also listened to John Zerzan a lot over the last decade.

          3. Call me Isherwood

            “If a killing type of virus strain should suddenly arise by mutation…it could, because of the rapid transportation in which we indulge nowadays, be carried to the far corners of the earth and cause the deaths of millions of people.” W. M. Stanley, in Chemical and Engineering News, December 22, 1947

      1. tegnost

        I am not a scientist, but my laymans impression has been that the upper crust have always had monoclonals to fall back on…if those truly don’t work with omicron then we may see an impact on the untouchable class who, so used to inflicting suffering downward for the sake of the almighty market, may find some suffering of their own to contend with… I’m not flying anywhere and have put off xmas travel til at least feb. . In the past I would always go to san diego for the holidays, and I always got a nasty flu in the process… I don’t miss that. I’d also say that the NFL situation is a bad sign.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          One monoclonal, the one by GlaxoSmithKine, does appear to work against Omicron. But there’s going to be lots of competition for supplies.

      2. wendigo

        Most senior people made it to that position because they are more cockroach than human. More likely to spread disease than be hurt by it.

  5. Wukchumni

    The 30th anniversary of the fall of the USSR Brookings
    Bizarro World rules always apply to cold warrior empires, with Gorbachev’s Glastnost openness countered by Trump’s closed minded approach & teetotaler status oddly aligned along the former’s anti-alcohol diktat, with the commonality of both being inept.

    Just to complete the picture for you, Biden is also a teetotaler-the polar opposite of Yeltsin, although both seem like complete failures in not getting anything done as the empire crumbles.

    Almost never is it stressed how Communist money was worth precious little in the west, in theory a Ruble was worth $1.50 in the USSR, but maybe 1/3rd of that in Capitalistic outposts.

    Of all the countries in the bloc party only one of them had something somewhat close to convertibility in the west and that was the Hungarian Forint, which had nearly the same exchange value.

    Weimar is the poster child for hyperinflation, going from 4 Marks = a buck in 1913, to a decade later where it would take many billions to equal that same buck, the math makes your head spin.

    About this time 30 years ago the Soviet Ruble had drifted to an exchange rate of 1,000 = a buck, and while not as financially showy as the Weimar example, holders of Rubles in theory lost 499/500’s of their savings, the wreck being as complete as losing 499.996/500’s of your savings in 1923.

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      I couldn’t bring myself to watch it after checking the list of participants: not one of them an actual Russian living in Russia. You’d think they might have reached out to a liberal English-speaking academic in Moscow or St Pete, just for sake of credibility. Naw.

      Russians have sharp memories of what happened in the 1990s, with inflation at or near the top of the list.

    2. Carolinian

      the polar opposite of Yeltsin, although both seem like complete failures in not getting anything done as the empire crumbles

      So just acts like he is drunk some of the time? Biden was instate yesterday–a thrill for us. But then he does owe SC big time for taking down Bernie.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      notbored: Or, if I may, this.

      [Aeon, Ed Simon on transcendence.]

      Well, Grasshopper, maybe the problem is looking for transcendence, when the Romans, the Greeks, and the Japanese knew and know that the divine is immanent. “There is a god in the tree” is something that the writer for Aeon wouldn’t deign to say, yet we have experience of the divine in trees or flowers or bees. We have no experience of transcendence, endless protestations to the contrary. Even Saint Francis of Assisi, who knew a thing or two about mysticism, was hard put to describe the divine as transcendent.

      I also don’t like that the author left lines out of Arnold’s poem. We have to edit the word “girdle” now? [The point of the line he skips is the seeming order and protection and even beauty of the Age of Faith.]

      The sea of faith
      Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
      Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl’d;
      But now I only hear
      Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
      Retreating to the breath
      Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
      And naked shingles of the world.

      And here is the end of Dover Beach. All immanence, all divine and weak immanence.

      Ah, love, let us be true
      To one another! for the world, which seems
      To lie before us like a land of dreams,
      So various, so beautiful, so new,
      Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
      Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
      And we are here as on a darkling plain
      Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
      Where ignorant armies clash by night

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        I’ll second your point about transcendence.

        It’s a bit of a tip-off when his intellectual history lesson omits Feuerbach. Whence cometh this God we’ve killed? Why, from our own imaginations, and look who’s been truly exalted. Who rules the universe with omnipotence and omniscience? A guy. And while this could be inferred from the attitudes and behavior of YHWH, it’s becomes a matter of doctrine when the ascended human being, Jesus, ascends to “the right hand of God.” We’re in charge, baby!

        So maybe the mourning is not over some loss of enchantment, for that’s still there in abundance in the things you list, but instead of a loss of the assurance that somebody like us–as long as “us” is understood as a white male–has control of things.

        And I think you’re right about the author balking at anything that smacked of animism. The idea that we’re just hangin’ out here, sharing the universe with the trees and the antelopes, and that they have as much “value” and importance as us, would not resonate.

        I’d agree that we’re watching the increasingly speedy demise of Christianity with other monotheistic religions likely to follow before too long. But rather than some loss of enchantment, it seems to me a first step in disabusing ourselves of the notion that it’s all about us humans.

        As the prophet Grace Slick once wrote:

        Consider how small you are.
        Compared to your scream,
        The human dream
        Doesn’t mean shit to a tree.

        “Eskimo Blue Day” (video)

        1. notbored

          Whence cometh this God we’ve killed? Why, from our own imaginations, …

          Having read the entire Bible, I heartedly agree with this.

    2. Soredemos

      Cute, but complete nonsense. Aside from the fact that history is replete with literal atheists in combat, first and foremost the Red Army in some of histories most brutal fighting (Catherine Merridale wrote a book about the experience of the Soviet grunt, and most of the people she interviewed started the war atheist, and ended it atheist. They didn’t need supernatural belief to provide comfort), the religious in the west are constantly pulling this scam where they project what is actually a very narrow spectrum of human religious belief onto other cultures. In fact most humans in combat throughout history have been effectively atheist in that they had no belief that a heaven was awaiting them, or that an omnipotent being was watching over them. You might beseech your war god for victory, but you also knew the enemy was doing the same thing, and most likely you accepted that their war god also existed (you might even think it was the same being, and the silly foreigners just called it something else).The average Chinese fighter in WW2 had no belief in an Abrahamic god, and the Japanese didn’t believe their reward was residing with the Emperor in paradise for eternity, as another couple major examples (the Sino-Japanese fighting may have been the absolutely most brutal in all history).

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        “(the Sino-Japanese fighting may have been the absolutely most brutal in all history)”

        Agreed. The USSR’s casualties in WW2 were epic, but most people (in the west, anyway) are unaware of the slaughter that took place in China during 1931-45. China’s casualties rank in second place after USSR, but it’s a strong second; no other country is even close:

        And people wonder why China and Russia are so touchy about foreign military deployments near their borders. Sigh.

    3. David

      I thought the article started well, but wandered off at the end without really saying anything very new. I’m surprised the author didn’t mention Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age, which actually gives a very persuasive explanation of how we have wound up where we are. Taylor’s thesis is, not that science advanced, but that religion pre-emptively retreated. Protestantism, he argued, already left the magical and supernatural aspects of religion (ie almost all of it) in the dust. The Deist God of the 18th century, who pressed the button and left us to it, was the beginning of the retreat by intellectual elites from belief in the actual truth of religion, and the desire to arm-wrestle God into conforming to whatever intellectual paradigm was dominant at the time. More recently, religion has been re-configured into a watered-down humanism, with God as the Chair of a Governing Board of a humanitarian NGO. No wonder people don’t go to Church much. And those who do, have reacted to the secular age by insisting on stupidly literal interpretations that the authors themselves would never have considered. We’ve forgotten the ability to see religion as both transcendental and symbolic, dealing with things which, in the end, humans can’t fully understand. The kind of world-view that, say, Dante had, is now impossible to, recapture.

      1. Soredemos

        The ‘it would be stupid to believe any of this literally, so we pretend ancient people didn’t believe this literally’ thing is so tired. It’s just warmed over Greco-Roman mystery religion nonsense (one of many things Christianity stole to appeal to the pagans).

          1. Soredemos

            “Allegorical interpretation of the Bible has been the norm since approximately whenever.”

            No it hasn’t.

            Historically most believers have believed it to be literally true. A minority of scholars periodically trying to conjure up a more nuanced theology doesn’t change that fact.

            And in fact at certain points in time dissenting from the literal norm could get you exiled or killed. Just ask all the people who ultimately lost at Nicaea.

        1. skippy

          Sumerian myth’s evolved over previous city state esoteric elite glue and went boom with its demise … after math was refugees fled across into the western territory in very small townships which still carried the technical knowledge from the Sumerian empire. In this window of lack of state elite enforced religious norms the myth evolved at a rapid pace at a local level.

          Then the entire area experienced a huge population boom and with it the advent of the new city nation state of this mythology and its commodification around its elites.

          People should really study PIE anthropology before ascribing unwarranted intent on esoterica without any concept of time and space IMO.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Australians warned against surge in snakes and spiders”

    They ain’t kidding. The past fortnight we keep seeing spiders go through our house and sometimes they are the huge huntsmen spiders. But more to the point, about a week ago our dogs were playing with something in our backyard so I called them up to the verandah. Our young fellow ran up and had the head of a snake in his mouth and not just any snake but an infamous brown snake. He dropped it and I told the wife to get the dogs off the verandah while I went for a shovel to, uhhh, help it on its way but by the time I got back, the snake had gone. One trip to the vet later revealed that the dog had only experienced a ‘dry’ bite but man, that gets the heart racing. And it was only a few weeks before that that we found a red-bellied black snake that the dogs were trying to get to. Bugger this for a game of toy soldiers.

    1. Wukchumni

      Walked right by an 8 inch young rattlesnake 10 days ago @ 4,000 feet mainly because I think my guard was down, in that you would never see rattlers this time of year @ that altitude. When my friends told me about it and I went back to look, there it was coiled. I probably stepped within a few feet of it.

      My neighbors had this German Shepherd mix that we called the $19,000 dog, as it had been bit twice by rattlesnakes requiring $7k worth of anti-venom along with a host of other health issues that the poor pooch suffered through along with it’s owner’s checking account balance.

      The bigger picture is we humans are tied to time and patterns we’ve come to know and anticipate, and we’re stuck in the old way of doing things, while Mother Nature’s clients are adjusting to the new normal whatever it might entail.

      Why are my oak trees still full of leaves that should have fallen months ago?

      1. Wukchumni


        Was overnighting @ a hut on the magnificent Rees-Dart* track in NZ and there were Aussie & Kiwi brother in laws there and there isn’t really anything in NZ that’ll put the hurt on you and no snakes either, and its just the opposite in Aussie, where they tend to be named lethal ankle biter and the like. The poor Kiwi couldn’t get a word in while his brother in law went on for what seemed like an eternity of adages of almost misses.


        1. The Rev Kev

          Just about to log off for the night but would old fashioned gaiters be an option for you in snake country? Like GIs wore in WW2?

          1. Wukchumni

            Our neighbors and us have a ‘if you see it-kill it’ policy towards rattlesnakes on our property and you’ll never get rid of all of them, but it keeps the population down and supplies a few shovel ready jobs, although a rake & boulder have sufficed out of desperation, the latter method unleashing my inner caveman.

            1. Pookah Harvey

              Rattlers on one’s property sounds nerve wracking. Unfortunately the ‘kill it if you hear it’ approach can have a downside. According to this article it has led to rattlers evolving to a rattleless species.

              the snakes that have that genetic defect (no rattles), those are the ones that are surviving to then reproduce, and they’re passing on that genetic defect to their offspring.

              Rattlesnakes that can’t rattle tend to be more aggressive, since they’re missing a key protective element. We were concerned about our dogs and found a local training program for dogs for snake avoidance. There seem to be many areas that have these programs.

            2. bob

              The snake has much more reason to be afraid of humans. It has a much better chance at dying after seeing a human than a human has of dying after seeing a rattlesnake.

              They’re out there in the bush without arms even!

        2. juliania

          There is a poisonous spider – rare though – in NZ. I met someone who’d been bitten by it as a tourist. And watch out walking barefoot at low tide. Bees get caught in the seaweed and even dead they pack a potent sting. Also bluebottles (jellyfish) and even stingrays and electric eels. Not to mention the mako… but you are correct, plantlife or such not. Some places wild boar…

          (I’d better stop. We did go to school barefoot in my day.)

      2. John Zelnicker

        Wukchumni – Down here on the Alabama Gulf Coast we are having unusually warm weather, too, for the time of year. Instead of daytime temps in the 50’s we’re having temps in the 70’s most days.

        I have several trees that should have dropped their leaves by now but haven’t. And, my Japanese maples have barely started changing to fall colors; not enough cold nights.

    2. Lee

      So, what native Australian critters eat venomous snakes and spiders? Assuming you got ’em, if I were you I’d get me some. Here in the U.S. some native non-venomous constrictors specialize in eating other snakes, as do some birds such as roadrunners.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Ever seen the plastic mesh used to wrap huge, round bales of hay? People are using them to wrap around places like school buildings, laying it tight on the ground. Snakes go into it but their lack of a reverse-gear means that they get stuck. I have the biography of a famous Aussie author and he said that as a kid, they set up a snake trap described as such. Have a section of chicken wire stretched between two posts and have a porcelain egg on either side. Snakes love eggs so it will swallow the first one, will see the second one, and then will go through the chicken wire to swallow it. The snake is now trapped as you can see. So those kids would chop the head of the snake off, retrieve the porcelain eggs, and reset the trap.

      2. ambrit

        Here in the North American Deep South, we “kept” a medium sized Kingsnake at the “olde homestead” south of Bogalusa. It was caught by me somewhere or other while at work and bought home and released. A year later, we saw no more venomous snakes on the acre. The Kingsnake had run off the lot. That snake became semi-tame. It lived in the wellhouse. The kids would bring in it’s shed skin every year for “show and tell” at the Homeschool.
        That was a lesson in living with nature.

        1. Wukchumni

          I put in an inquiry to procure some mountain lion scat next summer right from the source of a trio of them @ Cat Haven.

          My plan is to sprinkle it around fruit trees, and dupe the deer into thinking a mortal enemy is near.

          …shit happens

        2. DJG, Reality Czar

          And a reminder of the house snake of the classical world.

          From Greek Popular Religion, by Martin Nilsson:

          But the astonishing fact is that Zeus appears as a snake. This Zeus was, of course, called by modern scholars a chthonian deity, because the snake is always considered to represent the souls of, the dead. Certainly it does so very often, but we may question whether this is always the case. It was once supposed that all family and domestic cults had sprung from the cult of the dead. This doctrine should be reduced to its proper proportions. It would surely be astonishing if the house cult had no other roots than the cult of the dead. Among many European peoples, as well as in other parts of the world, we find the snake as the guardian of the house. In my own country–Sweden–the house snake was extremely common, and only a few years ago there died a farmer of whom I know that he was wont to offer milk to the house snakes. The house snake is still generally venerated in the Balkan Peninsula and in modern Greece. When it appears it is greeted with reverent words, such as “welcome, lady of the house,” “your obedient servant,” “guardian,” or “guardian spirit of our house.”

          1. ambrit

            The evolution of the aspects of Zeus remind me of the Minoan snake handling maiden imagery.
            In our region, in the more rural areas, the idea of a ‘protective’ snake is still to be found. The propensity of the Kingsnakes to run off the venomous snakes is a true example of real world “guardianship of the house.”
            Be safe this Holiday Season! Prepare for next year!

    3. WhoaMolly

      Almost stepped on a healthy, young four-foot rattlesnake during my walk at the local park. He was sunning himself across the trail on an unseasonably warm December day. I stood about 8 feet away and waited. Soon he slithered off and coiled up under a volcanic rock about 10 feet from the trail.

      Normally we have rain and cold at this time of year. Now we have warm and dry.

      I like the kingsnake story as a way to get rid of rattlers. We have occasional rattlers attracted to our back yard (water and squirrels bring them). The snake guy tells me that the best way to get rid of all the snakes is to adopt a mean old tomcat at the local shelter. Let cat live outside. Only problem is that this scheme means we soon have no wildlife at all in the backyard. No birds, squirrels, snakes, gophers, voles, possums, skunks or lizards.

      1. newcatty

        This reminds of an encounter I had with a quintessential PMC couple. They had just bought their first home in the desired foothills of the city. We were chatting about our pets. They had two dogs, one huge male was fierce looking and they proudly complimented his being their watchdog. The other a female Golden Retriever, “so sweet”. When moving into house they encountered snakes, mice, pack rats, spiders and other bothersome critters. They noticed that our humane society was giving adult cats, with no adoption fees, to any comers. They were thrilled. Bragged how they found a great mouser ( uh, they knew it) “for free”. Told of how she enjoyed living outside and “was earning her keep”. This just chilled me. Guess it was the callousness of their pov. BTW, any outdoors cat, in that area, will be fair game for coyote snacks.

    4. Bellatrix

      I was recently chatting to my brother at the front door of his semi-rural home and kept hearing rustling sounds coming from a pot full of sticks and brush less than 1m to the right of me. It was dusk and I kept glancing over, expecting to see something small, but eventually realized there was a 1.5m diamond python nestled among the sticks. I don’t know what snakes think, but I’m pretty sure he figured that if he kept still we would go away. When he realized he had been spotted, he slithered up the sticks and through a small gap in the eaves into the roof of the house, where he earns his keep by gobbling up any rats or mice that may try to move in. Such a beautiful creature and of course nowhere near as scary as your brown or red belly. About a year ago I fished a funnel web out of a pool filter box. I have never seen a more aggressive spider. Her back was covered in babies and when she reared up I could see venom dripping from her fangs. I’ll go out of my way to spare a huntsman, but I could not extend that courtesy to a funnel web.

  7. paul

    RE:Listen to This Article: Led by Jeremy Corbyn, the British Left Opposes Vaccine Mandates as Anti-Worker and Repressive

    A correct attitude regarding a bureaucratic and political response to a mysterious germ by only political and bureaucratic people.

    While I think the many vaccines have failed, (vaccination is supposed to provide protection, not incubation, the control group vilified into a hated minority), that is purely my opinion.

    The removal of informed consent, which allows the enforcement of public hygiene fashion, is a rather big one for me.

    Never go out unmasked, I give people more space than I am usually offered, but I am unsettled by forced medication, especially of untested medication.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I just tried to comment on another article, only to have my comment gobbled up by the Comment Eater.

      Thing must be hungry this morning. To the point where it didn’t even burp a moderation queue notification at me.

      Anyhoo, paul, I agree with you. And I especially agree with paragraphs 3-5 in your comment.

    2. Carolinian

      The article says Corbyn is big on “bodily autonomy” which used to be be a cause for the left when it was their argument for legal abortion. Meanwhile the mighty Wurlitzer are wheeling their gun turrets–to mix metaphors–in the direction of Robert Kennedy Jr and his new best seller. While I tend to take a skeptical eye toward conspiracy theorists, Fauci does sound like a piece of work (and here we have IM Doc backing this up). And perhaps the biggest reason for belief in Fauci’s villain status is the MSM determination to defend him. Believe nothing until it has been officially denied is getting to be daily advice–the reason lies are ultimately counterproductive. Streisand Effect another name for it.

      1. paul

        There is a good podcast available with rfk jr here.

        His speech is impaired for a medical reason, but his message is impaired for a financial reason.
        I found it quite distressing to listen to until I realised this.

        One of the most interesting points in the discussion is the missing chapter, regarding the reckless gain of function research, which was not delegated to a wet market in wuhan.

        The host is a nice guy.

        The head of the CDC is quite the opposite.

        I don’t ask much more than a well researched book to sit on my shelf.

      2. paul

        Just change ‘conspiracy’ for ‘class’, or ‘network’.

        It all points upward.

        At least from where I stand.

  8. fresno dan

    The fight to save horseshoe crabs from the biomedical industry The Verge (David L)
    My very first inspection of a facility when I was at FDA was a LAL processing plant. I always thought they should play Born Free when they release the crabs back into the ocean. While we were at the plant some guy a few miles away plowed his car into a power line and the facility lost power.

    FROM THE ARTICLELarry Niles, a wildlife biologist and expert on the environmental issues of the Delaware Bay, says there is an inherent contradiction in the way state and federal agencies view horseshoe crabs. Horseshoe crabs are not a protected species and therefore they don’t see them as valuable, he says.

    “Yet they acknowledge that there’s a $500 billion industry for their blood, so they’re not worthless,” Niles says. “They’re actually one of the most valuable marine species on the East Coast.”
    I think the 500 billion is a mis-print, but crab blood is very valuable. The Atlantic article linked below has some more on the horseshoe crab. I never could understand how the Limulus polyphemus was never protected when it produced a substance absolutely indispenable to the safety of practically every medical product. Although it may not have met the criteria of being an “endangered” species, it is very much analogous to owning a flock of geese that can lay golden eggs, and then deciding to eat a goose a week because they are covenient to butcher. Instead of using a golden egg to buy all the non golden egg laying geese you want.
    It really is disturbing that the government could not make what should have been an easy decision to make and yet was incapable of making it.

  9. timbers

    Collapse of Florida-sized glacier may happen soon, raising sea levels and threatening coastal cities USA Today (David L)

    When you open the link to this, a video starts playing. The first three lettered snippets are dry statistical facts about the size of the iceberg that recently broke off of Antarctica. The fourth letter snippets reads this:

    “The detachment of the iceberg is a natural process and is not believed to be caused by climate change, according to experts.”

    So there’s nothing to worry about. Climate change and sea level rise are just theories and we can’t attribute events to just a theory.

    Anyways, on occasion when the topic happens to come up in conversation, I point out that a very slow process viewed over long periods can be punctuated by a few sudden abrupt changes – so that which over time might look like a gentle progression can also have within it, a shorter event of a very rapid change.

    Some of us might be around to see that happen.

    1. ambrit

      I’ve been a believer and somewhat apostle for this theory for years now.
      Biological effects:
      Geological effects:
      Of interest is how low lying much of the World’s population and infrastructure is. Which is understandable when you consider that much early trade was carried out by boat, which would require ports on or near the coastlines. Most trade today is still carried out by ship.
      As for “living to see it happen,” that’s why we finally moved inland to “high ground.” Both of us grew up in low lying locales; Phyl in New Orleans and myself in Miami of Florida. Hurricane Katrina was a wake up call for many of us here on the Gulf Coast.

      1. John Zelnicker

        Hi, ambrit. Hope you and Phyl are doing well.

        Smart move to higher ground. When I moved back to Mobile in 1986, I knew I wanted to be near my childhood home because the area is the top of a hill 200 hundred feet above sea level, at least for now. If I live longer than I expect, maybe I’ll end up with waterfront property. ;-)

        1. ambrit

          Hi back from the Hill Folks Mr. Zelnicker. Hope you’re doing well in this Global Warming Autumn we’re having. Extra wet compared to the average as well.
          Many years ago, I got to see the NOAA flood prediction map. Right around 200 foot above present day sea level was the concensus figure for the new sea level if everything melted off. Strangely enough, that, and a certain unpleasant weather event, is what prompted us to move on up to Hattiesburg. You being on top of a 200 foot hill is wonderful to imagine. Just be prepared for the refugees from the lower regions.
          Stay safe!

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      How about this analogy? If you’ve ever had a gas-powered vehicle with a tachometer, you know what “red-lining” is. The engine may not break the instant you rev it over the red line. You may hear the tappets crescendo or feel an odd vibration, but it’s still running. But leave it there long enough, or keep accelerating well past the red line, and before long, you’ll throw a rod or crack the block. Then you’re driving a smoker if you’re driving at all.

      We’re revving the Earth beyond the red line right now. It hasn’t blown completely yet, but there are plenty of signs that things are not well. Keep doing what we’re doing, and before long, we’ll hit enough tipping points that things will get very bad, very fast.

    3. griffen

      We have some worse case scenarios, granted a work of fiction on a Hollywood film set. This would not be Day after Tomorrow, but an actually worse piece of movie entertainment.

      Alas, for a movie called Geostorm it deserves the derision. This is only the movie trailer. I wasted two hours of my life so you won’t have to.

    4. Clark

      timbers at 8:38 a.m.:

      Colorado-based climber Gerry Roach has an aphorism, “Geologic time includes now.”

  10. svay

    The Log4J Vulnerability Will Haunt the Internet for Years

    Part of the problem seems to lie in the way open source software like Log4J is incorporated into just about everything, but those who develop and maintain it (or don’t) receive little or no remuneration.

    “The team is working around the clock,” Yazici [a member of the Log4J project] told me by email when I first reached out to him. “And my 6 a.m. to 4 a.m. (no, there is no typo in time) shift has just ended.”

    In the middle of his long days, Yazici took time to point a finger at critics, tweeting that “Log4j maintainers have been working sleeplessly on mitigation measures; fixes, docs, CVE, replies to inquiries, etc. Yet nothing is stopping people to bash us, for work we aren’t paid for, for a feature we all dislike yet needed to keep due to backward compatibility concerns.” …

    The underfunding of open-source software is “a systemic risk to the United States, to critical infrastructure, to banking, to finance,” says Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer at the security firm Veracode. “The open-source ecosystem is up there in importance to critical infrastructure with Linux, Windows, and the fundamental internet protocols. These are the top systemic risks to the internet.” …

    “This is absolutely a market failure,” says Wysopal. “We’re taking the good part of shared code, and we’re making someone else take the fall for the bad part. There has to be more funding for finding and fixing.”

    1. Bill Smith

      There are a number of studies that show that ‘shared’ or ‘open source’ code is less likely to have bugs that code that was ‘home brewed’ — even by very large software development companies.

      There is confusion between ‘free software’ and ‘open source software’, but that aside:

      “under funding of open-source software”. Is that statement an oxymoron? Isn’t most open-source software, at least once kicked out into open-source, not funded except by contributions?

      Not to be mean but if people who originally wrote it wanted to be paid, wouldn’t they sell it and not make it open source?

      1. MonkeyBusiness

        Old studies I think. Open source really means someone can review your code to see if there’s issues. Thanks to Git and the open source community, code review is now a regular fixture in normal development even in big companies.

        1. Bill Smith

          Nah, I think that is still current.

          In big companies, security issues can mean that only a few people on the team working on that project will see the code. Not that many people outside of those working directly on it will see it. And few of those that do see outside of the team working on it will know it in enough depth to seriously review it. Then if something was found it could well get labeled as technical debt as other demands will cause that to get pushed out of the current development timeline (sprints) for a very long time.

          Tools can be used the review the software but they have their weakness too. My experience in that comes from a weekly code review using various tools, now SonarCube which happens after their already has been a team level code review for each push by a developer, er “engineer”.

          To me, something being an actively worked on open source project means people have later come along and spent the time to learn and ‘love’ the software. Time has passed and fresh eyes.

          1. MonkeyBusiness

            This bug was discovered by someone working at a big company, Alibaba to be exact, not by open source people. My experience has been that most developers aren’t aware of security issues beyond SQL injection and buffer overflow and even then at a superficial level. Tools can’t really help you in the end because what we have right now is fundamentally insecure. Everyone’s just patching things as they go along.

  11. timbers

    US accuses China of developing ‘brain control weaponry’ Financial Times (Kevin W)

    That’s silly.

    China doesn’t need to develop brain control weaponry because they can just get it from Putin.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Digital thought control technologies would be a major advance over the analog techniques US uses, which rely on narrative control through a tame and toothless press.

      1. The Rev kev

        Who would ever have thought that those precious body fluids turned out to be cerebral brain fluids.

      2. JTMcPhee

        The Deep State-ers and CIA have been trying for years to nail down “brain control” by technical and surreptitious means.

        One is not supposed to engage in “tu quoque” commentary, but us mopes are just supposed to get all riled up that another set of sneaky-Petes on the other side of a national boundary might be doing the same crap that the folks who rule us are doing every day…

    2. svay

      The FT doesn’t mention anything I’d consider ‘brain control weaponry’ beyond brain machine interfaces, which are being developed by and for the US military, and so far mainly consist of attempts at brain controlled weaponry rather than weapons to control brains.
      (I posted another comment on this; apologies for any repetition.)

      1. ambrit

        Old hat comrades! A part of the plot to the film of the book “Firefox,” Hero of the Republic, Clint Eastwood, steals a Soviet aircraft controlled through a brain wave reading helmet worn by the pilot.
        That film was made forty years ago.
        Consider the case of the “Conspiracy Theory Airforce” unit, the Aurora.
        Remember that the above is the “officially approved” narrative. What does it obscure? I know not, but will mention that an aircraft flying that fast would be impossible to control using Terran human physical reflexes. Some sort of hybrid “fly by wire” would be needed. This would require real time input from a pilot. So far, no machine has been publically shown to have self actuation faculties.
        We are left with the probability that some sort of “brain reading” technology is utilized. Extend that technology from out of a physically worn helmet, and you have the dreaded “neural entanglement technology.” Interaction between a human mind and some piece of technology at a distance. That is disturbing in the extreme.
        Need I say it, the “Tinfoil Hat” may become de-rigueur as a functional piece of apparel.

        1. Bill Smith

          wiki article is the “officially approved” narrative…

          I guess I’ve never been invited to the committee meeting that approves those things.

          1. ambrit

            wiki itself is full of factions and cliques of like minded ‘influencers.’ There are regular “wars” of editing and re-editing of ‘articles’ to advance or retard agendas. To that extent, to be an “official narrative” in a wikipedia entry presupposes some standing ‘army’ of editors to expunge and ‘rectify’ divergent points of view in fairly short periods of time. Consider it as being the ‘Status Quo Hasbara.’
            Also, may I observe that, logically, if ‘you’ were a member of such a committee, you would not be commenting on general circulation blogsites. For those at that level of “control,” (whether real or imagined,) any contact whatsoever with the general public risks exposure, and subsequently, loss of status and influence.
            Stay safe! Stay hidden.

  12. The Rev Kev

    ‘This coming wave with Omicron will probably infect at least half the world’s population.

    If 10 percent get Long Covid, we are looking at a #MassDisablingEvent’

    Well, that’s not good. Using kitchen mathematics, that could mean that about 170 million Americans could fall sick to this new variant in the next few months and if only 10% get long Covid, then you are talking about 17 million Americans as long term sufferers. Washington may be inclined to ignore them but the Pentagon – with recruitment numbers to fill – will not be able to so maybe something will get done after all.

    Gotta admit that Omicron has me a bit spooked. No, not because of falling ill to it but the fact that it is spreading at warp speed across the planet. If Omicron also had increased lethality which showed up very quickly, the effects on the world would be catastrophic and governments may have had to be forced to take this pandemic seriously for a change.

    1. Wukchumni

      NFL games have been full of fans in the stands and from limited views i’ve seen in assorted camera sweeps, masks here and there.

      Players have been getting Covid all season, but nothing like the offensive onslaught which is taking down rosters by the score, with a few games cancelled already as a result from the attrition rate.

      If it spreads real easy, the still scheduled NFL games this Sunday might be the ‘Omicron Bowl’ both on the field and in the stands.

      To me the world has the feel of March 2020 and the march of events will shut everything down again.

      I’m dreading the potential spreading at our family xmas get together, but feel better about the situation as i’ll be donned in a new-never used Apollo 21 spacesuit with helmet and oxygen pack that I procured from an Army-Navy-NASA store.

        1. Wukchumni

          I’ve said too much already, but word on the street in Shenzhen has it that the Chinese have Gehry building a Moon Museum on the lunar surface.

          1. ambrit

            Being the Chinese, I would have expected them to task I M Pei with the job. Unfortunately, he Ascended to the Cloud in 2019.
            Pierre Boulle, of “Planet of the Apes” ‘fame,’ wrote a book about the differences between the East and West concerning space exploration: “Garden On The Moon.”

    2. Terry Flynn

      Capacity for vaccination was doubled at my hospital over the weekend.
      There are still queues but they’re not “unmanageable” or seeming to hit capacity.

    3. Mikel

      ” If Omicron also had increased lethality which showed up very quickly, the effects on the world would be catastrophic and governments may have had to be forced to take this pandemic seriously for a change…”

      If anything more lethal and contagious pops up, all you can do is hope that you have the ability and means to hunker down.
      You wouldn’t even miss being around people once the total mental collapse caused by such a F.E.E. (fantasy ending event) really got rolling.

    4. Objective Ace

      If every other country loses a similar amount of their population to long covid, does it really matter to the Pentagon? Arent we still at the same point relative to other countries.

      I would think our government leaders would be more worried about things like food production and transporting it. Not because they won’t be able to still source food for themselves, but because hungry restless underlings tend to rise up

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘because hungry restless underlings tend to rise up?’

        That is what the Department of Homeland Security is there to stop happening. And has been seen lately, you only have to be a dissenting parent worried about CRT being taught to their kids to be regarded as a potential ‘terrorist.’

        1. Objective Ace

          Maybe.. but that didnt work so well for Russia in WWI. You can train enforcers to put down uprisings, but at a certain point the enforcers too can become a problem if pushed to the brink

  13. griffen

    Bear hunting story, yeah that could’ve been much worse. I dare to suggest, if you try the same tactics with legal, permitted hunters in parts of western NC you may not be found. Or alive.

    Made me think of the Looney Tunes character though. Be vewy quiet, I’m hunting wabbit.

    1. Rod

      Dicey standoff.
      The article doesn’t say the hounds were packed and tracking and hunters following or just scenting on the lead.
      Regardless, chasing your dogs on track is an olympic undertaking not for the weak of heart and breath, and, ime, they really don’t care(it seems) to understand “private property”. Calls and trackers are great, but only if your lead loves you much,much more.
      If that was actually their own posted property, I could understand more.
      I cannot understand loosing your loving own on someones others–in the presence of firearms.
      imo–gun control prevented the tradegy here.

  14. Samuel Conner

    nice catidotes today.

    A neo-acronism came to me overnight; nice to awaken to an amusing (in a dark sort of way) thought rather than the memory of a dream of leaving home without any N95 in my pack.

    CDC: Centers for Disease Cheerleading.


    and one that just arrived before the edit window closed:

    National Institutes of Hubris

  15. fresno dan

    GOP blows off Trump’s bid to oust McConnell Politico (resilc). Not smart. Concrete evidence of how much Trump’s star has waned, despite the MSM constantly pumping him up.
    “How this guy can stay as Leader is beyond comprehension—this is coming not only from me, but from virtually everyone in the Republican Party,” Trump wrote Thursday. “He is a disaster and should be replaced as ‘Leader’ ASAP!”
    The barrage of attacks on McConnell have been amplified by Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, who have also gone after the GOP leader on air this fall. Carlson, during a segment last week, announced that his show would begin regularly highlighting problems with McConnell, whom he described as “an instrument of the left.”
    “everyone in the republican party” – except those pesky republican senators…
    And FOX has either gone full clown car, or full Robespierre. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the republicans going full clown and/or full Robespierre.

        1. ambrit

          I’d love to see Trump do this and say publically; “What’s the problem? They’re both wings of the same party.”

          1. griffen

            Could he pull a Perot and run as an Independent? He’s probably working on funding sources for a run already, or something akin to a campaign raising organization loosely affiliated.

            Oh the fun times to be had.

        2. the last D

          trump used to be a democrat, I think. But now, he’s of no particular party, being all things to all men.

      1. TroyIA

        It wouldn’t be the first time.

        Political positions of Donald Trump

        Donald Trump registered as a Republican in Manhattan in 1987; since that time, he has changed his party affiliation five times. In 1999, Trump changed his party affiliation to the Independence Party of New York. In August 2001, Trump changed his party affiliation to Democratic. In September 2009, Trump changed his party affiliation back to the Republican Party. In December 2011, Trump changed to “no party affiliation” (independent). In April 2012, Trump again returned to the Republican Party.[4]

        In a 2004 interview, Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “In many cases, I probably identify more as Democrat”, explaining: “It just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans. Now, it shouldn’t be that way. But if you go back, I mean it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats…But certainly we had some very good economies under Democrats, as well as Republicans. But we’ve had some pretty bad disaster under the Republicans.”[5] In a July 2015 interview, Trump said that he has a broad range of political positions and that “I identify with some things as a Democrat.”

        1. fresno dan

          December 18, 2021 at 11:38 am
          Thanks for that – I was aware Trump had changed parties, but not that frequently

    1. griffen

      Best quote from the article, that it’s much ado about national party rhetoric for an audience of one. That would be Trump. I’m not a fan of Mitch but who else they got? Trump is channeling his inner Sith, dealing in absolutes and nothing in between.

      BTW did I miss JD Vance switch gears and go full on MAGA? I must’ve not paid attention that month. Still need to watch that film on Netflix, based on the book.

      1. Bart Hansen

        Behind Mitch, I believe, are Senators Brasso and Tuna (that’s how his Norwegian ancestors’ farm name is pronounced).

        Those two have been standing in the shadow of the great one long enough to know how the Senate works. Actually, how it fails to work.

    2. John

      McConnell and instrument of the left? Beyond absurd unless left means lacking enthusiasm for the deqar leader DJT. McConnell is an instrument of McConnell’s position and power and the means to sustain that.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s a good time to attack. The GOP has largely been silent while Biden destroys his own presidency. They won’t have to worry about Team Blue for years.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Trump wants power, and McConnell is in his way as McConnell doesn’t want to share. Given President Manchin wrecking his own Presidency, the GOP can afford a fight.

          1. Pat

            I would bet he still holds a grudge as McConnell was also instrumental in making sure he didn’t get his second big public give away before the election. That was bipartisan.

        2. The Rev Kev

          ‘Maybe COVID really did fry Trump’s brain.’

          Maybe Trump, like so many millions of people, got TDS – Trump Derangement Syndrome.

  16. Lee

    “Central Banks Bet Economies Can Tolerate Omicron, Not Inflation Bloomberg (Kevin W)”

    An economic system that cannot accommodate the strategic shutting down of its materially non-essential functions, but would allow, for the sake of maintaining established relations of production, a death-dealing and disabling disease to romp through the population will likely come to a bad end.

    1. griffen

      I ran a search for the headline instead, and noticed the UK central bank made a pernicious increase to their main interest rate; from 0.1% up to 0.25%. Oh the humanity.

      Per that CNBC article from yesterday, expectation in UK is for inflation to peak near 6% in April 2022. Here in the US, market participants may have to fill their own punch bowl if the FED follows through on their expected rate hikes in 2022.

      A different, related article might have one spooked; for the DOW dropped about 1.5%, the SP 500 dropped about 1.05% as of Friday close. Hey, this Santa Claus rally doesn’t seem right !

    1. Bill Smith

      Yup, Poland and the Baltic states are all going to quit NATO. Along with everyone else who joined since 1997.

      And as I have mentioned before: Then they will then have to quit the EU as it is standing up it’s own military. I guess that includes Finland and Sweden too?

      This will go nowhere. The Russians will claim they tried to be reasonable.

      Did anyone catch the Russian court case involving bribery on the contracts feeding the Russian troops in the rebel-held Donbas area of Ukraine?

      1. Kouros

        While the Americans keep insisting that they only look for defense and they are very reasonable, while flying nuclear strategic bombers and practicing launching said bombs 20 km from Russian borders.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Maybe the US and Russia can make a deal. So the US will be allowed to place nuclear-tipped missiles on the borders of Russia like they want to and in exchange, Russia gets to place nuclear-tipped missiles in Mexico and Canada on the US border. Sound fair to you?

      3. Polar Socialist

        Poland and the Baltic states are all going to quit NATO. Along with everyone else who joined since 1997

        That’s not what they propose. Nor does the proposal block the EU army either.
        What they propose is that neitherRussia or NATO members deploy troops to countries they had no troops in 1997.

        It’s basically a non-aggression pact between Russia and NATO, where both parties (also involving UN) guarantee the security of Eastern European countries. The first paragraph if almost word for word taken from OSCE agreement all parties have already signed.

        1. Bill Smith

          I reread the document. My interpretation was wrong. You are correct.

          I guess that means the Russia will get its troops out of the Ukraine with it’s borders in 1997? The west can do the same and a lot of the problems will go away.

  17. mac na Michomhairle

    A minor matter, given the ongoing collapse of society and of natural systems necessary to our survival, but my experience of bear hunters in Vermont (women and bear hunters attack story) is that they are not just guys out to get their deer for food, but a select group who see themselves as Special Forces pitting themselves against the ferocious King of the Beasts– only with packs of hounds, rifles and other technology, of course. They can be slightly deranged in that way. My experience is that their hounds are badly treated most of the year.

    The women probably let their own dog out of their car because they felt seriously threatened.

    1. Lee

      Black bears, compared to grizzlies, are typically quite mild mannered and tend to hide rather than confront or attack. I’ve seen black bears charge humans but only in defense of themselves or their cubs and in neither instance did the bear make contact with the human behaving stupidly, one of them being me. I got too close to some really cute cubs and got chased up a tree by mama.

      The other occasion was an amazing display of proportionate response. A guy cleaning a loading dock in Yosemite hosed a black bear in a dumpster with hot water. The bear, a big male, leapt onto the dock, backed the guy up against a wall, took a swipe a few inches from the guys nose and then sauntered back into the woods.

      1. Wukchumni

        I’ve seen around 900 black bears and never really felt threatened by one of the 300 I saw in the flesh in the back of beyond, sometimes a dozen feet away. Sierra bears are akin to goofy big dogs sometimes to me, I look forward to the next glimpse, fleeting or otherwise.

        For many years leading up until the big drought started in 2012 i’d see upwards of 30 black bears a year, with the most being 54 one very special year. I don’t do anything different and have struggled to get into double figures the past 6 years, only glimpsing 7 this summer.

        It’d be one thing if it was just me missing out by timing (2/3rds of my sightings are on the road) where 5 seconds slower or faster would make you miss the bear crossing the road, but its the same conclusion as other ursineologists I know around these parts.

    2. diptherio

      Well yeah, if I got caught letting the air out of someone’s tires, and they were armed, I might feel a little threatened too. Of course, I’d never do that to someone, so I don’t have much sympathy for those two. How did they only get fined $250, is my question? And barring them from getting a hunting license is just silly. Like they were going to be applying anyway.

      1. Geoff S

        There seems to be a lot of sympathy for the animal abusers on this thread. I live in a civilised country where we don’t have a ‘constitutional right’ to engage in Elizabethan blood sports. In the UK, bear and badger baiting, cock fighting and the like are a distant memory of a savage and unlamented past. Hunting bears with dogs is a horrific anachronism, and to the extent that these women were trying to stop this barbarism, they were morally correct.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I guess it shouldn’t surprise; Liberal Democrats under Obama, a big booster of “moar education”, whacked subsidized graduate Stafford loans. That cost me a pretty penny. Not to mention Biden owes me $600.

      This seems to be the most disconnected Democrat trifecta, ever.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Collapse of Florida-sized glacier may happen soon, raising sea levels and threatening coastal cities”

    It is not an iceberg the size of Florida that you would have to worry about. Something as big as that would be easily tracked and perhaps a ship or two sent to escort it while it melted as it approached the equator. I could imagine people flying on planes to land on it and do a bit of exploring as something to boast about afterwards. The same sort of people who want to take a selfie of them on Mount Everest but with the attraction that the ice would soon be gone and so others could not repeat their trip.

    What would be more a worry though would be hundreds if not thousands of smaller icebergs pouring out the Arctic regions and playing havoc with shipping lanes. Can you imagine? Trying to keep track of all of them, ships having to slow down or be rerouted from regular shipping lanes as it being too hazardous to proceed. Crews would have to watch their screens like hawks and satellites may have to be re-tasked to give up to date navigational information. Sheer chaos. But you know that sooner or later that it will happen.

      1. newcatty

        Looking forward to Leonardo’s update of the “Titanic “. Not just one iceberg, but swarms to navigate and destroy to save the last remnants of “supply chains”, one last Christmas, before “sheer chaos “. Throughout the film, he will (wink and nod) be an aging oceanographer, who is married to Kate Winslet. He will, of course, also be a gifted artist. His only subject is his lovely wife. The ending will be heartbreaking.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Bah. We track hundreds of thousands of objects, largely debris, in Earth orbit today. A couple thousand icebergs? We’re probably doing that already. Imagine the system Caltrans has in place to id and log license plates statewide.

  19. Tom Stone

    My thanks go out to Charlemagne Tha God for his interviews with both Kamala the Harris and Joe Biden.
    When Mrs Emhoff takes over next year ( And that seems very likely due to the effects of Omicron) she will have no political base to speak of.
    Having the bully pulpit doesn’t help when your audience consists of Neera Tanden and Donna Brazile.
    It’s getting weirder by the hour.

    1. chris

      Yes, thanks to NC for highlighting that interview. I was surprised that Ms. Harris even went on the show given how independent minded CTG is. It seems like she thought he wouldn’t ask her real questions because he liked her or something?

      I agree that VP Harris becoming POTUS would be a disaster… but in classic Team Blue fashion they’ll probably screw up that screw up and both P and VP will die from COVID complications instead…

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Desperation. He even lobbed her softballs. He was trying to help, but he would be sunk if he didn’t address President Manchin. My guess is they appealed to solidarity. A black woman needs support, and he agreed.

        Democrats are always griping about messaging, so they likely think their msnbc performances will play well if they agreed outreach on other platforms.

        Though there likely is a strong young people are on their phones vibe in the White House approach. It’s like Ripley Scott griping about millennials and zoomers for not going to his movie and Affleck responding he saw a $135, 65 inch TV at Walmart which is why no one goes to movies. Nothing beyond “those kids and their phones” has likely occurred to the White House, ignoring millennials are 40 now.

        1. fresno dan

          December 18, 2021 at 10:42 am
          It’s like Ripley Scott griping about millennials and zoomers for not going to his movie and Affleck responding he saw a $135, 65 inch TV at Walmart which is why no one goes to movies.
          I think its Ridley Scott.

          And Affleck goes to Walmart…or at least peruses their website? Those gifts to Benifer must be setting him waaaaaay back…
          You know who would be good on messaging? Trump!!! Every man has his price, and its a win-win (Trump is so tired of the repubs – I’m sure he’s ready for somethin’ new)

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Charlamagne Tha God did give the left it’s own version of Let’s Go Brandon. We should all write to the White House and have ever letter start with “Dear President Manchin.” Looking like a tough guy is part of Biden’s schtick. Emasculating Biden might actually work.

  20. ChrisRUEcon

    Oh my … this is the first time in a while I’ve had to thoroughly survey weekend links, and wow …


    UH-Mazing … extra credit for the Milky Way and planetary views in the background!

    1. ChrisRUEcon


      … sounds a bit like “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, doesn’t it?!! LOL

      And yes, it is – or shall be – excellent:

      Putin and Xi agreed to create an “independent financial structure for trade operations that could not be influenced by other countries.”

      There’s that expression again – independent (separate) financial structure (systems0 – as I commented last night under “The Loss Of Public Spiritedness”.

      SWIFT is another one of those systems that seems to exist/persist for no other reason other than, well … western financial hegemony, and I most heartily welcome this early articulation of an alternative.

      1. ChrisRUEcon


        When the #PodcastLeft isn’t busy cannibalizing itself, it sure can deliver in moments. Not sure where Mme. Sanders is headed, but her capacity for staunch defense – see her takedown of a Biden rally protestor here (via #Twitter) – is no doubt a trait that employers find attractive. Sadly, not even a WWE style takedown can protect Kamala or the pathetic Dem establishment from the impending slaughter at the polls in ’22.

        1. ChrisRUEcon


          Pretty much, right?! Well in the squalid West, for sure!! Between this gem Yves shared on “Omicron: Fog of Information and Definitions” post (12/16) – Don’t be surprised when you get Omicron (via The Atlantic) – [emphasis mine] and the whole “Omicron Is Mild” movement, what else can anyone expect?!

          Meanwhile in China: “Omicron spread shows China got it right on Covid-19 strategy, top disease expert says” (via South China Morning Post)

          Western governments engaging in business openings and border loosening without ever having properly executed #ZeroCovid is akin to someone who is trying to bake a cake without pre-heating the oven, and who just throws ingredients into a cake pan (un-greased for worse measure!) willy-nilly without mixing the contents. There were logical steps here – a one, a two, a three – with conditions for exiting hard lockdowns – an if, an else. Naw, not in free-dumb land … not in footie land. The desire the let the spice flow means that the Omicron will now flow as well. Every international flight landing (outside of cautious China) where no mandatory quarantine is required is a roll of the dice. And our leaders have simply decided that some of us may die, but such is the sacrifice they are willing to make (see Lord Farquaad meme).

        2. ChrisRUEcon

          Just channel surfing and caught a CNN segment on Kamala’s CTG appearance – not even sure who these people are – oh, #NewsRoom w/Pamela Brown … and some dude … lemme wait to see who he is … oh it’s frickin’ Chris Cillizza … LOL

          Cillizza just said something like, “ … Joe Biden can’t control the Corona virus, he can’t stop the Corona virus from mutating …”

          Firstly, LOL
          Secondly, #ForFudgeSake

          I don’t think anyone asked Joe Biden to do that. Maybe someone should send him a list like this:
          – Provide free testing kits
          – Add quarantine requirements for international arrivals
          – Mask & ventilation guidance/mandates
          – Stop the lunacy of packed sport stadia – is anyone even gonna be able to play for teams this weekend??! Dozens out due to COVID!

          … in other words, lean back toward a #ZeroCOVID stance to start the year. I know, fat chance, but … it’s really what needs to be done.

  21. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: Stoller tweet

    Susan Rice’s kid was a College Republican at Stanford. Families are tough, but this says a great deal about her views or ability to articulate them.

    It’s still appalling a foreign policy apparatik, a terrible one at that, would be given so much domestic responsibility.

    1. IMOR

      My exact take, until Iread D. Johnstone’s piece featuring the Green foreign minister. One important book > serious trampoline ability. /s ‘Pears this problem, too, is contagious.

  22. fresno dan
    A former senior FBI lawyer who falsified a surveillance document in the Trump-Russia investigation has been restored as a member in “good standing” by the District of Columbia Bar Association even though he has yet to finish serving out his probation as a convicted felon, according to disciplinary records obtained by RealClearInvestigations.
    he move is the latest in a series of exceptions the bar has made for Kevin Clinesmith, who pleaded guilty in August 2020 to doctoring an email used to justify a surveillance warrant targeting former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

    Clinesmith was sentenced to 12 months probation last January. But the D.C. Bar did not seek his disbarment, as is customary after lawyers are convicted of serious crimes involving the administration of justice. In this case, it did not even initiate disciplinary proceedings against him until February of this year — five months after he pleaded guilty and four days after RealClearInvestigations first reported he had not been disciplined. After the negative publicity, the bar temporarily suspended Clinesmith pending a review and hearing. Then in September, the court that oversees the bar and imposes sanctions agreed with its recommendation to let Clinesmith off suspension with time served; the bar, in turn, restored his status to “active member” in “good standing.”
    the more you read, the more appalling it is

    1. Tom Stone

      The D.C. Bar is simply acknowledging reality by reinstating a Lawyer who is both a Felon and a Perjurer.
      Why pretend that we have the “Rule of Law” when that horse left the barn years ago ?

    1. Bill Smith

      They learned to do that from the US Space program. The US has long had the same type of satellites. The article seems to have overlooked that.

  23. NotTimothyGeithner

    Last night, the Senate approved President Manchin’s nominee for ambassador to Japan, a man who covered up the murder of a child. Its good to see President Manchin address the real concerns of the country.

    1. Kris Alman

      From the FDA:
      Omicron Variant: Molecular Tests That May Be Impacted
      The FDA’s analysis to date has identified certain EUA-authorized molecular tests whose performance may be impacted by mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant.

      Have they analyzed all tests? Will more cycles be needed for PCR tests to show positivity with Omicron?

      How far are we behind the 8 ball when it comes to Omicron testing?

      1. Juanholio

        We all had something that seemed suspiciously like omicron after Thanksgiving. It came home from the school, and was a hacking dry cough, fever and extremely sore throat.

        It hung around our house for a while and left behind some chest congestion.

        We took several at home tests, and they were always negative.

        A lot of people we know had a similar experience and have heard it called “not-covid” because of this.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I have a friend who was violently ill for two weeks, both respiratory and digestive symptoms. Tested negative. Said other people were reporting a “two week flu”.

  24. Mikel

    True or False:

    Omicron is so new that there has not been enough time to pass to know how long protection from numerous alleged boosters last in non-lab situations?
    Since this is all going to be learned as a live experiment on masses of people…may as well admit it.
    I suspect there are going to be diminishing returns with each booster no matter the variant.

    1. Basil Pesto

      Protection won’t be indefinite and will decline over time, but yeah, while O is raging uncontrolled, I would definitely rather be boosted than not (unfortunately I won’t be able to be for at least several months)

  25. antidlc
    Kamala Harris, in interview, says administration did not anticipate Omicron variant

    Vice President Kamala Harris said Friday that the administration failed to anticipate the variants that have prolonged and worsened the COVID-19 pandemic and that she underestimated the role misinformation would play in prolonging the disease that has killed 800,000 Americans.

    “We didn’t see Delta coming. I think most scientists did not — upon whose advice and direction we have relied — didn’t see Delta coming,” she said. “We didn’t see Omicron coming. And that’s the nature of what this, this awful virus has been, which as it turns out, has mutations and variants.”

    Well, Kamala, maybe you and the administration need different scientists who advice and direction you rely upon.


    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is why I’ve always been worried about people who “believe in science” and “believe in evolution.” It turns out that was accurate.

      which as it turns out, has mutations and variants.

      These people genuinely know nothing. I knew Biden knew nothing, but I always kind of thought people knew these things. How did these people get out of high school?

    2. Kris Alman

      Are we depending on claims by test manufacturers? Is false negative testing adding to the rapid rise of cases in England?

      FDA has identified 26 molecular tests affected by S-gene dropout. The best known tests on the list are three versions of TaqPath from Thermo Fisher.

      TaqPath laboratories handle around one-third of all specimens tested in England, putting the test at the heart of the effort to track the changes from alpha to delta to omicron. With Thermo Fisher generating more than $1.5 billion from COVID-19 testing in the third quarter alone, TaqPath is likely to be widely used in other markets as well.

      The other 23 tests listed by FDA include a product from Verily Life Sciences. Like TaqPath, the Verily product tests for three parts of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, meaning it can deliver a positive result by identifying the ORF1ab region and nucleocapsid gene even if there is a deletion in the S-gene. FDA is asking clinical laboratory staff and healthcare providers to be aware that S-gene dropout is consistent with omicron but is not recommending changes beyond targeted sequencing, if possible.

      Makers of both polymerase chain reaction and rapid antigen tests have said their tests can detect omicron.

    3. Skip Intro

      She and her advisors would have to ‘believe’ something like this to plausibly pursue their vaccine-only policy. Admitting the possibility of escape mutations would admit the incomplete nature of the policy, and in turn, require them to look to public health interventions beyond what is possible by transferring funds to donors, risk and responsibility to individuals and motivating them by the scoldings of their betters and the lashings of their employers.

  26. flora

    re: China

    In 2013, internal memo directive Document No. 9 was issued.
    From the NYT:
    China Takes Aim at Western Ideas

    Wiki’s outline of the document:

    There’s also a translation online, with the caveat the source is good as far as the publisher knows.

    Seems like it’s a good idea to keep this in mind when assessing what’s happening in China and in its foreign relations with the West.

  27. diptherio

    NPR on Omicron:

    “The most pessimistic scenarios are scary. And we need to sort of equip ourselves to make changes — change policies, encourage more cautionary behavior — if and when we start to see hospitalizations tick up in this country,” Meyers says.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but by the time we see hospitalizations “tick up,” isn’t it already too late? Shouldn’t we be encouraging behavior changes before the hospitals start filling up (again)? And aren’t we already seeing increases in hospitalization in many parts of the country, specifically on the Eastern seaboard? WTF is wrong with these people?

    1. Tom Stone

      There’s nothing “Wrong” with these people.
      They were very carefully selected by those that matter for the very attributes you are criticizing.
      Kamala Harris,Joe Biden and their ilk are not unfit for purpose,their purpose is simply not overtly acknowledged by most.
      This is what systemic failure looks like just before things get really bad.

    1. Objective Ace

      When government refuses to regulate monopolies, I guess it comes down to other monopolies to do so. It will be interesting to see which one caves and abides by the others terms

  28. LawnDart

    Russia has issued “impossible” demands (see new cold war): NATO/USA will not ever argree to their terms and Russia knows it. Russia would not do this unless they’re ready to go. Are we?

    Russia is not going to back down this time: you guys realize that and understand the implications?

    But at least this means that the coronavirus won’t be the primary worry for us for too much longer.

    1. Bricky

      I’ve been thinking the same thing. Putin and Russians more generally don’t seem like big bluffers or bullshitters. Also their diplomacy is kind of old-school, polite and full of euphemisms (“our American partners”). The fact that they issued what amounts to an ultimatum with demands that on the face of it seem very unlikely to be even close to met suggests to me that they are ready to roll. Where exactly I’m not sure. There are all kinds of reasons that even an occupation of eastern Ukraine (east of the Dnieper River) doesn’t make sense. I have no idea what they are planning to do, but I suspect it will be something the USA and Western Europe definitely won’t like and will have little recourse to stop. This seems like it will happen soon. The only spanner on the works is the Winter Olympics in China. Do you want to mess up that event for your most important ally?

      Re: the article about the Russian space program, ever since the occupation of Crimea and even more so the intervention in Syria, Russia has struck me as very competent, whatever you think about their goals or leadership. This is a 180 degree change from the way Russia was in the 90s and early 00s, when you could not find a more incompetent major country on earth. I think the influence of those recent events actually make me overestimate Russian competence. There’s still a ton of dysfunction and incompetence left over from before, that the Russian government seems to be working on in a step-by-step methodical way. Recently there were big reforms in their research university system, which is a shadow of Soviet times. Now maybe this article signals a focus on the space program. A presence and leadership in space is foundational to the current Russian self-understanding. I’d say not even behind the experience of winning WW2 at this point. The Russian government can’t give up on space. Maybe this is the beginning of a reform of that sector.

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘Maybe this is the beginning of a reform of that sector.’

        Yeah, had the same impression myself. I saw how they devoted resources to their military and when it was competent, started to reduce their budget. Could be that with the militarization of space, that they are now going to devote resources to their space program, particularly since the International Space Station gets wound down in about five years time. I for one though, am not looking forward when we have nuclear bombs in orbit around the planet by the different countries.

    2. Pat

      Considering the resume of those pushing the US towards this, it looks like it is time to demand that they and theirs man the front lines before anyone else. I mean it isn’t as if Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya were not totally justified and massive successes for the US diplomatically and militarily.

      OTOH Pushing war with Russia over a state which our meddling has pushed into civil war and destabilized Russia’s border would absolutely take attention away from the public policy and health care disaster that is our Covid response. Win win.

      1. LawnDart

        I think it’ll take some big bombs going off right on the horizon to take the public’s mind off covid– not that I’d discount the possibility.

        For much of the public, what doesn’t affect them personally, is dismissed.

  29. lupemax

    This is the insert from the FDA website for the vaccine to be given to 5-11 year olds. How many actually receive this or have it explained to them so they can provide “informed” consent either themselves or through their caregivers (i.e. parents)? I live is a rich little town in Eastern Mass that has been having many “clinics” to provide ‘shots’ to children 5-11 and they appear to know nothing about this insert and the reality that they should inform…about EUA a la Nuremberg code as this shot is experimental? We are letting them know. It’s tough. Here’s the link to the ‘insert” from the FDA site. The shot provided is NOT comirnaty as many think but just the second Pfizer shot twiddled a bit which is still EUA.

    1. Objective Ace

      I found this statement from the packet odd, “The vaccine has been shown to prevent COVID-19”.

      That’s just a lie. The vaccines were found to be “efficacious” against covid. They werent found to prevent anything… While its quite likely the two are related, we have no idea to what extent that might be

  30. Bricky

    It’s fun to see the center-left, the managerial class here in America, adopt the quintessential Deplorable talking point: “it’s just the flu”

    I had to walk around a few neighborhoods in Manhattan today and it’s all one big super-spreader event. Omicron better be mild!

    It’s amazing how no no one learned anything over the past 2 years. I got a super feeling of deja vu taking crowded trains and seeing people squeezed like sardines into restaurants and bars, just like very early March 2020.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Perhaps Americans don’t want to be an Empire any more, and are volunteering to go over the cliff to help make it so.

  31. Maritimer

    The Log4J Vulnerability Will Haunt the Internet for Years Wired (Dr. Kevin)
    I see a possible parallel here with the development and implementation of Covid injections. One assumes that like all for profit endeavours, corners were cut in getting the injections out the door. Also, this is new technology and much of it is unknown. So, in making up these Covid injections has Big Pharma locked itself into certain procedures/processes that it will be very hard to reverse down the injection/injection/injection road? Can they even match the Mutations let alone do it quickly enough?

    I would love to hear an expert like Doctor Malone on this subject. More specifically, what stem cells were used and why? Are these stem cells detrimental to certain genetic types?

    Those familiar with the computer software world know that there are numerous cases of rushed software that came back to bite both the developer and the users. Bill Gates, Injection Guru, knows all about it.

  32. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    Further, on the topic of black bears and a challenge to prevailing orthodoxies and conventional wisdom:

    “In my 42 years of working closely with bears and testing every no-no, I have not found a way of getting a bear to attack. The more I push them the more they try to get away. They might want to nip and slap, but it is not an attack, it is just a way of fending me off so they can find a way to escape.”

    Free movie at:

  33. Jeremy Grimm

    “Univ. of Washington AI protein folding discovery wins ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ award from Science”=>
    The caption below one of the images in this link caught my attention: “Rose TTAFold can predict a protein structure in as little as ten minutes on a gaming computer.” Minkyung Baek has discovered some combination of physical forces, factors, and laws that are responsible for the way proteins fold. The “big iron” computations of protein structure using what amount to brute force calculations offer answers, but fall far short of providing Knowledge of how proteins fold. To me, their solutions are as unsatisfying as is the brute force solution of the four-color problem. The computations of an AI like DeepMind are opaque. Baek et al. explored neural network architectures based on the DeepMind framework. They used a three-track network to process sequence, distance, and coordinate information simultaneously and achieved accuracies approaching those of DeepMind. The “ten minutes on a gaming computer” suggests to me that Baek has discovered some essence of the Knowledge which could finally enable researchers to truly understand the workings of protein folding. Her “Breakthrough of the Year” could prove to be a “Breakthrough of the Decade”.

    I also find it heartening that David Baker, head of the UW Institute for Protein Design [IPD] lab, was satisfied that his name showed up at slot 10 in the Research Article in Science. It looks like he gave fullest credit to Minkyung Baek and the key members in the rest of her team. Judging from her photo and the brief bio she posted at I am also impressed by her humility and generosity evident from that bio. I believe I will keep a watch on Minkyung Baek, the UW Institute for Protein Design [IPD], and their publications.

  34. KLG

    William A. Haseltine (Forbes link) was a major influence during the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. He is a sound scientist but has been largely silenced this time around. Arguments from authority are faulty, but he is a scientist who is and has been, well, authoritative for a long time. He can be a bit “out there,” but compared to what passes for expertise leaking into the media these days, he is as Vincent van Gogh vs. Hunter Biden.

    1. Basil Pesto

      I saw this by him last weekend, and was quite impressed: What is the meaning of Omicron

      That it was in Forbes, of all places, was a sign of encouragement. Now that he gets it, and is passing it on, maybe the ‘business community’, diverse though it is, will too.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well, there is the authority of demonstrably-earned credibility versus the authority of title and position.
      And if Haseltine has demonstrably earned credibility for the quality of his output of various kinds, then it may be a “better kind of authority” in a tentative way.

  35. The Rev Kev

    Something for the end of the day. So I just saw a video clip of a new film called “Don’t look up” about two astronomers who discover that a comet is on course to wipe out the earth. Let’s just say that it is handled as well as we are handling the present pandemic- (2:45 mins)

  36. drumlin woodchuckles

    Way down discussion-thread in the Kamala Harris interview tweet I saw this clever little suggestion . . .

    ” Gritty is the Way
    Normalize responding to political fundraising requests with your student loan balance.”

  37. The Rev Kev

    Coming to you from the Department of You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – so I just saw an article here in Oz called “Interactive: Where can I go and what is the travel advice for each country?” Seriously, what is wrong with these people? The Federal government is already wondering about shutting down our borders so any of these people that went overseas would be trapped there for an unknown amount of time-

    Meanwhile, in face of skyrocketing numbers of cases in New South Wales, the Premier there said to “stand tall” and just accept it as part of the “new normal.” He also said that it was all up to people to take their own precautions but ‘The government can’t do everything.’

  38. drumlin woodchuckles

    ” China: We’ll make the US pay the price for sanctions ”

    If that ends up destroying the world Forcey Free-Trade system, that will be a good long-term outcome, even if short-term painful.

    Just as Western ( especially EU sanction-embargoes) sanctions have ended up creating a sort of “imposed Protectionism” on Russia which has allowed Russia to diversify its economy and improve its food-production and food-handling sector, China’s destroying America’s presence in the World Forced-Trade System could end up forcing America into adopting as much autarky as it can learn how to do.

  39. drumlin woodchuckles

    When reading the article on Kellogg’s proposing a sort of weakish new contract, my eye was caught by this paragraph:

    ” Kellogg has been facing a boycott since early October, when workers began striking. This move intensified calls for a boycott and inspired people on the “antiwork” subreddit to flood the company’s online job portal, spamming the website and causing it to crash multiple times, according to users of the forum.”

    It looks like the young people either already know, or are learning fast, about how to make change by inflicting torturous pain at certain undefended pressure points. If they all thought of this on their own together, through a sort of mass-Vulcan mass mind-meld, then they are already pretty smart and probably would learn a lot by spending the time to go back and read every back post ( if they still exist) of John Robb’s ” global guerillas” blog. He has had a lot to say, down the years , about finding the undefended and undefendable pressure points and pain points of targetted systems, and applying pressure and pain against those points to either force the system to do the will of the people applying the pain and pressure . . . or to destroy those systems altogether, in hopes of the system-destroyer being able to rush in and conquer the wreckage site to re-arrange the post-wreckage recovery to the destroyer’s own liking, before others can swoop in and re-arrange the post-wreckage recovery to their own liking instead.

    Here is the website.

    For those who have concluded that electoral politics may be a baited establishment trap and a velcro tarpit to lose activists and change-seekers in, “anti-work” and ” global guerillas” may explain better and more effective ways to achieve genuine results.

Comments are closed.