Links 12/30/2021

Maine cat missing for 2 months spotted on trail cam with a fox before being reunited with its family Bangor Daily News

Take a closer look: how more and more students are catching the citizen science bug The Conversation

Corporate Profits Drive 60% of Inflation Increases Matt Stoller, BIG

The Fed’s Doomsday Prophet Has a Dire Warning About Where We’re Headed Politico

Cryptocurrencies: a view from the left MR Online

Professional Poker Player Banned For Deceiving Opponents By Knowingly Betting On Weak Hand The Onion


Judge won’t intervene to let Maine power line construction resume WBUR

As Western states pledge to take less water from Colorado River, tribes seek a bigger role LA Times

Alaska hits record-high temperature for December, plus freezing rain Seattle Times (Re Silc).


Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Technology Secures Emergency Use Authorization in India (press release) Texas Children’s Hospital. “Dubbed ‘The World’;s COVID-19 Vaccine’, [Corbevax] uses a traditional recombinant protein-based technology that will enable its production at large scales making it widely accessible to inoculate the global population. Oddly. although there’s much coverage in India, coverage here is much more difficult to find. After searching on “Corbevax Baylor,” some local coverage. Good to see the scientists at Texas Children’s doing the right thing.

As Omicron Spreads, Officials Ponder What It Means to Be ‘Fully Vaccinated’ NYT. If the Obama administration believed that everything could be solved with public relations, the Biden administration believes that everything can be solved with semantics. Symbol manipulators gotta symbol manipulate!

After Vaccines: Where Covid Death Rates Have Risen The Big Picture

Effectiveness of BNT162b2 Vaccine against Omicron Variant in South Africa (correspondence) NEJM. Pfizer.

Trust, Faith, and Covid NEJM

* * *

Reports from the field:

India hospitalization:

New South Wales hospitalization:

Nice work, Gladys.

‘Kentucky is now in a surge from omicron.’ State’s positivity rate, case numbers soar Herald-Leader (DM). “Hospitalizations from COVID-19 have not begun to surge as precipitously yet in Kentucky the way they have in places like Washington, D.C., New York, New Jersey and Maryland…. A spike in hospitalizations has historically followed a surge in positivity rate and new infections.”

* * *

The C.D.C. Has New Covid Guidelines. This Is What It Got Wrong. Aaron E. Carroll, NYT. Naturally not a word on layered defenses, ventilation, or therapeutics. And then there’s this:

When the pandemic began, there were no vaccines, so we all lived in a world where everyone was at the same high risk.

Really? “Dr. Carroll is the chief health officer for Indiana University.” Carrroll has made the gobsmacking claim that he, a powerful executive at a major university, was at “the same high risk” in 2020 as an “essential worker” — remember them? — in, say, a slaughterhouse. Or for that matter, an ER. “[Carroll] writes often on health research and policy.” No doubt, because he’s pig ignorant, and that’s highly adaptive these days.

More on the CDC’s new guidelines:

“Resolving”? But not yet resolved?

* * *

Vaccinated Isn’t Enough: Omicron Carries the Risk of Long Covid Rolling Stone

Clinical characteristics with inflammation profiling of Long-COVID and association with one-year recovery following hospitalisation in the UK: a prospective observational study (preprint) medRxiv. n = 2320 (five months visit), n = 807 (five months and one year visits). From the Abstract: “In a diverse population of adults post-hospital admission with COVID-19, our large UK prospective multi-centre study reports several novel findings: the minority felt fully recovered at one year with minimal recovery from five months across any health domain; female sex and obesity are associated with being less likely to feel fully recovered at one year; several inflammatory mediators were increased in individuals with the most severe physical, mental health, and cognitive impairments compared to individuals with milder ongoing impairments.”

* * *

Forecasting the Omicron winter: Experts envision various scenarios, from bad to worse STAT (original). “The models might be noisy; assumptions and uncertainties abound when data is sparse, which happens when a new variant emerges. But they’re better than nothing.” I’m not so sure that’s true. There’s “selection pressure” on models, too, as factions cherry-pick them. Further, “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” I suspect the models, because they all present a range of scenarios, reinforce our hopeful tendencies toward the “middle ground fallacy,” thus eroding our abilities to actually prepare. Readers, thoughts? (To be clear, my priors are that I loathe models. Give me good epidemiological studies and proposals for biological mechanisms any day.)

Omicron Is Pushing America Into Soft Lockdown The Atlantic. “In a soft lockdown, businesses are also on their own. Last spring’s stay-at-home orders came with unemployment assistance and emergency loans. None of that is coming this time.” Worse than Trump.

A third of Ohio deer test positive for COVID-19 virus Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (original).


Year ahead: China’s economic shift may yield winners and losers Al Jazeera

Strictly prevent industry associations and chambers of commerce from accumulating wealth by relying on administrative power What China Reads

Chinese lockdown rule-breakers are publicly shamed and paraded through the streets carrying placards with their names on in bid to ensure Covid rules are obeyed Daily Mail

China Is Running Out of Water and That’s Scary for Asia Bloomberg


Myanmar military reverts to strategy of massacres, burnings AP

China Provides Submarine to Myanmar Junta The Irrawaddy

Povidone in Singapore:

The whole thread is heartening; it shows what a functioning, First World-style government can do.


UK life sciences lobby calls for investment in antivirals to fight Covid FT

New Cold War

Claim in 2021: Putin is “sitting on top of an economy that has nuclear weapons and oil wells and nothing else.” Russia Matters

Biden Administration

White House won’t sign deal for 500M COVID tests until late next week MSN

President Biden to ABC’s David Muir on at-home COVID testing: ‘Nothing’s been good enough‘ ABC. From last week, still germane. “‘I wish I had thought about ordering’ 500 million at-home tests ‘two months ago,’ [Biden] told Muir.” The molasses-brained West Wing seems not to understand exponential growth. Perhaps this month will be a learning opportunity for them.

The Unplanned Costs of an Unmanned Fleet War on the Rocks

2 decades of left turns Ryan Cooper, The Week

Retailers Are Blaming The Internet For A Retail Theft Surge That Might Not Be Happening; Media Is Helping Them Out TechDirt. Meanwhile (Re Silc):

Va. teachers push back on equity proposal to abolish some grades, late homework penalties ABC7. “No grading for homework as the proposal says mistakes are vital to learning and students are less likely to take risks when they fear they will be graded down for making a mistakes.”

Health Care

‘Get that money!’ Dermatologist says patient care suffered after private equity-backed firm bought her practice NBC

Supply Chain

TuSimple claims success on 80-mile driverless Class 8 pilot in Arizona Freight Waves. “A TuSimple survey vehicle looked for anomalies five miles in front of the autonomous truck.”…. If your algo is bad, control your inputs.

L’Affaire Joffrey Epstein

Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty, faces prospect of decades in prison Julie K. Brown, Miami Herald. “Federal prosecutors purposefully seemed to steer the case around the potential minefield of identifying figures they referred to as ‘third parties’ who were in Epstein’s orbit.” Mission accomplished!

‘Maxwell did not act alone. Others must be held accountable’: Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Giuffre leads reaction to Ghislaine Maxwell guilty verdict. Victim Annie Farmer says she has been ‘moved to tears’ Daily Mail

Guillotine Watch

Reasons for optimism after a difficult year GatesNotes

You’re not rich (if you’re constantly doing this) RAD

Why Bugs Must Be a Bigger Part of the Human Food Chain Bloomberg

Class Warfare

On Slaughterhouse Floor, Fear and Anger Remain NYT. Nothing fundamental will change.

Deaths of despair: the unrecognized tragedy of working class immiseration STAT

The James Webb Space Telescope Has Launched: Now Comes the Hard Part Scientific American

We got mail that Public Citizen is running behind on their fundraiser. They do great work — I particularly remember Lori Wallach on TPP — but they don’t cover Covid, or RussiaGate, let alone ZOMG Trump, so their signal may be getting lost in the noise. It couldn’t hurt to throw some coin their way.

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Michael Ismoe

    Carrroll has made the gobsmacking claim that he, a powerful executive at a major university, was at “the same high risk” in 2020 as an “essential worker” — remember them? — in, say, a slaughterhouse. Or for that matter, an ER.[

    Soon to be written is the book on how the PMC beat covid by doing all their ordering from Amazon and DoorDash. They also serve who order with a platinum card. I heard of people during WW2 doing meatless Tuesdays and growing victory gardens and collecting tin cans (for free) to help the war effort. I wonder what happened to that country.

    1. Objective Ace

      Also this implies (or really outright states) that an obese 90 year old was at the same risk as a 5 year old. What is wrong with these people?

      1. LawnDart

        …the same risk as a 5 year old.

        Not really that sure that a 5-year-old who catches the virus is going to make it to 90… …just sayin’.

        1. Nikkikat

          The 90 year old probably dies, the 5 year old has no symptoms. The old and sick are incredibly vulnerable.

        2. Milton

          The 5 year old is not going to reach 90 because of the only thing everyone should be alarmist about: global warming.

          1. JBird4049

            The only thing? Global warming and ecological collapse are probably the most important things, but if millions keep getting ill then dying or developing long Covid each year, that might be a bit important.

            Not to mention the possibility of new variants worse than what we have now, say with the infectiousness of Omicron and the lethality of smallpox. That would make dealing with all the other problems of ours so much harder.

            Not to mention all the unneeded, preventable suffering.

    2. Mikel

      Looking at the NEJM article about Pfizer shots in S.Africa:

      “In our study, we used a test-negative design and data-exclusion rules to obtain estimates of vaccine effectiveness4 (Table S1), according to the following formula: 1−odds ratio for Covid-19 hospitalization in the vaccinated population, where the odds ratio was calculated with the use of logistic regression after adjustment for confounders of age, sex, previous Covid-19 infection, surveillance week, geographic location, and the number of CDC risk factors. In this analysis, Covid-19 hospitalization was a dependent variable, and vaccination status was included as an independent variable…”

      They don’t specifically list employment as a significant factor to track. Don’t notice it much.
      Place of employment would have much to do with the external environmental effects on health and the immune system.

    3. Carla

      In WW2, people had some help from the government: rationing of meat made it easier to give it up one or more days a week. Rationing of gasoline meant it made sense to stay home and plant a garden. When a society works together, amazing things can be accomplished.

      (And oh by the way, those American women who went to work in factories during the war? Thanks to the Lanham Act, they had comprehensive, low-cost child care provided by the federal government.)

      But we ain’t gonna get that, because President Manchin don’t want us to have it.

      1. lordkoos

        That was so long ago that the American upper class actually allowed their children to fight in the war, something that is unthinkable today.

            1. LawnDart

              Well, if the Shrub had been deployed I have little doubt that he would have become North Vietnam’s first fighter ace…

              1. The Rev Kev

                Kinda ironic how the media back in 2004 made out that George Bush had a better service record than John Kerry. Kerry saw combat in ‘Nam and got three Purple Hearts along with several medals. Bush joined the National Guard to defend the skies of Texas from the North Vietnamese Air Force, got bored and wandered away from his base for good to play politics. Even back in 2004 the media was trash.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      Steady elimination of the New Deal and introduction of Free Trade. That’s what happened.

      Recently here in Ann Arbor I was in an independent coffee place with limited food menu. I was talking with my server about things and stuff. She seemed common sense based and also college-level educated.

      Somewhere in the course of conversation I asked her what they teach nowadays in High School and/or college about the New Deal. It turns out that she had never heard the words ” New Deal “. No mention of the New Deal in school? ” This is the first time I have heard the words ” the New Deal”. So I responded . . . ” that shows how powerful is the Cone of Silence which the elites have dropped over our collective history.”

      She seemed genuinely interested in this ” New Deal” thing and said she would research it online. She said if she happens to see me in there again, she will tell me what she found.

      If it happens that way, and her answers seem interesting and promising, I will mention the words ” Haymarket Riot” and “The Battle of Blair Mountain” and maybe even ” Flint Sit Down Strike” and see if she is interested in researching about those words too.

      1. marym

        Great website. It’s main focus is the legacy of projects all across the country. “The Living New Deal’s purpose is to make that enduring legacy visible. Our team is building a national database of information, documents, photographs, and personal stories about the public works made possible by the New Deal.” It’s very inspiring.

        The second link is a good summary by types of programs (economic stimulus, public works, etc.) with further links for more detail.

        1. chuck roast

          I love WPA art courtesy of the New Deal. The only things that have yet to be monetized are the library and post office murals from the Federal Arts Project. Many artisans were given employment also. Much of the art and furnishings produced in the effort were given to, or appropriated by universities or other state run facilities. Of course they have always had administrators and administrators gotta’ administrate. So many of these pieces produced for the public were “privatized” over the years. And so it goes.

          Nevertheless, here are some highlights for a Swann’s auction of WPA artists that is happening soon. They will post the full catalogue in a few weeks. Word of warning…enjoy the viewing, but never buy from these knuckleheads.

        1. rowlf

          Ypsi, the yang from Tree Town’s ying.

          And most people don’t realize Ann Arbor is southeast of Hell.

      2. lance ringquist

        all free trade has done is to drive innovative hard working americans into part time go now where jobs, driving them deep into debt, borrowing money back that used to be ours, to buy the goods and services we used to make.


      3. CitizenSissy

        Don’t forget the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. The reference is getting a bit of a revival with the Amazon plant recently destroyed by the tornado; employees were blocked from carrying cell phones, and prohibited from leaving.

        I marched in the 2011 TSF centennial commemoration in honor of my seamstress grandmother. Many of the dead were teenage girls, and recent immigrants. Even in that pre-internet age, girls throwing themselves from a burning building with clothes ablaze was bad PR.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “New South Wales hospitalization:”

    Brother, you ain’t seen nothing. So Scotty from Marketing had his national Cabinet meeting and came up with uniform standards that would apply across the country – though Western Australia & Northern territory are sitting tight and assessing at the moment. The quarantine period is being reduced down to seven days which is not good. But here is the best part. From now on, a ‘close contact’ will only be someone who has been in contact with an infected person for about four hours. And it must be a confirmed infected person. So not that coughing airline passenger you sat next to for three hours. In fact, Scotty said “If I went down to a restaurant down the road and I happened to pop in and get some takeaway and there was a case there, I would not be a close contact. I would not then have to isolate for the arrangement setting under a close contact.” Gotta develop that herd immunity.

    I think that by this stage some readers will be reaching for the eye bleach. We know of a person that got infected in a Sydney cafe last year by an infected person passing by and the CCTV camera showed it to last only seconds. And that was the Delta strain. Oh, and it starts midnight tonight which is in less that two hours time. So all those people in quarantine can go now. And this will mean that New Years Eve parties tomorrow night will now become super-duper spreader events. Actual doctors are screaming about this level of f***ery but the politically appointed chief medical doctors are saying that it is all legit. And testing? Scotty did a Biden and said that that was a State responsibility and nothing to do with him. Meanwhile, cases continue to skyrocket here in Oz-

    1. Soredemos

      The Australian Liberal Party is a longform performance art project to see how utterly, openly inept and corrupt a party can be and still get elected through sheer media manipulation.

      Here’s to friendlyjordies continuing up the food chain to the national level.

      1. Synoia

        It needs to be analyzed under the theme of “Politics for Profit.”

        It appears to me that our collective political system have changed their objectives from “Rule” to “Personal Profit.”

        To be blunt, they all appear the same as the so called Banana Republics. Who, 50 years ago. knew that the Banana Republics would become the model for modern Governance?

        Somewhere on today’s posts is a headline about The Senate appropriating billions to beef up the US Police.

        For what purpose? Prole Control?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          The Proles will have to develop diffuse methods for mass self-protection and displeasure display.

          Sullen silence. National Consumption Slowdown. And picky-choosy about what one buys and where one buys it. Lead the money around by the nose, if you have any money. Don’t work where you wouldn’t buy, and don’t buy where you wouldn’t work ( if you have any choice in the matter.) And move some of your survival-maintainance activity out of the forced market moneyconomy and into the free unmarket biophysiconomy if you can. Not that everyone can.

          Uncivil obedience. Grudging obedience without any cheerful compliance. Massive passive obstruction.

          1. Eclair

            Our CIA has done this. A manual, “Simple Sabotage.” Outdated and unclassified. Page 28 ff. gives crazy ideas for slowing stuff down, from demanding that all orders be in writing, to making speeches …. loooong speeches (and throwing in patriotic comments.) (If some of these remind you of certain governing bodies, you are undoubtedly paranoid.)

      1. The Rev Kev

        That brings up the question of how long you would feel comfortable while being in the presence of a know, infected person. Scotty from Marketing reckons that four hours is pretty safe but your mileage may vary. I have heard that 30 seconds is more than enough to get the job done but I myself decline to put this to the test.

    2. witters

      Well, here in regional NSW (Armidale) turns out that myself, wife and 3 boys are pretty certainly all positive and all are certainly symptomatic. At present I am in a better situation than everyone else – no aching bones, cold sweats, just throatache, horrible headache and peculiar feeling that is novel to me and rather disconcerting – though who knows how things will go?. How did we find out? Well, after more than 2 days and no result from government testing (though promised within 36 hours max), we had delivered instant testing devices of 2 kinds: mouth swab and nasal. Mouth swab ($34 for packets of 2) all negative, nose swab ($26 for packets of 2) all wildly positive. And still waiting for the official results as numbers increases exponentially to over 21,000. “Economists” here say all should be well as long as no lockdowns are instigated(!) and this is, of course, now (as always, I suspect) government policy.

  3. allan

    Chicago teacher quarantines in plane’s bathroom for 4 hours after testing positive for COVID-19 [NY Post]

    A Chicago teacher who was on a plane to Iceland last week for a European vacation said she quarantined in a bathroom for four hours after finding out—mid-flight—that she had COVID-19, according to reports. …

    She said she informed a quick-thinking flight attendant, who determined that there were not enough empty seats on the aircraft to properly isolate her. Fotieo told the [TV] station that she was concerned about the welfare of the other passengers, so offered to “just stay in the bathroom for the rest of the flight.” …

    It’s a good thing that airplane bathrooms are reverse pressurized. /s

  4. Stephen V.

    Very nice story about Thumper the cat being reunited with his staff!
    However, I think the story promotes a dangerous misconception : the idea that cats can live in the wild. N=1 does not a general rule make. My partner and I have been doing small scale cat rescue for over two decades. *Fluffy will be fine on her own* is precisely the rationale peeps use when they dump their cat on the edge of town.
    Cats need to be close to people. I could not pull up the appropriate research in this red hot moment but the understanding in the rescue community is that *community cats* might survive 2 to 4 years as opposed to 14+ (we have one pushing 20!) for a homed cat. Not to mention the other horrors of managing outdoor colonies in an urban setting. Don’t get me started on govt run animal shelters…

    1. JEHR

      When we first moved to a rural community, we found a bunch of “wild” cats living not far away. I met the woman who daily brought food and water for the cats and brought bundles of hay for protection in the cold winters. She also made sure that all the cats were either neutered or spayed. I would occasionally find the carcass of a cat around the area where they lived, but mostly all the cats looked healthy. About 15 years later, there were no more “wild” cats in the area. I have much respect for that woman’s efforts to look after the neglected cats and for making sure there were no kittens born into the same neglect.

    2. Lee

      We’ve had problems with feral cats that have been successful on their own by preying on nesting shorebirds at the coastline and other native wildlife in our inland regional parks.

  5. hemeantwell

    Thanks for the heads up on Public Citizen, and please notify us of other needy news sites. Ongoing public service?

      1. GF

        The way I understood the FL 2000 presidential voting was that the people that voted for Nader would not have voted for Gore, so GW still would have won due to the corrupt vote counting and SCOTUS intervention. Where were the Cyber Ninjas?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Motive matters. Nader did not have a decisive real effect on any outcomes. But Nader’s purely personal spite-based purpose was specifically to defeat Gore in order to get Bush elected.

          Not that Nader had an actual effect in that regard. But that was Nader’s goal.

          1. Mantid

            Do you have any proof of your proposal that Nader’s “purpose was specifically to defeat Gore in order to get Bush elected? It’s quite the assertion. My memory, without looking up links is that Nader was a great outlet for Dems looking for a culprit outside of their ineptitude and having Gore as a candidate. Dems tend to complain quite a bit when they lose, which is often – and in their immediate future, for good reason. Personally, I don’t vote. It’s pointless (especially with candidates like Gore).

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              I remember a progressive blogger in Texas warning and warning and warning about this. His blog was called Politex and I haven’t been able to find it for years.

              Otherwise, I have no proof, only my memory. I remember having read that Nader was expecting Gore to give him a phone call to discuss this and that, and when no such call ever came, he got bitter and then decided to get revenge.

              I also note that Gore ran his hardest in Florida, a state Gore would need, and the only motive I could see at the time was to get Gore defeated in Florida. As I said, motive matters in assessing someone’s character as revealed by someone’s actions.

              It also shined a light onto what kind of people the Greens were and are at heart.
              Another such light was shined even brighter when the Greens nominated a Republican named McGaw to run against Wellstone in Minnesota, in order to get Wellstone defeated. In fact, they forced Wellstone into so much rushed and hurried flying around in his campaign that they caused him to get on that fateful plane which fatefully crashed. I wonder if the Green Party rats, filth and scum still make pilgrimages to Minnesota so they can dance on Wellstone’s grave.

              You are correct in that many Dems looked to Nader as an outlet for their own ineptitude. You will note upon very careful reading of my comment one word at a time that I myself have not done that. If you read my comment slowly enough, you might even see the sentence where I wrote . . . ” Nader did not have a decisive real effect on any outcomes.”

              Blogger Politex warned against the silly progressive view that there was no difference between Bush and Gore. Under a President Gore, we might have gotten some meaningful global de-warming action. He certainly seemed sincere about that.

              1. ambrit

                As to Gore 2000, I’ll just note that since Gore didn’t fight up until the Electoral College sat, he didn’t really have the “stones” to be in the Big Leagues of American Politics.
                Trump, for all his faults, cannot be accused of not fighting up until the end.
                Biden? He doesn’t seem to be fighting for anything. A Caretaker President.
                The ‘escape’ from Afghanistan was something worthwhile, but the next step hasn’t happened yet. No cancellation of boondoggle military programs ‘on the horizon.’

                1. drumlin woodchuckles

                  That is painfully true. As Hunter S. Thompson put it . . . . election 2000 wasn’t entirely stolen from Gore ( and really from the Gore voters), it was also mud-wrestled away from him in the Florida Swamps and his pathetic surrender during the certification period at the Capitol itself sealed the surrender.

                  Its why I sometimes say, we need a few Red Gingriches.

                  If the DemProgs in the House want to defeat and destroy the DemHouse leadership on the way to destroying the House Republicans, they are going to have to Go Gingrich or Go Home.

            2. Matthew G. Saroff

              Ummm….. How about the Wiki page on his 2000 campaign?

              It shows a whole series of actions, and quotes which would lead a reasonable person to conclude his intent was to go after Gore on the theory that Bush would be so bad that it would trigger change. (Instead it gave us Obama)

  6. Redlife2017

    Re the Daily Mail Chinese covid people being paraded around:

    According to Carl Zha, whose Chinese is definitely better than mine, that is not what the video shows. The video has lots of Chinese captions in it and it is (according to him): “footage frm @ZhengguanNews
    showing parade of cross border human traffickers”, nothing to do with Covid.

    Now I don’t have a second source for that and your mileage may very with Carl. I’ve found him to be pretty good with this sort of stuff.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      My mandarin isn’t up to translating the clip, but from what I can work out its a bit of both. The paraded individuals were involved in people smuggling (probably illegal workers from Vietnam/Laos), but they were being shamed because this was seen as a source of covid outbreaks. Most of the reporting I’ve seen of the incident has been pretty accurate – i.e. they are people smugglers who were being publicly shamed under Covid regulations. The clip is from Jingxi which is on the border with Vietnam – its a very forested mountain area, a very difficult border to seal if you are willing to hike on the huge number of unmapped trails in the area (two friends of mine nearly entered China accidentally while bike packing remote areas of north Laos – to the west, but similar terrain). Its genuine wild west there, the ethnic mountain people of the region are pretty much a law onto themselves. Even the Chinese/Vietnamese authorities don’t mess with them unless they’ve a very good reason. Its to the credit of the Chinese that they’ve managed to keep the region reasonably tight as far as covid is concerned.

      As for Zha, I stopped following him on Twitter a couple of years ago after he started circulating clearly faked videos from HK supposedly showing violence against the police. He used to be a useful counter source of information to the usual bad reporting on China, but back then (I don’t know about now), he circulated far too much stuff that was obvious Beijing propaganda to be regarded as a reliable source of information. Its unfortunate that for many on the left he has become a ‘go to’ source of information. As Lambert said yesterday, you can’t reverse engineer the truth from bullshit.

      1. Andy

        I didn’t read Zha’s take on the Hong Kong demonstrations/riots but I did see genuine, non-faked footage of rioters running wild and beating people, setting fire to an MTR station, smashing shop windows and even trashing part of the airport. They also set a guy on fire (he survived, badly burned) and when confronted with this during a media interview the spokeswoman didn’t deny it but blamed the demonstrators’ documented bad actions on Beijing.

        So it’s very clear that there is more going on here than simply people taking part in “pro-democracy” demonstrations.

        Before getting all pious about democracy in Hong Kong it’s worth remembering that before 1997 it was the colony of a foreign power and, by definition, not a democracy. It’s also worth recalling how slanted the western media’s reporting on disturbances in “enemy” nations is and how governmental organizations like the NED were set up precisely to fuel discord and encourage violent separatism in these places.

        This doesn’t mean that every demonstration is an orchestrated color revolution but it does mean the west regularly and openly funds and influences the anti-government side in these disputes. Imagine if BLM or an anti vax-mandate group took money from the CCP, opened up branches in Beijing and took classes in tactics and political strategy taught by organizations that are run by the Chinese government.

        They would, quite rightly, be considered traitors no matter how legitimate their cause might be. Western governments do things in “enemy” states that would never, ever be accepted if it was the other way round.

        This fact complicates things quite a bit.

        1. caucus99percenter

          If people of Chinese descent were to apply the same logic inherent in, say, Jewish or African-American popular culture, a natural conclusion would be that non-Chinese are constitutionally incapable of judging anyone or anything Chinese fairly.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I don’t know if it is true or not but the news here said that they got busted bringing in two Vietnamese – and that one of them tested positive for Coronavirus. It also mentioned that these shame parades have not been done for about a decade as they were banned back in 2010 so this is new this revival.

      1. Airgap

        On a lighter note regarding COVID.

        Sitting side by side at our breakfast bar, sipping coffee and reading news on our respective digital devices, I NC and she Le Figaro, I ask why she’s laughing. “You Anglo Saxons would never have this debate”, she says. She then goes on to describe a typical scenario involving a debate within l’Academie Francaise in trying to agree upon the correct way to list COVID in the official French dictionary. ‘It must be listed as La maladie de Coronavirus and therefore it is feminine and should be referred to as la COVID. But according to my wife they are pitching sand against the tide as everyone else refers it as le Covid. Quelle horreur!

        1. Michael Ismoe

          “You Anglo Saxons would never have this debate”,

          We don’t get to debate at all. Fauci argues with himself everyday on TV though.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          C’mon, everyone knows now that the correct pronoun is ‘they’, unless otherwise identified.

        3. drumlin woodchuckles

          What a stupid debate that is. I am relieved about that being one debate we anglos would not be forced to sit through and endure.

        4. David

          It’s actually a little bit more serious than that. Genders in French (which are essentially grammatical and not biological, let’s remember) do have consequences beyond just the immediate word, and when you have sentences with several pronouns in, you can get confused unless there is agreement about which nouns have which gender. A classic case is the French for “person” (personne) which is a feminine gender word. Thus, any “person” is referred back to as elle, which in other contexts means “she”, but here is doing duty as an undifferentiated unisex pronoun. With compound words and titles, the whole takes the gender of the first word, so it’s “Le Ministère de la santé”, because “Ministère” is masculine, although “santé” (health) is feminine. Conversely, the French title of the WHO, “Organisation Mondiale de la santé'” is feminine because “organisation” is. So if you a referring back to statement by one or the other you would say “il a dit cela” if it’s the Ministry, but “elle a dit cela” if it’s the WHO. In general, if you are unsure of a gender in French, you do indeed look back to the class of nouns of which it is an example and take it from there. (This seems to be a common feature with languages that have two or more genders). So the Louvre, for example, is masculine, because it is a special case of a palace, and palais is masculine. It therefore makes sense for Covid to be feminine, because maladie is feminine, and indeed a number of illness are feminine, where “illness of …” is hovering in the background. So it’s not just something to laugh about. In fact, languages where gender is used extensively as a structuring device often succeed in saying things very concisely. A good example is the one-word title of a book by Simone de Beauvoir, L’Invitée, which literally means “the (female) (person) (who had been) invited (to be a guest)”, which is not so snappy.
          More than you ever wanted to know about French grammar: but there are analogues in other languages, too.

          1. Eclair

            Thanks for the exposition, David. Language makes a difference in how one relates to others, as well as to the world in general. I can stumble along both in French and in Swedish and I take on personality differences. Speaking or writing French, I become more diffident, more polite, more considerate of other peoples’ feelings. One of the first French phrases I memorized and used extensively was : ” Bon jour, je suis désolée de vous déranger, Madame / Monsieur, mais (state request) … Merci beaucoup, auvoir” Wow, did it make my interactions with French bureaucracy so much easier. In Swedish, it’s a barebones, direct, “Hej! Kan du (state request)……Tack, hej hej! Using French is like using a scalpel; Swedish, like a hammer.

        5. jim truti

          The french are obsessed with grammar.
          If you check comments under any french article in Le Monde or Le Figaro, the majority is about spelling mistakes and proper grammar use.

        6. Joe Well

          Until I read your comment, I took it for granted that in Spanish everyone is calling it by the English name, COVID, and also El Covid, whereas when AIDS came in the 1980s, the word that was used was the acronym for the exact Spanish translation of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (SIDA). And it was El SIDA because the word for “syndrome” is masculine.

          I guess it is a sign of the hegemony of English?

          Anyway the Royal Spanish Academy has chimed in and not only failed to object to this Anglicism but also said that either “El” or “La” would be acceptable given its foreign origin. Until very recently it was insanely tendentious about Anglicisms.

    3. The S

      Yeah, I absolutely don’t believe anything the tabloid Daily Mail says about China. Bloomberg neither. Not since they were part of that HK color revolution crap. The only people that wave USA flags and get support from Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are fascists, plain and simple.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Its almost as if the people of Hong Kong have no agency whatever and are incapable of coming to conclusions about their political future independently of what people in the US or mainland China may think.

          1. Soredemos

            Great. Now show me that those weren’t fundamentally genuine domestic events. Parts of the left have an unfortunate tendency to deny all agency to local peoples.

            1. Andy

              No country, whether democratic or authoritarian, can accept a “domestic event” that gets funding and support from foreign governments that are unfriendly to it.

              If the Chinese or Russian government had NED style NGOs [sic] that openly promoted, funded and trained BLM, Antifa, Proud Boys, pro/anti Brexit groups, pro/anti Trump people, Yellow Vests, anti vax-mandate groups etc. would you be okay with that?

              Fact is when it comes to “foreign interference” western countries are massive hypocrites who openly interfere all the time and most certainly do not practice what they preach. See also Russiagate.

              1. Soredemos

                And yet there’s actually little evidence of any such thing in Hong Kong. ‘Color revolution’ was invoked as a kneejerk leftist critique of something most of the speakers had (and still have) little understanding of.

    4. MonkeyBusiness

      Ok, I just watched the video and here’s my take. 13 seconds in, they tell you the main gist of the story: “据靖西公安28日消息这是在开展走私,偷渡等涉边违法犯罪人员“十个一律”现场惩戒警示活动“. Emphasis wasn’t mine. Feel free to put that into Google Translate to get a rough idea of what it means.

      Now, “十个一律” is a law that was formulated to make every effort to prevent and control the epidemic and it gives the government some leeway to publicly shame perpetrators, for example by pasting their mugshots at the public square. This leeway is explained in the video as well.

      Now presumably activities like 走私,偷渡 (smuggling) were considered illegal before the pandemic as well? It seems to me like the government is taking advantage of the special provisions provided by “十个一律” to publicly shame certain criminals.

  7. roxan

    Sounds as though Baylor has created a ‘real’ vaccine! The mRNA tech is promising but not quite ‘ready for prime time’ with so many problems. I hope they offer this here, too. So fed up with all the craziness these days.

  8. CostcoPizza

    I’m just waiting for Pfizer and Moderna to give a record $50m donation to Texas Children’s Hospital for further “collaboration and research” on their global non-mRNA vaccine which then leads to it’s indefinite delay.

    1. Susan the other

      Gosh, aren’t Pfizer and Moderna already owned by PE? – donations aren’t in their lexicon… raising the question, What happens when everything is owned by PE?

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Year ahead: China’s economic shift may yield winners and losers”

    ‘The exact contours of the campaign remain unclear, but Beijing’s crackdown over the past year on the nation’s booming fintech, edutech, real estate and gaming industries has already sent alarm bells ringing in some of the country’s fastest-growing sectors.’

    Fortunately for us in the west, there are no alarms bells ringing because we allow those sectors to do whatever they want to do, no matter what their effect on society is. If only the Chinese could be persuaded to open all their borders up and let the FIRE sectors run things, all would be well. They would be just like us.

  10. griffen

    Politico article on Thomas Hoenig is a good and thorough read. For any market mavens or market doubters amongst this crowd, it gives an in-depth view of his career. Interesting to know he worked in the 80s to manage the poor outcomes in the central part of the US. Farm and land lending generated bad results in a period of higher inflation. Legitimate and sustained inflation over a longer time period is generally going to hurt.

    1. Objective Ace

      The one thing i would have liked is if they mentioned the Cantillion Effect. They kept implying inflation was the cause of income inequity, but that’s not quite so. It’s the mechanism from which inflation is generated that does. If inflation was created from a different mechanism (like the boom in spending on ww2) there need be no inequality

      1. jefemt

        Would an apt analogy for 2022 be a Moon-Shot program to segue from fossil fuels in 10 years be a proper one?

      2. griffen

        Instead of a GI-bill piece of legislation, we get the CARES act and the Recovery Plan (two different Presidential admins). So capital markets can blossom out of a pandemic, but local and smaller businesses get crushed out of business while Amazon grabs market share.

        FFS, is what I am thinking. I am decidedly not a communist either.

        1. tegnost

          It’s the boeing business model…
          Crush labor.
          That’s it, the whole biz model.
          If it’s boeing I ain’t going, but I’m pretty much stuck in america without a choice, which is very pleasing to the capisocialtalists raping the commons.

    2. Susan the other

      I think that article gets inflation and deflation mixed up. Inflation is when there is too much money in the system (due to things like unwise military spending – now being offset with QE) with nowhere left to invest constructively. And to continue to make profits (which the system demands) depends on financial schemes often involving synthetic scarcity. Or Ponzi stuff. Prices go up; inequality rages. Deflation is when banks have been brain-dead so long they think farmland is “as good as gold” – it never dawns on them that even gold crashes with collateral deflation (gold is fiat too) – a sudden readjustment of the collateral to reflect the real value and economic situations. Deflation is the worst thing because it is a bigger shock to the system. And the 1% can buy up the entire country. But – just guessing here – if the Fed can control long term price inflation (say after a 20-year military misadventure costing over a trillion a year in the Middle East) it solves all the problems by gradually (boiling frog) deflating the excess value out of the currency while keeping “asset” prices high. High asset prices keep the essential economy functioning. Because that’s the business model. But either way it screws the middle class and the poor. The only answer is to change the way we do business. There is a long long list of things that need to be done socially/politically to establish equity and keep the economy in balance. MMT; direct spending; social entitlements at long last; debt forgiveness, etc. Unfortunately, to do those things would be admitting we could not go on as the apex global neoliberal nitwit, and that would be just too embarrassing.

      1. Grant

        There are other things that impact inflation. Monopoly power impacts inflation. Where the money goes after it is created impacts inflation. Since banks create most of the money in circulation, bank lending impacts inflation. I think the growth of crypto can impact inflation, if we want to regard crpyto as additional currency. Given the need to shrink the economy relative to the environment, I think to control inflation in the 21st century you have to at least nationalize money creation, clamp down on crypto and (I think) establish a strong public banking sector. I don’t think the economic planning needed to deal with the environmental crisis will work as needed if these things aren’t done.

        1. JP

          It has been a few days since I read the article but I think it stated that even though he was always labeled as a inflation hawk, his real concern was loose money. He would disagree with Susan on the Milton definition of inflation because if there is no demand then excess cash doesn’t move the needle. Hoenig realized that excess cash would naturally accrue to the wealthy and exacerbate inequality. He was ahead of his time. Since 2009 our understanding of the mechanism of inflation has become a lot less simplistic.

          The problem I have with nationalizing the money spigot is the corruptibility of government. Banks need to turn a profit to stay in business. That keeps their motivation honest even if they are criminal. When the government gets into the money supply business it sets the stage for using the printing press to pay for programs. I know a lot of people (on this site) thinks that is already how it works but the fact is because the gov’t doesn’t print their own money they have to borrow it, thus the national debt.

          I believe the important consideration is how Hoenig’s views might temper our understanding of MMT

          1. Grant

            I agree that corruption could be an issue. I don’t see how it can be a bigger issue than the current system, where corruption by private bankers is standard operating procedure and they control public institutions like the Treasury and the Fed as is. Have you read about the Holder Doctrine? This blog has written about the Panama Papers, banks rigging bond auctions (take that mafia lightweights!), etc. You are also not correct to say that the government doesn’t already create money. The Treasury and the Fed are two different institutions, and the Treasury creates coinage and can/has created paper money. I get Yves not supporting the idea of calling creating money through the Treasury “debt free money” (this is the language Positive Money uses), but none the less the Treasury creating all money would be different than what the Fed currently does.

            I find it frankly amazing to be concerned about the horrors of the government creating money when banks create most of the money right now and banks simply cannot take non-market (environmental) impacts into account when doing so. If you want to pretend that they can do some monetization of non-market impacts, go ahead, it isn’t realistic if private banks can continue to create money when they lend and they do so in an unplanned economy. There is no realistic way to deal with the environmental crisis if that remains, and we have an environmental crisis because they don’t factor in these things right now. In fact, they often lend to interests BECAUSE they are powerful enough to externalize costs. I also think there are real issues with relying on regulating banks, beyond simply regulatory capture. I would support your point if it isn’t obvious how disastrous private bank lending/money creation has been to this point. But, if this is your argument and you don’t trust the state to do stuff like this, you must not also trust the state regarding more comprehensive economic planning. If not, how exactly do you propose to deal with the environmental crisis?

            To me, nationalizing money is a given. That is what the ecological economist Herman Daly supports. I think the debate is over whether we need a big role for public banks. On that, my opinion is that we do. MMT seems to be agnostic on public banking.

            1. JP

              OK, OK. Yes the Tres. can and does create a miniscule amount of the money supply but mostly they forebear. Technically what the Fed does is not pure creation as much as creative bookkeeping.

              The gov’r on the other hand can do what banks can’t dream of. They can spend money without end. In the US case they have to borrow it to spend it, whereas Turkey, for instance, just prints it (how’s the Lira doin). Governments printing money and planning the economy does not have a lot of historical successes except for short time exigencies.

              What you are suggesting is served by political solutions no matter who controls the money supply. The solution to capitalism, the solution to the disintegration of society, rising to the environmental crisis all require a political will even if it is just making one person king of the world so they can make all the tough decisions no one else wants to. Restructuring the money supply becomes just a small detail but I am not familiar with Herman Daly. I don’t trust the state to make judgment calls.

              1. Grant

                “The gov’r on the other hand can do what banks can’t dream of. They can spend money without end.”

                Banks have created most of the money in circulation. The only limits to them creating money is the willingness of someone or something to borrow from them.

                “Governments printing money and planning the economy does not have a lot of historical successes except for short time exigencies.”

                Unsubstantiated claim. Capitalism isn’t doing too hot and is simply not a sustainable economic system.

                “I don’t trust the state to make judgment calls.”

                As far as I can tell, this is the entirety of your argument, and it is entirely ideological. You don’t seem to care much about the banks creating most money and the impact of their lending decisions. Have you seen long term trends? How do you propose that banks take non-market impacts into account? This is not a small matter. How do you propose to deal with the environmental crisis when most environmental impacts cannot be priced and when we are reaching the limits to growth in resource consumption and pollution generation? The FIRE sector has no resource constraints. If capital accumulation is the prime motivator in capitalism, seems a recipe for runaway financialization. You have no faith in the government, but seem to have plenty of faith in private banks. I would love to hear some supporting logic to all of this. You should look into Daly and ask why he is talking about nationalizing money. He isn’t a socialist.

        2. skippy

          Its interesting you bring crypto into the conversation because I’m seeing lots of proponents using the Lebanon currency dramas as a shoe horn in making an argument for it vs State fiat.

          Yet what economic factors were present before this occurred to its currency …

          “The Lebanese economy is service-oriented. Lebanon has a strong tradition of laissez-faire, with the country’s constitution stating that ‘the economic system is free and ensures private initiative and the right to private property’. The major economic sectors include metal products, banking, agriculture, chemicals, and transport equipment. Main growth sectors include banking and tourism. There are no restrictions on foreign exchange or capital movement.”

          So on one hand some want to draw a correlation to its fiat currency to crypto yet can’t be bothered to look at the factors which preceded its currency issues, of which, crypto would not have done anything to remedy the situation, more than likely acerbated it looking at all the fraud and corruption.

          But then again its basically a Libertarian state … so there is that to consider …

      2. skippy

        Do you ever get the feeling that when imagining inflation you are having a Déjà vu Python experience about how to evaluate witches and then its complicated by the ad hoc nature of the system being a bit old standard and new – at the same time – for political reasons e.g. could not ring in the new without the past owners getting a hall pass … E.g. the financial asset prices are just the new gold mine that has no bottom …

        1. Susan the other

          I certainly do. It’s a scramble to get to high ground. That’s an apt metaphor these days. But just like there are so many degrees of freedom in the money system(s) that nobody can parse it out cleanly, there are equivalent options for reacting to things that just don’t work any more. That’s the whack-a-mole world we have today. I keep thinking that one step that could be very constructive would be to give the Federal Reserve a new mandate – expand on their current “control inflation and maintain employment” imperative. Let them keep that old standby but add to it “provide a jobs guarantee and a good social safety net” – and then let the chips fall for a while and see how it goes.The rationale behind this entitlement program would be that it maintains a stable economy – which is what the old Fed mandate professed to do. But didn’t.

  11. Jake

    I have surveillance video of my cat sitting in the driveway at night while one of the foxes is doing its nighttime rounds. The fox passes through the yard and across the driveway, right up to my cat, sniffs the cat, and keeps on moving. The cat turned to look at the fox as it passed, but remained sitting the whole time, clearly not at all worried about the fox. My neighbor puts cat food out on the back porch for the ferals, and has seen a fox and cat eating from the same pile of food.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      30 geese currently bivouacked at night under the Big Oak…with lights and their goose pool(6′ across, 1′ high steel water trough, with a ramp—for their violent and raucous mating rituals).
      me roaming at 3am one morning, i slink to the edge of the light and see a raccoon…a big one…fall out of the tree into their midst, and loose his mind when he realised where he was, and race away.
      geese merely muttered.
      i’ve seen them gang up on a coon when they were collectively guarding the nesters…coon left bloodied and limping.

      so long as they have lights and their numbers, they’re fine in the face of raccoons.
      it’s the foxes and bobcats i worry about…bigger…and perhaps more desperate…so they’ll brave a gang of angry geese if there’s no light.
      but if the geese see them, look out…30 angry geese running towards you is a terrifying sight.
      i’ve only lost 2 in many years(oldest goose, “Dick Cheney”(we ate Lil George when he bit me), is 21)…both to foxes, and both when they had nested alone for some reason, and without lights.

  12. Wukchumni

    Goooooooood Mooooooorning Fiatnam!

    Everybody in the Unit was on edge as far too many replacements had been conjured out of thin air by the mouse clique, and we really never got a chance to get to know them-as they were often held in reserve by the Fed for an undetermined F.I.R.E. mission on a position in remission. Debt men tell no tales though and we were left to stumble through the jungle never sure how long our reserve currency status would last before we were exposed to the harsh raise of the sum.

    1. Grant

      Having a fiat currency is a good thing when we are faced with the environmental crisis. I think people see massive structural problems with capitalism and focus on not having a commodity backed currency, which doesn’t make much sense in the 21st century, because they don’t want to acknowledge the terminal, fundamental problems of capitalism itself. Capitalism is an undemocratic and unsustainable system and having a currency backed by a commodity wouldn’t change that reality one bit.

      1. ChrisRUEcon


        Fiat works just fine for giving the military, banks and all sorts of corporate entities money. It’s only for direct fiscal injection to people who actually need it that fiat seems to fail.

  13. HawHaw

    That Chinese Covid shaming article is more propaganda from the West. They are being shamed for human trafficking, not breaking Covid.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Why Bugs Must Be a Bigger Part of the Human Food Chain”

    No. Just no. I can see myself cutting most meat out of my diet – eventually. But I ain’t eating bugs. No doubt governments will push this idea though. They will say that people should have more bugs in their diet – but then you will see them at banquets eating steaks because they are a ‘sophisticated’ crowd while the staff serving them will be forced to eat bugs in the back kitchen. Kinda like how they also tell us to wear masks, but at social events, the only ones masked are serving staff.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      we’ve eaten quite a few grasshoppers over these last few years of biblical locust invasion(hopefully now abating).
      keep ’em in a big vented jar overnight, for to “clean them out”, then remove the head and legs…dip in a light tempura and fry up in butter…sprinkle brown sugar or honey or whatever…really pretty tasty.
      kinda nutty.
      and since we had so dern many….

      1. expr

        It may be OK to eat country bugs but I would avoid eating city bugs
        50 or so years ago in grad school a fellow grad student from West Texas brought back a pet tarantula in a small wire cage
        He fed it a Houston cockroach ad it quickly died from all the pesticide the cockroach had acclimated to.

        1. jefemt

          Remote circumpolar critters test positive for microplastics and dioxins.

          It’s a closed loop.

          You can run, but you cannot hide.

          And speaking of closed loops, how’s the NC viewership of “Don’t Look Up” ? Made my monkey-mind spin, by golly.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            wife and youngest watched it at my urging last night.
            bored at first(screen induced mild adhd), then really got involved.
            when they’d pause for snacks, bano, etc…i’d point out the jump-cuts of baby hippos and waterfalls and whatnot…and then it was on, for them.
            i thought those flashes were masterful…”here’s what we’re losing”…
            and once they noticed them, they were hooked.
            by the end, they were both rather overwhelmed….question time with dad took longer than is usual, and without the usual fidgeting.
            Youngest said it was an insight into my mind, and what i’ve been yammering about for all his life…which was sort of gratifying, i guess, if the subject of those yammers wasn’t doom, doom, doom, on many fronts.
            early on in their viewing, he asked/exclaimed, “wait! this is really about covid!?”
            me: 1st, it was an analog for climate change, then covid, and then all the rest(from peak oil to peak topsoil to peak phosphorus, etc)”.

            1. Eclair

              Amfortas, we watched it with our son and daughter-in-law. My second time, as I missed a lot of the dialog the first time through; so many zingers! Finally got the lovely shots of ocean waves breaking on rocky shore, hippos nuzzling … then breaking to NYC trash collectors loading our plastic bags of human-induced waste into maw of gas-guzzling garbage truck. (Thoughts of walk-outs of essential trash collectors flit through my mind. Maybe Mark-the-Zee and fellow billionaires could fill in for a few days.)

    2. JohnA

      If humans eat more bugs, what about the birds, frogs, fish and other life that live on a diet of bugs? Do they have to go hungry so we can survive?

      1. Objective Ace

        >Do they have to go hungry so we can survive?

        Isn’t that already happening? How many animals does a 2000+ acre monocrop farm displace leading them to inevitably die. And much of this output isn’t even eaten. It’s used to fatten up factory farm aninals–a remarkable inefficient calorie to resource ratio

        1. JohnA

          Monocrops certainly affects bees as the crop flowers at the same time so nothing for them to eat for most of the season.
          As it is, intensive farming with pesticides etc., has already reduced insect populations and with this, the birds etc., that feed on them.

    3. pate

      Black soldier fly larvae, in particular, hold promise”

      This idpol wokeism is really bugging me, man …

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      Bugs were the food source for the lower classes on the Snowpiercer train. But we do not have to wait for the future Geoengineering disaster. You can fill your cart at EntoMarket — YUM!

      I can think of a few people I would like to feed bugs to — but I will skip the fancy packaging for their meal.

    5. lordkoos

      During our months in Chiang Mai we routinely saw copious amounts of bugs for sale at local markets. I could see eating crickets and grasshoppers (and they are tasty from what I hear) but might draw the line at grubs.

      1. Mantid

        Where we are, people are trying to find a way to convince others to eat nutria. Quite the damage causing large rodent. Slow and clunky, but don’t corner one. Big, ugly orange teeth.

        1. ambrit

          The “Eat Nutria” propaganda has been ongoing since at least the 1980s. I remember reading some back when we lived in the New Orleans metro area.

      2. ArvidMartensen

        Just one small problem with insects. Where I am, there used to be huge swarms of Christmas beetles every Christmas, and they were a sight to see with their iridescent bodies, like a living Christmas decoration but they did get into everything for a couple of weeks.
        And then a few years ago we noticed round Christmas…… nothing. Now our Christmases have no beetles. At all. Gone. Same with a moth that was used as a food source for millennia by the indigenous people who used to run the show.
        As ecosystems collapse, we realise we know next to nothing about what sustains insect populations.
        Insects as food?
        First, I suspect that the richer you are, the fewer insects and the more steak will be in your diet.
        Second, we have thousands of years of knowledge of how to grow cows, sheep etc. We’ve spent the past millenia trying to kill insects, not a knowledge base for growing them to feed the starving hordes.
        Of course, monoculture may work until we have the first deadly, farmed insect, pathogen imported from the wild, and then it will be crickets.

  15. Wukchumni

    Cryptocurrencies: a view from the left MR Online

    I’m proud to announce the launch of Bit Mask, an online safety device which secures tightly around your server and won’t let any virtual virus in, and doubles as an investment which tracks mask sales in stores and goes up in value based on feverish demand. Just 21 million are available of this strictly limited edition of the vizard of oz.

  16. Tom Stone

    The lack of objectivity here surprises me,this Pandemic is a GOOD thing, nature’s way of dealing with Human overpopulation.
    It’s NATURAL!
    The right people are making bank as never before, proof that God is helping those who help themselves ( To anything that isn’t nailed down).
    And look who is dying, old people without much money,I mean really,if you haven’t accumulated at least $10MM by the time you reach 65 you are a loser.
    Die already and pass along your meagre assets to someone who will do something useful with them like buy an I phone or pay down their student loans.
    And Bubba’s, Ignorant ill educated rednecks who don’t even have a bachelor’s degree.
    And especially the Ni….,Minorities who do nothing but cause trouble.
    It’s all good, so stop your whining about people who don’t matter and go shopping!

    1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

      “And look who is dying, old people without much money”

      I think this accurately frames the logic of the government response; the pandemic is now being addressed as an economic problem, not as a public health problem.

      Heavy consumers and producers must be protected, period.

        1. EGrise

          Henry the K. used the term “useless eaters,” but far be it from me to call the man a Nazi, no matter how many he killed…

          1. Mantid

            I’d say that Mr. K would fit into the definition of a Nazi. He’s got all the essential traits, eugenics being one of them.

    2. Samuel Conner

      > go shopping!

      Does shopping for vegetable seeds count?


      Alas, the weather is not cooperating with my “outdoor cold stratification” plans for perennial seeds.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        depending on the plant, a week or two in the freezer will suffice.
        not all seeds need such treatment.
        an alternative is to plant them when god does, as it were…so the native grass seed i collect gets picked right before it falls, and scattered in the pasture right away.

        and, for perennials…consider rooted cuttings.
        the “rooting powder” is better than the liquid, i find.
        (in a pinch, you can use cow saliva…no, really!)
        great for all the woody herbs(better results than seeds, ime) as well as for fruit and nut trees.
        for the latter, where a specific rootstock is needed for grafting on to, i’ll let a sucker grow from the base and root that out…and graft whatever onto it once it’s in the ground and established in a couple of years.
        only caveat is genetic diversity…which is impossible for us little guys to test for; but you can get a feel for it by getting several individuals of whatever you want a lot of from different places.
        ie: i’ve got rosemary from prolly 10 different nursuries, between here and houston.
        (monopoly could be a problem, since a more sophisticated version of such cloning is how they roll…all the rosemary from “Bonnie” is likely the same plant)

        1. Janie

          Cinnamon is touted as rooting treatment. I’ve used it but not under controlled trials. I appreciate your suggestions and news from bluebonnet country.

    3. ChrisRUEcon

      So good it hurts … :)

      But our rancid leadership has miscalculated. Won’t matter if they refuse to lockdown …

      – Bars and restaurants can’t open if staff is sick
      – Sick people can’t be the foot traffic for businesses choosing to stay fully open
      – People are not going to be shopping in droves to start the year as more and more in their social circles get ill
      – Look at the canceled flights

      It simply cannot go on …

      As I intimated yesterday, allowing OmniCron to infect the masses will become a rate-limiting internal DDoS of sorts. It’s already happening. People will only go out for essentials, so groceries will be the places to exercise caution. Back in the mezzo-lockdown days here in ChicagoLand, there used to be a limits on how many people could be inside a Whole Foods or Jewel Osco. Haven’t seen that return yet, but I expect it to unless this wave crests.

    4. Nikkikat

      That’s it in a nut shell Tom Stone. The latest utterances from the billionaire and elite classes and you nailed it.

    5. VietnamVet

      Yes, the failure of the West’s pandemic response is quite basic. Only money has value to today’s ruling aristocracy. If there is no such thing as society; public good like the nation’s health is nonsensical when exploitation by the wealthy of the inferior is fundamentally good. Except there is no invisible hand. In wars, plagues and famines, apocalypses happen when reality overwhelms idolatry.

  17. SD

    On my way home from getting coffee this morning, traffic was stopped for about 5 minutes while the driver of an 18-wheeler performed the complex maneuver required to resupply our local Cumberland Farms and its tiny, oddly shaped parking lot. Local are used to this and we all patiently waited with nary a horn honk. I’d be shocked if TuSimple’s technology would be able to handle something like this, but even if it were, it’s hard to imagine the human drivers stopped in traffic exhibiting similar patience with a computer-piloted truck.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “The Unplanned Costs of an Unmanned Fleet ”

    A very good article this. Unmanned vessels sound like a game changer. But guess what? The ocean plays rough and ocean water is as corrosive as hell. Recently the guided missile destroyer USS Zumwalt came into San Diego and there was rust all over it. Not the fault of the crew mind. It’s just that there are so few of them that they are kept busy just trying to work their ship. The composite materials used in the ship are supposed to reduce corrosion but apparently the ocean does not care. So it won’t take long for an unmanned vessel to have a breakdown which means that it has to be retrieved. And the implication is that there would probably have to be forward-based repair/maintenance depots which will be vulnerable to enemy attack. Destroy them and the ocean will go to work unrestrained on those unmanned vessels. I’m a land-lubber and even I know that ships have to be constantly repaired and maintained or else they break down. An example I just saw of what it can be like was the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race which starts on Boxing day. Just the rough seas alone forced a third of that 88-ship fleet to withdraw. As I said, the ocean plays rough.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, it shows how even apparently well thought out strategies can be disastrous if you don’t go back to first principles. In theory you should be able to make ships and weapons that require very small crews, but you don’t do it by using elaborate IT systems, you do it by making the engineering simple and reliable. The LCV concept was simultaneously too simple and too complex. The Russians, out of necessity, have usually been much better at getting this balance right (although thats not to say that they haven’t had their own weapons systems disasters too, we just don’t hear so much about them). The French are pretty good at it too – hence its unsurprising that the LCV is being replaced by the Italian/French designed FREMM. Although I’m sure the USN will find some way to screw that up too.

      It reminds me of back at the beginning of the Afghanistan war, there were rumours in Dublin about various dark glasses wearing guys poking around an industrial estate in north Dublin. According to the rumours, someone worked out that there was insufficient satellite capacity for all the drones being operated over Central Asia, so they were reliant on commercial fibre optic networks. And someone identified three ‘chokepoints’ in the global network where a very small bomb could essentially cripple the entire system. One of those was in a data centre in that industrial estate. I’m sure those stories (even if true) were exaggerated, but it does show that just because a system is multilayered and complex, it is not necessarily robust. It could in fact be the exact opposite.

      1. David

        This has been going on for some time, of course. With professional militaries you have not only the cost of paying the personnel (in this case sailors) but the sheer difficulty of finding people who are qualified and prepared to work for the salaries and under the conditions on offer. I remember a Dutch naval Captain telling me during the Cold War that many of their frigates were crewed by conscripts who had been employed by defence companies as apprentices, and had often manufactured or maintained the same equipment they were using. You can’t do that now. As early as the Type 23 programme (conceived in the late 1970s) the Royal Navy was trying to economise on manpower where it could. The problem is that such approaches actually optimise a ship for peacetime operations, rather for wars that may or may not happen. This story suggests that the attempt to replace human beings with technology may finally have come to a stop, and not before time

        1. The Rev Kev

          I sometimes wonder what would happen in combat if a bomb hit a ship and killed twenty or so people. And that ship suddenly did not have enough crew left then to get together a damage control party.

      2. QuarterBack

        Not mentioned in the article is that autonomous weapons systems could increase the likelihood of war, by enabling systems to be deployed into areas much too dangerous (and provocative) to deploy manned systems. Autonomous weapons systems can also conduct missions that might be considered war crimes with less potential for human witnesses being around, or for that matter, being directly culpable. War crimes by autonomous systems are much more likely to be treated as ‘glitches’ to be corrected in later versions and be walked down the civil torts jurisdictions rather than criminal.

  19. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

    I don’t imagine an old submarine is going to be of much use to the ‘Myanmar Junta’. Oh yes…China- famous for its naval architecture and its relentless U Boat campaign against Japan in WW1.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I assume the idea is that it will be used for training, and once they’ve trained up crews they’ll be more inclined to buy the latest Chinese subs as they’ll be more familiar with the design. The type 35 is basically a copy of a very old Soviet design, so of little use to anyone except drug smugglers, but the latest Chinese diesel electrics are probably reasonably up to date.

      I assume the main reason is not so much that the Chinese want to sell subs, but that they want to ensure that nobody else in the region is getting Indian or Russian made submarines.

  20. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: White House won’t sign deal for 500M COVID tests until late next week MSN

    The last time president joseph robinette biden, jr. put a number on a “promise”–vote for these guys and you’ll get a $2000 check–he came up 30% short. (And claimed that that was what he meant all along.)

    And the last time an administration in which joseph robinette biden, jr. was involved promised a functioning “website” to distribute government largesse–the obamacare marketplace I believe it was called–well, saying that that came up short is a galactically generous understatement.

    But I’m sure it will be different this time because…..well…..just look at that pic of him taking his new puppy for a walk….

    1. Bart Hansen

      And don’t forget how fast yon Robinette dropped the $15 minimum wage.

      That amount is not a living wage. The MMT people are suggesting that figure for their public option jobs, but at least they do include health care and child care, probably pushing it over the ‘living’ threshold.

        1. Jonhoops

          Probably Job Guarantee. I don’t think the MMT people have proposed anything other than a living wage. They usually don’t get into the details like dollar per hour rates.

        2. Bart Hansen

          MMT says that any country that has its own currency can print what it needs. Her first example is with the board game of Monopoly in which the bank gives out money at the start and the players and free to spend the money as they wish going around the board.

          Most politicians have been taught that the nation’s budget is just like that of a household and should be balanced out with incoming revenue, which is wrong due to our ability to print money when it is needed.

          We do the same as with Monopoly with money going to the Pentagon. If tax revenue were to fall drastically they would still get their $800+ billions.

          Taxes really aren’t necessary. Their purpose is to get people going out to earn money so that constructive work gets done for society. And for a little Hudson, this is why Hammurabi cancelled debts periodically so that the working class could stay out of debt bondage and build roads and serve in the military.

          MMT is concerned about inflation but as I said the other day the book came out in 2020 and so she did not reflect on the current situation.

          Of course this sort of theory would fall on the deaf ears of most of congress. Kelton used the example of Senator Enzi who ran the Senate Budget Committee and who used to own shoe stores. He was used to balancing his accounts and was against learning a new way to budget.

  21. ProNewerDeal

    I wonder if a Lockdown will be announced on or soon after Jan03Mon, at least in the states that are good by horrid US standards, bad by world-class COVID nations like NZ standards.

    It maybe delayed because Capitalism, Q4 short-term revenue profits must be met & Xmas sales & NYE Parties are key to the Q4 goals.

    In some counties ICU capacity is already full, & others are close. Prevalence still rising at an exponential rate faster than any prior wave.

    Do you think a Lockdown is coming?

    1. Arizona Slim


      I’m in Arizona. We did exactly one lockdown, and trust me, when it ended in May 2020, the partying was epic. ISTR reading that some bars were giving out free champagne.

      People can only be deprived of each other’s company for so long.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Yep, right up to the time they start dropping like flies…

        There’s anti-social, and then there’s pro-social. Guess which one characterizes most Murkans?

        Party on, Garth!

      2. SomeGuyinAZ

        That was the lockdown with explicit carve-outs for things like golfing/golf courses, right? That was interesting for sure. Like you, I don’t think there is any way Governor Ducey introduces any further lockdowns – no matter the carnage that might be on the horizon.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Michigan won’t do any lockdowns for fear of violent backlash from vicious gangs of Jonestown Trumpanons.

  22. Wukchumni

    Irony isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit dept:

    All over the CVBB you’ll see banners put up by Devin Nunes that proclaim ‘Say No To Socialism’ and here we are in the last couple of days before he resigns to become head of Trump’s social media platform.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “Omicron Is Pushing America Into Soft Lockdown”

    Could there be a sort of general strike going on? I’m hearing about how people are sitting put. So big business gooses the government to throw nearly all precautions to the winds so that people can spend their money to rev up the economy. But people can see the mass sickness and skyrocketing cases. So what happens?

    Wanna go to the cinema? No.
    How about a restaurant? No.
    Don’t want to go to Las Vegas, do you? No
    Theme park? No.
    Big family get together. No.
    A party I heard about? No.
    Shopping at the mall for the big sales? No.

    People are voting with their feet – by not using them.

    1. Arizona Slim

      And to that I say, GOOD!

      I’ve really been enjoying having my own private city to bicycle in. Oh, taking long walks? I’ve been enjoying those too.

      People, if you want to stay home and freak out, you go right ahead. Me? I’m getting out there in the fresh air and sunshine to (gasp!) exercise.

      Still waiting for the health and fitness mandate.

      1. ambrit

        Strange but true. I’m doing some “serious” walking and bicycling now. Since I couldn’t “go in” and have another stent put in a coronary artery, I decided to try and exercise my way around the problem.
        Discovery 1: I’m no spring chicken.
        Discovery 2: Almost everyone else is driving around in a car. Even for short trips.
        Discovery 3: There are a lot of idiots behind the steering wheels of those cars. (Regular near misses.)
        Discovery 4: My old Schwinn Le Tour III is too bloody tall for comfort. (I fall off irregularly.)
        Discovery 5: A good backpack is worth it’s weight in cargo. (I have a ‘discarded’ Molle tactical pack.)
        Discovery 6: Hills are a b—-!

        I worry that the “health and fitness mandate” you mention might include something like helping to build a border wall for free. Something like the old “subbotnik.” (You’re learning Russian. You’ll catch the reference.)
        Stay safe! Stay hydrated!

        1. Eclair

          Have come to the conclusion (duh!) that personal automobiles (especially Hummers, Range Rovers and steroidal SUV’s) in dense, urban areas are a Bad Idea. Worse, a totally crazy idea.

          Here in the residential areas north of Seattle’s city center, the narrow, hilly streets are packed with cars …. both sides. The small working-class cottages, many of them built with doll-house-sized garages on the lower level, now storage areas for stuff, because no self-respecting modern car can fit, are dwarfed by tons of steel, plastic and rubber (whose dust drains away to the sound and kills salmon.)

          Not as if one can’t fill their almost every need by walking: to a food market, hardware store, book store, restaurant, school, church, community center. Or, to a bus stop.

        2. lordkoos

          I love cycling although not with snow on the ground and 20 degrees F as it is here at the moment.

          A much better way to carry stuff on a bike is a rack-mounted box, or even better, some panniers. A pack is fine for things that aren’t particularly heavy, but for heavier stuff a lower center of gravity is safer and makes for better handling of the bike.

          1. Janie

            Lots of efficient cargo bikes and carriers in the Netherlands and Finland. Don’t know if they’re available or affordable in this country

          2. Mo's Bike Shop

            Yes, a backpack here in Florida is just untenable. And having the right racks just makes riding that much more civilized.

            I can recommend Wald, they’re the ones who made the baskets for your grandma’s Schwinn. Baskets, folding panniers, and racks. Chromed steel, tough, and dead simple as only 100 years of doing the same thing can achieve. And still a small USA business.

      2. newcatty

        Enjoy it now. Private City will vanish when students come back to the pueblo. Ducey and company will not introduce any kind of lockdown that would interfere with bidness! Example: snow birds and tourists come first. Golf courses are required to provide fresh air and sunshine. Not much exercise ,if golf carts cart one around. If covid runs rampant what will one big uni do? Rely on vacccine mandates? Good luck and good night in those “dorms” and other student “friendly” housing. Caching! Often 4 kids to a room. Not putting down the great peeps in town, commenting on AZ gubment priorities.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I hate to be a broken record, but the stupidity of the entertainment industry in pushing against lockdowns is never ending.

      In a rational world they would be pushing for regional based rapid policies for early ‘breaker’ lockdowns, with pre-negotiated government funding for supporting staff and rental costs, and a long term plan for Covid elimination, including government support for better ventilation, etc. This way they can keep their customers coming while not having to fear that an outbreak will destroy their businesses. Instead, they are intensively lobbying for policies that make outbreaks worse, and end up with de facto lockdowns (i.e. the public staying home), which is vastly more damaging to business. They are their own worst enemies and I’m finding my sympathy for struggling businesses getting more attenuated by the day. I know there are individual business owners who can see the folly of their own lobbies, but there are not nearly enough of them making their voices heard.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The folly of the lobby is one thing, but to a certain extent, they have to function within the worst case scenario and the people they have on hand. Governments are instituted to for the purposes of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In that order.

        Even under formally normal circumstances these industry groups do terrible things.

      2. Questa Nota

        Those moguls saw the airline moguls bending the rules providing input to the CDC on the miraculous 5-day miracle and said, Hey, what are we, chopped celluloid?

    3. Wukchumni

      Don’t want to go to Las Vegas, do you? No

      We’re receiving one storm after another in the Sierra Nevada which will probably put paid to the 3 year long drought here, but conversely all along the Colorado River watersheds, it’s largely been a shutout so far this young winter.

      Pavlovegas obviously will be lacking for reinforcements in the guise of punters as Omicron becomes widespread, their business model of complete strangers mingling too close to one another in enclosed buildings looking awfully suspect.

      Nothing new for Nevada though, but it’ll look so different from the myriad of ghost towns in the state all mostly off the beaten track, lots of peeps will drive right by ‘the meadows’ (what Las Vegas translates to in English) going east or west…

      On Interstate 15 by Wall of Voodoo

    4. Tom Stone

      Long Covid is gonna be GREAT for the economy, I’ll bet there are teams of really smart people figuring out how to maximize the contribution to the GDP it will bring.
      Good times,good times.

      1. tegnost

        Martini…fill glass with gin, glance at vermouth bottle.
        Economy…fill rich peoples bank accounts with cash, glance at poor people.

    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      Not a General Strike which can be named and countered as such. More like a General Slowdown which is too diffuse to break as easily as a General Strike.

      People are voting with their butts . . . as in . . . . sitting on them at home more than before.

  24. ambrit

    Alas, the link to the giraffes’ photo redirects to yesterday’s goat pix.
    Incidentally, yesterday’s Goat picture had me chanting under my breath: “Hail Biden! Lord of Evil! Bow down and make praise!”
    Time to excorcize the Zeitgeist?

  25. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Feigl-Ding tweet: …zero testing for early isolation exit…

    So, there aren’t enough tests–PCR or home kits–lines around the block and empty store shelves–and now you don’t need one at a seemingly critical time because blah, blah, blah.

    Is it just me, or does this sound eerily similar to fauci’s early “noble lie” about masking which he told, by his own admission, because there weren’t enough masks to go around?

    PS. As of Friday, Dec. 31, the PCR test EUA will not be renewed and, supposedly, those tests go away to be replaced by something else. Given the testing hysteria happening now, one day before the deadline, what happens then? I believe the lines that are currently being hyped relentlessly on endless video loops are for PCR tests.

    1. juanholio

      It’s only one particular PCR test that has it’s EUA expiring. That is because it has been superceded by better ones, which can check for several different viral sequences simultaneously. The newer ones remain operational.

  26. Alex Morfesis

    Reasons for optimism…just a minor edit for the trust fund baby from wamu and klgates…”when mom arranged for ibm to ask/pay Paul and I to start Microsoft…”

  27. Hank Linderman

    A *small* request (not that the NC team isn’t busy enough):

    A single page resource on Povidone would be a big help, like a list of brands and links (I ordered Viraldine but it’s very expensive, would prefer a less costly choice), ways to make your own, how to use, etc.

    (Maybe the NC community can help? Thanks.)


    1. Cas

      I was able to buy a bottle of iodine povidone from Walgreen’s drug store. Can’t recall the price, think it was around $8.00. I had to dilute it to a safe-for-gargling ratio (0.1%). To say a little goes a long way is an understatement. I think after I die whoever cleans out my apartment will find a bottle of iodine povidone 3/4 full.

    2. Screwball

      This conversation came up in the Links page on December 24th. There are quite a few helpful comments in that thread.

      1. Lee

        I use my own 0.5% povidone iodine concoction by diluting the 10% solution available at the pharmacy. Gargle and deliver intranasally with dropper. I have a thyroid condition and so I only use it on rare occasions when entering enclosed spaces with other people. Never forget:

        “Hell is other people.”
        —JP Sartre.

    3. flora

      The providone iodine I buy at the store is in a 10% solution. For gargling, I cut the iodine solution to to 1% or 1/2%. So I need to cut the store solution to 1/10th it’s normal strength. That works out – roughly – to 4 teaspoons (tsp) to 1 cup (8 ounces) of water for a 1% solution, and to 2 tsp to 1 cup of water for a 1/2% solution.

      8 ounces (1 cup of water)) = 227.3 milliliter (ml)
      1 teaspoon (1 tsp of prov. iodine) = 4.9 milliliter (ml),
      (thus: 4 tsp = ~ 20 ml , and 2 tsp = ~10ml)

      Not a recommendation, only a math formula for cutting a 10% solution to a 1% or 1/2% solution.

      1. flora

        adding: the 10% prov. iodine solution I buy at the grocery store in the general ‘health aids’ aisle is very inexpensive, but does need to be diluted for use as a gargle or nose spray.

          1. flora

            I dilute the prov. iodine with water. I use tap water, some people use distilled water. Using tap water, I store the unused portion of the diluted solution in the refrigerator for future gargles.

            I use 8 ounces (1 cup) tap water and add either 4 teaspoons of prov. iodine for a 1% solution, or I use 1 cup tap water and add 2 teaspoons of prov. iodine for a 1/2% ( or a .5% in other notation) solution. Note: ounce(oz) to milliter (ml) and teaspoon (tsp) conversion calculators are easily found online. So you can do your own calculations. Search for something like ” ounce to ml” or “tsp to ml”.

            You can find several online sites with recommendations. Best.

          2. lordkoos

            For gargling I think plain water is fine, but for intra-nasal use you would want a distilled water saline solution.

            Iodine burns so if you’re using a nasal spray make sure it’s diluted!

          3. ambrit

            Sorry mate but the “Purveyors of the Official Narrative” have already begun their demonization campaign against using the substance. (Such actions are truly perverse and anti-health. But who am I kidding. Public Health figures nowhere in the Elite’s calculations today.)
            See, with barf bag handy:
            Something positive on the subject from over a year ago. Notice that this video had to include a disclaimer. (At who’s prompting?):
            One site worked it out to One Part of store bought PI to Nineteen Parts of distilled water, for a final concentration of .5% active ingredient.
            Stay safe and make your own decisions!

          4. HotFlash

            I am going to jump in here since we just finished wrangling about this at chez HotFlash. Long covid is a terrible thing and even the math-inclined, as for instance a guy with a graduate degree in it, can get confused.

            Hokay, if you have Betadine(tm) or any other povidone iodine (aka PVP-I) solution, trademarked or house brand, sold over the counter, you probably have a 10% solution. It will be shelved usually in the first aid section, along with bandaids and Bactine. Double check the label as there are gargles which are more dilute (they will work but more $$$ and different dilution recipe). Okay, so got your PVP-I?

            If you bought a thingy billed as a gargle or nose spray, you may have 1% already. In any case, follow the package directions. If indeed have 10%, you want to cut it to something between .5% and 1%. You do this by mixing the 10% PVP-I with sterile saline or water (boiled is fine).

            For a 1% — mix 1 part PVP-I with 9 parts water or saline. 1+9=10 parts
            For a 0.5% — mix 1 part PVP-I with 19 parts water or saline. 1+19=20 parts.
            FYI: This seems to be a safe range. One study I saw used 0.8% and they found it worked fine. But you DO have to dilute the 10%.

            What is a ‘part’? Could be anything — teaspoons, drops, milliliters, gallons, whatever amount you want to make up, so long as you use the same measurement for both ingredients.

            For spray, get yourself a nasal sprayer, or you can just use it as nose drops. Same dilution works as a gargle, too, so conceivably you could make it up in quantity, if you are so inclined.

            Example: We purchased a 250 ml bottle of saline nose spray today, cost me $7.30 CAD, mainly to get the spray bottle. We measured out 25 ml of the saline (dumped it) and put in 25 ml of Betadine (10% PVP-I). IOW, we swapped out 1 part of the saline and replaced it with 1 part of the 10% PVP-I, making the 10% Betadube 10% of the liquid in the nose sprayer, so 10% of 10% = 1% in the sprayer. Viola! A 250 ml nose sprayer containing 250 ml of 1% povidone iodine!

            Subsequent refills will be 25 ml Betadine (10% of 250ml), topped up with boiled water (90% of 250 ml), so once again, 10% of 10% = 1% PVP-I in the sprayer. Bob is your uncle. It may not be exact-exact, but I’m pretty sure my nose won’t explode.

            Two spritzes up each nostril is supposed to do the job, Also works as a gargle (don’t swallow), throat spray, or nose drops, if you are so inclined or don’t have a nose sprayer. Contraindications: pregnancy (use no more than 5 days), thyroid problems.

            More info here:
            and here:

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      Blogger Ian Welsh has written and posted a post which could very well be used for that purpose. Anyone here who has useful information about povidone, buying, making your own gargles/ nasal sprays/ etc., can go over to this post right here and leave that information in the comments thread. That particular thread over there could be used by people over hear as a one-stop repository for all things genuinely about personal covid evasion, resistance, immune-enhancement, etc. Cluttering that thread up with editorial comment and emotional venting would not be helpful, however.

      Here is the link.

  28. JTMcPhee

    About Singapore and povidone — if you read the linked article, Singapore gov’t has tossed in the towel, telling people they will just have to live with the disease. Not much different than here, except for the meager distribution of povidone (250 ml and 25ml cup, additional 125 ml for multi-households. That does not go very far in the dense population of Singapore. And the povidone is not even advertised as something to address Covid — just throat inflammations and infections.

    No lockdown and circuit breaker for you, people… just don’t be straining the hospital facilities so the special people have full access…

  29. IMOR

    “…Officials Ponder What It Means to Be ‘Fully Vaccinated'”
    In a sentence I never thought I would speak or type…
    Here, let the Las Vegas Raiders help you with that:

    And the Raiders, who have long maintained a 100% vaccination rate, have their own issues with the virus. Consider: When they woke up in Cleveland on Dec. 20, they had zero players on the list, and only two had been on it all season. Now they have 13, including 11 on the active roster.

  30. Tom Stone

    0 cases on the 20th to 13 on the 29th.
    Among young healthy athletes who are fully vaxxed.
    The next two months are going to be interesting,I’ll be paying particular attention to “The People’s Choice”,Kamala Harris.

    1. StayHomeElectionDay

      People like this?

      Page Six reported that Sen. Kamala Harris, a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, met with top Clinton donors in the Hamptons. Many figures in Clinton’s inner circle attended, including Clinton’s 2008 Campaign National Finance co-Chair Michael Kempner, donors Dennis Mehiel and Steven Gambrel, and Democratic National Committeeman Robert Zimmerman. Harris also attended a separate luncheon hosted by one of Clinton’s top lobbyist bundlers, Liz Robbins.

      Don’t forget this one:

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Maybe Kamala Harris could run for Pres with her running-mate being . . . . Hillary Clinton!

        Clinton could run around all over the country yelling ” vote for Harris. She’s with ME!”

        Photos of Harris and Clinton together could be published and captioned . . . ” She’s with Her”.

        1. Questa Nota

          Meanwhile, Bidet closes his eyes and goes hiking in the Delaware Air Gap.

          Seriously, folks. Are Heels Up and Mayo Pete the best that can be foisted off bought off curated selected after a thoughtful selection process and comparison of grass roots wishes donor billions?

          Are the Dems in what is known to sports teams as a building year?

            1. swangeese

              You’re being too kind.

              Mayo Pete reminds me of Bobby Jindal. An overambitious neoliberal idpol “wonk” that destroys only to fail up to the next job.

              At least Quayle was good for some laughs.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            The Dems deliberately and on purpose select the worst that they have. They suppress the best and try to destroy them or drive them out of their party, as witness the DemParty conspiracy against Sanders and Gabbard, for example.

  31. chuck roast

    “Corporate Profits Drive 60% of Inflation Increases”

    I appreciate that Matt Stoller keeps pounding the rock. If there is a sector of the US economy that is not subject to oligopoly I would be happy to hear about it. There is even monopsony power extant now…unheared of even a few years ago.

    Lets us take the way-back machine to Larry Summers attending a class in Econ 102, Intro. to Microeconomics. We have Paul Sweezy teaching it to the econ nimrods at Harvard before he got canned for being a commie. Paul instructs Larry and his cohort on the microeconomic dynamics of the “kinked demand curve.” This constitutes Economic Science…whheeeee…whereby under imperfect competition (econspeak for monopoly & oligopoly) a single or a few firms reap excessive profits where marginal costs do not meet marginal revenues.

    We check out Paul. Geez! He’s sound asleep while his classmates dutifully draw their downward sloping kinky curves. But he was awake during the discussions of Economics being a “science.” Now it becomes clear. Pauly got that Economics was a science, but the science was all “ceterus paribus” and imperfect competition was “science denial.” Time for my nap. Napping get you a long way in this world.

  32. Wukchumni

    In a forgettable year, a nice $600k xmas bonus for tiny town and Mineral King…

    TULARE COUNTY – The Tulare County Fire Department will be doing some forest management thanks to a CAL FIRE grant.

    The Tulare County Board of Supervisors approved over $600,000 in funding from the CAL FIRE California Climate Investment Grant for the county fire department to clear out dead or dying trees, hazardous fuel—vegetation—and fire prevention planning and education in the North Fork and Mineral King areas.

    The goal will be to reduce vegetation and fuel within 40 feet of either side of the roadway, creating an approximately 110 feet-wide area to secure the only evacuation route in the North Fork and Mineral King areas.

    The majority of the areas proposed for these projects are in high or very high fire severity zones. The overriding goal is to reduce the spread of wildland fire from Mineral King Road and North Fork Drive into urban areas and vice versa.

      1. Wukchumni

        …the Marmot Cong are doing the big sleep

        Sept to April is their hibernation time, but i’m thinking occasionally they awake for hit & waddle runs draped in winter white camo & matching white pith helmet

      1. ambrit

        I have heard of a sure fire way for an Irish copper to get an arrest.
        Pull over any Irish driver.
        Demand that they say the ‘Our Father’ backwards quickly.
        If they refuse, or bungle it, arrest them for Public Intoxication.
        If they do manage it, arrest them for Public Blasphemy.
        It’s a sure bust!

  33. fresno dan
    Father allegedly drove 14-year-old son to store to commit murder, police say
    Police say a man fatally shot his 16-year-old daughter in the family’s Ohio home after he mistook her for an intruder
    Guns, protecting us from crime…or somethin’

  34. R.H.

    Speaking of cats, my dear Persian Ozzie, who was a antidote du jour, had to be put down. He lived 18 years, which for a Persian, is remarkable.

  35. Eclair

    We received an email yesterday, part of a group email thread by members of a small community organization we are part of, in western NY.

    The woman, obviously stressed, writes that her husband is dying in the ICU; she is unclear of what or if he has been vaccinated. I would suspect not, knowing her background and beliefs. She does say that his neighbor in the ICU, also dying of unspecified causes, had received three shots.

    Her best friend’s parents, triple-vaxed, have both died.

    She, because of her many underlying health problems, has been fully vaccinated (word is that her doc was very very forceful in his recommendation) and came down with CoVid anyway.

    She seems to be be equating being vaccinated with never dying… of anything. It’s a common state of mind: confusion, anger, grief. The government and health ‘experts’ tell me one thing, but then this other thing happens. No good can come from these emotions; a faltering trust in those who should have been caring for us. A lot of people out there looking for someone or something who will give them direction, hope, salvation.

  36. Young

    On the financial news, Delta Airlines CEO just announced that the company is renamed Omicron Airlines, after completing the friendly takeover of CDC. The name represents the majority of the employees who have the variant.
    He expects that Omicron will totally dominate Delta in Q1 ’22 who choose the airline to travel.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      as an indicator, i suppose, of how uncool i am, i think that’s the first time i’ve ever heard musk speak…and now the weird tech guy in dont look up is even more comprehensible.
      so it’s not really that we’re ruled by Harkonens…but by pampered dweebs with too much jack whom nobody wants to say no to.

      1. flora

        Tesla, Theranos, Uber, Enron, Worldcom, Magnetar subprime, et al. ; the early 21st century has been the great age of hucksters. / ;)

        1. newcatty

          The great age of hucksters, hustlers, happy hipsters, hysterical liers, has beens , helpless, homeless, hungry, hated, and honorable heroes, healthcare front line, honest heretics, hassled workers, hardy families, healing kindness. The age of H.

      2. Michaelmas

        so it’s not really that we’re ruled by Harkonens

        We’re really not. The Baron, Beast Rabban, and the rest of the family were more or less competent within their psychopathic frame of reference. Like Stalin.

        Biden, on the other hand, makes Breshnev look sprightly. And the younger generation of Dems under him couldn’t organize a p*ss-up in a brewery, as the Brits say. There’s actually more talent on the Repug bench (there couldn’t be less).

        Maybe in 2024 the US will luck out and get semi-competent (relatively speaking) Trumpism. Don’t know if that’ll be a good thing .

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          neotrumpism as a win for actual leftism,lol

          that will never work,
          instead, eat the Rich where they live.
          our current upper class must be overthrown and eaten.

          I have recipes!
          edo dives.

          regardless, eat them!eat them!

  37. griffen

    Article on dermatology practice(s) being acquired by private equity firms. Not a total shocker to read the unbounded lengths that the new owner will go to increase patient care. \sarc

    Nothing shocks anymore, as I place the cynical hat on. Especially from the former practicing physician who I am sure has gained more pain and trouble for her outspoken opposition to increasing patient billing and fee income for aforementioned a**hole ownership.

    Welcome to hell. Your physician will not see you, but a physician extender will?

    1. ambrit

      Oh, it’s widespread. I knew something was “not right” last year when I went in to the Cardiac Department of the local hospital for some tests. The very first person I saw after signing in was the Financial Officer. The young woman I dealt with was very tired looking.
      I asked her if she had had a rough day.
      She replied; “We are the busiest office in the building. I have to fight to get a break during the day.”
      That’s it right there. Dysfunction is built right in.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        “The very first person I saw after signing in was the Financial Officer.”

        been that way in my part of texas for as long as i can remember.
        if you’re just there to visit someone, the bluebirds(ancient, bored, unpaid former hall monitors) will chase you down the hall to make sure you’re not expecting free care and have a method of payment.

        and this reminds me: my own doctor of 20+ years, moved to some kind of subscription/boutique system…still takes medicaid for long term patients(no new)…and medicare for all extant patients…otherwise, i pay like $30 a month.
        wife must have done this at some point, because i was there with the usual $45 when i learned of it.
        what with covid, and (touch wood) not needing him aside from on the fone, i haven’t had the chance to ask him about it.
        head nurse(also known her for 20+ years) says that i’m one of the few he still banters with for extended periods.(he’s gregarious and loud and laughing all the time. we speak of many things. i consider him a friend.)
        i don’t know if the two phenomena are related, yet.

        he’s the kind of guy that would lose money to help his patients.
        been meaning to look it up.
        sounds like a medical CSA to me ( just from the 5 minutes with the receptionist when i learned of it.(known her for 20+ years, too…she helped him deliver my Eldest)
        (and, to be clear, i understand how weird all those parentheticals, above, are…and that i am fortunate in the extreme to have such relationships)

        1. ambrit

          I wonder how well the “Gregarity Index” matches with population density. I would suppose it to be an inverse relation.
          The glaring dysfunction on display in our American institutions today make me appreciate why the Chinese forced all those office workers to labour on the farms during one of the Emperor Mao’s Disruptions.
          Some will argue that the Emperor Mao’s Disruptions caused the deaths of millions of Chinese people. I wonder if those deaths would not have happened anyway at some later time.
          Today, the cynic in me looks around and sees an ongoing Western version of said Disruptions.
          We live in interesting times.

    1. Martin Oline

      That’s right. The last thing the FEEBS (Feebly Enabling Every Bent Senator) want is to send the people who vote on their funding to jail. They would have to start over from scratch.
      I wonder if J Edgar learned his politics from the mob? He couldn’t have been blackmailed! He led a virtuous life and was an example to every young lawyer. /s

      1. Stan

        “J Edgar”. I forgot all about the guy who wrote the book.

        I hate that phrase it is what it is, but it makes more sense than that Guardian headline
        Speculation grows that Maxwell may try to cut a deal for reduced sentence.

        1. The Rev Kev

          It was mentioned on the news that she is willing to name names to get a reduced sentence. As in, reduce my sentence or I will name names.

        1. ambrit

          They just might head on down to the Islands, and never be seen again. It’s that kind of atmosphere in ‘those circles.’

    2. Michael McK

      No, she’s a professional. She will sit tight and do her time. The cops have all that evidence already and the whole prosecution, like Epstein’s in Florida years ago, was a dance to avoid revealing any real information. She will get 30 years or less and be allowed to “serve her time” in Israel after a year or two in club Fed since she is elderly and not violent.
      Justice has been served, nothing to be seen here. Ooh! Look! Something shiny over there!

  38. drumlin woodchuckles

    As I look at that photo of ” Tatmadaw column on road advancing towards Tantlang” . . . I think the obvious thing to do if the local opposition had the power to do it would be to . . . . destroy the first and last vehicle to fix the column in place on that narrow road, then kill enough further trucks and crews to see if the remainder could be convinced to surrender. If they could, take the trucks and supplies and let the surrenderees walk back to Tatmadaw central and spread the word that ” they will let you leave if you surrender and give up all your stuff.” They might even let all the live surrenderees have one truck to pack into and drive back in.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Yep. That’s the way that you do it. “They will let you leave if you surrender and give up all your stuff.” Another way is to totally wipe out patrols to make troops reluctant to go out past the wire. So a patrol goes into the jungle and is never heard from again and no trace of them is ever found. That is worse than having a wiped out patrol found dead.

      1. ambrit

        During the Maylay War, the Ghurka troops were said to sneak into the camps of the Insurgents and cut the throat of odd numbers of sleeping troops. When the camp wakes up, give them some time to react, attack and drive them off back home. Morale goes downhill pretty quick under such conditions.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I heard once that Ghurka troops slipped into a barracks and slit the throats of all the German soldiers sleeping – except for one. That was seriously messing with people that.

          1. rowlf

            George MacDonald Frazier had a similar Ghurka story involving Japanese prisoners in his memoir Quartered Safe Out Here.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            I remember hearing or reading about Ghurka performance during the Falklands in the Falklands War . . . . . that in general lots of Argentinian soldiers surrendered to the various British formations.

            But the Ghurka fighting groups in the Falklands did not have any Argentinian prisoners. Not even one. They were asked about this. Their reply was that the Argentinian soldiers were very brave and would not surrender and fought to the last man.

      2. JTMcPhee

        How much “stuff” got left behind in Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Notagain?istan? Looks like the tactic translates at scale…

    2. ambrit

      You underestimate the “loyalty” of the Tat’s troops. Unless you are determined to wipe a column of troops out, your best tactic is “hit and run.” For small units, preserving troop strength is as important as the amount of damage you do to the ‘enemy.’
      Secondly, we are dealing with an “official” army that regularly uses murder and terror as force multipliers. The locals, after one or two “outrages” by the “Official” Army troops, will probably have no sympathy for treating ‘surrendered’ troops well. Vengance will be their main motivation. The troops will know this and fight very hard; their lives will depend on it.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Good points. Well. . . the various counter-Tatmadaw forces know about this stuff and I don’t. So they will have to work out their own ways and means.

        The only thing I do know is that no one will help them, and if the DC FedRegime pretends to help, it will be the kiss of death for them. So they should avoid any outside help and especially DC FedRegime help.

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