Links 12/7/2021

Who’s Killing the Grizzlies of Fremont County? WaPo

How the Pandemic Changed the Terms of Investment John Authers, Bloomberg

Bitcoin’s weekend tumble hints at Wall Street traders’ growing sway FT


USA TODAY investigation reveals a stunning shift in the way rain falls in America USA Today. Important.

Beings Seen and Unseen (interview) Amitav Ghosh, Emergence Magazine

We Can’t Have Our Climate Cake And Eat It Too

Creating a Better Leaf Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker


Tshwane District Omicron Variant Patient Profile – Early Features South African Medical Research Council. From Gauteng.

Probable Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant in Quarantine Hotel, Hong Kong, China, November 2021 (research letter) CDC, Emerging Infectious Diseases. From the body:

The only time the 2 quarantined persons opened their respective doors was to collect of food that was placed immediately outside each room door. The only other time they might have opened their doors would be for RT-PCRs, which were conducted in 3-day intervals. However, because these 2 case-patients arrived 1 day apart, it is unlikely that they would be tested on the same day. Airborne transmission across the corridor is the most probable mode of transmission.

CDC’s goons managed to keep “airborne” out of the headline, and out of the abstract, but couldn’t suppress it in the text. And still we have Walensky recommending handwashing. And saying nothing about ventilation. Nothing about ventilation in Biden’s speech on his “Winter Plan,” either.

New data shows GSK-Vir drug works against all Omicron mutations Reuters. Sotrovimab. In vitro. Nothing peer-reviewed.

* * *

The press noticed the oncoming testing debacle in Biden’s “Winter Plan”:

More commentary:

Data point on requiring test results from international travelers to the United States, from an alert reader:

My friend/former coworker that is an immunology professor in [South America] arrived this morning. She flew into Miami yesterday, and said no one is asking for passengers’ test results or anything, they are just letting everyone in off the international flights with no questions.

Will Grigory Potemkin please pick up the nearest white courtesy telephone?

COVID-19 Hit This County Hard. A Weakened Health Department Still Can’t Get People Vaccinated. Pro Publica

* * *

WTO faces renewed scrutiny amid omicron threat The Hill. Summing it all up (dk):

Trade secrets remain the sticking point in global debate over a vaccine IP waiver Osborne Clarke. Intellectual property lawyers.

* * *

New York City Announces First-In-The-Nation Vaccine Mandate For Private Companies CBS New York

The Discourse™ Still Isn’t Talking About Long COVID Mike the Mad Biologist


China property stocks rise as Beijing tries to ease Evergrande turmoil FT

China defends zero-Covid strategy, says speed vital to stopping spread South China Morning Post.

China ‘adjusts’ approach to coal after recent power crisis Hellenic Shipping News


Resistance fighters strengthen hold over Myaung Township in Sagaing Myanmar Now. Pop. 100,000, central Myanmar.

Myanmar foreign minister visits Cambodia after Suu Kyi sentencing Reuters. The press really shouldn’t be using judicial terms to describe the proceedings of a kangaroo court.


U.S. Hope for Iran Nuclear Talks Now Rests on China, Russia Wall Street Journal

Is the glass half-full or half-empty? That is the question with contradictory US human rights policies towards Saudi Arabia and Iran The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer


Britain helped create the refugees it now wants to keep out Middle East Eye

Fighting breaks out as French far-right candidate Zemmour launches 2022 bid with rally France24

Far-right divisions on display after parties fail to agree on EU-wide political group Euronews

EU plan to tackle ‘coercion’ against member states faces resistance FT

Weapons trade booms as profits hit record $531bn in 2020 Al Jazeera (dk).

Russia, India abandon US dollar in mutual settlements Al Mayadeen

New Cold War

Biden Sees ‘Long Discussion’ With Putin Over Ukraine Border Bloomberg (December 3) and Kremlin expecting Putin-Biden talks to be substantive, long Interfax (December 6).

Zelenskiy Holds Call With Blinken Ahead Of Biden-Putin Call Radio Liberty. “Moscow has demanded written guarantees that Ukraine will not be allowed to join NATO, calling such a scenario a ‘red line.'” Only natural, since the United States is not agreement-capable.

Biden Administration

Biden is approving more oil and gas drilling permits on public lands than Trump, analysis finds WaPo

White House announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics over human rights concerns NBC

After Roe, The Coming Fight to End All Abortions Everywhere Verdict

Supply Chain

Toyota embracing small flaws as supply chain pressures bite Channel News Asia


Ping!! How Those Trump/Russia Stories Got Shopped to the Media The Nation


California Rep. Devin Nunes leaving Congress to head Trump social media group LA Times

Who Just Gave Trump $1 Billion? Let’s Find Out. Bloomberg (Furzy Mouse).

Trump’s blood oxygen levels fell ‘dangerously low’ after he contracted COVID – despite telling the world he was fine, Mark Meadows reveals in new book Daily Mail

L’Affaire Joffrey Epstein

Jeffrey Epstein wired $30.7M to alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell over a period of eight years, jury in sex trafficking trial hears Daily Mail

Health Care

It’s time to open up health care’s secret analytics STAT

Taking Viagra cuts the risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 69 percent NY Post. Isn’t Pfizer making enough money already?

Guillotine Watch

The Super-Rich Are Forming a New Exclusive Club Bloomberg. I dunno. $100 million net income for membership seems low. I hope they’re not letting any trash in.

Class Warfare

The First Privilege Walk From November, still germane. Holy moley, we got Patient Zero….

Where is Standard of Living the Highest? Local Prices and the Geography of Consumption Rebecca Diamond and Enrico Moretti, NBER. From the Abstract: “We uncover vast geographical differences in material standard of living for a given income level. Low-income residents in the most affordable commuting zone enjoy a level of consumption that is 74% higher than that of low-income residents in the most expensive commuting zone.”

The Teamster Election Tempest

Gone to the Dogs over the Holidays: Notes from the Adjunct Underground, Part III Academe Blog

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. timbers

      In my area…Broccoli hit $2.29/lb, used to be $1.75 was high-ish. Electricity bill rates up about 17% from prior year. Yogurt just went up about 10-15%. Bread went up over 10% months back. Tomatoes never hit $1.00/lb like they used to less than a year ago, nor do Avocadoes every go to $1.00 each but hold at $1.50. We all know what car gas prices are.

      It’s not just housing (15% ish/yr) cars (30%?) appliances etc. It’s spread. No doubt in my mind it’s double digits. Maybe Jimmy Carter level but official measurements are so corrupted we’re in guess land.

      1. lakecabs

        They are killing us on sale prices. I used to be able to get Bacon $2.99 a pound and Hamburger $1.99 a pound about every 3 weeks. Been four months. New sale price $4.99 bacon $2.99 hamburger.

        1. Louis Fyne

          Yes, that is the sour icing on the cake—hidden inflation via the retailer getting rid of sales!

          10% – 15% price tag inflation + 20% – 33% inflation due to no/fewer promotions: particularly paper goods and fresh food-dairy staples.

      2. lordkoos

        I’m seeing higher prices at the local discount grocery for some goods, and at the higher end grocers prices are way up there… $1 for a small bunch of green onions. Also seeing markedly higher prices at Costco, where we only shop every couple of months as it’s 30 miles away.

        1. Janie

          Grow your own green onions. Cut off the bottom half an inch and plant in a pot or bit of dirt. Voila, tops in a week and the whole onion if you wait a while. Repeat or cut the new onion off, leaving the root, and voila again

    2. Michael Ismoe

      I am astonished to learn that people who live in expensive areas pay more than people who live in less expensive areas. Who pays for this “research”? Have these researchers ever been poor?

      1. russell1200

        They would probably be shocked to find that poor people in rich areas also tend to live in non-family extended groups to help pay for the high rent/cost of living. Been there done that.

        1. dcblogger

          typically congressional staffers live in group houses for rents that would pay for sumptuous accommodations anywhere else. I suspect that between rent and student loan payments they have hardly any disposable income. yet our elected officials remain oblivious.

      2. BeliTsari

        Yet, I’d leave Manhattan’s UWS only to discover higher prices in Harrisburg, Gary or Birmingham (if you couldn’t reach BigLots, Ollie’s or Aldi’s?) CityLab used to cover this, BEFORE Bloomberg. But, Returning to Pittsburgh, pre W. Kamau Bell/ Tree Of Life/ COVID was an eye-opener? Gone, were many affordable/ walkable/ livable areas (lots of evictions & old folks redlined into older housing, in polluted, transit bereft, food deserts, with police simply the best armed gang) HAD formerly some options: CSA, farm-markets, co-ops or gardening (if they could manage all the hidden expenses, surviving gentrifying rust-belt cities?) Guess, we’re all surprised City-Data, Walk Score and the like, never actually got into the nitty-gritty of nasty surprise expenses you’d encounter, relocating for work, retirement or skedaddle from starving, homeless in “America’s Most Livable Cities?”

  1. Samuel Conner

    Didn’t finish reading through Lambert’s Augean Stables mucking-out analysis, but in the part I read JB didn’t mention masking much or at all.

    Was in a clinic recently that provides care for patients who can be immunocompromised as a consequence of the care.

    All staff, physicians, nurses, support staff, wearing only surgical procedure masks — and this is the almost 100% consistent pattern across multiple clinics and hospitals over a period of months (occasionally someone is double-masked, and once I saw a physician (a pulmonologist, perhaps significantly), with a procedure mask over what looked like an N95). I was wearing an N95 and had a few spares in their original packaging in my pack. Slipped them to the nurse with the suggestion that the facility Safety Officer be advised that “we want these“. They were gladly received.

    Give N95s this Christmas. It’s the gift that shows people that you like them well enough to want to be able to dine with them next Thanksgiving.

      1. Louis Fyne

        in my neck of the woods, brand-name ones are less than $1 each in a 20-pack at the regional Mega-Lo Mart. plenty of stock.

        There are also KF94 (Korea) which are cheaper at the Asian grocery store. (supposedly the KN95, PRC, have inconsistent quality)

    1. Carolinian

      Perhaps Biden’s vaccine obsession is another version of the Trump/Republican getting back to business pitch from Spring 2020. They ignore the actual science on vaccines because a mask free world is the goal that they seek and so they have to pretend that vaccines make masks unnecessary.

      Not that we can ignore business and the economy which are as necessary to our health as not getting Covid. But I do think people are getting tired of being lied to. Berenson claims his new vax dissident book is a big hit.

    2. Dan

      My BIL is an ENT and has worked with sneezing, sniffling, hawking, slobbering kids for the entire duration of COVID. He has worn an N95 with a surgical mask over it from day one and has never come down with COVID or any other AIRBORNE disease.

  2. timbers

    Data point on requiring test results from international travelers to the United States, from an alert reader:

    The right is making a big thing over Smirkface Psaki saying to the affect “illegal immigrants don’t need to be tested because they’re not planning on staying long.”

    Surely we can change that by fast tracking them in to apprentice jobs at Walmart/McDonald’s etc?

    1. Samuel Conner

      The thought occurs that US may respond to the looming skilled medical staff shortages induced by “COVID-care burnout” by pulling a page out of the “markets know best” playbook and adjusting the immigration rules/quotas to incentivize in-migration of trained nurses from other countries.

      First we don’t aggressively share the vaccines; will we next hire away the skilled help?

      1. timbers

        At least 50% of my co-workers are immigrants (not illegal I’d assume). Lots of Cambodians BTW.

        I’m constantly surprised how many first generation immigrants are in mid to high paying jobs here in the States. They don’t seem to have problems getting here such that it stops them.

        1. ChrisGriffin

          Remember anyone can buy their way into the US. If you can afford to invest $500K you can apply for a green card. Many countries are like this. If you can afford to come here and buy a house, you are mostly set. The media pushes the narrative that all immigrants are a drain on the economy and taking your job. That second part might be true.

          1. Yves Smith

            Do not Make Shit Up via oversimplification and exaggeration. Australia eliminated its entrepreneurial visa. And they are pretty restrictive. Australia’s version had been generous, an initial 4 years and two year renewals based on progress meeting business goals (revenue, profit and net worth targets). But your humble blogger, with my top credentials and more than enough net worth, was rejected three times before I was approved. The EU ones are shorter and renewal is again based on actually having the business meet targets, and not just, “Oh you paid money and therefore are affluent enough to support yourself.”

        2. Objective Ace

          >They don’t seem to have problems getting here such that it stops them.

          I dont know whom the “they” you are referring to is, but I’d posit that going through all of the barriers to get here acts as a pretty good filter so that only the best and brightest of those who try actually do so. It is these people–the best and brightest–who you see and are basing your conclusion on. Be careful how you extrapolate that. You wouldnt assume dunking on a ten foot hoop is easy because every time you watch an NBA game everyone is doing it

          1. timbers

            Fair point, and what you say causes me to remember my old friend’s horror story becoming a US citizen under Reagan when he changed the rules midstream. He was Dominican.

    2. upstater

      We booked a trip to Bonaire. On the way down vaccination and PCR had to be uploaded to Bonaire health authorities 48 hours before travel. Documents at departure airport and were verified on arrival.

      My brother returned Saturday. American Airlines required same documents be uploaded to VeriFly portal. At check in the agent had access to the upload and also checked physical documents before issuing boarding passes.

      I do not know for certain if boarding would have been denied, but expect so.

      Mask use in public places is 100% on Bonaire, unlike upstate NY where it is maybe 10%.

      1. Irrational

        Same thing flying from Europe to the US: vaccination status and test is checked at the departure airport. If your papers are not in order, you don’t board. So I am not shocked they are not checking the paperwork in the US – that would be too late.

  3. Pat

    $100 million net income for membership seems low. I hope they’re not letting any trash in.

    Letting my prejudices show, but I am pretty sure it will be nothing but trash. The few exceptional multi millionaires who aren’t walking scum would never make it past their screening, as they would recognize the difference between generosity and posturing – see the self-congratulatory attitude of the mastermind behind this.

    1. griffen

      I’m nearing the end of a book by Gibson, his first of a trilogy. The Peripheral is a pretty entertaining read and features an event or series of events the author calls the Jackpot.

      Makes the article relatable to the novel. It’s a big club and we ain’t in it.

  4. Wukchumni

    California Rep. Devin Nunes leaving Congress to head Trump social media group LA Times
    {…} y Kevin simply doesn’t have the same gravitas, and irony not being worth a bucket of warm spit, Devin has constantly railed against the evils of socialism, but now he’s going to be a Major Major Major Majordomo in social media?

  5. Pat

    Considering the lack of real enforcement of the vaccine mandates we have in NYC currently I think I can safely call De Blasio’s last blast as NYC Mayor so much hot air.

    It will be interesting to see how Adams handles this hot potato when he takes over. I’m laying odds on ignoring it ever happened.

    But I could be wrong.
    And on that note, I was wrong about Zucker protecting Cuomo. This taking out Cuomo and Cuomo and putting Zucker on the ropes…Good times!

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Creating a Better Leaf”

    I would have a few questions to ask here. Yeah, making a computer model that can be tweaked and then replicated in the real world is an interesting method. But leaves, like plants, don’t live in isolation. So I would be doing testing of the soil where those plants are growing to make sure that long term, they are not having a detrimental effect on it. It would be a nasty surprise that those plants were changing the chemistry of the soil and not for the better.

    You have to be dubious of novel methods of increasing production. Had a mate once that trained in farming techniques and they were told to pump in this chemical or that chemical. He did not make himself popular with his instructors when he asked if a farm that had undergone such treatment would be worth handing on to the grand kids. So if these super-duper plants are growing crops like crazy, does that mean that they may be draining the soil of vital nutrients?

  7. Steve H.

    > Russia, India abandon US dollar in mutual settlements Al Mayadeen

    I’m a confirmed bear/pessimist/oversensitive, but there’s a story that makes sense to me:

    : World uses dollars as World Reserve Currency. USA guarantees oceanic shipping lanes.
    : Americans american, world gets tired of this shite. China siphons USA industrial capacity.
    : China belt&roads infrastructure to carry goods and build demand west and south.
    : Russia guarantees best energy prices to Europe. China and Russia have energy & stuff others want.
    : USA says ‘Let’s you and he fight.’ Others say ‘Let’s you and me denominate transactions in our own currency.’
    : USA reallocates resources for hemispheric rather than global dominance, with Albion & Oz as wings.
    : This is about where we are now.
    : Covid is a crisis allowing leverages:
    :: China reduces industrial output to match markets south and west. Tells USA ‘keep yo dollars.’
    :: Russia taps spigot to suggest EU stop using dollars to denominate.
    :: USA keeps the oceans, but trade on them drops.
    :: USA blames bad (non-English speakers) for getting booted, demands compliance from Americas.
    ::: Nicaragua and Venezuela have reason to be nervous. And Mexico. etc.
    Extra factors:
    : Global warming is here and worse than popularized.
    : Zillionaires thinking eater/muggles are using up zillionaires personal fossil fuels.

    tldr: What happens if the permacrisis escalates by the dollar not being accepted as world reserve currency?

    I am please seeking optimism. Please to find holes in this scenario.

    1. Wukchumni

      We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in finance, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in wealth conjured out of thin air, we shall defend our island of inanity, whatever the cost may be.

    2. Louis Fyne

      Bottom 85% (metaphorically) riot as tube socks, chicken, and petrol go to unbearable levels. And MSNBC-NYT-NPR-Psaki spin the news by saying how inflation is good for the planet and reducing inequality.

    3. Lou Anton

      Got a little lost at ‘Americans american.’ And then on the second part, that milkshake’s already been drunk, I think.

        1. Lou Anton

          I meant, what does the American-ing mean as it relates to your currency/finance-related line of discussion?

          1. Steve H.

            Throwing military and financial weight around, particularly in the form of sanctions.

            Being the Exceptional nation.

    4. dftbs

      tldr: What happens if the permacrisis escalates by the dollar not being accepted as world reserve currency?

      This move is a certainty, but much like the asteroid floating in space with our name on it, its more a question of when. Unlike the asteroid, this isn’t a stochastic event.

      One thing to keep in mind in the current spasm of imperial handwringing and bellicosity, is that the US and it’s “competitors” aren’t playing the same game. First and foremost, the would be “competitors” actively reject that role. They reject the American formulation of hegemonic world order. So while the think-tanks imagine that China is trying to replace the America as the global hegemon, the Chinese don’t seem to be operating under that premise.

      Of course you can interpret any Chinese (or Russian) move that threatens the real or perceived power of the US as a challenge to American hegemony; but unless you’re paid to do so you can’t honestly analyze them as attempts to place themselves on top of a future hegemony.

      With this understanding in mind, you can see why nations like China and Russia still transact with us in US dollars (albeit less so than just a few years ago). They aren’t interested in replacing our military or political hegemony, and they aren’t interested in actively dethroning the USD. In the Chinese case, there is some extensive study on the massive negative externalities associated with being the reserve currency.

      But if these two strategic “competitors” aren’t trying to actively subvert the order, who is? And the like the King of Pop once said, you have to look at the “man in the mirror.” Our aggressive posture is forcing the Chinese and Russians to build USD alternatives. So if we cross their red lines, the first shot fired may be their refusal to transact in USD. Now when you weigh that the dollar system (and its vassal currencies CAD, GBP, EURO, AUD, YEN) only cover 15% of the world population, then you see the writing on the wall.

      1. JEHR

        dftbs: re: “massive negative externalities” There are also massive positive externalities for being the country that other countries recognize as having the reserve currency which pays in American Treasury bonds. If I remember correctly, according to Michael Hudson, the American reserve currency allows the US to have ongoing budget deficits which are paid for by other countries’ using their surpluses to pay for the running of American military bases found all around the world. Other countries surpluses pay for American deficits. It is a nice arrangement and one which the US would not like to lose.

        1. dftbs

          I agree. Although I’ve always been puzzled by the theoretical limits to this “export inflation & subsidize consumption” via debt leverage in a “universally” accept reserve currency. In essence this trade off always involved borrowing to bring forward future consumption to the present. In a healthy system, bringing forward future consumption would be done to increase future productive capacity. Of course we don’t inhabit a healthy system. It’s so deranged in fact, that the bulk of this trade-off wasn’t even done to improve or increase the overall consumption of the broad citizenry. This seems crazy to say, since America is all about consumption. But looking beyond notional numbers, and even ignoring the recent inflation, the purchasing power of the dollar has long been on a downward trend. I imagine the Chinese cost-benefit analysis of “reserve currency” status throws the theoretical benefits out and focuses on the empirical catastrophe we exemplify.

          1. Michaelmas

            the bulk of this trade-off wasn’t even done to improve or increase the overall consumption of the broad citizenry.

            Why would it have been?

            That the dollar as global reserve currency would long-term be detrimental to the vast mass of Americans was predicted from the beginning by people like Keynes and Triffin.

            Those who benefited from dollar hegemony — for purposes of wealth extraction from the rest of the world — were and are a small minority of Americans elites, and as far as they’re concerned they’re the people that count.

  8. Mikerw0

    Quick note: I don’t know if there is a system issue in the background with the site. The daily email has been coming in the evening or even overnight for the last couple of weeks. For example, yesterday’s was time stamped at 2:45am today

    1. Edgar, not Edmund

      I’ve had similar experiences. Just checked my NC folder, and the variable times started on November 14. Mid-day, mid-afternoon, middle of the night, occasionally the usual morning times (EST, for me). And no email on December 1 & 2.

      1. Sue inSoCal

        Same here. Left a note. Better now, but days when it didn’t land in my box. Thought my email was dropped. Thankfully not!

  9. Lee

    Ventilation: a small victory

    From an interview on PBS Newshour yesterday:

    Katelyn Jetelina:

    Vaccines do a lot. They reduce transmission. We have a lot of reasons to believe that boosters will play a significant role against Omicron. But, you know, vaccines aren’t going to do it all. It’s not going to be the magic ticket. It’s going to be a combination of public health mitigation measures, which includes rapid antigen testing, includes ventilating spaces, and includes wearing good masks indoors.

    1. urblintz

      “Vaccines do a lot. They reduce transmission. We have a lot of reasons to believe that boosters will play a significant role against Omicron.”


      …very small victory, indeed

      1. Louis Fyne

        i don’t get how this half-truth still is propagated like E=mc2. lying, incompetence, or blind allegiance to the narrative—you decide.

  10. griffen

    Markets behaving badly. The swift decline over a weekend in the pricing of bitcoin / crypto related investments looks pretty jarring to me. Anything can happen, and on a Saturday afternoon to boot. One ill-conceived tweet and the horses are rushed out of the barn, just by example.*

    If it is a risk-off response, that’s something I can comprehend. However, movements like this leave me perfectly positioned where I am. On the outside, watching and observing. Give me the passive indexing against the SP 500, so I can worry less.

    *One company in the US, Microstrategy, has reportedly wagered on investing in crypto as a business plan. Bizarre plan.

    1. Thistlebreath

      Asia Times has carried a story in which a seemingly knowledgeable scientific source has noted that quantum computing now has the ability to decode blockchain transactions. Interesting story; the analogy cited was the WWII Enigma machine, Alan Turing and the apparent fact that Nazi coded transmissions were decoded in near real time. No western corporate media platform I watch picked up the story.

      Here’s the URL:

    2. Michael Ismoe

      Is it any more bizarre than selling electric cars that catch fire and make crispy critters of the occupants? How about a the business plan of a pharma company that keeps making 5 month innoculations? Looks a lot like The Wire without the business sense.

      Let them “invest” in Bitcoin. It’s as safe as Facebook but without the child abuse.

    3. Wukchumni

      I’m proud to announce the launch of Dipcoin, a cryptocuurency that goes up whenever Bitcoin drops in value.

      Nobody will be able to track just how many Dipcoins have been minted due to limited addition…

  11. The Rev Kev

    “USA TODAY investigation reveals a stunning shift in the way rain falls in America”

    I’d be interested to know if this is having any effect of the eastward shifting 100th Meridian. For those unfamiliar with this term, it was a line on the 100th Meridian where the country to the east of continental America was all those lush forests while the country to the west is dry as typified by the American west. I say ‘was’ because that line is shifting eastward turning more and more of the country dry so now it is about where the 98th meridian is located. So with these shifting rain patterns, is it slowing this shift, speeding it up or what is it doing exactly here? This could be an important question down the track-

    1. Pate

      Rev thank you for the link. A wonderful book about The Great American Desert (how the rain-shadowed grassland Great Plains was identified on pre-railroad maps) you might enjoy is Richard Manning’s “Grasslands”. From Powell to Butz and beyond.

      1. MK

        My personal thought is that the “rapid” movement of magnetic north has an impact on climate change that is not yet understood, or even measurable at this point in time.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Better yet, let’s sell the Great Lakes to Nestle so that they can bottle it up into 16 ounce plastic bottles and sell it back to us.

      2. Wukchumni

        We’re forecast to get a few storms totaling 3 inches of rain in the foothills with colder temps in the next 10 days, which could translate into 3-5 feet of all that glitters on deposit higher up in the First National Snowbank of the Southern Sierra.

        We were talking about snow on our hike yesterday and all agreed that around 28% more than an average yearly total would do, yes in deed. Mother Nature doesn’t do requests though.

        We’re in an age of extremes due to climate change and should we get pummeled by a series of atmospheric rivers without quit, we would quickly pine for being parched.

        An event such as the 1861-62 flood would wipe out every nut and tree orchard in the Central Valley, a catastrophe along the lines of what is happening in BC & NW Washington.

        1. Grateful Dude

          I’m here in the Sierra foothills. We had 15″ in October-November, one 10″ day. This is a La Nina season, when typically the rain slides past us into the NW and BC. After a dry month, this coming system is appreciated. I’m at about 2000′ elevation. We picked the last of the tomatoes and peppers today, expecting freezing nights ahead. Remember the Oroville spillway 5 years back? That was an el Nino season. The reservoir was flowing over. Something like 200,000 folks would have washed away had the spillway broken up. IMHO, A warming Pacific should saturate more atmosphere with water, and push it onto the continent.l But the melting Artic changes has displaced the Jetstream, so how that storm pressure moves depends on that, So yeah, too much is enough, but otherwise, we’re close to paradise (and Paradise too…).

  12. PlutoniumKun

    USA TODAY investigation reveals a stunning shift in the way rain falls in America USA Today. Important.

    Going back 20 years, the Australian palaeontologist Tim Flannery in his book on the natural history of North America pointed out that that analysis of past climate shifts indicated that the continental US acted as a sort of echo chamber, suffering more radical shifts in climate than other continents. The messaging that climate change is just a simple thing of climate zones shifting northwards at a steady pace was always very misleading. Its about rapid and unpredictable shifts in rainfall and storms over huge areas. Humans have hard engineered infrastructure and building and land uses based on assumptions of climate and weather that no longer hold. It will be more dangerous and more unpredictable and more costly than nearly everyone assumes.

  13. Eustachedesaintpierre

    On rainfall.

    After following truckers dashcams on youtube I dug a bit deeper into the situation in British Columbia around Coquihalla & a town called Merrit which was built on a large drained lakebed, which flooded due to a phenomenon called an atmospheric river, that dumped over a months normal rainfall on the area in a couple of days.
    Aside from the flooded town that destroyed the homes of 100’s, it caused landslides that wiped out bridges closing Highway 7, followed by numerous forest fires & 2 tribal communities were forced off their land. The 2 lakes that were underwater are also very important Canadian agricultural producers protected by dykes & culverts, but since privatisation they have been neglected & would cost millions to rebuild & improve which no-one wants to pay for.
    No warnings were given except for a facebook post from an official who happened to hear the warning sirens coming from over the US border. One of the tribes chiefs also blamed indiscriminate logging & mining as being a contributing factor. A local expert on climate issues whose job it is to keep an eye on the situation issued warnings but was told to tone down her language by the bureaucrats supposedly in positions of responsibility.

    I picked up the above from a youtube vid called – What the BC government knew about the flood threat, & here’s a link that describes another problem which occurred due to the sewage treatment plant being engulfed – I’m guessing that they are on the climate change frontline.

      1. Eustachedesaintpierre

        No access to the link JEHR in the EU, although we are now no longer part of it – which is a shame as I would like to know how the facts which are not mine, but made from the testimonials of locals who are featured in the video are skewed. The other stuff is from a more mainstream source which together with an extra link included within it that does at least attest to the devastation & I think longer term unsustainability.

  14. PlutoniumKun

    China ‘adjusts’ approach to coal after recent power crisis Hellenic Shipping News

    This article is pretty misleading – its part of the messaging by the Chinese coal lobby to blame someone else for the power shortages that have afflicted large parts of China since early summer. There are a range of reasons, but the core explanation is that thermal plant owners locked themselves into supply contracts which are no longer viable due to the rise in cost of coal. Selling more electricity to match demand costs them a lot of money. So they push the blame elsewhere. In reality, there has been a very major increase in supply of both gas and renewable energy, but it hasn’t been able to compensate for the coal plant owners pretending that they can’t meet demand. At least one reason for the rise in coal price was China’s unwise decision to cut out Australian imports.

  15. The Rev Kev

    ‘Carlos Mucha
    Good Lord, are they trying to put Trump back in WH? Let’s do the math, let’s say every American is sent instant test weekly. If they’re $5 each (< $1 in Germany but let that bide) so X 330M = $1.65B/wk or $86B/yr. We’re running $3T/yr deficit fighting COVID, $86B is chump change.'

    It’s worse than that. Not that long ago Congress gave the Pentagon an extra $70 billion. It took just minutes to pass as there was no debate or searching questions. It was just rubber-stamped and bam, it was done. But with an effective, easy pubic health tool, it always has to be means tested and financial hurdles have to be put in place via private corporations. I think that people are starting to notice such things and a smug Psaki mocking this proven idea is not really helping. You can bet that she has only to ask to get a testing kit on the spot in the White House.

    1. Nikkikat

      I think the answer to your question is yes. They do want Trump back in office. The Dems love the identity politics.Trump does that for them. As it is plain to see, they are Not able to do anything else. I noted that AOC was complaining about the stupidity of their testing plan by talking about Medicare for all.
      One has nothing to do with the other. She is always so helpful.

      1. Questa Nota

        Whack-a-Mole is easier with a big orange target, and more chaotic with the incumbent crew. The latter inflicts more collateral damage, what would be called Own Goal in another context.

    2. JustAnotherVolunteer

      So I took a little side trip via the excellent STAT article on the uses of consumer data for Heath care profiling and ended up on the Carrot Health data site. Lots of scary stuff here including a direct connection to the means testing for kit distribution tangle:

      As you would expect – this is all about billing not about public Heath benefits.

  16. griffen

    Little blue pill may, just may be useful in the treatment for Alzheimer’s. Cue up the line of middle age men for that prescription (myself included).

    Cue up the bad jokes as well. Yes, the doctor prescribed it to help my brain.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Is the key Viagra, or is it possible that the best ‘vaccine’ against Alzheimer’s is simply to remain sexually active? Sexual activity is hard-wired into us at puberty, it seems reasonable that a lack of sexual activity could have serious health consequences.

      I for one would greatly enjoy receiving Medicare bulletins telling me to be more sexually active, and encouraging seniors without partners to masturbate more often.

      1. fresno dan

        Mark Gisleson
        December 7, 2021 at 10:30 am
        HARD to imagine how I could masterbate more often….although I always remember to refrain during my zoom meetings (I wouldn’t want to Pull a Toobin)
        Boners, is there anything they can’t do???

          1. Pate

            Saw him on tv (pbs I think) last week discussing the scotus abortion case – to my knowledge first appearance since his “stroke” of bad luck.

            1. Questa Nota

              That he is anywhere in media speaks to the shamelessness inherent in the Neo-Lib model, combined with the lack of the news analog of the sports team deep bench.

              In the end, sirs pimps and madams, have they no decency?

              We had to destroy the network to save it.

      2. Procopius

        Sexual activity is wired into us a lot earlier than puberty. Apparently most people forget this by the time they turn thirty. In fact I’ve wondered most of my life why most people act as if they do not remember their childhoods and teen years.

      3. Alice X

        Is it a secret that girls do it too? A tool helps. Could Medicare help out? So late here but nevertheless.

    2. Eclair

      Twenty years ago, or so, high altitude climbers were taking viagra to counter the effects of altitude sickness. The drug relaxes blood vessels, improving oxygen flow to lungs, helping to prevent the severe pulmonary hypertension that can kill a climber in hours. Probably doesn’t contribute to orgies on the mountains, due to extreme fatigue that sets in after day of fighting extreme cold, snow, and struggling uphill in oxygen-thin air.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        There are herbal equivelents that are widely used in China for people visiting Tibet. They used to hand them out on the flight from Chengdu to Llasa. A Chinese woman i met on the flight one time had a panic attack when she felt the altitude hit her after arriving at the hotel – as she was alone I asked the hotel reception for help and the doctor that arrived gave her what seemed an enormous number of herbal pills (‘special Tibetan medicine’) he called it. I was told later it was probably a haphazard mix of chinese medince, tibetan herbs, and maybe something like viagra.

        My doctor prescribed me a similar (not viagra, but the same effect) for time at altitude – on a previous trip to the Himalaya I’d suffered quite badly from the altitude, especially over 5,000 metres. It did provide all sorts of interesting tingles (notably in my fingers, which was fortunate as I was mostly cycling). At the time I felt it had helped, but I believe that on the basis of more recent research its no longer recommended.

  17. John Steinbach

    “We Can’t Have Our Climate Cake And Eat It Too”

    Good post on how the corporations use the climate change movement to continue to wage war against nature.

    “Right now the climate change movement is so popular because it’s so
    fucking toothless. It’s a house pet, and the house is on fire. Fossil fuel
    companies use climate wokeness in their advertising campaigns. BP is
    literally ‘Beyond Petroleum’. Climate adaptation is just another consumer
    choice, not the upending of the entire capitalist system that’s required. As
    Elton John said, “it’s no sacrifice, No sacrifice, It’s no sacrifice at all”.”

    1. TimH

      I wonder if, like inspecting a new house, a buyer can document the flaws before delivery and insist on replacements being scheduled (when available) but within 2 years.

      Ooops, sorry… this is response to TRK on Toyota, below.

    2. Eclair

      Just heard a radio ad for a credit card that allows one to fight climate change while buying stuff. They plant a tree every time a consumer makes a purchase. In no time at all, forests will arise all over the Planet, sucking in carbon dioxide. Problem solved!

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Toyota embracing small flaws as supply chain pressures bite”

    So, is Toyota taking a leaf from the Boeing management textbook now? Foregoing quality is in fact a trap. It looks like you are solving problems and saving money but in the long run, you are only storing up more serious problems down the track. W. Edwards Deming must be groaning in his grave.

  19. Wukchumni

    Go take a hike dept: Panther Creek

    3 friends and I took a walk out to a killer location in Sequoia NP, where the most fatalities have happened in the backcountry of SNP over the past decade, I think we’re up to 6 or 7 lost souls @ this very spot where Panther Falls descends into the middle fork of the Kaweah, en route to nourishing oceans of citrus on the fruited plain below.

    Why here, just 5 miles into the back of beyond where the spring creek crossing can be a bit challenging, but really no biggie if you switch from boots to water shoes and most essentially have hiking poles…piece of cake. I think the real issue is curiosity killed them cats, in that although you can hear Panther Falls, you can’t see it-hidden below a steep cliff which lured them into the great beyond.

    Once there you have killer views of the Great Western Divide in the distance to the east, initially thought to be the crest of the Sierra as the peaks reach nearly 14k, but it’s a middle earth of sorts with the Whitney peaks to the east being 700 feet higher, and the trench of the Kern River in between them descending to 8k.

    The closer view is Castle Rocks, a gorgeous collection which looks like a bishop’s hat from Panther Creek:

    If you have the climbing moxie and sure feet, you can go off-trail up the creek to where there are 7 waterfalls and a like amount of pools set amongst polished granite smooth to the touch with a gunmetal tone, and this must be one of the lowest altitude spots of the glacier which once encased it in the ice age.

    As you get to about as far as you can go, one side of the creek is nearly vertical granite while the other side slopes more, and very clearly inscribed on the vertical walls are the transit lines of the glacier’s last stand, about a dozen clearly delineated lines in total.

    I totally missed an 8 inch young rattlesnake on the way up the creek, and friends told me on the way down what they’d seen and a bit of bouldering later it was still there, and what’s a rattlesnake doing outside in December, ought to be hibernating but no, its taking advantage of the new normal in climate change, staying out later.

    1. griffen

      I’ve got family that hikes and on occasion I try to tag along on the shorter sojourns into the wooded areas in western NC, and northern GA. Sequoia and Kings are already on the table for a Sept or Oct 2022 hiking trip.

      Wildfires hopefully not in the way of that. Less wildfires would be a great benefit, for all obvious reasons.

      1. Wukchumni

        After Labor Day it turns into a ghost town here in the higher climes of SEKI and typically indian summer, no scratch that, First Peoples* Summer has wonderful daytime hiking temps although its a little colder at night.

        I’m partial to Mineral King for dayhikes, but its all good and the largest and most accessible Sequoias are in Giant Forest, and the hike I heartily recommend is parking your car across from the museum and taking a shuttle bus (if they are running) to Crescent Meadow and hike the Congress Trail to the Sherman Tree and along the way in the 4 mile walk you’ll have many hundreds of really big trees to yourself for a spell, and then at the end, its as if the world rushed in, a mass of humanity all waiting for their close-up of the Sherman Tree.

        Take a shuttle bus back to your car parked near the museum.

        * we saw no signs in our recent drive-by that anybody was agitating for a change of name from what is for now, named Squaw Valley on Hwy 180.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. Hope for Iran Nuclear Talks Now Rests on China, Russia”

    Initially my reaction to this story was this- (9 secs)

    It says that it is a WSJ article but it sounds like an Onion article instead. Biden wants Russia & China to bail out Washington by forcing Iran to agree to a totally new deal that would strip them of their defenses in return for partial sanctions relief – but no guarantee that others will not be put in their place. Sounds legit. I’m sure that China would love to help Biden after all the military measures that he has taken against China and all the raft of restrictions on China. And Russia? Just because Biden has threaten Russia with military measures and said that he will cut them off SWIFT, I’m sure that they would fall over themselves to help Washington solve a problem that they themselves have created and refuses to solve. God, what is wrong with these people?

    1. Stephen T Johnson

      Well, it’s living in a cognitive bubble / echo chamber, I think.

      The intensity of the disconnect is certainly astounding, but I think they got there in a series of little steps over time. Problem is, of course, that it can’t work out, and there’s no exit possible – escalation is the only move that won’t face gales of criticism from the usual crowd.

      I think that combination of factors is why we’re seeing a triangular passage of confrontation with Russia / China / Iran – each one gets attention for a while until it obviously won’t work, then change the subject to the next antagonist.

  21. Neill Loria

    Teamsters are necessary to get amazons laborers better pay and workplace safety. Regarding Ukraine we should stay out be neutral mind our own business.

    1. Nikkikat

      When I was organizing for my own Union. Teamsters came and helped us strategize and train people. They were excellent to work with and helped us win. The motto was do whatever it takes. We did. The other thing I learned from them as elected President of our local. You are the Union no matter what management tell you, the answer is I am the Union. An example, the management takes employee into their office. The employee immediately asked for representation. Management denies the request. I force open the door and tell them I am the Union and I will join this meeting or employee must leave. You cannot talk to my people without the Union present. They always backed down.

        1. Neill Loria

          Carla I respect the independent union in Staten Island & others trying to organize a union at amazons techno- fascist sweat shops & I respect the RWDSU attempts at amazons Bessemer AL location but I think the Teamsters can & will successfully organize amazons nationwide

          1. rowlf

            As a former craft union organizer (AMFA) and former active UFWA/Teamsters/IAM member I suggest focusing on the local. The larger organization can help but the local is where the rubber meets the road. I was involved in an airline union that made Frank Lorenzo think Eastern Airlines was a better idea than dealing with us. We also staged an internal coup in our union (IAM) that freaked out the national organization and lead to our elections to to be redone for a more favorable result for the national leadership that was afraid to lose a second airline group.

            Maybe the summary is unions are like having teenage kids: they are yours but they have problems too.

      1. Neill Loria

        Nikki thank you for your feedback & in addition to your points the Teamsters can start a decent strike fund and apply pressure nationwide! Unionization gets good pay safer working conditions eliminates poverty & gets laborers pensions! I have never purchased anything from amazons techno-fascist sweatshop warehouses!

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Zelenskiy Talks With Blinken Ahead Of Biden-Putin Call”

    Because Zelnski and his people are always full of good ideas. Just a few days ago, they suggested that ‘Together with United Kingdom guys, with the United States guys, in bilateral platforms, three flags – the flag of Canada, the flag of the United States, and the flag of UK – should be flying around these territories. It would also be a good sign for the Russians – that you are here.’ What he means is US, British & Canadian soldiers on the border with the Donbass Republics. But I would not put it past Zelenskiy’s people to lob a coupla shells at them to kill as many as they could so that it could be a justification for force against Russia. In the meantime, Zelenskiy is seeking to change their laws so that foreign armies can operate in the Ukraine. Nothing could go wrong with this idea luckily-

    1. Bill Smith

      Hail Mary pass to get the UK, US and Canada’s help?

      I guess the Ukraine is taking seriously Putin’s speeches that the Ukraine is not a natural country and he could have tanks in Kiev in 2 weeks. The Russians made a reasonably big deal the other day to give Russian passports to the leaders of the breakaway areas.

      Well, the Russians have been operating there on one side of the Ukraine for a while. And the various other countries on the other side. Have they been passing that law ever year?

  23. Tom Stone

    Every time I watch Jen Psaki I’m reminded that she was very carefully chosen to contrast with the Women Trump hired.
    A little horse faced, but not unattractive ( Until she opens her mouth and spouts the days approved line of shit), good posture and dressed to convey that she is a serious person, not a “Babe”.
    Not quite the “Schoolmistress” look, but close.
    There’s nothing that PR can’t fix!

    1. Lemmy Caution

      Psaki is an old hand at the PR game.

      Here she is in 2013 as the State Department spokesperson during Hillary’s tenure there, denying claims that the State Department squashed investigations into alleged prostitution and pedophilia by State Department personnel and an ambassador.

      Compared to her previous gig, being Biden’s flak in nothing.

      1. Nikkikat

        She certainly has the Clintonista attitude. She probably wrote that basket of deplorable s line for Hillary’s campaign
        Her air of superiority is so DNC.

  24. Glossolalia

    Re: After Roe, The Coming Fight to End All Abortions Everywhere

    Trump said the quiet part out loud as he so often does when he said back in 2016 that, “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who have abortions. That was quickly walked back because Republicans realized that letting that cat out of the bag could derail their carefully plotted long game.

    1. Eclair

      There is nothing I love more than being considered a mere frail vessel for the deposit of the Big Guy’s vital juices!

    2. CitizenSissy

      Midterms are going to get very interesting when Roe is struck down in June, making abortion a very uncomfortable talking point for Republican incumbents.

  25. Matthew G. Saroff

    There is an interesting note in the article on patent waivers:

    The issue of trade secrets continues to be the sticking point preventing a consensus. Proponents of including trade secrets within the scope of any IP waiver argue that it will not be possible to replicate some of the vaccines on the basis of the information disclosed in the patents alone.

    One of the requirements for a patent is Sufficiency of Disclosure, which requires that, “A patent application must disclose a claimed invention in sufficient detail for the notional person skilled in the art to carry out that claimed invention.”

    The above quote means that the patent applications are invalid and unenforceable, because a person skilled in the art cannot reproduce the invention.

      1. Robert Hahl

        Before becoming a patent lawyer myself I was a young chemist working at Big Pharm. One day my boss walked by and asked what I was doing. I said I was following a patent example. He said under his breath, “Guaranteed not to work.” In the fullness of time I learned why that is so, there is no requirement that examples work well enough to be practical for enabelment. Let’s say a chemical reaction was said to have 80% yield, but evidence at trial shows it actually has 0.01% yield. The patentee will probably win that issue.

        1. Matthew G. Saroff

          Is that there is no requirement for the patent to work, or is that the requirements prohibiting needing undue experimentation, and requiring best mode and enablement are simply ignored under current jurisprudence.

          If this requirement is being ignored, it would go a long way toward explaining why patents are so curst difficult to read.

    1. Questa Nota

      The high point of the LBJ experience, when he uttered something like the following:

      If nominated, I will not run.
      If elected, I will not serve.

      Now if more in DC would follow that example.

    2. Procopius

      A quote I remember being attributed to LBJ, “If I lose Vietnam [as if it was ours to lose] they will say I’m not a manly man.” Full disclosure, I still think LBJ was corrupt and was one of the best U.S. Presidents ever.

  26. Ad Hoc Sobriquet

    “My friend/former coworker that is an immunology professor in [South America] arrived this morning. She flew into Miami yesterday, and said no one is asking for passengers’ test results or anything, they are just letting everyone in off the international flights with no questions.”

    Just returned to the US from the EU. Screening docs for negative test result was done only once for me, at the check-in desk. To board the plane you were first handed a form attesting that you’d had a negative result in the testing window and that you would wear a mask on the flight. No idea whose bright idea it was to use the honor system in lieu of checking papers. The real answer is to give everyone a mandatory rapid antigen test at the queue to board instead of trusting passenger-supplied documents in addition to what’s in place. Those tests aren’t perfect, but they are currently acceptable for EU to US travel.

    1. ChrisFromGeorgia

      Thanks for the report.

      This sort of thing (not checking documentation on testing, or setting up a rapid antigen testing site at the airport) is going to just breed more cynicism and distrust. We’re already living in a very low trust environment. Making folks even more cynical and jaded about travel restrictions will only hurt us in the long run.

      Folks need some boundaries and guard rails to feel safe, and snickering at all the people cheating on their “honor system” won’t do that.

      Then there is the one country that doesn’t play games and takes it seriously. That’s how you end up marooned in a Singapore jail.

  27. Bricky

    Just as the New York Times is creating an “Omicron is mild” narrative, today’s new NICD hospital data out of South Africa shows a significantly increased number of people in ICU and on ventilation in Gauteng. There is a convenient hospitalization tracker created by News24 of South Africa, at the bottom if this linked page:

    The News24 tracker is not updated for December 6th, but if you put in the NICD’s Dec 6th data you will see a “breakout” moment seems to be coming, reminiscent of May-June 2020 during SA’s first Covid wave, when it took almost a month for ICU usage to start going up after hospital admissions started growing.

    Here is the NICD link, you have to choose Gauteng on the right side to narrow the data down to that province.

  28. Zephyrum

    Another data point on requiring test results from international travelers to the United States. Last night I picked up a friend coming in from Moscow. She had not known about the new 1-day testing rule because Aeroflot told her that 72 hours was acceptable. But they wouldn’t let her on the plane bound for the US until she got a test in the airport.

  29. lordkoos

    I received this email from my credit union today:

    The United States Postal Service (USPS) implemented changes to their service standards for First-Class Mail. Delivery, depending on distance, can now take up to five days. These changes may impact how quickly you receive mail from us, and how quickly we receive mail – like payments – from you. To learn more about how these services changes may impact you before mailing items to us, visit

    Ten months in, and the Biden administration fails to do anything to help the USPS get back on track.

  30. coboarts

    “Stunning Shift in the Way Rain Falls” I had the pleasure of hearing the summary of the intended plan for managing water levels in Sonoma Reservoir presented by the district manager. The plan is based on, “Forecast-informed reservoir operations (FIRO) is a reservoir-operations strategy that uses enhanced monitoring and improved weather and water forecasts to inform decision making to selectively retain or release water from reservoirs to optimize water supply reliability and environmental co-benefits and to enhance flood …Sep 19, 2019”

    This strategy will draw down the reservoir in order to lessen flooding due to expected heavy rain events – atmospheric rivers, no longer called the old pineapple express. I remember when these things began. Our normal wet weather patterns developing in the Bay of Alaska and coming down the coast, changed.

    Now, purely my own speculation as a surfer, sailor, rower who tends to look up… What also changed was the nature of our clouds – to what are called in schools “new” clouds. These are the clouds that spawn off of the persistent jet trails that occasionally criss-cross the skies and ultimately blanket the region. They dramatically change the weather from that forecasted and change the local pressure gradient. And, I imagine, that impacts the path of weather. But where might that weather be coming from that it might be shepherded along by adjusting thermal gradients along a path? Here’s where we follow the rabbit down the hole… What happened to all those High-Frequency Active Aural ionospheric heaters – the ones that can lift moisture saturated air from the tropics and deliver it -? My opinion, we’re getting quite good at weather control, although that couldn’t possibly be.

  31. Pelham

    Re Britain helped create the refugees it now wants to keep out: This would be better framed as certain Britons helped create the refugees that other Britons want to keep out. In other words, a certain British class saw to it that a vast swatch of the Third World was further immiserated, creating a wave of refugees that the vast British underclass would be forced to accept living next door, competing for jobs and further straining already overstretched public services. Much the same scenario plays out in the US.

    1. Anon

      Indeed. One would think there would be populist uprisings in Britain and the USA, in support of themselves and the third world. Instead there’s you, and skinheads. Go figure.

  32. MarkT

    (A tiny change to make it a wee bit more specific)

    “Apropos of nothing”

    Our Pfizer, who art in Heaven

    Hallowed be thy vaccines.

    Thy profits sum,

    Thy will be done

    In Middle Earth as it is in Washington.

    Give us this day our daily dose

    And forgive us our travels,

    As we forgive those who travel with us.

    Lead us not into quarantine

    But deliver us from isolation.

    For thine is the patent and the profit and the glory. Forever and ever.

  33. Anon

    Ping!! How Those Trump/Russia Stories Got Shopped to the Media

    Is it just me, or does “Fake News” have a different ring to it… *shudders*

    This stuff is playing like a fiddle.

  34. Lambert Strether Post author

    Just so readers are not confused: The Tik Tok on South Africa should be taken as an amusing depiction of the plight of Third World nations and the world system in which they are involved, using the powerful metaphor of a burning house in which we all live. The operations of that system are the “How” of the title. It should not be taken as making medical claims, i.e. that current vaccines protect against Omicron. As we already know from the Oslo superspreading event, they do not.

  35. lance ringquist

    here is my take on the hills article about the W.T.O.. first off its a terrible article.


    the world has lost its ability to govern, and have democratic control. the article totally ignores the reality of today’s brave new world under nafta billy clintons fascism.

    remember folks, free trade is fascism: nafta billy clintons fascist corporate run W.T.O., is really a world wide corporate run government

    free trade is killing the worlds poor, its time to regain our sovereignty and democrat control

    all the stands in the way of a civil society that eradicates poverty and disease is free trade

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