Links 1/10/2022

Farmer gives cows VR headsets to reduce anxiety and increase milk production Metro

In 1830s Persia, ill-considered favours by a British official put his successor in a tight spot Scroll

Pakistan: Death Toll in Murree Snowstorm Climbs to 23 The Wire

‘Why Is Child Marriage Still Legal?’: A Young Lawmaker Tackles a Hidden Problem Politico

Dank, ancient and quite fantastic: Scotland’s peat bogs breathe again Guardian

Remarkably, NASA has completed deployment of the Webb space telescope Ars Technica

Iniskim Umaapi: Is this Canada’s ‘Stonehenge’? BBC

Plane hit by train after crashing on train tracks in California Reuters

Did Kurt Vonnegut have PTSD? And does ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ prove it? WaPo

Record number of Yellowstone wolves shot after roaming outside park Guardian

Disclosure or deception? New UFO Pentagon office divides believers NBC

Hungry badger may have uncovered Roman coins in Spanish cave Guardian


Biden health chief endures Fox News grilling over mixed Covid messaging Guardian

‘Somber faces and dispirited demeanor’: ICU doctor reveals the horrors his colleagues are facing in rural Ohio AlterNet

U.S. sends states monoclonal antibodies that may not work against omicron WaPo

Labs Limit Covid-19 Test Access as Demand Soars WSJ

Federal agencies prepare to act against unvaccinated employees The Hill


Instead of More Support, Schools Have Upped Demands on Teachers During Pandemic TruthOut

Who Gets the Blame When Schools Shut Down New Yorker

Chicago Public Schools close for fourth straight day as mayor blasts teachers union for ‘illegal walk-out’ FOX


40% of Israel could be infected with Covid-19 in current wave, says PM France 24

New Daily SARS-CoV-2 Infections in India Highest in 224 Days The Wire

Covid-19: West Bengal registers 24,287 new cases in highest-ever rise Scroll

India’s Third Wave Is Here. Don’t Fall For the ‘Omicron Is Mild’ Complacency. The Wire

Mass testing in China’s Tianjin as India imposes new restrictions Al Jazeea

Beijing asks Hong Kong leader to ‘take swift action’ against officials caught up in birthday party Covid-19 scandal South China Morning Post

Tianjin toughens restrictions after detecting local Omicron cases FT


Thousands protest COVID curbs in Europe amid omicron surge Deutsche Welle


Flurona: What happens when you catch COVID-19 and flu at the same time? Jerusalem Post

Sports Desk

Ashes: England dug deep for Sydney draw – Jonathan Agnew BBC

Tennis star Djokovic wins court battle to stay in Australia Reuters

Deadliest NYC fire in decades kills at least 19 Bronx building residents, nine of them children: sources NY Daily News< Deadly Bronx Blaze Prompts Scrutiny of Open Door That Spread Smoke The City

NYC Mayor Eric Adams allows 800,000 non-citizens to vote in local elections Daily Mail

Conflict Quickly Emerges Between Top Prosecutor and Police Commissioner DNYUZ


Snow and record rain fuel flooding threat in US Pacific north-west Guardian


The EU vs the City of London: a slow puncture FT

Class Warfare

Workers Are Dying Because Amazon Treats Human Beings as Disposable Jacobin

The Extractive Circuit The Baffler

Supply Chain

Is there an end in sight to supply chain disruption? FT

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

6 Ways to Delete Yourself From the Internet Wired

L’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

Revealed: Prince Andrew’s expensive team of advisers including solicitor nicknamed ‘Good News Gary’ and barrister who acted for Britain’s most violent prisoner – as royal waits to see if judge will throw out rape lawsuit Daily Mail

Royals await anxiously the fallout from Prince Andrew’s disgrace Guardian

Waste Watch


New Cold War

Group wants the administration to stick to its pledge of diplomacy, stop NATO expansion, and refuse to send troops to Ukraine. Responsible Statecraft

No concessions, no breakthroughs: Russia, U.S. cast pall on Ukraine talks Reuters

US-Russia Talks May Be the Last Chance Consortium News

Nord Stream II Sanctions Are Not About Security American Conservative. Rand Paul.


Brazil, Kazakhstan and the Grand Chess Board Brasilwire

Kazakhstan unrest: At least 164 killed in crackdown on protests, reports say BBC

The Kazakhstan Crisis: A View From Kyrgyzstan The Diplomat


The Silence — or Worse — of Human Rights Hawks on U.S. Sanctions Against Afghanistan Intercept

Afghanistan: How press freedom has crumbled since the Taliban takeover Deutsche Welle

Tutu Obits Underplay His Advocacy for Palestine FAIR


Indian officials announce elections, ban rallies as new daily cases soar to 160,000 WaPo

The India Fix: Fracas over Modi’s Punjab trip reflects BJP’s skill in playing personality politics Scroll

Tek Fog: An App With BJP Footprints for Cyber Troops to Automate Hate, Manipulate Trends The Wire. and Part two:  Tek Fog: Morphing URLs to Make Real News Fake, ‘Hijacking’ What’sApp to Drive BJP Propaganda


Belt & Road encircles Latin America and the Caribbean Asia Times

Licence to kill: why a 0.007% yield could be dangerous FT


Myanmar’s Suu Kyi sentenced to 4 more years in prisonAP

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. cocomaan

    I saw someone comment on twitter that in the next few weeks, expect to see a covid normalization campaign start. It resonated with me. We’re really seeing the powers that be change their tune.

    I don’t think you need to wait weeks, either. My PA Senator, Bob Casey, just sent his new year’s email this morning (yes, on 1/10, nobody ever accused the lesser Casey of being fast on the uptake):

    Despite the spike the U.S. is currently experiencing due to the Omicron variant, cases appear to be milder for many Americans, especially for those who have been vaccinated and boosted. We are not out of the woods yet, but if we continue to follow public health guidelines and look out for our neighbors, I believe we can put this pandemic behind us once and for all.

    Huge narrative shift going on. Midterms are coming after all.

    Victory lap begins in two months, I expect. Question is, can you put the genie back in the bottle?

    1. Anon

      Ask people who have children: we all know dozens of positive case in the last 2 months. Vaxxed and unvaxxed. All were mild. I have one friend, though, who died: he had been vaxxed (AZ) just 2 months before and it seems to have covered the symptoms (he only felt tired, and was then sent to ICU when they diagnosed a sepsis). If you look at the UK stats since the beginning of the Delta wave, you know that AZ was also known for vaccine escape with this one (as it did with Beta).
      In a very gloomy time, is it better to continue spread morbid ideas or try to cast a light of hope in the new year?

      1. Jerk

        >is it better to continue spread morbid ideas or try to cast a light of hope in the new year?

        Give me a friggin break. This isn’t spreading “the light of hope.” They’re convinced covid is a poor person disease and washing their hands of any responsibility. Wake the hell up.

        1. Chromex

          Hoping you’ll get a “mild” case of covid is playing roulette with your health and the threat of “long covid”, which not much is known about since many are focused on death as the measure of severity. The US can open all it wants ( which push BTW is brought to you by the squllionaires who want to sell more, more, more, ), I’m not taking unnecessary risks.

          1. Pelham

            Thank you! I’ve been harping on Long Covid in every forum I can access as it appears there’s a campaign by various authorities to sweep it under the rug.

            The latest I saw was a Finnish assessment of hundreds of studies that concludes about half of Covid patients will end up with some degree of the long version. The symptoms can be devastating and last no one knows how long. There’s also a study that found Covid breaches the blood-brain barrier and can cause bleeding in the brain.

            The evidence is on the rise, but awareness isn’t. Last night I watched “Don’t Look Up” on Netflix. I recommend it not because it sheds any fresh light on political/media malfeasance in the face of an existential crisis but because it really slams the message home. (Mark Rylance as a Zuckerberg-like character shouldn’t be missed.)

            1. Jason Boxman

              I tried, but couldn’t stomach it. It’s too much like reading NC every day, so the contours are known to anyone that frequents here. For example, the general charging the guests for the free White House water elicited mostly a shrug for me. Or the Supreme Court nominee(?) with some weird scandal. What else is new? Just couldn’t watch it.

              I’d sooner watch something more directly awful, like The Road, or even The Gray Zone, which is as mortifying as it is historically accurate. Or Chernobyl even.

              To each his own, though, and if it enlightens others, so much the better.

      2. Kris Alman

        COVID-19 vaccines dampen genomic diversity of SARS-CoV-2: Unvaccinated patients exhibit more antigenic mutational variance
        Variants of SARS-CoV-2 are evolving under a combination of immune selective pressure in infected hosts and natural genetic drift, raising a global alarm regarding the durability of COVID-19 vaccines. Here, we conducted longitudinal analysis over 1.8 million SARS-CoV-2 genomes from 183 countries or territories to capture vaccination-associated viral evolutionary patterns. To augment this macroscale analysis, we performed viral genome sequencing in 23 vaccine breakthrough COVID-19 patients and 30 unvaccinated COVID-19 patients for whom we also conducted machine-augmented curation of the electronic health records (EHRs). Strikingly, we find the diversity of the SARS-CoV-2 lineages is declining at the country-level with increased rate of mass vaccination (n = 25 countries, mean correlation coefficient = −0.72, S.D. = 0.20). Given that the COVID-19 vaccines leverage B-cell and T-cell epitopes, analysis of mutation rates shows neutralizing B-cell epitopes to be particularly more mutated than comparable amino acid clusters (4.3-fold, p < 0.001). Prospective validation of these macroscale evolutionary patterns using clinically annotated SARS-CoV-2 whole genome sequences confirms that vaccine breakthrough patients indeed harbor viruses with significantly lower diversity in known B cell epitopes compared to unvaccinated COVID-19 patients (2.3-fold, 95% C.I. 1.4-3.7). Incidentally, in these study cohorts, vaccinated breakthrough patients also displayed fewer COVID-associated complications and pre-existing conditions relative to unvaccinated COVID-19 patients. This study presents the first known evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are fundamentally restricting the evolutionary and antigenic escape pathways accessible to SARS-CoV-2. The societal benefit of mass vaccination may consequently go far beyond the widely reported mitigation of SARS-CoV-2 infection risk and amelioration of community transmission, to include stemming of rampant viral evolution.

    2. Nikkikat

      I keep seeing those stories with the same theme. “Its time to move on from covid” or how we must just learn to live with covid so we can open up fully”. Still pushing those worthless vaccines as the only thing that works. When we could have sent people masks, talked about ventilation and developed some real treatments.

      1. jr

        I’ve been trying to dream up what new slurs will emerge to disparage long-haulers:

        “Long Zombies”? As in “There was a crowd of Long Zombies in the dumpsters behind the Quickie-Mart! Oh, by the way, Jim caught it.”

        “COVID Couch Potatoes”? As in “Yeah my son-in-law is a worthless COVID Couch Potato, might lose his job. Liz is thinking of dumping him.”

        “Couch COVID”? As in “ Jim called out again, probably caught couch COVID lol…but third time this month. :/”

        “Surfing the COVID couch”? As in “Yeah, he’s a freeloader surfing the COVID couch in his mother’s basement. Loser.”

        “COVID queen”? As in “I saw Shiela arguing with the cashier about like 5$ in food stamps! Another COVID Queen! Oh, and Jim’s an F-ing COVID zombie, saw him in the dumpster behind Quicki-Mart! I called the cops!”

    3. cnchal

      Yesterday on “The Prestitutes” John Karl* had a segment about Brandon’s messaging being bad.

      He promised to “beat the virus” and failed so now the correct message Brandon should deliver is “live with it”.

      The normaliztion campaign is already rolling.

      Jawb one is don’t get it. Jawb two is don’t pass it on if you do. So far it is FFFFFFFFFs all around.

      * John Karl can use a million words to describe Trump and the word narcissist never crosses his lips.

      1. jim truti

        According to my russian friend, they had a slogan during soviet times that went smth like this:
        if you want smth, tell the party and they will guide you how to get by without it.

      2. C.O.

        I briefly misread your sentence

        The normaliztion campaign is already rolling

        as “The normalization campaign is already trolling.”

        Both readings make sense!

      1. The Rev Kev

        Don’t forget all the deaths that will be added in the next tens months between now and November 8th when the midterms are held. Nobody is talking about them.

        1. Pelham

          Yes. I’m still wondering whether anyone will wake up (notably in the White House) when the death count reaches that very round number of 1 million.

          If anyone had suggested to me in 2019 that a disease costing a million American lives in the span of just 2 1/2 years would generate barely a blip in the media and officialdom, I would have disbelieved. Now I think it’s a distinct possibility as we’re dragged into “just live with it” mode.

          1. Mantid

            Yesterday the US deaths were at 854,400 and averaging 1,700 per day over the last week. So, we are well on our way. Eugenics on the move, and that’s not a good rock band with a strong female singer.

            1. Après Moi

              This is fairly recent, but should be highlighted – it may alleviate some folks’ fears:
              “Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, learned that the hard way this weekend when she admitted during an interview that 75% of COVID-19 deaths among vaccinated people occurred in those with four or more comorbidities, or ‘people who were unwell to begin with.'”

            2. Après Moi

              This is fairly recent, but should be highlighted – it may alleviate some folks’ fears:
              “Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, learned that the hard way this weekend when she admitted during an interview that 75% of COVID-19 deaths among vaccinated people occurred in those with four or more comorbidities, or ‘people who were unwell to begin with.'”

      2. griffen

        IT’ll be a Looney Tunes face off. Daffy Duck vs. Bugs Bunny.

        You’re despicable. How many died on your watch? This all started because you were chatting up Vladmir putin and preening to your wild world of sports voter base. You Lied.
        No you’re despicable. How many died on your watch; looks like your side is leading in the death march of 2020 to 2022. You Lie Worse.

        And so it begins.

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        Biden has gone all in with herd immunity and “recovery summer”. He will just keep saying “success” until enough Team Blue partisans believe it.

        1. Jason Boxman

          It’s interesting that after being resoundingly mocked by liberal Democrats, the Great Barrington Declaration is actually their preferred (or default) policy choice.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Looks like that they are going with Boris Johnson’s idea from back in March of 2020. There was no Omicron back then but the principal is the same-

            ‘Well it’s a very, very important question, and that’s where a lot of the debate has been and one of the theories is, that perhaps you could take it on the chin, take it all in one go and allow the disease, as it were, to move through the population, without taking as many draconian measures. I think we need to strike a balance, I think it is very important, we’ve got a fantastic NHS, we will give them all the support that they need, we will make sure that they have all preparations, all the kit that they need for us to get through it. But I think it would be better if we take all the measures that we can now to stop the peak of the disease being as difficult for the NHS as it might be, I think there are things that we may be able to do.’

   (18:03 mins)

          2. Basil Pesto

            Yup, and what it took was a failed “vaccines are the road out of the pandemic” strategy. Instead of owning up to that failure, they throw their hands up and say “oh well, nothing else we can do, you can have a booster but otherwise you’re on your own. But don’t worry because it’s mild and going to become a cold soon anyway”. Elimination – even just the very idea of defeating SARS2, which was how the vaccines were sold – completely removed from the discussion, because as I’ve said becore it’s the Covid paradox: to return to the status quo you need to completely upset the status quo. Now many believe it to be technically, physically impossible when of course it is anything but.

            A ridiculous shitshow.

          3. NotTimothyGeithner

            Though I tend to see them suffering from “an end of history” pathos. Biden (they really believe this) is oat of the Golden age. Bad things can’t happen to the elect with them at the helm. Only the crass like Trump can upset that.

            The economy is good because Biden, not because of payments to poor people. The actual policy is irrelevant. Let error rip Joe is here.

    4. Jason Boxman

      I’ve felt this, too, and mentioned I think it shall happen in practice if not by pronouncement this year.

      While I’ve never liked the “wave” analogy, it does make some sense from the vantage of each wave reflecting a variant, rather than cases. So in the United States, each wave crashes over the populace, drowning some, to the mad cackles of those in power.

      Liberal Democrats to citizens: Can you swim? (To be fair, this is Lambert’s rules of neoliberalism, applied… again.)

      Stay safe out there.

    5. bassmule

      former F.D.A. commissioner Scott Gottlieb: “The public-health authorities need to talk about this in a plain way and say right up front, ‘We are not going to be implementing population-wide measures anymore. We’re now relying on you to take more individual actions to make you and your family and your community safe. Here are things you can do.’ But people don’t know that this is the new paradigm.”

      How Soon Will COVID Be “Normal”? (The New Yorker)

      1. Nikkikat

        When I first saw this jerk all over the media after being FDA head under Trump, I wondered why? Why are they putting this guy on CNN and other cable news. Who the heck wants to hear from this guy. Then I read that he now sits on the board of Pfizer. Explains everything doesn’t it?

      2. Lambert Strether

        > We are not going to be implementing population-wide measures anymore. We’re now relying on you to take more individual actions to make you and your family and your community safe.

        That won’t work. Breathing is a social relation. The pandemic can only be solved by collective action, including especially ventilation.

      3. Lambert Strether

        > How Soon Will COVID Be “Normal”? (The New Yorker)

        I love the deck:

        Even as the Omicron wave spikes, some outside experts believe that the time has come for Anthony Fauci and the White House to declare a new phase in the pandemic.

        That’s our New Yorker…

        This is the Democrats turning the plastic steering wheel of their toy car and pretending they’re driving. It is not up to the White House to “declare” “phases,” except in a purely public relations sense…

    6. Tom Stone

      If you can’t trust the CDC,who can you trust?
      Relax,Omicron is milder than a “Lucky Strike” cigarette.
      it’s going to be just like the ‘flu in no time at all.
      So go back to school,go back to work, be patriotic.
      Because Markets…

      And if the next variant or the one after that has a 10% mortality rate it’s the fault of “Those People” who aren’t really Human.

      1. Questa Nota

        Since you mention the CDC, you might be interested in a mention of some of their prior work at Simpsonwood. The rest of the link dwells on Jake Tapper.

    7. Lee


      From “Michael Hudson: What is Causing So Much Inflation?” – 01/10/2022 – Jerri-Lynn Scofield

      Michael Hudson:

      “And you can see [China’s] success in doing that with the Covid epidemic. There’s hardly any Covid there compared to other countries, because it’s able to shut down, because its economic institutions are not aimed at making a profit, if they’re state financed, they’re aimed at helping the economy grow.

      And that’s the difference between socialism and America’s finance capitalism.


      Professor Hudson, if I can jump in for a second, I want to point out that, in 2021, two people in China died of COVID. Two. In the U.S., over 400,000 died of COVID. So it says everything about those priorities.

      And I also want to mention, you were talking about this shift in emphasis in China, they refer to it as common prosperity.”

      Now it may come to pass that Omicron or future variants may in time breach China’s great wall against Covid. But at the very least they will have slowed its spread and bought valuable time so as to develop better prophylactic and therapeutic pharmaceuticals, as well as enhance non-pharmaceutical disease prevention measures such as indoor ventilation and air filtration.

      Meanwhile, here in the Free World™ the policy might be characterized as shoot the wounded and weak, forget the dead, and slog on, not for yourself but for the sake maintaining an inequitable status quo. Nothing will fundamentally change even if it kills us.

        1. ArvidMartensen

          If there were 2 deaths in China last year under their Zero Covid policy, and over 400,00 deaths in the US under their no-government policy, then what on earth don’t you understand?

      1. Mark Sanders

        Just because our system is corrupt and full of liars doesn’t mean China is being truthful. China seems to claim that total covid deaths don’t even surpass 5,000 (per and other sites). But back in March/April 2020, China claimed only 2,500 deaths — either in the entire country or just in Wuhan, I’ve seen it reported both ways — but at the time there were well over 3,500 urns in the mortuaries of Wuhan, with more coming in on trucks every day. And funeral homes either did not collect data or were not allowed to disclose that data to news outlets.

        1. Lee

          Then we might compare the U.S. with other countries such as Japan (14.57 deaths/100K pop.), South Korea (11.74), Taiwan (3.58), Denmark (58.45), or a considerable number of others that have done better than the U.S. (255.18), and reasonably pose the question: wherein do the differences lie?

          I suppose we can blame our poor showing on the anti-vaxxers. But even if we were to oversimplify and grant that that were the case, then another question arises: why is it that so many of our fellow citizens distrust “the science”, big pharma, and our government?

    8. BeliTsari

      Infecting kids as vectors; Kochul-ing powerless, now uninsured 1099 precariate into an exponential SuperSpreader tsunami, then sadistically sneering Lebensunwertes Leben; Super Immunity® for US, once the uppity essentials and death o’ disposable deplorables’ hovels, jobs & debts are dealt with? I wonder if Babylon Berlin will flashback to 1919 Bavaria?

    9. tongorad

      TX teacher here. I work for one of the largest ISD in TX. 30% of my students were out last week. Teachers were provided with one cloth mask last year for the duration. I have been masking up with N95’s on my own dime this school year.
      This morning our superintendent let us know that a return to virtual learning will not be considered.
      Sending solidarity with Chicago teachers.

    10. Mike

      Since I’m convinced NC readers live under a rock ill give my experience:

      – Tested positive for Covid last Thursday, same day I came down with symptoms (omicron). Day 1 was congestion
      – Day 2 congestion and slight dizziness
      – Day 3 same symptoms
      – Day 4 no dizziness, congestion still present
      – Day 5 no symptoms

      Very easy bout of illness for me. Congestion was very mild, mostly mucus in the throat, occasional build up in sinuses. Dizziness was interesting, did not accompany any shortness of breath.

      Late 20’s, vaxxed and boosted. Obviously of the age group to have less risk, seems like the jab helped. That said though I literally thought the booster was going to kill me. Major fever, chills and extreme chest pain. Most sick I have ever been but only lasted 48 hours. Ill consider the omicron my second booster and for now I will not get another one. Other, unvaxxed coworkers had omicron in the same fashion being very mild, including those in their 40s and 50s.

      May revise my stance on the booster as time progresses if there is a worse variant or a modification to the vaccine. At this point it seems to be Russian roulette for me.

  2. John Beech

    Curstaidh Reid’s article in is fascinating reading. In my opinion, this should be (and probably is) required reading for diplomatic personnel. Meaning, as a how-to guide regarding relationships in the Middle East. One, which remain germane to this day. Anyway, if you skipped over it, go back and click the link. It’s a brief read but delivers insight I found valuable. And note, I’m one of those peaceniks who believes we should apologize forthwith to the Persians for family blogging with them in the 1930s (along with the British) regarding oil, and then we should promptly sue for peace between our nations. Why? Because I’d rather have them as allies than enemies.

      1. John Beech

        Why? Simple, it’s because we remain the 800lb gorilla.

        Me? I wish for honest dealing with others – but – I am also realistic enough to know ‘that’ ain’t happening. Not soon. Not in my lifetime. Not ever. Sigh.

        1. Synoia

          That 800lb G0rilla has become old and sclerotic, now weighs 1,000 lb, and is grasping for all the food it can horde, by scaring off all the other animals in the zoo,

        2. JE

          And indeed the USA is much like the apocryphal 800 lb gorilla…

          A spoiled toddler with a handgun who has noticed that he gets what he wants when he waves it around would be a closer and at least sadly existent metaphor.

  3. The Rev Kev

    ‘NYC Mayor Eric Adams allows 800,000 non-citizens to vote in local elections”

    Hey, can I vote in the NYC elections too? True, I am a non-citizen and it is true that I do not even live in the same continent but so what? Just so long as I can get one of those funny “I voted” stickers.

    1. mrsyk

      Please do! There is a price. You must register as a Democrat in order to vote in their primary which is where most of the races are decided.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Never gotten over that concept of having to register for a party to vote. That is so weird that. Two centuries ago in places like England, when you voted you had to shout out who you were voting for before placing your ballot in a box – with your rich landlord watching who you voted for. Well the US is supposed to have a secret ballot, right? So how can it be secret if you are already stating which party (or no party) you are voting for? Can you imagine if in the US you only had to register as a voter with no indication who your were going to vote for? I think that would make life ‘interesting’ for Republican and Democrat consultants so,win-win?

        1. Polar Socialist

          I’m still having trouble with the whole concept of registering to vote. Where I live I’ve been automatically eligible to vote ever since I turned 18. As is my non-citizen co-worker after living here for long enough automatically eligible to vote in local elections.

          No taxation without representation or something like that…

          And sorry for beating this dead horse :-)

        2. Bart Hansen

          You register so that you get on a list for relentless future mailings soliciting money.

          Or, it could be that funneling you into one party’s primary prevents you from messing with the other party’s primary. For example voting for a second place candidate who polls close to the first place individual who may be less toxic or less electable in the general election than number one.

          1. Michael Ismoe

            So now when Trump says that “100,000’s of non-citizens voted” we can call fake news again?

            The Democrats are insane. They care more about non-citizens voting than citizens.

            1. HotFlash

              ‘Scuse me. Citizens of what? New York residents, who live there and pay taxes, either directly or through their rent, should have a say in city elections which affect them greatly. No taxation without representation, didn’t somebody say that? Federal elections? maybe not so much — dunno.

              1. Michael

                Mayor said he questions the 30 day residency req as too short. That’s 30 days in the “country”.

              2. Katniss Everdeen

                Pretty damn hard to make the case that 30 days makes a NYC “resident,” let alone a person who “lives there,” pays taxes and has developed issues “which affect them greatly.”

                As somebody commented on the article, after 30 days they’ve barely figured out the subway system. Sounds a whole lot more like a setup for “legal” ballot box stuffing to me.

                Escape from New York is looking more and more like prophecy and less like horror / fantasy.

        3. ArtDog_CT

          In the US it is not necessary to declare party affiliation when registering to vote. I believe that “Unaffiliated” voters are now the largest bloc. The only exception are the party primaries, where in most states one must be registered under the party to vote in their primary. (Nothing prevents one from changing party affiliation in order to participate in a primary, should one choose – like I did years back in order to vote against Joe Lieberman in the CT Democrat Party primary.)

          1. Mildred Montana

            “The only exception are the party primaries, where in most states one must be registered under the party to vote in their primary. (Nothing prevents one from changing party affiliation in order to participate in a primary, should one choose…”

            Thanks for the information.

            The primary system of voting was a diabolical invention of both parties’ committees to control choice of candidates, their selection, and voter expression. After the riots and protests at the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1968, they decided that democracy and free speech were a messy business. Their solution was to limit the number of candidates for nomination and have them pre-approved.

            Thus, conventions became merely coronations and not a nomination process at all. In stark contrast, the 1968 convention had eight (!) nominees and no one knew for sure who the winner would be (turned out to be Hubert Humphrey) until the voting was done.

        4. Parker Dooley

          Virginia has no party registration, however if you voted in a party primary, that fact (not your actual choice of candidate) is in the public record.

        5. George Phillies

          Registering to vote for a party — in the 2/3 of the US that does this — does not say for whom you are voting, it say which party’s primaries you may vote in and which party you may run for office as a member of. Registering to vote and enrolling (Massachusetts term of art) in a party are not the same. You register to vote by filling out a form with your name and address. You join a party (where there is partisan registration) by checking a box or filling in a word on the voter form, in those states that do this.

          There is also one state that does not use voter registration.

          1. Lambert Strether

            > You join a party (where there is partisan registration) by checking a box or filling in a word on the voter form, in those states that do this.

            I would argue that’s not really “joining” the party in the sense that one joins any other institution. I mean, if I join a church, at least I get free coffee after the service, along with some other form of human relationship. Ditto joining a bowling league, joining a model railroad club, etc. Our political parties are very, very strange, but everybody takes them for granted.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        What an auspicious start for the new mayor. It hasn’t even been 2 weeks, and he is irritating everyone. At this point, I imagine reelection is already out. I can’t imagine a crypto guy could be bad.

        1. Pat

          Well to cut him a slight break, this was a resolution of the city council, he just didn’t reject it. However he might have noticed that he didn’t do well with the legal immigrants those of the first and second generation.

          But yeah my bet is he’ll be dead meat politically before spring.

          (Bloomberg news noticed that keeping schools open right now means a whole lot of herding kids into gyms and auditoriums and letting them play on their phones.)

    2. Carolinian

      From Michael Hudson elsewhere today on NC

      Countries all over, from Russia to China to the Third World, think the United States is going to just grab our money, any time at all. The dollar is a hot potato, because the US, basically, it looks like, is prepping for war over the Ukraine; it’s prepping for war with Russia; it’s prepping for war with China.

      Here’s suggesting that since our presidents think they have the power to run the world the world should be able to vote in our elections. Welcome new citizens!

    3. Kendra

      “…Deadly Bronx Blaze Prompts Scrutiny of Open Door That Spread Smoke” ”

      How about the open immigration door, 1.7 million in one year, plus those not detected?
      “The area of the Bronx where the fire occurred is home to a large Muslim immigrant population and many of those affected by the blaze are believed to have originally come to the US from the Gambia”

      “Come on in” Joe Biden and Harris, allegedly in charge of something or other having to do with borders?

      1. Late Introvert

        Nice try Kendra. If the GOP wanted to end illegal immigration they would go after the source – the CEOs and other Executives who profit from it and are just fine with all the low-wage frighted labor they can get.

        IOW, the rich like it that way, in both parties.

    4. Lambert Strether

      On 30 days:

      ‘The one aspect of that I had a problem with and I thought was problematic, was the 30-day part, of being in the country for 30 days, was the place that I had questions,’ [Adams] clarified. ‘And I sat down with my colleagues. I’m a big believer in conversation. We have to start talking to each other, and not at each other. And after hearing their rationale and their theories behind it, I thought it was more important to not veto the bill or get in the way at all, and allow to build a move forward.’

      Isn’t 30 excessive? Why not 14?

  4. Questa Nota

    Third world countries lured by promises of the Belt and Road should game out their futures when that becomes Tourniquet and Chute. Their suitor has form, and follows others who have injected the method of Easy Money > Extractions > Hiccup > Can’t Pay > Gimme.

    Perkins wrote about some prior applications of that method.

  5. Samuel Conner

    Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five came to mind recently. IIRC there is a moment in which the protagonist interacts with someone from an ‘egalitarian’ future in which every person is burdened with individually tailored weights to make them all equally encumbered.

    That came to mind when thinking about a future in which nearly everyone has chronic impairments from multiple long COVID sequelae from multiple infections in a world of endemic CV.

    On the brighter side, it might be that there is a peace movement at work behind the scenes at the federal health authorities. Strong ‘medicine’, but perhaps effective.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      “an ‘egalitarian’ future in which every person is burdened with individually tailored weights to make them all equally encumbered”

      That’s a motif in Harrison Bergeron in the collection of short stories Welcome to the Monkey House. Also used in Sirens of Titan. Seems KV needed to work out that idea twice.

      1. drsteve0

        Yep, Harrison Bergeron. Can’t recall his beautiful ballerina’s name. Started reading Vonnegut and Mad magazine in grade school, much to my mother’s horror, but pretty sure they kept me sane and contributed greatly to the proudly dissident curmudgeon I am today. Later discovered National Lampoon Magazine to round me out. The villain in the story was most memorable, Diana Moon Glampers, that I first encountered in ‘Welcome To the Monkey House’, although it probably had been published earlier. I need to build a shrine to the guy, he taught me how to think.

  6. jackiebass63

    I’m 80 years old. Several decades ago I concluded it is rare for a politician to do what they promise when campaigning. They frequently promise things that are impossible to keep.Voter are negligent for believing these promises.Actually voters don’t choose their leaders.They are chosen by the party, who determines who ends up on the ballot. Most voters don’t understand our governments structure.They too often think the president has absolute power to do whatever they want to.I don’t have a solution but I think the two biggest problems are money and a lack of term limits for most elected officials. For one thing a 2 year term in the house results in house members constantly campaigning to be reelected. Getting elected is no longer public service but a pathway to other things. Mostly getting rich. Our democracy is one big scam to serve a few at the expense of the many.

  7. griffen

    This plane is in the way of the train
    If this plane does not move or sway
    It is getting hit, many pieces scattered
    I hope the pilot, does not get splattered

    Not up to good standards, I suppose. From the above link at Reuters, plane was indeed in the way of progress on a railroad track.

    1. Basil Pesto

      The doomed craft tumbled from the air
      And came to rest on the chemin de fer
      Into the California sun, the pilot squinted
      and through bloodied eyes saw his Cessna, splintered

      or something.

  8. Wukchumni

    A trove of 209 Roman coins in a cave in northern Spain – hailed by researchers as an “exceptional find” – is believed to have been uncovered by a badger desperately foraging for food.

    The coins, dating from between the third and fifth century AD, were spotted in a cave in the municipality of Grado in the northern region of Asturias. They were found mere feet from the den of a badger, months after Storm Filomena dumped heavy snow across swaths of the country.

    Most of the coins are made of copper and bronze and the largest, weighing more than eight grams and containing 4% silver, is believed to have been forged in London.

    Hungry badger may have uncovered Roman coins in Spanish cave Guardian
    People tend to get hung up on old = valuable, but cheap late era Roman copper coins that have been buried for that long will be exceptionally hanky looking from a condition standpoint and coins such as what was in the ‘trove’ can be bought for a few bucks, how many thousands would you like?

    The story is more fun than the find…

    1. juanholio

      Have you seen what notorious numisma-bubbleblower Jim Halperin has allegedly been up to in the world of retro games?

  9. Wukchumni

    Popped into Wall*Mart for sundries on a Sunday, and once again checkers were scarce and W*M has what amounts to a self-checkout corral with a dozen checkout stations within that kinda resembles pioneers headed west and creating a wagon circle when camped circa 1849-in order to ward off Native Americans wanting to take their stuff, but of course the scenario is reversed, with Americans wanting to make off with their stuff, after their brief stint ‘working’ for the man.

    1. bob

      “Native Americans wanting to take their stuff..”

      And yet the native americans got all of their stuff taken

  10. SomeGuyinAZ

    Pharmacies are going to be fun for awhile methinks – stopped by mine while doing some grocery shopping as refills hadn’t been processed in 2+ days and it usually only takes about an hour. The pharmacy was staffed by only 2 pharmacists and they reported all pharmacy techs were out with Covid. They couldn’t pull from other nearby pharmacies as they were in the same boat. So every call/visit stopped them from working on other orders and making delays even worse. I hope for their sake they too don’t get Covid, but watching them in their loose fitting surgical masks didn’t inspire much confidence regarding that outcome. Stay safe out there folks. Really hope they don’t end up with long Covid issues

    1. Lena

      My favorite pharmacist, who has helped me navigate through multiple medication screw ups by my doctor’s office, just retired. She is 42 years old.

  11. The Rev Kev


    Been thinking about this whole episode and I think that I detect an old Russian tactic. You let a force advance so far until they are in a fire sac and then you slam the door behind them. The Donbass militias employed that tactic twice to destroy invading Ukrainian columns. Undoubtedly the local security forces and the Russians detected the organized components of this uprising, though not to be confused with actual citizens rebelling. So they let it go ahead and it seems that there might of have been thousands of people in these gangs, some with radios, training, leadership, sniper rifles, etc. Within 13 hours Russian special forces & elite formation along with the elite forces of the other CSTO Republics went in and secured the vital sites. This let the local military & security forces concentrate of dealing with those gangs, knowing that the other CSTO countries had their backs.

    The country cut its internet so to stop mass communications and the Russians brought in electronic warfare gear which I would assume was used to cut of the radios that these gangs were using. Who was behind those gangs? I would assume Turkey, especially when it came out that three policemen had their heads cut off by some of these gangs. That is a Jihadist thing that. So now when the Russian Federation negotiates with the US in Geneva, there will be no distraction from Kazakhstan but the successful putting down of a second-grade colour revolution. The only thing funny about this whole sorry episode? Seems that SecState Blinken is demanding that Kazakhstan explain why it felt it necessary to call in CSTO forces against peaceful protestors. The guy is a punchline in search of a bad joke-

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Seems that SecState Blinken is demanding that Kazakhstan explain why it felt it necessary to call in CSTO forces against peaceful protestors.

      Gotta respect a man who goes down with the ship, though.

  12. Pat

    Didn’t notice if this got mentioned here, but the US Figure Skating Championship this past weekend was nicknamed Covidpalooza by a faction on Twitter. The top male pairs skater tested positive and was ill before the start. Two women skated their short program and then had to drop out because they tested positive, one of which admitted to having symptoms for days. There were also drop outs in the men’s competition and ice dancing after their first rounds. Bothersome for me is my favorite skater finished the competition after the coach he spent over 33 hours, multiple plane rides and a five hour car ride traveling with to get to Nashville tested positive (emotionally I understand, getting to the Olympics has been his goal for the last four years, but logically he shouldn’t have been competing even with a negative test.)

    Lots of media, lots of skaters and coaches from all points of the country and an audience also from all over…. This could also be a super spreader even with mask use, mostly decent.

    1. Questa Nota

      Oz news nominally about Covid but there is an interesting lithium mining element, too.
      See a story or two about how Novak Djokovic factors in.

    2. griffen

      It is surprising to see that Novak Djokovic is possibly getting a freebie to continue in pursuit of an Australian Open. I think his circumstances might still change. He is not vaccinated, but apparently has tested positive twice for Covid.

      Skating competitions in Nashville and probably in a packed arena. Elsewhere a well attended event in Indianapolis, IN tonight, Alabama faces Georgia for the college football championship. Which in the future might be renamed to the Saban Trophy. Let us play!?!

  13. converger

    On Rand Paul and Nordstream: Oooch. I hate hate hate it when he’s right about something that no other politician seems to be saying out loud.

  14. Rod


    Nicely succinct and quick read.
    Subtext even has a sound track, kinda.

    But plastics and climate aren’t separate issues. They are structurally linked problems, and also mutually compounding, with plastics’ facilities spewing climate-relevant emissions and extreme weather further dispersing plastic into the environment. Research is under way to study their interaction—the way, say, thermal stress affects how species respond to toxic exposures. But they have the same root. “Plastic is carbon,” fossil fuels in another form, CIEL’s president, Carroll Muffett, told me. Or, as the geographer Deirdre McKay phrases it, plastic is climate change, just in its solid state.
    my emphasis

    1. The Rev Kev

      I wonder if in the early days of plastic, there was the thought that as plastic was cheap, that they would be able to melt it down and recycle it endlessly.

      If so, it shoud be added to the lie that nuclear power would be so cheap eventually, that it would be too cheap to even meter.

  15. Wukchumni

    Iniskim Umaapi: Is this Canada’s ‘Stonehenge’? BBC

    Kinda reminds me of Chaco Canyon in that from the center of the Great Houses, trails emanate out like spokes on a wheel.

    Iniskim Umaapi looks to me like a pile of boulders though, it hardly compares to the 4 and 5 story buildings in Chaco that had 400 apartments and giant Kivas.

  16. Wukchumni

    War on Cash!

    Had my very first instance of folding money not being worth anything the other day @ Alpine Meadows ski resort, tried to buy a Powerade drink with a Jackson, but the cashier said it was a no go, credit/debit only.

    Coins were also on a war footing, a non starter on the manna battlefield.

    1. urblintz

      One can’t pay in cash…

      but could use the CoinBase Visa debit card, funded with a stablecoin (USDC), paying a 1.5% rebate rewarded in BTC. I believe there are other such crypto cards out there as well.

    2. Synoia

      It appears that “money” will soon only be a virtual number on the screen of one’s cell phone.

    3. Anthony G Stegman

      I guess Alpine Meadows has not yet been sanctioned for their behavior. The state needs to pass a law that requires merchants to accept cash. Some locales in this country have already done so. Newsom is likely in the pockets of Mastercard and Visa, so such a law may be unlikely in CA.

      1. Wukchumni

        If there is to be a war on cash, Mammoth ski resort accepts FRN’s for all sales and while i’m not sure how the 2 resorts could get it on about 100 miles apart from one another, there’s possibilities.

        A brand new FRN could cause a nasty paper and take out an adversary, or a $50 bag of Cents launched from a trebuchet could take out a ski lift with a lucky hit, or leave a prominent dent in a chair on high.

    4. Mantid

      Yea, went to a minor league baseball game last summer – they wouldn’t accept cash to get peanuts. Peesed me off to no end. Went to the ticket booth and demanded my money back ’cause I was gonna leave. After a stinky argument, they refunded my ticket and I left after about the 3rd inning. Next place that won’t take cash, if possible I’ll do this: fill my grocery cart (or what have you) get in check out line and knowing they won’t take cash, I’ll say, “darn I left me credit card in the car … back in just a second”.
      Or another approach, have a useless C.card and keep trying it. “It worked just the other day”. “Let me try one more time, maybe I got the PIN wrong”. Keep insisting and waste their time.

      1. allan

        Talk to the invisible hand. According to the US Treasury,

        … The pertinent portion of law that applies to your question is the Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled “Legal tender,” which states: “United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues.”

        This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. …

        1. Chris

          That’s very interesting and informative.

          I suppose one could just take goods and services and wait for the bill at which point a creditor/debtor relationship would be established.

        2. Lambert Strether

          That’s an extremely bad law and should be changed. This also seems like the sort of thing the right, who are generally effective about such things, being more serious about their politics, should latch onto. Aren’t they worried that digital currency is the Mark of the Beast?

    1. BeliTsari

      Lots of us have been in a world of hurt, following very mild cases a couple years back, where our immune systems felt hijacked after the 2nd week? It’s not particularly consistent with BMC’s study, but PASC & mRNA vaccines both elicited similar autoimmune type inflammatory symptoms (folks have related here and elsewhere for way over a year. What felt like a cold, was nastier than either infection, so I’m presuming PhARMA’s pals will be mandating PASC victims become guinea pigs; until they patent the sun? Believe in MSN, huh?

      1. BeliTsari

        This cites a pre-pub study, several folks had posted (before CommonDreams, Gothamist and others forbade, or simply removed any citations of research contradicting or just questioning our glorious plutocrats’ pouty pontification that our experience, verified by astute clinicians & renowned epidemiologists rendered us anti-vax? Guess, we’ll ALL see?

  17. Jason Boxman

    On crapification. I recently got Verizon service, and a new number. But I continue to use my Google Voice number as my only number.

    Meanwhile, I get so many spam calls on the new Verizon number it renders my phone useless, save for do-not-disturb mode. I can thankfully ignore all calls that come in over the cellular, but I cannot image how worthless a new cell phone is today with a new number.

    What kind of garbage even is this? A country with a basically useless cellular network, overrun by thieves and criminals. (And I don’t mean the wireless carriers here, amusingly.)

    The US is a failed state.

      1. Jason Boxman

        My parents get this on a landline that renders it useless as well. I used to get this on my GV number as well until recently. Google must have gotten better at stopping it maybe. I had 5 spam calls on my VZ number just yesterday. Texts too.

  18. AdamK

    The name Lewis Kaplan is familiar from the Steven Donziger’s case, Anyone? correct me if I’m wrong…

  19. ChrisRUEcon


    An article about Scottish peat bogs with no mention of whisky!

    ;-) … Islay fan here

      1. ChrisRUEcon


        Awww yeah … if you can ferret out the entire interview, it’s well worth it, but the question on Barbados’ relationship with China elicited a scathing response from awesome Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley (via Twitter).

  20. Jason Boxman

    Let it ride!

    The number of Americans hospitalized with Covid-19 has surpassed last winter’s peak, underscoring the severity of the threat the virus continues to pose as the extremely contagious Omicron variant tears through the United States.

    As of Sunday, 142,388 patients with the virus were hospitalized nationwide, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, surpassing the peak of 142,315 reported on Jan. 14 of last year. The seven-day average of daily hospitalizations was 132,086, an increase of 83 percent from two weeks ago.

    And also:

    Data in some of the first cities hit by Omicron also show deaths spiking sharply — not as fast as case rates, but fast enough to warn of more devastation to come.

    Biden needs to resign. These people are a disgrace.

  21. Nothing

    “Tennis star Djokovic wins court battle to stay in Australia Reuters”

    For our Ameri-friends – the current Djokovic thing is just political theatre to distract everyone in Australia for a few days from the new norm of 90K+ cases, 27 deaths per day until we get used to it and the days when people didn’t die of Covid in Australia every day are a distant memory. (we have form on bullying a foreign celebrity for headlines; in 2015 we threatened to kill Johnny Depp’s dogs. The man who made those headline announcements is still a member of Australia’s parliament)

    That said – The transcript of the Djokovic interview is interesting, and shows the inconsistencies / double standards in the approach of the Australian government here. From page 11 onwards is the good stuff, but:

    INTERVIEWER 2: So look, if your visa was cancelled you wouldn’t stay here, you
    would go to a hotel in the city.
    DJOKOVIC: Oh okay, so I would go in a hotel?
    INTERVIEWER 2: Yeah, in the city.
    DJOKOVIC: Okay.
    INTERVIEWER 2: You wouldn’t be staying here at the airport.
    DJOKOVIC: But that hotel? Is it like a Covid hotel or is it what what is it?
    INTERVIEWER 2: No, it’s, I don’t know the name of it, it’s just a place, because
    like if someone is refused entry into the country – – –
    DJOKOVIC: Yeah.

    So, on one hand the man is a Biosecurity threat because he hasn’t been vaxxed. On the other hand, he’s fine to just stay in a standard non-covid hotel until he’s deported. All good mate!

  22. Susan the other

    NBC. Is the US Military playing us for idiots again? Re the latest propaganda on UAPs, the Military has released (what I consider to be) a blatant whopper. They are claiming that, regardless of the origin of these UAPs, their technology is beyond ours and the US Military needs to further advance our understanding of basic physics in order to understand these “flight characteristics.” Right. It’s a campaign for more money. Which will be ever unaccounted for because untold trillions could be sunk into “basic physics; laws of nature” boondoggles. Only the Military. And the reason I find this so disingenuous is because the US Military does indeed understand physics and the laws of nature – they have lead the effort to become invincible at weaponizing themselves. They are very close to understanding everything in the universe. Which is good, except they’ve done it to create all their ghastly toys. There was a recent You Tube interview by Sean Carroll of Leonard Susskind on the state of the art of Physics. Sean is a proponent of the “many worlds” theory of physics – which goes in many circles; Leonard is a hard-nosed realist and is the father of String Theory – with very rigorous math proofs and etc. So Leonard politely demurred when Sean asked him if he was finally coming around to the Many Worlds Theory, saying only that because the String Theory research over many decades had been so rigorous they were “very close to understanding everything.” So I take him at his word and wonder immediately why the US Military doesn’t know this. The only answer I can arrive at is that the Military does know this and wants to be funded to develop weapons, not Physics. In fact, playing at weapons development at that level of complexity could be the Military’s biggest disaster ever. Of course there’s no stopping them – it’s just that their fake innocence is unacceptable. And I further suspect that all the UAPs are ours anyway. It’s been almost a century since the Germans discovered foo. Controlling great balls of foo is clearly top secret still.

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