Links 1/14/2022

Winter Is for Regeneration. The Garden’s — and Yours, Too The Tyee

Controlled Prices Phenomenal World


Single-celled marine organism first to be found releasing oxygen in the dark Chemistry World. “The researchers are now studying whether or not other ammonia-oxidising archaea can also perform the same trick to grow under continuously anoxic conditions. If so, it could transform the archaea were in any of the models….

Five common denominators on tragedy fires Wildfire Today


New Virus Cases Begin to Slow in U.S. Cities Where Omicron Hit First NYT. The article is more measured than the sunnily optimistic (editor-written) headline.

COVID-Hospitalization Numbers Are as Bad as They Look Ed Yong, The Atlantic and Calling Omicron ‘Mild’ Is Wishful Thinking Katherine Wu, The Atlantic. “At the core of the problem sits the word mild itself, a slippery and pernicious term that ‘doesn’t mean what people think it means.'” It’s ideal!

* * *
Immunological dysfunction persists for 8 months following initial mild-to-moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection Nature. n = 147. From the Abstract: “Here, we studied individuals with LC compared to age- and gender-matched recovered individuals without [Long Covid (LC)], unexposed donors and individuals infected with other coronaviruses. Patients with LC had highly activated innate immune cells, lacked naive T and B cells and showed elevated expression of type I IFN (IFN-β) and type III IFN (IFN-λ1) that remained persistently high at 8 months after infection…. This work defines immunological parameters associated with LC and suggests future opportunities for prevention and treatment.”

* * *
Viral dynamics and duration of PCR positivity of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant (preprint) Stephen Kissler, Joseph R. Fauver, Christina Mack, Caroline G. Tai, et al. From the NBA Occupational Health Program. “Of 70 Omicron-infected individuals detected ≥2 days after a previous negative or inconclusive test, 39.1% (25/64) were PCR positive with Ct values <30 at day 5, 33.3% (21/63) at day 6, and 22.2% (14/63) on day 7 post detection.” Good call on that five-day thing, Rochelle. (For health data, the UK has the NHS. We have the NBA….)

Another testing approach that a Biden Administration Operation Warp Speed (Testing) might have implemented, had the Vax-only strategy not been adopted:


The results would need to come while the aircraft was on the tarmac, not four days later. So do that. (From a thread of live tweets from an International Water Association conference.)

Air filters on Addenbrooke’s wards removed nearly all traces of airborne Covid-19 virus, Cambridge University Hospitals study shows Cambridge Independent. Hospital “infection control” droplet goons can’t even protect their own wards.

* * *
Why Cuba’s extraordinary Covid vaccine success could provide the best hope for low-income countries CNBC

COVID vaccines safely protect pregnant people: the data are in Nature (IP).

* * *
Debunking the idea viruses always evolve to become less virulent ABC. Important, and well worth a read.


China Local Land Sales Fall Just as Beijing Calls for Spending Caixin Global

Provincial and ministerial-level corrupt officials appeared on the camera and confessed: my crazy greed is at its peak, but I don’t know why I ask for money What China Reads

Winter chill brings promise of stability in China-India border dispute South China Morning Post

US lays out case against ‘unlawful’ China maritime claims Bangkok Post (Furzy Mouse).

Spiking the Problem: Developing a Resilient Posture in the Indo-Pacific with Passive Defenses War on the Rocks


Myanmar junta replaces air force chief amid bombing campaign – sources Reuters. It’s going to be a long dry season for NUG.

Myanmar coup: The doctors and nurses defying the military BBC

Mekong group urges better water management collaboration as record drought persists Reuters

As costs soar, some Japanese companies do the unthinkable: raise prices Reuters


Qassem Soleimani’s assassination has backfired on the US and Israel Middle East Eye. This is the Middle East; who could have known there’d be blowback?


Bain & Co, tax and Jacob Zuma: a tale of ‘state capture’ in South Africa FT


Boris Johnson’s staff accused of more rule-breaking parties inside No 10 BBC. Insider commentary:


In consequence:


Belgian Sorrows New Left Review. “The world’s most successful failed state.” So far.

New Cold War

Russia writes off security talks as diplomatic ‘dead end’ FT

Kazakh steppes come alive The Tribune

Kazakhstan has lessons for the Gulf The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer

CIA-trained Ukrainian paramilitaries may take central role if Russia invades Yahoo News. There’s good news tonight!

Biden Administration

Remarks by President Biden at Virtual Meeting on Military Deployments Supporting Hospitals for the COVID-⁠19 Response (transcript) The White House. What a title. Even the White House is downplaying this clinker. But duty calls, and I’ll pull on my yellow waders anyhow. “‘Corporal Nobbs,” [Vimes] rasped, ‘why are you kicking people when they’re down?’ ‘Safest way, sir,’ said Nobby.”

‘We’re all frustrated’ on COVID: Biden to boost test availability and send military to help hospitals LA Times. Virtually no coverage; the dominant story on the Twitter is a Daily Mail hit piece.

Fractured court blocks vaccine-or-test requirement for large workplaces but green-lights vaccine mandate for health care workers SCOTUSblog

Biden calls on employers to mandate vaccines despite Supreme Court ruling The Hill

Intelligence Community

Yikes and yikes:

Psy-ops are a crucial weapon in the war against disinformation FT

The CIA May Be More Useful Than the CDC in Next Epidemic (interview) Scott Gottlieb, Bloomberg

Democrats en Déshabillé

What Should the Left Do About China? The Nation

Supply Chain

A cascade of Omicron-driven shortages puts U.S. hospitals in a bind STAT

Never occurred to me containers could be busted open:


Those videos are very dispiriting, I must say.

Health Care

Epstein-Barr Virus Found to Trigger Multiple Sclerosis Scientific American (original; n = 10,000,000+).

L’Affaire Jeffrey Epstein

EXCLUSIVE: Eight very anxious men: Ghislaine Maxwell GIVES UP battle to keep identities of high-profile John Does named in civil lawsuit sealed after Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Giuffre demands they be made public Daily Mail. Commentary:


Imperial Collapse Watch

Wanted: New missions for the littoral combat ship Defense News

Army to name new 200-ton tank after General Milley Duffel Blog. From 2021, still germane.

Class Warfare

‘Workers Are the Best Guarantors of Their Own Safety When They’re Organized’ FAIR

Washington’s Wall Street problem: should the powerful be allowed to trade? FT. No, of course not. They should use straws, like a proper Third World counrtry.

Vaccine Aristocrats Strike Again Matt Taibbi, TK News

This Private Equity Firm Is Amassing Companies That Collect Data on America’s Children The Markup

The Last Poets of Absolute Freedom IM-1776. Sentimental tosh.

Antidote du Jour (via):

Bonus antidote:


There’s a lesson here….

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. Jen

    Working link for Debunking the Idea that viruses always evolve to be less virulent:

    Also, folks were starting to do a happy dance around declining case numbers among the undergrads at my humble institution. Whoopsie!

    “22W COVID-19 live updates: Active cases jump by 164 on Thursday to 714, dashing hopes of a slowing outbreak”

    Hope is not a strategy.

    On a positive note, there are only about 4K graduates on campus, so this really can’t go on forever /s

    1. ScoFri

      Contrarian view. I think that article was a lot of double speak actually.

      Experts say omicron should not be taken lightly or thought of as a less lethal form of COVID. Even if less deadly, the omicron variant is also significantly more transmissible, leading to more deaths overall.

      For the average person Omicron continues to be revealed as less lethal than Delta. This today in Bloomberg:

      In some cases, viruses evolve to become more virulent.

      They did not provide one example of a virus mutating and becoming more virulent. I am not saying it is not true, but it is a statement without an example that one must know how to search for. Does anyone here have an example?

      1. Yves Smith

        Please read our article yesterday about Omicron:

        We have said from the very outset that focusing on morality alone is a terrible metric. Those who do so are generally of the “we can stay home and have low income workers risk their health to being stuff to us” school.

        As GM explained in gory technical detail at the end of the post, there is good reason for Omicron to produce more in the way of long term damage to organs than Delta or wild type.

        1. ScoFri

          Yes, I read yesterday’s article a few times. GM said:

          We do know, however, as I said above, that it replicates better where you have ACE2.
          And you have high ACE2 all over the body.
          So logically one should expect worse internal organ damage than before.

          I share this with my wife and we talked about it and we cannot see this as a logical outcome. ACE2 is destroyed by the virus but ACE2 is not gone forever. It may take a while to come back to previous levels and I wish that was a conversation researchers would talk about more; treatment.

          But I would rather focus on my critique of the article I commented on today. I have been looking for one example of a virus mutating and becoming more virulent and cannot find one. Showing me one would change my mind so until then I do not see how this was “debunked”.

          1. Yves Smith

            You are earning troll points by making me waste my time on Google when you could just as easily find the answers yourself.

            We already have one with Covid.

            Delta versus wild type.

            And your assertion has already been debunked by fact checkers, such as:


            Your behavior is clear bad faith argumentation. I trust you will find your happiness elsewhere on the Internet.


            1. GM

              We already have one with Covid.

              Delta versus wild type.

              Correction — it wasn’t “one”

              It was every variant that has been analyzed.

              Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Lambda, Mu, B.1.1.519 in Mexico (which never got a Greek letter), Kappa, etc.

              They were all more severe than WT

              There was also a significantly worse variant than all of those that thankfully never spread far — B.1.616 in France.

              Even for Omicron there is quite a high chance that it is worse than the WT in an immunologically naive population and without the two years of advances in treatment, but we can’t observe that currently because we have those two years and populations are no longer immunologically naive — right now, because it shows strong immune escape, it is infecting recently previously infected and recently vaccinated people so how severe actually it is is masked.

          2. curlydan

            I found the lack of examples in that article a bit frustrating as well although I’d read David Quammen’s “Spillover” book, so I already knew that viruses can become more deadly over time with his example of rabbits in Australia.

            But to find examples, I did some “internet research” for you :)


            “Tuberculosis has been with us for hundreds of years and it is still deadly. Dengue fever’s own virulence has risen over the last decades. And the myxoma virus, slayer of rabbits? It too has grown deadlier fangs, according to limited data from the 1980s, with a larger percentage of circulating virus in Australia being highly virulent compared to the previous decade. The universality of avirulence theory simply has too many contradictions. Viruses don’t always evolve to become benign.”

            1. Objective Ace

              And Marek’s disease in chickens.. granted, that appears to be a combination of vaccines and evolution driving the increased severity

          3. The Rev Kev

            ‘I have been looking for one example of a virus mutating and becoming more virulent and cannot find one.’

            I missed this one. OK then. Check out the flu pandemic from a century ago. The first wave was pretty bad but it evolved to be more deadlier in the second wave which led to mass burial pits in places like Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. Just do a search on the following search term-

            flu pandemic second wave deadlier

          4. Basil Pesto

            I have been looking for one example of a virus mutating and becoming more virulent and cannot find one.

            Dude. SARS2. Every successive VoC until Omicron was more virulent.

          5. Samuel Conner

            > ACE2 is destroyed by the virus but ACE2 is not gone forever. It may take a while to come back to previous levels

            I think this misses the point that IIRC GM made.

            Since ACE2 receptor is widespread — present in cell types all over the body, Omicron can more easily enter a wider range of cells, all over the body, than prior variants, which employed ACE2 and TMPRSS. It can more readily damage a wider range of tissues.

          6. drsteve0

            Viral virulence is a crapshoot over time. But sure, keep that positive attitude. After all, ages old scourges like rabies, H5N1, smallpox, polio, etc., etc., are no worse than a bad cold nowadays.

      2. Cas

        Here’s one: the Spanish flu. In The Great Influenza, John Barry traces the evolution of that pandemic. He makes a compelling argument (follows the virus from the mid west, to army barracks, to overseas, to oubreak) that the original virus mutated to the strain that killed millions. It is one explanation why the Spanish flu was more deadly for young adults. The elderly, who typically are hit hardest by disease, had been exposed to the earlier, milder strain and thus were more resistant when its deadlier cousin appeared.

        1. Mildred Montana

          Yes, I’ve read that too. Also, it is theorized that the 1918 flu unleashed a “cytokine storm” in the vigorous immune systems of young adults, resulting in higher mortality for that group.

          1. Jessica

            There is also the claim that mortality in the 1918 flu was extremely high for people of a certain age, I think 28, and further that that might be connected to exposure early in life to the 1890 Russian flu. There is also speculation that that Russian flu was actually a corona virus.
            I’m giving much speculation here, so not answers, but useful questions, I hope.

            1. JBird4049

              That, and the Germans and everyone east of them had suffered from a worsening diet and increasing stress during the earlier four years of the war. It affected them worse than for the Allies, which is one of the reason for the German collapse. Military defeat, exhaustion, hunger, and finally the flu. Many nations had problems feeding people in 1918-19, forget about dealing with a pandemic

    2. Mikel

      Where is timeline info on these variants, including the ones that haven’t risen to the higher levels of concern?

      And then the point of discovery or sequencing isn’t always the initial appearance or initial geographic origin.

    1. Carolinian

      And where is the Spanish flu now? Also I’m not sure those supposedly debunked immunologists said that viruses always become less virulent. There’s a big difference between always and mostly and never.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Let’s just be grateful that the present Coronavirus pandemic does not have the same death rate as the great Flu Pandemic of a century ago which was about 2-3%. That alone was sufficient to have about 28% of the US population of 105 million to become infected leading to 675,000 deaths. Can you imagine how it would be if the present Coronavirus could kill so many people?

        1. juno mas

          Well, if you plug in those percentages to the current US pop. (330M) you end up with 2.5M dead. Covid-19 has caused at least 800,00 deaths; we’re a third of the way there.

      2. Zamfir

        The Spanish flu became the h1n1 flu strain, usually known as “swine flu”. Here’s a history:

        Interesting part: the Spanish flu spread among humans and pigs, but it disappeared in humans in 1957. Apparently, the new and faster-spreading “Asian flu” (h2n2) was similar enough that people developed immunity against h1n1. H2n2 is not quite a variant of the Spanish flu, it has some parts from other sources.

        After 1957, the Spanish flu lived on in pigs, and jumped to humans a few times (like in 2009)

        The big return of h1n1 to humans was in 1977, and there seem to be strong arguments that this was the result of (Chinese) experiments with the older human strain, probably to develop a vaccine against a new swine-jumped variant of h1n1 that was going around the time . This is the original precendent of the Wuhan-lab-leak theory.

        Since then, the Spanish flu is back, you probably have had it at some time.

          1. Zamfir

            The link above already talks about it, in passing (look at its references 19 and 31)

            Here is a more detailed article, from 2015
            As pdf:

            The debate is older. Papers in 1978 ( already noted that the new virus was unnaturally similar to older strains. It created a minor version of the lab-leak debate of today, with the same cold war tension, as the implied “leak” of some kind would be either in the USSR or China.

            I want to make clear that I cannot judge these arguments from any personal expertise.

    2. Tom Bradford

      Sure, a second wave can become more virulent than the first, a third more virulent than the second, a fourth more virulent than the third – but what’s happened when you get to the tenth wave, the hundredth? Is there anyone left alive to catch it?

      I proposed yesterday we have pure Darwinism at work – the most fit for its purpose will survive. What is the most fit scenario for a virus? High transmissibility with minimum impact on the carrier.

      The virus isn’t aiming at that. It’s not working towards more or less virulence. It’s not working towards anything. Biology is constantly chucking out mutations which survive to produce more of itself – and incidentally more mutations – or don’t. Some will be more transmissable and more virulent which will hinder its proliferation by killing its host, or taking the host out of circulation because of sickness until its systems have eliminated the virus. Some will be less transmissable but more virulent, which will take them out of circulation faster. But eventually the dice of random mutation will throw up a variety that has high transmissability but low virulence, meaning it spreads fast because its hosts go about their lives as usual, and the host’s systems don’t react as violently against it.

      So for a while you’ll have a variety of variants out there all competing for survival, but over time ‘simple’ Darwinianism will weed out the less fit – the ones that do most damage to the host and so apply limits on its proliferation – and benefit the more fit ‘strategy’ of high transmissability but low virulence – hence the common cold or flu’ that is always with us as against the rare outbreak of the deadly.

      1. jonboinAR

        Thank you for this completely reasonable and clear explanation. I hate the ones where a scientist SCIENTIST! wants to talk about what the virus is trying to do. It’s a !@#$% string of DNA. It’s not trying to do anything! Okay, maybe no actual scientists talk that way, but those people piss me off, a little.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > So for a while you’ll have a variety of variants out there all competing for survival, but over time ‘simple’ Darwinianism will weed out the less fit – the ones that do most damage to the host and so apply limits on its proliferation – and benefit the more fit ‘strategy’ of high transmissability but low virulence

        Except based on the many examples presented above, this reasoning, though superficially plausible and hence an excellent talking point, is false.

        1. tindrum

          The reasoning is surely beyond dispute. A virus that is both highly contageous and highly deadly can not exist as it would wipe out the entire human race. In the long term a virus can be either very contageous or very dangerous, but not both. If I am missing something here then please enlighten me. Myxomatosis is hugely deadly but rabbits breed really really quickly and do not have access to air-travel. Apples with apples please.

          1. ambrit

            I would point your attention to the Bubonic Plague, from about 535AD on up to today. Localized outbreaks with horrendous death rates. Or Small Pox and the North American Indigenes. Again, rolling outbreaks with incredible levels of mortality. From what I have read about that instance, the pathogen did not adapt, the Terran human population did.
            What has changed today is the availability of quick and ‘easy’ international travel. Stupid Terran humans will spread a contagion far and wide now, even ‘knowing’ the risks.
            Another point to keep in mind is that, so far, Terran human populations have survived the pandemics, and bounced back. Terran human societies often do not.

    1. tindrum

      I missed the de-bunking in that link. As far as I an tell it just said that there are many evolutionary strains of a virus and how they devolve depends upon lots of things.

      “In some cases, viruses evolve to become more virulent.” —> but also more contagious? Doesn’t say.

      “Continued virus survival, spread and virulence are all about the evolutionary pressures of multiple factors, including the number of people available to infect, how long humans live after infection, the immune system response and time between infection and symptom onset.”

      Surely this says that the more peole survive the virus or live a long time with the virus more it can replicate?
      This appers to me to be a headline without any clear supporting content.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Belgian Sorrows New Left Review. “The world’s most successful failed state.” So far.

    As the old joke goes, Belgium was created by the British to annoy the French.

    I’ve no idea why its stuck in my brain, but one thing that I always remember from my school days is a geography teacher telling us all that Belgium will not exist in 10 years. He also explained in detail why. I guess it reminded me of how even well argued predictions about countries futures are usually wrong.

    An architect friend who did a walking holiday in the Ardennes once commented that he’d never seen such deep wealth in his life. He said he lost count of the number of times he would spot from the trail a seemingly innocuous house deep in the woods that just screamed extreme no expense spared good taste – lines of expensive cars, fabulous architectural features (but always subtle, no obvious nouveau riche give-ways). It is, he commented, the difference between a wealthy country and a high income country. No doubt the foundation of many of those houses are to be found somewhere in the Congo.

    1. Zamfir

      To what events refer that joke? It seems to me as the straight opposite of the situation, at least in the 19th century. Britain had organized the unification of the northern and southern Netherlands, they opposed the Belgian revolution, and France played a crucial role in making the revolution succeed

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I can’t find a link, but I believe it was Charles de Gaulle who made the original comment.

        I can’t recall the exact context, but I think both Britain and France changed their minds several times over what to do with the Low Countries. The post revolutionary French had originally hoped that the French speaking catholic parts of the Low Countries would join the First Republic, but the Walloons had other ideas. While the French were not unhappy about the creation of Belgium (there was little they do do about it anyway after Waterloo) it was more of a triumph for the British, who succeeded in weakening the Dutch without strengthening the French.

        I suspect the incorporation of Flemish elements in Belgium was prompted by the British ensuring that there would be no movement within the new Belgium to join France. The main strategic aim of the British was to ensure the French had no access to the harbour at Antwerp.

    2. The Rev Kev

      ‘As the old joke goes, Belgium was created by the British to annoy the French.’

      I’ve heard it suggested that this was a very old geopolitical idea for the British. By having an independent Belgium, it keeps control of the strategic Scheldt river out of the hands of the German States as well as France which is why Britain went to war in 1914 to defend that country. Same reason why Britain defended Portugal against Spain such as in the Peninsular War as its ports face the Atlantic. Of course that was back in the day when the UK still had a professional bureaucracy that was capable of strategic planning for decades ahead.

      1. Zamfir

        Then again, ww1 might not be the greatest advertisement for long term strategic planning ;-)

        Recent polls say that 63% of Brits would still choose Boris Johnson over a repeat of the battle of the Somme, with 25% preferring the battle. But the trend is downwards for Boris in recent months. In England at least, the battle is preferred over Ed Milliband eating a sandwich by 53% to 37%, with people citing “chaos with Ed Milliband” as the main reason to go with the battle.

        1. GF

          Boris Johnson’s staff accused of more rule-breaking parties inside No 10 BBC

          What’s the big deal? He was was locked down at his residence/office at the time.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        One of the oddities of British strategic thinking was that they were determined to ensure no access to the harbours at Antwerp for centuries, and yet after D-Day Montgomery and Churchill seemed to entirely forget all about this in promoting Market Garden. Had they focused instead on seizing those harbours they could have avoided the subsequent near disaster at Arnheim.

        1. ObjectiveFunction

          The German army effectively denied all the Channel ports (Boulogne, Le Havre, Dieppe, Calais, Ostend) to the Allies from D-Day to early 1945 via a long-planned mix of mining, demolition and fortified perimeters. The primary task of the Canadian army and its large engineering contingents was to besiege and clear these ports, but their progress was painfully slow. Some garrisons held out until the final German surrender in May.

          …As a consequence, as we know, the ‘Red Ball Express’ had to move supplies, including fuel, overland by road from the the Normandy beachhead for many months.

          The British in fact devoted substantial efforts in fall 1944 to securing and opening up Antwerp, but the Scheldt river estuary was heavly mined and the Germans also opened dams to flood much of the area. On top of that, once Antwerp fell, it was more heavily targeted by the V-bombs and rockets than London in late 1944. The Germans knew its importance.

          Market Garden was a far more ambitious coup de main intended to liberate Holland, clear out the V-launch sites and expose the north German plain to attack. A gamble that failed badly, but it might actually have secured the Arnhem ‘bridge too far’ had the Germans not put 2 panzer divisions into the area to refit.

  3. griffen

    The video from the twitter feed. I would not compliment this as high quality, but it is not terrible. Got me thinking of the revenge factor, say, from film and “Law Abiding Citizen” came immediately to mind.

    What is Iranian for the name Clive? Pretty sure that was Gerard Butler’s first name in the film. Former President Trump should definitely question any deliveries to his home or to Mar-A-Lago.

    1. s.n.

      the ‘targeting of trump on the golf course’ video is “translated by MEMRI TV”, which is an Israeli intelligence propaganda operation. Dunno if the video &/or the translation is accurate or edited and don’t have the time to track it down ight now- but with MEMRI involved I’d take it with a grain -or two -of salt

      1. griffen

        Yeah I’m shrugging it off…for one, former Presidents enjoy a lifetime of security service detail. And for another, well it’s January in southern FL. How unlike a retired middle 70s male to be playing golf on a day ending “y”? Ha ha.

      2. Skip Intro

        Makes much more sense as an Israeli product… ‘Let’s you and Iran have a war!’ Same with the assassination in the first place, actually.

  4. PlutoniumKun

    Wanted: New missions for the littoral combat ship Defense News

    They would probably make very good target practice dummies.

    The Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 was a glamorous Italian aircraft of the 1930’s back when the Italians were among world leaders in aeronautics. It was a medium bomber that broke many speed and endurance records and was supposed to be the spearhead of the Regia Aeronautica for WWII. For a variety of reasons though it proved fatally flawed and was shot down in droves by the British. Within a year, its primary use was as decoy dummies on airfields. It did a pretty good job as its distinctive shape did distract attacking aircraft. It is a good precedent I think for the LCS.

    1. griffen

      I’m not sure that even a Mel Brooks could write a satirical piece about this floating POS. Nearly 20 years in development, and I’m sure just a few $billions among friends and the DOD.

      On second thought I am sure Mel could do it!

    2. The Rev Kev

      They should give them to the US Coast Guard for use in home waters only since they cannot survive a major hit in combat. But they must be pretty desperate if they cannot think of a way to use them and are reduced to asking the lower ranks for ideas.

      1. Huey Long


        Former USCG sailor here. The last thing the CG needs is a bunch of poorly designed, poorly maintained, Navy hand-me-downs that are going to cost an arm and a leg to operate.

        Just scrap the damned things and nuke the program from orbit.

    3. vlade

      To be honest, many a plane developed in early 30s was obsolete by the end of 30s. There was just too much change, and only a few countries had the width of expertise to be able to deal with it all (all metal frames, high-altitude engines, retraceable wheels to name just a few things).

      Say Czechs had developed Avia B-534. Which was a biplane, but RAF was operating Hawker Fury biplane in early 30s, and B-534 had better specs than that, never mind German He-51 (also a biplane). And then come mid 30s, and the world changed.

      But hey, it’s also credited with the last ever (so far) kill by a biplane, in September ’44 shooting down a JU-52.

      Going from the planes, you could go to ’41, when the world changed for the battleships, and the UK and US found that they plowed so much money into something that could be made a pile of rusting steel at the sea bottom by a much lower investment in a few planes. The funny thing there though is that IJN resisted this idea (building Yamato and Musashi), while at the same time using it. Here it was even more ridiculous, as Yamato/Musashi were almost three times less fuel efficient than carriers, so for the fuel of one Yamato trip, you could run a carrier + its planes and still have some spare oil.

      1. David

        I’d actually suggest that any aircraft developed in the early 1930s (as the SM79 was), was obsolete by the end of that decade. There probably has been nothing in history like the development of aircraft technology between, say, 1910 and 1950. In the 1930s, it was routine for RAF aircraft to have a service life of five years before being replaced, simply because technology advanced rapidly, but aircraft then were still relatively easy to develop and produce quickly.

        1. JBird4049

          By 1935, most people knew there was going to be a war, which was why they were all rearming and developing new weapons. Then add an actual shooting war.

          Just about any military in 1943-44 could have stomped any military from 1937 just because of the advances in weapons and tactics or at the very least give much better competition. That is seven years worth of change.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        All true of course, although the SM-79 was more or less contemporary with the B-17 and Wellington Bomber, both of which were effective right through to 1945. But as you and David say, there was extraordinary progress in aviation in just 2 decades or so. The Italians could design and build amazing aircraft but they lacked the industrial depth to mass produce them. It didn’t help of course that Mussolini was so corrupt and inept. But they tried to produce Ferraris when they needed Fiats.

        The Soviets of course made good use of biplanes as night attack aircraft and the Fairey Swordfish remained pretty effective well into the war. One advantage the Swordfish had was that its cloth and wood construction made it very hard to shoot down – which is one reason the Bismarks advanced anti-aircraft system didn’t do a good job in stopping their attacks.

        I’ve heard it suggested that had Operation Downfall gone ahead, the Japanese could have made good use of old biplanes as night time kamikaze weapons as the lack of metal parts made them stealthier and so could have evaded radar. I’m not sure if anyone has ever tested this out.

        Incidentally, its not often that geeky aviation engineers get to be anime stars, but Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli is an aviation enthusiast and his second last film (The Wind Rises) is a great evocation of the era and the processes involved at the time. Porco Rosso of course shows he is a fan to Italian plane designers too.

        1. Ivantyou

          The tech uptick was astounding.

          Replication circa 2022 would be as easy as baking grandma’s pie..right?

          Someone pass me some kush…

  5. Toshiro_Mifune

    Vaccine Aristocrats Strike Again

    One of the most interesting things about the media portrayal of Anti-Vaxers has been the shift in that portrayal to showing them as only conservative/religious. Clearly we are supposed to forget the previous 20 years of the anti-vax movement which was largely populated by ‘crunchy mom’ types of whom any venn diagram would have had strong overlaps of ‘No Vaccines’ and ‘NPR totebags’. I mean, there was entire Frontline documentary about it.
    Nope, forget all that. It’s just the hayseeds now. Coastal types are ok to hate on them.

    I’m the parent of a 14 yr old with autism. One of the things about being a parent of a child with autism is that you will meet a lot of other parents of children with autism and anti-vax eventually comes up… even if you try to avoid the subject. I can tell you exactly who those anti-vaxers were for the previous 12 years culturally and politically, albeit anecdotally. Not a lot of Fox news viewers.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Still are. My SO is a bit afflicted with PMC. They are in several discussion groups for a neurological disorder and they’ve been marveling to me the number of people in these groups who are virulently anti-vax and aren’t from the holler. I just nod and say “wow, that’s wild.”

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Clearly we are supposed to forget the previous 20 years of the anti-vax movement which was largely populated by ‘crunchy mom’ types of whom any venn diagram would have had strong overlaps of ‘No Vaccines’ and ‘NPR totebags’.

      That, and expensive homes in Marin, or some such.

  6. griffen

    Private equity company amassing data on children and schools. If I were a parent of school age children, articles like this one would scream out “homeschooling is on the table.” Seriously, that is a lot of data and then consolidated over a 10-12 year window!

    I read stories like those a lot more now than I ever have. In some future scenario, be it in 2035 or 2055 we will have a world that looks creepier than one could imagine.

    1. Lost in OR

      I get red in the face every time my son’s school forces another app download on me. I think we had two new ones this year. The latest requirement is one to buy tickets to wrestling events. No entry without greasing the pockets of some online software scum. My son just rolls his eyes at me. No cares at all regarding mass surveillance.

      1. Mantid

        I’ve mentioned often but don’t think people realize the extent that gaggle especially tracks and sells the information they cull from children in school. In thousands of districts, including mine, all communication, homework, handouts, disciplinary action, visits to the school nurse, you get it ….. is run through google. I won’t mention zoom – tracking extraordinaire. In fact, parents must get a gmail account to communicate to their school, teachers, admin, etc.

        Wow, what people fall for ????? Sad.

        1. juno mas

          I have brought similar issues to the fore with the administration at my local community college. All students in US schools are privacy protected by FERPA (privacy act). All student records and student/teacher communication is privacy protected (by statute). Yet Google and now Zoom are skimming this data through email scanning and Zoom monitoring of remote instruction.

          The IT Director at my local college explained that since the college uses Enterprise Google and administers Zoom access that my concerns are not real. Then why am I getting advertising emails for a conventional student (18-24 Y.O.) when I’m a senior citizen taking the occasional life-enrichment course? Likely a random event? Of course, he suggests !

  7. John Siman

    “COVID vaccines safely protect pregnant people: the data are in” Nature (IP). Pregnant people. So it is medically and ethically legit to mutilate a pregnant woman and then insist that she be re-pronouned (and I guess insurance pays for her mutilation), while it is borderline illegal to obtain prescriptions for effective early Covid treatments (and my insurance did not cover my ivermectin, although the IVM did, as expected, cure me quickly). Of course, if all infected people, sexually mutilated or not, received proper early treatment for Covid, there would be no need for Faucian vaccine hysteria.

    1. Jerk

      “Sexually mutilated” lol I’m sure you’re just as concerned for the millions of babies that have been circumcised in the US right?

      1. Soredemos

        1. No one should be getting circumcised (other than perhaps the small percentage of men with a condition like phimosis). 2. There’s a massive difference between cutting off some foreskin and, eg, cutting off both breasts and taking a bunch of testosterone supplements.

          1. Soredemos

            I would argue that children can’t give informed consent, and the vast majority of people ‘transitioning’ are under 25 and don’t even have fully formed brains. And there are an alarming number of teenagers,and even younger, children by pretty much anyone’s definition, for whom a widespread approach is to give them puberty delaying hormones and then ‘wait and see’.

            Look, I’m open to the possibility that I’m simply a jerk and a dinosaur who just doesn’t get it, but it seems to me that a lot of the left has just blindly jumped on board the trans train and that no serious public debate on any of this has even been allowed. Any dissent is shut down with cries of ‘bigot’.

            1. John Beech

              My wife scolds me for referring to Amy, the trans ‘gal’ currently cleaning up on Jeopardy as ‘he’. Me? I remember when someone walking down the street and speaking out loud was a mental case. Today, maybe they’re on their cell phone so I withhold judgement and perhaps roll my eyes. My heart goes out to the many daughters on Ivy League swim teams competing against manly developed muscles. My yardstick is as a parent of a daughter on a swim team 20 years ago so I know how hard they work. Hardly seems fair. Yet my view it’s a metal illness is shrugged off and yes, I too am called a bigot.

              1. JBird4049

                I am in the odd spot of being as far to the social left as it was possible to be, but now my liberal or leftist bona fides would denied. I would have to wear a scarlet letter B for Bigot. There is a very small number of people who intrinsically feel that they are the wrong biological sex and this is separate from what they feel is their social gender, which is created by society, and sexual orientation. Somehow, this all got smooshed together with any doubts or questions being labeled as bigotry or worse, hatred. I do not think it is co-incidental that the growing threat to the establishment is happening at the same time.

                And in the city, I have see people talking real loudly on the phone either to their friend on Jupiter or their friend on Earth. Never can tell. When they’re standing next to me at the crosswalk or the bus stop, I just turn down my hearing aid.

              2. Skunk

                Who cares? I think Amy Snyder is now fourth on the all-time Jeopardy winners list. Jeopardy isn’t about physical strength.

    2. Divadab

      Pregnant people, eh? In the journal ‘Nature’? What a ridiculous and anti-science formulation. These people have lost their minds.

      1. Massinissa

        Its just to make female to male transmen feel included. ‘Pregnant persons’ isn’t technically incorrect.

      2. Brunches with Cats

        When I was in the ER in October for a suspected stroke, the intake nurse asked whether the gender I indicated on the forms was the gender of my birth. He (apparently) kind of rolled his eyes apologetically and said, “Sorry I’m required to ask.”

        Then there’s this strange (to me) trend of inserting parenthetically following the signature on official documents whether the author goes by “he/him,” “she/her,” or “they/them.” As for the latter … yeah, yeah I know that they/them has been approved for use as a gender-neutral pronoun in the English language, but as a former editor, it grates on my nerves, and in this context makes me wonder if the official in question speaks of themselves in the first-person plural.

        One wishes to be sensitive to the challenges facing LGBT persons, but the language contortions designed to demonstrate inclusiveness seem a bit silly at some point.

      3. ArvidMartensen

        Yes, somewhat sinister, effectively erasing the female gender from the culture. Again. Not so many years ago females were comprehensively ignored in law, medicine, higher education. It was a form of violence. We are barrelling back to the dark ages.
        Women used to be non-persons, property of fathers and husbands, (eg Mrs John Smith was the socially acceptable title in society), could not vote, could not own property if married, could not access higher education, were not allowed to join almost all professional groups. Non-persons.
        But even medical research back in the day recognised that only biological women could have children and breast feed. Until now. Apparently, persons of all sexes are now able to have babies and chest-feed. I missed the breakthrough research on that, but my bad.
        Women being made non-persons again, as part of a mighty, just and holy crusade to erase the 50% of the population so as to make the 0.4% of the male population feel included. Aw shucks.
        Or perhaps it is just another psyop, so that we never look over to the predators and parasites hoarding all of the wealth of the world and sucking us dry.

        1. Soredemos

          Weird how females always seem to end up with the short end of the stick, even with social ‘progress’, isn’t it? We’re at the point where it’s not uncommon to see lesbians berated as ‘genital fetishists’ for not wanting to date transwomen. Surely this isn’t okay? Or am I just supposed to accept that *I’m* the weirdo for questioning any of this?

          1. JBird4049

            “Genital fetishists?” WTF does that mean?

            I think everyone I have known personally would all agreed with what kind of… equipment straights, gays, lesbians, and even bi’s preferred. Not that the question ever really came around.

            Well, if you are a weirdo, then so am I.

      4. drumlin woodchuckles

        Its a Woker loyalty-test word. If you do not use “pregnant persons” in your speech and writing, you are not Woke enough, or maybe not Woke at all. You need to be persecuted and re-educated into using ” pregnant persons” with enthusiasm, like a good Wokist comrade.

    3. MP

      I think it’s merely cognizant of the fact that not only women get pregnant. Even putting aside the oft-contentious fact that people who identify as trans men can become pregnant, but intersex people can become pregnant as well. And even some women with XY chromosomes can become pregnant as well and reported inherited traits of androgyny.

      1. ArvidMartensen

        Perhaps this dispassionate reading of the issue just sugarcoats an alarming trend, erasure of the female gender in academic and professional settings.
        For what? To satisfy the tiny percentage of males who want us all to buy into the construct that they are female. Such males can try to co-exist or they can try to take over the whole female space because their needs are paramount (as male needs have been since the beginning of time).
        Men have erased women from history for thousands of years. Men have been given religious approval to domineer households. Men have given themselves, until recently, legal approval to discriminate against women in legal matters, property, employment, health care, education. Men have turned a blind eye, relentlessly, to infanticide of girls, beatings, rape and murder of wives and girlfriends, and rape by strangers.
        All of this violence towards women has been beaten back by women raising their voices, protesting, sacrificing themselves.
        And now, we have the wholesale erasure of women to safeguard the feelings of a tiny minority of men.
        Women’s feelings, not to mention their safety and lives, have been ignored for millenia in male dominated societies. Just look at the countries where women have no rights at all, to see our past, and sadly maybe our future.

      2. Fiery Hunt

        The whole of English language doesn’t have to bend to accommodate the one in 3 billion exception.

        God bless the extraordinary and the miraculous.

        But no, it shouldn’t be “normalized”.
        Words have meaning.
        Make up a new word, for crying out loud.

    4. Maritimer

      Great idea to Experiment on pregnant women and then to declare it’s all good.

      In this regard in this Age of Covid Madness:

      “The court recognizes the classification of the insurer who, in view of the announced side effects, including death, legally regards participation in the phase three experiment, whose proven harmlessness is not given, as voluntarily taking a fatal risk that is not covered by the contract and legally recognized as suicide. The family has appealed. However, the insurer’s defense is recognized as well-founded and contractually justified, as this publicly known fatal risk is legally considered suicide, since the customer has been notified and has agreed to voluntarily take the risk of death without being obliged or compelled to do so.”

      So, in this French Court at least taking the Injection is suicide.

  8. Roger Blakely

    I found two things interesting in the writeup of the decision by the US Supreme Court regarding Federal OSHA’s vaxx-or-test mandate. First, the conservative justices are not saying that Federal OSHA exceeded its authority by requiring employees to get vaccinated. The problem in their eyes was that the Biden Administration was using OSHA as a tool to get Americans vaccinated. Second, Federal OSHA’s vaxx-or-test mandate is not dead. SCOTUS Blog wrote, “The vaccine-or-test mandate will remain on hold while the challenges to its legality continue in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.”

    1. Mantid

      The article also states: “At the same time, the justices – by a vote of 5-4 – granted the administration’s request to be allowed to temporarily enforce a vaccine mandate for health care workers at facilities that receive federal funding.”

      They did not say places of employment (schools, offices, hardware stores, etc.) “that receive federal funding.”

      My son’s University (he’s a teacher) receives fed funding, but they are not a facility of “health care workers”. Ergo, no mandate. He doesn’t want a booster as he had bad reactions to the initial shots. The Univ. wants to mandate the vax.

  9. Toshiro_Mifune

    Vaccine Aristocrats Strike Again

    One of the most interesting things about the media portrayal of Anti Vaccine movement has been the shift in that portrayal to showing them as only conservative/religious. Clearly we are supposed to forget the previous 20 years of the anti movement which was largely populated by ‘crunchy mom’ types of whom any venn diagram would have had strong overlaps of ‘No Vaccines’ and ‘NPR totebags’. I mean, there was entire Frontline documentary about it.
    Nope, forget all that. It’s just the hayseeds now. Coastal types are ok to hate on them.

    I’m the parent of a 14 yr old with autism. One of the things about being a parent of a child with autism is that you will meet a lot of other parents of children with autism and vaccines eventually comes up… even if you try to avoid the subject. I can tell you exactly who those ‘anti’ parents were for the previous 12 years culturally and politically, albeit anecdotally. Not a lot of Fox news viewers.

    edit: re-posted because I hit moderation for whatever reason.

    1. Robert Hahl

      Speaking of possible causes, I know a family that keeps a loud TV on in the background all day long, mostly football games when I was there, even when no one is watching. I eventually stopped visiting because of the cacophony. They had a autistic boy. Is there any evidence for the idea that random TV and radio noise may cause or exacerbate autism?

      1. Toshiro_Mifune

        re posting as my original comment got black holed.

        Lots of autistic kids are very sensitive to sounds. So yes loud noises would be very disturbing to them.
        For other autistic kids having the same sounds constantly in the background is very very soothing.
        Many autistic children have difficulty handling change in their environment. For some that means any new noises is bad, for others that would mean the lack of familiar noises is bad. Possibly the family was keeping game noises on because their boy found them calming.

        1. Eclair

          My spouse, the rocket engineer, is on the autism scale: what until recently was termed Asperger’s Syndrome. He loves routine and has eaten exactly the same breakfast every morning (except Sundays) for decades. He keeps the TV on, even if he is in his ‘man cave,’ working on the computer. Drove me crazy for years, until I realized that for him it was anxiety reducing. He is very sensitive to sudden noises, even not especially loud ones, so the low level noise acts like a sound mitigator. I have learned to tune it out. On the good side, an occasional breakthrough TV experience keeps me up to date on an important part of US culture.

      2. polar donkey

        From personal experience with my 7 year old autistic son, yes. Structured time limits for screen time for my son. If he indulges too much, he’ll fixate and become agitated if you ask him to share or turn off.

      3. LaRuse

        I am not even autistic and I find homes like the one you describe intolerable. In fact, I laid off watching t.v. regularly in 2018, not intentionally, just for lack of content that interested me, and now, I can barely tolerate any television for more than a few minutes. Movie theaters are worse, but I haven’t been inside once since 2019. Maybe I was always just particularly sensitive to sensory overstimulation, but I wonder if the hardcore TV watching population isn’t numbed in ways that aren’t obvious to them.

        1. Martin Oline

          “hardcore TV watching population isn’t numbed in ways that aren’t obvious to them”
          I believe that to be true. I had no TV for all of the 1980’s and went to see a friend once on a Saturday morning. The cartoons were on for the kids and I found them extremely stressful to sit through. The noise level of the programs was set at ten and the aggressive ads were set at eleven. It was not only irritating but set up a fight or flight tension in me. I can see how infants subjected to living in a high noise environment would withdraw from the world.
          I have noticed (through grandchildren’s visits) how children’s programming has progressed (?) from a screaming sponge to squads of children dolled up to look like scientists and/or investigators gleefully stepping on one another’s lines with their rapid-fire delivery at high volume. I suspect this carefully multi-ethnic programming model is shaping entire generations to trust in the science and believe that committees will save the world.

        2. Jack Pine

          Same experience here, though I have avoided TV for much longer. It is a serious assault to the senses. I was particularly shocked the first time I saw HD.

        3. cwalsh

          I stopped TV in 2007. I find the violence in TV and movies intolerable now. My BIL sent a manuscript to me, I could not get past the first chapter due to the violent content.

          1. rowlf

            I can’t stand the violence and most of the writing gives me a headache. I’ve always felt that censoring gun violence (or all violence) in media would be a positive step for society.

            1. rowlf

              I missed the edit period. In what universe or dimension is watching violence acceptable entertainment?

                1. Ellery O'Farrell

                  Yet their violence always took place offstage, a deliberate choice (and rule) to avoid the attraction of watching violence. They’d read their Plato–or, rather, Plato en-worded a prevalent belief. IIRC, and I could easily be wrong, Aristotle even agreed.

                  Moving the violence offstage didn’t and doesn’t prevent the audience from experiencing strong feelings about it. The force and beauty of the writing set the imagination afire and the audience identifies with the characters’ experience almost as if it were their own. So, for example, Macbeth is taken as an exemplar of human experience–a real person–rather than an actor who “struts and frets his hour upon the stage.”

                  But perhaps it weakened the attraction of watching living blood flow.

                  1. ambrit

                    Oh, and what about “Titus Andronicus?” Or “Oedipus?”
                    Genres like Body Horror are popular for some abtruse reason.
                    One theory about most Elizabethan playwrights placing violence offstage was the observation that then, as is sometimes seen today in Arena Wrestling, members of the audience would enter the stage to “show the actors how it’s supposed to be done.”
                    Somewhat appropriate:

    2. Carolinian

      Robert Kennedy Jr. is not exactly a heartland hayseed–lives in Los Angeles, married to glamorous Cheryl Hines. Jimmy Kimmel makes a living out of being smug and stupid. There is an audience for it.

      1. Toshiro_Mifune

        Jimmy Kimmel makes a living out of being smug and stupid. There is an audience for it.
        You got me curious what his ratings numbers were actually like. From a 6 month old Deadline article;

        Using Live+7, across viewers aged 18-49, all three shows score a 0.3, but The Late Show wins with 430,000 viewers compared with The Tonight Show’s 345,000 and Jimmy Kimmel Live!’s 342,000.

        Those are…. sad numbers. I know the talking heads on the ‘news’ side; Madow/Olbermann and Carlson/Hannity don’t really do much better.

        Why do any of these have as much cultural/media traction as they do?** They demonstrably have very very few people watching them. Girl with the Dogs on youtube does better daily when she posts a new video. We live in a weird cultural moment.
        The above ratings also goes a way to explaining at least some for the hatred for Rogan.

        ** Kind of a rhetorical question as I know the answer

        1. Wukchumni

          Skewing the age dynamic of our over the hill ski group was the 28 year old son of potentially the best downhill skier from Orlando, and when I mentioned Adin Ross, his ears pricked up a bit and he asked how a codger like me knew of him? The rest of our group aged from 60 to 72 all had blank looks on their faces…

          I’d heard of him only on account of Adin being from tiny town here, and he’s what is known as a ‘twitch streamer’ and according to Wiki has 3 million followers, with comparable numbers as Kimmel, with hundreds of thousands watching per stream.

          Have any of you ever heard of him?

          1. Toshiro_Mifune

            Have any of you ever heard of him?

            Nope. I mainly watch FailRace for GTA shenanigans.
            There are scores like this. Streamers on various platforms with equivalent ratings that would crush most of late night/the news crowd and largely a blindness to them.
            I mean… if you were using any of those traditional media outlets to either push a message or gauge public sentiment their viewer ship is so small I’m not sure what it would accomplish.

          2. FDW


            And then there’s the Streamer group Hololive, where nearly all the group will get 6 digit views on their strams 7 digits on whatever songs they cover.

            Jimmy Kimmel and his ilk look like a runt next to the juggernaut that is Hololive.

          3. Lambert Strether Post author

            > Adin Ross, Twitch streamer

            Never heard of him, no. At some point, a streamer or gamer with a huge following is going to break into politics, and old codgers like me will be surprised.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Without jimmy kimmel, how would the ladies of The View know what they’re supposed to be talking about?

        Or maybe it’s the other way around.

        Either way, it’s abc / Mickey Mouse. So when the abc “news” division “debunks” a 125-year-old scientific theory regarding the evolutionary habits of viruses, I’m inclined to believe it’s just more of the same twisting of any and every story in service of a predetermined narrative.

        1. Basil Pesto

          er, but the pre-determined narrative has overwhelmingly been that Omicron is mild and the (latest) road out of the pandemic as the virus attenuates into benign endemicity (which NC’s GM has explained is, charitably, extremely naïve). This is one of the very few mainstream pieces that questions that pre-determined narrative (the other that comes to mind being William Haseltine’s superb series in Forbes). Moreover, the 125 year old theory is demonstrably wrong. See the discussion above.

          1. Carolinian

            Er, if per the discussion above I probably have been infected with some evolved derivative of the Spanish flu then I’d say the discussion above says just the opposite.

            And no offense to GM (or you) but I think some of us will take a wait and see attitude. After two years of missed certainties from all sides the prediction business seems to be having a bit of a recession.

            1. Yves Smith

              GM has had a very accurate track record with Covid so far. For instance, he was one of the first to warn of declining vaccine efficacy in July, based on data in Israel, to call out which variants talked about in the press on a preliminary basis had the potential to become dominant, to warn about T-cell derangement risk and the resulting rise in cancers, which we are seeing now, to warn how highly transmissive Omicron was before it even had a name and how it would evade nearly all monoclonal antibodies. You blow him off at your peril.

              1. GM

                I am also going to admit when I was wrong.

                I expected Omicron to be at least as bad as Delta based on the original sequence.

                That turned out to be wrong, but note that the individual mutations that drove that expectation were indeed confirmed to make it worse in isolation. It’s just that in the very specific context of Omicron something very weird has happened that shifted the mechanism of entry and thus the tropism. That was a huge surprise to everyone.

              2. Carolinian

                I don’t have the qualifications to blow anybody off. I’m just stating my skepticism re certainty in general–at least when it comes to this.

            2. Basil Pesto

              Er, if per the discussion above I probably have been infected with some evolved derivative of the Spanish flu then I’d say the discussion above says just the opposite.

              This has to be a bit. You cannot possibly be that obtuse.

        2. jimmy cc

          or you could simply study history and then find out that many times, viruses do get deadlier…

          you don’t have to find it at ABC News, it is a historical fact.

  10. upstater

    re. Never occurred to me containers could be busted open

    This has always been a thing… in my railroad days, one of the funniest was Nestlé had a chocolate factory in Fulton, NY. They had blue and white box cars their logo loaded with cocoa beans; we’d get half a dozen or more at a time. One time the cars were idle in a yard and somebody thought they’d score some free candy. The door was opened and literally tons of cocoa beans poured out, covering the would be candy thief. He dug himself out and escaped. It gave the yard a nice aroma until the beans began to rot. Don’t know if the resident huge rats ate cocoa beans…

    There was a theft ring in El Paso that had a mole on the Union Pacific who informed thieves of containers having high value electronic imports. When the trains would slow, the thieves would release the braking air and the train would stop. They then proceeded to loot the containers.

    Probably thousands of examples exist. Obviously the thieves know which containers to loot in the LA videos. There are not any cases of toilet paper or bulky things like cheap furniture to be seen.

      1. jr

        It was apparently pretty bad for truck drivers about 15 years ago, I had a buddy who used to drive a truck from PA to NJ. Just a small 26′-er loaded with boxes. He told me he carried an illegal 9mm and usually blew through the red lights on the streets around the depot which were low traffic at the early morning hours he was working. These were lonely streets lined with industrial type buildings and such.

        The reason for the piece was that he had had, on more than one occasion, men jump up onto his running boards trying to rip open his door or reach through the window and turn off the truck. He bought the gun and worked a few more weeks, then quit. He needed the cash but his family needed him alive too.

        I’d bet it’s worse now.

      2. Watt4Bob

        In Chicago in the 70s, I heard a lot of the stolen stuff marketed on the street was stolen from South Side rail yards.

        A lot of cops had garages loaded with big boxes, televisions.

        Railroads never figured out how to get keys for locks to end up in the same place, so railroad cars didn’t locks, they had flimsy metal seals.

        But the carnage evident in those pictures is something I never saw around urban rail yards back then.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      In decades past it used to be common in Ireland for thieves to jump onto Guinness trains and roll barrels off for someone to collect. Sometimes they’d then claim the bounty for bringing the empty barrel back to Guinness (they were aluminium and very expensive). Occasionally they’d get the jump wrong and then some unfortunate young policemen would be given the task of walking the railway line collecting the remains of the would be thief, which might be strewn over many miles if the driver didn’t realise what had happened and stopped.

      My father told me he was once given that job as a civil defense volunteer in the 1940’s. It was, to put it mildly, not pleasant. I suspect that sometimes the victims were suicides, but it was considered a little more socially respectable at the time for the deceased to be considered a guinness thief than a suicide so thats what the coroner would declare.

      1. newcatty

        Something poetic about a “Guinness thief”. Poignant that the Irish coroner would declare suicides as the more socially acceptable cause of death. Reminds me of the scene in the film “Dopesick”. Spoiler alert. The mother of the young woman who begins taking prescribed oxycontin for pain, and then goes on to heroin, takes one last heroin hit before she dies. May be paraphrasing: Her mother when the daughter dies says to her husband, I don’t care who knows how she died. She joins other grieving families at a protest against Purdue Pharma.

    2. griffen

      During my college years in the summers I worked on or drove a milk delivery truck for a North Carolina based dairy. Thankfully, no one ever held anyone hostage for the gallon jugs of cow juice or the ever addictive half pints of chocolate milk. There were exchanges, but generally a friendly exchange with the Sunbeam driver or the Krispy Kreme doughnut driver.

      Best doughnut ever. The jelly doughnuts were still warm!

    3. Eclair

      I saw this twitter post yesterday and assumed it was yet another instance of a local TV station searching for higher ratings by stoking fears of crime and urban decay, like the routine stories of ‘porch thieves’ and the ‘drug-and disease-ridden homeless people.’ But, it does look like a real happening.

      Makes sense. So difficult these days, what with the cashless economy, to rob 7-11’s and, with electronic surveillance systems, the banks. Might as well go direct to the hard goods, especially if one can score high-value, easily carried items like epi-pens and iPhones.

      Impoverish a large enough segment of the population and they will resort to emulating the upperclass. Looting can be an equal-opportunity activity. Except, of course, in the punishment exacted if caught.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      > There was a theft ring in El Paso that had a mole on the Union Pacific who informed thieves of containers having high value electronic imports.

      I was wondering how the thieves would know which container to bust open, other than just doing it randomly. Shades of The Wire.

  11. Mikel

    “Vaccine Aristocrats Strike Again” Matt Taibbi

    There was an article discussed here that talked about a study that showed high distrust of the Covid shots among people with advanced degrees.

    So I I’m seeing it work like this so far:
    They use mockery for the one group, but among the highly credentialed who ask tough questions about the Covid shots or point out inconvenient truths they use censorship.

    Also, I think the meaning of the word vaccine needs to be reclaimed. It’s perfectly ok to call something a therapeutic if that is all it does.
    It’s a treatment for Covid and there is no shame in that.

    1. JBird4049

      Ah, but the Credentialed Class has earned their status as human, whereas the hoi polloi are too uneducated to be human instead of something else, like a dog.

    2. Fattigmann

      Agreed that the word “vaccine” should be reclaimed (to its traditional status as sterilizing with attenuated virus samples). I believe that it’s a logical fallacy (false equivalence) to use the word vaccine for a novel technology, and therefore misleading in terms of public safety. But using the word “treatment?” What do experimental mRNA GMO injections actually treat?

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Army to name new 200-ton tank after General Milley’

    A 200-ton tank? Perfect. The only thing that would be missing would be a set of ‘tank nuts’ bolted onto the rear of it.

    1. griffen

      Out of curiosity, I went looking for the biggest and bad-ass, heaviest by weight in the history of tanks. 188 tons…that is a whole lot of woman, i mean, tank!

      It was German, and was the heaviest fully enclosed armored fighting vehicle ever built. I’m sure it was hell on cobblestone and pavement too.

          1. JBird4049

            Those graphic novels were a bit of a gut punch; I wouldn’t call the Nazis funny except in the eldritch sense, but the German people do have humor although like British humor it might be hard to discern.

  13. old centurion

    Nice observation from Last Poets article:

    In the first episode of Civilisation, Kenneth Clarke, cheerily ruminating on the nature of barbarism, states that primitive society can have a certain primacy and immediacy of emotion that civilisation often lacks, but its ultimate essence is “that there is no break from it. No light after dark. There is no escape from the hierarchy, the cold, the violence, and the dirt.”

    1. Soredemos

      In reality there is no sharp distinction between ‘savages’ and ‘civilized’. The ‘barbarians’ are often better off in many ways.

  14. Alex Morfesis

    Yup…those Iranian mullahs and baby eye ya toe laz really hate them their merika cause those spare parts for all that old american military equipment that magically appears via the red sea just doesn’t fall off trees…but gotta keep das little peoples distracted and entertained… heaven forbid the Iranian clowns at the top of the food chain were actually Happy skullyman is gone and is no longer a threat to pull off a coup….nah….

    and now we return you back to our regularly scheduled distractions…

    1. Michael Ismoe

      If the Iranians actually built a robot assassin, I wonder how many Democrats would volunteer to help direct traffic in the Mar a Lago parking lot to ensure that the robot could find its mark?

      1. Screwball

        I’m guessing quite a few. In the circles I read, they just can’t put the Donald to bed. He is STILL the prism in which everything is defined. TDS is the PMC Hotel California – he can check out but never leave.

        I am also seeing memes about Hillary Clinton and how she is the most qualified candidate EVER!

        Someone please stop this nightmare.

        1. JBird4049

          Sigh. I guess there are at least seventy five million Americans who qualify for the office of the president, and last I checked, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and other supporters of his, not to mention Senator Joe Manchin (R-WV) are still around.

          Why doesn’t the PMC get someone else? Or is the fact that Senator McConnell and former Vice President Dick “Darth” Chaney are opponents of Donald Trump the important thing? Is that I dumb question? (Yes, I know that it is.) It is all about doing performance needed for the grift. That must keep the money flowing. That the Democratic Party is looking at the worst national defeat in century, which anyone can, means less than a barrel of hog spit. That this possibly means the Whigification of the Democratic Party, the almost certain re-election of President Trump, and truly serious unrest apparently means nothing serious. Gotta keep that money going for now.

      2. Skip Intro

        That video must drive the blob mad. They want to be the ones to kill Trump, but they love watching it, but they want to use it as a casus belli and call it an outrage… One wonders if this isn’t Iran seeding the clouds in the blob for a little false flag hit on Trump. “It was definitely Iran, they admitted it!”

      3. Oh

        Let’s not forget that the Dims are clones of the Repugs. They use Trump to do Kabuki theater and therefore wouldn’t want to kill their golden goose.

  15. cnchal

    > Controlled Prices Phenomenal World

    The last line is a rhetorical question.

    As a share of Gross Domestic Product, corporation profits corrected for inventories and depreciation were 12.6 percent in Q3 2021, up from 11.1 percent in 2019 and 10.9 percent in 2016. According to the FTC’s Quarterly Financial Reports, operating income for US iron, steel, and ferroalloys corporations was $10.1 billion in Q3 2021, up from a quarterly average of $1.2 billion in 2019 and $849 million in 2016. For US wood products corporations, the same figures were $9.4 billion in Q2 2021, $1.7 billion in 2019, and $1.7 billion in 2016; for US wholesale corporations they were $38.2 billion (Q2), $18 billion, and $16.3 billion. Some might claim these earnings are only due to expanding volumes, but rising prices clearly show otherwise. Others might argue that such profits are necessary to induce entry and expand capacity in these industries, but the same FTC data show few departures in the growth trend of property, plant, and equipment in these sectors comparable to the explosion in their income from operations. It does not seem as if entrepreneurs in these markets expect the current level of demand will persist long enough to validate any dramatic expansions in capacity. But if not, then what is the current round of price increases really for?

    To engorge stawk prices. What about pleasing Wall Street don’t you understand?

    1. tegnost

      from investopedia…
      “An entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new business, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards. The process of setting up a business is known as entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator, a source of new ideas, goods, services, and business/or procedures.”
      What sort of BS thinks that there are “new entrants” in the lumber steel and wholesale corps?
      It’s the right kind of inflation, giving gobs of cash to the useless eaters on socialist wall st.
      Grifters R Us!!!

      1. cnchal

        My funny bone got tickled to read about young Rumsfeld and Earl Butz torquing the system to win an election.

        After the Democrat-controlled Congress twice passed legislation authorizing presidential orders to control wages and prices, Nixon finally imposed controls in August 1971. Over the next two years, inflation slowed considerably. But three planning errors undermined the controls program and helped to discredit it later, during the recessions of 1974 and 1979, when prices again did not fall and when recourse to monetary policy acquired bipartisan appeal. The first planning problem was in agricultural supply for the years 1972 and 1973, when the United States entered into export agreements with the Soviet Union and China. Rather than allowing the USDA to follow the Price Commission recommendation to expand acreage plantings to keep farm prices down, Cost of Living Council Director Donald Rumsfeld and Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz urged higher farm prices to secure Republican votes in the Midwest during the 1972 election.

        In essence, our daily bread prices were raised so a bunch of criminals at the top got moar. Brandon’s message is exactly right, nothing fundamental will change. Or has.

        My experience is, my shipping costs quadrupled when the Post Office changed to dimensional weight, a political decision based on collusion and corruption at the top of the shipping food chain and my material costs have doubled in the last eighteen months. Who wants to complain about a seven percent inflation rate, now? Oh, and all customers hate price increases, they think they are being ripped off. Well they are being ripped off, but not by who they think is ripping them off.

        1. Dave

          Paraphrasing Shrub; Bidenflation, Roaring ahead!

          Beef 18.6%
          Pork 15%
          Chicken 10.4
          Seafood 10.2%
          energy 29.3%
          Natural gas 24%
          Gasoline 49.6%

          That last one is the harbinger of revolution. Almost every gas pump around here has written near the total owed, or a sticker, “Thanks Biden”, His face-“I did that” , “Fuck Joe Biden!!”, or at the mildest ,”Let’s Go Brandon!”

          Don’t forget all the Iranian and Venezuelan crude that’s barred from the U.S. by the Neoconjobbers. One executive order could reverse that. Gee, wonder why he hasn’t done that?

          1. Marylou

            Seeing same things on the best billboard of all: U.S. currency.

            ‘Biden-flation eats savings, salary & wages’

          2. cnchal

            > . . . wonder why he hasn’t done that?

            Nothing fundamenatal will change.

            Steel prices have tripled and seem to be on a permanently high plateau.

            Today’s steel industry is a case in point. For decades, American firms have argued for higher prices as a critical protection in a market where, today, half of global capacity is in lower-cost Chinese plants. To protect the profits of the American steel companies, President Trump used the authority of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act to impose 25-percent tariffs on the metal. Recently, under President Biden, China ratified the shift to a high global steel price by announcing its own program of output cuts under the rubric of reducing carbon emissions. From $560 per ton in 2019 and 2020, steel prices ballooned to near $2,000 per ton this past autumn. The world price has tripled, and many US free traders are now urging the repeal of the Trump steel tariffs, which the Biden administration has maintained. Despite such profiteering prices, capacity utilization in the US remains around 80 percent, the industry managers’ apparent preference. Capacity expansion in the industry took years and only accelerated after China’s announcement of production cuts. Expensive steel, it seems, benefits both the labor rebalancing program of Biden’s US and the carbon rebalancing program of Xi’s PRC.

            Such a price spike of a general commodity basic to capital equipment and buildings is certain to influence the structure of costs throughout the economy. It is clear in both the economic aggregates and industry-specific surveys that producers across industries are taking the opportunity of the Trump and Biden emergency relief stimulus, and the prospect of sustained development spending on both physical infrastructure and social policy, to raise profit margins.

            Eclownomists, enthroned at the policy table are lost for words.

        1. Mantid

          Yes, they are trying to hide the real reason, and dong well. Private equity (Blackrock, Vanguard, et al) are driving up prices, not the cost of 2X4s. You will rent and be happy about that, well, until your apartment in NY city burns down.

  16. tegnost

    “We’ve got to work together, not against each other.”

    I like the way it’s implied that “working together” means compromise, when what it means when a top dem says it is “get in line…how many times do I have to tell you?”

  17. Mikel

    “The CIA May Be More Useful Than the CDC in Next Epidemic”

    From the divide and conquer messaging to the censorship, I can’t help but suspect they are active in this one.

    1. Nikkikat

      I think you would be correct in your suspicions. Doubtful we have seen any facts or truth coming from these clowns in government.

      1. albrt

        Deep state operatives literally can’t state any facts or truth, because whatever they believe to be the truth is classified.

  18. Mildred Montana

    That cat/crow video is a perfect metaphor for the current state of things:

    Cat: The people. Just trying to enjoy a small morsel.
    Crow #1: The government. The distractor of the people.
    Crow #2: The corporation. The thief. Government distraction successful, it moves in to steal the people’s morsel.

    Two against one. The cat is sure to lose.

    Reminds me of an Ambrose Bierce definition:

    DISTANCE, n. The one thing the rich allow the poor to keep.

  19. Tom Stone

    I’m embarrassed, for the last year I’ve been hearing “Follow the Science” when they were actually saying “Follow the Zients”.
    No excuse.

  20. IM Doc

    I would urge us to be very careful about comparing our current scenario to influenza.

    Influenza and corona viruses are completely different things. They behave differently in the wild.

    The 1918 influenza came at a very inopportune moment in human history.

    The 1890s pandemic, more and more are thinking it was indeed coronavirus OC 43, was much different and so far is mirroring our current situation. Depending on where you were in the world, there were 7 to 12 huge waves. There was no clean stair stepping down in badness, each wave had its own characteristics, and some waves were nothingburgers, some were Godzilla. There was no ordered procession in decreased pathogenicity. It was all over the place. The 5th wave in the European area was a nightmare, while 4 was nothing, and 6 not too good. This is also the case in some coronavirus pandemics in animals.

    Then there are examples, cov1, where the pandemic just ends likely for a combination of reasons – but no one knows for sure.

    As I have repeatedly said, collective humanity and our collective immune system is going to have a hot war with this virus until the hostilities are over. We will then settle into a Cold War for eternity. OC43 is still around and makes us all sick with new variants every other year or so. It just kills a microscopic number of people at this point. It remains to be seen how the introduction of vaccines will play out in this war. We have never attempted this in humans before. In every animal coronavirus pandemic where vaccines were attempted, it has ended in tears.

    That is the future with COVID. At this point, we have no idea how long this will take. Any celebrations at this point are entirely premature. So far, despite all our technology and “wisdom”, we are not doing that much better than the 1890s.

    1. haywood

      Interesting. From what I found in this article veterinarians have been dealing with animal coronaviruses and vaccines for decades with many of the problems and successes we are now encountering.

    2. Mikel

      Doc, I don’t know if this is anything you want to speculate on and it’s about the 1918 Flu Pandemic. I agree that it can’t be compared.
      I saw a documentary about that pandemic and the doctors were describing deadly symptoms that baffled them so much there was debate about whether it was actually influenza.
      Some of the descriptions of the colors people were turning and what was happening with lungs reminded me of descriptions of the effects of chemical weapons used in the trenches.
      So you take soldiers with a virus that mutates and put them in a trench with chemical weapons being used on them. They come out of the trenches around the time of the beginning of the deadliest wave of the influenza virus.

      Anybody, please talk me down. It’s just something that I’ve speculated about.

    3. Carolinian

      we are not doing that much better than the 1890s.

      The real takeaway? Isn’t the lesson here (I think you’ve said it yourself) that treatment should be the focus more than prevention? The do as we say or else attitude by the Biden administration and overseas governments is based on the notion that we are much better at prevention than in the 1890s. Whereas science –perhaps–has given us better treatments. Shouldn’t we be allowed to use them?

  21. Wukchumni

    …and on the 8th day he rested

    Skiing (and getting to and from via jet) was the breeding ground for Covid early on with super spreader events in Italy, Idaho & Colorado in 2020…

    I knew going in that Omicron would only intensify during our weeklong foray sliding down steep slopes repeatedly, and 8 of us living cheek by jowl in a rental condo that in theory only had room for 6 only made the potential of spread that much easier, but we seemed to all not get it despite frankly NO controls @ both Alpine Meadows & Mammoth ski resorts.

    Last year according to my cadre, the resorts didn’t allow strangers to share chairs on lifts, and eateries were closed down, so most everybody brown-bagged their lunches and ate outside.

    This past week frankly looked like the world before Covid to me, in that ski lift loading meant getting as any people on a quad or a 6 person chair as you could, and in theory you needed to wear a mask inside the crowded dining hall, but maybe 20% had one on when they weren’t eating, while 100% didn’t have one on while noshing.

    The skiing was fabulous with conditions mimicking springtime with blue skies and 45 degree temps on the slopes, it felt like March-not early January, not that there was anything wrong with that.

  22. Randy

    Army to name new 200-ton tank after General Milley Duffel Blog

    Well, now I know how people who think Onion articles are real feel. I was going to go off on what a stupid idea a 200-ton tank is before I finished reading all the way to the end to see “Duffel Blog”. Hopefully this is the worst mistake I make today.

  23. Mikel

    Problems are now literally becoming the “elephant in the room”:

    I was checking out to get more info about the elephants being killed by ingesting pastic and other waste from a dump.
    Then the video in the article was playing and there are mysterious deaths of other elephants in Africa. They’ve ruled out poacher poison, but studies are indicating something “hemorrhagic”.

  24. Eustachedesaintpierre

    Slightly curious why they used that photo of the England team featuring Gazza ( Paul Gascoigne ) a renowned party animal, who played for England during the 90’s. Maybe they couldn’t find any later ones with a similar bang as since then soccer has changed dramatically in many ways, which could include I suppose not wanting ultra expensive players getting drunk in changing rooms, on wet slippery floors potentially covered in broken glass.

    In any case rugby players would be more fitting for those who played on the fields of Eton – but at least there were no dwarves involved.

  25. Wukchumni

    McCarthy (My Kevin since ’07) stridently declared he wouldn’t cooperate with the investigation into the January 6th hijinks, as he’s in too deep on the shallow end of the GOP.

    I’m kind of surprised he didn’t resign like Devin, but the devil is in the details.

  26. TimH

    Daily Mail: “The individuals are identified in court documents only as ‘Non-Parties 17, 53, 54, 55, 56, 73, 93 and 151’ – it is not clear if one of them Prince Andrew”

    ‘not clear’ indeed, but that word choice implies that he is, when of course the correct wording is ‘completely and utterly unknown by Fleet Street’.


    1. Wukchumni

      Daily Mail: “The individuals are identified in court documents only as ‘Non-Parties 17, 53, 54, 55, 56, 73, 93 and 151’

      I heard Randy Andy was individual # 69, so he’s off the hook.

      1. griffen

        Is the lady Maxwell intent on naming names to procure a more comforting view from her cell? I went partially through the article, but then it felt like circling a drain slowly, to reach the ever loving point.

        She can watch the birds nest on Anthrax Island. Or, trash duty at the latest EPA Super fund site sans hazardous mat suit. She is convicted and is human trash.

  27. allan

    How it started:

    Politico, 8 days ago: Does John Katko Have the Secret to Thwarting Trump?

    How it’s going:

    WRVO, today: Katko says he will not seek reelection in 2022

    Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) announced Friday that he will not seek reelection in 2022, leaving Congress after first being elected in 2014.

    In a statement, Katko said he is leaving Congress to spend more time with his family. …

    … Katko was one of 10 House Republicans to vote in favor of impeaching former President Donald Trump last year. Trump vowed to support any candidate to challenge Katko and the other 9 GOP members in a primary. …

    Even with redistricting, Katko would have been favored to win the general election in 2022.

  28. Wukchumni

    Five common denominators on tragedy fires Wildfire Today
    9 years ago about this time in January, I noticed smoke in the far distance up in the mountains and called dispatch @ Sequoia NP to see if they knew what was going on, and was told there was a wildfire named the ‘Soda Fire’. It was at around 7,000 feet and in theory there should have been no possibility of it happening, for there would be snow on the ground, but this was in the midst of the 2012-16 drought.

    It was the very first winter-time wildfire in the Golden Trout Wilderness, and I knew right then and there that we had entered a new paradigm where wildfires such as the recent one in Colorado were now very much possible.

    The Soda Fire burning in the Golden Trout Wilderness in Sequoia National Forest continued its spread towards the west over the weekend and grew to 1132 acres. Fire behavior continues to be of low to moderate intensity and largely confined to surface and ground fuels. No tree torching has been observed.

  29. Wukchumni

    Water is for lying over-Whiskey is for lying under

    The basin depends on 7,650 acre feet of natural inflow each year and it doesn’t import any water. Nearly 28,000 acre feet are pumped out each year, prompting an engineer for the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Authority to deem it the “most upside down” basin he’d ever worked in.

  30. Joe Well

    Maybe it’s the crows looting the shipping containers?

    Just trying to form a coherent world view from my news consumption…

  31. Charles Misfeldt

    As for Iran threatening Trump, who cares, take him he yours, do whatever you like with him, just promise he won’t come back.

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