Links 1/16/2022

Why cat-like creatures vanished from North America for 6 million years New Scientist (PD). They heard a can-opener from some other continent?

Tongan geologists observe stunning eruptions at Hunga Matangi Tonga Online. Impressive:

And from space:

KPMG auditors forged documents to avoid criticism, tribunal heard FT and Economic Consequences of Auditor Reputation Loss: Evidence from the Audit Inspection Scandal SSRN. From the Abstract: “Our results suggest, despite the serious ethical violations the scandal exposed, there were few market and competitive consequences for KPMG and its clients.” Study from 2020, still germane.

Elon Musk’s Tesla Asked Law Firm to Fire Associate Hired From SEC WSJ


How the Refrigerator Became an Agent of Climate Catastrophe The New Yorker

Dust Is a Growing Problem. What Role Does Farmland Play? Civil Eats


The Omicron Whirlwind: A Conversation with Eric Topol – The Current and Future State of the Pandemic (video) UCSF Department of Medicine. Though I don’t agree with everything Topol says, this is worth a listen for his gently-phrased but pointed critique of the Biden Administration and CDC’s bungling. If bungling it is. With captions, which is helpful (although the “the microclimate of goodness” between interviewer and interviewee can be a bit cloying).

Mass General Expert Predicts: No Boosters. Normal Life. We Can Move On From Covid RESCUE with Michael Capuzzo. A huffy clarification from Dr. Edward Ryan, the expert, but the headline, though incomplete, is accurate. At this point, we recall that Walensky comes from Mass General (and that CDC’s models, which didn’t predict either the late-summer Delta wave or Omicron, were wildly wrong. Prediction is hard, especially about the future).

Why Covid-19 will never become endemic The Saturday Paper. Australia’s “Let ‘er rip” strategy. The original headline, “A Pandemic of Denial,” is better than this headline, which implicitly equates “endemic” with “less severe.”

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Why You Can’t See The Most Important Omicron Hot Spots In The U.S. On A Map FiveThirtyEight (Re Silc).

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SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England (PDF) UK Health Security Agency. “In updated population data analysis, vaccine protection against mild disease has largely disappeared by 20 weeks after vaccination with a 2-dose primary course of vaccination. After a booster dose, protection initially increases to around 65 to 70% but drops to 45 to 50% from 10+ weeks. It is therefore likely that current vaccines offer limited long-term protection against infection or transmission.”

Is Omicron Reinfection Possible? Here’s What Experts Want You to Know Yahoo News. Throwing a flag on the Betteridge’s Law violation.

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COVID-19 Cluster Linked to Aerosol Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via Floor Drains Journal of Infectious Diseases. Bottom line: Check the traps in your plumbing system. Handy diagram:

Walensky, wrong as usual, miseducates the public and implicitly discourages N95 use:

N95 Respirator Cleaning and Reuse Methods Proposed by the Inventor of the N95 Mask Material The Journal of Emergency Medicine. From 2020, still germane.

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COVID-19 Antiviral Pill Rollout Stymied by Shortages as Omicron Rages NECN. If we’d started earlier… (which, as Topol points out, the Biden administration easily could have done).

Insurers Say Saturday Is Too Soon to Meet White House Goals on Rapid Tests NYT

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Covid Updates: Hochul Says Daily Cases in New York Fell 47% in a Week NYT. Assuming the tested population is representative, given test kit shortages (two years in, ffs). Another straw in the wind:

I suppose you could say “mild.” But do you really want to?

To Fight Covid, We Need to Think Less Like Doctors Aaron E. Carroll, NYT

Quietly and over some objections, a national digital vaccine card has emerged NBC


COVID: Beijing reports first local Omicron case Al Jazeera

Greater cooperation between China and the Middle East benefits all SCMP


Fleeing urban warfare in Loikaw Myanmar Now


How Israel Intentionally Destroyed the Dead Sea Haaretz

New Cold War

EXCLUSIVE Ukraine suspects group linked to Belarus intelligence over cyberattack Reuters. Entertaining lead:

KYIV, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Kyiv believes a hacker group linked to Belarusian intelligence carried out a cyberattack that hit Ukrainian government websites this week and used malware similar to that used by a group tied to Russian intelligence, a senior Ukrainian security official said.

I have helpfully underlined the weasel words. And one weasel.

The Farkas effect: When the Blob mobilizes for war Responsible Statecraft. I’m trying to think of a historical example where a ruling class became more sane after losing a war….

Putin’s Challenge to Western hegemony – the 2022 edition Adam Tooze, Chartbook

How serious is Vladimir Putin about launching a major Ukraine offensive? FT. “Visual storytelling” that doesn’t work on my desktop, but the prose is still useful. Our man in Kyiv:

The case for rapprochement with Russia Matt Yglesias, Slow Boring. Final sentence: “For now, the greatest threat to our global interest in Europe isn’t Russia — it’s war The Blob.” Fixed it for ya.

U.S. Considers Backing an Insurgency if Russia Invades Ukraine NYT

Texas officials say all hostages safe, out of Colleyville synagogue; hostage-taker dead Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Biden Administration

Biden’s bad week and the unreality of great expectations NPR. Liberal Democrats redeploy the “Green Lantern” talking point they once used to defend Obama (starting before he’d even completed his first year in office, in 2009. So how’d 2010 go for Obama?).

Supply Chain

China’s zero-Covid policy poses challenge for manufacturers and supply chains FT. That’s a damn shame.

IMB: Global Piracy Reached a 28-Year Low in 2021 Maritme Executive

Realignment and Legitimacy

What Happened to the “Question Authority” Era? Discussion with Author Walter Kirn Matt Taibbi, TK News. (One detail in the article: Clifton Duncan did not get banned.)

Progressivism: The Failure Of A Mission The American Conservative (Re Silc).

Glenn Youngkin reminds Virginians what GOP governance looks like MSNBC. Youngkin moves immediately to fulfill campaign promises. Democrats should consider doing that. Although I don’t recall Youngkin promising this:

The Bezzle

Developer apparently rug pulls two NFT projects at once Web3 Is Going Just Great

NFT art sales are booming. Just without some artists’ permission. NBC

After the Beanie Baby bubble burst Vox

Health Care

Association of Uninsurance and VA Coverage with the Uptake and Equity of COVID-19 Vaccination: January–March 2021 Journal of General Internal Medicine. n = 377,214. Handy chart:

It’s almost as if the VA’s NHS-style approach… Nah.

Capitol Seizure

Capitol rioters called Nancy Pelosi’s office looking for a ‘lost and found’ for items they left behind on January 6, according to Rep. Jamie Raskin Business Insider

Class Warfare

Identity politics watch:

The right tool for the job (1):

The right tool for the job (2):

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Revolt of the Delivery Workers New York Magazine

Taking On Starbucks, Inspired by Bernie Sanders NYT. “Liberal workers.”

A new era for the American worker Recode. Carpe diem.

The Corporate Campaign Against Pandemic Protections Daily Poster. From earlier this month, still germane.

The Case for Keeping Up Your Christmas Tree Until March The Atlantic

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. GM

    Mass General Expert Predicts: No Boosters. Normal Life. We Can Move On From Covid RESCUE with Michael Capuzzo. A huffy clarification from Dr. Edward Ryan, the expert, but the headline, though incomplete, is accurate. At this point, we recall that Walensky comes from Mass General (and that CDC’s models, which didn’t predict either the late-summer Delta wave or Omicron, were wildly wrong. Prediction is hard, especially about the future).

    Meanwhile in the real world Manaus is starting on round 3 of infecting everyone:

    It will be interesting to see how bad it gets.

    This is the place in the world that has gone the longest since its previous catastrophic wave (exactly a year) and apparently they only got to 50-60% vaccinations after that (presumably because everyone assumed they are immune after two waves, and did not get the memo that already the second was was one third reinfections), those vaccinations are 6 months old already anyway (not a whole lot of people boosted), and with the vaccines that suck the most too (AZ, Coronavac and J&J).

    So how many severe cases result from that wave will be very important to watch.

  2. Mikel

    “Is Omicron Reinfection Possible? Here’s What Experts Want You to Know” Yahoo News

    “it’s only natural to wonder if you can get reinfected with COVID-19 thanks to the variant…”

    Why is this line of thinking still out there? It is KNOWN that coronaviruses only produce anti-bodies that are temporary. There is no “variant” that will make a person super-immune to all coronaviruses. Why is it so hard to tell and accept the truth? What part of this-is-nothing-like-the-chickenpox don’t people understand?

    So no…it is not “natural to wonder” about this at all. Two years in. It’s an effect of a BS press.

    1. JBird4049

      What part of this-is-nothing-like-the-chickenpox don’t people understand?

      So no…it is not “natural to wonder” about this at all. Two years in. It’s an effect of a BS press.

      “The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.”

      It is not bs because that would suggest some kind of honest mendacity and mediocrity, but it is much more evil than that. George Orwell is our friend and the more I think of Nineteen Eighty-Four , that depressing and bleak novel, the more I realize that our rulers, the Inner Party, is consciously using that novel as a template; they may not, and probably do not, have that future as a goal, but they do not mind using the tactics and may not accept, yet, that this inevitably leads to that future.

    2. SKM

      Yes, of course! Antibodies always wane – normal physiology. Then, “It`s the T cells stupid”!! . Vaccines (and natural infection for most of the pathogens that plague us) almost never give sterilising immunity anyway. High titres soon after infection wane naturally but memory B cells mean that when months later you meet the virus again, OF COURSE the virus may be capable of replicating quite a bit in your upper airway mucosa but pretty quickly your memory cells start cranking out new antibodies and you defeat the infection in a few days (on average!). The good news about Omicron is that it is replacing Delta rapidly, everywhere due to the competitive advantage it has over Delta due to immune escape (not because it has grown extra wings to fly faster thro the air) – see the Danish household study cited by Christan Drosten in his last podcast. It has also a quite radical phenotypic change in the mechanism of cell entry which seems to make it less able to infect deeper lung tissue and be a predominatly an infection of the upper airways. Although in any given individual it can be quite nasty (worse than the common cold) it has now been shown to be intrinsically less nasty than all predecessor variants. It may have achieved this by evolving from a much earlier variant in a rodent population = work in progress, I think.
      This is all actually very good news and is likely in biological terms the beginning of the end of the pandemic (and the beginning of the endemic phase) as an emergency. Whether it is politically etc or not is another matter. It also means that Pfizer will have to work hard to create enough durable panic to sell the nonsense Omicron vaccine booster, at least in the “West”

      1. Dean

        Good summary, thanks. Here is a pre-print that supports some of your points:
        “Vaccines Elicit Highly Cross-Reactive Cellular Immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant”

        The data show that CD4 and CD8 cells recognizing variants delta and omicron are elicited by both adenovirus vector and mRNA vaccines. Both spike-specific CD4 and CD8 cells persist for 8 months. In fact the specific CD8 cells are significantly higher at 8 months than one month in individuals immunized to Ad26.COV2.S.

        And yes antibody titers (neutralizing and total) to beta and delta do contract during the 8 months while almost none are seen against omicron.

        From the summary:

        “Our data demonstrate that Ad26.COV2.S and BNT162b2 elicit broadly cross-reactive
        cellular immunity against SARS-CoV-2 variants including Omicron. The consistency of these
        observations across two different vaccine platform technologies (viral vector and mRNA)
        suggests the generalizability of these findings. The extensive cross-reactivity of Omicronspecific CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses contrasts sharply with the markedly reduced Omicronspecific neutralizing and binding antibody responses.”

        1. SKM

          Looking for T cells on whole populations isn`t possible – yet…… seems that people are working on easier methods but we aren`t there yet. Still no reason why all the almost hysteria about “waning immunity” is almost never qualified so people are unnecessarily scared out of their wits. The vaccines largely do what it was hoped they would do viz protect as many people as possible from a severe disease course. Although I loathe big pharma and blame them (and their helpers like Gates and the ruling classes)for the mass injury and death caused by the pandemic, the vaccines have proved amazingly effective – they are vaccines, not miracle drugs – and it makes no sense to deny this. Yes, I am aware of the cases of vaccine injury and that we have no idea of how much there is out there and this too is a scandal…… life is complicated, not black and white….. All this said, there is an evidence base for saying that if we optimised vitamin D levels of EVERYONE and also rolled out the unmentionable IVM drug we would have reduced the proportion of people ending up in immune overdrive in hospital to a trickle of only people already very fragile.
          Thanks Dean for that link – great stuff!

      2. Mikel

        Basically, let the virus lie in wait long enough for the rest of the crapola we put into our environment and food continue to affect T-Cells….

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Time-delayed Jackpot Design Engineering.

          Deliberately on purpose stealth-planting undisclosed unmapped Jackpot Mines all over the landscape.

      3. Yves Smith

        Beginning of the end of the pandemic? You are out of your mind.

        T cells are a secondary line of defense. Respiratory viruses attack at the periphery of the immune system. By the time T cells rally, the infection is advanced. And the time from exposure to symptoms is a day or two faster than with previous variants (average of 3 days v. 4-5 for past variants), giving secondary defenses less time to rally.

        The reason Omicron seems less bad is that it attacks the ACE2 receptor only, whereas before it needed ACE2 + TMPRSS2. ACE2 + TMPRSS2 is prevalent in the alveoli, so it attacked the lungs primarily and turned them to bloody pulp. But it also damages other sites, the brain (Covid cases exhibit worse than Alzheimer’s degradation of cognitive function), the heart, the kidneys, etc. Those other sites are now more subject to attack but the damage is less acute.

        As GM explained:

        But here is the interesting thing — the alveoli actually have little ACE2, only the AT2 pneumocytes express it, and even there it’s not all that high.. What drives infection there is the fact that there is a little bit of ACE2 plus quite a lot of TMPRSS2. So it goes the fusion way. It then drives syncytia formation, which is very destructive.

        But without the S1/S2 cleavage, it has to only rely on ACE2.

        Which, again, is not superabundant in the alveoli, but there is a lot of it in the bronchi.

        Thus the tropism shift and likely the milder respiratory symptoms — less infection in the lower lung, less cell-to-cell fusion. An important caveat is that we have no idea what happens elsewhere in the body, how much LongCOVID, etc.

        The problem for all of us is that COVID is really three diseases at once:

        1. The acute URT infection
        2. The hyperinflammatory reaction in the alveoli that causes ARDS
        3. The systemic infection that damages hearts, kidneys, beta cells in the pancreas, endothelial cells, the brain (though perhaps not directly), etc.

        People mostly die immediately from #2.

        They also die from #3, and will be dying of it in very large numbers in the future, but that does not enter the official statistics and thus can be ignored politically.

        With Omicron we get worse #1 (high ACE2 in the bronchi and above them in the URT), less severe #2, and we have no direct data on #3, but logic says it is worse, for the same reasons #1 is worse.

        But because #2 happens to be the immediate killer that grabs attention, the rest can be ignored with a sufficient amount of propaganda.

        And as we pointed out, immunity to Omicron will not be lasting.

        And the more you tax Tcells, the greater the risk of getting cancer. Tcells are a primary defense there, and adults effectively do not grow new ones.

        1. K.k

          I swear im going to lose my top if another person sends me another dr. Cambell video telling me the pandemic is about to be over and whats taking place now isn’t such a bad thing. Ill keep it together and sent them links I find here at NC and the sober discussions by Ms. Smith and co.
          Getting pretty sick of the non stop hopium peddling from some.

          1. tindrum

            Dr. Campbel is only presenting stats that are freely available and are all seemingly pointing in the right direction (or do you have different stats showing that everything is getting worse?).
            Don’t shoot the messenger (please).

        2. Dean

          Yves, I respectfully disagree. T cells are not a secondary line of defense. If you believe T cells are too slow for initial protection then you must believe that antibody responses are too slow as well. Innate immunity?

          In fact you will not produce antibodies without T cell responses.

          You may be conflating T cells with CD8 cells which, I would agree may be a second line of defense as they are responsible for eliminating cells already infected with virus. But T cells are far more diverse and have far greater functional diversity than that. In addition to CD8 cells the second major division of T cells are CD4 which have many different functional subdivisions. CD4 cells are also known as T helper cells. The various subdivisions secrete immunomodulators that induce proliferation, maturation, and activation of other immune cells including both B and t cells. For example follicular T helper cells help drive B cell proliferation in germinal centers, differentiation to antibody-secreting plasma cells, and also are necessary for antibody affinity maturation. Like antibodies, T cells are specific for their target antigen and like B-cells will form memory cells (both CD4 and CD8) that can be reactivated quickly upon secondary exposure.

          The immune system is complex. B-cells, T-cells, NK cells, and innate immune mechanisms are all important and interrelated.

          I am not sure about the cancer risk correlating with T cells given their target specificity. Exhaustion due to chronic stimulation should be limited to T cells recognizing SARS-CoV-2 epitopes and not any that might recognize putative tumor-associated antigens. Having said that I was concerned to see the loss of naive T cells in long covid patients in a paper Lambert highlighted a couple days ago: And I agree the cytokine and immunomodulator milieu could indeed cause disregulation that affects T cells in general. And let’s not forget NK cells. A scary thought!

            1. Dean

              The problem I see is that the term “T cell” is far too broad in functionality to make any general comment on effectiveness. As I may not have clearly discussed, CD4 cells (which are T cells) are critical for adaptive immunity. They are not marginal nor second line.

              If we are going to assign a T cell function in protection we should be more specific in defining which T cells we mean.

  3. Gay Veteran

    It’s almost as if the VA’s NHS-style approach… Nah.

    Based on almost 20 years of use of my local VA clinic I would say you misunderstand the VA demographic. You don’t see Bernie bumperstickers at my local VA clinic here in Texas. You see rethuglican, three-percent, maga, bumperstickers, hats, etc.

    The same ideology that pervades the reichwing-o-sphere pervades the client base at the VA.

    This was thrown into stark relief for me when I confronted three old Vietnam Vets (identified by their hats) who were laughing at Romney not revealing his tax returns. I asked them,

    “Why do you think he won’t?”

    “Because he isn’t paying taxes.” (all three laugh)

    “You mean the taxes that pay for your VA benefits fools?”

    1. ambrit

      Sorry GV, but “taxes” do not pay for anything undertaken by the Federal Government.
      Perhaps you were being sarcastic and forgot to append the ‘sarc’ tag.
      If those were Vietnam Vets, perhaps you would benefit from listening to them tell their stories about “fragging.” The Vietnam Vets are the last vestiges of a general draft army. After that, the ‘cannon fodder’ were generally selected for despair and malleability.
      Stay safe. Bunker down.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The years it would take to explain MMT concepts to the people referrenced just above will be years wasted in not bothering to get them to support taxes against Mitt Romney.

        The sand is running out of the hourglass. I myself will spend that time encouraging the restoration of taxes against the upper class before I waste any of it on splaining the arcana of ” MMT” .

        Anyway, since taxation is necessary to destroy the freshly emitted money to keep a moneyflood from eventually destroying the value of every single unit of money all the way down to zero, taxes are necessary to maintain the ” headroom permission” to keep emitting MMT money. So the “distinction” between ” taxes don’t pay for spending” and “taxes do pay for maintaining the headroom permission to keep MMT spending” is a distinction without a difference anyway.

            1. ambrit

              Toss in the Epstein Connection and we have the strip club version of bach’s “Heir on a G String.” As with other “string of cash” theory mavens, it would be considered a “Foreign Entanglement.”
              I’ll bet that the ‘K’ in ‘K Street’ stands for “kompromat.”

                1. ambrit

                  Not only, per Boris and Co. is it all Greek to me, but they would say that, wouldn’t they. Added ‘bonus;’ with the Lolita Mile High Club, it would often be “tu, tu,” plus, that “club” is useful for accumulating scalps, (which is another mechanism that “heir loss” operates on.)
                  “Where’s the fainting couch? [Smile for the camera!]”

    2. Guy Hooper

      As a disabled vet who uses the Sacramento VA for my health care, I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate the outstanding care that I get there. Great people and they are aggressive in getting me tested quickly when I have issues (cardiac stress test, MRI, echo-cardio and etc). This system really works for me, and from speaking with other vets, it works for them. As a comment, many vets in the VA are from lower income groups who would otherwise not be able to access health care on any kind of comparable basis.

      1. ex. PFC chuck roast

        Thanks for that. I’m in pretty good health for a geezer, but the regular medical cartel is beginning to annoy me greatly. I think I’ll give the nearby VA a call Monday. How can they be any less responsive?

      2. stefan

        Right. I am thankful and have nothing but praise for the health care I get at the VA clinic in Littleton, NH and the VA hospital in White River Junction, VT. So far, I have gotten three Moderna vaccinations in a timely, well-organized way from the VA.

        If the pandemic has proven one thing: We should be doing all we can to establish a Public Health Service to provide health care to all America.

    3. JTMcPhee

      It’s not all bells and roses at the VA — the privatizing is moving ahead full steam. One rubric is “community care,” where VA “finds” that a VA doctor or service is not available timely for a veteran so they give him or her a chit and send them off to a private doctor. Often in one of the corporatized clinical practices. One of my VA docs is quite blunt about how it’s “working,” there are a whole load of vets who are getting SLOWER response from “CC,” and by “unloading” the VA workforce (in theory) there are a large number of “open positions” being unfilled. At least the VA is less likely to drive people out by the kind of business-model abuse in the for-profit medical establishment — it seems work-life balance is still possible as a VA health care worker. Caveat, of course — the Covid toll on VA staff is similar to that of people slaving in the “private sector.”

      I have to give my local VA hospital a little credit — not ALL the TVs in the waiting areas are tuned to FOXNews any more, and the scuttlebutt has large overtones of hippy-punching but a large measure of that “vague malaise” and desperation that the general population is experiencing…

      1. Armchair Philosopher at Large

        I’m glad to hear about vets who get good help from the VA. The service I’ve had from the VA has been poor to disastrous. One example: I went in to see about tingling and numbness in my feet and was told to stop drinking all alcohol and, oh by the way, I have pre-diabetes. End of message. I’ve had two of their doctors tell me they know nothing of service related problems. They didn’t even know what Agent Orange was.
        Since I also have other health insurance the VA sends a bill to that company so what’s the point? I go for annual checkups just to keep my foot in the door but otherwise I won’t go to them unless I lose my health insurance.

  4. DataHog

    Keeping up your Christmas tree

    Why not keep it up all year? I do. It’s gorgeous. It symbolizes many very positive things, like love and giving, that that we should celebrate and do throughout the the whole year, not just Christmas time.
    Further, my guess is it’s the best indoor sculpture in 99% of homes that put up a tree.

    1. The Rev Kev

      In that article, the author was saying ‘Right now, there is a hole in my living room. It was not there last week. We’ve tried to cover it up, but nothing seems to work. Rearranging the furniture somehow only makes the hole grow. The space, which once radiated a hopeful glow, now feels hollow.’

      I wonder if that is the reason that so many societies, both ancient and modern, have a family shrine in their home. Not only as a place to have the home and family centered around but something that can provide warmth and comfort just being there. In modern homes we use TV sets as something to point the furniture at, so progress!

      1. John

        The TeeVee is the shrine in the post WW2 American home. All that is considered important is worshipped there.

      2. Josef K

        I had a friend back in the day in Japan who was so blissfully ignorant of and unaffected by the culture he was living in that he took a Butsudan (Buddhist alter) he found in the gomi pile* and repurposed it as a TV cabinet. In his case entirely appropriate.

        *the garbage pile was and may still be the gaijin’s thrift store in Japan. On “ogata gomi” nights–large refuse like refrigerators and furniture–we not-too-proud foreigners could be found visiting and scouring the local piles. An Aussie co-worker had a good ogata-gomi story one day; that morning he was walking back to his apartment with a stero system he’d just pulled from the trash, when he saw two guys moving a sofa out of presumably the same apartment that provided the stereo, so he just redirected them straight to his own room on the same floor, and they happily obliged, skipping the gomi-pile step altogether.

      3. B24S

        Fire. It’s fire that the TV replaced. The hearth was the center of the home, where all gathered. Warmth, hot food, light. The flickering shadows as the flames lick, the smoldering coals banked against the next mornings breakfast.

        1. The Rev Kev

          That’s not a bad thought that. And of course that opens up another question for older societies in that what was the relation of the hearth to the family shrine. I am willing to bet that a book could be written about that question.

    2. griffen

      In parts of the southern and southeastern US, it is a tradition of sorts to leave Christmas lights up and strung in trees or off the front porches. And yes, most evenings the lights are turned on. No word if trailer park practices from say, coastal North Carolina will ever catch on in the metros and suburbs of DC or Boston. I am taking the under.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Same here in Tucson. Plenty of neighbors who still have the lights up.

        Me? I’m too cheap to give the electric company that much of my money. Because even if I do have rooftop solar, I still pay those family bloggers a monthly bill. Grid interconnect fee, methinks, and I want to keep my bill at that low level.

      2. Swamp Yankee

        Griffen, observation from the field: I see those lights post Christmas a fair amount here in Southeastern Massachusetts.

        Maybe less so in the metro core, but they are here in the semi periphery.

        1. griffen

          Always interesting what I learn here. Between your comment and AZ Slim, it sounds like the year round lighting is a trend.

          I’ve met my captain obvious quote limitation!

    3. Wukchumni

      I always thought the whole idea of killing a tree and then watering it to keep it alive looking was pretty creepy…

      1. Paul Beard

        Our tree has already been replanted for another year. With tiles round the roots to restrict growth we can let it enjoy the summer in the shade of bigger trees with no more effort until we bring it indoors again.

        My late father saved a colleagues tree this way for several years. The tree travelled to the office and back on an hours train commute and on the bus in the city.

    4. chuck roast

      In the mid-’80’s I began to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. On the southern New England coast the sun goes down at 4:21 on the solstice. Oi! I was stuck inside at work.

      One year I left the X-mas tree up. By Spring it was turning a very pale shade of green, and the branches were drooping sadly. My dentist lived a couple of houses down the street. I visited him for a March appointment. While he was messing about in my mouth he asked, “Uh, Roast, did I see your X-mas tree lights on recently?” So, I go, “Uh, yeah Don. I have SAD.” I told my wife of the exchange. A day or two later I came home from work and the tree was gone, the decorations in the cellar, the furniture rearranged and not a stray needle in sight.

      1. marcyincny

        Here in upstate NY we don’t get a lot of sun so in the years we do have a tree I keep it up as long as possible, slowly removing the more seasonal ornaments, leaving the birds, the ADK memorabilia till last, then finally the candle lights I have on a dimmer.

        I used to run into someone who never failed to mention her irritation seeing my tree in the front window long after the holidays. And she always mentioned how she was suffering from SAD.

        Christmas tree lights and/or candles get me through the dead of winter.

    5. Mikel

      Anybody remember my yearly advice? A way to have fun with the ones in your neighborhood with the last lights standing?

      I’d reserve it until after this last holiday in Jan.

  5. The Rev Kev

    ‘Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH
    Science demonstrates gradation in protection of different masks. Some masks (like respirators) offer more filtration & protection, but for some, these masks may be harder to tolerate for long periods. Wear the most protective mask you can that fits well & is worn consistently.’

    Man, all I can say is that it is a good thing that Rochelle Walensky isn’t in charge of the Pentagon. Otherwise she would be recommending to the troops going overseas that they use the older Kevlar soft-armor ballistic vests as they are more comfortable to wear and easier to tolerate for longer periods than the new modern ceramic plate ballistic vests. Because science!

    1. Samuel Conner

      The evident unwillingness of national leadership experts (Fauci and now Walensky) to plainly admit and affirm, “I was wrong; here’s why. I retract my prior guidance and here’s the current guidance based on these reasons”, is a bit painful to observe.

      Surely they must realize that people are paying less attention to their utterances and are forming their own judgments as to ‘what is safest’.

      When the public disregards guidance it has reasons to believe is flawed, the public health authorities lose their ‘levers’ to steer the development of the public health crisis.

      Which, in view of past performance, might arguably not be such a bad thing.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Since advice from Fauci, CDC, WHO, etc. was designed to spread covid deliberately and on purpose, rejecting all fake advice from Fauci, CDC, WHO, etc. is the first key to survival.

        The second key to survival is finding non-fake advice from non-contaminated sources. That is harder to do, given all the clouds of advice all around us. Those of us who remember a little of the basic laymans science we learned in school, college, etc. can with slow painful thought perhaps make the right decisions about what seems like real advice.

        One clue to what is real is . . . . what advice comes from the countries which got covid controlled?
        Or, what advice from Western sources understands and describes how the successful countries controlled their covid? Perhaps fellow layfolk here can give their thoughts as to how they separate the real advice from the fake advice to the best of their personal abilities.

        Certainly people who made predictions which have turned out to be true may be said to have well-founded theoretical frameworks. The early supporters of “aerial spread theory”, for example.

    2. Nikkikat

      Lol! Rev Kev, every utterance of the CDC moron is more nonsensical than the last. This woman isn’t even fit to run anything let alone a health agency in the Federal govt.

      1. LifelongLib

        Sheer speculation on my part, but I suspect the CDC et al have been given the word that the kind of measures necessary to contain covid (e.g. paying people to stay in lockdown, massive retrofits for better ventilation, mandatory indoor masks) just aren’t going to happen. Their choice is go along or quit. Not stupidity but fear.

        1. GM

          I suspect “fear” only applies to the low-level CDC scientists, who see what is happening but can’t speak up against it.

          Walensky is in all likelihood doing a spectacularly good job when evaluated against what she was appointed to actually do and by the people who appointed her.

          Lie, obfuscate, feign ignorance, putt a smiling face as front for monstrously criminal policies, deflect responsibility from where it actually lies, etc.

          This is not a situation where you have the brave noble scientific expert put in charge of the agency, then disaster strikes and the politicians force the expert into doing despicable things.

          She was appointed a year into COVID with the explicit goal of managing the pandemic. Managing it according to the interests of whoever appointed her, that is, and those people would have never put in charge someone not carrying out their agenda.

          It was Redfield who was put in an unexpected situation, and he played along too, but there was noticeable grumbling from him on quite a few occasions, and even more so and quite openly too after he was out. You do not see that with Walensky, and I bet you she will never talk openly against the implemented policies years later.

          And Redfield was apparently put in that position after the CDC had already been targeted for destruction and the usual playbook was being applied, i.e. mismanage -> defund -> crapify > (rinse and repeat) -> then shut it down. Although we only realized that once the first post-mortems of the initial pandemic response started being put together.

          Also, notice the behavior of the previous CDC directors.

          The most recent one who stayed for a while was Tom Frieden (2009-2017) and he has been openly embracing let-it-rip policies over the last 6-12 months.

          The only one I recall seeing arguing for smallpox-type elimination approach was William Foege, who was in charge in the late 1970s. But that was more than a year ago, he’s been quiet since then.

    3. FluffytheObeseCat

      Whatever Walensky’s flaws as a public speaker, if she were “in charge if the Pentagon” she would be speaking to a cohort of people who cannot just ignore her words, openly sneer at her, and wear no body armor at all if they feel they know better than her ‘cause of what they read on their Facebook feed.

      The constant reflexive sneering in comments here about Walensky is disproportionate to her offenses. This woman is a federal functionary, appointed by the sitting President. Expecting her to be Reagan and Lincoln rolled together whenever she speaks is really a bit excessive, considering. The buck does not stop with her. And the incessant harshing on her reeks of the same misogyny that fuels the organized right wing sneer campaign directed at her.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The constant reflexive sneering in comments here about Walensky is disproportionate to her offenses.

        My views on Walensky are not reflexive, and if anything are expressed too mildly. They have consistently gotten masks wrong, consistently opposed aerosol transmission, and does not mention ventilation. These mistakes — if mistakes they be — cost lives. They have not held anybody at CDC accountable for the test kit debacle. And as they have themselves admit, CDC has not kept its guidance current, and a lot of people rely on it. Walensky should have resigned long ago. Unless the job really is killing us all, in which case they’re doing great.

        Oh, the misogyny card. Have you considered following the news?

        1. marku52

          Leave us not forget the active mis information campaign to insure that no inexpensive treatments can even be discussed. I’m still amazed the NIH hasn’t gotten on the horse de-wormer bandwagon.

          Hiltzik, who is OK on financial issues, has a LAT hit piece on IVM in today’s rag.

          The Dems NY AG is busy sending desist letters to FLCCC DR’s telling them not to prescribe. Doesn’t she have something better to do? I guess not.

          1. ambrit

            Legal cease and desist letters?
            And here I was thinking that I had it bad with simply not being able to find any doctors within a fifty mile radius who would prescribe “the drug that cannot be named” for any reason.
            The propaganda is effective. I am getting push back from family members when I mention using the veterinary version of “the drug that cannot be named.” They probably all think that I’m just being my usual ‘counter culture’ self but exponentially increased.
            The actions by the CDC to stop the use of cheap, safe, and effective treatments for the coronavirus definitely rise to the level of criminal acts.

          2. GM

            IVM is a distraction, and if you are falling for it, you are being duped once again.

            The argument that this is about “ensuring that no inexpensive treatments can ever be discussed” is just empirically debunked.

            What has made a difference in the clinic is, on one hand, monoclonal antibodies, which are certainly not cheap, and are the only thing that has been available for early treatment.

            But on the other, for the more advanced and about-to-become-serious cases, it has been primarily cheap, available for many decades, off-patent drugs — various immunosuppressants and blood thinners.

            Also, everyone in power is so desperate to be able to ignore COVID that the “treatment” that is being recommended right now from the powers that be is a “mild” Omicron booster.

            They could have paused things and ramped up the updated vaccine production, which would have presumably made a lot of money for Pfizer and Moderna, but they did nothing of the sort, instead they pivoted towards brainwashing about how it is really good for you to catch it and “get it over with”.

            If IVM was the magic cure it is thought to be, you would have been hearing about it 24/7. Just as various demagogues around the world did exactly that with HCQ last year (and then had to do large expansions of cemeteries around their countries).

            The main purpose IVM has served is as another tool for exacerbating the divisions in society over COVID, as part of the divide-and-conquer approach to managing the situation.

            Because the more one thinks about why IVM is not being given to people when they catch COVID and how that will magically cure everyone, the less one is thinking about why nobody is doing anything to stop the spread. And if people do take IVM, they are happy to be a part of the enlightened minority that thinks it holds the key to the universe, while ignoring the fact that they are on their second or third infection now and that their health is slowly but surely deteriorating as a result.

            1. ambrit

              I take your point but have to quibble that we here in “the cheap seats” needs must do with what is available to us. Even small cohesive groups cannot carry out the system wide actions needed to slow, much less stop the Pandemic now. Thus, anything that gives the individual an ‘edge’ to increase their chances of longer survival than the “let ‘er rip” policy, is taken, and gladly.
              Realistically, the cynic in me admits that if the systemic sabotage of the public health apparats around the western world is policy for the elites, then the only effective counter strategy is the actual extermination of said elites. Such an occurrence does not hapen often, and generally, when it does, happens as a cascade. Everything is fine until it is not; a form of Catastrophist Theory of History.
              To have even a chance of a viable revolution, one needs healthy and capable persons to “do the dirty work.”
              Stay safe! Hull down.

            2. Basil Pesto

              And I notice the Ivermectin monomaniacals have now stopped with the daily interjections of “but Uttar Pradesh!! but the Tokyo Medical Association!!” nonsense as cases spike in UP and Japan respectively. For a collective of inveterate sceptics, they sure are staggeringly credulous to have thought that Ivermectin exclusively was keeping case numbers low pre-Omicron in those regions, as they frequently claimed.

              The main purpose IVM has served is as another tool for exacerbating the divisions in society over COVID, as part of the divide-and-conquer approach to managing the situation.

              yyyyyyup. Covid remedy (or non-remedy, on the GBD end of things) identity politics. Supremely inane and, ultimately, destructive.

  6. Mikel

    “The Corporate Campaign Against Pandemic Protections”…Daily Poster

    “According to the White House, vaccination requirements could lead to as many as five million U.S. workers returning to jobs..”

    The article is talking about people WITH jobs.

    More tortured writing trying to hide the REAL concern: it’s about getting more workers to return to the office (commercial real estate). Not “return to a job”. They didn’t stop working.

    1. Synoia

      This is true:

      The ones making the rules may have been brought up in a system of no hugging or emotional connection. They don’t know what it’s like. No excusing them, but boarding school syndrome is a thing.

      This is the best description of Boarding School I’ve read.

      I left hone at 9 years old. From them until Graduating form University, I lived away from “home” at least 33 weeks of every year.

      Or, put another way, I left home to fend for myself at 9.

      I consistently hid, or ran away from boarding school in the first few years, and was beaten every tine. I ran away even when I had no UK home to run to, as my parents were ex-pats in Nigeria.

      When I left for University, I followed St Paul’s advice, beat my shoos clean, and never looked back.

      1. Michaelmas

        I consistently hid, or ran away from boarding school in the first few years, and was beaten every tine. I ran away even when I had no UK home to run to, as my parents were ex-pats in Nigeria.

        Look at it this way.

        Back in the day, the English lower-upper and middle classes signed their sons up as midshipmen on Royal Navy ships at the age of twelve, where those boys not infrequently saw combat, death, and maiming. Those who survived rose through the ranks and became captains and admirals, like Nelson, but it was a system of almost Roman fierceness and brutality.

        So you had it easy.

        1. Yves Smith

          I think you need to read up more on boarding schools. Given the state of search engines, I can’t find it, but I read an account about one of the small but elite ones where the boys bathed in the AM in unheated, and RESUED bath water. Real account by a real graduate, from IIRC the 1960s/1970s.

          And that’s before you get to the buggering.

          1. Michaelmas

            I think you need to read up more on boarding schools.

            Spare me. I went to an English public school in the late 1960s, if that was addressed to me.

            I was thrown out for threatening to beat up a ‘master’ — a teacher — and for general disobedience like growing my hair Rolling Stones-length, knowing I was moving to the US. Nobody buggered me and I didn’t bugger them. As for cold water, yeah, in my first year as a small boy they made me go swimming naked in the school’s outdoor pool at below 40 degrees and after that I simply avoided it.

            More than half a century later, I do still have a (healed) crack in my skull from when a seven-year-old psychopath grabbed me in my first year there and swung my head straight into a brick wall for the laughs one lunch hour. I went to hospital for a week with concussion in a ward where a couple of kids died, and then all the teachers and my parents lied about what had happened and said I’d somehow fallen on my head, because otherwise they’d have to do something about it.

            That was an invaluable education, actually — I learned early about psychopaths and that most people are incompetent, lazy, and self-serving and will go along with them. Later I was the only white guy renting a house in West Oakland when one of the brothers knocked on my door one morning because we had business and told me Huey Newton had got shot on the corner that morning. I saw people I knew shot through the head and fall to the streets dead, and I’ve had guns held to my own head several times. Later still, I worked as a journalist and had breakfast with eminent American politicians, and made clear to them when they threatened me at one-on-one interviews that they were going to end up under the table if they continued on that path.

            So don’t tell me I need to read up more on boarding schools.

            1. Yves Smith

              As Janie said, your comment reeks of this Monte Python skit, without the humor. The fact that you can say you had it worse yet you evince no sympathy and instead low grade defend the abuse by saying it was worse earlier is appalling.

              And signing boys up on ships isn’t comparable. They got room and board, as well as pay, while upper class parents pay the schools:

              Sailors generally went to sea as boys. By the time they were 16 they could be rated as seamen, and normally served at sea for another ten years, before settling down and taking a shore or local sailing job. The idea of being single, free of responsibilities and well paid would have made a career at sea obviously alluring, but the attractions could also undoubtedly wear off, and only a small percentage of men stayed on at sea, rising to be naval petty officers and merchant shipmasters.


              And some of the boys who went to sea probably did so to alleviate family financial stress or as de facto runaways.

      2. Janie

        What an unsympathetic comment. Sorta like oh, you lost a leg; so what, some people lose two. Synoia, your story beings tears.

  7. Dftbs

    Responsible statecraft and Tooze appear to be part of the developing school of US Realists. These seem to be defined by the belief that on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being Reagan and 10 being Hitler, Putin is only an 8. And acknowledging that Russia is not just a gas station with nukes, but one with a mini-mart also.

    Realism would be better served by an honest analysis of our own position. A clear definition of our interests, our desires and our capacity to achieve either. A real war mobilization isn’t achieved via Twitter posts or newspaper articles. With an economy that is nearly fifty percent a central bank accounting gimmick (look at the size of the Fed’s balance sheet) and a regime with an institutional failure rate that is increasing so fast they’ve decided to stop measuring pandemic deaths, perhaps our capacities are dramatically lower than those in charge believe.

    Consequently, Realists shouldn’t be wasting their time telling us the Russians are tolerably evil. Rather they should apply their neurons to defining our actual strategic interests, those characterized by improving the commonwealth of our own citizens at home. After all, what is the purpose of a state, if not the welfare of its citizens?

    1. John

      I could not agree more that defining our national interests is sane and rational, nothing more than common sense. After all, who is likely to care about our national interests if we do not. However, wouldn’t such a course interfere with the “narrative” and take away some juicy talking points and require any number of bloviating wind bags to go silent or look like fools? Perhaps we shun looking after our interests because the Russians look after theirs. The narrative says Russians are evil. We are not evil … we act stupidly, but we are not evil. Never do something a Russian might do … because Putin. So we blunder along secure in our fantasies, convinced that reality will never rise up and smack us upside the head.

      1. Dftbs

        I think you’re right. Part of the national delusion is the belief in the permanece of our institutions due to their inherent morality. The kind of thinking that infects all régimes on their way to become ancien.

    2. Michaelmas

      Dftbs: Responsible statecraft and Tooze appear to be part of the developing school of US Realists … defined by the belief that on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being Reagan and 10 being Hitler, Putin is only an 8. And acknowledging that Russia is not just a gas station with nukes, but one with a mini-mart also.

      Nicely put and ‘Realists’ like Tooze — who, remember, for the purposes of his book CRASHED practically fellated his source,Tim Geithner — are still asleep as to the reality of the world in 2022.

      In global terms, Russia in 2022 is now the biggest exporter of grain and somewhere between the second and fourth largest exporter of agricultural products in the world. That’s because in 2015-16, the sanctions the US and EU imposed on Russia simply led the latter to kick off their own little green revolution.

      Equally, all the energy supplies that Europe now buys from Russia, Putin can redirect — not instantly, it’s true, but soon enough — to China, and China will buy them, as it will Russian agricultural exports.

      So the West can bluster away about sanctions and Russia being only a ‘gas station with nukes,’ and, yes, its strategic elite are mostly ignorant and arrogant enough to have drunk their own kool-aid. It’ll just be another step down the ladder of geopolitical decline that this elite have managed to descend at historic speed since 1991.

    3. Pelham

      Excellent! Love the point about half the US economy being an accounting gimmick. Meanwhile, Russia has a real GDP.

      1. dftbs

        The Z website had a useless infographic post about the size of economies yesterday. I was pleased (usually expect the worst from that comment section) to see a fair amount of the comments dispute the visualization and refer to PPP measurement. If you take the 9 trillion of Fed balance sheet out of the number and adjust for PPP the US economy is more similar in size to India than China. A similar adjustment to the German economy with respects to ECB holdings of German debt would clarify the size of the gas station the Russians have. Oh and I forgot to mention Japan and the BOJ, even uglier there, those guys buy stock!

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      If the so-called “Realists” are like Walt and Mearsheimer, they are smiley-face hegemonists. Their “Realism” will only be about more “Realistic” ways to maintain what they please to call “American” hegemony, which is really America-based and/or supported Overclass hegemony, which is not in the American majority’s interest at all.

      If my suspicion is correct, then the “Realists”, including Walt and Mearsheimer, all support Free Trade, NAFTA, MFN for China, American and Chinese membership in WTO, and they all supported and continue to support TPP, TTIP, etc.

      If any of them are against even one single aspect of Free Trade, or against one single Free Trade Agreements, then I will have been proven just that much wrong in my suspicions.

      But if not, then the “Realists” are just more of what C. Wright Mills used to call ” Crackpot Realists”.

      1. wilroncanada

        Not crackpot certainly.
        What a “gauche” term.
        Surely, the PMC approved term is “psychoceramic”.

    5. Grebo

      I will call them Realists when they admit that the Blob’s ambition is to rule the world and that the current ‘crisis’ is due to its realisation that it is now or never.

      1. JBird4049

        Rule the world with what? Funny money, airplanes that can’t fly, ships that can’t fight, and an economy that can barely make masks or import anything??

        1. Grebo

          You rule the world with power. It may be fading even faster than they realise but they still rule half the world and it’s gone to their heads.

          1. dftbs

            Not close. More like 15% of the world. But they do have a strong narrative control within that 15%. That’s why many people “intramuros” think they control half the world.

            1. Grebo

              Figures vary widely but Al Jazeera, citing US sources, says there are permanent US military bases in 80 countries (out of about 200) and deployments in 159. Most of them presumably with the official permission if not invitation of the local governments. I would also assert that the US exerts considerable influence over who gets to become, or remain, the government in those countries and others.

  8. Dftbs

    Am I understanding the NFT theft story right? Lady that sells a public domain image with cats on it is upset her “art” has been reproduced and monetized away from her? The funny thing is that with the main purpose of NFT transactions now clearly identified as money laundering and tax fraud, unless she was in at the “placement” stage I doubt she would’ve been invited to the “layering” and “integration” parts. Ctrl-c 4eva. What a time to be alive!

      1. Dftbs

        Been years since I’ve been down to South Park. Seems maybe they’re keeping their stride. Thanks for the morning laugh Rev Kev!

        1. Geo

          Their two new “Post-Covid” episodes are pure brilliance. Few things have made me laugh so hard in a long long time.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      That cracked me up too. With millions (billions?) of NFTs out there, how hard would it have been to find someone whose “art” didn’t consist of ripping off Van Gogh to portray as a victim?

    2. Mikel

      Of course that is the example they are going to talk about or want to get people talking about.
      You know it runs deeper than that.

    1. Jason Boxman

      The board noted that Ivermectin isn’t Food and Drug Administration “authorized or approved” as a treatment for COVID-19 in the suspension order.

      But it’s an approved drug and can therefore be prescribed off-label.

      On Dec. 19, a physician notified the board that Nass diagnosed a sick, unvaccinated patient “‘over the phone’” with COVID and prescribed 5 days of Ivermectin,” the board said. This patient had to be hospitalized for COVID-19.

      Imagine if every patient a doctor saw that didn’t immediately get better had their license suspended?

      Fun times.

      1. JBird4049

        So some informant doctor told on a fellow doctor for prescribing a safe, established medicine, so the authorities decided to use a tactic of the Soviet Union and such illustrative leaders as Joseph Stalin.

        We’re looking more like the Soviet Union everyday now. Everyday.

  9. timbers

    The Farkas affect

    “U.S. leaders should be marshalling an international coalition of the willing, readying military forces to deter….and, if necessary, prepare for war.” regarding Georgia and Ukraine: “we must demand a withdrawal from both countries by a certain date and organize coalition forces willing to take action to enforce it.”

    How do you make someone withdraw from a country they’re not in and don’t want to be in? I guess that’s similar to saying Russia seized Crimea because she sent her troops in just weeks prior to U.S. plans to do the same. I call that protecting Crimea, not seizing her, but that’s not the official line of course.

    And if Farkas is referring to Crimea, has she made any effort to ask Crimean citizens or public officials if they want the U.S. to lead a World World to liberate them from their overwhelming vote to legally join Russia? Does she think the people and officials of Crimea would rather be bombed to rubble so as to be liberated like the U.S. did in Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc?

    At any rate, noticed a comment the Russians have a possible next move of surgical strikes maybe on NATO missile sites too close to her border. Also noticed Russian official comments they will patiently wait to see and access what actions the U.S. takes following the recent talks, and some steps Russia must take may not start until 2023-2027

    The Russians seem to be playing a long game and have thought this out quite a bit.

    1. Dftbs

      The Russians have escalation dominance. They hold all the cards by controlling all the escalatory steps between shutting down Pizza Hut on Red Square to nuclear war. They’ve not only thought about this quite a bit, but have prepared actual military, diplomatic and economic contingencies. Things that exist in the real world not in a think tankers imagination. Our “retaliatory” moves between Pizza Hut and nuclear war all do us more harm.

      They’ve given us terms of cease fire, which they expected to be rejected, and now they wait for our official response in order to move us on to our next “crisis”. Rinse and repeat until we come to our senses and agree.

      Is there still a Pizza Hut in Red Square?

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        No there isn’t. But the GUM department store borders Red Square and can fulfill all your consumerist needs (as long as you have lots of cash or plastic).

        Even by the admittedly low standards of The Blob, Farkas is pretty far out there. Looney Tunes on steroids with an oak leaf cluster. Her call for a coalition brings to mind the question from Shrek: “You and what army?”

    2. The Rev Kev

      It is surprising how often these keyboard warriors in the US establishment and media (or do I repeat myself?) have an east European or even Russian background and in Evelyn Frakas’s case, her family is Hungarian. Not that that influenced her upbringing. But a Coalition of the Willing 2.0? Seriously? That might work if it was agreed that all the battles with the Russians take place in say, Alaska, and not their own countries. Otherwise which European country would want to risk it, especially if Washington thought it a good idea to launch a mini-nuke as a ‘demonstration’ followed by an ultimatum. Look, I know that we are not supposed to judge people by their outward appearance but over the years I have noticed too often that people with fanatical beliefs often have a sort of hard, fanatical look in their eyes. And I have noticed it in one or two politicians and the like here in Oz too. And as far as Evelyn Frakas is concerned, she has too much the look of the Elizabeth Holmes eyes for comfort.

    3. Bruno

      “The Farkas effect… I’m trying to think of a historical example where a ruling class became more sane after losing a war….”
      According to the biblical books Kings and Chronicles, when old Solomon died (c.931 bce), the ruling class of the empire he had ruled (“The United Monarchy”) faced a dual threat: long standing dissidence from the majority of Israelite tribes (“What portion have we in David? To your tents, O Israel!”) and aggressive pressure from the Egyptian dynasty from which he had earlier taken his most notable queen (“Pharaoh’s Daughter”). These two forces were united in the figure of the Isrealite leader Jeroboam whom he had driven into Egyptian exile (where he had married an Egyprian princess named “Ano”). On his death a revolution broke out among the Ten Tribes (the “Ephraimites”) who defeated the force that Rehoboam (“My father chastised you with whips–I will chastise you with scorpions”) had sent to suppress them (the army commander is described as having been killed under their stoning), set up their own state with the recalled Jeroboam as king, and ended the Solomonic system of forced labor and Temple tribute. Thereupon, with the sympathetic neutrality of the new Israelite kingdom, the Egyptian pharaoh “Shishak” (the historic figure Theutmose III) invaded Judea, crushed Rehoboam’s army, and looted Solomon’s Temple (depiction of its enormous treasures remains visible on the walls of general Rekhmire’s tomb). For the next two centuries it was Israel, not Judea, that played important roles in middle-eastern politics.
      Did losing that civil/foreign war make the Judean ruling class more sane? Not until these last few decades did the Judean ruling class ever again speak the language of “”My father chastised you with whips–I will chastise you with scorpions” !

      1. timbers

        Wow that’s a lot and way over my head but in somewhere in all of that is there a hint of a suggestion that an arranged marriage btwn the Clinton’s and Bush’s for the purpose of providing several future American Presidents is the way to repeat some of that history?

        1. JBird4049

          No, but the introduction of Barbara Tuchman’s book The March of Folly uses that incident as an example of folly. Rehoboam’s advisors, who had been Solomon’s advisors as well, suggested listening to the protestors and reducing the required labor, but the new ruler listened to his own hot-headed friends, who suggested a more ego appealing strategy.

          It is one of my favorite books and has the most immediate pre-Reformation popes, the British and the American Revolution, and the Americans and Vietnam as the book’s primary examples of folly.

          1. Janie

            Any book by Barbara Tuchman is worth owning. “Red Land, Black Land”, about Egypt, is a favorite.

            1. Wukchumni

              Tuchman’s Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911–45 is a goodie.

              He was an old China hand who walked vast distances around the Middle Kingdom, which is a great way to slowly take things in. Stilwell didn’t think very highly of Chiang Kai-Shek and called him ‘Peanut’. You get a really good idea of why Mao prevailed and CK-S had to vamoose to Taiwan.

              1. Wukchumni


                I wondered why i’d never heard of Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt

                Because Barbara Mertz wrote it, not Barbara Tuchman.

                1. JBird4049

                  Well, a good book is a good book, and I always have had an interest in Egypt. I think I will add it to my already ginormous to-read pile.

                  So many, many, many good books and so little time.

      2. Tom Bradford

        I’m trying to think of a historical example where a ruling class became more sane after losing a war…

        Well I don’t know about losing a war, but WW2 – which Churchill conceded was a close run thing – saw in the UK the introduction of universal state education (1944), the NHS (1948) and the basic state pension (1948).

        Of course it didn’t last once they had stopped wetting their pants.

        1. Michaelmas

          WW2 – which Churchill conceded was a close run thing – saw in the UK the introduction of universal state education (1944), the NHS (1948) and the basic state pension (1948).

          Two big factors: –

          [1] Once the war ended, British servicemen made it clear that they weren’t coming home to a country where business proceeded as before.

          Quiet but obstinate — and large-scale — mutinies occurred at RAF bases in India when demobilization didn’t occur as the (Attlee!) government was trying to keep forces in place to control the independence movement there, for instance. Some 50,000 men across 60 RAF stations in India and Ceylon, then Egypt, North Africa, and Gibraltar, became involved.

          [2] Churchill’s war ministry, from May 1940 to 23 May 1945, was drawn from the coalition government formed for the war and Churchill’s aggressive policies arguably found stronger support from his cabinet’s Labour members like Attlee, Bevin, and Greenwood, than from Tories like Halifax and Chamberlain, who hadn’t distinguished themselves attempting to sign peace treaties with the Axis powers.

          Orwell’s ENGLAND, THEIR ENGLAND remains a good window onto the historical moment, as the socialists and Labour types essentially decided that Churchill might be a warmonger, but he was the right warmonger for the job. As Orwell stressed, it was one of those strange English moments when large sections of the British upper class and working class joined forces in disregard — as with Brexit — of the general pro-European, pro-appeasement temper of much of the upper middle-class.

          And then with WWII over, the British voted Churchill straight out in in 1945 and the Attlee Labour government came to power.

    4. Jessica

      “Russia seized Crimea because she sent her troops in just weeks prior to U.S. plans to do the same.”
      I have never heard about such US plans before. Is there evidence that you could point to? Thank you.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The US Department of defence were already letting out contracts for new buildings in Crimea which were advertised on their contractor’s site. Having Sevastopol become a NATO base, which would be in reality a US base, would be a strategic threat to the Russians as ships stationed there could fire off nuclear-tipped missiles which would give Russia very little warning time. It would be like having Russian nuclear-armed ships stationed in Vancouver, Canada. As it is, the US keeps on pushing US Navy ships into the Black Sea which are probably nuclear-armed.

      2. timbers

        Yes to what Rev Kev writes above, and this part is particularly fascinating: The CIA or some related agency apparently did extensive polling using Gallop, asking if Crimeans regarded themselves as Ukrainian or Russia and what they thought of Russia and the U.S. When polling consistently showed they overwhelmingly thought of themselves as Russian and admiration of Russia and that the U.S. was very unpopular, the CIA realized the planned eventual U.S. occupation of Crimea would have to be adjusted to account for the local population likely being hostile to the U.S./Ukrainian presence.

        But I must confess I having trouble finding the precise dates of the planned U.S. invasion. I recall finding them last week…sorry for the imprecise reply on that part.

        1. The Rev Kev

          There were smaller attempts. There was a train of maiden hoons that got on a train to go to the Crimea but never ended up going there. About 4,000–5,000 Crimean Tatars and supporters of the Euromaidan-Crimea movement had a riot in February of 2014 in support of Kiev and it was rumoured that Turkey was ready to fly two airliners of ‘moderates’ from Syria in support of them. The next day, local Russian forces dropped the boon down on this whole effort and shut down the airport to boot. This gave the local Crimeans the chance to organize a referendum and the rest is history. And now? The US is more likely to hand back Texas to Mexico than the Russian Federation hand over Crimea to the Ukraine.

    5. Darthbobber

      I recall Farkas mainly as a Russiagate bit player, who did a hyperventilating interview fairly early in the post-election panic about the importance of preserving all the “evidence” they had of the Russia-Trump campaign connections, so that the Trump people couldn’t disappear it all. The following year Gowdy pinned her down in congressional testimony about this, and she had to admit that if there was evidence she hadn’t seen any, and that on this topic she hadn’t known anything at all except what she saw on the news or read in the paper.

      In 2020 she failed to parlay her government experience into a congressional seat when she came in a distant 3rd in the primary for a seat representing, I think, the Rochester area upstate. Didn’t find a slot in this administration, either.

  10. jr

    Great interview with Taibbi and Kirn. Personally, I think Vonnegut deserves first place in that he seems to have predicted the state of lunacy we are in. But then, I’ve never read Heller so maybe he did it first.

    1. CanCyn

      jr -Pick up a copy of Catch-22 and read it as soon as you can. It is an absolute marvel of satire and commentary on the absurdity of war. My Dad read that book so many times, he had long passages memorized. He could open it anywhere, start reading and be laughing within seconds.

      1. Wukchumni

        Read the inspiration for Catch-22 first…

        Heller stated that he couldn’t have written it without having read The Good Soldier Švejk, by Jaroslav Hašek, also a laugh out loud tome on each and every page.

  11. Solarjay

    About that plumbing diagram.
    It is definitely not a UPC ( uniform plumbing code) install. Nobody has separate grey water and black water drains, but we should.
    Also I don’t know what the specific point of the floor opening is except to bring in nasty smells and potentially toxic things as it doesn’t have a water trap like drains are supposed to. It would never pass code.

    Here in the US, it’s not how things are built.

    On a related note if you have a very lightly used sink or bathroom etc that is smelling badly, just pour some water ( just open the tap for about 15-20 seconds) into the drains, as the water in the traps has likely evaporated and it’s allowing gas to enter the room.

    1. marku52

      I remember seeing that in a hotel in Singapore, and thinking, “How is that supposed to work”.
      after hearing gurgling sounds in it that I wasn’t responsible for.

      IIRC, SARS -1 was also transmitted that way in an apartment in Hong Kong.

      Plumbing traps. A Good Idea.

    2. drsteve0

      Nobody has separate grey water and black water drains… in ‘murica. Ummm, I do, but don’t tell anyone. I live in the middle of nowhere and did the installation myself. Only the toilets dump into the septic tank (pardon the pun). My wife’s Flemish, got the idea from them. Whatever codes may be extant here are not enforced. All they care about is property tax. Yes, it’s idiotic to waste all that grey water, my wife’s cane patch and flower garden love it.

      1. lambert strether

        This is South Korea; I should have said. Asian plumbing is different from American plumbing. That said, the new aerosol transmission pathway is what’s important.

      2. Bob

        Don’t forget washing machine water.
        Must use special soap (Oasis brand).

        Can run 2″ flexible hose out window behind machine, never any higher than top of machine to prevent pump burnout. No window?, make hole in wall as high as possible to keep grade and allow water to flow as far as possible.

    3. ambrit

      I remember having to install trap primers in all commercial bathroom floor drains.
      I have also solved gas backflows into residential buildings by removing the nests that were blocking the gas outflow stack at the roof. (Aminals ain’t dumb. That rising sewer gas is warmer than the ambient temperature. Free heating for cold days.)

  12. Wukchumni

    Once upon a line
    When least expected
    Among the most respected
    The world fell in time

    Covid is our Chernobyl
    With a half life of full lies
    From those we’ve learned to despise
    My observation strictly anecdotal

  13. Michael Ismoe

    Capitol rioters called Nancy Pelosi’s office looking for a ‘lost and found’ for items they left behind on January 6, according to Rep. Jamie Raskin

    Once again proving how “serious” an attack this was. If AOC still has PTSD over this coup then maybe, just maybe, she ought to be more careful when she votes to send someone else’s kid to fight for the empire.

    1. Wukchumni

      ‘Er, I think I left an NFT of a MAGA hat on Nancy’s laptop and now that it’s worth moon money, could she sell it and Paypal me?’

    2. Arizona Slim

      Calling Pelosi’s office in search of “lost and found” items? Yeesh!

      Can’t fix stupid. But we sure can mock it.

        1. flora

          Meanwhile, back at the Wall St ranch:

          Amidst this week’s hilarity, the Financial Times released a piece entitled, “Wall Street banks set to report record profits for 2021.” Of Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman, Sachs, and Bank of America, the FT said, all but Citi are expected to post record profits when the final numbers for 2021 come out. Banks cleaned up in 2020 thanks to underwriting fees from the flood of new Fed-based borrowing, and it was mergers and acquisitions (among other things) this past year. If interest rates tighten anytime soon, they’ll do smashing business again on loans.

          Having urban sophisticates like Reid or Kimmel or Chuck Todd bash hicks and hayseeds as the cause of America’s problems feels like just the latest incarnation of the age-old game of setting demographics against one another so they don’t behead the mansion residents….

          1. Devon

            Every single Americans’ pandemic relief crumbs on a card, compared to Wall Street’s smorgasbord, having to go through a Bank of America ATM and pay fees, was another reason those bastards earned record profits.

    3. marym

      It also once again proves how entitled to lack of consequences for their own action* they think are.

      *”action” being participation in the larger project of attempting to nullify the votes of tens of millions of their fellow citizens because only they are entitled to have their votes count, while trashing the joint for their own amusement.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      Does that make the Proud Boys and OathKeepers and etc. who were there non-serious? Along with the violent tourists?

      Whoever got word to such antifas as may actually exist to “stay away on that day”, as well as the antifas ( if any exist) who stayed away, showed that they are capable of passing a Darwin exam.

      1. Wukchumni

        I saw some really shaky video of what in the distance looked like an Antifa member hanging out with Bigfoot.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I saw some “at the riot” and “after the riot” photos of the same people. ” At the riot”, they had beards and black clothing. “After the riot”, they no longer did. This lends in my mind credence to the theory that the so-called “antifa” at the riot were various kinds of MAGAnons and Militianons in false-flag “antifa” disguise.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Why cat-like creatures vanished from North America for 6 million years’

    I suppose that this should not be a surprise that nimravids were not actually related to cats but were their own family group. Same happened with us humans where there were ancient populations that were kinda human that also in the end never made the cut. I read that there were so many of them that the present human race is merely one surviving twig on what was once a very luxuriant bush. But in the case of the nimravids, they were like cats only because they evolved into a similar shape. Wikipedia has a good page on them and I kinda hope that one day that they can get a DNA sample from a surviving bone to make things clearer-

  15. Wukchumni

    Sports has about the only numbers that aren’t adulterated and can be trusted-as opposed to matters financial, and there was much cause for rejoicing @ the Ralph, as the Rightpaw from Firebaugh threw a perfect game…

    The Buffalo Bills had an offensive performance for the ages, a feat that has never been executed in NFL history. In the Bills’ 47-17 blowout victory over the New England Patriots, Buffalo never punted, kicked a field goal, nor turned the ball over — the first team in league history to go an entire game with no kicks, punts, or turnovers.

    1. griffen

      What about the oddsmakers! College sports has a very shady past when it comes to fixing games. There was a well known instance in college hoops, back in late 50s to early 60s. And then Boston College, there was a scandal in late 70s or early 80s.

      Good for Buffalo. Maybe Tim Russert is having a smile in the great beyond.

      1. miningcityguy

        There was also the basketball point shaving scandal in the early fifties involving CCNY and other NYC area teams. The University of Kentucky was also involved which resulted in its program being suspended for a season..

        1. Wukchumni

          Both of your instances were in the college ranks, but the last pros throwing a game was 103 years ago, as far as we know. Say it isn’t so, Joe.

  16. upstater

    From St Clair’s Roaming Charges:

    + New NYC Mayor Eric Adams, who it now seems will run a more repressive regime than Giuliani, when asked why some people might see his appointing his brother Deputy Commissioner of Police an act of political nepotism: “I don’t understand that. Protection is personal. With the increase in anarchists in this city, we have a serious problem with white supremacy.”

    It is going to be a LONG eight years…

    1. Devon

      Like those Crown Heights white supremacists?

      Watch for surprise FBI indictments and terrorist connections to be found.

      Didn’t Adams travel to Africa last year? Maybe he got indoctrinated?

    2. Pat

      His term is four years. Do not assume that he will be re-elected. He could be, but if his next couple of years resemble his first weeks, NYC could and likely will elect the Republican chosen to run against him, sort of like how we ended up with Giuliani in the first place. It will be for different reasons than Dinkins had for being a one term mayor, but widespread unhappiness does tend to lead people to go for the other guy.

        1. Pat

          Well when you have to defend giving your unqualified brother a six figure job in the second week of your term by pointing a finger at unnamed and unseen anarchists it already is.

    3. Nikkikat

      Adam’s: “with the increase in anarchist in this city, we have a serious problem with white supremacy”. What in hells bells is he talking about?

      1. jr

        I don’t think he thinks it matters what it means at this point. He’s just throwing chaff at the cameras and microphones. He will eventually find out that you cannot just say random things and not catch crap for it.

    4. jr

      That Jacobin video I posted the other day mentioned Adams ability to play all sides of the game at once. Here we see it in action, perhaps unconsciously. The libertarian lefties are coming, prepare for the Nazi’s! I think it was Jen who mentioned the other day that the mayorship of NYC seems to be the terminus for political careers and maybe it’s true that it takes a certain kind of fool to run the city. One that isn’t ready for prime time and never will be.

  17. Skk

    The Matt Taibbi discussion with Walter Kirn is one of the best. Yes, I grew up with Catch 22 and UKs Private Eye and to question authority and be wary of undisclosed but obvious conflicts of interest( Mandy Rice-Davis “he would say that, would’ve he ?).

    1. Michael

      I have to stop in the middle to say READ THIS NOW!

      …and Clockwork Orange and Patrick McGuigan (the new #2 = the new PMC)

      A tragic take down of so many in our kulture, who masterbait away while we turn our heads in disgust.

      How do we get rid of them?

  18. Raymond Sim

    Looking at the ‘missing cats’ article I noticed 19 Aug, 2020’s “We now have the technology to develop vaccines that spread themselves”:

    Prevention is better than cure, so we should start using genetic techniques to stop dangerous animal diseases jumping to humans, say Scott Nuismer and James Bull

    I was aware this idea was being promoted, but I didn’t realize it had made it to outlets like New Scientist. I think it might be time I upgraded from aluminum to real tin.

    1. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

      “I think it might be time I upgraded from aluminum to real tin.”

      There appears to be no real, or implied need to invoke the specter of tin-foil hattery. These things that you refer to seem to part of a logical progression of thought among all those individuals seeking a society that is more finely managed, directed, and controlled. One of the stated aims of science, after all, is prediction and control. The refined social applications are merely the logical progression of those same stated aims, “prediction and control”.

      And we live in a highly technologically advanced and scientific society; therefore, the suggested outcomes that you allude to would appear to be consistent with the current overall, dominant belief system. With that in mind, the way forward seems to be fairly predictable, if the following observations are both consistent and valid with what has been previously stated:

      1. Where currently it has been observed that, “Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos added to the prime minister’s remarks, noting that vaccine mandates have proven effective. “On vaccine mandates, the key word here is benevolence. Both the language and the actions are there and designed to protect people. This is a severe disease, we want people to be protected against it… No one, I believe, is thinking or certainly speaking of forcibly, physically vaccinating people in Canada,” he said.”

      That, once again, is our current situation. The key word, being “benevolence”, i.e., the suggestion that that which is being done, is being done for your own ‘good’, as well as for the overall ‘good’ and optimization of society at a purely functional level, i.e., operating optimally with an objectively stated minimum standard of disturbance and discord. That, one supposes, is the theoretically desired goal for the dominant class of social managers and their scientific advisors.

      2. You refer to the following situation that is still in development,

      “Self-spreading vaccines could indeed entail serious risks, and the prospect of using them raises challenging questions. Who decides, for instance, where and when a vaccine should be released? Once released, scientists will no longer be in control of the virus. It could mutate, as viruses naturally do. It may jump species. It will cross borders. There will be unexpected outcomes and unintended consequences. There always are. . . . . While researchers may intend to make self-spreading vaccines, others could repurpose their science and develop biological weapons. Such a self-spreading weapon may prove uncontrollable and irreversible.”

      “Scientists are working on vaccines that spread like a disease. What could possibly go wrong?”

      3. Further, to your quoted statement that, “Prevention is better than cure, . . . . ” Consider the following observation(s), as an example, since such applications could be greatly expanded :

      “Next steps might include testing this hypothesis by randomised community trials of lithium supplementation of the water supply, particularly in communities (or settings) with demonstrated high prevalence of mental health conditions, violent criminal behaviour, chronic substance abuse and risk of suicide. This may provide further evidence to support the hypothesis that lithium could be used at the community level to reduce or combat the risk of these conditions.”

      “Lithium in drinking water linked with lower suicide rates”

      Finally, it is important to note that, what has been presented above are merely suggestions for further lines of thoughtful inquiry and are not indicative of any position that I may have as a mere observer, either for, or against such applications and/or considerations.

  19. griffen

    Novak Djokovic does not have to go home but he can’t stay here. His court hearing completed and he is banished forthwith. Australia will just have to cope and survive with what they have. Maybe Nadal is healthy enough to win the Aussie Open!

    According to ESPN.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Why Covid-19 will never become endemic”

    This is all painfully familiar to read. Two years fighting to keep this virus out of the country with all the sacrifices made only to have our politicians to say ‘Nah, let ‘er rip. We’re bored.’ In a piece of irony, they did this just as Omicron emerged which is a completely different animal to deal with than Delta and for which they have no answer to. And the worse of it is that they shoved their reason in our face. It was for the good of the economy. The 2019 economy that is. And now it is just failure right across the board with vaccines, masks, lockdowns, hotel quarantine and you just know that they have not learnt a damn thing and would do the same all over again if they had the chance. And I hold people like Scotty from Marketing directly responsible for this evolving catastrophe. So I was wondering today. Suppose this year there is a new variant that is much more lethal and the only way to hold it back is to close down the borders and put the economy second. If that happened and Scotty had to make the decision, it would be with the look of a man giving birth to broken glass.

    1. flora

      Any official talk there about early out patient treatments? or zinc and Vit D to improve immune system function? Such talk seems almost officially forbidden in the US.

      1. marku52

        I believe Drs there are forbidden to even mention IVM, and a $30K fine for prescribing. Seems bonkers, but there you are.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Not much talk officially about things like Zinc and Vitamin D as for them, it is all about the vaccines and nothing else. The concept of a layered defence appears to be beyond them. And the drug that cannot be named is verboten to be dispensed by doctors because science. It’s like the CDC has a branch office here.

    2. Tom Stone

      Rev, surely the virus wouldn’t do something so disrespectful.
      I mean,really,that would be as bad as farting in church and no virus would do that.

    3. Mikel

      I’ve got the plot to “Don’t Look Up 2: The Sequel.”

      A scrappy bunch of survivors tries to organize those remaining on earth after the asteroid hit. They have to convince many that talking about asteroid effects is not “so last year”…..

  21. Wukchumni

    After the Beanie Baby bubble burst Vox
    I’ve seen every kind of bubble you can imagine, and when something you’d win @ a carnival game became worthy of adoration, I remember thinking how batshit crazy it was, but in defense of Beanie Babies, at least there was some there, there.

  22. Amfortas the hippie

    so, the beginning of the month saw my Youngest with what i now reckon was covid, due to a 3 day basketball tournement where4 kids tested positive just after.
    he tested negative, both with rapid, then with pcr…but that was 5 days into it, when he was on the mend.
    confusion still abounds because we’re really, really dry and in the worst cedar pollen deluge in living memory.(even little drifts of it on some days, like a yellow orange miniature snow)
    so wife, last weekend has what looks like really bad cedar fever…snot galore, sinus headache, etc…by wednesday evening, when i was in my cups, no less, she had a fever, and we knew something was up.
    couldn’t get a test until friday…positive.
    thurday, my ongoing cedar fever changed subtly…and i knew i had it…but can’t get a pcr til monday(no rapids available).
    so what felt like the worst sinus infection ever ensued…with a brainfog similar to what i’ve experienced with Fibro/arthritis when a hurricane comes too near.
    wife had pretty bad aches and pains all over…but these i didn’t notice that much, since i feel that way regularly.
    she has to get approval from oncologist before she takes anything…and there’s apparently lots of things that are potentially contraindicated with the medicine she’s on (talazoparib(sp-2)).
    i had no such limitations and went balls to the wall: zinc/D3, C B complex, elderberry “the Red Pill”(generic sudafed PE…which did wonders, surprisingly) and Zicam nasal spray(almost out, can’t find it, so used a q-tip to jam it up my nose)
    plus usual loratidine, flonase vicodin and once a day “simply saline” irrigation.

    day 5(for me) and we’re both on the mend…me, more so than her.
    Youngest still has lots of snot…but consistent with cedar(i can smell it…and just ended 27 hours of 30 mph north winds, with 60 mph gusts)

    Youngest’s teammembers were the obvious vector, and i’ve already yelled at coaches/school admin.
    our screwup…aside from allowing him to do basketball…was not masking him just in general…because this appears to present in an identical manner to cedar fever.
    without reliable and available tests, there’s no way to distinguish ordinary january stuff from omicron until it’s too late
    my pulse/Ox got down to 92 one night, and i remained upright tending the fires because of that…didn’t want it to settle into my lungs. I allege that the limited hits on the pot helped clear the lungs, but that’s likely wishful thinking,lol.
    wife’s pulse/ox got to 91.
    I’m just glad she’s not currently on regular chemo, and has a functioning immune system.

    scanner, during this period is even more alive with covid news…couple of folks in their 60’s being carted off to hospital…but both of them with rather severe comorbidities.
    the rest are 70+.
    anecdotally, from the grapevine/jungledrums, this county is in the middle of a surge….no accurate official counts, but the county to the north closed school for a week, there’s so many people out.

    so…so far…we’ve dodged a bullet….again.
    good luck to us all.

    1. aletheia33

      thanks for this whole report ambrit, including all the gory details.
      helpful as i have some longtime immune issues, subclinical as they say, and i’m currently apparently recovering from some kind of infection, first one since pre-covid days, waiting for PCR result.

      hardly seeing anyone or going anywhere, always wearing mask, have not been sick at all these two years.

      so now that something has got me anyway, i wonder if it has to be either omicron, with its incredible ability to stake its claim on one and prosper, or something ongoing within my body (which seems to be separate from everything else but really is not, according to vedanta, or maybe i misremember what wisdom tradition affirms that) that is flaring up due to (admittedly intense as i am caregiving my partner through a difficult passage into dementia) stress. or just a garden variety cold.

      the body is a beautiful mystery and so are viruses, from a certain standpoint, eh? do you use other forms of m.j.? wishing you and yours safety and recovery and life and the continuation of your plantation.

      1. ambrit

        Sorry ma’am, it’s not my reporting, alas. I would dearly enjoy taking credit for the reports from Our Salubrious Correspondent from the Lone Star Kingdom, but I cannot.
        You have our full empathy and support, for what that is worth at a distance, for your difficult task in helping your partner navigate the shoals and reefs of dementia. Phyl went through some of the same when her Mom declined and went via Alzheimers. It’s hard.
        Stay safe! Hull down.

        1. aletheia33

          ambrit, thank you, for some reason i have always gotten your and his names mixed up! i apologize. i do experience you as different, it’s only the names. you too are one of my favorite reporters and opiners here. probably just the am at the beginning. thank you so much for your empathy and support, it does help even at a distance.

    2. ambrit

      Yes, Good Sir, there is evidence that cannabis can help with managing the ravages of the coronavirus.
      As Tiny Tim famously said: “Gods bless us, every one.”
      Oh, and where can I find some “flonase vicodin?” That stuff sounds wizzard!
      I am feeling a bit like the pneumonia is trying to make it’s annual Winter Jamboree in my poor right lung. I’m sitting up at night and fixing hot toddies with boiled lemons and some Spanish Ron Miel (Honey Rum.) That plus all the vitamins, supplements, plus the FLCCC’s protocol concerning “the (veterinary version of) the drug that cannot be named.”
      While some may say the this Administration’s mantra is “Nothing will fundamentally change,” I beg to differ. Now, it is clear and manifest that “we are on our own” if we want to survive and keep some shreds of a civilized life. That is a definite change from the “traditional” social contract, ca.1932-ca.1999.
      Stay safe! Hull down. (Hope your wife does well.)

      1. aletheia33

        thank you AMBRIT for this info on cannabis. and from OUR LONE STAR KINGDOM HOMESTEADER, i too would like to know what flonase vicodin is. though i doubt i should touch it, as i understand vicodin is addictive, and i have to admit i’ve enjoyed perhaps too much the two or three hits of demerol that have come my way on occasions of severe physical pain.

        here’s a thought: yes, we are on our own, now. that social contract, as held in institutions, is broken. however, the more of us are on our own, the more of us will be around to stumble upon one anothers’ mutual needs. and maybe begin to reinvent ways to rebuild some kind of human mutual aid contract. that could maybe become the basis, very slim at first, for a new one.

        i do believe that an urge toward mutual aid is wired in to humans, along with the horrible fears and rages that can torment us when there has been no aid.

        of course the planet may become uninhabitable all too soon. and many will not make it. so not to put too much weight on that slender thread of hope. it does seem more real to me though than that steady drip of hopium we’re all being practically force-fed now. (and so back to demerol and its uses and abuses!)

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          s’posed to be a comma between the two.
          ‘flonase’=fluticasone=an allergy med(that works pretty well for all but the worst cedar pollen events)
          vicodin, of course, is hydrocodone.

          wish i didn’t need either.

          as for mutual aide…that’s how community is built.
          when we did the first big lockdown…even out here in Itaintrealland…none of my neighbors left home, save for the holy roller bring yer horse to church folks up by the highway.
          during that time, i was the only one going to town for supply runs…since i could trust myself to be extremely careful.
          so i added neighbor’s lists to my own.
          we also dropped off home canned tomatoes and greenbeans and eggs on their front porches.
          it was an opportunity to use the only polish word i know:”solidarnosc”, and to hold forth from a distance about such things.
          community doesn’t fall from the sky.
          it must be constructed.

          1. aletheia33

            got it. and wish you did not need either, too. thanks again for your report. you are an inspiration to many, including me. take care and get well.

          2. ambrit

            Thanks to both of you for bringing up the idea of “community” as a functioning social construct.
            I do wonder about the differences and similarities of “community’ and “society.” Is it just a matter of scale? Basically, what is the functional limit to the size of a “community?” Also of interest is the degree of “engagement” that defines inclusion in a “community.”
            It mirrors the old question; To what degree are saints members of organized religions?
            Stay safe all!

            1. aletheia33

              i love these questions. noting that amfortas and you both used the word “construct.” he says, community must be constructed. and that is what he is working on. these terms are so widely variable in their meanings, depending on context. in the context of our current shambling collapse, if we want to ask what is to be done by those who have not given up, what could these terms mean?

              this commentariat is definitely a community of sorts. and our nc journalists have not given up. and neither has our lone star kingdom homesteader. so many have said on here, if you’re not willing to give up, get to know your neighbors and help them when you can. build community. there are various theories about how that does or might come to extend beyond one’s neighborhood.

              as i recall, a friend who had studied the great depression told me, a few years back, that many local organizations (maybe not exactly “movements”?) sprang up to try to address the problem of meeting basic needs in a society where the money system had collapsed. he said that none of these efforts worked well enough to do significant good in the face of the vast scale of the problem.

              one has to wonder if FDR had not stepped in and used the national government’s centralized power to meet those needs, whether those local mutual aid organizations somehow eventually would have managed to cohere into a different kind of society–an american communism or socialism or watchamacallit, a project many have taken on and TPTB have always very effectively managed to nip in the bud.

  23. Carolinian

    Thank you thank you for putting up the Taibbi/Kirn conversation that Flora linked yesterday. While I’m not a huge Joseph Heller fan, it’s had to deny that we are currently living in a Joseph Heller world where absurdity among the uppers reigns supreme. And because they have departed from reality they feel the need to police the discourse so all will remain silent about the emperor’s lack of attire.

    Of course out here in the boonies the natives aren’t silent at all and are more aware of elite foibles than vice versa–just as the rest of the world knows a lot more about America than we know about them. Acela contact with the flyovers is infrequent whereas bad bosses are universal.

    So thanks for truth tellers like Taibbi and Kirn. Makes one hope.

  24. Dan Berg

    so: do I have this right? The Democrats are using the “racist” filibuster to stop Ted Cruz’ bill to stop the Russian pipeline; but they want to abolish the filibuster? And they want to sanction the evil Russians, but the pipeline is ok?

  25. Keith Elliott

    On 06-12-21 a Crimes Against Humanity action was filed in the Hague.
    See link to a full pdf of the Hague filing at Before the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Corona Virus “Vaccines”. Nuremberg Code, Crimes against humanity, War Crimes and Crimes of Aggression” – Global ResearchGlobal Research – Centre for Research on Globalization
    A pdf of the 46 page filing with attachments is also on the website of the filing UK attorney at UK ICC Complaint – Hannah Rose Law
    The litigants argue that the destructive consequences of the gain-of-function engineered virus, the media-hyped fear, the censoring, the mRNA poison falsely touted as a “vaccine” (which in the UK has caused tens of thousands deaths and hundreds of thousands serious adverse reactions), the lockdowns, and the economic ruin are deliberate attempts at depopulation and societal destabilization as part of a globally coordinated plan to consolidate wealth and power in the hands of a few.
    Subject of complaint:
     Violations of the Nuremberg Code
     Violation of Article 6 of the Rome Statute
     Violation of Article 7 of the Rome Statute
     Violation of Article 8 of the Rome Statute
     Violation of Article 8 bis3 of the Rome Statute
    Based on the extensive claims and enclosed documentation, we charge those responsible for numerous violations of the Nuremberg Code, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression in the United Kingdom, but not limited to individuals in these countries.
    Perpetrators: Prime Minister for the United Kingdom BORIS JOHNSON, Chief Medical Officer for England and Chief Medical Adviser to the UK Government CHRISTOPHERWHITTY, (former) Secretary of State for Health and Social Care MATTHEW HANCOCK,(current) Secretary of State for Health and Social Care SAJID JAVID, Chief Executive of Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) JUNE RAINE, Director-General of the World Health Organisation TEDROS ADANHOM GHEBREYESUS, Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation WILLIAM GATES III and Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation MELINDA GATES, Chairman and Chief executive officer of Pfizer ALBERT BOURLA, Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca STEPHANEBANCEL, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna PASCAL SORIOT, Chief Executive of1
    Johnson and Johnson ALEX GORSKY, President of the Rockefeller Foundation DR RAJIVSHAH, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) DR ANTHONY FAUCI, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum KLAUS SCWAB, President of EcoHealth Alliance DR PETER DASZACK

    [ note to recipients – There is a lot of material in the filing and appendices – in my initial skim a couple items were noted ]
    Section 75 – There is good reason to assume that a large percentage of the UK population (and world population) is now at risk of either serious illness or death due to the recent mRNA ‘vaccines’. Animal studies conducted in 2012-2013 (Appendix 35 and 36) to test mRNA vaccines found most animals died within 2 weeks of receiving the treatment, this is equivalent to 1.5 years for humans. The vaccinated have been exposed to the very same ‘man-made spike protein’ as the virus. Both the virus and the vaccines have been proven to be able to change human DNA (Appendix 37). The immune system is unlikely to ever return to what it was after receiving a covid ‘vaccination’. Several high-level immunologists and vaccine designers including joint applicant on this request Dr Mike Yeadon, have warned, in the worst possible scenario, most of the human race who have received these m-RNA treatments will perish.
    Section 126 – The goal of this activity is to create a new world order, through the UN’s Agenda 2030, by dismantling all the Democratic Nation States, step by step, controlled by an un-elected elite and to destroy the freedoms and basic human rights of the peoples of the Earth. In addition to this, the aim is to destroy small and medium sized businesses, moving the market shares to the largest corporations, owned by the Global Elite. The fulfilment of this goal will most likely lead to full enslavement of mankind.

    1. Mikel

      “…the mRNA poison falsely touted as a “vaccine” (which in the UK has caused tens of thousands deaths and hundreds of thousands serious adverse reactions)…”

      Weren’t the AstraZeneca shots the most widely used in the UK, at least at first?
      From Oxford and all…
      Those weren’t mRNA technology. It was using as a vector a modified chimpanzee adenovirus.
      Are they referring to the use of the mRNA shots as a booster after that?

  26. Wukchumni

    There has been scant snow/rain in the Colorado River basin, and there’s still a couple months of winter to come, but if they continue to get shut out, might spell doom for Las Vegas, already teetering from Covid.

    It’ll be pretty easy to tell though, watch Lake Powell.

    They’ve already purged smaller reservoirs north of it to keep on keeping on, and emptying Lake Powell would be the only gambit left to play.

    1. Keith Howard

      While draining Lake Powell is not out of the question, I suspect that the dam’s electric generation function introduces addition layers of bureaucratic obstruction sufficient to delay that action for many years — even if a consensus had crystallized on the draining of the lake. I don’t think we are close to such a consensus yet. (I live in Denver.)

    2. KLG

      As Lake Powell dries up, somewhere Cactus Ed Abbey will be smiling that the work of Hayduke Sarvis Abbzug & Smith LLC has come to pass anyway…

  27. Carla

    “To Fight Covid, We Need to Think Less Like Doctors” — Too bad this entirely misses the point, which the NYT would never publish: the biggest obstacle to public health is for-profit health care.

  28. Tom Stone

    Wow, GREAT NEWS from Dr Edward Ryan of Mass General!
    I sure hope the producers of “The View” have him on soon to spread the good news about Omicron, Jesus and new cures for hair loss.
    Too many people are paying attention to the nattering nabobs of negativism instead of embracing Omicron, getting with the program and getting back to work with a song on their lips and gratitude in their hearts.
    Trust the Science!

    1. newcatty

      Grateful workers should flood their offices with roses and chocolates. They can serenade them with the theme song from “The Titanic”. Our hearts will go on.

  29. cocomaan

    The I.E.A. says that if we successfully implement what it calls an “Efficient Cooling Scenario,” by optimizing the energy efficiency of our cooling machines, we could save almost three trillion dollars by 2050. If we really do that, though, we will have three trillion to spend on something else, and whatever we spend it on will inevitably have climate consequences of its own.

    I wanted to like the refrigerator piece in The New Yorker, but man, the guy buried the lede deep. His thrilling conclusion is that people like to have nice things and energy efficient tech doesn’t lead to people using things that they like any less. It closed with an anecdote about how he barely has to wear a sweater in the winter anymore.

    When I see people not wanting to take climate change seriously, this is the kind of article that they point to. There’s no solution except for an unspoken message of wanting “people”, especially people other than the author, to stop using so much energy.

    Also, make sure to throw around a lot of “we have done this” and “we have done that.”

    1. R

      This is Jevons’ paradox. Jevons was an 18th centure English economist who noted that the industrial revolution and transport improvements had reduced the price of fuel and improved efficiency and, as a result more was consumed….

      It’s a small world – I was briefly a VC investor in a cutting-edge holography company, of all things, where a descendant of his was a manager.

  30. Pelham

    Re those elusive Covid hotspots: It’s suggested that we identify places where there are concentrations of the most vulnerable, such as the elderly. But vulnerable to what? Swift death from the virus? OK.
    I think there’s a better measure, though: Those most vulnerable to what mounting evidence appears to suggest is a lingering, torturous death in the form of Long Covid. And that’s about half of everyone. And maybe more in the long run as the virus invades every organ in the body and crosses the blood-brain barrier, raising the possibility it will re-emerge and cause havoc in people who thought they’d recovered fully from Covid (I’ve read accounts of this, as well).

    This may explain the emerging narrative of just learning to live with Covid (or let ‘er rip or the “endemic” invocation). I won’t rule out the possibility that they’re trying to kill us but it’s also possible they’re trying to lull us. Lull us into accepting the consequences of their malfeasance/incompetence and the unimaginably dreadful future that they consider inevitable.

    On the brighter side, I was encouraged by the chart that NakedCapitalism included yesterday showing that some Asian countries have actually had pretty good success containing Covid even as Europe and the US commit viral suicide. Perhaps some remnant of humanity and civilization will make it through. I hope my family and I can pull through as well, as we take all the usual precautions but with a big, big emphasis on N95 mask wearing and fitting.

    1. Yves Smith

      I need to write it up, but one of my mother’s aides has a boyfriend who has had 20 people on both sides of his family die of Covid. And many were not elderly. They have a propensity to diabetes; I believe he has some insulin resistance despite being of normal bodyweight and fit.

      1. Pelham

        Please do write that up.

        Relatedly, here or perhaps in another forum I also noted the ability of Covid to spread throughout the body, based on evidence from autopsies, and one skeptic replied by questioning whether the victims had comorbidities that might have made various organs more susceptible to the virus. Perhaps I read too much into the comment, but it seemed to me he was suggesting that it was regrettable but sort of excusable to write off these kinds of victims since they weren’t long for this world anyway and we need to get back to business — or brunch or whatever.

        I didn’t respond (because his intent might’ve been more benign) but I wanted to ask him whether he was sure all his major organs were completely tickety-boo and able to weather a Covid invasion.

        And this is just my quirk, but I thoroughly believe our Western diets are engineered to generate insulin resistance and thus a high rate of type 2 diabetes. Most individual sufferers are not to blame, and now they’re being scythed down by Covid. It’s heartbreaking, and maybe especially so for the anti-vaxxers.

      2. lambert strether

        That your mother, amazingly, did not get Covid is a great testimony for a layered defense strategy, given the degrees of separation.

      3. QR

        The relationship between covid and diabetes, and the relationship between covid vaccines and diabetes, deeply concern me.

        Someone I’m close to had 2 parents and 4 (adult) children in their family of origin, ages spanning 25-75. All 6 were fully vaccinated (Pfizer or Moderna) essentially simultaneously in April. None has ever had covid, to their knowledge.

        Of those 6, several months later (essentially simultaneously), 1 parent and 2 children were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and 1 child with pancreatitis. Aside from shared genes, covid vaccination was the common factor; they don’t live in the same place, eat the same diets, work in the same occupations, drink the same water supply, or even routinely visit each other. (In a twist, the one child who was NOT diagnosed with a pancreas-related issue does have significant risk factors for developing diabetes–yet did not, while their active, non-obese parent and siblings did.)

        Most ironically, those 4–who understandably thought that they were acting to be safer from covid–are now at significantly increased risk from covid.

        The state health department refused to investigate the correlation found in this family cluster, and also refused to refer it to any sort of health oversight entity for investigation. None of these “coincidental” diagnoses were reported to VAERS. (And if they had been, would those cases ever have been linked in that reporting system?) Neither the correlation nor authorities’ response to it engenders confidence in the purported honesty, science, and safety of the vaccination push.

        Now obviously causation isn’t proven–but such a peculiar correlation would seem to behoove caution and investigation. And obviously this hasn’t happened to the majority of vaccine recipients (I suspect a genetic tendency was triggered by the covid vaccination). But how many individuals have been diagnosed with diabetes or a pancreas-related issue in the months post-vaccination, without history of covid, yet simply assumed it was coincidental? How many diagnoses are missing from the system where they’re supposed to be reported and reviewed for investigation?

        This correlation does leave me wondering what might happen to other vaccine recipients’ health over a longer time period. Just as covid appears to sometimes cause diabetes and other pancreas-related issues, I suspect vaccination itself may as well. Maybe it’s limited to a few people with a certain genetic tendency. Or maybe it just happens to most people more slowly.

        The authorities find it inconvenient to explore those questions honestly and diligently, so they don’t–all while blithely insisting that vaccination is safe and pushing mandates (to such an extent that even this medical history wouldn’t be considered official grounds for medical exemption). Their attitudes and actions are high betrayal of their responsibilities and basic ethical principles.

        1. Yves Smith

          Epidemiologist Ignacio is skeptical. Via e-mail:

          Type 2 diabetes is uncommon in children and mostly linked with obesity according to some medical outlets. I would say that diagnosis timing after vaccination does not mean correlation. Whether this problem existed before vaccination cannot be ruled out. It looks indeed a familiar thing but further research would be needed to establish any correlation with vaccines. The fact is with so many vaccinated you can find apparent correlations with any malaise.

          As a scientist I cannot give/remove any support to this. Type 2 diabetes, according to a friend of mine could correlate with a history of chronic infections but there is a lot of scientific litetature linking T2D to several other viruses such as liver-infecting Hepatitis C and others.

          In the absence of extensive research and history of the patients, linking a disease which is very common to vaccination is a long shot. Just that most of us are vaccinated.

          1. QR

            Thank you. From the reply, it sounds like my initial description may have lacked clarity–apologies!

            The entire family is adults, spanning ages 25-75. It would not be at all odd for such a family *over time* to have multiple members with similar diagnoses.

            The unusual aspect is how, despite the 50-year age range of the people involved, and lack of common factors other than genetic ties and completing full covid vaccination (within days of each other), 4/6 of various ages were diagnosed *in the same month* with unexpected pancreas-related issues.

            That is very tight timing, particularly with the wide age range involved, and the general fitness/health/activity level of several being quite good prior to this.

            They don’t have a common disease history, nor histories of viral infections which might dispose them to develop pancreas-related issues (appreciate the reminder to consider that).

            Also good point regarding the possibility of pancreas-related issues previously existing undetected. But that seems unlikely in this cluster. Three of the four had regular routine medical care, including bloodwork, in the years prior to diagnosis (unknown for the 4th person as I write). These diagnoses were all unexpected. And all 4 were symptomatic at diagnosis (it wasn’t uncovered simply through routine bloodwork).

            “further research would be needed to establish any correlation with vaccines”

            Fully agree! Connection is not proven and should not be assumed–but I still find this unsettling. Now if only an entity would actually record the existence of these incidents for investigation, and do that research…

    2. tegnost

      Lull us into accepting the consequences of their malfeasance/incompetence and the unimaginably dreadful future that they consider inevitable .

      Bingo! to this, with emphasis…

  31. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: green lantern Biden

    And no mention of his Romney highway bill being voted on before BBB and civil rights? How very strange?

    1. griffen

      Thankfully I’ve not eaten a hearty breakfast, or I might have thrown up. Good grief the excuses. Politics is so very hard!

      I probably missed the green lantern analogy before.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        2009 was a crazy time. Obama only had 59 to 60 votes, faced unprecedented opposition (an opposition party), and governing is hard work was a favorite excuse. Did you know being president is hard? They would say it with a straight face. It shows how celebrity driven the followers of Team Blue elites are.

        It’s like when people ask was Dailykos always this bad, and the answer is it was so much worse than you can imagine.

        1. griffen

          Good memories, of 2009 (eh, not so much). I was spending time on a different site, pursuing truthiness in the time of TARP, TALF, and so forth. Getting sideways with the gold enthusiasts there was sorta the last straw. I think from washington’s blog I wound up over here, for the betterment of myself of course.

          1. LifelongLib

            I ran across NC at Digby’s Hullabaloo, and came over here when that site shut down its comment section. Not a Marxist (haven’t read enough of him to form an opinion, but less than impressed with the quasi-religious attitudes expressed by some calling themselves Marxists), but wouldn’t mourn if the rich were to vanish…

  32. CuriosityConcern

    Follow up on CBDA, CBGA and THCA having a blocking effect on COVID in cell culture:

    I’m afraid it throws a bit of cold water on my wild musings. Article seems pretty knowledgeable from my perspective on it’s treatment of the aforementioned cannabinoids. They are the “inactive” forms of the cannabinoids, appropriate levels of heat will decarboxylize the molecules into the “active” forms people usually seek out. To repeat, they used the “inactive” forms that people usually associate with juicing “sugar leaves”.
    If anyone is interested I can post a link to a small Oregon farmer who has been exploring and breeding these minor cannabinoids for awhile, he sells compliant and non-compliant seeds(compliant=less than .3% or .03% THC in volume, ie hemp).

      1. CuriosityConcern

        Here you go, Hoku seed company:
        Here is a link to his offerings on, where I first saw his seeds and heard him talk on their Future Cannabis Project youtube vids.
        And finally here is a link to a very recent FCP YouTube video, 1 hour and 46 minutes: Breeding For Mixed Ratio and Minor Cannabinoids. They don’t get the audio right till 10 minutes in…

        A probable unnecessary word of caution, be careful if you do buy seeds that you buy the type that won’t get you in trouble in your locality, if there are any.

        1. Mantid

          This is a great link. In the Pac NW we can buy seeds for “regular” plants and hemp/CBD plants. This grower is much less expensive than all the local pot shops where seeds can be literally a few dollars – each. Most plants for regular pot are sold as clones of Indica or others and not grown from seed. I also recommend Curiosity’s link.

          1. CuriosityConcern

            Yeah, most seeds for regular(thc dominant genetics) are $10+ a piece. In my personal opinion, the seeds with the genetics that will manifest multiple types of cannabinoids are the most valuable, but the market has assigned them the lowest value.
            The breeders I’ve seen talk attribute this to the customer at the pot shop looking at the thc content and thinking the highest % is the best.
            My personal quest isn’t to get high, but to feel good, maybe even make some medicine that actually makes someone worse off than me feel good and/or recover.

        2. Eclair

          Thanks, CuriosityConcern. One plant (for home consumption only) will go into the rapidly expanding herb garden, medicinal section.
          Question: Has anyone had experience with deer browsing these? Or, do deer ignore them. Am not sure which option I prefer: deer avoiding them, or having a local population of cool laid-back deer. But with munchies.

          1. CuriosityConcern

            I don’t know about deer. But I can tell you that cannabis doesn’t self seed unless your plant is hermaphroditic, which most breeders try to breed out of their lines. So maybe consider two plants, a male and a female for the first year.

          2. DZhMM

            For several years, we grew crops of the devil’s lettuce on our backyard acreage near St Helens, OR, right near the edge of the adjacent deer-infested patch of woods. We never had a problem with the deer – maybe a nibbled leaf or two every season, but we did more “damage” supercropping to maximize bud site quantity than the deer ever did.
            Our goats, on the other hand, turned out to love the stuff. What was a convenient way to recycle the bags and bags and bags of fan leaves after a harvest turned tragic the next september when one of the goats jumped her fence and made a dash-and-scarf right into the grove. In the ten minutes it took to notice and go get her, we figure she ate us out of what would have been two or three pounds of dried and cured product.

    1. griffen

      Goodness. Cue up the relief and emergency funding once more! I will venture into a Golden Corral restaurant location before making a cruise trip happen.

      1. Wukchumni

        Most buffets i’ve seen around here have closed down-kind of a sucky business model during a pandemic.

  33. polar donkey

    I did peace corps in Tonga. Country has a lot of volcanoes. North of the eruption site is another chain of islands called Ha’apai. Some of my fellow PC volunteers were stationed there. Ha’apai has twin volcanoes, Tofua and Kao. Spectacular. Tofua is a collapsed cauldron and Kao is perfect cone. You could pay a local fisherman to take you to either, drop you off, and a few days later come pick you up. No one lives there. You are really at the edge of the world. I didn’t get to do it. I was in Vava’u. I didn’t even know about Tofua and Kao till the volunteers told me about them.

  34. Darthbobber

    The critics who want a seat at the serious people table often go through the motions of conceding points (like the malevolence of Putin or the inherent aggressiveness of Russia) whether they believe them or not because they see that as the price of entry.

    They also tend to believe that accepting irrational premises at the beginning doesn’t fatally compromise their ability to argue for more rational policy.

    Tooze, I think, is somewhat worse than that. He shares a defect common to many analysts of omitting key data and then being puzzled by mysteries that aren’t mysteries when the data is added.

    One example: He mentions a number of Ukrainian actions prior to the Russian military exercises, but omits the most directly bellicose: the movement of additional troops and heavy equipment towards the Donbass, and speeches and press releases directed at at the Ukrainian public speaking if the immanence of retaking the Donbass and “liberating” Crimea. Granted, none of this got much coverage in our media, but Tooze should be aware of it. Nor do OCSE observer reports confirm his narrative of the Russians one-sidedly escalating hostilities along the zone of contact.

    And yes, a sane focus on what “our” interests are (cutting out the baby talk about the defense of everything good against everything bad) would be more clarifying than any of this. Of course, that runs the risk of making it obvious that we have literally no vital interests at stake in eastern Europe (unlike the Russians).

  35. Jason Boxman

    Glenn Youngkin reminds Virginians what GOP governance looks like

    With this in mind, Youngkin walked a fine line, signaling to the right that he’d be an ally, while assuring the rest of the electorate that he’d be a mainstream governor focused on kitchen-table issues. The subtext was hardly subtle: Virginians need not fear Republican governance in Virginia. There would be no dramatic turn to the right.

    It worked: GOP candidates effectively ran the table in the commonwealth last November, fueled in part by voters who backed Democrats a year earlier, and those Republicans are poised to take office this week.

    While I don’t live in Virginia, it’s hard to believe it is actually that simple. If liberal Democrats had delivered material benefits, wouldn’t “we’re not crazy, trust us!” be a risk not worth taking, the better choice being team D? Did Democrats in VA deliver anything to Virginians while in power?

    Many Virginians took seriously the idea that Youngkin and the GOP’s slate of 2021 candidates really were mainstream Republicans. More than a few Biden voters assumed the risks were modest and GOP governance in the commonwealth wouldn’t be alarming at all.

    Well, what is it mainstream Republicans claim to offer that’s so compelling that Democrats lost? What is it that’s so un-compelling about liberal Democrat rule?

    There isn’t much clarity in a story that’s basically just “Republicans bad”, so there are no answers to be had or even questions asked therein. As expected from MSNBC.

    1. Adam

      When Terry Mc was governor, he campaigned and delivered on Medicaid expansion, so he did deliver a great material benefit (albeit, a very targeted one). Granted, I don’t recall Democrats really doing anything of any impact under Northam and Mc opted to just spend almost the whole campaign season calling Youngkin “Trumpkin” instead of focusing on his own legitimate record or actually coming up with policy to run on.

  36. Larry Carlson

    Do Topol’s opinions carry much weight? Unfortunately, as his lobbying to delay vaccine approvals for political reasons showed, he’s just one of many public health “experts” who believe that information should be metered out sparingly, and only if it might lead the populace to engage in desired behaviors.

  37. Jason Boxman

    Quietly and over some objections, a national digital vaccine card has emerged

    “We won’t be safe until venues are able to *require* SMART Health QR codes and stop accepting paper cards, or photos of cards. And that won’t happen until state or local governments mandate that,” said Jamie Zawinski, a software developer who also owns a night club, DNA Lounge, in San Francisco. He requires customers to have the QR code or, for now, their paper CDC card.

    Too bad that Zawinski is a moron. The current vaccines are non-sterilizing, so they do not provide the safety that he craves. But the blame really goes with the CDC and bumbling Biden, with the claim that vaccination is (or at least is effectively the same as) sterilizing.

    As long as this myth persists, we’re in for a very rough ride. And we’re a year into vaccines now, and this isn’t understood yet.

    1. Harrison

      Coming soon: Apple will create an Apple-pay™ app that will coexist with your Vaccine Internal Passport. Then, Biden and Fauci will demand that this special QR code on your VIP be shown to enter any federal facility, then after a suitable interval, cash any check from the IRS or Federal government, a few months later, withdraw money from a bank, finally, President Clinton will pass another executive order tying all use of credit cards to the VIP QR code, and finally cash will be outlawed.

      Unvaccinated? That’s your choice, like starting to use meth or fentanyl. However, when the economy collapses, it will be the fault of the unvaccinated.

    1. the last D

      But I thought they were working. Haven’t moderna and pfizer made billions, and look to make billions more. The vaccines certainly seem like a shot in the arm to their bottom lines.

  38. Mikel

    “NFT art sales are booming. Just without some artists’ permission” NBC

    That was the point…to take the artist out of the art.
    They tried to take the musician out of the music, too.

    1. tegnost

      They tried to take the musician out of the music, too.

      It will take a while, but when in 20 years nirvana and pearl jam are still playing on the radio it’ll be obvious. No reason to make a commercial music product… you’re just making money for someone else or training an AI set. Same with novels…every one that is written on an amazon web cloud is training an AI.

      everything is free now.

  39. Mikel

    “The Case for Keeping Up Your Christmas Tree Until March” The Atlantic

    I’m saving article this in case I ever want to send someone a gift late and I get pushback. Say I miss forget them that Xmas or the birthday in Feb or anniversary in Jan? Then an opportunity arises where I need their attention?
    The March Xmas gift!!! Genius.

  40. Wukchumni

    The ski patrol had been advocating for a base wage of $17 an hour, up from the company’s base offer of $15 an hour, says the union’s business manager, Patrick Murphy. Because the patrol had been operating under the terms of its prior contract, first-year patrollers were making $13.25 an hour during the negotiation period, Mr. Murphy said.

    All over the CVBB fast food places are offering $15-17 per hour for new hires, about the same as what somebody on ski patrol earns, that’s ridiculous.

    My Ikon season pass was around $700 and I plan to ski 20+ days this winter, taking it down to a reasonable $35 a day. The walk-up price @ Mammoth this past week for a daily lift ticket was $209.

    They’ve made it essentially unaffordable for the once or twice a year skier/snowboarder.

    1. Eclair

      Future Onion headline: Vail Resorts, Inc., planning to charge Ski Patrollers $15 an hour for working. “We believe the experience of our Ski Patrol partners will be enhanced when they fully actualize the privilege of skiing for a living,” purred Steve Littleman, Vail CFO.

  41. BillS

    @Jason Boxman
    And in Europe, we already have the useless Green Pass, which allows you to behave as if Covid does not even exist any more. How do morons like Zawensky manage to make themselves heard so much?

      1. Michaelmas

        We here in the US operate under The Rule of Law my friend…Gresham’s Law.

        Best comment I’ve seen all year.

    1. skippy

      Sigh …. the early 90s where we skied A Basin in Aug down Pallavicini with big PA speakers playing reggae from the parking lot at the bottom and lots of tailgate BBQ happening …

      Pro Tip – don’t ware 210 GS skis down that slope even if bindings are cranked to 10. Its the one time your ski tip and heal rests on two VW bug size moguls, at the same time, that out of 100s or 1000s of runs that it will pop and then the fun really begins. Oh BTW that one tree [big] at the bottom is a magnet – matters not where on the run you come undone because you will get sucked into its gravity well. Additionally how is it possible to go faster sliding on your back and digging a boot in and remaining ski/poles.

      Only thing close is riding mates 230 downhill skis on the East Wall only to find death cookies at the bottom … now days I have to settle for single plank setup at 16′ on the side of a house.

      1. Wukchumni

        I have my old pair of Rossignol 205’s around here somewhere and they date from before parabolic skis showed up and my inner thighs would be screaming after a couple hours on the slopes back in the day in the 80’s.

        I used to go around 60 mph in those bad boys built for speed screaming down a black run, but I seldom go faster than 45 mph now on 179’s and typically stick to blue groomers unless it’s a powder-ish day when I get brave skiing through the trees.

        I’m convinced moguls are sponsored by knee surgeons…

  42. Mikel

    “COVID-19 Cluster Linked to Aerosol Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via Floor Drains”Journal of Infectious Diseases

    Finally some follow up on the studies about transmission in restrooms and this is important especially now.
    People are now talking about the viruses ability to effect after a certain amount of time in the air.
    Well, restrooms and their pipeline connections have foul air CONSTANTLY churning.
    In addition to what the paper talks about, I want to call out the special insanity of having any public restroom that doesn’t have a lid to close before flushing.
    Looking at especially at you Airports… because of global travelers and the speed at which variants get around.

    Restroom hygiene, ventilation, and air filtration are key to doing something about the actual SPREAD of the disease.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Brihana Joy Gray’s Bad Faitth podcast #137 has a discussion of the various “liberal” objections to blanket student loan forgiveness including its “regressiveness,” contribution to current inflation, compulsion of student debtors into available employment, and collapsing of military recruitment, among other things.

      Advocates for student loan forgiveness have, apparently, taken heart from biden’s extension of the moratorium on payments until May 1, and are contemplating pressing whatever advantage that may represent in advance of the midterms to keep up the pressure for permanent forgiveness.

      According to Gray’s guests, the government has proven during the covid moratorium that it doesn’t really NEED the money….

      Interesting stuff. In the coming months we’ll probably be treated to more arguments against forgiveness like the one you linked to.

    2. ChrisRUEcon

      > The author’s bio is quite something.

      ” … served as the senior economist for public finance and tax policy with President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers”


  43. Rick

    Re: Wachter and Topol’s GR conversation about Omicron.

    Bob Wachter seems like a good guy, but he’s really off base on prevalence. I had a brief email exchange with him a couple of months ago and he really doesn’t mind twice what even the US CDC would call “High” prevalence (their highest category, anything over 0.1% or 100/100k prevalence, what they call “community transmission”).

    Wachter had a Twitter thread on it:

    (I’m ‘rtc_pdx’ with the comment about CDC definitions).
    (Honestly I enjoyed their camaraderie. We see so little of that these days).

  44. Tom Stone

    A few book recommendations for those who enjoy escapist fiction.

    “Squeeze me” by Carl Hiaasen.
    You will recognize the POTUS and his most ardent wealthy female admirers,the “POTUSSIES”.

    “The Androids’s Dream” by John Scalzi.
    If you enjoyed the Pig/Chimp hybrid theory you will enjoy this.

    “Monster Hunter International” by Larry Correia.
    He did not miss a single B movie cliche, and it’s funny.

    Like classic Mysteries?
    Any of the “Mary Russell” stories by Laurie King

    If you like fantasy novels and good love stories give “Paladin of Souls” by Lois McMaster Bujold a try, the only Fantasy/Sci Fi author to win more awards was Robert Heinlein.

    1. Mantid

      Thanks, just like a Sunday water cooler. Another fun author is Dick Francis. Murder mystery type of stuff and often includes horse racing (I think he was a jockey??). Off to the coat in a week so I’ll bring a stack of reads, including some of yours.

    2. Eclair

      Thanks for the recommendations, Tom. I read through all the Mary Russell books last winter/spring. Kept me relatively sane during isolation. But the others on your list are new to me. For me, reading escapist fiction beats heavy drinking!

      I just started reading Kim Stanley Robinson, lured in by another NC commenter.

      1. Wukchumni

        KSR is coming out with a non fiction book titled The High Sierra: A Love Story and he’s a kindred spirit, so I look forward to comparing our mutually shared affair.

        Kim Stanley Robinson first ventured into the Sierra Nevada mountains during the summer of 1973. He returned from that encounter a changed man, awed by a landscape that made him feel as if he were simultaneously strolling through an art museum and scrambling on a jungle gym like an energized child. He has gone back to the mountains again and again over the course of his life—more than a hundred trips—and has gathered a vast store of knowledge about this extraordinary range in the process. The High Sierra is his celebration of this exceptional place, a treat for those who know it and a guide for those who don’t—an exploration of what makes this span of mountains one of the most compelling places on Earth.

        Robinson tells the story of the Sierras through many aspects. He describes the geological forces that shaped it, and the history of its exploration, going back to the indigenous peoples who made it home and whose traces can still be found today. He celebrates the people whose ideas and actions protected the High Sierra for future generations. He describes uniquely beautiful hikes and the trails to be avoided. Robinson weaves his own experiences through the book, including life-altering events, defining relationships, and unforgettable adventures. He speaks again and again to timeless questions about the human communion with the wild and with the sublime—deftly illustrating the personal growth that only seems to come from time spent outdoors.

  45. ChrisRUEcon


    Love the title … ;-) and will pass on the recommendation of “Croupier” starring Clive Owen as a great flick!

    If you’ve ever seen the meme that pokes fun at America for claiming it needs to curb Russian ambitions when the US is the one deploying an inordinate number of bases all over the globe, you’ll get the gist of my sentiments. Ukraine is merely another stick poking at the bear; but the bear is finally getting pissed off and calling the US’ bluff. All the sabre-rattling is an annoyance, and America’s friends in Europe are getting tired of it as well. You see, they’re in the more precarious position not only by virtue of being geographically closer, but also by way of being dependent go Russia for fossil fuels. It’s been going like this for years now – from March to October, saber-rattling ratchets up; only to be followed by periods of detente as the winter approaches. To what end, exactly? Again, Russia is the flip side of American oligarchy – this is not a repeat of the cold war in the sense of capitalism vs communism. This is a case of US oligarchs wanting Russian oligarchs to cede power and control. This is not going to happen. Russia does not have to invade Ukraine. Russia has the ability to destabilize the odious Ukraine leadership from within. Russia can foment enough popular discord and wait to ride in like a savior when Ukraine leadership pisses enough Ukranians off by being heavy handed in suppressing dissent, and having no answers to economic stupor. “It’s the economy, stupid” is going to rear its head and Putin is going to look like Gandalf The White on his trusty steed when Russia returns Ukraine to the fold. The economic outlook in Ukraine is grim; it has become the poorest country in Europe, overtaken by tiny Moldova in the process (via Kyiv Post). By spinning all this talk of war, the US and NATO are making foreign investors skittish and rightly so. Who the hell wants to go start a business in Ukraine when all the western powers are saying Russia is gonna invade and take over? Gun pointing at foot.

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      #J6 #Trump

      I’d like to add a thought here on all the “pearl clutching” … has anyone taken a look at the primetime news numbers recently?! They are p*ss poor all across the board (via Deadline), but especially in the prized 24 – 54 age group. I think a lot of #J6 mania is a feeble attempt to bring more eyes to center-outlets like CNN and MSNBC, with Fox playing spoiler and repeat slightly greater benefit. Looks like the ad-workers have joined the Great Resignation.

      The use of the term “Kingmaker” in the 2nd lede reminds me of my still-held belief that Trump never wanted to be president, but rather a “king-maker”. Remains to be seen how well he is going to do this time, but remember, Trump doesn’t have to be “good”, he can subsist on the chaos of Democrats being “terrible”, of which there is plenty already, and more on the way as the pandemic extends into year three.

    2. ChrisRUEcon

      When the Blob mobilizes for war

      > I’m trying to think of a historical example where a ruling class became more sane after losing a war

      I nominate Russia, where the ruling class – a combination on moneyed interests from major metros (Moscow) and former state apparatchiks – have learned that the money comes from capture of assets and financialization, not imperialist exploits and conflict.

      The war in question being the Russian-Afghan one …

    3. ChrisRUEcon

      Putin’s Challenge to Western hegemony – the 2022 edition

      Tooze explaining what I mentioned above – you can’t saber-rattle Russia when you have European dependencies like this:

      “Russia accounts for about 40 percent of Europe’s gas imports. Comprehensive sanctions would be too destabilizing to global energy markets and that would blow back on the United States in a significant way.”

      So all the US provocations, while the EU stands to receive the brunt of ill-effects is akin to using a sling shot to stir a hornet’s nest under which your “friend” is standing. Some friend you are …

    4. ChrisRUEcon


      NFT’s are what happen when people who see how financialization works, but have no idea – and don’t really care – how rights security works decide to build platforms and are able to lure the desperate and the cunning in dangerous proportions.

      There are already image markets online, of which iStockPhoto is the largest. There is already a way to copyright image works via the Library of Congress (via If someone really wanted to build a platform to sell art and transfer all the rights of ownership, it seems to me they could integrate securing and transfer of rights if they really wanted to. But that is not the aim with NFTs. The aim is to use pump-schemes/mania to inflate value and swindle people into buying original and copied “art”.

      Putting aside the bezzle that crypto itself is, a better market for art using any other ostensible token would look something like this:

      • Artist submits work
      • Work is scanned to ascertain uniqueness (good use for AI & search-engine-idices here!)
      • Once uniqueness confirmed, copyright gained or transferred to platform temporarily with owners permission
      • Art posted to platform, protected by copyright and image added to index to prevent copy and unfair re-use (flipping, re-coloring etc)
      • Buyer purchases and copyright transferred
      • Image removed from market

      I can see some utility here. Artists can sell graphics which others can buy and use to sell on t-shirts etc. Maybe I like to draw, but I don’t want to do the Etsy/CafePress thing. I can sell the images and let folks who want to sell merchandise use my art. I guess one could accommodate a flow or section of the site where works could be resold, but given a lot of the tie-ins for some of the Bored Apes – books, cartoons and the like – the appreciation of the image takes place off-market via multi-level-marketing initiatives.

  46. Judith

    Regarding the article about digital vaccine cards, which identifies Mitre as the architect of the health cards.

    Here is an article from Forbes,
    which describes Mitre as “employing some of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers to build digital tools for America’s top military, security and intelligence organizations.”

    So much for the privacy of my health data.

    1. Mantid

      From Forbes yet, nice – thank you. Seems like something Whitney Webb would have made a connection too.

  47. Jason Boxman

    The bumbling Biden administration continues to be a debacle (Insurers Say Saturday Is Too Soon to Meet White House Goals on Rapid Tests):

    Consumers that go to an out-of-network store will need to submit receipts for reimbursement, and the plan will only have to pay $12 per test (or $24 for a kit with two tests). If the sticker price is higher, the patient will be responsible for the additional charges.

    So the test kits are free**** for everyone.

    * With exclusions for Medicare and Medicare (VA?)
    * Only at specified locations determined by your insurer
    * Only if you keep receipts (and the box!!) for the time being
    * Only if you can front the cost, while you fight for reimbursement
    * ect.

    What a joke.

    Also note, the ‘reporter’ and everyone quoted manages to avoid use of the dirty word citizen in the entire piece. Hooray.

  48. Wukchumni

    Usually the Blue Oaks here turn color and drop their leaves in October-November, but they went yellow-tan the past week and are still on the trees.

    They used to leaf out in March, I wonder what happens this year?

  49. drumlin woodchuckles

    What is one reason the government wants to give everybody covid? They hope that long covid and post-covid multi-organ micro-cirrhosis will stealth-slow-kill tens of millions of FICA taxpayers after they have paid several decades of FICA tax but before they live long enough to collect very much Social Security and Medicare, or hopefully from the government viewpoint, any at all.

    If my theory of “why” is correct, then living longest is the best revenge.

  50. marku52

    “And its One Two Three, what are we masking for?
    Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn
    Next stop is Omicram,
    And its Five, Six, Seven, open up the Pearly Gates
    Aint no time to wonder why
    Whoopie! We’re all gonna die”

    1. Mantid

      Old enough to know the melody – good call.
      How about:
      Lookin’ out the window there’s a child being jabbed
      They dragged her to the bushes ’cause spike protein she had
      Maybe we should call Fauci and try to stop the pain
      But the tracking and the mandate fun is so much of our game
      And I’m sure it wouldn’t interest …. mainstream media
      and the 1% with all of their gains

  51. Wukchumni

    I was under house arrest in the great indoors for a couple months during the Castle & KNP Fires as AQI’s ranged from 200 to 500, and feel certain i’ve watched more OAN than anybody else in the commentariat, not that i’m proud of that achievement.

    They just got dumped by Directv, so there’ll be some incredibly photogenic newsreaders in their late 20’s and early 30’s available in San Diego if a local tv news station is looking for hawties with no scruples, or hunks who dutifully read propaganda and never deviated from the script.

  52. drumlin woodchuckles

    Interesting story . . . ” Panic as Kosovo pulls the plug on its energy-guzzling bitcoin miners
    Speculators rush to sell off their kit as Balkan state announces a crypto clampdown to ease electricity crisis ”

    Here is the link to the story. It also has cheery things about other countries moving to restrict bitcoin miners from their electro-guzzling.

  53. drumlin woodchuckles

    This may have scientific interest. It is video of a cone snail eating a fish. Apparently the cone snail does not just have a poison harpoon-tooth to inject the fish with. It can also release an “insulin agent” into the water near the fish to send the fish into hypoglycemic shock rendering it unable to swim away.

    ” Insulin agent” ? Is this being researched further?

  54. ChrisRUEcon

    Folks … it’s early days yet, but this is in contention for the worst tweet of the year. Make sure you’re seated … and breathe deeply …

    From the NBC News Twitter Account

    TL;DR – catching COVID will relieve your anxiety.

    1. Daryl

      > TL;DR – catching COVID will relieve your anxiety.

      For some reason, this reminded me of toxoplasmosis in rodents making them less afraid of cats.

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