Links 1/23/2022

Who Should Be the Authors of a Scientific Paper? The Wire

Hershey hockey fans set world record in ‘Teddy Bear Toss’ game NY Post

“Is Not a Face Quite Different from a Mask?”: Molière at 400 Los Angeles Review of Books

The first fairy stories were never intended for children The Spectator

Everyone’s a Critic Los Angeles Review of Books

Suburban Chicago McMansions Follow a Dark Logic Even I Do Not Understand McMansion Hell. Kate Wagner. From a couple of weeks ago; I don’t think this link has been posted by Yves or Lambert.  And if it has apologies – whatever the case, enjoy.

Jean-Jacques Savin: French adventurer dies crossing Atlantic Ocean BBC

Esc-APE artist! Police warn public not to approach lab MONKEY that got away in Pennsylvania truck crash as they hunt it down and ‘shoot dead’ three other escapees Daily Mail

MTA Looking for High-Tech Ideas to Keep Subway Tracks Clear The City


Lives saved and lost in the first six month of the US COVID-19 pandemic: A retrospective cost-benefit analysis PLOS One


How does Omicron spread so fast? A high viral load isn’t the answer Nature

Where do we stand with Omicron? Ground Truths


Students Are Walking Out of School Rather Than Returning to an Unsafe “Normal” TruthOut


Aiming to make CDC nimble, agency director has rankled many AP


II’s staff, not stuff: Applying crisis standards of care to allocating health care workers Stat

What to know about the battle over Fox Valley health care workers now playing out in court  Appleton Post Crescent (DCBlogger)

Occupation and risk of severe COVID-19: prospective cohort study of 120 075 UK Biobank participants BMJ Occupational and Environmental Medicine


Experts seriously doubt whether patent waivers on Covid-19 vaccines will ever come to be CNBC

India has a Covid-19 vaccine for 12-year-olds. Why hasn’t it been rolled out yet? Scroll

#DataViz: ‘Covid-19 Deaths in India Could Be 6 Times Above Officially Recorded Deaths’ India Spend


Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam defends Covid hamster cull BBC

ACTION ALERT: NYT’s China Covid Coverage Needs to Acknowledge Reality FAIR

Class Warfare

Shkreli’s infamous 4,000% price hike gets him a lifetime pharma ban Ars Technica

D.C. Attorney General Sues Customer Service Firm Arise for Stiffing Workers on Pay ProPublica

Why shoplifting is soaring across the US — and will only get worse NY Post

To Bargain With Their Landlords, Renters Form Tenant Unions WSJ


Climate change makes the future of Nordic skiing uncertain AP

Oil industry board members to testify to Congress on climate disinformation Guardian

Supply Chain

Solar panels a portrait of China supply chain risks Asia Times

Waste Watch

Nanoplastic pollution found at both of Earth’s poles for first time Guardian

New York Gov. Hochul’s budget proposal calls for packaging EPR by 2026 Waste Dive

Biden Administration

White House Is Set to Put Itself at Center of U.S. Crypto Policy Bloomberg

Cryptocurrency Is a Giant Ponzi Scheme Jacobin

Bitcoin drops to six-month low as investors dump speculative assets FT

Joe Biden Missed His Golden Opportunity to Attack the Pandemic Jacobin

It’s Ron Klain’s turn in the barrel Politico

After a Year of Biden, Why Do We Still Have Trump’s Foreign Policy? Counterpunch

Bipartisanship Is Dead, and That’s Great News for Joe Biden New Republic


Activism, Uncensored: Impact of Gun Control Laws Visible in Virginia Protests TK News. Matt Taibbi.

Police: McDonald’s employee shot in argument over discount over French fries KRCG (Dr. Kevin)

The Milwaukee Burger King employee accused of accidentally shooting his 16-year-old coworker is in custody and charged with homicide Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Dr. Kevin)

Argument over BBQ sauce leads to teenage Wendy’s employee being shot in head WOAI (Dr. Kevin)

New Cold War

UKRAINE CRISIS: US ‘Toolboxes’ Are Empty Consortium News. Scott Ritter.

NATO Bears Some Responsibility For The Ukraine Crisis American Conservative

Families of US Embassy personnel in Ukraine ordered to begin evacuating as soon as Monday: officials Fox

Germany Has Little Maneuvering Room in Ukraine Conflict Der Spiegel

Germany blocks Estonian arms exports to Ukraine: report Deutsche Welle

German navy chief resigns after Crimea comments spark diplomatic row FT

Godzilla vs. Mothra

AT&T, Verizon pause 5G rollout near U.S airports to avoid flight disruptions Reuters

US 5G roll out ignores concerns for Air Transport safety Leeham News and Analysis

Old Blighty

Now is the Moment to Declare Independence Craig Murray

British Conservatives set to go for top job if Johnson falls AP


Report: U.S. Marines Returned Fire After Suicide Bombing, but No Enemies Were Shooting at Them ProPublica

Saudi-led coalition denies targeting prison after Yemen strike kills dozens France 24

Yemen: UN urges investigation into Saudi-led coalition air raids Al Jazeera

As Afghanistan starves, the pundit class turns away Columbia Journalism Review

There’s a Mass Palestinian Grave at a Popular Israeli Beach, Veterans Confess Haaretz


‘With Exploding Inequality, India Can’t Continue With Business As Usual‘ India Spend

Relentless Internal Trouble Plagues West Bengal BJP The Wire

The China-India Cold War in Maldives The Diplomat


In the Middle East, impacts of Sino-American rivalry remain minimal Responsible Statecraft

China sits and watches as Russia moves on Ukraine Asia Times

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “UKRAINE CRISIS: US ‘Toolboxes’ Are Empty”

    Now here I am going to have to disagree. After seeing all the pundits doing interviews in the news on CNN, MSNBC & Fox, the Senators, the ‘experts’ and other interested people, I am seeing no shortage of ‘tools’ at all. And in a supreme irony, the person that had the most reasonable viewpoint to give was actually from the Atlantic Council of all places.

    But as the article makes plain, this is a situation that has no military solution at all so the standard let’s-do-a-missile-and-air-strike solution won’t work here at all. The Russians can shoot back. The US announced that they were having exercises with a US carrier in the Mediterranean Sea for the next few weeks to ramp up pressure and whereas for a smaller country like Syria that would be a matter of concern, for a power like Russia it would just be one more target to add to their list.

    So this leaves the US/NATO with coming up with a diplomatic solution and this is where the shallow bench of present diplomatic talent is really showing. The diplomats that the world had back in the 70s were able to develop the concept of ‘detente’ but that is a word I am not hearing at all these days. To have to give and take will be finally admitting that we are now in a multipolar world and I do not think that Washington is ready to go there yet.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’m pretty certain Blinken was given the directive to find a foreign policy win where the US looks tough to get his presidency back on track. Blinken had his mid east and Africa tour, ticked off the Chinese and won’t make concessions to Iran or Cuba which are prerequisites to a deal at this point due to US behavior. Getting the Kiev rump state into NATO became his win. The usual suspects would rejoice, and Moscow would get assurances with the promise Biden would be better in his second term. Moscow said no. The blob and the Bandarists doubled down knowing Biden is desperate for a win. Biden is trying to look tough forcing Moscow to respond with an ultimatum. Biden can’t do anything except pout, lose, or start a nuclear exchange.

    1. jsn

      All the world no longer looks like a nail!

      The hammer has already smashed everything but the percussion caps and powder actuated fasteners.

      If you whack one of those, you’re liable to blow your hand off.

    2. John

      Washington is not ready to go there yet. General Milley spoke of a “tri-polar world”, I think it was, but has anyone of the movers-and-shakers in DC followed on with that. I suppose the DC bubble has to spin up a narrative of victory before facing reality and there is a coterie that will die in the uni-polar ditch before admitting they have been wrong for the last 30 years.

      1. jsn

        If you insist often enough that Putin is going to invade, you can declare victory when he doesn’t.

        Best be getting on with it though before those subs start popping up off the East coast.

        Then Blinkin can be “magnanimous” and back up NATO?

        1. Michaelmas

          If you insist often enough that Putin is going to invade, you can declare victory when he doesn’t.


          That’s where this going with a little luck.

            1. wilroncanada

              I think the administration is just stalling, running out the string, as it were. Just like I think they are stalling with their “congressional investigation” into 210106,trying to run out the string. They are waiting to lose the senate, and maybe the house, in the mid-term elections this November so they can, as in 2010, claim helplessness against those “Mean” Republicans. Far more of the foreign policy hawks are Democrats, and have been since Jackson took over Democrat foreign policy 50 years ago. The helplessness meme suits their PMC fundraising.

          1. chuck roast

            Is the revisionist history already already dropping the veil? Last night I watched “Munich: The Edge of History” on Netflix. It’s all about Chamberlain’s negotiations at Munich prior to his rolling over on Sudetenland. The plot contained a deus ex machina whereby the PM was presented with a stolen Top Secret German document describing the euro-expansionist ambitions of Hitler. Consequently, Chamberlain’s abject appeasement to Hitler became Chamberlain’s brilliant buying of time for England to rearm in the face of certain war. What a load. Does Pinewood Studios still exist?

              1. R

                But this is true of Chamberlain. My father, youthful dining companion of Oswald Mosley and only slight more reconstructed in old age, was very insistent on this point, that Chamberlain had rearmed and temporised as much as he could, in the certainty of war by Germany.

              1. The Rev Kev

                I’m just waiting to see how long it is until Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are rehabilitated. Not that long I would guess.

    3. timbers

      Watched the videos in this article by Scott Ritter. Lavrov was cool and professional. He alludes to disagreements with polite explanation before dismissing them at the end. Blinken in contrast almost immediately insults his counterpart be stating U.S. propaganda front and center at the beginning of his turn of speech (“more Russian aggression against Ukraine”) followed by threats against non existent Russian actions, which tell us he is either misinformed, unintelligent, insincere, dishonest, or some combination of those, making him unfit for diplomacy.

      Lavrov and Russian patience is far beyond mine.

      The more one thinks and learns about this, the more apparent it is that Russia is in the drivers seat. Yes they can eliminate NATO bases in Bulgaria and Romania right now or anywhere else in NATO they deem need to be eliminated and there is nothing the U.S. can do to stop that. But then they would lose NordStream 2 for sure if they already haven’t. The Russians being Russian, likely they will wait until they see no other choice to do so because they don’t want to escalate unless they have no other choice. But they will strike before these bases have the weapons that could threaten Russia. The only question is: Will the U.S. close down these bases before Russia decides she can no longer wait for the U.S. to come to her senses?

      1. Michaelmas

        they will strike before these bases have the weapons that could threaten Russia

        No. They will strike if/when those weapons arrive on those bases, but before they’re unpacked.

      2. Common Sense

        I think Ritter is making one mistake, assuming that the public don’t recognize BS when they hear it. Most ordinary people do. Most ordinary people just don’t have the time or possibility to engage and let their knowledge about the state of things be known.

      3. Susan the other

        I think time is on Russia’s side. I suspect that the nutty behavior we are witnessing our own country engaging in is a desperate attempt to hide the fact that we are running out of oil. I remember the map the Russians published a few years ago showing how much of the world’s oil wealth is in Eurasia: Saudi, Iran, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia/Russia, etc. And then on top of that anti-American group of “folks” is the wealth in Russia/Siberia – massive amounts of minerals and oil. Then there is the Russian-Chinese alliance of (almost) brothers in arms against a dangerous aggressor (that would be us). And to offset this nexus of power we have a faltering, equivocating NATO “alliance”, depleted domestic reserves of oil; Venezuela protected by China, Iran and the Russkies, and our transparent scheme to horizontal-drill into it from Guyana. Good luck with that. As long as we are not spending zillions on a foreign war in an opium producing country, we are without an economy at all. So to speak. I could go on until I start telling real lies. Lavrov and the Russians and the Chinese and the Europeans and the British and the Israelis all know this. Only we, the exceptional citizens, do not. So Ukraine: it is the gateway to Caspian oil. And that, imo, is our goal. If we can stake a claim in the Caspian we can keep the Europeans as our allies, if not – they will ally with Russia out of necessity. No matter how many fake-news tirades Rachel does, that is the reality. So, back to my point, time is not on our side. If we are out of tools, the rational person would say, Let’s retool. Let’s start over. With a business plan we can maintain. Because the planet does not have the energy to recover from a nuclear war.

          1. rowlf

            … and Venezuelans and Iranians and Syrians and everyone else that has a misunderstanding of sovereignty and why US Access To Resources Is The Best Access To Resources. (Nork Meme)

            Are the US military and intelligence agencies the US financial sector’s muscle? Is it time to séance Smedley Butler?

        1. Paradan

          It’s not a popular thing to say, but we have an absolutely massive amount of shale oil. If you do full government control over it, just use it domestically*, priced close or just below global market value, you just “MMT” it up out of the ground.

          *This gets complex when you price it into manufactured exports, it gives us an edge and so would/should affect the exchange rate….

          1. Gaianne


            That shale oil exists but can only be produced at a dead economic loss.

            The previous shale oil boom worked like this: The Federal reserve handed free money to the Too Big To Fail banks, the banks invested in cut-out organizations that invested in the shale production. The cost of drilling and producing the oil was greater than the money made selling it: Dead loss. Eventually the TBTFs got tired of this and invested in other things.

            It is literally cheaper to just buy the oil from Russia.


      1. Soredemos

        The US really needs to stop encouraging foreign parasites to move here only to hijack our government and use it to continue family feuds from the Old World. Canada made the same mistake, which is why it now hosts memorials to the Waffen SS. Brzezinski was probably the ultimate example of this; perpetually butthurt that his aristocratic family was kicked out of Galicia. It would be a bit like a dispossessed former Confederate moving to another country and trying to direct their foreign policy against the US.

        1. rowlf

          Let’s not forget how United States Army lieutenant colonel Alex Vindman got bent that Donald Trump violated Vindman’s policy in the Ukraine.

          Who sets foreign policy in the US? Elected leaders or staff?

    4. Louis Fyne

      The US military is in no condition to fight a genuine peer after 30 years of easy victories against literal third world militaries.

      Pundits seem to think that you can flip a switch and the US military comes alive like a Hollywood film. No way.

      if DC is insane enough to pick a fight with Russia today, it’ll be like the Russo-Japanese War, except ironically the Russians will fill in the shoes of the Japanese.

  2. Cocomaan

    As I wrote yesterday or the day before, the way the Ukraine situation is being handled looks like an intentional dive into a war. A system is what it produces. The state department appears intent on instigating a conflict even as it says it’s not doing so.

    A nice war is the best way to distract from the utter failure of domestic policy by the administration (and non domestic too). Worked for Obama.

    1. begob

      Headline story on the BBC now – the intelligence services that brought us Juan Guaido insist they have uncovered Russian plans to place a puppet ruler in Ukraine post-invasion. Hard-wired projection.

      1. John

        A nice war is one that someone else fights and dies in while you sit back and nitpick. It would be a small and cold comfort to even suspect that there was an adult present who might get the children to stop playing with dangerous toys.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Nope. Obama demonstrated there were no adults in the US during Libya. I forget his exact line, but he said the problem was “there was no plan” for the aftermath, not Obama didn’t have a plan. He then jumped to Syria with his new found victory.

          I’m even giving credit for the idea there might be reasons to manage a Libyan civil war, the sons were problems, refugees, and such. For the US, engagement after the WMD fiasco and the start of the rehabilitation of Shrub by Obama at the inaugural meant the US joining militarily would always be bad.

          1. William Beyer

            I’m convinced that American foreign policy since the day after VJ Day has been an ongoing criminal enterprise, designed to deny self-governance to any people who don’t think our way. Shipping German war prisoners to Vietnam to join Japanese troops to subvert Vietnamese independence in 1945 set the pattern.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              It’s always been bad, but as to why Ukraine and why now, there is enough out there to paint a picture. Blinken was off trying to form an anti-Chinese alliance and had a weak kneed presser where he says diplomacy requires deals and that it isn’t so easy when he left with nothing.

              Gossip rags like Politico and the Hill had stories about Biden needing a foreign policy win to get his presidency back on track. Where are his low cost wins that will resonate? Where the media won’t have an Afghanistan meltdown? No American cared about a new submarine for nuclear subs in Australia. It kind of defeats the purpose of nuclear subs.

              Biden dumped on Glasgow. His conference of democracy was a joke. It’s already been memory holed. It was that embarrassing. So he’s going to the Clinton play book. It’s just the Russian Federation isn’t Yeltsin’s kleptocracy.

              1. Michaelmas

                No American cared about a new submarine for nuclear subs in Australia.

                The initiative there came from the UK, who are also busy transferring nuclear sub tech and trained operators to Taiwan.

            2. ambrit

              That actually was the French doing that. When you are given the choice of either being sent back to Soviet occupied Germany or Indochina, the answer becomes a little bit of a wash.

            3. Jessica

              “Shipping German war prisoners to Vietnam to join Japanese troops to subvert Vietnamese independence in 1945 set the pattern.”
              I knew about the US using Japanese POWs against the Vietnamese. Using Germans is news to me. Do you remember the source for this?

              1. ambrit

                The French enticed many of their German POWs into the Foreign Legion and sent them to Indochina when the West double crossed Minh and the Vietnamese Communists, who had been fighting against the Japanese as being asian invaders.
                The best source I could find on this perhaps deliberately obscured historical item is a book in French by one Pierre Thoumelin, “L ‘Ennemi utile.” The man did extensive records searches in the French military archives to come up with figures showing that about half of the French Foreign Legion troops in post war Indochina were ex-German troops. We are talking tens of thousands of men.
                References to the book are only available in the Googleverse in the French sub-domain.
                America had it’s Operation Paperclip. France had it’s own version, which I call, Operation Banannaclip.
                Never forget that the Vietnam War began as a French Colonial affair. The Viet Minh were fighting the French as far back as the 1920s.
                The Viet Minh evidently fought against the Japanese occupiers of WW-2 in the belief that they would be given a plebescite and independence. France and America stabbed them in the back after the war.
                Stabbing former allies in the back seems to be an integral part of American foreign policy.

                1. rowlf

                  I do not have the citation but had run across print notes that FDR DID NOT want France back in SEA. Truman may have lost the message.

                  (I had a period when I collected a lot of Bernard Fall books while trying to understand my father’s and my mentor’s/co-worker’s war)

                  1. ambrit

                    And then Dulles later went and obliquely offered the French nuclear weapons to use against the Viet Minh. Even the French were aghast at that one.

          2. Skip Intro

            It may be that Obama realized he was played by the hawks on Libya, but IIRC when he tried to work with the Russians to stabilize Syria, the Pentagon ‘accidentally’ bombed known Russian positions (Deir es Ezzor or something), killing a couple, and reminding everyone who actually controls the divisions. After screwing them on Afghanistan, I don’t think the Blob will let Biden avoid war for very long, especially with the ongoing domestic collapse of his party and his society.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Obama can’t be played. That would mean the Great One was fallible. My suspicion is the rumored story of a Rose Garden conversation between Dempsey and Kerry where Dempsey warned Syrian missiles can hit US ships was between Dempsey and Obama leading to Obama sobering up.

            2. Soredemos

              Deir Ezzor, and I think you’re misremembering. The Pentagon contrived to kill a hundred Syrian government troops, which came quite close to enabling ISIS to take the city (it allowed them to take some key hills to the south which gave them a good spot to place artillery). Deir Ezzor was isolated from the rest of government territory for years; any losses its garrison suffered were basically irreplaceable.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Those hills also oversaw the airport which was the sole means of supplying the garrison and the people there. And without the airport in use the city would have fallen leading to another ISIS massacre. I wonder if the people that ordered that attack were also the same ones who gave the orders to have that dam destroyed which was featured in Links a day or two ago. Certainly it caught Obama flat-footed and burnt his negotiations with the Russians in which he had just reached an agreement with a few days before.

    2. Jack

      NSC nimrods try to top a twenty year effort to subdue the Graveyard of Empires, and come up with a winter attack on Russia!

  3. Tom67

    I find Eric Topols shilling for the vaccines embarassing. He cites studies but never the raw data and he never adresses the numbers of the NHS or Public Health Scotland. Now with Omicron the numbers are thoroughy disturbing. Here some highlights: from the 1st to the 7th of January the age adjusted infection rate per 100 000 of double jabbed was 2,5 times higher than for the unviaccinated. Even for the triple vaccinated the numbers are 50% higher than for the unvaccinated. Here the link to the report: This finding is replicated in Denmark and Germany.
    Even death per 100 000 is higher among the double vaccinating than among the unvaccinated. Only the triple jabbed do still have meaningful protection. But for how long? And is the lower death rate also valid for Omicron? The last question pertains to the fact that people dying now are most likely still dying from Delta. But what in 3 to 4 weeks, when the Omicrin infected are the ones in the ICUs? Has one ever heard of a preventive medicine that results in being infected more than somebody who didn´t take it?

    1. OnceWereVirologist

      The trouble with this analysis is that there is no reason to believe that unvaccinated and vaccinated are equivalent populations living equivalent lifestyles. And it’s lifestyle more than anything that determines whether you pick up an infection.

      1. Anonymous

        And it’s lifestyle more than anything that determines whether you pick up an infection.

        Except with Omicron nearly everyone is expected to be exposed to the virus – eventually blowing away the lifestyle argument.

        1. juanholio

          Since there are basically zero unvaccinated in the age cohort that is at most at risk, could that be leading to some statistical anomalies?

        2. OnceWereVirologist

          That’s not at all true. A person who spends 30 minutes a week at a supermarket while wearing a respirator and socially isolates for the rest of the week is vastly less likely to catch COVID in that week than someone who socializes freely and maskless for several hours a day. That’s true no matter the strain. I have no idea whether the vaccinated are more or less likely to show mask discipline, more or less likely likely to socially isolate, more or less likely to travel, more or less likely to live in urban or rural areas, but I do know that the vaccinated and unvaccinated are absolutely not randomly selected groups, so unless you control for those variables (and probably a few more that I haven’t even thought of) then infection rate in vaccinated and unvaccinated is not a very meaningful statistic.

          1. Anonymous

            A person who spends 30 minutes a week at a supermarket while wearing a respirator and socially isolates for the rest of the week is vastly less likely to catch COVID in that week than someone who socializes freely and maskless for several hours a day.

            Except “vastly less” may still be insufficient.

            Anyway, we’ll see, I reckon.

        3. Kevin Smith MD

          One difference is that the immunized are generally more careful and responsible than the non-immunized, so for example the immunized are MORE likely as a group to wear masks faithfully, and to wear good masks like N95s [at least where I am].

          1. Yves Smith

            I don’t agree. I know personally people who are unvaxxed who are incredibly careful, as in don’t out except for absolutely critical tasks and wear masks when they do. And they are single, so no intra-household exposure.

      2. IM Doc

        I would agree.

        I have become convinced that we are having such large numbers of vaccinated breakthroughs because the vaccinated feel completely bullet proof. Why not? They have been told this for months.

        Therefore, they engage in large parties, have the hired help wear masks while the important people party on maskless and they frequent bars and restaurants all the time. Many if not most of them behave as they have not a care in the world.

        Then have the gall to be pissed that their entire household is sick all at once. And horrified that after their vaccinated only, negative test only parties that Grandma has to be rushed to the hospital.

        And unlike what The View and Rachel and Dr. Wen are telling them, many of their elders end up in the hospital because of this behavior.

        There are issues with the unvaccinated behavior as well, a certain complete nihilism and denial. But for the most part, the very at risk unvaccinated have enough sense to take precautions.

        Our media and public health establishment are going to have so so much to answer for when the fog has lifted.

        You get the idea I am angry – you bet I am angry. I am tired sick of all the unforced errors that our hubris and unquestiongly arrogant confidence is causing. And I get to see people live the consequences every day.

        1. JTMcPhee

          i’m angry also, especially since it’s most likely that there will NEVER be any reckoning, in this cauldron of Bernays Sauce ™ we mopes are and have been marinating in for generations, for what amounts to mass murder with malice aforethought.

          Suggestion for Lambert for another aphorism to start his daily curation: Baron. Vladimir Harkonnen from “Dune,” “A certain amount of killing has always been an arm of business.”

        2. antidlc

          “Many if not most of them behave as they have not a care in the world.”

          Gee, sounds like most of my family. :-(

          They think I’m crazy for doing grocery delivery/curbside for the last two years.

        3. Lois

          Yep – I was just reading twitter comments this morning again with people saying “NO ONE vaccinated is dying” and that they are over it. Unvaccinated people can go back to normal, no masks and precautions. There are still so many people who think the vaccine is sterilizing. The overselling of the vaccines + American individualism / selfishness = a deadly combo!

      3. whatsupdoc

        no you are right there is no reason that they are equivalent. but do you have any solid data to suggest that this would skew the data in this direction?

          1. urblintz

            Finally someone wants to look behind the numbers, and I’m quite certain what they will find is fraud.

    2. Screwball

      Even death per 100 000 is higher among the double vaccinating than among the unvaccinated.

      What? People dying after being vaccinated?

      Seriously, I had a guy yesterday tell a group of people that “nobody has died from covid if they have been vaccinated.” And people agreed.

      These are highly educated people, and they buy this hook, line, and sinker. How can that happen? WTH are they listening to?

      As stated on this site many times; our media and whoever it is in charge has failed miserably.

      But hey, look at the good news (trending on Twitter); Aaron Rodgers lost last night so everyone can make Rodgers/Rogan/Horesepaste jokes all day. Amazing how they hate the guy for recovering from covid. Guess he should have died so they can make fun of him the same way they did Meatloaf.

      Can’t seem to win with this crowd.

      1. Jason Boxman

        The goal posts are ever shifting to be with the “in” crowd; Can’t have anyone discerning the secret handshake.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Disagree with the notion that “our (sic) media has failed miserably.” They have successfully inoculated us with the message that their owners wanted us to “read, learn and inwardly digest.” Maddow still being paid millions, I believe, along with the rest of the braying class.

        Credit where it’s due, right?

        1. Screwball

          Yes, JT, you are correct. I forget the small things sometimes. :-)

          But Maddow? I was told just the other day she was a first-class journalist. Giggle. Maybe that’s part of the problem, but who to you blame, the propagandist, or the propagandee?

          Stay safe all.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            If someone steals candy from a baby, who is to blame? The candy, the baby, or the thief?

            It will be objected that ” grownups aren’t babies, so the analogy does not apply”. But someone has mass babyfied millions of minds. Who engineered this mass mind babyfication?

            1. Screwball

              Good point, and I agree.

              I wonder sometimes how – and I don’t know the word to use here – how ________ can get people to become so hardened into their belief – and believe what they do. I also know there are libraries filled with books on how to just that; re; Berney’s type stuff.

              That is Tin Foil Hat territory. If that were true, one would think there must be a really good “X” organization behind that to make it true.

              While back here on earth, the people we have in charge, or at least the ones we think are, couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the directions were on the bottom.

    3. cnchal

      It is obvious to anyone that cares to look, we are in the ditch and still hard on the gas.

      > How does Omicron spread so fast? A high viral load isn’t the answer Nature

      The results suggest that Omicron’s hyper-transmissibility does not stem from the release of large amounts of virus from infected people. Instead, the best explanation for its lightning-fast spread is its ability to evade SARS-CoV-2 immunity caused by either vaccination or past infection, says Emily Bruce, a virologist at the University of Vermont in Burlington.

      The studies have not yet been peer reviewed.

      I say get on the peer review case . . . right fucking now.

      A comment by The Rev Kev made somewhere around March or April of 2020 has stuck with me, which was let your guard down even slightly one time and this thing will get you. I let my guard down slightly and may have failed at jawb one which is don’t get it but I am damn well not going to fail at jawb two, which is don’t pass it on, so it is isolation for me even though I have not tested positive, yet. Even if I test negative tomorrow I will still isolate at home till I get a negative test later in the week.

      Here is what happened. I became an exploitee and started on Tuesday, the requirement being that I test negative. The previous week two** were sent away for failing the rapid test and on Monday the other worker and boss tested negative. I wear a KN95 with a surgical mask over that and never took it off except to have a quick meal in the lunchroom on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday I take a break at just before 2 and the boss comes in with the tests and then the other guy comes in too. We take our tests and mine comes out negative and surprise surprise the other guy is positive now.

      I had my mask off as I was eating, and he had his mask off to take the test and then didn’t put it back on either while waiting for results. Dumbfuckery all around, myself especially. Major exposure as the guy goes from negative to positive while I was working fairly close by. Now I get to find out the real world effectiveness of masking up and time exposure. It will be a miracle if I dodge this crap.

      On Friday, it was just the boss and I. We are on the same page when it comes to covid and a customer comes in. This pisses me off to no end as that guy pulls his mask below his nose then when he pulls it down past his mouth I walk out to cool of. I come back in and when he does it a second time I tell him to put it back on. I am going to be an anti covid Nazi in there or I’m gone.

      ** – one of them got it attending a wake / super spreader event.

      1. John Beech

        One of the guys in our machine shop got sick. Home for a ten days. No positive tests, none. Came time for the PCR test (versus the so-called rapid at home types) and his doctor said no point as he was feeling better. The drawbridge lowered over his personal castle’s moat are his two little kids in daycare. Can’t be helped, I’m not going to fire him. Anyway, ‘I’ hork with brown water before going into the shop and immediately after leaving because I’ll be darned if I want to catch it! As for the occasional customer, sign over the door says no vaccine, no mask, no entry. And there’s no customer worth our lives so I’ve reminded one or two over the past two years about keeping their masks up, and while I’ll miss their business, any who persist will be unceremoniously told to leave and take their business elsewhere. Stupid is as stupid does really resonates with me. Hope your bout of stupid doesn’t have a bad outcome. If it’s any consolation, it happens to all of us, me included. So far I’ve been fortunate and I hope you will be, too.

        1. cnchal

          > . . . Instead, the best explanation for its lightning-fast spread is its ability to evade SARS-CoV-2 immunity caused by either vaccination or past infection . .

          If this is true, vaccinations are useless and a past infection is useless in preventing further infection of the Omicron variant.

          Where does that leave us? Mask, mask, mask, hork with brown water, keep your distance and ventilation. There is no magic medical bullet anymore.

          Another thing gone is trust. Assume anyone around you is infectious unless proven not to be.

          Tomorrow, I am going to work and getting tested before starting. If positive I’m coming home. If the boss tests positive, he can point me to a pile of work and leave me alone in the shop or I’m going home.

          All these twits think this is over. They could not be moar wrong. We are going into year three of a ten year grind, is my base assumption.

          1. ambrit

            The history of previous olde tyme pandemics says that the ten year horizon is reasonable. The more recent bad flu pandemics were probably shortened by enforced Public Health measures. (That there were anti-mask marches back in the days of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic shows this clearly. People would not demonstrate against measures that were not being enforced.)
            Go a little farther back and we get to the “good old fashioned” slow moving pandemics with horrendous cumulative casualty totals. One of the inadvertant malefic side effects of our “modern” jet setting culture is that viruses have wider spread, more quickly, and thus, higher chances of making dangerous mutations. Imagine an old style population where one or two virus variants can mix and match, versus today’s fast spread environment where multiple variants can mingle and get up to no good.
            We are just at the beginning of this. I expect to be masking and observing social distancing for the rest of my life.

            1. megrim

              The other day it occurred to me that with the advent of commercial air travel, viruses can effectively teleport now, something past plagues haven’t had the “good” fortune to be blessed with. Between that and the unprecedented number of humans and unprecedented number of immune compromised humans, and something tells me that we have no idea how bad this could actually get. If you look at human history, every time humans changed how they lived and congregated, pathogens changed their behavior as well, usually for the worse–only occasionally do you get a sewer system and water hygiene and things get better.

              1. rowlf

                In late November 21 I was taking an interest in the international travel arrangements for a business conference. Fortunately for all it was cancelled as the situation was dynamic and we all wanted to reduce isolation/quarantine/infection after the meeting planned in Europe. While checking on what everyone involved would had to go through to travel and return it appeared that for Turkey two weeks quarantine was/or may be required for everyone entering the country. This seemed reasonable to contain spread while still allowing travel.

              2. JTMcPhee

                Even today, if you sail your little cruising boat into a foreign country you put up the yellow “Q” flag and wait for the health officials to check to see you are not bringing disease into the port. Ships (now including effing Love Boat cruise machines) were well known as disease vectors in the past. Only modern man and his/her “preferences” have crushed the barriers that at least attenuated the spread of several plagues. Open Borders to the folks in the jets and mega yachts and cruise liners, what could possibly go wrong?

      2. The Rev Kev

        @ cnchal. Yeah, that was a line from Top Gun which said ‘He wears you down, you get bored, frustrated, do something stupid and he’s got ya.’ But I have discovered that though you can protect yourself, when you have working adult kids at home you can forget it as it can easily come through the front door. Add in visiting grandchildren and the Omicron wave and I would not be surprised if we got it as well.

    4. Gumnut

      Agree. Prof. Tim Specter from the UK Zoe app also just claimed that the unvaccinated are half the cases, which given population vax rate would make them totally overrepresented.

      Denmark has successfully burried the data that 2 jabs double your omikron infection risk. And for 3 jabs there is some creative accounting.

      And Germany has lost its marbles.

      But given the social cost of stepping out of line I am not surprised yet saddened there isn’t more people who know better speaking out.

      And that those speaking out are mostly right-leaning and the left is mostly silent (I thought challenging authority was its thing?) is infuriating.

      1. Lou Anton

        The Maestro did a really nice video/explainer about the fallacy you’re falling prey to – he calls it Simpson’s Paradox (youtube here).

        1. IM Doc

          Since we are not being provided with the raw data for complete analysis, it is impossible to know if Simpson’s paradox is at play here. To wit, I have recently heard multiple compelling presentations that the CDC is grossly inflating the percentage of our population that has actually been vaccinated. There are good cases to be made that their models and projections are grossly wrong. Unfortunately, there is precedent just in this pandemic of other things that have been “CDC confirmed” that they have gotten really wrong.

          We have no raw data – we just have layers and layers of statistically manipulated numbers.

          However, I will tell you – from years of sitting in “evidence-based medicine” conferences and lectures, that Simpson’s Paradox is often used to obfuscate evidence by those who have not done their homework.

          In other words – presenters often explain away all kinds of conflicting data – “Oh – you know – Simpson’s paradox would tell us that this dagger through the heart of my hypothesis has to be completely ignored. My data has an agenda to prove – and that contradictory data is easily dismissed. Simpson’s paradox tells us we MUST throw away it all.”

          And Big Pharma has absolutely trained their drug reps and presenters to bring up Simpson’s Paradox anytime anyone asks a hard question.

          In my profession, we no longer use our brains. We just follow the evidence-based science wherever that leads. WINK WINK.

          And look where that has gotten us. As one example, remember the months of 95% 95% 95% we got in 2021. The relative rate reduction is a time honored technique of “evidence-based medicine.” No one bothered to tell the public that the 95% protection they were hearing and understanding had nothing to do with what they thought it meant – nothing but a statistical mind manipulation.

          The vaccines were almost perfect per Drs. Fauci, Walensky and Hotez and others. Never mind that the number was a relative risk reduction ratio that Pharma has been abusing since I was a kid. Those of us old enough to know and with our brains on knew the disaster we were headed into. Hilariously, I heard a true believer about 10 days ago try to use Simpson’s Paradox to dismiss the 95% relative rate reduction statistic. It was never valid to begin with because of Simpson’s paradox, don’t you know? Alrighty then.

          The take home point – YOU CANNOT HAVE EVIDENCE BASED MEDICINE OR EVIDENCE BASED ANYTHING when BIG PHARMA AND THE HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE MASSIVELY MANIPULATING SAID EVIDENCE. Raw data is nowhere to be found and will not be for 75 years. Have you ever wondered why they are doing that?

          I have probably written it out in comments 50 times this year – but I will do it again – RAW DATA PLEASE.

          We have literally had 2 years of doctors who have been marinating in “evidence-based medicine” techniques their whole lives sitting around in a circle jerk and believing their own bullshit.

          I knew this day was coming – but it is not pleasant watching it take place.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Figures lie when liars figure.
            Models lie when liars model.
            Science lies when liars science.

            1. JBird4049

              Our whole nation, heck, modern western civilization, is now a grift by the elite and their sycophants; such things are done by creating illusions using falsehoods masquerading as facts. Then the lying liars start believing their own lies.

          2. Keith Newman

            IM Doc points out a number of concerns regarding the studies carried out on the Covid vaccines and why it is important to get all the raw data. Here is my understanding of one of the issues IM Doc raises, that of relative vs absolute reduction and how perceptions can be misleading.
            Relative reduction perspective: Let us say without vaccination 2 people out of 100 will get very sick and some of those will die. But after vaccination only 1 person in 1000 will get very sick with some of those dying. The relative reduction in serious illness or death is 2/100 – 1/1000 divided by 2/100 = 0.95 or 95% reduction. From this perspective the vaccine looks very good.
            However if we consider the issue from an absolute reduction perspective we get a different sense of the worth of the vaccine. In this example we noted above that nearly 2 people of 100 will indeed be greatly helped. However we also note that without vaccination 98 people out of 100 will not be helped because they would not have got very sick nor died anyway. So the vaccine will not have helped them. Yet despite these 98 people getting no benefit from the vaccine they will have been exposed to its negative side-effects. From this perspective the vaccines don’t look all that good.
            With respect to the Covid vaccines, to know what the true numbers are for relative and absolute effects we need all the relevant data. These are not being made available.

        2. Eustachedesaintpierre

          That video was made under the reign of Delta – would that still necessarily apply now Omicron is king ? with Israel for example reporting that quadruple vaxxed people are being infected within a highly jabbed country.

        3. whatmewoory

          you have no evidence this is due to Simpsons paradox. There are data sets out already (alberta is one) that show that when age adjusted data is used , the increase risk remains for Omicron.

      2. Charger01

        Denmark has successfully burried the data that 2 jabs double your omikron infection risk. And for 3 jabs there is some creative accounting.

        Citation, please!

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Families of US Embassy personnel in Ukraine ordered to begin evacuating as soon as Monday: officials”

    So I guess then that the roof of the US Embassy in Kiev is not rated to take the weight of helicopters. Either that or they do not trust their ‘allies’ not to do a false flag attack on those American families.

    1. griffen

      Very recently I watched for the 3rd or so time the excellent Argo. What an incredible story. In today’s world, yes they should GTFO and quickly.

      Great lines from the film, by the bye. The Hollywood roles by Goodman and Arkin were expertly played.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        These people are in greater danger from their own people than the Russians. Someone/thing has to be the catalyst. I’m surprised they aren’t all immobilized by “Havana Syndrome. Pawns on a chessboard. And no one has ever won by saving his pawns.

      2. Flyover Boy

        I agree, Argo is very well made and riveting to watch.

        As an aside, in real life the escape was not as hair’s-breadth as portrayed in the film — they juiced that up for dramatic effect. But that film did prove that even Ben Affleck is a hot mess of a person, he is a talented filmmaker.

    2. Glen

      Soooo, if the Russian tanks roll into Ukraine, what does that really mean for the defense mega corporations that have Russian employees and offices?

      Should we assume that all mega corporate networks are penetrated? Should we be publicly pointing at these corporations as actively working with the enemies? Are they traitors? Should the Department of Homeland Security start raiding corporate offices?

      1. ambrit

        Silly! America has a history of trading with “the Enemy.”
        IBM and the Third Reich is just the most infamous example.
        We can hardly call the corporate overlords traitors when they never were patriots to begin with.

          1. ambrit

            You had me at ‘The Who.’
            Yes, that song is definitely NSFW. But a real expression of the Zeitgeist. Add to this, ‘My Generation’ and we have the Counter Culture generation, bookended.
            My favourite line from this song is: “You can go to sleep at home tonight, if you can get up and walk away.” It’s almost a parody of the story of Jesus and the crippled man.

  5. griffen

    Regards to Cryptocurrency, the article linked at Jacobin is pretty comprehensive. Far more detailed into the various angles where the different currencies and exchanges could eventually falter. Quite a few here continue having reasonable doubts.

    Regulations are coming. I also suggest that SEC chair Gary Gensler is not the type to kick dust up and not take action. He ain’t Mary Jo White, or former Trump lackey Clayton.

    1. Wukchumni

      I’m frankly concerned, my $4.01k (largely Cents & Nickels) that I turned into Bitcoin @ the Coinstar machine has dropped mightily since I got in @ the $56k level, and while not ruined i’m looking @ a $2.23 nest egg, and forget about online underage Ukrainian hookers, illicit arms or drug deals or even HODL, I can’t even procure a limited edition Snickers Bar with the proceeds.

      A bum hit me up for some change the other day, and I held out my outstretched hand proffering my Bitcoin holdings, which I think scared him off, thinking he was dealing with a nutter.

      Despondent, I then attempted to leave the largess as a tip at an eatery and was accosted by an irate waitress, ‘what am I, chopped liver?’ she exclaimed as I fished out a couple Washingtons to augment her income.

      1. Wukchumni

        Oh dear in the headlights, i’ve just been overcome with FOLIA (fear of losing it all) can somebody supply online vapors?

        1. Samuel Conner

          Essential oils have nice vapors.

          I believe that Lavender essential oil can promote sound sleep, which could be useful if one finds that worried wakefulness is not a productive use of one’s scheduled sleep times.

        2. ambrit

          I think that I can ‘book’ you a ‘cession’ at the Counter Crypto Club. There you’ll learn how to carve out a niche in the ever expanding Wonderland of Worry.

      2. griffen

        Double down on the HODL(!) I just learned what that meant, odd or not. Hold On (for) Dear Life. Go long bootstraps for the cryptocurrency folk and “diamond hands”.

        1. Wukchumni

          If one were to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, you’d be levitating-not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    2. Mikel

      The big problem: this is an economic system that will normalize grifts of all kinds. It will even institutionalize grift.

      Depending on the scheme (coin) It’s a ponzi and/or pryamid and the US loves its grifters.

      Then there are those involved and think it’s a community or community forming. So this is a grift that touches on people’s desire for a sense of belonging and not just greed.

    3. Susan the other

      But as Jacobin expressed, regulation is not really possible. Gary Gensler should ban crypto altogether. The fact that crypto has not been declared illegal contraband is curious. What purpose can it possibly be serving? Maybe something as idiotic as allowing the US dollar to completely collapse in a spider web blockchain of triple laundered counterfeit claims, making it impossible to determine (whether cash, credit, or securities) what medium of exchange or asset actually has any value left (sounds like 2008 all over again) – an impossible maze of exchanges. So then, time to reissue the national sovereign currency, free of the allegation that it is in fact worthless. New money. Protected from crypto electronic counterfeiting that was a 3-step process: 1. electronic mining of crypto with a pedigree (which pedigree later became unintelligible and forced the sovereign currency to collapse), 2. the first transaction into the market using a dollar-backed (quasi) crypto like Tether, and 3. From Tether (dollar backed) to a full exchange (in the grocery crypto-coin machine) for actual dollars or credits in dollars. Ingenious. Laundering at its finest. And even more so because the dollar is not backed by gold so it requires a crazy excuse to do this. And hard assets should still retain their value. Gold was the ultimate money police. And we dumped it (twice) to revalue the dollar – is this the plan? We now plan to dump the dollar as the backer of its own value because the accounting of it has become hopelessly corrupted, and claim we are going to revalue our sovereign currency; recall all old bills and issue new, counterfeit-safe electronic units ? What is the plan? There’s gotta be one.

      1. griffen

        Well here is what they could do, and by they I mean the SEC. They should get involved into details where the amateur or novice investor is getting fleeced. They can bring to bear the might of the regulatory enforcement. They can police all the illicit bullshittery that is happening, and do so in a manner that transactions on exchanges are above board to a very limited extent.

        Does that satisfy all constituents? Very unlikely. Does it expose the scammers and very extreme examples of those running the scams? Likely it does. Regulate and provide a very specific plan to make the more relevant exchanges, and related cryptocurrencies a tinge of legitimacy. It is 2022, not 1847. Technology is available to make it so.

        And lastly, it is now increasingly more valuable the less regulation there is or could exist. With even light regulations, those holding positions should anticipate some manner of a devaluing in order to make what they hold legitimate.

      2. Skip Intro

        I thought this idea might be politically and legally feasible:

        It is not necessary to destroy entire networks or every dollar interchange, indeed so long as there are two rogue entities running the software it will probably continue to exist but this does not matter. It suffices to simply shut off the traditional banking on-ramps and off-ramps to make it difficult to gamble on, unprofitable to mine and economics will take care of the rest of the destruction without any heavy-handed efforts by lawmakers at all.

  6. Maxwell Johnston

    “German navy chief resigns after Crimea comments”

    He was in uniform and therefore would be perceived as speaking in an official capacity; hence, he stepped out of line and had to go. And he fell on his sword honorably. Maybe he dislikes his new civilian bosses and decided to go out with a bang.

    I suspect his viewpoint reflects those of his peers in the German military. Most of his comments were actually directed towards China, not towards Crimea or Putin. He seems like an intelligent old-school military type; speaks good English, too. The video clip is two minutes long and worth watching.

  7. bassmule

    How Capitalism Really Works:

    Rebecca Boehm, an economist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, said she found it curious that profitable Fortune 500 companies like JVS, Tyson and Smithfield haven’t figured out a way to adapt to the new rules – especially since they are clearly what voters want. “This competitive business spirit, how is that not driving a change?” she said. “People can vote with their dollar or with a ballot, and they voted for this. They should meet that demand.”

    1. griffen

      I don’t know about the above quote from that economist. California may not experience any shortages of product or dramatic increased pricing quite yet, based on the implementation timeline. But it’s coming, it will cost more for the farming industry to implement these practices to be compliant with the state law. These massive companies enjoy basically a corporate mandate, to do whatever the heck they want to producers and eventually onto the consumers. When in doubt, it is apparent that pricing advantages favor these 800-lb gorilla corporations.

      Not a California resident, so no anecdotal or supplemental information from me. Just don’t mess with my bacon pricing on the east coast, I beg.

    2. PHLDenizen

      “This will cost the average family farm $15m to $17m,”

      For some definition of “average family farm”.

      I’m familiar with vertical integration in the chicken industry, particularly how Tyson, etc. externalize their costs via conscripting the “farmers” into debt slavery. I assume the pork industry functions in much the same way. Are you a farm when you have little to no agency over your operations and ownership? Or are you sharecroppers living on tiny margins?

      I see these figures bandied about with no data or methodology on how they’re calculated. Losses from what? Reduced density of livestock without a corresponding price increase per head? 15 million for alterations to infrastructure on these “farms”? If farmers are already carrying, say, a 14 million debt load, is it really just 1 million on top of that? Is this 15 million amortized over the entire life of the farm? Averages conceal, so what’s the median?

  8. griffen

    A new drinking game, for those inclined. Any time a politician or leading think tank “deep thinker” uses the following term(s) a contest participant gets a swig of their favorite libation, non-alcoholic included…other suggestions welcome!

    A US Senator from DE, Mr. Coons, used these terms multiple times on ABC this morning. And supposedly his brand of politician controls the levers available in the White House and the House of Representatives. Good grief.

    “Fighting hard”
    “Working for you”

      1. KLG

        How about “Affordable Access.” I am in the midst of my first extensive encounter with the Great American Healthcare System (sic) and there is nothing affordable about my access. Yes, I have decent insurance that limits my exposure some, but affordable? Not hardly, as they say in these parts, for most of what is referred to as the “middle class.”

        1. Screwball

          We should have known it was not going to affordable when they called it the “Affordable Care Act.” At least they didn’t add “Health” in there to confuse us more.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      After November there won’t be enough Democrats around to fill a phone booth, if they could even find one.

      There’s a lot of new Ambassadors in our current crop of Congresscritters. I suspect Nancy is off the Vatican after she holds her seat in 2022, long enough for her daughter to take over.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Ah, the don’t believe your lying eyes bit. I wonder if Coons even knows he voted against the minimum wage increase. I wouldn’t send him out, but then again, the Democrats are too lazy to notice.

    3. PHLDenizen

      “It’s only been one year since he took office”
      “Common sense”
      “Punishes the middle class”
      “Harms innovation”
      “Saving democracy”
      “Big tent”
      “Tax credit”
      “[but] Trump”

    4. Maritimer

      In my patch of the Oligarchial Globe, run when you hear:
      “Get all the Stakeholders together to talk, etc.” If you are not a Stakeholder, you are a Bagholder, paying for the Stakes.

      “World Class project, will put us on the map, etc.” This will cost a costoverrun bundle and just line the purses of the Stakeholders above.

  9. polar donkey

    Gunz. A well known rapper named Young Dolph was gunned down while buying cookies here in Memphis. The shooters then left getaway car at a house Dolph had filmed a video. A couple weeks go bye, a tribute concert held, then names and photos of two suspects wanted released. Another couple weeks go bye, during which the main suspect is doing Facebook live feeds and photos of him standing behind Dolph during concerts emerge. The day the main suspect gets arrested in Indiana, he released an album. Turns out the guy is Dolph’s half-brother. Dolph didn’t sign him to a record deal so he gunned his brother down in a bakery. Blood thirsty brother is now connected to 2 other murders and a rape. There seems no difference between fame and infamy. 342 murders happened here in 2021. Almost all with guns and people that knew each other.

  10. Wukchumni

    Police: McDonald’s employee shot in argument over discount over French fries KRCG

    Argument over BBQ sauce leads to teenage Wendy’s employee being shot in head WOAI
    I inquired of my far-far right brother in law from Arizona @ our family xmas get together what it would take to pull the trigger on someone-and if they were stealing his stuff, well they’d get plugged.

    Both of the shootings in the stories above happened @ the drive-thru and the total amount in dispute which led to lead poisoning looks to be a buck, buck-fifty, if that.

    We’re still pretty much a polite society, but you wonder what will be the trigger effect that turns us into a high velocity Rwanda in our great rift?

    In 100 days, 5 to 10% of their population was murdered by machetes & guns…

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      You forgot the Burger King employee shooting his co-worker.

      I expect to see more stories like this as the powerless are pushed further past their breaking point and encouraged to turn on each other.

      1. IMOR

        Wukchumi, Dr. John- On behalf of all neoliberal and weak half measures of the last 50 years, I’m surprised at you both as longtime NC readers and commenters for omitting the obvious here:
        McD’s, BK, Wendy’s- Solution is obviously to close drive-throughs, then install metal detectors at the doors with an armed off- or on-duty cop sitting there to monitor the screening!
        Failing that, solution is to close all fast food outlets outside posh or at least higher-income zip codes.
        Failing both the above, tax the fast food on a scale of amount of gun violence at each chain’s outlets, directing most if the new revenue to a special fund for emergency room and trauma center care, allocated by a complex formula that cheats every rural, low, and middle income area’s ERs and trauma centers. FIFY, America! You’re welcome.

        1. Wukchumni

          Are you claiming that fast food restaurants won’t be able to offer .22 bullets on their Dollar menu (9mm are $2) anymore?

          The National Restaurant Association might have something to say about that!

        2. tegnost

          I thought the solution was to mandate ordering with your phone through a third party app, who of course deserves a cut, I mean, they’re not going to do it for nothing…

    2. Tom Stone

      Wuk,unless the witches in Rwanda are a lot better than the ones I have encountered in the USA 5-10% of the population was killed by HUMAN BEINGS wielding machete’s and firearms.
      Words have meanings and attributing these murders to tools absolves the murderers from guilt by removing human agency.

      1. Wukchumni

        Sorry Tom, I don’t follow, are we not human beings incapable of killing one another, or at least maiming as per the trio of fast food stories.


        I just can’t see Americans going the machete route, it would require physical interaction and possibly having the weapon turned on the assailant, guns are much tidier.

        1. chris

          I can see it happening in the US. Especially because there are so many people in high places who don’t understand physical aggression and have been taught to assume they’re safe by virtue of who they are. The lesson of 1/6 and so much else that’s happening in the US over the last 2 years is that the wealthy fear the proles. If the proles get sick of being treated this way they’ll pick up sticks and take what they want.

        2. ambrit

          Me, I’m waiting for DIY armed drones. Your average armchair quarterback can become an armchair killer too.

          1. PHLDenizen

            Never held a firearm in my hand, but they seem pretty weighty and I assume the kickback would make accurate aim from a consumer-level drone impossible if the first shot missed the mark.

            And if you wind up with a race condition in the software à la Toyota’s self acceleration fiasco, then you’ve got the accidental semi or full automatic gun spinning around in the sky like a top.

            Paranoia then leads everyone to walk around with signal jammers, turning the FCC into a de facto ATF. And so on.

            1. chris

              I think the video that we saw showing an alleged Iranian drone team targeting former President Trump is the way it would work. Ground drone paints the target, sky drone sends the missiles. If the ground drone is compromised it explodes.

              With respect to kick back and how you would handle that, there are ways, it just depends on how you accommodate the impulse load from the discharge of the projectile and any gasses. But even if those forces a large compared to the mass of the drone, there are ways of compensating for the effects. At one point in time DARPA was funding a number of universities to do research on chaos theory in applied mechanics to develop dynamic compensation rigs for different vehicle platforms. The goal being we could put the gun from an M1-A1 tank on a Hummer and have it fire while it was moving at speed. The army and others wanted it because you can transport a lot more hummers in a big plane than you can tanks.

              Suffice to say, the tech to do this is already here. It just depends on who does it first.

            2. ambrit

              You’re catching on quickly.
              The drones will probably have to be kamikazi units, painted up in FedEx or Amazon colours.
              A new definition of IED: Improvised Explosive Drone.

          2. Tom Stone

            DIY armed drones have been around for more than a decade.
            There are plenty of videos on youtube.

            1. ambrit

              Access to those videos is going to be tricky.
              My favourite example of “internet access masking” was the fellow who got caught downloading all sorts of p0rn onto thumbdrives, through a Sheriff’s Department laptop device.

    3. Eclair

      Surprised to run into a black-clad guy, pistol holstered on hip, Public Safety Officer emblazoned across back of shirt, in our small grocery coop yesterday. Lurking among the organic greens, he was buff, so adapting camouflage to blend with clientele. Last seen strolling to the locally and humanely raised meat section, but basketless. So figured he had been hired by management to protect against depredations by local, non-organic, homeless population. Gun did not make me feel safer.

      Embarrassed. Do I need protection from the poor and powerless ?

      1. ambrit

        Much as I hate to say this out loud, we do need to be wary of our poor and homeless bretheren if we get between them and not starving. Hunger will make even the best of us contemplate crimes.

        1. Wukchumni

          My visits to the SoCalist movement are infrequent, but every time I visit there are oodles more homeless than the time before. It isn’t as if i’m searching them out, they find me in the oddest locations such as ‘eking out a living’ on the hillsides on either side of the Hollywood freeway as i’m driving by, or sometimes not a few hundred feet from million $ homes, location-location-location.

          We have homeless around these parts, although they tend to have cars which they sleep in-a major distinction between those without.

          Hard to imagine seeing any homeless in Sequoia NP, you’d need a vehicle pretty much and it’s $35 admission fee, a high bar to entry.

          Were you to attempt to camp rough in the frontcountry, law enforcement would be on you like stink on scat, but you could probably exist in the backcountry a few miles in, and what are you gonna do for food?

        2. Eclair

          If the way in which our society is structured and the political decisions of the ruling class, result in more and more citizens becoming impoverished, does that not necessitate some changes in what constitutes a ’crime?’ Finding a place to sleep, getting sufficient nourishment, these human activities, basic human rights, are being criminalized for an increasingly large proportion of our population.

          1. ambrit

            And will the Marines guarding the local grocery store open fire on the crowd when fights break out over posession of bags of rice?

            1. JBird4049

              America have always been well armed since the first colonies and the amount of violence has always been a little then elsewhere especially in the South.

              However, the murder rate always picks up during and after stressful events for society. The decades after the Civil War with thousands and thousands of traumatized veterans often drunk from bad whiskey is one.

              I do not understand why people do not see that the increasing poverty, isolation, addiction, awful working conditions, and the profitable fear caused by our police state might have something to do with the whacked out violence. It was not a thing before the American people started to be abused and then crushed for profit. There are other heavily armed and violent societies, but they do not have people shooting up schools.

              All this focus on weapons while important ignores the motivations for violence. A number of people were killed by bombs in the United States around 1900 during the unrest then. After months of radio broadcasts talking about the cockroaches and the tall grass needing to be move, it became possible for Rwandans to kill their neighbors, fellow churchgoers, and their allies (many in the genocidal group were against it, so) with farm tools and machetes. Plus the occasional gun and grenade.

              Our rulers will continue to criminalize those trying to live. The underclass can always be profitable imprisoned or sent into the wild to die. The wealthy’s politicians, sycophants, and pundits will yammer on the dangerous, lazy poor and their weapons without paying attention to the causes of the violence. It is more profitable not to pay attention.

  11. Tom Stone

    US Marines”Returned Fire” when no one was shooting at them?
    That sounds a lot like “He hit me back first”.
    Poor training and poor leadership at the unit level caused this,and there is no excuse for that.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It was noted by doctors at the receiving hospital that most of the dead were not killed by bomb fragments but by bullets which had been fired from above. In short those marines panicked when the bomb went off and thought that they were under attack by that crowd. And it wasn’t only marines as there were US trained Afghans on those walls as well.

  12. tegnost

    Re politico…
    But for other operatives in the progressive ecosystem, the dictum remains: In Klain We Trust; not necessarily because his year as chief has been an unmitigated success, but because they’ve grown comfortable with him as an ally and fear the alternatives.

    That’s a howler that needs a citation.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s a right wing hit piece. It opens with “moderates” griping Klain has been too deferential to liberals. It’s completely mindless. The nihilists won every battle and now they need to explain our their base why Biden collapsed with people under 35. You figure in the coming Wipeout everyone in Pelosi’s counter squad is gone. All the rising nihilist stars just gone.

      That bit at the end is probably the only true part. Can you imagine Neera without Klain? Biden might be at Sinema numbers.

  13. antidlc

    ‘I buzz like a battery’: COVID-19 survivors share ‘fizzing’ and vibration sensations
    Doctors and researchers are trying to figure out why some patients are experiencing such symptoms.

    Now a new study, published ahead of peer review in December 2021, is highlighting the experiences of 140 people with long COVID-19 who reported “internal tremors and vibration symptoms.”

    The idea for the paper originated with the harrowing experience of Heidi Ferrer, a television and film writer who “had severe manifestations of the sensations of vibrations,” the authors wrote. She found the symptoms intolerable and died by suicide at 50 in May 2021.

    1. Anna

      I have read many stories about Covid vaccine side effects. A lot of people get internal vibrations. Brianne Dresden, who got neurological adverse effects from being in AZ clinical trial, including internal vibrations, mentioned about 7 people she knew (from support group for vaccine injured) who committed suicide because of their injuries. See,, and Seems like both COVID-19 the disease and the vaccine cause neurological adverse effects in certain people.

    2. jimmy cc

      i have a rash now that breaks out all over my side, back and legs almost every day since i had the rona last April… sometimes real bad, other times just a red rash.

      i wonder if it is from an increase in oxidants in my body.

    3. albrt

      I had Guillain Barre syndrome years ago – not Covid related, but I can tell you first hand that when the little white-cell beasties are nibbling on your motor nerves it feels kind of like fizzing vibrations.

    4. Utah

      I haven’t had COVID that I know of, and I started getting this same sensation of vibrating and shots of heat running to my fingers about a year ago. Turns out my vitamin b12 was dangerously low. I got B12 shots and vitamins and it didn’t really help. Then I got methylated B12 and that’s when my numbers started going back to normal. The vibrating hasn’t stopped, but it has calmed down. I’m pretty sure I have permanent nerve damage, and my doctor diagnosed me with neuropathy.

      So that story leads me to speculate: COVID is probably giving people nerve damage the same way that B12 deficiency can.

      1. ambrit

        That would be a very useful study to do. Get a group of people who have caught Coronavirus and do daily blood work to measure their vitamin levels as the disease progresses.
        Has this ever been done for “normal” flu?

      2. Medbh

        Withdrawal from some antidepressants (like Paxil) can cause those symptoms, so perhaps it could be due to some kind of cognitive impact too.

  14. Mikel

    “Why shoplifting is soaring across the US — and will only get worse” NY Post

    “Shoplifting no longer fits its traditional mold as a nonviolent crime perpetrated mostly by teens or substance-abusing adults. Nearly two-thirds of the retailers surveyed by the National Retail Federation said that violence associated with store thefts has risen, led by organized gangs that resell the goods they steal. Like retailers, top law-enforcement officials place some of the blame for the crime surge on a widespread lessening of penalties for shoplifting.”

    If there is violence, vandalism, and organized crime involved, the police wouldn’t be charging anyone with “shoplifting”. They would have a host of other charges, thus a lessening in penalties for shoplifting should not be an excuse. And could lead to plenty enough time/or pumishment that fits those harsher crimes being committed.

    The most interesting point in this article:

    “The biggest increase over that period happened not during the pandemic but in 2019, when total losses from shoplifting surged to $61 billion, up from $50 billion the previous year.”

      1. Valient

        Robbing retailers owned by private equity is, if it’s for survival, is A-OK in my book. Big corporations? Not my concern.

        Anyone robbing a small family owned retailer, where employees are treated well, is scum and would get their ass kicked by me if I saw it happening.

        Not mentioned in article, disproportionately affected by law enforcement, minorities often get an extra get out of jail card overlooked by browbeaten cops who don’t dare publicly arrest a said thief.

      2. chris

        And when the already desolate food deserts expand because retailers decide to close their establishments? What then?

        I understand that the feelings in that old Sublime song haven’t changed and are worse now. But advocating for theft is wrong. We should be prosecuting those who are shoplifting AND those who are stealing from taxpayers and their employees.

        1. ambrit

          I think that what we are seeing here is a natural outcome of the ‘masses’ internalizing the ‘ground rules’ as observed by the wealthy. A constant barrage of memes showing the rich as amoral thieves, and that those exhibiting this behaviour are no longer being prosecuted, has to have some effect.
          “As above, so below.”

          1. tegnost

            I vacillate between “sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander”, and “live by the sword, die by the sword”

          2. chris

            That’s fair. Especially because seeing how differently the rich live is as much responsible for strife among the lower class. If people couldn’t imagine a life without want, as seen on YouTube and TikTok and from the people who they serve at work, then they wouldn’t have given up so thoroughly on what is possible without theft. Many of the people I’ve talked to in dire straits do not have any idea how they will ever stop being too poor to live. Let alone retire. And then they see people flaunting stupid money… I really do understand the anger.

    1. OnceWereVirologist

      Personally, I think the most interesting points are the following

      They’d like local governments to amend shoplifting laws so that the aggregate value of a repeat offender’s stolen goods can count toward meeting the threshold for felony charges, rather than simply counting the cost of goods stolen from each incident separately.

      Similarly, businesses and security experts want tougher bail for repeat offenders, even if the offenses in question are only misdemeanors, and a federal law targeting interstate shoplifting gangs.

      With ideas like this you could see the USA’s incarceration rate exceed Stalin’s Soviet Union as number 1 in all of world history. The 90’s get tough on crime / war on drugs policies coincided after all with decreasing crime rates but still produced the largest prison population in the world. Double down on those kind of policies now, where does that lead ?

      1. tegnost

        Double down on those kind of policies now, where does that lead

        More dollar a day firefighters? Maybe we could restrict immigration without pissing off the important people!

        1. OnceWereVirologist

          Are they really a dollar a day firefighters if it costs 30 or 40 thousand a year to hold them in jail ?

          1. Valient

            Go ask Kamala, I think she’ll know:

            Most of those prisoners now work as groundskeepers, janitors and in prison kitchens, with wages that range from 8 cents to 37 cents per hour. Lawyers for Attorney General Kamala Harris had argued in court that if forced to release these inmates early, prisons would lose an important labor pool.

            Kamala’s Jamaican ancestors owned 89 slaves, maybe it’s in her genes?

          2. tegnost

            taxes don’t fund spending, money is free for the gov too, the cost here is labor to private enterprise…so just another, as you point out, gigantic subsidy for the socialist class.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Yah, amend those laws to “protect property” by incarcerating shoppers who become lifters. When the biggest losses in “shrinkage” are by far due to employee theft, and the financial crimes of embezzlement far outstrip the losses due to taking of physical inventory.

        The “laws” already exist. The system that drives employees and “customers” to think it’s ok to steal from the corporate structure or smaller employer is untouched and only becoming more oppressive and rapacious.

        Bring on that war of all against all, okay? Anomie for everyone!

    2. Wukchumni

      I guess i’d want to know what the ‘shoplifting’ rate is @ Amazon warehouses, i’d imagine the security there is on the tight side, are employees searched?

      1. Valerie

        Employees are not searched without cause. As I was told the first day, there are 500 cameras you can see and probably 500 more you can’t. You must constantly clear metal detectors and they’re pretty sensitive. The staple on my lunchtime tea bag incited a pocket turnout on one occasion. People do steal, but if caught, employees are not only prosecuted and presumably blacklisted, but their” story” is posted on a Wall of Shame for other employees to read about. Also if you see or hear of employees stealing or plotting to steal and don’t out them to management you too can be fired. Particularly high dollar items are in a secured area with limited access. I worked at my FC for two-and-a half years AND was a Trainer and never rated access. The “chaotic storage” system also works against theft. It’s hard to steal what you can’t find without the computer’s help.

          1. Wukchumni

            I have no way of knowing what shoplifting losses are at a brick and mortar, but i’d guess it’s somewhere around each state’s tax rate of around 10%, so it gives Amazon a huge edge-not unlike their former sales tax exemption.


            Could you imagine Target with a shoplifting rogues gallery posted by the front of the store?

            1. ambrit

              Oh boy. I would probably recognize some of the miscreants.
              Now, to up the game, a Rogues Gallery online of those who took rides, (pun intended) on Epstein’s “Lolita Express.”

        1. Yves Smith

          That is a COMPLETE fabrication with respect to Amazon warehouses, the topic at hand.

          All warehouse workers are searched when they leave.

          Making Shit Up is a violation of our written site Policies. You will need to find some other comments section to pollute with your misrepresentations.

      2. Yves Smith

        They are all searched on the way out….at their expense. Amazon won a case at the Supreme Court on how they do not have to pay for the time employees wait to be searched after their shift has ended. Regularly > 15 mins.

    3. Pelham

      When I visited downtown Nairobi in the 1980s I noticed big guys in uniforms holding clubs standing just inside the entrance at most stores. Good idea, I thought. But maybe we could improve on it today with robots.

  15. timbers

    UKRAINE CRISIS: US ‘Toolboxes’ Are Empty Consortium News. Scott Ritter.

    Scott Ritter: “The toolbox is empty. Russia knows this. Biden knows this. Blinken knows this. CNN knows this. The only ones who aren’t aware of this are the American people.”

    The American people may not be the only ones who don’t know it. The Europeans running Europe might not know it, either…having just read this:

    Germany’s navy, vice-admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach, said on Friday that Crimea “will never come back”, and that what Putin “really wants is respect…and it is easy to give him the respect he really demands – and probably deserves….Does Russia really want a small and tiny strip of Ukraine soil to integrate into their country? No, this is nonsense.”

    “And sure enough, just one day later, on Saturday evening, he resigned from his post for having the temerity to speak out against conventional wisdom.”

    “I have asked Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht to relieve me from my duties with immediate effect,” Schoenbach said in a statement cited by the Reuters news agency.

    “The minister has accepted my request,” he added.

    One thing is for sure. We can’t rely upon saner heads in European leadership will prevail and but any breaks on America because even if they know the U.S. position is false, they don’t have a track record of stopping the U.S. when she should be stopped. As for American people not knowing…many are too focused on jobs and making ends meet than to have time breaking thru MSN headlines.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      That is why the Russians issued an ultimatum. Private assurances won’t be accepted anymore. Biden started this mess to score points home with a NATO victory as if anyone cares outside of MSDNC pundits who are first on the proscription lists if Trump wins in 2024.

      Biden’s current problem is he can’t be perceived as backing down as MSDNC viewers are his strongest strongest supporters and they think Putin personally stole ballots to deny Mother’s coronation. Biden has already collapsed with the under 35 crowd.

    2. Michaelmas

      We can’t rely upon saner heads in European leadership will prevail

      Saner heads? You really haven’t figured out that the EU is the most neoliberal organization in the world — explicitly formed by actual presidents of the Mont Pelerin Society as that back in the 1950s, and with a currency, the EU, purposefully designed by Robert Mundell, the ‘father of Reagonomics’, to continue the great project — yet?

      Washington DC will move on from neoliberalism before the EU does. Seriously.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Suburban Chicago McMansions Follow a Dark Logic Even I Do Not Understand’

    They say that form follows functions but those houses are just…..hideous. I can only think that they are not so much a place to live in (what we would call ‘a home’) but a way of making a statement. That you have ‘made it’ and that you can afford anything that you want. Those grand entrances for example are only there to impress visitors. It is really sad when you think about it. They could afford anything they wanted but in trying to impress other people, they no longer have a home but an asset whose only real worth is its resale value.

    1. griffen

      With a few of the listings featured the oddball turret configurations, I can’t help but wonder; were they dramatically inspired by the Tony Montana themed living space in “Scarface”. Ostentatious and grandiose, signifying that we have it made.

      I thought the thomas kinkade description of one landscape was just comical.

    2. flora

      High Victorian opulent architecture heritage (those turrets!) combined with modern kitch art sensibility. We *are* living in the new Gilded Age, after all. / ;)

    3. Valient

      And those pictures are taken in the Spring when flowers bloom and everything is green. Imagine those styro shitboxes on a grew winter day with snow on the ground?

      Besides, Chicagolandians elected the hideous freak of a mayor they have now, and you expect less better than bad taste?

    4. Barry

      I have a theory about the logic for a number of the McMansions in that article, based on Stewart Brand’s How Buildings Learn. I think they’re trying to make the houses look like they have history.

      It is common for very old homes to be added onto over the decades as a family’s fortune rises. These add-ons likely disrupt the symmetry or coherence of the original designs (or attempt to repair them), and can vary in design detail as tastes and building techniques changed.

      I think the Long Home in the articles look like they are trying to imitate that organic evolution that very old homes can go through. Maybe the owner thinks it will give them a veneer of old money?

    5. Michael Fiorillo

      Regarding McMansion resale value, it’s hard not seeing them becoming huge financial albatrosses in the near future,, given the incredibly shoddy materials used to build them; as Kate points out, all that “masonry” detail is styrofoam.

      And just imagine having to put on a new roof…

    6. JBird4049

      They could have hired a architect to design a home that was grandiose and in good taste. There videos and books on the subject and there’s about three thousand years of architectural history and knowledge. Just asking some questions, doing a little research, and hiring some talent would get you an impressive mansion that would have people talking about it with respect and awe.

      But no. We a wasteland full of monuments to anti-taste.

      1. The Rev Kev

        It could have been worse. They could have asked Gehry to design a house for them. I can see it now – ‘Hey, Frank. Would you be interested in designing a house for us? Preferably one where the roof didn’t leak? Or without cracks? Or drainage problems for that matter? Or even excessive glare?’

  17. Mikel

    “Nanoplastic pollution found at both of Earth’s poles for first time” Guardian

    Hot lava could get rid of plastic.
    I know it can’t be in all the places where there are plastics, but just crossed my mind.

  18. OnceWereVirologist

    It’s fascinating sociologically. Why has the modern American upper class embraced “ugliness” so vehemently ? I mean, size IS impressive and beauty IS in the eye of the beholder but no culture before has ever produced enormous assymetric and aproportional monuments like a McMansion.

    1. IMOR

      You get taste from elders who have it, from travel (seeing and experiencing the different), from reading, theatre, art.
      None of that applies to any of these people.

  19. LawnDart


    Enough is enough. It is time to stop wearing masks, or at the very least to eliminate mask mandates in all settings.

    Seriously people—STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus 

    —former US Surgeon General Jerome Adams in February 2020. 

    Even the CDC now admits what Dr. Anthony Fauci told the world in February 2020: cloth masks don’t work and there is no reason to wear one…

    It is time to get back to normal life, and that starts with visible human faces.

    1. ambrit

      Oh wow. The Mises Institute. I noticed that it is headquartered at Auburn, Alabama. Our son lives there and is married to a teacher at the University there. I’ll have to ask him about this the next time we talk.

      1. Wukchumni

        It gets better, the author is named Deist…

        A religious belief holding that God created the universe and established rationally comprehensible moral and natural laws but does not intervene in human affairs through miracles or supernatural revelation.

        1. jimmy cc

          he is also a lawyer for private equity…

          apparently not in the mask industry.

          Mask use seems reasonable, and also seems to work in countries that require proper use.

          1. Wukchumni

            What I find most intriguing in regards to the politically motivated mask divide in our country, is that Fox has been wildly successful with their Masked Singer & Masked Dancer (the doyen of the Palinstinian movement was on the former-as a ‘rap’ artist) tv shows, you’d think right leaning proles would want to wear them, but no.

        1. ambrit

          Oh, and did you notice that they claim to be a non-profit institute? Definitely contradictory, that.
          Of course, after they ‘lost’ Serbia, it was all downhill from there.

    2. Pelham

      Well, yes, masks don’t work. But they do work. Depends on the mask, doesn’t it?

      N95s work. Cloth masks don’t. Nearly two years into the pandemic and even this supremely simple distinction remains a source of mass confusion and delusion. Apparently nothing short of divine intervention can help us.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > N95s work. Cloth masks don’t. Nearly two years into the pandemic and even this supremely simple distinction remains a source of mass confusion and delusion.

        Well, Walensky’s latest statement should put the confusion to rest [hollow laughter].

    3. mistah charley, ph.d.

      Dr. Adams has changed his position since 2020, it seems – from a People magazine story dated Dec. 27, 2021

      “We need to be promoting better high-quality masks everywhere, because right now a single-layer cloth mask just isn’t cutting it against omicron,” said former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams Thursday on CNN’s AC360. “We need more testing. We need better masking. That’s how we get through this.”

  20. Mikel

    “There’s a giant stack of unsigned executive orders sitting on Joe Biden’s desk”

    Maybe he doesn’t want to say he’s forgotten where he put his pens?

    1. TimH

      On first reading, my brain added a final vowel to the final word… but of course this is Biden, not JFK.

        1. newcatty

          Think for Joe its a “good hair day ” when he creepily sniffs a young girl’s hair. Keep the girls away and hide the ocean nose spray.

  21. MarkT

    Re The Fairy Tellers: A Journey into the Secret History of Fairy Tales.

    Funny you should post this article! “The Emperor’s New Clothes” has been on my mind lately. It seems a fitting description of current goings on in many places of employment, and in politics generally, thanks to neoliberalism. Here’s a quick recap of the plot, courtesy of Wikipedia:

    “Two swindlers arrive at the capital city of an emperor who spends lavishly on clothing at the expense of state matters. Posing as weavers, they offer to supply him with magnificent clothes that are invisible to those who are stupid or incompetent. The emperor hires them, and they set up looms and go to work. A succession of officials, and then the emperor himself, visit them to check their progress. Each sees that the looms are empty but pretends otherwise to avoid being thought a fool. Finally, the weavers report that the emperor’s suit is finished. They mime dressing him and he sets off in a procession before the whole city. The townsfolk uncomfortably go along with the pretense, not wanting to appear inept or stupid, until a child blurts out that the emperor is wearing nothing at all. The people then realize that everyone has been fooled. Although startled, the emperor continues the procession, walking more proudly than ever.”

    1. Kim

      More like what’s going on in the Democratic Party, what they are weaving is a semi-transparent tissue of lies, or, their old fall back magic carpet to elections, the “rich tapestry of multiculturalism”.

  22. Andrew

    RE: that PLOS One paper, it states outright:

    Life expectancy gained was calculated as the number of lives potentially saved by the intervention times 5.64 years—the quality-adjusted life expectancy lost among COVID-19 fatalities

    i.e., because of the stats on how covid actually spread in America in 2020 (rampaging through nursing homes and felling the elderly early on), they infer that on average, everyone who would have died during a let-er-rip mass infection tsunami would have had only 5 or 6 years to live anyway. This seems absurd on its face.

    1. ambrit

      Absurd, yes, but politically useful.
      I always ‘knew’ that Public Health was half political. It went with the territory, so to speak. Now, much to my dismay, Public Health has become entirely political.
      One can agree with the mantra, “Follow the Science,” only if one were to understand that ‘the Science’ meant is Political Science, which really, is not a science at all.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > One can agree with the mantra, “Follow the Science,” only if one were to understand that ‘the Science’ meant is Political Science, which really, is not a science at all.

        “They all hate us anyhow, so let’s drop the big one now” has more bite than I thought,….

        1. ambrit

          Real diplomacy is not a zero sum game.
          I was expecting Trump to put out a book called “The Art of the Steal” sometime last year. Alas, the Jan 6 Commission has staked out that position.

  23. LawnDart

    In the interest of balance, fairness and the airing of all sides of an issue, I humbly submit the following for your purview [Brain-Trust, look away– I think we got this]

    Enough is enough. It is time to stop wearing masks

    Some quotes from the article include:

    Seriously people—STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus 

    —former US Surgeon General Jerome Adams in February 2020.

     Even the CDC now admits what Dr. Anthony Fauci told the world in February 2020: cloth masks don’t work and there is no reason to wear one

    Masks are filthy.
    Masks are dehumanizing.
    Risk is inevitable.

    We know how to coexist with flu, just as we live with countless bacteria and viruses in our environment. We will similarly coexist with covid.

    It is time to get back to normal life, and that starts with visible human faces.

    [And the “Noble Lie” finds a new life within the right-wing and amongst so-called “liberatarians” as this article makes its rounds. Due to formatting issues, I need to end this comment, observation, here]

    1. mistah charley, ph.d.

      from a Dec. 27, 2021 article – Dr. Jerome Adams is quoted as follows:

      “We need to be promoting better high-quality masks everywhere, because right now a single-layer cloth mask just isn’t cutting it against omicron,” said former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams Thursday on CNN’s AC360. “We need more testing. We need better masking. That’s how we get through this.”

  24. petal

    Another shortage item: tubes for blood draws
    FDA urges doctors to prioritize blood draws as collection tube supplies dwindle

    Snip:”The FDA is recommending that healthcare providers only perform blood draws considered medically necessary, after interruptions in the nationwide supply chain and the COVID-19 pandemic have caused broad shortages of blood specimen collection tubes.

    The agency had previously listed one specific type of blood collection tube in shortage—those containing the anticoagulant sodium citrate and typically identified by a light blue cap—starting in June 2021. Now, the FDA has expanded that list to include all specimen tubes.

    In a letter to phlebotomists and laboratory directors, the FDA urged clinicians to remove duplicate test orders to avoid unnecessary draws, and to extend time intervals between tests whenever possible.

    That includes reducing the number of preventive tests at routine wellness visits and prioritizing diagnostics that target specific diseases or directly guide patient treatment. The agency also recommended relying on point-of-care tests, such as lateral flow assays, that do not require storing a specimen drawn from a vein in a specialized container.”

    1. Rainlover

      Yes, I was in for a blood draw two weeks ago and the phlebotomist used a syringe to draw blood, then squirted it into the lab tubes. Ouch!

  25. Dave in Austin

    It is only appropriate that Jeri should post the yin and yang of modern housing together:

    Suburban Chicago McMansions Follow a Dark Logic Even I Do Not Understand McMansion Hell. Kate Wagner. From a couple of weeks ago; I don’t think this link has been posted by Yves or Lambert. And if it has apologies – whatever the case, enjoy.

    Jean-Jacques Savin: French adventurer dies crossing Atlantic Ocean BBC

  26. Wukchumni

    All eyes will soon be upon Jerome Powell in Beijing in the figure skating competition. He’s had plenty of practice conjuring up large amounts of money out of thin air and in theory tabulating everything on spread sheets-for he’s the one to beat and the cream of the cash crop, but don’t sell the Japanese competitors short, as they’ve been at it forever and did it despite the Nikkei going nowhere fast for decades-advantage Nippon.

    1. urblintz

      “conjuring up large amounts of money out of thin air and in theory tabulating everything on spread sheets”

      sounds like bitcoin…

  27. juno mas

    RE: Everyone’s a Critic

    This article was too long to read, Although I did. Too many words to say so little.

    1. ambrit

      When you are paid by the word. That’s why ‘professional’ writers have a love hate realtionship with their editors.

    1. John Beech

      A disgrace when at-will employees are being preempted from taking work for a higher wage. It’s like the 13th amendment doesn’t even exist. It takes a lot to leave me speechless but this one instance of horrible jurisprudence takes the cake. I’ll close with . . . good grief.

    2. Medbh

      On a positive note, it took only a day for the go fund me to raise over $50,000 for the 7 employees. I wonder how many more of their employees they’re going to lose because of the court case.

      1. ambrit

        Oh, the next step for management is to ‘lobby’ for the creation of ‘Fugitive Worker Laws.’ Something similar to what Ronald [family blogging] Reagan did to the Air Traffic Controllers union. Call them “Essential Workers” and forbid them to leave their assigned places in the economy. This would be very much like what happened when the Late Roman Empire was faced with a ‘Mass Resignation’ of technical and specialty workers. Sons were mandated to follow their fathers into their father’s trades. Eventually, some classes of workers were branded with sigils indicating their trades affiliation.
        See, through a glass darkly:

  28. Wukchumni

    Water is for lying over-Whiskey is for lying under…

    Colorado has warned it will “protect and aggressively assert” its water rights after Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts announced a plan to spend $500 million on a canal and reservoir project that includes claiming access to land in Colorado under a 99-year-old compact between the states.

    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Colorado’s governor is warning he will “protect and aggressively assert” his state’s water rights after Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts announced a plan to spend $500 million on a canal and reservoir project that includes claiming access to land in Colorado under a 99-year-old compact between the states.

    Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said he will work with Nebraska but wants more details about what the state has planned. His comments came as Ricketts released a proposed state budget Thursday detailing how he intends to fund the project.
    The Colorado River basin has had a frankly horrible winter so far, and as far as upstream states poaching water, I think we’ll see more of it, with Utah leading the way.

    1. John Beech

      Wukchumni, a customer who knows my preference for the occasional tipple of the water of life recently gifted me a gag gift by the Jack Daniels distillery. If you’ve never seen or heard of it, it’s a double belly orb of a shot glass which if you carefully fill to the top of the first belly with H2O allows you to more carefully complete filling with whisky so that you get a water chaser. Works because the two liquids don’t immediately mix. So it’s whisky over water! Although in my case, I don’t believe water should be anywhere near whisky, my distinct preference being to sip it neat. Google Jack Daniels 46606 Whiskey on Water shot glass if you’re curious.

      1. ambrit

        One of my Uncles bought over a couple of square glass bottle true quarts of non-export Scots Whiskey when Dad died. I was about to put some ice in some of the amber liquid when Uncle Terry cried out from across the room: “Lad! Don’t! That’s a waste of good whiskey!”
        He proceeded to show me how to nurse a drink along for a long while, one sip at a time.
        Uncle: “Keep sipping until you hear the buzzing of bees in your ears. Then taper off.”
        Me: “Uh, Uncle. Buzzing in the ears. That’s a sign of high blood pressure, right?”
        Uncle: “Not the way we do it nephew.”
        Me: “I guess then it’s a matter of practice?”
        Uncle: “You catch on quick, just like your Dad.”
        Stay safe there and listen for the bees!

    2. Darthbobber

      I always found whiskey to be best for lying over, and as it becomes competitive in the course of the evening the lies grow more and more engaging.

      As Years said, stories that live longest are told above the glass.

  29. Jason Boxman

    So as the Omicron wave seems to be cresting in some places, and likely will everywhere in the coming weeks, this is yet another opportunity to pursue an elimination strategy. With so many having gotten infected recently, we ought to have a few months of runway to attempt this… but of course no such strategy will be pursued. What a train wreck.

    I hope no one disturbs bumbling Biden during his nap to suggest a real strategy. Will he dream of his heroism in confronting the evil bear?

    1. ambrit

      Someone is pursuing an “elimination strategy.” However, it is not the Coronavirus that is to be ‘eliminated.’

    2. The Rev Kev

      Another opportunity to pursue an elimination strategy? That is not a bad thought that. Not bad at all. Will it be attempted? No, it would require actually doing work.

  30. Jason Boxman

    Walensky continues to defend her decision to use masking as a carrot to encourage vaccination.

    Walensky said the decision was driven by rising vaccination numbers and declines in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Her call was characterized as a sensible incentive to get more people vaccinated.

    “If we had not followed the science (at the time), and said masks need to stay on, I think we would have lost credibility,” she said last week.

    That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. So the CDC is a political arm of the White House, then, not a public health agency tasked solely with protecting public health.

    There’s no justification — zero, none — for using masking as a carrot to encourage vaccination.

    Walensky needs to resign. So does Biden. What a disgrace.

    1. Objective Ace

      It also logically doesnt make sense. How are any enforcers of this policy supposed to differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated? There was no carrot to get vaccinated, rather this was an excuse for anyone to go unmasked if they so pleased. She should also resign for stupidity

    2. Basil Pesto

      It’s such bullshit

      We here knew in May (“Biden’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment” per semi-regular commenter Tom Doak, foreseeing inevitable failure)

      If we knew, then the *checks notes* head of the Center for Disease Control either must have known, or should have known. She has to go. But she won’t.

  31. Tom Stone

    I learned a few new things today by reading emails and listening to the car radio.

    The pandemic is over because the virus is endemic.

    Omicron is mild,symptoms are gone within 5 days and it’s nowhere near as bad as a bad case of ‘Flu.

    Omicron is mild and getting it will give you broad based and long lasting immunity to all the existing strains and any new strains of Covid 19.

    Luckily I already guessed it was only a cold sore…

    1. John Beech

      To which I note . . . BA.2 now running wild in Denmark. Seems to be ‘more’ contagious the BA.1 (Omicron). Couldn’t make this up even with alcohol’s involvement.

  32. ambrit

    That is a truly psychedelic budgie. We always had one or two at home when I was a little one. I remember the family dog catching out in the garden in Florida two budgies, on separate occasions, to lay, panting but quiescent at Mom’s feet. Both times, said presents were given in the kitchen. One was a ‘regular’ coloured one, but the other was a pure white example. Both recovered, not having been damaged by the dog, and lived long, for budgies, lives in the big cage in the living room.
    Later, Miami was overrun by Mitred Parakeets. Big, noisy buggers.
    And, with sound!: (Click on the green sub-link to the right of the screen.)

    1. newcatty

      When we last visited San Diego and stayed at an old motel owned by the same owner for decades, we chatted with the owner who pretty much lived there in his office suite. We noticed parrots flitting around the patio where pastries, juice and coffee were served every morning. He said that many years ago a wealthy resident had parrots in cages in their “mansion”. One day a lot of them escaped and now there are flocks around the town, especially near water. Asked if they ever were considered a problem? Nah. He winked and said most tourists ,if they even noticed them, thought that they were native birds in exotic southern California. This was many years ago, so don’t know the fate of the escapees’ decendants.

        1. jonboinAR

          There used to be wild parrots in Los Angeles. One could see them flying pretty high and purposefully while emitting parrot squawks. I think they were amazons. The local lore was they escaped/were released from Busch Gardens in Van Nuys when it closed. I’ve used past tense in my recounting because I haven’t live in LA for 20 plus years. I would guess they’re still around.

        2. JBird4049

          Use to parrot flocks in San Francisco during my lunch walks. Not often, but when I did, it was very nice.

  33. Soredemos

    >Students Are Walking Out of School Rather Than Returning to an Unsafe “Normal” TruthOut

    The most recent West Wing Thing was really interesting (and grim) on this topic. Dave Anthony has a bad tendency towards hyperbolic ranting, but he’s become a useful source for an insider’s view of things at the PTA level. As he tells it, many parents are basically in open rebellion, even in a solidly blue area. He thinks Democrats are shredding their support among parents and teachers. He also thinks public education is basically finished in the US. Covid will be the final straw for many teachers who are already treated and paid like crap in the US. They’re just going to go find another job to do. And parents aren’t going to trust the public schools any more, and opt for private or even homeschooling, where they have more control.

  34. BeliTsari

    Almost as if, they were “subliminally” trying to get Omnicron©, “It’s MILD” & elicits, “SUPER Immunity!” I’d figured only maskless NYC churls* were happily infecting schoolkids with Delta, because “mucosal,” MIS-C or “life-long circulatory & organ damage,” only happened to poor kids, red-lined next to peaking plants or toxic waste. But, everyone got Omicron so quickly, it’s pretty difficult to ignore healthy-looking younger folks kinda flaunting masks; right as juvenile hospitalizations increases 400% and echo-chamber media’s infomercial was that boosted PMC would do just fine, as only chronically PASC “essentials” were at risk, from our co-morbidities, like working while uninsured, sick, Black or just POOR?

    *until, friends in FL, PA & CA all got it simultaneously.!po=2.17391

  35. newcatty

    Thanks for the comment on the public school debacle in this country. Teachers were abandoning public ed jobs for decades. Covid has brought the desertion of public ed into sharp relief. Older teachers had secure positions in their schools. Either were burned out functionaries or sold out toadies to administration. Rice bowls nicely filled with senority at the expense of new teachers’ low pay. Of course, exceptions exist. Class Warfare. Upper economic class areas equal better schools. As the plebes started to infiltrate, when rentiers built apartments in “good areas”, the upper classes were shocked. The most affluent went to private, parochial schools. The grifters came along with public school monies gifted to charter schools and, in some cases, parochial schools. Remember the charter schools having lotteries for places for the poor kids in inner cities? Turns out many charters have dismal outcomes for performance. Starve public ed and the ineviable consequences. Not all parents/caregivers can provide homeschooling. Not all parents can afford private or even many parochial schools. Maybe co-ops or one room school houses? In meantime, many kids in this society are now abandoned.

  36. Vander Resende

    Hospitalizations and deaths among unvaccinated people in Italy.

    248.5 hospitalizations per 100,000 – Not vaccinated –
    25.3     hospitalizations per 100,000    – Vaccinated (two doses)  –
    20.8     hospitalizations per 100,000  –  Vaccinated (booster dose) –

    ICU – Admissions
    31.3 hospitalizations per 100,000 – Not vaccinated –
    1.5 hospitalizations per 100,000   – Vaccinated (two doses) –
    0.8 hospitalizations per 100,000   –  Vaccinated (booster dose) –

    Mortality –
    52.9 dead per 100,000 – Not vaccinated –
    1.6 dead per 100,000 – Vaccinated (booster dose) –

    There are in several countries a relatively effective control the advancement of Covid-19, at the beginning of 2022, with a considerable and remarkable advance in hospitalized, ICU admissions, and mortality, especially in unvaccinated people.

    As the blackout of data from the Brazilian Ministry of Health, since december, makes it almost impossible to compare the vaccinated and unvaccinated admissions and mortality rabe, in this post I used data from an extensive report by the Health Superior Institute [from Italy], on the progress of the Covid-19 epidemic, in Italy.

    Adapted by VanRes, with data available at: -allo-08-con-booster-_a25bb349-3f06-4600-899b-3285a904e778.html

  37. Josef K

    Dear Fellow Primates,

    We’ll torture you in cages for our own purposes, and should you be so audacious as to claim agency and escape, we will shoot you down.

    Thanks for your cooperation,


  38. Rolf

    Re: Who Should Be the Authors of a Scientific Paper? The Wire

    The issue of authorship in scientific publishing is completely broken, and closely related to the proliferation of journal titles produced by the lucrative monopoly bloc of publishers. Ask anyone in academic science: they will relate personal experiences of being forced to add names to the author list of individuals who contributed no intellectual content, no data, no figures or plots, … nothing. In the worst cases, these “co-authors” may not have even read the paper, even in its finished, submitted form.

  39. drumlin woodchuckles

    These student walkouts are inspiring and hopefulness-genic. They will evolve their own present and future leaderships from within their own ranks. They may be hitting upon the concept of “schwerpunkt” that John Robb has written about at Global Guerillas, even if they have not read Global Guerillas. And that “schwerpunkt” is that governmental funding to public schools is based upon how many live student bodies are physically in those schools. If enough of them stay out of particular school system Districts long enough, they can cause so much money-starvation pain to those Districts to where they can torture those Districts into rolling out the total safety systems the students require, for real as against for performative show.

    And if the Districts refuse to roll out genuine safety for the students the way the students require, the non-suicidal masses of non-suicidal students may well decide to let the schools of the District go extinct and into liquidation for lack of funds. Public Education advocates will consider that a bad thing, and under normal circumstances it would be a bad thing. But when the School Systems decide that mass murdering millions of students is a price worth paying to preserve the School Systems, the millions of students targeted for mass murder under the ” back to school” plans may well counter-decide that exterminating the School Systems from existence is a price worth paying to stop the School Systems from exterminating the physical existence of millions of students.

    And if the students at private schools treat those schools the same way for the same self-preservation reasons, we will know that the Student Survival Movement has gone very broad and deep indeed.

    A question arises . . . .if the Authorities decide to hunt down and shoot some students to terrorise the rest into returning to school so Schools can get their per-student funding again, how will millions of students respond to that sort of government terrorist murder of selected school-boycotting students designed to terrorise the rest of them into returning to deliberately-engineered mass-covid mass death-trap schools?

    And a final question arises. Are the Mayor and the DOE just dumm and obsolete in their thinking? Or are they mass-murdering monsters? What will the students think?

    1. Cat Burglar

      The walkout tactic was successfully used at my high school in suburban California in the mid-70s.

      Students were sick of PE run like a bootcamp, with tacit approval of bullying by jocks, a constant round of just four sports. Someone found that state law only required that every student must be enrolled in PE, not in attendance. Enrollment only required showing up for the first day of the quarter. For an entire year, about a quarter of my class duly attended the first day of classes, cut the rest, and showed up at the end of each quarter to collect their report card.

      The next year, PE was changed. Jocks were put into classes that enabled them to train for their sports. Everyone else went into Co-ed PE with more interesting sports, usually sports that relied on self-directed work on individual skills. ( The falling technique of spreading out the impact that I learned in the judo class still helps me in bike crashes and nordic skiing falls; the gymnastics class helped my rock climbing.) It is worth pointing out that it required almost no investment in new equipment, because it just meant that equipment use previously restricted by gender was open to everyone. People stopped cutting class. Victory.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          It was clearly possible back in the 70s. Is it still possible today? Or did they just have a better class of PMCs back then?

          My hope is that it is still possible if enough pain can be inflicted.

    1. Martin Oline

      It was a good read but I had to hold up sheets of paper to block the bright RED ad section on the right side. Pat Lang posted a piece on his blog site titled Why Does The UK Want War With Russia. The responses by readers are very good. I would copy them here but they are not mine.

  40. The Rev Kev

    “Students Are Walking Out of School Rather Than Returning to an Unsafe “Normal” ”

    I guess that those student figured out that unlike their parents, they can’t be fired for walking out over an unsafe area. I wonder how many of their teaches are giving them a wink.

    1. Jason Boxman

      This is a brutal real-world lesson on America as a failed state. What kind of future has Biden and his ilk left them, and us? Drill, Baby. Drill!

  41. Jason Boxman

    Burning our hospitals to the ground, Biden-style:

    Bobbie Anne Sison was heading to the hospital just before dawn when she got a panicked call from one of her best nurses saying she couldn’t come to work because her car had overheated on Route 63. Ms. Sison, a nurse manager at Pascagoula Hospital, slammed on the brakes, made a U-turn and raced to fetch her.

    “We have staff members dropping like flies from Covid so there was no way I was going to leave her on the side of the road,” Ms. Sison said a few hours later as she walked the corridors of her 350-bed hospital, which has been steadily filling with Covid patients after a monthslong lull.

    Mr. Russell, who recently recovered from Covid, said the past few months had led him to abandon his aspiration to become a registered nurse. “I love my patients but I’ll be honest with you, I’m ready to quit,” he said. “It doesn’t help that whenever I bring up nursing school, every single nurse here tells me not to do it.

    (bold mine)

    In the coming years and decades there’s gonna be hell to pay. We won’t have a health care system to speak of in quite a few parts of this country. Meanwhile Biden bumbles. He needs to resign. But sleepy Joe is probably the right person to usher in the end of an empire; a lazy clown that’s a day late and a dollar short.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > We won’t have a health care system to speak of in quite a few parts of this country.

      We will have a health care system that the rich can afford, with personalized medicine for them, and bots and telemedicine for everyone else.

      So we will have lost the health system and public education.

      Everything’s going according to plan!

  42. LawnDart

    Rather than banning South Africans from travelling to the U.S., the Biden administration should instead have invited them and provided free tickets to Disneyland. The sooner the less-lethal Omicron replaced Delta, the better off everybody would be, at least everybody who has been vaccinated.
    Stephen F. Eisenman is Professor Emeritus of Art History at Northwestern University

  43. LawnDart

    Vaccines are a tool, not a silver bullet. If we’d allowed more scientific debate, we would have realized this earlier

    “we have seen during this last year and a half that all the hard work we’ve done over many decades to build trust in vaccines is now disappearing because we’re making these mandates that make no sense from a scientific or public health perspective.”

    A long read that might resonate with more than a few NC readers.

    1. Basil Pesto

      There’s stuff to agree with in there about vaccines and the vaccine policy, but then that’s the point. Ultimately it’s an utterly shifty and untrustworthy article. As it decries the ‘mainstream narrative’, look at who it turns to for the alternative views: Ioannidis, Prasad, Kulldorf – professional wrongsters, all of them, just as badly as the likes of Walensky, and who have had an outsized platform in this pandemic the whole damn time. Note that it’s not the Leonardis, the Bar-Yam’s and the Gurdasanis being featured in such articles for an alternative to the mainstream view. Terms like ‘natural immunity’, which is the discredited herd immunity theory by another name, are uncritically adopted. Note that in forming an antithesis, it deceitfully uses the technical term ‘eradication’, rather than ‘elimination’ – the former being a lot more difficult and remote a prospect than the latter. It embraces the shobboleth of this crowd: protecting the vulnerable, even though that is very likely impossible. Then we get to the nub of the matter:

      Consider how different our narrative is now. More and more officials are saying openly what the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration – the ridiculed view of 60,000 public health scientists and physician signatories – said some time ago: Our goal is not eradication of the virus, or a one-size-fits-all policy, but lessening of deaths in the vulnerable through focused protection, and focused vaccination. The immunity we have will be a mix of vaccine immunity and natural immunity, depending on the person. The new plan – to live with the virus and get back to living a normal life – is a departure from the pure Baconian “conquest of nature,” and hearkens back to the ancient, Hippocratic, notion that we must work with nature as an ally, in a kind of collaboration.

      Ah yes.

      Do not be fooled: to the extent that vaccine-only policy has been predictably ineffective, it has been an absolute boon, a wet dream for the GBDists, who are every bit as deceitful and wrong-headed as the likes of Fauci, and perhaps even more wrong-headed. The vax-only policy as rationalisation for wholesale adoption of the GBD way of life, which has been on the cards for months, is now crystallising through propaganda like this, which contains enough half-truths to be superficially persuasive to the disillusioned. The vaccines inevitably failed to end the pandemic, and now, because everyone is sick of it all and feeling hopeless and told uncritically that there’s nothing we can do to stop the spread, we’re told that the whole world must now go Full Sweden.

      The sleight of hand in setting up a false dichotomy is paltry and transparent: vaccines don’t work for the purposes of ending the pandemic (as indeed true eliminationists also knew from the get go), thus we were right all along and we have to live with the virus using natural immunity to take us to glorious and immaculate stasis where we live side-by-side in sunlit harmony with SARS2 and its multifarious variants present-and-future.

      It won’t end well. And these people are utter bastards.

      Meanwhile, we have seen repeatedly in various jurisdictions, not least of which being China (heavily and ridiculously propagandised against for doing so) that disease control and containment is possible (though it’s also going to get harder the more we let the virus spread and evolve.). In fact this has been an uncontroversial precept of public health in what used to be called the First World for over a century, which is why, in broad terms, our quality of life has so drastically improved in that time. China is adhering to a Western playbook and now being contemptibly smeared in this particular instance as eccentric authoritarians out of touch with inevitable reality. The lack of global cooperation on this front, of course, makes their task that much harder.

      Failure to control the disease – that is, to do what is unambiguously the right thing to do for the entirety of human civilisation, not matter how difficult it may be – is a political choice, whether you’re a GBD do-nothinger or a bootlicking taker of half-measures like the Walenskys and the Faucis of the world.

      Trust this and crap from if you want, but in doing so you’re being played for a fool by the TINA crowd. We will probably understand at some point in the future that elimination is the only viable option, that we can in no way live with this disease without drastically diminishing our quality of life, though I’m sure the likes of the GBD ivy league scientists will do just fine. Whether you realise it or not, heck, whether they realise it or not, these people are your adversaries, not your allies.

      To see not just NC readers but the likes of Taibbi, Stoller, Arnade etc. fall for this (and indeed claiming with tortured reasoning that pandemic control is some kind of PMC fantasy and terrible for the working class) is incredibly sad. People have no idea how bad this is going to get, how badly we’re fucking this up.

      1. GM

        Do not be fooled: to the extent that vaccine-only policy has been predictably ineffective, it has been an absolute boon, a wet dream for the GBDists, who are every bit as deceitful and wrong-headed as the likes of Fauci, and perhaps even more wrong-headed


        Failure to control the disease – that is, to do what is unambiguously the right thing to do for the entirety of human civilisation, not matter how difficult it may be – is a political choice, whether you’re a GBD do-nothinger or a bootlicking taker of half-measures like the Walenskys and the Faucis of the world.

        GBD and Fauci/Walensky have been simply playing the good old bad cop/good cop con for two years.

        It’s hard to see it otherwise at this point

        To see not just NC readers but the likes of Taibbi, Stoller, Arnade etc. fall for this (and indeed claiming with tortured reasoning that pandemic control is some kind of PMC fantasy and terrible for the working class) is incredibly sad. People have no idea how bad this is going to get, how badly we’re fucking this up.

        Indeed. Extremely depressing

      2. eg

        Fully endorsed, Basil. I was disturbed to read this in meatspace in my Saturday Globe and Mail. Revolting.

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