Links 1/24/2022

The Year of the Tiger 2022: predictions, food & celebrations South China Morning Post

Overweight armadillos put on a post-Christmas diet BBC

U.S. science no longer leads the world. Here’s how top advisers say the nation should respond Science

A Matter of Emphasis American Scholar

Napoleon’s gravity-defying 325km road BBC

Mapping fiction: the complicated relationship between authors and literary maps Guardian

Why Buster Keaton is today’s most influential actor BBC

The Internet Is Failing Moms-to-Be Wired

Discrimination by the Numbers MIT Technology Review

What’s behind legal dispute between Qatar Airways and Airbus? Al Jazeera

Cruise ship changes course to Bahamas after U.S. issues arrest warrant Axios (The Rev Kev)

What the hell are apartment pants? Vogue India

The U-2 spy plane: white knuckles from the get-go Asia Times

Mutinying soldiers detain Burkina Faso President Kabore Agence France-Presse


An upper bound on one-to-one exposure to infectious human respiratory particles Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesces

Covid-19 vaccines and treatments: we must have raw data, now BMJ (flora) Hoisted from comments.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in pediatric oncology units: A lesson of resilience and hope Cancer


Lunar New Year reunions in limbo for China’s migrant workers as nation races to curb Covid-19 South China Morning Post

Omicron: zero spread, not zero cases, is IOC’s target for Winter Olympics with 72 positive tests detected so far in pre-Games build-up South China Morning Post


Omicron in community transmission stage in India, dominant strain in metros: Genome sequencing body Scroll


Europe Eases Pandemic Curbs on Omicron’s Waning Scare Factor Bloomberg

Police fire water cannon, tear gas at Brussels COVID protest Al Jazeera

German Covid protests turn nasty in row over rules and vaccinations BBC

Thousands of anti-vaccine mandate protesters flaunt mask rules to descend on DC where they blast songs by anti-mandate singer Meat Loaf and listen to speech from Robert F. Kennedy Daily Mail


The media blackout on Fauci’s damning emails The Spectator



Vaccine Apartheid Has Reinforced US Empire Jacobin


Nursing home families blast Hochul for excluding victims fund in state budget NY Post

COVID testing firm piled unprocessed swabs in trash bags, billed feds $113M Ars Technica (Dr. Kevin)


Urgent call for sperm donors as Birmingham banks run dry after two year Covid closure Birmigham Live (Dr. Kevin)


Severe shortage of nurses in UK children’s intensive care units Guardian

In Hospital Strained by Omicron, Weary Nurses Treat Too Many Patients WSJ


Julian Assange

High Court Allows Assange to Appeal to Supreme Court Consortium News

Julian Assange wins first stage of attempt to appeal against extradition Guardian

Class Warfare

The Billionaire Side Hustle That Neoliberalism Created Common Dreams

Because no community is too small. Chesapeake News Guild (RK)

The Case for Strategic Price Policies Project Syndicate. James Galbraith

Biden Administration

On student loans, Biden doesn’t have an answer yet The Hill. A year into his presidency and he’s still dithering on this?

As Immigration Plummeted, Conservatives Falsely Accused Biden of Fueling a Crisis Intercept (furzy)

Epidemic of insanity strikes America’s leaders Asia Times

Biden’s Asia Policy, 1 Year In The Diplomat

Florida redistricting plan faces opposition from DeSantis The Hill

Democrats en déshabillé

Arizona Democratic Party censures Sinema over voting rights stance Politico

Can Revolution Take Root In Rhode Island? Daily Poster

What Ike’s military industrial complex speech didn’t say Responsible Statecraft

New Cold War

Beware the Cult of Cadwalladr Craig Murray

Symposium: What would US intervention over Ukraine really look like? Responsible statecraft

UKRAINE CRISIS: German Navy Chief Resigns; Britain Spreads Fears of Russian ‘Coup’ & Wider War Consortium News. Linked to an account of the event yesterday –  discussed in comments; still germane.

Secret of ‘microwave weapons’ targeting US diplomats revealed RT (MH)


As Caucasian Glaciers Melt, Locals Face the Future With Stoicism Moscow Times

Funding for Greenhouse Gas Regulation in Danger Despite Huge New Mexico Budget Capitalal & Main.

Health Care

`Antimicrobial resistance now causes more deaths than HIV/AIDS and malaria worldwide – new study The Conversation

The Powerful Case for Redefining Alzheimer’s Disease The Wire


Widodo riding high as his legacy comes into view Asia Times


Biden Is Failing Yemen Common Dreams

Iran regains UN voting rights RT (The Rev Kev)

Afghanistan: Taliban envoys start talks in Norway Deutsche Welle


Forgotten heroes now being remembered, says PM Modi as he unveils Netaji’s hologram at India Gate Scroll

The Bose Hologram Showcases Neither Bose nor Technology but Modi The Wire

China abduction claims spark political uproar in India Asia Times

Modi government’s duty to act on calls for violence against minorities: Ex-UN adviser on genocide Scroll


UK Intelligence Agency Targets China’s United Front The Diplomat

How China and Russia forged a friendship after bridging decades-old differences South China Morning Post

Antidote du Jour. Tracie H: “This little fellow is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet seen at the Huntington Library/Museum Gardens in San Marino, California.”


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. John Mc

      Also, it does speak to the problem of leaders named Boris in Europe, who abuse Alcohol, party to Bacchanalian end, and lead a country down the exact opposite path it should go.

    2. Big River Bandido

      I clicked on the Asia Times piece, “Epidemic of insanity strikes America’s leaders”. Salient and important, but either the text was far too short, or the Reader View on my phone cut off all content after about 3 graphs. (This happens a lot and I don’t know whether to attribute it to internet speed, auto play features…or whether so much that masquerades as journalism is now either telegraphic and shallow, or just plain advertising/propaganda.)

      If those few graphs were the entire piece, it was too narrowly focused on one aspect of American foreign policy. The headline is a perfect theme for a long form indictment of the entire national policy, including public health, and our sociopathic “leaders”.

  1. Pavel

    From the Spectator piece on Fauci’s emails:

    At best, Fauci and Collins looked like they were engaged in a PR operation to protect colleagues like Daszak. At worst, it was much, much more nefarious than that.

    The problem for the mainstream media now is that too much of a paper trail has been left by Collins, Fauci and others to simply push the narrative that Republicans are weaponizing Fauci’s emails.

    The problem for Fauci and his media allies is that the truth is going to come out eventually, with or without their cooperation, transparency, and intellectual curiosity. There is no Donald Trump to suck the oxygen out of the news cycle anymore. At this point, it all looks like malpractice, both by the mainstream media in ignoring Anthony Fauci’s emails and by Fauci himself.

    –The media blackout on Fauci’s damning emails

    When the truth does come out — and note how many investigations the Republicans are vowing to conduct should (when?) they win the Senate and/or House — there should be unprecedented rage against the corporate media and Big Tech firms who enabled the blatant censorship of those who sought to tell the truth.

    Fauci went around Obama’s GOF prohibition by funding EcoHealth and thus Wuhan, the virus escaped from the lab, and Fauci et al desperately covered it up from the start of the pandemic. Can anyone reasonably deny that this was the course of events? Fauci’s only “defense” is that scientists (all funded by the NIH) decided to change the definition of GOF.

    They should all go to the Hague.

    Forgive my outrage but they have destroyed an entire generation of children IMO, along with all the deaths and economic destruction.

  2. ArkansasAngie

    From intercept — “net international migration into the United States increased by just 247,000 people in 2021”

    Hog wash.

    What a ridiculous claim.

    We won’t know what the number is … because they are illegal and accidentally on purpose arent being counted.

    what a joke. How many people will now discount the border issues as being fake?

    1. amechania

      Those are just the Afghans. Your comment relies on imaginary mexico immigration deniers, and also that the border is the issue. The Berlin wall didn’t work. North Korea cant do it either. I could go on.

      Easiest fix would be to lock up the exploitive employers, and stop blaming the victims.

      1. Hank Linderman


        But why go after 5 people at a company like the CEO and CFO when you can chase after hundreds?


      2. Michael Ismoe

        Don’t forget the Haitians. We added 20,000 of them overnight while we have Mexican-Americans waiting for a 6-year backlog to have their families reunited legally. Brandon ain’t too popular here.

      3. CurtisJohn

        Remember, the Mexico U.S. “Border is just an imaginary construct”
        and can be ignored, or handed over to Harris, which is basically the same thing, unlike the sanctity of the Ukrainian border!

        That border deserves military intervention and even risking the ending of human civilization.

    2. PuntaPete

      There are more than 45 million foreign-born people living in the U.S. (How many more is anybody’s guess.). Only around half of the 45+ million are naturalized citizens. The 45+ million is equal to the entire population of the 21 least populated states. Is it any wonder that our schools, our health care system and any number of institutions are being overwhelmed? If one wants a reason for the ‘failed states of America’ look no further than out-of-countrol immigration – legal and illegal – and one will have a big piece of the answer.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Symposium: What would US intervention in Ukraine really look like?”

    After reading the opinions of all those people, there is little optimism that the US could beat the Russians in the Ukraine. And it comes down to the major reason why the American colonists beat the British in the American revolution – the length of supply lines. But there won’t be a battle in the Ukraine itself. Both sides don’t need it nor want it. But you look at the media frenzy day after day after day about how Russia is about to invade the Ukraine and one guy pointed out that there hasn’t been anything like this since the media frenzy to get the US to invade Iraq. So what gives?

    One of those opinion givers said ‘If Russia does invade Ukraine, Russia will win’ but I think that it is the other way around. If Russia does not invade the Ukraine in spite of this media frenzy, then Biden can walk away and take credit for stopping the Russians invading. It will make no difference that they were never going to invade as Biden will have his ‘victory’ of stopping the Russian invasion. They will, however, have to give the Russians something in exchange but this idea does not seem to be working causing Biden to say that he is sending 5,000 US troops to eastern Europe and maybe ten times that later. It ain’t over.

      1. Wukchumni

        I heard a rumor that Blinken owns a bunch of FTD franchises in Kiev, and is counting on garland sales being big this year

    1. Louis Fyne

      No one outside of DC cares about Ukraine and the EU gas “Great Game.”

      To wit, the local morning news did an obligatory 30 second report on Ukraine. And you could tell from the tone of the presenter as he was reading the teleprompter that he had no idea what was going on…..for all he knew he was reading jibberish.

      You know it is true insanity when the DC Dems and media are pushing an issue on which the median swing voter literally gives zero Fs. easy bet that the majority of Democrats (or Republicans or independents) can’t even find Ukraine on a map.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        It’s already too late: as we learned during Russiagate (I miss it so!), the Russia has hacked into sex toys, Pokemon Go… and according to the NY Times, our very cell structures.

        1. marku52

          “Emergency! Emergency! Everybody to get from street!”

          (Only the olders will get this one….)

  4. Terry Flynn

    re Brum bank shortage:

    Services were halted due to Covid-19 but have resumed this month, with black and Asian donors particularly encouraged to donate at Birmingham Women’s Hospital if they are able to.

    1. Snigger – Cutting the length of the supply chains? (Sorry when working in oncology a dark or puerile sense of humour gets even worse).
    2. Seriously, they missed a trick. Don’t they know what loads of blokes were doing during lockdowns?

    Re the oncology article. Good but around here things fell apart when half the secretaries left/got sick with Covid/had to self-isolate and there weren’t enough procedures in place to enable home transcribing. That’s how someone like me who ain’t a touch typist but is reasonably fast and had a good general medical knowledge could be drafted in to fill a gap when huge backlog of clinic letters on the system appeared. I know how to solve this issue at a stroke but this is the NHS and they’re just now piloting (in another dept) something I did extensively 20 years ago *sigh*

    1. LawnDart

      Seriously, they missed a trick. Don’t they know what loads of blokes were doing during lockdowns?

      Getting wasted, apparently.

  5. Samuel Conner

    Back when ‘Havana syndrome’ was first reported, my reflexive thought (having tried to sleep through the loud coqui mating calls during a ’90s visit to the Caribbean) was ‘neeker breekers’ (hobbit speak for small noisy wildlife).

    Amusing to see MSM eventually catch up to this. Don’t journalists read Tolkein?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Journalists? Sure. The msm employees are best labeled stenographers. My hunch is this was the kind of crank story put out on VoA which was never picked up, but when Obama ended the ban on propaganda, the offices that use to distribute stories through VoA and other smaller, but more respectable foreign outlets just put them in US msm directly.

      1. rob

        “ban on propaganda” ?
        That sounds like propaganda

        “cover by “blown cover”… happens all the time.

    2. fajensen

      I think it is an EMP weapon or it started out as one. Someone has perhaps solved the many and considerable technical difficulties in getting electrical fields in the order of some kV/cm induced within living tissue from a safe distance (50 kV/cm is the field strength used for sterilising juice, so this is an upper limit, one would think) and then some asshole sociopaths used it on people.

      The sound effects described by the victims sound a lot like what one hears from one of the really big Cold-War radar installations if one enters the beam (In the 1980’s, the visitors to one of the viewing towers on Bornholm could do that but it wasn’t a pleasant experience).

  6. griffen

    REI and union busting. Based on little knowledge I have about the company, I presume they are a different corporate animal compared to say, Starbucks or Amazon. Maybe there are location-specific experiences for working at an REI. The tweet linked above was specific to the one location at Soho. Possibly it is slightly higher dollar economics there compared to the Greenville, SC or the Greensboro, NC stores. That is my initial thought. The Soho location practices have varied since the pandemic began; so maybe store management had difficult decisions (not a defense, just saying).

    REI is an outdoor and lifestyle retailer. A family member more or less outfits his entire hiking, and bicycling gear from their on sale and frequent clearance options. I think he receives annual rebates or in corporate terms, a shareholder return as a member.

    1. t

      I do. Nothing huge for me but there is annual dividend. Only downside is that I’m not near a store so I generally buy online. 100% online since covid curtailed holiday travel.

    2. diptherio

      There have been complaints about low pay and poor working conditions from REI employees for years now, at locations all across the country. REI’s CEO takes home a multi-million dollar paycheck (and that, even after forfeiting his base pay for six months in 2020).

      REI, along with pretty much every other consumer co-op, should have a union to represent their employees. Sadly, many consumer co-ops fight unionization with the same amount of vigor as their capitalist counterparts. As a member of REI, I will be writing them to express my strong disapproval of the way they are handling this. I recommend other members do the same.

      1. CitizenSissy

        Vantage point from thirty years in labor relations: The more “progressive” an employer, the harder they’ll fight to prevent an organized workforce.

        Despite its fearsome reputation, workplaces operating under Collective Bargaining Agreements aren’t necessarily difficult to navigate. In my experience, smart parties make every effort to cooperate; since there’s an ongoing relationship, being an a**hole isn’t particularly helpful.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          Yes. The key here is that REI refers to unions as some sort of outside interface between management and the workforce. That is always the tell. The union IS the workforce, just in its collective aspect, which is what REI and all managements would prefer does not exist.

          Employers that learn to interact with unions understand that it is an ongoing relationship in which neither party is well-served by scorched earth tactics. But many employers, and the HR and legal professions that have a stake in the industry of anti-unionism, choose never to learn this lesson.

      2. lordkoos

        As a former long-time Seattle resident, I can tell you that REI has not been a real co-op for many years. When Jim Whittaker left and the MBA types took over 40 years ago it was the beginning of the end.

    3. Larry Carlson

      A cooperative, credit union, or mutual company does avoid having to focus on returning profit to shareholders, but unfortunately faces greater challenges with diffuse ownership trying to keep company management from doing as little useful work as possible while enriching themselves. Regardless of company structure, corporate management still seems to use the same basic playbook, which is why you see managers “job hop” among companies with different ownership structures without problems.

      REI, like Vanguard and other customer-owned companies, may have delivered real benefits to customers back when the founders were still running things. As these idealistic founders are replaced by standard corporate types, the company will quickly become like any other. The easiest way to see this is to research executive compensation (or attempt to, since non-stock companies don’t have the same disclosure requirements), where you’ll usually find vague statements about pay packages that are typically similar to other companies in that industry.

      1. diptherio

        Loss of cooperative ethos is sadly common with large co-ops, especially of the consumer variety. As for C-suite pay, see the link in my comment above for the most recent exec. compensation disclosures that I could find.

      2. Louis Fyne

        that. Collective action problem.

        Non-profit/co-op does not mean management is immune from the temptation to self-enrich

        1. TimH

          I looked up the info on Goodwill some years ago, and CEO got $500k salary. I have difficulty regarding that as reasonable for a non-profit that plays the community card to get unpaid volunteers.

          And then there’s Red Cross…

        2. Bart Hansen

          But can’t hold a candle to what I have come to call Hospital Holding Companies (HHCs) like my local Sentara, as well as Humana and lots of others including some ‘non-profits’ that have ‘Saint’ as the first word of their names.

      3. griffen

        There are some very good points being added in here, and I appreciate the linked article above to the most recent available release on CEO and executive compensation.

        In a competitive marketplace, non profits or coops would be competing against deeper pocketed corporate peers. So recruiters and senior HR have to design plans to attract top tier talent and hopefully retain. Odds are good, and I am supposing, that REI has a reasonable level of experienced talent in these CEO and most senior leadership roles. Their CFO is listed as starting late 2019; welcome to your new employer and let’s see how it goes when the revenue spigot is shut off or just a bit slowed.

        In the above mentioned release, I did see a compensation recovery policy. Or a clawback of incentive compensation, if you will. Maybe it is not a rare policy, but I thought that interesting.

      4. Sub-Boreal

        This echoes the sad saga of the downfall of Mountain Equipment Co-op in Canada. Founded in Vancouver, BC, it grew to have outlets across the country and millions of members. But membership control weakened and management turned it into just another retailer.

        During its terminal stages, it also fought unionization ( ) before being sold to a foreign investment firm ( ).

      5. Cat Burglar

        Consumer cooperatives had a long history in Seattle, starting in the 1930s — REI was one of them.

        REI’s fall from grace began in the mid-70s, after their first attempt at expanding retail beyond the original two Seattle stores put “the Co-Op” in the red. It must have been serious, because the creditors (including the notorious Seafirst Bank) replaced the elected board and reformed the structure — there was no dividend for at least a year. Many older Seattle outdoor types will tell you, “It’s not a co-op,” for this reason. A toxic culture of personal favoritism within management in the early 70s did not help them avoid the crisis.

        By the late 80s, a CEO that used to run Sears had come in, with very conservative practices. While that put it on a good business footing, it brought in some very off-putting policies. Stocking policies are rigid — as one of my friends puts it, “No carabiners during rock climbing season, no ice screws during ice climbing season.”

        Labor policies — at least in the 90s — were not enlightened. Managers received bonuses for keeping retail staffing hours down, and making sure rolling averages of working hours were kept below a level that would allow retail staff to qualify for benefits. The computerized scheduling system was regarded by employees as abusive.

        One of my favorite stories had to do with the nose piercing policy. A friend had earned awards for her customer service. She helped an employee “from Corporate” fit a new pair of boots, and got praise in a written report, except for her nose piercing, which was “distracting.” She, and two other staff with piercings, were told to take out their studs or cover them with a bandaid, or be fired. Two quit immediately, but the esspresso stand worker followed the policy and had her revenge. The bandaid hung off her nose as she prepared and served the coffee, looking like a big scab about to drop off, inciting in customers an uncontrollable urge to itch their noses.

    4. Wukchumni

      I’ve been an REI member for about 40 years and the old joke was it stood for ‘Return Every Item’ as they had a very liberal return policy. I can’t think of any other retailer that gives me a rebate each and every year on items bought there.

      Frankly it gives me a reason to visit Fresno, and the REI there is kind of like a little enclave or principality such as San Marino or Andorra in feeling not like part of the city of liquor stores.

      Online sellers stole some of REI’s considerable thunder, but there’s nothing such as the tactile feel of touching outdoors gear or making sure clothing fits and all that. I almost feel adventurous buying something there, not that I do all that much anymore. My Patagucci apparel bought there 25 years ago still is in service albeit with rips, tears, fraying here and there and other signs of garments having fun.

  7. cocomaan

    The monkey crash in the town of Danville (great town on the Susquehanna river in central PA) has now allegedly resulted in monitoring for cold like symptoms.

    Fallon was contacted Saturday by the CDC and was told to monitor herself for any cold-like symptoms.

    She shared the letter from the CDC with Newswatch 16; it reads in part that, “the surviving monkeys will be quarantined and will be monitored for infectious diseases for at least 31 days before their release.”

    2 questions.

    1. What?

    2. Why are they releasing the monkeys?

      1. cocomaan

        The letter to the witness was worded this way:

        the surviving monkeys will be quarantined and will be monitored for infectious diseases for at least 31 days before their release

        To where? For what purpose? What facility needed monkeys in central PA? Penn State? Anyone?

        Where are the journalists? Nobody is remotely curious about this?

        1. Michael Ismoe

          Didn’t you hear the newest recommendations from the CDC? You won’t catch Covid if you wear a monkey on your face. Fauci has a press conference at 3.

          1. Cocomaan

            Whew good thing he’s not known for funding gain of function research, otherwise that could be dangerous!

    1. JohnnyGL

      Thanks for the Game of Thrones map. I’ve just decided to get into the books and the one you linked is much better than the one at the front of the book.

  8. griffen

    Billionaire side hustle, wealthy hedge fund guy buys low and sell high. That is the short run version of the article. In practice, the hedge fund guy bought his penthouse apartment at 220 Central Park South for a measly $90+ million and sold it recently for $190 million. I have to wonder, does that include the standard fixtures like “appliances convey with the sale”…

    Think of it. He bought a mere 3 years ago, more or less. I just can’t fathom this money, and who the next fool, er buyer, turns out to be.

    1. jefemt

      Sounds like Montana Ranch land. Lotts money sloshing around a few pockets.

      My pants must be on a different clothesline and missed the trickle.

      The good news is our property taxes are skyrocketing!!!

    2. skippy

      In a new filing released this week designed to pressure Trump and two of his children – Ivanka and Donald Jr – into facing questioning, James forensically dissects how such strikingly large valuations came about. The 2011 estimate for the Scottish property, her investigators discovered, included an estimated £75m ($121m at 2011 exchange rates) for undeveloped land at the site.

      Investigating deeper, they found that the figure had been created for an article in Forbes magazine. The revelation prompted a line in this week’s filing that must be among the tartest in US financial history.

      “It thus appears,” James writes, “that the valuation of Trump Aberdeen used for Mr Trump’s financial statement was prepared for purposes of providing information to Forbes magazine in a quote.”

      James’s legal document is packed with similarly juicy titbits. The 2014 value of the Scottish golf club was based in part on the projected sale price of 2,500 houses on the land, even though none of the houses actually existed and the company had planning permission for only half that number.

      In 1995 the Trump Organization bought a parcel of land in Westchester, New York, known as the Seven Springs Estate, for $7.5m. By 2004 it was valued at $80m and by 2014 at $291m. That 2014 figure, James notes in another exquisitely tart reference, included a valuation of $161m for “seven non-existent mansions”.

      The juiciest titbit of all concerns Trump’s former home, the gilded Fifth Avenue temple to his own ego dubbed “Versailles in the sky”, in which he lived before moving into the White House. James’s investigators were puzzled to find the Trump Tower triplex in Manhattan was listed at $327m in 2015, based on the apartment’s size, allegedly 30,000 sq feet.

      In fact the property is 11,000 sq feet, which produces a value of $117m. That’s an overstatement in Trump’s official financial statements of more than $200m. – snip

      Then again there is a lot of it going around …

      1. griffen

        I fundamentally could care less it the Trump family or the organization somehow inflated the values of real estate holdings. Frankly, in the real estate development world I imagine it has been thus and so for a pretty long time. I did not click the linked article, as that site has me on a pitch count until or when I capitulate to send a little funding.

        This topic has been covered, ie, the gradual overstatement of assets or investment holdings, in relation to 1. private equity overstating performance or 2. CalPers overstating performance of their underlying PE separate funds / separate managers.

        I am not saying big whoop. Just saying it is not uniquely a Trump practice.

  9. fresno dan

    But Hamilton’s tweet captures something that Drum’s chart doesn’t—the nature of radicalization on the right. Any fair reading of the right’s ideology would include the phrase “deeply confused.” After all, where does disproportionate resistance to vaccines come from? That wasn’t even on the right-wing radar before 2020, and to the extent that conservatives cared, they mainly saw it as a product of the crunchy, green weird left, not the populist right.
    The right’s cult is different. Hamilton calls it a cult of personality. That can imply “Trump,” but I think it’s deeper (and Hamilton notes that it’s deeper). It’s a cult of a certain type of personality, one that is relentlessly, personally, and often punitively aggressive. The aggression is mandatory. The ideology is malleable.

    Unfortunately, however, there is now evidence that parts of the right might “move on” from Trump by becoming more aggressive than Trump. Alex Jones (don’t laugh, he has a huge following) has threatened to turn on Trump for pushing the COVID vaccine. Candace Owens (again, another person with a huge following) has also sharply disagreed with Trump on vaccines, suggesting Trump is too old to follow the latest “independent research.”
    Can you imagine that in 3 years (i.e., 1 year into the term of the next president) we will look back with nostalgia on the Trump presidency as a time of a dispassionate, reasoned, calm presidency?

    1. Andrew

      Republicans have abandoned all illusions that they are motivated by anything other than their raw, hateful, authoritarian id. Trump was always more self-absorbed than driven by spite and malice and this meant he could (very) occasionally seem thoughtful (see: his reaction to hearing they shot Harambe, or the time he was apparently moved by footage of gassed children in Syria). The next superstar Republican politician will not possess anything like Trumpian narcissism or his occasional stopped-clock heterodoxy, because they will simply be an empty vessel filled with the wounded grievance and blood lust of the base.

      1. MK

        “an empty vessel filled with the wounded grievance and blood lust of the base” sounds like most democrats too! Biden just turned out to be senile.

      2. Left in Wisconsin

        And yet they seem poised to kick a$$ in 2022. Which doesn’t speak highly of our still rudimentary lizard brains.

      1. Wukchumni

        Trump was an abominable showman and yet I can’t see him being lionized or even bronzed, it was on his watch that our Chernobyl with a half life of who the hell knows happened.

        He was loathe to admit defeat to a lowly pathogen and called it a Democrat hoax, or the Chinese plague or what have you, this was a man who was never going to own up to making a mistake, no sireee bob.

        It laid bare how everything is now presently falling apart in our adjust-in-time economy.

  10. Mikel

    “The Billionaire Side Hustle That Neoliberalism Created” Common Dreams

    The writer missed the biggest ingredient to the hustle: bargain basement interest rates (like most will never see) on loans.
    Lots of leverage used in the big asset purchases.

    1. lance ringquist

      that pales in comparison to the untold trillions of dollars in lost wealth, production, technology and our standard of living from free trade.

    1. juanholio

      My first grade teacher might have asked the rest of the crowd, “If the fbi we’re jumping off a bridge, would you do it too?” before thwacking them with a slipper.

  11. BrianE

    On student loans, Biden doesn’t have an answer yet The Hill. A year into his presidency and he’s still dithering on this?

    More than anything this shows the utter feckless neoliberal brain worms infesting the administration and most or all of the party leadership.

    Just cancel the debt. People won’t forget that. But it won’t happen because they’re all creatures of wall street.

    For the record: I paid off my loans and utterly support complete cancellation of Federal loans for everyone. No means testing, no gate keeping. Just cancel it.

    1. Mk

      I think a major hangup is the private student loans can’t be ‘cancelled’. The optics of student A with $50,000 federal loans forgiven, and student B with $50,000 private student loans gets ZIP.

      That is the optics and Congress would have to bail out private lenders to get all student debtors on equal footing.

      1. Carla

        Thanks for this helpful comment. Makes sense, even though it may be giving Biden and the Dems too much credit. I still think there’s a way to cancel all student debt, there’s just no will to do so. After all, as Michael Hudson points out, we need a Debt Jubilee. Cancel all debt. Start over fresh. Hah! That’ll be the day.

        1. Grumpy Engineer

          Another hang-up is future loans. My niece will start college in September. Will the loans she takes out over the next four years be eligible for forgiveness? Tuition hasn’t gotten any more affordable since the student loan crisis came to a head.

          The subject of loan forgiveness is a lot more complex than most people realize. It’s not just a matter of helping people who borrowed by various means in the past. A proper policy would also protect future borrows, and nobody seems to be even talking about that.

      2. jefemt

        Gubmint could buy all the paper. If I recall correctly, buying bonds generally involves a discount suffered by the seller for cash-in-hand now. Might be inflationary, but what isn’t?

        Gubmint can do whatever it chooses, as long as Jaimie has a chance to organize his portfolios and front run it all.

        1. shoeless

          Simple question. Please don’t bite my head off.

          Doesn’t student loan forgiveness simply increase the income inequality in this country? The poorest of the poor don’t go to college, so we simply widen the chasm between rich and poor, no?

          1. Steve H.

            My understanding is that student loans have maximum income cutoffs. The chasm is not between rich and poor, but poor and poorer. Rich can’t get these loans.

            Thus rich can’t have that debt burden.

            1. Ben S

              EVERYONE qualifies for loans because, frankly, you have to be top 1 % to be able to drop 40k per annum (and rising) to send junior to state for med school. Poor people just get the worst rates for the least useful credit hours.

          2. megrim

            You still owe on loans even if you never graduate, and this describes many people, including many poor people. Forgiving student loans would relieve the burden on a large number of people who never even got a degree.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          The government already owns 92% of the $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loans and “many legal scholars say the Department [of Education] has the authority to wipe these burdens away with the stroke of a pen.”

          Private student loans, which often carry much higher interest, could be made dischargeable (again) in bankruptcy.

          The issues here would seem to be:

          –Biden’s vocal support for the 2005 bankruptcy bill in which he accused student borrowers of being deadbeats out to cheat his favorite “constituents”–predatory lenders of any and all stripes. HE was instrumental in creating this crisis. I suppose his about-face could be blamed on his dementia, but that might damage the perception of his “ability to lead.”

          “Biden was one of the most powerful people who could have said no, who could have changed this. Instead he used his leadership role to limit the ability of other Democrats who had concerns and who wanted the bill softened,” said Melissa Jacoby, a law professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill specialising in bankruptcy.

          –You can’t very well wipe out long-standing current student loan balances while allowing the predatory student loan programs to continue. What would be the thought there–we’ll just run the balances back up for the next generation of students and then “forgive” them again? Not to mention that without unrestricted student lending, the current funding scams of american “higher education” would totally collapse. How would these august institutions pay their myriad administrators who have been hired based on the blank check of essentially unlimited student borrowing?

          How about these suggestions:

          1. Conduct an immediate audit of every outstanding student loan account. Anyone who has paid back the full principle borrowed is immediately released from further obligation. This bullshit of increasing loan balances when the borrower is making payments due to interest, fees, interest on fees, forbearances blah blah blah is…well…bullshit.

          2. Student loan interest goes to 0 (or less.) Just like it is for jamie dimon and his banker buddies. According to Brihana Joy Gray’s podcast, larry summers, who knows the power of compounding interest, is rumored to have arranged interest-free educational loans for his own offspring.

          3. Stop making income based repayment and public service loan discharge programs so byzantine. Where you’re employed and how much you make is already known to the IRS. The government knows how much income tax you owe so they should be able to enroll a borrower in income based repayment by checking a box on your tax form.

          4. Going forward only tuition, books and lab fees will be covered by student lending. All institutions eligible for student loan funds MUST provide class access sufficient for an average full-time student to complete degree requirements IN 4 YEARS. No stretching it out to 5 years because core classes were “full,” and no carrying failing students over, semester after semester, because they can borrow the cash.

          5. If borrowing is to cover living expenses it’s bare bones. Concierge dorms are cash only. Use the social security schedules. If a senior citizen can live on cat food, so can an 18-year-old.

          6. Cut the goddamn student loan servicers loose. If they go bankrupt, good riddance. I’m sure they’ll find another scheme to fleece the public without missing a beat. Maybe the federal reserve can create a program to keep them in their mansions.

          Rant nowhere near over. Just takin’ a breather.

          1. Grumpy Engineer

            Oy, that number 6 is a killer. It’s one particular aspect of the Obama’s takeover of subsidized loans that has made me repeatedly bang my head into the table.

            So in 2010, Obama orders the federal government to directly issue federally-subsidized student loans, essentially taking over 90% of the student loan market. But did he have the loans serviced by the US Department of Education? [Which they absolutely should have done, given that servicing loans is a core function of a lending program and should have been kept in-house.]

            And as we all know, they did not. They instead contracted out the servicing of loans to private sector players such as Navient, who really didn’t care whether or not the students finished paying their debt. Indeed, the rules under which the contractors operated were so poorly written that they could make more money by mis-managing the loans and causing students to default.

            There were multiple levels of incompetence here.

      3. marym

        Not even the most idealistic proposals for widespread benefits will ever benefit everyone equally.

        According to this link 92.6% of student debt is federal ($1.59T), non-federal $137B. Biden should cancel what he can; say he’s in favor of Congress appropriating funds to pay off the rest, and to implement free public college and trade school tuition going forward; and tell people who think he should do more to contact their Senators.

        Do the same for medical debt – cancel the debt, and implement Medicare for All going forward.

        Almost everyone benefits, or will, or their kids will. Anyone not satisfied because living in a country that takes care of its kids’ education and everyone’s health isn’t enough for them personally should also contact their Senators. Maybe rent relief would benefit them, or better public transportation….

      4. enoughisenough

        Biden can do all fed loans himself. So he should do that NOW!!

        For the private loans, congress would have to pass legislation, and they can do that next, after the first thing becomes a huge huge win, and they have no arguments against it.

        First one, then the other.

        1. enoughisenough

          it’s about building on successes, which Dems seem to not want to do.

          After loan forgiveness comes free college. There’d be a huge momentum.

          All of this is for the greater good. And no, it doesn’t create more inequality. Plenty of poor people have loans that need forgiveness. You have homeless adjunct professors sleeping in their cars and turning tricks. No one can think that’s good for income inequality.

      5. BrianE

        From that bastion of liberal thinking the US Chamber of Commerce:

        Federal debt

        The federal government is the servicer for a vast majority of student loans. Most, however, are managed or guaranteed by a corporation.

        According to the Federal Reserve, total federal student loan debt amounts to $1.5 trillion Total federal student loan borrowers is 44.5 million

        Private student loan debt

        Private student debt is a relatively minute fraction of the total debt. Total private student debt amounts to $64.2 billion The number of borrowers is undisclosed, but private debt accounts for about 7% of all student debt.

        From here

        So it would wipe out 93 percent of the debt. I like those optics!

    2. Larry Carlson

      It feels like student loan cancellation merely spreads the problem more broadly rather than solving it. College is like a rent-to-own store, where you sell an inferior product to unsophisticated customers by obscuring the cost. I’d be more comfortable with a proposal to charge back any unpaid student loan balances to the originating institution after 10 years.

      Also, a blanket cancellation is a windfall for doctors and graduates of top law and business schools who can easily retire their debt in a timely fashion.

      1. enoughisenough

        Education should be free.
        Nurses have student debt, too.

        I don’t see the point of wanting to punish doctors, this argument makes no sense to me.

        We should have national health care, and if that means paying doctors less, that’s fine too. Doctors’ high wages as an excuse not to cancel debt? Sorry that’s nonsensical.

        Incurring debt for education is an immoral system. There is no “problem” to cancelling debt. It’s a boon, only positive results. Tax wealthier people at a higher rate, any specious argument about debt cancellation creating(?) inequality is gone! That’s something we should be doing anyway.

        I guess some people just don’t like progress, huh.

        1. Larry Carlson

          I’m very sympathetic to the argument that universities should provide a low cost (or no cost) undergraduate education in a useful subject, since this seems to be required for many entry-level jobs these days. Universities have used easy student loan availability to paper over their real problems: bloated administrative functions, reliance on adjunct faculty, and flawed degree programs that are unlikely to provide their graduates with the career that has been promised. I have a great deal of sympathy for an 18-year old who agreed to take on vast amounts of non-dischargable debt for a useless degree in a transaction they didn’t fully understand. I have less sympathy for a doctor who took on debt (after completing an undergraduate education) to obtain a medical degree that gives him an income that will allow for repayment of that debt.

          I would like to see progress, but suspect that real progress will involve looking at how universities operate and making some difficult decisions about what universities are intended to accomplish. There seems to be a lot of time and money wasted as students acquire degrees that often fail to efficiently prepare them for their desired careers. Forgiving student loans won’t eliminate this waste, it just changes who pays for it.

          1. enoughisenough

            Honestly, there is a very strong argument to be made for removing this cost barrier and risk to medical school. It would go like this:

            There is a serious systemic discrimination problem in medicine, towards people of color, and the poor in general. How many people who come from poverty end up going into medicine?

            How much better would all be served if anyone who went through the training could become a doctor without this crushing horror of student debt?

            What purpose does this debt system serve, other than keep people down, and keep our institutions inequal?

            Why in the world would anyone mind someone going through medical school to not have debt?

            I don’t see the logic of that. It only reinforces inquality.

            Forgiving loans should be universal, full stop.

          2. Ben S

            You don’t get the debt to income ratio. You picture gold spilling out of doctors’ pockets, but in reality the debt is so daunting med graduates are forced into picking specialties and jobs not based on interest, aptitude, nor preference, but rather on remuneration.

            I work in academic psychiatry, and we can’t pay what our graduates need to pay off the loans. Just lucked into a guy who was med school scholarship recipient. Only reason he didn’t balk at the modest salary offer.

            Have you not noticed that primary care is being transferred to nurse practitioners? Or paying the concierge doctor fees? It’s not greed when the numbers don’t work.

            Our ob GYN residency training director is in her early 50s and still owes almost half of her med school loans.

            Might be a means of keeping the AMA against free medical care, but that makes it even more important to forgive the debt.

            1. Even keel

              I paid for my own degree. It cost $150,000 (incl room and board). I got that money fighting in a war. It took three years to get it.

              Because I took the three years, I graduated into a recession instead of a boom. Read: my starting job income was likely 20-30k less, which means massive cumulative earning reduction.

              I commiserate with fools who borrowed so much. I understand how debt forgiveness helps society as a whole.

              But I can’t stand the thought of them getting so much free money (read: time) and me getting bubkis.

      2. Anonymous

        I’ve worked as both a university administrator and a professor. I’m old enough to be able to compare the quality of higher education “before and after” the implementation of widespread reliance on student loans. Loans didn’t arise in a vacuum. They were introduced in tandem with the idea that higher education is a mere product, contradicting the previous idea of education-for-its-own-sake.

        It was obvious to any sensible person from the beginning that loans were a terrible idea. This was true even before the changes in the bankruptcy laws prevented student loans from being discharged. Rather than admit these shortcomings, government began to pressure universities to show proof to prospective students that their “educational product” produced a measurable return on investment (e.g., led to gainful employment). In other words, the blame for the unworkable system was placed on universities. This placed pressure on universities to track post-graduation employment statistics and to hire career counselors, etc. and to shift their emphasis away from actual education and toward preparation for employment. If higher education increasingly has an inferior product, it is because a public good was wrongly changed into a product by misguided government policies.

  12. Wukchumni

    Sports Desk:

    Now that the rule of the Brady hand gun has lapsed and Tom eases into life as a quadragenerian, the mantle passed this weekend in perhaps the best duel of equally matched QB’s at the top of their game in Allen & Mahomes.

    I went from ecstasy to crestfallen and back to ecstasy only to the point where i’ve fallen and can’t get up in the space of a few minutes at the end of regulation play, a couple of gunslingers firing bullets in matching 30 second closing statements before the jury, upping the ante in a contest for the ages and somebody had to lose and i’d thought I could do away with my moniker of being a Long Suffering Bills Fan as has been my constant since well before the turn of the century, that is until Josh Allen showed up and wowed me and I had to lose the modifier, after all those stiff QB’s i’d endured and tried to forget, they finally had their guy.

    Can’t wait until next season…

    1. griffen

      I do not believe what I just witnessed. Not a particular devotion to either of these teams, but with under 3 minutes to go it really appeared the Chiefs had it won. Then hold on, no the Bills; nope it’s the Chiefs…now it really will be a Bills win. 13 flipping seconds. The one Bills receiver had an all time historic type of day. But the offensive firepower of the Chiefs, goodness; if the speed of Hill doesn’t harm you the sheer ability and size of Kelce will do damage.

      Allen is a real keeper. Hope they navigate any cap issues to keep him upright and slinging darts.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        Not just Bills Chiefs. All four conference semi-final playoff games this weekend were down to the wire. But KC/Buff was in a class by itself.

        1. griffen

          Indeed, it was a rare weekend for all the games. SF vanquished the great one, the anointed Rodgers, without scoring an offensive touchdown. Rodgers is now 0-fer against them for his playoff record.

          Rams can not play that sloppy again. Yet they needed a final second FG to win.

          1. neo-realist

            It was almost as if the Rams were paid to throw the game, or at least keep the spread close with all those turnovers.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Equally matched? Have you ever seen Mahomes play? He’s like Favre but not a moron. He might even be smart, but being a non idiot version for Favre makes Patrick the best qb.

      1. Wukchumni

        Allen’s performance last week was that of pitching a perfect game and this week wasn’t too shabby either.

        Both have out of this world abilities and the hope is that we see many more matchups with Mahomes…

        I was a barely minted teenager when Ali & Frazier got it on, this has the same feel in ability and never quit ethos.

        Josh was hesitant to take off his helmet never getting a chance to rally the troops again, once the Chiefs scored in overtime. He’s a gamer.

    3. curlydan

      Sorry, Wuk. I was watching at home in the KC area and told my son even when the Bills were in their last “sure to win” positions that this was the best playoff game in the history of the NFL…and that was before the last two scores.

      After a boring wildcard weekend last week, what a glorious set of football games followed!

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Back in the day, Marv Levy, who once worked for the Chiefs, had Marty Schottenheimer’s number. Even Montana and another Allen named Marcus couldn’t get the Chiefs past the Bills in those days.

        Now the Chiefs are trying to join the Bills, Patriots and the Shula/Csonka Dolphins to go to at least three straight SBs. If you’ve been a Chiefs fan for a while (’63 for me), and watched all those heartbreaking playoff losses, many of them at home, the arrival of Mahomes has thrust us into a different universe.

    4. dougie

      In other sports news more meaningful to my life, Mitakeumi defeated the heavily favored Terunofuji in the penultimate match in Grand Sumo. Don’t laugh. Covid boredom had me checking out this sport about 18 months ago. I find the entire culture behind it fascinating. The cycle of 2 week tournaments, with one match a day for 15 days, followed by 6 weeks to train and recuperate keep interest in the sport constant, without burning you out with overexposure.

      The fact that I can watch the day’s matches, commercial free, in a 30 minute highlight show on NHK network is just gravy. I simply don’t have the patience to watch an NFL game any longer.

      Next tournament? March 13-27. Watch, and thank me later.

    5. Chas

      I did something this weekend I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I watched two of the playoff games with the sound turned off and was amazed at how much better the viewing experience was. I observed much more just by watching, without audio. It turns out the talking heads spewing their nonsense help very little with following the game. Without the talk, I found myself observing more of the periphery of the picture. I saw aspects of the game I hadn’t noticed before. It was almost more like being at the stadium than on my couch. Unexpectedly, I actually watched the ads. Like the broadcast of the game, the ads were more fun to watch without the audio.

    6. PuntaPete

      An exciting game for sure but the outcome was marred because of the NFL’s stupid overtime rules. A flip of a coin gave Mahones the opportunity to attack the Bills’ exhausted defense. (In reply to a question, color commentator and presumed expert, Tony Romo, judged that both defenses were “gassed”.). The Bills’ offense and Josh Allen never got a chance to respond and attack KC’s exhausted defense. In this respect the college football overtime rules are far superior to the NFL’s.

  13. Mikel

    “It’s too soon to stop investigating the possibility of mass attack by undetectable brain-eating mystery lasers.”

    So they think this kind of thing exists and on the other hand don’t have many questions about “metaverse” strap-ons?

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Forgotten heroes now being remembered, says PM Modi as he unveils Netaji’s hologram at India Gate”

    A hologram of Subhas Chandra Bose? And to be replaced by a granite statue? India needs better heroes and there are plenty to choose from but this sounds like one of Modi’s bright ideas. But Bose? He sided with Adolf and when that did not work out, sided with Tojo. If he had not gone out in a blaze of glory, he would have gone to join Stalin next-

    1. IMOR

      I’m pretty sure your point about Bose is precisely why Modi and his movement selected Bose for this treatment. It’s of a piece with the rest of his program.

    2. NotThePilot

      I agree with the other related article in the Wire about this being one more instance of “tech” (and indirectly the Modi government) being wildly out-of-touch.

      I’m also very negative about the BJP government, but I’d actually take the other side on Netaji a bit. It’s very similar to the US Civil Rights movement, where you have the popular telling centered on MLK, but the truth is probably that the system only finally dealt with King because of pressure from the USSR, Malcolm X, etc.

      Apparently if you go looking for it, there are claims that even Attlee was on record that Bose (or at least pro-INA sentiment) was actually what forced the British out:

      I’ve been a bit of an Indophile for a long time, and it’s definitely eye-opening to consider the non-aligned world’s take on WWII. I don’t think the English-speaking world has really come to terms with the idea that a whole lot of people don’t necessarily see the Allies as good guys just because the Nazis & Japanese were terrible.

      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        Nor does what you’re calling the English-speaking world grasp the loathing of Churchill by many Indians, in part for his actions during the Bengal famine. See Shashi Tharoor for starters.

        For those who don’t know it, I recommend Amitav Ghosh’s novel, The Glass Palace, for his treatment of the INA; a subject IIRC Paul Scott addressed in one of the volumes of The Raj Quartet.

        And note, the Calcutta (Kolkata) airport is called Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport.

  15. Wukchumni

    Why Buster Keaton is today’s most influential actor BBC

    A mime is a horrible thing to waste in silent films and most of them are hard to watch nowadays, but not Buster Keaton who traded the tyranny of not being heard into being the first stand up actor in a physical comedy vein. His stunts and sleight of hand of camera are for all the ages. One of a kind.

    One thing i’ve noticed about us in the internet age is we don’t do a lot of physical things like we used to such as dancing or skipping while walking or whistling or what have you…

    1. Carlita

      The BBC overlooked the most striking and popular example of stoic facial expressions, micro expressions and physicality in today’s media–Tucker Carlson.

      His face while interviewing people is noteworthy in the stoic disbelief shown, and within that, an almost imperceptible eyebrow raise or lip curl, can demolish the credibility of interviewees. Then, in startling contrast, his physical reactions, laughing or accentuating a quote from some hapless bureaucrat, banker or warmonger as he demolishes their thesis.

      His nightly shows are quickly re-posted on youtube, so no subscription required. Copyrighted video material is covered by a dumb photo of Trump, but the edges of the video frame and some of the action are visible.

      It is the most viewed cable news program in the United States.
      Tucker Carlson Tonight brought in 4,249,000 total viewers, 744,000 in the 25 to 54 demographic, and 500,000 in the 18-49 demographic.

      Many will just read the reviews, and thus know all about it. Are they in for a surprise in about 290 days.

      1. Wukchumni

        Tucker Carlson Tonight brought in 4,249,000 total viewers, 744,000 in the 25 to 54 demographic, and 500,000 in the 18-49 demographic.

        Wasn’t that the target audience once upon a time?

        I mentioned last week of a 21 year old ‘twitch streamer’ from tiny town here-named Adin Ross, who has 3.2 million subscribers, and that’s almost exactly the difference in viewers of Tucker’s tucker, age 55 over/under.

    2. Mantid

      Big Buster Keaton fan here. One of the tops that wasn’t mentioned in the article is The Cook with Fatty Arbuckle. You’ll split you side. And of course Cops – the best Keystone Cops type film of all time. I could go on and on.

  16. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, J-LS.

    Further to the Ames link, Craig Murray has an interesting post about Cadwalladr. The pair should do similar on the equally odious Catherine Belton.

    If one was not better informed, one may think Cadwalladr and Belton are in the pay of the Tufton Street gang, including their donors like the Koch, Mercer and Murdoch families.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      I agree with you re the Murray Link. I linked to it above in the New Cold War category.

  17. Mikel

    “Europe Eases Pandemic Curbs on Omicron’s Waning Scare Factor “Bloomberg

    Note the ignorant focus on some kind of media metric called “scare factor.”

    Meanwhile, variants with the franken-spike proteins like Omicron are just beginning to brew.

    1. RNancyUSF

      The pennies per dose, Nobel Prize Winning Drug that Dare Not Be Named blocks all spike proteins, no matter what the variant. MSM has to allow the smart money to get out of Pharma stocks before that can be revealed and Happy Days Are Here Again pre mid terms.

      From massive footnotes page 105, The Real Anthony Fauci

  18. Wukchumni

    The U-2 spy plane: white knuckles from the get-go Asia Times
    What an unwieldy beast it was, I had no idea of the quite specific tolerances and braces needed to hold it upright once stationary, yikes.

    Gary Francis Powers U-2 getting shot down was really the start of the white heat of the Cold War, cresting in the Cuban Missile Crisis where another U-2 was shot down.

    Kind of like bookends…

  19. Alex Morfesis

    Florida demanumission plan gains support from King DeSantis…there fixed it 4 ya…
    and never forget Donnie Brasco
    (relevant 2 K of Florida…no 1 is asking if….)

  20. Wukchumni

    One day in the life of Ivan Isolationist…

    We’ll hopefully live albeit with long term consequences such as lumbago, restless elbow syndrome, or the heartbreak of psoriasis among other potential ills. Ok, Omicron isn’t funny business, but for just 63 Cents a day on a yearly basis, don’t you think you ‘Owe an Omicron’ a chance at the life they once knew last month? Please donate.

    Operators are standing by…

  21. Wukchumni

    In an interview with Team USA Snowboarder Billy Putty, the man who would walk the plank hopes to time getting Omicron with the incubation period being over by wings up to Beijing, bay-bee. He has been training by having Panda Express delivered, sometimes with egg rolls and mixing up entrees, in food training for the games, if you’d like.

  22. Wukchumni

    We in the Palinstinian Movement are horrified to learn of her doyen-ness contracting Covid real convenient like as her trial against the gray lady was about to get going, you betcha.

    The feeling here is it was a columnist plot…

  23. R

    The Alzheimer article is interesting but you’d need to follow neuroscience politics to understand that it is also wrong and weird, in equal measures.

    The articles states that plaques are not enough to diagnose AD – and the author is correct but this is a deliberate straw man because the NINCDS-ARDRA criteria for CONFIRMED diagnosis require the neuropathology results to show the presence amyloid plaques and tau tangles. There may have been a period when the diagnostic criteria were initially being argued about when there was no clear criterion and possilbly a period when plaques alone were discussed but the diagnostic criteria for AD are plaques AND tangles and have been since 2005 when I got involved as CEO of an AD biomarker and diagnostic company. If you only have plaques, it is not AD. If you only have tangles, it is not AD (probably some funkier neurodegenerative disease like Pick’s disease).

    So presenting the early history of the consensus diagnostic criteria while the consensus was evolving as if it was the final and current word is… weird. What is weirder is that Karl Herrup is (i) a rare public enemy of the amyloid hypothesis, which has dominated and strangled AD research for decades, with Dennis Selkoe pulling on the ends of the rope and (ii) even rarer, a proponent at times of the cell-cycle hypothesis of AD, which posits that an upstream dysregulation of the cell cycle is responsible for both plaques and tangles (which was the hypothesis underlying our scientific founder’s work and in which she had made major discoveries at Oxford).

    I can only imagine that, for the sake of his popular science book, he felt he had to build up amyloid as the one true enemy in order to destroy it. Anything more nuanced might lead to confusion (or worse, understanding!). But, watching from the ringside, he is boxing with a made up enemy.

    And he never talks about the tangles! Which are really interesting and for a long time have been the principal “heresy” in AD research. At least tangles when present usually correlate with disease, whereas elderly patients can have brains full of amyloid plaque and no signs or symptoms of cognitive impairment or massive impairment and no plaque.

    Unfortunately, the cell-cycle, in demoting both plaques and tangles to consequences rather than causes, managed to unite both camps against it!

    1. Ben S


      Also Kraepelin showcased Alzheimer’s as a rare pre-senile dementia, so I don’t get the downplaying of the 70s autopsy findings of widespread prevalence. I agree amyloid isn’t an ‘uncaused cause’ but implying reverse causation is an equal and opposite error regarding a known association.

  24. Maritimer

    Prior item: Covid: “The Narrative Is Crumbling”
    There are now a number of Covid Critically Thinking songs out. One is: Sad Little Man (guess who?)
    Then there is some satire. The best yet is Covid Hoss Race:
    Covid Sweepstakes
    Love the accent of the Hoss Caller. I liked Corruption in this race but he was scratched.

    I expect we will see a lot more of the above as The Narrative Crumbles.

  25. The Rev Kev

    “Napoleon’s gravity-defying 325km road’

    Of course Napoleon’s return to power was not all plain sailing, especially when the French King sent an army to stop and capture him- (6:13 mins)

    But I can understand the appeal of following old routes. I was once a coupla days exploring the battlefield of Waterloo (radically change afterwards) but especially the roads that led to that battlefield where the British and their Allies fought major rearguard actions. You could see what they saw back then and made the experience more vivid.

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