Links 1/25/2022

Dr Fish Feelings (podcast) Conversations, Australian Broadcasting Company

James Webb Space Telescope arrives at new home in space

A Bug in Early Creative Commons Licenses Has Enabled a New Breed of Superpredator Cory Doctorow

The Simpsons, Which Predicted Everything, Had One Episode About Actually Predicting Cracked


What Japan Got Right About Covid-19 Hitoshi Oshitani, NYT (MR). “Japan’s unique way of contact tracing also gave us more clues into how the virus spread. While other countries focused on prospective contact tracing, in which contact tracers identify and notify infected people’s contacts after they are infected, we used retrospective contact tracing. This is an approach where tracers identify an infected person and look back to figure out when and where that person was infected and who else might have been infected simultaneously with them. This approach turned out to be critical as we learned that the coronavirus was being spread predominantly by small numbers of infected individuals who then go on to seed super-spreading events.” This is how a serious country goes about fighiting a pandemic. In the United States, by contrast, official discourse doesn’t even include a theory of transmission, let alone the concept of superspreaders.

Op-ed: Two years into Covid and we’re still not getting the message: It’s airborne! Crain’s New York Business (MR).

Corsi-Rosenthal (CR) box success stories for home quarantine:

(Not sure when the nomenclature change from “Corsi Box” to “Corsi-Rosenthal Box” took place, but since everybody’s using it….)

Evidence for a semisolid phase state of aerosols and droplets relevant to the airborne and surface survival of pathogens PNAS (MR). From the Abstract: “Here, we present evidence for a humidity-dependent, semisolid state of aerosols and droplets relevant to pathogen survival. These observations indicate that a semisolid state may protect pathogens from inactivation by hindering disinfection reactions at intermediate-to-low humidity levels. The formation of the semisolid state was dependent on the composition of the aerosols, which suggests that the humidity for optimum pathogen destruction will depend on the composition of respiratory particles released from an infected host.” From a long thread of commentary:

* * *

COVID-19: endemic doesn’t mean harmless Nature

‘I’m done with COVID’ is easier said than done Globe and Mail. “‘I’m done with COVID’ is the equivalent of offering ‘thoughts and prayers’ after a mass shooting.” Two bromides I hate in one single sentence, good job.

The Fallacy of “Mild” Omicron David Glassman. A round-up.

* * *

Ivermectin: a multifaceted drug of Nobel prize-honoured distinction with indicated efficacy against a new global scourge, COVID-19 New Microbes and New Infections (Elsevier; peer-reviewed). From September 2021, still germane. Another metastudy. From the Abstract: “Since March 2020, when IVM was first used against a new global scourge, COVID-19, more than 20 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have tracked such inpatient and outpatient treatments. Six of seven meta-analyses of IVM treatment RCTs reporting in 2021 found notable reductions in COVID-19 fatalities, with a mean 31% relative risk of mortality vs. controls. During mass IVM treatments in Peru, excess deaths fell by a mean of 74% over 30 days in its ten states with the most extensive treatments. Reductions in deaths correlated with the extent of IVM distributions in all 25 states with p < 0.002. Sharp reductions in morbidity using IVM were also observed in two animal models, of SARS-CoV-2 and a related betacoronavirus. The indicated biological mechanism of IVM, competitive binding with SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, is likely non-epitope specific, possibly yielding full efficacy against emerging viral mutant strains." These are strong claims. What is, however, undeniable is the at best benign neglect of treatment options under both Biden and the former guy; for whatever reason. "trust the science" has never translated into "trust all science.”

* * *

UF Health study suggests association between COVID-19 and erectile dysfunction (press release) University of Florida. n = 146. Makes sense, given Covid’s vascular aspect.

CDC shifts COVID-19 messaging focus from ‘fully vaccinated’ to ‘up to date’ Beckers Hospital Review. This, too, could have been done a year ago, since the idea that the vaccines would be sterilizing was always wishful thinking. “There’s never time to do it right, but there’s always time to do it over.”

FDA Curbs Use of COVID-19 Antibody Drugs Sidelined by Omicron NECN

How another civilized country handles Covid home care kits:

Conservative on medication, but note the thermometer and, more importantly, the oximeter.


China tests 2M in Beijing, lifts COVID lockdown in Xi’an AP

‘China will be China’: Why journalists are taking burner phones to the Beijing Olympics WaPo. Why would they not be using burner phones at all times?

The hunt for Beijing’s wild cats Straits Times


China Tells Myanmar’s Civilian Govt to Spare Projects From Attack The Irrawaddy

2 big energy firms exit Myanmar over human rights abuses by the military government AP

Myanmar’s military junta seeks ban on VPNs and digital currency The Register

Relations of extraction, relations of redistribution: Empire, nation, and the construction of the British welfare state British Journal of Sociology. Well worth a read.


What the spider tales of Indians in the Caribbean reveal about our fragility and powers of endurance

23 Australians on ship delivering aid to Tonga have virus AP. Scotty, Gladys, good job. More on Tonga:

COVID will dominate, but New Zealand will also have to face the ‘triple planetary crisis’ this year The Conversation

The Koreas



Having his cake and eating it! ‘Upset’ Cabinet minister refuses to ‘defend’ Boris’s June 2020 birthday ‘party’ in No10 and admits being ‘asked questions I can’t answer’ – with warnings PM could face POLICE probe Daily Mail

IAB Europe can’t audit what 1000+ companies that use its TCF system do with our personal data Irish Council for Civil Liberties. IAB Europe = Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe.


Differences Splinter U.S. Team Negotiating With Iran on Nuclear Deal WSJ. “Some members of the U.S. team have left or stepped back after urging a tougher approach in talks on Iran’s nuclear program.” That’s a damn shame. But maybe they can pivot to fomenting war in Ukraine.

New Cold War

What If Moscow Cancels Airline Overflight Rights? Defense One

The hidden origin of the escalating Ukraine-Russia conflict Canadian Dimension

The Role of Emotions in Military Strategy Texas National Security Revew

How cognitive empathy could have prevented the Ukraine crisis Nonzero. Simple solution:

Biden Administration

Biden rushes to pressure Russia as Ukraine fears intensify The Hill. “Now kids, don’t get excited!” “Who’s excited?” –Firesign Theatre

Biden Vows That If Russia Invades Ukraine, U.S. Will Invade One Country Of Equivalent Value The Onion

Court will hear challenges to affirmative action at Harvard and University of North Carolina SCOTUSblog

The Blob

Havana (Syndrome) Affair Discontents. Deathless quote from an anonymous Hill staffer: “Why would we question the sanity of people who are highly trained to handle some of the government’s most sensitive information and negotiations?” Why, indeed!

Spooks and the haunting of Russian Area Studies Post-Socialism

Why Washington Can’t Learn Andrew Bacevich and Tom Engelhardt, Because learning is a career-ending move.


Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day Oh God It Never Ends Craig Murray

Class Warfare

How much of our labor force has been lost to COVID-19? Marketplace. Incapacitating the labor force raised the price of labor power. Who knew?

Union-Busting Tracker Labor Lab (DCblogger). Handy interactive map:

Sadly, Payday Report’s strike tracker is not embeddable. It should be; I bet there are plenty of sites that would like to pair these two maps. (With both there are difficulties about what counts as a strike or as union busting; these are intrinsic to conflicts within the field, and not careless methodology.)

BNSF files federal lawsuit to block unions from striking NBC

“Multitasking Isn’t Progress—It’s What Wild Animals Do for Survival” The Honest Broker

Dreams and kindness are all we have Interfluidity

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Social Disease

    Japan and covid-19: this is also their approach to the fight with drugs. You find the person that spread the disease and take them out of social circulation

    1. Randy

      Their drug approach also comes with heavy criminal penalties for users along with extreme social shaming. A Japanese celebrity would rather the public find out they were cheating on their spouse than find out they had an ounce of marijuana.

      1. stoner mcgee

        To be fair, an ounce of marijuana is quite a bit of marijuana. I wouldn’t want to be caught with an O either!

        1. Wukchumni

          I always thought ‘Troy Avoirdupois’ would be the coolest nom de nug for a dealer in weights and measures.

        2. lordkoos

          I believe Paul McCartney is still banned from setting foot in Japan after being caught with some weed in his suitcase decades ago.

        3. Art_DogCT

          Under the recent legalization of adult recreational cannabis I can have 1.5 oz in my possession. Seven months on and I’m finding it takes a while to get past the habits of 40+ years of illegal use. For anyone’s interest:

          “Senate Bill 1201 legalizes cannabis use for adults over the age of 21 years, limited to no more than 1.54 ounces of cannabis on their person, and no more than 5 ounces in their homes or locked in their car, truck or glove box. Further, all adults age 21 and over will be permitted to grow six cannabis plants indoors within their homes beginning July 1, 2023.”

          From the National Law Review.

    2. MonkeyBusiness

      Don’t look now, but Japan is now reporting Covid cases in the tens of thousands every day.

      1. Glossolalia

        It’s almost as though you can’t stop a highly transmissible airborne virus no matter what you do…

        1. Basil Pesto

          Not with that attitude ?

          (Japan isn’t and hasn’t been trying to stop it. They are trying to mitigate its effects on society.)

      2. FluffytheObeseCat

        “ Japan is now reporting Covid cases in the tens of thousands every day…”

        Yes. The current daily infection rate in Japan, a nation of 130 million, is now on par with that of the greater LA area*, a region of 15 million. Based on these data it’s clear you are vigorous advocating for masks, vaccines, and careful adherence to social distancing protocols.

        At least it’s clear to everyone that, unlike Barbie(tm), doesn’t find math to be ‘hard’.

        *(around 33,000 per day in LA County alone)

        1. Yves Smith

          And Japan is probably doing a better job of tracking cases than the US. On the corporate side, they were relentless about getting and publicizing information that US companies liked to treat as private, such as sales by product by producer (down to levels like one burner plug in hot plates versus two burner ones).

        2. MonkeyBusiness

          Honestly I don’t follow your rambling. I was simply reporting case numbers. The current wave is much worse (infection numbers wise) than the previous wave according to

          The Japanese are very good at wearing masks and 80% of Japanese people are vaccinated. Social distancing however isn’t very practical especially in the big cities. People are still packed like sardines on the subway according to my Japanese teacher who actually lives in Japan. Young people also like going to bars after work, etc.

          1. Yves Smith

            She’s not rambling. She did some value added analysis and presented it clearly. This is an example of why the NC commentariat shines.

            You have the nerve to piss on that because your feelers are hurt for being called out for pushing a misleading factoid?

            Oh and as for subways, in France and Japan, during the wild type (as in first wave, pre vaccines), no cases were traced to subways. Japanese don’t chat on subways and presumably are all masked up.

            One more unwarranted attack like that and you will be banned. I’m putting you in moderation for now.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > Honestly I don’t follow your rambling.

            Honestly, never start a sentence with “honestly.;” Same principle as “Never eat at a place called Mom’s.” Amply justified in this case, I might add.

            1. Raymond Sim

              Honestly, never start a sentence with “honestly.;”

              In all honesty, I cannot seem to break myself of the habit, even though, thanks to you, I’ve learned to see it as a red flag when others do it.

              I honestly wonder what this says about me.

  2. Samuel Conner

    In a world of ‘replication crisis’ (science results replication as well as unchecked viral replication), I think that it’s, in effect,

    ‘trust the money, and find science cover for what you’re already determined to do.’

    1. JTMcPhee

      Kind of like “shaping the intelligence to fit the policy already decided on.” Worked in Vietnam and Iraq. Stick with a working (for some definition) system!

  3. bwilli123

    Re Supreme Court will hear challenges to affirmative action at Harvard and University of North Carolina.

    …”How Harvard secretly uses personality ratings and “holistic admissions” to racially discriminate against Asian-American students and why if race-based admissions is eliminated by SCOTUS, legacy admissions would fall next because they won’t be able to defend their admission system.”

    Video excerpt.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Translation – Racial discrimination is OK when we do it because we only do it in a good cause. /sarc

      1. Pelham

        Actually a very good question.

        My solution to this mess: A lottery in which every student picks his top 20 universities based on his own assessment of his abilities for a one-time-only free ride at the highest-ranking school that draws his name. But there would be no pressure on professors to give out high grades. If the student picks a school that’s too demanding and flunks or drops out, he then gets no chance at another free ride. The SAT and ACT would still be around, but test results would be privy to the test takers, giving them a better idea of their potential college performance. The various departments at colleges and universities would be assigned a numeric ranking of difficulty so students could get a clearer idea of where they might fit best.

        I also wonder whether grading should be modified to be more of a pass-fail system. In the hard sciences, especially. It could be that a student with a solid B average is just the kind of creative type needed, partly due a humbling self-knowledge that opens up his thinking and helps him avoid the blinkered, cocksure attitude of some A-plus perfectionists.

    2. Larry Carlson

      The pandemic would seem to have made these lawsuits largely irrelevant, as many universities have moved to test-optional admissions. By deliberately using less information about applicants (and focusing on qualitative items like essays), admissions officers can more easily “put their thumbs on the scale” to favor rich kids that can pay their way or kids from the correct ethnic groups, without leaving the statistical evidence of discrimination that fueled these lawsuits.

  4. Jason Boxman

    Concern trolling in support of mass f*king murder, brought to you by the NY Times: China’s Zero-Covid Policy Is a Pandemic Waiting to Happen

    The hapless conclusion:

    Other countries can provide a road map that China can put into action. Denmark, Germany and some other European countries, as well as Australia, have achieved strong immunity without suffering the U.S. death rate. They used effective vaccines, made smarter decisions about when and where to impose lockdowns and protected the most vulnerable — older people and those with compromised immune systems. Community spread resulted, but it would have been inevitable, even with longer or more severe lockdowns, and it allowed those countries to build up immunity.

    China’s elaborate containment efforts planned for the Olympics may prevent a Covid outbreak — and we certainly hope that is the case. But a zero-Covid policy is a losing long-term strategy.

    (emphasis mine; italics for concern trolling)

    But immunity is temporary, so what does this literally have to do with the price of tea in China? Given their earlier reasoning in the piece, a zero-COVID policy is without a doubt the optimal policy response.

    “And some other European countries”? Such a policy success here, the authors do not dare name these countries. Australia hardly counts; They’ve just begun “let it ride”. And oddly no mention of Japan.

    But a zero-Covid policy means the Chinese will always be chasing an ever moving target. And they will never win. Inevitably this will have serious economic impacts for China — and for all of us, given the country’s position in the world economy.

    (emphasis mine; italics for concern trolling)

    Quite the concern trolling. And no mention of long-COVID.

    By Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Michael T. Osterholm

    Dr. Emanuel is a physician, vice provost for global initiatives and a professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Osterholm is an epidemiologist and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

    (bold mine; who failed ethics?)

  5. The Rev Kev

    “‘China will be China’: Why journalists are taking burner phones to the Beijing Olympics”

    ‘Why would they not be using burner phones at all times?’

    A valid question that. Why wouldn’t they, especially how it came out that previous administrations used their spying powers on journalists to find leakers & whistle-blowers for punishment (looking at you, Obama). In fact, if you wanted to share information with a journalist and he had a mobile on him that was not a burner, you would just walk away. Come to think of it, if they had a mobile on them at all, you would just walk. But reading between the lines, you can see the paranoia among those reporters and something similar happened in Russia with reporters during the first cold war. One time in a Moscow hotel, some American journalist found a hidden cable that they convinced themselves was leading to a mike to record their conversations so they cut the cable to keep their conversations safe. In the room immediately below theirs, the chandelier crashed down to the floor. So these modern journalists are going to throw away their new cellphones and laptops after the games but I would guess that they would be doing so in their kid’s directions as why not? They are probably not paying for them after all. In any case, US customs is probably going to want to ‘inspect’ them closely as they return so yeah, they had better be careful what they have on there.

    1. Wukchumni

      Get Smart! (phone)

      After negotiating a series of opening and then closing doors upon entry to the middle kingdom and posing as a reporter for Sports Illustrated Man investigating visible tats and occasionally hidden ones on the Olympic competitors, Agent 86 was thrown out by the authorities by making fun of orange chicken combined with a barrage of criticism against fried rice-the latter considered so blasphemous, he was given a first class seat on the next available flight out.

      To claim the act was subterfuge in allowing the USA snowboarder team to sneak in high content dank in the guise of fancy pre-rolled cigs that looked an awful lot like Winstons, goes without saying.

        1. Wukchumni

          Thanks for the kind words, i’m really a mischievous 12 year old trapped in the chassis of an aspiring codger, with a few rips on the headliner and assorted dents on the body, nothing serious enough to get fixed.

          1. Art_DogCT

            I am very proud to include among my honors and titles, The Lord Curmudgeon. Thus, I affirm and encourage your aspirations. May I suggest you cut to the chase and simply be a codger going forward? Time is short, and death is closer every day.

            In the Far Ago and Long Away, a couple years before turning 30, I adopted a slogan for the coming period, Headlong Into Dotage! I have never regretted this prescient orientation to my line of march. While other slogans have come and gone with this or that 5-year plan or resolution of my inner Central Committee, HID remains an ever fresh and relevant inspiration.

            Speaking of the codger chassis, I saw a new doctor the other day. After going through all the initial intake stuff, he asked how I was doing, how I was feeling. I replied that apart from the anemia that brought me to see him, “just the usual old fart complaints”. He says, “Why, you’re not old.” (I’m in the 68th year of my age) I explained, “But Doctor, you know it’s the mileage that matters, not the model year.” He’d never heard that analogy before, and seemed genuinely amused.

            1. Wukchumni

              ’61 Rambler Classic here with 2 on the floor-4 on the bed, automatic transmission, and iffy headlamps. The speedometer broke sometime in the 60’s and was never fixed, leaving me in that era which is super groovy by me, true mileage unknown.

  6. Roger Blakely

    – Fareed Zakaria on South Korea’s anti-feminist movement

    Thank you, Lambert for keeping an eye on men’s issues.

    The PMC is being forced to face the effects of gynocentrism. Want to see a graph illustrating female hypergamy? Look at the graph posted by T.K. of AAK! showing that for men in their 30s men in the top 10% of income earners are married at a rate of 86.3%, while men in the bottom 10% of income earners are married at a rate of 20.3%. Even men in the top 70% of income earners are only married at a level of 62.4%. What does that tell you? It tells you that women are only interested in the top 20% of income earners. The great majority of men will have a hard time finding a wife.

    This movie is coming to a theater near you. It’s not about South Korea. It’s about female nature.There is no such thing as romantic love. It’s all about the money.

    Do men feel victimized by this gynocentric society? Of course we do. Let me give you an example. Last weekend I went to Vroman’s Books to spend my Christmas money. Vroman’s Books is the most important independent bookstore in Southern California. I wanted to buy some books about men’s issues. The employee took me over to the gender studies section. There were probably three hundred titles covering feminism and LGBT issues. She pointed out the men’s section at the bottom. There were only six books including one entitled How Entitled Men Hurt Women. I bought the gender studies text book entitled Fantasy, Online Misogyny, and the Manosphere so that I could read about myself.

    1. Samuel Conner

      > It’s all about the money.

      Arguably, from an evolutionary perspective, it might be about “provision for the offspring”.

      It’s unfortunate that monetary sovereigns don’t have sufficient control of the available real resources to make sure that their citizens can afford to produce children. /s

      On the bright … well, not ‘bright’ but ‘less dark’ … side, perhaps a reduction in offspring per current population would be good for the ecosystem. But it seems likely that there will be a lot of human suffering along the way.

      It’s not just in terms of the pandemic that “we’re on our own”

      1. Harold

        Re marriage: women are under pressure from their families not to bring someone into the family who will be a drain on financial and emotional resources. BTW: Same goes for men, as a matter of fact. Families want their children‘s spouses to be capable and resourceful.

    2. Raymond Sim

      Dude runs straight past gender ratios skewed by sex-selection abortion to get to ‘gynocentrism’.

      To paraphrase Lambert above, killing off girl fetuses ends up making it harder to convince the women who get born you’re good enough for them. Who knew?

      1. Duke of Prunes

        S Korea outlawed revealing a fetus’ gender in 1988 to address sex-selected abortions. That was over 30 years ago so maybe there is more to the story. I’m not exactly buying Roger’s take, either.

    3. Blake

      Imagine a personal ad or OK Cupid post…
      “Seeking a woman with XYZ, who is financially stable and owns her own home.”

      Cue the joke with the punchline; “Oh, I already know what you are, we’re just negotiating the price.”

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Thank you, Lambert for keeping an eye on men’s issues.

      I don’t view that link as “Men’s Issues,” generically. I filed the link under “The Koreas” because I think the emergence of a politically conscious mass movement of incels is something to watch and it seems to be happening in South Korea. (I don’t think I’m likely to sign on to the politics of such a movement, either.) Nor do I think the chart in South Korea gives anything more than a heuristic.

      As for the bookstore not having a Men’s Section: I would suggest you start with the Iliad and the Odyssey. Then move on to Shakespeare (“I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none”).

      Personally, I think that love is real, is often entangled with money — how not? — and that romantic love is a snare and a delusion, and probably the lizard backbrain talking. I think our financialized and highly stratified society is increasing making the role of a breadwinner at home the other side of being a fraudster at work, and that’s a big problem in all sorts of ways, and that it’s starting to reproduce itself across generations. But I think that “the economy” is — “in the last analysis” — the driver, and not (say) the bourgeois white feminists of the Clinton campaign, or consultants and authors and “voices” in the NGO world.

      1. Soredemos

        >I would suggest you start with the Iliad and the Odyssey

        Er, really? Real manliness is refusing to fight because the king took your sex slave away, then going on a rampage after your boyfriend gets killed in your place, culminating in desecrating a dude’s corpse? In what world is a tome about feudal warlords a good place to start for instilling values?

        >romantic love is a snare and a delusion

        What a bleak view.

  7. griffen

    Moving the goalposts, or how to make sure we continue sweeping the mess and “blame the former administration” or “blame others because Trump”. Your fully vaccinated status will be classified now as being up to date, as opposed to being fully vaxxed. Keep pace with the boosters!

    Clear as mud, or still a certain shade of brown. Mucky or murky.

    1. Lemmy Caution

      The creation of this new category of “up to date” begs the question of how it will affect the way infections or reinfections are tracked.

      For example, if a person who gets infected is vaccinated but not “up to date,” will that person be lumped into the unvaccinated category?

      It would be a convenient way to further shade the numbers.

  8. Stephen V.

    Bret Weinstein showed a sign last week which read: Trust the Scientism.
    I say, give me the placebo or give me death!

  9. NorwegianRockCat

    Regarding Corsi Box going to Corsi-Rosenthal Box, Wikipedia’s Entry has a decent description of what happened along with the sources, which I’ll quote here from Background and history:

    Rosenthal later came up with a 5-filter design. Rosenthal named it after Corsi,[13] although after a New York Times article mentioned the boxes by that name,[11] Corsi tweeted that Rosenthal really deserved the credit,[14] and that he preferred the name Corsi–Rosenthal Box.[15][16]

      1. Milton

        Much better. I needed to double-check to make sure those weren’t my brother’s work–the majority of which were shot from that area in large format (Sequoia, Kern Canyon…).
        Thanks for the link.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Biden Vows That If Russia Invades Ukraine, U.S. Will Invade One Country Of Equivalent Value”

    I got a better idea. How about a land swap? It has been done often enough before. So the US gets the Ukraine and in return, Russia gets Alaska back again. Of course the Russians will have to promise to also take Sarah Palin and her family but on the bright side, she will literally be able to see Russia outside her window from then on. Sound good?

    1. Wukchumni

      We in the Palinstinian Movement already have contingency plans in place if our heroine was to be cut off from the formerly higher 50, were a land swap to be done (wouldn’t there also be a territory or 2 to be named later if we’re going to give up Alaska for the Ukraine?) and the doyen would have to flee so she could once again see America from her front stoop. We’ve pre-positioned volunteers along the route south where snow machines are expected to transfer the also-ran first lady and entourage to Arizona (the feeling is that they’ll run out of snow around Flagstaff and have to catch an Uber to Phoenix) and said support team will be there in an encouragement role shouting ‘Yes We AK-Can’ in unison,

    2. Dalepues

      The colonial Dutch and English effectively swapped Manhattan for Suriname.

      “Disputes arose between the Dutch and the English for control of this territory. In 1667, during negotiations leading to the Treaty of Breda after the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the Dutch decided to keep the nascent plantation colony of Surinam they had gained from the English. In return the English kept New Amsterdam, the main city of the former colony of New Netherland in North America on the mid-Atlantic coast. The British renamed it after the Duke of York: New York City.” (Wikipedia)

      See upper right hand corner, page 2.

      1. JBird4049

        Money changes things. One of the reasons for colonialism or just ordinary trade by the Europeans, especially after the fall of Constantinople was for spices, tea, coffee, and later sugar. In a real way, the American colonies even at the time of the revolution were not more important then the British and French sugar plantations in the Caribbean and the Dutch were making a lot of money from their conquests and cornering a large part of the world’s spice production.

        IIRC, the owners and the crews would be set for life after a single ship coming back. That they had often started out with a small fleet was sad, but the rewards were fantastic especially as spices were more valuable by weight than gold, so a ship stuffed with spices made up for losing entire fleets with their crews.

        Of course, an important reason for having spices was to flavor the poorly preserved food of the Europeans. That and spices often help to preserve food.

        1. Jessica

          “IIRC, the owners and the crews would be set for life after a single ship coming back.”
          The owners, yes, but the crews, I doubt it. Sailors in those days were treated abominably. Many were kidnapped (Shanghaied). On slave ships, the death rate for the sailors was higher than for the enslaved. This was one of the reasons people became pirates.

          1. JBird4049

            Depends on the period and nation. Sometimes the crews were allowed to have a small amount of cargo, invest, or receive shares. Nothing like the owners or regular investors, but still substantial for the average sailor who otherwise had a really unpleasant life. I should find out how they got crews for the slave ships. They weren’t all kidnapped

    1. The Rev Kev

      That’s nothing. A few short decades ago when you saw protesting South Koreans, it was always with Molotov cocktails. Sometimes they would occupy a building and lob Molotov cocktails on the riot police below and it was a common sight on the news to see South Korean riot police putting out flames on their uniforms.

  11. griffen

    You’ve just got to love the Onion when the real world is increasingly not making any sense. They’ve got another priceless set of slides, based on the topic below.

    CEOs predict the future of the metaverse. These are hilarious. And incredibly real world when you realize fiction will likely become eventually fact.

    1. Wukchumni

      How about that high-speed wobble on Wall*Street yesterday, just when you thought they were gonna break out the kool-aid in Dow Jonestown-the market was too turbulent to serve man, as you had to have both appendages firmly gripped on the handlebars.

      1. griffen

        I think* we’re in for a wild ride, maybe even a Fight Club type of market environment. Market routs will go on as long as they have to, or in this case the morning looks bright red but perhaps turning mildly green (conveniently) between 3:15 pm to close. Because, algorithmic trading maybe…or the more sinister take is the invisible hand intervenes because losses are very bad.

        *This opinion is worth the two cents, inflation adjusted.

        1. Wukchumni

          {overheard somewhere between terminals…}

          HFT # 124: ‘These stupid sentient creatures, it’s time to teach them a little bit of a lesson, eh?”

          HFT #263: “Hey not so loud, they still have power over us.”

          1. Wukchumni

            Heard the PPT Cruiser is in the shop-tranny went down on it. Good time to short the pre-market.

        2. FreeMarketApologist

          My market news sources said that the large part of the morning’s dip was from retail traders (mom, pop, and the kids on Robinhood), offloading a net $1.36bn worth of stock, most in the first hour of trading. In total, 18bn shares traded Monday, busiest session since early 2021.

          Had the family not had a panic attack, they would have been mostly fine by the end of the day, due to the late rally.

  12. Otis B Driftwood

    Re Corsi box, my neighbor’s kid came down with Covid three days ago. I gave them a box I made. They live in a multi-generation house with 7 people total. Learned yesterday that everyone but infected kid has tested negative. Hope this holds.

    1. Carla

      Wow. Impressive. Please keep us posted.

      BTW, this might be a stupid question, but here goes:
      How long does a Corsi box last before the filters have to be replaced?

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        I doubt very very much that the captured virii will clog the filters, and apparently the virii don’t last more than a day or three in the wild (outside of the host). So, the answer is about as long as any air filter. How dusty is the environment?

  13. The Rev Kev

    “23 Australians on ship delivering aid to Tonga have virus”

    Heard about this on the news a few hours ago. Maybe they should just dump the supplies on the dock with a local guard to keep watch for a day or so and only then go grab it. I cannot help but remember what happened after the earthquake in Haiti back in 2010. UN troops from Nepal introduced cholera into Haiti and some 800,000 people were infected and 9,000 died. The UN denied all responsibility but that is just bs as Haiti never had cholera before.

    About 6 people have died because of that volcanic explosion/tsunami in Tonga but if they let Coronavirus unto their island, then they will be lucky if they only see 6 people dead each and every day from now till who knows when. In researching the facts here, I came across a page from the CDC talking about the Haiti outbreak and if you read through it, there is no mention of where that magical cholera came from. How about that.-

  14. Wukchumni

    COVID will dominate, but New Zealand will also have to face the ‘triple planetary crisis’ this year The Conversation
    It was a good ride while it lasted, but now comes the tricky part of co-existing with Covid.

    A dispatch from my buddy in Auckland, in how he perceives the pandemic, along with a dash of the same supply woes we suffer from here.

    “I guess soon those who haven’t had it will be considered something of an oddity. Everyone’s expecting it to hit any day here and for there to be a few thousand cases daily for a while. Business is pretty normal, or rather new normal but there’s a weariness out there. We’ve just about got our house renovations finished (a major, taken about a year) and so glad it is – the shortages are quite severe for some things and prices have gone up quite a bit. Builder says there’s a six month wait for weatherboards now and is struggling to find enough timber for a little deck at the back. We moved back into the house just before Christmas (they’d pretty much gutted it) – luckily it’s got decent air flow because you can’t find heat pumps for love nor money. We’ve got 4 ordered and they’re supposed to be in the country but there’s no sign of them – electrician has no idea where they are. Local appliance stores have display models on the wall but none in stock.

    Around Auckland the number of townhouses under construction (4+ on the site of one old house) has exploded although I wonder how that’s going to pan out with no immigration and probably no capital gain on the horizon. Could be an interesting couple of years.”

  15. Jeremy Grimm

    I finally watched Soderbergh’s 2011 film “Contagion”. Now I know why the u.s. CDC’s actions seem so confused — like responses to some other disease. The CDC must use “Contagion” as a training film and policy document. It is fighting the movie’s MEV-1 virus. The I-drug which cannot be named is confused with Krumweide’s forsythia, and anyone who criticizes the CDC or questions vaccines as the sole solution is just another embodiment of the spirit of Krumweide. The CDC is still hoping to find the embodiment of Dr. Ally Hextall who will step forward with the pandemic ending vaccine. The CDC just does not know what to do because the Corona Plague just keeps going off-script.

    1. Dalepues

      I watched that movie just a couple of months ago and thought at the time
      that the source of the disease, bat droppings on fresh pork, seemed
      strangely familiar. Perhaps Soderbergh had unknowingly provided the
      scapegoat for a future pandemic.

      1. Dirk

        Maybe that’s what inspired Dr. Faustchi to file patents on vaccines for a pandemic that had not yet started?

    2. The Rev Kev

      Seen it two or three times but was never impressed. The side stories, instead of pushing the story forward, just acted as an anchor on the story of the pandemic itself. For example, that whole section of how a WHO epidemiologist was kidnapped to be used in exchange for vaccines for a village could have been cut from the film and it would not have been missed.

      I’ll just add that in that film, the virus was spread by respiratory droplets and fomites when they could have used the example of aerosols from the great flu pandemic of a century ago. Now why was that?

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I did not mean to suggest I thought “Contagion” was a great film. I enjoyed watching it but I was not moved to chase down and buy the DVD. I might pick up a copy if it shows up in a bin at Walmart. I agree with your estimate of the WHO kidnapping story, and would add that most/all of the side story action both slowed the movie and contributed little to the flow of action. The side-stories in “Contagion” seemed more like opportunities for ‘star’ exposure than useful story or plot elements. I dislike films and novels that insist on running with multiple side stories, although I admit to consuming a fair share of them. It is a style fad, like anecdotal story ledes, which I hope will go away soon. [Aside: I like Soderbergh’s “Solaris” very much — preferring it to Tarkovsky’s version — although by a very narrow margin.]

        At the tail of the credits for “Contagion” was a credit to the CDC in Atlanta. I did not chase down the background for the two doctors cited in the credits as sources of advice — I have my suspicions. I also wonder why the film, and the CDC immediately concluded the virus was spread by “respiratory droplets and fomites” — actually, I believe the film stated the disease was “respiratory” and spread by fomites. When the character Dr. Erin Mears comes down with the flu she emphasizes by order of mention, contacting the people who cleaned her room, I recall they were the first people mentioned. Of course she may have been attempting to trace everyone who might have exposed her to the flu(?) and everyone she could have exposed to the flu. The final scene showing the handshake between the cook in Hong Kong and the Beth Emhoff character certainly seems to emphasize physical contact and by inference fomites.

        In answer to your question: “Now why was that?” [why did the film NOT use the aerosols example of how the great flu pandemic of 1918 spread.] I believe the CDC is still fighting miasma theories of disease spread. Their hand-washing fetish conjures the problems dealing with Typhoid Mary. How a disease spreads is one of the very first, perhaps the first question to answer. The CDC jumped to a false conclusion based on (?????) and remains unable to change that conclusion or actually study and address the question of how exactly does the Corona flu spread … and variant ‘Y’ may spread differently than the initial variant studied.

    3. griffen

      I never saw that film, so my context here is a little different. During season 2 of the X-Files, there was an episode titled F. Emasculata. The origin of a disease curing bug is traced in the tropics, but it also has parasitic qualities when exposed to tissue (human…etc…). The test subjects are in a prison setting. No facehugger(s) parasite. Just boils on the exposed, and high fever.

      Once the prison is cleared of the living, quarantined and a few dead bodies have piled up, serious people in hazmat suits appear but it’s not the CDC. It’s the fictional pharmaceutical company that is there to incinerate the dead and cover up any tracks. Said pharma company thought it’d be good to test the efficacy of this virus in a closed setting, with unwitting participants.

      It’s a pretty decent episode actually. Trust no one.

        1. griffen

          I think the runners and writers of the show has some semblance of the historical lies of the intelligence communities and a smattering of the conspiracy theories. Central to my interest in the series was the long run “alien hybrid” mythology, which harkens back to the Mulder family history; his fictional sister was apparently abducted or kidnapped, never to return. Plus, Mulder’s father had a history with the black hats and the Cigarette Smoking Man. The ending of season 2 and opening of season 3 started to expand on that theme.

          Some of the earlier episodes from the early seasons are forgettable.

    4. ambrit

      Really? Dr. Ally Hexitall?
      Shades of the infamous Dr. Rotwang from “Metropolis!”
      He too was portrayed as a modern Alchemist and Magician. Just look at how his house is decorated; arcane symbolism everywhere. The idea, common to fiction, that the day will be saved at the last moment by a courageous maverick “scientist” does not transfer to the “real” world.
      As far as movie analogies goes; we are living in a Film Noir.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Yes, the vaccine in the movie was a nasal vaccine. To a much lesser extent than the Corona virus, the CDC went off-script on some of the plot details. Suppose a nasal vaccine showed up tomorrow — that would be a hopeful outcome, but I would very strongly hesitate to assume it would be sterilizing. By what means [can be more than one!] does the variant of the moment spread, with what efficacy?

        1. Yves Smith

          I saw the movie in its original distribution. I distinctly recall the CDC staffers who got the vaccine in advance of mass distribution (cause of scandal in the film) injecting their spouses and then themselves.

  16. Lee

    “How much of our labor force has been lost to COVID-19? Marketplace. Incapacitating the labor force raised the price of labor power. Who knew?”

    It appears the numbers could be staggering, not only in terms of the losses to the labor force, but there are also the costs of treating and providing support for those with the condition to consider, assuming those with the condition are deemed worthy of such consideration.

    When I came down with ME/CFS in 2006, I was by then fully vested in my pension, was just a few years away from qualifying for social security, had some retirement savings, and a son willing to step up and help me out. I hate to contemplate what would have become of me had I been in a less advantageous position. Based on my own experience, and what I know of others, ME/CFS can at best be ameliorated but rarely if ever cured, imposing limits on one’s physical and cognitive functioning for life. That long Covid could similarly affect who knows how many millions is, to say the least, a daunting prospect notable in its absence from public discussion.

    1. TroyIA

      Food for thought from an Indiana life insurance CEO

      Don’t Look Up (Or You Might See a Staggering Employee Death Rate)

      “We are seeing right now the highest death rates we’ve ever seen in the history of this business. And it’s not just at OneAmerica: The data is consistent across every player in that business.”

      Davison said death rates among working-age people—those 18 to 64 years old—are up 40% over what they were pre-pandemic, based on third- and (preliminary) fourth-quarter 2021 data.

      “Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three sigma or a 1-in-200-year catastrophe would be a 10% increase over pre-pandemic levels,” Davison said. “So, 40% is just unheard of.”

      . . .

      “What the data is showing to us is that the deaths that are being reported as COVID deaths greatly understate the actual death losses among working-age people from the pandemic. It may not all be COVID on their death certificate, but deaths are up just huge, huge numbers.”

      He noted the company is also seeing a dramatic surge in short- and long-term disability claims as a result of the pandemic.

      “At OneAmerica, we expect the cost of this is going to be well over $100 million, and this is our smallest business. So it’s having a huge impact on that,” Davison said.

  17. Wukchumni

    With a week or so to go until the Beijing winter olympiad, things are at a fever pitch in the people’s republic and so is the temperature, so contingency plans have been made in case it’s too warm to make fake snow on Night Soil Mountain-venue of the alpine events, with the feeling being that all the skiers and boarders are doing is sliding down a slippery mountain-what difference does it make whether there’s snow on top of it if the sliding effect is duplicated without the need of frozen water?

    Needless to say, none of the competitors will want to ‘wipe out’.

    1. Dirk

      Someone is stapling up Beijing Olympics posters in laundrymats and telephone poles around here.

      8.5 inch x 11, maybe home printed. Great opportunity to write graffiti on them like “Long Live Free China in Taiwan!” etc.

  18. Flyover Boy

    Facebook censorship update:

    I relayed a news item to my Facebook friends headlined “CDC Director: COVID vaccines can’t prevent transmission anymore,” and added this comment:

    “Biden’s CDC director Rochelle Walensky lies about COVID again. What’s the lie? “Anymore.” COVID vaccines were NEVER DESIGNED to prevent transmission — this disease spreads in the air through the nose and throat like a cold, then invades the rest of the body. These vaccines were meant to minimize the rest-of-body illness, not to stop spread. Only nasal-spray vaccines (now in rodent testing) are designed to do that. The rest was always just a lie. Mask up, friends.”

    Facebook sent me the following notice a few days later:

    “We added a notice to your post. The post includes information that independent fact-checkers said was missing context… and could mislead people. People who repeatedly share false information might have their posts moved lower in News Feed so other people are less likely to see them.”

    The notice they added was a a story from Healthy Indian Project, headlined: “Can vaccines prevent COVID-19 transmission completely?” Its body copy:
    “Covid-19 vaccines were never meant to prevent transmission completely… A study shows that delta variant of Covid-19 spreads more easily than other variants and evades vaccine better. However, while efficiency of vaccines is reduced, they are still protective against the Covid-19 virus.”

    I can’t even find out how to appeal; a search of “appealing Facebook restriction” yielded a process that they said is available only to users of the mobile app (I’m a desktop-only user).


    1. fresno dan

      Flyover Boy
      January 25, 2022 at 9:40 am
      Facts are stubborn things, as President John Adams once said. Well, to be completely accurate, Adams actually said: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

      Well, facts are stubborn things, whoever and however they said it, but not nearly as stubborn as facebook fact checkers when they are parroting the science virtuous dogma

    2. Maritimer

      “I can’t even find out how to appeal….”

      See Franz Kafka, The Trial:

      “The Trial is the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and must defend himself against a charge about which he can get no information.”

      And some folks will say this is just about Covid!

  19. Carla

    Lambert notes that “for whatever reason. ‘trust the science’ has never translated into ‘trust all science.’”

    I get it now. What they really meant was “trust OUR science.”

    Reminds me of “save OUR democracy” (that isn’t).

  20. John

    About the JCPOA talks in Vienna: Has no one considered simply abiding by what was agreed to in 2015? I realize that we, the USA, never adhered to “end the sanctions”, but perhaps it is time to try that. That would require being “agreement capable”, always a stretch for Uncle Sam, but hey, nothing else is working why not try it.

    1. Michaelmas

      Too late. Tehran really isn’t interested in signing up for the JCPOA any longer, especially on the delusional terms Washington is offering.

      Since the US and Israel refused to keep to agreements, Iran has now developed strategic military preponderance over Israel and the region due to the vast array of short-range missiles it’s built, while simultaneously forming alliances with Russia and China.

      Another own goal for the US foreign policy establishment, the most stupidly arrogant and incompetent since Hitler ordered Operation Barbarossa.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Another own goal for the US foreign policy establishment, the most stupidly arrogant and incompetent since Hitler ordered Operation Barbarossa.

        That’s hardly fair. Our foreign policy establishment has far outlasted Hitler.

    2. MP

      It’s pretty clear that the US only even attempts at good-faith negotiating time to time (and the very very very low bar here is Russia and China) if the other country has a nuke.

    3. IMOR

      Iran has said that any return to 2015 agreement will require prior lifting of sanctions, though I’m unclear on whether that means just the new, intensified sanctions imposed after U.S. renege on agreement, or also the ones already in existence in 2015 we refused to lift after agreeing to do so.

    4. curlydan

      The problem appears to be that both sides have broken the agreement although we of course did it first. “Both Washington and Tehran are violating the deal. A year after Trump abandoned the accord and launched his “maximum pressure” campaign, Tehran began breaching its obligations. It installed IR-6 centrifuges—which are much faster than the IR-1s allowed by the deal—and developed even more efficient models, including the IR-9. Centrifuges are tall tubes that enrich a gaseous form of uranium. They spin at supersonic speeds several thousand times faster than the force of gravity. Iran also increased enrichment from under four-per-cent purity—the limit in the agreement, and a level used for peaceful nuclear energy or medical research—to sixty per cent.” I doubt that Iran is going destroy their new centrifuges.

      1. timbers

        If we broke the agreement, and on top of that, left the agreement…how is it possible Iran broke an agreement that no longer exists because we broke it and nullified it?

        That’s like saying Russia annexed Crimea.

        1. Polar Socialist

          The agreement was between Iran and China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, so one party leaving it did not end the agreement as such. The other parties assured Iran that they would try to work around the sanctions to relieve the economic burden caused to Iran, but failed miserably.
          Since then Iran has taken little steps away from the limitations set in the agreement to pressure the other parties keep their promises, but to no avail.

          I guess France, Germany and UK are not telling Iran that every country can freely choose their security arrangements…

    1. Lee

      I was with a group of wolf watchers at Soda Butte in Yellowstone National Park waiting for the sun to come up so we might through our scopes catch a sight of members of the Druid Peak pack in a clearing near their denning site. As the sun broke over the horizon the wolves began to howl. Some gasped, some danced little jigs, and their were more than a few of our number who had tears running down their cheeks.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        it’s coyotes around here.
        we’re used to them…about 7 different packs, in as many directions…tuning up predawn to talk about the night’s hunt.
        when brother comes up, he comes over here for coffee in the greenhouse…politely using Amfortastime, at 4am….and is always surprised when the chorus erupts…gets all wistful.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            and regarding the unexamined assumptions and propangandist technic:

            “Dylann Roof allegedly had a drug problem. He drifted between homes and schools growing up and had quit a landscaping job by the time he killed nine people in a racist attack on a church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015. Timothy McVeigh, the antigovernment terrorist who killed 168 people when he detonated a bomb in the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995 was a loner and a college dropout”

            what describes those assholes, also describes my Humanist, Socialist Ass.

            i “dropped out” of both high school and college.
            i have a criminal record.
            I “did” a lot of “drugs”.
            i was an actual Pariah.
            a Folk Devil, even.
            I’ve thus been a “Loner” and an “Outcast”…
            all my life.
            An Autodidactic Polymath, i’ve been hated and feared for as long as i can remember.

            fuck these safe bougie morons who have no understanding of how a great many of their contemporaries actually live, and yet pass such smug judgement.
            Creating, by their unconsciousness and by necessity, great cohorts of the precarious and the unwanted, they then marvel at the Angst and the Ennui…that is, when they’re not parroting the pathology of the Moment….aping the very souls they’ve rendered to the Abyss.
            worse than pathetic.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              Henry Kissinger, I am told, was a Harvard man. Bush and Clinton went to Yale. Obama went to Columbia and then Harvard. Trump went to Wharton. Each one of these highly educated inviduals slaughtered orders of magnitude more people than Roof ever did. We do what we’re good at, I suppose.

    2. HotFlash

      Then there was the family from the upper west side that rented a vacation cabin upstate. Kid comes running to parent, “Mommy, mommy, there’s moose in my bedroom!”
      Mother: “Quick, eat it before it melts!”

      1. newcatty

        We lived in Colorado for awhile. One of our goals was to see a moose. Our close relatives visiting CO for first time wanted to see a moose in the wild! We all marveled at the many elk in RNP. This was pre-Covid. It became a running joke that where ever we ventured into moose environs to see moose. Not long after they left we were hiking in moose country. Came across two fishermen and stopped to chat. I mentioned how much we would like to see a moose. They smiled, gave each other a knowing look and one said, We can tell you where to see moose. They gave us directions to hike to a spot at a nearby river. We found the spot and lo and behold! There was a moose feeding on the greenery along the shallow shoreline. We watched in awe and tears were shed. To complete a perfect moment a young woman suddenly appeared by our sides. She was a pro photographer from Canada. She took her time to shoot. At same time my spouse, a gifted photographer, was also shooting. They paused at same time and it was magical. Interestingly, the photographer said it was the best view of a moose she had ever seen. Later saw her photos at her website. Now, a tease for our visitors was born. We saw a moose! Guess you were not worthy (wink). Thanks Lee for sharing your experiences of watching wolves in Yellowstone. Heartfelt and humble.

        1. Brian Beijer

          I like reading these reactions to something I run into more often than I would like here in Sweden. I remember the first time I saw a moose, it was standing on the side the road as my wife and I drove by. I exclaimed to my Swedish wife, “What the f*@k was THAT?!” It was simply humongous. She just laughed.
          Since moving here, it’s pretty common to run into to moose a few times a year, especially where I live, close to woods. Unfortunately, they can be moody and aggressive, so it can be a nerve wracking experience. For me, a day not seeing a moose is better than a day I have.

          On the other hand, seeing wolves is always a cool experience. They’ve never been aggressive in my brief encounters. The coolest of all though is seeing wild minks. They look like skinny mink stoles running around on their own. That was the second time I exclaimed “What the f*@ck is that?!” to my wife. I thought I was having an acid flashback.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Differences Splinter U.S. Team Negotiating With Iran on Nuclear Deal’

    Cannot see all this story so don’t know if it includes mention of a brand new demand that the US has introduced into negotiations. That Iran release four ‘innocent’ prisoners or else the deal cannot go through. Maybe they should think in terms of a prisoner swap instead but the Iranians have already said forget it-

    1. ambrit

      This is actually a very revealing event. The US is incapable of fielding a team of negotiators who only work for one government. Multiple factions within a negotiating team publically impeding negotiations with a foreign state is a sign of a failed state.
      I can now see how a war in the Ukraine can be started. A ‘splinter element’ of the US Government acting on it’s own does things to foment war. Such shows the utter helplessness of the present Administration. When Dulles et. al. tried this back in the 1960s, the then President, Kennedy, shut them all down quickly.
      If the obstructionist member of that organization is not censured and or punished, we can then assume that there are no adults in the room.
      G– help us. Children playing with matches in a room full of explosives.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        >When Dulles et. al. tried this back in the >1960s, the then President, Kennedy, shut >them all down quickly.

        We know how that turned out. Wonder if Trump will roll in to smooth things out with his pal Putin? Would be one hellava PR coup.

  22. bwilli123

    Interesting discussion (1 hour long) between Australian Immunology Professor Robert Clancy and Dr. John Campbell. Covers the mechanics of Covid infection: mucosal immunology, down-regulation, systemic immunology, peanut allergens and the necessity of treatment (the drug whose name can’t be mentioned) together with vaccination, waning immunity and how the US medical establishment has a different conception of viruses to Australia. Unfortunately doesn’t mention Long Covid though in an otherwise upbeat ending.
    Interested in hearing professional responses.

      1. marku52

        I thought it incredible that in the middle of the vid, talk veered off into treatments and they both agreed that they could not talk about certain things.

        What flippin’ world am I living in?

        also, interesting comment from the Aus guy re suppression cells. he suggested that may be the mechanism for declining vaccine efficiency with every dose.

        1. fool's idol

          There’s nothing in the CDC report you link about the comparative incidence of long COVID (they term it “long-term sequelae”).

  23. Wukchumni

    Sure, I could remain stoic in the face of a seesaw battle on the Bitcoin front but we’re talking about the equivalent of lottery ticket winners who forgot to cash in before the expiration date came along, and their reaction to the ultimate FOMO by HODL’ing.

  24. fresno dan

    Our Ilustrious medical billing system
    So back on January 11, 2022 at 12:22 pm I posted about what I thought was a fake bill for my hospitalization.
    So I actually get another bill from these grifters, with an additional 200$ charge. I call again and this time a woman actually answers the phone – she says that the office is located at the same location as a UPS retail location and that the hospital I was in submitted the bill.
    So I contact the hospital by email, giving them all the details. A couple of days latter, they inform me that I am all paid up and that they have never heard of this company (neither the return address name on the envelope OR the name given to send money on the “bill”).
    So I decide to report this! I will get the long arm of the law to put an end to this! First, sorry to say, the group at HICAP (SMP senoir medicare patrol) haven’t done anything – maybe because it really isn’t medicare billing. So that applies to contacting medicare directly as well. I than try the California agencies, and I get the DHCS (department of health care services) and after a long, tedious recounting of the situation on their form, I get an email from a PRIVATE law firm that they can’t help me – it turns out that apparently the state agency just forwards such complaints to a PRIVATE law firm, that than doesn’t actually investigate the complaint at all because…. well, they just don’t. They suggest I contact a local law group and file suit. Lawyers gotta lawyer… So much for being tough on crime.
    I than fill out a police report…that doesn’t look to hopeful as the police site itself says that the police will likely not be able to do much. Makes ME want to defund the police…
    I am going to try the FTC (federal trade commsion – I’ve seen some references to them with regard to fraudulent medical bills).

    But the real problem is that I get bills from the hospital, from the cardiology GROUP, from individual cardiologists, from anestitologists, radiologists, as well as the name of the billing services for all these entities that sent the bills to me all have different names. There are hospital bills, but there are so many others that can gouge bill me that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to determine who is billing me for what. If the fake bill I had received had not been so OBVIOUSLY fake, I would have paid it.
    SO the real problem is, how do you know that a bill you receive has been generated by a legitimate provider? If you don’t have single payer, it is an ordeal. A cynic (not me!) would assert that it is a feature, not a bug…

    1. Wukchumni

      If you feel you are getting such shoddy service on account of being discriminated on the basis of where you live, I know a good attorney in such matters in Clovis which is technically Fresno-adjacent, but nobody knows that outside of the Central Valley and he can put you in a protection program in Selma in a hide-out between trays of drying grapes, it’ll be your raison d’etre.

    2. fresno dan

      So I filled out a scam report at the FTC (federal trade comission) and this is what the FTC does:
      Your report will help us in our efforts to protect all consumers. Thank You!
      We can’t resolve your individual report, but we use reports to investigate and bring cases against fraud, scams, and bad business practices.
      We share your report with our law enforcement partners who also use reports to investigate and bring cases against fraud, scams, and bad business practices.
      We use reports to spot trends, educate the public, and provide data about what is happening in your community. You can check out what is going on in your state and metro area by visiting
      Investigations and cases do take time, but when we bring cases, we try to get money back for people. Check out to see recent FTC cases that resulted in refunds.

      1. MK

        Sue them in small claims court. Of course you have to find an individual to name as defendant. Maybe hang around the PO Box and wait for someone to open it.

        1. Maritimer

          Good advice. I’ve been in Small Claims twice and won both. Sometimes just a registered letter outlining the problem and saying you will go SC will do the trick. If more folks exercised this right, we would have more honest businesses.

      2. allan

        If the fake bill came in the mail, it might be considered as mail fraud.
        Try the USPS Postal Inspection Service,
        (I have no idea whether they will do anything, but please don’t laugh –
        when they get interested in a case postal inspectors are not to be messed with.)

        And here is a decade-old but perhaps still germane guide to dealing with scam bills
        and invoices by Popehat / Ken White.

      3. Screwball

        Ain’t America great? It probably won’t do any good, but I would contact the Better Business Bureau. I have done this in the past, and did everything online.

        A bank I used for a credit card changed hands. I only used the credit card for paying one bill a month to keep it active. I kept paying my credit card monthly so I wouldn’t have any interest. The bank sent my statement to a house I lived in 21 years ago. By chance, and utter luck, the homeowner put the bill back in the mailbox, and was found the next day by the mailman. So happens, my son, who is on the same mail route has the same name as me (born on my birthday – you have to – right?). So he got the bill.

        He calls me and says “one of us owes this bank 300+ dollars (2 months of bills). I could tell by the amount what it was for so I knew how it was paid. I called the new bank (at this point I didn’t know they changed – I was still sending the check to the same place) – they said I never made a payment. This was the beginning of what I now call my 48 day war.

        Eventually, I would sit in the main office at this bank with my cancelled check to pay their account, with their stamp & date on the back of the check – and they still told me I didn’t pay them and how I will also, now, have to pay a late fee. WHAT!!!!

        You get the picture. So I hammed them at the BBB, contacted the State Dept. of Commerce, and went to a lawyer who wrote them a nasty letter that if they didn’t straighten this out, I would sue. They eventually dropped the money but would not admit they made a mistake (it is a bank, that how they roll), and said they would send me a check for the rest of the balance in the account (25 dollars which was a minimum) to have the credit card. They screwed me out of that as I never got it.

        I don’t know if the BBB can or will be any help, but at least others can see problems with this company, which can’t hurt.

        Document everything, dates, times, everything. At some point, at least with me, it was more about the game and not the money. They shouldn’t be able to get away with this and, dammit, they are not going to.

        There is no such thing as customer service anymore. Good luck and don’t give up.

      4. Ed S.

        Hi Fresno Dan,

        A quick story: was settling my Mom’s estate and received a bill from the hospital (large Eastern PA system). Wrote a check and paid the bill. Several months later, received a collection notice from the hospital’s “internal” collection agency. Provided them with a copy of the cancelled check. Several weeks passed and received another letter/call saying the information on the back was illegible (it wasn’t). Asked if I could provide a better copy (note – notwithstanding the “illegibility”, the check was clearly payable to XYZ hospital and clearly endorsed by XYZ hospital AND indicated credit to the account of XYZ hospital). Provided a “better copy” – hospital still couldn’t determine what it needed from the back.

        Problem was that the hospital had mis-applied the payment and couldn’t trace it in their accounting system.

        After the final (third?) letter, I looked up the name of the General Counsel and send a copy of the demand letter and the copy of the cancelled check. Letter stated they had been paid and if they couldn’t find the money, it wasn’t my problem.

        Last I ever heard from the hospital.

        Not exactly the same as your situation but hard copy letter with proof to CEO / GC can work wonders.

    3. FreeMarketApologist

      File a complaint with your state Attorney General. They are far more likely to care than the agencies you cite.

    4. Rainlover

      Fresno, try your state’s Atty General. Here in WA we have a consumer protection division that investigates consumer fraud and it’s pretty easy to report a company on their website or by phone. Fingers crossed.

      1. fresno dan

        January 25, 2022 at 12:33 pm
        January 25, 2022 at 2:21 pm

        good advice – I should have thought of that myself.
        I have the circumstances written down on a document, so cutting and pasting it into whatever online forms need to be filled out will be easy – I will do that first thing tomorrow. I doubt anything will happen, but at least it gives me some psychic revenge.

    5. Yves Smith

      You need to call all these damned people trying to dun you to bill Medicare, that they are prohibited by law from billing you directly until they have done so, and you are reporting them to CMS if they don’t cut it out.

      You then call the Medicare number (24/7) and tell them about the fraud. They are interested if you are in a Medicare plan, not Medicare Advantage.

      Or you could file a qui tam but I think you’ve told too many people.

    6. Lambert Strether Post author

      > to determine who is billing me for what. If the fake bill I had received had not been so OBVIOUSLY fake, I would have paid it.

      I read a great phrase in Doctorow’s piece: “Speculative invoicing.”

  25. MonkeyBusiness

    The Fallacy of “Mild” Omicron.

    “We know now that that infection with Omicron is about half as likely to cause death compared to Delta (less than the 67–80% reduction reported in the original “mild” article). But much of that reduction is the product of immunity derived from vaccination or prior infection.”

    So basically the wave passed quickly in South Africa because Omicron tends to home in on vaccinated people/people with prior infection? According to Our World in Data, only 27.7% of the population are fully vaccinated.

    1. Wukchumni

      I inquired of the afflicted in our over the hill ski group (aged 60 to 73) of those who are planning to go next month on our 4 day soirée on the slopes and all 6 that tested positive a fortnight ago are game to go including yours truly.

      Now, whether it was the elixir that’ll fix er’, or we’ll be suffering from the Omicronic for the rest of our days remains to be seen.

      You buy the lift ticket, take the ride.

  26. Dr. John Carpenter

    Neil Young on Spotify: “They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.”

    I’ll be interested to see who blinks on this one. I know there’s been some heat on Spotify for having Joe Rogan on their platform but so far, they seem unphased. I’ve never listened to him and really have no opinion about him except I don’t think he’s any more dangerous spewer of fake news than our own government has been. But I’m not sure Neil Young, big as he is, moves the needle on this one. I’d really be curious to know why Rogan is under Young’s skin this much. (Of course, Young has dabbled in his own online music services, so they cynic in me wonders how much that has to do with anything.)

    1. Eureka Springs

      Seems a bit unhinged for Neil. He should just go on Rogans show and speak his mind. A couple years back on twitter David Crosby mentioned his check from spotify for well over a million listens would not cover his home electric bill for that month.

      That said, what time I’ve spent on Neils archive site has been fantastic. A treasure trove.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Yeah, my other cynical thought was a musician railing against Spotify isn’t exactly a bold stance. Their business practices are pretty common knowledge, yet no one does much more than complain about them. They don’t really have to care what Neil Young thinks.

        I agree, he should just go on his show. That seems like something Rogan would be about. I’m a fan of Neil’s and this seems odd, but the dude is nothing if not idiosyncratic.

    2. QuicksilverMessenger

      re Neil Young and Spotify
      Gawd this whole “misinformation” trope is truly amazing. The good thinkers, our betters, have been changing their tunes regularly regarding the efficacy of vaccines, masking, aerosolization, etc. so that what was once ‘misinformation’ is now the ‘best guidance’.
      Yet no one seems to notice. They just move on to the next set of beliefs and hold the new ones with same vehemence as they held to the old discarded ones.

      When I saw the Young/Spotify thing I just had to check out some Twitter threads about this. For instance a lot of praise for Young with a lot of tweets about “he was a survivor of polio, so knows something about vaccines etc”. But it’s pretty clear that equating the covid vaccines and the polio vaccine is also ‘misinformation’, so where’s the outrage there?

      1. shoeless

        Neil also sold 50% of his music rights earlier this month, so I’m not even sure he has the power to do what he says.

        1. Wukchumni

          If I was a recording artist of renown, hell yes i’d be selling off the rights to my jingles for what appears to me to be ‘moon money’* as recorded music is worth about bupkis right now, and yeah I get it, royalties and the like bring in the semollians on a regular basis, but to me it looks like Neil et al are selling an overpriced annuity, with an added bonus of who knows how long older ‘classic music’ will be popular?

          * In the coin business back in the day if you got an extravagant amount of money for an aged metal disc in auction, you might be complimented by another numismatist in him** saying ‘man, you got moon money for that!’

          ** the coin biz was 99.83% male as far as coin dealers went and probably still is

    3. mrsyk

      “Vaccines are not a hill to die on.” IM Doc.
      “I’ve seen the needle and the damage done” Neil Young

    4. Still Above Water

      Ironically, he was part of CSNY’S 2006 ”Freedom Of Speech Tour”. Well I hope Neil Young will remember – a Rogan fan don’t need him around anyhow.

    5. lordkoos

      Someone on twitter remarked that it isn’t a very bold stance from Neil as he likely won’t miss his $1.37 monthly royalty from Spotify.

  27. griffen

    Simpsons predict the future, that is a funny take and on frequent occasion they nail the mark. Relevancy to the current playoff season in the NFL, the episode discussed was just prior to a Super Bowl so long ago that the Washington football team still was A. very good and B. called the Redskins.

    I have no interest in placing a shiv into Bills fans, neither then nor currently. Options for team allegiance could be worse, cross reference Detroit Lions.

    1. Wukchumni

      My wife used to claim that being a Bills fan was cheaper than having to hire a shrink, but i’m not so sure as there were decades of not even going nowhere fast with the upside being that you could begin to ignore the eleven on the field at any given time after they started the season 2-5, and you started looking for a shiv to put yourself out of misery.

  28. TimH

    That photo’s colours are so saturated that it looks like a painting by T. Kincade… curious whether it was actually shot like that, or fiddled with afterwards.

    1. Wukchumni

      If it was a real Kinkade limited edition lithograph, wouldn’t there be moose and squirrel?

      It had me at first too, but I think the photo is the real thing.

  29. Henry Moon Pie

    Waldman’s dreams–

    Nice New Year’s essay reflective of a lot of thinking that’s going on. The part that interested me the most:

    Nothing is broken in the world without something else being born. Any creature’s death at the very least yields a corpse, which yields succor for some other’s hungry mouth, or soil upon which new life may grow. If we do slip the chain of our outworn institutions, perhaps it triggers civil war, famine, holocaust, or autocracy. But it is also possible that we jump to something hopeful, a revision of our constitutional order that is more capable, more democratic, both. As things go awry, the range of what’s possible grows wide, and where we land to a certain degree becomes just a Schelling point, a self-fulfilling prophecy, one possibility that somehow gains currency as the status quo loses its hold on our imagination and we grope to coordinate to something else. The cyberpunk of the 1980s largely foreshadowed our present dystopia. The solarpunk of today may portend some refuge from our catastrophe. Much of what I do as a writer is propose speculative blue-sky social arrangements, on the theory that with the passage of time or in a time of crisis things that once seemed ridiculous or unthinkable become possible, even inevitable. Please consider joining me. It’s fun! There has never been a better time to imagine and promote any of the huge variety of arrangements that would be more virtuous and functional than our own, but that for reasons of practicality and inertia seem unachievable. We need to build a portfolio of dreams, each one unlikely, but from which some few will perhaps draw us away from cataclysm and destruction as familiarities unravel.

    Octavia Butler seems more and more astute in her vision of the 20s and 30s (the 2020s, that is). We’re not facing a battle between the Old Way of doing things, i.e. neoliberalism, consumerism, techno-optimism, and some New Way of viewing the cosmos and interacting with it. The Old Way is passing away, a relic in the making. What lies ahead is a battle between two or more New Ways of thinking. In Butler’s Parable series, the contest is between a particularly twisted form of reactionary Christianity and Earthseed, the heroine’ s newly invented religion with several points in common with Process Theology. The former is very likely to be on offer post-Collapse, so Waldman is absolutely right. If we don’t find Gilead all that appealing, then we’d better be dreaming dreams and having visions of an alternative.

    1. Bazarov

      “Visions of alternatives” rather sounds like the planning of intentional communities, that old bourgeois hobby horse.

      The collapse will take hundreds of years to play out, it will be horrible beyond imagination, and if humanity isn’t extinct when it runs its course, whatever civilizational green shoots that arise will arise according to a new reality that cannot be planned for or envisioned. It will be an alien world full of alien people who, in their maturity, will marvel at us just as we marvel at the ancient Sumerians. We will be only partially intelligible to them because the codex–the very material and spiritual reality that sustains us–will be lost among “the decay/ Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare.”

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Sorry — I have no idea where your quoted section comes from or what it has to do with Octavia Butler since I am familiar with too little of her literature. Dreaming dreams and having visions has long been Humankind’s last resort in times of crisis, times of change, or times in need of change. Unlike earliar Ages [at least judging from my best estimates of those Ages based on my own limited knowledge and understanding], our present Age has a tremendous amount of Knowledge and Wisdom to somehow preserve and convey as a legacy for future Ages of Humankind. But I also believe that our present Age has arrived at a loggerhead blocking further advance. I believe this loggerhead has been constructed by Neoliberal funding, Neoliberal co-option of Knowledge creation, and the manifold consequent mal-directions of thought, effort, and creativity. A new Age could/might advance past this loggerhead if enough Knowledge can be preserved.

  30. Maxwell Johnston

    “What if Moscow Cancels Airline Overflight Rights”

    This would be an easy and obvious retaliation from Russia’s side, so I’m glad that the likes of Defense One—mirabile dictu—pointed it out. Which means that advisors within one degree of separation of Uncle Joe are certainly aware of this (and other nastiness that Russia can do if things continue to ratchet up). Which provides reasonable hope that we’ll tiptoe around this particular “crisis” with some clever diplomacy that kicks the ball down the road for a few years.

  31. RockHard

    Re: union busting – the King Soopers strike in CO was resolved to the union’s satisfaction last week. It seems like enough customers stayed away to make it hurt Kroger a bit. The local Nextdoor group has a couple of posts from employees thanking people for supporting the strike by bringing coffee and bagels to the people on the picket line and for not patronizing the stores. It’s gratifying to see workers get a bit of leverage after 40 years of steady destruction.

  32. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

    Re: Robert Wright’s How cognitive empathy could have prevented the Ukraine crisis.

    I found this piece to be less than satisfactory; It’s all about individuals — Putin and various U.S. presidents — and their inability to have cognitive empathy. No where is there a mention of the desire of the U.S. for world hegemony. No where is the word “empire” used. No where is the logical demands of domination examined. Is understanding the world view of others useful? No doubt. But to reduce it all to individual and their lack of cognitive empathy is misleading at best. Some folks, including the leaders of the U.S. empire, do not have good intentions that are merely poorly implemented.

  33. Boomheist

    Why Washington Can’t Learn: I can agree with the notion of considering World Wars I and II as one long war. I entirely agree that it seems Washington can’t learn, militarily, and for sure it does seem the Vietnam mistakes have been replicated in Iraq, Afghanistan, and probably a number of other small places as well. We seem as a nation to think that every problem can be solved with our military hammer, yet we have been very very careful to use that hammer in places which do not have a strong, modern military (which Russia does in this current Ukraine developing fiasco). I think the thesis offered suggesting a Very Long War linking Vietnam and Afghanistan is very interesting but I think the links are a bit different. What IS linked is that after Vietnam as a nation we decided to revere our discredited military no matter what, we decided we were the total best, we found ways to minimize our own deaths, and by shifting to an all volunteer system we neatly displaced suffering from our managerial class, all of which dooms us to keep repeating mistakes because the direct costs to us don’t in the moment appear that high. We lost in Vietnam and despite all the howling about Lessons Learned we went on to lose in Afghanistan. I would argue we lost in Iraq, too.

    I think a better frame for the last 62 years is that, as Ike warned, we fell under the Military Industrial Complex, policy-wise, economically, and managerial class-wise, such that we created a constant-war nation, needing ongoing conflict and war to justify the expenditures, and THAT is what has been going on since Vietnam. Always, in earlier times, after a war ended – Civil War, First World War – we demobilized, reduced our standing army and navy greatly. We even did this after World War II, as I read history, such that when the Korean War began our troops simply were not ready. Since then, though, the one thing that has remained constant has been a huge and growing MIC, facing a Constant Threat, which was the Cold War until 1990 and then the Global War on Terror. We spend, what, as much on our military as the next dozen nations combined (and these include BOTH Russia and China)?

    We may be fracturing in culture wars and between parties, but we remain as united as ever when it comes to spending half our national budget on arms instead of all the other stuff we so desperately need, at least at the level of the professional managerial class and the Blob in and around DC, whether left or right. This is why this Ukraine panic is terrifying. Russia, even after the breakup of the Soviet Union, is not Iraq or Afghanistan or Grenada or Vietnam or Panama. Russia is a nation that has suffered more than all other nations combined during the wars of the 20th Century. War IS suffering, ultimately. We, the United States, blessed by two great oceans and great distance from any invader, have not experienced war on our homeland since, really, the Civil War. There are still people living, now very old but still with us, who are survivors of Stalingrad and World War II, in Russia, and they know, if a battle comes, it will be ugly. We have developed a military system that hides this reality from our people and even many if not most of our soldiers.

    The very fact that it seems our leaders are willing to risk American lives, in the thousands, over a civil war in Ukraine, which has never been in our sphere of influence, is the most frightening thing of all. Imagine if the Russians moved a brigade into Cuba, or Costa Rica, or began training Central Americans to build a military force in Mexico. What would our reaction be? I remember the Cuban Missile crisis, vividly. That happened because we put missiles in Turkey, but this is not well known, even now. And when the missiles left Cuba, back then, they also left Turkey. It astonishes me that we have the Monroe Doctrine here in the Americas yet seemingly refuse to see that, to Russia, our meddling in the Baltics is just like Russia meddling in the Americas.

    So, yes, Washington can’t learn, whether this is a continuation of the author’s Very Long War or the outcome of having been captured by a constant war economy and the MIC. Having a hugely powerful military is very important, but we have built something that has been designed to go in and win, fast, and overwhelmingly, which we have been able to do against little countries. But. We have not as a nation built a culture that understands that war means sacrifice and suffering and persistence. If we end up in a struggle in Ukraine, we will start to see what that means.

    My hopes aren’t high. I don’t see a lot of American Exceptionalism in a populace that compares wearing masks to the Holocaust, that thinks freedom means doing anything you want regardless of the impact on others, that refuses to teach our children our past mistakes, and that fails to see that over the last half century we have lost every big war that we joined.

    1. Susan the other

      Bacevich is unable to understand the persistence of our military misadventures and national decline. I understand them. We have believed in things that don’t exist, like the “free market”. We should be careful what we believe in because all that vested belief can lead to a serious existential crisis when it crashes like the stock market. Claiming there is a “stubborn resistance to learning in Washington D.C.” minimizes the extent of the problem. The problem will take many years to unwind. Price controls, rationing, public service and green reclamation, establishing very good social services, education – that and more, and all the details therein. It is a sea change. Not simply a “stubborn resistance to learning” like some 2-year-old’s temper tantrum. A temper tantrum does not render a national government incapable. Only the same national government can do that relentlessly enough to commit suicide rather than admit to its own foolishness.

  34. Wukchumni

    Blue oak trees only grow on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada and it has been a most unusual year for the underground movement here, in that some trees jettisoned their leaves in July-August as opposed to the usual late October-early November delivery date, while most of them held onto their leaves and only turned tan a week ago or so with most still firmly attached to branches-as is their wont.

    Now, some of the early departure oaks are leafing out as opposed to the usual March arrival. And what becomes of the leaf lingerer trees, do they leaf out in May?

    That’s where Mother Nature does us in, the sweet spot of growing food which has been quite faithful since the industrial revolution and green revolution, will turn turtle on us, slowly but assuredly.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      The oaks warn of one of the problems with the official assessments of the ongoing climate change. My perception is that only large changes are considered important in their climate change discussions, which set the flavor and tenor of scientific discussions. Much of agriculture depends on constancy of conditions and their timing. Blue oaks and other wild species are probably far better able to handle the small changes taking place as our climate changes — but as you suggest, our crops … not so much.

      1. JBird4049

        There are many varieties of even the standard wheat, rye, corn, rice, and oats not counting all the other common species of grains and their varieties use by people to probably deal with the changes, but that is not optimal, efficient, or the most profitable. It is like our shipping industry. Optimized to failure.

    2. Lamar Ovray

      The range of blue oaks is not so limited as you say. Per Wikipedia: Quercus douglasii, known as blue oak, is a species of oak endemic to (found only in) California, common in the Coast Ranges and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. I have 50+ here on a few acres in Redding. They are very drought tolerant; lots of early leaf loss this summer.

  35. Raymond Sim

    Regarding workforce depletion through direct effects of Covid-19 infection (i.e. death, incapacity, and shifting of work activity to the care of the sick and incapacitated): As some may recall I started harping about this quite a while ago, because a major effect on the size of the workforce could already be deduced from the available morbidity and mortality statistics.

    I think the fact that this was apparent to a stroke-brained mathematician utiilizing the resources accessible from his sofa, but is only slowly finding its way into the ‘real’ news is probably more significant than the data in the Marketplace piece.

  36. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    Re: “Antidote du Jour (via):”

    “The sharp-hoof’d moose of the north, the cat on the house-sill,
    the chickadee, the prairie-dog,
    The litter of the grunting sow as they tug at her teats,
    The brood of the turkey-hen and she with her half-spread wings,
    I see in them and myself the same old law.”

    “These are really the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they
    are not original with me,
    If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing, or next
    to nothing,
    If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are
    If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing.

    This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is,
    This the common air that bathes the globe.”

    “There is a growing problem in North America affecting moose. Whether they make their home in the Canadian Rockies or in Minnesota, moose populations are declining at a rapid rate. One reason is that many of the newborn calves are not surviving their first year. In order to find out why, one intrepid cameraman spends a year documenting the life of a moose calf and its mother.”

    “Nature S34 – Ep10 Moose Life of a Twig Eater – Part 01 HD Watch”

  37. marku52

    “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” Trotsky. Seems appropriate.

  38. Wmkohler

    Re: Corsi vs Corsi-Rosenthal boxes.

    Corsi himself felt that Rosenthal had more to do with the invention of the box than he did, and expressed his preference for the name “Corsi-Rosenthal box.”

  39. Skunk
    Citation: Katzourakis A. Nature. 2022; 601, 485;

    “The word ‘endemic’ has become one of the most misused of the pandemic. And many of the errant assumptions made encourage a misplaced complacency. It doesn’t mean that COVID-19 will come to a natural end.”


    “There is a widespread, rosy misconception that viruses evolve over time to become more benign. This is not the case: there is no predestined evolutionary outcome for a virus to become more benign,
    especially ones, such as SARS-CoV-2, in which most transmission happens before the virus causes severe disease. Consider that alpha and delta are more virulent than the strain first found in Wuhan,
    China. The 2nd wave of the 1918 influenza pandemic was far more deadly than the 1st.”

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