Links 1/27/2022

Dear patient readers,

Forgive me again for excuses. I know some of you are dealing with difficulties that make mine look trivial, like wresting with predatory landlords or student loan servicers, or fighting health care bureaucracies to get essential treatments. However, 9 hours and 35 minutes over 7 business days went to phone time with a big famous financial institution you heard of for something that should have been doable on line in 20 minutes. The fuckups were epic and soon will be the subject of a post.

Hopefully you can appreciate that the loss of more than a normal working day, on top of other estate matters, means I am tired (and even more annoyed than usual) and not up to concentrating to deliver a high quality original post.

Arctic hare hops the distance from Washington, D.C., to New York City Science (martha r)

Meet Methuselah, likely oldest aquarium fish USA Today (furzy)

Frogs Regrow Missing Limbs in Lab Study, Advancing Key Effort of Regenerative Medicine Wall Street Journal

The trouble with beekeeping Grid News (resilc)

Amazing Hand-Cut Paper Art Mimics the Delicate Effect of Lace MyModernMet (David L)

Mark Cavendish: The Tour de France comeback for ‘cycling’s greatest sprinter’ BBC (J-LS)

New dangers? Computers uncover 100,000 novel viruses in old genetic data Science (martha r)


Why Great Data Journalism Should Have Destroyed Djokovic’s Story – But Didn’t The Wire. I have to admit to not being terribly interested in this story. But I did not realize there was a dispute over his truthfulness as to when he’d had Covid. And there are far more important stories for data journalists to be tearing apart…


Understanding immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infections in children (Kevin W). Published in Immunity.

Unadjuvanted intranasal spike vaccine booster elicits robust protective mucosal immunity against sarbecoviruses BioRxIv (Basil Pesto). Preprint.

Omicron Deaths in U.S. Exceed Delta’s Peak Wall Street Journal. Also in Water Cooler, but important not to miss.

Long-COVID symptoms less likely in vaccinated people, Israeli data say Nature (Dr. Kevin). While possible, this does not seem consistent with extensive reports of asymptomatic cases leading to long Covid, particularly among the young, who are less likely to be vaccinated (and many also occurred before vaccinations were widely available): “In fact, vaccinated people were no more likely to report symptoms than people who’d never caught SARS-CoV-2.” Note self-reported, and you would need to look at the survey instrument very carefully to see if the ordering and phrasing of the questions created bias.

Long Covid expert says the world is in ‘deep trouble’ and millions may suffer debilitating issues Daily Mail (J-LS)

Harvard, Stanford physicians call for universal use of N95s in hospitals Becker’s Hospital Review (martha r)

Covid-19 Vaccine Resource Center New England Journal of Medicine (Kevin C)

A Mini Corsi/Rosenthal Box Air Cleaner Tex-Air Filters (martha r)


Japan gov’t to allow COVID diagnoses without testing as omicron cases surge The Mainichi (martha r)


Germany: Lawmakers debate introducing COVID vaccine mandate DW


Hospitals deny transplants for the unvaccinated, with backing from ethicists STAT (Dr. Kevin). IM Doc taught ethics and studied under some who were considered icons in that field. I am sure he will have some choice words about this.

What to Do if You’ve Lost Your Covid-19 Vaccination Card New York Times. Resilc: “Will be like dealing with the DMV on ‘roids.”

The Biden administration paid hospital Covid-19 funds to drugmaker STAT (martha r)

HHS secretary under fire for being ‘invisible’ leader during pandemic The Hill (resilc). This is kind. As California AG, he was called “Basura” which means “garbage.”

Florida Governor DeSantis demands COVID treatments deemed ineffective by FDA Yahoo (J-LS)

The Case Against Masks at School Atlantic (resilc)


The effects of defaunation on plants’ capacity to track climate change Science

Indonesia is clearing less forest for palm oil, but it’s still not sustainable, activists say Mongobay (J-LS)

India’s official green cover report even counts clumps of trees in cities as forests Scroll (J-LS)


China in the Middle East Chas W. Freeman, Jr. (Chuck L)

British blogger’s prank shows how little West’s ‘China experts’ really know about China Global Times (guurst)

Translation: 14th Five-Year Plan for National Informatization – Dec. 2021 DigiChina (guurst)

Rising private city operators in contemporary China: A study of the CFLD model ScienceDirect (resilc)

Old Blighty

New Cold War

U.S. urges de-escalation over Ukraine, offers Russia diplomatic path Reuters

The pro-detente position of Willy Brandt’s ‘Ostpolitik” still is alive and finding its voice in Germany today Gilbert Doctorow (guurst)

Democrats Rushing Through Massive Ukraine Defense Bill Intercept

Democrats’ Russia sanction bill could lead to a diplomatic disaster Responsible Statecraft (Kevin W)

Here’s what sanctions the US could impose on Russia if it invades Ukraine ABC Australia. Kevin W: “They even want to go after Putin’s girlfriend. That should ease tensions.”

Washington tells Russian ambassador he might have to leave RT. Kevin W: “Maybe the Russians can’t see their diplomatic compound in San Francisco because Nancy has turned it into a rental.”

Reassessing LDNR military capabilities The Saker (Chuck L)

Ukraine as Game Board CounterPunch (resilc)


Qatar’s foreign minister set to visit Iran to meet top officials Aljazeera

Tom Friedman and Israel will save US democracy and blow your mind Al Jazeera (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Could China Fish a Dead F-35C Stealth Fighter From the South China Sea? 19FortyFive (David L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Digital authoritarianism: Kazakhstan is the latest country to use internet shutdown as a weapon Scroll (J-LS)


Is Trump’s Hold On The GOP Still Strong? FiveThirtyEight. Resilc: “The only protest candidate for the working /middle classes vs the PMC/DNC, IMO”

Virginia’s Republican Governor Youngkin: Trump in Sheepskins CounterPunch. Resilc: “Far worse. Private equity.”


Justice Stephen Breyer to retire from Supreme Court, paving way for Biden appointment NBC (J-LS)

How McConnell Could Block Biden’s Supreme Court Nominee Time (resilc)

Biden’s Pledge to Nominate Black Woman to SCOTUS in Spotlight as Breyer Plans Retirement Newsweek

Stephen Breyer’s Legacy of Destruction Matt Stoller

Another Supreme Court Corporatist Would Be A Disaster David Sirota

A Brief History of Stephen Breyer Enabling Corporate Power Balls and Strikes. J-LS: “From October; still germane.”

L’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew: Lawyers demand US jury trial in Virginia Giuffre case BBC (J-LS)

Woke Watch

New Virginia Hotline Lets Parents Report ‘Divisive Teaching Practices’ Wall Street Journal. Lambert had a similar story in Water Cooler yesterday….

How It Feels to Be an Asian Student in an Elite Public School New York Times (J-LS)

Supply Chain

US warns of fragile chip supply as inventory falls to just five days Financial Times

Tesla warns of supply chain constraints as it reports record profit Financial Times. Your humble blogger leads a sheltered life. Saw my first Tesla on the street yesterday (Model X)


Boeing posts massive charge for 787 Dreamliner problems, sending losses soaring CNN. Kevin W: “‘…because of quality control issues’ Why am I not surprised?”

Elon Musk SpaceX rocket on collision course with moon BBC (furzy)

Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Venture to Wind Down, Sell Assets Wall Street Journal

Class Warfare

Judge imposes strike ban on 17,000 BNSF railway workers WSWS

Antidote du jour (CV):

I had a normal bonus with a TikTok embed recommended by Bob, but it made the page keep scrolling down, so I had to remove it. Sorry! Why provide embed code and then have it misbehave?

And a bonus (furzy). This is a bit of a departure from our usual Antidote, but we’ve featured Jerusalema before, and this is a particularly good rendition. Plus IMHO cheery material is more needed than evah.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Fred

    About that Times article for lost cards; I forgot my card when I went to get the booster, they just looked up the data and filled out a new card. Maybe that’s just California. I also have QR code that’s suppose to show my status.

    1. jackiebass63

      When I went for my second shot in NYS they gave me a new card with everything already filled out. This was a county run clinic.

      1. Steven A

        When I visited my primary physician here in Ohio last month I brought along my card in case I needed to show it. It wasn’t necessary, she already had a digital record of my shots + booster.

    2. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

      When my daughter went to get her booster recently, it turned out that the official state records of her first shot, Johnson & Johnson, was incorrect and thus different than what was on her card. She wasn’t able to get her booster at point, but was so about a week later after the state records were adjusted. She told me that everyone was apologetic and there was little that she had to do get the correction taken care of.

      So maybe, just maybe, getting a replacement card won’t become a bureaucratic nightmare.

  2. lance ringquist

    FDR understood why its so important to name names of criminals and perps of disastrous polices, it was to de-radicalized the american people, heal with understanding, then move forward

    a good doctor will always explain to his/her patients what happened so that they can help heal themselves, just as FDR encouraged the percura commission to educate the people so that they would not get radicalized

    many people now know the terminology called neo-liberalism. its very wise that people like me and other authors, explain to people just what neo-liberalism entails, who who did what to whom.

    this will help them understand things better, and of course it helps fending off radicalization.

    “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right.” Tom Paine, 1737-1809.

    “Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil”. – Thomas Mann

    “When we tolerate what we know to be wrong–when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy, or too frightened–when we fail to speak up and speak out–we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice”. – Robert Francis Kennedy

    so we must educate.

    The Truman Committee proved to be one of the most successful investigative efforts ever mounted by the U.S. government: an initial budget of $15,000 was expanded over three years to $360,000 to save an estimated $10–15 billion in military spending and thousands of lives of U.S. servicemen


    The trials were most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, judicial, and economic leadership of Nazi Germany, who planned, carried out, or otherwise participated in the Holocaust and other war crimes.


    we need to expose the criminals that took over the democrat party, and sold us out to wall street and the chinese communist party.

    Feinstein defended China against human rights violations as husband got rich off Chinese companies

    “The book, which was released on Tuesday, says Feinstein’s husband, Richard Blum, has simultaneously grown his fortune immensely by doing business with the communist nation, at one point profiting from a company found to be spying on the U.S. military through Chinese products.”

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The real value of the Truman commission in today’s dollars or last time I looked was staggering, and that was done during a war we were trying to win.

      1. marku52

        I was watching a U toob on the history of the M50 machine gun (the design must be pretty good, it is still in use 100 years later!) and one point was that one of the companies making them in WWII got so efficient at it that they *returned* something like $1.5 million to the USG in excess profits.

        *Returned* excess profits. Now let that sink in.

    2. Guild Navigator

      Radicalization is no sin and hardly a sign of ignorance, but may be just what this country needs. Radical just means back to the root. Back not to the root of the planter slaver aristocrats and genocidaires, but focusing on the root problems discussed at length on this blog, and doing what is needed to save the planet from the ghouls who think they own said planet. Put the Carter/Reagan/Bush/Obama/Trump/Biden era war extractive industry FIRE sector criminals on perp and blast them on a one way trip into the sun.

    3. Mildred Montana

      Thanks for the quotes. I will add one:

      “Those whose falsehoods no longer deceive have forfeited the right to tell the truth.”
      —–Ambrose Bierce

      It is wrong that nearly all politicians lie. Yet it is tolerated. That is even worse.

      Along comes a real crisis that demands popular support and those smug lying fools wonder why many people refuse to believe them even if they’re telling the truth. They should read Bierce and learn a bit about ethics in government.

      1. LifelongLib

        I guess I’m more cynical. I don’t think that political truth corresponds to philosophical or scientific truth. It’s more like “what people believe that I have to work around”. I don’t blame politicians for making deals or talking a lot of face-saving bs when the alternative is blood in the streets.

  3. griffen

    The Novak Djokovic article, not exactly a great summary but interesting nonetheless. I don’t routinely follow men’s tennis, but because of the current logjam at the top for career excellence I find it interesting. Plus the angle of will they bend the rules for an all time great.

    Federer has 20 major titles, Nadal has 20 and so does Djokovic. It’s been a trio of dominant play in men’s single competition.

    1. jefemt

      Seldom hear jokes anymore, which is weird… new jokes used to rise with the stock market.


      Those Aussies sure know how to return Serb!

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Judge imposes strike ban on 17,000 BNSF railway workers”

    That is not the end of it – not by a long shot. What workers can do is work-to-rule and considering that this is the railways we are talking about, can be very effective. The boss wants you to skip a safety rule like you usually have to do daily? This time you say that you will agree – so long as they sign a piece of paper accepting responsibility. The bosses want you to work overtime? Sorry, you are working to rule and so cannot. It is a pity that it is just a freight company and not passenger one. A long time ago I worked for the railways and as a way to avoid a strike, we were told by the union to not collect any fares on one particular day. Starving the beast you might say.

    That day at rush hour, I opened up all the gates to let people to quickly go through rather than having only two or three to funnel people through so that their tickets could be checked. The Station Manager was a bit upset about that but I told him what was the point of funneling passengers if we weren’t going to check their tickets? Fun fact – the railroad’s parent company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., of Omaha, Nebraska. Maybe some of those workers can buy some stock and turn up at the next general meeting in Omaha to let their feeling be known out loud and in person.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Several Amtrak passenger trains run on BMSF (sic) tracks and would likely be among the services most disrupted by working to rule. The freight rail operators see to their non-captive customers first. On the other hand Amtrak services are so crapified everywhere outside of the Acela corridor only we peons and retired people ride it so the delays won’t attract much high level attention.

      1. aletheia33

        does the acela run on BMSF tracks?
        because boy if i was working on that train, i sure would welcome the chance to stick it to those rich a***oles who ride it every day.

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          No. BMSF operates mainly from Chicago and westward. It’s a conglomeration of half a dozen or so RRs founded in the 19th century.

          1. Mildred Montana

            I believe that’s BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe). Owned by Berkshire Hathaway, also known as Warren Buffet.

            Current CEO is Kathryn “Katie” Farmer (a woman) so am I mistaken in expecting gentle, fair, sympathetic treatment of the strikers? /sarc

            Or is she just a figurehead and Buffet is the ???????? ??????

            1. Eclair

              Yes, Warren Buffet’s company totally owns BNSF. Bill Gates has a large share in CN (Canadian National), smaller now, after parting with a bunch to Melinda during the divorce.

              My spouse points out the BNSF has been doing ‘good stuff,’ slowly but surely ‘double-tracking’ their lines, thus allowing trains to pass, rather than having one pull over to let the other one through.

              Yes, it’s the same Bill Gates who is the largest single owner of farmland in the US.

              See a pattern here?

    1. DJG, Reality Czar


      Why do I get the impression that Tove “Karen” Danovich simply wants to talk to the manager about honeybees? Especially after that swarm took off and left her feeling rejected?

      She wanted to keep bees but had never heard of swarming behavior–one of the most spectacular things that honeybees do. (Don’t tell her about their dances…)

      I’m leery about comparing bees to livestock. That seemed petulant. Yes, honeybees are an import into North America. Yes, there are many solitary bee species, all beneficial. But those assertions don’t overrule the culture of beekeeping, the history of honey in human culture, the uses of honey. What other insect has such a long-standing beneficial relationship with human beings? {Okay, the silkmoth.]

      1. diptherio

        Nowhere in the article does it say that the author was uninformed about swarming. Try reading it again.

        Just a month after I installed the nucs, I came home to find one hive had swarmed. It’s a natural process that honeybees often do when things are going so well that they figure they can split up and send their genes off to multiply. I missed the actual swarming process, which looked like a cloud of buzzing black spiraling into the sky, according to my next-door neighbor, who had been home to witness it.

        Are you unconcerned about the negative effects on other pollinator species detailed in the article? Because that’s the point of the article, whether you think the livestock comparison is apt or not. I love my local, raw honey, but I can also understand that it’s production may entail some negative externalities that I have been unaware of.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          our local bee guru advises everyone to use the “native” bees….ie: the ones that are endemic, living in hollow post oaks, and such.
          these occasionally swarm, and move into people’s houses…and those people call the exterminator guy…who calls the bee guru.
          bee guru goes in with a snake cam to reconnoiter, and then removes the hive and places it where it’s wanted…either with someone like me(this year, i hope), or with other bee people in central texas(there’s like a secret society of bee people, it turns out)
          these “native” bees are “africanised”, in that they have genes from the “Killer Bees” that were bred in south america decades ago, got loose, and headed north.
          they arrived around here around 10-15 years ago(i remember the little traps hanging in roadside trees. this is how i met the state entymology people).
          bee guru explains that these bees are “just bees”, but with african honeybee genes that makes them a bit more aggressive…and also enables them to survive much better than the ordinary “livestock” version.
          they are also already here….i know of at least 3 hives within a mile of where i sit…all in hollow post oaks of great age.
          so not displacing anybody.
          on my part of the place, there are abundant insects…including the hoverflies and bumblebees mentioned in the article.
          i maintain habitat for these guys…as well as the dragon flies, etc.
          outside my 5 acres, things aren’t nearly as diverse…but that’s likely 150 years of farming and ranching…and 80 or so of spraying whatever horrible chemical they could lay hands on.
          i remember well the numerous old timers i’ve done ranch work for wanting me to kill whatever bees, wasps or native ants they came across…and me refusing to do so.
          (i also wont use diesel as a weedkiller…which is still, remarkably, a thing out here)
          i reckon that there’s room enough for all those bugs, given a little forethought and care…and now that farming is no longer a going concern hereabouts.
          and i myself have imported ladybugs and lacewings and tiny parasitical wasps that eat housefly larvae in the chicken house….all that as many as 20 years ago, and they’re still here, endemic to my patch.
          but again…i maintain habitat, and don’t use very many chemicals at all.

          the biggest problem i see mentioned in the article is the trucking around all those thousands of hives…that’s how you spread diseases and parasites, and also how you maximally and serially disrupt whatever insect populations are already present.
          that practice should be curtailed(and frack the almond magnates…they are damaging to the world in numerous other ways).
          stay put, and work from your doorstep…manage your hive(s) like you manage your goats and chickens and tomatoes and green beans…with an eye towards sustainability and resilience.

          from march through september, everyone who comes to my place marvels at the rampant diversity of life…from lizards and frogs to quail(imported fire ants knocked them out) and 15 species of native ant(i eradicated the imported fire ants 20 years ago, with targeted beauvaria bassiana), 17 kinds of dragon/damsel flies and a whole host and myriad of other life, scurrying about and peeking out and otherwise doing their thing.

  5. Mikerw0

    Wow, a link on bike racing!!

    That said, it must be said that by the time Cav started wining stages in last year’s tour that his main competition had largely crashed out. Winning sprint stages is hard and requires some elements of skill and luck.

    1. Robert Hahl

      I heard that the first performance-enhancing drug was an innovation of bike racing in the early 1900’s – ethanol, used to dull the pain.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “British blogger’s prank shows how little West’s ‘China experts’ really know about China”

    Had a good laugh reading this one. The British guys I knew would say that Curt McArdle is ‘taking the p***’ out of these so-called experts. If they do not know the language of the country that they are supposed to be experts on, would it have been so hard to send that image showing that card to a person that did so that they could read that card? Are there no Chinese restaurants near where those experts live where they could have gone for a meal and promised a bigger tip if the waiter could read that card to them? He mentioned sharing this video and below is the link to it- (8:31 mins)

    This reminds me. My own Russian ‘positive content payment card’ for writing nice things about Russia needs renewing. And do you know how hard it is to exchange Russian Rubles in a rural country bank is?

    1. Stephen V.

      We have an entire bureaucracy for that here in the States Rev. It’s called the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Look out if the bank files an SAR on you… (suspicious activity report).

      1. Late Introvert

        One of my freelance video gigs (before C19) was camera op on training material that financial institutions force their employees to watch. I think it might be a part of certifying things, because I know that company had regular audits, even though they weren’t a bank, just a company that sells educational videos to banks.

        The OFAC video was shocking, because it always involved the Feds showing up at an office, and employees getting called in for firings. Fun to shoot though!

        And later when it came up during the Trump years for nailing his lawyer for illegal payments, it was even more amusing.

  7. Wukchumni

    Goooooood Mooooooorning Fiatnam!

    Now that we were actively removing resources from the country, Fiatnamization was in full swing in transferring responsibility and direction. It was literally every state for themselves, devil take the hindmost, or .01%’ers take the most, if you’d prefer.

    Fiatnamization fit into the broader détente policy of the Biden administration, in which the United States no longer regarded its fundamental strategy as the containment of Covid, effectively squashing the great mask divide of those naked from the neck up.

    1. Samuel Conner

      > no longer regarded its fundamental strategy

      The poor ‘from the top’ acknowledgment of important public health issues — aerosol spread — and relevant-to-individuals medical issues such as long COVID, cellular immune system dysfunction, etc. — appears to me to be part of the ‘done with COVID’ mentality that I am encountering in some people whom I regard to be intelligent and sophisticated. People are still unaware of the risks they are running.

      It kind of looks to me like JRB and company (or ‘handlers’) adopted DJT’s approach of not drawing attention to facts and concerns that might alarm the public.

      Who needs a healthy population, anyway? We can always import more. /s

  8. griffen

    Youngkin is not Trump, more likely the new governor is better accomplished and accustomed to actually delivering on results. I have no particular interest into state politics of Virginia, but will be curious to see how Youngkin progresses. A more qualified accounting of his actions at Carlyle is probably already written or it will be forthcoming. One example of buyout practices is in this article.

    1. TheMog

      The local propaganda, err, news channels we get here are the DC/Virginia ones, and the hand wringing on the air about Youngkin started the same day for essentially daring to govern and turn the first batch of his campaign (donor, most likely) promises into action. Surprise. He definitely seems to try and get things done, which we’re not used to from the “other” party. Not that I agree with the policies, but it seems to catch the PMC minions by surprise every time someone gets something done.

      One of the stations which is IIRC a Sinclair-owned station wasn’t doing much if anything in the way of critical reporting, but I can’t say that is a surprise.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The Democratic nominee was a major investor in Carlyle when Youngkin was there. Curiously, he’s disappeared. Not one article blaming the left lane democratic woes has mentioned the former governor’s second failed run.

      For the most part, Youngkin seems dedicated to ending masks in schools and putting everyone on a watch list.

      The Team Blue Karens didn’t want to hear the other Karens wouldn’t perceive Youngkin as Trump because of the personal styles. Youngkin is a Republican, so hes likely worse than Trump. Terry had a line near the end about sleeping when they are dead. My guess is his last minute bus tour was the result of a complete panic when the moderate gopers weren’t breaking for TMac.

  9. macgregor

    The plan to let omicron run wild is going to result in millions, if not tens of millions filing for disability in the US. The system is not designed to handle this. Neither is GoFundMe. Neither are private charities. Due to Long Covid, we have a disaster in the making.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That only works if Long Covid is recognized as a real disability by the medical authorities – by people like Dr. Fauci. And if you want to know how that works out, look up the stories by vets who claimed disability from Agent Orange, Gulf War Syndrome or more recently, the 9/11 Responders.

      1. Randy

        It was easier to write off those people, sad as that is. Mister Market just got done throwing a fit over advertised positions going unfilled. What happens when it becomes even noticeable that a significant percentage of the population isn’t showing up to work because they have long covid or are taking care of someone with long covid?

        1. Wukchumni

          Now that i’m out of the isolationist movement and no longer Typhoid Wukchumni, I felt as a PLC (potentially long covid) what would become of me, and why not a 4 letter acronym such as LCSB (long covid-short breath) for emphasis to my cause, give it a voice?

          Entered polite society in order to shed ears of hair in a much needed visit to the barber, who informed me of many of her customers who had caught Covid for xmas and new years-this in the beating heart of barely getting to a 50% double vaxed rate. I asked if she knew anybody who’d passed away and she told of a 39 year old wife of a regular, who had died a week earlier. It seemed deaths were on the down low of those testing positive.

          A good barber remembers hearsay, and gets their information straight from the unfiltered source…

          My mom is back in lockdown in her gilded cage of an apartment in the assisted living place she calls home.

          We were just informed of this by management:

          “Last week, we conducted 130 PCR tests: 57 residents and 73 employees. From this set of tests, we had 7 testing positive: 2 residents and 5 employees. Because we had a few positives, we will continue to be in the current restrictions.”

          My mom tells me of the revolving door of young workers there, nobody really lasts all that long and that was before Covid came calling. I hope they can cope with having so many employees out and new hires making no more than fast food employees makes hiring all the harder. Who wants to hang out with with really old people when you’re in your 20’s?

      2. jr

        As I’ve mentioned, I’m keeping an ear open for the first instance of Long COVID shaming I come across.

      3. urdsama


        But I think we may be reaching the “if you owe the bank millions, it’s the banks problem” territory.

        You need a certain amount of healthy people for the system to keep running the way it is and not have massive disruptions.

    2. redleg

      You can’t have long Covid if you can’t show you’ve had Covid, so why not make testing as difficult as possible?

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        aye. I’m certain as i can be that my youngest, my MIL, and myself all had covid…but only wife tested positive.
        inaccurate tests are essential to mitigate having to do much of anything, going forwards.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “HHS secretary under fire for being ‘invisible’ leader during pandemic”

    It’s Xavier Becerra? Really? I don’t know why they should be surprised at his ‘invisible man’ imitation. We have repeatedly seen his name in connection with posts about CalPERS where his ability to fade into the wallpaper stood him in good stead as California’s AG. I think that he learned early that it was safer to stick your neck into a hole in the ground rather than having it stick out.

    1. griffen

      Failing upward, as American as apple pie and turning left in Nascar….I could see the why or how of deferring to another agency like the CDC. Letting another fall on that sword! To be honest, my recall of the persons who fill that cabinet post is a little shaky. As compared to say by example, Secretary of State.

  11. griffen

    SpaceX rocket will crash into the moon. Apparently the rocket completed it’s purpose in 2015 and has been aloft drifting in space.

    Space junk. Sounds like a name for a new wave punk or thrash metal band. And opening for Metallica, please welcome Space Junk! Not to get confused with an actual band called Cowboy Junkies.

    1. Wukchumni

      I think it’s just a moonspiracy theory and it didn’t happen if there isn’t video of it hitting the set where they faked the Apollo 11 landing.

      1. The Rev Kev

        So we have gone from ‘If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?’ to ‘If a rocket falls on the far side of the Moon and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?’ but this time we know that the answer is a resounding Yes!

    2. LawnDart

      Space Junk? Immediately thought of the band, Alien Sex Fiend…

      Here’s their “Trip to the Moon” which for some may be a trip down memory lane– a look in the mirror, and a cringe– so if you want to suicide away 5-mins of your life (video is amusing, though: wonder if Musk did his teething on it?)…

  12. Wukchumni

    Down the mountainside
    To the coastline
    Past the angry tirade
    The mighty digital divide

    And the ultimatum comes
    And the ultimatum goes
    Round another bend
    Spotify says it’s time up, Yo!

    Roll on, Spotify
    On your Rogan coattails
    Through the ether
    Roll on, Spotify
    On your Rogan coattails
    On your Rogan coattails

    I rode the highball in the 60’s
    After the gold rush dialed in
    When I turned seventy-six
    Online trombones went silent from lack of din

    So it was Mr. Young
    We’ve got to let you go
    That’s company policy
    You’ve got $174.78 coming, though

  13. Tom Stone

    These Covid deaths are really being exaggerated, I don’t mean the numbers, but the hype…these are MILD deaths for gosh’ sake.
    It’s not like people’s bodies are exploding or something and most of these people would have died in a few years anyway.
    Can’t these reporters talk about the POSITIVE aspects?
    This is giving GDP a badly needed boost!
    More housing is becoming available!
    And thrift shops are doing great.
    Death is good!.
    For business.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Speak for yourself.The only sort of death that would appeal to me would be that caused by jumping out of a bedroom window!

    2. Pelham

      You kid. But judging from the official narrative, I’d say officialdom is edging pretty close to seriously declaring “mild” Covid deaths.

      Separately, I’d like to thank everyone at NakedCapitalism for regular postings on Long Covid. I don’t get around the internet as much as I probably should, but what I do see contains an alarming paucity on LC. And I’ll confess to possibly being over the top on the subject. But by whatever measure or reckoning, I think it demands a good deal more consideration.

  14. TheMog

    Of course Nordstream is on the list of sanctions that are being thrown around, as usual. It’s almost like there might be a commercial interest in Central Europe not getting natural gas from Russia.

    I haven’t had much time recently looking at the German news outlets, and even some of the ones that used to be more center-left seem to partake in some of the Ukraine rah-rah. It’ll be interesting to see how much of the little diplomatic goodwill that seems to be left in the main EU countries after the Orange administration is going to go down the drain with the way Blinken et al “include” their European vassals, err, “allies” in the whole kerfuffle. I guess they made Biff (of Back to the Future fame) a role model for the State Department.

    Given that the price of electricity appears to have gone up quite noticeably in recent months in Germany, I would suspect that if there is much of an increase in the price of natural gas and/or a supply disruption, things would get a tad unpleasant for the new administration, and I’m pretty sure they know that.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

    1. The Rev Kev

      The German media may be on board with the Ukraine hype – as they usually are – but the government isn’t. They are refusing to ship weapons but have offered to send a complete military field hospital unit along with a shipment of 5,000 military helmets. There has also been a lot of talk about yanking Russia from the Belgium-based SWIFT network but are people aware what that means? So the day after that happens, the Russians call up Europe and ask them to suggest how they pay for their gas. The one that stops people from freezing to death in the middle of a European winter (crickets). Washington would not have to worry about that one but countries like Germany would have a keen interest in it.

      Can you imaging Joe Biden doing something similar for America? So he goes on TV and tells people that because of a dispute with Russia, he is stopping the shipment of things like gas, heating oil, etc for the current winter so he hopes people are cool with that. But not to worry. He has been informed by the Department of Indian Affairs that they have large stocks of unused blankets that they can send out to each and every American. After they have been means-tested. And just after they contact their healthcare insurer to be re-imbursed for paying for the cost of those blankets.

        1. Wukchumni

          Kit Carson ordered orchards of the pesky inhabitants of Canyon de Chelly to be cut down and as many as 4,000 peach trees were wiped out by the fuzz.

          After he starved them out, they went on the western trail of tears to a reservation in New Mexico.

          1. Pate

            Carson relocated the Navajo to Texas. Then repatriated them back to their ancestral lands later. Read Blood and Thunder to k on earn about the amazing life of kit Carson One if his blankets turned up on antique road show a few years back.

        2. The Rev Kev

          Unfortunately, that was no myth. I read a contemporary history of Virginia years ago dating back to the earliest days of the Colony and it states explicitly that that is exactly what they did. To make it worse, they went all sympathetic about the catastrophe attacking the Native Americas in the pages after as if they had nothing to do with it.

    2. Polar Socialist

      If you read the Doctorow link you can see that while maybe not in media, there are people in Germany demanding in public for the sanity to return.

      1. The Rev Kev

        When I was staying in Germany years ago, I never met a people that were more anti-war, especially the younger generation. Too many stories had been passed down what war was really all about. That was so long ago now that back the the Greens were a left-wing movement and not a right-wing neocon organization like they are now. And certainly the media was not so hard right-wing either but times change.

  15. Vinny Balini

    I’m glad there’s no FDR today to de-radicalize people. People need to be more radical, radical enough to drag the bourgeoisie from their homes and execute them in the street line dogs. I hope that day comes soon.

  16. Carla

    IMHO: great reporting on a topic of local importance that may well apply to cities and counties elsewhere:

    Headline: Who’s Electing Judges in the Cleveland Area? Not Those Ensnared in the System

    Here’s what’s most relevant: “Cuyahoga County’s voting patterns have resulted in mostly White judges deciding the guilt or innocence of the county’s mostly Black criminal defendants. Of the 34 judges currently on the bench in Cuyahoga County, 30 are White and four are Black.”

    I sincerely doubt that Cuyahoga County, Ohio, is alone in this.

    1. Chris Smith

      If the problem is low voter turnout, it seems the answer is for an enterprising candidate for a judgeship to go into Ward 5 and engage in politics. Said candidate could address the concerns of Ward 5 residents, criticize the biases of the sitting judge or judges, promise to do better, and mobilize turnout. Preferably, said candidate would be a resident of Ward 5 with roots in the community. The article reads like so much “someone oughta do something!”

      1. Carla

        Actually, I think the problems (as described in the article) are a little more complex than that. It’s really hard to vote out incumbents who run unopposed, as so many in our county do.

        I wonder if this phenomenon of inner-city residents not voting for judges, with the more well-off residents of adjacent suburbs being more likely to do so, exists in other areas of the country.

        Despite being a decently educated person who has always cared deeply about justice, I used to leave the bottom of the ballot blank because it was so hard to find reliable information about candidates for judgeships. Then the county bar association started publishing which made it less painful to look into the candidates and their records. But it’s still laborious. There can be a dozen or more judgeships on the ballot in a given election (often including more than one Gallagher, Corrigan or Russo, making it essential to make a detailed list to take to the polls. Then there’s Ohio’s charming system that permits the political parties to fund races for judge, but decrees all such races legally non-partisan, so you have to actually research each candidate to see which party they are beholden to. The judge4yourself web site won’t tell you.

        As a very committed voter, I can attest that It takes a lot of work to vote for judges, and even more to do so with any degree of confidence that you’re supporting the right person.

        “A 2013 report by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association concluded “it is hard to conceive how even the most industrious and conscientious voter could possibly collect enough information to make informed decisions” — noting that the county has nearly 100 judicial elections each six-year period, with every voter eligible to pick judges at the local, county and state level.

        “Voters kind of lose heart after a while,” said Lawrence Baum, emeritus professor of political science at Ohio State University.”

        Yeah, well, in “Our democracy,” maybe that’s the point.

  17. jr

    Kim Iverson on a big trucker’s rally/convoy in Canada to protest US vaccine mandates that they are required to present to enter the US:

    Is this not an example of labor flexing it’s power? Another supply chain disruption. I find it heartening. I probably don’t agree with a lot of what they stand for but I agree with the resistance to the authoritarianism.

    In my own struggle, my partner’s mom, who loves me dearly, is scared for me to visit because I haven’t been boosted yet. I’ve been coming up with excuses to buy time, now I’m telling everyone I’m waiting for the Omicron specific booster. Nothing like conducting psy-ops campaigns on your kindly mother in-law (more or less).

    1. Maritimer

      Reports are that there are convoys from both East and West converging upon Ottawa the nation’s extortive capital. Also that personal vehicles are joining. There are supposedly 50,000 trucks so far. The logistics of that are massive and there will possibly be Government/Army intervention at some point.

      The Prime Vaccinator is supposedly “isolating” for the next five days due to Covid exposure. Here he is:

      Pandering to five year olds to get Vaxxed:

      Here he is bragging about attacking Canada’s Charter of rIghts via a “loophole”:

      So Canada by its leader’s own admission is not governed by the Rule of Law but by “loophole”. Move over Australia, NZ, Austria there’s a new tyrant on the block. Woe Canada.

    2. jrkrideau

      Kim Iverson on a big trucker’s rally/convoy in Canada to protest US vaccine mandates that they are required to present to enter the US:

      Canadian truckers returning from the USA must present proof of vaccination or do a 14 day quarantine. Given that AFAIK Canadian truckers must provide proof of vaccination to cross into the USA, it is a bit confusing: If they were vaccinated to go south why are they not still vaccinated coming north?

      Is this not an example of labor flexing it’s power?
      No. The Canadian Trucking Association estimates that 90% of drivers are already vaccinated. I suspect that they think the protesting truckers are misguided or idiots.

      I noticed today from news shots that a lot of the trucker convoy from the west seemed to be driving pickup trucks or SUV’s. I began to wonder just how many real truckers are in it as opposed to anti-vaxers and general S**t-disturbers. There are certainly a lot of upset truckers but I suspect a goodly number of riff-raff are tagging along for the fun.

      BTW, Kim reported something like 30,000 vehicles. Police just east of Winnipeg said about 2,000. There may be others from Ontario and further east joining the protest in Ottawa but my guess is we will see, at the very most, 5,000 vehicles.

      It looks like a bog-standard protest that will cause the normal traffic chaos around the Hill, have Ottawans cursing the demo—they curse all demos—and as usual will not do anything. The only real worry is if some crazy alt-right bunch try violence.

      Vaccination rates across Canada range from 78.54% to 93.78. Vaccination coverage . It is just not a cause most Canadians have much sympathy for. If anything, they wish the unvaccinated would would shut up and get the vaccine.

        1. jrkrideau

          Update. A lot of odds and sods of anti/mask, anti-vax, anti-Trudeau, and probably a fair number of potentially very dangerous alt-right groups are piling on so my top estimate of 5,000 vehicles is likely low. I do think @ Maritimer’s figure of 50,000 is way, way to high.

          It sounds like it will be a circus in Ottawa on Saturday, especially as I doubt if a lot of the protesters have any conception of Centretown Ottawa and may expect wide streets.

    3. Shleep

      Update from Ottawa:

      Parliament is a 5 minute walk from my house; today, I saw municipal workers papering-over the street parking signs, designating many of the streets in the downtown core no-stopping zones.

      Yesterday, ten days after our heavy dump – 45-60 cms – the city finally saw fit to remove the snow in the downtown core, thereby doubling the capacity of most roads. (Ottawa usually waits until the next dump is a sure thing before removing the last one. None is forecast.)

      ‘Estimates say 50,000 trucks could be participating, the Toronto Sun reported.’, per Fox News (2 somewhat unreliable sources, to be sure). Low-end numbers began at 1600 departing Vancouver last weekend. It will be rather more than that, per tonight’s news. 1600 without trailers would immobilize downtown. 50K would blockade the city (5 highways in/out). Either way, gridlock will obviate nuisance tickets for stopping.

      A small mercy, forecast winds and daytime highs of ~ -13C/9F Fri-Sat-Sun should keep us from asphyxiating.

      Bars and restaurants are closed (take-out/delivery only) since 3 Jan, to partially re-open Monday at 50% capacity and shortened hours. (Ontario’s hospitalizations rates declining, Ottawa’s still increasing daily.)

      Local media is suggesting that car travel to downtown may be disrupted. A few local business (all open with limited-capacity) have announced closure (with the idea that staff won’t be able to get there), and some boarding up.

      National MSM seems intent on not providing talking points to/provoking the protesters, and appears to be going to some effort / bending over backward to show the many people supporting the convoy as it passes through towns and cities on it’s route, per tonight’s national CBC/CTV news. This after spending the last year hammering on vax-vax-vax – only those approved by Health Canada (read, FDA), and poo-pooing/ignoring any other points of view.

      I don’t social media; none of the few people I do see, nor any MSM, had any problem with PM Trudeau yesterday saying “The small fringe minority of people who are on their way to Ottawa who are holding unacceptable views…”: WTFamilyblog??? This country already has a relatively expansive list of things that said in public can land one in jail – and a constitution that allows for the right to freedom of speech to be declared notwithstanding by provincial and federal parliaments.

      It was only some 6 months ago that Canada re-opened it’s land border to anything other than truck traffic. For the (first) year the border was closed, they were “heroes”, toughing it out in frankly appalling conditions ensuring product got to and fro – because bidness.

      Interesting times…

  18. jo6pac

    Why would China waste their time doing this other than to show they can. The plane is junk and everyone news it. This the 4th f-35 plane to crash this month.

    Could China Fish a Dead F-35C Stealth Fighter From the South China Sea?

    1. Wukchumni

      I’ve e-mailed Naval Air Station Lemoore a few times to request a transfer of name in accordance with the F-35 squadron that calls it home to something more appropriate, and my plan was to call it:

      ‘NAS Lemon’

      It’d be an easy fix, just remove a few letters and bingo.

      Speaking of the F(edsel)-35, it has been many months since i’ve heard them wasting money overhead here.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Part of US behavior is shaped by perceptions of US impunity. Grabbing the F-35 first is a statement about capabilities. We banned the Chinese from the ISS and joint space programs, so they proceeded to outpace us in space other than giving billionaires joyrides.

      I figure Beijing will either go ts and rattle off US human rights abuses or return the quaint museum piece immediately.

    3. John

      Of course China could do that. There is no need to do so unless unaware of the super-secret thingamajiggies that make the F-35 such a fearsome weapon. Are they unaware? That is the question.

      1. Polar Socialist

        The Chinese never operated Mig-31 with it’s networked tactical situation display and fire control from the 70’s or the Mig-29 with it’s light helmet mounted display from the 80’s so those could be of mild interest.

        I doubt the PLAAF supports the “sensor fusion” philosophy of providing an individual pilot with all the possible and impossible information to try to keep track on, but rather go for “limited tasks with relevant information” school of aerial warfare.

    4. albrt

      The F-35 as a whole does not seem very useful, but I suppose retrieving it would give the Chinese a pretty good look at what kind of computer chips the US is capable of making. If it turns out the chips in the F-35 were actually made in China, that would also be good information to have.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s a pet project of the new 4th branch of the military, the Marines (not officially of course, and we desperately need to reduce that cult to its proper place, the navy’s soldiers) and senators who saw a horse by committee they could put on campaign material that would make republicans be nice to them.

        Other than that, it makes no sense. The Russian cruise missiles effectively ended any notions of fighting in the Black Sea.

    5. griffen

      One man’s junk is another man’s treasure*. Let’s face reality here, we’re not talking about a few billion of a foreign power’s latest flight technology and weaponry. We’re talking about a half-assery attempt to show our might not terribly far from them.

      *Then again, it might just be a hunk of junk. Lockheed just needs to try harder.

      1. Wukchumni

        Another junker is Top Gun: Maverick starring the F-35 and assorted humans. Originally scheduled to be released in July 2019, the date has been pushed back many times, with the latest opening day set for May 27, 2022.

        Interestingly enough, the production cost of the dud movie is about the same as the dud plane @ $152 million.

        1. griffen

          I was thinking of Hollywood junk lately, in terms of a fundamentally great to excellent original film or TV series only to have the sequel(s) or spin-off manage to descend into or past mediocrity. That said, I am sure Tommy Cruise will go on to make hit movies even when relegated to just Mission Impossible films.

          Walking away on top, Jerry Seinfeld nailed it. He was trying to make quitting the thing to do, per his short cameo with Jordan from the Last Dance.

    6. Oh

      It would be easier for the Chinese to blow up the wreckage into a million pieces in situ than fishing it out of the drink.

  19. Tom Stone

    I don’t understand the criticism of Havvy Basura, he was chosen to head HHS precisely due to the way he performed as California AG.
    And after all he IS following the Zients, which is what the Biden Administration promised to do.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Germany: Lawmakers debate introducing COVID vaccine mandate”

    Kirsten Kappert-Gonther, the health expert for the Green Party, may say “Vaccination is the way out of the pandemic” but we all know that that is not true which is why I am against mandates. Especially in light of the fact that these new generation vaccines are doing all sorts of weird and wonderful things to people’s bodies – if it doesn’t kill them that is. I can think of only one case where mandates would be justified and that would be if these were sterilizing vaccines. In that case I would go along with vaccine mandates as this would end the pandemic once and for all if distributed world-wide. But for people to suggest that mandates are the way to go in light of how Omicron is blowing through them strikes me as naive at best.

  21. dcrane

    “This #urgencyofnormal toolkit cherry picks data. A classic case of how to lie with data.

    There have been 5x more pediatric COVID deaths than flu since 2019. And their references actually suggest #LongCOVID is a problem for kids.

    — Emily R Smith, ScD MPH (@DrEmilyRSmith) January 26, 2022”

    Surely it matters that the flu was widely reported as having mostly disappeared during the pandemic. This person should be comparing the covid totals to an equivalent time period pre-andemic for the flu.

    1. fool's idol

      This is a great detail to keep in mind, but it turns out not to matter in this particular case, as the 2019-2020 flu season was pretty bad. Consulting the CDC’s pediatric influenza death tracker (, we see that the totals for flu seasons prior to COVID are:

      * 2019-2020: 199
      * 2018-2019: 144
      * 2017-2018: 188
      * 2016-2017: 110
      * 2015-2016: 95
      * 2014-2015: 148
      * 2013-2014: 111
      * 2012-2013: 171
      * 2011-2012: 37
      * 2010-2011: 124

      The mean over this time period is ~133 deaths/season, with 2019-2020 being the worst season in the last decade (and 2017-2018 being pretty close, and free of any possibility of COVID deaths being miscounted as flu in the period before people were looking for COVID in the US).

      What I don’t like is that Smith is comparing pediatric flu deaths during a 6-month flu season against pediatric COVID deaths during 2+ years of the pandemic. A better comparison would be against a single year of COVID deaths (we might halve the 1,150 number to get a single year’s deaths being roughly 575). This still means that COVID has killed over four times as many children per year as flu (in normal flu years), so it still makes Smith’s point, while being better founded in the data.

      (You might argue that halving the COVID annual death count again to get a 6-month death count is a better comparison still, but I’m not so sure about that.)

      More broadly, the “urgency of normal” toolkit data is badly, badly flawed. Note that the numbers above don’t match the graph in Smith’s tweet’s picture. The graphs suggest much higher pediatric mortality – but they’re for all-cause mortality during a flu season, not mortality due to flu. This is such a flagrantly bad choice for data presentation that I can’t avoid assuming it was done with the intention to mislead.

      1. fool's idol

        And, of course, the minute I posted, I noticed that I made a mistake – no, it isn’t all-cause mortality during a flu season, because typical all-cause pediatric mortality for a 6-month period in the US is measured in the thousands.

        They actually got their information from the CDC again, but this time from an estimate of “flu burden” (, which revises reported flu-associated deaths and hospitalizations to try to account for inadequate testing, misdiagnosis, and reporting errors. These estimated flu-associated deaths are always quite a bit higher than the reported flu-associated deaths.

        This doesn’t affect my point, though, because the COVID pediatric death number is the reported one, not an estimate. An estimate like that for flu would be higher than the reported number. So the proper apples-to-apples comparison is still the one I laid out above.

        Despite my error (really should have checked the source), this is still badly misrepresented data, carefully selected to reach a foregone conclusion.

  22. John

    There is a $500 billion military aid to Ukraine bill being fast tracked through the house and no doubt will receive a near unanimous vote in the Senate, as did the so-called defense bill, or less succinctly the keep MICCIMATT happy and those dollars flowing our way bill.

    Are they collectively deranged; Russophobic ideologues, sock-puppets? I see less and less reason to vote for anyone for national office; I see no one who represents the real interests of the USA. Each “party” protects the flanks of the other and Biden’s inspired statement: “Nothing will fundamentally change.” is a mantra within the DC bubble, the FIRE sector, and corporate boardrooms.

    1. Carolinian

      Every other country seems to have a lobby in DC. Perhaps the Kremlin needs to start sending campaign contributions Congress’ way for a different result.

    2. Screwball

      Why not? They can get away with anything, and their base is on board from what I read. Just yesterday when the topic of going to war came up, and I said we don’t want to go to war, the PMC types came back with; maybe Russia & China shouldn’t start them. Really? Who, exactly, is starting them? Then it becomes, but we need to be sure they have democracy in Ukraine.

      And #BidenBoom is trending on Twitter. Market roaring since Powell laid an egg yesterday, so everything is just dandy.

      Oh, and Robert Reich Tweeted today they should put Barry O on the Supreme Court.

      Wouldn’t it be great? F yeah!

      What a shit show we live in.

    3. Oh

      While I think that even a $ 1 of aid to Ukraine is insane, the legislation that the Dims want to vote on is for $500 million not billion. From the intercept:

      The legislation would send $500 million from the Foreign Military Financing program to Ukraine for 2022. That amount would have made Ukraine the third-largest recipient of funding from the State Department’s FMF account in 2020, surpassed only by $3.3 billion to Israel and $1.3 billion to Egypt. (That year, the FMF program gave Ukraine $248 million.)

      This amount is just a giveaway to the arms manufacturers who’ll ship outdated arms to Ukraine just as the shipments to the Nigaragua contras where they sent bullets that were mismatched to the small arms that the contras previously received. A way to get paid big bucks for shipments of junk.

  23. Carolinian

    From Stoller’s Breyer article: Joe Biden the good old days.

    (Interestingly, Joe Biden, at the time a young Senator, really disliked Breyer and the law and economics movement, with its balancing tests of costs and benefits. He told Breyer his views were “presumptuous and elitist,” saying he found it offensive to presume Americans “would change their cultural values if” they knew the true costs. In a later interview, Biden then called Breyer’s ideas “”Harvard-ese … that offends me.”)

    Perhaps Biden really will take on Big Tech and Big AG (Big Pharma clearly a lost cause)?

    1. Carolinian


      If the fact-checkers are themselves untrustworthy, and you can’t get around the fact-checkers, that’s when you’re really screwed.

      Time was the real fact checker was competition. If the NYT got something wrong the WaPo would be sure to gloat. And there was also a time when newspapers were political party affiliated so the lordly notion of objective newspaper truth would have been scoffed at.

      These days it’s believe nothing until it has been officially denied by the MSM. The web may in fact be the last bastion of true journalism and motive for blog loyalists. Why else are we here?

    2. fresno dan

      January 27, 2022 at 10:52 am

      The Post, citing “some misinformation experts say”** — the pandemic version of “people familiar with the matter” — added:

      These newer platforms cater to subscribers who seek out specific content that accommodates their viewpoints — potentially making the services less responsible for spreading harmful views, some misinformation experts say.

      Even in a society with fairly robust protections, as ours once was, the most dangerous misinformation is always, without exception, official.

      Whether it’s WMDs or the Gulf of Tonkin fiasco or the missile gap or the red scare or the twenty-year occupation of Afghanistan, the worst real-world disasters always turn out to be driven or enabled by official falsehoods. In the case of Afghanistan (and Iraq, and Vietnam before both), the cycle of war disaster was perpetuated by a sweeping, organized, and intricate system of official lying, about everything from the success of missions to the efficacy of weaponry to the political devotion of supposed allies. The only defense against these most dangerous types of deceptions is an absolutely free press.
      I wonder what these “misinformation experts” say about the examples Taibbi cites??? Probably, because misinformation experts are all filtered to give the quotes the owners in the MSM want, one will never know…
      OR the stories that continue to this day that note that Trump’s election was helped by Putin, DESPITE the investigation by Mueller disclosing no such thing and the plethora of information confirming the Mueller conclusion.
      ** These newer platforms cater to subscribers who seek out specific content that accommodates their viewpoints – lets edit that to reflect reality: These MSM platforms cater to owners who seek out specific content that accommodates their (i.e., owners) viewpoints.

  24. Andrew

    How McConnell Could Block Biden’s Supreme Court Nominee

    Editor’s Note: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that Republicans could use Senate rules to block a Biden Supreme Court nomination. It was based on the author’s incorrect analysis of a May 13, 2021, Congressional Research Service report. The Senate will require a majority of votes to approve Justice Stephen Breyer’s replacement, not 60 votes.

    Woof. How far Time has fallen.

  25. Wukchumni

    Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Venture to Wind Down, Sell Assets Wall Street Journal
    Libra Horrorscope:

    Frustrated energy resulting from inability to put your plans into action could have your nerves on edge today, Libra, and you might be tempted to get into petty quarrels with those around you that claim like most everything Facebook tries aside from social media-a failure. Try to find alternative outlets for your energy so as to avoid this trap. There is also the danger that you might take impulsive actions without giving it any thought. Remember to stop and think before you act; otherwise, your efforts might be wasted.

  26. Wukchumni

    The drums of war are in a conga line, with a number of protesters walking around in what some might claim to be a circle and yet it was more rectangular, outside of a popular restaurant still offering Russian dressing on it’s menu, with one irate patriot holding up a placard reading:

    ‘Catalina First!’

  27. Jason Boxman

    If this Times story about Russian military prowess is to be believed, the real threat here is that unlike American military strategists and leaders, the Russians learn from their mistakes and improve upon their capabilities:

    Russian forces quickly overwhelmed their much smaller Georgian neighbors, but the war uncovered deep deficiencies in the Russian military. Ground troops were not in radio contact with the Air Force, leading to several serious friendly fire attacks. Communications were so bad that some officers had to use their personal cellphones. Tanks and armored personnel carriers broke down frequently.

    The failures prompted a massive shake-up of the Russian armed forces. The Soviet military’s prowess at land warfare was revived, with improvements such as revamped artillery technology, according to Mathieu Boulègue, a research fellow in the Russia and Eurasia program at Chatham House in London.

    (bold mine)

    Were the US to embark on a similar program, we’d immediately ditch the F-35 and completely reorganize the US 7th Fleet, among countless other necessary changes.

    1. redleg

      The US military is currently designed for funding contractors. Fighting capability is still there, but not the main concern.
      The Russians OTOH have watched the US adventures since 1991 and learned about tactics, technology, etc., in addition to whatever else they’ve learned.
      While I fully expect any war between US and Russia to be a full nuclear exchange by day 2, in terms of conventional warfare the US isn’t going to do very well against Russia.
      I hope such a war isn’t going to happen, but the bastards in charge of the US are hell bent on having it.

  28. Eureka Springs

    Here we are in another rare point in time when the citizens of the USA should be experiencing a massive peace dividend yet MIC budgets skyrocket and our sociopath politicians still longing and for world war.

    I love how Blinken and Co. are pushing so hard to get negotiations back to “private talks”. Russia has been saying for a while now all should be public. I hope Russia sticks with that stipulation.

    Why would China want to look at a sunken F35? Too much work getting it for a good laugh. Everyone knows it’s the equivalent of a lemon fresh Ford Pinto. No need to work so hard to get one, they are dropping like flies all the time. Probably find parts on ebay in a few years. The only thing worth learning from f-35 is what not to do.

  29. Wukchumni

    UFC 86

    Boris versus the House of Parliament in a battle royale involving mixed martial law art possibly if they can’t rid themselves of the menace in their midst, hoping Johnson holds a white piece of paper aloft.

    £ 39.99
    £ 49.99 HD

  30. JerryDenim

    Railroad Strike-

    “Workers at BNSF, the largest freight railway in the United States, voted nearly unanimously to strike against the unilateral imposition by management of a new points-based attendance system”

    This is a major point, a point that the story fails to explain in detail to the casual reader who may be unfamiliar with the basics of labor law or the Railway Labor Act. Forgive me for ‘belaboring’ this point, but basically the entire purpose of having a union, collective bargaining etc. is for the unionized labor group to have a inviolable contract with the company that covers all aspects of pay, work rules and employment. This document becomes the law governing all matters concerning employment between the two sides and neither side can “unilaterally” change the terms. Any and all changes to the contract must be bargained for in a new contract or formally amended through an “LOA” (Letter of Agreement) or an “MOU” (Memorandum of Understanding.) By imposing new terms of employment unilaterally, outside the bargaining process the BNSF management is a lawbreaker plain and simple. The union followed the letter of the law concerning the RLA and did not attempt a “wildcat” strike. A lawful, heavily-regulated RLA industry strike vote is the last line of defense that a unionized workgroup has in their toolkit to deal with a hostile employer intent on violating contracts negotiated through the collective bargaining process. For the judge to side with the law-breaking employer instead of the law-abiding workers destroys the integrity of the entire system and invalidates the purpose of labor contracts, collective bargaining, etc. If the new attendance policy adversely affecting workers was “minor” according to the judge and the “supply-chain crisis harming the public at large” was a big deal then why not issue an injunction prohibiting the railway from violating it’s contract with it’s employees? This decision and every other decision like this one makes a mockery of the system and is a clear indication that we are rapidly devolving into a feudal society not a law-based democracy. These types of decisions remind me of Larry Summers and his 2008 banker bailout bonus speech about how the government can’t “abrogate contracts” Ask any unionized worker covered by the RLA, contracts get abrogated by the government all the time, and you don’t even need a bankruptcy judge.

  31. Swamp Yankee

    Re: Trump as a protest vote for the working and middle classes vs. the PMC.

    Okay, maybe at the level of culture in terms of “owning the libs” (which, let’s be real, is just as silly and divorced from actual life — in terms of subsistence — as the Dems LOLing at the bubbas), but I’m not really seeing the huge material benefits that accrued from Trump that would justify him as a protest vote.

    He governed, with the exception of trade and being slightly less interventionist than his predecessors, like a bog standard Republican who had gotten into too much Adderall. Not seeing the protest aspect here, but your mileage may vary.

    1. Pat

      I see no point in voting for Biden or any likely Democratic candidate acceptable to the DNC either. And as someone whose last three third party votes have been largely ignored by both major parties, I have to ask.

      What major benefits have accrued from Biden that would merit voting for him? I can think of a couple of minor items but…

      What would constitute a protest vote that would be noticed more than going for Trump?
      This one has me totally stumped.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If minor items is all you will ever get from any President, are minor items worth ignoring?

        Trump Term Two will bring the successful “Deconstruction of the Administrative State” all the way to a razed-flat rubble field. Once you lose the “Administrative State”, you will never get it back. Would that be a major loss?

        No more Postal Service. No more National Park Service. No more OSHA. At all. No more EPA. At all. And so on down each, all and every citizen protection/ habitat protection/ etc. Administrative Function that currently exists at all . . . however poorly.

        If the permanent extinction of the Administrative State is a small loss, then a protest vote for Donald Trump may be worthwhile. It is a gamble.

        1. lance ringquist

          the difference between a trump type, and a nafta democrat is trump is overt, a nafta democrat is covert.

          nafta democrats are neck deep in all you say trump will do.

          that is why there have been no reversal of the disastrous polices wrought onto the post office, even though the nafta democrats have had majorities twice now.

          in fact, the disastrous polices were heavily supported by the nafta democrats.

    2. marym

      Trump tried to nullify the votes of tens of millions of working and middle class people. Also not seeing the protest aspect here.

        1. FluffytheObeseCat

          Vividly. As I recall, a plurality of that single digit group actually switched in Trump’s favor. And then the whole “movement” disappeared. Unlike the Trumpist “stolen election” movement. Stoking the election theft mania is still a favored fundraising gimmick in ultra-right venues. People still pull down serious coin thanks to the “stolen election” shtick.

          You know, if you’re going to indulge in whataboutism, it is probably best to use an example blessed with somewhat equivalent sociopolitical heft. Unfortunately this isn’t it. Outside of the most rarified segments of the coastal elites no one paid attention to the faithless elector BS to begin with. And for sure, no one remembers it now.

      1. lance ringquist

        the nafta democrats were successful in doing just that, not once, but twice to bernies voters.

        bernie would have won in 2016, and 2020. so in reality, bernie would have won the presidency not once but twice.

        so in reality, the elections of 2016 and 2020 were rigged from the get go.

        so should we be surprised others are catching onto how it was done!

    3. anon y'mouse

      there are no benefits and no one but the rentier oligarchs are “owning” anything or anyone.

      a trump vs whomever the Dims throw up is just a choice of pain–fast pain or slow pain, your preference.

      i would vote for tRUMP to kill the Dims as a party, not to “own” them like some idiot bragging about his team hitting a last minute touchdown.

      apparently, i choose fast pain rather than slow. i would rather the real repuglicans than the fake ones who pretend to care about us or to resist the genuine repugs. an enemy that’s not disguised is one that people maybe can fight against. the time for Hopium is over.

      and who is that fretting about “radicalization” above? we haven’t enough of that here in 230some years. it’s about time we got some.

      1. lance ringquist

        be careful what you wish for, as far as radicalization is concerned. people who view life as nothing left to lose, do not make good choices.

        so there is radicalization, then there is RADICALIZATION. the latter can get out of hand rather rapidly.

  32. drumlin woodchuckles

    Tove Danovich seems to be confusing beekeeping with Industrial Beekeeping. Did these problems of honeybee disease/parasite transferrence to native bees happen before the age of Industrial Beekeeping/ shipping beehives from state to state/ etc.?

    As a sort of “control check”, has anyone studied pollinators in equivalent wildland zones . . . a control zone without unmanaged feral wild honeybees in it and one with unmanaged feral wild honeybees in it?

    If the problem is actually due to Industrial Beekeeping, then reducing Industrial Beekeeping and replacing it with Artisanal Beekeeping might relieve these problems.

    And restore and extend native pollinator habitat at the same time too. Because if you sterilize a million square miles of native pollinator habitat and replace it with a million square miles of corn and soybeans, that will wipe out all the native pollinators by brute force starvation due to food source wipeout.

  33. ArvidMartensen

    “scientists have uncovered more than 100,000 novel viruses, including nine coronaviruses and more than 300 related to the hepatitis Delta virus.”, “disease ecologist Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit research group in New York City that is raising money to launch a global survey of viruses”
    It’s like the old west, stampedes to find the gold. And then in this case, patent it. And then perhaps do gain of function on it? Just to study it, mind.
    What could possibly go wrong? Maybe this sort of thing: and from the scientists themselves
    But of course, any discussion of the ethical dimensions of such research should be off limits to anybody who is not a virologist, geneticist etc.
    How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

  34. coboarts

    “Saw my first Tesla on the street yesterday” – i live in the bay area, east bay, teslas everywhere. Summary – many drive like bmw drivers, not like prius drivers, so generally all good

  35. Wukchumni

    US warns of fragile chip supply as inventory falls to just five days Financial Times
    Heard things are so tenuous that a Pringles factory was nationalized with all production lines going 365/52/12//24/60/60.

    Funny how we were told new car dealers would be back to normal inventory wise by about now, and it got set back till the summer.

    It does set up a new bubble in used cars which is exciting as there are so many of them.

    Sellers can expect to receive unsolicited letters from suitors who will wash the chariot twice if week if allowed the privilege of purchase…

  36. ArvidMartensen

    Fact Checkers. Who are they? Why do they wield such power?
    One organisation that may have an inkling is Poynter, which I had never heard of until recently. It runs the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), which “launched in 2015 to bring together the growing community of fact-checkers around the world and advocates of factual information in the global fight against misinformation”.
    IFCN has a Fact Check Database, The #CoronaVirusFacts / #DatosCoronaVirus database gathers all the falsehoods that have been detected by the Alliance and will be updated daily to include new publications. You can sort, filter and search for content.
    Twitter List: You can also find fact-checks by the alliance on this Twitter list.
    Google and dataviz: With support from the Google News Initiative, designers from Polygraph have been working with Poynter’s staff to offer different data visualization.
    CoronaVirus Fact-Checking Grant Program: This work has triggered $2 million in support from WhatsApp and Facebook…provides funding for flash grants of up to $50,000 for fact-checkers fighting coronavirus misinformation.

    Should we care? Who funds it? – looks like a bunch of private philanthropic organisations with money from industrialists, media moguls, student loan companies, and a lot more.

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