Links 1/29/2022

Jaguars, snakes help Cuban children with special needs Reuters. Baby jaguars in vid are SO CUTE!

Ancient solar storm smashed Earth at the wrong part of the sun’s cycle — and scientists are concerned TheNewsMotion (Kevin W)

What the Discovery of an Extra Artery Means for Human Evolution Discover (Chuck L)

Is It Time to Explore Alternative and Encore Careers in Medicine? MedPage (resilc)

How the kidnapping of a First Nations man on New Year’s Eve in 1788 may have led to a smallpox epidemic The Conversation (Chuck L)


Olympic snowboarding medalist tests positive for COVID after arriving in China NBC


In ‘chemo brain,’ researchers see clues to unravel long Covid’s brain fog STAT (Dr. Kevin)

Oh, but not what you think!

And…Long Covid: Hidden lung damage spotted on scans BBC

The Physics of the N95 Face Mask Wired

Early data indicate vaccines still protect against Omicron’s sister variant STAT. Kill me now. As GM confirmed:

“This week, the U.K. agency estimated that, for people at least two weeks out from their booster shot, vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease was 63% against BA.1, versus 70% for BA.2.”

While that might suggest that BA.2 is less of a threat to vaccine protection than its Omicron sister, the full estimate ranges overlapped.

That makes it sound as if:

1. VE reaches a constant value after 2 weeks, never to decline. In reality it goes down to below 50% in mere weeks
2. 60-70% against symptoms (never mind infection) is somehow good

And Ignacio:

This indicates how low has come the bar for vaccine efficiency. A few weeks of some protection, without avoiding infection must be considered great performance and justify massive idiotic jabs…

Such a poor result, from the epidemiological point of view does not sustain massive jabbing. Only voluntary jabs for those that perceive themselves at highest risk and cancelling any vaccine certificate scheme.

The damage you are doing with massive jabs is higher than benefits even if we do not consider rare adverse effects.


Omicron Will Likely Recede More Slowly in U.S. Than in Other Countries, Expert Says MedPage

COVID-19: Significant Improvements Are Needed for Overseeing Relief Funds and Leading Responses to Public Health Emergencies GAO. marym: “When you’ve lost the GAO….”

Fake vaccine cards are everywhere. It’s a public health nightmare. Grid News

The Big-Name Journalists Who Are Trying to “Both Sides” Covid New Republic (Paul R)

Biden pressured to cover COVID-19 tests through Medicare The Hill

In Super-Vaxxed Vermont, Covid Strikes — But Packs Far Less Punch Kaiser Health News


IMF chief warns China on repercussions of lockdowns, asks it to asses zero-COVID policy RepublicWorld. Resilc: “Too funny, and it’s not from the Onion.”

Covid-19 pandemic a trigger for bank scam epidemic Straits Times (Paul R)

Anti-vaccine Canada truckers roll toward Ottawa, praised by Tesla’s Musk Reuters


Climate change has the Winter Olympics on thin ice Popular Science (resilc)

A federal judge canceled major oil and gas leases over climate change NPR (David L)

The era of new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico may be over for good Quartz (resilc)

Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission chair argues nuclear power isn’t a climate solution The Verge (David L)


EXCLUSIVE: How Beijing’s 2022 Winter Olympics ‘sportswashing’ propaganda mirrors Hitler’s 1936 efforts in Berlin – as desperate Uyghurs speak out about China’s brutal pre-Games crackdown on minorities Daily Mail. Even if narrowly true, the Anglospshere is hardly the bunch to get worked up about propaganda.

China warns of risk of military conflict with US over Taiwan Financial Times. Why should the US be the only one having escalation fun?

How the US could counter China in Myanmar Asia Times (Kevin W)

Old Blighty

Minister calls on retired teachers to join supply register BBC

New Cold War

Ukraine crisis: Don’t create panic, Zelensky tells West BBC. Resilc: “That’s the Vicky Nuland plan, you are but a mere supporting actor (pun intended)…….”

Ukraine’s Zelensky ready to meet with Putin in any format, but not in Sochi Tass. Micael T: “Zelensky is losing it. This kind of reply does sound unhinged.”

House Republicans Demand Release of Biden-Zelensky Transcript Newsweek (Kevin W)

This is Just The Beginning”, Ukrainian Radicals Warn One World Press. Micael T: “This is comedy!”


Will Putin Accept Half a Loaf? Antiwar

Russia Moves Toward Checkmate on Ukraine EnergyIntel

US warns Russia has sufficient military assets for Ukraine invasion Financial Times

Google translate will not translate the linked article. So much for US confidence. In Firefox and Google, I got a captcha challenge and despite providing correct input, it won’t advance past that. You get a little popup about getting an original translation (which isn’t clickable) and one on improving it. The “improving it” one looks as if it might be active but isn’t. The popup that won’t screenshot.

FWIW, Helmer says Yandex Translate does a better job.


Former Israeli army chief: US withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal was a ‘strategic mistake’ i24 News (resilc)

Chinese soft power in Iraq: Speak the language, get jobs Associated Press (Kevin W)

Israeli soldiers bound, gagged 80-year-old Palestinian for over an hour before he died, army finds Haaretz

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Suicide hotline shares data with for-profit spinoff, raising ethical questions Politico (Dr. Kevin)

Imperial Collapse Watch

10 injured in Pittsburgh bridge collapse hours before Biden’s visit to talk infrastructure Washington Post (resilc)

Emergency services use human chain to rescue people dangling from collapsed Pittsburgh bridge ABC Australia (Kevin W)

Pa. fuel tax meant for bridge repair went to state police instead Whyy (dk)


Democrats en déshabillé

Progressive Democrats Say They Are Not Responsible For Biden’s Low Ratings, Report Says Sputnik (Kevin W)

Nina Turner Is Coming Out Swinging — Again Jacobin (furzy)

GOP Clown Car

The GOP’s Election Subversion Puts the ‘Con’ in Wisconsin Vice (resilc)

This Is No Time for Passive Patriotism Atlantic (furzy). Hoo boy: “One major political party no longer accepts democracy.”

Pennsylvania court strikes down state’s mail-in voting law Reuters (Kevin W)

Our Famously Free Press

The Folly of Pandemic Censorship Matt Taibbi

Fox News Abandons the GOP on Russia Atlantic (furzy)

Police State Watch

Eric Adams’ “Blueprint To End Gun Violence” Is a Trojan Horse Slate

How Not To Worry About 7% Inflation: Democrats & Republicans Take Heed Forbes

U.S. Natural Gas Prices Climb Most Ever In Single Day OilPrice (resilc)

It’s all relative Duncan Weldon

Ohio promised Intel more than $2 billion in state incentives to land computer-chip megaproject (Kevin W)

The Miscalculations Underlying Miller & Zywicki’s Payday Loan Paper Adam Levitin, Credit Slips. Levitin demands that a paper be retracted!

Class Warfare

California promised ‘social equity’ after pot legalization. Those hit hardest feel betrayed Los Angeles Times (Paul R)

Mexican Auto Workers to Choose New Union in Landmark Vote Labor Notes (martha r)

Police Find 2 Nursing Home Patients Dead, 2 More Critical After Residents Called 911 The Police Tribune (marthar)

Antidote du jour. Wayne W: “Precarity”:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. witters

    This is The Atlantic’s “discovery”? We are a nation of storytellers, and right now we desperately need a good story.

    Once Upon a Time.

      1. Wukchumni

        An uplifting tale of something I felt sure i’d be using by the time I was all grown up.

        Suitor got started in his space-age career when he was 19, not from dreams of being an astronaut (he was planning on architecture), but thanks to his lawn-mowing job. “I had never been outside of western New York,” he told me. His neighbor was Wendell Moore, a rocket engineer with Bell Aviation who was working on a secret project for the U.S. Army: developing a tool to revolutionize battlefield mobility. Moore recruited his lawn boy as a guinea pig, Suitor joked. After tests, Bell Aviation made a short film to prove the concept.

        1. The Rev Kev

          That is an interesting article that. I saw one of these guys at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney as a kid and of course wanted one. The article said that they abandoned the idea of these things because they only lasted 20 seconds but flamethrowers only last ten seconds and they never abandoned them. Still, it is a good memory seeing on of these things go.

    1. Synoia

      Once upon a time the US was the leader of manufacturing, and skilled manufacturing employment in the world.

    1. JTMcPhee

      When I pulled up the article with the link in theTwitter tweet, in the header there were little circles with snippets of national flags in them. When I clicked the Union Jack circle I got what appears to be a pretty accurate British English translation. Must be some Russian Federation sneaky underhanded socialist plot…

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine’s Zelensky ready to meet with Putin in any format, but not in Sochi ”

    Ukrainian President Zelensky has said ‘What’s the point of inviting me to Sochi? To let me ski? What is it we are talking about? Serious things. Ok, let us meet in Odessa and take a swim in the sea. I am speaking about a serious dialogue.’ and I think that he may have walked into it here. What happens if Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says that he totally agrees with Zelensky but says that he will only agree if the venue can be the old Trade Union building in Odessa?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      His comments are interesting. He’s asked all along with the bravado one might expect of a guy who expected an Iraq like invasion of Moscow to happen and Putin more or less ignored him for obvious reasons. Now he’s saying the US is nuts and openly disagreeing with Biden. The biggest problem is a coup (that embassy cricket money had to go somewhere) would likely happen if he left. Besides Buttigieg probably wants a new job. He and Guaido can fight it out.

      The state of the aid sent over probably made Zelensky recognize his place.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’ll defend his position on Socchi. Putin may intend to make Socchi a major city for that region of Russia as a third city to Moscow and St. Petersburg, but for international purposes, it’s not.

          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            My favorite was the Drug Testing room that had a conveniently located hole in the wall hah!

            Ahhhh Sochi Memories….

      2. Michael

        Woke up this morning to the San Diego Trib screeching in ALL CAPS top right above the fold:

        followed by: Pentagon leaders say Russia has amassed 100,000 troops at border.

        The other day a comment by dk included this:

        The WaPo piece was based on comments by anonymous US officials claiming there was a serious uptick in October in the number of Russian troops deployed near the Ukrainian border. These comments were backed up by military analyst Michael Kofman, who in the next few weeks emerged as a vocal proponent of the looming invasion narrative. But it also contained a quote by Danilov who contradicted the premises of the story by putting the number of Russian troops massed at the border at 80,000 to 90,000, the same or even lower than what was estimated back in the spring.

        Who is Michael Kofman? He is Research Program Director at CNA – Center For Naval Analysis – which is the Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) that provides research and analysis for the Department of the Navy. I wonder if the Army or Marines agree with his analysis? He details it in this NPR interview.

        Read to see what our leaders listen to everyday, hit the mics and we get headlines like above.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I do find this whole mess morbidly amusing because it likely started with someone like Neera bringing up how Bill expanded NATO so Dole couldn’t promise to do that.

    3. Rod

      you put up an excellent Link for your Exclamation Point.

      Last night–an NPR script reader exported to Kiev for the pep rally, in multiple attempts to excite listeners–could not get a whole sentence out that did not include ‘Invasion’, and who was at the Zelensky” presser but never did mention:

      One after another, journalists asked Ukraine’s president about the threat. But Volodymyr Zelensky batted away the questions, accusing the press itself of causing panic.

      not one time.

      It was just too blatant

      Kelly graduated from Harvard University in 1993 with degrees in government, French language, and literature. Two years later, she completed a master’s degree in European studies at Cambridge University in England.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I have noted that NPR propaganda readers have begun mispronouncing Kiev as ” Kyiv” or even
        “Keev”. It was very jarring to hear these audio-feces in my ear-candy.

        1. Wukchumni

          Yes, there is a lot of Kyiv and take.

          It’d be like all of a sudden San Franciscans all start calling it Frisco, very fishy.

        2. jr

          I’ve heard this sort of thing before, some sort of elite mispronouncing words they should very well know how to pronounce. I wonder if they are mimicking the locals to try to exude authenticity. Poorly, of course.

          I don’t just think it’s all incompetence; I think it’s a kind of power play. “See, you’ve all been wrong, it’s actually pronounced this way. Catch up, this is real time!” I’ve heard this both in actual conversations and in the media.

          It’s certainly not a good way to communicate. Why wouldn’t you use the language your audience does, unless it’s wildly wrong or you’re specifically addressing that topic? Smacks of NP(mc)R finger-waggery and obscurantism.

      1. hunkerdown

        I’d run right into hell and back. I’d never lie to you and that’s a fact. But I’ll never forget the way you feel right now, oh no, no way. I’d do anything for love but I won’t do that.

        Hope it’s not too soon.

  3. ChiGal

    you have to match case in those Captchas.

    I sent the GAO report, just in case marym didn’t also do so and doesn’t want to own my flippant comment ;-).

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, normally when you fail a captcha, they give you a second attempt with a new captcha. They give you the benefit of the doubt for being a fat fingered typist. That did not happen. And the popup was consistent with having succeeded, it asked if you wanted the original text or to contribute to improving the translation.

  4. noonespecial

    Re GAO report –

    The summary part under HHS COVID-19 funding reads: Not being sufficiently prepared for a range of public health emergencies can also negatively affect the time and resources needed to achieve full recovery.

    No doubt I say, but the rot at the core needs more than just emergency preparedness IMO. A glance at this bloomberg piece makes one think that, gee, things are going according to plan.

    The article ( describes challenges faced by those in rural Mississippi and the Delta region. As NC has highlighted in the past, rural health care is just like that bridge in Pittsburgh – ready to crack at any moment. Three points that stood out for this reader:

    1. From 2010 to 2020, more than 130 of the 1,800 rural hospitals in America went out of business. At the start of 2020, almost half (rural hospitals) of the rest were at “high risk” of closure, according to the nonprofit Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform.

    2. An estimate that in the area, “Almost 40% of adults under 65 carry medical debt…”

    3. (where things don’t look so bad, is at a hospital with a sound, go-get-em pro-market bent): The administrators at North Sunflower say it’s a disciplined business plan, not favorable legislation, that’s at the root of its success story. They’re bulldogs when going after insurance reimbursements, for example. The hospital is constantly revising its contracts with insurance providers, making sure it’s not getting stiffed on reimbursement percentages for key services. It’s also created a spoke-and-hub system of care, creating a network of profitable satellite clinics that complement the hospital.

    But for the death merchants who can’t pass an audit we have this: “Longstanding financial management challenges continue to impair the DoD’s ability to provide reliable, timely, and useful financial and managerial information needed for accurate budget forecasting and decision making,” Sean O’Donnell, the Pentagon’s acting inspector general, said in a November 12 report. This from a November 2021 article.

  5. timbers

    Fox News Abandons the GOP on Russia – By David Frum.

    What I learned from David’s article is that Glenn Greenwald is s social conservative and part of such a cabal. Do you suppose Glen’s handsome Brasilian husband knows this?

    Seriously though…what pops out in this is…where is the disagreement amongst Democrats on Ukraine/War on Russia? Are Democrats the bigger war party within the War Party, now?

    What happened after the war in Iraq and Obama – full embrace of war and state terrorism – is maybe the biggest single reason I decided I was no longer a Democrat.

    1. Carolinian

      It once was said that if you wanted a war (for good or bad reasons) elect a Democrat. Both world wars, Korea, Vietnam. And these days the “paleoconservatives” like Buchanan are still more antiwar than the Dems. Perhaps it tracks back to the pro versus anti government worldviews of the opponents.

      However in the era of the uniparty everything is scrambled with the field of battle confined to social issues and even that perhaps more rhetorical than not. Thatcher set out the goal: “there is no alternative.”

      1. neo-realist

        “Cough” “Cough”-Bush-Cheney-attack Iraq–when the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis? Followed by their longer term project in Afghanistan.

        1. Carolinian

          everything is scrambled

          Saith me. And I did say “used to be said.”

          But Bush-Cheney was 20 years ago so while there seem to be some gung-ho armchair Republican warriors in Congress, my read of the political landscape is that the Dems are the more enthusiastic intervenors in recent times. Syria comes to mind not to mention Libya. Coming soon: showdown on the Dnieper?

    2. lance ringquist

      actually bush did not start the war with the iraq invasion, that was done by bill clinton: we had every reason to believe that gore would have kept the same polices, after all, he stood up and lied to america about free trade, its why he lost the election

      “the Clinton-era policy made the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq possible, both in terms of practicality — Bush and UK prime minister Tony Blair dramatically escalated the no-fly zone strikes in the months before the “shock and awe” campaign that opened the Iraq War — and in terms of justification: Clinton and Bush defended their actions by pointing to Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction and the need to topple Saddam at all costs.

      The Clinton administration’s fixation on weapons and its desire for regime change were clearly on display at a February 1998 town hall, where Secretary of State Madeleine Albright tried to sell the public on bombing Iraq. Albright was repeatedly interrupted by antiwar activists, and pressed about why the US was so keen on attacking Iraq when there were many other, similarly terrible dictators throughout the world.”

      “In a now-infamous 60 Minutes interview in May 1996, Leslie Stahl questioned Albright about the policy. “We have heard that a half million children have died,” the veteran journalist said. “I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” Albright responded, “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.”

      “Regime change polices were set up by bill clinton: This was a unit established by President Bill Clinton, then continued by Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz. Mike Pompeo, the current director of the CIA, has confirmed that this unit exists. This has led to rumours in the press, followed up by President Trump, of a US military option.

      When Iraq Was Clinton’s War
      Chip Gibbons
      Bill Clinton’s “quiet war” on Iraq set the stage for George W. Bush’s bloody invasion.

      “Five years later, Clinton signed the “Iraq Liberation Act” into law, formalizing the US’s demand for regime change. The legislation, which also appropriated $97 million to fund Iraqi opposition groups, was followed up with yet more military action: Operation Desert Fox.”

      1. jsn

        Odd things were happening in Arkansas when Rhodes Scholar Bill was governor that certainly seemed to implicate the CIA, where the sitting Vice President at the time had been Director as his prior gig.

        The former displaced the latter for the Whitehouse in 92 after the latter green-lighted Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait as a pretext for a war presumably to disable and contain a nasty but highly functional Arab autocracy, Iraq. I won’t mention benefits therein to our un-named regional ally.

        The two became best of friends after the scepter was handed off, while Nixon, Ford Whitehouse staffers Woolsey, Schifter, and Kemble began the infestation of NeoCons in the halls of bi-partisan power, from which their likes have never been flushed. Clinton policies were continuous with Bush before him, continuous with Reagan before him. The whole mess strikes me as just the US garrisoning oil reserves and debilitating potential obstructions to convenient access. FDRs meeting with Abdulaziz, I suppose is where it all started.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “EXCLUSIVE: How Beijing’s 2022 Winter Olympics ‘sportswashing’ propaganda mirrors Hitler’s 1936 efforts in Berlin – as desperate Uyghurs speak out about China’s brutal pre-Games crackdown on minorities”

    Looks like they are really going to go there. Saw another example of this anti-Chinese campaign where at the Australian Open final tennis, about 1,000 t-shirts were handed out saying “Where is Peng Shuai” because that is free speech and not to be confused with propaganda. Can you imagine what would happen if people tried to hand out “Release Julian Assange” t-shirts at Wimbledon or Flushing Meadows? You’d have the police come down on you like a ton of bricks. In fact, I wonder what would happen if people tried to do that alongside those handing out the Peng Shuai t-shirts at the Australian open. I doubt that you would see them on the news-

    1. griffen

      We should be sure about her well-being and whereabouts, should we not? Yeah I think at Wimbledon or the US Open there would be a real hissy fit. This is not the sideshow attraction or outside attention that we desire for our world class hosts!

      I rarely follow the winter sports as played in the Winter Olympics. Not exactly the same discussion, but the Popular Science gives a few recent examples of winter games being held in “less than ideal” conditions for winter sports. I sorta recall that the Sochi games were sh*tshow, all sorts of weirdness. Then again, the Tampa Bay Lightning are the two-time defenders of Lord Stanley’s Cup. So weirdness is a trend.

      1. Carolinian

        There was a big West propaganda push against Sochi with many of the claims being of the “intelligence sources say” quality. Those of us watching the opener and closer on TV were fairly entranced if you could ever get Matt Lauer to shut up. Announcer free versions were available on the web.

        Doubtless China will get the same treatment.

        1. amused_in_sf

          Whatever the propaganda might have been, the snow quality was so bad that in the men’s XC sprint finals, a guy who had effectively given up on the race got a medal because the soft course caused a crash that took out the racers in 3rd through 5th. If you can find a video, it’s hilarious (and extremely unusual; this isn’t snowboardcross).

          Of course, between climate change and the rising costs of modern competition facilities, we’re running out of places that are willing to host the winter games, so maybe we’ll be back in Sochi soon!

      2. The Rev Kev

        I sorta recall that the Atlanta Olympic Games in ’96 were a sh*tshow at times too. In women’s softball, Australia was playing China and the winner would go on to play the American team which sounds logical except….it was hot in Atlanta that day and the Aussie and Chinese had a really tough game but the Chinese girls beat the Aussie girls. Both teams were exhausted and sweating hard. TWENTY MINUTES LATER the Chinese girls then had to face a fresh and relaxed American team who of course won. It was so blatant the cheating but the organizers did not care.

        1. Carolinian

          Hey now. I was around for those games which were only given to Atlanta because of the tight connection between the Olympics and Coca-Cola. Many thought Atl did surprisingly well given its limitations. But many Atlantans also thought the bid foolish.

          Given the recent politicization of the Olympics (proxy for the new Cold War) the “Olympic idea”l seems a bit tarnished.

          1. Rod

            Myself also.
            Hard to miss everything Coke (Jan 21, 2020 — The drinks giant produces about three million tonnes of plastic packaging a year – equivalent to 200,000 bottles a minute. In 2019, it was found …) .

            Saw Volleyball prelims earlier in the day.
            Later that night we were watching Jack Mack and the Heart Attack in front of one of the spotlight towers.
            Saw myself on the stage video monitor because some producer/cameraman noticed the gaggle of beauties dancing in front of us.
            Moved up towards the ATT tent for a different view.
            Then the bomb went off.

            1. Carolinian

              Depicted in Eastwood’s Richard Jewell (which was good).

              I only got to see one of the bike races which whizzed by so fast it was a blur. Lance Armstrong was in there somewhere.

      3. Wukchumni

        One day a team from the Gulag Hockeypelago will once again hold Lord Stanley’s cup aloft, but probably not till silver gets to $100 an ounce.

        1. griffen

          I had to check my collection of random sports towels, and I indeed have a 2006 Carolina Hurricanes* champions towels. So in that respect, Tampa winning an NHL championship is not terribly weird. Global warming!

          The ‘Canes won this championship shortly after I decamped from the Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill (RTP Triangle), to begin a better (shortly lived) existence in the sunny flatland of North Texas. There is zero correlation, of course.

          1. Wukchumni

            My dad was big into hockey being from the old country (he told me he went to the 1947 hockey world championships in Prague which the Czechs won for the first time ever, and then left the country on a high note-not to return until 1973) and I went to around 100 LA Kings games in the early to mid 70’s with him, and the owner of the Kings & Lakers-Jack Kent Cooke-a Canadian, had done his due diligence as far as hockey went, there were 300,000 Canadian expats in SoCal, he only needed 16,005 of them to show up to the Fabulous Forum, and when the lowly Kings (my favorite player was Butch Goring-later an important peg in the NY Islanders many Stanley Cup wins) would draw around 4,500 a night usually, he uttered:

            “Now I know why they left Canada,” he said. “They hate hockey.”

            My dad was a by the rules kind of fellow, so he’d dutifully sit in his assigned $4 seat up high but not yours truly, there were about 11,457 empty seats to choose from, and I did. We’d hang out together in between periods and talk about the game.

            It was fun and you got to know the players as hardly anybody wore a helmet and it was the 70’s so lots of longish hair, but not too long.

            All the fighting ala the Broad Street Bullies really turned me off of the game (Slapshot with Paul Newman holds up well as a statement against) in the later 70’s, and now it’s a much more fluid game after adopting the 2 line pass.

            Maybe 8 to 10 times a game in the 70’s, opposing players would ice the puck on the boards stopping play and requiring a face-off, that never happens anymore.

            1. griffen

              Harping on and such about hockey makes me think of the expansion by MLB into south Florida. The expansion franchise known today as the Miami Marlins has won two, that’s right 2, World Series championships in their brief and unstoried history. One of these no doubt aided by the widest strike zone ever assembled for a pitcher that wasn’t Greg Maddux or Tommy Glavine.

              The Marlins fanbase must be a mythical creature. At least Tampa gives appearance they wish to be a competitive baseball team!

            2. eg

              My first memory of NHL hockey growing up on the island of Montreal was Ken Dryden’s rookie year when the Habs beat Chicago in the Stanley Cup. More memorable even than the final for me was the epic series earlier in the playoffs against the Bruins.

              I lost interest in the game during the years when the New Jersey Devils choked the life out of it.

      4. upstater

        I wonder if PS mentioned the lack of snow preceding the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid? It finally did snow heavily a week or two before the opening. But prior to that snow was being trucked in for several sports (eg, XC) from the Tug Hill plateau, in the snow belt of Lake Ontario and the snowiest place in the east (200 inches is common 400+ is the record). I recall that Winter as starting dry and not cold, we just finished into a house we built.

        1. Wukchumni

          Walt Disney was quite a skier and the Disney Co. was in charge of putting on the winter olympics @ Squaw Valley, and the same thing happened, snow was a no show, with Tricky Dick filling in for Ullr.

          The Olympic venue at Squaw Valley was in real trouble and desperate organizers talked about hauling snow in by truck. Fortunately, cold air swept in dumping 3 feet of fresh snow on the flood-damaged parking lot. Greater amounts of snow in the higher elevations boosted the snowpack there to nearly 10 feet.

          The Opening Ceremonies for the 1960 Winter Games were slated to begin on Feb. 18, but the weather had showed up late and then refused to leave. The U.S. Weather Bureau was forecasting a slight chance of flurries for the opening, but a mini-blizzard roared in that morning which cut visibility to zero and dumped nearly a foot of fresh snow on the thousands of spectators and participants arriving for the early afternoon ceremonies. Traffic was backed up for miles. President Dwight D. Eisenhower had been unable to make it to the opening so Vice-President Richard Nixon and wife Pat took on the responsibility. They were scheduled to fly from Reno to Squaw Valley by helicopter, but the nasty weather forced them to travel by motorcade.

          The heavy snowfall and monumental traffic jams delayed Nixon’s arrival and forced Olympic officials to postpone the opening ceremony by about one hour. As it turned out, the timing was perfect. Shortly after Nixon’s arrival the snowstorm quit, the wind let up, and the skies temporarily cleared. Bright sunshine poured down on the grateful athletes and crowds of spectators. The change was so dramatic that some described it as a biblical event


      5. chuck roast

        What is really weird is how a professional hockey player can carry his bag and a couple of sticks around under a bunch of palm trees in sunny, balmy 85 degree weather and actually have the urge to push the puck up the ice. Prolly none of these guys ever skated on a pond.

        Oh, I put the blades on and hit the ice yesterday before the snow. Not bad for a geezer! Only one out there. Man, it’s cranking 40 knots out there now.

    2. savedbyirony

      I read an article about the tee shirts last week, in which they were band on the event’s grounds because of the prohibitions fans agree to when buying tickets to the event. But an article earlier this week said they would be allowed because the players’ unions (probably primarily the WTA) objected to the ban and individual players were speaking up about their continuing worries over Peng Shuai’s well being. When I saw that the AO had changed their policy over this, i thought it might have been done more to keep the issue from gaining more attention. (Congrates to Ashleigh Barty. What an Open. But, oh, Danielle Collins blowing that second set.)

  7. Kevin Smith MD

    re: fake vaccination cards

    I wonder if people who lie about their immunization status and who have false documents account for some of the covid cases which are classified as happening in “immunized” individuals?

    To the extent that happens, the efficacy of vaccines may be higher than is reflected in the stats.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I don’t know the situation in the US, but here in Ireland the fake cards are the printed ones that were handed out, but there are also digital records so I assume that in hospitals they don’t rely on the card or the patients word to confirm whether or not they were vaxed. So far as I’m aware the same situation applies in the ‘first adopter’ countries like Israel. So I doubt if its much of a factor in these countries.

      1. Tutti

        I don’t think there is a way of knowing that. It would require a genetic test (?). Can a simple test tell if an antibody is derived from the vaccine or a previous infection?

        1. HotFlash

          Oh yes, they can tell. The vaccine only causes antibodies to the spike protein (aka S-antibodies) to be created, ‘real’ infection creates antibodies to many others, such as the N-antibody. Good, brief, explanation here from the guy who is doing the UK symptom tracking.

        2. skk

          No please don’t give them ideas. First the bloody tests malarkey, day 2, day 5, day 8 etc etc. with some poor sods having to taken them daily.
          Just as that ends, next they’ll want you to take tests to show you’ve really really been vaccinated.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I understand that every American citizen has a social security number, though that does not cover all the people living in the US obviously. I know that this idea sounds like rocket science but using that database of names & numbers, why could they have not set up a register of every person receiving a vaccine, what it was, when it was administered and where it was administered with each series of entries tied into that SS database. That way, on the federal level they could have seen at a glance how many people are vaccinated and how long they are covered for. It could be used to pick up cases where people are taking additional vaccines on behalf of another people and it would, by cross-referencing those reported sick or dead, who was actually vaccinated and if they were still covered which would pick up on those cases of people falling sick when they were supposedly vaccinated.

      1. The Historian

        There was a real outcry in America years back when DMV’s were using the social security number on driver’s licenses and eventually that practice was stopped. I can imagine it would be the same for Covid cards.

        Insurance companies should know who has been vaccinated though. I’ve gotten the three shots in two different states and each time my insurance company was charged.

      2. GramSci

        My concern would be that Pfizer would bribe Congress to fine my Social Security if I refused their latest and greatest booster jab.

      3. RA

        Yeah, but.
        The SSN was created for Social Security.
        Then it became our IRS ID number.
        Then everybody started asking for it (Schools, …, …)
        I’d say no thanks, or FU, why do you need it?

        Originally, Medicare used it and it was printed on your card.
        Then they got push-back and now it is a new separate number.

        SSN is already abused, but getting a bit less so on the public side.
        We don’t need another way to employ it as a universal ID.

        Granted, it still is a unique back-page ID for all of us that can be linked to each of us in many databases, but let’s not add another, never-intended, application to this mark of the devil.

        I originally wasn’t sensitive until a friend pointed out SSN should be for Social Security and NOT for other tagging abuses. This was about 1985. At the time I didn’t care. But after he made me aware I started to get upset about it too. As I watched the abuse of it, it got really bad then tapered off some.

        The SSN is still cross linked in many databases, especially financial, but we don’t need to add another new way to abuse it as a universal ID tagging number.

        1. The Rev Kev

          We had the same experience with Tax File Numbers here in Oz. They were introduced abut thirty years ago with the assurance that the only people that would ever see them would be the Taxation Office and Social Security. I think that you can guess what happened in the following years.

          1. jr

            I had to do it to get the rest of my unemployment; it derailed my payments for months due to an error that prevented me from opening the account. Were I single, I’d be living with my beloved sister. It would be like living with myself as a room mate, but more ornery and with toxic barbs under my fingernails.

            Somewhere I was told was to prevent fraud and people other than the recipients signing in. Half the messages on the phone service are warnings and threats. If things are so insecure in Albany, how am I to trust that won’t get cracked into in turn?

            Imagine the fun you could have with that data. Somehow, according to the facial recognition sensors, I appear to be in Switzerland entering a bank lobby the day of a heist when I’m actually at home on NC. Wee.

          1. mlipow

            In the 1970s I read through all the hearings in the 1920s and 1930s but couldn’t find where that originated.

        2. Kouros

          This is the consequence of the Federal government refusing to pass comprehensive privacy legislation, because that would now cut in the ability of the tech giants and everyone else to make whatever they want with individuals’ personal information.

        3. Yoghurt

          The problem is not with the SSN being used an ID. The problem is that banks &c were using it as a password to grant loans and debt obligations.

    3. Pat

      Since efficacy is not just determined by breakthroughs and since hacking the database will not be cheap and done far more rarely than the fake cards regardless of whether it really can be done, well let me put it this way it still won’t get their percentages up much above that 50% it hits after a few weeks, forget getting above 70% to match their sunny BS.

    4. Silent Bob

      I came across a quote the other day that seems relevant, apologies that I can’t remember where:
      For the first time in history the ineffectiveness of a medicine is being blamed on those who refuse to take it.

        1. Nikkikat

          Fauci is waiting for polling, he will then make up a new definition. Just like he did with herd immunity. From the Taibbi story. (Above)

      1. Nikkikat

        Silent Bob, Good quote where ever you found it. The “fake cards are just as meaningless as the real cards. They mean nothing, except that you got a shot.

    5. allan

      From the subheadline to that story:

      … Major platforms and app stores aren’t stopping them, law enforcement isn’t catching them, and political leaders are AWOL.

      In what is surely totally unrelated news:

      Long Island pediatric nurse charged in $900K fake vaccine card scheme, NYPD husband being investigated


      A pediatric nurse practitioner has been arrested for selling phony COVID-19 vaccine cards on Long Island — and her NYPD officer husband faces a departmental probe over his possible involvement in the scam, prosecutors and sources said. …

      DeVuono, along with Marissa Urraro, 44, a licensed practical nurse employed at the practice, allegedly charged adults $220 and children $85 for the cards and entered fabricated information into the New York State Immunization Information System, prosecutors said. …

      DeVuono’s husband, NYPD officer Derin DeVuono, is being investigated by the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau for any involvement he might have had funneling business his wife’s way, sources said. …

    6. IM Doc

      The fraud is overwhelming on all sides.

      When I was vaccinated, I was asked to sign an informed consent document. Unfortunately, informed consent cannot really be obtained on a product where neither the safety nor the efficacy is known.

      I am looking at the document right at this minute – it clearly states “This vaccination has not been approved by the FDA. It is being given to you under an Emergency Use Authorization…….This vaccination is for the PREVENTION OF COVID-19. Emphasis mine.

      I just had a patient show me the informed document they were given this week, and then chickened out on actually being vaccinated after reading that…. They said, Doc, it seems to me that this vaccine is not really preventing COVID. I am not sure I want to participate in anything with such obvious lying. In other words, the messaging about PREVENTING COVID from early 2021 is STILL ON THE DOCUMENTS. Who in their right mind seeing all that is going on around us would not have questions?

      And, yes, one version of the Pfizer vaccine has been approved, Comirnaty, however, to this day, that is not the version of the vaccine being given in the USA. Should they ever do that, they will instantly have to be much more forthcoming with all the side effects on their advertising and materials.

      But further than that – anyone with a brain would know the gig was up the minute they were vaccinated in early 2021. The cards are paper – and all that was done on mine was a handwritten lot number and date. Only later was I to find that my vaccination was nowhere in the official electronic database. So – my vaccinated self – when I became ill with delta COVID in the summer – was listed in the official statistics as UNVACCINATED. It took me an entire 8 weeks an numerous phone calls and certified mail to get that changed on the computer databases. How many people are going to be willing to do that? Unfortunately – as I have been deluged with patients this past month, I cannot begin to tell you how many of them have their fully filled out cards – including boosters – but are NOWHERE to be found in the electronic database. They get counted as UNVAXXED. My two vaccinated patients in the hospital admitted on Thursday – again – nowhere to be found in the database – they are counted as unvaccinated.

      This is all really quite the joke, is it not? The numbers from the USA are wholly unreliable to follow about any of this situation. Look to Israel and certain European countries. We are flying completely blind here.

      And I fielded ALL kinds of questions early on when people would show me their cards – “Dr IMDoc, Dr. Fauci is telling us there will be no boosters – then why do they have all these other lines for future injections on these cards?”

      I am sick and tired of the whole thing. I am sick and tired of covering up and minimizing the lies and missteps. I have refused to make excuses for the past few weeks. It has done much for my mental health.

      It is a complete fiasco. Anyone who accuses of anyone of lying or being deceptive about these things – in the mass chaos that is present – is not seeing patients on a daily basis like I am. I am certain there is some degree of fraud out there – but that is nothing in comparison to the disaster that is our public health record keeping.

      I will say again – medicine and public health have torched the entire credibility of generations in just two years – it will likely take generations to recover if ever.

      I take no pleasure in saying that – but it is the truth. Like no time before, I am having extreme numbers of patients balk at vaccines that are actually really safe and effective – pneumovax being the prime example. Again – why would they trust a thing that my profession is peddling? We allowed people like Rachel Maddow/The View/Dr. Wen and Big Pharma “expert” whores to peddle this whole thing to the public for the past 2 years.

      We have politicized and weaponized our health apparatus. We have set up systems like these crappy vaccine cards that a kindergarten student could tell are going to be ripe for fraud. We live in the most computerized society on earth but cannot set up a functional national database for these vaccines.. And in my profession, way too many of us think this is all going to be OK.

      Good luck with that. Shame on us. Shame on us all.

      1. Lurker

        IM Doc,

        I’m a fed, so it is – or was, before a Federal judge ruled otherwise – mandatory. Regardless, I chose to get it before the mandate, while the Pfizer version was under the EUA.

        I’ve a question. When I got vaccinated, I brought with me my yellow international vaccination record. They gave me the card. I asked, “Would you note the vaccination in this vaccination record as well?” They refused.

        Do you have any insight to their reasons?

        Thank you. I’m a big fan.

      2. Basil Pesto

        It seems that by being a vaccine and named as such, these treatments attain some mystical exalted status that makes them beyond reproach. Something that feeds into this is the formerly fringe anti-vax movement that precedes covid, and conflating these vaccines with the (relatively) uncontroversial vaccines that the pre-2020 anti-vaxers railed against. Thus, criticism of these vaccines (particularly before around August/Sept last year) could see one lumped in that ‘anti-vax’ group. A stunning PR coup to be sure.

        In reality, it seems to me that these vaccines should be thought of as merely new pharmaceuticals. Once you strip it down to that level of simplicity, the tribalism becomes self-evidently silly – some pharmaceuticals are great, some underperform and are oversold. These pharmaceuticals fit into the latter category. If it was a pill, no one would think twice about that conclusion or being critical. But because it’s an intramuscular vaccine which, by dint of its mechanism and application, seems to be cramponning on to the overwhelmingly successful history and legacy of vaccines generally? It’s a moronic culture war issue which amounts to a useless if not harmful distraction. (The inverse of this phenomenon would be referring to them as “vaccines” in scare quotes because they’re not a panacea)

    7. David

      Here in France you can print out a certificate, but most people just scan their vaccination record to their smartphones. So there shouldn’t be a problem?

      Actually there is, or rather two. There’s now a thriving black market in false certificates (the certificates have QR codes so they can be digitised) and some unscrupulous doctors are selling them on the internet for €200 each. The next stage, inevitably, is for the accounts of real doctors to be pirated, and false certificates of vaccination issued. Just last week, the police rolled up a criminal group that had sold 10,000 such certificates, so you’re talking serious money here. The only way that anyone found out was that the doctor concerned, who was not one of those who did vaccinations, was surprised to find that people thought he was.

      1. HotFlash

        I, an unvaccinated deplorable who *may* (probably) have had covid* up to three times in the past two years — they won’t test me or tell me — would happily hand over $200, or even up to $500, to the proper authorities for tests and a card that established my status as ‘immunized’.

        *Note: Hah, auto correct just wanted to change my ‘covid’ to ‘oviduct’. Seems to work like ‘fact checking’.

        1. John Beech

          You just need the antibody-N test. Done with a bit of blood. Antibody-S comes back positive if you’ve been immunized. Positive for the -N is what comes back for those who have had the real thing. BUT, this wanes in time. Since you believe you’ve had it three times, you should have plenty of antibodies. If you’ve really had it. As for willingly ponying up $500, just pay for the test if you’re curious. Money talks! But be warned, as you seem to understand, having been infected doesn’t keep you from being infected again, AND passing the infection on to others. even the vaccine won’t do that. Only folks unwilling to be vaccinated these days, other than immunocompromised and others with real health reasons, are in my opinion, the selfish who don’t actually care for America beyond paying lip service to patriotism.

          1. rowlf

            Are the covid vaccinations actually safe and effective? The goal posts seem to have been bolted on to the horizon.

            (I have persistent covid vaccination side effects after getting my loyalty card. The jungle drums around the world report many people with side effects too.)

              1. rowlf

                No kidding, I was in a recent in-person international conference and the side conversations (since we were all masked and following protocols) were how many people we knew who had covid vaccine side effects and what covid infection experiences were in each person’s family and country.

                We deal with how to utilize good/high quality telemetry data from airplanes and low/good human data entry of work orders, and the covid reporting drives us nuts due to the low signal quality and narrative management.

          2. Brian Beijer

            Only folks unwilling to be vaccinated these days, other than immunocompromised and others with real health reasons, are in my opinion, the selfish who don’t actually care for America beyond paying lip service to patriotism.

            This is so 2020.

            Omicron has made the vaccines irrelevant in regards to both getting and spreading Covid. The vaccines still reduce the chances of serious illness and death with Omicron compared to unvaccinated people who haven’t been previously infected with Covid. A recent study that the CDC released a few weeks ago shows that those who were unvaccinated and previously infected with the original strain or the Beta strain had a LOWER risk of getting Delta and LOWER risk of being seriously ill if infected than those who hadn’t had a previous infection and were vaccinated. The study also showed that vaccination after infection had no significant impact on reducing risk of infection nor serious illness. Of course, this is all based on Delta because the study ended in late November 2021. We know everyone will get or already has had Omicron, but I would think that having been previously infected will provide you with about the same protection as having been vaccinated… which might not mean that much.
            Here’s the link to a synopsis of the study:

            My advice to HotFlash is to read that CDC study or find Dr. Campbell’s videos about the study and get a proper antibody test done. Then, make up your own mind about getting vaccinated. Whatever choice you make, please don’t let social pressure or disparaging remarks about the unvaccinated affect your choice. A lot of what people are saying is just B.S., or based on outdated information. They know no more about Covid or the vaccines than the rest of us…probably even less.

      2. Ignacio

        The certificates were introduced in the region of Valencia about one month ago. Not in Madrid. Then, the incidence in Valencia was much lower than in Madrid. Now the incidence in Valencia is much higher in Valencia than in Madrid. So much value for the certificates.

      3. whatmeworry

        pretty sure that the ONLY possible solution is digital verification until that fails then chipping everyone.
        And for those who say it is conspiracy theory, so was vaccine mandates and passports.

    8. CloverBee

      Colorado has been texting me on 1) when to get my second shot, 2) when to get my booster, and 3) when I could leave isolation after my COVID+ test. Pretty sure at least this state is fairly accurate on who is actually vaccinated.

    9. Skip Intro

      And people may inadvertently have ‘fake’ cards, in that their doses, which have a notoriously demanding cold chain to prevent spoilage, were, in fact, spoiled. I haven’t seen any estimates on the reliability of the chain, or its ability to catch problems, but one has to assume given the vast range of providers, that it was not 100%.

    10. Yves Smith Post author

      No, IM Doc is in a high vax county and has had tons of breakthrough cases. VA data shows none of the vaccines last all that long and they broke it out by variant type too.

  8. Expat2uruguay

    Here is a YouTube channel that regularly covers labor actions and strikes, Status Coup News. In their latest video they are talking to a representative after a successful strike action won a new contract for 80,000 Kroger workers including substantially higher pay, better health insurance, and safer working conditions.

  9. flora

    Lavrov in English translation from the original website. (click the desired English language initial (EN) at the top of the webpage. Also DE,ES,FR, and other translations available.)

    Takes a few seconds to load.

    — odd, now my browser is blocking the link altogether. very interesting.

    1. RA

      Still seems to work for me, though sometimes it is really slow load and to write the screen.

      On the other hand I did see issues with the original link in my preferred older browser.

      On a new updated version of FireFox, all of the links have worked for me, so far.

  10. PlutoniumKun

    Biden + Tulsi Gabbard tweet

    The thing is of course that its almost childishly easy to predict what the Republicans will do. They will sabotage Bidens first choice, then they’ll manipulate to the front of the pack a female, black conservative lawyer who will make a few vaguely feminist statements to cover up a history of following the Koch brothers playbook. The Dems will then be backed into the corner and they’ll vote for another obscure conservative.

    1. juanholio

      The glass ceiling is occasionally retracted to allow extraordinarily nasty candidates through. AKA Nikki Hayley Syndrome.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I’m glad Gabbard said it publicly at least. The Democrat party likes to paint MLK (justifiably) as an American hero but forgets all about the whole “judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin” part. The whole “anti-racism” thing often looks pretty racist. It would be great if they could get over these delusions before we have a whole court full of Clarence Thomases.

  11. PlutoniumKun


    To follow complex issues like covid its necessary to develop a few heuristics to quickly identify which studies are important, and which are manipulative and inaccurate. One of the simplest heuristics I’ve discovered is that if ‘Prof Francois Balloux’ retweets a study with approval, it is almost certainly horseshit and the complete opposite of the truth.

    1. Basil Pesto


      Prasad and Monica Gandhi are useful in this regard and virtually no others, too. I find Balloux especially odious, though.

    2. Ignacio

      Here, in today links we find something that is too technical on the mutations found in omicron and quite difficult to interpret. I think there is no need to go mad and this says nothing on new variants except that I think we are missing a few things with omicron.

      Many are focusing on immune escape, as genetic drift to escape existing antibodies in previously vaccinated/boosted/infected etc. but there is much more to it IMO. I think that the strong selection that is suggested in the twitter link might have more to do with transmissibility but unfortunately we don’t have a history of sequences that resulted in Omicron. One of the characteristics of Omicron is it’s high transmissibility, much higher probably than any previous sarbecovirus infecting humans and there is IMO where the selection played a crucial role. The underlying reason is not known but it could be that those mutations increased the stability of viral particles as well as allowing escape from previously existing antibodies.

      I enjoy speculating about this but this is pure speculation.

      If transmission is an important bottleneck this has important implications in future evolution of SARS CoV 2. New variants face the difficult task of being more transmissible than omicron and this reduces, IMO drastically, the possibility of new variants coming from lineages other than omicron. If this results to be true we might find that any new successful variant should come from the omicron lineage retaining its high infectivity.
      Also, regarding genetic drift and immune responses, SARS CoV 2 lives in a situation in which most people develop antibodies that work better against older variants. Mild omicron infection comes with little antibody boost but this boost in titres gives better protection… against all variants except Omicron (original sin here?). The only way to have decent titres against omicron is to suffer severe omicron infection. For this reasons I speculate that omicron will be able to re-infect and progress better than older lineages, particularly in populations with high rates of infection in this wave. While we go on with boosts this will also help to keep previous variants at bay. May be the current waves in the northern hemisphere do not resolve to the same low incidences we saw before with other variants. Though it is very soon to say it looks like incidence in UK is stabilizing at levels that would formerly be deemed as too high and this would be a new situation we haven’t seen in previous waves.

      I don’t think anything can be predicted and whatever goes we will certainly be surprised. Once and again.

  12. flora

    I went to the link in Helmer’s tweet. It came up in original RU. I tapped the EN translate button at the top of their website and it came up in English. Tried to leave that translated link here, but suddenly my browser started rejecting link to that website. Interesting.

    1. smith

      The EN translation at the top page works for me. Thanks.

      Yves: works pretty well without any capcha’s

  13. flora

    re: U.S. Natural Gas Prices Climb Most Ever In Single Day – OilPrice

    What if all the saber rattling over Ukraine is about this outcome – propping up oil and gas prices in the US and elsewhere? Keeping Nordstream offline? (too foily?) / ;)

    1. The Rev Kev

      It has been noted that those Senators who are pushing to have the Nord Stream 2 pipeline declared illegal (in a foreign country!) are from States that produce a lot of oil and gas. Ted Cruz has really been at the forefront of this law and he is from Texas. If Nord Stream 2 is shut down, then those States benefit financially by shipping their own gas to the continent. Of course that would completely trash America’s relationship with Germany whose economy would now be held back due to high-priced US gas but I doubt that would worry Ted Cruz on his way to the bank.

        1. The Rev Kev

          But has anybody told him? Seriously, he is holding up approval of confirmation of American Ambassadorships around the world unless the admin agree to make the Nord Stream 2 illegal. Yeah, that has a major effect on American diplomatic relations with some major countries but Cruz does not care.

    2. chuck roast

      This is of absolutely no consequence to us USAians.
      FRED said so:
      The “Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: All Items Less Food & Energy” is an aggregate of prices paid by urban consumers for a typical basket of goods, excluding food and energy.

      So, diet!

  14. The Rev Kev

    ‘Tulsi Gabbard
    Biden’s mistake: He should not be choosing a Supreme Court justice based on the color of their skin or sex, but rather on their qualifications & commitment to uphold our Constitution & the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans in that document which is the foundation of our nation’

    Of course Tulsi can get away with this because she is both coloured and a woman which must frustrate a lot of ‘progressives’ that would love to rip into her openly for ‘crimethink’. Having someone like her on the Supreme Court would certainly shake things up but of course that would never be allowed. Which means that the next person to be on the Supreme Court will have the following qualifications with the first two qualifications giving cover to the third-

    1) Be a woman
    2) Be coloured
    3) Be politically to the right of Joe Biden

    1. Pat

      I think number 3 is more about being acceptable to our oligarch overlords. They could be to the left of Biden on some social issues, but on anything to do with labor, taxes, corporate personhood, and the FIRE sector they will need to toe the line.

        1. HotFlash

          How about a Black Amy Coney Barrett. I am sure the Federalist Society has one all groomed and waiting in the wings.

    2. Carolinian

      Turley on this

      When he made that pledge, some of us raised concerns that he was adopting a threshold racial and gender qualification for the Court that the Court itself has found unconstitutional or unlawful for admissions to schools or private employment.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        I raised the same concern with Breyer’s announcement in a column that was immediately challenged by some (including the New York Times) who insisted that Ronald Reagan made the same pledge to only consider a woman for his first vacancy. While it is always interesting to watch liberals citing Reagan as authority, the claim is misleading and indeed the Reagan example shows why Biden’s pledge was both unprecedented and unnecessary.

        Notably, these critics do not contest that the Court would declare this threshold exclusion to be unlawful for any school or business. Instead, they insist that past presidents have also pledged diverse selections. The historical claims, however, fudge the facts a bit. Past president have pledged to seek diverse nominees but did not exclude candidates based on their race or gender.

        “Don’t underestimate joe’s ability to fuck things up.”

        A lifetime appointment with a lifetime asterisk. Just another reason why dementia and the presidency don’t mix.

    3. Alex Morfesis

      Memo to Tulsi…the supreme court has always been political and never been about qualifications…that is some bedtime story they tell toddlers…along with that liberty and justice for all noise without the Bellamy salute…which…you know… history unknown gets a rhyming…

      1. JBird4049

        That is a bit harsh. The ideal is that the Supreme Court is not supposed to be political, with qualified members, ruling just on the merits. The closer the court is to the ideal, the better the law and government tend to function. The further it is, the worse they tend to function.

        This probably has to do with how bad the corruption is. When the entire system is just fudged up, it can not help but destroy the Supreme Court. Money becomes the qualifier of everything.

    4. marym

      Whether it’s more Constitutional to be vague or blunt or about demographic preference (or just go with the default demographic preference of presidents for generations – white, male) I leave to the experts. As for Gabbard’s concern:

      Race and sex aren’t exclusive of having “qualifications & commitment to uphold our Constitution & the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans in that document which is the foundation of our nation” as she should know if she thinks people who were explicitly happy to vote for her as a WOC for Congress or president were also confident of her “qualifications & commitment to uphold our Constitution & the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans in that document which is the foundation of our nation.”

      Nor do demographic preferences of previous presidents (implicit – white, male); or vague and accompanied by a more diverse candidate list preclude or guarantee “qualifications and commitment.” Nor does picking a nominee from a Federalist Society list.

      Well, let me qualify that:

      If Gabbard or anyone making a similar comment think that presidents looking for nominees of a particular demographic are precluding making a choice based on “qualifications and commitment,” that may or may not say something about a president’s criteria, but it does seem to say something about the commenters’ opinions of particular demographic groups.

      1. Carolinian

        And vice versa? There’s a lot of judging based on race on both sides of the partisan fence. I’m not sure why Gabbard chose to weigh in on this but don’t think that justifies jumping to conclusions about her motives.

      2. Aumua

        If Gabbard or anyone making a similar comment think that presidents looking for nominees of a particular demographic are precluding making a choice based on “qualifications and commitment,” that may or may not say something about a president’s criteria, but it does seem to say something about the commenters’ opinions of particular demographic groups.

        Hear hear! And that’s why I don’t have an issue with picking a candidate from a particular demographic if that is what Biden wants to do. What I do take issue with is announcing before hand that you are going to do that. The only thing that accomplishes is that it makes you look like you’re virtue signalling (which you are) and it gives ammo to your opponents to shoot you with (as we clearly see happening). If it’s your intention to pick a black woman, then fine just do it. There are plenty of qualified candidates to choose from I’m sure. You don’t have to make a big thing out of it.

        As for Gabbard well… some of the things she’s been saying lately have got me about ready to write her off.

  15. Parker Dooley

    “Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission chair argues nuclear power isn’t a climate solution”

    Well, looking at recent weather forecasts, it seems there will be plenty of wind in our future (even when Congress is not in session).

    1. The Historian

      Great comment. Maybe we should put small pinwheels in our masks – might provide enough energy to charge our cell phones!

      Seriously though, I live in an area – ND – where the wind blows constantly (at least it seems like that!) yet my state is intent on promoting oil instead.

      BTW, I’m not complaining about the wind – I’ve found I actually love the sound of wind blowing through the trees!

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        years ago, mom paid an “expert” consultant lady to come out and assess her place for wind/solar.
        this woman’s maps said we don’t get enough wind.
        which is pretty crazy to someone who’s been here going on 30 years(we literally always have wind)
        but it turns out that the RE company this consultant was attached to only did solar installations, and they wouldn’t have benefited if mom had opted for mostly wind.
        (i want both)

        once again, i’ve almost got mom on board with pulling the trigger on at least enough solar/wind to power the well and the freezers.
        delicate dance, for me…pushing without appearing to push…

        1. HotFlash

          Amfortas, have you seen what these guys in Virginia are doing? Very good use of small amounts of power with minimal complexity or batteries. Much of the hardware is not available (supply chain?) but the ideas are gold.

        2. LifelongLib

          I don’t know anything about it, but IIRC there have been comments here on NC saying that wind power doesn’t work very well at the household level — expensive? difficult to maintain? can’t remember :(

          1. GramSci

            As I recall it’s something about the power of a windmill being proportional to πr. You may need a pretty big r to power a fridge…

          2. PlutoniumKun

            Yes, its known as the square or cube law. A turbines output is proportional to the square of the blade length. Or put another way, a turbine with a hundred foot blade produces massively more energy than a hundred turbines with one foot blades. Plus the higher a turbine is above the landscape the better it is at catching consistent high winds. This is why the new ultra large turbines are so cost effective despite the costly engineering.

            Domestic scale wind turbines are usually more trouble than they are worth, except for maybe specialist uses like pumping water. For remote areas, community scaled turbines make more sense (i.e. everyone clubbing together to build one).

      2. ex-PFC Chuck

        “BTW, I’m not complaining about the wind – I’ve found I actually love the sound of wind blowing through the trees!”

        Are those of the ND State Tree variety? The lattice-steel EHV electric transmission tower? At least that’s what a T-shirt I saw on sale there some years back. ;-)

        1. The Historian

          LOL! No, mostly cottonwoods where I live, although we do have enough of those engineered ‘trees’ too!

  16. Pat

    Regarding the selling of Adams plan…

    I had local news on yesterday because of today’s storm. There was almost wall to wall coverage of the first funeral of one of the two young officers killed. To me there are many questions about how that call was handled that will probably never be addressed because they have become the poster children for police and gun reform. I had to ruefully laugh as the police expert helping with commentary said today is not a day to politicize the situation. Meanwhile a sea of police in blue coats is blocking 5th Avenue including out of towers. Hell when the second officer died it was announced that his service would be at a church in his local neighborhood, but not anymore. Nope they will be blocking off Fifth Avenue again as it has been moved to St Patrick’s. And Adams and the police commissioner will be speaking again.

    Look I feel for the families. They seem like nice young men and this is a tragedy (although maybe more about our public mental health failures than gun failures). But these services are only tangentially for them, they are much more about selling policies that NYers have jettisoned.

      1. LawnDart

        No, quite a few good cops have ended up in prison after forgetting about that kilo of drugs they had stashed in the wheelwells of their cars or not wiping the kiddie-porn from their computers.

        Me? I sucessfully dodged a number of set-ups for several years running, only to have the bastards (which ones? Not sure, as I was really good at making enemies) target my family, forcing me to quit the job and to move my family out of state, at my expense.

        I mostly stay the hell away from any kind of LE these days, or activities that would bring me to their attention, because you can’t trust the character or know the intent of the person behind the badge unless you know them personally– I’ve known the honest and fair as well had to deal with the corrupt and dirty. Cops are people like everyone else.

        “ACAB” is a broad net but a fair assumption– best to play it safe as you can in your encounters with them.

    1. RA

      >”today is not a day to politicize the situation”

      Yep. That’s why it is a story with several videos, aired multiple times across the media of the whole US.

      Granted, not nice that it happened, but why is it national news?

  17. griffen

    For profit corporation extracts economic rents on the promise a world class chip factory. The nascent start up, known as Intel Corporation, needs the support and encouragement from the good citizens of Ohio. \sarc

    I am not picking on Ohio at all here. North Carolina tried this about 15 years ago, was successful in landing a Fed Ex cargo operations at a significant but regional airport. Less of a success, okay straight out failure, was the Dell computer equipment factory that practically closed within months of finally being ready.

    Corporate whores. I can sign onto the necessary infrastructure to upgrade or build out for such a large installation. State and local government is better equipped to map that out. The state of Texas has done this very well, as in attracting industry and not just service firms to the Dallas metro. But no one really dare to call it prostitution by a dominant US corporation (okay, lately INTC is not so dominant). Rant over.

      1. griffen

        It is most unfortunate when states let themselves get fooled into it, empty promises and empty calories. Then again, the Trump admin had a resident idiot like Peter Navarro spouting his nonsense.

        Much like investing in a SPAC during 2021, or southern Florida real estate tracts prior to 1929. Just a second, I do say this land in southern Florida is not much different than a sandbar. What gives?

  18. Questa Nota

    Levitin’s article is a welcome addition to greater exposure of the payday lending business. Other aspects to consider:
    Longitudinal study showing duration and frequency of borrowing, and exit conditions.
    Fees and interest paid, with standardized metrics like APR.
    Supply-side analysis to understand lender ownership, returns, structure, employee profile.

    A variation exists for the car title lending business, with likely overlap and some other, uh, features like ignition lock-out.

  19. Rod

    Is It Time to Explore Alternative and Encore Careers in Medicine? MedPage (resilc)

    I didn’t know what i would find–maybe something heartening or even innovative.

    Well didn’t this surprise me as part of the proposal(not what I anticipated):

    A slew of options exists for physicians who wish to leave practice but stay involved in the medical profession. Chief among them are careers in the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries

    Filched this out of the 10 comments(which was what I anticipated the article to cover-my emphasis all):

    “I would give a counter example of physicians who find fulfillment and even joy continuing medical care of patients following retirement. In the Bay Area of California several years ago, the Encore Physicians Program began with seed money from Kaiser Permanente to match recently retired physicians who wished to work part-time with local Community Health Centers that needed additional physician help. Physicians work up to two days a week at the clinic physician rate and have covered malpractice insurance. Both the placed physicians and the community clinics are extremely happy with this program. There is no burnout or depression among the physicians. So, I would like to add the possibility of physicians working in medicine in this country caring for underserved patients in a plan similar to our Encore Physicians program. And we can all continue to hope and work to reconstruct the broader system of care in this country”.

    we need 3x as many Dr.s/NPs/PAs/LPNs/RNs/CNAs and Facility Maintainers
    same with Educators (Administrators-not so much)

  20. SlayTheSmaugs

    The most insightful information I’ve gotten about all things Brexit negotiations/implementation and all things British Covid is the fact that most of the decision-makers are coked up most of the time.

    I mean all of the decisions and their logical and emotional underpinnings make sense if seen through cocaine shaped perspective.

    And the corruption inherent in the power structure’s coke use its such a metaphor for all the unequal treatment under the law, for a class that lives above the law

    Britain would do well to jail them all for their coke
    Just like Obama should’ve jailed the bankers

    Today’s links in particular don’t drive this comment, I’ve been meaning to say it for a while.

    I apologize if that is a commentary faux pas

    1. hunkerdown

      Frank Herbert’s socio-pharmacological theory of interplanetary relations apparently holds as well at smaller scales in human societies.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Its interesting when you compare them to an earlier generation of Tories who won WWII and built an empire while being near permanently sloshed.

      1. Skip Intro

        And their counterparts rolling through Europe were all meth heads, from the tank drivers to the Fuhrer. I guess you could compare their results favorably to later US troops on pot and opiates…

        1. SlayTheSmaugs

          I’m not talking about the troops, though Hitler’s drug use is in the right vein of my comment.

          I mean, my claim may be total b.s. of course, but in my experience coke makes people feel omnipotent, reckless, aggressive, and lacking in compassion. Coke fuels the inner narcissist in a way that is different from hallucinogens or cannabis, or opiates. (I don’t have a real window on meth, but the headlines are about coke).

          The implementation of Brexit reflects minds that simply demand to have their way because they themselves think it should be so, and the world must give them whatever it is they want because they are simply too powerful to have it turn out any other way.

          Britain’s behavior at the negotiating table was really inexplicable to me, with all the deal retrades and efforts to insist the impossible was possible (most transparently, preventing a border crisis on the island of Ireland with the nation, Ireland, in the EU, and the rest of the island in Britain).

          Britain’s leaders aren’t stupid enough to explain it–sure, they may be ignorant of all kinds of details, and unwilling to learn, but the Irish border crisis intrinsic in Brexit does not need any kind of specialized knowledge. There are only better and worse bad options to manage it, and Boris et al.’s approach has essentially been denial–there’s no border crisis because we’ll do what we want and the EU will have to let us. All we actually care about is how our voters see us; that is the only constraint on our behavior.

          It’s such an unserious mindset, and reckless, b/c if both sides follow all the way through it leads to war. I really was baffled until I started seeing all the headlines about rampant coke use. I mean the lockdown parties are a comparatively minor obnoxiousness that reflects the same kind of mindset.

          1. Skip Intro

            I thought your comment was spot on. Coke is more pure ego indulgence, a desire-fulfillment cycle replacement. Speed seems to lead more towards psychotic paranoia. Rampant coke addiction is certainly as plausible an explanation for the behavior of BoJo’s gang as anything else.

  21. Dave in Austin


    “Gas Prices In Europe Drop As U.S. LNG Flotilla Arrives”

    So yesterday the first of a flotilla of 20 large LNG ships carrying LNG from the US arrived in the Netherlands. Gas prices in Europe went down 8%.

    But also from

    “U.S. natural gas futures surged 72% just ahead of expiration of the February contract”

    Now this is in part driven by an absolutely huge storm coming next week with -30 in Wisconsin, 5 in Dallas, 12 in Austin and everyone between the Rockies and the Appalachians heading for almost record cold. In Austin these temperatures will equal the Snow Apocalypses of last February.

    But obviously LNG which could go to the Northeast US is going to Europe. The ships left in mid-December, so part of that may be a strategic decision to send gas there to limit the damage if Russian gas is cutoff by the conflict in the Ukraine. Inflation here we come.

    International and domestic politics intertwine but don’t expect the NYT to cover this one. As for me, after the last two winters in Austin with a very cold January-February, I’m eyeing a two month vacation in Bonaire next winter (temp is 82 right now). I like the Dutch; I love to snorkel; I hate the cold.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      yeah. i’m 2 hours to your northwest, and i’m spending the next few days cutting and stacking wood on the back porch.
      NWS forecast doesn’t go past friday, just yet…but it’s looking pretty bleak at least for 2-4 days.
      low of 16 friday morning.
      Belize sounds nice…but extreme weather times are when i’m needed most on the farm.

    2. griffen

      I will suppose that after the weather experiences last February, that the state government has acted upon the needed upgrades and improvements to prevent the failure of the ERCOT system and grid?

      Oh wait, governor Abbott is there. Why do I conjure images of a Mel Brooks satire, when considering the effective state government insuring the citizens don’t suffer harm due to lack of preparation.

      This is not sarcasm mind you. I lived in Dallas, well Plano, in February 2011 when that blizzard hit. The sight of snow falling off the shiny new Jerry Jones monument’s roof was just too ironic.

    3. Another Scott

      I’m pretty sure that LNG from Texas cannot go to Massachusetts because the companies don’t want to comply with the Jones Act for the tankers. This is why we had to import LNG from Russia via England a few years ago.

  22. Wukchumni

    Olympic snowboarding medalist tests positive for COVID after arriving in China NBC
    I wonder what strain the boarder tested positive for, Omicronic no doubt.

    And after all that training and a month hiatus from herb, what a pity…

    Starting my biannual boycott of the Olympics, this one looks quite forgettable and while not as dopey as holding the winter games in Los Angeles, pretty close.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “The Folly of Pandemic Censorship”

    I saw another example of this sort of skullduggery a few hours ago though it was a different form of censorship. So on the TV news they had this big story about how bad Twitch is for Twitch-streamers and how it can mentally wreck your health in spite of the good pay that they can bring in. They were really doing a number on Twitch when the penny dropped. They were not mentioning YouTube streamers at all. So by censoring mention of YouTube, they were trying to get people to be against Twitch – which just happens to be a competitor with YouTube.

    1. Wukchumni

      I’m so old that wasn’t a ‘twitch streamer’ something you had coming out of the end of the handlebars on a 1972 Schwinn Sting-Ray that complimented the clickey-clack sound a baseball card made as it glanced along the spokes of the knobby tire in front. suspended by a laundry peg on the forks?

  24. Wukchumni

    Ancient solar storm smashed Earth at the wrong part of the sun’s cycle — and scientists are concerned TheNewsMotion
    We’ve done without electricity for about 69,800 years of our existence on this good orb, but that was then and this is now.

    A solar storm would pretty much wreck everything and worst of all, kill the market for cryptocurrencies.

    I’d guess within a year, 7 billion of us would be dead.

    About the only widespread item that doesn’t require electricity to operate, would be guns.

      1. Wukchumni

        True dat, and I can only imagine how we would race through our trees, the only source of energy left to us. Animals never eat a cooked meal, whereas we humans mostly do.

        I should have written ‘about the only widespread mechanical item that doesn’t require electricity’ ha ha

    1. rowlf

      One aspect of a unionized workforce that I like is the floor worker can challenge a manager (and above) and not be immediately fired. I think it is important that managers have some call for leadership abilities rather than just being a bully. Management should organize the workers to perform a group task.

      (I have been a member of several unions)

  25. Rod

    Sometimes–here at the NC-Bernie gets curbed.
    Same thing with Hope.
    If your blaze has become embers, this could fire you up.
    And she went to Warrior and John Deere and…

    Hope is an absolute motivator for humankind. We thrive on it, because it is the belief that no matter how hard times are, we can get through. For me, whether I get another extra-special title or not, I am here for the long haul to continue to inspire hope. Hope is an action word. And that’s what they fear the most.

    ’cause something gets us out of bed every morning, and it ain’t just the bathroom or coffee or the grind…

    1. Wukchumni

      Poor Bernie… after that bus ran over him in SC, he at least had the decency to inquire if Clyburn the bus driver could put it in reverse and run over him again, just to be sure.

        1. Wukchumni

          Bernie would a been beat to a pulp by Trump merely by the latter invoking the demons of socialism and where would that have left us, luckily there was hope that Joe would be able to perform at the highest level, but the word ‘potential’ loosely translated from the original Latin means you haven’t done a damned thing yet.

          I appreciate that Bernie’s vocal cords weren’t severed in the horrible roll overs, we need crusader rabbits.

          1. neo-realist

            A tied Senate with two corrupt refusenick Senators doesn’t help Biden push forward a more robust BBB and voting rights on top of a totally bigoted do nothing GOP senate block that is a total no. It’s as if Biden is working with a de-facto minority Senate.

          2. Daniil Adamov

            Not socialism, communism. Socialism is what you summon when dealing with the likes of Biden, Obama, the Clintons. Sanders calls himself a socialist (for reasons that I know of, but that never made that much sense to me), so it is necessary to up the ante and call him a communist.

    2. RA

      Hope (!)

      Wasn’t there some political guy, in the last few years who ran on, “Hope and Change”? Well the first is not quantifiable, so can exist as infinite easily, but the second, as I recall, fell by the way side as he got rolling. That is… Change, little and what there was, was thin gruel as we see in Obama Care or ACA.

      I *hope* that level of success might eventually be bettered in some action, implemented by someone, that actually benefits the majority of people.

      To hope, perchance to pray,
      whether ’tis nobler to hope in one hand,
      or to [family blog] in the other.

      Our political system seems to heavily lean toward the [family blog] side. Hope remains in abundant supply. It can be made anywhere without any supply chain.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          Pretty funny in the context. If it was so scary to “them”, it wouldn’t be such a popular slogan in the mainstream.

  26. grayslady

    The good people of Pennsylvania should do what we did here in Illinois regarding fuel taxes going for everything but roads and bridges: We passed a constitutional amendment enforcing a lockbox for all fuel taxes so that they could only be used for their original purpose. Voters approved by 83%. Our state roads are finally getting repaired.

  27. Solarjay

    I’m wondering if someone can post some links to studies or articles about “ radical conservatism”.
    Does it mean, not changing things, just using less? Like turning your heat down, driving less, vegetarianism, not buying as much, not flying etc?

    Or does it also include modifications, such as replacing equipment with higher efficiency technologies? BEV, heat pumps etc?

    And are there any studies that show how much this would reduce consumption? Either by country or by world?

    Here in the US we have the highest energy consumption of any large country, about 16% of world wide energy use with about 4% population I think. But the majority of the world uses much less per person, often 1/4 of our use or much less. Most of Europe is about 1/2 of our use. And much of the developing world is looking for more energy use not less.

    I’m trying to understand with data how much we can conserve our way out of the climate crisis.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its a very good question, and I don’t have any direct links or resources.

      The problem with the ‘radical conservation’ idea is that it lacks any real definition. It brings up a vision of someone wearing home made clothes in a freezing log cabin somewhere. There is a very obvious link between wealth and consumption and CO2 emissions, but its not by any means an iron tight link. As you note, there are plenty of advanced countries with relatively much lower levels of emissions than north America.

      When you look at those advanced countries with a high standard of living but relatively low emissions, there are generally some fairly common threads:

      1. A history of dense urban development with strong building regulations (often motivated for reasons not related to environmentalism, such as maintaining energy security).
      2. A plentiful supply of renewable energy, especially hydro.
      3. A very modern industrial sector where older high polluting industries have either been revamped or moved to poorer countries (note that countries like Japan and Sweden maintain heavy industry).

      Note that none of these reasons are necessarily associated with a long history of environmentalism or a culture of conformity.

      1. John Steinbach

        Daniel Yergin made a stab at it in the 1970s with the Harvard Energy Futures Study. IIRC he estimated that Americans could enjoy a European type lifestyle using half the energy. The radical conservation Yves talks about will entail dramatically more than personal lifestyle changes, including eliminating personal autos, rezoning mcmansions into multi family dwellings, massive increases in public transportation, rationing, lights out in office buildings, etc. This is the optimistic scenario. The scary one is if these steps aren’t taken in the immediate/near future.

        1. Wukchumni

          The radical conservation Yves talks about will entail dramatically more than personal lifestyle changes, including eliminating personal autos, rezoning mcmansions into multi family dwellings, massive increases in public transportation, rationing, lights out in office buildings, etc. This is the optimistic scenario. The scary one is if these steps aren’t taken in the immediate/near future.

          This would describe a day in the life of most everybody in the bloc party circa pre 1989.

          If Communism as practiced by them hadn’t gone out of business it would have been the perfect model for dealing with both a pandemic and climate change.

          1. LifelongLib

            A while ago I went looking for per capita energy use stats of the Soviet Union vs the U.S. circa 1970. I thought this might show how much energy a “basic” industrial society uses vs a “consumerist” one. I don’t recall finding anything helpful. My current view is that it’s industrial society that’s the problem (rather than communism vs capitalism), but you need stats to even begin considering these things…

            1. Wukchumni

              I’d look at it more in how many Americans owned cars versus their Soviet counterparts circa 1970, and we would bury them!

            2. Skunk

              It doesn’t give this exact info, but there’s a book called “Cold War Energy: The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union” by Douglas B. Reynolds

    2. Rod

      That Question is sssoooo greasy…
      And Ms Smith, with her mind and network, could help more (if only she wasn’t carrying 5 plates in 2 hands while trying to feed the hungry…)

      I think what you do daily is part of the longterm Radical Conservation effort.
      We saved the shorts-out of the dumpster- to use as blocking was one of the things I did.

      On page 5 this comes up:

      We can do better than this. If we have license to think freely and radically about stopping
      biodiversity loss, there are other prospects that are more promising and build on sound research
      and are already being developed and tested in practice. First, conservation strategies need to
      focus directly on drivers of biodiversity loss by addressing how the global economy works,
      especially with respect to resource extraction and consumption, in order to decrease pressure on
      nature (Wells and McShane 2004; Vandermeer and Perfecto 2005). In, this, we need to recognize
      that it is ultimately economic growth itself that is the root cause of biodiversity loss (Fletcher
      2012), and hence to take the possibilities of degrowth economics seriously (D’Alisa et al, 2010;
      Kallis 2015). Consequently, we cannot rely on free markets, economic valuation, and corporate
      social responsibility to fund our goals –
      as advocated both by Wilson and, curiously, a group of
      ‘Anthropocene conservationists’ (see Kareiva et al…..
      This proposal is sometimes mistaken for a return to failed socialist and communist
      experiments with coercive resource allocation determined by experts and bureaucrats. But this is
      not the case. Expert and bureaucratic resource allocation is more characteristic of the Half-Earth
      vision. Our suggestion is that natural resources and ecosystems become global public goods that
      are at the same time governed in local or ‘bioregional’ economies focused on socio-ecological
      justice (see Scott Cate, 2014; Martin et al. 2015).

      Second, conservation strategies must support measures that address inequality. Inequal…

      the short is: can’t have your cake and eat it too

      imo–it is big, too big for this Carpenter, so I just set my baseline at: Capitalism based on a system of unbridled Consumption for personal gain is unsustainable.
      Because–the Cancer Analogy

    3. Pat

      “Radical Conservatism” You mean like refusing to spend any discretionary dollars while Biden is in office?, or shorter term, before the midterms?

      No need to, we loaded up on four years worth of consumables in the last year of the Trump administration. Saved large amounts of money doing so relative to inflation and skipped the gas and time wasted searching empty shelves, and are prepared for natural or man made disasters.

      Giving away unwanted items and searching out what we might need on freecycle, rather than paying into this system.

      All food, the only thing we buy besides energy, paid for in cash.

  28. Alex Morfesis

    China attempting to invade and take Taiwan…that would be a very lonely 4 to 5 hours on those transport ships for those poor soldiers bobbing in the water in those tin cans to the open arms of a couple of million taiwanese citizens with weapons…I really don’t think the us military would have to do much except with targeting assistance…crabs in a barrel… sitting ducks…or just the end of the communist red army party…am rather confused under what possible scenario does the central committee get folks all jumpy to want to cross the straights…. remember 1989….they had a hard time getting any of the army commanders to do anything and had to bring in forces from other parts of the country…the good folks in Taiwan are not exactly looking to be “freed” from the oppressive nature of their democratic system….

    1. juanholio

      They might no actually invade. What if they simply remove the “.” key from everybody’s keyboard!

  29. Henry Moon Pie

    Since carbon emissions are nearly proportional to energy consumption, a good place to start looking for an answer is an energy flow chart like those produced annually by the Lawrence Livermore Lab. If you check the linked chart which shows U.S. energy production and consumption for 2018, you’ll see that transportation accounts for about 37% of energy consumption in this country. Everyone’s freedom to drive around alone in giant SUVs or commute 50 miles each way to work is a big factor. Honest realists admit that we can either hang on to our absurd driving habits or have a habitable planet.

    Residential heating accounts for a more modest 16% of American energy usage.

    The energy flow chart also reveals one of the biggest problems with our overconsumption. Only about 1/3 of energy produced is actually “consumed” by activities like transportation and residential heating. The rest is dissipated as heat (just what we need) into the environment. So when we drive around in our Escalades sucking up 50 gallons of gasoline, we’re actually using three times the energy in that gasoline because of inefficiencies. Put another way, cutting one energy unit of consumption actually reduces the need for energy by three units and saves roughly that amount in carbon emissions.

    I don’t think it’s really too hard to get a very substantial start on reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. The problem is that the vast majority of lifestyle changes must come from the spoiled part of our population that is afflicted with Affluenza. Think big and multiple houses, private jets, giant luxury vehicles and vacations. They have the political power to require changes but are too selfish to even consider it.

    Remember that 50% of carbon emissions come from the richest 10% of the world’s population. The poorest 50% produce only 7%.

    1. cnchal

      > . . . Everyone’s freedom to drive around alone in giant SUVs or commute 50 miles each way to work is a big factor.

      > . . . the vast majority of lifestyle changes must come from the spoiled part of our population that is afflicted with Affluenza. Think big and multiple houses, private jets, giant luxury vehicles and vacations.

      These two are mutually exclusive. The individual that drives a fair distance to make money to pay bills is, in your eyes, the one to blame for the unfolding climate disaster. Have I got that right?

      The whip cracking sadist ordering crapola from Amazon, which was produced in the most polluting way possible in China and then shipped across the ocean, trucked to a satanic mill somewhere close by and then delivered on order is blameless, because they do it from the couch and use no gasoline, personally in aquiring the crapola. Have I got that right?

      The power sucking data centers to record every fart, giggle and keystroke to algorithmically serve an ad to induce one to buy crapola they neither need or want is blameless? The amount of energy required to make the pieces of chip in those data centers is staggering but ignored because why? What you can’t see is ignored?

      Lets face one fact. That wobbly mountain range of debt that almost everyone carries on their shoulders has to be serviced or else. Care to guess what the else is?

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        All those things you list are issues, but the fact remains that the biggest, most “optional” item in that energy flow chart is transportation.

        Would you grant that many people are willing to trade off length of commute for more square footage in their house? Developers don’t keep turning forest, crop and pasture land into McMansions because people won’t commute 50 miles each way. In our metropolitan area, that’s where those monstrosities are being built: fifty miles from center city and at least 20 miles from any substantial work opportunities.

        Surely I’ve been on this site long enough for you to recognize that I’m not pointing the finger at somebody living in the boonies who can’t find a job that fits their qualifications close to where they already live. The reason I keep raising these issues is because there are people who could be making a big difference in our carbon emissions without making real sacrifices.

        1. cnchal

          Everything is an option, including buying crapola made on the other side of the world, shipped to one’s door with a grotesque carbon footprint attached to it, powered by, what is my opinion only, the diabolical now being used for nefarious purposes puter chip, itself a grotesquely energy gobbling thing.

          > Would you grant that many people are willing to trade off length of commute for more square footage in their house?

          Sure, but so what. The typical problem faced is that descent housing within a city is absurdly expensive. The answer isn’t to pay rent to a rentier where no chance of owning the place exists. What happens is that the rent keeps increasing to suck every dollar possible into the rentier’s pocket. It has been the shittiest of deals for renters in the last decades. Wages go nowhere and the rent keeps climbing. Owning, or eventually owning your own home is better, in my opinion and if that takes a longer commute, so be it. For those inclined, a small car used as a daily driver or beater is the answer. As for apartments, I have one word, cockroaches.

          The low hanging fruit is left to rot in the garbage. Nearly half of all calories produced end up there, again the option is to accept that instead of figuring out ways to reduce the pure waste. To reiterate, oil is turned into food and nearly half of it is thrown in the trash. We might want to start there.

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            There are options other than long commutes even if you want to own rather than rent. I live within a mile of the downtown of our city in a house we bought for $3,500. In fact, there were two houses on the lot. Both had been abandoned for years, but they’re now all occupied, housing as many as six people at a time, and we could accommodate more.

            Our city is full of such options. The house across the street from me sold within the past year for $10,000. Those who are allergic to people with brown faces probably wouldn’t be interested, and we have plenty of crime issues coming from people outside our neighborhood who come through here, but we’re not such a bad bunch over all.

            The problem is that all the things you and I have mentioned must be done. Remember that UN report in 2019 that said we had to reduce carbon emissions by 7.6% per year every year between 2020 and 2030 to give us even a 50% chance to stay under 1.5 degrees C? Everything that doesn’t involve humans losing their lives needs to be done.

            That’s why pointing at the other guy and crying, “I want my Maypo. Make him go first” won’t work.

  30. antidlc

    In 2021, 72% of UnitedHealth’s $222.9 billion health plan revenue came from taxpayers.
    94% of its total U.S. membership growth over the past 10 years was in government programs.

    As I noted in my last post, UnitedHealth Group made more profits last year than any health insurer has ever made for its shareholders–and considerably more than Wall Street financial analysts had expected. Investors were so impressed they rushed to buy shares of the company’s stock.

    That might not have surprised you. United and other big insurers have reported record profits every year over the past decade. What might surprise you, though, is that even if you are not enrolled in a United health plan, some of your money likely wound up in the pockets of United’s already rich shareholders. That’s because you and America’s other taxpayers increasingly are fueling United’s profits.

    In its press release last week, United bragged about the growing number of people it “serves,” including the number of people in its health plans. The release said the company had 10.5 million more “members” in its health plans in 2021 than in 2011. But when you look more closely at the numbers and do some math, you’ll see that very little of that growth has been in the private sector.

  31. Jason Boxman

    Brigham Kiplinger, principal at Garrison Elementary School in Washington, D.C., has fought exhaustively to get students vaccinated against Covid.

    Any news on what kind of NPI that Kiplinger supports, if any? Or is he driven solely by his zest to vaccination? The story does not say. And it seems like the NYT got its wires crossed, as the story says that the initial theme that Omicron is “mild” meant less pediatric vaccination. Well, thank yourself for that, Times. A job well done!

    Also continues the charade that vaccination will ultimately end the pandemic, although it’s been clear for a year that that is false.

    But we get the money shot in the first quote from Kiplinger:

    The vaccine is the most important thing happening this year to keep kids in school,” Mr. Kiplinger said.

    (bold mine)

  32. fresno dan

    Our illustrious medical billing system
    Update – reference posting on 1/11/2022 12:22 and 1/25/2022 1027 – – apparent fraudulent medical bills

    So while trying to find an email about my girlfriend’s 2nd granddaughter, I came across my Medicare Part A MSN (Medicare Summary Notice) that detailed charges for when I was in the hospital in August 2021. (Uh, yeah, it was right there on my desk…)
    Now, it turns out that a google search reveals that the name of the company on the envelope that the bill that I think is a fake bill is a real company (or at least shows up in google). Likewise, the name of the company IN the envelope, which is different from the name ON the envelope, is also a real company. This company is associated With Saint Agnes Medical Center. There is a list of doctors for the associated companies, and the doctor shown on the MSN is in that list (remember that the hospital told me that the doctor’s name on the apparently fake bill was not in the hospital directory. Perhaps a contract doctor performing duties???***) However, the addresses of the real companies do not match the address in the MSN or the address in the apparent fake bill I received.
    Charges that Medicare DENIED are for the exact amount on the apparent fake bill I received. But the company that Medicare says submitted the charges that were denied is similar to the name on the bill I received, but the name is not identical. Also, the address in the Medicare Part A MSN gives an address of the company as being a residential house (gig work done at a residential home to process credit or checks???). As I think I have metioned before, the address on the apparent fake bill is a UPS retail outlet. So two sketzy addresses associated with one bill. Seems odd.
    I think my next steps on Monday will be to call the legitimate companies and ask about this bill. I will also call the doctor who supposedly submitted the charges to Medicare if I was actually billed by him.
    It may be that the legitimate bussinesses and doctor are being catfished Of course, I could be wrong because so many separate entities can bill me.
    So I have sent copies of documents to the CA attorney general (Thanks FreeMarketApologist
    January 25, 2022 at 12:33 pm & Rainlover January 25, 2022 at 2:21 pm).
    If it turns out that this is a fake bill, I will send copies of documents and make a complaint to Medicare.
    *** I may ask for an itemized billing – am I being double charged?

    1. Wukchumni

      Fresno dan, I got whiplash careening through what was in theory the third paragraph, and i’m wondering if you know an attorney who specializes in such matters potentially allowing me some of the win on a monetary basis?

      And by the way, the offer I made last week still stands, I feel you are being discriminated on account of where you live. There’s a safe house in Fowler that I could get you in under the auspices of witness projection.

    2. griffen

      I’d stick to your Spidey senses tingling about the purported billing be a ruse. Albeit far from me to have much insight into billing practices where Medicare is involved.

      Scamming Medicare and it’s recipients through billing machinations. Must be attractive to a certain brand of as$hole.

  33. Robin Kash

    David Frum wrote this–and not for The Onion:
    “Americans are never eager to get involved in other people’s fights. But they remain deeply committed to a vision of their country as a force for good in the world. Foreign dictators who counted on American passivity in the face of aggression, and isolationists who hoped to profit politically from that passivity, have again and again been jolted by Americans’ dislike of tyrants and bullies.”

    1. Carolinian

      The Canadians among us. There was a time when Canada was opposed to our warmhearted foreign interventions and took our Vietnam draft escapees. Maybe they still are and Frum is a pro draft (not for himself of course) escapee from Canada. Too late to deport?

        1. C.O.

          The CBC joined the chorus hoping to gin up some violence at the protests, that and trying to claim that the protests are being supported by a political party that is trying to get around funding transparency rules. They didn’t get what they wanted, but gave further proof of why even those of us inclined to defend the CBC as a means to support and present Canadian-made programming (documentaries, sitcoms and the like) want it pushed out of delivering any news except the weather report.

          I had a look at the local protest in my city, which was noisy and civil. A really good news team would have live streamed the speeches so people could actually hear and see the range of opinions and concerns being expressed. There were people with some resemblance to the worst caricatures, but more often it came across loud and clear that the government health officers and political leadership have provided incoherent and ineffective advice and information that is frustrating more and more people past bearing. There seems to be no point in keeping restrictions when the other parts of the policy basically ensure that omicron tears through the population via poorly ventilated education settings anyway.

          I don’t agree with the conclusion some are drawing in Canada that we should give up, I think it makes more sense to actually provide accurate and useful information and support to curb aerosol spread and support our immune systems, and adopt and apply good early treatment. In this of course I am simply re-echoing the sensible position developed here on NC! But I don’t think many people in Canada have seriously given up, it seems to me it’s more like the point in an argument where emotions are too high to get anywhere so everybody stomps off for awhile until they calm down and return to the issues at hand in a more clear-headed way. Whether the protests will actually puncture the self-satisfaction bubble the politicians and health officials live in, I have no idea but am fundamentally pessimistic.

            1. C.O.

              Honestly, the man has no good look, not from the start of him being parachuted in to be the next leader of his father’s party. His “Dauphin” nickname is no complement. But this looks especially bad.

            2. eg

              Trudeau is isolating due to a Covid exposure. Speculation is that one of his children has it.

              As for the “Freedom Convoy” it is a confusing collection of incoherent groups that glommed onto what is said to have begun as a protest against the vaccination mandate for truckers crossing the US/Canada border. That initial group weren’t terribly well informed, since the US itself won’t let them across unvaccinated anyway, so blaming the Canadian Federal government for the same requirement is mostly moot.

              Unfortunately, some of the loudest fringe groups that have jumped aboard the convoy have unsavoury origins.

              None of this is to say that there isn’t a widespread undercurrent of dissatisfaction in Canada with the way Covid is being handled — that is very real. Unfortunately, MOST of the things people don’t like about it (public health restrictions, lockdowns, vaccine mandates, school closures) are provincial responsibilities, NOT Federal ones. In this sense the convoy has landed on the lawn of the wrong legislature …

              1. Arakawa

                To me the obvious analogy for the trucker convoy isn’t Jan6 (as the media keeps trying to pretend), but rather the French ‘yellow vest’ protests. The immediate issue that triggered them (gas tax in France, trucker mandates here) is an incremental imposition, which is a proxy for the participants’ far more fundamental and varied grievances. This leads to a lack of specific and achievable platform (only “make the government resign”) and a protest movement with a lot of energy that has the potential to simmer for weeks and months.

                Still, the provincial governments here *are* to a large extent following the atmosphere and tone set by the federal government, so in that sense it doesn’t matter whose lawn this is done on.

          1. Alphonse

            I attended an anti-mandate rally last Saturday in Vancouver, the day before the convoy left. A few things stood out.

            They have been holding rallies for over a year. Most of the speakers were women (in their 40s?), including the two main organizers and their two media people (a podcaster and a social media founder). The men who spoke were a policeman, a truck driver, and an evangelist.

            There was a lot of God. Canada is not a very religious country, but almost every speaker called on God, including the main organizers. My impression is that much or most of the crowd had religious leanings. But it was non-denominational: organizers attacked churches (in general, not by name) for acquiescing to vaccine mandates.

            They also attacked multiculturalism. They said Canada is bicultural (French and English), and tolerant and inclusive: but people came here because of the values of Judeo-Christian Canada. There were people from all over in the crowd, but the crowd was not woke – it spent basically no time attacking wokeness.

            Their top priority was the vaccine passports, which they see as totalitarian surveillance apparatus. They were also strongly against vaccine and mask mandates.

            One organizer told the crowd that they had done a survey of their online membership: 5% thought masks were a good idea, 35% wore masks despite mandates, and the remaining 60% went along with the mandates despite disagreement. Her message: Do not wear a mask. We win this when we refuse to comply.

            (A brilliant tactic, I think. A non-violent movement needs a taboo to break. The establishment acquiesces, or responds with excessive force. Either way it’s a win. But the taboo-breaking needs to be visible and appear reasonable.)

            There were a number of booths set up for specific groups, among them: Police on Guard (anti-mandate police), donations for people who lost their jobs to mandates, one handing out copies of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (to oppose mandates), two printed newspapers. (I took one: the bits I read were excellent and accurate.)

            The march passed directly in front of the CBC Vancouver headquarters. It was probably close to a thousand people, stretching for many blocks. No reporters covered the protest. Some protesters yelled at CBC for their failure to cover us.

            I support them because of their top issue. I fear long covid (I’m not going to throwing my N95 away), but I think the vaccine passports are more dangerous than the disease. I don’t think authorities have any conception of the social damage they have inflicted. My guess is that we are seeing the beginning of a lasting political realignment.

            My impression online and elsewhere is that mandate opponents are a minority. But I think of middle-aged women as the conscience of a society (for better and for worse). Put that together with the solidarity of working class men, and you have a recipe for real social change. The question is whether they can build lasting organizations.

            I think they can. Anti-globalism was not the core of what they talked about, but it was there in the background. I suspect many of them see this as do-or-die time for defending conservative (which mostly means liberal) values and religion against a hostile regime, behind which sits the Great Reset. I basically agree, though I see it largely in terms of PMC versus the working class.

            The Canadian media and political class have gone berserk. One editorial cartoon shows a line of trucks, each labeled “fascism.” They have tried to frame this as Canada’s January 6. They are blaming it on Russian agents. They are accusing protesters of desecrating sacred symbols, like a Terry Fox statue (the “desecration”: putting a “no mandates” sign and an upside-down Canadian flag in his arms). From a couple of tweets by Frank Graves, one of Canada’s main pollsters (EKOS):

            To see this throng fouling our seat of government and its cherished symbols is just too much . I respect the right to protest but this is beyond the pale. . . . I have never seen such an odious and irrational display of abject idiocy in my country and my city. Ever. Abetted and funded by forces who are above the fray .

            Whatever theory you may have (Thomas Frank) for the behaviour of liberals, Democrats, TDS sufferers and so on during the past few years, it applies in spades here. The establishment foolishly believed in Canadian exceptionalism. I think they intuitively sense that this is a grave threat to the existing order, see no difference between their own interests and the public interest, and will do anything they can to crush the movement. As usual, we are on the same track as America, a few years delayed.

            One last thing. I consider NC my most credible source on pandemic information. I find GMs zombie scenario (people get infected multiple times over the course of their lives, leading to mass brain damage and early deaths). Even so, I consider the authoritarian technocratic response even more damaging than the disease (or more indicative of advanced rot) and crippling to our capacity to respond effectively. It’s unfair to expect you to cover everything, but this seems so crucial to me that I am starting to wonder whether you even see the danger. To me, your lack of coverage is a major lapse, like missing the rise of Trump, the risk of Brexit, or the emergence of woke.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              We don’t disagree with your last para. Zombie is a bit extreme but we are looking at a big reduction in the health of the public if they get infected with Covid, particularly repeatedly.

              But we are now in a no win situation. The European Medical authority has warned that neverending boosters isn’t an answer. Protection from baosters wanes in a mere 10 weeks. Getting boosted every three months will overtax the immune system.

              China is right and the rest of the world is determined to prioritize commerce over health.

              The only other possible way out is nasal vaccines, which would be very close to sterilizing and would reduce contagion levels enough over 6-9 months to lower the need for religious observation of a booster schedule.

              Those of us who are introverted by temperament and can be super disciplined about masks and don’t work in close contact jobs can reduce risk. The rest are being told to pound sand.

              1. eg

                Unfortunately, Yves, I already sense the “pound sand” narrative coming here in Ontario where our Chief Officer of Public Health has started to fire up the “learn to live with Covid” narrative.

                My foremost concern is healthcare system viability, especially the loss of capacity to treat other ailments because Covid is occupying so many resources and degrading the health and well-being of the people working in healthcare — I fear it’s unsustainable.

  34. Wukchumni

    World War 2 has always intrigued me and probably the reason i’m here as an anchor baby native son of the golden west.

    I’m well versed in what went down, and have been enjoying this youtube channel that does it on a weekly wrap up of all the events of note that went down the past week, and today in 1943 isn’t looking good for the Nazis in Stalingrad-for instance.

    Host Indy Neidell is quite engaging and the series is a fresh slant on old subject matter. Each episode is around 15-20 minutes.

    179 – Time to Fire Rommel? – WW2 – January 29, 1943

    Or start at the beginning:

    001 -The Polish-German War – WW2 – September 1, 1939 [IMPROVED]

    1. LifelongLib

      I wonder if Poland isn’t one of the most underrated participants in WW2. I’ve read that Polish intelligence services contributed a lot to Britain cracking the German Enigma codes. And that far from being a walkover, the fight with Poland left the German military so low on ammunition that the attack on France had to be delayed for several months, which may well have saved Britain and ultimately turned the tide of the war.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Yes. This. If you’d like to know more I recommend reading Battle of Wits which gives the Polish their due in this tale.

      2. Michaelmas

        ‘A total of 145 Polish fighter pilots served in the RAF during the Battle of Britain, making up the largest non-British contribution. By the end of the war, around 19,400 Poles were serving in the Polish Air Force in Great Britain and in the RAF.’

        To put that in perspective, at the height of the Battle of Britain, the RAF had only 749 fighter aircraft (against 2,550 Luftwaffe aircraft).

      3. Roland

        German high command didn’t want to try a late autumn campaign in the West anyway. Polish performance was not a factor. Take a look at Halder’s war diary (German army chief of staff):

        “Walkover” is a reasonably accurate description, given that there is more concern shown by the German high command for arranging the details of the respective Soviet and German occupation zones than for any of the combat operations against the Poles. Moreover, halfway through the campaign the Germans were already transferring divisions westward.

        Nothing against the Poles, but they were a minor power with an unkind geography, and soon beaten. We and the French got beaten quickly not long afterwards, but with much less excuse, and with catastrophic consequences for all humanity, notwithstanding our eventual victory.

        There were certain aspects of their own performance in Poland which the German command found unsatisfactory, but they were the sort of shakedown and teething issues that one would expect from a hasty re-armament and expansion programme.

        The only mention of ammunition concerns is given in the larger context of war production plans, and even there it’s more about inter-service squabbling over resource allocation, i.e. army was jealous of air force. That sort of thing goes on in every state in a big war.

  35. drumlin woodchuckles

    About that Asia Times article about how America can “counter Chinese influence in Myanmar” . ..

    The more the DC FedRegime or its operatives try to “counter Chinese influence” in Myanmar, the more the ChinaGov will counter-counter that DC FedRegime “countering of Chinese influence”. China is right there, and will always be able to out-influence the DC FedRegime in Myanmar.

    If the NUGies are naive enough to accept such DC FedRegime assistance in “countering Chinese influence”, the NUGies will be destroyed. Whereas they merely MAY be destroyed without any DC FedRegime assistance. But if they get and accept DC FedRegime assistance, their destruction is thereby assured.

  36. Cat Burglar

    Good work.

    You might as well ask for an itemized billing — it will give them some work to do.

    Interesting that we can be billed by entities we’ve never heard of before, and they have power to alter our credit records.

    Getting them on the phone is a good idea; you might get a completely different answer from them than what is on the bills. Properly handled, you may get good information from low-paid staff that are not paid enough to lie for the boss. But make a record of the time of the call, the name of the person you talk to, and a summary of the conversation.

    Oops, this was meant as a reply to Fresno Dan!

  37. sfp

    Re: “Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission chair argues nuclear power isn’t a climate solution”

    This article is totally devoid of substance, and not surprising considering it’s an interview with Jaczko who famously waylaid Yucca mountain. Can’t take this guy seriously. All he does in the interview is make absurd claims with no evidence or argument. No surprise he was appointed to a position by Reid after he was fired for creating a hostile work environment.

    1. Michaelmas

      This article is totally devoid of substance

      Yes and no.

      The claim that there isn’t the time to build a new generation of nuclear reactors in a decade is ridiculous in the sense that France did exactly that starting in 1973 and got as much as 80 percent of their electricity at one point (and still 70 percent).

      But it’s not ridiculous in the sense that such a feat was only possible under the kind of dirigiste government that existed in France, and is totally beyond the slice-for-everybody-and-their-lawyers kleptocracy that exists in the US.

      And to do nuclear right — and to utilize the new reactor designs — you have to reprocess — as the French do — and work the fuel cycle. Reprocessing means proliferation of enriching capability for potential weapons use. Jaczko is right that those two things can’t be de-linked.

      1. sfp

        A reasonable set of tradeoffs that are worth discussing. None of this is discussed in the article, hence my original complaint.

  38. Susan the other

    EnergyIntel is an interesting link. Scott Ritter’s “Russia moves toward checkmate on Ukraine” was much more informative and objective than all the MSM/TV headlines combined so far.

  39. Wukchumni

    A Fistful of Hryvnia-a Lokshyna Western

    Film plot:

    Starring diplomacy as the man with no name, strangers from north of the Rio Grande & Dneiper state their claim for a bigger, better Tijuana, loser doesn’t get Chernobyl.

    The visiting team is a bit tired from all those losses on the road since the turn of the century, while the wily Russkies can’t wait to show off ‘told you so!’ whiz bang military goods, i’ve got yer’ Fulda Gap right here! thought somebody in Cyrillic.

    1. albrt

      What pronouns does Harrison prefer? Perhaps they could qualify for Biden’s Supreme Court sweepstakes.

  40. The Rev Kev

    “How the kidnapping of a First Nations man on New Year’s Eve in 1788 may have led to a smallpox epidemic”

    Going to have to check that story out. I would guess that one of the officers ‘borrowed’ a few smallpox flakes as a solution to a problem. Been reading up on the history of the colony the first few decades of its existence the past few weeks. When they first arrived, there was literally nothing here. Trees ran down to the waterline and had to be cleared to make space for that first group. It was then that they discovered with their axes a new form of tree that came to be called an ‘ironbark.’ But what was it like the first years? It was the sort of place where the only entertainment was throwing rocks at tin cans – and you had to bring your own tin cans. Which had not even been invented back then.

  41. The Rev Kev

    “Minister calls on retired teachers to join supply register”

    I can see it now as the Minister phones each retired teacher-

    ‘Hello? This is the Minister here. Would you be interested into going back into teaching again? Why? Well to be honest, too many teachers are falling sick with Omicron and have to go home. Well, yes, I suppose that they are much younger and healthier than you are. No, I don’t suppose those teachers have too many comorbidities but look at the bright side. You don’t have to actually teach those rugrats anything. You are only there so that we can make their parents go back into the workforce. No, I am not calling you a high-priced baby-sitter. You won’t be paid that much at all after deductions from your pension and taxes. So, how about it? Hello? Hello?’

    1. eg

      I spent over 30 years in education. I will never set a foot back inside a school for the rest of my life, and that includes my Grade 11 son’s school. I do drop off/pickup and attend outdoor sports events he participates in, but the building itself? No family-blogging way.

  42. Wukchumni

    We in the Palinstinian Movement are in cahoots with the doyen’s doyen you betcha, and if Typhoid Sarah wants to spread the Caribou Barbie variant to the Big Apple via repeated repasts @ restaurants, is there any gravity to the situation other than the usual contempt of the libs being teeny weeny wusses afraid of something they can’t even see.

    1. macnamichomairle

      Vermont’s good showing up until recently with Covid is only partly due to vaccines and going by the rules, I think.

      Pretty much everything closed down for a month or so, that first March, and it is a quiet time of the year anyway as regards tourists. People were pretty careful, and I suspect there was just not a lot of Covid around, due to the timing and the initial shutdown: the neighboring county in New Hampshire observed very few restrictions (very little masking, for example) and also had very little Covid.

      People stayed pretty careful, and it is a rural state. There’s a lot of old people who were worried, and people in general tend(ed) to trust the good intentions of government, so a lot got vaccinated early. The Republican Governor has a sort of backwoods persona and encouraged vaccination, which also increased the rate.

      There was then an assumption that you couldn’t get Covid if you were vaccinated, so there wasn’t much testing available, and probably (I think) low-level cases were never recorded. Delta hit hard in early Fall and many vaccinated people got it. (Maybe especially those not being careful? I don’t know.) That moved right into Omnicron which it seems like pretty much everyone has gotten in the last five weeks. The VT Dept of Health Covid dashboard gives figures. Last time I looked two weeks ago, 700 people had tested positive in the preceding two weeks in a town of 12,000, and there’s a lot of home testing, so that underestimates, I’m sure. The hospitalization and death rates are on the site too. They’re not enormous, but appreciable, and I think the state’s relatively good performance there has much more to do with Omnicron’s (initial?) mildness than with anything the medical establishment has done.

  43. The Rev Kev

    In news today, Joni Mitchell has backed Neil Young in his boycott of Spotify and is pulling out all her music. I used to like her music when younger though I have not heard it for a long time-

    And in other news, some guy called Tom Brady is retiring from his sport in America. He’s a basketball player, isn’t he? :)

      1. urblintz

        Both Canadian and indeed two of the greats.

        I have no problem with them leaving Spotify, but there are better reasons than Joe Rogan and they need to be addressed publicly. Spotify flagrantly steals from its clients, most of whom are not famous and self-sustaining. It also uses content without approval. Didn’t even know it was happening to me with some past completely unknown and mostly unavailable recordings until I was notified of a class action suit. Never resolved to my knowledge, never saw a penny, of course.

  44. lance ringquist

    the inevitable results of nafta billy clintons disastrous policies.

    The U.S. consumer price inflation reflects its dependence on other countries. Import prices are up, and cannot go down, but wages are going down:)

    Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
    Inflation hits Minnesota’s smaller cities, rural areas harder than Twin Cities
    1 / 3
    Inflation hits Minnesota’s smaller cities, rural areas harder than Twin Cities
    Star Tribune/TNS
    Kavita Kumar, Gita Sitaramiah, Star Tribune
    Sat, January 29, 2022, 7:00 PM

    “With food costs rising faster than he’s ever seen, Brett Almich, a third-generation grocery store owner in southwestern Minnesota, spends more time running numbers and deciding how much to raise prices.

    “I used to worry about being competitive and not overpriced,” he said last week. “Now I need to make sure my prices are where I need to make the margin to pay the bills.”

    The changes are happening fastest on meat and soda, said Almich, whose stores are in Clara City, Slayton and Granite Falls. Suppliers used to give him a few months’ notice on a price change, but these days the warnings come with just a week for him to adjust.” …

    the author is telling it like it is, but he is naive, the nafta democrats could care less about the deplorable, after all, the nafta billy was warned his disastrous policies would sink americas middle class, he did it anyways. which should tell americqns what a piece of S##T THE NAFTA DEMOCRATS ARE.

    New report on Midwest ‘factory towns’ shakes up the way we look at politics
    Oct 11, 2021
    by Michael Sean Winters

    “Sit down before you go on because the next statistic should knock you off your feet. The report examined seven swing states — Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — and two more partisan states — Illinois and Indiana — as well as 48 counties in upstate New York. Those who live in the “factory towns” account for 46% of the electorate in those states. And, between 2012 and 2020, while Democrats were increasing their margins in the urban and suburban areas of the Midwest by some 540,929 and 506,448 votes respectively, in the midsized manufacturing towns the Democrats lost 766,578 and in the small factory towns they lost a stunning 1,868,210.

    Both sets of factory town counties, the small and the midsized, accounted for more Democratic losses than the rural areas of these 10 states, which saw 557,206 net decreases for the Democrats. These are hard numbers of actual votes, not polls.”…

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