Links 2/10/2022

Indonesia’s tyre-bound crocodile finally freed after six years Reuters

Neanderthal extinction not caused by brutal wipe out BBC

Credit Suisse sinks to $2bn fourth-quarter loss FT. And–

Live news: ECB says six banks fell below minimum capital requirements last year FT

Litigation finance pits greed against greed Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic


Scientists raise alarm over ‘dangerously fast’ growth in atmospheric methane Nature

Is Climate Change Affecting Your Mood? The Brockovich Report

Climate Change Enters the Therapy Room NYT

Literature, sacred trees and devastating drought Indian Country


Open Everything Yascha Mounk, The Atlantic. “Many of us became accustomed to carrying out an informal risk-benefit analysis before every outing.” Something to be abandoned, obviously. But oopsie:

Safety Third: Covid-19 And The American Character The American Conservative

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CDC head says COVID-19 mask guidance stands, for now Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

Santa Clara County isn’t following California in lifting its mask mandate. Here’s why San Francisco Chronicle

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Omicron-specific mRNA vaccine induced potent neutralizing antibody against Omicron but not other SARS-CoV-2 variants (preprint) bioRxiv. In vitro, and mice. From the Abstract: “Taken together, our data demonstrated that Omicron-specific mRNA vaccine can induce potent neutralizing antibody response against Omicron, but the inclusion of epitopes from other variants may be required for eliciting cross-protection. This study would lay a foundation for rational development of the next generation vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 VOCs.” Big if true. Readers?

Omicron, T-Cells and the Science of Why We Need to Update Our COVID Vaccines The Wire

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Beyond the Booster Shot The New Yorker. What a glorious feeling 🎶 I’m hap-hap-happy again…

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Covid-19 Deaths Are Not Over Counted Gideon M-K, Health Nerd. A deep dive into death certificates. “[D]eaths are fairly complex, and it’s often quite hard to pin down just one thing that ‘caused’ someone to die…. Now, it may shock you, but the people who manage death reporting systems are actually aware of all of this. Indeed, we build our entire systems to acknowledge that death is not necessarily a simple event, because we need to capture that complexity for a whole variety of reasons (if nothing else, it’s important for legal purposes to know what happened when someone dies).” This is Australia, and I assume the UK. I don’t know about the US. Readers?

How Medicine Must Change for Endemic COVID-19 Adam Gaffney, Boston Review.

Acknowledging the endemic future of SARS-CoV-2 shouldn’t lead us to turn our backs on the medically vulnerable and embrace a “return to normal.” Instead, we must collectively insist on an effective, ongoing, and sustainable policy response—not only to support and protect those who are most at-risk for developing this particular disease, but to shore up the provision of medical care for us all.

The central lesson we should draw from our experience with COVID-19 is not that the U.S. health care system has been poorly equipped to respond to a crisis: it’s that it has been poorly equipped to serve many critical functions in the provision of meaningful and equitable health care to all Americans.

Gaffney is on the side of the angels so I regret not being able to share my usual sunny optimism here, but the discourse around “endemic” reminds me a lot of “deinstitutionalization.” We (1) closed state hospitals for people with severe mental illness, because (2) we were going to treat them in community settings. Except we butchered step (2), and ended up with mentally ill people living on the streets, good job. So, step (1): “live with Coid.” There will be no step (2), at least if the powers-that-be have anything to say about it. Hence my disturbed sleep, general angst, etc.

The Macroeconomics of Epidemics The Review of Financial Studies. From 2021, still germane.

Late for the anniversary, but a good reminder that there are unselfish heroes everywhere:


Myanmar asks Interpol to help fight ‘terrorism’; global body says it will not interfere Channel News Asia

Data complaint filed against plan to sell Telenor Myanmar Scandasia

Telenor has shared sensitive customer data with military since the coup: industry sources Myanmar Now


China Credit Investors Brace for More Surprises From Hidden Debt Bloomberg

Evergrande chair breaks silence to rule out asset fire sale FT

I’ve spent months analyzing the BBC’s coverage of China. Bill Totten’s Weblog

FDA Raises Concerns About China-Developed Drugs WSJ


The danger is still on our devices Columbia Journalism Review


Boris Johnson: The U.K. Stands With Its Central European Allies Boris Johnson, WSJ. Good for BoJo, winning the Journal’s endorsement at this late date.

New Cold War

Episode 205: Ukraine (with Ames) Part 1 (podcast) TrueAnon. Part 2. A scorecard for the players. Well worth a listen (though perhaps not quite enough of Mark Ames, and a little too much of Brace Beldon).

The West must accept that Russia is a key player in Europe Responsible Statecraft

Assessing the Military Strength of Russia and Ukraine The Dispatch

Biden Administration

The Supreme Court Has Crossed the Rubicon Linda Greenhouse, NYT and Brett Kavanaugh’s Defense of the Shadow Docket Is Alarming Slate. Merrill v. Milligan.

Supply Chain

Supply Chain Chaos to Boost Maersk 2022 Profit Maritime Professional. Will Petyr Baelish please pick up the white courtesy phone?

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

It’s people like you what cause unrest“:


(Hat tip, Joe Lieberman (D)). I have embedded the PDF. Please read carefully and consider redistributing. (Via the sadly uneven Alex Berenson, who every so often comes up with a gem.)

Democrats en Déshabillé

#MeToo: Eric Schneiderman Says He's Changed. Is It Enough? BuzzFeed. Exactly like Cuomo: Slaughter thousands of helpless elders in nursing homes? It’s all good. #MeToo? Instant cancel! Schneiderman: Service the banks by burying foreclosure fraud? Progressives rejoice! #MeToo? “Of course, screwing over homeowners isn’t a crime with wealthy progressives, they’ll only get him on sexual assault.”

Bible Gateway Pulls Controversial “Passion Translation” The Roys Report

Our Famously Free Press

Conversation With Russell Brand, Who Isn’t “Right Wing” Matt Taibbi, TK News. What kind of fool could possibly think Brand is right wing?

The Bezzle

Can bitcoin be sustainable? Inside the Norwegian mine that also dries wood Guardian. You can’t evade Betteridge’s law by placing a declarative sentence after your question [gavel sound].

In Siberia, a crypto boom made of ingenuity, defiance and DIY FT

Class Warfare

Rail Unions Are Bargaining Over a Good Job Made Miserable Labor Notes

Beyond Diversity — Time for New Models of Health NEJM. “Health data for Hispanic or Latinx people….” Synonyms, or separate categories? An ambiguity it would seem important to have resolved before publication*, and who wants to bet the editors introduced it? Interesting, however. NOTE * As for example via “Latinx (Hispanic).”

Resource Limits to American Capitalism & The Predator State Today (interview) James Galbraith, GPE Newdocs

New Map of Meaning in the Brain Changes Ideas About Memory Quanta

Antidote du Jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. none

    If the Alabama voting case was the supreme court crossing the Rubicon, what was Bush v. Gore? Or Citizens United? We have a normalization of Rubicons. A new one every day.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      All these people fretting about “Trump tried to steal the election” seem to forget that Michele Obama’s buddy W. Bush did steal the election and it was normalized as it was happening with bipartisan support! It’s always been hard for me to take concerns about voting right coming from the Dems seriously after that.

      1. John

        The Rubicon image may be too much, but the court is stepping into untrod territory. For myself, I see a retrograde movement in the offing.

      2. Carolinian

        I don’t know if it was bipartisan at the time but it sure is now except for a few of us trogs who remember. As my dad used to say, “nothing beats experience.”

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        Team Blue types clearly suffer from some kind of inferiority complex. That is all. John McCain can be John McCain, but he said Obama wasn’t an Arab and bam Team Blue types want to put him on Mt Rushmore as a civil rights icon. If Trump said Biden wasn’t so bad, they would petition for Trump to get that tank parade he wanted.

    2. Chris Smith

      Oddly, the Kavanaugh opinion made sense to me, while the Kagan opinion read like a half-hearted retread of old arguments that you will find persuasive if you already agree with them. I need to take a shower now. Yuck!

    3. lyman alpha blob

      No kidding. If the Democrats were so concerned, maybe they should have actually confirmed Obama’s nominee rather than just “fighting for” it.

      This is all just about how districts are drawn anyway, not who gets to vote. I’ve always thought districts ought to be relatively square without any regard to the ethnic background or assumed political persuasion of the residents. Then campaign on some actual issues rather than identity pandering, and may the best person win.

  2. Matt Alfalfafield

    IIRC Latino (or Latinx, although apparently that’s not widely used within the actual community) refers to all people from the Americas who speak Romance languages or are from a culture which does, while Hispanic just refers to Spanish speaking people/cultures. So Latino includes Brazilians, Haitians, and even Quebecois. Whether the authors of the article you quoted are aware of the distinction is beyond me.

    1. Darthbobber

      I think Latino/a is Latin America related. Not Latin language. I probably could get used to calling Macron and Berlusconi Latinos, but it’s hardly common usage

      1. ambrit

        Uh, in Spanish, proper nouns are gender signified. He would be a Latino. She would be a Latina. That culture being primarily Paternalistic, the plural, mixed gender case reverts back to Latino; they are Latinos.
        ‘Latinx’ is a modern creation intended to ‘signal’ the ‘virtue’ of the user thereof.
        This dispute over language seems to be ‘tribal’ in nature.
        Referring to the above, one thing cultural hegemons generally try to do is to enforce “their” preferred language in an attempt to extirpate the previous and prior tongue, and by extension, culture. Think the young American Indians sent to boarding schools a century ago and forbidden to learn or use their natal tongues.
        It does go back to Latin. It is a gender bound tongue.

        1. jr

          “Referring to the above, one thing cultural hegemons generally try to do is to enforce “their” preferred language in an attempt to extirpate the previous and prior tongue, and by extension, culture.”

          Bingo, which is why they came up with a word for Latin peoples that seems to reference a kind of pesticide. It alienates the supposed beneficiary of the word:

          while enforcing a moral code upon them and others. It’s also a way of stealing another’s words: you say the other words aren’t valid anymore. This is similar to that recent, brief discussion about the Western media mispronouncing Kiev. It’s an attempt to assert control via language. The moral trappings are purely for show; it’s all about power.

          It’s the same with the trans “movement’s” appropriation of the concept of a “woman”. (By the way, why do I always here about the trans-woman “movement” but almost nothing about the trans-man “movement”?) I’d bet a fresh doughnut that this all goes back to some inane, weaponized concept of Butler’s about language or something but who cares…

        2. Chris

          How do you say Latinx en Español? Answer=Latinequis? My late wife was Mexican; I’m pretty fluent in Spanish and regularly converse with Spanish-speaking friends, neighbors, and relatives. I’ve never heard Latinx or Latinequis spoken in Spanish. Maybe I just run with the wrong crowd.

        3. Chris

          “That culture being primarily Paternalistic, the plural, mixed gender case reverts back to Latino…” True; however, when used as an adjective, the gender choice of “Latino” or “Latina” is determined by the noun it modifies –e.g., “cultura Latina” or “libros latinos”. It’s really a mixed bag.

          1. ambrit

            Caramba! Esta correcto Sr. O, correcta Sra. I have trouble enough with English. I learned a second language relatively late, my teens. That’s not good for the part of the brain that processes language I fear.

        4. KD

          Not clear what the idea is behind “Latinx.” Rhymes with a racial slur for Asians, and Spanish doesn’t even have an “x”. Progressives should be embarrassed. As far as trying to neuter Romance languages to fight the Patriarchy, good luck rolling that boulder up the mountain.

      2. Louis Fyne

        If I called my very polite, kind generous, Mexican-American neighbor “a Brown person” to his face, he’d probably punch me in the face. LOL. seriously.

      1. Soredemos

        I have never met an actual ‘Latinx’ person, either in the real world or online, who didn’t think the term was deeply stupid (if they even knew about it at all). It doesn’t exist in Spanish, in fact can’t really even be pronounced in Spanish, and native Spanish speakers who even know about it, which doesn’t seem to be many, think it’s completely idiotic.

        Ironically, in a way it’s a form of linguistic colonialism.

        1. Sailor Bud

          Yep, same. Never met a single adherent.

          What I especially love about “Latinx” is just how predictable it was for me – before I looked it up – that the word’s origins would be totally obscure and without a named inventor or even first use example at all (for a word invented well into the internet era, where everything is documented like crazy). Sure enough, no clear origin story whatsoever. No clear inventor.

          Hmm…I wonder why I predicted that, and why it was so easy to.

    2. DJG, Reality Czar

      Matt, Matt, Matt:

      In the endless U.S. pastime of racial classification, Québecois are not Latins. Nor are Cajuns and Creoles in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.

      Brazilians? Brazilian don’t consider themselves “Latino,” especially if that means putting them in the same space with Argentines.

      As the Portuguese Wikipedia puts it:
      Latino (demônimo) – gentílico, usado nos EUA, que se refere a pessoas com laços étnico culturais da América Latina

      1. Big River Bandido

        Brazilians *do* consider themselves “Latinos”. They reject (correctly) the label “Hispanic”, which is a language identifier.

      2. Divadab

        Quebecois are mostly Normands- from Normandy. Normandy is named for the NorthMen, Vikings who raided and stayed in the 7th to 10th centuries. So Québécois are french-speaking Vikings!

        Now the original Franks were a Germanic tribe – ‘Francais’ means Frankish- tho the new ruling class pretty much adopted the Latinate language of their conquered Gallic populations. So broadly the French are a confederation of Gallic tribes, speaking a derivation of the Latin spoken by their Roman conquerors, but the language is named for their later Germanic conquerors.

        Ain’t history grand?

        1. Paleobotanist

          Hey! I resent that Normand crack! Most of my male ancestors were Huguenots Basques who had to get the hell out of La Rochelle when we lost the civil war!

          In French we can perfectly happily write latin.e to be pointedly inclusive if we like. Also, to blow the minds of the woke, we are perfectly happy to switch everyone’s gender around regularly, for example: starting with: La vedette (star) Bruce Springstein means that for the rest of the paragraph, Bruce is female : elle. This is standard French. Latin-derived languages are not so cut and dried.

          Smirk, -Paleo

          1. Divadab

            Mine too – Breton Huguenots. Note that very early on New France permitted only catholic immigrants so huguenots mostly went to Protestant North America, South Africa, etc.

        2. Roland

          Looking at Plate 45 of the Historical Atlas of Canada, “French Origins of the Canadian Population,” one can see that the Quebecois are drawn from many parts of France. The biggest single source was actually Paris, followed by Normandy, Brittany, Poitou, and Guyenne. There were a significant number from the Midi, too.

          My own French Canadian ancestry traces from Anjou.

          1. Divadab

            Sûre yes , agreed, I used a broad brush to tell a funny story, which is more accurate than Hollywood history, anyway.

      3. Joe Well

        I don’t think you understood the Wikipedia quote you posted.

        It seems to imply that in the US context, Brazilians would be Latinos because they’re from Latin America, even if not all Brazilians in Brazil think of themselves that way.

        This is important in places with large Brazilian populations like New England, New Jersey, and Florida.

        I can tell you from observation that Brazilians in the US tend to live in neighborhoods with high Spanish-speaking populations, and vice versa.

        By the way, this article from 2015 says that in polls only 4% of Brazilians and 43% of Argentinians, Chileans, Colombians, Ecuadorians and Peruvians considered themselves Latin Americans. Which goes to show that these labels are mostly relevant to outsiders and people in these countries who have a lot of contact outside the region. But here in the US, they’re still relevant.

        1. DJG, Reality Czar

          Joe Well: My point exactly. “Latino,” for Portuguese speakers, is a term that they don’t use on themselves. Did you read the article?

          Em uma das questões, os entrevistados deveriam apontar os gentílicos e expressões com os quais mais se identificavam. A principal resposta foi “brasileiro” (79%), seguida por “cidadão do mundo” (13%), “latino-americano” (4%) e “sul-americano” (1%).

          O Brasil foi o único entre os sete países da pesquisa em que o adjetivo pátrio ficou entre as três principais opções dos entrevistados.

          Brazilians don’t even see themselves as “Latin Americans.” Latino is a U.S. social construct, as it were.

          1. Joe Well

            They see themselves as Latinos *when they are in the United States.* (Or at least very many of them do.) Which was the whole point.

            I don’t stop to consider myself a Westerner very much here in the US, but it matters a lot when I’m in Asia.

    3. Chris Smith

      I’ve come to the conclusion that anyone using ‘Latinx’ is seeking out conflict. In English, we talk about “Latin pop,” the “Latin grammies,” etc. So the standard way to de-gender ‘latino’/’latina’ is by removing the ending. Adding an ‘x’ is defying convention.

      And lets not forget that the Latin community does not like ‘Latinx’. They have repeatedly told Whitey McNPRListener to stop using it. Yet wokies continue to use it. When an ethnic group tells you not to use a word to refer to them, and you insist on doing so anyway, that’s racism.

      1. ambrit

        I’d take it a step further and remove it from the sphere of “race” and place it firmly in the sphere of “class.”
        When you use a term to refer to a group, after they have told you not to, this is the epitome of the “Upper Class,” and “Credentialled” crowd. “We know what’s best for you.”
        As I said above, the ‘Woke’ crowd is using the term to signal “In Group” status.

      2. cfraenkel

        It’s more than “not like”. Languages have their distinctive patterns and sounds – what makes properly formed words/statements sound right. For English speakers – think of the stereotypical difficulty of some east Asian speakers to enunciate ‘r’ sounds. Missing the ‘r’ makes a perfectly grammatical statement sound wrong and alien.

        “Latino/a” es Español. “Latin” is English. If you’re bilingual, you hear them using different parts of your brain. “Latinx” is jarring, unnatural, not one or the other, forcing Spanish’s gendered sounds into a PC straitjacket by Gringos who clearly don’t think in Spanish.

        It’s a statement that erasing every trace of gender inequality is more important than the language we grew up listening to. What’s next? Chairs will now have to be ‘silxs’?

  3. Anon

    A personal story about death certificates in the US: My mother died from a traumatic brain injury after being dropped on a concrete floor in a nursing home shower room by a evening shift nurse who was addicted to pain medications (which she was stealing from her patients). The doctor who filled out my mother’s death certificate was the medical director of that nursing home. The cause of death listed on her death certificate was “late stage Alzheimer’s disease”. My mother did not have Alzheimer’s disease.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        with my late stepdad, paralised vietnam vet..who died from essentially sepsis, due to va contractor hospitals being bad at their jobs….his official cause of death was “gunshot”…because he had been shot in the back/spine in vietnam, in 1968, and that’s where all his ensuing health problems derived from.
        and since that was the case, the medical examiner was required to do an autopsy…because it was considered a “Murder”.
        took 54 years, but that bullet is what killed him, according to the machinery that decides such things.
        i’ve had a sneaking suspicion since he died that this essentially gets the contractor hospital off the hook for their gross negligence.

    1. lordkoos

      In December a local musician I know (an excellent drummer and teacher) who was a proud anti-vaxxer contracted COVID. A week or so after he “recovered” he died in the middle of the night of a heart attack. He was 58 years old, previously in very good health, not obese or diabetic etc. I have no doubt that it was COVID that killed him but the death was reported here as heart failure.

    2. Tim

      There’s a study that shows about 40% or so of all causes of death on certificates are wrong. It is based on cities that routinely perform autopsies such as NYC which started in the early 1900s.

    3. Joe Well

      I am so sorry (and angry) about your mother.

      The doctor who filled out my father’s death certificate had seen him one or two times while he was alive and never looked at the body. Fairly standard in Massachusetts where autopsies are rarely performed and usually only at the survivors’ expense.

      Death certificates not the most accurate data source.

      Btw whenever I think of all those murder mysteries where the detectives are pulling at every string and hunting down every clue to determine if a death was really due to “foul play” hahahahaha.

      1. JBird4049

        >>> where autopsies are rarely performed and usually only at the survivors’ expense.

        IIRC, the rate of autopsies have been going down nationally for more than two decades because it is expensive. Then add police who often misattribute cause of death themselves to save work especially when it is of the lower classes like sex workers, or black, or poor, or just inconvenient; murder becomes a suicide. It is not just small poor communities either, but places like New York City.

        Like the current Covid statistics, I think death and crime statistics have been getting worse for years.

        Our ruling class is developing a police state where they can find out what I ate for breakfast and what I wrote to my Mom, but cannot give proper resources to rape, murder, or even robbery victims.

      1. The Rev Kev

        You might be confusing that with Joe Biden’s Dorian Grey portrait which is hung in that basement that he was campaigning from back in 2020.

        1. ambrit

          Alas, we are seeing a semi-animated version of that painting. The “real” Joe Biden is kicked back on the beach somewhere drinking Rum Collins and ogling Epstein’s Beauties. (He might be “on the kibbutz” with Epstein now, sniffing the hair of pre-pubescent Palestinian ‘indentured servants.’)
          The present ‘Ruling Elites’ have “jumped the shark,” and are well into Late Stage Decadence.
          Nothing will save them when “the dam bursts.”

      1. lyman alpha blob

        You made me do a double take – my first impression was that it was an impression. It looked like some sort of fossilized lizard imprint, but looking again I do see the lizard above the rock casting a shadow.

        Weird how the brain plays tricks…

    1. griffen

      It’s a species native to the US, called the congresscritter, blending in with whatever territory to survive.

      On second thought that poor animal doesn’t deserve that.

    2. elRoy

      Saltuarius wyberba is a species of gecko of the family Carphodactylidae. Looks as though we can’t tell if he is coming or going.

    3. Randy G.

      First gecko is probably a New Caledonia Gargoyle gecko (Rhacodactylus auriculatus). They are very commonly bred in captivity.

      Second gecko appears to be a leaf-tailed gecko (also broad-tailed gecko) — (Phyllurus platurus) from Australia.

      For a political context, they are better looking and far more beneficial to planet Earth than Joe Biden.

  4. Steve H.

    > Readers?

    1: So many vaccines, so few T-cells. Seriously, is there a test for T-cell stores?

    2. Death is a good, hard, ecological number. Would it be so hard to test each for Covid. (betteridge red flag, i know…)

    1. Steve H.

      Apologies, #2 is a response to the #3 inquiry, and my failure to provide a question mark is not meant to ironically challenge the Betteridge law gavelstroke.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “The danger is still on our devices”

    Israelis, home of where the Pegasus spyware was built, are voting with their feet – by beating a path to the door of ‘dumb phone’ sellers and importers of Nokia dumb phones are seeing a 200% increase in sales of them. You wonder if this might be the beginning of a trend. And when you get down to it, a lot of people would just be happy with a simple, cheap mobile that you could use to make and receive calls, send and receive texts, an alarm and maybe a simple camera. They don’t want or need the bells & the whistles nor the razzle dazzle. But try telling that to a mobile salesperson-

    1. Carolinian

      I have a smartphone (not Apple) but I never carry it around with me or use it to surf the internet–just use it to make calls. Phones aren’t very good for internet anyway unless you are dexterous youth who have taught themselves to thumb type.

      1. Synoia

        I find the lack of a 19″ screen very limiting on my cell phone, especially when coupled with the requirement to have dainty fingers (which I do not) to operate the phone.

        1. lordkoos

          I hate using my old iphone for internet use as I can’t abide having my field of attention narrowed down to a 6 inch screen for any period of time – I prefer the laptop. Other than calls I use it only to occasionally check the weather and download podcasts. I do find the maps function very helpful when traveling. I have been thinking about replacing it with a dumb phone and buying a GPS for the car for travel. GPS of course is still traceable but otherwise the surveillance is limited. But I’m an old guy — the younger people I know do everything on their phones.

      2. Basil Pesto

        It’s funny how habits vary isn’t it? I do 95% of my NC reading/writing on my iphone, though I actually bought a nifty small-size bluetooth keyboard the other day, in part for me to use when I’m halfway through writing an unexpectedly long comment on my phone with my thumbs and realising “oh god this is stupid why am I doing this”

    2. Nikkikat

      I decided a while back that I didn’t need to carry the internet in my pocket. Got a plain old phone that doesn’t do anything but make and receive calls. As a bonus it cost me only 25.00 dollars a month and has unlimited talk and text. Since I don’t make many calls, I even forget and leave it home, I lose it around the house some times for a couple of days. I have set myself free.

  6. Nikkikat

    Re National terrorism bulletin. Those Canadian truckers must have really frightened them! And of course they will always have the Patriot Act if they can’t come up with a good legal reason to lock us up.

    1. Wukchumni

      First they came for the misleading narratives, and I didn’t speak out because I was not a columnist…

      1. Eclair

        Yeah, I am so confused these days, not knowing what to believe. If only The Government would publish The One True Narrative, imprimatur and all. So we could all be on the same page, so to speak.

        1. lordkoos

          “We’ll Know Our Disinformation Program Is Complete When Everything the American Public Believes Is False.”

          – William Casey, former CIA Director, at his first staff meeting.

          I think it’s mission accomplished at this point.

    2. Lee

      If by my participation in online forums such as this, I were to be deemed a “domestic threat actor”, I’d take it as a compliment.

  7. LadyXoc

    Re: TrueAnon — Brace is a bit of an acquired taste. But I respect the way his inanity leavens what would be intolerably dense information. A hallmark of “new left media” (dirtbag left) is that it consciously avoids the after-school special/NatGeo voice of authority that drones. I Stan Brace!

      1. t

        Neither of us are Liz. This is a pro-Brace space! Also Liz. And Yung Chompsky. And Nim Chimpsky (RIP). And broad-tailed geckos everywhere. I hate my family-blog phone, though. And it took so much research to find one only this horrible.

    1. lambert strether

      I like Brace. The ability to simplify vividly is a great gift. But with the knobs at 8, not 11. He’s a host, not a guest.

      1. Stillfeelinthebern

        We do too:) I am sure our introduction to Trueanon came from nakedcap and I want to thank whoever gave us that gift. We started with the Elon Musk trilogy (I think 9 hrs) during a long car ride.

        In the beginning, a bit weird, I think we stuck it out because of the subject matter. By the end, we were hooked. The mix of information and humor, it’s brilliant.

        Their coverage of the Epstein trial completely caught the mundane nature of day to day life in a legal proceeding. And they had extraordinary knowledge of the evidence and back stories. They get power, who has it, who wants it, how it works.

        Brace reminds me of South Park, a bit over the top, but able to tickle the brain cells and make me laugh. I sure need that laughing.

    2. Blue Duck

      I hold the belief that we are yet to see Brace in his final form. I think he has big things ahead of him. Same with Matt Christman.

    3. CarlH

      I agree. Brace used to rub me the wrong way when I first started listening, but no longer. I appreciate his humor and knowledge. Of course Liz is the real star though.

      1. Stillfeelinthebern

        YES. I feel bad not mentioning her in my previous comment. She is wicked smart. I love her sounds, how she counters Brace. The wisdom she has at such a young age is inspiring.

        One more comment, their stuff isn’t full of fluffy nonsense, maybe not the words to describe it, but their podcast has a sophistication to it that, say, “This Podcast Will Kill You” is missing.

  8. Henry Moon Pie

    Jamie Galbraith interview–

    Included was this quote from Galbraith’s The End of Normal:

    A slow growth model should instead foster a qualitatively different form of capitalism: based on decentralized economic units with relatively low fixed costs, relatively high use of labor compared with machinery and resources, relatively low rates of return, but mutually supported by a framework of labor standards and social protections.

    Galbraith is a bit too much of an economist to move all the way to degrowth, but the above quote, with its “decentralized economic units” with “high use of labor” sounds a lot to me like Chris Smaje’s Small Farm Future.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      aye…and perhaps germane:
      what i’ve been plowing thru waiting for links(and now, must put off, because a fence needs fixin’:
      “Communism is not just a social organisation or an institutional structure, it is also a habitus, that is to say, a set of individual dispositions formed in practice. And this habitus is not only an effect of living in communism, it is also one of its conditions of possibility.”

      and:”In other words, the more numerous we are to have already experienced communism in practice, here necessarily a local practice, the more communism, as a global social formation, will find a ready-prepared soil of dispositions favourable to its full deployment and viability. What I am saying, however, is that, while it is necessary not only for its ‘preparation’ but also for its vitality ‘as a regime’, the local practice of communism is not sufficient for its accomplishment, its full realisation. What I mean by communism is neither the homothety of a ‘commune’, I mean something like a commune taken to a macroscopic scale (if this idea makes sense – I think it is a contradiction in terms), nor even a kind of network of communes, and this for reasons that have to do with the very deep necessities of the division of labour, which is not simply ‘additive’, the sum of a series of local and separate contributions, but ‘holistic’ and requiring forms of global integration on the scale of an entire social formation….”

      which was in the sidebar of a link from yesterday.
      he then goes on to talk about “stop waiting for the Revolution”…because the Capitalist Revolution already happened.
      now, we need another revolution to counter the Counterrevolution…and how it ain’t “Anthropocene”, which muddles…but “Capitalocene”. because capitalism is what’s destroying the planet.

      so, like i’ve been saying for years…start at your doorstep.
      the retraining of Humanity to be something other than Neoliberal Hyperindividuals in a society(sic) that can’t exist, by definition…will take time, effort…and will be countered at every turn by the Machine.
      start at home, as i’ve been doing, with all my corruption of the youth.

      now, off to the fencing….

      1. John

        Reading the Galbraith quote recalled the 1940s to 1960s of my childhood and young manhood, which while not an idyll, were more human and more humane at least in terms of the overall arrangement of things. Perhaps I was in a fortunate position, but I grew up on a small farm which supported six of us. All of us kids went to college and graduated without debt and went on on have more or less successful lives. Nothing extravagant, but satisfying. I do not believe our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren can say the same or that they look to the future with the same degree of serenity.

        1. Carla

          Amfortas and John, thank you so much for these comments, which provide additional thoughtful context to Henry Moon Pie’s remarks, and in turn to the Galbraith transcript. Once again, you have reminded me how privileged I am to have stumbled on Naked Capitalism more than a decade ago.

      2. skippy

        Sadly the problem is the lack of reality in any ideological construct plucked from the mind, because the mind cant and never will be able to contend with reality e.g. takes short cuts to achieve a arbitrary goal within a dynamic system. Goodness how many Spencer’s do we have to suffer.

        Aside Mate … heads down I feel you in so many ways over your personal circumstances and how the more words I say the less meaning they have unless our eyes are locked. I’ll leave it at that lest the physically manifestations get the better of me for considering them – mad game.

    2. Robert Hahl

      Galbraith touched on what I think is the crux of the problem. The Western financial system operators are allowed to create money without many limits, and hand it out to their friends. Long before I knew anything about where money came from, I saw Jay Leno on the Tonight Show interviewing a man whose only reason for being there was that he was 100 years old. At the end, Leno asked him what was the biggest change in life he had seen. He said, “A dollar is a lot easier to come by now.” That stuck with me because of how the audience reacted. They obviously took their own affluence for granted and didn’t seem to know why he thought this was so important, which makes sense for a television audience in Los Angeles on a workday afternoon, but we all do it.

      1. Wukchumni

        ‘Easy, everything is easy now’

        That was the answer from a Battle of the Bulge vet I was soaking with in Saline hot springs, when I inquired as to the biggest change in his lifetime?

        The mouse clique has extraordinary powers, an imbrogliou.

        Out of Limits, by the Ventures

    3. Jessica

      Galbraith does recommend “decentralized economic units” with “high use of labor” to provide employment but also see the core industrial economy as being highly centralized and productive (and therefore, not too employment generating).
      Galbraith supports “countervailing power” and scorns anti-monopoly efforts (as did his father). For areas where monopoly is all but unavoidable (for example Facebook), I think he is right, but when monopoly extends even to something like cheer competitions, Matt Stoller’s emphasis on anti-monopoly makes more sense.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        need to soak up all the idle hands, give them something meaningful to do with their time.
        like letting the kids play real hard so they’ll get to sleep earlier and easier.
        the Bosses has screwed the pooch, here…and it shows.
        there’s no reason to have hyperefficiency in the production of tomatoes….it just causes other problems, by attempting to fix a non-problem.
        ban imports of produce, and you’ll have my vote.

    4. Bazarov

      This reminds me of Cuba’s food production system that arose during the “Special Period” when the country experienced a second revolution to stave off starvation following the Soviet Union’s fall. Cuba’s living in the future, as the embargo is a reasonable simulation of the resource crunch that will follow our civilization’s overshoot and collapse.

      For further reading and watching:

  9. PostRev

    “Nothing was left untouched by the statistician. Nothing is as certain as death and taxes, and though you readily grant that tax brackets are an artefact, ways to die, you will think, are a part of nature. On the contrary. It is illegal to die, nowadays, of any cause except those prescribed in a long list drawn up by the World Health Organization.” –Ian Hacking, Biopower and the Avalanche of Numbers

  10. Samuel Conner

    I stopped reading the American Conservative article at this line:

    > “That so many Americans are so worried about their own safety and that of others—due to an illness that over 99 percent of people will survive and fully recover from—speaks poorly of any free nation.”

    “fully” is doing an awful lot of work there.

    Perhaps what we ought to do is be more public spirited and promote public dissemination of the virus. Or volunteer to die for the Empire, or for the entertainment and comfort of the elites. “Morituri te salutamas!

    Intentional democide? Or maybe a bloody-minded peace movement? US will be starting fewer wars in future, me thinks.


    So here’s a question. If everyone and his mother agrees that ‘long COVID’ is to be mentioned even less than ‘the antihelminthic medication that must not be named’, what does one call the actual conditions that manifest as long COVID, and to what does one attribute them?

    It seems to me that the elites are digging themselves into an ever deeper hole here. At some point, the problems will be so pervasive that they cannot be ignored (arguably this is already happening in the sense that employers cannot avoid noticing the shortage of workers, which has (in some reports) been attributed in part to chronic COVID sequelae.)

    How low can labor force participation go before the economy starts to unravel?

    1. The Rev Kev

      I am pretty sure that the American Conservative would also point out that American service people going into combat these days are statistically safe as few actually go and get themselves killed. And of course they would ignore those returning with lifetime injuries or PTSD and/or will go on to commit suicide in any of their articles. Come to think of it, how long will it be that we will start hearing about people so crippled by Long Covid and not being wealthy enough to treat it, that they will end up taking their own lives in the same way that we hear about young soldiers also taking their lives being unable to also cope?

      1. Carolinian

        I agree that the TAC article is a bit superficial as represented by another quote

        The early European colonists to America did not sail across the ocean because they wanted to kill Indians. And most didn’t undertake such a dangerous journey because they expected to get rich.

        “All about freedom” is what some of us were taught in grade school as a comforting myth. Of course they wanted to become rich and were often economic refugees from crowded Europe. But nevertheless it was about freedom as well and books that say it was only about the money–Zinn’s People’s History comes to mind–are missing something. The Safe Space craze is new and surely would surprise the earlier Civil Rights movement that faced beatings, police dogs and even death for, yes, freedom. Speaking as a USian, freedom is what is good about us, however often we fail to live up to it. The safe spacers should give it more respect.

    2. Doc

      We will cross that bridge when get to it. The US does nothing proactively but start wars. I am sure there is a war playbook somewhere detailing how to gin up military action against both friend and foe. Over the last 50 years the US ignores everything or papers over the problem. We happily move on and continue with our lives. We have to feed the economic beast. I don’t have a lot of hope until the kids living through this decide enough is enough.

    3. Mikel

      “It seems to me that the elites are digging themselves into an ever deeper hole here. At some point, the problems will be so pervasive that they cannot be ignored…”

      The elite: “Hold my wine glass…”

      Anyway, they think they have a future as intergalatic parasites.

    4. Amfortas the hippie

      sure it can be ignored…or papered over with just the right messaging/narrative…
      just look at how successfully the reality of poverty has been ignored…
      i notice it everywhere i go…because my privilege doesn’t rely on not seeing it.(and i’ve been there, besides)
      just across the road from the doctors’ parking garage exit at no fewer than two hospitals in san antonio that we have frequented…there lie essentially Barrios.
      behind a wall, no doubt…ostensibly to lessen the road sounds of those busy streets…but you can see the rust stains from the crappy window units(that obviously come with the apartments(again, been there,lol)….the wash hung out on the rickety rusty balconies, and other obvious indicators of penury….
      the doctors and suits who emerge from their private garage are confronted with these sights every day…but i’ll bet money that they do not notice.
      the disability and lower quality of life that ensues with long covid will be easily ignored/not noticed….and the resulting lack of workers will be passed off to laziness, low character, etc…and used to justify ramping up the domestic portion of global labor arbitrage.
      the Bubble will hafta be physically invaded, i’m afraid.
      (waves to DHS)

    1. The Rev Kev

      Justin is causing enormous damage to both himself and Canada. If he had been half-smart, we would have asked the truckers from the get-go to send them a delegation to air their grievances before the protests had a chance to get any bigger. Too late for that now as it has gotten out of control. Mind you, other countries are starting to hit the panic button about these types of protests-

      1. Cocomaan

        Truckers rebelling is going to make inflation go even more crazy.

        Pissing off one of the largest professions in the USA and likely everywhere else is not a good idea.

        1. Craig H.

          When I moved out of CA last year I was not on the interstate out of Reno for ten minutes before I noticed that a lot of the vehicles going the other way were eighteen wheel freighters. Mostly I was looking for UFO’s and chemtrails but a few times I counted how many of a hundred vehicles on the road they were. The lowest number was over 20/100. One time it was over 35.

      2. wendigo

        In Canada the majority of mandates were enacted and will be removed by the Provinces, not Trudeau’s government. From the get-go the delegation would have had to include all Premiers in the discussions.

        The point of the rallies is not to remove mandates, that ship has already sailed, now it is to prevent the reintroduction of any mandates in the future, vaccinations,masks etc.

        1. JEHR

          I have a theory, not a conspiratorial one, but one based on what I am seeing and hearing at the present time.

          The United States has a new policy called “America First.” In order to put that policy into effect it would have to recall to the US all manufacturing that is done by other countries. What nearby country does the US look at first. Canada, maybe.

          Canada obtains a large amount of its food from the U.S. partly because we need to do so and partly because we have a very short growing season. Canada always has a surplus in trade with the US which helps them pay for their 800 military bases abroad. Canadians think that the US is their best friend and good neighbour.

          Along comes a large anti-mandate convoy of big trucks to some very strategic places in Canada: in Ontario at Windsor and in Alberta at its border with the US. But these places did not become strategic until the big trucks arrived in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, and the trucks refused to leave even when they were told that the mandates were going to expire soon.

          Who came to Ottawa? Well, there were confederate flags (the pro-slavery flag of the South). There were Nazi flags (indicating WWII horrors). There were cryotocurrency people flogging their wares. There were signs signifying hatred of others and disliking the Canadian government. Lastly, there were suggestions that our Federal government should be overthrown and replaced with who knows what. Who created all the chaos in Ottawa? Take a guess using the signifiers in this paragraph.

          There are also the many computer funded accounts for the millions of dollars to support the Anti-mandate trucks who promised never to leave. They even brought their children with them so that no violence would ensue. I know Canadians can be chaotic at times but at this time we are not against our own policies that are necessary to keep the elderly and those with co-morbidities alive by closing down crowded areas (via mandates) where the covid virus can spread.

          The White House has been saying for some time that they want their manufacturing to return home. China is being treated badly because they have become global manufacturers. Canada makes the parts for cars that go across the border sometimes many times and then are sent to the US for the final product. Canada also makes a few cars at home. At this minute, the Canadian companies who help make US cars are losing money and many workers are being laid off. What better place to start to return manufacturing to the US than by taking back all the manufacturing that Canada does for the US?

          The Americans never let a crisis go to waste. What is the crisis? The launching of a protest that refuses to disband because it carries the right-wing causes that thrive in the US and have come to Canada with a vengeance. Chaos at the two borders where most of the trade between Canada and the US passes and where eventually all trade done for the US in Canada may very well cease.

          That’s my theory.

          1. Pat

            I might go along with this except there is no real push by anyone of power to return manufacturing to America. There just isn’t. Among us slubs, sure, but anyone with oodles of money or our corporately owned government, well besides lip service there is nothing.

          2. Divadab

            Your theory is based, sadly, on the amplification of one or two confed flags and swastikas into a fear and panic and shock horror-fest by the lying media. And those instances were probably agents-provocateurs doing the evil stuff they do.

            So – sorry, this is a genuine grass roots movement which is being actively suppressed by the people you should really be worried about. Neo-liberals, and corporatist outfits like Gofundme, who can take a flying duck at a rolling donut as far as I’m concerned.

            1. Roland

              I agree–it’s definitely a legitimate popular protest, with support from all over the country. Flag-wise, it’s overwhelmingly the Maple Leaf, although quite a few fleur-de-lys can be seen, too. Since some US truckers are taking part, there are Stars-and-Stripes and a few Gadsden flags out there.

              As for Confederate battle flags, one needs to bear in mind that the pop culture meaning of that symbol in Canada has more to do with Dodge Chargers and Daisy Duke than with slavery or secession. Those flags were commonly displayed in Canada by people who had barely heard of the US Civil War. They might be “dipsticks,” but they’re nothing to be afraid of.

          3. Maritimer

            “The launching of a protest that refuses to disband because it carries the right-wing causes that thrive in the US and have come to Canada with a vengeance.”
            If not acceding to the demands of criminal organizations Pfizer, AZ, JJ and their CDN Government aiders and abetters is a “right-wing” cause then that does not say much for the Left Wing. It actually puts them in bed with criminals.

        2. flora

          Question: In the US the Congress is authorized to regulate interstate commerce under the U.S. Constitution. This means that travel between the states is subject to several federal laws and regulations. So, transportation between states is governed by federal law, and this especially applies to the US federal interstate system where a lot of the trucking state-to-state travel happens. Is the same true for Canadian province-to-province travel? Is it governed by Canadian federal law or only by province law? I expect Canadian-US cross border law is governed by Canadian federal law, for example the US interstate 29 crossing from eastern North Dakota into Manitoba, meeting the Canadian route 75 in the national highway system, or does province law control the national highway system within province borders.

          Shorter: does the Canadian federal govt control the national highway system?

        3. Jessica

          The imposition of a vaccine requirement now for truck drivers crossing the US-Canada border was and is a federal decision, not provincial.
          I am not clear at all how much the protesters are typical truckers and how much they may be supported by the US right-wing. However, adding this requirement now, at a time when Omicron makes vaccination even less effective at preventing transmission by the vaccinated, looks like the Canadian federal government felt the need to do something just to do something and didn’t care how badly they hurt the truckers in the process.
          File under “News always omits data you need to understand a situation yourself”: What percentage of Canadian truck drivers drive across the border? Given how much of the Canadian population and economic activity is close to the US border, I would figure that it must be higher than the percentage of US drivers who cross either land border and could be fairly high.

          1. wilroncanada

            Canadian truckers who drive across the border into the US must produce proof of vaccination—to the US border services, or whatever the hell you call it.

    2. K.k

      I agree with the analysis that this is a petty bourgeoisie tantrum. Sure there are segments of labor involved but on the whole I think it seems its the small business owner types heading this rebellion backed by right wing billionaires. The fact they now want all mitigations removed tells me in addition to protecting their own class interests, they are doing the bidding of big business, capital, which wants the return to normalcy at all costs. No matter how many are sickened or die, insofar as business can continue without major disruptions. Its worth remembering historically, its when that large segment of the petty bourgeoisie gets hit with the fear of being proletarianized during an extreme economic downturn is when they become complete reactionaries and turn to the hard right. All the while using the language of labor and the left which functions to bring along chunks of the working class to politics which are ultimately working against the interests of labor.

  11. griffen

    I know that occasionally the topic of religion and faith gets a thread. For anyone with an evangelical bent now or like myself in their youth and educational background, the link above to that ‘translation’ getting pulled is a bit out there. These proposed new versions usually get a peer review of some sort, I have to presume. And this newest of the new “The Passion Translation” is more direct in paraphrasing the NT passages I’ve read so far.

    And fortunately the passages they cite are shortened for consumption and easy comparison. And other presumed authorities on the subject of historical text (KJV) and updated versions like the NIV weigh in / another article to clickthrough.

    Of course if your knowledge of Bible verses is limited to film, then your mileage may vary.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      It’s funny to hear NIV-ers complain about the accuracy of biblical translations. The NIV first appeared in 1973, not long after the decision inRoe v. Wade was released, but well after that case began traveling the appeals route on its way to Supreme Court argument.

      The NIV translation of a verse from the Book of the Covenant, one of the oldest parts of the Hebrew Bible consisting of a play on Hammurabi-like “cases,” departs from the tradition of translations going all the way back to Jerome and even the LXX (Septuagint), and renders the following:

      If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she give birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands.

      Compare the KJV:

      If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him.

      The translating tradition had been that the fight caused a miscarriage, but the woman remained able to bear other children. Such a “case” called not for a capital penalty as with the taking of human life generally, but a fine representing the financial loss of a potential child. In the highly politicized time of Roe, the NIV translators chose to politicize the translation, even adding a footnote, “Serious injury, to either mother or child.”

      The Living Bible publishers called their production a “version,” and that’s the proper term for this “Passion” rendition.” As someone noted back a while on NC, the Le Guin edition of the Tao te Ching is also a version, not a translation because despite Le Guin’s many accomplishments and talents, she was not a reader of 2,000 year-old Chinese. She put together her version using other English translations, even though she was quite familiar with the vocabulary of the TtC.

      Bible translations used to have great capacity for harm. It was largely through the Scofield Bible that the absurd assertions of Richard Darby about pre-millenarianism, the Rapture and dispensationalism were spread. These days, I think the impact is much more limited.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The Living Bible publishers called their production a “version,” and that’s the proper term for this “Passion” rendition.”

        As I understand it, the argument is that the Passion Bible is not a version, but a new text (rather like a Bad Quarto in Shakespeare, except with intent).

    2. Solar Hero

      If you read the article, it says the Passion version is 50% longer than the standard texts, so there’s some padding going on here, please!

    3. skippy

      The topic without the inclusion of Geneva Bible is fought with error and then some warbling on about translations and its impact on everything else is fallacious, not to mention all translations are political in nature. In fact the remnants of the collapsed Sumerian civilization that proceeded everything else has undergone so many transformations and mangling of the original words meanings is epic to a historian/anthropologist.

      1. ambrit

        There is a very good chance that there was a civilization before the Sumerians that what we call the Sumerians are a remnant and revenant of.
        There is a lot that we do not know about our own history.

          1. ambrit

            Ah, we talk at cross purposes.
            I give humans a longer “civilized” history than is the “official” narrative. As far as huiman history goes, I’ll work on the assumption, (I know all the jokes that word implies,) that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. YMMV, which is awfully close to the old “Name of the Most High” without the vowels. (The God of Missing Things?)
            As for, “some economists are digging,” are you referring to the Debt Jubilee idea?

    1. Arakawa

      Seems to me like the combination of disgruntled truckers with disgruntled Mounties is far more potent than either one individually.

      1. jr

        There was a video on the Tube last night where an Ottawa police officer was chatting amicably with one of the protestors and spoke approvingly of their behavior. Smiles all around, for what that’s worth.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      quick…wheres USAID?
      is Nuland still under her desk?
      …and what do you call that plaid…red and black lumberjack…that is sort of associated with canadians in some of the more irreverent comedic offerings?
      is that the color of this revolution?

  12. Wukchumni

    I stand with the Cargo Occult up over in their struggle to
    cut off from view by interposing something.

    1. Wukchumni


      The family is flying up to Vancouver and taking the Rocky Mountaineer choo-choo to Banff for my mom’s 97th birthday and a grand get together of relatives from Calgary all the way down to Crowsnest Pass, what fun!

      That is if Covid doesn’t derail our plans…

  13. Alex

    Regarding the counting of deaths due to COVID:

    I definitely do not want to minimize the number of deaths; each and every death is very important for the family, for their friends, and for society

    However, US COVID data is not granular enough to be able to discern who is hospitalized “due to COVID” versus “with COVID”. That is why Biden administration has started a task force to address this issue, that is much more prevalent in US (compared to other developed countries) due to stange setup of US health care system (some of its stranger components exposed by Yves in various NakedCapitalism posts)

    1. MP

      I mean, there’s obviously inherent skepticism about the reliability of CDC/local county health department data, but there’s a simpler method: looking at all-cause mortality. If there were such large swaths of “incidental” covid deaths, then all-cause mortality would be closer to 2019 levels than 2020 levels than we thought. In fact, we still see tens of thousands of extra deaths compared to 2019 dying every month, and deaths in 2020 were even higher than actually reported (if someone dies on an ICU bed with an unrelated condition because the nurses couldn’t give them proper care because of staffing shortages/full beds, was that a “covid death”?) and it ain’t coming incidentally. So I think the Biden Admin’s focus on this is to explain away why life expectancy is dropping for very, very obvious reasons.

    2. Larry Y

      How much of concern over counting COVID deaths is driven by the desire to minimize the big picture – US has significant excess deaths and an accelerated decline in life expectancy.

      Looking at other regions, be it Latin America, Europe or India, strongly suggests that the narrative on “overcounts” is driven by the desire to minimize COVID.

    3. Socal Rhino

      I think you get a pretty good idea at the macro level, looking at excess deaths. Life insurers likely have an opinion on this by now.

      1. flora

        Watch what happens to life insurance premium increases – if any – per $100,000 in coverage this year and next.

      2. Larry Carlson

        It’s easy to determine total excess deaths, but to break them down by cause is much trickier. They could be caused by COVID, they could be unnecessary deaths from other illnesses (due to people choosing not to seek care), they could be “deaths of despair” (suicides or opiate-related deaths, which were accelerating prior to the pandemic), or they could be deaths that result from COVID treatments. Insurers get to review death certificates, but not a full medical history, so it’s hard to accurately determine drivers of excess deaths. To further complicate things, insureds skew heavily toward working ages and tend to have greater wealth and income.

        1. Jeotsu

          Causes of death in large pandemics can be due to chains of events. If collapse of supply chains causes mass starvation, those deaths are pandemic caused even if everyone who starves to the death was plague-free.
          It is messy, complicated, and manipulated by people with agendas.

  14. antidlc

    If you’re tired of people saying they’re ‘done with Covid’, that they want to ‘move on’ from the pandemic, get ‘back to normal’… even as 3,000 people die on a daily basis & while ignoring Long Covid, this angry monologue from me tonight… is for you:

    “Sorry. If you think two to three thousand of your fellow Americans dying every day is normal, that’s seriously messed up.”

    1. Michael King

      Spot on and thank you for the link. Here in Canada, pubic healthcare falls under provincial jurisdiction. In the midst of the continuing Omicron surge and record hospitalizations, mitigation measures are being lifted just like everywhere else in the developed world. Saskatchewan and Alberta are leading the way and they happen to be the most conservative/right wing provinces.

  15. marym

    From Jacobin: This was posted 02/05/2022 so apologies if it’s been linked here previously

    “Canada’s “Freedom Convoy” Is a Front for a Right-Wing, Anti-Worker Agenda

    Workers in Canada’s trucking industry have suffered during the pandemic. The “Freedom Convoy,” a right-wing, pro-business social movement, purports itself to be the people’s champion of liberty — yet it couldn’t care less about the hardships and burdens of its fellow workers.”

    It includes background and previous activism of some the organizers, and relation to other labor movement actions an issues. Lots of links to further detail.

    1. flora

      On the other hand, I’ve read arguments saying that since most all of the truckers in the convoy own their rigs, that “proves” Marx’s idea about the importance for the working class to own the means of production as a counter to unfettered capitalist exploitation of the working class. (I think the protest is only about what the truckers say it is about and nothing more.) / ;)

  16. lance ringquist

    i think the pressure is building for a criminal court investigation. maybe on the order of what was done in the 1930’s-40’s.

    government accountability inst.: nafta billy clinton got rich selling america out to wall street and china

    nafta billys right hand man nafta joe biden was right there slopping in the trough

    ‘Red Handed’ tells a chilling tale “How American elites get rich helping China win.”

    Tallahassee Democrat
    ‘Red Handed’ tells a chilling tale | Bill Cotterell
    Bill Cotterell
    Thu, February 10, 2022, 5:01 AM

    1. Questa Nota

      Upside-down world version of Who lost China?
      Perfect time for another series of revelations like the Panama Papers, as Congress/pol ratings still have room to drop.
      Will anything be done about so many who appear to have unclean hands, like Pelosi, Swalwell, McConnell and so many others? Not through self-policing, as demonstrated time and again.

      1. lance ringquist

        correct, self policing has never worked. and we will not get rid of free trade as the author points out, because its so lucrative for the few.

        that is why the pressure must include the naming of names to the disastrous policies that have wrought rack and ruin to america.

  17. Mikel

    “Omicron, T-Cells and the Science of Why We Need to Update Our COVID Vaccines”The Wire

    “But the advent of the omicron variant, one of the most mutated strains of the SARS-CoV-2, has exposed the limitations of these vaccines – particularly their reduced ability to prevent infections and the onward transmission of the virus.”

    They are going to stick to the fairy tale that the shots were ever sterilizing in any way. “Reduced ability”…my…..
    It wasn’t a requirement for the emergency approval. They produced non-sterilizing therapies with the intent of relieving pressure from health care systems too fragile to handle a sustained healthcare crisis.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Your last paragraph sums it up well. Now that the vaccines haven’t even worked to reduce the overload on the health business, they’re just going to give up, I guess. Health care will just collapse under the strain.

      Maybe they’ll create special “Covid hospitals,” made out of nylon or canvas, so that the steady supply of Covidities won’t interfere with the hip replacements, bypasses and laser surgeries that make the bucks.

      Demanding power and scheming to get it. Easy.

      Using power, once you have it, for the public good. Hard.

  18. Sutter Cane

    So, step (1): “live with Covid.” There will be no step (2), at least if the powers-that-be have anything to say about it. Hence my disturbed sleep, general angst, etc.

    Glad I’m not the only one. The all-out push to make everyone rush out to eagerly and gleefully contract a brain-destroying virus makes me look around and think everyone is nuts. And I’m an American, so – even more than usual.

    In the eloquent words of Will Ferrell in Zoolander, “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!”

  19. Tutti

    Re: Beyond the booster shot

    …”but an analysis by Chumakov, Gallo, and others found that Iranian mothers who’d been indirectly exposed to O.P.V. through their children’s vaccinations—the vaccine is transmissible—were better protected against the coronavirus.”

    This is pure science fiction.

    1. ambrit

      How is the OPV vaccine transmissible, through saliva, aerosols? I have never heard of this before. But it seems to be “a thing.”
      The precis states that they want OPV to be stopped, in favour of injected vaccines.
      Full disclosure: I was given the polio shot in grade school. That was back when Public Health was taken seriously.
      Now? The “Official Narrative” is to push a class of vaccines that wouldn’t pass the FDA strictures yet, and so needs an Emergency Use Authorization.
      Wait until it is discovered that mRNA ‘vaccines’ are mutagenic. /s

  20. antidlc

    Lander held on to vaccine maker stock months into tenure
    He ultimately sold the holdings within the allotted 90-day window. But ethics officials say it raises questions about his advocacy.

    Serving as Biden’s top science adviser, Eric Lander, the head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, publicly promoted Covid-19 vaccination efforts while having a significant financial investment in one of the vaccine makers, according to financial disclosures.

    Under the White House’s ethics agreement Lander signed, he had 90 days to divest his stocks after he was confirmed by the Senate on May 28. While Lander shed the bulk of that stock in June — including shares of BioNTech SE, the German biotechnology company and Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine partner — he waited until Aug. 5 to sell the remaining $500,000 to $1 million worth of stock he held in that company. When Lander ultimately sold the stock 69 days after his confirmation, it was the company’s second-highest stock price ever at $404.92 a share, having shot up more than $50 a share from two days prior.

          1. ambrit

            As in ‘The Amazing Randi?’
            I’ll admit to ignorance here. Seriously, any counters to the ‘narrative’ I mentioned? I’m willing to read up.

            1. skippy

              Are you suggesting you did not do your vigilance on the author – ???? – this is wing nut territory …. and narrative crafting at its low point on the level of the Birch Society …

              1. ambrit

                Ah, I did not consider that anyone associated with the Federal Reserve would be so “out on the fringe.” Thanks for the heads up.
                I took it at face value because of the marquee source. In other words, I wasn’t cynical enough.
                Time to do some digging.

  21. Divadab

    Re: Neanderthals and “modern humans” coexisting in same cave 55k BC

    The linked article claims Neanderthals, a séparate species, were made extinct 40k years ago by modern humans. But then correctly notes that 2% of modern human dna is from Neanderthals. There are a couple of errors here.

    If two lineages produce fertile offspring, they are variants of the same species. Neanderthals interbred with other human variants, producing fertile lineages that survive to this day. How, therefore, are they a separate species? Further, how are they extinct? The same argument applies to other human variants such as denisovans.

    The linked article sloppily repeats older thinking now outmoded by modern genetic science. It would not surprise me if the same publication also states that dinosaurs are extinct, which of course they are not. The big ones are, as are most of the big land mammals, but there are plenty of healthy populations of dinosaurs all around us- we call them birds.

    I guess even the BBC can be a hub of ignorance and disinformation. /s

    Speciation is a complex area but human evolution science has traditionally created species which are more properly called varieties or subspecies.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      I am always amazed at the willingness of social scientists to rewrite the prehistorical narrative based on a single tooth.

    2. megrim

      Fertile hybrids are a thing. Hybrid macaws are popular pets, and they are fertile. There are second and third generation hybrid macaw types. And coyote/wolf hybrids, or “coywolves,” are fertile as well. Speciation and genetics are complicated.

  22. Tom Stone

    It’s a beautiful summer day in the Wine Country and the smoke from that Marin Wildfire went in the other direction.
    It’s time for a walk in the woods before the temperature gets too high…

  23. John Beech

    Interesting test results for SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing. Seems I am positive. Numeric value is 150 (not sure what that means).

    Point is, I’ve been dragging and feeling somewhat tired all the time. Coughing more than usual (asthematic diagnosis as a child but basically symptom-free adulthood (other than persistent nasal drip type coughing). Hasn’t gone away, and it’s been months now.

    So I felt ‘something’ in my chest the other day and visited the cardiologist. EKG and nuclear stress test later, I get the all clear. However, doctor subsequently inquired about my vaccine status (Moderna X2 plus booster). Blood tests ordered, including antigen.

    So have I had COVID19? If so, I don’t recall it. Other than a day or two a few months back where I ‘thought’ I may have been coming down with a cold and began prophylactically taking Airborne tablets dissolved in water for a few days, nothing. Quest Diagnostics, if it matters.

    FWIW, I’m one of those who has taken protection seriously. Double masked (N95 plus decorative cloth), no restaurants whatsoever, limited outings, nasal horking with saline and Betadine 0.5% before and after doctor’s office visits, etc.

    Color me perplexed! Thoughts?

    1. Wukchumni

      A month ago, 7 out of 10 dartful codgers caught Covid, and we’d been dutiful maskers and all that to varying degrees for the duration of the pandemic until then. And to be fair, we were all together in a rental house & condo for a week.

      Pretty mild reactions from everybody, and all are eager to make this month’s Mammoth trip, seemingly no worse for wear, but who can say with the specter of long Covid laying down the law?

  24. Wukchumni

    Gold in them there hills…

    Potent storms in October and December (but not a drop since) have hopes up for the underground movement, now blooming in earnest with fields of gold in the guise of I daresay millions of Fiddlenecks, leaving a rich vein above that towers over the stilted grass, which is wondering when nourishment is once again coming?

    Last years display of Golden Poppies wasn’t even quite ho-hum, maybe less than lackluster.

    Looks to be a keeper this year, the blooms are coming a few weeks earlier than usual, as per the constrains of the new normal adjust in time economy.

    Fields of Gold, by Eva Cassidy

  25. Wukchumni

    Indonesia’s tyre-bound crocodile finally freed after six years Reuters
    I seldom get a chance to root for the crocodile, usually its the other way around. Good job!

  26. Samuel Conner

    Has this item been noticed in links or Water Cooler?

    A refreshing counter to what appears to be the “don’t worry about COVID” narrative:

    Just saw a Reuters-attributed item in my browser launch news window that references this underlying study (pubdate Feb 7)

    Data is from Department of Veterans affairs. It looks to me like they examined the records of patients who interacted with VA medical system in 2019 and followed their medical histories for about 1 year (precise start and end points vary a bit since that’s dependent on when actual patient encounters took place). Because the study period finished before 2021, they are unambiguously looking at ‘pandemic, pre-vaccine’ outcomes.

    They find significant elevated risk of various medical problems in people recovered from diagnosed cases of COVID, even mild cases.

    The journal is Nature Medicine; I assume that the review was stringent.

  27. jr

    Google is here to help your kids learn good “digital citizenship”:

    “The Internet is a powerful amplifier that can be used to spread positivity or negativity. Kids can take the high road by applying the concept of “treat others as you would like to be treated” to their actions online, creating positive impact for others and disempowering bullying behavior.”

    But there’s more than just telling you how to raise your children! There are “resources” for educators as well, helping to insure Google is firmly planted into the educational process. Here’s one of those “resources”. Note that this is at the TOP of the page for educators:

    Play your way to Internet Awesome.
    Interland is an adventure-packed online game that makes learning about digital safety and citizenship interactive and fun—just like the Internet itself. Here, kids will help their fellow Internauts combat badly behaved hackers, phishers, oversharers, and bullies by practicing the skills they need to be good digital citizens.”

    Job one for the techno-path: get the human, in this instance a teacher, out of the mix. Now the game will teach the kids, the teacher can help or something.

  28. Linda Amick

    For anyone desiring a first hand look at Ottawa, Viva Frei walks around the city for hours days after days showing all the war monuments, NO broken glass, no violence and all the visitors and supporters for what is going on. What Americans do not realize is that Canadians have been locked down tight for 2 years. Then mandates and passes came along and the unvaccinated became pariahs to lose their jobs, lose the ability to go to most public places.
    The media information is totally opposite what is happening on the ground. I surely wish people with closed minds could at least have a look at the other side instead of just rolling around in hatred.

    1. JEHR

      When you say “Canadians have been locked down tight for 2 years” you are not describing how Canadians were given their mandates. Each province has its own Chief Medical Doctor who informs each Premier of a province the best actions to take to first preserve life and then to help keep the essential economy running. The mandates are for more than one purpose: first, to keep citizens from falling ill or being hospitalized or dying; second, to keep the healthcare system in each province in working order so that all the very sick can get treatment; and third, to keep the essential economy working. Once the healthcare system was found not to be overwhelmed, then the economy slowly opened up as the cases receded. We were not locked down tight for two years because each province (both large and small) had its own population to deal with. In New Brunswick, we didn’t have any deaths for a very long time at the beginning of the pandemic and we moved from different levels of restriction and/or lockdowns depending on how many hospitalizations there were and how the hospitals coped. At one time in 2022, we had the most deaths per million in Canada but our total population is about 800,00 people. Most of the deaths occurred towards the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022.

      I wonder where you got your information because we are a big country with very few people in many different environments.

  29. thump

    The “Safety Third” author seems to define “freedom” as being able to do whatever you want with little regard for consequences to yourself or other community members. This does not strike me as a substantial, compelling, or effective basis for government or public policy.

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      It’s also a complete bastardization of the meaning of “Safety Third”.

      The best take on it that I could find online is from the Urban Dictionary:

      “A mantra for performers doing dangerous things to remember that their own personal safety comes after the safety of the audience (first) and the safety of the venue (second). Used in burner and firespinning communities.
      Have a great show, and don’t forget, safety third!”

      This description matches how I’ve always heard the term used on the playa. Invariably by people this writer would neither respect, nor agree with on much of anything. Especially risk, and the exercise of personal responsibility towards others, and towards your surroundings.

  30. ProNewerDeal

    The Federal Government finally theoretically around Jan15, albeit through a neoliberal private insurance gatekeeped system, provides “free” N95 masks & at home COVID tests

    Then a few weeks later many state governments announce the removal of indoor mask mandates.


    The biomedical attributes of COVID do not change in 3 weeks. Even if the Omicron wave is over, future wave(s) of Omnicron or a new variant are likely in the next 12 months.

    AFAICT the Biden Admin & its health execs like Fauci or Waleknsky are not going on the media “Denouncing & Rejecting” the states removing indoor mask mandates.

    It seems the Biden Admin has no coherent COVID policy, only reacting to mitigate short-term crisis. Or maybe the unstated policy is to do the minimum the US citizens won’t revolt over while maximizing short-term quarterly oligarch capitalist (Bezos, 2B2F Bankstas, etc) profits.

    1 small positive aspect I welcomed with the JoeBrandon Admin is that Biden would not be as much as an anxienty-inducing capricious policy Flip Floppa as ConManDon. But now I am unsure if that aspect still remains.

  31. Grebo

    I don’t think Russel Brand is right-wing, though he’s a bit too chummy with Jordan Peterson for my liking. I am surprised that Matt Taibbi doesn’t think Tulsi Gabbard and Steven Pinker are right-wing, I do. But then I think of Bernie as a centrist.

  32. jr

    It’s a little hard to stomach the “Climate Change Blues” articles. The Brockovich article seemed disjointed, it leads with climate “change” and then goes into seasonal affective disorder? Try existential affective disorder. Light isn’t going to stop the U.S.’s wheat crop from drifting up to Canada. And the title of the meteorologist for hire’s book doesn’t inspire confidence:

    “Taking the Heat: How Climate Change is Affecting Your Mind, Body & Spirit, and What You Can Do About It.”

    This reminds me of a piece Krystal did recently about how online and telephone “counseling” services are actually collecting and selling the data. Insanity, feeding off of dying world.

    The other article had even more absurdities. This gem leaped out:

    “Though there is little empirical data on effective treatments, the field is expanding swiftly.”

    Treatments? Maybe grief counseling. Anything else is a lie. Good to know there are more employment opportunities coming in the Cthulu-level existential catastrophes starting to unwind around us. And then this:

    “And many leaders in mental health maintain that anxiety over climate change is no different, clinically, from anxiety caused by other societal threats, like terrorism or school shootings.”

    These people are dangerous and should be removed from their positions. They are delaying the development of survival strategies, let alone mitigation strategies. The notion that the collapse of the eco-sphere, the permanent presence of Biblical class weather events, and the prospects of humanity becoming a predominantly desert people if we manage to survive at all are several orders of magnitude above the horrors of terror and violence. It’s stunning to read this. We are truly a scientifically illiterate people.

    “At 56, he is one of the most visible authorities on climate in psychotherapy, and he hosts a podcast, “Climate Change and Happiness.””

    Derangement. Intentional delusions. There is no “Climate Change” and “Happiness”. It’s going to be a horror show and it’s going to fall mostly on the youth.

    “At the time, ecopsychology was, as he put it, a “woo-woo area,” with colleagues delving into shamanic rituals and Jungian deep ecology.”

    He is the “woo-woo” peddler here. Give me the mystics anyway, they will provide us with more useful tools for grasping life’s mysteries than some MdBA. At least these hucksters feel the need to address spirituality in their list of individual wonder cures for heat-domes and snow-bombs. Wait till they see the spiritualities that arise from this dark chapter we are entering. They won’t be happy ones, I’ll wager.

    ““deconstructing some of that formal old-school counselling that has implicitly made things people’s individual problems.”

    Good thinking, global, societal rocking climate hell is definitely something to be shared. To lighten the burden of all the unhappiness. Maybe take a walk.

    “Disasters will happen in certain places. But, around the world, there will be good days.”

    Sure, days you get to eat, or perhaps not get eaten, for some. Bubble-cities and bunkers for others, perhaps. Maybe cannibalism there too, if the AC breaks down or something.

    “It is that consolation: that ultimately I make meaning, even in a meaningless world.”

    You are meaning itself, literally. Nothing is meaningless, as sheer existence is meaning. That’s real spirituality and that’s what we are going to need. If we don’t value our existence for it’s own sake, we have nothing else, literally.

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