Links 2/15/2022

Far Eastern leopard’s mating habits revealed TASS (guurst)

Our cosmic horizon is both unreachable and closer than ever Aeon (Anthony L)

New Filter Doubles Nuclear Fuel Extractable from Seawater IEEE Spectrum (UserFriendly)

Sewage Sampling Already Tracks Covid. What Else Can It Find? Wired (martha r)



Risk of Long COVID explained Don Ford (guurst). A must read. Circulate widely. From what I can tell, even though this piece is written in a very layperson-friendly manner, its statements are accurate. Particularly alarming is a chart that confirms what we’ve been saying, that the vaccines offer virtually no protection from long Covid. The frequency and duration of long Covid also is worse than widely assumed. And another nasty feature: long Covid symptoms can develop months after infection.

Meet the scientist at the center of the covid lab leak controversy MIT Technology Review (David L). OMG, get a cup of coffee. This article is a bloody book. Epidemiologist Ignacio notes:

It is interesting covering all corners of the alleged lab leak and the ‘gain of function’ idiocy.

The problem is that all this has helped to prevent the studies that should have been done in all those wild animal farms (and that the Chinese government wilfully avoided). Mistrust is a two-way relation and you can understand from the article that if there was mistrust against Chinese officials there is understandable mistrust the other way around and this has made it almost impossible to trace the disease to its origin.

Another thing that strikes me is that, from a practical point of view and with the information that we have now in hindsight is that Shi’s lab approach was naïve in the sense that their interest was only finding CoVs in nature that could potentially repeat SARS CoV 1 while ignoring at the same time how this disease had reached humans via intermediate hosts and wild meat commerce, and that not all new CoVs must be SARS CoV 1 like with lot’s of diversity in nature.

An Undiscovered Coronavirus? The Mystery of the ‘Russian Flu’ New York Times (Kevin W). How long has IM Doc been talking about this? At least a year?

Cannabidiol Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Replication and Promotes the Host Innate Immune Response NCBI. Igancio and KLG regard this as promising, the study is careful. IM Doc is skeptical based on the number of perma stoned ski bums he has seen with acute Covid. Ignacio retorts that the study used only one specific cannabinoid; the others played no role.


Canadian government invokes Emergencies Act due to blockades and protests over Covid-19 measures CNN. Wellie, Trudeau was not kidding a few days ago re possible use of the military. He’s now given himself permission to do so.

Trudeau vows to freeze anti-mandate protesters’ bank accounts BBC. When they haven’t been indicted and based on mere association: “With no need for a court order, banks will be able freeze personal accounts of anyone linked with the protests.”

This story is from Sunday. Does not state any connection to the truckers but wonder if fear that there was (or to their hangers-on) is the reason for Trudeau escalating: Truck loaded with firearms stolen in Peterborough Sunday, police source says Toronto Star

From Tom H: “Subject summary does not do justice. Hilarious must read”:

Names of Canada truck convoy donors leaked after reported hack Reuters (Kevin W). IP addresses are virtually without exception dynamic unless a donor was dumb enough to use a workplace computer at an employer with static IP addresses. So in nearly all cases, no additional location info beyond ZIP. But still…..


UK ministers press ahead with plan to wind down Covid testing Guardian (Kevin W)


Flower growth in Antarctica is accelerating due to warming climate NewScientist (Kevin W)

The Staggering Ecological Impacts of Computation and the Cloud Mint Press (David L)

‘Not a dumping ground’: Pacific condemns Fukushima water plan Al Jazeera (resilc)

Big banks fund new oil and gas despite net zero pledges BBC. Not surprising….

Is Europe’s Nuclear Phaseout Starting to Phase Out? IEEE Spectrum (UserFriendly)


China-CELAC Agreement Could Bolster Infrastructure Development In Latin America OilPrice


A20 Dover TAP and Sevington chaos predictions as hauliers brace for even more complicated post-Brexit checks Kent Online (guurst)

This week in Brexitland, February 11, 2022 Nick Tyrone

Old Blighty

Post Office scandal: Public inquiry to examine wrongful convictions BBC

New Cold War

A Foreign Policy of Cheap Grace: Allies Prepare To Fight Russia to the Last Ukrainian (resilc)


Last War Brain Noah Smith. UserFriendly: “I think we have a new Baghdad Bob.”

U.S. Is Closing Kyiv Embassy, Relocating Diplomatic Operations to Western Ukraine Wall Street Journal. Resilc: “Destroying either Wangs or Gateways, most likely. They’ve had ancient stuff forever.”

Read all about it! No. U.S. military evacuation of Americans from Ukraine in case of war! Gilbert Doctorow (guurst)

Pentagon chief orders 160 US troops in Ukraine to reposition in Europe The Hill. 160? Sign of extreme measures to keep generating headlines.

The Risk of Nuclear Disaster in Ukraine Project Syndicate (David L)

Cutting Russia’s Oil Flow To Europe Would Be A Disaster OilPrice

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

EARN IT Act lawmaker finally admits the bill is targeting encryption InputMag (David L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Why America Has So Few Doctors Atlantic. I am now occasionally getting material from an unduly marketing-oriented business whose raison d’etre is to help Americans move overseas. They now tout that many destinations offer medical care better than you can get in the US.


Israel’s Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, to Make Historic Visit to Bahrain New York Times. Resilc: “‘Historic’ since will be beginning of new wars.”

Israeli Law & Torture: From Detained Minors to a Prison “Torture Room” Nation (guurst)


Trump Organization Accountants Disavow Years of Company Financial Statements Wall Street Journal. Trying to be halfway pregnant. The accountant is still maintaining there are no material discrepancies. And “my experts said it was OK” pretty much always gets executives out of liability…unless the client lied or gave bad info to them. Withdrawing later does not change the status of contemporaneous advice. However, “Every real estate developer in New York City operates this way” is not a defense either. The AG cites among other things that Trump exaggerated the size of his Trump Tower apartment. This sort of thing is pervasive in Manhattan, to the degree that brokers joke about the 11 inch foot. And Trump may well have used a 10 inch foot.

‘I can’t speak to that’: Biden’s Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tells reporter THREE times to go to the DOJ when pressed on Durham’s bombshell allegations Hillary spied on Trump when he was president and Biden knew about it Daily Mail. Looks like both sides have drawn blood.


Defense Department needs to start following the law The Hill (guurst). Biden is backing DoD abuses.

Senator Manchin to Vote Against FDA Nominee Over Opioid Epidemic C-SPAN (Kevin C)

Manchin clarifies: He’d oppose second high court nominee right before presidential election The Hill

GOP Clown Car

A Republican candidate for Texas railroad commissioner shares her nearly nude campaign video Boing Boing (resilc). I could say something about trains…

Our Famously Free Press

YouTube’s Olympics Highlights Are Riddled With Propaganda Wired

Police State Watch

SFPD links woman to crime using DNA from her rape exam SFChronicle (Paul R)

Johnson & Johnson defends talc bankruptcy strategy called ‘rotten’ by cancer plaintiffs Reuters

Should Tech Companies Make It Harder to Fire the CEO? Stanford Law (Kevin W). Help me. Shareholders have far too little power, see Amar Bhide, Efficient Markets, Deficient Governance, Harvard Business Review. The notion that executives need to be protected from them is absurd.

Guillotine Watch

15 Monkeys Have Reportedly Died While Testing Elon Musk’s Midlife Crisis Brain Chip The Gamer (David L)

Class Warfare

The Big Lie of the Elites CounterPunch (resilc)

UC Berkeley Warns It May Have To Cut Admissions By Thousands Due To Court Ruling HuffPost (David L). Higher education complex v. local housing prices.

Thousands of Australian nurses go on strike as Covid cases mount BBC

A Day Without Immigrants Actions Nationwide – Tucson Restaurant Workers Strike – Rural Louisiana Bus Drivers Strike Mike Elk

The Mainstream Media Is Getting Academia Wrong. Still Esquire (martha r)

Why Millions on Medicaid Are at Risk of Losing Coverage in the Months Ahead Kaiser Health News (martha r)

Pay at buyout firms ‘dwarfs’ sums on offer to investment bankers Financial Times. Average of $2 million per employee.

Antidote du jour. IM Doc:

We lost the boys’ favorite horse – Angel Fire – a gorgeous white work horse.

Having 6 year olds help to take their beloved pet to the vet and be with her as she left is not something I want to repeat in a while. However, it is part of life.

The photo is from happier days in our pasture.

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. The Rev Kev

      Sorry to hear about having to put down Angel Fire. We have had to put down very old horses and it is never a good day, especially when you see them slowly collapse. But you don’t ever forget them.

    2. Carla

      IM Doc, thinking of your little boys and all the painful passages we as parents must try to help our children (young or not-so-young) through. Your family and Angel Fire are in many hearts around the world today.

        1. Nikkikat

          IM DOC, As much as I have loved my dogs and cats, there is magical presence to horses. May the memories of the last few dark days, soon be replaced with the light of love and the happy times you shared with this beautiful creature. God bless you and yours.

      1. Thistlebreath

        Attending to Angel Fire’s last days to the best of your abilities speaks well to your character.

        They leave hoof prints on our hearts.

  1. Henry Moon Pie


    Old-time bloggers will remember Marcy Wheeler, who did a lot of interesting blogging bordering on investigative work back during the Bush administration. They will also remember how Marcy jumped into the Russiagate pool with great enthusiam.

    Marcy was a star on Morning Joe today. Apparently, this most recent Durham release has penetrated deeply enough that a 15-minute innoculation session was required so that PMC Dems needn’t lose any sleep over new charges that Hillary’s people were getting jiggy with White House computers. Marcy explained how Durham was just about to have his indictment against Michael Sussman dismissed, and that this most recent filing was merely an attempt to get out ahead of that.

    We shall see.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Yes, and she was among the most deranged of Russiagate touts, appearing frequently on Democracy Now.

      2. CG

        That truly has to be one of the most upsetting things of how Russiagate simply melted people’s brains. From everything I’m aware of, Marcy Wheeler had a reputation as a highly credible and competent national security reporter approaching things from a liberal perspective. Now, however? As far as I can tell she turned herself into Louise Mensch but smart and without a brain melted by hard drugs. And, since the Muller investigation turned into a dud, she’s one of the many liberals who are living demonstrations of When Prophecy Fails, continuing to push whatever the latest mutation of Russiagate is rather than even moving onto the January 6th racket.

        And of course there is the most depressing thing about this type of trajectory has to be the questions it raises about her, and anyone similar, past reporting. Surely if you’re dealing with someone who is this much of a Russiagate dead ender, that does have to raise some questions about whether or not their previous reporting was actually all that good, or whether it was of a similar quality as her current material.

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          Yes, Orange Man seems to have been the catalyst for a mass cognitive meltdown among supporters and opponents. It’s increasingly hard to get people to reason about politics, or anything else, so set are they on their cow paths…

          1. fringe element

            I noticed something interesting about all this recently. My small circle of personal friends/relations are split about evenly between liberals and conservatives. The liberals I know have indeed gone off the deep end just as Marcy Wheeler has done.

            But the interesting thing about my conservative friends is that they have shifted in the other direction. None of them are Trump supporters, although they remain Republicans.

            What has changed is that they have stopped trusting official information from any direction. They still don’t trust Democrats, but now they don’t trust what they hear from Republicans either.

            I’m not sure where this leaves us, but I find it encouraging. It is also nice for me. Even though it has become impossible to reason with my liberal friends, this is now offset by the fact that I can have sane conversations with my conservative friends again.

        2. OverOverB

          I suspect Wheeler and some others never really believed it, but they saw an opportunity to politically hurt an opponent.

          The HRC team probably just wanted revenge over E-MAILS!/BENGHAZI!

        3. Skip Intro

          EmptyWheel was a blogger who earned a high profile digging through intelligence material and other founts of Bush-era malfeasance. She was big on dailykos, back when they had an influential political website.

        4. Guild Navigator

          Marcy Wheeler was also on the forefront of DOJ-by-way-of-white-shoe corporate and criminal defense cum lobbying firm alumnus Lanny Breuer who was charged with sitting in his thumbs in the wake of the ‘07-08 financial crisis. Those were heady days battling Obots in the PMC. Remember there being hopes for a white knight like blacksockman Elliot or Eric Schneiderman among state AGs to go after Wells or whatnot. And then crickets.

  2. griffen

    So, the deputy press secretary is channeling her inner disciple / apostle and denying the question three times? I swear with leaders in positions of power like this, or actively vying for the seats of power, does the US need enemies.

    Further down, there are buried tweets no doubt since deleted. I have a new promo item for the Clinton’s to sell and promote. “We are with you Always”. Or, “We Literally Must Remain Important”.

  3. zagonostra

    >Canadian government invokes Emergencies Act due to blockades and protests over Covid-19 measures CNN.

    The Emergencies Act can provide for the use of the military, but may not necessarily lead to that, and Trudeau said the government is not bringing them in.

    Even CNN intimates the extreme nature of Trudeau’s actions. In the second sentence to this linked NC article, CNN is quick to state that this action “may not necessarily lead” to using the powers granted under them. They also are very diligent in stating instances where “Residents this month have reported rock throwing, property damage and harassment by protesters. Police said they had opened dozens of investigations, including into alleged hate crimes.”

    I have been following the Canadian Trucker’s protest from day 1, mainly on alternative media sites and social media platforms and yes, Fox News. I haven’t been able to countenance the misinformation coming from CBC and CTV, and other establishment news media outlets. What started out as an inconsequential non news worthy blip of a “fringe minority” has led to Trudeau’s invocation of Emergency Acts, the equivalent of declaring Marshal law.

    Brian Peckford, the last living member that penned the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom has been a tireless vocal critic of Trudeau and his handling of the Truckers, and, vaccine mandates and passports in general. His critique is based on his interpretation of the Charter. So you have one of the authors who wrote the “damn” bill, as he recently said at a rally (with an obvious allusion to Bernie Sanders) saying that these mandates violate the rights protected under the Charter. It’s almost as if you had Madison, Hamilton, or maybe Jefferson still alive and telling you one thing and those who now are in control of the machinery of gov’t telling you something else.

    Just as I have learned and expanded my understanding of immunology these past two years, I am now getting a primer on Canadian History that was never taught to us in school.

    [a fiery speech given by Brian Peckford at a rally in Vancouver, B.C. a week or so ago]

    1. David

      Amusingly enough, the Canadian government site with the text of the law on it is currently unreachable. But from the descriptions of it elsewhere, and assuming it roughly parallels Emergency Powers Acts in the UK and other Westminster-style political systems, it would give the government power to use the military to do things like deliver essential supplies, breaking blockades, etc which it would not normally have the power to do. Martial (not Marshal) Law is an entirely different issue, because, insofar as it has an agreed definition, it’s the military being given control of the day-to-day operations of government, in place of the civil authorities . That would mean Trudeau handing over control of the government to the head of the Canadian Armed Forces, which I somehow don’t think is very likely.

      1. flora

        Freezing bank accounts is something done to govt declared “terriorist”s and “rogue states”. Mark Carney has been calling peaceful protestors seditious. Guess if the govt doesn’t like what you’re protesting they call your protest terriorism for their convenience.

        1. Carolinian

          Biden and his DOJ and the Dems are also eager to label protestors on the right as “terrorists.” One could theorize that the extremity of their language reflects the weakness of their position. Competent governments know how to admit it when they are wrong.

          1. timbers

            Many here and likely you as well….long ago said and predicted the Patriot Act wasn’t aimed at real live terrorists, buy citizens.

        2. Userfract

          At least some of the protestors, and certainly their self-appointed leaders, have called for the overthrow of the government and many are advocating this through violent means. There have now been multiple confiscations of weapons and body armour from protestors. The protestors in Ottawa have been harassing and assaulting local residents including harassing students outside of schools, inside businesses and a homeless shelter. The grocery stores in the neighbourhood occupied have closed for safety reasons. The protestors have stockpiled fuel and there has been at least one instance of attempted arson in a downtown apartment building. The police are investigating dozens of crimes. Ottawa routinely hosts peaceful protests. This has not been a peaceful protest by any measure.

          1. ambrit

            Confiscating body armour? That item is purely defensive in nature. The inference from this is that the “officials” want the public to be defenceless. It raises the spectre of an entirely new dimension to the State’s claim to have a monopoly of the use of violence. Even preparing for defense is now a “crime.”

            1. marym

              Here’s a post saying that body armor was found along with weapons. It’s an msm report, so factor the bias as you will. It gives a protester side of the issue, that a peaceful protest was infiltrated by what he terms an “extreme element.” As we’ve all seen 100 times, any protest movement needs to be vigilant about people with other agendas – easy to say and difficult to do.

            2. Userfract

              It seems to me that if said body armour was confiscated at an illegal protest after a police officer was charged by a piece of farm machinery and was captured along with several firearms and high capacity magazines, several of which are restricted arms in Canada, if not illegal, and if said body armour’s plate carrier is emblazoned with patches from known far right extremist groups which have condoned violence, then perhaps the confiscation is justified? There’s no defensible reason for having that at hand. The owner of that wasn’t going hunting and we don’t have a second amendment here.

              1. ambrit

                You have not made a legally defensible argument. The body armour wearer must be caught, or at least charged with some actual offense, not for ‘intent’ to do harm.
                Today, pretty much all protests against the ‘Elites’ or elite adjacent person, place, or thing, is “illegal.” That’s the essence of a protest. It is against something countenanced by or indirectly permitted by the Societal Elites. As Americans have seen in the election cycle phenomena of “Permitted Protest Zones,” said zones are always far away from the areas where they would do any good. Real protest is not an exercise in virtue signalling. Real protest is a full contact sport.
                If the wearer of the body armour was arrested with illegal weapons on his or her persons, then that should be the charge. Not the wearing of passive protective devices. Under your logic, police overreach becomes the norm. The next steps are even more transgressive.
                When the Government becomes visibly corrupt and inattentive to the public’s rights and needs, then that Government should expect to be on the receiving end of strong and robust protests.
                One argument I have heard against ‘robust’ protest is the doctrine that no one has the right to cry “Fire!” in a crowded place. Unless, that is, there really is a fire. It is quite like that famous quote from Jefferson; “ a firebell in the night,…”
                We live in interesting times.

              2. Bakes


                I would caution you to have reliable links and/or documentation to back up your statements. (And I’m not saying you do not.) But Yves has a Zero Tolerance policy here for (And now I am using her own words) “Making shit up”.

                FWIW, I am speaking as someone who has been challenged to “show my work” here.

                1. Ian Nemus

                  You have not made a legally defensible argument. The body armour wearer must be caught, or at least charged with some actual offense, not for ‘intent’ to do harm.

                  In the province of Alberta, said armour wearer can be charged with being in breach of the Body Armour Control Act if they don’t have a permit.

                  Body Armour Control Act in June 2012. The Act requires anyone acquiring body armour to obtain a permit unless they are exempted (e.g., police officers). Anyone already possessing body armour was required to obtain a permit by December 15, 2012, or dispose of the body armour. After this initial six-month period, the possession of body armour without a permit became a chargeable offence .

                  And of further interest:

                  3 Subject to section 4, no individual shall possess body armour without a valid permit issued under this Act.

                  1. Yves Smith Post author

                    You are now deep into Making Shit Up terrain. This is ALL the CBC article said about body armor (as in only one mention):

                    They say they had information that the group had access to a cache of firearms and ammunition in three trailers. Officers seized long guns, handguns, multiple sets of body armour, a machete, a large quantity of ammunition and high-capacity firearm magazines.

                    “They had information the group had access to”. So this is stooges making accusations with no actual evidence, particularly the presence of any protestor at these trailers. So no evidence (yet if ever) that they had “acquired” it or ever “accessed” as in even touched it!

          2. eg

            All confirmed by my daughter whose planned return to face-to-face classes at university have been delayed, public transit interfered with and workplace in the Market disrupted by this occupation. There is serious disinformation about the nature of this incident by those who would downplay the retrograde elements at the core of its organization.

      2. zagonostra

        Thanks for the link (and the spelling correction). I had no idea that The Emergencies Act only became law in 1988.

        It is instructive that in contradiction to what individual provinces are saying it clearly states that it “…must be a situation that cannot be effectively dealt with by the provinces and territories, or by any other law of Canada.”

        1. Roland

          Pre-1988 what we had was the War Measures Act, 1917 which could be invoked at any time by Order-in-Council (i.e. at the PM’s discretion and without further need to consult Parliament.) Powers under that Act were truly comprehensive: jail anybody, seize anything, spend and tax at will, rule by decree.

          But for all its scariness, the old Act didn’t mean much, because Canada didn’t have the institutions capable of implementing it. Moreover, because it was so unlimited, it would alarm the whole country if invoked.

          Mulroney’s Emergencies Act is much more dangerous because it is insidious and can be targeted. Sections of the public can be deprived of civil rights while the rest are left unaffected.

          What is critical is the apparatus of oppression. Around the same time as the new Act, Mulroney created Canada’s first permanent secret police force, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

      3. Userfract

        Here is some helpful information about the Emergency Measures Act in Canada. It supersedes the previous War Measures Act and is designed to place more limitations on invoking emergency measures while preserving the civil liberties defined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and freedoms. An important concept in the Charter is that rights can be subject to legal limitations provided those limitations are justified. The Emergencies Act therefore requires that its use be justified, and imposed additional transparency measures that the War Measures Act did not. The Act requires that its invocation be approved by a vote of parliament within seven days (which in the current minority parliament is not a rubber stamp), and if it needs to be extended, a further vote is required every 30 days. The Act defines several different types of emergencies (war, natural disaster, insurrection, etc.) and any limitations to charter rights need to be limited to what is justifiable. The present invocation of the Act is limited to the areas affected by the current illegal protests, and the measures to be enacted are in relation to ending those protests. The army can be used to provide logistics support or to provide use of force under the Emergencies Act, but there does not seem to be any intent to use the army at this time. We probably aren’t going to see the army used absent major violence, and the approach so far has carefully avoided using violence. After three weeks of police inaction and major economic disruptions at the border this use of the Act is likely justified. There have also been weapons confiscated from some protestors, and a small arms shipment was recently stolen from a factory in Ontario (so that may have a part in this decision). There are also concerns about local police sympathizing with the protestors, so provincial and federal police are being brought in under a new command structure. One good aspect of the Emergencies Act is that its use automatically triggers a Royal Commission of Inquiry, so we will be finding out a lot of the details of how and why it was used. Given the PM’s family history with the War Measures Act (his dad invoked it in the face of huge criticism) and the automatic inquiry, it’s likely that the use of the extraordinary powers granted under the Act will be very circumscribed.

        1. ambrit

          I know not about Canadian politics, but down here, the resort to a “Commission” is code speak for sweeping something under the rug. Out of sight, out of mind. In the resulting darkness, many anti-popular strategems can be enacted. If and when such malign actions become exposed to the light of day, sufficient time has usually elapsed as to render the “crisis” moot. Delay as a political tactic is an old and honoured maneuver.

          1. Userfract

            Up here a Royal Commission of Inquiry is a very public and thorough review at arm’s length from government with subpoena powers within its scope. It will take a few years to run its course, and the decision of how to respond to it will ultimately be up to the government at that time, but generally speaking a lot of major policy fixes in Canadian history have followed reports of this type, including the last major shakeup of the security services following the MacDonald Commission.

            1. ambrit

              Transparency is thus the operational idea.
              That then depends on the independence of the tribunal involved.
              Do you still have a functional Governor General’s office?
              Perhaps this is an artifact of the Parliamentary system as versus the American Federal Republic system.
              Two peoples, divided by a common tongue.

    2. flora

      For Valentine’s Day, Justin gave Canada a little strongman. (there are other nouns that spring to mind). Because heaven forbid he actually TALK to the Canadians protesting the mandates and mandated passports.

        1. flora

          Yes, he is. His numbers keep dropping. Generally, politicans with dropping poll numbers who feel somewhat accountable to their voters every few years try to bring their poll numbers up. Trudeau keeps doubling down on the things that are dropping his poll numbers. Wonder who he feels accountable to?

          1. JBird4049

            >>>Wonder who he feels accountable to?

            To those with the money, or to those with the kompromat, or both?

        2. eg

          I wouldn’t be so sure of that. I have quite a few wealthy, conservative friends who are disturbed by the CPC playing footsie with this crowd.

      1. bojackhorsemeat

        No talking to white supremacists or terrorists. Their complaints don’t even make sense – restrictions are all at the provincial level, and there are basically none in place at this point (capacity restrictions and masking requirements). Makes a lot more sense to look at the polling data suggesting supports strongly believe there are too many visible minorities in the country, that Trudeau is a “communist” (I wish!), etc..

        If the government finally decided to attack the right instead of the left for once, I say have at it. They had their chance at the election last fall and couldn’t even pull off 2%.

      2. Ian Nemus

        Well, to be fair to Justin, those protestors did have an awful lot of signs saying ‘F@ck Trudeau’. He may have misinterpreted those comments as signals of hostile intent.

        Also, as some of the leaders of the protestors announced at a press conference that they were “willing to form a coalition with opposition parties and the involvement of Gov. Gen. Mary Simon”, despite not actually having been elected to Parliament, Trudeau might have incorrectly assumed that they really weren’t all that interested in talking to him personally.

        Anyhow, I leave you with the words of Justin’s father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, uttered not long after invoking the War Measures Act in response to the FLQ uprising in Quebec in 1970. An act I might point out, unlike the current Emergencies Act, actually suspended Habeas Corpus for a while in Quebec.

        “Yes, I think the society must take every means at its disposal to defend itself against the emergence of a parallel power which defies the elected power in this country and I think that goes to any distance. So long as there is a power in here which is challenging the elected representative of the people I think that power must be stopped and I think it’s only, I repeat, weak-kneed bleeding hearts who are afraid to take these measures.”

        Now there was a guy who wasn’t afraid of being labelled a strongman.

        1. Roland

          There can be no comparison with 1970. A cabinet minister had been murdered, an ambassador had been kidnapped, and a few bombs were going off in Montreal.

          By contrast, the truckers’ protests of ’22 have been about as non-violent as anything can be which involves thousands of demonstrators for several weeks.

          Of course, back in 1970, Canada’s social democratic party opposed the crackdown. Today, in the face of an insignificant threat, the NDP provides the indispensable Parliamentary support for the younger Trudeau’s assumption of sweeping powers.

    3. The Rev Kev

      I hope that if they cannot break up the truck protests, that Trudeau doesn’t think that it might be a good idea to suspend habeas corpus ‘for the duration’. For Canada at the moment, that would be the nuclear option and Trudeau might find himself facing a nation-wide general strike for a start.

        1. Userfract

          Yeah that’s been a big factor in my hesitancy to travel South of the border as an adult. Seriously hope the US fixes that. You can rest assured that this won’t be happening in Canada. The Emergencies Act isn’t just carte blanche to limit civil liberties, and any new laws designed to limit them would need to pass a minority parliament. Not going to happen. The public also massively supports ending these protests.

              1. Ian Nemus

                Well, they do where I sit. Which happens to be in Ottawa, although not the downtown core.

                As far as I’m concerned, the protestors can go fuddle duddle themselves.

                1. eg

                  This is the attitude of anyone I am in personal communication with — support for this is dwindling every day.

    4. Aumua

      The biggest irony in a long time here, is that the truckers are “protesting” for exactly what the ruling class wants, and is trying to achieve by other means and at whatever cost: business as usual. A return to normalcy, an end to (economic) disruptions.

      1. Grant

        Which is delusional and mind-blowing. Delusional because we aren’t out of the woods and it seems none of these far right protestors care to learn any lessons. It is ALL a conspiracy of some kind. I think part of this is on governments, who have simply not helped people get through this. But, elites too want things to get back to the horrible, unsustainable normal, which sucked.

        What was the norm before COVID? Were long term trends good, no problems with corruption, was Canada effectively dealing with pressing issues like global warming? I have zero faith countries like Canada and the US will last long once the environmental crisis deepens and really makes it presence felt. What we have to do in the face of the environmental crisis will make COVID look like a walk in the park. Many things that we have done to this point will need to go away, and many new things will need to be accepted. We need far more comprehensive economic planning, which will necessarily make it so that enterprises and consumers will not have as much freedom to do certain things at certain times and will have to operate in a far more comprehensively planned economy. I think the far right, up to their eyeballs in propaganda, will simply not let that happen and the liberals and “centrists” are deluded too as far as what this means for the capitalist system. It goes away or it all collapses. I think the far right will try their best to march us to ecological collapse, while proclaiming freedom and liberty. Andreas Malm’s “Whie Skin Black Fuel” is pretty depressing, but worth reading.

        1. zagonostra

          Can you substantiate that the protester’s composition can be legitimately characterized as “far right protestors?” What are you basing this on?I I have family who has taken the elite/gov’t funded MSM bait that two persons, one with a swastias flag and one with a confederate flag, represent the 100K+ plus peaceful protestors during the beginning of this protest. VA veterans in support of the Truckers have stationed veterans outside of monuments to make sure no one defiles them.

          If any grassroot uprising can be so easily subverted by planting individuals as that represent values that are anathema to the mores of a country’s political/cultural/religious traditions, then no mass movement will ever be successful.

          1. Grant

            I have listened to countless interviews from people in the protests. I see how the right wing media is supporting this, amplifying it, how much right wing support has come from the US. I have seen the overt nationalist imagery of most of the protests. The protests themselves are aimed at things the right typically focuses on. Are there non-right wing people supporting this? Sure, there are also some YouTube grifter types that pretend to be left wing but have largely right wing audiences, like Dore. But it isn’t at all out of bounds to think of this as largely a right wing revolt, cause it clearly is.

            And as I said here in another comment, where were these right wingers and their concern for authoritarian government when the right wing politicians that they have supported have made the economic and political systems far more authoritarian and inequitable, for decades now? We have done a wide range of domestic and international policies that have made the economic system more authoritarian and inequitable, and these right wingers openly supported it. Many of the leaders they supported have done open warfare with unions, which has made capitalist workplaces far more authoritarian. Their policies have tied the hands of the state in controlling private capital, and they have handed the store to a small group of authoritarian capitalists though privatizations, deregulations, etc. There has also been mass constitutional violations by the NSA, among others. The right supported a lot of this, but now during a pandemic they come out and start talking about an authoritarian state. Do you realize what changes are needed to deal with the environmental crisis? Gonna make COVID look like a walk in the park. What do you think these very people are going to do in response to those needed changes, if they ever come about?

            I am fine with grassroots support broadly, but don’t have to agree with all grassroots movements. I mean, a fully fascist organization can help to organize a grassroots campaign. Should I cheer that on because it is grassroots, or should I think a bit deeper? I have no use for the MSM, as a longtime fan of Chomsky too. No reason to assume I am repeating the propaganda of some wealthy person or interest. Would you support a fully fascist grassroots movement simply because it was grassroots? Or, do you look to see what the grassroots movement wants and/or is opposing?

            1. Pate

              Lambert posted an excellent breakdown of “who are the protesters?” in Water Cooler just the other day. Odin comes to mind. But not the link. Sorry.

          2. Basil Pesto

            makes you wonder why they didn’t just add a few swastika provocateurs to Occupy Wall Street, which probably would have obviated the need for the paramilitary crackdown and also would probably have prevented all of the stirring rallying cries in favour of those noble hard-working jedermann patriots that Tucker Carlson made at the time. Oh.

        2. wilroncanada

          Thank you Grant:
          Some of the things that must go away if the world is to get climate change under some kind of control include: crypto-currency, the ‘cloud’, the internet of things. All of them are power hogs. All of them are unnecessary. All of them are mass-sold distractions from what me all must do–GET SMALL– to live to see the next century.

        1. ambrit

          Fear not. The last time America tried a regime change operation in Canada, things did not develop exactly to America’s best interests. For one, some silly woman walked across the frozen borderlands to warn the Canadians about some sort of American Adventure kicking off. The rest is (Canadian) history.

    5. MrQuotidian

      The forced removal of the protest is a gift to the right.. I have no love for Trudeau, but the hatred they have for him is absolutely deranged. Far from being the socialist dictator they conjure, he is really just a figurehead for the capitalist elite, pretty much the same people who own trucking companies. By going this route he only provides more ammunition to the deranged fantasies of his enemies.

      I don’t understand why Trudeau didn’t just “cave” and lift the mandate.. it would take away the most powerful rallying cry from the right and at this point what is the vaccine mandate achieving? I think a continued mask mandate is prudent, but in truth, I suspect these protestors don’t want anything less than his head to roll regardless of the mandates.

      1. flora

        Phillip Mirowski’s essay about the unrecognized political nature of neoliberalism is useful here:

        A shorter article,

        Neoliberalism: The Movement That Dare Not Speak Its Name

        And a longer article

        Hell is Truth Seen Too Late

        I think we’re seeing the maturation of this movement, which isn’t about the traditional categories of western left/right democratic government as we know it, imo.

      2. Roger

        There is a very great distinction between different fractions of the capitalist class, the internationally-oriented capitalist large businesses (e.g. finance, Magna, transnationals) and the medium-sized and small businesses, real estate, farming, plus domestic extractive industries that are more domestically based.

        The Liberals in Canada are, as with the Democrats in the US, the political arm of the former – hence a “progressive neoliberalism”, with free market fundamentalism combined with LGBTQ+ and women’s rights and a few crumbs for the non-elites. The Conservatives in Canada are (and the extreme “People’s Party” version), as with the Republicans in the US, the front for the latter – hence a “regressive neoliberal libertarianism”. The truck drivers doing the protest are owner-operators (they have to be to be able to use the trucks in this way), the petit-bourgeoisie.

        It reminds me of Lula and Rousseff in Brazil, who were really a neoliberal with crumbs for the rest Presidents. When the Brazilian elites decided that a greater level of exploitation was required, together with a looting of state assets (backed by their US bosses), a crisis was manufactured and public unrest manipulated to produce the constitutional coup (Rousseff) and the jailing of Lula on trumped up charges. Lula may win again next year after being freed, but probably only if he accepts his elite marching orders.

        In Canada the people, institutions and democratic culture are too strong so the increased exploitation has to be done in stages, with a process which resembles a set of stairs; the Conservatives slash taxes, regulations, social expenditures, privatize etc., then the Liberals stabilize until the next set of slashing. Also, much of the state is in provincial hands with the same slash/stabilize/slash process ongoing. For example, in Ontario currently with the Ford government which has taken outright corruption to a new level, after a competent but unliked Liberal provincial government that followed the slashing of the previous Conservative government.

        This is what happens when the representatives of the working people, in the NDP and unions become either coopted or destroyed (Corbyn is a good example of this in the UK).

        1. Carla

          Thanks for these comments. I like the “set of stairs” analogy for what the parties do. But of course these stairs go only one way — straight to hell. It would be great if we could install a floor at some point, from which to methodically build some equilibrium for the people and the planet. But as long as we’re teetering on the stairs, the only way to fall is down…

        2. eg

          This is a good description of the Canadian political landscape. I would only add that the Conservatives are deeply in thrall to the fossil fuel industry. They are “the Oil Party” whose caucus has (TWICE) voted down an acknowledgment that climate change is real.

      3. Bakes

        I don’t understand why Trudeau didn’t just “cave” and lift the mandate..

        Let us assume That Trudeau’s heart is in the right place. I have to agree with MrQuotidian that I am perplexed by this.

        We are told the truckers are 90% vaxxed by news reports. If a 90% vaccination rate is insufficient to quell the spread of Covid, then I must conclude that vaccinations, as they currently exist, are not the means by which we can resolve this health crisis.

        All over the world, nations are turning away from policies that have kept the virus at bay. Apparently for markets and economic reasons. Canada will not be able to “Change the world” by beating up on truckers. The current policies will only build resentment in the working classes while doing nothing to stop the spread of Covid and all its downstream effects.

      4. wilroncanada

        MR MrQuotidian

        Another US attempt to, in total ignorance, tell Canadian leaders what they should do. The only “mandate’ within Canadian federal control is regarding foreign flights to Canadian airports. Others have already rightly posted, even today, that the so-called “mandates” are provincial, not national. That is why they have differed in detail and application from province to province.
        I have another theory: That this group of mostly abject followers under the auspices of a few “Leaders”, who well knew that most of the provincial mandates were due to be rolled back within days rather than months. these “leaders”, most of whom were members of far-right organizations getting most of their money from US right-wing sources, wanted to be able to take credit for the “removal of mandates that were already going to happen. So, like Trumps “stop the steal” and Clinton’s “Russiagate”, they serve to fleece the flock, and to get the mostly unknown groups and individuals a lot of media attention. Most of the truckers and the attendant hangers-on are going to end up paying the fines, while the leaders walk away laughing at them, with their nest-eggs.

    6. Maritimer

      CDN short memories. Shorten the curve, then masking, then lockdowns, then mandates, etc. on and on. Emergency, emergency, fear, panic, etc. To paraphrase Robert Kennedy, they just keep taking your rights, yes freedom, until you stop them.

      These patriotic, courageous Truckers have stood up where all of Canada’s Institutions have utterly failed, corrupt to the core most notably Public Health and the Courts. The Truckers have accomplished more in a few weeks than could have been hoped. Mandates dropping everywhere in Canada.

      Trudeau’s Emergency is about seizing the assets of those who would oppose him. Banana Republic stuff. Any Canadian who is in favor of Canada’s Oligopoly of Banks being able to seize their money at will without any liability for doing so must be Covid deranged. Try to straighten that out when the Bank seizes your money. Sure, Banks never make mistakes. And just imagine what the future holds.

      Klaus Schwab must be chortling with glee as his CDN stooges put parts of his plans into action. Second in command Freeland is on the Board of Schwab’s World Economic Forum. Seize back better!

    7. Anthony Noel

      Mr. Peckford, my former Premier from Newfoundland. Not much of a PC guy, little use for their economic platform, but he was always a man of integrity. Probably would of been Prime Minster except he was from Newfoundland.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “A Republican candidate for Texas railroad commissioner shares her nearly nude campaign video”

    Hopefully this won’t give Nancy or Hillary any ideas.

        1. Pate

          Unlike Sarah, it appears this robust young Texas attorney is an environmentalist reformer. In an effort to reveal more about the candidate (it seemed obvious to me the sparse coverage barely exposed her true credentials) I found that the San Antonio Express rescinded their support for her in the GOP primary and is now instead endorsing a Texas oilman – this because of the TikTok ad in which she openly compares herself to “Lady Godiva” (her own words).

    1. griffen

      Well, all one can add is she knows the voter base. Also, she is from Midland. Which is adjacent to Odessa, setting for an excellent book about football and high school from Buzz Bissinger.

      1. Jessica

        Aren’t they mostly Christians in that area who frown on this kind of thing? There must be something about the culture of that area that I never heard about.

        1. Wukchumni

          In my travels to oodles of natural hot springs where nakedness is common, i’d guess a tiny percentage would be those that identify with far right politics.

          That said, in the hoped for Rapture®, when the true believers leave behind the rest of us, many variants show a clump of clothes and shoes on the ground where they once stood prior to being called before the jury, in presumably a birthday suit.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner


          I suppose Saul of Taursus disagreed, but much of Christianity in the US is a successor to the Southern Baptist convention, founded to justify slavery, and having absorbed people who were in cults, actual cults, in the 19th century. We are talking about a third of the country, not the occasional nut job aunt who was into healing crystals. All those people went somewhere, but they took their ideas with them. Jefferson solved a lot of problems, so we don’t discuss this. Yeah, “Christianity” isn’t a static force despite Sunday school lessons no one listened to. This isn’t just a US evangelical issue. It’s everywhere. Mainline protestants are probably the least repulsive because their nuts left, and they were founded in an Era of increased urbanization.

          The standardization of texts keep every group in the same lane, but religions aren’t ideologically coherent organizations even between generations,

          The actions of the candidate may not be “ideal”, but it’s okay because she is a Christian.

          1. John

            There are c. 1,000 different sects, large , small and tiny, that are under the umbrella “christian.” When someone is identified as “christian” in this moment, there seems to be an assumption that, of course, one is to know the context and be aware of the nuances of the particular “christian’s” beliefs and practices. The reference usually seems to be to one flavor or other of evangelicalism; that sector under the umbrella has been permitted to hi-jack the general term for their particular use. I have always found it off-putting.

        3. griffen

          Not terribly sure about the region, other than reading the book and having a work colleague decamp there for a few weeks. I’d suggest if this candidate is flaunting what her Mama gave her (and her bits were covered) then no harm done.

            1. griffen

              Upon further research into the matter, you are correct. Just the simplest of coverage was indeed in place.

        1. Pate

          You did, indeed, just see her naked – fully exposed for all to see. A pornography of narcissism and a striking metaphor for our current predicament. The lack of awareness and self- examination boggle the mind; the consequences of which are truly frightening. As one member of this community is wont to warn “hubris is followed by nemesis”.

    2. Matthew G. Saroff

      I should note some things:
      * The Texas Railroad Commission regulates the fossil fuel extraction industry, including things like disposal of waste. In fact, it’s most of what it does, so the election is a big deal. Also, the TRC is thoroughly captured by said fossile fuel industry.
      * I want my politicians to have to put out nude advertisements. Mitch McConnell would never be elected again.
      * I am generally pro nudity, so I approve her message.
      * Florida needs to step up its game.
      * There is no chance that Pelosi or Clinton would do this, but Sinema? All bets are off there.

    3. Field in Texas

      All this faux outrage and pearl clutching.
      We have an out and out criminal Attorney General who’s running again (Ken Paxton). Our Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was just OK with older people dying so businesses wouldn’t have to close back in 2020 and he’s running again.
      Our “Governor” Abbott let us freeze in the dark a year ago and hasn’t done diddly squat about the problem since, and HE’s running again.
      ALL those are firmly attached at the lip to heiny with DJ Trump.
      So we most definitely have some reasons for media outrage but this ain’t it.

  5. YuShan

    “Names of Canada truck convoy donors leaked after reported hack”
    “Trudeau vows to freeze anti-mandate protesters’ bank accounts”

    This is scary stuff. I have seen the leaked list. It has peoples full names and zip codes, as well as their email addresses (many of which are gmail etc and therefore can be traced to your person) and the amount they donated. Tens of thousands of people.

    I can’t believe it is only a couple of years ago that we in the west shivered at the idea of a dystopian Chinese style government with social credit and all that… and we just let it happen with covid passes and now even cutting people off from food if they don’t comply. How the F did we let this happen???

    1. William Hunter Duncan

      It isn’t so much that we let it happen, instead we have been mostly powerless to prevent a thing that took off in 2001 and has been increasing in power ever since. It is no mistake that the entertainments have grown with it. Now that the full panopticon of surveillance is almost realized, it has in some ways become indistinguishable with the economy, and so we are made utterly dependent upon it. We would literally have to deliberately destroy the economy, to destroy the panopticon. Hardly anyone left or right is willing to do that, except perhaps the most extreme elements, and they do not wish to destroy the panopticon as much as they wish to control it.

      1. YuShan

        It always works the same. In 2001, there was a terrorism scare, so people accepted totalitarian law. But didn’t the Patriot Act expire automatically in 2011? Except that the holy Obama re-signed it into law.

        Now we had a covid scare, which (too) many thought would justify “temporarily” totalitarian rule. Of course this will never go away.

        I agree that it is almost too intertwined with the economy now to be able to get rid of it. I personally don’t use a smartphone for obvious reasons, but in recent years I have been forced to have one to access bank accounts, or I’ll be locked out! At least I can still leave it switched off and at home, but I fully expect that within the next few years I will be forced to carry it with me and everything I do will be logged.

        It is not just the economy though. The main problem is that the great majority of people simply doesn’t care anymore. And Gen-Z doesn’t even know another world than this.

        1. Grant

          I personally think it is really telling that the far right used this pandemic to notice some authoritarian elements, when in fact we have been progressively putting in place right wing policies here and abroad (the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank, deals based on the NAFTA model, etc.) and these have tied the hands of states as far as controlling oligarchs. Workplaces are far more authoritarian, and unions going away make workplaces less democratic. The AFL-CIO CEO to worker pay ratio for large companies shows how inequitable those companies have become, and that inequality also feeds into the authoritarian nature of capitalist workplaces. Mass privatizations, mass deregulations, lowering taxes on capital, supporting footloose capital, it all has made society more inequitable and undemocratic. Countless studies also showing a massive gap between popular opinion and government policy.

          But, these same people largely have cheered it on, they certainly vote for politicians that support that economic model. Their critiques of the state aren’t just about what it has done in the face of COVID, this to them demonstrates how evil the state is. We can pretend otherwise if it helps some argument we are making, but I have seen countless people make arguments about the lack of legitimacy of the state when arguing against things like single payer.

          I, personally, would appreciate an analysis on how much of the public and truckers agrees with these people. From what I have seen, they are a minority of opinion on these matters among the public and truckers. If so, I have a big problem in treating this as a populist working class revolt. It is a right-wing revolt, and we should be mindful of the context that these right wingers place this protest. As far as I see it, they are the mouthpieces of right-wing oligarchs in many ways anyway.

          As far as actually holding them responsible, as anyone that has worked with municipal codes knows, these people are breaking countless laws. Could you openly break this many laws and not pay fines of some kind? I get that the government could go overboard and we should be mindful of that, but that is a different thing from arguing that these people should do this and get off with no repercussions. It is a complex situation because they have a right to free speech, but no one doing civil disobedience should act assuming that there won’t be any repercussions.

          1. Roland

            The protestors are mostly petty bourgeois of right-wing views. But so what? Their protests have not been violent. Why should they be made subject to arbitrary arrests and seizures?

            Since when were our civil rights dependent on whether the government agrees with us? Since does one’s respect for other citizens depend on whether one agrees with them?

            Again, the truckers’ demonstrations have been non-violent!

            Yes, civil disobedience entails the risk of arrest. But the regular police powers and court procedures were fully adequate to deal with the minor offenses committed by some of the protestors.

            Trudeau’s abuse of national security powers is ominous for everybody. This crackdown on peaceful civil disobedience could lead to truly dangerous outbreaks in the future.

        2. lance ringquist

          actually nafta billy clinton helped to create the patriot act, proposed building a wall against mexico, used the pre patriot act to attack muslims: The harm that Obama has done to devastate some of the poorest, war-torn countries on earth: Libya was the richest in Africa, and relatively stable until Hillary Clinton decided otherwise.

          Clinton was Secretary of State during Obama’s first term in office. In 2011, she craved for war. A ‘New York Times’ report citing 50 top US officials, left no doubt that Clinton was the ‘catalyst’ in the decision to go to war.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Jonathan Turley made the point on Tucker Carlson last night that, had directives like trudeau’s been implemented in the u.s. in the 60’s, people who are today considered “visionaries” like MLK and the Selma bridge protesters could have been arrested and prosecuted.

      Peaceful civil disobedience is an essential democratic tradition that has been responsible for human rights gains for generations. Justifying its criminalization so that Ford and GM have enough car parts is a decision that many of the so-called protectors of “democracy” will soon come to regret.

      People like trudeau know exactly what they’re doing and where they’re headed, and that should scare the shit out of everyone else who’s going along to get along.

      1. Socal Rhino

        The civil rights era in the US may be more of an exceptional period than we tend to think. The Whiskey Rebellion, the violent suppression of labor that made the Pinkertons infamous come to mind immediately as examples.

          1. JBird4049

            There has been over a century of effort to remove, even extirpate, the Left starting with the communists, then the socialists, then the American equivalents of the Social Democrats and the Democratic Socialists, and finally the moderates from all parts of society: politics, education, business, the arts, religion, and science; all that was realistically of the left was gone and leaving the current center right or conservative, now labeled liberal/leftist (words treated as having the same meaning, and they do not) from which to judge or compare with what is leftist. Only the elites’ approved definitions that is.

            According to the narrative, the Pinkertons are patriotic and anyone interfering with unbridled greed, theft and corruption are leftist traitor scum.

      2. albrt

        Umm, MLK and other 60s protesters did get arrested and prosecuted. A lot.

        Maintaining dignity in that situation instead of whining and crying was part of how MLK came to be viewed as a martyr for a cause, even before the FBI whacked him.

      3. lance ringquist

        to those types, free trade comes first, always. free trade is their god. nothing should interrupt free trade, no sovereignty, no democratic control, no civil society.

        jason fureman(i think was obamas trade fascist) told bernie sanders that murder is ok as long as we free trade, to stop murder would be to stop free trade.

      4. Ian Nemus

        Jonathan Turley made the point on Tucker Carlson last night that, had directives like trudeau’s been implemented in the u.s. in the 60’s, people who are today considered “visionaries” like MLK and the Selma bridge protesters could have been arrested and prosecuted.

        Then I hope no one ever tells Jonathan Turley about the FLQ Crisis in 1970, where Pierre Trudeau senior suspended habeas corpus in Quebec and had nearly 500 people arrested. There were apparently even a few tanks running around here and there.

        That was in the 60’s, more or less, and yet somehow Canadian democracy survived long enough before the Emergencies Act of 1988 swept all our freedoms and rights away, forever.

        1. Roland

          Can one really try to compare this situation to 1970? At that time, there were actual terrorist acts taking place, including the assassination of a federal cabinet minister.

          Today, there are only non-violent acts of civil disobedience taking place, little different in nature from the sort of blockade demonstrations which occur regularly in this country, although perhaps somewhat larger in scale.

          Since when do non-violent acts of civil disobedience justify the government in authorizing banks to seize a citizen’s assets merely on suspicion, and without prior due process?

          The bitterest irony is that civil liberties had more defenders when mail bombs were going off in 1970, than when somebody double-parks a truck in 2022.

    3. Aumua

      As someone pointed out, this has been ongoing for a quite a while before covid. There are ways people can protect themselves, but do they? no. You can learn to encrypt your communications. You can learn to cover your tracks. You can learn to use anonymous payment methods including (gasp) cryptocurrencies. I’ll bet just about everyone posting in this thread willingly carries around a device with them at all times that tracks not only location, but all kinds of other metrics about their behavior, and is known to be compromised by NSA backdoors and such. So I have to chuckle a little when I hear the (especially right wing) moaning about authoritarianism and dire predictions of how we’re going to end up like (gasp) China.

      Hey, guess who had basically zero covid deaths in 2021? Now compare that to the half a million the U.S. had.

        1. Aumua

          I think that some of them, if used the right way with other precautions in place, can be quite untraceable.

    4. ChrisPacific

      I’m with you. When I read a story about doxxing, porn bombs, harassment, hacking and outright theft, my reaction isn’t “how amusing, those stupid anti-vaxxers got what’s coming to them.” I really dislike the idea of those tactics ever being considered a force for good, no matter what the context. If there’s one thing events like Gamergate should have taught us, it’s that the genie doesn’t go back in the box easily.

    5. ArvidMartensen

      There are probably a few major points to make:
      1. Truckers and others at the lower end of the pay scales(eg retail assistants, food delivery drivers, chefs, cafe staff, garbage collectors, bus drivers, small business owners, nurses, teachers, construction workers) have been on the front lines of Covid for 2 years now.
      They have been the sacrificial lambs delivering supplies and keeping the population fed and watered etc. They have coped by denying Covid, avoiding Covid, contracting Covid – dealing with Covid every day.
      The stress and strain must have been enormous for these people.
      And for this they get little recognition, no pay rises, no extra healthcare, nuthin. Ignored.

      2. The people who run things, and who work for the people who run things (eg white collar workers, professionals etc) have happily sat at home working on their laptops, while occasionally going out to get food or having it delivered piping hot, having their garbage collected etc, by those in (1) above. They have been able to manage their Covid risks to a great extent. All the “heroes” at home simply don’t understand and don’t care about anyone but themselves.

      3.Those expendable but necessary people that the “heroes” are demonising as dumb, ridiculous and insane, have been going to work in a dangerous environment with little recognition and no say. Perhaps in situations where the work is dangerous, there are no protections and nobody cares whether you live or die, denialism is the only strategy left – Covid is the flu. No authority can be trusted. Only people who care about us or talk like us can be trusted in the media. I won’t let anything made by people who don’t care whether I live or die into my body. etc

      4. The expendables have been intermittently venting for the past 18 months. Against taking Covid seriously. Against masks. Against vaccines.

      5. The expendables are ripe for exploitation of another kind. Political exploitation by those wanting to seize government etc, those wanting to hang on to cushy government jobs, and the billionaires who sit at the top looking for any sign that the exploited population is forming a cohesive group which would take their money away. So the mess that is becoming the truckers strike. Accusations and counter-accusations, demonisation, defunding, police brutality, legal obliteration etc.

      6. The US particularly, is becoming ungovernable, and failing at a rapid rate.
      The only future left is all about dictatorship by the biggest, meanest and least moral US oligarchs. We know who they are.
      Covid has just accelerated the trend by a decade or two.

  6. Noone from Nowheresville

    IP addresses are virtually without exception dynamic unless a donor was dumb enough to use a workplace computer at an employer with static IP addresses.

    But MAC addresses aren’t. They are coded by the manufacturer of the wireless card (phone, computers, switches, routers, etc.) into the used device to identify said device. They are the Layer 2 physical address.

    IP addresses are transport layer used to assemble packets.

    Dynamic IP addresses handed out by a DHCP server have a tendency is to serve the same IP address back unless the server is an extremely busy one and the IP address is already in use.

    So maybe they tracked IP addresses in the article. Somewhere there exists information on the MAC address unless it’s been discarded.

      1. YuShan

        Reuters is incorrect if they write that. I have seen the list. It has peoples full names, their email addresses, zip codes, amounts they donated, payment method (Visa, Mastercard,.. though not their actual CC numbers), comments they posted… They also has IP addresses but that part appeared useless to me (many show the same IP). Tens of thousands of people.

        1. YuShan

          Edit: I read that wrong Reuters IS correct that it is NOT just IP addresses!

          Also, Google wasn’t exactly in a hurry to remove the file from their search results. The very first search result pointed to a publicly readable googledocs spreadsheet with all the data. (Now this link doesn’t work anymore)

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Unless the article said they used MAC addresses, and I don’t see any reason to think that (of all of the publishers that have firewalls, only the WSJ gathers the MAC address, with everyone else you can get to them by blowing out cookies and/or changing browsers), you would presume they DIDN”T get MAC addresses.

          This is the info you collect with credit cards. It looks like credit card users files were exposed. And the site had bad protocols and retained it, or these users were dumb enough to set up accounts.

      1. Jason Boxman

        There are a lot of variables in play; On fiber, you get a box and terminator from the telco and it just works. It isn’t serviceable necessarily in any way by the end user. And my experience with bring-your-own cable modem, when that was possible, is I called and they locked it to my modem’s MAC address. (Wouldn’t sync without this step.)

        So, in short, the provider definitely knows who you are. But upstream of that, an IP address from a residential range in and of itself isn’t that terribly special.

    1. Fraibert

      Note that MAC addresses aren’t necessarily more informative than IP addresses. Despite networking devices having a “burnt in” address that they normally use in transmissions, MAC addresses have been subject to spoofing or otherwise being overridden with simple software for years.

      In fact, Windows itself (at least since Windows 10) has builtin support for MAC address spoofing on wireless networks, with the spoofed address selected randomly. This is considered (fairly so) as a security feature to help prevent tracking.

      In case anyone is interested in enabling the feature (which I think is good practice when using public wireless–in cases of personal, private wireless it will likely just cause annoyances), just do a built-in search and type “use random hardware address” to find the Settings applet option.

    1. William Hunter Duncan

      Wait a minute. Denmark is 81+% fully vaccinated, and their death rate has gone exponential? But they are not the co-morbidity laden US. What is going on here? It does not seem sufficient to say this is Omicron.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        There are 5 million people in Denmark. The deaths per million jumped from 2 to 4. Essentially 10 more people died today than yesterday. Andrew Cuomo killed more people than that in a nursing home in West Chester County and he got a book deal.

  7. Jake

    Dynamic IP addresses do not always change. I know people on google fiber have had the same IP address for years, or since they first got hooked up. Helps google track their fiber customers around the web.

    1. Carolinian

      Right. See comment above on how IP addresses are tied to hardware MAC address. For that reason there are programs to spoof the MAC address for those who want to go to the trouble (likely very few).

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Jacob Rees-Mogg hails report that ‘transforms UK trade policy’”

    ‘The Brexit Opportunities minister says he backs calls to unilaterally accept foreign rules to free up trade’

    Another nugget from the stupidity mine. Maybe Jacob Rees-Mogg can suggest to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss that she accept any terms that Russia’s Sergey Lavrov has to offer the UK as well. See how that works out. I see that Rees-Mogg is the newly created Minister of State for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency. Did they make up a job for him just to get him and his bright ideas out of the way? I’d be more comfortable having Ricky Gervais in that job as not only would he be funny but he would’nt say stupid stuff like this, even as a joke.

  9. Keith in Modesto

    I just read the article “Risk of Long COVID explained” by Don Ford and I agree that it’s a must-read. It’s scary as hell. I may never stop wearing an N95 mask while indoors with other people again.

    1. Wukchumni

      Talking with the other dartful codgers, one of those that tested positive for Covid is a 71 year old with Meniere’s disease.

      Before contracting Covid, she would have a couple of dizzy spells every few months as it came with the territory, but since testing positive, she’s had 6 episodes of dizziness in a month.

    2. Mikel

      They’ll have to hate me at any office with my mask and can of disinfectant airspray.

      I also have ailing parents that I may have to check on at the drop of a dime.

      And the non-sterilizing shot terapies do not cut it as a safety measure.
      Why are they upending people’s lives for mandates for these drugs that do not stop the spread of the disease?
      And with letting these misperceptions go on, I have reasonable doubt for all the claims that have been made about the effectiveness of shots.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        ” Why are they upending people’s lives for mandates for these drugs that do not stop the spread of the disease? ”

        Mandate theater. To divert people from the reality of the secret spread-covid-on-purpose policy with the dramatic appearance of ” doing something about covid” to prevent mass majorities of people from realizing that the real policy is to spread covid on purpose.

        In my personal layman’s opinion.

        1. Nikkikat

          I agree with drumlin, this was all done on purpose. I have been convinced of this for months now. This was all done intentionally.

          1. Medbh

            For what purpose? I have no doubt that people in power would kill millions without losing sleep over it, but what would they would gain by killing or disabling their own population? I read that the shortage of workers from the black death led to improvements in their wages and working conditions. There’s already some grumbling of that effect in certain jobs in the US. Why would governments want to encourage widespread, constant covid infections?

            1. Deltron

              Just an idea. Preserve the status quo in the face of a populace that’s increasingly becoming less responsive to authority. The elite/govt/media narratives are becoming more brazen, and the dogs aren’t eating the dogfood. Buy time for countermeasures (e.g., censorship, new defense/security authorities, breaking encryption) to maintain or enhance asymmetry.

            2. AndrewJ

              Make tons and tons of money off a brand new disease that won’t go away? Seems like motivation enough for me.

          2. ArvidMartensen

            Me too. Our state opened up entirely just before Christmas.
            But in the 6 months to Christmas we became the source of almost all Covid infections across the country, because the Premier “for some reason” refused to quarantine the outbreak in spite of specialist health staff, virologists, and voters begging her to quarantine the main city, source of infections.
            So many happy coincidences when infections soared.
            PCR testing was suddenly unavailable in many areas. Rapid Antigen Tests were delayed and unavailable for all of January.
            And hallelujah for the government, the number of verified cases of Covid flattened and started to fall. Such a happy coincidence!

          1. ArvidMartensen

            Because of that totally disproven corporate wet dream. Herd Immunity.
            To get kids back to school.
            To get us all back to work
            To make big profits for companies.
            To get us all shopping for leisure and spending everything we have plus maxxing out our cards.
            To get those company and bank profits soaring.
            To get those good ole business donations flowing again to the conservative party.

          2. anon y'mouse

            as one CA politician supposedly said very early on “to lower the pension rolls!”

            also, to further manage and regulate the population and conveniently “otherize” a group that they’ve been working to otherize for awhile now in order to pass further laws of control and regulation of the population so as to “punish” and “exclude” those others (and no one else, not the actual Labor Left, hardy har).

            it’s the way they’re going to manage the Climatocalypse. more and more people will become left out of the safety of civilization due to their “backwardness” and doing it this way gets those still remaining in the feeding pens and milking barns to not bat at eye or stampede for the exits.

    3. Jason Boxman

      Actual death is not excluded from the list of potential outcomes.

      And this would happen a lot of ways but the main idea is that your body would be worn down from constant attacks as it’s being pulled apart cell by cell.

      Which there is really no upside too. The inevitable fact is that with enough COVID infections you will die eventually. Even under the best circumstances.

      And this is what GM has been saying since forever in updates.

      1. albrt

        I read the Ford article, and I will be very interested to hear what the brain trust has to say. Here is my initial reaction sent to friends when I forwarded the link:

        This link tries to explain why long COVID and COVID in general is a much bigger deal than generally believed. The guy does not appear to have any expert qualifications. The post is disorganized and mixes technical vocabulary with an informal style, which means that any expert arguing against it will have easy targets to make fun of. But setting aside the movie analogies and statements like “the virus is eating and digesting you,” the big picture is consistent with what I believe about COVID.

        I think the broader effects of COVID, and the lack of truthful official guidance (bordering on coverup) by people who are trying to convince everyone go back to work and school, will be one of the biggest news stories of the next several years. Among other things, death rates will continue to rise even though Omicron infections are supposedly mild and people will be looking for answers. The information will be summarized much better as the story develops, but this link is the most comprehensive early summary I have seen.

        The point is not to make you anxious, the point is that it’s worth being as careful as we can about COVID without becoming total hermits.

        TLDR version: COVID is not mainly a respiratory infection and is nothing like influenza. COVID attacks just about every part of the body, including the immune system itself. Even a mild infection probably stays in your body much longer than two weeks, and the auto-immune effects that COVID triggers can go on for months. Your body can recover, but it takes longer than most people think.

        Getting COVID multiple times makes it worse, especially if the infections are relatively close together. Getting COVID does not give you meaningful immunity for a bunch of reasons, including mutations and the way COVID interacts with the immune system. Anyone who has had COVID recently should actually try harder to avoid getting infected again, rather than doing whatever they want because they think they are immune.

        Basically, people need to incorporate COVID avoidance into their lives as best they can. People probably can’t avoid getting infected, but they can try to minimize the number of times they get infected. If someone does get infected, they should be careful and take care of themselves even if the case seems mild. Again, this is the opposite of what most people will do because they think “oh, it was no big deal, COVID is just flu.”

        I would be interested in any feedback on that take.

        1. Eric Anderson

          My TLDR is the morbidity impacts of viral syncytia, in that, it is the primary method by which the virus both protects itself from the immune system while simultaneously hijacking said immune system through recruitment of numerous cell types.

          Is there a GM in the house to confirm?

          And, I still want to know Don Ford’s bona fides. Seems a bright enough chap from his ability to review and synthesize the literature, but also a possible publicity stunt looking to make a big initial splash on Substack to garner followers. Can’t be too careful online these days.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Ad hominem is a violation of our site Policies. And here you have zero basis for your insinuation.

            And let us not forget that Erin Brockovich was a mere over-the-hill beauty queen when she was the lead researcher in the PG&E Hinkley toxic tort case.

            However, your “you can’t be too careful” is straight from the McCarthy era. A subconscious tell?

            1. Eric Anderson

              Apologies. No ill intent. I actually followed him on twitter and Substack, and answered a question he had on twitter regarding why (guurst) was appended to the title of his article on here. Even went out and purchased the probiotic after reading the article he hyperlinked.
              In regard to McCarthy, I’m too young to have experienced the debacle directly, and not sufficiently educated on the matter to be familiar with the “you can’t be too careful” reference. I’m really just genuinely just curious because on all things internet I dig in and research when I’m not familiar with the content producer.
              Again, apologies. I certainly did not intend to throw shade.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                Thanks for saying this. There are so many people with credentials in all sorts of arenas spewing patent nonsense, out of some combination of intellectual capture/laziness, cowardice, and profiteering that it’s hard to sort signal from noise. At the same time, it also means that individuals who are independent and vet information carefully can add a lot of value.

                1. Eric Anderson

                  You’re welcome. Thanks for calling my attention to it.
                  In review, it was kind of a crappy thing to say. And was a gut suspicion not founded on fact as you say. I should probably filter my comments in the morning until at least my second cup of coffee.

                2. Basil Pesto

                  yes, the latter used to be called journalism but – while not non-existent – it’s pretty hard to come by journalism that comes close to what I call the Hersh standard

                  1. if your mother says she loves you, check it out (ie don’t just repeat what you’re told by Monica Gandhi or whoever)
                  2. Read (and read and read some more) before you write

                  Ford does seem to meet something approaching that standard – that is to say, whatever his formal education, on this topic he’s done the work, and appears to be acting in good faith. Does that mean his work is flawless? I doubt it, but it seems worth paying attention to, to help understand the problem.

                  This some up part of the issue pretty well

                  1. PlutoniumKun

                    I’ve been fascinated for years by various forms of scientific failure, and Covid is becoming the classic case study. To add to the issues Yves raised, I think a lot of very good scientists are very bad at identifying their own prior assumptions. As an example, ‘flattening the curve’, became the focus of policy, without anyone really questioning whether this made any sense, or indeed who decided this was the best approach (noticeably, most Asian authorities never thought this was a good idea). I still see many modellers using inbuilt assumptions from influenza, despite copious evidence that corona simply doesn’t work that way. I think Terry will confirm that this is the case.

                    As with the last big economic crash, the people who got it right weren’t financial experts or top economic modellers, but people who had read economic history (lots of it) and understood basic simple risk models. The only economist in Ireland who called the boom and crash correctly was an academic specialist in medieval urban economics. His heuristic was that if certain of his ex students who had gone into banking were on the radio as ‘experts’ assuring everyone that house prices were stable, the crash was imminent.

                    The other related issue of course is overspecialisation. A lot of scientists are making perfectly scientifically valid points within their own expertise, which within the bigger picture are not just wrong, they are downright stupid. These are I think the ones who are getting drawn into ‘the vaccine will save us all’ narrative.

                    Even though he wasn’t entirely serious about it himself, I think we need to go back to Isaiah Berlins characterisation of experts being foxes or tortoises. Most scientific problems require dogged tortoises to dig out the truth. But multifaceted problems like covid require foxes – people with smarts and good judgement who can take in the big picture and quickly assess which information is important, and which can’t be rapidly discounted. General Kurt Von Hammerstein-Equord’s ‘smart, lazy generals’, if you like.

                    The trick of course is in finding out who the smart lazy foxes are. Now I’d never accuse anyone in our brains trust here of being lazy, but they are certainly smart foxes, and I’d trust them over any other source. Ford certainly looks like he may fall into this too, what he writes does make sense (and his recommendations are pretty much in line with my amateur thinking too), but of course caution is always needed. But sadly the biggest lesson of Covid is that the one thing you can rapidly discard as a heuristic for identifying who you should listen to, is the possession of impressive looking credentials.

                    1. RabidGandhi

                      I couldn’t agree more about the epistemological crisis. The great follies of our age (Iraq WMD, 2008 GFC, string theory, Russiagate…) all have as their original sin a refusal to consider contradictory evidence that challenge’s one’s own model. And that original sin now has become mortal sin with Covid19.

                      Just to nitpick though, them weren’t tortoises, them were hedgehogs.

        2. Jason Boxman

          TLDR version: COVID is not mainly a respiratory infection and is nothing like influenza.

          Back in Feb or Mar 2020 when we heard the first reports of cardiovascular damage, of blood clots, I knew we were all screwed. So far, it’s worse than I ever imaged, and I’ve never been accused of being an optimist.

          1. albrt

            A friend of mine who is a nurse practitioner got COVID in February of 2020 (confirmed later). It screwed up her pancreas and caused her to become diabetic. It has been obvious for a long time to anyone who is looking that there is more to COVID that melting your lungs or not melting your lungs.

  10. Wukchumni

    The American west has spent the last two decades in what scientists are now saying is the most extreme megadrought in at least 1,200 years. In a new study, published on Monday, researchers also noted that human-caused climate change is a significant driver of the destructive conditions and offered a grim prognosis: even drier decades lay ahead.

    “Anyone who has been paying attention knows that the west has been dry for most of the last couple decades,” says Park Williams, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles and the study’s lead author. “We now know from these studies that is dry not only from the context of recent memory but in the context of the last millennium.”

    Turning up the temperature – the result of human caused warming – has played a big part. Other studies show how the climate crisis “will increasingly enhance the odds of long, widespread and severe megadroughts”, the researchers write. Noting that as the west is now in the midst of the driest 22-year period in knowable history, “this worst-case scenario already appears to be coming to pass”.

    There were 2 lengthy droughts in Cali that started about 1,200 years ago, one was about 235 years long and the other a mere 150 or so, and that’s what we’re up against historically.

    When we drove up on Hwy 395 on new year’s eve a few days after the powerful xmas storm, it was the best exhibition of down low snow i’ve ever seen in the eastern Sierra, one could be forgiven by thinking you were in the South Island of NZ, except our frozen goods had a short shelf life and the drive up a few days ago revealed lots of lack of snow in the higher peaks, we’re back to account overdrawn on the latest episode of our long playing drought.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That does not sound good that. Going by those previous droughts, the present one may not be over until the 22rd or 23th century then. If people were still living in places like Las Vegas or Phoenix by then, it would be probably be underground. And they would be lot smaller in population.

      1. Wukchumni

        Neo-Coober Pedy Casino?

        It’s snowing for the first time since way back in 2021 today in Mammoth, an inside slider of a storm promises a blizzard of perhaps a few inches and then beats a path eastward tonight where they are equally starved for precip.

        A friend in Utah was lamenting the lack of, she sez 8 inches of snow is all they’ve got this year in her neck of the woods in the beehive state.

    2. Mike

      My parents have a book called “Colorado”. It puts on one page an old historic photo from the 1800’s and put next to it a new photo from the same perspective. Book was written in believe in 2000. What is interesting is that most of the old photos, from all around the state, are severely lacking trees compared to the new. Now from the photos of mining towns, this is obviously from deforestation to support their industry and the construction of towns. Many photos are not near mining areas and there still lacking in trees. I can’t pretend to know why but I could come up with a few ideas
      – unmitigated forest fires
      – severe drought (but how come we still have growth in todays drought?)
      – low CO2 levels from olden times does not support plant life as well, this is indicative of a study published by Nature a few years back that overall tree coverage on planet earth has increased by several million acres since the 70’s. For two reasons, from letting farmland convert back to native and also due to accelerated plant life development due to increased CO2 production.
      – What else could be the reason?

      1. Wukchumni

        It was said that in the 19th century in the Sierra Nevada, a rider on horse wouldn’t usually have to break stride as the trees were far enough apart, mainly on account of lightning strike fires that happen all the time in the summer, with each and every one of them allowed to run their course.

        And then after the Big Burn torched 3 million acres in 1910 in MT/WA/ID, we decided every forest fire must be put out immediately if not sooner, creating the conditions for crazy conflagrations, now aided & abetted by favorable climate change conditions such as higher temps & humidity

        Fire in Sierra Nevada Forests: A Photographic Interpretation of Ecological Change Since 1849, by George E. Gruell is a similar work to your parents book.

        Gruell found the exact location in the 1990’s of where photos had been taken from 1849 to the early 1900’s, and took new shots, and the difference was stark.

        The forests often looked like tree tenements now in their before & after photos.

  11. 430 MLK

    This may be more Water Cooler appropriate: “Local Activist Arrested for Attempted Shooting of Louisville Mayoral Candidate”

    The shooter was active in the Breonna Taylor/BLM protests. A sometimes editorial writer for the Louisville Courier Journal. Went missing for a couple weeks last summer. Running as an independent for ‘Ville Council. (District 5–Louisville folk…where/what is that District like?)

    The Mayoral candidate who was shot at, Craig Greenberg, is the Democrat candidate of what I’d call the MALGA (Make Louisville Great Again) set, a group who, with state/federal subisidies like TIFs and IRBs combined w/ old-money horse and bourbon folk and the state-funded University of Louisville, have spent 2 decades gentrifying/upscaling downtown Louisville. In Louisville, MALGA owns the political culture, and Greenberg’s been receiving endorsements left and right from male/female/black/white council members, many of whom spent the previous year virtue signalling about a new Louisville that would rise together from the Taylor protests. (Greenberg’s also a background face of that dominant MALGA movement in Lexington, where I’m from, and in the case of his 21C Modern Art Hotels, other smaller-market down-towns, too.)

    Before the shooter was caught, anti-semitism was suggested as a possible motivation. Still haven’t detected a new narrative via Twitter yet, except a ‘wait-and-see’, though demonstrators last year openly equated gentrification with Taylor’s death. The past 6 months, a recently approved West End TIF that overlays the low-income neighborhoods where Taylor was shot has also been approved. The metaphoric target of these post-Taylor developments seems to have become an IRL target.

  12. William Hunter Duncan

    “Long COVID is not a single ailment. It’s a combination of a variety symptoms that cannot be explained in any other way but from a COVID infection. It can be caused by an acute infection, asymptomatic infection alone, or appear months after the infection.

    “Some folks who get it will never even know they had an infection.”

    Pardon me, but I pulled this out from the Ford article through the Leonardi tweet. I am just a layperson, but a statement like this seems to be eliminating the possibility de facto, that any of what we are calling Covid Long Haulers have symptoms created not by Covid but by the spike protein created by the vaccine. Is this a blind spot? How do we distinguish? Are these people bothering to distinguish? There are a lot of reports online suggesting that this is less Long-Covid and more the free-floating spike protein mucking up the gears, and that remains off limits as part of the discussion in most venues, despite what seems to me evidence that it may very well be a significant factor.


    1. juanholio

      That’s an interesting theory. Can you share the evidence that leads you to believe it’s a significant factor?

      1. William Hunter Duncan

        This post from Robert Malone is a good synopsis of the concerns.

        Immune imprinting, breadth of variant recognition and germinal center response in human SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination Cell. Published:January 24, 2022DOI:

        Highlights (per the journal)

        Vaccination confers broader IgG binding of variant RBDs than SARS-CoV-2 infection
        Imprinting from initial antigen exposures alters IgG responses to viral variants
        Histology of mRNA vaccinee lymph nodes shows abundant germinal centers
        Vaccine spike antigen and mRNA persist for weeks in lymph node germinal centers
        This study asserts that the mRNA and the spike protein produced persists for weeks in lymph node germinal centers in human patients. Having worked with mRNA for decades, I can attest that this is highly unusual.

        1. juanholio

          Interesting. I read the study you posted.

          What do you think they mean when they say, “Germinal center (GC) responses in human lymphoid tissues enable antibody affinity maturation and durable serological and memory B cell responses”.

          To me it sounds like that is the goal of the vaccine, rather than an undesirable side effect.

          What are your thoughts?

          1. William Hunter Duncan

            That is beyond my understanding. I am having trouble finding it, but I have seen a study suggesting the spike protein persists in the body as long as 16 months, and that the volume of spike protein created is higher in fact than the virus in someone at peak illness. Some have gone so far as to suggest the spike protein is like a prion, which can have disastrous effects in the body. The concern is the body continues to create the spike protein well after vaccination, and these proteins lodge in capillaries and organs, particularly in the ovaries.

            The concern here is that the official story from the beginning was, the spike stays in the arm and degrades within days. But it seems they had not the science to claim that so categorically, and since it has simple remained undiscussed and mostly forgotten in the narrative. I cannot verify the science, but I wish more people who can would look into it.

            1. juanholio

              I found this interesting paper on the subject where they raise the possibility you are worried about. Although they seem more concerned with the neurological effects of getting a COVID infection than the shot.

              It seems like an interesting rabbit hole to explore, to try to find out what the state of play really is. Sounds like nobody really knows for sure.

              Could SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Be Responsible for Long-COVID Syndrome?
              Theoharis C Theoharides. Mol Neurobiol. 2022.


              Further studies are urgently needed to address the neuropathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection [227, 228] or the long-term effects of COVID-19 especially in the brain [229]. COVID vaccines have been enormously helpful [230,231,232], but there have been reports of rare neurological complications including Guillain-Barre syndrome and Bell’s palsy [233]. These may be related to the recent finding that the spike protein expressed in response to mRNA vaccines was detected in the circulation as early as 1 day post vaccination and became undetectable by day 14 [234]. Hence, we should try to limit or prevent spike-related detrimental effects especially to the brain and their potential contribution to the development of long-COVID.”

              1. William Hunter Duncan

                Reading it they don’t seem to me to be concerned much with the spike protein created by the vaccine, their focus seems to be the spike protein on the virus. That is another of my concerns, that hardly anyone is looking into the vaccine spike protein, because they see the matter as mostly settled, if more by convenience than reality.

                1. Gumnut

                  On the Kirsch substack he’s interviewed several embalmers who have fished blood clots with foot-long white stringy structures attached out of they say every second body since spring 2021. In one of the interviews they show pics. No factchec k response, just silence. Concerning to say the least.

                  1. William Hunter Duncan

                    I am cautious with Kirsch, but he is just crazy and wealthy enough to touch what most of the medical community declares mis-dis-malinformation, so far more convincingly than the “safe and effective” crowd.

            2. Yves Smith Post author

              This has nothing to do with the vaccines. This paper, published before the vaccines existed (and the research would have had to be complete about a month before the pub date, if not sooner) did find the spike proteins lasted a long time IN COVID.

              To the extent the spike proteins show atypical durability, this is an artifact of the disease. It’s not a result of the vaccines.


              This study finds the spike protein appears to be very persistent in people who’ve had severe cases:


              And I never have never seen a claim that the spike proteins are gone within hours. It would seem impossible to generate any meaningful antibodies if so. And why do you think you have to wait two weeks after the second shot for peak protection? That alone indicates the spike proteins are around at least that long.

              I do agree that there are claims that the spike protein from the vaccines clears within weeks. But those are based on general protein metabolization.

              I have also seen zero evidence that the spike protein can replicate by itself. This is cray cray anti-vax talk. Please do not repeat it.

    2. Samuel Conner

      I have only started into the article, but it appears to me that Ford believes that long COVID is related to viral persistence in recovered individuals. This persistence can take place in syncytia which allow the replicating virus to evade humoral and cellular immunity and to continue producing live virions and introducing them into circulation. This is a plausible explanation, employing a known capacity of the virus.

      This sounds like a plausible hypothesis to me. The alternative of persistence of spike protein in circulation does not sound compelling to me. I would think that would be cleared from circulation not long after the prompt immune response to an mRNA vaccine injection. Long-term spike circulation would, I think, require ongoing production of spike in host cells, which would require long-term persistence of significant amounts of intact viral mRNA in cells. Is that plausible?

      Further, I would think that long-term spike circulation would stimulate ongoing immune response, so that antibody titers would not decline with the passage of time. I think that persistent circulating levels of toxic spike protein is not at present a probable account of long COVID.

      1. Mikel

        “I would think that would be cleared from circulation not long after the prompt immune response to an mRNA vaccine injection.”

        There are those trying to mandate injection after injection after injection….

      1. William Hunter Duncan

        Reading that, my takeaway is:

        1. They start from a presumption that it is almost all long covid, and that adverse affects are exceedingly rare.

        2. While admitting they have no way to explain people’s symptoms who are complaining about adverse reactions

        3. While acknowledging that it is white hot, most researchers refusing to look into it or even discuss it.

        4. And then the NIH and FDA walked away from it while refusing still to even really comment on it except to pass it off as so rare as to not be statistically relevant.

        5. All of which should make anyone reasonable, suspicious about the official story around Long Covid as the explanation for all long term illness concerning the pandemic.

      2. BMW DOG

        I ended up getting some brain fog from the second vaccine jab but more serious is that it has made it more difficult to understand talk. I had an intensive hearing test in 2018 and one just five months ago. I told the doc that I was having trouble understanding speech. He said I was hearing the same level of sounds but somehow my brain wasn’t putting those sounds into words. I read that some folks loose their hearing completely but have not read about my symptoms. Any body know about this?

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Yeah, I’m having a lot of trouble with so much of what passes for covid / long covid “information” depending on “asymptomatic” covid infections. See also the Leonardi tweets.

      How are these “infections” confirmed? Once a person is “vaccinated,” does a covid test distinguish between antigens or spike protein from “vaccine” and those from a breakthrough infection?

      The Leonardi tweet comments on a study of 177 healthcare workers most if not all of whom, presumably, are “vaccinated” (or else they’d have been fired.) The autoimmune results were: most prominent in women with asymptomatic SARS cov 2 infection. How did they know definitively that the “women” even had covid and that that was the cause of the autoimmunity, instead of a “vaccine” which hijacks your own cells to manufacture a toxin which suggests the very definition of autoimmunity?

      The Ford article says that over 100 possible symptoms [of long covid] have been identified. They are vague, affect every part of the body, and could result from any number of things besides covid. In previous years sufferers could easily have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. And the fact that the most seriously affected never even knew they had covid???? C’mon, man.

      It seems to me that the only definitive way to know if there actually is such a thing as long covid due to covid is to observe unvaccinated people who had an “asymptomatic case” of covid. The problem with this is that those who are not inclined to get vaccinated are probably not inclined to keep getting tested when they don’t feel sick.

      1. HotFlash

        Vaccination (mRNA) uses only the spike protein, so that is all the antibodies that are produced. Actual infection, whether with or without symptoms, results in antibodies to (many? all?) other Covid proteins, for instance the N protein, as well, so if an antibody test shows antibodies to other Covid proteins, bingo, you’ve had the real deal.

    4. Skip Intro

      The author does mention that additional damage occurs when the syncytia are destroyed, and “S-proteins” are released. I don’t think the article discounts the possibility of damage from spike proteins, but holds that the on going source is the persistent covid virions.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Post Office scandal: Public inquiry to examine wrongful convictions”

    That was pretty unforgivable that. People were accused of being thieves, had their bank accounts frozen, lost jobs and careers and were even jailed. How do you make up for those lost years? I have no doubt that software firm Fujitsu, which developed the Horizon software, pushed it out the door knowing that there were flaws in it making it a beta system. And I have no doubt that the Post Office suspected that something was amiss, but went ahead with those prosecutions anyway. So did they have IT people from the Post office testifying in court that the Horizon software was infallible so those accused must be guilty? Because that would be perjury under oath that. I read how one woman was fighting to have her husband’s name cleared as he has already died. Head should roll over this but probably there will be agreements negotiated where the Post Office and Fujitsu pay out compensation while admitting no fault and nobody from either corporation ends up in jail themselves.

    1. Vandemonian

      It was up to the defendants to prove that the Horizon system was flawed, rather than the Post Office proving it wasn’t.

      In 1999, the government-owned Post Office began installing a new core accounting and retail system, known as Horizon, in thousands of Post Office branches across the country. The system, from Fujitsu, was seen as a revolution at the time, automating manual tasks such as bookkeeping.

      At about the same time, a presumption was introduced into law on how courts should consider electronic evidence. The new rule introduced in 1999 followed a Law Commission recommendation for courts to presume that a computer system has operated correctly unless there is explicit evidence to the contrary. This legal presumption replaced a section of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984, which stated that computer evidence should be subject to proof that it was in fact operating properly.

      The new rule made it easier for the Post Office, through its private prosecution powers, to convict subpostmasters for financial crimes when there were accounting shortfalls, based on data from the Horizon system. One barrister has said that, as a result, the courts were “bamboozled” by the Post Office. Innocent subpostmasters who were convicted paid a heavy price.

    2. mrsyk

      Agreed on the unforgivable. Also, pretty vague about if the funds were actually missing. Oh the irony if the software was embezzling on behalf of someone with better credentials.

      1. Vandemonian

        Some of the problems with the Horizon system which were mentioned in Computerworld articles:
        – scanning in of cash deposits recorded an incorrect (smaller) total
        – some Giro transactions were recorded twice
        – IT support staff could (and did) modify numerical values remotely without leaving an audit trail

    3. Maritimer

      And those abuses were under a supposedly functioning legal system. But imagine what your finances might look like under the no liability seizure provisions of CDN Chief Injector Trudeau’s Emergencies Act. Mattress anyone?

  14. Mikel

    “15 Monkeys Have Reportedly Died While Testing Elon Musk’s Midlife Crisis Brain Chip” The Gamer

    Speaking of monkeys, just thought I would remind everbody that next week will be “28 Days Later” from the truck crash where infected lab monkeys were on the loose. Almost in the clear…

    Just sayin’…..

      1. Mikel

        I’m also glad the headline to the Elon Musk monkey disaster didn’t say “12 Monkeys…”
        With all of us being under the influence of all these dystopian loving scumbags.

  15. John Beech

    Targeting encryption is wonderful. I believe it’ll create out of whole cloth an external source of software. Google store and Apple store will be cloned so fast it’ll make your head spin.

    While I, personally, don’t care if my iMessage is encrypted, or not, because nothing I communicate is very important (certainly not on the state level), one thing i am certain of is the hoorah about this will lead to folks going to overseas suppliers of what they want. Don’t believe me? Look at drugs coming in from Mexico that could just as readily be grown in USA, USA. Look to the largest Asian economy deciding to go indigenous on their chip supply once the President targeted them. Supply and demand rules.

    1. Mikel

      We’re tossing advocado seeds around where we can around the building where we live…
      Seeing what might pop up….

      1. ambrit

        The seedlings that grow up from the avocado seeds thrown out with the compost does not automatically produce the same fruit variety as the original case around said seed. Most commercial avocado trees are the products of grafting. So, to get viable, edible fruit avocado trees from seeds, one needs to graft an appropriate scion onto the ‘volunteer’ root stock.

      1. Wukchumni

        I grew up near La Habra Heights where the Haas avocado originated from and all around me growing up were oh so many trees, but avocados don’t pay property taxes and they were all replaced by ticky tacky boxes.

        1. ambrit

          Back in the 1980s, we stayed for a while at a County RV Park in South Dade county, Florida. It had been a working avocado grove, left to the County on proviso that the trees be preserved and cared for. We picked literally bags and bags of avocados, which we gave away to friends and family. These were the larger, pale green Florida avocados. The Park didn’t mind too much as long as you didn’t sell the fruit.

    2. John Beech

      Speaking of avocados, did you notice the timing of the Mexican Superbowl avocado-commercial and news the avocado-trade was halted? Talk about timing!

      Anyway, despite my lack of anything to hide, I like using encrypted apps. I understand the angst about children photos, but suspect this is more about tracking money and other criminal enterprises.

      Thus, the comparison to coming for Jews because I’m not a Jew is not appropriate because my point isn’t to say I’m fine with them backdooring encrypted apps – but – to express my though that will instead create an external source for encrypted software. And not just the software but the cloning of stores for apps, which lets aljany out of the bottle for Apple and Google because they’ll be lucrative stores the Feds will have zero control over. So, most respectfully, not quite the same thing at all.

  16. Eric Anderson

    Who is Don E Ford? I can’t find his bona fides anywhere. Is he a doctor?
    The article was tremendously enlightening. Thanks for the find guurst.

    1. Basil Pesto

      From what I can tell (from following one of the links in his article), he’s a progressive journalist.

      I’ve had the tab open for a few days but have just got stuck into it after seeing it recommended here today. I saw it recommended on the weekend by doctor/scientist types fwiw, albeit of the “actually Covid is still a serious problem that we can’t ignore lol and, no, zinc and vitamin d supplements for all aren’t remotely close to being a viable long term public health solution to the problem” persuasion

      1. Eric Anderson

        First time I’ve seen probiotics as a recommendation too. But, I’ve been following the CBD literature and, while encouraging, to my understanding the doses have to be seriously substantial.

  17. John Beech

    While fuel and ammo are variable costs, the actual standing army could be considered a fixed cost. Why? Simple, it’s because tanks and ships are capital costs and troop-pay continues whether they are stationed on the border between Wyoming and Canada as a threat to invasion, or spread around the world. One thing for sure that’s happened with Russian troops on the border near Ukraine is crude has spiked to $95, which is a very good result for the Russian economy. Curious, that, eh?

  18. vlade

    Muahahahaha.. So the Brexit tweet, which links to the article saying that the minister for Brexit opportunities (muahahaha again, one Jacob R-M) says “we’d unilaterally accept other’s people regulation, so that we can run a trade with them!”.

    So, they did Brexit as to avoid EU rules (creation of which they had some control of) to unilaterally take someone else’s rules, creation of which they have no control over.

    Gluttons for punishment (of others).

    1. PlutoniumKun

      This was, of course, the inevitable consequence of Brexit. But I do find it amusing that he’s actually gone out and admitted it.

      The fun starts of course when they realise that even this is impossible if they want comprehensive deals with the US or Oz, etc. You can’t have parallel sets of regulations without causing chaos.

      Even more fun starts when the EU says that its fine that they say that they will follow EU rules, but that they want proof – i.e. they want to be able to inspect UK farms, factories, etc. You can’t abide by rules if you don’t also abide by the certification standards.

      1. Irrational

        I thought it was delicious that Jacob Rees-Mogg, a.k.a. the member for the 18th century if I am not mistaken, got this fantastic job.

      2. ChrisPacific

        Right. So the key to getting trade going is to unilaterally accept terms (and regulation) from all trade partners.

        With that in mind, it becomes clear what Mogg’s objections to EU membership must have been. It only applied EU law to the UK, offering no opportunity for the UK to be bound by the laws of non-EU countries. Also, the UK had the ability to influence terms through its rights as an EU member. If the UK has no rights or influence and simply accepts the first offer every time, it will streamline things greatly.

        Granted, the UK may end up in the position of being bound by mutually contradictory regulations from multiple countries. That should be no issue though, as the UK is well practiced at maintaining several mutually contradictory positions after years of Brexit.

        There remains the question of how trade partners like us can arrest UK traders for breaches of our regulations, and have them extradited for trial in our courts. I think our trade agreement should require the SAS to handle that for us. Mogg has already said he’ll agree to it, so there should be no problem.

  19. The Rev Kev

    ‘Let’s talk about Denmark’s covid politics. They are one of the 1st countries to act like we could just ignore covid and things would be normal. It failed in Fall, and they’re retrying it now.’

    There’s gunna be hell to pay as it becomes obvious that more and more people are long covid sufferers as each wave of infections sweep through. The cognitive dissonance of seeing so many friends and family suffer from this while the governments and health authorities tell people it is not really happening will open up all sorts of fracture points. No doubt politicians will pretend that they were only listening to scientific advice – and will then proceed to throw those advisors to the wolves to save themselves. So what does this do to the whole idea of political legitimacy in countries like Denmark? Being an ongoing thing, it might serve to destabilize even countries which we think of as rock solid. Governments around the world have really sewn the wind here. And just at the time when we need stable governments to deal with climate change.

    1. Brian Beijer

      If Denmark is anything like Sweden, then their government has nothing to worry about. They will remain rock solid no matter how many people get long-Covid or eventually die. The government will survive what minor, transient controversy is stirred up in the press through lies and gaslighting until it dies down. My personal experience in Sweden is that the government depends on the people ultimately not giving a f*@k about anyone but themselves. I’m sad to say that, after watching everyday Swedes reactions to the pandemic, I believe they are 100% correct in this assumption.

    2. Mike

      I think part of the issue as a whole is most people don’t know somebody who died of covid but maybe they know of somebody… too far removed to take it seriously. Long covid would be different since most people know somebody who had covid or they had it. Personally though of the people I know who had long covid, though there recovery was long, are fine now. Two of them were ventilated and fine now. One of them was on oxygen for a long period and the FLCCC protocol turned that around fortunately. So I guess count me in still on the folks who hasn’t personally seen evidence of long covid really being an issue. I guess with the caveat of YET.

    3. ChrisPacific

      I have been tracking Denmark’s stats occasionally since they reopened. Their death rate has been slowly climbing and they are up to a 7 day average of around 30 now. If it holds at that level it projects to around 10,000 deaths per annum in a country of around 6 million. That would be enough for it to edge out the various forms of heart disease as the leading cause of death. And that’s only measuring deaths from the acute phase, and doesn’t take Long Covid into account.

      When one of our modelers presented a possible scenario involving two thirds that number of deaths (NZ has about the same population as Denmark) he was shouted down as being alarmist and spreading panic. Danes, on the other hand, seem to think this is no big deal.

      Of course if the numbers remained steady for a year, it would be the first time in the pandemic that’s happened. More likely they’ll fall off for a while, then booster/natural immunity will wane and/or a new variant will come along and it will spike again.

      1. Milton

        The number of deaths at Denmark’s current high point is slightly less than what it was during the Dec20/Jan21 period but case counts are over 12 times what it was then (50k vs. 4k). I think context needs to be factored in when posting stats such as the ones Dr Feng always tweets out.

        1. ChrisPacific

          I don’t follow him, but just go to the stats directly. Looking at his tweet, I agree he is probably overstating it a bit – Omicron death rate has remained pretty steady as a proportion of total cases so far, and even if growth is looking exponential in Denmark right now, there’s no way that can continue for much longer given how high the case counts are.

          I do think his central concern is the same as mine, if a bit exaggerated. This kind of death rate would worry me, and it seems weird that the Danes aren’t bothered by it.

  20. Steve Moran

    From yesterday, in case anybody cares: Blake and the Romantics:

    During his life (1757-1827), William Blake was a marginal figure, often thought to be mad.

    Blake didn’t figure in early attempts (“the Lake School,” “the Satanic School”) to draw up a list of what we think of, or did, as the English Romantic writers.

    But by the time I started graduate school in English the 1970s, things were different.

    The canonical English Romantic writers (see Harold Bloom’s study “The Visionary Company”) were as follows:

    First generation: Blake, Wordsworth, and Coleridge. (The latter two, politically radical in their youth, later bought back in.)

    Second generation: Byron, Shelley, and Keats. (These writers were non-Christian, and died young. The youngest was Keats: 1795-1821.)

    It’s different in graduate school today.

    The “Romantic period” has been deconstructed, and if you were to do graduate English today (I do NOT recommend it), you would be assigned such writers from this period as Charlotte Smith and Felicia Hemans.

    In English classes today, across the board, all sense of a POPULAR AUDIENCE for English and American literature has been lost.

    It’s no wonder that literary studies in recent years has become so strange . . . .

    1. JBird4049

      >>>In English classes today, across the board, all sense of a POPULAR AUDIENCE for English and American literature has been lost.

      Is that because of teaching to identity instead of teaching for society, or is that the usually idiotic changing things because new and different must better?

      1. Steve Moran

        JBird4049, Friends of mine with English backgrounds, loyal readers of NC, talk about this question all the time.

        Identity politics certainly IS part of it. Any number of English and American writers have been canceled, or elevated and added to the canon.

        The fact that secure, middle-class jobs teaching English are unavailable now also counts for a lot. Even in my day (70s grad school), grad students were dropping out to write documentation for corporations.

        The precipitous decline of reading of any kind, and indeed of everyday life in America, is also a factor.

        Back in the day, I taught at some pretty little liberal arts schools whose students were sometimes receptive to reading older books.

        But at my last job, I taught, for decades, at an inner-city community college in the barrio. I loved my students, but during my last years of teaching, many of these kids were in bad shape.

        Some were sleeping in their cars, or in parks. Many of the girls had pharmacies in their purses. Students would sometimes pass out in class.

        Given their high school backgrounds, many students had no conception that any work was ever due. It wasn’t uncommon for students not to know that Ireland is an island, or even be unable to place the American Civil War in the correct century.

        Johann Hari’s recent book “Stolen Focus” is a valuable guide to all the things these Generation Z kids (and the rest of us) are up against.

        Meanwhile, this school was becoming more and more top-heavy with deans with opaque titles and diversity officers. Teachers were under Orwellian surveillance and had to hit certain metrics (e.g., each class’s “productive grade rate” of grades of C or better).

        Taking the long view, I fear too that the brute passage of time is doing in us English teachers, that we’re in a position comparable to one that teachers of Greek and Latin were once in.

        I believe in the possibility of education to lift people up and to bring them together. At 75, I’m continuing my education in part by reading NC. The NC community is very important to me.

        But in a divided, declining country, it’s difficult for me to see how a consensus curriculum could possibly be hammered out now.

        I can only hope that some new synthesis will come together in the future–surely after I’m no longer around to see it.

        Best to you, Yves & Lambert, and NC commentariat, and other fellow lurkers!!

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          > Even in my day (70s grad school), >grad students were dropping out to >write documentation for corporations.

          And they were much appreciated!! The DEC manuals I encountered in those days were very good. Haven’t encountered any that match the quality since. You could (almost) teach yourself computer programming just from the manuals alone.

          1. Steve Moran

            Dear Wobbly, Oh, wow, this is so interesting to me! A number of brilliant friends of mine (a true young scholar of seventeenth-century literature; an anti-CIA researcher; and a former LA punk-rock star) all wound up going through some side door during the 70s to become computer mavens.

            I assume that this wouldn’t be possible today, is that correct?

            For a variety of reasons, I was never tempted to apply to one of those kill-tech “defense” firms along I-270 running northwest from Washington DC. For one thing, having been kicked out of college in January 1968, I could never have passed a basic security check.

            Before getting my degree and, by the grace of God, various teaching jobs, I kept body and soul together by working in bookstores, for a storefront anti-poverty agency, by manual labor, etc.

            In my last years of teaching, some of my community college students were majoring in “cybersecurity.”

            In conversation outside of class, I would sometimes observe to them that the “security” in question wasn’t for the likes of peons like them and me, but rather “security” for the huge combines that already had us under surveillance.

            They could never see my point.

        2. albrt

          My dad was an English professor, and I was an English major for a while. I dropped out when I realized after a couple of years that all reference to what was classically known as rhetoric had been dumped (and somewhat taken up by the communications department, but with major historical amnesia).

          My view is that dropping the rhetoric side and becoming a study of pure literature doomed English departments. It used to be known as a good basic degree that taught critical thinking. It became an effete undertaking that taught “critical” thinking.

          1. Steve Moran

            Albrt, Thank you for your insightful comments. Right, in my experience, what’s praised as “critical thinking” seems to mean: coming up with some new affirmation, slightly tweaked, of the received ideas.

    2. eg

      Your description of the field in the ‘70s squares with my grad school experience in the mid-80s. From what you say is the current situation, I’m doubly glad I bailed out before wasting any further time with it …

  21. Tom Stone

    So the White House spokesperson is an attractive Africanx-American female ( Personal Pronoun “Me”) named Karine.
    Which is like “Karen”,only classier.
    Idpol PR at its finest.

    When is a turd not a turd?
    When you spray paint it pink and sprinkle rainbow skittles on top!

    1. ambrit

      That’s “Africanx-Americanx” to all goodspeaking Americanx Patriox.
      But then, wasn’t there the case of the proto-Woke Americanx Political Philosopher Malcom-NX?

  22. Mikel

    With the Maxwell/Epstein affair on my mind, I checked out a film shot in the early 2000s called “Maxwell.”
    It wasn’t long and gave an outline of the patriarch’s final years – more focused on his emotional state than alot of other things, but kind of interesting. His rivalry with the Murdochs and their media empire provided some humor.
    What really set it apart for me was watching it on the heels of a limited Netflix series called “Inventing Anna” – about a young woman who posed as a fake German heiress and scammed the wealthy and wanna-be elites. Her story highlighted how much more important it is for the moneyed class to go along with their peers than to use common sense regarding investment. They can have a bad investment, but if they lose access to their wealthy peers, they lose more wealth…I figure that’s the way they see it.

    It was amazing to listen to the character Anna’s lines followed by the character of Maxwell’s lines about how “money isn’t real.” That blase attitude that so many scammers appear to adopt while all the while the consequences of not having money are very real.

    The laugh out loud moments of the “Inventing Anna” series was the part that showed she once lived with none other than Billy McFarland of Fyre Festival fame – while he was planning Fyre Festival. And partied with rip off pharma bro Martin Shkreli.

    Meanwhile, the movie investment Ponzi scheme operator, actor Zach Avery, just got 20 years for his outrageous rip-off that may be one of the biggest ever in Hollywood.

    This grifter economy has been out of control for the longest.

    What are some of the other latest scammers other fellow readers have come across? It’s hard to keep up…

    1. chuck roast

      Last night I watched “The Art Of The Steal”, a documentary about Albert C. Barnes and the demise of the Barnes Foundation. A really brazen and breathtaking rip-off by the cream of the Philadelphia ruling class. If you didn’t care for Philadelphia before you watched this piece, expect your dislike to intensify.

  23. Carolinian

    The Wired Youtube article seems to be worried that someone is sneaking pro China propaganda into the ads before Olympic videos.

    Here’s a more interesting article about the way the Olympics have long been politicized and most especially re China.

    The first episode occurred in 1959, not long after Dong Shouyi’s acrimonious resignation, when Soviet delegates to the IOC insisted that Taipei’s NOC change its name on the self-evident grounds that it “[could not] possibly supervise sports in mainland China.” The IOC as a whole readily agreed, with even the arch-anticommunist Avery Brundage reluctantly assenting.

    The U.S. mainstream press exploded in outrage; absurdly, Brundage himself was deluged with hate mail alleging he had succumbed to “communist blackmail.” The U.S. State Department called the decision “a clear act of political discrimination” and even President Dwight D. Eisenhower condemned it. The whole affair ended in another embarrassing fudge, with Taipei competing under the name “Taiwan” at Rome 1960 and quietly reverting to “Republic of China” thereafter.


    Avery Brundage was a big booster of the 1936 games designed to give legitimacy to Hitler. Then in the Cold War the Olympics became a political football between mainland China and Taiwan. And in 1980 Carter, that earlier neoliberal, boycotted the Moscow games although to considerably more criticism back in that less rightwing MSM era.

    All of which is to say the cooked up controversies surrounding the current games are nothing new. NBC is giving us good pictures with which to admire the skill of the athletes. Their blather we can ignore.

  24. FreeMarketApologist

    RE: Sewage Sampling Already Tracks Covid. What Else Can It Find?

    Ugh. It’s an article that blathers on about all the happy reasons for sewage surveillance without a thought for the downsides.

    Even this sentence: “Sewage sampling is overwhelmingly a local decision, under the purview of mayors, city councils, or wastewater authorities, which allows it to elide the politicization of the national Covid response”, ignores the fact that making it local subjects it to the capricious whims of local legislators, who will inevitably use it for surveillance and persecution of their least desired citizens. What police department wouldn’t want block-by-block stats on where the drug users are? (of course, they will ignore the numbers coming from their own neighborhood).

    Makes me glad I have a septic tank.

  25. Pat

    IM Doc and family, my sympathy for having to say goodbye to a beloved family member. Angel Fire was a beautiful horse, and I hope that as grief fades your son’s remember the wonderful time they spent together far more than the sad goodbye.

  26. jr

    re: Cannabinoids and COVID

    I didn’t read the article but I wanted to drop that if you plan to use CBD, it seems you must quit pot itself. The THC and CBD molecules compete on a 1 to 1 basis for neural receptor sites. I found this in another study about CBD. I am now attempting to quit pot again. Please ignore the shrieking.

  27. lyman alpha blob

    RE: the cosmic horizon – a limerick!

    There once was a man named Guth
    With a theory that some found uncouth
    Does a universe of bubbles
    Solve all our troubles?
    Or is it turtles all the way, and forsooth?

  28. Douglas

    Extracting Uranium, or Rare Earth elements, from seawater is a proximity-analog of chasing H³ in lunar regolith, hey? One of those 3: uranium, rare earths w/out toxicities of mining, and H³ is more desirable than the other 2.

    IEEE Spectrum: Uranium at an extremely dilute concentration of 3.3 parts per billion in seawater [equating to 3,300 parts/Trillion]

    … the world’s oceans, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, contain at least 500 times more uranium than in all known terrestrial reserves.

    Rare Earths are usually at sub-parts per Trillion ⚠️ in seawater.

    Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, and Lu.

    Therefore, the argument presents itself again [and while ignoring ultimate availability of Rare Earths in this solar system as found potentially in asteroids, AND while noting the Kennedy Space Complex in Florida has set aside range land for horizontal launch in the foreseeable future [“spaceplanes”] , the argument of seawater extraction of Rare Earths for renewables tech. without mining poisons/carbon taxes.

    H³ & fusion being forever out of reach.

    See map this link for Future Horizontal Launch Area:

    Those Manganese nodules on the seafloor …

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Yes but to be clear, the vaccines were used as the driver of the “Go out, shop, party and travel” program. So it’s impossible to untangle how much of the failure is due to the vaccines per se versus the exhortations to try to go back to the old normal.

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