Links 2/17/2022

Dear patient readers,

I contacted some respectable economists about this tweet. They said they are willing to make a stink with Instagram but they would like a few more examples. They don’t want to saddle up and have Instagram claim this was a one-off algo brain fart. So please provide more examples in comments if you have seen them. Thanks.

From tiger to snow leopard: 50 years of conservation science in India Scroll (J-LS)

Study finds elk are too smart for their own good, and the good of Utah PhysOrg (Robert M)

How ancient plants ‘learnt’ to use water when they moved on to land – new research The Conversation (Kevin W)

JILA atomic clocks measure Einstein’s general relativity at millimeter scale National Institute of Standards and Technology (Kevin W)

Examining sudden evolutionary change University of California, Santa Barbara (Robert M)

9 out of 10 ticks in this Pennsylvania park carried a potentially fatal neurological virus LiveScience (David L)

Their Bionic Eyes Are Now Obsolete and Unsupported IEEE Spectrum (Dr. Kevin). OMG horrible.

How many words does it take to make a mistake? London Review of Books (Anthony L)



Nasal Approach to COVID Vaccination Gains Traction Yale School of Medicine (fk)

Pandemics disable people — the history lesson that policymakers ignore Nature (Dr. Kevin)

Coronaviruses are ‘clever’: Evolutionary scenarios for the future of SARS-CoV-2 STAT. Do not like positioning of endemicity as benign.

Omicron Sub-Variant May Cause New Surge of Infections in Current Wave Bloomberg. BA.2. Um, how long have we been warning that it was displacing original Omicron?

dk’s TLDR: Pigs get better ventilation than office workers and nursing home residents:

Mysterious Link Between Vitamin D And COVID-19 Reaffirmed in ‘Striking’ New Findings Science Alert (Chuck L)



Xi Jinping intervention raises threat of ‘more draconian’ Hong Kong Covid measures Financial Times


The CDC wants to ‘give people a break’ from masking up indoors as hospitalizations, cases, and deaths drop Business Insider. To add insult to injury, look at the Walensky photo. Here the CDC has been finally recommending KN/N95s just before yet more exhortations to stop masking as if it’s a punishment. Yet what is Walensky wearing? A cloth mask over a procedure mask? Help me.

COVID-19 deaths continue to rise among children in the US WSWS

Philadelphia establishes metrics for masks and vaccine mandates Inquirer (Joshua S)


Employers take note: Most remote workers don’t want to go back to the office CNN (Kevin W)


Serious, Salty Trouble Is Brewing Under Antarctic Glaciers Wired (Robert M)

Wildfires used to ease in intensity at night. A study says it’s not the case anymore CNN

City trees and soil are sucking more carbon out of the atmosphere than previously thought Boston University (David L)

Drugs have dangerously polluted the world’s rivers, scientists warn Guardian (resilc)

Microplastics increase the toxicity of organic pollutants in the environment by a factor of 10 Tel-Aviv University (Robert M)


China’s New ‘Robotic Yak’ Will Support Ground Troops, But Its Abilities Appear to Be Overhyped Popular Mechanics


Assembly Elections: How Does Indelible Ink Work? The Wire (J-LS)

Gujarat Official Suspended After School Elocution Contest on ‘My Idol Nathuram Godse’ The Wire (J-LS)

New Cold War

Russian Claims of Ukraine Pullback Are False, U.S. Charges Bloomberg

China says U.S. is exaggerating Russian threat to Ukraine Reuters

Chomsky: US Push to “Reign Supreme” Stokes the Ukraine Conflict TruthOut (Kevin C)


Israeli settler violence is not legitimate discourse – opinion Jerusalem Post (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Google Plans to Curtail Cross-App Tracking on Android Phones Wall Street Journal

New York Is Now Using Cameras With Microphones To Ticket Loud Cars Road and Track


Mexican president says Biden is using avocado ban as a political weapon against his country Daily Mail (resilc).

AMLO may not be wrong, see: Outrage after Mexico exonerates ex-defense minister in drug case Guardian (DS)

Migrants sew mouths shut in quest for Mexico passage to U.S. border Reuters

Democrats Helped Build The Social Safety Net. Why Are Many Now Against Expanding It? FiveThirtyEight. Resilc: “More into NATO expansion and space force.”

The Biggest Midterm Challenge for Democrats in 2022: Winning Back Parents New Republic

In New Yorker interview, Ocasio-Cortez defends Biden and Pelosi, urges readers not to lose “hope” in reforming two-party system WSWS

Our Famously Free Press

Britain Just Delivered a Crushing Blow to the Press Bloomberg

Twitter Officially Launches Labels To Identify the ‘Good Bots’ TechCrunch. Kill me now.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warns there’s ‘a very real risk’ the US won’t be a democracy in 10 years Business Insider (Kevin W)

Families of Sandy Hook victims announce $73 million settlement with Remington NPR (Kevin W)

Elon Musk’s brain chip company, Neuralink, faces animal abuse claims Guardian (furzy)

FAA chief Steve Dickson announces resignation midway through term CNBC

FCC Bans Deals That Block Competition In Apartments ars technica

EV charging stations need repairs—but who’s going to foot the bill? Popular Science (resilc)

Why the surge in retail sales is not as good as it looks MarketWatch

The Big Mac Index: A Measure of Purchasing Power Parity & Burger Inflation Visual Capitalist (furzy)

The Bezzle

‘Crypto Ruined My Life’: The Mental Health Crisis Hitting Bitcoin Investors Vice (resilc). It’s called having a gambling addiction.

NYSE Moves Closer To NFT Trading With Trademark Application Reuters

Class Warfare

Dutch Cities Ban 15-Minute Delivery Services Vice

Bernie Sanders sarcastically congratulates billionaires for making America an ‘oligarchic form of society’ Business Insider

NYC Restaurants Brace for a Potential Avocado Shortage Grub Street (J-LS)

Saudi Arabia: 28,000 apply for 30 female train drivers’ posts Al Jazeera (resilc)

Antidote du jour. Furzy: “Stacy’s barn kitty, minding the store on Maryland’s Eastern Shore”:

And a bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. CG

      An idea that’s been bouncing around in my head is to say that at present, whereas the GOP is a truly national party the Democratic Party is increasingly a sectional party again. The GOP can compete anywhere in the country, except mainly in the largest urban areas in the country, while Democrats are incapable of being all that competitive outside of said largest urban areas in the country. While this can give Democrats the Presidency and Congress, first even that can be somewhat of a challenge and second that leaves a large portion of local and state governments in the control of the Republican politicians, both of which are a result of the way our federal system is constructed. After all, while land can’t vote, we still have a system of government where representation is apportioned on the basis of said land.

      1. Stillfeelinthebern

        In my state, Wisconsin, local elections (city, village, township, county, school boards) are non-partisan. In all areas, including rural areas, you can be Dem or leaning and get elected because it’s the immediate local issues that matter.

        Until the 2016 election. That was somewhat of a game changer because of the vitriol it activated.

        Getting treated badly just because you want to serve has drained the reservoir of reasonable people of any political persuasion who are willing to serve. Most all of these local elected are part time positions and the pay in no way compensates you for the time you put in.

      1. Avalon Sparks

        Serious, “Family Blog” that beady eyed Lizard MF. I absolutely loath him.

        On the other hand – Fetterman for President!! Love that guy with all my heart!!!

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The last guy he backed was Terry McAulliffe. At this point, Carville is just fleecing Clinton allies. There is no other explanation.

          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            He’s been in deep with the New Orleans dem establishment for a while now with his part time gig teaching at Tulane.

            Him and Paul Begala. Woof.

    2. Recall Rice

      How about placing a homeless housing complex/shelter on a path that children use to go to 3 primary schools and next to two parks? It must, per California law, house 16 units reserved for people with severe mental illness. 55 year lease, funded by county.

      The hand-wringing county supervisors ignored 2,667 signers of a petition not to place it there and accepted the state bribe money. No requirement for addiction treatment or psychiatric services. Full rights of renters, meaning minimum 90 days to evict if violent.

      In other actions, the supervisors are promoting “safe routes to school” to try and prevent parents from driving children to school by encouraging them to walk or ride bicycles.

      Talk about mad parents??

      1. BarbaraBrown

        The president of the Board of Supervisors, in whose district this now approved project is located, has been abysmal in representing the interests of ‘their’ constituents, in replying to them over concerns about other multimillion dollar amounts squandered, has abandoned their family and moved in with an activist girlfriend. They is now facing a recall. It’s not all hot tubs and peacock feathers in Marin.

        1. Carla

          Greet your new potential neighbors Juan:

          “for the last 14 months, the city has provided services and resources to the residents of the encampment which is draining the budget. The state of emergency proclamation comes a day after a resident at the Marinship Park encampment was arrested on arson charges in connection to the loud explosion and fire.

          When police arrived, they found that a propane tank had exploded and two tents destroyed. Police also found a suspect who said she admitted to using a cigarette lighter to set her tent and a neighboring tent on fire.”

          Maybe they could hire her to supervise the kiddie playground next door to the new housing?

          NIMBY, a proud label for sensible people.

          1. Anon

            More like a proud label for reactionary people worried about their property va… kids.

            Seems we don’t care till it’s in our back yards.

        2. LifelongLib

          There’s a lot of stuff that nobody wants in their backyard. Some are just more able to stop it from ending up there.

    3. lance ringquist

      the problem with that article is that the author over looks the gigantic 800 pound pink gorrillia in the room.

      trump: thanks bill, It used to be cars were made in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico,” he said. “Now the cars are made in Mexico, and you can’t drink the water in Flint. That’s not good

      nafta billy clintons disastrous policies stripped rural america, and most large cities of manufacturing.

      small town america used to be riddled with factories that made small things that ended up in factories that made large things.

      thus denying americans a chance at gainful meaningful employment.

      just going out and talking with the deplorable, and telling them that faster internet connections is going to solve the problems created by nafta billy clintons disastrous polices, simply will be ignored by many.

      because once people have become radicalized, its hard to get them back.

      instead of preaching have patience and support the nafta democrats is a fools game, and the deplorable knows it.

      if i was AOC and others, i would distance myself as far as i can from nafta billy clintons disastrous policies, and nafta billys policies enablers, pelosi and nafta joe biden.

      as of today the squad may well lose some, or all of their seats, people have become so radicalized.

  1. jr

    Business Insider reports on the blocked shipment of pillows from MyPillow to the Canadian truckers:

    I believe there was a tweet recently about the Right being happy to scoop up all the political energy being generated at the blockades. I can see slogans such as “Justin stole my freedom AND my pillow!” and such. Meanwhile, Wokels and their much vaunted goals of “social justice” spin their wheels within wheels with nary an inch of traction on the ground.

    Critical Theory reminds me of COVID in the sense that I cannot tell if it arose naturally or if it was created in the lab of some CIA academic psy-ops program. It is literally the opposite of where we need to be right now. It is sowing division under the banner of justice, reinforcing the class status (and therefore the overall class structure) of the PMC by providing an excuse to lecture others about morals while ignoring the blood and gore that founds their own position in society, and appropriating the language of the Left in an effort to appear legitimate while actually accomplishing nothing of substance.

    1. amechania

      The ‘avocado ban’ is more of the same loss of US federal and corporate control. This time, we’re taking on ‘Mexico’ but that really means the organized drug mafia we built there.

      If you remove the ideology, this is just what happens when a power starts collapsing. Soft power was our real power, and now it is essentially gone.

      First Afghanistan, where a well armed, funded, and staffed army and something resembling a central government evaporated like mist.

      Then Covid and decades of neglect at home are picking up. Pathetic education, collapsing bridges, wages from 1974 at best…

      Quite recently, I thought the pandemic emergency might be the wake up call that we need. We are not invincible. Its time to face facts and reform before people realize that 5 degrees warming on Earth means 5 degrees Celcius. However, the way we failed has been the wrong kind of divisive.

      1. jr

        “Pathetic education, collapsing bridges, wages from 1974 at best…”

        Agreed. I think the education part is playing a critical (failure) role here regarding COVID. Decades of “cultural” class-antagonisms around education, the erosion of quality public education, and a generalized anti-intellectualism leave us with a population rightfully suspicious of intellectual authorities.

        Then you find out Fauci has financial interests in pharma, the masks “do/don’t help/hurt”, and the vaccines don’t vax. Pfizer makes zillions while your kids eat garbage and contemplate a career at McDonalds at 14.

        So why not get “back to normal”? “Unmask your freedom!”? It’s all just another scam, another theft of your life and livelihood, another wagging finger from some Blue enclave of power. Of course it’s not, it’s a motherforking plague, but since trust is at zero that bit gets sidelined.

    2. griffen

      Shall we revive a boycott, perhaps a rename of some precious and beloved beverage or food stuffs that originate from Canada…?

      French fries turned into Freedom fries. Maple syrup…NHL hockey*…choosing a Canadian beer may just lead to any one of the beer and spirits conglomerates.

      *Not really a hockey fan so not a real sacrifice, personally.

    3. CanCyn

      “ It is literally the opposite of where we need to be right now. It is sowing division under the banner of justice, reinforcing the class status (and therefore the overall class structure) of the PMC by providing an excuse to lecture others about morals while ignoring the blood and gore that founds their own position in society, and appropriating the language of the Left in an effort to appear legitimate while actually accomplishing nothing of substance.”
      Thank you for this jr! It is the most coherent criticism of Critical Theory I have encountered to date.

  2. griffen

    The surge in retail sales reported for January 2022. Either it is indeed too good to be true, but I did see some stats elsewhere that listed slight declines comparatively for gas stations. Plus the ending of varied governmental subsidies and pandemic support programs. which I’m sure had a disparate impact based on demographics (well, duh).

    January is typically an odd month, my two cents. Vast portions of the country are hunkered in place due to snow or winter weather conditions. Coincidentally or not, hunkering down was a net good for consumers of their favorite streaming or consumers of the incredibly good, even epic US professional football playoffs. NFL playoff games don”t consistently deliver close, contested 60 minutes of sport but this was an exceptional playoffs.

    1. Louis Fyne

      no evidence, but my suspicion is that some of it is due to stockpiling for likely 2022 inflation.

      Doing my share by stockpiling coffee. Enough Arabica beans inflation, I’ll have an excuse to get over the inertia and cut my caffeine addiction.

      Fun fact: nominal Arabica bean prices are the same now as 40-50 years ago—meaning in real terms coffee beans have been falling, with hills and valleys, for 40+ years—due to lots of expansion of planting.

      Did it once a few years ago…the few days are a doozy.

  3. YuShan

    “Crypto Ruined My Life’: The Mental Health Crisis Hitting Bitcoin Investors”

    Of course it is an addiction of sorts, but there is more to it than only that. If you spend some time on places like Reddit, you’ll discover that crypto and insanely risky bets on meme-stocks etc are considered by many young people to be their only chance to ever get ahead. They know they will never be able to buy a house or even pay off their student debt. You may disagree with their opinion, but that is how many see it.

    And to be honest: how many “non-addicts” are betting on ever increasing house prices or tech stocks? Just watch the mental health crisis in that group when this insane bubble finally collapses…

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I don’t see any hard-core betting on housing prices going up, not anything approaching the pre-crisis frenzy. I don’t hang with day traders, who are always gambling.

    2. Mikel

      “…you’ll discover that crypto and insanely risky bets on meme-stocks etc are considered by many young people to be their only chance to ever get ahead….”

      And that so many of them believe crypto’s biggest day will come with an economic collapse makes me want to label much of what is going on “dystopia mania.”

      1. Michael McK

        Agreed. And when Jackpot is obvious Crypto will be even less useful and accessible than gold. It is seeming more and more that the only investments that have any hope of being useful (or ethical) are investments in building your local communities social and physical resilience like local food production, environmental remediation or habitat protection and learning useful ‘primitive’ skills.

    3. Robert Hahl

      “…their only chance to ever get ahead” is how people who buy lottery tickets often say they feel.

      1. Glen

        I call lottery tickets my only good retirement plan, but i rarely buy them. You have better odds getting hit by a meteor.

        1. JohnnySacks

          I’ve spent way more money on things that give me less reward than the 10 minutes of hope a $5 now and then scratch ticket gives.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      You are on to something there. A generation ago I remember being short on the rent with payday still several days away, and weighing the options of whether to go to the casino with the little money I had to see if I could win enough to get the rent in on time, or be responsible and save it. Being in my 20s, the responsibility idea lost out bigly to gambling with my buddies, and my $50 quickly disappeared. The result wasn’t that bad – I got the rent in a little late and had to watch my buddies gamble while I sipped a glass of water waiting to go home. And I had to put in some time and effort to lose that $50 as the casino was an hour drive.

      Today, someone with a similar problem can just go online immediately find a gambling or crypto or stock trading website (is there really a difference?!) and not only put the last money in their wallet on the line, but be offered a margin account to bet what they don’t even have.

      The article notes that a third of those surveyed didn’t have a strong understanding of what they were “investing” in – I’d wager the real figure is even higher since how many are going to voluntarily admit to being ignorant? And with the rise of stock trading sites like Robin Hood where the trading is “free” but the platform is selling your trade info so others can frontrun you, I’d say a high percentage of stock traders have no idea what they’re doing either. And margin accounts being handed out like candy to people who likely are not exactly well vetted ahead of time is a recipe for disaster, and Wall St is only too eager to take advantage.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “In New Yorker interview, Ocasio-Cortez defends Biden and Pelosi, urges readers not to lose “hope” in reforming two-party system”

    You read this article and you can see that AOC is well on track to be the Party’s Nancy Pelosi of the 2040s. What I will say is that WSWJ themselves made an omission in the title of this article and I have fixed it for them. What it should have been was-

    ‘In New Yorker interview, Ocasio-Cortez defends Biden and Pelosi, urges readers not to lose “hope” for “change” in reforming two-party system’

        1. The Rev Kev

          It would have to be passed, right? So how did that single-payer healthcare bill go in Nancy’s own State of California that is dominated by Democrats and that was all but inevitable?

              1. Pookah Harvey

                I’m sure glad there are no purity tests among progressives. With any luck we can get Joe Crowley back into office.

            1. Big River Bandido

              Effort, piffle. That provision on stock trades which Pelosi was somehow “forced” to vote for…will never make it into law. These kinds of things are used as props by “leadership” to leave the exact impression that you were left with. That provision will be quietly stripped out of the bill by a later vote (in which members are not told the effect of their vote beforehand), or stripped out in the conference committee report.

              Meanwhile all the people who voted for the “show” bill get to pose and preen as Reformers.

              This is truly one of the oldest leadership fakes in the book.

          1. juno mas

            The California single-payer healthcare bill did not come up for a vote in the Assembly. It was pulled from the docket prior to a vote, after the Chamber of Commerce, Insurance companies, Doctors and Hospitals, etc spent million$ decrying AB 1400 as a ” huge tax increase.” Lobbying by powerful interests who make Billions from “healthcare” system the way it is.

            Nurses and the general population is supportive of AB 1400. The delay of this Bill is simply big business at work; even in liberal California.

          2. XXYY

            The California Democratic party has never been terribly progressive , and is actually quite centrist in orientation. This may be either the cause or the result of the fact that the party has supermajorities in both legislatures and the governorship.

            Newsom kind of epitomizes the whole thing. Eating with cronies at the French Laundry, repeatedly caught without a mask, and studiously backing away from single-payer after running on it.

            We have a ton of Blue Dogs who are helping ruin the state for the rest of us.

              1. Anthony G Stegman

                You are spot on. There are no progressives in California. Only limousine liberals who are as phony as a three dollar bill.

      1. marym

        A really small number of people in Congress aren’t going to bring about fundamental change within a corrupt party and institution. If they, or any of us, still think people within the system can be a part of a movement for change, there has to be a movement.

        AOC, Omar, Sanders and a few others have tried to work inside and also do a lot to provide support for work being done outside. Working inside requires some degree of playing the game; and inside and outside both present the possibility of getting coopted or subverted.

        Both paths require vigilance, so yay for the wsws in making their critiques. That was depressing to read.

        But both paths also require participation, support, and solidarity – that’s on all of us. Not to support AOC if she’s given up, but to have a clear idea of what we can expect from people inside the system, or what we should to support them so they don’t give up.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          AOC, Bernie, et al need to say screw getting anything done in Congress and USE EVERY BIT OF ENERGY CAMPAIGNING ALL OVER THE USA GETTING PEOPLE LIKE THEM ELECTED!!!!!

          that’s it. Win. Campaign. Others Win. Ad Nauseam.

          1. Anthony G Stegman

            AOC, Bernie, etc…can Manchin the corporate agenda, but the don’t because they are weak. Pushovers. Don’t forget that Sanders endorsed Hillary in 2016, despite Hillary throwing him under the bus. AOC has also been tossed aside by Pelosi, yet AOC continues to defend Pelosi. It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.

            1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

              Oh yeah. The first 40 something pages of his book are about how much he tried to help Killary after he endorsed her. I can’t remember the name, but after 2016. Was it “Our Revolution?”

      2. orlbucfan

        I don’t think so. She almost quit after her first term cos of all the death threats and god knows what else thrown her way. I don’t know where you live, but I sure wish I had something close to her to vote for in our closed primary. All we get around here is something approaching cockroaches.

      1. Bart Hansen

        Didn’t the 9-11 survivors have kenneth Feinberg get them over seven billions?

        How many survivors could there be?

        And why are we starving the children in Afghanistan?

        It’s good to be able to plunder!

    1. mrsyk

      “You read this article and you can see that AOC is well on track to be the Party’s Nancy Pelosi of the 2040s.”
      I have to respectfully disagree. She has political skills, she has little to gain by attacking Biden, Pelosi and Team Blue, and she has an impressive record of delivering to her district. Put yourself in her shoes and consider the question “How can I be effective for my constituents?”. Have a look.

    2. Darthbobber

      Except that in the actual interview, she doesn’t actually defend Biden and Pelosi. And describes business as usual in the Congress as a shit show and daily scandalizing.

    3. lance ringquist

      i would distance myself as far far away from nafta billy clintons and empty suit obamas disastrous policies, and their enablers, pelosi and nafta joe biden.

      if you are left, center, right in the nafta democrat party, 2022 could be a bloodbath where the voters do not care about anything, except if it has a D in front of the name.

  5. Wukchumni

    Goooooooood Mooooorning Fiatnam!

    It’s 0500 hours. From the delta factor of reserve banking, to the DMZ (demonetized zone) of crypto, back to Bitcoin all in one byte. Today’s forecast calls for a hundred percent chance of clout crowding the market in the cloud, not that any of it exists except in fertile mind fields we’ve carefully laid utilizing furrowed brows pecking away furiously.

    Here’s a song coming your way right now. “Nowhere To Run To” by Martha and the Vandellas. Yes! Hey, you know what I mean! Too much?

      1. juanholio

        They will work with an intermediary who will convert the crypto into real dollars to settle the tax bill for the tax payer. So exactly the same as selling your crypto and paying the tax in dollars.

        Why anyone would voluntarily give the taxman their wallet id is another matter.

        In other news, I am looking forward to the day when the Polis, Cruz and Lumis etc get their anonymous bribe taking wallets exposed.

  6. KD

    “Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warns there’s ‘a very real risk’ the US won’t be a democracy in 10 years.”

    In what way are we a democracy now? Orangeman bad, and all that, but you have a political campaign who hacked their political opponent, even when seated as President, and made up a story of Russian interference whole cloth to de-legitimize democratic election results, with the full cooperation of the media and the national intelligence services. Where is the democracy in any of that? You can compile a similar list on the GOP, they are not the good guys. At best its managed authoritarianism in drag, and strikers in the future can expect to be rounded up en masse by pleasant-looking robocops modelled on Mickey Mouse with rainbow flags on their batons. “Kindness is everything”

    1. Samuel Conner

      Perhaps the intended meaning of that statement was “there’s a real risk that, 10 years from now, US will not have changed from what it now is into a democracy.”

      Put that way, she’s being very unstated. I’d say the probability is closer to 100% but, of course, ‘predictions are difficult, especially about the future.’

      1. griffen

        My eyes are burning from the images. Just ain’t for me. I see a future broadcasting the real life Hunger Games.

      2. Soredemos

        Congratulations, propagandists. You destroyed a 15 year old and made her publicly breakdown. Well done.

        Somehow amidst all the warmongering, this particular subplot has been especially ugly.

        1. jonhoops

          Actually I think she did a solid for her team-mates and threw her program, just enough to end out of the medals, knowing that the other two Russians would likely top the podium.

          Reading up on the Rodchenkov affair leads me to believe that she will eventually be cleared of these drug charges just like pretty much all the Russians in that sordid affair eventually were cleared.

          Sadly Kamila is a victim of the Neo Cold War and the US weaponization of WADA. Of course the US moralizing is such BS anyways considering they produced the king of all doping Lance Armstrong.

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      I wonder if she realizes her friends Pelosi and Biden, who she’s urging us in the New Yorker not to give up “hope” on, are doing all they can to insure nothing will fundamentally change and we will continue on that path. (Though my first thought, like yours, was “What does she think we are now?”)

  7. griffen

    EV charging stations article. I suppose the average maximum driving distance on most existing EV models today, US only is about 250 to 300 miles (perhaps more, but that appears rare). Okay, where I currently live that covers the distance from here (upstate SC) to Raleigh, NC. More or less, one way driving and my EV is being pushed to go any further.

    That analogy is simple enough, but what happens if one state puts a higher priority on securing right of way or small real estate bits to install / maintain a grid of these charging stations? I can imagine South Carolina being less aggressive in the pursuit of EV stations, compared to say Virginia or North Carolina. The corridor of I-85 north of Charlotte is fairly busy with constant traffic and long haulers.

    I defer to real life engineers, but the EV infrastructure for high-delivery charging is going to take decades. I have my doubts just how widespread this becomes before 2035.

    1. dougie

      Which (to me) begs the point of whether or not the EV technology will be obsolete by the time the infrastructure to support it is robust enough to make a difference?

      1. Questa Nota

        But, but, investors need have earned the chance to extract their loot and make selective donations to the correct politicians for the next bezzle. And those annuities ain’t gonna fund themselves without more cool new programs using your tax dollars. /s

        1. griffen

          As it gets frequent emphasis here, rule 1 is because markets. It isn’t enough that the extraction of economic rents on every last function and moving piece of our wondrous economy, in addition there must be a private corporation who can do this specific thing so much better.

          I’m going long cynicism today, but that’s just me. One example, portions of rural America are still waiting on broadband high speed internet, unless I am wrong.

          1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

            I live in Washington State’s rural 4th Congressional district, one of the most dependably Republican districts in the nation, and I recently got fiber to my house.

          2. griffen

            Different portions of the country may well indeed reflect varied experiences, as to broadband expansion to draw one example. Just for sake of clarification, the first congressional district in North Carolina is my “native born to” location. It is a rural county, some industrial but not nearly what was there 30 to 40 years back. Lots of tobacco, cotton, peanut and so forth in agriculture. Two hours from Raleigh growing up may as well have been two days journey.


            Proximity to bigger cities can help, places like Greenville/East Carolina Univ. or Rocky Mount or Wilson, so maybe these changes occurred but the point is that technical and technological advances are not well-distributed to rural corners.

    2. EricT

      If they can build a rest stop, they can build EV charging infrastructure. I think the hold up is like every other new thing that comes around. Who is going to profit and how to profit?

      1. Louis Fyne

        Every EV that charges during the awake hours (6a to 11p) will make electricity more expensive for everyone else. As the electricity grid will need to be built out to make room for all the awake-hours usage.

        The easiest solution is having more EVs charged during the graveyard hours when there is slack capacity. But given how my local 24-hours Tesla Supercharger is empty past 8p, don’t hold your breath

    3. orlbucfan

      Hubster and I have been following the auto tech stuff for decades. All our ICE vehicles get extremely good gas mileage. We want to buy an EV. However, between the headaches over the recharging stations and the shortage of chips (?) , we haven’t done it. We’re retired now, but still hoping that the market will expand.

  8. FreeMarketApologist

    RE: NYC Restaurants Brace for a Potential Avocado Shortage

    Thank the deity for small favors. I’m not a big fan of avocado, and it has become the preferred bulk filler object in so many offerings at the grab-n-go salad and sandwich places in NYC (chains like Pret, but also local delis). The variety of offerings available are fewer than pre-pandemic, and the surviving choices seem to all contain avocado (and most of it fairly nasty).

    Surprising to me, as avocado used to be considered a luxury item, available at a limited time, and expensive. Now it’s a cheap way to add weight and signal some level of… prestige? quality? ??

    1. nycTerrierist

      counterpoint (with respect):

      as a healthy plant-based fat, avocados are a staple for vegetarians

      like moi

      1. Pat

        What Yves said.

        And they are healthy. Avocados have been one of the few food trends that lived up to the claims.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I had a pub buddy in Australia (Oz has great pubs and women are welcome at many; I adopted one near my apt) who unlike just about everyone in Oz who looked 5 years older than their age (due mainly to sun damage but some to their love of the more than occasional tipple) at 62 looked 5 years younger. And he’d spend his early years in the merchant navy, so it wasn’t as if he hadn’t gotten a lot of sun.

          He attributed his youthful look to an avocado a day. And they were consistently good and not pricey.

      2. Pate

        Mixing a bit of Mr. Wickles with avocado may not qualify as “well prepared” but it certainly is tasty!

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          In the Philippines it’s common for people to make a dessert of avocado, milk, sugar and ice.

    2. timbers

      I eat about 3 to 4 avocados a week. I put half an avocado in my lunch of organic black beans and cheese. Not happy about embargo.

    3. Hutch

      Great comment! Another reason to avoid monoculture avocados is the fact that in Mexico where they are grown, farmers are clearing acres of Monarch butterfly habitat to grow more and more. Not good.

    4. B flat

      In California avocadoes are dirt cheap; the embargo will drive up prices. Stealth U.S. agg price support IMO.

      1. juno mas

        Umm, $2.50 each is not cheap. The Mexican avocado embargo could drive price higher. I live in the birthplace of the modern avocado; Santa Barbara, CA

        1. Michael Ismoe

          We were selling them for 38 cents apiece here in southern Arizona just before the embargo. I still won’t touch one.

    5. Milton

      I’m the proud owner of 2 avocado trees (Fuerte and Lamb Haas) and haven’t needed to buy a single one in over 5 years–since the smaller Lamb variety matured to fruit-bearing age. In regular times, I was pretty stingy with the handing out of fruit to family and friends and would instead give away Costco avocados because of my attachment to the trees and how they are representative of the care and effort I put into them. Plus, they are oh so tasty–much better than store produce. Today, I can’t imagine giving up any of my green beauties in these times of avocado politics.

      1. Wukchumni

        Growing up where the Haas variety originated from, human beans were greatly outnumbered by avocado trees in my neck of the woods.

        We’d have ‘cado wars’ where the ground rules stipulated that the weaponry be extra squishy as in overripe.

        My dad loved fruit trees and avocados in particular, we had 2 large trees that paid off like compromised slot machines…

        He had schemes that my mom was good to shoot down, and one thing he wanted to do was move down to Fallbrook and grow avocados on a commercial scale, as it had proven to an exceptional area to grow them.

        When Nafta came along, the Cali growers in Tijuana-adjacent of avocados were largely forced out by their water being priced beyond a profit, and then replaced by stucco.

        1. Milton

          Funny, I grew up in the Bay Area 60s/70s and didn’t have my first avocado until around ’77 when I became friends with an LA expat. Thought it was disgusting but was eventually won over when I became more ena,ored with Mexican foods from a local taco shop in downtown San Jose by the university.

        1. Stillfeelinthebern

          Also extremely jealous of your trees. It’s there anything that doesn’t taste better when picked ripe right off the tree/bush/plant? I’m sure there is an exception. But having fresh grown food is the best.

          I dream of traveling the world to eat local foods.

          BTW, the best fish I ever ate was in the Boundary Waters. Northern Pike, caught and in the pan in under 2 hrs. Have never matched that flavor.

          1. Paleobotanist

            Medlars and mountain ash (rowan) berries need to rot and freeze to be edible….just saying….

            1. Stillfeelinthebern

              Thank you! Did not know your could eat mountain ash berries and had never heard of medlars.

      2. Big River Bandido

        May I ask what kind of climate or what region you’re in? I imagine avocados won’t grow in temperate zones…but if they do I’d be willing to give it a try!

        1. Milton

          San Diego. In our area, we have a bit of an issue with salt air clay soils but treat 3 or 4 times a year remedies that. The ideal climate in the county is in the wamer areas inland.

      3. jr

        Roiling with jealousy here. I have grown avocado trees indoors for decoration; mine was 7’ with 2’ leaves….

    6. curlydan

      As a frugal person, I can tell you at least in flyover country that avocados are not cheap lately. Around Super Bowl time in past years, avocados could be purchased at Aldi for $0.25 to $0.33 each. You could play baseball with them at the time of purchase, but in a week they were ripe and ready.

      This year–nothing less than $0.69 each. Lastly, go to Chipotle to see how avocados pump up the bottom line. A side of guac on your burrito (aka a scoop)–that will be $2.50.

      1. juno mas

        Avocado doesn’t ripen like an apple. Avocados are picked at a particular oil (fat) content (18%) and shipped to grocers in a firm state for shipping purposes. Avocados soften over time if not refrigerated. This timing of pick-to-ship-to-grocer often creates display for sale of avo’s that are hard, firm, less than firm, and then squishy. In any case, the avocado stays at 18% oil content.

        The longer the Avo’s stay on display the squishier they get. That’s why the green grocer will drop the price to get them out the door and into your belly.

        You may have noticed that the squishier Avo’s have darker elements spread across the inner fruit. That is bacteria growth caused by air penetration of the acocados skin (rough for the Haas, smooth for the Fuerte). That penetration usually starts at the stem (top) of the fruit and moves inward. (No it won’t kill you; but a squishy avocado tends to taste different than a ‘firm’ one.)

        Lastly, the Fuerte and Haas avocados have slightly different “picking time” for the growing year (usually January/February is a low supply time for US grown crop) and can cause availability and price fluctuations, locally)

        PS. I eat two avocados a day for the last 10 years. I don’t look a day over 60 ;)

    7. K.k

      They better not mess with my avocados. This will be the last straw. I will straight up start the the ALF., Avocado Liberation Front. It will be an International struggle. Other food groups will be welcome.

  9. The Rev Kev

    For those not familiar with the animal in the bonus Antidote du jour, it is a playtypus. One of the most entertaining stories about this fabled creature was recognizing that it actually existed. The first colonies sent back descriptions & sketches of them back to London but the scientists there wrote back that they must be mistaken. There is no such animal. Eventually a skin and its bill was shipped back to London who was so convinced that it was an elaborate prank, that they used scissors to try to find the stitches that held it together. Eventually they were forced to admit that, yes, it was real, but just what the hell was it and how to place it in the animal world-

    1. Parker Dooley

      My wife’s totem animal. (long story).

      I remember going to the Bronx zoo in the late 40’s when they first acquired one. Never got to see it (probably hiding in its mud bank). So this is my first (virtual) sighting. Thanks, Murray Smythe.

    2. griffen

      That is a most peculiar animal and a remarkable telling of the scientific approach in the late 18th and 19th century. Lots to unpack when information and data was not at their fingertips! Kinda reminds me at times of how to classify musical acts and musical tastes. By example, Metallica is notorious and well known for their longer tracks and often violent sounding guitar playing by a virtuoso like Kirk.

      But combine that particular band sound, akin to a wall of noise, with the San Francisco symphony on the double CD offering by Metallica “S&M” and one gets an excellent piece of artistic work.

        1. griffen

          If you combine it with their cover of “Whiskey in the Jar” it is a great two-fer from the band!!

          Although for next month on St. Patrick’s Day, the No Leaf Clover may not be in keeping with the luck of the Irish theme.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Russian Claims of Ukraine Pullback Are False, U.S. Charges”

    Russia could pull their forces back to Vladivostock and still Washington would not be happy. I think that at this point, the Russians are getting bored about the whole hysteria thing in the west. When western media under the guidance of Washington assured people that the Russians were going to attack at 3 am on Wednesday, a Kremlin spokesman told the Ukrainians not to forget to set an alarm clock so that they did not miss anything. And when challenged by these accusations in the EU, Russia’s envoy to the EU told them “Wars in Europe rarely start on a Wednesday.” Somebody noted that most countries in the world are convinced that Russia is about to attack the Ukraine except for two countries – Russia & the Ukraine.

    I have to admit to suffering a bit of cognitive dissonance with this whole situation. Every day the TV and the newspapers talk about the war that is about to break out and this campaign is going on throughout the western world. Those reporters and publications that do not support this narrative are being accused of being traitors or something. But it takes very little research to find information that this is one of the world’s biggest gaslighting operation – maybe bigger than the Iraq-has-WMD campaign – in that it is not real. And for that you only need a Mark 1 Brain. And those pushing for war should remember that it is not going to come down to grannies with AK-47s shooting at Russkies – with a line of Azov troops behind them with guns to make sure that they don’t retreat. Modern war is more like what happened to that Ukrainian Brigade at Zelenopillya back in 2014- (3:34 mins)

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The Millerites in DC now swear 2/20 is the big day. They clearly didn’t take daylight savings time into account.

      1. Tom Stone

        Or maybe on 4/20?
        Thinking about the drug reactions I have witnessed this kind of hysteria is more likely due to snorting coke and huffing glue at the same time.

    2. Darthbobber

      In this case our government and media are deliberately misrepresenting the Russian pullback statement in order to call them liars. All Russia announced was that some troops in Crimea returned to their bases after one specific exercise. At no point did they claim to be engaged in any more general pullback.

      Though amidst the general wall of BS this one is relatively minor, it offers another example, if any were needed, of how “our” side conducts itself.

  11. jsn

    In a fit of pique I sent Martin Wolf a note suggesting it was ironic in an article titled “The looming threat of long financial Covid” there was no mention of Long Covid. I attached these links I’d collected here: &

    I got a thoughtful reply including the following:

    “The implications you discuss are only to a modest degree financial. They are even more economic and social. I plan to address them in future. But I have not yet seen any good analysis of the impact of Long Covid on the labour force. If you can refer me to good material I would appreciate it.”

    Does anyone have good links on Long Covid in the workforce? This strikes me as a great opportunity to put our fingers on the balance of a future column.

      1. jsn

        ‘Tis one of the two I’ve already sent him, thank you though.

        He found them interesting enough to solicit more!

      2. JeffC

        I shared that link out as well and immediately was asked a question that I have myself: Who is Don Ford? I can’t find anything on him. Anyone?

    1. OliverN

      The Don Ford substack is a funny one because the whole tone of the article makes me sceptical of the claim (it feels like one of those long articles with funny shaped paragraphs and “…”‘s that eventually want to sell me on something special that no one except him and me know about). The main reason I keep reading it is because I trust NC, and NC vetted the article as being consistent with what they know of long Covid to date.

      That said…. that makes it hard for me to share the article, because my trust in the article is based on NC vetting, which I can’t really convey to a third party outside of “Just kind of start reading NC from 2016 up to today, they’re pretty good” (although it would be funny to go through the literal day-to-day Trump era drama slog with the knowledge from today of exactly what mattered and what didn’t)

  12. Dave in Austin

    This is wonderful! The provocation-of-the-day club. The Ruskies shell a kindergarten.\

    The Ukrainians have just accused the separatists in the east of shelling villages near the cease fire line and hitting a kindergarten. The same article string in the Guardian says this must be the Russians because they control the heavy artillery, which is true. In reality all we know for sure is that there was an exchange of artillery fire. Who started it is unclear because there are no independent outside reporters nearby to see which side went “boom” first. Is this because they are being kept out? Or is the outside press too cheap and too lazy to hire the usual crowd of half-crazy Brits, Aussies and Canadians who generally do the job?

    But the funniest part of the article are the two pictures of the “shelling of the kindergarten”. The first shot shows a neat hole in the outside of the building, a circle about 3 feet across. No burn marks, nothing. The second picture is from the inside of the kindergarten showing the rubble and a few kids’ toys.

    First problem; no explosion. The missile or shell was well mannered. It didn’t explode and blow out the wall or damage the carpet on the floor of the kids’ room. So maybe it was a dud, such things happen. But this was a dud straight out of a Catholic miracle; an Immaculate Deception. No scrap metal on the outside; no pulverized brick. And on the inside (picture two) it was so well-mannered that it left no sign of its corporeal existence; no metal tubes, no rocket motor, no shell fragments or powder from the dud… nothing. It didn’t even mess up the carpet or damage the toys. But there is one soccer ball artfully set up on the rubble near the hole. And if it had been a solid-shot, flat trajectory, tank round it would have punched a neat little hole in the outside wall, in which case it was not artillery at all.

    This is not only a fake, it is a poor-quality fake. I give a 4.0 for style points and a 7.0 for potential usefulness. And the “Legitimate press” should either hire a pair of Aussies, one to report from each side of the cease fire line, or tell us which side is saying “Sorry, we’d really love to allow in reporters, but, you know… to dangerous”.

    Or maybe the new Russian KSM (Kindergarten Seeking Missile) was totally vaporized by an Israeli-supplied Vapor Dome battery. In any case, no kids were killed, which puts this at least one step above most provocations.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you.

        I hope the team of Egyptian actors and crew hired by Bell Pottinger for the Syrian films has warm clothing and brought its own caterer.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Exactly the same thing happened in Syria a coupla years ago. The jihadists claimed that the Syrian Army shelled a hospital. But photographs taken showed that here too was a polite shell that did not leave any destruction behind. The Ukrainians shell the Donbass so often that recently a Ukrainian reporter got himself into hot water. While doing a story at the front lines, the Ukrainian Army let him shoot an artillery piece at the Donbass which he made part of the story. And it turned out the artillery piece that he fired off is supposed to be banned at the front line in any case. Oops-

      1. Questa Nota

        Between false flags, gaslighting and so many variants, all features to be exploited by the creative journalist stenographer, how does the average unaware person, or even one a few standard deviations from the mean, stand a chance?

        Here, watch another television spectacle, get frantic after adrenaline rushes and buy more stuff.

      2. jr

        Perhaps they could have a “journalist” kick the shell to make sure it’s real, like that ding-bat a few years back who was sniffing NBC equipment to assure us it was saturated with a deadly chemical.

    2. Cat Burglar

      The ominous pontoon bridge in Belarus “less than four miles” north of the Ukrainian border didn’t have a long shelf life as threat propaganda either. Even The Guardian sounded dubious about this one, though they still relied on their anonymous authoritative source and a satellite photo from a contractor with a name that you know means all their analysts have cool clothes.

      You had to wonder why an invasion force moving south through an area with many highways would build a bridge across the Pripyat River where it flows north to south through the Palieski State Radioecological Preserve (reviewer Bruce Banner said of the Preserve, “A hidden gem, timeless. Feel the power of enriched natural beauty, recharge inner batteries. Stay for a while and it feels like years of your life had passed…”).

      Sunshine units did not preserve the story: this morning, accounts had moved the bridge to a location 8km north of the border, just outside the Preserve. And The Guardian was informed that by Wednesday, the bridge had been removed! My spidey-sense suggests that is pretty strange behavior for an army getting ready to invade.

    3. Dave in Austin

      Just a quick update. I just got back from the country and the Guardian had posted a short video of the school:

      Two things I can add to my 9:43 am post.

      First, this couldn’t have been a non-explosive, flat-trajectory tank round with no explosive charge, a possible explanation for no burst. The wildly swinging camera shows the wall opposite the hole and there is no “exit wound” for a tank round. Another possibility that occurred to me while I was out in the country was that a very high-angle mortar round might have hit the wall, broken it open, glanced off, then hit the ground without exploding. The video shows the outside patio of the school and there is no impact mark like an undetonated mortar round would make.

      Second, the soccer ball I said was balanced precariously on some rubble was even more ridiculous than I at first though. From the still picture I was working from this morning, there was a very, very small possibility that it had rolled off the ball rack by the wall and ended up on the rubble by the wall; very unlikely but not inconceivable. But the video shows it is perched on a pile of rubble away from the wall. So it would have had to roll out of the ball rack and miraculously hop higher than the fall for the ball rack while moving out two feet before making it to the top of the rubble. Totally not possible. Check out the video for yourself.

      The more I look at it the more I’ve also concluded this was very unlikely to have been orchestrated by the Ukrainian government. It is too crude and too poorly done to be the work of a professional intel or military organization.

      1. Cat Burglar

        From the still photos, and the video, it appears that none of the windows in the room are broken.

    4. ArvidMartensen

      Could this whole thing also be a cover for some operation they have in Syria, with Israeli help?
      News Flash.
      “Pockets of the extremist right wing US huckster convoy convened in the Ukraine, Europe, the US and Middle East today. The Dumbocrats spent the day evading international and local authorities, irresponsibly firing off rockets, leaving their trash for authorities to clean up, and chanting slogans –
      What do we want? Stop Russian oil pipelines!
      When do we want it? Now! “

      1. John

        As Kurt Vonnegut put it, “Hi Ho and so it goes.”

        Tony Blinken was an embarrassment today … but then what’s new?

  13. Robin Kash

    Here more grist for your economists’ mill.
    “Umm, can we stop calling it inflation and call it what it really is?
    Price gouging and corporate greed.”
    I shared this on Facebook. Got a “fact checker” message that AFP says it’s “false.” I reckon AFP=Americans for Progress.

    1. OliverN

      The fact checking thing started as a defensible way to validate actual fake articles (in theory at least), but in such a short amount of time it transformed into a way for corporations to enforce their messages (in such a way where their message is considered more authoritive than yours, because you’ve been “fact-checked”. Given the extraordinary amount of times that economists have been wrong (and all the economics jokes that come with that), is it even appropriate to fact check a post on economics?

      What next, if I make a post saying that Trickle-Down-Economics is a stupid waste of money, I’ll get fact-checked by a pro-Trickle-Down-Economics source?

  14. doug

    From the AP headline:
    Estimated 73% of US now immune to omicron: Is that enough?

    “Immune” is doing a lot of work in the headline..

    1. antidlc

      “Millions of individual Americans’ immune systems now recognize the virus and are primed to fight it off if they encounter omicron, or even another variant. “

      1. newcatty

        Individualism is a key component of exceptional US values and our proud democratic way of life. Hail millions of “individual immune systems” ready to fight it off if they encounter omicron, or even another variant. Its the American way. Always fighting a war on something or somewhere. Maybe those individual immune systems will be recruited as “soldiers” in the CDC and NHS in the war against the Virus. Like has been mentioned here before, “We are on our own”. At least so far.

    2. lordkoos

      Wow. Lately the propaganda has been at insufferable levels, whether it’s this (sanctioned) dangerous public health misinformation, the incessant cheerleading for war with Russia etc.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Study finds elk are too smart for their own good, and the good of Utah”

    Well there is a solution but Utah would be loath to do it – introduce a wolf pack. Single wolves Utah will tolerate but more than that and they start to freak out. A pity though as a wolf pack would soon bring that herd under control and crossing a border or property line will not save them. Some people do not like the implication of wolves would be doing but this is part of natures checks and balances and the wolves would sort out the deer as well- (2:31 mins) – brutality alert

    1. jsn

      Apparently coyotes and wolves have cross bread hear in northern Connecticut / western Massachusetts, called coywolves .

      Deer used to be a major problem here, not so much in recent years.

      1. divadab

        This is true all over northern Appalachia, into Quebec. Coydogs, coywolves – I was stream fishing one fine day and climbed up out of the stream into a recently-logged area where I found myself face-to-face with a group of seven coydogs that had been tracking me. Pretty scary – they are bigger than coyotes, and have considerable color variation (which yo would expect for dog-coyote-wolf hybrids). They melted back into the bush but the lead dog kept a direct gaze on me the whole time and I was ready to climb the nearest tree! If I had been a deer it would have been toast!

    2. Janie

      We don’t learn from history. One hhundred years ago on the Kaibab plateau in Arizona, predators were exterminated so the deer could thrive for the tourists in the new Grand Canyon Park. Of course the deer proliferated and then starved

  16. Noone from Nowheresville

    Instagram: Missing Context.

    Isn’t this same technique Matt Taibbi described in his article about The British Medical Journal, Paul Thacker, and Facebook’s fact-checkers? Could we have some missing context tags automatically placed on any PR developed by companies like FTI Consulting? I know bad humor attempt.

    Actually what’s more interesting is what gets tagged with missing context and by which “fact-checkers.” Should the fact-checking companies and any conflict of interests be listed? Will these new fact-checkers ever be forced to show their work-product used to issue the missing context tag. Or perhaps a link to show exactly what they feel the missing context is? Showing the missing context could be a hoot, just in general.

    1. ArvidMartensen

      The MSM are just being blatant. They must feel untouchable. Maybe that’s what having a steady stream of donations from mega charities does for you.
      The US oligarchs are just using the world as a plaything now. One of them said a decade ago that we should all just get over privacy. But apparently this doesn’t apply to them?
      It’s past time to have a register of interests for all those who run major corporations and political parties.
      eg How many shares they own and in what. So we can see when they are running narratives that are making them money.
      Start with the world’s richest men who control media, agriculture, transnational NGOs, vaccine pharma companies etc.
      We know who they are.

    2. Darthbobber

      Memes almost by definition are missing context.
      But it only seems to matter for a particular subset.

  17. Mikel

    ‘Crypto Ruined My Life’: The Mental Health Crisis Hitting Bitcoin Investors “Vice

    “Many experts have touted crypto as a democratised form of Wall Street investing…”

    “Democratized” – in this context, it’s a multi-level marketing scheme buzzword.
    The boiler room has moved to online and fakes a sense of community to reel in suckers.

  18. antidlc

    Children <5 will be at greater risk now that restrictions are being lifted & they still can’t vaccinated. Parents who want to avoid #covid19 need to keep taking precautions. This is unfair—but it’s part of our necessary transition from government mandate to individual decisions.

    OUR necessary transition? I don’t consider it necessary.

    Someone PLEASE wake me up from this nightmare. PLEASE?????

    1. newcatty

      The worst phrase in that twit is : “This is unfair”. Protecting children is just such a burden and hassle for parents. Just ugh and in a cynical mood.

  19. Gumnut

    Regarding ‘dis/mis/mal-information’ warnings on not just covid:

    I watched this clip from a German blog , where he talks about how at current consumption German gas reserves will hit zero in 50-60 days if NS2 is not turned on. Main culprit he points out that turning off the nuclear & black coal plants led to a predictable shift/increase in gas for electricity production,i.e. what are they thinking to risk NS2 if Germans shall not freeze come Easter…so far, nothing new, but where I nearly spewed my coffee out, was when he mentioned that he got a fact-check ‘incorrect’ label for saying the same in text on facebook. Not on fb, so can’t verify, but didn’t seem like the channel/type to make that up.

    My brain conditioned as ad-blocker has gotten used to the permanent covid banner on things, but if now everything that might cause civil unrest is ‘fact-checked’, demonitised, etc. into submission…help us gods.

  20. Blue Duck

    Re: retail sales

    CNN reported last week that Q4 2021 saw the biggest increase in credit card balances in the history of tracking credit card data So even if the retail surge is to be believed, it is being supported by 20% apr credit cards. Inflation is hitting hard, and the American consumer has not yet figured out that they need to change their consumption habits. Either they need to stop spending now, or they’re going to be in serious pain once those credit card payments get out of hand.

    1. Nikkikat

      Yeah, right, people on fixed incomes and working class are just a bunch of credit card grifters. Childish and too silly to adhere to budgets.

  21. Anthony K Wikrent

    When I click on the Joe Weisenthal tweet about corporate greed driving inflation, I get an error message from Twitter: “Something went wrong. Try reloading.” 11:13 am eastern time, I tried 5 times.

  22. Mikel

    So now I have to start screen shot saving documents in order to make sure I can have them for offline viewing.
    I HATE Adobe and all the sign in. It’s not everybody’s damn business what I’m looking at every minute of the day. Really it’s not…f’ers.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Is there a reason you must use an Adobe product? There are alternatives, such as FoxIt Reader.

  23. CanCyn

    How many words does it take to make a mistake? London Review of Books
    With regard to the plagiarism and online teaching technologies I want to say ‘Twas ever this, certainly has been for quite some time. Author more or less admits this. No doubt COVID has added to student stress. But the real stress is paying a lot of money and going into debt to obtain credentials that won’t do a lot of them much good. They don’t really want to be there and often cheat just to save time. As for how to teach online, well, you can’t engage students who don’t really care to be there regardless of the fancy features in your online learning platform. (The surveillance features of those platforms are a whole other story and a scary one at that.)
    Many academics are old enough to only know how to lecture and never learned pedagogy so creating compelling content and activities online is quite a challenge. There are entire teaching and learning centres created to support creation of engaging activities and learning experiences but faculty often see those departments as evil extensions of administration and want little to do with them. f2f lecturing is probably better for most than online watch/stop for activity/start again pseudo lectures but many students have been faking it to make it for a very long time. In the late 80s, I went to university (in my late 20s). I was serious about my studies and going to class. I was soon pegged as someone who had the notes and was asked many times for copies by those who did not care enough to go to class. I have a friend who made money in high school in the 70s selling copies of her notes to absentee classmates.
    Many things are worse about education at all levels for both staff and students, that I do not doubt, but disengaged students are not a new problem. This article sheds no new light IMO

    1. jr

      I’ve noted here my historian friend who has had to deal with it all, not least of which students who literally view their educations as this annoying process you have to complete so that your parents will buy you a car.

  24. MT_Wild

    Tick disease – Scary stuff. It seems like we really do not have a grasp on the number of tickborn viruses out there, their geographic distribution, and how this will all change over time. They all also seem to linger, have undistinguishable symptoms, and the potential for severe outcomes if left untreated.

    I worked deer removals for an airport in Mississippi a decade ago and we ended up taking blood samples from the deer there for tick-borne disease surveillance. Was not part of any formal disease surveillance work, we just found out there was a researcher at the vet school who had an interest and could run the samples. Ended up that something on the order of 90% of the deer we took off the airport had antibodies for ehrlichiosis. That led us to set out some tick traps, and they showed an incredibly high percentage of ticks were carrying the virus.

    I was fairly concerned since I was tramping around this airport getting covered in ticks each day despite DEET on myself and nastier chemicals on my clothes. Just reduced their number by an order of magnitude. My Dr. had never even heard of the virus, only Lyme disease, which was something that “only happened up north, not around here”.

  25. Charlie Sheldon

    Re: Note about building design forgetting aerosol transmission: My guess here is that we are experiencing the dawning awareness that everything developed in the 1970s-2000s regarding school, office building and hospital construction was primarily driven by the mantra that, to save energy costs, buildings had to be tight. This meant that starting in the mid-70s everything was built with new materials, vapor barriers, etc that totally enclosed buildings (to save energy loss) and which then as a result created airtight cubes that did two things (at least): One, guaranteed that air circulation would be minimal; and, two, created rot sandwiches in all the ceilings and walls which are now, 20 to 50 years later, emerging. In fact I know of at least two companies out here in Puget Sound which are doing very very well rebuilding these rot sandwiches. So, all of this to say, the energy crisis panic from the 1970s changed building methods such that an unintended consequence – no way to clear airborne transmission – has emerged with covid….

    1. lordkoos

      The Puget Sound region is damp, seems crazy that they would design buildings that way. Even the old leaky houses I used to rent in Seattle would sometime have mold issues.

    2. juno mas

      Commercial high-rise buildings of the era you describe have fixed windows to stop people from opening them (and jumping out?; and provide a durable, easier to clean surface). Large buildings have central heating/cooling systems that are thrown out of whack by random window openings. If the building has a triple net lease, introducing outside air can raise utility expense.

      Dependence on cheap energy was a mistake.

  26. jr

    Shocking development! Briahna Joy interviews a Colombia professor who has been investigating the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. Bottom line: 90M$ taken in, 60M$ unaccounted for….and accusations of racism/sexism for the researcher.

    1. cyclist

      There was a Finnish team that had developed a nasal vaccine that was ready for testing in early 2021. I seem to recall that they were hoping to start trials last spring but this was stalled due to lack of funding (!). Good to hear this type of vaccine is finally being promoted, but can’t believe it has taken so long. Here is a recent report about the Finns: .

    1. Michael Ismoe

      When they discontinue social security payments, we all will need full-time jobs. You know if Bezos is hiring 80 year old Amazon drivers?

      1. newcatty

        It all going to be fine. Start eating daily avocado, if not already doing so. When you look only 60, when chronologically 70-80, then you can find your spot in the part-time world of productive work. Of course exercise, eat healthy (along with the avocados), take your vitamins and keep “your mind active”. Oh, not physically able to be in the cult of youth worshipping? Its not their faults, bless their hearts, they have been conditioned to be in the cult. Of course, its great to be as healthy as one can. As more people age in this country, the divide and conquer strategy will become more stark between the able bodied and the ones who are not still on the slopes, taking trips, hiking and other adventures. My spouse just came home with two avacados from the grocer. $1.69 each. We eat them once or twice a week. Not too outrageous, yet, since one is a basis for a meal for two.

  27. Mikel

    Today’s grifter economy update – smaller potatoes than some others, but still in the game:

    “A Connecticut businessman has pleaded guilty to operating an unpatriotic Ponzi scheme that pocketed $900,000 from investors looking to buy a pro-veteran vodka company.

    Brian Hughes, 57, of Madison, Conn., admitted raising money to buy Salute American Vodka and then expand it, but using much of the money to pay his own credit card and tax bills.

    Hughes also admitted cheating investors by purportedly raising money on behalf of another liquor company to which he had no connection.

    In all, prosecutors say Hughes stole $889,000 from investors while also failing to pay almost $500,000 he would have owed in taxes. The fraud caused Salute to cease operations in 2019….”

  28. Mikel

    Grifter economy update #2:
    I’m not going to be able to keep up….it’s too crazy if you search “Ponzi convictions guilty”….

  29. Jason Boxman

    A New York City anime convention was not a superspreader event, a C.D.C. study finds.

    So the CDC messaging is truly muddled, then. Do they not read their own reports?

    But a new study released on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that a combination of good air filtration, widespread vaccination and indoor masking had in fact helped prevent the anime convention in November from becoming a superspreader event.

    The C.D.C. study also credited the convention hall for being outfitted with HEPA filters, which have been shown to efficiently remove coronavirus particles from the air.

    (bold mine)

  30. Jason Boxman

    So, completely off-topic, but wow, does it really cost this much for pizza at the mall now?

    But, Easton Mall’s dozen or so DC fast chargers are free. I’m not sure if a 20-something who spent his time charging window shopping at Zara and bought a 2-for-$10 Sbarro slice is exactly a huge return on their hundreds of thousands of dollar investments.

    (the bold is me)

    Because, wow.

    1. jr

      I’m sorry but at no point did your comment reference anything pizza related. Or, to put it succinctly:


      A little pizza-man’s trick:

      Next time you visit your pizza joint, try and see if you can visually compare a medium with a large pizza. If the medium is thicker, it’s because they are using medium doughballs to make large pies. That’s about a 30 % clawback from the customer. That, the “toe-nail clipping” style of pre-shredded mozzarella flavored cellulose, pepperoni colored gristle-disks, and grade Z tomatoes and you’ll be turning lead into gold minus the particle collider or consorting with demons.

  31. Dennis

    Regarding the Nature article on Pandemics and disability, it doesn’t mention Herpes Zoster but I had shingles a decade ago in my eye and have never recovered. And the symptoms have gotten worse affecting the whole side of my face now. It was caught late because it first developed under my hairline and I had suffered from headaches before, so I just figured it was a headache. Then it spread to my eye and nose.

    Had I caught it earlier and started antivirals at the start I likely would not have these horrible symptoms. Which is why it is maddening to me that we don’t treat Covid upon diagnosis but instead tell people to come back when they are even sicker.

  32. herman_sampson

    Re: “Democrats Helped Build The Social Safety Net. Why Are Many Now Against Expanding It? ”
    If only the Democrats (and not just Bernie Sanders, who I think said words of same effect) would repeatedly and loudly declare: “The reality is that fraud among social safety net beneficiaries is extremely rare, and much less costly to society than, say, tax evasion among the richest 1 percent.”
    But as others have said, they are just one branch of the two branch single party

  33. newcatty

    The stupid burns. Many old people are actually not physically, and/or mentally able to “try” a part-time job. Old people and teen agers. Heard that exploitive child labor is back in the U.S.A. Its good for their young adult development. The elderly and most of the kids are just useless in this country, unless “contributing to the economy”. This being said, most of us know older people who do enjoy work after retirement. Some teenagers are fortunate to work part-time at decent jobs. That is not what is the egregious spin on the story.

    1. orlbucfan

      The RWingers in the USA(!) and their moneybagger backers have been at war against SS, SSDI, Medicare, and Medicaid eversince those programs were enacted. They have been very successful in their chip-chip away programs. Plus, the dumbing down of the populace especially since ‘good’ ole Raygun-the-fascist-gun-in-the-West got elected in 11/80. This poor country is third world level now.

    1. John

      I think of the present day definition of inefficient as, “requires workers who are paid a living wage.”

  34. Maritimer

    Regarding the Science/Medicine section, what if much of the data in those studies is fraudulent? What is the analysis of any of those studies worth? Seems that the best approach would be to somehow determine the integrity of the scientists involved and then maybe analyse the study. In the case of Pfizer, AZ and JJ they already have substantial Rap Sheets.

    Demonstrating this dilemma, a whistleblower lawsuit was recently unsealed in the Federal Eastern District of Texas. Among the allegations:

    “Relator observed:
    • fabrication and falsification of blood draw information, vital signs, signatures and other
    essential clinical trial data;
    • enrollment and injection of ineligible clinical trial participants, including Ventavia
    employees’ family members;
    • failure to timely remove ineligible patients’ data from the trial;
    • failure to maintain temperature control for the vaccine at issue;
    • failure to monitor patients after injection as required by the trial protocol;
    • principal investigator oversight failures;
    • use of unqualified and untrained personnel as vaccinators and laboratory personnel;
    • failure to maintain the “blind” as required, which is essential to the credibility and validity
    of the observer-blinded clinical trial;
    • ethical violations, such as failure to secure informed consent and giving patients
    unapproved compensation;
    • improper injection of the vaccine (i.e., by over-diluting vaccine concentrate or using the
    wrong needle size);
    • failure to ensure that trial site staff were properly trained as required by good clinical
    • safety and confidentiality issues, including HIPAA violations; and
    • other violations of the clinical trial protocol, FDA regulations, and Federal Acquisition
    Regulations and their DoD supplements.”

    I have not seen any reference or link to this story in MSM. I did find it on one of the Canadian Truckers’ sites. Sure says a lot about the captured/servile media and their journalism degrees.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      We posted on this case. Problem is looks like only one bad clinical trail operator in the total Pfizer trial and not enough participants to invalidate results. You could throw them all out and it would not make a difference.

      Again, this was ONE subcontractor of quite a few.

  35. Tom Stone

    Calfornia has adopted the first “Endemic” policy in the Nation!
    It is doing so to encourage greater community wide immunity.

    There’s also an interesting column by Drew Magary in today’s SF Chronicle entitled
    “Biden is a lousy President”.
    Interesting because it IS in the SF Chronicle and because Magary has an exquisite sense for the boundaries of the Overton window.
    It is now OK to criticize JB if you stay within the frame, just don’t mention laptops,crack cocaine,or wonder who the “Big Guy” is out loud.
    Don’t mention the $600 Joe owes me, don’t mention the $15 minimum wage, don’t mention student loan forgiveness.
    And especially don’t mention the nearly 1MM dead from Covid, because markets.

    1. kareninca

      We’re screwed. This is just CNN, and it is a preprint, but it gives me a sickly feeling:

      “The BA.2 virus — a subvariant of the Omicron coronavirus variant — isn’t just spreading faster than its distant cousin, it may also cause more severe disease and appears capable of thwarting some of the key weapons we have against Covid-19, new research suggests.””New lab experiments from Japan show that BA.2 may have features that make it as capable of causing serious illness as older variants of Covid-19, including Delta.””The findings were posted Wednesday as a preprint study on the bioRxiv server, before peer review.””The new study found that BA.2 can copy itself in cells more quickly than BA.1, the original version of Omicron. It’s also more adept at causing cells to stick together. This allows the virus to create larger clumps of cells, called syncytia, than BA.1. That’s concerning because these clumps then become factories for churning out more copies of the virus. Delta was also good at creating syncytia, which is thought to be one reason it was so destructive to the lungs.”

  36. Deltron

    A new documentary was recently released on HBO, Carl Icahn: The Restless Billionaire. If the folks at Naked Capitalism happen to come across a sincere review, I’m interested in reading it.

  37. The Rev Kev

    “How many words does it take to make a mistake?”

    I have to confess that when I saw that title, I immediately thought of that age-old question ‘Do I look fat in this dress?’ with being able to answer only Yes or No. So, one word is all it takes to make a mistake.

    1. skippy

      Then you have indoctrination and a side of OCD that will make it the most diabolical saw movie experience ev’a

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