Links 2/20/2022

A Paper Archaeology: Piranesi’s Ruinous Fantasias The Public Domain Review

The Master of Petersburg and the Martyr of Style American Purpose

Metaphysical Animals review – four women who changed philosophy Guardian

‘Index, A History of the’ Review: List-O-Mania WSJ

Dot Dot Dot Dot Dot Dot​  The Drift


500-pound bear known as “Hank the Tank” breaks into another Lake Tahoe home: “Lost all fear of people CBS

Raccoon falls through ceiling into packed LSU dining hall AP

Jungholz: A ski town stuck in the wrong nation BBC

You Can Now Book a Ticket to Outer Space Afar

Bob Marley’s Exodus: An album that defined the 20th Century BBC

The Search Has Begun for an Antarctic Pioneer’s Lost Ship NYT

Storm Eunice, Packing High Winds, Hits Britain and Northern Europe The Weather Channel


The Pandemic Hit Asia’s Garment Workers Especially Hard Diplomat

Coronavirus: Hong Kong ramps up efforts with Beijing’s on-the-ground support to contain ballooning Covid-19 outbreak South China Morning Post

COVID digest: Hong Kong hospitals struggle with new cases Deutsche Welle


Bill Gates says there’s a better way to fight Covid, future pandemics Politico. Note the vaccine-centricity.


Canada’s protests settle down, but could echo in politics AP

Police advance on main demonstration on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Globe and Mail

Woke Watch

The CIA and the New Dialect of Power American Affairs

Erik Prince and an Army of Spies Keep Meddling in US Politics Jacobin

Climate Change

The great greenwashing scam: PR firms face reckoning after spinning for big oil Guardian

Class Warfare

Black Former Tesla Worker: Nickname for the Plant Was ‘The Slave Ship’ Capital & Main

NYC Landlords Almost Never Get Arrested for Illegal DIY Evictions The City

Democrats Are Ditching Class, and It’s Costing Them Working-Class Voters Jacobin

How big technology systems are slowing innovation MIT Technology Review

More than money: The cost of monopolies in America WBUR

Decriminalization Saves Lives: A Conversation with Travis Lupick LA Review of Books

Grocery delivery “dark stores” in Amsterdam have residents hopping mad Ars Technica

Sports Desk

MLB’s latest offer continues the trend of sacrificing the future of the sport for short-term profits Royals Review

Lockout lingers: MLB postpones early spring training games, underscores increasing risk to regular season St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Winter Olympics: Belgium win first gold for 74 years BBC

Internal emails reveal Alberta government’s unwillingness to talk about contaminated sites Narwhal

The Supremes

Amy Coney Barrett’s Long Game New Yorker

The Supreme Court is not being honest with you Vox (David L)

Refugee Watch

EU Border Officials Accused of Throwing Refugees into the Sea Der Spiegel

New Cold War

As Ukraine Escalation Peaks, What’s the Logic on Both Sides? Carnegie Moscow Center

An Unwinnable War in Ukraine has No Upside for Putin, But Threats have the West Lining up to Listen Counterpunch. Patrick Cockburn.

Ukraine: Russia plans biggest war in Europe since 1945 – Boris Johnson BBC

Harris, Blinken navigate Munich Security Conference as Europe holds its breath WaPo


The MEA’s Hyper-Sensitive Rebuttals to Foreign Criticism Hurt Its Own Credibility The Wire

Will India’s changing drone policy cripple the nascent industry? Scroll

India, Thailand Have Shared Cultures. Now, a Genetic Study Unravels a Timeline. The Wire

The Price of Modi’s Economic Incompetence Project Syndicate. Shashi Tharoor.

India: How farmers’ movement may shape Punjab’s political future Deutsche Welle

India’s anti-BJP groundswell Qantara

How India’s centralised bureaucracy undermines its federalism Scroll

Preparing for a global Bangladesh Dhaka Tribune


WSJ plays into Biden admin’s argument that West Africa is in US ‘backyard’ Responsible Statecraft

Nixon in China at 50 Project Syndicate


Germany sees ‘moment of truth’ for Iran nuclear talks Al Jazeera

House GOP opens a new shameful chapter in diplomatic sabotage Responsible Statecraft


The US Owes Afghanistan Reparations, Not Starvation Truthout

The Biden Administration Must Immediately Unfreeze Afghanistan’s Assets and End the Devastating Sanctions Counterpunch

L’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

Jeffrey Epstein’s pimp Jean-Luc Brunel dies in prison ‘suicide’: Frenchman who procured ‘a thousand women’ for pedophile financier and slept with Virginia Roberts ‘hangs himself’ – a week after Prince Andrew settlement Daily Mail

Queen’s Financial Support in Spotlight as Prince Andrew Settles Sex Abuse Case Bloomberg

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Juneau

    United Healthcare lowers reimbursements to 65 percent of medicare rate. Medicare rate used to be rock bottom acceptable and reasonable fee. There goes 10 percent of my gross income overnight. A larger percentage of net after overhead. We who take insurance are being punished one way, then self pay docs are getting punished by the No Surprises Act which mandates acceptance of insurance rate for OON fees without negotiation or contract in many instances. I could be charging a lot more given my location but don’t want to abandon my patients. More moral injury and inevitably people will blame the greedy doctors. This is especially bad for primary care where profit margins are miniscule. Thank you for posting this, I wasn’t aware. United/Oxford pts have been getting dumped from corporate practices, now I see why….

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Thanks are due to furzy, who sent along the link. I should have included a hat tip but got distracted as I was posting the link and neglected to do so. Thanks furzy!

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      United Healthcare sells Medicare Advantage. I noted that this letter specifically states the reimbursement rate for THOSE plans isn’t changing.

      Is this just a cynical, greedy ploy to not only screw caregivers, but also to push their elderly patients into buying more United Healthcare Insurance?

      1. Oh

        After they push them into buying United’s Medicare Disadvantage, they’ll cut the rate paid to doctors and reduce the participation to further screw the consumer.

        I understand that California does not allow Medicare Disavantage plans. What do they allow instead?

        1. howseth

          Medicare Advantage. I have one. Last 2 years. So far it has been OK. I pay extra $59 per month plus the Medicare premium.

    3. The Historian

      Covid 19 was obviously the best thing that ever happened to United Healthcare. Their stock price has increased substantially over the past 5 years. Looks like that just wasn’t enough though and they want MOAR!

      You can bet that they won’t be passing on any of that 35% ‘savings’ to the people they insure.

      So what will doctors do? Will they just pass on the costs to the patient or will they finally say enough is enough? I’m hoping for the latter.

      1. The Historian

        I’m thinking some analyst just discovered how much doctors make and thought: “Shouldn’t that be OUR money? Why should they have all that? After all they are just workers too”

        1. truly

          IIRC when “ObamaCare” was being passed Al Franken added an amendment that limited insurers profits to 20% of their incoming subscribers payments. So if subscribers paid in 100 million then the insurer had to pay out 80 million in actual health care costs. The 20% margin covered admin costs and profit. This was to prevent price gouging.
          This seemed like a good idea at the time. However, in hindsight I think it has backfired. If you are a business that is trying to increase its profit level you have really only a few options to do it. First, more customers/subscribers, second charge your customers more (cant because of the Franken rule), lower your overhead and provide same service more efficiently (doesn’t work either due to Franken rule).
          This counter intuitively means that insurance companies want all of us to be spending more at the docs office. If that group I mentioned earlier- 100 million of payments uses 80 million of care suddenly needed 160 million of care then they could charge them 200 million in payments and have 40 million of potential profit within that group.
          I talked to someone who works fairly high up at UHG (I live in Minneapolis, lots of UHG employees in my neighborhood) and explained this business principle to them. They said this could not be true and wondered why their company was always trying to minimize outlays then. I suggested it was a bad old habit that they had not yet shook off, but as soon as they realized that the more healthcare costs rose the more room they had for profit.
          This all seems counter intuitive, but can someone point out to me how I got this wrong? I think the Franken rule backfires on us. I think big healthcare soon realizes that they need to push costs up, not down. Any attempts to drive costs down is just window dressing. If we could actually cut healthcare costs in half then they would lose half of their profits.

            1. SoloBlue

              Thank you for that article, and for the furious heart rate I now have. I’ve long suspected that the cause of our health care economic catastrophe in the US is the insurance regime. I’ve often wondered what we would find out if added up all the salaries and wages paid to health care providers, staff and laborers, added in the capital expenditures and compared that with what insurance companies collect from the insured. We probably don’t want to know the difference. And it certainly doesn’t match any ‘value’ the insurance companies provide.

    4. Stillfeelinthebern

      Just wondering out loud here. In the past there was much attention to medical doctors rising malpractice insurance costs. The Covid vaccine makers managed to get exemption from legal responsibility for harms. It’s there any movement to extend this to medical practices?

      I’m not advocating for this, just wondering if the exemptions have had consequences that could ripple across the system.

  2. Michael Ismoe

    Raccoon falls through ceiling into packed LSU dining hall AP

    It’s probably just the way they served it that night. You know, Emril and his “BAAMMMM”

    1. griffen

      What’s the old line for prank answering a phone call…Road Kill Diner, You Kill Em We Grill Em….

      That is not the only story I’ve read recently about vermin / rodent / pests. A Family Dollar warehouse in West Memphis, Arkansas was shut down and fumigated. They definitely found more than one dead pest.

      1. Craig H.

        There is a great video from Toronto wildlife rescue documenting a call from a lady who had a raccoon fall through her ceiling. Twenty minutes but if you admire raccoons it is the perfect antidote to those stupid people who take videos of themselves feeding fat raccoons.

        TL/won’t watch: it was a mama raccoon and she had her nest up there. The four juvenile raccoons who did not fall from the ceiling were almost old enough to go out and invade the neighbors’ garbage cans and attics. I cannot imagine having five raccoons occupying your attic and you don’t know it but that appears to have been the case.

        1. HotFlash

          Well, the raccoons were here first, they just had a lousy immigration policy. Humans are desirous of having garbage removed, raccoons are desirous of removing garbage. Why should our two species be at war? As we (some of us) say here in Raccoon City.

        1. Oh

          My first reply was (less than sign)..drumroll please…(greater than sign) but it was interpreted as html code and didn’t show.

          BTW, was it a Lone Racoon?

      1. ambrit

        Oh G–! Then, for that Bandit, it really was Death Valley!
        (We live northeast of there and have raccoons come up on the proch and ‘share’ kibble with the cat. The two camps maintain a posture of MAD (Mutually Assured Dinner.)

        1. orlbucfan

          A potential problem with raccoons is rabies. If there is an outbreak of it in your area, be cautious around these critters.

          1. ambrit

            Got you. We have possums as well. And alligators, otters, beavers, white tailed deer, turkeys, quail, Barred Owls, Mississippi Kites, Red Tailed Hawks, and on and on. Still waiting on the iguanas.

  3. Michael Ismoe

    Harris, Blinken navigate Munich Security Conference as Europe holds its breath WaPo

    “Harris is in Munich to provide leadership and inspiration …”

    Well who’s in charge of morale? and fighting Havana Syndrome? Has she considered drafting every Ukrainian truant and impressing him into the Army? She’s the Kim Kardashian of international relations, there’s no reason for her show to exist but it just keeps going on and on.

    1. Nikkikat

      Harris is embarrassing. I wonder if she broke out in inappropriate hysterical giggling every time some one mentioned war. Probably had her remarks written on her hand, like Sarah Palin.

      1. Airgap

        Reading a book on Cicero and came across his comment on a particularly inept politician who kept failing up as a, “genius of mediocrity”, and I immediately thought of Harris.

        1. Michael Ismoe

          How much do you want to bet that one of the Vindemann brothers is her “resident expert on Ukraine”. They owe him for Impeachment #1.

    2. Andrew Watts

      Harris is the standard bearer for the faction of the Democratic Party which resides in California. That’s one of the only reasons she’s vice president besides her ethnicity.

      1. Tom Stone

        Harris is the standard bearer for ONE of the California Democratic party factions.
        The upstart peasant (Willie Brown) faction, rather than the Aristocratic ( Pelosi,Feinstein, Newsome) faction.
        There’s a little overlap with Newsome with his connections to both Brown and Harris as well as the Getty/Pritzker crowd.

      2. Big River Bandido

        Harris’ faction is pretty small indeed. The entire reason the CA Democrat Party changed to an early primary was to juice her run for the nomination.

        The whole ploy backfired, badly. Her popular support was so thin she had to drop out of the entire presidential race when it became clear Bernie Sanders was about to clean her clocks in her own home state.

      3. Bob

        >Harris is the standard bearer for the faction of the Democratic Party which resides in California. That’s one of the only reasons she’s vice president besides her ethnicity.

        Where do you get that idea? Bernie trounced her in California in the primaries.

        I live in CA and find her cringeworthy.

    3. Lambert Strether

      > Harris

      So, we immediately know that where Harris is, the action is not; they only let her go because she couldn’t do any damage.

      (And in fact, the next move seems to have come through Macron, amazingly enough, not through this chinwag.(

  4. RA

    Bob Marley, what a gift to all of us.

    My first experience, in the 70’s, was Clapton’s cover of “I shot the sheriff”.
    It wasn’t until years later, after his death, that I got into the original, and became a big admirer.

    The song, recorded much later than the Exodus album, that is my very favorite is
    Redemption Song

    I knew it was special first time I heard it. Almost brought me to tears.
    It has also been cover by many. Other than Bob’s original, I kinda like Sinead O’Conner’s version.

    A real world example of ‘the good die young’.

    1. RA

      BTW I just learned tonight from Wiki that the two key lines in Redemption Song,

      Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
      None but ourselves can free our minds

      Were from a 1937 speech in Nova Scotia by Marcus Garvey.

      1. Old Sarum

        None but ourselves can free our minds:

        Freeing your mind. Good luck with that. The linguistic-cultural mix is a very powerful brew, and even if you do, it seems that the majority of people would rather die than think.


    2. bassmule

      In the Fall of 1973, a couple friends were living in a fourth floor walkup on W. 95th St. in NYC. One Friday night they held what turned out to be a 48 hour rent party. A dozen or so idiots in a one-bedroom apartment, smoking weed, drinking jug wine, and making Peking Duck (“Now it’s time to blow the duck!”) and listening to Burnin’ over and over and over again. Halcyon days.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          I was in my 20s when I discovered Sir Bob so I can’t blame age on my hearing the lyrics of “So Much Things to Say” as:

          I’ll never forget Norway,
          They crucified Jesus Christ.

          I knew Norway wasn’t part of the lyrics, but everytime I played Exodus those are the words I chose to hear.

    3. lordkoos

      Bob Marley’s effect on marginalized poor people in developing nations was huge. He was the first slum dweller to give an international voice (in English) to those who are referred to in Jamaica as “sufferers” and you can find posters of him all over the world.

      Most people only know of Marley’s international releases on Chris Blackwell’s Island label, but the lesser known earlier Jamaican recordings by Bob with the original Wailers are my favorites:

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        My Girlfriend chose Marley as her daughters Middle Name ?

        Light up the Darkness :)

        Also, 3 Little Birds is one of her (daughters) favorite songs ?

        1. jonboinAR

          …”Sits by my doorstep.
          Singing sweet songs,
          Of melodies pure and true,
          This is my message to you-oo-oo.

  5. timbers

    House GOP opens a new shameful chapter in diplomatic sabotage – A letter signed by more than 160 Republicans promising to kill the Iran nuclear deal could have been drawn up by hardliners in Tehran.

    Many of my blue friends for years told me it’s treason to undermine the Foreign Policy of a Sitting (sainted) President. That’s why some of Trump’s folks who wanted peaceful relations with certain nations were arrested, charged, and prosecuted and many more might have been.

    So it must be perfectly legal that Biden should instruct the FBI to round up, arrest, imprison these House members. No charges needed because indefinite detention that Obama told us he needed. Gitmo is still open, send them there.

    With Russia posed to invade any second now these past days/weeks/months(years?) we need a a strong central government to keep us safe. And Maria Zakharova the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman even said to America that Russians aren’t planning any vacations at all this year so they can ready to invade us at any moment.

    1. John

      Treason? No, not treason. Everyone tossing the word around should check its constitutional definition before looking foolish. Unwise policy to fish in foreign policy waters no matter your domestic political leanings? Yes indeed and especially unwise in these hyper-partisan times and even more unwise if the words are uttered while posturing for the home folks.

      Based on their public pronouncements, I see little reason to believe that the great majority of all elected politicians in the DC bubble know or care about anything except what directly effects their seat on the gravy train.

      1. timbers

        Treason? Yes absolutely, meaning that WAS the word used by Team Blue. If you missed that at the time, you’re lucky.

        But also yes to: It’s not treason. Snark was my intention.

  6. Bart Hansen

    The article on the women philosophers caught my eye. Years ago I followed Bob Somerby’s blog. Among what some might say were his obsessions, philosophers were high on the list. He thought their contributions to society were scant, and I would not disagree.

    1. Donald

      I remember that. I think he went too far, but certainly a lot of what some philosophers do seems like mental (not sure about family blog rules here).

  7. griffen

    Jacobin article and the depths that former US spies and affiliated creeps like Erik Prince will dive to dig up conceivable dirt, or dismiss conceivable dirt. It is though they have no other guiding principle, no work or life’s labor to pursue and this will be the hill that they die upon. I mean at the end of the day, it isn’t as though these supposed elite leaders are writing our generation’s Federalist Papers.

    Think of the waste, not just the efforts of time but the spending of vast gobs of money. Does something like this approach to oppo research have roots in Citizens United, or was it Citizens United that just blew the roof wide open…

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Canada’s protests settle down, but could echo in politics”

    Yeah, I bet they will. Trudeau crossed a line and made ordinary Canadians an Enemy of the State and that is something that people will not forget. You can bet that a lot of people have been radicalized who normally would never have been and this will show itself in elections for years to come. It’s like after the 1970 Kent State shootings when even the ‘jocks’ became radicalized. If Trudeau thinks that people will forget between now and October of 2025 when the next federal election is held, I have news for him and it is all bad. It may be that he will be dropped before then as he will be seen as a liability to his party.

      1. Aumua

        FYI. From Wikipedia.

        Rebel News (also known as The Rebel Media and The Rebel) is a Canadian far-right political and social commentary media website operated by Rebel News Network Ltd. It has been described as a “global platform” for the anti-Muslim ideology known as counter-jihad. It was founded in February 2015 by former Sun News Network personalities Ezra Levant and Brian Lilley.

        1. Michael King

          Thank you for pointing this out. RN is very biased toward the far right.
          Re: The Rev Kev’s post ” …October of 2025 when the next federal election is held… “. The current regime is a minority government and can fall at any time. In any case, while the federal government and all provinces and territories have enacted legislation setting fixed election dates, this is routinely ignored. Trudeau won a majority in 2015 and the elections of 2019 and 2021 produced Liberal minorities. I agree that he will not likely be the leader come the next election. He is viscerally loathed by many, particularly in the west. I haven’t seen anything like it since the days of his father and the National Energy Program. Always appreciate your comments RV!

        2. flora

          oh well, I guess I shouldn’t watch it then and stick the msm. But then, if I did that, what would happen to whatever critical thinking skills I have if I only see the single officially approved narrative on important stories?

          There’s a reason substack is gaining readers.

            1. Grant

              Many workers and unions oppose this protest, many right wing oligarchs are fanning the flames in support of this. It cannot he explained simply along class lines.

              1. Lambert Strether

                Something can begin as class (how not) and then get hijacked by (say) an emergent gaggle of conservative opportunists plus a supposedly liberal media that hands them a megaphone whenever they want it.

                Replace “conservative” with liberal and “truckers” with “Black Lives Matter” and there you have the tactic (though not the origins; decapitation — or perhaps, better, capitation — is a good play to run because its adaptable to many situations. Suit the honey to the particular bee.)

            2. eg

              You need to re-read Lambert’s post, flora — the organizers behind this are conspicuously not working class.

          1. Aumua

            You can watch it, and maybe you can even post it I don’t know. I only write this so that we can understand what the source is and its possible biases. It’s important to consider the source. If these guys were simply presenting information, that would be one thing. But you know that they are putting a spin on it at every opportunity. Just like the MSM does, but in all honesty probably worse.

            1. Gerd

              Given the prominent positions of the F Trudeau flags, I am guessing that most of the protesters did not vote for Trudeau in last summers election.

              I would not be so confident that this weekend will cost him significant votes.

              1. jonboinAR

                It will cost him votes if he makes sympathetic characters of the protesters to people who wouldn’t otherwise necessarily feel so. I think the point made above is that that’s what happened at Kent State.

                1. Jonhoops

                  This isn’t Kent State. It doesn’t even rise to the level of response at the G20 or something like the Battle in Seattle.

                  This was probably the most polite tepid policing response I’ve ever seen in a G7 country.

                  These protesters should count their lucky stars. After the Windsor Bridge was cleared out they should have realized the jig was up. They could have cleared out with nary a consequence when they got that sternly worded letter on their windshield.

                  Now they get to be arrested and suffer the consequences.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > Rebel News is hardly credible

          I trust Rebel News as I can throw a concert grand piano, especially on digital evidence.

          I don’t like sources that pop up out of nowhere, looking all shiny and polished, and suddenly get amplified. (Same with Grid News, that thing Yglesias became editor-at-large of, just before turning even more conspicuously center-right.)

          Us all codgers thinks it takes some effort to start a media property, at least at the Potemkin Village level. There’s so much money sloshing about these days that in fact it takes no effort at all.

          1. eg

            Living here in Canada, my experience with Ezra Levant (the “brains” behind Rebel News) is that he is a reliable shill for the Fossil Fuel Industrial Complex whose brain has been eaten by vulgar Monetarism and two-bit libertarianism.

    1. marieann

      My sister and her husband are rabid conservatives…we seldom discuss politics anymore. We are both in agreement though about the protests and happy that the PM finally did something about it.

      On our last discussion she mentioned the leader of the New Democrats as a nice guy…”I like what he says”
      When you have lost my sister…..I predict times are going to be tough for the Tories.

      For me…for the first time in my life I am on the side of the Liberals….the protests have turned our world upside down.

      Everyone I know is in support of the PM and thoroughly disgusted with the failure of Ontario’s Premier to take quick action….he is the one in danger of losing his job

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Everyone I know is in support of the PM….

        “I don’t know anyone who voted for Nixon.”
        Pauline Kael

        1. Wukchumni

          I have a small amount of everyone I know up over, and the loathing my Calgarian cousins feel towards Trudeau is nearly TDS in scope.

          1. marieann

            Oh! I know, my conservative sister used to live in Alberta.
            There are also lots of folk I know in Ontario also hate him, including my husband…..but in this instance he did the right thing, and with the federal Tories in disarray, Justin is looking good.

            1. dcrane

              Wouldn’t it now be good if he ended the vaccine mandates? Any policy that can draw that degree of protest is a policy that shouldn’t be maintained unless it is absolutely required.

              The de-banking precedent is an especially horrifying one.

          2. Stephen T Johnson

            Yes, hating Junior is a provincial bylaw here in Alberta. Not a big fan myself, but it’s worrisomely lined up with the partisan hostility in our boisterous southern neighbor.

            1. Michael Ismoe

              Maybe Beto can try to run for provincial premier after he gets destroyed in Texas. The Dems love sending money to lost causes.

          3. Jessica

            Alberta though is the base for the Conservative Party. Those folks have never voted for Trudeau and never would anyway.
            What I wonder is whether what he did turned off folks who have voted for him. The little bit I have heard people talk about it, the media campaign to portray the convoy as right-wingers funded from the US has been effective.

        2. Frank Dean

          Some may wish to dismiss opinion polls, but there appears to be little support for the protesters.

          Blockade Backlash: Three-in-four Canadians tell convoy protesters, ‘Go Home Now’

          I have little doubt that Trudeau would have paid a much higher price politically for continued inaction.

          There seems to be much alarm and misunderstanding here about the Emergencies Act. It will expire in 30 days, or less. Freezing bank accounts in Canada is not the same as civil forfeiture in the USA. It’s a temporary measure, and the government doesn’t get to keep the money. Some people may lose access to financial services, but they will get the cash if their accounts are closed.

          1. flora

            The US Patriot Act (aka anti-teriorism act) passed in 2001 and was supposed to expire in 2005. It’s still in effect, continually re-authorized by both parties. It’s interesting the CA govt tries to connect the protestors to shadowy terrierism charges. Let’s see if the Emergencies Act’s authorized time-limit does expire in 30 days, or if its extended/renewed.

            1. flora

              adding: 30 days with no access to your bank accounts, cc transactions, can’t get a bank loan, etc will destroy the credit rating – if not bankrupt most families and shut down most small businesses. Can’t pay your mortgage, can’t pay your bills, can’t make payroll, can’t deposit receipts or wages, can’t buy food or gas ?

              1. flora

                This is done with no due process, no right to appeal, and no accountability for the banks who make mistakes. What can go wrong?

                1. juanholio

                  When you illegally make things difficult for everyone, and thumb your nose at the law when the state asks you to stop, you’re as good challenging them, “what are you going to do about it?”. Why the shock and horror when they did something about it. Of course they did. That’s their job. I thought they gave everyone plenty of opportunity to go in peace.

                  You don’t have rights, that’s a myth. You have privileges, afforded by the state. Ask an interned Japanese American, if you don’t believe me.

                  1. flora

                    I know! De-bank people on emergency rights-suspended govt say-so alone, with no due diligence or right of appeal! Yeah, that’s the ticket!

                  2. tegnost

                    You don’t have rights, that’s a myth. You have privileges,

                    The Federalist society approves of this message.

                  3. Yves Smith

                    What about “General Strike” don’t you understand? The truckers were in a position to exploit a critical choke point.

                    However, the truckers had no acceptable counterproposal, which might have given them the much more sympathy if/when the government refused to negotiate. As indicated, they could have proposed effectively quarantined trips, where they did quick turnarounds in the US, no face to face interaction (as in more than social distancing distances), wore ankle bracelets to assure compliance…..But enough were presumably anti-mask too (while some were actually vaccinated but anti-mandate) to make it impossible to agree on a sort of compromise.

                    Note they also failed to publicize the many exemptions from the quarantine requirement.

                  4. Lambert Strether

                    > what are you going to do about it?

                    Lost in all the noise is the fact that, as I note in my post on the truckers, the “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)” as presented by the “first mover” truckers, in essence called for the abolition of the Canadian Constitutional order. They later rolled it back, and turned to bouncy castles, apparently.

                    States tend not to look kindly on that sort of thing. Now, whether the “first movers” were connected enough to their base to follow through on the MOU is quite another thing; I’m guessing they were not. But for the Trudeau government to have understood that assumes they have a functional domestic intelligence apparatus. I’m guessing they do not, and in any case the spectrum of acceptable responses was limited by an outpouring of aghastitude (much amplified by the US).

                    I’m not at all confident the emergency powers will be rolled back, either.

                    NOTE If the Canadian government really wanted to make a mess, they would have installed some operatives to wave those blue and yellow Ukrainian flags. Freedland would have loved it.)

                2. IMOR

                  I hate to pick on our northern friends when our written guarantees have been legally and/or de facto eviscerated, but the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees due process as to one’s person, but not, as the U.S. 5th Amendment, one’s property / deprivation thereof. You’re left with whatever the common law and the rest of their informal conglomerate ‘constitution’ says about that, according to whatever magistrate you’re in front of, under whatever exceptions, special order, or proclamation provincial or federal government has promulgated. The Emergency Act does make provision for reimbursement in exchange for releasing all claims, but as the NC commentariat noted, that ain’t gonna pay this month’s mortgage.

            2. edwin

              My impression is that the emergencies act was called because of a failure of policing locally and provincially. Part of that failure was support for the demonstrators by the conservative party and the police. I don’t think that politically Trudeau could say this.

              In Canadian politics, the buck stops at the prime minister’s desk and ultimately that’s where it ended up. That it ended up there represents an astounding failure of other people along the way. The resigning of the Ottawa chief of police Peter Sloly was required. It was good he had the courage do do so. Hopefully he will never hold responsibility again.

              I don’t know enough about policing on this end of the stick to understand what exactly Trudeau should have been doing, but I do understand that it was insane that something of this nature became his problem to deal with.

              I feel that it was extreme overkill to use the Emergencies Act to deal with a demonstration of this nature. I am less convinced that it was overkill to use in a case of widespread incompetence and insubordination. I don’t fully understand the separation of powers, but I think he was at least partially hamstrung by what was allowed, and yet the Canadian system made him ultimately responsible.

              I think that the end result is that Trudeau won this round, while alienating even further those who already disliked him/his father. I suspect that the big losers may actually be the conservatives who have upset their base in major cities. The police inside Ottawa/Toronto/Windsor were staring down a legitimacy crisis – not the left wing, but their traditional base. They are also potential losers in this event. The far right has won big, but has also shown that US style fascism has limited appeal in Canada. Fascism is a highly national philosophy, and part of Canadian identity is anti-American. It is possible that even while winning big they have shot themselves in the foot. The husband of a Canadian protester – well Dwayne Lich the husband of one of the three main organizers – demanding their first amendment rights to a judge managed to turn what should have been a serious movement into a clown show and feed directly into that anti-American aspect of Canadian nationalism.


              There is some speculation here that the Emergencies act could become permanent. That won’t happen. Canadian politics is not the same as US politics. Any attempt to do that would result in the collapse of the government and new elections. This would become a major election issue, and the big winners would not be the Liberals (nor the NDP). In some ways the same political considerations that resulted in the Emergencies act being introduced will result in it ending. (With the possible situation that it could be declared illegal by the courts.) The Liberal government does not have the necessary political power to make the emergencies act permanent even if it wanted to, and it almost certainly doesn’t. Indeed, it had to ask permission to implement it in the first place. The NDP, surprisingly, gave that permission. The NDP would not agree to extending the act, not if they wished to remain a functioning political party. Failing a few buildings being blown up, the act will expire on schedule.

              This isn’t to say that Canada is immune from the extreme right wing. We aren’t. Things will happen in different ways and with different political considerations. Things don’t look good up here, and the demonstrations are very much a sign of the problems we are having, and the far right managing to position itself as the voice of the underdog. I would be amazed if the Liberal party manages to do something constructive. The left wing is impotent. There is a real possibility that the NDP could be punished by its supporters for the support of the Emergencies act. Some of the old timers would have direct experience with his father’s use of the war measure’s act, and this watered down version won’t go over well, even if aimed at the right wing. Unions are present/absent and people are tired of lockdowns and pandemics and just want it all to end. The counter protest sign said, make Ottawa boring again. And that is just what the Liberals have attempted to offer, covid not withstanding.

              1. flora

                I’m so glad the US broke away from the British monarchical system and did not become part of the commonwealth. Our Pres and pols swear allegiance the the US Constitution (even though it’s often ignored in practice), whereas Canada’s PM swears allegiance to the British crown. Monarchism is alive and well in the north, if Justin’s actions are any indication. (I always thought monarchism was right wing.) / ;)

                1. juanholio

                  Maybe you should just mind your own business, instead of getting het up about everything Candace Owens and Jordan Peterson tell you to?

                    1. juanholio

                      That’s not an insult, just an observation that you couldn’t slide a rizla between the policy positions of this poster and Candace Owens on any “trendy” wedge issue.

                    2. The Rev Kev

                      Flora is a long time poster who has made many good observations over many years and is not a right-winger, a Trumper, or any other thing that you seemed determined to label her with. And she is quite correct. I’m from Oz and we too are supposed to have our ultimate loyalty to the Crown and not that many years ago sedition laws were passed in this country making it a crime to work against this ideal.

                    3. Basil Pesto

                      nevertheless, it was a pretty sarcastic, derisory and irrelevant reply to a fairly long and thoughtful post by edwin.

                      (I perhaps open myself to accusations of hypocrisy here!)

                    4. Yves Smith


                      You can fuck off. Ad hom, being an asshole, fabrications, negative value added. We have rules (our site Policies). You flagrantly broke them and then gleefully doubled down when you got attention. Nasty prig.

                      Had you bothered understanding house practices, you might have been bright enough to work out that you gave us a reader assisted suicide note, which we are happily executing.

                      Our mods will not only rip out your comments if you try to jailbreak, but I will also expunge your entire comments history.

              2. Lambert Strether

                > Things don’t look good up here, and the demonstrations are very much a sign of the problems we are having, and the far right managing to position itself as the voice of the underdog. I would be amazed if the Liberal party manages to do something constructive. The left wing is impotent.

                Thank you for this very informative comment. “Canadian politics is not the same as US politics.” Nor their constitution, nor their class structure. (For example, Canada has/had a strong colonization game, but the Imperial aspect so strong in the United States is absent.) I like it very much that Canada is not the United States. Long may it remain so.

        3. marieann

          I know lots of people who vote for Trudeau no matter what, I was never one of them, but at the moment he did what the people wanted.

          I also know lots of people who voted for Nixon

      2. New West

        This is my experience as well among my Canadian friends, even including several strong conservatives who deem Trudeau *at best* an empty suit.

    2. CanCyn

      No doubt Trudeau’s days are numbered. The guys in eastern Ontario where I live who drive big noisy pick up trucks have a new bumper sticker or large window decal that says F*CK Trudeau – the U in the first word replaced by a maple leaf.
      We have our own political families in Canada of which Trudeau is but one. Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s daughter Caroline Mulroney is an MPP in Doug Ford’s (yes he is the brother of Toronto’s crazy former Mayor Rob Ford) Ontario government. I can only imagine that she is waiting to step in to the spotlight at some point. It was Mulroney’s conservative government who updated the War Measures Act to our currently deployed Emergency Act.
      This business of allowing the protesters so much leeway and then using the Emergency Act legislation to shut them down has annoyed people on all side of the political spectrum. We absolutely have interesting times ahead.

      1. marieann

        “This business of allowing the protesters so much leeway and then using the Emergency Act legislation to shut them down has annoyed people on all side of the political spectrum. We absolutely have interesting times ahead.”
        This is it exactly…it smacks of politics at it’s worst. The only reason the Canada/US borders were cleared so quickly was because of the companies losing money…so the Tories were on that right away, while the people of Ottawa were left to rot.
        That it took an Emergency Act to get it sorted is a big black mark to the Tories.

      2. Carolinian

        a new bumper sticker

        Let’s go Justin?

        Could be that Canada, extraction home of giant timber, mining and oil interests is not quite the left paradise some think. They do produce good songwriters though.

      3. Katniss Everdeen

        So does the Emergency Act allow jackboots to go into people’s houses and force them to drive their trucks and deliver their goods?

        This guy’s idea–just park the trucks, put your feet up and watch a hockey game–would spare the poor people of Ottawa the horn noise and icky people in the streets, and replace them with bare shelves instead.

        According to him, the genius of “just in time” has left NYC with just a three day supply of stuff. Day four would be a wonderfully “clarifying” bitch.

        Confiscating these truckers’ bank accounts may wind up not being the best idea trudeau and his ilk ever had. As Gerald Celente once said, “When people have nothing left to lose, and they’ve lost everything, they lose it.”

        1. Late Introvert

          @Katniss Everdeen

          The glee in this thread of shutting down the truckers who (IMO) had a legitimate complaint (2 weeks quarantine) – seems to punctuate this argument. I’m in favor of labor strikes that are targeted against the rich, at all points of leverage. Let’s start with NYC and then move to DC.

          Lots of collateral damage, but it’s not like that hasn’t been going on for 2 years plus 40.

      4. Lambert Strether

        > This business of allowing the protesters so much leeway and then using the Emergency Act legislation to shut them down has annoyed people on all side of the political spectrum. We absolutely have interesting times ahead.

        Working from Edwin’s comment above: “Leeway” seems more like a case of systems failing upward until the problem reached the Prime Minister’s desk.

        1. eg

          Endorsed. I predict that history will not be kind in particular to Doug Ford’s Conservative government in Ontario (nor Jason Kenney’s in Alberta, for that matter) when the Ottawa incident gets the thorough investigation that the Emergencies Act requires.

    3. Brian (another one they call)

      If AP reports on something, it is going to take the side of the house organ and do their bidding. Their reporting on news in the last two years has been a disgusting decent into spin propaganda.
      But this has happened to several revered cancers in the publishing industry hasn’t it?
      I will no longer even read the stories because the words are twisted to fit a government in the first paragraph where the real news ought to be. Why would someone trust or expect truth from AP when they continue this kind of yellow journalism?

      1. LawnDart

        If AP reports on something, it is going to take the side of the house organ and do their bidding.

        I agree, their slant is about 90-degrees from not-so-terribly-long-ago when it was a dry, impartial, just-the-facts wire service. I still have them on my “skim-list’ for breaking-news sources, but when something appears on AP that catches my eye, I’ll check for the story in financial papers or overseas news sites– sites without overt (US)domestic, partisan bias. But sites like AP are useful towards identifying the propaganda points.

        That said, here’s news from our 51st state, reporting a move that seems to be a trial-balloon to gauge reaction: UK: People with COVID in England won’t need to self-isolate

        Go, die. Indeed.

        1. Michael Ismoe

          UK: People with COVID in England won’t need to self-isolate

          The Queen has just requested a private audience with Meghan Markle. She wants to give her a kiss.

    4. Mildred Montana

      Thanks for that, Rev Kev. Well said.

      I believe you are right. Trudeau is toast. I cannot understand why he chose to dig in on the issue of cross-border trucker vaccinations except that, always the politician, he saw it as a vote-getter. But the whole thing was not such a big deal since ~90% of them were vaccinated and spent long hours alone in their rigs anyway. What a small hill for him to die on.

      The protests were Trudeau’s last stand. He stubbornly refused to meet with the protesters, he never mentioned their grievance. He can say good-bye to his cherished majority in the House of Commons come next election, and if any of the other parties league against him he is, as they say in Quebec, ???? ???é.

      1. CanCyn

        Um, Trudeau and the Liberals have a minority government and depend on one of the other parties to support their legislation. I cannot imagine the NDP supporting the use of the Emergency Act. But stranger things right?
        I have often equated Jagmeet (Singh, NDP leader) and Justin – pretty boys with empty heads.
        The new Conservative leader, Candice Bergen (has anyone else had a laugh about that one? She even has the long, blonde wavy hair of the more famous person who bears that name ?), is a wildcard to me. I believe she is more right than the recently departed O’Toole who ran such a disastrous election campaign in 2019.
        As I said above, I think we are in for interesting times here in the land of hockey and eh!

        1. Lambert Strether

          > The new Conservative leader, Candice Bergen

          I had no idea who this loon was until I checked her bio. Of the US-sponsored coup:

          1. eg

            She is a notorious moron — conclude what you will about the Conservative Party of Canada’s caucus that this is who they’ve chosen as their interim leader.

            Wait until you get a load of Peter Poilievre who is the front runner in their current leadership race. He is a rabid and vulgar Monetarist market fundamentalist.

      1. David Nobbs

        Thanks for pointing me to this fine video essay that has re-invigorated my interest in channeling Thomas Frank’s work on populism and how to address the needs of our rapidly expanding precariat.
        Also, not a complete surprise as a recent Ipsos Poll found 61% of Millenials in Canada were supportive.

      2. Aumua

        Wolff’s been on fire lately with some of his videos. Excellent meta, high level leftist analysis and opinion. Some of them have been like road maps for me that just keep guiding and illuminating the terrain well beyond their publishing.

    5. Maritimer

      At the end of the day, Prime Injector Trudeau acts on behalf of convicted criminal organizations Pfizer, AZ and JJ. Canada supports and pays these criminal organizations. The Police now act as enforcers for these criminal organizations. You are the Other if you do not wish to aid, abet and consort with criminals. Al Capone, John Gotti would not believe it. Further, some Canadians are apparently quite comfortable with this relationship.

      In other abusive Canadian news:

      “Elections Canada says it will be conducting a probe after it was revealed earlier this month that nearly 205,000 mail-in ballots went uncounted during the 2021 federal election.”

      Those ballots could have been very decisive in swing constituencies and denied the Prime Injector his minority Government. Lost ballots, sound familiar.?

      Woe Canada!

    6. jrkrideau

      Actually, poor as the Federal Gov’t’s performance was, only matched or exceeded by provincial and municipal governments, this fiasco in Ottawa probably gives the Liberal Party a win and possibly a majority at the next election.

      What happened finally at provincial and federal levels is that governments told a weird bunch of alt-right crazys, religious nut cases, delusional idiots and some people with legitimate complaints to shut up and go home. The fact that these occupations seem to have a lot of US right-wing funding has not helped their cause.

      My guess is that the occupiers may have support from 10% of the population at best. Their behaviour probably managed to alienate a fair bit of that.

      These were not ordinary Canadians by any stretch of the imagination.

      1. Gerd

        Watching the protests at the weekend I noted that every protesting face I saw was white. I did not see any minorities protesting.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I’ve seen video clips by black protesters there who claim not to be white power people. And I was reading how Canadian native Americans were also there.

      2. eg

        Precisely, jrkrideau. I would add only that there is a profound generalized ignorance regarding the Federal nature of Canadian governance. Aside from the border-crossing vaccination requirement (and that was a reciprocation of the prior US requirement) all of the public health restrictions and mandates being protested are provincial — the protesters occupied the wrong legislature.

    7. Kouros

      Ordinary Canadians? I don’t know about that. Yesterday and today, I spent time educating my very ordinary Canadian (Scottish-English ancestry) wife on how to use Excel’s various sorting and filtering functions in order to allow her in identifying the donors to the said convoy. She spent quite a lot of time before trolling the internet in search of that hacked list.

      I did have fun with some of her searches. There is a field of free text dedicated to comments of the donors. Ordinary Canadians term doesn’t really fit the description. The poor bastards don’t even know what tyranny means…

  9. Wukchumni

    500-pound bear known as “Hank the Tank” breaks into another Lake Tahoe home: “Lost all fear of people CBS

    By the fall of 2015 and the 4th year of the drought, the bear population in the higher climes here were suffering from missed meals as the usual berry bushes et al were greatly diminished by the big dry and for a month or so we had a hundred bruins foraging in the foothills, because the acorn harvest @ 3-5k feet had failed, but not here where our oak trees were loaded for bear.

    You’d see 3 bears in a tree sometimes, they didn’t want the multitude of acorns on the ground, they wanted freshies up high and would slowly strip oak trees of their progeny. When they’d had their fill after a month long buffet, they went back up into the mountains and I never heard of any homes being broken into.

    The same assault happened in Mammoth and Tahoe, with the big difference being that there was no natural food for the bears to eat there, so they started breaking into homes (Hank the Tank has 37 prior breaking and entering charges) and the problem is so bad in Tahoe that friends with a cabin told me they had to invest in a electric fence which goes around the side of the cabin, to keep Boo Boo et al away from assorted picnic baskets inside.

    It’s open season on the humans…

      1. Mel

        If we extend human rights to bears, then the home-invasion laws plus stand-your-ground will take care of Hank pretty quick.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Hey, Hey, Hey! Maybe they should get Ranger Smith to set up a trap and bait it with a lovely pic-a-nic basket. If you’re going to catch Hank the Tank, you have to be smarter than the average bear.

      1. t

        “Back in 2021, Buckingham Palace revealed that the Queen had been administered a Covid vaccine. ” Article says she’s vaccinated.

    1. ambrit

      Proof that the “Lizard Overlords” can catch Terran human diseases. Is this the result of interbreeding? Since only fairly close lineages can interbreed, does this mean that the “Zeta Reticulans” are our Panspermian Ancestors?
      What’s left of inquiring minds want to know.

      1. Tom Stone

        Ambrit,do take a look at Eugene McCarthy’s theory that Humans are a hybrid species derived from a cross between Pigs and Chimps.
        Not a hypothesis likely to be well recieved by Muslims or White Supremacists.

  10. Wukchumni


    It’s a little weird seeing NZ pigeons in the wild, as I always think of pigeons as more of a city bird. They are also about 50% larger than our pigeons.

    1. ChrisPacific

      The one in the picture looks like the svelte winter version. They can get very chunky in the summer (examples in the linked source). They eat berries from native plants and are not urban birds, as you noted. We see them more often now with the fenced predator-free zones offering them a safe spot to nest.

      In terms of noise, a kereru taking flight is the avian equivalent of a 747 taking off, so you know when you’ve startled one if you’re walking in the bush.

      They are also prone to getting falling-down drunk from fermented fruit if it’s a good season (they are taken to wildlife sanctuaries for a few days to sober up).

  11. EricT

    Your site is carrying a Java exploit. When I load your site on my phone with Java enabled, It forces my phone to a Google appreciate message saying that I won something click this link box. Everyone that has visited this site is infected with a tracker. Clear your caches and restart your browser, scan for viruses. I enjoy your site very much. Thanks.

    1. flora

      Thanks for the info. I wonder if this Java exploit tracker installation was behind the site’s problem yesterday morning?

    2. Judith

      That has been a recurring problem for me and others here for the past few weeks. When it started, Yves recommended sending a screenshot to Lambert. I had the problem again last week but so far not today.
      Note: i use an iphone. I clear cookies and history, but it comes back.

    3. JohnnySacks

      Every so often one sneaks by. Not ‘Java’ related BTW, that one’s long gone, just a run of the mill stupid HTML and JavaScript trick. Don’t click.

      Is this type of fraud considered in crime statistics? I wish the post office could run email services so this fraud could be considered a federal crime. Allocate some of that $8 billion a year of dOD money to it.

      1. Stillfeelinthebern

        Internet, mail and phone frauds are horrid. My elderly relative was often sucked in. He love his computer and the “new” internet. He was also very kind and would sign up for $10 a month payments directly out of his bank account.

        Last month, I had a conversation with our sheriff about email phishing scams and he told me they were triple the normal volume.
        I was talking to him to see if there was enforcement that could be done. The answer to that was nothing they could do beyond educating people on how to secure their actions and passwords.

        This happens: UPS employee interrupted a scam. An elderly person was sending $22,000 in CASH.

        1. lordkoos

          Thanks to a telephone salesperson my 92 year old mother got talked into a useless home alarm contract that she didn’t need. There were installation fees plus $40 a month for three years. It’s not fraud per se, but it’s certainly taking advantage of the elderly. We monitor this kind of thing now and my brother has power of attorney so now can keep track of her expenditures.

          1. ambrit

            Sorry to hear that. Here we resort to the State Attorney General’s Office. Many states are the same. We once had to resort to them and they came through for us with flying colours. Most states have their own laws about business fraud and other consumer issues.

  12. Amfortas the hippie

    re: the american affairs bit: adjacent, from the margins is another, that pretty much encapsulates where my political idealism has ended up, even if i have very little hope of seeing anything of the sort manifest in reality:

    “And if relationships and institutions trump individualism, then the nation-state is surely part of a nested network of peoples and nations and not absolutely sovereign as simply the individual writ large. Democratic nations need to nurture together an international settlement of what Michael Lind calls “wards in the realm of government, guilds in the realm of the economy, and congregations in the realm of culture”23—each being membership institutions with countervailing power on behalf of citizens against vested interests.

    Hope for a more democratic future cannot rest on unforeseen crises that undermine the dominant ideologies of our age. Nor should societies place all their faith in protective states. Adjusting laws in times of crisis, as we have seen during the pandemic, can harden into new norms after the emergency has ended. Unmeditated state sovereignty risks authoritarian control at home and anarchy abroad—a Hobbesian war of all against all, as Christopher Lasch feared.

    Instead of returning to the politics of the past, societies should look to democratic corporatism as a model for the political future. To protect citizens from the pressures of both state and market power, the inter­mediary institutions that help constitute society need to be strengthened. These include trade unions, local educational institutions and trade schools, local authorities, business associations, faith communities, as well as other places of exchange and association, such as bars and bank branches, cafés and civic halls, restaurants and sports clubs. Such institutions pluralize state and market, thereby upholding democracy against a concentration of capital or bureaucracy. Only by renewing democratic pluralism will societies achieve greater social solidarity and humanity.”

    and full disclosure, Michael Lind has been one of my favorite contemporary thinkers for going on 25 years….he sits somewhere outside the pseudobinary of “L&R”, and has been cavorting in the interstices for a long while. this article isn’t Lind…but his influence is shot throughout.

    1. JTMcPhee

      One might argue definitions — I’d say we all, those of us who are not part of the Haves, already suffer from “democratic corporatism.” And it;’s killing us mopes. I’m sure that’s not what Lind means by the phrase, but corporations, as the only voters that count in the election of the global power structure, do live in a “democracy” in one sense of the word.

      As you know, getting to that other kind of commensalism and comity is a really hard slog, since so many are either vested in “getting more” in the present system, totally disenfranchised, depressed into apathy, boggled by bullshit into inability to see the Shining Path or seduced into trying to follow it, all that stuff….

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        as always with these sort of worldbuilding, almost utopian thought-exercises…i’m thinking more about what to build in the ruins.
        i’ve become an Ur-Pessimist regarding our prospects of “taking over”, or even nibbling around the edges.
        what i’d like to build out from Amfortas’ Hermit Kingdom, post-empire, looks a lot like the Pluralism, etc Lind and his bunch have been working on.
        …but with my local adaptation…due to the warlordism, etc i expect out my way when the trucks stop running: ie: “feudalism”/Manorialism does not, of necessity, mean authoritarian hierarchy…that’s just the form it took, historically, due to various sociocultural baggage that is rarely examined.
        if you start with the latifundia…or the roman villa before…we’re talking about a pseudo and accidental permaculture system for a group of folks living together and sharing land.
        such a system….and remember, i try to think in Systems(ecological, hydrological, carbon, phosphorus, and on and on) as i make this place….could just as easily be small-s socialist, or even anarchist.
        so…council communist feudalism? hell, even Gault’s Gulch was a sort of guild anarchism within a manorial land ownership system.
        i haven’t found anyone who thinks in these terms….save maybe Pelagius.( i’m in fly-by mode, so i’m likely forgetting someone…perhaps Illich, or the conquest of bread guy)

        regardless…any such re-boot will not only have to be started small and local…but it should be started as soon as possible(echoes of Dual Systems, a la Lenin and others…as well as all the doomer lifeboat/ark menagerie).
        something will replace the current system of systems…and we can leave the shape of that up to random chance or up to the worst among us…or we can get ta steppin and DIY it.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          “i’ve become an Ur-Pessimist regarding our prospects of “taking over”, or even nibbling around the edges.”

          I’m with you. And I also see the days of this Empire becoming shorter and shorter as some of those reinforcing loops kick in, but that part I don’t want to call pessimism. I’ve held on to Grace Slick’s promise:

          Don’t change before the Empire falls.
          You’ll laugh so hard, you’ll crack the walls.

          “Greasy Heart” (audio)

          That’s not to deny the horror that it’s likely be. Warlordism, Mad Max, whatever you want to call it, it’s bad.

          But the boot need not stomp forever on the human face. All that killin’ and maimin’ gets to be exhausting after a while. By then, people may not be looking so much for a political philosophy as for some simple human caring, mutual aid, something that fascinated Kropotkin. It won’t be easy to preserve, much less nurture, those kinds of impulses in such times, but that seems the primary need to me.

          1. Lambert Strether

            The Roman Empire was a slave society, through and through, top to borrom, no ifs ands or buts. I think its collapse netted out positive, in Keynes’s famous long run. I think we may hope for something similar.

          1. ambrit

            Nukes are high mantenance items. After a while, they decay and become, shall we say, unreliable.
            Afterwards, we can form a circle and all sing a few stanzas of “I Guard the Canadian Border.”
            “Strangely enough,” I cannot find a copy of that song on YouTube. All sorts of Canadian Border goings on and Willie Nelson songs, but not that. Hmmmmm…..(I find that you must purchase it on Amazon, iTunes, or Google Play. Money, money, money.)

      2. Pate

        Jtmcphee:”corporations, as the only voters that count in the election of the global power structure”

        As John Jay said at the shuttered-to-the-public bait-and-switch Philadelphia convention “Those who own the country ought to govern it”. This the underlying principle of the constitution. Corporate personhood and consequent unlimited corporate speech-slash-money that corrupts our political system is but the current iteration of this principle. Powerful private property interest prevails. Capital is king. Neoliberalism is replacing the public with the private and using the state to do so. Nothing new here. It is us. Our egalitarian social nature the victim of our population success, the blessed among us have but the Redemption Song. I guess this makes NC a music venue.

        1. aletheia33

          amfortas.: “we can leave the shape of that up to random chance or up to the worst among us…or we can get ta steppin and DIY it”

          pate: “the blessed among us have but the Redemption Song”

    2. Donald

      I mostly agreed with the American Affairs article linked here with one caveat— wokeness starts out from a good place, pointing out injustices committed against various groups and then turns into an ideology for the PMC but to me there is a gray area between where it is legitimate and where it is PMC crap. This is why with some lefties I otherwise greatly respect that any criticism of wokeness is met with denialism.

      I don’t want to dox myself or my workplace, but it is woke in the morally gray way. Some of it is genuinely good, but much of it is self serving crap and often ludicrous. But I am paranoid about getting specific.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        yeah…i think it’s sad that “Intersectuality” was hijacked that way.
        it was my default since before i had a word for it.

      2. Riverboat Grambler

        It was a good article that really nailed down the CIA’s use of “wokeness” and how it fits into the larger history of the agency as well as a class signifier. My only issue with it is the repeated assertions that “leftists” are uncomfortable with this dialect of power because they won’t admit that… Well, I dunno. From the article:

        “This professional class is also at the vanguard of left politics today—and leftists’ embarrassment over the CIA’s “appro­pria­tion” of “radical” language is simply evidence of their refusal to acknowledge the fact that the power of this class is so hegemonic and insti­tutionalized that its “radical” identitarian ideals cannot be meaningfully anti-establishment. Today’s leftists must insist that their “revo­lutionary” lan­guage was co-opted by the CIA, an institution created specifically to quash revolution and maintain the status quo, because any alternative explanation would suggest that this “revolutionary” language serves the same purpose.”

        I cannot lie, I find this confusing. In my dumb-dumb Bozo-brain it comes off as the classic mistake of confusing American liberals with the left. Later in the article a conservative is quoted critiquing this particular brand of “wokeism” saying “it doesn’t matter if there’s a trans-woman on the board of Amazon if the workers are still peeing in bottles”. Correct! But that’s an explicitly leftist (not liberal) criticism. And the article points out how liberal Dems have come to embrace the spooks, especially when they run for office. So who is this group of leftists the article is referring to?

        1. Lambert Strether

          > In my dumb-dumb Bozo-brain it comes off as the classic mistake of confusing American liberals with the left. Later in the article a conservative is quoted critiquing this particular brand of “wokeism” saying “it doesn’t matter if there’s a trans-woman on the board of Amazon if the workers are still peeing in bottles”. Correct!

          Correct and correct.

    3. flora

      Democratic corporatism? To protect citizens from the pressures of both state and market power, the inter­mediary institutions. “Intermediate institutions.” Sounds attractive on the surface, but ignores the corruption and regulatory capture in democratic govts. Root that out and things will improve, imo. (And if you think rooting out corruption is impossible, remember it was done during the progressive era and the New Deal.) I keep referring to Philip Mirowski’s writings as a warning signal.

      Neoliberalism: The Movement That Dare Not Speak Its Name

      To rephrase an old joke: ” I’m from the neoliberal thought collective and I’m here to help you.”

        1. flora

          The first populist movement – late 1800’s-early 1900’s, its reform demands were taken up by GOP governors and president in 1900-1915. The Dems fought them. In the New Deal era – 1930’s-1960’s, the Dems took up the earlier populist reform demands. Both Dem and GOP were trying to win the Populist Party voters from that era. Politician’s are largely followers, not leaders. (Unless they own the voting machines. See: Boss Tweed. )

      1. Pookah Harvey

        It’s clear we need a new system of government to save democracy. A “new” system could really be a very old system. Aristotle said ’’It is accepted as democratic when public offices are allocated by lot, and as oligarchic when they are filled by election’’. The ancient Athenians realized that holding elections would result in corruption and the “buying” of political office. So Athenian democracy used the system of sortition for 200 years. Sortition is representation by lottery.
        A modern expert on sortition is Professor Alpa Shah of the London School of Economics. She was a colleague of David Graeber. Here is a link to her paper “What if We Selected our Leaders by Lottery? Democracy by Sortition”

        1. Bazarov

          I’ve been arguing for sortition for at least 16 years.

          Also: no executive. The logical conclusion of a strong executive is caesarism.

    4. Kouros

      I can swear, with the right hand on my heart, that my union fully abandoned me in a very clear case of bureaucratic abuse. Furthermore, the union refused to sue an independent office which reported to the parliament, despite the overwhelming evidence and assurance of success. In the end, only direct threats to the parliament of public disclosure made said parliament to dismiss the person in charge of said office.

      Still, my grievances went totally unaddressed.

  13. farragut

    Re, WSJ article on China encroaching upon America’s new backyard, let’s listen in on today’s White House press briefing:

    Foreign Journo: “You have 750 military bases around the globe.”

    Biden: “My God, man! In the last few years, China has doubled–DOUBLED–the number of military bases they have around the world. We’re gonna have to open a lot more bases to keep up with that! Oh, and by the way, just this morning, we’ve declassified our intelligence about China’s bases. Ned Price, over at State, will share that with you at his 1pm presser.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      There has been progress with old Joe Biden. In February of 2021, people were saying ‘Please give us Pandemic aid.’ And now in February 2022 people are saying ‘Please don’t start a thermonuclear war.’

      1. John

        If nuclear war is a civilizational death sentence, a sentiment widely shared and reaffirmed by the nuclear powers in a recent statement, why does the USA have nuclear weapons deployed in Europe and elsewhere? Why are there mutterings about the possibility of nuclear war? Why veiled threats of nuclear weapons in extremis?

        The US needs some adults conducting foreign policy and fewer mouth breathers in congress/

      2. JTMcPhee

        I had a dorm mate at Brown University who went on to a political career. He said nuking the Commies (along with the libertarian wish list) was his sumum bonum, and went all weepy-eyed at the loss he was willing to suffer (and the deaths of all the people he might hold dear) to achieve that goal. Goldwater Republican, and beyond.

        How many like him and the Rapturists who infest the nuclear military are also adherents of the Holy Faith of Ragnarök,, or yearning for, or some variation on the Death Drive?

        1. Michael Ismoe

          Well, they are all on Daily Kos now. Some of our Armchair McArthurs forget that Putin has a nuclear arsenal.

        2. JBird4049

          Starting a war causing likely end of not just Western civilization, but of all civilization world wide, with a goal supposedly justifying anything. This goal being a halcyonic age (Which they are defining) created by treating human beings as almost completely mutable, near blank slates, and disposable beside, to mold them and society into the right form. Again, a right form and supposed golden age defined by a few. Maybe the less extreme ones might just be happy with merely reducing the number of options: No homosexuals, all women must be obedient and meek, go to the church every Sunday.

          But of course.

          There is a certain repetitiveness one sees when studying True Believers. It could be Communists, Libertarians, Reactionaries, or people like Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, the lesser monsters like August Pinochet, Francisco Franco, or Ríos Montt, where they all seem to have the idea of “we must destroy the village to save it.” They all believe in the same horrific actions for a return to a fantasy golden age or to create one preferably by having other people suffer and die for it. Not them.

          While thinking of burning, if not actually doing it, the village do they realize how similar they are to others?

  14. jr

    re: Rainbow Babykillers

    “…an internal CIA report expressed great hope in France’s “New Philosophers.” Their ideas, particularly Michel Foucault’s, would help form the basis of an emerging academic field called queer theory, which pioneered concepts and terms like “cisgender.”

    On April 24, 2006, Judith Butler, who became the most famous living queer theorist by taking Foucault’s idea of sexuality as a social construct and applying it to gender, spoke at a “teach-in” at UC Santa Cruz against the Iraq War.”

    I’m just going to go ahead and say I called it. I hereby bet anyone reading this 100 billion dollars that Butler was/has worked with the CIA. Are we to believe that the CIA, ensorcelled by the idiocies of Foucault:

    “He argues that every truth is the construction of discourse, that changes from time to time and, hence, the truth must not be understood from the view of essentialism.”

    would pass up on an opportunity to promote another imbecile to carry the flag on this side of the Pond? Doubtful.

    What a marvelous thing critical theory is! A half-baked ideology that defies notions of truth by making innumerable truth-claims. It warns us of the dangers of essentialism by proposing an essential understanding of the nature of knowledge. Self-critical without realizing that self criticism also applies to it’s own conceptual framing. It strives to reorder social relations in a more equitable way by claiming that social relations are all the product of power structures, then goes on (reflectively for some, blindly for most) to develop it’s own discourse and structures of power.

    It provides the freedom to dream up any old thing you want and declare it’s your “personal revolution” or some other contradiction while enjoying the righteous moral clarity that total confusion often provides. What a perfect, potent soil upon which to cast the seeds of narcissism, perhaps the defining characteristic of our day and age. A secret language for the mental mediocrities who cluster to it’s intentional wordiness, the best of them seeking to hide their vacuity behind a webbing of 10$ words and bubble-tea fish egg ideas strung together by a particularly dull spider, the dross of that chaff utterly convinced they are on to something.

    I wonder when, as with the BLM “leadership” and the people on the street, the elite tiers of this most equitable of cult-formations will break away from the blue-haired herd. Unquestioningly, that is in process, but I wonder if and when the realization will dawn upon the mob that all their energy, all their fierceness, has merely served to install a new system of tyranny. One that is equitable, of course.

    1. David

      I’m usually on the same side as you whenever these questions come up, but here I think it’s worth trying to be fair to Foucault, whose actual writings (which almost nobody reads) are a lot more nuanced.
      What he was really saying, as a historian of ideas, is that the way truth is perceived changes over time, in reaction to changes in circumstances and in patterns of power and influence. His most famous example is that the way that mental health was perceived changed radically between 1500 and 1800. It didn’t “evolve”, it changed radically as new forces gained the power to dictate what the truth about madness was. Of course, our ideas about mental health changed again between 1800 and the 1960s, when Foucault was writing, and have changed again since then. When you see homeless people in the street, remember that after the 1970s, it was decided that it was “true” that the mentally ill were best cared for “in the community” and so we should close psychiatric hospitals. That decision was made by those with the ability to say what truth was, just as the Iraq War was launched by those who were able to enforce on others their belief that it was “true” that Iraq had WMD.

      This is, of course, completely different from arguing that truth in itself is an infinitely malleable concept, which as far as I know Foucault never did. Indeed, he was involved with prison reform groups, and went to look at actual real conditions in prisons. It’s the idiots who have read him hastily, if they’ve read him at all, who are responsible for that kind of nonsense.

      1. jr

        David, thanks, as always you provide an invaluable perspective. That makes a lot of sense; I have read some of his works to be clear but I have always wondered how the heck he arrived at his epistemology. If I follow you correctly, he focused his analysis on the subject but didn’t deny the object. That I can get behind. I wish his adherents were so clarifying.

        1. Skippy

          Hudson bemoans how his Super Imperialism was flipped on a dime to reach a goal and its not like religious texts don’t suffer the same over and over again throughout the ages … Then again Keynes thoughts have been reduced to IS-LM stripped of all nuance and then applied out of context in the here and now …

          Seems a problem of reading a book without all the accompanying back drop w/ historical context e.g. gold looks great on a log graph 4K years old …

          1. jr

            Thanks for the comments all, I had no idea they had perverted Prof. Hudson’s work Skippy, but I’m not surprised. I recall hearing it was required reading at the Treasury at some point.

  15. Carolinian

    Re Tesla and racism–well Musk is from South Africa so conclude what you will. But the story sounds credible. The correction at the end says “a previous version of this story stated that the Tesla Fremont plant was the only major nonunion auto plant in the U.S. The Tesla plant is the only nonunion U.S. plant operated by a major American carmaker”. Of course my region is now peppered with nonunion plants including a giant BMW assembly plant fifteen miles from where I sit. But I can fairly guarantee that you wouldn’t be able to get away with Tesla’s plant atmosphere here. The New South Republicans long ago concluded that overt racism was bad for business. Musk on the other hand seems to feel that “jerks” should be tolerated–perhaps because he is one.

      1. Carolinian

        Bamberg not exactly “New South” (i.e. the corridor from Atlanta to Charlotte”).

        Obviously I can only speak for where I live (that corridor)

    1. IMOR

      Says he’s south african but his fam’s been in Canada for two generations-plus. As the balance of your comment implies, racists are all over and what can assume a national character is the system(s) used to impose it on the target group(s).

  16. Mikel

    RE: Epstein pimp, found hanging in cell

    This article is beside itself.

    “He was suspected of being a member of infamous financier Jeffrey Epstein’s global underage sex ring…”

    “..Jeffrey Epstein’s French modelling agent friend Jean-Luc Brunel, who allegedly procured more than a thousand women and girls for the paedophile financier to sleep with, died today in an alleged prison suicide…”

    It”s a global sex ring…no, it’s thousands of women for one man…jeez…

    But let’s be real, the men in the Epstein/Maxwell/Brunel sphere haven’t let go of their obsessions just because these 3 are out of the picture. Their baton has already been picked up again. These sickos aren’t just saying, “Well, I guess I’m done now. Time to chill. Time to find somebody my own age.”

    Then there’s this bit about Maxwell from her brother:

    “Mr Maxwell claimed that despite her psychiatrist advising ‘to the contrary’, his sister was ‘deemed a suicide risk’ and said she is woken up every 15 minutes in the night. He described it as ‘complete violation of prisoner rights and human rights’, insisting that Maxwell is not suicidal…”

    What the hell kind of “suicide watch” protocal would involve waking someone up every 15 minutes?
    So easy for that to become a form of torture.

    1. timotheus

      Daily Mail headline puts scare quotes around “hangs himself” and “suicide”, which is rather telling.

    2. Skippy

      I’m reminded of the old BBC doco [15 years ago?] on all the big modeling agencies and how their reporter infiltrated them as a photographer, especially the Italian scene. 30 something men running houses with 6 or more young women mostly from overseas, coke, forced to staff VIP levels in nightclubs, international competitions, et al.

      Really puts the Epstein/Maxwell/Brunel observation into perspective IMO e.g. not the only ones and not anything new.

  17. Tom Stone

    At least things are going well here in the Wine Country, you can distinguish the worthy ( Vaxxed) from the unworthy at a glance.
    No need to wear a mask at indoor settings because you are protected!

    And with any luck the worst of the wildfire season will be over by mid October.

    Good times,good times…

  18. Wukchumni

    Jungholz: A ski town stuck in the wrong nation BBC
    Interesting read!

    Mammoth got a few inches of snow last week and the forecast calls for a few more in a few days and that’ll be the ski resort’s entire takings for January & February, months that usually produce bumper crops of white goods. There was no fear of dirt schmeers anywhere on the piste this week, the thin frozen line holding steady @ 1-3 feet of Sierra Cement.

    If it wasn’t for our xmas storm of such proportions, ski resorts in the Sierra would have to resort to making snow all the time, but they had a dream set up going on this year.

  19. Mikel

    “How big technology systems are slowing innovation” MIT Technology Review

    Except that once the big companies have captured users, they tailor more to their needs. Example the financial monopolies: Who needs a double digit interest rate?
    Or email: who needs their emails constantly scanned for info to sell to advertisers?

      1. jr

        Orlov once discussed something similar, he noted the Rus and Chinese build their weapons systems based upon proven designs and work from there whereas the US starts from scratch because “innovation”. That, bigger defense budgets and sweetheart deals for the death merchants and Voila!: the F-35, a.k.a the “Flying Penguin”.

      2. aletheia33

        great article, thanks!
        the early machines of the industrial revolution were very innovative and disruptive.
        the same amazement: wow how much more productive they are!
        so much more getting done so much faster!
        and people flocked to work for those industrial wages and to get off the farm.

        our amazing screens/machines/networks are nothing new.
        their ultimate purpose, baked in to their very design, is not “a better life” for anyone,
        but control of human beings.

        new programs that we have to buy. they offer us wonderful new “options”.
        yet somehow with every “expansion” of such “options”, my freedom is reduced.

        no one i’ve met, in the normal course of my day, who works, at a level below management, in a contemporary office workplace is fooled.
        or is thrilled with the relentless, accelerating “innovation”.

        … and here i sit, chained to my desktop by my addiction to the hunt, perusing NC, streaming great art films, getting (sometimes desperately needed) hits of oxytocin from cute animal videos, and meeting remotely with loved ones i otherwise would not be able to see.

  20. Wukchumni

    Former Fresno Mayor Dale Doig, who appeared on miniseries ‘Fresno,’ dies at age 86

    That was the headline in the Fresno Bee today, the highlight of a former leader’s reign at the reins.

    Props to the Mayor for appearing in ‘Fresno’ while in office, with Carol Burnett, Terri Garr, Charles Grodin, Dabney Coleman and others making as much fun of the fifth largest city in Cali as was legally possible some 36 years ago…

    Fresno The Miniseries (Full Film) (4 hours and 15 minutes long, if you are commitment averse)

  21. Mikel

    “The sister of disgraced financier Bernie Madoff was killed in a murder-suicide in Valencia Lakes, West of Boynton Beach. Her husband, Marvin Weiner, is also dead.

    The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to that a murder-suicide investigation is underway, but would not confirm the names of the deceased. Sources, however, tell that the Weiners’ bodies were found Thursday in their home on Barca Boulevard, and an internal email sent to homeowners in Valencia Lakes confirms that the Weiners are the dead…”

  22. Eric Anderson

    “Democrats Are Ditching Class, and It’s Costing Them Working-Class Voters”

    **As New York senator Chuck Schumer put it, “For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia.”**

    Ah, yes. The Iron Law of Institutions as expressed by Jon Schwarz. For the uninitiated, it states:

    “The people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution “fail” while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to ‘succeed’ if that requires them to lose power within the institution.” Yes, they’re using a bullhorn to announce the silent parts now.

    Coupled with Drucker’s quote that “Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right thing” one gets a HD Dolby Surround front row view of what is the self-serving neoliberal democrat machine. Can you see it over the heads of all the rabid PMC cheerleaders?
    Which solidifies my belief that the Ukraine fiasco is a tail wagging the dog exercise in escalating the Russia! Russia! Russia! charade just so the Blob can say “We told you so”! And yes, I fully believe these sociopaths want to escalate to WWIII levels of sociopathy just to preserve their power.

    We should thank the fact that they’re such horrible managers. It’s the only thing that gives me any hope that enough of the working class will wake up this fact to actually challenge it’s authority and bring the corrupt institution to crashing to the ground.

    1. Milton

      I thought the quote was this:
      For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans donors in the suburbs.

      1. Eric Anderson

        It might well be.
        But, as Jacobin writers (and myself as well) probably see very little difference between republicans and democrats beyond institutional infighting, it would seem a distinction without difference.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania

        At least according to Katrina Vanden Heuvel (here, 2017) the original source for the Schumer quote is at a forum sponsored by the Washington Post in July 2016, transcribed by (of all people) the National Review:

        Schumer’s optimism is driven more by national demographics than by the specific traits of his candidates. He contends that Millennials, or voters aged 18 to 35, will be the largest age group voting in this year’s electorate, even if they don’t turn out in massive numbers.

        The number one factor in whether we retake the Senate is whether Hillary Clinton does well, and I think she’s going to do really well,” Schumer says of his former fellow New York senator. He notes that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged Senate Republicans in difficult races to localize their elections, rather than get too tied to Trump’s positions and comments and scoffs, “Sorry, Mitch, this is a national election if there ever was one.”

        At least publicly, Schumer has no worries about his party’s dwindling fortunes among working-class white voters. “For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.”

        Schumer still has a job, because of course he does.

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          > Schumer still has a job, because of course he does.


          Only Illinois went “blue” … Schumer should have been sunk … like Robby Mook.

  23. antidlc

    UK: People with COVID in England won’t need to self-isolate

    People with COVID-19 won’t be legally required to self-isolate in England starting in the coming week, the U.K. government has announced, as part of a plan for “living with COVID” that is also likely to see testing for the coronavirus scaled back.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson said ending all of the legal restrictions brought in to curb the spread of the virus will let people in the U.K. “protect ourselves without restricting our freedoms.” He is expected to lay out details of the plan in Parliament on Monday.

    “I’m not saying that we should throw caution to the winds, but now is the moment for everybody to get their confidence back,” Johnson told the BBC in an interview broadcast Sunday.

    Profoundly depressing.

    1. juanholio

      I know so many folks that have had a very mild case of it over the last few months, so this isn’t that surprising to me. I know an octagenarian recovering from cancer that shrugged it off over a weekend. I have a lot of friends and relatives in their sixties and over, and I don’t know anyone that had a hard time of it. Either the vaccines work, or this variant is toothless for most people.

      They can always adjust things to be less permissive, if/when a new nastier version crops up. You never know your luck though, maybe the other shoe doesn’t drop.

      1. Duke of Prunes

        And two parents from my daughter’s elementary school have died of covid in the past week. Although, I didn’t know these people so maybe it doesn’t matter as much?

        1. juanholio

          It’s certainly an extremely tragic event. Almost impossibly improbable, but apparently not! Kind of incredible and shocking that it didn’t make the local news!

          1. Basil Pesto

            Almost impossibly improbable

            Why do you say that?

            One doesn’t have to look very far or very hard to find stories of people prematurely dead of Omicron, despite your n = “so many” data.

          2. Duke of Prunes

            Report Covid deaths? That’s so 2021. I’m sure you have noticed that the narrative has moved on to “everything is wonderful”.

      2. The Rev Kev

        If a new nastier version crops up, do you think that Boris would shut the borders to protect the country? When the Delta version was booming, he still let several thousand people arrive from India each and every day from India by plane because he was in the middle of negotiations with Modi and did not want to offend him by closing the borders to India.

        1. juanholio

          The problem is, none of these half arsed measures seem to be doing much to help. Check out the UK numbers for more details.

          There is zero appetite to do what needs to be done, and many people are not abiding by the rules anyway, so now what? I kind of respect them for stopping the pretense!

          3/10 people following the rules is probably no better than nobody following the rules.

          What’s the point of rules if they are not adhered to, or enforced?

          My son has missed 5 weeks of school through 5 quarantines because other parents just send their kids in sick, and nobody says anything.

          It’s probably the same in adult land, people get a sore throat and say F it, I’m going to the restaurant anyway. Next thing is 20 more people have a sore throat. etc

          If we think rules are going to stop it, we are as delusional at the people who think it’s over. The decision had been made and we weren’t consulted.

          Luckily, this one isn’t THE one. If THE one ever comes, we’re f$&#@d!

  24. Donald

    This Ezra Klein piece is amazingly good.

    One thing I love is that Klein can get inside the head of the people running the policy and make all the usual excuses and he states them fairly and empathizes and then he just takes apart their position.

    I would be more brutal about them—I think people in that position choose to be that way and they could see the imperial hypocrisy if they wanted, but they have careers to think about. But is good to see someone who can speak their language and understands their culture give their POV and then destroy it.

  25. Andrew Watts

    RE: The CIA and the New Dialect of Power

    The disingenuous language favored by professionals has always been used to disguise the power-dynamics of the workplace. It’s the boss insisting that the workers use their first name. Or the company imposing mandatory fun activities and insisting they’re all really a family. This pseudo-egaltarianism is swiftly thrown out the window at the first sign of trouble. The radicals, on the other hand, use it to cope with their cognitive dissonance caused by their material interest in perpetuating the economic status quo that they are beneficiaries of. The CIA utilizing and adopting this kind of language shouldn’t be surprising given where they primarily recruit from, but their reasons are different from the so-called radicals or bosses.

    The American state has always been hobbled by it’s inability to attract non-white applicants. American soft power takes a hit whenever the image of the country isn’t one of racial inclusivity or domestic tranquility. CIA officers must find it difficult to blend in foreign countries when their ranks resemble a white supremacist organization. The prevalence of liberal doctrine in its ranks shouldn’t be surprising given the nature of the organization. Western liberal imperialism has always manifested itself in a variety of ways throughout history. The freakout that Trump’s election caused, and the subsequent reaction of Russiagate, was merely the expression of collective anxiety by college-educated liberals who suddenly realized how isolated they are from society.

    I couldn’t disagree more with the author’s conclusion to their article though. They imagine that imperial power originates in the office space where people are having super-important meetings. The mad scramble out of Kabul demonstrated that the influence wielded by people on the ground is the only thing that matters. Airpower didn’t determine the outcome in the absence of a organized ground force that can take and hold territory. The infatuation with drones is some thing I find bizarre and mostly irrelevant. Nor will economic sanctions play a decisive factor in determining outcomes. It’s just a passive-aggressive mode of warfare that mostly affects civilians and advertises military impotence.

    One of the signs of decline is when intellectuals can only offer abstract wishful thinking.

  26. LawnDart

    Azov Battallion rebranding efforts: “We’re not Nazis anymore, we’re…” democrats?

    (Well, true, we used to be neo-nazis back in 2014, but we’re not political, not ideological anymore– just a regular national guard unit these days.) [Note: my sacarstic paraphrasing]

    What is ideological, Shekhovtsov insists, is sloppily casting Ukrainians as neo-Nazis — a tactic Russia has been employing to discredit Ukraine and sow confusion among its erstwhile friends in NATO countries since Russia and Russia-backed separatists started carving off huge chunks of Ukrainian territory in 2014.

    Its founding members’ core principles have dogged the reputation of Azov, whose unit flag undeniably appears next to the swastika and other Nazi imagery in photos circulating online. What political affiliations current Azov members hold is unclear…

    These are fair questions to ask about the deeply problematic Azov unit, its undeniably far-right origins, and its current affiliations and ideologies. Inconveniently, they are also the kinds of questions Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin want Western democracies to ask.

    I’m hoping that this article is a one-off, a mistake, something that slipped past the editors, because I used to enjoy visiting this site. But the gaslighting, slant, and lies-by-omission make this article anything but an example of balanced journalism– it reeks of MSM propaganda. And these efforts to manipulate me as a reader just piss me off.

    IIRC, efforts to rebrand Azov began in 2014 as well, when our neocons recognized that the nazi emblems used as Azov insignia could be difficult to spin from a PR standpoint, making it more difficult to openly funnel arms and money to them– especially when they’re burning people alive en-mass and instituting progroms against the Russian-speaking population.

    I’m more than open towards entertaining opposing viewpoints, as long as they’re well-reasoned and factually-based. But to me, lies are an expression of arrogance and contempt– an act of theft and aggression. And this is why my Wheaties taste like piss this morning:

    1. The Rev Kev

      That article makes it sound like the Azov guys are just a few ‘bad apples’ but there is no polishing this turd. I don’t think that western governments have any real problems with neo-nasties in any case. In the Baltic countries they have annual parades in memory of those that served in WW2 with the Germans in SS Waffen divisions and there they have the full paraphernalia from WW2. The EU is supposed to protect the rights of all minorities and come down on countries like Poland and Hungary who don’t follow their line but when the Baltic countries bring in laws that discriminate against Russian-speaking minorities in their countries, the EU looks the other way.

  27. Alex Cox

    The Taking Of Pelham 123 was a very good film, as I recall. Unlike its star-struck remake, its protagonists looked like real people. And the language! All that swearing would have the wokerati quivering beneath their seats…

  28. jr

    The NYT (linked to a non-paywalled site) on the “joyless” Olympics:

    “For all of China’s efforts to carry on the Winter Games with a festive spirit, Beijing 2022 unfolded as a joyless spectacle: constricted by a global health disaster, fraught with geopolitical tensions, tainted once again by accusations of doping and overshadowed by the crisis in Ukraine.”

    Goofily skewed writing. Did China cause these horrors? One could get that idea. If the games had been in the US, they would have been framed as a beacon of hope.

    1. Carolinian

      A certain TV network may have had something to with it.

      However the Chinese did say they were going to be low key with the opening ceremony in view of the pandemic. Don’t think NBC does low key or tasteful.

      BTW RT says Valieva returned to a hero’s welcome in Russia–a so there to WADA and IOC and NBC.

      1. Carolinian

        Just to add, my link won’t go through but there’s a report on the web that says all the rules were broken in condemning Valieva and that if the Russian version of WADA had not accepted and the rejected the news of the test (the amt of banned substance was tiny and the “B sample” was not tested) it would never have come up during the Olympics since the test was for a completely different event and in any case since she is a minor her name is supposed to be protected. The entire incident was extremely suspicious and most especially the timing and WADA has hardly had clean hands in the past. While I’ve always like Lance Armstrong one might well ask why, if WADA has such infallible powers of sleuthing, he passed all those drug checks and was finally outed by his colleagues rather than testing.

  29. Tom Stone

    I disagree with Ezra Klein, the Biden Administration is chock full of sadists,psychopaths and sociopaths.
    Many of them as chickenshit as badass Joe and the $600 he still owes me.
    Stealing money from the helpless and watching them and their children starve is BAU and mildly entertaining for these folks.
    They are evil.
    I’m looking forward to the 1 Millionth US Covid death being commemorated with a limited edition coin (Genuine simulated silver or Gold!) from the Franklin Mint…

  30. Jason Boxman

    Just when you thought the CDC couldn’t possibly engage in any further egregious behavior:

    The C.D.C. Isn’t Publishing Large Portions of the Covid Data It Collects

    For more than a year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has collected data on hospitalizations for Covid-19 in the United States and broken it down by age, race and vaccination status. But it has not made most of the information public.

    The whole organization ought to be shutdown. What a joke.

    Two full years into the pandemic, the agency leading the country’s response to the public health emergency has published only a tiny fraction of the data it has collected, several people familiar with the data said.

    (bold mine)

    We’re truly flying blind.

    Much of the withheld information could help state and local health officials better target their efforts to bring the virus under control.

    You think?

    Walensky needs to resign, immediately. She’s useless. Her agency is useless. Biden should resign as well. He’s an incompetent, and lazy, and more people have died under his administration than the “other guy”.

    The agency has been reluctant to make those figures public, the official said, because they might be misinterpreted as the vaccines being ineffective.

    This goes back to the original “noble lie”, as Lambert puts it, in so far as, the public is too stupid for its own good, so we just need to trust officials, and even accept lies that are in our best interests.

    1. Tom Stone

      This is Democide, they are deliberately allowing this pandemic to persist and killing or crippling millions because it is profitable in so many ways to do so.
      Look who is dying for the most part, useless mouths and minorities.
      Old people, people with comorbidities, Black Americans who are reluctant to trust the medical establishment which has repeatedly betrayed their trust…no one who matters.
      The herd will be thinned one way or the other, “Letting Nature take its course” and making bank at the same time, what’s not to like?

      Let’s go Brandon!

      1. Jason Boxman

        It’s hard to say, I think, because there are different factions of the elite that want different things, and value different things. Without a doubt I’m sure there’s a pharma component to this, because there’s much money to be had. But there’s also the “freedom” people, the virtue signalers, because markets people, and I’m sure I’ve left groups out.

        But there is a shockingly callous disregard for the welfare of citizens generally, so it seems like a unified “go die” response.

        That said, one wonders if it is possible to get some faction of the elite to recognize that seriously reducing community spread is good for capitalism, or whatever, since fealty to markets is one common theme among many of these elite factions.

        I don’t think it’s an organized campaign of intentional murder though, even though mass death is nonetheless the ultimate outcome. (And perhaps there is indeed cheering in some quarters about deaths among the flyover ‘others’, because liberal Democrats seem to in general despise this group of citizens.) This doesn’t make it any less evil, though.

    2. IM Doc

      A little bit of history –

      When America first found out about AIDS – it was from the MMWR – Mortality & Morbidity Weekly Report – that has been published by the CDC for decades. This was also the tabulation source during the AIDS crisis of all of the other issues going on from PCP pneumonia to toxoplasma of the brain to all the cancers going on in AIDS patients. The CDC was all over it. The same can be said of ZIKA, West Nile Virus, and countless others. Our CDC was the envy of the world. They worked in total transparency and published all their numbers very quickly.

      It is important to note how vitally important that information was for clinicians on the ground during AIDS. It gave us some kind of perspective on problems, their prevalence, and sharing treatment ideas.

      This has been one of the most notable failures of the CDC this time – the MMWR may as well be parrot cage liner. They have not been sharing complete information from the beginning about hospitalizations, deaths, vaccine issues, you name it.

      For those of us who are veterans – it has been a striking difference. And the tragedy is Dr. Walensky was so vocal early on about how she was going to work on getting the statistics and epidemiologic wings of the CDC up to their former glory.

      1. JBird4049

        Is reporting just missing some data or is being fabricated? Either way, does anyone know if they have or still have the original data? As I suggest in the earlier comment, this might be FOIA’d. Maybe I could do it myself. Not that I agave a clue on how to do so, but there is a process, and since the CDC is likely to dance very hard around the request, delaying or denying, the sooner someone puts in the paperwork…

        Although there must be requests already in the queue from someone.

    3. Screwball

      Quite the article. There is more;

      The C.D.C. also has multiple bureaucratic divisions that must sign off on important publications, and its officials must alert the Department of Health and Human Services — which oversees the agency — and the White House of their plans. The agency often shares data with states and partners before making data public. Those steps can add delays.

      The C.D.C. is a political organization as much as it is a public health organization,” said Samuel Scarpino, managing director of pathogen surveillance at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Pandemic Prevention Institute. “The steps that it takes to get something like this released are often well outside of the control of many of the scientists that work at the C.D.C.”

      So data is political? ;-)

      When the Delta variant caused an outbreak in Massachusetts last summer, the fact that three-quarters of those infected were vaccinated led people to mistakenly conclude that the vaccines were powerless against the virus — validating the C.D.C.’s concerns.

      But that could have been avoided if the agency had educated the public from the start that as more people are vaccinated, the percentage of vaccinated people who are infected or hospitalized would also rise, public health experts said.

      I would have to see a timeline, but at that point in the pandemic, how many were still telling people “if they got vaccinated they WOULD NOT get the virus?”

      This agency has failed us, as well as many others, including the Unity President.

      Let’s go Brandon #HonkHonk

    4. Duke of Prunes

      Since the solution to every problem is now “better messaging”, it’s best to not publish too many facts that might stand in the way of future “better messaging”.

    5. VietnamVet

      Corporate oligarchs did an actual a coup d’état in the West, but nobody noticed it since the media moguls hid it. Democracy is no more. Public Health was privatized. I have no memory of the 1968 Hong Kong flu that was roughly as lethal as coronavirus. Back then there was a public health system and hospitals were non-profit. It was handled. This time all that matters is increasing corporate profits. The pandemic profiteering skyrocketed pharmaceutical industry profits. The million American deaths with COVID-19 is of no concern. A couple of weeks afterwards PBS NewsHour will mention it in passing. Ukraine will flood the airways. “Biden agrees ‘in principle’ to summit with Putin if Ukraine is not invaded.”

      Aumua February 20, 2022 at 2:44 pm posted the video of Dr. Wolff on Canadian Truckers. This is just as applicable to our future as the coronavirus pandemic intentionally fades into the background. The people fighting to regain their right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness” is inevitable. Joining together is necessary by all employees or they will be the next to be gigged. Tagging truckers as right-wing racists is corporate agitprop. Robot trucks will never work. Without truckers there is no economy.

  31. dday

    I read the entire New Yorker article on Amy Coney Barrett. Very informative. I did not realize that the 2nd Amendment regarding guns was a core Catholic belief. Perhaps someone needs to inform the Pope. Barrett could help him draft a papal encyclical on the matter.

  32. ArvidMartensen

    I always saw Gates as the Microsoft guy who got rich by getting his customers to beta test his software after they bought it, and by being utterly ruthless in dealing with competitors. His was no garage to riches story, I think mom was on the board of IBM. It was more like Dynasty.
    I’ve not given him much thought at all for the past few decades.
    And now due to Covid, I find that under the guise of a “philanthropic” foundation he has morphed into an octopus where every tentacle is ruthlessly making money out of every kind of human need and misery, including out of healthcare, vaccines, farmland (food), and water.
    His aim is obviously to control and make money out of every part of human existence. Like getting Oxford to patent their Covid vaccine, instead of giving it away (no hard feelings suckers).
    So anything he says, probably finessed by some PR underling, strikes me as just another shot in the business of owning every dollar in the world. I can see no humanity in the man at all. I wonder what Jeffery thought of him.

    1. Carolinian

      Gates wasn’t totally bad. He was a software guy and he standardized computer ui when there were many systems and it needed standardizing. And he encouraged developers to write for his system. There is an amazing amount of windows software–much of it free. I still use Windows at home only because of all that excellent old software. Of course the os itself is a kludge that needs constant updating..

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