Links 2/6/2022

On Cat Pictures Los Angeles Review of Books

‘A deranged pyroscape’: how fires across the world have grown weirder Guardian

How this little marsupial’s poo nurtures urban gardens and bushland (and how you can help protect them The Conversation

JUMPING THE GUN? — Controversy erupts over Aussie museum’s identification of HMS Endeavour wreck Ars Technica

Has Captain Cook’s ship Endeavour been found? Debate rages, but here’s what’s usually involved in identifying a shipwreck The Conversation

How Elizabeth Taylor Remade the Novel of Old Age New Yorker. One of my favorite novelists. Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont is superb.

Bloomsyear Literary Review

The Comics Cavalcade Nation. J. Hoberman.

Freud and the Miseries of Politics The New Republic

Bacon in Moscow by James Birch review – darkly funny account of art behind the iron curtain Guardian

The discovery of Egypt’s lost city BBC

A brief history of how Parsis flourished in Zanzibar (with a cameo from Freddie Mercury) Scroll

How Fake Calls and Paint Splatters Help Owls Relocate Treehugger


Associations between adverse childhood experiences, attitudes towards COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine hesitancy: a cross-sectional study  BMJ Open (ChiGal)

Vastly unequal US has world’s highest Covid death toll – it’s no coincidence Guardian

Federal Judges Ask Lawyer Appearing Before Them To *REMOVE* Mask Above the Law


In Third Covid-19 Wave, Mumbai Turned To Trusted Family Doctors India Spend

In UP: ‘We kept looking for a hospital bed‘ People’s Archive of Rural India


Coronavirus: Hong Kong hits record 351 new infections as officials plan for ‘worst-case scenario’ where patients quarantine at home South China Morning Post


A night with the untouchables The Reformed Physicist

This Is Impossible To Ignore Russell Brand YouTube. Not everyone’s a fan; I am. Whether you are or not, enjoy the video.

Canada protests against Covid measures gain steam France 24

Florida investigates GoFundMe over Canada trucker donations Al Jazeera


Class Warfare

Facilitating Civic and Political Energies for the Common Good Counterpunch. Ralph Nader.

Big Tech Must Stop Hiding Project Syndicate. Mariana Mazzucato and Ilan Strauss.

Home Is Where the Money Is Capital & Main

Paid Leave for All: Worker Advocates Demand Expanded Protections Common Dreams

Prosecutors Who Want to Curb Mass Incarceration Hit a Roadblock: Tough-on-Crime Lawmakers Marshall Project

Mold, leaks, rot: how Brad Pitt’s post-Katrina housing project went horribly wrong Guardian

Sports Desk

Scotland 20-17 England: Six Nations 2022 – live! Guardian

Speed skating-German Pechstein becomes oldest female Winter Olympian at 49 Reuters

Winter Olympics: emotional Wu lost for words after China’s golden start to 2022 Games South China Morning Post

You know it’s cold when Winter Olympians are freezing WaPo

When You Can’t Tell the Snow From the Sky NYT

Old Blighty

‘Partygate’: Johnson’s removal is now inevitable, warns loyalist Guardian

Johnson’s Brave Face Can’t Hide His Fading Grip on Power Bloomberg

Platinum jubilee: the British monarchy has been in and out of public favour for 200 years The Conversation

Queen wants Camilla to be Queen Consort when Charles becomes king Guardian

Joe Rogan shares candid views on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in resurfaced podcast episode Independent

Prince Harry under fire for ‘tone deaf’ comments about suffering from ‘burnout’ Fox

l’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew will face a two-day grilling by sex accuser Virginia Roberts’ lawyers in London in March and be made to give evidence under oath Daily Mail

New York State of Mind

NYC gives Pete Davidson, Colin Jost extra time to move Staten Island Ferry New York Post

Verizon’s Aging Copper Lines Leave Customers Hung Up With Frustration The City

Climate Change

How Oil Lobbyists Continue to Exert Influence on California Regulators and Lawmakers Capital & Main

Cyclone Batsirai: Second storm in weeks hits Madagascar BBC

‘Carbon footprint gap’ between rich and poor expanding, study finds Guardian

Winter sports feeling the heat of warming atmosphere Yale Climate Connections

New Cold War

India tilts towards Russia in Ukraine fight at the UN Responsible Statecraft

China and Russia call on US to abandon Asia-Pacific, Europe missile plans South China Morning Post

Government in Berlin Classifies China as a “Systemic Rival” Der Spiegel

Germany must cut reliance on Russian gas, minister says Deutsche Welle

Democrats in Disarray

Schumer faces brewing war and progressives ramp up primary threats The Hill

Health Care

California liberals seethe after Democratic legislature kills single-payer Politico

Cancer moonshot 2.0: A missed opportunity for prevention Stat

Biden Administration

Iran welcomes US sanctions relief, but says ‘not enough’ Al Jazeera

Is Congress Willing to Fix Biden’s Failed Yemen Policy? Common Dreams

Can Joe Rogan Save Free Speech? Jonathan Turley (chuck l)

Amnesty report on Israeli ‘apartheid’ garners bipartisan US fury Al Jazeera


Military Industry Healthier Than Ever Consortium News

Suicide Bomber Who Killed U.S. Troops and Afghans “Likely” Used Unguarded Route to Kabul Airport Gate ProPublica


France, China fueling India, Pakistan sub race Asia Times

Interview | ‘BJP Wants to Entangle People in Caste, Religion So They Don’t Raise Crop Price Issues’ The Wire

India Has a Problem With Election Handouts The Diplomat


How China’s Growing Clout Led Hollywood to Look for a New Villain WSJ

Antidote du Jour (via) (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Mason

    Scorched earth victory for the cause of cancelling Joe Rogan. He will go to another platform and likely will recover his viewership.

    Meanwhile, everyone knows the leak was just a political assassination. Who thought this was a winning move?

    1. Louis Fyne

      Yes, if they succeed in getting Rogan off of Spotify, the next platform that Rogan moves to will instantly be elevated from a tertiary streaming platform to the big leagues.

      Rogan will come out of this with more viewers as, IMO, nearly every family/friend circle has a closet Rogan listener, all this free publicity is a perfect opportunity for those listeners to convert more listeners. Streisand Effect will strike again.

      1. dcblogger

        It has been 58 years since Freedom Summer, there is no excuse for anyone to be using racial epithets of any kind anywhere. Moreover, Rogan spews lies. A lie is not a point of view, it is a lie. And lies about vaccines kill. So the only surprise here is that a major corporation, in the middle of a pandemic, thought it would be a good idea to sign a notorious racist liar spewing anti vaccine nonsense.

          1. dcblogger

            the most obvious is his use of racial epithets. White supremacy is a lie. Recently the Majority Report has been doing a great job of taking down Rogan’s lies:
            Joe Rogan Gets OWNED By Guest On Vaccines Misinformation

            Joe Rogan And Jordan Peterson BEYOND Parody During Looney Climate Discussion

            the US is imploding under the pressure of decades of Koch/right wing lies. Finally people are pushing back. That is a good thing.

            1. Ahimsa


              “…a notorious racist liar spewing anti vaccine nonsense.”

              I think Rogan is currently being targeted because of the vaccine part of your claim.
              Your receipts are sorely lacking. The Majority Report links seem to involve a lot of snark about judiciously selected segments. I really don’t see how they have done a good job in taking down Rogan’s “lies”. In fact, his guest was regrettably not up to date and thus incorrect about vaccine incidences of myocarditis in young males:

              Are you aware many European countries no longer recommend or administer Moderna for Under 30’s because of this clearly elevated risk? Although it appears even the risk associated with Pfizer is greater than from infection for young males:

              Risks of myocarditis, pericarditis, and cardiac arrhythmias associated with COVID-19 vaccination or SARS-CoV-2 infection

              A good analysis and summary of that paper can be found here:

              Fine, you find Rogan objectionable and don’t like him. Don’t let confirmation bias stop you from hearing valid Information from the mouths of those you don’t respect.

              1. Yves Smith

                Even with the limited information I have read about Rogan (as in second hand) he isn’t anti-vax but has adopted a “You haven’t made a case for X recommendations” which is interpreted as anti-vax (as in anyone who is not a vax cheerleader = anti vax), and had Robert Malone on his show.

                I note that most critics have merely dumped him on questioning the utility of vaccinating young adults instead of deigning to provide a substantive response. That sort of personal attack only leads those in the leaning-skeptical-but-might-be-persuadable camp to conclude the proponents have a weak/no case since they didn’t use the opportunity to make one.

            2. Jonathan Holland Becnel


              “PEOPLE” are pushing back????

              More like DC establishment hacks are treading on the 1st Amendment.

              Here’s to the uniting of right and left to take down the establishment!

              1. dcblogger

                the right wants to kill people, which is why they attacked DC residents, especially homeless people when they came in November and December of 2020. You cannot unite with people who want to kill you.

                1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

                  Maybe the homeless person looked like Pelosi????

                  None of my rightist friends, white, Black, Latino, or Asian wanna kill people except the Dem Establishment. Sorry about ur experience in DC but I’m not gonna engage in a civil war with my brothers and sisters while real evil flourishes in DC.

                2. Yves Smith

                  Rogan is not right wing. Rogan ENDORSED Sanders!

                  You have lost your mind. He’s only voted Democrat and independent.

                  He’s probably best classified as a left libertarian.

                  1. Bill Carson

                    Respectfully, it was sort of an endorsement that he didn’t retract. I used to listen to Rogan pretty regularly and it seems like he has changed since making the moves to Spotify and Austin. He was generally curious and open-minded, and it seems like he has drifted to the Right, probably as a result of the guests he has been interviewing over the past year or two. Just my $.02.

                    1. Bill Carson

                      Thinking back on it, it may even be the case that the semi-endorsement of Sanders and his positive reaction to Sanders’ message was the turning point. (Before Sanders he had an excellent conversation with Cornell West.) A bunch of people on the Right and even in the Establishment were not going to let this podcaster who was developing massive influence advocate for (so-called) socialistic policies and programs.

        1. Late Introvert

          Facts are simple and facts are straight
          Facts are lazy and facts are late
          Facts don’t come with points of view
          Facts don’t do what I want them to
          Facts just twist the truth around
          Facts are living turned inside out
          Facts are getting the best of them
          Facts are nothing on the face of things

        2. Oh

          The very guys who are accusing Rogan of using racial epithets are spreading the n word left and right. Good job TYT et al!

        3. Foy

          Here’s Rachel Maddow spewing vaccines nonsense, I trust you hold Rachel, Fauci at al to the same standard, and require them wiped from the airwaves too. Remember these lies kill, your words (ah but they are noble lies I hear you say?). There’s way less lies on Joe Rogan’s show than you will find on any mainstream media outlet.

          And thats before we get started about Russiagate lies.

          Rogan also thought that Sanders and Gubbard were the best candidates in the last election – another thing that gets the Dems and PMC types hair on fire, as ably demonstrated by Bari Weiss on the Joe Rogan show. He just asks a couple of simple questions and she implodes, shows her true colours that she just repeats talking points like most Dems and PMCs and has no idea what she is talking about, just an echo chamber.

          1. fringe element

            I saw the show with Bari Weiss. Interesting thing is, she shows up on Rogan’s twitter thread voicing her support for him.

        4. lordkoos

          I think what Rogan said was that if you are young and healthy, you didn’t need to get the vaccine. Has he been proven wrong? Have there been excess deaths from unvaxxed people under 35 whe compared to the same group that was vaccinated?

          1. Yves Smith

            Yet more of the deaths fallacy. 20% of the those who get asymptomatic cases get long Covid. Getting Covid also hits your T cells and getting it repeatedly, which is what not being vaccinated sets you up for, will over time result in T cell depletion and derangement, with the most probable outcome an increase in cancer risk.

            This is from a peer reviewed study:

            We conducted a retrospective cohort study based on linked electronic health records (EHRs) data from 81 million patients including 273,618 COVID-19 survivors….

            Among COVID-19 survivors (mean [SD] age: 46.3 [19.8], 55.6% female), 57.00% had one or more long-COVID feature recorded during the whole 6-month period (i.e., including the acute phase), and 36.55% between 3 and 6 months. The incidence of each feature was: abnormal breathing (18.71% in the 1- to 180-day period; 7.94% in the 90- to180-day period), fatigue/malaise (12.82%; 5.87%), chest/throat pain (12.60%; 5.71%), headache (8.67%; 4.63%), other pain (11.60%; 7.19%), abdominal symptoms (15.58%; 8.29%), myalgia (3.24%; 1.54%), cognitive symptoms (7.88%; 3.95%), and anxiety/depression (22.82%; 15.49%)….

            The long-COVID features involving pain were notable for 3 reasons. First, the overall incidence of pain (of any kind) recorded after COVID-19 was 34.2% (Table V in S1 Tables), higher than any of the other features, and higher than after influenza (24.0%). Second, pain was the only feature that had a higher incidence in the 3- to 6-month period than in the 0- to 3-month period (Table C in S1 Tables). Pain, therefore, appears to be a prominent and relatively persistent element of long-COVID. Third, headache and myalgia had characteristics that differed from the other pain categories: They were more common in women and in younger patients, and notably so in those who had been less acutely ill (as proxied by not requiring hospitalization or ITU admission, and without leukocytosis; Fig 4 and Fig AE in S1 Fig). In each case, this was in the opposite direction to the overall burden of long-COVID features. As such, post-COVID headache and myalgia may result from a different mechanism than the other long-COVID features.

            Long-COVID features were observed in all COVID-19 subgroups examined, but the incidence of features differed in relation to demographic and illness severity factors. Overall, there was a higher incidence of long-COVID features in the elderly, in more severely affected patients, and in women. However, it is notable that long-COVID features were also recorded in children and young adults, and in more than half of nonhospitalized patients, confirming that they occur even in young people and those who had a relatively mild illness (Tables K-L in S1 Tables). This is significant in public health terms, given that most people with COVID-19 are in the latter group. It is also of interest that almost 40% of patients with long-COVID symptoms recorded between 3 and 6 months had not had any such diagnosis in the first 3 months. Some of this may reflect a delay in presentation but also suggests that some patients may have a delayed onset of long-COVID features.


            Even children get long Covid:

            When Haley Bryson’s post-COVID-19 symptoms began, they struck mightily. The 9-year-old from Manassas, Virginia, suffered headaches, earaches, exhaustion, soreness in her chest and throat, and stomach problems so bad they sent her to the emergency department twice. She quickly dropped 20 pounds from her 75-pound frame, according to her mom, Javanese Hailey.

            The fourth grader — who previously reveled in performing handstands, cartwheels, and forward rolls — felt sick every day starting in August 2021, just a few weeks after a fairly quick recovery from COVID-19.

            “I was really sad because being sick was preventing me from doing a lot of things I like to do” — even arts and craft projects, she says.

            Haley, who’s been seen at the Post-COVID Care Program at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC, since October, is feeling much better now. But before, she explains, “all I wanted to do was lay down because everything hurt so much.”…

            As for pediatric long COVID-19 rates, research places them anywhere from 2% to 50%, with some experts suggesting the number is closer to 10%. That means hundreds of thousands of kids and teens will likely be impacted.


            1. Ahimsa

              The problem is vaccination does not prevent infection (asymptomatic or otherwise).

              Is there a study showing vaccination prevents Long Covid?

              Are you aware of the data increasingly showing vaccination is increasing the likelihood of infection with Omicron?

            2. Ahimsa


              What is the basis of this claim?

              “Getting Covid also hits your T cells and getting it repeatedly, which is what not being vaccinated sets you up for, with the most probable outcome an increase in cancer risk.”

              How does being unvaccinated set one up for greater risk of reinvection in comparison to a vaccinated person, or have I interpreted this statement in correctly?

              Neither of the links you provided on Long-Covid offer any evidence of vaccine efficacy against Long-Covid.
              Nor do they offer any evidence of increased incidences of reinfection amongst the unvaccinated.

              “Do vaccines protect against long COVID? What the data say”
              Vaccines reduce the risk of developing COVID-19 — but studies disagree on their protective effect against long COVID.

              The above article from Nature, states:

              “Vaccines reduce the risk of long COVID by lowering the chances of contracting COVID-19 in the first place. But for those who do experience a breakthrough infection, studies suggest that vaccination might only halve the risk of long COVID — or have no effect on it at all”

              1. Yves Smith

                Ahem, T-cell depletion comes about via severity of the infection. Being vaccinated does reduce severity of infection. Omicron has also already been documented to be producing repeat infections.

                Being vaccinated reduced long Covid incidence:


                Next? Is this knee jerk contrarian-ness? I think the vaccines have been oversold but trying to present them as ineffective is all wet.

    2. Louis Fyne

      It is fair to say that in totality Joe Rogan is left-of-center. “progressives” trying to cancel him is just plain dumb.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Maybe they think that if they can cancel Joe Rogan, then all his listeners will flock back to CNN and MSNBC for their news as where else can they go? Where else indeed.

        1. Samuel Conner

          > where else can they go?

          From the excellent Russell Brand wordstream, if people recognize that legacy media is constitutionally incapable of doing other than serving the interests of its constituents in the oligarchy, perhaps they will simply ‘move on’.

          Let a thousand independent reader-supported journalist ‘blogs bloom.

          1. juanholio

            Isn’t there a strong possibility that these “independent journalists” will also be paid shills, but without the minimal ethical restraint that a corporation governed by shareholders must adhere to?

            When you build up a niche audience, there is a danger that you, as the author, must always scratch the readers cognitively biased itches, or they will abandon you for “selling out”. Just look at the state of TAE and other blogs that have gone down the alt-heath / red pill rabbit hole.

            1. urblintz

              “the minimal ethical restraint that a corporation governed by shareholders must adhere to?”

              is that the punchline?

              1. juanholio

                Look at what’s going on with influencers and crypto. Brazen lawlessness, whilst enjoying impunity.

                Blue chips have to at least pretend to care about the rules, and keep the demonstrable lies and fraud on the down low, otherwise the stock can get taken to the woodshed.

            2. Pelham

              I sort of agree that some internal (not censoring) restraints ought to be applied in news organizations, but corporations are not the answer. Mainstream media today are mostly corporate, and serving shareholders means playing to the priors and biases of the audience demographic that appeals most to advertisers. Increasingly, that means niche audiences with flaming biases.

              Within the corporate model before the internet when media monopolies prevailed in major cities, there was some leeway for honest journalism. Now in the digital hyper-market, that leeway is mostly gone. In its place is a vast landscape of content appealing to every tinier, angrier niches.

              This is wonderful in bringing new and more insightful voices to the fore. But it’s also horrible in its tendency to fragment society due to the massive dissemination of garbage along with the fresh insights as well as the tendency to bubble up the most vitriolic content.

              My suggested solution requires re-establishment of a completely different but generally more credible medium — ink on paper — under an entirely different model in the form of guaranteed state support: national and regional newspapers funded entirely by the federal government, with three to five national papers each openly stating a political bias. (The bias aspect of this is similar to the setup in much of Europe. Readers of the UK’s Daily Telegraph, for instance, know they’re getting a basically conservative take on the news, while Guardian readers get center-left coverage.) Each paper would have layers of editors to keep a lid on reporters’ wilder tendencies, just as in our commercial press during their relatively brief run of semi-integrity.

              Readers could subscribe to one or more of these papers for free. My hope is that we could seed in their minds the belief that what they encounter in this different, tangible and unalterable medium is more trustworthy than most of the malleable stuff they find online.

              1. flora

                Or, you know, break up monopoly concentration in media. Several competing outlets in the market. I understand your hope in a “guaranteed state support” for fostering competing ideas in the MSM. However, state support will never support anything counter to the state’s and its current political pols priors, imo. State support makes the 4th Estate (the press) a controlled function of the 3rd Estate (democratic government). Break up the media monopolies. That will serve the purpose, imo.

                1. flora

                  adding: the traditional roll of the press in democracies has been to hold the government accountable for its actions. If the press is dependent on government handouts for survival then I doubt they will question too much or too carefully the government’s actions. ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds’ is an old saying. My 2 cents.

              2. upstater

                The best feature of a paper periodical is tracking and commodization of individuals as a product really doesn’t work. I also find that I’m more likely to read articles that I’d skip over in an online media.

                I also agree with flora that media ownership is far too concentrated. Broadcast radio is probably the best/worst example. Every time I make the rare mistake of turning on a commercial station (supposedly for music and not 10 minutes of ads) or National Propaganda Radio, it takes only a few minutes to realize why I quit that media in the aftermath of the 2003 Iraq invasion.

                When serious censorship begins Yves will have to mail us newsletters in a plain, hand addressed envelope!

                1. drumlin woodchuckles

                  Unless the BiParty Depublicratic establishment can get the Postal System exterminated and abolished first, in which case, any “letters” than NaCap might try to send would cost $10 or $20 or however much private postage Bezos cared to charge to send them.

                  And if he ( and fellow Private LetterSenders) didn’t like a newsletter’s face, they could all agree to just not send it at all.

                  In which case, its back to home computers and home printers and couriers and/or carrier pigeons to carry the NaCap message from the Mothership out to the various first-copiers who will then re-copy and re-re-copy and re-re-re-copy onward and outward, as the readership tries its best to catapult the samizdata.

            1. John Zelnicker

              flora – I just read a post by Amanda Marcotte about how the left-wing, broadly speaking, has become dour and humorless.

              IMNSHO, if progressives want to attract more folks to their way of thinking, they need to put some more emphasis on how much more fun it is to be liberated from the strictures of the conservative mindset.

              My memory is old but there might have been an ad campaign 50-60 years ago about “Reading Can Be Fun”. It certainly is and that’s perhaps a way to overcome the right-wing’s attempts to ban books from cirriculums and school libraries.

              1. JBird4049

                What is labeled the left-wing in the United States is more like the right-wing of fifty years ago, only crazier and much more destructive, with distinct elements of the Cultural Revolution; it is an adjunct, if not an organ, of the Democratic Party and the people it serves.

                If they were dropped into the Babylon by the Bay of the 70s, it would blow their tiny, little minds and smaller souls, which means there is no where for the people who would be either liberal or leftist to go. However, the Republican Party and its lackeys are just a little less dour and insulting, so that is where some are going.

                In order for the left to be fun, as Amanda Marcotte suggest, there would have to be an actual left again.

              2. JTMcPhee

                Yeah, have the genes that produced a Mark Twain and a Will Rogers and an over-the-top George Carlin been killed off by overdose of “forever chemicals” and corn syrup?

              3. drumlin woodchuckles

                And how do progressives do that if they are forced to operate from a Wokeness-strictured mindset? Is “progressiveness” really any more fun than “conservativeness”?

          2. Chris

            Yes, Russell Brand — over-the-top in clothing and gesture, and what about that intro fart? But if you were to only read a transcript of what he says, his content is right-on, insightful, and quite articulate.

        2. QuarterBack

          MSM has lost the plot. Faith in MSM has degraded so bad that many people are choosing to get their “news” from a comedian providing think out loud jokes and opinion. If Rogan is deplatformed, and MSM credibility is so bad that people end up getting their news from cat memes, will we be focused on how to get cat memes off the air?

        3. Robert Hahl

          The Rogan affair feels similar to the recent attacks on writers publishing through substack. MSM types grow afraid when people start making big money in off-Broadway venues. My guess is that substack will be acquired for enormous money soon, and so will Spotify, if they keep Rogan.

        4. Kerfluffle

          Rev: “where else can they go? Where else indeed.”

          No worries, mate. I don’t speak Australian, but am guessing “where else indeed” is right here at NC.

          These are interesting times. I like Martin Gurri’s observations that if’n I understand correctly suggest the new information platforms have displaced traditional modes of messaging and need to be reined in or called to account (git their minds – and our’s – “right”).
          The democrat party top down realignment is interesting too. The Clinton shuffle.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        from what i’ve gleaned from pre-podcast, i think i’d agree.
        Left Libertarian is prolly apropos.
        i don’t listen to podcasts…my speakers in the trees system isn’t conducive to the spoken word….and making a real effort feels too much like “his masters voice”, sitting in front of a radio.
        can’t afford 3 hours of that.
        so i read.
        whenever these rogan hysteria things erupt, i sometimes look for a transcript…but i’m not on spotify, and haven’t had any luck with that.
        all that said, this is exactly what First Amendment Absolutists, like myself, warned about when they cancelled the odious alex jones, then the odious trump.
        “first they came for the communists…but i was not a communist and did nothing…”

        for my priors, in senior year gov class(30+ ya) i defended the local Klan’s right to have a parade…after speaking up for months and being labeled , by the coach/teacher, a communist.
        that coach actually liked me, and attempted to gin up a lively debate about the supposed contradiction between the two labels….which failed utterly, of course, leaving me even more of an enigma and pariah than before.

        1. Robert Gray

          > i don’t listen to podcasts … making a real effort feels too much like “his masters voice”,
          > sitting in front of a radio.
          > can’t afford 3 hours of that.
          > so i read.

          This. I find it annoying as hell when these podcasters can’t be bothered to provide a transcript. The arrogance of it, the egoism, for them to expect everyone else to hang on their every word. I ( / most people ) can read faster than podcasters ( / most people ) talk. If their message is so important, write it down.

          1. William

            Relax, Others have done it for them:

            Duck Duck Go “Joe Rogan transcript Malone” or “–McCullough”

            They are right there. Didn’t some congressman read a transcript of them into Congressional Record? That’s easily available.

            Also, you can record or download the podcast and listen to the entire thing, or fragments, as you drive if you car allows hooking up Bluetooth to a smart phone. That’s a great way to turn a commute into a learning session.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              “… if you car allows hooking up Bluetooth to a smart phone…”
              (tucks Nedd Ludd sarong up under asbestos lined bathrobe)
              i’ve seen my sons do that, and been slack jawed in amazement,lol.
              my truck(’04 dodge) has the analog radio that came with it…and my fone is as dumb as they come.(yeah. i don’t do email, either)
              still, i’d rather read things, when i’m attempting to learn what the latest hyperventilation is about.
              and these podcasts seem to be averaging 3 hours?
              that’s a good excuse for not having a human generated transcript, right there.

              1. Maggie

                Thank you Amfortas for speaking of, giving a perspective from, a different and still relevant generation in this USA…. no blue tooth connection here… and yes, I show up in waiting rooms with an actual printed book I am reading!

          2. Ira Leifer

            Dude – most (real) people spend their day doing something during which they can’t read. Egads. Imagine a truck driver (are you reading texts while driving), a landscaper, a cook, a field hand, a egads, anyone who is not a PMC).

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              i read(real fast, generally) when i glide in for a break…or when i force myself/am forced by body(or weather) to take a day off.
              without an iphone and microwave headfones, how can i listen to people ramble while i’m fixin fence, pulling weeds,chasing chickens or any of the other million and one things i do, spread out at random over 20 acres?
              subsistence/yeoman farming just doesn’t gel well with podcasting, and i am hardly PMC.
              even one of those machine generated transcripts would be better than nothing.
              i did locate rogan’s twitter feed, and am sticking by my original assessment above, that he’s left libertarian…and rather refreshing in his apparent drive to get all around a given issue.
              he also shows humility when he’s wrong. also quite refreshing and rare these days.
              no wonder the Machine has a boner.

              1. ProNewerDeal

                Consider using a clip mp3 player, that clips onto your shirt. Sandisk Clip Jam is 1 such example.

                When walking around & working manual tasks like home dishwashing/cooking/laundry/etc, I find this a better solution than playing podcasts or music via smartphone. Furthermore, if the clip mp3 player gets damaged, you lost under $40, and no irreplaceable data. OTOH destroy a smartphone it will cost much more in money & time to replace it.

                  1. juno mas

                    … and listening to a podcast requires considerable attention. Multi-tasking has been shown to diminish comprehension in both listening and reading. (Reading allows one to scan and focus attention on main points of interest.)

                    Reading is more efficient for me…(as the Stones play in the background ;) .

              2. BrianL

                For years I’ve half-jokingly quipped “Left-libertarian is the only sane way to be”. By left libertarian I am thinking what the “Political Compass” test and website is on about. Simplified, sure, but useful nonetheless. I haven’t taken the test lately, but when I did I was deep in the green quadrant, like the Aussie economist Bill Mitchell (fellow traveller for sure, and listed in NC’s blogroll). I tend to agree about Rogan, but I think he is closer to the center, like what Bernie has become. Yes, I said Bernie is a centrist. In the wide world of political thought, he is, and I would be ok with that center, it would be an definite improvement. In the U.S. we have a choice between right-authoritarian and right-authoritarian. “We” appear to be a small minority and more concentrated in so-called Gen X (I suspect many of the commentariat here are lefty-lib as well). Am I implying that the rest of the country is politically insane? Maybe. ;-)

                1. rowlf

                  Left libertarian here too but due to appearance (think THX 1138) get stereotyped as a white supremacist. Screw’em. Maybe supply can’t keep up with demand?

          3. Eclair

            Like Amfortas, I prefer reading. However, certain essential activities, typically those that bore me to distraction and that I would avoid if I could, go better if I can listen while I work: dusting, dry mopping, washing floors, cleaning the bathroom, painting. While kneading bread, I listen to a controversial segment of Breaking Points.

            However, my husband is dyslexic; he reads with difficulty, and not for pleasure, but sticks to technical stuff. For him, the spoken word is a blessing that opens up new worlds without imposing the stress of trying to decipher the mysterious written word.

            1. fringe element

              Good point. The husband of one of my friends always loved to read and has a house full of books. Since he had a stroke he can no longer read. My friend is trying to persuade him to start using audio books.

        2. Chris

          I don’t firmly, with unthinking confidence, rely on any specific platform (written, oral, video) for news. Instead, I got to several and try to sift out the “truth”. Sure, I’ve been mislead — after all, I’m human all too human — but I’ve found that this approach works best for me.

          1. juno mas

            I agree. I use video/photos to give me a clue as to the accuracy of the words I read. The aerial photo of Trumps inaugural is a case on point.

      3. PlutoniumKun

        The attacks seem orchestrated, its a new topic every few days. I’ve even seen some of the climate scientists I follow on twitter sharing videos claiming Rogan is a climate denier (he clearly isn’t, in fact I’ve seen him taking issue with guests on this).

        I don’t know the source, but there is an interesting theory here floating around about who is behind it – a Superpac called meidastouch (I don’t know how reliable this source is). Their motive? Just to prove their clout to donors.

        1. lambert strether

          > The attacks seem orchestrated

          The first wave was “horse-paste”…

          It’s the usual. It’s totally ok for Obama to destroy a generation of black wealth with his housing policies, but it’s not ok for Rogan use a bad word. It’s perfectly ok for Cuomo to slaughter tens of thousands of elders in nursing homes, because he wasn’t run out of office for that, but for sexual harassment (for which the charges were dropped).

          The liberal Democrats orchestrating this latest dogpile lack any moral standing whatever; cf. Wesley Yang’s work on the successor ideology.

          1. TroyIA

            One could argue that the first wave was in 2020.

            Bernie Sanders draws criticism for touting Joe Rogan endorsement

            Bernie Sanders is facing a backlash from some Democrats after his campaign trumpeted an endorsement from comedian Joe Rogan, a popular podcast and YouTube talk show host with a history of making racist, homophobic and transphobic comments.

            The Sanders campaign touted the endorsement in a tweet on Thursday afternoon, featuring a clip of Rogan’s supportive remarks.
            “I think I’ll probably vote for Bernie. Him as a human being, when I was hanging out with him, I believe in him, I like him, I like him a lot,” Rogan said on an earlier episode of his show.
            “What Bernie stands for is a guy — look, you could dig up dirt on every single human being that’s ever existed if you catch them in their worst moment and you magnify those moments and you cut out everything else and you only display those worst moments. That said, you can’t find very many with Bernie. He’s been insanely consistent his entire life. He’s basically been saying the same thing, been for the same thing his whole life. And that in and of itself is a very powerful structure to operate from.”

            . . .

            Sanders’ strategic targeting of young, unaffiliated and working class voters often takes him to places, and onto platforms — like Twitch — that most Democratic candidates rarely venture. But that practice, when it brings a figure like Rogan into the political spotlight, also carries the risk of alienating parts of a liberal base that, especially in the Trump era, has become increasingly cautious about the company it keeps — and what that signals to marginalized communities.
            On Saturday, the progressive group MoveOn called on Sanders “to apologize and stop elevating this endorsement.”
            “It’s one thing for Joe Rogan to endorse a candidate,” MoveOn said in a tweet from its official account. “It’s another for @BernieSanders’ campaign to produce a video bolstering the endorsement of someone known for promoting transphobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, racism and misogyny.”
            Less than an hour later, former Vice President Joe Biden appeared to enter the fray.
            “Let’s be clear: Transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time,” Biden tweeted. “There is no room for compromise when it comes to basic human rights.”

      4. Aumua

        I’d say he has represented both sides of the political spectrum over his career, but also that the past few years he has veered significantly right (along with the rest of society). I would definitely not call him left libertarian as Amfortas has. More like closer to normal old right libertarian. I mean the guy had proud boys on his show, and he said they seemed like “fun guys”. I used to be a regular listener back in the day, but I’ve been over him pretty much ever since that happened and tried to ignore the guy but of course that’s impossible these days and we all have to constantly talk about Joe Rogan Joe Rogan Jor Rogan Joe Rogan. So here we are.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          old school enlightenment liberalism encouraged actually speaking with one’s enemies.(“Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults.” -Ben Franklin)
          as i’ve said, i’ve been embedded in a series of hostile, right-leaning tribes for all my life…and have learned much about them in the process.
          for all but the most committed righty nutters, their righty stances on whatever topic du jour depends on a combination of where and how they grew up, what they’ve been exposed to since, and the strength of the enforcement mechanisms within whatever subtribe they happen to inhabit currently.
          and as i’ve also stressed, if you take a run of the mill apparently righty nutter at random, separate them from the herd in a somehow nonthreatening manner, and apply socratic method…and without prejudice…i’ve found that many, if not most, could be reasoned with.
          the enforcement mechanisms friends and family, as well as the mediated environment, are powerful and pernicious…and most aren’t even aware of their operation.
          the problem is that they aren’t exposed to alternative narrative frameworks…turns out, just like the Maddow Crowd, or similar inhabited bubble universes.
          if the lenses thus taped to their eyes are green, they’ll believe that the sky is green…until your patient and gentle sandblast wears away enough of that green tint.
          i try to get all around a problem…approach it with the proverbial Veil of Ignorance…to try to control for whatever bias i’m carrying with me.
          seems that most people don’t…or can’t…do that.
          and why would they?
          such an approach must be taught.
          and whom will teach them if not you and i?

          1. coboarts

            From what I’ve gathered with Joe Rogan and from reading your posts, I’d imagine that he would suggest that you begin your own podcast. Watching his recent several hours long interview #1771 with Andy Stumpf is why I would say this. I just got onto Spotify, the free version, to listen to Joe Rogan’s podcasts in full.

          2. Eric Anderson

            This totally jibes with the social psych literature as well. We are born and bred “among” the biases that shape us, and the only consistent approach to overcoming them again to a social form of behavioral “exposure therapy.” Intellectual exercises won’t do it. It jibes with the work on cognitive dissonance, and my personal experience in AA, as well. We don’t change or thoughts by thinking about them. We change our thoughts by repeatedly taking actions. By, “acting as if.” For example, the only way to over come racism is repeated exposure among individuals of the race in question who do not confirm the biases. This is typically best done in the presence of others of the same race, so that the individual can have demonstrated how others act in the presence of individual we are biased against.

            I too have the same experiences as you Amfortas. I was raised among knee-jerk conservatives. I currently live in a deeply red county in a deep red state. I practice law with a trump voting self professed Reagan Republican. But, astonishingly, my legal partner and I never fight even though we discuss world affairs on the regular. I respect how he came to his views, and he respects the same of me. And, we understand the value having two attorneys in the same office in a small town who can represent a full spectrum of client political views. Strangely, it works. But it takes leaving one’s knee-jerk reactions at the door and actually listening long enough without interrupting to be able to view the terrain while walking in his shoes.

          3. Aumua

            Sure I agree 100% with all that Amfortas, and admire your efforts in that direction. But is that what Joe Rogan is trying to do? Like reach across the aisle and try to make contact with the ignorant and try to meet them where they are at or whatever? I don’t really think so. Maybe he has some kind of motivation or personal creed to try and present all sides fairly, but I personally don’t necessarily think all sides should be presented fairly.

            1. fringe element

              It does seem to me that Rogan has a penchant for talking to people that the legacy media have tried to marginalize. That certainly puts him into conversations with people I don’t care about, like Alex Jones or Ben Shapiro. But that also included having Roseanne Barr on after she was banished from her own show for tweeting something offensive. She seemed a shadow of herself after being the target of such a frenzy and I appreciated Rogan for having her on the show.

      5. Milton

        5 years ago, I came to the conclusion that Progressive was just a euphemism for Liberal and neither had a speck of Left in them.

        1. Eric Anderson

          Agree. I’ve railed against ‘progressive’ in favor of ‘leftist’ due to the fact that the historical connotations of leftism would prevent the liberals from co-opting the term.

          Whenever someone professes to be progressive, I ask them what it ‘means.’ Or, I asked them to define ‘progressivism.’ Detached from the narrow historical early 1900’s window in which actual progressives fought, the word becomes just so much bafflegab. Beside, McKinley’s political operative Mark Hanna destroyed William Jennings Bryan’s progressive campaign through the combination of (i) marshaling immense capital, and (ii) the new art of ‘advertising’ (read Capitalist Propaganda).

          Sound familiar? IMHO, it’s going to take a religious movement akin to the Butlerian Jihad (Dune geek … apologies) to overcome the ‘machine’ politics of the modern age.

        2. Jonathan Holland Becnel


          Once we get this language cleared up, the working class can have our revolution ?

          Have to clarify all the time to my Right Wing friends that Left =/= Liberal. The liberals for sure do not want to take over the means of production!

          1. LifelongLib

            “Liberal” in my day meant at minimum a preference for an FDR-like welfare state with strong unions, racial equality etc. Left liberalism actually bled into socialism, although socialism at the time often just meant government ownership of productive wealth. Whether that was good or bad depended on the government.

            More recently the economic side has been sheared away leaving mere social equality within very unequal economic classes.

            I adhere to the older meanings.

          2. rowlf

            I interact with a lot of Europeans on a large project and they often like to talk politics when we are socializing, which as I learned as kid with a passport is often like a cat (Europeans) playing with a mouse (USians). My US coworkers, not understanding the pollution of language in the US, never stand a chance in these discussions.

            I happen to like the discussions immensely. It’s like getting to sit at the adult table.

        3. Lambert Strether

          > 5 years ago, I came to the conclusion that Progressive was just a euphemism for Liberal and neither had a speck of Left in them.

          You are correct, historically. [Puts on old codger hat] I remember this actual discussion during the first Bush administration, on the blogs. Liberal Democrats had to abandon the label “liberal” because the Republicans had successfully poisoned it; “progressive” is what they rebranded with. The shift had nothing to do with policy or the direction of the party; pure symbol manipulation.

        1. lambert strether

          See my comment above. We’ve already lowered the bar to an incredibly degraded level by ignoring material realities (foreclosure crisis, mass slaughter) and elevating symbol manipulation. Now, apparently, a whole new generation of symbol manipulators has been enabled — heaven knows how — to police the discourse. No thanks.

          1. dcblogger

            the open use of racial epithets and the destruction of black wealth are not unconnected. Obama could never have done what he did, indeed the crimes themselves could not have been committed except in a culture where black lives are continually devalued. It is all connected and it all has to be dismantled. Taking down racists commentators is part of it.

            1. Lambert Strether

              What will happen is that it will stop with the words, and nobody in the working class will be helped, exactly as with #MeToo, another major moral panic. And when the liberal Democrats get in the saddle and control discourse on the monopoly platforms, the platforms will continue to be monopolies and if you thought “nothing fundamental will change,” you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. I know that you speak good faith, but the people running this latest moral panic most emphatically do not, and the realpolitik is more dangerous important than their moralizing. Because they’ll come for every independent voice next.

      1. ambrit

        Hmmm…. Is this the oficial position of the “88” Pac?
        [More “high calibre” commentary from the “Defensible Sierras Club?”]

    3. Dftbs

      Narrative creation and propaganda has been a uniquely effective Western strategic asset for decades. I mean people think Brits are polite, and stoic, perhaps cheeky; as opposed to murderous thugs. Well, after so much misuse its effect is negligible outside the 15% of the world population that resides in the “West”; and greatly diminished within. So the narrative makers will fight to retain what’s left of this as if their next meal depends on it because as that last link re China, Hollywood and money reminds us, it does.

    4. Craig H.

      Joe Rogan is the apex of the internet pyramid. He is so big he has no need for youtube. How many other internet guys can say that? Are there any?

      He has no need for spotify either. People like Neil Young who are putting chips on the table against Rogan are mis-under-estimating him. He is an intellectual flyweight but he has genius street smarts.

      1. jefemt

        First up in my line of interviewees and guests, were I to be Joe Rogan for a while… but I am waaay too slow on my feet and in head…) would be Niel Young.

        I suspect that they both have a lot more in common than we are being allowed to believe, and I suspect that they both might learn a bit!

      2. Ira Leifer

        Have you listened to the man? He actually (unlike most hosts) reads the books and asks insightful questions, not just asks for a retelling of what it says, as a discussion method. He is not an intellectual flyweight (though he doesn’t have the credentials) – he is very well read and widely knowledgeable and it comes out in his long conversations in a way that is hidden for most interviewers in a fifteen minute interview.

        1. Craig H.

          I have listened to the man. His reading list consists of books that do not have any footnotes as near as I can tell.

          My favorite Joe Rogan question of all time might be when he asked Rhonda Rousey what her favorite book was. I forget the answer but it was equivalent to Harry Potter.

          1. Pat

            So Rhonda Rousey’s favorite book means Rogan is a lightweight? Or is somehow indicative of something about him at all? Even as a question on its own without the rest of the interview is meaningless as evidence of anything.

            Your anecdote actually says more about you than about Rogan, his intellectual ability or his interview style.

          2. Screwball

            My favorite was when he asked Dr. Sanjay Gupta on his show why CNN lied and called a drug that he took “horse paste” in a not so subtle way. I don’t think Mr. Gupta has ever been grilled like this. About damn time IMO.

            From YouTube; “Joe Rogan exposes Sanjay Gupta and CNN’s propaganda”

            I can’t say as I heard it from Rogan, but I have read he endorsed Bernie Sanders at one time, and he has had Tulsi (who he also likes (I did watch that show)) and Andrew Yang on as well.

            Again, I think much of the narrative about this is twisted about what someone said, instead of the general theme of censorship, which is more important IMO. I’m not in favor of censorship.

            Last note on Rogan; I have watched maybe a dozen shows when he had guests on I was interested in hearing, and I listened to the entire 2-3 hours. If I try to watch FOX, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, I can’t make it through 10 minutes, and maybe need a barf bag as well.

            1. Craig H.

              That was a highlight of the year without a doubt.

              My favorite episode is the Conti brother interview about the performance enhancing drug business in the Bay Area. That was the first time I became aware this is different and this can be important and this can be very very good.

              Also: I remembered Rhonda Rousey’s favorite book!

              It’s Ender’s Game.

          3. fringe element

            How about one of his many interviews with Dr. Rhonda Patrick? Is Harry Potter a story about people who do microbiological research?

        2. John

          Visually Rogan presents as a working class dirtbag, his voice presents as a quiet curious academic.
          I venture the PMC horror is predicated on class bias based on photos.

    5. Charles 2

      Ultimately, Joe Rogan can only make money out of ads or subscriptions.
      If it is ads , he will need an ad platform to reach the ad buyers. They aren’t that many : Google via AdSense, Facebook, Apple, Spotify, that is about it. So getting cancelled from all platforms is possible.
      If it is subscriptions, getting enough paying subscribers to make millions on susbstack, Patreon or similar is not easy.

      I believe he has a lot of money to loose, hence the apologies….

      1. ambrit

        The real question concerning Rogan and others like him is, how much money does he want? He has his foibles, like most people, but he does not come across as hyper greedy. If he is, but just hides it so well, then he is a lot “smarter” than anyone gives him credit for.
        The other issue that the Joe Rogan controversy brings up is the phenomenon of the elite’s contempt for ‘ordinary’ people. The underlying basis of the attack on Rogan is that he is not officially credentialled. The second order charge is thus, that “uncredentialled” people cannot learn and understand “difficult” subjects. The upshot of this is that the “official narrative” is that the ‘deplorables’ are ignorant louts who should bow to their “betters” and do as they are told. Not the essence of democracy that.

        1. Eustachedesaintpierre

          There was once an extremely popular TV show in the UK called Mastermind which was divided into 2 sections of specialised subject & general knowledge. Not all of the time but often those who did well on their own specialised subject were hopeless on general knowledge. If Joe had a couple of PhD’s it would not be much use to him in the many subjects he covers of which IMO he shows enough intelligence in his research, prepared questions & humility often lacking elsewhere with the know it all’s, that combine to to make it all work pretty well.

          His show featuring Roger Penrose on which the Prof explained complex theories as simply as he could, was the most illuminating I have ever seen featuring the great Nobel Laureate. mathematician. Perhaps I feel that way as I had a similar upbringing to Rogan & am also uncredentialled, but having said that I am a helluva lot better at my job than probably about 90% of those who have the right credentials & letters after their name.

        2. Amfortas the hippie

          resting on laurels(even while they burn) and looking down their nose at us little people is very important to those people.
          and no matter their politics.
          there were very few overt Big Center Dem people where i spent my working life(as The Help)…everyone either was Righty…or thought it prudent to pretend that they were(profiles in courage,lol)
          it’s a Class Thing…bolstering their sense of worth and justifying their authority.
          but i’ve accidentally separated those sorts from the herd, as well(real righty moguls, and pretend righty moguls)…and when i lifted the bushel basket and let my erudition shine forth, they were always noticeably discomfited and shocked that a ragged barbarian like i appear to be could run circles around them intellectually….that both a HS and college dropout could show them up thataway was always a shock to their system,lol.
          if we could get past that shock(audidactic polymaths exist), these ad hoc sessions would generally proceed like the others(my usual subjects were much lower on the hierarchy)…with cracks in their wall of narrative that persisted for a little while, until the herd’s enforcement mechanisms could tickytacky over the breach.
          notably, the limited number of Big Center Dem/Team Blue people i’ve accidentally separated from the herd had/have heads made of stone, and ears plugged up with credentials….totally different animals…..and this more and more as time goes on, and the vapidity of their PMC blue check utopia becomes more and more evident.

          so, based on this anecdata/fieldwork, the blue checks are a lost cause…many of the red checks are also a lost cause…but most of the lower down presenting Red people are not, and can be won over if we could get to them, somehow, and overcome the astounding power of the bullhorns/wurlitzers.
          the necessary caveat, here, is i don’t know any non-woke and/or poor/middling lefties in real life. if there are any out here, they are well hidden.

          ( the one joe rogan thing i watched was his bernie interview.)

          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            Same. Bernie was my intro to Rogan and I’ll he damned if I haven’t listened to 15+ interviews since then.

            Gabbard. Greenwald. Snowden.

            The Snowden one is fn incredible when he describes what goes down on 9/11 at NSA HQ.

            Establishment going after threats to the status quo. Like Substack.

            Any Populist voice must be quashed.

        3. Darthbobber

          If one compared his segments to Buckley Jr’s old Firing Line, he might come off as somewhat lightweight by comparison. (But how frigging popular was Firing Line?) If compared to the actually existing network talk shows of our era, he doesn’t suffer by comparison at all.

          1. urblintz

            I remember when I.F. Stone was a regular go-to contrarian on broadcast news.


            And although it was easy for my adolescent, developing contrarianism to find most of Buckley’s opinions just plain wrong, he was often entertaining.

            William F. Buckley was a man who had a great capacity for fun and for amusing himself by amazing others. – Dick Cavett

            1. Darthbobber

              And his adversaries always got to develop their points at length, and frequently gave as good as they got.

              1. rowlf

                I really enjoyed the Godfrey Cambridge interview . It was like a really good fencing or chess match that you don’t want to see end. As much as I would like to see Buckley getting a swirly, he was a sport when he was losing ground and would take the hits.

        4. QuicksilverMessenger

          > “the upshot of this is that the “official narrative” is that the ‘deplorables’ are ignorant louts who should bow to their “betters” and do as they are told. Not the essence of democracy that.”

          Exactly- We are always hearing about ‘save our democracy’, ‘threats to our democracy’, democracy dies in darkness’, but the people who spout this (the usual pmc subjects) actually think people are too stoopid to deal with ideas and issues out in the open. Quite the contradiction!

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            That might be, but in that scenario, Spotify would still lose all 100% of the judgement.
            So it would still get the attention of for-profit platforms.

        1. K.k

          Dont care for Rogan or any of this noise. I do not support the attempts to de platform or censor him either. Not the kind of intellect im interested in. The man platforms bigots who want to debate weather black people are prone to violence due to their genetics! In 2021! I remember a video of him half joking about the ideal person being a biracial person. With a black body and a white mind. Ofcourse , according to him not cause black brains are bad , they are just different! Yeah, deep. Wide breath of knowledge!

          Im surprised Rogan apologized and allowed the removal of a large number of his episodes from spotify. From what i read his contract afforded him full editorial control. So why did he fold? Could he not have resisted and if it came down to it forced spotify to eat the cost by getting ridding of him by paying him his 100 mil? Guessing theres more to it.

      2. fringe element

        He has consistently brought in a couple of million listeners each podcast, and attracts multiples of that when he hosts someone like Elon Musk. At $50/yr per subscription, how much do you suppose he would he make as an independent financing himself that way?

        When he was interviewed on Breaking Points, Dylan Ratigan laughed about it. He said he thought the person behind the attacks was Rogan himself. He pointed out that if Rogan were run off of Spotify he would become even wealthier. He would get to keep the fortune Spotify gave him and then make even more money as an independent.

    6. Otis B Driftwood

      I just listened to Rogan’s sympathetic conversation with HR McMaster. A three hour infomercial for The Hoover Inst and MIC.

      Should he be censored for being a dupe of the right wing? No, but let’s not pretend he doesn’t look terrible in an uncritical interview with someone like this excreble warhawk.

      1. Aumua

        This pretty much hits the nail of my own attitude right on the head. I don’t agree with trying to censor him, but at the same time I’ve written him off personally a while back for this same tendency to give some very nasty characters an uncritical platform, as well as some really quite racist and especially transphobic things he said in the past. I’d rather just not pay any attention to him at all if that were possible, but apparently it’s not.

        Also I have to remind us that the Right doesn’t really give two figs about censorship and will happily employ it whenever it suits their purposes. The outrage about this is… ironic at best, just like so many other things the Right pretends to care about as long as it makes their enemies look bad.

    7. chuck roast

      For all that has been said, nobody mentioned The Joe Rogan Method. He has interesting guests with heterodox points of view. He prepares for his guest’s by familiarizing himself with his guest points of view. Most importantly, he does what few interviewers do these days…he listens. He listens and responds. This enables an interesting and informative dialogue. It’s kinda like a Socratic dialogue.

      1. Craig H.

        Oh my.

        That is kind of like Dan Quayle being like John Kennedy.

        I’d be interested in Joe interviewing Dan by the way. That might be great.

        OK. One more Joe Rogan highlight memory. Michael Pollan told Joe he didn’t like DMT. Joe told him: you didn’t have enough.

      2. Basil Pesto

        I kinda get the impression that Rogan is for Socratic Dialogue like Obama is for Hope & Change but maybe that’s just me.

      3. Otis B Driftwood

        No it doesn’t. He is way out of his depth with people like McMaster, who are able to spew lies without being challenged.

        That is exactly the opposite of a Socratic dialogue.

        Don’t censor Rogan. But don’t kid yourself either, on many topics he isn’t up to the challenge.

  2. Lina

    So I have an anecdote and would like to hear fom the smart folks from NC on this….

    We live in MA and have been extraordinarily careful with covid. Partner and I are vaxed and boosted; our 8 year old daughter is half vaxed.

    Our daughter returned to in person school in Sept. The school is fully masked and fairly diligent with covid precautions. We do little else in public to keep us all safe. And the little we do is always masked up. Most activity though is outdoors, hiking etc.

    So our daughter was invited to a birthday party. We haven’t been to one since 2019. She is having some social issues stemming from all this social distancing and isolation so I decided the best thing for her is to go.

    It was at an indoor bowling alley, pizza, cake etc. She and I showed up masked. Not one other person had a ask on (except for staff). The place was packed (it wasn’t just our party there). People were eating, shaking hands, like it was 2019.

    I was floored.

    We stayed, for the reasons stayed above and my daughter had a great time. She stayed masked except to eat a piece of pizza and a slice of cake (which I needed to scrape the icing off because they did candles on the cake…blowing them out, spit, germs ..).

    I have PTSD from that outing.

    Would like to hear people’s thoughts on this. Am I a paranoid freak? Or are people complete idiots? (I know the answer to this but wanted to put it out there for assessment.)

    1. Louis Fyne

      IMO, it is all about cost-benefit/odds, attenuating factors, comorbities.

      At this point N95, KF94, KN95 masks are $1 to $2 each. Bowling alleys are generally cavernous. No shortage of hand sanitizer.

      In my book, the risk of covid at a birthday party is worth providing a kid a semblenace of normal life. YMMV. Of course if I had COPD or diabetes, that would be a different story.

      1. Yves Smith

        This is ignorant. See my comment above about long Covid. And if the daughter gets it, the parents almost certainly will.

        On top of THAT, GM has pointed out that the life reduction cost of getting Covid is greatest in kids.

        Omicron is as contagious as measles.

        Even with less contagious Delta, there are two documented cases of people getting it from walking by each other, OUTDOORS.

        If Lina and the daughter were wearing anything less than a KN95, they are at risk and with so many kids getting Omicron, the girl probably will get it. I doubt a respirator will fit a child properly.

        1. Redlife2017

          Just to let you know, there are FFP2/N95 masks in Europe that are made for small faces and fit even 6 year olds – they are also available here in the UK. These are the first masks I could have fit my little person really well. At least for your UK and EU readers, there is at least one really good option.

    2. Jen

      I work at a medical school and there are members of the administration who are questioning the need to continue with indoor mask mandates because it’s “just the undergrads” who are showing high rates of infection.

      These people are not, in the main, stupid or thoughtless. They are “done with COVID” to varying degrees, and believe that removing restrictions will somehow be great for morale. Our epidemiologists bugged out for home work in early February 2020. I’m sure that group would welcome the opportunity to spend 8 hours a day working unmasked in a cube farm. /s

      1. Samuel Conner

        Perhaps that ‘creative eschatology’ research centre could sponsor a conference on ‘living with long COVID at the end of the Age’

        Maybe they all have toxoplasmosis and that’s why everyone is complacent about the risks of Lewy body dementia.

      2. DanB

        From a sociological point of view, the mainstream media, government, and many in medicine and public health are propagating a social construction of reality: Covid will become “endemic” and then no big deal. A social construction of reality is not obdurate empirical reality; Covid is an obdurate empirical reality. Our nation’s “leaders” from Trump to Biden have not understood the difference between these two “realities”.

        1. petal

          @DanB, We received an email Jan 12th, 2022 from the College administration that contained the following:
          “As cases of COVID-19 continue to surge in our region and around the world, many epidemiologists and public health officials observe that we are moving from pandemic to endemic status, although it is still not certain how severe or disruptive the virus will become over time. Federal guidance and local government policies are shifting their focus from containing the spread of the virus to reducing risk and making it easier for people who have been vaccinated and boosted to resume normal activities while taking precautionary measures.”

          @Lina, you and your family are the ones that will have to deal with any long term consequences, since it’s been made clear to us that we are on our own. There is nothing wrong with mitigating risk like you did. It was smart.

          1. Skunk

            Exactly, Petal. I was also extraordinarily careful, but caught it. I had a moment of realization like Lina’s. In your bubble, you’re used to dealing with careful, rational, people, and you assume that surely most people care about preventing infection. But leave your bubble, even briefly, and you find that many people can’t face reality. It’s jaw-dropping. Somehow in order to deal with the pandemic, they’ve invented an alternative reality where nothing bad can happen to them or others. I think they’re unable to live with the fear of infection that hangs over them. For these people, the fear goes away if they can act as if there’s no pandemic. Worse still, they want you to live that way too. If you wear a mask or show that you’re taking precautions, it frightens them. They are unable to mitigate risks in a rational way, so you have to factor this in if you’re thinking about attending even a rare event.

            1. Lina

              BINGO! Most people can’t face reality. You nailed it. That also explain the drug (opioid) problem in this country partly, I understand it’s much more complicated than that).

              I appreciate all the comments made here. It’s a complicated time we live in. If you don’t have children, I believe it’s hard to understand the predicaments we face.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Maybe they have and maybe they just hope that their hundreds of millions of innocent citizen victims are the ones who haven’t understood that difference.

          If the government’s goal is to get everyone infected and re-infected enough times that tens of millions of people die just-in-time to avoid collecting the Social Security benefits they have paid their FICA taxes into for over a whole working lifetime, then the government would most definitely want to cultivate the social reality that covid is an endemic which we will just live with for decades to come. ( Enough decades to kill everyone who would otherwise age into Social Security , anyway).

          1. fringe element

            Well, it’s not just the money to be made if more people die before they collect social security. There would be even more money to be harvested providing medical care for large numbers of people who develop long covid at an early age.

      3. upstater

        Cousin is a prof at Brown. Pre-K kid got Rona, then sibling and parents. On day 5, cousin prof is hacking and sounding very sick according to my aunt. He goes to campus. Hope for those around him, the N95s work. The guy is an MD/PhD… stupid is what stupid does…

    3. allan

      > Am I a paranoid freak?


      > Or are people complete idiots?

      Yes. But no more so than many public officials, CDC directors and school and college administrators
      whose donors, jobs and income streams are more urgent concerns than basic epidemiology.
      They were robbed of their hot vax summer and are ready to party excited to return to normal.

      Nobody was ever fired for following CDC guidelines.

    4. griffen

      Behaviors certainly appear idiotic, from this distance. On a personal level, I am still taking a few precautions, yet in most locations that I visit there are no longer mask requests or mask requirements. Anecdotal to South Carolina, mind you.

      All that said, people can be weird.

    5. Jessica

      Gargling with correctly diluted betadine (povidone-iodine) after such an outing improves your odds of staying healthy, keeping up with relevant supplements (zinc, D3, etc.). Possibly prophylactic use of the drug that can not be mentioned (it starts with I).
      FLICC has a complete protocol for staying as safe as possible.
      You shouldn’t be on your on this, but to a large degree you are. And best of luck to all of you.

    6. polar donkey

      Hi Lina, this is what it has been like in the south for a year and a half. There was an ice storm in Memphis Thursday. 1/4 of all households have no power. Temperatures in the 20’s and 30’s. To “help people warm up” the University of Memphis offered free basketball tickets. Thousands of people with no power should go to a basketball game during COVID. That’s our plan.

    7. BrianH

      My family is in a similar situation. We have 14 and 11 yo girls. They are going to school in person, only because our district no longer offers a virtual option. We are still trying very hard to not contract the virus, but it becomes harder and harder as the world around us keeps making progressively worse decisions regarding this pandemic. We’ve had our hand forced many times and had to ignore our low tolerance for risk just to carry on with life. We’ve been confronted by others, even friends and family, who say that we are finally seeing the light and making better decisions. We counter when appropriate that we’re not “getting with program” we’re simply being forced by our environment to go along with a few of their idiotic decisions.
      As for the parties, yes it’s difficult, but we continue to say no to gatherings like you’ve described. We have however allowed our girls to go to small in-home gatherings of kids they already go to school with. Not a perfect decision, but it allows social interaction and keeps it to a bubble of sorts since they are already in school with these particular kids each day.
      So, stay strong and do your best to protect your family, but recognize that your hand may be forced in many situations. It’s not your fault, you may simply have no other choice.

      1. jefemt

        We need to live our lives.
        KN95 masks in settings like that, eye on the clock, and, if at all possible- assuming the doors or windows aren’t armed with alarms, crack one open, and make every effort to sit by the fresh outdoor air supply- even in a northern winter clime.
        I personally believe that Zylitol, organo, and/or iodine based nasal sprays, used pro-actively prophylactically, cannot hurt when you know you are going out into the Cruel World.
        Wash your hands well when you return home, wipe down things periodically.
        nb… I was walking by the local hospital a couple weeks ago, two workers were out in the parking lot, having a break and a smoke, and I was 80 feet away and could smell their cigarettes. So, don’t be delusional about how much live virus may be around at any moment. Esp. a strain that seems ubiquitous and more contagious.

        I feel for you- my heart aches and I shake my head in pain and sadness to look at young families these days.


        1. Maritimer

          “I personally believe that Zylitol, organo, and/or iodine based nasal sprays, used pro-actively prophylactically, cannot hurt when you know you are going out into the Cruel World.”
          By now and even Early Days, there is/was lots of information about prophylaxis. As this thread seems to indicate, folks seem to be unaware of this. See, for instance, FLCCC website.

          In my jurisdiction, still, after two years, absolutely NO recommendations for prophylaxis. None. Still pushing testing which in reality is, test, confirm you have Covid and then get sick and go to hospital.

          This incompetence or willful negligence by Public Emergency officials is enough by itself alone not to trust anything they say.

          1. rowlf

            The company I work for provides tests for the employees. A coworker started feeling sick, tested positive and when he logged in his test results the company website recommended taking vitamin D3, Zinc and vitamin C. Totally blew me away as until now they were staying in the CDC guidelines.

            It maybe that pushing covid vaccinations and getting almost everyone to be vaccinated, after a large number of vaccinated employees got covid in the last ten weeks they had to accept reality.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        “…They are going to school in person, only because our district no longer offers a virtual option…”
        yeah. ours stopped offering that october 2020…per greg abbots idiocy.
        i called and yelled at the superintendent, then called austin and yelled at people down there supposedly in charge of education.
        this was while covid was running wild out here, and wife was on active chemo and had no functioning immune system(she was still allowed to teach from home virtually…i set up a classroom in the end room).
        so we ended up “sending” him to “school” virtually “at” the school in the next county, who still were offering full virtual.
        no doubt he suffered…both academically and socially…but we included him in our decision process, and he agreed that protecting Momma was paramount(her and both boys ended up with covid in jan. 2021 any way)…and, due to the DIY schedule of that method of “going to school”, he got to learn a bunch of practical things with me, on the farm.
        sent him back to our regular school in september 2021..since he had had it, and had all his shots, and the cat was all the way out of the bag by then.

        as for maintaining a bubble for socialising…eldest…who graduated in may of 2020 and his gaggle of goobers were pretty good about not mixing willy nilly with those outside of our bubble. many of their own people had similar conditions to my wife, or were just old and frail. ie: they took it seriously, even if their parents, etc did not.
        so during the worst of it, they partied at the newly finished Wilderness Bar out here, outside, and around the fire…and followed the protocols
        wife and i are respected among that gaggle, and we engaged them in discourse regularly…attempted to dispel as much of the various and competing mythological narratives as possible…and take their dern car keys,lol.

        the biggest effect of the last 2 years has been on eldest’s gaggle…he did virtual college for a semester, then gave up in frustration and went to work(to his credit, with an eye towards gaining marketable skills)…several of his closest buddies have taken career track jobs at the city or county, when they likely would have run off to college.
        2 years in, and they all talk about skills when they’re out here…ask what others they should try for, and how, etc.
        all this really threw a wrench into their life courses…and the long term effects of that wrench remain to be seen.
        i sing the praises of localism, and Place….and the reality of uncertainty that was there but dismissed even before the covid wrench.
        (the universal admonition to “get a degree”…and thereby become indebted, when jobs were all but nonexistent, etc etc)
        we talk about the news…these 19-22 year olds and i…and i’m grateful that they respect and trust me enough to ask me about such big things….and what they mean.
        i saved(according to them) 3 of them from joining the military out of desperation during this crisis.
        they’re noticing disconnects…and sort of seeing the world through producerist, if not quite autarkik, lenses…what does our community need? and can we do that instead of importing it? can we make a living like that?
        all of this interaction is prolly the only thing that’s kept me from full on misanthropy,lol.
        if these are to be the leaders, locally, of the future, then it’s not as dark as it sometimes seems.

        1. fringe element

          I’m your age Amfortas, so my mother was from the WWII generation. She had the chance to go to what they used to call Commercial High when she was growing up. It was a school for those who did not plan to go to college. They made sure that graduates left the school with strong marketable skills. My mother graduated with solid training in bookkeeping.

      3. Mikel

        If you have options like a separate bathroom and room for someone in the household who may be sick or have been exposed, there is a bit more leeway for risk, but all those whose hands are being forced that don’t have those options.

      4. Lambert Strether

        > We’ve had our hand forced many times and had to ignore our low tolerance for risk just to carry on with life. We’ve been confronted by others, even friends and family, who say that we are finally seeing the light and making better decisions. We counter when appropriate that we’re not “getting with program” we’re simply being forced by our environment to go along with a few of their idiotic decisions.

        Confronted and pressured not to mask? From what, er, tribe?

    8. Basil Pesto

      I think people, for the most part, will essentially do as they’re told.

      As the bipartisan consensus is now “covid is nbd”/“vaxed and done, baby”/“ask your doctor about Natural Immunity” then people will behave accordingly (conversely, I think if the bipartisan consensus was “Covid is a solved problem so let’s get our shit together and get on with doing what needs to be done so we don’t have to think about it anymore” then most people would probably get on board with that as well).

      I find it kinda hard to blame people individually for this, as frustrating as the situation is. Setting aside that Doing One’s Own Research is a difficult thing to do well, who but the most committed nerds has time to wade into the issue for a clearer picture of just what a terrible mistake we seem to be making, collectively?

      On the other hand, many such people are often all too happy to jump on all sorts of sloganised bandwagons of public morality, often of an identitarian bent. Yet, in the face of an epochal and universal moral and ethical crisis, these people have nowt to say, except maybe: “worried about Covid? just get vaccinated!”. That pisses me off.

      1. AndrewJ

        In addition, “Doing Your Own Research” can and is being used as a way to label people you don’t really know as part of the anti-vax or tinfoil hat crowd. There’s a political science academic/writer that I follow who was my introduction, back in the days of blogs, to thinking about politics. He was pretty sharp, but these days he’s onboard with the party line as regards Covid (and still believes the Democrats actually want to govern). Stupid memes denigrating anyone that “does their own research” are common fare for him now.
        I like the formulation I came across earlier – to do your own research, is what we used to call being a citizen.

        1. JBird4049

          Memory is a problem sometimes. I use to believe in the CDC and to much less amount the Democratic Party because they use to be believable. I could trust them in certain ways because they were trustworthy. Even media like the New York Times were trustworthy as long as you remembered their biases.

          Now, it is often just lies, lies, and more lies, but not always. It is enough to make a person crazy or at least doubt their sanity or their memories. I mean, just what is more likely? That they have all gotten nuts or that you have? So you believe them because the alternative is just terrifying.

        2. Basil Pesto

          Maybe, but bragging about doing your own research (which is actually really hard to do well) is a bit like bragging about how awesome your critical thinking faculties are, or how big your dick is; show, don’t tell. Let the results speak for themselves.

    9. JohnnyGL

      Also in MA, here.

      It’s hard to navigate the various levels of risk tolerance that people have. My wife is far more fearful of covid than I am or my family. It’s led to some squabbles.

      On the one hand, my doctor who was very healthy, vaxxed and boosted got covid and spent a couple weeks in the ICU.

      On the other hand, my 77yr old dad who’s at least 50lbs overweight and had a heart attack back over a decade ago got covid late last year. He got through it in about a week or so. He was vaccinated and definitely got sick with a fever of 102 for a couple of days, but controlled it with tylenol and he’s fine now. For him, it really was ‘just the flu’.

      I recently got together with my extended family for the first time in years, they have all mostly had covid at one point or another and are kind of done with being afraid. By all of their anecdotes (all vaxxed people), it really was just a cold or flu for them.

      I don’t have any answers for you, but I would suggest that your individual precautions can only resist society’s failures for so long.

      1. rowlf

        Several of the managers in various departments where I work had covid and recovered before the covid vaccines were available and it was also like cold or flu for them, causing me to wonder what benefit the covid vaccines are for most people. Even now I have met unvaccinated people with the same covid experience with recent infections. I am not mentioning this to downplay the risks of infection, as a friend lost several members of his family to covid before the covid vaccines were available, but to highlight how difficult it is to reconcile what is presented in the media to what some of us see around us. I will state that I think making the not fully tested covid vaccines available for emergency use was appropriate for the people that would want access to them but I think the benefits were exaggerated and risks ignored.

        Also, I was recently at a business meeting with several people from Europe and we were all being careful as none of them wanted to test positive and be stuck in the US. During a break a side conversation was how many people they knew who had covid vaccination side effects and how there seems to be an effort to not recognize the side effects people are experiencing.

        1. LifelongLib

          My son got covid after he was double-vaxed. For him it was like a one-day flu.

          I talked to a friend who lives in a packed multi-generational house. She thinks they’ve all had covid (not all were tested) but everyone’s symptoms were different. All recovered but her grandmother’s illness was “scary”.

          1. endeavor

            There are over 100 studies that show Vitamin D levels matter with the virus. That is why all the various anecdotes about relative severity are all over the map. Remember, sunlight and Vitamin D are credited with the eradication of the Spanish Flu.

            1. Eustachedesaintpierre

              Just a likely no big deal personal anecdote in regard to Vit D. I was very likely very low for a long time due to the fact that we are not sociable, I have often worked long hours indoors & live in a country where sunny days are truly appreciated as they are for the most part a rarity – bluey white people tend to rush out in it half naked resulting in becoming bright red.

              I now feel better than I have for a long time but as I am on other things I cannot ascribe that solely to Vit D, but for a long time I have had ankles that when I rotate my feet made large cracking sounds, as did my knuckles on my right hand when I squeezed them, neither of which now happens & the pain that I had up my right forearm ( RSI maybe ) through work is still there but has lessened significantly despite lately spending 5 weeks flat out on scale model for a potential commission. She has also had an improvement in her arthritic knee unusually through our damp Winter which is I believe due to that supplements effect on bones, especially since we reached 50ng, which matches that of Masai tribesmen.

              1. Eustachedesaintpierre

                With K2 I should have added but late & I was half asleep as it apparently helps in making sure that calcium goes into bones rather than the bloodstream & as to risk benefit analysis both are harmless unless taken to wild excess so why not ? As to the 50ng / ml level here is one study from Germany of 2 I found the other being from the UK that state basically the same thing from Germany.

                I imagine that the corporate hired harpies could rip it apart, but as a few have pointed out it is fortunate that they didn’t have this sway before as very many treatments that have been used successfully including the estimated 30% of re-purposed drugs used by MD’s would not have been available today. The trials for anti-biotics for instance were laughable by today’s standards so they took a chance as have the current vax providers whose trials are lacking in many ways.


            2. Basil Pesto

              Remember, sunlight and Vitamin D are credited with the eradication of the Spanish Flu.

              lol what?

      2. lambert strether

        > are kind of done with being afraid

        I’m not “afraid.” I’m taking rational precautions. (Imagine if when you put your seatbelt on, people said “Oh, so you’re a coward? I’m so done with seatbelts.”

        A society that confuses fear with carefulness (and care for others) is sick to the core. This will not end well.

      3. Yves Smith

        A bad flu increases speed of onset and severity of Parkinsons. Probably also true for dementias. Because inflammation, so your father’s “just a flu” will most assuredly cost him cognitively if he lives long enough.

    10. JohnnyGL

      “So I have an anecdote and would like to hear fom the smart folks from NC on this….”

      It’s important to keep in mind that every group has its own sort of ‘selection bias’. The NC skews northeastern US, older, educated, with more health issues, and generally more isolated than the broader public.

      1. Yves Smith

        See above. It is delusional to think that young people aren’t at risk of serious long term damage from Covid. Our GM, who is the youngest member of the Covid brain trust, and not in the Northeast, is the most freaked out about the idea of getting Covid because he is very well aware of the brain impact of inflammation, even “just a flu”.

        This is a repeat game and young people are playing Russian roulette with four chambers loaded if they aren’t doing everything they can not to get Covid. It will shorten their lives and reduce their quality of life.

    11. Sub-Boreal

      A sensible perspective on the e-word: COVID-19: endemic doesn’t mean harmless ( )

      “Thinking that endemicity is both mild and inevitable is more than wrong, it is dangerous: it sets humanity up for many more years of disease, including unpredictable waves of outbreaks. It is more productive to consider how bad things could get if we keep giving the virus opportunities to outwit us. Then we might do more to ensure that this does not happen.”

        1. newcatty

          Reality bejng created by TPTB. Spin epidemic meaning into endemic and therefore Covid is just like the known virus people dread, but most recover from, “a bout with the flu bug”. Its OK, its just endemic. More soothing and less threatening an illness than a “real”epidemic. If its said often enough by MSM stenographers parroting the most recent PR script, then it must be true. (Sarc).

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            I wonder how the ” its just endemic” person would respond to being told that ” malaria is not an epidemic in Africa. Its just endemic”.

    12. curlydan

      I have two kids and am in similar situations. I have seen my kids go off for indoor mask-less activities where I have been deeply concerned. I even wear a mask in the car with the kid after the activity and roll down the windows intermittently even if it’s 15 degrees out. Unfortunately, I just can’t keep the kids isolated. There’s only so many Fortnite remote play dates a kid can have.

      It would really help though if SOMEONE in the Biden administration, mainly “the big guy”, would do the simple act of encouraging things like ventilation and CO2 monitors in every indoor setting. For me, if I walked into a bowling alley with a CO2 monitor that read, say 750, and knew really good air filters were installed and air was circulating decently, I would be more at ease.

      I am very cautious, but even I’m considering going to a rock concert later this month if the case rates continue their sharp decline. I will try to N95 it, use povidone-iodine nasal spray afterward, etc. if I go.

      I feel for you. You’re definitely sane and not a freak in my book…. And bravo for you daughter to keep her mask on all that time!

      1. Lambert Strether

        > It would really help though if SOMEONE in the Biden administration, mainly “the big guy”, would do the simple act of encouraging things like ventilation and CO2 monitors in every indoor setting.

        I’m sure they’re so embubbled it’s not even on their radar, especially since CDC accepts ventilation extremely begrudgingly. But at some point, people are responsible for their own embubblement, especially people who purport to govern. Enlightment autocrats like Catherine the Great or Frederick the Great were less embubbled than Biden and crew.

    13. Pelham

      I think your choice might have been reasonable except for the possibility of Long Covid. Getting Covid is one thing. Taking perhaps a 1 in 3 chance of Covid leaving you with a possibly lifelong debilitating and brain-robbing disease is another.

      Long Covid is beginning to get more attention as a sort of afterthought in the media’s Covid coverage. To my mind, that priority ought to be reversed. Long Covid at a minimum is expected to strike and possibly disable for many years tens of millions around the world. And the risk rises if we fall prey to the idea that Covid must become “endemic” and we’ll just have to learn to live with it, exposing ourselves to repeated infections.

      In this context, China’s zero-Covid policy — right now much derided in media coverage of the Winter Olympics — is just about the only policy that makes sense, no matter how draconian.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        re: long covid…and, really all the rest, too…
        both my mom(pseudoPMC/Maddow hivemind) and just about every other person out here(republican, if not full on maga) …all of them appear to be either unaware of long covid…or to dismiss it out of hand(many of the latter cohort, because covid itself is deemed unreal)
        it takes a lot of time to parse the myriad competing reality tunnels to attempt to determine for oneself what the hell is actually happening.
        it’s been a chore for a long time, of course…its just so much worse, now.
        (see: horsepaste)

        and, like someone said, “do your own research” is shorthand, these days, for foily qanon lunatic.much like ‘conspirac’y theory

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          What was that latin saying? Something about ” who researches the research?” and ” who researches the research researchers?”

    14. Brooklin Bridge

      From MA also. I think you are spcot on. Take, and have your loved ones take, as many precautions (layers of protection) as you possibly can for a given situation (as you are already doing). Any regular reader of this site knows COVID is much more dangerous than the establishment wants to admit to itself or others. This dream world is in itself a strong argument for skepticism. Moreover, there is simply no way you are not going to be concerned (PTSD) when your child or you or your partner goes out into harm’s way, and potentially brings COVID back, but on the other hand, what to do? Let the agonizing flow; it’s protecting you and yours, but as you’ve clearly and correctly judged, there are simply times you have to let go a little. Stopping the worry is impossible, let it flow through you like wind – doesn’t make it any better but gets you through it – until the event is mercifully over.

    15. Dave in Austin

      I took an unexpeted risk too. There’s a bar in Austin called Donn’s, a converted railroad car dragged over from the Union Pacific line a mile away 50 years ago. The manager absconded with the reciepts 45 years ago and Donn, who played there, took it over, later purchased the building, put in an addition with a dance floor and at 74 still runs it and plays there with a great collection of folks who used to be on the road with the big names of 50 years ago. The crowd is a mixed bag of oldies and college kids with a 90 year old guy in a cowboy suit teaching the college girls how to do the two step. The place is almost never crowded.

      This Christmas I went there. I should have known something was amiss because the two middle aged ladies usually behind the bar were at the door in masks checking IDs. I went in and it was jammed. I worked my way to the bar, handed a $20 to someone sitting at the bar to get me a Shiner Bock and said to myself “This is too crowded. I should leave”… just as my beer and change arrived. As a once-poor old geezer I couldn”t abandon a cold beer, so I found a less crowed spot on the stairs, kept pulling down my to drink and listened to the great music. The crowd was 21-30, home from college, grad school or wherever they were now working… and NOT ONE PERSON other than me and the help had on a mask. I even took an IPhone video and emailed it to my DC friends.

      In 15 minutes I left, went home, washed, irrigated my nose, gargled, prayed and cursed myself for taking the risk. Would I do it again? No. Do regret it? Not really. And among the hypereducated professionals I hang out with sometimes I keep hearing “I’m old but healthy; I exercise; I keep the drugs on hand if I get it (having doctors in the group helps); I can’t put my life on hold forever.” They are beginning to travel again. Life itself is a risk. Refusing to lead the life you want is also a risk. We’re only here once.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Federal Judges Ask Lawyer Appearing Before Them To *REMOVE* Mask”

    So in New Orleans, where the courthouse is located, there is a mask mandate in effect for all indoor spaces. But that judge is instructing that lawyer to remove his mask on the grounds of personal beliefs. If that lawyer stated that it was against the mandate to remove his mask in an indoor setting, would the judge then have him charged with contempt of court? Whose legal judgement would have precedent?

    1. Gareth

      The court in question is a federal court, which means that only federal laws and rules apply. This is true of any federal facility, even VA hospitals. They are somewhat like embassies in that sense.

        1. Gareth

          I’m not sure that he had any great choices, really. Many of the courts have been requiring masks if unvaccinated people are present, but they are often not required if everyone is vaccinated, which I am assuming he is. He is not disabled that we know of, so it was more a matter of health and safety. However, while OSHA can inspect most federal agencies, it cannot fine them into compliance. They can also argue that he can quarantine after oral arguments if he is concerned about transmission to his children. The Judicial Conference of the United States could show some leadership on the issue, which might help by providing authoritative guidance on masking. Each court is free to set their own policies until then.

    2. Fred1

      The author of this article is a lawyer and should know better. The judiciary is a separate branch of government and has absolute discretion about what is permitted/required inside the courtrooms.

      “And let’s not forget that in New Orleans, where the courthouse is located, there is a mask mandate in effect for all indoor spaces except while actively eating or drinking. Notice there is no oral argument carve out. There is simply zero justification for the request — the panel just wanted to impose their own feelings about the pandemic on those in the courtroom. has absolute discretion about what is permitted/required inside of the courtrooms.” This is hackery.

      Since Covid began in early 2020, courts have entered general Orders describing what is permitted/required inside of the courtrooms and have posted these Orders to their web sites and oftentimes have distributed them electronically to all registered members of the bar of each particular court.

      If the lawyer had a problem with not wearing a mask, there should have been a private discussion with the client well in advance of the hearing about whether the client should risk his case being harmed by the lawyer getting cross-wise with the Court over wearing a mask. If the client didn’t want to run this risk, the lawyer should not wear a mask. If the lawyer was unwilling to follow the client’s instructions, he should then move to withdraw as counsel.

      1. Bill Carson

        Good points about the lawyer’s duty to the client and how his defiance of the judge’s instructions might affect the outcome of the case.

        1. Fred1

          I didn’t read the embedded tweet in the article last night when I first commented upthread. The hackery in the article is even greater than I initially thought.

          The lawyer was a specialist appellate attorney for the DOJ in Washington, DC. He wasn’t a solo/small firm lawyer struggling to make ends meet living out in flyover.

          So did he ask his supervisor to assign a different lawyer to argue the appeal? If he did, what did the supervisor do?

          Now the facts of this case are very interesting. The plaintiff/appellant was a FBI agent who had been constructively fired for disclosing alleged prosecutorial misconduct to the presiding trial judge in a criminal case he was involved in. IOW, he was a whistleblower.

          The defendants/appellee’s are the supervisory FBI agents who are alleged to have engineered his constructive firing to both cover-up the underlying misconduct and to make an example of him to any other agent who is considering breaking the code of silence.

          The plaintiff lost in the trial court on several pre-trial motions apparently before any discovery was performed. If there had been discovery, the alleged misconduct may have seen the light of day.

          So he appealed. Oral argument has to be requested, and the Court can grant it or not. I’ve never appeared in the 5th Circuit, so I don’t know that Court’s informal practices. But I have appeared regularly in the 4th Circuit, where oral argument was rare even before the pandemic. At least in the 4th Circuit, the grant of oral argument indicates the Court might be considering reversing the trial court.

          So the Court granted oral argument and then denied the motion of the lawyer representing the supervising FBI agents to appear by video. The denial of the motion to be permitted to wear a mask is not what’s important in this case, although that’s what the author of the article wants her audience to think. That the judges on the panel were appointed by republican presidents has nothing to do with the case. The anti-mask divide has nothing to do with this case. The judges just wanted to ask their questions in an important case in person.

          The hackery is that in the author of the article by focusing on which president appointed the judges and other such nonsense is intentionally obscuring alleged prosecutorial misconduct.

  4. Juneau

    That is such a difficult dilemma. I don’t want to pile on, you know that with no social distancing, ventilation or masks, that clearly was a high risk event. Good for you for wearing your masks in that situation. You’re not paranoid. Some people who haven’t gotten seriously ill seem to think they are bullet proof and superior quite frankly. The history of the flu pandemic of 1918 has stories of people gathering to serve tradition with unpleasant consequences (like the infamous Philadelphia parade). However, this is your daughter who had her heart set on seeing her friends and would have been heartbroken if you had turned around. It is a learning experience, now you know how your community is handling things. Maybe get tested if anyone gets symptoms and keep an ear out for reports of others at the event who may get sick. My hope is you all got lucky.

  5. griffen

    The tweet and linked article from Matt Stoller, about the lack of effective antitrust interference. He gives a detailed summary of the AT&T / Time Warner merger, and then follows up with key examples out of varied industries. The usual IT technology titans feature, and so does CVS which is a monopolistic power unto itself. Interesting fact, but I vaguely recall a People’s Drug store in our small strip center, eastern NC. The other anchor stores in that center would file bankruptcy or leave in the next 5 to 10 years (competing with Wal Mart circa 1990 was a fool’s errand).

    Does no one in corporate America recall the disaster that was AOL / Time Warner some 20 years ago? It is too apparent that corporate mergers that quickly turn disastrous are proof to avoid or preclude a merger. Or, in the case of GE over the long run it all begins to fail due to long held, poor accounting practice. Just during my brief stint on this earth, AT&T (Ma Bell) was split asunder in the early ’80s only to be cobbled together once more.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Hedge funds and corporate officers don’t expect to be holding those assets in one or two years after the merger, so they don’t care.

      This is another reason we need to ban congressional trading, stock ownership altogether, given that they are getting a pension. The collapse of a company like GE means nothing to the Duke Brothers. To a congress critter looking to move next door to Obama, what does he care if Wal-Mart destroys Main Street in flyover country?

      1. griffen

        ‘Tis all about the Benjamins, and who winds up at the top of the heap. That is a good clip from a classic comedy send up of Wall street.

        Looking good!

    2. Mikel

      “Does no one in corporate America recall the disaster that was AOL / Time Warner some 20 years ago?”

      And Time Warner itself was media merger stacked on media merger and now those parts have been and are being passed around and around.
      Mergers are seldom (if ever) why a product or service improves.

    3. Oh

      Wall Street and the investment bankers make money when companies are broken up and make money when they merge, If the govt. is serious about anti trust they’d never let them merge, The courts are at fault because they’re also bought and paid for by Wall Street and the big corps.

  6. Amfortas the hippie

    wandering around this early am…one of things is not like the other:

    i know…it’s CNN, and all….but these were adjacent to each other.
    the sky is green, i tell you!

    makes me want to just stay in my frozen hovel.
    (and…fwiw, the mini-ice age is over: i made it through with no busted pipes, and with happy blooming tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse. the price, of course, is exhaustion on my part..still snow(now pack ice) on the ground everywhere…only 25 this am). wisconsin, you may now have your weather back)

      1. The Rev Kev

        Good to hear that you made it through the latest deep freeze OK with your pipes intact. As for your put your loser behind bars for Valentin’s Day story, it is kinda sad. It is like trying to turn the United States of America into the United Snitches of America – which would not be united for long. You know what the trouble is? Police these days take themselves too seriously. They could be more funny in the past. As an example.

        I wonder how how many remember that time 20 years ago when the Phoenix Police Department staged a fake lottery win event to snare in those with outstanding warrants. Miscreants would show up, get registered, and then go through a set of doors to get their prize which turned out to be a surprise instead- (2:30 mins)

        1. Dave in Austin

          My favorite “What the cops used to be like” story. When they were just topping-out the original World Trade Center, a crazy Frenchman and a few freinds snuck by the sleeping guards and went up on the roof. One person with a bow sent an arrow with fishing line attached across to the other building. They used the fishing lile to -pull a bigger line and then an even bigger line until they had a healthy rope. Then the crazy Frenchman took out his long pole and went for a walk… a dance, The crowd was below, the streets were tied up all over lower Manhatten. When he came off the rope the police aprehended him and took him in. The press loved; the public lived it; I’ll bet the cops loved it.

          So they handed him a ticket . I think the fine was $45 dollars. In the line where they had to make the specific charge it just said “Man on Wire”. They took movies of the whole escapade and Man on Wire is the film’s name.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > valentines ex warrant

        From the article:

        If you’re looking for sweet revenge this Valentine’s Day and want to turn in your ex for outstanding warrants, give Odessa Crime Stoppers a call at 432-333-TIPS.

        And we wonder why there are difficulties with contact tracing….

    1. griffen

      It’s the best of times, I tell ya…it is a net good that wages are rising. Good to hear that the homestead is sustaining and the fort is holding!

      Wages are up; but oh wait, adjusted for inflation those in the hospitality / retail / restaurant sectors are still going to lose. I find a bit empty the assurance that inflation should moderate in 2022, but I’m resigned also that should be the eventual result. Not a prognosticator here so the mileage may vary.

      1. ambrit

        Ha! to that Pollyannaish inflation prognostication. All the pent up inflationary pressures on the supply side of the non-FIRE economy will come home this year, and maybe continue on into next year. Just look at what the energy sector is doing now. Crude oil up to near $100 USD a barrel. That has to ‘trickle down’ into the rest of the economy. Energy is the bedrock of our technological system. Follow the watts and keep an eye on the Family Joules.
        Ye Joule:

        1. griffen

          I do say good sir, that the trickle lately from up high above to down below has a vague, odd warmth to it! But they have sworn it is only rain.

          1. ambrit

            I am given to understand, on good authority, mind you, that the sensation you describe is an indication that someone is “making it rain.”

  7. noonespecial

    Re Consortium News and MIC

    Quoting article: “the National Defense Strategy Commission…drew more than half its members from individuals on the boards of arms-making corporations, working as consultants for the arms industry, or from think tanks heavily funded by just such contractors…Not surprisingly, the commission called for a 3 percent to 5 percent annual increase in the Pentagon budget into the foreseeable future.”

    At a recent gathering in NYC, the CEO of Lockheed spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations. Full transcript is published at the CFR’s site.

    Below a part of the Q&A segment where this CEO repeats a recurring theme of his chat, namely that Lockheed simply follows the US government’s lead and provides products in due course. Really? Is this not one of several companies whose lobbyists and friends shower Congress with bonbons and what not to maybe influence decision makers?

    Pink Floyd’s “Gods of War” seems to describe things nicely:

    Invisible transfers and long distance calls
    Hollow laughter in marble halls
    Steps have been taken, a silent uproar
    Has unleashed the dogs of war
    You can’t stop what has begun
    Signed, sealed, they deliver oblivion

    [Guest at CFR asks:] Are you concerned about lawsuits like the one the Mexican government has filed against gunmakers in America for the proliferation of guns in their weapons that you might face a similar lawsuit for the proliferation of deadly weapons in deadly hands?

    TAICLET: So as I spoke about earlier on export controls, we follow the guidance of the U.S. government on what we can provide to whom. Once it’s in the hands of the end customer, we don’t have any control operationally over how that product is used. So the goal of our company is to basically provide deterrence, and deterrence means freedom from war and freedom from pain. Sometimes the products or devices will be used by the end customer in ways that either they didn’t intend and have a consequence that was not desired, or in ways we wouldn’t have approved if we were making those decisions ourself. Having said all that, we do have our own human rights compliance process in the company and those sales go through our own internal process, and if we felt that the conditions on the ground were not recognized by the U.S. government sufficiently, we would maybe make a different decision. But by and large, you know, we follow their lead.

    1. upstater

      “we don’t have any control operationally over how that product is used”

      Are we to believe there are no zero days in those $150M each F-35s they are selling to our allies? They think everyone is stupid…

      1. Lambert Strether

        > Are we to believe there are no zero days in those $150M each F-35s they are selling to our allies

        More to the point, are we to believe the United States government didn’t install its own zero days? When Tesla can brick your car digitally for falling behind on your payments?

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Amnesty report on Israeli ‘apartheid’ garners bipartisan US fury ”

    What is not being reported much was the exchange between ex-CIA spook/current State Department spokesperson Ned Price and the redoubtable AP reporter Matt Lee who just recently kerb-stomped the hapless Ned Price over his claims that Russia was preparing a false-flag event but asked reporters that this was so without offering an iota of proof. Lee was demanding to know why Price was denying Israeli apartheid practices in the International Amnesty report when they always believe that organization when it criticizes another country like Cuba or Syria- (with video clip)

    1. LawnDart

      Jews for Genocide (TM) has a nice ring to it, is truthful and accurate as a mission statement, but I think that the focus-groups might feel that it’s a P.R. flop.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Thanks for this link. Now I know how I’ll spend my afternoon! I love the book but haven’t yet watched the film.

    2. Robert Hahl

      I can think of one good reason for the lack of aged protagonists. In fiction writing you either know what people go through or you don’t (disastrous). Most ambitious writers are just not old enough to know. For instance: “One day, walking along the pavement in the rain, her varicose veins aching, Mrs. Palfrey falls.” How many active novelists even know that varicose veins sometimes ache, or when?

      1. LifelongLib

        Well, there’s observation, and talking to people. Like when my 90 year old grandma told me the worst thing about being her age was that “everybody’s dead”. Not an insight I could have arrived at on my own but I sure remember it now.

        1. The Rev Kev

          That happened to my late 94 year-old mother. When she passed away virtually everybody she grew up with was gone – parents, sister & brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, neighbours, friends – everybody. It would like being a winner in a race that you wanted nothing to do with.

  9. Mr. Magoo

    Re: “Amnesty report on Israeli ‘apartheid’ garners bipartisan US fury”

    One can be angered and disappointed in what has gone on, and continues to go on, in Palestine. It seems anything can be whitewashed by the tragic history of the Jewish people, and ignored with a claim of anti-semitic. But if there were any people should understand and emphasize with the victims of abuse, one would think it would be the Jewish people who would be the ones standing up for human rights.

    To the US government – you cannot call out abuse in Xian Jiang while not only ignoring the plight of the Palestinian people, but aiding and abetting the source.

    Flame away.

    1. LawnDart

      You might be surprised by the number of jews who are horrified by the state of Israel– a lot of anti-Zionists amongst jewish peoples.

      As a yankee, do you support the crimes that your government commits in your name? Do you have any control over your government’s foriegn policy, let alone how it treats the natives and its subjects in Amerika? I think not, and therefore I do not condemn you for the actions taken by USA state.

      1. Yves Smith

        Peter Beinart wrote about this a LONG time ago, IIRC between 2004 and 2006.

        Young Jews in America for the most part don’t care about Israel. That is indirectly corroborated by the level of marriage outside the faith.

        I know even much older Jews who are quiet Israel opponents. For one couple, the straw that broke the camel’s back was the invasion of Lebanon.

  10. timbers

    Vastly unequal US has world’s highest Covid death toll – it’s no coincidence Guardian

    Headline says it all.

    Why, Jeff Bezos is getting a yacht so big a bridge has to be disassembled for it to reach the ocean and it will be accompanied by a 2nd yacht who’s only function is to shadow the 1st yacht on standby should Jeff need to use his private energy guzzling helicopter to fly him off his energy guzzling yacht. This as the “Biden” (is Bide still conscious?) Administration is looking at ways to make us peasants pay more for everything that uses energy by redesigning it all. Also, Biden Administration is slowing down the Post Office from getting more vehicles to deliver the mail because gas powered ones use too much energy. But not Jeff Bezos apparently. Probably those rules be exempted for yachts and private helicopters.

    And it doesn’t stop there. Amazon is notorious for harassing workers who want sick time – paid or unpaid. Which as the article notes, is a big reason why the U.S. has the worst death rates from Covid among the self proclaimed most exceptional best group of nations.

    1. Carolinian

      The US is not the highest country in the more meaningful deaths/1 million but we are ahead or well ahead of most of Western Europe. The much vilified Sweden is roughly half our total on that statistic.

      However it’s safe to say that we easily top Europe or Asia when it comes to obesity. It’s likely this has more to do with our Covid score than inequality although perhaps the inequality has something to do with the obesity.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      We’re number #1! America is back! I would start to hazard the end of American leadership in world affairs is coming faster than I would have thought.

  11. Rolf

    Re Brad Pitt’s post-Katrina project. Poor quality of new home construction (“green” or otherwise), and the result in terms of rot, infestation, foundation problems, leaking plumbing, sewer, HVAC, structural collapse in *any* storm, on and on — is endemic in the US. Ask any homeowner who has torn into walls in their home during remodeling to find what the builder actually threw up. Here in Texas, many developments outside city limits proceed with poor (if any) inspections; later, the community is incorporated as the city expands, and problems requiring complete rebuilding surface with a decade or so. Homes here built have a maximum lifespan of 30-40 years, after which they will require extensive foundation-up ‘renovation’. Buyers find they have little to no recourse, end up abandoning their dream-home-turned-unliveable-money-hole. And of course wealthy builders are big political contributors.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i spent a lot of time on the road in southern louisiana, circa early 90’s.
      it is the nature of the place…even without an hundred years of short sighted, oil driven geoengineering…that rot is endemic.
      but it’s always been cheaper to do stick-built…and poverty is also endemic there.
      ultimately a losing battle, unless folks could build with concrete on artificial hills, or something.
      an extended creole family i stayed with for a time(worked in their restaurant, parked the van in their walled enclosure…not actually rich, just communal and wily)…had done exactly that: pooled their efforts and built a little hill within the compound, and built a rambling home out of cinderblocks and reinforced concrete panels they made on-site.
      they’d been working on it for ten years, bit by bit…adding rooms and porches(deep porches, to keep the rain away from the walls).
      of course, they were well outside of any town, so no zoning, etc(at least no enforcement).
      they remain one of my models for the autarky project.

      with this house, i wanted to build with stone…but $ and my body said no,lol.
      (real dream was a monolothic concrete dome made into a hill)
      so treated lumber it was, with hardy board or roofing tin for bottom 4’…and as robust and overengineered as i could manage.
      took me around 4 years…with me, alone, providing 85% of the labor.
      2400 sq ft for under $30k.
      if it remains habitable for 40 years, i’ll be satisfied.

        1. Carla

          Yes, kudos to Amfortas!

          Our house was built in 1915. Frame. Refinished oak floors on the first and second floors, and all-oak woodwork (almost all painted decades ago) on the first floor with I think birch woodwork, also painted, on the second floor. Real plaster walls. All original windows and doors. Wooden storm windows and screens for the first floor; aluminum triple tracks on the second floor were a concession for convenience. Cast iron hot water radiators. At age 107, it’s solid and we love it. Maintenance, of course, is constant. But then I find that’s true of most things worth having. Wish our fearless leaders would get that message.

    2. Adam Eran

      It’s worth mentioning that the “starchitects” (Gehry, et. al.) involved in Pitt’s housing project seem to be always excused from their foibles that don’t actually provide working buildings. This is true even of their historical precedents. For example Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses were often uninhabitable. “Falling Water” is a moldy mess. The (former) Phillips 66 building in Bartlesville, OK has a pentagonal elevator that has never worked right.

      Americans’ fascination with the latest whiz-bang visual apparently trumps something like habitability… and things like racism (white flight) make the extraordinarily bad design of suburbs possible. Says George Santayana “Americans are a primitive people disguised by the latest inventions.”

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        ha! that those “designers” were involved makes the rest of the story make a lot more sense.
        (tldr for me, today…as i’m busy trying to fix mom’s plumbing…nothing having been learned about listening to your genius son since last years deep freeze.
        (ie: i had water the next day, then and now,lol…so maybe i know what i’m doing)
        .47 degrees, so i’m giving the known burst faucet more time than usual to allow the pipe dope to set…here in a minute, i’ll deploy everybody all around and throughout here house to listen while i turn the valve to her house(she only allowed me to shut it off after the pipes began to burst and/or freeze) sigh…trying to decide if beer is in order)

  12. VT Digger


    The Canadian prime minister has said the protesters represent only a “fringe minority,” though polls show one-third of Canadians support the call to lift all Covid restrictions.

    Other polls show 54%

    But. There were 4 people waving Nazi flags so time to deploy the military.
    Or perhaps a softer touch:
    Still operating!!

    1890’s labor unrest redux?

  13. Wukchumni

    You know it’s cold when Winter Olympians are freezing WaPo

    When You Can’t Tell the Snow From the Sky NYT
    Our ski trips are set up way in advance, so we have no idea what conditions are gonna be like and ideally you want the bluebird of sunny happiness, but life is like a somewhat vertical slanted box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.

    Skiing on really overcast days has always been a challenge to me, for even with amber lenses in my googles which in theory should help me read the snow, a lot of times I struggle with such conditions.

    Man-made snow and really frickin’ cold temps means a wickedly fast surface approximating a tilted ice rink. It’s one thing crashing on loose snow but a whole different gig essentially crashing on firm, wet concrete @ 75-90 mph in a downhill race, ouch.

    The coldest i’ve ever been while skiing was @ Mt Ruapehu in NZ in the 80’s, it was around 0 degrees f, overcast and thoroughly miserable, they’re talking about -12 f @ the Olympics, brrrrrrr.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Did a winter of skiing once but it was never the cold that worried me. It was that time I was at the top of a long ski run going back down to the hotel village at the very end of the day when suddenly snow came down reducing visibility to a coupla dozen meters. You can bet that I skied down that slope feeling, ahem, apprehensive about finding the right path going back to the village. And you can bet that I partook of a coupla glasses of Glühwein when I finally got back. :)

      1. Wukchumni

        My first day of skiing a month ago after a couple years on the shelf had horrid conditions in that it was snowing with visibility of 15 feet and windy as an added bonus, that bad Friday.

        A couple in their later 60’s started our over the hill ski gang about 35 years ago, well before they could earn the current title of being dartful codgers

        They were skiing @ Mammoth on the backside in 1975 when visibility went to about nothing and they strayed far away from the boundary line of the resort and ended up @ Red’s Meadow many miles away to the west, and needless to say in deep kimchi with only what they were wearing and quite exhausted and cold once they stopped.

        Red’s Meadow is only open in the summer and right on the John Muir Trail, and there was a payphone there and my friend convinced an operator of how dire their situation was, and she called Mammoth and a couple of fellows on snowmobiles came and got them.

        The kind of story that would have been a ‘Drama In Real Life’ in Reader’s Digest back in the day.

    2. Shleep

      Flat light / low cloud / snow above the treeline is *incredibly* disorienting. Some years ago, I was standing atop Lake Louise and the next thing I knew I was on the ground.
      Later that day, I met up with my brother who had the exact same thing happen to him, also that day and in similar conditions, 50kms down the road at Sunshine Village.

      I had 3 days of low-light and snow at those same 2 resorts last December. The above-the-treeline parts of the runs – which I know well – were nothing short or terrifying.

      1. Robert Hahl

        This happens when flying inside clouds. Without a few of the horizon or at least the ground, it is impossible to know which way is up. That is what the artificial horizon is for. You should have been skiing IFR.

        1. Thistlebreath

          Now sadly gone, a WWII combat pilot vet who still flew carried a thermos of coffee when he was at the yoke. He said if you unscrewed the top and the coffee went up, time to correct.

          He faked his eye exam to get in the service, became an ace anyway. Still miss his sense of humor.

        2. The Rev Kev

          Good pilot’s respect the fuel gauge as well. Author/pilot Richard Bach said that he flew with men that respected neither the laws of men or God – but always respected what their fuel gauge told them.

          1. rowlf

            Until ETOPS requirements became popular most aircraft fuel quantity systems were pretty sloppy compared to sticking the tank. Fuel used indicators on fuel flow gauges plus some mathing was the old way to maintain engines turn or pilots swim.

            The 1960’s airliner fuel quantity systems had some fun quirks to them. If the electrical connection to the capacitance probes got loose or the terminal came off the harness, the indicator needle would spin in one direction. If water droplets accumulated on the probes the gauge would spin in the opposite direction if enough where present. For the second situation you would sump the water out of the tanks and take a heavy rubber chock, walk along the top of the wing, and drop the chock on the fuel probe locations to try to to knock off the water droplets. If passengers were on the airplane they would make their William Shatner face looking out the windows.

            1. The Rev Kev

              I read once that airline pilot’s back in the day would always cart what they called ‘fuel for momma’ which was an unofficial fuel reserve. From what you write, I can understand why. Fun story – there was the time that an airliner was being refueled but an airline manager insisted that it had to take off right away in order to meet the schedule. When told that they did not have enough fuel, he told the pilots just to take off anyway and when they reached their destination, to declare a fuel emergency to get landed first. The ground crew ‘fortunately’ found a fault and by the time it was ‘repaired’ the plane had finally refueled. Some stories you just can’t make up.

              1. rowlf

                I’m not sure how your reply would work with fuel slips (billing) and weight-and-balance records for the flights and calculating take-off performance settings.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  This happened many decades ago and I suspected when I heard that story, that this manager was not sure how things worked on the line. After WW2 there was a surplus of both pilots and aircraft and airline competition in the 50s got pretty fierce with short cuts being taken left, right and center. It was only a decade or so before this happened that you could have a Chuck Yaeger just walk out to the flight line, take a high-performance test jet out for a flight with nary a signature to be had or permission asked of anyone. Impossible to even conceive of that happening by the 60s.

                2. LawnDart

                  You misunderestimate the devious, resourseful nature of aircrew, my friend– if you learn the system, you can work the system. The pilot’s just a guy with a stick and a seat, but no dumbass. Put him together with a copilot, an engineer, a loadmaster or two, and maybe a nav and a crew chief, you have the makings of a potential criminal enterprise– keep in mind the origins of the Hells Angels and you know what I mean.

                  No war story, but after the war, while the system was constipated and backlogged with lesser-priority cargo, I “borrowed” an aircraft (and crew, willingly, at first) to take an extended jaunt across and throughout the Pacific, over to Europe, and back again, turning a 3-night Alpo and Hawaiian Punch run into a month-long odyssey.

                  By the time we returned to base, the squadron was surprised to see us, thinking that we had been transferred and the bird canned (it was tired, to say the least– the maintenance log must have been two pages or or more!).

                  I wouldn’t call it a misappropriation of $150,000,000.00 in assets, or a hijacking, ’cause we were still on our mission (at least technically) and helping to relieve the backlog of cargo to the PI, Korea, Thailand and elsewhere. But I still was referred to as “DB Cooper” for a while after that.

                  Now let me tell you about the time I hijacked a government agency– that one you really won’t believe…

            2. Dave in Austin

              And don’t forget John Denver. He was learning to fly a Long Easy, a very small, very hot experimental plane. He did some touch-and-goes at the Montery airport then headed out to look at the beautiful bay and shore. But the plane had spare fuel in a reserve tank and we wasn’t watching his gage. To reach the second tank’s valve you had to reach up and back, not easy when your engine is caughing at under a thousand feet in a hot plane with small wings. Maybe he got to the valve, maybe he didn’t. But he definitely didn’t put the nose down to gain air speed. He stalled; he died. I can sometimes be a bit absentminded; I let my friends do the flying while I do the gawking.

          2. Robert Hahl

            I was waiting for afternoon thunderstorms to clear at Teterboro. NJ, and walked outside to look at the sky. Two Westwind pilots were talking within earshot about how much runway they needed to take off with a 10 knot tailwind. One of them left, and asked the other one why he wanted to take off down wind, since the airport had three runways laid out in a triangle. Perceiving I was not from the FAA, he said “When we get to Oklahoma we will have only 10 minutes of fuel, so we need to take off heading that way.” I assume it worked or I would have heard something on the news.

  14. Solarjay

    The CDC mask graphic is a disaster in design.

    Graphs or any representations for things positive need to have up arrows or lines that trend upward etc. This is designing tables,graphs, 101.

    Unless you actually read the data, it’s easy to think that better masks do worse, it’s a bigger down arrow.

    And really, after 2 years they bring out a mask study now when it’s all but meaningless in the US? I’m sure it’ll have a big impact for the next pandemic.

    1. Mason

      They finally had a huge pile of N95’s at the grocery store, gave em’ out for free.

      The honeywells have an excellent fit, are mostly comfy, and I don’t feel like I need to adjust it.

      This would of been great a year ago!

      1. Jason Boxman

        I do wonder how much of this can be attributed to Reagan’s demonization of public service and public sector workers. Why would anyone of high calibre go do public service? Or maybe this has always been an issue. Although from what I’ve seen, with the right credentials federal employees do okay pay-wise.

    2. Jeff W

      Graphs or any representations for things positive need to have up arrows or lines that trend upward etc.

      I get why the designer chose to have downward arrows—the graphic is showing the percentage that each mask lowers risk so the more downward, the better (the direction maps to what the graphic is showing)—but I agree completely. A cursory glance at the graphic could easily convey the wrong impression that the better masks are actually worse and vice-versa.

      1. solarjay

        And you could have designed it with UP arrows that said the N95 mask increases your protection from catching Covid by 83%.

        But by locking themselves into using the “lowers the risk” terminology, they also locked themselves into using down arrows.

        The incompetence of the CDC is impressive.

  15. super extra

    Weird Covid effects anecdote: I had the J&J in April ’21 and a single shot of the Moderna mid-November ’21, and a likely Omicron case the second week of December ’21. The illness itself was a little less than two weeks that would have felt like a severe head cold except for a very distinct ‘brain fog’ (I couldn’t think or focus and not for any of the normal causes, and nothing helped). I thought I’d gotten through it fine, but a month later…

    I went to do my regular monthly hair dye and when I rinsed it out I found that it hadn’t worked on a large section of my crown. I have had a bit of silver growing in and this specific dye (henna) doesn’t stick well to unpigmented hair, so I assumed I had missed a spot and had some more silver, so I dyed it again – still nothing. I didn’t want to think too much of it – getting older, stress – so I got a normal box hair dye in brown and dyed it again.

    A month later – this week – it is clear the henna stopped working because all the hair growing in on the stop of my scalp is growing in fully white. I’m in my mid-30s with no family history of early greying, and I am not a vain woman, but I thought the stuff about hair going white quickly due to stress was an old wive’s tale. But it turns out that telogen effluvia has been a very common side effect for women who contract even mild cases of Covid:

    Telogen effluvium: a sequela of covid 19

    The Atlantic wrote about the hair loss last fall, but I missed it: The Year America’s Hair Fell Out.

    Sudden white hair growth could be aging, stress, an autoimmune reaction, something that will reverse itself over time, or a permanent reminder going forward to mask up or risk my immune system nuking my hair (or worse) to save myself. I feel lucky, though, that I didn’t seem to have any allergic-type reaction to dyeing my hair 3 types in rapid succession – apparently that, too, has been reported as a post-covid effect! Reactions to hair dye raises questions about Covid-19’s effects on immune system

    1. LaRuse

      Thanks for this. I have had rather extreme hairloss since 2020, but this is common when my iron drops to critical levels (I am severely anemic due to malabsorbtion disorder). I assumed the hairloss would stop after my FE infusions last summer, but it has not. Also, I am getting a smattering of stark white hairs and my overall hair color has changed enough that I haven’t bothered to dye it my customary dark red since last May. So thank you for sharing this. It was all new to me and relevant.

      1. super extra

        I am glad it helped you! Be sure to check out the linked Reddit community mentioned in the Atlantic piece – I found it to be a big help in trying to figure out what the hell was happening, and there are several posts about post-Covid hair loss. I noticed the regrowth instead of the loss – I have very thick hair – but my head felt itchy and inspection with a mirror showed all the new growth to be completely white. it is freaky how much there is given my age and lack of family history

  16. Mimi

    The Untouchables link stopped working on my phone an hour after reading it…SQL issue it says for wordpress

    Found it here though, not sure about the site but they reposted the piece in full at least; the dear complier bit at the bottom is not from the original piece by The Reformed Physicist

  17. lance ringquist

    a open letter to the squad: you have so little time left, it should have been quite apparent to you when you won your seats that the nafta democrats cannot be reformed, they are incapable of self reflection, incapable of admitting nafta billy clintons disastrous policies are the root cause of americas problems, they are incapable of even trying to reverse the immense damage done to america by nafta billy clintons disastrous policies, and double down on them like empty suit hollowman obama, and now nafta joe biden have done.

    so when i said the nafta democrats had so little time left to distance themselves as far away as they can, and admit what was done to the people by nafta billy clinton, and pledge to help reverse what nafta billy clinton did, instead they spent four years impeaching trump and blubbering over nothing burger 1-6.

    now the nafta democrats are facing a electoral blowout in 2022, so you have so little time left to distance yourselves from the party of nafta billy clinton.

    because all the nafta democrats have left is 1-6, and war.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “On Cat Pictures”

    You wonder how another civilisation would view the prominance of cats in our media. I can see it now-

    2022 – A new strain of Coronavirus arises which spreads around the world in only two months and wipes out all humanity.

    2023 – Aliens land their starships to make first contact with humanity and share their medical expertise – but too late!

    2024 – The first alien archaeological teams arrive to investigate what culture we had. Fortunately no digital media has degraded yet.

    2025 – In their final report, it has been determined that the surviving species known as “cats” were worshiped as gods by humanity as no animal appears more frequently in our digital media.

    2026 – Aliens finally quite the planet but not before taking all the world’s cats with them as being too cute to leave behind. In their final message to Earth, cats say ‘Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.’

  19. Tom Stone

    I read that Politico article on single payer.
    Apparently only the extreme left wing of the party wants single payer and they were appropriately slapped down for their temerity in proposing a socialist alternative to the free market.
    Just last Month I ran across a poll (Linked here?) that showed 71% of Dems and 63% of Republicans want single payer healthcare.
    Is it possible that the best and the brightest in the Beltway and the eminent journalists who follow them might be out of touch with the rest of the Country?
    The people who aren’t a part of “Our” Democracy?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s running out of fumes, but the point is to make people think they aren’t advocating majority principles. The Third Way’s argument is they are doing popular things.

      Hillary didn’t trot out the line about her and Sanders having the same views except she can get things done by accident. Many of her same up porters genuinely think she wants universal health care or is pro-choice. Whenever she runs into trouble, they have to explain it’s just “smart politics” as if a field James Carville is a leader requires anything smart.

    2. JBird4049

      If it is a feel good issue that does nothing but the bases of both parties riled like gun control, it is easy peasy for the California Democratic Party to pass properly useless, but emotion causing, nonsense. If it something even more popular and necessary right now like a universal, single payer healthcare system, they give us a steaming pile of cow flops.

      The one single thing guaranteed to save more lives, reduce costs, and improve the health of every Californian more than anything else the state can do, and is more popular across the political spectrum in the state, can’t be done, because reasons.

      But a bill on gun control, or saying blueberry pancakes are California’s state food, or Donald J. Trump is the Antichrist, well, that will get past in no time; it would not threaten the money stream of Big Medicine, it would only save lives, which might cut into that money stream. Just how I thought the Democratic Party wasn’t anything, but feckless, corrupt monsters, I would like to know.

  20. The Rev Kev

    ‘Michael MacKay
    Well-funded mobs are being directed to attack Canadian cities, notably Ottawa. This is a Chekist active measure of titushki rent-a-mobs, similar in nature to the “Russian tourist” attacks on Ukrainian cities in March-April 2014 – the first months of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.’

    With reasoning like that, the London School of Economics should ask for their Phd back. Yeah, I get that a lot of Ukrainians established themselves in Canada. But those Canadian protestors are not Russian mercenary agents (titushki) and I can see that he has signed up for the Maiden philosophy so I hope that he does not start calling for those Canadian protestors to be shot. Canadians are more polite than that. But I find that tweet where he said ‘In Odesa, Ukraine on 2 May 2014 the police sided with the Russia-backed titushki rent-a-mob – with catastrophic results.’ to be risible. He is talking about those dozens of Ukrainian protestors that were murdered in the burning of the Trade Union building in Odessa in 2014.

    The police that day were actually divided and those that were with the nationalists actually had coloured bands around their arm to identify them which you could see in videos and photos taken that day. And the police commander that day was with them as well. There was a group that led that mob towards the Trade Union building but then split off and disappeared behind a police line in a side street which was also caught on video. So this all sounds that there was a bit of preparation done for that event so it was not an accidental catastrophic event.

  21. marcyincny

    Oh my, the kingfisher! I’ve always wanted to go to Botswana after reading/watching “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” and now there’s another reason.

    Thank you for that and the RB video link. I do watch some of his videos but that was a particularly good one.

  22. JerryDenim

    Speaking of forty-nine year-old athletes…Not exactly the type of story that seems fashionable in 2022- charmed white male athlete in a notoriously non-diverse sport- but this guy’s age relative to his peers’ and just how long he has managed to stay dominant or at least a serious threat in a very physically demanding sport seems genuinely newsworthy. I consider Kelly Slater’s win yesterday a victory for late Forty-somethings and Fifty-year-olds everywhere still hoping that they are yet to peak. usly

  23. Andrew Watts

    RE: Winter Olympics: emotional Wu lost for words after China’s golden start to 2022 Games

    People are still smarting from Eileen Gu’s defection from Team USA if the number of articles whining about her defection are any indication. Even though it happened over two years ago. If there was any doubt in Gu’s mind over her decision George Floyd and the anti-Asian backlash her family members endured probably erased it.

    Too often Asian-Americans think that their wealth and embrace of liberal values will insulate them from a country that often treats them as second-class citizens. But from where I’m sitting it only makes them an even bigger target of resentment in the American polity.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      When the Chinese became more successful at finding gold during the California Gold Rush they were often run off their claims, and all of their property stolen. This behavior is as American as baseball, apple pie, Chevrolet, and widespread homelessness.

  24. Andrew Watts

    RE: How China’s Growing Clout Led Hollywood to Look for a New Villain

    Why not just keep the Soviets as the villain in the movie? It could’ve easily been explained away in the opening credits by saying that the Soviet Union never collapsed in that universe. The movie was probably always meant to be a work of clumsy propaganda to begin with. The pre-production meetings with military officials and the fact that the WSJ is still talking about a movie that bombed at the box office definitely suggests this.

    It would’ve backfired completely in China and not in the way these people imagine. The backlash from the public based upon the plot and a few op-eds writing about how this is what the US government thinks of us would be the most effective propaganda response. It hasn’t been until quite recently that America broadly speaking lost the regard of the Chinese people and the government always had to be sensitive of this sentiment. Nowadays I think the public’s opinion about America is less admiration and more pity.

    I’m disappointed how this movie’s production turned out as the primary audience for most of Hollywood’s lowbrow movies. I watched John Carter, and I still don’t know what the plot is, or what’s really happening upon re-watching it. I was determined to like Jupiter Ascending against all odds. If you can’t enjoy sitting in the dark, turning off your brain, and just appreciating the spectacle there’s something wrong with you.

    But I’m not inclined to watch a Yellow Peril movie, nor do I care what wrapper it comes in.

      1. JBird4049

        John Carter of Mars?? Didn’t know that they managed to screw up a classic again. How hard can it be to do one of the original pulp classics?

        One can always turn of their brains by reading the original A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I had just about all the 1960s reprints. Ballantine or Ace and in real cheap wood pulp paper. Bought used in the 70s.

        The ability to make a decent summer movie like Star Wars seems to have gone off to die at around the time the Empire that is Disney bought out much of the industry. It is like the publishing industry where the consolidation, cutbacks, and creation by checklist has killed much of it. They even have started to not have reprints of successful titles or just have one edition; Writer Charlie Stross has said that his latest book Quantum of Nightmares is only going to have a British edition of the paperback and not an American one as well. I’m having to be sure to pre order my favorite authors just to be sure I get a hard copy. Also there is always a slightly better chance that the publisher will relent and either increase the size of the original print run or less likely do another run.

        Poor quality entertainment and less of it as well. But ever higher costs and more profit. They probably think that buying used books is stealing.

    1. Paradan

      I just want to take this opportunity to point out that the original Red Dawn was a fantasy about America being on the receiving end of what we do to everyone else. Yet, the Left hates it, and the Right loves it.

      1. The Rev Kev

        It’s funny when you think about it but the 1959 film “The Mouse that Roared” – which was about a tiny nation successfully invading America – was considered a comedy whereas the 2012 film “Red Dawn 2” – which was about a tiny nation successfully invading America – was considered a serious film. The enemies always change to whoever is in somebody’s bad books at the moment. So the 1989 film “Lethal Weapon 2” had the South Africans as the evil villains but when apartheid ended in South Africa, that idea was dropped altogether.

        1. LawnDart

          “The Mouse that Roared” was a great book– “Oops, we seemed to have won… …wasn’t expecting that, now what do we do?” Both friggin hilarious and inspirational!

          Thanks for that, Rev!

  25. Watt4Bob

    The New York Public Service Commission supported Verizon’s switch to fiber-optics to replace the damaged copper network, but noted that copper customers still deserve service.

    With regard to the copper;

    Local Exchange Carriers, (LECs) are local telephone companies which are basically local monopolies in offering local phone services.

    They own the copper, and are responsible for maintaining it.

    The very important part of the story that is left out of the article, is that by law, they are required to share that copper with competing phone companies.

    So, Local Exchange Carriers, in the interest of reinforcing their monopoly control over local services, have consistently pressured authorities to allow them to abandon the copper that is expensive to maintain, and that they are obliged to share, and allow its replacement with fiber which IIRC, is regulated in a manner that limits that responsibility.

    The abandonment of copper reinforces and amplifies the monopoly power of the LECs, and strangles competition.

    We know what the result will be;

    More expensive, and crapified service.

    In a sane world, phone service would be a public utility, the copper, which represents an immense, and surprisingly resilient national resource, that for instance, in addition to phone service, could supply internet for all.

    The internet, and fiber by extension, owned by monopolists who scheme with impunity, represent putting all ones eggs in one basket, and allowing neighborhood bullies to play with that basket.

    On a related note, the three locations for which I purchase Telcom services went down for 2 hours recently due to what was later found to be DNS issues, which in my experience is almost exclusively the result of self-inflicted mistakes made by the Telcoms themselves.

    Our fax machines which run on copper continued to work just fine during those 2 hours.

    I was recently informed that our Fire Alarms, which previously had been required to be connected by copper lines, are now, because of changes in local codes allowed to use cell phone service for connection.

    1. JBird4049

      During PG&E extremely suspicious blackouts, which they said was do to heavy weather that only they noticed, I found out that the local cell phone towers only has battery backups. Backups that last several hours of IIRC three day blackout leaving me with my copper wire landline, which kept working. Interesting that.

      AT&T keeps jacking up the price of the landline at a greater rate than the internet service or inflation. One could almost believe that they don’t want anyone to have.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > our Fire Alarms, which previously had been required to be connected by copper lines, are now, because of changes in local codes allowed to use cell phone service for connection

      That’s a very bad idea. Incredible there’s some bottom-fishing telco lobbyist — but I repeat myself — actually working the localities to get the building codes changed.

      1. ambrit

        It’s part and parcel of the wholesale abandonment of copper wire communications networks. This is becoming widespread in America. For example, our half horse town now has no copper wire network. AT&T went to all wifi repeater station telephone service several years ago. If you look for it, you can spot the old copper wires slowly sagging and breaking over time. Absolutely no maintenance to the copper wire grid now.
        I venture to suggest that the building codes are following the telecommunications network evolution. The regulators are completely ‘captured.’

  26. Boomheist

    Re; That study correlating ACE (adverse childhood experiences) with covid resistance, anti-vaxx opinions, and flouting covid rules misses the point entirely. It is better and more accurate to simply state that covid resistance in all its forms is correlated with two things: economic class and comorditiities. You might even argue that even comorditities are the same as class except for age. Elderly people of any economic and social class, whether financially secure or desperate, are equally at risk. Being overweight is THE huge comordidity after age (I think) and bad diet, dependence on corn syrup foods, and processed foods all tend to fall similarly on those who are struggling. But here in the United States we never talk about class. Never. it is verboten. Yet what is inequality but class distinction?

  27. JTMcPhee

    Re Verizon’s rotting copper lines:

    I was enjoying a family dinner outdoors at a Greek restaurant (before Covid, a couple of years ago). Seated a table away were a white guy in spiffy business casual attire and haircut, and a young pretty blonde woman about half his age. White guy was talking kind of loud, so easy to hear what he was saying. He was bragging to his companion about the great career strides he was making at Verizon, boosting profits by getting rid of the old-fashioned copper wiring and forcing all “legacy” customers onto the new path to universal 5G.

    Ah, the indices of success…

    And the beat goes on…

  28. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: California liberals seethe

    They need of simmer down and elect more and better democrats. Also, the need a democratic governor and super majority. It’s actually their fault for not clapping loudly enough.

    1. JBird4049

      They already have a supermajority in the legislature and have had it for years. No, we need to threaten some livelihoods. Of course, there are already term limits. Maybe the party leaders? But the Democrats are a private crime family, not a public political party.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Oh, if you get a chance, check out the pictures. Only one guy is unmasked. Must be nice to know that covid only affects the poors.

      1. JBird4049

        Look at the body language. The contractors are all tense and two of them have subservient body language. Obama has the same body language and gestures as some particularly annoying customers I have dealt with. That annoyed put upon expression where we are just a problem. Feh.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Lets see, he’s destroying a park in Chicago and running afoul of environmental regulations in Hawaii. I imagine he’ll pick up Ted Kennedy’s mantle and oppose wind power because of birds or clouds in Massachusetts before too long.

    3. Screwball

      There is a Barak Obama fan club on Facebook. Must be nice.

      Wonder what all the people who lost their homes after the GFC of 08/09 think about the Home Builder in Chief fancy pantsy homes? Makes me wonder, house in Martha’s Vineyard is almost 11.8 million. This new one is 8.7 million.

      How much does a president make? Checks notes, $400,000 /yr. Now a little math;

      11.8 + 8.7 = 20.5 million worth of homes. Yearly salary of $400,000 x 8 = 3,200,000. 20.5 million – 3.2 million = 17.3 million. Seems we are little short. Guess it’s good to be the Citigroup president.

      Let’s go Obama

    4. EGrise

      I didn’t know they tore down the original mansion from “Magnum, P.I.” to make way for Obama’s enormous ego new house.

    5. skippy

      Very familiar with that look on Obama’s face when I did high-end RE in Calif during the late 80s.

      Did a couple of 2 story mini mansions overlooking the Rose Bowl that whilst still in frame stage had the architect and client rock up. Architect did a walk through and while walking down long wall at top of stairs which ends, but lines up with a window of the exterior wall paused and then his face got all screwed up. Complained that the wall was 2″ out of line with the window and was critical to the ascetics. So off we went to the drawing table [back in the day when they were used with ***details*** sigh] to check specs. So with him watching everything was measured and sure enough it was all smick to – his – blueprints supplied.

      That went down well, got even more agitated, then demanded it be moved anyway. Wellie the issue with that was the building was L shaped and the wall was just at the 90 degree inside, point of the main structural bearing beam that everything is bolted too. Not to mention the framing was basically done. So without much ado some timber was used to support the upper floors at that point and everything was just cut of the bearing beam to include the embedded bolts to the concert slab. At fist a sledge was used to move it over, but that failed, so some timber was nailed onto the beam and a truck was used to bash it over.

      Oh well I think the few inches everything sagged during the process was worth it to get the wall and window to line up as envisioned.

    6. Samuel Conner

      Maybe the reason he looks upset is that he’s been reading NC and realizes that in future, he will share — due to the 2020 ‘Night of Long Knives’ — some of the blame for JRB’s calamitous public health policies.

      A nice mansion may last for century, but this pandemic will be remembered much longer.

      1. Samuel Conner

        Come to think of it, one can argue that BHO didn’t give us just JRB; he also gave us DJT.

        In future, perhaps 2009-2016 will be seen to have been the necessary precursor to 2017-2020 and the disastrous public health policies of both DJT and JRB.

        I do hope this possibility enters the man’s consciousness. That would IMO be a tiny particle of justice.

        1. Oh

          I want Karma to win out and give BHO his just due. Hoping the house will be swallowed up by the ocean after he moves in.

    1. griffen

      I caught the video replay of the golf shot. As an amateur I am taking relief, penalty for stroke or distance be damned. I would guess he had some ‘splaining to do to the wifey. Caddies are supposed to discourage such an action!

      To be honest, professional golf at the PGA tour level is not too life threatening in the modern era. I have read stories about overseas tours where player and caddie have to be aware of slithering, venomous reptiles. Those stories were probably in a book by golfer and commentator David Feherty.

      1. griffen

        Bill Murray is a real treasure. His bit in the incredibly fun Zombieland movie circa 2009 is binge worthy. “I just saw Van Halen…yeah they’re zombies…”

        I have an older Acushnet model putter, called a blade that’s flat on both sides. Dug it from the barrel at Play it Again Sports nearly 20 years back. Helps to putt left handed at times,

  29. elissa3

    “There’s an ongoing battle for the soul of Democratic Party, the future of it, whether we are a corporate-driven party or a party of the people and Joe Manchin and Sinema represent the leading faction of the push to be friendly to corporate power,” he said.

    What is this soul of which you speak>

    1. Michael Ismoe

      What is this “battle” of which you speak? That war has been over for quite some time. We lost.

  30. shpedoikal

    Re: Rogan

    Don’t let our hatred for the MSM allow us to settle on “too dumb to recognize a fascist” as our standard for platform owners.

  31. Adam Eran

    The Canadian trucker’s protest of mandates may be one of the indications that states are always ambiguous. As David Graeber says, they’re ambiguously an extortion racket (taxes, laws that compel) and a utopian project (no internet or flu vaccines without government).

    I’m not sure this is a problem amenable to solutions. Civil rights protesters used the churches to forward their cause. Now the political right uses churches to forward the opposite cause. Is there “an” answer? I doubt it.

    1. marym

      Thanks for the links with informative perspectives on the protest. Serious concerns people have about these particular vaccines and about the mandates are undermined by these connections with the smorgasbord of extreme right wing causes and behavior, in Canada and the US.

      Harassment of healthcare workers (retail workers, schoolchildren, etc.) by protesters against every pandemic containment measure is an issue in the US too. Good work by the pedestrian and bicycle counter-protesters.

    2. skippy

      From the twit list …

      First Rule of Dunning-Kruger Club

      Is you don’t know you’re in Dunning-Kruger Club

      That pretty much sums up my experience with any Club with the observation that the amount of money present seems to compound the effect.

    3. salty dawg

      I read the Tyee article “Convoy pushback: Thank you health workers”.

      I noticed no mention was made that any of the protesters “thanking health workers” had ever done anything for the health workers fired for not taking the experimental covid vaccines ( ).

      Perhaps these protesters “thanking health workers” were also out there a few months back trying to save health workers from being fired for exercising their medical judgement, but–oddly enough–the Tyee article didn’t mention that.

      I would think that anyone grateful to health workers would be against firing them, especially in a pandemic. Odd that there was no mention of these protesters “thanking health workers” ever having protested health workers being fired.

  32. drumlin woodchuckles

    So . . . ” The FTC’s Lina Khan and the Antitrust Division’s Jonathan Kanter are not screwing around, and are about to take on all the money and power in the world. ” . . . eh?

    Well , if that is true, then that is a difference that electing Biden as against re-electing Trump made.

    And re-electing Trump or electing DeTrumpis or any other little Trumpling the Republicans may run in 2024 will certainly result in scraping all traces of Lina Khan and Jonathan Kanter and any possible junior acolytes they have in their parts of government . . . . back out of government.

    Just something for the “not a dime’s worth of difference” people to think about . . . or not think about if that is their pleasure.

    1. adam

      After watching the Democrats move farther and farther right for over 40 years, and now finally and completely embrace the 2000’s version of the Republican party, the only thing you can trust about them is their complete and utter contempt for the average Democratic voter and their willingness to lie about anything and everything. Your expectation that a Democratic Apparatchik is going to do anything other that give you lip service (or maybe even swat a few minor flies and declare victory!) is like expecting Lucy to give Charlie Brown the opportunity to kick the football. It will never, ever happen.

      1. Still Above Water

        Indeed. After decades of voting Green/3rd Party, I’m encouraging everyone to vote a straight Republican ticket in every election until the Democrats join the Whigs. Let’s put them out of our misery!

        1. LawnDart

          …vote a straight Republican ticket in every election until the Democrats join the Whigs.

          It would simplify things greatly as far as the “us vs them” divide goes, and put and end to the lie that our 2-party system constitutes a “democracy.”

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well . . . I see it is your pleasure to not think about what I wrote in my comment. Have fun voting for Deconstruct the Administrative State and have fun with the Administrative State all-the-way Deconstructed the next time.

      1. Adam

        I completely agree that all of us need a functional state but it is almost completely dead; killed by both parties in their endless quest for loot and power. Voting for the lesser evil has been a disaster and more of the same isn’t going to fix it. If you have suggestions on a better way forward, I’m all ears, as I’m sure many others are too.

  33. Terry Flynn

    Professor David Spiegelhalter apologized in Guardian/Observer for getting covid wrong. Kudos for owning his mistake – regulars will know I know him, have presented my work to him and always thought he was a sound guy.

    I thought he was being too positive in his later Observer columns and wasn’t surprised when they got canceled. Will he speak up LOUDLY now to proclaim what NC said all along?

  34. jr

    Rising interviews Christopher Mellon, former assistant secretary of defense, UFO expert, and Ed Harris impersonator on what we know of the military’s interests in UFOs and why the Air Force seems uninterested in getting on board with what we all must know by now is a big budget op:

    Mellon claims that the Air Force picks up readings of plenty of UFO’s, both in the atmosphere as well as in near space, but due to a culture of silence (UFO’s invading our airspace at will means the Air Force has failed it’s mission.) it ignores that data. Mellon speaks of joint Navy-Air Force trainings where the Navy pilots will report all manner of weird stuff while their Air Force counterparts stay silent. Gee, you would think with all the extra trazillions of dollars the UFO “budget op” scam could net they would start chattering away but nope…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  35. whatmeworry

    that CDC MMWR study is embarrassingly bad. In fact it reaches a level of bad where one can no longer discount the possibility that they are sabotaging trust in the CDC intentionally. as just one example: 13.4% of people who tested positive answered the phone. Hmm, might people with a phone who answer the phone be in some ways different. I wonder…it gets worse from there. This is unadulterated trash

  36. lance ringquist

    this is why i do not take any union leader serieously that endorses a nafta democrat. not one word about who made this possible for the mexican workers.

    trump did more for unions than the combined last four nafta democrat president, who only kicked the american deplorable repeatedly in the teeth daily.

    New union at GM Mexico plant could benefit US autoworkers
    Jamie L. LaReau and Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press
    Sun, February 6, 2022, 5:59 PM

    on top of that, i am betting with the tariffs, this is the reason this is happening,

    “Last month, GM said it will invest $7 billion in four manufacturing sites in Michigan after local and state governments granted it big tax incentives. The investment will include constructing a new battery cell plant in Lansing and expanding its Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township to build the 2024 Silverado EV pickup, along with Factory ZERO in Detroit and Hamtramck.”

  37. VietnamVet

    The Soviet interrogator in the “Unbearable Lightness of Being” said something years later that I remember as “We are doing what is best for you”. If you stay around long enough everything rhymes. One unmentionable is that there is a neoliberal Western Empire imposed from above on the neutered western democracies. Successor Ideology – Authoritarian Utopianism – Wokeism is not new. Propaganda, correct speech, and censorship plus identity politics purposefully divides up and rules over the Empire’s subjects. Corporate media ignores this reality.

    The White House says the Russian invasion of Ukraine is days away. The coronavirus pandemic has shortened the lives of almost a million Americans. Obviously there is an energy crisis, shortages of goods, missing workers, and inflation. The US federal government has failed. This is the elephant in the room. The Western Empire is falling. Some people see this. Those with cognitive bias to earn a living see nothing. Some only see parts. But truck drivers see enough that they are acting on it.

  38. ChrisRUEcon

    Well, the New York Times made the egregious error of printing an article that was apparently too complimentary of MMT* … and Larry Summers had a bit of a meltdown on Twitter.

    Time for A Victory Lap (via NYT)

    King Crapaud’s** Meltdown (via Twitter)

    Needless to say, there was a string response – not just from the #MMT community – but even outside the Economics community. The fear of being rendered irrelevant has Economics orthodoxy in its death throes.

    * – perhaps it was the lede that nearly gave Summers a conniption. The article itself really challenged the idea that #MMT economists got it right as it were, but kudos to Kelton for giving the interview.

    ** – Crapaud = Toad … en Français

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        > What Larry knows about MMT would fit capaciously in a thimble.

        Part of the lambasting he got last night was people reminding him of his admission that he did not understand reserve accounting (via Twitter) … LOL … literally “how central banking works”.

        I think Larry’s understandings of a great many Economics topics are similarly sized.

    1. skippy

      “intellectual movement” … actually I think Larry should be more careful in his choice of words considering his “track” record …

      1. ChrisRUEcon


        Also, his use of the term “Intellectual movement” is a tell as to how he – and no doubt others, like Krugman – see themselves: they are the leaders of the Economics movement. As such, they are the gatekeepers of what is acceptable and what is not. Mosler, Bill Mitchell, Wray, Kelton, Tcherneva and the wider confraternity of #MMT architects are a direct threat to Summers’ legitimacy, hence the robust defense of his fallacious beliefs.

  39. LawnDart

    For Western Pennsylvania high school seniors, pandemic was ultimate test of courage

    Gimmie a friggin break… …half these kids don’t even know how to wear a mask, and they’re something like “educated”?

    An “ultimate test of courage”? Wait til they have to put food on the table or deal with their student loans, though I doubt they will as it appears that most of them are but a slice of PMC spawn, otherwise half these girls would be working a pole or caming for “Only Fans” and the guys would be… …working a pole and hustling dates on Grinder.

    1. BeliTsari

      My (Carnegie) car insurance agency had everybody breathless with Omicron, about 3 weeks back. We’d been exchanging our terrifying pulse-oximiter readings, jagoff plague horror stories, an’at. Nobody’d ever even heard of our hippy-dippy
      immunomodulatot, phyto-polyphenol isoflavonoid commie, tree-hugger snake-oil. Pittsburgh is 130 hillbilly hollers of warring ethnicities, with a TINY pretty “I’m SUPER-Immune!” city, kinda spooked at that moment (since UPMC had been transplanting full-tilt through D614-Delta, so was pretty adept at burying corpses in speciously gathered statistics?)

  40. Savita

    On Joe Rogan. In his conversations, with, for example Glenn Greenwald he speaks in depth about censorship and cancel culture. He makes a really important point which is sadly missed by many. Which is, he invites guests he doesn’t agree with. The people he has invited onto his show, he wants to understand better. Because he doesn’t agree with them or doesn’t undestand how they tick. In conversations with Greenwald, he explained that by opening up conversation, exchanging conflicting and contrasting ideas, society improves. It’s how people improve. It’s how discoveries and inventions occur. He said cancel culture is profoundly destructive. So, he invites guests onto his show he is aware view life and politics radically differently from himself. He is curious, and thinks they are worth having a chat with. Instead, he gets judged literally on behalf of his guests ideas, as if they belong to him. it’s like judging the personality of an artist by assuming their art is a literal and exact manifestion of who they are in mundane daily life. It’s actually very juvenile. The other thing is Joe Rogan is a comedian. That is his job and identity. Comedians play an important and unique role. They express themselves in ways societies need. Comedians say things they find funny, not because they identify with those things but because it can be revealing and entertaining to say those things. Again this is radically misunderstood by the nay sayers who have never enjoyed a comic in their life. I will note I read an article explaining Neil Young made his announcement not long after selling the rights in his music – or selling something significant to do with his back catalogue because he is launching his own indepndent music thing – to a firm that is financially, intimately involved with Pfizer and Moderna. And he was expected to represent their best interests, and his own. I know this rates as anecdoteal but only because I don’t know how to retrieve the article that laid out the links between certain companies and individuals, sorry.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > He makes a really important point which is sadly missed by many. Which is, he invites guests he doesn’t agree with. The people he has invited onto his show, he wants to understand better. Because he doesn’t agree with them or doesn’t undestand how they tick. In conversations with Greenwald, he explained that by opening up conversation, exchanging conflicting and contrasting ideas, society improves.

      If that’s Rogan’s implicit contract with the listeners, then what on earth is the issue? (At this point, I find the dogpiling so reprehensible I don’t care what bad words, if any, Rogan used, regardless of context. I think it’s more important that liberal Democrat SuperPACs — or, more precisely, the donors to liberal Democrat SuperPACs — not be be handed control of the platforms as a chokepoint over our discourse than it is preventing utterance offensive to some, especially since the rationalizations for the offenses are ever-shifting, inconsistently applied, and the crassest of political power plays. A monopoly of opinion on monopoly platforms is the clear goal here. That realpolitik is more important to me than PMC pearl-clutching and hot tears, which aren’t worth the tissues they soak anyhow.

      * * *

      On Neil Young. His catalog is owned by “Hipgnosis” (which is publicly traded but registered in Guernsey, so, alrighty then). Hipgnosis’s “founder” is named “Merck Mercuriadis” (and I can’t help but wonder whether that first name is the source of confusion on pharma). Hipgnosis investors aren’t super-happy with the controversy. Investment Week:

      However, as Neil Young pulled his songs from Spotify, investors in the trust scratched their heads at what that meant for them and what their money had actually paid for.

      The nearly £2.1bn Hipgnosis trust has fallen to a 8.4% discount and its share price is down 2.2% in the past five days.

      Advised platform trust sales dominated by Transact and Raymond James

      Laith Khalaf, financial analyst at AJ Bell, put it simply, saying the situation “raises question marks about the importance of control of music rights and indeed the valuation of those rights where artists are withdrawing their work from certain platforms”.

      Rob Morgan, analyst at Charles Stanley, agreed and said the recent argument “could have consequences on earnings assets can achieve – and their value”.

      “Understandably, artists are usually sensitive about the uses of their work and aren’t likely to take a wholly mercenary view of how it is monetised,” he explained. “So the relationship between the investor and the artist is very important, as are the details of the terms that have been agreed.”

      The relationship adds a layer of risk for investors to consider and is something they will need to ask questions and get to grips with the granularity of, he said. It seems the recent tussle has done just that.

      Blackstone as of October 2021 took an ownership stake in Hipgnosis, and so is private equity-adjacent, but IMNSHO, Blackstone is so ginormous that you’d have to pull the yarn in the diagram pretty tight to connect Hipgnosis to Big Pharma through Blackstone. (Rather like saying that somebody who shipped a package via Amazon had entered into a conspiracy with Jeff Bezos).

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