2:00PM Water Cooler 3/16/2022/

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Patient readers, I suffered a household debacle this morning that’s too boring to explain, and the result is that today’s Water Cooler is an open thread.

Bird Song of the Day

* * *

If you could use a palate cleanser after Zelensky’s speech, I highly recommend this episode of Aaron Maté’s Pushback:

* * *

Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here (TH):

TH writes: “I’m off work for the month of January, so had an opportunity to go to a park in Irvine for a walk and some photography. I was struck by the contrast of the lush deep greens and reds against the background of gray dry shrubbery.”

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the recently concluded and — thank you! — successful annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:

Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated.

If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Water Cooler on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


    1. Mr Magoo

      They do of course realize that nuclear war is not restricted to the European theatre? Like that should make a difference.

      1. Pat

        This is America. We have been at war for over twenty years, for a bunch of our military eligible they cannot remember a time we weren’t at war. And yet it hasn’t touched them really. For probably 75% of Americans, Outside of heart warming commercials for wounded warriors and thanking people for their service, their only contact with a war zone is at the end of a game controller or binge watching Band of Brothers.

        It would be surprising if a majority of them actually do understand that it will mean that America will not just be a target but will hurt. That so much of the fight will be brought here 9/11 will be a skinned knee by comparison. (Radiation disease…what’s that…)

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          A breakdown by age in the CBS poll showed seniors were the most likely to support escalation, so why knock on the kids? The propaganda over the decades has been relentless. Besides the people who skipped Vietnam such as our President, despite being an athlete in college, the stabbed in the back propaganda has been around for a while. Our illustrious “victories” that they were too old for are distant tv victories agains tv villains.

          1. Pat

            If it sounded like I was knocking on the kids, I apologize. I merely wanted to point out that we have been at this insane version of war where most people can forget we are as it it is far away and fought by such a small percentage of the population that a whole generation has grown up and are eligible to to fight, drink and have children.

            That is a very long time. And yes I am ashamed that the generation that had Vietnam has forgotten that and how not trustworthy our government was regarding it that they think this and any escalation of it is some television version of war.

        2. Tom Stone

          Radiation sickness is a good reason to own a pistol.
          For your loved ones more than yourself.

      2. shinola

        Nevil Shute’s novel “On the Beach” should be required reading for anyone who even considers “limited” use of nuclear weapons. (written in the 1950’s but still relevant)

          1. Arizona Slim

            Or the movie Failsafe. There was a more-or-less mandatory afternoon showing at my high school. I don’t know what the administration had in mind, but it was one powerful movie.

            1. fresno dan

              I think Dr. Strangelove is the movie that captures actual Washington thinking best – and no, I am not being facetious.

              1. fresno dan


                Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film Dr. Strangelove is a black comedy that ends with the world being completely destroyed in a nuclear war. Many aspects of the film might seem absurd, but according to Daniel Ellsberg, who worked as a nuclear war planner in the 1960s, it’s actually pretty close to reality.

                Coded switches to prevent the unauthorized use of nuclear weapons were finally added to the control systems of American missiles and bombers in the early nineteen-seventies. The Air Force was not pleased, and considered the new security measures to be an insult, a lack of confidence in its personnel. Although the Air Force now denies this claim, according to more than one source I contacted, the code necessary to launch a missile was set to be the same at every Minuteman site: 00000000.

          2. Janie

            Judith, the movie Testament: reminded me of the more recent movie Testament of Youth, based on a memoir from 1938, by a woman who volunteered as a nurse in France in World War I. You’ll never forget the panning out from the room of one of the characters to the wrecked building that’s serving as a hospital to the wounded spread all over the muddy ground as far as you can see. That’s just a war with hundred year old weapons.

        1. Thistlebreath

          “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy offers a glimpse of what might remain. But probably not even that.

          Viggo Mortensen starred in the 2009 film adaptation.

          1. Mantra

            Attack and kill anyone, whether they be scientist, politician or media figure that advocates for nuclear war, limited nuclear war, the use of nuclear weapons or providing same to allies.

        2. Half Bankrupt

          Also the movie “Two Women” starring Sophia Loren, made in 1960.

          Spoiler alert: Allied troops don’t come off as good guys.

      1. chris

        So much this. To be even more granular, polling of people who think both they and their families will not be affected in any way from this decision. That belief is driven by their insurmountable ignorance of the real world and the fact that many have been able to “fail up” their entire lives. After having been started on a garden path from an idealic childhood with wealthy parents cheering them on the entire time.

    2. Donald

      This really makes one disgusted with people. Here we are in the seventh year of assisting the Saudis starve hundreds of thousands of children to death and nobody gets excited because they haven’t been told by the media to get excited. And we are also starving Afghanistan. And no need to risk billions of deaths to stop either crime.

      But an obvious nonstop propaganda blitz and people claim to be willing to risk everything to stop what is ( in my opinion) a criminal war, but not as bad as many others we have engaged in.

      The press is partly to blame, but this is also pure idiocy on the part of people who claim to think this.

      1. jr

        I agree whole heartedly. As mis-informed and distracted as the US public is, there is a level of unreflective entitlement and an angry selfishness that is pervasive. Downright childish.

        It’s one thing to be unaware of the murders of the Yemeni or the slavery fostered by Hillary and Co. in Syria. That’s problematic for a bunch of reasons but not necessarily blame worthy. It’s another thing entirely to learn of such atrocities and to ignore such information. That’s a choice.

        But brute realities are kicking in the mental front door of the densest of my fellow Americans. The political and economic realities are coming home to burn down the roost. And behind all of that Mother Earth looms, spitting with rage at her most intransigent of children.

      2. The Rev Kev

        The press is partly to blame? Check out this WH briefing where the press are really baying for WW3 via sending in attack aircraft & establishing a no-fly zone and it is not the first time that I have seen them acting like this in a briefing


        I doubt that you will see any of them visiting a war zone and seeing what it is like.

    3. voislav

      Makes sense. About the same percentage are evangelical Christians, so it’s not surprising they would welcome nuclear war with the expectation that the godless liberals would be wiped off the planet and the society would be rebuilt along their preferred ideological lines.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        I’m not sure about your eschatological attributions, but the point is well taken. The Darby-ites among the Evangelicals–and they’re numerous–expect to be raptured away before there’s any serious trouble.

        For those whose expectations of the future are based on The Left Behind series, there may be a severe if very brief shock if the Nuke Jackpot hits, and they mistake that blinding flash of light for Jesus returning on the clouds.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Its not just evangelicals. The propaganda has been relentless since the Gulf War. Many Americans simply don’t have a clue. I read the replies to that quack Ted Lieu’s tweet about a no fly zone. The doofuses extolled the newest drones as game changers.

        We’ve had reports from former special force “volunteers” who shocked to find the Ukrainian army was a s**t show.

        1. Michael Ismoe

          No. No. No.

          Not when you have the devil himself to blame


          Brandon actually went there. He called Putin a “war criminal.” (apparently, that worse than just a plain criminal).

          The problem with being a 20 something speechwriter with no history courses under your belt is that you can’t get too far out before you make a U-turn and hit yourself. Maybe if Putin brings candy for Michelle during Brandon’s upcoming funeral gig, all will be forgiven

    4. Pelham

      One of the reasons we need an ongoing draft with no exemptions. Having family flesh on the line is apparently necessary for sober thinking.

      1. John k

        There will be no war protests until the draft comes back. The military used to like the draft bc soldiers are cheap, then happily found moneys no object for military.

    5. Roland

      The ones I find most chilling are those like the 1952 UK civil defense personnel orientation films:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lc0QWw80Sb8 [Pts 1-3]

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFcMfIn18Lo [Pt 4]

      The films assume 20 kT airburst, so they don’t talk much about fallout. Radiation hazard is assumed mostly from the intense gamma ray burst incident upon detonation, which was what caused most of the radiation casualties in the attacks on Japan.

      In the updated 1960 version, the assumption is very different–a 10 MT groundburst with enormous fallout effects. It’s interesting to compare:


      Today’s strategic warheads are much lower yield, mostly sub-megaton.

      1. GC54

        Google nukemap but recognize that strategic sites would be hit with multiple warheads, which is an option in the program’s interface.

    6. Bugs

      Maybe they just want to lance the boil. And I don’t mean to be smug. Perhaps that many people think it’s inevitable?

    7. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Let’s see:

      Grave of the Fireflies is the great Japanese Anime version of nuclear bomb dropping.

      The Book of Eli, The Chernobyl Diaries, The Hills Have Eyes, The Road, Judge Dredd/Dredd….all horrible endings for the common person…

    8. blowncue

      Literally thought of both those films as well last week. While not in the same genre of gruesome verite there was a Croatian film called The Show Must Go On in which a producer of a reality show decides to lock his young contestants in their underground Big Brother type compound in the face of Continental Europe sliding off its axis into nuclear war.

    9. Jason Boxman

      I finally watched that. On The Beach is more realistic, I think. The Day After gives the impression that there is a day after.

    10. Dave in Austin

      2% favor drafting their own kids to go; .005% favor going themselves. Roughly the same numbers from the Senate, House and White House staff.

  1. Neohnomad

    This morning Yves said “I for years have torn my hair out about the petrodollar thesis, which is bunk.”

    I have heard/read passing reference to the “petrodollar” before, but my knowledge is limited.

    So can anyone elucidate on:
    the petrodollar thesis, what it is, are there any competing thesis?
    and why its bunk?

    1. digi_owl

      Can’t speak about why it is bunk, but it is effectively about replacing gold with oil as a backing for the USD.

      The claim is that when Nixon dropped the gold standard because of rampant deficit spending thanks to the Vietnam war making nations holding USD nervous (to the point that France etc started demanding gold held at Fort Knox be turned over to them or some such), DC set up an agreement with the Saudis to only sell their oil in USD. This then supposedly providing a near endless demand for USD because the world runs on petroleum.

      And this then is supposedly why DC keeps propping up a backwards nation (recently they executed, by beheading, 80 people in a single day), and invaded Iraq and Afghanistan even though the majority of 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi-Arabia.

  2. OIFVet

    “I have a dream” that one day American war planes will shoot down Russian warplanes over Ukraine, and for instigating WW3 I will be given the Nobel Peace prize.

    ~ Volodimir Zelensky

    Honestly, there is nothing that can cleanse my palate after seeing Dr. King’s legacy thoroughly defiled by Zelensky and the Congress clowns.

      1. OIFVet

        He did. Wanna bet that he’s got US and British advisors writing his speeches for him? He’s a thoroughly loathsome puppet, performing before a thoroughly loathsome Congress.

      2. digi_owl

        I got to say, he is winning the PR war if nothing else.

        But then western MSM has made it a one horse race.

    1. Glossolalia

      I’ll admit to being someone who has sort of tuned out of covid coverage. What’s the current thought on action items needed to Do Something™ about covid? (assuming it’s not, “get your booster!”)

      1. Arizona Slim

        I’m on the FLCCC emailing list. The latest issue had an article on the importance of a “just in case” kit in one’s medicine cabinet. And, yes, it includes that certain drug that must not be mentioned.

        It also includes mouthwash, Vitamin C, D3, Zinc, and I’m running out of time.

        1. Arizona Slim

          Me again. I was running out of time to edit my previous comment. Here’s what’s in that “just in case” kit:

          Mouthwash with cetylpyridinium chloride
          Vitamin C
          Vitamin D

          Here at the Arizona Slim Ranch, I’m good to go on all but the first two items. Working on adding them to the medicine cabinet.

            1. Arizona Slim

              A word of caution on povidone iodine: I know I have been quite a proponent, and I’ve said as much on this site.

              However, I’ve had to change my thinking and my use of this stuff.

              For three months, I was using it at least once a day. But, in a recent FLCCC Weekly Update, Dr. Paul Marik urged us to only use povidone iodine nasal spray after exposure to COVID.

              Last week, I was listening to another Weekly Update. In addition to the main presentation that featured Dr. Pierre Kory, there was a running Q&A with the FLCCC’s team of nurse practitioners.

              One of them noted that she had tested some patients who were using povidone iodine on a regular basis, and they have elevated levels of, well, she didn’t say. But she did say that ongoing elevated levels can be harmful to the thyroid.

              Uh-oh. I’ve been down this road before.

              Years ago, I was drinking soy milk like crazy, and I developed an enlarged thyroid. Doctor wanted to put me on meds, but I refused.

              Instead, I cut soy out of my diet. Took me a year to feel better, but once I did, I felt like I’d been let out of a cage. My energy was unstoppable.

              I put my povidone iodine nasal spray in the medicine cabinet, and, from now on, I will only use it as an emergency measure.

              1. Yves Smith

                I get my thyroid levels tested regularly (full panel, not just TSH).

                I have been using a 1% povidone gargle and nose spray for over a year.

                My readings are normal for me. But I don’t use iodized salt and don’t eat fast foods. I used to take kelp to get more iodine and cut that out when I starting using povidone

                0.45% povidone iodine is an OTC gargle in Japan and many of the anti-Covid studies are on 0.45% or 0.5%. I can’t imagine it would be permitted OTC if that level were harmful.

                Soy suppresses thyroid so I don’t understand your swelling but I can get fatigue.

                See more:

                The repeated administration of PVP-I to the sinonasal mucosa has been described as a safe and effective treatment for chronic sinus disease (Table 1). Panchmatia et al and Mullings et al reported the use of a 0.08% PVP-I solution for recalcitrant chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) for up to 7 weeks.30,31 Patients showed clinical improvement and decreased bacterial growth. Over the 7 weeks of treatment, there was no detrimental effect on thyroid function or mucociliary clearance. Nasal mucociliary time remained within normal ranges. …

                The majority of iodine is cleared by the kidneys in urine, 35% is excreted in sweat, and a negligible amount is excreted fecally.57 When healthy patients were given more than 100 times the recommended intake of iodine daily for 38 days, there were no deleterious effects. The renal iodine clearance has been shown to be stable and not saturatable.


            1. jr

              I don’t think so, sadly, at least smoking it or eating cooked pot like gummies:


              Raw, full spectrum CBD oil has shown efficacy in helping with COVID:



              but THC competes on a 1:1 molecular ratio with the uptake of CBD. Smoked CBD doesn’t work either. It has to be high quality oil, not the “Gorilla Nugz” at the vape store.

          1. John k

            Thanks for the input, another wave maybe on deck.
            I think it was here that somebody mentioned scope has something that fights Covid, so I’ve been taking that about once a day.
            Maybe I’ll start with melatonin/c, I do take most of the rest… I use the iodine spray only if I think I’m among strangers.

    2. Rod

      Another Death count anomaly?? From yesterdays Cooler Count–
      Total: Tues. 991,038 (Mon. 991,260). Heading slowly downward. I have added an anti-triumphalist Fauci Line.
      has there been a resurrection of sorts?
      I checked Adams response.

      Kashana–from this mornings Links–imo, simple and to the point:

      Pretty sure the number one sign that covid is over is that people keep getting it.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        That’s the news I’ve been dreading throughout this pandemic. At least up until now, the dead were staying dead. This is a serious escalation.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      The second wave has hit Ireland, just in time for St. Patricks Day and the abandonment of masks (discipline held for about 2 weeks after it stopped being mandatory, then completely fell apart in a matter of days).

      The main emergency unit in Dublin has appealed for people not to come – they are overwhelmed with Covid cases and have a shortfall in staff because… covid. And this is before the usual wave of alcohol casualties hits it.

      I am beyond disgusted at the medical professionals who supported the call to relax masking mandates.

  3. Brunches with Cats

    Hmmm, the only thing showing up beneath “Zelensky palate cleanser” on my android phone is a can of WD-40 and headline, “This Clever Trick Can Lower Your Car Fuel Consumption By 55%”

    Google ads as the new Magic 8 Ball?

    1. Librarian Guy

      Watching this later, thanks for providing the link. Among the few trustworthy sources who actually know what they’re talking about, will watch later today likely.

      1. diptherio

        MacGregor seems to know his military stuff, but occasionally goes off on about “globalist Marxist, atheists,” which is kinda of funny, and kind of cringe.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Lol yeah when I heard “Globalist Marxist Elites” control the world or something I was like, “WHERE DO I SIGN UP?!”


          But seriously it’s cool that Mate kinda of rebutted that saying that the Marxists watching the video might disagree with his assessments. And MacGregor goes off on the multiculturalists too! Ummm, what does that even mean????

          Great video and thanks for Blumenthal and Mate for putting it out!

          1. Aumua

            It means he’s a closet fascist, or at the very least a hard right winger, and Mate should think twice before associating himself with such people. But I guess clicks are clicks, huh?

            1. Yves Smith

              This is ad hominem. Only in our contemporary censorship happy world is interviewing someone who is a domain expert in his area of expertise “associating” with him. You are using the precise sort of smear Joe McCarthy used back in the day to ruin careers.

              I run posts all the time by people who are deficit hawks (as in lousy at macroeconomics) but have important commentary on particular areas of finance, like the risks of central counterparties. You’d shut out most of the information in the world if you stay in your ideological echo chamber. That behavior rules DC and is what is playing a very big role in driving the US into ruin. Why are you endorsing a variant of the same pathology?

        2. tegnost

          I know several self avowed globalist atheists, but marxist they are not…
          (those isms are doing heavy lifting there…)
          regarding theism particularly I have heard mentioned that “god” may actually exist and be operating a chaos theory game as a Universe hack, and one may indeed be accountable in the ever unknown future…

        3. Phil in KC

          MacGregor has been on Fox News recently defending Putin’s behavior in Ukraine, and seems to believe that Russia has a right to carve up the Ukraine. If these appearances on TV represent his views accurately, then he is no defender of the collective security arrangement that has kept the peace in Europe (don’t look at the Balkans, please) for 75 years. Liz Cheney characterized MacGregor as a member of the Putin wing of the GOP. So I am left wondering about MacGregor’s moral center.

      2. BhamDan

        If you’d rather listen than watch it has dropped on Aaron’s podcast Pushback with Aaron Maté

  4. antidlc

    Some hospitals ask patients, visitors to remove N95s, citing CDC

    Late last year, Laura Wing-Kamoosi visited her 79-year-old father at the hospital in northern Michigan. To her surprise, a worker asked her to remove her N95 and replace it with a surgical mask. She declined, layering the surgical mask atop her N95 instead.

    She saw no staff wear N95s, among the best respiratory protection available, while they treated her father for a tear in his aorta and other medical issues, she told POLITICO. One doctor wore his surgical mask under his nose, she said. Her father, who was hospitalized for about a month, contracted Covid-19 during his stay, and while he survived, the virus slowed his recovery.

    The hospital, Munson Healthcare, said it requests visitors wear the surgical masks it provides to ensure people are using quality masks and that it allows visitors to layer one over their own. The hospital is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — and for many public health advocates, that’s exactly the problem.

    1. LaRuse

      I wore my 3M Aura mask to a doctor’s office yesterday – a gastroenterology procedure clinic. Waiting room was about 50/50 masked, no one had anything better than a surgical mask on. Of the nurses, one had a surgical mask on – it was riding on her chin, the rest unmasked. I was the driver for someone getting the full internal camera inspection and when the doctor brought me into his office to discuss findings, he was completely unmasked.
      At least no one asked me to take the mask off in a room full of people 50 and over.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      They are not yet prepared to put on their tinfoil thinking caps and admit that the CDC agenda is to spread covid everywhere and advising ” no N95 masks ” is designed to advance the CDC agenda of spreading covid everywhere.

      The CDC clearly wants to turn hospitals themselves into covid superspread reactors.

  5. Amechania


    22 hours ago. Police shut down highway exits to stymie their access to DC proper.

    Includes interesting quote from DC police union steward, urging… something.

    “The union referenced a fatal crash in Thursday’s letter, expressing concern over officers at stationary traffic posts during 12-hour mandatory shifts after dark and in areas where vehicles travel at high speeds. Adam Shaatal, the union’s chief shop steward, urged the department to end the assignments.

    Two people were killed March 8 in the fiery crash when a car struck a dump truck and another vehicle in the District on Interstate 695, police said. The dump truck and a D.C. police vehicle were parked at Exit 1C as part of security measures for the convoy, a D.C. police spokesperson said at the time.”

    Last month seems so far away in time already.

    1. marym

      Thanks for the link. That’s an interesting statement from the cops. I was working on this update, so there’s some overlap in information. It includes links to people tweeting today’s events, including some further impressions about what the cops are doing.

      They convoy has been camped out since 03/05 at a speedway in Maryland ~90 miles from DC. I’m not sure how many big trucks, how many pick-ups, rv’s, and cars. Some have left over time. The linked Daily Beast post puts the current total at 500.

      The leader(?s) met with some Republican members of Congress.

      Most days (except this past week-end due to bad weather) the trucks drove to the Beltway, did several (~64 mile) laps, and drove back to the camp. Convoy drivers expressed chagrin that regular commuters give them the finger. They blame antifa.

      This week they tried to exit onto roads leading into DC itself. Till today cops mostly blocked them. Today some vehicles did go into town.

      The National Park Service has apparently rejected their application for a permit to camp out on the National Mall from 03/14 – 3/26. https://www.thedailybeast.com/peoples-convoy-bid-for-a-permit-to-camp-on-the-national-mall-fails-miserably

      Today from https://twitter.com/ZTPetrizzo

      “Today while circling the Beltway, The People’s Convoy became increasingly paranoid over standard commuter cars they believe to be with “antifa.” “Six antifa vehicles! Six antifa vehicles,” a trucker said over the CB radio. “Keep your heads on a swivel!” another trucker yelled.

      A handful of cars with The People’s Convoy have made it into DC, are driving around near the National Mall, and getting triggered over residents yelling at them “go home” as they live stream.”

      Reporting based on convoy livestreams, chats, CB, etc.

      1. JBird4049

        Antifa? Anti fascists are the problem? How?

        The protesters should know that whoever you are and whatever you are protesting, people will be angry and unpleasant with you. Said unpleasantness in the United States has included, but not limited to, mean words, rocks, clubs, handguns, and rifles often by counter protesters, hired goons, the police, the military (occasionally with machine guns) followed by mass (illegal) arrest, trial, and prison using false evidence in rigged courts. Protestors have often responded with not only with what the police used but added bombs to the list.

        American history is interesting partly because for the past four plus centuries is that even in politics it has been very violent, often lethal, with everyone being so excepting the Quakers. From decades before the Civil War until about the middle of 1970s, violence was normal. I think we are going to find out just how violent as a society we are again. The past fifty years has been fairly, for us, peaceful with the violence that did happen being ignored by the press.

        And before anyone talks about those violent revolutionaries, the violence was usually started by the police and armed goons on the at first peaceful protesters. Just look at the civil rights and union movements. Those truckers might will find themselves in pain even if they just keep protesting.

        1. Yves Smith

          I hate to tell you, but back in the days of Occupy, “black block” types would regularly show up and throw bottles and rocks at the police. This was well documented by Occupy protestors who were very unhappy about it. There are anarchists who just want a fight and will pick one. .

        2. marym

          Right-leaning protesters currently seem generally more attuned to being watchful for infiltrators and provocateurs than the left has been, and which all protesters should be. In this case I wouldn’t assume most people expressing annoyance while making their way through commuter traffic are counter-protesters. People express annoyance and worse at other drivers all the time. If the drivers continue the protest into the city, I guess we’ll see more clearly.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            What should watchful protesters do about infiltrators if such infiltrators are spotted? Anything? Nothing? Something else?

          2. JBird4049

            I would say you are both right. Yes, there are people who just want to bleep stuff up, and there are people who always annoyed in the worst way at anything that inconvenience them. The a riot is a party and the I am sooooo important crowds of people.

            What I trying to say is that too many people blame “those peopled,” the poor, the reformers, protestors as the dreaded anarchist, communist, socialist, hooligans, or whatever word is en vogue; it does not matter what the issue is, it is at the mere inconvenience that their betters start complaining about anything, no matter how peacefully.

            There is also the fact that the violence is started by police provocateurs instead of the protestors.

        1. marym

          There’s discussion worth having as to whether a disruptive protest tactic is useful to draw attention to the seriousness of the cause, or alienating to people with whom the protesters should be building solidarity. In this case, it would also be interesting to hear the views of people protesting with their vehicles about laws that protect people who drive vehicles into protesters blocking traffic with their bodies.

  6. mistah charley, ph.d.

    from eric topol


    he refers to a “BA.2 triad” of factors

    Certainly, the BA.2 variant is known to have increased transmission, at least about 30% more than its sister lineage, Omicron BA.1. With the concomitant reduction of mitigation restrictions and waning immunity protection of vaccines, that transmission advantage will increase.

    As the Firesign Theatre said, “This is the future. You got to live it, or live with it.”

    1. Ghost in the Machine

      A lot of my family got omicron over Christmas. A few were asymptomatic. I wonder what their immunity will be against BA.2. Two and a half months ago and the closest variant.
      I get the feeling from Europe that the first omicron wave did not help so much with this next wave. But maybe it will not be as bad a wave.

        1. Dougk

          Not that it’s a big deal, but Easter is April 17. Orthodox Easter is a week later, April 24.

      1. Skunk

        I think a key question will be whether BA.2 has more of a tropism for the lungs than the upper airways. We were lucky that BA.1 primarily targeted upper airways.

        1. Yves Smith

          Yes and no. It damaged other organs instead.

          So instead of dying by drowning in bloody lung fluids from viral pneumonia, you get reduced lifespan due to impairment of other organs.

        2. Skippy

          Its a blood related issue so all things are compromised considering individual circumstances.

      2. Yves Smith

        BA.2 is so different from Omicron that it should be classified as a different variant. And immunity from getting Omicron is pretty poor:

        Rhe risk of reinfection with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is 5.4 times greater than that of the Delta variant, new research suggests.

        The study by Imperial College London suggests the protection against reinfection by Omicron from past infection may be as low as 19 per cent.


        There have been quite a few anecdotal reports of getting reinfected by Omicron in a month, but given the state of search, I can’t find them again.

        I would assume effectively zilch immunity v. BA.2 from an Omicron infection.

    2. Sutter Cane

      If we are no longer tracking cases, how will we know when the next wave is happening? Deaths? If we are only tracking deaths, those are a lagging indicator, and the wave will already be upon is by the time deaths rise.

      And if “covid is over” when there are still 1000+ deaths a day, how many deaths will it take to admit that actually, it isn’t over?

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The upper class is hoping that the deaths will happen several decades after infection, so they ” can’t be attributed” to covid contracted decades before. The upper class is hoping that tens of millions of people will get covid “now” and then die “later”, just in time to avoid getting on Social Security and Medicare.

      2. QR

        Yup. For immediate covid information, I’m watching wastewater to know for my own risk assessment. Not holding my breath waiting for official entities to acknowledge and appropriately act on that information.

        We’re in for some rough times as the overwhelming approach to covid is now damn the the torpedos in pretty much every societal context.

  7. AnArchitect

    Re: Zelensky pile-ons – God forbid the man says whatever he can to spark further interest in repelling an invasion.

    I wonder if the commentariat here could say how many Nazis were in this theater:

    Re: Masking in Stores – In NYC, it seems the cops/fire fighters never wear masks in stores (groceries mostly), followed close behind in poor mask-usage by the greying segments of the population.

    1. djrichard

      Ukraine can keep on fighting until western countries figure out a plan B. Alternatively they can surrender.

      Do you think western countries will figure out a plan B?

      1. barefoot charley

        Hillary told Plans A and B to Rachel Maddow two weeks ago: long-term insurgency, armed to the teeth, just like good old Afghanistan. Plan B would be: to the last Ukrainian.

    2. OIFVet

      “spark further interest in repelling an invasion”

      He is saying whatever he can to start WW3, and quoting Dr. King crossed a line. He is appealing to emotions, not to reason.

      As for the theater, yesterday Russia did warn that Azov personnel is hiding in the bomb shelter underneath it and holding civilians as hostage. Yes, Russian info should be taken with salt. So should Ukrainian info. Particularly since they have demonstrated that they are exceedingly good at symbol manipulation to appeal to emotions. See Zelensky above. So I personally won’t dismiss the possibility that they are using their own civilians as shields. Wouldn’t be the first time.

      1. Polar Socialist

        The first messages about the defenders “collecting” people to the theater came on 13th, I believe. Meanwhile, over 30,000 refugees have been able to leave Mariupol, and they are saying that the Ukrainians blew up the theater when withdrawing.

        There are videos posted by Azovs of Russian tanks about a mile away from the theater, so it’s unlikely the Russians would have bombed the area. And of course, Russian MoD has already stated that there was no aerial bombardment of the city, because they know Azovs are using human shields.

        And what it’s worth, according to the same source (Russian MoD), only 36 refugees from Mariupol chose traveling to Dniepropetrovsk (controlled by Ukrainian forces). 31 331 wanted to go to Kherson, Donetsk or Russia.

        1. jo6pac

          Yes, the Nazi are allowing the women & children to leave that’s good sign. Then lights out;-)

        2. AnArchitect

          “they are saying…” – Lunacy and straight out of the Muck Raking Institute of Distortion.

          “because they know…” – Verifiable? No. Useful for their purposes? Absolutely.

          This is borderline Q-anon type informational hysteria.

          Post the links. Post the videos.

      2. digi_owl

        Yeah, the second i read “Russia did X, says Ukrainian official” i get wary. In particular when that X supposedly took place down around Donbass.

        The fog of war is massive, and independent reporting from the place is virtually impossible (even more so now that even reporters going to Kyiv/Kiev seems to be used as target practice). In particular as to foreign eyes, the two sides are virtually identical save some easily removable shoulder badges.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      Hard to tell when the propaganda doesn’t include any pictures.

      How many nazis do you see in this video when it was still OK for western media to be critical of nazis? But to be fair, Azov doesn’t allow nazi tattoos on those working with the children. Very humanitarian of them.

    4. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Re Zelensky:

      Pretty sure God would be appalled at the President of Ukraine sacrificing his people at the altar of NATO.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Come to think of it, where is Zelensky where he is giving these interviews and speeches? Last time I heard he was actually in Poland but for all we know, he could already be in his mansion in Florida – or even old Joe’s basement.

          1. Yves Smith

            Readers have no business playing moderator. You are accumulating troll points.

            You also have no sense of humor. Even I got that Rev was making a jibe and I have a tendency to be too literal minded…

      2. ambrit

        Oh, I dunno Mr. Becnel. Our President worships at the shrine of Mammon.
        It has come down to, who’s Baal is Baalsier.
        I wouldn’t be surprised to see Zelinski hanging out down on Dumaine next Mardis Gras.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Oh for sure!!!

          I could totally see the Local Dem Establishment inviting him to be King of Endymion or Bacchus or Orpheus!!!

          And I wanted to say the Altar of Mammon at first cuz it just sounds so sweet and mellifluous off the tongue!

    5. Darthbobber

      Interestingly,it’s exactly the theatre that various locals were talking about being mined by the UAF on the 12th and 13th. As to what happened. who if anybody died, we have only unsubstantiated claims by Ukrainian authorities.

    6. drumlin woodchuckles

      I read the post about how Zelensky is a bad person with bad character and evil backers. The implication is that he is not a national leader and does not deserve to be respected as such.

      Well . . . . back in the day . . . . Yasser Arafat was a bad person with bad character and evil backers. But he was a national leader. Eventually all the other national leaders had to admit that basic fact.

      If the Ukrainian nation follows Zelensky as their national leader, then he is a national leader. As to his bad character and evil backers, as General Giap once said to Colonel Larry Summers in a totally different context . . . ” That may be correct. It is also irrelevant.”

      The harder Israel tried and tries to beat the nation out of the Palestinians , the harder and tougher a nation it beats them into being. In the same way, the RussiaGov will discover that the harder it tries to beat the nation out of Ukrainians, the harder and tougher a nation it beats the Ukrainians into being. By ” Ukrainians”, I refer to the Ukranormal majority, not the Ukranazi minority.

  8. Rod

    Today on WBUR Boston
    On Point Radio

    “How the global financial system enables oligarchy”

    Louise Shelly, Oliver Bullough, and Daniel Glasser being very candid and detailed.
    The City, et al, come away a bit tarnished.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I remember hearing a little analysis report years ago about how the European 100 Euro note was worth over twice as much as an American $100 bill. So the 100 Euro note was more than twice as valuable per cubic inch, per ounce, or whatever measure of weight and volume you care to use for currencies. The analyst theorized that Europe kept the 100 Euro note in existence to facilitate criminal cash-moving in Euros as against in dollars, because the same size and weight block of money could contain over twice as much value in Euros as against in Dollars. Making the Euro the currency of money-smugglers’ choice could help make the Euro a more important currency, and that is why the Euro-zone authorities kept the 100 Euro note in existence, in his opinion.

  9. marym

    ‘Right in the trash’: Texas ballot rejections soar, AP finds

    Texas threw out mail votes at an abnormally high rate during the nation’s first primary of 2022, rejecting nearly 23,000 ballots outright under tougher voting rules that are part of a broad campaign by Republicans to reshape American elections, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

    Roughly 13% of mail ballots returned in the March 1 primary were discarded and uncounted across 187 counties in Texas.

    Republican state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, a proponent of the changes, said in an email that one issue might have been that ballot instructions printed in different ink colors — red for signature, black for identification numbers — might have left voters with the wrong impression they did not need to provide both…The new mail ballot requirements in Texas include listing an identification number — either a driver’s license or a Social Security number — on the ballot’s carrier envelope. That number must match the county’s records, and if a ballot is rejected, voters are given the opportunity to supply the missing information or simply cast a ballot in person instead.


  10. djrichard

    Came across this randomly today.

    “Dutch exploitation of the Netherlands Indies was extremely clever. Their scientific and technical skill widely expanded communications, public works, and hygiene. In particular their scientific irrigation, right up to the mountainous regions, was calculated to make the Indies self-supporting in the production of rice. Being blessed with a favourable climate and with such scientific facilities in addition, the Netherlands Indies presented no problem for food and living. The natives passed their days happily under Dutch rule. Java, with an area smaller than Japan and although mountainous, supported a population of 50,000,000.”

    “The Dutch looked after the Indonesian peoples remarkably well. 60,000,000 natives were ruled over by only 200,000 Netherlanders — that is, 300 natives to every Dutchman. This is no ordinary Administration! The Dutch are for the natives; they make them self-supporting so that they lack nothing. With the help of their first-class scientific knowledge, they have developed the Netherlands Indies, promoted the people’s welfare, supplying them with food, clothing and shelter. The result is that the place may be called a paradise, with a world record for density of population.”

    Lieutenant-General Reikichi Tada,
    Doctor of Engineering,
    Imperial Japanese Army.
    Tokyo, 1943.
    •The above, written some months ago, by the Japanese military scientist, Lieutenant-General Reikichi Tada, consists of excerpts from his report to the Japanese Government. It was published in the Tokyo journal “Chukoron” or “Central Review” which fell Into Allied hands recently. In employing the Hon. Lieutenant-General’s candid and official opinion—not intended for Allied eyes—as an introduction to his book, the author is taking a liberty for which he trusts both the Hon. Lieutenant-General and the reader will forgive him.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I read somewhere that the Dutch authorities also tried hard to foster intermarriage between Dutch personnel and Javanese natives, in order to breed up a bridging population.

  11. LaRuse

    Major (7.3) earthquake is being reported off of the Sendai coast of Japan. CNN has a map showing the epicenter being uncomfortably close to the Fukushima nuclear facility.

  12. jo6pac

    potus joe b. has approved another round of $$$$$$$$$$$$ for the ukraine on top what they have already been promised. Sadly the money goes to Amerikas war merchants of death and ukraine army.

    joe where’s our $600.00? Then what ever happened to bbb?

    1. Michael Ismoe

      The people of Flint Michigan need to invite the Russians in to fix the water. It’s the only way its gonna happen

    2. Michael Ismoe

      It’s not just Joe – It’s all of them

      “We had thought with the ending of the war in Afghanistan, we could push for a real reduction in the defense budget, and there will be another opportunity. But look, this is an epic battle.”

      — Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), quoted by the New York Times.

      1. Polar Socialist

        In general, if you find yourself in an epic battle on the same side with the nazis, you probably did some wrong choices along the way.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          When Russia invaded Ukraine in general, Russia inspired the Ukranormal majority to defend Ukraine in general. At some point the Ukranormais will have to figure out what, if anything, to do about their Ukranazi minority, which still dreams of turning Ukraine into Banderazovistan.

    3. Samuel Conner

      > Then what ever happened to bbb?

      Perhaps someone in the Ministry of Truth will revise the history. “BBB” was a mis-spelling, the correct spelling is “VVP”.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Personally I have a lot of problems with what Tucker Carlson says but at least he does bring on people to his show who are banned from main stream media shows. Jimmy Dore for example. But to your blue-blood point, the same could also be said of FDR but he did far more good than damage at home. You wonder how America would have turned out if that assassination attempt on him had been successful. Azov Amerika perhaps?

      1. MichaelSF

        Get a copy of “Joe Steele by Harry Turtledove.

        The original concept comes from a line in Janis Ian’s song “God and the FBI” which says “Stalin was a Democrat.” In the foreword, Turtledove explains that from hearing this song, he began to imagine reasons for Stalin to be a Democrat, and the story grew from there. Janis Ian was an editor of the original short story, and is the dedicatee of the resulting novel.

        FDR bites the dust while still governor.

      2. sinbad66

        In the Amazon Prime version of “Man in the High Castle”, FDR was assassinated, which led the US to prepare for war more slowly. The US was toasted when the Germans dropped an A-bomb (called a Heisenberg device) over DC. With the leadership decapitated, the Germans invaded the US. The country was partitioned between the Germans and the Japanese. So Azov Amerika is pretty close.

    2. CoryP

      The author also recently was on TrueAnon discussing the article. He’s a great podcast guest.

  13. CoryP

    Forgive me if this was addressed elsewhere. Regarding the conflicting arguments of how prepared Russia was, how far they’ve gamed this out, etc..

    I’ve listened to a couple interviews with Ben Aris of BNE intellinews, and his position is that freezing/seizing Russia’s foreign currency reserves wasn’t foreseen otherwise they wouldn’t have left so much money vulnerable. On the other hand, moving such a large chunk of cash would raise eyebrows as well.

    Does anyone have a good article or comment thread they’ve read discussing this in detail, for ignorant people like myself? (Probably a recent post here. I can’t keep up!). The topic’s mentioned here all the time but I think a lot of the conversation tends to go over my head so my answer is probably hiding in plain sight.

    Also I apologize if this is the kind of lazy question that counts as an assignment. I’m not sure where that line is.

    1. tegnost

      I think that russia moving assets where they would be difficult to seize was one of the things that made the robinette assume that there would soon be an invasion. This theory was put forth by the regularly astute members of the commentariat, that it was always possible to know something was up based on info available to those whose job is to know that kind of thing…

  14. The Rev Kev

    Just got an email a short while ago from PayPal asking to donate to Ukraine relief efforts. Yeah, nah! I think that when this is all over, that a lot of people are going to be surprised to learn what happened to all this donated money – and they won’t be happy about it either.

  15. fresno dan

    Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo has filed a $125 million arbitration demand against CNN for “unlawful termination,” alleging that WarnerMedia’s claim the former “Cuomo Prime Time” host violated the network’s news standards and practices is “false.”

    CNN fired Cuomo in December following a brief suspension over his extensive involvement in helping his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D., stave off sexual misconduct allegations. A subsequent probe of Chris Cuomo’s actions at CNN revealed a separate sexual misconduct charge against him from his earlier tenure at ABC News.

    “It should by now be obvious that Chris Cuomo did not lie to CNN about helping his brother. In fact, as the limited information released from WarnerMedia’s investigation makes clear, CNN’s highest-level executive not only knew about Chris’s involvement in helping his brother but also actively assisted the Governor, both through Chris and directly themselves. As CNN has admitted, network standards were changed in a calculated decision to boost ratings. When those practices were called into question, Chris was made the scapegoat,” attorney Bryan Freedman told Fox News Digital.
    couldn’t happen to a more fair and balanced network…
    and who knew newsmen are so horny

  16. Fred1

    As to Zelensky’s speech. In the not too distant future, there will be a big budget Hollywood movie celebrating the victory of the plucky Ukrainians and their heroic leader. It will have little to do with the facts on the ground or any of the historical context leading up the war. It will have CIA and DOD assistance and approval. Zelensky will be a credited co-producer and may even play himself. He will be paid millions as a thank you for his faithful service.

Comments are closed.